"Journey To The Unknown" is an RP that Nella wrote for my birthday giveaway where members were given a choice of 7 paths to choose from. According to the path they chose, we gifted creatures to make the journey successful. The RP and the paths were much praised by members that we decided to hold a writing contest. Nella will give the storyline, the paths and the rules of the contest in her post below. We sincerely hope you will have fun spinning a fine story based on her storyline and one of the paths you chose to write about.
The Prizes: 1st Prize - One pair of unnamed Gold Crystalwings
2nd Prize - One pair of unnamed DoDo Birds
3rd Prize - One pair of unnamed QB Red Rose Imps & One pair of unnamed QB Emerald Wyverns
4th Prize - One pair of each and every creature from Remy's Inn & the Trading Post - all unnamed (ShopBorn)
Additional Prizes: Every member who enters the contest correctly will receive a pair of creatures. They will be ShopBorn, ShopBred, Stream, QuestBred, GiftBred or Hybrids
Start Date: 20th September, 2011
End Date:20th November 2011. This date will be extended only if necessary. But we prefer to end it on this date as we have another contest in the pipeline.20th December 2011
Judging: The judges will be NellaFantasia, Morgaln & ShaiNeko
Thank you everyone and enjoy the contest! NellaFantasia & Enchanted
Last edited by Enchanteddil on November 20th, 2011, 5:37:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
1. Each person may submit one piece of writing. Feel free to edit the story as many times as you want until the deadline date.
2. Please remember to break down the paragraphs. We don't want to be stuck trying to read a wall of text.
3. There's no limit to how long your story can be, but try to keep the length respectable. AKA no novel writing.
4. No collaborating. One story must have one author.
5. No chatting. If you have any questions, or would like to comment please do so in the Community Discussions thread. This thread is for entries only.
The Crystalline Caves were said to be a remarkable sight, clustered with crystals of various colors from blues to greens to reds, and sporadically placed all over the walls and floors of the deep passages so that one could venture into them without a light of their own. This is where you find yourself, carefully stepping over rocks and squeezing through tunnels.
It’s not long before you hear the echoes of gentle tapping. Upon rounding a bend, you find who you are looking for. A woman is beating at the surrounding crystals with a pick. She’s dressed in brown trousers, heavy boots, a loose tunic and leather jerkin with a multitude of a tiny bags and pockets wrapped around her waist and legs. Atop her head is a mass of curly brown hair. You clear your throat to gain her attention, and she stops in mid-swing to peer at you from behind large, circular goggles. She lifts them from her face and smiles.
You’ve heard of this woman from time to time in the Keep. Anita the Accumulator. Or, for those less inclined, Anita the Pack Rat. She often sends magi out into the world to collect samples of her discoveries, and in return she’ll award them with creatures. However, she is not what you expected.
“Hello, mage,” she says quite cheerfully. “Here for the journey, I wager?” You nod. “As I tell many of your folk, it’s not a pleasant journey if you’re not careful, but I give you creatures to help you with the trials. You keep them, too…long as you survive it in one piece.” You hesitate, staring at her warily with thoughts of whether or not this is a good idea after all.
She smiles wider and says, “Having a bit of fun, is all. You magi are so serious.” She wipes a handkerchief across her face, succeeding only smearing dirt. “It shouldn’t be so bad, and you get my little lovelies in the process. So,” she leans on the handle of the pick, smirking, “are you willing to go on the journey?”
Path A “Ah, your journey will require you to seek things far and wide. To aid you I’ll give you an Etainian Quetzalcoatl who can soar through the sky and show you things you might not see.”
Path B “You will be sent underground where the caves are enclosed. The Naureaun Quetzalcoatl will help you the most, for they can burrow small holes and reach depths you otherwise could not get to.”
“Seems your journey will lead you to a sweltering, hot place. For your companion I’ll give you a Hellhound, for no other creature’s powers thrive in such heat. Just remember to keep away from its temper.”
Path D “The chilly caverns of the north will be your destination. For this quest I’ll give you an Icist, the kings and queens of the cold. Pack warmly.”
Path E “Your journey will lead you to mysterious and unknown lands. Take the Crystalwing who can fly with great speed and take you across the world in the blink of an eye.”
“The frosty mountains await you, as does great danger. Not only will the White Elk lead you through the snow, but they have the power to bring peace to your soul.”
Path G “While it seems your journey will lead you close to the Silva Forest, it is best if you take with you a Noctis Enox. No other creature will protect you so viciously. Take care when riding them.”
Choose which path you'd like to take and write about what occurs and how it ends. If you have any questions, please PM me. I look forward to reading each entry!
Okay, here's the Crazy entree. It will be stinky, but I will try my best.
Prologue by NellaFantasia (with edits of "I" instead of "you" and my response at the end):
The Crystalline Caves were said to be a remarkable sight, clustered with crystals of various colors from blues to greens to reds, and sporadically placed all over the walls and floors of the deep passages so that one could venture into them without a light of their own. This is where I found myself, carefully stepping over rocks and squeezing through tunnels.
It wasn't long before I heard the echoes of gentle tapping. Upon rounding a bend, I find who I'm looking for. A woman beat at the surrounding crystals with a pick. She had dressed in brown trousers, heavy boots, a loose tunic and leather jerkin with a multitude of a tiny bags and pockets wrapped around her waist and legs. Atop her head is a mass of curly brown hair. I cleared your throat to gain her attention, and she stopped in mid-swing to peer at me from behind large, circular goggles. She lifted them from her face and smiles.
I had heard of this woman from time to time in the Keep. Anita the Accumulator. Or, for those less inclined, Anita the Pack Rat. She often sent magi out into the world to collect samples of her discoveries, and in return she’d award them with creatures. However, she is not what you expected.
“Hello, mage,” she said quite cheerfully. “Here for the journey, I wager?” I nodded. “As I tell many of your folk, it’s not a pleasant journey if you’re not careful, but I give you creatures to help you with the trials. You keep them, too…long as you survive it in one piece.” I hesitated, staring at her warily with thoughts of whether or not this is a good idea after all.
She smiled wider and says, “Having a bit of fun, is all. You magi are so serious.” She wiped a handkerchief across her face, succeeding only smearing dirt. “It shouldn’t be so bad, and you get my little lovelies in the process. So,” she leaned on the handle of the pick, smirking, “are you willing to go on the journey?”
I smiled weakly. "Umm... Yes, I reckon so." I mumbled meekly. I was kind of frightened, but still, I wanted to go wherever I had to. Anita grinned. "Okay then. Your journey will lead you to mysterious and unknown lands. Take the Crystalwing who can fly with great speed and take you across the world in the blink of an eye.” I nodded, gaining courage. "Alright. I'm prepared. Let's go."
Chapter One; The Flaming Gems
The morning sun sliced through the mist like a knife through butter. I yawned and rubbed my eyes. "Today's a big day," I murmured to myself. I had to pack. I was going to mysterious and unknown lands; I'd need to pack simple things that would be appropriate anywhere.
I looked at the Crystalwing who was snoring away next to me. I couldn't help but admire his beauty. The sun glistened off of his fuchsia scales, encrusted with violet gems. His name was Mauve, after his color. I had bonded with him a little before the journey, giving a slight advantage to myself. Hopefully it would grow over the course of our flights.
"Wake up," I tapped on Mauve's head, making a slight clinking noise. He opened his eyes groggily, and I giggled. "Come on now, help me with some things." The Crystalwing was very large, about the size of a big sailboat without the sail. I frowned. "Get up," I pushed him affectionately. He eventually obliged, and we went outside.
I looked at the heap of supplies that Mauve had organized, and my jaw dropped. Food for two weeks at least, a sleeping bag, a pot, flint, a fishing rod, and a small raft. "Mauve! Are you sure you'll be able to carry this?" He nodded and gestured to his tough scales. I smiled. "Alrighty then. We should get going."
I had had my eyes closed for an hour at least. The wind had made sight impossible, and it hurt to open them. Mauve was going very, very fast. But we had to get somewhere in this strange land. Somewhere that looked inhabitable to him. He was a good judge, and I trusted him.
At last, he seemed to be slowing down. He slowly sailed downwards, losing altitude and allowing me to open my eyes. I gasped at the amazing sights. The land was so strange, unlike anything I'd ever seen. I knew that our world was divided into different terrains, but this was unbelievable.
As far as I could see, there were islands. Just a bunch of high, high islands. Well, they may not have actually been high. They were separated by chasms that went on too far for the naked eye to see. I didn't want to see what was at the bottom. Each of these "islands" were slightly different than the last, each having their own little quirks. They eventually melded together, like a giant rainbow, in a way. Red becomes orange, orange becomes yellow, yellow becomes green, and finally, red and blue are linked, even though they aren't alike.
Apparently, the general grouping that we were headed for was that of just gems. Gargantuan, valuable rocks with, probably, different things inside of each. I don't know why Mauve picked this specific one; he may have not known either. But we were touching down on this island quickly, and I braced myself for landing.
Mauve's graceful feet and wings kissed the land as we smoothly landed on the tough ground. The rocks on the ground seemed to contain many different kinds and colors of precious stones. I the realized why Mauve had chosen this spot; all of the gems and crystals had called to him. It seemed like a nice enough spot; but we were on top of the cave. We needed to get in it, because that must have been where the treasure was. Whatever that treasure may be.
Surrounded by all of the stones of different colors, I felt mesmerized. Fuchsia, azure, vermillion, golden; these colors seemed to mingle as one. The sun glinted off of them carelessly. That was when I noticed that it was very, very hot here. "Oh dear," I frowned. I peeled off my long-sleeved shirt, leaving my plain, pink sleeveless shirt. I threw the shirt at Mauve, and he picked it up and stuffed it in a bag.
After gazing at the gems and stones for a couple of minutes, I realized that I had to find somewhere else. But Mauve began to whimper. Not a sad whimper, more like an apprehensive, foreshadowing whimper. It was low and a rumble, almost like a large boulder collapsing. I comfortingly patted his muzzle, but it didn't help. He seemed all restless and tired. "What's wrong, buddy?" I asked, puzzled.
He grabbed me and placed me gently on his back, on the saddle I had made. "Wait, what are you -" I was cut off at he quickly swooped downward. It was much cooler in that area, but it generally looked the same as the above ground. "What was that all about?" I frowned. "You scared me! I mean, it was hot, but -" He covered my mouth with his tail. I stomped my foot on the ground indignantly. He shook his head and gesticulated to the saddle. I got on, and he glided up, to the same level as the ground we had previously been on.
The sun was low in the in the sky; it was morning. Mauve fidgeted, but tried successfully to keep me on his back. I gasped at what I saw. The stones on the land were glowing red. The green, blue, purple ones; they were all turning red and orange. Then, they started to catch fire. Yes, the land was burning. I hugged Mauve's thick neck. "Oh, thank you! We would have burned to death," I applauded him gratefully. After watching this spectacle for a few more minutes, we touched down on the lower ground.
I widened my eyes in worry. "Oh no," I said in fear. "We need to get out of here." Mauve was thinking the same thing, probably, but I explained my plan to him to make him feel better. Or was it myself who wanted to feel better? "By noon, the Sun will be at its peak. It will probably catch this land on fire too!" Mauve started whimpering again. "Oh no! It will happen soon!" I paced the ground. "We need to make a plan. Fast."
I frowned as I paced. This land seemed to be a series of cliff faces in layers. I guessed that each hour, a new layer would set on fire. We had to get to the lowest ground and get somewhere protected from the sun's rays! "Mauve," I called. "We need to get to the bottom." He gazed over the sheer cliff onto the lower rock. It was the same gem arrangement as the first and second; all flammable to the electromagnetic energy radiated by the Sun. It would still buy us time, and we needed all that we could get. We were too deep into this adventure to quit; we had to find Anita's treasure, whatever it may be.
Once again, Mauve unfolded his marvelous wings and glided down over the chasm to the other side, the lower side. I closed my eyes as this happened; I wouldn't be able to stand the sight of the never-ending pit that would engulf anything that fell. Nothing fell, however, and we touched down gracefully. The sun crept up the sky eagerly, waiting to set the last of the land on fire. I got off quickly and ran around a fair distance of the land we were on, looking for anywhere even lower. I couldn't find anything, and it frustrated me. We were on the lowest of lands, and there was a plateau of gems in the direction we had came. We couldn't go any further.
Suddenly, Mauve leaped up and spread out his wings in the air, trying to get above the plateau. His eyes glistened in the sunlight. "What are you doing?" I yelled. "We can't waste any time!" Mauve swooped down swiftly and grabbed me, the supplies still tied to his back firmly. "Wait, wha -" I was cut off yet again as he flew straight up, heading for the top of the plateau again. Had he seen something?
Yes, he had. The plateau wasn't gems at all. The whole thing was hollow. Mauve had found a hole in the top! "Well I'll be," I murmured in amazement. He made his rumbling purr sound again, and his eyes twinkled. He lowered us down gently until we were about level with the land we were just on. I looked above us. There was enough light to see what was ahead, but we wouldn't be able to if we went forward. It was like a pipe; it went in through the top and then changed course and went a different way. We'd have gems above us instead of the light.
"Let's eat," I offered. I unraveled a cloth on Mauve's back that held some food. I had prepared a granola, kind of, with Synaran dried grapes and oats with some spices. I smiled as I munched on the snack. Mauve refused the offer when I gestured to him with a dried grape. I didn't know what Crystalwings ate, or if they even ate at all. I shrugged and continued snacking.
I pulled a mirror out of my pocket. I had brought it along just in case we needed to amplify the Sun's rays to make a fire. Here, that fire was too deadly. I took a look at my face. Freckles, a sprouting sunburn above my nose, blue eyes, brown hair. I was not very unique. Just a hunting girl from Arkene. I put the mirror back in the pack. "Let's check it out," I mumbled to Mauve. He nodded.
Sweating, I dragged my feet back to the base. Mauve calmly padded by my side, ready to catch me if I fell. I staggered back to the bags and got out some water. I chugged from the bottle gratefully, the dryness in my throat disappearing. Mauve took the bottle from me before I could drain it. I nodded and wiped my lip with the collar of my shirt. "You're right," I mumbled. "I should save it."
The hour-long walk was really boring, and seemed longer than it was. I'm sure with water and motivation, we would have gone much farther. It was just a tunnel sloping farther and farther downwards. Of course, there were gems that would have been marvelous, if gems hadn't almost set us on fire and gems were all we saw for the whole day.
But we were back, and I was exhausted. Even Mauve seemed to be breathing heavily. "Come on, let's go to sleep," I murmured. I pulled out a sleeping bag and unraveled it. Mauve curled up like a cat, and even put his tail over his legs. It couldn't reach his muzzle, but I'm sure it would have. "Good night," I mumbled. I didn't wait for a response. The soothing sounds of Mauve's rumbling eased me off to sleep.
Chapter Two; The Moonlit Cavern
I felt a nudge on my shoulder. "Stop it Mauve," I mumbled. "S' too early." But I immediately knew I was wrong. We were in a depth of about 50 feet. The sun could climb up the sky for another hour and I wouldn't know it. It was still dark where we were, although I could notice it diminishing. Mauve nudged me again, and I scrambled to my feet. "No point in staying," I said. "We have to find Anita's treasure."
The cave was arid and dry, and I needed all the water I could get. I gulped down the remaining water from my flask and nodded at Mauve. He picked up the supplies gingerly and we set off. I recognized the boring trail from the last time. It felt exactly the same; dark and long. I knew we had exceeded an hour when the trail changed.
It felt as if we were entering another land. The tunnel suddenly seemed as if it were crawling with life. I could actually feel the water condensing in the air, it was so humid. But it was still warm; and every traveler knows that heat and humidity don't mix well. I instantly began to sweat, the salty water dripping off my face and above my lip. Mauve continued undaunted.
However, I was motivated by this. New parts could only mean new discoveries. And I sensed that our treasure would be hidden here.
Last edited by Crazyflight on November 17th, 2011, 10:56:03 pm, edited 7 times in total.
I swore as (yet again) a handhold crumbled underneath my hand and stung my palm as I lost my grip. Grumbling, I painfully reset my grip and glared up at Jaeger. “Great path you picked. Straight up a cliff face! Not all of us are designed to leap nimbly and gracefully from ledge to ledge, y'know.” Jaeger just looked at me unsympathetically and huffed before hopping up another twenty feet or so. “Hey! Don't take that tone with me! It's not my fault we got stuck up these stupid mountains. It's your fault we took this butthole route. What in Voltar's good name did you think we'd find up here? Besides metric craptons of snow and ice, of course. Gaaah!” I exclaimed as my feet slipped off the ledge I'd been resting on and I was left hanging by my fingertips. Cursing, I scrabbled frantically with my feet until I found solid purchase on a small outcrop. I didn't dare look down to see where – if I froze now, I'd die.
Jaeger looked at me bemusedly, seeming to ask why I would do a stupid thing like lose my footing and I glared. “This is entirely your fault. When I get to the top, I am making you into new boots and stir-fry.” Jaeger just snorted and tossed his head encouragingly. I made a face at him and growled, but I made a huge effort and managed to pull myself on to the narrow shelf I'd been hanging off of moments earlier. Indulging myself in another glare at Jaeger (Stupid elk! Stupid Anita! Stupid me...), I stood up and surveyed the cliff face between me and the next wide-ish ledge. I spotted four good handholds and three more marginal ones. I reached for the first one just as Jaeger decided to call down “encouragement,” and I glared up at him. I seemed to have been doing that a good deal lately, but the great heights, thin air, cold, and hunger were doing absolutely nothing to improve my mood. Ever since I'd accepted Jaeger from Anita, it'd been one damn thing after another. Lost supplies, surprise avalanches and rockfalls, direwolf attacks, hell even a regular wolf attack! Thank all the stars in the heavens above that Tasharns didn't travel in packs, or I'd have been dead by now.
“You know,” I huffed as I reached for another handhold, “I ought to have named you Murphy....or Jinx! I can see why Anita gave you to me. Also – fuck!” I swore as one of the handholds I'd judged to be “good” gave way and I was forced to grab at one of the ones I'd tagged as “marginal.” “Also, I'm not going to turn you into dinner and mukluks when I catch you. No, I'm gonna use you for glue and curse charms. Dammit!” I yelped as a sharp rock I hadn't seen made itself painfully known to my liver. How I managed to still feel sharp rocks through all the layers I was wearing was beyond my ken, but they still stung like a sonuvabitch. Jaeger chuffed again and easily leaped the last few ledges to the top, then turned to look at me as if asking what was taking me so long. I couldn't spare the concentration or breath for more than a brief glare rather than the full paragraph of invective that I really wanted to
Finally, after much colorful language, glares, and witty remarks at my expense – and they said animals couldn't talk, bunch of panty-waisted liars – I got to the top. First order of business was to collapse in exhaustion, which I proceeded to do as gracelessly as I could manage without injury to myself. I didn't get to enjoy my horizontal resting position long, however, as Jaeger came over and started snuffling my hair. I gave a heartfelt moan. “Yes, yes, I'm alive Jaeger. Thank you kindly Jaeger for your concern and no thank you for your lousy navigation. Ugh, yes, fine I'm up. See? I'm up,” I said as I laboriously climbed to my feet. Looking around for a less precipitous place to lay down and get some rest, I slowly forgot about my aches and pains as I took in the wond'rous sight that met my eyes. Great spears of ice jutted up from the plateau – so it isn't a mountain, I noted abstractly – narrowing to glittering points at the top. Every so often along these giant shafts more ice would jut out at odd angles. I couldn't figure it out. I slid my gaze over to Jaeger. He just stood there, looking so smug. If he'd been human, he'd probably have a big shit-eating grin all over his face, I didn't doubt. I looked back at the forest of spears – wait a second. Forest of spears....and if I turned my head just so and squinted...I turned to stare at Jaeger. “No. Way. A forest of trees made of ice?” I demanded excitedly. He snorted and came over to butt me softly in the direction of the trees. “I take it back, I take it all back,” I said in wonder as I stumbled forward.
It was just after sunset when we finally made camp beneath the huge trees. They were even bigger up close and personal, and I had been slowed as I watched the fading sunbeams get caught and tossed about by the prismatic planes on the ice. I wondered aloud to Jaeger how old the trees were as I unloaded the packs. He just snorted and started nosing through them in search of the grain I had packed for when we got above the treeline. Say rather, when there was no food to be foraged I thought as I looked up at the huge ice-sculpture trees that looked as though they held up the sky. As I reached for the packs containing the grain, I was distracted once again by how beautiful the who place really was, even if it had nothing to illuminate it but starlight. Consequently, I didn't notice my hand had missed the pack until it collided with something hard. “Fuck,” I said almost reflexively, shaking my hand and giving whatever I'd hit a light glare. As I glared, though, the heat fell away and I realized what I was looking at. A pine cone, as large as my head, spines closed, made of perfect ice. I picked it up and held it up against the sky just as the moon peeked over the mountains. The light hit the pinecone and took my breath away. Illuminated by the moonlight refracted across its inner planes, I clearly saw the seeds that the pinecone contained. I looked over at Jaeger and grinned. Anita would eat this up – there was nothing like it anywhere else that I had ever heard of. Still grinning, I recited a freezing spell and wrapped up the pinecone before making room for it in a pack by bringing out Jaeger's grain. Jaeger gladly started chowing down as I poured the grain into a depression I'd made in the snow. I smiled and slipped into the nest of furs and blankets I'd made in another hollowed-out depression. I lit the lamp and settled in to read over and remember my journey thus far.
I opened my logbook.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day One
I set off to-day with the white elk Anita gave me – I have no idea why she insisted I take him, I have four of my own – towards the mountains in search of something rare. It's something to do at least – life at the Keep was getting a little dull. As I write this Jaeger – it's what I named the elk; so I'm not creative, so what? - is nosing around looking for food. He seems nice enough. Didn't object to the packs when I put them on him, at least. They aren't terribly heavy, but all my elk would have objected to them violently. Maybe that's why Anita insisted I take him – maybe he's specially trained to carry packs or something.
Well anyway, we made good time to-day. We covered about fifteen miles, and should get even further to-morrow. I don't want to get caught up the mountainside when winter proper sets in – it is a bit late in the year for this sort of excursion, but I think we should be able to make it just fine. I put most of the winter and mountain gear in the packs the Jaeger's carrying; I hope I don't lose any of it.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Two
We made twenty miles to-day. Jaeger doesn't seem to mind the faster pace, so we'll keep it up as long as the terrain permits. What he does seem to object to is my choice of routes, oddly enough. When we came to a split in the path we were following long about noon, we had ourselves a slight difference of opinion. I wanted to go left, and he wanted to go right. Stubborn animal! I wonder if he's got mule somewhere in his ancestry.
Anyway, we eventually went right because neither path had really any sort of distinguishing marks and he's carrying most of the supplies. I'm glad I didn't bring any of my own creatures – if they hung around Jaeger for too long his bad habits might start rubbing off on them. Yes, I said bad habits, and hitting me whenever I write something you disagree with is one of them. Dog meat. Ow.
Well, enough of that. Wherever this path leads, it's at least going in the generally correct direction (according to my map, which is pretty good for the lower altitudes). Here's to hoping it remains this pleasant.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Three
I am going to sell Jaeger for dog meat when we get back to civilization! That elk has a lousy sense of direction and a worse nose! I woke up not long after midnight this morning to find my campsite entirely surrounded by direwolves and Jaeger nowhere in sight. I suppose I can't fault his self-preservation instincts, but he picked this damn route the least he could do would be to stick with me in the lurch! Oh well.
Anyway, the fire hadn't quite gone out, thank goodness, so I was able to poke it up and use the embers to drive the direwolves away. I told him off roundly and at some length, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he was just faking attention. Bugger the lousy sod. Ow. I couldn't sleep any more that night, so I packed up and we made a (very) early start of it and we made twenty-five miles.
Sixty miles into the trip, and we're still at least a day away from the foothills of the mountains. That's it – no more taking directions from stupid two-toed ungulates who probably can't tell a hawk from a handsaw!
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Four
I'm glad I didn't make that resolution about directions out loud – I'm tempted to strike it from the record, honestly. Jaeger is one stubborn herbivore when it comes to picking a path. Once he starts going down the one he thinks is correct even yanking on his antlers won't turn him. I should know – I tried. Repeatedly. He just snorted and shook me off. I eventually gave up trying to turn him and just gave him the silent treatment. If he leads us into another direwolf pack, I'm gonna offer him up as a meal and run the fuck away. At least we made my goal of twenty miles – the land has started to slope up gently.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Five
That's it – no more resolutions about certain chunk-headed herbivores-cum-wilderness guides. From my mouth to God's ears, I swear. Not precisely, but the point still stands! We didn't get ambushed by direwolves last night, but regular wolves are not an improvement! At least he sounded the alarm this time. The fire was completely dead, however, so I had to throw rocks and wave large sticks threateningly. Jaeger wasn't helpful – the big baby “helped” by standing over the ashes of the dead fire and groaning and rolling his eyes in fear – but I managed. Somehow. I've checked over Jaeger thoroughly, but I can't find any big “Eat Me” signs on him anywhere. I'm considering carving one there myself, but maybe this isn't all his fault. And maybe Namista just wanted to give the world love and cuddles.
Anyway, we unanimously decided that hanging around the area would probably do our long-term health goals no good at all, so we legged it and managed to make a few miles before breakfast. We made another ten miles or so afterwards, but we stopped early so that I could get a siesta and Jaeger could eat. He must know I'm writing about him; he's come over and is resting his head on my shoulder. No, dog-meat, I'm not going to pet you. Especially when you sneeze green stuff on my sleeve. Go to sleep, you great lummox.
I'd best follow my own advice, actually. It's gonna be a long uphill hike tomorrow; we'll hit the foothills proper by midmorning.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Six
I think my legs have dropped off at the knee. I don't know what magical wavelength Jaeger is getting his directions from, or whether it was just some vagary of the wind that drove him along this path or whatever, but whatever it is has absolutely no regard for grade. Five miles of fourteen percent grade makes for one mighty unhappy Magi, let me assure you. Jaeger was no help – he stood just out of grabbing range and made encouraging noises. Patronizing fucker. I know how to hike up a hill – I've done it often enough in the past, though not quite this extreme – and the staff I picked up just before we hit the really steep stuff helped immeasurably. Unfortunately, our pace has slowed to a crawl – we did maybe ten miles to-day, by far the shortest distance we've made yet. Stupid jackass shouldn't be navigating. Ow. He hit me “accidentally” with his antlers after reading that. Damn, he's quiet when he wants to be. Oh well, if it pissed him off it's no more than he deserves for peeking where he didn't belong. Besides, he can't pick a worse route than he did to-day. Of that I'm sure.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Seven
Well to-day was fucking amazing. I was apparently deeply mistaken when I said that a fourteen percent grade was the worst path Jaeger could find to get us up into the mountains. Before the morning was over I had to get another walking stick to supplement the one I already had. Combine fourteen percent grade with loose gravel and crumbly shale and you get precarious footing and a magi with a passionate hatred for gravity. Then, of course, we had to cross a ravine. It wasn't too far across, but too far for a running jump. There were stepping stones, however, and I suppose I should be grateful we didn't have to climb down one side and up the other but my vertigo objected violently. At length. Repeatedly. I was about ready to curl up and die and to hell with Anita and her precious “treasure” but Jaeger wouldn't let me. He grunted and snorted and nudged me and just generally made a pest of himself and I suppose I should be grateful but it was his fault we had to cross the thing in the first place, damn it!
We've made camp beside a small creek – I have a nagging suspicion it feeds the miserable dribble in the ravine, the fucker – and I'm starting to get worried that this trip will take longer than I had originally estimated. I do have extra food, but it may not be enough. We hiked a bare seven miles to-day, but that was probably due to the poor footing and the ravine fiasco. I can only pray that we don't meet too many more delays. I want to be out of here before the North wind blows in winter properly. We should have a few weeks, but you never can really tell with the mountains.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Eight
Thanks be for small favors. We managed twelve miles to-day, being as how the terrain wasn't as bad as it has been for the past few days – though it is still far from congenial – and we weren't interrupted by large ravines or wild animals. I got a nasty surprise when we stopped for the night, however. When I went to unload Jaeger, I noticed that he somehow managed to divest himself of a goodish amount of weight. I'm not really impressed – in fact, I'd probably have been disappointed if he hadn't – but damn does he have poor choice in what to keep. My snowshoes are gone, as are my crampons, some of the spare food, lantern, extra parka, and toolkit. I'll especially miss the toolkit; it was a gift from a friend and contained many useful tools like a collapsible pickaxe, shovel, and hatchet.
Oh well. If he gets mad at me, I'll blame Jaeger and then let him take the elk to the taxidermist.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Nine
Another nice day. Now I'm getting seriously worried about what I'll find when I get up into the mountains proper. The calm before the storm, and all that. Jaeger seems to be unconcerned, but I have a feeling his brain was replaced with a kidney long ago.
We made a decent distance to-day, almost twenty miles, and we've made camp at the foot of a trail that leads up the mountain. We'll start our ascent to-morrow, and I can only hope my gut feeling is wrong. With my luck, it probably isn't.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Ten
I was right! I was right right right and I swear Jaeger is trying to get both of us killed. We started up the trail early in the morning – before the sun rose, in fact – and mid-morning found us switchbacking our way up a pretty steep cliff face with some ominous menhirs. We were trying to be as quiet as possible – well, I was at least – when Jaeger decided now would be an excellent time to cut loose with what had to qualify for Keep's Loudest Sneeze. I froze and stared up at the menhirs, but they weren't even rocking. I relaxed with a sigh of relief and with an almighty roar half the mountain started coming down on our heads.
There may be something wrong with Jaeger's higher cognitive functions, but his survival instinct is just fine and dandy. I've never seen an elk move that fast, not that I was doing too shabbily in the sprinting department myself – I'm reasonably certain I hit the four-minute mile at some point. We couldn't outrun the rockslide, but we did manage to get under an outcropping before the rocks dashed us to so much mince.
The only good thing to come out of this little disaster is that when all the rumbling stopped and we left the safety of the outcrop we had a pretty good trail up and over the rockslide that was actually faster than if we had just continued with the switchbacks.
This is all Jaeger's fault. Yes, I'm blaming you. Go be all depressed somewhere other than over my shoulder. He just collapsed in the corner, the hambone. He's totally playing it up.
We managed to find shelter in a cave – it's pretty shallow, but it affords some measure of protection from the wind we encountered once we got above the rockslide. Hopefully, that means we can get some sleep to-night without too much trouble. I'm going to try snuggling up to Jaeger when I sleep – the nights have been cooler fast, and I don't think my blanket will be enough to-night.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Eleven
It was quite cold to-day – almost colder than last night was, which is saying something. Jaeger doesn't seem to notice, but as I suspect he has some form of brain damage this does not surprise me. The hiking helped warm me up some, but I was still glad when we stopped for the night and I could make a fire.
It's the last night for one, sadly; we'll be out of the treeline by tomorrow night, barring any unforseen complications. We made good time, relatively, but I don't expect that to continue when we get up to the snow line. I'm not entirely certain where Jaeger thinks we're going – the path we're taking is almost paralleling the peaks, and there aren't any passes in this part of the Alasres.
The path is continuing its upward slope – I shudder to imagine where the trail stops. From the glimpses I've snagged through the thinning trees, there seems to be some sort of permanent fog bank about 500 feet up the trail from where it hits the snow line. I really, really, really hope Jaeger knows what he's doing.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Twelve
Jaeger is nuts – absolutely bonkers. Yes, you. No, hitting me won't make me stop writing. Well, there isn't much else to do, is there? We reached the snow line to-day, and it was nice going for all of about half an hour. Then, out of a clear blue sky, a blizzard decides to drop in. Crazy mountain weather!
Thankfully, we managed to find a cave to shelter in – a proper one this time, not some little divot in the rock – and we'll ride out the storm here. There's a small spring at the back of the cave, so obtaining water shouldn't present any difficulties. Smells funky and tastes bad but it won't kill me so there you go.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Thirteen
Storm hasn't let up. I didn't even try going outside the cave today, just shoved my hiking sticks through the pile-up at the cave's mouth periodically to make sure we didn't suffocate. Jaeger made himself abundantly clear that he didn't enjoy the blasts of wintery air that entered the cave – truth be told, neither did I – but suffocating was hardly an appealing alternative. I checked and re-checked the equipment several times – both out of a desire to make sure our equipment stayed in tip-top shape and out of an acute case of boredom. I hope this storm breaks soon; I might start doing untoward things to Jaeger if I get too bored.
Aha – gotcha! Ow. Make that we might kill each other......
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Seventeen
The storm broke sometime last night and I was insanely grateful to wake up this morning to brightness and a gentle breeze that contrast starkly with the howling darkness of the past couple days. I'm running low on supplies, and I honestly think Jaeger and I would have killed each other if we'd been cooped up together for much longer. That this log is missing a few pages is a testament to one of our more violent............disagreements. Oh well; they weren't that important and the less said about those days the better.
Anyway, we still had to dig our way out of the cave so we didn't start actual progress until about midmorning. Snow was still falling, but I ignored it and Jaeger frolicked. I suppose he deserves some leisure, after nothing but my company for almost a week. We're going up a rift of some sorts now, with sheer cliffs on either side. I'm still convinced it isn't a pass – the wind isn't strong enough to be one – and this leads to several nasty as to what it could be.
I wonder what created the area – there's no good reason for a river to just well out of the ground naturally at this altitude, and if it had been a glacier it a) wouldn't have melted and b) would have left scrapemarks on the cliff faces on either side which are conspicuously absent. There's something about this place, something very odd.
Log of a Camping Trip – Day Eighteen
Sometimes I hate being right all the time. It isn't a pass we've been hiking up – it's a canyon, and it dead-ends in a huge cliff. Seems I wasn't the only poor sod to find this out the hard way, either. Less than a hundred yards from the base of the cliff I stumbled over the remains of a pretty scanty camp. The snow that is still falling had given it a light covering, but I believe that storm that blew through removed most of the heavier layers covering it.
The little one-man canvas tent was frozen stiff as a board and I tripped on a rock-solid canvas pack. I had a bad feeling, but something compelled me to brush and shuffle away just a bit more snow. It didn't take much to uncover the stiff, dead forms of a male magi who might have been handsome when he was alive and what appeared to be his albino Direwolf companion. I almost missed the 'wolf, but the magi had one arm over it so I managed to discern it clearly. I don't think I'll ever forget it, honestly. The Direwolf stayed by him all the way.
I made an executive decision and set up camp a hundred feet down the trail from the sad little site and spent the rest of the day hunting up stones. The soil was far too hard to even try to bury them, so I did the next best thing. The little cairn I managed to build around them wouldn't win any prizes in the masonry department back at the Keep, but it's the best I could do. It certainly is a stark reminder of exactly how badly this trip can end.
When I had finished, I retrieved the pack and took it back to my own camp. If I found anything useful in there, I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I borrowed it – when it's a matter of living and dying, people tend to be more generous. After I managed to thaw it to the point where I could open it, I didn't find much. A lantern, a coil of rope that disintegrated when I tried to uncoil it, a pick with the handle broken off, some climbing spikes, and some journals. I couldn't read the journals – they were either in a different language or the writer had very poor handwriting – but embossed on one that was nicer than the others was what I suspected was a name - “Franklin.” The name niggled at my memory – something about early explorers of the Alasre Mountains? - but I couldn't remember.
It was all I had, though, so I went ahead and chipped it into one of the larger stones I'd used in the grave with the handle-less pick. I don't expect anyone to come up this way and read it, but leaving the grave unmarked seemed somehow disrespectful. After I finished, I put the journals in my pack – if I made it out alive, maybe Anita or one of the language specialists at the Keep would be able to translate them. It would probably be an interesting read.
Whoever “Franklin” was, I hope I have better luck than him when I attempt to scale the cliff face to-morrow – or this'll be the last entry in another forgotten journal sitting at the bottom of a cliff at the end of a pass that doesn't lead anywhere.
Bill of Sale
Participant One: Anita the Accumulator Participant Two: Merk
Trade: One pinecone made of ice One White Elk
Sale completed to the satisfaction of both parties
I smiled as I tucked the bill of sale into my back pocket. I glanced over at Jaeger, who seemed just as happy as I was to have completed our commission. "Hey Jaeger. Let me introduce you to my other White Elks," I said as I slung my arm across his withers. Jaeger snorted agreeably, and I grinned. "And I'll take those packs off you," I patted the few packs still left on his back. Anita hadn't been able to translate the journals I'd brought back - maybe there was a scholar at the Keep who could. Any which way you sliced it, I was nearly home. I smiled - life was looking up.
That's all she wrote.
Note: The story is in order of the spoilers. read the spoilers down the page and don't be put off by the words above the spoilers
PS I'm doing path F
Last edited by Merkwerkee on November 7th, 2011, 11:00:27 am, edited 15 times in total.
I do free CSS FOR THE GLORY OF THE IMPERIUM! I'm willing to loan my donis out for a breeding - at a modest rate. PM me for more info
The Crystalline Caves were said to be a remarkable sight, clustered with crystals of various colors from blues to greens to reds, and sporadically placed all over the walls and floors of the deep passages so that one could venture into them without a light of their own. This is where was heading, carefully stepping over rocks and squeezing through tunnels. She was not a fan of being below ground but you have to do what you have to do for a coin these days.
It’s not long before she hears the echoes of gentle tapping. Upon rounding a bend, she finds who she was looking for. A woman is beating at the surrounding crystals with a pick. She’s dressed in brown trousers, heavy boots, a loose tunic and leather jerkin with a multitude of a tiny bags and pockets wrapped around her waist and legs. Atop her head is a mass of curly brown hair. She clears her throat to gain the woman’s attention, and she stops in mid-swing to peer at her from behind large, circular goggles. She lifts them from her face and smiles.
You’ve heard of this woman from time to time in the Keep. Anita the Accumulator. Or, for those less inclined, Anita the Pack Rat. She often sends magi out into the world to collect samples of her discoveries, and in return she’ll award them with creatures. However, she is not what you expected.
“Hello, mage,” she says quite cheerfully. “Here for the journey, I wager?”
“Yes I am the one they had sent. My name is Nox,” she inclines her head in greeting. She pulls the hood off her head. Icy blue eyes take in the other woman as long braided blonde hair.
“As I tell many of your folk, it’s not a pleasant journey if you’re not careful, but I give you creatures to help you with the trials. You keep them, too…long as you survive it in one piece.” Nox hesitates, staring at Anita warily with thoughts of whether or not this is a good idea after all.
She smiles wider and says, “Having a bit of fun, is all. You magi are so serious.” She wipes a handkerchief across her face, succeeding only smearing dirt. “It shouldn’t be so bad, and you get my little lovelies in the process. So,” she leans on the handle of the pick, smirking, “are you willing to go on the journey?”
“I am willing to take on anything you send me off to do.”
“Seems your journey will lead you to a sweltering, hot place. For your companion I’ll give you a Hellhound, for no other creature’s powers thrive in such heat. Just remember to keep away from its temper.” Nox gives a wry smile at the possible temper of the creature. “I’m sure I can handle the hound.” She just hoped her boasting won’t get her bitten in the butt in the end. She rather liked sitting on both cheeks instead of only on one.
Anita breaks her out of her thoughts by introducing her to a female hellhound. Nox bites back a groan at the thought of dealing with another female, that maybe bringing Boudica and Brima would be a good idea. Maybe the two phoenixes will help her in keeping the hound in check and from herself to provoke it.
Waiting at the cave entrance for Anita to bring out the hellhound, she leans up against the rock face with a sigh she hears the tell tale sound of booted feet on gravel and the even softer foot falls of an animal. Pushing off the rock face Nox takes in the creature that walks beside Anita. Canine and fire was what she thought of it. It would be interesting to work with the creature.
“You both must go into the desert to an abandoned city where there is a statue I need you to get. You will know it when you see it. Take this,” She hand Nox a large bag. “When you get it bring it back here, if you survive and all.” Anita smiles as if not just jinxing the journey before it began. With a grumble she takes the bag and slings it over her shoulder.
“Does it have a name?”
"No you will have to name it in time."
Nox grumbles, "Gee lucky me." She looks at the hell hound and waves it over. "Let's go then, I want to make it as far as we can by sun down." The two phoenixes chime in there agreement and eyeball the hound in distaste. She could hear the beast giving off low growls as if grumbling its own distaste.
Boudica and Brima fly ahead keeping an eye out for any danger that could befall those on the ground. Their tails leaving a trail of light behind them. Nox smiles as she watches her girls in flight. She spots the hellhound out of the corner of her eye. Compared to the phoenixes the hound was rather drab.
They pass the day heading south towards the dessert, the sun passing from one shoulder to the other. With each step the temerature of the air around them rises. Soon Nyx finds herself wearing only a light shirt and airy pants, with another shirt made into a makeshift head covering.
She had brought enough water to go into this hot environment- she hoped. Looking at her other three companions she envied there ease at the sweltering temperature. The sun had just crested the horizon a few hours ago and the temperature had been slowly rising before it had made its appearance.
* * * *
Sitting in the shade of a crop of stones she glares at the three creatures glaring at her. "What! So I can't stand the heat like you can. Go away till sun down." The hell hound bites the cuff of her pants and tugs. "What are you hard of hearing leave me alone." The heat was making her cranky and she had to ration her water. The map had said there was an oasis around here but neither of the phoenixes could find it. They had come back a while ago, they looking upset.
She could tell from the way they looked that they couldn't find anything. Nox looks to the hellhound who lays in the shade watching her. "If you have anything to say now would be a good time." The hound just looks at her flicks his ear before closing his eyes.
Giving the hound a dry and scathing look she lays back down in the shaded sand. Covering her eyes with a tanning arm. "Try and find it search farther if you can." She hears two chirps and the soft sound of flapping wings.
She must have dozed off cause she was woken to a flurry of flapping wings. She saw the phoenixes flying back to her in a hurry. She also noticed the hell hound was still by her, she was grateful that it had stayed beside her while the other two had left. Her attention was brought back to the two bird who were trying to get her to follow them.
"Ok, ok i'm coming."
With a groan she gets up and dusts off her robes to follow. She could hear the hell hound shaking the sand from its fur. The hound falls in step beside her as they follow the birds. The sun was just past the mid point in the sky when they had started walking and had traveled a quarter of the way when they spotted the palm trees on the horizon.
More shapes began to form as they got closer. Nyx couldn't believe her eyes at the sight of the old ruins coming into focus. Just the sight of them, she knew her journey would soon be over. She was getting used to having the hound beside her. Even though they haven't bonded like she did all her other creatures, but there was something there. She just didn't know what.
Nyx submerges her head into the pool at the oasis to not old cool herself off but to get a few mouth fulls of water. She had made sure the creatures had gotten their fill first, for it was only right since they had found it and were with her on this journey. With dripping hair she looks around the fallen columns and abandoned buildings. One of them had to have the statue in it.
After a few hours of searching building she found the temple were only one statue remained. Picking up the hell hound statue carefully she wraps it in a extra shirt and puts it in the canvas bag.
"Let's get going." Just as she said it the temple began to rumble and shake with a rain of dust and sand.
Hot on the heels of the hound and the two phoenixes in the lead they get out of the building before it collapses. Landing curling around the bag she lands with a huff of breath. Feeling the bag she is reassured the statue is ok she fills up her water skin and head back to the Crystalline Caves and Anita.
"You made it! I knew you could, even with the lack of experience you had."
Nyx looks at Anita with a dry sun burned look.
"Ok, ok thank you for getting me the statue here is your reward...."
Last edited by noxnightstalker on December 11th, 2011, 7:01:02 pm, edited 15 times in total.
If you no longer want your creatures I will give them a good home.
"I'm going underground?" Everin repeated after Anita told her where to go. The older woman nodded, smiling.
"Yes, you will - with this girl over here." She gestured at the Etainian Quetzalcoatl squinting at her new owner suspiciously. "Her name is Azura. Take good care of her, will you?" Everin nodded, unsurely. It didn't seem like the Quetz was very happy with her right now.
"And we are to head to where underground, exactly? What am I supposed to find, anyway?"
Anita leaned against the crystals, crossing her arms and smiling. "To answer your first question, where else would you go, but to the Etain Desert, the origin of Azura's predecessors? And for your second question...I'm not planning on telling you that. You'll find out soon enough. Now have fun!" She waved cheerfully at the small girl, who grinned uneasily back and walked out of the cave, Azura following her.
"Alright, well..." Everin glanced at Azura. She was a small and slight female, and the winged serpent was a very large one, thankfully. All she was afraid of was Azura's slight hostility.
"May I ride you?" she asked timidly, and the winged serpent gave a sigh and pressed herself down on the rocky surface, letting Everin clasp her arms tightly around its neck. Magi didn't usually ride Quetzalcoatls because of their small size, but Azura was unusually big, and Everin was a very small magi.
"Hang on tight, magi. This will be a short but dangerous ride," Azura said. The young fire magi gulped. She and danger didn't really mix well together.
"Behold the might Etain Desert," Azura said, landing silently on the soft desert plain. Fortunately for the two, it was dusk, and the sun was setting. A cool breeze blew through the desert, making Everin shiver. She knew it would be hard to travel in the baking sun, and she was thankful that she had mastered the art of fire.
As both of them walked silently towards the ancient city, Azura seemed to become more distant, and nearly wandered off track most of the time. Everin was a little bit worried, since the Quetzalcoatl's eyes seemed to glaze over a little bit when they reached the ancient city's ruins.
"Um...Azura?" Everin said, raising an eyebrow. "Do you have any idea how to get to the fountain from here?"
Azura squinted at Everin. "Of course I do, magi. This was my original home, until Anita - let's say took me under her wing. I was only a young hatchling when that happened, of course. Afraid of nearly everything. Then he came and ruined everything. Destroyed the ruins even more, and they nearly turned to dust. My parents were killed in the battle -"
"Hold on, there was a battle here?" Everin interrupted, blinking her large sea blue eyes. "But it was never recorded in the books before...is that how the mythical Soldenor City vanished?" The two had reached the orchard already, and Everin saw a lovely tree, huge mouth-watering figs swinging gently on its branches. She licked her parched lips, and made to advance towards it, but Azura pulled the magi back with her long tail.
"Careful," she warned. "There have been many tales of magi being poisoned by the figs that this particular tree grows. I'd suggest finding another one unless you want to be affected with the sickness." Everin immediately retracted her hand, disappointed.
"Then do you know where to get what we're looking for?" she asked instead, her fingers itching to touch the figs. Something there was calling to her, but she wasn't sure what.
Azura shook her head. "Sorry, I do not. But I do think that it's your choice to find whatever you need to find." She flicked her tail. "We have to hurry, bandits will be coming as night falls. Where shall we start?"
"Bandits?" Everin squeaked. "Anyway...we could hopefully check the fountain first? Maybe there could be a jewel hidden somewhere there, or something that Anita would want. What does she usually go after, when asking people to retrieve things for her? What are they usually?"
"I'd say she's a gemstone lover," Azura replied, weaving through the cobbled streets. "That's why she spends so much time in the Crystalline Caves - no one can mine as long as she can. Look, here's the fountain." She glanced expectantly at Everin, and the fire magi gulped.
The fountain was built from limestone, and intricate designs of Kelpies werer carved around the base. Koi Fish were swimming slowly in the lowest pool, their tails flickering every now and then. Everin called her fire power in, and flames burst from her right hand. She put it closer to the water, squinting.
There wasn't anything there, but she caught a glimpse of something...
Everin put out the fire in her right hand. Reaching her other hand in, she felt around in the water as the Koi scattered. Then she grabbed something that felt soft, and drew it out.
"That's moss," Azura chuckled. Everin glared at her and shook her hand, but just as the moss slipped off, she saw another glimmer as it splashed into the water.
Everin shook her head. "There's definitely something inside." She reached down and pulled the moss out again, searching it. Then something silver showed up. Tugging it out, she saw that it looked like the bottom half of a silver jar.
"Stealing something, aren't you, little girl?" came a sudden voice, and Everin whirled around, coming face to face with an old crone with a mean look on her face.
Azura looked indignant. "We aren't stealing anything, miss. She is simply searching for something she dropped in the water." But it was too late, as the woman had already caught sight of the silver.
"What is that, girl?" she demanded, her voice quavering. "If it's the bottom part of the Jar of Soldenor - I swear..."
"What does she mean?" Everin whispered to Azura, but the Quetzalcoatl was just staring unblinkingly at the jar bottom. It didn't look like anything special, but the Jar of Soldenor? Impossible.
The Jar of Soldenor was an ancient artifact that was known to be able to trap and bind creatures to their captor, and was a very useful object when hunting for new creatures. In myths, the great Soldenor - the creator of the ancient city himself - had once used it against a wild Piasa Bird, but no one had ever let it out yet, in fear that it would destroy the city. Eventually Soldenor had let it out, and had to trap it against because it had killed his most prized Telvian Panther in a frenzy.
And that Piasa Bird was what was rumored to be kept inside the jar at this very moment. And it was broken open, which meant trouble.
"We have to find the other half, now," Azura said urgently.
"Well, I think I know where it is," Everin said, the idea coming right up to her. "The fig tree. That's probably why it's been poisoned - too many people have been contaminating it, just trying to find the top part of the jar. They never would have thought -" She broke off her train of thought and rushed right back to the fig tree.
Lighting up her hands with fire, she threw fireballs at each fig until they all fell off the tree. Turning to Azura, she said, "I need your help. We need to move the tree."
"What?" Azura asked confusedly.
"Oh, never mind! I'll do it myself!" Everin said helplessly, and lit her hands with fire again. She pressed them to the roots of the tree until they were crackling red and orange and yellow, the suddenly the tree fell over - and a silvery object was hidden right underneath it.
"You were right," Azura breathed. She used her tail to pick out the top part of the Jar of Soldenor, and handed it to Everin.
"They're still broken," Everin said. "Or will fire magic seal them?" She glanced at Azura for an answer. The Quetzalcoatl shrugged.
Everin wetted her lips, and let sparks fly from her fingertips. Pressing one of them to the broken edges, she aligned the top and bottom part, and as if someone else was doing it, the jar sealed up perfectly.
Both stared at the jar in wonder.
"We need to get this back to Anita," Everin declared. Azura opened her mouth to speak, but just then, a loud screech sounded out, the sound echoing through the fading light. Everin winced, covering her ringing ears.
"What was that?" she asked worriedly, quickly stuffing the jar into her little leather pouch.
Azura looked scared. "That was...that." She gestured towards the sky, and almost immediately Everin saw the dark shape headed towards them. It looked strangely like...a Piasa Bird. And Everin had an uneasy feeling that this particular Piasa Bird was the one that Soldenor had caught and trapped many years ago.
"Is that what I think it is?" Everin whispered fearfully. Azura nodded, confirming her suspicions. She glanced around for the old crone, but she was already hobbling away, far away from the two.
"She's obviously not going to make herself useful," Azura muttered, then unfurled her pearly wings and took lift to the sky.
"As I am now bound to you, I must protect you from danger, as all creatures must do for their masters," Azura said bravely, her eyes flashing. Then without waiting for Everin's reaction, she took to the sky, heading directly for the Piasa Bird.
"Wait -" Everin started, but the Piasa Bird had caught sight of its next meal, and had swooped down low, aiming for Azura's tail. The Quetzalcoatl just managed to pull her tail out of the way as the Piasa Bird snapped its powerful beak.
And then Azura was being chased by the great male all over the sky. Everin gritted her teeth. Azura had risked her tail and life for her, and all she was doing was standing on the ground and staring up at the chase. She had to do something, and soon.
Scrabbling in her little leather bag for the Jar of Soldenor, she also took out a long and thick rope. Everin looped one end and tied it tightly, then lassoed the rope and tried to catch the Piasa Bird on the beak. She missed, but caught it's attention. The Piasa Bird screeched to a stop, and Azura dived away. Now it was mightily confused - to chase dinner or to catch the girl?
Finally it decided, and headed towards Everin. She looked determinedly at the bird dropping like a rock, threw her hastily fashioned rope again, this time managing to snag its right antler. Pulling with all her strength, she managed to throw it into the fountain, and the Piasa Bird flapped its wet wings happily, completely forgetting about Everin.
As it drank thirstily from the fountain, Everin crept up slowly with the jar. She had never done anything like this before, but it was as if the Jar of Soldenor was made for her. Somehow she knew how to use it.
Heating her right hand with a fireball for caution, Everin suddenly leaped onto the Piasa Bird, who struggled so much that the young fire magi nearly fell off. But she fought, and touched the open jar to the Piasa Bird's beak. And it disappeared into the jar as if it was never there.
Everin landed with a splash into the fountain, and Azura flew down gracefully, fanning the girl with her wings.
"Shall we get back to Anita now?" she asked. Everin nodded gratefully.
"You didn't find what I was looking for, yet you did," Anita said, with a knowing smile on her face. Everin waited for her evaluation.
"You found courage and strength in yourself, and most importantly, love for your creatures," Anita said. "And for realizing this, you get to keep the jar, the Piasa Bird, and Azura. A a couple more creatures I have as extra, especially this pair of hummingbirds here." A small shape flitted out from behind the shadows - no, two - and landed on either side of Everin's shoulders.
The fire magi smiled happily. "Hummingbirds? And I get to keep the jar as well?"
...When I get inspiration. *Sits down and starts doodling*
Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. ~Dr. Suess Making a Chimera Army! Want any and all of your Chimeras! PM offers. happy whatever month it is I live in a hermit cave but am slowly climbing out. Feel free to drop me a line.
Oh, I want to enter. I think I'll do path C... *Runs off to come up with a plot* Okay, I started it. It doesn't have a title yet though.
I stopped for a moment, sweat dripping down my face as the air continued to get hotter and hotter. I pulled off my long, red, fire magi cloak and folded it, tucking it inside my pack. I was now left wearing a black pair of shorts and a red tank top. Good enough. I looked down at my feet to make sure my hiking boots hadn’t come unlaced and was satisfied to see that they were still intact. I then wiped a hand across my forehead before tying my curly brown hair back.
Satisfied that I was ready to continue on, I looked at the landscape ahead of me. The ground was a dull brown color and I couldn’t’ see any grass or water. The ground continued to get darker, at least it looked that way, the farther you walked. I could make out the shapes of three huge volcanoes in the distance and the air smelt slightly of ash. These were The Terra Ignis Volcanoes, there was no doubt about it.
Infernus growled and looked up at me impatiently from where he sat by my side. I’d named him Infernus for his attitude, not because he was a Hellhound. His name meant Hell in Latin. It suited him, I thought.
“Fine, ready to go?” I sighed in defeat. Infernus didn’t say anything, he just started walking off in the other direction. Wonderful team work, truly. “Nice going Blair, you’re taking orders from a Hellhound,” I muttered to myself and walked a bit faster to catch up to Infernus.
I reached into my back pocket and pulled out a map of the area around the volcanoes. I needed to go to the largest of the volcanoes, where a cave was supposed to be. It was circled on the map. I didn’t know what I’d find inside, Anita hadn’t said. I guessed I’d figure it out when I got there.
Infernus was walking around beside me, looking completely at home in the heated area. His eyes were hard and focused and his ears were on the back of his head, showing he’d rather not be with me right now. Every so often he’d glance over at me, like he was just waiting for me to fall over and die. Nice.
The sun was baking overhead and its light was shinning right on me as I walked across the barren landscape. I reached my hand down and grabbed my water container from where it was clipped on my belt and took a swig. The water was warm, but it still felt nice as it ran down my throat.
“How do you stand this heat?” I panted, looking down at Infernus. He shrugged his shoulders, scowling at me in a ‘leave me alone’ kind of way. I did my best to send him the worst death glare I possibly could. Infernus made a little barking sound that sounded like laughter.
“Fine, two can play at that game,” I returned, looking away from the hound and down towards the map in front of me. I was so focused on ignoring Infernus and pretending to read the map that I forgot to watch where I was going. Not a minute passes before I crash head first into a tree. What is a tree doing out here anyways?
I looked up, my head pounding, just in time to see a nest wobbling on a lower branch. It was going to fall, and by the looks of it there was an egg in that nest. Normally the nest wouldn’t have fallen, but this tree was dead and its limbs were thin and weak. The nest wobbled to the side and fell over. I had to act fast.
I lunged over, grabbing the egg right before it hit the ground, but I landed flat on my stomach in the dirt. The ground was hot against my skin and so was the shell of the egg. I only had to glance at it to tell it was the egg of a Phoenix. Being a fire magi, I’d hatched Phoenix eggs before.
Then I heard a familiar barking sound and I looked over to seen none other than Infernus. The Hellhound was full out laughing this time. His eyes were watery with tears of laughter and he was slightly hunched forward. I found myself glaring at him.
“Would it kill you to help me here?” I scowled, holding the egg out too him. Infernus rolled his eyes and didn’t move. “Please?” I insisted, the hot ground burning my belly slightly. It was a wonder the bottom of my shoes hadn’t fried from all this walking yet.
Then the hot, heavy air was split by a loud screech. I looked up to the sky to see what appeared to be a moving fireball. But if you looked closer, you could tell it was a Phoenix. An angry mother Phoenix… And I was holding its egg.
“Uh-oh!” I gasped, shooting a desperate look towards Infernus. I pleaded with my eyes while I shifted the egg into one of my hands and attempted to get up without breaking it. I wasn’t fast enough. This wasn’t good.
Before I knew it the phoenix was flying towards me and I couldn’t move. Scrambling to my feet would risk cracking the egg and I couldn’t do that. The Phoenix screeched as its claws stretched out towards my face. I braced myself for the pain and closed my eyes.
Then I heard a growl and didn’t feel anything. I opened my eyes to see Infernus, the last thing I expected to come to my aid, snapping his jaws at the fiery bird. I took this as my chance to get to my feet, careful that I didn’t hurt the fragile egg.
Infernus still had the Phoenix distracted so I reached up on my tip toes and placed the nest back on the branch of the tree and gently placed the egg inside. Whew, that was a close one. I glanced over at Infernus, but I couldn’t tell if he was looking at me through the flashes of fire and angry screeches as fire fought fire.
“Run!” I yelled, hoping the Hellhound would get the picture as I took off in the other direction. I was praying that the Phoenix wouldn’t follow us and that it would just be happy I’d saved its egg. Then again, the bird had no idea I’d caught it before it fell. All it saw was a stranger holding its baby.
Soon enough I could see a shape out of the corner of my eye. I looked over to see Infernus racing along beside me. He was overtaking me easily and was moving with easy despite the fact that he was bleeding from a large gash on his shoulder. No doubt this was made from the claws of the phoenix. And it was for me. I now felt like I owed the hound something. I’d repay him somehow.
I will be doing it in NON-chronological order and then put it all together at the end so basicly until I edit this saying its good don't read, Saying as it will look like a crazy blurr and sluur of words.
I'm taking Path G! This should be fun. Finished! I hope it's not to long. I've split it into 3 parts to make reading easier.
“Did you just say Enox?” asked Kora nervously, unsure if she’d heard the woman correctly. The young magi shivered at the thought of one of the large, black, horse-like creatures. They were a rare sight in the Keep, hard for any normal magi to train, and the last one she’d seen had scared the life out of her.
She twisted her fingers together nervously, chewing on her bottom lip as she stood there. Had her hair been long enough, she’d have been chewing on that too.
“Yes, young Moros will be your guide,” said the old woman again. “Let me bring him out.” The woman disappeared for a few minutes into her cave. When she returned she was leading a black, horse sized creature. A pair of black and violet feathered wings were folded against it horse-like body. Narrow spines ran down its back and along its serpentine tail, which was tipped with an arrow point. Instead of hooves, its front legs were clawed like an eagle or dragons and it bore a pair of horns on its equine head. It had no mane, that was replaced with its spines, spines that, much to her surprise, weren’t as stiff as they looked, able to raise and lower depending on its mood. At the moment it was calm, the spines laying against its neck in a relaxed manner.
Kora gulped and trembled at the sight of the creature, she had always been afraid of these things and almost never went near them, and now it was standing only a few feet away from her. It snorted and pawed the ground as it stood there, the movement startling the magi and causing her to jump in fear.
“Oh, don’t be frightened of him dearie. He’s harmless so long as you aren’t going to hurt him.” The Enox turned his head to look at her, studying her with his violet eyes. “Go on, touch him, he doesn’t bite.”
A tense silence filled the air as the Enox and magi started at each other; the magi terrified at the thought of touching it and the Enox curious about her, having never met her before. The few people that she’d seen that owned and tamed these creatures were the dark magi, untrustworthy, shady characters with equally dark and dangerous creatures. Thoughts raced through her head; was this woman one of them? If she wasn’t, why did she have an Enox, and a Noctis at that? She didn’t look like one, but then again, dark magi could be anyone.
“You can’t just stand there all day. Take him and get going before it’s to late.”
“You haven’t even told me what it is you want me to find for you.” She said, looking back at Anita and Moros as they were shoved from the cave.
The woman smiled, almost mischievously “Oh. I suppose I should tell you that shouldn’t I?” she mused. “Ah well. I’ve heard rumours of a pack of white Direwolves in the woods. And I’ve always wondered what makes their coats so white. There’s a stone in the woods that, from what I gather, turns them white and I would love to have part of it. A stone of the moon some call it. Now, be off with you!”
The female magi braced herself against the wind as another gust buffeted her. To get up to Silva Forest they had to skirt along the edge of the desert, in a small area between the desert and the mountains. The desert was expansive and hot, far to treacherous for them to travel through, but the mountains were snowy and cold, just as treacherous and on the opposite end of the scale. The passageway between the two was buffeted by cold air being blown down from the mountain and sandstorms coming in from the desert.
She held her cloak tighter around herself and wished she’d packed warmer clothes. It was quite a trek from the Keep to the caves, so she’d had time to go back after her visit with Anita, and now was regretting even going there in the first place.
The wind whipped around her, grabbing at strands of coppery red hair and twisting it into knots. Her green eyes watered, stung by the wind and sand that was being blown into them.
The Enox walking beside her kept his head down, bracing itself against the wind. He didn’t appear to like this any more than she did. His feet sunk into the shifting sand and grit mixture, something that caused him to stumble often. His hooves slipped on the rocks and his clawed feet couldn’t grip the sand.
Kora bit her lip as she looked at it; she was still scared of it, but watching it stumble around in the sand, she felt sorry for it and wished she could help it in some way. As she was thinking she wasn’t paying attention to where she was going and stumbled when the ground took a steep turn down like a hill. She found herself face first in the sand, sand that was now getting into her hiking boots, pants and every seam of her clothes.
She spat out a mouthful of sand as she pulled herself to her knees, brushing the sand from her clothes. Moros regarded her silently for a few second before doing something she did not expect. He knelt down beside her, wings folded neatly to its sides. It looked at her, before snorting and making a swift movement with its head, as if gesturing for her to get on.
She blinked in surprise, she hadn’t even touched the creature since it had been sent with her, let alone tried to ride it. As she looked it over, she noticed something she hadn’t before; the slender spines that ran down the back of its neck stopped at its withers, leaving its back bare till the spines started up again at the base of the tail. She mentally hit herself for not having noticed this earlier, as she’d thought the spines ran the length of its back. Of course they couldn’t, if they did how did magi ride them like in all the stories? “Do you, want me to ride?” she asked, hands on her knees as she looked at it. It snorted and turned its head to look ahead once again.
Kora gulped nervously, she was torn, part of her wanted to ride it and get off her feet, but part of her was still scared. She’d always heard tales of these beasts, terrifying tales that made them out to be wild monsters only tamed by dark magi, stories that had given her nightmares as a child. Tentatively she reached her hand out and swallowed her fear, this creature had shown her no ill will or ill intention, it was nothing like the stories she’d heard. The next thing she knew her hand touched soft, almost velvety fur. She could feel the warmth of its body under her hand, the movement as it breathed. Her hand rested gently on its neck and the Enox barely moved, waiting for her to move.
Slowly, the magi pulled herself to her feet, brushing sand off her knees. She looked back at the Enox; the thought of riding it still unnerved her. She took a deep breath and plucked up her courage; she placed one hand on its shoulders and one on its back before hauling herself onto its back, seating herself just ahead of its wings. It readjusted its wings once she was settled and began walking. His gait was smooth, almost rhythmic as he began to pick up speed, moving from a slow walk into a gentle trot, then a smoother gate, something like a canter. Instinctively, she held onto its neck tightly, cheek pressed against the side of its neck so the spines didn’t skewer her.
Wind and sand whipped past her face as the Enox ran over the sand, no longer stumbling as he had been before. She clenched her eyes shut and lowered her head, tears burning her eyes from the sand that irritated it.
How long Moros ran for she wasn’t sure, but lived up to its reputation of having amazing stamina and endurance, barely out of breath when it came to a stop and never faltering while it ran. As he slowed to a stop Kora raised her head, using one hand to wipe sand and tears out of her eyes.
The sand had given way to short, yellow grasses and a harder ground and small shrubs. As they travelled farther towards the forest and out of the desert the grasses got greener, the trees and shrubs larger and the sand less and less. The hot muggy air of the desert became the cool crisp air of the forest.
Even at a walking pace she was amazed at how fast the Enox could move, especially now that it was on far more solid ground. It held its head up high as it walked, smelling the air.
Kora straightened up, getting a better look around at where they were.
“It’s so, cool here.” She remarked out loud, hands resting on the sides of its neck. It was cool, much cooler than the desert had been and much more comfortable feeling. The Enox stopped and looked towards the forest before glancing slightly back at her. “Yeah, we gotta go in there,” she said nervously. While the Enox was one fear she was able to overcome, entering Silva forest was not. Unlike the Enox where most of what she’s heard were stories of how fearsome they were, what she’d heard about Silva were first hand accounts of the dangers that lurked in it; wild untamed creatures, dark magi and other unknown terrors.
Carefully, she slid off its back, nearly falling over in the process. That last time she’d ridden anything was Minicorn rides when she had been a child, and then someone had been holding onto the minicorn and leading it around while another person held onto her so she didn’t fall off and had helped her on and off. This time she was on a much larger animal and was alone. Once her feet were safely on solid ground again she let out a sigh she’d been holding back and rubbed her legs, they were sore from having ridden on the Enox without stretching first.
She rested one hand against its neck as she looked around, shivering as she looked towards the forest. “Well, in we go I suppose.”
Kora kept close to Moros as they walked through the shadows of Silva forest. They had not yet seen anything, but occasionally she’d see flickers of movement in the bushes or the darkness of the woods. The Enox seemed unphased by the woods or the tiny, almost unseen movements.
The trees of the forest were thick, nearly blocking out the sun, which was sinking below the horizon as they walked. Once darkness fell the woods be blacker than the Enox’s coat and Kora would be unable to see where they were going.
The bushes rustled, the sounds causing the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up in fear. A twig snapped and she spun around, heart racing in her chest. The Noctis seemed to sense her fear and stopped walking, violet eyes scanning the area slowly. He snorted softly, his warm breath fogging in the cooling air. The bush rustled again as something moved around through it. A large, brown face looked out at them, a Direwolf. It wasn’t full grown, but it wasn’t a pup either, it was, somewhere in between, likely only a year old. Kora took a step back, if one was near that meant the rest of its pack, including adults, wouldn’t be far off. The Enox snorted defensively and scraped its claws along the ground threateningly. The young wolf whimpered and took a few steps back, tail between its legs. The Enox was many times its size and looked far more threatening in the darkness.
A low growl rumbled from the bushes and a larger Direwolf stepped out and wove around the younger one. The hair on its hackles was raised up in a rigid, defensive posture, its lips curled back to reveal sharp fangs. Moros lowered his head and snorted, spines erect on his back, a dangerous sign to be sure. He took a step forward, tail lashing about behind him. The Direwolf’s ears drooped and it sunk down, laying its head on its paws, whimpering as it shook. Kora looked at the Enox in shock, the horse creature simply staring down the Direwolf as if it were nothing. A cold, almost icy energy seemed to surround it, making it seem more imposing and threatening to the Direwolf. Eventually, the terrified Direwolf slunk off, keeping the smaller one near to its side. Once they were gone the Enox relaxed, spines laying back to its neck and tail slowing down. He raised his head and looked over at her as if to make sure she was ok.
“Let’s just get moving,” she said. “The sooner we can get out of here the better.”
Moros seemed to snort in agreement as they began walking again.
As they walked they plunged deeper and deeper into the woods, the amount of light becoming less the deeper in they went. Kora kept one hand on the Noctis’ neck, her vision failing her in the darkness. She could make out blurry shapes and figures in the darkness, but nothing clear enough to know where she was going. Moros however seemed to have an easier time, his eyes flashing in the darkness when a tiny amount of light caught them. When the light caught them they looked, for a second, less violet and redder, sending a chill down the magi’s spine.
They stumbled through the dense, dark woods, unable to even tell if the sun still hung in the sky. As it had been on the descent when they’d entered the woods, Kora’s best guess was that the sun was no longer in the sky now, or at least it was almost gone.
Taking hold of one of Moros spines she pulled the Enox to a stop. She needed to sit and, her legs aching from all the walking and stumbling over thing everything she couldn’t see. Carefully, she sat down on the ground, leaning against a tree. Moros followed suit, lying in the grass next to her, wings folded to his back. Her eyes drooped closed and before she realized what had happened she’d drifted off to sleep in the darkness, the Enox remaining awake to keep her safe.
When she finally opened her eyes it took her a few seconds to realize they were in fact, open. She knew the woods were dark, but to be this dark it had to still be nighttime. As she went to sit up, having slumped over in her sleep, she felt something brush against her skin. At first she thought it was an animal, till she remembered the Noctis at her side and realized it was his wing that had brushed her, having been stretched out over her.
“Come on, we have to keep moving,” she said as she stood up. “I really shouldn’t have fallen asleep." There was a soft rustling as Moros stood up and bumped her gently so she was aware of where he was. She patted his nose, “I know you’re there,” she said, moving her hands till they reached his shoulders. Carefully, she followed him as he began to walk through the dark woods once again.
They stumbled and wandered blindly through the woods, seemingly going in circles and getting nowhere but even more lost. Occasionally they would reach an area where the trees were a bit thinner and a few moonbeams filtered through the trees, but it only provided so much light, and it couldn’t be caught and carried with them, much to Kora’s dismay.
She was about ready to give up when she miss-stepped. She’d wandered a few paces ahead of the Enox, her eyes having slowly adjusted to the lack of light. This adjustment allowed her to see a little clearer, not much, but she could make out more shapes and forms. What she didn’t see however was the small cliff and sheer drop till she stepped right off of it. A long scream escaped her mouth as she fell about 6 feet down before she hit the ground, painfully. She gasped in pain; she’d landed on her legs before rolling across the hard ground. As she pulled herself up with her arms she yelped and doubled over. Her legs and sides now ached in pain, and every move sent searing pain through her.
A noise caught her attention and she lifted her head up and found herself face to face with a large white wolf. It was snarling and didn’t look happy about her being there. There was a thud as Moros suddenly landed beside her and a sharp screeching sound as he struck out at the Direwolf with his claws. Something wet splashed against her skin and the Direwolf squealed as it jumped back. Blood spattered its snow-white coat where the Noctis’ claws had struck it, scratching its nose and shoulder.
It took a few steps back from Moros as he moved to protect a wounded Kora, teeth bared and making the most frightening sound she’d ever heard. It sounded like a hollow, screeching sound, and one that sent chills down her spine even though it wasn’t intended for her.
As she sat up she clutched her leg in pain. As she touched it she felt something warm under her fingers. Raising her hand she squinted in the darkness as she tried to look at it, something sticky and warm coating it. She felt her stomach knot sickeningly it was blood.
Something warm and velvety butted her face and it took her a second to realize that it was just Moros. She held onto him, wrapping her arms around his head as she trembled fearfully. Her leg was bleeding badly, probably broken judging by the fact that she couldn’t move it; her side was throbbing from where she’d landed after rolling across the ground. Tears stung her eyes as she began to cry, clinging to the young Noctis tightly. If she couldn’t walk, she was never going to be able to get out of the woods, and she didn’t want to be trapped here.
Moros sat down beside her and nuzzled her, letting her hold onto him. He bumped her with his head, causing her to let go. He folded his wings up snugly and made a movement with his head, flicking it back towards his back.
She looked at his back before dragging herself over, using her arms to pull herself onto his back. She winced and yelped in pain when her ribs pressed against his back. She clenched her teeth and fought back the urge to cry out as she crawled onto its back. She swiveled around and lay lengthwise along his back, head on his back and arms around his neck. Her chest heaved and tears of pain stung her eyes. Once she was safely on his back, Moros stood up and began trotting across the ground, heading in the same direction the wounded Direwolf had.
“Wait, why are we going this way?” she asked, but as expected, received no answer. Her head spun, blood dripped down her leg from the wound, splashing onto the ground as the Noctis ran.
His feet thudded over the ground as he ran, following the Direwolf, which looked to be a white blur up ahead. The Direwolf ducked under some bushes, vanishing from view. Moros skidded to a stop as he reached the same bushes before deciding to just run through them. The branches and leaves snapped and broke as he pushed through.
Kora raised her head; something seemed, different now and she couldn’t place her finger on it. Then it hit her there was light here! She couldn’t tell where it was coming from, but there was definitely a light. She looked around the new area, there were still plenty of trees, but there seemed to be an abundance of stone as well. She could hear the clacking of the Enox’s hooves and claws across it till the creature came to a stop.
She could make out the shapes of several Direwolves in the shadows, watching them carefully. They didn’t move or growl, but their eyes reflected in the soft light, tiny orbs amid the darkness. The injured Direwolf limped across the ground towards what seemed to be a small cave, and apparently the source of the light. Kora nudged Moros and the Enox trotted forward, she had to see what was going on.
The inside of the cave was lined with shimmering pale blue-white stones, some were embedded in the walls of the cave, and others lay on the ground. The Direwolf lay down in the soft light of the stones and then something very strange happened. The wounds that Moros had inflicted upon it began to heal, closing up and vanishing as if they weren’t even there. Now fully healed, it rose to its feet and padded out, carefully watching the Enox and the young magi.
Kora couldn’t believe what she’d just seen; the wolf had been completely healed! She rubbed her head; everything was spinning again, her blood-loss increasing with each passing second. Her grip on his back loosened and she barely noticed she was falling as she slid off his back to the ground. She felt something move her over the ground, and a gentle warmth as her eyes fell closed, darkness closing in around her.
Her head throbbed in pain and her whole body ached. Her eyes fluttered open slowly, her head swirling in a heavy fog.
“Ah, good see you’ve rejoined us,” said a familiar voice. “Had me worried for a bit.”
Kora blinked, trying to clear her head, “What happened, where am I?”
“Take it easy, you’ve been through a lot.” The voice belonged to Anita, the crazy old woman who’d lent her the Enox to go on a quest.
“How did I get back here?” she asked. The last thing she remembered was being in the depth of Silva forest and a glowing cave.
“Moros brought you back. I thought you were dead at first.” She said, “Wouldn’t that have been trouble?”
“Where is he, is he alright?” she asked, sitting up quickly, suddenly concerned for the creature.
“Oh he’s fine, a little winded form the long run, but he’s fine.” She patted the young magi’s head; “I’m surprised when you left you were terrified of him.”
“I guess, I realized he’s not that bad,” she said. She’d grown attached to the young Noctis, even if their travel had been brief. Then another realization hit her, “I didn’t complete it, I never grabbed the stone. I saw them, I think, but never grabbed them.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that,” said Anita with a wry grin. She held up a small, glowing crystal in one hand. “I found this in your bag, you must have grabbed it before you passed out.”
“What is it?” asked Kora.
“A Moonstone. They collect light from the moon, and it becomes a powerful healing magic. That’s why you’re still alive, however I would suggest you try not to exert yourself till you’re fully recovered. You lost a lot of blood.” She tucked the stone away and left the room, leaving Kora to lie back against the rather flat pillow.
She looked at the ceiling, she hadn’t just found the Moonstone, she’d found something within herself. She’d overcome her fear of the Enox in order to reach her goal, the thought of being around the Noctis no longer scared her, she’d conquered her fear. With a sigh she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep, but not before she heard the gentle tapping of hooves and claws across the cave floor.
Last edited by BBkat on November 21st, 2011, 12:38:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.