Silverfeather Keep - Christmas Talvi Chapter!

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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 6

Postby Lunaheart » December 5th, 2011, 8:36:40 pm

Yay! Take your time to put them up, you aren't being rushed, lol ^_^

Looking for Donis on my wishlist. See my profile for details on what I have to offer.
Sarge is one of my Keep Guardians along with Durakro.
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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 6

Postby Pyromania11 » December 6th, 2011, 5:20:24 pm

I love it!!!
I have been diagnosed with lung cancer.
I only have a month to live, thank you for your support...
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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 6

Postby Ricansea » December 6th, 2011, 8:57:35 pm

Whee another reader!! <3 Welcome, and I'm glad you liked it, Pyromania! :)

And yay here's a chapter! Took me longer than expected because I kind of couldn't read my handwriting. :sweat: It's a little sad, but here you go!

Chapter 7

~*~

Arje and I could see the damage done to the castle as we coasted towards our Keep. Stones crumbled everywhere, littering the usually spotless courtyard. Though nothing seemed to have fallen over or been completely decimated, holes and cracks abounded. The Keep no longer looked like the magical place it was – it looked battered and beaten. I felt as though I was looking down upon an ancient ruin, as opposed to a place that hundreds of people still called their home.

I just couldn’t believe it – how could such a powerful stronghold be beaten so badly? How??

Arje landed suddenly, drawing me out of my hopeless speculation of what could have happened. The worry and horror and dread I’d been feeling increased tenfold as I saw the charred and blackened doors. Fist sized holes dotted the wooden surface, and an entire corner seemed to have been burned away. I couldn’t keep the sob contained as Arje gently nosed the doors open.

The cavernous room was smoky, dark, and empty. Not a whisper of sound reached my ears as I carefully made my way inside. I couldn’t see a thing – despite the obvious evidence of fire damage, there was no light. But a thousand times worse than that was the fact that not a single creature ran up to greet me, to clamor and growl at the fact I’d left them. There was no one there.

Almost mechanically, I lifted my hand and created a small orb of light, letting it float a few feet above me. My boots crunched as I stepped on the broken fragments of my possessions, littered across the floor. Tears slid silently down my face. Everywhere there was evidence of a struggle; claw marks gouged into the smooth floor, blasts of fire and magic blackening the walls. I felt empty, drained of life and meaning. These creatures had been so much more than pets, more treasured than most of my human companions. I’d raised them from the moment they entered the world, dedicated myself to their happiness and welfare. Yet, in a single moment, they’d all been wrenched away. To be separated from them was pain enough, but to know that they were now imprisoned or dead at the hands of dark magi…

I broke the ringing silence with a pained wail. I crumpled to the ground, utterly overcome. Arjeyoun echoed my cry with a roar, soaring down from the rafters to join me. He’d taken off the moment I’d dismounted, checking the high ledges I’d made for my gryphons to nest. I’d tucked away several resting places over the years, and I know Arje checked every single one, and I knew he’d found nothing. The ravagers had been thorough.

I sagged sideways, wanting to lie down and never move again. But instead of feeling the cool stone floor, I felt rough grass beneath my head. Sitting back up, I realized I’d collapsed at the edge of our nursery. A new sob built in my throat as I saw the blackened grass. My hands desperately ran through the dead strands, hoping to find even a single beetle, somehow sheltered and safe. But I found nothing, and my hands came back black with soot. Hazel, Galen, Hestia… gone.

I got up with difficulty, my hands still cradling the sleeping Talvi in my cloak. The cloud of death hanging over my Keep was so thick I found myself gasping for breath again, choked sobs rising once more from my throat. I stumbled towards the door, the cold glow of my light orb following me. I’d nearly reached the exit when I thought I heard something behind me. I slowly turned around, expecting Arje, but Arje was alert by my side, looking as though he’d heard something too. He started to walk forward, back into the dark Keep. Not wanting to be left alone, I slowly followed behind him, not trying or wanting to think of what might have caused the noise.

Arje abruptly stopped in front of one of many new cracks in the wall, then tried to put his beak in the small hole. I stopped and watched, wondering what he was up to. I still wasn’t sure if the black magic was able to hurt the castle – more than likely the extensive damage was caused by the creatures trying in vain to protect themselves. I folded myself to the ground again, sapped of the energy to stand. More than likely Arje would pull out a common field mouse, and the little hope that had gathered against my will would be destroyed. I clutched Talvi close, glad that at least he had escaped the carnage. I don’t know what I would have done if my innocent little ball of fluff had been taken.

Talvi stirred in my arms, apparently finally waking up. I was glad he’d fallen asleep after I’d stuffed him away to spare him the sight of the battle. His little head pushed through the gap between two fastenings of the cloak, and he looked at me, confusion plain in his eyes. I managed a watery smile as I caressed his feathery little head. It was clear Talvi didn’t know what was going on, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew there was something wrong. He gave a little purr-chirp and pulled himself out of my cloak, clearly intent on crawling up to my shoulder, his preferred perch. I caught him in the middle of his climbing and held him tight, not wanting him to see the full extent of the damage to our home. Talvi was just a baby still – he didn’t need to see this. I tugged out my pendant from my shirt and waved it in front of him again, though the action brought a lump to my throat as I realized I’d done the exact same thing, just a few hours ago. Everything had seemed so normal and happy then… I was trying to keep my grief off my face for Talvi’s sake when I heard the first little hoot.

Looking up, I saw Arje remove his head from the crack. His feathers were mussed and out of place, and I saw a thin jagged line on his forehead where the sharp rock had cut him, but I noticed that in a fleeting glance. My eyes were riveted to his beak, where a scruffy little ball of feathers dangled.

Wesley the owlet hung in the air, looking rather worse for wear but alive. A wordless exclamation escaped me as Arje deposited him in my lap. Talvi nosed him all over and uttered his little welcoming chirp. I stared at him wonderingly as Arje dropped another two in my lap. The owlets were all oddly scrunched, and they bore scratches from the rock, but on the hole they seemed unscathed. I looked up and watched the other five slowly hobbled out of the crevice. They all ran towards me as fast as their little legs could carry them, creating a soft pile of down in my map. Talvi was in the middle of it all, and it seemed just fine with him. Bringing up in the rear, Eglantine and Mouse emerged, a small piece of quivering fruit held within their beaks.

Tears of a different kind flowing down my cheeks now, I quickly sent a wisp of wind through my dark Keep and had it blow a blanket to me. It had a few holes now, but it would do for what I wanted. I spread it on the ground and placed the owlets into it. They were shivering and shaking, huddled together for comfort and warmth. I whispered soothingly to them as I placed Talvi in their midst and wrapped the blanket around them.

Arje was snuffling around the rest of the cracks, but there was nothing to be found. We quickly made our way out. I tried to ignore the broken items on the ground and focused on nothing but the warm weight of the owlets in my arms.

Talon was standing guard by the doors as we left; he fluttered down to my shoulder as soon as the doors were closed. Though his feathers hindered my vision somewhat and I couldn’t turn my head, I was glad for his presence. He was not one for showing affection; this meant a lot.

I had a basic idea of going back to Remy’s and renting a room to gather myself back together, but an echoing voice forestalled my plans. Master Belmos, his voice magically magnified somehow, was calling us all to the courtyard. I didn’t want to try to fly with the burden of owlets in my arms, so Arje and I walked slowly towards the meeting point. Other magi filtered out of the castle and joined us, though they still kept a bit more space than usual from me. I astutely ignored them and tried to hold myself firmly in check. I stopped myself from thinking of what I had lost and only focused upon what I still had as I made my way towards Master Belmos and hopefully some explanations.


I couldn't bear to lose my owlets again, even if they're just pixel/written representations. X3 And Lunaheart, I haven't forgotten about the special Talvi chapter - that's coming soon. I think I'm going to make it holiday related... :smirk:

And just in case it comes up, yes, the attack is loosely based on the MS rapture.... just increased exponentially. xD

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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 7

Postby Salvatore » February 6th, 2012, 2:42:26 pm

Oooh, I really like it :yey:
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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 7

Postby Ricansea » April 11th, 2012, 2:00:20 am

Thanks, Salvatore! <3

I'm bumping this just so it doesn't get deleted - I don't want to lose this. :crazy: I'm going to reboot/actually do a chapter a week once I get back home and don't have to mooch my neighbor's internet. >.>

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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 7

Postby XxNightxX » June 5th, 2012, 10:24:51 pm

Read chapters 1 and 2 so far (along w/prologue). THIS. IS. AWESOME! You have amazing talent, and I am going to keep reading!! Added as a bookmark for easy access :D Keep writing!! :t-dance:

EDIT: Read all up to this point now, I couldn't stop reading! I ABSOLUTELY ♥♥♥♥ IT!!! Really connectable characters and awesome plot. Great style of writing and very enjoyable :D I <3 it!!

P.S. - How could anyone not fall in love with Talvi? :D
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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 8

Postby Ricansea » July 11th, 2012, 4:59:11 am

Finally - finally - I am taking this back over! For reals, guys as if there's anyone left.... new post every week. Srsly.

And now... after several months of a very busy Rica, she now presents Chapter 8! It isn't great, but... it's something. I promise you there will be interesting things - and just other things in general - besides sadness in this story.

And Night - thank you so very, very much!!! Your comment helped spur me to get the energy and inspiration back up to reboot this. Thank you <3 And btw, I <3 Talvi too. xD

And now... Chapter 8!

Chapter 8

~*~

The happiness at finding my owlets and kiwis, though great, was not enough to bury the ache of loss. I felt tears collecting in my eyes again as I trudged along with the rest of the magi towards the meeting place. I knew I was gathering many foul looks, but for once I didn’t care. It was by luck that my creatures had been saved, not any evil move on my part. It did nothing to distract me from the pain of losing my dearest friends. Hadn’t it just been this morning that I’d watched Sarrow and Nighteyes gamboling around with the owlets? Or seen Blaze running with his foal? I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that they weren’t safe and happy in my Keep right now, though I’d seen the evidence with my own eyes. How could everything have changed so absolutely in a single day? It didn’t seem possible!

I knew I was in denial, and I clung to it like a liferope. I couldn’t lose myself now, not when I was about to find out what was going on. There would be plenty of time for grief later… too much time. I clutched my owlets closer and leaned into Arje, shoving away the thoughts of my cold, empty Keep. I could not bury them, but I could keep them at bay, stop myself from thinking too closely about the full extent of my loss.

We reached the courtyard, where hundreds of magi were already gathered. Several had their hoods up, to cover their reddened eyes. A few had succumbed entirely to grief – I could plainly hear the sobs in the nearly quiet square. But most had looked blank, shocked… numb. As though the entirety of the attack was simply too much to comprehend.

Though I did not see any other large creatures in my brief glance across the square, several smaller animals were scattered here and there among the crowd. At least the spell had been stopped before every creature had been taken.

Arje strode confidently forward through the throng, going much farther in than I planned to. People gave him a wide berth, and I had no choice but to follow him. He stopped in the middle of the square, directly in front of Master Belmos. We waited in silence as the members of the Keep slowly filtered in. When the stone courtyard was full to bursting, Master Belmos cleared his throat and started to speak.

“There are not words to describe what has happened on this day. But words are not needed - why should I explain the pain, when you are living it as we speak? No, I shall not repeat the events. Pain needs no description.”

He stopped then, and it struck me how tired he looked, how incredibly sad. He’d always been a teacher to me, a distant figure of authority – I’d never thought about the fact that he had hundreds, if not thousands, of creatures of his own. They’d been taken, too. He was a magi just like the rest of us.

Master Belmos collected himself and continued. “I will not explain the pain, but I will explain what happened.” His voice echoed loudly across the quiet square. “This grievous tragedy was caused by the Alosai… the thieves of light. Alosai means ‘moon drinker’ in their foul tongue. Centuries ago, with blood sacrifices made every full moon, they tied their own magic to the light of it… for light is an energy like any other. For what is light but energy, and what is energy but magic? Their ancestors bound themselves in their dark magic… but because the spell lay within their very flesh, their children’s own powers were heightened under the light of the moon.

“We knew of them, of course, but we… wrongly… believed them to be no threat. Though their powers are strong, their numbers are small – too small, we thought, to stand a chance against forces as great as ours.

“But they did not work alone. One of them managed to enter our highest tower, that closest to the moon, and place their cursed stone within our castle.” He lifted the broken halves for all to see. “This is a rare, powerful magical object – it can create a shield so powerful very few can penetrate it. It must have taken many, many years to prepare this, and many years more in planning. This was not a spontaneous decision.

“We do not yet know the full extent of their intentions – and it is not a discussion for tonight. The one thing I can say with certainty is that your creatures are still alive. They would not have bothered with such an elaborate ploy if their only intent was slaughter. Rest with the knowledge that your creatures still walk this land alive, though we know not where.

“We will know more in the morning – the cloaking spells they placed about us will disappear ere the sun rises. Thane and I will stabilize the castle – there is to be no fear of collapsing walls. Return to your Keeps, and stay there until the sun has fully risen. Those of you whose Keeps have been made… unfit for sleeping, you may find beds in the Great Hall. Rest assured there will be no further attacks tonight.

“We will rouse you in the morning, should we have any new information for you.” He heaved a deep sigh, looking incredibly weary. He waved his hands at us, at the crowd. “Be off with you. Sleep is needed - there is much to be done come morn.”

He picked up the shards of rock and stepped away, disappearing within the shambles of the castle. Soon the gentle hum of power began to sound, and a soft golden light illuminated the stones, freezing them in place and making the castle safe again.

Safe physically, maybe, but I couldn’t imagine going to sleep in my Keep. Just the thought of going back in there brought tears back to my eyes. I cast my gaze around, wondering what everyone else was doing. A few were wandering off, back to the castle, but most were still standing as they were, staring at where Master Belmos had disappeared with the same grief-stricken look that I’m sure I was wearing as well.

Instead of scanning the crowd for hostile faces, like I had before, this time I looked for faces I knew. I saw June standing in the corner of the courtyard, a bundle of winged cats clutched in her arms – Gingy was standing close by with two gryphon hatchlings on her shoulders. I heard a small, familiar tweet, and saw Ylana walking back towards the keep, two hummingbirds zipping around her frame. It was nice to see a few familiar creatures – but it was horrible to see so few.

Arje purred quietly, nudging me in the back. I ran my fingers through his feathers. “Yeah, let’s go in,” I said, crawling awkwardly onto his back while still holding my owlets and Talvi. He started heading towards my Keep, but I turned him away. “I can’t stay there tonight, Arje,” I whispered. He turned immediately, following the trailing magi heading into the castle.

The castle looked dark and dank around me, the stone walls seeming foreboding for the first time. I had vague ideas about going to the Great Hall, though staying in close proximity to a lot of people who probably still hated me because of Arje was not an appealing idea.

“Hey, Ricansea!”

I was thrilled to hear that voice. Brindle came running toward me, two farirs and an ariessa lamb trailing after her. Brindle was much younger than me – 12 to my 17 – but she was one of my few friends in the castle. She skidded to a stop in front of me. “Hi,” She said breathlessly. “Were you headed for the Hall?”
I nodded without much enthusiasm. She shook her head. “My Keep was… mostly unscathed,” She said. She tried to say it calmly, but her voice cracked. “A few of my friends are staying in there instead of the hall. You can too, if you want. Arje’ll fit.”

A small smile broke out as I realized I didn’t have to spend the night with a bunch of hateful magi. “Thank you, Brindle,” I said gratefully as she led the way to her Keep. As we rounded the corner, I heard a voice I recognized as Master Belmos’s. “No, and that’s my final answer,” He said sternly. I peeked and saw him staring up at Sorras, who was looking absolutely livid. “And the Keep’s protective spells have been reset, so don’t think of trying to sneak out again. Remy is perfectly capable of tending to one Nandi.”

“That bearded drunk can hardly take care of his customers, much less Kanthos!” Sorras nearly shouted. “I can’t just leave him there!”

“You can, and you will.” Master Belmos’s words rang with authority. “You –“

But then Brindle tugged on my arm, dragging me away before I could hear anymore. I followed Brindle blindly, filled with guilt. I was the one who had told him to leave Kanthos in the first place! I truly didn’t believe any harm would come to him, but still. Sorras rarely got upset – ever. To have him yelling at Master Belmos…?

But there was no more time to think of it. Brindle let me and Arje into her keep, and I had my own situation to think about. She was an Earth magi, and plants abounded within the fairly small room. The Ariessa curled next to Brindle immediately, while the Farir floated gently through the air. She had no fire creatures, apparently, for her plants seemed healthy and well aside from one small singe mark by the door. It looked like heaven compared to my desolate Keep.

I looked at the four other girls within the room. Two I only knew by sight, but I was happy to see both Ylana and June sitting across from me. I set my bundle down at last, letting my owlets, kiwis, and Talvi free. They moved around in a little flock, only finally dispersing when Brindle started passing out blankets. We spoke very little – there was nothing to say, no words that could possibly make any of us feel better. I retreated to a corner and leaned against Arje, pulling my borrowed blanket around me. Two of my owlets returned to me, one of them bringing a winged cat along. The rest of the owlets had settled down with the other girls. I let them be, hoping they’d provide a little bit of solace. Talvi curled close, and Talon fluttered down next to him. I closed my eyes, trying hard not to think about the morning while I hoped against hope it had all been a terrible dream.

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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 8

Postby LightningDragon » July 28th, 2012, 3:49:24 pm

This is such a wonderful, amazing story, and I can't wait to see what you'll come up with for the rest of it. Please, please keep writing this c:


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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 8

Postby Ricansea » December 25th, 2012, 12:30:26 am

Wow. I am terrible. Absolutely terrible.

Incredibly late thanks, LightningDragon, and Happy holidays to all!

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Re: Silverfeather Keep - Beyond the Castle Walls (Chapter 8

Postby LightningDragon » December 25th, 2012, 12:01:14 pm

Ricansea wrote:Wow. I am terrible. Absolutely terrible.

Incredibly late thanks, LightningDragon, and Happy holidays to all!


You're not terrible. D : But if you leave us again I'll have Talvi peck you until you post.


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