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 Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal

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PostSubject: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:13 pm

((I wrote this a long time ago. ^^' Just thought I'd post it because the writers' forum has been a little dead lately. I'm ending my fanfic hiatus on Tuesday ('cause husband is home today and tomorrow! <3) but... well this is good in the meantime xD Lol, I haven't read through this in months, if not over a year, so please excuse any weird phrasing. ^^Wink)


Prelude


“Take it! Take it and run!” she screamed, throwing the small blue gem to me. I caught it but hesitated – if I left, she would be alone here with the traitor. Were there others? Taeyana was strong, but she couldn’t possibly take more than two people at once. The temple room was destroyed, plants trampled and uprooted and the statue… the face of the goddess was rubble, shattered beyond recognition when the intruder stole the Tear. My sister and I were covered in dirt from the brawl; her beautiful face was streaked with a mixture of earth and blood from a gash across her cheekbone, but she didn’t seem to notice – even now her expression was harsh and her eyes as cool and as sharp as steel. She had always been calm under pressure and as brave as any warrior – if she hadn’t been with me tonight, I would probably be dead now. The thief would have gotten away with his prize.

Taeyana urgently tossed her head towards the door, her hands pulling the man’s arms back behind his back as her knee pinned him face down to the floor. “Go!”

The man beneath her chuckled darkly, “It’s too late,” he hissed through wheezing laughter.

“You’re wrong!” Taeyana yelled at him, throwing more weight into her knee in an effort to crush him into the floor. She looked back at me, her blue eyes softening, “Please, Shasa, go! Get it to Yvati. You can make it if you hurry! Go! Now!”

I turned and hurried towards the door, but couldn’t make myself go any farther. “I can’t leave you here alone!”

“There is no time for this! Things could be stirring as we speak – you must leave now! I’ll meet you in the northern temple as soon as I can. I promise, sister, we will meet again. Go!”

I bit my lip in anxiety. She was right. There wasn’t any time to waste. The stone must get to the second statue before anyone knew what happened here. I looked one last time at my sister, her shrine garb torn and her long brown braids disheveled, one unraveled from the fight. I would see her again.

I ran through the main hall and barreled out into the courtyard, my soft soled shoes making no noise on the thick stone floor. I dashed past flowing fountains lit by the blooming moonflowers and threw myself against the main temple doors. They yielded slowly, but I was able to squeeze through the small opening I had created and burst into the jungle.

The night was eerily quiet, devoid of the ever constant insect songs, as if the wildlife itself knew something was amiss. I needed to go northeast, to the temple, but first I would need to head west to the village to tell the elders what happened and request a mount – but there wasn’t any time! If I left now, it would take two days to get out of the jungle and another ten to get to Yvati village using the fastest horses, but the only way to get a horse is to waste time waking the elders – the village was a twenty minute run in the wrong direction.

The gem I held in my hand suddenly glowed, the radiant blue shining through my fingers for a brief second before fading. My eyes were drawn to the northern corner of the temple walls where two bright blue orbs, the same shade as the gem’s burst, hovered almost three feet above the ground just outside the clearing. As I stared, the orbs advanced towards me and in a smattering of moonlight I saw the silhouette of a giant cat. When it got close it rubbed against my legs – it was a black panther, the largest I had ever seen; however, I felt no fear. The goddess provides.

The great cat curled around behind me and crouched at my side. Understanding, I secured the gem in my top and climbed onto the cat’s back, clutching the fur on its neck for security. The panther straightened and shot off into the night, bounding through the underbrush gracefully, sometimes springing into trees to avoid obstacles in our path.

We traveled nonstop for hours; even as the sun dawned the panther continued its silent, powerful run. At this point I was consumed by a sense of overwhelming determination. I did not tire, fueled by urgency and purpose.

At dawn the next day we reached the end of the jungle, and an hour later I dismounted the panther outside the stables belonging to a small village. Even as the great cat was racing back to its home, I had approached the stable master and revealed the crest of the temple guardians. In minutes I was astride the fastest horse and heading northeast.

We would go as far as this horse could make it, and in the next village I would get another horse to carry me as far as it could – in this way, with new, fast horses every few hours, there was a chance that I could reach the frozen village of Yvati in eleven days time.

Hours passed in a blur of emerald colored fields. Sunset came and went with a new town and a new horse. My plan was to stop around midnight and sleep until dawn; however, those plans were dashed just after moonrise when the earth suddenly shook beneath me as if a ripple were emanating from a point somewhere south west of us. Just after the ripple of movement subsided a distant cry reverberated through the night.

The sound was like nothing I had ever heard before, but I knew well of it. The horse skidded to a stop, his legs refusing to work as the noise continued, his eyes whirling in his head. Hair all over my body stood on end. It was too late. They had been summoned – the creatures of the Undertone now walked freely across the land. The shriek faded into the night and I urged my mount forward again as fast as it could go. There was only one way to reseal the monsters: the gem must be returned to a sacred statue of the goddess. Once the lady’s tear was returned to her, she could banish the beasts and the world would be safe again. Wide awake now, I pulled out the small blue crystal as the horse galloped towards daylight. Staring into its clear depths, I prayed. “Lael, protect us.”


Lael's Crystal


Chapter One

“Shouldn’t you be up front?” Julietta hinted strongly, stirring her pot of stew with a glare and a scowl directed at him.

Teeda Marion found this ironic; Julietta enjoyed company while she worked – just not his, the man she was married to. No, she couldn’t stand being around him while bustling about her kitchen - not that he minded, really. “I should, and I would if I could trust ya ta make a decent pot pie!” he grumbled, sticking his beefy pinky into the pie filling she had just abandoned, “the las’ lot near killed me customers.”

Julietta looked up from rolling pie crust with surprise and, placing her hands on her hips, said “Oh? Then why are ya eatin’ it so happ’ly then?!” Julietta was a wonderful woman, as beautiful now as she was ten years ago. Though she might have filled out a bit in certain areas, her rosy cheeks, sparkling green eyes and bouncy blonde locks were as attractive now as they were when he met her. Now if only she weren’t so snarky.

“Jus’ checkin’ – don’t want’ta be killin’ people on a holiday, do we?” Teeda smirked, his eyes meeting hers with a familiar devilish gleam as he tasted the stew mixture again. It was quite good, as always. His enjoyment was somewhat short lived, however, as it was interrupted by a flying washcloth to the face.

“Get out of my kitchen!” Julietta demanded.

“I luv you too, dear!” Teeda teased as he backed through a pair of swinging doors.

The tavern was quiet tonight, but that was to be expected on such a religious day. With a sigh, Teeda used the washcloth so graciously given to him to buff finger smudges off of mugs behind the bar. After his third, he paused to look fondly around his tavern, The Gryphon’s Talon. From its simple, no-fuss design and comfortable furniture to its intriguing wall decorations, his tavern was the best place around to sit back, relax, and reminisce. Reminiscing, it had to be told, was Teeda’s favorite part about owning a bar, for he was a lover of stories and had quite a few to share himself; the trophies of such tales were what decorated his walls. The tavern itself was named after one such prize, which he proudly displayed behind the bar – a gryphon’s talon, the size of a man’s hand and curved like the claw of an eagle. This treasure was the last he had ever acquired, for the beast he won it from had carelessly left it’s claw in Teeda’s leg after tearing it open, having caught the adventurer retrieving an emerald
necklace from its nest. If it hadn’t been for Teeda’s traveling companions that day, he would probably be dead. Instead he walked with a severe limp, ending his questing days for good.

The talon was one of only a few trophies that he had acquired without much effort on his part. Besides the talon, a shield, and a set of arrows, Teeda had won his prizes fair and square through fights, dangerous escapades, and cunning – those stories were the ones he reveled in telling his customers, and stories like his were what he enjoyed hearing. The Gryphon’s Talon had therefore gotten the reputation for being an adventurer’s oasis – indeed, Teeda was proud to say that his establishment had brought together several adventuring parties and, on occasion, those who needed the assistance would seek the tavern out to find recruits for their cause.

… it did not look like that would be the case tonight, however, Teeda though and resumed wiping the mugs clean. The patrons tonight numbered three. And a bird. One was Cyloh, a regular from the city whom Teeda had practically adopted because he was there so much. The fellow was normally sleeping or drunk, but he paid well and had a few stories to tell, so he was welcome to stay as long as he liked. He sat slumped at the back of the place – holidays weren’t really his thing. The other two were young people – probably in their early twenties, if he had to make a guess – and they seemed to be keeping to themselves. Each had reserved a room for the night, and each carried with them sizable packs, but they didn’t feel like adventurers to him. The first to arrive was the young lad who now sat with his hood up, absentmindedly poking at a pot pie. That one came from a well-off family – his bearing and manners betrayed such – but he seemed humble enough. The other customer, sitting at the far side of the room close to
the stairs, was a young lass with wavy light brown hair. She was the one with the bird, a falcon that she spoke to often like it was her pet. The girl was friendly but seemed a tad timid, like she didn’t quite know what she was doing here. The two of them, the girl and her bird, were munching on stew and bread. With everyone so quiet and keeping so nicely to themselves, Teeda felt quite bored. He kept his hopes up, however, for one of his old traveling companions had said she would be dropping by sometime tonight.

___________________________



Super Awesome Space Museum//Kyra's RP's




Last edited by Kyralih on 17th January 2012, 7:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:14 pm

About an hour later, the time being somewhere around ten o’clock, Teeda was getting very bored. He had been kicked out of the kitchen yet again and had tried starting up conversations with Cyloh, but the man was too far gone. What he had done that day Teeda didn’t know, but it must have been something big to knock out such a man so thoroughly. He tried calling the lad over for a chat, but he didn’t seem to have heard him, staring intently out the window instead.

Teeda, perched on a barstool behind the bar, was just considering bringing Julietta up front for a while (thus bothering her whilst she knit, thus creating some fun) when fate smiled upon him and his door opened to reveal a tall, lithe man wearing a green cloak, a backpack over his shoulders along with a quiver of arrows, a bow, and at his waist two swords: one long, one short. This, Teeda thought, might be interesting.

“Hello there,” Teeda stood as the man entered. “What c’n I get fer ya?”

“Hello,” the man answered back in a melodious voice, “I was wondering if I may ask you something.” His accent was elfish, but he spoke common rather well. Teeda smiled – this guy was on a quest, he was sure of it.

“Ask away,” the tavern keeper invited.

“I was told that I may find a man here by the name of Teeda Marion, an adventurer with his share of tales and a wealth of information on recent happenings. Is he here?”

“He is, and if your intent was to butter him up you’re well on your way to success,” Teeda laughed and extended his hand, “I’m Teeda Marion, and this is my place. Have a seat!”

The elf did so after relieving himself of his pack and arrows. As he sat, he pulled his hood down to reveal tanned skin, slightly slanted leaf-green eyes, pointed ears, and short brown hair with a shoulder-length braid at his right temple – a wood elf. The boundaries of the wood elf forest were a good week’s walk away from here, and by the look about the elf, he had been traveling at least that long without many stops. What this man needed was some rest. And ale. Teeda poured a glass of his cooled brew and set it before his newest customer.

“Thank you,” the elf said, taking a sip.

“Anythin’ ta eat?” Teeda offered.

“Perhaps a salad, if you have the means of making one,” the elf requested.

“An’ a nice honey roll,” Teeda added confidently as he walked to the kitchen entrance. “Hey!” he called, startling Julietta into dropping her knitting.

“What do you want this time, you oaf?” she snarled in an attempt to cover her momentary fright, her eyes shooting arrows at him.

“A customer wants a salad and one of your sweet honey rolls.”

“A salad?” she asked, her tone changing as she reached down to pick up her knitting, “I don’t have many raw vegetables left – the customer’ll have ta do with lettuce, carrots and a tomato.” She put her knitting aside and pulled open the cellar door and paused, “Who wants a salad this late?”

“An elf, if you must know.”

“Oh!” she said and disappeared quickly. Teeda rolled his eyes and returned to the bar, grabbing a sweet roll from a pan beside the door.

“One salad, comin’ up,” he said and tossed the roll to the elf, “try a bite a’ that, while you’re waitin’.”

“Thank you, sir,” the elf sampled the roll and looked surprised.

“Taste familiar?” Teeda laughed heartily, “it’s a wood elf recipe!”

“How did you procure it?” the customer inquired, studying Teeda intently.

“I didn’ steal it, ‘f that’s whatcha mean,” Teeda replied, still smiling, “Got a friend who gave it to me wife – she said honey rolls would surely shut my mouth for a minute or two. They’re really popular ‘round here and we don’t give the recipe away, if that was your next concern.”

“I don’t mean to look so suspicious.”

“Don’t worry about it; culture is culture. So, how can I help you tonight, Mister…”

“Liadon, but please, call me Aramil. I came here tonight hoping to gain some information about the war in the east and to ask if you have seen a certain… object.”

“Aha!” Teeda laughed, “I knew you were questin’!” Though his eyes were trained on the elf, years of adventuring had taught the man to take heed to all of his surroundings, and in doing so he noticed that both of his other young visitors were now paying close attention to the conversation at the bar. Was it sheer curiosity, Teeda wondered, or something else?

“Letsee,” Teeda considered, holding his chin in his hand and leaning on the cool bar surface, “the war in the east… I haven’t heard much about it, just rumors so far. They say the capital – the Human capital, that is – has just declared war on… well,” Teeda dropped his voice to just above a whisper, “the rumors say they declared war on some sort of monsters that just appeared out of nowhere one day and started attackin’ innocent cities. No one who has been through here has seen the monsters yet, but one man said he knew somebody who wrote him a letter about one of the destroyed towns. Said it was eerie, he did; that there were no survivors and the place was torn to pieces. So the King declares war and asks for help from the dwarves and the centaurs in the northeast, but it’ll take ‘em time to get down there. I hear they’re lookin’ for new recruits for the army, but I don’ suppose you’re lookin’ to be employed, are ya?” Teeda laughed, lightening the mood considerably with his hearty guffaws.

“You’re right, I’m not,” Aramil said, “not that if I wouldn’t if I hadn’t something else to do, but I have. I had heard rumors about the east, and now knowing that there may be some truth to them may make my task harder.”

“Your task?” Teeda invited casually, calm on the surface yet boiling with excitement on the inside.

“I’m looking for a sword,” Aramil offered with forced informality. This, Teeda deciphered, meant that it was not only no ordinary sword, but it was also highly valued, no matter what the elf said to the contrary. “It was stolen from my village nine days ago and it is my duty to retrieve it. It is a sword with a blade the length of your arm, made of a… strong silver-colored metal and is inscribed with silver glyphs down one side. Green malachite decorates the hilt with leaves, and an emerald sits at the pommel. It’s a trinket, but I’ve pledged to do what I can to return it to my people as soon as possible.”

“Sounds like a mighty fine sword, especially since it’s made out of,” Teeda leaned in once again, looking at the elf with an eyebrow cocked, “titanium.” Aramil looked to the side, ashamed of his poor attempt at deception.

“I should not have tried to conceal its material from you, but I feared advertising that fact may lead to others seeking the sword upon hearing it was made from such a valuable and durable metal.”

“No harm, lad!” Teeda smiled, “Anyway, I hate to say it, but no such sword has been whispered about in this tavern. I have heard of a similar object though,” the barkeep announced. He hadn’t decided yet whether to divulge that the similar object belonged to him, but maybe this fishing exercise would out the interest of the other patrons. The lad wasn’t paying much attention anymore – perhaps he was only interested in talk of the war? The young lady, on the other hand, seemed to still be listening intently. The elf might have information about the curious shield, as well.

“A similar object?” Aramil repeated, and with an eyebrow furrowed darkly he asked, “Was it a shield, perhaps?”

“Indeed,” Teeda nodded.

“Could you describe it to me, just as it was described to you?” the elf asked tensely.

“Sure thing. It was titanium, just like your missing sword, ‘cept it was accented with a purple stone carved in such a way as to suggest a river, and it was rather small for a shield.”

“Have you seen it, then?” The elf’s green eyes were focused exclusively on Teeda.

“I didn’t say that! It was a really good description someone gave when passing through.”

Aramil deflated, “If only… perhaps, if I knew where the shield went, I would be able to find the sword…”

“So they are connected?”

“The possibility that that description could stand true for more than one shield is small indeed,” he announced.

‘So I’ve got something here…’ Teeda thought. Lover of tales as he was, the barkeep couldn’t help but ask, “Is there a story behind the objects? Or, perhaps, are they only connected by their maker?”

The elf appeared guarded, glancing behind him towards the door and the staircase, his eyes sweeping over the other customers as if analyzing whether they were a threat. “Neither object is here, so I don’t see why not. They are two of the three artifacts that Traelwyn left us when he disappeared.”

“Traelwyn,” Teeda repeated, searching his mind for a connection to the name. Was it something Kally had mentioned before? With a name like ‘Traelwyn,’ it was worth a guess. “He was an elf, right?”

Aramil’s expression went from offended to defeated, as if accepting a depressing thought. Staring on his mug on the counter before him, his green eyes clouded as if focused elsewhere, the elf narrated in a soft voice: “Traelwyn was the greatest leader we elves have ever known. He was born a commoner, a farmer in the Wood Elf nation, during the times of the Troll Wars. Though our ranks were being decimated, Traelwyn willingly joined the army to fight,” as Aramil continued his tale, his voice grew stronger, his eyes sharper and more excited, “He rose quickly through the ranks, his skill with a sword and his tactics far beyond his experience. His natural talents were amazing! The strategies he produced had the trolls running at every turn! Again and again he won battle after battle, and soon enough he had risen to the highest rank, only below the top generals from each nation. He was a hero! The army loved him, the cities loved him. He turned the war around! He was responsible for the Troll’s surrender, the reas
on why there was any crop surplus that year was his impressive intellect and raw power – if not for him, there would’ve been a great food shortage during the winters and many people might have starved to death.

“Even after the war had ended, Traelwyn was doing great deeds for the nation, forging ties between each faction to make the elves a coherent force yet again! For that he won the love, honor and respect of our people. Six hundred years ago, Traelwyn was crowned King of the Elves, the first in over two millennia.

“At his coronation, three gifts were given to him, made together by three of the best sorcerers from each nation. From the Wood Elves he received a sword endowed with green leaves of malachite that made its bearer stronger and faster when wielding it. From the Night Elves he received a small round shield with purple charoite waves that made its bearer slippery and quick like a river; his opponent’s sword could never find its mark, and if it happened to hit him he would feel no pain from the attack. The High Elves gifted him with a silver crown adorned with blue agate that granted its wearer clarity of mind. In this fashion, Traelwyn was given an object of the wood and trees, the night and water, and the day and sky.” At this point, Aramil lost his steam, his eyes becoming less keen, and he continued in a calmer voice.

“Traelwyn ruled for three hundred years, and then left us. Not through death, but by choice. He had been an orphan, and having characteristics of each nation – the complexion of a wood elf, eyes of a high elf, and hair of a night elf – he knew not where to turn to find out about the mystery of his origins. He left on a quest of self discovery, taking only one companion, a Dragon by the name of Vithel. Years passed, and eventually Vithel returned alone, bearing Traelwyn’s three treasures. He left us without saying a word about our King, but revealed that another would come along, someone who could take care of us just as well, and that these three treasures would show us whom.”

Aramil took a sip from his mug, “The treasures were kept together at first; hopes were high that the next king would be quick in coming. As years passed, hope began to fade, until the treasures were split, returning to their nations of origin where they would be guarded until a time when they were needed.” He laughed, “Or they were supposed to be. A decade ago the shield was stolen from the night elves. Rumor had it that dragons had made off with it, for what no one could say – dragons have been scarce for quite some time – and now, not two weeks before this very day, the sword was taken from my village whilst I was supposed to be guarding it!” The elf slammed his mug on the counter. “He entrusted us with his precious objects, and we have lost them! Only the high elves,” he named the sub-race with some disdain, “have been able to hold on to their item! But for how long?!”

Teeda felt a little sorry for the elf in front of him – he obviously had great respect for the dead king and being responsible for having lost an object the king treasured must weigh heavily on the poor lad – but the old adventurer was most interested in the description of Traelwyn. ‘Hmm… a mix a’ each sub-race who didn’t know his own parents… that sounds extremely familiar… Kally must’ve mentioned him at some point or another.’

“’Tis quite a chronicle, lad,” Teeda said, trying his luck at comforting the poor fellow, “and is quite a noble quest you’re on! Buck up, you’ve got a purpose!” he lightly punched the elf on the shoulder, “Now what you’ve gotta do is get yerself a guide an’ get out there! Search out any sniff of a whiff of a trial that might lead you to yer sword and get it back! Honor the memory of Traelwyn by recovering that artifact! Now, where’s tha’ woman with yer salad?”

The elf looked marginally better, but now that the subject had been brought to his attention, Teeda was a tad annoyed that Juliet was taking this long on a salad. “She should be out any second now. Is’ jus’ a salad after all.”

They waited in silence. Teeda, staring at the push door to the kitchen, started to drum his fingers on the bartop impatiently. “I said,” he repeated in a louder voice, “tha salad should be done by now. Is a salad af’er all.” When nothing emerged, Teeda turned sharply towards the kitchen door, “WOMAN! BRING OUT THA SALAD ALREADY!” With one hand on his hip and the other drumming on the bar counter again, three seconds passed before the door swung open. “Finally! What took ya so long?!”

“Oh, shut up, you!” Juliet brushed him away and, with a broad smile, she flourishingly placed the bowl of greenery before the elf. “Enjoy yer salad, sir,” she politely addressed Aramil, then turned to Teeda with a fire in her eyes and a dishrag gripped threateningly in her hand. Without a word to him, she returned to the kitchen.

“Well, that takes care of that,” Teeda said, all hints of enmity completely gone. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the young lass by the stairs stifle a laugh, and winked at her. “So,” he said, returning to his conversation with Aramil, “you have no idea where to head next?”

“Not at all,” the elf replied after chewing a mouthful of salad, “I’m not even sure where to start. I had assumed none of my brothers or sisters would have stolen the shield on sheer principle, and neither the high nor the night elves would have reason to, so I left my homelands and headed out here, hoping to hear of some great raid or infamous thief with a lust for legendary objects. No such luck, apparently.”

“Well, Aramil, just ‘cause this old goat hasn’t heard any such news doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! Ya just hafta widen yer search! Have you thought of taking up a traveling companion?” Teeda asked, wondering if Kally’d thank him later for this.

“A companion? Well… two is better than one, I suppose,” Aramil admitted, spearing a piece of tomato with his fork.

“’Specially if tha’ second person is a seas’ned adventurer who would know who to ask about the smallest rumors, how to fade into the background, and is damned good in a scrap.”

The elf considered his points, “Do you have someone in mind, perhaps?”

Teeda smiled broadly – he would definitely hear the end of this tale when all is said and done if he had one of his own on the inside. “In fact I do, a great adventurer whom I have entrusted with my life on several occasions, and you’re in luck, for they’re comin’ ta visit me t’night, in fact!”

“A - and,” a soft voice added as a chair scraped noisily across the floor. The young lass stood by her table, the falcon fluttering its wings as if inexcusably disturbed, and pushed her shoulders back in an effort to gain confidence. “And maybe I can be of help.”

‘Aha!’’ Teeda smiled, motioning for her to join them at the bar, ‘that explains her interest – she wanted an adventure! She looks a tad inexperienced, but this seems to be safe enough, and should Kally join them she’d look after the young thing and make sure no harm comes to her.’ “Hello, miss,” he greeted with a smile and held out his hand, “I’m afraid I didn’ catch yer name earlier when ya rented the room.”

“My name is Z’kirah,” she replied, hesitantly taking his hand. He shook it once and let it go, indicating she should sit in the stool beside Aramil, who was looking at the human female rather doubtfully.

“You said you could be of help?” Aramil prompted when she offered nothing more.

“I think so,” she said, settling herself on the stool and glancing back to her bird, which had resumed eating in her absence. “I’m a seeker, you see.”

“A seeker?”

“A seeker?!” Teeda couldn’t help but raise his voice at that note of good fortune, “Luck is smiling on you tonight, my elven friend!” he exclaimed, slapping the bar with enthusiasm.

“Yes, but what is—“ Aramil started to ask, but was interrupted when Julietta popped out of the kitchen.

His wife was all smiles as she practically pounced the young lass, “Are you truly a seeker, miss?” she asked, even her eyes smiling with anticipation.

The girl nodded, looking a little nervous. ‘She must come from the northeast,’ Teeda reasoned, where such a talent was a little more common. Down here, it wasn’t often at all that Seekers came around; they usually passed through with the trader caravans midseason.

“Could you help me find something, then?” Julietta asked, and when the girl smiled and nodded affirmation Julietta clapped her hands in excitement. “I was so afraid I had lost it for good! Now, would you prefer a drawing or would a verbal description do?”

“Verbal should be fine,” Z’kirah replied, smiling at his wife’s antics, and then closed her eyes, “Think of the object in your mind and try to describe it as thoroughly as possible.”

Teeda glanced at Aramil, who was watching this exchange with an eyebrow quirked. He’d see the fuss soon enough, the barkeep thought, and looked back to find that the silly woman had her eyes shut tight, too, and was drawing a figure in the air as she described it. He rolled his eyes and leaned on the bar.

“It’s a green fabric pouch lined in silver threads that go around in swirly patterns, about the size of my hand, and has a gray drawstring with loose ends so it can be tied around something. It should be lumpy, because inside of it is a decorated bone comb and a little gold ring with an emerald set in it.”

“So you lost it again, eh?” Teeda commented, but neither of the women paid him any attention.

In moments, the young lady opened her eyes and, blankly staring straight ahead, said “In the bottom drawer of your oaken armoire inside a brown rucksack.”

“Oh good!” Julietta cried as she crossed to the other side of the bar, giving the girl a quick hug before walking out the door.

Teeda stared after her, his arms spread and palms toward the ceiling in astonishment. “And she just leaves?!”

“So I take it a Seeker has command of magic that can locate objects?” Aramil deduced, watching Z’kirah closely now.

“So long as the person asking for the object has some connection to it and can picture it perfectly in their minds,” the girl elaborated, looking more at the bar in front of her than the elf. “The difficulty lies in both the description and the distance from the lost object – the less descriptive or the greater the distance to the object, more energy, time, and focus is required.”

“Do you think you have the power to find my sword? I would not be able to give you any clues as to location, but I can accurately describe it. Unless, would you be able to track an object if you knew where it once was?”

“I’m afraid not,” Z’kirah replied with a faint smile, as if the request were a preposterous one. “The gift focuses more on the present than the past, unless a seer were to pair with me somehow.”

Aramil looked back at his fork, “Then there isn’t much you can do after all?”

“Oh no!” she quickly corrected, “I can search for it. You were saying something about places where it couldn’t be?”


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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:15 pm

Teeda paid fleeting attention to the information Aramil shared with Z’kirah – he had told him once already – and paid even less attention to Z’kirah’s response about her tactic – something about a half-spiral search pattern cutting off at elven borders or some such. Teeda had no touch of the mage gift, and did not find the technicalities of magic all that interesting. ‘Tell me what it does, an’ do it.’ was his usual approach to magic users.

Instead, he glanced across the room to a trophy of his, a wickedly twisted elm branch, and used the item as a veil to disguise what he was really investigating – his other guest. Not much had changed about the young man in the last few hours except that his pot pie had been polished off. He still sat upright, his hands folded on the table, and seemed to be doing nothing but staring out the window. A quick glance revealed nothing extraordinary outside, not in Teeda’s reckoning anyway. It looked just like any other regular night, the street lanterns still lighting the cobbled street with an orange-yellow glow. Maybe there was an odd exchange going on outside the dancing bar down the road?

The materials used in the boys’ attire were top quality, from his cloak down to his boots. Definitely a noble of some sort, but what was he doing out here unaccompanied? Jilted by a lover, perhaps? But then what would drive him so far away as to carry travelling gear? He did not belong to the Tavorians, to Teeda’s knowledge, and Teeda had seen and heard enough about the local noble family to know the genetic markers – this boy was far too pale, to begin with, and the Tavorians favored green and beige far too much to allow one of their own to wear such a midnight blue as this stranger wore. Hmm… maybe he came courting a Tavorian girl and failed…

“—tomorrow morning?”

“Yes, I think that should be enough time,” Z’kirah was saying. Teeda returned his attention to the adventurers.

“Wha’ about t’morrow?” the tavern master inquired, ‘Surely they don’t plan to leave so quickly? Kally is just gettin’ in tonight, and I doubt turning around and heading straight back out is something she’d enjoy. I know I wouldn’t.’

“Um,” Z’kirah paused, looking a little confused, as if unsure if she had said something amiss.

Aramil addressed the question instead, “Z’kirah said that she can start searching, or “seeking” tomorrow morning as she has not worn down her powers too much in the last few days. A night of rest, she’ll seek the item tomorrow, and we’ll set out as soon as she has located it,” he replied confidently, the weight of his task seeming to have lifted from his shoulders.

“How long do you think it will take you to find it?” Teeda asked guardedly.

“It really depends on where it is,” she replied shyly, “It could take minutes, it could be hours.”

Teeda smiled, “Gotcha! So you would be leavin’ more like day af’er t’morrow. That’d sit better with my friend – give ‘em some time ta rest a bit.”

Aramil considered for a moment, “Could you tell me a little more about your friend? You said he was trained in fighting…?”

“She, actually,” Teeda corrected, “an’, like I said, she’s damn good in a fight. Primer’ly fights with two thin blades and is a good shot with daggers. Has a touch a’ healin’ magics, good at trackin’ and forestry, and ‘as been on a score and more of adventures.”

“And you think she would be willing to help me? I haven’t any money to pay her,” the elf asked, taking a sip of his ale.

“Well,” Teeda thought, leaning up against the bar. So far as he could guess, she would jump at the chance for something like this. Well, maybe not jump, not with working with greenhorns… “so far as I can tell, it’s wood elf business. And she is, technically, a wood elf.”

Aramil coughed, “”What?! But why is she out—here!?” he gestured at everything around him, probably meaning outside of wood elf territory, and then wiped the ale dribble off of his chin as he awaited and answer.

Teeda laughed, “I suppose that’s her business, isn’t it?”

“I suppose,” the elf replied, placing his mug on the bar and looking disturbed by the piece of information. Though it wasn’t entirely rare for an elf to travel outside of the realm, most other elves didn’t seem to quite understand the draw of such a life, preferring their world and their people above anything else. A tad stuck up, yes; but you couldn’t exactly fault them. Most people believe their own way of life is the best and that was that.

Z’kirah had all the looks of confusion: coming from farther north, she probably didn’t have a much contact with elves at all and was more than likely lost, unsure of what to think if going off of Aramil’s reaction; from all that the lad was displaying, she might suspect Kally was an exile or murderer or something. Teeda grinned and winked at her. She smiled, looking relieved, probably taking it now as a joke the barkeep was playing on Aramil.

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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:15 pm

Before I get too far into reading this, is it original or fan fiction?

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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:18 pm

Original. Very Happy

Actually it started out as a roleplay on a site I made for my friends and I in high school, but we didn't get far into the SUPER INTRICATE PLOT I had planned for it and I couldn't just leave my precious baby be. So, with permission from my lovely friends, I turned it into a story. As we didn't get farther than I have currently finished, only parts of what their characters say and do during this interval are used. Though their descriptions and general attitudes are the same as the way they created them, their histories have been modified slightly.

Thanks for asking!!


And here's a break... lol, apparently I didn't want to write this part as I just kept going with this note:

**Kalana arrives, thunder is heard. Celebration still. Go out to investigate the thunder, back inside, then the shrieks start and they’re out again.

My apologies. When I get back into this story I'll fix this post. ^^'

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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:19 pm

((OMG I love Meiko! XD he's so weird))


***

Meiko, the strong, the brave, the cunning… the owner of the coolest and greatest pair of magical boots ever created. I hope, anyway, the young man mused as he stalked the rooftops of the small city of Cardon, keeping to the shadows to avoid detection. This city didn’t look too different from the last two, in his mind: a farming town primarily, with a few good merchants and maybe an earth mage to help with the spring and fall harvest. Just like any other town, he’d probably find his duty-free room in the outcropping gables of a well-off inn. He was in the right district, at least; looking down the street below him he saw lights blazing and even music leaking from the establishments – their clientele didn’t mind the late hour at least.

Everywhere else was quiet and inactive. What people he saw in the streets were either stumbling home after a few hours of frivolity or headed directly to an inn or tavern to settle in for the night. This roof is as good as any, Meiko decided after a cursory glance at other potential napping spots and yawning. He had to get used to moving by night, at least until he was sure Verbard had given him up as a lost cause. Me and my new boots, he corrected smugly, reaching back to pat a soft bulge in his backpack. He backed up on cat’s feet, getting as close to the nearest gable corner as he could, and removed his backpack to use as a pillow, then unstrapped a woolen blanket and tried to get comfortable.

Ten minutes of trying to get comfortable around the sensation of eminent falling was suddenly interrupted as an eerie feeling crept over him. Something was wrong. Meiko sat up and, moving swiftly and adroitly, repacked his bag. While his hands moved over the clasps he stared in the direction the eerie feeling emanated from. This is too creepy. I don’t want to be on the roof anymore… He slung his pack on and crept over to the side of the roof, where a tree was begging him to climb down. As he stuck his foot over the edge, a shriek lanced through the quiet of the night. He froze, unable to move, as chills ran up and down his body and he broke into a cold sweat. The high pitched sound lasted for several heartbeats before waning off, leaving a deeper darkened quiet in its wake.

He had never heard such a sound in his life, and he would be grateful to never hear such a sound again. Regaining his composure, Meiko pushed off of the roof and landed at the top of the tall elm, but before he could make a descent his eyes detected a color that shouldn’t be shining in the night. Red and yellow light from flames was a normal sight to see glowing over far-off streets, but not blue. He climbed higher into the tree in an attempt to find the source of the glow, when suddenly the shriek clamored again, this time causing him to shudder so hard the tree branches shook around him. What in hell was that?!

The door of the inn beside him burst open just as the blue light cleared the buildings and flew across the cross-roads. If he hadn’t seen the source of the light for himself, he would have never believed it.

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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:23 pm

***

A girl? Aramil thought as he dashed out of the inn, stopping in the middle of the street beside the human to stare at the western intersection. He couldn’t be completely sure, but his eyes just told him a young girl floated across the intersection with the speed of an arrow in flight, a brightly glowing blue light-source levitating above her. I must not have seen that right—he thought, but was interrupted in his second-guessing by a third screech. Kalana, standing beside him with her short-bow drawn and arrow notched, visibly shivered with the noise, yet her blue eyes remained focused at the crossroads. Does she know what’s coming? Aramil wondered, pulling an arrow from the quiver on his back and preparing as well.

It seemed the blue glow had only just faded from sight when a form loomed out of the darkness. Silhouetted against the torches farther down the street was a creature that the elf was unfamiliar with, and was very glad to be – it was like a monster out of nightmares.

“HERE!”

A strong masculine voice yelled out. The human took three running towards the beast and unsheathed a flamberge. The creature stopped dead, and turned its elongated head to stare down the street at them.

He’s challenging it?! He must be crazy! Aramil thought, but it was too late for anything else. He drew back on the bow and tried to analyze the monster while it hesitated. It looked like some sort of giant, spindly bug; its head looked almost three feet long, with its eyes, nostrils and teeth taking up roughly one third of the entire elongated oval. Its body was spindly and long-limbed and had a thick tail that whipped back and forth as it balanced on the balls of its feet. The arms on the creature probably reached down to its knees were they to drop to its side, and they ended in four clawed fingers, as its toes did. It was possibly seven to eight feet tall and, rather than skin, it was encased in some sort of shiny exterior that reminded him strongly of the exoskeleton of a black beetle.

“Will arrows pierce that?” he asked aloud, aiming at the monster.

“We won’t know until we try,” Kalanalaythean answered briskly as she stalked to the left, her sights trained on the monster as well. He followed her example – best not to make a clump of targets, right?

The monster straightened and squared itself off to them, then opened its fanged jaw and shrieked. There’s the noise, anyway, Aramil thought as his ears strained against the stinging scream. As they were momentarily distracted the monster dashed forward, its limbs carrying it much further and much faster than he had expected. Beneath the din he did not hear her bow sound, but he clearly saw Kalana’s arrow lodge into the shoulder of the monster. It had little effect in the creature’s charge; it slashed down at the human only to have claws engaged by steel. The human had parried the monster’s strike, and was holding it!

The scream ended as Aramil shot an arrow. It bounced harmlessly off of the monster’s foreleg. ‘Odd,’ he thought and tried again; this one found purchase in the creature’s abdomen. It let out a low snarl, shoved hard at the sword, and Aramil suddenly found himself the target of its malice.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the human fall to the ground, bested but not unconscious. An arrow streaked closer only to bounce harmlessly off of a plate covering the monster’s back. Right in front of him the creature loomed, its lips curled back in a snarl that revealed a line of small pointed teeth. Where were its eyes? The elf took a step back and hastily reached for another arrow from the quiver on his back; the creature mirrored his step and brought its arm across its body to give a quick backhand strike.

Fortunately for Aramil, something small and feathery flew straight into the monster’s elongated head – with a battle cry of its own, the Seeker’s falcon joined the fray, creating a needed distraction from the elf. As the monster sneered at the bird’s escape, Aramil notched another arrow and fired close-range at the being’s face, hoping to hit its eye. As it whipped its head back to its original target, Aramil had already dropped his bow and rolled out of its long-armed reach. The human fighter was rushing back into the fray, his sword held in a striking pose. His arrow had missed its eye, but a thick gash along its.. cheek?... oozed bright orange blood freely.

As the fighter engaged the monster again, Aramil pulled from a pouch on his belt a small jem – an ovular piece of amber a quarter of the size of his palm: his mage focus. Trusting his physical safety to his companions for a moment, the elf focused his mind on the amber held tight in his right fist, willing the energies about him to follow his directions.

“Should I put it to sleep or burn it?” he asked, raising his voice to be heard above the monster’s snarl and concentrating on the spells for either situation.

“Burn it!” the breathless voice of Kalana answered as one with Z’kirah, who must have been standing near the tavern door. The human continued, “I wouldn’t want to deal with it once it woke up! It wouldn’t be too happy about an out-of-place nap and if we just left it, it’d be the townspeople who would suffer.”

Kalana continued, “And even if it is a monster, I want no part in killing it in its sleep.”

‘Fair enough,’ Aramil thought – he had imagined putting it to sleep to tie it up and question it, but the more he considered, the less likely something like this would answer to anything.

A crash interrupted his concentration, but Kalana’s voice from just a few feet away now warned him against investigating. “Don’t lose it. Keep concentrating.” He heard her swords slip out of their sheaths and he went deeper into himself – something had happened to the human, so time was not in excess. With a whispered word and a snap of his fingers, Aramil stood, dropping his focus back into his pouch as he positioned his arms out in front of him with his thumbs touching. His pulse raced, and a familiar hunger flowed through him, as it did whenever he cast a spell. ‘I hope this works,’ he thought, knowing how weak the magic would leave him even as it tempted him to use even more power.

Slowly, he spread his fingers in an arc and whispered the key arcane word. Flame shot from each of his fingers and sped through the air towards the fiend, and as it did it felt as if it carried with it Aramil’s sense of self. Feeling drained, he still found the strength to whip out a throwing knife, aiming for the creature’s head.

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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:24 pm

The monster, facing the pair of them head on, was caught off guard by Aramil’s attack. It raised its arms and turned its head in an attempt to stave off the flames, and so the blade landed solidly in the creature’s taloned hand. It growled – its hand seemed to be pinned to its head by the blade. More of its bright orange blood spewed from both wounds as it violently tugged its appendage loose.

“Confuse it,” Kalana thought aloud as she slipped her blades back into their sheaths and reclaimed her bow. “It can’t block more than one attack at a time.”

It freed its hand and slug the appendage so hard that the dagger dislodged and flew across the street to land dangerously close to the tavern’s door. Z’kirah squeaked as Teeda, who must have joined them at some point, pulled her quickly to the side to avoid the projectile. “Careful, lass,” he cautioned, but Aramil did not know if he added anything to the sentiment, for while the beast was still distracted he was making plans to retrieve his bow.

Kalana fired a shot, aiming for its chest. As her arrow flew, Aramil concentrated and threw a smaller blast of fire at the creature, arcing it so it would hit the creature at an angle, and wasted no time. While the monster was focused on the double attack, he sprang into a tumble towards the beast, picking up his bow from its position mere feet from the creature’s legs. Just as he steadied himself for the dash away from its striking zone, the creature turned on him with a vicious snarl, its claws at the ready. Watching its claws, Aramil barely had time to register its tail until it struck him in the chest, propelling him through the air and separating him again from his bow.

He landed in a heap but gathered himself quickly, shooting another fire blast as soon as he could distinguish the beast from the surrounding night sky. It was facing away from him – the others must have gotten its attention. Breathing from behind him startled the elf, and he turned, not knowing what to expect, but found instead the human, sprawled out on the pavement with his head against the wall of the building. ‘Unconscious,’ Aramil determined in a second, his body envious due to the magic fatigue.

‘Strange, that,’ the elf considered, taking a few experimental breaths to test whether his chest was just badly bruised or if a rib was broken, ‘Though I am achingly tired and drained to the point of sleeping immediately, part of me wants to use the magic even more. This must be the battle-madness the elders cautioned against. I need to be careful, else the magic use me and not the other way around.’

With that in mind, he wearily pulled himself to standing and took out his swords. He took a deep breath and focused on another spell, this one meant to supply him some of the energy stored within his focus stone. Relief flooded though his veins, and he took a deep breath before rushing back into the fray. The ground was covered in orange blood and he watched his step even as he targeted the creature’s lower back.

Aramil shouted a quick warning to his fellows as he struck, piercing the creature rather than slicing, then jumped away as swiftly as he could to avoid the monster’s reaction. Much to his delight, his sword went straight through the creature’s slim frame. It fell to its knees, grasping at the blade of the sword and shrieking again, its attention on Aramil once more.

This shriek was much like the first few: loud, high-pitched, and mind numbing; but to add to the agony of their ears, a deep, impenetrable blackness surrounded them from out of nowhere, blocking out their vision.

‘Perhaps it is dying?’ Aramil wondered, his thoughts seeming to shout to be heard over the din.

“Light!” a voice, strong and clear like a bell, rose above the noise with ease. At its command, a blue orb burst into life, shining with radiant light above the creature, silhouetting its intention. Aramil only had time enough to turn slightly away from the charge the creature’s tail drove.

The tail ripped straight through his shields and threw him aside once more. The fatigue from before doubled; the pain of his injuries impossibly strong. Knowing that he could not continue, he transferred what defenses he had left over to the most likely victor – Kalanalaythean – and succumbed to sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: Kyralih's Fantasy story: Lael's Crystal   15th January 2012, 12:27 pm

((And that's as far as I've gotten. I used to have dreams of getting this published one day. Smile Maybe if I get it all written out and polished up, like the huge file of plot information I've got here, lol, I might try sending it in to a magazine or an editor somewhere as young adult fantasy. ))


So, any thoughts? Suggestions, complaints? Want to read the plot in its entirety?


WAIT I HAVE A PROLOGUE SOMEWHERE. Where is that prologue?!
Edit: Prologue entered into first post. I like it.

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