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Rodgr Thunderguts
03:00:52 PM 10/14/19
Soooo much turkey.... need a nap haha!

archgrendel
08:59:27 AM 10/14/19
And to the others who want to celebrate from afar!

archgrendel
08:58:24 AM 10/14/19
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to the Canadian Thainites !

scratch_flannigan
12:30:36 PM 10/13/19
Nature Night begins in about 1.5 hours from the time of this post. That will be 2pm CDT (GMT -5).
Please check page 1 of the Nature Night: Phase 4 thread to see the map to the Wild Grove where we meet !

I will be on as Dauken. Please shoot me a tell if you have questions !

Luke
10:44:10 PM 10/10/19
Heh heh heh heh heh! Yeah yeah!

Kagali
03:59:08 PM 10/10/19
Vladislav! Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me...no more!
*Is impaled*

Luke
02:04:53 PM 10/10/19
Don’t hurt me, no more!!heart

Shade
12:31:41 PM 10/10/19
Baby don't hurt me

Luke
11:41:45 AM 10/10/19
What is love?

Cuchuwyn
10:17:58 AM 10/10/19
Necro night will be starting in a little under 3 hours! Hope to see folks there!



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Mereth en Draugrim - Feast of Wolves
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Author Post
Corlupi
04:40:00 AM 12/07/15
Awooo
Registered Member #2942
Joined: 10:48:33 AM 11/27/12
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2665
Mereth en Draugrim - Feast of Wolves


[ image disabled ]



They say elf-kin are detached and unaffected by the stirrings of the outside world, that elf-kin are much akin to the trees that dot their forest realm: slow to grow, slow to change, slow to care. But only a human would think such. Those who truly know and understand the Elvenkind would not be so foolish to mistake their reserved composure for reticence and resignation. For elves do feel. Much more so than any other race. They feel the smallest ripples in the pond like thundering echoes, and when their hearts know love or sorrow, such emotions do not last a flickering instant as they do for humans, quick to kindle and even quicker to be extinguished; they last for an age. Perhaps this is because elves have such a long lifespan, infinite even, that emotion is more than a cognitive vestige or a mere sensation, it is a living feeling that continuously dwells in the heart. Or perhaps, contrary to the notion of detachment so unwisely applied to all elf-kin, they are simply so bonded with the world around them that they not only live in it, they breathe it, and hear its heartbeat more keenly than any other creature.


Perhaps this is why she felt the way she did. Every day she would rise from meditation and walk the groves of Feywoods, feeling the dance of grass on her naked feet, quietly smiling to the mellow song of birds and insects, closing her eyes to the prickling of Mother Sun as she peaked through the leaves of budding trees. Every morning she would do this little ritual, not just walk in nature but be part of it, and let it be part of her. But not this last morning. Something had quieted the birds, their voices meek and cautious. The wind whispered in portentous murmurs, and even the trees stirred with a semblance of angst. Something, somewhere close, was wrong, and she felt it on her skin. Strangest of all, she was certain she could hear voices mingled with the song of bird and wind, voices she was certain were calling out her name. Beckoning, luring, tempting. There was a hungry insistence to them, a pull and tug so visceral it took effort not to obey. She was quick to turn back home that morning.


And good thing that she did. Not far from where the elven woman walked, a black-coated and equally black-hearted figure was watching, and he smiled. A wolf was walking amongst the elf-kin that morning, and he would return.


[IG screenshot to follow when I get back home from work]

[ Edited 07:31:26 AM 12/07/15 ]

Preceding Payne since 2015.


Renneleth Margaladhon - Huntmaster, Hope-Bringer
Cassia Aurelia - Bloodguard
Sir Talorhend - Hellknight, Legio Cerberus
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Traveler121
01:19:05 PM 12/08/15
Registered Member #23855
Joined: 07:40:02 PM 06/13/14
Location: GMT -6
Posts: 431
Turn and re-turn....

Two days ago the first signs sounded alarm through the woods. Now the trees held no answers, nor the warblers, silent, as they never should be on a clear autumn day, and the even the whispers of danger were still. But the glowing red pentagram in the Weald sang discord to her spirit in a name she knew, from a war she thought was over. Hand prints in blood on trees, and rumors of chanting — these were not random acts of craven folk. There was calculation: each symbol, each act of terror, carefully placed; words in a sentence to announce his presence. He wanted her to know. And in the moment that she did, she felt the connection, and knew that he knew that she understood.

It is said that enemies know each other, by scent, spirit, and in the touch of one mind on another as they hunt. She could feel his presence like a breath on her skin. She knew what he sought, for that rumor had preceded him when he hunted many months ago, but then had faded, as efforts to find her ceased after her long evasion, and she thought that she was safe.

Today the birds fell strangely silent before dawn fully blossomed into radiant rays to mingle with the light of the Source, in the grove. She brushed away the sense of something, half remembered, tugging at her mind. Or something that called her name. Insistent, but not harsh. It was a little like a memory, and perhaps not a voice at all. She shook her head to clear it, and ascended into the Canopy to change into her armor. Should she tell the others?

“What is there to tell of? Wait, wait until I know more.”

Especially now, she patrolled each part of the woods around the stronghold with extra care and vigilance. North woods – only the book and the plinth that they left, for now. West woods – just the wolves and deer. The Weald – the pentagram was gone, dispelled by a druid's connection with the woods, with Source. South. Something... not quite right. But there was always that there, where rift energy seeped into the woods and sickened the animals over time. Woodland trail – there it was again. Music....words calling her name, calling her to follow.

He was powerful in magic. Could it be him?
No, it did not feel like that.

How would she know?
This was more like someone wounded.

What if someone was injured?
That too, was her charge.....


Soft voices on the wind. As she followed, they too moved, drawing her onto the road, to the South Woods she had just left. Softly, like a fog, came the change, and she ceased to notice her surroundings as she focused on finding the voice.

Until she heard the screams. Mers! All of her senses alive, she slid from tree to tree, bow ready, toward the sound, as Mers, terribly wounded, crashed through the brush, falling near her — and a shape slipped away toward the cabin. Laughter surrounded her like a cocoon; Red's harsh laughter that she knew from the temple grounds where the Queen knelt bound and wounded before her enemies, and Red commanded, “Slit her throat!” Now Kellenri fought for her life against the voice that commanded her to come.

Light seeped through boards in the cabin wall. With skill and caution she crept to the door and flung it open, aiming, even as her mind said, "no!". Most of the small room was filled with the Balor, next to a glowing portal – and it waited for her. She gave it no chance to summon tanarri. The intense battle of arrow, blade and fire was short, and left one dead; the other nearly so. Slumped against the cabin wall she tried to shut her mind to the cacophony of screams and words that flowed from the portal. Softly, hardly hearing herself, she hummed light into her being, fumbling for potions that brought healing enough to function.

First to shut the portal. All she had was her imbues. She fired them in quick succession, but it glowed in defiance when the flames cleared. The sounds stopped, but not the tug at her mind. Only her weakened state could explain what happened next. She leaned against the wall to settle in to shoot anything that came through until help came – then straightened and walked through the portal, as if it was what she intended to do.



[ Edited 01:38:59 PM 12/08/15 ]

Kellenri - Elven Archer, Tel'Varataurie, Weaver of Words. (Portrait) Kell Scribbles From the Journal There's No Business Like Gnoll Business Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves Weave, Source and Tainted Song
Icehelm - Northern Sword-Swinger "Live with Abandon!" Snaedottir's Saga
Gaelrien - Deep Woodland Spiritwalker Way of the Earth Servant - Lema en i'Ceventaur


Winner 2014 "Best Party (Group/gameplay RP): Maxim, Kellenri, Stroth and Merum"
Winner 2015 "Best Heroine: Kellenri" * "Best RPer" * "Best Forum Storyteller"
Winner 2016 "Best Forum Storyteller" * "Best Player-run Plot, Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves - with Corlupi"


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Corlupi
02:19:34 AM 12/09/15
Awooo
Registered Member #2942
Joined: 10:48:33 AM 11/27/12
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2665
They say that curiosity is the first step to hell, and in her case that step was about to become more than just proverbial. Everything had been carefully orchestrated, every tug and pull at her mind delicately applied to entice curiosity, and a pinch of suspicion, but not enough so as to breed fear or angst. She had to be lured and baited, not forced. Of course the wayward Balor had seen to ruin that perfectly composed act, but she had not walked away yet. No, she was still standing so very near to the glowing portal, tentative feet walking towards it, ears perched to its music, fingers reaching out to touch it.


Yeesss, Kellenri, hear my song. Hear me calling out to you. Come!


They say that enemies can be as intimately acquainted as old lovers; in fact, little separates them. Just as a lover knows every bend and curve of their companion's body, knows every rhythm of heart and breath of mouth, so do old enemies know each other; know their deepest fears, their innermost dreams and passions, their friends and closed ones, their strengths and weaknesses. To hunt for Kellenri was thus to ply a careful game of chess, every move more pivotal than the other. Did he know her well enough? Not as much as he would have liked, but he knew enough. He had watched, he had listened, he had gauged. Say one thing about Red, say he understands the stirrings of living hearts. After all, he had spent a lifetime as a bard. And so he watched through the other end of the portal, watching her come nearer, and nearer still, weary yet enspelled, hesitant yet desiring answers.


Just… one… more… step.

[ Edited 05:15:21 AM 12/14/15 ]

Preceding Payne since 2015.


Renneleth Margaladhon - Huntmaster, Hope-Bringer
Cassia Aurelia - Bloodguard
Sir Talorhend - Hellknight, Legio Cerberus
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Katana3DG
10:59:53 PM 12/09/15

Registered Member #17
Joined: 07:33:47 PM 02/24/04
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1364
Silent and unseen Ahron traveled quickly over the familiar terrain of the Feywood, his steps preternaturally quiet and graceful his senses attuned to the smallest detail as he tracked the familiar footfalls of his beloved.

The calm they had enjoyed was over, his senses told him that much. The signs were subtle still, familiar friends of the forest disturbed from their normal patterns creating an almost perceptible shift in the feel of the woods as if the forest itself were holding her breath awaiting some unknown danger.

Kellenri was overdue, which in of itself was not uncommon, but the news of a strange and magical battle a few days past in the Wield raised warnings in his mind and so he set out to find her. He stopped at a stream crossing, her trail turning to follow the water. Her gait was determined but unhurried and he could find no sign she was followed. Despite his concerns he had to smile at her determination as her trail led him throughout all of the wood, a patrol familiar to him as they often made it together. Through the wield and then stronghold he followed in her footsteps, into the north and back again through the west. He was about to continue again to the weild when the familiar pattern stopped and her steps became hesitant and uncertain. She turned to the woodland trail and he cursed his luck as her trail was lost amongst the others along the heavily traveled path.

He continued along the road searching for a familiar sign but there was none to be found and so he headed back to the stronghold to see if she had returned while he had searched. As he passed the now familiar wards around their home their connection to the source familiar and comforting but then he stopped... something was different!

The source called to all of those who could hear it's song, a connection to the land and to each of the hearts that lived and loved the wood. His own heart cried out as he realized what was wrong...

He could no longer hear her heartsong in the source... Kellenri was gone!

Andras D'arkkon, Keeper of Thain
Ahron Lierle'en, Tel'Varataurie, Feywood Ranger
Daron 'Vantalti, Dahakoan-Auraj
Liam Graysteel, Empyrean Squire.
Tanith Silvermoon, Paladin of Sune

“My friends, love is better than anger, hope is better than fear, optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” - Jack Layton
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Traveler121
11:51:29 AM 12/10/15
Registered Member #23855
Joined: 07:40:02 PM 06/13/14
Location: GMT -6
Posts: 431
Blood left her face at the muffled shrieks and wails that penetrated the room's closed door; wails she had heard no where but in one place, ever before. The spell, so carefully crafted, was withdrawn even as the portal disappeared, leaving sudden clarity in its wake. He wanted her alert. He wanted her to know. To experience fully the moments spent in this place, his domain, his dominion. That she was captive in the halls of Red's glory was clear as she observed in a moment the lavish furnishings, carved black marble, and demon motifs in fine woodwork. A richly carved table and two chairs signaled a pretense of civility – that there might be questions before anything else she would endure.

“Welcome, she-elf, to my humble domain". I will be with you shortly.”

A voice in an empty room. Bow in hand, arrow easily nocked and waiting for her draw, she stood unmoving until he appeared through the one door, oozing strength, evil, and a veneer of suave civility, taut over barely contained confident, bestial, sensate power.

“You might as well make yourself comfortable, yeeess?”

She feared she would be there a long time.


[edit color / word edit]

[ Edited 10:38:13 PM 12/11/15 ]

Kellenri - Elven Archer, Tel'Varataurie, Weaver of Words. (Portrait) Kell Scribbles From the Journal There's No Business Like Gnoll Business Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves Weave, Source and Tainted Song
Icehelm - Northern Sword-Swinger "Live with Abandon!" Snaedottir's Saga
Gaelrien - Deep Woodland Spiritwalker Way of the Earth Servant - Lema en i'Ceventaur


Winner 2014 "Best Party (Group/gameplay RP): Maxim, Kellenri, Stroth and Merum"
Winner 2015 "Best Heroine: Kellenri" * "Best RPer" * "Best Forum Storyteller"
Winner 2016 "Best Forum Storyteller" * "Best Player-run Plot, Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves - with Corlupi"


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Traveler121
10:01:39 PM 12/12/15
Registered Member #23855
Joined: 07:40:02 PM 06/13/14
Location: GMT -6
Posts: 431
Dancing

Her very soul was chilled, and she recoiled at his presence. Nearly she shot him there. But he was her one way out, if she lived. She had traversed the torture of the Abyss before, driven by need – need that was yet barely enough to command her will to journey through its horrors, in the company of some who stood as heroes in her mind. She would never make it out alone. And she feared more than her flesh and bones would be lost, if she fell there. She stood absolutely still.

Welcome, Kellenri of the Forest. You really ought not step into places from whence you can't return. I thought we might as well get acquainted. Proper social etiquette and all that, yeeess?

He gave a little smile as he approached, greeting her as one might a guest. She struggled to reconcile the veneer of courtesy that was at chilling variance with the image of bloodshed the tiefling had imprinted on her. Drawing on inner resources flowing from Source and the thought of all she loved, she mastered her fear and stood composed, in the opulent sterility of the room that held nothing organic; no living beauty. The preliminaries were soon over; the elf responding with few words, in fencing that revealed little for either part. At last, white faced though she did not know it, she took the offered chair, bow with arrow dangling easily in one hand, ready for an instant's draw. She pushed away the elven wine he offered and watched his black eyes silently, through her dark lashed, narrowed grey ones.

"What is it you think we have to speak of demon?"

More pleasantries. Imposing and elegant, he talked of elven wine and other things, and drew out the time they lingered there, but came at last to the point.

What is it you think that you can possibly gain by being in my way?

"I am not the only one in your way. And we prevailed against you -- and more than you once." That cannot be all he seeks to know! her mind warned.

True, and true. Yet my question remains unanswered, what do -you- gain by being in my way? Let me tell you what I see...

They danced in words together of the hearts of wolves, some that hunt without mercy for food they seek; some that harbor with utter fierceness the drive to protect the pack. The weak wolf who falls to arrows or ravening beasts, and the one who is not slain..... because he senses but cannot see what he only thought was prey..... and did not attack, that time. They danced in words of the hunter and the hunted, beast, prey, tiefling and elf, across the hours while lost ones wailed behind the door; and in the subtlest of ways, their connection deepened.

I see a huntress, a she-wolf in the guise of some woodland sentinel...I see the thrill and the passion that ensues when you shoot an arrow.

"Do you always delude yourself so badly? But then, you have seen me shoot at little – but demonspawn!"

It was loathing that guided her aim when she shot demon kind – for the pain they had tracked through Thain's settlements.... for the Queen.... for Draxus.... Wy'tear'rap... And she shot with determination to protect the elves she loved. But it was not the hunt for it's own sake that moved her, nor the promise of gold or other things that often drive the hearts of Thain's beings. He pressed her, seeking the wellsprings of her passion, to know what made her move, to respond to life. Corellon protect! He was skilled with words! "Show him nothing!" railed her mind – and she dodged, fencing with skill of her own, behind the shield of her words. She did not speak of what she guarded, and what drove her; but focused the talk on him, even as he pressed her.

At least I dispense with pretense. I am what I am. But you, you could become more.

The Way of the Elvhanon, to live in cycles... All balance and harmony and not leaving a single echo of yourself behind when you die. What glory is there in that? What thrill?


"What is it you truly seek – you of no pretense – ?" She watched him through narrowed eyes.

The faint smile gave no warning to prepare her for his answer.

It was as if the floor fell out from under her as she sat, and her mind reeled, even as she sought purchase on any solid place in herself to right the tables that he had turned on her. That he would seek her to kill her she had known since the wood whispered that he hunted her, and he sent his minions to do his bidding at the Stronghold gate. She had reconciled herself to that fact of her life, and was vigilant, but undismayed. There were worse things.... and this was one of them. That he would seek this had not entered her mind, through the veil of her attention to the elves and the woods. A blind spot dangerous to more than her alone. Her one free hand clenched the leather on her knee, as she ignored the chill in her spirit and willed her senses to focus. She did not know the telltale sign of her face whitened yet more, even as she did not flinch, and denied him outward emotion. Her mind willed her to believe: "He lies!"



[ Edited 12:22:46 PM 01/11/16 ]

Kellenri - Elven Archer, Tel'Varataurie, Weaver of Words. (Portrait) Kell Scribbles From the Journal There's No Business Like Gnoll Business Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves Weave, Source and Tainted Song
Icehelm - Northern Sword-Swinger "Live with Abandon!" Snaedottir's Saga
Gaelrien - Deep Woodland Spiritwalker Way of the Earth Servant - Lema en i'Ceventaur


Winner 2014 "Best Party (Group/gameplay RP): Maxim, Kellenri, Stroth and Merum"
Winner 2015 "Best Heroine: Kellenri" * "Best RPer" * "Best Forum Storyteller"
Winner 2016 "Best Forum Storyteller" * "Best Player-run Plot, Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves - with Corlupi"


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Corlupi
03:39:53 AM 12/14/15
Awooo
Registered Member #2942
Joined: 10:48:33 AM 11/27/12
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2665
27 Years Ago


I AM


I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed


Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.


I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.


- John Clare



He could have wept at hearing that poem sung so beautifully, words poured not from the mouth, but the soul. But lo, no, it was not just the pristine delivery of the words, it was the words themselves. They spoke to him, oh how they spoke to him. Was there mockery there: I am—yet what I am none cares or knows; My friends forsake me like a memory lost? The Elven bard had strung together several overpowering performances that evening, but none so moving as this last song, the words resonating in the deepest chambers of the heart, the boundless depths of the soul. The Elf was seated on a high chair, woven from long slender apple tree branches, as exquisite and nimble as the creature seated upon it, perfect slender fingers caressing the strings on his instrument, limbs and pose dignified and stately, visage exalted, the creature itself perfection made flesh. Every once in a while those iridescent almond eyes would dart his way, just a glimpse, but laden with enough scorn to last a lifetime. What exultancy it would be to live in the flesh of a creature so flawless, so timelessly beautiful. He would give everything; to walk the world unmasked and unhiding, to bathe in the adulation and admiration of those around you. What heavenly wreath of golden light it must be to behold that perfect aspect in the mirror, to not see repulsion, but beauty. But as it is with the most wistful of dreams, they forever remain so, just dreams. Announcing the next performance, the ringmaster crumbled his dreams to ruins: "Behold, from the deepest pits of the Nether World, a creature so monstrous it feeds on the souls of women and children, horns for face, tail for arse! I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, The Red Horror!" And they rolled his cage onto the scene. Like the Elf, he enjoyed the attention of every single eye. But here was no admiration, not even curiosity. Here was only loathing.


Now..



And there she was, an Elf. The memories of that buried past came flooding back, a thundering eco, that hidden but never forgotten past passing by in flashing review. Kellenri. So fragile and delicate.. and yet so fierce and unrelenting. Beautiful. He had not expected her to come here, and certainly not alone. He had lured her and baited her, but he did not for one instance suspect she would brave the portal to step into his world. He was at a loss for words at her courage, at the same time vexed and intrigued. He fenced words with her, yeeess, letting his speech dance to rehearsed rhythms, but that was merely a veneer. Beneath his theatrical guise, face folded in just the right way and words spoken in just the right tempo, he had to admit to unease. Unease at her courage, and unease at how much she reminded him of that Elf bard from so many years ago; that beauty he could never hope to have. No, not him. Not the monster. Not the self-consumer of own woes. Lo, they rise and vanish in oblivious host; Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes; And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.


"What is it you truly seek – you of no pretense – ?" She watched him through narrowed eyes.


A pause. A pause that seemed to stretch for eternity. What to say? How to answer? He could have retorted in smart ways, composed soliloquies to vex and puzzle, but to what end? In the end, the truth was so much simpler.


"You. I want you, Kellenri."

[ Edited 07:04:41 AM 12/14/15 ]

Preceding Payne since 2015.


Renneleth Margaladhon - Huntmaster, Hope-Bringer
Cassia Aurelia - Bloodguard
Sir Talorhend - Hellknight, Legio Cerberus
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Katana3DG
07:35:27 AM 12/15/15

Registered Member #17
Joined: 07:33:47 PM 02/24/04
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1364
The sudden desperate pain threatened to overwhelm him as he sought out her song again, he clutched at his chest as if a wound had torn a bloody gash through to his heart. The thought she might be dead was just too much to bear and he fell to his knees with the power of the emotion. His vision began to blur as tears filled his eyes and precious moments passed before he remembered the exercises the monks at the monastery had taught him. He shuttered through deep calming breaths as he tried to focus his mind and silence his fears, shutting out all around him until he was once again in control.

Ahron stood and quickly made his way to the gates of the stronghold and spied his friend, the druid Lerenmar, standing guard. He quickly approached, and after a brief exchange they both left with urgent purpose and returned quickly to the gate before making their way to the Woodland Trail. Lerenmar reached out to the Great Mother and asked for her aid in their task and soon a woodland boar came to his side across the bridge from the forest. Speaking quietly to the animal as only druids can, Lerenmar explained to his companion what they needed of him and then Ahron brought one of Kellenri's garments to his snout. The little pig quickly caught her scent and followed it around the wall to the edge of the Adumbral and then back again towards the Longroad. Once they found where her trail left the busy road Ahron once again was able to follow her footfalls and they entered the southern woods.

Her uncertain steps became more sure as they traveled north and then they became almost frantic, moving from tree to tree as if she were seeking cover, Ahron hurried ahead and nearly stumbled over the body of Mers laying unconscious on the forest floor. He knelt beside the human and checked to see if there was any sign of life. There was a weak pulse and Ahron called out to Lerenmar to care for the ranger as he continued to follow Kellenri towards Mers's little shack.

As he approached the cabin he caught the unmistakable scent of brimstone seeping from the still cracked open door. Drawing his blades Ahron crept silently inside the cabin and found it empty except for a glowing blue portal. Dark scorch marks marred much of the cabin and ichor and blood stained the floor hinting at the violence that happened within. He followed the blood trail until it ended at the portal then steeling himself, Ahron gripped his blades tightly and stepped in... nothing happened! Again he stepped across the magical threshold and again the portal failed. "Kellenri!" he called out in frustration, "Kellenri!!!"

Whatever transpired was long over and so he sheathed his weapons and returned to where Lerenmar was tending to Mers in hope that the ranger might be able to shed some light on what happened to his beloved. The guardian of the south woods was near death when they found him but the druid called once again upon the Great Mother and healed the worst of his wounds. He was no longer in danger but it would be some time before he would again awaken.

Ahron stood guard as Lerenmar returned to the stronghold for help, his thoughts returned to the portal in the cabin and he considered what it meant, but knowledge of such magic was beyond him... he would need help to discover Kellenri's fate.

[ Edited 02:19:00 PM 12/15/15 ]

Andras D'arkkon, Keeper of Thain
Ahron Lierle'en, Tel'Varataurie, Feywood Ranger
Daron 'Vantalti, Dahakoan-Auraj
Liam Graysteel, Empyrean Squire.
Tanith Silvermoon, Paladin of Sune

“My friends, love is better than anger, hope is better than fear, optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” - Jack Layton
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Traveler121
02:45:58 PM 12/16/15
Registered Member #23855
Joined: 07:40:02 PM 06/13/14
Location: GMT -6
Posts: 431
Choices

You. I seek you....I find your ferocity, your tenacity... thrilling.

His words flowed crawling over her skin, words that sang of captivity and chained life.

What if I could offer you more than you can ever find in your forest, among your kinsmen, and in the words of your gods...Wouldn't you, Kellenri? To live by passion and be at someone's side who will never hold you back, only propel you towards ever greater summits?

Then for a moment in that terrible place her heart almost laughed, as a thousand knowings surfaced to bear her company. She had passions Red would never know... Born of sun on skin when the dawn breaks in just that way, and the birds sing in chorus, and the flowers release the scent of their bonding. Of a bear fiercely guarding her cubs, and the wolf as it hunted. The response in all of her being to the unspeakable beauty of union with life in the woods. Beneath her quiet surface, her spirit knew such passion that it would wear her fabric apart, if her being were not also woven of light. What – what could a tiefling wielding death think to offer her that she did not have? The only passions that she could want, were already hers. Abstract did he say? Ahron's face came before her, and with it memories of their first tender touch, at last following their heartsong; and nearly her body screamed with longing, to share that touch again, just—one—more—time...!

Sharply she pushed the image away, lest her face betray her heart. He must never know her maelamin existed. As if from a distance, she heard her voice.

"Do not pretend to offer me something of which you know – nothing! You think our passion is Abstract? I could speak of what is -not- abstract, of the beauty in our world, our hearts. But I will not, and will deny you that at least – the deepest knowledge of what I hold dear. Nay Red. I do not wish your summits. And I have passion enough that my arrows will stick in your craw e'er one of us dies. And not you, but Corellon will have my soul!"

You think I want your soul? No, not yours, and never against your will.

A moments surprise, at the quiet of his words, bereft of acrimony.

*The man-demon rises to his feet, bottom of coat swishing this way and that. He produces a golden gem from his sleeve, and offers it in an open palm* It is your only way home. He tossed it to the floor, a golden gateway.

Was it a trap? The road to her prison cell? "Is it so easy, that I decline you and walk away?"

Yeeess, but know what you decline. *and with sinuous speed he leans in, very very close, lips almost touching hers, warm brimstone breath on her skin. Whispers:* What I could give you, no-one else can. No-one!

With a small gasp that straightened her body, her head moved back just enough to avoid his, that breathed hunger onto her skin. Then she was on her feet, drawn bow between them, Song and Weave flowing in her perfect aim.

*He laughed at the irony.* You would shoot me because I want you?

"I saw the folk of Hamley cut down in their tracks -- we were too late. I remember the blood on the snow in the Northlands! Do not speak of what you can give me. I have seen it!" For that I would shoot you!

As do I. Blood for blood, as they say. I remember a minstrel who's fingers were broken so he was forever denied his harp, his throat cut so his voice would not return. But no-one else does.

Like a slap on the face, for a quickened moment there was a flicker in her eyes that widened with this new knowledge of her enemy. She too was a bard.

No-one pities or upholds justice for the sake of the wretched, the misformed and the wrong-blooded. You are lucky to have your kin, Kellenri, daughter of the Forest. All I have... is me.

"You are wrong tiefling. There are those who pity and act on it, though perhaps they are too few. And you chose your deeds. You chose! And the toll was very great."

He spoke of fate, the inevitable, of a life without choice, and a song unfolded behind him of torment that tugged dimly at her mind. She hesitated.

On a knife edge she balanced, while the screams beyond the door rose and fell. For a moment time stopped, as she considered what it would take to protect the woods and those she loved. Pain of longing washed over her, as the thought came, "If I stay here, he will stop with this. He will leave them alone!"

"He will not promise that. And He lies!"

"I could stay. If I stay they will be safe! And the woods will not bleed with his wrath!" Anguish, as the possibility of endless days here stretched before her.

"If I stay—"

"Their pain is not safety. And he will seek them and kill them anyway, and the woods still will not be safe!" She saw as if he were there, the agony in her maelamin's eyes. She was cut from his heartsong in this place, but knew...already he must seek her.

Locked in her own struggle, she held to failing strength as this rune dangled before her. If she fell to her knees now as weakness bid, her chance for choice was lost, and Red would have her. Then would he be satisfied, and leave the elves alone forever?

Nay, her kin would come, and be changed by the horrors of the Abyss, at the very least of their sacrifice. And they might die here, and their souls be lost forever. And Red would still war with the woods. And nothing would have been gained.

A moment's clarity. "It is you who are wrong Red. And now I will choose freedom. And I will remain by the portal until it fades, so that none follow. If you send your balors I will kill them."

I will not be denied on account of my blood. Not ever. I shall remake the world if I have to, with blood. And if you walk through that portal, Kellenri, our next encounter will not be pleasant. Tenna' ento lye omenta.

Even as her decision was made, she flinched at hearing him speak her tongue.

Then, in an astonishing gesture of gentleness, he held out a pair of bracers, of exquisite elven make, shimmering with magic, offered toward her wrists. When she would not take them from his hand, he slid them across the table, revealing blisters where he had touched them.

They will not contaminate you. His bitterness was palpable.

At last she picked them up, to return them to her people. "May the Abyss hold you Red. It gives you a throne."

It will not. We shall be seeing each other very soon, Kellenri.

She stepped into the golden light of the floor.

______________________________


Coming from the abyss left her nearly dead, and a demon followed. "They ooze from that plane," she thought coldly, as she bent her bow and shot. "How can I close this?" The demon dispelled, she was surprised to find she had been clawed a little. It was the last thing she she saw before she fell by the portal.



[ Edited 12:23:11 PM 01/11/16 ]

Kellenri - Elven Archer, Tel'Varataurie, Weaver of Words. (Portrait) Kell Scribbles From the Journal There's No Business Like Gnoll Business Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves Weave, Source and Tainted Song
Icehelm - Northern Sword-Swinger "Live with Abandon!" Snaedottir's Saga
Gaelrien - Deep Woodland Spiritwalker Way of the Earth Servant - Lema en i'Ceventaur


Winner 2014 "Best Party (Group/gameplay RP): Maxim, Kellenri, Stroth and Merum"
Winner 2015 "Best Heroine: Kellenri" * "Best RPer" * "Best Forum Storyteller"
Winner 2016 "Best Forum Storyteller" * "Best Player-run Plot, Mereth en Draugrim-Feast of Wolves - with Corlupi"


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Corlupi
09:06:07 AM 01/11/16
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Joined: 10:48:33 AM 11/27/12
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2665
27 Years Ago


I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.


To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.


Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trail’d its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.



The birds around me hopp'd and play'd,
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure.


The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.


If this belief from Heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?


- William Wordsworth



The elven bard carefully set down his lute, letting it sink into a sea of velvet silk inside the mahogany case. He had inherited the lute from his father, and his father from his father, and given he was Elf-kind and Elves enjoyed preternatural lifespans, the lute could easily have been at least a thousand years old. Still, it retained all of its original luster, an instrument carved with such fabled skill and care that it defied age and use, its strings singing with such haunting tunes it made grown men weep. To listen to Effenys's song and music was to know a world beyond worlds, a world of impossible love and infinite sorrow. Humans said an Elf's greatest achievement was his magic, spells woven from the heart of the weave, but this was not true. The truth was, when distilled to its purest form, true magic was not a release of elemental energy or the gift to return to life those who had departed from it; no, in its simplest form, magic was words. And Effenys understood better than anyone that worlds and fates were not shaped by sword or spell, they were shaped by words. That was a bard's greatest gift, to mesmerize kings and unravel the stony hearts of stoics with but a few soft words and intricate strokes of a lute.


"I know you are watching me, creature." Effenys addressed no-one in particular, but his eyes were fixed on the shadows gathering beyond the window of his room. No-one answered, but no-one needed to. Effenys knew his unseen guest was to be found on his usual perch, skulking on the branches of the tree outside, never visible, but always heralded by the barest whiffs of brimstone. Demon-breed. To Effenys's impossibly refined senses, he could smell the Tiefling monstrosity from miles away. What a ghastly insult this creature was to all things made by the grace of Nature. Horns, a tail, fangs and barbs for teeth. Hideous. If it were up to Effenys, and what a terrible shame that it was not, this pit-spawned fiend would be infinitely caged. Instead it was let out every once in a while to roam with all impudence, and of course it would wind its way outside Effenys's window to lend its malformed ear to his music. "You are a loathsome creature. What is it that you hope for; that you can disappear into my music and find therein deliverance? That you can find beauty, that which is forever denied to you, in my songplay? No, monster. You will find no pity or consolation with me. I defy and deny you, now and always."


Now...



"No, Red. I defy and deny you, now and always."
Kellenri's words. How funny that even after all these years, after monumental achievements and ascents to the topmost echelons of Abyssal power, those few words could erode all prestige and leave him shuddering and shunned, that same lonely boy skulking outside a bard's window, hoping for something he could never be, grasping for things he could never reach. And so he was left hollowed out – or perhaps he always was, and the embroidered clothes, the bejeweled trinkets and all the fame in the world merely a filler for the endless void festering at the roots of his heart – watching Kellenri disappear into the portal. But what did he expect? Was he really foolish enough to think that he could explain himself to her, that he could take out his pain, show it to her, and expect understanding, let alone compassion? No. She was Elf-kind, and like Effenys Kellenri would always loathe his kind with a particular kind of insistence; never able to look past his horns and tail.


"You think I leave misery in my wake for its own sake!?" He screamed at the portal, all vestiges of civility and control long abandoned. "Did you ever pause to consider that all it ever took from your part was a kind word and my course would have been reversed!? Loathing is all you could ever dispense with. But I, too, know to loathe. I breathe it. Curse you, Elf-wench, and all your kin!"



"MERETH EN DRAUGRIM, ELEDHWEN! NIN FARA LE ANMAMA!"




[ Edited 02:11:12 PM 01/11/16 ]

Preceding Payne since 2015.


Renneleth Margaladhon - Huntmaster, Hope-Bringer
Cassia Aurelia - Bloodguard
Sir Talorhend - Hellknight, Legio Cerberus
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