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January 2010 Grab-Bag Writings & Art

krwordgazer

Here are the elements for January:

-real life scenario/event (eg. falling from stairs-dream-landmark)
-breaking free from one's parents
-a gift
-an accident
-secretly love
-a new creature (eg. never seen before animal-mutant)

All works must be related to Elfquest, whether canon-based, original character, alternate universe, or whatever. Writings must contain all the above elements. Art can either contain all the elements, or illustrate one of the writings.

Have fun, and Happy New Year!

RedheadEmber

Slightly longer than my previous ones... Here comes

The Lovers

What do you see in me, my love?
You should not
Have to do this
Hiding away with a boy
When you could have a man
Any man
With pride

My love
You know
I am doing this for you
I cannot always be
Daddy’s little girl
Though he does not approve
I love you more than any

Then accept this gift
A token for our love
I know it’s hardly worthy
For someone such as you

It’s beautiful my love
Reminds me of a dream
I had so long ago
Of people who came together
From all corners
Of a very strange world
Talking in ways
I cannot describe
About something which they all
Held dear in their hearts

Then my sweet beloved
Come runaway with me
Let us leave this place
So they can all see
This love of ours
Is no accident

Always
My beloved
I’ll follow where you go
Even into this
Dark and scary place
Now look at this my dear
These little sweet winged creatures

faeriegirl

Like it!

...still need to start on my piece... but have exams this week and next... kinda glad that the elves don't bother me right now but actually let me study :P

Embala

:clap: Surprising choice, Redhead - though in review it fits just perfect! Love your twist for the "real life" element :twisted:

TrollHammer

Nice, Ember, perhaps they are the pair in my story? Grin

Just a quick word about a name in my story, it seems to obvious of a EQ name for it not to be in someone else's story, but I'm not good with names and thought it up as it fit the weather today. So, if there is another 'Hail" out there, if figure that there could be more than one and I'm not trying to draw any parallels. If they fit, so much the better! Enjoy the *ahem* shorter, one part story...

Hail was the youngest of a splinter tribe of Wolfriders. This semi-nomadic tribe traced its roots to a family that stayed on the edge of the Frozen Mountains that did not wish to follow the rest of the Go-Backs. Perhaps wolf-blood ran a little truer than that of the Go-Backs, perhaps they didn’t feel the urge to press on through the cold as had the rest. The story had not been passed along down the countless generations that had followed. It was probably an increase in ties to the planet, as they eventually felt a near non-existent draw to the palace and did not hear the call when Sunstream attained his abilities.

The tribe had remained small, and though it was sometime after the battle of the Shards, the tribe still numbered just three eights of the feral Elves. As they had wandered during the seasons and following game they had come across a valley that left them fairly isolated and free of the five fingers. There was little to be fearful of with exception of the larger bears and other wildlife, so what few long lived Elves there were roamed about the valley fairly free and unrestrained.

Hail was particularly free spirited. He’d only been born two eights of seasons ago, so he still was expected to stick around the den with the family. Countless times he’d gotten caught wandering the valley, especially up in the heights of the hills surrounding the area. Some wondered if he had curve-horn blood in him instead of wolf, as he could be seen from time to time scampering across the rocky peaks and ravines. He enjoyed the climb in much the same way as others enjoyed the hunt. He did indeed hunt himself, but he tended to be a bit pickier, preferring the challenging fuzz-bleats and curve-horns of the heights.

A season or two ago the flighty youth had crossed paths with a outcast Troll who had befriended him. The Troll seemed to have some knack with various forms of machinery. The Troll had worked up some climbing equipment for Hail that would aid him in climbing some of the steeper cliffs safely. It had been given to him to try out and keep.

He had run away from his den again, swearing that he’d not let his parents haul him back in until he’d proven to them that he could make it on his own. Today, he picked a striking set of fissured peaks to climb. As an added measure of rebellion he had chosen this particular climb in the forbidden end of the valley. No one would say why, but for as long as most could remember this was an area they avoided as though death were carved into the rocks themselves. There was nothing particularly inviting about the place either: nothing scurried about, the trees would not grow in the rocky soil, and there seemed to be a permanent shadow cast across the area as the sun’s arc seemed to avoid shining light here, leaving the rough stone cool.

“So much the better for me, seems like it’ll be a warm day for climbing.” Hail said to himself as he prepared his equipment. He scanned the cliff face, trying to estimate how many clips and spikes he’d need, if he’d need more rope. It just wouldn’t do to get halfway up and run out of something!

He made one last harness check and began the climb. The first half of the climb was like any other, a relative sprint up and passed the rubble at the base of the cliff, a careful walk up some larger shale up to the more solid vertical face of the cliff. He scanned the rock-face, trying to get one last look at what path he would take up the hillside. He was already up about where he should start to find nests before he pounded in a cleat to clip into.

As he ascended he found it odd that there were no nests. He thought about it a moment and realized he hadn’t seen a bird yet either! The whole area, nearly as far as he could see had been silent and still, not a single creature on or in the ground, or in the sky. He shrugged, figuring that this dark rock-face must just not get warm enough for anything to want to live here. He sure wouldn’t want to.

He climbed until mid-day, when he took a break to eat some of the food he’d brought with him. He didn’t usually eat much as there typically was stuff around to eat as he went. Bugs, eggs, small furry creatures living in the cliff-faces, but there was nothing here to eat, and not even remains if they had been eaten. It seemed odd to him that there was nothing at all! Perhaps there was some reason his parents and the others of the tribe avoided this place.

He pressed on however; as he had faith in his sturdy knife and there was little he couldn’t see from this vantage point. The view of the valley was one of the best he’d seen, with such clear skies and little haze he could nearly make details on the rise where his parent’s den was. He’d set out from there mid-day yesterday and picked up his gear in his hidey hole along the way.

He neared the crest of the lower fissures. The one he was following fanned out wide enough to sit in, and so he braced himself between the sides of the crack and inched his way up. He felt safer doing things this way, rather than hanging by fingers and toes. There wasn’t much further to go before he’d reach the top of this cliff and be able to take a break. The fissure paralleled another about an arm’s length away. He’d considered just hugging the resulting spire of stone, inching his way up as though it were an extremely large rope or a tree, but he remembered trying to climb a tree like that when he was younger. It hadn’t worked so well, as the bark had come loose and a tree branch had to break his fall. He was sure he still had a sore spot where the branch had hit him between the legs”¦

His reminiscing stopped short as he felt the pillar break loose below him. As his back was against the side that was still attached to the cliff face he didn’t have much option other than to try to twist and clutch for a purchase as he fell. The stone pillar tumbled free down the rock face and Hail was dismayed to see it smash through his line below. If the line didn’t hold up here near the top, he was done for!

As he passed his previous tie-in his heart sank even faster as he saw the rope run free through the clip. He scrambled to try to grab the speeding rope as he fell further, got a finger on it, and immediately regretted it. The rope burned the finger even as he rolled the serpentine rope into his palm to get a grip. He was able to get both hands on the rope and gripped hard, tearing a hole in his lip as he bit through part way in pain. He bounced once as he fell, swinging out wide from the cliff so as his grip caught on the rope it sucked him into the wall. He hit hard, and as his head slammed into stone the loud SNAP he heard nearly deafened him. It was only the ridge of his ear that broke, but the sharp sting that followed made him wish it had knocked him cold.

He retained his grip, however, and he hung there reeling from the shock. The equipment had worked as it needed to, even with the damaged caused by the falling debris. Eventually, he recovered enough to think through what he needed to do. His clan had done away with the ”˜no magic’ rule imposed by Two-Spear, and there was a healer that should be able to fix him up within a day’s walk. The bad thing was, the healer was close friends with his parents and he’d probably end up back home. Puckernuts!

He got the rope tied in properly again and set it up in a kind of rope swing he usually used when he wanted to eat or take a break, and carefully looked himself over. Rope-burns on both hands, a broken ear, some other bruises and scrapes”¦ it could have been way worse! He collected himself and thought about his options.

The ear hurt, but wouldn’t kill him if he left it for now, it was his hands he needed to use for climbing, and he was so close to the top! He’d need them to get down too, so perhaps up was quicker with a long hike back down? He wrapped them in strips of leather cut from his sleeves and set back to work climbing. The excitement of finishing the climb quickly pushed out thoughts of pain as he finished the last short bit. Cresting the cliff-edge, his ear throbbed back to the forefront as the tip brushed against a stone when he crawled up. He’d have to be more careful!

He took a deep breath and looked out at the view with a sigh. The heavily forested valley laid out before him into the distance, and the greens of the trees peaked out from the mists of fog at the far end. Other than this small amount of low clouds the sky was spotless. It was as though he could see forever. His sharp eyes could make out details so fine and so far away it seemed like a dream.

He stayed there for a while to rest, enjoying the view. As the sky darkened a bit and the first stars began to pop out of their hiding places, he stared at the larger moon, almost starting to wonder about what it was. His tribe never thought much about the sky, other than to plan a bit for weather, but it really was nice to look at from time to time. This wasn’t one of those times however; as it was getting dark and he had a long trek home. He looked around trying to decide which would be the quickest path to the healers. He’d all but resigned himself to the idea he was going to end up back with his parents soon, failing at even keeping himself safe. He turned to start walking back down the path that looked shortest.

A wind nearly knocked him off the cliff! A scaly wing whipped over his head as a huge beast burst up from the rocks. The nearly birdlike creature glared at him as it alit on the cliff in front of him and pressed him back against the irregular cliff top. It peered at him, as though it was wondering which end to begin eating him from.

He started muttering to the creature, as though it could understand, perhaps hoping it could. “I’ve not really had the best day, and it just wouldn’t do to be eaten on top of it. Perhaps some other time?” His flippant remark just kind of slipped out without a thought, since this beast was easily four times his size.

The creature paused, replying, “But you have no issue with me eating you later?” The voice was strange as it emerged from the serpentine neck. “If I had known you were able to speak I’d not even considered you prey, but if you are offering it may save me from having to find dinner some day!”

Hail blinked, trying to think about what he’d just witnessed. He almost shook his head to clear the dazzling sight. The animal stood on bent rear legs, almost in a crouch, and had forelimbs with claws almost like fingers. Iridescent scales covered the shoulders and hips where the limbs joined the body. The scales thinned out on the body, which was more leather-like. A strip of dark scraggly fur ran from under the large jaw down the neck and thinned out on the chest. The nose and jaw was quite pronounced, fully half the length of the head. Overall, the animal was thin with an oddly wide, flat back where the wings tied in just behind the shoulders. The rear feet were wide and flat with a single curved claw in the rear, nearly as long as Hail’s arm. As it spoke its breath felt like fire, the heat rolling over his face and making his ear ache again. He winced.

“Are you in pain?” the animal asked.

“A bit. I took a tumble as I climbed the cliff”¦. But it’s not going to kill me or anything!” he added quickly, worried whether or not the beast was actually wishing to eat him at some point.

“That is good”¦” the creature stepped out and off the cliff-top, dropped along the face and circled back. “”¦but why did you climb? You do not look particularly suited for it.”

“It”¦ looked like it would be fun. I always climb whenever I can, and have since I can remember.” It was odd that the subject went from food to pastimes.

“Ah, it would not have occurred to me”¦.” It said, rippling its wings with a flourish to punctuate that it had no need to climb. “and now that you have climbed, what do you do next?”

“Usually, I just look around for something to eat and sleep for the night if it’s late. Then I climb down. Usually my parents drag me back home.” He rolled his eyes.

“Hmm,” was all that the beast responded with. Bobbing his head a little it turned and looked in the direction Hail had been headed. “You have stated that you are injured, does that change what you plan to do?”

“Yes, I was going to hike down”¦” he pointed passed the animal, “that direction, and then I was going to seek out a healer.”

“Perhaps it would be more prudent to fly to this healer? I believe I could carry you.” The dragon-like creature took a step, clicking its rear claws on the stone.

“Uh, no thank you, I’m not really feeling like getting punctured as well.” Hail glanced nervously at the claws.

The animal looked in the direction Hail had, saw its own claws and stared back at hail, almost touching him nose to nose for a moment and backed away. “I was offering for you to climb onto my back, or perhaps I could hold you like this?” it motioned as though cradling Hail in its arms, which would have been more than adequate. Hail had been used to seeing birds of prey carrying off food, so these thoughts hadn’t occurred to him.

“Well, I suppose that might work”¦”

The beast carefully bundled him up in its arms and flew off in the direction Hail had indicated. Hail struck up a conversation. “So, if you’re going to go to this much effort, may I ask if you have a name?”

“Yes”

“That name would be”¦?”

“One-who-feasts-on-those-who-live-on-cliffs” it said, as though this was nothing strange.

“That’s quite the mouthful, could we shorten it a bit”¦, say to Cliff?” Hail wondered if this creature would take offense and drop him onto the valley floor below.

“If you wish. I do not know why though, as I am not a cliff!” One-who-feasts-on-those-who-live-on-cliffs responded

Hail wished he could stare at himself a moment feeling like he was speaking to a flying rock. “And I’m not a hailstorm, but I am known as Hail.”

“If you say so, it is so, Hail that is not hail!” Cliff flew on.

“Are there others of your kind, er, Cliff? Why have we not seen you or others like you around?” Hail inquired.

“I am not like my kindred, as I prefer to fly the day-sky and soar in the up-currents of the heights! As my namesake, I prefer the challenge of hunting morsels on the tall faces, or rushing down on prey from above. The others of my kind are few and scattered, hunted by five fingers for no reason; they fly at night and as far from others as possible. My parents did not wish me to do as I do, but I cannot stop being myself!”

“I know what you mean”¦” Hail remembered his own predicament. He told Cliff about it, how his parents did not like him climbing either. They shared stories as they traveled, arriving at the healer’s place rather quicker than Hail would have thought.

“Perhaps your healer may help my pain as well?” Cliff looked at Hail, an odd teetering of its head as though it was uncertain.

“We can see, but I don’t know how they will feel seeing you. Perhaps you should lay down?” Hail nodded as Cliff did so and entered the den.

The healer shook his aged head and got to work on Hail while he listened to Hail’s story. He patched up Hail’s ear and soothed his hands, leaving most of the rest for the moment. He saved this strength and went out to look at this new friend Hail had brought. Surprisingly, the healer did not act as though there was anything odd for Hail to bring him such a creature, and set to probing Cliff for ailments.

It didn’t take him long to set back and shake his head. “I tell you what, it’ll be a while! This one’s seriously messed up inside, and worn out from carrying you on top of it! I’m surprised it made it here! I can patch him up though; it’ll just take a bit. Go inside and warm up. I’ll be in to rest in a few hours.” Without waiting, he reached around the beast and began meditating.

Hail felt bad about Cliff going to that trouble, but it sounded like it’d be ok. A grin spread across his face as it hit him: hours alone inside with Blueriver! The healer’s daughter was just a few seasons older than he was, and the first to be born for a long, long time before that. It seemed only natural for them to have interest in each other, but there was something”¦ he couldn’t put his finger on it since no one had said they couldn’t be together, but they still seemed to like sneaking off alone when they could. It was almost like some kind of game, trying to keep anyone from knowing.

He went inside as he was told and had fun whispering with Blueriver by the fire as the healer worked Cliff over. “Healer,” Cliff asked, “what you said to Hail about me was not true. I am not tired. Why did you say so?”

The healer grinned. “We know that, but he doesn’t have to, just as he doesn’t know that I know he’s sweet on my daughter! Let them have their secret and we’ll get these tendons fixed up! You healed pretty well on your own, but I can tell they’re giving you a lot of pain.” The old healer went on like this as he worked his magic. He was actually quite a strong healer but usually feigned that he needed more rest than he did, as he’d been raised in the old ways and felt people needed to learn from their mistakes.

This was something else, though, and he would spend quite a while learning how this wonderful beast came to be, asking Cliff as much as feeling the answers in the flesh.

As whispers were spoken in the house, the past was explored in the night between healer and healed.

G0lden

Love the poem Red. :D

Great stories TrollHammer and Tymber, love them both. :D

RedheadEmber

Quote:
Embala

:clap: Surprising choice, Redhead - though in review it fits just perfect! Love your twist for the "real life" element :twisted:



Thanks! :D

faeriegirl

Love your stories both, Trollhammer and Tymber!

...still trying to decide if I want to poke the elves for my story now, or better focus on my exams first...

RedheadEmber

Nice story TrollHammer :D

jeb

For once I have no doubt who Redhead's poem was about.

Trollhammer - Interesting story. I have to admit that although I enjoyed your two-edge story I often found it hard to follow. This one seemed a lot easier to read.

Tymber - Provocative look at the Pridewalkers. They seem to be almost the anti-EQ ideology. I haven't been reading your stories long enough to really know the characters so it's sort of surprising to see Stillbreeze taking such an commanding role.

faeriegirl

Grin she probably didn't have time to read yours yet, Tymber ;)

anyways, I have an exam tomorrow morning, plus my driving theory test thursday afternoon. Last exam is next week tuesday. I'll.... see what I can do in the meantime ;)
Have a vague idea already, but it seems like the elves haven't found out yet, since they haven't been bugging me yet ;)

faeriegirl

Quote:
Tymber

[quote:69cb2e6a17="faeriegirl"]Grin she probably didn't have time to read yours yet, Tymber ;)



Hah! I was actually just teasing! I actually don't expect my stories to get read much! First, it's fanfic. Not everyone has a taste for reading fanfic, even if they do write it. Second, it's not even based on the canon characters of ElfQuest, so what interest may be there to read fanfic may rapidly vanish since there's no personal connection for the reader! :)[/quote:69cb2e6a17]
I know! ;)
And personally, I like reading about other characters then the original EQ ones, especially when they're written as good as yours :) *hugs*

faeriegirl

*is innocent* I wonder all the time! What did I do, why do you adore me? :P

Embala

As usual - Embala Virus strikes again Tongue





click to see full sized



No doubt about the lovers as far as I'm concerned!

I appologize for having connected some lines :oops: - it wouldn't fit with the "layout" otherwise Unhappy

TrollHammer

Quote:
jeb

Trollhammer - Interesting story. I have to admit that although I enjoyed your two-edge story I often found it hard to follow. This one seemed a lot easier to read.



Quote:
Tymber

Interesting read. Will Hail be in future segments?



I'm glad you found it interesting, it wasn't really what I was intending to write about at all when I sat down yesterday. I'd intended to work up another story that had been working in the back of my mind but I didn't want to focus too much on Two-Edge who was again the main character. Without him, it all broke down and built back up as what came out. As such, I have no idea if Hail the climber will be back. The goal had been to add a form of dragon as that was the only stereotype of the standard 'elves, trolls, faries, dragons, witches, etc' that seemed to be missing (though the Neverending seem close) Just goofing around.

Do people prefer serials here, or just what comes out?

Quote:
faeriegirl

*is innocent* I wonder all the time! What did I do, why do you adore me? :P



Who doesn't?

Of course, most everyone here is an awesome part of this community, no downers!

faeriegirl

Aargh! My exam isn't over yet! Story will have to wait another day! Wink

TrollHammer

Quote:


Aargh! My exam isn't over yet! Story will have to wait another day! Wink







Good Luck!

faeriegirl

Thanks! Exam finished now, was 'this' morning! So I hope to settle down tomorrow, and hopefully do some writing...

I bumped a wonderful story about Dart's decision to stay in Sorrow's End, I was thinking of doing that for the grab-bag. But then I remembered this story, and now I'm in doubt... I think I'm just gonna reread a bunch of EQ, and then decide what to do Smile Hopefully I'll get new inspiration :D

TrollHammer

You can always write a different perspective on the situation, perhaps an observer's thoughts or something, perhaps a fill a gap in the story? I'm not recalling the instance right off. Still, as I sat down to write one story, a different one popped out this month, so perhaps the same may happen anyway? Doesn't matter, as long as you have fun with it!

*Sits back waiting with more anticipation than I had for the re-launch*

We'll read it when it gets here!

faeriegirl

Well, no more waiting, then! Here it is!
Because when I wrote about rereading stuff, this one popped out... I do like to write about lesser-known parts, I think Wink
It's not the best I've written, but I guess it's ok. I think it's too much of the comic, not enough added. But anyway...
Here is the other side of...

Hero worship, version 1 (version 2 is on page 5)

“So, daughter... you persist in telling your lies.”
“But they’re not lies, father! A forest spirit did rescue me!”
“You are crazy.” He hit her, and she fell to the ground. Quietly, her tears fell.
“How can you forget what these creatureshave done to us? Or have they possessed your mind? There will be no more talk of ‘kindly’ demons.”
Elona gave in, what else could she do? She wiped her tears away. “Yes, father.”

Later that night, Elona couldn’t sleep. In the end, she grabbed her coat, a gift from her late grandmother, and went out into the forest - searching for her hero. Elona knew that she had to be careful, if she was caught outside by the wrong person, she’d get severe punishment. But how could she stay inside, knowing that the spirits were not evil? She had to try and make peace! Even if that meant defying her father... Softly, she touched the bruise on her cheek. Surely it was an accident, her father couldn’t have meant to hit her that hard, could he?

All of a sudden, she was surrounded by evil looking creatures! They were armed, and riding ferocious animals! She had never seen such beasts before, and feared for her life. Suddenly, her saviour jumped in. He gestured a bit, and stared at her attackers. Then, they were gone. It felt like hours, even though only moments had passed.
“Are... are they gone?” Elona heard her voice tremble. He grabbed her and dragged her back towards the village. “We must get you back to where you belong!”
Safely gotten back to the village, Demontricker told her it was better to leave the forest spirits be, for their and her own well-being. It wasn’t fair! She sighed. But maybe he was right. Father was so passionate about the spirits being evil, how could she, a little girl, change their minds?

At night, she dreamt of her hero. How she was with him, together making peace with each other’s tribe, and then exploring the world together, making peace everywhere. There was a strange but wonderful place where they could live in peace, the village had a huge stone lady looking out over the sea. Elona thought she had to be their Gotara, protecting them from the dangerous waters. The lady was pretty, with a spiky crown and a torch in her hand. She came closer to the lady, she wanted to see what was in her other hand...

“hssssst!” A hand over her mouth. “Get your cloak. We’ll talk outside.” Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, Elona recognized her hero. She followed him far into the woods, until he stopped by the river. There, he told her of his many adventures, and how he knew she was brave enough to accompany him... Ofcourse she would! Didn’t he know she would follow him anywhere? They would bring their peoples closer, become legends! Her poor hero, so alone...
They would go far, far away, and never come back. Elona choked. Her mother! Could she leave her? Her hero told her they had to be quick, before the howl beast discovered them!

AYOOOWAALL! Quickly, he pushed her out of the way. “We waited too long! The howl beast is upon us! Run, Ee-lon-ya! Save yourself!”
Oh, her brave hero! He took the beast on alone! Together, they fell into the river, and all Elona could do was watch. “Stop! Oh, please! You’re killing him!” Tears were filling up in her eyes, and she wiped them away. Her hero was fighting bravely, but the beast was strong! She had to help him!
“I’m coming, spirit! Hang on”
“Stay back...”
He dragged the beast underwater, or did the beast drag him? Elona couldn’t see, and the both of them did not return to the surface yet. Long, she waited. She knelt on the riverbank, feeling her hopes starting to die as her hero never surfaced. He had sacrificed his life to save hers, but it didn’t feel good. All she felt was loss... and a terrible fear of the dangerous forest. Elona hurried back to the village, and never ventured out again.

TrollHammer

Took me a moment to remember that story, I fotgot about Elona! I love it when the other characters the Elves run into are written into more of a active role, and showing their perspective enhances that! Thanks for writing it, I liked it!

faeriegirl

Thanks!

jeb

Well written, Faeriegirl! I had to laugh at her premonition of the "huge stone lady" tho. Wink

faeriegirl

Smile hehehe, glad you liked that! yea, I was having trouble with the 'real life' thing... and I figured that's how she would see the Statue Smile That's one thing that everybody can recognize, from wherever they are Smile

faeriegirl

*whines* where is everyone?!?!?!??? Me wanteth more comments!!! Wink

anyway,would anyone be interested in a seperate thread for my snippets, for easy rereading? Including Embala's wonderful, beautiful collages, ofcourse?

Embala

Judging from myself: trying to get used to and keep pace with all the new gimmicks, the mass of information .... this learning curve in general. I simply find no time to read stories while trying to keep informed about general problems, solved ones and rules - and figuring out where my very own problems are.



And a slow running forum doesn't make it better ... feels for me like in the "good old modem time" *grrrr* when I could easily eat supper while waiting for a site to load (well - not always, but way too often).



*stops being off-topic*



You can be sure - I will return!

RedheadEmber

Like your story, faerieHappy And your pic Embala!

faeriegirl

Yay! A comment! *huggles Redhead* Tongue
Glad you like it!

I'll ask once again: Would anyone like it if I collect my snippets in 1 seperate thread, for easy rereading? Ofcourse Embala's collages will be added as soon as they're back Smile

Tehaar

Psst, what is this Grab-Bag thing? I'm new so I'm just curious. A theme is given each month and everyone will make something out of it? What's the grabbing part and where's my bag? Tongue

Embala

You got it right! Happy



There is another thread called Grab-bag of the month where everyone who intends to contribute can sugguest one element until the maximum of six is achieved.



When the new month starts a new thread is opened (like this one) to gather the contributions.



The contribution can be fiction (poems, short snippets or epic "novels", even ongoing sagas) or pictures - and it must contain all the grab-bag elements. Pictures can be an illustration for one of the grab-bag stories, too - without having to show all the elements itsef.



Best you jump to the first post of this one for the January element.



Welcome!

faeriegirl

And, what Embala conveniently forgot to add, you don't have to contribute something... but it's awesome to see what different people come up with, starting with the same elements!

Embala

Finally managed to return to the Grab-bag ... reading at least these stories step by step.



I really enjoyed Hail's adventure, TrollHammer. It was interesting, exciting and nicely flowing - and, as jeb pointed out, easier to consume than Two-Edge's tale. I wondered about the real life element - took me a while to realise that it's the climbing equipment. Obviously an element of your real life, too.



There's one thing I've missed: Even though he's the hero of this story Hail stayed "faceless" for me. You described Cliff pretty well but I seem to know nothing more about Hail than being a young male.



Hail's youthful curiosity and "strange" interests may lead him to more adventure. Cliff has a sense of humor which made me chuckle - not sure whether he is aware of it, tho. And last not least this outcast Troll we don't know much about so far ... I could imagine that there's a quest waiting for these uncommon friends - not a large ongoing story but it would be nice to meet them again when time and mood sparks inspiration.



Quote:
Do people prefer serials here, or just what comes out?


Joining Tymber - he has summoned up this pretty well.



will be continued

Startear

I think I have a plot bunny Surprised I'll see if I actually write it, maybe I should venture out of the comfort zone of HP and occasional Sandman fic... and write without a beta, it's ages since I did that...



But anyway, I enjoyed the stories I've seen here. Especially "The Lovers" and Embala's picture. It was beautiful.

faeriegirl

Plot bunnies need to be written! Seriously, they won't stop nagging till you write it...
Glad you liked the stories! Embala is awesome with pictures indeed... take a look at her collages! :D

Startear

I know, it's just that I'm already working on other stories, like a gift to a friend of mine, another chapter at my HP story which hasn't received any new chapter since July (I shall never give that story up), and I'm fighting against my muse at another story where I don't even know who my main character is :/



Now the only question is; why do I have a feeling that my logic had lost it's battle against this muse?

faeriegirl

I'm afraid that logic always loses against muses... And sometimes you should be happpy your muses bug you with a story, instead of keeping the stories away Wink

Startear

Quote:
And sometimes you should be happpy your muses bug you with a story, instead of keeping the stories away Wink




True, nothing is worse then having a WB...



Okay then. I don't know when it will be up, but it's gonna be written.

faeriegirl

Yay! Looking forward to it already! Smile

Startear

Hope I'll satisfy then Smile

faeriegirl

Sure you will... look at my snippets, they're liked too! Tongue

TrollHammer

Quote:


Finally managed to return to the Grab-bag ... reading at least these stories step by step.

I really enjoyed Hail's adventure, TrollHammer. It was interesting, exciting and nicely flowing - and, as jeb pointed out, easier to consume than Two-Edge's tale. I wondered about the real life element - took me a while to realise that it's the climbing equipment. Obviously an element of your real life, too.

There's one thing I've missed: Even though he's the hero of this story Hail stayed "faceless" for me. You described Cliff pretty well but I seem to know nothing more about Hail than being a young male.

Hail's youthful curiosity and "strange" interests may lead him to more adventure. Cliff has a sense of humor which made me chuckle - not sure whether he is aware of it, tho. And last not least this outcast Troll we don't know much about so far ... I could imagine that there's a quest waiting for these uncommon friends - not a large ongoing story but it would be nice to meet them again when time and mood sparks inspiration.

Joining Tymber - he has summoned up this pretty well.

will be continued







It seemed to me that I was feeking a little to constrained by the canon characters without resorting to Troll communities to feel free enough to write, so I made up my own corner of abode. I do plan to write more about this little valley and those in it, though not necessarily in series or anything, just whatever. Sorry, I didn't realize i lost track of character description, and perhaps Hail came through faceless as he was faceless for me as well, no mirrors were in the story! Smile

Good to see some more new blood/interest with these grab bags! Hope to see more stories and art!

When I have more time I've got some ideas I'd like to put to various people, things I don't feel I can do justice with or would like to do group projects with. Is there any interest in doing such collaberative work? (not necessarily 'grab bag' type projects, but in general, perhaps it's own thread or something?)

faeriegirl

TrollHammer, do a search for 'Elvin Magnet High'... that's the biggest group project you can find Tongue and yes it's here on the Scroll. 3 threads of 30+ pages with stories and comments... and it's awesome. And ofcourse the ElfWest threads... just as big! Smile
Anyways, I'd be interested in doing group stuff, PM me with your ideas! Smile

faeriegirl

bleh... this month is going slow! No Cleopatra, no Tymber anymore, no Tenderfoot... and more missing! Unhappy where is everyone??? is everyone so busy with exploring the new site that they don't have time to write stories? Unhappy

RedheadEmber

Da's bad! GUYS!!!!!!! WHERE ARE YOU??????????

Startear

Nastybab soft fur long ear thing, coming with two goodthing, and still wantsing to do scary goodthing

TrollHammer

Quote:


bleh... this month is going slow! No Cleopatra, no Tymber anymore, no Tenderfoot... and more missing! Unhappy where is everyone??? is everyone so busy with exploring the new site that they don't have time to write stories? Unhappy



I was wondering if things were slow or if it was me. is JAN normally slow, as i wasnt around last year? i mean, its not really as though things have changed THAT much. there is more activity in general, it seems, but by new members or those that havent been around a while.

i will have to say, though, that this has been a deceptively busy month of nothing. it has seemedt to me that Ive not done all that much, but even if my cmputers were up and running i'd still not be on here any more often than I am. I was joking to myself acouple weeks ago how funny it was that my wife got me a digital reader for christmas to cut back on the number of books i buy, but i hardly have time to read it!

/nyway, I had been looking forward to some more stories as well, but im more partial to fictions and art that others are invested in and have a heart felt desire to create than works done "out of dury" or coersion. so while i encourage more participation strongly (with a heavy vine applied with high speed to the back of the creators heh, heh), if ya arn't insipred dnt sweat it. 'wordgazer hasnt written that i've seen since i started (correct me if im wrong)

on top of that, if they havent even updated thier profile from 'male in afganistan', the may have had the same trouble with logging in as I did with blank emails and gave up for now, or any number of other things. I myself dont hit nearly as many threads as i used to (not even a fourth) when I am on.

jeb

I've tried to write something every month, but not so much out a sense of duty as a desire to improve by practicing, much like you do with any other skill. I've still hit a rough patch of lack of inspiration lately that I thought was over when I started my Rayek gender-bender, but then the new semester started and I got distracted and just haven't been able to get back into like I was. But I hope to still come up with something for this month, so don't count me out yet!

faeriegirl

Well, the month isn't over yet! and then still, late contributions are still contributions Happy

Embala

Quote:
I was wondering if things were slow or if it was me. is JAN normally slow, as i wasnt around last year?


It feels a bit like in February 2009 when the Scroll was almost killed by the hacker attack. Everything is stirred up, members return slow or with other names, everybody is busy with oneself. Blank emails, log-in-problems, trying to get used to the new features and a very slow performance (seems a rather general problem) aren't helpful.



I'm afraid it's an unfortunate coincidence of IRL issues and the new site coming up. Wordgazer let us know that she needs a hiatus before the site reload. The sisters havn't found back so far Unhappy Those who are here have vaious problems ... tecnique, time, muse ...



But some of us ARE here! Best we can do is to keep the flame burning. Keeping the fun. Waiting for old friends joining again ... welcoming new blood. It's not an issue when one or two grab-gabs stay a little meager - they could even be fed up later.





And ... jeb, be sure no one will count you out. We count on you! Wink

Embala

Tymber! *hugs* My eyes see with joy!

faeriegirl

Quote:




Don't rule me out just yet. Let's just say the ... discussion that was an issue... is... more or less settled.



*tackle hugs* Yay! Sooo glad to hear that! Super glad you're back on here! *squeeze hugs* Tongue Welcome back!



...now, you are gonna comment on my snippet soon, right? Wink

faeriegirl

Woohoo! Thank you! I'll try to do that next time! Smile The more detail part, that is Wink

and your first comment... darnit, I copied that dialogue from BoTC! Wink but I guess it was a good choice for the start then Wink

Embala

One day I'll get the prize for being the slowest reader ever ... *upps*



I really like your Pridewalkers, Tymber. NO - not the way I like the Wolfriders (Cutter's or Shadow's both) or even the Children of the High Ones. When it comes to this I pretty much agree with Daymist and the twin brothers at current state.



What I like is how they were fleshed out already and got a very own face in the EQ universe. They are not just lion-riding Go-Backs. They are definitely very territorial and selfish towards strangers - don't tolerate other predators well. And within the own tribe? Not much better - there is an (almost) unquestioned, absolute ruler ... "palace intrigues" ... and murder! Yes, I say killing Talon was murder, not just killing a rival in challenge. And I'm all but sure that one of his supporters betrayed him. They are NOT NICE, these new elves.



But they are interesting, making a good contrast to your other elves - both as tribe and individuals.



I don't like this "cub killing" without regret - but it makes sense for me:

1. There's this "absolute ruler concept" . When the Sire must not be questioned - and when he is challenged nevertheless - staying in the pride must be much harder for the match-loser than among Wolfriders.

2. This Sire is a sly one - ruling by smartness and betrayal more than by physical strength. When his secret ways are revealed - which choice does leave?



I officially declare that I hate Lionheart ;-) ... personally I wish him a not so easy death during the upcoming war for the Palace - or simply a Quickdeath! Evilgrin

Storywise he makes a much too good villian (or better antagonist) to be killed away. Not because he is evil - but because he is ruthlessly looking for his own advantage, his pride's wellfare only one more means to strenghten his position.



Well - all this is a general first impression of the Pridewalkers - it might become more specific when single characters are worked out more.



That's the keyword for Stillbreeze - she's changing into Thunderstorm! Her developement from a family devoted tribe member into a leading role is astonishing but not necessarily out of character. Her motives are still the same - protecting her loved ones. She seems to have a kind of strenght that works both in background supportance and in the flashlight if needed.



I'm really curious how the next encounter of Stillbreeze and Lionheart will go ... and how this will work out when Shadow finally recovers.



Spearclaw made some sympacy points - though I'm not sure whether his motives reach beyond the most obvious. Let's see - this pride needs members who can be loved at least for some character traits.





btw: What happened to Stonehowl Holt?! I wanted to reread some character describtions it it was *poof*Unhappy





EDIT: Only one more story left ... should be possible to read before January ends. Don't cry, faeriegirl Tongue

faeriegirl

I won't cry... yet Tongue *chains Embala to a chain* make more time for Scroll, you! Wink Tongue

faeriegirl

I hope you will slowly put them all up again, Tymber! Even if it's solely for our selfish rereading enjoyment! Wink Tongue
*huggles da Tymber* we really missed you!!!

TrollHammer

Can you PM me the link if it's not here on EQ? It'll be a while til I get to it, but that way I'll remember to look it over.

Embala

Like your variation, faeriegirl, not too much of the comic at all. Of course it's sort of a retelling ... of course you used original dialogs (Why not using a good thing - it's fanfic). But you showed a different facet of the same thing, at least as far as I'm concerned.



I feel with Elona - much more than I could in the comic story. That was fun, sometimes ridiculous schmaltzy when it comes to Elona ... more like: How to get rid of this silly girl?

Yours shows it from Elonas POV - and there is true dramatic and tragedy .. her love, her dreams, her fear, her loss.



Now I should goo and loo..ok fooo...oor ....

ooh...ooohh *fainting* .... chain causes creative block ... *muse falls in coma*

faeriegirl

Glad you liked it, Embala Smile And you worded just what I like least about my contribution this month - that it's mostly 'just' a retelling. But I'm glad the POV is different enough that it's liked Tongue
*throws bucket of icewater over muse* wake up, you! Smile

Embala

*muse goes in hibernation*



Tongue

faeriegirl

*brings in the fanfare* TATARATATARAAAA!!! (or something like that)
Happy

need help with finding pics of Elona? Wink She's in BoTC only, in 2 stories as far as I know. This one (#14), and #16, two panels or so.

faeriegirl

So, I couldn't resist... and edited my story. Added some more details, that stuff. Hope it's better now! Smile

Hero worship, version 2

“So, daughter... you persist in telling your lies.”
“But they’re not lies, father! A forest spirit did rescue me!”
“You are crazy.” He hit her, and she fell to the ground. Quietly, tears fell from her brown eyes.
“How can you forget what these creatureshave done to us? Or have they possessed your mind? There will be no more talk of ‘kindly’ demons.”
Elona gave in, what else could she do? She wiped her tears away. “Yes, father.”

Later that night, Elona couldn’t sleep. In the end, she grabbed her coat, a gift from her late grandmother, and went out into the forest - searching for her hero. Elona knew that she had to be careful, if she was caught outside by the wrong person, she’d get severe punishment. But how could she stay inside, knowing that the spirits were not evil? She had to try and make peace! Even if that meant defying her father... Softly, she touched the bruise on her cheek. It had already turned blue. Surely it was an accident, her father couldn’t have meant to hit her that hard, could he?

All of a sudden, she was surrounded by evil looking creatures! They were armed with short yet very sharp knives, and riding ferocious animals with blazing eyes and huge teeth! She had never seen such beasts before, and feared for her life. Suddenly, her saviour jumped in. He gestured a bit, and stared at her attackers. Then, they were gone. It felt like hours, even though only moments had passed.
“Are... are they gone?” Elona heard her voice tremble, and hung on to his blue shirt. He grabbed her and dragged her back towards the village. “We must get you back to where you belong!”
Safely gotten back to the village, Demontricker told her it was better to leave the forest spirits be, for their and her own well-being. It wasn’t fair! She sighed. But maybe he was right. Father was so passionate about the spirits being evil, how could she, a little girl, change their minds?

At night, she dreamt of her hero. How she was with him, together making peace with each other’s tribe, and then exploring the world together, making peace everywhere. There was a strange but wonderful place where they could live in peace, the village had a huge stone lady looking out over the sea. Elona thought she had to be their Gotara, protecting them from the dangerous waters. The lady was pretty, with a spiky crown and a torch in her hand. She came closer to the lady, she wanted to see what was in her other hand...

“hssssst!” A hand over her mouth. “Get your cloak. We’ll talk outside.” Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, Elona recognized her hero. She followed him far into the woods, until he stopped by the river. Both the moons were full, so she could see him well, from his long brown hair to his blue boots.
There, he told her of his many adventures, and how he knew she was brave enough to accompany him... Ofcourse she would! Didn’t he know she would follow him anywhere? They would bring their peoples closer, become legends! Her poor hero, so alone...
They would go far, far away, and never come back. Elona choked. Her mother! Could she leave her? She loved her so much! But her hero said they had to be quick, because there was a monster around here, the howl beast. It was ferocious, you had to be with a large hunting group to kill it, fighting it alone was an almost impossible task. They should leave very quick, for the beast was smart and would find them soon!

AYOOOWAALL! Oh no! What was that? Quickly, he pushed her out of the way while the monster came crashing through the bushes. It was a horrible sight, fierce yellow eyes amidst long hair, and large antlers on its head. And as if that wasn’t enough, it had huge claws which could tear you apart in an instant!
“We waited too long! The howl beast is upon us! Run, Ee-lon-ya! Save yourself!”
Oh, her brave hero! He took the beast on alone! Together, they fell into the river, and all Elona could do was watch. “Stop! Oh, please! You’re killing him!” Tears were filling up in her eyes, and she wiped them away. Her hero was fighting bravely, but the beast was strong! She had to help him! He had said so himself, trying to fight the beast alone was almost impossible!
“I’m coming, spirit! Hang on”
“Stay back...”
He dragged the beast underwater, or did the beast drag him? Elona couldn’t see, and the both of them did not return to the surface yet. Long, she waited. She knelt on the riverbank, feeling her hopes starting to die as her hero never surfaced. Hoping against hope, she waited even longer. But when dawn was near, Elona could not longer avoid the horrid truth: her hero was dead. He had sacrificed his life to save hers, but it didn’t feel good. All she felt was loss... and a sudden, terrible fear of the dangerous forest. If even a hero like hers couldn’t survive here... how could she?
Elona hurried back to the village, and never ventured out again.

faeriegirl

It's the story from BoTC, retold from Elona's POV instead of the original, Mantricker. He is the hero, and the howl beast is his bond-wolf disguised Tongue yes, it's a stage indeed Wink
But since it's from her POV, I figured I'd leave that part out... Wink

faeriegirl

You should! it's #14 Wink

Startear

I'm so glad that the comics are avaliable for free on this site. If it hadn't, then I would be farther than KotBW, which was the last comics to be published in Norway.



By the way, does anyone mind terribly if I'm a little late? Just being curious...

faeriegirl

late? that doesn't exist here! Happy
and yes, the Digital EQ section is awesome :D

Startear

Ah, good. If it was, then you'd have to read it on my profile here or at fanfiction...

faeriegirl

naaaah, you're either early or less early here Tongue
and if you want to write more, feel free to dig up the grab-bag thread of December/November/whatever month and write for that! The more the merrier! Smile

jeb

Like Faeriegirl said, don't worry about it. We're all lost in the now of wolf-thought around here anyway, and are always happy to have shiny new objects placed in front of us, whenever it may be.

Startear

I like that, especially the less early thing. And I shall look up some more.

Embala

You cannot be too late ... myself is terribly less early *lol* with some illustrations I plan.

Please post it here, Startear - no matter how less early you are. Grab-bag stories belong in the grab-bags - and I love them popping up right before my eyes instead of being forced to hunt them down in this "GetSocialThing".



Your revision was worth the effort, faeriegirl. Now it's much easier to picture the events even without knowing the comic story.

Tymber is right - it would be a nice twist to make clear that the "heroic death" was staged. But this "epilouge" would affort sort of a "prologue", too - like a brace of "elfin" reality.

As this is consequently shown from Elona's POV I perfer the end the way it is.



*chain.don't.let.muse.fly* ... passes out again Tongue

faeriegirl

Glad you liked the new version! *splashes muse again* be nice to Embala! Help her make more beautiful collages!!

Startear

Don't worry, Embala, I am going to post it... as soon as it is finished.

willderbeast

I've *finally* got a notion to write some fanfic, but it's going to be ElfQuest-meets-1950's-B-movie-based. It'll probably be pretty bad. Meantime, I need to get caught up with what everyone's been doing here (where to star; it all looks so good!).

faeriegirl

start at page 1 and work your way to here? Wink

...and I'm curious to see what you come up with!

Cleopatra

*pant, pant* I'm done. *pant, pant* Because of trouble to log in, I wasn't able to post the story before now. Now I better go to write for February, before Xin-Jing tires to kill me. Reason to why, read the story. Now I better go.


*leaves thread*


The Last Battle

Xin-Jing looked longinly at Toron and Sturkas who went out for hunting. She wished she could join the hunt, but because she was waiting children she couldn’t. She sighed loudly and walked to the nearest bench and sat down.


She wasn’t in mood for anything now. She didn’t felt for training, cause she had done it earlier in the day with Toron and Sturkas and had won at least three times. She didn’t felt to do some funny things with Eros either as they had done at dawn. Since he had abandoned her to Hawkeye, they had both become friends. They had both sneaked into Torons and Sturkas chamber, they slept peacefully, and probably dreaming sweet dreams of Moonlight and Starfire. Xin-Jing knew they were in love with them, but they wouldn’t admit it. Too bad. Eros and Xin-Jing had sneaked quietly up to them, struggling to not laugh as they held Sturkas shoes (wich he hadn’t washed for at least… High Ones know!) over their noses. It wasn’t long before they made faces and Toron turned on the side and said:


“Gee, what died?”


That was then Xin-Jing and Eros was about to crack up with laughter and was near to reveal themselves and decided to get away before Toron and Sturkas realized something.


She couldn’t be with Hawkeye while practiced with his magic in the village, but it was the only thing who could keep the Wise Councils mouth shut and took some steps back where they came from, apparently afraid that something would go wrong. What was really wrong with that? Certainly it had been some holes in some of the walls, but that was before when he hadn’t so much control of his magic, and it was easy to repair them again.


Some few meters from Xin-Jing, Lilac and Erla were together, talking and embroidered. Once Lilac saw her daughter, she folded her hands down with the sewing down on her lap.


“Poor Xin-Jing,” Lilac said as she looked at her daughter who was alone.
“She miss to be out there with her ‘brothers’ and hunt.”


“And have some difficult to understand why she can’t,” Erla said and looked at Xin-Jing too. Erla sighed, she understood why and how the rule had become.


Erla rose up from the bench and together she and Lilac went to Xin-Jing. Once Xin-Jing saw them, she turned her head and muttered only that it was unfair that she couldn’t hunt anymore. Erla sat down beside her and lifted up Xin-Jings chin and looked into her eyes.


“I understand that it feels unfair. That’s how all feel when they’re excepting a child,” Erla said calm and then folded her hands around Xin-Jings.
“Let me tell you a little story, and then you will understand.”


Erla searched for the right words, but after a while she found them and started to tell.


“It happened just some weeks after Optarh and I had joined the bid of recognition, we married and became lifemates. In that time we hadn’t enemies, everything was just peace. We could all play, dream and love. That was perfect for us. Optarh was so proud that we waited a child togheter and we spent much time together, especially on the horseback,” Erla said and laughed a little before she continued the story.


They had been out on a ride together and were on the way back to the village where they met some hunters out for hunting. They had tracked down a big buck, but had some trouble to get it, so they asked Optarh for help. And as always he said yes and went with, leaving Erla with the horse who was standing still while she sat on the back. The chief and hunters managed to get the buck, but it was then something went wrong. It had torn loose from them and then ran against Erla. All Erla could remember was the pain in her ribs and that she fell of the horse, her lifemate screaming her name and the hoofs. She could have been trampled by the buck if Optarh hadn’t arrived in time and killed the buck, but if it hadn’t been any healer there they could have lost the child.


Xin-Jings eyes widened from the story. She hadn’t heard this before in her life.


“Since then Optarh decided that no woman shall be out and hunt while they waiting a child. After the accident that could have cost us our daughter, he refused to let something like that happen to other elves here. ”


“I… I didn’t know,” Xin-Jing said after a while.
“But why didn’t he tell?”


“He doesn’t like to talk about it. He’s like all fathers who will protect their children. He could have been an overprotective father, if not our daughter one day proved to him that she had become grown up and didn’t need his protection anymore.”


“How?” Xin-Jing asked interested, which made Erla to smile.


“That’s another story for another time.”

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

“Xin-Jing is still sad that she couldn’t join the hunt,” Sturkas said while he and Toron went into the woods.


“I know,” Toron replied.
“But even if it’s unfair, she must obey it. The rules are this way.”


“But for the High Ones sake, Toron,” Sturkas said and ignored that he was speaking loudly.
“She joined with Hawkeye just weeks ago. She’s not going to be heavy in less than a season.”


“Yes, I know that. But it’s not me who has decided it. That is chief Optarh who has decided it.”


Sturkas snorted.


“But there must be something we can do,” Sturkas said after a while.


“Like what?” Toron asked and raised an eyebrow. Sturkas smiled.


“We could try to take ‘littlesister’ with us on a hunt one day when the chief don’t see us.”


“WHAT!?”


Torons face was difficult to describe to how he reacted an thought, but it led the two elves into a argue with what they could and couldn’t do. They had completely forgotten that they were out hunting and had to be quiet. Their argue continued until:


Krrkkk!


That made them to pull out their daggers, sharp and deadly. All the warriors had been taught to feel and to aware that something or someone was close. Friend or enemy, all the senses had to be clear.


“Sturkas,” Toron whispered low after a while and hadn’t discovered anything yet.
“Did you also hear what I heard?”


“Yes,” Sturkas whispered while searched for one of his sais that hung in his belt.
“They’re close.”


Both of them turned their eyes on each side, still without to find anything. But when Toron finally saw what he searched for, his eyes widened before they went back like a wolf’s look.


“No,” he said.
“They’re here.”


Sturkas turned, his eyes met the enemy. The Dark Ones. This time they were a whole army.


“Attack?” Sturkas asked Toron.


“Attack!” Toron answered.


At the same time the two friends jumped in the air, higher than a normal elf could do. They only needed to jump and make sure that the enemy looked up at the sun and be blind by it. But before they had gone so far, they both just felt pain at their ribs from claws and landed on their backs in the ground. While they groaned and tried to stand up, they could feel the blood run from the wounds and looked up. This time they had underestimated the enemy and right now they saw that the enemy wasn’t alone. They saw against a creature, the one who had attacked them. It was large and shaped like a lizard and a dragon with wings and large sharp teeth and claws.


“By the High Ones,” Toron whispered low.


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


“Where did you get that flower, Moonlight?” Sunshine asked and looked toward her younger sister while she nursed Himerish.


“I found it on the windowsill this morning,” Moonlight said while she hold the ice blue flower and sniffed the sweet scent while a faint blush spread over her cheeks. Then she placed the flower in her short curly silver hair.


“It seems that someone likes you,” Hawkeye said in the background. The sisters turned around and looked at him.
“I did exactly the same with Xin-Jing, gave her flowers.”


“And that was a perfect gift my sweet tree shaper,” Xin-Jing said as she hugged him and leaned her head against his shoulder. Eventually, her smile disappeared. The sun was near to go down, and Toron and Sturkas hadn’t returned yet. They were always fast when it came to hunt.


“Is something wrong?” Hawkeye asked as he turned toward her.


“It’s Toron and Sturkas,” she said after a while.
“They havn’t come back yet.”


“They will surely come soon beloved,” Hawkeye said quietly and tried to calm her.
“It may take a while to hunt down a pray.”


“No. They’re always fast. They would have been here now at this time. I know they would.”


Hawkeye didn’t know what to do and looked helpless to the others. So did Xin-Jing against chief Optarh nearby.


“My chief. I’m begging you,” Xin-Jing begged.
“I know what the rules say about the life – bearers, but please, let me go and look after Toron and Sturkas.”


“I could join her and help if something should go wrong,” Eros said after a while, his golden eyes met the chiefs blue eyes. Optarh didn’t like it, but he couldn’t refuse anyone to be worried about their friends or siblings. Erla placed her hand on his shoulder, her eyes met his, and he could see that she also begged that Xin-Jing could go after them. He sighed.


“All right. Go after them,” he said. Xin-Jing smiled, feeling relieved at the permission to go. She and Eros turned to leave the village, but before they had taken a step they heard a low cry that become higher. Then suddenly they saw two elves in the air and fell straight to their feet. Their clothes were torn, blood run from wounds.


“Toron. Sturkas,” Xin-Jing screamed and ran toward them with the others after her. The two elves just groaned when Xin-Jing and Optarh tried to lift their bodies. They could barely open the eyes.


“The… the enemy is… here,” Toron said low and coughed as he tried to look up the chief.
“They’re not alone. Monster… couldn’t fight… against them.”

"F ... the enemy is ... here," said Toron low and coughed as he tried to look up to the captain.
"But not alone. Monster ... could not ... fight alone against them. "


So they were unconscious, any elf looked toward Optarh. Now the piece was over. Now it was more serious than ever.


“Hide all the children and the weakest. Get your armors and weapons and be ready for fight. It is war again, but this time it isn’t a game.”


The elves did as he said, gave the order to the others and made them self ready for fight. Optarh only took his sword. This time he wouldn’t reach to get his armor. He didn’t care. He was going to fight with his tribe, even if it would be his last fight in his life.

Embala

Oo-Oooo ... something like this must have happened soner or later! The "brothers" were much too carefree!



Why can't I help seeing Xin-Jing fighting in this battle ... sooner or later ... no matter whether she will be understanding and obeyong the rules or not ...



Good to have you back, Cleopatra! Hug

Cleopatra

Oh, yes. Now It will happen a lot's.Evilgrin If Xin-Jing don't kill me before then. And I'm glad to be back again. Have missed everyone here.

Xin-Jing: *pokes Cleo with katana*
Cleopatra: Owtch!
Xin-Jing: Write for february. Now!
Cleopatra: He he. Now calm down. You wouldn't kill me, would you?
Xin-Jing: No.
Cleopatra: Puh.
Xin-Jing: But if you kill my brothers, then it's goodby to you.
Cleopatra: All right all right. I'm writing. *goes to write*

Embala

*pokes* Make it hard for the '"brothers" (remember the venom element maybe?) - they deserve a push to become more careful! And there are two other lovely elfmaids who could show how much they care then ...

TrollHammer

Quote:


I've *finally* got a notion to write some fanfic, but it's going to be ElfQuest-meets-1950's-B-movie-based. It'll probably be pretty bad. Meantime, I need to get caught up with what everyone's been doing here (where to star; it all looks so good!).







Heh heh heh.



Ready, oh grizzled and bearded one!



Seems to me that this month's grab bag (feb) aught to do nicely! Looking forward to it



*rubs three fingered hands warmly in anticipation*



I wonder if I'm gonna die in your story! heh heh.

Tenderfoot

Every cloud has a silver light – Part 1





Rain folded the clean light brown tunic coat he always wore when treating his patients and laid it carefully in his pack. If looking very closely, one could still see old blood stains that hadn't gone off in wash. They were fine reminders of all the lives he had saved. He patted it.



“Ready there, lad?” he asked.



“Almost!” Pike's voice drifted from the adjoining room.



He stood back, eying his bed closely. He had most of the things he would need, and a little extra, but there was something that seemed to be missing. He frowned.



“Rainsong, dear, have you seen my hoses?”



“You are wearing them, father,” a light voice said to his right.



Rain looked up and smiled wryly at his daughter. The girl blinked at him, sweet and innocent, while passing him. She held out folded clothes for him, he took them, and she put the rest in the pack.



“Father,” she said.

“I thought you were not allowed to treat others beside the king.”



He nodded in approve and Rainsong folded a shirt.



“Then how come you are allowed to leave the castle?” She glanced up at him.

“Why not have them come here?”



Rain smiled, eyes filled with fatherly affecting, and patted the bed. His daughter folded her skirts and sat down, looking up at him with large blue eyes, tinted with purple.



“I will leave because my patient is too weak to be taken here,” he said.

“She is the daughter of the former castle doctor.”



Rainsong nodded. She had met him and his daughters. His wife was a sweet, care-taking woman who took in stray animals.



“She turned three this white-cold,” Rain continued.

“And her health has been staggering the last year. They now believe she is coming to an end.”



Rainsong's eyes widened and there was a sharp intake of breath.



“Father!” she exclaimed.

“She will live, will she not?”



“I do believe so,” Rain said while turning back to the clothes.

“I have faith in the little girl, but I will not take any risks. Therefore I will see to my friend's youngest daughter and do what I can.”



Out the corner of his eye, he saw Rainsong stand up from the bed and walk out of the room, hands folded. He smiled. Poor girl child, always wanting everyone to be happy and healthy. The fact that she knew the little girl he was about to treat, possibly made it worse. His hand hovered over the pack and he frowned. The girl's health had been staggering the last year, true, but she had always been considered a weak child. Born a little early, but with a good set of lungs, in the middle of white-cold. She had often been sick and, according to her parents, had already had all the child sicknesses that existed. But she had always come back to health and her family had not thought it would be necessary to do anything with her. Now, though, they feared the fight was over.



Rain sighed, remembering the late autumn night when his friend had showed up at the castle to ask for special herbs. He had been distraught, almost in angry tears when he told him of their trip to Blue Mountain monk cloister. The priest there had told them that nothing could be done to help their child, that they didn't even believe she would live to reach the age of three white-cold. Their offer for comfort to the helpless parents had been to pray to the High Ones, someone had even suggested that this was a punishment for their sins. After this they had not dared to seek help, especially since the journey had almost killed their daughter.



The child had a wicked tongue for her age, had often silenced older people and brought them to their senses, but was now as muted as a rock. She had stopped talking. Last time she uttered a word was in early white-cold, around the High One's Sefra's day. Rain's healing hand slid across his face and he rubbed his eyes with thumb and forefinger. The last he had heard was that she had stopped eating and now, in the letter he received, her father said that she had not drunken anything the past three days. Add half a day to deliver the letter and half a day for him to get allowance and preparations ready, that would make four days without any nurturing. He would have to be fast and, in desperation, perhaps do what he rarely did with others around. He sighed. Poor girl.



Someone clearing their throat pulled him back and he cast a glance over his shoulder at his daughter The fair headed young girl stood in the doorway, arms loaded with clothing.



“Mother said you would need this,” she said and walked over.



Rain eyed the stack.



“Sweetie, is this absolutely necessary?” he asked, watching as she walked past him.

“I already have more than enough.”



Rainsong merely shrugged and the corners of her mouth twitched upwards into a small smile as she placed the clothing next to his pack.



“You are the one to decide,” she chuckled and turned around.

“But I will not be the one to tell mother off.”



Rain cringed inwardly. His wife was so very sweet, with a smile so delicate one would forget all one's needs. But she wouldn't take no for an answer.



“Ready, father,” Pike called, stepping through the door with a sack draped over his shoulder.



He joined the two elves by the bed and nodded at them. Rain then picked up his pack while Rainsong took his medic bag and all three went through the door, trudged down the stairs and outside the castle, to the stables and the horses. Three stable boys had them ready, one cleaning with his back turned to them and another carrying water buckets. Rainsong watched as her brother handed the sack to his father with a grin. Rain returned the smile and got on to the horse while Pike patted the horse's flank.



“Now go make that tender little angel all good again, father,” he said.



Rain's answer was a small smile as he bent down and ruffled their hair. Orange and golden blonde locks slipped through his fingers. Purple and blue eyes locked with his. Pike's usual broad grin. Rainsong's curvy lips forming a smile. He took in the sight of his children, his son and daughter. They would see each other soon again, not too soon, he hoped. But he would miss them nonetheless. One final pat and he straightened up, waved at them and turned his horse to leave.



“Goodbye, father,” Rainsong said with a smile, waving.



The two siblings stood in the open place, waving at their father until they couldn't see him any longer.



Rainsong lowered her arm and her smile faltered, leaving her cute dimples a frown.



“I hope he will be okay,” she mumbled.



Pike turned to her, his trademark grin a little smaller than usual.



“Why should we worry?” he asked.

“What could possibly go wrong?”



Silence stretched between them. Blue eyes met violet and Pike's smile faltered. Rainsong blinked and her brother's mouth twisted wryly.



“Did that have a 'famous last words' ring to it, or is it just me?”



Rainsong's answer was to bow her head slightly and revert her eyes to the ground. Pike, feeling sorry for scaring his little sister like that, nudged her gently.



“Come on,” he said.

“”Let us go inside.”





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Brush



Brush



Brush



Click clack



Brush



Brush



Click clack



Brush




The broom was dragged across the ground, collecting dirt, dust and other oddments that gathered outside the stables. When a spot was clean enough, the brush hovered in the air and a pair of feet moved another way. Then the broom connected with the ground and started brushing again, repeating the process. Someone called a name and the boy holding the broom looked up, waving at a young man passing him before returning to work. It was still early morning, but the lower bailey was already full of life. Inside the stables a horse neighed, outside another answered and somewhere in the upper bailey, a third wanted to join the discussion. Two young maids were on their way to the upper bailey, sharing the latest news and events they had picked up from the servants. Behind them was an older maid who hemmed loudly, causing them to jump. They earned a sharp glance from her and a reprimand for not hurrying up. Luckily for them, this woman was not just older than them, but also larger. The two of them shared a glance before spinning around on their heels, rushing towards the upper bailey while the woman yelled at them.



The boy laughed and shook his head, pausing in the work for a moment. Birds chirped and a little blue one flew towards him, hovering in air while twittering. The boy glanced up and smiled, watching as the bird circled him. He grinned and the blue bundle of feathers continued on with its flying, disappearing in the horizon. Young men waved at him and he waved back, watching as they prepared three horses for a ride. Pages were chasing each other across the bailey, shouting and declaring the others their enemies. A little girl was sitting on the ground in the middle of all, playing with a toy horse. The pages ran past her and one of the boys paused long enough to snatch the wooden toy. The girl cried out in protest and jumped up, giving chase to get her horse back, but the boys were so much older and faster than her that she would soon abandon the effort. Just then a squire came out from the stables and, watching as the boys ran past him, reached out his hand. He caught the toy and glanced sharply at the little thief before he handed it back to the girl, who immediately hugged it and thanked him over and over.



The boy paused in his work again, glancing at the life surrounding him. Low chattering was mixed with sounds from the animals and smiles were upon each and every face. The weather was mild and the cold, fresh air felt like butterflies in dry throats. Outside the walls there were miles and miles of fields so green eyes would tear, and dewdrops were glistening in the light from the rays of sunlight. They were dripping from the golden orb, like honey. Like his mother's soft, warm eyes. Usually the smile would disappear from his lips when he thought of his parents, whom he hadn't seen for two summers. It had been difficult for them to let him go, with him being their only child, but he been able to convince them in the end. He needed to work at the castle, had to do something more out of himself. They would have preferred he stayed home, that he became a nobleman. A poor nobleman, from a poor family. But he wanted something more, to get higher up. If he was to ever become a part of the upper class, he had to do this. He did, and now he was a stable boy. Had been for four years. But today it felt like his parents were so much closer, and the feeling of loss wasn't that great.



A group of three came from the upper bailey and he stopped, paused in his work, eyes locked on the little family. He watched as they came closer, watched as she passed him. Watched as her skirts danced, watched as the blue and pink fabric illuminated her light skin. Watched as they said their goodbyes, watched as they waved. Then they gestured at each other and turned to go inside. And when she turned to watch, he turned away, blushing. He continued moving the broom, but glanced over his shoulder after a few moments. She was so sweet. So small, so delicate, so kind, so innocent, so wonderful, so... much more worth than him. A frown appeared on his forehead and he blew at the wheaten bangs in front of his eyes. She was the daughter of the king's personal doctor, raised by nobles. Worthy a knight without many difficulties. And he? Another blow at slick bangs. He was a poor nobleman, reduced to a stable boy. He was no good for her, not worthy. His eyes glanced over his shoulder, he felt his heart sink. He atched as they went inside and he sighed, returning to work. This had been his life for four years. Nothing had ever changed. It was the same as always. The same procedure as the last four years. He sighed again. It could have been worse, but it sure wasn't fun.



He glanced upwards, at the light and clear sky. As blue as her eyes.



Laughter pulled him out of his thoughts and he turned his head slightly, a smile spreading across his face. A little girl was sitting in the hay inside one of the boxes, wiggling her fingers at a little gray fur ball while giggling. Long jet-black hair flooded down her shoulders and large eyes were radiating with joy as she laughed. The stable cat jumped up and tried to catch her finger, but failed. It stood on its hind legs, batting at her fingers with wide eyes. Then it crouched and shoved its rump upwards, eyes on the moving prey. Its little tail flickered and the cat jumped forward with paws outstretched, landing on the shrieking girl's purple dress. The boy smiled and the girl glanced up.



“Woodlock!” she giggled.

“Woodlock, look! Kittles caught my finger!”



Woodlock laughed softly and turned to the girl, broomstick in hand.



“I can see that, Miss Crescent,” he said.

“I can see that.”



Crescent frowned, but the smile on her lips didn't disappear.



“Do not call me Miss,” she said.

“I have told you; I am Crescent. Just Crescent.”



The childish belief of everyone being worth just as much. Woodlock smiled. Oh, how he missed that.



“That may be,” he said, twisting the broom to flick up a bit of dust.

“But your mother is still born princess, and your grandfather is king.”



Crescent snorted.



“Oh, you are just silly,” she said and brushed him away with a gesture with her hand.



Woodlock shrugged. His job was to clean the stables, but also to keep an eye on the young girl. The reason for her being outside was simple; Moonshade was lifebearer again, awaiting her second child, and was not feeling well. With Strongbow being the worried type, little Crescent didn't have anyone to look after her. She couldn't play with her cousin Cutter, as he was out with his mother, and both king Mantricker and prince Bearclaw were out hunting with soldiers and friends. At this time of day, Crescent should have stayed inside. But the servants and maids and stable boys were so busy that no one could make sure she stayed there. Therefore, Strongbow had, in his quiet and unusual way, made Woodlock responsible for his daughter's safety while he was not able to. And he took this extra job seriously, as everyone knew that Strongbow's fury was worse than a pack of brats. Woodlock shook his head. High Ones have mercy on the poor souls that had to endure his wrath. Smirking, he walked past Crescent and Kittles and placed the broomstick in the other end of the stables, letting it lean on the wall. When he turned around, he saw the Kittles run out of the box and only moments after, Crescent gave chase. The childish laughter rang in his ears and he smiled while picking up the water buckets. It was the same procedure as the last four years, true. But it wasn't so bad. Not bad at all, actually.





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“This day, the clouds are so thick that almost no light manages to break through. It is barely afternoon, but it is dark enough to make anyone think it is the evening, or even night, of a dreary winter day. Darkness and sleepiness does not contribute to staying wake very long, and two poor young children are too aware of that fact. Humidity hangs densely in the air. It pushes their usually light mood into droopiness, droopy like their very own eyelids in the damp, dark and dreary day...”



“Will you please keep quiet?” Rainsong asked, her voice the slightest strained with anger.



Pike paused in his ever-on-going tale, sat still for a moment or two before he blinked and turned to look at his sister. His purple eyes were wide and innocent, almost as large as her own, and the pupils looked so much like his one and only love; dreamberries. He blinked again and his long eyelashes fluttered. That was something else that was off about her older brother. Most of the boys in Two Moons were thought to be older than their ages; they were tall, well-muscled and equipped with big mouths, like most adults were. Pike, he... well, he had muscles, but he was a little short for his age. And he had a feminine face, according to his friends. Thus he was still able to pull that doe-look on their father, as their mother was completely resistant to it. Now that look was a look of surprise.



“Who, me?” he asked.



“Yes,” Rainsong said, not taking her eyes off the book in front of her.



“Why, I am merely sharing my tale.”



“Sure you do and yes, you are talented, but that was not what we were supposed to be doing.”



Rainsong glanced up and met her brother's eyes, squinting.



“And we have not even passed mid-day yet.”



Pike snorted and crossed his arms in front of his small chest, sticking his nose upwards in a snobby way.



“It is an insult,” he said.

“An insult!”



But Rainsong caught the hidden smirk and found herself smiling as well. She knew her brother well enough to know when he was joking with her and when he was actually hurt.



“Whatever you say,” she chuckled.

“But I do actually care about my education and I would really appreciate it if you would let me continue with it.”



With a small smile and a shake of her head, she returned to the book. They were in he library, studying. Or, they were supposed to, but only she did. Her brother had stopped reading long ago. She lifted her hand to remove a blonde lock that had fallen on her forehead, tucking it in under the hairnet, bejeweled by small glimmering stones. Her right hand, covered with the cloth of her dress, went back to the book and grabbed a hold of the page, carefully flipping it. Books were not for everyone and were to be treated with care; by getting contact with the paper with only their clothes, they spared it for many unnecessary touches.



Pike was seated on the window sill and the table and looking out the window, fully knowing that what he did was forbidden. His right leg was pulled up and his right elbow propped up by it. His left leg was bent backwards, half hanging and half laying on the table, while his left hand rested on his thigh. The dark brown fabric made a stark contrast to his light skin, along with the deep purple tunic. It didn't match his orange-red hair, but somehow it still did, simply because he was wearing it. He looked kind of cute, many of the young girls said. They had taken to batting their eyelashes at him the last year. If he noticed that, he didn't show it.



“You must stop doing that, you know,” Rainsong mumbled.

“If Marshal Stradlebaum of the Court catches you, he will personally wipe the floor with you.”



“He will not,” Pike retorted, a slight smirk pasted on his face.

“That pompous pudding pie will not dirty his hands with me.”



Rainsong glanced briefly up.



“And watch your tongue, brother,” she said and flipped a page.

“Father does not approve of your language.”



She didn't wait to hear his answer before she went back to reading, her eyes scanning the pages. Each paragraph, each sentence, each word was imprinted into her brain, placed inside a mental chest. There they were marked and hid so that she could concentrate on the next sentence, but still be able to pull them forth when need be. She flipped a page. She really didn't mind studying, in fact she found it quite interesting. Learning about her family's origin and how the country came to be could really be fascinating. For example that her father's family had always had something with healing to do. For generations and generations, they had served as either personal doctors, midwives or healers during wars. Herbal healers, that is, at least to the world outside. No one else but they knew, and not even they should have known. Another page was flipped and Rainsong froze.



Narrowed yellow glowing eyes glared at her from the old paper, surrounded by a fog so black it seemed to melt into the blackness that hid the corners of the library. A large mass of dark shadows stood back on powerful, muscular hind legs. One part of its body that looked like what could once have been a paw was held out in front of it. Sharp, long and dangerous claws were outstretched, ready to lash out and tear anyone open. A long tail was curled up behind its large body, able to crush any enemy in a moment. Its wide mouth was open, exposing white and sharp fangs, and its head was tilted ever so slightly. She fought the urge to turn her head, afraid there would actually be someone behind her. Or something... She shuddered and the page was flipped over. She wouldn't want to meet that creature by herself, thank you very much! Rainsong took a deep breath, swallowing a few times before going on with reading. But not before she had read three sentences did she notice that the usual witty comment from Pike was missing. Her brother had become very silent. She drew her eyes away from the paper and slowly, as if unwillingly, looked up at him. She blinked at the slight frown on his face and released the page, letting her hand slide out from the dress.



“What is it?”



“They are taking out Fax,” Pike mumbled absently.



“What?”



Rainsong jumped up and leaned over the table, looking out the window. Her eyes widened and she choked on a gasp. It was true, the stable boys were taking out the gray horse. But why? That was madness! She placed her hand on the stone wall, breathing. Fax had been brought in a few moons ago, but no one had been able to tame him. He almost killed a stable boy once. They weren't going to try and handle him today? She shared a glance with her brother, seeing her own horror reflected in his eyes. This was not good! Her father was away for the next few days and no one else could help if the horse turned rabid. She looked out the window again. This was bad. Very bad!



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Woodlock dropped the water buckets by the well and breathed as deep as he could, supporting himself on the stones. He dragged a hand over his forehead, letting it collect sweat droplets that had refused to fall. He shook it dry and turned his back to the bailey, looking down at his own reflection. Funny. The water worked much like the mirrors only noble families could afford to buy. The corners of his mouth twitched upwards into a shy smile and his water twin copied him. He laughed softly. He bent down and picked up one of the buckets and placed it on the edge of the well. Then he reached out his arm and grabbed the strong rope, tying it to the bucket. He pulled at it, making sure it wasn't lose, and nodded, apparently satisfied. He slowly dropped the bucket into the water and waited for the soft splash. Upon hearing it, he grabbed a hold of the wooden mechanism with both hands and started to turn it around, lifting up the bucket again.



The water was clear, cold, he felt when he accidentally spilled some of the contents over his hands. Cool and mild water. He stared at his own reflection, his water-self staring back. The tiny waves seemed to make his twin smile. Go on, he seemed to say. Woodlock blinked, dragged a hand over his forehead and blinked again. He panted. High Ones, it was so hot! When did the weather turn so fast? His twin locked eyes with him and he swallowed.



“You will not tell anyone,” he said.

“Right?”



The small waves forced his water-self to shake his head. Woodlock smiled and giggled softly, but cast a glance over his shoulder just to be sure. No one was around. He turned again and grabbed a hold of the bucket. He had put the horses in front of himself for the last four years. He lifted it to his mouth. Surely they could wait another five moments. He tilted it upwards and the cold water rushed down his throat, caressing his insides and cooling him down. He drank eagerly and chose to ignore the protesting whinnies from the other side of the bailey.



When he had finished drinking, he dropped the bucket into the well again to fill it. The full bucket was placed on the ground and its twin was picked up, going through the same process as the other one. He kept his eyes on it as he dropped it into the well, staring intently at the little wooden thing that had endured quite some things, everything from lowering children (without allowance) to be thrown after adults. And carrying water, of course. With a small smile, he pulled the bucket up again and put it next to the other one. He bent down and fastened both buckets to each end of his yoke, then heaved it up. The piece of wood landed across his shoulders and he wheezed, thankful he had the wits to get himself a drink in time. Then he stood up and turned around to walk back to the stables.



He hadn't walked very far when furious whinnies reached him and he stopped, eyes going wide. The older stable boys were pulling at long ropes and yelling, dragging a horse out from the stables. But the animal didn't want to follow them. It planted its hooves in the ground, dug them into the dirt and neighed. It tossed its head and the long dark gray mane danced. The sun was illuminating the horsehair and the muscles flexed under the gray coat of hair. It stomped and turned its head, trying to pull free from the ropes.



Woodlock stared intently, silently mouthing the horse's name.



“Fax,” he whispered.



Then he shuddered. He remembered the day the horse had been brought in, how he, like all the other stable boys, had been in complete awe. Everyone had wanted to be the one to tame the horse, to be able to call themselves its proud owner. And to make it produce many foals that could be just as great. Only that Fax didn't want to be tamed. According to the horse, Fax was Fax's owner and no one else should even think of trying to boss the horse around. A slight frown appeared on Woodlock's face. Fax didn't belong in the stables. If only they would let the poor horse go. He was about to continue when the horse let out an infuriated neigh and tossed its head to the side. A loud screech was emitted from one of the younger stable boys as the rope was torn out of his hands and he clutched his hands while screaming in pain. Almost simultaneously the other stable boys turned their heads to see what caused him such pain, but doing so also stole their attention. And Fax really knew how to take it as an opportunity. The horse neighed and tossed its head and jumped and all ropes were pulled out of the stable boys' hands. There were shrieks and sharp intakes of breaths from everyone in the bailey. Fax was free!



Just then the sound of giggles reached them and a cat appeared out of nowhere with Crescent following close behind. The two of them scuttled out from the stables and the little cat made a break for the horse, bolting between its legs. The horse neighed and stepped backwards. Crescent's laughter hitched and she came to an abrupt halt as the horse stood up on its hind legs, staling with its hooves hovering dangerously close to her head. All blood drained from her face, leaving only large violet eyes and a mouth rounded in terror. A highpitched shriek wrenched itself from her throat and she threw her arms up, trying to shield her head as best she could.



At that moment, fate chose to lead Strongbow and Moonshade outside, have them watch their daughter with the horse. Everyone else, stable boys, guards, maidens and parents, watched as everything slowed down. Every sound slowed down, stretched and sounded three times louder. The horse neighed, its hooves created small echoing waves of sound as they came closer, the sounds lasting for several unreal seconds. In those seconds the others could do nothing but watch and Strongbow would never, ever forget his daughter's horrified shriek, and it would forever haunt his dreams for the rest of his life. He tried to dive past his wife, the guards around them, digging in lose air to get to his most precious possession. But the guards knew it was too late and they reached out their arms, stopping him. They pulled him back as he tried to sprint, trying to get to his daughter. They knew he would get crushed too.



Crescent stood still, completely frozen, waiting for the hooves to push her to the ground as they fell. She shrank smaller as they came closer, threatening to bash her skull in and crush her. In that last long lasted second, consumed by this new fear, she did the only thing that came to her mind. She closed her eyes. She closed her eyes and squeezed them shut. Then she waited.



No one would ever forget the strangled gasp, the pained yelp that escaped the little girl's lips, but the worst of all was the sound of hooves connecting with soft skin. The hooves struck and somewhere in the distanced background, wood burst, broke into splinters and planks as something impacted with it, covering everything like waves in the sea.



Sound and movement once again returned to normal. The rest of the horse came down quickly as gravity and reality returned.



The horse's hooves hit the ground, making a slight dust cloud where the dirt from the ground was lifted up, into the air as the horse caused a slight wind as it came down. The other just stared, stared as the dust cloud spread and was thinned out, laying on the ground like a thick blanket of fog. The others froze, eyes and faces a mask of disbelief at what had just happened. But they did not stare at the spot where the horse's hooves had struck the ground. Not as Joyleaf and Cutter who had just run towards and froze; not at the guards as they came running, fear of the girl and of the beast that stood there... but they stared at the spot, under all those heavy clouds, away from the horse.



There, coated in dust, was little Crescent, half laying, half sitting, with eyes wide and mouth rounded.



She was frozen, sat on the dirt floor, staring at the horse as it was restrained by stable boys who finally saw fit to move. Ropes were flung up and around its neck and the young men pulled hard, forcing the horse farther away from Crescent. She stared. Strongbow, who was suddenly by her side and with his arms wrapped around her, stared. Joyleaf and Cutter, on the other side of the bailey, stared. Young prince Cutter shook his head and his light blonde hair fell on his forehead, mouth open, not believing it. Joyleaf stared, mouth open also, along with Moonshade. Crescent was unhurt, not struck by the hooves, and several feet away from where they had landed. How?



Then a tortured, earsplitting scream erupted from the stables, rolling long and cold over the lower bailey. Elves and humans shared shocked glances and legs suddenly moved on their own. Those who didn't restrain Fax were headed towards the stables, afraid of what would meet their eyes. Treestump, the earl's son and older brother of princess Joyleaf, was one of the first to enter the wooden building, but he immediately stopped short, as if a wall had suddenly grown out of nowhere. And then every sound disappeared.



“What the hell…!” he whispered.

“Oh, damn. Damn!”



He froze and his blue eyes widened, slowly filling with terror. Nausea spread through his body and he swallowed. His ears faintly heard others come up behind him and somewhere in the back if his head, his mind registered other shrieks, gasps and cries. A young man came to stand beside him, saw what caused the screams and turned and vomited. Woodlock was half laying and half sitting up against the wall, withering in pain while heartrending screams were wrenched from his throat. His slightly tanned skin had turned a sickly pale shade and sweat was running down his face. Another scream tore its way out and Woodlock's hands twitched, as if trying to grab the pain and remove it.



“Oh, High Ones,” Treestump whispered.



Blood was covering the floor, a wide pool of still liquid. On the top of his leg, a long piece of metal glimmered in the dim light. Blood poured freely, surged from Woodlock's leg; pierced by the sharp object.

RedheadEmber

What. Just. Happened???? Crescent wasn't killed! Right?? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway! Nice chap... and I'm still confused...

jeb

Quote:


What. Just. Happened????





Ditto that! Glad Crescent is okay, but what is going on with Woodlock? Is his injury due to something he did to save Crescent or something else?



I'll be anxiously waiting for part 2...

Embala

*holding breath until silver light will show up*

... fortunately it's alredy February Wink ... looks like Rainsong will get a lot to do ...



Very well done, Tenderfoot, NO - excellent! - wish I had Tymber's skills in commenting.





*is not understanding how Redhead can read so fast ...took....me...an...hour... - almost!*

faeriegirl

WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! Crescent!!!! WOODLOCK!!!!!!!
*shakes Tenderfoot* Where's part 2, darnit?!?!?!?!?!

The silver light is Crescent not dying, maybe? but but but... Woodlock!! You better live, boy!!!

Embala

Another late contribution - going with faeriegirl's story "Hero Worship". Shown from Elona's point of view I tried to take this tragic lovestory serious - of course the reality was slightly different Wink



Her Hero (with "real life" element used in the story)





click to see full sized



This one was NOT fun to make ... too many cleaning neccessary ... and Mantricker was stubburn. And last not least the IRL element is ruining the picture for uninitiated viewers :/ ... but that was easy to solve: Simply made a variation without it!



http://www.elfquest.com/social/file/pic/photo/2010/03/Embala-her-hero_500.jpg

Cleopatra

I like the collage, Embala. You always put it well together. Good job. Thumbs_up

WolfMoonSky

I love the collage Embala!! You always make beautiful collage's!!Hug

Embala

Hug Thanks so much, sweeties! Hug

faeriegirl

OMG Embala!! That's AWESOME!!!! Love it!!!!!
*tackle glomps Embala* You're made of pure awesomeness!!
It's perfect, as always!!

Startear

Oh my, that picture was spetactular! OMG!!

Embala

Yay Looks like it was worth all the trouble with Mantricker!

Glad to see you so happy, faeriegirl ... ähm ... can I get my arms and free moving space back?

*lol* Are you ok, Startear?

Thanks for the overwhelming comments!

RedheadEmber

Quote:


Glad to see you so happy, faeriegirl ... ähm ... can I get my arms and free moving space back?




No! *Runs away with Embala's arms!*





Eeeh... what was the real-life element?

Embala

Quote:
There was a strange but wonderful place where they could live in peace, the village had a huge stone lady looking out over the sea. ... The lady was pretty, with a spiky crown and a torch in her hand. She came closer to the lady, she wanted to see what was in her other hand...
Wink



You'd better return my arms quick, Redhead - otherwise I'd have to stop what I'm working on. I can type with the nose - but cannot work on collages this way ...





... and you would NOT like me drop the current one!

faeriegirl

Oooooohhhhh!!! *makes Redhead give Embala's arms back!!!*
wanna see it!!!