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Skystrike
12/21/2003 10:36 PM

A battle rages in the distance, and the clash of steel can be heard for miles off. The battle could not be taken place more then a mile off, but here in the small forest glade, and strange calm seem to set, aside from the noise in the distance. An elf sits on a white horse grasing in the short grass within the small glade. He sits quietly as he waits for word to come. His left had absant-mindedly strokes the pure white main of his mount as he waits. His keen ears picking up every cry of battle off in the distance, but he tries to pay it no need. The battle itself was of little real meaning anyways.

There is a small creek and pond flowing near where he waits. The white noice of the flowing water seems to only add to the calm of the small forested area. The elf's horse munches on the grass near the brook, savoring it's moist taste. The horse knows that it will need all of the energy it gets, for soon they too would be forced into battle.

A cracking tig breaks the song of the water within the glade, and the elf quickly calls his attention toward the sorce of the voice. His hand falls to the hilt of his sword until his eyes fall upon small kenderman. The elf smiles slightly, as the kender moves closer into site.

"Lord Kurst," The kender says, it's voice shaking in the calm wind about the glade, "I bring word from Sathras of Qualinost. He says that his armies will support your takeover of the throne."

The elf smiles even broader at these words, as he waves his hand. Out from the small stream, water vapor suddenly appears and it gathers, forming into a near solid cloud over the stream. The water molicules arange themselves in such a way that a misty map of Krynn appears.

"That makes three then." Kurst says, as he gazes at his makeshift map. As he says this, three areas on the map appear to become larger. Two of the sploches on the map appear to be on the edge of Qualinesti, and the other shows up near the kender lands.

"But Lord Kurst, do you really think that these armies will be able to help you overthrow Silvanost? The false lords there have amassed a great deal of fallowing, and they have the support of the conclave. It will be hard to overun them." The kender says.

"Their defenders matter little. The rule of Silvanesti is my birthright, and I will take it. A few false lords, and old mages cannot bar me from my prize. Tell me, have the kender armies confirmed the message we sent them?" Kurst said.

"Yes," The kender replied, "The leaders of the kender armies that allied you have confirmed your plan. They will be ready to move in within the north."

"Wonderful. Lord Sathras's support was the last peice we needed." Kurst said.

"What of the battle that rages now milord? Your Qualinesti allies already clash with the soldier of the false lords. Do you plan to take control of the men yourself?" the kender asked.

"No. This battle is only a prelude to what will come. I have other things that require my attention at presant." Kurst said, before he quickly sprung to action and speed off leaving the kender behind.

He required one last thing before he could set his plan in motion...

((OOC: Email me if you want to take part in this story. (Or you can just use the OOC: thread.) It will be worth your while if you do. My email is jlahanas@hotmail.com. Sorry for spelling mistakes. It's late.))

Cherizal
12/27/2003 3:19 AM

The inn was quiet. A few customers were talking and drinking in a corner, but it was still early and most of the regulars would not get in there until supper time.

Keris was in the kitchen trying to eat a quick bite, whilst the other barmaid kept an eye on the common room. Working in an inn had never been what she wanted in her life, but she had spent the last twenty years serving ale and sweeping floors.

Sighing she remembered a time where she had dreamt of long journeys and great adventures. She had even dreamt of sharing her life with an handsome elf lord. She shook her head thinking of how foolish she had been.

The elf had left after a while promising to go back to her, but twenty years had gone and she had not seen him again. She had given birth to his child and raised her all alone. Her hand went mechanically up to the ring she wore in a chain around her neck. It was the only thing she had left of him.

Life had been hard since his departure. Most of the people in her small village didn't approve her involvement with an elf and sometimes she felt like an exile. Things were even worse for her kid, a bastard half-elf that people made fun of. The child was 20 but still acted like a young teenager because of her elven inheritance.

Keris brushed a lock of red curls away from her face. She was 39, but still pretty. Her skin was smooth and her body trimmed, only her green eyes and the few wrinkles around them witnessed her age and the hard times she had been through.

She washed her plate and returned to the common room with a resigned look in the eyes. She was tired of the place, of the job and of those men who smelled of ale and tried to touch her butt or steal a kiss while she served at the tables. But that was the only life she knew and she didn't hope or dream of a better life anymore. She carried on for her daughter's sake and prayed every day that she could find her place in the world and be happy.

Skystrike
12/27/2003 5:49 AM

Kurst had been riding for only a short while when he felt a tug to his left on the journey. He knew what it had meant. When he first meet his wife-to-be, he had placed a mystic spell upon her, so that they would always be connected. Kurst gave a bit of a happy smirk. This meant that at least she was still alive.

Kurst rode in the direction where he was being pulled for two more moons, when he came upon a small village nessled at the edge of the plains. She was there...Kurst could feel it, and he was sure that she could somehow feel it as well. Remembering the trouble he had the last time he was with humans, and the way they acted toward him, Kurst took his hand to his sword, and drove the horse forward.

Cherizal
12/28/2003 11:49 AM

"Shit!" Keris cursed under her breath and shook her head looking at the broken bowls on the floor. It was the second time she broke something that night. She was feeling nervous and edgy and didn't really know why.

The innkeeper shot her an angry glance and she hurried to clean the floor, then she went to the kitchen and decided to sit down for a short while and try to calm down.

What's wrong with me today? she wondered. Absently she touched the ring she wore as a pendant. It felt hot and very heavy. She looked at it frowning.

Kurst...?! No, it can't be. I'm just having a bad day, I should stop daydreaming. I'm too old for that. She bit her lip, filled some new bowls with stew and went back to the common room.

Skystrike
12/28/2003 3:36 PM

Kurst rode into town slowly trying to attract as little attention as possible. Kurst slowly made his way to a small set of troths at the edge of town, and bound his horse up before one. The beautiful white ride began to drink quickly, for it had been a long time since either the horse or the rider had drunk anything.

Pulling a small watersack from his pack, Kurst drunk greedily. When the sack was empty, Kurst waved his hand toward the troth, and a small portion of water floated into the air. Lighting a small fireball under it, Kurst waited for the globe of water to come to a boil, killing any germs alive inside. He then motioned for the water to enter the sack, and it did so. Kurst proceded to bound the sack back to his horse.

As soon as he was done with this, Kurst made his way toward the building that seemed to house his former lover, the town tavern. Hiding his face, so that he may surprise the human, Kurst entered and took a seat at an empty table. He smiled broadly as he saw her drop the bowls. Even twenty years later she was still the way she was when he had left her.

Kurst waited patiantly for the woman to come over.

Cherizal
12/28/2003 3:55 PM

Keris brought the stew to the people who had ordered it, then she noticed a new customer. Noticing that the other barmaid was busy with a group of noisy dwarves, she walked to the man. Well, she thought it was a man, but she could not be sure as the hood of his cloak hid his face.

"Good evening, sir, would you like something to drink or eat? We have some delicious rabbit stew tonight" she said in a flat tone.

Skystrike
12/28/2003 4:04 PM

"Nothing of course, unless I would be allowed to feast my eyes upon you love." Kurst said, stealing her hand faster then her mind could realize and placing the most gentle of kisses upon it.

"It's been quite a time, love." Kurst said, unable to keep his eyes off his former lover.

Cherizal
12/28/2003 4:25 PM

Keris was taken by surprise. Her eyes widened and she opened her mouth to say something, but closed it again and swallowed. The man was Kurst, the elf lord she had loved so many years before. She couldn't believe her eyes... What was he doing there?

She couldn't take her eyes off him. He looked the same even after those long twenty years, but then he was an elf and elves didn't age as fast as humans. She smoothed her dress, suddenly aware of the old clothes she was wearing, of the roughness of her hands and of the wrinkles on her face.

She felt old and shaggy compared to him. A sting of pain pierced her heart. She had wasted the best years of her life waiting for this man and now he came back and flirted with her as if only a few days had gone since their last meeting.

Pale like a ghost and with her knees soft like butter, she sat down trying to recover from the shock. She hid her face in her hands and tried to think clearly. She took a deep breath and spoke, hoping her voice wouldn't break.

"What are you doing here? Where have you been the last twenty years? Where were you when I needed you? Do you really think you can come back here after so long and call me love, you arrogant bastard?"

Skystrike
12/28/2003 4:32 PM

Kurst wasnt taken aback one moment. He had come to expect this kind of fire from Keris twenty years ago, and he was surprised only by the fact that it had taken her a full two minuets to muster the mental clarity for an outburst. Kurst arrogantly tossed back some of his blond hair from his fair face as she ranted.
"Now love, you can call me a bastard all you want, but perhaps this is not the best place? We have much to talk about, as I'm sure you have alot more cussing and ranting to do. Perhaps he should do so where we are not annoying the guests of this 'fine' tavern?" Kurst said in a steady voice, working his elvish charm.

Cherizal
12/29/2003 2:08 PM

Keris rose to her feet and slapped his face, anger burning in her eyes.
"Who do you think you are, son of an elven bitch?" she sneered "I don't intend to talk to you here or anywhere else. Just go away and leave me alone... I have to work now... and if I don't work when I am supposed to, who is gonna pay the bills and take care of our daughter's needs?"

She turned her back on him and walked to another table where a few men where asking for more ale. She served them refusing to meet the innkeeper's eyes. An arguement with her boss was the last thing she needed. Making sure that all the customers had got what they wanted, she went into the kitchen, sat down and cried bitter tears.

A part of her wanted to welcome Kurst back into her life, but she knew that he would only bring her more pain. She didn't want to hope for something that was not meant to be, she could not bear to be left once again. She would not let him mess with her life or her daughter's.

Her decision taken, she swept away her tears and made herself ready to resume her work hoping that Kurst had left.

Skystrike
12/29/2003 2:22 PM

For the first time in quite a few years, Kurst had been awed. They had a daughter? This caused Kurst to nearly have a doubletake. He had a child? Kurst suddenly cursed himself. He never whould have left them alone, for so long, had he known that they had a child. How could he have possibly known.

Kurst watched silently as Keris rose and walked into the kitchen. Standing, and avoiding strange looks from others around the tavern, Kurst fallowed Keris into the kitchen only to find her crying. She didnt appear to notice he ahd entered. Walking as slowly as he could, Kurst moved behind Keris and waited for her to notice him. When she got up, still not realizing he was there, Kurst put his arms slowly around her.

"We have a daughter...?" Kurst asked, awed. His tone was very soft, and only Keris could possibly hear him. There was nothing snibe about his tone at all, and it seemed to prove to Keris, or at least try too, that he was totally clueless.

Kalia_Majere
12/29/2003 2:48 PM

In an unobtrusive corner of the tavern, A young woman watched the two with mild interest. She leaned back in her chair, as she cut a piece of cheese from the plate before her, eating it off of the back of her knife. She chuckled softly as their spat continued in the kitchen.

She held a piece of cold stew meat in the palm of her hand and held it out towards the window sill... A large crow, larger than any in the tavern had ever seen landed on the sill and quickly ate what she offered. It made a soft sound and hopped onto her outstretched wrist.

"There you are... find anything interesting?"

:?: came the silent reply.

Jury sighed and wished that the bird would learn to add to his vocabulary.

"Find any prey?" She asked, this time forming the mental image so that the crow simply couldn't misunderstand.

: Yes, Prey good here, not go hungry: came the response.

Simply translated, people here where careless...and her purse would be full by the end of the night. Juri turned her attention back to the events at hand, as the crow siddled up her arm to her shoulder, finally hopping to the mantle of the hearth at Juri's right.

Cherizal
12/29/2003 2:53 PM

When Keris realized that the arms around her were Kurst's, she pushed him away and glared at him.
"Yes, we have a daughter. She is beautiful and smart and you don't deserve her at all. I've told her that her father is dead, so don't try to contact her. You would make her life miserable and I don't want you to."

She bit her lip and added with a tired voice.
"And now, please, leave and never come back again."

Skystrike
12/29/2003 3:12 PM

It was Kurst's turn to be hurt now.
"Well, I'm sorry but you know I cannot do that." Kurst said, "I made an oath to you twenty years before that I would come back and take you away from here for a better life. I have worked long and hard to get that life going, and now I have come to collect you. The fact that we have a child only serves to strengthen my need to do so."

"My, allies, are set to move in on Silvanesti, and retake the country. The lands that are by birthright mine, will be mine again. Like I swore to you so long ago, you will be the Queen of that realm, and now that I am aware of an offspring, she will be the Heir to that throne." Kurst continued raising his voice in anger.

"You should not have told her I was dead, for I will meet with her. If you dont want to come with me, then so be it, but I will offer our child a chance for the life of pleasure that you now deny." Kurst said.

Then, his tone softened again, "Keris, you know that I love you. If I didnt then you know I would not have wasted my time in coming here. Plus, the fact that you are so upset over my return only proves that on some level you still care for me. Please love, come with me and realize the life that I swore to you so long ago. If not for you, then at least think of the child. Think how much better her life will be in a palace, then here around drunkards."

Cherizal
12/29/2003 3:39 PM

Keris shook her head and looked at her former lover with sadness in her eyes.
"Kurst, you are blind. I was blind too twenty years ago, but I've had many years to think about this. I'm 39 years old and if I'm lucky I have 20 years left. You have centuries waiting for you! Twenty years are just a second in your life, but they are long time for me.

And do you really think the elves would accept me as their queen, and our daughter, a half-elf, as the heir to the throne? You are a fool if you believe so. Elves think they are the beloved of the gods and that all the other races are rubbish. Open your eyes...

It doesn't matter if I care for you or not. There's no future for us and I won't let you take our daughter away from me. She's the only one I have left. And now let me go, I can't afford to lose my job."

Avenging_Angel
12/29/2003 4:42 PM

The door to the tavern creaked open, and a young woman came in. her long, beautiful red-gold hair was shimmering in the fading light, and the almond shape of her green-blue eyes gave away her heritage.

The cut and color of her garb quickly showed her as a ranger, as did her very tan skin, but on her face, a smattering of freckles lit up her face when she smiled.

She hurried through the crowded inn, avoiding drunken customers with an unhuman grace. She hurried around the bar, and embraced her mother tightly, planting a kiss on her cheek. She caught sight of the expression on her beloved mother's face, and her expression darkened to match it.

"Whats wrong, Mother?" Lanaya inquired, pulling back her embrace. She noticed an elven man who her mother seemed to be angry at.

"Is this man bothering you?"

Cherizal
12/29/2003 4:58 PM

Keris returned her daughter's warm embrace and smiled at her.
"Layana, sweetheart, I hope you've had a nice day. Don't worry about this man. He will be leaving very soon and won't bother me again. Go back to the common room now, I will bring you some food and then we will go home together" she said, then she looked to Kurst begging him silently to not say anything to the girl.

Skystrike
12/29/2003 6:10 PM

"So it's Layana then?" Kurst said, looking at the child with a warm smile. She was quite beautiful, and the fact that Kurst had helped bring her to be made him feel very warm inside.

"Listen to me Keris," Kurst said, avoiding the child for a moment, "Twenty years should have been nothing for me. It should have past as if the blink of an eye, like all other elves, but it didnt. Because I wasnt with you every second of ever day felt as if it was eons long. I worked so hard these past years. I faught, and blead, and carried on, just to know that one day I would be able to make our dream a reality. I refuse to give up on you. The time you have left doesnt matter to me. It would be a short time filled with wonder! What the other elves think doesnt matter! They suffer under the false lords now, and they will welcome me when I win the seige! And if they welcome me, they will welcome my family and my law. Are you telling me that what we had meant nothing? Few things can hurt me Keris, very few. Tell me that we are not walking the edge of the largest of them all as we speak!" Kurst said.

"Tell me, looking into your daughter's eyes, our daughter's eyes, and tell me that this means nothing to you. That I was nothing to you!"

Avenging_Angel
12/29/2003 7:14 PM

Layana looked at her mother anxiously.

"If this man is causing trouble, I will deal with him for you." she said, resting her hand on the curved dagger in her belt. The sorrow in her mother's eyes nearly brought tears to her own eyes, but there was something else there, a fear.....


So it's Layana then?" Kurst said, looking at the child with a warm smile.


Layana glared at the elven man viciously. "Not that it's any of your business." she snarled.




"Tell me, looking into your daughter's eyes, our daughter's eyes, and tell me that this means nothing to you. That I was nothing to you!"


The words spilled out of the man's mouth, and at that moment, Layana's world shattered.

The words didn't register, until after a moment.

She turned to her mother.
"What does he mean by "our"?!! You said my father was dead!!?"

Skystrike
12/29/2003 7:42 PM

"It appears, to her I am." Kurst said, looking rather sad.

Avenging_Angel
12/29/2003 8:28 PM

OOC: What time zone are you, sky? I sem to be on at the same time as you.

BIC:


"It appears, to her I am." Kurst said, looking rather sad.


Layan stared at her mother.
"What in the name of all that is right and holy is going on!!??" she yelled, frustrated by the lack of answers.

Skystrike
12/29/2003 9:16 PM

(OOC: I am on eastern USA, and please, all my friends call me by my name. Jason, or Jay is fine, whichever you like better. Of course, your welcome to call my by my name as well Cheri!)

"Well you see, young one," Kurst said, trying to sound as gentle and kind as he could, but not doing too good of a job at it, "Twenty years ago I stopped through this town on my way to Kender-home. I stayed at a tavern for one night, and your mother happened to be staying in the very same tavern. We meet, and feel in love, or so I thought. I ended up staying here for over a year. However, I couldnt stay any longer. I had waited all of my life to begin to make a move, to set m plan in motion. I had to leave, but I told your mother that I could come back one day, and I would have the world at her feet. So I left. Of course I didnt know about you, in fact I only just learned of you a few short moments before."

"And here I have come back, making good on my oath, but apparently the love that fueled my desiers for so long is not shared by your mother any longer. I am Kurst, Layana, your father." Kurst explained.

"Your mother would not wish I tell you this, but I believe that you have a right to know." Kurst said, and then he smiled again, his voice becoming a bit softer.

"Layana...such a beautiful name..."

Cherizal
12/30/2003 3:22 AM

Keris bit her lip. Her eyes were filled with tears, but she was also mad at Kurst because he hadn’t listened to her prayer.
“Kurst” she said in a broken voice “If what we had really meant so much to you, why didn’t you send any message at all during all these years? How can you pretend that someone should wait for you for 20 years without even knowing if you are alive or not? I wasted my life waiting for you… day after day…

Maybe it doesn’t matter to you, but it matters to me that in a few years my hair will be grey and my face wrinkled, maybe I will lie in bed sick not even able to walk, while you will look the same as you do now. How do you think I would feel? You are selfish, Kurst. You just want people to be your pets and you don’t care if what you do hurts them… as long as you get what you want.”

She paused and looked at her daughter. She smiled sadly and gently touched her cheek.
“Layana, my child, I told you that your father was dead because I thought he was. He left me and I never heard a word from him. I had to believe he was dead to carry on. I believed it was better to tell you all the good things I remembered about him and make you love him, instead of letting you know the sad truth. I wanted you to think that your father had been a wonderful man, I didn’t want you to know how deeply he had hurt me.”

The innkeeper walked into the kitchen glaring at Keris.
“This is a kitchen, not a meeting room. I don’t pay you to chat with our customers, Keris.”
She clenched her hands into fists, but didn’t say anything. She couldn’t allow herself to show her anger and lose the job. She bowed her head and went back to the common room.

Skystrike
12/30/2003 7:18 AM

"You listen to me innkeeper. This room will be used for whatever I wish it to. Do not get in my way human." Kurst said, instantly regretting the scorn on the last word. Kurst then procesded to walk calmly past the innkeeper, and back into the common room.

Passing Keris he said quietly, "It wasnt like I was able to send word out. I was working too hard to build us a future. I'm sorry I hurt you, but I will wait till your shift is done, so we can further our talk."

Kurst moved to sit at the table he had been sitting at before, but he found that people were now sitting there. In fact, the tavern had seemed to full up quite a bit while Kurst was in the kitchen. Looking around the room Kurst located the only free chair in the common room. He sat in it, looking rather smug, not even thinking to ask the woman with the crow sitting there if she minded.

Cherizal
12/30/2003 9:22 AM


Passing Keris he said quietly, "It wasnt like I was able to send word out. I was working too hard to build us a future. I'm sorry I hurt you, but I will wait till your shift is done, so we can further our talk."


"I was working too hard to build us a future." Keris repeated mockingly and shook her head in frustration. The man was too stubborn and too egocentric to understand. She felt hunted and she knew Kurst would not stop until he had got what he wanted.

What can I do to make him go away? And how can I prevent him from taking Layana with him? She felt suddenly old and tired, she didn't want to fight, she just wanted to be left in peace.

Avenging_Angel
12/30/2003 11:13 AM

((OOC: I'm on central. You can call me Shana, if you like. That's part of my name. (LOng name;)))))



I am Kurst, Layana, your father." Kurst explained.

"Your mother would not wish I tell you this, but I believe that you have a right to know." Kurst said, and then he smiled again, his voice becoming a bit softer.

"Layana...such a beautiful name..."


Layan stared.

"GOD'S AND HELLS!!!!!" she yelled. "YOU NEVER BOTHERED BEFORE AND NOW YOU DROP IN FOR A CUP OF TEA WITH YOU'RE FORMER LOVE AND YOU'RE DAUGHTER!!!!!"

Layana yelled. "How could you.....both of you!" She turned on her heel, and stormed out.

Kalia_Majere
12/30/2003 1:37 PM

Juri sat silent, watching the scene unfold before her. The elf-lord had sat down at her table without even asking, and though it irritated her, it amused her even more.

The girl, obviously the pair's daughter yelled angrily at the two and stormed out of the Inn....

She sat there, hoping to at least catch the Elf's gaze for only a moment....

Cherizal
12/30/2003 2:29 PM

Keris shuddered hearing her daughter's words and watched her storm out with a concerned look in her eyes. Something inside her urged her to follow the girl and talk to her, but she couldn't leave and she knew Layana needed time to think about the truth she had just learnt.

She kept serving at the tables trying to not meet Kurst's eyes. It was so difficult for her to concentrate though and she sighed in relief when the innkeeper announced that her shift was over.

She rushed out and hurried home, but the little house was dark and empty. Layana, child, where are you? She asked silently The woods, she must have gone into the woods. She always does when something is bothering her.

Worried sick she took a torch and decided to go look for her.

Skystrike
12/30/2003 4:58 PM

"There has got to be some better way of getting through to both of them..." Kurst said within his mind as his eyes fell past the woman whom he sat with. They had meet eyes for only a moment, but Kurst instantly felt weird. It as as if looking at the woman made him feel, almost violated.

Trying to avoid thinking about the current situation, Kurst fell back in his chair, and held his face in his hands.

Kalia_Majere
12/30/2003 5:05 PM

Juri had met the elf's eyes, and though he looked away before she could actually say anything, he had unwittingly opened a path for her to truely "speak" to him.

:You know, most people would ask before they sat down at a table where they didn't know the other occupants.: She sent scathingly before she really studied his reactions...

:Forgive me, is there something I can do to help?: She sent, her "voice" a little kinder and concerned.

Skystrike
12/30/2003 5:12 PM

Being a sorcerer, Kurst had been aware of telepaths. One of the dark elves that had been in the clan Kurst was raised in had actually been a minor telepath. Being raised around that elf had taught Kurst much about them, and he quickly worked to close his mind.

"You know, most telepaths are a bit more careful about who's minds they enter." Kurst said, quietly, not moving his hands from his face.

Avenging_Angel
12/30/2003 6:32 PM

Layana ran through the woods, dry leaves crunching underneath her feet as she ran blindly. Her anger fueled her speed, and she ran fast. She stopped by willow tree that washed the ends of it's branches into a stream, as if washing leafy hair. She clutched her chest, as her side stabbed painfully, reminding her to pace herself.

SHe looked around, and recognized the Katrana River. She had played down here as a little child, trying to catch frogs and racing sticks with the other children from the village.

Sometimes they would catch a fish, and be able to proudly take it back to the village.

She glanced at her wavering reflection in the rippling water, and remembered when she had caught a fish, a big trout, and how proud she had been when she caught it. Lugging it in a heavy pail all the way back to the village, a mile , roughly, had meant nothing when she had seen how proud her mother was.

She was so happy. We both were. Why the hell did everything change?!

A hot stream slid across her cheek, and she realized she was crying. Silently, she berated herself, for letting this man, this would-be- father upset her like this.

That's only letting him win. That's what he wants, for you to suffer. she thought.

She shook her head, wiping two wet trails off of her scheek, and rose. Sitting by the river wasn't helping anything, and, if anything, made it worse.

She rose, and headed around the willow tree to get her bearings. She saw no distinguishing landmarks. The agile young woman selected a low branch on the willow tree, and hoisted herself up.

She looked around, catching sight of nothing. Suddenly Layana noticed a stream of smoke. Narrowing her eyes, and peering hard, she saw the village.

Good. At least I'm not too lost.

A sudden break in the opvercast sky allowed the sun to send a finger of light onto the land, before the clouds caught up once again. The young ranger saw a gleam, off in the woods, a little of the direct path to her village.

Now what the heck could that be? she pondered. There was little in the woods to fear, and it was only a little off her path.

She slid down from the tree, marking a lightning blasted stump where she would have to turn to reach the mettallic gleam.

She walked along the route, and soon recognized a few discreet marks that she had made long ago to find her way home.

After she had been walking awhile, she noticed the blasted stump, just off her path.

Mother is probably worried..... part of her head told her.

She ignored it, and plunged off the path.

The thick underbrush finnally ended, and the woods opened up into a glade.

The ruin of a stone wall thrust up from the northwest side, blocking the chill wind, unusually cold for the season.

The wall was gapped by a rusted and battered gate, with undeniable scorch marks on it.

Ah. Undoubtedly a home, and someone's cookfire got out of hand.
she thought, remembering the goblin raids of her childhood, where they had often burned outlying homesteads.

She looked around the glade, marking it for future exploration. A splash of color caught her eye.

A sort of trellis made of interlaced metal was standing in front of an ancient, huge oak tree, and roses were blooming up and down it.

She walked closer, and marveled at the beauty of the flowers. However, as she tried to reach them, her foot hit something. Looking down, she saw the oddest thing: a sword, blade buried deep in the ground stickig up, with a wreath of withered roses dangling from it.

It was a beautiful sword, two handed, obviously, from the sectioned grips.

Hesitantly, afraid it would be heavy, she grasped the higheast up leather-bound grip, and pulled.

It slid up into the air, with hardly a fleck of dirt on the blade. She swung it experimentally, and found it was light, and it made a whirring noise as it cut air. She looked closely at the blade, jsut above the crosspiece, and found a tiny lettering of the name: TreeSong.

Odd name for such a weapon. she thoguht.

Suddenly she realized how long she had tarried in the glade, and cursed herself.

She reached into her ever-present pack, and pulled out her spare cloak, wrapping the grimy sword in it to examine later. When all trace of the sword was enveloped in cloth, she strapped it to her back, and continued on her way back.

Cherizal
12/31/2003 8:34 AM

Keris walked into the woods and followed the path down to the river. It was dark and she didn't have Layana's keen elven sight. The torch cast just enough light to see the path.

When she reached the river, she didn't find anyone. She could see that someone had been there quite recently, but she was no tracker and couldn't be sure it had been her daughter.

"Layana!" she called out, but noone answered. The night was silent. Keris sat down trying to think about the situation without overreacting.
Maybe she is home by now. Maybe she visited a friend or a neighbour
She didn't know the woods as well as Layana did and if the girl didn't wish to be found, she didn't have a chance to find her.

After a short hesitation she started walking back.
Maybe I'll meet her on the way home

Avenging_Angel
12/31/2003 10:25 AM

Layana heard a rustling on the path, behind her. She hesitated for a moment, and then went off the path, and doubled back. She saw a light, bobbing htrough the woods.

What the heck is that? she mused.

The light bobbed near her, and then she saw the face of her mother.

With a sigh, she steeped out of the underbrush, and fell into step with her mother.

"Hi."

Cherizal
12/31/2003 11:20 AM

OOC: Angel, have you read our new ideas in the OOC thread?

BIC: Keris was startled by a sound coming from the bushes, but she smiled relieved when she saw her daughter appear on the path.

"Blessed Paladine, Layana, you scared me! I was worried sick about you, but you are alright. That's the most important thing. Let's go home now. You must be hungry" she said giving her daughter a hug, then she added looking at her with concern in her eyes "How do you feel about what you found out today?"

Kalia_Majere
12/31/2003 3:25 PM

Juri shrugged. "No need to worry about me, I havn't survived this long on my own by being totally stupid...but someone like me knows when to take a calculated risk." She said as she realized that the elf had closed his mind to her.

:Miki... Follow that woman and her child....keep an eye on them...: She sent to the crow. The bird cawed softly and then flew out through the open window.

Juri turned back to Kurst and smiled. She motioned to one of the other barmaids and indicated Kurst. The barmaid brought a bottle of wine and two goblets, and Juri calmly handed her several steel coins.

"Besides, it was not so much of a risk, Lord Kurst...I knew exactly who you were."

Avenging_Angel
12/31/2003 6:25 PM

OOC: Yep, Cheri.

BIC:

Layana sighed.



"How do you feel about what you found out today?"


She stared at her mother.

"I......I don't know. It's too much, for now."



she added looking at her with concern in her eyes


Layan saw her concern, and forced a cheery smile onto her face, and put her arm over her mother's shoulders.

"It'll be alright. The world hasn't stopped, and it's not the end of the world."

Cherizal
01/01/2004 3:29 AM

Keris nodded.
"Just remember that you can talk to me when something bothers you, Layana, always."
Together they went back to the house.

Skystrike
01/01/2004 9:19 AM

"Have you already taken that much from my mind?" Kurst asked, a little surprised.
"I hope that is not the case, because if it is, then I cant exactly let you live since you are a risk to my entier operation with that knowlage. Or, perhaps you would join me?" Kurst said, warningly.

Kalia_Majere
01/01/2004 9:51 AM

Juri feined shock at his accusation. "Of course not... If I had simply wanted to take from you everything you knew...I would have more information than just simply your name." She focused her attentions on the oil lamp that sat in the middle of the table.

The wick promptly burst into flame. "And I highly doubt that killing me would be so easily done M'Lord."

Smiling she placed both hands on the table. "As far as joining you that was exactly the plan all along. Juri "The Phoenix" Stargazer at your service. I and my employers have no desire to watch the land of Silvanos be held in these falselings' hands' any longer."

Skystrike
01/01/2004 11:29 AM

"Your employers wish to use me, as a figurehead then?" Kurst asked, avoiding Juri's gaze, so that he might not give away any information that was so critical at the moment.

"And what are they giving you? What is your payment to come all the way here and ask to join my cause?" Kurst added.

Kalia_Majere
01/01/2004 12:48 PM

Juri occupied herself by cutting a bit more off of the chunk of cheese that lay on the plate before her. "My employers' peers support you already, and openly. He however wishes to remain anonymous... and he knows well that I would not betray his wishes. As far as what I am reciveing in return... a secluded home just within the Qualinesti borders."

At that moment the crow returned, landing on her shoulder. The bird's glossly black feathers settled as he regarded Kurst curiously.

: They return home. continue to watch?: Miki inquired, twisting his head to stare at Juri upside down.

:Not yet... She sent back, offering the bird another tidbit of meat.

"So, what was this whole fuss about?"

Skystrike
01/02/2004 6:49 PM


"So, what was this whole fuss about?"


"A better question would be what it wasnt about, and I would say that either is none of your business." Kurst said.

"I hope you dont expect an open welcome. I guess I will have to keep you close to me so that I may keep my eye on you. So then, I appoint you as my personal bodyguard. How does that sound Juri?" Kurst asked sarcastically.

Kalia_Majere
01/03/2004 11:08 AM

Juri smiled faintly. "yes, I suppose it isn't any of my business."

She listened to Kurst, amusement sparkling in her green eyes. "who would openly welcome one who is a thief and assassin by trade.... though who better to thwart an assassin than one of their own?" She said as a dagger practically appeared in her hand.

She winked at Kurst and the blade dissapeared back to wherever she had it secreted away.

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