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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:28 pm 
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I pace about with ever increasing anxiety, the four brick walls of my room more like a prison than the actual prisoner's quarters below. Without thinking of it, I find myself standing upon the bed, pacing, still, then leaping nimbly upon the dresser. There, I squat, restless, eyes darting about the ever shrinking room. A silver plate lies strewn upon the floor, uneaten food drawing flies as it begins to wilt in the trapped heat. I regard it with disdain, despite my own growing hunger. "What do these pampered creatures know of food" I mumble and restart my pacing.

My hooves click lightly upon the stone floor, the very sound, itself assaulting my ears, grating upon my nerves. How loud am I! Quickening a glance out the window, I long for the silence of my woods. I desire, to the point of pain, the sensation of hunting my own food and eating it the way nature intended, without the taint of spice or the char of fire.

I lean so far over the barred window, that I rest my face upon the metal and a slow, fat tear rolls down my cheek. Gingerly, confused, I touch it. My dirt smeared finger is wet with an unknown clear liquid.

Just then, a knock startles me out of my daze.

With inhuman grace, I pull my dagger from it's sheath and position myself behind the door as I command "Enter" to the unknown presence on the other side.

The door squeaks open, a sound barely audible to the human pushing it, but antagonizing to me, nevertheless.

Before he had a chance to pass over the threshold, I am behind him, my dagger held tightly to the small males neck. He trembles beneath my hand as I hold him in place. "What is it you want" I growl, my voice low and feral.

I can smell his fear and it is divine. It reminds me of rabbits in the fields alongside my true home as they flee through the tall grasses. His heart race like the deer's who gracefully leaps from my hunting form. I feel my jaw clench as I yearn to bite his sparrow's quick pulse and watch the life drain out of him in beautiful crimson rivulets.

Then, I catch another smell, one that draws me quickly out of my blood lust. He smells of the King. Is this messenger, perhaps a prince or a royal errand boy to the Monarch, himself?

Coming back to reality, I release him, and reluctantly step back. Warily, I eye him to make sure he does not draw a weapon as I sheath mine.

Seeing I am no longer poised to attack, he trains his eyes upon the ceiling and, face flushed with fear and embarrassment, he stammers, "The king requests your presence, oh noble Regent."

I resist an urge to laugh at the notion of a Satyr of noble blood, simply nodding and indicating for him to lead on.

He hesitates in the doorway, never looking at me, directly, not even in the eye and clears his throat uncomfortably a couple of times before stuttering "Perhaps... Clothes... would.... ummmm... keep you warm.... and please... the king..... You... ummm... have such a...... ummmm... hmmm... lavish.... wardrobe....." his voice trails off, almost fearfully.

Rolling my eyes at his youth, I turn, never giving him my full back, always keeping one eye on the human and retreat to my closet.

There, I select a green garment, one that reminds me the most of the forest and accent it with a light blue shawl that is the color of a robins egg. Finally, with disdain, I add a frivolous, matching decorative hat to cover my unruly hair and disguise my crusted horns. Dipping my hands in the wash basin, I gingerly wash off, all the while smelling the stagnation of the water and heart bleeding for the cool rush of a fresh stream running between my fingers.

All the while, he remains frozen in the doorway, memorized with the transformation from a wild, deadly creature to the diplomatic and almost cheerful public face that disguises the beast within. For, no matter how human I may appear, I will never be truly civilized.

After a quick inspection in a reflective surface, I wearily sigh, "Lead on, child"

Together, we walk through the halls of the castle, every sound echoing along the corridors, making me flinch. I find myself drifting off into thought, memories of sleeping in the trees and running through rivers of clean, azure waters, of swimming with bright, wild cat fish and dancing with the fey creatures around enormous bonfires, many miles from the prying eyes of society.

Yet again, I feel my face become wet. I look to the ceiling to see if something is dripping above me, these musty old castles often holding onto moisture like rancid dew. It is dry, much to my amazement.

As we enter the chambers of the King, a look of concern crosses his rough face.

"Lady Zelodie, are you well? You appear upset" he says, his voice gentle and peculiar coming from his harsh dawrven features.

I wave this off, perplexed, my tone light, unconcerned, almost dismissive or bored as though my words have no more bearing than the child standing uncertainly to my right, "This place holds odd magic, that of which I cannot understand, a false magic not borne of nature. Someone must have cast a mischievous, but harmless spell upon me, for it appears that I am leaking from my face and I feel strange, almost fatigued, yet my muscles twitch with a hummingbirds, ceaseless energy...." I shrug, not wanting to burden the King with my personal problems or angst with the so called sorcery of his lands.

His expression is unreadable to me, though he speaks as though one would to a child, "I do not believe this is a spell; I think you are sad. I would like to ask why, but there are urgent matters at hand that we must discuss. Perhaps soon over dinner we shall look further into this?"

Not wanting to offend the king, I suppress a shudder at the thought of more stale food, overcooked and dry, tough to the touch, without any semblance of it's former glory left to the carcass they serve on even more unnecessary instruments of decoration.

Suddenly aware of my delicate position, I plaster my face with my most enthusiastic of smiles as though switching from one mask to yet another. Once certain I was ready to address the responsibilities and burdens of my position, I nod and encourage him to go on.

"I am here to discuss whatever it is you summoned me to discuss, dear King" my voice does not waver, my skirt swooshes the ground lightly as I bow low.

And, without fidgeting, I await to hear whatever is destined to follow....


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:39 am 
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Location: Eagle Shire/King's Point
Fionnigan Hellblazer awoke and found himself lying on the floor of the galley of a ship. He stood up and peered around into the darkness around him. As his vision began to adjust he could see no one else around. He began to walk toward a nearby ladder, and then made his way up. As he began to make his way through the ship to it's deck it became clear to him that the ship was completely empty. Fionnigan pushed the doors of the main opening to the ship deck, and stepped out into the ocean air. The sun blinded him for a few seconds. As his vision began to clear he realized this was the ship that he and his former company brothers had been on when everything came to an end for Gryphon's Rage.

The minute this realization came to him Fionnigan could see Katherina standing in front of him under the center mast of the ship.

“You failed them too, you know.” said Katherina her voice coming from outside and inside his head.

“Failed who?” Fionnigan halfheartedly asked. He knew the answer before Katherina said it.

“Your brothers in arms. It was your fault that Gryphon's Rage was torn asunder, and you killed me too.” Katherina accused.

“I know Katherina. I never meant to hurt you. I'm so sorry. I never wanted any of what happened to happen. I didn't want the company to be destroyed, and I didn't mean to hurt you.” Fionnigan said his voice barely above a whisper.

“Never the less you did.” As Katherina said this a black charred hole began to open in her chest. “Do you have any idea how much it hurts to be struck by lightning? No you don't, but I do. You let us die and be scattered to the winds, Hellblazer, and you are letting your kingdom be overrun with threats.”

“What are you talking about?” asked Fionnigan

“You know what I am talking about. Elves, dwarves, rogue spellcasters, and monsters of all sort are making their moves against your home, and unless you use your power to put a stop to it you will have no home.” Katherina said.

Fionnigan awoke with a start his bed clothes soaked in sweat.

“Ne întâlnim la intersectia.” Vassalesa muttered and rolled over facing away from Fionnigan.

Fionnigan pushed the bed clothes away from him, and set his feet down on the ground. He rubbed his eyes, and then stood up. As he made his way from his bedroom to his study he began to ponder whether the dream he just had was the goblet of wine he drank before bed or a vision. As active as his dreams had been of late with visions of future events he couldn't tell anymore.

_________________
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a wetstone, if it is to keep it's edge.”
Tyrion Lannister

I do not suffer fools gladly, and fools with white belts never.

Sic transit gloria.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:47 pm 
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“A message from Falamar”
The name brought old memories breaking through surface of the web-covered catacombs and ancient labyrinths that was the mind of the Dark Heart…

Though the youngling black birds could holler their own name quite loudly and well into the dawn, they lacked a certain level of piracy that Delphos remembered as being synonymous with the word “Corsairs”.

Once a mighty force to be reckoned with…!!! But that was a long time ago.
In more recent years, the word was all that remained of the formerly feared pirates of the Hills. It can still be heard echoing down company road or at the tavern late at night during a gathering in the forests of Tanglewood.

“Corsairs” they all yell in unison.
Yet the kingdom no longer trembles at the sound.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:54 am 
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The parchment was of the finest quality material and the ink was dark and bold.
The indigo letters were penned in longhand script, by an obviously well schooled scribe with a steady hand. This was not Falamar’s writing, but the words came as if from the Pirate himself.

“Beware the blind Corsair”

The phrase was seldom spoken and then only in hushed whispers.

It was a code that few were aware of and even fewer knew how to read.
Ancient lore had been incorporated into exactly how the letters were placed on the parchment and only those who remembered the history and had obtained a key could unlock the hidden message.

As it turned out the Dark Knight had both…

The message contained some eye opening information from his old friend.
Seems the Corsairs had been commissioned to build a ship. Not all that noteworthy on its own merit, but this vessel was to be retro-fitted as an Airship…!!!
For a wizard. And not just any wizard… but the same wizard that had just locked up the kingdom’s guild wizard for treason or some such charge.

Normally Delphos did not even consider involving himself in the matters of wizards. Better not to get in the way of some wayward fireball or find himself transformed into something he did not want to be. But this might have to be the exception. The wizard was Finn Hellblazer, a long-time friend. And it was Falamar asking…

But it was final part of the message that chilled the Dark Knight to his core…
He wasn’t sure, but he thought he read that the king’s Skyship had been raiding lands in the south for “tribute” to the Pirates of Dreadmoore.

If this was true, it would certainly explain the Corsairs returning from their long absence.

“Two Pirate Ships in the Hills…” thought Delphos.
“The Black Birds aren’t going to take this well…They never do.”

The Dark Knight removes a small piece of well worn parchment from one of the drawers in his desk, then taking a jet black quill and dipping it into the ink well, begins to write his response…

“Shadows Illuminate Darkness”

Sprinkling a fine dust across the page, he then shakes it lightly and carefully folds the message, seals it with his personal signet, then walks to the small window and opens it.
The bird, having consumed the remaining seed, was eager to depart and quickly hopped onto the Dark Knights outstretched fingers. Delphos brought the bird inside, carefully tied the message to its leg and then sat it back onto the small perch.

The Crow immediately spread and fluttered its wings and with one downward motion, they launched the bird into flight. It wheeled and turned, this way and that. Climbing higher and higher on the invisible summer wind, an argent speck, soaring against the endless sapphire sky then disappearing into the stratosphere.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:56 pm 
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"Lady Zelodie, one of the royal seals has been stolen." I tell the Satyr bowing before the throne. "You know what kind of trouble this will cause if this information gets out. I want you to speak with your contacts among the fey from around the castle. Have them to try and locate who is responsible for this theft. I want this brigand found! Im the only thief allowed in this castle!" Docsi yells.

_________________
Duke, Squire Docsi HardAnvil
aka the Mad Dwarf
GMR of Dreadmoor
Squire to Sir Logan T. Black
Clan Chieftain of the Turtle Clan
Ship's Surgeon, HMS "Turtle's Revenge"
Gaslight Sky Pirate

"Dwarves and mountains have one thing in common: It takes an almighty hammer and a tremendous amount of persistence to overcome them."


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 Post subject: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:58 pm 
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I give a curt nod, mind churning with overlapping unanswered questions. My very stillness grinds in direct conflict with my desire to sink my hooves in the dirt, feel the sun on my fur, and run - no where in particular, not to or from a thing, just gallop until my lungs threaten to burst within my chest!

I pause momentarily to see if the king has any other duties or expectations of me, but his very posture is the only answer I need as he sits heavily upon his throne, his own frustrations and responsibilities weighing visibly upon his haggard face and drawn shoulders. Tension is rolling off him in waves that are hot to the touch, like thin, wispy steam.

After another low bow, I back quickly out of the room, leaving both he and his messenger to wrangle with the rest of their day without an ounce of jealousy within me. As the doors close slowly, creaking in their own protests, I let out a long, strained breath.

"Politics" I whisper softly with disgust.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Shamus calmly sat in the middle of his cell in the lotus position. He had considered other positions yet considering his current bondage it was a considerably more comfortable then downward facing dog. Soon he cleared his mind and reduced his pounding headache. It was time to think.

Who was Fionnigan, What did he know?

Fionnigan had told him he had the marquis’s plans and that he had found the key to their construction in the emerald hills library. Being an avid reader Shamus had read almost every scroll book and parchment pertaining to magic in the royal library over the last year. Only two works could help him and neither was complete, Escher’s works on time and relative dimensions in space, Marcos the blacks works on rift generators. The three works masterfully reassembled could create a large labyrinth in an isolated pocket dimension adjacent to this one.

Shamus stopped. He shuddered with concern. It was a hopeless couple minutes while fear and reason collided. One wrong calculation with Fionnigan’s calculations and it would be like placing a bug in a parchment tube and firing it out of a ballista only to hit a castle wall. Shamus would be paste.

Shamus breathed and counted, then did it again. For the first time in years he could not meditate. What was wrong with him? Was the prolonged separation from his lei lines of power so debilitating? Or was it simply withdrawal symptoms from kahve?
If the calculations were off they could also create a time rift changing realty. The tower had records of 6 such major events and 7 minor events recently. The main focus lately of the tower had been trying to track down the cause of the recent changes. The thinking of most of the council was the master warrior mage Sir Brennon behind the last seven changes, whilst he tried to reshape the world in his own design.

Again he breathed. Cleared his mind and entered the oneness of meditation. What else did Fionnigan tell Shamus? He reminded shamus that Lamont had been an avid humans firster. Could Fionnigan mean to start another cult? He had been imprisoned for not doing enough to stop threats of a magical nature.

The writ had the kingdom seal on it. The real seal no forgery. Shamus himself had laid the runes in the design to counter forgery; any competent journeyman mage would be able to verify it was the true seal via the innate magic passed along in the wax. King, regent and prime minster were not human. The champion Draevan Somerstorm was human unless some how he had been cursed by either Luna lobos or crimson falcons to be a wolf, but even if he had surely the great healer would have cured himself! Was Fionnigan acting alone? How had he gotten a hold of the seal? Or was the Dwarf Mad enough to try and exterminate the humans in an odd reversal of roles?


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:07 pm 
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As I walk down the corridor, I feel my entire body unfurl from this crushing claustrophobia that has plagued me during my entire reluctant stay at this cold, drafty castle.

The more I uncoil, the faster my gait, the more liquid my movements become. Soon, as I near the main threshold, I am almost at a jog. With building speed, I blur past cottages and storefronts, markets full of bustling faces, smudged with a days hard labor, as men and women in drab, coarse clothes haggle their meager wares for even more meager coin. Emaciated children pause mid-laughter to watch me run past, eyes sparkling with curiosity. Normally I'd pause to play a game or two, enjoying their untainted zest, but not today. Today, my heart pounding in my chest, thundering in my ears, drowning out the sounds of the farmers toiling their land upon sun-leathered hands, the wild dogs fighting for scraps with sharp yowls and bitter yelps, of chickens roosting and pigs basking in the mid-day sun, their bodies smeared with thick, black mud.

No, today I am free. The wind whips past me, as though I am in flight. My whole body is caught in the ceaseless motion that morphs into steady sprinting rhythm. Momentum thrusts me wildly, sublimely on what was first grid-like cobbled alleys perfectly suited for horse drawn carriages, then upon winding roads made of small rocks tightly compiled upon one another, to eventually soft, tree lined earthen paths that resemble trails more than actual highways.

I watch as all signs of humans and their disquieting presence slowly dwindle. Once the fields fade away, the smoke churning chimneys, the pastures with sodden life-stock waiting in peaceful ignorance for their unavoidable demise; once I am back into familiar wilderness too frightening for civilized company, I slow my pace, my lungs and legs afire.

Leaning over to catch my breath, I am euphoric. I am home!

Taking a moment to allow myself restitution from that long, well deserved run, I crouch in the dirt, blessed free of the harsh metallic smells of the castle. I tilt my head up to look at the canopy of emeralds and mossy greens above me, with a cobalt sky peeking between branches timidly.

Before I could stop myself, I begin to scream. A sound, strange even to my ears of the releasing of such emotions that defy definition or description, of desperation, fear, anger, and all the things a caged animal would experience if kept under lock and key for any length of time. My voice grows harsh and brittle, like the sound of steam escaping a closed cauldron, but I do not stop until I grow hoarse. And, with everything I had been holding onto finally gone out of me, a hollow vessel I had become, falls asleep in the shade of the willow tree, heart finally light and spirit restored.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:16 am 
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Fionnigan read the scroll again this time paying closest attention to the wording of the somatic rites. As a demonolgist he was quite familiar with the dark speech of the void. However he was also aware of the fact that when you were dealing with black magic it was necessary to ensure all aspects of ritual and somatic action were properly carried out. Otherwise you could lose control over the spells and you would be in for a world of hurt. The ritual itself was purely somatic, and involved the completion of movements which if done in the correct order would open a pocket dimension of the void similar to the one which had recently been open during the Dragon Czars reign. However this dimensional doorway was one way, and would immediately close once the somatic rite was completed. For all of his insanity, Marquis Le Mont knew what he was doing when it came to the dark arts. Fionnigan had been under severe pressure as of late. Cosmic forces seemed bent on pushing him to the limits of his sanity, and he was near the breaking point. The prime material plane seemed of late to be in turmoil. Changes were occurring everyday. Some great and some small, but he was sure he knew the cause of such issues. It was the overwhelming presence of the fey and other non human entities in the ream. They only brought with them trouble, and it was well known when their numbers got to be too great shifts in the prim were common. That was another problem for another day though, and for now he had to get Lord Shamus in his permanent cell before the sly old wizard figured out a way to escape his grasp.

_________________
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a wetstone, if it is to keep it's edge.”
Tyrion Lannister

I do not suffer fools gladly, and fools with white belts never.

Sic transit gloria.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:41 am 
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Journal of Fionnigan Hellblazer

Lord Shamus has been dealt with. The void cell is a success, and will be recreated en mass as soon as possible. I plan to give the plans to Siv and Eniad to recreate. We will now have the perfect way to deal with our enemies. Now I can focus on other issues

_________________
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a wetstone, if it is to keep it's edge.”
Tyrion Lannister

I do not suffer fools gladly, and fools with white belts never.

Sic transit gloria.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:51 pm 
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“Hello again, my lord. You look like you're holding up well enough.” Fionnigan said as he turned to address one of the guards. “You can remove his mask. He won't be of any trouble here I have ensured that.”

The guard removed the mask from Lord Shamus face, and stepped back again. A moderately thick beard had begun to grow on Lord Shamus' face, and his cheeks were sunken and sallow.

“What do you want from me?” Lord Shamus weakly asked.

“It's not about what I want from you Lord Shamus. I don't want anything from you. In fact this has nothing to do with me or you for that matter. This has to do with the realm's needs, and what the realm needs right now is order.” Fionnigan said.

“And this is how you plan to bring order to the realm. By locking up innocent people?” Lord Shamus shot back.

“Come now, my lord, let's not be foolish and suggest that you are innocent. This realm has become corrupted. By decadence, greed, and abuse of power.” replied Fionnigan.

“Are you suggesting that I have abused my power as the head of the high tower?” asked Lord Shamus.

“No. I am however suggesting that you stood by and let the abuses of power of the last few kings go unchecked by the tower. You stood by and did nothing while there was an open rift to the void in our realm. You let the corrupt dragon kings do whatever they wanted, and what was the result? The result was hundreds of our best soldiers dead, men driven mad, and corruption of the very prim that makes up our world. Your lack of action has forced my hand in this.” replied Fionnigan.

“You think this will change that? You've truly gone mad, Hellblazer.” replied Lord Shamus.

“You say I have gone mad. Well if stopping bloodshed and corruption is madness than I shall be mad. I have seen and been responsible for too much bloodshed in my life, my lord. Today it ends. Today I take the first step toward righting some of the wrongs I have let go for far too long, and I wash away some of the blood that is already on my hands. Did you know that I killed my wife?” asked Fionnigan.

“No.” Lord Shamus replied coldly.

“She died because of my own negligence and abuse of power. I have her blood and the blood of many other innocence that I let die because I failed to stand against the corruption in this realm on my hands. I will not let this realm slide into the abyss.” said Fionnigan.

“I can help you, Fionnigan. Just release me, and we can stop this chaos together. We can make this realm a better place.” Lord Shamus pleaded.

“No, my lord, you had your chance to stand for justice and order, and you chose to do nothing. A wise man once told me if someone stands in the way of true justice you simply walk up behind them and stab them through the heart. Justice is balance, and today we restore the balance. Gentlemen unshackle Lord Shamus, and prepare him for the labyrinth. ” Fionnigan said.

_________________
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a wetstone, if it is to keep it's edge.”
Tyrion Lannister

I do not suffer fools gladly, and fools with white belts never.

Sic transit gloria.


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Scouting with the Satyr

Pulling and tugging on the verdant addition to his normal wear and the variations of the harnesses he had used over the centuries for perfecting his life-long profession, the hunter pressed even farther into the hot and humid woods of the Point.

This much he knew, no matter what, keep pushing through the fish-hook thorns that grew snaking and curling from ground to tree as if by the Bitch’s capricious will alone. If he were to stop, even for a heartbeat, he would surly be tangled into Her trap.

Noise was his enemy every bit as much as the briers. That much was the same as well.
The only thing different, thought the hunter, was the end-game. Stay hidden, pursue the prey and eliminate … well, at least until the final part of that training.

Silent, unseen, stalker… Scout?
The idea almost made Delphos laugh out loud…
But he didn’t, it would have given away his position.
That much hadn’t changed. That much he understood.

The sound of fighters practicing their steel art echoed down through the wooded path and found its way to the sensitive ears of the hunter-scout as he settled into a crouch, surrounded by a seemingly inescapable cage, comprised of tree trunks, fallen branches and the long, thorn covered vines that snaked their way throughout these woods.

Feeling safe, if only for the moment, he focused his eyes into the spaces that broke up the line of trees marking the entrance into this part of the forest. Watching the figures move back and forth, calculating the time it took the sound to travel to his ears and carefully discerning the different voices of those he knew and of those he did not…

Cat’s see differently than other creatures and though its gaze may appear to be fixated upon a particular line of sight, it may otherwise be listening to the bird, cawing high in the tree far to the right, or the rustle of a lizard across the path to the left. One can never be completely sure.

“What are you staring at…?” Said the clear voice of the Satyr, as if she were standing a mere arms length from his position. He had not even caught her scent on the hot breeze that blew between them in the lush undergrowth. His consciousness had been spread out, inhaling his surroundings, yet he had not even seen the creature.

She smiled at him from across the narrow path, all fire and freckles… horns and hooves… flesh and fur. The wildness of her nature made her blend perfectly with the wooded surroundings. No wonder he had not sensed her. She was perfectly at home here in the woods. And he was hunting a different species.

He was searching for signs of beings not at all comfortable with the forest…
He sought those who would sooner hack and pull the trees from their very earthen mother and burn them for the sake of safety and comfort, than to let alone the wild creatures who dwelled within and those who communed between their world and the other.

His fondness of this world, though reluctant, had grown more intense of late and knowing of its eminent demise brought a premature sense of loss. Once again, his own curse of peering into the time of tomorrow only served to vex him more and further alienate him from the realm.

The Satyr had appeared out of nowhere, as if to wake him from his darker thoughts. Her voice on the edge of lyrical with just a hint of an open “C” cord. Had she spoken or sang her words, he couldn’t quite be sure.

With a slight wave of his fingers, he motioned her to come closer and she smiled again. A beaming, mischievous grin it was, indeed. Her goat hooves clacked as they kicked up a bit of sand and rocks in the path between them, but the noise was hardly noticeable over the sound of weapons ringing on the practice field only a few yards away.

It was then that he noticed the human attire the Satyr had donned…
Around her waist, at a point where one species began and another ended, she proudly sported very large, fluffy white lace ballerina style skirt which attached to a silken top that she seemed to be adjusting even as she walked.

Though the Satyr was not the least bit out-of-place, her outfit certainly was.
Perhaps it was an attempt to fit in among the humans who occupied the nearby city. At any rate, the costume seemed most awkward on such a creature and the hunter could tell that she was unaccustomed to wearing it, if not clothing altogether. She kept pulling at the top portion of the garment even as she walked across the path and tried to step her way through the brambles where he sat.

With quite some effort, yet surprisingly little noise, the Satyr at last cleared her way into the small sanctuary the hunter scout had created and sat down on her haunches in front of him.

“You looked so intent upon your prey that I didn’t want to disturb you” she said in her lyrical tone. “But I just had to know…”

“Know what, my lady?” he asked.

“You are a cat, right?” she asked as if she already knew the answer.
“So, what are you hunting? You’re not hunting goat or I would know it and you would never have seen me. So what IS your prey, mister cat?”

Taking a deep breath, Delphos began to tell his tale to the Satyr.
He’d never really sat down and talked to one before, perhaps she could help him…


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Location: Eagle Shire/King's Point
Fionnigan sat at his desk while Vasalissa laid the deck out in front of him. She sat the first card down in front of him and was shocked at what she found. The card now revealed show a spiraling black tower in a field of red roses against a sky with two suns. The young gypsy maiden shook her head, and tskd to herself

"The tower, my love. This card is how you say of great import, and you would do well to how you say head it's warning.” Vasalissa said her final word coming out more like vurning.

"It's actually heed it's warning, my dear, heed. What does it mean though? What do you see, woman?” Fionnigan asked nervously.

"Hold on, my love. The process, as you well know my lord, takes time. Time itself can be of little consequence to you, my love, if you open yourself up to the cosmos. You just have to give it time.” the young gypsy girl spoke as she finished laying out what was known as the Iron Cross. She placed the next card over the tower and on a throne of green marble sat a white bearded long haired man with azure robes and an emerald crown sitting above his head a golden hallow behind it. She then proceeded to lay down a card to the left of the first one and on it a man in black robes sat at a long table with beakers, boiling pots, and books all around him. He looked like he was reading in one hand and holding a beaker of some liquid in the other. She laid another card directly under the first card. A great bald bearded angel with great fierce wings bearing a flaming sword was blowing into a a great war horn as undead soldiers in Emerald Hills armor rose from the ground. She laid another card above the first card. A man with long white beard in tattered brown robes was walking in a dark and tangled wood with green mountains in the background holding a green lantern aloft in the dark. Finally she laid down a card directly to the right of that very first card. A raven haired man sitting on a white marble throne before a white pyramid in judges black robes holding a great sword in one hand and a set of scales in the other.

The gypsy fortune teller sat back and sucked in a sharp gust of air. Fionnigan had never been one to use the tarot as a focus for foresight personally, but he knew enough to know that an entire spread with nothing but major arcana cards was not a common thing. Nor did it usually amount to a good one.

“This does not bode well for you, my darling. These signs are no good. You ask me again another time. Maybe then cards do better for you, no?” Vasalissa moved to sweep the spread up with her hand, and Fionnigan reached out and grasp it.

“Read the spread, my dear. Tell me what it says, everything.” Fionnigan said his piercing blue eyes feverish with passion.

“Yes my lord.” she replied.

_________________
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a wetstone, if it is to keep it's edge.”
Tyrion Lannister

I do not suffer fools gladly, and fools with white belts never.

Sic transit gloria.


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 Post subject: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Satyrs circle around the fire, our shadows both playful and ominous against the surrounding skeleton trees. This sight is seldom seen by creatures other than we Panions. In fact, of the few who have witnessed this spectacle, even fewer have lived to tell the tale.

I look at my sisters and brothers and the tall, broad shouldered one who unites us all; who sits at the head of the fire, an air of majesty about him, defining him, despite little outward difference in his appearance. We, the six of us, share similar traits that can all be linked to this one, our obsidian eyes artfully hidden behind those that resemble the muted gray to shimmering gold of the goat, our freckled faces and rudy cheeks, ignited by the heat of the flames and the excitement of this rare reunion. Our hair, all shades from auburn to spotted madder, glisten in the firelight as we dance and sing and embrace each other in a way that would seem inappropriate to one who is not of Satyr blood, but perfectly innocent and natural to us.

One of the many reasons we prefer our own companionship to those of other species....

Since being dispelled from the land of Pan by a powerful and evil sorcerer to whom I am forbidden to name, even silently, I have been forced to find another, more palatable plane on which to meet. Here, in this graveyard like forest, beneath a waning moon, we share stories of our lives, of the happenings within. We comfort each other with touch; we cheer each other with performances. We meditate in each others presence, wordlessly absorbing the magic we Satyrs share like a fine wine, a magic that is as foreign to these lands sorcerers as written word is to the Barbarian. We hunt and feast together, too, but with much less talk or laughter during these adventures. The thrill of the kill is enough to sate us. Some days we just drink ales of which shame all spirits sold in human taverns and joyously spin tales of times long gone. I wish today had been such a day. Unfortunately, this visit is dedicated to gathering information about the missing seal. My kin have begun searching the other realms for this relic and have heard strange news of its whereabouts. Information that if were true, would put me in dire danger.

“What are you going to do?” Whispers my youngest sister, Zerenity, her golden locks a honey strawberry that, if seen by nobles of my world would sign her a death warrant at the hands of skinners.

I hesitate for a moment, contemplating this query, for I am not fully certain of the answer, myself. To whom CAN I trust with this knowledge? Before I get a chance to speak, I notice my family fading. Their once crisp features now opaque, growing transparent, the fire becoming more a nimbus of light than what was previously a beacon. Disappointment and resentment fills my heart as I watch their now ghost like faces disappear, expressions equally pained and worried, mirroring mine in more ways than one. As we stared mournfully at each other, the brittle trees are replaced by a lush forest, smelling of pine and strange scents that marks this world alone, the once luminous sky, alit clearly with the most vivid stars... Gone....

Now, I stare into my own dying fire, fully aware of being watched. This intruder was the reason my vision had left and I returned to my still body. He, and I can say ‘he’ definitively, for I smelled his maleness in a way that marked him neither fey nor human, but something in between. A bastard like I, according to some. His mere presence triggered a defense mechanism designed to keep harm from coming to my seemingly lifeless form as my spirit dwells elsewhere.

He smells of fine silk and leather, of perfumes not designed to disguise your presence, moreover impress another with what one could consider wealth. I can smell his decadence. I can smell his fear, too. He is afraid to approach and I am growing weary of this game, even in its early stages.

“Halfling male, you reek of unease. What is it you want that is so important you venture this far from your element of comfort and tread so deeply into the forbidden forest?” I do not glance in the direction I know him to be. I do not have to. I track the movements of his slow, graceful approach with my ears and my instincts. But, not my eyes.

A clear, strong voice unlike anything I would have expected, brave against his mounting trepidation speaks, “I was sent to fetch you, Lady Regent of the Emerald Hills. My mentor wishes to speak with you on urgent matters.”

Finally curious, I glance over at him. It takes naut a mere second to recognize this child by the man to whom he belongs. The same lavender hue as his fathers offset by pupils constricted in fear. Despite his squared jaw, set and prepared for resistance, he trembles so slightly. Uncomfortable by the directness of my stare, he casts a cursory glance around before focusing his attentions on the fire.

Without a moment's hesitancy to take joy in his mounting angst, I speak in the Elvin tongue, “I will dress and be ready in a moment”

A brief crease of confusion forms between his brow before he answers in Elvin, as well, “I will wait” but the lilt at the end of the sentence indicates a question rather than an answer.

My darkest formal wear, impractical at best, with more stark white layers of lace beneath the skirt than any occasion should warrant, transforms me into something that which I am not nor will I ever be. The outfit was obviously inspired by the dancers of theatre and has a macabre ballerina feel to it. If it were on another, I might actually admire it. On myself, the rather large and heavy dress is cumbersome and hinders my movements beyond any stretch of sanity.

As I dress, I acknowledge his unspoken question. “I have known your father for longer than you have been alive and I understand, that despite your youthful appearance, this has been a very long time, indeed. I need not tell you your eyes are identical to his as well as the bridge of your nose, high and narrow and indicative of nobility” I say that last word with more contempt than one would have reasonably expected from a newly pronounced Lady. From the corner of my eye, I see him wince as though slapped.

Once on our way, conversation is strained, but polite, though frivolous in its nature. He and I, despite our one mutual acquaintance have very little in common and so what minute reception there is on my part, is awkward and feels unnecessary. In his velvety frock, he seems eager to fill the uncomfortable silence between us with chatter, never mind the context of the words.

The more he speaks, the more agitated I become. The sound of his silk covered slippers louder than an ork, his breathing labored, and all of the grace you would have assumed a halfling would display is negated by his ceaseless talking and his absolute lack of direction.

Finally, unable to bear his presence any longer, the woods ripe with predators and I following a lamb to his slaughter, I speak, my tone harsher than I intend, “Are your father and I to meet at the usual place? Or is this meeting to be elsewhere?”

Clearing his throat uncomfortably, he reluctantly admits “The usual.”

Seeing the eagerness in my initial reaction, he quickly adds “But, I am to see you there, to make sure you attend, otherwise it would be considered failure on my part and I will be....” he hesitates briefly before continuing, his voice cracking as he finishes “punished”.

“I know my way better than you, child, and to be honest, it would be advantageous for your health if we parted ways. You have been sheltered from the dangers of the forest in such a way that I would rather be on my own than continue to partake in your noisy bobbing and weaving in a staggered, indecipherable pattern, ignoring the most obvious way there. I swear upon my honor that I will meet your father before dusk tomorrow. He has information I find to be vital. Bribery, intimidation” I withhold the temptation to chuckle “or.... hand holding is not necessary”

Before he has a chance to answer, before I have a chance to register the hurt upon his face, I disappear into the darkness of the woods, only feeling relief to be rid of my unwanted guest.

After a while of walking in the thickest part of the woods, I begin to feel annoyance at the burden of my attire. Only humans would design such superficial coverings that create no warmth nor protection from the elements....

As the morning sun begins to rise, I near civilization. The stench of human sweat as they practice clumsily with their ungainly swords is enough to sicken me. Yet, I continue forward, each step more hindered than the last as I get caught on every branch and protruding thorn the woods have to offer.

Pausing a moment to examine the damage, a movement catches my attention out of the corner of my eye. Forgetting the dress, I approach slowly, silently. There, before me, I see a cat, though I have never seen a cat of this magnitude. Stories of their existence seemed like human hysteria and so I had dismissed them as such. Who would believe there was such a thing as a feline shaped nearly like a human, walking upright at times and on fours at others, yet possessing the same enhanced senses, supple strength and speed as it’s furred ancestors? I suppose that to some the presence of a goat woman would, too, sound fantastical. I have been met with disbelief many times, myself, so it is not so surprising to encounter another of legend and lore.

Driven by curiosity, I focus in on this extraordinary creature as he stares off into the distance, his focus intimidatingly intense. I glance in the direction he is staring, but I see nothing of interest, merely soldiers playing with their metal devices of primitive bloodshed. I glance past them, but nothing seems to warrant his unwavering focus. Poised as though to strike at any moment, I see naut prey nor any way he can quickly access the soldiers as they clanged loudly past several thick layers of vines and trees.

Still convinced he is seeing something I am unable, perplexed that his eyesight could be that much superior to my own, I continue to approach, my hooves soundless against the forest floor. Finally within touching distance, I realize that whatever he sees is beyond my understanding. It is then that, driven by amusement and an overwhelming need to know, I cannot help but ask “What are you staring at…?”

Calmly his head turns in my direction, such a steady movement that I cannot help but smile. I know a predator when I see one. Somewhere deep inside me, I acknowledge that perhaps I should be afraid. But, something about this vibrantly colored beast puts me at ease. I somehow know without any reason or sound logic that I am safe. My instincts, so long as they are trusted, have never led me astray. I have no intentions of undermining that, today. My smile is now one of meeting a long lost friend in the most unlikely of places, surprised pleasures to explore, and new memories waiting to be made.

Tilting his head, fur like a silken sun, ears sharp and alert, claws darkened with an unknown liquid, now long dried, he motions me forward, to which I comply without faltering. After a bit of effort to keep from getting caught in the tangled ivy with this ridiculous dress, I sit beside him. There, I continue to inquire into his choice of hunting, albeit a bit apologetically for interrupting.

It is then that, after hesitating to further calculate my appearance, his stare bearing holes deep into my soul, he begins to tell me his tale. Only mere moments of listening, I know one thing for certain... My meeting with the Elves can wait. This man with the Cheshire grin and the most startling eyes needs something I can assist with and perhaps holds answers to secrets that I, myself seek in private.

It seems as though we could be of help to one another. This encounter feels naut like chance.... It permeates of fate....


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 Post subject: Re: Now It Begins
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:10 pm 
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The Satyr listened intently as Delphos related his story…
A short version of the history surrounding his beloved home.
He told her of the founding and how the realm had been altered in the new age and of the more recent waves of change that were about to crash upon them all.

“The Hills are dying.” He said softly.
“The lands have been defiled and the Bitch of the Woods as been all but forgotten. The old ways have faded and after over a century of fighting against those who would bring death on the heels of a promised brave new world, I may have discovered the mystery which could save us all from extinction…”
“What are you talking about…?” asked the Satyr.

“You hold the key.” Delphos pointed to her.
“The Denizens of the Woods. Creatures of both worlds.”

“I don’t understand” said the Satyr.
“How can I make such a difference?”

Delphos looked deep into the Satyr’s eyes…
They shined with a magic well beyond this mortal realm of physical time.

“When you traveled from the road of mythology and into our realm, you opened a doorway and left a trail by your own passing. When the Rift between the realms was left unguarded for so long, it allowed all doorways to remain open. It’s simply a matter of finding the right path to the correct door that will lead to a younger realm.”

The Satyr looked slightly overwhelmed, but quickly recovered her composure as Delphos continued.

“I have seen it, in my visions…” he gazed off into the woods.

“I have traveled between the times of yesterday and tomorrow, between the living and the dead, between what is now, what could have been and what was meant to be. And I have seen the past intersect with the future.”

He looked directly at the Satyr and spoke in a clear voice…
“The time-line was fractured and the past must be found or the future will be forever lost.”

“Will you help me…?”


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