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Saving the Fringe

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Lazzamore, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Lazzamore

    Lazzamore WAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!

    The sun rose over the Western Fringe. It was autumn, and a chill in the air traveled all the way from Frostpale just to greet the people who dwelt here, from Sunu-Ra all the way to New Korum. Wanderers were they, and it seemed not a one would admit to being at all lost.

    A lot of glory was to be found in these woodlands, for some, maybe even salvation from themselves.

    South of the farmlands were the woods, where dangerous fey and radical elves from the Fey'Doriin dwelt, denying the resources from the colonizers that could make or break them this winter.

    Beyond them the Swordlands stood, almost unnatural pillars of stone, shaped not unlike great broadswords. They say temples dot these harsh mountains, for those who know where to look...

    West of New Korum lies Copper Beach, and the Teeth of Vorheimal, controlled by bandits and rebels who seem to thrive only of being a thorn inn the side of society.

    The land is full of this and much else. "Beyond the what you see is truth, beyond what you feel is hope. To cut through the edge of what's known is to taste salvation" ...or so they say.

    And this, finally brings us to you. The morning of the first day of autumn has begun, what's your first order of business?

    ((I hope that works for you guys... I tried to include everyone but some of you either has not finished their sheets or did not mention something I felt like you would want me to include. Those who haven't finished their sheets can still jump in after finishing, don't worry!))
    Sokka likes this.
  2. Shadras

    Shadras Illogical

    The trees whispered. They always did, but they mostly went unheard. Mutely chattering about every minute detail. From the passing hordes to the consistency of squirrel droppings. People passed under the boughs of forests without ever knowing that they were watched, eternally. Perhaps not with eyes, as some animal might, but their presence and passing was marked all the same. On occasion, the mere man might hear the trees whisper. When they had news too great to be held in silent communion and so they shuddered, rustled, and rattled the news to each other, back and forth across the glades. Most of the time, people considered this to be the work of the breeze. And certainly, the wind did her fair share of shaking and rattling. Gusting the possibility of change with every billow.

    But it merely helped propagate the ignorant notion that the trees never whispered. To Kairin Shial’Kot, it was a useful ignorance. It meant that, on a day where the trees rustled with seeming anger, people blamed the wind. But, as every single unmoving strand of hair on Kairin’s head proved, there was no wind today. Not even the slimmest breath. The green elven dryad stood, contrast to the forest around her, completely still at the crest of a hill, surveying a caravan of her people as they moved their way up the valley to her and down into the next one. Fey’Doriin. She thought the name with a swell of pride. They had responded so well and so strong to the tragedy. While it had taken some time for the word to spread and progress was slow to draw the whole strength of them to their destination, it was worth it to seem them so united. So passionate. So, quietly, enraged. To see her people so unified, she could feel nothing but pride, for an instant. A tree straightened next to her, for an instant. Then its roots shifted inches, readjusting subtly so they became more gnarled. More able to trip someone up.

    She shot it a look. A mixture of pride and reprimand and the roots immediately straightened themselves. The forest itself was just as eager to serve as her people. Ready to hamper and harass all those who came under their boughs who didn’t belong. Admittedly, a trip over a root was generally a mere annoyance to a man. But a trip over a root when being chased by a wolf was fatal for a man. Silently, she blessed the tree’s eagerness and prayed that its earnest nature would be rewarded with blood rather than shouting. But that eagerness sometimes slowed her people down. And delay was almost intolerable. Almost. The fruits of simple travel and labor were so close, but she would be patient. She had to be patient. Kairin would make certain that every last member of the Fey’Doriin was drawn as safely and quickly as they could behind the walls. Then, they could truly begin. The Druidess smiled as she marked the tree as a stride point and turned down into the next dip of the land. Ahead was another rise and another dip. The growing foothills of the Swordlands. Her clan was the first of the Fey’Doriin to arrive. The first of her people to arrive. The first that would be ready. Ready to turn their forest of tangled roots into a wood of wolves. After all, she grinned, I’ll make certain the land gets her due. One way or another, my Fey’Doriin will get justice.

    With every stride Kairin took, trees seemed to twist, spread, darken, work harder to block out the sun-filled-sky, and cast shadows upon all those who moved within. The trees whispered. They whispered the ever growing rage of Kairin and of the Pantheon above. And with each shared secret. With each powerful, tainting step Kairin took. So too did their whispers darken. Their thoughts blacken. And ever did the forest’s will bend against the strangers upon and within their borders.
    AbyssalEvil and Sokka like this.
  3. SedentaryCobra

    SedentaryCobra Outhouse Poet

    "Tell me exactly what happened, Tyce. Exactly. If I find you left anything out, I'll have you swinging from the fucking gallows by sundown." Lanfire's voice was more frigid than winter itself. The half elf's glare was sharp enough to cut glass.

    Tyce swallowed. He didn't doubt the jackal's threat. Even though they were the same rank, Lanfire far outstripped the other captains in determination and presence. Finding the captain was the first thing Tyce had done after reaching town. Two days of nonstop travel, and he happened to arrive just in time to to sour the captain's morning walk.

    "Do I have to strangle the information from you? Out with it!" Lanfire hissed, noticing the hesitation.

    Even with the captain in his civilian clothes, unarmed and unarmored, and Tyce with chain and sword, he didn't trust himself to win against the captain in a fight if he chose to follow through with his threat. "A group of lumberjacks were prospecting the forests for ship worthy timber, some days travel outside of town. Most were found killed, elvish arrows sticking from their corpses. The carpenter's guild hired us to go deal with these renegade elves. We managed to track them down, encountering them as they were crossing some plains. We got a little carried away-"

    "You hunted them for sport, didn't you, Tyce?" It was barely even a question. Lanfire already knew the answer. He the other captains well enough to guess the type of mess they'd make.

    "It was all fine! It was all going well. We thought that at worst some other elves would be pissed off, or scared out of the area. Nothing bad could have come of it, but... a couple of the buggers might have managed to slip away in the middle of all the fighting."

    Lanfire clenched his jaw and balled a fist, halfway ready to floor the other captain at that very moment. He turned away at the last moment, stepping out towards the ocean instead. The gravel crunched under his feet, and there was moment of silence, the only sound the gentle crashing of waves in the harbor, and the faraway rhythm of hammer and saws. "You killed an outrider party of the Fey’Doriin, Tyce. No other elven band would be this close to New Korum at this time of year."

    The half elf turned back to Tyce, Lanfire's expression returning to the tempered vigilance he was known for. "Contact the administrator. Tell him to send for more troops, and make sure the warehouses are well stocked with food and arrows. I'll need some time to think of a proper response to deliver to the Fey'Doriin. We can only hope the wicked druid sees this as an accident. If not..." Lanfire trailed off, shaking his head. He gestured for Tyce to leave, and took a seat on the cold gravel, watching the waves and boats come in as his mind ran from one possibility to another. It wasn't until hours later as the tide began to nip at his heels that he finally moved, still lost in thought and no closer to a solution than he was at the start.

  4. Shadras

    Shadras Illogical

    (So we have where Kairin is. Now for my other, main character. Durdast.)

    A lone man, hooded and cloaked, strode from the fringes of the forest and onto the road that, at one time in the recent years, had tried to cut its way into the trees. Tried and failed. Vegetation had already reclaimed much of what had been cut away, but it would take years for the trees to regrow. Years for the forest to heal. Durdast Era’Moss clenched his jaw at the thought of it as his feet sped him down the path North and East to Sunu-Ra, the first of the settlers’ cities and, perhaps, its greatest. Most of the newcomers’ leaders met there for who knew what discussion or dispute. Their affairs were only important when they made his home their business. To him, and the rest of his people, they had made the forest their business too much. Felling everything on Tenyente peninsula and beginning to cut their way towards the forest’s heartland. Do these people care nothing for the trees, his mind stormed, for those that live under their branches? For those who live within their sap? Can they not tell
    between a trunk who is ready to fall and give final service in death and one that is thriving upon life and growing? Are they so blind…

    A soft touch on his grizzled, black-haired cheek brought his storming mind and steps to a halt. It transformed his face from a burning scowl to a gentle, almost apologetic, smile. He started walking again, straight-backed and purposefully instead of bent forward with fury. Durdast was an envoy of the Fey’Doriin kor Yordella, and he would remember it. Now was not the time for blood and fury, as Lillend had so simply reminded him. The fairy resettled upon his shoulder, seemingly content now that her companion had calmed. He felt her huddle down into her minute furs against the chill, clasping a seed almost a quarter of her size. The furs were a gift from his mother. In fact, all the clothes they wore were a gift from his mother for this occasion. For Lillend, a mix of white and browns with tassels at the hat, cuffs, and boots that helped accent her white hair and bright blue eyes. For Durdast, it was much the same as his usual ranging garb. Brown fabric in layers with fur lining on the underside with a green traveling cloak with another pelt over top. But even then, there was a subtle richness to it in how, across the bracers, back, and beneath the waist were stitched several trees. Some silver, others a blended in brown. Some in full bloom, others barren. Along with this strange ornate designs, and what wasn’t standard ranging attire, was a final, outer cloak. Over the traditional forest green cloak for weather and travel, streamed a rich fabric of purple and dark green. Upon it was a bramble of silver thorns. Under which were words in his people’s written tongue. Although Durdast couldn’t read it, he knew what it said. Everyone within the Fey’Doriin did. “Never Trod Upon.” He wore all of it over his typical elven mail.

    It was his mother that insisted upon him wearing it. “These people,” she had told him, “care about appearance. They will judge any who claim to be a dignitary upon their expectations and beliefs. Many we must meet, others we’ll overturn. That is both down to you and Lillend, but this will help impress who you are to these people.” It was also she that insisted upon the flag he bore upon a staff. White and clean. Apparently, it meant peaceful conduct to these people. How his mother knew that was beyond him. But then again, much about his mother was beyond him. What wasn’t beyond him were Yowena’s words and gifts.

    “Keep her envoy safe. Her message must be deliver, heard, and understood.” Simple and to the point the 1st Ranger gave him her commands. They came with two new blades, a sword with slight curve and an emerald in the pummel along with a parrying dagger; and a bow sung from a tree by a Dryad. A large recurved with leaf carvings upon it. Along with it came a quiver for forty goose feathered arrows so thin and slender as to be able to part or slip through almost any chink in any armor. But the shafts were magically hardened such as to not easily bend nor break. “Keep Kor at your back,” she said as parting.

    Then Kairin had given them their last part of the mission. The token for the only chance at peaceful resolution between the various settlers and the Fey’Doriin. The seed that Lillend clung to. They were to plant the seed in the open green inside Sunu-Ra. A tree would erupt from where it planted and, so long as that tree stood, Kairin would be willing to come and talk. But should it be felled, or die for any reason, the Druidess would not be turned from her course. After delivering her orders, she strode through the marked tree and back to her people.

    Durdast grinned to himself. The whole affair was thoroughly interesting to the point of being intoxicating. With so much at stake, anyone would be as charged as he and Lillend were. Although, he suspected her’s were from nerves and worry rather than feral excitement. He checked the sun. Still morning, he thought, good. He guessed the sun would be at its peak when he arrived in Sunu-Ra. Then the business would begin. For now, he shared the thickening road with Lillend alone. The farmers would be out, but none were about. And any that lived this close to the forest knew to stay out of the way if they saw him so bright and bold for fear of any others that they did not see. Not that they needed to worry about unseen friends. Still, with the road to themselves and a number of hours ahead until the city, Durdast did the only natural thing, at least to his mind, a traveler would do. He sang.

    With wand’ring heart,
    and searching feet.
    I travel the roads,
    without replete.
    But though I look,
    and far I seek.
    The trees are still my home.

    My home beneath,
    the boughs and breeze.
    Between the twigs,
    and the leaves.
    My home to warm,
    my home to freeze.
    This heart is in the trees.

    Though still I journ’,
    with foot a-fleet.
    Under fair skies,
    and in hard sleet.
    But when my quest,
    is well complete.
    My heart will turn to home.

    Around halfway through, Lillend had begun humming the tune and, when he’d finished, she burst into loud clapping. Well, as loud as a single fairy can be when clapping.

    “That was excellent, Durdast! When did you come up with it?” she asked.

    “I began mulling it after we met with the Druidess.”

    “Oh good! It’s fresh, new, and well-timed too. Does it have a name yet?”

    “No, but I was considering ‘Wooden Heart.’”

    “Hmm, no. It does have a nice ring to it, but it doesn’t work for a traveler’s song. It doesn’t move enough. But save it for another one. I imagine you’ll create another poem to match that title soon enough.”

    He hummed in agreement. “What do you suppose it could be?”

    “Don’t know,” Lillend said as she rummaged in her pack, “let’s have it again so I can get it down and have a good look at it.”

    “Oh good. I wasn’t too sure about some of the lines.”

    “All the more reason for you to work more on your letters.”

    Durdast groaned as he dove into the song again, preventing Lillend from building another long speech as to why he should learn to read.
    Lazzamore likes this.
  5. Sokka

    Sokka Insomniac Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    (Sorry for the late post!)

    There was a brisk fog at the edge of the mountains that exited the sword lands and if one listened close enough they might hear the breathing of a large creature. From the mist it emerged, large as a horse, and almost wide as a small wagon coated in white fur. The animal was feline in origin with large clawed paws and a silver mane around its head. The locals called this rare beast, a Manosh Ice Cat. A top the beast sat a lone rider cloaked in a long flowing white cloak. The cloak was embroidered in gold with a distinct swirling blue rune embroidered on the back. The man and beast exited the mountains leaving the Swordlands behind and entering the lands of the Fringe.

    Inais had been traveling for three weeks now hunting game as he went, following his instincts, however, more often he was hearing her voice. It was on a cool night three weeks ago almost a dream that she had appeared to him. Ordered him to leave the compound of the Order of Eternal Light and travel north. He still wasn't sure exactly where he was suppose to go but he knew that she would reveal this to him at a later time. So, for now, he traveled onward into a strange new land.
  6. AbyssalEvil

    AbyssalEvil At your service

    (sorry about any choppiness or confusing material, just getting used to writing again)
    The trees didn't seem as full of joy as they had when he was a boy. Before they had a sense of fun and of peace, now they were so different he hardly could remember their names. At one time he had known them all, but at this time he wasn't sure he wanted to remember. Brigo had too remember though, he was one of the few in this world that had traveled even partially into the unknown wilderness of The Fringe, as it was called by the masses.

    While he thought about this it brought him back to his original plan of action in this forest. Following the foul and infectious presence that was twisting the minds or the trees that were once his friends and that now simply followed the untold orders of the woman that had traveled with her caravan less than a day ago. He had made sure to follow the woman path just outside the reach of the trees and while he did, changed form from time to time to try and confuse the infected trees.

    For now he traveled as a large eagle, every part of his form the bright golden color of his purest form. Suddenly sensing a change in the wind to his favor, which he had been waiting for to try and catch up to the Druidess, he launched himself off his perch and into the warm updraft. With his quick change in altitude he could now see with his eagle eyes the direction the woman had gone and followed the trail of gnarled trees The wind behind him and his strong wings already bringing him within a half a day of her position.

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