Sand and stones crunch under Donovan's heavy boots as he slowly strolls along the river towards the great lake at it's outlet. The shadows grow long as what is left of the days meager sun begins to sink into the cloudy western horizon.
Donovan smiles. The cool winds whips about him throwing wide his stained and travel-worn cloak. He always did enjoy the rain.
Presently, Donovan's comes apon a wide and flat rock formation, reaching far out over the lake. Walking over, he sits upon it, dangling his legs over the swollen river.
"And what shall I find in this
town, I wonder?" says Donovan in a whisper as gentle as the mist. He gazes down into the swift current, listening to the sounds of the river and it relaxes him. He leans back on his elbows... closes his eyes...
Donovan sits up with a start. He stands and swiftly heads back along the river, silently bereting himself for his moment of relaxation. He will have time to rest later. For now, into the west and the storm.
After a long travel by foot, a Young elvan woman takes a break at the river, sticking her little bare feet in the chilly water. Her sent carried in the winds, the sent of wild flowers and venillia; spices and oils mixed into one vibrent sent, Her Long golden hair flaped about in the wind as she looked twards the West, her hair covered most of her face with the exception of her eyes. Her big green sparkeling eyes looked as though they knew your thoughs and emotions all in one glance. Her long light blue dress swayed back and forth in the wind, her slender figure made her look so frail and gentile. Her creamy skin hightened by the slowly setting sun.
Donovan halts suddenly. There is a something in the quality of the air, something delightful that he cannot place and he sniffs gently, then draws the lucious scent into his lungs with deep, ravenous gasps. He smiles and relaxes, continuing slowly along the shore. Surely this is a sign that all is well. So relaxed is he that he is nearly upon the young woman before he notices her, resting idly by the mighty rivers banks. He pauses suddenly, causing small stones to crunch and slide under his feet and a few to role down the short, grassy embankment towards the elf. He draws back, guardedly,
She Looked over her shoulder, on both shoulder blades he sees a cressent moon on both of them that sparkels silver, Her eyes sparkel as well. Her long hair wirled around her head and exposed her soft kind face, a smile on her lips was a nature pink color. this elvan woman was naturel and had no makeup of any kind.
" Hi, I am Lucitaina Victoria Scriph." she looked up into his eyes and held out her hand. Her voice was sweet and quiet, just above a wisper.
Donovan eyes her suspiciously, keeping a carful distance, but he cannot maintain his stern and guarded look in the face of such sincere kindness. His stormy gray eyes meet with her shining orbs and the clouds break. Slowly, Donovan takes a small step forward, and then another, and another, he hand coming up from the hilt of his well-worn sword all the while. Soon he is next to her, his hand in hers, "I am known as Donovan, once of the House of Saarquiot. Greeting, Lady Lucitaina Victoria Scriph." Here he bows, slightly, "I am very pleased to make you acquaintance."
"Lovely evening isn't it?" She looked up at the sky and smiled. Her green eyes show no ability to hide any lies. Her clothing was not of this area and it was a bit torn at the bottem. Her little feet where clean from being placed in the rivers cool waters.
She looks back and smiles up at Donovan. "You are royalty, and a strong leader." her voice was sweet and warm.
She stood up and faced him, but not eye to eye for she is only 5'3. "where are you headed?" she asked with wonder. Her small fingers played with her dress a bit in a nervious way, she was not from here and it was not her way of dress that gave it away but the open ended kindness that she gave to every and all strangers. Her smile was small but all the more sweet, her eyes kept his gaze as she stood infront of him looking up.
"Yes..." Donovan agreed dreamily, his voice trailing off as his eyes turned upward, following the course of the horizon and bringing him back to earth and Lucitaina's face, "Lovely."
Turning, he stands beside her and faces the west, the setting sun still largely over the horizon. "I was heading nowhere in particular; just moving. I hear there is a town somewhat down the road."
She looked at him as he looked at her when he had said Lovely. She smiled and blushed a bit. " A town huh?" She looked in the west.
"I don't know where I am or where I am going so I guess that would be a good palce to head huh?" she giggled a little, trying to kee her sprit up. " Would you mind tarveling with me? That is ofcorse unless you wish to travel alone." she looked down at her small bare feet. her hands behind her back playing with her small fingers. Her long hair covered her eyes from his gaze as she looked down, her light blue dress was the color of the blue moon that rose very rairly in the night sky. Her dress was made of the softest fabrick and it was kind to her petite figure.
Donovan looked at her for a long time, saying nothing, his gray eyes taking in everything as he considered her. She was so innocent, so fragile. He knew he should refuse her request, and something in him screamed at him to do so. But, as he looked down at Lucitaina's golden hair, shining like the sun risen anew even in the waning light, he could not retain his resolve. Quietly, he agreed, "Very well then. We shall travel together. And perhaps then we can both
discover where it is that we are going."
She saw the hesitaion in his eyes, the battel he fought to refuse her invite but with his answer she noded and began to walk slowly at first to give him time to prosses his choice and then to fallow along side her. She could feel a distant shadow in him, a heart that beat in solitude, on the virge of stoping all together. Her eyes sparkeled with wonder as she looked up at him, his face was covered in sarrow that he tried so hard to cover. She wished she could help him, forgetting in all about her own problems. She hoped that he would open up eventualy and tell her what happend in his past to make him so troubled.
Donovan falls into step at her side, his gaze faraway on the horizon. The breeze is cool and refreshing and the sound of the nearby river relaxing to him. He smiles. Perhaps he will find good fortune ahead. He looks over to Lucitaina, "So how is it that you find yourself out here without knowing where it is that you are?"
"I woke up with a welt in the back of my head, I woke up in a dark place. I would have to guess I was struck and placed in this unknown land." She smiles and looks over to him, her eyes dancing with light. "I was left alone, I could remember only the sounds of the night it happened to me." She looked at the herizon trying to hide the pain, her eyes tell only truth and she wanted to hide her pain from him.
He looks over at her, confused by her reaction. Leaning forwad he looks into her face and understands. Quickly, as not to embarrass her, he looks towards the horizon, pretending he did not see her moment of weakness, her moment of beautiful truth.
He looks wistfully at the ground before his feet, his looks troubled. I've harmed another, not through my actions, but through my words. Why?
"I'm sorry. I... didn't mean to pry." he says gruffly.
"No its not you." She placed her hand on his shoulder and slowly looked over at him. "You asked a very reasionable question." She smiles and hopes to share it with him. " A part of me wants to find my past, but another wants me to find a new one." She shakes her head still containing a smile. "I just dont know."
He stops and looks over at her smiling face and is intoxicated with it. She is so understanding and kind, he cannot help but return her smile. He is completely in the throws of her obtimistic cheer, "Come!" he says, sweeping his arm out before him, " We shall seek your past and perhaps find us a better future on the way!"
With a large smile she wraps her small gentile arms around one of his arms. She had a smile that would not part her face for she was happy to have such amazing company. HEr eyes sparkeld like dancing glow pixies in the winter nights. "Thank you sir, you are my hero." She smiles. " Now I dont need to travel alone, nor fear the unseen." She squeezes her grip a little as if hugging his arm in happyness. Her eyes looking up at the almost dark sky she silently thanked what ever god she could trust in for her good fortune.
Placing his large hand over her small one, he smiled, "No danger do you need fear on this road. I shall protect you" Slowly, he bowed his head closing his eyes as he did. Raising her hand to his lips, ever so gently he brushed his lips across her slender fingers. Keeping hold of her hand he raises his head and looks into her eyes sparkling green eyes. "So I swear."
She smiles and her gaze seems ever so intense. "I trust you." Her voice but a wisper with for they are so close. Her eyes blink and a smile like non other sweeps ofer her smooth face, her pink lips like pink pearls seround a pearly white smile. Her head rests apon his arm and her eyes close, feelin more safe and humbel than ever before.
Gently her smooths her hair back and cradles her in his strong arms. And he is is glad. The cosmos whirl around them as the sun sinks into the horizon. The stars appear in the sky to continue the shining battle against the darkness until the daybreak. But to him the universe is at a standstill, for atop a grassy hill near the river the Sun and the Moon stand together in gentle embrace. He smiles wide, his face uplifted to the heavens and then, after time interminable he looks down to Lucitaina, his shining and golden sun. He opens his mouth as if to speak, but cannot find the words, so he just shrugs and smiles.
With a smile she looks apon Donovan knowing his speechless moment would last perhaps a while. Her eyes smiled too for her soft cheeks making them do so as she herself smiles. Her short little body embraced in a larger mans arms looked like something only a dreamer would see. She began to think about accomidations at this new town they where sure to reach before Dawn. She had no money, would they have to share a room or have seperate ones. Her head drooped down a bit to look twards the hill, in slight contemplation.
Donovan cocks his head in curiocity and concern. "What troubles you?"
Lucitaina smiles as she looks back at him. " Nothing troubles me at this moment, but when we arrive at the new town I may have a question." she looks at him with a reasuring smile. " There is surtianly nothing wrong right now." she smiles and kinda blushes as she looks down at her small feet.
Donovan turns his eyes away quickly, embarrased by her affection. Donovan smiles, lifting his shoulders slightly in what might have been a shrug. "We should be off. The town is still awhile away."
" Yes you are right." she smiles, her small feet moving at a steady pace her head leaning on him as they walk. She has to take two strides Vs. Donovan's One stride. but she didn't mind, she really hardly even noticed, but her small figure was rather noticable, she was almost perfict, her body hourglass shape, a bit more busty than most elvan weman but not too much. Her small size is the physical feature that makes her so fragile, but its her heart that makes the rest. Her gentile nature and kind greetings.
She stared off infront of her as they walked. Her eyes fluttered like a butter flys wings at times as her eyes would occationaly get dry. Her smile is not stressed but almost naturel. After a while she would have to move about run or somthing, just to get her blood pumping like she likes it.
And so the two continued their journeys together, side my side down the river, the moon shining over them, lighting their way and guiding their silent steps. As night grows old the wind picks up, penetrating even the thickest of fabrick with its icy fingers. Without a word, Donovan wraps Lucitaina tightly in the folds of his great cloak, holding her tight to protect her from the chill. And then, on the bitter wind came the strains of a song, mournful and sweet. And then no more and Donovan cocked his head and closed his eyes, unsure if he had heard anything or not. Maybe it was just him imagination.
Lucitaina shivered in the cill as it struck her body. Her eyes closed and her balance trusting of Donovan as she leand aginst him. Her elvan ears catching a sound that seemed sad, mornful, like a song to call for a lost love. She peeked around his cloak too look around the grassy land to see where she might have heard it comming from. "Strange." she wispered as she returned the cloak to its possition of protection. Her creamy skin was chill but still ever so soft. She shivered, her clothing was not the type to handle this typw of weather. Her dress was thin, fit for a land that may have a long season of spring and summer. Her skin showed that the trees provided plenty of protection from the harshrays of the sun.
Donovan peared out into the night. The darkness seemed to deepen around them and he noticed that they had come close to the dense forests to the left during their journey. "Did you her that..." The words barely escape his mouth when again comes the lament, drifting from somewhere within the shadowy woods. He turns his gaze to Lucitaina, peering at her under the moonlight his eyes sparkle with the reflection of her beauty, but also with uncertainty. He looks back towards that lonely, wailing song and it is clear what he wants to do, but he could never force Lucitaina to into danger with him. "I'm going in there." he says slowly and quietly. It is as much a question as it is a stateement. Hus eyes ask Will you come with me?
Lucitaina Looks up at him with wonder and worry. "yes I did hear it."she wispered feeling that she should. "If you are going then I will fallow at your side." she looks in his eyes, her eyes become filled with inner strength and her senses become amazingly acute as she consintrated. Her smile was reasuring that she would be fine, and she pulled out a dagger that she had hidden on her inner thi. She held it with the blade pointing downward and aginst her wrist as a ninja would hold it for a sneeking strike. It just didn't look right, She seemed to sweet to be holdin a weapon, but in truth she only would kill if it was very necessary and only then. She looked twards the forest and her eyes did not sparkel as brightly.
He is initially surprised at how well she seems to handle a dagger, but he simply shrugs and smiles. Slowly, he creeps towards the woods, Lucitaina at his side and all the while the source of the song draws nearer and nearer. Donovan's hand creeps towards the hilt of his sword and for a moment his eyes close in concentration, silent contemplation and he withdraws his hand from the blade. Together, then enter the forest.
To world seems to grow still immediately as they step between the massive black trunks. All is suddenly quiet and the wind has gone. Not even the rustle of leaves on a distant wind can be heard now. Only the sorrowful song, coming from somewhere ahead.
Lucitaina stood next to Donovan her eyes trying to strain to see what it is that has drawn them into the woods in the first place.
Her body moved with catlike silance and her small feet seems to make peace with the underbrush as she steps apon them with out damage. Her breathing slowed and her lips parted to let the exhailing quiet down.
Together they stalked through the woods. Like great felines they moved silently and steadily through the maze of branches and brambles. Time slowed and the moon was gone, lost amongst the distant bows so very far above them now. There were no low hanging branches and their world consisted on only think black trunks and the soft crunch of the brown floor under Donovan's boots. All the world was still, as if holding it's breath at their passing.
Then, quite without warning, then step out of the trees and find themselves in a small glade. The trees form what is nearly a perfect cicrle around the small pool at it's center. The moonlight shines once more from above and reflects off the still water, illuminating the glade in a silvery radiance. Donovan sucks in his breath and peers at the place around him, the light shining in his eyes.
And there, sitting at the center of the pool, the source of that sorrowful song. A faerie, only about three feet tall and with wings as silver as the moonlight and skin the pale blue of lifting fog. Her back was to them and she did not hear there aproach, for she was deep into her wordless and lamenting song. It filled the glade with sorrow and Donovan could do not but stand in awe at the beauty of the song, though it filled him with a longing for something lost which he could not explain. He looked over at Lucitaina, his eyes pure and benevolent and her beauty seemed only enhanced by the song and the light as it played over her soft blue of her clothing.
Lucitaina's face glowed in the fair blue light, her eyes sparkeling and wide like a deer. Her hand unstiffens the grip on her dagger, and her lips are set apart in awe and also in wonder. She wanted to ask what made her song so full sarrow. She word are caught in her chest and herhead turns too look at Donovan. His eyes showing such purity and compassion that it caused her to release a single tear. Her lips however slightly grew into a sweet soft smile. She could not speek and the illuminating atmosphere would fool your mind into thinking you where dreaming. Lucitaina placed her left hand on her chest as if she where suprised but she was feeling the quickness of her heart beat. She couldn't believe that it could beat so much in such little time.
The faerie continued it's sweet, sorrowful song. Drawn by it's lure, Donovan took a step forward, towards the pool and the faerie, still unaware of his presence. Tears shown in his eyes as he continued his slow, inexorable advance towards the little singing creature. One step. Another. His foot stepped into the silvern pool and it made a soft spashing, like a tinkling of crystal on purest gold. Ripples spread out from his obtrusive boot, moving slowly across the still water and stiking the faerie on her delicate wings.
With startling suddenness she ceased her song and soared into the air, water flying wildly after her and spashing back down into the pool with the same odd tinkling as before, only it was like a cascade of chimes, beautiful and free. She glared at the pair. "Have you forgotten him?"
Donovan could do naught but gape after her as the faerie wheeled about in the air and flew off into the trees. The light seemed to disappear in an instant from the glade and chill night returned, the moon covered by the bows of the trees above and all became dark as before.
From the trees whence the faerie had flown there came a small, high pitched cry and then no more.
Lucitaina looked on at Donovan with green sparkeling eyes. "Have you forgotten him?" she wispered in wonder. "What could that mean?" she hald out her hand to Donovan. "I think we should build a fire for youto get your clothing dry, No one should travel in wet clothing." she looked a little ocupied with though of that farie. Her hand small still reaching out for Donovan's gloved and mighty hand.
He took the offered hand and moved to stand near Lucitaina. He too, was distracted. His thoughts lingered on the strange faerie and her even stranger words. "Yes, you're right. Do let's build a fire."
He moved a short distance into the wood, searching for loose and dry wood to use and his search was short. Soon he returned to to lovely maiden his arms laden with wood and after a few short minutes he had a warm fire burning on the edge of the silvery pool, still and silent once again.
He bid Lucitaina to sit by him as he removed his damp boots. He watched her in the firelight, the glow of the flames accenting her fiery beauty and his eyes warmed with the fire. He smiled in its glow.
But, between the dark trunks of ancient trees, another set of eyes glowed, low to the ground and watched them with burning intensity.
Lucitaina took the seat near him, her hands held up to the fire and her attention was held on Donovan. Her green eyes sparked and danced in the fire light, her eyes seemed to never be taken off of him. Feeling a cold shiver and rubed her arms and skooted closer to the fire. "I guess our journay with eachother will have to continue in the morning." she smiled at him, her eyes took a quick look over the shape and tone of his body, not sizing him up but rather just cerious of who he is. Her lips strech across her face in a silent smile. Her small figure cast a small shadow on the ground behind her, and her skin gave off a sligh luster.
Absently, Donovan poked at the fire, watching the embers dance and play in the warm air before him. He nodded, "Yes. We've come a distance out of our way."
He looks over towards Lucitaina, catching the flashing green of her brilliant eyes as she looked over at him and he looked quickly back to the fire, embarassed.
She smiled at his embarassment, giving off a little muffled giggle as well. Her hand placed on her lips to try and muffel the giggle. Her eyes looked at the fire so as not to raise a question. Her legs off to the side as she sat, her shimmering skin was like that of the main of a unicorn. Such kind innocents about her was like looking at a phynoix, one of the most rair of mythical birds; such amazing feelings that are stured in such a sight.
He looked over at her and could not surpress his smile. He gazed at her, admiring the pure and innocent beauty beside him. Shaking his head at his own foolishness, his shoulders shoke with suppressed laughter. So overcome was he with the moment that he gave himself into the joy. And there, in their little spot of light in the dark and dying wood he laughed for the first time in years.
She laughed one with him, her eyes looking at him as she laughed, her laugh was not loud and irritating but sweet and joyous. Her eyes smiled along with the mood. she lay down still laughing as she looked over at him for her layn possition. she covered her face with her small hands, her fingers parted so she could still look at him, his cute laughing face, her fingers couldn't hide her truth telling deer like green eyes.
He lay down beside her on the soft grass, the crystal clear pool at his feet, reflecting the night sky above in perfect clarity. It was as if the stars broght their celestial melody down to earth for them to enjoy. Leaning on one elbow he turned on his side, his gaze falling on Lucitaina. His smile was still broad and joyous and he looked into her emerald green eyes, coyly hiden behind delicate fingers and pure velvet skin.
Her laughter calmed and her hands still covered her face a bit, Her eyes still showing that she was of coarse smileing. She turnd over to face him as well, On hand holing up her head and the other just being removed from her smileing face. She brought her her index finger to her lip in kind of a thinking type manor. It drew needless attention to her full pick glossy lips but her eyes watched him, she ahd not yet seen such a smile on his face and she wanted to reamber it for when the time came to remind him that he had laughed in her company. She was happy to hear it, She smiled stared at him for the moment.
Donovan stopped laughing suddenly, his eyes narrowing as he shirts his gaze out into the darkness beyond the trees. There is a rustling in the leaves and presently, a very strange creature emerges from the woods. He is small of stature and pale, his black eyes dull, and almost invisible. Long, scraggly hair hangs down below his shoulders. Loose robes hand off the man claw like hands extrude from the bottom. He peers at them meekly from behind his long, crooked nose. His head is down and he is nearly shaking with the sterness or Donovan's gaze.
Lucitaina Looked in the direction of Donovan's gaze. She gasped and skooted back in utter suprise. Her large eyes grew larger as she continued to gaze apon this hiddious vision. Her hands braced her weight as her body was draged in her movement to skoot back.
Donovan continued to stare at the strange little creature. Rising to a crouching position he layed one hand on the worn black hilt of his ancient sword. "Who are you, creature, that comes to disturb my peace?"
Silently, the creature gave a little bow, matted hair falling over his face and brushing the earth at his crooked feet. When he rose, his face wore a twisted and mocking smile and his eyes shined enigmatically with the firelight from deep sockets. He looked at them both, and when he spoke, his voice was high and drawling, "I am called Nom and I wish naught but to share your firelight. The night... the night is cold and there are many strange things about."
Lucitaina calmed her suprise and placed it in her for the next instant that may awaken the suprise in her eyes once more. She took in a deep breath and rose to sit in more of a relaxed position. Her lips drew to an inviting smile but she still seemed on edge with the sound of his voice, and his rather creepy apperance. "We welcome you to our fire light and warmth, However you must vow not to bring harm along with you, for if you do no good may come to your ever shorting life." she sounded kind and yet her warning was very obvious. Her eyes showed nothing but seriousness as she stared into the beings eyes with out flinching. Her small form had cast a shadow twice her size on the serounding trees and extended dirt floor. Her eyes looked at Donovan to make sure things where alright with him; She did not want anything to be a dissagreement in these types of matters for it just may be the differance between life or death.
Nom turned his penetrating gaze to Lucitaina, boring into her bright green eyes with the blackness of his own. He smile, "What come with me, I cannot say. Be it harm... or your impending... good fortune." His voice became almost a hiss as he continued, spreading his arms wide, "As you can see, I bring nothing with me, but what come along after is for you to decide." He chuckled hoarsely as he withdrew his arms to a folded position across his chest and finally resting his pointed chin on grotesque, pointed fingers. He looked from one to the other and long moments past. The fire seemed to dim at his beckoning and the shadows thickened around him. His eyes grew wide as he gazed into the fire, absently commenting, "I assume you are here for the Old Man?"
Lucitaina looked confused and shook her head. "We where on our way to a nearby town, but what old man do you speek of." Her voice remaind as kind and sweet. Her eyes watched this dark being that answers by the name of Nom. Her large green eyes still danced with firelight, they would take the occational kind look over at Donovan, her eyes would not look away from Nom for too long, she had a hard time trusting such a person. herbody was relaxed but her reflexes where rather impressive, she didn't know it.
"Why are you wondering about Nom?" she offered a question, she didn't want to hear his horribul voice but She wanted to hear the answer to the Old man question and this one for typical conversation.
Donovan remained silent as he observed the creature keenly. His hand remained at rest on the hilt of his sword and he maintained his half crouch, ready for anything from the creature, Nom. He met Lucitaina's glance and was pleased to know that she did not trust the creature either. The glade no longer held any of its enchanting beauty so long as Nom remained sitting across from them. It was as it a shadow had fallen over the land and a cloud crossed the moon and stars.
Now chortled slightly at the question, "Wandering... me? I have always been here for, you see, this place is MINE!" He looked up sharply, his gaze shifting from Donovan to Lucitaina and back again. "Have they all forgotten Him?" He rose, his laughter echoing into the night, and rose to dance maliciously around the shadowed trunks of dying trees.
Donovan rose with him, his hand grasping firmly his sword hilt. Wind swept across the wood, shipping furiously over them both and carrying Nom's hidious laughter to the farthest reaches of the wood. Their clothing whipped about them and the fire blew itself apart, scattering brilliant embers out over the blackened pool. Donovan took at step forward against the wind.
Nom continued to laugh, his voice high pitched and hoarse, "Beautiful, isn't, the sorrowful song of the woods!" Darkness fell around them and all sounds ceased.
Lucitaina stood quickly and she cuped her hands and held a palm size ball of light that illuminated a 30ft raidous of there camp. She had a serious look on her face as her eyes darted around the shadows, her breathing was calmed and her other hand held her dagger, She didn't even really notice that she grabed it in instinct. Her green eyes could see nothing but the dance of shadows for the moment and her elven ears could only hear the faint sound of errie laughing as the hiddous creature left their company. "What was that?!?" She wispered in a serious tone even though her vice was still sweet and lovely. She looked up at Donovan with a confused look on her face and a small hint of worrie.
"Should we travel, Or do we dare stay in these enchanted shadows of the wood?" she questioned him as her eyes looked around again.
Donovan turned to her, looking around as he did. All seemed as before. The dying embers of their small fire still smouldered on the ground at the foot of the small pool. He took a step towards Lucitaina, his illuminated features indecisive. "This land is dying." He looked over the woods within the range of her light. Dead leaves sprinkled down about them like ashes. Brittle branches lay hanging from their trees and creaked in a sad song of torment.
After a time, he looked up and met her eye, the storm blowing withing once more, "The faerie was in trouble. This land is in trouble. I must go on."
"I am not going to let you have all the fun, Plus I can revive wildlife such as these but the whole forest is going to be very draining." Her eyes met his, her eyes sparkeled and yet they seemed sad.
"I can't believe that this could happen to a whole forest, What would have done this?" she questions. "I think that farie has all out answers, we have to find her." she looks at Donovan with persistance glowin in her eyes, the ligh in her palm reamind, and the dagger she had noticed in her hand is not put away in its place on her inner thie.
Donovan smiled and nodded. He took her hand in his and gazed deeply into her eyes, "You're wonderful. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
"Yes, " he agreed, "let's continue on and seek out the faerie once more."
She felt a moment of pause as he took her hand and looked at her the way he did, she felt something inside her that seemed to make her hear race. "......Uh Oh um thank you, Yes lets continue." she smiled and even blushed a little with her foolish staring and even more foolish answer.
"Would you like to carie this?", she held out the ball of light,"My arm is a little tired from holding it." she smiled and took his hand and placed it in the middle of his palm. "there you go." she smiled and waved her hands over the embers of their previous fire as not to cause a massacur, she caused the embers to become nothing but ash and only a small presents of smoke. "Ok now that that is taken care of." she smiled and walked along side Donovan.
As Donovan and Lucitaina walked deeper into the dead wood forest under the ash Lucitaina left behind a green tree sprout, it was there in hopes that soon the forest would retun to its nautrel green, such as that of its new born sprout.
Donovan accepted the light and marveled at it a, so bright, as it sat upon his palm spreading illumination. As he gazed at it, under his breath he murmured to soft for her to hear, "Oh that I could have been a bringer of light too..." He looked remorseful for a moment but then the moment was gone and he continued on his way, Lucitaina at his side.
As they continued into the wood the moonlight became more scarce, frightened away by forbidding branches and brown leaves. The earth crunched underneath their feet and the wind whispered through the leaves, a half memory of life.
Long hours past and the night waned. They lost all sence of direction in their eternal darkness. Donovan felt tired and imagined Lucitaina must be growing weary also. They would have to rest soon. He was about to suggest a break, when, off through the leaves he could see what appeared to be a faint glow, a forbidden light not akin to this world of darkness.
Lucitaina also saw the light but knew she and Donovan where abit fatigued and it was unsafe for them to be so just in case this was evil that lurked the darkness of the woods. "Here Donovan Give me your hands." she didn't give him a chance to ask questions she took his hands and closed her eyes, Both of there hands began to glow and there fatuge began to melt away like snow in the rising summer sun.
"Alright lets go." she began to take pace twards the faint glow in the mass of unnaturel darkness brought apon the forest. Her steps where swift and her gloden strands seem to lift from her back as she moved very quietly for such a speed.
Donovan marvelled at his skills as his fatigue dropped away from him. His eyes brightened and he felt strong again as never before. He smiled and nodded at her as she started off toward the light, hurrying after her somewhat more noisily than her elegant and graceful stride.
They continued forward and as they approached the source of the light they could see soft green wings sihouetted agains the trees and small golden eyes regarded them sorrowfully. They had found there prey.
Lucitaina stoped and approched slowly and with her head down as not to make it think she was there to harm. Her motion stoped and she waited for Donovan, She knew he was better with words than she and She didn't know who it would favor more. Her eyes glanced over with a smile at Donovan, she kept her giggle to a low sound as she could hear him come up behind her rather loudly. Her green eyes glanced upward slowly and she watched in hopes it would not flee.
He shrugs at her glance and does his best to keep the noise down, succeeding only in looking more awkward and unnatural amongst the tall and graceful trunks.
The faerie, meanwhile, simply awaits them patiently, settling herself upon the overturned trunk of a tree, slender arms resting on one blue knee. As the two entered the glade the faerie looked up at them with two baleful eyes and then looked down again, staring at the earth and absently rusting brown leaves about with her delicate foot.
Donovan started forward, kneeling on the ground before the diminutive creature, he bowed his head. "Don't be frightened. We are here to help you."
Lucitaina looked at the faerie with equaly sad eyes. She pickes up a sead and places it at the feet of the faerie, the seed begins to reapidly grow into a flowering sprout. "Yes my friend we are here to help." she smiled and looked at Donovan for the aproval of the gift. Her glace was short but sweet, then she looked back at the faerie hopeing that she would confied in them and assist them with information.
The faerie looks down at the sprout, tears in its eyes as it looks down at the inspiring gift. Leaping from the trunk, she kneels on the earth beside the sprout, gently cuddling its quivering leaves. She looked up at Lucitaina in awe. "Thank you, but alas, under the reign of that terrible Nom even this strong and beautiful plant will die, even as all this land dies before you now."
She fluttered delicate silver wings and landed back on the trunk, falling to a sitting positon and placing her little head in her hands.
Donovan gazed at Lucitaina, his gaze clear and admiring of both her and her amazing talents. Then he looked to the small faerie, lost in despair and he could not help but be touched by her plight. Quietly, he entreated the faerie, "Please, tell us how all this began. Who is this creature, Nom?"
The faerie sniffled and looked up into both Donovan's grey and Lucitaina's green eyes, seeing naught but a desire to help in both. The small creature forced a little smile and sighed. "Since before time this land has lived and died under the song of the guardian, and Ancient who pretects this land from ill, who nourishes and refines the land, he who brings the scent of life in the wind, the warmth in the sun and the water in the rain." She paused to collect her breath, "Nom has taken the old man."
Lucitaina stood and looked at the faerie with determination. "Do you knw where he migh have taken the old one?" Her question was filled with seriousness. "I cant promise anything except that I will devote my talents to saving the life of this forest." she smiled for reasurance and then returned to her Determand look. She looked at Donovan and noded, she needed him to tak information from the farie as she consintrated, hereyes closed and her ears twitced, she was trying to become intune with this quickly diminishing forest.
Donovan returned her nod, smiling reassuringly at her. He looked worried at first by her concentration, but he trusted her and smiled over her.
Turning to the faerie, he locked his gaze with hers. "Please, tell us all that you know."
The faerie nodded, "Very well, although I know little it is as much as we all know. At the center of the forest, north of here, is the old ones cavern. It is there where Nom has taken up residence. Will you really help us?"
Lucitaina continues to consintrate on the forest's life force. "If the old man is still alive there should still be some life force left" . She thought this to herself and she hoped for the best.
A wisper of the wind and the sound of small voices, the tress and shrubs weep and the lakes cry. The soil moans and the air shreeks, its the forest that is in pain and is making that very obvious. She turns her head in the North and there she hears the faint soothing sound of a man.
Lucitaina jumps up."The elder is still alive!" she looks over at them with relief and comitment.
Donovan looks over at her in relief. The faerie neerly falls off her seat with excitement at the words. She begins fluttering around the small clearing, darting to and fro with joy, tears falling from the silvery blue of her eyes.
Donovan rises, "Can you lead us there?"
The faerie nods, "I'll do anything if it means this place may be reborn."
Lucitaina places herself at Donovans side once again. She smiled at him with hope and she grabed his hand as she pulled him along to fallow the faerie. She didn't pull him along for very long, she just pulled him as to say "lets get going" With out the use of words. Her hands let his go, it felt almost wrong to do so and that made her slow as she began to wonder why, But she soon took proper pace behind the leading Faerie, but something bothered her and she was not quiet sure as to what.
Donovan held his hand outstretch for a moment, his fingertips still felt the warmth of her touch. He looked down almost sorrowfully at the empty hand. Then shaking his head, he hurried along behind the others.
The faerie led them steadily through the forest. As they continued along towards the center, going deeper and deeper into the forest their world began to turn gray. Once mighty trees were now ashen and brittle. The ground beneath their feet was dry and dust rose with each step. The was no sound or scent. It was as if the heart of each limb was hollow, empty. Yellow sunlight filtered through the thin branches and giving all an unhealthy cast.
As they walked the faerie explained that and Elder had always protected the forested with his songs. He brought life wherever he walked and all the creatures of the forest loved him. Nom, he told them, had appeared only recently, seemingly out of nowhere, and that was why outsiders were not trusted.
After a time, when the sun was nearly overhead, they noticed that the forest was becoming less dense. They could see farther in front of them and a short distance ahead they could see a shadowed rock face, nearly black against the dark forest.
The faerie pointed to a wide opening, "The Elder resides within."
Lucitaina looked at the large black opening, it seemed like a moth just waiting to swallow the remaing life in this forest continueing with them. She looked up at the faerie, her big green eyes sparkeled with hope. "We will find him and return the forest to its origanel state." She smiles brightly and bows her head slightly in respect and thanks to the kind and sarrow filled Faerie. She was not strong enough to head this alone, she stuck closely to Donovans side, her dagger out and ready for deffence, her magic also looming through her vains just itching to be used. She looked at Donovan and then back at the wide open blackness that was the entrance, she waited for his movement before she was to take pace beside him.
He nodded to Lucitaina and smiled reassuringly. Then he moved forard into the cavern. The faerie silently watched them go, looking after them and waving her small hand. She smiled, tears in her silver eyes as the two of them disappeared into the blackness.
And, quite suddenly, they stepped into the Elder's study.
The room was brightly lit by a warm fire burning in the hearth which dominated the room, strange trinket of all designs adorning the mantle. The room was richly furnished in decadent reds, greens, and golds, all plush and burnish and dark wood. The fire cast strange shadows about the room. Donovan looked at Lucitaina, his hand finding hers and grasping it momentarily. He started to move forward into the room, but caught movement over near the fire.
A wrinkled and twisted arm raised from the arm of the thickly cushion chair and bade them welcome. "Good afternoon..." crowed the sinister voice of Nom.
Lucitaina Looked passed Donovans shoulder wich moved to cover her when Donovan spotted the movement, She scoweled over his shoulder but she didn't say anything to the grotesqu creature. Her hand grasped Donovan's and she looked away in anger, her eyes flamed with anger and her face grew sturn. She wanted more than anything to demand the release of the Old One and leave the forest be. She knew that Donovan was better at Deplomacy than she and he would most likely aproch Nom much better than she would. She stepd only a little to the side so she could see better past Donovan's Brod shoulder, her presents lightens the room in some way for she was the compleate opposite of Nom, She was a creature of the Silver Light.
The thin and loathsome arms waved them forward, "Come and have a seat," hissed the soft voice, "annoying creatures."
Moving closer in spite of his trepidations, Donovan looke upon the disgusting creature, nearly swallowed by the chair much too large for his diminutive body. He nearly smiled at the creatures flinch when he looked upon Lucitaina, pure and bright in the world of darkness he had inflicted on the land. Nom looked pathetic, his shaggy head resting on one clawed fist, gazing into the crakling flames in the hearth.
Donovan reached for his sword, "Release..."
Nom waved his hand weakly, stopping him, "Wait..." he whispered, "I have ea proposal for you."
Donovan looked to Lucitaina, raising his eyebrows skeptically.
Lucitaina fallowed Donovan to the chair but she stood beside the chair refusing to seat herself as company to the creature. Her eyes looked upon Nom, the flames grew ever bolder as she looked at him, its hiddious features and frial body struckture. She looked at Donovan with a frown of disbelief, she still hd her dagger in her right hand that she consealed behind her arm ninja style as it where. "What makes you think you deserve to make a perposal?" She daired to say, her voice so serious, it was soft and feminin like the rest of her but still sturnd and to the point. She frowned at the creature in discust. She looked cute when she got angery, but she was infact rather inraged with Nom's poisionous presents in the forest.
Donovan's lips curled into a thin smile. How courageous and strong she seemed to him in that moment. It made him yearn to be a better man. He too remained standing and glaring down at the little creature.
But Nom remained calm, leering at them from behind black eyes, his twisted smile fixed on his lips. His eyes shined dangerously in the firelight. "Arrogant creatures... always so arrogant
..." he hissed between his teeth, "I am Master of this place! You have rejected my gracious offer outright!" He stood up on the chair, bringing himself level with them, anger seered into his gaze.
Lucitaina's eyes grew glazed with anger and yet not from the pits where hateful anger resided but Anger in the name of what is good. She clenched her teeth and then her eyes couln't help but show her purity through a bright light that would be blinding to that of evil. "We are Arrogant?!? You are for you chose to walz into this humble place that did not belong to you at all, How dare you dissrupt the balance of this gracful land!" she couln't understand why such bold words flew so freely from her mouth as if they where not in danger, She in logical reasioning new they where in trouble but somthing in her brought that feeling to a hault.
Lucitaina turned her head away and her free hand grasped Donovans arm, she was fine but she feared for him, she could be putting his life in the way of Noms rath. She couln't bair the thought of him getting hurt because of her free sprited outbursts.
She controled herslef and backed off the talking for the moment. Looking back at Donovan then to Nom, she was calm and the glow from her eyes reduced to that of a faint flicker of bright starie light.
Nom looked on the verge of rage, his eyes flashing at her in fiery anger. His mouths curled and twisted in a visage of hate. He breathed hard, his little hands clenching and unclenching. Finally, with an effort, he sank back down into the chair, exhausted. His breath came in short gasps and his anger had run its course and now he looked almost remorseful, almost pitiable.
Donovan was now impressed. He continued to glare down at the creature. He placed his left hand over Lucitaina's, maintaining his right on the hilt of his sword. He looked down at Nom's frail and twisted body prone in the chair.
Nom lifted his sorrow filled eyes to meet Donovan's. "I didn't come to this place, you know. I've always been here." Where his voice had once been harsh and cruel it was now soft and almost sorrowful. "This is my home..."
But Donovan had had enough. His gaze fixed and steely he drew his sword. There came a crystaline ringing as the blade slid smoothly from its sheath. The metal was cool and dark and finaly honed. He poointed the large blade at Nom, placing the tip just below his neck, "Take un to the Elder."
Nom gazed up at him along the length of the blade, looking deep into Donovan's eyes. He held his gaze for long moments before lifting one weak hand and motioning towards a door to his left, "It is not locked."
Lucitaina looked at Nom almost feeling bad for him, but she looked tward the door and without hesitation headed to it. Her small hand grasped the handle and opened the door to the next room, her green eyes looked back at Nom and Donovan, she wanted to question Nom on saying he had always lived here but now was not the time. The forest ws dying and somthing had to be done before it was beyond all help. "Nom," she said not looking at him but at the ground. "I will come back here to address you futher but now is not that time, be sure that I can find you here when this is over." she looked up at donovan and waited for him, she seemed to smiled at him through her eyes.
Donovan moved over to the doorway to stand beside Lucitaina, his eyes never leaving Nom, his blade always pointed at the impotent little creature, which now looked so tired and frail slumped in his chair. His will seemed to have left him. His was hollow and empty. The fire opposite him surrendered no warmth to the man as he gazed into the glowing orange depths.
Nodding to Lucitaina, he smiled and they entered the doorway together.
A large chamber opened out before them. The only light came from the doorway behind them, but that was enough to dimly illuminate the small room. Furnishings were sparse and ancient tapestries hung about the wall. They were dirty and moth-eaten and seemed to depict scenes from a brighter past than this. In the center of the room, flanked by two empty sconces there stood a pedestal. And on the pedestal they lay an ancient and wizened old man. His hair was white and hund dawn about his shoulders. His mouth was open wide, as though he were calling to someone and his eyes too, were locked open in an eternal stare, for the Elder was dead.
Lucitaina Looked on with horror as she droped her dagger and covered her face. She began to cry, then fell to her knees. She could not believe her eyes, The only one who could save this place no longer lives. "I failed her" she wispered to herself. She got up and walked over to the corps and her small soft hand moved over the Old mans eyes, she closed them and she closed hers. Her tears flowed from her eyes like a river from a mountian. "Elder, your needed here and yet your soul is lost." she spoke to him as though it would do somthing. Her kind heart and sarrow filled tears, she looked back at Donovan with big green tear filled eyes.
Donovan could do nothing but gaze back at her, his eyes dark and swirling. Their journey had been for naught. All he had done, he had given his word to the faerie that he would help them, and once again he found himself unaable to keep his end of the bargain. He was once again telling lies and failing those who counted on him. He had failed again and the one responsible...
He turned, lifting his sword and moving back through the door. Anger and frustration marked on his face, he hurled himself back towards the opening in rage. He was surprised to see Nom, the object of his wrath standing in the doorway, one frail and twisted hand clutching the wooden frame. He gazed up at Donovan with large, sorrow filled eyes, stealing the thunder from Donovan's heart. Donovan just stared at him, his eyes dull as he gazed at the impish creature, silently asking, why?
As Donovan moves apart from the twisted horror of the corps and Lucitaina, Lucitaina looked in the old mans closed eyes. "I cant let you leave your fathful faerie out there alone in a dying wrold." She placed her hands over his chest, and she closed her eyes, her prayers rang out to that of the Elvin God. As such devotion to her god and to the life of the Elder Lucitaina's body began to glow, The markings on her back shone like the brightest lights of heavn. A form came from the markings, the form of silvery and transparent wings. Her eyes open and to her surprise she dosen't feel draind, her energy was amazingly powerful. "Preservation is what will hold you here Elder untile I know what can bring yu back to this world." she removed her hands and the glowing faided, the Elders body glowed but still did not move.
Lucitaina stood there for a moment and turned around slowly as her gaze came up just as slowly.
Donovan looked back at Lucitaina, the dark clouds of his eyes swirled wide with awe. So amazing was her power to him, he marvelled at his lovely companion. "Wonderful..." he breathed in wonderment, "And now... Nom!"
He whirled about, falling down apon the old creature with a snarl, the lightless blade of his sword scraping the stones of the wall above Nom's head. The decrepit thing fell back into a corner. Wimpering, he covered his head with hairy arms. Donovan glared down upon him, "What have you done? How do we save this place?"
Nom raised his head, his beady black eyes burning into Donovan's. The firelight glinted off pointed teeth as he smiled wickedly. "The ravens fly, and the forest can no longer hear the old man's song." He chuckled silently, "The moon no longer shines upon this place, never to rise again over this land for he will not call it. Unless..." his eyes shined and his voice hissed dangerously, "you will pay my price..."
Lucitaina walked up behind Donovan and place her hand on one of his shoulder as she looked apon Nom from behind Donovan. "Nom, What type of price is it that you want us to pay?" She looks at him cowering in the corner and her brillant green eyes shone apon the beasty black eyes of Nom.
Her touch was warm and calming to Donovan, her lips seem to smile naturaly but to Nom it ment she was not going to pay an unreasionable price.
Nom rose and casualy strode past them and into the chamber where the Elder lay, the silent scream still on his lips, surrounded still with Lucitaina's glowing aura. A litte snear marked his lips as his eyes passed the Elder's corpse. Moving to the far end of the chamber, he waved his hand and a portion fo the wall opened wide, dust rising in the chamber. A stench of milder and decay wafted up from the depth of the cavern which now lay at Nom's feet. A soft orange glow illuminated the cavern, but the light was little and weak. "Come." Said Nom, walking into the gaping opening.
Donovan looked over at Lucitaina. "I don't like this..." He shruged and started forward.
Lucitaina fallowed after him, her hand on his arm as she walked along side him. "Nor do I." She kept her eyes on the thing called Nom. She would keep her hand on Dononvan too keep sure that he is there and well.
Donovan placed his hand over Lucitaina's as they followed Nom further and further down the underground corridor. The heat become oppressive and the strange orange glow glinted from the plates of Donovan's armor and shined of Lucitaina's hair as they continued there march deeper into the gloom.
The passage twisted and turned and soon all sense of direction was lost. Lost too, was all sensation of time. There was no shirt in the scant light of the eternal night surrounding them and pervading there very souls.
They had no way of knowing how far they had gone when the passage suddenly opened up and they found themselves in a wide cavern. The ceiling was lost in shadow and was tremendously high. Shining bits of gemstone sparkled along the far walls of the cavern. Here too, was the strange orange glow, but it was somewhat brighter than elsewhere. And, dominating the chamber, there stood a gigantic crystalline cage. And within, resting gigantic head on clawed fist was a terrible creature. It was covered all in a blackish purple fur and had shining black claws. It sat as if asleep on its stone dais and indeed, the monsters eyes were closed and it did not move as they entered.
Lucitaina took a glance at this beast, she showed no suprise or fear, but her hand squeezed Donovan's a little at first glace.
"Is this your pet Nom?" She looked at the frial and grusome creature and then at the stronger and moer horrable looking beat in the cage once again. Her eyes, even with the lack of light, sparkeled like stars.
She could hardly stand the stench and mildewy smell of the cavern.
Nom looked to her, his eyes narrowing as he attempted the gage her question. Finally, he responded, "No. More accurately, I am his pet."
He walked up to the shining crystal cage, placing one gnarled hand on the bars, gazing at the sleeping beast within. "Here lies the father of this forest and of all the creatures who dwell herein. He was remained trapped here in slumber since the coming of that old man." He paused, turning around the regard the two companions. When he continued, his voice was almost sorrowful, "I had thought that the Elder's death would be enough to free Him, but here he remains still. Free him and we no longer need the old man."
Lucitaina looked at Nom. "Even if that is so a life is a life, you took that from the elder, you will have to find a way to return it." She steped forward and still from a distance she looked at the beast.
"How are we to wake this being? And how can I be sure that you are not having wake a demon thats perpous is to rule this world in darkness??" Her qusetions where strong and all together smart.
Nom lowered his head, "I cannot know for certain. He is the father of all the faerie folk living here." He looked up into the sleeping face of the beast, its eyes close and its brow furrowed as if in deep thought. "He must safe this place."
He looked to Donovan, gazing long at the man and his sword. He nodded to Donovan's dull weapon, "Valvidaan should be able to break the bars."
Donovan looked down at the weapon in his hand. He had not heard the sword's proper name in many years, but its mention gave him pause. How did Nom know of it? Suddenly, Nom seemed altogether more menacing to him. He shook his head, "Lucitaina is right. How can I possibly free this thing from it's prison without knowing a thing about it."
Nom sighed, "Well, if that is your decision..." Slowly, he began to walk towards Donovan.
Lucitaina held out her hand so that the back of her hand and her forarm was at a ninty degree angle, The palm of her hand glowed like the sun, a bright yellow and red. Her pal pointing twards Nom. " Nom you have to stay here until you tell all, And I dont want you doing anything to Donovan you hear me, This sadly is our last chpice, however you will stand close by in case anything goes wrong you hear me?" She was serious, when both looked in her eyes they shone with a silver light, like that of the cressent markings on her back. "Donovan this is your decision, I trust whatever one you make." she noded and put her hand down taking good sturdy position behind Nom making sure he remain here.
Nom paused at her worlds, his eyes still locked upon Dononvan. He glanced over towards the caged beast, sleeping peacefully. "The time of the faeries should end. I've seen it all, you know. I was there at the beginning of all wars and hate. I only want to see the end of mine own story." His little fists clenched, dirty claws drawing blood on his palms. "This is the only way!" With a snarl his leapt at Donovan, his hands grasping the hilt of Donovan's sword.
Donovan fell back, swinging wildly with his sword trying to shake the little imp away.
Lucitaina gasped then ran twards them, she had to do somthing, she couldn't just stand there and watch this happen. Her eyes frowned in anger of Nom and in worrie of Donovan. "No." She yeld at Nom with anger, tears ran down her face and she took out her dagger and tryed to grab Nom by the head with her free hand.
Nom recoiled, feeling her hand on his head, biting and snarling. "Enough of this!" he hissed, his teeth gnashing close to Donovan's face. Grasping the hilt of the sword with both hands and ignoring the kicks from Donovan's heavy boot, he screamed in anger and pain. Writhing in agony, red faerie wings sprouted from the creatures back. Flapping a few times as it to air them out, he laughed, "What kind of weakling do you take me for!"
Donovan let go with one hand, reaching for the dagger in his boot. When he did so, Nom smiled wickedly and he whirled about in the air, his fiery red wings whipped across knocking Donovan's arm loose from the weapon. Screaming in glee, Nom wheeled about in the air and flew towards the cage.
Lucitaina had her eyes closed as she chanted and the dagger in her hand began to glow. Her eyes opened quickly and She released her threw her dagger swiftly at the wrist of Nom, and she yeld to the god of elves,"May my dagger fly swiftly and strike its target with all its might!" she also held two blue flam fireballs in her hands, just incase Nom could dodge the dagger. She rushed to Donovan and stood infront of him in a protective manor.
The dagger soared towards Nom. Lucitaina's aim was deadly accurate but Nom, sensing the swift flying blade dodged to the side. But not fast enough. The dagger tore through his right wing and blood splattered the ground. Nom screeched in agony as he spiraled toward the ground in a half flutter. He hit the ground hard, Donovan's large sword weighing the little creature down, but he would not relinquish his hold on the sword.
Lucitaina sprang forward with Blue flame balls in hand to reclame Donovan's sword. She stood between Nom and the cage, Her hands strongly holding onto the flames, Her eyes glowing bright white almost blinding to look into, She watched Nom, she never the whole time looked like a fighter, she still retained her kind hearted look and life guarding self. Her aura was still the pure white color of the peacful, but the energys that she weiled was powerful and fear filled.
She was amazing in her ability to use and command magic, and she defended like a traind knight and guardian of the heavens.
"Nom Stop this foolishness and return that sword to its rightful owner!" she demanded this of him, her voice was sturn and yet still pleasing to hear. Her heart beat in unison, with that of Donovans, Like the beat of a stallons hooves on the floor. She was ready for anything Nom could throw at her.
The light dances among the shadows in the green of the heavily-overgrown wilderness of this beautiful wood. The birds sing their song among the limbs of the great trees, high above the ground covered in shadow and foliage. Moss-covered trunks stand quietly, awaiting nothing more than time.
Without warning, a crash can be heard in the distance, followed by a call made by a human voice, and another crash. Human voices begin to rise in volume, and suited bodies can be heard approaching. The army has begun to move among the forests of Tariwynn.
The forces of Kiee approach, bearing a Hatred of Magic, and all creatures of the forest who use it, including gnomes, fae, and the rare elves of this land.
~~~~~~~~~~( And now to close out this storyline swiftly and decisively )~~~~~~~~~
Nom uses Donovan's ancient sword Valvidaan to open the cage only to discover that the creature within is not the father of the faerie folk but the creature of darkness who infested the forest ages ago. The Elder managed to seal him away, but as he aged and weakened so too did the cage he had placed around the evil, known as Ees. Slowly the dark power of Ees permeated the forest and drove out all the light. Ees whispered into Nom's dreams and lied to him, making him believe that freeing him could save the forest. Nom was subverted by his ways and over time was changed into the vengeful creature he is today. Donovan and Lucitaina fought Ees but were powerless against him. Empowered by their lords release, the minions of Ees came out of their hiding places throughout the forest and attacked all the came within, including the forces of Kiee.
Nom, shamed and betrayed, lied to his entire life faced up to the truth and found a nobility he had hidden for most of his life. He sacrificed himself and took the place of the Elder and once again sealed away the evil Ees.
Donovan and Lucitaina narrowly escaped from the forces of Kiee with the help of the faerie folk. Before departing, the faeries swore that should Donovan of Lucitaina ever need assistance, they would be there for them.