Journeying the Milsnivvah, "the land between" in Ruundan, known to the human nations as Tariwynn Woods
From: Vestahl's Home
, riding Reigalla
Roth, Vasseht - xido
Horses: Golden Honey, Reigalla, Secret Star, and Arakia
After quite some time of trudging through the heavy growth of the surrouding forests around camp, and trying to stay on some form of path, Roth and Dtalk find the entire area around camp to be completely free of dangers while talking, and find that sun is beginning to rise.
They head back to camp.
Vasseht rises the instant a ray of sunlight glimmers on his eyelids, and he finds himself looking directly at two human females across from his spot against a wide tree.
Running a sleeve over his nose to wipe it clean, he takes in a deep breath, and stands up to stretch.
He takes only a few moments to look things over while splaying himself widely apart, before stepping off in the direction near the place where Dtalk and Roth headed out earlier, not a word said to anyone.
Robin is slowly awakened by Qéla's head slumping over onto his shoulder while he sleeps against the tree beside the woodsman.
As Dtalk and Roth are led out of the treeline by the scowling har that just awoke, he trudges quickly over to Qéla, calling his name as he approched, and shoving his shoulder quickly to awaken him.
"Hey. Get up. Look at me, look at me. Get him," he says to Qéla, waving his hand in front of his eyes to get him focused, then pointing at Robin, who is the him that was being referred to by the angry har.
Robin, now awake, finds a stone-faced har sitting beside him, a nearly sad, cold look on his face.
"You heard him. Just don't do anything crazy, and you'll be fine," he explains to Robin.
"Qéla, shut up and grab the boy," Vasseht coldly orders, walking off past Opal and Gwyn.
Qéla gives him a quizzical look that lasts only moments, then tries to convey one last reassurance to Robin, quietly nudging him to stand as he does so as well.
"What's going on?" asks the dew-drop-laden Roth, whose dark hair glistens over his green eyes, which stare Vasseht down in a confronting look of defiance.
"We're leaving," is Vasseht's only reply. There is a moment of heated tension, and Roth's eyes go wide, and he gives him a furious stare.
Vasseht seems to instinctively sense Roth's defiant thoughts without even looking at his face. He turns, pointing his fingerand crying, "I am here for the black man, alone. I am taking the other because he could serve some other purpose, but the others are not my concern."
"So, what, you will kill them?" Roth asks, and Dtalk's eyes go wide.
Vasseht glares angrily at Roth, and sweeps his hands out in a furiously quick circle, casting an area of encasement around the campsight.
"No one is leaving until we have gone. None of them will follow us, and the boy is ours," he hisses. "Say farewell to your friends, Dtalk, and do it quickly, for I have little time for games and petty conversation!"
"Surely, you are not to take their lives?!" Dtalk cries in shock.
"They will be left to their own device. I care not what happens to them once we have left them alone. Roth, get the horses now, and ready them without taking a full season to do it..."
Dtalk looks at him in anger, the awe-struck shock at the har's horribly derisive personality, then finds the girls' lives in favor.
"I wish for them to keep the carriage and the belongings inside, otheh than my own personals," he commands to Vasseht.
"Fine. Say goodbye. Qéla, hold on tight to that boy, and don't let him out of your reach." Vasseht is barking orders at everyone beside the girls, but the looks he gives them is one of disgust and revulsion. He does not seem to be a happy individual.
Roth sighs, grasping the reins of the horses and leading them over to Qéla and Robin.
Dtalk looks at Lian first, and walks over to her and Mirriam.
"I hope that you find your path. It will find you, because it is the wisdom of everyday life that makes us fulfilled, and it leads us into eternity alone. Mirriam, it was grand to have met you, despite how short-lived it was...."
He hugs Lian, and taps her pendant, then her forhead.
"You know the way," he says.
Looking to Gwyn, he says, "Tell your panther to stay off my lawn, but feel free to visit my home anytime. I can see it's not possible for me to guarantee my being there, but my home is your home. Consider yourself family, scrubling," he jests, playfully punching her shoulder.
Vasseht glares impatiently from beside his horse as he gets ready to mount it.
Dtalk finally looks at Opal and asks, "Well, do you even remotely trust me anymore, after all this? I guess it will probably be a long time before we meet again, but I will try to come back to Irrundanil, if they do not keep me on a horrible chain somewhere far away. It was an honour to meet you, my dear dark angel..." he tries to hug her.
Robin, confused as he is, doesn't do anything asides from what he's told, as he's still trying to figure out what is happening to him. Sadly, he doesn't geti t figured out. He just knows he's being taken by the hars, and he doesn't know why. he might serve some purpose? What purpose?
To his surprise Opal higs him back fiercly and mutters "be bloody careful and fight dirty alright?" before plucking out a feather and giving it to him.
Lian sniffs quietly to herself. She nodds at Dtalk and hugs him back. She looks over and is startled by the hard look on Mirriam's face. Realising Mirriam's friend is being taken, she makes a decision. Slowly, her mind roves over to the nearbye animals...
Dtalk accepts Opal's feather with a light smile, and nodding his head once in respect to her, placing the feather on a twine along his belt.
He hugs Lian back, watching as her new-found friend glared angrily at the situation.
Something tells him bad things are about to happen.....
Suddenly all of horses let out shrill whistles and rear. In doing so, their lead ropes are tugged about in Roth's hands. In a cloud of dust, they prance around confusingly. Secret Star, the stallion, runs behind the other horses, quickly nipping at their flanks, trying to get them panicky. They all pull tremendously hard at Roth's hands as he strains his features while holding them steady. Their chaotic stamping sends up a thick cloud of dust and mud, causing quite a commotion. Despite this, Roth holds them fast, trying to calm them with his mind, but they still huff and trot in anxious anticipation.
Gwyn looks around, extremely confused. She stammers, "Wha-wha-what just happened!?"
Opal sidles up subtley (OC: ooh look illiteratiuon!) to Lian and mutters "Is it sword and sicle time? Oh do say yes..."
Robin looks around, surprised by the running horses and the chaos left behind. He coughs because of the dust which is flying all around. Now he really didn't know what was happening. he stumbled back against a tree and tried to overview the scene, in the hope he might figure out what was happening. He couldn't see anything because of the dust though, and thus decided to stay against the tree.
Mirriam rushes up to the confused Robin and pushes him behind her. She glares at the har trying to take him away.
Gwyn rushes to Opal's side and swings a dagger into her hand, "Did I hear sword and sicle?"
Glancing at Mirriam Opal smiles a not very nice smile, "I do believe it is," from seemingly nowhere a small curved blade appears in her hand and she starts edging around behind the har.
Gwyn follows quickly and quietly, not letting her boots make a sound through the leaves and twigs. She slides her other dagger into her other hand and slides to the opposite side, behind Mirriam, whispering softly, "Got youre back." she winks at Mirriam with a steady, malicious glint in her eyes as she slides past.
Dtalk looks wide-eyed upon the scene, and stays silent, seeing a moral dilemma in fighting right now.
Roth holds the horses in tight as they still prance and trot around anxiously, while trying to soothe their minds, and fighting the force that caused the outburst.
Qéla, knowing that he still needed to follow his orders, quickly leaps into the air, disappearing from sight immediately.
He reappears from the air, landing swiftly on his feet in the space beside and behind Robin. He pulls his sword out of its sheath, and snatches the boy up from behind, and swinging the sword around the front of his neck.
"Don't move! Don't anybody move!" Qéla cries out.
In his mind, Robin hears him speak: Be still. Don't try to move.
"If anybody tries anything fast, he gets it!"
And in his mind: I'm bluffing. You won't be hurt if you just comply. Tell them to back off, and quickly.
The sword blade looks as if it rests on Robin's neck, but it is sheltered from harm by his own thumb above the hilt of the blade.
With his circle of encasement still active, Vasseht watches for what happens next, glaring angrily at the girls as they cluster together.
Robin only hears the voice in his head half. It took a while before he realised what it just said. It did help though. He didn't have to play like he was in fear. He really was scared. So the " People, I think he might be serious about that..." came out pretty realistic.
After he said it he finally got his head striaght again and knew he wasn't to get hurt. he still tried to keep the look on his face as real as possible, half hoping he was ugly enough so the others couldn't see his bad acting. or at least, that's what everybody had told him. He really wouldn't know how good he really was at acting.
Opal lowers the sicle slowly, glancing around in confusion, before shving it back into her belt with a curse.
Gwyn rolls her eyes and tightens her grip on the daggers, moving her mouth to Opal's ear behind the tree. She whispers, "He's lieing. I can see it. Though I don't know whats the lie, I know it's there."
Vassseht, once grinning at Opal's relent, scowls furiously at the other woman, throwing a gesturing hand in her direction, casting her suddenly into the air, and against a nearby tree trunk, where vines wrap around her midsection and arms, binding her to the high branch.
Gwyn lies squirming against the high branches of the tree, bound but unhurt by the toss.
The har glares at the other three girls, crying, "Just stay back."
Dtalk glares silently at the antics.
"Qéla, let's move." Vasseht commands he, then Roth, to move out, and Roth nudges Dtalk on his lower back.
He stands fast for a moment, staring sadly at the girls, looking up sympathetically at Gwyn, who wrestles with the vines.
He looks down for a moment, sadness setting in, then waves to all of you.
"I'll miss you all" he lip speaks silently, then following Roth and the others.
Qéla walks backwards, an easy move for him, and rather awkward for the human in his arms and beneath his blade's edge. He leads Robin in tow, keeping his eyes away from Mirriam's at all possible stakes.
Realizing that he is not having an easy time with the clumsy and scared human, he decides to do something else.
In his mind, Robin hears: Be still, and close your eyes.
As Robin nearly instinctively does so, he hears once more behind his closed eyelids: Okay, open them.
In those momentary instants, Qéla had disappeared from his place once more, this time with Robin in tow, and landed beside the horses that Roth is leading to the path away from the open space.
"Get up," he says aloud to Robin, who is a bit confused by the action. A runny nose proves that he is still not in full health.
Yanking the sicle out of her belt, Opal runs over to the tree and starts hacking at the vines holding Gwyn, "May as well use it appropriately for once heh?" she mutters, trying to lighten the mood.
Gwyn screams in anger, "I DON'T EVEN KNOW THOSE GUYS' NAMES BUT I SURE AS HELL KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT EM! THOSE LITTLE--" she cuts herself off to jump to the ground as Opal frees her. She nods to her, "Thanks....Now, can we go..KILL THEM!?"
Mirriam's eyes glint greenly with cold fury as she watches helplessly. Oh, I'm not helpless, and yet, I am. If only it weren't human lives at stake. She jumps at the sound of Lian slightly hiccuping. She looks concerned as she sees Lian's normally purple-blue eyes turning to a more red tint. Lian sinks down at the base of a tree, sobbing. "I- I-hicup- I tried. Its-it-its my fault. Secret Star- oh baby!" She cries silently, her thin body shaking. Still they resist for me, Lian senses.
Mirriam- also upset by the loss of Robin, sits down next to her friend. Unsure, she mechanically pats Lian's back and murmers to her that it will be okay. We didn't even get to make introductions...
Dtalk looks saddened as he mounts his horse, Reigalla, while Roth mounts his own, nearby. Vasseht hurries the others while watching the women from the corner of his eye. He pushes Robin up on his own horse's back, then conducts Qéla to do the same with an angry, quick gesture. Qéla stands near to Robin as they all depart on the path southward.
A circle of encasement keeps the women and their own horses stuck in the camp until the hara have gotten out of reach.
Vasseht looks back once as they trot out of sight, smiling an evil grin at the women he despises so profusely.
Gwyn and Opal both see the look on his face as the hara ride out of sight.
After a minute or so, Robin regains his abilty to think. Kind of anyway.
"Why are you doing this?" He asks with a mixture of confusion, anger and curiosity in his vioce.
"Where are you taking me?"
With a furious glance at the har, and a mental note towards further discussion with the one called Vasseht later, Opal drops beside Lian and puts her arms around her, "hey look it's OK, they left most of your horses here, and Dtalk won't let anything happen to the one he's riding," she glances up at the other girl "I'm sure your friend will be alright, I don't know about the others but Dtalk's honorable and keeps his word," coming from Opal that last staement means a lot.
Gwyn catches Vasseht's smile but shrugs it off to look into his eyes for the split second that he held them on her. She sees in the all telling orbs a profound hatred for those he left behind. She blinks and mirrors that hatred towards him. She grinds her teeth and murmers to noone as she stands frozen, staring at the point where the hatred had just boiled, "Stuck in the woods...With a bunch...Of girls..."
As the hara leave, the girls find themselves totally alone in the alcove of the forest. Opal senses someone watching her from some unknown place, but none of the others feel the sensation.
Mirriam's friend is out of sight, but not out of mind.
Mirriam leaves to collect food and hunt in the forest.
With the passing of several minutes Lian's sobs turn to quiet sniffles. "Opal, Gwyn, I want to tell you guys about Mirriam." she waits till she has their attention. "I was born and grew up in a small village up in the northern hills, near the mountains. It was a small town, and every body fended for themselves. My ma was a healer, and though she tried, the villagers never accepted her. When any of her patients died it was said to be an omen, or a curse. My mother used magic-" Lian pauses for a moment here, "and she used lots of it. She was very powerful, and had been schooled in magic. She always wished I could do magic, but all I could ever do was simple healing. I had a way with people, but mostly animals. Animals and I have a connection, and we can communicate. That's why I have a flock of sparrows, a wolf, and love horses." Looking around, she continues. "Mirriam was several years older than me, and she lived more on the outskirts of town. Her parents were quite wealthy, and were very possesive of their only child. As Mirriam grew up, they became even more so, for she was tall and pretty, and was very intelligent. They taught her in survival, fighting, cooking, riding, and all the things you would learn in school. They pushed her in all things, expecting the best of the best. She was also very good with magic, much better than me, and they pushed her to her limits. Mirriam's parents forbaid her to play with me, a girl without a father, a simple peasant. Still, we played and met in secret often. Eventually we parted ways when my mother disappeared. Her father was killed in later years, and she tells me she left home when her mother was sick." Lian stands up, her knees slightly weak, feeling the blood returning to her limbs. "So that is who she is, and I want you guys to trust her just like I do, for she is my best friend." Lian smiles at her friends, her story finished.
"I'll try but I'm not making you any promises," Opal says, standing up herself. Her head feels tight and her skin prickly, like before it rains, but different again and there's the slight greasy tint of magic in the air. She shakes her head to try and get rid of the unpleasent feeling and walks towards the edge of the circle they cast. Grasping the pouch around her neck she closes her eyes and concentrates on walking forwards through it. As the har are some distance away by now the circle is suitably weakned and disperses with a puff felt rather than heard.
The flock sits around Lian as she tells the story, listening like children, and flying down to perch on her shoulder, and coo in her ear comfortingly at the memories.
Gwyn looks at Lian and chews on her lip, fighting with herself in her head. You can trust her...She helped you....No. Trust noone. Never. Lone ranger. One. Me. Alone...Trust her and find your brother....Trust them and be killed...No. Trust them and befriend them and be happy with the company youre keeping. She turns away from Lian and sets off in in the direction Opal nor Mirriam went.
A few hours later, Mirriam returns. Seeing Lian safe, she hugs her tightly- almost like a sister. "Several miles away I found a meadow I believe suitable for you." She smiles slowly at the pink blotchy face of Lian. The purple eyes glint with hope, framed by a tangle of gold brown locks. Turning away she begins to pack their meager belongings onto the horses.
Lian walks up to Opal. "You're welcome to come with me, but I'm choosing to leave the party. I think I'll sell the horse stables, and Mirriam says she found a clearing we can build a cabin in. I think I want to move on, start over again, find some seclusion. Maybe learn more in-depth magic." Slowly her mind searches until it finds the spark of life that is Golden Honey. 'Go down the path, I'll send the sparrows with you. I'll catch up soon.'
Slowly the horse begins to walk down the path, packs tied to its back. Upon the possesions the flock of sparrows perch, along for the ride.
"I'll come with you for a while, if you don't mind that is? I don't really want to go back to the magic shop for the time being,and even when I do I'll probably stop by and see you occasionaly heh?" Opal seems oddly shy for once, and her wolf huddles behind her skirts.
Gwyn jumps down from out of a tree, rolling to a stop in the dirt next to Opal. She grins up at her, "Sorry for the oddly timed entrance...I got lonely..." she pouts fakely and reaches out to pat her wolf fondly.
The wolf buts his head forwards into Gwyns hand and licks her arm. Opal folds her arms and attampts to glare at him "See Moonstone, you are my familiar. What that means is that you are my bodyguard come magical assistant, and mine alone. What it does not mean is that you become best buddies with every little thief that comes along." Moonstone nuzzles against her leg through the skirt but doesn't look in the least contrite.
Gwyn giggles, "But, I'm not just a little thief! I'm cuddly too!" She pouts her bottom lip out and whimpers.
"Cuddly..." Opal mutters
Lian calls silently, using only a small whisp of magic. With a slight rustling MoonLight materializes from the nearbye. The black wolf's eyes glint happily as it meets Opal's wolf. "Okay, well I guess that's set!" Lian shoves her pack onto Secret Star's back as Mirriam mounts. Smiling she says, "I bet you didn't know I could do this." she says more to Gwyn than Opal, and winks at her winged friend. Quickly, fluidly, her body changes from human to wolf. With that Mirriam and Lian begin the journey to the clearing
"Mirriam, what about your friend?" asks Opal, "Aren't you going to try and do anything about what happened to him?"
Gwyn hops up and darts over to gape at Lian, her mouth hanging open and her eyes wide with awe. She gasps, "That...That..." she finally blurts out, "THAT WAS AWESOME!"
The wolf, Lian, shakes her coat the way a person would stand straighter when gloating. Mirriam rides silent for a minute, a her heart feeling constricted for a moment. "Maybe I will look for Gavilan- that was his name. He was a strong mage, he can look after himself for a while. Until then my obligations lie with Lian." She goes silent again, remembering his liquid eyes and silky brown hair...
Gwyn giggles and flicks her hands in a nonchalant way, "I don't know where I'm gonna go...Or who with...Oh well!" she throws her hands up in the air in a carefree gesture with a wistful smile to match.