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 The Elven Wood

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Shahrazad's Book
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:29 pm

Fawzi looked carefully at the sleeping elf, feeling her forehead for fever and checking if her breathing was steady.
"She is fine," he smiled down at her as she turned a little in her sleep, "She has just been a bit over whelmed, I think. All Kadyseljia needs is a little water and some good food. And then maybe a little more rest. But we do need to explain things to her, Patja," Fawzi looked at the old tree seriously, "She was taken by surprise with you and all the forest- she does not even realize she is a Liet. Patja," Fawzi continued, even though he was treading on unsteady ground- very rarely could any Dryad talk to a Patja as Fawzi was, but the dryad hoped Patja Farlok would realize his meaning and perhaps, therefore, excuse his tone, "What sort of plan is this? Full-grown Liets untrained? Unaware they are even Liets? Unaware of yourself? Patja Farlok, forgive me for asking, but I cannot see the twisted paths your plan has taken. Please, Patja, enlighten me. I feel I might better help you if I could only know what we are trying to achieve." Kadyseljia murmured quietly in her sleep, then began to stir. Fawzi turned back to her- she was waking.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:59 pm

She was still beneath the massive tree she vaguely recognized from the last time she started to wake. The sun was blocked out but for a few strands of light threading through its thick canopy. She felt a cool hand on her forehead.

"Fawzi?" She blinked as her face was struck by a thread of sunlight. The area came into a clearer view, and was revealed as a small glen surrounded by ancient trees, obstructed only by the giant tree she was laying beneath. "Where are we?" She asked, though she felt strangely at peace here. "What happened to Aldeal?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:06 pm

"It's good to see that you've finally woken up. Fawzi seems to have a knack for taking in injured elves." Jevryn laughed, and he heard Patja Farlok chuckle lightly in his mind. He saw Kadyseljia's face turn bright red upon recognizing him. She started to stand up, and she reached into her robe for something, though he wasn't sure what. "Wait, just listen for a moment. You're safe here." By this time, she had reached her feet and was only held back by Fawzi's firm grip. "I am not your enemy now. I promise you'll understand, please just let Patja explain things to you." She broke free of Fawzi's hold and rushed toward Jevryn, pulling a short blade with a hilt shaped like a balance from her gown. She lunged toward Jevryn, and he ducked to the right, tripping her as she stumbled toward him. She dropped to the ground, and he spun around, pinning her. He twisted the knife from her hand, trapping her arm behind her back.

"Now will you listen?" Her face was even redder now, and she was breathing heavily. It seemed she refused to speak to him. Why are women so damn difficult? When she had relaxed a bit, he released her arm and let her sit up, but wisely kept the dagger from her. "Fawzi will explain things to you."
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:58 pm

"Kadyseljia," Fawzi began, unsure what to say, "I would like to tell you something very serious- would you please sit down and listen? I give you my word that Jevryn will not leave this clearing, and he can do no harm here- even if he wished it. Will you listen?" Kadyseljia made no further attempt to kill Jevryn, so Fawzi took that as a yes. He sat cross-legged under Patja and leaned up against the massive tree.
"When we first met, I told you my home forest, Doherwos, was under great distress. I told you only it was under a great threat, and I was seeking help, but no more," Fawzi shifted, he was uncomfortable speaking in the completely silent Farlok forest, with all eyes on him alone, "I realize this seems unrelated to this current situation, but I give you my word that I have a purpose," he took a deep breathe, "Doherwos is under more threat than you can imagine- it is terrible. Dryads are dying daily of a wasting disease, and the trees- they are sick, but none of our songs have any effect. And then, the boarders are shrinking. No one is cutting down trees, it's just that one day, they are just gone- as if they were never there. Patja Doherwos is frightened, and he is beginning to forget how to talk to Dryads. The trees are becoming wild- dangerous, some Dryads have been attacked. And then there are the fires: fire springs up out of the earth, reaching towards the sky, the water is being swallowed up by the ground- no wells produce, and springs have run dry. Everything is covered with the scent of decay. I, among three others, was dispatched to find someone, anyone, who could help us. I was sent to the West, my cousin Heyla was sent to the East, Yelvo was sent North, and Ikal was sent South. We were told that if we could find no help, to not bother coming back to Doherwos. You see, the Elders think," Fawzi paused, frightened, he could feel Patja Farlok's tenseness behind him, "The Elders think the trees have gone insane."
There was silence for many moments as Fawzi thought- he saw clearly in his mind's eye Doherwos as he had left it, and he saw the Doherwos Forest of his childhood. He took a shaky breath.
"So I came West, hoping to find some mighty civilization that treasured nature as the Dryads do, who might send someone with knowledge and wisdom to help my people. I came to Avynral, and met you. It was here that I met Patja Farlok, and I apologize, Kadyseljia, because I was not completely honest with you the day we first met, and that is unforgivable, because not only did I hide the true condition of my home-forest, but I smelled the Junipers' touch on you, and I knew you were a Liet, but I said nothing. I am sorry." Fawzi paused in his speech to see how Kadyseljia was taking his confession.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:17 pm

Jevryn sat in silence, well aware of Patja Farlok's discomfort in the news. To think that an entire forest was being wiped out gradually, with no one to do anything about it. He watched as Kadyseljia took in the information, sympathizing her bewildered expression. Despite her confusion however, Jevryn could tell that there was sincere sorrow in her eyes upon hearing of the tragedy.

"Is there anything we can do to help?" Jevryn asked. "Will this spread to Farlok Forest?" The idea of his home away from home being destroyed was numbing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:23 pm

Liets? Farlok? I don't understand what he's telling me The tale of the decay of Doherwos struck Kadyseljia painfully deeply, despite having no connection to it. But why did Fawzi come to her for help? Though she had no idea how she could be of any value, Kadyseljia desperately wanted to aid Fawzi in his mission.

"What can I do to help? I haven't learned much in the way of priestly skills. I've only read about Elven Lore and some of the other surrounding regions. I can't do much besides recite information." Jevryn stirred, probably disturbed by her inability to aid. She was sure he had some secret that allowed him to be of use to the quest. And Fawzi had said something about Liets. They must be a kind of people or animal. Perhaps Jevryn was one of these Liets, which would make him useful.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:31 pm

Fawzi smiled at the Liets' concern. He saw now why exactly they had been chosen as the Liets for Oak and Juniper. They were truly amazing creatures, these elves.
"I thank you both, and I would like to apologize to you, Kadyseljia, again, I'm afraid I'm not explaining things very clearly. You see, this," he gestured around him, encompassing the entirety of the forest, "Is Farlok Forest. Each forest is named after the original tree, the Patja, that the Tybai planted and sang to," he gestured to the tree behind him, "before giving care of the growing forest over to the Patja and the Dryads. Look around you, all these trees are Patja Farlok's sons and daughters- the Oaks, the Junipers, the Maples, all of them. Each type of tree may choose a...well, a sort of representative, a person, who will have the mark of the trees on them for all of their life. Typically the Liets are chosen at a very young age to be trained, or they are chosen from Dryads, who know the songs of the forest. You two," Fawzi smiled at them both, "Are the first Liets I have ever met that don't know a single song. But," Fawzi continued, looking at them both carefully, "You both have great potential. I see why the Oaks chose you, Jevryn, and why the Junipers you, Kadyseljia." Patja Farlok's approval rang clearly in the minds of those around him, as he looked down at the Dryad, sitting with the elves.
"All is as it should be," he rumbled in Fawzi's mind, "Do not waver."
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:59 pm

"So I was chosen by the Junipers? How did they find me?" The booming voice form before rang clearly in Kadyseljia's mind.

"Dear one, the Junipers did not choose you themselves. I chose you for them. The entire forest's needs are felt in my roots, which stretch to every living thing in it. I know the needs of the Junipers, and what they need is someone like you. Everything connects to me, and through me, to the lifeforce of the earth. These are things that, once you have begun to learn the life around you, will become easier to understand. For now, do not distress yourself with the complexities of the world. You have an important role in the paths of Fate. Fawzi will teach you all that he can about being a Liet, and I will teach you beyond that."

This tree, Patja Farlok, soothed Kadyseljia and put her nerves at ease. "And what of Jevryn? He is a criminal! Why choose him?" She didn't realize that she was speaking aloud, until she caught Jevryn slinking back out of the corner of her eye. "I'm sorry... that was harsh."
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:06 am

"It's all right, I deserve it. He can hear your thoughts, so long as you visualize them being spoken. It's a handy trick, if you ask me." The girl laughed, catching Jevryn off guard. It was a happy, innocent laugh. The heaviness of the circumstances must be weighing down on her greatly. A rush of regret burned Jevryn's throat. This poor girl's simple life is never going to be simple again. Such a shame...

Farlok burst into Jevryn's mind. He was getting used to the friendly intrusions. "Child, you have much yet to learn before you try to teach another the ways of a Liet. Do not get ahead of yourself. You cannot possibly grasp the depth of what is going on right now. Even I am not sure of why these events are occuring." Jevryn was humbled by Farlok's reprimanding tone.

"I'm sorry Patja."

Jevryn broke the connection with Patja Farlok and sat beside Kadyseljia, watching Fawzi to see if he reacted. "It will be all right," the young elf whispered gently. "We will do this together, with the help of the forest and Fawzi." He smiled. "It will be all right." Her face relaxed, and he noticed for the first time her deep sapphire eyes, and was lost in their current. There was something about her that made him feel uneasy and secure at the same time. She certainly was the most complex elf he'd ever met.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:31 pm

Fawzi felt Patja Farlok's happiness and assumed that everything was going to plan- whatever that plan was. He grinned at the elves.
"Well, then, we'd best begin your schooling." Fawzi began singing the teaching songs, making the Liets memorize every word and note, as was tradition. Patja Farlok listened in on the lesson, murmuring to Fawzi suggestions and various memories of the old Patja from when the Dryads had sung before. The Liets were doing well when there was an interruption- a skylark, fast and fierce, flew at Fawzi. It landed softly on his shoulder, giving him a leaf-message from his home.
"Patja," Fawzi told the old tree, "This is word from the elders- within a week Dryads from Doherwos will be here to live. The Dryads are returning to the West!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:39 pm

Aldeal was trying very, very hard to keep calm. He began to recite to himself things he had learned in school, recipes his sister had made, the old addresses of where he had lived, things he had long forgotten came to his mind as he fought to keep himself in the present. He was frightened. Terrified, really. He struggled for control over his mind and body, but it was just that: a struggle. He was sweating and breathing heavily, he felt hunger grip his gut and thirst pinch his throat, but he dared not move for fear of what might happen if he expended energy on anything but his monumental struggle for self. All the same, a haze was beginning to form in the corners of his eyes, and he felt himself slipping. He pounded his fists on his thighs, in hopes that pain might keep him alert, but instead he drifted. Aldeal drifted very far away, high in the sky and over the clouds, but his eyes saw clouds of grey and a sky without stars, moon, or sun. And Aldeal screamed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:10 pm

The training wasn't terribly difficult. Learning the songs was just like memorizing information from books, but made more sense in Kadyseljia's mind. The notes seemed to flow with the natural current of lifeforce in the forest, and came out naturally. Jevryn seemed to have a little more trouble with the songs, but was very good at learning the true names of the trees and all about the properties of the plants and which ones were poisonous, and which ones could be made into a healing salve.

Two days before the news of the Dryads' migration, Fawzi took Kadyseljia to meet the Junipers. Most of them were condensed in one large grouping on the north side of the forest. She spoke to several, but mostly with one of the more outspoken Junipers, Miszil. She was very playful, but also very intelligent. She seemed to enjoy outsmarting others, and easily outmaneuvered Kadyseljia with her many riddles and mind tricks. Despite her cockiness, she liked Miszil. Talking with her would be fun, and it'd keep Kadyseljia on her toes.

"Are they coming because of Aldeal? Or because of the illness?" The thought of having to leave Avynral to survive was mortifying, and now that she had made true friends, she couldn't bear to sustain the notion any longer. But if the Dryads were coming, maybe they could help them save Aldeal from the demon.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:28 pm

So the Song of Seasons helps ease along the death of a living thing, the Song of Krishas put the forest to sleep... no, the Song of Mudera put the forest to sleep. What is the Song of Krishas...? It was so difficult to remember. At least he was good with herbology. The Oaks weren't particularly the brightest, but they were strong, and could survive just about anything. They were the oldest trees in the forest, after the Willows. The Oaks were spread out throughout the forest to support the other trees with their strength. They protected the others, taking sickness onto themselves to stop it from spreading. They were honorable in nature, but generally stayed to themselves. Their leader, Gafold, didn't say much, but Jevryn could tell he was happy to have a Liet again.

"Not for Aldeal, I am sure. We didn't ask for their help because they can't banish the demon without harming Aldeal. That is why we went to the Temple for help. But maybe they can help protect the forest from the illness, should it spread beyond Doherwos." Jevryn could tell that the Oaks were strong-willed and sturdy but, from Fawzi's description of Doherwos, there were many Oaks there as well. If the illness could take Doherwos, despite its defenses, Farlok would be in grave danger. "But perhaps they know more about what this illness is, and if it has anything to do with the demon."

There was a loud crash somewhere not too far from Patja's grove. The three of them jumped to their feet, startled by the crash and the agonized screams of Patja in their heads.

"What happened Patja?"

The great tree moaned in his mind, trying to obtain the strength to speak. "There is someone hurting my children. Someone is hurting my children...." The thought trailed off as Patja lost the will to continue speaking. He was in excruciating pain.

Fawzi jumped up and bolted into the forest, weilding a light club of gnarled wood. Jevryn took his pouch of herbs from training that day and the staff Gafold had presented him of his own trunk, and chased after him. Kadyseljia was close behind.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:19 pm

Patja Farlok's agony was tangible, there was a taste to it: that of silver, there was a scent for it: like black mold under dead wood, Fawzi could feel the pain vibrating on every single one of his nerves and his weapon was in his hands before he realized he was running. Fawzi just followed the feeling of pain, no, of agony, and each step made it more and more difficult to reach the center of the trouble. But reach it he did, and the sight to meet his eyes was not at all what he expected. He stood, shocked still, and held out his arms to show the Liets to remain behind him. It was too strange, and beyond them at this point.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:40 pm

Before the trio was a tree, or what used to be a tree. Rather, a patch of trees. But in their place now stood stone columns with blood-red text casting an eerie aura over the clearing. There were seven pillars, each exactly the same as the next. In the center stood a black figure, entirely shrouded by shadow, but seemingly unaware of the world around it, as if it was disconnected somehow, but still present in this plane.

"What the hell is that, Fawzi?" There was no response. A dark, malicious energy poured out generously from the evil altar. The pillars seemed to suck the life from the surroundings; Jevryn could feel his lifeforce being taxed. "We need to get out of here, it isn't safe." Neither Fawzi nor Kadyseljia moved. He grabbed Kadyseljia's hand and Fawzi's jerkin and dragged them back into the forest toward Patja.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:47 pm

What is that? The spectacle before Kadyseljia captivated her eyes. The glow of the ancient symbols was entrancing, and soon, the priestess began to lose sense of time or surrounding, becoming entirely absorbed in the lettering. They seemed to twist and flow in a sinister dance, teasing her senses to believe she was alone in the clearing, giving her a feeling of purpose there. Something about serving the High One... Consciousness flashed back for a moment... there was a voice... darkness....

Kadyseljia woke under the sheltering leaves of Patja Farlok. Jevryn was sitting next to the tree, apparently deep in conversation with the elder tree.

What happened... and why is everything so dark?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:08 pm

Fawzi was very worried. He searched, instead of songs of healing or soothing, songs of legend. His mind restlessly fluttered over the words, the tunes, the notes. He was sure he had heard of something like that once, and anything that powerful and that...dark would surely be in one of the ancient songs. But as he reviewed all the songs of his many years of teaching, he found gaps. Words he had forgotten. A note here or there was out of place. And then he started realizing he was forgetting the songs utterly. But, wait, no, there they were- he hadn't forgotten them, he had just temporarily drawn a blank. That had never happened to him before, but he knew other Dryads in Doherwos had sometimes forgotten songs for a few moments before remembering them again. Something tugged again at Fawzi's memory, he tried to bring it forward. Something about Doherwos and songs...but he couldn't remember.
"Patja," he said to the great tree, "Something is very wrong inside my head, whatever you do: from now on, do not talk to me. I am sorry, Patja, but I...I can't remember." Fawzi walked deep into the forest, where the Liets could not see him, and sat beneath a maple tree. He shivered as he tried to find what was wrong- he could remember everything, but something was off. Something just wasn't right. What was wrong with the songs? He remembered them all- he had been best at the songs amongst all his siblings: that was why he was sent to the West. He would need the songs in the lands that Dryads never trod. Dryads? Something about Dryads. He wished for some: they might know what was going wrong with his mind. But wait, Patja Farlok might know: why had he told the tree to ignore him? Something was wrong. Fawzi began to shake uncontrollably. The maple shivered behind him. Fawzi went absolutely still. Shivering? But there was no wind.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:48 pm

Blood pulsed through Kadyseljia's veins like a river. She could feel every beat through her neck coursing through her body. Fawzi had stormed off, and she tried to get up to follow him, but her arms wouldn't move. She only had control of her eyes; everything else felt... detached. There was something wrong with her body... Did it have to do with the red flashes of light that kept obstructing her vision? She tried to speak, but no voice emerged from her chapped lips. Her heart raced faster, pumping the adrenaline through her body as if to overcome whatever it was possessing her. It was useless. She was laying here completely helpless, and Jevryn had no idea. She couldn't seem to get in contact with Patja Farlok, or any of the trees for that matter. What is happening... I'm afraid...."
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:01 pm

Jevryn saw Kadyseljia struggling against the invisible force that had proliferated through her body. He desperately wanted to help her, but Fawzi hadn't taught them anything about things like this.

"Kadyseljia, what can I do? How can I help?" There was no response, not even a reaction to his voice. He wondered if she could even hear him. Patja wasn't opening up to communication either. Why haven't I been affected? He stood and walked to Farlok's sturdy trunk. "What is happening, Patja...?" Jevryn muttered despairingly.

Gafold entered Jevryn's mind. "Protector, Patja has withdrawn into himself. He is fighting off whatever it is that is infecting the forest. Do not disturb him. Fawzi and Kadyseljia have also been afflicted with this curse."

"But why haven't we been affected by it, Gafold?"

"We are Oak. We were made to resist pain and infection to protect the forest. You are of our kind, and therefore can resist better than the others. I cannot stay long, Guardian of the Oak, for the infection will reach this part of the forest soon as well. You must find a way to save Fawzi and Kadyseljia. Then you three must escape the forest until the Dryads from Doherwos arrive. Until then, there is nothing we can do."

"But what of you? Can you hold out until we can fix this?"

"I do not know. I will do all that I can to preserve the Oaks and any others that can resist. Hurry." Gafold broke off the link.

Jevryn sighed. Alright. Save the other two and get out. Simple enough... except for the saving part.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:45 pm

There was a great Oak door, and Fawzi was sure he was on the wrong side of it. He was tempted to knock on the door, but something stopped him. Why not knock on the door? Then someone might let him inside, where it was safe. But if there were unsafe things out here- would not they also be able to come inside if someone opened the door for Fawzi? Fawzi steeled himself and sat before the door, looking out. He gripped his weapon and waited. He would stay on the outside of this door- and keep whatever else was out here with him. He looked around- very far off, he thought he saw someone. But he could not tell who.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:04 pm

Aldeal woke up suddenly. He felt himself conscious. He also felt the evil- but it was in the fringes of his mind, rather than the center. It was as if the darkness was struggling with something else, something greater, and had decided that Aldeal would be there later to torment, while this other thing was a pressing matter. Aldeal ran. He ran deeper and deeper into the forest, feeling the darkness slip farther and farther away as he ran, but it was still there, hovering around the edges of his mind. Aldeal ran all the way to the center of the forest, where a great tree stood in the midst of it all. It was the largest tree he had ever seen in his life, but he did not glance twice at it: for there also was Jevryn, who looked equally surprised to see Aldeal.
"Jevryn? What are you doing here? You must help me- the darkness, I've run so far but it's still out there- it's farther away, but it's still there."
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:45 pm

Jevryn had seen Aldeal approaching, and had steeled himself to fight off the dark influence that shrouded the boy's movements. What surprised him was not that Aldeal had come to the glen; rather that Aldeal recognized Jevryn at all. From what Kadyseljia had taught them from her reading, people often lose their memory shortly after being possessed, and for someone who was very faintly acquainted with the boy, Jevryn should have been one of the first people he forgot about.

"What are you talking about? The darkness... isn't it... in you?" This was all very strange...

Gafold burst into Jevryn's mind out of nowhere. His words were tired, but not weak. "Get away from him, now. The darkness will soon realize that you are there and it will come to take you. The boy is strong, he can hold off the darkness for a time. Get away!"

The boy looked so tired and innocent. He didn't want to abandon him to the clutches of the demonic presence.

"GO!" Gafold screamed into his mind. Jevryn didn't dare disobey. He turned and fell into a full sprint toward Avynral, the only place he thought he could be safe.


((Move to Village of Avynral section)


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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:55 am

Fawzi sat outside the Oak Door, still guarding it, and thought for a very long time. Shivering trees- just like back home. That's how it had started, trees shivering with no wind. He began to worry- how had the disease reached Farlok Forest? What did it have in common with Doherwos? Fawzi frozen entirely: could he have brought the terrible disease with him from home? He looked up suddenly- there was a noise just in front of him. There was a creature there, a shuffling, giant creature. It walked on four legs and was entirely covered in black, bristling fur. Its eyes were a strangely bright yellow that then morphed into orange, then red. Its eyes seemed to be made of fire. Fawzi stood and prepared to defend the Oak door. He heard whispers from it, it sounded like the oaks of Farlok forest were somehow attached to this door. Fawzi felt himself tense- if that was the case, then that creature was going to have a hard time getting through that door. Suddenly, the shuffling thing bounded toward Fawzi, with a terrible snarl. Fawzi raised his weapon up and hit the creature to the side.
The battle had begun.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:57 am

Kadyseljia woke slowly. Something had been tugging at her sleeve, a hand. She opened her eyes faintly to see a young elf crying above her. Hot tears fell lightly on her face while he babbled indecipherable nonsense to himself. It took her a few moments to realize who the boy was.

The priestess jumped up instantly, using energy that she didn't think she had. The boy fell backwards to the ground quite clumsily. He seemed startled, a blank look contrasting the river-lines of tears on his flushed cheeks. Aldeal, who was once very handsome, had grown to look impossibly tired. There were dark circles under his eyes, and his face was deathly pale. Eyes bloodshot, he had lips chapped to the point of bleeding. So this is what the darkness does to a person...

"Aldeal? Aldeal, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Elven Wood   Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:20 pm

Chenda stood just barely in the shadow of Farlock forest. something was very wrong here. It felt like home. Once that would have been comforting, but now there was fear attached to that thought. Chenda felt her heart constrict. Where was Fawzi? She began to run. Deeper and deeper into the forest she ran, silent as only the dryads do. She could hear the others behind her, calling out to her, asking her to stop. They followed, but none of them felt her fear, so none of them could run as fast. Chenda centered her thoughts of Fawzi, felt for him in the massive forest. Her mind reached out as her lungs began to ache. How long had she been running? Suddenly she turned a sharp left- feeling Fawzi not far. She ran and ran, her breathe the only noise in the forest as she left her companions behind. Suddenly she stopped. There was Fawzi.
He was shock still and Chenda wasn't sure if he was even breathing. His eyes were unfocused, far away. Every once in awhile a muscle would twitch, like he was about to use it then stopped before the motion even fully started. Then something frightening happened.
Chenda stared carefully at the side of Fawzi's face, trying to see if he was breathing. Suddenly, a cut raced its way across his face, it was shallow but bleeding. The red blood softly fell down Fawzi's face. Chenda went to her old friend and lightly touched the bleed. He did not move, he did not flinch, and Chenda could find no reason why Fawzi's skin would suddenly split that way. She opened her healing kit and began to close the wound gently, seeking to do the only thing she could for her oldest and only friend. Then, another cut appeared, across part of Fawzi's chest. This was deeper and cut his clothes as well. Blood raced out of it too quickly, and Chenda held it shut with her fingers as she tried everything in her power to keep Fawzi whole.
Cuts kept appearing, and bruises blossomed under her very eyes. Chenda healed every wound she could, but was falling behind whatever was hurting Fawzi. She sucked in a short breath and worked faster. She would not let her friend die.
Chenda began talking, fearing the silence that had engulfed the forest. "Fawzi, Fawzi- what are you doing? Fawzi don't you see me? It's Chenda. Please, my friend, please look at me. Tell me you are alright. Tell me we dream. Fawzi, Fawzi, Fawzi."
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The Elven Wood
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