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The Faery Tale

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Naur, 81 - Afternoon, hr 9    
After such a long while of waiting and waiting, on this damned island. This cursed place. This rotten spot on the ocean created by the Light. After so long, finally my damned son has reached this place. The only piece of filth that seems to give a damn anymore. The others just do what they want because they know I won't be able to stop them. But I'll crush them. I'll crush my daughter. Her children. My son. His children. All I know! And every single person I don't! None will be left alive for they're merely filthy pieces of rubbish fallen onto the world by luck with just the single purpose of being destroyed, obliterated for eternity. It's time to leave. Their entire world will be shaken up and destroyed soon, for I am Lilith, goddess of this world.
Lasse, 81 - Sunrise, hr 4    
I've arrived at a place to the north and west of Lorelei. It's by the ocean, so I am going to name it "Oceanside." Adamond is here, but he hasn't acknowledged me yet. There is a white powder that seems to have come from the ocean. It smells and tastes like seawater, and I can see there is more of it when the ocean rises and leaves water for the sun to dry. I will collect some of this, as I'm intrigued by it.
Lasse, 81 - Evening, hr 11    
The liar was dead. B tried to not think about it, he really did. He tried to be curious about their new home, he tried to wonder about Auntie Belmora and things. but the liar, oh, he missed the liar so much!
He remembered the liars was of talking, it was so different from mama's. The liar always said "Yer daddy Geron", and that was his favorite part about the liar. He repeated the phrase silently to himself. "Yer daddy Geron" he whispered.
He tried to remember what the liar looked like. The big hands, the crinkly face, and his long, rough hair. Bomrek tried to remember his favorite memories of the liar. Like the time the liar taught him how to make cave fish. Or the time the liar was his source of comfort when he was afraid of the "Up monsters". 
But why was the liar such a liar? Oh, it pained Bomrek to remember. The conversation was too clear, too sharp in his head. 
"Wha's dying, daddy?"
"Oh, it's when yer not alive anymore and you stop worken'. It happens when you sleep too much or when you figh' a monster tha's too strong."
"Oh, well daddy's not gonna die ever, right?"
Crinkling eyes, grinning face, and a callused lying hand ruffles his head. "That's right, Bomrek, yer daddy Geron's never gonna die!
Bomrek wiped the fresh stinging tears from his face, a little afraid to let his mother and siblings see. The liar was dead. And it seemed wrong that they were all leaving. Leaving the liar, leaving Daddy behind. What if he came back, how would he know where they were? Would he feel abandoned, ignored, would he feel like no one even cared he died? 
On the road, Bomrek whispered to himself for the last time: "Yer daddy Geron's gonna miss you, Bomrek."
Vasa, 81 - Sunrise, hr 4    
As my heavy eyes start to lift, and what seemed like a deep sleep started to fade, I gasped for air. My entire body was stiff, and sore, with each move I made my bones cracked, and  popped. It felt good to move again, to breath again... but of course I couldn't appreciate this at the time, I was mortified that I was brought back from what I thought was death. The words that crept through my mind where simple... "where am I?" and "Where's mama?" When I finally spotted the two girls near me, my heart sank. "They aren't like me... they are like the things I hunt... but? No... these are nothing but beast" I said to myself as I quickly hurried out of this darkened tower. When I finally came outside I spotted a female just like myself, but there where three more other creatures like the one's in the tower... but these ones weren't sleeping. I tried to be friendly with one of these little creatures. I even killed one of these bird-like things to offer her the entrails. She doesn't seem too fond of me, so it looks like my best bet is to wait for the older female to wake up... maybe she might be one of Mama Melian's kids... or even related?
Vasa, 81 - Sunrise, hr 4    

The boy


Much progress had been made with the eldest girl. She was more trusting of her now. It took her a long time to get the girl to be that way. She was damaged to much from hunting, she feared going into the tower.. she had done it once... when she did the two bodies.. so close to death. They had not stirred. Her children had not stirred. She would not go in again, she feared seeing the creature again to greatly. It was all a cursed place as far as she was concerned, This day a young boy came out of there, he looked like her, he was a tall young boy, he could not have been any older then eight .. maybe nine. What was he doing in there?, how did he get here?.. “How..? Where..?” she look the boy up and down, he wore a metal over his chest. “How did I get here?.. I don’t really know” he seemed to be confused, lost.

They shared each others story of how they came to be here. He told her of a battle.. he had thought himself dead. Then he awoke here. In the tower... He thought this was the land of the dead. Some place spirits go when they leave there bodies. He seemed to have explored the mine while she was sleeping. He gave a offering to it.. the creature that was in there.. she had gone to see what he was talking about.. the creature that took her and her sister was still here!. That.. That creature, she fled from the mine. Warned him of the danger of that.. that thing.

She made it clear to him, she would protect the three girls. From anything.. and anyone. If he where to harm them he would pay..  

They exchanged names.. the new boy.. Celandel.

She sighed, another one to help care for. Another one stuck here, for the passing days... the passing years.

The boy seemed content in following the older girls lead. Maybe he will want to come home with her. Maybe they could help him find his home.

Ringwe, 81 - Before dawn, hr 2    
The Forgotten Grove
Mazskaa wandered into the cleared out area, her eyes peering out towards the moon as her hunched form came to a stop. She had been travelling and recording her travels for many years now. Both a journal and a map, she hoped they would make good additions to the rather bare Kutari Hall of Knowledge back at Mount Kutar.

Twisting her gaze towards the clearing she noticed something not of the wild.

Weathered gravestones. Five of them. An abandoned, torn old tent lay gently blowing in the wind. In the center of the clearing was a ring of puffy white mushrooms.

What a queer site she thought. And those graves, who lived here before? They were unmarked.

What mysteries lie here? She thought as she went on, marking the spot as The Forgotten Grove as she made her way to the northeast.
Ringwe, 81 - Evening, hr 11    

Walking back into the forest, I smell the delicious, familiar smells of baking carp and the wonderful sounds of people talking. I smile, thinking over the last ten years. I've been alone for so, so long. Finally, I turn a corner and see Zosime and Broden happily talking! I rush towards Zos and take her up in a hug happily

Ringwe, 81 - Evening, hr 12    
Spread your wings, Layla.

Her words were a distant whisper now, a shadow of a dream's memory. She had been kind in her own way, like the rain brought to the desert by a storm. Some of Her words were easier to remember than others as the years passed, as her body grew and developed into the shape she remembered of the first of all dreams. Slowly, so slowly.

Layla, Layla. What would you give for his love?

If you love him, you will weep.

She had touched her cheek, lightly, but the light of Her eyes had been fraught with the weight of meaning. The years passed, and finally she understood that she had been born with a tear-shaped birthmark upon her cheek. The rain came and went, and she had realized that she could not speak.

You are a silent star, Layla. Shine, and he will look up at you.

He had chosen her when she was four years old. It had been their secret at first, and when it was no more, she cried. They knew, and they hated her for the gift of his love... Tessi was the first, then Tahlia. They loved her, then they hated her, until Sylvan was the last one to turn away, to turn cold. Sylvan, the eldest, the kindest, the one who had shown her to speak on parchment.

If you love him, you will weep.

For nearly as long as she could remember, she had gone into the sands to learn how to fly. She observed the flight of birds and butterflies, the graceful dance of the snake, the waves of dust carried along the sandy bodies of the dunes by the wind. Her hands and arms had been the first to feel the silent rhythm that permeated all of Her life - more than the beating of a heart, but less than the storm that brought the rain. Her body rose and fell, swayed and whirled. Shimmering when the moon was up, glowing when it had been chased away by the sun.


The years passed, and she learned how to draw his attention with a casual clang of her copper bracelets. How to capture his eyes with a subtle sway of of her hips as she passed by, each step inspired by the grace of nearly a decade of practice. How to mesmerize him with a flick of her eyelashes. She remained silent, and her noisy sisters turned cold, but he was what mattered. Ever since the first of all dreams.

The darkness came, and it had a name, sweeping two of her sisters away.


The darkness came, and he faced it with all of his strength. When it failed him, she found her voice,  light and a flutter of crystal wings in the air, a symphony without words. The chanting she had hidden from all, even him, and the creature was confused by it. It confused her as well... She had never spoken of it, nor of Her plans for both of them. She always had plans.

Avien'zia remained silent, but the sea nymph came and sung a song of battle. Of Nolja, and of Dyn. Of beauty and life. Of preparations, and a possible alliance.

The days passed, and Layla prepared to fly. She danced to shine, and to be heard. She danced for beauty and life. For the god of light, and against Garrack.

But most of all, Layla danced for Tom.
Khelek, 82 - Sunrise, hr 4    
He can smell their blood.

I can't focus, everything is red in my eyes.

He hears their heart beat.

Banging in my head when they're close, i want it to stop so bad.

He has to cover his ear and clench his teeth, it's almost to much for his mind to take hold of.

I like them and i don't want to hurt them, i'm so scared i will though..

Another day spent hiding in his own mind.
Khelek, 82 - Midday, hr 7    
It was all a haze..

Suiting up in the armor. The steel leggings she never quite got to fit right over her leather ones. The scale shirt that's just a little long, but otherwise fits well. She'd taken care in fixing it. She liked it. Replacing the leafy circlet with a helm of iron. Her ringlets of violet hair spilling out from under it.

Watching everyone else get ready. Her uncle climbing up the hill with the dagger and pearls. Her other uncle saying what could be his last words to her aunt and his children, finishing with a deep kiss for her aunt. Her cousin fidgeting, nervous. His brother offering him encouraging words. Her father kissing her mother. Her mother kissing the side of her head.

Then it was there.

Shadowy and dark. Growling low from the depths of emptiness. A growl that grows and grows until it's a high-pitched scream. Oh, the scream hurt! How its eyes flashed red! Its snarling mouth. The blackened, jagged fangs. Sludge following him. Sulfurous fumes leaking from the gaping holes in his back. The stench of death. Moving towards her father. Not Papa. He can't have Papa.

The realization moving her forward, circling behind the beast. Holding her pearl high to catch the light and her sword ready. Others doing the same. Prayers to Dyn flying through the air. A glimpse at him to smile, only briefly, as he takes his place next to her. Someone yelling for the younger ones to get inside the city to safety.

The beast simply moving its hideous hand to cast boulders and trees about. To twist and maim without ever touching the target. Spewing acid and leering with vicious satisfaction. Crunching sounds. Screams of pain. Screams of anger. Screams to go away. The light from the pearls hurt it. Dyn's name makes it angry. Yelling, screaming his name at it. Holding the pearls. Flinging them into his sight. Refusing to let him take her father.

Then it moves its grotesque hand towards her. Pain will come. She's sure. She steels herself against it. She's scared, but cannot show it. Never show it. But what? It stops. It.. looks at her with.. desire? Shuddering. That's worse than pain. Flinching. Then he is between her and the beast. Like he was with the Gleck. Thrusting the pearls in its eyes. Papa chanting Dyn's full name. Dynshyradmousnd. Both giving her renewed faith to step foward and yell again. More screams, from her mother now. Her mother receiving the pain it should've inflicted on her. She yells again and again. Not Mama. Dyn's name, light and prayers would be her acid to burn the beast with.


Disgusting, knotty flesh grappling her. Covering her mouth. The fumes, so strong. So strong. But fighting is the only way. Biting down, but the grip on her is unphased. She gags. Struggling against the gnarled hand as the beast stumbles from the light of the pearls. Her name being yelled by everyone. Her Papa.. Her Papa. Telling the beast to let her go. And him.. him telling the disgusting thing that it can't take her. But still the foul thing has her. Putrid. Sickening. Struggling more. Trying to yell Dyn's name, but only being muffled. Glimpsing his eyes as he falls away from hacking at the beast's arms.

And then there's darkness and shadow. Cold air whipping around her. They're gone. They're all gone. No more voices. No more Papa. No more Mama. No more... Just the fetid hand clutching, choking her. Tears streaming down her face as the shadows leave and a dim, overcast light takes their place as the beast deposits her reverently on the ground somewhere new. Snarling at some other creatures before groaning and limping into a mine.

Now only her sobbing as she gropes for her bag, pulling out a clay tablet, tracing her fingers over the words inscribed. "Dyn... Dyn.. save me.. take me home.. home.. To him.." To all of them. If they're even still alive.
Khelek, 82 - Midday, hr 7    

She is dazed as the boulder strikes her, but somehow, maintains her wits about her. It was when the Beast presses the huge rock on her, trying to crush her life away that she first notices her mother. A scream startles her, her mother disappears and she realizes the scream is her own. Her son Niran is at her side struggling to remove the boulder from her body. She squirms and struggles to free herself, while the huge Beast is distracted by the Pearls her family wields to direct the Light. Her brother Fenrod comes into view with his bow, horrified with worry for him, she screams his name. Able to free her arm with her axe, she hacks at the giant hand that still grips the boulder. She hears Elieth scream her name, she turns to find him and watches as he attempts to stab a Pearl into the Beasts leg with the silver dagger, her gift to him so long ago.

The Beast turns to her again and grabbing her axe He flings it aside, screaming from the Pearl Elieth has jabbed into its body. And then Myran is there struggling to remove the boulder working beside her son. As she continues to try to pull herself out, the Beast lunges for Elieth, she screams his name and then Fenrods as she sees him wounded and dripping with acid. It is all too much, she gasps within her helmet struggling to breath and for a moment everything disappears except for the sound of the Ocean, her mother's voice murmuring.

A scream brings her back again, this time her daughters, Rose. Blinking, her vision hazy from sweat and blood, she watches as the Beast grabs hold of her daughter. With renewed strength, she struggles and reaches for her axe, her fingers stretching and grabbing hold. A great release of pressure renews her as Myran frees the boulder from her body. She stumbles to her feet and with her axe strikes at the giant leg in front of her.

Raising her axe for another blow, she is thrown to the ground again as the Beast tosses another boulder at her angrily. She hears screams and with  her vision fading, scenes of horror flash before her, then are gone.  She hears her mother laughing and Dirans soft soothing voice. It blends with the waves washing to the beach. Monstrous screams bring her back, the Beast, it's hideous cries of pain and glee as it torments and tears into her family around her.

Elieth is at her side again, holding Pearls at the Beasts eyes, stabbing the dagger into its hide. She looks up to see her daughter still trapped in the hideous arms. She drags herself towards the monster, screaming for it to take her, not her Rose. Then Myran is there offering himself, and she can't bear it. If he goes all of this was for nothing. Her family rushes the Beast as Myran continues to plead with it. She somehow gets to her feet, to stand in front of him, screaming "You can't have him! I will be the price!" Myran pushes her aside, but the Beast tears into her with his claws and stomps on her with its great foot. As the world fades around her, in a small circle of light she watches as the Beast retreats to the jungle, her daughter with him. She hears herself screaming for Rose and then there is nothing.


Khelek, 82 - Afternoon, hr 9    
Everything seemed to be going so well that he had nearly forgotten all the talk of death and Garrak. Everything seemed to be going so well that he should have known better than to try and enjoy it. Because in an instant it was all gone.

He fell to his knees and ripped off his helmet, throwing the steel to the ground in frustration. He couldn't help...he couldn't do anything. He watched while the creature took his friend away. He cursed himself over and over again through clenched teeth until he saw his brother out of the corner of his eye. He watched while Tereth crawled and then ran towards the shadows, the expression on his twin's face sent a sharp pain through his chest and he squeezed his eyes shut as he felt the hot tears welling up.

When he opened them again, he managed to see Tereth's fleeting form running towards the jungle. "No, wait!" He tried to yell out. He knew what his brother was doing. He ran back to his mother's shack, hastily stuffing some provisions into his backpack while stripping off the heavy armour. He pulled back on his leather cloths and raced out the door, just in time to see his brother disappearing into the distance.

He cursed himself again and ran towards the jungle, blindly following after his brother until something seemed to tug at him and force him to look back. He met her eyes for a moment and he felt a heavy weight come down on him. He paused at the border of the village and the jungle beyond, hesitant. He then looked her full in the eye and shouted out to her that he was sorry before heading off into the jungle behind his brother.
Losse, 82 - Before dawn, hr 3    

"Are you hurt?"

The voice of the strangely-featured female roused the girl from her sobbing. She shook her head, trying to find her voice as the female approached her. She didn't look like she was any older than her. She was similar, but different. Her ears were rounded, and she was slightly shorter. "N..No.. He.. He wouldn't.. wouldn't.. hurt me... He.. he.. He hurt everyone else." The realization of what she might have left behind brought fresh tears. "I.. I.. I don't even know.. if.. everyone is okay.. alive.."

The female placed a hand on the girl's shoulder with a gentle squeeze and a sigh. It was comforting, though short-lived. Nevertheless, the girl tried wiping at her eyes. "I.. I'm sorry... I'm.. I'm Rose.. What.. what's your name?"

"I.. I am Kimlan." The female let go of her shoulder, turning her gaze towards the three very young creatures.

With a nervous glance at the creatures herself, the girl continued to talk, as though it might fill the void that seemed to be growing inside her. "How.. how did you get here? Did.. he steal you away when he fled from a battle against him?" Another glance at the creatures as she murmured, "They.. they must be what Draka looked like when my Granpapa saw her. Before she and Salome came to us.."

Kimlan shook her head with a deep breath. "I was stolen with my sister... because we did not give a virgin sacrifice." She stopped, tilting her head inquisitively. "Draka?"

The girl blinked. "A.. virgin sacrifice?" She looked downward, nodding at the question, mind racing with her own. "Yes.. Draka.." She explained a little about the two beautiful ladies that used to be scaly monsters. And all she could say when she was questioned about distrusting them was that it was very complicated. "Why do you stay here?"

Kimlan only nodded in understanding, looking away as she spoke softly. "I stay to care for the children... they are my sister's... mine... did not wake." A shake of the head. "I was locked out when they were born.. so I left. I returned to see if I could find my sister... instead I found them... starved." With a sigh, she changed position, staring at the ground. "I don't know where home is from here.. it all looks different.. there is no sand. Just green."

The girl listened sadly, her own troubles seeming less than what they were as she glanced at the creatures again. "They're.. they're your sister's? My.. My sister had two babies today.. before he came. I think.. I think I know where home is though. Kind of.. I think.. it's to the east. My aunt.. once told us to never go west because Garrak lived west in a swamp."

A soft nod from Kimlan. "When we were brought here, he put us on the altar in there." She pointed to the looming black tower. "Said a spell of some kind.. and we were pregnant. Mine did not wake. Hers did." A single tear trailed down her cheek as she inhaled deeply. After a short pause, she asked, "What will you do?" At that moment one of the strange children hissed at the girl, indicating to Kimlan that it was hungry

What would she do? She couldn't stay here for that to happen to her. They rather frightened her. She couldn't stay. She just couldn't stay. But what would happen to them? To this girl, Kimlan? That would take care of these.. things that the beast forced her sister to have? But Kimlan would not leave without the children, and they were too young to travel. There was a boy like Kimlan there too. What was his name? Celandel. Didn't sound like he'd been there very long yet. And he'd died once. Like Anrod? Like her Papa? He seemed nice too.

Still, she would leave. She had food. Healing items. Protection. A general idea of the direction to go. Even a horrible map to use. The drive to find those important to her. She would come back for them with help. As much as those children scared her, she supposed they were still children and couldn't help what they were. Cursed spawn. The thought made her shiver. She could never be so good as the other girl.

So with a kind picture for the girl, a spiteful note for the beast and a prayer, she left.

Losse, 82 - Afternoon, hr 8    
The girl was hurrying away frantically, as fast as she possibly could. Only one day away from that place. Not far enough. But she needed to pause. Not long enough to sleep, but long enough to rest her legs. Her eyes darted around as she tumbled to the ground. Seeing no sign of pursuit, she pulled out her book.

Kuile, 82

Home is east... Home is east... Home is east...

Leave the cursed thing with nothing but a note.

Home is east... Home.. is EAST. Eastward I'll go.

Dynshyradmousnd... Dynshyradmousnd... Dynshyradmousnd... lead me home.

You are all I have left right now, Dynshyradmousnd.

My faith will not waver.

After writing the extremely short entry to ease her mind, she gets up, stumbling onward through the damp and muck.
Losse, 82 - Afternoon, hr 8    
Some Dreams (Lote, 82)

"Will you stay here with me, to ward off the dreams? We are safe with each other."

A good dream... in the midst of all the night terrors. He was there. She was there. In the mines, in the cavern at the end of the spiral. Sleeping, so close together. Sleeping, where no bad dreams could come. Warm and safe in his arms. A little bit of certainty in uncertain times.

"Of course I'll stay with you. Always.."

But the good dream began to fade. Fade into the darkness that seemed ever present, even when she called for the light. Fade into the terrors that plagued her. That beast. That foul beast. Stealing him away from her. Stealing away the only certainty she felt other than the light. Stealing him away, leaving him hurting because she could not be there. Light, don't fade. Don't leave him. Don't let him hurt. He'd hurt enough in his life.

Bring back the good dream.. the only one that kept her going at times. The only one that renewed her vigor and determination to return to him. Return to them all.

A whimper escapes the girl's lips as she sleeps fitfully on the hard ground. A whimper that turns into a groan of pain. A groan of pain that turns into a piercing shriek. A piercing shriek that wakes her and turns into tears pouring freely from her dulled eyes. Tears that make her huddle, tracing her fingers over the words inscribed into the chipped and worn clay tablet she'd been clutching as she slept, one of the only physical solaces left to her right now.

If only she could go back to sleep and dream the good dream. But she cannot and after the sun rises, she gets up to travel eastward, ever eastward, to find not a dream, but reality.
Losse, 82 - Afternoon, hr 8    

A chance

First the creature appeared. It seemed wounded, it ran to the cave. Its sanctuary. It stared at us. Let out a booming roar and fled. Deep into the cave it made its home.

Soon another appeared, this time a girl, she appeared older, she appeared close to my own age. She came out of the tower. Had pointed ears like that man... she was crying, holding onto something as if it meant more than life.  She placed a hand on the girls shoulder... To comfort her.

This girl was from nearby.. the creature that she had feared, she had a name for it. Garrack. She offered her a place to go, A place to be free from that accursed creature. It was to early, the little ones. Still to young , she would have to wait until they could travel. To get away from here. The girl wished her well as she did the girl, She did not like seeing others sad, she always tried to make them better.

She awoke to find the girl gone. A note in the beasts lair. Now it was just them, the five of them. Now we just wait... three more years... just three more years and we can leave this wretched place. Find Nolja... then find home. Just three more years.

Losse, 82 - Evening, hr 10    
Deimosia. It is darker then I feared. The air is bitter, the sands get between my padded toes and irritate them, which is odd, for I have never been bothered by them before. Mensah, I could not read his emotions. He has always been skilled in hiding such things, or maybe I just don't pay enough attention. We walked into the empty city, unfinished projects were scattered around, and I even saw an oven. I would love to take it back home, but I don't want to imagine how much it will slow me down. We sat, and prepared food, and talked. and talked.
I told him my reasons for visiting this evil place. I told him of my suspicions of Aten, and he seemed to agree. We spoke of families, pups, and what we think of life. All my worries were planted in our words, and as they flew from my tongue, a strange feeling appeared. It felt like my head has never been so clear, so relaxed. Now, there seemed to be no bothersome worries nagging at the back of her mind, everything was right and perfect, even in her depressing surroundings.
I embraced the calmness, and I hoped it would never leave me.
Kuile, 82 - Midnight, hr 1    
Home! Home once again! Familiar faces all around me, still familiar even after 10 years on the road. But this si a bittersweet homecoming; my sister is dead, my brother gone, and my uncle, father, and mother traveling without me. Only one of my real family remains, and she has long since gone foolish and boring with young-Kindreds.
Kuile, 82 - Before dawn, hr 3    
Is she dead!? Oh no! If I killed her, they'll hate me! And all that blood!
It's not my fault! She was in the way! The oven did it! I barely touched her! I mean, it might have just been a gust of wind!
A gust of wind inside? No, that's stupid!
Wait, is she still breathing? I think she is! Ha! I didn't kill her! She's dreaming yet!
Here, I'll just wipe up the blood with this fur, and put her over by the wall! Nobody will ever know, unless she wakes up!
Ha! What's the chance of that?
Kuile, 82 - Before dawn, hr 3    
He scouted along past his brother once they had made some distance from the camp. He still felt frustrated and confused, but the way his brother was trudging along through the brush in his armour, with a distant look on his face...he knew he couldn't leave him to do this alone.

He found a suitable clearing and looks around. He gathered up some brush and started a fire. By the time Tereth had caught up with him, he had stored away some more pieces of cooked meat for the journey. He looked at his brother wordlessly as his twin sat down and promptly removed a small crate of books from his own backpack. Nereth looked on in confusion for a moment as his brother poured over the books rapdily, muttering to himself and flicking through pages quickly.

"Mother's map." He said at last, motioning to a piece of paper he had taken out. Nereth gingerly picked it up, looking along the blotted depictions of trees and swamps. He traced his finger over one of the places. This was his mother's...he wondered - "It's useless." Tereth added, calling Nereth back to the task at hand.

"What are you looking for?" He asks, putting the map back down a little reluctantly.

"Mother said Garrak's lair is in the west, in the swamp. That must be where he's taken her."

Nereth bit his lip, nodding slightly while keeping a keen eye on his brother's expression. He still seemed to be completely absorbed in the books. Suddenly he heard a twig snap and turned around, blinking a few times in confusion, unsure of what he was seeing.

"Sorcha! What are you doing here?" He said, fumbling over his words. He felt like his heart had jumped into his throat, he didn't know what to say. Would she be angry with him for running off after his brother, leaving her there with all the injured people?

She said she wanted to come with them, to help them find Rose. A cold feeling settled over him. "You can't! I mean...you shouldn't..." He said, having trouble meeting her eyes. She was furious and argued with Tereth. Nereth listened, but all he could think about was watching Rose being dragged off...feeling powerless to stop it from happening...and then he began to imagine in his mind...if he took her...

"Please Sorcha...I don't think he's selfish for chasing after her." He said at last, laying a hand on Sorcha's shoulder. She seemed to calm slightly at the touch and quickly her anger melted into tears. "If it were you, I'd have to come after you too." He meant it, and for the first time he put his arms around her, not feeling afraid that she would push him back. He held her for a while before she finally agreed to go. To watch for him and wait. He told her goodbye for the second time, and watched her figure disappear into the trees. He felt a tugging at his heart as she left, as if he were leaving a piece of himself behind.

Before long they had to move. Nereth set his jaw and looked into the looming swamp with determination and set off ahead of the others.
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