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The Faery Tale

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Khelek, 85 - Midday, hr 7    
Father's gone! He just left! He didn't even offer to take me with him! He said I could visit, though, and I will!
It's all your fault, stupid little Stoneshaper! Just because you like living with monsters doesn't mean we have to!
Now you threaten to kill us all!? I'll kill you!
And Cita sides with him, of course! That's no surprise at all! She loves killing her children! But I'm not going to kill her, because she's my sister! So I need her to get out of the way!
Ow! Get off my ear! You don't control me!
Now that little freak is telling him where father went! He must be possessed! He's talking down to Reed? Reed's twice his age at least!
Is Reed the only other one who doesn't want this stranger to kill our father?
Where are they going? No! Stop! I won't let you do it!
 
Khelek, 85 - Afternoon, hr 9    
He starts before me. We go home, and make family. Well, he not go home. He in home. But nice enought to find Nythera with me. It will be long, hard, journey. But it be worth it. He love me.
 
Losse, 85 - Evening, hr 11    
Home: Where the Heart Is.

The young woman peered behind her to the east at the forms in the distance, before finding a stump to sit on for a few moments. She still felt bad for leaving the older woman behind, but surely she understood what the young woman said in her note about why she had to get moving. Surely she could wait here, at least wait a few hours, maybe before moving on without the woman again. She turned her gaze to the west as she mused. But something caught her eye and made her blink. Who was that in the distance?

As the figure came into sight, a genuine smile broke across her face, the first in years. It was him! His name fell from her lips happily as she made her way towards him, running the rest of the way after only a moment of restraint. She didn't even notice the girl or the woman that had arrived from the east behind her. Apparently neither did he as he called her name, grabbing her and squeezing her tightly as he smiled down at her. She could not believe it was really him. After all this time. And he seemed just as disbelieving as she lay her head against his chest. But the initial moment was too brief and the woman and her daughter were there. Introductions had to be made, along with some small talk. The woman assured them that they could find their way from there, though, and that she was free to go on home with him if they'd like. Then they were gone.

Finally alone. Together again. No more wishing- no more dreaming. It was real. Wasn't it? That was his hand running along her face? His voice saying that he feared that this was just another dream of his? She couldn't stop smiling, and she couldn't help but touch his hand as they spoke.

"I was... I prayed to Dyn, every night. That he'd guide me to you, and keep you safe inbetween." He said finally. Leaning against him, she agreed, "I did too. I was worried about you. Well, I was worried about everyone.. but.."

Her voice trailed as he wrapped his arms around her tenderly, continuing, "You being gone, Rose. The pain and fear I had, in those years. Every day... I can't do it again. I... I love you, Rose. I don't know what I want to do... If I even want to stay in Nolja. But whatever I do, and wherever I go, I can't without you by my side. And I won't. I want to stay with you, Rose. Forever."

"I love you, too, Tereth." She whispered after listening silently and nodding. "I think.. it's about the only thing that really kept me going, especially when the ocean kept closing in. That is, other than believing Dyn would make sure I'd find my way back eventually. But even that was sometimes hard to believe. But just thinking of seeing you again..." Her eyes closed. "I don't want to be apart like that again."

He shook his head, "Then we won't be. Not ever. Whatever we do, we'll always do it together."
 
Losse, 85 - Evening, hr 12    
So much had changed since those first days in the tent. He'd seen a city, another tent, an area that got bright sometimes. And lots of others like him. It was easier to get noticed with many around. He first learned to crawl, following her out of the dark place into the sometimes bright place. He learned words. Kavo. He knew that one. Hungry, yes that one too. The sound he loved, the giggles, were heard now. And the gigglers noticed him.

He learned to stand, and then to walk. He learned to play, a form of rolling around. He'd eaten his fair share of dirt, and got in enough trouble for it. He looked for her, and other her, at night to sleep. Warm. Cuddly. Safe. Love.

He learned more words. No. Yes. He'd had a battle of mud with the man that swooped him over the edge and made him choke on the air. Maybe not all in that order.

Tobar. Yes, that one he knew, and it stopped him in his tracks often enough. But no one said it now, and so he went into the dark place. He found his way through many places. Some had things not him, and he grunted to them. Notice me! Notice me! But they didn't. He had kept moving on. Eventually he was turned around and tired and sore. Sleep? Kavi? Where? He didn't know. But then, there was the face that belonged to the best voice. He sat, and he lay near, and he awoke to a warm lap and a stroking hand. Notice me! He tried, and almost tried again, but he was powerless against the soothing touch, and he drifted off once more.
 
Kuile, 85 - Before dawn, hr 3    

Though I cannot say much, I do understand everything being said. My name is Lillorigga and I live in the moutains, there is lots of snow here and its very cold, I did not have much covering me before and it got me very cold, made me cry lots but now I am all covered up. I am starting to talk now to, its hard, I don't know how to say many things, but Nissa does not either. Nissa my cousin! She is amazing and we play a lot in the snow. She gives me hugs and gives me attention and even tries to teach me things, even if I can't do any of it truly. She seems to have not learnt to talk very well yet either, Lino seems to be teaching her some things, maybe I should ask him to teach me to? I don't know though, no one else pays to much attention to me other than mommy and Nissa. I like it here nonetheless.

 

Also.....I need more toys, not enough stuff to play wif.

 
Kuile, 85 - Sunrise, hr 4    
Her birthday started with an argument, between herself and her brother Cecil, over a dead creature she had deemed a 'flapflap' because of the sound of it's wings.  It was a dreadfully ugly thing, with drab brown feathers, but she found that she loved it all the same as if it had been one of her siblings or a parent, or even her grandmother.

He tried to validate that the 'flapflap' was stupid, otherwise how had he killed the bird?  She wouldn't have it, ignoring any pride that crept into the corners of her heart (there was some, as she understood Cecil's hunting milestone meant he was more like their father) and telling the boy that he was the stupid one, not the bird.

Her disapproval rolled off of the girl as she crossed her arms and turned away from him.  She didn't bother thinking that her favorite 'Cessy' might get angry at her for being mean to him; she most likely wouldn't care, since she was angry at Cecil anyways for treating the bird badly.

Before long, the boy was apologizing, offering her a hat as a present.  The little girl's anger disappeared quickly as she took the hat and stuck it on her head joyously.  Telling him that she liked the hat, she took it back off to study it.

She didn't realize that it wasn't normal to have trouble seeing things unless they were close to your nose.  For a while now, she had begun to have difficulty with her sight.  She would have to squint occasionally to see items better, and small details easily slipped past her, but it didn't bother her.  She didn't know that the rest of her family, save a brother, didn't have that same problem.

As she put it back on her head, she hugged the boy, causing some surprise.
 
Rosa, 85 - Evening, hr 10    

The truth about my eyes was not particularly saddening to me at the time.  Rather, it was confusing.  I did not have the sight to know that others moved about by turning their eyes this way and that; I had thought that everyone should fumble about with their arms outstretched, wary of walking face-first into a wall or tree or rock.  It was my brother Cecil asking about my clumsy means of locomotion that had prompted my discovery of my inability to see.

I had fashioned a sort of cane, you see.  I'd come across some branch or stripling of an apple tree and in a moment of brightness I realized that I would not trip about so much while trying to walk if I had a third leg to stand upon.  When I had pulled the tree free of all twigs, stems, leaves and protrusions, I hoisted myself shakily to my feet.  I suppose my family had been watching, because when I fell, they suddenly grew alarmed that my legs were as disabled as my eyes.

Why do you have a cane, they asked of me.  The better to avoid a fall, I replied.  Why then do you not look to where you go, my older brother Cecil asked.  Of course I look, I told him.  That's what hands for, right Da?

He asked my father why he did not use his hands to see as I did.

I laughed, having no better idea of what he meant than what I had always done--crawl about with my hands on the ground before me, vigilant for some wall, bush, tree or person into which I might stumble.  What Ceci do, rub face in dirt?

Mere hours later my brother lay dead before me, placed gently on the soil of our home, my father sobbing over the body.  I could not even see what was wrong.

My father moaned, "Cecil," a sound that chilled my bones, caused the fuzz on my forearms to stand on end.  My young and naive mind raced through possibilities.  In my thoughts I envisioned my older brother stealing honey from the kitchen, or perhaps pinching one of the girl babies.  I was to be told a darker truth.

My younger brother Zed had murdered him.

As my father explained to me that no, none of the bandages I had toiled to make could help Cecil, that he was beyond my or his power to help, I could feel the blood rush from my extremities and gather in a tight little ball in my midsection.  It had been my fault, of course, that Cecil had perished.  I'd wished that a Jibberwuck might eat him, juvenile vengeance for a minor childhood fight we had had.  And I'd crawled over Zed once, feeling the bones and skulls of various small animals that he had gathered around his body and head.  I'd merely thought it frightening, had no idea of the impending danger.

As the last of Cecil's blood drained into the soil of the plains, and Zed's hacked-upon body lay slung over my father's shoulder, I understood that I had been granted one of life's greatest boons.  I would never have to remember Cecil as my father and mother would, one son mutilated by another.  I would never have to look at an empty hole in the ground, much too small for an adult, waiting for its precious deposit.  I would never have to see the blood-encrusted holes in a loved one's shirt as I wondered whether it should be clung to or repulsed.

I would never see the sun, but the world of the sun is a world full of sorrow, loss, death.  The sun's world is a far darker one than mine.

 
Rosa, 85 - Evening, hr 11    
In and out in a flash of light. I do not understand these things, these...people. Are they gods, or another type of creature, like the beast that Sylvan mated with. Dishonorable and deplorable thing to do to her love, I pray Avien does not fall prey to the beasts offspring. I wish I could speak to one of these disapearing things, perhaps they can teach me of the world, perhaps they can teach me how to make better weapons. All I know for sure is that until I can really speak to one, I do not trust them.
 
Rosa, 85 - Evening, hr 12    
She had been asleep when her mother came in to tell her the news.  Cecil had been killed by Zed.  Not understanding, the baby girl rubbed the sleep back into her eyes and rolled over, clutching the doll she had named Elva and the scroll tube given to her by her mother.  She went back to sleep with blissful ignorance.

It wasn't peaceful.  Blood dripped into the corners of her mind; bruised flesh and broken bodies lay in front of her, creating a barrier between herself and the fearsome creature that stood behind them. As tall as her father, obsidian horns curling around leathery eats and its body covered in the moss green fur that was the same as her father's cloak, was the boogeyman of her Kindred family.  The jibberwuck was a creature she had never seen, but this fantasized form came to her dreams regardless, fueled by her subconscious fears of the small world she was a part of.

As the massive jaws of the dream monster opened to swallow the little girl whole, she awoke, covered in beads of cold sweat.  Her small body trembled as she looked about the hut for someone to take comfort in.  Finding no one, she scrambled from the bedding and left the home, hoping to find Cecil outside.

He wasn't where she had left him, practicing his writing with their father.  Alarmed, her pale eyes searched the area for a sign of her favorite brother.  There was none, just the sharpened stick he had been working on, now in Alder's hands instead.  Familiar faces passed her gaze; Garth, mother, Alder and Algar, none of them Cecil.

Braving her distaste for the mine, the place that Cecil and her father had called dangerous, she went to find him.  Many of her brothers enjoyed the mines as a place to sleep, instead of the grass hut she slept in with her mother.  She herself had never really explored the underground caverns, preferring the sunlight.

Aimlessly, she wandered through the chambers, finding her father and Rowen, but still no Cecil.  It wasn't until she entered the eastern chamber, the one with the stones that had deep carvings in the face, that she found him.  Or it looked like him.

His body, mutilated and cold, lay lifeless on the mine floor.  She toddled over to the boy and crouched, touching his cheek with tear filled eyes.  Why wouldn't he move?  Why wasn't Cecil warm like he had been when she had gone to bed?

She didn't understand what 'dead' was, or that Zed had been the one to do this to him.  Those concepts were foreign to her, something she wouldn't understand until she was much older.  She sat next to her brother's lifeless body, hugging what was left of the boy tightly and letting the blood soak into her clothes and skin as she lay there.  Giving up her doll for her brother, she tucked it under his arm.  "Elva watch Cessy," she whispered, staring at the familiar face.
 
Rosa, 85 - Evening, hr 12    
She had been asleep when her mother came in to tell her the news.  Cecil had been killed by Zed.  Not understanding, the baby girl rubbed the sleep back into her eyes and rolled over, clutching the doll she had named Elva and the scroll tube given to her by her mother.  She went back to sleep with blissful ignorance.

It wasn't peaceful.  Blood dripped into the corners of her mind; bruised flesh and broken bodies lay in front of her, creating a barrier between herself and the fearsome creature that stood behind them. As tall as her father, obsidian horns curling around leathery eats and its body covered in the moss green fur that was the same as her father's cloak, was the boogeyman of her Kindred family.  The jibberwuck was a creature she had never seen, but this fantasized form came to her dreams regardless, fueled by her subconscious fears of the small world she was a part of.

As the massive jaws of the dream monster opened to swallow the little girl whole, she awoke, covered in beads of cold sweat.  Her small body trembled as she looked about the hut for someone to take comfort in.  Finding no one, she scrambled from the bedding and left the home, hoping to find Cecil outside.

He wasn't where she had left him, practicing his writing with their father.  Alarmed, her pale eyes searched the area for a sign of her favorite brother.  There was none, just the sharpened stick he had been working on, now in Alder's hands instead.  Familiar faces passed her gaze; Garth, mother, Alder and Algar, none of them Cecil.

Braving her distaste for the mine, the place that Cecil and her father had called dangerous, she went to find him.  Many of her brothers enjoyed the mines as a place to sleep, instead of the grass hut she slept in with her mother.  She herself had never really explored the underground caverns, preferring the sunlight.

Aimlessly, she wandered through the chambers, finding her father and Rowen, but still no Cecil.  It wasn't until she entered the eastern chamber, the one with the stones that had deep carvings in the face, that she found him.  Or it looked like him.

His body, mutilated and cold, lay lifeless on the mine floor.  She toddled over to the boy and crouched, touching his cheek with tear filled eyes.  Why wouldn't he move?  Why wasn't Cecil warm like he had been when she had gone to bed?

She didn't understand what 'dead' was, or that Zed had been the one to do this to him.  Those concepts were foreign to her, something she wouldn't understand until she was much older.  She sat next to her brother's lifeless body, hugging what was left of the boy tightly and letting the blood soak into her clothes and skin as she lay there.  Giving up her doll for her brother, she tucked it under his arm.  "Elva watch Cessy," she whispered, staring at the familiar face.
 
Lote, 85 - Sunrise, hr 4    
It pained her even as she said the words to them.

She knew what it meant to banish her own flesh, her own sons.

They would never be Returned, when they died their spirits would be trapped and would become cursed, to be Night Watchers.

But, it had to be done. They had betrayed their own people. They had assisted the Stoneshaper, Quarr, in hunting down and murdering their own father.

She silently thought ill of Sichar too. She loved him dearly, he had been with her since she woke up in the clearing at Moonglade. He had fathered and raised their children. He was so much to her, but sometimes he was too rash. And for once it had caused more problems then angry words from one of the children. He had killed an Otherkin as they visited Skyreach. She did not mourn for the Otherkin, some blackened creature with wings calling herself Luca, but she mourned what it brought to her people.

No, she should not have been killed. She should have been told to leave. Snowe did not see what happened, but from what she had heard Sichar had killed her and then left for Moonglade.

She then realized Sichar had been right all those years ago. Even communicating with Otherkin will bring grave consequences to her people. Those whom on death are not Returned should not be trusted. When they had first learned the Stoneshapers resided near them, Sichar was the one who spoke most loudly against being friendly with them. This caused many arguements at the time.

But, that was then, and this is now. She had banished her two sons, Eos and Aos. They had betrayed their own people and put their lot with the Stoneshapers. So be it.

Yet, it pained her still. All Snowe could think about was the green grasses and trees of Moonglade, the roar of the waterfall over it all.
 
Lote, 85 - Afternoon, hr 8    
Sound. Sound makes her happy. That much is evident from the huge grin on her face, her small, clawed fingers tapping excitedly against the ground. Her father offers her a small animal bone, grinning at her encouragingly, and she replaces her small tapping claws with a bone, which makes a different sound.

Intrigued, she taps different spots on the hard packed floor. Each spot makes a different noise. Delighted, she continues her tapping, no beat or pattern necessary. Nothing necessary to bring a smile to her rounded, red-cheeked face, except for a small bone and something to tap it against.
 
Urnu, 85 - Midday, hr 7    
    The Tower    

Urnu, 85 - Midday - I keep hearing these faint whispers... I can't make out what it's saying, but it just doesn't feel right. I hope it is just because of my lack of sleep. We shall have to wait and see.
 
Naur, 85 - Midnight, hr 1    
My brother was a healer.  Oh, how I admired the boy's ability to create despite his missing sight.  He helped our family feel better when wounded, creating bandages from moss and leaves and creams from poppies.  It was a skill that I hadn't seen any of my other siblings show interest in until that day.  The one who cooked for me, the brother who was born with my Cecil, sat with my dear blind brother and asked him to teach his skills.  I sat by and watched, remembering each crease that the boy made with his small fingers so that I might be able to offer the same healing when I got older.

It was foolish of me, but at that time I thought that I could still help Cecil with the techniques, my innocence unmarred by the cruel act that the living Jibberwuck had committed to tear my favored brother from his young life.
 
Naur, 85 - Midnight, hr 1    
Something I would always fear, even into my adult years, were the underground caverns of the mines. They would be constantly avoided; sometimes, I wouldn't even go near the entrance, simply watching as my loved ones entered and exited casually, sometimes wounded and sometimes perfectly fine.

Of course, I had ventured far enough into the mines to see the creatures that lurked inside of it.  Deep within the caverns lived creatures that looked like frogs, only standing on two legs like the Kindred and wielding weapons that appeared to be made by children; on the other side, worms that had so many teeth, ready to bite wandering creatures to feast upon the corpses.

And then there was the stone chamber, with the chipped stones that had deep carvings on the face.  I was too young to read the stones, but I wasn't too young to understand what they were.  They were my siblings, or where my papa had put them in the ground, returning their bodies to the earth and their spirits to Elva.

Someone told me we would all go back to Elva, except the living Jibberwuck, the one I hated so much for taking away a piece of our life.  I would sometimes stare at the stones and the corpses in the chamber for hours, wondering what it was like to be where they were.

With Elva.

The mines would be a constant reminder of Elva and the living Jibberwuck; I didn't know then that Elva would be something I would search for until I joined Cecil in the earth.
 
Naur, 85 - Midnight, hr 1    
Something I would always fear, even into my adult years, were the underground caverns of the mines. They would be constantly avoided; sometimes, I wouldn't even go near the entrance, simply watching as my loved ones entered and exited casually, sometimes wounded and sometimes perfectly fine.

Of course, I had ventured far enough into the mines to see the creatures that lurked inside of it.  Deep within the caverns lived creatures that looked like frogs, only standing on two legs like the Kindred and wielding weapons that appeared to be made by children; on the other side, worms that had so many teeth, ready to bite wandering creatures to feast upon the corpses.

And then there was the stone chamber, with the chipped stones that had deep carvings on the face.  I was too young to read the stones, but I wasn't too young to understand what they were.  They were my siblings, or where my papa had put them in the ground, returning their bodies to the earth and their spirits to Elva.

Someone told me we would all go back to Elva, except the living Jibberwuck, the one I hated so much for taking away a piece of our life.  I would sometimes stare at the stones and the corpses in the chamber for hours, wondering what it was like to be where they were.

With Elva.

The mines would be a constant reminder of Elva and the living Jibberwuck; I didn't know then that Elva would be something I would search for until I joined Cecil in the earth.
 
Naur, 85 - Before dawn, hr 3    
I had so many brothers and sisters during those days.  I suppose I was insecure about my place in the family; when I found out about new children, I was put into the worst moods, afraid I'd lose my mother and father to the new children.  It seemed a very rational fear to me; my father told me that he felt the same when he was young, and I would change my mind later on.  I didn't believe him.

I think that the children were why I seemed to love my father more than my mother as I got older.  The green-eyed man gave me comfort when things seemed to be going very wrong, and he answered my questions no matter how ridiculous or off-topic they might be.  I found myself eager to spend time with the man, whether in the mines that I hated so much or in the plains near our home, watching him hunt the docile game nearby.

He seemed to love us all very much, and I loved him.  Like Elva, he protected us, whether from the monstrous Jibberwucks or simply from hurt feelings.  Spending time with my father made me feel important, almost as if there was no one else but me.

The smells of the mines would always make me think of him, the first man I loved.  My standards were set by him; no one was as wonderful as my father, not even Cecil.
 
Naur, 85 - Before dawn, hr 3    
    The Tower    

Naur, 85 - Before dawn - I'm still hearing these whispers... and I'm not liking it. Myran believes it can be Garrak who 's doing this. I thought he was dead, and had no more power.
 
Naur, 85 - Sunrise, hr 5    
He had just became the leader of his people but was unsure if he could. He was thinking of leaving to study the creatures he loved on Mount Aten the Flametooths, but had stayed at home to help out and before he knew it Nisa  returned from her trip. As he looked out over his home he looked up and spoke " Aten please show me the true path as I just can't see it anymore. I've helped drive away the desert witches yet you let many of our own die. I hope you help guide me down this new path until I'm by your side again Aten and Sekah."  He then felt something light rest on his shoulders just for a moment but he knew at least they were watching over him and he started to think about the future of his people.
 
Naur, 85 - Afternoon, hr 9    
There was so much to learn. Words, especially, were important to her. The adults used so many. And the tablets - so many words they held. She could not read them, but she desperately wanted to be able to understand. All the time she was listening - to her parents speak, to her siblings as they developed a voice of their own, to her Sul-Rani when she taught the boys about letters. It fascinated her - she craved more.

There were words she'd grown to love - 'rani' was her favorite. 'Kavo' was a close second followed then by her siblings and 'kavi' names - Anisa, Tobar, Siana...the list went on for what seemed ages in her mind. Imperfect, she did her best in trying to pronounce them correctly.

Then there were words that frightened her deep inside. The words struck a chord she didn't understand, but the tone they carried by those who spoke them...like 'Taken' and 'Warble.' They were words never said with joy or in idle conversation. Those words were heavy to her and clouded her mind like fog - her curiosity peaked, but the fear they instilled holding her at bay from exploring.

She would scratch on the dirt with a claw out of sight from the others trying to repeat the figures Sul-Rani had demonstrated to the older pups, shy and uncertain. Words were good, words were helpful, she wanted to learn; but, they were not her lessons. Maybe she was not supposed to learn such things. Her scribbling seemed immature.

One day, she wished, she would be as skilled as Sul-Rani and write on the tablets all she knew, too.
 
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