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The Faery Tale

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Urnu, 98 - Midnight, hr 1    

When the baby girl woke again there was more to fill her aching stomach. There was a new sensation. A strange, steady bumping against her. She tried to grab it, but it was gone by the time she managed to twist around to see. The feeling of loss and frustration caused her to let out an angry squall. Laying there helpless and unheard for hours. Eventually she began coughing as her voice grew hoarse. She rolled and squirmed until she ended up on her stomach. She buried and rubbed her contorted face in the scratchy materal beneath her. Trying to move, anywhere, closer to something that would speak again or touch her again or provide any reassurance.
Urnu, 98 - Before dawn, hr 2    

The still fussing baby girl finally heard another sound. Another new voice. She weakly attempted to hold her head up out of the scratchy material with a hoarse, lackluster squeal. It heard her. She could hear it moving closer. It picked her up awkwardly bring her up to eye level with it, peering at her curiously. More words she couldn't understand, but she could understand that it was focused on her. With a coo and a hiccup she reached out to touch the its face. With a startled grunt and more words, it moved her away from its face. But it still held her. The first voice she heard after hatching approached again through some sound of a door. More words not understood. Then it was gone again. It always came and then left. She settled back into the hands that still held her, trying to focus on and study the face before her. Eventually he put her down and left, like the other voice.
Urnu, 98 - Before dawn, hr 3    

The first voice was back again, with more garbled words. "Mother is just going on a journey." Why wouldn't it just stay? It knew it belonged to her, right? Wasn't that why she heard it first? With the sound of the door shutting, silence closed in again around the baby girl as she whimpered.
Urnu, 98 - Afternoon, hr 8    
It was anything but easy this time, but nevertheless he managed the impossible again, saying exactly the right words at exactly the right time to let her tears cease. He held her, soothed her, whispered calming words to her. And suddenly it began to dawn on her that the hard part was over, that this last meeting with Elek and Ennea had been the finale of that maelstrom of emotions she had been in for much too long now.

She had tried everything she could to limit the damage dealt to each of them and when the warm red of Tasir's eyes searched hers, for the first time it felt as if maybe she hadn't done anything wrong after all. Nothing is your fault... it just happened. It was consoling to know that Ennea was with Elek, that nobody would end up completely alone with the pain. And if the hate on her could give Elek the strength to go on, she would be able to cope with it. Hate was so much better than just giving up completely.

Everything would have been much worse if the situation would have ended in the opposite way, if Elek would have been able to forgive her and stay with her under the condition that she would send Tasir away. She wouldn't have been able to make Elek happy any longer, he would never have been able to forget what happened. And she would be lying awake each night, asking herself how Tasir could go on out there all on his own, having lost three women he loved, having no home and nothing left in his life.

No, the way it had ended was certainly better for all of them after they had passed the point where there was no return to their earlier lives anyway. Maybe Tasir was right, maybe it really had been her mother who had sent her back from the halls. Maybe she had been trying to tell her what to do all the time, bringing her old helmet into his hands through entangled ways.

She couldn't do anything for Elek and Ennea now any longer, but what she could do was showing Tasir how much he meant to her, finally giving him what he deserved instead of making him feel unwanted by only mourning over what she had lost. Her eyes wandered over his face, the blackness of his skin almost merging with the darkness of the night around them, but its contures lit enough by the moonlight to make the still persisting swell on his cheek visible.

They needed more water to cool it, and even more they both needed to recover from everything. Suddenly, as if seeing it for the first time, she noticed the beauty of their surroundings, the water of the lake sparkling in the light of the stars, the soft breeze blowing through the trees at the lake's shore, carrying the scent of the wild flowers towards them. She got more aware of his presence, the closeness of his body, hearing her own heart beat in a much more insistent manner than normally. Let us... stay here for the night, Tasir.

In that moment, the lake attracted her in an almost magical way and he carried her towards it with slow, but confident steps. To wash the past days off my skin... They stopped right in front of the shore and he set her down into the fresh-smelling grass, wetting the old hide vest she gave him to cool his jaw. When I'm with you, all the pain goes away...

Then he came back to her and helped her to remove her armor with the gentle touch of his hands. She felt his gaze wander over her body and it sent mild shivers over her skin. You know... you're beautiful, even with all those scratches. It didn't take him long to let his own armor follow, placing it on the grass next to hers before taking her back into his arms and stepping into the water with her.

The lake was shallow at the shore and he placed her on the soft sand on its ground, sitting down behind her, one of his legs on each of her sides, their bodies causing slight waves on the otherwise tranquil water surface. He pulled her closer until her back touched his chest and started to spread kisses over her neck, letting some water trickle over her shoulders. Her rebirth hadn't been when she had woken up after her suicide attempt back at her family's mountain, it was right there, right now in the very moment the water touched her skin.

Fetching more water with both of his hands, he put his arms around her, his black and her pale skin melting with each other, illuminated only by the moon high above them. She felt her pulse rush, felt her body prickle, finally felt so alive after only having known sadness for so many years, almost having forgotten about the beauty of life. Trisa, you're truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. And this time, her life would be his.
Urnu, 98 - Evening, hr 10    
All of these words around me. Kavo, Rani, Illesse ...

So many bodies. So many shadows!

It makes me tired and hungry.
Elen, 98 - Midday, hr 6    
Excerpts From a Silk-bound Manuscript

Page 6
Elen, 98

I hate him! I hate my PaPa. I've said that lots of times before, but I don't think I ever meant it those times. Not like I do now. I really hate him. He hurt Rose. I don't know what he did or what he said, but he asked her to come inside and then Rose came out even sadder than when she went it. I yelled at him about it. I yelled a lot and he hurt me too. I didn't know what to do afterwords. I wanted to kill him or for him to kill me. I don't know.

Aunt Rose took care of me. My face hurt so much. He kept saying he didn't mean it. That he was sorry. Like any of that made a difference. I wished he would die. I hated him because I was just like him. I hated me to. I asked Aunt Rose if I was a bad person. I asked her if I was mean because my PaPa was mean. She said she didn't think I was mean. She said my PaPa wasn't always mean to. She was lying. I pretended not to care because it kind of made me feel better to hear her say it. My PaPa was always mean. And I'll always be mean to.
Lasse, 98 - Before dawn, hr 2    
Walking up to her father, she notices how different he looks now. His beautiful long white hair chopped off, all the scars, his expression worn and hardened. With guilt, she tells him she is leaving, that she needs to get away for awhile. Let her anger and sadness dissipate, there is enough here without her adding to it. Walking away to the southwest, she looks back at Moonglade with a heavy heart.

 She had no idea where she was going, or why. Maybe to the Ocean, maybe to see Aos and Eos again. Continuing down the trail aimlessly, she puts one foot in front of the other. Thinking long into the night when she finally stopped walking, she then turned Westward. The brightest thought in her mind was her sons. They were somewhere in this direction, maybe she would run into them. They didn't know about their father and their Uncle Rufus, she should tell them.
When she arrived at the next stop, it was a sword she almost ran into, and the eyes of Elek, the Stoneshaper. He lowered it as he recognized her. He and his daughter Ennea were attempting to make a new life for themselves here he said. Looking around, she could see why they chose the spot, the forest was dense, green and full of life with a large river meandering through. Oddly enough, she felt relaxed and at home here herself, maybe she was just numb from exhaustion. When Elek asked her what she was doing and where she was going, she told him everything and he was kind enough to listen. She bragged about her three sons. He said Ennea was hoping to find a mate. As she helped to work on the tent they were making, she thought about their situations. Maybe one of her sons would like Ennea, she was a lovely girl, how could they not. And her sons were handsome and charming, surely Ennea would fall in love with one of them. And so she had a purpose. One that would cause her parents to cringe, but really, there were no Moonkin daughters for her sons. Why shouldn't they be happy? She herself did not think as her parents did.
That night she lay out under the stars talking with Ennea. Her plan developing in her head, her troubles receding. She would set out the next day and find her sons. She would start her search at Stoneshaper Mountain. Maybe Aos and Eos would know where they were.
Vasa, 98 - Before dawn, hr 2    
Margalit finished the pearl necklace with a slight smile across her elongated snout. Her yellow eyes following her hands as they raised it above her head. She had arrived back at the island she was born on, the island on her map she had marked as Lorel Bay. So many memories here, yet so little. The old huts were still somehow here, and the bone house she had worked on so many years past as a young girl before the Witch had taken her away.

After so many years at Farcliffs, she felt as if she needed to get away for a bit, to see the world she had once seen so many years before. Seeing the old lands of her memory was a refreshing thing.

Gathering some more pearls she set to making a pearl necklace for Lorel too..she would never have gotten this far without Lorel..with a glance north she remembers the Obsidian Island which she and her siblings visited many years past...thoughts of Teo fill her mind, perhaps she'll get him and obsidian knife as a gift..a straw hat for Koli, the child of hers who seems to have such a great passion for cooking. Remembering the crabs here so many years ago, she thinks that he may want to try some of the exotic fare unable to obtain at Farcliffs. And a pearl bracelet for dear Saga..whom she thought would never awake but on her death throes, did. For that, Margalit was eternally grateful to the Great Fish.
Khelek, 99 - Before dawn, hr 2    
With her return to Moonglade, Snowe only found more tragedy. Tragedy had followed there people for a very long time and still seemed to pay them constant visits. Rufus was dead from an attack on Asher it seemed. Cita was devestated and embarked on some journey. Her people were reduced, her family devastated. Almost all her sons and daughters Returned. Only Cita, Asher, Freya and Reed remained out of so many young and healthy Moonkin.

The sons and daughters of her own daughters were either Returned or had seemingly abandoned their own people on a whim.

Moonglade was silent beyond the constant crash of the great waterfall on the rocks below. With a heavy heart the Snowe walks over and buries her head in the chest of Sichar who leads her inside the small building by the lakeside.
Losse, 99 - Evening, hr 10    
The last of the little boy things has run away. He did not die from the cold or from not eating, he ran when he would not give up what belonged to Kis that he had stolen.

It makes me wonder! I am not stupid, I am the most clever of Kis' things. Are all boys as dumb as this one?

He ran with Kis' things so she ran after him. I hope he gets punished.
Rosa, 99 - Sunrise, hr 5    
Leaving the warmth of my mother's womb and entering a place of strange sights and sounds was overwhelming. There were four of us in all, two boys and two girls.... I was the third born and mother calls me Elza. It's all a blur, but I vaguely remember seeing one of my brothers crawl out... never to be seen again. Mother says he was a troll child, but I'm not sure what that means. My sister Gwen has never left the Dreaming, and lies still and motionless. Will I lose another sib? My other brother Dios is my only sib, and I like him alot. We have met both of our parents, as well as some older sibs. Everyone is warm and welcoming, and says it's been a long time since any younglings were about.
Rosa, 99 - Sunrise, hr 5    
A smile crossed Snowe's features for the first time in a long while. It had been many years since she held a babe in her arms, but here one was now and it was her own as well. Twenty years since she and Sichar and produced children, hoping that their older sons and daughters would bring more children. However due to many tragedies this did not work out. It had been twenty long and hard years, and all of the many children of Cita and Ado unceremoniously abandoned their people or had died not long after being born. And now Cita herself had gone off, only mentioning that she would return sometime to her father, Sichar. Only Asher, Reed and Freya remained of what was so many strong sons and daughters. As these thoughts danced around Snowe's head, she disregarded them, the past was behind. As the newborn named Elza woke and struggled in her arms she thought 'The future is now and our people will grow strong again'.
Rosa, 99 - Sunrise, hr 5    
New brothers and sisters? Really? This is great news! Nothing good has been happening lately.
Everybody blames me for Rufus's death. Cita even left because she hated me so much. Nobody will believe me! If they couldn't see that he was crazy, then they're all as blind as Freya.
Don't they know that I'm not a killer? I've always tried to keep us Moonkin alive. I went and got the red flowers and the white rock to do that. Except the armor made from the white rock couldn't protect Zoan from Dreaming and the red flowers couldn't heal Rufus's many injuries. I tried to get rid of the Night Watcher birds, but now even father tells me they aren't Night Watchers, they're people!
I was thinking about leaving. There's still plenty of the world left that I haven't seen, and the red eyes of the Night Watchers out there aren't any worse than the angry eyes of my own family.
But if there are children here, I won't leave. Children like me. Even Faerlin smiled at me once or twice, and I almost killed her. And the children need somebody to pay attention to them. Mother and father are always so distant.
All we've had lately is death. Babies should make things better. As long as they aren't Dreamers.
Rosa, 99 - Evening, hr 10    
Excepts From a Silk-bound Manuscript

Page 7 Rosa, 99

I kissed my first boy today, but he didn't love me back. He left me. He was disgusted by me. He hated me because I was mean. He hated me because I was ugly. I couldn't stop crying. I don't think I would have wanted to stop if I could. Aunt Rose tried talking to me. I pretended like it helped. She couldn't understand what I was going through. No one could understand. Everyone had a mate except me. Uncle Tereth was getting better and Aunt Rose was always happy when he was awake. It's not fair. I wish Uncle Tereth loved me and not Aunt Rose. At least Aunt Rose has friends, what does she need a mate for too? I don't have anybody. I am alone and I'll always be alone. Nobody will ever love me the way Aunt Rose and Uncle Tereth love each other. Nobody!
Rosa, 99 - Evening, hr 11    
Today Tarbie came in and hit me.  He kick me, and me curl up in ball from hurt.  Hurt real bad.  Me not know why Tarbie do it.  Tarbie really angry, and me not know why.  Angry at Dirreck? 

...Me need to follow Mama to Kutar Mountain.  Not know how to get there.  Need to go anyway.
Lote, 99 - Evening, hr 11    
Stepping onto the beach of her distant and painful past, Margalit did not expect what she saw.

She saw a collection of her people, where she had expected the abandoned remains of the Witch's camp. One of them ran up to her with a smile on his face "Margalit! It's you!" he shouted, his face unknown to her.

"It's me Knarrmakk! And here is Lamile!" We wondered what happened to you.

Hesitantly she speaks with them of past and present, she informs them of the Witch's demise in which they too seem to show relief. They then introduced their children: Cyrus, Kyle, Quinn, Mark and little Aru.

After speaking for much time and gathering some strange ingredients for Koli at home to work on, Margalit sets out, giving promises to the people that she will return with metal tools.

They are a strange folk Margalit decided, very strange. But, they were peaceful and seemed happy living on the island they had renamed Frog Fort. They had decided to keep the faith of the Witch, in the Light, which Margalit could not understand. However, she hopes to see them again.
Urnu, 99 - Before dawn, hr 2    

She reached the Mountain tired, yawning, she looked around at the emptiness. No one was outside the Mines. It was always bustling with activity in the past. Vallo was usually outside to greet visitors she remembered sadly. But Vallo was dead now. She reminisced for awhile, then went to her brothers shelter. Peeking in the door, she sees them talking with the Aelli man Darun. She walks in greeting them all. Flopping on the feather bed, she hears their conversation vaguely, something about traveling to find a land bridge, but their voices grow distant as she drifts to sleep. When she wakes, her brothers are looking at her curiously. It seems her mother was here recently looking for her. With a wince of guilt she thinks of her mother, but her purpose reappears foremost in her mind.

"Have you seen my sons? Have they passed through here?" Her brothers look at each other, then back at her and shrug. An indulgent smile comes to her lips as she watches them. Her twin brothers, looking exactly alike. They hardly spoke to others as children, it seemed they each knew what the other was thinking, and were all the other needed. She cared for them as babies and so she understood that. The rest of the family thought them strange and were suspicious of them. It's part of what led them to be banned. Her sons had not passed this way it seems and so she will go South to search for them. Aos and Eos planned to travel with Darun, who calls himself a cartographer, a mapmaker. She tells them about Elek and Enneas place. Just before she left them, Ennea came up with the name Heart Haven. As she leaves for the southeast, she realizes she might not see her brothers for a long while.

She comes to her next stop late into the night. Leaning against a tree she hears whispering in the darkness. Quietly moving towards the sounds, her eyes widen and her cheeks flush as she sees Tasir and Trisa. Apologizing for her intrusion, she rushes off to the south immediately. She went on without stopping and so, finally, just as the sun starts to brighten the grove of fruit trees around her, she drops her things, and laying her head on her bag, falls fast asleep.

Hearing whispering again, she opens her eyes groggily to see Tasir and Trisa again. She notices now that he carries her, one of her legs stuck out awkwardly, as was her expression as she nodded to them.
"Hello..I..I didn't mean to disturb you back there..." she stammered to them blushing..

Trisa clears her throat softly, "Cita...I sorry...we not anticipated someone traveling through there. What brings you so far South?" Her smile slowly vanishes as her gaze wanders to the North with a worried frown, "Has something bad happened?"
Tasir blushes a bit, causing his already black skin to darken more, "I'm sorry miss as Trisa said, we had no clue anyone would be traveling there, and I" he clears his throat, "I'm sorry." He nods, before looking at Trisa with a slight smile, "Would you like to sit down somewhere love?"

 "Oh...I..I didn't see anything..it was much too dark!" she fibs clumsily as she watches him set Trisa on  a barrel. Looking at the woman's leg with a curious frown, she asks, "What happened to your leg Trisa?"

"If that's not comfortable or you would like to get up, just let me know all right?" He says as he kisses Trisas cheek. Trisa smiles thankfully with an affectionate sparkle in her eyes for him, she then turns to Cita, her expression turning serious as she looks down at her leg, "Oh, I fear that would be a very long story to tell."

They both then apologize again to Cita and she waves a hand in dismissal "Really, think nothing of it..I wonder though..have you seen three Moonkin boys in your travels?" She laughs at herself, "They are young men now really..they're travelling about and I'd like to find them if I could."

Tasir clears his throat again, "No I haven't but I suggest to look either at Kenna's home or at the Aelleri Mountain, both are just a short distance away." He pauses, "We are headed to Kenna's shortly if you want to accompany us?"

She nods, then chewing on her lip anxiously, "Trisa, I'm not sure what happened, but..I met Elek and Ennea at their new home, I thought you'd want to know, they are doing well." She smiles over at the woman reassuringly, "Their little place is very nice and cozy."

Trisa freezes at Cita's words, her shoulders visibly tensing, her eyes fill with different emotions, "You..." she swallows heavily, "you met them?" the corners of her mouth twitch a little, though her eyes remain unchanged.
"Thank you so much for telling me, Cita! They..they said anything to you?" She hesitates, inhaling shakily, pausing for several seconds before speaking again, "And I..sorry, I not met any Moonkin for a long time, but we will help you find your sons however we can. Kenna is a Stoneshaper, she is my sisters daughter, but..almost was like mine after my sister left our home."

Putting a reassuring hand on the womans shoulder, she tells her of Heart Haven and that Elek and Ennea seem to be healing and hopeful of the future. Trisa appeared greatly relieved to have such news. They talked a bit more, and after getting directions, and a night's sleep, she set off for Kenna's place to find her sons.



Urnu, 99 - Afternoon, hr 8    

Today we met our brother Asher, he has fun toes to play with! He and Da made us younglings a bed to sleep in, it's much softer than the floor. Mama tucked us in and left for a bit, but Da still watches quietly over us.

Urnu, 99 - Evening, hr 11    
Like a turtle, I made myself a shell. Mine is wooden. Kis says she wants to use it sometime. I would like that very much. It would make me even more clever.
Ringwe, 99 - Midnight, hr 1    
Excerpts From a Silk-Bound Manuscript

Page 8 Ringwe, 99

I'm so stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I can't do anything right. ANYTHING! I let the crocodiles get me. STUPID! I'm stuck in this bed and everyone is trying to make me feel better. Everyone is giving me stuff and trying to make everything okay. PaPa came back from Aunt Nia's canyon. Aunt Nia came too. I can't stop looking at the river where it happened. Where the crocodile got me. He tore into my left side. I can't look at it. It hurts too much to even think about. I can't walk. I can't do anything. I am stuck in this bed, a freak. Everyone stares at me. I don't want to be here. Stupid Nirod and his stupid best friend Amaera gave me some stupid ugly clothes. They are all dirty and itchy. MY CHEST! It itches all the time and I can't scratch because it hurts my side when I do it. I miss my silk clothing. It belonged to me. It wasn't anybody else's but mine. I can't wait to get out of this bed. I know exactly what I'm going to do first. EXACTLY!
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