[ORP] Arrival

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Klavak
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[ORP] Arrival

Post by Klavak » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:54 pm

I. Arrival

The night breeze blows across the treeline to an audience of whispering woods. A discrete ovation follows, dark branches shaken against each other in a fading echo around myself. It is almost clear at this height. My elven eyes reflect the starlight gleaming against the polished edges of each leave, and the scattering of twilight critters amongst the underbrush sharpens my awareness to an almost predatorial level.

Yet there is something odd in the air tonight. The forest is uneasy, and its worries cascade from valley to mountain like a rampant river. It is not a simple task to describe this feeling. Only the wisest and eldest amongst us can read the signs of the feathers and listen to the deep roots, but it is evident that something is not right. I, Klavak of the woodland people, have been asked to scout the southern border. My experience is as limited as my age, but my willingness to step up to the task made up for my lack of skill. The lifespan of the ancients is long and paced, and it is not often that a youngblood finds such a chance to prove himself before the tribe.

I step forwards and squat on top of a higher branch, the leather soles of my light boots offering more than enough purchase against its serpentine surface. Alert, attentive, I have been tracking a suspicious trail of scratches and broken twigs. There is recent damage on this tree: Three evenly spaced cuts across the dry bark, slowly oozing golden sap. Whatever caused them must be close by. I can't refrain to draw a confident smile - As justice would be dealt soon, and balance restored to the dead of night.

Snap. Sudden, ferocious, the deafening explosion of razor sharp fangs shutting close inches away of my neck make my heart jump. I leap away under a rain of splinters, instinctively grasping at lower branches to cushion the impact. It is a hard fall through the canopy, bracing for impact in a hailstorm of wooden daggers. I hit the floor and roll, hands darting towards bow and arrow in a single continuous motion. Nock, draw, loose. And miss. The projectile buries itself in the vegetation while the beast follows as a black blur. It's too fast. I hardly manage to interpose my weapon between myself and the ivory death, immediately snapped in half after a second bite. There is no time for thinking, no space for training. I strike hard with the lifeless half of my bow, whipping the creature's head on the side.

I can't win this fight. My feet take control of the situation and advantage of the brief window opened on that moment. I run desperately at the edge of my ability, hunter become hunted. There´s blood running down my forehead, and mean thorns cut through my clothes as through butter. But I don't stop, I can't stop. I can hear its growling breath on my back, I can feel its powerful claws digging deep into the forest floor. I run faster than I've ever run, further than I've ever been. The ground starts to slope downwards, picking up dangerous speeds. An avalanche of dead leaves starts chasing my feet and then the ground simply, abruptly, ends.

I fall into the darkness.

Hey, I'm going to be writing here a bit.
Everyone is welcome to join in, but if you want to interact with my character please wait until I finish the intro and he gets to Cork!
Cheers :)

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Klavak
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Klavak » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:18 pm

I stand proud before my parents, a scout cut from their very same pattern. She smiles patiently even when telling me off, tying my hair again as a warning of the dangers of blinding oneself in the wilds. He, scarce in his words, hands me a bow carved from his own writing to guide the blessings of the wind. The wood bleeds and cracks in my hand, and everything disappears. I am now in the center of the tribe's council - up above the treetops. Half a dozen robed elves pierce me with penetrating gazes of emerald and silver, darkened and accentuated by the inked skin around their eyes. They sit in high chairs of molded root and liquen, sang into shape by the old songs of our people. I've only been here once - On the same day I received my name. An elder crowned with swept antlers exhales and shakes his head in denial, and the sheer disappointment of his expression hurts as a spear through my chest. After a blink, a second, they fade too into the darkness. The black is all-encompassing this time. The air is thick, tar-like. I'm drowning. And then I see him. Shapeless and evil, countless rows of white teeth emerging from the pure absence of light. An endless hunger radiates from the creature as the fangs sink into my flesh.

A wild spasm wakes me up in a bundle of extreme pain. It is a soul shattering soreness, as if a thousand worms had burrowed his way under my skin. I need some time to adapt my sight to the blinding light of the morning, and as my senses come back so do more and more waves of burning pain. One, two, three. One, two, three. The old concentration exercises help me briefly disconnect my situation from my condition. I'm far from thinking clearly, but at least I manage to percieve my surroundings good enough.

I sit up by a stone-clad riverbank, abandoned as a broken toy by the point the current stopped being strong enough to carry me. Going by the way I feel, I must have tumbled and hit every single rock on the descent from the mountain. Thankfully none of my bones are broken, and the cuts under my tattered garment have dried and begun to heal.The forest has granted me a second chance, leaving me alone and empty handed under the summer sun. It is an uncomfortable heat for someone who has always lived under the shade, and the treeline looms over the horizon like an unconquerable wall.

"What should I do now?" I ponder, stretching my limbs to assert their mobility - And repressing a tear from eventually falling out of line. I've been defeated, but I can't give up. The dire images in my dream still haunt me from afar. I can only come back to my people to be shunned from a place in society, set aside for all matters of the tribe. Elves have long lives and minds, and their failures are not easily forgotten. "No." I will hunt my quarry and make them proud. I will come back with its blood soaked black pelt around my shoulders and a crown of fangs around my head. I will erradicate its presence from the forest - Shepherd the trees back into their slumber and nurse the chorus of the leaves.

But not now. I'm devoid of arms, exhausted. I need a place to rest and heal, craft a new set of weapons. Standing up takes me way more time than it should have. It´s only now that I realise this is the furthest I've ever been from home. It is the first time I have ever stepped outside the forest, with only a passing knowledge of the old kingdoms of the world. As to how accurate the campfire stories and legends could be, there was only a way to tell. My resolution is finally to follow the river downstream to the south, hoping to find a settlement along the water source.

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Klavak
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Klavak » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:08 pm

Following the cristalline stream turns out to be easy enough. The harsher inclines that had led me to my fall quickly give way to gentler valleys and rolling hills. Trees slowly crawl their way back into the horizon, scattered here and there in spatters of green. Uneven and rocky ground transitions into the flatter, dead smoothness of a path. It is undoubtedly a sign of settlement and a subtle metaphor of existence. Carved, eroded by constant passage through ages and centuries, nature eventually resigns in kneeling to the will of her children. It is a sword cut that grows forever, a bold brush stroke across the landscape.

Hush - I crouch. Noise. There is someone up ahead. Still in pins and needles my steps contour the outline of a jagged outcropping. A quick look over the top reveals the unexpected, and the innocent, pastoral scene of two women bent over the water unfolds before my eyes. Curiosity is a stronger force than strength, and before I realize I have cut the distance between us in half. I feel drawn to the display, fascinated by the novelty of an entirely unknown tribe living so close to our own. From this distance I can see that they are energetically washing big laundry piles of clothes, with sleeves rolled up and strange skirts tied to keep them untouched by the waves.

I am not completely sure as to why, but I drop the cover of stealth and stand up to my immediate regret. Perhaps too eager to establish contact, I show the palms of my hands empty and calm. I smile, remembering the training of a confident hunter. And they scream, they run like wild doves startled by the most freezing fear. "Wait!" As quickly as I have come, they leave. "No, wait!" It's no use. I could never catch them in my state. The running water gifts me with the lean reflection of a pale ghost, clad with tatters and caked mud. No wonder they ran afraid. I get rid of them with frustration, and throw myself into the current for a refreshing angry bath.

There's a woven basket bumped sideways waiting on the other bank, in all likelihood left behind during the previous panic. I wolf down some soft bread contained within it, and I stretch alone under the punishing summer sunlight. Not only that, but the dancing flutter of clothes hung to dry is put to an end after a quick raid. Breeze blows past the dextrous limbs, breathing life back into the athletic elven body like a silent sigh of relief. Those new garments look old and drab, but prove themselves light and comfortable on my skin. Back on the road, back on the game. A wooden crooked sign reads the next stop: Cork.

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Klavak
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Klavak » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:50 pm

I don't know anything anymore. This world is large, colorful and chaotic to the extreme. Every new thing that I learn is an unexpected surprise, and everyone I meet seems unique in the wildest of ways. How strange this society stands in comparison my own. The elves I have always known mostly keep to themselves, creatures of subtlety and patient arts, elder wanderers of incredible skill. We watch over nature and our own, keep the traditions alive and the forest safe. But this is nothing alike. There are creatures amongst the human populace of whom I had never heard before. Individuals of all shapes and origins, of magical essence and awe inducing power. Vaporous sensual beings and crawling nightmare fuel.

This process is eased along by another particular discovery, the tavern. Liquors of amber and glass flowed like the tide every evening, easing with their particular sorcery the tongue of a foreign traveller. My head overflows with names and personalities, ranging from welcoming neighbours to the reigning monarchy of bordering kingdoms. Nobody seems to worry about me, but the opposite. I am asked to stay, to settle in their lands as one of them. And it's confusing. I can't help smile and rejoice at the evergrowing web of new acquaintances, and help is something that I may need for orientation. The fanged fiend is still on my mind. Always. The more I learn, the more I'm sure I'm not ready to face it. What I am is torn, undecided. The people I made may well be able to deal with such darkness or shine light into its mistery. But I can't bring myself to speak about the maw. It it my quarry, my trophy to take. What would I prove by leading others to clear my way? I am safe now and my wounds are healing. I don't forget.

It does take some days to get used to life in Cork. The town itself is surrounded by a forest, which brings me closer to my homesick roots. However, there is a stark contrast between both woodlands. These are tame and gentle trees, groomed and picked clean to build all kinds of massive constructions, weapons and tools. The sounds of such boiling activity must inevitably annoy the shyest beings of the green. I occupy my days with growing a place of my own and helping around, getting accustomed to the ever present role of coin. Work, training and foraging are heavy tasks, but ones that bring me closer to my goal.

From now on everyone is free to participate!

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Varann
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Varann » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:02 am

Wandering through the gates a few days later a tired and battered varann had finally returned from xer hunt. And headed over to the market to grab something to eat. Xie greets sone of the creatures as xie goes but stops for a moment as xie notice some one new.
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Klavak
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Klavak » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:46 pm

It's a nice day, and a walk back from work through the market had resulted in a generously full belly by means of a lesser so purse. The coins, or frenzics as they're called, seem to be a devilishly smart creation. They are fidgety things, easy to make dance between one's fingers and useful for almost any purpose I can think of. They can allow a hunter to dedicate himself fully to the hunt, exchanging the fruit of his labor without the complications of fair barter. Such focus and specialization has a great deal of potential, which explains how creatures of shorter lived lifes such as humans can also achieve great dominion over skills.

I had been working at the cathedral. Oh, how impressive are the wonders of mankind's architecture, towering spires overlooking the city as never blinking guardians. They appear to the eye as a monumental mountain from afar, yet once I got inside I was entranced by a dark forest of stone and glass. I enjoy myself climbing its archways and coloured windows, and taking care of them is at the end of the day an easy way to fill the bag. A bag that will soon get me what I'll need to slay the demon.

But there's something different tickling my senses on the road today. I feel suddenly watched and instinctively turn around to satisfy my curiosity.

- "Hello?"

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Varann
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Varann » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:49 am

Chuckling to xerself xie approaches pulling back the hood of xer cloak as xie enters the cathedral and xie lets xer third eye adjust to the dark interior "my appologies for stareing its unusual to see someone new, in town. Most just pass on through to else where. I'm Varann one of the locals. Well i actuslly live just outside of the forrest but still close enough ti call here my home."
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Klavak
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Klavak » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:46 am

(I thought we were on the market, but no problem :D )

I take a short moment to inspect the new three eyed face. Perhaps not too easy to describe, it was nevertheless welcoming to be introduced with kind words, and the initial warning soon eases out into a more comfortable greeting.

- "It's a pleasure." - I answer with a gentle nod. Should I be shaking hands, though? The social norms of the land still escape me at times. - "My name is Klavak, and I recently became a local as well."

He, or she, doesn't look like any kind of creature I had met before. In a way beautiful and androgynous, like the genderless celestial beings sometimes depicted on religious art. A very tall version of one. Hoping not to be staring too much I let a smile go and continue the conversation casually.

- "Is there some way I can help you? I have been taking care of the ceilings today, but I was about to head to the forest." - Putting aside a wet bucket and the handle of a broom I gesture outwards as an invitation to continue walking together. - "If someone notices that a gargoyle is missing its nose, be sure it wasn't me!"

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Varann
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Varann » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:34 pm

Xie chuckles but is aware of his stares. Its nothing new but still appreciated coming from a nice looking creature such as him

"i wouldnt have noticed had you not told me. I dont come, here very often. I follow a different path. But actuslly I was gonna ask of you needed help your self. I like to help new comers if i can. And if you dobt need help if you minded me buying you dinner, "
Varann was not one to beat around the bushes not any more.
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Klavak
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Re: [ORP] Arrival

Post by Klavak » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:02 pm

- "Oh! Uhm..." - That was direct. It certainly takes me by surprise and finding my words is suddenly a complicated task. - "That is kind of you, I appreciate it. I can't join you for dinner but another thinking head around my issues is a great thing right now."

What am I supposed to say? I may not be the best at dealing with specific social interactions, but after a few days around town I have gotten to a level where I'm able to fill in the blanks by reading between the lines. It's pretty obvious what an invitation for dinner means in this situation, but I have little idea on how to react.

I've come to learn human and other creatures to display as many arts on the way of seduction as there are in nature. For some finding a mate is a simple business, a gut feeling followed by a shared burst of desire. There's no need to lead the prey between hunters after all. For others it is a labour of love and courting, a competitive process for getting to know each other's feathers and songs, and a matter of well thought choice. Once become a watcher of nature's cycle it's hard to pinpoint where I'd fall.

- "Let's go." - I lead the way, plucking and sharing some summer berries from the sides of the temple's path. Perhaps it's just better to sidetrack the conversation. - "There's much I want to know, and there's a reason I arrived here. I was chased out of the northern forest by a terrible dark being. One made of teeth and blackness. Does this mean something to you?"

I don't know why but I have the feeling I can trust Varann on this. Xer shadow-like presence may be a hint at possible knowledge on the matter, and living by the trees could increase the chance of another sighting of the beast. I'm not getting anywhere soon by myself - And fangs start to be continuously present in my dreams.

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