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Mickey Flash

Twist of Fate {Karmathen}

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Weben pulled her foot out of the muddy puddle with a curse.  She had prepared for many dangers in the Great Forests of Elendaron.  She was ready for dangerous creatures, and formidable beings.  She knew that there were places where time seemed to stand still, and you could catch a glimpse of another dimension.  She had a sword strapped to her back, and a will of steel.  She just hadn't been prepared for the soul sucking mud.  She grimaced as she shook the thick substance from her boot.  At least she had prepared for the ever changing temperatures.  The multi-layered clothing also served another purpose, of keeping the tiny biting bugs from getting a piece of her skin.  She blew a strand of her bright red hair from her face, wondering again why she'd decided to take this journey.  The stories she'd heard of the adventures here had seemed so romantic.  The deeper into the woods she walked, the more gloomy it had become.  She could see an approaching light, though faded from the fact that the sun was about to go down.  She didn't know where it was going to end, but decided to follow it.  Animals made noises all around her, and the leaves rustled in the trees.  She stomped forward, exaggerating each footfall so as not to sink her boots back into the mud.

She stopped walking suddenly.  She cocked her head to the side and listened intently.  She thought she'd heard something, but she couldn't be sure.  She stepped forward a bit more, and could hear even more clearly a faint humming of noise.  She noticed that the closer she got to the dying light the louder the noise became.  She slowly moved forward, her curiosity getting the better of her.  The noise became more structured, and she noticed a beat and rhythm.  Chords of deep drama, beauty, happiness, and sorrow, all seem to meld together within the tree branches.  She realized that she'd started to follow it blindly, not guided by any other sense but her hearing now.  She had to get to that lovely music.  She was drawn to it.  

The trees began to thin, and almost as if they had parted she was faced with a clearing.  In front of her stood a beautiful weeping willow.  Though there were no instruments around, and no explanation for the sounds she was hearing, she knew the music was coming from the tree.  The only explanation for it was magic.  Though magic was beyond her abilities, and certainly something she should fear, she had an inner feeling of peace.  She wondered if it were from the music, or an inner voice of reason that said there was nothing to fear.  She hoped it was the latter.  

The tree had a crevice in the base, like a dark void.  She leaned in to take a closer look, feeling a pull toward it.  

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Jorahel weaves expertly through the underbrush, her bare feet whispering over leaf and soil and stone without nary a sound of a footfall. She glances towards the fading twilight, a shrouded beacon through the veil of the treeline, and breathes in the heady scent of the woodland air.

If not for the heavy mud and the everpresent gloom, the forests of Elendaron  would have almost resembled her home in the Silver Mountains. The only things missing are the—

She shakes her head, murmuring fool under her breath. There is no returning from the path that led her away from her home and her people. It is useless to dwell on such matters.

The sudden sound of heavy footfalls lead her to draw her bow and nock an arrow as she creeps through the trees, haunting musical notes in the air also guiding her path into a small clearing.

A red-haired woman appears from the treeline opposite her, drawn towards a weeping willow tree where Jorahel can assume the music is coming from. She lowers her bow, tilting her head to observe the woman, her silver gaze passing over the sword strapped to the stranger’s back.

“Fiyær lo anêthi. Círhan le?” The lilting syllables of her native language flow smoothly from her lips, yet from the moment the words come forth, Jorahel realizes it may not be a spoken tongue familiar to the stranger. Standing half-shrouded in the shadows of the trees, she opts to wait for whatever reaction may come from the redheaded woman.

Edited by ourlachesism

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Eirlys woke up with a gasp. She closed her lips tightly and listened, body tensing. What was it that had woken her up? She made sure to breathe silently when she noticed the sound of footsteps on the other side of the willow. 

She had been drawn in by the calming tones of the willow a few hours earlier. Tired from her journey and from constantly cooling the air around her, she had fallen asleep by the roots of the great tree. She was now on the other side of the tree than the person - people? - she had heard moving around. She couldn't see them, so she had no chance of knowing if these were hostile people. 

This traveling to new places sure makes me paranoid, huh? She thought with a frown. These people had obviously been drawn by the gentle humming of the tree, like she had; they were most likely nothing more than curious travelers like herself. 

She slowly stood and took the time to stretch her arms with a pleasant crack of her bones before facing the strangers. It was with careful movements that she took the few steps around the tree and then stopped. She folded her hands in front of her, getting an overview of the situation.

There were two. Both red-haired women, though in different tones. One was armed with a bow and arrow, the other had a sword strapped to her back. The one with the bow was tall, very much taller than herself. Warriors, she decided. She felt vulnerable standing there, armed with nothing, carrying no possessions but the white, shimmering dress she was wearing and the ivory crown that graced her forehead. Her eyes flickered from one red-haired woman to the other. She cleared her throat and tried sending them what she hoped was a friendly smile. 

"It... sure is something, huh?" She placed her hand on the willow tree, almost caressing it. There was something almost holy about this place; surely no one would dare attack the other with the humming willow watching, would they? 

Edited by Tia Dalma

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Rather than be drawn in by the magical sounds of music calling out to normally weary and unaware travelers, Idora seeks it out. It had taken many days for her to traverse the seas, the skies, and the lands of Terenus to finally come upon this particular grove in Elendaron. The forest itself, though ridden with multiple deterring obstacles, was what she had been searching for. 

The music is as beautiful as any can imagine it to be, but those that create it are far more valuable to her toward the progression of a dream. It is with these folk that she wishes to convene, however, what she happens upon is very intriguing. With a few careful steps along fallen leaves rather than allowing her shoes to get sunken in the mud, she moves in on the gathered. Once in the clearing and closer to the willow, she is better able to determine the state of affairs coalescing between them. All four of them being truly unaware of their surroundings or want and need to cross the barrier. Her gaze is met by the back of a woman with fiery hair so very close to crossing the threshold into another realm, a giantess standing in the treeline ready to spear that woman in her exposed back with a very large arrow, and a creature belonging to a race that parallels the world which is sought after.

"They already know we're here...So maybe we shouldn't keep them waiting."

The 'who' and 'what' she so easily skirts around, left without definitive description. They would all find out soon enough. 


 

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0316fb89acc07ba7d1389717703f1e43.jpgManah had no trouble finding the road to the destination of Seinaru Forest. It was a short ride from Athentha. And she felt the travel would give her some fresh air from the stuffy land.

The others would be gathering soon as she lagged behind as she always did. Manah mght be a knight but she wasn't fast among her short stature. But she would find them, eyeing the small group as she cleared her throat.

"Ser Manan Sol-Wren Bastian II, reporting for duty." she declared to the others.

Inside she was afraid, nervous. Would they take to a demon wanting to seek out adventure and to distract from old memories? Manah didn't know as she stood there.

Edited by Rin

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Weben was just about to try and discover the secret to the melody that was coming from the tree, when she heard someone behind her.

“Fiyær lo anêthi. Círhan le?” 

She froze at the low, smooth voice that seemed to come out of nowhere.  She slowly turned to see a very tall beauty holding a bow.  It wasn't pointed at her.... yet.  Her features weren't so much human like as it was fae.  She wasn't as tiny as some of the fae that Weben had been used to seeing, but there were all types and she was no expert.  She cleared her throat, about to point out the fact that she didn't speak this female's language, when she was startled from the side by another clearing of a throat.

"It... sure is something, huh?"

This new creature did look human, except for the pointed ears and the near perfection of her features.  Weben took a guess that this one could be elven.  Weben just stared, wondering what was going on here.  Then another voice spoke up.  

"They already know we're here...So maybe we shouldn't keep them waiting."  

Weben turned in alarm to her other blind side, feeling like she was turning in circles.  "What is going on here?"  she asked in a confusion that was beginning to feel like concern.  Here was another woman with pointed ears.  Was it just a coincidence that they were all here at the same time, standing in front of this singing tree?  Or were they all just drawn to the same thing, unable to help themselves, as Weben had been?  During all of the strangeness, she was soon to be surprised by more strangeness. 

"Ser Manan Sol-Wren Bastian II, reporting for duty."

There was a pause as no one said anything.  Weben began to wonder if the ladies were here together, and possibly on some mission to drive her insane.  She stared at the newcomer with brow furrowed.  "Duty?  What duty?"  She began to back away from the strange scenario.  A moment ago she was alone in the woods, her boots being sucked into the mud as if the land didn't want to let her go forward.  Now she was standing in front of a melodious tree, surrounded by four other strange women.  The sight was a bit overwhelming, not to mention strange and confusing.  She began to back away from the females, feeling suffocated all the sudden from what seemed like an army of pointy eared women.  They farther she backed away from them, the closer she came to the tree.  The closer she came to the tree the louder the music became, making her forget the others standing in front of her.  

A feeling of vertigo hit her, before she felt a strange falling sensation.  Her back hadn't touched the tree, but seemed to fall through it.  She didn't know what was happening, but she seemed to be surrounded by totally different surroundings.  It had a different feeling to the very air, like it was lighter and easier to breathe.  The light seemed softer, and the trees looked more alive somehow.  The willow tree was now nowhere in sight, nor were the women.  She shook her head.  Where was she?  She looked around her and could see a small cottage into the distance.  It looked welcoming and glowing.  She heard the music still, but it was faded.  It seemed to weave through everything, instead of drawing her to any particular thing.  Her senses felt a bit of shock, and she felt tiny tears form at the corners of her eyes.  Then she wiped them free in anger.  She had a little inner dialogue with herself about being a wuss and toughing up, before she began to slowly walk toward the cottage.  

 

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A buzzing entered her ears before she made it very far.  She swatted beside her head, only to feel the pinch of something on her nose.  When she looked at the small creature hovering over her head she stared open mouthed in shock.  It was a tiny fae, no bigger than a humming bird.  She'd never seen a fae so small.  She squeezed her eyes shut and counted to three.  When she opened her eyes again, the fae was still there and even managed to look amused on her tiny features.  What were the chances that she'd go from seeing the tallest fae she'd ever seen, the blue woman that was over seven foot tall, to the tiniest fae that flew in front of her now?  

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Jorahel slinks further backwards into the twilight shadows at the arrival of the snowy fae, the blonde elf, the armored woman. Her hands are steady and sure around her bow, keeping the arrow pointed to the ground but not out of sight of the others.

Interesting, she notes, that these individuals have all assembled in this particular spot, the haunting tune echoing in their ears.

"It... sure is something, huh?" The fae says, placing a hand on the weeping willow. Jorahel eyes the ivory crown upon her head with a dispassionate glance, takes note of the absence of a visible weapon on her person.

"They already know we're here,” the elf says, and she tilts her head at the odd choice of words. “So maybe we shouldn't keep them waiting." Who she is referring to, Jorahel cannot claim to know, so she does not reply for now. The red-haired woman voices her concern—"What is going on here?"—yet she is cut off from continuing by the armored woman.

"Ser Manan Sol-Wren Bastian II, reporting for duty."

Jorahel watches them impassively, her fingers tapping her bow in an impatient rhythm. Who are these women?

"Duty?  What duty?" The red-haired woman asks, slowly backing away from the rest of the group. Jorahel spots the woman’s feet nearing the crevice at the base of the tree, a warning cry ready to fly from her lips—

—and the woman falls backwards. Gods help her, she cannot help the amused lift of her eyebrows at the sudden hush that comes.

“Heinêl lo des,” she says, a small chuckle escaping from underneath the hand she had thrown over her face. If she is to be honest, Jorahel finds herself curious as to what lies within the hollow in the ground. Perhaps she can make a detour, discover it for herself. “Ceírmara.” She clears her throat, switches to the common language so that the women can understand her. “What summons you hither, travelers?” Jorahel gestures to the tree. “Will thou follow her down below?”

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Eirlys looked warily from woman to woman, following their conversation, though not participating in it. She didn't know what to say. How come they had all gathered here? Had they all been summoned by the soothing melody? 

She opened her mouth and let out a small shriek in shock when the red-haired woman suddenly fell into the tree back first, disappearing. 

"Wha-" She looked at the tall woman when she spoke in a language she didn't know, and then continued in the common tongue to ask them a question.

"I... I was just passing through. Follow her? Where to? Where did she go?" Eirlys frowned and crossed her arms insecurely. A part of her was curious to find out what was on the other end of the tree, but at the same time she felt that there was need to be cautious. Who knew what was hidden in this enchanted forest? Perhaps she never should have come here. 

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Weben's reaction toward the group of strangers suddenly appearing as if from nowhere, is acceptable in Idora's opinion. Although a narrow brow rises along her forehead with the redhead's sudden disappearance, shock and surprise do not play a role on the elf's cool narrow features. Pointed as they are, her ears digress to pick and choose the words she deigns to respond to. It is a matter of manner. There are things for her to do and she isn't one to take a personal invitation lightly. How does one receive an invite to a special and secretive land of Fae? By animal of course. Idora's kind nature and tendencies give her an upper hand in dealing with different species not bidden by means of extensive thought or humanoid society. As she holds a preference for those of the living that are unable to defend against the atrocities of the world in the way that the humanoids can. A defender of nature and life, who holds an interesting proposition for a particularly intriguing individual somewhere beyond the roots of the tree Weben slipped through. Directed at each of the women left on this side of the portal, she gives a gentle and polite nod. Belaying a verbal understanding of the influence that the tree offers to each of their set of senses.

"You see, the tree is imbued with a particular magic, so I've been told. But we must tread carefully in the borders our new acquaintance just slipped into. Follow, don't follow...just remember to mind your manners. I have a feeling the being who asked me here is not one....to be...disrespected by any measure. Especially by those of us non-Fae folk." The correspondence between the two from the chittering of animals had not been entirely pleasant, marring Idora's attitude as less than enthusiastic to entertain the whims of one so very high in their own mental hierarchy. Put politely as possible at the forefront of her mind. 

"I am going after her." 

With that, she steps forward and takes a short breath to asses the idea before actually passing through the base of the tree. Having held her breath, not helpful by much, keeps her from tipping sideways from the dizzy-spell wreaking havoc on her equilibrium. But much like Weben before her, she manages to right herself and move onward from the entry spot to ensure that any behind her do not step on her as they come through. 


 

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0316fb89acc07ba7d1389717703f1e43.jpgManah sighed as she didn't know if her approach had been so forceful. Yet the woman was so overwhelmed that she disappeared into another place. She looked at the others as the elf spoke. 

"So, we have to be careful around the fae? I'm sorry about before. Usually when the land I am from, sends me out its for duty missions."

Manah nodded as Idora spoke and then she looked towards Elyris. She looked more frightened than the knight. And it seemed the fae might have disappeared with Weben but she wasn't quite sure. 

However, she made her way among the group wanting to know more about what was going on, and where this would lead them. 

Manah remained on her guard but nervous as all she knew nothing about any of them.

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Weben stared at the tiny fae, her heart speeding almost a fast as the fae's tiny wings.  As quick as a blink, the fairy was out of her sight range.  She looked around frantically, loath to let the small miracle out of her sight.  It wasn't long before she saw the tiny creature again... only this time with friends.  They began to gather around Weben, like a swarm of bees.  Some just flew by to get a look.  Others began to get too close, and Weben could feel the jab or poke of something sharp into her flesh.

"Stop that!" she exclaimed as she swatted at them.  The sound of her voice only seem to make them more agitated.  They began to make this humming noise, as if real bees out to sting her to death.  She didn't know what she should do in this instance.  She'd never been faced with hostile fae before, well, none that were this tiny.  

"It's the sword."

Weben heard the call from the cottage, and looked up to see an old lady.  She was standing close to the cottage, a gnarled staff in her hand made of stern looking wood.  Her very dress and mannerisms seemed strange and foreign to Weben, but her language was a common one.  "The sword?"  She didn't know what that meant, but if the secret knowledge could get the tiny creatures off of her than she'd be more than happy to hear it.

"Your sword, strapped to your back.  It's made of iron.  They don't like that here.  You would be wise to drop it on the ground and get away from it."  The old lady pulled a pipe from her jacket and lit the inside with a tinder of fire.  It began to stream a small plume of smoke from it, as she slowly took a puff.  She seemed unconcerned with Weben's plight, almost as if to shrug and watch the show.  Her pipe bobbed a bit with her puffs, as she waited to see what Weben would do.

Spoiler

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"My sword is my only protection!" she exclaimed in exasperation, as the fae began to buzz louder and poke more viciously.  Some of them were drawing blood, and she could see scratches begin to appear on her skin.  If this kept up, they would flay the skin from her bones, and she'd be a skeleton laying atop an iron sword.  She cursed, and struggled with her sword strap.  The weapon fell onto the ground and she took a few steps from it, swatting as she walked.  The horde of fae seemed to concentrate on her sword, and she could see some of them in the surrounding grasses.  They stood as if to guard the item, tiny wooden swords of their own in their hands.  Weben rubbed her arms where she had still bleeding cuts, aware that those wooden swords were quite efficient.  The farther she walked from her sword the less fae surrounded her, until she was free from the swarm.  She walked closer to the old lady, who was still puffing on her pipe.  "I guess I should thank you.  Those fae wouldn't have stopped until the sword was relinquished, would they have?"  The old lady shook her head and puffed some more on her pipe.  "Uh..." Weben felt suddenly awkward, unsure what she should do now.  "Well, uh, thanks for your help.  I guess I'll be moving on."  She scratched the top of her head, confusion written all over her face.  "Where exactly am I anyway?"  

The old lady took her pipe out of her mouth and squinted one eye at Weben.  "You're in Karmathen, child.  Didn't you know that?"  She cackled as she began to puff again on the unique looking pipe.  

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Jorahel lowers her bow, finally, and stashes the arrow back into her quiver. The women assembled do not seem like threats, but she has lived a life of caution, and so she keeps a hand on a blade hidden within her garments and listens to the conversation.

"I... I was just passing through. Follow her? Where to? Where did she go?" The fae frowns, seemingly perplexed by the situation, and crosses her arms over her chest. Jorahel can sympathize, for she too does not understand.

"You see, the tree is imbued with a particular magic, so I've been told. But we must tread carefully in the borders our new acquaintance just slipped into. Follow, don't follow...just remember to mind your manners. I have a feeling the being who asked me here is not one....to be...disrespected by any measure. Especially by those of us non-Fae folk."

Jorahel hums, nodding in reply to the elf’s words. Caution, always caution, as her elders had told the youth of the tribe, when they had been fickle and reckless, as youth always are. Respect comes with the territory as well, when one is encroaching on foreign ground.

"So, we have to be careful around the fae? I'm sorry about before. Usually when the land I am from, sends me out its for duty missions."

Despite being a fae creature herself, Jorahel simply nods at the armored woman, a tiny smirk curling on her lips. It is wise, she muses, to be careful around the Fae.

"I am going after her."

Jorahel stares as the elf disappears into the base of the tree and does not follow, not immediately. She turns to the two women left and gives them a considering glance. “Adventure calls to those who are bold,” she muses, a faint mischievous light twinkling in the depths of her silver gaze.

It is decided, then.

Jorahel bows to the others and walks to the base of the tree, passing through to the other side with little more than a faint headache. Casting a critical eye at the foreign surroundings around her, she steps forward in the elf’s direction, giving her a firm nod.

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Eirlys stared as first one, then two of the women disappeared into this other world. She sighed indecisively, looking at the ones remaining. This is the kind of thing I need, though, she thought to herself. A proper adventure... That won't be dangerous, hopefully.

"Might as well, right?" She shrugged. If there were other Fae there, hopefully they would be welcoming and not ones of her own kind. She couldn't meet anyone of her own kind... 

She walked the few steps to the spot where the women had disappeared, took a deep breath, and took the last step.

And regretted it immediately. 

She landed bottom first on the ground, head spinning, rubbing her temples with a grimace. Her butt was hurting from the landing, but worst was the headache. Getting on her feet, she took a look around. There was a cottage nearby, and standing there was an old woman. She recognized the woman who traveled here first, her bright red hair standing out. 

A buzzing sound caught her attention, similar to that of a swarm of bees. She tried to identify it and gasped when she saw where it came from. Tiny little... Faes! She had never seen them so small before. They had their attention directed towards something on the ground, and when she took a better look, she saw that it was the red-haired woman's sword. How strange. Taking a few steps towards the little Faes, some of them noticed her and gave up their swarming around the sword. Three of them flew near her, circling around her. One of them grabbed her left wing with its tiny little hand, poking it curiously. She giggled. 

"Stop, it tickles." She turned around to face the little bold one, but it disappeared. She turned her head and tried to find it, and then it was there, suddenly right in front of her face. 

Noticing its tiny little features, she saw that the Fae was female. She had tiny little purple wings and a wooden sword in her right hand. The two Faes stared at each other, each with their own curiosity. 

"I've never seen a Fae as tiny as you," she said, smiling to show that she didn't mean any offense. She thought that she saw the Fae smile, and then she was gone again. They're so fast...! She shook her head, still smiling, and turned her attention towards the little house again. Did the old woman live here, in this parallel world? Had the red-haired woman been here before, or did she come here by accident? It had seemed like an accident... 

The headache was forgotten when she started walking slowly towards the red-haired woman and the old lady, for once letting her curiosity getting the best of her. This world didn't seem dangerous. Her meeting with the Fae had made her think of this world as a place of kindness. Time would tell if her hunch was right. 

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Idora does not immediately engage Weben, merely standing back to watch a swarm of tiny flying Fae do their cumulative duty to ensure the safety of their land before allowing the woman to move freely once again. The other woman, however, catches her diligent attention. Every aspect of her adornment, her words enveloped in thoughtful questions that Idora's mind randomly produces. Although she leaves them mostly unspoken she steps forward toward the two larger beings. Weben already set on exiting the area to continue her solitary travels, and the older woman watching curiously with a dim lit sparkle in her eyes. 

"Pardon my intrusion, but do you know where I might find a Miss Jacklean Gisela Jesme Bower, etc the IV?" Having exchanged letters with the Fae on numerous occasions, Idora knows better than to giggle unceremoniously at the title. At first, it was believed to have been made up from a dramatization of foreign entitlement, only to be found on a return letter that this particular Fae was absolutely serious. "I have here a letter from her, an invitation for a meeting she would like to have with me. As I am not from here, it would be helpful to know where it is that I may begin searching."

From within the folds of her shawl to hold it out, a tiny scrap of paper with an even tinier wax stamped seal adorning the bottom right corner. 

 


 

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0316fb89acc07ba7d1389717703f1e43.jpgManah followed the two into the tree, as she eyed the wondrous surroundings, her eyes widened. She had never seen such sights in all her life. She remained silent as she took in the place. Of course as the elf spoke, she remembered then. 

Scurrying she also pulled out a piece of paper telling her to come and presented it to the fae. Hoping it would appease all standing there. 

Couldn't hurt right? 

Manah sighed softly as she was truly out of her element and it showed. Since she arrived, it had not gone as smoothly as she had hoped. 

Or at least tried. Talians were not good at first impressions like the Athenthians or Lyonessians. And the knight barely interacted with people outside her brigade. 

It was all another challenge to overcome in the end right?

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