Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Menhir Wakes


Duilliath
(@duilliath)
Citizen Noble
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 484
Journey starter  

 

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The Stone had stood in this place for a millenia.  Those who came upon it, tended to avoid the strange circle of trees with the standing stone on its little round hill.  The men, the elves and the druids who would occasionally set eyes upon it, called it The Fool.  None knew why.

 

Once Upon a Time in the Rosewood

The Rosewood... well... one could say it slept, but that wasn't quite correct. It was alive, it was... aware... in its own peculiar fashion. It waited.

It did not have to wait long.

In the deep glades, east of the Merchant Road and southwest of the strange Waters of the Glow, there stood an old stone menhir. The ground it stood upon was raised, a little, from the surrounding forest, but it, like everything else, was covered in trees. Near the apex of that hill, the stone sagged crookedly, moss and lichen coating it with a pattern that resembled, from Ages past, an old traveler's cloak. A very specific cloak. One that was as well-known as its wearer was... Once Upon a Time.

The stone was surrounded by a circle of turf, which was itself lined with trees of many types and kinds. Some common, like the Ash, Oak, Birch... and others less so, like the Rowan or a strange tree with fan-shaped leaves that tended toward gold when the weather turned cool.

The Rosewood Waited.

There was a sudden explosion of movement, and birds of various types suddenly took wing. In the undergrowth, smaller animals huddled as this sudden explosion of sound and movement erupted. The birds flew off in all directions, dark, white, brightly colored and drab, they all scattered like so much sand in the breeze.

The air around the menhir shimmered for a moment. A strange, oval glowing pattern emerged filled with bright motes of energy that flared and small arcs of colored lightning filled the space around the standing stone. Then came the sound, like a thousand shouting voices, and crash of waves on the shingled beaches of Leyton and the Southern Marches, and the soft hiss of a breeze that passed through the oat, wheat and rye fields of Amenee's farms.

All along the stone's surface, there erupted in long-eroded runes and swirls and pictographs, bright bluish white light. Like a thousand lightning bolts or the fire that glowed in the heart of a star, it flared around the stone where it touched the Worlde, it seemed to warp, as from a stone pulled from the fire warps the air - or the air itself dances in the Austere Desert.

The light began to recede and coalesce; suddenly with an absence of sound, there seemed to be a hole - and visible through it was another place. A place that burned and bled. There was something in that opening. Limned in light, limned in shadows it stepped from the stone, stepped out of the stone... or simply appeared. There were no mortal witnesses to this arrival. A figure slowly resolved, tall, burnished in scale and ring armor, bearing a great spear in one hand that dripped something vile from its blade.

It was a spear that was made for slashing.

In the figure's other hand was a swirling mote of Power, of light, heat, shadow and sorcery. As the figure became solid, the light... the energy seemed to shrink back into the mote, until it flickered and went out entirely.

The figure, that had been standing tall, sagged against the menhir and swayed a bit, as the door behind him slowly closed. Shadow bits and shadowstuff slipped in after him, unnoted for the moment.

The figure looked up, from the shadows of a helm and tasted the air. It was a familiar refuge, one that had welcomed him an Age past.

He had returned. Silence reigned again.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
(@duilliath)
Citizen Noble
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 484
Journey starter  

He stood next to the menhir, the odd patterns of lichen, moss and even the drawings looked eerily similar to the cloak he wore. The stone in his hand was exhausted, as he was exhausted. He took a step away from the stone, holding out one hand to the pair of slightly pulsing lights at his hip. "Hold, cushlas, the crossing was hard and you protected my back in the retreat. Go... find your rest. When I need you, my Cu-cushla, I will call for you. Go." The two shapes, vaguely canine, seemed to grow more solid, then vanished.

He took a moment, breathing the air. He could feel the earth beneath his booted feet - boots spattered with the mud of another world, the blood of other enemies, and probably friends - and while it was familiar, it was oddly different. The place was free of the taint of the Nathair, and he took a deep breath sighing his relief.

The last time he had come here, he had not been out of options, he had been pursuing Raivynn, who was long since passed beyond his ken. Now, he was alone, as he had been for most of the years of his long life, and with infinite care, he extended his awareness to his surroundings.
The figure looked up, dark eyes unfocused, and read the signs in the sky.  Regrets warred in him, but this was an old refuge, both the Worlde he now stood in, and the guilt and recriminations he felt. 

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
(@duilliath)
Citizen Noble
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 484
Journey starter  

Once he established that he had not been followed, he moved partway down from the hill and leaned against one of the rarer trees that formed the ring.  He touched its silvered grey bark, only slightly rough under his fingertips. “Aye, aye… Quioun… I’m back. I’m pleased you remember me,” he had planted this one as a sapling long ago, and Quioun’s roots ran deep into the soil of the Rosewood.  

“I think a bit of a breather is the first order.” He glanced at the portal stone, now dead and shiny grey in his hand, with the use of its magic, it was like not a very heavy lump of stone now.  He shrugged off his field pack, unbuckled it and sank to the turf.  After a time he started to sort out what was left: the detritus of a Kingdom followed in his wake. The meager leavings of a life squandered.

The rock went into the turf as he pulled the other items from the too-thin sack.

 

it wasn’t going to take long to inventory.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
(@duilliath)
Citizen Noble
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 484
Journey starter  

It did not take long. 

First, he took off his gloves and the shadowy helm.  The features beneath were sharpish, as though they had been Dreamt, rather than 'grown', a strange angularity to them that was pleasing to the eye.  Dark reddish brown hair, the color of mahogany stain tumbled out of its braid, damp with sweat.  The cowl he pushed back, the soft greenish grey formed a kind of collar or scarf over the mail he wore. The outside of his cloak was a mottle of patches:  moss-green, brown, russet, yellow, black and grey.  Underneath, though, was a hint of a more orderly color pattern:  grey, green and purple formed a striking pattern.  Only a little of it was visible.  The spear he leaned on the ground, cleaning the blood and ichor from it with a cloth, and he repositioned the blade at his belt to better accommodate a seated position.

He finished after looking through a few sacks that were in the travel pack with ordinary traveling gear, plus a few flasks and a small metal bowl;  while the light ruck sack held somewhat more precious mementos: a small amethyst brooch with an ornate knotwork on the pin, a handful of very smoothly polished moonstones and amber, and a carved flower medallion in the shape of a sunflower.  The bronze chain that held it previously was gone, lost somewhere on the battlefield in Verikentät, lost with all his friends, allies and anyone who had taken his part in that great conflict.  That World was sealed, it kept the others safe, for now.  But it had doomed any who were not cast adrift by the Kylvö sorcery he had, in part, worked.  Hopefully, it would give him some breathing space, and he would hope against hope that some of those who had stood with him against the Other had survived and would rejoin him. 

He started awake, suddenly, realizing too late that he had fallen asleep.  For a moment, upon waking, he thought he had seen three pairs of eyes - different shades of greenish fire, gleaming in the half-light.  He yawned, stretched, and cast about for a direction.  

Northeast.  South.  Power lay in both directions.  He recalled the Power in the South was less wholesome and instead, resolved to set out to the Northeast, toward the ancient heart of the Rosewood and the Glow.  If there was anyplace where he could heal the lesions on his Spirit, the ones that limited his Power, it would be there.  

He rose and put a hand on Quioun's strange trunk and spoke to the tree softly, "Keep watch, Friend.  The Storyteller, the Traveler, the Dweller in Shadow under the green bids you do so.  I will return."  So saying, he turned to step off into the Rosewood, heading toward it's depths, when he looked down.

At his feet, looking up at him as though he had been waiting a thousand years and was rather annoyed at the delay, was a medium-sized black and white cat. "Máluð Baun?" he said, reaching down to pick him up.  "Can it really be you, Baun?"

The cat looked back at him inscrutably as he was lifted up.  It meowed reproachfully.  The Traveler closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to that of the cat, smiled, and then made space for the feline in his ruck.  

This was good luck.  He had no doubt he would be successful now.  With that, Duilliath (probably) the Last of the Aescbourne, moved into the Rosewood, headed into its near depths.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Duilliath
(@duilliath)
Citizen Noble
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 484
Journey starter  

(OOC: to Enchanted Forest of the Rosewood: Grænn Salur, Western Rosewood)

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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