Author Topic: Calling upon a Friend  (Read 807 times)

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Offline Wildfire

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Calling upon a Friend
« Reply #75 on: March 17, 2006, 04:25:19 PM »
Ashe smiled wide such that his mouth hurt! "Somehow I knew you were going to ask that. That's a grand idea Maccabeus. Soon enough we will go...perhaps for The Day of the Valley...perhaps sooner. Either way, to see the Vallenwoods spread out once again would be a sight...a sight that even Zebulon would weep at."

Suddenly Wolf began to sniff the air. Maccabeus could see that he was curious to the scent and that he did not feel threatened as he so often is. Maccabeus and Ashe could hear something moving through the growth of the forest. The leaves were big enough that there was enough concealment to block any extended views.

Ashe lost his breath and immediately bent to one knee and began to chant while keeping his eye fixed ahead. Maccabeus curios as the devil tip-toed to see what Ashe was honoring and there it was, a golden stag. It looked much like what Ashe appeared as to him that glorious night. Only this time there was no symbol on the chest. The antlers were silver and the fur was gold. It was as tall as five gnomes and it's antlers were nearly as wide. Ashe quietly says to Maccabeus, "This is an actual golden stag... the ones as seen by your people. It's not one of my brothers...no symbol on the chest."
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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Calling upon a Friend
« Reply #76 on: March 17, 2006, 03:56:25 PM »
Sythus had a firm grip on the forest this morning. Kossuth filtered in through the branches, which proudly displayed their newly grown, brilliantly green leaves. "We speak of the vallenwoods as trees." Maccabeus observed as the trio traipsed through the forest on towards the river and beyond. "But if this one is any indication, these are not trees in our traditional sense. It seems a bit of a shame that it be alone amongst us, so to speak; do you think it possible to travel to the Valley and try to return with another acorn to plant so that our friend might have company of its own sort?"

In the pit of his mind, Maccabeus assumed that these acorns must be rare indeed, since reproduction was seldom a consideration if one were immortal, but the quest seemed admirable, and the thought ought to be pursued.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #77 on: March 17, 2006, 02:24:44 PM »
"Lead on Master Maccabeus!" Ashe says. As they walked through the bramble maze Ashe remarks, "You know...The deer carcass being consumed like that makes me wonder if there is an influence on Vallenwwod. It's certainly not normal growth for a tree like that."

The three continued walking and reached the edge of the maze and entered into open forest. Behind them the brambles moved and rustled to a close. "The Vallenwoods in the Valley are quite ancient. In fact, unless they're cut down, Mahiya forbid, they'll live forever. Well, at least no one has ever seen one die of age. They could very well be the oldest living beings anywhere."
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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« Reply #78 on: March 17, 2006, 02:09:28 PM »
"Stagdrake." Maccabeus echoed. "Got it. Stagdrake." He cocked his head as he tied the last thong around the boar pelt. "One wonders at the origin of such a name. The marriage of the Stag clan to that of the Drakes, perhaps."

"In any event, if he likes to work with bones and such, antlers and tusks one might think more than bones, but we can certainly bring them along from future kills. I think this one was a little young. But look around you...you will note that the deer that Wolf brought in the other day is gone. Bramble breaks things down at a remarkable rate."

"I had gone to sleep on night wondering upon what I might do with the skin and the bones, sinew and such, and it was gone in the morning. Bramble said that he consumed it, much the way Mahiya's children would elsewhere, only much more quickly. Of course, Bramble was kind enough to allow me and Wolf to have our share, but the corpse is gone nonetheless."

He stood up and pulled the rolled skin onto his back, drew up his staff, which he would use to help support his weight on this trip. "Shall we?"
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #79 on: March 17, 2006, 12:49:11 PM »
"It's a good thing he's bringing that skin to Stagdrake other wise in a day or two folks in Threshold would be able to smell it..." Ashe thought

"I'm sure Stagdrake..." Ashe emphasized, "Will be gratetful for the hide. He might even be able to make some gear for you from it if you ask. He was always making Mercer stuff from his kills...the Wolfjaws too. He also likes to augment his stuff with bone carving and such. So if you were able to keep the tusks intact he'd make you a necklace from them."
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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« Reply #80 on: March 17, 2006, 12:16:08 PM »
"Well, the boar itself was fairly small, and if it were only me eating it then yes, it would take some time. But Wolf eats a lot...he's a bit of a glutton that way." Maccabeus smiled mischievously.

"I can carry the skin though, tied in a roll and across my back. I'm not a very adept skinner though. Perhaps Mr. Sagebake can teach me that as well. He'll likely get minimal usage out of this pelt, but some nonetheless."

Maccabeus wandered over to his little camp next to the vallenwood tree as he spoke. He knelt beside the haphazard pile of leather that was the boar's skin and began rolling it as tightly as he could. He bound the whole bundle with parts of itself, enough that he could sling it across his shoulders to carry.

Ashe noted that Maccabeus had a fairly accurate opinion of his own skinning skills. Mercer would likely be having conniptions were he to witness this travesty.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #81 on: March 17, 2006, 11:48:31 AM »
"Oh, yes, of course. I got lost in the carvings for a while there...you understand. How much of the boar do you have left? That could be quite a hefty load to carry...especially for you." Ashe replies.
Wildfire

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Offline Johan

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« Reply #82 on: March 17, 2006, 11:42:22 AM »
"A-yah." Maccabeus replied. "Unfortunately for both of us, I think that we likely need to go. I'll pack up the skin and we can head on into town?"
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #83 on: March 17, 2006, 10:57:37 AM »
Ashe continued to murmur the words upon the stone. As Maccabeus had been single minded in his meditative dance so to Ashe was trance-like in his absorbtion of the ancient etchings.

The murmuring of Ashe sounded much like a bass fluid hissing with an occasional gutteral 'pop'. If the fiery fount could talk it seemed that this would be it's language. The words and sounds reminded Maccabeus of any given tribal circle fire that he had sat at.

Maccabeus suddenly realized that there was a tremndous heat radiating from Ashe. So much that he started to sweat. Oddly enough, the green carpet of grass upon which Ashe sat was unharmed.

Ashe blinked and jerked his head in different directions taking in his surroundings. He was surprised to see Maccabeus standing there. "Ahem...oh,..er...uh...Maccabeus...did you say something?"
Wildfire

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Johan

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« Reply #84 on: March 17, 2006, 10:39:29 AM »
As invariably happens to even the most satisfying of events, Maccabeus's dance came to an end. It was a bittersweet moment; it was always in the back of his mind that he could dance all day and live only in that euphoric world where he was in such close proximity to Istisha, her siblings and her parent, the end was never truly welcome. But at the same time, he knew that were he to stay there, its allure would wear away and he would take it for granted. This was a clash of heart and mind where both need to win and lose.

He breathed deep, settling his pounding heart, and bade farewell his beloved mentors until Kossuth should ride the sky anew.

Looking about the grove he found himself at the Ring, near Akadi's stone. He heard a subtle mumbling from near by and peered around the stone. There, his face close to Kossuth's stone, his eyes squinting painfully, Ashe studied that small tor and his mouth echoed what his eyes took in.

Despite his intense concentration and the painful look of his weathered old face, it was clear to Maccabeus that Ashe was extremely happy. And who could blame him truly? The historian in the elder blended in this place with the priest and the sage. This was one of those times when a man was blessed to have the juxtaposition of his own personal inner triad. A rare moment indeed. Maccabeus ruefully broke the elder's moment.

"Ashe?" He ventured. "Is it time that we be off?" Half of him hoped that it was not. Although Ashe would be able to teach Maccabeus of the various herbs and their properties, he would also be able to teach the gnome of these cryptic languages that are etched upon the stones of the Ring. The secrets to be gleaned from these stones. Maccabeus mused to himself.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #85 on: March 16, 2006, 02:34:51 PM »
Ashe watched maccabeus in his meditative dance. He admired Maccabeus's freedom of his self expression to something that he held so dear. His raw tribal energy was testimony to the baser instincts and needs that Ashe felt was in everyone. He could easily imagine a tribe a gnomes dancing around a fire in the night offering all they had to give to a spirit and unity that they shared.

After a few moments Ashe decided to go and study the stones of the Ring. Each one had carved scripture in the language of the element that it represented. He was guessing that no one would have gone through the trouble of carving it if he didn't have something to pass on. Besides, Ashe had been waiting much of his life for this kind of opportunity and he wasn't going to squander it.
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One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity

Offline Dray

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« Reply #86 on: March 16, 2006, 12:56:11 PM »
This has been an intriguing thread thus far, due to items revealed and still yet hidden. Well done. I anxiously await the next post.

Offline Johan

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« Reply #87 on: March 16, 2006, 10:46:33 AM »
Maccabeus wrung the water from his hair and pushed it in a somewhat tangled mass to the back of his head. "Getting rather long..." he mused quietly.

"Actually, I tend to meditate all over this place. I might start here, but finish there...it's not really a prescribed ritual. But, could you give me some kind of hint as to what we might be going into? As you say, if my balance be put to good use, it might be helpful were I to meditate upon how Mahiya might do whatever it is that we are setting out to do."

Ashe says, "Well, Julius came to me this morning and informed me that our friends at the Thornhedge haven't returned yet. I suspect that when or if they do that they'll need some healing. Depending on how many are injured...if they are...I would like some assistence in patching them up. It would be a great way for you to learn about some of the herbs and their capabilites. I usually heal them with herbs and not Mahiya's blessings. It helps them build their resilience and it maintains my cover."

"Ahh, well there you go." Maccabeus responded. He placed a small hand palm down upon the Vallenwood's rough bark and listened to the rhythm of the growing tree. Breathing in time with that rhythm, he stretched his lungs and rocked gently into the beat.

Dancing had been taken to a more intimate level for Maccabeus since he discovered the Ring of Mists, and since he and Ashe and Jarmok had planted the Vallenwood. He used to dance to commune with nature, now he was more alive somehow during this holy rite, as though he were no longer just speaking with the Divinities, but had become one with their breath.

He capered and whirled, humming along with the Vallenwood and with the pulse of the Ring. He splashed barefoot into each of the rivulets and spread the sacred liquids upon the lush grasses. For a while, Wolf danced with him as Kossuth strove higher in the sky as though to witness the inane patternless semi-squatted spinning movements of the Dale gnome.

Many people would say that during meditation they leave their body and become oblivious to the world around them, but for Maccabeus, he descended deeper into his body and became aware of the world around him far more acutely. Not so much aware of where stones and birds were, but aware of the tendrils of life power that infused his body and connected him solidly to the life that surrounded him. The trees, the grass, the birds, Wolf, Vallen, even Ashe on this day lent Maccabeus their life energies and soused his being with a unique combination of pleasant sensations that reinforced his relationship with all of those beings and critters as well as with the Divinities.

This was in large measure what reaffirmed Maccabeus to his love for the Divinities, on any given day there might be different birds or people, or animals that might lend him their power and perspective. As much as people strove to place order on themselves and the world, Mahiya was a random entity. The bubbling nature of the founts demonstrated that as readily as any river or waterfall did. Thus did Maccabeus model his life on this fine day among a lifetime of fine days.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #88 on: March 16, 2006, 10:05:25 AM »
"Oh please...by all means, meditate. As a matter of fact it'll probably come to good use later. But don't think on that right now. Do as you will Maccabeus. Where do you like to meditate...in the Ring or next to Vallen and the founts?" Ashe says.
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #89 on: March 16, 2006, 09:31:58 AM »
"Umm?alright." Maccabeus agreed. "Why do you need me now?" He asked as he started the largely autonomous task of readying himself for the day. "I've only just awakened, so if you could bear with me a moment whilst I soak my head and gather my staff?"

Maccabeus knelt on all fours and dunked his head under the water of Istisha's rivulet, allowing the crisp liquid to wash the dust from his hair and the cobwebs from his mind. He rubbed his scalp vigorously and then came up for air.

"I've also not yet meditated...will that be an issue? I never feel completely right without my morning meditation; I'm sure you can relate. But if where we're going won't be too long I can do that later this morning. It also doesn't need to be done here, but this is a more perfect spot than any I've ever encountered. The energies are far more palpable, especially now that Vallen sings with me. He's got a wonderful rhythm. It's like singing with the chorus that first graced the lands and introduced the language to the world, you know? I realize that this is not a unique opportunity for some, but it is for a lad from the Dale, I assure you."

He looked up at Ashe then. Both the elder and Wolf were staring bemusedly at Maccabeus and he realized that he was rambling again.

"Sorry." He said embarrassedly.
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