• Solo • Whistle if you Would

54th of Vhalar 721

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks, jungles, mountains, forests and islands of note.

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Woe
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Whistle if you Would



54th of Vhalar 721



They arrived on Immortal's tongue an arc ago. Woe along with Fleaface, carried on the wings of Soz. Woe had been leery of letting Fleaface anywhere near his new ward, Sage, or the dragonling who was named Soz. Although he knew Sage could take care of herself, it didn't stop him from seeing her as fragile as she had been when they four had found her, in the depths of the caverns below Augiery. He had difficulty seeing her as anything other than damaged and vulnerable, but perhaps that was a part of her Naerikk illusion. He knew on a rational level, though, that she was incredibly capable as a hunter and with a bow, and knew how to wrangle all manner of beasts.

Fleaface was hardly the worst creature she'd tangled with, to that end.

So Woe allowed Fleaface, or rather requested that he do so, on their flight to Immortal's Tongue. Once there, Soz nuzzled Woe's hand, and hissed at Fleaface, before taking off with Sage mounted upon her, back toward the house he'd bought from Faith.

Fleaface seemed glad to see the end of the dragonling. "That damned lizard don't sit right with me, master."

Woe shrugged, as they hiked to the northwest, making their way toward where Woe understood the shrine of Moseke could be found. Or at least its approximate location. Sod was close by, clinging to the shoulder of Woe as he looked over the landscape, wondering at all the plant life. He was as yet invisible to Fleaface. Woe wouldn't allow Fleaface to know of his existence, let alone what he might be saying to Woe. Thankfully, the Mortalborn need not speak aloud in order for the diri of Scaltoth to hear him.

"Sod." Woe began. A few bits later, Sod turned his head to attention, having taken in his fill of the surroundings. Then Woe continued, "Sod, you've spoken about a wood that makes for good instruments. But what else can you tell me of it?"

"Hmm." Sod began, and hummed for a bit, then gave his answer, "Other plants don't like it. Roots go deep and wide, to keep it from blowing away from its moorings." Sod said, uncharacteristically wordy for him. But Woe didn't question the fortune of having his familiar speak more freely. He nodded, "Small plants don't like them, the sounds it makes, scare small and large animals alike. Nothing nests in those branches. It is... A lonely thing."

Woe nodded again, and continued beside Fleaface, heading off into the hills that led into Moseke's area of Immortal's Tongue. He not only had a mind to harvest some of the wood from this tree but also wished to pay homage to his aunt, for her support over the past few seasons.

Fleaface spat upon the ground as he headed forward, beside Woe. He said little other than to curse over tripping on this rock or that body ache. Woe had offered to devise some medicines for the old man, but he just scoffed at that, insisting that all he needed was a good cigar to keep his nerves at bay. So Woe paid him with a box of cigars, in order to make the trip.

One of those cigars was in his mouth at that moment, but for all, he smoked like a fire-breathing dragon, Fleaface's mood didn't appear much improved for it.

Woe could swear he could hear the whistling on the wind, the howling over the hills, that persisted in strange tones both high and low, shrieking one moment and melodious the next. He thought perhaps, he was getting close.

"Hmm, yes, Master. We are close." Said Sod, as if he could read his mind. "I think it is near, see how the grasses grow more sparsely here, and no squirrels chirp? We are very close."
word count: 661
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Woe
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Re: Whistle if you Would





They made camp just at the crest of the hill, above which grew a great whistling tree. Woe wouldn’t be able to bend such a large tree entirely to his whim, through Sevrath’s Will, but perhaps he could convince one of the branches, or even a root to depart from the rest of its body. Enough that there would be a thin enough bough for Fleaface to cut with the ax they’d brought.

Meanwhile, Fleaface was bundling kindling and fallen branches that he’d gathered along their way toward the western hills of Immortal’s Tongue. This was where Moseke’s shrine was said to be near, and hopefully, it didn’t mind that Woe’s intention was to steal a branch or root from one of the whistling trees. He didn’t think she’d mind, so long as he took no more than he needed.

In either event, he had a prayer and offering ready for the Stone Maiden. He would bring it out when he found her shrine, but for now…

Fleaface coughed roughly into his hand, as he rubbed them together for warmth. ”We’d best make a fire. I know you don’t freeze your balls off anymore since they fell off in a snowbank in Viden, but y’know? Real people have needs that want to be met.”

His jibe fell on deaf ears as Woe shrugged. Of course, Fleaface didn’t know that he was now blessed by Ziell. And Woe kept his newfound affiliations mostly secret from the man, knowing of his connection tohis mother. It was risky enough to bring him here. Yet what choice did he have? Woe couldn’t handle a wood ax to save his life, and he doubted the tree would take well to a whip cutting off its branch.

”Fine, build a small fire. There’s little enough around here for it to catch upon. No fallen leaves, no trees or shrubberies for many fathoms. It should be safe. But do make a stone ring, at least.”

Fleaface grunted at that, and went about building the fire. Woe would help him light it in just a moment. For now, he was drawn to the soothing sound of the whistling tree. Sod also seemed quite taken by it, given his recent apprehension toward the large tree’s species. It was strange to find a whistling tree so close to Moseke’s shrine. Given that it didn’t foster lesser plant life or even offer a good shelter for animals. He would’ve thought that such a thing’s place in her ‘backyard’ as it were would be challenged at least by her attendants. But he supposed all forms of life were sacred to the All Mother.

Who was he to question it’s place in her midst?

Sod hummed as he clung upon Woe’s shoulder. ”A closer look, Master.” Sod said, urging Woe to get nearer to the tree.

”Would you speak with it? If you can Sod?”

”I will certainly try.” Sod assured him with a pat on the back of his neck. Then he began floating as if clinging to invisible vines in the air as he made his way toward the tree.

There, he sat in its boughs for a moment, scratching his chin. Woe gave him a safe distance, not sure how he should approach the scene in which they found themselves.

Woe could hear Fleaface striking flint to steel behind him, and the flash of fire being brought to life. But he soon shut Fleaface out of his peripheral attention and focused purely on the tree.

With a few moments, he began walking slowly toward the tree. He could overhear Sod’s conversation with the plant if it could be called such. Mostly the diri hummed and hawed, as the whistling wood tree spoke in a strange, multitudinous manner. Like it had many voices, and none of them were easy to distinguish.

Sod looked up at Woe helplessly, ”I don’t…. I can’t understand very well. But I think… it wants you to sing for it master.”

Woe quirked a brow and looked up at the branches. He remembered he’d once told Doran, on their first meeting that he suspected he was tone-deaf. That he couldn’t sing to save his life. That had been not entirely true, at least not literally. Well from a certain perspective, not singing at all at any point in his life would surely mean that he wasn’t a good singer, by virtue of never breaking out into song.

Still, he’d never truly tried. He glanced at Sod, and the diri merely gazed back at him with green eyes, waiting expectantly for him to do what he’d been bid.

Woe cleared his throat and remembered a poem he’d heard a bard singing in Rynmere once, during another Vhalar. He liked the lyrics if nothing else about it. But he thought he could emulate the tune well enough:

”Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.

Hark to a voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
And why should I stay behind?


It was a sad song, one suited to the gloom of this lonely tree’s stand. As he sang, the tree’s lower branch began to take form. He repeated the song, and Sod’s eyes grew wide as saucers while Woe invoked Sevrath’s Will to shape the wood, making it into a straight and narrow branch.

He sang an encore, using the full influence of Sevrath’s Will to shape that tree, and narrow it at the part nearer to the tree, so it could be more easily severed when the time came.

After a few bits of singing, again, he had formed its new shape, and the wildness of the tree had been tamed by his song. He had to admit, he thought his voice sounded… adequate. Not at all what he’d expected. Not great, mind, and it cracked at times on the dryness of his throat, but he was able to hold a note at least.

Sod climbed back onto Woe’s shoulder, and they made their way back to camp. Eventually, in the morning, they brought Fleaface over toward where the branch had been shaped, and he cut it down with his ax, a simple thunk sound, nothing else unusual about it, and the tree limb came loose. Woe picked it up gingerly and placed it into his domain bag. That done, he nodded to Fleaface. It was about time for them to part ways. Woe had already arranged to have Fleaface ferried across the channel back to Scalvoris Town. So they parted ways at that point. It wouldn’t take most of the day until Fleaface got back to the docks, and was able to find his way back.

Meanwhile, he still had business with the Stone Maiden, in thanks for the gift of the tree limb that she’d helped him harvest.
Autumn Song by Sarojini Naidu
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word count: 1231
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Doran
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Re: Whistle if you Would

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Woe:

Knowledge:
Discipline: x 3
Fieldcraft: x 2
Singing: x 1

Loot: 1 limb of whistling wood, uncut/raw.
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: I’m glad that we finally get to meet Woe’s new dragonling! I thought the journey to Immortal’s Tongue was well-written. I have to admit, I smirked a bit when Soz hissed at Fleaface.

That was a great scene!

It would have been interesting to know why exactly Woe wouldn’t allow Fleaface to know about Sod though.

Sod is a well-realized NPC in my opinion. His being a slow, ponderous and patient spirit comes across well here. As for Fleaface … I’ve already told you that I’m fond of him before. I liked how you describe him as smoking “like a fire-breathing dragon”, for example!

And that comment about Woe’s balls falling off in a snowbank in Viden … oh my!

This thread here shows how much Woe has changed. I appreciate that he paid homage to his aunt and that you had him use his new Sevrath abilities here. I don’t think I’ve ever read a thread where Woe sings before, so his singing to the wood was a surprise. I love that you included the actual song that he sang rather than just writing that he sang.

With that being said, enjoy your rewards!
word count: 238

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