• Graded • Lost and Not Alone

Aerlan and Night

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Nightshade Eld
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Lost and Not Alone

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Zi'da 31st, 716


A being wandered through the woods with an airy step, her feet almost didn't seem to touch the ground. They made no sound and barely made a print so it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say she was walking on air. The creature had a large bundle of papers under her arm as she quietly hummed a tune to herself. A large mane of black fanned out behind her, long from ignorance of cutting. In addition a pair of massive black wings curled up behind her. Nothing in this forest could really threaten her, not enough to be worrying, so she had left her cloak at home. Very few people wandered this forest habitually besides herself so the second reason she might wear a cloak was also voided.

A bitter sigh interrupted her song gently rising out of her throat. A piece of hair that had fallen into her face wavering slightly, dancing with the hot breath. Her hair was certainly going to be problematic in a serious fight if she didn't cut it soon, she'd kept it short most of her childhood so she hadn't realized the problems of tending to long hair. At the same time the waist length ebony locks had grown on her, pun completely intended, the thought of cutting them made her sad. "I suppose I'll have to find some way to tie them back. I know other women fighters who have long hair. In fact a good number of the guards and the only female general. I wonder how they handle it..." she mused to herself quietly. Of course long hair for female fighters might be a sign of pride and rebellion against their male counterparts. She'd always got hate for being half avriel, she'd never thought of how hard it might be to be a woman in the line of battle.

She glanced upwards letting her mind wander. It was hard to tell where the sun was thanks to the large swath of clouds blocking any view of the golden orbs. "I need to finish up soon or else I'm going to be working until nightfall," she muttered to herself quietly with a small shiver. Though she was dressed appropriately for the weather that didn't make the bitter cold of the Zi'da dark hours any more fun then they normally were. If she didn't hurry up it was going to be miserable. Not just that but surely she would be chewed out by her coworkers for not getting her job done on time. It was rare she was allowed to do jobs out and about on her own, she didn't want to lose that. Any day was a good day if she didn't have to deal with being yelled at by her coworkers. She pulled out one of the pieces of paper while trying to hold on to the others. She chewed on her lip glancing at the legend and then looking over the rest of the map. She had been given the task of checking the map over to make sure it was appropriately made. She couldn't help feeling like this was some kind of test.

There was supposed to be a small river nearby, or at least she thought. She checked the scale of the map to try and make a decent assessment of how far away that river was. It should be close, just a little ways north if she wasn't mistaken. A noise distracted her from her thoughts as she turned about trying to locate it. It was too loud to be just a random animal. "Who's there?" She called turning towards the direction of the sound. She dropped the rest of her papers, careful not to drop them in a patch of wet, before she pulled out her sword. Caution was better than being dead.
word count: 658
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Aerlan
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Lost and Not Alone

”Explain to me again why you, a soft-handed city-dweller, decided to go traipsing out in the woods?” The shadowy form’s yellow eyes narrowed as they hovered in front of the wheezing Eidisi. ”Etzos is comfortable enough and has plenty of souls for me to taste. This makes no sense.

A small cascade of black hair fell around his face as Aerlan bent over, hands on knees. Breathing heavily, he turned his head just enough for the hair to part around an eye that glared directly at his Harvester. “The elements don’t exactly thrive within the cities. And speaking with only you gets old after a while. You merely complain and demand food. You remind me of a baby. I hate babies.” The Harvester chuckled as his aberrant companion caught his breath.

After a few bits of focused breathing, Aerlan arched back up and heaved a deep sigh. His gaze turned to the woods around him and back the direction he thought he had come. Confusion struck him. It was apparent he had no exact idea which way he’d come from. Was that direction south? North? Glancing up, his sight was only met by a thick forest canopy that blocked out the sun. Well, that’s useless. I’m utterly lost. The Harvester laughed loudly into the surrounding forest. ”Good job, fool. Just use some of that worthless Defiance magic that you think is equal to what I can give you.”

Aerlan nearly kicked himself. He was indeed putting too much thought upon Aberration lately if he could gloss over the gifts his master and the elements had bestowed upon him. Water, the bringer of life. If his Frayed nature allowed for any poetic license, he may have made note of that. Instead, the immediate logic of the thought took him. Aerlan reached within himself to the spark his master had inflamed, and called out. A gentle whisper met his ears, speaking softly with words he couldn’t grasp but still left a sense of calm. This was how the Element of Water sounded to him. It sounded like what he could only imagine loving mothers sounded like when cooing to their fussy babies. Calm. Gentle. Embracing. His thoughts hovered over this for a moment then floated on when he felt nothing at all. A twinge of longing struck him at the lack of feeling, however. Most would feel something…

Attempting to ignore the sudden rise of usually nonexistent emotion, Aerlan turned his focus to the gentle whisper of Water and located the direction it came from. With no sense of stealth and with utmost haste, Aerlan went striding towards the source. It didn’t occur to him that anyone else would be out in this area. The unlikelihood of it was disproved moments later when a voice called out from his left.

“Who’s there?”

Aerlan noticed the voice was higher in pitch so probably a female. His preoccupation with the elemental voice and with his obvious lack of fieldcraft making his footfalls louder than necessary completely overrode the sound of the sword being unsheathed. Still, fear was one of the numerous emotions the sociopath didn’t feel, and he was in the wild. The elements were his weapons if he needed them.

Thus, he called out in turn with his usual monotone, calm voice. “Just a resident from Etzos looking for the source of water near here. I mean you no harm, if that is a worry for you.” Aerlan turned towards the direction the voice had come from and waited.

Why not? It’s been a few days since we last had a taste of soul. And women are all the sweeter, yes? The Harvester spoke within Aerlan’s mind, an edge of temptation going with the words.
word count: 642
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world... No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
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Nightshade Eld
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"Why are you looking out here?" She returned cautiously. "There's water in Etzos. Did you get lost?" She made no effort to hide the distrust and the caution that laced her voice. It didn't mater how at home this man was in the wild, this was just as much her domain as it was his if not more so. In the current situation it could be argued the half breed was in fact at the advantage. Her skills in blade and flight paired together were enough to make her a match for a great many powerful warriors. Mages were a bit troublesome to deal with, but certainly it would take more than an amateur to outwit her sword and sky skills.

She glanced down at her map once more. Perhaps what she was about to do was a bad idea... "What's your name? I'm a map maker from Etzos, if you're lost or trying to find something specific then I might be able to help you," she said. Her voice was easy and flowed like silk after becoming a touch more relaxed, but there was an edge of warning in the bottom of her voice. It was hard to detect but there. And by no means was her warning an overstatement. However the edge in her voice could easily come off as her trying to hide her fear to the unobservant. She sheathed her blade and gathered up her papers before she actually caught sight of the man, or he caught sight of her for that matter. A good number of trees and bushes still separated the pair.

"The river is over this way a little if you're still trying to find it," she commented looking at her map and taking down a couple of notes as she glanced about herself. "Just let me recheck the latitude and longitude..." she muttered looking down at the piece of paper in a slight puzzle. When you added math to anything or anything to math it instantly became ten more times confusing. Numbers had a very similar effect. A lot of important parts of a mapping had to do with numbers. If she was ever going to be able to properly work on her own that she had to be able to do the proper calculations. "Wait... that mountain doesn't go there. Did he really give me a faulty map on purpose? It's got the wrong degrees too, it's completely off. I joked about him trying to test me but I wasn't being serious," she said quietly with a look of both confusion and anger. "Doesn't matter. I can fix it easy enough. I know the area well enough at this point," she huffed with a small shake of her head.

She ended up dropping her papers on the ground all over again and trying to pull out a bottle of ink. "Damn, I need a flat rock or something. Why didn't I bring any sort of writing board or anything? This would be easier if I just brought a stick of charcoal, but no they wanted the correction to be in ink! What does it matter what it's in when you can't even read it." She was half paying attention to Aerlan and whatever he might be telling her. She didn't seem threatened by him in the least. After she had sheathed her sword her wings had curled around her slightly blocking it from view, she herself seemed to be completely harmless. Other than the sharp and dangerous looking claws which adorned each digit of her hands.

"I really have nothing better to do, so I'll take you wherever you need to go as long as you don't mind my correcting this stupid map along the way. The things I do for my stupid pay check," she said the last line little more than an angry mutter in a breathy tone. To a normal person, she would seem at least a little strange by now, but she could care less. Either he took her offer or not, it didn't make much of a difference for her. He could think of her whatever she wanted.

A long stretch of silence came between the two, neither one really saying anything to the other. If he was contemplating taking her deal, then it was taking way too long because the trills quickly turned into bits. And after 5 bits too many she was starting to feel annoyance pricking at the back of her mind. Perhaps it was better this way anyhow. She was getting an eerie kind of feeling from him, something dangerous. Without a doubt, he wasn't the safest person to be around. She could tell that just from the prickling sensation at the best of her neck. It was always better to trust one's instincts. Even though she was brave enough and in her mind strong enough to escort someone to town even if they were potentially dangerous, it didn't necessarily make it a good idea. As the time passed in slow, quiet silence the sensation of dread only seemed to creep further and further up her and down her body, chilling her blood slightly.

She wasn't going to take a chance if something was this off and the man wasn't even going to speak to her. "You could have just said no," she said, spreading her wings quickly and pulling herself into the air before he could pounce at her in some kind of attack. She didn't want to be around the strange man anymore. Flying away quickly she resolved that she never wanted to meet the man again. He was a strange person and it would be better if they just never crossed paths.
Last edited by Nightshade Eld on Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 977
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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Lost and Not Alone

Nightshade

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Oh an abandoned thread and, I suspect, a job thread too! I hope you got to do the job that season! Anyhow, lovely writing - I love how Night is just a bit snippy / lacking patience here. It was very nicely written, very well done. Lots of attention to detail too. Good work! Thank you for bringing it up to word count, too. Appreciated!

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word count: 89
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