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The origin of Berry

Faeries are a peculiar bunch. No one ever really finds them; in fact it is usually the opposite. The Fey tends to come around when not wanted, but a meeting with one will always leave you changed; whether for the better none can truly say. One such meeting was when an Elven prince stumbled into the Feywild due to a miscalculation in his transport spell.

Knowing the time magics of this realm he decided it best to rest up prior to setting out again. During his rest, he dreamt of a beautiful being who seemed to have elfish features, from at least what he could see of her. Staring for too long blurred the vision and gave pain to the eyes. A blink and she was gone, another and she was standing behind him, sniffing at him in curiousness.

“What brings you to my realm of the Prism Meadow?”, asked the woman with a voice that if listened to hard enough could detect at least 3 distinct vocals. Taken aback by her forwardness, nothing like the elves back in his kingdom, he coughed to gather his thoughts before interacting with this — thing? Being? What was she?

“I am High Prince Lah’ lanithil, son of the King of the Forest and Weaver of the Stars; and I offer my humblest apology if I in anyway barged into your realm. I happened upon this place when I was working on a new transport spell. If you’ll have me for the day, I will leave once I recover my energy and not bother you anymore.”

She tilts her head in thought and stares hard at the little Elf prince with her cat-like slits. A small, ever so subtle, grin appears on her delicate featured face. “Grand Mr. High elf, you mean to tell me that one of your stature comes into my home unannounced and asks to stay awhile all while presenting me with no gift to give my favor? You wound me.” She feigns distress and trying her best to hide that grin of hers.

Flushed the prince bows, “I offer my deepest and sincere apology, but I have not on me save for the clothes I wear. I have no gift to give.” A quick flash in her eye and that sly grin barely showing now. She puts her hand over her mouth to hide it and feign contemplation.

“I believe there is a gift you can give and gain my favor to rest here until you regain your magic once more. All I ask is for a simple offering. You see I don’t get many visitors here in my realm of the Wilds and I do so love company. I happen to dabble in magics as well and have recently finished a formula for a ritual to create what you would consider a person of company……. A friend some say? But to complete my spell I need something not of this realm; it requires a vial of blood, a lock of hair, and a single thing of importance from the same person.”

The prince ponders for a moment, “I see no reason not to aid you if it will allow me safe passage until my leave, but I have nothing of importance on me.”

“Nonsense, you silly Elf.” Her eyes begin to light up a hint of yellow not seen before, “You could give me your title. What’s a little title to a elf prince? I’m sure you’ll get more down the line. Weaver of Stars does sound so pretty too.”

Thinking that this woman must be mildly out of her mind, what could a title do for a spell anyway? Believing he got the better end of the deal he agrees; filling up the vial, cutting a small bundle of hair, and “I offer up to you my title of Weaver of Stars in accordance to our deal.”

Then,

Darkness.

Never-ending darkness.

The feint sounds of laughter can be heard before sight is brought back to him. Standing next to his father, the King of the Forest; but there seems to be something wrong. Why are guards surrounding me? He goes to speak but no good, his voice is gone. “Take this failure of a son away. I must start my line again….. He has no magic.” No magic? That’s impossible, he is the Weaver of Stars; a title given to those who are strong in high magics……… But wait, he gave up his title to that woman didn’t he? Did she somehow take his magic as well?

Darkness consumes him once more.

Finishing up her ritual the mistress of the meadow speaks the final word and winds begin to sweep up around her, covering her sight of the magic circle. After a few moments the wind dies down revealing what appears to be a baby half-elf. Picking up the child, “It is done then. My son has been born and I shall soon walk among the material plane once again. You’re name shall be Berry Meadowgem.”

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Party with a Raging River

In a previous post I had started a story for one of my favorite characters I’ve made: River. This post will be where I input ideas for her own little ‘adventuring party’. Best way to think of it as an Evil D&D Campaign.

Lilliara Sunkist was a beautiful wood elf with thick curly auburn hair and green almond eyes. Since a child she had been gifted in the natural arts of Druidry. She was taken in and apprenticed to the elder seer of her kingdom, and for most of her young life up to blossoming adulthood she trained with her master day in and out. She would meditate for weeks on end uninterrupted while being connected and nourished by the nature around her. While her greatest strength was her connection, it was also her worst weakness. One day while in the middle of her meditation she began to feel pain creeping up her. Slowly at first, starting at the tip of her toes; then rushing up and ensnaring her heart. With a gasp she came to only to see that her home, the kingdom she loved so up in flames. An army of humans, orcs, and other beasts of nightmares come to conquer. Fearing for her own safety she ran. Ran until she could no longer feel the pain of the world burning behind her. Making it into a hidden alcove she fell from exhaustion and wept herself to sleep. Bright lights. The whispering sounds of animals. A faint breeze bringing with it the smell of…….. what was that? Her vision blurred and thrust upon the wondrous forest she lived, now aflame. She was forced to hear the relentless screaming of the animals, the trees themselves wept in sorrow to what had become of their own brethren. She cried, begged for this sight of horrors to end; yet it continued. Then blackness, and….. is that a voice? “Lilliara. My dearest child, why did you run from me? We had spent so much time together, I thought you cared enough to protect me from harm.” The voice seemed so familiar, almost motherly, but had an ancientness to it. Was this the spirit of the forest from her home? With coarse voice and tears welling up, “Please forgive me! I ran for I was afraid. I…” Her voice cracking, unable to keep her head aloft. “I did not want to die, and in my fear and lack of knowledge I ran.” A gentle light glimmered faintly above her and she felt a hand on her shoulder. So warm, yet firm. Overcome with guilt she begged the spirit to forgive her. Pleading that she would vow to give all the rest of her long elven life to redeem her failure here. A pause. Was the spirit contemplating on her bargain or thinking leaving her alone in her own grief. “It was the civilized world you come from, and it was the civilized world that wreaks it’s anger and death upon my body. I only ask a single thing from you, my dearest one. Bring civilization back to its roots. Bring the power and beauty of nature to the whole plane of existence and topple the hatred made by the civil lands.” Confusion shown on her face clearly. Did the spirit of the forest want her to kill? To take a life is such a taboo in the teachings. “Am… Am I to kill these people?” She could feel a gaze intensify upon her whole of a being, “You are to kill all. From the lowest of urchins to the highest of nobility. Once that is done and all are brought back to nature, then I will start a new era. One where the being of my own creation will live in tandem with nature. Do this and I shall grant you the power of the titans themselves.” She hesitated, why wouldn’t she? Her life is being turned on it’s head and she is being told to be forgiven she must kill. “Will you make the world pure again? Will everyone be part of the cycle?”, she asked. “They will.” Standing to meet this light she hardened her heart for the coming years, “Then I accept this gift.”

 

Totem was not born of a natural birth like most who walk the world. He was made. When the races have clashed wars over centuries the damage to the world itself becomes deep. Back, in the age of the gods, Elder Titans roamed the world. Living embodiments of the elements themselves. But the Age of the Gods came to an end due to jealousy and greed. A truce was made and all of the ancient beings left the plane of existence to be on their own, so as to not destroy the world they crafted from the stars all those eons ago. But in recent years the damage to the world had become to great and the Elder Titans took notice of this pain and became furious; unable to pass the divine door separating the planes, they came up with a plan to create a being with shreds of their own essence into existence. A mountain far off into the west of the world, where man was few and beast was great, began to rumble. Each year the quakes grew stronger and lasted longer. Ten years these powerful quakes shook the continent, until the mountain itself exploded. A single man rose from the crater and rubble. Nude, with tanned skin and a bald head decorated with black tattoo lines and a simple necklace hung around his neck with a small wooden totem. Opening his eyes he heard angered voices in his head, “You have been made from our very beings. We have granted you our power in order to damage the races as they have us. Your birthright, is their death. Go forth and do our bidding Totem, Shaman of the Elder Titans and Bringer of Nature’s Anger.” Without a word he nodded and began on his journey into the world.

 

Renagog was a Demon Prince. One of the few high ranking ones as well, but with demons dealing in politics these days he became bored and turned his attention to the plane of mortals. He looked for some puny life to give him entertainment. A king? No, that has been done before and an old trick at that. Nobles? Hmm, about as fun as a brick wall those are. Then his gaze shifted onto a simple man; a woodcarver. This man seemed as unimportant as a piece of dog shit on a shoe, but he had delicate hands that allowed his craft to come to be beautiful, even to a demon. A grin cracked across his face, “Perfect.” He came to the carver in his dreams, giving him inspiration for something he never seen before. A golem? No, it was too small. But with compartments and hollowed spots it could become an assistance to all. At least that’s what the carver thought. The more he made the more the pact was being sealed. After his fifth puppet, the carver gained insight to improve his designs with forging. He learned the craft of smithy after apprenticing with the local armorer. More and more beautiful puppet golems were made, and the stronger the pact became until one day when the carver finished his current project. He stepped back to admire his work and praise the gods for giving him inspiration for these masterpieces, when a deep, dark voice echoed in his home. “You have done well mortal, but there is one task left you must do for me. I have been the one giving you the ideas to make these marvels and I am the one whose name you should praise! But your time is now over and I shall collect on what I am due.” The carver’s world darkened and all he could hear was the laughter of a man. A man whose voice sounded like his own. Opening his eyes he sees his own body with eyes of deep lavender staring back. “This vessel now belongs to the Demon Prince Renagog. Be gone low life!” With a flick of his wrist the soul of the carver that was staring horrified at his own body dissipated into mist and disappeared from the world. Staring at the creations he pondered to himself, “Hmm, I’ll have to do some final touches for my own pleasure; then I’ll set out upon this plane and wreak a havoc not seen since the War of the Gods!”

A Tarnished Light

Liem Gynthwen was no noble, nor no knight in fine polished armor; he was a simple man form a simple family with a simple dream. He wanted to join the ranks of the Paladins and uphold the laws and justice of the land to keep those precious to him safe from harm. Spending his first 5 years in the order as a stable-hand, he learned how to care for the proud steeds of the order and the long tradition of humility to keep the Paladin grounded and not haughty. His next 10 were of squire to a noble who seemed to get to his current position from giving ‘donations’ to the order, as to Liem it seemed the noble either didn’t know or care what the tenets of the order were. He tried to voice some mild concerns to his knight, but was reprimanded heavily for meddling in affairs not worthy of his position. The last 5 years of his apprenticeship to the order he learned combat training and how to channel the light to heal the sick and wounded.

Now comes the day when Liem will be promoted to rank of Paladin and fulfill his dream. Twenty years of his life culminate to this single moment. It is if time slowed as he walked down the aisle of the citadel. He could hear the proud tearful cries of his family, the High Paladin striking a match to light his candle, and a strange muffled sound he never heard before. “Where was it coming from?” “Should I go to it and aid the one in need or continue with the ceremony?” Looking around quickly and he saw very few of the actual order here, most were the townsfolk who came to cheer him on. “Most of the Order is on patrol, I’m sure someone will assist.” But there was a trickle of doubt. The faint sound of panic; did he hear it right? It almost sounded like it came through beneath him. “Impossible, none are allowed below the citadel unless the High Paladin invites them and he is here with me now.” Shrugging the doubt from him he proudly walked up to his senior and recited the vows, tenets, and pledges all perfectly to complete his ritual. As he stood, he rose anew and could feel the Light of his faith rushing in him. A sturdy hand on his shoulder with whispered words, “Come below the Citadel when we finish up here. We must finish the rest of the ritual with only those of the Order.”

Following the High Paladin below he entered into a room with nothing to see but a simple hand carved chair. “Sit and prepare to absorb the Light of faith.” Confused, looking around the room he could notice if he squinted and focused there were other people hiding in the shadows. “Your grace, I do not understand. When I rose up earlier I already felt the Light in me.” Slow movement out of the left shadow came the Paladin he squired under. Pointing a greasy finger to Liem, “See? I told you all those years ago, he has no place here. Not anymore!” Offended by this accusation Liem retorted, “What are my crimes to be accused of not being permitted into the Order right after my ceremony? If you have no proof, I humbly request you rescind your false accusations and pray for forgiveness.” The greasy noble Paladin shook with rage, “You see?! He will destroy us all! Everything we’ve worked for! He will ruin HIS plan!” “SILENCE! Know your place Seytruhn!”, ordered the High Paladin. That last statement confused Liem, the Light was of a woman goddess. Why would the noble say for a man? Quickly, for he felt fear creep into him like the cold grasp of the grave in his heart, he let out a prayer to the Light to shine in this room and show any darkness within. As he is finishing his prayer the High Paladin turns and notices what he is doing, “Stop him! He’ll see HIM.”

Too late, a warm light, like the touch of a loving mother swept through the room. It passed through Liem and gave him a sense of peace and faith, but when it touched all the others of his Order in the room they shrieked falling to their knees; a single being stood in the center of the room. He stood behind the chair that was offered to him to sit not a few moments ago. This being seemed human by right, by you could not see his face. Shifting shadows constantly obscured any features, but Liem was sure, this was where the chill he felt was emanating from. Holding out the symbol of his Lady, “I, Paladin of Her Light, command you unknown one to show me your face. Her Light demands no secrets in this place of worship!”  The shadows swept away revealing a face on a noble man. A face he’s only seen from far away, yet could recognize it even if he only say it for a fraction of a second. “Your majesty? You are the dealer of the dark magics tainting the order?” A sly crack of a grin crept slowly across the King’s face. “Good knight, this Order hasn’t seen the Light of Her Lady since the last cataclysmic war War of the Titans. We have had the Paladins in our pockets and a lowly little nobody townsfolk with stop with my plans!” The kings face twisting into a sneer and began to chant ancient words of power. Thinking quickly, Liem turned and ran out the hallway, back up and out the Citadel. Only when he made it to the center of town did he notice that none followed him. Running through the city he passed by some of the Order. They all watched him with dark pupil-less eyes and the same smirk the king had, yet none gave chase.

“I still have my Lady’s Light to protect me. I must leave this town at once and people, anyone, who will believe my story.” Making it to the gate of the city and out into the surrounding hills, he finally stopped and turned to take one last look at his home. “I promise on the Light of my faith, I shall return and set you free.”

 

His story will continue into the next post. Please stay tuned.

Guest: A Fox’s Memoir

She should have listened. She should have taken the warnings to heart.

A woman sits lazily in a pile of pillows that envelop her body, her clothes draped around her as if they can barely grasp her figure. She is preoccupied; lost in thought, she tries and fails to remember her given name. For so long she has been called dangerous, full of madness, she took the word itself as her name: Kyouki.

It wasn’t always like this. Oh, how glorious the days when her sisters would tussle and play under the willow tree. How she longed for the soft steps of her grandmother on the bamboo floors. Her heart ached to hear her mother’s soothing yet firm voice chiding and warning, yearned for the fights with her cousins over silly things.

Fate is a cruel mistress.

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She should have listened. She should have taken the warnings to heart. See him no more, her mother scolded, his presence raises my hackles. Clearly her mother knew nothing of love! She was just jealous; embittered by her own betrayal in her youth. Hikari (was that my name? I don’t know) knew she had never felt this way before; her mother didn’t understand. In secret she would sneak out to meet him. Baring herself to him, they had a moment indescribable.

But this night he… smelled different. Was that…?

Ha, of course not! No, of course not…

Once again, she bared herself to him. Once again, he took delight in her.

But tonight, was it her imagination? He seemed stiff, his movements too careful, his eyes too dark. She reached up to cradle his face; he flinched. A question passes on her face. He pulls away for a moment then

suddenly a searing pain across her chest. She only moved by instinct, triggered by his answer – cold, brutal eyes looked back at her.

Izanami (was that my name? I don’t remember) didn’t understand, only her body knew something was wrong.

Smoke?

She glanced to the west – was it almost dawn? No, the sun rises in the east…

She stumbles, then realizes she has an ugly gash. The scent of blood fills her nostrils and panic begins to grip her.

Then a blur from him. He actually means to kill me?

Terror strikes her before he. As she throws up her arms in defense, her spirit releases her well of magic all at once: an explosion of fire erupts from her as hot as the passion she once had for him. Her sundered love turns him to ash at once. She doesn’t see him leave by the wind.

She doesn’t notice that her body moves seemingly on its own. All she wants is to be at home. She wants her mother, her grandmother. She wants her bed, her pillows. She wants this nightmare behind her. She barely notices when she crumples to the ground.

Smoke?

Screaming catches her attention. She looks up; she stands in front of the courtyard of her home. Someone has set the house on fire. She sees her sisters torn to shreds on the ground before her, the pool under the willow crimson with their blood. Her vision is turning black. Another scream; her eyes fall upon two people on the porch. One stands above the other, a flash of light, then red. It registers that her mother too has been slaughtered.

Blackness swallows her.

So long ago…

So long ago, the nightmare seems so distant.

So much pain, so much agony. Kyouki touches the only scar to never have healed properly – the jagged bolt that runs from the middle of her chest across her ribs and down her side.

She turns her attention to the field below her. A group of soldiers has gathered to train. One among them stands out: a brilliant man whose azure scales glint in the sun. His moves are almost like a dangerous dance, a romantic tango of blades. Kyouki knows this one has been gawking at her when he thinks she isn’t looking. Adorable, really.

She wonders how long he can remain stoic in front of her. She wonders if he will notice his missing piece of gear. She wonders.

He notices her watching and bows to her. Honestly, too adorable.

The Dark Divine

He was only a young child when he found out about his magic. He would read books and attempt to memorize spells to show off to his twin sister. One day he found a book that he read as being able to make a friend to play with. So he prepares the Ritual for over a month, slowly adding to it to gain more power. Then when it is finished he brings in his sister to show her their new friend. He casts the spell and out of a portal of black infinite steps what looks like a divine angel. Who takes the boys magic and moved it into his sister, then strikes the boy down. The being looks at the fear streaked across the girls face and says, I have given you what you have wished for in your heart, magic. But in exchange I took your brothers life. Equal exchange for power, you can never just take. If you wish to take your anger out on me and my kind, get stronger and come to the divine plane where we angels reside. He then walks into the portal disappearing, and re-emerging from it in hell. The demon smiled a twisted grin as he now had his weapon to fight the light side.