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Old December 11, 2009, 03:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Catnap] Sisterhood of the Traveling Tree [Ensnare]

The Fourth Cycle in Immanis
in the Season of Winter, PF XVII

Aydyn looked up from where she was crouched amid the trees, her blue-gray eyes seeking out the tiny figure that had, just moments before, zipped past the tree-line, darting through the tall-grass of her yard in pursuit of a bouncing, tan-furred feline. She could just discern Noah's figure situated within the grass, shielded by long, lush green stems...could just discern the sound of her giggling, happy voice as she babbled, presumedly to the flower weaver Honeysuckle, with whom she had formed a rather interesting friendship. Still there. Still safe.

She straightened, adjusting the fit of the cloth straps that wrapped around her back. Behind her, Evan fussed slightly, displeased with being confined when she would have much rather been crawling awkwardly about in the dirt, probably shoving her chubby little fists into every little thing she could get a grip of...and then promptly placing it in her mouth. She was rather adept at these infant tactics at that point. As much as Aydyn would have loved to set her smallest daughter on the ground--her back was aching--she could no more do that than she could cut off her own arm. It was simply too dangerous.

With both daughters firmly in mind, Aydyn cast a glance over the space in the dirt that she had finally cleared away, rocks and sticks shunted to the side to leave an expanse of moist brown-black dirt, its surface smoothed and mostly devoid of markings. She'd wanted a pristine surface, although she had not needed one; Aydyn did not summon creatures often.

She drew in a deep breath, held it, and stepped back, bending again to retrieve the long stick she had set aside. Very carefully, Aydyn set the tip against the ground and began to trace a circular pattern into the dirt, etching a Circle of Arcana into place with practiced ease--at least this part she knew and understood, having crafted more than her fair share in recent eras. Once the Circle was traced onto the ground, Aydyn began to draw energy from in and around her, twining it together and letting the arcalysis shift her into the Nature Plane. There she began to funnel off a small amount of Essence, wrapping it among the arvis. Aydyn did not begin to shape the raw Mana, but instead instilled it with a purpose: Keep whatever what is within the Circle inside of it; let nothing out.

She detached herself from the raw Mana and rocked back on her feet, steeling herself as she drew in a deep breath. The narrow stick from the woods was set aside and instead she picked up her staff, grasping it with a firm confidence and comfort that usually cycled through the woman when she settled into her element. Clara settled around her, lean and familiar, and the young woman smiled faintly to herself, observing the world in its arcanic arraignment. Beautiful, as always.

With her staff in hand, Aydyn drew Ara inward again, letting the exterior energy collide with her inner Vis, wrapping them together and again shifting her into the Nature Plane. She channeled off more Essence and, once combined with the Arvis, began to Shape it. She was careful as she shaped the Mana, Conjuring the material first to summon the small and delicate shape of a Nymph and Divining it to create that mental link between herself and the summoned so that she might, to some degree, press her needs upon the creature.

She examined her shaped creation and released it, focusing its expulsion on the Circle she had, just moments ago, crafted. Holding her staff before her, Aydyn watched and waited, hoping that what she had wrought had been done accurately and without issue.
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Old December 24, 2009, 12:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Suddenly, and to the surprise of all present, a Nymph appeared in the circle that Aydyn had just so recently created. She was a beautiful creature, with long, slender limbs and her skin, fully exposed, was a warm shade of tan; sun-kissed. Her hair was a dark shade of wheat ready to harvest and woven amongst it were long, broad-leafed blades of grass that varied in between browns and golds. Golden eyes wide open, the Nymph stared at her surroundings in shock. She went to take a step forward but was repelled by the magic of the arcane circle. Her head twisted from side to sides, sending showers of her long hair and grass over her nude form. Even as distressed as she was, this Nymph was a site to behold: all the golden colors of a meadow in winter's rest.

Finally, her lamp like eyes settled upon Aydyn and she called out to her, her words reminiscent of wind blowing through grass, "Are you the one who as done this to me? Why do you snatch me and keep me captive here? This is rather rude, you know." The Nymph crossed her limbs across her chest rather crossly and took a step back so she stood in the middle of the circle, assessing Aydyn.

OOCSorry for the short post, but for now, this is all I could really do!
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Old December 28, 2009, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aydyn felt a small blossom of triumph surge over her as the nature-bedecked creature popped into existence. It was the sort of feeling that eroded all doubts and uncertainties and, without question, did not alert Aydyn immediately to the fact that the nymph was less than pleased to find herself contained and drawn out of what was likely her natural habitat. The Druidess, accustomed to being liked, smiled broadly at the Nymph across from her...a smile that quickly crumbled as the agitated words flung at her like pebbles plucked from the ground and consequently hurled at their target.

Her cheeks flushed in embarrassment as she skewed a look around her, taking in the trees and the grass...her daughter playing not too far away. "Serale. I'm sorry. It's really not my intention to cage you up like that. I realize that's probably very rude of me. Sorry," she murmured quickly, rambling almost. "It's just. I wanted to talk to you first, before you thought to maybe run off and into the woods." She gestured around her at the great, thick trunks that rose up from the moist soil of Arios. Beautiful trees. Or at least Aydyn had always thought so. Maybe a nymph might have a different opinion.

"I promise I won't keep you in there for long. I just wanted to ask a favor of you...and offer you a chance at something." She paused, studying the beautiful creature in front of her, wondering if she'd snarl at the druidess and demand to be released back to where she'd come from, or if she'd find something intriguing in Aydyn's offer. "I was hoping we might be able to help one another out," she went on carefully. "I have two daughters," she adjusted the pack on her back, revealing the small infant that she was slung there, "And I can't always be here to watch them. I was hoping that, maybe, you'd be interested in looking after them for me, from time to time. If you did, you'd get a chance to explore these woods, these trees... It's an interesting place. Magic, I've been told. It wouldn't lack for interest and intrigue."

Aydyn was not much of a bargainer. She knew that. It just...wasn't her thing. She looked worriedly at the nymph, wondering just how poor of a job Aydyn was doing, trying to convey her request and the subsequent reward to the lovely denizen of nature.
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Old January 1, 2010, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The Nymph's hands were firmly on her hips and she glowered at her captor, this one clearly was a bit feisty and not nearly as flighty as most Nymphs. Or perhaps it was because being flighty was not an option, currently. The Nymph was not helpless, though, when it came to Arcana, and she was already using her vis to try and dispell the circle of arcana that confined her. It was a challenging task for one who was much less skilled in Druidism than Aydyn was herself.

Deciding that she was not going to be getting out by herself, the Nymph watched Aydyn as she spoke and seemed to be listening to her words. Surely that was promising. At the mention of the daughters, the Nymph turned to stare at the two girls running through the yard. Her golden eyes squinted suspiciously; despite her feisty nature, Nymphs are naturally reclusive and not trusting of other races.

And then her eyes danced up to the trees in surprise, as if she saw their towering trunks for the first time, "They are enormous! But where am I? Where are the grassy plains and meadows of flowers? Is everything here covered in trees?" She spun around again to face Aydyn, clearly this Nymph had never been here, "Where am I? Where have you summoned me to?" Her accent was so odd, as if a breeze was blowing through the tall, waving grasses of a field every time she spoke.

She really made to direct address to what Aydyn said, though it was impossible to tell if she did not understand the bargain, if she had not been listening, or if she simply was choosing not to respond to her plea at this moment. She pointed to the children, "Where is their father? And why me? Why a Nymph to help raise your daughters? Does this place lack those who know how to raise children?"
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Old January 3, 2010, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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oocOne girl is running in the yard--the other is only 7 months old and Aydyn has her strapped to her back! She just showed the nymph her in my last post :)

A small frown faltered over Aydyn's features as the nymph asked after grass and flowers. It was almost as if the nymph were displeased at what she saw. The druidess was accustomed to dryads, the sort that dwelled within trees. Was this one, then, not one of those types? Was she somehow other? Somehow different than what she was used to? Aydyn had to admit...while she had encountered nymphs before, she knew very little about them.

"My yard is perhaps all the grass you'll see for a little bit--and I have many flowers there, at least. But it's mostly trees. Trees and trees and trees," she admitted, wondering how badly that would affect her cause. "This place is Arios. Have you heard of it? There's an Enchanted Glade here. It's a...magic place." She chewed at her lip uneasily.

She followed the nymph's eyes back towards the little girl in the yard, playing with the flower weaver feline that was having fun bouncing about in the grass, chasing bugs and snapping up flowers to weave into her fur. The little girl's shrill giggles rang through the air, happy to participate in any chase and any damage done to the ground. "The father is not reliable," she informed the nymph simply. "He's the sort to leave his seed and go, rather than care for what he left behind." But she did not share the origins of her youngest daughter. She wasn't sure she could make the nymph understand.

"This place, my home, has only myself to care for the girl and, alone, I'm just not sufficient. This place is a place where there is no sleep and always they're awake, running about, playing, getting into trouble. It's draining for one person, all alone. I had thought that maybe...with some help...it would be easier. Nymphs have been very helpful to me in the past, assisting me when I most needed it. So...I turned to one of you. Was I wrong, to do that?"
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Old January 4, 2010, 03:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Nymph merely blinked at the comment that this yard was all the grass and flowers that she would see, though her face did not betray any emotions. If she were displeased or satisfied with that knowledge, she did not show it. In stead she pursued the point of where they are, "Arios? I am not sure I am familiar with place but..." The Nymph turned and studied the trees again, "The trees are so tall, I think I have heard of a place like that. And it has an Enchanted Glade?" The Nymph frowned as she thought and then suddenly her face brightened, "Oh! Are we on an island? We must be, I know where we are! So you call this place Arios?"

Once again the Nymph studied Noah at play in the backyard, and though she was not looking at Aydyn, the human Druidess could see the Nymph shake her head sadly, "The problem with you humans are, and I am not pinning this on you, that half of your race is often to dismissive of their children." She turned back around to face Aydyn, "Men. I am speaking of men. They make their children and then run away; not always, but too frequently. Nymphs are better, we have no men, and we just pass our children amongst ourselves. When a baby is born, all of us step up to raise it. I have given birth to one daughter, but I have many more than that. Humans need to consider doing this. Do you have no sisters?"

The Nymphs seemed to be particularly curious, for as foreign as Nymphs were to Aydyn and her daughters, humans were just as foreign to her. Their mannerisms and customs were... bizarre, to her. She peered at the little one squirming in Aydyn's arm, "And what of this one? She looks so much like you, much more than your other daughter. Does she had the same father? Did you let him run away on you twice?" There was a bit of scorn mixed with pity in the Nymph's voice; she could not fathom raising a child alone.

A sigh escaped the Nymph, her initial anger seemed to be relenting a bit. "You were not wrong to turn to the Nymphs for help, but summoning one out of their home and trapping them is a bit rude. Would you consider releasing me from this," She indicated around her, motioning to the circle she was trapped in, "If we are where you say we are, the island you know as Arios, then I shall not be running away from you. I do not know how to swim, and I do not live in forests. So, if you would please."
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Old January 10, 2010, 10:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Aydyn watched the nymph struggle through an understanding of her location. When knowledge finally dawned over the creature's face, Aydyn smiled faintly, head bobbing in a slight nod. "That would be it, yes. The people here call it Arios--both this town and the island. It's a pleasant little place." Pleasant, once you got past the rain and the fact that there was no sleep. That was the roughest part of it all, she'd discovered--not being able to sleep. It had come about that Aydyn looked forward to that single darkening when the priests of Kaimelea came about, dousing inhabitants with sleep. She had missed the dreams of sleep and she gladly embraced them that single darkening.

At first the druidess was a bit offended by the nymph's conclusion. Dismissive? Aydyn lived for her children, cherished them and loved them... There was not a single thing in Aydyn's life that she did not do for them. She started to talk, swallowed her words as the nymph swiftly and briskly went on to state that she wholly meant men...and there Aydyn could not disagree, for her experience with men seemed to match her thoughts. Hadn't all men in her life come and gone with the promise of something warm and tender, only to disappear without making good on that promise?

She smiled faintly. "No, no sisters. I have a brother, but he's far away from here...and really not very good at taking care of kids." Despite the fact that he had quite the brood himself. How many children had he and his wife been hip deep in when last Aydyn had seen them? Seven? It was something like that. Sadly, Aydyn had struggled to learn the names of the kids whose birth she had not been present to witness. She was a distant aunt, forgotten and moderately shunned. "My family isn't fond of my choices. It's just me here and my daughters." She smiled faintly.

Her head shifted, eyes catching at the small figure of her youngest daughter. Just seeing her, Aydyn's heart melted and a softness fell over her. She leaned her cheek against the fuzzy head of honey-brown hair, pressing her lips so gently against her skull. There was something about Evan that just soothed her, relaxed her, made her feel complete. With her cheek resting on Evan's head, her eyes almost dreamy, she smiled at the nymph. "No, Noah's father was not Evan's as well. Evan...she has no father," she faltered uncertainly, knowing folk's reaciton to the strange manner in which her daughter had been formed. "She was born of me. Completely of me." She smiled faintly. No matter what people thought, Evan was hers and always to be loved, cherished.

She shifted from her revere at the nymph's frustration. She stared at her for a moment, then cleared her throat. "Oh, I'm sorry," she apologized hastily. She quickly began to dismantle the Vis and Ara that had gone into the Circle encasing the nymph, disabling the magic that prevented her from going anywhere. "It was...just a precaution."
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Old January 13, 2010, 02:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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As Aydyn countered acted her own Circle of Arcana, the nymph noticeably relaxed. There was something about not being held hostage that just seemed to make conversations feel so much more casual and natural. The nymph even managed to smile at Aydyn and took a step closer. She had no indication of running. Really, it would be foolish. She was no Dryad and she was no Nereid; this nymph felt most comfortable in the flowery, grassy yard than anywhere else. Not to mention that she was not going to be getting home by herself.

Wheels were spinning in the nymph's head, that much was clear, but she did not say much. She cocked a hip and re-folded her arms across her bare chest. "You say your daughter has no father?" It was as if she were hung up on that. "I have never heard that a human had that ability before. That was something only us nymphs could do. Or so I thought..." Her voice trailed off and her golden eyes stared transfixed at the little, baby Evan. It was Aydyn's second born that truly fascinated the nymph about this island, "How was it that that came about? Surely you did not just wake up one brightening pregnant?"

The nymph too a few steps closer so that the gap between the two females was just a few feet. Aydyn was clearly the taller of the two, with this nature spirit standing at perhaps just over four feet in height. "Before I can agree to anything or we continue this conversation, I think we should exchange names, no? I believe that is customary." The nymph nodded, more to herself than to Aydyn, confirming what she remembered of human culture, "My name would be unpronounceable for you, so you may call me Warae. My full name means 'the field that bursts into flames of colors in the autumn and glows under the full moon.' Yes, I realize that is rather long, but that is what it means." She shrugged, to her it was not odd, "What is your name? And that of your daughters?"


Once names were exchanged, the nymph's tone changed again, a bit more cool this time. "Now. Done to what you summoned me here for. You wish me to aid you in caring for your children? Why should I do that for you? Nymphs are beings of nature, which of course you and your children are a part of, but what does nature get in return for me looking after your children?" The nymph's brain was working hard, that much was clear. "Wait. Who do you worship?" The question was sudden and sharp and her eyes pierced with sudden ferocity.
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Old January 18, 2010, 10:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Aydyn always felt awkward when discussing the origins of her second daughter, but this was on account of the fact that she had always previously spoken to less magical creatures, humans and elves and others as they'd been. Hearing the nymph sound surprised that Aydyn might have been able to manage what they themselves were capable of, the druidess stood quietly for a moment, caught in between a bit of puzzlement and uncertainty. The nymph didn't seem surprised about the nature of the child's birth...except to be confused about a human being capable of that sort of reproduction.

She shifted uncomfortably, still feeling awkward in the explanation and thrown off even more now that she was being so confronted with information she'd been unaware of. "I...used druidism," she explained haltingly, adjusting her daughter in her hands, cheek still gently pressed to check. There was still a bit of that dazed connection to distract her, but she was focused entirely on the small nymph that strode towards her, standing so close by. "I wanted a child and men are so unpredictable... So I...crafted one, I suppose would be the best way to say it. She is made entirely of me..."

She sighed, let her eyes drift shut, reveling in that touch with her daughter. Evan felt so much a piece of her and she supposed it was true enough. The seven month old was grown enough now that she was aware of things and more mobile than before. She could sit up on her own and she was starting to crawl, falling back on her stomach more often than not, but nonetheless starting to crawl. She would soon be more interested in running around than curling up in her mother's arms.

She drew herself back to the situation, eyes shifting down to the small nymph in front of her. Warae, she'd introduced herself. "My name is Aydyn," she introduced herself, pausing, considering whether or not she ought to come up with some sort of meaning herself. But, no, that would have been to misrepresent herself and her children. The names had not been chosen with meaning behind any--although she supposed they might have had them--but rather because she liked the way they sounded. "This is Evan and my daughter Noah is there." She gestured to the small girl playing with the flower weaver.

It was the Druidess' turn to look somewhat puzzled at the question, although she shook it away quickly to respond: "Carmelya, first and above all others," she responded simply, brow furrowed. "What sort of thing would be reasonable, to give in response? I tend to my flowers regularly, see that my garden is in perfect order. I take care of what cannot take care of itself." She thought of her cats, so many of them, and the two flying squirrels she had taken into her care, having suffered so much on Tulos. They now had the free range of the woods and her household, free to make their own home where other squirrels couldn't wreck their promise of growth. "Is there more I should be doing?"
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Old January 25, 2010, 10:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The nymph's eyes opened relatively wide at the notion that Aydyn had used Druidism to craft her daughter. It was not exactly how nymphs reproduced, but it was closer than Warae had ever heard of any human coming. And to be frank, it impressed her greatly. The nymph stepped closer, she was shorter than Aydyn, standing at a solid four feet in height. She reached out her thin, bronzed arms, "May I hold her? I want to see her up close." There was nothing intimidating about the nymph's posture.

If Aydyn accepted and passed little Evan over, Warae would take the baby girl, the very spit and image of Aydyn, and proper her on her bare hip and give the just older than an infant girl a small bounce and swing. Warae looked back up at Aydyn, "She looks just like you! She is your very image! Now I know what you were when you were her age and I know what she will be when she is your age! Is it strange to see such a reflection of yourself that you cannot possibly recall?" The nymph did not mean to pry, she was simply curious. She also wondered, silently, what it would be like for Evan to see her mother age knowing that she would age in exactly the same way. Aging was beyond a nymph's understanding.

Warae cooed with Evan, a natural mother. How many baby nymphs had she held in her arm and raised like her own? How many daughters did she have now? Daughter, sister, mother. It got complicated in nymph culture. She raised a slender finger and stroked Evan's soft cheek, "She is adorable; you were adorable." She smiled; it was clear that Warae had a tender spot for youth. She twisted her hips to face out towards the other child who was playing in the yard with the cats, "Noah is beautiful as well! How fast they grow up, no?" She turned to Aydyn, "I am a mother too, you know. Though my children are much older than even you!"

The piercing gaze was washed away as abruptly as it had arrived, the nymph was obviously appeased by Aydyn's religious devotions. She nodded slowly though, considering Aydyn's words further. "I will agree to help you on two conditions. All right, Aydyn?" She quirked one eyebrow at the human mother and inclined her cheek, "First, though, you do good work, that I can see. Your garden is burgeoning with life and if you tend to life as much as you say, you are almost a nymph." She paused to let the words sink in, that meant a lot coming from a nymph to a human.

"But, if you want me to help you with your children, you must dedicate yourself completely to Carmelya. I mean completely: nature and the natural cycles of life must be your priority. I do not mean sacrifice the life of your children, that is extreme. But when you can, you must, just as I do and all nymphs do." Warae paused and scanned Aydyn's face with her golden eyes, "And then, this should be more simple, let me live in your garden." She rubbed Evan's back and scanned the yard, "It is perfect and I would love to explore it." She turned back to Aydyn, "What do you think?"
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Old January 29, 2010, 12:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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For all that the nymph appeared to pose no threat, Aydyn nonetheless hesitated in the face of her question. Her finger stroked her daughter's cheek, this daughter who was so much of her, more than Noah ever could be (even thinking it, a guilty sting struck her heart). She flickered a glance towards the nymph. She had summoned her for precisely this purpose. How could she back down now? How could she look in the face of what she herself had wrought and decide against it? She'd gone that far already...why not make that full crossing?

She extended her arms towards the nymphs, adjusting the positioning of Evan as she lowered the child into Warae's arms. She watched closely, chewing at her lower lip, as she dandled the child as she might any other. The nymph knew children, it seemed, and that was highly reassuring. Her cheeks roseyed a little at the nymph's observation. She had her suspicions that her daughter would be her copy, just as that mouse had been a copy of her mother, and yet she hadn't been certain. Could the nymph really be sure?

"If she is my copy, then it is strange to think that's what I looked like as a child." She smiled a bit, even laughed, as she studied the nymph in the face of her revelation--that she, too, was a mother...with children that reached beyond Aydyn's age. And yet the nymph looked so young. She shouldn't have been surprised. She knew that. Nymphs were not like humans, not in any way possible. They were spirits of nature, so she believed. To her, they were eternal in their way. "Thank you--they're both beautiful, yes." She said it was much for her own benefit as for Noah's, even though she couldn't hear; Evan was her star, her copy, her, but Noah would always be loved and cherished, adored.

The druidess fretted at the cloth that hugged at her waist as the nymph broached the topic of conditions. Usually, when she heard of summoning creatures, it was the summoner who laid out the conditions to be agreed to...and yet there she was, being 'bullied' into accepting terms from the very creature she had summoned. Her smiled a trace nervously as she glanced around the garden, proud of her own work and what she had accomplished in that rainy place. It was high praise, she realized, to be told her work was on par with their own. "Thank you, I try my best," she murmured modestly.

But her heart gave a thump at the 'but' and the words gave her a slight spiral. Had she not already dedicated herself to the goddess? But...no...not in the way that the nymph suggested, wanted. This was fully, completely. Everything she was, everything she would be, everything she did...that was the desire put forward by the nymph and she studied little Evan's face as she wondered over the possible repercussions. She was not so desperate for help that she would give what she wasn't willing to give...

Yet was this so much to ask? Dedication--fully, completely--to a goddess she already bent her neck to, praised and loved and admired? Still, she stood quietly for a long moment, letting herself debate the decision. It did not require the sacrifice of her daughters--and that she would never give, ever. "My daughters will always come first. Always," she quietly stated, head bowed, eyes searching the ground. "They are...my life."

But she shifted her shoulders back, straight, proud, and set her eyes to meet those of the nymphs. She smiled faintly. [color=#5c8b7b]"I've served Carmelya as I could these eras...and I have no trouble pledging myself to her service. I am Carmelya's, sure as anything. I may need some guidance from you, to make sure I'm doing everything correctly, that I don't step out of line, but... yes, I agree.

"And to the other... you are more than welcome to make your home in my garden. I didn't think it could use any further improvement, but I think you would help it considerably. So...please. You're welcome to my garden."
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Old February 9, 2010, 01:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Ensnare is a benevolent AdventurerEnsnare is a benevolent Adventurer


The nymph nodded agreeably, "Well then there is not much else I can ask! I love children and yours are adorable. And you are not a Dianite, which is a blessing. I shall live here with you and do your bidding and you can summon me if you need me." Warae passed the babe back to Aydyn, completely satisfied with Aydyn's promise. In fact, Aydyn was probably fulfilling that promise more than she realized.

 Sorry for so short of a post, but we have come to the conlcusion of this thread. Aydyn Blair has been awarded the following NPC:

Name: Warae
Race: Nymph
Physical description: Warae is like a grassy plain kissed with autumnal colors; she is like a golden sunset.
Mental Description: Devout follower of Carmelya and wary of men.
Skills: Lv 1 Druidism
Items of Note: none

Congratulations
 
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