Old August 28, 2010, 08:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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She Walks in Beauty like the Night [GM Ragman, please]

Summer, Era XVII

Each flick of her dancing digits sent the strings vibrating, the ensuing notes rebounding off the small harp’s wooden sound box and filling the woodland’s ears with a soothing melody. Her fingers were long and slender, complete with short-trimmed nails that, while considered unladylike in some circles, had proved invaluable for her musical endeavors. They roamed the length of the harp’s family of strings, stretching back and forth with enough familiarity to indicate that the motions were either previously mastered or recently rehearsed.

Although the song’s placid rhythm might have inspired tranquility within the hearts of its listeners, to the Ariosian elf, a daughter of Quel’anthasan descent, the tune stirred memories both bitter and nostalgic. Seated within the shade provided by a gentlemanly host of trees, Silvana rested her head against its supportive bark and attempted to resist her inmost miseries, miseries incited by thoughts of her arranged marriage and her subsequent flight from the forests of Arios, her home. She could never return there, she knew. The shame that she had sprung upon her proud family was an unforgivable offense, one that would forever brand her as an outcast among her people.

And now, she was alone.

Fate had been kind enough to supply her with an escape from Arios in the form of a departing merchant vessel. Its altruism, however, had ended upon her arrival to the island of Secyclion, a realm that was as alien to her as the mainland. She sighed heavily, unable to reconcile the true source of her converging frustrations. On the one hand, she hated her parents. She despised them for subjecting her to their despotism and for threatening to force her into a marriage that was stamped neither by love nor affection. And on the other hand, she had seen the way that the natives of Secyclion had stared at her, regarding her with undisguised suspicion and lewd stares. Upon reaching the island’s shores, she had run from them, her long legs carrying her as quickly as they could to something remotely familiar, something comforting: the forest.

A single tear bled from her blue eyes, swimming over her fair-hued countenance and leaving a translucent line in its wake down her cheek. Her slender shoulders shuddered subsequently, implicitly surrendering to her internal grief as a stream of tears finally unleashed from her almond-shaped orbs and poured into her lap. Long bluish-white hair that had once been so admired and extolled in Arios dampened beneath the downpour of tears and clung to the sides of her petite chin.

Wiping her face with the hem of her cerulean-colored cape, one of the only belongings that she had taken with her from Arios, the elf straightened her shoulders, reclined her back against the tree, and repositioned the harp in her hands to perpetuate its pure tune. It was the only thing that brought her solace now, the only thing, she believed, that could never be taken away from her; it was the only thing that she, a woman without home or money, had left.

And so she played, wondering why life had chosen to doom her.

Last edited by Silvana; August 28, 2010 at 08:46 PM.
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Old August 30, 2010, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The wild forests of Secyclion was unlike that of Arios, the caldera was bare, a testament to the horrific volcanic eruption that was said to have destroyed an ancient civilization. On these remnants of land, the first of the Eunesians, more notably, the Secyclids have built their own home, and called him Secyclion.

It was perhaps the innate instinct that had guided the Elf towards one of the few place of solace for her kind, and had not wandered into the cutthroat pirate district of Neos Megalis, where there are few fates worse than those of such exotic beauty like hers in this world. And then there were pirates, slave merchants, smugglers and human-traffickers that won't think twice about kidnapping her and sending her out of the Kingdom to the Caliphate of Rau, or even N'danosh.

Secyclionian men, were after all, known around the region as lechers, and their attitudes towards women being the lesser sex renowned. With the recent arrival of other dark races into the island -- Orcs, Vysstichi, Giants and Dracons, even the locals now were fearful of threading the streets at night, nevermind foreigners who could so easily be lost in Secyclion's twisting, warren geography, whose districts seemed built and design on a whim, rather than having thought through proper planning.

And yet where Silvana found herself right now was a reminiscent of home, perhaps not entirely, but the Elfish ideals were unmistakable. The groves were shaped arcanically, seeming to grow out of nowhere when the surroundings were bare. The comforting embrace of the foliage that had always been called home to the very first of her kin loomed ahead, and even though the leaves had blotted out the only source of light -- the Moons from her, the darkness was comforting, the perfect canvas for her music to permeate the air.

As her music spun its own web through the invisible air, fingers plucking and tracing the fine strings that invariably create such an intangible quantity to which delighted ears, the stars glimmered on impassively, perhaps unable to reconcile or understand the sorrow and bitterness that fills the heart of their daughter.

"Harpist, daughter of song and the woods, why do you cry and your tune carries such deep sadness. Why?" A gentle voice called out from within the well of trees, a soft, effeminate voice that was definitely Elvish, though the accent was nothing unlike anything Silvana had ever heard before -- like the trees bending in the wind and the whisper of the wild winds itself. The question was asked with such simple, genuine emotion without any hint of motive in it -- only concern.

Through the shadows, she could see a path that led deeper into the parliament of trees, a slender, wan figure shrouded utterly in darkness. No discernible features could be observed -- the light was too sparse, but the figure stood there without imposing on her own personal space, perhaps not wishing to scare her away by suddenly appearing in close proximity.
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Old August 31, 2010, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Long cerulean hair showered over the dip of her harp’s harmonic curve as she twisted her head in the direction of the unseen speaker. Startled, her delicate digits slipped across the range of strings, striking a few discordant notes and effectively terminating her song. While the error would have earned her a distasteful glare from her parents, who had mounted music atop a golden pedestal, Silvana’s fear overrode any concern of reprisal and steered her utmost attention to the interrupter, whose figure remained dressed in the shadows.

The speaker’s voice was unmistakably feminine, but more importantly, it resounded with a certain quality that Silvana intuitively identified as elvish, albeit a variation of the type that she was accustomed to hearing on Arios. Digging her heels into the soft grass, the Ariosian elf pushed backwards to separate herself as far away as possible from the hidden woman, although her ungraceful efforts only served to smudge the wet soil upon the bottom of her royal blue cloak. Irrespective of the logic behind her small retreat, it brought her some psychological comfort.

“Who are you?” Silvana firmly demanded, one slender hand clutching the harp to her side and the other fumbling atop the grass in search of a weapon, anything, to defend herself with. She reproached herself for not having thought of arming herself earlier, but her hasty boarding of the merchant vessel to Secyclion had not exactly been born from prudence. It had been the first ship that had set sail out of Arios the previous brightening, and Silvana had merely made certain to be on it. In retrospect, though, she now wished that she had considered her escape more thoughtfully.

Her fingers enclosed around a fallen twig that was half-broken and wore the haggard shell of a rain-beaten victim. Biting her lower lip nervously, she decided to release the useless weapon, knowing that it would serve her little practical use and that it was more prone to break upon impact than to penetrate flesh.

As she rose to her feet, the hem of her purple dress, which was trimmed with gold stitching, fell to her bare ankles beneath the voluminous cloak that she wore over it, a circular clasp securing the latter garment around her small shoulders. “You ask questions that should not be answered to a complete stranger,” She defensively said, raising her arm to swab the tear streaks on her cheeks with the quarter-length sleeve of her dress.

Notwithstanding her urge to flee, Silvana stood her ground, though hesitantly. Had the speaker been a man then she most certainly would have ran upon hearing his voice, but there was something unusually gentle about the shadow-clad woman’s tone. Initially, Silvana had feared the elf to be an agent of her father and mother, but the inflection in the unknown speaker’s voice had discounted that possibility. The elf was not from Arios.

“What do you want?” She asked. “It is usually considered proper manners to show yourself to those you speak to.”
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Old September 6, 2010, 05:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"I am Arwen Jaal'hlryan." The voice replied in the same sing-song fashion, the shadow slowly approached Silvana, stepping through criss-crossed lights and shadow where the moon's beams had inevitably pooled through from the gaps between branches and leaves that fell like silvery shafts onto the ground. Silvana could catch glimpses as the light cascaded upon her form as she stepped through those same gaps, revealing a female Elf in middling ages that she did not recognize -- likely granting her more relief in knowing that she was likely not sent by her parents. In Arios, a community numbering two hundred and fifty, it was safe to say that Silvana knew everyone, and everyone in turn, knew of the Songstress.

"It is only my wish not to startle you. I heard the music... and I have come. And then I saw the tears." Her voice was honest and working in plain desperation. Her eyes were of a vague lavender tint, matching the bluish-purple skin tone and the slight electric blue hair that gilded in the manner as if the moon's silvery wells had fallen into the sea, and from these metallic strands and threads they were gathered by the most delicate of means to fashion her long, flowing hair that fell down behind her shoulders.

Even if she was startling beautiful, there was a quality of the Darkening about her, perhaps it was in her eyes that seem to bear down the invisible weight of a thousand worlds upon people, so piercing and arresting; or perhaps it was the quiet, brimming confidence... or simply the knowing quality in her voice that flowed so easily off the tips of her tongue that rang with the roar of truth; a woman adorned with the gift of the speech.

With slow steps, she approached the younger Elf from Arios, her curiosity certainly piqued though she was far too Elfin to let that show beyond a faint curl of her brows that Silvanna, being Elf herself, could detect through the most subtlest of means. She stood there, with her long, slender fingers clasped before her abdomen, a posture of neutrality. Her dress seemed almost outlandish, a bodice made out of threads that seem so thin and fragile that even touching them could break them, lined with Elfin lace and colored with the tone resembling the insides of seashells.

"You're not from here, are you? Are you missing Trelore?" The woman continued, gazing at Silvana's tear-stained face and assuming her ancestry. And why wouldn't she? Only in the small community of Arios did the racial bloodlines of the exiled Quel'anthasan persevere. Even the Sylvyn's lineage had been diluted amongst those that call themselves Syl'rosyan and needless to say, the Medonian's constant bastardization of their own race had caused them to lose their original coloring.

Only the most untainted of Elfin bloodlines would wrought such distinctive coloring such as Silvana's and this Elfin woman before her, the very purest bloodline of Phedos' children that had not been mongrelized by the lesser races.

Last edited by Ragman; September 6, 2010 at 05:08 PM.
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Old September 16, 2010, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Her heart pounded in her chest, drumming to the terrorizing rhythm of the foreign speaker’s oncoming strides. She wanted the suspense to end. She wanted the moonlight to hurriedly dispel the shadows and unveil the identity of the unknown woman, and yet, she dreaded her potential findings at the same time. What if the woman was an agent of her parents coming to retrieve her? Silvana did not know how to fight, and she was not a warrior either. Her soft hands clenched tightly by her sides, forcing the red from her knuckles. She couldn’t go back…

“Arwen Jaal’hlryan?” She repeated the name slowly, pronouncing every syllable out loud as if she were an adolescent learning how to read. Her hesitation did not stem from a lack of Charismean understanding, but rather, from an effort to convince herself more than anything else that Jaal’hlryan was not from her island and that she had not come to reclaim her. Even as Silvana reiterated the emerging elf’s name, she already knew that the foreigner was not a native from Arios. She was not even remotely familiar in appearance.

“I-I’m sorry,” Silvana timidly replied, self-consciously mopping the residual tear-streaks from her face as the woman commented on her earlier sobbing. After drying her blue eyes, the Ariosian cast a long stare upon Jaal’hlyran, her orbs swimming from the surface of her colorful skin to the exotic hues that painted her hair and eyes. She was beautiful! Silvana felt her gaze lower embarrassedly as she realized that she had stared for too long, or maybe it was because she felt inferior in the resplendent woman’s presence.

“I did not mean to disturb you,” She softly answered. “I should not have been playing so late at night anyway. I am sorry if I awoke you.” She fumbled over her response, glancing guiltily to the harp that continued to sit in her lap. While she had initially considered explaining that she had played the music to alleviate her burdened soul, she opted against such an elucidation as it probably would have sounded ridiculous to the older woman.

As Jaal’hlryan approached, Silvana was compelled to her feet somewhat awkwardly. The folds of her flowing purple dress swirled about her lithe figure for a moment before coming to a standstill underneath the royal blue cloak that adorned her small shoulders. “No, I am not from here,” She equivocally said, biting her lip as she pondered whether or not to confess her true roots. What if news had already reached Secyclion that she had fled from Arios? No, she could not tell the woman anything…

“I can’t go back,” She vaguely whispered, hiding her proud gaze behind the curtain of cerulean tresses that swayed forward when her head lowered. Naturally, her eyes darted to the bottom of Jaal’hlyran’s dress, one that seemed foreign and bizarre even to Silvana. “I don’t know what to do.” She shook her head as the words danced off her lips. It was almost as if the statement had been intended for herself rather than her sole listener.

Last edited by Silvana; September 16, 2010 at 09:52 PM.
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Old September 23, 2010, 06:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There was a laughter that emerged from the throat of the Elfin woman as Silvana spoke; her eyes however, bearing no hint of mockery, indeed, seemed to be filled with pure mirth and amusement, laughing with, instead of laughing at. The lyrical lithe of the sound of course seeming strangely out of place given the circumstances, but it didn't seem to faze the Elfin woman at the slightest.

"Daughter, you awake no one, you are no longer in those walled places that Humans and their lesser races naively call Cities. You are one with the Wild here... or perhaps the best this Realm has to offer... and the Wild never sleeps." With brave liberty, she stood to stand beside Silvana now as she rose, her strange dress seeming to be made of a living thing as the slightest touch of the wind seem to turn it alive, fluttering and folding upon itself.

"Go back where? Trelore?" The woman asked again; there was something dangerously nectar sweet about her curiosity and voice; of lulling sing-song melodies that came out deceptively amicable, but underneath a shrewd shark lurked, her eyes bore down upon Silvana's, instantly beseeching and suddenly warm with empathy. Such naked and giving concern was likely something she had not felt for a long time and so she was perhaps more susceptible to it, even if there was the initial suspicion that had come to fade.

There was, after all, a reason why parents had, over the centuries and beginning of time, warned their children against strangers. Especially friendly strangers.

"And if I may be so bold as to pose the query, why not?" The woman pressed on, her willowy limbs falling beside her body in such a graceful manner that seemed alien, yet familiar as well. Everything about her -- from her Trelorean accent, dress, to her grace seemed to fall in place as words of a missing book she had heard of, and now was seeing for herself with her own eyes for the very first time in her life. Myths, legends, stories, coalesced all around her.

The very ancestral race of her kind, before their exodus to the Medonian continent. She bore not a blemish upon her flawless skin, and indeed, her skin and hair seemed so resilient that it repelled dust and grime, glowing in a manner that seemed to give her a mystical and ethereal appearance.

Last edited by Ragman; September 23, 2010 at 06:20 AM.
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