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Author Topic: No More Hiding  (Read 2566 times)

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Offline RainsingerTopic starter

No More Hiding
« on: January 09, 2010, 06:02:04 AM »
((Since I'm new here, I'm going to go out on a limb and throw out the start of a story idea.  Anyone is welcome to join in and help me get things rolling.))

If you are interested in joining us, please view the Discussion Thread for ideas or feedback!

The Setup

This is a medieval setting with the human race at war with elves.  The two races have been at war since the beginning of history.  Humans do not possess the magical powers of the Elves, but the humans have the advantage of numbers and brute strength.  The two races generally keep to their own lands, and rarely stray into one another's path, but encounters are still occur with regular frequency.  In the extremely rare case of a human mother giving birth to a part-elven child, the child has always been killed as an abomination, and quite frequently the mother is killed as well.  For a child of mixed blood to not only survive beyond it's birth, but to live to maturity, is unheard of.

Opening

Kitherit had always been considered a bit strange.  She seemed to prefer to keep to herself, staying ensconced in the small cottage she had shared with her Mother, until her Mother's dying day.  She was a bit of a puzzle to many in the human village, some sensing an aching longing within the girl for companionship and friends.  Yet she never quite fit in, seemingly unable to relax and enjoy the time she spent with her peers.

None of them could possibly know the truth, that Kitherit ached to live in a world where she didn't have to hide who and what she was.  She new perfectly well what would happen if anyone ever did find out the truth, and she lived in constant fear of that reality whenever she went out in public.  She had become very adept at hiding her secret.  Her thick black hair was kept as long as possible, the more to artfully arrange it in such a way to hide her ears.  She often wore a hood or cloth to cover her head, and coincidentally hide the slender points of her ears.

She knew that one day the truth would come out.  Someone would discover her secret.  And when that moment came at long last, Kitherit was surprised by the surge of relief that flooded through her veins.

The day was overcast and threatening rain.  A perfect excuse to wear her familiar hooded cloak.  She had spent most of the previous day harvesting a bounty of vegetables from her small garden, and headed into the village to trade them for a few items she was in need of.  It was as she was approaching the General Goods store that it happened.  A young man who was notorious for being a bit of a trouble maker and a tease ran by, and tugged at her hood, laughing tauntingly.  She hadn't been expecting the maneuver, as he had always ignored her before.  But in that single unguarded moment, everything changed.

The blue cloth was tugged back from her head, and she saw the laughter in the boy's eyes shift to curiousity as he clearly caught a glimpse of something in her hair.  It only took a single question from the boy to draw attention to it from others around them.  In only moments, one of the burly workmen lounging nearby came over to see what was going on, and caught Kitherit's wrist as she fumbled with the hood, blushing as she struggled to find a way to deflect the boy's curiousity.

The man gruffly pushed her hair back, and revealed the truth.  The top of her ear lifted gracefully upwards to a slender point, indistinguishable from that of a full blooded Elvish ear.  That was the moment she saw the truth dawn in the man's eyes, a man who like many in the village had apparently always suspected the truth about this strange girl, but never had the proof.  And that was the moment she felt a surge of relief, knowing the charade was finally over.  But hard on the heals of her relief came the fear, and the instinct to run took over.

Kitherit would never know how she managed to escape the grasp of the man.  Perhaps he had released her in shock.  Everything happened in a blur as she dropped her basket of produce and ran for her life.  It didn't take long for the villagers to start their pursuit, and the sounds of their cries pushed her deep into the woods surrounding the village.

She didn't know how many hours she had been running when night fell, and she realized she could no longer hear the sounds of anyone following her.  Coming to a narrow, shallow river, Kitherit fell to her knees and drank deeply of the cool water.  Her clothing had been ripped and torn in many places, her hair tangled with bits of greenery.  Now that she had come to a stop, her mind registered three facts.  First, she had no idea where she was at.  Second, her feet throbbed in pain.  Third, she was absolutely exhausted.

Dragging herself just a little way from the river, Kitherit collapsed against the cold ground, unconscious.

((My intent would be for an Elf to find her, and that Elvish society would welcome her, for the most part.  Beyond that I am open to ideas.))
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 08:33:17 AM by Rainsinger »

Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 10:13:31 PM »
Ildra awoke an hour before dawn, as was her usual habit. This morning, herbs had to be gathered down by the river, and some of them were their most potent if harvested just as the sun's rays kissed the sky. Despite the arrival of spring, the mornings still held a particular chill, and unfortunately, she was not immune to it. After pulling on a pair of gray, woolen leggings, tan suede boots, and a heavy, brown long sleeved tunic, she braided her pale, waist length hair and secured it with a thin, leather thong. Throwing her hooded cloak over the entire ensemble, she picked up her basket, trowel, gloves, and quietly made her way out of the small cottage. The Rangers were about, as usual, ever on guard with their swords and bows at ready. Should any enemy befall the unique village set high in the towering trees of the forest, they would be alert and more than capable of defense.

Nimbly, Ildra climbed down the long ladder leading from the front door of her cottage. Within seconds, she was planting both feet on the ground and silently heading into the forest. So light-footed was she, that nary a leaf, nor twig, was disturbed by her careful steps. She adored this time of the day, when most of the world was still snuggled down in their beds. It was peaceful, without much noise, and rarely a threat of any kind. Even the woodland animals were calmer, some watching her curiously as she passed, while a few decided to follow in her tracks. They all knew her; the small, brown rabbits, the big eyed fawns who were foraging with their mothers, and the sweet nightingales who trilled their lovely melodies; and they accepted her. She had never shown them any cruelty, had even mended a hurt paw here and a broken wing there. Her gentle mannerisms and soft tone was more than enough to win them over.

For close to thirty minutes, she continued to walk, pausing briefly here and there to pick a choice plant or root. Yet, near the river was where she needed to be, and she was almost there. The Bamfurlong mushrooms would be ripe for the picking, and she needed to get them back to her cottage where she could prepare them to dry. What alerted her that something foreign was in her territory, she did not know. The animals had not raised any alarm, so whatever it was was not threatening. Yet, the very wind seemed to carry an unknown, yet slightly familiar scent. She lifted her face, nostrils twitching as they attempted to take in more of the unusual odor, then began to walk quickly. Just a few more steps, she instinctively knew. Had she not been so aware, she would have tripped over the small figure lying prone in the damp leaves. Appearing to be no more than a child, the young one was unconcious, barefooted, and shivering. Silently, Ildra knelt beside the girl and brushed a tangle of hair back from her forehead. Surprised, she immeadiately saw the gently pointed ears. This was one of her own race, a half breed most likely, from the tone of her skin, but an elf nonetheless. How had she come to be here and why? Watchful eyes darted around the area, but no other scents had reached her nose, no sound to her ears.

"Now, where did you come from little one," she whispered softly, her own language spilling from her lips. "And who are you...?"

Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 11:54:42 PM »
Exhausted from her day of running through the forest, Kitherit slept deeply despite the less then comfortable circumstances.  She was just beginning to return to consciousness when she felt the gentle touch and heard the musical voice.  It brought her awake immediately, and her eyes flew open to gaze up at the other woman in surprise.  She hadn't understood a word Ildra had spoken, but she immediately registered her apparently gentle nature.  Kitherit gazed at Ildra in awe, taking in everything from the slender points of her ears, so similar to her own, to the woman's beautiful long pale hair.

As she sat up slowly, she registered how cold she was.  A shiver moved through her body, and she glanced down at her torn clothing.  She was fortunate enough to have worn heavy clothes the previous day, and the dew covering the ground hadn't penetrated deeply into the cloth.  The rain that had threatened the day before had never come either, which was a blessing for her.  Her feet still ached dully from her flight through the forest over uneven terrain.  For a moment she wondered how she had managed to run for so many hours without twisting an ankle or coming to greater harm.

Then she looked back to Ildra, and bit her lip for a moment, before speaking.  "I'm sorry, I... I don't know your language."  Kitherit bit her lip again as she remembered her cottage that had been her home since birth, and knew there was no way she could return to it now.  Suddenly it hit her that she had nowhere to go now, and as she looked at Ildra she saw her only chance of some hope for her future.  "I...  I need help.  I've been cast out, I have nowhere left to go.  Please, can you help me?"  As if in response to her pleas for help, her stomach suddenly growled with fierce hunger.  A sound which needed no translation to understand.

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 12:53:20 PM »
((I was wondering if you would be open to a third person RPing on this? This is interesting and I think a male Elf that maybe could help these two? If so I'll join in somehow... just let me know. Either way great idea.))

Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 01:52:07 PM »
((Absolutely Dramen!  He could be one of the Rangers, who surely would have been keeping an eye on things and saw something happening.  :)  Also, I started a thread to discuss this OOCly over here!  :D))

Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 06:54:16 PM »
(I have no issues with a third. The more, the merrier, I always say! You post, Dramen, and then I will make my reply. How does that sound? :) )

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 07:44:02 PM »
((Sounds great))

Malith was pleased with the day so far. As an Elf Ranger he was no stranger to trouble from time to time but still it was always better to have no conflict. That thought brought a wandering reoccurring thought back to mind. He had always had no love for war or fighting. Though he had the ability to deal with it surely enough, it was his very nature to stand against conflict of any kind. And yet his name suggested one born for war. Mal meant 'war' after all. Malith sometimes felt like a walking contradiction.

Suddenly something caught his eye. With the seemingly never to end conflict with the Humans ever present, Malith was always alert for movements and happenings. His long blond hair flew out behind him as he quietly but quickly moved into a better position to see. He came upon a large tree with lower branches and leapt into it. Climbing his way to a better lookout he pulled his bow and readied an arrow just in case.

He heard a familiar voice and language right away and relaxed slightly. He saw two female Elves. One was obviously very weak and the other was Ildra. His thoughts of what was wrong were interrupted by the human language that came from the injured female.

She said something about not knowing the elven language. Then she said she had been cast out.

This just got more interesting. He dropped quietly to the ground and made his way to their position.

"Hello, I'm Malith. Is everything okay here? Do you need some help?"

Suddenly he remembered a fellow Ranger that had mentioned hearing commotion in this area. He knew there was something more going on here than what was obvious. For now he reserved himself to offering help however.

The cast out elf looked at him in confusion again showing that she didn't know the language.

Ildra wasn't so well known to him but he knew enough to know she'd say what she knew.

Malith looked to Ildra and asked, "Whats going on here Ildra?"

Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 11:40:16 PM »
Ildra quickly withdrew her hand as the girl came awake. Obviously, Kitherit was afraid. It was there in her eyes, etched clearly in the smooth planes of her face. Though the young one spoke a language Ildra only haltingly understood, she smiled reassuringly, attempting to put her at ease. Just as she was wondering how communication was going to proceed, Malith slid from the cover of the trees. Oh, he was good; very good! Then again, he was a Ranger and supposed to be. She had not heard, nor smelled, him coming. He was a familiar face in the village, but one she had not associated with but so much. Peering up into his handsome face, she had to wonder why. Most likely, because she was usually wrist deep in dirt, twigs, and grass. Self conciously, she tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and nodded toward Kitherit.

"I found her, sleeping here near the river, when I came to gather my plants this morning." The dawn's first rays were beginning to paint the sky. "She... she looks like us, but I do not know her tongue well. I think I understood....l-lost?" Hopefully, Malith would understand Kitherit more than she. Still, that did not stop her from brushing soft fingertips over one of the youngling's arched ears.

"E-Elf... losted?" she asked Kitherit in stilted common. She racked her brain for another word, phrase, anything to set her at ease. Finally, a single word came to mind. "Freend?" She pointed to herself, then to Malith, the handsome one. "Freend?"

Then, the most remarkable sound emanated from Kith's belly, and there was no mistaking what it was. It was growl of epic proportions, and proved the poor thing had been out in the forest alone for way too long. It did not even occur to Ildra that it could be some trick played by the humans. Her nature was not quite that hardened yet, despite the constant threat ever looming. Her soft laughter rang out and she pointed toward the girl's belly.

"F-Food...."

Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2010, 01:13:04 AM »
Kitherit's eyes widened in surprise as Malith seemed to materialize out of nowhere.  The sight of the bow in the ranger's hands, an arrow still notched to it's string, frightened her.  She shrank back a little, trying to look as un-threatening as she possible.  At the same time she was struck by beautiful he was, as beautiful as Ildra.

She listened to their conversation, trying anxiously to see if she could recognize any of the words, any patterns.  It was so musical, and she wondered vaguely if she'd ever manage to get her voice to sound as graceful as these two.  Then Ildra turned back to her, and while the words may have come out heavily accented, she couldn't help but break into a broad smile.  She nodded quickly.

"Friend, please!"  She pointed to herself, and repeated the word.  "Friend!"

Then her stomach let out it's ungodly growl, and Kitherit felt herself turning bright red.  But Ildra's soft laughter immediately set her at ease, and she giggled.

"F-Food...." said Ildra, pointing to Kitherit's stomach.

She nodded quickly, still blushing, but smiling apologetically.  "Food, yes.  I haven't eaten for awhile."  She wasn't sure how much they might be able to understand of her words.  "Very hungry!"

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 06:40:31 AM »
Malith smiled a tight smile at Ildra's 'F-food' comment. There was no doubt that the girl was hungry. He was more careful of these type situations than Ildra was, though of course that was his job. Still though this one seemed as far from a threat as there could be. He understood some words in the human tongue and had heard her call herself a friend. If a human and said that, he wouldn't be so sure but this was obviously not a human.

"I'm sure we could spare some food Ildra, don't you think?" Malith gestured to the fallen elf with a smile, "I think she is safe enough to take back to the village."

Ildra looked at him, "Will they give her foodstuffs without questioning me Malith?"

"I'll come along to make certain that they do."

Malith smiled to make himself seem less threatening and held his hand out to help the mysterious elf up. "Freend."

Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2010, 06:54:33 AM »
Ildra noted the strain surrounding Malith's initial smile. As a result, it caused her own to fatler just a touch. Did he sense, or see, something she did not? He was trained in such matters, where she was just merely the healer and herbalist. She stood up, still smiling for Ketherit's benefit, and smoothly moved beside the Ranger.

"I'm sure we could spare some food Ildra, don't you think?" Malith gestured to the fallen elf with a smile, "I think she is safe enough to take back to the village."

Ildra looked at him, "Will they give her foodstuffs without questioning me Malith?"

"I'll come along to make certain that they do."

She nodded softly, assurred, then aided Malith in helping the girl to her feet. "She is bruised, and her feet are bare. She will need shoes when we get back to the village."

He nodded his agreement as she brushed twigs and dirt from Kitherit's hair and back. As usual, her touch was that light, gentle skimming most were used to. "You-walk," she told Kith and pointed north. If only her common were better! "Walk- food." Hopefully, Kitherit would not think she was the course for the coming meal!

Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2010, 07:22:24 AM »
((Actually, she does have shoes on, though they might be a bit ragged after running through the woods for several hours.  heheh))

Kitherit again watched the conversation between the two, partially keeping an eye on the bow in the ranger's hands.  When Ildra turned back to her and spoke again, she nodded in understanding.  She gingerly shifted her wait, pushing herself off the ground and getting to her feet.  The moment her full weight was back on the soles of her feet, she stumbled a little, wincing in pain.  She reflexively clutched at whoever was closest to her, for support.  She quickly worked to regain her balance, shifting her weight back and forth until she felt more sure of her footing.  Her feet still hurt with a dull ache, but it had only been the initial weight that had shocked her.  Now that she was on her feet, she felt that she would be okay to walk again.

She looked up to see what must be the worried, and possibly nervous, looks of the two elves.  She tried to smile reassuringly.  "Sorry.  My feet hurt a bit.  But I'm okay."  She wondered if there was really even any point in speaking full sentences at this point, whether or not they could understand anything she said.  She hoped that if nothing else, the tone of her voice would speak for her.  Then she pointed off into the woods, uncertain which direction they would be taking.  "We walk?"

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2010, 08:59:30 AM »
Malith tried again to smile reassuringly and only then realized that he still held his bow at the ready in one hand. Cursing his instincts for fighting and readiness, he sheathed it. Now maybe that would help her relax a little he thought of the elf.

"Yes," he redirected her into the direction of the village, "We walk."

He was glad that his common was good enough to speak some words. At least that way he and Ildra could figure out something about her.

As they walked, the girl appeared to be walking better with each step. Now that she was doing better and walking with them, Malith slipped naturally back into being the Ranger. He still didn't know what had happened to leave the girl way out there, all alone and hungry. He wouldn't be much of a Ranger if he didn't take care to make sure no one was following them.

He glanced at Ildra and in their native tongue asked, "Ildra, do you know her name? Did she try to tell you?"

He glanced around the area again and was pleased to find nothing to alert his senses.

"We need to find out what happened to her."


Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2010, 05:50:19 PM »
Ildra, reflexively, wrapped an arm around Kitherit's waist when she stumbled. It only took a few moments for the girl to steady herself, though. She seemed determined if nothing else, and that secretly pleased the elven woman. Determination and backbone were always fine things to have. Once she saw that Malith was willing to take the stranger to the village, she began to walk with them, purposely keeping her gait slow.

"I did not ask her name," she replied to the Ranger. "I am not.... sure how to." The glance she sent his way was hopeful. "Perhaps, you know enough of this common language to ask her?" Besides, how hard could it be to get a name out of someone? Kitherit did not seem to be of malice or deceit. "We will find out what has happened to her, somehow. She looks like she is of our blood, but there are differences." Subtle differences, they were, but differences, nonetheless.

Ildra looked back to Kitherit, and hoping the girl would understand, pointed to herself. "Il-dra. I Ildra." Gods, she sounded like a two year old to her own ears. The sun was beginning to stream through the trees, chasing the last vestiges of darkness away from the forest......

(My apologies about the shoes. :P)

Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2010, 06:15:43 PM »
Kitherit relaxed visibly when Malith sheathed his bow and arrow.  She offered a timid smile to him.

As they walked, she listened to them intently.  Given the circumstances, she knew they had to be discussing her, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn't even pick out individual words in their musical speech.  It was a bit frustrating to her not to be able to communicate clearly with them.  Dimly she wondered if it was really safe for her to walk deeper into the woods with these two.  Surely they must recognize that she was not a full blooded elf?  Was there a chance that they were leading her towards someone who would wish her harm?  Did they wish her harm?

From their behavior, she didn't think so.  Ildra's steadying arm around her shoulders, the fact that Malith had put away his bow, all gave her the sense that they at least didn't see her as a threat, and were at least somewhat interested in her well being.  She didn't feel like she had much choice in the matter, either.  Where else would she go?  And even if they did seem to be a threat to her, she had no hope of trying to escape them.  They were both in far better condition then she was, and even if she did somehow manage to evade Malith's arrows, with her tender feet there was no way she could outrun them.

As they moved deeper into the forest, Kitherit peered around cautiously and with curiosity.  She had never ventured far into the forest before her flight yesterday.  She had spent some time gathering on the fringes of the forest, but never very far.  The stories of the elves who threatened the humans had been enough to make her not wish to tempt fate.  Now though, she started to notice some of the differences between the forest as she had known it, and the forest here.  Deeper and further away from humans, the forest was more wild and heavily vegetated.  She saw signs of life everywhere, wildlife that on the fringes of the forest had been driven into caution and hiding by hunters.  That made her wonder, did Elves hunt animals?  She seemed to recall hearing that they didn't eat meat, but who knew if that was true.  She herself had never particularly enjoyed eating meat, though she did eat it regularly.  She didn't savor it like some humans she had seen eating it.

When Ildra turned back to her and spoke, Kitherit's brow furrowed a bit in confusion for a moment.  Then she broke into a wide smile as she understood, pointing to her.  "You're Ildra?"  Then she turned her finger and pointed to herself.  "Kitherit.  I'm Kitherit."  She turned then curiously to Malith, and pointed to him, tilting her head to one side with a questioning look.  "You?"

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2010, 07:31:39 PM »
Malith was pleased that Ildra had figured out a way to get the name out of the girl.

He glanced at Kitherit and bowed slightly, "I Malith."

Malith's common wasn't good enough not to sound strange but he could at least get ideas across. He rose up to his full height, "Kitherit, we no harm. Come, we give Kitherit, food shelter."


Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2010, 07:57:10 PM »
Kitherit broke into a wider smile as Malith spoke, his words heavily accented, but clearly he knew more common then she had realized.  Hearing those words she suddenly felt a wave of gratitude, as the last vestiges of her confusion were swept away in understanding.  She knew there was still a chance she was in danger, but the knowledge that these two at least intended to help her brought tears to her eyes.  Her expression was one of great relief and gratitude, and she bowed her head humbly towards Malith.  "Thank you, Malith."

As they continued walking towards the village, she kept half an eye on the ground ahead of her to make sure she didn't inadvertently step on something that would hurt her feet more then they already did.  But she was beginning to notice signs of inhabitance around them, even if she hadn't yet seen any signs of buildings.  They now seemed to be following a well marked trail through the forest, and here and there she noticed some of the vegetation had been artfully arranged in a way that wasn't completely natural, yet made you question whether it had grown that way on it's own or not.

Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2010, 10:57:52 PM »
Ildra tested the unfamiliar name on her tongue. "Kith-e-rit..." She paused in midstep and gave a small shake of her head. It didn't sound like the girl had just said it, and when Malith repeated, well, Ildra's own version sounded downright awful! "Kitherit.. Kitherit...." Satisfied that it sounded better, she grinned at both and continued to walk with them. 'Shelter', she recgonized in common; 'food' as well. Poor Kitherit was going to be under some intense scrutiny until it was decided she was not a threat to the village. However, Ildra and Malith accompanying her would do wonders.

Even as they trod along the well marked path, Ildra knew they were already being watched; by the other rangers, no doubt. Malith sensed it too, for his sharp eyes were watchful, her manner alert. Every now and then, a soft trill would fall from his lips, unspoken communication with the others that all was well. She had to wonder if the girl was able to pick up on any of it...

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2010, 06:18:15 AM »
As they made their way to the village, Malith all too familiar with the watching of the other Rangers. Some he knew well and knew they were just making sure things were fine. While some were no doubt being nosy. Not for the first time he glanced to where he heard one of them and let go a sharp quick whistle through his teeth.  That should tell them once and for all to mind their territory, that he had this under control.

Really is was a polite way of saying mind your business from Ranger to Ranger. For them to check on him like that was custom. Rangers were supposed to check on one another when something was happening. It helped keep them ready in case the Humans attacked in some way. It could however be too much sometimes and this certainly seemed that.

Finally they reached the village through the beautiful flowers and grass plants. They were arranged nicely throughout the long entrance to the village but here where it spread out into the actual village, it was massive. Stone pyres on each side of the entrance were laced with natural greenery and the large stone dwellings never got old. Malith led them past a few curious onlookers and into a small shop with the name Korel's Eatery carved into the stone in Elven language.

Korel was a well known cook in the village and would certainly have foodstuffs for Kitherit to eat. They walked inside to a mostly empty eatery considering the time of day and Malith motioned for the cook to come out. Upon seeing Malith, the older male Elf came out and embraced him quickly.

"Malith, what brings you in so early?" Korel asked.

Malith motioned to the Ketherit and Ildra, "We'd like to get our friend something to eat, if you wouldn't mind Korel. You know Ildra I'm sure, and this is Keth..." Malith's tongue froze on the common language name. He shook his head slowly, "Ketherit."

Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2010, 08:26:06 AM »
It never failed to lift Ildra's spirits to their highest when she first walked into the village she called home. While the humans had their own places of stone and wood, elven villages tended to carry an elegant grace that was undeniable. Beautiful, clean, and well kept; intricate, scrolled carvings; flora and fauna not found anywhere else. How could she -not- love this place?

Curious glances were given the trio as they made their way to the eatery. Children gawked shamelessly, Rangers watched suspiciously, and the Elders were contemplative. Yet, none cried an alarm or tried to stop them. No doubt, due to Malith's presence. The aromas that assaulted them the moment they stepped through the door of the eatery reminded the healer she had not broken her fast this morn.

"Ahhh, Korel! It smells as wonderful as ever in here!" she chuckled, not having spoken until he and Malith had exchanged greetings. "I grew hungry the moment I walked in the door."

The proprieter was obviously taken aback by the strange Kitherit, but he quickly recovered, grinning broadly and clamping an almost feminine hand on her shoulder. "Then, I must feed my guests, yes?" He spread out his other arm to the carved wooden tables and chairs placed about. "Sit while I get you all something." He did give Kitherit an unsure glance as if he were not sure what she would prefer to eat.

Ildra smiled reassuringly at the male, even as she attempted to motion to Kith to sit at one of the nearby tables. "Bring us whatever you desire. We are all famished, and every, single thing you serve is wonderful." Nothing like flattery to get a grown male moving quickly. He nodded quickly, still grinning, and hurried into the kitchen.

Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2010, 08:31:30 AM »
Kitherit felt a sense of awe as they entered the village, and she saw more and more of the touches of Elven artistry.  It was like nothing she had ever seen before among the humans.  Elegant archways decorated with twining vines and flowers, ancient stone which somehow seemed to carry a certain majesty.  She felt a powerful sense of wonder at the graceful beauty of the village.  At the same time it somehow seemed so very right to her.  She wouldn't have been able to explain it, but she felt a sense of belonging, as though this should have been her home since birth.

At the same time she couldn't help but notice the looks that the villagers were giving her.  Many of them were curious, but there were a few who appeared frightened, nervous, or even angry at her presence.  These faces stood out vividly to her, and she shrank a little in fear.  Clearly a few recognized her for what she was, or at least suspected what she was.  She was suddenly uncomfortably aware of the fact that, if nothing else, her clothes stood out lividly as being extremely "human" in origin.  Not only were her clothes filthy, ripped, and torn, but they were made of very coarse materials compared to the fine dress of the Elven people.  She tried to pull her cloak a bit more around her to hide this fact, even if her cloak too was made of coarser material.

Malith lead the way into a small building with a sign out front.  The picture beneath the elegant script indicated to her that they had food of some kind, and entering the shop her nose immediately told her she was right.  She immediately felt and heard her stomach growl again, and blushed in embarrassment.  She watched as an older elf came out to greet her two companions warmly, and they conversed briefly.  Then she saw Malith gesture towards her, and heard him stumble over her name.  The other man turned then to look at her, a look of curiosity in his eyes.

Ildra continued to converse with the older man, as he looked at Kitherit uncertainly.  Then something Ildra said made the man's eyes light up and smile, and he quickly disappeared into the kitchen.  Following her new friends' guidance, she slipped into a chair at one of the tables, and they settled in beside her.  She continued to gaze around the shop, noticing all the details which marked this as a clearly Elven structure, so very different from the cumbersome and bulky human structures she was accustomed to.

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2010, 10:53:27 AM »
Ketherit and Ildra sat at one of the tables and Malith followed suit after removing his bow to place it on the chair. It was the best place to keep his weapon close in case he should need it while not hindering his ability to sit. Of course he would hope not to need his bow on this day inside the best eatery in the village.

The three sat in relative silence until Korel returned with hot pallets of a wonderful smelling meal. Malith wasn’t too hungry but still had to fight the urge to dig in quickly.

After a short time, they all seemed to be enjoying the meal as they were still silent. Malith glanced at Ketherit as she politely ate. She was different looking than most Elves for sure. Certainly not unattractive it would seem, though her current appearance was understandably rough. She’d apparently been through a lot.

He really wanted to just ask her what had happened but that wouldn’t sound right. His common was pretty good, as he needed to know some of the language in the case of having to deal with Humans. However it still wasn’t great.

“Ketherit, food is good?” he asked.

She nodded politely. He figured it was now or never to find out more information. After all if there was something going on out there on the fringe, he needed to know about it. Malith went over what he wanted to ask in his language in his head.

‘What happened to you? How did you end up where you were when we found you?’ he thought. Now he only had to get that across to Ketherit where she could understand it.

He spoke aloud in his shaky common, “How you end here? What happ… happen to you?”

Malith was satisfied with how it came out. That still didn't mean Ketherit would answer of course. He looked on intently.

Offline Rishana

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2010, 11:34:08 AM »
Ildra's stomach growled loudly while the three waited for their meals. Silence seemed to be the topic of the moment, though another reassuring smile was given to Kitherit. She pitied the girl, for obviously, she was out of her element. Yet, Kith seemed to be relaxing with each passing moment. Something akin to relief was etching itself across her smooth features, and that made Ildra all the more curious.

Korel came bustling back out of the kitchen, bearing a large tray in his hands. One of the kitchen helpers followed close behind, carrying a smaller tray holding mugs. A plate was placed before each of the three, and Ildra could not help a huge smile of delight. Fluffy eggs whipped with tender mushrooms and new spring onions, roasted slices of plump apples, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with nutmeg, and slices of toasted wafer bread. The portions were small, but that was the norm among the elven people. Possessing delicate pallettes, Elves tended to be more vegetarian than the human race. They eschewed heavy dishes, preferring lighter, more subtle flare. When they did eat meat, they only took from the excess animal population, careful not to disrupt the natural flow of the forest. Even then, they took only enough for the day and no more.
The helper gave them each a mug of cold, sparkling spring water and the utensils with which to eat the sumptuous meal.

"Korel, I will bring you rosemary for a month," Ildra chirped, picking up a spoon and digging into the eggs. While she was famished and eager to fill her belly, each motion was still carried out with a natural born, common grace. Her attention turned to Malith, eartips twitching while listening to him speak to Kith in common. Thankfully, she could understand common better than she could speak it...

Offline RainsingerTopic starter

Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2010, 11:54:10 AM »
As the trio sat in silence, Kitherit continued to gaze curiously around the room.  She gave a shy smile if she caught anyone's eye, but otherwise the silence was quite comfortable.  Even her two friends were quiet.

When the food came, her eyes widened slightly.  It wasn't like any dish she had ever seen before, and she immediately knew which looked more appetizing.  As she began to dig in to the light fare with some gusto, she relaxed even further.  She couldn't help but notice how graceful her two companions were, even as she they ate their meals.  She felt a little bit awkward in comparison to them, although she was still more graceful then a human, herself.  And more likely she was feeling more awkward then she really was.

She had always been a light eater, and this meal suited her perfectly.  Though she was starving, this was plenty to sate her hunger.  She picked up the mug and was surprised to realize it was water, cleaner and clearer then any water she'd ever had.  She was used to the pubs in the village serving beer or some other drink that would cover up the taste of the poor water.  She found herself drinking deeply of the crystal clear water, like a man dying of thirst in the desert.  She wasn't all THAT thirsty, but it was a tonic of life to her.

She looked up as Malith spoke, and then furrowed her brow.  Not in confusion, clearly, but in thought.  She considered her response for a full minute before she responded.

"I was born in a human village nearby.  My Mother hid me.  As I grew up I learned to cover my ears, to hide what I am."  To emphasize her point, she adjusted her still somewhat tangled hair to conceal her ears.  Then she reached over her shoulder and tugged up on her hood, adjusting it to cover her head enough to well conceal her ears, but keep her face visible.

"Yesterday, I went to the village for food," she pointed to her plate.  "One of the boys played a trick and pulled back my hood."  She lowered her hood again.  "They saw my ears, and were going to hurt me.  I managed to escape and I ran into the forest.  I ran all day.  I could hear them chasing me for awhile.  It was night time before I stopped by the river.  I couldn't hear them anymore.  I fell asleep, and Ildra found me the next morning."

She wasn't sure how much of this they would be able to understand, but she tried to speak very clearly, enunciating each word carefully.

Offline Dramen

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Re: No More Hiding
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2010, 12:42:51 PM »
Malith listened closely to Ketherit's response. He understood common well enough to get by. So he had no problem understanding her meaning when she spoke it that clearly. She continued her story and the farther it went the more Malith's smooth brow furrowed. He wasn't concerned for the village at all since this seemed to happen far away. Rather he was increasingly disturbed by the treatment Kitherit described.

Malith thought of himself as someone who never gave in to stereotypes of other races or even villages. But oh this sure sounded just like the humans. He looked at Kitherit with angry concern, "They hurt you... for," he pulled on his own pointed ears to accentuate his point, "This?" He controlled his anger well most of the time but things like this really tested his resolve.

He spoke in his native language towards Ildra, "Did you understand it that way Ildra? They tried to hurt her just because they saw her ears?"

He sat back in his chair and shook his head, "I don't get humans Ildra. Why would anyone do this to someone over the shape of their ears? It makes no sense."

He turned back to Ketherit and spoke in common, "I happy... you here."

Somewhere in the back of Malith's mind was the thought of why an Elf would be born in a human village. That seemed strange to say the least. At present he was too flustered to put any further thought into that part of it. Perhaps he would speak with Ildra about it later if he had the chance.