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Shifting Winds

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Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:55 am

((Welcome to the background story of Arilva Raani. I posted this on the Age of Conan forums back when we had a plan for some rp in that game. Perhaps we will still get it at some point!))


PROLOGUE

Long wheel tracks paved the deep dunes of the west sea. The mare strolled carelessly with slow sinking steps in between the strands of autumn grass and dry ocean flowers as the sea thundered across the sands in the late afternoon. The grimy animal seemed to care none about the fresh winds, its hoarse throat proclaiming frivolous satisfaction in its freedom from the reins.

Along the shoreline stood its rider, Bar’mor ,with his feet planted firmly in the sand, legs wide and sturdy as he inhaled the fresh sea with a shade of melancholy on his face. His eyes dipped deep into the sinking horizon as he sighed with its slowly descending sun.
It was the first time she noticed that he was old. Or older. She stepped up to him, quizzically studying him from the side with a sceptical eye as he suddenly woke from his dreams, spinning around to grasp her in his monstrous and lifting her two feet above the ground while chanting: “My favourite Pearl she is!”

Only a couple swings of her body through the salty air and he seemed to awaken once again from what must have been another dream, or perhaps a sequel to his first one, putting her down with a smile that captured the same downcast presence of his earlier state. His big hand cupped half her face as he stared down at her, a flicker of resentment presenting itself.

“You don’t look much like her ‘Rilva, I’m afraid to say,” he stated, sentence partly washed away by the repeating ragged collapses of the waves. “I have come to terms with that”. He was right; she did not look much like any woman worth mentioning. “But you’re still my pearl.”
She smirked softly as the question of “who” laid loosely in the pale eyes, her body shifting around to meet his as an interruption between him and the sea, trying to force out something more. But her expression did not add much to or from his secluded sadness.

“Oh we tried so much, but there was just no life left in her ‘Rilva. I suppose it was as predicted, her being sick and all.” His words were cut off, brutally slaughtered to silence by a towering wave that intercepted the shoreline, boiling white spume across the sand and sea shells. It cut his trail of thoughts to silence as well. As the new wave washed over their feet he stood locked in the past, their leathery boots moistening under the retrieving water. It did not affect him nor did he find the right sentence of continuing what was started either, as poorly spoken as he was.

“What little vessels of sadness we are Arilva. Sailing in this muffled silence through the world.” The sentence sighed out of him like a portion of life that ebbed out. “If only you had her eyes.”

There they stood suspended in silence. Looking at each other as something transpired between father and daughter. Across the sands his silhouettes hands cupped that of her shadows prune fingers. And their heads were bent towards each other with a level of understanding that was only seconds later sucked into the seasoned roar of the sea as it washed over the beach.

As suddenly as he had fallen into thought he raised his head again, stretching his arms out wide into the wind, all downcast reflections vanishing in its path.

“The sun has vanished and that was that! Come, the mare still carries enough fat to take us home!” And with his head twisted sideways over the iron sharp shoulder his voice erupted in a loud roar, “Ida! Mavl! It’s time to head home!”

As he scurried towards the wagon her body was left on the beach, palm tight around the little treasure that had passed between them. ‘A memory of her’ he called it. Opening her palm carefully she stared at the plain piece of tin jewellery and the haunting pattern that ran along its side, lungs going strangely empty as she tightened her fist firmly around it, scared that the wind would take it.
And through her fingers a weak pulse sent its slow charge into the empty air where her father’s hand had just been, seeking for anything that could explain why the rough symbols on the jewellery matched those that so unintentionally cursed her life.


Last edited by annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:55 am

9 months prior

A bushy green silhouette against a perfect blue sky. That’s what the elm trees looked like from underneath, when laying on her back staring up in between the thick twigs and their luscious offspring she let them sway her daydreams. It was early fall and she had just passed the day of her birth some fourteen years ago.

She was a plump girl, not particularly fair on the eyes, and although it wasn’t really as much unattractive as it was mundane her features still sported a fair amount of flesh. A nation shaped by the cradling mountain was often left with something that stood the strong withering of its temper, and her face, albeit oval and slim, was as if carved from an uneven rock. So she was plain and slightly dull, with pale eyes and thick curls that constantly got in the way.

It was under a weather bitten tree that stretched some thirty meters tall that she lay this morning, listening to the wind that pushed the treetops, dreaming of nothing in particular as the day slowly progressed.

She pushed herself up on strong elbows as sudden voices rang in the near distance, her smooth bones digging down in the green below as she eyed the edge of the forest a couple meters ahead. She was close to home, a place only some hundred meters north of her position, situated in a large clearing built up around a natural slope in the mountain. Near the walls of her village the forest grew in large shapes, grand old trees at constant war with the wooden barriers, their warrior-like shapes covering the sky while harbouring a luscious ground beneath them,

She crawled first to her knees, smoothing her body along the ground before pulling herself up by the twigs of another tree. Her heart sank to a deathly halt as he pushed his hand through the greens, his Crom given features coming to life under the mix match of shadows a few meters ahead. Behind him followed several of his young friends, the usual pack, all with their axes strapped to their backs and a few well chosen knives dangling from their leathery belts. A hunters troupe.
She scurried back from her position, feet wobbling in the soft soil as she tried to brush of her grimy elbows despite the far dirtier appearances of the band of boyish men. At a solid pace they strode, his wonderfully sweat driven face lifting as they passed sending shockwaves through her knees, and with a pounding heart she rested a hand against the tree, eyes peeled on the back of his face imagining that his eyes had lingered on her just then. Within seconds the party was gone, leaving a lively show of bushes and branches waving in their path. She leaned against the trunk behind her with a youthful sigh of agony. Her uneven breath halting as she pictured him with her inner eye, making a sudden turn, coming directly towards her, firm steps stopping only inches away as his rough hands moved unceremoniously up her upper arms as the sunburned face explored her from above. Just as his possessive breath closed in on her desperate lips an acorn hit her skull with skull with a sound ‘thud’.
She blinked, awakening to a dazed reality by the burst of laughter coming from the closest bush, quickly followed by a cry of mock panic as her younger brothers scurried ahead out into the opening some meters ahead. Paving the way for her furious temper as she shot like a snake through the vegetation, slowly moving up the hillside to where the village awaited.

“Flee!” One mischievous sibling shrieked. “She’s gonna blow her magic at us, ooooo!”

“You rotten dogs!” she yelled as her nails loosened a handful of bark in her way, throwing the light material into the wind after them.

“Arilva and Kamdur, dancing at mid summers brawl,” they taunted laughingly, quickly increasing the gap between them as she grew short of breath.


A woman with an orbit that could take down a doorframe and a pair of pudgy arms slammed open the wooden window of a low broad hut, a growl from another world emerging as she yelled her intensions to the world. ”You rats pack, get here!” Southerners would be convinced that this was the call for the final slaughter, collecting their merchants’ goods in their arms as they flailed about to get their carts packed, leaving several fine goods for the first eyes, hands or axes that claimed ownership. Had they stayed longer they would have discovered the rush of children which conjured from nowhere and moved towards the bellowing voice at an alarming speed while shuffling each other to get ahead, ignoring poorly opened doors and the woman’s broad thighs as they hurried for whatever seat they could conquer. It was the feeding of the starving flocks and there was no mercy for manners in the onslaught.

“Riiiiilva! Quit yer day dreaming and get here!” The woman yelled as her non matching eyes spotted a missing person in the group of nine.

Arilva pushed herself in through the wild siblings, shuffling one of the snickering miscreants sideways to make room for her seat as he grinned up at her with a set of meat filled teeth. Food there was plenty of, and plenty was needed. The silence of the first ten minutes was the most peaceful moment of the day, all the nine children devouring the mediocre meal with great vigour. Eating was not a daily routine, it was a lifestyle. And with the hunger of wolves they cleared what was put on the table in the matter of minutes. Arilva joined them as always, grabbing for anything that wasn’t already taken, inspired by the fear of no food rather than the simple lust that inhabited the rest.
No sooner had they settled their restless stomachs before most were out of the hut again running in all directions, one unlucky child getting caught by the neck as his mother dragged him back towards the hut yelling for Bar’mor who was already running alongside his oldest son with a savage grin.
They would be back for the next meal, resuming their daily activities now with well fed stomachs and carefree spirits. The next meal would be caught by someone else, competitive siblings aiming to regain a foot inside the adult’s world by bringing home the most ferocious beast ever seen. And so they had no restraints as they grabbed their bowes and axes, talking in excited yells across the compound to each other, knowing for sure that this was going to be their day.

But never Arilvas.

She was long gone as well, running down the slim path behind their home, closely followed by a smaller version of herself who was trying to outrun her.

“Quit it Frim! I’m going to see the Crone”

She huffed as she jumped down the steep hill of the path, her sister stopping on top of the hill with eyes wide, painfully debating whether to follow. She tucked on her braids as her eagerness was quelled by the ominous dark trees that rose up below the hill.

“You shouldn’t go there Rilva!” She finally yelled with subtle conviction. “Come back!”

But the thin voice was already drowning as Arilvas quick feet carried her further into the pine dominated valley below.


Last edited by annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:56 am

The Crone

The home of the Crone was low and dark dwelling built in along the roots of a majestic pine, situated far past the edge where the light ceased to breach the forest. The hut stretched the long arms of the tree out over the forest floor, creating a perfect hive that sunk a good meter into the ground. It was a moist place where creatures of the dark had their beginnings, and the stale air gave birth to unfamiliar smells as she ventured further into the dim area. It was not a place of fear, even with its dark looming shapes looking down at her as she moved quickly underneath them. It was a glorious form of life. In here she was aware of the difference, the lack of something important. And although she could feel that it wasn’t killing the forest it had been changed by the lack of it. The lack of sunlight and the lack of life. Now it had transformed into a different kind of vegetation, perfect in its balance as it sustained itself and harboured a rich variety of creatures. She sensed the woman’s presence, long before the frail voice reached her ears, as she eagerly approached the hut.

“Arilva my daughter, is that you?”

The rusty tone was dry and thin, with a subtle hint of force that lingered from decades of ominous knowledge. She had a strange reputation with the village and in particular with the young. The witch of the marsh, the old and deranged. Oh how they feared the nights when she would come to steal their teeth and nails, grinning as she spat on their sleeping forms. The stories had been many up through the years, and each new generation of children had devoted their time diligently to the tales. She was known as a savage and a healer. One who they preferred not speaking to lest forced, and one who was never invited to the village. She was used as a last resort, at the occasion of a dying child or an infant’s struggle to leave the mother’s womb. They would cringe as they saw her, bony and thin, with greying strands of hair and eyes bulging slightly out of their sockets along with an eerie cut leaving most of her upper lip distorted.

Arilva stepped up to the heavy door and carefully pushed it open, greeting the withered woman in her chair with a bright smile.

“It’s me”

She was not called daughter because of any existing bonds, but because of the unity they shared as inhabitants of the north. Kyva’s bright eyes rested on Arilva with a gleam of secrecy as the girl walked in to kneel down and rest a hand on the woman’s cold fingers, eager to hear what had sparked such an expression.

“I could swear I heard a Vanir the other night, lurking around my hut.” She squeaked.

“I would love to see them try,” Arilva grinned, “Would have their work cut out for them.”

Kyva’s face went darker as she stared down at her.

“Yes they would, wouldn’t they?” She chuckled hoarsely before the hollow laugh descended to a soft drool. “I should like that. I should like that,” she repeated confirming the fact to herself, tightening her cold hand under Arilvas as she remembered something.

“I have something special for you today.”

“You know I would appreciate even the smallest of knowledge.”

“Knowledge?! To the devils with knowledge!” The woman scorned. “Pompous short witted fools running around with their books and their precious intellect.” Kyva pushed herself out of her chair, letting go of Arilvas hand with a sour face. “No, I want something entirely different for you,” She muttered as she finally found her balance. “I want you to feel, child. You have a healers touch but you are still not feeling!” Arilva watched questioningly as the woman moved around the dwelling rummaging through heavily burdened shelves.

“I thought I felt plenty, by Crom, I can even sense that which is out of my physical reach!” she finally objected.

“It is a grand gift that has the potential daughter, but you cannot learn it from books or conversations, you need to taste it with your very soul.” She finally stopped, pulling out small leather pouch which was neatly shut by a thick string. “I want you to go to the swamp south of here, where the valley clears up and broadens into the lake. Stay there till you figure it out. Watch out for the mud though, it will drag you right down this time of year. ”

Arilva looked at the purse in expectation, waiting for something to happen as the Crones face darkened with a grunt.

“What are you looking at? It’s soup you dumb child, run along now.” She huffed and complained as Arilva exited the hut, scratching a patch of loosening skin on her elbow. “Yes, I think a storm is coming”


Last edited by annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:56 am

The Storm

She was standing alone along the shore of the lake. A million flowers spread out like sheets on the vast swamp behind her, devouring the sun and air greedily. The wind blew in light puffs down the strangely elevated landscape where the grasses shivered briefly in its breeze and returned to their former dreaming stillness. She looked up at the sky which had taken on a dark blue colour, and a moment of quiet longing formed in her head as she wondered what she was doing here. As it passed through her mind a light sniff of pollen reached her nose and she broke out into a sharp sneeze.
The warm air suddenly sank low with a gush and shuddered, sucked down as nature took a deep breath and all life forms grew an inch shorter. An inner shadow seized the atmosphere, appearing transparent as it closed of all light and lay a heavy purple cape over the ground of the great swamp. Warm and moist the air stood stale, scents of strong fungus and mud laying prone in midair, in absolute stillness, waiting.

Suddenly the sky screamed with a violent snap and a hole to breathe opened up vertically above. A wave of water set in to engulf the sky as the flare of light split it open and withdrew in an instant, back into the rapidly descending clouds. Swirling insects rained down under the stream of water as the lake bubbled from its projectiles, greeting the deep thick roar of thunder as it spread out high above.
The raging display of the wild absorbed everything. And her head bent backwards as she opened her mouth to drink from the untameable force, her voice muffled in the rain as she relished in the savage flood of life, screaming in ecstasy. As she stood with her hands uplifted towards the sky a soft throbbing slowly spread at the centre of her back, inching its way upwards in a bright blue hue as it took on a peculiar shape. Tiny square symbols and strange exotic lines slowly revealed a slim and inexplicably intricate pattern under her tunic as it traversed up the spine. The only thing she felt was its slight numbing sting as it grew and withdrew in the matter of seconds, leaving her body to soak in the pouring rain.


Hours later she stepped through the Crones wooden door, drenched and lost for breath with both excitement and disappointment evident on her face. The woman noticed her demeanour without effort, smiling as to await her wonderments when Arilvas burdened face lifted from its bowed position.

“If I am a savage,” She began, “and I can feel the earth burning under me, how come I cannot kill? What is wrong with my body, and why is it marked?” Kyva curled her lips in a satisfied grin as Arilvas unexpected question continued. “I have tried so many times, and whatever creature large or small it simply will not die! My sisters are putting me to shame.”

The Crone’s grin changed to that of an understanding expression all at once.

“We cannot kill Arilva.” She stated as she gazed on the girl’s eventless features “Or; you can’t, at least not intentionally, despite your great hunger for it.” She gave her a pitying smile. “Perhaps the lack of such will give you a gift for something else. Such as that strange symbol that keeps crawling up your flesh”. Arilva rested a gesturing hand on her back at the mention.

“What is it?” she asked in a low voice.

“I have no clue, I noticed it first many years ago, when you were swimming around the high lake with your siblings. They thought it was an eel, remember? On a stroke of luck it was a foggy morning and all they spotted was the blue hue that tailed you around the water.”

“But what does it do? Is it a healing gift?”

“Again I do not know, but it seems unlikely. If you ask me it’s either a result of an action that you undertake, or a sign of your momentary passion. Who knows, maybe it’s a tale of things to come. Or perhaps it can tell you more about your strange non-slaughtering predicament? Why don’t you tell me, child, what you feel as you try to kill? Perhaps I can help open your eyes.” Arilva took a moments silence as she thought of a way to best describe it.

“It is as if life is flowing through me without my control. I cannot inflict enough damage before the source of healing takes over.”

“Exciting isn’t it,” The crone interrupted in a mumble.

“Exciting? That I cannot kill in a world that depends on it?”

“Yes! And I am not even sure you can heal either.”As Kyvas word hit her Arilva tossed her arms out to both sides, a profoundly confused exclaim tightening up her throat.

“What? Of course I can! I see a wound, I touch the body, and it heals!” She defended. “To suggest such a possibility, to take away the only thing that makes me valuable...!” The thought sent a devastating ache through her chest.

“But there’s the clue Arilva! You touch the creature’s body, not its wound. And it heals slowly, as if it isn’t even coming from you but from within the wounded itself.”

“I don’t understand. Is it a trick? Nothing I actually do? Another reason for me to blend in with my eventless surroundings? Her quickly agitated tone rose up under the ceiling as the crone raised a reassuring hand.

“It is a trick, but a very nice one.” She calmed. “It reminds me of something I saw in the southern lands, long ago on the plains where the sun never seems to go down. Where southern healers would merely touch a sick man, and he would seem renewed.” She let her eyes rest in Arilvas as she took a pause to sum up her thoughts. “I believe you are a pool of life, simply manipulating your target as you make it experience what it desire the most, and through that grant it renewal.”

“uh... you mean... uhm... “

“Oh child no, you really do have a young mindset! Sometimes people fail to recognise healing when they are in the midst of it, because it so often acts as a natural part of their body. The body is the most skilled healer, the finest instrument. You nails grow, your wounds close, and your cold dies out. Lest it be a plague of course” she shuddered. “That is where you fit in, where the injury is grave, like most healers do. “But unlike healers you sense an injury with your entire being. Where they see a wound you sniff it out like an animal, feeling the lack of life as you are drawn inexplicably in the need to fill it, to replenish the draining source. Unfortunately the flow of energy has its own life.” Her eyes dimmed. “And unfortunately it is out of your control.”

She paused, they both did, as Kyva made her way towards Arilva in efforts to place a bony hand at her chest. “You are connected to this source of life, but it isn’t yours. You can manipulate it, use it to weave your way, but you cannot command it. You could fall to the simplest of enemies if they knew how to draw on you.

“I could heal an enemy?” Arilva whispered as her stunned heart was beating rapidly against the hand that calmed her chest.

“I believe so, if the need is strong enough. You are incapable of killing, even though you wish to with all your heart. A fact I find remarkable and have never seen amongst Cimmerians. I imagine it will be very hard, if not impossible, to walk away from an injured enemy.” Her hand slid up to rest at the girl’s cheek as she studied the slowly moistening freckles. “Arilva,” she sighed, “Calm your bitterness. Your eyes are like pools of a forgotten world. They are empty, and that means they are susceptible to be filled. They are adaptable, it’s a gift and I can see the changeable spark therein. You are mundane because you act as a source.”

“My invisibility to the world is a gift?” Arilva scorned quietly.

“You’re not invisible sweet daughter, you are just empty.”

The room was filled with silence as Arilva took in the woman’s words. No one saw her, no one ever noticed her presence. She was not counted on, and never had she been the target of anyone’s affection. Her way of simply blending into her surroundings, her pointless demeanour, was all part of a gift? She bowed her head out of the crones reach with a bitter grunt. A gift that came with a price. She walked away from the crone, reaching the open door where she sniffed in the moist air that was still fresh after the rain.

“I cannot kill. Can I resurrect?”

“No one can Arilva. No one but the death weavers, selling their souls to the darkest of Gods.” Kyva walked up behind her and laid her reassuring hands on her shoulders. “Resurrection is a lie, it comes with a price. Even you and I cannot achieve it without paying something costly. “She guided Arilva firmly to turn around and face her “Promise me, Arilva, that you will never explore it. For it will suck the life-force from under you and you will become a skeleton of what you are.” One of her thin hands moved up to take the jaw of the disappointed girl into its hold as to strengthen her words. “Promise me child.”

“I promise” Arilva murmured, torn in disappointment.

Kyva held on to her jaw with squinting eyes.

“I do not understand why your healing is so different. I truly do not understand.” She went on in a low mutter as her fingers traced upwards along Arilvas face. “Such a smooth jaw. Although it is far from beautiful it certainly is not Cimmerian.”

Without another word she released her hold, leaving the stunned girl in the door as she herself disappeared behind the large linen that covered her bed.


Last edited by annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:57 am

The first frost had endured, keeping its tight grasp on the mountain for several weeks. The autumn gales groaned in the chimneys as the barbarians spent their days celebrating the coming of months where they could test their strength against nature itself. What a glorious pursuit it was! And they drank vigorously to this goal every night as they shared their tales of inconceivable survival. The trees had long lost their colourful leaves, and over the frozen lakes only blackened and lonely remnants of vegetation lay across the ice. It was on one of these lakes that the pack of young men where fishing, having spent hours to get through the ice and were now finally sitting around a deep hole with their fishing sticks, hoping to catch a terrifying prey.

She watched them from the shore not daring to step out. Although a war elephant could have marched across the ice she felt compelled to stay put, shivering under the layers of leather as her arms moved hastily up and down each other trying to spark some heat. She didn’t get it. Never were her sisters cold but she was always frozen like an ice tap.
The Crones words had occupied her thoughts relentlessly through the fall, and she was contemplating again, as so many times before, how to demand control of what she now deemed her curse. No amount of savagery seemed to enhance or change anything, it was all she could do; to stand still and feel, and hope that something would change.
Out on the ice a boy suddenly bellowed in victory as he pulled up a large, strange looking, fish on the end of his stick. He began wriggling it triumphantly as he burst into spontanious victory dance around the others, laughing and taunting their misfortune. As he had done a couple swift circles around them the tallest of the boys suddenly shot up an arm, grasping for the joyful throat of the winner as he sneered in a challenging fashion and pulled him down by his clothed neck. Within long they were rolling around on the snow clad ice in jovial battle roars. Kam’dur had never looked so bestial. They had not seen her, of course they had not, as they rolled around with tightened arms, laughing and freely aiming punches for each other as they battled over the monumental honour of the speared prey.
Her eyes lingered on him as his arms pulled up the shorter foe and tossed him a good meter across the ice, being rewarded by a barbaric grunt as the taunting boy landed face down on the hard surface. As Kam’dur stood, still panting from the fight with his figure raised victoriously over the other, his eyes lifted briefly to fall directly on her. The sudden contact caused a shockwave in her body, exploding across her back as the numbing pattern shot up through her spine in an instant, her neck burning within seconds as his eyes rested in hers.

As sudden as the blood had rushed to her veins, a crackle sounded along the steep slope of the mountain high above them. An Echo. They lifted their heads to look at the echoing wall as the ice beneath them suddenly groaned viciously and buckled in its midst. A surge of spring coursed through its depths as the lid broke in its centre, shooting hundreds of cracks outwards like a raging whip. A moment of absolute silence followed as the boys held their breath. Then the bowls of water groaned again and one of the boys leaned over to hastily grab his belongings, shouting a rapid warning to the rest. They never got the time to stand as the ice unravelled below them, tilting them of balance as they quickly thereafter vanished from the surface with panicked cries, striking out hands for something to hold onto as the lake sucked them down into its darkness. It took only seconds before Kam’dur lost his footing on the buckling surface as well, a scream of desperation consuming his lungs as his feet went through and the ice cold waters engulfed him greedily. His leather clad body was instantly soaked, pulling him down with solid force as his weapons burdened him like rocks, closing out the light as his struggle hardly had time to begin before it soon diminished.

Arilva stood locked in shock at the shore, watching as the bodies rapidly disappeared under the hundreds of fragments that bobbed across the surface. She made a hurried step into the terrifying mass as their presence quickly extinguished, leaving her with nothing to feel but the fresh air and its soft hiss against her terrified face. She was left alone to listen to her ragged breath as it came in small frightful shots, trying to comprehend what had happened. Her back pulsed lightly as the strange pattern withdrew.
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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:57 am

EPILOGUE

The beach was fighting like a crazed animal, trying to catch them as they rode off into the cooling air with a course for the inlands. Bar’mor in the front leading the accompanying children behind him, and at the far back Arilva on her Romara. Now she knew for sure as she watched her siblings broad shoulders, her own narrow in comparison. Cimmerian to the eye, but a heart from somewhere else. She knew she inhabited a natural born gift to sense life, and another to manipulate it. But she was not a healer, not a barbarian, but something else entirely. An instrument of dreams, with an appearance as laughable as a donkeys barf.

The two combined was a curse so profound.

Damned to a life of the mundane and the unseen, the unnoticed and the unsuccessful. The symbol that emerged so rarely on her back was the only hint as to who had given her this worthless life. It led to whatever had damned her. The jewellery she now hastily hid away under her clothes showed the same strange symbols. A place to start. A clue which needed deciphering from someone who could read it.

The north could wait. She steadily slowed the eager mount and slowly fell behind, unseen as she made a right turn in a crossing that split the road , urging her animal on again as she vanished into the dark.


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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  The Sub-Creator on Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:08 am

I read it then, and loved it. I read it now, and still love it. I'm sure I'll read it over again in the near future. Man, that was a talented crew we had writing together in AoC's forums! Definitely a blast to be a part of that!

Thank you for posting this, Rachel! Folk are going to love it! bounce

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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:18 pm

Thank you Pat! How I appreciate your continued affection for the piece Smile Some day I might write another!

And yes, what an incredible crew. I'd have loved to be able to continue with them on those forums if they hadn't reset it all Suspect
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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  Penelope on Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:16 pm

GREAT story!! I need to know more! Did Arilva ever discover the source of her 'curse'? The link between the strange symbol that would appear on her back, and the markings on the jewelry that her father gave her?

Thanks for posting this!! Very Happy

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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  annasimone on Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:29 pm

Thank you so much! So nice with such good feedback I love you

Akhesses was actually going to be the link to tmost of hose discoveries. Akhesses, "the suspiciously dead and scary", was one of Pats creations for Age of Conan. I would love to share more, but still feel tempted to hold the cards close to my chest until I know for certain I won't get any more written of it (or rp'ed out).
We had begun to rp out the first meeting on the forum, in the Sleepy Dragon Inn, along with a band of great players. I think we spent some 30 forum pages on just the first week in that Inn, then they wiped the boards when the game launched.

I'd have loved to continue the story though, I had so many wonderful ideas for how it would go, and so did Patrick!

You know pat.. we should invite Gryfter and Phoebe in here :p
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Re: Shifting Winds

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:11 pm

Kinda sucks they wiped the boards. You have a really great character here. Terribly interesting. It would have been fun to play with, I'm sure. If anything, you should write it up as a novella or something because it reads really well so far. Smile
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