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A Short Adventure with Zerye and Nuari Stormcloud

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:10 am

The young elf's eyes bulged wide as he hopped to his feet. Suddenly Sandpoint seemed very far away, and he wasn't 100% sure in which direction. The gnome was acting quite strangely and he was getting more uncomfortable by the minute...

"I'm not... I... umm.... I mean... I'm not afraid of you...." he stammered defensively. "You don't understand... "

He was quiet as he let her words sink in. He didn't believe it. Any of it. "No..." he said quietly. "It's not you, I'd rather nobody knew me... Bad things have happened to those that do." The hollowness in his chest seemed to grow as he admitted that.

Finally when he couldn't take the silence anymore he admitted in a whisper, "I don't know what I'm capable of... I could very well become worse than all those things you say... Perhaps it would be best if you avoided me...."
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Zerye

Post  TRU on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:42 am

Nuari's sudden movements startled Zerye. She froze for a moment, her eyes searching his face as if she could not make heads or tails of his unfinished sentences. The silence that followed was awkward, though it did not seem to affect Zerye. Her face had gone back to the unreadable stare her companions had come to know so well. Only when Nuari whispered his final wavering attempt to reply did something snap inside the gnome.

Nuari wrote: "Perhaps it would be best if you avoided me..."

Zerye's hand landed with a resounding slap on Nuari's chest. She had meant to strike his cheek but her short arms could not reach that high. She grabbed the shirt where her hand had landed and pulled Nuari's face closer to hers.

"You are a selfish fool, Stormcloud," she hissed in his face. "You have nerve to believe that shoving someone out of your life will save them when the truth is you are hurting them worse then you can imagine. You dishonor the Mother with your fear of the power she gave you. I wish, oh how I wish she would smite you for your ungrateful selfishness!"

Zerye let go of Nuari with a shove, glaring at him with narrowed eyes. Her body was rigid and her breathing slow and measured.

"I must go and talk with the Mother." Zerye's voice was hostile. "Do not leave this place until I get back." The gnome turned her back and walked off, leaving Nuari alone with the moss and her small bag of berries.

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:09 pm

Nuari stood there stunned as the furious gnome seemed to melt into the woods around her. What had he said?? Didn't she understand?? He was dangerous! If he pushed people away, it wasn't for HIS sake... It was for HERS!!

The elf could feel the frustration and the anger rising up in himself. He just let it go this time... Anger turned to rage... rage turned to fire. As he turned his fury towards an old dead tree, he felt relief and shame at the same time.

He sighed heavily as he plopped down on the ground and watched the tree burn. He hoped it wouldn't spread and after a little while he decided he must have gotten lucky. If the druid was mad at him now... what would she be like if he burned down the forest.

Hours passed. Afternoon became evening, evening became night. He began to wonder if she was coming back or not. He should have started working his way back... but as the stars came out and he rested causally watching his inferno dwindle to nothing, he realized he didn't really want to go back... Not tonight. Tonight wasn't a time for 'people'.
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Zerye

Post  TRU on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:34 pm

The wood had a healing affect on Zerye. Not long after leaving Nuari did her anger subside and soon peace was restored to her heart. If you knew what she did during those hours in the woods it would only bore and confuse you. Zerye's behavior is strange to behold at times.

It was night when she finally made it back to the clearing. She stopped for a moment at its edge to watch the elf. Zerye seemed to be waiting for some sign that it was alright for her to enter the clearing again. She showed no signs of fear toward the elf lying on his back in the middle of the clearing. Instead there was respect in her eyes as she contemplated her companion. It appeared that her time in the woods had given her a greater perspective of their earlier conversation.

Zerye quietly unbuckled the straps that held her beloved knives across her chest. Pulling them over her head she hung her pointy friends on a tree branch where they would be safe until morning. Then, clearing her throat, she crept across the mossy floor to the elf, taking notice of the glowing embers in a bed of ash nearby. Zerye breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that Nuari was still awake.

"If you would like to listen," Zerye started tentatively, "I have a story I want to tell you. It is a story I was reminded of after I left you in my anger earlier. One that the lady Shath often reminded me of, in my days of learning with her. May I tell it to you, Stormcloud?

"You see, when I was very young Shath would take me on long walks in the Sanos. She would carry me on her back pointing out specific plants and animals along our way. Shath would share much of the wisdom that the Mother had graciously given her, feeding it to me is such a way that my small mind understood. I was curious about everything and Shath's knowledge kept my head busy with many thoughts of her beloved nature. I was never lacking for questions and she was never lacking for answers. Upon her back is where I learned well of the simple things in life."

Zerye paused to look up at the sky. She craned her neck so far that she lost her balance and fell onto the soft mossy floor. Situating herself so that she could once again see the expanse above, Zerye reached up her hand, as if she wanted to touch them.

"Do you see that star there?" Zerye asked, pointing a particularly bright star set in the night sky like center jewel in a crown. "That one there, the bright one in that cluster of three. That star is a bright one now, but you should see it in the spring time, when it hovers on the horizon. It is then that the star shines brightest of all. Did you know that, Stormcloud?"

Zerye folded her hands behind her head and grinning with confident pride of her vast knowledge. She turned to look at the elf beside her.

"How old are you, Stormcloud?" she asked abruptly, though she did not wait for a reply. Realization swept over her face as she exclaimed, "Oh, I was in the middle of telling you something, wasn't I?

"As I was saying, the lady Shath would take me on walks through Sanos when I was very young. One day we were passing by a large hedge when something she saw caused Shath to stop. She bade me to slide off of her back so that she may take a closer look. I followed her gaze and saw a red fox caught in the thicket. Shath explained to me that he was a young thing and had unwisely tried chasing a rabbit through the brambles getting himself caught. Shath told me that I should go and help him. I tried to and did what I thought would help him best, but he growled and whimpered and in the end he bit my hand."

Zerye traced the scar on her right hand before holding it out to show Nuari. The moon was bright enough that he could see a star shaped scar on Zerye's palm, in between her right forefinger and thumb.

"I cried. I asked Shath why he bit me when I was trying to help him. Shath bent down and showed me that pulling on the poor fox, though it might have seemed like the quickest way to free him only hurt him more, causing the thorns to dig deeper into his tender skin. Only patient work and gentle hands could bring freedom from such pain.

"The night is so peaceful, is it not, Stromcloud? The wood is so quiet at night. Even the stirring of the night beasts are soft and low."

Zerye paused again as she listened to the quiet of the night. It was evident that she still had something to say, for though she spoke of peace she seemed agitated. Taking a deep breath, the gnome started to speak once more.

"I am not good with words in common, Stormcloud... that is why I speak gnome with you. But even so I find that I do not know quite what to say, so I will speak plainly. I left you here in anger but the Mother showed me that I was not right in doing so. I want so much to help you. I want you to trust me, Stromcloud... and do not fear what may happen to me, the Mother knows my purpose and will see that I fulfill it, no matter what happens.

"But, forgive me, I believe my words have caused more hurt then the help I intended them to bring. I thought I was skilled in healing but it appears I have much to learn. Will you help me help you, Stormcloud? Will you let me be your friend?"

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:31 am

Nuari laid there in silence as the gnome rambled on. Sometimes it was difficult to determine exactly what was a legitimate part of her story, and the point she was trying to make... and what was simply a random observation.

Finally after an awkward amount of silence, he was fairly certain a response was required from him. Though he wasn't sure what he was supposed to say.

He was still angry. She had proposed this journey. He would have been just as happy staying in town all day... Instead on a whim he followed her out to the middle of nowhere only to be berated for trying to protect her from himself... and somehow, this was all his fault!!

As her words sank in, the anger in him dimmed like the low burning embers they'd produced. In it's place was a sadness and familiar loneliness he rarely admitted even to himself.

"Zeyre...." he spoke softly over the night sounds. "It doesn't work like that." He was quiet for a moment as he tried to put his thoughts into words.

"You can't ask to be my friend... and then tell me not to worry about your safety. It's not that simple... I do consider you a friend... and hope... that I never do anything to cause you to change your mind..."

He choked a bit as recent memories came flooding back in. Thomalain had been his friend too... The young elf had also seen Nuari's powers as 'neat.' He also wasn't around anymore.

"I've had this curse for my whole life... an even hundred years actually. I don't know how you wish to 'help me', but the powers are in my blood, and they are dangerous... My uncle searched for a way to clear the taint... but there was nothing to be done. I am what I am...

"My friend is not the safest thing in this world to be Zeyre..."
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Zerye

Post  TRU on Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:21 am

Zerye laughed wryly at the elf's words. "I think I know what you speak one minute, Stormcloud, and the next minute I am confused. Do you want me to be your friend or not?

"I hope I am clear. I want to be your friend." Zerye's voice sounded strangely uncertain. "I thought I knew everything I needed to help you but it appears, for the first time in a long time, I do not know how to help.

"I find that I cannot help heal your pain unless you show me where it is, otherwise, I will hurt you in my effort. I do not want to cause you pain..." The gnome's voice trailed off as she let herself fall back onto the bed of moss. She gazed up at the stars again.

"I know the stars, and the trees, and all the animals. Many things I know very well for I studied them for eighty winters, but yoongtehns, you, Morelen, the people of Sandpoint, I do not know at all.

"May I tell you a secret, Stromcloud?" Zerye did not wait for the elf's reply. "Before I walked into Sandpoint a few days ago I had never seen a yoongtehn before in all my days."

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:51 am

"Ahhhh...." he said. It seemed that even with the spell she cast, there were still some words that didn't translate well... It seemed 'yoongtehn' translated to 'non-gnome'. Elves had a similiar word...

"Not everything can 'be' helped Zeyre." he shook his head in confusion. Why was this so important to her? "You don't understand... because your power comes from someplace 'good'. Mine does not come a 'mother' of any kind...''

His problems must seem so simple to outsiders... They didn't understand. On the outside he must look like a normal wizard. He knew he didn't help people understand him any better... but he was afraid of how they'd reacte. He wasn't exaclty 'liked' back home... and even though he felt the label misleading... he 'liked' being a Hero of Sandpoint. So no... Zeyre couldn't help him... but it still meant a lot that she'd tried so hard...

"Yes Zeyre, If you'd still like to be my friend... I'd like that very much."
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Re: A Short Adventure with Zerye and Nuari Stormcloud

Post  TRU on Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:09 pm

Zerye looked at Nuari as if she wanted to tell him that he was the one who didn't understand but instead she chose to leave the issue well enough alone... this time. It was getting late, for the moon was high. Zerye rubbed her eyes, yawned, stretched, then rolled over on her side so that her back was to the elf.

"Power is power," the gnome whispered to the trees. "It's neither good or evil. The only way it is made such is through the choices we make when we wield it."

Zerye yawned for a second time. "I must sleep now," she told the elf, the tones of her voice taking on the sing-song qualities of many a sleepy child. "I would advise you to get what rest you can as well, Stormcloud. Tomorrow we begin the hunt."

The gnome was silent for a while as if she had already drifted off to sleep. However, that illusion was dismissed when the sound of her whispering voice yet again broke the stillness. "I am glad to be your friend, Stormcloud. You are a good friend..." Zerye's words were lethargic as they trailed off into the night.

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:50 pm

A tear rolled down his face as the gnome drifted off to sleep. He knew she was only trying to help him, but somethings arent' as simple as a druid sees the world. He wished it was. Lamashan... Is that the month they were in? His mind drifted back to his hurried exodus. Almost four months... gods, had it really been that long?

It still felt like yesterday. Well... Maybe not yesterday. Yesterday, he'd been torn apart by demon dogs and undead shadows... but certainly not four months. The pain of losing the last person who believed him to be a 'good friend' was still fresh. The wound still bleeding.

What truly frightened him was the way the fire was growing... That night in the Rusty Shield it had truly been an accident. Just a spark really.... but what he did with Nualia... That wasn't an accident... and it horrified him.

Power can be used for good... Elven mages believed that wholeheartedly... but he did not. His wasn't a power that he'd spent years learning and studying... he hadn't sought it out... it came from something... and nothing in his studies indicated that it was something good...

"Mmmph" The elf grunted in alarm as he felt something brush up against him. Light snoring told him all he needed to know... The green haired gnome had leaned up against him much as he'd seen her sleeping on the boar... Gently he tried to move over without waking her, but she was firmly holding his cloak in place. Sighing awkwardly, he fell into a fitful sleep.


********************

In his dream he was drowning. Struggling to keep his head above water, much like his first day in Sandpoint. Something terrible was coming for him, and he couldn't escape it. Though once he thought himself a decent swimmer... He wasn't making any progress at all... he couldn't even stay horizontal. His feet were heavy and something was pulling him down... Water filled his lungs and the light from the sky was swallowed by the darkness


*********************

Startled he shook himself awake and found a great pressure on his chest. Green hair covered his face, forcing itself down his throat and he couldn't breathe. Gasping he fought the sense of panic and impending doom long enough to recognize the deafening snore.

ZEYRE... It was... just Zeyre... Carefully, he pushed the gnome off of his face, and off to the ground next to him again. Vivid recollections of one of his uncles cats doing the same thing caused him to chuckle a little. Without another thought he rolled over and went back to sleep.


A few hours later, he repeated the process....
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Zerye

Post  TRU on Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:29 pm

Just before the sun broke the horizon the gnome started to stir. She rolled over from her right side to her left and then back again. Slowly she raised her head and then, with eyes still shut against the light, she began to paw around the ground, as if she was looking for something. The moss at her sides didn't seem to satisfy her so she lifted herself up to her knees, the fingers of one hand outstretched in the air in front of her. Zerye made a couple short sweeping motions with that hand before it found anything. By the sudden, wide-eyed look of shock it seemed that what the gnome found was not what she had been looking for. Nuari groaned as Zerye removed her hand from the his nose, the gnome's face changing rapidly into a smile. The elf gave her a look of great annoyance before closing his eyes again, turning his back to the her. Zerye only giggled at him, saying, "You sleep so much quieter than a boar."

She patted his shoulder gently as she made her way to her feet. "Rest for a while longer, friend," she whispered. "I must go talk to the Mother. I'll be back with a wheh beht o' brehkfas'"

And with that, Zerye skipped off into the wood, whistling harmony with the bird song in the trees.

****************************************

When Nuari woke up he found a pile of berries on a leaf waiting for him. It was a sign that the gnome had already come and gone. The fact that her knives were still hanging in one of the trees that outlined the clearing was the only proof he had that she would be back again. The sun had traveled almost a third of it's way across the sky before he finally saw the gnome. Zerye came bounding up to the clearing doing spins and kicks off of her staff.

"Ah foond i'!" she squealed. "Ah foond meh neew pewpull." Zerye swung her staff forward, using it to vault herself into the air. She landed in a tangled somersault on the moss at Nuari's feet.

"Yoo knohw wha' tha' mehns?" Zerye voice quivered with excitement as she picked herself up off the ground. "Tha' mehns tha t'm oolmoost doowehn wi' oour wahk, nehrly.

"Coome, Tha moost coome 'n' seh 'im!" Zerye grabbed for Nuari's hand.

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:49 pm

Nuari jolted from his daydreaming, as the peaceful stillness of the woods was shattered by the boistrous gnome. Finding himself yanked to his feet he stumbled a few steps before he could actually say "Good morning..."

Brushing himself off from the dust of the ground, he looked down at the excitable druid. Her words were jumbled again, but he was still able to determine their meaning. "You left early this morning... I take it you found what you were looking for. A new pig?"
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Zerye

Post  TRU on Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:25 pm

Zerye bounced up and down impatiently as she waited for the elf to get to his feet. Her grin was spread wide across her face, only getting wider when she heard Nuari give reference to her former boar.

"Nowa, nahw't a peg. Tha' Ah dehdna fahnd, boot noora woos Ah lookin' foora woon.

"Ah thoot twoohld beh loongah oov'a hoont, boot thahr Ah woos, 'n yoonda whood, joost'a wohchin' an'a thehnkin', an' soodd'nleh thahr 'e woos, joost'a wohchin' meh."

Zerye stopped her wild gesticulations as something about Nuari's face caught her attention. It seemed as though he didn’t understand her quite as clearly as he had the day before. The gnome’s eyebrows shot up in realization as she grabbed Nuari's hand and whispered a few words that the elf could not comprehend.

"I almost forgot to ask the Mother to let you speak gnome. It should be easier for you now." Zerye gave Nuari an encouraging smile. Then, with an excited squeal, she pulled on Nuari's fingers and gestured toward the trees.

"But you must come. You must see him. He is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen! He found me, like I was telling you. He peered at me with those shining eyes of his as if he were asking to be my friend." Zerye glanced furtively back at the elf as if to catch his reaction to her mention of the word 'friend'. Whether the elf noticed or cared she could not tell. So she continued on.

"I spoke to him and we talked for a long while. He has decided to become my next student and wants to learn many new and wonderful things from me. I thanked him for coming to find me because it gave me so much joy. I told him about you, Stormcloud, and how you were my new friend as well. He wants to meet you, but he is shy. Please come and see him!"

When Nuari had shown his assent Zerye led him a few feet into the trees. Letting go of Nuari's hand Zerye got down on all fours and let out a soft purring sound. Just beyond a bush in front of her came low chittering. Zerye purred again in reply and then rose to her feel very slowly.

"Stay very still," she told Nuari. As soon as she spoke the striped head of a badger peeked around the bush. It wiggled its nose and began to sniff the ground as it tentatively made its way closer to the elf. Upon reaching Nuari's feet the badger let out a grunt and looked up at Zerye.

"He's alright." Zerye assured the beast.

"Stormcloud, meet Gruffel, the badger. Gruffel, meet Stormcloud, the one who said he would be my friend." Zerye smiled at the elf. "I hope you two will have much time to know each other."

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