Old 03-12-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Song of Dancing Fire

The forest floor was redolent with the deep fragrant aroma of wildflower and moss. Here, deep within the confines of the Blairmark, where the sun never found purchase on the stones below, save for fleeting flickers of gold when the wind blew strong enough on the upper branches of the ancient Stonewood trees, Elrohir Séregon (Ello to family and friends) breathed hard and closed his eyes. His expert ears, accustomed to the forest sounds, tried to navigate the sound of his prey. The inner workings of his mind discerned the various cacophonous landscape like a type of sonar. The garu people were already highly skilled with sharp hearing by birthright, and Ello had the sharpest of his kin exponentially. His muscles, hewn and marbled from the years working on the family farm were stretched tight and high strung, taut, ready to spring. The bow and arrow glistened with dew.
He had been on his Triginta (or 30 year rite) for well over a week. He was expected to take his place at the head of the Sereneti tribe upon his return. The Sereneti was the most powerful and highly respected tribe of his village. It was a position of great honor and esteem. He was born to the Sereneti tribe, but it was through sheer determination and iron will that allowed him to rise to stature in the eyes of his people. His good looks and mischievous gleam in the eye also made him the most desired man in the village. It was said he could make a woman wet with a single look. He had had more than his share of women and over the years his appetite for sex only grew more passionate. It was also his natural grace and easy spirit that seemed to make him cocky and shallow in the eyes of certain people. People who remained hidden in the shadows, like little spiders, waiting for the right time to strike.
There was a crack. Before the blink of an eye, the arrow was strung and snapped, flying through the air and whistled with a solid thud into the chest of the Harperi (a type of small deer). The arrow, piercing the heart of the creature, stopped it from beating and the animal was expired before it hit the ground. During his Triginta, he had only killed to eat and had been able to keep himself well fed. This last victory was to be taken back to his village and shared.
He quickly gutted, cleaned and packed the animal into his pack. He was as good with a blade, either hand sized or full sword, as he was with a bow and arrow. This meal was to be in celebration of the union between himself and Aria, the women to whom he had been promised. The marriage and all marriages of the Garu people were arranged before they are even born. Once he had completed his Triginta, he was expected to have sown all his wild oats and marry his promised. This conflicted him in many ways, however, being the custom of his people, did not see any options and had no choice but to comply. He had seen Aria many times and spoken to her a few. She seemed nice enough, pretty enough and came from a family of means, so what was there to argue? Would his desire and passion wane? Would he be able to sedate his appetite with one woman for the rest of his life? These were questions the Garu never asked, they just went along with the custom. He shook his head and finished cleaning the blade that had so quickly dispatched the Harperi and in a few occasions, saved his life.
The journey back to his village took up the remainder of the day. The sun was beginning to set over the horizon when he came to the valley where his village lay.

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A small elf girl with long dark brown curly hair, ( to her waist) She was small, only 156 cm
tall ( 5 ft. 2 in.) Her body was small, but in proportion, about 120 lbs. and athletic.
She had extraordinary eyes, big and an unusual green, even for an elf. A pert little nose
and pouty lips, made for a very fetching maiden. She always had the boys chasing after her.

She knew how to defend herself with a bow as well as with a knife. Life had taught her
well, that if you wanted to survive, you had to learn quickly. She also had a way with
animals. And never went anywhere without her companion Beren, an Irish wolfhound
she had befriended when he was only a pup.



Inwe, was tired after walking through the forest all day. She decided to stop and make camp for the night. It would be getting dark soon anyway and she was too tired to go any further.

She looked around, this was as good a place as any. She dropped her back pack and went over to the little stream she had been following for the past few hours. Bending down, she made a cup with her hands and was drinking the refreshing water when her sharp ears
picked up a sound. She held her breath, listening intently. She pushed her long curly hair away from her pointy ear, so she could hear better.

Someone was coming her way! She quickly, ran back to her pack picked it up and barely had
time to hide behind a nearby bush. She bent low, grasping her bow, and taking an arrow out of her quiver. Notching it, she now looked towards where the noise was coming from. She waited , heart thumping in her chest.

She had heard of terrible stories of what happened to girls that were caught out alone in these woods. She bite her lip as she waited. She wished that her faithful dog Beren would come back soon. He liked to wander off on his own, but always came back when the sun set and the food came out. She always felt safe when he was near.

Beren was a huge Irish Wolfhound that Inwe had saved when he was only a pup. He had been treated badly by the village boys, when she came across them. After giving them the tongue lashing of their lives, she took the wee pup home and they had become inseparable ever since. Now he weighed around 120 lbs, and when he was near, no one could
come near her. She looked around wishing she could call out to him now but didn't dare.

The noise was getting closer, she looked toward it again, ready with her bow.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The trees brushed aside and out from the covering stumbled form the form of another Garu, like herself. Inwe would have considered him quite handsome if it weren't for the state he was in. He had a look of shock upon his face. His features were darkened as if by years of soot and grime had permanently etched into his skin. His lips were cracked and caked with mud. He didn't seem to notice her as he spied the stream she was standing by, he dropped his bow and fell face first toward the stream. He drank and put his head down into the stream, allowing the cool water to run through his hair.

Inwe, who had remained locked with the arrow pointed at the young man's head now relaxed a little bit. Bow still at the ready.

"I'm not going to hurt you" the young man mumbled, his face still pressed against the moist sand of the stream bed. His voice was cracked and raw, as if he had been screaming for days.

"Who are you?" Inwe managed to ask, finding her voice only after realizing he spoke the truth.

"No one....not anymore" he replied.

"Certainly you must have a name"

The man breathed heavy and narrowed his features as if trying to recall some distant memory. "El.....my name is El.

"My wolf hound will be returning shortly. If you try anything, he will rip you apart before you can blink" Inwe assured him in a confidant voice.

"I won't hurt you" Ello repeated.

"What brings you to these woods?"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“ What brings you to these woods? And what happened to you?”

She slowly lowered her bow. But still is on guard. Inwe looks around to see if anyone has
followed the man. Puts her hand to her mouth and lets out a long whistle. A few moments later
a huge grey beast of an animal charges into the clearing. Before she can stop him, Beren leaps
through the air knocking Ello back down to the ground. He stands on his chest growling low and
menacingly.

Inwe quickly grabs the back of the dog's neck and yanks him off. Scolding him at the same time.
Beren looks up at her and calms down. She signals for him to stay and looks at Ello saying; “ I
am so sorry for that, he would die defending me. Are you OK?”

“I think you better tell me what has got you in this sorry state, and also if we need to move on
to a safer area before it gets too dark.”

Last edited by DStone121 : 03-15-2013 at 09:08 AM. Reason: Title Change
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:56 AM   #2
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Ello nods in agreement. Standing up on legs barely able to support his weight, he wobbles and sways. It's obvious he's not going to make it much farther.

"How long have you been running?" Inwe asks him. Concern now in her voice. She realizes he doesn't have much more in him to walk back to her village. The only option is one of the sacred caverns, and to bring an outsider there would be sacrilege. Leaving him to die out here in the woods would also be unthinkable. Stranger or not, he had not shown her any harm, she was a protector of the woods and all good creatures therein. Making up her mind, she completely lowers her bow and grabs his arm.

"Follow me" she tells him and starts moving him slowly forward. He stumbles a bit, but they both find their own way. They travel like this for a good hour. All the while, Inwe's faithful Beren nudges and supports the two, all the while, looking out for predators.

Finally, they reach a crop of rocks, jutting out through the forest floor. Dark, menacing, stone silhouettes against the darkening sky. Inwe closes her eyes and whispers a chant beneath her breath. The ground vibrates and a deep, resonate scraping sound surrounds the two.

Ello squints his eyes. He can now see a staircase hewn out of stone, leading down under the out cropping of rock. On the sides of the wet stone, lichen grows and glows with a faint blue aura.

"We'll be safe here" Inwe assures him and they both descend the staircase followed closely by Beren.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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Inwe slowly descends first, down the stairs, one step at a time. Ello follows closely with
his hand on her shoulder. The stone steps are slippery with moisture, as are the walls of
the cave.

Once at the bottom, she tells Ello to lean against the wall while she looks for a torch.
Glancing around, she spies one on the wall, taking it down, she quickly digs in her pouch
to find the flint box. A few minutes later, she has the torch lit, giving them both a better
idea of their surroundings. They find themselves in what seems like an endless tunnel,
the torch light doesn't let them see very far.

Looking back up at the entrance, Inwe speaks the words to close the doorway they had
just passed through. The sounds of huge moving rocks could be heard again. Now all sound
was gone except for their heavy breathing and water dripping from the ceiling above.


Beren is tense, the hackles on his back raise, he moves over to Inwe and leans his shoulder
against his mistress's leg. He softly whimpers. She bends down petting his head to calm
him.

She looks up at the young man and says; "Let's keep moving, can you make it just a little
bit further? We just have a few hundred feet to go, then you can rest. I have not been down
here in many years, I know there is a spell to get better light, I just have to remember it.
With some luck I will find some food and water for us when we get to the room with the
pool. And hopefully something to build a fire to warm us. Come on."
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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"This place is sacred for my people" Inwe explains as they move further through the cavern. "We have these safe havens set up through out the land. They are secret and generally only used by our warriors. It has been forbidden to bring outsiders here."

"And yet you take the risk with me?" Ello murmured gratefully.

"Well, we are also sworn to protect life....leaving you out there, collapsed in the stream would have meant certain death."

"Thank you" was all Ello was able to croak.

"Ah....here we are" Inwe said as they approached a solid rock wall. Ello squinted, but all he could see was more of the pale blue lichen grown on the surface.

Inwe chanted again and ran her long slender fingers along the surface. The pale blue lichen glowed more brightly when it was touched. Her hand then disappeared, followed by her wrist. The torch was extinguished as it seemed to move through the rock wall.

"Come" Inwe said and dragged Ello through the wall. His skin tingled a bit as he passed through the barrier.

On the other side, he was immediately met with a warmth that seemed to penetrate and sooth his aching muscles. Other than the warmth, there was complete darkness, save for the blue glow behind them. Ello could hear water running a short distance away.

Inwe chanted again and immediately, the warm, pale blue light coming from the moss on the walls ignited the entire area. Ello almost had to squint as his eyes had become accustomed to the dim cavern. All around, glowed brightly enough to see the sparse but welcoming surroundings. Including a wool mat and a bathing pool.

"We still need food" Inwe said as she helped Ello over to the mat. "I will return shortly"
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:22 PM   #5
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Inwe went off to the right of the pool, followed by Beren. She touched the lichen on the
wall as she walked, it came to life with soft blue light. Beren bounded ahead, Inwe smiled,
" Looks like you are getting used to being underground boy. Wait up for me!" Every twenty
feet she had to touch the lichen to light up her way.

Finally she came to the enormous central chamber that she had been looking for. This was
where the food and other necessities were kept. She found some cheese and dried elf
biscuits ( the kind that tasted like sawdust, but kept for years ), and dried fruit. Stuffing all
this in a pouch, she didn't need to worry about water, there was plenty trickling from a
crack in the wall near the pool. But a cup would come in handy, she looked around and found
one, put that in the pouch as well and then called Beren.

When he finally came bounding back, Inwe said; Come on boy lets get back to the pool
and see about some dinner." They headed back at a brisk walk, now that they both were
familiar with the layout of the cavern.

In no time at all they came upon the pool again.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:08 PM   #6
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Upon their return, they found Ello completely exhausted and spent, lying on the mat.

"Well boy" Inwe looked down at the hound. "Looks like we're here for a while, might as well make the best of it"

Stepping over to the pool, she dipped her cup into it and took a long cool drink. Then she went back to the mat and sat next to Ello, for the first time really studying his features.

We was very good looking. Behind the mud and dirt, she could see his rugged face held a sort of regal quality. Admittedly, the filth did diminish his light, but it still shown through. She figured after a good long rest he would be able to clean himself up. Her eyes traveled the length of his body, the curves of his biceps, his torso, his firm round backside obviously in shape from years of hard hunting or fighting or farming....or all three. His lower half was covered completely by stained and dirty leggings. We'll have to make sure he's able to get his clothes clean Inwe smiled to herself. I wonder if he'll be coy or ashamed or not care at all to be naked in front of her. The thoughts of what he might look like naked marinated in her mind for a moment before she shooed the thoughts away. Recognizing this sacred place was a place of healing and respite, not sexual trysts. Still....she thought...nothing wrong with looking.

He stayed asleep the rest of the day and night and through the following morning. All the while, Inwe kept watch. She fell asleep a few times and Beren took his turn. There had never been anyone attacked in these hidden caverns so the possibility of danger was remote. The faint light of the moss dimmed after a time, allowing both Ello, Inwe and Beren to fully rest and recuperate.

Ello stirred from his slumber and looked around. It was dark now, but he could hear the water running.

"water" he croaked, his throat parched and dry.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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"What? Did you say something?" Inwe, sat up rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Glancing
down, she saw that Ello was stirring from his deep sleep. When he moaned " Water" again,
she quickly rose and grabbed the cup. " I'll be right back with some water"

At the pool she dipped the cup and turned back towards the man on the mat. Once at his
side, she quickly knelt down and lifted his head with one hand. Putting the cup to his cracked
lips she said; " Here drink this." A little water trickled down his throat, as well as down his
chin and onto his bare chest.

As soon as he felt the water in his throat, his hand came up and grasped Inwe's wrist,
guiding it. He continued to drink his fill and then she laid his head back down. " I have some
cheese and way bread when your ready to eat something."

He opened his eyes and watched her, saying nothing. Then his eyes wandered around and finally said;
" Where are we? I don't remember much since when I first saw you at the
stream." Still holding on to her wrist, he looked down and finally let go.

She sat back on her heels and replied with a smile; " I brought you to the only safe place
I could think of, your in the sacred caverns and safe for the time being. Do you mind telling
me just what kind of trouble your in? "
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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Ello winced at the memories, but managed to sit up. He was surprised at how much better he felt.

"I don't know that trouble is the right word" he said. He was able to look at her more aware now. She was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Her petite form and long dark curly hair made familiar stirrings come back to his loins. She was sure of herself with a confidence that only came from experience in being able to stand up for herself and the ones she loved. She was in a word...stunning.

"Well....how did you come to be wandering through our forests?" Inwe asked.

Ello sighed. "My village was destroyed. Along with it my people and my family"

"Oh..no" Inwe gasped.

"I have nothing left now. My home is gone as are the ones I loved. I ran for what seemed like days. Part of me wanted to die, yet I did not know how to do it."

"And now? Do you still wish to die?"

Ello exhaled a long breath.

"No. I do not" He said with finality.

"Do you know who destroyed your home?"

"While I slept, I had visions. The visions and memories I have seemed to put themselves together like a missing puzzle piece. Things that happened and that were said now make sense, and in that light, yes, I believe I know who destroyed everything I had"

Beren stood up and walked over to Ello, he nuzzled his arm. Ello scratch the huge dog behind the ears.

"And who is this?" He asked playfully.

Inwe smiled. Her dog is not friendly to everyone, certainly not strangers. Beren seemed to have a sixth sense for deciding who she was safe around and who they could trust.

"This is Beren. My friend, my companion and for the most part, my guardian and protector"

"I see, well that's quite a title...isn't it boy?" He told Beren, smushing the sides of his huge face. Beren reached forward and licked him on the cheek.

"Not that you would know it now." Inwe chuckled.

"I'm good with animals, always have been" Ello assured her.

"I'm glad to hear that. If you don't mind me asking, you said you wanted to die. Yet, now you seem to be feeling alright. I'm sure you are still emotionally torn up. What caused you to change your mind about death?" She asked hesitantly.

Ello turned serious and his eyes glazed over while he patted Beren's head. "Death comes for everyone. We don't always get to pick how we die. You are right though. Sacrifice without honor would be a poor choice as a way to ride into death."

"So what changed your mind?" Inwe persisted.

"It's quite simple really" Ello paused and looked at her in the eyes. "Revenge"
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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" Revenge? That is one ominous word, you still haven't told me who did this to your people.
But first you must eat something, here take some cheese, and way bread." Handing him the
food, Inwe then settles herself on the corner of the mat. "Maybe when your done eating you
might want to take a dip in the pool, get cleaned up, I think you would feel better. I know
I would. Then we will talk about what happened to you and your people."

She watched Ello slowly eat his food, while thinking at the same time. She could see
that he had been through a lot and was still processing it all. She hoped that in some
small way she would be able to help him through it all.

He said little while he ate, then when he was done, he got up and went over to the side
of the pool, slid his filthy leggings off and stepped into the water. Inwe quickly looked away
when he dropped his drawers, but couldn't help looking back immediately. She watched as
he cleaned all the dirt and grim off of his powerful body.

Remembering a storage container that was at the entrance to this chamber, she went over
to it now, and lifted the lid, she found some clothes; blankets and a heat glob. She took the
glob, two blankets, a pair of leggings and a shirt that looked like they would fit a
large elf and came back to the mat.

By that time, Ello was just about finished rinsing himself off and started to get out of the
pool. Inwe quickly come over with a blanket and handed to him, but not before seeing his
lean muscled body. She blushed slightly as she said; " Here wrap this around yourself, I
will see about getting you warm and dry, luckily I also found a heat glob."

She walked back to the mat and set about getting the glob to emit some warmth for them.

Once he was seated and comfortable, Inwe looked him in the eyes and said; "Now start
at the beginning, I need to know if this is a threat that will affect all that live
in the forest."
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:29 AM   #10
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"This is a threat that has the potential to affect everyone in the land" Ello said grimly. "There was a powerful family from my village, the Calithils, most people looked up to them as a source of influence and power. They had plenty of both. Some questioned the methods from which they attained their status and wealth."

Inwe nodded.

"But for the most part, they kept the people under their employ at the village fat and happy, this was a little over half the population" Ello continued. "There was no real threat to lives or liberty, as long as everyone obeyed the wishes of the Calithils and never tried to cross them."

Beren gave a whine, looking bored, curled up on the floor next to Inwe.

"There were whispers though, strange visitors always coming and going, always to and from the Calithil estate. Many of them were dressed in the ensemble of the clothing from the south. Far to the south. The skins and adornments that hung beneath their hooded forms could only have come from a place known for blistering cold."

"And you believe this family....these Calithil's are the ones responsible for the destruction?"

"Yes, the Calithil's and the evil powers in the south with whom they obviously aligned."

"But, why would they destroy their own village? What could they gain by destroying their own home?" Inwe reasoned.

"The Calithil's were not going to be satisfied with being the rulers of one village. I have a feeling it was a sacrifice they were willing to make for the grasp at greater power. Our village had two different talisman's of protection. When I was searching through the ruins of the storehouse where they were supposed to be kept. I realized whoever ravaged the town looking for them would only find one. The one that was missing was a black orb, about the size of your fist. The other, my father had already hidden and sent away."

"What was it?" Inwe asked

"A Sword. Masterfully crafted by the Uhurlocks, and embedded with power from the Garu. A blade completely indestructible and unique in property. I had the good fortune to hold it once. It felt like I was holding the sunset." Ello whispered reverently.

"So, who has the sword now?"

Ello smiled and looked at her. "I realized when I woke up and saw you, that you were Garu as well, but you come from the people of the forest. The Gods are smiling on us and you have a part to play in this tale because the sword is actually with your people."
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #11
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At Ello's words, Inwe sucked in her breath putting her hand to her mouth. She closed her
eyes momentarily frozen in fright. Opening her eyes she started to breath again. " Tell me
what I need to know to protect my people from not only the Calithils and their minions, but
what I would say is their masters from the south."

She moved closer to Ello now, drawn to him through his suffering and strength of will to
overcome the devastation of losing all that he cared for. She put her hand onto his shoulder
conveying her intense sympathies. "Tell me what you want me to do" she whispered.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:17 PM   #12
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At Ello's words, Inwe sucked in her breath putting her hand to her mouth. She closed her
eyes momentarily frozen in fright. Opening her eyes she started to breath again. " Tell me
what I need to know to protect my people from not only the Calithils and their minions, but
what I would say, is their masters from the south."

She moved closer to Ello now, drawn to him through his suffering and strength of will to
overcome the devastation of losing all that he cared for. She put her hand onto his shoulder
conveying her intense sympathies. "Tell me what you want me to do" she whispered.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:36 AM   #13
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Grasping her hand, Ello turned to look at Inwe. "First, I want to thank you for your kindness. If it weren't for you, I would be dead. You're goodness is only matched by your beauty." His words were earnest and spoken from the heart.

Inwe blushed at his words. This handsome young man...this handsome young, naked man beneath the blanket looked at her with eyes that smoldered with desire and yearning. She cleared her throat and tore herself away from his gaze.

"It's what any of my people would have done." She tried to say dismissively.

"Perhaps" Ello said, pulling her face back to look at him. "But it was done by you. And I am forever grateful." He said looking at her with those deep dark eyes.

"So, what's your plan?" Inwe asked.

Ello's face broke into a grin of mischief. "Well, the first thing we need to do is return to your home. Someone there must know who might have the sword. Or at least where it can be found. My father knew who he could trust so someone in your village earned enough of his respect to be guardian of the powerful talisman. Certainly you must know someone who we could talk with? Someone in authority and a position of trust?"

Inwe went through a list in her head of all the people she knew. She couldn't think of one that wasn't worthy or distrustful. They were all good people. Trying to narrow down and find who might have the sword could prove to be tricky.

Ello stood up and ran the blanket through his hair, drying off the last bits of water from his body. He then picked up the leggings and shirt Inwe had found for him. He looked at her and she looked away. She probably looked away too quickly, because she didn't have time to gauge if he cared or not. When she turned her head to take a peak, he was just pulling up the leggings over his muscular form, she got a good look at the firm globes of his ass as he pulled the material over them. Then he turned around. A part of her wished he had been turned around to begin with. His torso was rippled with glistening flesh and his chest had a fine spray of dark hair across the broad expanse. Something about the way he pulled the shirt over his head with such grace and down over his body made her desire him even more.

He looked down at her and extended his hand. "Well, shall we go?" he smiled as she clasped it and he helped her up.

Beren wagged his tail excited to finally be leaving this place.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:19 AM   #14
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"Yes of course, its time we left and got started on our quest." The way he was looking at
her made her feel butterflies in her stomach, she gently pulled her hand out of his grasp.

Inwe looked at Beren, bend down put her arms around his neck and put her head against
it. "Beren my friend, you have been such a good boy putting up with being underground,
for a reward, we will now go back to the forest where you can once again run freely.
" Enwe's thoughts and feelings transferred directly to the wolfhound.

Looking up at Ello," Shall we proceed?" she then straightened up, waiting for him to
move forward. As he did, she took one quick look around to make sure all was as it had
been when they first came in. Putting her pack on her shoulders, she quickly caught with
with Ello.

Walking down the long corridor to the surface, Inwe had time to think. Stealing the
occasional glance at the handsome garu, she realized that the strong attraction she felt
for him might interfere with the task of finding the sword. She would have to keep a lid
on her emotions, that is if she could. Shaking her head slightly, " Stop thinking about
him and start thinking about who Ello's father might have trusted enough to have given
the sword for safe keeping."

As they continued down the corridor, the blue light coming from the moss would glow
brighter, then once past , dim again.

Out loud Inwe said, " Did your father have any dealings with any of the town's people?
Someone like the mayor or, say the blacksmith? Those types of men might be where we
could start." She looked at him waiting for a response.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:31 PM   #15
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Back in the forest, the two of them walked side by side in confident strides. Beren ran and galloped ahead and then came back to frolic beside them. Ello stole glances and the vision of loveliness next to him. He felt his heart throb within his chest and knew it was only a matter of time before he would be able to control himself. He inhaled deeply, taking in the combination of smells all around them.

"Do you have any idea of where to start? Who to ask?" Ello asked her.

Inwe smiled. "Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing"

"I remember my father talking about different friends he had in the different cities, but I did not pay attention. Does your town have a temple? A large one?" Ello asked.

Inwe nodded. "Indeed we do. It's the largest of any of the buildings. The Temple was built into the side of a mountain. People say it was constructed by monks before written record. The temple actually rests on top of our people's ancient place of burial. No one knows how deep down into the rock the temple actually goes. Only the priests and holy men go down into the basement."

"Sounds like a good place to start." Ello stated.

"We can try....but" Inwe hesitated. "Getting access to the lower levels of the temple might be a problem." Inwe warned.

"Oh? Why is that?"

"The priest who had the key to open the stone door had gone missing before I left. I don't know if....." she started to reply.

All of a sudden there was a tremendous CRASH and deep guttural growl to the left of them. They both instantly snapped to attention, bows at the ready. Beren bounded back the path they were on and stood between them and the part of the forest the noise came from. He lowered his tremendous head and the hackles on his back stood straight up.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:26 PM   #16
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Inwe held her breath , the awful growling came ever closer. She was very glad to feel Ello's
arm brush her side. Taking her eyes off the area she had her arrow pointed at, she quickly
glanced up at him, finding his concentration was fully on what was slowly coming towards
them.

Some twigs snapped sending her attention back on her target. Out of the brush came
the biggest wolf that she had ever seen. It had a black shaggy coat, the head was huge,
and evil looking, its eyes glowed red, saliva dripping from its mouth and fangs.

The creature stopped, looking first at Ello, then Inwe, then finally it spotted Beren. It's
lips curled up in a snarl that showed fangs that must have been at least three inches long,
that is when Beren launched himself at the huge beast which was twice his size.

Inwe cried out, " No Beren, stop!" It was too late, As the two animals crashed together,
fangs clashing, she tried to find an opening to send her arrow. She whispered, "Beren"
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #17
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It was a mass of tangled fur as the Irish Wolfhound and black wolf tore at each other. The noise and growls from both of them was deafening. Ello and Inwe steadied their arrows, trying to get in a clear shot. Beren was thrown from the wolf and landed with a thump against a tree. Shaking himself, he got right back up and sprinted at the wolf. When the wolf had thrown Beren, it gave both Inwe and Ello an opening. They both let loose with arrow after arrow into the wolf's black as pitch hide. They were able to quickly snap 4 arrows each into the beast before Beren was right back into the fray, trying to tear and snap at the wolf. Some of the arrows found their mark and others seemed to bounce off of it's matted fur. The biggest problem they faced was the tremendous size of the beast. If it managed to get a hold of Beren's neck between it's massive jaws, it would only take a fraction of a second to crack his neck. Beren managed to dance and bound around the wolf, jumping forward and snapping at the legs or hide, but every time the wolf bit at Beren, it took a hunk of hide and flesh off of the great and powerful dog. Beren was loosing ground as his wounds became more pronounced. Blood was soaking through his coat in rivulets.

"Beren! Stop!" Inwe screamed, her eyes starting to tear, but she needed to remain focused and sharp for the next opening.

The wolf snapped at Beren again and this time his razor teeth found themselves around one of Beren's legs. Beren gave a tremendous whimper of pain and his leg was whipped back and forth, throwing him from the wolf once more.

"Now!" Screamed Ello and they let forth a spray of arrows so lighting fast, it was as if their arms and hands were a blur of motion.

Beren screeched and hobbled off through the forest floor, his cries piercing the heart of Inwe.

Inwe breathed in and out as her eyes narrowed on the beast.

"Look at me you bitch!" she yelled at the wolf.

The wolf turned it's head and look her directly into the eyes. It started to lumber towards her. The arrows embedded into it's body made it look a bit like a pin cushion. It still came towards her.

Inwe concentrated and took direct aim at the wolf, her fingers let loose the next arrow and it whistled through the air. With a satisfying thunk, it punctured the wolf squarely in the right eye. The arrow was so sharp and the aim was so pure it plowed through the wolf's eye and into it's brain. The wolf gave once last growl of pure hatred, then stumbled and fell, the life poured from it's series of wounds onto the forest floor.

Ello, marveled at Inwe's skill with the bow could only stop and look at her. It was a million in one shot. He started to say something and Inwe screamed.

"Beren!" she yelled, running through the forest after her beloved pet.

Ello followed her and they saw a trail of blood running across the leaves and stones. It was obvious Beren had been hurt badly, they could only hope it wasn't fatal.

The trail of blood came to a stop in front of a small out cropping of rocks and branches. The branches formed a small hole in the rocks. It was obvious this is where Beren had gone to hide. Ello and Inwe looked at each other, both fearing what they would find inside the small den.

"Beren." Inwe whispered, her voice choked with fear. She gave a small familiar whistle the dog always responded to. "Come on out boy" she cried.

There was a pause. They could hear movement coming from within the den. then out from the hole emerged a bloody and very tired looking Irish wolfhound. He was limping profusely. It was apparent he was going to need medical attention immediately. However, the dog held what looked at first to be a small black bag. Then they realized the bag was moving and whimpering. Beren carried a jet black wolf pup between it's jaws and limped over to where Inwe was standing. He gently put the puppy down at Inwe's feet.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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Inwe bent down and picked the wee pup up, turned to Ello, " Here take the wolf cub, I have to
tend to Beren's wounds. He reached for the pup, taking it by the scruff of the neck, it growled
and whimpered, " A little spitfire aren't you?" he chucked as he held it against his broad chest.

Meanwhile as soon as Ello took the pup, Inwe, grabbed her small pouch of herds. She
had learned how to treat many a wound over the years. What she now needed to find was
a piece of aloe, powdered cranesbill, and a clean cloth. Setting them out in front of
her, she then examined the hurt wolfhound. She first cleaned each wound, then rubbed
some of the cranesbill in to stop the bleeding, lastly she applied the aloe to kill the germs.

After a good hour, she sat back and sighed, " Well Beren, that is all your wounds," he
looked up at her with grateful eyes. Feeling his leg, she remarked, " Now let me look at
your leg." As she moved it carefully, she let out a sigh of relief, " I don't think it's broken,
thank goodness. You will need to stay off it for awhile though Boy." She ruffled his shaggy
head.

All the while Ello had been watching not only his companions but he kept an eye out for
anymore dangerous animals that might have been attracted by the smell of blood in the air.
He marveled at Inwe's skill in the art of healing. "Where did you learn to heal like that?"

Looking up at him, she told him in her line of work, patrolling the forest and what not, she
needed to be a jack of all trades, healing was one of the more important of her skills. Sitting
back on her heels, she stretched, " Well I have done all I can for now, Beren is going to be
fine, its just he shouldn't be moved for a few days. We need to find a safe place to stay while
he mends."

Looking at Ello holding the small wolf cub, made Inwe smile, "What are you going to do
with that little hell hound? It looks like it has taken a shine to you," she chuckled and
yawned at the same time. " Oh my but I am tired, and we still have to find a safe place to
stay for the night."
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:19 AM   #19
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Ello nodded in agreement. "The safest thing to do would probably head back to your healing cave. Though I would hate to not have made any progress towards your village."

Ello held the pup up. "And, I have no idea what I'm going to do with this guy, we can't just leave it to die"

"No, we can't" Enwe agreed.

Ello sighed and put the wolf pup in his backpack, his head sticking out of the top. Enwe stroked Beren soothingly.

"What are we going to do about Beren?" She asked.

"I can fashion a stretcher out of some branches and vines, we can pull him back to the cavern. I'll go back and retrieve our arrows. Wait here."

Enwe put her head down on Beren's side, listening to his heartbeat. She must have dozed off because the next thing she knew Ello was back and he was putting together two long heavy branches, wrapping some sturdy vines around one side, creating a sort of V shape with the apex ending in a hand hold they could both grasp.

They got about halfway back to the cavern, the wolf pup whining every once in a while, when they heard the sound of hoofbeats.

The looked to where the sound was coming from. Through the distance of the trees, they saw flashes of green and black. A hooded figure rode towards them.

"The Draknar." Enwe stated.

"Who are they?"

"The name translates to people of the forest shadows. The are a reclusive people, but have never caused anyone any harm. We have had a few encounters with them, but for the most part they keep to themselves. There have been times we have actually sought them out for advice or council."

"What sort of council?" Ello asked.

"They are known as dreamwalkers. They are able to interpret dreams and visions."

The black hooded figure rode closer.

"And they pose no danger?" Ello questioned, his bow arm instinctively at the ready.

"None" Enwe replied, grasping his arm.

"Then perhaps we would be able to stay with them while Beren heals."

Enwe nodded, "Yes, although they are suspicious of outsiders as well"

The figure approached them, slowling his horse. A fine, beautiful looking creature with brown and black dappled fur, just right for hiding in the forest."

The cloaked figure nodded at them. "Hail" he said

"Well met" Ello announced.

The figure looked at the wounded Beren.

"What brings you to the Draknar territory?"
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #20
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Inwe moved closer to the hooded figure, making sure that he could see the medallion she
wore around her throat. It allowed her safe passage throughout the forest. As soon as the
man saw it he relaxed and pushed his hood back.

"My name is Inwe, protector of the forest, and my companion is Ello," pausing she waited.
"I am Harolon of the Draknar people. Welcome to our part of the forest," bowing his head first
to Inwe then Ello. His glance went to the wolfhound as he slipped off his horse. Walking
over, he saw the many hurts that Beren had taken. Looking back at the girl, he waited to
hear her story.

"As you can see, we are in need of assistance. Our faithful companion was badly hurt while
protecting us from a one of the biggest wolves I have ever come across." As she continued
telling of the fight, he nodded his head, "Do you know what you have just described to me?
It sounds like the ancient Dire wolves are roaming the forests again. You best come with me,
you will not be safe here, the mate to the one you killed will be hunting you now."

Just then, the wolf cub cried out, Harolon swiftly went over to Ello and pulled it out of his
backpack. Holding it up in the air as it tried growling mightily, he looked at it and grimly said,
" This could be very serious, did you kill the male or female?" Ello replied, " it was a male."

Shaking his head, " You should kill this cub, but if you have plans to raise it, you must cover
it's scent completely, and the sooner the better." Inwe started digging in her herb pouch,
saying, " I have a herb that will mask the odor of the cub. Finding the one she wanted she
then proceeded to rub it between her palms, sending a sweet order of mint into the air. Taking
the cub from Harolon, and setting it on the ground, she then briskly rubbed the herb all over
his shaggy little body making sure it got all the way to it's skin. Looking up at the men, she
smiled, " looks like we have a male here."

"Right, lets get moving, it will take a few hours to get to our village, we can start by attaching
Ello's stretcher to my horse. Inwe watched as the men quickly got to work. Meanwhile the cub
made itself at home, and fell asleep in her arms.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #21
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The ride back to the Draknar village went swiftly as the horse easily carried the stretcher that held Beren over the small rocks and leaves. Enwe would check to make sure Beren was alright every once in a while. The wolf cub had quieted down and remain asleep in the backpack Ello carried.

"So, what are you going to name him?" Enwe asked.

"Me? What would I do with a wolf cub...let alone a Dire wolf cub" said Ello.

"We'll I guess we're about to find out" Enwe said smiling.

The rest of the walk was uneventful. They came upon the Draknar village just as the sun was going down. It was in a hidden clearing that could easily have been walked by if they didn't know what they were looking for. Almost as if it remained hidden from sight with magical properties.

"Stay here" Harolon told the two. "I need to make arrangements for your arrival. It's not often we have visitors...or allow them" he said, letting the last statement hang in the air, as if out of warning.

Harolon untied the stretcher from his horse and gently lowered it to the ground. He then trotted off toward the village. Enwe and Ello looked at each other with a glimmer of hope. They both sorely needed rest.

They stood there waiting for what seemed like an hour before two riders came out to greet them. One of them was Harolon. He stopped in front of the two.

"It has been decided. You will both be allowed rest and safe passage. You will be cared for by our team of healers, including your wolfhound. You will be allowed to stay up to three days. After that, you will be sent on your way. Is that clear?"

"Yes" Enwe and Ello responded at the same time.

"Follow me and we will show you to your tent" Harolon stated, turning and riding slowly back to the village. The other rider hooked up the stretcher to his horse and looked up at Enwe.

"Do not fear for the hound. He is is the best of care now. He'll be better than new before you know it" and with that, he turned and started following Harolon.

Ello reached out and grasped Enwe's hand. Together they followed the two riders.

When they got to the village, Harolon had gotten off his horse and motioned for them to follow him again. He was standing in front of a huge tree. The tree must have been a good 30 foot around at the base. Looking around, they noticed many of the other structures were also trees. Brushing aside some vines, the inside of the tree was alight with a warm amber glow.

"It gets cold out, but inside you will remain warm" Harolon gestured for them to enter.

They moved passed the vines and inside the tree was a warm and cozy, what looked like small cottage, including tables and chairs, and a washing area with running water coming from a hollowed out vine. Everything seemed to be carved out of the wood of the tree. Including a small fireplace that radiated heat and warmth. The fire looked a little different....but Ello could not put his finger on what it was. Then he realized the fire wasn't burning the hollowed out area where it blazed. On the other side was a large bed, the legs also seemed to be carved out of the tree from the floor. The quilts and blankets on the bed look warm and inviting.

Ello turned to look at Harolon. "Thank you very much, we really appreciate your kindness"

Harolon nodded. "Three days" and turned and left the two. The branches slid back into place so solidly, they might as well have been a door.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:32 PM   #22
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As the the branches closed behind Harolon, Inwe became aware of the awkward silence
between Ello and herself. She felt that she had to do or say something, her body was
reacting strongly to Ello, but she wasn't sure what he was feeling at this time. She needed
to gauge the situation that she now found herself in.

Walking over to the fireplace, she remarked "The Draknar people are known for being
very different in their ways of living, but up until now I didn't realize they had such remarkable
living quarters." She reached out towards the flames of the fire, and quickly pulled her hand
back. "There is a fair amount of heat coming off this wee fire. It should keep us warm tonight."

"I hope they take good care of both Beren and the wolf cub," then sighed.

She looked over her shoulder at Ello, he was just standing in the same spot as before,
intently gazing at her body, seeing her glance, he looked into her eyes with desire.

"Oh, and just look at the quality craftsmanship of the table and chairs." She quickly moved
over to them sliding her hand over the smooth dark surface of the table. Ello kept his
eyes on her, as she moved about the small room. He liked to watch the way she moved, had
been watching her ever since he first saw her at the stream. Even though he had been in
bad shape at the time, he was still a man after all

Looking at the bed, Inwe, yawned and said, " I can't stay awake any longer, you take
the left side of that huge bed, and I will sleep on the right side. Is that OK with you?" She
then nervously waited for his answer. She really didn't know what she wanted him to do,
she felt all tingly whenever she glanced at him, but it had been a very long time since she
had laid with a man.

Not waiting for his answer, she walked over to the bed, and slipped her weapons off one
by one. She had quite an assortment; bow and quiver of arrows, a small but very sharp
looking sword, as well as a hunting knife in her belt, plus a smaller version in her left boot.
She carefully placed each one on a small table by the bed.

The waist length leather cape came off next, revealing her short tunic and skin tight pants
of the same material. Sitting down on the bed, she then pulled off her knee length boots
setting them next to her weapons. The tatoos on her arms and shoulders stood out on her
pale skin. Finally she undid her hair and let it cascade down her shoulders and breasts.

Wondering what to do next, she finally decided to just slip under the quilt, pulling it up
to her chin. Her eyes traveled over to where Ello still stood.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #23
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for anyone following this story, please go to the folder "Song of Dancing Fire" where it continues. We absolutely hated the name of the folder and could not figure out how to change it....so please feel free to join the reading there.
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