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Old 10-29-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
Annisthyrienne
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Annisthyrienne: A Healer's Tale

Chapter One



The late afternoon sun slanted sharply through the trees on the forested slope, illuminating the steep path littered by last fall's leaves. The girl picked her way carefully, leading the riding horse behind. With feet made weary by two weeks of travel, the path up the slope was not an easy climb. The slick moisture from melted frost and rain earlier in the day made riding the horse on such a grade a treacherous undertaking.

She was driven onward by the distant sounds that seemed to be coming from just the other side of the ridge; sounds of steel on steel, shouts of pain and outrage, and the shrieks of men dying horribly. It was the first signs of any other civilized people, and it was not the sort of noises she'd hoped to encounter.

Reaching the summit, she tied off the horses reins to a small sapling and began to climb a tree to get a better view into the valley below. Once, not long past, she was good at climbing trees. She had even learned how to swing among the branches with the grace of an acrobat. It was something she loved doing as a girl, until the day that old woman cursed her for it. Since then she had to be careful. Often if she got too stressed, she would lose her sense of balance for no apparent reason. It made her arboreal acrobatics a hazardous affair that she usually avoided.

But there was need on this day. She reached a height where the thinning branches near the top afforded her a good view of the valley floor below. She gasped in horror at what she saw. On the cleared meadow of the valley floor below, she saw a battle taking place. Her keen violet eyes took in the sight of elves and men raging in bloody conflict. Even from this distance, she could tell blood was everywhere. She closed her eyes in horror after seeing a man lose an arm from a flashing blade wielded by a stalwart elf warrior.

This conflict seemed to reflect the disharmony within her own soul, mirroring the dual bloodlines coursing through her veins. She had been raised all her life in an elven village, but never accepted there completely as one of them. Though she counted herself as Elvish, she knew all too well that human blood coursed through her body too. The elves never let her, or her mother, forget it.

She could feel the tightness in her young chest as her breathing grew heavy. Watching the carnage in the valley below upset her greatly. These weren't the elves she had lived with, but she knew she could find no peace among them, nor among the human kind either, if they fought each other so viciously. Her pulse quickened and the blood seemed to roar in her ears. She glanced down at the dizzying height she had climbed, so far from solid ground. Her vision began to swim.

Desperately she hastened to climb down. 'Concentrate!' she admonished herself silently. 'Think only of your next handhold, one branch at a time.' She moved as quickly as she dared, but suddenly her foot slipped. She clutched in panic at any possible grip, and finally managed to grab hold of a slim branch after a short fall of a few feet. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest as if it would leap out through her throat. For several minutes she just clung tightly to the tree trunk, holding the branch that she had caught in a white knuckled grip, a cold sweat chilling her in the cool of the late winter day.
At last she collected her courage to start down again. She told herself that her horse and supplies were waiting at the bottom of the tree, and she would treat herself to an early camp to rest and recover when she made it to the ground. But her mind could not shut off the horrors she had witnessed and as she descended again, her thoughts soon returned to their turmoil.

She risked another glance off in the direction of the valley meadow. Still the sounds of battle were ringing through the vale. Her delicately pointed ears could still pick up the screams of the dying and wounded. The thought of death was especially troubling for her elven sensitivities, being that elves were nearly immortal under normal circumstances. In her short 65 summers of life, even she had known the death of only one elf, her own mother. And it was too recent in her mind to let her feelings be eased by the balm of time.

She reached slowly down for another handhold, nearly blinded by the tears that cascaded from her eyes from her raw emotions. Her fingertips barely clutched at it when a particularly loud scream of death agony rent the air from the valley below. The sound was startling enough, but it seemed to be accompanied by a horrible feeling within her at the same instant. Her heart went cold as she started, losing her grip. In that sickening moment, she knew she was going to die. She felt it!

Her vision blackened and she slipped from her perch. There was a suspended moment of floating, almost peaceful, before the ground rushed up to meet her small form. Her body struck the leaf litter hard, and her head hit the log near the base of the tree. Fortune favored her that she was not killed; the log was rotted through, and it gave just enough to cushion her young skull. Darkness took her.
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Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.

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Old 10-30-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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Her head throbbed painfully in time to the footsteps. She felt herself being held. Her eyes opened just a crack; enough to see the shapes of the trees moving past. She turned her gaze on the form of a deeply hooded man sporting a wizened grey beard, who was carrying her through the forest. She couldn't make out much more than that before her vision faded again.

*******

She came to on a small pallet. She could see the ceiling above her. She was inside, in a cabin of sorts, she decided after glancing around. Her head still ached and when she tried to move, her world spun, lurching violently. She thought she would be sick, and lay very still, moaning quietly. Off to one side, she heard a chair scrape against a wooden floor, and she cracked open her eyes once more to look.

The cloaked man was leaning over her. In a low but gentle voice, she thought he said, "Lie still and rest. No harm will come to you here." She wasn't sure. Her command of the human trade tongue was limited, and his was a different accent than she had ever heard before. She would not have known the language at all but for the kindly hermit she had known as a child. He had taught her many things, but the language he had taught her mostly just to hear another voice speak it to his ears. Usually she spoke in her native Elvish language.

Now her situation gave her reason to be thankful for learning it. She replied to him in her own heavily accented version, "Why have you brought me here? What do you want with me?"

She couldn't see his face too well, hidden as it was in the deep cowl of his cloak, but he answered in a kindly voice that set her at ease. "You must rest and recover your strength. You've suffered a bad fall. I am here to help.... Well, help you, after a fashion."

She swallowed tightly at the mysterious choice of words. "What about my horse and belongings. They are all I have."

The man smiled. "Well then I will fetch them. But only if you promise to remain here and rest. If you feel up to it, there is food prepared on the table. Do not leave. You are not in any shape to travel, little one. I will return soon."

She nodded, then wished she hadn't. She closed her eyes to bear the throbbing in her head and when she opened them again, she was alone. She took the chance to look around at her surroundings.

She was in a small cabin, neat and tidy, from the looks of it. That surprised her a little; she wouldn't have taken the man for a fastidious sort. But then she really didn't know much about him, she mused. She could see through the window, that although it was getting dark, the cabin was still within the forest.

On a wooden table across the open room, food was laid out for a meal. It looked very inviting. She had eaten only trail food for nearly two weeks since she fled her village after the death of her mother. But her last travel rations had run out a couple days before. She had tried to live off the land as best she could, though it was the end of winter, and a very lean time. She realized how hungry she was when she found herself sitting up before she even worried about how it would make her feel.

Carefully, she made her way to the table, taking small ginger steps. At last she sank with relief into a wooden chair, taking a moment to let her head stop spinning. After a few moments, she risked eating a little. The fare was different from the elven foods she was used to, but her stomach reminded her that she shouldn't be choosy.

As she ate, she began to feel better and the throbbing and dizziness eased considerably. She glanced around the cabin, noting the pleasant warmth from the fireplace and the generally cozy decor. Whoever this man was, she suspected he either enjoyed his comforts, or there was a woman living here too.
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Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:45 PM   #3
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After about an hour, the man returned. He smiled as he set her pack down inside the door. "I see you are up and around. You found the food I mentioned; that's good. How are you feeling?"

She met her smile with one of her own. It had a way of lighting up her face. Her elvish features and auburn hair was set off by her violet sparkling eyes. She always seemed to have a glint of playful mischief within them, others had said. Now she was just grateful to the man and his kindness to her, and she let it show in her smile.

"You have treated me most kind, and I am grateful. Thank you for bringing my belongings."

He responded in her own elven language, to her delight and surprise. "You are quite welcome. But our meeting was not entirely by chance. I've been searching for you."

Her eyes widened in surprise, first that he spoke her language so graciously, and also at his revelation. "But what could you mean? We have never met before. How could you have known where to find me?"

"I've been tracking you, in a manner of speaking."

Her suspicions were aroused, but he had been kind to her so far. "Do you mean to say that you followed me from my village?" She hardly dared to imagine it. If he did, could he have been sent to bring her back?

"No, not exactly. Let's just say I have a way of keeping track of people from afar. I am not what you think, but I can assure you that I am a friend. I believe you may be of some help to me, young one. What should I call you anyway?"

She hesitated, suspicious still. He saw the reluctance in her eyes and added, "Surely a name couldn't hurt? If it pleases you to know mine, I am called Questhadolla. Now how about you?"

She decided he was right, there was no harm in a name. His was certainly a mouthful to remember. "My name is Annisthyrienne, (AH-nis-TEERY-ain) but my friends call me Thyri." (Teery)

"Then let us hope I will be counted among those friends, in due time, Annisthyrienne."

He smiled warmly and took her fingers in hand, lightly kissing them in a courtly gesture. His whiskers tickled them and it made her smile. He reminded her of the kindly old hermit she knew as a child. He had lived in the forests alone too, although in a cave instead of a cabin. All she knew of humans, she had learned from him. He had taught her the language of men, and many of the skills she knew of surviving in the wilds. He had even gifted her with his own gladius after teaching her how to use it to defend herself.

"Now as for me, my friends often just call me Q. I hope that you will do the same." She nodded shyly and he smiled again. "So wonderful you are! Just as I had thought you would be."

Her smile faded slightly. "How is it you seem to know about me?"

"Oh, I've been watching you, for some time now, Annisthyrienne. I believe you can help me on a quest. And the time has come for that quest. It was time for us to meet. Fate has brought you to me."
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Love is not something you are in, it is something you are.
Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.

Last edited by Annisthyrienne : 11-04-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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She looked at him in disbelief. "I don't know about it being fate. My mother died suddenly, and I left. I'm seeking my father and his kind, to learn more about humans. Maybe I will find my place among them."

Q looked at her with a strange faraway look. She didn't care for the way he seemed to know something he was keeping a secret from her. "We never know what place is made for us, until we find it, Annisthyrienne. And there are humans to learn about all over the place. I believe you saw some of them today in fact. Didn't you?"

His mysterious words brought back the grim sight she had witnessed earlier, and it brought a shudder to her. But before she could respond, something huge slammed into the side of the cabin, shaking it to it's frame. A loud roar sounded from outside. She looked with fright at the window, wondering what it could be. Q arose from the table beside her and strode quickly to the door. Just as he reached it, a violent scratching began on the other side of it.

The sound sent Thyri to her feet, no concern about her headache or dizziness in her mind now. She backed farther away from the door. Her hand went to the hilt of her short sword nervously. "What is it?" she asked, frightened. She looked to Q to discover his reaction, only to find that he didn't seem too concerned. Now the sounds of missiles thudding onto the walls of the cabin could be heard, and the faint sound of men shouting outside. The sound of those claws scratching at the door became more frantic, desperate.

Trying to steady the tremor from her voice, Thyri said, "I must tell you that I am no fighter, but a healer instead. I know only enough to defend myself. Still, you have given me your hospitality, and I will stand with you."

She noticed that he still had not drawn any weapon, so she drew her short sword. It sounded like whatever was scratching was soon going to get through that door!

"Don't worry. Stay close to me, but stand back." he said. Her eyes met his in alarm as she saw him reach for the door handle. She moved quickly to his side, just behind him as he opened the door. She thought he must be crazy. He would get them both killed, or worse.

The door burst open and a huge beast sprang into the room, snarling, it's jaws drooling spittle to the floor. It's fur was bloody and matted with mud. Q quickly shut the door as the beast turned to glare at the small figure before it. It started forward, growling savagely. Thyri held her short sword up in a defensive posture before her, not really thinking it would do much good.

Q's voice sounded in the small cabin like a whip crack. There was a strange powerful tone to it as he shouted, "STOP!" The creature halted its advance on the small girl, and turned toward the older man. The sound of the beast's labored breathing filled the room like a bellows. The sound of the men's shouts could be heard outside. They seemed to be surrounding the cabin, eager to find the creature.

Q spoke quietly and calmly to the beast. "Stay here. I will return soon."

In a voice filled with apprehension, Thyri asked, "What? Where are you going?"

"I'm going outside. Don't worry, you'll be quite safe, I assure you."

"But what about the beast?" she squeaked. He only smiled mysteriously, looking once more at the slavering creature before stepping through the door.

Immediately, the beast whirled to glare at the girl. Thyri gulped hard to swallow the lump of fear in her throat. Holding one hand slowly in what she hoped was a calming gesture, she said, "Now let's have an understanding between us. I don't really want to hurt you, and I definitely don't want you to hurt me, okay? So let's just be friends." She hoped against hope that this thing could either understand her words, or at least sense her intentions.

"Look, I'm lowering my sword. And you just...don't eat me, please?" She shook slightly as she lowered her gladius slowly, laying it on the floor. She knew if she miscalculated, she was as good as dead, meat for this thing's supper. Still, Q had said she wouldn't be harmed, and he seemed to command the beast to stop before.

The creature grimaced, as if snarling, she thought at first, but then to her amazement, the beast transformed before her eyes into a naked dark haired woman. She collapsed forward to the floor in exhaustion, her hand reaching up to hold her head in a gesture of pain.
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Love is not something you are in, it is something you are.
Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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Thyri was stunned to inaction for only a moment at the sight, but then her healer's instinct to help urged her to action. She came forward, supporting the woman with an arm around her shoulders, helping her over to the pallet she herself had occupied only a short time before. Then she turned back to her pack to get her healing supplies and medicines.

She just reached her pack when from outside came the horrid screams of men dying in terror accompanied by a thundering rumbling growl from some inhuman throat. The din brought Thyri to her feet, hands clamped over her sensitive ears. She wondered what new sort of monster threatened them now. And would the kindly older man be safe outside?

Then, all was suddenly silent and still. Only the sounds of the woman's troubled breathing could be heard. Somehow, the silence was more ominous than the roars and screams to Thyri. She knew that as bad as the screaming was, only live men screamed. There were none left to scream out there. It worried her, and she wondered if she should go out to see if any needed her help, but the woman's low moan reminded her that she had a patient right there. She got her medicines quickly and hurried back to the pallet.

Thyri knelt by the woman's side, reaching for a blanket to cover her naked body. She pressed her small hands over the woman's forehead, closing her eyes in concentration to use her empathy sense. She began to take on the woman's physical sensations as her own. Her breathing synchronized with that of the woman. Their heartbeats matched up, and she began to feel the extreme fear and exhaustion the woman was suffering from.

Sensing the need for rest and the many hurts the woman felt, she concentrated on soothing those pains. Her ability had a kind of anesthetizing effect, causing the pain to ease and the woman to fall into a restorative sleep. After accomplishing this much, Thyri quickly and efficiently examined the woman's body, holding up the edge of the blanket to look over the nude form. It was her first good look at a female human, and she was intrigued at what she saw.

The woman was deeply tanned, with almost copper colored bare skin. She had some cuts and bruises, but nothing very serious. Thyri was amazed to see them healing right before her eyes. She ran her hand softly over the dark skin in wonderment. She noticed the full breasts, much larger than her own, topped with darker brown nipples, rising and falling with the woman's breathing.

Thyri's attention was lost on her study of the woman. She noticed a patch of hair at the nexus of her patient's thighs, and it confused her. She had seen Elven women before. Her mother often had asked her to assist in midwife duties. But Elven women were devoid of body hair, except on their heads, even as she herself was. Now this woman, who moments before was a ravening fur covered beast, had a patch of hair at the delta of her womanhood. Thyri wondered naively if she had not quite finished changing back to her human form.

She reached out tentatively to touch the furry patch, and felt the heat of the woman. She did not notice the woman's eyes crack open to peer down at the young elf half breed through a sedated haze before rolling back up into unconsciousness.

Just then the door to the cabin swung open and Q returned. Thyri snatched her hand back and dropped the blanket quickly, looking just a little guilty. She arose and turned quickly to face Q, who faced her with an odd look. Nervously, she stammered, "She collapsed. I think she's just exhausted, not too seriously hurt. I've done what I can for her. She'll rest now."

She noticed that Q didn't have a mark on him. "What happened out there?" she asked. "I heard screams, and a growling sound."

Q answered mysteriously, "It is over now. The men are gone. There is no more danger. Thank you for helping her. She is very special to me."

Thyri swallowed nervously. She wondered if the danger he was talking about was from the men, or whatever else was out there. This man already was known to have strange 'pets', she thought as she glanced back at the woman on the pallet.
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If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:56 AM   #6
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He crossed to the table and pulled out one of the chairs, gesturing for her to come and sit. "Come, relax. I appreciate your concern for her."

Thyri took the offered seat, looking at him curiously. "I can help her recuperate, but I cannot remove her curse. How did she get to be that way?"

"That," Q said, "is a longer story for another time perhaps. But for now, shall we discuss the reason I brought you here? I'm sure you must be curious." His voice held a hint of something, even as did the look in his eye. He knew something, she thought. Something important, about her, somehow. One delicate eyebrow lifted with interest.

Q cleared his throat and began, "I'm sure you witnessed the battle between the men and elves earlier today? Before you ask, I see the concern in your eyes. There were no survivors, no one you could have helped anyway." He didn't miss the pained look in her eyes. "This conflict has been too costly already, for both sides. And I fear it is only getting started."

"Why do they fight each other?" Thyri asked innocently.

"Not long ago, an elven child was taken from their village. This is a very special child, one spoken of in their prophecy scrolls. The elves believe she is to play an important part in some event still to come. They blame the men for her disappearance. That is why they fight. The men only know that relations with the elves have become hostile. They are attacked by elves, so they in turn, fight elves." He shrugged. "Men need little reason to fight, it seems."

"And what makes you think I can help? Surely it would take a great leader, or some great hero, to put a stop to their fighting." the girl asked.

"You underestimate your importance, little one. I think you are uniquely suited to helping. All it would take is for the girl to be found, and returned to the elves, for the fighting and loss to be brought to an end. You can help more than you realize. You are both human and elf, and yet not fully either one. You alone could be accepted by both sides, and at the same time, represent to them their foe. Each faction would see you as someone who could speak for their enemies, and negotiate a peace between them, and yet, also have some sympathy to their own interests."

"Not to mention the fact that you are a healer, and it is within you to desire to heal that which is rent asunder. This great wound between human and elven peoples, who once were allies, must be healed. Who better than you for a task like that?"

Thyri looked down at the table doubtfully. Her own thoughts tore at her inside. She hated seeing the two peoples fighting and killing each other. It seemed as if her own two halves were warring within whenever she thought about it. It made her feel sick inside. She would do what she could, but how could someone like her do much of anything in a cause so great? She was but one young girl.

Q read the doubt written on her face. "I have seen things much greater than you know, Annisthyrienne. Your fate is tied up in this affair, I have seen it." He winked at her mysteriously.
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Love is not something you are in, it is something you are.
Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #7
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She peered at him from under brows knit with confusion and curiosity. "Who are you? How do you know these things about me?"

Q only laughed, taking out a long stemmed pipe and lighting it before answering. "I am no one of consequence, at the moment. It is who I choose to be now. And as for how I know about you; that, too, is not the important thing. But that I DO know, it what is important. You must undertake this quest. I will send Tetyanna along to help you. She has strength's that you do not, just as you have some she does not. Together, I believe you will succeed."

"Tetyanna is...." Thyri left the thought hanging, gesturing towards the woman on the pallet as Q nodded. "Well, I'm not certain of all this. You seem very mysterious about the whole thing. But I would like to see the fighting stopped, and if a child is in need of help, I will do whatever I can, of course. I would do this anyhow. It is my nature, as you said."

Q smiled knowingly. "But now it is getting late. If you feel up to it in the morning, it would be a good time to set out upon your journey. I regret that I cannot help you myself, but I am getting old, I fear. Such quests are the actions of the young and vibrant."

Thyri smiled and nodded. "I am tired. It's been a very long day, and using my healing abilities takes a lot out of me." She stood and began spreading her blankets out on the floor next to the pallet where Tetyanna slept, in case she would be needed during the night.

Q stood up, watching the half-elf girl make her preparations. "Please, I insist that you take my bed. I will sleep on the floor."

"Oh, I couldn't do that after all you have done to help me. I will be fine here." Thyri said.

"Please, I'll be fine. And you'll need your rest for the upcoming journey."

"Well, all right then."

"Good. And please, if you need any of my food, help yourself. I have plenty."

"Thank you, its very kind of you." she said as she gathered her blankets. "I didn't expect to feel so welcomed by a stranger."

Q lay down on a soft bearskin rug near the fireplace and prepared to sleep. "We know each other now. We are not strangers, we are friends."

"Okay, friends then." She smiled warmly at the thought.

He smiled and gave her a wink. "Good night, my friend, and please, don't worry about the night. You'll be safe while you are here with me."
She bid him good night and tried to get some sleep, but her mind raced well into the night with thoughts about the events of the day, and wonder about what the morrow would bring.
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Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:35 PM   #8
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Interlude

Who is Annisthyrienne?
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #9
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Chapter two

Annisthyrienne woke slowly, the streaming light of dawn summoning her consciousness back from the grey fog of sleep into the clarity of the morning. Her head no longer throbbed from her fall. She took advantage of the luxury of lying in a real bed to spend a couple moments recalling what had happened the evening before. Q's mysterious plans for her came back to her mind as she wondered what the missing Elven child would be going through at that moment. The guilt she felt at lying there in comfort while the child no doubt was not enjoying such a luxury prodded her out of bed and to her responsibilities for the day.

Her first concern was to check on her patient, the wolf woman, Tetyanna. Thyri emerged from the bedroom of the little cabin, just as Q was stepping away from the pallet where the woman lay. Thyri noticed he had been checking on her wounds, and had left new clothes for the woman to dress in. Thyri favored him with a smile and asked, "How is she feeling?"

Her answer came not from the older man, but from the woman on the pallet. "I feel much better, almost like new. Thank you, uh....What did you say your name was again?"

Thyri turned her smile to the dark haired woman as she replied, "My friends..." She paused to look pointedly over at the older man. "....call me 'Thyri'." (Teery)

The woman extended her hand to Thyri, replying, "It's nice to meet you, Thyri. I'm Tetyanna. I guess you already met me, in a way. You probably know more about me now than you bargained for."

"I think I know what you are meaning, Tetyanna. How did you get that way?"

Tetyanna lowered her gaze, looking away as she replied, "That is a painful story."

In her youthful exuberance, Thyri pressed on. "Were you attacked? Does it hurt to change like that?"

"Yes, every time." was the answer Tetyanna gave, her voice quiet as if shamed.

Thyri's voice softened, her empathy for the woman reminding her of her duties to her patient. "If your wounds still bother you, I have some herbs in my saddle bags that I could make into a salve."

Tetyanna waved off any concern. "No, I think I'm just about healed up; one of the good things about being what I am."

Thyri sat down on the pallet next to Tetyanna, her curiosity piqued to find out more about the unusual woman. There was no trace of the fear she had felt the night before at seeing the growling wolf-beast for the first time. She asked softly, "How does it feel when you are a wolf?"

Tetyanna paused, her eyes taking on a faraway look. "Alive.....free.....sometimes frightening."

Thyri sensed the subject was a sensitive one with this woman. She blushed, a little flustered at her poor showing of manners. In her heavily accented Common tongue she gushed, "Oh Tetyanna, I'm sorry to be asking so many questions. You must think I am terribly nosy."

"No, it's quite okay. Please ask what you will." Tetyanna answered.

"It's only that I have never met anyone like you before. I have not met more than a few humans....well, really only one before you and Q. My previous home was very remote and isolated." Thyri lapsed into companionable silence as she sat next to Tetyanna. She had barely met this woman and already she felt unusually intrigued by her story and her condition.

Tetyanna spoke softly, her thoughts far away in time as she recounted her past. "I was raised as part of a clan of people like me. My clan was hunted down by men...men with agendas...men with hate for our race. My father, along with most of our clan, died in a great battle with those men. My mother escaped with me tucked in her arms and she ran both night and day, hunted by hatred fueled pursuers. The wounds she had sustained during the escape made her weaker and weaker as the miles pressed on. She dared not look back."

"We arrived near some foothills and there she collapsed on the forest floor at the woodlands edge. She...she never moved again. I could hear the men coming up fast. It was like hell itself was driving them on! The sounds of the men's cries got closer and closer. I was but 8 years old and frightened. I couldn't move; fear and sorrow had seized my legs. Tears streamed down from my face. All I could do was sit there and cry 'Mommy! Mommy!'"

"Then a shadow appeared over me. A cloaked figure reached down an scooped me up. An old gentle face looked into mine and told me, "Your mommy is in a better place now and I will take you somewhere safe if you trust me." I just nodded and away we went through the woods. All I could do was cry as I watched my mother lying there, drained of all life. The men never found me or kept up the pursuit. They must have found my mother and figured that was it and gave up the hunt."

"The old man raised me and taught me many things. He even knew what I was. I still don't know how even to this day. But he taught me to control it, more or less, and how to hunt and how to survive. I owe him my life."

"Yes, you guessed it...it was Q. In all the years I have lived with Q, he still remains an enigma to me. I love him like a father. He has given me back what was once taken from me: pride, hope, and the strength to go on. He, himself is not human; I have sensed this, but as to what he is... that is another mystery that he said in time he will reveal to me, as well."
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
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Thyri sat quietly beside Tetyanna, taking a moment to let it all sink in. "So you have no one left in the world, just like me. I am sorry to hear of your tragedy, but I'm glad we met here. We have much in common. I, too, was no longer welcome in the village I lived in after my mother died."

"Really? I'm so sorry to hear that. If I may say so, you are very beautiful. I'm sorry to be so bold"

Thyri blushed. "Thank you for the compliment, Tetyanna. I think Q is right to send us on this quest together. I think we will make a good team."

Tetyanna let her dark eyes roam unabashedly over the slim elven figure, looking her up and down with interest. "Mmm, yeah, a good 'team'."

Thyri innocently misunderstood the look, imagining that this woman was skeptical of her abilities. "What?" she challenged. "I can be helpful! Maybe I can't fight so well; probably not as well as you or him. But I have.....other skills."

Tetyanna smirked at the young elvish girl's consternation. "Oh yes, as I have seen."

Thyri crossed her arms over her chest. "Well someone has to be helpful after the battle too!"

Tetyanna laughed. "I meant no offense. I'm sure you are very talented, and I can't wait to get to know you better. And I thank you for your help when I was down. You were very comforting last night. In fact, I dreamt of you."

"Thank you, I.... Hey, you really did?"

Tetyanna smiled a mysterious wry smile. "Yes, really. And it was a very good dream."

Thyri's violet eyes met Tetyanna's brown ones for a prolonged moment as the implications sunk in. Then the pink flush of color rose to paint her neck and cheeks as she realized what the woman was implying. "Uh, I think I should go tend to my horse now."

Tetyanna chuckled. "I'm sorry. I'm being too forward. I'll go and gather some things for our journey. That is, if you are to go with me."

Thyri answered, "Q believes I should. He says I can be helpful in this quest."

"Yes, I believe you could be.... in many ways." Tetyanna said meaningfully.
Thyri blushed again, but continued. "And I don't like the idea of men and elves fighting. So if there is something I can do to help them make peace, I want to do it."

"I agree. Come on, Thyri. Let's get our things gathered up. I'll help you."
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:02 PM   #11
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The two women headed outside, carrying the pack bags Q had already prepared for their journey. As they neared Thyri's horse, the animal whickered nervously, edging away from Tetyanna until Thyri soothed the animal with calming words softly spoken in her native Elvish. She turned to Tetyanna, who was standing a few feet away. "Do you have a horse too, Tetyanna? Are they afraid to let you ride them? Do they sense what you can become?" In her youthful exuberance, the young half-elf rattled off her questions, hardly giving Tetyanna a chance to answer.

Tetyanna just grinned, affected by the enthusiasm of her companion. She shook her head. "They do get a little nervous around me, that's true. But some horses can be specially trained to be docile. My horse is one of those. And I had to pay a steep price to have it trained that way."

Thyri nodded, admiring the horse Tetyanna referred to as she tended to her own mount. Q stepped up behind them. "Before you two head off, I've supplied you both with plenty of provisions and a couple hundred feet of rope in case you need it. Also, I have some information that I obtained through no small expense. It was claimed that the orcs are behind the abduction of the Elven girl. The belief is that they want to obtain some of the land of the elven or human territories when the elves and humans have weakened each other."

"That is helpful to know. So we should be looking for orcs, and if we find them, we might find the little girl." Thyri said.

Q nodded. "That is a fair assumption and a good plan. I'm sorry to send you both on this mission alone, but I don't think I am up to this sort of thing anymore."

She continued, "In the meantime, maybe we could try to talk to the elves or the humans and persuade them to stop fighting long enough to let us try to find the child. And maybe I could get a better description of the child."

"Perhaps you could, but I think if you decide to do that, you may want to leave Tetyanna somewhere else so you could go alone. I don't think she would be very welcome in the Elven village. In fact, just the opposite."

"Yes, I suppose so, and if we need to talk to the humans, perhaps I should wait and let Tetyanna do the talking to them. Maybe they will be better inclined towards her than me."

"Hmmmm, maybe. But Tetyanna is no diplomat. Sorry Tetyanna." Q smiled knowingly as Tetyanna just grinned and winked.
Thyri continued. "Well, if we can get them to stop fighting each other for a while, it would give us more time to find the child. We should start by finding out where the girl was last seen, I suppose."

Q replied, "She was last seen near her home in the Elven village northwest of here.; a place called 'Randalee'."

Thyri turned to Tetyanna and asked, "Shall we go there first then? I can try to find out more while you wait for me in the forest if you'd like."

Tetyanna nodded. "Yeah, that sounds like a good plan, Thyri." She turned to Q and slipped her arms around his neck in a farewell hug. "Good bye, Q. Thank you for everything. You've been like a father to me."

Q returned the hug. Thyri thought his eyes seemed a little misty. "Good bye Tetyanna, and you too, Thyri. Be careful, both of you. And know that you are both welcome back here anytime."

Thyri bid him farewell with a brief handshake and mounted her horse. 'We wil lbe careful. And I'll come to visit you when we have returned the child. Don't worry about us."

Q smiled his mysterious smile. "It's a father's job to worry." His remark caught Thyri's attention as she began to ride away. She glanced back over her shoulder, wondering if he meant something by the comment. But seeing Tetyanna nod, she figured he was referring to her. She smiled and waved as they rode away.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:16 PM   #12
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Tetyanna

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:56 AM   #13
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They rode throughout the day, conversing as they rode, casual talk to get to know each other. Thyri's gaze cast often towards the ground as they picked their way through the forest, and at last, Tetyanna's curiosity got the better of her. "What are you doing? You look as though you lost something."

Thyri smiled, shaking her head. "No, I didn't lose anything. But I am seeking something. I'm keeping a watch out for various herbs and useful plants. I use them to make medicine to treat certain ailments. Oh! Like that one there!" she exclaimed as she quickly dismounted and knelt at the base of a tree trunk. Tetyanna watched in amusement as the half-elven girl collected the roots of the plant before returning to her mount.

"So the whole world is basically your garden, is that it?" Tetyanna remarked as they rode on.

"Hey, don't make fun. These very plants could someday save a life. I've seen them work before." Thyri answered defensively.
"Okay, so how do you make a plant root into medicine?" Tetyanna asked. Thyri was about to answer when they heard the sound of gruff but hearty laughter nearby. She glanced at Tetyanna, the question showing in her eyes, but the wolf-woman only shrugged. "Let's see who it is. But be careful. It's better if we see them before they see us."

Thyri nodded, glad that she was traveling with someone who knew these things. Otherwise she might have blundered into a perilous situation. She guided her horse behind Tetyanna's until they crested a rise in the trail. Below, in a small clearing was a small encampment of what seemed to be Dwarves. They were laughing and boisterous, and Thyri noticed them passing around several tankards and a couple wineskins. They didn't seem to be aggressive, and perhaps they had information that could help with the quest.

Thyri glanced over at Tetyanna, unsure of how to proceed. Tetyanna spoke quietly under her breath. "I don't know about this, Thyri. This may be a bad idea; two women traveling alone, and do you see any women in their camp?"

"Well, Tet, they seem friendly enough, and they are drunk. They probably don't mean us any harm, and maybe they know something that can help us."

Tetyanna glanced at her young companion, noting the use of the new nickname with a smile. "Alright, but if there is any sign of trouble, I'm grabbing you and we're making haste out of here."

"Agreed." Thyri nodded before hailing the camp. "Well met, friends!"

The leader responded with a slightly slurred, "Hail, oh riders! What brings you to our encampment, my ladies?" The dwarf who answered sported a flame colored beard and long wavy hair. Thyri thought it made him look like a small reddish bear with clothes. She smiled as she answered, "We are traveling to Randalee. What can you tell us of the road ahead, Master Dwarf?"

He took another draught from his tankard before replying. When he lowered the rim of the mug, Thyri noticed the foam that clung to his mustache. His bulbous nose stood out above it like a small tomato. "Well, I can tell you that it is not safe at night. They say there is a creature - very terrible - that is not human and not wolf, but both. And it is very vicious! I don't want to cross it's path, I'm here to say."

Thyri shot a glance over to Tetyanna, who smiled and winked in return. "Nor would I, Sir, nor would I." Thyri replied.

Tetyanna added, "I think we can avoid it."

The dwarf staggered slightly as he squinted up at the two women on horseback. "Well, there are rumors of other creatures that roam the woods, but nothing as serious as that."

Thyri asked, "Have you had any reports or encounters with orcs, Sir?" The dwarf blinked slowly, whether from confusion or from a drink befogged mind trying to make sense of the question, Thyri couldn't be sure. At last he answered, "Orcs? Hmm, let me think. I'll ask Olkan. He is one of our best scouts. He will know." The dwarf turned and headed off, wobbling, to a nearby bedroll where another dwarf sat studying maps.

As they waited patiently for his return, Thyri reached behind and loosened a small wineskin from among her belongings, bringing it forward to drape over her saddle horn. Moments later, the dwarf returned. "Yes, there have been a couple bands of orcs spotted roaming the northern part of the forest, near the mountains. They've been seen no more than ten leagues from here."

Thyri's breath caught at the news. "By chance, did they have an Elven child with them?"

The dwarf shook his head, making his beard follow his movement slightly behind in pace. "I don't know. Filthy creatures they are! It's possible." he straightened to his full height. Thyri thought he might have stood as tall as her shoulder if she'd been dismounted. His eyes gleamed as he said, "Would you care to stay the night here among us, ladies? You can enjoy our protection for the night."

Thyri glanced over at Tetyanna, whose brow raised skeptically, then turned back to the dwarf. "Well, we thank you for your kind offer. But we must travel on." She lifted the strap on the wineskin and offered it to the dwarf. "Now I know this is not quite are strong as your dwarven mead, but I would be happy if you would accept this skin of wine as thanks for your help."

"Oh! Thank you, my lady, that is very nice of you." He bowed, a courtly gesture that seemed out of place in the midst of the forest. And Thyri suppressed a giggle as he almost lost his balance, turning it into a smile instead.

"Enjoy it with my compliments. We are grateful for your assistance."
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:50 PM   #14
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The two women rode on , skirting the camp of the dwarves. Once beyond it, Thyri turned to her companion and asked, "Should we change our plan and track the orcs instead?"

Tetyanna took a moment to reply, looking at Thyri with a strange distracted look. "Yeah, I think that is a good plan." She hesitated before asking, "So Thyri, do you have a husband, or whatever your people have?"

Thyri looked at her curiously, puzzled as to why she would ask such a question. Wasn't it obvious? "No, Tet, I am yet too young. I have seen only 65 summers. And besides, the elven men in my village would not wish to consort with me because of my human blood." She looked away, unable to meet Tetyanna's gaze as she continued. "That is why I had to leave. Now I'm hoping to find a place among my father's people."

Tetyanna snorted. "Don't hold your breath, Sweetie. Humans know only one thing: destruction! Humans are responsible for my condition. They ran my family out of our home! They killed my parents! They know only hatred and fear of things they don't understand. Their only answer is to kill whatever is different from them!"

Thyri was shocked by the vehemence in Tetyanna's voice. She reached out a hand to clasp the woman's shoulder, offering support and a calming touch. "Tetyanna, I haven't met many humans, but after meeting you and Q, I'm sure they cannot be all bad. I just know my father can't be. I mean, he just can't be!"

Tetyanna cut her off abruptly, "Thyri, Q and I are not human! And neither are you! If you think that they will accept you as one of them, you are wrong! They will hunt you, just like they hunted me!" Her voice was shrill, nearly manic in her upset. She was crying. Thyri wasn't sure how to react to what Tetyanna said. The words held hurt for her; she just couldn't believe Tetyanna could be right, not about all humans.

But she sensed the pain that was so deeply ingrained in her companion and it appealed to her need to soothe, to comfort, to heal. Thyri spoke softly, her voice a comforting tone, "Don't worry, it's alright. I know you've been hurt before, but I won't let anything happen to you when I'm here with you, Tetyanna."

Tetyanna's sobs subsided and she looked at her young companion, surprised at the gentle strength she heard in that simple statement of reassurance. She smiled, wiping away her tears. "You make me feel so at ease with you, Thyri. I don't know how, but you are good for me. Thank you."

Thyri smiled brightly in return. "You're welcome, Tetyanna. We'll stick together, even if no one else will have us around then." she said jokingly.

In spite of herself, Tetyanna found herself grinning in response to this strange little optimistic half breed girl. "Yeah, you're right. We will stick together, no matter what. Now....let's find those orcs."

Thyri smiled and turned her horse northward towards the distant mountains, her new friend at her side.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #15
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Chapter Three

The two women rode north, headed towards the rough terrain of the mountains. Thyri's keen eyes searched for signs of the passage of a large band of orcs as she kept watch for any useful herbs for her medicines. She was lagging behind on the trail slightly when Tetyanna's horse reared in sudden fright. Tetyanna gave a yelp as she was pitched from her saddle to land beside the trail.

Thyri's keen eyes spotted a large black snake coiled in the trail, ready to strike her friend. Acting quickly, she urged her horse forward, hoping to get between the snake and Tetyanna, but her palfrey would have none of it, and spooked. The young half-elf girl tried desperately to regain control as her horse reared up. But she was used to riding gently along, not handling a frightened mount in a hazardous situation. She spilled to the ground just as the snake struck out at Tetyanna. Thyri couldn't tell if the snake bit her friend or not; the spill from the horse dumping her awkwardly on her bottom.

Tetyanna hissed a curse under her breath before grabbing her smaller companion and pulling her out of reach of the snake. She drew her sword, calling over her shoulder, "Get the horses, Thyri. I'll get the snake."

Thyri glanced back over her shoulder as she started for the horses. She saw Tetyanna slash at the snake, cutting it cleanly in half. It seemed as though her friend was fine, so she turned her attention to coaxing their frightened animals into coming back. Several minutes later, she led the two mounts back along the trail. The sight that met her eyes brought a gasp of alarm to her lips. Tetyanna was lying in the trail, pale looking and shivering.

Thyri quickly tied off the horses reins and rushed forward, checking on her friend. She quickly searched the wolf-woman's body and discovered two small bite marks on her arm. She groaned. "Hold on, Tetyanna, I'm going to help you."

Tetyanna murmured weakly, "I'm sorry to be such a bother to you, Thyri."

Thyri admonished her, "You're no bother at all. Just hold on. I'll get what I need to make a remedy."

Tetyanna's head nodded as she answered, "I don't think this venom is deadly, but it is making me sick. I'm so cold and I feel weak. I think we should make camp somewhere around here. I could use some rest. Could you help me off the road?"

Thyri put her arm around Tetyanna, urging the larger woman to lean on her for support. She helped her to a nearby tree just off the trail, and helped her lay down, covering her with a blanket from her pack. "Now you rest here while I prepare some medicine for you. Then I'll make camp while you rest." Thyri returned to her pack, searching for a small leather pouch containing dried herbs. She soon had a small fire going and had a kettle put on to boil. She glanced over at her companion, her brow furrowing in concern at the grayish pallor that seemed to dim the normal vibrancy of Tetyanna's tanned skin.

To lighten the mood, she quipped, "Well, Tet, the good news is you wanted to know how I could make medicine from a plant. Now you really went to a lot of trouble to get the chance to watch me in action. But you'll see. I'll have you feeling better in no time." She moved over next to her friend, now her patient, and placed a palm on Tet's forehead. Tetyanna was feverish, and shivering in the cool evening air. Thyri knew she'd have to do something more immediate while the medicine was being prepared. She dipped into the sack of dried herbs and scooped some in her fingers, putting the wad of herbs in her mouth to soften and moisten.

Agrimony was useful, she knew, to draw poison from a wound. She saturated it with her saliva, then scooped it out of her mouth and packed it around the bite, wrapping it in a bandage. She poured a little water out of her water skin, wetting a cloth and mopping it across Tetyanna's fevered brow. She didn't miss the shiver that wracked the frame of her friend. Tetyanna's eyes were open, but she looked like a suffering animal, stoic in silence.

Thyri checked on the medicine, and decided it was worth administering a dose right away, even if it might not be at it's full potency yet. She poured a little in a cup, bringing it back to where Tetyanna lay with her back against the tree. Thyri helped her sip the bitter elixir slowly, but made sure she drank it all. "That should help you feel better soon, Tet. Now you just rest easy, and I'll set up camp."
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #16
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The young half-elf busied herself with the routine chores of setting up their camp site. She strung a hammock between two trees, hung the feedbag's on the horses' heads, and prepared a small meal. She didn't think Tetyanna would feel much like eating, but she'd be ready in case she did. And the day's travel had her feeling famished. When all the preparations were made, the sun was just slipping below the horizon. Thyri went back to check on her friend's condition.

Tetyanna was quiet, her eyes closed, but she was breathing rapidly. Thyri couldn't help but imagine that she looked like a panting wolf. But she thought the medicine should be showing signs of working by now, and she wasn't satisfied with Tetyanna's progress. With a sigh, she returned to the fire to check on the remedy, noting it's darker color. That was more like what she expected it to be, and she poured another cup for Tetyanna to drink.

Tetyanna moaned in delirium, murmuring something indistinct. Thyri helped her drink the potion, wincing in empathic sympathy as Tet shuddered in pain. "Come on, Tetyanna. Let's get you into the hammock. You'll be more comfortable there." Thyri struggled to get her larger companion up and over to the hammock, supporting most of the weight of the woman on her smaller frame. Soon she had her friend nestled in the hammock, and as comfortable as she could make her. She covered her with blankets and made sure they were tucked securely around her body.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:10 AM   #17
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Thyri returned to the fire to eat the food she had prepared. She ate distractedly, her mind on her friend's condition and the mission they had taken on. She was reasonably confident the elixir would stop the course of the poison, but it couldn't heal what damage that had been done. But a good night's sleep and a hot meal in the morning would help Tet recover her strength. In the meantime, she'd probably pass an unpleasant night marked by fever and sickness. But maybe there was something to be done, Thyri thought.

Her knowledge of medicines and treatment of injuries, along with things like midwifery and other skills were better than average. Her mother had been a healer too, and had taught her all she could in the time they had together. But a true healer also developed the ability to heal with a touch, using the power of their mind and their will. It helped if the patient believed strongly in the healer's ability, but it wasn't completely necessary for the best healers. And Thyri's mother had been one of the best.

Had they had more time together, Thyri's psychic healing abilities would have grown quickly. When her mother had reached a certain level of ability, she'd had the power to 'awaken' her daughter's psychic gift, but only as much as the first stage. Thyri could use her mind to sync her body with her patient's, enabling her to feel what they felt. Usually she had to be in physical contact with her patient to manage this, but her ability was strong, and her mother sensed that someday the half-elf girl would be able to sense the feelings and sensations of others with whom she had a previous connection merely by being in close proximity.

Someday, her powers would be advanced enough to heal wounds with her will, mend broken bones, cure diseases, and possibly even bring people back from the veil of death. All of it was possible. But for now, Thyri's abilities were limited to merely soothing aches and pains, and inducing a sort of anesthetized sleep with her touch. Still, she thought, that much would ensure Tetyanna passed a restful night instead of a rough one. And that would make a huge difference in how quickly she could recover from the snake's venom.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #18
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Decided on her course of action, Thyri finished up her meal and then carefully got into the hammock with Tetyanna. She arranged herself so she could lay along Tetyanna's side. The position was a tricky balancing act, and Thyri had to drape one leg over one of Tet's, sort of straddling her thigh, and partially lying across Tetyanna's side.

Thyri slipped her hand inside Tetyanna's blouse, letting her palm move over the other woman's breast to a place just above her heart. It made her feel a little funny to cup another woman's breast under her palm, but in this way she could monitor Tet's breathing and heart rate throughout the night. She felt the stiffened bud of Tetyanna's nipple as it rose under her palm just before she moved her hand slightly more towards the center of her friend's chest. She tried not to think of how it made her feel a little giddy inside to touch this woman in this way.

Thyri closed her violet eyes to concentrate, syncing up her breathing with that of Tetyanna. It was a two way adaptation, with Tetyanna's labored breathing slowing and calming to match Thyri's rhythm. Then she focused on matching their heartbeats. Within moments, they were in synchronicity. Thyri let herself feel that rhythm, that pulse of life, and accustomed herself to it for a moment, then began to induce the restful sedation in Tetyanna by concentrating on her own.

She made herself aware of each part of her body in turn, starting with her feet. She felt Tetyanna's feet as well, on a subliminal level in her own awareness. She gradually forced her awareness of her feet to fade, eliminating any sensation of them in her mind. Then she worked her way up her legs, each step of becoming aware, then erasing awareness of the body parts as she focused on one after another. Her thighs were next, and then higher.

She experienced a momentary tingle of pleasure in her center when her focus turned next to her groin, and she idly wondered if it was her own pleasure or something she was sensing from Tetyanna. It almost caused her to lose her focus, but she realized that she had a task to perform, and continued. In the same manner as before, she concentrated on each area, eliminating it from her awareness. Soon she had covered her entire body, and Tetyanna's by proxy, in a peaceful state of rest. She could not still her mind since she would need to monitor Tetyanna's status throughout the night. But she sensed Tet's untroubled sleep, and new it would be the best thing for her.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:31 PM   #19
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Tetyanna woke up feeling weak and wet, but better than she had when she fell asleep. There were two main reasons for that. One: the young half-elf's medicine had worked. Tetyanna's fever had broke sometime in the night. And two: that same half-elf was lying entwined in the wolf-woman's arms when she awoke. Despite the early morning chill making her keenly aware of her sweat soaked clothes, and the discomfort they provided her, Tetyanna smiled as Thyri stirred in the hammock beside her.

Blinking sleepily, not having rested well during the night out of concern for her patient, the half-elf girl murmured, "You're looking better than last night. How do you feel?" She reached up to feel Tetyanna's forehead, using her empathy to check her condition. The movement brought her hand out from under Tetyanna's blouse, and both women were suddenly and acutely aware of where her small hand had been. Thyri blushed pink to the delicately pointed tips of her ears.

Tetyanna's skin was glistening with the moisture of perspiration, but Thyri could sense no more fever or illness. Tetyanna cleared her throat, slightly flushed from the realization of how intimately she had been held in the night, then replied, "I feel much better, thanks to you. Your medicine worked well. How about you? Did you get any rest last night?"

Thyri carefully slipped out of the hammock as she answered, "Not a lot, but I don't mind. You pulled me out of the way of that snake, and took the hit instead. That makes you my hero!"

Tetyanna smiled, "No, I'm just a friend." She moved to climb out of the hammock, straightening in a languorous stretch. "Ahh, I feel like I could pull the ears off a bear at this point."

"In that case, I'm glad I'm not a bear. I'm rather fond of my ears."

Tetyanna laughed, then answered in a more serious tone. "I'd never hurt you." She reached out to touch Thyri's cheek softly.

Thyri's violet eyes met Tetyanna's amber gaze. "I know that, somehow, even though we haven't known each other for long."

The moment brought an unexpected wetness to Tetyanna's eyes and she sobbed suddenly, turning away in embarrassment. Thyri asked quietly, "What's the matter?" Tetyanna only shook her head as she stalled to gain her self control.

"It's just that I've never really had a friend before, not like this. No one other than Q to talk to or be around, really. And you, you're like magic."

Thyri's gaze lowered and she blushed again. "Believe it or not, I kind of know what you mean. It feels different being around you than being around my mother or the elves of the village I grew up in." Thyri turned to the fire, stirring the coals back to life under the pot. She rummaged in her backpack, finding that Q had indeed provisioned them well. She started cooking a little breakfast for the two of them. "It looks like Q was looking out for us, Tetyanna. I'll have some food ready for us soon."
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You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:54 AM   #20
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Tetyanna smiled, gathering one of the blankets around her shoulders against the chill. "While you do that, I think I'll get out of these clothes. I must have soaked them in the night, battling the fever." She began to undress, keeping the blanket around her to protect her modesty.

Thyri answered absently, "Yes, it's a side effect of the medicine too. The idea is to get your body to expel the poison by secreting it out of your system. But I think there is a stream nearby. We can go to bathe after breakfast. I want you to eat something to help get some of your strength back."

Tet nodded. "I'd like that." She returned to the fire, wrapped in only the blanket. "So Thyri, how did you happen to find Q anyway? Another stray?"

Thyri stirred the pot, satisfied that the meal was ready. She dished some out to Tetyanna in a small bowl as she answered. "He found me actually. I almost fell into his arms, in fact."

Tetyanna chuckled. "I think I'm jealous." She laughed again. Thyri glanced at her with a curious expression. She had the understanding that Q was like a father to Tetyanna. So was Tetyanna jealous of her that she would be in Q's arms? Or could Tetyanna have meant that she was jealous of Q? She shook her head slightly, clearing her thoughts before continuing. "I was watching the elves and humans fighting, and I lost my balance and fell out of the tree I was in. It's this strange thing that happens to me sometimes. I lose all sense of balance. It usually happens when I am under a lot of stress or anxiety."

"Oh, I see. Were you hurt?"

Thyri chuckled. "Fortunately for me, I have a hard head, and I landed on a soft log."

Tetyanna laughed too, patting her little friend on her back. "Now I guess I'll have to look out for you too. We're just going to have to look out for each other."

Thyri nodded. "Yes, it seems so. If you are finished eating, we can go to the stream to bathe now." Tetyanna nodded and handed over her bowl as Thyri began to clean up.

"That sounds good. I need a bath."

Thyri answered, "I feel like I am covered in the dust of the trail from yesterday's ride."

Tetyanna rejoined, "And I'm covered in sweat. I must have been very unpleasant to sleep next to all night."

Before thinking of her reply and the meaning it could hold, Thyri blurted out, "Oh, not so bad. I didn't mind." She packed away the last of the dishes and began to take down and pack away the hammock, unaware of the warm smile on Tetyanna's face as she watched the little healer work.
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Love is not something you are in, it is something you are.
Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:08 PM   #21
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With the camp all packed up and the fire put out, Thyri gathered the reins of the horses in hand, slipped an arm around Tetyanna as they began to make their way to the stream. She wanted to make sure that her companion wasn't feeling any residual after effects from the snake bite, but she didn't want the warrioress to think she was coddling her. The young half-elf tried to pass it off casually, saying, "Come on, Friend, let's get wet."

Tetyanna smiled at the use of the word, and the feeling of the slender arm around her waist. In truth, she didn't need the assistance. She was only a little tired, but otherwise unaffected by the venom after the night's rest and the medicine the little healer had provided. And she knew that she could be fully rejuvenated if she shifted to her wolf form. Something about the change reconstituted her body in it's top condition within moments of the shift every time. But she didn't want to tell that to the girl at her side, in part because she didn't want to frighten her new friend, and also because she rather liked the attention and care she was getting. It was the same reason she didn't refuse the helping embrace.

As they walked, Tetyanna dared to wonder about their budding relationship. Of course the little half-elf at her side probably didn't realize it was a relationship yet, at least nothing more than a friendship. But Tetyanna had higher hopes. She'd always been attracted to other females. The men she had encountered in he life usually had brought pain to her or her family, with the exception of Q. She didn't trust men. Her instincts told her that this girl at her side was someone that would be very special in her life.

The two reached the bank of the stream and Thyri tied the horses reins where they could drink their fill of the clear water. "I bet that water is cold." she said as she began to loosen the lacings on her boots. Her violet eyes surreptitiously snuck a peak at the dark skinned woman disrobing just a few feet away. Thyri had had a brief look when she examined Tetyanna back at the cabin, but she was still curious to note the differences between her slim adolescent elvish body and that of a fully ripened human woman. She glanced quickly at Tetyanna's face, making sure she would not be caught staring.
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If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:07 AM   #22
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Tetyanna's hands trembled slightly as she worked the lacings of her blouse loose. She too was anticipating getting a good look at her companion's nubile young body. "Yes," she replied, "But it will feel good to be clean again." She didn't need to look at Thyri to sense the excitement that was building. Her nose told her the story. In her two legged form, her sense of smell wasn't as keen as in her wolf form, but it was still far beyond what any normal person could detect. She caught the subtle change in the feminine scent of her companion; it told her the moment the elf's interest began to grow. Tetyanna could almost see the way she peeked at her body; she didn't need to turn around. She decided to make a show of it.

The wolf woman stripped off her blouse over her head, taking her time about it, so that her flat muscular abdomen was displayed to best effect. Thyri's eyes wandered over the taut toned muscle admiringly. As a healer she had helped her mother in treating many people with all different kinds of physiques, and she'd developed an admiration for a healthy body. But this was different somehow. She was not seeing this woman's body before her with only the eyes of a healer, but with curiosity and frank interest. Violet eyes took the measure of coppery skinned full breasts, peaked with dark chocolate colored nipples that were tightening to a throbbing stiffness in the late winter air.

Tetyanna risked a quick glance to note the effect her actions were having, and her lips curled into a smile when the half-elf girl's gaze quickly turned away upon noticing she was caught looking. She noted with interest the flush of pink blush creeping up the neck and face of the girl, even to the delicately pointed tips of her hears. That is a sight I will never tire of seeing, Tetyanna thought.
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You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #23
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Thyri stood and pushed the leggings down and off her body, stepping out of them quickly. The winter air was chill, and raised little goose bumps on her skin. She eschewed underclothing, not accustomed to them. Quickly she pulled her tunic and blouse over her head all at once. She thought to get undressed quickly and get into the stream so she could freely watch her companion but the tangle of removing two garments at once caught up around her shoulders and head, pulling her hair as she tried to get free.

Now it was Tetyanna's turn to peek as she grinned in amusement at the little half naked elf-girl, turning and stumbling around in a comical little dance, stuck in her own clothing. Tet's amber eyes missed no detail of the pert but modestly sized breasts, capped with pink areola and nipples that turned rose hued near the tip. Those lightly tanned breasts, much paler compared to her own, were covered in the same goose bumps that she found so delightful on other parts of the naked elf. Tet's breath caught in her throat as she watched the coral pink nipples stiffen in the cold, becoming pointed tipped little raspberries, tempting to be sucked and tasted. She felt the tingle between her legs signaling her arousal and all amusement left her expression. Here eyes watched the young elf girl struggle with a new expression, one of pure unbridled desire, bordering on predatory.

With a desperate little squeal, Thyri cried, "Help me, Tet!" and the moment passed. Tetyanna took a deep breath, glad that the elf could not see, and stepped forward to help her friend, chuckling. A swift tug brought the restraining clothes free, and the embarrassed elf girl hurried quickly into the stream. She shivered and gasped at the cold water. "Oh, it's really cold!"

Tetyanna smirked, remarking, "Whose idea was this again?" She slid off her leggings and dipped a foot in the stream, testing the waters.

"It was your idea!" Thyri replied, splashing the wolf woman playfully. Tetyanna screeched in protest and tried to get away. "You bully!" she cried and grinned, stooping as she entered the stream to return the splash. The two women soon forgot the chilly temperature as they laughed and teased each other, finally settling down to their bathing. With the proverbial ice of their relationship broken, both women were less self-conscious about being naked in each other's presence. Now the curious glances were more open and frankly appreciative.
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Love is not something you are in, it is something you are.
Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:05 AM   #24
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Thyri lapsed into silence as she finished her bathing. She glanced up when Tetyanna cleared her throat nervously. "Thyri, can I tell you something?"

"Sure." the young elf replied.

Tetyanna blushed, wondering how to say what was on her mind. Hesitantly she started, "I just think you're so beautiful, and I.... I mean, you are unlike anyone I have ever seen. You are like something out of a dream!"

Thyri answered shyly, "Aw, now you'll make me blush."

Tetyanna quickly continued before she lost her nerve. "No, I mean it! When you are near, my heart races, and my blood; it flows as if I can hear it in my ears. What is this effect that you have on me? It's frightening, yet exhilarating!"

Thyri glanced down, saying quietly, "I don't know what to say. Nobody has ever said those things to me or about me before."
Tetyanna flushed, blurting out, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to, uh... I don't know. No one has ever made me feel this way. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said anything!"

Thyri dropped her gaze shyly before adding, "And I think you're beautiful too. To me, you remind me of something wild and free, fierce and untamed, like a sense of freedom we all long for, yet are a little afraid of."

The wolf woman was silent for a moment, stunned at what the young elf had just said about her. She had always thought of her wolf half as something monstrous, evil. Yet here was a beautiful young woman who saw that part of her as something wild and free, something beautiful in it's own way. She glanced back at Thyri's lithe body. "Oh! Thank you." She paused, then continued, "Can I tell you one more thing? I want to..... Never mind. We should go." She blushed and hurried out of the stream, seemingly in an embarrassed rush.

Thyri watched her go, looking at her companion curiously for a moment, then followed without saying anything more. She noticed the silence of her companion as she got dressed. Tetyanna knelt by the stream and washed out her sweaty clothing. Thyri scuffed her feet, thinking about what she might have said wrong in their recent conversation. It was clear that something was on Tetyanna's mind; Thyri could sense her friend's anxiety like a palpable thing.

To break the tense mood, she asked, "What do you think of the plan to try to find and track Orcs? I mean, they might not have anything to do with the child we seek. We could get lucky, or we might have to backtrack and speak to the elves after all." To her relief, Tetyanna answered, if perhaps a bit distractedly. "Well, it's a starting point I suppose. But we must be cautious."

"In what way?" Thyri asked.

Tetyanna replied, "Well, Q isn't wrong very often. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever known him to be wrong. It's strange." As she spoke, Tetyanna stared at Thyri intently. The young elf girl couldn't help feeling a little like a prey animal under the gaze of a predator. Tetyanna tried to look away, feeling torn inside. She didn't want to lose her new friend by making her uncomfortable, but she couldn't stop staring. She watched as the little healer caught her staring, and smiled brightly as if the looks were perfectly normal. That smile seemed to brighten the forest around them, Tetyanna thought.

She gave a little half smile in return, murmuring dreamily, "I want to....kiss you, Thyri. I know it's an unusual thing to ask. But you don't have to let me if you don't want to."
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Love is not something you are in, it is something you are.
Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.

Last edited by Annisthyrienne : 01-06-2013 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:33 PM   #25
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Thyri paused a moment, appearing to hesitate. Tetyanna felt her nerves rise, afraid that the little healer would reject her. But in truth, Thyri's hesitation was more due to astonishment than anything else. It was not the idea that another woman wanted to kiss her. In the Elven culture in which she grew up, it was not uncommon for younger adolescents to learn about physical intimacy by playing at love with each other, even among members of the same gender. In fact that was seen as a normal and safe way to learn about sex, and was, if not outright encouraged, at least not frowned upon either.

No, the reason for her astonishment was that anyone would want to do 'that' with her. Being of mixed blood and bastard parentage, Thyri was ostracized by the other pure blooded elves. The 'half-human' wasn't like them, and no one wanted to admit being attracted to her, nor be seen as being intimate with her. Now here was a grown woman who wanted to kiss her. Thyri was nervous, afraid that her lack of experience would show and would make her seem awkward and unsophisticated.

Still, when would she get another chance to see what kissing was like, she wondered. What if no one else ever wanted to kiss her? What if they all would think she was ugly? She determined not to let this chance slip away. Would the wolf woman taste funny? Would she bite when she kissed? The young elf's curiosity was piqued.

Tetyanna's hopes were sinking over the hesitation of the little healer. She was almost sure that she would be rejected.
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Love is a state of being, not something you do to someone else.
If someone loves you and you don't feel love for them, you are not affected, they are.
You only feel love when you are loving, giving love.
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