The Creature of Erth'netora

Ravanna Elevalon
Citizen of the World
Joined: 7:05 PM - Aug 25, 2017

4:41 AM - Sep 05, 2017 #1

Ravanna count not have asked for a more perfect day in the Erth'netora Forest. The thick trees provided good shade from the sun overhead. It was hot, yet the shade provided a cool atmosphere instead. It was a good day to be hunting. Her bow and arrow had been used well today. Summer was a good time for any hunter, but the animals' numbers were slowly dwindling as the fall began to start. Still, she was able to catch some small game-rabbits and birds that were still roaming around meet their end quickly. She would have to rest and let her prizes dry out so that they could not rot so easily during the travel back home.

After such a long morning, she did finally find her resting place in the afternoon. She sat along the bank of Navale Lake, placing her bow, arrows, and bag to the side. Her feet ached from the long and satisfying hunt. She gathered some sticks to a makeshift clothes line. Reaching into her bag, she took each dead animal and tied them to line with string by either the foot or tail. Her prizes soon hung quite nicely, slowly bleeding out and swaying in the breeze. Four rabbits and three birds, not a bad day.
She stared at the lake, resting and waiting for her meat. Each time she looked at that lake, it took her breath away with how vast and beautiful it was. She also heard of the legends the locals said about this place. Some believe that the water could heal, while others believed that drinking it would disturb those that lived within it. She did not really believe in the legends, though she did not dare to take a drink from the water. Staying on the safer side of these things was better than risking her life. She closed her eyes and laid back. She loved being surrounded by nature. One day, maybe she would have enough money and conviction to move here, to settle with a nice little home here for her family.

A small noise in the woods behind her broke her fantasy. She sat up at the sound, pausing, waiting. She needed to see or hear something to prompt her to get her bow ready. A few seconds passed, then another small sound was heard. This time it was closer and sounded heavier than any animal's footstep. Could it have been another person? Ravanna quickly stood up with her bow and arrow ready. She had to be ready if it was someone who was ready to ambush her for her game.

"I know you're out there. Show yourself!"

The person who stepped out, however, caught her by surprise, and made her lower her bow in relaxation and comfort.
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Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: 3:32 PM - Jul 18, 2017

5:58 AM - Sep 05, 2017 #2

The Erth'netora forest was just as dark and cold as she remembered. The air was almost always humid under the canopy, and the ground was springy underfoot. It wasn't surprising, considering her proximity to the lake. To most others, they would find this sort of weather unbearable; to her, it was heartwarming. It was nostalgic, even though it hadn't even been all that long ago that she'd been here last. This close to her old home, she couldn't help but feel at peace.

She didn't know this part of the forest all that well, but she knew where she was going. The lake made an excellent landmark. As long as she kept it to her left, she would get where she was going without any problems.

She had wondered about her home ever since she'd left it. Now that the war was firmly over and Her power was gone, she felt it safe enough to return. She didn't expect her family to be there. She didn't expect anything to be the same, but she had to make it home just to see. Whatever awaited her, it was better to be disappointed by what she found than to go on not knowing.

She carried her shoes in her pack. She didn't need them here. They were wrapped up in her cotton skirt and shirt; instead of them, she chose to wear a short leather skirt and a cropped leather top. They were made by her father. Back when She was first on the rise, and Her power hadn't yet consumed her family, they had tried to protect her. If they had left one day sooner, would it have mattered? Would it have been enough?

The leather was stiff and hurried, simple yet practical. It had no elaborate designs worked into the surface. Her armour was incomplete; her father's set had greaves and gauntlets for all eight of his limbs. She remembered the headdress he wore. It had been accented with silken strands. Maybe I should try to get my hands on some leather. I could finish this set of armour...

So lost was she in her thoughts that she didn't even notice the thiefling up ahead. Her voice came from the gloomy shadows and took Nispa completely by surprise: "I know you're out there. Show yourself!"

Nispa, not an especially brave spider, immediately panicked. That voice could belong to anyone! She peered through the foliage, trying to get a glimpse of the woman. She saw an arrow; a second later, she saw the bow. It wasn't drawn, but it was ready. It wasn't until Nispa saw the blue hair that she recognized the woman. Her breath left her all at once, and a lopsided smile played itself across her face. She came out of the undergrowth and looked at the woman with utter relief.

"Ravanna!" she greeted. Normally she would wink, but she felt it odd, given the circumstances. Instead, she seated herself on the ground next to the woman. "What are you doing in the forest? Do you come here often?" She answered her own question when she noticed the dead animals. "Hunting? Looks like you got a good catch."

One of her feet scuffed the leaf litter of the forest floor. "Sorry if I scared you. I ain't used to people out here, y'know? I never saw anyone but the centaurs when I was growing up."
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Cynnita
Citizen of the World
Joined: 9:52 PM - Aug 30, 2017

7:35 AM - Sep 06, 2017 #3

The sun had reached its peak in the sky. The trees whispered endlessly in the breeze, and the soft earth under their feet made for pleasant travel. The two gelflings had left the village the previous morning; after a somewhat heated debate, it was decided that they'd head north. They'd heard of a town nestled somewhere in the forest, and Cynnita had proclaimed immediately that they were going to find it and see what kind of people lived there.

The town, so far, eluded them. On the other hand, the trees were company enough for her. They seemed to grow stouter the further they went from home, she noticed, and their leaves seemed to grow broader. She found herself wondering what other kinds of plants they might find. She knew about quite a lot of them, and could grow any of them at will - well, nearly any of them (she was not without her favorites, though). Maybe someday she'd be able to conjure entire forests from the earth. She'd heard a tale once about a great wielder of magic that did that, and she rather fancied herself in those shoes. She could create saplings, at least, and she supposed that was a start. Perhaps she could form a copy of a plain old regular tree, but just smaller? Was that possible? There were such things as miniature dogs and miniature horses - miniature trees wouldn't be such a preposterous notion. She reminded herself to practice later on once they'd settled for the night, then quickly forgot all about the idea and pranced ahead in the forest.

"You think we'll ever find that town?" she asked her brother, not really because she wanted an answer but mostly just because she wanted to hear her own voice. She scampered up a small rise, peeked over the top, and then frowned. Just more trees. If she were completely honest with herself, she would admit that she was hoping to have crept up on the town and taken it by surprise. Unfortunately, she had only crept up on more of the forest. Bah. She turned back, watching Oersin as he climbed up the rise after her, and then sat down with a plop on the ground. She was beginning to get irritable, and that meant it was time for a late lunch - or was it an early supper? Was there even a difference? Who cares what the difference is, she decided abruptly, digging up the earth with her hands and then bringing her magic into fruition. The fruit, in this case, was a short stalk with a broad-petaled flower at the top. Six rounded black seeds hung from underneath the flower, and she ate those first. She saved the flower for later, tucking it into one of the two thin braids that framed her face. She thought for a moment, grew herself an intoxicating bouquet, plucked it up from the ground, and then got back up to her feet. She'd stay in her amiable state all day with these. There was no doubt about that. She took a long gander at the surrounding forest, trying to discern whether the town they'd heard of was hiding amongst the trees. Crunching thoughtfully on the first leaf of her snack, she decided that - oh, what was that? Now distracted, she spotted a glimpse of something bright and shining from the west. She squinted, as if it would help her see better, and concluded that the big empty space in the canopy up ahead must be the town.

If she had been a little closer, or perhaps if she'd had a map, she might have realized that that shine was not, in fact, anything having to do with any town, but rather the shimmering reflective surface of an enormous lake. Cynnita, however, darted ahead anyways, hoping to reach it by nightfall.
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Oersin
Citizen of the World
Joined: 7:59 PM - Aug 30, 2017

7:12 PM - Sep 06, 2017 #4

Oersin liked the forest. The trees were the best shade of green. The birds syncopated with the frogs and insects. Fuzzbomb buzzed about, making it his goal to find every flower in the vicinity. Oersin smiled. That was why he liked Fuzzbomb so much; he always made him smile.

He reached down to feel the dirt beneath his feet. The soil in his pocket was drying out. It was almost sand as he scattered it around. He picked up a fresh handful, suitably moist, and pocketed it. Maybe one day he would spread wax on the inside surface of his pocket. That would keep it damper longer.

The music of the forest inspired him. He reached up to the little ocarina around his neck and put the opening against his mouth. He picked between three of his favorite tunes and inhaled.

"You think we'll ever find that town?" Cynnita's voice startled him. He dropped the ocarina; lucky for him it was tied around his neck and it didn't break. He let out his breath, a little half-sigh of mild irritation.

"I'm sure it's around here somewhere." He climbed the slight rise behind his sister. She plopped down and dug furrows in the dirt with her fingers. Here she goes again, he thought, leaning against a tree to watch her. The mushrooms didn't have the same effect on him that they did on her. He liked to keep his head clear, anyhow. At least one of us has to.

He watched, not disapprovingly, as she grew herself a bouquet of drugs. "If you keep that up, you're going to turn into a mushroom." He flicked his finger for emphasis. Three small shrooms bloomed out of Cynnita's hair. Whether or not she noticed was anyone's guess.

Cynnita put one of the flowers in her braid and leapt down the slope. Oersin followed after her. It wasn't like he had a choice in the matter.

He thought about the town. They hadn't heard much about it. What would it be like? He hadn't been to a big town on his own before. They had always been in chains.

He saw the glimmer through the trees. What a weird place for a town. I don't think they get a lot of visitors. I wonder if they're used to forest-folk? What is it's a nymph village? Elves? Or pixies? I've never seen a pixie. I hope they're friendly--or at least, not hostile.

He picked up his ocarina again. This time he played uninterrupted. The birds fell quiet for a second, listening. Then they joined him, one by one, building upon his little melody with an orchestra of their own. Fuzzbomb twirled about in a silly little dance.

Soon they were walking under the canopy again and the sheen vanished from their sight. That was okay with Oersin. Cynnita was always the impatient one. He liked to take his time. Wherever they were going couldn't be all that much better than the forest. He liked the forest, anyhow.
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Ravanna Elevalon
Citizen of the World
Joined: 7:05 PM - Aug 25, 2017

4:53 AM - Sep 07, 2017 #5

"Nispa!"

Ravanna could not be happier to see her friend. As Nispa sat down, she dropped her weapons and gave her a big hug. An uncontrollable grin reached across her face. It was good to see a familiar face again.

Nispa asked what brought her to the forest, answering her own question when she looked at the dead animals, who here almost dry."Hunting? Looks like you got a good catch."

"Yeah, it has not been that bad of a hunting day. I was hoping to find a deer, but not today. I come here quite often too, about once or twice a week. I work for a mage back at home who pays for my hunting skills."

She shuffled her foot. "Sorry if I scared you. I ain't used to people out here, y'know? I never saw anyone but the centaurs when I was growing up."

"Hey, it is quite alright. I am just glad I get to see someone friendly around here." She went and told her about life back home as they relaxed by the water. She could not tell her everything, but enough that she was willing to share. Joking and conversing with Nispa felt right. Ravanna felt like she could live in this moment forever. She could only wish to stay like this forever.

That moment was soon gone as something crashed into Ravanna's back. The front of her body went forward, but she only moved a few inches from where she sat. Standing up and turning around, she was confronted by an...interesting creature. The creature was small, much smaller than Ravanna. She appeared to have the same features of a female, but she also appeared to be in some sort of haze. Ravanna had seen a similar face before, when people would use drugs to help "relax" them. Another similar creature came closely behind the first. This one seemed to have male characteristics, was slightly taller, and had a much clearer look to his eyes. Ravanna did not know what to do in the face of these new comers. Both shared white hair, pale skin, and braids within their hair. She had never seen anyone like them before, and for a moment made her wonder what other mysteries laid in the forest for her to discover.

Kneeling down to one leg, she looked at the creatures with a gentle face. They seemed friendly enough to not warrant her needing her bow. Still, she looked to Nispa for help with the matter. She did not know why, but Ravanna felt like she could better handle conversing with them than she could.
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Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: 3:32 PM - Jul 18, 2017

11:02 PM - Sep 09, 2017 #6

Ravanna relaxed instantly as Nispa appeared through the foliage. She put her bow down and struck up a friendly chat. It livened the atmosphere and put Nispa's nerves at ease; she laughed at the jokes and listened to the stories with rapt attention. Some of them were similar to experiences Nispa had in the forest, and she shared some of her own tales as well. She listened exceptionally well to bits about Ravanna's employer, the mage, and why he would send her into the Erth'netora. It was too far for her to walk this deep into the forest every day; could she teleport? She'd met other people who could teleport. It would be a handy skill to have.

She was listening so intently that she didn't even hear the ocarina until the woman crashed into Ravanna from behind. Nispa, thoroughly surprised, spun around to look at their visitors. They were both shorter than her, and if it weren't for their ears, she would think that they were children. They both sported interesting headwear. Mushrooms? she thought, giving them a stare that lasted perhaps a moment too long.

Ravanna gave them a quick look-over before turning to Nispa. The social cue was unnecessary; she was already standing and giving them a friendly smile. She offered them each a hand to shake. "Hi there! How's it going? Who are you two? I'm Nispa." Her curiosity winning over her manners, she added, "Never seen your kind before. Do you live here, in the forest?" She opened her mouth to say more, but she stopped herself mid-inhale; that was enough questions to begin with. She hid her enthusiasm behind another smile.

Meeting new people was always fun, sure, but it wasn't every day that Nispa got to meet new races. She was sure they weren't elves, but beyond that, she hadn't the foggiest idea what they could be. Although they both grew up in the forest, the Erth'netora was a big place, and Nispa only knew one corner of it. That corner currently lay forgotten. She was having enough fun here with Ravanna and the strangers. Maybe afterwards, she'd find her old home. Maybe not! That was the fun of having a flexible schedule. With the...introductions over, she sat back down and looked at them for their answers.
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Cynnita
Citizen of the World
Joined: 9:52 PM - Aug 30, 2017

6:51 AM - Sep 12, 2017 #7

It was late in the afternoon, and Cynnita's bouquet had run out. She was still in a merry mood, as her intoxication of choice would easily last theough the evening, and she turned to her brother for a source of amusement until they reached the town. She prodded him until he pulled out his little ocarina - if it wouldn't have been as much of a hassle, and if she hadn't left the thing in the treehouse, she would have provided the accompaniment of her glass harmonica. As it was, she just listened, and occasionally hummed along.

It was during her absolute favorite tune that she became so caught up in the melody that she forgot to watch where she was going. Before she even knew what happened, she'd tripped and rammed right into someone! Startled, she looked up at them, her eyes wide. "Sorry, I --"

She froze, her eyes not on the woman but on the beast-girl that accompanied her. "Spider," she breathed - she meant it as a warning to Oersin, but her voice was barely there. Her mind was racing but her body froze up; beast-folk were never kind, and she'd gone and blundered right into one! You've done it now, you fool, she told herself. She was too slow to think of the first thing to say; the spider took the chance.

"Hi there! How's it going? Who are you two? I'm Nispa."

The beast-girl offered two of her four hands, and Cynnita forced herself to take one. She allowed the spider to help her back to her feet, but then stepped back. Her mouth opened. A second later the words came out: "It - it's nice to meet you, Nispa. Cynnita...is my name, and this is Oersin."

"Never seen your kind before. Do you live here, in the forest?" Nispa asked, leaning closer. She seemed like she was about to say something else, but then decided against it and smiled instead.

Cynnita slowly nodded. "Yes, Miss Nispa, we do." Her words were careful, as if treading on eggshells; she must always be courteous to beast-folk, no matter the circumstances. She would not, however, take her eyes off the spider. She was certain that Nispa was hiding something behind that smile, and she had a feeling she didn't want to know what that might be.
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Oersin
Citizen of the World
Joined: 7:59 PM - Aug 30, 2017

5:28 AM - Sep 13, 2017 #8

The day went on. Oersin ran through his best tunes. He tried to make up a few more. Some of them turned out well, but others didn't. That was alright. That was how good tunes were made. He listened to the birds and altered his music to match the notes they made.

Oersin didn't need mushrooms to have a good time. When he was wandering in the forest, he often got lost in the scenery. Cynnita was almost more level headed than he was. The hours passed in a contented blur.

Cynnita squeaked. Someone else squeaked too. His ocarina let out a squeak of its own as its song was abruptly cut off, and he dropped it again. He peered through the thick leaves. His sister's warning--"Spider!"--came a moment too late. He saw her: her four arms, her black eyes, her tarantula fuzz. He liked fuzz on bees, not on people.

Instinctively, he moved behind Cynnita and pulled the brim of his hat lower. He wanted to back away, but Cynnita wouldn't move. He planted his feet in the ground and forced himself to stay put. Little roots grew around his boots without him even realizing it.

The spider spoke first. She greeted them happily, and Cynnita answered with their names. She sounded just as nervous as he felt. He waited until Cynnita took the spider's hand before he took the other one. He didn't trust his own judgement in the presence of a beast-race. Cynnita normally took the lead in most social situations anyhow.

Oersin let Cynnita do the talking, partly because she normally did, partly because he was scared of Nispa. Instead, he edged closer to the other woman. The human. She was watching him and his sister gently. She looked much nicer than the spider.

Mustering his voice, he quietly asked her, "And what's your name?" He didn't trust his own voice beyond that, so he fell quiet again.

He glanced uneasily at Nispa. He backed another half-step away from her. Her eyes were so black, he couldn't tell where she was looking. Maybe she can see in every direction, he thought with a start. Fuzzbomb said that was how bees see. He shrank under her gaze and shuffled closer to the human.
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Ravanna Elevalon
Citizen of the World
Joined: 7:05 PM - Aug 25, 2017

5:11 AM - Sep 15, 2017 #9

The two creatures- Cynthia and Oersin as they introduced themselves as- looked nervous at Nispa while she introduced herself. Maybe they never saw someone like her before? Or maybe they had-she could have sworn one of they made a sound that resembled a word. Then again Ravanna couldn't believe it herself when she first met Nispa. She never saw anyone other than humans and a few elvish folk. Maybe they were feeling the same way?

"And what's your name?" Oersin voice was so quite, she almost didn't hear him. He seemed to be inching closer to her, staring at Nispa and Cynthia with a sharp eye.

"Oh, my name is Ravanna. I come from Kindali. I have been hunting all morning for some food."

Remembering her game, she looked over to see how they were doing. They were almost dry out now, the meat slowly turning from red to crimson, still glistening with fatty juices. She went over to them and started to untie the animals from their stand, putting them in a medium sized bag at her waist. She would have to salt them as she headed home.

Oh, where were are my good manors? I have food and guests. All of them must be somewhat hungry.

She was aware that the food was meant for someone else, but as the old saying went, "if you do not say anything, they will not know anything." She tore off some pieces of a rabbit and began to salt them. The remaining juices in the meat absorbed the salt quickly, making the meat taste better and dry out faster. Cupping the now palatable pieces in her hands, she extended her arms outwards, asking "Care for some rabbit?"

The remaining pieces in her hands were put back a bag with the rest of the goods. Looking above, the sun was slowly reaching it's peak, the sudden clouds slowly appearing from above and casting cool shade down. It was time to start trekking back to the city. If she stayed any longer, she may be back by early or late sundown. That wasn't a very ideal time for her-nights were for sneaking in the city for drunken pockets to steal from.

She looked over her now interesting company. "Say, it's time that I begin to head home for the day. Would you all like to come along? I'll be heading towards the edge of the forest. It would be nice to travel with some companions, makes the journey less lonesome."
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Nispa
Citizen of the World
Joined: 3:32 PM - Jul 18, 2017

2:34 AM - Sep 16, 2017 #10

Oh. Oh, dear. The poor little critters were right terrified; she didn't have to be psychic to tell. The young man, Oersin, kept backing away from her, as though she might lash out at him without warning. Cynnita answered her plainly and complyingly, worrying the bouquet in her hands. Neither of them broke eye contact with her. She felt as though they were wild rabbits, wide-eyed and perpetually skittish. Perhaps that's not quite right, she thought; Ravanna's rabbits were almost dry now, dripping slightly, juices puddling in the mossy soil. Let's go with 'deer'.

Sometimes Nispa forgot that arachnophobia was so commonplace among bipeds. She reminded herself, not for the first time, that she had to be quite a sight to them. Even after all the time she'd spent in the farming village, all the stares and whispers that followed wherever she went, she didn't think of herself as abnormal. She thought of her long skirt, tucked away in her pack. It reminded her of her cloak. She never liked wearing her cloak; it felt like she was hiding. She shouldn't have to hide, or bury herself under layers of fabric, just because other people were around.

She looked down at her slender legs and arachnid feet, at the knees that bent backwards and the bristling, shimmering hairs. I guess I wasn't expecting to run into anyone out here, she thought. She was angry at herself for feeling embarrassed, but her lower arms pulled out her skirt and she slipped it on all the same.

When she returned her attention to the other three, her smile appeared as genuine as it had been before. "Miss Nispa, eh? Never been called that one before," she joked, winking both of her left eyes at Cynnita. She laughed lightheartedly, trying to lighten the mood. "I've never been much of a 'miss', my dear, but you can call me whatever you like."

At the offer of food, Nispa gratefully accepted. "Thanks, Ravanna. I owe you one!" She took a modest portion from the rabbit, but bit into it with gusto. She wouldn't say that it tasted 'good', but it was wild and fresh. It reminded her of when she used to set traps with her centaur friend and catch rabbits. They would eat them in very similar conditions: seasoned with salt and little else.

Nispa's head perked up as Ravanna suggested they travel together. After all of these thoughts of her home, she wanted to get back there more than ever, but I suppose that if it's waited this long, it can wait a while longer. Her bitty fangs flashed as she smiled at the idea of spending more time with her companions. She'd had quite an adventure with Ravanna the last time they'd met, and she was sure that she would have a good time again, no matter what happened. Cynnita and Oersin, however, were completely foreign to her. She always enjoyed guessing people's personalities, but their fear buried anything else that they might have been feeling or thinking. I hope they loosen up, she thought, casting them each an innocently curious glance. I'd hate for them to be afraid the whole time.

Clearing her thoughts from her head, she turned back to Ravanna. "I'd love to come with! The forest is pretty lonely, you're right about that."
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