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The Beginning Chapter 5: Peaceful Negotiations

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1The Beginning Chapter 5: Peaceful Negotiations Empty The Beginning Chapter 5: Peaceful Negotiations on Sat May 19, 2012 11:25 pm

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Grondthanc <sits on the rock still looking at the mountains, puffing on his cigar>

<Tain> Tain's eyes seem unfocused and she allows herself to be led by Andel

<Scene=> The clearing is silent save for the sound of roasting meat from the carcass on the ground.

Andel has a slightly greenish tint to his face as he studiously avoids looking at the carcass.

<Tain> Tain's entire body trembles uncontrollably, although she doesn't seem to be aware of it. She doesn't seem to be aware of anything.

Andel looks over to Grond and, not knowing what to say to Tain, approaches the Trall.

<Andel> Are...Are you alright, friend?

Grondthanc <pulls out his cigar and still looks out at the mountains "As always..."

<Andel> I'm concerned about Tain *looks over his shoulder at the Elden woman*. What should we do?

<Grondthanc> She wants to kill something...that much is obvious.

<Andel> Yes, but do you really think she is in the right frame of mind to do anything at the moment?

<Tain> Rubbing her cheek with the back of her hand, Tain begins mumbling quietly to herself.

<Grondthanc> If one is pissed enough their own limits are well....limitless.

Andel arches an eyebrow

<Grondthanc> Its up to her in the end what she must do.

<Andel> You're suggesting that we just let her run off to take on an entire thieves' guild by herself?

<Tain> Her voice grows louder and her conversation more agitated, as if she is having a conversation with someone who, obviously, isn't there.

<Grondthanc> If thats what she wants. Who are we to stop her?

<Andel> We can't just.....I mean....we shouldn't...she would....
Andel sighs

Grondthanc <stands up at last and turns to look down at the Elden from his towering height.>

<Tain> Tain growls low in her throat, pulls her dagger from her boot, crouches low and plunges the blade into the earth.

Andel turns to look over at Tain, who seems to be arguing with herself.

<Andel> Ah....Tain?

Grondthanc <puts his cigar back in his mouth>

<Tain> Tain looks up at Andel, her eyes no longer unfocused, but wildly blue and transparent.

Andel approaches slowly, cautiously.

<Andel> Tain...are....are you hurt? Can I.....?

Grondthanc <stays by the rock and his pack puffing on his cigar.>

<Tain> Rising slowly, Tain lifts her chin and gazes stoically at Andel. "I'm perfectly all right. How are you?"

Andel 's face falls as the hardness returns to Tain's features

<Andel> I...I am well enough.

Andel speaks louder to include Grond

Grondthanc <seeing Tain is fine turns back to the mountains that seem like giant black clouds more than pieces of land.>

<Andel> What happens now?

<Grondthanc> Not a clue in the slightest Red-wolf...

<Tain> Tain blinks a couple of times, then sinks down to the ground, her fingers grasping the dagger, pulling hard. She tumbles over and begins to cry softly.

Andel winces and moves swiftly to put an arm around Tain. He does not speak, for there are no words. He only comforts as best he can.

<Andel> Perhaps....we should make camp.

<Grondthanc> Camp...in the Eldenwood. Splendid plan!

<Andel> We have passed the LeafGates....surely we should be safe enough?

<Tain> This doesn't continue very long. She sits up, wipes the dagger on her sleeve, slips it back into her boot and turns to her companions. "I'm sorry. I'm nothing but trouble. I should go"

Grondthanc <thuds over to the group hearing Tain's words>

<Andel> You're no trouble, Tain. We are your.....well, we are your friends. There, I said it.

<Tain> Tain allows herself to lean against Andel for a split second, then puts her hand on his shoulder and pushes herself to a standing position. "I consider myself fortunate to have such friends as you and Grond. But you two are not so lucky."

Andel chuckles ever so slightly

<Andel> Perhaps not, but we've done without luck this far, yes?

Grondthanc <looks down at the two and takes out his cigar "Give em Hell Tain."

<Tain> Tain looks fondly at both of them. "I intend to Grond"

<Grondthanc> Splendid...and don't get stabbed either, that can put plans on hold.

<Tain> Tain smiles ruefully. "I may get myself stabbed - or worse. But not before I...well...give 'em hell."

Andel abruptly looks up at the sky and stares for long, silent moments.

<Tain> Tain follows Andel's gaze but sees nothing. She frowns and raises an eyebrow at Grond.

Grondthanc <looks to Andel then Tain and shrugs>

Andel gets a slow smile on his face then blinks and appears to come back to himself.

<Andel> Yes...we should make camp. We'll need some firewood, but cut no living bough.

<Grondthanc> Fine then...

<Andel> And we should....dispose of the bodies.

Grondthanc <nods with a grin to Tain and walks to some branchs>

<Tain> Tain sighs resignedly and agrees. "I shall camp with you this night. But come the dawning I shall be on my way."

Andel once again gets the slow smile and nods.

<Andel> Of course, you must do as you must, Tain.

<Tain> What shall we do with....with them, Elden?

Grondthanc <collects some wood and throws it on the body of the bandit chief who still has embers on him>

<Tain> Tain seems rather startled as her attention is drawn to Grond.

<Tain> Are you going to...to burn them, Grond?

<Andel> For your brother, with your permission, I would like to perform the Rite of Stars.

<Grondthanc> This scum will serve as firewood...I know a trick to make it not smell for your Elden noses.

<Tain> Tain nods at Andel without a moment's hesitation. "That sounds very beautiful, Elden."

<Andel> My name....is Andel.

Grondthanc <goes to his pack by the rock and hauls it over>

<Tain> Tain nods at Grond in silent thanks, and blushes at Andel. "An..Andel. Very well."

Grondthanc <throws a bit of powder on the burning corpse and throws more wood on it.>

<Scene=> The trio quickly prepares camp and night begins to fall slowly.

Grondthanc <leans himself down against a large tree in the middle of the camp.>

Andel has taken Koko's body and, after digging a shallow grave, gently places him in it while surrounding it with small fires.

Grondthanc <hangs his coat over a branch and spits out the stump of his cigar.>

<Andel> Will the two of you please come and stand with me here? *indicates a spot near the grave*

Grondthanc <looks over and stands up with a grunt and thuds over.>

<Tain> Tain approaches closer to the grave, her hands clasped in front of her. The firelight casts a warm glow on her skin, making her seem soft around the edges.

<Scene=> Overhead, the stars are kindled in a clear night sky.
Andel begins to speak

<Tain> Tain stands quietly beside her friends and listens

<Andel> Windfather, we come as but men and women to you. Earthmother, we come as but men and women to you. We offer to you your child to receive back until he is reborn.

<Andel> Windfather, guide his path to the Otherlands and whisper counsel on his journey.

<Andel> Earthmother, nourish his spirit as the earth is nourished by his mortal vessel.

Grondthanc <looks over his shoulder for a moment.>

<Tain> Somehow, Andel's words, and the forest setting, with the light from the fires below and the light of the stars above, cause Tain's heart to beat a little faster. She bites her lower lip to keep the tears at bay.

<Andel> Mother, Father....take our brother...take Koko into your care and send his spirit swiftly back to the Ancestors.

Andel reaches out to take Tain and Grond's hands.

Grondthanc <was not paying attention completly and is taken off guard by the small hand grasping his own.>

<Tain> Tain slips her small fingers into their hands and bows her head

Andel begins to sing a low, wordless song. His eyes closed, the song is at once both savage and beautiful as it echoes throughout the clearing. It's notes climb until the song becomes a wordless, keening howl....bestial and full of sorrow....one by one, the small fires around the grave are blown out by a sudden wind gust.

Grondthanc <hopes nothing or nobody heard that howl.>

<Tain> Tain curls her fingers around the fingers of her companions and simply lets the keening music fill her

<Scene=> Oddly, so very oddly, the compulsion to join in the howl is overwhelming.....

Grondthanc <lumious orange eyes look around in the night, confused of the sensation.>

<Tain> She slowly lifts her head, chin tilted toward the stars and with her own eyes shut tight she begins to move her lips

<Tain> A low guttural sound issues from deep in her throat and it rises in pitch until her voice joins Andel's in harmony

<Scene=> The howl gains strength with the addition of even one voice....turning the howl into a roar of rage and sorrow and love and vengeance and hope.

Grondthanc <is still very confused on the thing building in his throat...>

Grondthanc <chokes it down, knowing a Trall howl would radiate for miles.>

Andel squeezes Grond's hand encouragingly.

Grondthanc <has the low growl...unlike anything of man or elden building in his throat.>

Andel feels his heart pound in his chest at the sheer power released as Grond's deep baritone enters into the howl....awesome to hear....and terrifying....and wildly encouraging.

<Tain> As the sound comes forth, Tain begins to sway from side to side and everything fades except for the stars above her and the feeling of their heartsblood in the fingers of Grond and Andel.

Grondthanc <At last lets out a noise that is without true classfication through the limited words of today, its loud, its echoing, and for once its a trall noise that does not inspire fear.>

<Scene=> The sound of the howl, the roar, finally fades. The forest is silent, not daring to interfere with the power released. Nothing does.

Andel breathes heavily and squeezes his companions' hands.

<Tain> Tain's knees buckle and she begins to sag, as if she is about to fall

Andel quickly moves to hold her up.

Grondthanc <coughs "Damn that was loud...">

Andel chuckles weakly, still awed.

<Andel> Yes...it was. Thank you...both of you....I shall never forget this night.

<Grondthanc> Hope nobody heard that save us...

<Tain> Tain blinks and squeezes fingers, then lets go, reluctantly. She takes a deep breath and in one swift movement removes her wooden deer necklace.

<Tain> Nodding at both Andel and Grond, she kneels and places the necklace beside the body of her slain brother.

Grondthanc <looks at the mountains again as if nervous.>

<Tain> Without looking up Tain whispers, "thank you both, thank the Earthmother and the Windfather...he is at peace and I shall know him when he returns."

Andel gently begins piling earth upon the shallow grave until it is filled. The clearing is peaceful.

<Andel> It was our honor, Tain. Blood of my blood.

<Andel> We are one blood, the three of us.

Grondthanc <coughs yet again and walks back to his spot by tree and sits himself down and mouths a few words.>

<Tain> Tain takes a deep steadying breath as she rises and she moves over to where Grond sits, out of respect for Andel's ministrations to the grave.

<Tain> 'Where will you go now, Grond?

<Vrak> He will go back to his people!

Andel whirls around.

<Tain> Tain turns her head quickly toward the sound.

Grondthanc <swallows deeply "I'm not sure...perhaps my sis-" stops himself before finishing "I do not know...">

Grondthanc <jolts up>

<Scene=> Four Trall stand on the edge of the clearing, their hulking forms blotting out the stars.

Grondthanc <standing pushs Tain back a bit almost behind him.>

<Tain> Tain's jaw drops. She looks from the four back to Grond

<Tain> 'Guess that answers my question"

<Vrak> Well, Grondthanc? It is you, is it not?

<Vrak> Though you have the stink of Elden on you, I knew your voice.

<Tain> Tain frowns and begins to glower.

<Tain> She steps forward and opens her mouth, her disapproval plainly written on her face

Grondthanc <Is still taken aback by this sight of his kind and he then speaks "Yes, its me...and you are Vrak correct?"?

<Tain> 'Stink? of Elden? What a rude thing to say!"

Vrak nods with a sneer at Grondthanc.

Grondthanc <looks at Tain his eyes wide as if to say SHUT UP!">

Grondthanc <thuds up to the trall slightly taller than himself.>

<Vrak> Why travel you with knife-ears? Faugh! They smell!

Andel frowns

<Tain> Tain notes the look, understands the meaning, and closes her mouth with a snap of her jaw and a few loud sputters.

<Tain> Tain growls

<Grondthanc> It has been hard to travel with Trall since you kicked my ass out of Dharfang...

<Vrak> We did as we were commanded, Grondthanc. We still honor our Chieftain. Unlike you.

Andel arches an eyebrow at Tain

<Tain> Tain sniffs the air in the direction of the four and deliberately chokes and holds her nose.

<Tain> Tain says to Andel, "I do believe he's right. There is a nasty smell in the air. Funny, it wasn't here before they arrived though"

<Grondthanc> Really then? Now tell me Vrak...why did you come all the way from the mountains to speak with a humble woodsman like myself.

Andel whispers "I...think words from either of us here would not help the situation...."

Vrak sneers.

<Tain> Tain closes her mouth, but glowers just the same.

<Vrak> You are commanded to return. We have searched for you for nine moons. We were just passing by when we heard your....mewl.

<Grondthanc> Well it must have been quite a mewl for your bad ears to pick up then eh Varky?

Vrak flexes and cracks his knuckles menacingly. The Trall behind him growl dangerously.

<Vrak> Don't think I wouldn't love to tear you apart, outcast.

<Vrak> But, orders are orders. You are to be...fetched.

<Tain> Tain steps forward. "Doesn't Grond have any say in this matter?"

Grondthanc <strokes his messy braids (more or less dredlocks reall) and looks to Tain.>

<Tain> Tain looks up at Grond. "Well? Don't you?

<Vrak> He gave up his 'say' when he dishonored our chieftain. His father.

Andel 's jaw drops at this news.

Grondthanc <rubs his forehead again and mumbles>

<Tain> 'It is not a good thing to live under the rules of others. This Grond could not be dishonourable. And he is my friend. I say he should make up his own mind. Chieftain or no"

<Tain> Tain pats Grond's arm encouragingly

<Vrak> It's not up to you, knife-ears. The word of a smelly Elden means nothing!

Andel steps forward.

<Andel> Mind how you speak of the maiden.

<Tain> Tain steps forward. "Mind how you speak of the shaman"

Grondthanc <looks to elden wide eyed at their audacity to comfront an angry trall.>

Vrak laughs scornfully.

<Vrak> Grondthanc, I always knew you a weakling, but to travel with knife-ears?

<Vrak> That is too much to bear! You are worse than a weakling!

<Tain> Tain grows more agitated. "Stop calling us that! And Grond is not a weakling neither!"

<Grondthanc> Tain hush if you want to keep your limbs and get after the Night Wind...

Andel It seems to me that weakness is more clearly shown by those who ridicule those whom they do not know.

<Grondthanc> I will come with you Vrak...but I'm taking this "knife ears" with me.

Grondthanc <pushs Andel forward>

<Tain> Tain crosses her arms over her chest, narrows her eyes and simply pouts

<Scene=> The four Trall growl menacingly.

<Vrak> You would DARE bring a knife-ears to Dharfang? You...pile of steaming dung!

<Grondthanc> A steaming pile of royal blood...if you wish to bring me alive we bring this Elden.

<Andel> I...but...really, there's no need....I'm not even a fan of dung....

Andel looks between the Trall, wondering what the forest will look like trampled into dust.

<Tain> Sensing Andel's reluctance Tain intervenes. "Andel can come with me."

<Vrak> I have a solution, then, outcast.

Grondthanc <looks to Vrak.>

<Vrak> If the knife-ears are dead, you won't need to bring them to Dharfang and bring further dishonor on your house.

Vrak lunges toward Andel.

Grondthanc <tackles Vrak with a roar>

<Tain> Tain steps protectively in front of Andel and spreads her arms wide. "Hold on there. We were just leaving, weren't we Grond?"

<Scene=> The sound of the two Trall colliding is reminiscent of a tree falling in the forest.

<Tain> Tain attempts to shove Andel backward out of the way

Andel attempts to grab Tain and move her out of the way.....

Grondthanc <sends a punch at the side of the Trall's head "I would like to-" punchs him again "Take them with me!">

<Tain> Tain shrieks and trips over Andel, sprawling in a heap on the ground

Andel falls backward with Tain on top of him while the two behemoths fight directly over them.

Vrak punches Grondthanc "Dung rat! Outcast! I'll rip your head off!"

<Tain> Tain tucks her head beneath Andel's arm, simply trusting that they won't get trampled

<Scene=> The other three Trall simply watch in satisfaction.

Grondthanc <head flings back and he swings his fist at the Trall's face again>

Andel tries his best to shield Tain, rolling over and (hopefully) away from the battle.

<Scene=> Grond's fist connects squarely with Vrak's jaw, sending him doubling backward.

Vrak leaps back to tackle Grond, landing a punch in the Trall's stomach.

<Tain> Tain whispers, "I suppose this wouldn't be the best time to practice your magic, hmmm Andel?"

Grondthanc <jolts back with a grunt and after a stumble swings his leg up and sends his three toed trallish foot into Vrak's chest>

Andel shouts above the din "I...can stop this! Let go of me so I can stand!"

Vrak crashes to the ground and rolls, roaring in pain and fury.

<Tain> Tain lets go and rolls further away as she untangles herself from Andel

<Grondthanc> Up then! My, they should have bloody sent someone better! Maybe Goliath haha!

Grondthanc <spits out a bit of blood.>

Andel rolls and staggers to his feet, the now-familiar azure glow emanating from his eyes.

<Vrak> I'll kill you, you mewling little...!"

Grondthanc <looks to Andel and ducks with a toothy smile>

<Tain> Tain stops rolling and sits up, considering herself well out of the way. Her eyes widen at the sight of that tell-tale glow. She shouts, "I didn't really mean for you to..."

Vrak takes hold of Grond's arm and swings him, throwing him against and through a tree. The tree crashes to the ground.

Grondthanc <goes flying with a roar and a curse.>

Grondthanc <stumbles out of the rubble cursing and dusting sawdust off himself.>

<Scene=> There is a brilliant flash of azure and gold light. Everything is blinded by it.

Grondthanc <orange eyes widen.>

<Scene=> Tain's voice is heard screaming...and is then abruptly cut off. The light fades.

<Scene=> The clearing is visible once again....save that Tain is nowhere to be found.

<Andel> TAIN?!?

<Andel> TAIN!!!

Grondthanc <looks to the Tralls, he thuds up to them...the nagoations are over.>

Grondthanc <looks to Vrak and the other Trall after the display of magic "THAT is why travel with an elden.>

Andel runs around the clearing, looking for Tain. The Trall are wide-eyed and more than a little fearful. Vrak is dumbfounded....and rather vulnerable at the moment.

Grondthanc <punchs Vrak in the gut because he can "Can he come now Vrak?">

Vrak doubles over as the breath wooshes out of him. He manages a weak grunt.

Andel sinks to his knees, his hands in his hair. His face is a mask of horror at what he's just done....

Grondthanc <has to deal with the Trall, Andel's plight can wait.>

Vrak Be it on your own head, outcast. They'll spit you for this....

<Grondthanc> Splendid then...

Grondthanc <walks over to Andel and places his massive saw dust covered hand on Andel's shoulder.>

<Scene=> The other Trall oddly look to Grond with grudging respect.

<Andel> She....I....she's just....oh Windfather, what have I done?

<Grondthanc> Magic works in the strangest of ways...it may not be of your doing, and if it is...who says it must be negative?

Andel looks up at Grond "How do you know so much of magic?"

<Grondthanc> I know nothing of it...i'm trying to keep things postive...and what if it's simply fate?

Andel staggers to his feet. The Trall, astonishingly, give him a wide berth.

Grondthanc <pats him on the back firmly and picks up his pack then looks to the Trall.>

Andel staggers a bit under the force of mighty Grond's hand, wincing slightly.

<Vrak> Come then, outcast....and bring your...creature.

Grondthanc <thuds off after the group, the looks down to Andel and grins> "Dharfang will your kind of town, friend."

Andel smiles in what he hopes is an encouraging manner, although his heart is sinking in his chest....





TO BE CONTINUED IN THE CHRONICLES OF ELBEREN BOOK 2: RISE OF THE VHORN


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"There are kinds of action, for good or ill, that lie so far outside the boundaries of normal behavior that they force us, in acknowledging that they have occurred, to restructure our own understanding of reality. We have to make room for them."

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