Private Tales Crossing Over

  • The Veil Falls

    Three times a year Lessat, the largest of Arethil's two moons, eclipses the sun. This time the event falls on Hallow's Eve. All across the world spirits start to appear, reliving their gruesome ends. They cannot be interacted with.

    Join us for this year's Halloween event. More information coming soon!

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer
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Keernan

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Syuri



Laneteth was an old elven village. The population had barely changed in a thousand years. Sitting on a crossroads near the edge of the northern reach of Falwood it had a busy road through it. It was the kind of road young elves would follow to leave the sleepy village and find greater things.

The neighbouring settlements were all human, and the elves here frequently used the trade tongue, or borrowed words from it when speaking their elven dialect. Very little had happened here for a long time, but a recent tragedy had changed the atmosphere.

Keernan stepped into the only Inn. It was prominent, sitting on the roadside beside the stables. They were used to visitors. No one paid him much heed. He walked for the bar.

"Hello," he said in greeting. "There is a sign outside."

The woman at the bar waited patiently for him to expand on this announcement. When nothing was offered she replied: "You mean the noticeboard?"

"It could be. It said you were looking for a strange man."

"Yes."

"I am a strange man and would like to help with these missing children," Keernan replied. His voice was soft, but several tables had fallen silent to listen in.

The woman had stopped drying a glass now. She frowned, and even managed to draw lines in her youthful, elven features.

"You might have misunderstood. They think a strange man took the children in the night. They were looking for him...but...are you a bounty hunter?"

"A bounty hunter?" he replied, mulling over the phrase. He turned his eyes, gold and blue, towards the rafters. "I suppose it would depend on the bounty," he replied. His tone suggested he had not understood. "How do they know it was not an animal?"

"You don't look like a bounty hunter," she remarked, noting the lack of weapons. Keernan had drawn back his heavy travelling cloak and there was no weapon at his hip. This was more familiar ground however. Simple questions. She started drying the glass again.

"The children were taken on three different nights from their homes. No sign of any beast. Doors and windows shut," she explained.

"Terrible business," someone muttered.

"How do you know they didn't follow the leylines south, into the darker woods?" Keernan asked innocently.

"The what? We don't know of any..."

"That is because you have forgotten how to be elves. You have learned to be humans. Children are not the same, they might be susceptible to..." Keernan started, as if explaining to a child.

"Im sorry we have what?" the barlady went. The atmosphere had gone very frosty. Keernan seemed oblivious to this.
 

Syuri

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Syuri was lavishly draped over a large, fur covered arm chair in front of the tavern's cosy hearth, her back resting against one arm as her legs dangled over the other, a large mug of honey mead clutched betwixt her hands. She watched in a hypnotized joy as the flames curled and swayed, flicking this way and that and crackling as they burned through the dry wood. Her features were warmed and she smiled in the lambent, orange glow at the teenaged boy who occupied the smaller chair opposite who was currently trying to read to her.

"Kuh.. kuh.. kuhno-whu-lej. Kuhnowlij." he stammered out, his face a contortion of confusion.

"The K is silent.. 'Knowledge'... Go on..." she waved a hand at him and took a long draw of her drink, her gaze lifting from the rim of her mug as the stranger entered.

"Ugh Syuri it's too difficult. This language is ridiculous!" he slammed the book shut and resigned. Syuri laughed musically and let her head fall back, snowy white hair fluttering as her head shook.

"Oi. Kip, if you want to follow those ambitions of yours, you're going to need to speak, read and write in trade tongue. Come on, you're doing great!" she assured him. "I'll buy you a honey mead if you read another two pages." she reasoned. The boy grumbled but opened the book again with a huff.

"Fine.".. He continued..

She watched the flames again, though her gaze was distant as she listened instead to the stranger at the bar, her fingers tapping idly on her tankard and feet bouncing above the floorboards. He was from out of town, and folks from out of town were always a cause for curiosity in their community. Particularly when they came by claiming to be a strange man and talking about the missing children. One of which had been Kip's little sister, and Syuri had been trying to keep his mind occupied by teaching the boy to read.

"The fuck's a kuhnigget?.."

"Knight... Language." Syuri frowned without looking over but the boy smirked.

Syuri bit gently on her lip as the atmosphere changed, Kip was still stumbling over words aloud though he silenced straight away as Syuri looked at him. She turned to look over her shoulder at the man, studying him from ears to toes.. Poor guy.

"Uhm Annie, could I trouble you for another honey mead?.. And one for my friend there. He's here to see me." she told the barmaid, and smiled warmly at the stranger as though they already knew each other. Those who had been glaring at the man reluctantly returned to their conversations.

"Kip. Up.." she winked to the boy and jerked her chin toward the door.. "We'll do some more later hm?.." her brows rose. She didn't want him hanging around with chat like that going on, he was worried enough as it was. The boy gave a huff but nodded and got to his feet to stretch out and wander toward the door..

"Fine.. But you owe me a drink.."
 
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Keernan

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Keernan was entirely oblivious to what Syuri was trying to do. Even since he had died, part of his soul had been replaced with the elemental spirit that had stumbled across him. He had never quite been able to understand social matters since then.

Keernan was particularly sensitive to the spirit world and faint magics, but quite oblivious to the shift in atmosphere around them.

He turned towards the woman draped over the chair, offering a friendly smile.

"I am? Alright then," he replied earnestly. He took the two mugs once they had been filled and ambled over to the vacated chair. The tension had been diffused. Conversations resumed.

"What was I here to see you about then?" Keernan asked. The question was entirely honest. He had no issue believing that there was a good reason for this meeting.
 
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Syuri

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Crystal blue eyes followed the stranger as he approached and she returned a smile just as friendly, but her brow rose with curiosity as she noted that his eyes were different colours. She hadn't seen anything like it before and it was cause for intrigue. She remained comfortably lounged across her seat, her feet kicking and falling slowly as she studied him..

Syuri blinked at his question, and her smile grew until she flashed a row of perfect teeth at him in a chuckle of amusement.. "Oh.. You weren't I was just..." she frowned but her smile remained, her tone quieting as she cast a glance across the rest of the tavern and looked back at him.. "You were about to get pasted.. Are you really that oblivious?.." she laughed under her breath and her head shook at him incredulously..

"Whatever, anyway, I'll forget that you just wandered in to our village and insulted us all if you tell me what it is that brings you here. What business is it of yours about our missing children, what do you know?.." her brow furrowed and she lifted her drink to her lips, her gaze fixed on his face over the rim of her tankard as she drank.
 
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Keernan

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If any of this offended Keernan it did not show. It did not offend him. It confused him.

"I see."

He did not. Keernan had a soul half formed of a raw elemental spirit. He wasn't quick to anger, but his emotions could eventually swell into a fierce storm.

"It seems that I misread your sign. However, I still want to help if I can."

As she lounged side on, he sat forwards. He planted his elbows on his knees and leaned forwards. At least she was willing to listen to what he had to say.

"There is a strange magic in this woods. Old magic. It doesn't feel...malevolent. It just feels chaotic."
 
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Syuri

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She watched him through narrowed, ice blue eyes that sparkled with intrigue. She'd lived a peaceful life, and it showed, most of the people here had, they were rarely bothered by trouble and the missing children had shaken their little village to the core. It hung over them, dark and heavy as storm clouds, they'd each continued to search to no avail, and the sobs of the parents kept them awake. She knew the stranger would be dismissed by most people in the village for offering his opinion or intervention, it was their problem for them to figure out, but Syuri was curious and far less closed in than her people. She'd hear him out.

Her head canted to the side as she considered his words. He'd mentioned leylines, and now old, chaotic magic. Her lips twisted.. "I've wandered these woods thousands of times..." her head shook slowly.. "I haven't felt anything.." her brow furrowed. Her eyes glossed over with distant thought for a moment as she took another sip of her mead, licking the excess from her lips as she sat up and mirrored him, her elbows on her knees as she leaned toward him..

"I've heard things, though.. Just whispers in the wind.. The people 'round here don't want to hear these things, they're a little.. superstitious." she told him in a quieter tone. She hadn't mentioned the whispering to anyone, and she'd warned Kip not to either.

"You think it has something to do with the kids?..." she asked in a hush, glancing up at a couple of men who'd turned to eavesdrop.

"I'm sure your own conversations would be just as interesting if you put as much effort into them as you do listening to others! Nosey!" she frowned with a huff.
 
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Keernan

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Keernan turned towards two men who had suddenly taken a keen interest in the contents of their mugs. He canted his head to one side at her outburst but decided not to ask any questions.

There was some kind of social hierarchy here. She occupied perhaps the nicest spot in the Inn and had been draped over the chair as if she owned the place. Perhaps she did.

"Have you ever wondered if they should be more superstitious?" he asked, one corner of his lip turning upward in a smile. He shouldn't have been smiling on the subject of lost children, but his mind happily skipped to the subject of magic and intrigue.

"It could be something dangerous in those woods or it could just be something...not..." he waved his hand around to encompass the Inn. With that wave he mentally counted all of civilisation.

"Something wilder that the children were drawn too. They said there were no signs of damage to the houses."

At the back of his mind, he still had the sense to note that he could be building up expectations that would be dashed. He knew that a wendigo could make its way into places without leaving much of a trace at all.
 

Syuri

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Syuri's narrowed gaze remained on the two men, burning into their backs until she was sure that they were back to their own discussions and out of hers. Her head shook and she took another sip of her drink before turning her full attention back to the stranger and her expression warmed once more.

Her lips twisted as she considered his question, a slender brow arching at him.. "Perhaps.." she answered with a lilt of curiosity in her tone.

She fell silent as she listened to him and she sighed as she settled back into the chair and crossed one leg over the other.

"Something wilder..." she repeated his words and her head tilted at him.. "What exactly are you getting at?..." she asked, her tone more curious than unkind.
 
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Keernan

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"I don't know," he replied.

Keernan sank back into the chair, as if visibly deflating at not being able to answer the question properly. He sighed and then leaned forwards, lowering his voice. He had enough sense not to agitate anyone further.

"If they were sensitive to it the children could have just followed the flow of magic in their sleep," he said.

"There are spirits and fae and... far worse that could use it to call to the children." As detached as Keernan could be from people the idea of finding nothing but small bones still made him feel queazy.
 
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Syuri

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Syuri's brow knit as she watched him speak, and rather than answer she took a long drink of her mead and drained the tankard before setting it down and folding her arms. She stared at him in silence for a while longer, allowing a pregnant silence to fall as she went over his words in her mind.

Thoughts of the children being unconsciously lured toward something, rather than being snatched from their beds was somewhat comforting, she could only hope it was true and that whatever they were lured toward had no intention of harming them. She had heard so many horrific speculations, of wendigos, wolves and slavers. Could it have been possible that they were safe somewhere? The village were at a loss, they had no leads to follow, they'd just continue to scour the woods day in, day out and lose more and more hope.

He was the first stranger to offer their plight a second thought, the fact he seemed troubled by the situation was curious, and Syuri's brow arched as she wondered why he cared at all, but she wouldn't voice the question at the risk of sounding ungrateful.

"Well.. How would we find these.. spirits and fae that you speak of? I've never seen them, how do you know they're there?.." Syuri shrugged.
 

Keernan

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"Oh I don't," he said immediately. There wasn't even the slightest trace of humour in his earnest admission.

"I just wanted to know how many children had been taken, under what circumstances and their names. Then I will walk out of that door and see what exists on that magical vertex. If the children are there, then at least I will try and bring them back."

He spoke the truth of the matter. Whilst he didn't get that involved in civilised affairs he would help when he could. However, he had been planning to follow those flows of magic regardless of what had happened here.
 
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Syuri

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Syuri watched him with an expression detailed by both incredulity and suppressed amusement despite the topic of conversation. She nodded slowly, her crystalline eyes sparkling with intrigue and her lips curling into a smile.. "Alright. Well, I have no plans for the remainder of the day. I'll come with you, you have me curious.." her gaze narrowed, but her smile never faded. She got up from her chair, took a theatric step forward and offered her hand.

"My name is Syuri.. You can tell me who you are and where you're from, and I'll tell you about the children on the way.." she arched a brow, her gaze flicking between his two entirely different eyes.. "Deal?.."
 
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Keernan

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He looked down at the hand. The eyebrow over his golden eye arched upwards.

"We need a deal to agree to that? Very well. My name is...Keernan," he replied. After sounded as if he needed time to remember his own name he took her hand and gave it a brief squeeze.

He stood easily, like water flowing off the chair. There were too many people crammed into these public houses for his liking anyway.

"So what is it you...do...in this town?" he asked as they stepped outside into a stiff breeze. "Or is that not in our deal?"
 

Syuri

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Syuri blurted out a short laugh at his confusion and her head shook.. "Just a figure of speech, Keernan.." she repeated his name in the same uncertain tone that he'd said it in himself, and she gave him a warm smile that seemed to light up her entire face and spread into her voice. She lifted her ornate bow that leaned on the stone hearth, and followed him outside, squinting slightly at the change in light.

"Oh.." she chuckled.. "My father is the warden of the town here, I help him handle his affairs and I'm part of a small team of forest rangers, lead by my older brother." she told him as she wandered along the dimpled path, offering warm greeting here and there to the merchants that greeted her from their stalls.

"So what's your story Keernan..?" she smirked and gave him a gentle nudge, elbow to elbow.
 

Keernan

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He eyed the bow briefly as she picked it up. He hadn't even seen it lying there. Keernan was still mostly the elf who had died all those years ago, but he was also the elemental spirit that had saved him. It meant that he often noticed the natural world far more than the people who lived within it.

"My story is quite long, but is it even a story if no one else tells it?"

It was no wordplay. He fell into a brief silence as he genuinely considered the question.

"I travel. I see as much of this world as I can. That's it really. My story is...seeing other stories play out. I'd you don't mind me asking, what does a Warden do? And I guess you must know this forest?"
 

Syuri

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Syuri smirked and rolled her eyes playfully at his answer.. "Perhaps someone might, someday. Best make it interesting, yes?.." she gave a husky laugh.

The intrigue in her expression was obvious as he spoke of travelling. Syuri had been born in the little town, she'd lived there her whole life and would no doubt remain there for as long as she lived. It was the way of things for most of them, but life was peaceful and they had everything that they needed. It wasn't a bad life, just, a little uneventful for her liking.

"Yes, I know it well." she arched a brow.. "My father has oversight of the town, he's the man in charge. He deals with the laws and taxes and lands, but mostly he listens to people complain about one another every day." she shrugged.. "He's been pretty busy of late, what with the kids going missing..."

"But you must tell me of your travels!" she changed the subject back to that which was more interesting to her.. "We had an elf pass through a few weeks ago who'd been to Alliria and Oban.." her head shook at the disbelief of it. "Did you know they have knights who ride on gryphons there?.. They're a creature that's part lion, part eagle." she informed matter-of-factly with a brief nod. "I like to hear the stories of the travellers." she smiled.
 

Keernan

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His eyes actually visible glazed over at the mention of taxes and trade. Whilst it bored him, his blank visage was more to do with him feeling out the ley lines. He hoped they were merely connections between latent magic in this world and not a path between here and the fae realm.

If they had explored every corner of these woods then it seemed unlikely they had missed a way between the realms. Good news for the general life of the village, potentially bad news for the children. Fae could be deadly, but they could also be tricksters. If the children had been taken by creatures of their own realm then he could see no hope for them.

"I have been to Alliria I think. Very busy city. Smelled bad. I don't think I have been to Oban. I have actually been south, took a boat to the bayou. So much life there, though a lot of it does try and eat you. Especially the leaches. Little slugs that stick to your skin beneath the water and feed on...alright that's not exactly exciting. Maybe I should tell you of some of the fae creatures I have encountered? Of the tree nymphs that lure many travellers to a...pleasant sort of death. "
 
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Syuri

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Syuri listened to him with obvious intrigue, even as he spoke of the leeches which she wrinkled her nose at. But as he spoke of fae, her brow furrowed..

"How is any sort death considered pleasant?.." she asked and glanced up into the trees, her icy blue gaze scanning the canopy for any such signs of these 'nymphs'. A feeling of panic struck her and she looked back at him..

"You don't think that's what took the children, do you?" she stopped and reached to take hold of his upper arm, searching his face, needing the truth of his opinion..
 
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Keernan

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"They say they pass away quite painlessly during the sex," he said bluntly.

"So no, I don't think they are what lured the children away," he said, cocking his head to one side. He looked more bemused that truly concerned.

Keernan looked down at Syuri, frowning. She was worried about the children, worried about what could have been in these woods all along. He forced himself to look slightly worried too.

"There are plenty that wouldn't even have hurt them," he said, placing a hand over hers.

Keernan looked away, out into the middle distance. He frowned and narrowed his eyes.

"Do you hear that song?" he asked sharply. There was no song, not for her ears.
 

Syuri

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Syuri's eyes widened with a stuttered surprise at his answer.. "O..oh.." her throat cleared and she chewed on her lip for a moment as she nodded, trying to wrap her head around such a thing.. "Yes I suppose that.. would be, a better way to go than most.." her brow arched and she bobbed her head casually. Her cheeks blushed at his bemusement.

She glanced at the hand on hers and sighed at his reassurance.. She took it. Syuri knew each of the children that had been taken, and she didn't want to believe that they were harmed at all let alone dead. The thought caused her stomach to churn over with nausea.

Her brow furrowed at his question and she followed his gaze and listened. Her head shook after a moment, all she heard was the rustling of leaves in the breeze and the birds that occupied the canopy.

"Nnnnooo?.." she frowned back at him in confusion, looking between those two odd eyes again, suddenly considering that he wasn't all that he seemed. She was an elf, her hearing was as fine tuned as any other. If there was a song she should hear it too..

"What song?.." she asked, her second consideration being that he was a little touched in the head.
 
Entering Fae Realm New

Keernan

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"It's not really a song...more like a pull..."

Keernan still tilted his head from side to side as if he were trying to pick out the direction of a sound.

"This way," he said, turning to his right and setting off at a brisk pace. He almost immediately slowed down. It would not be wise to split up.

"This is good and bad," he explained as he ducked under a branch. "On one hand this is narrowing down the list of things which may have taken the children. On the other hand..."

Keernan came to a halt and looked upwards. The bird song had stopped completely. Syuri might have known every corner of the woods near her home but she would not recognise their immediate surroundings. The trees were a similar, but different species. The air held a different taste.

"...we may have gone further from your town."
 

Syuri

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Syuri blinked at him.. Perhaps he really was a little ..fruity? "How can you hear a pull that doesn't make-- Hey!.." she turned and shuffled after him and almost went straight into his back as he slowed.

"On the other hand?..." she asked with a small frown and followed his gaze into the canopy. Her gaze widened slightly and her head whipped around. She turned, one way and then the other. "What the shit is this?.." she snapped her attention back to the man and stepped back, staring at him almost accusingly.

"Where are we, Keernan?.. How?" her head shook. She'd travelled every inch of this forest countless times, they hadn't travelled that far and yet they stood in a place completely foreign to her right down to the air. Syuri's skin crawled with tingling nerves in the eerie silence.
 
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Keernan

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"That is the question, isn't it?" he replied back. "Though I would also pose: 'how do we get back?' to go with 'how did we get here'?."

Keernan scratched at the corner of his jaw, just below his ear. He turned around slowly. Her forest, as familiar as it was, could not be seen. He dug his heel into the turf, making a small circle of bare earth.

"This is where we arrived," he muttered, drawing a line into the circle, "and from that direction."

"Oh and I don't know the answers, so I suggest we look around and find out. Follow that brook?"
 
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Syuri

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Syuri was trying as best she could to hide her panic, but she knew he’d hear her heart as it pitched to frantic as she turned again and again, searching for something familiar. She’d travelled a fair span of the forest, but never so far that she ever found anything new. She’d always wanted to travel further, see more of the world, but now that she didn’t recognise her surroundings she felt nothing but anxiety.

That, and she didn’t feel they were in their ‘world’ at all. The air was different, the forest didn’t sound like a forest, and she knew they weren’t the only ones here.

“I.. well that’s just perfect. I thought you knew what you were doing?! We have to get back.” She frowned at him, her spine shuddering at the thought of being trapped here, wherever here was.

She listened for a moment and huffed as she heard nothing and turned back to him “Alright..” she agreed and started following the brook upstream “We don’t have long before it starts getting dark..” she grumbled.
 
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Keernan

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Keernan stopped suddenly. Quickly enough that she was a couple of paces ahead of him before she even noticed.

"We could try and go back," he said. "If you want we can return to the spot and find a way back through before dark."

Keernan canted his head to one side. There was little on his expression to suggest he had an opinion, one way or another. Further down the brook, obscured by the trees, there was a splashing sound.

"But I do not know if we will be able to get back."