Tales Skydancer

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Amelia, Nov 6, 2018.

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  1. Amelia

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    It was a dark night under a shimmering blue moon, and in a small clearing in an otherwise huge and rather unremarkable forest burned a sizable campfire that brought warmth to a rather small caravan of workers and merchants that had stopped for the night to make camp. Though the people had spread into smaller groups by now the song and dance had far from died out. Card games were had around the round table and the song had simply split off from not just one bard but several who were all looking to woo the hearts of their crowds. Amelia had considered joining in, but the idea of having that blasted merchant boy’s arm insistently wrapped around her shoulders didn’t strike Amelia as a particularly good time at all.

    Insistent as he was there seemed to be no way to make him understand that a no was in fact a no and always would be, and forever remain, a no. Instead she had chosen to bury her nose in her books. Sure, she wanted to be out there and partake in the song, but she’d rather die than get close to that man for the next few hours. Money couldn’t get him everything and that just seemed to be a concept that passed him by entirely. If Amelia was to wager she’d bet the man had never seen an honest day’s work in his life. He didn’t look the kind, in fact he seemed quite far from it. His hair looked like it hadn’t seen dirt for at least a few weeks, and his whitened teeth gave off a nearly sickly pale shine to his face.

    “Amelia!” The familiar voice of said man bellowed across the grounds. “Has anyone seen Amelia?”

    “She’s in her tent, I think.” A woman answered him.

    They seemed nearby. Eyes rolled before Amelia quietly closed her book and snuck it into her satchel. Feet found their place in her boots and with a careful crouch she pushed against the back of her tent until the fabrics let her sift on through to the other side.

    “Amelia?” Michel shouted and remained muffled by the tent walls as Amelia took effort to put as much space between herself and the tent as she could. Quietly. “Strange, not here either.”

    Her focus remained on the tent.

    “Going somewhere?” A nearby guard asked and Amelia nearly jumped out of her boots. The guard laughed and looked over at the confused merchant’s son. “Or away from someone?”

    “Please, I just need sometime to breathe. I will be back soon, just keep him away.”


    “I-”

    “Amelia!” The boy screamed again.

    “Fine. Just, stay in sight and don’t stray too far. We can’t come get you if you get lost out here.”

    “Deal.” The girl sighed in relief and ventured into the woods.

    “Boy!” The guard called for Michel. “Keep it down, the lady obviously doesn’t want to be found.”

    Apt as ever them guards. Amelia continued to stray further into the woods until the light from the fire was just barely visible. With a moment to herself she finally took a seat against the nearest tree and went right back to her book with a lantern by her side.

    Song Scales for Beginners: C, D, E, and other letter combinations.

    It was an… Eccentric book, but fascinating nonetheless.
     
  2. Velaeri

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    The forest was quiet with the gentle tunes of twilight, broken only by the occasional drift of sound from the campsite and the crinkle of paper pages turned by the lone, reading girl. As she read on, slowly melding into the landscape, the quiet critters of the night made themselves known.

    The belching of toads joined the chirrup of crickets, soft buzz of glowbugs. An owl swept by a dozen yards away, swooping down on the unsuspecting prey of a vole, or perhaps a night hare. To the gentle song of the wood a soft, pinging whistle joined. Distant and quite unnatural, it sounded from above, growing ever stronger.

    A breeze picked up through the trees, bringing the whistling beyond the branches. High above Amelia a strange blue glow glided above the treetops, a massive shadow billowing winds down through the canopy, the whistling grew louder. Banking east, the glow and the sound and the winds went with it, and despite the growing distance they grew louder and brighter, the light changing from blue to gold and then finally to a hot, bright white as the great silhouette of a beast descended into the trees several hundred yards away.
     
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  3. Amelia

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    Velaeri

    It was calming to be as far away from the camp as she was. There were no voices here yet there were signs of life that made her feel less alone with her books. Her eyes trailed off into the forest to catch glimpses of the firebugs as they danced in the dark before she went back to her reading again. Yet that didn’t last for very long. A whistle spread around her until finally she tore herself from her book to look at the sky.

    There was something there, something that seemed to almost beckon her. Not because it was speaking to her, or even doing anything, but because of the way it just shimmered. Blue, gold, white and then gone. Off in the distance she could hear it set down and almost as if on instinct she would stand up. Her eyes peeked over at the camp before it set on the forest again. Or rather, the direction in which she could only assume it had landed. The forest was all around her after all.

    Amelia closed her book with a careful thud and brought it down into her satchel. With great care she knelt down to pick up her lantern and from there proceeded to walk further into the forest to check out what it was that she had seen.

    She wasn’t exactly much of a thief or a survivalist. While she made attempts at being quiet there really wasn’t much she could do about the occasional twig that broke or rock that slid under her feet.

    Approaching a small clearing she lowered the lantern to get a better look before she turned it off completely.

    Eyes adapted to the lighting.

    “Woah.” She whispered under her breath. “A…” She had to think, what were they called again? “A gryphon.”

    Weren’t those fairy tales? Was Amelia even awake right now? She pinched herself.

    Yep. Yepyep she was awake.

    She gasped once more in awe.
     
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  4. Velaeri

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    "By the Gods...My Lady, it's really happened,"

    Far enough away that Amelia wasn't immediately noticed, the gargantuan beast quietly stalked around a figure the size of a child. This figure, in turn, was knelt over a patch of ferns from within which a pale, silver glow emitted.

    "can you believe it?" said the smaller figure, voice low but feminine, "I never thought we'd live to see the day. I-" and then her voice trailed off, head turning a gaze that glowed like tiny embers towards the faint light of a lantern in the trees, "-someone's here."

    The striking blue gaze of the gryphon honed in on Amelia like an arrow to the heart and her massive body coiled, turning to face her with all the grace of liquidine sinew. Slivers of silver moonlight gleamed off gilded feathers.

    "Just a girl..." said the small figure, rising to stand again, leaving the glowing ferns to approach the stranger in the woods. Those firelit eyes watched her without really seeing her, as if they looked right through her flesh and into her soul, "all alone, girl? Won't you come see, be witness to a miracle..."
     
  5. Amelia

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    It was hard to even move in that situation. She had confirmed that she wasn't asleep and yet she saw something she thought she would only ever see in her wildest of dreams. The illustrations in her books hadn't done this situation any justice at all. She glanced at the way the feathers shimmered in the evening light and how it carried itself with an intimidating, almost regal presence. The voices of this magnificient beast's servants seemed to argue between one another before they shifted to something else.

    Amelia was caught entirely off-guard at them addressing her. She heart skipped a beat and she gasped in surprise as she tore her attention from the beast to the figure speaking to her with a frightened glance over her shoulder. Alone in a forest with people holding reverance for a previously thought to be myth was the topic of a great many other books that she had read as a child that kept her up at night. She took a hesitant step towards the feminine voice.

    "I- I- Yes, of course." She breathed out in an impulsive yet nervous exhale that tore a grin at her cheeks. "I think miracle is just a little short of what I would use for this."

    Where were these words coming from? Amelia's heart felt like it was trying to jump out of her chest cavity for each beat that passed. Her shoulders tensed up and she did her best not to give away the fact that she wanted to turn the other way all too much. It was fight or flight that burned at the back of her mind and she was just about fighting the flight and fright from the ironically enough flighted creature.

    The twigs under her boot snapped and she did her best not to flinch as she approached the stranger, partially accepting the fact that she was about to make a grave mistake for an early grave. Would they maybe sacrifice her heart? Pick her brains out for transplant into a pigeon? Why was she even thinking about these things?

    "I am sorry, I did not expect to find this when I stepped away from camp." Her arms were tense and she walked like the insecure child that she was which had been caught redhanded doing something they shouldn't have done. "You-"

    She took a deep breath and tried to still her nerves.

    "You don't plan to feed me to it, right?"
     
  6. Velaeri

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    The smaller figure might've appeared to be crouching in the darkness, but as Amelia drew closer she'd not that it was not crouching at all - simply quite diminutive. She appeared as a young female with a face that made it difficult to place an age. There was a youthfulness there in a set of inhumanely large and rounded eyes, but a sense of time whispering about her. Fair of skin, black of hair, in clothing quite unlike that which Amelia would be accustomed to. She smiled and did glance the way of her feathered companion, "The Lady does not eat of the innocent."

    Standing as still as a statue, muscled coiled and wings folded but tense, the great creature gave a low rumble not quite the reverberance of a threat but a warning all the same. It raised a massive skull, the curve of its beak glinting in the moon, and watched Amelia with the greatest of keen interest.

    The woman's smile grew coy as she lifted a hand towards the girl in a silent beckon, "Come see, dear girl, it's about to hatch!"
     
  7. Amelia

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    Amelia eyed the woman up and down in surprise at her small stature. Though she was still intimidating, it was of some comfort to know that for now Amelia was not looking at becoming an evening snack for a mythological beast. At the rumble Amelia would throw it a guarded glance before she let her attention set on the small robed woman that lead her towards the miracle they shared. Her nerves began to unwind just a little as they ventured over to an egg, or a… Something?

    “I… Don’t know what is happening, sorry.” Amelia said and knelt down by the woman that had brought her in. “I- I only just realized what I knew was wrong, and that these creatures exist.”

    “Is that a hatching child?” Amelia whispered in reverance of the sight. “... Is this real?”
     
  8. Velaeri

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    "Shhh..." the small woman implored as she moved to stand opposite Amelia, the glowing egg between them. It sat within a broad ray of moonlight, bright from the evening's full moon, and shuddered as the pair stooped nearby. The eggshell was luminescent, shining and glimmering with an ethereal illumination.

    The muffled sound of a croon from within accompanied another shivering bump.

    "Amelia...?" a voice in the distance that only the gryphon could hear. Her feathered ears pinned at the sound but she did not move.

    Crack.

    The egg wobbled in the ferns.

    Crick.

    Another yawning cry from within.

    "Amelia!" a bit louder now. The gryphon's feather's prickled along her spine.

    Crack! the top of the egg burst open to reveal the shimmering wet babe within. Yaaawww! it softly cried as it pressed further against the shell.

    "Amelia!"

    Then it happened. The creature in the egg gave one last shove and furled its head upwards to breathe in its first lungful of air. A pair of milky eyes opened, silver like the moon, and followed the direction of the voice in the distance until its gaze met Amelia's.

    Haaawwww! it cried.

    Amelia would feel a sudden and overwhelming prickle of energy on her chest.
     
  9. Amelia

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    Amelia went quiet at the woman’s hush. Her full attention set upon the hatching egg as it waddled back and forth with what was quite clearly a lifeform within it. The way the moon seemed to shimmer off of it made the whole situation seem like something out of her dreams and it continued to make Amelia ever so confused as to whether this was reality or not. What were the odds of stumbling onto something like this after all?

    As the child cracked the surface and its meek shriek called out into the world Amelia was taken aback for a second. Locking eyes with the creature made the second in which it happen seem like nothin short of a lifetime. Yet, she heard her name being called out for. Her eyes diverted in a hurry but before anything could part her lips she felt something stir against her skin. It started at her fingertips like a breeze within her veins, traversed up her arms like a flood before converging across her chest in a crash that took her breath away.

    The burn knocked her to the ground in surprise as her eyes went wide. Grunts of pain made it hard to speak and as she opened her mouth to get the attention of the people from camp she felt strangely muted. A trembling hand reached for the sky before it collapsed on the ground by her side.

    She wasn’t out cold, but her system had certainly taken a beating. Heavy breaths circled in and out but no response seemed to awaken her as her eyes remained wide open staring at the shell pieces that the creature had just come out of.

    Fear for her life and what had just happened clouded her mind but she was unable to act. She simply remained on the ground, heaving for air as the gryphon lingered in the peripheral of her vision.
     
  10. Velaeri

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    The small woman watched, mouth gaping, eyes wide, breathless, as the egg hatched and the creature within finally revealed itself to the world. It gleamed like silver, like liquidine moonlight, its feathered slicked with ethereal yolk, the shell pieces glimmering like opulent jewels. Dew formed in her eyes and dropped along her cheeks - the moment as serene and magical as she might've imagined.

    And then it happened.

    "Amelia!"

    The blinking babe turned its bleary gaze towards the sound and found not the eyes of an ancient and ageless spirit, but the gaze of a young half-elf. The connection was instant and not without its alarming sense of pain. Magical bonds rarely formed without it.

    She gasped, a hand reaching outwards not towards Amelia, but towards the creature still half-in its egg. A sense of urgency overcame the small clearing as the gryphon turned her massive skull towards the voices in the wood and moved, rather suddenly, with fluid motivation. One wing, as broad as a house's roof, swept down to brush over her small companion, dragging her from the stupor of shock to collect the egg and creature in her arms.

    The next moment she scuttled up onto the gryphon's back, pulling herself aboard with the help of a leather harness lashed around the creature's shoulders. Amelia was laying on the ground one moment and then lifting into the air the next, wind rushing around her as the gryphon's wings lifted her from the forest floor with the girl clasped securely within her talons. The ground fell away, the treetops dropped beneath them, and suddenly all of the forest and valley below began to grow small.
     
  11. Amelia

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    That voice, the ones approaching from camp seemed to grow louder and she gave it another shot to get up. With one shaky arm after the other she propped herself up from the ground to let in a staggered inhale of air that didn’t do her much at all. Amelia coughed a pained cough before she mustered the strength to finally look up again. The brown locks of her hair blocked a good part of what she could see. She wanted to yell out for the others so they could find her but the words just weren’t there.

    “H-... H-” Here. She tried but it was little more than an exhale. “I…”

    The others, the short-grown woman and the gryphon was in a rush. Through the ringing in her ears, set upon her by the tension and pressure in her head, she could hear that much from the small patter of footsteps and the way large feet seemed to sweep against the ground.

    And before Amelia could react, it got worse.

    She had never experienced flight before. She had dreamt of it from atop of tall buildings and trees but never in her life expected to see what she would see once her vision cleared up to the point of stable sight. The air grew colder and the breezes more fierce as below her very feet the ground seemed to make more and more distance from where she had been. When gravity’s pull would have started to kick in she found herself not falling to her death but going even higher up, and before she knew any better she felt the pull on her shoulder seemingly just stop.

    A hand reached panickedly for the strap, a fingertip just barely managed to get a hold of it and with her adrenaline running on its last few drips she pulled the satchel back against her chest with a tight grip and tried to put it back over her shoulder with a secure hold of it.

    Yet not too long after that the world would fade to black.

    Amelia was not conscious anymore.
     
  12. Velaeri

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    Set'harta's Peak - Several hours later.

    "You are sure she didn't see how we got here?" the voice of the small woman echoed through an open doorway, quiet but concerned, "It won't ... alter her, will it?"

    The room surrounding Amelia was small and dark, only a few candles shedding light onto a desk at the far side, a window sill to the right, a nightstand to the left. She was in a bed, tucked beneath several blankets with her belongings neatly placed on a chair beneath the window. A cool air filtered through, bringing with it the scent of rain on old stone and the crisp breath of high mountains.

    Beyond the open doorway the gentle glow of a fireplace filtered in, the smell of food cooking lingered as well. The silhouette of the small woman sitting in a high-backed chair, seemingly speaking to herself could be seen.

    "No, of course we can't keep her here. But she has to learn ... we can't just let her loose with the Auraphix."

    And there, in the woman's lap, the tiny iridescent form of the creature now free of its egg, curled up and sleeping peacefully.
     
  13. Amelia

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    Consciousness struck Amelia with a daze. Eyes opened to a blurred reality that seemed far too warm than it had any right to be. She had expected to wake up in a cold tent, but as her mind came to she began to slowly realize that this was not a tent, and this was most certainly not the cot that she had thought herself to wake up on. It was a room, cut from stone and built in someplace cold. She tried to remember what she was doing before, but all she seemed to remember was a burn in her chest and then passing out. As if on instinct she reached for the spot that had burned. A finger gently tapped against the surface of her skin yet where she had expected to find pain there was nothing.

    She didn’t quite dare to look down at the spot just yet. She fixed her shirt and proceeded to grab her belongings as well as a blanket on her way out of bed. With the blanket wrapped tight against her shoulders Amelia would proceed to sneak towards the door. There was a smell of food here, and a sense of peace. From the room she heard a familiar voice, one that she had thought to be a dream.

    An anxious exhale parted Amelia’s lips as she pushed against the wall.

    Auraphix? Let her go?

    She paced herself up before she walked through the door frame, trying to seize some measure of courage as she faced what her mind couldn’t wrap itself around.

    “Learn what?” She piped up in a weak whine. “Where am I?”
     
  14. Velaeri

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    The giant gryphon's skull immediately swiveled to settle an icy glare upon her, feathers bristling at the sudden interruption.

    "Oh, you've awaken," the small woman turned in her seat, careful not to wake the creature on her lap, "come join us by the fire. It's much warmer."

    And the glow did seem welcoming, even if the beast that loomed nearby did not. The woman offered an expression of warmth to match, "You're in my home."

    The gryphon hastily clicked her beak.

    "Excuse me, our home," the woman replied, "a sanctuary away from the destructive hands of mortals. You're quite safe here."
     
  15. Amelia

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    #15 Amelia, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
    There were few things that was as intimidating as a gryphon’s stare. Amelia felt her eyes look in the creature’s direction only to look away towards the woman as if seeking comfort in a concept that was far easier to grasp. Bipedal with two arms, now that was a concept she knew very well. One could say she was an expert in it to some extent even, being a practicing physician and all that. And as throwaway of a remark as it was, Amelia instinctively reached up for her neck at the mention of mortals. Was she dead? A pulse beat once, beat twice. She let out a sigh of relief, placed her hand on her heart and looked down.

    A sharp inhale of stress and surprise made her world spin. Something seemed to glow under her shirt. Not a single word parted her lips as she almost outright tore her shirt open to see the mark imprinted upon her skin.

    “Am I dead?” She whispered to the other woman. “I am a mortal, last I knew, but I was not- I am… Here, obviously, but-”

    “Sanctuary?” She said and took another deep breath to still her tangled nerves. “Mortals.” Amelia let her shoulders sink. “You’re immortal?”

    “Am… I immortal?” A nervous chuckle parted her lips, it felt like such a stupid question to ask. “I… Am probably not immortal.”

    “... Am I?”
     
  16. Velaeri

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    The woman watched her quietly as she mumbled her questions and waded through her anxieties and fears. Her lips pulled in the motion of momentary amusement, but truly there was nothing funny about Amelia's fears and worries.

    "No, you are not dead," she said plainly, softly, large lantern-like eyes taking in the girl's form, "as for you being immortal ... no," the smile she wore spoke volumes of the things she likely knew, but the woman did not elaborate, "but that does not mean you cannot be here."

    The gryphon shifted where she lay on a bed of dried grasses and pelts.

    "Come, sit. I will explain more."
     
  17. Amelia

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    Amelia was not dead or immortal, but merely someone who was allowed at what seemed to be a secret spot for a select few people. It wasn’t much, but at the very least she could feel some ease about that. Her small slender fingers gently brushed against the seat that the woman pointed at as Amelia steadied herself against its backrest and took a seat. With a loosening grip around the back she shifted over to resting against the armrest, looking at the woman that had brought her here.

    Which was not to diminish the freaking gryphon’s part in that deal, of course. It just intimidated her to think too much on it.

    “I am sorry, I have never seen all of this before.” Amelia spoke with a surprising ease once she was settled in her seat. “I live in the city, I run errands for my mother, and now I have this…”

    She pointed at her chest.

    “Thing.” She felt the worry settle on her face once more as she glanced down at the faint glow coming from beneath her shirt. “I am scared.” She admitted. “I have never seen this before.”
     
  18. Velaeri

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    There was some fascination to the point of the girl describing her life. A city, and mother, errands... Ah, to be a cloud that dreams of being the shadow on the ground.

    "Yes, you imprinted on the Auraphix. Every new bonded gets its mark," she gently brushed her fingers over the creature curled up on her lap, its form curiously effervescent beneath her touch, as if she were petting fog or a strange sort of ghostly liquid.

    "You're the first mortal I've spoken to in nearly 100 years," the woman said pleasantly, "I do not leave the Sanctuary. It's much too dangerous ... out there."
     
  19. Amelia

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    Auraphix, was that what it was called? Amelia looked down at the creature and then back at the woman petting it. This was a weird situation to be faced with, stuck in a place you didn’t know where it even was with people and creatures that you had never thought to exist outside of stories.

    “A hundred years?” Amelia looked as surprised as she sounded. “Not even once?”

    The young girl looked down at the ground and then at the woman with the creature in her lap again. There was so much she must have missed then, or maybe that was why she had isolated herself. There were so many questions yet none of them seemed able to formulate themselves in her mind.

    “I don’t know if I could manage that.” Amelia remarked and shook her head. “So wait, what was that about imprints?”

    “Magic has downsides. It’s not magic is it? Does this affect me somehow? Am I bound to it?”
     

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