Join Date: Feb 2006
A Chance of Rain
((The following is the first part of a backstory for four Ahnrain Eternus members))
Sule Sara'Thai crouched beneath a large tree on the outskirts of his village, the wind gently blowing into his face. He reached down; grabbing a small handful of soil, then let it slowly fall between his fingers. The Elf of seventy-two years had followed the druid tradition of many of his elders. A keen understanding of nature and how to bend it to his need were at his disposal. "A storm is coming. It's not a good time", Sule said looking over his shoulder at the female Elf standing with arms crossed. Viyla, his younger sister by Twenty-Nine years had decided it was time for another adventure. With delicate, long fingers she brushed her white blonde hair away from her face, tucking a rebellious strand behind her long ear and stepped into the moonlight, her pale skinning putting off the usual ethereal elfin glow. She tapped her fingers lightly against her arm and looked up at the star dotted sky "Well...exactly how long is there between the storm and now?" Sule looked to the sky. "I give it a day at best. If we're traveling north, it will be upon us by nightfall tomorrow. Are the horses rested and fed?"
She unfolded her arms and walked to the horses, patting hers on the nose lovingly, "That's plenty of time, and they're ready for a run. You don't think the rain will disturb the view of the stars for too long do you?" Sule sighed quietly. "No, the storm should move through quickly." He then stood up, stretching his long legs for a moment before walking towards his sister and the horses. Viyla smiled wryly at her brother and hauled herself into the saddle, barely touching the reigns. "So long as it clears in time." She adjusted the small case at the horse's side and gigged her forward. Hauling himself into his own saddle, Sule shook his head slightly at his sister. "Why do I do this again?" She smiled again "Well, for one thing, you're much to paranoid to let me go alone, for the other, I think you like to see the celestial happenings as much as I do" "Yeah, yeah", he responded sarcastically. She knew him all too well, though he would never admit it. "Let's get going then; we don't want to get caught in that storm."
Passing a clearing in the forest, Sule looked up at the clouds. "Here comes the rain", he said to his sister. We'll need to find shelter; we don't want to risk injury to the horses."
Viyla shook her head likely and grinned, "Where's your sense of adventure?" but brought her horse round towards a small enclave of trees and dismounted. She looked around the area, searching for the driest part of the pine needles under her feet and settling cross legged at the base of a sweeping pine tree. Looking to the sky, Sule guided his horse to the base of a tree near Viyla’s and spoke in a hushed voice which seemed to calm the creature; then made his way towards his sister. Sitting next to his sister, Sule dug through a small sack and grabbed some rations to eat while they waited out the storm. "This should blow over soon", he reassured her. Viyla smiled brightly and leaned against the tree trunk, folding her arms behind her head and resting her long hands at the base of her neck, watching as the first small droplets came into view. As the rain fell her expression and her smile softened as her thoughts went somewhere far away, mumbling something with a rhythm softly under her breath as she stared heavenward. Sule looked to his sister and hid a smile. Her happiness brought the same to him, but he would not let her see it. He looked back to the sky then heard Viyla’s soft voice catching through the soft pattern of rain. "What was that?” he asked her. Viyla smiled again and closed her eyes, tucking her chin down and chuckling. “Something new I’m writing. Sound promising?” He shrugged with a sly grin on his face. "Sure", he said to her. He had always enjoyed hearing her sing from the time she was very young. Sule then looked to the sky. "The clouds are breaking. We can get moving soon." She nodded her head lightly and continued to hum the tune she had moments before, twirling a long stalk of grass through her lithe fingers. As the clouds began to break and the patter of rain to slow, she tossed her hair, flecking away the rain and stood, brushing off her tunic skirt and leggings. “Alright then….let’s hurry along.” She said, leaping onto the saddle and gigging away before Sule can get to his horse. “Catch up, slowness!” she laughed over her shoulder. Sule let out a grunt as he stood ran to his horse with long strides. Jumping to his horses' back, he made a loud clicking sound and the creature burst into motion. "Cheater!” he yelled to his sister. "You know, I could've made the rain continue." Her laughter pealed again as they tore into the night.
Even on their elven bred horses, the ride was long and they passed the time with their usual banter and competitions, as almost everything was to the pair. As they came upon the northern coast, they slowed, taking in the surrounding area. “Have you ventured here before, Sule?” Viyla asked as she gazed about the wooded area with interest. "Yes, I have." He answered his sister. "A long time ago I went north with father. These are human lands. We are not far from where they built their new city after the undead war." Sule slowed his horse as he began to hear the waves of the sea crashing onto shore. She nodded at once and gazed around with renewed interest, “The invasive armies correct? From the southern coast?” her delicate nose wrinkled a bit, “That must have been….thoroughly repulsive don’t you think?” cocking her head to the side slightly. "That's right", he told her. "Thestra isn't what it used to be. We're not here to talk about such things, though. Let's find a nice spot for viewing the stars, shall we?" Viyla rolled her eyes and turned towards the growing fresh scent of the sea, coming to a ledge with a grassy overhang. Deftly she slid from the horse’s back and made her way to the edge of the cliff, breathing in deeply and holding her arms wide, letting the wind from the ocean fly through her hair and over her face. “Isn’t this lovely!” Climbing from his horse, Sule slowly walked to the cliff's edge. He knelt on the grass, looking out to sea. "Traako!" he said with clinched teeth. Viyla’s bright expression darkened and she looked over to Sule “What is it?” Sule pointed to the northwest. "There", he said. Off-shore a ship was anchored. "That is no merchant ship, Viyla. Those are pirates. Let's move before..." Just then the sound of men could be heard. Viyla turned her head quickly, and jumped to the side and away from the cliffs edge, looking down the hill, Sule saw seven men approaching quickly. "We're in trouble, Viyla", he said. She nodded and dipped away behind some brush, watching the encroaching group as Sule pulled a staff from a sling against his back and stepped near a shrub as he hunched down.
“…HA! Ya always be the stupid one, Mort, that’s fer sure” came from the darkened path in the trees, followed by raucous laughter, Viyla tensed and pressed herself lower to the ground, she could feel Sule doing the same. A group of 5 men came from the darkness and several drunkenly weaved through the clearing, two of them leaning back against a tree and trying to catch their breath. Pirates…most likely slavers…Sule flushed with a rage at the thought of his sister being sold to some pompous, fat, filthy human and gripped his staff tighter, the air around him growing thick. Some of the ruffians began to move on through the clearing, but one of the more inebriated men stopped, and turned his back to the greenery the High Elf female was hiding inside of, sat down and began to lean backward against it. Viyla stiffened and held her breath, the drunken sailor’s less than lean form pressing further into the bush. SNAP! A branch broke and cut across Viyla’s cheek as the pirate fell backward into the shrub, his hands groping out blindly and grabbing a strand of her hair as she pulled away to avoid his full weight. His thick fingers knotted in the delicate silvery strands as the laughter of his comrades grew deafening “‘Ey, ‘ey now! Wassis?!” he yanked and Viyla held fast, gritting her teeth. The man pulled harder and dragged her forward, but she held her balance, and made the tug of war stretch out. A slight wind began to rise up from the cliffs end, casting more strands of the elf’s hair into the air and drawing more attention, the quickly sobering sailor’s friends taking notice of the situation and drawing closer. “Noice catch, Hudd! Dat’s a pretty one, tis” “Fine bit o’ coin fo’ a piece so fresh!” the thoughts of gold in hand from selling an elven daughter soaking their minds and distracting them from the increasing force of the winds in the clearing. Viyla stood fast, the occasionally stumbling man rolling his hand tighter around her hair, trying to pull her forward, and she could feel the hairs begin to break and pull free. She stared at him coolly, as if accepting her fate, as he began to approach her. When his final 2 footfalls were ready to be placed, her hand snaked out, balled into a fist and crashed against the adam’s apple of his neck. The pirate grabbed his throat with his free hand and pulled her hair in a jerk, forcing her head to come down, Viyla’s legs bending only at the knee for a moment before she kicked out in a sweep, crashing hard against the backs of the already unsteady man’s knees. He fell into the dirt, his hand tangled in her hair releasing in surprise, but still breaking several strands. The pale elf leapt over him and towards the far side of the clearing, forcing all of the men seeking their sale coin to follow her.
Sule watched her distraction tactic, both proud and irritated at her brave move to put their backs to him. A fierce look came into his eyes as he waved his gnarled staff in front of him. The wind began to howl as the elf focused his attention on the men. "I can't let them reach her again", he thought. Just then the sky darkened and thunder clapped over the lurching brigands. With a bright flash of light the group stopped in their tracks as one let out a scream and then fell motionless to the ground. Viyla lunged forward, slamming into one man and knocking him down. She leapt away using his falling body as a springboard and dashed towards Sule. “WHA’ INA **** WASSAT?!” the one called Hudd screamed as his fallen comrade’s body lay smoking to his right. The slack jawed men whirled to face the elven pair, taking notice of the tall male Elf for the first time, and filling with fury at the thought of their easy money getting away. Viyla poised herself for the impending rush as Sule raised his staff again, from the cliff overlook she glimpsed movement about the ship at the corner of her eye, and grimaced. “I think we’re going to have company…” she whispered. Sule nodded grimly, digging his heels into the packed ground.
A rustling noise was heard in the vicinity of where the pirates broke into the clearing, followed by a loud blast of a horn that could be heard for no less than a mile.
The remaining group of pirates cautiously moved to the flanks of the two Elves, backing them closer to the edge of the cliff. Sule raised his staff to the sky, and the earth before them began to tremble. The three were thrown off balance long enough to buy the two some time. Viyla lunged forward at one of the men, and launched off of the ground, landing her feet on his shoulders. She quickly righted herself, reaching down and snapping his neck before springing back off into the ground next to Sule. The pirate Hudd discreetly reached to his back and revealed a small throwing axe, and hucked it at Sule. The pain seared as the axe tore into the flesh of his right shoulder. Sule buckled to one knee, and lost grip of his staff. He watched in distress as it tumbled off of the cliffs edge, eventually coming to rest hundreds of feet below somewhere in the tide.
A crowd of 8 or so stumbled into view, their weapons already drawn. "Two bloody Elves givin' ya that much shit?" one of them remarked. The group surrounded the Elves and subdued them, binding their hands and feet. They congregated around Viyla, grinning and chuckling amongst themselves. "I call 'er first!" one pirate exclaimed. The pirates closed the perimeter around the furious elf as she flailed and twisted, oblivious to her struggle as they began fighting each other over her. As countless hands fell over her she let out a desperate scream, and then blackness.
Hudd didn't feel much as the massive hammer slammed into the back of his head. He did stay alive long enough to know what had just happened. He had been struck by the Hammer of Saedus Bellator. Two more began to fall before he even hit the ground. Most of the rest of the group was thrown aback with shock, and were helpless to defend themselves. The slaughter came to a close, and Saedus stood as the last man fell leaning against his hammer.
Saedus Bellator was large for a typical human, a result of years of dedication to the art which he studied. He wore a set of thick deep blue tinted plate armor, complemented by the massive two handed hammer that had taken so many lives. "He needs help." Saedus said as he helped the elf girl to her feet. He threw the injured Sule over one shoulder and headed toward the town in the distance. Viyla darting behind them and taking the lead to reach the horses.
Sule was quiet on the return ride to Leth Nurae. The human who had hours before saved the elven siblings agreed to return to their city with them. "We are here", Sule said as he looked ahead with weakened eyes. The three led their horses over to a small pool where other equines were eating and drinking. "Please, let your horse rest", the male elf said as he slowly slid from his steed. Viyla lithely hopped off of her mare, rubbing its nose and hugging the beast’s thick neck before turning to her brother. “You’re lucky it wasn’t worse….” she said, the tone in her voice concerned. She laid her hand below the gash, tilting her head to the side slightly and examining it, furrowing her brow. "Lucky, yes...” Sule said quietly. The druid didn't believe in the concept. "I should get inside and clean this". The tall elf winced as his sister looked at his wound. "Join us please, Saedus. A proper thank you is in order for what you did for us". The silvery elf nodded and extended her hand, gesturing towards the Sara’Thai dwelling. An odd turn of fate, the heavens must have something interesting planned….. She thought as they came to the door of the dwelling, passing over its threshold into the questioning faces of two older Elves, the male having striking green eyes.
"Sule!” the woman let out. "What has your sister gotten you into?" Flashing a faint smile, the tired elf replied "It wasn't her fault mother". The druid looked to the human, then to his parents. "We owe a great debt to this brave human. Saedus Bellator, I would like you to meet Naladris and Kali Sara’Thai. Naladris then spoke, "Creoso, mellonamin". The younger elves looked to each other and smiled. "What did he say?” asked Saedus. "Welcome, my friend", Sule replied. The elder elves nodded slightly and motioned for them to have a seat. The siblings then told of their journey, the pirate attack, and how the human had saved them from enslavement and certain death. Saedus told the elves of his battles and journeys with the King's army. He also spoke of his beautiful young bride and their baby boy. They parted ways that day, but promised to not let that be the last they spoke. It was ten years before Sule would see Saedus again. One day while grooming his steed, Sule heard hushed whispers from the other elves as a human slowly rode into Leth Nurae, the elven city. Looking up and smiling, Sule saw Saedus on horseback with a small boy in front of him in the saddle. "Hello old friend!” Sule yelled. "Nae saian luume'", the man replied. "Indeed it has. This is your son?" Sule asked. "Yes, this is Mactus", the human said proudly. Viyla watched the exchange from her perch among the sprawling branches of a great oaken tree, grinning broadly And the path becomes apparent, a bond has been made.