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 I wrote a short story for the competition...

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Archiron Owlcaller



Posts : 4
Join date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: I wrote a short story for the competition...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:25 am

*waves*
Hello all, you know me better as Lysistratae but my password in off on holiday somewhere...
Anyway I wanted to share the short story I wrote for the Blizz competition. Hope you like it.
(And I say short... compared to a novel Razz )

**********

Pathways

Moonlight dripped through the thick, leafy canopy of the forest and onto the elf’s face. She glanced up at the moon with marble like eyes then down at the forest floor far below. The Great Mother protects her own, she considered to herself. She leapt down from her perch in the treetops, in elegant bounds descending from each gnarled branch to another. Waiting below was a shadowy form in a soft furred shape with long fangs and amber eyes.
No mere saber but a Druid elder. He gazed up with a steady stare. She knew already what he’d say as he stretched out into his true elven shape. The elder was of stern appearance and draped in a worn robe. His long navy hair was flecked silver with age and was adorned with feathers and beads.
“You’re late, child,” he growled in their native speech. He watched her squirm uncomfortably before him. She was always late.
“Many apologies my teacher. I had been watching the sky. Elune’s orb will soon be fully round once more.” She knew her excuse was weak.
He simply waved his scarred hand at her. “I know why you were late, child. You sit under her orb in the hopes of her blessing you with her light. Your path is already chosen young one. The priestesses cannot aid you.” He spoke his words gently. With a lowered head, she nodded.
“I am grateful to have a path at all. The way of the Claw is a noble and honourable position. I simply feel drawn to the Great Mother.” Why did it sound so ungrateful to her ears?
“Come now, Emoora. We have many things to discuss this night.” He had ignored her tone, she was sure of it.

For several hours they walked through the meandering forest. The druid spoke of preserving the balance of the natural world, the blessings of the green dragonflight and many other subjects while the young elf listened obediently. He tested her on her knowledge of the Eternals, the history of their race and tales of legendary Druids. They finally came to a stop outside the Night Elf town of Astranaar.
“Do not despair, young one, for I see great potential in you. The priesthood was no place for you,” the elder spoke.
Emoora nodded. She enjoyed listening to his teachings and hoped one day she would understand her place among her kind. He bid her farewell and disappeared back into the forest, feathered cloak sweeping after him. Within moments he had blended out of sight. She turned back to the town and wandered back to her own home.
The simple abode was simply decorated; bare wood walls with the odd skin hanging and rush mats lined the floor. A small bed rested in the corner beside a well-used hearth. Feathers and trinkets were scattered over the single table and spilled out of a basket on the floor. Beside the hearth were carved figures of the Eternals; Elune, the pale goddess her kind revered; Malorne, Aviana, Ursol and Ursoc. All seemed to move in the dying light of the fireplace.

She settled onto her bed watching the figures in the fading light. Her eyes felt heavy and grainy with sleep. Embers danced from the hearth sending arched shadows though the room. Images twisted and formed in her mind. Great beasts and creatures of times past flew through her dreams. Then a new figure started to uncurl into view. The shaped shimmered and glistened in a vibrant blue haze. Emoora knew instinctively that this was an ancient spirit; a Wisp of the forest.
But hold this is no dream. I’m awake.
Emoora glanced around. She was indeed awake and the Wisp was fluttering beside her hearth. What on Azeroth had drawn it here? She drew a cloak about her violet shoulders and approached the glowing creature. It turned and gazed on her with its shining face. Such odd creatures, sparkling little faces enveloped in a dense glow. It hummed at her though the wavering light and motioned towards the doorway. Did it mean for her to follow?
As Emoora stepped towards the Wisp it darted out the door leaving a trail of thin ghostly filaments. She slipped her feet into reed slippers and followed it outside where the air smelt of moss and dew. Wild calls peppered the night while unseen eyes watched from the treetop foliage. The only movements were the occasional sentinel pacing the road and the shimmering Wisp twirling before her. Before she could consider what it wanted it darted off again following the road out of Astranaar. Emoora charged after it, emerald hair whipping in the breeze.

She pursued it through thick undergrowth, fungus studded tree roots and over fast flowing streams. The cloak she had wrapped about her thin frame now lay abandoned, tangled in a patch of brambles. She cursed herself for not putting on sturdier shoes as she raced up a steep banking. Low branches threatened her unprotected head and scraped at her bare arms. But still she followed the tiny glowing creature. Perhaps it was leading her to an injured animal or a sick plant. But why me and at this hour?
Further and deeper into the forest they travelled. Her legs were aching from the great distance but just she began to wonder when they’d stop, the trees thinned and opened into a glade. Moonlight poured in from above and dozens of Wisps circled the clearing. At the centre of the clearing bathed in the dancing lights was a carved wooden bear. Or it appeared to be a bear. Whoever had carved the figure must have only had a vague idea what a bear looked like. Its legs were all rooted in the ground and its hide was coated in thick moss and ivy. The strange expression it bore was gnarled like a stunted branch. Then it moved.

The elf jumped back in terror. What manner of beast is this?! She ducked behind a large rock as she heard great snapping sounds as the bear tore its limbs from the earth. The beast growled throatily. Emoora peered from her hiding place to watch the creature writhe as it pulled itself free. It stumbled about breathing heavily from the effort. It gazed around with glowing pearly eyes and watched the Wisps still darting about. Then it focused it attention on Emoora’s rock.
Emoora ducked out of sight again but she was certain it had seen her. She felt the ground tremble as it hulked towards her rock. It made more guttural sounds but only these seemed like words. She strained to make sense of them.
“Little... druid... child. Look...to... me,”
Emoora sat trembling in shock. Not only had the carving come to life but it was now talking. She put a shaking hand on top of the stone hiding her and peered over again. It was reared on its hind legs, roots from its legs creeping back into the ground. It made a pitiful whine as she looked up and down its wooden body.
“Little... child. Help... me,” it groaned. She cautiously stepped towards the carved bear. What had created this poor creature’s misery? As she extended a delicate hand towards its head, vines on its back snapped at her fingers. Emoora withdrew her hand. Her expression melted from fear to compassion.

“What has happened to you, forest creature?” she asked it.
It glowered and spoke again.
“Ancient... evil. Cursed by... traitorous... Satyrs,” the beast wheezed. In broken breaths the bear explained how a group of Satyrs had captured him and cast a spell on him to bind him to the earth. To fix the curse, several seals were made and hidden in the forest. The Whisps had found and destroyed as many as they could but the last one required the help of a mortal creature. It was still guarded by an old satyr.
Emoora listened to the bear creature. She was afraid. Her training had only just begun and she only knew a little about the magics of nature. She knew more about the Satyrs however and was bewildered by the idea of incapacitating one. The vile cousins of the Night Elves were vicious and cruel. If one caught her she knew it would have no trouble killing her. She looked about the circle of trees, the Wisps still cavorting around. Her ears perked up and she considered an idea.
“Wisps of the forest lead me to the seal!” she called to the floating spirits. A handful of the bright faces smiled at her before darting out into the woods. She ran after them, legs still sore from her last run. Once more she found herself chasing tiny lights through the thick bushes and trees of Ashenvale.

The Wisps lead her to a hidden valley. The air no longer smelt fresh and natural but smoky and corrupt. The Wisps rose higher into the trees leaving Emoora alone in the valley. She knew they would do as she had asked them. She allowed her form to blend into the leafy foliage and crept towards where she heard snorts and growls. As she turned the final corner she found what the bear had described.
A great virile beast with rutted horns uncurling from its brow and sharp clawed hands stood beside a small fire. The red light threw deep shadows across the twisted face of the Satyr. Blood red fur covered most of its body and heavy hooves paced around the flames. In one clawed fist it held a deadly looking mace. Glinting on the bank beside the Satyr was a fine stone slab. It was the final seal that bound the bear in the glade.
Emoora remained hidden and downwind of the Satyr. The stench of the satyr’s last bloodied meal made her gut tighten. She only hoped her plan would work. Taking a deep breath she imitated a bird call.

The Satyr roared into life glaring around his encampment. Suddenly from above a torrent of tiny Wisps pelted the foe’s hide. The beast snarled and snatched at the little spirits. They stung his red skin and flitted about his horns. In a rage he threw his mace at them but hopelessly missed. Furious, he swore at them in his cursed tongue and chased them into the trees.
The elf emerged into view once she was sure the Satyr was out of sight. She crept over to the tablet gleaming on the bank. All manner of grisly totems and unholy trinkets were scattered about the gully. She stepped carefully around them, not wanting their dark power to rub off on her. As she neared the bank she could hear thundering steps behind her. Sensing trouble she leapt at the seal and grabbed it. As she turned to run a terrifying sight rooted her in place.

“Your little friends are gone now, puny elf,” a snarling horned face spat at her. “Give me the seal and your death shall be painless.”
The Satyr had returned somewhat scratched and livid at the sight of the young druid. Emoora remained frozen on the spot. She was so sure that she had enough time to get the seal. Voice trembling she replied.
“If I refuse?”
“Then you face a dire and painful torture by my hands,” he growled, raising a long claw at her. A stricken tear rolled down her face. Oh Cenarius save me, she prayed.
The satyr started to lope towards her just as a blue flash whizzed past her arm. It stuck the Satyr in the jaw causing him to roar angrily. Seizing her chance she focused her powers and caused the roots in the earth to swell and tangle around the satyr’s legs. She lunged for the mace lying by the fire and grabbed it. Before the satyr could free his legs she had struck his head with the weapon. The beast’s eyes rolled in it’s head as it fell to the ground, a dribble of blood forming under the horns. With a panicked cry she tucked the seal under her arm and fled.

She ran as swiftly as her tired legs could carry her. Silently she leapt up steep hills and down mossy slopes. Dashing around boulders and over streams. She scrambled back to the glade she had left the bear carving. Several Wisps poured out of the trees and followed her along her path. She cursed herself for not making sure the satyr was dead but continued running. Her green hair was sticking to her forehead by the time she reached the glade.
Immobile in the clearing, the bear remained. Emoora collapsed before it, dumping the seal and mace on the ground. Her coughed and tried to catch her breath while the misshapen bear creaked as it shifted it head.
“You... return? And you.... have... the seal?” The bear groaned quizzically.
Still gulping deep breaths, Emoora nodded, rubbing her aching arms. The heavy seal had left a mark on her arm while the mace she’d carried had caused her hand to cramp. Her reed slippers hung tattered on her feet and her green hair was tangled and knotted with sweat and plant matter. For several minutes she sat helplessly on the glade floor regaining her strength. Finally, she stood shakily and addressed the bear.

“Forest creature, I shall release you from your earthly bonds. But first tell me your name,”
“I am.... Acturon,” The carved bear mumbled, ripping a great arm from the ground.
The elf nodded then stood the seal up before the animal. Taking up the mace one final time she raised it precariously above her head. With a grunt, she thrust it down on the seal. The seal burst with a shuddering crunch. Sparks flew up from the shattered tablet and dissipated in puffs of dark smoke. The once shining fragments now lay useless and dull in the grass.
Emoora looked up to watch the bear’s plant prison cower back into the earth. Vines shrivelled, moss flaked off and leaves wilted. The bear’s wooden appearance melted into coarse fur and sinewy limbs were freed from the ground. Its face no longer misshapen, its fur no longer twisted and its body no longer trapped. The bear raised itself up, stretching the legs that now moved unimpeded. With a grateful roar it ran around Emoora brushing against her legs.

“You did well, young one...” the bear spoke.
Something did not seem right Emoora thought. Since when did wild bears talk. Before she could ask, the bear bubbled and contracted into the form of a Night Elf. Another druid of the Claw, of course! Emoora gasped as the shape shifter revealed its true form. He was a graceful height and lithe. Fine leathers and furs were wrapped about him and his untamed hair was long and azure. Polished jewels adorned a fine ring on his hand and a fang necklace was looped about his neck.
“I have been trapped for some time, young one. I thank the stars that the Wisps brought you here this night.” He smiled at her with those pearly eyes. Clasping his long fingered hands he bowed to the young druid. She returned the bow as low as she could manage.
Emoora glanced about the glade. It was one she had never seen before and was certainly distant from any settlements. He must have noticed her worried look.
“Are you well child?” he asked.

Emoora shook her head. “I realise I’m quite lost. The Wisps have lead me deeper into the forest than I am familiar with.” She wished it didn’t sound so helpless but the elf smiled at her.
“I know this forest well and I will lead you home. It’s the very least I can do in repayment.”
Together they traced their way back though the undergrowth while she explained her adventure. Emoora was weak from the night’s events but pushed herself onward. She even refused Acturon’s offer to carry her some of the way. The journey was long and alien to her eyes. Soon she started to recognise trees from near her town. Before long the air began to smell familiar with the scent of cosy fires and home baked foods. The first light of dawn peered through the trees sending a wave of joy through Emoora. They were back at Astranaar.

Waiting outside Emoora’s home was a stooped figure. It was the Elder she had spent the previous night with. The aged druid heard their approach and turned to glower at the pair.
“I’ve been trying to find you this morning, youngling,” he saw her ragged appearance, “What on Azeroth has happened to you? And who is this stranger?”
As Emoora opened her mouth to speak Acturon cut across her. “Forgive me Elder, but it was I who detained your student. She has been of some service to me this night.”
Acturon relayed the account of the night’s events to the elder. He listened with furrowed brow and clasped hands. When he asked for Emoora’s tale his expression grew to one of surprise and approval.
“Well child, seems you’ve proved your path is true. You are indeed a worthy student of the Claw. Rest now and I shall call upon you once you are well.”
Emoora bowed thankfully to her teacher and bade farewell to Acturon. As she departed into her home, the elder turned back to Acturon.

“It seems there is a new Satyr issue in the north. I shall need to arrange for scouts to investigate it.” He looked the druid up and down. “Perhaps you could instruct her for a short time. You seem to be of fair skill and I will be detained with this new problem.”
Acturon grinned back at the druid. “I had hoped you would allow me to tutor your ward. It would be an honour to teach a promising young elf.”
“Then so it shall be. I will let her know as soon as I can.”
“Indeed, elder but for now, we shall let her rest. Her journey is only just beginning.”

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Naurion

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Join date : 2010-04-01
Age : 45
Location : Sweden

PostSubject: Re: I wrote a short story for the competition...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:54 pm

Oh, very nice.
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