Well I failed miserably yesterday and did not write a blessed word. I had a rough day, and it ended with finding out that one of our ferrets was seemingly near death. We did our best to nurse him back to health but when we found him in the cage his body temperature was extremely low. We built a little sick bay of sorts to isolate him from the others and this morning he was drinking water and eating again. Still extremely weak but seems to be doing better. So at this point we are going to continue to nursemaid him throughout the day, and hopefully I will catch back up on my writing.
Here is where we are to date… also no real editing.
- Shadowed Stone
- Little Giant Girl
- Birthday Wishes
- The Gifts
- The Incursion
- The Watch
- Rough Landing
- Dragon Bone
9 – People of the Storm
Grandfather Torgos crossed the room to stoke the fire against the morning chill. Within moments he was joined by the littlest of the Torgos line. Minjin watched the old man stir the crackling coals with a poker before setting it in a rack beside the fire. “Granpa, tell me about the Storm” said the little one eyes staring up at the old man in wonder. “I think you mean, People of the Storm yes?” The old man reached down giving the boys head a scratch. Torgos moved across the room to his favorite chair “Bring me my cider and I will tell you a story.”
The boy wandered off into the kitchen and poured from the hot kettle into a large cup, bringing it to the old man being ever so careful not to spill a drop. Torgos took the cup with a friendly nod and the boy sat down on the floor in front of him, wrapping a thick fur around him making a personal tent with it.”The People of the Storm, the Valkore lived in great floating cities. We had mastered the power of the storm, using it to keep aloft our fortresses. We were a proud people, too proud.” Torgos continued watching the little one nod his heading having heard the words all before.
“In our pride we ignored a growing enemy on the ground around us, the Trogjan. They were once our slaves and laborers, but they rose up against the their masters. They learned how to use the magic, and with it struck down our cities in the sky. One by one they drove us from our old homeland into this new place.” The old man said motioning with his arms waving around him. We met another proud people, the Elfen, who feared the approach of this new army. Using their strongest magics they created a barrier that the Trogjan could not pass.” The old man pointed out the window to the crackling orange wall of power on the outskirts of the settlement.
“Here we have thrived in the shadow of the summer wall. It gives us light and warmth and keeps the Trogjan at bay.” Torgos finished taking a sip of cider. “Grampa, can I live in the sky someday?” the youngest beamed. Taking a moment to savor the flavor of the rich cider before responding. “Maybe oneday you will lead our people back to our forgotten greatness. In the meantime though we have the skyships and the power of the storm to protect us.” Nodding to the window and the summer wall outside “And of course we have the wall.”
There was a bustle of motion outside the house and a tall man dressed in furs and leather stepped through the threshold. “Elder Torgos” the man greeted making a fist and clutching it to his chest in salute. “Huntsman Velden, do you have something to report? I was just telling my grandson about the Valkore again.” The face of the other softened a bit “I have troubling news from the other side of the wall.” Velden said as he took a seat near the elder. “Our scouts have seen a massing of Trogjan forces at For Kraken. An entire legion of of Ort Backbreakers have set up camp around the fort and there are all manner of gobbley machinations as well. It looks like they are going to make another push on the wall.”
The elder thought for a moment before speaking “This is troubling of course, but the wall has protected us for centuries against so many waves of Trogjan forces.” Torgos looked at his grandson who was lost in play, pantomiming a great battle with skyships. “We have no portents that the wall is weakening, it will hold again as it has held so many times before.” The old man looked at the face of the young blond haired warrior “If there is nothing else, I would like to return to my grandson.” Velden rose nodding, giving the salute again and walking briskly out the door.
Velden was certain something was different this time. In the past when his scouts had passed through the barrier wall, it had been a challenge to do so. Lately however they have been able to walk through without much effort. Something was changing in its consistency and he did not know how or why. He did know however that they would be prepared for an invasion if it happened. He would rally the guard and send quiet dispatches to the other settlements letting him know his thoughts as well. He would openly defy the Elder, but they could not ignore the threat.
Velden walked along the sea wall lining the village. The skyships moored there, represented the last of the proud technology of his people. He regretted no longer having access to the great float ballast mines of the icy steppes. Without a fresh supply they could no longer built the massive skyships they once had, but instead only repair and rework the few that remained. He was thankful however that it seemed the Trogjan never figured out to manipulate the ballast we had them mine. The sky was still ours he could take a small amount of solace in that.
It had been a day roughly since the events of the farmhouse, but as Bemel thought about it now that seemed so long ago. He had thought it was the end when the white fire hit him, but instead it did something he was not expecting. It pushed him through to the shadowlands but he did not immediately recognize where. After roaming around the coastal area for a bit he found Morrow laying half submerged in the sand. She had been doing really badly when he found her, barely alive. But over the course of the hours since he had been wounded, he scoured the beaches for the right components to healing poultice like he had been taught by his mother.
It was not easy, and he had to use rock as both a makeshift pestle and mortar but he made it work. After he had applied the thick tar consistency salve to her wounds she appeared to start recovering. It was a long while before she was able to speak but when she did she asked about Josah, to which he had no real answer. It seems that the weapon had a bit of a random component to it. The two of them had been pushed a good distance apart, he could only imagine that if Benj and Josah survived they could be almost anywhere.
Morrow was still barely coherent, and definitely able to move herself, but he felt they were woefully unprotected out here. Surely there had to be a settlement somewhere nearby. If he was on eastern coast, then he was well into Valkore territory. They were a mostly peaceful and shamanistic race, and luckily one with which the elfen courts had treaties. He just had to find them and hopefully they could mend to Morrow better than he could. He had yet to explore the region north of here, and as he was preparing to go off in that direction he noticed a large shape on the horizon, flitting over the tops of the treeshrooms.
As the shape got closer he noticed it was some sort of ship. Remembering back to the days before the summer wall, the Valkore were a skyfaring people with great floating cities. He wondered if that could be one of their skyships. Moving closer towards it he saw many shapes moving around on board of it. Mustering all of his strength he poured as much force into his lungs directing it up at the ship. “Hello! We Need Help!” Screamed bemel at the floating skyship.
The others seemed to notice him, and the looming ship slowly descended to the coastline. A plank extended out of the side of the hull and slapped down hard upon the sandy shore. Across the plank strolled a woman dressed in furs and leather accompanied by two male warriors brandishing broad headed axes. She made her way cautiously up to Bemel stopping a few meters away. “My name is Captain Barret” she replied in a cautious tone “Who are you and what seems to be the problem.”
Bemel turned his hands palm sign up as a sign of surrender. “I am Bemel Foxfire, a member of the Autumn Court” motioning to the woman laying on the ground “This is Morrow a member of the Spring Court. She is badly wounded, we need help.” Bemel end almost pleading. The captain looked both him and the woman over before responding. “You are Elfen correct? You built the summer wall. I am sure Velden would like to speak with you. Our village is just a ways up the coast, I can take you there.”
The two warriors slung their axes across the backs and bent down, gently lifting up morrow together and carrying her back to the skyship. Bemel followed the captain and within moments of boarding the plank was retracted and the large ship began to float up delicately off the sandy perch. Bemel had never seen a skyship before, let alone ridden in one. The motion was something he had not been expecting. He could feel the wind whip past him and see the world buzzing by, but onboard the ship there was no visible sign that they were moving at all. The craft simply floating along silently staying perfectly level and stable the entire time.
The captain was right, it did not take long at all to reach the village. The great ship perched teetering on the edge of what looked like a giant rock seawall. The village itself was nestled next to the summer wall with its warm orange glow, bathing the area in its eternal light. He could see why someone would build their home here, much like the suntraps of his own avalon it gave this place a sense of high sun all of the time. He was escorted from the ship to a long building decorated with a flying eagle motif. He was ushered inside and told to take a seat at a long table.
He had only waited there a matter of minutes when a large blonde man wearing leathers and furs strode into the building. Bemel arose from his chair to greet him as he spoke “I am Velden, the chief huntsman of Morden, this village. The captain explained who you are. We have our shaman tending to your friend, she was badly wounded but I am sure they can heal her.” With this Bemel relaxed a bit, it was good to hear they were going to be okay. “Your people built the summer wall is that correct?” asked the huntsman.
“Our people built the wall based on the technologies that we use to guard our home of Avalon. But I am not gifted with magic, so I do not understand how it works.” With this the huntsman frowned. He had hoped that the elfen would have some clue as to what was going wrong. “Something is wrong with the wall, it seems to be losing strength.” Velden continued. “Over the last several days across the wall at Fort Kraken, the Trogjan have begun building what looks like an invasion force. Our scouts have reported their numbers growing almost by the hour.
Bemel thought for a moment and then like a light flickering on, he understood what Baigan had done. Capturing the queen had weakened the power of the summer wall, and the Trogjan could exploit this to break through. Bemel took the next few minutes explaining what had happened at the farmhouse and that the queen had been captured. When finished both Bemel and the huntsman looked withered. “That’s it then… we are going to be invaded. We have to prepare. We will help Morrow recover, but our efforts now must be on the impending war.” Velden got up from the table, and went out to start preparing. Bemel was left alone in the long house and found himself wondering about the others and if they were okay.