Not Lost

Between Marn and Shim, along the Ofriyu Mar river, is a stretch of dense woodland known as the Virdara Woods.
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Cairn
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Not Lost

Post by Cairn » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:48 pm

It is difficult to appreciate and not take for granted the capacity to easily hold thoughts together for reference. Like a necklace of precious stones, the valuable metal that ties the whole of the ensemble together is responsible for its entire display. Regardless of that fact, the eyes are still drawn ultimately to the jewels that do little more than enhance beauty and value with no effect on construction or functionality for the piece. With this in mind, we will take a moment to focus on what disturbs the ravens over the Vidara Wood.

The murder or flock of avian creatures took flight when their branches shook; even from their view they could see a disturbance in the canopy as a treetop would shake violently for a moment. It would still and then a few minutes later another would jerk convulsively and dislodge another cloud of birds into the skies. The source of the event took place scores of yards below on the forest floor, but even so distant a menace can have far reaching ramifications for its actions.

It was easily taller than a draft horse, the plodding creature so far down on the forest below. Its shoulders drooped and knuckles dragged the ground as it leaned forward towards whatever its next destination would be. Thick nailed and blunted claws the size of shovels would bite deeply into the next tree and score away its bark as the troll tugged violently on tree. Slowly, it raised its head expectantly, as a shower of dark shelled nuts rained down and littered the forest floor. Amongst the foraged goods came choice bits of squirrel or bird that were stunned and killed by the violently methodical hunt that shook their homes and cast them to the soil below. Cairn would lean down and scoop them all up: nuts and fowl and rodent alike and ratchet them into the cavern of teeth that he considered his mouth.

The curious thing was that this had taken place for the past three days. If one were a fae in flight or danced along the upper boughs of the towering trees, a path of disturbance could be seen slowly about to trail back on itself. Following it back to its beginning, one could tell that three days ago the lumbering giant entered the woods by slight deviation from its initial course and has been wandering in it ever since. However if this was by happenstance, choice or some other folly is left up to the viewer.

As for Cairn, the idea of shaking the trees to see the sunlight he needed to follow was almost sound. His ever present companion, hunger, distracted him with food from the sky and now satiated, has abandoned Cairn to be replaced by another fellow: idleness. Like most people, trolls eat when they are bored or have forgotten what the originally set out to do. Curiously, eating is also a termination event for other emotions like happiness, sadness, and even the simple ‘I am passing by this way’-ness. Since the troll wasn’t going anywhere in particular, he could not be labeled lost exactly. However, it would be fair to say that he was beginning to go nowhere in the only method he knew how: slow.

What better way to begin our blithely ignorant wanderer’s story than here?

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Kelishtav
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Re: Not Lost

Post by Kelishtav » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:31 pm

The weather was perfect. Dapples of sunlight scattered playfully with each soft breeze. The curved indentation on the branch high in the trees was a perfect place to sleep. A patch of missing bark worn smooth with age matched the contours of her diminutive frame like a puzzle piece as she reclined in its comforting embrace. The lingering smell and satisfying crunch of the nuts she had been eating was also perfect. However, the vibrations of what sounded like a violent storm approaching was less than perfect.

Kelishtav had been reluctant to remove herself from such a cozy spot to investigate out of pure laziness. The awful mixtures of smells assaulting her senses was not in the least bit encouraging. And as if in attempts to turn all things perfect and peaceful against her she encountered yet another aggravation, or rather the aggravation encountered her. How long the cat had been stalking her she shamefully did not know, the nuts had distracted her, but it was irrelevant now that the vile creature was nearly within pouncing range. Frozen on her back with one foot propped against the main trunk of the tree she tilted her head back and glared at the cat. Her upside down view of the mangy black creature would have been amusing if the chance of injury or her death wasn't so close. It paused now that it's prey was fully aware of its presence.

There was not much time for pondering her options. Attacking would require two things, lunging close in her tiny form and winding the creature or assume her full height and either scare away or kick the stupid beast. Kicking a cat sounded like fun. It had ruined her half day of leisure, after all. Fleeing would have to be timed just right, cats were agile little things yet strategic battle planning was not on her agenda for the day.

Both cat and Fae were so concentrating on self preservation, the cat was half starved to death, that neither noticed the violent, foul smelling, disturbance was now directly beneath the tree. Upon the first teeth shattering impact the cat went sailing to the left and collided with a sicking thud into another thicker branch. Kelishtav's would have done the same had she not gripped the branch as the lower half of her body slipped from the tree. The second impact sent both her and the now dead cat plummeting to the ground. Semiconscious, her limp fourteen inch body collided with the foreign presence and she let out a cry of pain as she bounced off and hit the forest floor belly first.

Leaves and dirt stuck to the blood now dripping from her nose as she attempted to right herself into a sitting position. She only succeeded in lifting her face an inch or so from the ground. Her vision blurred as she looked up at the massive bulk of a creature. "First a cat, now a bloody troll." she mumbled just before blacking out.

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Cairn » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:26 pm

It took a moment to register that the fae’s crumpled form was not something that was typical to see fall out of these trees. Cairn had seen cats before: they tasted good and might even be more crunchy with a fistful of dirt and nuts. The broken feline was shoveled into the troll’s mouth to be chewed on rather than immediately swallowed; the furry tail rotated clockwise circuits around Cairn’s mouth to emphasize that the mammoth was not really hungry.

As he chewed, the giant’s mouth rotated like a cow chewing its cud, and tiny bubbles of thoughts slowly rose to the surface of his mind. Showing a yellow and cracked nail forward, Cairn’s rocky digit rolled the fairy over for inspection. Two legs, two arms, a head…and wings. The last part made no sense to the troll and with his advance intellect could only theorize that this was a small child that landed on a large dragonfly. Another slow, long, grinds pushed the cat to the back of his throat and the scraggly tail disappeared behind thick lips. The end of the snack led to the end of the rather complex thought (for a troll, anyway) that Cairn was having, which ended in a headache.

Thinking exercises the mind and that particular muscle is rather flabby in Trolls.

Raising one meaty fist into the air, Cairn’s full strength came down like an anvil of fury – onto some nearby bushes. They instantly flattened, forming a semi-prickly bed, into which the scroll gently deposited the unconscious fae. Cairn would wait until he became hungry again and if the ‘child’ was not awake, then it wouldn’t and would become the next meal. If it did, then the mountain troll would offer forth its dilemma for resolution…a problem that perhaps the winged creature could aid in.

If not, a wriggly bite is always more interesting than a still one.

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Kelishtav
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Re: Not Lost

Post by Kelishtav » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:31 pm

Images of an army of trolls marched across her brain in unison. Every footstep felt to her very core sending waves of pain from head to toe. They were moving steadily closer and she struggled to scream, to run, anything to prevent certain death. After moaning in that familiar muffled dream like state for a few minutes she bolted up from her bed of leaves screaming, "Trolls!" The pain threatened to return her nightmare of marching trolls, but with a few deep breaths she calmed herself and swallowed back a second violent scream.

Had she been at full height she may never of survived such a fall, nor a collision with a troll, but luck was with her. Upon in inspection, her smaller body had managed to received a few scratches, a bloody nose and massive headache that slowly subsiding. Feeling the back of her of her head she noted a lump had formed. The distinctive odor pushed through the pain sensors reminding her that the troll was still very near. With a hand still on the back of her head she slowly lifted her chin and took in the sight of the troll's massive form. Whether it was fear or instinct she changed quickly into her full form, wings exchanged for a thin blue dress, she sat on the flattened bush still dwarfed by the troll.

It may have been instinct, it may have been the head injury or maybe even the rising nervousness of pure terror but as her eyes made contact with the troll she did a very odd thing.

Kelishtav smiled broadly at the creature.

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Cairn » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:39 pm

"What's this?" would be the only accurate label for the expression Cairn gave the once diminutive woman before him. She had increased in size in a heartbeat and became a larger version of child-like creature he had laid eyes on moments before. Unfortunately, the mystery would be forgotten as another one had plagued the monster's thoughts for the passing days.

Pointing a meaty finger at the sky, the troll articulated the word 'Sun' and then pointed to his other fist. Burnt umber colored eyes moved dramatically from the fairy to his other fist as he raised it from the ground, over his head and back to the ground on the other side of his girth. It was the troll's attempt at signifying the passage of the sun. Next Cairn mimicked the sun's passage and that he followed it; pointing once more to the sky, the massive creature covered his eyes and mutter 'No sun' while he pointed to the leaves. He took three steps with his eyes covered and then turned back around to shrug his shoulders.

The next look that the troll gave Kelishtav was one of curious expectation. It was apparent he awaited a response, going so far as to sit on the ground and place a chin in his hand as he waited for his answer.

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Kelishtav » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:16 pm

Every movement of the Troll caused Kelishtav to flinch, expecting a blow to the head at any moment. She had been told stories as a child about trolls, and even some humans, that squashed faeries in one blow and ate them. The humans for luck, the trolls for food. She had know idea whether or not it was true, but it was possible that cats were not the only things that found faeries tasty little morsels.

When nothing happened after the first few odd gestures she realized he was actually trying to convey a message in his own barbaric way, but having only concentrated on the last half of his display she was at a lost. He truly expected a response judging by his seated posture at the end.

Even while sitting she had to look up at him. And look she did, staring into his eyes for quite some time before she replied. Kelishtav wondered if he even spoke the same language and decided to use a tongue that she was sure was familiar to most trolls. The trollish brogue that came from her sounded like a series of soft coos since her voice didn't have the deep guttural bass like him.

"What am I to make of that? You toss me from a tree, and expect me to give you directions or something?"

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Cairn » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:56 pm

Scratching flakes of rock from his massive skull, Cairn considered the response. From the accent the winged girl spoke, the troll recognized what type of creature she was. Only a fairy could coo a rumble and still be understood. Barely. However, the concept was novel to speak in his mother tongue and were Cairn a more intuitive troll, he might find the attempt respectful...even if the tone was not. His voice was the striking of flint rocks, the groan of glacier movements, and the lilted, gritty sound of gravel sliding across pavement.

"You lost?"

It was not a condescending question, but rather an asking of affirmation that the rotund, little fae could indeed assist him. Cairn had not dealt with any denizens of the Shidhe court, but he did know that when dealing with humans, payment was sometimes required. A massive hand reached passed the collection of dwarven battle axes that served as a belt decoration into a course rucksack. When it returned, the small stone in his hand was a nail shaving of one of the silver boulders in his inventory. He placed it before the tiny creature and made his offer.

"I pay."

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Kelishtav » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:51 pm

No she was not lost. It was impossible to get lost when you didn't have a true destination to begin with, but it was time for her to move along to somewhere. Anywhere. Aside from the cat and her near death experience, the troll was an interesting reprieve now that she was mostly certain he was not going to squash her. As log as this troll was not as resistant to her charms as most dwarves are, this could become quite fun.

Immediately her eyes fixed on the silver, then darted away. Shiny things, particularly items that would be considered currency always peeked her interest. It was evident there may be more where that small piece came from. "Pay, yes that would do nicely. I can point you in a general direction, I suppose." She changed to the common tongue, hoping he could understand, as his did not have words for what she wanted to say. "As soon as my head stops spinning I'll accompany you if you like."

She wasn't sure how much the silver would buy her, but she was in need of another suit of clothes. That meant venturing into a small town at least. She couldn't go around wearing nothing but her wings. How she would get the needed clothes was a puzzle. The troll most certainly couldn't fetch them for her. If need be she could steal some from a farmer as usual, but the silver made her want something new. One step at a time, Tav. One step at a time.

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Cairn » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:11 pm

It seemed that a bargain had been struck, as the tiny creature took the offering and switched to the man tongue to accept being a guide. At the mention of needing a moment’s respite, Cairn nodded once and took to digging into the earth nearby to look for roots. The first rake peeled away a swatch of grass and forest floor; it likewise froze the troll in place as his nose began to make wheezing noises as it picked up a scent. The trolls blunt, hard nails became extremely gentle at that point, carefully dissecting the earth and carefully grating through the soil harvested in the spot. Gently, debris was separated until a small pile of what almost looked like dung began to form between Cairn’s feet.

‘Truffle.’

It seemed like explanation enough. Such a tiny thing couldn’t eat more than one or two of the delicacies, so the enlarged miser painfully parted with a pair of the forest under-jewels. Perhaps the gift would spur the newly acquired guide into thinking that the troll’s intentions were simply stated and without a hidden agenda. Of course, Cairn would know an agenda if it bit him square on the nose.

Ember colored eyes looked out past the trees and the molasses of thoughts tumbled ever so slowly behind them, like a prehistoric mosquito trying to resist the call of the amber that would freeze it into something valuable. Cairn wondered what manner of creatures would be nearby and if they would be winged or man-like or something in between.

The thought went well with a mouthful of the dirty fungi.

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Kelishtav » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:17 pm

Kelistav would never admit it to anyone, unless upon pain of death, but she was actually delighted the creature thought to share his truffles. She had watched him closely and recognized the mushroom as soon he pulled it out, the smell had found he nose moments before. It was not often she had them since it required a significant amount of time searching in the dirt beneath trees, a task she deemed utterly boring, but her new acquaintance has done the work for her. Having a troll around was becoming more and more appealing.

'Truffle.'

"Oh! thank you! Yes!" She gently took the treat from the troll and after making a vain attempt to knock off some of the dirt, she shrugged and devoured the mushrooms anyway. Kelistav's appetite was the exact opposite of her size and she made quick work of it. It would be a small thing for her to eat a pile of them and still be hungry, but she didn't want the troll to think her greedy. The truth could wait till later.

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Cairn » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:28 pm

It pleased the large troll that the pair now had a shared interest. There was very little that couldn't be discussed over a meal. Cairn wanted to relate his story to the plump fairy, so between mouthfuls he consider how best to orate the time he traveled, the discovery he made about following the sun for half a day, the change in relations from raider to trader when it came to civilizations, and the lonesome nature of his travel and how he could find very few that would bother to discourse with him. Fungi dripped between his teeth as he took in a deep breath and told his tale.

Cairn have long walk.

There was of course more to share, but the complexity of the truffle's taste perplexed the beast for a moment and the rest of the dialogue was lost. Perhaps it is best that way, since trolls take their time at speaking when they are full. Though lethargic, Cairn still wanted out of the woods. There was more traveling to do and there must be a reason for his hooves to take him this direction. A more complex mind might try to rationalize it as fate or chance or some other abstract philosophical concept. The troll however, just wanted something different to eat...

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Kelishtav » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:15 pm

The troll was an interesting addition to her rather dull excursion so far and she had only left her clan a few months ago. She didn't remember all the details of her travels but, she had not had anything like him cross her path, at least not since she started off alone. Human travelers were becoming boring, the few she had allowed to see her, and she only interacted with them when she needed food or clothes or some fun. Mostly she hid herself and stole what she needed, but it was high time for a more exciting adventure. The introduction of the troll into her path she considered a confirmation of just such a thought. She had been pondering such things while in the tree, before the cat ruined her contemplation. The troll meant change.

She ate the last of her treat just as he expounded upon the thought that must have been growing as he dined. "You truly are a creature of many words. I'll never get a word in edgewise with you- Wait. Cairn? Is that your name?" Kelistav stood up and stared at him curiously. It never occurred to her that the creature had a name. Trolls were just trolls right? She determined in that moment he may be of more use to her than she originally thought. He may be slow and short on vocabulary but just maybe he could be used to scare some loot from a lone traveler or farmer.

"Kelishtav, daughter of Sajav at your service." A graceful bow was wasted on him but she did it anyway, her messy brown strands falling into her face. "I am ready to move on from here if you are. There's nothing left of interest here anyway."

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Re: Not Lost

Post by Cairn » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:48 pm

She moved so quickly and gracefully to Cairn as she went through the complex ritual of introduction. Even the bantam humanoid's name was intricate and contained so many syllables that the dull troll was forced to shorten it to the most base part.

Kel, go. Cairn, follows.

With a grunt akin to an old man standing, a slight arrangement of his armor and codpiece, and then a tremendous sigh of readiness, Cairn was ready also to go. His amber orbs watched for her movement and he would follow noisily behind; troll steps tended to cause thuds and broad should often scrapped nearby trunks. There would be no covering his track, but trolls weren’t really hunted anyway…

A tickle of thoughts convulsed parts of the Neanderthal mind. Cairn wondered where they were going and who they would see. He wasn’t hungry, so there was no urgency in his steps. Base thoughts dripped from the top of his head and out of his chin quickly as his ponderous steps propelled him forward.

‘What time is it?’
‘How does she know where the sun is?’
‘How can she fly?’
‘Do fairies rut in the air?’
‘Is there anything to drink where we are going?’
‘Will there be trolls there?’


And so on and so forth it went, one thought quickly replaced and forgotten by another…quite often they looped so that the same query was revisited endlessly and receiving no more answer than it did the first time. It wouldn’t take long to get out of the forest, especially if they continued in a straight line.

Perhaps Cairn would learn that…eventually.

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