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    A Curious Venture- Erren Ancalen

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    Cat
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    A Curious Venture- Erren Ancalen

    Post by Cat on Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:01 pm



    Ellery tripped over a stone in the pathway and yelped. Loudly. She winced. That echoed… for a long, long time. She pulled her cloak around her and shivered, squinting in the dim lighting to see her footing as she murmured to herself.

    “Sure, Els, t’was a brilliantly genius idea to traipse into an unknown forest, with unknown danger, and unknown people. Absolutely brilliant. Who ever thought of planning something out before doing it? No, not me!” she griped, swung her foot forward and kicked a clump of moss- and a tree root.

    She yelped again, and grabbed her foot. Her boots were clearly not thick enough for this rugged terrain. She bit her lip and set her throbbing foot down again. Why oh why hadn’t she prepared better? She was beginning to act like her father. Ugh.

    Snap.

    “Oh my word…,” Ellery breathed as she whirled around, searching for the cause of the sound. Could it have been one of them? “Or… a bear?” She whispered. “Please, oh please do not tell me there are bears around here.” A whimper escaped her lips, unbidden.

    Snap. Snap.

    Would cats even snap twigs? Ellery halted, her eyes wide. No, they wouldn’t. Unless... they were trying to scare her. She tromped forward a bit, keeping her back to a tree. “Think, think… what would Eva be doing?”

    A million terribly rash and foolish ideas ran through her head, most of which involved yelling, threatening, or running away with a scream of terror. And, sadly, none of the above would suit her mission.

    So, with a deep, uncertain breath, she straightened her shoulders. “I don’t know if you’re listening- but I’m betting my sanity that you are. They said you live in these parts of the forest. The deepest. The darkest- and regrettably the creepiest-- but I'm sure you’re plenty… nice?” She paused and cringed. She sounded like an idiot. Get straight to the point. To the point.

    “I need advice. Eva- Raeneth- or whatever you call her…,“ Ellery trailed off and sighed. “I have some concerns. I know you decided- and maturely so- to stay out of her life, but I think she may need you now.”

    She scanned the forest. Nothing, no movement, no nothing. She stamped her foot. Did she actually just stand in the middle of the forest, conversing with the foliage? Oh, how she could see her father chuckling. It wasn’t funny!

    “Where are you?!” She called out. “For once in my ridiculous life, I’m looking for you trouble-making felines, for a good cause! And what do I find? Inanimate trees!”

    She blinked. That was stupid. Now she really hoped no one was listening. How embarrassing. With a huff, she stamped forward. There was only one choice, really, keep going.

    Snap.

    She gasped. And before she could turn, something grabbed her from behind and wrapped around her face. She tried to scream, but the sound died in her lips as all her senses dimmed and blackness overwhelmed her.

    ~~~

    “I didn’t know humans remained unconscious for so long- ick! Is that drool?"

    Ellery twitched. She felt so heavy, and sleepy, and like she could barely move… wait! Drool?! She blinked.

    “Quiet, Erythor. Contrary to your belief, she’s slowly awakening. And she can hear you.”

    “Oh.”

    Erythor? That name sounded familiar. She blinked again and tried to bring the room into focus. Flickering light, wooden ceiling. She sniffed. A dank, musty smell filled the room. She blinked rapidly.

    On either side of the rough bench she sat on, two men loomed over her. Elves. Hopefully Tanalramae Elves. She blinked and offered a half smile, half dazed look to the one closest to her. They both had long, dark hair, hard set scowls, and an eerie stare. Yep, definitely Tanalramae. Then she remembered the drool comment.

    She quickly wiped her chin with her sleeve. “S-sorry… um, what’s going on?”

    The Elf above her smirked. “You were shouting at the inanimate trees.”

    Ellery blinked and heat rushed to her face. So they were listening. Oops. “Well, it would have been nicer for you to announce yourself sooner,” she retorted indignantly. She swung her feet aside and stood up, so as to stand toe-to-toe with the offensive Elf.

    “I was trying to figure out if you had a point or not.”

    Unfortunately, the Elf, Erythor, still had a few inches of height against her. He was, however, a lot shorter than most Elves.

    “A point? Of course I had a point! I wasn’t about to traipse through this civilization forsaken forest if I didn’t have a poi-”

    “Enough.” A cold, deep voice silenced her. In the corner of the room stood…

    “Lochannar?”

    There he stood, tall, long, icky dark hair, cold blue eyes, mean old sneer and… no scar? Ellery blinked. No, this wasn’t Lochannar. He held himself higher, was better groomed, and clearly thought better of himself than poor old Lo.

    “Rather, his father. I am Belegnaer. Outsiders call me Sir or Lord. You would remember this well.” He barely moved as he spoke, just eyed her coldly. “Now, you had a serious matter to discuss, Miss Aydelore?”

    Ellery blinked in shock, and barely even realized when Erythor stepped back toward the shadows. Everything was just getting confusing at this point. “Uhhh… y-yeah.”

    “Then get to it.”

    She gulped. “You see, the thing is… I’m worried about Eva... She’s…”

    Belegnaer held up his hand. “No hesitance, girl. I have very little patience for humans, especially frightened ones. Tell me…,” he drew the words out as he leaned forward, his face near hers. “Do I frighten you?”

    She firmed her chin and met his eyes. “Yes. But my father says fright can be controlled as long as you put your mind to it.”

    His eyebrow quirked, and he leaned back up. “Did he now.” He strolled toward the wall and gracefully set himself down on a peculiar seat of stone and vines. He spread his hands out. “Then tell it to me in as few words as possible.”

    Her jaw dropped, and she opened her mouth to protest.

    “No! No protesting, just speak.”

    She scrunched up her face and glowered at the all-too pleased Belegnaer. Smugness must run in the family. As does a dislikable personality. Ellery already hated him. For how in all of Oclaria could she successfully limit her words?

    “Evandra’s getting married. She just left to go to Lasmaira. Estemen. Then to the Red Dutchy for the wedding.” She blurted out her words quickly, so as to stop him from stopping her.

    He narrowed his eyes. “Continue, but slower.”

    “She’s been… different.” Ellery hesitated. “What do you know about telepathy?”

    His eyes twitched, and just as he opened his mouth to respond, and loud bang reverberated through the room. Followed by hasty footsteps.

    Another Elf, female, burst into the room. Unnaturally red hair hid her face, but the long, bloody slashes on her arm spoke measures. She halted, taken aback by the sight of the stranger, but quickly recovered.

    “He attacked me!”

    ~~~

    “Umm, how long are you two going to going to converse secretly in the corner and ignore your guest?” After eleven minutes and thirty-seven seconds, Ellery finally gave up on patience. She re-crossed her arms and tilted her head at Belegnaer and his frighteningly red-haired daughter.

    They both paused. The girl glanced inquisitively at her father.

    “Aydelore,” was his only response.

    “But why is she here? Because of L-” she halted when he held up his hand.

    “I’m right here.” Ellery chewed on her lip. Was she about to say Lochannar? Was Lo here? Was he the one that attacked the girl? She drew a deep breath. Only one way to find out. “It’s Lochannar, isn’t it,” she said softly.

    After a moment’s silence, Belegnaer replied with a grudged, “Yes.”

    Ellery gasped and pressed her hand to her mouth. “He’s still hurting? Is… is his mind? Oh my word… It’s been months. H-he disappeared from Ledra a-a-and… and...” She sucked in a halting breath. “You h-haven’t been a-able to help h-him?”

    “Oh yes, we’ve helped him immensely. Much more than you lot did.” Red-hair retorted icily. “In fact, this is the first time he’s attacked anyone in two weeks. He’s wearing down; quickly too.”

    “Hurnith, hush.”
    Belegnaer laid his hand on her knee. He turned to Ellery, who was clearly on the verge of tears. “I’m inclined to believe that you’ve witnessed Lochannar’s… condition. We’re doing all we can, but it is very… delicate. Nothing like this has occurred in this family for centuries.” His face remained stone cold as he spoke.

    “Where is he? C-can I see him?” Ellery wiped her face, tucked a few stray curls away, and tried desperately to regain her composure. They probably think it odd, her getting upset over Lochannar- who, they might see all she viewed him as was a jerk.

    Hurnith and Belegnaer exchanged a glance.

    “He’s in the dungeon… safest place for him.” She paused. “And us.”

    Ellery gaped at them. “So you locked him in the cage like the animal he is? You’re going to make him believe the lies he tells himself.” She pulled herself to her feet and began pacing, flinging her hands too and fro as she spoke angrily. “He tears himself down so much, probably because his family tells him those same lies, and in time he just accepts it! That’s what’s driving him down.”

    She slammed her fist onto the bench. “He hates himself! He tried to kill his own sister! He is so burned with betrayal, fear, and self-loathing- that would drive even a normal man mad! But no, he fights a rage deeper than himself, older than himself. And a belief that really, all he is, is a monster.”

    “Look me in the eye and tell me that’s not true.”

    Both Elves stared at her in shock; speechless. This timid little human that they had dragged into their lair had become a little ball of indignance, all over someone she logically wouldn’t even care for. But Ellery never really gave much chance to logic. She’d seen his pain, suffering, and his devotion to his family. And she wasn’t going to let his family treat him like this.

    “Well?”

    “He tried to kill Raeneth? That… would explain a lot.” Hurnith finally ventured.

    Ellery sucked in a quick breath. “Just let me see him, please.”

      Current date/time is Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:35 am