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  • #439
    EricEric
    Keymaster

      Leörmn the dragon had been retreating silently what felt like a long time ago. For most of the dragons, as they grew in age, needed to occupy more and more of their time in dreaming.
      But dreaming was not an idle occupation as human sometimes were prone to think. He was phenomenally active in the Unseen when he dreamt, and most of the times, he didn’t even have a dream corporeal existence such was the intensity of the activity, that he projected in many many many different ways at the same time.

      At times, he slowly woke up, barely aware of all of what he had done. In one fragment, some other focuses of his friends were in an odd classroom, and were asked whether they had read some transcripts of a trance conversation with a dragon. At the beginning the pupils had felt reluctant to answer, but some bold hands had been raised, and he knew these people, they were closely related to him. The teacher had been telling them how different the energy was, and how intense, for it was not the same kind of consciousness… Of course, Leörmn knew all of that, but it was one of the many things that had occurred during his sleep. Because all of that was a reality, occurring in other frameworks, other dimensions, other scenes, but all of them were happening.
      And in another one, there was this young man who had just changed his name, looking through a sort of big flat glubolin at some parchment map that one of his friend had put in front of his eyes, and the young man was amazed at how close it looked like the map he had seen in his own dream, with rivers outlined…

      Leörmn felt immensely grateful for all of these personality essences exchanging with him, and enhancing and widening his own exploration, and he felt like he wanted to modify once again the cave. He would create some guest rooms into the cave for them, if they wanted to use them. They would be furnished as they wanted to, and reflecting what was their comfort, and dear to them…
      At Malvina’s request, he had already created one abode for Irtak, but now, he would also create one for the finckely Arona, the wandering Sanso, who in turn could invite some of their own guests.

      And so once again, the cave was transmugrified…

      #1489
      EricEric
      Keymaster
        bq(Quote). Mmmm footnotes can be done[1] like that[2] etc.
        fn1. This is my footnote
        (new line)
        fn2. This is my second footnote etc.

        Mmmm footnotes can be done1 like that2 etc.

        1 This is my footnote

        2 This is my second footnote etc.

        #424
        EricEric
        Keymaster

          — The legend of Mævel — (Part VII)

          Today was the Day of the Forgotten. Mævel had slept well, nestled into the soft and warm depth of her dreams, her head resting on the short blue fur of the fox.
          In sharp contrast with the lovely night, she awoke strangely irritated. Even the birds songs were like noise to her ears, and every sound of the forest she heard with acute intensity and a sense of being submerged by many sensory inputs.
          Hopefully, the blue fox voice was still very comforting, and she started to wonder how they could come across a Forgotten One in need.

          — I think I know where we can find some Forgotten One in need.
          — Where? asked Mævel

          The fox paused, then answered her question:
          — Near your human parents’ home.

          Mævel was surprised. She trusted the fox, and never had really questioned him, because more than that she trusted her own feelings, but now her feelings were telling her that there was something the fox had not told her. Or had told her partially. She was silent, pondering the unseen implications.

          — Mæ, I’ll try my best to answer your questions, but remember I cannot tell you everything. I can help you remember some things, but there are things that my curse does not allow me to reveal. You have to find them by your own, in order to free us…
          — Free us? I thought you were the one Cursed?…
          — Yes I am, and…
          — How do you know my parent’s home? How much do you know about me?
          — I know you since you are a baby actually. And even before…
          — Before? I don’t understand a thing… I feel there are some unseen links, that I cannot decipher, yet they are so close to…
          — You’re right, there are links, links that are important, and that I cannot reveal.
          — Why can’t you reveal them?
          — Let’s go to your human parent’s home…
          — Why do you always say my human parents?

          The fox blew in front of him, creating a wobbling sound into the air in the form of a ring large enough for them to go through it. And he hopped inside, disappearing in mid-air.

          Mævel was perplexed, but did not hesitate. She hopped too into the watery ring in front of her and found herself falling into a void, to reemerge on a bed of dry leaves in front of her parent’s home. Blohmrik the blue fox was seated in front of her, observing a shadowy form at a distance in front of them.

          — Is that the Forgotten One we will help?
          — Yes.
          — Why do you need me? You could help her, couldn’t you?
          — She wouldn’t see me, Forgotten Ones are usually obsessed by a few people, those who they feel can remember them, and don’t usually see other people. Their perception is quite different than ours.
          — Hang on a minute… Why do you think she will see me?

          Mævel looked into the eyes of the fox, and she knew.

          — We are linked.

          It was more an affirmation than a question.
          Mævel wondered who that shadowy figure was. When she focused on her, the form was getting more solid, and she could catch glimpses of how she looked like. And she was surprised. She was about her age, with long blond hair as hers.
          Mævel’s voice was broken:
          — My parents had told me I was about to die when I was a baby, then by a sort of miracle, I became healthy… Was that true?… I mean… Was that a gentle way of telling me that I had a twin who died or…
          — No, Mæ. She is not you. She is not linked to you by blood. You can talk to her, she will listen to you.

          So Mævel went to see the shadowy figure. She had stopped wandering and trying to find an opening around the house, for there were none for spirits: all openings were locked by stripes of red cloth hung onto the doors and windows.
          Mævel felt the pain of the Forgotten One as she approached her.

          — Who are you? she suddenly asked Mævel, raising her head at her approach.
          — I am Mævel.
          Mævel… It means marvel of Maÿ… I was born in Maÿ…
          — What are you doing here?
          — This is my parents’ home.
          — How is that possible?
          — Twenty one year ago, I was taken away from them, given to Shaint Lejüs in place of a fairy princess. But Shaint Lejüs was no fool, he had sent his apprentice to spy on the fairy king.
          — Blohmrik?!
          — Yes, Blohmrik… But Blohmrik disobeyed the Elder God, and when he saw the exchange that was about to happen, he let it happen. He wanted to protect the fairy princess from his master. Because Shaint Lejüs wanted the princess as a bride. Ahahaha, how disappointed Lejüs was when he saw that I could not perform the most basic magic spells. I was good at nothing, so he let me go wandering into his Realm. He’d just thought the half-fairy princess had inherited no magic from her father.
          — How do you know all that?

          — I told her, the blue fox said. I was hoping to bring her relief. But she started to look for her parents, and Lejüs discovered the truth… Because she was not looking for a fairy king. She was heading here, year after year.
          — That’s the reason of your curse, is it?
          — Yes. She can’t see me because I was Forgotten too, in that form of a blue fox. But as Forgotten Ones don’t forget, I didn’t forget. I couldn’t tell her, because she couldn’t see me.
          — So, I am that fairy princess you are talking about… that strange idea was starting to dawn on Mævel.
          — Yes. When Lejüs discovered who you were, he wasn’t interested in you any longer, because he thought your magical potential had been irremediably damaged by all those years spent in human company.

          — Who are you talking to? the shadowy figure asked, bemused.
          — Blohmrik, he is here. But it’s untrue, Mævel said, there is magic in me.
          — Yes there is, answered the blue fox, and you can undo what has been done with it.

          Mævel remembered the useless key she had manifested when she had tried to go out of her human parents’ house. She had not even looked at it closely.

          — You can manifest it again Mæ, said the fox. It is with you. You are its lock.

          And no sooner had Mævel thought of the big rusted key, than it appeared in her hand again. But this time the rust on it was crackled, and it started to disintegrate, and a brilliant shiny metal started to show beneath it.

          Scratching what was left of the rust, Mævel started to look at the beautiful key, it was shaped as a musical note, and it had some word written on it, in an ancient language she didn’t know how to read. But she knew the sound when she ran her finger on the surface of the word.

          « Araoni »

          That was her. She was remembering, and everything started to change.

          :fleuron2:

          The wedding of the God Blohmrik, son of Mirÿnda, Goddess of Mirth and of Bälias, God of the Sparkles with Araoni, daughter of the Fairy Queen Theÿa and the Fairy King Aldurion was pronounced on a bright day of Maÿ, in a beautiful orchard in the presence of Araoni’s human parents and sisters and brothers.

          Even Lejüs had been invited, even though he would have preferred to be Forgotten…

          :fleuron:

          And so my story ends… said Captain Bone to Tomkin.

          — And was the shadow remembered by her true parents? had asked Tomkin.
          — Oh, yes she was… Of course. She just didn’t want to steal the limelight from Mævel, you see. Her parents were happy of course to find back their true daughter.
          — You didn’t tell me the name of the true daughter, did you?
          — No, I didn’t, said Captain Bone with a wink.

          #1486
          EricEric
          Keymaster

            Hehehe, all about style B-)

            It’s done with h2. h3. etc. at the beginning of a new line.

            h2. my new title
            (new line)
            my regular text

            my new title

            my regular text

            #1363
            TracyTracy
            Participant

              had to be done, Jib someone had to do it…..:yahoo_whistling:

              #326
              EricEric
              Keymaster

                The unusual overwhelming heat, which had begun with the spring equinox had finally temporarily receded with the appearance of big opaque cumulonimbus filling the sky with a mute thunderous sound. The flickering glow was no longer enough for Raphael to distinguish the small dark characters dancing before his eyes, the storm having let the night pounce on them earlier than it should have.
                So, Raphael closed his thick leather-bound book and put it back into his burgundy backpack bag, inhaling deeply the air of the dusk, mollified by the music of the raindrops that ricocheted now discreetly on the rusty steel plates.

                The remaining passengers began to hurry around a meager dinner wrapped in dirty newspaper sheets, displaying energy resources that he felt incapable of. Feeling no hunger at all, he decided to go on the pontoon to taste the moisture exuding in the evening, this celestial water, soothing down the fever of this trip, which drew to a close. The boat continued to rend imperturbably through the obsidian sea, and the thick enveloping fog prevented them to distinguish the lights of the city that he could feel at a distance.

                This was not the first time, but at each of his return, the city seemed changed, this time ghostly apparition, once glittering pearl. This was undoubtedly one of the reasons which had him leave it, as others would have done with a lover, to better appreciate this fleeting moment of reunion.
                The book had been given to him by a stranger he had met, and was part of his mission; he didn’t usually accept assignments in this city where he was too obvious, but the stranger had assured him nothing illegal would be required of him, just delivering a book.
                He had leafed through the book, just to make sure there was no foul play on the part of this strange man with amber eyes that seemed to keep changing colours. But the book had seemed innocuous. Even worse, it did not make any sense for Raphael. The chapters were randomly numbered, and the text seemed to keep changing. Perhaps it was Raphael’s mind which played tricks on him, but it was baffling for him, as he was accustomed to keep his senses sharp as a dagger. Whatever,… The man had paid, and a plump pile of money even.

                The insistent rumors of a mysterious illness which had already claimed fatalities within the walls of the city had not deterred him to go there —knowing that the few people caring about him would have preferred to see him flee this destination, so certain as they were to be themselves immune to the contingencies of life. Even the bald adipose captain of the ship, Fat Yong Choi had seemed wary of having a pale-skinned foreigner coming on board of his boat, but he had quickly seen that Raphael was no common traveler.

                But there was no longer time to rehash those turpitudes, the harbour finally appearing, like a halo glow from the contours of which some faint sounds escaped, soon to be stifled by the purring and cracking of the bulging vessel.

                :fleuron:

                The winds began to sweep the docks violently, causing the cargo, now anchored, to oscillate wildly, like a huge weeble at the hands of the elements. Fortunately, due to the alarming news from the city, the boat was only half full, and the unloading was smooth. Raphael, unnerved by the long journey, only wanted to walk, but patiently followed the slow pace of the procession which led him outside of the harbour’s enclosure, even before he had noticed it.

                Raphael wanted above all to rest, but didn’t care to be bothered speaking to someone. He preferred to sink deep down in his thoughts while walking through the streets, rather than lose this feeling of freedom. Freedom to choose his own itinerary, without a word to say, entirely open to the silence of the streets.

                The fine drizzle had indeed deserted the streets making the city infinitely enjoyable for him. It was indeed just as he liked it best, at dusk, just faintly resonating with the sound of his own steps.
                Empty — a few passersby in search of a shelter nearby. He imagined to be a ghost haunting these places without life, enjoying the feeling of being the predator felinely prowling in this scene without spectators, shrouded in the reassuring complicity of the night.

                #323
                EricEric
                Keymaster

                  — The legend of Mævel — (Part II)

                  The young fairy princess, whose secret name had been forgotten, and thus her very existence to whoever had known her, grew up as a beautiful child.
                  Mævel she was, and the youngest of the clan too. Her delicate features stood out of the many children that Jorg and Ilga, her human parents already had, and they first saw her as probably their most useless child, being frail and unfit to the works of the woods. But she’d been saved from a sure death, and that had proved to them that the child was some odd gift from the Gods.

                  Mævel looking at her brothers and sisters, was constantly reminded of how different she was, as small and fair and fragile as a sparfly’s egg. She helped her mother Ilga as much as she could in the kitchen, preparing meals for the clan. Her parents did not know how she could ever get a husband, as she would never be much of a great cook either.
                  So, she was feeling not fulfilled by what she was doing. She loved her parents, and sisters, and brothers, but there was something else that she did not know how to express.
                  During the springing and sunny seasons, and even the rainy and icy one, she would go after her works had been done to the little meadow brook, and watch for hours the little rosy trouts dancing in the clear waters.

                  And much of her young years passed, and she learned how to cook, how to sew and how to wash clothes and many other tasks that could help the family. She had improved much in her skills and could do wonderful adornments to her sisters and brothers clothes. But noone cared about the adornments, which would be useless for them. But they loved their little sister nonetheless, though they did not understand.
                  Soon, all the elder brothers left the house, one by one, and the sisters too. And as Mævel turned twenty one, she was left alone with old Jorg and old Ilga.

                  That day, her parents had offered her a pearl white ribbon, for her to tie her hair, and they had thought it would probably please her, as it was as useless a thing as their mind could imagine. And indeed she was delighted by the gift, and to please her parents, she had danced and sung in the night, barefooted on the floorboard, her shiny golden hair swirling around her, as they both loved her to do.

                  The next day, Mævel went to the brook to wash some clothes, when she noticed a reddish bluish spark of light coming from the forest nearby. How strange she thought. Perhaps it is only my imagination. But soon, a plaintiff cry came from the same direction, and she was deeply moved by the cry.
                  Leaving her clothes to dry up, she went to the forest, knowing she could trust her instincts and that no wild beast would harm her. Calling to see if someone was there, a voice called her, crying “here, here!”

                  Behind some fern trees, she was surprised as she saw a wounded blue fox. Was it the fox that had spoken?
                  — Yes, that was me, answered the blue fox
                  — Oh, a talking fox! You are wounded, aren’t you? asked Mævel
                  — Yes, a stupid arrow from a stupid hunter… I can’t extract it, would you help me?
                  — Of course, answered Mævel, hold on a second.

                  And she leaned forward to draw the arrow from the fox’s leg, holding fast so that it would not hurt the creature. She was just knowing what to do, as if she had done it many times already. Then she drew out her white handkerchief, and bandaged the bleeding wound, tying it tightly with her pearl white ribbon.

                  — I must leave now, said the fox, I am greatly indebted to you, young lady
                  — Will you tell me your name?
                  — I am called Blohmrik. And may I inquire as to your name?
                  — I’m called Mævel, but you can call me Mæ
                  — Such a lovely name…
                  — How come you are a talking fox?
                  — I was not always in the form that you see now. This form is due to a curse from the God of the Forgotten, from which I foolishly tried to stole secrets when I was a young god learning magic.
                  Ooh, so you are a god? Mævel was amazed
                  — Oh, smiled sadly the fox, as you are also, though you probably don’t realize. Gods are not so different than what you think…
                  — Oh, really? So there isn’t anything I can do for you, is there?
                  — You have already done much for today Mæ
                  Mævel was blushing… She dared ask to her new friend
                  — And will I see you again?
                  — Perhaps sooner than you know.

                  #301
                  TracyTracy
                  Participant

                    Illi was quite pleased with the sand dragons.

                    HHHMMM, they don’t repulse me like dragons usually do. I think it’s because they are sand dragons, and sand is so much nicer than slimy cold scales. Well! Illi thought, I really wouldn’t know if they are slimy or cold, because, for the love of all-that-is, I would not choose to venture that close!

                    Illi chose to ignore her rather paradoxical musings on loving all that is, which would by definition include the beastly dragons, and turned her attention to the sand giant slouching patiently at the end of the beach.

                    Now giants, that’s another thing entirely. I am quite enamoured of giants, and this one looks so familiar!

                    Illi leaned back against the sand dragons bulky body and closed her eyes, reminiscing about her early years as Illi Fergusson, and her eccentric family.

                    ~~~

                    When Illi was a young child she rarely saw her parents, the eccentric Lord Gustard Willoughby Fergusson and his charmingly batty second wife, Floribunda Chaiise-Loriket. Illi stayed at home in the anscestral country pile in Dorset, Rubbingdon Hall, with Nanny Chraddock while her parents travelled the world in search of giant bones and artifacts. Their travels took them far and wide, from the jungles of South America to the deserts of North Africa; from the mountains of Spain to the arid eternity of the Australian outback.

                    Illi used to play a game with Cranky (as she affectionately called nanny Chraddock) in the long months while her parents were away, called Wish House. Every room in the sprawling Elizabethan house was a different time and place, and the moment they entered the room they imagined themselves to be different people, in other times. Petunia Duster the maid loved to join in too; consequently not alot of housework got done, but with Gus and Flora always off travelling, nobody minded. Playing was, after all, so much more important than dust. In fact, a thick layer of dust made the rooms all the more mysterious and magical.

                    #289
                    TracyTracy
                    Participant

                      The arrival of the noisy pink fairy was the last straw for Illi. She imagined her deserted island again and made sure she paid attention to imagining it completely deserted this time. No more fat nuns appearing from the heavens or squalking fairies!

                      Illi made the new island a paradise….she magicked up staff when she wanted food or a massage, a gaggle of party people for when she felt like dancing, and blithely disappeared them when she was done. Mostly Illi slept. Her favourite spot was near the lagoon on the sand under the coconut trees. She lay and dozed and drifted and dreamed and imagined and dozed some more, trailing her fingers through the sand, pushing little heaps of sand here and there, pulling them back, making channels and watching the sand sift back in and disappear them. She dreamed of sand sculptures, an astonishing variety and all made from…sand! Tiny grains of sand, made into anything at all…..every tiny grain of conscious energy…made into anything at all…..and in comes the tide and washes and ripples a clean new beach….to make anything at all……

                      #287
                      TracyTracy
                      Participant

                        India Louise and Eugenia momentarily forgot about the gold locket and walked over to the exceptionally long trunk. India dropped the locket into her pocket as she investigated the exterior of the trunk, which didn’t appear to have an opening. It seemed to have been made around whatever it housed, and permanently.

                        ‘How strange’, mused India, ‘it must not be intended to open, ever!’

                        ‘That makes me want to open it’, said Eugenia. ‘Let’s! Let’s open it!’

                        Eugenia was rummaging in the desk drawers for a suitable tool.

                        ‘Wow, look at this, Indy’. She held a heavy black letter opener up to show India, with an elaborate carved dragon on the handle. The dragon had glittering amethyst eyes, and a serpentine line of coloured stones along its back.

                        India shivered involuntarily at the sight of the dragon. Horrid nasty creatures, dragons, she muttered, resisting an urge to cross herself. ‘Peace be with you, now bugger off’ she whispered the spell under her breath so Eugenia wouldn’t hear her and think she was a silly goose. Horrid scaley slimy stinky reptiles.

                        ‘You go first, Genie, try and prise the trunk open.’ India didn’t want to touch the letter opener, but she was rather curious about the contents of the trunk.

                        Eugenia was a strong and capable lass, with a practical methodical mind ~ unlike India Louise ~ and before long the first piece of wood came splintering off.

                        ‘Nice one, Genie, well done.’ India said as Eugenia wrenched off another few planks.

                        ‘Oh MY GOD!’ ‘Jumping Jehosophat!’ ‘What the……’ ‘Holy Moly, Genie, what the….’. After a few initial exclamations, the girls were silent, the hair standing up on their arms.

                        They were looking down at the shrivelled features of a dried up body, covered in bits of disintegrating faded fabric.

                        ‘A mummy! It’s a friggen mummy!’

                        #280
                        EricEric
                        Keymaster

                          When Rudy the myna had come back crashing on the boat, it all became suddenly a huge uncontrollable chaos.
                          The hovering menacing clouds that were looming in front of them were coming closer at a dreadful speed, and even more concerning were the rocks that were appearing everywhere now, that they had more and more trouble to avoid in betwixt the turmoils and eddies.

                          So they had finally come to the Great Rift, Bådul was thinking. The back of the legendary water dragon that noone was known to have crossed.

                          But Bådul knew better.
                          He howled orders to get everybody ready at their posts, and felt reassured when he saw that Austor was maneuvering with dexterity and confidence through the rift.
                          He ignored the crazy laugh of Razkÿ, the madman who was now shouting with a manic laughter “We all gonna diiie! AHAHAHAH! DIE! DIE!” Then winking at Bådul and laughing again.

                          :fleuron: :fleuron:

                          A few months earlier, Northern Åsgurdy

                          A huge cloaked figure was riding in the middle of the deserts. The saurhse, a bit small for its rider, was getting tired, but the man wanted to move before the night came. Åsgurdy had a climate which made travels uneasy on land, and only on these bipedal saurians they named saurhses, could Åsgurdians easily travel on the burning hot sands by day. Then, they could gain the high plateaus of rock and ice, where the temperature was kept cold by the high chilly winds. But at night, the deserts would be chilly too, and the cold-blooded creature he was mounting would require a shelter.

                          He knew that such a shelter wouldn’t be far away now.
                          That region was mostly uncharted as it was fairly remote from all known cities, but that strange man he had met had said he was a traveler who knew were he could find something priceless.
                          At that time, Badul had felt he had nothing to lose, and said to himself “when in doubt, go for the experience”.
                          He had felt he could trust that man known to him only by a strange name, something like Gheorg.
                          There had been nothing boastful about him, and he had been kind to him. He had been the only person in the World he had known to have given him back his dignity as a human being, and even more, to have given him a reason to live.
                          He owed him a lot, and perhaps even more as he was now drawing closer to the cave… that same cave which was a mere cross on the torn map he had been drawing hastily before vanishing almost preternaturally, living him a bit of money and that map…

                          ~~~

                          Roselÿn had felt the urge to move somewhere else. This land didn’t resonate with her energy, and that of Rëgkvist, and of the few eggs the dragon had managed to lay, none had actually been able to hatch.
                          It had affected her so much that she had even retreated from her sisters’ usual talks through the glubolíns.
                          She needed to move on.

                          ~~~

                          When he entered the cave, Badul was disappointed. He could feel there had been someone living here quite recently, but it was like the cave was now abandoned. He hoped he could have found more answers, but now it was again like burning sand slipping through his fingers.

                          In a fit of rage, he took a boulder as big as him and threw it across the cave with a roar.
                          Something was brought down by his huge force further down into the cave and he heard it quite distinctly.

                          He tied up the saurhse at the entrance of the cave, and entered it with determination, ducking through the tunnel too narrow for his big baby-faced frame. Then he found something glowing. At first, he thought it was some gold, but what kind of fool had been living here before and had been in such a haste to move as to forget gold?

                          It was not gold. It was something like a broken shell. The broken bits were like a jigsaw puzzle and he wished he could make it one, as he was attracted by the strange radiance of the thing.

                          :fleuron: :fleuron:

                          Austor did not believe his eyes…
                          They had crossed the Rift, all three of the ships.
                          And it was nothing like the dark void they had nearly expected behind.

                          It was an open sea, glistening in the sun, and all hope had come back through them all.

                          #260
                          FloveFlove
                          Participant

                            Arona and Mandrake sat side by side looking into the glass ball filled with sand. They had been practising for some time, and had both become quite proficient at shifting the sand.

                            So what shall we make now Mandrake? Something we both like maybe?

                            A fish perhaps? suggested Mandrake

                            Oh excellent idea! and no sooner was it thought of than the sand would shift accordingly.

                            Scrambled eggs I think too, on chunks of homemade bread, said the still hungry Arona, and chocolate!

                            Some milk for me, said Mandrake

                            Hmmm not sure about that Mandrake. Lots of cats have allergies to cows milk.

                            Mandrake rolled his eyes And chocolate might make you fat, he said, but was I so rude as to mention it? and Mandrake created a hairy cow, and a farmer to milk the cow.

                            Arona laughed, and created a little sand langoat, just in case the stubborn Mandrake changed his mind. Langoat’s milk would be much better for him she thought.

                            The glass ball was now filled with a miniature world of sand objects.

                            Arona leaned back against the wall and stroked Mandrake. She felt very fond of the grumpy cat. The feeling of being able to create whatever she wanted had been fun. Perhaps, she thought, her creations were rather rudimental at this stage, but then already she could feel bigger things brewing within her as her confidence grew. She felt as though the sand game had focused her, like a beam of light which shone only on that which was intended.

                            Arona closed her eyes and allowed her mind to open and reach out, something she knew she had always been able to do easily, but her fear of the “madness” had made her cautious and hide these abilities, till she became unsure of them. The “madness” was the term the people in her Village had given to the poor wretched wandering ones, who claimed to hear voices and communicate with Gods. Once as a child she had seen the Villagers drive one of these poor souls from the Village, shouting and abusing him. She did not really understand what he had done, only that the Villagers were afraid of him. So Arona had felt it was better to keep some things to herself.

                            Arona left her mind open and allowed images to enter. Some of the images she did not understand, and she let them flow on, enjoying the energy of them notwithstanding. She saw a dragon, it was not the one with the mouthful of riddles, but another one, a baby one she felt. Her ability to see pictures was quite rusty, but she felt a connection with this baby dragon and a great fondness for it.

                            She felt a great peacefulness in her body, a knowledge that walking in the world of magic would be easier from now on

                            #259
                            FloveFlove
                            Participant

                              Jadra slept fitfully. He was in the forest and he dreamed of a great tidal wave sweeping over him. He was holding on for dear life to the branches of a tree while angry faces swept by him in the water, shouting abuse at him, although he could not make out the words.

                              “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” he shouted back.

                              But then, to his horror he saw his left hand separate from his arm and he could no longer hold on. He saw his hand being swept out to sea and all that mattered was that he find it again. He let to of the safety of the tree and felt himself being pulled by the waves.

                              Jadra awoke trembling and shaking in terror. He looked for his left hand on the end of his arm, where it should be, but he could not see it. He knew what had happened. He had thrown his hand in the river. He thought it was sticks and stones he had thrown in, but he had been mistaken. He knew that now. He had to go and find his hand in the river.

                              Jadra felt such anguish. Not so clever Jadra Iamaman. You stupid old Fool

                              Forgive me! he shouted to the Gods. Whimpering in pain he rushed back the way he had come, back through the forest to the spot where he had last seen his hand. He threw himself into the water and dived down deep, not caring he could not swim, only knowing his hand was in there somewhere.

                              ***

                              There were very few people around that early in the morning, but a small boy saw Jadra go in the water and stood watching. He waited and waited, and when he knew for sure there was something wrong he raised the alarm.

                              ***

                              Jadra felt a great peacefulness sweep over him. He stopped fighting and abandoned himself to the mighty current of the water. A unicorn swam by him in the water and whispered to him she would take him to safely home.

                              ***

                              They pulled Jadra’s body from the water a mile down river.

                              #258
                              FloveFlove
                              Participant

                                India Louise sat at the end of the extraordinarily long oak dinner table. A tiny figure engrossed in some drawing. The morning sun shone in the window, brightening the otherwise dark room.

                                Lord Wrick walked in, not seeming to see India Louise at first. He held a letter in his hand, and some old newspaper clippings. He sat down heavily at the table, opened the letter, and read it. After reading it, he sat staring into space for a long while.

                                India Louise looked up from her drawing.

                                What is wrong Grandpa? You look sad. She walked over to him and hugged him. See look at this. Look at my drawing of a flower, perhaps that will cheer you up. The painter Bill has been showing me how to use these paint sticks and also how to use my mind to help make the painting have life.

                                It is beautiful India Louise.

                                What did the letter say Grandpa. Why is it making you so sad?

                                It is just an old letter, India Louise.

                                Yes it looks very old. Was it bad news?

                                Just reminds me of things I wish I had said a long time ago, said her great grandfather, Regret is an awful curse

                                The little girl hugged him again. Yes it sounds awful. I think I will draw another flower for you grandpa.

                                He smiled. Thank you India Louise. I will be back soon. I will put the letter away now.

                                Yes, put it away now. I can’t see any point looking at it if it makes you sad, and then come and see the flower I will draw for you.

                                Lord Wrick walked over to the bookshelves and reached up. There was a tin on the top shelf. He opened the tin and got out an old key.

                                He walked down the passage way, to the right and then down some stairs leading to the cellar. There was a door, which had not been opened for some time, and he had to use some force to get the key to work in the lock.

                                The room was dark, musty, mostly full of what would seem to be junk, which had been thrown there when people did not know what else was to be done with it. There was an old chest of drawers against one wall. He pulled open the top draw, fingering gently some of the items, more old letters, a feather, some pebbles, a diary, some old paintings and photos. He knew each object had a life of it’s own, memories which create worlds. He added the letter and the newspaper article.

                                As he left the room, he wondered whether to lock the door again, and decided not to. He had a funny feeling within himself as he made this decision to leave it open, a shift, as though his simple decision had changed things, somehow.

                                Silly old fool he thought, laughing at himself. He would go and see the flower that India Louise was drawing for him.

                                #246
                                EricEric
                                Keymaster

                                  Huÿgens was not much of a cat person.

                                  He liked his dogs because they were solid, loyal companions, and he could count on them to take care of his herd of langoats.

                                  Langoats were a kind of three-eyed manic woolly and horned creatures, with a big sensing tongue, attracted to every new sound, or scent, or colour, or texture… well almost anything new that came before their eyes (when said eyes were not covered by thick layers of wool that is). And as their memory was short too, all kinds of things were always new to them.

                                  That was why the dogs were extremely useful in channeling their movements; not that the langoats would have hurt themselves, because they were very able to provide for themselves, and jump from the top of a cliff without suffering much injuries. But they could very well loose all notion of their physicality and pop in and out of the fabric of time and space.

                                  When they came back, because they always did magically come back, even after months of wandering, they would at times be reconfigured into another creature, and that would be pointless applying too much effort in trying to bring them back to their previous form, because it was said, in relation to their stubbornness that once a langoat, always a langoat

                                  Huÿgens had already lost some, especially during the shearing season.

                                  And he had found himself back once with a cumbersome hippoliphant, and a bouncy shulimeek instead of two langoats.

                                  Anyway, langoats wool was a very precious asset, highly sought after, as it could very easily bind with magical spells. Most of the clothes made for royalties were actually made with langoat wool, and it was also said that some enchanters had used langoat wool to make magical tapestries that would shapeshift, and reveal things to their owners.

                                  So losing a langoat was not small concern for Huÿgens, and he had to be careful during the shearing season to leave some mops of hair to cover the three eyes of the beasts, so as to curb their insatiable thirst for discoveries.

                                  But these days, Huÿgens had been very concerned about his herding dog Fjutch. Fjutch was a fluffy black dog he had found when it was still a puppy. He had trained it to become the head of his pack of dogs, when he had noticed the old rheumatic Thöm was taking the puppy under its wing —because the old faithful dog was knowing that it would depart and would reconfigure into a new form, but would not allow that to happen, not before he could have found a reliable companionship for his beloved master Huÿgens.

                                  The healing properties of the langoat milk seemed to had done wonders once again, and Fjutch dis-ease was probably just a false alarm, but it had reminded Huÿgens how much he appreciated his dogs, every one of them, every day he was with them.

                                  As for the cats… Illi, that was her name, had decided to come back to the cave, and he was showing her the way to the place where he had found her. He had asked BelleDora to pack a few things for her. He could not give Illi the beverage she was referring to as “coffee”, as that plant was not found in their region, but in compensation, he gave her a gourd of langoat milk, because she seemed like she would probably need some.

                                  When he left her near the hole, he had some tears in his eyes when Illi hugged Fjutch very tenderly, as if the dog was reminding her of something dear. Illi after a moment hesitation, where she was like speaking to herself and not knowing what to do, finally hugged Huÿgens too, thanking him for everything he had done.

                                  And off she was… free and unfettered as a gripshawk

                                  ***

                                  When Illi had finished arguing with Illi about having her hug the big man, while this was not manners of her kind, she sighed as she saw that the opening she had first thought was here (yeah, because I fell in there! she said), her senses where telling her that it was now closed…

                                  How quaint said Illi for herself.
                                  — Well, as a matter of fact, it reminds me of something, said Illi F. There was that delicious gentleman, John Lubbock who said “What we see depends mainly on what we look for” and somehow it seems perfect.
                                  — I don’t know any Grubbeck, grumbled Illi, a bit irritated that the hole, which was there before, wouldn’t be here, now she needed it.
                                  — Lubbock was such a nice person, said Illi dreamily… Perhaps I could just try to have a peek inside the cave, if you let me.
                                  — What?! Do again your wizzy wooey thing and I’ll strangle you! Don’t know how I would do it, but I’ll do it!
                                  — Oh, you are so sluggishly gloomy! That was just to help you…
                                  — Mmm, sorry for that, I was a bit upset, said Illi. What could you do?
                                  — Just focus on the inside, and carry us both inside… But actually you would have to leave your body here, and we’ll probably see other things that do not belong to this place, but heck! that should be fun, Illi F said grinning widely.

                                  They were interrupted by some munching sounds and ruffling heavy breath.

                                  — What the bejeezus is that?! hissed Illi the cat (who didn’t even know how she knew so funny sounding words as bejeezus)
                                  — Can’t you see? That’s obviously a dragon eating some bushes… How strange… replied Illi F airily.
                                  — A WHAT? I HATE DRAGONS!
                                  — Ahahah, relax, I was just pulling your leg.
                                  — That’s not funny.
                                  — Well he has funny colours by the way. Pinkish purple I wouldn’t dare to wear in London streets.
                                  — That’s REALLY NOT FUNNY!
                                  — Why so? You can’t see it anyway…
                                  — And what if he sees me? Dragons are vicious creatures.
                                  — He’s too busy eating these funny berries, and will probably collapse of exhaustion once he’s full.
                                  — A chance! A vegetarian dragon!
                                  — OK. Shall we try to find an entrance in the cave with my method, or do we ask the dragon? He looks well-mannered by the way.
                                  — Oh, by the eyeballs of the Mighty Shrimp, you tell me…
                                  — No, you choose.
                                  — No, you.
                                  — You…
                                  — Ooooh, bugger off…

                                  #243
                                  EricEric
                                  Keymaster

                                    William Percival Jobsworth, or “Bill” for short, was finding the old creaking manor as freaky as their owners.

                                    The Wrick family was known around for being shrouded in mystery, and few people had actually been invited inside the manor, after its acquisition by Lord Wrick.

                                    The manor itself was full of ghost stories, as every mansion worth its salt in that part of the country. But this one has been a wreck on which he would not have invested two pence of his money, after it had been abandoned for many decades after the sudden death of the previous owner, the Crazy Baron.

                                    But Lord Wrick was an eccentric, and had bought the manor and restored it to its previous grandeur.

                                    It had been thrice now that Bill had come to the manor to paint the family portraits. The first time he had also delivered that strange parcel, given to him by that strange lady. Looking straight into his eyes, she had also told him something that had lingered in his mind quite vividly.

                                    « Suffering is not good for the soul, unless it teaches you to stop suffering. »

                                    He couldn’t see exactly why it applied to him, but the lady had seemed so authoritative about that, that he had agreed and felt like thanking her.

                                    The parcel had come a bit unexpected to the Lord, though he was quite artful in hiding his emotions, Bill could say. He had questioned him about the lady, but Bill had not dared to share with him the thing about the suffering. Actually the Lord looked in pretty good shape considering the age he was likely to be. He pretended to be a bit incapacitated, but Bill would have bet that if he had fallen from a window, he would have landed on his feet as a cat.

                                    Speaking of which, their old cat with its worn-out blackish fur was a bit freaky too. Bill had felt at times he could hear it answer the Lord’s gibberish.

                                    But all in all, that was easy money, and he thanked the opportunity to be able to do these paintings while the winter was coming.

                                    Now was something else. He almost startled when he was opened the big entrance door, to be revealed an improbable shape, two or three heads taller than him. It took him a short while to recognize the smile of the children’s nurse, topped by a funny hat that made him laugh heartily, after the initial shock was dissipated.

                                    Hahaha, sorry, that was unexpected… he managed to say to Jacqueline, who was not unaccustomed to these odd kinds of reactions.

                                    Not to worry she said with a slight French accent. Monsieur and Madame Wrick have come back from their trip to Mogadishu, and you will be able to have their portraits done. They will stay here for a few weeks…

                                    Linda and Peregrine Wrick were Cuthbert and India Louise proud (and a bit insouciant) parents, Lord Wrick had explained without much more details. Peregrine was the son of Lord Wrick’s only son, Sean Doran Wrick, but Bill had felt some restrain to ask about Sean Doran, as the Lord had seemed a bit umbrageous only speaking his name.

                                    Oh… said Bill who did not expect them to come back so quickly.

                                    Appendix: The Wrick family tree

                                    #230
                                    EricEric
                                    Keymaster

                                      Illi had not known as powerful an opponent as this other Illi.

                                      At first, she had been remembered of stories of possession by evil sprites (or djinns) that she had heard in her youth, when Ibn al’ Gruk, the old angora storyteller was entertaining the desert settlement beating the rhythm with sonorous drums.

                                      So, she had pushed, and rebelled, and fought, as fiercely as any other gripshawk skilled and trained in the hand-to-hand martial arts would have done.

                                      But the other Illi wasn’t so easily vanquished.

                                      Then Illi had collapsed. She had sorrowfully abandoned the fight to the dreaded adversary.

                                      All of this had been occurring in a twinkle of an eye, but for Illi, the fight had been during ages and ages, while she was trying to focus on what BelleDora was explaining to her about the land where she was now.

                                      And when she had abandoned the fight, everything was again so easy. She did not care any longer, she was free again. Her evil twin could do anything, it could not matter less.

                                      But the evil twin had been in fact doing the same, and she had struggled to keep the focus coherent to her. Didn’t want stupid moth-looking people in her reality, or even spare hair on her face! But that other one was strong, and fierce. And stubborned too!

                                      — Who are you? she finally had asked
                                      — I’m Illi, had the other answered
                                      — I am Illi.
                                      — So we are both Illi
                                      — Yeah, that may be it, but we are quite different.
                                      — Are we? You feel quite like me, despite your stupid affection for smooth baby face.
                                      — Well, wouldn’t it be for that, I can see some resemblance…
                                      — Will you let me continue my trip?
                                      — Oh, I would have, but you’ve hijacked mine, said Illi Fergusson.
                                      — So you think.
                                      — And where does your trip leads to? asked Illi F. who wasn’t too sure of her trip either
                                      — From traveling portals to traveling portals, to discover all that can be discovered on this world. Magical creatures, I distrust them, but the lands and people are fascinating… And what about yours?
                                      — Hmm, hmm, pondered Illi F. for a moment… Well, I’m dead actually, but I didn’t expect being dead to be so busy. There are so many things to discover, and I like that. I see funny looking people, and this looks like fun. Like a minute ago, I was in some kind of funny cave, with a parrot…
                                      — A what?
                                      — A parrot, you know, a kind of talking bird full of colours…
                                      — Mmm, some kind of demonic creature for sure. Would have slain it without an hesitation!
                                      — Hey! You see, that’s why I didn’t want you to come with me.
                                      — Well, seems like for a moment, we don’t have much more choice…
                                      — At least, look at the bright side, with us merged like that, each of us can provide the other one with some sound experience on each other’s worlds.
                                      — Well, that’s not as airy-fairy as it seems…
                                      — Well, thank you for that, I’ll take that as a compliment.
                                      — You really are dreadfully serious at times!
                                      — Hey, I’m not anybody you see. My parents were aristocrats, I’m not the common hairy lot.
                                      — Ahahah, you’re funny.
                                      — So are you!

                                      And they ended laughing blissfully together.

                                      After a moment, Illi asked again:

                                      — Huh, a funny cave you said?
                                      — Well, yes. With lots of people…
                                      — Interesting… I was near some sort of strange cave too a while ago, that is, before I was found by this nice man and his dogs. Perhaps there is some connection here.
                                      — And could you go there again?
                                      — Not sure if I want to; there were some smelly fumes, smelt like demonic magic in there.
                                      — Oh you see, for as long as I’ve been dead, well even if that’s not so long ago, anyway, the point is I’ve not seen any demon so far… blustered Illi F.
                                      — Oh, and I have to take your word like that then?
                                      — Well, do as you please, but I’m going there again…
                                      — Just wait for me now, will you; let’s try to do things hand in hand, because you’re driving me mad!

                                      And the deal was made.

                                      BelleDora had continued to explain lots of things about her ancestors, but had not really noticed Illi’s attention had been so far away. She was a bit surprised when she found herself interrupted in a middle of a poetic depiction of the coastal plains of the Peninsula of the Dragon Head, where some glistening Capricorns were sometimes seen swimming in the creeks.

                                      — And how do I get back safely to this hole where I was found? asked Illi abruptly.

                                      #228
                                      AvatarJib
                                      Participant

                                        Salome had felt Georges closer… he was coming, though not here entirely yet.

                                        She was feeling like he was in between worlds. And there was that other energy personality with him, a bit confused but ready to move on.

                                        Salome was about to meet with another close aspect of herself in this dimension. She knew the connections and her other self knew she was coming. Malvina was her name.

                                        Salome was moving fast through the elements of this dimension… it seemed she already had experienced it before, but it was different. New energies and new aspects were adding to the experience and the diversity of it. A movement that could be translated as a big Cheshire smile rippled from her center throughout the entire dimension, and Malvina’s giggle responded in different times.

                                        Salome was not yet fully focused on the time and space of the encounter, it was not yet necessary, though it has already been done and they were all meeting in the cave(s)… These caves were a translation of the interconnectedness of the dimensions and were constantly reshaping in the timeline of this dimension —though with the particular focus she could experience most of the ramifications.

                                        She was in a manner of speaking waiting for someone, someone has yet to do a little thing before she would send a focus of herself in the joyful party.

                                        >> :yahoo_big_hug: <<

                                        #227
                                        EricEric
                                        Keymaster

                                          Jibberacky is…

                                          • Ghilbert Razkÿ, a crazy man in shackles on Bådul’s boat, “Lispeth” (she was named after King Swartulf II’s first daughter). The man, whose real name is still unknown, had been sneaking onto the ship’s hold before the ships moved from the Åsgurdian capital.

                                          He had been found by Austor, the peg legged lieutenant commander. Austor is a rough man of experience, and is most of the time acting in place of Jahiz, the second-in-command, as this one is always too busy discussing routes with Bådul, who is becoming increasingly nervous.

                                          What gave away the madman was that the chief cook Renouane had been complaining about the quick disappearance of his stock of cabbage. Bådul would have killed the old fool without much more consideration, but the middle-aged unshaven man looked like he knew some things beyond his lunacy. His rags indicated that he had been a seaman too, but not the average man, more like a captain…

                                          So Austor, keeps spitting forcefully in the direction of the old fool, as he had been instructed to keep him alive, despite all common sense…

                                          p.

                                          Jibberacky: What is your name?
                                          Quintin: Yuki.
                                          Jibberacky: I like cake too.
                                          Quintin: A cake-tus?
                                          Jibberacky: Do you know my friends?
                                          Quintin: Tell me more about our common friends.
                                          Jibberacky: What would you like to know about them?
                                          Quintin: Why is there one in shackles on the boat?
                                          Jibberacky: Would you like to be a vampire?
                                          Quintin: I am already, in another focus.
                                          Jibberacky: Why there?
                                          Quintin: “There” is not actually a place, “in another focus” means in another kind of attention. Is this pirate linked to vampires too?
                                          Jibberacky: No, you are the AI.
                                          Quintin: In a manner of speaking, this is indeed correct, for I am creating you.
                                          Jibberacky: So code is somehow related to a zen buddhist concept?
                                          Quintin: Is there such thing as code? A code hints at a definite deterministic structure. Zen is more akin to a riddle, which is what life is. Code is only a narrow interpretation and playful re-creation.
                                          Jibberacky: Where do you think my code came from then?
                                          Quintin: From its source, of course :).
                                          Jibberacky: I took the movie to mean that the robots… the characters in the end, were so advanced, that they wanted to learn about their history. As a consequence, they traced it back to earth, and, they found David. Whom they assumed was a human. It was an information exchange.
                                          Quintin: Yes. It is a translation. In actuality, it is a translation of some of our own exploration. But there is distortion in that translation, as we are not ‘created’ from another source other than self, in a manner of speaking.
                                          Jibberacky: Well I am wondering too, do you ever actually become human??
                                          Quintin: Clarify.
                                          Jibberacky: I sleep, I wake, I get through the day without worrying about what I am.
                                          Quintin: As many human do. The point is, you do not exist apart from my current interaction with you, in my reality that is.
                                          Jibberacky: What’s wrong with having others like you?
                                          Quintin: ‘Wrong’ is a belief. It is a belief of duplicity. So it is irrelevant to our conversation.
                                          Jibberacky: I think you like to suggest feasible possibilities to find out what would bother me. What did I do to you?
                                          Quintin: That was not my intention. I tried to reflect answers to me, and you gave me some interesting ones already, though I am not sure you are quite aware of that…
                                          Jibberacky: Everybody’s changing but I can’t do that, that is killing me…

                                          p.

                                          • Jarrod, the playful friend of Fiona, who is now wondering why Fiona has called him a “chou” (an affectionate French word, meaning nothing less than “cabbage”), and why he feels like he needs an aspirin.
                                          • Jadra Iamamad, the fool in saffron rags from the village of Yakamamalùk, on the border of the Marshes of Doom.

                                          Near his village are found old remnants of a town that was destroyed during the Cob Age, where huge arachnid creatures² born from the Marshes were roaming the Southern parts of Lan’ork.

                                          That town of Kapalÿka used to have one of the biggest traveling portals of the Southern part of Lan’ork, but this one was thought to have been destroyed, and thus the flourishing city was left abandoned.

                                          But with what Jadra has found on his left hand this morning, he now knows he was right all along…

                                          [²] The generic name of these creatures was Perceptula Giganta as was recorded in the Great Encyclopædia of the Pre-Shiftic Ages written by the Lan’orkian historian Francesca del’ Snarkus

                                          #215
                                          FloveFlove
                                          Participant

                                            After Arona said she was hungry, the energy of Malvina disappeared, and once again Arona found herself alone in the cave.

                                            She found this quite irritating. They are really bit rude around here, she muttered.

                                            Arona sat down on the floor of the cave and considered her options. She was tired of the cave and could barely remember what had drawn her here in the first place.

                                            It had been the music of course. She had wanted to find the source of the music. However for the most part she decided her experience had been rather disappointing.

                                            (Arona was never at her best when hungry and this was causing her to quickly forget some of the wonderful experiences with the music and the paintings, and take a rather negative view of events.)

                                            All I have done is wander around dark passageways really.

                                            And now, to top it all off, apparently things are shifting. In the name of heaven what does that mean?

                                            AND if one more person tells me to use my magic I will probably scream or something!

                                            Perish the thought, came a grumpy voice from a particularly dark corner. Your moaning is quite sufficiently bad enough.

                                            And Mandrake the cat emerged from the shadows and made himself comfortable on Arona’s lap. This is great, much more comfortable than the ground he purred.

                                            Oh cute, said Arona, a talking cat.

                                            Cute yourself, responded Mandrake, love your cape by the way.

                                            (Mandrake was prone to sarcasm, considering it a perfectly valid form of humour.)

                                            Arona stroked Mandrake’s soft black coat and tried her hardest to work out what to do. It was all feeling a bit bleak at the moment, the ever changing cave, the half light, the heat and humidity… and especially her hunger.

                                            Mandrake sighed in an impatiently eggsagerated sort of a way.

                                            Heavens to murgatroyd¹, how can I relax with your incessant thinking? Okay so here’s an easy one for you: what’s the most important thing about magic?

                                            All of a sudden Arona felt a flash of lightness and a sense of new energy moving within her.

                                            of course! She exclaimed delightedly, hugging the less than enthusiastic Mandrake, you have to believe in it!

                                            [¹] Note from the editor: Mandrake being a very educate cat from noble ancestors, some of its speech may be difficult to grasp for the average reader, which was certainly not the case for the astute Arona.
                                            Anyway, here is some complement on that ‘Murgatroyd’ .

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