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 Post subject: Blood and Magic - an interactive story - part 4
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Samanayr Wrangler
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This is an interactive story, kind of like a 'choose your own adventure' XD When we reach a fork in the story, you'll be able to vote on what you think should happen. I have no idea how long this will end up being, but I'm hoping three long posts at the most, and then I guess we'll find out the fate of Glint's little Misery Sa'krien daughter.

This is part one - enojy!


--

She was stalking him again. Glint of the Ice Prism could hear the quiet crunch of pine needles as she rushed along through the undergrowth, trying to pace him, and an occasional curse muttered in her high-pitched voice. Certainly not words that he had taught her, although truthfully he hadn't been able to teach her much of anything.

Glint stopped abruptly on the path and looked over his right shoulder. "Come out, Sharp. I know you're there."

There was a pause and then she emerged from the bushes, muttering under her breath. Twigs and tiny yellow and red leaves were tangled in the grey mane that ran down her back, and her hide was criss-crossed with scratches. Her brilliant red eyes met Glint's before she looked away sullenly.

"I thought you wouldn't hear me that time," the filly muttered. "I've been practicing."

"I know, Sharp," Glint said, using the filly's nickname again. He walked closer to stand over, still a head taller than the half-grown filly.. for now. "Fan said you nearly scared the life out of her this morning leaping out of the hotspring at her, and Bloom's filly still won't leave her side. What were you thinking, attacking her like that?"

Sharp dug at the path with a sharp hoof, still not looking at him. "We were just playing." She couldn't hold in a snicker. "I got her good, though."

Even without his empathetic abilties, it was very easy to tell that the filly was pretty pleased with herself. Glint just looked at her, feeling slightly desperate. The stalking, the attacks, the fear she put in her half-brother and -sisters, and the joy she took in it all. What a nightmare.

Glint still had no idea what had come over Shadow of the Secret Rainbow. The Sharians had gifted him and his Song with a number of their magical modiems for the Festival of New Spring, an impressive selection that his expecting mares had talked endlessly over. Which traits? Which species? So many options!

When the day came for the modiems to be used, Glint and his mares had gathered in a circle at their hotspring. The mares took turns and watched each other as they crushed the modiems beneath their hooves to unleash their magic.

Mystic... Wings... Phoenix tail...

And then Shadow's turn. She looked around the circle and then crushed her modiems, quickly whispering her words:

Wing tines... Bone Wings... Misery... Sa'krien...

Immediately after speaking the words Shadow had squealed and bolted from the circle, watched wordlessly by Glint and the other mares. It took hours to find her, but Glint had finally discovered her curled beneath a tree and sobbing as though her heart had broken.

Glint still remembered watching her, so many emotions vying for dominance - fear, confusion, and yes, even a little pride. Their foal would be monstrous, but still something unique, something special. However, he buried this thought as soon as it surfaced, and finally found himself able to speak.

"Shadow... why?"

The mare hadn't responded, only continued to sob.

Now Glint looked down at the result of their union and the ill-used Sharian magic. The filly was looking around with an appearance of disinterest, but every so often she glanced over at Glint as if to gauge his mood. Whatever she saw seemed to please her, and she smirked slightly as she tossed her mane out of her eyes. It had grown much longer lately, Glint noticed. She and the other foals were only a few months away from their Naming. Not long after that she would truly begin to grasp her magical abilities.

"I'm sending you away," Glint said suddenly, coming to a decision he had been turning over in his mind since the filly was born and Shadow had begged him to take her away.

This was enough to take the smirk from the filly's face and she looked directly at him, her red-eyed gaze intent. "Away? Where?"

Where indeed. Glint still hadn't come to a decision as to where the filly would go. As it was, she hardly belonged with the Song of the Rainbow. Shadow had refused to suckle the filly when she was new born, leaving the task to a reluctant Fan and Reach while Bloom kept her Mystic filly well away from the Sa'krien Misery. Shadow had barely spoken two words to Sharp since she was born, avoiding the rest of the Song and leaving her young foal to fend for herself. Glint tried to pick up the parenting slack, but Sharp was not an easy filly to parent. He also had three other young foals to tend to and a Hotspring to run. There just wasn't time to help her adjust, no time to try and tame the fierce and violent instincts of Misery and Sa'krien that had burned inside her from birth.

He hadn't wanted to send her away. When the four foals had been introduced to the other Samanayrs at the Festival, Glint had made it clear that Sharp was just as much a part of them as the others. To remove her from them now would be a sign of his failure as the Song's stallion, but what else could she do? If they had hidden her away from birth, or seen to it that she received adequate care earlier on.. but it was too late now. She would just become more and more dangerous as she grew older.

After much internal debate, Glint had narrowed it down to two places.

To the north was a group of Elder Mystics, seen by the Samanayrs as the unofficial leaders of the Mystics as a whole. They might be able to help steer the filly to a more positive path than the one she currently walked, or at least control her as she grew into her magical abilities. He had had dealings with them before, oh yes, but hopefully they would overlook that to the more pressing problem of the filly. They were a couple of day's easy travel away.

To the east was Rider of the Sharp Wind. After bolting at the sight of the Sharians at their initial meeting, he had set up camp in the mountains beyond the Enkeyn home of Kenist Miana. Although Glint still hadn't learned why he feared the Sharians so, he still kept in touch with the Rider and his huge falcon Halcyon and knew that they came from the far side of the continent. Surely they would know of something or someone that could help with the filly? Maybe they had even seen her like before? His home was several day's travel through the mountains, unless he could enlist the assistance of an Enkeyn.

With the filly still watching him, Glint finally decided.

--

What should happen next? Vote here - viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1619

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 Post subject: Re: Blood and Magic - an interactive story - part two
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:21 am 
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Samanayr Wrangler
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Nothing to vote on here, but this was getting long so I thought I'd post it for now. Also a sketch!

--

"To see Rider," Glint said, deciding at last. Now that he thought about it, it probably wasn't a good idea to bring Sharp to them, especially given his history with that particular bunch. Sharp was still his daughter, whatever else she was, and he did not want to her to endure whatever the Mystics would put her up to. If they allowed her to live at all.

"He may know somewhere we can take you to get help," he continued.

Sharp continued to stare at him and Glint had to force himself not to shift his weight uncomfortably. Instead he stared back until she looked away.

"Why?" Sharp finally said, her voice trembling a little. Glint was surprised to see she was shaking slightly. Fear, he thought, at least until he reached out with his empathic abilities to get a reading on her emotions. She was excited, so excited she could hardly contain herself, but trying her best to hide it. Her emotions also carried a feeling of triumph and accomplishment.

Had she been trying to get herself sent away?

"I think we both know why," Glint said, making an effort to keep his own voice level. He was successful, but barely. "You are coming into your magical abilities and require training that we are unable to offer. You have also made it clear you do not wish to be a part of the Song. The attack on your sister.. we were fortunate a Healer was visiting, otherwise she may not have regained use of that leg."

He dropped his voice and leaned towards her. "I also know about the mice."

Unable to contain a squeak of dismay, Sharp's gaze darted to Glint and then away again just as quickly. She took a deep breath and finally said, "I don't know what you're talking about." They both knew that was a lie. Skilled as she may be in other areas, she was very poor at lies.

Glint has discovered this little hobby of hers when she was not too much younger, just starting to explore the area around the Hotsprings. He had come across a clearing strewn with tattered butterfly wings, and a closer look revealed the wingless butterflies crawling around on the ground. The next time Sharp disappeared Glint had followed her, and was unsurprised to watch her capturing butterflies and tugging their wings off with her sharp little Sa'krien milk-teeth.

Butterflies were one thing, many foals played with them before being caught and scolded by their parents. Glint had confronted Sharp about the butterflies and was assured it would not happen again. To his knowledge it hadn't, but then she had moved on to mice...

Sa'kriens required meat in their diets, he knew that much. He just didn't know if they also killed and tormented for sport, or if that was a trait uinque to Sharp's particular combination. He just knew that it was yet another aspect of her personality he felt unable to handle.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sharp said again, waves of panic clearly coming off of her while she struggled to look at him.

Glint shook his head, choosing not to acknowledge the lie. "We will go to see Rider," he repeated. "It is my hope he will be able to tell us of a place we can take you to be educated, where you will fit in better."

"Fine, fine, let's go!" The filly brushed past him on the path, clearly relieved that the topic of the mice had been dropped. Then she stopped. "Does.. does Shadow know?"

Oh yes, she knew. The mare had cried when he had told her his idea, this time with relief. Glint still felt uncomfortable thinking of her reaction to having her daughter taken away, probably forever.

"Yes," was all he said.

"Is she coming to say goodbye?"

Glint hesitated, then said, "No." Shadow had disappeared again, he had no idea where, but even if she had been around he would not have been able to convince her to bid farewell to the filly.

"Oh, okay." Sharp tried her best to sound nonchalant, but Glint could see that it was a struggle. Although she always tried to present an independant and tough front, he knew she desired, absolutely craved, attention from her mother. The few times they had been together Sharp had trailed after the mare, chattering endlessly, seeking approval, met only with indifference.

Maybe if Glint had paid more attention, showed her more affection, forced Shadow to spend more time with her... but he didn't think that would have been enough. Even if Sharp had not been what she was, all foals needed attention from their mothers.

Glint sighed, wishing he knew what to say, but nothing came to him. He had never been very good with the foals. "Come," he said instead. "We will reach Kenist Miana before dark if we leave now. I hope to convince an Enkeyn to take us to Rider."

He hoped the mention of Enkeyns would get a response from her - all of the foals seemed absolutely fascinated with them - but Sharp just nodded and started trotting down the path. Glint sighed again quietly and followed, matching her quick pace.

The walk to Kenist Miana was only about an hour, but they had begun in late afternoon and the days were growing shorter as autumn advanced. They walked in silence, Glint still following behind Sharp and letting her slow and speed up as she liked. Other Samanayrs occasionally approached them on the path, giving Glint curt nods and ignoring the filly altogether. If it were any of the other foals, Glint knew, they would be cooing over them and maybe even initiating brief games of tag. Sharp couldn't help what she was, and it struck Glint how unfair this was. She was still a filly, no matter her species.

Of course, given the openly contemptuous looks that Sharp favored many of the other Samanayrs with, she would not have tolerated cooing or games.

The small path they were on eventually met up with the narrow road that led to Expedition HQ, which in turn ended at the main road. A large wooden gate blocked the smaller road, but Glint and Sharp fit easily through the Samanayr-sized openings along the bottom of the gate. The main road was quiet and dusty, rutted with the tracks of long-departed carts, and after checking to make sure nobody was coming they crossed to the entrance of Kenist Miana.

"Why did they build their home right across the road from ours?" Sharp asked, speaking for the first time since her denial of the mice.

"I have no idea." Glint's voice was sour. "With the whole of Tey'shar open to them.. but nevermind."

The track heading off the main road to Kenist Miana was wider than the one at the Hotsprings and marked only with two large stone poles, no gate. Symbols were carved into the poles that Glint could not read, if indeed they meant anything.

They continued to walk down the road in silence. Trees arched across the path overhead, creating a canopy of branches and leaves in the brilliant colors of autumn, lit by the golden late afternoon sun. There was silence but for the trills and chirps of birds far overhead, unalarmed by the passage of the small creatures below, unaware that one of them could cause them harm if they ventured too close.

It was peaceful and beautiful, but as they advanced Glint grew more and more irritable. Sharp's question about the location of Kenist Miana was one that frequently nagged at him as well. The Song of the Rainbow Hotsprings had been established well before the Enkeyn's had arrived, and with all the land available to choose from he didn't know why they would decide to live so close. It wasn't as if they ever had anything to do with the Samanayrs, besides occasionally flying too close over the hotsprings and scaring the foals. It was all wasted territory that should have belonged to the Samanayrs, in Glint's opinion.

Not that there were enough Samanayrs to require expanding so far east, but still.

They arrived at the true gates of Kenist Miana as the golden light was beginning to fade. A massive metal gate and a tall stone wall stretched off into the trees on either side of the gate. Glint thought the gate was rather unnecessary since an Enkeyn was sprawled snoozing across the path, effectively blocking anyone from entering.

He recognized the Enkeyn as Eko, one of the group of Enkeyn leaders known as the Almanenkeyn. He was of average size for an Enkeyn, about fifteen feet long, but was several times the size of Glint and Sharp. The brown and gold patterns on his mostly white coat were faded to dust and cream, and his muzzle was grey. Old though he was, the Enkeyn watched them approach with huge black eyes that seemed as though they belonged to a much yonger Enkeyn.

Glint walked up to the Enkeyn's head, Sharp trailing uncertainly behind him. The stallion had had occasional dealings with the Enkeyns, while the filly had only seem them from a distance. Although he knew they posed no danger to them, it was still intimidating speaking to someone whose head was the size of your body.

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 Post subject: Re: Blood and Magic - an interactive story - part two
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:37 am 
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"Glint of the Ice Prism," Eko rumbled, his deep voice making the ground beneath Glint's hooves vibrate slightly. "And I take it this is the problem child."

"I'm Sharp, not a problem!" the filly blurted out before ducking back behind Glint.

The Enkeyn just chuckled. "And I am Eko, little one."

This was a side of Eko Glint had never seen before. Most of the Enkeyns were usually largely indifferent towards Samanayrs, but the presence of a foal seemed to have relaxed Eko. He was also impressed that the Enkeyn had known who the filly was. Apparently they were more observant than he had thought.

Shockingly, the Enkeyn winked a massive eye at Glint before saying, "What brings you to the home of the Enkeyns today?"

"I am seeking to visit a friend," Glint began, but the Enkeyn interrupted.

"Rider of the Sharp Wind, no doubt?"

Glint just blinked, surprised again. He had been through Kenist Miana several times to visit his friend, but was not aware Eko had noted his comings and goings at all. When Glint had to deal with the Almanenkeyns the Grass males Kohlo usually acted as their representative, and the only time Glint had seen Eko was during some Enkeyn festival about honoring neighbors and friendships or something like that.

Eko moved his head towards Glint. "I may be old," he said quietly, "and many of my kind may not acknowledge Samanayrs as the people they are, but as long as I'm alive the Samanayrs will have a friend in the Enkeyns."

This little speech seemed very out of place. All of a sudden they'd gone from Glint's visit to a bond of friendship between Samanayrs and Enkeyns? He wasn't sure what to say in response to this. "Err.."

The Enkeyn suddenly lifted his head and yawned hugely. "Forgive me. I am an old Enkeyn and do ramble on." Glint opened his mouth to say something but Eko continued on, the matter apparently dropped. "Now. I know when you have visited your friend previously you journeyed on foot, but I guess you do not wish to subject the filly to such a trek. Am I correct to assume you wish to borrow one of my kin to bear you?"

"Um. Yes, that would be good. If you could spare someone."

The Enkeyn got to his feet, towering even higher about the two Samanayrs. "I will return shortly," he said, winking at Glint again before pushing through the unlocked gates. They swung shut behind him, leaving them to wait on the path.

"He was so big!" Sharp said, a little breathlessly, as soon as the Enkeyn disappeared.

Glint smiled and nodded. "They are very big. Even the smallest youngling is larger than the largest of us."

"I wish I was big," the filly said quietly. "Big and strong!"

There was no doubt she would be too big and too strong soon enough, but Glint held his tongue.

The golden afternoon light continued to fade as they waited. Glint sat on a patch of grass near the gates and watched Sharp stalking leaves and tiny bugs among the roots of the large trees that lined the path. She really was improving, when she took the time to be stealthy, at least. It was slightly unnerving to watch the filly moving nearly silently, stepping carefully around fallen leaves and crouching low to the ground, the nubs of her still-developing wings held closely to her body. Unnerving, but also impressive. She could be a talented hunter when she was older.

Glint shivered a little at the thought, and was again glad he had not taken her to the Mystics. He sincerely hoped that Rider would have an idea of where to take Sharp.

The gates finally opened as the sky was fading to the colors of sunset and a much younger Enkeyn bounded onto the path. Sharp immediately ducked behind a tree and Glint jumped out of the way of the Enkeyn's huge feet.

Image


"Hellooooooo!" he called, looking around for the Samanayrs. Since the Enkeyn was looking up, not down, it was unlikely he would be able to spot them without help.

"We're down here!" Glint called. The Enkeyn's small ears perked up and he looked down, surprised.

"Oh! You are down there!"

It took a while to find Sharp and convince her that the Enkeyn wasn't going to step on her, and the introductions were made all around. The Enkeyn introduced himself as Odelettir Keyrseno ("but call me Odel!") and said he was Seytless, whatever that meant.

"I have always wanted to meet some Samanayrs up close," Odel said. He had lowered his head to the ground and rested it on his outstretched arms, his rear half still in the air and his tail moving back and forth slowly. He looked like a gigantic winged puppy, ready to play. "You are so tiny!"

"So we've heard," Glint said shortly. It was clear the Enkeyns were much, much larger than the Samanayrs, so why did they always have to rub it in? "Did Eko tell you where we're going?"

The Enkeyn nodded, hitting his chin on the ground and wincing a little. "Ow, bit my tongue. Yes! I know where the Rider-Samanayr lives! Let us go!"

"It's nearly dark," Glint said in surprise. "Shouldn't we wait until morning? I know it was a little presumptious to come here so late, but.."

Odel jumped up and half spread his elegant, tapering wings. "It is a short flight, no more than a couple of hours! I can be back well before moon-set, and I can see very well in the dark!"

Glint was skeptical. It would only be half-moon that night, and clouds were beginning to roll in. Not enough to cause worry for poor weather, but enough to block the moon's light. This didn't seem to concern Odel, though. Should they go with him now or try to convince him to postpone their departure until morning?

--

What should happen next? Vote here - viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1619

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 Post subject: Re: Blood and Magic - an interactive story - part 3
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:40 am 
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It took some doing, but Glint finally convinced Odel that they should wait until morning to depart. The Enkeyn sighed and let his wings droop dramatically, his black eyes catching the last of the sunlight. "I was looking forward to a night flight, I have not done one in ages! Oh well, you had best come with me."

Glint blinked at the Enkeyn. "I thought we would return in the morning?"

"Nonsense!" Odel bounded over the heads of the two Samanayrs and landed on the path behind them. Sharp squeaked and briefly buried her face in Glint's mane, although she moved away from him quickly. "You will stay with me tonight! No point in having you make the journey back there and then back here again!"

The Enkeyn lowered his head and moved towards the Samanayrs as if preparing to nudge them forward. Glint scooted towards the gates before the massive head could reach them, Sharp close on his heels. "Sounds good! Thank you!" Odel seemed nice enough, but Glint didn't like the idea of those large teeth being any closer to him than was necessary.

Pleased, Odel skipped behind them (no mean feat for such a large creature) and closed the gates once they had all passed through. The few structures near the gates loomed high above them, lit only by a few dim light globes. There didn't appear to be anyone else around.

"Most of us live in the caves," Odel explained as they walked down a path that headed towards the mountains, the ground sloping upwards. "We can stay in one of the visitor caves since they are on the ground and I still need to be harnessed and my cave is up high."

"Thank you.. for all of this," Glint said, puffing a little. "We sincerely.. appreciate it."

"It is not a problem!" The Enkeyn walked with slow, deliberate steps, taking one to every ten of the Samanayrs'. "As I said, I have always wanted to meet Samanayrs up close, and this is as close as you can get! And Eko asked me to take care of you. I understand you are very important, which means your daughter must be important too."

Sharp snorted. "I'm not important.. yet," Glint heard her mutter. Choosing to ignore the filly's comment, Glint thanked the Enkeyn again for his consideration.

Full dark had fallen by the time they reached an empty visitor cave. The entrance was a short scramble up a rocky incline, but both of the Samanayrs were able to make it without help from the Enkeyn. Odel spoke a word that Glint didn't understand, and light globes burst into life to illuminate the space.

It was cozier than he would have though, with a thick woven mat of dried grass covering the stone floor and warmth coming from a large, smooth stone set in the wall - a magical warming stone? A large slab of stone piled high with furs and woven cloth filled most of the cave.

Odel pulled some furs and cloth from the platform and formed a cozy little nest on the ground for the Samanayrs. Glint was hesitant about sleeping on the hide of an animal, but Sharp didn't seem to share his reluctance. The filly burrowed into the nest, declared it the most comfortable bed ever, and went to sleep almost immediately.

The light globes dimmed almost to nothing at Odel's voice, and he pulled a thick curtain over the cave's entrance. The Enkeyn then rolled himself in the cloth and furs remaining on the stone slab while Glint lay gingerly down beside Sharp.

"Good night!" the Enkeyn whispered in a voice loud enough to wake Sharp, although the filly went quickly back to sleep.

Although their bed was, admittedly, very comfortable, Glint found himself unable to sleep. Thoughts rolled over and over inside his head - was he doing the right thing? Would Sharp be okay? How had she come into being at all? The same thoughts, no new information, no new ideas. He finally drifted off to sleep, troubled but comfortable, his confusing little filly beside him.

--

A shrill scream roused Glint suddenly from sleep. He had no idea how much time had passed since he had fallen asleep, but Sharp was no longer beside him and the filly-shaped indentation in their bed was cold.

Odel leaped from his bed and through the curtain across the cave entrance, shouting something that Glint couldn't understand. The Samanayr followed him as quickly as he could, tripping over rocks and banging his leg painfully against the lip of the cave entrance. He made it out in time to see Odel disappearing into another ground-level cave entrance not too far away.

Glint ran as quickly as he dared in the dark, his heart pounding in his chest. The scream had been far too loud to have come from Sharp, but he had no doubt that she was involved in this somehow.

Sure enough, when he clattered into the cave a few minutes later Sharp was cowering in the middle of the large space, several Enkeyns looming over her. A crying Enkeyn pup was being nuzzled and crooned at by an adult, and Glint was was horrified to see that Sharp's tiny mouth was blood-stained. It wasn't difficult to figure out what had happened here.. but why had she done it?

One thing was for certain - none of the Enkeyns in the cave looked very happy.

--

What should happen next? Vote here - viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1619

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