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 "The Maiden of the Moon"

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Ithilwen

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Posts : 33
Join date : 2010-05-10

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Level: 2
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1600/2250  (1600/2250)
Hit Points:
26/26  (26/26)

PostSubject: "The Maiden of the Moon"   Mon May 10, 2010 2:32 pm

The Maiden of the Moon

The light moved through the forest.

Peeking out of his small, make-shift tent, the young goliath child watched as the hazy, indistinct form drifted between the trees, glowing with the pale silver light of the moon. Quickly, before he lost sight of the iridescent figure, the boy dug around in his satchel until he found the old spyglass that Elder Kavaki had given him for his birthday last year. Raising the spyglass to his eye, the young goliath gasped at what he saw, instantly dropping the antique and bursting from his tent, running through the dark, cool night as he made his way back to Glim Village, the tiny goliath settlement nestled in the Adele Hills of north-western Vilnis. The journey didn’t take long of course, for the boy had only been camping just outside the village, as he often liked to do when he was playing at being a great adventurer.

The village was still at this late hour, for all of the other inhabitants were asleep in preparation of the early morning hunt scheduled for tomorrow at dawn. Taking care to be as quiet as possible, the youth moved quickly between the handful of stone huts that comprised the village until he reached Elder Kavaki’s home, a slightly larger abode positioned in the center of the small community. Taking a moment to compose himself and to wipe the sheen of sweat from his slate-grey forehead, the boy rapped persistently on the elder’s door. Moments later, after much shuffling and grumbling could be head behind the heavy wooden door, an ancient, weathered goliath stuck his head out and gazed down balefully at the boy.

“Lokiri, what is the meaning of this?” the old man asked, squinting his dim eyes to better see the youngster. “Do you not know the hour?”

Bowing his head in respect, Lokiri spoke rapidly and excitedly. “Master Kavaki, I’ve seen something in the forest! You won’t believe it! I was in my tent, watching for the sprites and forest spirits you told me about, and I saw something! You won’t believe it, Master, I―”

“Hush, hush now, little one,” Kavaki said, patting the child on his shoulder. “You must quiet down, else you’ll wake the whole village, and the hunters will be displeased with you.”

Lokiri nodded emphatically. “Forgive me, Master, but I saw it!”

“What did you see exactly, Lokiri?”

“A forest spirit!”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The moon shone brightly.

Lokiri held firmly to the old man’s hand, pulling him quickly through the shadowy forest, any concern whatsoever with the elder’s physical conditions tossed aside in his excitement. More than once Elder Kavaki stumbled and nearly fell, and each time little Lokiri would stop just long enough to help him regain his footing before rushing on, claiming that if they didn’t hurry they would surely miss it.

“Miss what?” Kavaki would ask.

“The spirit, of course!” Lokiri would answer.

Finally the pair came upon Lokiri’s small tent, and the youth took a brief moment to pick up his fallen spyglass before pulling Kavaki deeper into the forest. The two goliaths had barely entered the thick woods, though, when the mysterious, glowing, silvery figure could be seen moving carelessly through the trees.

“Spirits of my ancestors,” the elder said breathlessly, his eyes wide and his sun-browned skin taking on a pallor of shock.

“You see! It is a forest spirit, isn’t Elder?” Lokiri asked eagerly.

The pale figure gliding through the forest certainly seemed ethereal and otherworldly, but there was nothing about her that appeared spiritual or ghostly. That she was physical, and real, Kavaki had no question, and her nude form had all the grace and beauty of a statue carved from marble. The woman was tall and slender, her skin so pale that it seemed to be exuding a glow as silver and clear as the light of the moon itself. Likewise, her long, flowing hair was a similar shade of moon-silver, gleaming as she moved between the ancient boles, a pair of long, pointed ears protruding from this silken hair proving her heritage without a doubt. Her eyes were closed as she drifted on, but it wasn’t difficult to imagine that they were a luminous silver in color as well. In her left hand she held a long staff, its wood white and shining in the light of the moon and the faint illumination given off by her pale skin, but other than that single item, the woman had no other apparent belongings.

Ithilethiel,” Kavaki whispered, tears running down his lined, ancient face. “She’s more beautiful than I could ever have imagined…”

Lokiri tore his eyes away from the enthralling figure in the trees, looking at the elder with a curious expression. “Ithiltheliel? What does that mean, elder?”

Kavaki shook his head. “Not ‘Ithiltheliel’ Lokiri: Ithilethiel. It is an elven legend, very old… It means “Maiden of the Moon” in their tongue. I never thought the stories were actually real, though wise men say that with the elves there are no legends, only history…”

“What does the legend say, Elder?” Lokiri asked, his eyes once again locked on the glowing form of the silvery elven woman.

“She is the oldest of them, the elves,” Kavaki told the young boy. “Or so they say… In ancient days, before the world was broken, she lost all interest in the ways of her people. She became enamored with the world around her, with the beauty of all things beneath the silver light of the moon, and she became lost to her people.” He paused as he watched the nearly-spectral woman, as if he had lost his train of thought. “She wanders now, they say, for all eternity, unaware of―or unconcerned with―the goings on of the world around her. The elves say that she has grown so distant, so detached, that there are none alive today who could interact with her, or distract her from her constant wanderings. They say,” the elder went on, his voice subdued, “that she is the closest thing to a god that one can become without Ascending…”

“Wow…” Lokiri uttered, overwhelmed by all that Elder Kavaki had told him. “Do you think all that is true?”

“In truth, I do not know,” the old goliath told Lokiri. “But that this creature is the fabled Ithilethiel I have no doubt.”

Suddenly, before Kavaki could stop him, Lokiri stepped forward out of the brush in which the two goliaths had been hiding. The youth moved quickly, his feet crunching through the undergrowth as he rushed toward the glowing form of the mysterious elven woman.

“Lokiri, don’t!” the elder shouted, reaching forward to grab the boy’s arm, too late.

The child waved off Kavaki’s warning as he continued on toward the fey being. If the woman knew that he approached at all, she showed no sign of it, merely continuing on her journey, humming quietly to herself as she slipped silently between the trees, a corona of moonlight surrounding her. Lokiri stopped as he neared her, taking a brief moment to look back over his shoulder at Elder Kavaki, a youthful grin of confidence lighting up his face. Then, before Kavaki could demand the child come back, Lokiri reached out and took hold of the moon-woman’s arm.

Instantly, without a sound, the woman vanished, and the surrounding forest grew darker without her pale light. Lokiri gasped and fell back, his body shaking in fear and awe. Kavaki was stunned for a moment before rushing forward as quickly as his old legs could take him, and he dropped to his knees beside the boy.

“Lokiri, are you alright?” he asked, gently shaking the youth. “What could have possessed you to do such a foolish thing?”

“I’m sorry, Elder,” Lokiri responded, a sob escaping him as tears poured down his face. “I’m so sorry, but I couldn’t help it; I just wanted to touch her, Elder… I wanted to touch her just once…”

Kavaki sighed, taking Lokiri into his arms and holding him as he wept. He patted the boy on the back of his head, rocking slightly and doing his best to calm the upset child. Throughout this all, he continued to tell Lokiri that he wasn’t angry with him, and that everything would be okay. And, in truth, Kavaki knew why he wasn’t really mad at the boy:

Had his old joints been a bit younger, Kavaki would have ran toward the ethereal beauty himself.
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Ithilwen

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Posts : 33
Join date : 2010-05-10

Character sheet
Level: 2
XP to Next Level:
1600/2250  (1600/2250)
Hit Points:
26/26  (26/26)

PostSubject: Re: "The Maiden of the Moon"   Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:31 pm

She watched.

Had either of the goliaths looked hard enough, they may have been able to see the faint patch of moonlight that glowed just a bit brighter up ahead, behind a small copse of trees. A pair of iridescent silver eyes stared out from between the boles, narrowed ever-so-slightly as they watched the pair of goliaths move back toward their village, a mixture of awe and disappointment evident from the expressions on their faces. Once they had moved out of sight, the silvery maiden emerged from her hiding place, her beautiful features shifting to a pout.

Why had they come here? Why had they interrupted her as she danced for her friends, high above?

She sighed, shaking her head and trying to ignore the faint pangs of hunger that served to remind her that she hadn’t eaten in days. Her forehead furrowed as she tried to recall exactly what it was that she’d eaten, but the days and nights of the past several months all ran together, and she couldn’t separate one memory from the next. That she had been journeying all these months she knew, moving on only beneath the light of the moon and stars, shunning the bright, harsh light of the sun, that hot, golden light that burnt her pale, delicate skin and hurt her eyes with its brilliance.

For a moment, she thought about returning to that place from whence she’d came, that shady, cool, magical place that she’d left behind far to the north. She missed that place, with its sprawling-seemingly endless fields of tall, waving grass and pristine wild flowers as far as the eye could see; wildflowers that showed their true beauty beneath eventide light, when the moon was just rising and the stars just beginning to show in the deep purple sky. She sighed, turning her face up and letting the cold light of the moon wash over her and refresh her. How much closer her distant, shining friends had seemed then, as if they had come down from their lofty place in the heavens to dance among the flowers with her as she laughed and sang for them.

As she had every time she’d thought about turning back, the elven woman felt that strange, deep pull, a pull that was steadily leading her ever southward. During the hot hours of the day, when she slept in the shade of the deep forest or down within the cool darkness of a cave or cavern, she could hear His voice calling her, beckoning her, pleading with her to come before it was too late. What He was, she didn’t know, but there was something about His voice that aroused strange memories for her, memories of a time that seemed both ages ago and only moments ago at the same time. They troubled her, these memories, fragmentary as they were, and at times she pleaded and wept in her dreams that she be left alone, that she did not want to remember, that she wanted only to dance beneath the stars, and sing for the moon, and enjoy the cold, silvery light of the night.

She sighed, taking a long, last glance at the sky before deciding to move on. There were few hours left before the sun rose, and much ground to cover before she reached that mysterious place that He was leading her to. Ignoring the low growling of her stomach, the woman moved on
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The man crept through the underbrush.

He’d been setting up camp when he’d noticed a strange glow coming from deeper in the forest, and after grabbing up his bow and a quiver of arrows, he’d set out to investigate. Most would undoubtedly think of him as an old man, for his hair was more grey than brown, and the wrinkles around is eyes and mouth did lend him the appearance of age. But he was a Vilnian, of elven stock, and there were still decades of forestry left in him. As a Vilnis Guide, he had spent his life wandering the great forests of his country, keeping a watchful eye out for poachers, monsters, and anything else that may threaten the people of Vilnis, and this mysterious light definitely had him worried. As he neared the ethereal glow, something else caught his attention, the faint, high notes of a clear feminine voice singing softly in elven:

“They’re mirrored on the water and they shimmer in the sky
The light they shed is overlooked by many, never I
Glowing brightly from the darkened blanket where they lie
Watching from above me as around the world they fly

Gazing down on those they know and those they’ve yet to meet
The light they shed before me helps to guide my wand’ring feet
The comfort from their glow is all I need to feel complete
As lovingly they watch me from upon their lofty seat

What is more enchanting than their lovely silver gleam?
Bright pinpoints of heaven through the veil of night they seem
Gazing down upon me as I wander through this dream
The enemies of darkness for eternity, I deem”

He closed his eyes, letting the simple beauty of the song wash over him, a faint smile upon his lips. Ahead of him the light had grown brighter, and now―over the otherworldly singing―he could hear the faint sound of bare feet moving lightly through the undergrowth. More curious now than ever, the Guide sneaks forward and―parting the bushes before him―gets his first glance at the source of the mysterious light.

It was a woman, obviously elven from the long, pointed ears that could be seen through her lustrous silver hair. Her skin was extraordinarily pale, even for an elf, appearing to be white in the dim illumination. And there was quite a bit of skin to be seen, of course, for she was clad only in the light of the moon, and of the stars for whom she sang. The face of this elven woman was stunningly beautiful: a perfect oval, the angles soft, lending her an appearance that even an elf would call youthful and serene. Her eyes were closed as she continued to sing to herself, completely unaware of the man’s presence.

He immediately realized just what this seeming-apparition truly was.

Ithilethiel,” he called out softly, stepping out from the thick bramble in which he’d been concealed. Keeping his voice soft, soothing, he continued to speak to the woman, who had stopped in place and opened one silver eye to gaze piercingly at him. “Moon Maiden,” he went on, keeping his hands spread to show her that he held no weapon, “all of my life I have heard stories of you from the old ones, but never did I truly believe them until now. The stories do not do you justice, for your beauty far outdoes anything that my mortal eyes have seen.”

The elven woman remained rooted in place, as if thinking that by not moving, the man would not be able to see her. Slowly, her other eye opened, and the man lowered his head at the sight of both glowing silver orbs fixed upon him. A furrow appeared upon her smooth brow, and her bottom lip stuck out a bit as she studied him, as if unsure what he was, as if she’d never seen a human being before.

Perhaps she hasn’t! the Vilnis Guide realized with a gasp. If the stories are actually true, and she has spent her long years wandering the wild North, then she may never have seen a human at all… Her voice, barely a whisper, snapped him back to attention.

“Is this real-life?” she asked in elven, her words carrying a strange accent and cadence, as if she were speaking a slightly different dialect of the language than the rugged man was. “I mean, are you really real, or am I still dreaming?”

“No, my Lady, I promise you that I am quite real,” he told her, taking a few slow, cautious steps in her direction.

She nodded, as if this made senses to her. “That is why I feel so hungry then…”

The Vilnis Guide raised an eyebrow, allowing himself to relax a bit and to lower his arms. “You are hungry, my Lady?” he asked. “Please, then, do me the honor of joining me at my camp. I have food there that I was just preparing to cook when I caught sight of your light in the forest.”

Again, the elven woman nodded. “I must tell you that I will not eat rabbits,” she told the man, her voice taking on a serious edge. “I will not eat them at all.”

A confused look came over the Guide’s face. “That… is fine, Moon Maiden. I shall not serve you any rabbit. I have a pair of quail, and an assortment of nuts and berries that I have gathered from around the forest.”

The glowing woman paused for a moment, her head tilted slightly to the side, as if deep in thought. Finally, she nodded slowly and moved closer to the Vilnis Guide, who took an instinctive step back away from her. Here, after all, was a living legend descending upon him!

“I shall eat with you then, sir,” she told him, a brilliant smile lighting up her pale face. “So long as you do not make me eat a rabbit.”
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