Walking...

Public forum for the writings of the members of the Order. Here you'll find background stories and other stories written by the members of the Order...

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Re: Walking...

Postby Calisar on Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:52 pm

Not much at all happens in this snippet, just a ramble! ^^

One day... I'm going to have to clear this damn place out. Cal tilted her head to one side as she stepped carefully through the cramped gloom of the vault.

It was a comfortable space, holding almost everything she held of value. Dusty tomes were stacked untidily in leaning towers against the far wall, a few wooden chests of rare dried herbs and fat gold coins rested on high shelves. Inky vials and dusty bottles were scattered around everywhere, potions and relics kept for emergencies or sentiment.

There was a still, warm quietude here, and more than once had she simply curled up and slept amongst her belongings midway through trying to enforce a little order to the rampant chaos.

A broad tapestry hung across the right hand wall, lit now by the flickering torch she'd secured carefully in its bracket by the door. An old heirloom that dominated the limited space, stitched piece by piece in turn by past generations of her family. In places the thread-work was fresh, vibrant and deeply coloured, in others it seemed as whisper-thin and fragile as dry parchment. It depicted a tree, endless branches and roots plaiting and weaving together, scattered with names. Some she knew well, and many she had heard of only in stories.

Her eyes rested briefly on one name stitched close to her own, Aelvar Ravencrest. Her fingertip brushing hesitantly over the small, dark elegant letters.

This was a name she had thought of more and more recently, given her current path... and what would -you- think of all -this- hm? She furrowed her brow, hand hovering toward the tapestry, expression momentarily uncertain. The omen in the cup springing to mind as it often had lately.

She turned her back on the heavy stitchwork, hefting a couple of dusty crates aside to clear a section of the path, unearthing a half-drunk bottle of stranglethorn white label brandy in the process. A slow wistful smile crept back onto her features as she tilted the exotic liquor around, brushing the dust from the dark green glass, before placing it reverently aside. Hands on hips, she straightened, surveying the rambling mess afresh, eyes darting aimlessly around for the elusive item that had dragged her back here.

The entire left side of the vault was filled with a rail, packed tight with richly hued fabrics. Blues as dark as the ocean depths, bright azure beading on black velvets. A few decadent blood red silks. Tucked far back hung a demure white dress with silver embroidery, but the pale brightness was swamped, a lost sliver of purity squashed in amongst the other finer, darker fabrics.

Cal brushed a hand along the rail, over the shoulders of the garments, as a familiar pang of desire to dress in such luxury stirred. There was a time she would have worn nothing else but this frippery. She glanced down at herself and her practical leather armour, then back to the rail with a smirk of amusement.

She paused, feeling the collar of an old cloak, blue-black like her own hair, stitched around the neck with a pattern of overlapped wings, a tangle of intricate workmanship. Beautiful, expensive, well worn and much loved.

But her hand soon trailed onward... past all the silk and velvet, tracing over cloaks and gowns until resting at last upon a modest purple garment.

Pulling it free from the rail with a tug she held the old tabard up to the torchlight. The words of the initiation ceremony echoing softly in her ear.

I will not harm my brothers and sisters of the Order, and I will heed the word of my Keeper and the Council.

She rubbed the fabric thoughtfully between her hands, pausing to trace a fingertip along the seam of the black edging.

I swear this upon the crest of the Order

It was patched and torn in places, restitched and mended, frayed some along the bottom edge. Aariam had suggested she could get a new one if she preferred but the idea had rankled instantly.

No, this one would do well enough.

Cal sat back on the creaking crates, cross-legged, cradling the tabard in her hands as she studied the insignia. Recalling the ceremony, how it felt to kneel before the others and recite the words of allegiance.

The White Tree; Teldrassil, and our capital Darnassus
The Purple fields; our forests, our people, and our lands
The Black lines; representing the losses we have suffered


Had there been nerves, any hesitancy?

None at all, as it turned out.

One thing was for sure, in all the scenarios she had pictured for officially rejoining the fold, the Keeper had certainly been wearing more clothes.

She cracked a genuine grin, pulling the tabard over her head with a pop of stretched fabric and yanking the colours down in a swift familiar motion. But then, Aariam had always been lousy at dice. Of all the times for her to fulfil a gambling forfeit though, why did it have to be at the initiations?

Reaching over for the precious brandy, Cal pulled the cork free, lifting the bottle to her lips. Hesitating only to smile privately at the warm flush of sentimentality wearing the purple gave her.

"Tssk, soppy bastard", she scolded herself over the brim of the bottleneck, taking just one sip in solemn toast before replacing the cork. Leaning back against the wall with a low contented chuckle. Somewhere around here, if she carried on digging, she was sure had a set of lucky dice.
"It's silly wrong.. but vivid right"
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Re: Walking...

Postby Aariam on Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:02 pm

Tsk, we can't let all those dresses go to waste-... Aariam will help use them!

Goddess knows she could use one right now... ;)
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Re: Walking...

Postby Salirien on Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:16 am

Calisar wrote: Tucked far back hung a demure white dress with silver embroidery, but the pale brightness was swamped, a lost sliver of purity squashed in amongst the other finer, darker fabrics.


Sali would pay a FORTUNE to see Calisar wear that, I think! Perhaps if she got horribly drunk? :D

Lovely read as always! You write with such a deep understanding of your own character, I am absolutely in awe of your talent (and jealous, don't tell anyone). Such a clever writer, such wonderful stories! ^^
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Re: Walking...

Postby Calisar on Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:47 pm

Salirien wrote:Sali would pay a FORTUNE to see Calisar wear that, I think! Perhaps if she got horribly drunk? :D


That would have to be a catastrophic loss with the dice, and even then there'd be hell to pay ;)
"It's silly wrong.. but vivid right"
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Re: Walking...

Postby Eluvere on Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:23 pm

Interesting to get a behind the scenes view of Calisar with these stories Cal, and splendidly written as always :) Your character really has come down a long way, and I never quite imagined the old ambassador to return to us this way!
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Re: Walking...

Postby Calisar on Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:10 am

Was tempted to post this in the art thread, but mjeah ;) (and thanks for the kind feedback, always encouraging to write more!)

For those that were wondering what she saw in that cup:
Image
"It's silly wrong.. but vivid right"
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Re: Walking...

Postby Aariam on Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:21 am

Ooh, I love those shoulderpads... Wish we could have them for the guild. :D
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Re: Walking...

Postby Anhagath on Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:12 pm

*SCREAMS* THAT BEAR

That is the best bear, I love the idea.

(Also Aariam I'm pretty sure the guild shirts are like those?)
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Re: Walking...

Postby Salirien on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:15 pm

Absolutely fantastic, Calisar. That bear looks like it means business, too!

And as I told you ingame, LOVE that the steam from the cup resembles void tendrils. Maybe that's why the bear watches so scornfully? :D
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Re: Walking...

Postby Calisar on Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:12 am

A spot of morning music


High above the forest floor, on a thin branch that sways in the crisp pre-dawn breeze, a large crow lands with a silent flex of broad wings. The bird bounces to a halt, balancing precariously on the dancing perch. Long hooked talons grip mercilessly tight, snatching a secure hold. Her head snaps quickly around in the cold half-light, tilting this way and that, shrewdly inspecting this new vantage point.

A curt satisfied bob of the head... this'll do...

She bristles for warmth, an outward ruffle of fluffed up feathers before she smooths them flat with an efficient swipe of tough beak. Slowly she's fallen into little habits seen a thousand times in real birds. A twitchy, light, sharpness of being that encourages her to straighten out the barbs in her feathers in any idle moment. To primp and preen and care for her wings when lingering any time in this form.

It's an unconscious instinct to ensure when the time comes to take flight, that everything will work flawlessly.

The wild northern reach of Ashenvale lies below, purplish grey swaying treetops from horizon to misty horizon. A landscape of ghosts, home to wisps and spirits, unreal and untouched. The rest of the world feels remote, completely fallen away, meaningless here.

A foggy shroud coils between the treetops, an undulating opaque sea yet to be burnt away by the spring sunshine. Below, the canopy casts long fractured shadows, the world sinking back down towards the feeling of midnight the deeper you go.

From up here, you could fall very far indeed.

Sharp eyes peer expectantly toward the direction the sun will rise, the new day just an indistinct dull smear of light for now. The bird crouches, listening, wings tucked in tight as the swaying branch settles.

Voices stir, authors hidden in the mist. Shrill pips to herald the faint sun, soaring territorial melodies to woo, sharp warnings of aggression and soft coo'ing calls of reassurance, layer upon layer of birdsong. It's a cacophony of noise, a disjointed orchestra where no-one seems to play the same tune. But somehow it works.

The crow tilts her head down thoughtfully then offers a sonorous note of her own. A low rasping caw, like a rich filthy laugh, the call reverberates beneath the musical chaos, cutting through it, followed by a chirrup that could be mistaken for a chuckle of utter delight.

A hush falls, the orchestra stills to regard the new player, just for a moment, pausing to listen to the new low song. But it lasts just a heartbeat before the noise rises again, the sound flooding across the forest from everywhere. An unstoppable tide of song swirling all around like the slowly vanishing mist below.

"Find joy in it" Eluvere had said.

The crow hops eventually from her branch, pleased, strutting along on strong wiry scaled legs to the next perch, then the next. Gliding and bouncing down through the gradually thickening branches with a swagger of confidence.

Joy is in the climb, the pinwheel, the drift and the glide. To hang in the sky riding the wind as the world unfurls remote and uncomplicated below. To tilt and dive and rise again on a soft snap of broad feathers.

Wings shift to arms, talons to toes. Cal flings out an idle stretch, a yawn, popping stiff joints satisfyingly in her back, flexing cold fingers as she lopes along. Running a hand through her grey flecked rough bob of hair. A casual morning stroll that just happens to be hundreds of feet above the ground.

There's a grin as she sits, hooking her legs together around a thick branch. A broad lazy smile as she leans flat on her back, hands forming a crude pillow beneath her head, heedless of the vast drop either side of this makeshift precarious bed.

Cal sighs happily, eyes sliding shut, knowing she would never have dreamt of climbing this high a couple of years ago, the prospect of falling too dizzying, too frightening.

But falling has become an unexpected joy now... a game... how far can you dive before you have to act? Skimming the ground in a stomach-flipping swoop, fast as an arrow, tilting wings to sweep upwards, Using old muscles in new ways, screeching with delight as you dodge death. How long dare you leave the drop this time?

Her thoughts turn to Aviana, she tilts her head privately with genuine gratitude, in tentative shy devotion. Thank you... for this...

Time slips by as she dozes contentedly through the golden hour of sunlight, colour and warmth saturating the forest below. The purples and blues of the Ashenvale forest canopy shot through with vibrant golds and red. The tumult of the dawn chorus receding.

Once upon a time, back when she wore white, she had longed to sing with the Temple choir. The euphoria and emotion welling inside when a multitude of voices swirled and rebounded across a curved marble ceiling couldn't be denied. Like a momentary glimpse of the Goddess herself. It had been a delight to sit and listen on the sloped grassy banks, hearing the practice, even though she had been politely denied a spot to perform herself.

There's a hint of a grimace at the memory, at her crimson embarrassment at being turned down back then. Who would have guessed, years later she'd find a different choir, a much more satisfying song to sing?

Cal shifts over and around, stretching languidly across the twisted broad branch, one leg dangling over the edge and chin resting on her hands, peering down. Half asleep she watches a herd of deer drift by far below, grazing as they go. Wary, alert, they move slowly north together, a tight-knit family unaware of the spectator far above.

She arches a brow at the dark shape that eventually ghosts after them, leaning forward to watch as it slinks between the trees. Silently Cal wishes the sabre luck with the hunt, offering a crooked smile, feeling a pang of kinship with the solitary shadow. Another spectator the herd are unaware of...

Somewhere, probably, there's a den of cubs needing to be fed, but a swift deer will be hard for a lone cat to bring down. It's a battle that needs to be allowed to play out without any intervention, a balance that will inevitably resolve itself.

Just as she drifts back into a welcome sleep, a feeling of unease stirs in her gut, quickening her pulse. Like a drop of ice cold water trailing down the spine.

Sitting up suddenly, scanning the forest floor her attention is snapped around by a grunt of distress. A low growl of pain approaching ever so slowly from the south. Her weapon of choice has always been the mind, a lesson repeatedly drilled into her from a young age, "If you can train your mind then everything else will follow", and now her keen awareness was spiking with alarm.

Taking a slow breath she focused her thoughts, careful to resist the old magic she used to rely on.

Calm, stretch your senses, determine the source... There's a snap of branches, a stumbling crash of undergrowth, a feeling of ponderous weight and deep anxiety. An overriding desire to escape makes her almost flinch physically back.

A tang of blood can be tasted in the air.

One of the voices in her head, sounding uncannily like her father, snaps like a stern sentinel instructor. You've been playing at being a druid, well now you can damn well try and do something with it.

Without hesitation she obeys, rolling sideways. Dropping like a stone from the branch, shifting form to pull wings tight to her body, spearing down into the thickening canopy. Plummeting down and down through the shadows towards the sound.

What possible harm could come from just having a look hm?
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Re: Walking...

Postby Aariam on Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:33 am

Cal putting her new skills to the test! Well, don't keep us in suspense, give us the next part now, now, now! :D
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