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Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Sylfire set his backpack down on a rock as he decided to camp in this particular glen for the night. The setting sun cast a beautiful orange light over the forest and Syl couldn't help but take a deep breath of the fresh air. He hoped to be in town by nightfall tomorrow, but he was content for now to stay in the woods. He picked up his lyre and started to play a gentle tune, wanting to add to the ambiance around him without disturbing it. He weaved a bit of magic into his notes to see if he could draw a crowd of any nearby woodland critters. He adjusted his song to incorporate the chirping crickets and gentle wind blowing through the trees.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Smiling gently at the critters gathering around him, he switched the tune up a bit to be more lively, but still calm enough to blend into the environment. He chuckled at a couple squirrels that jumped up onto the rock he was perched on. As he glanced around at the animals gathered, marveling at the birds, squirrels, rabbit, and even a couple deer, he raised a brow when he noticed silver eyes shining within a bush at the edge of the clearing. He poured a little more magic into his music to see if he could draw the creature out, curious as to what is was and why it was so shy.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Syl raised a brow at the Elven features of the large cat, knowing immediately that this was no ordinary beast. He slowed his tune and pulled his magic from the notes to allow the creatures gathered the chance to flee. Most did, though a few of the braver animals hovered near the edges of the clearing and watched curiously. He looked over the leopard for a moment more before removing his hand from the lyre strings and bowing low. "Oh great Druid, please allow me respite in your forest this dark night." He wasn't totally sure if this was a Druid, but it was a shot and he really didn't want to anger any kind of nature being while out in the middle of the forest.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Offering a smile, he stood up straight and placed his hands back on his lyre. "Thank you, my lady of the land, is there anything particular you wish to hear?" He motioned to his lyre and lute with a cock of his head and a gleam in his eyes. He took a moment to look the Druid over out of the corner of his eye so as not to make her anxious. "I also have flutes to play if you'd like. I can sing and dance and we can have a merry time tonight."

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments He sat down and picked up his lute, plucking out a melody and adding his voice a moment later. His Elvish song flowed smoothly through the air, and even though he didn't put magic into it, some of the animals began to move back to have a listen. He played for quite some time, watching the Druid to gauge her reactions to certain songs and adjusting to playing what she seemed to like most. After nearly an hour he stopped and set his lute down, rubbing his now sore fingers and yawning widely. "My apologies, lady Druid, but I fear I must sleep now. Pardon my manners, I never introduced myself. I am Sylfire Bihana, entertainer and friend to all." He stood and bowed as he introduced himself, hoping that she'd introduce herself as well.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "That would be wonderful, thank you lady Arīa." Giving a nod of his head, Syl reattached his lyre and lute to his pack, then lifted it onto his shoulders to follow after Arīa. As they walked he hummed a pretty tune, glancing around curiously. He chuckled as a couple rabbits hopped along to follow the duo, though his stomach clenched in hunger. He'd give anything for proper meat and a satisfying meal, but unfortunately, he had only hardtack and some preserved meat and fruit with himself. He didn't dare hunt in a Druid's forest and even if he could, he didn't have any utensils to clean the kill or cook the meat, though he supposed so long as he could use his dagger to cut and skin a rabbit and simply spitroast it. His eyes darted between the Druid in front of him and the rabbits at his feet a few times before shaking off the thought.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Thankful for the moss, Syl nodded to Arīa and dropped his pack to set up his bedroll. He sat on it patiently for her to return, smiling in gratitude at the sight of a squirrel and some fresh raspberries. "Thank you, lady Arīa, this looks wonderful. Will you join me for dinner?" He walked around the clearing and pulled up a few good sized rocks and a few sticks, two with crooks and one mostly straight one. Walking back towards Arīa, he scrapped some moss out of a circle and lined it with the rocks. He broke off pieces of the sticks till they were all about the proper size and set them in the fire pit with some kindling from his pack. He struck his flint stone and carefully coaxed the fire to a good size. Accepting the squirrel and giving his thanks to both Arīa and the forest, he made short work of the skinning and gutting, then skewered it and set it over the flame.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments As the squirrel roasted, Syl took the raspberries provided and popped a few in his mouth. His face broke into a smile at the sweet, juicy fruit, and he offered some to Arīa with a motion of the hand and a hum. He set the berries down carefully on a scrap of leather and rustled in his pack to pull out some of his preserved fruits and nuts, setting them next to the raspberries to share with Arīa. When he pulled the hardtack and jerky out he screwed his face up for a moment before putting the hardtack back and just bringing out some jerky. He bit into one piece and pulled at it to break off some, holding out another piece for Arīa with a questioning look.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments He quickly swallowed the food in his mouth so that he could answer Arīa. "It's my pleasure, thank you for providing fresh meat and berries. Yes, I've traveled all over the land since I was 19. I've been a bard since I was a child, singing and playing for the praise of my family and friends. What about yourself, when did you start studying Druidism?" He finished off his jerky and turned to rotate and check on the squirrel. It was almost done, it just needed a bit longer on another side.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Watching her in her leopard form, Syl got the strange urge to stroke her back. He quickly turned his attention to the fire instead as that would be a silly thing to do. As he watched the fire dancing gently he felt himself nodding off. After a bit, he shifted to pull off his boots and some armor, leaving himself in mostly cloth. He then crawled into his bedroll and fell asleep listening to the music of the forest.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments ((Maybe Syl gets injured by some animal attack and ends up stuck in the forest?))

He stirred as the first rays of sunlight shone down through the trees. He sat up blearily and rubbed at his eyes, yawning widely and stretching a bit causing his back to pop loudly. Glancing to the side, he noticed Arīa sitting up and wondered if she'd been awake all night. "Good morning lady Druid, how long have you been up?" He smiled in a friendly manner and stood up, looking around the clearing and straining his ears for the sound of running water. "You don't happen to know if there's a water source nearby where I can bathe, do you?"

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "Thank you, Druid, I appreciate your help." He waited for Arīa to walk away before stripping and stepping into the water. He scrubbed at his skin with his hands. Unfortunately, he didn't have any soap or wash clothes with him, but he could at least try to wash off all the sweat and dirt. He was so engrossed in his bathing that he didn't notice a large, extremely thin wolf creeping up behind him. The starving animal leaped on him suddenly, sinking its teeth into his shoulder, thankfully missing its mark of his neck. Syl is dunked under the water before he came cry out for help, cursing himself for not keeping his dagger on hand. He accidentally swallowed water as he thrashed against the heavy animal, feeling it sink its fangs into his right arm next. Finally, Syl managed to push off from the bottom of the stream and break the surface, sputtering out a cry for help as he struggled to throw off the wolf and get to shore.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments His gasped and coughed up the water he'd swallowed, hissing in pain as blood streamed down his arm and shoulder. He felt embarrassed for a moment, but upon noticing her blasé attitude he shrugged it off. Once out of the water he collapsed, clasping his left hand over the bite wound on his shoulder. "Th-thanks for the... save, lady D-druid. You don't h-h-happen to know healing m-magic, d-d-do you?" His consciousness began to fade in and out from the pain and blood loss.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Sylfire cringed as the paste was smeared on his wounds and balked at the thousands of spiders crawling on him, but he forced himself to remain still. Once his wounds were wrapped and the spiders had scuttled off, he sat up slowly, wincing at the pain. He tried to stand, but more pain lanced up through his ankle. Figuring he sprained it in the tussle, he sank back down and sighed. "Well, isn't this just peachy? Figures something like this would happen, my journey from the last town has been rather desolate of animal attacks. I'm just glad you were here, otherwise, I might not have made it." He glanced wistfully at his clothes, wishing greatly to be covered again. Unfortunately, the trip out of the stream had left him covered in mud.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Nodding slightly, he figured it was best not to fight it. "It'd be best to clean off the mud. Maybe I should try to get up and sit on one of those rocks instead of the dirt? With a bit of help, I could stand in the stream, too." He felt bad asking for so much, but with an injured ankle and the bite wounds, he was pretty infirm.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments He stayed relaxed enough to not fight the vine but tense enough to not be a limp rag doll. When Arīa began to wash him off, he sighed through his nose and just let himself enjoy being clean again. As she got lower he couldn't help but flush, even the tips of his ears turned red. Reaching his hand out for the cloth, he cleared his throat to gain her attention. "I can get the last part, you can have the vine lower me a bit so I can sit in the water. I realize that you are unaffected by my state of undress, but I can't help but find myself abashed."

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "You don't have to apologize, it's not your fault. Sometimes animals hide their weakness from others, even those they might normally trust. This wasn't a normal situation, he was starving and most likely ill and I'm only half Elf." He quickly washed his lower half before offering the cloth back to Arīa. "Once we get back to my pack, there should be some spare clothing. I'll need to wash these clothes so they have time to dry during the day. Thank you again lady Druid, you're doing more for me than most would care to."

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "I think I can manage getting dressed on my own. I need to save some dignity, after all." He pointed out the white cotton shirt and a pair of brown cotton pants. Taking the clothes from Arīa, he shifted carefully to get the pants on, standing on his one good leg to slip them all the way up his hips. Siding the shirt over his head, he ended up slipping his good arm through the correct hole before painfully lifting his injured arm into proper place. "Well, thank you for the help, I don't know what I'd have done without you. If you want to go find your wolf friend, I can stay here and wait."

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Syl eyed the wolf warily, but once he got a good look at its condition he felt bad for it. Sliding off the rock, he hobbled over to his bedroll and plopped down, pulling his pack over to dig around for some of the preserved meat he had. He didn't have much left, but he wanted to make good with the wolf. It's coat and eyes were already looking clean and shiny once again, clearly whatever illness it had had been preventing it from hunting. Sylfire held the meat out to the canine cautiously to see if he wanted it.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "Sorry, I don't have anymore, that was all of it." He reached his hand up carefully to stroke the wolf's head. His head turned to look at Arīa and a concerned look popped onto his face. "Are you alright, Arīa? Do you need something? I have some fruit and nuts if you need something to eat, or a waterskin if you need water." He wondered for a moment if maybe a song would help, but he banished the thought of playing any of his instruments when his arm twinged with pain. "I could sing if you'd like, maybe it could help you relax?"

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Watching the wolf disappeared into the bushes, Syl hoped he'd be able to catch something to eat. He didn't hold the attack against the animal, it was only trying to survive and he could understand that. Noticing that Arīa had fallen asleep, he set himself up against his pack, holding his dagger in hand and laying his sword nearby if need be. He might not be in the best form to fight, but he'd definitely make it difficult for any predator. He just prayed fervently that animals were the only thing they had to worry about, anything semi-intelligent might make defending himself and Arīa nigh impossible. He shifted to pull his bone flutes out of his pack as well as some cleaning supplies. Might as well occupy himself while he was unable to walk well. He still left the dagger sitting in his lap in its sheath and kept his senses sharpened for any out of place sounds, but for all intents and purposes he looked distracted.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "I'm not tired yet, I'll never be able to fall asleep even if I laid down. Do you feel better now? You were sleeping like a rock. Fresh meat would be amazing, I don't want you to use up so much magic so soon by growing berries. I'll snack on some hardtack while you're away. By the way, that wolf is still probably nearby, it left to hunt not long after you fell asleep." He shifted so that he was sitting up more straight and raised the bone flute he just finished cleaning to his lips. It hurt to use his injured arm, but it wasn't so bad that he could do it. The melody was slow and somber, a complete change to his normally upbeat songs.


Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments He grabbed the rabbit and set to work skinning and gutting it. He took his time to really preserve the pelt as he could either sell it once he made it to town or if Arīa wanted it, it would be in good condition either way. After pulling as much meat away from the bones as possible, he glanced around to look for something to cook them on. He might not have pots or pans, but he knew how to use the natural things around him to make it easier. After not locating what he was looking for, he turned to Arīa and cleared his throat. "Could you go down to the stream and try to find a flat stone to cook this meat on? The thinner the better, too."

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "Looks good and the fire pit from yesterday is still usable. We need a couple more forked sticks to suspend the stone over the fire, so can you find some for me? I'm sorry to ask you for so much, but as I am unable to walk, there's not much I can do." He colored in shame and embarrassment but set to work getting the kindling ready for the fire. He had a small pile of twigs and sticks from the night before and some kindling from his pack. After arranging everything just right, he grabbed the stone and washed it off with water from his waterskin and running his hand over it. The running water had left it perfectly smooth and it cleaned off quickly. He placed the rabbit meat on top and let it sit to wait for Arīa to get back.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Once he is handed the sticks, he busied himself with making sure they were all level around the fire pit. He then placed the flat stone with the rabbit meat over top it on the sticks, balancing it over the fire by about half a foot. He then began to busy himself with starting and stoking the flames to cook the meat by heating the rock they were sitting on. As he worked, a rustle from the bushes caught his attention and his blue eyes locked onto the brush as he reached for his dagger. He cocked his head in confusion when the wolf from earlier came walking into the clearing. His belly was plump with food under his exposed ribs and he seemed calm, so Sylfire put the dagger back into its sheath and set it down. Watching the wolf a bit wearily, he nudged the rabbit guts and bones towards him to see if he wanted a snack, then went back to cooking dinner.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments As the wolf settled down and began munching on the bones provided, Syl turned over the rabbit meat using his dagger. After a few more minutes the rabbit was done so he doused the fire with some water from his waterskin. He blew on a piece and ate it once it was cool, smirking at the taste. "The meat is ready and we can polish off my fruit and nuts to go with it." He glanced over and smiled at the wolf who had finished the bones and was stretched out lazily.

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments Sighing contentedly, Sylfire laid back in the grass and reached his good arm out to stroke the wolf's fur. "My story? It's nothing special. Mom was the Elf and dad was the human, they were both young and dumb and they made a mistake. They split and passed me back and forth every five years which helped me learn from both sides of my heritage. When I turned 19 I ran away to see the world and I haven't gone back. It's not that I don't love my family, I write them all the time and I'd love to see them again someday. It's just that I want to live how I want for as long as I can before I get bogged down with familial duties. I can almost guarantee that mom has a bride waiting for me when I return, it's just the way my Elven family does things." He fell silent for a bit, gazing up into the quickly darkening sky and scratching the wolf's head lazily. "What about you, what's your story? Or this guy's story?"

Darlana *School Starting Soon* (ajaklis12) | 36 comments "Sounds like a plus to me, and at least you didn't have to deal with the drama that comes with humanoid family members. We intelligent beings tend to overthink and overreact to literally everything. I'm sure your wolf family has done a fine job raising you. Where are your pack members now? This guy isn't a wolf you know, is he?" Glancing down at the wolf dozing next to the two Half-Elves, he patted him on the shoulder. The dark had set in fully now and the only light source was the slowly dying embers in the fire pit and the bright moon above. Sylfire shifted onto his bedroll and slipped under the blanket, yawning slightly.

message 30: by Austin, CEO of the world's largest and most evil Megacorperation (new)

Austin | 616 comments Mod
((Yo Kat, any interest in continuing the messages?))

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