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* Plot Information for Dea al Mon

Gale Galoneth, Queen of Dea al Mon is desperate. 11 of her 12 daughters have fallen ill to the mysterious Waste. While the Brood of the True Born try to conquer her Territory she has opened its borders to call for aid.
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Author Topic: There's a Lurker Making Rounds  (Read 352 times)

Description: Tag: Hearsay

Offline Melody Tioriand

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There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« on: Apr 04, 19, 06:56:29 PM »
Melody recognized that she was lucky. She found a Queen to follow while she’d been a child, one she adored and considered the best friend any girl could have. She had a papa that recognized her need to get away from her well-intentioned but overbearing mother, so he helped her purchase her little home. One just far enough away from her mother that Melody could breathe, but close enough that her mother didn’t fret. (Though the help provided would always be a secret.) With Verse providing a seemingly endless supply of leather armor for her to “try out” for him, Melody had the freedom to spend her income on her two greatest loves. Sharp pointy objects, and books.

Lots and lots of books.

She was almost at the point where she’d have to go through another book purge soon. Sell some back to bookstores or donate to libraries so that she’d have room for more books. Or she could get another bookcase. But, not today. Today she was on a mission to buy more books. New books. The types of books she’d rather not purchase someplace she was easily recognizable. Not that there was anything inherently wrong about enjoying a tale centered around the journey of two Children of the Wood finding true and everlasting love. She just had a reputation to protect. Besides, that stuff only ever worked out in books. And those books were so entertaining.

Which was why she was risking her mother’s unending wrath to take a solo trip into Eddersea to check out a few bookstores. The last time she came up with Virtuosa and Quietus she had noticed some new titles but hadn’t been able to purchase them without notice.

Immediately after dropping out of the Winds at the Landing Pad, a terrified child’s scream sent chills down Melody’s spine. She groaned as she called in her bow and started running into the woods in the direction of the scream. “Mom’s not the only one that’s going to want to kill me for being unescorted.” Hawk will probably want to strangle her too, especially after that last delivery task.

She burst into a small clearing and noticed a new sound, a thumping. She zeroed in on the source of the noise and anger flooded through her. Not a child, a rabbit. A doe, judging from the kits surrounding her. Melody slowly approached the wild creature caught in one nasty looking spring trap, doing her best not to upset the injured rabbit anymore than it already was. She was so going to need help dealing with an injured mama bunny with so many agitated babies nearby.

Although, if she remembered correctly, she wasn’t too far away from where Vee said that Hearsay was living now. And he abhorred animal mistreatment as much as she did. She reached out for his familiar Opal, the one that was just a little closer to Hawk’s than her own. *Hearsay dear, please tell me you’re free at the moment to help me with an injured rabbit and her babies.*

Offline Hearsay Elerbeck

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #1 on: Apr 06, 19, 11:02:14 PM »
Hearsay still preferred to not be seen when he was going through the regimen (and exercises) that Obscenity had outlined for him so many months back. It was not easy, though he was certainly putting on more muscle--even if he would be forever a slim, trim build--he had not yet pushed to spar with anyone. It just made him feel awkward, at the end of the day, because for all that Glory Glade had seemingly accepted him there were still those that looked at him as if they couldn't figure out what he was.

The Healer Warlord had picked a nice spot on the outskirts, still well within the boundaries and protections of Glory Glade. He preferred to not go out them, not when he was uncertain whether or not the Brood still held an interest in him. It was better safe than sorry. As he was about to start up, however, he heard--and felt--a familiar tug along his psychic scenes. A thread of Opal that called to him from one that was the mirror of his.

Melody?

There was no doubt about it. Not when he heard her voice within his mind and when she mentioned a rabbit and her young. It had been far too long since he had last seen the witch. Part of him was curious as to what brought her this far north but that didn't matter. Not at the moment. Hearsay wrapped himself up in his shields, calling upon every bit of presence masking capability that he had.

I am, Melody, he called back. Show me where you are? Hearsay was already moving even as he called back to her along the Opal. While he could not understand the trees and their whispers, he could still hear them and they were growing louder as he took to the canopy of the forest. The quick flash of a location--near the landing pad--told him all that he needed to know.

Be there in just a minute, said Hearsay, calling upon his Red so that he could move just a little faster. When he arrived in the clearing, Hearsay dropped himself down from an old tree. Melody's emotions were bright as they always were, though her concern and worry about the rabbits was the most obvious. His Red--still uncut, still pressed to left hollow of his collarbone and held there by twining vines that curled around his neck and bicep--pulsed gently as he called upon it. It was just a touch of calming, projected around him to help with the young that were beginning to scatter.

"Gather her kits up, would you, Melody? I'll look at the doe." When it came to matters like this there was no trace of the shy, uncertain Hearsay. He moved with purpose, sinking to his knees next to the trap.

"Shh," he whispered to the rabbit in the old tongue, "it's alright, little one. I promise." Reaching out with his hand, still projecting calm, he let it hover over the rabbit and slowly lowered it down to rest against her fur. If there were to be proper hellos and greetings, they were going to have to wait until after this was handled.

Offline Melody Tioriand

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #2 on: Apr 10, 19, 03:18:27 PM »
Shock was too strong a word for what Melody felt at getting her first glimpse of Hearsay in quite awhile. Surprise was probably too soft. Somewhere in the middle. It wasn’t just the uncut Red Jewel, he was well past the age for his Offering after all, and it wasn’t that she could see the muscle toning his slim frame. Perhaps it was the confidence in which he took over the situation? Or a combination of all of them. Her lips pursed for a moment before she smiled and shook her head.

“Gather kits, got it.” Amusement laced her words, despite the worry and outrage she still felt over the vicious trap clamped tight around the poor rabbit. She formed a bubble shield around the scattering kits and slowly tightened it so that the bunnies were gathered into a small area. She sank down to her knees and lightly stroked the back of a kit adventurous enough to approach her. “We’re going to help you and your mama out. No need to worry.”

Though the witch was worried. She saw the way the trap had clamped down on the doe’s leg. They’d be able to get her out of the trap. Get her wound cleaned and wrapped. Perhaps there was a Healer in Glory Glade that wouldn’t mind using Craft to help the rabbit heal? Rabbits were dinner for some, after all.

She stroked and soothed the wild kits where they’d let her before quietly approaching Hearsay and the mama, not wanting to spook the calming rabbit. “I’ve got the kits corralled,” she spoke softly. “Is there something I can do to help remove the trap so that she doesn’t get more injured? Or would there be too many hands in too small an area?”

This had been her rescue mission, but she didn’t mind ceding control to the Warlord who was usually so uncertain. She was pleased by the changes she noticed in her friend, and she’d certainly be asking about them once the situation was resolved.   

Offline Hearsay Elerbeck

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #3 on: Apr 19, 19, 05:08:59 PM »
"... not at the moment," answered Hearsay. With the kits gathered up, he pulled the projection of calm back to simply being in a bubble around the doe so that she stopped struggling within the trap and further injuring herself. "Need to make sure that opening it up and letting her go isn't going to make her bleed out."

A quick smile, soft and shy as all of Hearsay's smiles often were, was given as he looked over his shoulder at Melody briefly. His attention was quickly back upon the doe who had stilled, though her heart was beating rapidly. Too fast, he realized, and then the damage done by the trap ...

It was not good and all the struggling had practically sealed the doe's death. Rather: it would if Hearsay did not tend to her as he could. He chewed the inside of his cheek, pale eyes cutting towards Melody and then back. Did she know? Probably not. Virtuosa likely believed it his place to inform people, if they did not find out on their own somehow.

If he wanted to save the doe, as he knew Melody would be upset if she couldn't be, then he would simply have to run the risk. Hearsay was not supposed to be hiding anymore anyway, not with the rumors spreading about a Red-Jeweled Healer in Glory Glade.

"Keep her kits bubbled but come here?" Once Melody was sitting opposite him, Hearsay spoke again. "I need you to open the trap up slowly while I handle and get her out of it. On the count of three?" Waiting for her acknowledgment, Hearsay counted back from three.

His hands were already upon the doe and with Melody's help--with her slowly opening the spring-trap up--Hearsay was pulling her from it. The damage, however, was even more obvious now that she was free. Her fur was matted with blood, part of her hind quarter mauled by the teeth of the trap. It was not something that would see her survive in a normal situation to get to a Healer.

Not that that was a concern. With the doe pulled from the trap, settled into his lap, Hearsay pressed his hands to the bloody mess. It was not the Opal he pulled upon but the Red, weaving it through the doe's body delicately. His eyes slid shut as he began to bolster the doe with craft, weaving healing through her. Under his hands the doe's body was being healed, knitting flesh and more back together carefully. Gradually, as he worked, there was a subtle shift to his scent as he released the craft that hid his true caste.

Healing like this--even an animal--would give it away anyway.

Offline Melody Tioriand

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #4 on: Apr 25, 19, 06:36:21 PM »
Hearsay gave voice to the result that had worried Melody enough to ask for help. That prying open the trap would just worsen the poor bunny’s wound or hasten its death. She was relieved that he had answered her call, that he’d been close enough to lend a hand.

Melody heard a rustling in the underbrush just outside of her bubble so she creeped closer, making almost no noise. She carefully pushed aside a branch and found another frightened baby. With the utmost care, Melody scooped the soft creature up and placed it into the shield with its siblings.

“Of course,” the witch responded instantly. She hurried to the trap and sat across from Hearsay as he indicated. She shielded her hands before figuring out the best place to pry the vicious trap open from. She gave a nod, listened to the countdown, and carefully pried open the spring-trap.

Melody was a bad ass fighter. She trained daily, sparred all the time, fought the brood. And still she couldn’t help but to gasp at the damage done to a defenseless creature. Tears stung her eyes as her mind jumped ahead – they’d have to get the rabbit to a healer, now, for them to do any good.

She knew he’d have come to the same conclusion, only he just cradled the rabbit into his lap and pressed his hands to her wounds. Melody knit her brows together and opened her mouth to prompt Hearsay into moving, only to snap it shut.

Hearsay was weaving craft into the rabbit. Healing Craft. And not the little bits and pieces all of the Blood learn to close shallow wounds, but actual Healing Craft. She blinked a few times, because now her sense were telling her that he had the psychic scent of a Healer. A Healer Warlord.

Well, well, well. Things just got interesting. Seems her friend has been keeping a secret from her, unless he’d just trained into it? Either way she wasn’t sure if she was annoyed that he’d kept it for her or impressed that he had. The brat.

She sat back and watched while he patched up his furry little patient. She waited until he was finished before smiling cheekily. “Well, looks like I know where to bring all the injured rabbits I find.”

Offline Hearsay Elerbeck

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 19, 12:30:42 AM »
Hearsay felt it, Melody's upset at the state of the doe. In another situation, he would have offered comfort, done what he could to ease that pain that he felt keenly. Within this situation, he knew the quickest way to ease her worry, to seeing those tears dry up, was to take care of the mother rabbit.

It was without thought that he kept an eye on the witch's feelings. Not that he could actually turn off his empathy, it never particularly listened to him that well. So he did not think about how Melody's mood briefly shifted, likely because she wanted him to get a move on to help the doe.

He was too busy using a soft, deft touch of his Red to ensure the damage done was healed. His shoulders had tensed, an uneasiness settling into him that had nothing to do with the injured rabbit. Mostly it was his own worries that-- Hearsay pushed them away, not letting his mind slip from the task at hand.

Not too much longer and the doe was asleep in his lap, the damage from the trap healed without even the smallest trace of a scar. The only thing that gave it away was the lack of soft, fuzzy fur over where the rabbit had been caught. Hearsay smoothed his hand along her fur, thumb rubbing gently at an ear. He repeated the motion once, then twice more, before he finally looked to Melody.

Red spread out across his nose, dusting his cheek. "... if you want to," said Hearsay, looking more like his shyer self once more. He was silent as if considering what to say. The silence stretched out for a quick smattering of heartbeats before he spoke again.

"I'm not trained," he said after some consideration. To be trained would mean death, for him and whoever would have trained him. No, Hearsay was born a Healer and had suffered for it. "... just know how to hide myself really well." A pause. "So, um ... I'm sorry for not telling you." Which he honestly felt a little bad about. Especially given that it seemed as if Melody wasn't bothered by his Healer caste. There was no malice in her emotional landscape, no disgust. No, she was a little annoyed but mostly relieved and happy to have the rabbit healed.

It was for the best, he thought, because he was not sure that he could handle a close friend like Melody calling him an atrocity or abomination or some other not nice thing.

"Going to sit here a little longer, just to make sure that she's alright." His thumb ran along the doe's spine, his pale-eyed gaze dropping back to the rabbit.

Offline Melody Tioriand

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 19, 07:49:18 PM »
Melody watched the blush rise on her friend’s face and sighed softly. She climbed to her feet and tousled his hair before turning towards the trapped kits. She had to wrestle with her annoyance with Hearsay, and the slight hurt that came with knowing he kept such a secret from her. She knew he didn’t keep it from her in particular. It was forbidden within their territory to train a male into a female Caste, but he said he hadn’t been trained. So the Healer Caste was natural to him. The territory court triangle had a dual caste male in it. Though she’d heard that there’d been quite a bit of drama surrounding Blade Amdir and his second caste.

But Virtuosa Illion was her best friend and her Queen. A Queen that acted in a way that’s contrary to what their society dictated. Certainly, if anyone could be trusted to accept people for who and what they were it was her, right? Melody scooped up the baby rabbits and brought them back to their sleeping mother. She sat back down and formed a new shield around them to keep the kits close until the doe woke back up.

But Melody also recognized that everyone had their own secrets and scars. She certainly didn’t lay her vulnerabilities out for all to see. “Thank you for trusting me with this.” There wasn’t much else to say, really. Not about his being a Healer. Although, she hesitated for a moment. “Does Vee know that you’re a Healer?” It was possible that Virtuosa knew, her Queen wasn’t in the habit of divulging secrets that weren’t hers to give.

She stroked the silky soft fur of one brave bunny that started sniffing at her boots. “She said that she found that you settled down here in Glory Glade. What have you been up to here?” If they were going to hang out until they were both satisfied that the animals would be okay, there was no reason she shouldn’t nose about in what Hearsay has been up to.

Offline Hearsay Elerbeck

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 19, 10:08:01 PM »
Despite the time that had passed since coming to Glory Glade Hearsay still struggled at times with feeling comfortable with being out in the open--so to speak--when it came to his nature as a Healer. Though many had come to accept him, or at least put up with him, part of it was because he did not act as a Healer did. That would have been pushing it, he thought, even if more than a few seemed perplexed that Red-Jeweled Healer hadn't been put to work by a Court.

His fingers continued to smooth along the doe's fur, watching as Melody gathered the kits up and brought them closer. Hearsay gave her a smile, one that did reach his eyes, when she thanked him for trusting her. "... she knows," said Hearsay, "though she found out because of Brevity." The Healer Warlord's twin brother, a Warlord Prince, was forever a sore subject. "He's more vocal now about my being an, ah ..." His nose wrinkled up. "Abomination. Not that she put up with that talk but you know how Vee is." Which was one way to say that Brevity ended up getting his arse handed to him.

The flush that had faded finally returned in full force, Hearsay sighing. At himself. "I didn't end up here by choice but settling here was my choice." There was one more piece of jewelry on Hearsay beside the living vine that curled around his neck and down along his shoulder to his bicep that held his uncut Red in it. His thumb fidgeted, twisting the ring on his finger that marked him as Steward of Glory Glade. "Epiphany--Lady Estinaria--found me when I was running." Letting out a low noise, a soft croon, the Healer held out his free hand to one of the kits. Given enough time he was likely to be covered in bunnies; Hearsay was more of the forest than many others.

"She's my Queen," said Hearsay finally, "and I decided to stay here." A glance went to Melody. "It's safer that way, I think, but I also like it here."

Offline Melody Tioriand

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 19, 03:00:42 PM »
Annoyance and anger flared through Melody at the utterance of the word ‘abomination.’ In her opinion that word was for the Brood and the Brood alone. Their people were always so eager to put everyone into a neat little box predetermined by Caste and bloodlines. Nothing would make her mother happier than if she removed the color from her hair and settled down with a ‘proper’ aristo man. Society would prefer Vee to put down her sword and put on a dress.

Hearsay was wonderful. A little shy, and a little nervous at times – but compassionate, sweet, and dependable. “I do know how Vee is, and I wouldn’t have put up with it either.” But Melody also understood twisted family bonds, and why Hearsay might not have been able to do anything about it himself.

Delight replaced her annoyance as she grinned. “Your Queen, hmm?” She gave the Healer Warlord a playfully pointed look. “And, I see she made you her Steward. Already part of a Triangle while I’m forever stuck in the Third Circle.” Not that Melody would want anything higher than third circle, not when the Queen she was contracted to was Majesty. If Vee ever set up a Court, Melody would most certainly have a place in the first circle. “You should tell me all about her, and the other people you work with.” The witch wasn’t all that familiar with Glory Glade or its inhabitants.

“You should also tell me what you mean by it’s safer than you decided to stay in Glory Glade. Have you found yourself some trouble that needs to be dealt with?” Because Melody was all for pitching in to help drag Hearsay out of trouble if needed.

Offline Hearsay Elerbeck

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Re: There's a Lurker Making Rounds
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 19, 12:16:45 AM »
It was still strange, so many months later when people grew affronted on his behalf. Would it have been better to have been honest all those years? As Brevity had turned those within their town against him, could he have won them over by simply being himself? Perhaps but then the problem had always been that he was too aware of the emotions of those around him.

There was only so much disgust and otherwise that he could cope with before it weighed him down. So lying, hiding himself, had been easier. Then there was the fact that if he had been honest ... Hearsay was content with his life as it was now. If anything had been different he would not be where he was, not for certain, and that simply wouldn't work.

He gave Melody a half-smile. "Probably didn't help that he came to Glory Glade either." A short while before Hearsay had fled and found himself here. "He wanted to serve Epiphany, as she's one of the darkest Queens within our forests." He shook his head, blowing red bangs out of his eyes a moment later. "She rejected him, a month or so before I ran here." His flush worsened at Melody's teasing, Hearsay rubbing a hand at his warm face.

"... kind of walked myself into it," admitted Hearsay. "She didn't have one yet and I started handling the audience schedule and some other things." The Healer Warlord shot her a look, however. Mostly because he knew that Melody wouldn't want to serve any further than the Third Circle of Esgarth with Virtuosa's mother ruling.

For a moment he had been about to talk about Glory Glade, his Queen and the others that he had met who were now friend and ally. (Including two Warlord Princes, which was something given that he was absolutely terrified of most that bore the Caste.) Melody's question about trouble, what had brought him here, made him the flush in his cheeks disappear. Hearsay paled, closing his eyes and curling his hand gently against the doe's fur (similarly he did, indeed, have at least three kits already on him in his lap).

"I can hear the trees," said Hearsay softly. It was something the Children of the Wood had been capable, something lost to the Purge and time. Much like the old tongue, though the Healer Warlord could speak it thanks to his cousin. "Can't understand what they're saying, not as my Queen can. I can feel their emotions, though." Was it strange that the woods they lived in had feelings? Possibly but it was natural to Hearsay. "It's been that way for years."

A sigh escaped as he bowed his head. "The winter before this last," started Hearsay, "I was in the forest," which was where he had always been found before he disappeared, "when I heard a voice call out. From a tree, Melody, a tree. A spirit of a tree called to me." The things that the Children of the Wood had once been closer with. What stories he could learn about the forest and the spirits that dwelled within had been the tales Hearsay loved sharing.

"It understood me. What I was going through, what it was like to be ostracized ..." Hearsay frowned, though he pushed away the old, terrible feelings that welled up. "It said that it could teach me, that I could learn to heal more than just flora," yes, he did just imply he could heal trees and plants, "and fauna ... All I had to do was just listen to it. Do as it wanted me to do."

Glancing up through red bangs, Hearsay looked at Melody once more before he continued. "Spirits still exist, they have to, and this one talked to me in the weeks before my Offering. When my Offering came and I claimed my Red ..." The Healer Warlord fidgeted, thumb stroking the ear of a curious kit gently. "It couldn't hide from me anymore. Not once I held the Red. What I thought was a spirit wasn't a spirit, Mels. It was one of the Brood. Who wanted to capture me, take me wherever, and ... I don't know, I just ran before it could get a hold of me."

It was why Hearsay rarely--if ever!--left the boundaries of protections that secured Glory Glade. There was too much chance that he could be found. "That's the trouble," said Hearsay. "That the Brood may still be hunting me all because of what I am."