View Full Forums : Fiction: The Druid's Heart (Lyrebyrd)

07-31-2001, 06:05 AM
The Druid's Heart Part 1

<My name is Cara. My parents and I had heard the news (everyone had) that the orcs were advancing. We paid it no heed, for always before we had been safe. We were fools.>

I had fallen asleep to the sound of my mother humming softly as she knitted a blanket for the coming winter and my father's low voice talking about how he did worry a bit about the news and shouldn't we move just in case?

I woke to the feeling of being shaken. I rolled over and tried to get back to sleep, but the person shaking me just shook me harder. I suddenly smell smoke and blood, odd smells I had never smelled before. I say, "Mom? What are those smells. Hey! you're not my mom!!!!!" I kick the intruder, trying to get away. She has weird blue - black skin and her hair is white. She just gives me a look that says shutup kid in one glance. "Do you want to get taken by the orcs to be a slave or get killed or will you come with me?" she whispers. I glare at her blue eyes and follow her through the bushes towards the city. "OW! My foot!" I cry out loud. "Try to be quiet please."she whispers to me. She picks me up and runs, for the orcs have seen us. They did not chase us right away, and I wondered why until out of the bushes steps another of the lady's kind, yet she seems much more sinister. "OH DANGIT!" was the cry from my lady's mouth "why you? why do I have to face off against you?" They seem to have rules to their duel, forthey whispered they're names and I heard mine was Silverlyric. Then the other, Zanye,whispered "I will get the pleasure of killing you traitor, for not only did you not stay in Nagafen's Lair, you betrayed us to become a bard! You also worship that puny elvish god! You are a traitor by all means and so you shall die as one!" I drew back in fright, was that why my friend against the orcs, not with? "I found my meaning, and it is not to follow Innoruk, and join the despised group of followers, hated all around, but to live the good life of Tunare" Silverlyric repled

Then they started attacking, Zanye played the part of a rogue, all feints and dodges. Once she even tried pickpocketing Silverlyric. I slapped her hand when she tried it, trying my best to help Si (my new nickname for silverlyric). The darkelf gave me a glare that says you will have a nice LONG death girl! I wasn't worried because Si was winning. She had a damage song on the whole time!!!

Si finally caught Zanye unawares. Zanye had tried to attack Si's undefended side but Si flipped out a hidden knife and stapped Zanye. Si quickly turned around and made me hide my face while she picked me up, trying to prevent me from seeing the corpse of Zanye. I saw a glimpse of it, and knew I would never be the same innocent girl I had been before. I started to throw up and Si put me down. I felt little better once we arrived at the city, and I truly worried Si would be Kill on Site there, but the guards just greeted her as she went by. We went up the lift and I couldn't stop staring. Merchents everywhere, and soo many people! I couldn't believe my eyes! "What is your name young girl?"Si asked me. "I can't remember!" I cried "Shhhh, it's okay. I forgot my name too, so I now have the name of Silverlyric" she said to me "if you want you can take a new name dear."

She had been walking the whole time and finally we arrived at a large building that had a sign which said Soldiers of Tunare. "This is where we will get you healed up and cared for until you decide your profession." Si said. "Heyla Si!" a person called from the other room"how'd the rescue mission go?" "Awful! Only one person survived, a child, but besides that? I managed to finish off the last memory of my past, Zanye, but that and the child were the only good things that happened, OW! Geesh, any one got some time for a shoulder wound heal?" Si said "Sure, be right out"came the reply.

Out came 2 men, 1 obviously the guild leader, the Heartwood Master, I knew, and the other was unknown to the likes of me. The Master came over to me and shook his head.
"That a child should be the only one rescued, and she doesn't even know her name"he said.Then he bagan to cast. "Thank you" I say automatically. I see the other healing a nasty gouge on Si's shoulder. "Well, I may not know my true name, but I can certainly get a new one. My new name shall be Fleetfoot."I say "Nice name"Si says. "I also have a profession, the druid profession" I say, knowing this is a life long decision. "Well, Fleet, before you start on work come with me, we are gonna have dinner now, and then sleep"Si replied

Well, my life has passed quickly, and Si acts like a big sister, but I also know my time to go help the fight against orcs has come. I tell Si, and she smiles at me, wishes me luck, gives me some supplies and her favorite weapon, the secret knife. She also gives me an envelope. "Hide the knife in your boot, use it when you need it, as for the envelope? That you keep with you until you know the time to open it is right. Also, I have one favor to ask, if you see a dark elf named Aere in slavery, free him, he was a dark elf like me, except he is a warrior for Tunare, not Innoruk." Si tells me.

So I start on my journey to Crushbone, home of the orcs. I arrive there, and Camoflage myself. I move towards the back, where the slaves are kept, and away from the castle. I see many slaves, but I know I must kill the orcs to free them, for I do not have the keys. I find a slaver, and I kick him hard, very hard. He jumps in surprise when he sees me there, and this time I bash him with my morning star, I suddenly am brutally smacked on the head. Well that hurt, but I wasn't done. I cast my fastest Direct damage spell but the orc inturupts it. So while I still have the magic residue I hit the orc with it. The feeling of being pulled apart suddenly apeared and I am flung backwards. "OW! I am NEVER going to do that again unless it is a life death choice, ow!" I promise myself. I look at the bloody remains of the orc and I feel my stomach roiling. It is a mess, but the keys are still intact. So I grab the keys and head towards the now unguarded slaves. I see 16 slaves in all, and I only have a few keys. So I free 7 and see I still have one key left, for they dissolve after being used. I see a darkelf, but I also see dwarves and gnomes. I suddenly remember what Si wanted me to do, so I walk up to the slave and say "Are you aere?" He looks up startled, and I see green eyes. The darkelves usually only have red eyes, and Si had had blue eyes, so I free him. He stays with me, unlike the others who had run off to Kelethin and safety. "I am Aere, and I will help you fight the orcs if you have a weapon." he calmly told me. I see he has not been hurt at all during slavery, unlike the others. He notices it and tells me "Seen as I am a darkelf the orcs were afraid to whip me." I hand him my morning star and change to my scimitar.

May Tunare Bless You With
Sunny Skies and Dry Roads

Lyrebyrd Falconspirit
Dreamer, Writer and Holder
of the One True Magic.

07-31-2001, 06:05 AM
<This is the second in my series, and it is from Aere's point of view. Sorry I took so long writing it.>

"Are you Aere?" a female voice asks. I turn around, startled, but it's not Silverlyric, it's a wood elf. Dangit Tunare, stop sending wood elves to laugh at me! The wood elf does something odd,she unlocks the chains on my wrists and ankles.
She gestures for me to leave, but I decided to help this little wood elf girl. "I am Aere and I will help you fight the orcs if you have a weapon." I say calmly. She notices that I was not whipped and I explain "Seen as I am a dark elf the orcs were afraid to whip me." She hands me her morning star and puts a scimitar in her hand.
I notice an orc Taskmaster coming and I hiss at her "Hide till her attacks me, then attack him." She nods and disappears. The taskmaster walks closer and I ready myself for a fair bruising. The taskmaster notices I am free. "Will you ever stop trying to get away stupid elf?" he asks and tries to whip me. I dodge aside and smash my morning star on his head. The girl appears and begins to cast a spell. Fire starts to rain down on the task master, burning him to death. He turns around and goes after the girl. I charge him and try to hit him on the head, but seen as I was angry and not concentrating I missed. He grabs the girl and throws her against the wall. I look at her and see her bleeding from a cut on her head. I look at the task master and realize I have two choices... get away and let her be caught or let all my training go down the drain and try to get out of this junk yard with her. Phooey. I drop my morning star, run to her, pick her up and run for the exit. The taskmaster sneers and blocks the doorway. "Go away jerk, you'll get your chance at em another day" I shout at him. I kick him in the stomach and run out the door while he doubled over. I wish at that moment I had Spirit of Wolf, but I didn't, so as I ran, various orcs caused me pain, but didn't stop me. I reached the entrance and ran out, running all out to Kelethin.
The guards at the lift look at me in surprise and welcome me home, but I ignore them and go up the lift. I run as fast as possible to the druid guild, hoping they will have time for this girl, but when I reach the door and open it, it is packed with slaves that had been freed and need healing. I sigh, but I feel someone taking the weight of the girl off me and someone else leading me to the back room. There were 3 pallets in there, like some people had been expecting us, and waiting for us by sleeping there every night. "And I would have thought you could take better care of the person who freed you Aere!" a familiar voice commented. "Silverlyric?" is all I could say before exhaustion and pain came at me in a wave of black.
"I think he's waking up." I heard someone say as the battle against the black ocean finally eased up. "No kidding, what happened to the girl who saved me?" I asked. "I'm fine compared to you Aere, now go back to sleep." the girls voice said. I felt two hands on my forehead and the green magic made me go back to sleep.
The green magic finally let me wake up. I sat up and opened my eyes. In a pallet beside me the girl slept and on a chair beside me sat ..... Silverlyric! "So... you were captured and freed and you managed to sleep for 5 days, interesting." my friend said. "Yeah, and did I CHOOSE! to sleep for 5 days, noooooo!." I said through clenched teeth. Si laughed. "Well, you made a good impression on Fleetfoot at least." she said. "Fleetfoot?" I asked. "My adopted little *sister*, the one who got you outa those chains." "Her? She's a nice gal, how old is she? She looks like a little kid when she sleeps, but the rest of the time she seems my age." I comment. "When she sleeps she is the child she never got to be. Her parents died when the orcs made an attack on the village, she was no more then 12 then. Now she is 18 and a powerful druid. She looks more like an adult because of the sorrow she carries. Her whole village died." Si answered sadly. "Now that is sad. 18? My gosh, she's only 1 year younger then me!" I answer in surprise. "Yes, and don't think ANY dirty thoughts around her my friend! She's under MY protection, and if it includes dueling you then it includes dueling you!" Si snapped protectively. "Alright! I won't, calm down!" I reply, startled at how fiercely protective Silverlyric was. "Sorry bout that, but she's like the little sister I once had, and I don't intend for anything to happen to her." Si answered. I look at the young girl and wished Si wasn't quite so protective.

May Tunare Bless You With
Sunny Skies and Dry Roads

Lyrebyrd Falconspirit
Dreamer, Writer and Holder
of the One True Magic.

07-31-2001, 06:06 AM
<Fleetfoot's viewpoint now. >

“So, what exactly is this envelope? I feel like I need to open it, but not now.” Fleetfoot asked herself as she studied the bulging envelope.

A knock on the door startled her into the last of her leathers in about 5 seconds.

“Oh come on Fleet, you can't still be getting ready. I told you to get up a half hour ago,” said a female voice as the dark elf stepped into the 1 room hut.

“Aw Si, I was just-“ Fleetfoot said, getting interrupted.

“I know you were just, but you need to move faster, the druid's guild is gonna assign you and my nomadic friend Aere a job to complete. A job to kill someone. Don't ask me who.” Silverlyric, a darkelf bard of Tunare, said.

“Oh piffle, I'm gonna be late! Damnit!” Fleet cursed. She cast a spell and felt her feet move much faster. She ran at full speed out of the hut, up a ramp, down 3 ramps, across a bridge, and down a ramp. She slowed down just before she smashed into the druid's guild doors.

“Well, it's about time partner. We were wondering if a rogue found a handy profit for killing you,” said a husky voiced dark elf male.

“Hello Aere, sorry I'm late. I was just-“ Fleet said, and was interrupted a second time.

“I know you were just, but you missed the assignment. It’s okay, I wouldn’t take a different partner, and so they had to let you in. The assignment is to kill Ambassador D’Vinn.” Aere commented. He appeared paler then usual, and Fleet knew why. Aere had been caught by D’Vinn and was mentally tortured till he was deep in self-doubt, self-anger, and fear of being seen like that. Fleet never brought it up, and she wouldn’t bring it up until she was sure of her powers. For some reason the druids were sure she had empathy and mind healing powers.

“Well, we better pack, and knowing you, you’ll take forever, peacock.” Fleet teased.

“Uh huh! Sure. I’ll see you at the orc lift when your done packing….”Aere teased back.

As they parted ways to pack, Fleet noted the differences between them that made them shield partners that no one rivalled. Fleet had blue eyes and red hair, odd, because most red heads had green eyes. She was extremely calm, and hard to anger. When she did get angry, she would become even calmer, but you could see flames of anger in her eyes. No one angered her. On the other hand, Aere had green eyes and silver hair, with inky blue-black skin. He could become angry easily when insulted about being of dark elf heritage. When he got angry he would beat the offender up. Unless Fleet was there. If she was, she would put her hand on his arm, give him a look, and he would calm down a bit. He typically walked forward and told the offender to do something anatomically impossible with a dead fish. Then he would leave the area, Fleet with him. Many people would spread rumours they were lovers, but they weren’t, so they just ignored it. They were balanced well, Aere and Fleetfoot. Especially in fights, where she would nuke the enemy, and he would fight them off her. They were an amazing team. Fleet sighed and threw herself onto her bed when she entered her hut. 5 minutes later, she was almost ready to go, almost but not quite.

“Hi. I heard you’re off to kill D’Vinn. I sure hope it isn’t the last thing you do.” Si’s voice said calmly.

“I assure you, I will not allow myself to die until he is dead. Am I allowed to open this envelope?” Fleet asked.

“I think the time is right, considering I brought something to go with it.”Si said.

Fleet opened the envelope, and much to her surprise, out drifted a feather. A feather that appeared to be burning no less. Silverlyric nodded, grabbed the feather, beaded and braided it onto a piece of leather she had and held the finished object up. Fleet gasped.

“Your not seriously giving this to me, are you?” she said, indicating the leather headband with the feather dangling off it.

“Of course I am. The firebird I met once said this was yours, so yours it is. No, don’t pester me about the firebird, let me put this on you.” Si said, stepping forward and placing the headband on Fleet’s head. “Much better.” Was Si’s only comment about how it looked.

“Thank you.” Fleet said, and hugged her ‘sister’ hard.

“And guessing by your look, you’re off to buy something you don’t want me to know about? For Aere even? It’s okay, I won’t spoil the surprise, if it’s what I think. And he is only 1 year older then you.”Si said slyly.

“Matchmaker.” Was Fleet’s only comment as she zoomed out the door, off to buy her present for Aere.

“Yes yes yes, the ring. That will be 69 platinum, thank you!” the merchant said as he sold her a ring she had been saving up for.

Then off Fleet went, hurrying to the orc lift. She noticed Aere slipping a package into his pack before he greeted her.

“Hi Fleet. Ready to go?” he asked.

“Always am!” Fleet replied with a grin.
And they were off, going quickly thanks to Fleetfoot’s Spirit of Wolf spell. They didn’t even stop to greet the people they passed in Crushbone, they’re main destination the castle. They stopped at the entrance, and Fleetfoot cast Invis on them, so that they could get the D’Vinn’s tower with no delays.

“So, seen as we’re gonna have to camp here till D’Vinn comes, I might as well give you the present I got you. Si said it was your birthday today. I didn’t know you were born on the Summer Solstice.” Aere said, almost shyly, but everyone knows Aere was anything but shy.

“Yeah. I have something for you too, but you may not want it. And yes, I’m an odd one, who else would have the bad taste to be born on Summer Solstice?” Fleet commented dryly.

“Well, would you open mine first?” Aere asked. Fleet nodded, and took the package he held from him. She opened it carefully, and when it was open, she nearly fainted. It was a palm size, clear (with no flaws) amber. It was perfect for a focus stone, something she had always wanted to help her while dealing with raw magic. It was hanging on a silver chain, a very delicate looking chain, but it seemed strong.

“Aere, I don’t know what to say!” Fleet said, astonished beyond belief. Pure, clear amber was expensive and rare.

“Then don’t say anything. How about handing me my present now?” Aere said, obviously pleased by her reaction.

When Aere opened his present he was more startled then Fleet was. What beheld his eyes was a ring made entirely of star ruby, an extremly expensive stone. Even though he wasn’t magically inclined, he could feel the power vibrating from it. What it represented was what startled him.

“You can’t be serious, I mean-uhh, you wouldn’t want to marry a-“ he said, and was inturrupted.

“I am serious. I don’t care if you look like a dark elf on the outside, I love you.” She said quietly, worried he would not take it.

Aere stared at her, then slipped the ring on his finger.

May Tunare Bless You With
Sunny Skies and Dry Roads

Lyrebyrd Falconspirit
Dreamer, Writer and Holder
of the One True Magic.

07-31-2001, 06:06 AM
<Aere’s view>
Aere could barely prevent himself from thinking Fleetfoot was lying. She had to be kidding. He was a darkelf, she was a woodelf. She wouldn’t want to marry him. It wasn’t possible. It just wasn’t. But oh Tunare, he wished it was. But she was serious. Very serious. He slipped the ring on his finger.
As the ring slipped on his finger, Aere felt the last burdens of his soul leave him. The burden that had weighed his soul down for all the time he was with the wood elves was that none of them could ever love a darkelf. That burden was gone now. As gone as Ambassador D’Vinn was going to be when they found him.

“What does the ring do? I may not be magically inclined, but I know you did something to it.” He asked.

“It’s not easy to explain. It is, ummm, not exactly what is known as a portal. It opens the gate to the Growth Plane. It’s so that if you have classified information and your in, ummm, trouble, you can get away.

Aere nodded. He knew. She meant he could kill himself. But he didn’t want to think about that. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged. “Thank you.” Was all he said.

“As much as I hate to destroy this romantic moment, I believe you did not schedule an appointment with me. Aere, I thought you had finally understood that you are never going to fit in with those pathetic demonspawn elves. You are a darkelf, but now that you abandoned your people, you should kill yourself so you don’t have to deny the truth to yourself. Fool.” A silky voice said in Common. Aere and Fleet spun around, only to see a darkelf. The darkelf dwarfed <lol, dwarfed> Fleetfoot, but was barely taller then Aere. Aere immediately unsheathed his swords. Fleetfoot’s scimitar glinted beside him.

Aere feinted to the side of the darkelf, then thrust. D’Vinn parried with his sword and stabbed his dagger into Aere’s side. <I’m not doing the whole fight, I don’t know how to discribe it properly yet. Another time maybe.>

Then the worst happened. When Aere was disarmed, D’Vinn thrust his sword, but Fleetfoot jumped in front and took the thrust. Time seemed to slow down for Aere as he grabbed D’Vinn’s neck and snapped it with his bare hands. Then time went back to normal. And Aere realised that Fleet was dead. “Fleet!!!!Wake up, stop scaring me! Fleet, please! Fleetfoot, come back.” Aere cried, collapsing beside her corpse. He shook her, scared. She couldn’t be dead. She just couldn’t.

As he sat back on his heels, grief making him calm. He watched her face as it relaxed. She was obviously dead. But the firebird feather was glowing. Softly at first, then brighter then the brightest lightstone. It flashed brightly, nearly blinding Aere and it was gone. Instead, there was a bird, a burning bird. A firebird. <You are Aere. I will help you bring her back. She is dear to many, myself included. She must survive. Use the ring.> a voice echoed in her mind. It felt, because it didn’t actually make a sound, like hot embers. Aere was astonished, but he understood, he had to use the ring and bring Fleet back.

Aere grasped the ring and thought of Fleet, the Growth Plane, and Tunare. Before him a portal with green fire glowing in it appeared. He stepped through it, the firebird staying outside. <I will keep the portal open. If she does not want to come tell her it is not her choice. She is not supposed to be dead! You will be able to take the form of the horse if necessary. You must return before the portal closes. You have until the Solstice is ended. Good Luck Friend.>

Aere started trotting towards the sound of water. He could feel the various creatures staring at him, confused that a darkelf was in the growth plane. He could also sense Fleetfoot, she was drifting farther and farther from life. She also felt like a cat. Aere wondered at that, then realised that she could not stay a woodelf all the time in a land of animals. When he reached the waterfall and stream, he saw a water nymph. “Have you seen a new soul by the name of Fleetfoot?” he asked the nymph.

“Why would a darkelf search out a soul in this plane?” the nymph asked.

“Because I love her. Where is she?” he asked.

“I refuse to tell a darkelf where a new soul is.”the nymph stated.

Aere grabbed the nymph and said “Where is she you annoying little twerp? Because if you won’t help me I will certainly tell the firebird holding the portal open for me and her that a certain nymph didn’t help me.”

The nymph muttered a curse and said “She’s in the tree waiting for judgement. You better not interfere you Kahd.”

Aere gave the nymph a dirty look and said “Direction?”

The nymph glared at him and pointed down the river “Through the woods. Follow the river.”

That’s one person to avoid when I come here again he thought as he started down the river.

“Oh, by the way. You won’t get there before she’s judged if you are as slow running as you appear to be.” The nymph called, seemingly happy.

“Better run faster then!” Aere called back. He took on the form of the horse and cantered down towards the woods.

When he reached the woods his entrance was blocked by a wall of trees. No, not trees, treants!

<Please let me by.> he asked politely. The treants moved, but he was running out of time. He galloped beside the river, hoping he’d make it.

When he got to the end of the river, he was startled. Before him was a huge tree. It was big enough it made the tree in surefall glade look miniscule. He charged in, ignoring the fact he was probably getting himself into trouble. Then he changed back to his normal form. He ignored the gasps of the various creatures around him. All that mattered was finding Fleet. “Fleet!” he called. A low growl came from the back of the tree, and he went down there. Sitting there, cleaning itself, was a cougar. A very large cougar. It’s form wavered when it saw him, and instead a woodelf girl by the name of Fleetfoot sat there. “It’s too late Aere. I’m dead. And I’ve been judged. I’m not going back, even if I could. Go back and live your life.” She told him flatly. There was no emotion. Just facts.

Aere sighed. “I’m not going back without you Fleet. If that means not going back, I’m not going back. There’s a firebird back there saying you have to come back. I say you should go back, but if you won’t, I won’t.”He said.

“Aere, I’m dead and I’ve been judged. I’m not allowed to go back. Go home to Kelethin and live your life out. Then I will see you again.”she said, angry.

Aere shook his head, and started tried a different tactic. “Fleet. I know very well you won’t remember me in a 7-day. Unless I’m with you. So, what I am going to do is wait for judgement myself unless you come back.”

“I can’t go back Aere. I want to, but I can’t.”she said sadly, her eyes filling with tears.

Well, that didn’t work. One last try. But not on her. Tunare, Altra. Fleet isn’t supposed to be dead. The firebird holding to portal open agrees. If you won’t free her I am going to stay here and ruin all balance by letting myself be judged. Let her free, please. I can’t live without her.
He prayed.

That got an answer all right. A bright flash of green light and Tunare stood before them. Altra behind her. “Fleetfoot. You are not supposed to be here. Why are you?” Tunare asked, her voice hurting Aere’s ears, for he was still mortal, and her voice was not supposed to be heard by mortal ears.

“My goddess, I am here because I took Aere’s death. Now he won’t leave.” Fleet said.

“Ah. Altra, what do you think should happen.” The goddess asked her Avatar.

“We could let it stay this way, but Aere will not leave, even under command of his goddess. We could not let Aere stay here and send Fleetfoot back, but she would come back. But if we send them both back, what history will be altered? I say send them both back.” The Avatar said, her voice sounding like a wolf’s howl.

Tunare nodded. “My Avatar is correct in her judgement. But. If one of you dies again, I will not allow this. You two are heartbonded. If one dies, the other will die too. No escape from the growth plane a second time. Now go back.” Tunare said. Fleet and Aere found themselves at the portal. They stepped through. And promptly blacked out.

May Tunare Bless You With
Sunny Skies and Dry Roads

Lyrebyrd Falconspirit
Dreamer, Writer and Holder
of the One True Magic.

07-31-2001, 06:07 AM
<Fleetfoot and Aere are back to the real world. But there are some mysteries on hand. What is the purpose of the firebird? What is Fleetfoot destined to do? And are they okay, because they did black out. I am going to answer it all now, and I will stop making commentary at the top or I will use up alot of space. >

Aere? Where's Aere? Where am I? Am I still alive? What happened? Fleet's mind was running wild.

She fought to sit up, but someone was restraining her. "LET ME UP!!!!!" she said angrily. A sigh, and she was allowed to sit up. She sat up and opened her eyes. What she saw was not part of Kelethin. Instead she saw a green area. A very green area. A wall of trees, plants, and a couple birds and squirrels.

And a lodge. She was right in front of a lodge. "It's all right. Be calm. Aere is nearby. And just as determined to see you as you appear to be to see him." a whispery voice said. It sounded like the wind whispering through the trees.

Fleet stood up dizzily and looked around. There was a girl in camoflaged leathers beside her, and past the girl was Aere. "Who are you?" Fleet asked.

The girl smiled, "My name is Lana. I am the Protecter of the Grove. You should know from your druidic lore about this place. You two should not be around right now if you were normal. You know that."

Fleet nodded. This explained much. The girl was the immortal Protector of the Grove. And they had just survived coming back from the plane of growth. "So, when can we go back?" she asked.

"That's the problem. You may not be able to. The reason is because you were in the Growth Plane too long. A friend might be able to help though." Lana said softly, almost sadly.

As if on cue, a firebird flew in. Immediately Fleet's hand went to the braid the firebird feather was on. The feather was gone. <Hello. I helped Aere bring you back. Please don't be angry. You need to live.> a voice echoed in her mind, bringing the feeling of hot embers with it.

"Thank you. I'm not angry. But what happened? And can I go back?" Fleet asked.

<Well.... You have a choice. You can go back with Aere and live out life as a wandering druid, or you can, well, be an immortal. The price to being an immortal is that you'll only be able to live on Norrath when someone needs help. The rest of the time you live in Growth Plane or the Grove.>

"What's the catch to living normal?" Fleet asked suspicously.

<The catch is that you will die, as is your worst nightmare.> was the firebird's reply.

"Your worst fear is of dieing?" Aere asked. He had walked behind her during the discussion.

"Wrong. My worst fear is of dieing and losing you Aere." she replied.

<If she is immortal you won't die. So.. I was told to give her this choice.> the firebird said.

"You should know better Mr. Firebird. I'm not giving up my time with Aere. When we die we are BOTH going to the plane of growth." Fleet snapped.

<But will Aere go to the growth plane? What if he doesn't?>

"I'll go with him where he goes. Let me go back to the mortal world please." Fleet asked.

<What if he goes to the Plane of Hate? You can't follow there.>

"I will not go to the Plane of Hate. That is a place for darkelves. I am not a darkelf." Aere remarked calmly.

The firebird made an odd sound, much like the scream of a falcon when it is in pain. The wings wrapped around it, and the firebird was gone. Instead there stood Altra. "Very good. You finally acknowledge that you are not a darkelf. And you Fleetfoot. You two have both rid yourselves of your innermost fears. For that you will both be able to fit into your destinies. Aere. Turn twice and go as far out into the woods as you can. Exit through the portal." Aere turned twice and walked away. "Fleetfoot. Your previous name was Cara. Do not remenice on the past. You are not to stay in Kelethin when you finish buisness. Travel. Do the same as Aere and leave." The Avatar dissapeared in a flash of green light.

Fleetfoot waved goodbye to Lana, spun twice and walked out into the woods. There she saw a green arch of fire. She took a deep breath and stepped through. She ended up flat on her back in her hut in Kelethin. Beside her was woodelf she recognized faintly. “Who are you and what are you doing in my hut?” she asked angrily.

“It’s Aere. They changed me. It was because I acknowledged that I’m not a darkelf.” Aere said. Still sounds like Aere, Fleet thought.

A knock on the door, and it opened. “FLEET! AERE!” came an excited cry from Silverlyric as she charged in. Fleet hugged Si happily thinking, life is back to normal.

“How did you know I’m Aere?” Aere asked.

“I got a visitor. A bird visitor.” Si said, smiling at Fleet.

“You mean Altra.” Fleet stated.

“Yes. And she left me something for you.” Si said. She held out a bulging envelope. Fleet opened it. Inside was a firebird feather and a note. Fleet braided the feather in with the leather. The note said: Tunare Bless You. Keep calling yourself Fleetfoot, Cara died a long time ago. The feather is from me to you, it may warn you of danger that you need to know of. When it burns brightly, it will grant you a last burst of mana. Use the mana wisely.

“She chose to tell me some recent event, and personally, I want to smack you two upside the head for putting yourselves in such danger. You could have died. No, let me rephrase that, you could have stayed in the Plane of Growth.” Si growled.

“Calm down Si, we’re back, so you can calm down.” Fleet laughed.

The three elves walked out into the forest talking happily, Aere and Fleet telling the whole story. Their story is finished, their life is not. So is the story really done? You tell me my friends.

This is long past history, and not many know it to tell it. But if you listen carefully in the forest you can hear laughter and talk echoing through the past. If you strain to hear it, you can hear their story as they saw it. If you are lucky (and observant), you can watch the past ghost by your very eyes like I did.

Hold the magic of dreams, stories and life in your hearts my friends, and you’ll be granted magic beyond your very imagination, the magic of writing your stories, and seeing them read by many.

May Tunare Bless You With
Sunny Skies and Dry Roads

Lyrebyrd Falconspirit
Dreamer, Writer and Holder
of the One True Magic.

07-31-2001, 06:08 AM
This was my first story. Little by little, I intend to post the rest until this board has them all. The board they were originally posted on will be destroyed, and I'd rather not lose my stories. Besides, more people will read them here then they did in the previous board.

May Tunare Bless You With
Sunny Skies and Dry Roads

Lyrebyrd Falconspirit
Dreamer, Writer and Holder
of the One True Magic.