5 Word Challenge Brought to you by: October Knight
[bg=#006633]This challenge is to help strengthen your vocabulary. You'll learn new words and how to use them in roleplay posts, stories, poems, etc!
Instructions: 1. Aim for a minimum of 1-3 paragraphs. If you'd like to write more than that, then go for it! 2. Make sure you use each word in your post. Be as creative as you'd like. 3. Style the writing like you would for a story. It can be describing a setting, or written from the perspective of a character. Whatever you feel would work the best. 4. Have fun with this, of course!
Fen (N) - Low, flat Swampy land. Bog or marsh.
Exude (V) - To expel slowly and steadily, as in a moisture or smell.
The still air hung heavy with silence and the heady aroma of flowers whose blossoms fanned out in the green mist in vibrant hues. The humid [glow=yellow]fen[/glow] teemed with insects ordinarily and a faint hum could usually be heard from their activity as they fluttered around. Defying the usual, there was hardly any sound to be heard save for the splashing of the water beneath the boots of the man who was parting reeds to force his way through. His breathing was a little labored, from the exertion, but he knew that he was nearly done with his hard journey through the verdant growth.
The flowers [glow=yellow]exuding[/glow] perfume were dangerous enemies to one unfamiliar with the area and even to those accustomed to it, they could prove more than annoying. Their scent was thick and clouded the mind with its numbing effect, not good when there lurked a host of unfriendly predators in the shadows and just out of sight. He knew that they were watching him, he knew that they were waiting for him to succumb to the sweet sleep. He had more fortitude than that, however, and he knew that his destination was at hand. He could not see it yet, due to the stalks packed closely together that reached high above his head, but he was close.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the man emerged into a clearing where the plants had been warded away. The flowers and their scent were blocked by the reeds that formed a barrier all around. For good measure, the man had even chopped away the flowers that grew too closely to his altar. This was a haven for all those who feared the vicious animals that prowled nearby. They came here not for the same reason as the man, but instead for his protection. His altar was to a concept that the rest found less than sane, but they did not question him. He was a beacon, a leader, in the land of lost lambs and he forced them to sit at his altar to perhaps imbue one of them with its magic.
Little known to the rest, [glow=yellow]epeolatry[/glow] was not in fact the fire of his passion. The altar was not blind devotion to words but rather the spark of his fire and one that he desperately wished for a fellow in. Long had he insisted on the pilgrimage of the people in quest for his protection, but he was growing weary. It seemed as though there would be no other to share in his gift and he was lonesome with people whose only concern was for breeding and hunting. They would not understand the calling of his art and the thread of his thoughts, the idea that he existed for more than the mundane.
Brushing his fingers over the peculiar obelisk, inscribed on all sides with the etchings of words in an endless story, stretching to the top. To the touch, it was cool, unusual in the hot humidity. Stranger still was the [glow=yellow]arenaceous[/glow] texture and for both reasons, he'd attempted to find another stone with the same qualities but he had yet to discover another. It seemed that it was entirely unique, its presence an unexplained mystery, even to the man.
Broken from his reverie by the rustle of reeds, the man looked up to see a young woman entering the clearing with a little boy in her arms. Her face was streaked with blood and her hands were caked with it; she looked feral, desperate, as she glanced around. Her mouth was set in a thin line that belied her worry and the man gestured for her to bring the boy closer. Seemingly appeased, she approached, the boy still gripped tightly in her arms, [glow=yellow]acquiescing[/glow] with stubborn hesitation to his unspoken request.
"He is hurt."
This simple explanation was rife with worry, so strong that it could be felt. The man accepted the boy into his arms gently, patting the child's hair with one hand. The woman's expression remained wary, but her eyes shone with gratitude. She would not be the first mother who had sought protection for their child with him. He refused to allow his heart to melt for her, but for the child. That was a different story entirely, he thought, cradling the whimpering boy. Each child was invaluable and he would do everything in his power to care for this one.
The man had only turned his back on the woman for a moment when he heard a gasp and spun to face her. Her fingers were spread over a span of the obelisk and the words beneath her fingertips were lit with an unnatural light. Her expression was one of awe, her eyes wide and mouth open. The spark had touched her.
The scribe and his master sloshed through the foggy fen in search of the perfect inspirational setting for the master to dictate his latest oration of his epeolatry in poetic verse. the scribe was cold and tired, and more than a little afraid of the noises and shadows of this place, but he had no choice but to follow where his master lead.
Sudden the master came up short and halted, and did so with such abruptness that he very nearly bounced off his back. "This tis the place," he announced holding out his arms and then lifting them toward the murky heights above them.
The scribe could barely see, nor could he discern what could possibly be so pleasing about this muddy spot over the last five miles of muddy spots he was sure they had traveled. Nevertheless, he pulled out his scroll and sat on a lump of sod to wait for the words to exude from his master's lips. He sat quietly as was his instruction from the master, but he was sure anyone with half a mind would acquiesce that this was indeed far and beyond what most servants would be expected to endure. it was also as he waited that he noticed an odd phenomenon. This mud seemed to be..of an odd arenaceous sort. not soupy and murky as the rest of the fen. It was with some alarm that he also noted that they appeared to be sinking.
His master was holding his hands still stretched up to the foggy sky, which was now even more frightening in the waning of the daylight, in total oblivion of their peril. He started to call out a warning, only to remember the lashing that had caused the last time he had spoken during the 'inspirational' time the 'place' gave to the master. And so he sat in silence as the quicksand swallowed them slowly, keeping his hands and the scroll above ground as long as possible if perchance he might be able to save this last bit of inspiration for future posterity.
The master spoke at last, "The foggy mists of the miry fen do claim another into their eternal hand."
She laughed, but it was not a pretty thing. It cut through the very core of a person with its ill intent. The bounty on the woman's head was quite a sum, and every hunter in the land had been waiting for the moment she turned up. Apparently, she had offended some lofty young lord, but a bounty's past rarely ever mattered. Especially not to Jack, who made his living off the misfortune of others. He rarely went to such trouble for a target, but the prize was simply too tempting. Strange that he had tracked her down in a swamp, sleeping on the ground when a town was only a mile away. When he'd held a knife to her throat and told her to come quietly, he had expected fear or perhaps anger.
He hadn't expected Mara Sweet to laugh.
But here she was, laughing so hard the knife's edge pricked into the edge of her neck. She didn't even seem to notice. Her singular eye remained unfocused, looking off in the distance as if her attacker never existed. The whole bizarre situation was enough to make Jack pause--something he rarely ever did when on a job. He was not afraid, merely intrigued.
Suddenly, she stopped with such abruptness he almost that she choked. Rather, her eye swiveled with sudden clarity, meeting his gaze with a ferocity that sent an instinctual bolt of fear down Jack's spine. The woman's nostrils flared, as if she could smell it exuding off him. He had a sickening feeling that he should have left Mara Sweet well enough alone. "You're quite lucky I find you amusing, you know," she whispered, grinning like a madwoman.
And then she was gone, and he held nothing but the humid air of that miserable fen.
Mara watched the bounty hunter from a distance, waiting for his reaction. Most people ran away in fear when she pulled a trick like that. After all, sorcerers were hardly a commonality in this miserable world, and she was perhaps the greatest of them all. It's not everyday you unlock the secret to near immortality. She still bled like a normal person, but she had lost count of the years since she stopped aging.
But no, this man did not run away or go pale with shock. He simply stared at his knife, his brows knitting together in confusion. No...not confusion. Irritation.
"I know you're still out there," he called out, his eyes roaming the landscape of the fen. The low trees and bushes provided excellent cover by themselves, but she'd already faded into the environment regardless. Despite being practically invisible, her eye narrowed when his gaze landed on hers and stayed there. Somehow, he knew where she was. It was so improbable, but...this man had magic.
When he started chanting in the ancient tongue, Mara felt something she had forgotten after so many years...fear. The tables had turned, it seemed. Impossibly, this man knew ancient magic, using a language that had once been revered as being from the gods. She remembered the fanatics' epeolatry in the ancient days; they would gather around to hear sorcerers cast the simplest of spells.
She stared, even as the ground beneath her began move unnaturally. It changed and warped, dragging its way towards the man still chanting the ancient words. Even she did not know this spell, and it was certainly a long one. All the more terrifying. Beneath her fingertips, she felt the change from mud and dirt to an arenaceous material. She dared to glance down, gaping as she saw actual sand being drawn towards him. Transmutation...she didn't want to know why he was turning the ground into sand. Perhaps he had an affinity for it...
"Fine!" she yelped, leaping out from her hiding place. He stopped chanting immediately, and the ground slowly returned to its normal state. She tried not to notice the ring of sand that had already built itself around the man. It was the last part of the spell to disappear. Mara looked around, weighing her options. Somehow, without her realizing it, he had built a barrier around them. She had been trapped the moment she decided to stick around. Shit.
"That wasn't so hard, now was it?" the man quipped. She bristled, realizing the irony of the phrase being used against her. She often taunted people with those very words; she'd done so to that young lord. "You've got a nice price on your head, Mara Sweet. Is that your real name? But...I think someone else would like very much to meet you." He flipped the blade in his hand, the fear she had smelled earlier gone completely. She knew that if she refused, it would not be pretty. But if she acquiesced to his demands...
"How old are you?" she asked. The man smiled knowingly.
"One thousand three hundred and four...as of yesterday..."