Betrothed

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
Elaina was scared, but the only part of her that showed it was the way she held on tightly to Evan's arm. Her father had talked about traveling being dangerous, but she was sure he just exaggerating. Being her first time outside of the surround village of her castle home, and avalanche was unsettling!

Falling rocks and churning metal came even louder as more debris slid from the sides of the mountains. Before long, there was so much of it, that most of the cave entrance was blocked with ice and stone. Only a small hole near the very top let rays of light peek through at the inhabitants inside. They weren't hopelessly trapped, but getting out was going to be far from easy.

Behind them the cave seemed to go on endlessly. A few luminescent mushrooms, moss and stone hinting at the distances.

Elaina was chewing on her bottom lip, but when silence finally fell, she spoke. "..it's all right, isn't it? It's like an adventure. We will explore our way out and have a story to tell when we reach Ellipis." Her voice sounded much braver than she felt!
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan barely resisted the urge to kick the insurmountable looking mound of stone and ice. His expression was grim, but the princess and her sweet words lifted his spirits unexpectedly. "You're right, my princess, we'll get through this. I'll take lead... Peter, Will, follow close behind me. Warren and Darren will carry Jeffry and tell us when they're weary and need a break. You'll follow them, Elaina, and Pipa then Bobbin. That way our most fragile are near the center". He wished vaguely that he could justify having Elaina closer to him so that he could ensure her safety, but these thoughts confused him, mostly and he assured himself that Pipa would be good company and that if it were needed, the guards carrying Jeffry could defend the back. However, since the entrance was covered, he doubted anything would come from that direction. Still, one could never be too safe.

"We should be able to follow this cave through, I heard tales when I was a child of a tunnel linking the sides of the mountain, with traders in exotic goods passing through on the secret to avoid bandits and more easily protect their cargo across the long distance. These mushrooms ought to lead us well enough... careful, don't touch them, Elaina". Realizing he sounded overly stern, somewhat parental, he quieted. "I mean, just be careful overall, everyone. Could be dangerous". He took the lead, his strong strides cover ground quickly. In some places, the ceiling dipped down and poor Evan nearly had to shuffle across on his knees, whereas others had almost cathedral ceilings. From further ahead, a light tapping sound could be heard on the stone. Evan froze in his tracks, causing Peter to collide with him.
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
Why was it, when someone told you not to touch something, you immediately wanted to do it? As they walked down the cave, Elaina was itching to reach out and poke at the mushrooms and moss. She had no idea things could glow in the dark like this all by themselves! Most of them were green, but there were soft hues of orange and pink as well. The farther they walked, more things seemed to appear on the walls. Etchings, cave drawings. Symbols that might have been an old language. Claw marks!

She was so busy watching the walls that she walked right in to the back of Will when he made a sudden stop. She gave a hushed apology just in time to hear that strange tapping! At first it sounded harmless. Perhaps like something waving in the wind and typing on the stone. But here in the cave, there was no wind. Only stale motionless air. The rhythmic tapping shifted from to be more random... and louder as it drew closer!

Before long they could hear a new sound. Deep breaths. Far down the corridor two new lights blinked in the darkness. Not lights, but eyes! Wearily blinking as if they had just awoken from a slumber.

Elaina sucked in a breath, pulling Pipa close behind her and drawing them both against one of the cavern walls to get out of the way! If anything, she couldn't let such a young girl get eaten by a mysterious cave monster!
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan drew himself up to his full height in the cave, some alpha technique men mysteriously learn, making himself seem as large as possible. Beside him, Peter was no longer frivolous and light-hearted, mimicking the posture of the prince. The two guards who had been carrying Jeffry placed him gently on the ground to go stand at Evan's side, even Jeff made a valiant attempt to stand but ended up only leaning against the wall. Will retreated to stand guard in front of Elaina. If nothing else were said for Evan and his men, they were a tight-knit group. Prince or not, they were all equal. They wouldn't willing let a single member of the band fight alone.

Every man had a hand on a sword hanging before unnoticed at their hips, every man except Evan who had attempted not to appear hostile to his bride-to-be! Jeffry mustered all his strength to crawl against the wall and press his sword into Evan's hand, before he collapsed onto the ground again. All of the men were tensed, their muscles strung tightly like coiled springs....

The creatures drew nearer, their eyes flickering with the feeble light given off by the plant life... then they halted, clearly more able to see in the dark and having already distinguished the hostile figures before them. A grunting sound came, speech judging by varying pitch and sound. The tapping resumed, much like claws on stone...
[/size]
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
The moment Elaina realized there was more than one blinking creature in the cave with them, her bravery faltered! The big glowing eyes suddenly rushed forward all at once! Revealing a huge beastie with several rows of long sharp teeth, long limbs and a slender body. And claws so huge, they could easily bash right through stone. The men were forced to adjust and move to spare themselves from being swipe. A clang of swords against claws!

Yet, the big one was not the only concern. Several smaller ones were crawling across the walls and ceiling. Over the main beast and the men's heads to circle around from behind. Will was concerned with stabbing the things off the ceiling, while Elaina pulled Pipa away from the wall quickly. But then Jeffry was still collapsed on the ground, and without his sword and his senses, he was sitting prey for the creatures! Before one nearly bit his head off, Elaina dashed forward to kick it away. A soft frightened squeak escaped her from the contact, but she dropped down to her knees to make sure Jeffry hadn't been chewed. She managed to find a short knife on him, and none too soon! Elaina was having to swing wildly at one attempting to drop down on her and Jeffry's head!
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan acted as quickly as he could muster. Without hardly a thought, he had leapt to Elaina's side, fending off the small creatures with skillful swipes and stabs. "Darren, Warren, for the left. Peter, Will, to the right! Pipa, Bobbin, Elaina, stand with me and I'll keep near Jeffry". His ordering was followed implicitly and he was soon sweating and grunting to keep away the swarm of small, vile creatures. Will and Peter had teamed up, slashing at the larger creatures legs while Darren and Warren had achieved piercing one of its eyes.

The monster shrieked as the blade sank into the socket of its eye and Warren struggled to retrieve it. Another swipe caused him to have to abandon his sword momentarily. Taking the opportunity and realizing the strategy to be effective, Will jumped from the ground and in a near heroic effort, he managed to plunge his sword in through one of the creature's eyes. Using his momentum to ram the weapon in, the creature let out another, even more horrific screech and tumbled to the ground. All over the stone there was splattered thick blood, already congealing. The smaller creatures seemed drawn to it, sucking at the liquid even as they were mauled.

The heart of every person present sank nearly instantly into their stomach as a second high scream answered that of their dying foe. "Quickly!" Evan whispered, tugging the shocked band. He hoped desperately for a fork in the tunnel, some way of distancing themselves from whatever that... thing had been.
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
In one hand, Elaina had Jeffry's small knife. In the other, she was holding Pipa's hand and keeping her close as they followed down the cave corridor as quickly as they could. Elaina didn't dare look behind them. The high pitched screech was still echoing off the walls, though there wasn't yet any scratching of claws against stone coming after them. For the time being they must have been distracted with lapping up the blood of the one they killed.

The cave opened up to a huge cavern. Stalactites and stalagmites coming from the ceilings and floors made an impressive but intimidating scene. Here and there water dripped down from the ceiling, sliding down rocks and then pooling in to several small ponds all across the cavern floor. They were as black as midnight and impossible to discern how deep they were. Light from growing moss and fungus gave the cavern a strange and otherworldly glow.

Nothing had followed them and all was quiet, save for the laboring and fearful breathing of the tired party. Elaina stuck that knife in to her belt as she pulled Pipa close to make sure the girl hadn't gotten herself clawed or bitten.

"There's more than one passage here. I don't hear them following." Elaina's voice was soft and barely over a whisper. She didn't want to know what happened if they spoke too loud!
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan furrowed his brow. This whole affair reeked of tall tales to tell a boy sitting upon your knee. Everything weighed down on him, the safety of this entire band rested upon his shoulders. With a stern turn of his lips downward, Evan examined the room and then the ragtag band. They would need rest soon, but not so badly as to be eaten afterward. Leading the way and trying to act all the world a fearless leader, he silently commanded the one person who would follow him to the depths of hell and back.

With only a nod, Peter looped to the back of the group. Should he perish, Peter would do it with all the love and devotion in his heart for Evan and his spirit would not thrash in betrayal. Evan was trusting him to guard his bride to be and his wounded man. Intrinsic trust flowed through the two as they took the most dangerous positions of the party. Evan forged onwards, keeping to the left of the cave when possible and leading them all around the pools, careful not to step in one.

Pipa's breathing was getting a little heavier to everyone's ear as the walk continued and Evan wrestled with continuing to put distance between the creature and himself or relieving Pipa and letting her rest. The girl was clinging with one chubby hand to Elaina's tucked waist as though it were her salvation and the sight made Evan ache inside. Had he done wrong? He should have been a better leader, a better protector, and instead they were fearing for their lives. The discouragement grounded his heart like a lead shield.
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
Elaina supported Pipa's weight as they walked, even when the exertion was starting to take it's toll on herself as well. She had thought of herself as well exercised, but that never counted adding in uneven ground, dark caverns and fearing for your life! Taking her cues only by the movements and expressions from Evan's men, she knew when she needed to pause. When to move. And when to worry.

They had walked quite far when a soft breeze wafted through the cavern. The scent of water and trees were carried with it, teasing them with the hope of a nearby exit. Before long an endless rumble followed. Almost sounding like thunder, the louder it become the more they realized that it must have belonged to a waterfall. The walls and floor of the cavern were beginning to get slick with mist and condensation, making walking a very tricky business. Perseverance paid out, though, as they came across another large opened space. The dead end was nothing but a huge curtain of rushing water falling down the mountain side. Impossible to see through or to see how far down it went!

Elaina thought it was beautiful! The water and the soft glow of the fungus. She had to raise her voice high enough for Pipa to hear over the thunder of the falls. "Look there! We're almost out and we'll have a rest. I bet it'll look amazing on the other side, and you'll get to tell everyone what you saw!" She thought a little optimism might do them all some good. The men were all very tense, and Evan especially had a grave expression on his face.
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Momentarily, Evan was taken aback by the beauty of the cave and the waterfall. The soft fungal glow lit up patches of the water in sprays of greenish yellow color, making the water seem enchanted as it rushed downwards. Evan motioned for the group to rest, hardly noticing how he was sweating from the effort. He made his way towards the water, musing on how he would like to be water, flowing everywhere, touching the earth and making it grow beneath your gentle droplets; perhaps even destructive, the water, destroying cities in its massive waves. It was the equalizer - life and death.

Brought back to the present and away from his thoughts by the pitiful whimpering of Pipa, Evan reached his hand to try and part the water. The flow was immense, however, and his hand did not come close to being able to reach all the way through. Evan strode to Peter's side, his worried look still in place.

"Peter, it's too much to try and push through with my arm. A rock, perhaps, you think? Some way of looking at the drop we're expecting. If it's too much, we'll have to turn back, but I think the smell... it smells like we're so close to growing plants..." he whispered in hushed tones. Together, the pair searched through the caves and found a small boulder that they lifted together.

"All of you, draw near. Hopefully someone will be able to see something..." it was a long shot but what other choice did they have. "Listen, too, for the splash of this rock in a pool of water. It might tell us the drop..."
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
When the men chucked the boulder through the water, for a split second they could see the landscape outside. Small flash of green covered in layers of snow and a large still pond flowing out in to a river. It didn't look too far down, perhaps not more than a story or two. The trouble was the weight and speed of the water. The men could jump and make it with ease, but with injured Jeffry and Pipa it would be difficult. Elaina wasn't even sure if she could make it herself.

But if they didn't try, they would have to backtrack. And who knew what else might be lurking around in these caves!

"It isn't too strong, I think, as long as someone keeps a hold of Pipa? The drop isn't that far."
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan nodded to himself. "Yes, I believe we should be able to make it safely... Bobbin, I know you to be a decent swimmer, I trust you to care for yourself. Will, Peter, I need you to take Jeffry. Darren, you take Pipa. Warren, keep an eye on Pipa and Bobbin". With that finished, all of the people lined up awkwardly or with great amusement, depending on the case.

"I... my, Elaina, I will help you". Evan was staring at his hands and Peter only barely resisted the urge to go hit him in the back of the head. Taking initiative, Peter and Will did not wait for Evan's clearance but rather clutched Jeffry between them and dove beautifully through the sheet of water and disappeared. Taking it as the signal, Darren and Pipa joined hands and sailed out the opening with a great deal less fervor. Bobbin joined soon after tailed by Warren. Evan stood motionless in shock.

"Hurry, my princess" and knowing he would probably regret not asking her consent, he took her hand and pulled her to the water. Giving her little time to think, he folded her body against his and shot through the water.

The battered group swam to shore, everyone alive but sputtering and freezing. Peter stood anxiously by the water's edge after he saw the pair jump. Elaina had been released by Evan and performed her own dainty dive, being drug to safety by Will but Evan was pushed further back and his own dive landed him frighteningly close to the wall. Darren had swam off to check for him several minutes ago. Peter feared the worst, but Darren returned lugging the unconscious prince. A bloody gash on the side of his head indicated an unpleasant meeting with rocks, but as the group checked his vitals with bated breath, his eyes slowly opened, his mouth pouring a bit of water as he struggled to speak

"Everyone all right?"

Peter hit his leg sharply. "Idiot".
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
"Oh, thank heavens!" Her relieved exclamation came with a deep sigh and her placing her hands at her cheeks to keep her teeth from chattering. The jump itself had not been as bad as she expected it to be. But the water was ice-cold and gave her a good shock. Will was kind enough to help her to shore, but when Prince Evan wasn't directly behind, she thought the worse!

Elaina knelt next to Evan, padding her pockets until she found a handkerchief. It was wet, but that was just fine for her to wipe the blood away from his head and press against the wound to halt the bleeding.

"That could have gone a bit better." she said, with a slight humored smile. Then, Elaina took charge, pointing towards a small clearing back away from the water's edge.

"There is a dry spot there if someone can help move Jeffry and His Highness. We need to rest and get dry. If we go on like this, we may very well freeze to death!" she looked thoughtful for a moment as she checked Evan's wound again. It wasn't deep, thankfully, but he would have a dreadful headache. "We'll need a fire and something to eat."
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan attempted to get to his feet, but a splitting pain in his head shot through him and he shut his eyes tightly in pain. Seconds later, the weirdest sensation of floating overcame him and he opened his eyes to see Darren and Warren, the mostly heavily built of his men, carrying him as though he were a doll to a pad made from leaves. Jeffry was already near him and Evan breathed a sigh of relief that everyone was safe.

Peter kneeled by Evan's side briefly, massaging his temple with gentle hands. "Should've let her dive on her own, you worry too much" he chortled, too quietly for anyone else to hear. Evan raised his head in an attempt to be threatening but Peter patted it gently. "Elaina! Would you look after the prince, I will aid Bobbin here in building shelter". Evan tried to protest but was drowned out. In the clearing, Pipa was busily getting to work, a fire sprouting from her capable hands.

Peter and Bobbin began tearing away limbs and branches to make a shelter, leaving Evan feeling thoroughly helpless.
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
Elaina sat down next to Evan, so close that her arm was directly touching his. The air was cold and with them both being sopping wet, the physical contact at least provided some warmth. It also gave her the chance to keep an eye on his head wound. Ever so often she lift the handkerchief again to catch any bleeding. For the most part it stopped.

She would have liked to help everyone, but knowing what was necessary and knowing how to accomplish it was two terribly different things. At least she took solace in the fact that she could be a warm presence for Evan until the fire was going strong.

Elaina nibbled on her bottom lip, trying to think of something that would get his mind off their peculiar day. "Have you been on many adventures like this? Traveling, beasties, and camping?"
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan couldn't help but chuckle. "No, no, this is certainly a first for me. I would take it for you also. It's the first time I've been in charge, and it feels so much like I'm failing all of you.." he trailed off, staring into the fire. Absently, he reached for her hand. His palm was cold and somewhat clammy, but hers felt soft and delicate beneath his clumsy fingers.

The flicker of the fire caught Evan's attention, Pipa has succeeded in lighting the fire and was now attempting to hang the sopping wet cloaks to dry by the fire. Peter was hard at work, the other men joining in so that a small shelter was becoming recognizable. Everyone seemed to be doing so much work in a pinch... Evan used his other hand to gingerly prod the gash in his head.

"Have you dreaded that day your unknown prince would come for you, princess?"
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
There was a faint blush on her cheeks as he took her hand, but she did not move nor squeak a word about it. However, when he tried to scratch at the wound on his head, she was gently movie his hand away from it so he wouldn't get the bleeding started again.

A gentle shrug of her shoulders and a soft smile was the response to his question. "I have always thought of it. But never with dread? I suppose I take after my mother and have silly romantic tendencies." In all honesty, Elaina spent a lot of her youth daydreaming about princely knights on white horses. Ones that were probably much more like Peter than Prince Evan. But she couldn't say something like that!

Elaina squeezed his hand. "And you? Were you afraid to get a wife that was scary and possibly crazy?" She was a little curious to know what he thought about her. He made a very big deal about not liking stupid women. Did he think she was?
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan shrugged a little as well, a hapless smile on his face. "From the pictures, well, we all were under the impression you were rather, how should I say.... terrifying?" Evan chuckled hoping he had not offended her. The head wound was making him feel lighter, almost giddy. Probably not for the best, but he allowed it to wash over him briefly.

"I guess I was hoping, that you would be witty and charming to make up for that" Evan studied her, realizing he had made it sound like an insult. Quickly, he tried to fix it. "But you're not by any means ugly, you have nothing you have to make up for or anything..." he had made it sound just as bad... "You're pretty and so far your personality is..." but he was cut off by a howl.

Fearing the worst, he struggled to stand but eased back down when he discovered the source to be Peter, sporting a bite on his hand. Will was nearly in hysterics laughing. "Don't worry, you guys... Peter was only maimed by the vicious forest deer".
 

Diana

Divine Space Witch Ò◇Ó
Original poster
ADMINISTRATOR
Invitation Status
Not accepting invites at this time
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Preferred Character Gender
Female
The man must have hit his head harder than they thought. He rambled as if he could not keep his thoughts straight, and Elaina still hadn't received the answer she was looking for!

Peter howling in pain and the other men laughing was a larger distraction, though. "At this rate I am not sure we'll make it to your castle in one piece!" Jeffry abused by her stable boy, Evan's crack on the head, and now Peter sporting a bite. It had only been a single day and Elipis was a long travel even if they still had the train!

A sudden gust of wind had her squeezing her eyes shut just to still her body and brace against it. Freezing cold! Especially with wet clothes. Thank goodness a fire had been started. Any more wind like that and she would shiver to pieces!
 
K

Kitti

Guest

Evan couldn't help but laugh, which caused the throbbing pain in his head to intensify. "Peter, stop fooling around with does and finish the shelter, or do I have to ask the lovely princess have to come do it for you?" he grinned at Peter, who made some gesture before restraining himself. Setting about his work while muttering the entire time about tyrants, Peter and the others finally finished a pair of makeshift shelters.

Pipa and Will created the princess a bed of pine needles and the prince's dried cloak, at his insistence. It was not feasible for all the men to fit in one shelter and finally, Evan chose that Pipa, Bobbin, and Jeffry would share the one with Elaina and the rest would sleep in the other. Preparations were made and it was a touching scene to see the men curl around Evan in an attempt to keep him warm.

Everyone had bunkered down, trying to sleep through the nagging cold. In the makeshift hut, however, Elaina was about to be woken by a sharp surprise. Working silently and deliberately, Jeffry had managed to make it to Elaina's pallet. With deft fingers, he untied the lace of her bodice without waking her. Gently carrying her back to his place in the shelter, he woke her by covering her mouth with a rough hand.

"You are not a fit match for my prince. I have seen even now, those looks you give to the good Sir Peter. Evan will love you because you are warm and you are inviting. He will easily become attached to you, his affection is growing by the minute. Should he marry you, he will be surrendering himself. Ellipis and Rosenthal need a king who is solid in himself, able to do what needs to be done. When you approach the golden child of court, Peter, or any other, their love and loyalty for the prince will compel them to refuse you. And then they will inform him, and he will again be broken. I was to wed his darling younger sister, and so I became a knight under Evan. When he was informed by Peter that his sister had approached him, he was horrified and his trust was crushed. You are almost the same woman, she was every bit as sweet and coaxing. I cannot allow that to happen to him".

With that final sentiment, Jeffry began to holler. "What the - what do you think you're doing? Ge' off!" and allowed Elaina to topple onto his as he copied his previously helpless posturing. "Princess, why?" and he heard the grunts from the next shelter as the men woke. Pipa sat up, rubbing her eyes and Bobbin felt about for his glasses.