Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Writing Owl, Jul 7, 2014.

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  1. "Oh great Forest of Darkness! We have been subject to the wrath of your servants! We plead to you to take away this sickness as we give you this gift, a maiden pure to purify our village!" The tan old man, Otharon, nearly yelled over the rain as he presided over the ceremony. Sacrifices were a very important thing after all. "We ask you to take away this sickness and let us appease your anger. We give you the purest woman of our village, sweet and supple! Please spare us all!" The white haired old man slunk back as drums started to beat, a threatening tune telling the young girl of her doom.

    The girl, a brunette with slightly tanned skin, was lead by two other women, all three wearing pure white clothes. The girl was bound, though her head was held high. Her blue eyes spoke of fear and uncertainty. Why had she been chosen? Why did her life end now? The other girls had seen it as an honor, and she had been kept in solitude for seven days before the ceremony, cleansing her soul and heart of all darkness. The forest would take to her light like a moth to flame.

    Thoughts ran through her head as she walked through the crowd. Where was her family? She hadn't seen them. Would it hurt? Was the forest and its guardians really as tyrannical as they said? What would happen to her? The girl refused to cry, knowing that the sacrifice wouldn't work if she cried. People started to chant, asking for the sickness to be rid of.

    Finally the women left the girl, who stood at the edge of the cliff near the river flowing through the edge of the forest. The girl was soaked, but it would make no difference in a few minutes. The chanting grew louder as the drums sped up. She was going to die. The brunette was going to die. Otharon walked slowly up to the girl, and gently ever so gently... pushed her off the cliff.

    The sun started to peak out as the girl fell. The people chanted as they left, sure that their sacrifice was going to work. The girl finally cried, starting to scream. "No, no! Please, Forest, I want to live! Don't let me die!" She sobbed as she fell through the air, twisting and turning. "I want to live!" That was the last she was able to say before the river, over flooded and flowing quickly, swallowed her whole.
  2. It was a cold rainy night and Darken sat out in the nook of an old, withered tree, his curled ram horns glinting in what little light there was. This was the edge of his territory, but none dare venture here. Darken thought himself to be a hospitable chap, but for some reason, his neighbours disagreed with him. He almost got the impression they were scared. How very unneighbourly of them.

    Darken was no ordinary supernatural creature. No vampire, no werewolf, no dryad or kelpie. The humans didn't have a name for his kind, and he had no brethren here in the forest. His race was ancient, their unthinkable name lost to most by the withering of time. Darken wasn't even sure if there were others roaming these lands anymore.

    He spat out a fish bone, wiping his mouth with a long-fingered hand. He was a man of great stature, standing at 6"7, with a broad chest and well built frame. His eyes were the most startling thing about him - neon green irises that were luminescent in darkness, and black sclera that tended to unsettle most who came into his presence.

    His raven black hair fell to his mid neck, as wild and untamable as the forest. It framed his long face and angular jaw perfectly, stark contrast against his skin, which was as pale as moonlight.

    Darken really didn't get why nobody ever visited.

    He sighed, not quite full from his snack. It was a trek to the river, but he deemed it worthy of a walk, and set off barefoot to his destination. Some strange howling carried on the wind from the human village beyond the cliffs, but Darken couldn't make heads or tail of it. He came out into the clearing, just as a loud splash caught his attention.

    A fish that big could feed him for a week!

    Darken dived into the water without a second thought, his powerful legs carrying him against the current. He caught up the sodden heap of white in his arms, frowning. Bah, it was something from the human tribe, he thought, just as he noticed the flash of tan among the folds of white.

    Oh no. No. no. it was another dead human. He'd heard about this before. That mad village were always tossing things into the river, or burning strange smelling herbs that wafted on the breeze into the forest.

    Darken sighed, about to throw it back into the river, only just realising the creature - the girl, no less - was still breathing. He placed a hand to her neck. It was faint, but her heart was still beating.

    Oh... she was going to die if he left her out here, wasn't she? This fragile creature would freeze to death in a moment if he left her by the riverside.
    "Gah! I should of just eaten the one fish and had done with it." he cursed, striking his hand into the water with needle-like precision and catching a fish in his grip. He tossed it into his mouth and grasped at another one for later. Grumbling to himself, he set off home as quickly as his could, the girl in his arms.

    "Don't die on me. It aint my fault." he murmured through a mouthful of fish.
  3. When she had hit the water, the girl had fallen into a cold darkness. She had thought she had died, that the forest didn't hear her pleas. She felt lightheaded, the rushing waters still loud in her ears. She fell unfeeling after only a few minutes of trying to escape her bindings. Something lifted her out of the river and she started to come back to the present, blinking blearily. She was being carried. Who was carrying her though? Was it a creature of the forest? Was she dead?

    The sudden feeling of being chocked quickly showed her she was still alive as she started to cough, some of the water from the river still trying to drown her. She tried to move her arms to cover her mouth, but rope kept them at her side, leaving her coughing up water on herself. She shook as the winds chilled her even worse than before, leaving her trying to do something, anything to warm herself.

    Finally, the girl looked up at who was carrying her, surprised to find large horns and green eyes. The green was surrounded by a black, which scared the girl almost worse. Was this the guardian of the forest? What was he? He was so intimidating. The shivering didn't help the girl in looking any less helpless or fearful of Darken. She started to cough again, her throat developing a scratchiness to it that would eventually develop into a fever by the next day.
  4. The thunk of heavy feet and the occasional twig snapping were the sounds that accompanied Darken home. Above the canopy, the rain still thundered down against the leaves, but the two figures were mostly safe from their cold caress.

    He stared out into the forest, unperturbed by the inky blackness around them. Little light filtered down to the forest floor, though Darken didn't need it. He was right at home.

    The girl started squrming in his arms. He peered down at her, wondering why she was making that awful noise. Why, he thought, she was definitely alive and kicking now. They were just outside his home now, and he was glad she hadn't been awake to see the way.

    Oh. oh. The thought hit him like a slap to the face and his eyes grew wide. she was drowning when you found her, Darken, why do you think she's making that sound?

    Spitting his fish to the side he dropped to kneeling, letting her sit up and move foreward to cough up the water. The girl was shaking violently, and her arms were as cold as the icy water that had tried to claim her.

    Great. You bring her back with you and she's going to die on your doorstep. If that'd been your plan you should of left her at the river! he thought angrily to himself. He was wearing simple clothing, a black cloth shirt and plain tan trousers made of hide, but he was far larger in stature then she. Reluctantly and without a word he removed his shirt, swadling it about her. It smelt musty, though there was certainly a tinge of warm spice, moss, and something flowery to it. When it seemed she'd done coughing, he took her back up in her arms and against her chest, hoping what little warmth he had would help her in some way.

    This was not how he had intended to spend his evening. Perhaps he'd have enjoyed it, if the girl wasn't so frail and so clearly at death's door.
    "If you can hold on for a little longer, we'll be at my home and I can get a fire going. 's just a short way, gal. You've made it this far, buck up already." His voice was gruff and his tone harsh, but he couldn't hide the slight tinge of concern. Begrudging concern, but concern none the less.
  5. As soon as the man, she refused to call him a creature, gave her his shirt, she knew that he wasn't going to hurt her. The shirt helped a little bit as her shivering started to slow slightly. The girl nearly smiled as he talked to her, told her to buck up. "You... I can't believe it." She laughed, her voice hoarse and nearly broken. "I'm alive... You... Who are you?" She asked, glancing up at her savior. He was warm, which made her curl up more in his arms and try to get as much warmth out of him as she could.

    The Forest of Darkness was different from what her people had told her. They had said it was teeming with evil creatures, all willing to eat a human as soon as they caught a whiff. The forest was suppose to be ugly and scary, but to her it was... beautiful. It wasn't as frightening as Otharon had made it out to be. Even the man taking her to his home was at least nice and helping her despite the fact that he could kill her just for fun if he wanted. This was better than what she thought was going to happen.

    The girl was happy she hadn't died. Maybe the Forest really had heard her screams for life and sent her its guardian. She felt so confused. This was all so different than what Otharon told the village. He would always warn them that the reason anything bad happened to them was because they had angered the forest and its guardians, but maybe... maybe that wasn't right. Maybe things happened for a different reason. After all, sacrifices weren't suppose to live.
  6. "You... I can't believe it." he looked down at her, confused. Well, yeah. Humans had little understanding of the workings of the forest. He wasn't too surprised, but of all the things to come out of her mouth... he'd been expecting a scream, or a please don't hurt me, or something. That's what the forest folk expected of humans.

    Not... Who are you?

    "Darken." he replied gruffly, looking up to the rocky outcrop ahead. In front of them a section of large, overgrown rock squatted close to the ground. Vines snaked their way across it's surface, large leafed plants jutting out at angles away from it. The ground was covered in dead leaves and gnarled roots, as one would expect. But the whole place looked... well, wild. Nothing out of the ordinary. Darken stopped right there.

    He waved a hand lazily in it's general direction. The rocks growled and crunched as they slowly pulled away from each other. An opening in the rockface, like a jagged scar, cracked open. A warmish orange light pooled forth as they were blasted by a wall of warmish air. Darken stepped foreward as the rock rumbled closed behind him, sealing his homes from the wind and the rain.

    A staircase descended towards the warm glow. The slabs were large and rough, as Arken had carved them out himself, and he was no mason. He began the descent, looking down to the girl inquisitively. She seemed... happier then he'd expected.

    "Who might you be? 'n did you hit your head on the way down or sommin?"
  7. The girl nodded and watched in bright curiosity as she looked around at how he opened the rock formations. He seemed confused by her, maybe because she wasn't afraid of him. Maybe because she was happy to be alive. She wasn't sure. All she knew was that she liked having his warmth when she was so cold and all of these new things were just fascinating.

    Closing her eyes, the brunette just listened to Darken's breathing for a little while until he asked her who she was. "Kaya. My name's Kaya. However, I was suppose to be sacrificed to the forest if you can believe that..." She tried to hold back a cough, the ropes chaffing her arms as she tried to focus on other things, other feelings. However, the dull aches and pains weren't willing to give up bugging her that easily.

    Kaya's body was a little warmer than when Darken found her, but it was soon becoming a more feverish warmth. Being out in the rain had not helped her at all for when she fell into the river. At least she had someone, even if he was a creature of the forest, to save her from that fate. If she was honest with herself, more likely she would die of sickness than of drowning. A few coughs bubbled up to the surface, and Kaya lowered her head so she could try and cover the coughs. The girl seemed a little too trusting with Darken, but desperate people did desperate things.
  8. The staircase led down into the deep, curling to the right as it descended. It opened up into a large cavern, the ceiling decorated with dark wooden beams. From them hung pouches of herbs, large animal skulls, strange plants and all sorts of other odities. The floor was rough but covered in straw to make it more ameniable on Darken's bare feet, in places large luxurious animal furs of unknown beasts were strewn across the ground. In the middle of the left wall sat an alchove, within which a fire chortled away, low benches lining either side of it chock full of various tools. Towards the back of the room, where the light of the fire didn't quite reach well, was a raised sleeping area, covered in the same various furs about the rest of the room. A large tawny net hung over it from the ceiling, thick enough to prevent insects but obscuring the area from view. In the right rockface sat a rickety wooden door, which presumably led to deeper into the caves.

    "Well, welcome Kaya, to my home." While warm and nice enough to live in, the place lacked a little... care and attention. He certainly hadn't had visitors in a long while.

    He took her across the room and unceremoniously placed her down on the bed. He turned towards the fireplace, throwing the fish in a pot and placing it over the fire. He ran his large hands over a selection of knifes, eventually picking out a smaller, thin one.
    He turned to her, walking slowly across the room.

    Darken lent down beside her and began to cut through the binds that tied her. He didn't look at her as he cut, focusing on the work so as not to harm her. But he did talk.

    "Silly idea, sacrificing yourself like that. Still.. there are creatures in the forest who enjoy that sort of thing, dirty blighters. No doubt they're out there now, looking for you, if they've caught wind of it. I imagine if your village stopped there might be some problems."
    Slck. The final strands of rope gave way. Darken moved back to sit on the floor against the bed, rubbing his chin, his horns glinting in the fire light. He observed her for a moment.

    "Looking a little pale there, girly." It was then she started coughing, and Darken reeled back in surprise, his eyes wide. "What the-?" This was sickness, right? Blast. He'd accounted for her dying from exposure, but sickness? He had no idea how to prepare for that. He knew nothing of medicines.

    "Oi now - listen here. I just took you all the way from the river into my humble abode. You better not go dying on me now you're in my house, yahear? That's darn right impolite." he waved a hand about and grabbed up some more animal furs, covering her in them till she was swamped by them.
    That'd help, right? You were supposed to keep 'em warm, right?
  9. After getting over her coughing fit, Kaya shook her head, rubbing her arms. "I'm not going to die... Just caught a bit of a cold. Given the right herbs, I'll be fine..." She chuckled at all of the furs, curling up gratefully in them. "Besides, I'm glad you found me instead of some of the others... And I didn't want to sacrifice myself!" She seemed a bit offended by the thought. "I wanted to live... but the village had other ideas. There was a sickness going around, and one of our leaders told us the forest was 'angry' with us. He said we needed to sacrifice a girl to the forest, appease it so that the sickness will go away." She rolled her eyes. She had been a healer in training at the village. While the cure wasn't found yet, a sacrifice wouldn't do them any help.

    Kaya coughed into her arm, closing her eyes a bit as she took a shuddering breath. Sicknesses were always hard for her. She wanted to move, help around, but was confined. "So... are there more like you? Horned people that is?" Kaya asked, watching Darken with bright curiosity underneath the fever in her eyes. He was definitely an interesting sight, and his home, a cave from what she could tell, told a fair amount about sort of what kind of life he lived. He definitely had to hide from the world, at least a little bit if the fact that his home was hidden told her anything. He also seemed to enjoy seafood, considering the fish.

    What interested Kaya the most was all of the herbs and other oddities strewn around his abode. The fire was curious since she wondered where the smoke funneled out. All of the furs were of animals she had never seen before, and was a bit more curious to figure out what exactly they were. The girl seemed so tiny, hidden within the furs. It didn't help that at her tallest she was a measly 5'1". Her hair fell a bit in her face, making her have to brush it out of the way.
  10. "Ack! That'll not do. I wont have a human dying in my house on my bed! Come the new moon I'll call the medicine man here and he'll attend you. Don't get much sickness round here, mind... I'll have to keep an eye on him..." Darken finished with a mutter, watching her with concern. He rubbed the back of his neck, stood, and strode over to the pot. Darken really didn't know what humans liked to eat, but it looked like he'd be spending some time finding out.

    He grabbed some herbs from overhead and sprinkled them into the pot, snatching up a large ladel and lazily swirling it around in the broth. He didn't look towards her once, but paused his stirring briefly at her question.

    "Horned - like me?" he laughed dryly at the thought, a loud sound that echoed around the sleepy stone chamber. "Not likely, you'll be pleased to know. s' only me around these parts, Kaya." Darken replied curtly, tossing the ladel away as it clattered across the wooden table. He sweeped up two large, crudely made wooden bowls - far bigger then the average human's - and skimmed one then the other across the broth, filling them up to the brim. He started to walk back, then paused looking thoughtful, and turned back to the table to grab a wooden spoon and stone slat. Darken placed the bowls and spoon on the slate, carried it over to the bed, and placed it down in front of her on the furs.

    He grabbed his bowl and sat down beside the bed, tipping the soup to his mouth and drinking it straight from the bowl. He'd done this many times before, it seemed, because he didn't spill a single drop.
  11. "Thank you." She took the spoon and scooped some of the soup, blowing on it so it wouldn't burn her tongue and ate some. "You live here alone? Do you have any family or any friends?" This confused Kaya. How could anyone just live on their own? There didn't seem to be anyone to keep him company, but maybe he liked that... She continued to eat, grateful for something warm to eat. She didn't really pay attention to the taste, just happy that she could continue to eat something.

    She looked up to see him just drink straight from the bowl. How he could do that, it amazed her. This man was so different from the humans. From the horns to the height, to the cavern home. It was all new and exciting to her. His bowls were huge, which made sense to her. He probably was used to the size. She pulled the fur closer to her body, taking another bite of soup. The brunette glanced around, taking in her new surroundings.

    This was her life now. Kaya thought as she brought her arm up to cover her coughs. She was in this forest with this man who probably was going to dump her as soon as she was better, and her family thought she was dead. She would never go back home. She would never get married, have a family. Never would she become the village doctor like she had wanted, and never will she see him again. She tried not to think of what she was missing too much, focus on that she was alive and not being eaten by wolves. It was hard though. "It seems like it would be kind of lonely if you just lived here alone, don't you think?" She was quiet now, eating her soup slowly.
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