The Isle of The WayFolk



Original poster
The Isle is a cursed place. They say that in bygone times, the humans here displeased the Wayfolk, creatures of legend that walked between the fabric of realities, free of the burden of logic or physics. Things we would call magical.

At first the Isle was taken by string after string of disasters. There were plagues, volcanic eruptions, famines and nights that stretched on for months at a time. Then there was a silence, a silence in which the humans hid in fear, wondering if the wrath of the Wayfolk was quenched. There was not a sound or sight of them in the trees or in the waters, it was as if they had simply ceased to breathe their magic into the world, as if they had turned their back on it.

With time the humans returned to toil in the unforgiving lands that were free of the Wayfolks influence. Though there were no calamities, no runs of tragedy and misfortune, there was a great loss that hung thick in the air, suffocating all living things. The fauna and flora of the Isle seemed less vibrant; there was no good fortune for the inhabitants or unexpected twists of fate. That was how it was and how it became, a life without magic, hope or change.

But as the Wayfolk faded into legend, so they now decide to return.

It began with people going missing. It started with a flash of movements behind the trees, deep in the lagoons, an unnatural sway of a shadow or a particularly cloudy black night. Then those who vanished returned, marked by the Wayfolk, cursed with their magic or - in the rarest of rare cases - blessed by a gift.

Then the Wayfolk themselves appeared - sometimes in broad daylight. They made their homes deep in the most unexplored of hidden places, weaving their mystic way on the land, sneaking out at day or night to play with the humans that inhabitant their home, The Isle.

Many questions remain unanswered. Where did they go and why are they back? Are they still enraged with the humans? Are their motives all the same, and what do they really want with the humans here?


Short Summary:

Genre - Dark Fantasy
Time period - Medievalish.
Setting - An island with a rich selection of different environments. Whatever suits!
Species - Humans live in the town, any other creature live elsewhere on the isle (aka the Wayfolk)
Magic - Yes, Wayfolk are inherently magical, humans may have been cursed/blessed by them to use small amounts of magic.
Jump in whenever! Don't be shy now.

It is late in the night, after a brief encounter with a Chimera that threatened their lives, Durag and Mary have parted ways by the human town. Durag has, in sorts, invited Mary to visit him, if she so dares wish to traverse the forest again alone.
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people
It was a warm enough for the time of day, the sun hanging low over the ocean as Mary explored the rock pools before the tide came back in -which would no doubt be soon. She was supposed to be out gathering food, either fishing or in the forest, but now she found herself scrambling over the slimy seaweed covered rocks, unceremoniously poking at the sea critters that lived nearby.

She teetered on the edge of a large round boulder that was covered in barnacles and aged by the sea. Her unkempt red hair was soaked, as was her plain tawny dress, her wooden clogs abandoned further up the beach by the tree line. Although her clothes were drying now, it was pretty clear that her nimbleness had failed her at some point that day.

Occasionally the girl would glance up the beach, into the shadows of the forest. She was a little uneasy from the recent rumors, maybe, but not enough to cage her curious carefree nature. Mary was in two minds about the recent events of the town. Were there really Wayfolk out there somewhere? Could they be as dangerous as they say? As far as this lass was concerned, it was all hyped rumors and speculations.
Standing at a respectable three and a half feet high, a goodly height for any dwarf, he pushed through the underbrush inside the tree line. A small wooden sled with a cord of wood followed behind him attached by rope, to a harness he wore around his chest. His brownish beard wagged back and forth as each plod forward kept him moving. His sentiments towards the humans were... drawn at best. He'd seen how they'd ravaged lands, what'd they done to his precious Isle and he still held a grudge. They seemed a little less parisitic since he and the others had returned though, which offered some hope. He paused as his gaze swept towards the sand side of the treeline, brows furrowed as he noticed the abandoned clogs and the girl balancing precariously on the rocks in the distance, unhooking the harness from the sled he stood watching her from the shade of the trees.
Mary grinned, spying something in the water. With a quick flick of the hand she'd scooped up a tiny, sand-covered crab. It wasn't happy about the whole predicament and was wriggling about, indignant. She drew it up to eye level, and it snapped its claws angrily, though at worst if it actually managed to get her all it could do was an unpleasant nip.

It was out of the corner of her eye that she saw something change in the shadows of the trees. Looking past the small critter she saw it - someone - just on the edge of the beach. Alarm bells rang out in her head. Whoever it was were small - maybe a child? Last time she checked they didn't have beards, and they didn't quite have that bulky build.
It couldn't be, could it? A Wayfolk? Here?

Now that she thought about it, it was getting late. No surprise that they were out and about. She was pretty far from the town too... But, surprisingly, her situation didn't seem to faze her all that much. Mary wasn't so much scared as thrilled, more like uneasy but with a hint of excitement. The girl knew she shouldn't but deep down, she had wanted to run into one of them. Oh, but they were dangerous, of course. Not to mention, wasn't there something in the legends about them being really, really angry at them?

She planted the crab back down and watched it scuttled off. Taking a deep breathe she slipped off the rock, making her way back to her clogs, one stone at a time. They were closer to him then her, so either way, sooner or later Mary would of had to go over there, right? There was no way she could avoid seeing one of the Wayfolk up close.
His gaze passed from the girl who seemed to have caught herself a crab, the clogs that had been left but a few feet from him. With a blink, the clogs snapped out of existence and reappeared finding themselves alongside the cord of wood on his little sled. He brought his focus back to the girl only to realize that she was now hopping along the rocks back towards the treeline. "Oh blast it all" he muttered, it looked as if she'd seen him.

Without a word he walked back and hooked himself to the sled again, "if her clogs were so important she would not have found reason to leave them" he reasoned. Of course his justification regarding this decision was tainted with a hint of revenge. He'd lost his home in the bygone days to humans and their rapid expansion, so a little girls shoes being appropriated to his use when she seemed not to need them seemed fair enough.
Having safely navigated the rockpools, she hopped down onto the cool sand and finally looked up from where she was walking. Urm.
Where had her shoes gone? She had definitely left them right there, in front of that tree. After all, they were pretty heavy and she hadn't paticularly wanted to get them wet or sandy, which was a good idea, considering that she had fallen in today. It would of been a sad day indeed if mister crab had been making a home in her new pair of shoes.

She scrambled over, as closed as she dared, concern etched in her face. They were gone. Poof! Just like that. Mary bit her lip, her gaze slowly drifting to the man in the shadows. He was still a little way off, but it was pretty clear that he was there and definitely not human.

The Wayfolk were a mischievous lot. Not to mention they believed everything belonged to them. She wouldn't be surprised if he took them - not that she could see them on the sleigh from where she was standing, there was a tree hiding them from view. But Mary could see him just fine, and plucking up her courage, she turned towards him.

"Excuse me you wouldn't happened to have seen my shoes about here anywhere, would you?"
He had just hooked the rope lead to his harness when he heard her, at the mention of the word "Man" he bristled, how dare she! "Girl..." for he knew not her name, "Do I look like a man to you? do I look like one of your kinfolk? Do I look like a parasitic life form who sucks the very essence of our sweet mother earth with every foot step it takes?" he replied indignantly as he turned to face her, his form still shrouded in the ever lengthening shadows of dusk. "I have taken your shoes as a partial repayment for your ancestors destroying my home".
Mary took a step back, at a loss for words. Well, that was one of her questions answered - he was definitely mad. Definitely. Actually, it had been a while since anyone had been quite that angry with her, and she didn't quite know how to respond. Especially since he was one of them, as he had just made quite clear. If he was going to get so upset about a slip of the tongue, she really, really didn't want to find out to those who cross him.

But the path back to town was, in the best of areas overgrown, and in other place consumed by the forest entirely. Mary did not quite like the idea of trudging through in bare feet in the dark, but neither did she want to find out what the... Wayfolk could do to her should he wish her harm.

"Um, sorry... Sir? Can I call you Sir? I didn't mean to offend you." she made a hasty, bumbling curtsey, although she meant well by it. "And I'm very sorry about what happened." Mary paused, putting her amazement aside for a moment. There was a Wayfolk in front of her telling her the legends and stories she heard when she was young were true, that was certainly not something that happened every day. Not to mention he had stolen her shoes. But he didn't seem like he was going to give them back anytime soon. Nor did she particularly want to ask him outright for them.

Mary hesitated. "But, uuumm, if I may be so bold, I don't quite think my shoes are going to fit you." She resisted the strong urge to grin. It was difficult. "So perhaps we can come to some other sort of deal?" It felt odd, offering to pay back something that happened hundreds of years ago by her ancestors to a strange dwarven man. Frankly, it wasn't her fault and wasn't fair either.

That being said, she really wanted to get back to town with her life and feet intact.
His eyes narrowed as she spoke, despite her accurate point of the shoes not fitting they would fetch a high price at market so there was a monetary loss if he were to give them back. "Girl..." he spoke gruffly, "what other deal could you possible have to offer?" He remained shrouded in the shadows as he replied, all Wayfolk are naturally hesitant at revealing themselves to anybody but each other. He was fully aware of her residence, and the path with which she took to get out here, she'd likely fall victim to a jagged piece of rock, foul wood splinters, or any other number of trip-ups on her way back had she not had adequate foot coverings. "have your ancestors not explained to you the very history of my isle?, have they not admitted the atrocities they committed against me? my kinsmen?" He paused, his eyes alight with passionate fury.

"No doubt they told you we were responsible for the Isle losing it's magnificence, no doubt they still blame us eh?"
That was a very valid point. Mary had no idea what she could offer him. Food? She didn't know what he ate, and anyway, from stories she had heard, the Wayfolk were intune with the land enough to provide plentiful food for themselves. Money? It wasn't like she had an abundant supply of that, another reason why she really wanted her shoes back. Clothes? Goods? Maybe she could find something back in town that he'd be interested in.

Mary shivered. It was growing steadily darker and her clothes hadn't completely dried out. There had to be something he would be interested in... but it seemed his aim was more revenge then anything. That would be difficult to top.

"I've heard stories..." she mumbled with uncertainty, confident that whatever she would say wouldn't quench his anger. "But I don't know what really happened. It was a long long time ago, for us, and I don't blame you for anything." except maybe stealing my shoes, she thought silently, "after all I've never met you before."

She was still wondering about what to trade. This talk of ancestors and payment and blame didn't really interest her, but Mary wanted her shoes. There had to be something...

"What about work? Labour? In exchange for the shoes, I mean." she added quickly. Surely Wayfolk had oddjobs and chores too? She could handle chores. Well, if she didn't get distracted like she had today. "I can sew, cook, clean, that sort of thing."
He eyed her suspiciously, this talk of working was not something he'd expected. All humans were takers, not givers; they found no pleasure in the humble work day. Why was this one offering to do something her kind typically refused to do willingly? what was her end game. He muttered little questions such as these as he pulled a lamp off his sled and lit it, casting a dim patch of light in front of him, setting the lamp down he dropped the clogs in the pool of light. "What assurance do I have that you will not simply bolt if I were to give you these back?" he asked.
She could tell that he wasn't really all too sure of her, maybe he suspected her motives. He certainly wasn't any happier, but at least he didn't seem quite so angry. Mary blinked, her eyes adjusting to the warm light as her clogs appeared in front of her. She peared at the silohette, trying to make out his features, trying to see what expression he had on his face. It was still a little difficult. She deliberately didn't go for them at first. After all, it seemed she was representing humankind here. Mary had to show him they weren't all bad, right? Not only didn't she want him to be mad at her, she didn't want him to be angry to other humans because of her. Like he had been today.

"Well, theres only one town on the island. My name is Mary Low, and I live in a small cottage on the town outskirts. Thats where I live, whether you believe it or not - and even if I was lying, which I'm not, but if I was - theres nowhere else I can run too, is there? So, um, Sir, it isn't in my best interest to run off with them now." even though they're already my property, she thought, and if I had been more careful I wouldn't be in this predicament right now. it made her uneasy telling him where she lived, but honestly, she couldn't think of any other way to proove she was trustworthy.

"Um, but please don't send anyone to kill me in my sleep or anything." she added on quietly, genuinely thinking he might do that. Ok, yes, giving up her home was really not a good idea, she decided. Too late.
All around them the creatures of the night had arisen to greet the moon, crickets chirruped in the background, while the leathery flutter of bats overhead mingled with the whispers of the wind in the trees. "If I had a notion to kill you girl, it would have been done while you were scrabbling about on those rocks like your crab friend" he replied irritably. "Or perhaps you'd have found yourself on the receiving end of a falling tree..."he muttered. Picking the lamp up off the ground he was careful no to let much of the light illuminate his face, what it did illuminate was what he wore. A loose fitting green tunic with a black cord around his round waist, and a pair of tan breeches ended with booted feet.

He kicked the clogs towards her, "I will not make you work for those" he spoke self-righteously as if he was doing her a favor, "however you will work for the safe passage home that I will ensure". He turned around "Come girl, we've a ways to go. He held the lamp up and walked back to his sled, fastening it to his harness again he walked off, the sled dragging behind him.
(OOC: As much as I want to stay up longer to continue this, I need to get some sleep for work in the morning as it's 4:30am here, please do continue your next post and i'll reply to it as soon as I can, it's been fun!)
"Uh...sorry..." she slowly said, her voice tinted with guilt as she realized that was probably quite true. It was nice to know that he didn't plan on murdering her, at least. Actually, she supposed, in his own odd way, he was probably being quite nice, taking it upon himself to walk her home... albeit for a price, and though this was all his fault, and implying that it was a big chore for him. She hid a grin, popped on her clogs and fell into line behind him, deciding that maybe he wasn't quite as dangerous as she had thought. Just grumpy. Although, Mary had no doubt he could do her serious harm if he wanted. But, he had some qualities, she decided, that were a little human. He was a little self-righteous and she didn't think - right now at least - that he would cause harm to someone without reason. So he wasn't as evil as some of the Wayfolk were made out to be. It eased her fear a little bit.

Enough to let her curiosity brim to the surface again. "So, what's your name? Wayfolks have names, right? That's a silly question. I'm sure you do..." Mary rambled on, holding in the urge to guess his name or ask him what he was. She had a niggling feeling he might not take it well. I'm sure we have a book or two about Wayfolk in town, she decided, smiling to herself.

The forest was certainly not somewhere you wanted to be alone at night. Near the beach the trees had been young, but in the deeper parts of the forest they were knitted closely together, their gnarled branches squirming for room as the breeze cradled them. The canopy was thick and vast, the starry sky above squeezing to get through the one or two small gaps in the foliage, dotting shafts of eerie white light about the wood and illuminating the dust in the air.

Mary came this way a lot, but had only stayed out this late once or twice. It was cold. She sneezed, shivered, and tried to take her mind off how uncomfortable she felt. Not just her wet clothes, but something felt off about the forest today. A rustle of leaves...
Mary whipped around, to see an owl land on a branch nearby, fluttering its wings as it settled down. Nothing to worry about, Mary sighed with relief, edging a little closer to her guide and his sled. No reason to be so scared, Wayfolk or not. This forest had never posed a danger to her before.

But somewhere, deep in the thick of the trees, something stirred...

(Fun indeed! It's getting pretty late here too so a break would be nice :3 goodbye for now >3)
He plodded along at a leisurely rate, he was in no hurry. The little sled dragging along beind him, making scuffling noises as it passed over dirt, leaves, and the occasional odd twig. "My name..." he twitched slightly at the thought of revealing his true name to this human, "Yes we have names" he replied bluntly, "you may call me Durag" he muttered gruffly. He didn't ask her name in return they would part ways at the towns border anyway so why waste the time with meaningless formalities. Night had settled comfortably over the forest, but something was amiss. His neck hair bristled as if a chill had swept over him. The dwarves were but a small race among the wayfolk, there were gnomes, a dispicable lot! as everyone knew, many a valuabe had disappeared into the hands of the gnomes. There were some ancestors of the elves left but they were isolationists, preferring to keep to themselves in the islands interior. Those aside, there was a myriad of species that comprised the Wayfolk, including some that were not so pleasant. Some that were responsible for the subjagation of the isle to a number of disasters.

The chill, gave him reason to pause. Sniffing the air, he looked around warily. "Come girl, we must make haste if we are to get you home, there is something afoot tonight in the forest". He said nothing more but double timed his foot steps to a trot, the sled dragging behind him.
She mouthed the strange name, trying to get used to its pronunciation. After a moment or two she got the hang of it. "It's nice to meet you, Durag." Mary replied confidently, committing the name to memory. After all, if she was going to do some work for him, she'd better know how to properly address him. Lest a tree fall on her head...

The hair on the back of her neck stood on end as he spoke, and she reached down to pick up a fallen branch. It made her feel a little safer, and she held the bludgeoning tool close to her chest, picking off the stray twigs until it was a long thick stick. "What do you mean afoot?" Mary asked, a hint of fear in her voice and she tried to see where he was looking. "Are we in danger? Is there something out there?" Mary gave the branch a test swing, being careful not to hit her companion in the back of the head, until she was pretty comfortable with the idea that she could deal a good hearty blow if need be.

A silence fell on the forest. An unnatural one. The owl far behind them flew off for safer grounds and the two were left alone, Durag's light defending against the encroaching darkness. But they were far from safe. For in the trees, closer now, a low hiss could be heard by those who were listening.
He made a soft clucking sound as the hiss reverberated around the tree trunks. "She's not been awake in weeks" he muttered; disconnecting the harness from the sled. "Girl there is always something out here, your survival depends upon your ability to avoid it." he whispered. The silence fell heavy around them, nary a sound could be heard. Stooping to a knee he muttered something softly tracing runes in the air and the dirt beseeching the great unnamed, the wielder of the hammer and anvil of the dwarves for the necessary magick to aid in their defense. Picking up a large rock he continued muttering as the very fabric of reality shifted around them, in his hands the rock glowed, elongated into a handle, and sprouting a large hammer head at the end.

The hiss grew louder as the bushes in the underbrush swayed against the wind. "She's hungry" he whispered.
Mary gasped in wonderment as Durag conjured up his weapons from the earth and the rocks. Of course he was magical - but here was the proof, right before her eyes. She hadn't heard the hissing at first, but now that Durag had drawn attention to it, it was as clear as the bells on Sunday morning.

At first all Mary could make out was two small, piercing yellow eyes in the darkness. Whatever it was move closer, the scaly head of a snake emerging into a beam of light, not on the ground but floating in the air. "What the-?" Mary exclaimed as she took a small step back. That wasn't frightening - she saw snakes all the time. Poisonous ones were dangerous of course, but surely Durag wasn't getting all worked up over that?

But it didn't end there. A low growl for tolled a far more complex beast was lurking between the trees, for as Mary looked on in amazement, so the body of the snake came into view. A large, thick tail of a far more powerful beast. A Chimera emerged from the shadows, the pale moonlight stark against its rippling muscles, glinting off its sharpened fangs as she lifted her head to unleash a second, bloodcurdling growl upon the forest, declaring her intent.

A clawed foot forward and she pulled herself past the tree line, the warm glow of Durag's lantern bringing no warm glow to her face. "Wayfolk brother," spoke her goat head, "I see you have brought me the flesh of the humankind to satisfy my hunger. For this I am thankful."

Mary was aghast, unable to take her eyes off of the beast. Had this been his plan all along? No, Mary didn't believe that. That wasn't... he wouldn't... well, would he? After all, she didn't know him, and the Wayfolk really did have a deep set anger for her kind. If he was so bent on revenge, he could easily have stalled her until this beast came out to hunt. But then, why draw his weapons? No, she couldn't let her uncertainties get the better of her. If Durag meant her dead, he would of killed her earlier, as he'd said. Not to mention, she had no chance against such a malformed beast herself.

The Chimera spied his defensive stance, his weapons, lowering her snake head tail to get a better look. "Or perhaps you are offering yourself up as a starter? I am surprised that you are betraying your own kind for one of them." The snakehead hissed.

Oh no, please don't put it like that. He'll change his mind, Mary thought to herself, digging her nails into the bark of the branch she was holding.

"Excuse me Ma'am-"

An outraged, feral snarl shut Mary up with a small squeak.

"Foolish Human! You have no right to address me or my kinsman. You are inferior and parasitic; your existence is a plague on this world that needs to be cured!"

She returned her accusing eyes on her dwarven brethren, "right, brother?"
He stood with the large war hammer resting against the ground, his voice devoid of emotion save for a flicker of irritance in his eyes. "Brother? You dare to refer to me as brother?!" He moved his position further between the Chimera and the girl. "How many of my kind have you feasted upon you mangy cat? how many?! Your words are that of a kindred spirit, a friend even but this night a friend I see not!" His words were laced with a hatred reserved for something far beyond the Wayfolk hatred of humans. "I see nought but a beggar of our kind!" he continued.

"Parisitic... Yes, Inferior... Yes, they are both those and more..." He paused staring solely at the lioness' head "But this female" he gestured a hand towards her, "she is no more your meal tonight than I." He spun the giant war hammer around, mentally reciting a rune spell. "She is bound to none but I, she is my slave, should you so choose to take of that which is mine, you will be subject to our Laws, and you know how quickly word spreads among the forest. "Dare you risk it? dare you risk being torn limb from limb by those that are greater then even you?" He leveled the hammer's head at her, "None will take the life of this human but I". There was a note of finality in his voice, a note that all dwarves used to indicate when a conversation was over. "Now Begone!"