The Sorcerer and the Princess

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Elflady, Sep 8, 2014.

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  1. [BCOLOR=transparent]The forest stretched tall and ominous around her, trees stretched out their branches to grab her dress and hinder her progress, gnarly roots seemed to do their best to fell her to the ground. Shuna paused only a moment to tear her cloak free from a branch, the soft, dark beige fabric already torn in several places, her heart beating painfully in her chest, her breath ragged, but if she stopped running she would remember.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Pulling her cloak tighter around her to avoid getting snagged on more branches Shuna pressed on, although she was not used to such physical activities and more than once did she stumble over nothing, in her defense however her long dress was a hinderance. Had she walked through this forest a normal night she would likely have been more than a little afraid of being alone in the dark and in such a remote location but tonight that didn’t face her. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Shuna finally had to slow down, chest heaving as she gasped for air she leaned against a tree, the rough bark pressing into her back. Her head spun and she had to force herself to take deep breaths to avoid falling to the ground. Not occupied with her panicked run anymore her thoughts strayed back to the reason she was even here.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The day had gone along like it normally did and after her usual duties were over Shuna had taken one of her strolls outside, of course as a princess she was not allowed to just leave the castle alone so instead she had to take her walks in one of the many castle gardens. Only when she had realized the late hour had Shuna hurriedly made her way back inside where the night made a turn for the worse.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The sight greeting her was her family seemingly dead, the shock had almost been too much but as she knelt in desperation by her younger brother’s side she felt some sparks of hope. His still warm skin, the peaceful expression he wore as if in sleep seeded the belief in Shuna that her family was not lost. Her many tries to rouse her brother from his supposed sleep was futile however and a rustle of fabric against the floor snapped Shuna’s attention to the far side of the room.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The figure was dressed in a dark cloak so Shuna didn’t fully see the person’s face but she felt it was a woman and despite not having any real proof of it her brain pushed the word witch into her thoughts. Scrambling to her feet Shuna could only stare at the dark figure who came closer with every step. “There you are princess,” her calm attitude could not hide the hate and malice that mixed in her voice.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“I was wondering where the last one of you self righteous, ignorant people were hiding, but how kind of you to place yourself in my way.” Shuna who had always seen herself as a capable woman in danger could only listen to the frosty voice rooted the the floor unable to move or speak. Her thoughts reeling as to why this woman was doing this, what did she have against her family? It may seem arrogant of her to not make the connection instantly to the witch hunts and this angry woman but that was how she had been raised.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]“Now my sweet princess,” in the witch’s mouth those normally caring words only sounded eerily hollow. “It is time for you to complete my curse although it is a bit sad for you to miss the wonderful chaos your country surely will fall into.” Her words ended in a laugh that didn’t reach her eyes, with tinges of madness nestled within.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]That was when Shuna finally snapped out of her paralysis, eyes wide with fear she turned on one heel and ran for all she was worth. Following her out of the room was words in a language Shuna had never heard, they snaked into her brain and clawed at her consciousness, for a moment it felt like a sticky darkness pulled her backwards and down into an abyss. As she struggled to get further away from the witch the darkness slowly let go of her mind allowing Shuna to quicken her pace once more.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Now she was far from the castle, in an old forest that she had only heard stories about, above her in between branches she saw the dark night sky grow paler. She had been running for most of the night and only adrenaline could have made that possible but now not even that was enough to keep her going for much longer.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]She had been caught in despair all this time, after all how did you conquer a witch especially while not being able to use magic yourself. But then old memories came back to her, bedtime stories from her childhood, they had been full of magic and wonder, and some had even taken place in this very country. Could there be some truth to them? What if witches and sorcerers still lived in this land, some who had survived the burnings and now lived hidden. It was a farfetched thought but Shuna needed any kind of hope she could find to not fall victim to the despair that threatened to overtake her if she let her guard down.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]It was then that the day turned upside down once more, a melodic song weaved through the trees, a soft melody that somehow resonated deeper than it should have been able to. Turning her head back and forth, scanning the trees Shuna’s eyes fell upon a bird, a pretty little thing with sky blue feathers and a fluffy white chest. It’s tail feathers a little bit longer than normal but what she focused on was its dark eyes, they somehow seemed different from a normal bird, like the animal hid some deeper knowledge.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The bird looked at her curiously, tilting it’s head and hopping a bit closer on its branch, in a weird way Shuna got the impression of being examined, which was utterly ridiculous as it was just an animal. But then it flew forward, it landed on her shoulder and pecked at her neck before it flew off as fast as it had come.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Shuna looked at it quizzically as it landed in a bush just a few feet away and chirped at her, before moving another four feet and repeating it’s urgent call. However strange it may sound Shuna could only guess that the bird wanted her to follow, but that was crazy, right? Birds didn’t behave like that, it was not possible. Then again her family had just been cursed by a witch so who was she to say what was possible or not. Tired in both mind and body Shuna didn’t have the energy to debate the craziness of her actions and simply followed the bird as it kept leading her deeper into the forest.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]After what seemed like hours for Shuna the bird stopped suddenly, it chirped happily before taking off into the treetops and vanishing among the leafy crowns. “Hey, don’t just take off, I don’t know where I am,” she called after the blue creature, only to snap her mouth shut when she realized she talked to a bird. Looking around in resignation wondering where in the world the strange bird had led her she caught sight of something out of place nearby. It was stairs leading up a steep hill, the stone was old and worn but it was definitely man made, Shuna’s heart leapt with equal amounts of joy and fear. It could just be an old remnant of past inhabitants but there was a possibility someone still lived here, and deep down a part of her hoped it was someone skilled with magic that had avoided the witch hunt even if it was a very slim chance. With a nervous heart pulsing in her ears Shuna gathered her pale dress in one hand and started the long way up the stone stairs.[/BCOLOR]
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  2. Though in the dark the tree branches reached like grasping fingers towards the moon, he never felt afraid of the darkness that came here. Many times as a child, he had ran from the dark because it had meant they were coming and that someone would die, that he would hear their screams from where he was hidden and smell the sickly sweet smell of burnt human that still haunted him to this day. They had fled afterwards, their coven shrinking and shrinking no matter how far they ran. Nonetheless, so many years later, he still could not hate them with all of what he was.

    How could he hate something he could not understand, when the very same reasoning had manifested the genocide of his kind across this kingdom and others, far and wide. He would just continue the cycle, hatred only begets hatred. Fear only begets fear...His mother had told him that long years ago, every time one of their own was burnt and she had cried with him the night her husband and his father had burnt, alone on the pyre. But still, she had forgiven and forgiven, she even forgave those who burnt her and shouted it for the world to hear. She had been one of the final witches burnt in this kingdom, a terrible grievance that had swept through like wildfire.

    His aunt had watched as well, held him as he screamed as his mother screamed her final breath but it was not the scream but the words that had echoed. 'I love you...'

    He had never forgotten that, the pure forgiveness and love his mother had possessed but his aunt had vowed to avenge her and the family she had lost, with dark wicked magic that drove all in fear. She had asked him to join her. To kill the humans who had deprived him of his parents and coven but at age 9, even he knew the answer was not more death and had told her such.

    There lay the origins of the curse that drove breath from his lungs randomly, sent him into a fit of pain so great that he sometimes could not scream for the intensity. She called him a witch hater and a human lover, a traitor to all his parent stood for but both of them had known who she was really describing and she had fled to her mountain stronghold, awaiting her chance to strike.

    So he himself had retreated here, the ancient city ruins of a long forgotten people who had suffered much and died alone here, for the past 14 years and he had waited, until the time that came when his curse claimed him or the great war he sensed began. He knew not what he would do but he would decide then. It was too much... On the eve of the anniversary of his parents death. But as he prayed and blessed their spirits, a dark magic had flared across his back and his gaze swiveled to the direction of the castle, as an evil magic he recognised deep within himself destroyed something precious.

    A stranger was approaching, as he looked with magic through the forest. His familiar, Alaric, had lead her here. A princess, by the quality of the cloak and formality of the dress. As she began to close in on his home, he stood to block his stairs and glanced down with a stare that could frighten rocks into crying. Water from a stone, as his mother always said.

    "Princess, you're kind has been warned from this place. Why are you here? Why are you not in the deep sleep that plagues your family in the great castle or have managed to run from the witch who enacted such a spell?"
  3. [BCOLOR=transparent]Steadily climbing the stairs Shuna stopped momentarily to rest, the stairs seemed to have no end and she was exhausted after her long run, only now did she really take in the area lit up by sunlight dappling the ground through the tree crowns. The forest seemed to teem with life here, everywhere she looked something grew, from grass and flowers to moss clinging onto stone, it was a beautiful place and during other circumstances she may have stayed longer to take in the scene but now she was too restless and tired to really take it all in. Sighing faintly she continued up the stairs, feeling at least a little bit stronger after the short break. After many more minutes she was finally nearing the top, the light grew stronger and Shuna quickened her steps, eager to reach the end.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]But despite her hopes Shuna had not really expected to find anyone in this desolate place so when a figure hindered her progress, his dark demeanor contrasting against the light backdrop she recoiled in surprise, retreating a step to avoid falling down. Her beat faster in her chest as she stared up at the stranger her voice muted by his piercing glare, it was very clear he did not want her here and his hostility was almost more frightening than the witch, almost. As he spoke her fear didn't go away, instead she grew more weary of him, how could he know of events that had transpired just this night, events that certainly had not reached beyond the castle yet. Could this young man really be capable of magic then? If so then perhaps he could help her, although he certainly didn't look like he was dying to aid her at the moment, besides he clashed horribly with the expectations she had gained from her bedtime stories as a child. Shuna would have expected someone older, not necessarily ancient but still older than this man who didn't appear to be many years older than herself, the image of a wise and gruff, yet kind old man was hard to shake but how else could he know things that should have been impossible for him to know otherwise.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Shuna took a deep breath to collect herself, pushing down as much of her feelings as possible, finding a small amount of comfort in doing something she had done many times in her life when preparing to do something she was anxious about. "I am sorry to intrude but I did not come here on my own accord," she said, raising her grey eyes to meet his and forcing herself to not look away as she spoke. "I was...led here. It may seem strange but I am certain a bird showed me the way." Shuna hesitated as she spoke, when she said it out loud it sounded even stranger than just thinking about it, but still she was mostly sure of her impression that the blue bird had wanted to guide her. "If you know so much about what has happened then do you not know why I have not fallen asleep?" She couldn't help herself in answering back, her tired mind was obviously not thinking straight, not only was he most likely a sorcerer, someone she had been taught to, if not fear, then at least mistrust he was also one who maybe could help her.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]"Anyway I do not really understand how I escaped myself, I could hear her speak as I ran away but I was not affected by her words." At least not entirely she added quietly, she could still remember that frightening feeling of complete darkness tugging on her mind to give up and sleep, like black fog trying to envelope her and shut everything else out.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Shrugging slightly Shuna forced the memory from her mind, although she knew it would be hard to forget it completely. "My purpose is to break the curse that is binding my family, I did not seek out this place on purpose but I did intend on finding someone capable of magic." Standing as tall as she could with her small stature Shuna waited for his response, feeling nervous and out of place beneath his harsh gaze and yet her determination was strong enough for her to do whatever it took to break the curse binding her family.[/BCOLOR]
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