Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bly {Part 6}

The sound of the soldier's feet, and their frequent tripping over the underbrush in the Tawarthion forest was easily recognizable, and Bly rose from her hiding spot before they were close enough to see her, and darted off in the direction of their camp.
It felt nice to run so freely again, to dodge the vines and slimy branches that stretched across her way, her fleet feet jumping over fallen logs, and suspicious sand traps.
She ran into their camp, and the men whirled around to face her, Xander's hand resting on his sword.
That sword.
"They are on their way. And our creating enough noise to raise all of the dead in the land"  She said, and Xander nodded, "They don't think we are so close, probably expecting to come across us closer to Fort Hallows"
She nodded, and Adonis stretched, "Well, positions everyone?" 
They crouched in the underbrush, and Bly gripped the Bow and Arrow Xander had been surprised to see her carrying in the saddle packs, but he had put his surprise aside, and they were all silent, waiting for the men who wished to entrap them to walk into their own trap.
It seemed positively ages before the first man broke into the clearing, and shouted to his companions as he spotted the camp fire which they had purposely left smoking softly.
She felt Xander's hand give her own a gentle squeeze, and she returned the motion.
The rest of Felix's troupe entered the clearing, most of them on foot, which raised questions in Bly's mind...
How had they gotten here from Aragathia so quickly if they were on foot? There were foul doings somewhere in this...
"Now" Xander's whisper was barely audible, but it was enough. Bly rose, quickly firing two arrows into two soldier's before they recognized they were under attack from the ones they sought to capture.
Xander and Adonis entered into the thick of the fight, Adonis' eyes were lit up as if he were enjoying the fight, and though he hadn't turned into a dragon, his fists alone were doing a powerful amount of damage.
She stood, and quickly fired arrows into three more arrows, saying silent prayers for the misled souls as they fell.
And all to quickly, the fight was over, and Xander lowerd his sword, searching the clearing.
"Was that all? What sort of army did you lead anyway, Xander?" Adonis scoffed, cracking his knuckles and stretching.
"Not this type...thats for sure. That was child's play.....that can't be all" Xander said hesitantly, and as if his words were the command it was waiting for, a roar filled the air, and above them, the tree limbs began to give away as if something large was planning on landing right on top of them.
Xander shouted for them to clear the area, but Bly stood petrefied as the large mass cracked through the thick, almost unbreakable, tree cover.
Such a clear vision of wickedness had come over her when she heard the ground shaking roar, as if images of deception, treason, murder, and all evil was sent spinning through her mind.  She felt Xander pick her up, and run from under the creature, and just in time, for it fell through with a mighty crash, sending debris and limbs flying.
Xander set her down, and they faced whatever had came through, and met the eyes of a Giant Red dragon.  It's eyes were all pupil, their large darkness scanning the clearing for them.
Bly heard Adonis mumble something under his breath, and she realized her bow was also gone, crushed under the giant creature's body.
And then a voice, tainted with hatred and dripping with evilness filled her mind, and nearly sent her to her knees.
"Elf. You will come"
She clucthed her head, and swayed on her feet.  she barely noticed as Xander slipped his arm around her waist to steady her. 
Bly gathered her thoughts, and tried to direct them all at the creature, "I will not"
Again the voice echoed in her head, causing a pounding against her skull, "Then we will kill your companions, we will kill them and make you watch.  We will bind you, and we will carry you back half dead, but not all dead, for that would be relief.  And the Mistress wants you alive"
Xander was completely supporting her now, and she heard his voice, asking something, but she blocked his voice out, and focused on replying to the beast before her.
"You Mistress shall never have me alive" she slowly raised her eyes, meeting the dark eyes of the dragon before her and said aloud, "Nor will your mistress have me dead" 
It wasn't surprising the Dragon's reaction was to send another roar that caused even Adonis to cover his ears, and it sent a black flame around them.  But instead of scorching the surronding foliage, the smoke formed into black clad, faceless Shadow Soldiers who clutched swords that looked rather real enough.
"Mind explaining whats going on? I don't think I have that ability"  Adonis nerviously tapped her on her shoulder, and Bly sent him a weary look, "I pray you never will"
The soldiers stepped closer, the ring around the three growing smaller, and Bly heard the dragon laugh smugly, "Where is your courage now, weak hearted Elf?"  
Bly shuddered, and she felt Xander pull her closer, "We'll fight them off, just like we did the others"
"No, we can't.  They aren't alive, so you can't kill them.  Your sword will just slice through them like it would to smoke" Bly's mind raced for a solution as the ring tightened again, the Shadow Soldier's making them cluster closer together to avoid getting killed by their gleaming black swords.
"Well, then shouldn't there swords also be smoke too?" Adonis asked, and Bly shook her head, "No...Don't ask me to explain right now"
She closed her eyes, there had to be a solution, surely there couldn't be a threat so great they had no ground on which to stand to even defend themselves.  Surely they had a power to weild over this darkness...
The answer flashed like bright light through her mental self, shaming her with the simplicity and truth of it.
"Pray, both of you" she gripped one of Adonis' bare hands, and one of Xander's gloved ones, and pulled them to their knees.
"Pray what?" Adonis asked, and Bly shrugged, "I don't know! Pray whatever you desire, but just pray for Yahweh to save us"
She closed her eyes, and sought to find inner peace despite being at sword point by almost invincible enemies.
Surprsingly, peace was easier to find then she had thought, and she poured her heart out, chanting the ritual prayers of her Elvish Fathers, and slipping into her own created ones.
"Yahweh, please, I, we, need your assistance.  You are the only grace we have to save us, we cannot escape this peril without your aid.  I do not want to see Xander die, Great One. You know my heart's deepest desire, the love I feel for him I have never felt towards another" she felt a tear fall down her cheek, "Please, let not this love be in vain" 
She heard the Dragon's anger filled shriek, and her eyes flew open, surprised to see the world was suddenly a strange blue tinge, and then realization dawned on her.
"Xander, Adonis, look" she let go of their hands, and peered around them.
They were surronded in a bubble like orb, and as the Shadow Soldier's tried to enter it, they evaporated like nothing more then the smoke they were. The dragon paced back and forth, it's black eyes glaring with hate. 
"What is that?" Adonis reached out to touch it before Bly could warn him, and snatched his hand back as a flash of light burst from where he had touched it. 
"A shield....A shield sent from Yahweh. 'His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.'*" Bly quoted, and smiled.
Xander smiled, and reached for her hand again, and was about to say something when Adonis interrupted. "So, are we just going to stay here forever? Or...what?" 
As he spoke, the Dragon created more Shadow Soldiers, only to watch them each vaporized by the heavenly shield.
"I don't think The Great Lord would protect us only to let us die in his hand" Xander said softly, smiling down at Bly.
She nodded, and then gasped and pointed at the tree line behind the dragon.  She could nearly swear for a moment that there was a movement, and just as she was ready to discredit it, she saw the stirring again.   
Careful not to attract the Dragon's attention, which was easy as it kept spewing black fire in crazed anger, she motioned to where she saw the movement, and gasped.
"What is that?" Adonis peered through the blue light orb, and Bly covered her mouth, hiding a smile.
"The Greer" 
It was huge, yet moved through the trees like an agile maiden dancing, and rather resembled a tree herself, and she moved silently to behind the Dragon, and reached out to touch it.
As her fingers gently tapped the massive tail, The dragon's eyes turned to agony, and It began shrinking until it was the size of a mere lizard. 
It squeaked, and scurried away, and the Greer sent a pointed glare at the remaining Shadow Soldiers, and they dissolved into smoke automatically. 
She then turned to face Bly, Xander and Adonis, her dark brown eyes softening, and Bly had the mental image of bandages and ointments.
"She is asking...asking whether we are alright...I think"  Bly said, and she nodded, and smiled at the ancient woman.
The Greer Woman smiled herself, and moved forward to lay a hand on the barrier.
They all called out for her to stop, and Bly conjured up as many images of danger as she could image, and sent the the Greer's way, but the Ancient one laid a bone white hand on the barrier anyway.
Bly expected to see the age old being be purified, but instead, their shield shimmered, and slowly collapsed, and they were left standing unprotected next to the large Greer. 
She smiled, and sent a sign of two armored men shaking hands with their swords pointed down in an friendly manner.
Bly reached out to Xander and Adonis, who both looked tense, and smiled. "It's fine, she is a friend"
Xander slid his sword into his sheath, and stepped forward, bowing low to the ancient gentle giant, and Adonis copied it.  Bly watched with amusement as the Greer's eyes lit up at their attention, like a young girl getting a compliment from a man she looks up to.
"We thank you for your aid, most honorable Lady Greer" Bly bowed low, and a mirage of letters, or the image of letters cascades into her mind.
It took the Elven girl a moment before she realized the Lady was trying to convey her name, and when she did, she smiled.
"Lady Ou Een?"
The Greer smiled and nodded, and reached her hand down to the group, almost as if-
A boy holding a frog in his palm.
"She wants us to climb into her hand" Bly said, and getting a approving smile and nod from Lady Ou Een.
"I'm afraid of heights" Adonis said, taking a step back, but Xander rolled his eyes, "Thats a lie, come on you baby" he grabbed the young half dragon's arm, and climbed up into the Greer's waiting hand, pulling Bly after them.
"I don't like this" Adonis curled up in a ball, and bly laughed, "You who can turn into a flying dragon?" 
Adonis mumbled about this being different, and Bly ignored him, smiling at Xander, and gasping, and clutching his arm as the Greer lifted them above the tree line.
Adonis moaned, and curled up tighter, and Bly got the image of a brave soldier being merged with the image of a crying child, and she turned to look at the Greer who winked mischievously.
Bly whispered the images to Xander, who barely contained his laughter, "It seems are guardian has a sense of humor"
The sound of loud neighing came from below, and Bly peered cautiously over the side of the Greer's fingers, grateful to see Ciar and Rudy racing along below, keeping pace with Lady Ou Een, and leading the Rebel horse between them.
All her worries currently at ease, she leaned her head on Xander's shoulder, and smiled, just enjoying the high ride, and not caring for the moment where the Greer was bringing them.


She didn't remember falling asleep, but she was awoken by Xander's gentle proddings, and opening her eyes, she realized her head was in his lap. Bly blushed, and quickly scooted a few inches away, mumbling appologies.
""No worries, but Lady Ou Een has brought us to this most welcome place"
Bly rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and viewed the beautiful expanse of Elfin Lied. She sighed happily, and climbed from the Greer's hand, and stepped upon the ground that was so familiar to her, and so welcome after the eerie darkness of the Tawarthion.
She turned back to face Ou Een, and curtsied, "I offer you my utmost thanks, Lady of the Forest, and I offer it for my companions as well.  Without your aid, we'd still be facing an angered dragon"
Ou Een's pale face broke into a smile that revealed stunning white teeth, and the image of a old woman hugging a young child flashed through Bly's conscience.
The Elf smiled, and returned a similar image, which seemed to delight the giant guardian.
Ciar and Rudy trotted up, the borrowed horse tagging close behind, and the men went to the animals, leaving Bly and the Greer to face each other.
Bly realized what an exceptional honour it was to meet and form a friendship with one of the ageless forest guardians, and she felt humbled that she had been allowed that honor.
"Thank you, Lady Ou Een, your name will be given much praise in Voronwe, and-"
Ou Een shook her head, smiling fondly, and knelt to face Bly, but still towering over her.
The Greer thought momentarily, before sending a flood of images, she had to send it five times before Bly could catch the meaning.
The Greer wanted to remain a mysterious figure, her name was something she wanted to be allowed to speak to people, and she wished to remain the silent figure Elvish children dreamed of someday meeting, not a well known name.
Bly nodded, "I will respect and fulfill your desires, Lady Ou Een"
The Greer stood, and smiled, and sent a final image, one of an Old friendly crone welcoming people visitors into her home, and Bly smiled, "I shall make it a priority to visit you again, Honored One"
Ou Een smiled all the wider, and slowly walked away, her footsteps making no noise, so that Bly had to wonder whether she truly walked, or glided. She disappeared back into the dark refines of the Tawarthion, and Bly felt her heart rise in happiness.  Not only had she met the legendary Greer, been gifted with riding in her hand, but also had been invited to return.
Xander called to her, and Bly turned to join them.
As she led the way through the beautiful Elfin Lied to Voronwe, she glanced behind her for one last look at Tawarthion until they returned, and was surprised to see Ou Een waving silently, another Greer, this one short and round, the boulder like figure so often described in the lore, waving next to her.
Bly smiled, and turned to face the road ahead of them, her heart leaping at the thought of returning home.

*(2 Samuel 22:31)

{{So. There y'all go. Like? no like? Anyway. there are pictures in our 'Inspiration page' of how I pictured both Greer's.  ANYWHO. Oh. 'Ou Een' means 'Old One' in some language...I forget again. :P}}