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Chapter ii, The Peerless Pearl of Great Beauty PDF Print
Wednesday, 08 June 2005
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Chapter ii, The Peerless Pearl of Great Beauty
Page 2
With the forest dark and silent all about them Ae'thenal did follow Si'anelle at a close distance. Two days and a night's worth of weary travel were behind them which would sorely test her friend's words to Cedwyn Brighteye that they did only intend to hunt within the forest as an excuse for their absence. However there had been small time in which to dwell upon the archer champion's wrath when he did discover that Arhaindir Moonhand's wayward daughter had deceived him with a careful lie. The Great Forest of Avelorn was home to many twisted dark creatures who did hate the light of the sun and it had seemed more than once that whole companies of these creatures had gathered to dispute their passing. Two quivers of arrows well stocked to capacity at their leave-taking were now thinned enough to cause concern; - despite the care they had taken to recover undamaged shafts where they could. The most recent attack made by a pair of great shambling beasts that had stood upright on their hind legs, had been decided by her spear and the edge of Si'anelle's sword that had been her father's own sword before the Dark Kindred had brought his life to an ending. Though for all the mighty blow with his fist the beastman had laid upon her friend and the stone he had cast that had dented her helm Si'anelle's spirits were undiminished as she did continue to press on in her search.

The words were on Ae'thenal's tongue to suggest to her friend that they should take their rest and eat a little of the waybread in their packs when a shrill voice did begin to shriek abuse at them from among the trees at their left hand. The shrill voice suddenly begining to give vent to cries of a different nature when Si'anelle did notch an arrow to her bow with a quick hand and did loose it in the direction of the voice's owner. And when they did both investigate the voice's source with both caution and Elven steel in their hands they did find a small imp like creature soundly pinned by the coarse fabric of its jerkin to the trunk of a great tree.

"Fuddin bright eyed Elven bitches," it did squeak at them in outrage its sizeable mismatched eyeballs bulging from its head. "Stinkin up the forest, bringin sharp iron inya fists....." At this Si'anelle did lay the tip of her sword against the imp's neck which caused the creature's throat to bob wildly as it did rapidly swallow its abusive words.

"It is indeed sharp iron Small One," said Si'anelle as she did incline her head towards the imp in a deliberate parody of good manners.

"Wadda ya want?" demanded the imp its small and grievously ugly face breaking into a sly grin as it did run its mismatched eyes over their torn and stained cloaks. Their soiled boots and the thorn scratches on their legs and arms. "If ya lost ya kin go whistle."

"I would merely enquire as to the direction wherein the pool named 'Despairing' does lie Small One," Si'anelle did ask as she did raise the imp's chin with the tip of her sword. "And I would also ask if you do know of a great toad who does dwell by the pool."

Ae'thenal did expect that the imp would now find reason to cast yet more abuse at them and furthermore delight in both Si'anelle and herself being yet unable to locate the pool. However she could not have been more wrong in her assumptions.

"Why diddin ya say?" gave the imp as it did begin to laugh aloud. "Sure, I know this pool. Show ya the way too."

Laying her hand upon her friend's arm before she could carry out her intent to free the imp Ae'thenal said, "Perhaps you are too willing to believe this creature Si'anelle. How can we be certain that we shall not be led astray, even unto our deaths at fell hands." Making her grip the more firm to prevent Si'anelle from shrugging her aside she also did say, "Before Isha why should this imp aid us, - tell me that Si'anelle?"

"Suspicious bit ain't she," the imp did comment then which did small good to improve her temper. Turning now to face the imp Si'anelle's expression had become the more hard in its aspect which did cause Ae'thenal to hope that her friend had accepted her counsel. "Before your gods of misrule will you swear that you do not seek to deceive?" asked Si'anelle her sword held in readiness in her hand.

"Sure and Amen," replied the imp with a wide grin. Which did cause Ae'thenal to sigh aloud at the desperate foolishness of their situation.

And as the imp did lead them both deeper into the forest, wildly capering and turning hand stands. Even walking for lengthy periods of time upon its hands shrieking with glee. Ae'thenal did indeed have leisure enough to wonder why this misshapen creature should trouble to aid them. Si'anelle for her part did seem to be oblivious to their potential danger. Her expression did only speak of her joy at soon being able to serve her Everqueen in the fashion that she had so long desired. "Hurry, hurry bright eyes," the imp beckoned. "This way, be quick. Oh yes be quick." And it did dart off again bounding on all fours like it was an outstandingly ugly dog.

The shadows were begining to deepen when the imp did finally pause its wide nostrils quivering. Raising a skinny arm it did point out the way. "There bright eyes," it did say. "Walk straight, don't turn. The pool awaits."

"You will not complete your task then?" asked Si'anelle as she did frown into the shadows.

"Tis done," the imp did reply and again it did point the way. "No harm here brighteyes," it insisted as it did squat on the bole of a fallen tree. "Stick to the path, Toady's there awaiting."


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