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A Meeting of Gods and Halflings

 
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Rohana M
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 12:10 am    Post subject: A Meeting of Gods and Halflings Reply with quote

The night was dark, damp and cold. The moon was new, and light was scarce. Over the hills could be seen the dim light of the city, Eleriina, but that was all. In the Valley it was dark…in the woods that surrounded it, darker still.

But the darkness was broken, suddenly, by a new light. Slowly appearing up the hill, to the top, where the elevation was highest in the Valley of Eleriina. The source of that light appeared…a round ball, just the size of a fist. A Lantern Archon, its Bringer still unseen behind the hill.

Qiuvadin stepped lightly on the steep and tread upon dirt path - a poor excuse for a road, but a path still - until he reached the top, to meet up with his feisty Lantern. He was drabbed in travel-worn rags, and a hood to keep the rain away…or searching eyes. The hood was not drawn, seeing as how there was no rain to be kept away, and that he had no reason to hide his face. A hood would not have done so well anyway, since a white beard that nearly reached to the ground would have given him away instantly to anyone who might be looking for him.

As the fact was, Qiuvadin was looking for someone himself. Qiu had tagged the halfling with a tracking magic of sorts, but it had done no good, it seemed. The halfling is a hard thing to track, with plain eyes, or the more perceptive magicks. Qiu remembered the quote from a book he had once read, while he looked around for the damnable squirt.

He was about to give up and sit down to rest for a bit, when he heard a soft –clink- behind him. He turned his head slowly and looked, his beard waving, and the Lantern followed his eyes, closely, and cautiously. They met at the sight of the halfling he was looking for, who, as it happened, was intently searching his pack!

Selven Glendhal was of average size for a halfling, partly tanned and wearing a dark robe, with silver embroidery and spikes coming from the shoulder. It was enchanted, Qiuvadin could tell from the greenish glow that came to only a practiced wizards eyes.

“Ahem…” Qiuvadin grunted, looking down at the halfling with a not so pleased look on his face. His beard brushed against Selven’s arm.
Selven looked up from Qiu’s belongings to his beard, then to his face. With a startled look, he froze. Stiffly dropping the scroll he had in his hand back into Qiu’s pack, he backed off a couple steps and lowered his head to look down at the ground. He was obviously not use to being caught.

“Erm…hiya there master,” said Selven, not nearly as ashamed as Qiu would have liked.

Qiu noticed two things that had changed since last he and Selven had seen each other. One, his hair had somehow turned from white to deep indigo blue, and two, his eyes were each now a different color, one brilliant green, the other grayish…of no particular color, really.
“Hello Selven. Um…” he stared at the hair, a bit perplexed, while he decided to let this small incidence with his pack and Selven’s fingers slip for now, and said, “how’re your studies coming along?”

Selven looked blank for a second, obviously expecting Qiu to get mad at him for being curious. Then, realizing Qiu wasn’t going to do anything, loudly proclaimed, “Oh! You mean that magic stuff? I got bored of it…too easy, you know?”

“Oh yes?”

“Uhuh, I decided I’d go back to treasure hunting, its soo much more fun, as…you, um…can see…heh.”

Selven said this at first with a wide grin, that slowly slid into a half smile as his eyes lowered to Qui’s pack. But only for a moment, then it turned into that gods forsaken grin again.
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Rohana M
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Lots of things have happened since we last met eh, Ol’talla?” They walked along the Valley path towards Eleriina. Selven used the infuriating name “Ol’talla”, which was short for “old tallie” with the grin unchanging, serving only to make Qiuvadin madder. Yet he kept it hidden as best he could. Selven continued, “First off, like I said, I’m no longer a boring mage. I thought treasure hunting would be much funner, and boy is it ever! I’ve visited crypts, and islands, and mountains, and hills, and valleys, all filled with their own treasures, and…and monsters. I mean, like minotaurs and some lizard thingies. You wouldn’t believe…”

With every sentence, Qiuvadin became more irritated. How could these halflings be so filled with energy? Where did it all come from? He let the pestering little halfling’s words sort of filter through one ear and out the other…pretending like he was listening, but actually thinking about perhaps casting a silencing spell on the little squirt, but he didn’t…too bad.

“…and you wouldn’t believe it! You know, sometimes I think that I’m actually making this god jealous and stuff…”

I bet you do, Qiu thought wryly to himself, his anger rising further.

“…and those minotaurs…you know, I cant believe they call others horny, you know? Seeing as how they’re the ones with the horns and all…”

Qiuvadin couldn’t stand it any longer. His anger had risin far beyond its bursting point. He was ready to silence the little devil once and for all.

“ENOUGH ALREADY!!” He shouted, loosing all his anger into the words.

Selven’s eyes grew dark, and he looked at Qiuvadin with a wrathful sort of look that Qiu never new halflings could produce. The air around them shifted. Something…shifted in the very core of the earth itself. Qiu felt the air grow colder, denser, and a presence slowly seemed to come into being…a presence of pure force…Selven’s presence. The grass around Selven seemed to lean away from him, as if pushed by this force…away. Selven’s head was lowered, eyes fixed level with Qiuvadin’s…somehow. He no longer seemed shorter…but larger…even though Selven himself stayed the same size.

“Enough with games then, Qiuvadin,” Selvens voice seemed to cease the air on which it rode, not make it stir. “I know who you are, oh yes. But you do not know who I am. This is why you came back.”

Qiuvadin was surprised, but not completely. Though Selven had said that he was bored with magic…Qiu had suspected he had not completely given it up. It was still there.

The cold dread that had swept over him, he suppressed with ease, and replied calmly.

“Indeed it is, Selven. I knew there was something about you that did not match the immediate senses. It would seem that you have not completely halted your studies of magic. You have put them to your own use. You even have gone so far as to read my mind. Ha! You say you know who I am, but do you really suspect I would keep that truth unhidden to even the ‘Eyes of Truth’?”

Selven smiled, but not the usual, gods forsaken grin…a calm smile. “I doubted you would. But it is not magic that learned me of who you are…what you are. It is the familiarity. We are the same.”

Qiuvadin’s mind suddenly went everywhere, losing its focus. How could he not have known? How could Selven keep it hidden so long? How did…no, I must not lose focus, he’s lying, the little devil, I know it! He slowly brought back calmness to his full capability, and came up with the solution that if the halfling was telling the truth, words were no longer needed. Qiu reached out with his mind, and found Selven there, waiting.

Surprised, Qiu jerked back…Selven was in the God’s Realm…he was in The Expanse. The external world quickly flashed out of existence, and Qiu’s body became its true form.
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Rohana M
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He spread his black wings wide, stretching, their full expanse reaching several man-lengths each. He slowly got up, feeling his strength return to his real muscles. Looking around, he found the familiar surroundings of The Expanse, a vast world of quickly moving energy fields. His senses quickly adjusted so as to interpret these as the external world once again, and he appeared in the air, several hands above the ground.

He landed lightly on the ground, and folded his wings back, dug three of his six claws into the ground, feeling the earth between them, and looked around. Selven was still there…still a halfling, of no particular godly form. Confused, Qiuvadin reached out once again, this time without effort, just like talking, and found Selven there, again.

“If I can see you in The Expanse, why are you still so puny and weak?” Qiuvadin asked Selven with obvious contempt.

“Because I am a halfling you foolish dragon god.” Selven said this with no hint of fear or awe in sight. “But I’m not small, and I’m not weak. Instead your big,” he laughed, “but only perhaps a tiny bit strong,” he said, mockingly.

Anger surged inside of Qiuvadin. The halfling was no god! Instead he had somehow managed to gain access to the Land of Life through an external source, and had fooled Qiuvadin into changing back into his god form! Now the little bugger new what he was. He decided he would have to squash this puny bug, and would have…if he was not frozen where he stood!

“Hahahaha,” laughed Selven, “why try to squash me? I’m just a little halfling, you said so yourself, a puny, weak, halfling.”

Qiuvadin growled, “what is this halfling? How can you be so powerful?”

“Because I have blue hair?”

“GRR! Shut up!”

Qiuvadin unleashed his full power of his mind and body on the bonds that held him and they broke with ease. Selven was powerful with magic, but not that powerful. Qiu smiled evilly.

“Uh, oh,” eeped Selven.

He turned to run, but Qiu’s claws came down with a CRASH and pinned Selven to the ground, on his face. Qiuvadin shaked roughly to rid himself of the magic that had been cast upon him and loomed over the small minded creature.

“You halflings are all so full of yourselves, aren’t you? Even so much as to think you could take on a dragon god? I’m not even from your realm! Halflings are so…so…ANNOYING!” Qiu roared in disgust. He could see Selven flinch as the voice in his mind echoed, loudly, and Qiu smiled again. “And what is it with you? Why are you in The Expanse? That place is a gods realm, not for some puny little creature from the external world like you!”

“I’m Selven Glendhal, son of Razlhoff Glendhal, the immortal Half Dragon! It is my right to have his power! And as for that little bit about halflings, that was just rude! I’ll…!”

Qiuvadin stopped listening, instead going off on his own tangent. Razlhoff was the one who hatched Qiuvadin from an egg more than a thousand years past and led him to become the fourth Dragon God. It was so long ago that the memory was fuzzy even for Qiuvadin’s superior memory, but it was there. Razlhoff was almost as annoying as this little pest, but Qiu loved him like a father…He suddenly remembered clearly that Razlhoff’s left eye was a bright green, and his right, was grayish…with no particular color.

Qiuvadin looked down at Selven in amazement and loosed his claws from the ground. He unfocused his energy from his dragon form and returned to the old man, planting his staff in the earth before him, and stared at Selven, still lying on the ground…who didn’t seem to notice that he was free.

“…I mean, that was just a crude statement on all halflings! I might be like that, but it doesn’t mean that we all are! You should really think over such statements before you make them you big, ugly, fat…um…” Selven turned onto his back and looked around in the air above him for the looming dragon. He finally looked down and saw Qiuvadin standing before him. “Oh.”

“Get up, Selven, son of Razlhoff, the Father of Dragons. Are you his incarnate or something?” He asked jokingly.

“I was,” said Selven, as he got up and brushed himself off, “but I decided I’d go on my own path for once and set things strait. Let you know who I really am.”

“Ah…so that’s why the…erm, flamboyant display, hm?”

“Flamboyant? Oh that was nothing, really!” Selven exclaimed with a sly look on his face.

“Hahaha, well, I was hoping to go to Eleriina to have some of that famous ale they make. Perhaps you’d escort me to the inn? But before we go on, answer me one question…why in all the hells is your hair blue?”

“Huh? Oh that! That…uh, sort of runs in the family,” Selven grinned again…

Qiuvadin thought back, trying hard to ignore the grin… and found that, indeed, Razlhoff’s hair had turned blue, after he had lived for 200 years. Looking down at Selven, Qiuvadin wondered silently, do halflings ever learn? Instead he said aloud, “ah yes, I see…I see.”

To be continued...
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Rohana M
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Selven's story, as observed by light, and as heard by darkness, and as percieved in whole, by his own mind...*


Selven stood from where he sat, the silver embroidery on his black robe shining in the yellow light of the lantern to make it almost seem gilded. He left his finished letter on the table, where he knew AliZee’ would find it, and walked to the window, where he continued to say the words of the spell he was about to cast, slowly and precisely.

"…De'varias Gev'niont'yous Eh Cil'wuque Bolari'dyous…"

Each word had its own many meanings, of which, Selven didn’t really pay any attention to. In order to cast a spell which required many words, he found he only had to understand part of the meaning, or none of it at all. While he was a treasure hunter, he had used scrolls with absolutely no knowledge of them except what they were meant to do, sort of in a way…faking it.

This particular spell Selven had memorized over years and years of hearing Qiuvadin speak it over and over in order to get to where he was going. It was a spell that created a gateway, or portal, between two realms. Though this would be his first time in casting the spell by himself, he had complete confidence that it would work. Qiuvadin had told him that the spell would not work if it was attempted to be used in order to get from one point to the other in the same realm. Thus, it would not be possible to travel from one point in the “Realm of the Living” as Qiuvadin called the world in which Selven had lived, to another. But Selven’s destination had nothing to do with this realm.

As he slowly neared the end of the incantation, Selven looked out the window at the world he was leaving behind. Street lanterns flickered as the wind blew, and trees bent to the winds every stir. Selven felt every movement in his mind, though he was no part of it. He knew the tree only moved because someone else was seeing it. He had long since been parted with the quick flows of energy that tied everyone of the Realm of the Living together. Qiuvadin had cut him from them. He had to be free in order to go to the “Realm of Life Itself” which was Qiuvadin’s own realm. THAT was his destination…the Realm of Life.

Selven focused his concentration, now that the spell was nearing completion. As he did, he saw how the words of the spell each affected the twines of energy in different ways. To anyone else who watched, the world would seem to bend in front of Selven. To Selven, the strands that held the world together were being re-shaped by the words he was uttering. The words quickly formed a round bowl-like structure in the space in front of him, and then another over top of it, creating a sort of amulet of light. The last words were said…

"...Varias In’varias de Varias’en’ties.

The last word flowed from Selven’s tongue like a wildfire, and like a knife iit cut the air infront of him apart into a fine line. Light exploded from the sliver created in space, and Selven would have cringed like he did the first few times he had seen the spell being cast. But he was use to it now. The blinding flash of burning light crashed against the edge of the translucent barrier-amulet and created a flowing mosaic of sorts. Fire of reds, blues, oranges, whites, and even greens blended together to form a bluish gateway.

The spell appeared to have worked. The deep blue nothingness on the other side of the portal was as Selven remembered seeing it before. There’s only one way to find out, thought Selven, and he stepped through, into chaos…
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Rohana M
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Energy flowed differently in the Realm of Life than in the Realm of the Living, and it required some getting use to at first. Flashes of light, and strands of blue and green fire lashed about at speeds Selven couldn’t comprehend. It all just looked like a blur of intense light to him. The lights seemed to crash into him continuously, but instead of cutting him to shreds, they went strait through him.

He turned around and found the portal still behind him, showing a screen of deep blue. It would soon close by itself, and then Selven would have problems getting back to the Realm of the Living. So Selven quickly began to create a time barrier around the portal to keep it up for a couple more days.

This required that he bend the time strands, which were more subtle than the energy strands. They were not seeable to any trained eye, and could only be worked with by the mind. Selven could bend the energy strands by focusing his strength on them and pulling them in with his hands, but the time strands could only be bent with the mind. He created a snug little ball around the portal, which reflected the darting energy strands around it, instead of allowing them through it.

In the Realm of the Living, he could not have done any such thing, for his powers were dampened there. Here he felt his full power slowly return to his grasp. He had mastered the arts of magic in this world, which was part of the reason he liked it so much. He felt alive and strong here, and though he hated to admit it…small, in the other realm. This was part of the reason he had come here, to feel power again…yet, he also had other plans as well.

He focused on the twines of energy lashing and streaking across his field of view, and stopped them effortlessly. Immediately his surroundings became conceivable. He landed upon the ground softly, which should not have made any sound on any normal ground. Here he landed with a thud, for beneath him was a glass-like panel that stretched miles beyond his view, and below that…was nothingness. The thud rang across the miles of barren glassy ground, creating a soft ping sound in the air.

Selven’s form was different here as well. His hair was silvery white, which extended down to his shoulders, almost ghostly in appearance. Both his eyes were blue like the ocean, with a hint of green. His skin was whiter, not like flour, or the summer sky, but like a thin sheet, put over a blazing fire within. Yet he was still a halfling of average size, and of a seemingly similar nature.

The glass underfoot, was like thin ice put in a river of water, completely translucent. It shined radiantly from the sky above, white as the moon. Where he was, Selven did not know. He had never seen this place before. Qiuvadin had always landed them on some garden with lush green grass all about, flowers of all different colors, and trees that held many-a delicious fruit. It was like heaven. But here…

Here the air was thin and cold, and there was no breeze whatsoever. The chill was dry and cut deep, and it made Selven shiver a bit. He was thinking about how to bend the strands around him to create heat, when the ground began to shake…
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Rohana M
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Selven felt the movement from its beginning, even before the sound came. The ping in the air was not so soft anymore, instead it rang like a gong in his ear. The sound came in slow intervals: clang, clang, clang. From out of nowhere, out of the white, blank, sky, came a great shadow. Like a castle appearing as you got closer to one in a foggy day. The shadow became more outlined, and then detailed enough to see what it was. It did not help much.

The creature had no label that Selven could think of. It’s neck, which looked to be about twenty hands in diameter, was covered with a sleek mane, both gray and white, which hung down almost touching the ground. Its four great legs ended with four immense claws, which protruded from paws that looked like a cross between a dragon’s and a lion’s. The hind leg’s were hyper extended like a cat’s, with the backward bend.

The head was indescribable, like some combination of a lizard, a lion and a great insect. Protruding from its back were two great wings, spanning further than a dragons, who’s tips actually disappeared from sight in the fog-like atmosphere. Its body was covered with a fine fur, mostly gray, and white in parts, and it must have been at least three hundred hands in length. And its tail…a great whip. Almost like a rat’s, but one that ended with a great mass of blue fire…

It was not alone…it had a rider. The rider was a giant, who wore silver-white armor, that shined, even though there was no sun. His helmet was fearsome, in the shape of some dog, growling, which had two horns protruding from its forehead. Inside the helm, between the two great jaws of the helm, were two shining blue eyes. On the front of the armor, was engraved a great blue dragon, circling on itself, chasing it’s tail. The rider carried a great spear, which ended with a great mass of blue flame…just like the tip of the beast’s tail.

Selven stood in awe for a minute, as the creature laid one great paw in front of Selven - bigger by far than he – and swiveled it’s head to look strait at Selven. It opened it’s mouth slightly, something that looked like a smile, revealing a fine, and numerous set of sharpened white teethe. Selven expected it to either growl, or attempt to swallow him whole…but it did neither. It spoke…

“Greetings there, strange little man,” its voice was a growl. Deep and resonant, it cut across the expanse of metal-like glass, shaking the ground as it went. It took Selven a moment to gather enough courage to speak.

“I…um, h-hullo oh great beast,” his voice stammered a bit, which maddened Selven to no end. Why should he be afraid of some lumbering beast with a flaming tail? His voice took on a bit more calm… “I am Selven Glendhal, master of the energies that flow around us.” He used the title of a mage, as Qiuvadin had taught him.

“A master of energies…” said the great lion-beast chuckling, which rumbled the ground, “…you? Your mite-small for such a being as that. I’m afraid I don’t believe you.”

The lion beast squinted at Selven in such an inquisitive way that Selven almost became all shaky again. Selven decided he didn’t care if the beast did not believe him. Let the beast think it’s great…big…thoughts. Strangely, there was a certain gracefulness and beauty to the way the creature moved and spoke.

“Who…what are you?” he asked the creature, ignoring the rider for now.

“My name is Grr’aldein, in the Voice of the Flickering Tongue. I am what you see me as. What are you? A halfling? I don’t believe I have seen a halfling here for many, many years…interesting.”

Voice of the flickering tongue. That was one of the common languages of dragons, if Selven remembered correctly. Could this be a kind of dragon? He asked the question.

“Are you a dragon?”

“A dragon?” Grr’aldein rumbled in laughter, “nay, not I.”

“Oh." Grr'aldein made no attempt to speak, so Selven chanced, "Who’s the giant on your back?”

The rider was off the creature in a blink, as graceful as a cat, and as silent as any halfling could be. “My name is Qiuvaros,” he said in a voice nearly as deep as Grr’aldein’s. And Selven’s heart sank.
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Rohana M
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qiuvadin had taught Selven only a little about the Realm of Life, most likely in fear that Selven would venture further into it and cause mischief. Those with the name of Qiu were High Gods. These gods were not different from those of any other realm. Each had their own different manifestations in each of the realms and different names according to the beings that lived there. Lower gods were named with a “Quo” at the end of their name, and middling with a Que at the beginning of their names.

Selven had thought he’d be able to come here and stay at least a few years before a High God came passing by. What a bother! Selven began to wonder what the heck one was doing here anyway…seemingly in the midst of nowhere. Then he remembered.

That day Qiuvadin had come into the Realm of the Living to meet with Selven, he had said he was worried that something cataclysmic was going to happen in the Realm of Life - his realm – some time within the next few years. He was very concerned that Selven would disobediently follow him into the Realm of Life after he left to return and had set up wards around the portal he made. He warned Selven that he would tell all the Qiu’s to keep him out of the Realm of Life at any cost…even Selven’s life.

Selven had come back to the Realm of Life because he wanted to find out what all this worry about a cataclysm was about. He might be able to help, for all they knew! Fear had no meaning to a halfling such as himself. Halflings were far more useful than all these tallies – and GREAT tallies – knew! Qiuvadin had obviously made this mistake in thinking that halflings were not as large a part in matters as tallies were. But they were .

The High God Qiuvaros looked down upon Selven in almost as inquisitive a stare as Grr’aldein had, and this time Selven looked strait back, defiant. The High God seemed to have some kind of recognition, and suddenly Selven felt a strange shiver go up his spine.

“You’re the Selven Qiuvadin was talking about are you not?” he asked.

Selven darted about in his mind to quickly come up with an answer, “Y-yes I am, but whatever Qiuvadin has told you…”

“Fear not, Son of the Dragon Father…” Selven was still not use to being called that, “…be assured that even if he had told me anything about you or what to do with you if I saw you, I would not heed it.”

Qiuvaros looked at Selven more intensely, as if trying to see something hidden behind his back, and he chuckled, a rumble that shook the glassy ground like an Earth quake. “No Selven, I would not heed his word now. He has gone mad, truely. No, I would not heed his word, now that we are at war.”

“W-war?” Selven couldn’t help but stammer. Everything he had said so far was shaky and…frightened, and he couldn’t figure out why. He was not pleased with himself for it. The High God didn’t seem to notice, or care.

“Indeed, war. I and Grr’aldein were on our way to the High Grounds to join with five other High Gods and their armies. We are to march on Qiuvadin’s Castle and take it and himself, within the week.”

“Your going to take the Dragon God and his land? Why has he gone mad? What happened?”

The High God sighed, and said, “our people were fed up with his rule, for he had become lazy, and had lost his wit. We worked while he squandered away our harvest. We wared with the Demi Gods who always wish to destroy us, while he sat in his castle and chased after prophecies. We actually started to believe them...until he went mad. Within his false prophesies of coming doomsday, and how humans and elves would be our only hope against armies of evil, there was fault, great fault. He is now becoming that army…for the spells he used to travel back and forth between our realms were found to be dark magics, and he was becoming shaded. His rule turned dark, the sky above his castle and land grew red with anger. Doomsday is coming, yes, but he is the cause of it. We mean to stop him once and for all before it spreads and he causes his own prophesy to come to pass. He has lost righteousness, and for that he must die. We are the righteous now, and he will be slain beneath his own skies.”

Qiuvaros rose his spear in the air and the blue fire on its tip blazed with ferocity. Grr’aldein let out a roar that made Selven fall to his knees and hands with its shake. What had happened to him? Why was this fear suddenly effecting him so? It was as if he had lost something. It was as if he had lost his wits...like Qiuvadin. He started to fear himself, and what the dark magics he had used were doing to him. It must be them! No matter what he did he could not suppress the fear and it grew, and grew. He could not get back up. Instead he kneeled there, shivering, shaking.

Then something happened. He felt a warmth travel through him and settle in his heart. The warmth grew, and he stoped shaking. He looked around and realized there were tears in his eyes...tears that fell to the glassy floor and sizzled away.

When he could finally get up, he rubbed the tears from red eyes. Qiuvaros had mounted Grr’aldein, and Grr’aldein was looking down at Selven with blue eyes that looked like an ocean of wisdom and seemed to glitter for a second.

"What was that?" he asked, mystified.

The Creature only said, “The perceived foundation of this land of glass is soon to break, I suggest you either leave this realm the way you came," Grr'adein took a deep breath, as if knowing that was what Selven feared, "or go to a more solid ground.”

Grr'aldein turned away and Qiuvaros pointed in a direction that had no direction, for everywhere was bleak, white nothingness. For no other words, to his right he pointed, and Grr’aldein turned and started to take one great step which would take Selven fifty to match, to the right.

Though it had not answered his question, Selven understood what the beast had meant by one thing. Once Grr’aldein and his rider left the area they were in, their focus on the land behind them would become dormant, and nothing would remain. The beast must have also somehow known Selven was cut off from the strands of form, so he would not effect the land in any way.

So Selven ran to Grr’aldein’s side trying to match its speed inwhich it took its first step, which was pretty much impossible and yelled out. “Wait! Might I come with you? I have used the dark arts of which you speak to come here, and I fear to use them again, because of what you have told me. I do not know which way to go on my own,” he was loath to admit it, for he hated not knowing. “I would very much be thankful.”

“You fear?” The rider and beast both turned to look at him, and Selven could feel the inquisitive stares pressing on him. This was it then, he would have to admit that he feared something, and this was the hardest thing he had ever done. Selven looked down to the ground and forced himself to finally admit it.

“Yes, I…fear…them…” it was harder to say than to think.

“Halflings are not supposed to fear, Selven. Their minds come up with so many different excuses for things, that it is impossible. Perhaps you have finally run out of excuses. You have a good, strong heart Selven, Son of the Dragon Father,” said Qiuvaros, “but the war between gods is a fierce one. Blood will not go un-spilt. Are you still sure you wish to come along?”

No, thought Selven, who was feeling real fear for the first time, but he said instead, “I am…”
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