Ties that Bind

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Ties that Bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:37 am

The summer holt is drowsing beneath the heat of afternoon. Walking up to it from the land side, I'm surprised to see an old otter basking in the long grass a good bit of a way out from the holt, laid out in the field like a long skein of brown ribbon. Most folk stay closer than this to the holt when they’re sleeping. White hair speckles the fur down its back, and its entire muzzle is white. The otter looks up as we approach, and shifts into Sruth, sitting comfortably in the grass, a brown woolen shawl wrapped about her shoulders over her grey dress.
"Back again, my kit?" she says, smiling widely. “Eight summers we don’t see you, and now twice in the same moon you come again! You boy, you’re a good influence on her.” I smile and bow in respect. “It’s good to have the chance to come home again, Grandmother. Good to see you.” She stands creakily and kisses my brow as I bow, ruffling my hair. “Grandmother!” I exclaim in annoyance, but she takes no notice. Then she looks me up and down. "You're worse for wear again. And where's your pack?" With a start, I realize that my bag's still missing. Those bastards took it, and I have no idea where it is. I suddenly feel a little naked without it. I need my satchel. It’s got nearly everything I own inside.
Sylus clicks his beak. "I'll get it." He launches from Djhuety's shoulder, and vanishes. Grandmother looks off in the direction he went, nodding to herself. "Good little catbird, that." Then she turns away, beckoning with a crabbed hand. "Come along now. You both need food and a rest. And some clearing of your heads and questions, mayhap." She glances over her shoulder, her dark eyes focusing on Djhuety, who’s standing behind me. "Well, boy, come along. It's your question that needs answering, so don't lag." Then she turns away, strolling up the path in her cramped gait. I smile up at Djhuety. "Grandmother's good at that." I whisper.
"Of course I am." Grandmother calls over her shoulder. "Now come along, come along."
Very soon, Grandmother has both of us settled on seats in the back of the cave, shooing away everyone who comes to greet us. “Whist, away, let the travelers take a breath, they’ll come among you later! Off with you!” My birth mother comes over with bowls of clam and fish stew, and a few words for me. Grandmother sets down the bowl that she had been handing me, and takes both my hands in hers. Her fingers are skinny and knobbly as hazel twigs beneath their aged skin, the webs between her fingers thin as paper. She studies my hands, frowning slightly, running her fingers over the shadowy bruises left over from the wounds I received on my hands. The bruises didn’t heal as well as I had hoped. Grandmother makes a ‘tch’ sound. “You’ve been putting these hands out of joint again, my girl. You ought to have a care; when you get to be my age these hands won’t be so supple, and then you’ll be in a bad way.”
I nod sheepishly. “I know. I’ve gotten in a few fights lately. Too much more of this and my hands won’t be supple enough to play my whistle.”
Grandmother frowns more deeply. “Fights?” she shakes her head. “That Nightside place. Dangerous. You put anything on them yet? Mugwort, comfrey, arnica?” she asks, studying my hands. I shrug. “Not yet.”
Grandmother makes another little chuffing noise in the back of her throat. “That’s incautious of you. Go ask Reha for some ointment and a little healing, she’s got the knack of it.” Then she looks across me at Djhuety where he’s sitting somewhat awkwardly, her black eyes sharp and thoughtful.
“Now lad, your heart and your head are all in a whirl, and your blood is singing. You’ve started using that power in you a bit more properly, I see. That’s a boon. But what have you been doing that it’s got you standing there wide-eyed and wrong-footed as a frog on a log?”
“It’s a long story, Grandmother.” I say, “But the short of it is…well, we think we may have found out about Djhuety’s family. But we’re not sure. We could use…some advice, perhaps. There are some things I don’t understand.”
Grandmother raises a brow, looking from one of us to the other, her black eyes bright with curiosity. “Oh? Tell the tale then.”
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:01 pm

I reach into a pocket and pull out a set of diminutive books and pass them to Sruth. "We found these in 'their' library; she thinks its my family pictured... But the record goes back more then 400 years."
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:06 pm

Calmly, Sruth takes the books. She cocks her head, then twists the first book in a way I had not expected. The book unfolds like a flower, taking on its former size. She leafs through the pictures, staring at each in turn... and then looks up into Djhuety's face, then back at the pictures. She does this three times, then nods slowly, looking up once more, holding Djhuety's eyes. Her black eyes are thoughtful now, searching. "I see. So, what question are you asking me, kit?"
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:15 pm

"What am I? How is it that others have all this, and I know so little?" I pause and breath, eyes locked and blue as sky. "Do you know my kith?"
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:30 pm

"Your kith you've got sitting beside you, this girl of ours. You know kith, boy." Sruth says dismissively. "But kin, that's another fish. You want to know what you are? Then you need to know your blood." She flips to one picture, stabbing it with a willow-twig finger. "Your parents." She flips back a few pages more, then stops, her black eyes studying the first picture in the album. Her finger stabs down again. "He's a man. But her...those eyes...hmmm.....and that look to her too...." Slowly, she closes the album, and looks up again. "Old blood." she states, "Old, old blood. You've got the blood of legend in you. The blood of ages. The blood of the Sidhe, on my tail I'd bet it. One of the Sidhe has begun your line, boy. But which of the Sidhe, I can not tell you."
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:37 pm

I groan and lift my hands. "Three!... How is it I'm some mystical Fay with powerful blood relatives, but I was raised by humans with all their manners," I scowl at this, "And features! Why would I be abandoned and why would I search for a family like that?"
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:42 pm

Grandmother frowns up at the pale young man, then glances at me. "You really have picked a thick one, acushla." "Grand-mother!" I say, aghast, but she only quirks an eyebrow, and shrugs, looking back up. "Blood mixes in untold ways, boy. That matters not a whit. You get blonde Dratsie on occasion, and here, here this girl got blue eyes. It happens. But the power boy, the power is there, and that's the mark of Kindred. Not fingers or eyes or bones. Blood and magic."
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:47 pm

I make an irritated sound. "Genetics and blood aside, why would I search for peoples that have made it clear they care not a wit for me." I cross my arms and slouch in my seat.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:51 pm

Quick as a striking snake, Sruth's whip-thin hand comes up, smacking Djhuety round the back of the head. "Stupid kit! Get the mud out of your head and pay attention. All these years, someone's been tending you. Shifting you in time, seeing to you. These pictures show it. You have been cared for, though at a distance. I cannot tell you why, but they have watched over you, whether you knew it or not. Stop bawling like you've got a new tooth coming in."
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:54 pm

I wince as the blow connects, but Grandmother has a point.
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:56 pm

I stare across resentfully at the wizened woman, rubbing at the sore spot at the back of my head and muttering under my breath; I stop as she raises an eyebrow and drums a finger in her lap.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:05 pm

Grandmother takes a breath, looking away. "I can't tell you where your blood springs from. But I know who can."
She turns to me, her eyes solemn. "Seek the Puck. He walks in the lands between all folks, and knows them all and each. But have a care. He is not safe. Speak respectfully. Walk carefully about him."
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:12 pm

My jaw drops, "Puck as in Robin Goodfellow? As in mid-summer nights dream?" Pictures of mischief imps jump to my mind as I stare at Sruth.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:16 pm

Grandmother snorts derisively. "A good fellow he is not and never was. You watch out about him. But he'll have the answers you seek."
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:31 pm

A level of awe still lingers... Puck, the wise knave... I grin at the thought of meeting the bard's greatest creation, face to face... Leanan would be impressed.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:35 pm

My brow wrinkles. Grandmother is worried about this. Quite worried. I will tread wise and carefully, if it concerns her this much. Sruth stares for a moment at the album in her hands... then she sets it aside and stands. "Now, there's work to be done. Have you fished before, boy?"
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Djehuty on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:39 pm

"Once or twice... I can cast a line and sit; the worm was drowned and the fish ignored me." I smile.
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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:40 pm

Again, Grandmother snorts. "Lines. Fol-de-rol. Come and learn how it's done proper."
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Dunstfinkler on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:19 pm

as i follow the blue devil hissing and whispering what sounds like "my precious" and "Gollum! gollum!" i suddenly find myself underwater i panic not knowing which direction is up and starts flapping with my arms.

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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:31 pm

The water churns, and sleek shapes cut through the current, slipping around the flailing limbs and grabbing onto coats, pants and shirts. Both men are lifted, gasping and cursing as their heads break the surface. All around them, barks and chitters and murmurs sound. Otter faces poke forward curiously, and sleek otter bodies circle both men, holding them up, pulling them towards the bank of the wide, deep river.
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Dunstfinkler on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:49 pm

I raise myself to my full height and stare menacingly across the crowd brandishing a set of plastic cutlery i somehow manufactured from my pockets saying "time for an otter pie!" and then i burst out laughing "you should see your faces right now!".

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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:58 pm

All around the newcomers, otter barks morph into human laughter as the Dratsies shift shapes, laughing and winking at Ignacy. "Well," says one of the taller members of the group, who's almost tall enough to reach Liam's neck, "It's been a long time since we caught such great fierce fish in our river." He puts out a hand, helping first Liam and then Ignacy out onto the bank. There's a grin on his heart-shaped face, and his black eyes are merry. "Now travelers, did you fall in? Lose your way? Do you need help finding your path again?"
With a breath of air, Sylus lands neatly on Liam's shoulder, receiving a glare from Liam. The griffin looks both men over distastefully. "You're soaked. Guess I missed. Accident."
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Dunstfinkler on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:04 pm

I look at the griffin and say in a superior tone "but at least i got a burning sword", i return my gaze to the people and say "actually were here for liv you know the otter shapeshifting girl" scratching my head i realize that isnt a very helpful description "if we got the wrong adress we will just leave i say as i galivant down to the shore again and trip over a half buried rock.

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Re:ties that bind

Post  Liv on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:13 pm

All around, the Dratsies laugh and clap their hands at the antics in their midst. A few are turning to one another, carrying a rapid fire conversation "Is Liv here?" "I thought she was traveling?" "No, she came back earlier this day" "Nobody told me!" "Well you were off chasing trout weren't you?"
"Will she be singing?" "I don't-" "Back again already!" "Is that blonde lad here again?" "Oh, she fancies a boy these days?" "Well, at about a hundred, it's about time she found a boy." "Oh hush, of course she doesn't" "And why not?" "Have we got enough to eat for such big folk as these mouths?" "Of course, you know the last catch was good." "And of course, if we're quick maybe we could bring some salmon in for dinner!" the taller man raises his voice. "Whist, you lot! We can talk on our way!" Then he turns, waving a hand over his shoulder. "Come, travelers!" Chattering and laughing, running ahead or leaping into the river and swimming, the entire group of Dratsies lead the two men up the river.
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Re: Ties that Bind

Post  Liam on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:05 pm

I his and sputter as I leave I get, for the first time in a longer time then most remember, a lungful of water. Finally getting out with the aid of many sleek bodies. As Ignacy is acting like he is about to Jump back in. "you are not jumping on me ya daft german." I laugh hoping that the paler I have gotten is passed off as cold rather then the slow creeping fear that settled in. i trust Liv Dejhuty and Sylus implicitly but, this is a new place and the air is too crisp, to clean. I don't need the curse I was under to smell magic in the air.

After a moment I take note of the murmuring around me. Mostly centered around liv fancying a boy which causes a small triumphant smile to curl my lips. I square myself to the group and bow low "Greetings and well met." I am mildly embarassed by how thin my voice sounds to my ears so clear my throat and in a closer to normal voice "I seem to have had the micky made out of me by a certain blue winged cat." and glancing at sylus with a smirk, trying to hide my discomfort with humor.
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