The Two Trees
The sound of cracking of the stick curved his head to the right. Jor’Ah sniffed the air and caught the hint of citrus and Molt Leaf from behind as the wind passed over his shoulder. Neither of these stopped him from moving forward through the brush, just as his pursuers would not stop him. Looking ahead he sought out what the map told him to look for; two purple trees, side by side in a bowl of rocks. The bushes he had been running through were thick and lush with greens and reds; then , suddenly they opened up, and two boulders made a path into a shallow valley. Ahead, in the middle were the two trees; the roots stretched out towards and away from each other. Crossing roots like vines and scattered about like fractures of golden light, emanating from the trunk up to the luscious, deep purple leaves. Sparingly there were golden fruits hanging from the trees; that shimmered with the same golden pulse as the rest of the tree, only disappearing into the royal colored leaves. The roots laced themselves about, intricately, between the various boulders around the trees; seeming to have pulled them to themselves, making them appear to be sitting in a gigantic bowl.
Stones ahead formed what looked like a natural staircase up to the lip of the bowl and between the trees. As he approached, the closer he came; the trees seemed to pulse with that golden light. He felt a burning on his breast and quickly reached beneath his tunic and pulled out the necklace that his mother had given him. His eyes widened as he saw the purple glow from it, in time with the pulse of the golden trees. As he ascended the stairs the purple leaves began to flow with a pearlescent energy that mixed with the gold as it crept along the branches towards the trunk and down towards the roots and across towards each other along the floor at the top. As he reached the top, the pearlescent-gold flow reached up when it met at the center; growing as he approached. Finger-like tendrils reached up and circled about, forming a portal. Slowly, he looked down to the medallion to find that the energy had stretched out from it, reaching for the doorway before him. He looked up, following the trail of energy to the center of the portal that had begun to clear and he could see a forest on the other side with rolling hills and valleys; the forest was covered in white and the wind blew through the portal and he felt the crisp air pass his face, blowing a piece of loose hair away from his face.
The sweet scent of Molt Leaf caught his attention briefly, and his eyes cut to an unknown spot behind him; they would not have caught up to him that quickly so he dismissed the notion; the wind might have carried it to him this far ahead. He turned his attention back to the portal that was before him. Shimmering, an ebb and flow of pearlescent energy; the hues of gold and purple mingled along the edge. He reached up a hand testing his mettle, but thought against it a mere breath away. He turned his hand to the glassy center that had formed and now was showing him another place, a place he had never seen before. Not on any of the hunting trips his father or uncle had taken him on. Not on any of the adventures he and his friends had taken in the forest near his people’s city. The trees were tall but pointed at the top and nearly bare at the trunks base. Mountains were in most directions that he could see through the portal’s view. The wind that came through was fresh and wet. He could smell a strange earthy/citrus smell that seemed to come from the trees, but was faint because of the snow.
Reddish hues turned back with his head as he scanned the forest behind him. His ears twitched at every little sound. Every now and then he heard the distinct sound of twigs being stepped on by weighted things. They were drawing closer, perhaps even had picked up on his scent by now. He turned his attention back to the portal and took a deep breath. He stepped forward and the chill struck him first as he passed through the opening; then there was a sensation of burning at the same moment along with what he could only describe as a wet blanket that was charged with electro-fire. Heaviness wrapped him and made him feel sluggish as he pushed forward through the portal. A quick observation around him revealed what looked and felt like water, only it was charged with the golden/purple flowing electricity that emanated from the trees. A muffled echo of the howl of one of the many Grüünds caught his attention and he looked back to where he had come from. There, he could see two of the beasts snuffing at the ground, while a third howled that they had found his scent. Their Thick upper torsos shook as they bellowed their finding. He saw the descriptive green hue of fire from their eyes as they were slatted and focused on him. The one thing he did not note, which was common for the Grüünd; was that he could not smell their stench from inside the portal. They would not follow him through here however, their fear of the portal and the unknown, had stopped their pursuit; waiting for their masters as they snarled and snapped at each other over which would get the kill.
He turned his focus back on what was ahead, the snowy landscape that grew closer as he moved. As he grew closer to the other side of the portal he began to feel a heat that emanated from his feet then grew around him like an electro-fire blanket again, only this time more intense. The soothing colors began to turn from their purples and golds to darker hues of black and reds “FOOL!” He heard this come from behind, garbled by the portal’s length and that which made it up inside. He felt the gravity grab at him first and his head began to swim as he turned to see the face of his Uncle, Rhae’El, then blackness took him as he fell to the snowy ground.
He woke only briefly to find himself in a bright room, filled with lights that seemed directly pointed at him. The room was cold and white and there was movement in the room with muffled talk that he could not make out. He tried to sit up only to find that he was bound to a table made of steel; the restraints firm against his wrists, torso and legs. His head swam as he tried to shake off the effects of whatever it was that was making him groggy and weak, but it seemed the more he fought the more weak he became. Again the void of blackness took him and this time he dreamed. He dreamt of hunting in the summer vales of the forests of Regaile where he had learned to hunt his first Te’k. Regaile was lush and full of bright greenery and purple foliage. Rolling hills of gold and red and sky as far as the eye could see. It had made him feel proud to have provided the meal they had eaten that night, even though he felt guilt for killing such a noble creature. T’ek’s where known well for their long winding antlers that could spear a warrior easily; which is why they were prized so much, not just for their nutritious meat. Some antlers could reach well beyond that of even their tallest warriors. His thoughts drifted to that of the night that followed. The night when he had caught his father and uncle arguing over something; something important he assumed, since it was pretty heated until the moment he had entered the room with his mother and sister.
He awoke again to night, but yet another colorless room with squared tiles that seemed to have been placed meticulously on purpose to drive one mad if they stared too long. He reached up and found that he could, for one, and another to calm the ache that came to his head. He looked around some more and the room was bare except for a door and the insidious tile. He sat up and his head swam a bit.
What was wrong with him? He shook it off and decided to figure out where he was. He stood up, which in itself was a struggle. He felt weak and didn’t know why. His head swam like he had a fever, but he knew of no fever that struck this fast; but then again he did not know where here was either. He shuffled to the door and peered out the small port and saw more of the square tile covering the opposite side of the walls from his cell. He looked right, then left and they ran on in either direction with nothing else in sight. He listened intently for any sounds and caught some, but nothing definitive. At least he knew he wasn’t alone. Sounds emanated from other cells across from his and from various other rooms along the hallway. He could hear the faint sound of something moving inside the vents which he assumed was rodents.
“Nice.” He said to himself aloud.
Jor’Ah needed to get out of here and he had no clue where to begin except figure out where HERE, was.