Act I: Red
Chapter 18: Rise
“I need to wake up!”
The stranger turned his head in surprise to see what appeared to be a small, grey-skinned child lifting herself from the grass. It only took a few moments, however, for him to spot the wings attached to her back, as well as the scant amount of clothing she was wearing. All of this combined led him to believe he was looking at some type of fairy.
Dazed, said fairy eventually began to glance around, attempting to get a handle on her surroundings. The stranger waited by the fire pit to see if she would notice him. It did not take long.
“Wha!!” she screeched, jumping back. “Who are you?! Why are you watching me as I sleep?”
The pale man said nothing at first, as he was just as perplexed as she. For the in the minutes prior to her awakening, the stranger was all but alone outside of the tavern, tending to his own business. While he knew the manner in which others have arrived in this land, he had never seen anyone just manifest out of thin air like this girl. Although, in truth, his head was turned away from such a spectacle.
“...Hmf,” the stranger grumbled. “It claimed another one.”
“Another one? What are you talking about?” the fae demanded. As she stood, though, she paused, suddenly realizing that this was not the area in which she decided to nap. “Where... am I?” She turned back to him and put on a commanding expression. “Why have you brought me here?”
Silence befell the two of them with only the quiet intensity of the fire and the distant lapping of the water in the basin. She had her hands on her hips as she waited for the man to answer, but soon found herself to be disappointed. She huffed.
The stranger himself kept his arms locked across his chest and his unusually tinted eyes on the flames. He had already meddled enough with the prophecy he was convinced Tylarus had set in place, and without his notebook, interrogating the creature would have been fruitless and possibly damaging. He suspected however that she wouldn’t just get bored and fly off in a land she’d never been to.
And indeed this was the case. The grey fairy floated closer to the fire, slowly to avoid any unwanted confrontation. Or at the very most, a confrontation she couldn’t easily flee from. Assuming the man was simply deaf, she gently picked up a small stick and tossed it in his direction. It landed beside the pit. The stranger glanced down at it, causing him to wonder if she really was a child. After a second twig hit the back of his calf, he sighed and looked back to her.
“...Enough. Just ask your questions and leave me be,” he said. “I’m not going to harm you if that’s what you’re concerned about.”
There was a pause.
“Do you promise?” he heard her ask.
“...I have no reason to,” he answered softly.
The grey fairy took a few moments before floating on over to where the stranger stood, eyeing him with child-like curiosity. He himself didn’t pay her any mind.
“You have no reason to promise me or to harm me?” she questioned with a stifled giggle.
The stranger said nothing. She continued to stare at him, but glanced to the fire upon noticing his reticence.
“Why are you just staring at the fire? he asked. “It is not that cold.”
Once again the stranger did not respond. The fae frowned, but then looked between him and the pit several times before having a thought. She gazed back at the basin.
“Is it speaking to you?”
This caught the stranger’s attention.
“...Why do you ask?”
“Oh, I see, you get to ask the questions, I have to answer,” she responded with another huff, though the facade fell with a small laugh. “I sometimes talk to the water, on occasion. So maybe you speak with the fire?”
The stranger kept his eyes on her for a short while before returning to the crackling flames. “It shares information with me.”
“Oh? So you do talk to it,” the fae said. She in turn tried to mimic the stranger’s overly serious expression and stared daggers into the fire. There was no exchange. “I don’t hear anything. Perhaps I need your eyes? They are rather strange, mister. Are you human? You look kind of odd.”
It didn’t take her long to predict that there would be no response. She smirked.
“Maybe you will tell me when you are less afraid,” she said. The stranger raised a brow.
“...Afraid?” he asked in amusement.
“Sure. Normally when people are scared they bottle it all up.” She giggled. “A common occurrence when in the company of a fae.”
He rolled his eyes. “...Or maybe I just don’t want to dispense sensitive information with a complete stranger.”
“And what makes people not want to talk to strangers?” the fairy asked, clasping her hands together. ”Fear.”
The stranger tilted his head slight and opened his mouth to answer, but was suddenly interrupted when the ground suddenly shook, causing them both to lose their footing. A distant crack followed by a punctuated darkening of the sky prompted the Stranger to turn in every direction to locate the source - and of course it was in the north, where the lich resided. The sky returned to normal shortly after.
“What the hell was that?!” the fae blurted out, her hands covering her head.
The Stranger narrowed his eyes.
“...I’d advise staying neutral in this conflict,” he said.
“What? What do you...” she started, but stopped as he sprinted off in the direction of the commotion before she could ask him what he was talking about. “Ugh.”
She glanced back to the fire only to find that it was reduced to smoldering embers. With a huff she stamped her foot before turning and wandering off to the west, in the direction of the Rogue Woods.
Glossary - Day 10
- The Stranger / Race: Human / Status: Active
- Sakiya / Race: Human / Status: Dormant
- Zhei / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
- Akulien / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
- Maelomi / Race: Unknown / Status: Active, Tavern Mistress
- Vairnlor / Race: Lich / Status: Active
- The Father / Race: Unknown / Status: Active
- ? / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active
THE FAE COURT
- Avelia / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active, Fae Queen
- Kael / Race: Fae (Kelpie) / Status: Active
- Dimitri / Race: Fae (Faun) / Status: Active
- Thaia / Race: Fae (Sylph) / Status: Active
- Garren Myzen / Race: Lich / Status: Active, Legion Tyrant
- Sirena / Race: Elf / Status: Active
THE FELINE ROGUES
- Zephryne / Race: Feline / Status: Active, Rogue Leader
- Licitaila / Race: Feline / Status: Active
- Tylarus: Name of land.
- The Tavern: Establishment in between the Fae Forest and Rogue Woods, south of the Graveyard and Basin.
- The Corrupted Tree: Black, deadened tree located in the Graveyard.
- The Graveyard: Plot of land between two rivers and in the center of the land.
- The Fae Forest: Eastern forests, surface world of the Fae Court.
- The Tithe: Fae Ceremony meant to bind Solitary Fae to the Queen’s rule through two sacrifices.
- The Wastelands: Northern plains, home to the Legion.
- The City: Capital of the Wastelands.
- The Rogue Woods: Western woods, home to the Feline Rogues.
- The Raven: ?