3. Memories of the dark

As requested Neri’Va waited with going back to the forest after Quintra had set until the red moon Ghor had passed. It was common knowledge that when the red moon was at the sky more Ghor corruption was present. Ghor minions would be bolstered by the red moon’s presence as they would feel their powers more clearly.

Neri’Va sighed as she looked out the window of her small room during the night. Denday was dark, another consequence of the devastating battle between Quintra and Denday years ago.

At first Denday’s light Neri’Va packed another basket and made her way to the forest after Quintra had set. She took her lantern and went to search for the well, the meeting place she had suggested to Rayven. When she found it she carefully placed her lantern on the well’s wall and looked around.

‘Could’t leave without your precious Light I see.’ A sarcastic voice sounded not far away.

‘Rayven? I needed the lantern else I wouldn’t be able to find my way here.’ Neri’Va explained.

‘You do know that a lantern will only light a small portion for you, effectively blinding you for everything outside of its light right?’ Rayven answered: ‘Kind of like… the faith you choose.’

‘Where are you Rayven? I can’t seem to find you?’ Neri’Va just said as she took a couple of steps back from the well and her lantern to look around.

‘I am where your light won’t reach.’ Rayven answered with a slight chuckle.

Neri’Va narrowed her eyes as she looked around. She noticed the well’s roof casting a shadow on the tree behind it with some of its branches growing over the well. Against the base of the tree the high elf could just barely make out the silhouette of the night dweller. She could more clearly see her softly glowing dark blue eyes.

‘There you are.’ Neri’Va said and she softly smiled: ‘You surrounded by dark, me standing in the light, yet both here. I… brought some more things.’

The high elf took her new basket and put it down at the base of the tree Rayven was sitting in: ‘I hope the things in the other basket were to your liking.’

‘Is there cheese in there?’ Rayven asked: ‘Not for me, but the little ones emptied your last basket that same night.’

Neri’Va beamed: ‘Yes there is more cheese in there. I am so glad to hear that!’

‘I bet you are.’ Rayven dryly mumbled.

‘I… hope all of you were safe… during Denday’s dark?’ Neri’Va hesitantly asked.

‘We were.’ Rayven answered and there seemed to be a silence for a little while before she spoke again: ‘Thank you for your concern.’

‘It must be hard… especially in the days of Denday’s dark.’ Neri’Va continued: ‘With the red moon above us.’

‘It is a bitter reminder of our loss.’ Rayven said: ‘And yet another thing Light worshippers try to pin on us as if we also cause an increase in Ghor attacks.’

‘That is nonsense.’ Neri’Va said: ‘Denday has nothing to do with Ghor, you’d hope everyone would know that by now. If anything the night has become more dangerous because Denday herself isn’t on Eonil anymore.’

‘That was kind of the point though, wasn’t it.’ Rayven said: ‘Get rid of our goddess so she couldn’t empower us anymore. And all because of jealousy. The facing of the blue moon is just a bitter reminder of that.’

Neri’Va lowered her eyes, staring at the ground for a moment: ‘Denday wasn’t just empowering her followers… She was also protecting everyone from Ghor attacks during the night. That night when… Quintra banished her sister SHE made the night more dangerous, not Denday or her followers.’

‘Careful novice priestess of Light, or you might get smited.’ Rayven chuckled.

‘Quintra will not punish me for speaking truth.’ Neri’Va said.

‘Probably not, but her followers might.’ Rayven mumbled.

‘Were you already a Paladin of Denday… you know… then?’ Neri’Va carefully asked.

‘During the war? When we lost our goddess and were hunted down and slaughtered by the Light zealots?’ Rayven asked, her voice clearly dark and angry still: ‘Not in the beginning no.’

 Neri’Va was very young when it happened, but she still remembered when Denday had no facing, when the whole blue moon was full and shone brightly each night. Until that one night when Quintra banished her sister to the blue moon and destroyed half of the moon during that fight. The whole of Eonil was covered in dust clouds for days after that one dreadful night. It took days for the sky to clear up to show the damage that was caused, half of the blue moon, everything that was visible during the attack of Quintra on her sister had lost it’s glow. And slowly the facings began and with the facing and the banishing of Denday from Eonil the increase of Ghor activity at night. But this was years ago, yet not so long that people don’t recall the time before that.

‘What was it like?’ Neri’Va hesitantly asked: ‘You don’t have to answer if you don’t want too.’

‘That night it was dark,’ Rayven spoke after a short silence: ‘I had a bad feeling about the situation but my mentor assured me that we were strong. Our goddess herself had joined the fight and tonight we would be victorious. Fools they were, all of them. They didn’t listen to the concerns of a Paladin in training because what could she possibly know? Clearly her faith in Denday was lacking. With our goddess at our side we were invincible, they said. If only they knew.’

From her spot in the tree Rayven shook her head and remained silent for a while before she continued: ‘And we were, we were winning. Never had I felt so powerful before or since. The blue moon shone brightly, we were empowered to the max. Everything seemed to go in our favor, until the Light goddess herself showed up.’

Rayven took a small breather again as she sighed: ‘As Quintra attacked Denday some fools stepped in to try and protect their goddess. My mentor was among them. He got a full hit from a Light blast. It was a miracle he wasn’t killed on the spot.’

Neri’Va looked at the dark figure in the tree as she was talking and remained silent, just listening with an increasingly sad expression on her face.

‘Denday was clearly horrified by the fact that her followers were suffering by attacks meant for her and so she took to the sky.’ Rayven continued: ‘Rising above the battlefield with the blue moon behind her she looked both majestic and powerful, it was like she was drawing energy from the moon itself. Yet I still couldn’t shake that feeling that something terrible was about to happen. I crawled to my mentor and tried and get him to safety. But he just pressed his horn in my hand.’

Rayven took a breather again: ‘I should have been more thoughtful of your warning, he said as he took his sigil and pressed it in my other hand. You were right Rayven… You… are a Paladin of Denday now… It is your duty to protect our followers… lead them to safety…’

The night dweller slightly shook her head: ‘And then he died. I got up and blew the horn trying to rally my people to me, but there was to much chaos. Those few that did hear me came, there was little I could do for others. I could only hope they would see us leave and follow. So I made my way to a nearby forest blowing the horn, rallying as many as I could. When I was at the tree line I turned around briefly to look over the battlefield.’

A moment of silence followed before Rayven continued: ‘Quintra had assembled something in her hand and empowered it with her Light. I remember screaming to Denday but even if she heard me at all it was to late. A blinding flash of light shot from the goddess of Light directly to her sister and launched her towards the blue moon.

The blast had such force that every follower of Denday that was close to Quintra was instantly vaporized. The rest of us were launched in the air and those that were standing on the edge of the forest like I was were thrown on the ground. It felt like being thorn in half, like your heart was being ripped from your body and dragged behind the blinding blast of Light heading straight towards the blue moon. Yet your body was pushed to the ground at the same time, unable to move.

Eonil shook to her core seconds after the moon was hit and darkness spread within seconds. I called for Denday to give me strength but she couldn’t answer. I felt completely drained. The wounds that I got during the battle suddenly seemed ten times worse then they were before.’

Rayven stopped talking again and clenched her fist: ‘My sight was blurry and my ears were ringing. Around me I heard crying and screaming and desperate pleads for help. But above that all, the shouts of victory from the Light zealots and there leaders calling for the slaughter of all followers of Denday. We had just lost our goddess and now this battlefield had turned into a massacre. Somehow I found the strength to get up and blow the horn. We fled into the forest, those of us who could still walk that is and hadn’t given up. The rest were being slaughtered without mercy. From the grand army we had gathered the night before only a handful of people survived the night after.’

‘That is… just dreadful… I’m so sorry.’ Neri’Va softly said as the night dwellers story seemed to have come to an end.

‘It’s in the past,’ Rayven answered: ‘It’s not like you can change what happened.’

‘I can’t.’ Neri’Va said: ‘But I will do what I can to make it better for Followers of Denday. Quintra has declared peace.’

‘So sorry if I do not take your word for it Neri’Va.’ Rayven replied: ‘I think some of your faith have yet to receive that bit of news. Or perhaps they have suddenly gone deaf. How convenient for them?’

‘I understand what you mean, but Quintra is trying to do better.’ Neri’Va said: ‘And I am here Novice priestess who is trying to follow her example. That should at least count for something?’

‘It does Neri’Va. Like it does that you are not standing here defending what she did. But you better go now. Come back another night. I will look out for you.’ Rayven said: ‘And don’t forget more cheese! And for Denday’s sake… at least try and learn how to use an actual weapon. That lantern of yours is nothing but trouble!’

‘Alright Rayven. Thank you for telling me.’ Neri’Va replied: ‘And I… I will try to learn how to use a weapon… I will.’

‘Don’t try, just do it!’ Rayven strictly said.

‘I… I will try.’ Neri’Va repeated: ‘Stay safe, okay?’

‘You too… Novice priestess of Quintra.’ Rayven softly said as she saw Neri’Va take her lantern and walk away: ‘Walk in the Light always.’

2. An unlikely friendship

Neri’Va took her basket and filled it up with fruit, a bottle of milk, cheese and freshly baked bread. She grabbed a lantern and went out the door, leaving the small town to walk across the field towards the forest. The high elf kept checking if someone might be able to see her going into the forest but there was nobody. For a moment she looked at Quintra who was about to set and mumbled: ‘Goddess wish me luck.’

She went into the forest and carefully wandered around for a little while. As the sun set and Denday appeared at the horizon it became darker in the forest. Night was about to start.

Neri’Va took her lantern and lit the candle inside so she could better see where she was going. It was a few days after her last visit to the forest when she needed to pick Denday berries. The weather was gloomy and it was cloudy today. She held her lantern high as she tried to look around the forest.

‘Hello? Are you here? I… I just want to talk to you?’ Neri’Va said as she wandered deeper into the forest. Maybe it was foolish of her, just wandering around in hopes that the night dweller would somehow be around. It was a very large forest after all. She could be anywhere.

The high elf wandered further and happened upon a small clearing, there was a well there, it was partly overgrown with ivy and a large tree grew near it with branches nearly hanging over it. The wooden tiles of the well’s roof were painted blue but the color had become faded.

‘Put that light out, Light worshipper.’ A familiar voice growled: ‘Do you have a dead wish or something?’

Neri’Va blinked as she turned around, there was no one there: ‘Well no, but without it I cannot see anything.’

‘With it you are drawing Ghor knows what here.’ The voice said, clearly agitated. Yet she remained concealed from view.

‘You can come out. I won’t hurt you, you know.’ Neri’Va said with her soft and gentle voice. She looked around her but clearly she was talking to the forest as she couldn’t see or hear the night dweller anywhere.

The concealed elf scoffed: ‘You? Hurt me? Right… Just because you are a Light worshipper and I am a follower of the night doesn’t mean you are so much stronger then me.’

‘I never said that I was.’ Neri’Va answered: ‘I have no desire to hurt you or to make you feel unsafe in any way. I wanted to thank you for saving me the other day. That was very kind of you.’

‘I am not kind.’ The voice answered.

Neri’Va chuckled softly before she took her basket and placed it on the ground in front of her next to the well. She took a couple of steps back: ‘I brought this for you.’

‘A gift basket? Seriously?’ The woman answered with a clearly dry voice.

‘Everybody likes gift baskets, surely that also counts for night dwellers. But if you don’t want it then some animals in the forest are free to take it.’ Neri’Va said looking around with a soft smile on her face.

‘It might be poisonous to them.’ The night dweller answered.

‘I would never do that! But maybe you should just take it then?’ Neri’Va said: ‘You clearly know a lot more about this forest and it’s inhabitants then I do.’

She looked around for a moment as she noticed some movement and the sound of bristling leaves behind her. There was nothing there but when she turned around again she could see the figure of the large dark elf appearing on the other side of the small clearing.

The night dweller stepped away from the tree line and more into sight. She sighed and seemed to roll her eyes: ‘Put that light out!’

‘Does it hurt your sensitive eyes? I’m so sorry…’ Neri’Va said as she quickly blew out the candle in the lantern. She had heard tales of followers of Denday having such sensitive eyes that they could see clearly in the dark,  but this gift made it so light would hurt their eyes. She should have thought of that and been more considerate.

‘It doesn’t, but it attracts creatures that will think you are the gift basket.’ The night dweller answered before she walked to the gift basket and knelt down to take it.

Neri’Va blinked a couple of times and looked genuinely surprised at the dark skinned elf:

‘It would? I… didn’t know such creatures exist.’

‘Are you really that naïve?’ The night dweller answered as she looked up at the high elf and seemed to eye her up and down.

Neri’Va just stood there and looked back at the dark skinned muscular and tall elf as she rose to her full length again: ‘Am I?’

‘You seem pretty naïve to me.’ The night dweller said as she stepped closer to Neri’Va slowly: ‘Wandering alone into the forest… to known followers of Denday territory, unarmed… dressed in light clothes… with only a gift basket.’

Neri’Va remained where she was as the night dweller approached her. She looked at the dark skinned elf and her slightly glowing dark blue eyes, her short dark blue hair and the deep purple skin: ‘I didn’t want you to feel threatened.’

The night dweller scoffed and seemed to roll her eyes again as she looked straight back into Neri’Va her bright purple eyes. She stopped when she was very close to the light skinned high elf, slightly towering over the tall and slender elf as she looked down on her: ‘You don’t threaten me.’

The dark skinned elf slowly rose her hand and gently took Neri’Va her braided platinum blonde hair in her hand. The contrast in color made it almost look as if her hair was eliminating: ‘I could kill you with one hand, while holding your gift silly basket in the other. Why have you come back?’

‘I want to get to know you.’ Neri’Va answered, her voice showing little sign of fear as she just let the night dweller slide her braid with her hand: ‘I want to know more about how you live here in the forest. I want to help and learn… about Denday.’

‘We don’t need the help of a Light worshipper.’ The night dweller growled as she suddenly took a step back and looked agitated again.

‘We? So there is more of you?’ Neri’Va asked: ‘And you are their protector? Like a warrior?’

‘I am no warrior.’ The dark skinned elf answered.

‘A Paladin then, looking out for her people?’ Neri’Va asked with a soft smile on her face: ‘If they need… anything… I just want to help… just because I am a novice priestess of Quintra doesn’t mean that I am against Denday or wish her followers harm. The war is over.’

‘Tell that to the countless innocent followers of Denday that are being slaughtered every day still!’ The night dweller scowled at Neri’Va.

‘I know… and it’s horrible. I wish I could prevent that but I can’t.’ Neri’Va said: ‘I am doing what I can here.’

The dark skinned elf remained silent for a moment clenching her fist as she looked down on the gift basket in her other hand. She slowly exhaled and shook her head before she looked at Neri’Va with her dark blue glowing eyes: ‘What does it take to make you leave?’

‘I have so many questions.’ Neri’Va said before she stopped and seemed to think for a while. She looked back at the night dweller with an understanding and compassionate look before she softly smiled: ‘But I’ll leave tonight if you tell me your name.’

The dark skinned elf gave Neri’Va an unamused look and stared silently at her for a short while before she sighed: ‘Rayven.’

Neri’Va her smile became slightly bigger: ‘Pleased to meet you, Rayven. My name is…’

‘Neri’Va, I know. Now go away!’ Rayven said with a strict voice: ‘Or better yet. I’ll escort you out of the forest. We wouldn’t want you to get lost and eaten or killed.’

Rayven just grabbed Neri’Va by her arm and started to drag the high elf through the forest.

‘It is very kind of you to be concerned with my safety.’ Neri’Va said as she did her best to keep up Rayven as she walked through the forest.

‘I don’t want your quant little town to come burn down our forest or rush in with their pitchforks to come kill us all because their novice priestess has gone missing. Because if she does it’s obviously because us Denday scum killed her!’ The night dweller said as she rolled her eyes yet again.

‘They wouldn’t do that.’ Neri’Va said.

‘Well excuse me if I don’t take your word for it.’ Rayven answered as they reached the edge of the forest: ‘I’d ask you to not come back.  But something tells me you will not listen anyways.’

‘I want to get to know you and help those you are protecting.’ Neri’Va answered: ‘And I want to know more about Denday, and night dwellers and her other followers. I have so many questions.’

‘Just for Denday’s sake stay out of the forest the coming days. Denday’s dark will be upon us thanks to your OH so amazing and gentle goddess of Light, just as the red moon wanders over us. A lantern will not protect you from Ghor’s creatures.’ Rayven said as she shook her head before looking strictly at Neri’Va.

‘At first Denday light then, same place as we were just now?’ Neri’Va said with a smile: ‘Leave a note under a black rock if you need anything. I will check it daily when Quintra is shining brightly.’

‘Light alone will not protect you from Ghor, novice priestess.’ Rayven said: ‘Now off you go!’

‘I will keep that in mind, Rayven.’ Neri’Va said as she stepped out of the forest. She turned around because she wanted to say goodbye, but the dark skinned elf had already vanished. The high elf sighed and headed back home.

1. Denday Berries

The evening breeze blew gently this day as the sun Quintra slowly made her way towards the horizon. Soon it would be sunset and slowly the colors of the day started getting more and more blues in them. On the opposite side of Eonil Denday would soon rise to the horizon. The blue moon would be bright tonight as she would be full again.

A young adult high elf slipped out of the temple of Quintra and made her way to the forest. Her skin was pale, her platinum blonde hair tied into a side braid that loosely hang over her shoulder , her clothes were of light colors as was normal for a novice priestess of Quintra, the goddess of light. The slender yet elegant young woman crossed the fields before she looked behind her for a moment. No one was there so no one would notice her slipping away into the forest.

Darkness fell over Eonil as Neri’Va made her way deeper into the forest. She had a small basket with her and her eyes were fixed on the ground. The young elf had been warned to not go into the forest, especially not after dark. Yet here she was. Denday shone her soft blue light over the forest just enough that you could see where you were going.

Neri’Va knelt down at the base of a tree and looked at a small plant carrying white berries. Carefully she picked one of the berries and held it up to the blue moon. The berry started to faintly glow with a soft blue hue and the elf smiled. Denday berries, exactly what she was looking for. You could best pick them at night when Denday shone brightly, otherwise it would be hard to see if you picked the right ones.

There was a ruffle of leaves swiftly followed by a snapping sound of a twig. Neri’Va was startled by the sounds and looked behind her. There was no one there. She took a deep breath, it was probably just a small forest creature waking to the light of Denday.  Quickly Neri’Va picked some of the berries before she rose up again. These weren’t nearly enough, she needed to find more so she ventured deeper into the forest searching for more Denday berries.

‘Go back now!’ Someone suddenly scowled. It sounded like a deeper yet female voice: ‘You are not welcome here!’

  Neri’Va flinched and turned around. She scanned her surroundings but couldn’t see anyone. After taking a deep breath she spoke with a soft and gentle voice: ‘I mean no harm, I only need to pick some Denday berries.’

‘Denday berries are not for you, light worshipper! Go home to your light temple!’ The voice scowled again.

‘Please…’ Neri’Va said: ‘Someone has been poisoned, I can make anti-venom to help him, to heal him. I just need a few more berries.’

Continue reading

The secret cave

‘Put her down here, my love.’ Thrisha ran her hand sensually across the half open shirt of the big man. He simply dumped the girl on the ground and let his hand slide down her waist to her butt, squeezing it softly and pulling her closer to him.

‘Patience, patience.’ She chuckled and her lips curled into a smile before he rather impatiently and passionately pressed his lips to hers and kissed her.

‘You promised me when we got on the boat. You said you’d give yourself to me if I brought the girl where you wanted her. And now you say patience… have you any idea what you are doing to me woman?’ He looked down at Thrisha, holding her chin in his hands, forcing her to look back at him: ‘I tire off your games.’

‘There… there,’ she replied with a soft voice as she playfully stroked his dark hair.

‘I’ll just put this one where she belongs and then I’m all yours.’ she says, pointing at the tied up girl on the floor:  ‘You can do me wherever, however and how long you want, promise.’

The man nodded and hesitantly let go of her: ‘If you are lying to me woman, then I’ll take you and the girl, wherever, however and as long as I want.’

Thrisha chuckled, turning and kneeling in front of the girl. She checked if the bindings were still holding around the girl’s ankles and wrists before softly caressing her cheek and sliding her fingers over the blindfold. The girl stirred and strained slightly against her bonds. Her face tensed up.

‘Do you hear that, child, best behave now.’ Thrisha said with another chuckle.

‘I’m not a child!’ The girl snapped back, scowling.

Thrisha chuckled and ran her hands along the ginger hair of the girl before softly stroking her shoulder: ‘Of course you aren’t dear.’

She took a moment to study her face which is all covered with dirt and bruises: ‘We all know about you and Grov…’

She got up again and returned her focus to the man: ‘I think she could use a bath, don’t you? She’s so dirty.’

She gestured to the water in the cave before walking to one of the torches on the wall and pulling it down a bit. The metal squeaked as an iron fence in the water started to rise.

The man smirked and eyed the girl for a moment: ‘With, or without clothes?’

Thrisha sighed in return: ‘With clothes love, she’s a real pain in the butt. I’d rather not untie her.’

He nods and closed in on the girl. Thrisha watched as she squirms around, attempting to get away from him. Her screams echoed around the cave as he grabbed her ankle and hauled her towards the water carelessly, ignoring any abrasions. The girls dress pressed against the stone, sliding up, revealing the bare skin beneath it. The man unashamedly and remorselessly enjoyed the view, Thrisha just chuckled. The girl slit into the water, gasping and struggling to keep her head above the water.

‘If she drowns I’ll make sure you will never enjoy that view again.’ Thrisha stated as she looked at the man, her eyes cold. She took off her gloves and threw them onto the ground. After that she began to loosen her dress seductively: ‘It’s so hot in here…’

The man looked up as the dress fell to the ground and quickly grabbed the girls hair, pulling her head above the water to be met with gasps for breath. Thrisha kicked off her boots and walked to the water, making sure her every move accentuated the curves of her now naked body. The man’s jaw almost dropped to the ground, met by her smiling sweetly at him.

‘All you have to do is put the girl in there and make sure she’s comfortable… Well, as comfortable as she can be that is, and when you get back I’ll be waiting for you here.’ said Thrisha, sliding down into the water and teasingly splashing some his way.

The man dove down under the water, taking an underwater door through to the other room in the cave, dragging the girl behind him by her hair. In return she screams loudly and struggles against him, as best as the ropes allowed.

Thrisha smiled, she liked the girl very much. She had spirit, she was determined, not to mention that Thrisha had a thing for gingers. She was stubborn too, it was always more fun to break the stubborn ones, the reward was bigger.

The man came back shortly afterwards. He had already kicked off his boots somewhere along the way and had already begun unbuckling his belt hastily as he rushed towards her. She crawled out of the water and lay back on the rock, spreading her legs in an almost innocent and accidental way. He crawled after her and grabbed her knees, pulling her legs even further apart as he spoke: ‘Time for games is over.’

She enjoyed it, the man was passionate and rough, just the way she liked it. He was far too busy with her body to see the vines rising on both sides of them. She wrapped herself around him and grinned as the vines slithered and grew. One bound itself around his feet, two around his wrists, one around his waist and the last one wrapped itself tightly around his throat.

The man, so rudely interrupted from his pleasure, growled fiercely as he was lifted from Thrisha and from the ground. He struggled helplessly, turning his gaze on the half elf woman in front of him: ‘What are you doing?’

Thrisha softly caressed his exposed chest before pressing her lips to his and kissing him: ‘I’m satisfied, so I have not further use of you.’

She looked at him coldly as the vines started wrapping themselves around the man more tightly. His screams of pain and terror cut short as the vine around his neck strangled him. She turned to walk past him and swam to the other room in the cave. A final, gurgled scream rang out as Thrisha crawled onto the bearskin rug. More vines appeared and gently wrapped themselves around the body of the girl to guide her to Thrisha, who gently stroked her hair.

Thrisha looked to the blindfolded face of the girl. She could feel the tension in her young body. If it wasn’t for the ropes that bound her and the blindfold she would probably have tried to work her magics on Thrisha.

‘Calm down sweetheart.’ Thrisha said to her, stroking her face: ‘If I wanted you dead you would have been dead already.’

The girl turned her head a little. ‘What do you want from me?’

Thrisha gently placed a finger on the girls lips. ‘Hush now dear. It’s just the two of us now. That man isn’t going to lay a finger on you. Let’s talk…’

Dreams of terror

Spirit rushed through the lush forest of Feralas. It was dark and gloomy, the air felt thick and there was an unnatural fog that made it hard to see. Still the large stormsaber seemed to know exactly where he was and where he was going.

The ginger human woman held on best she could to the saddle of the saber as it rushed on. She looked behind her but she couldn’t see anyone or anything. She shivered, clearly very much frightened.

A dark and sinister laughter echoed all around her before words could be heard. The voice was deep, dark and the accent was thick as it spoke slowly: ‘You… cannot… run… forever… little… one…’

Suraia flinched and cowered in Spirit’s saddle before the stormsaber so abruptly came to a halt that she was thrown out of the saddle and into the fern alongside the road. She could hear the saber growl and could just barely see him being dragged off into the fog.

‘Spirit!’ Suraia screamed: ‘T’as’e! No!’

But there was no time and there was also nothing that the priestess could do to help her friend. Shivering she turned around and blindly ran into the forest. She reached for her lantern but discovered it wasn’t there.

The laughter once again filled the air and Suraia turned around only to see dark purple bolts of void magic flying her way. She instinctively raised her hand and mutters a few words and a shield of white light with a blue hue formed. But the Shield’s light was so bright that it hurt Suraia’s eyes and seconds after she had cast it, it burst again and disappeared into puffs of blue smoke.

All seemed to be quiet around her as Suraia crawled back up and aimlessly wandered the forest until she reached a clearing. The eclipsed moon was visible and in front of her she could see Valdia and Aladorian. Both of them were standing with their backs towards her.

She wanted to run towards them but suddenly her wrist was grabbed by something standing behind her. She flinches and screamed as her other wrist was grabbed as well and slimy squid tentacles wrapped themselves around her throat as the K’thir pulled her against him. He was towering over her, being at least as big as the Kaldorei, she shivered and struggled to free herself without success.

Valdia and Aladorian quickly turned around and looked at the K’thir and Suraia before taking a defensive stance and Valdia drew her weapons. Strangely enough Aladorian was dressed in a black fabric pants and a silk shirt with a very deep cut revealing some of his chest.

From behind the two Kaldorei two other figures emerged that had been lurking in the shadows. Dark purple glowing eyes were seen first. Behind Valdia the figure of a Kaldorei woman appeared. She had long black hair and a curvious body. She was dressed in black with a gown that accentuated her curves very well. The moment Valdia spotted her she turned around and attacked the woman dressed in black.

Behind Aladorian a shadowy figure rose up. Her figure wasn’t clear at all, but it resembled that of a female Kaldorei. Other then that she remained in the shadows too much to reveal more. Aladorian wanted to move but a simple wave of her hand seemed to freeze him up. He growled and fought against the spell with little success.

Valdia didn’t have any more luck. As she tried to strike the Kaldorei woman with her weapon she caught it with her hand and crushed it. This only seemed to enrage Valdia and she leaped towards the woman for another attack. At that point the woman rose her hands and thick void tentacles rose up from the ground and shot towards Valdia, piercing the woman’s armor and skin with little to no resistance and lifting her up from the ground. Valdia screamed in anger as she fought helplessly against the void tentacles.

Suraia screamed as well: ‘Valdia! No!’

The human priestess also struggled to gain freedom but the K’thir was simply to strong for her. She and Aladorian were forced to watch as more void tentacle shot towards Valdia and pierced her body again and again until she fell to the ground in a puddle of blood.

Suraia was crying as the Kaldorei woman simply wiped of her hands as though she they were a bit dirty before she gave Suraia a smile and walked towards Aladorian. She ran a finger over the exposed skin of his torso and chuckled: ‘Very nice, my dear. I can see why you like him so much.’

‘Leave him alone! Please.’ Suraia begged.

The shadowy Kaldorei figures moved away from Aladorian and towards the human woman. Suddenly the K’thir let go of her, but Suraia found herself unable to move. She kept her eyes fixed on Aladorian though shivering visibly when she felt the shadowy Kaldorei figure close behind her. The Kaldorei woman dressed in black circled Aladorian, trailing her finger over his skin as she did.

‘I can see you kept my dagger.’ The shadowy figure said with an echoing voice.

Suraia felt a sudden urge to take the hidden dagger from it’s hilt and hold it in her hand. The blade was sticking out, pointing in front of her.

‘You want to go to him, don’t you?’ The shadowy figure spoke: ‘You want him to safe you?’

Suddenly Suraia was pushed forward by a force she was unable to resist and with great speed she bumped against Aladorian. Her eyes widened as she was suddenly able to move on her own again. She stepped back and looked at her own hand with a look of horror on her face. Her hand was covered in blood and the dagger was sticking out of Aladorian’s stomach.

‘Oeps.’ The Kaldorei woman simply said as she looked at the dagger.

Aladorian was also released from the spell that had held him in place and he collapsed onto the floor.

‘Aladorian… No!’ Suraia screamed…

Suddenly Suraia opened her eyes, she sat up straight her bed, her eyes filled with tears and sweat dripping down her forehead. She started sobbing uncontrollably.

Nightmares

Nightmares

The dungeon was dimly lit, only the light of the moon shone through the small window high above their heads. There was a flickering torch at the entrance spreading a sinister creeping shadow across the room. Two candles lit a table with various tools and flasks on it. In the middle of the room was a chair with a young man tied to it. He was wearing only half thorn pants. The rest of his clothes were laying scattered all over the floor, thorn apart and covered in blood. Another man was circling around him.

Suraia had her back turned to the both of them as her eyes went over the contents of the poorly lit table. The young man screamed again as he received another blow from a fist somewhere. Suraia flinched, no matter how often she had heard the screams, no matter how many had already come before, she still flinched every time.

“Hurry up, girl!” The man scowled behind her: “I want to spice things up! This is getting boring!”

Suraia hesitated and she heard the man’s footsteps coming her way. He roughly pushed her aside and grabbed some flask.

“What does this one do?” He asked as he turned towards her and held out a flask.

“It… euhmm… it’s supposed to… induce… vivid… nightmarish illusions…” Suraia softly answered.

“Wonderful, let’s see if you got it right then shall we?” The man said with a wicked grin before he pushed the bottle into Suraia’s hands: “I’ll hold him, you poor your potion into his mouth.”

The man walked back to the young man and forced his mouth open: “Well, what are you waiting for?”

“I… Euhmmm.” Suraia hesitantly said as she lingered at the table with the potion in her hands.

“Now girl!” The man yelled at her: “Else I’ll just use that other potion on him. You know, the pink one that smell so good. And then you and I can have some fun while he watches.”

Suraia shivered visibly and hurried to the middle of the room. She opened the bottle and with a shaking hand she brought the potion to the young man’s mouth. He looked at her, his eyes filled with fear as she emptied the contents of the potion into his mouth. Before he even got a chance to spit it out the man forced him to close his mouth and swallow the potion. As she looked at him she could see the potion taking effect immediately.

“Good, good, very good.” The man said as he circled around the young man. He shoved Suraia aside with so much force she fell to the ground. The man took a knife and cut the robes that had tied the young man to the chair. He then took a step back and waited.

The young man shivered and cowered, seeking refuge into a corner. He mumbled something before his eyes settled on Suraia. He reached out to her even though she was all the way across the room: “Lydia… Help me… my love… please!”

The man laughed maniacally: “That’s not Lydia you fool. Let’s have some fun!”

He slowly walked towards the young man, twirling the dagger in his hand. Suraia turned her head away and curled up into the corner. The young man started screaming and Suraia firmly pushed her hands on her ears and prayed to the Light to make it stop.

The room went quiet and Suraia slowly turned around. The man grunted and poked the young man who was laying on the ground with his boot. He scoffed and grabbed the young man by his hair before he dragged him towards Suraia. He threw the young man at her feet like a sack of meat.

“Fix him up.” He simply said.

Suraia looked at the battered and beaten young man with horror before she got up. For a moment she hesitated, shuffling on her feet and rubbing her hands together as she spoke with a soft and hesitant voice: “Why?”

The man stormed her way and without warning his fist swiftly made his way to her cheek, striking her so hard she fell to the ground, right on top of the young man. Suraia didn’t make a sound as she looked up to the man again. He reached into his pocket and took out the key before he made his way to the door and unlocked it.

“Fix him up.” He again said. Then he opened the door and left the room, closing the door behind him with a loud bang. Suraia flinched and she flinched again as she heard the key turning in the lock.

Suddenly Suraia woke up. She blinked a couple of times and got out of her bed, rushing to the window to open it. She felt like she couldn’t breath and she was shivering all over. Below her the stormwind lake and the keep in the background seemed rather peaceful. It was in the middle of the night and she could see the stars, she heard the sound of the river and the waterfall close to the farmhouse.

“It was just a dream…” She whispered to herself and she tried to get her breathing under control: “Just a dream… Nothing more… That time… it’s behind me now… They are dead… They don’t exist anymore… Just a dream.”

Silverbell Residence

The Silverbell Residence

Arydon and Elyse Moonshimmer

Leaving the Dwarven District, taking a right instead of walking towards the embassy there is a path following the river to the upper most part of the lake overlooking the Stormwind Keep. At the far end behind the small house of the lovely Aguilar family lies a large farmhouse. Shortly before the burning of Teldrassil it appeared to be empty until it was bought by some people who mostly kept to themselves.

But after the first refugees from Darkshore came back to Stormwind things in the house changed. A group of Kaldorei were invited to come live in the large farmhouse by the owner of the house, a young woman by the name of Suraia Silverbell.

The large gardens of the house were quickly used to grow food and herbs that were so desperatly needed and part of the house was also changed into a medical center to treat the wounds of the injured people.

The house is located along the river with a small dock where you can sometimes see Kaldorei fishing. It is surrounded by several fields which are now used to grow food and medicinal herbs. Even though some of the refugees have left because they found other loggings or work there are still some Kaldorei staying there and the house is still open for everyone who needs medical attention or who don’t have a bed for the night because they lost everything.

Now the farmhouse is known by some as the Silverbell Residence, or the Silverbell Medical and Refugee center.

Silverbell Residence overlooking the Stormwind keep

 (ICly the house is located behind the Aguilar house, but if no one else is RPing there we use that house to represent the entrance and kitchen of the farmhouse for RP from time to time.
If you wish to RP in the Silverbell Residence with Suraia feel free to contact me and see if we can set something up.
Kaldorei refugees are always welcome to say they went there for a meal or a place to sleep as well.)

Silverbell Residence Location
Suraia Silverbell

Suraia Silverbell

Outward Appearance

Suraia has long, wavy red hair and bright blue eyes. Her innocent looking face makes her look much younger then she actually is.
Her body is slender and she’s average height, nothing that stands out to much.
She seems to be a bit on the skinny side like she’s not eating enough.
There seems to be a natural grace in all her movements but it’s only really noticeable if you pay close attention to her. Yet most of the times she blends into the crowds and goes around mostly unnoticed.

Not much is known about Suraia at all. She seems to be the kind of wallflower that blends into the crowd. Like a person who is mostly invisible or someone that is very good at keeping attention away from herself.

Suraia seems to be very shy and timid. When she does talk she seems to always have an uncertain way of speaking, which gives the impression that she’s stuttering. Her voice is soft and everything about her is the complete opposite of assertive.

Background

Childhood

When Suraia was just a child both her parents got killed by the scourge when they attacked their small village. Her brothers decided to join the Scarlet Crusade and took their young sister with them to the Scarlet monastery. There she grew up and began her training as a holy priest as well as a botanist and alchemist. Suraia herself however didn’t really agree with the Scarlet teachings but since she was still young they tried to ‘discipline’ her into obedience. They quickly pushed her pretty hard and as a result she would from time to time lash out with void magic she didn’t really control at all, which only made things worse for her.

When she reached adolescence she fell for a handsome Scarlet huntsman and for a while everything went smoothly. She completed her training and was even well on her way to become a high priestess. But then her love got killed in what they claimed to be an ambush on one of his missions outside of the monastery. Suraia however suspected he might have been killed off by the men in his team for some reason and she tried to flee from the monastery. Sadly she was caught in the woods surrounding the monastery.

By this time the Scarlets were already suffering heavy losses and turmoil within their ranks and so they ‘gave’ Suraia to a cruel torturer who kept her in the basement. He used her as a tool for his ‘information extraction’ of the prisoners.

The fall of the Scarlet Monastery

Suraia felt like a prisoner in the place she grew up in but this didn’t last very long. The last days of the Scarlet Crusade were near and when the monastery fell her captor took her and what remained of a group of Scarlets and fled into the woods to ‘regroup and rebuilt’. They wandered Silverpine forest and the Plaguelands for a while. Being attacked constantly by Horde and Alliance alike took a toll on the group and their numbers diminished quickly until there was just a small group left.

When there was yet another attack by an Alliance party Suraia took a gamble and flat out refused to aid or heal any of the remaining Scarlets. This didn’t go unnoticed by the Alliance group and because they were missing a healer they spared her life if she would heal their wounds. This Alliance group was wandering the Plaguelands killing off Scourge, Horde and Scarlets where they could find them. Eventually the group split and one men offered that she could go with him. After a couple of nights wandering the border of the Plaguelands and Silverpine he tried to force himself onto her and Suraia barely managed to grab hold of a rock and started bashing it against his head until he’d stop. Without meaning too she had killed the man. Nearly freaking out Suraia took the man’s cloak, used it to tie the rock onto his body the best she could and then dragged the man away until she’s found a ravine with a river at the bottom and threw the man down.

She then stole some clothes that were too big for her from a farm and buried her scarlet armor and staff somewhere in the Plaguelands. Suraia spend some time wandering the Plaguelands, stealing food and being extremely lucky not to get killed.

Having killed a man and now having to steal clothes and food just to survive started to eat at Suraia so much that gradually her light magic seemed to start failing her. It was getting more and more difficult for her to heal the wounds she got. Suraia became convinced that she was no longer worthy to wield Light magic because of all the evil she had done.

A new start

Eventually Suraia found herself trying to steal food from some crates on the road to Hearthglen when she was almost caught by an Argent Dawn paladin. But the man took pity on her and offered her food instead. She was terrified of him, convinced he would kill her or drag her off to the dreaded church of the Holy Light to be burned as a heretic if he would find out she was a Scarlet. She felt she had to hide this from him not get killed. His name was Thomas and he offered to safely escort her to Stormwind. He even welcomed her into his home and shortly after that she fell in love with him.

Eventually she confessed to him that she was from the Scarlet monastery and he didn’t seem to mind and said that many Scarlet defectors joined the Argent Crusade. Not long after that he proposed to her and she got pregnant with his child. But before the child was born Tirion Fordring died at the Broken shore and though clearly conflicted Thomas answered the call to arms and left Suraia never to return.

Thomas is dead

The end of Legion

The death of Thomas took a huge toll on Suraia who was now completely convinced she was cursed as well as unworthy to wield Light magic. Her pregnancy was a hard one and she nearly lost the child during birth. Abigail was born but Suraia was still very much struggling. It was only due to Thomas his sister and father that she and the baby survived the first few month of Abigail’s life.

Knowing that she needed to try and get on with her life Suraia reluctantly accepted a job as the shop assistant in the Alchemy Needs shop. Because she still lived in fear for being accused to be a scarlet heretic and burned alive she left Abigail with her aunt while she herself started living in a room above the Alchemy shop. In time she would be working for the Alleyback Coppers for a while until she was approached by the mage Elliana Oathkeeper who introduced her to a wealthy Noble man by the name of Lord Elijah Marius Galahan. He took the both of them in his employment. Together they bought a large farmhouse in the outskirts of Stormwind where Suraia was planning on setting up a new botanical garden for herbs and other medicinal plants.

The burning of Teldrassil

Elle had disappeared and when Suraia got a hint that the mage had possibly been spotted on Kalimdor she set off to try and find her friend only to be caught up by the Horde.

Suraia

Eventually she was rescued by a group of Night elves and brought to Darnassus to recover. Days later the tree was burned and Suraia fled to Darkshore with a group of Night elves and Gilneans. They were rescued days later and brought back to Stormwind. She opened up her house for the refugees and they started using her gardens to grow much needed food and herbs.

Suraia tried to set up a team to help in her efforts to make Azeroth saver but Lord Galahan had other plans. After she got captured by pirates and the team did free her he send her away to do some charity work and without her knowledge dismissed the team. He turned her Farmhouse into the Silverbell Medical and Refugee Center. When she came back he told her that her entire team had abandoned her and that he too, regrettably, needed to leave for a while and didn’t know when he would return.

The search for Natural products starts

The search for Natural Products starts

I want to start searching for 100% Biological products that are not tested on animals. These are environmentally friendly products which are not harmful for our animals, oceans and nature. They are biological degradable and non toxic and thus safe to use anywhere without having to worry about it unintentionally ending up in nature.

Quality Mark and Certifications

Though these products do not have to be listed in Quality marks or Certifications, they will easily have at least one because of the nature of their products. Here are some of the Quality Marks that I know off: Peta (Cruelty-Free), Vegan, Halal, Look for the Zero (Plastics).

List of no-go ingredients

I have searched online and came up with a list of ingredients that we want our products to be free of to meet our qualifications. We want our products to be free of:

  • Ingredients that are coming from animals
  • Parabenes
  • Silicones
  • Plastics

Ingredients that are coming from animals

You would think that cosmetics are only using animals to test their products on. Sadly this doesn’t seem to be the case. Here are the names most common animal ingredients used in cosmetics: Lanilon, Shellac, Glycerin, Casein (sodium caseinate or caseinate), Squalene, Guanine, Oleic acid (oleyl stearate, oleyl oleate or tallow), Animal hair, Stearic Acid, Carmine (cochineal, natural red 4, E120, and C.I. 75470), Collagen, Elastin, Keratin and Beeswax.

I got this list from the article 14 Non-Vegan Ingredients To Look out for in Make-up and Beauty Products

Parabenes

Parabenes is a conservative. It’s an ingredient that allows the product to stay on a shelf for a long time without growing molds and bacteria. But it’s become apparent that parabenes enter our bodies through the skin and also can be found in animals because the parabenes enter the environment through being drained out of our homes through the sewer. Parabens are believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen. Too much oestrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours, which is why paraben use has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. The most common parabenes are Butylparaben, Methylparaben and Propylparaben.

More about Parabenes can be read in the article: What are Parabens.

Silicones

Silicones create a barrier on top of your skin. This way it can trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells and other debris under it. Because of this you have an increased chance of breakouts, and eventually even Acne and Congestion. Silicones can also clog your pores and cause dullness or dryness of the skin eventually leading too dehydration. It makes it harder for your skin to shed dead skin cells and thus interferes with cell renewal. The barrier also blocks ingredients from absorbing and finally it’s also difficult to remove.

Words to look out for in the ingredient list that are most likely silicones are those that end with: cones, conols, silanes, siloxanes. There is an increasing trend toward using silicone “substitutes”—alternative film-forming ingredients that you might not immediately recognize: Acrylamides, Acrylates, Carbomers, Copolymers, Methacrylates, Polymers (most commonly polybutene and polyisobutene) and Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP).

This is the articles where you can read about silicones in more depth: 7 Reasons to Avoid Silicones on Your Skin.

Plastics

Plastics, especially found in cosmetics are most commonly known as micro-beads. These are tiny beads of plastic that you can find in many products that will not be filtered out when they enter our sewer systems. This means they will find their way to the Ocean and they are very harmful for the environment. Many studies have shown that fish eat the micro-plastics and micro-beads thinking it’s food. The plastics therefore can be found in the fish their intestines and will eventually kill the fish directly or indirectly.

Plastics typically start with Poly: Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA), Nylon (PA)

Polyethylene Glycol is most commonly followed by a number like PEG-40 or PEG 400.

More information about plastic in our products are be found on the beat the Microbead website.

Once I have found a product that meets my criteria I’m going to see if it is of sale on Amazon so I can link the product on the Eco Friendly products page on this website. If I get a chance I love to test the products out myself and make a review of them in the future.

 

The making of Suraia’s Sequin Tail

I have gathered all the photo’s and small video’s I made when I was making my sequin tail which is affectionately called the Angelfish tail by some other people. I gathered them all and created a small YouTube video of the tail’s creation. I had a lot of fun making this tail and I’m very proud of how it turned out.

Here is the video:

At the time I was making this tail, which was about a year ago already, I didn’t realize how much this sequin would shed however. Even after a year and several uses I still find sequin all around the house when I’ve had a swim, cleaned my tail and hang it out to dry. This is why I made the decision to not ever use it in a natural setting. I did one DIY photoshoot with my mom on the beach at her camping place. We had to pick up the sequin there for the like 15 minutes I had the tail on as we took a couple of pictures.

These sequin can end up in the water and animals can eat them. Sequin are microplastics and they don’t belong outdoors. We as mermaids and cosplayers should set an example of being good to our environment, which means not leave plastic everywhere we go.

This is why I only ever use this tail in indoor swimming pools. I still think the tail is beautiful and I love how it shimmers and shines, but it also disappears in the water because it’s basically white. I don’t mind the subtlety of that though, it’s just not great for underwater footage at times. It really depends on what effect you are looking for in a tail. Light tails will blend into the water which can be nice. Bright colored tails will pop out in the water, which can also be nice.