sagesaria: (fanfiction)
[personal profile] sagesaria
Title: Path of a Rising Sunn
Category: Fanfiction, computer game, Everquest
Rating: PG
Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance, Drama, Fantasy
Summary: A story of revenge, devotion, and forbidden love, staring my character Sunnburst.
Status: Incomplete

The saga of Sunnburst Stardancer continues! You can find chapter one here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/sarias_stories/541.html



Chapter 2

A group of elven bards sat outside of the Faydark’s Champions hut, playing a gentle, soothing melody on their beautiful golden instruments. Other rangers went in and out of Faydark’s Champions, some emerging carrying new bows, some eagerly practicing new spells, some looking dubiously at slips of parchment. But Sunnburst paid no attention to the everyday activity of Kelethin. She was sitting cross-legged under an empty lean-to, her face screwed with concentration as she carefully applied a silvery tip to the head of the arrow she was making.

A figure came from behind the tree that the lean-to was perched against, coming slowly up behind Sunnburst, waiting for the right moment to strike.

“Hail, Willowwinnd.” Sunnburst said to it, not looking up from her fletching.

Willowwinnd came out of hiding. Reddish brown hair fell down to her shoulders and thin brown eyes looked down at Sunnburst. She wore dark gray armor over her body and brown boots covered her feet. On her back was a polished sword and shield set, along with a backpack that was full of different kinds of fur.

“Curse it!” She pouted, “You’re always so alert, it’s creepy!”

“I could hear those clumsy feet of yours all the way from the other side of the city!” Sunnburst replied teasingly. Willow grinned sheepishly, dropping her backpack on the ground and sitting down next to her friend. Sunn held the arrow up to eye level, making sure everything was aligned before slipping it into the small quiver next to her, while Willow turned to her own work, carefully scraping the meat off of a fresh wolf skin.

“Sunnburst! Willowwinnd!”

The two wood elves turned to see the owner of the voice as a half elf boy enthusiastically coming down the ramp and approaching them. Short brown hair clung to his face and silver chainmail underneath his leather tunic rustled musically as he ran. He smiled as he reached them, a pair of startlingly green eyes staring at them. He carried two long, beautiful swords in two sheaths on his back.

“Good day, ladies.” He said cheerfully. Willow suddenly grew very stiff.

“H-h-hail, Malhachite!” she stammered, her hands fumbling with her tailoring absent-mindedly. It was hard not to notice a large amount of red rising in her face. Sunnburst just stood up and went over to Malhachite.

“Hail, cousin.” She smiled as she looked down at him. Of all the races that were taller than wood elves, half elves weren’t one of them. It was an amusing sight

“How was Qeynos?”

“’It rains a lot in Antonica’ would be an understatement.” Malhachite replied with a chuckle, “Oh, here are the snake eggs you wanted.” He pulled a cloth bag off of his belt and handed it to Sunn, who took it eagerly.

“Ooh! Thank you so much!” she opened the bag and looked through it carefully, “How many did you get? Twenty?”

“Aye. If you want any more, just send a letter to this chap Koutenka. He’s the one who helped me gather them. Meanwhile, you have those, and you can make more of those delicious noodles and balls of dough.” He said with a pointed tease.

“Malhachite!” Sunnburst swatted her cousin on the shoulder playfully.

“Come now, Sunny! We both know that’s all you can make.”

“Now that’s just not true! Don’t you remember those Bat Wing Crunchies I made for your birthday?”

“Oh yes, I remember. Believe me, cousin, I’d rather face Crushbone’s Ambassador with both hands tied behind my back than eat your Bat Wing Crunchies!”

“That can be arranged.”

Malhachite just laughed and turned to Willowwinnd, who was still sitting on the wooden floor, working, trying to hide that she was still rather red.

“If you need more furs, I can collect some bear pelts or cat pelts for you next time I’m out and about.” He said. Willow looked up, gradually turning redder, unaware that the hand holding her skinning knife was still moving.

“You could do that?”

“Of course!” Malhachite smiled, his jeweled eyes lit gently.

“Th-thank you. I would appreciate that—ouch!” Willow dropped the wolf skin and knife; she had cut herself.

“Right, then! I must be going now. Good day!” Malhachite smiled at the girls and walked away. Willow watched him quietly while nursing her finger. Sunnburst glanced at her friend and smirked to herself. Then she sat back down and continued piecing together her unfinished arrow.

“When are you going to tell him?” she asked, eyes focussed on the feathery fletching she was tying on. Willow looked up from bandaging her cut finger.

“Wh-what?” she exclaimed, face reddening again.

“Don’t ‘what?’ me, old friend. You’ve been so hopelessly in love with him since before you became apprentice to the tailor! When are you going to tell him?”

Willow turned away.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” she said quickly. Sunn shook her head and fumbled through her fletching kit.

“Damn!” she exclaimed, “I’m out of arrow heads.” She gathered everything back into the kit and stuffed it back into her backpack as she got to her feet.

“I have to go to make more. Take care, Willow!” she waved to her friend as she dashed off.

***

Fire...

Heat all around...

Smoke...

Shouting...

A frightened elf child ran through the city...

Someone running through the crowd knocked her down...

She got up and kept running...

Up the ramp-

An elf man and an Orc fighting-

The Orc raised its sword-

A scream...

Blood...

The child screamed and ran to the fallen elf-

Large orc hands seized her-

Struggling-

Moving away from the flames-

The shouting faded...

Darkness...

Silence...


***

Sunnburst snapped upright in her bed, hyperventilating, drenched in cold sweat. She glanced quickly about her surroundings, recognizing them as her own hut. Slowly she dropped herself back onto the bed, breathing deeply.

As soon as her body had recovered from the trauma of the dream, she sat up again and swung her legs around the side of the bed. She grabbed a silvery cloak that had fallen to the floor and wrapped it around her quietly, the soft wolf fur caressing her and warming her body. Rising to her feet, she walked to the window of her tiny hut and peered out.

The city was silent except for laughter and a cheery tune recognizable as Antonica’s human music coming from a nearby tavern. The wooded huts were lit only by lanterns within them. The moon smiled through the trees that shaded the city; it was almost midnight.

Sunnburst went back to the bed and peered under it, finding her green chainmail boots. Silently she sat on the bed and pulled them effortlessly onto her feet. She stood up again and went to the door, grabbing her bow and quiver of fresh arrows from beside it. Slipping her quiver around her waist, she turned the handle of the door and quietly exited her home.

Winds from the coming autumn blew through her golden hair, cooling her body and bringing withering leaves from the canopy of the forest down into the wooden streets. Sunn hugged her wolf cloak tighter around her and walked across the city.

Despite Kelethin’s great size and puzzling configuration of platforms, ramps and bridges, she found one of the three lifts. She didn’t even have to summon it as she approached, as all of the city’s inhabitants were within the city, sleeping or spending the night drinking and dancing away at one of the taverns. She stepped onto the lift and depressed the button resting not too far away. The platform began to lower, occasionally jolting beneath her feet as it moved.

The current guard of the lift was standing at attention next to the docking platform. As he heard the lift approach, he turned to greet Sunnburst’s face.

“Miss Stardancer, what might you be doing at such a late hour?” he exclaimed inquisitively. She turned and beamed a friendly smile at him.

“Oh, I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to do a little hunting instead.” She said, gesturing to the bow in her hand.

The guard raised an eyebrow at this reply, looking over her again.

“Without any armor?” Sunnburst looked down at herself and fought back a blush. She was still only wearing her undergarments, cloak and boots.

“I don’t need my armor for small game!” she answered quickly. The guard looked at her with a suspicious eye, but shrugged it off quickly.

“Carry on, then. I will hold the lift for you.”

“Thank you very much!” She replied with a bow and made her way into the woods. However, what she was hunting was by no means small game.

She strayed from the worn dirt road and ran silently through the trees, instinctively following an invisible path. The light from the moon faded as she ran deeper into the darkness of the forest. She paused. Her catlike eyes scanned her near pitch-black surroundings. All of the trees looked almost the same except for one on her left. It was narrow and v-shaped, like the top of a slingshot.

She approached the v-shaped tree, stepping between its split trunk, and saw in the distant darkness a small light, illuminating the surrounding trees with a warm red glow. She took deep breath and padded quietly towards the light.

It only took a few paces to find a clearing, along with the source of the glowing; a small campfire burning slowly in the center of the clearing. She glanced about warily, searching for any sign of movement, ears pricked for any sound. She saw nothing and heard nothing except the calls and howls of night’s creatures.

After several minutes, a sound finally pierced those of the forest. The snap of a twig reached her trained ranger ears. Without even thinking, she flicked an arrow out of her quiver and armed her bow, pointing it behind her.

Right into the face of a dark elf man.

His crimson eyes gazed at her, startled at first, but then softened into a warm smile. Sunnburst relaxed her grip on her bow.

“You should be more careful with that thing.” He said in a low voice, pushing the bow aside with the back of his hand, “Someone could get hurt.”

Sunnburst lowered her bow slowly, dropping it onto the leafy forest floor, and slipped her hands around the dark elf, fingers finding their way through his silky white hair. Gingerly he snaked his gentle indigo arms around her and drew her close to him, finally bringing them into a deep, passionate kiss, slightly lifting the small wood elf off of the ground.

“Hail, love.” He said, pulling away and setting Sunnburst back on her feet.

“Utannayil.” She said softly, smiling into his ruby eyes. Utannayil smiled back and, placing an arm about her shoulders, walked with her towards the campfire, where they sat, leaning against a tree, Sunnburst curled in his arms.

“You seem tense, Sunnburst.” Utannayil said after some time. He brought her closer, his strong dark-skinned hands stroking her sun-colored hair. “What’s wrong?”

Sunnburst leaned into his warmth, staring into the fire.

“I had that dream again.” She said hesitantly.

Utannayil looked upon her and slipped a comforting hand under her cloak, finding rough, poorly-healed scars across her back and shoulders. For countless nights, he had been told of these dreams; a recurring nightmare of Kelethin’s infamous Night of Fire.

For many years, the orcs and the dark elves had a deep alliance. No more than twenty years ago, the dark elves of Neriak sent a young man, Kro Dvinn, to Crushbone as their ambassador. He trained the uneducated, anarchistic orcs to be skilled warriors and helped them build their own civilization and crown an Emperor to lead them into battle with the elves. With their newfound order, they planned and prepared for a full-fledged war.

Seven years ago, they found their opportunity to strike, and the Night of Fire erupted. Thousands of orc warriors stormed the city of Kelethin with fire and powerful weapons. Houses were burned and plundered for jewels and armor. Those who fought them were killed without a second thought. The small and weak who could not resist them were taken to Crushbone as slaves. There were few who escaped alive as the city was burned to the ground.

Sunnburst was one of the captives of that raid. She was worked in the caves as a miner for seven years, until she finally found means of escape. And now she fought to free the remaining slaves of Crushbone and bring the empire down for good.

"I wish I knew what to tell you, my love." Utannayil whispered.

"I saw death this time." Sunnburst continued.

"Death?"

"A young man. I couldn't see his face, but something about him.....I think it was my father."

Utannayil's gaze wandered to the darkness in the trees, then went back to her with a look of guilt and pity.

"I'm sorry," he muttered, "I wish I could have stopped the Night of Fire. I wish I could take those seven years of suffering away. You never would have lost your father...your friends....your freedom..."

"But I would lose you." Sunn interupted, "We never would have met if I was never in those caves. I would still think that the dark elves were horrible monsters."

"They are." Utannayil replied bitterly, "Kro Dvinn was only one of many who have destroyed homes and ruined lives all over Norrath, and for no reason. No reason but their own evil hearts. When I was a boy, I asked them so many times. Why? Why are we doing these horrible things? Why must the dark elves follow the path of evil and shut out the rest of the world? They never answered me."

They didn't say anything for a long time after that. They both leaned against the tree, in each other's arms, neither of them daring to talk or move.

Sunnburst was the first to stir. She nestled herself closer to Utannayil, her eyes absently wantering to the canopy of the forest. The moon was barely visible between open spaces in the trees, farthest away from them. It was getting close to dawn.

"I'm sorry love." she whispered, "I have to go now."

"I know." Utannayil replied with a warm smile.

"I wish I didn't have to leave so quickly. I've longed to see the sunrise with you."

"Someday you will, Sunnburst. Someday you will."

They kissed quickly before Sunnburst gathered her weapons from the now damp ground and hurried away into the forest.

To be continued....
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