24 January 2010

Merlin 11 - The Shadow's Edge

Merlin 11: The Shadow’s Edge

A nights rest beneath the stars, the magically transplanted group starts a fire and Ana gets out of the water and takes what is left of her clothes and Vince's cape, dressing of toga the fabric tropes around her in the fashion of early times, simply intricate and complimentary. The vapor of the pool to their side is slowly lost to the spring breeze in the late hours below the moon, beneath a brave towerous mountain that descends to connect, straight and abruptly at the road, where the smooth side becomes anarchy of rubble and river.

Erosion depredates the water channel, rigid and rapid, resourcing the inviolable slate that looks as if the mountain is in half, the remainder swept cleanly away, and the river to flow along the mountain landing that intersects the basin as if a built moat were for the mountain. The forestation of the plain growing back in its place over the years, crowds a road that follows along the river, and far down the road, other falling tributaries and streams pour into the river against the road. Quite near them, an even wider road turns into the forest.

In the night, after not mounting the courage to venture forward, persistently having begged Troy for little fish from a now empty pouch, and skirted by the others from eating the hot coals, the still unnamed phoenix begins to delve into the nearby pond. A hunger only found in nuisance development, slowly the phoenix begins to eat anything slimy in the murky water, occasionally gnawing at the branches that litter the edge of the swamp microcosm. Much like a kenneled wild dog even so, it eats the algae and the reed grass at the water’s edge near the sullen stone face of the mountain, consuming ill-fated fish and frogs upon chance. Eventually the water begins to warm and steam as well as clear, as the night progresses, as the flickering flames douse the scene in doses of bright light, keeping from them the tall summer forest grass in the cobalt moonlight.

Confused and lost in this foreign black world of night, Troy easily lost by imagination around the fire, swiftly falls asleep. In the morning the phoenix lay asleep dreaming of something requiring interactive actions, shaking among brushwood as the hands of decaying water branches, not in any way resembling a nest held it above, in the likeness of a hand above the water. Its head drapes over and behind itself upside down, nearly covered head to flayed spade tail, in bog filth just above the water. Vince was up before Troy, watchful and mindful of protective cause.

“Watch this.” said Vince. As Troy opens his wide eyes, awakening to a rustic morning Vince throws the empty bottle at the bird, whelming it unwillingly into the water below, where the offended creature thrashes and laments, no less than sound awake, as the commotion ensued wakes Ana and Terra. A disturbing event nonetheless, causing Terra to retreat at whim, and Ana to approach with glowing talons and white thread veins coursing with light, by the pool at the bottom of the epic wall.

The bird makes its way to the water's edge, the surface still busy with a slight amount of steam dancing on the surface, their feeling grow to tranquility, as they find nothing troubling beneath the water.

The phoenix calms and crosses with an apt aquatic behavior, with little disturbance of the murky pond other than the layer of fog. It crawls out of the water much more than with patient steps crawling, and makes its way about to Troy. It now stands to a height taller than his knee, and in its motions with the insufficient light of the morn, looks porcelain and scaled as it latches the ground to stretch its shoulders. Nearly twice the size of the night before and in its anger has begun to sear the dirt and filth from its surface, from an embellished fire native to the bird’s senses. Troy reaches out to touch the phoenix as the compiled soil begins to dry, dust, and flake.

“Do not touch it.,” shouted Terra and Ana. “Halt!” added Vince with a sense of urgency.

Troy indeed halts when he notices the aggravated bird clean, vibrant and contempt with a deigned fire he had not first noticed.

“Now your fowl is clean,” said Ana as she stared at the peaking mountain. She looks to the bird at the same instance it begins its fastidious preening.

“Any time it wishes to condescend you had best be somewhere else,” said Vince in a mellow tone filled of distraction. His staring was vacant though facing his lover’s pregnant womb.

Ana stands and begins to talk to the bird, empting it to follow. Pointing to the fire, she whistles one note lengthily while looking to the bird, until it focuses its ravished attention to her and her note of solitude. The fire golden bird takes interest to her and as she walks backward, it begins to follow, her whistling became intermittent, the same note with pauses equal each time repeatedly as the pauses become shorter and shorter the pitch becomes greater, as she glances more than once at Vince, waiting in a patience with a vigilant stare.

Vince stands slowly and looking back and forth repeatedly to the phoenix, begins to walk to the tree line, slowly so to not startle. Ana ushers the bird to the fire-pit, kneels, and with her hands motions forward with her palms down, making pushing motions downward as the bird takes trust and it sits in the fireplace.

The last of the coals begin to burn their brightest just as Vince returns with broken and fallen timber to append to the fire, throwing them into the fire, without any given notice to the phoenix. The bird first flutters but takes heed as the branches continue to fall to it, a cause as it moves away from the drop. Enraged it stalks to Vince and they begin to bicker.

“Where is he?”
“Somewhere on his way," Ana answered to console.

Terra, “I do not think he left you with us.” The pregnant woman moans, her discomfort obvious and audible.

Ana, “Are you going to be all right?”
Terra states, “Yes.”

Vince sitting looks to his espoused and expecting betrothed.

Terra looks to her husband silently as Troy walks over to Ana, taking his coat off, wadding it and placing it behind her, after watching the bird roll about, getting dirty again with the brown dust at the edge of the fallow road. It lies on its back looking up to the fire, indeterminably chattering with the flames, indecipherable and insufferable, it annoys Vincent with its subtle noises.

Troy, “How old is Merlin?”
Ana, “Will not he tell you?”

Troy says as the bird walks over to the trees to forage, “his age seems to defy the moment.”

Ana, “Ask him again, he'll open up to you sooner or later, be patient.”
Troy, “Where are we?”
Ana, “Here is a place called home.”

Troy walks towards his bird that is nearly curiously slipping into the woods.

“Your bird will be fine.”
“It will get lost.”
“This long your bird will not stray.”
“Once you have had it this long, it is yours,” Vincent spoke out, from the distance.

Troy sits looking into the thin woods and says, “I have heard tales of flame riders.”

Ana answers curtly, “Your bird, yes.”
Terra interjects, “You, no.”

Vince lifted his hands from the water, washing his face and says, “You will get a chance to fly, but you had better bond with it before it begins to molt.”

Troy has a marked look of confusion. He has no idea of such things, nor an inclination of the name of the world he sits.

Terra, “Love it amorously, until then when it begins to dote you.”
Vince, “, and time will stand still.”

Terra and Vince get lost to each other’s interests, sacrosanct and familial.

Vince, “Can I get you anything?”
Terra, “Now that you might be up, I could use a bundle of leaves to soften this sit

Vince goes and begins stripping green leaves from trees, bringing back a large sheaf for Terra to rest softly on, as the bird begins clipping at his collection of leaves and at his ankles to get him to drop them. He puts them down gently and sits with her, as the bird walks up and plays with a leaf from the edge of the pile briefly before eating it, it squawks and goes for more leaves as Vince pulls a knife and turns it in the light, causing a sound of shrill lamentation to bellow from the bird. It quiets and claps its beak shut once at them, before walking away, causing Terra to laugh and from this Vince.

Captivated are the three as the bird begins a pace and pout, as Ana is spinning a stone that slowly becomes a blue diamond with white windows in its glares and shines, as dark dust of charcoal and ink floats in both directions from the ground. Troy’s distraction brings him directly to exclamation, and the revolving relic falls to a dust the color of the origin stone, onto the coal placed in the grass below.

Troy’s disappointment is obvious, as he notices the wasted diamond in its true form. After taking note of the instance, Troy becomes bored and wanders off into the distance, vaguely out of sight, along the path that follows the mountain’s landing. He had left his affects laying at the camp as he wandered off leaving the phoenix to slumber, nestled among his things at the fireplace.

Ana begins again to turn a stone, keeping a watchful eye on Troy as he wanders, and in her confidence that he has gone astray she turns to Vince and says, “Vince, look into his book.”

Vince takes a careless look, flipping through the pages, “I can’t read it. Some sort of codex or cipher.”
Ana, “All the better, our place is best kept unknown.”
Terra, “Put is back before you’re noticed, he’s not that far.”

With that brief glimpse ended, he puts the book back and returns to Terra’s side.

Ana, “That’s good, best to be quick he might have Merlin’s eyes.”

The weather is cool, but not cold, so perfect that it is irrelevant. The air is dense, blowing slowly from the plains onto the mountain as well as from above, falling from the lee of the mountain onto him. In the moments before memory, from the depths of the water leaps a wyvern, water trailing it, noticed as soon as it jumps out of the lake past the divergence, the second road away from the mountain, at Troy. However, the phoenix hears the water falling from its carapace onto the ground and turns to look, Vince’s attention soon to follow, drawing them to Troy’s rescue.

Troy is not the most of apt at surviving the throes of new foes, but this would not be an ordeal as the slimy creature, half bird and half snake, was only waist high to a young soldier.

Regardless of the value of the threat, the phoenix comes to rescue Troy, showing the initial signs of the phoenix' bond with young Troy. The bird flees to the winged water lizard, much faster than Vince can get to his feet, it tries flying not taking to flight but making good time pushing the air behind itself.

A defensive flame ignites, as the wyvern’s small hooked wings, that help it not fly but wrap around prey, do so to the phoenix. The heat causes the water born serpent, twice the size of the yellow bird to release. Fire dissuades as it burns the diligent serpent raptor and starts pecking and lodging the throat of the very vicious slimy green creature and in full attack, its intention seemingly is to go for the mind, up through the neck. At first, it is immune as fire burns, but to no avail, it begins to lose. As it writhes in agony, turned on its back it its own defense, Vince puts his boot to it, holding it still while the phoenix carves by beak into the creature’s skull to the brain, and it becomes still and lifeless.

At a day later, dilution diluents where the rocks crumble, with a stream below the rock and boulders, Merlin and Nickolas come down the mountain throwing the first stone to achieve attention, and more so, the groups focus shifts when rock breaks underfoot and falls in front of the two high travelers, as they descend the roughly scalable mountainside.

Troy is happy and rejoiced as he notices him and the other. Once Merlin steps onto solid level land, crossing a small brook filled with scattered stones, Nickolas had not judged very well his final steps of broken stone and proceeds, though accidentally, to fall unbalanced to the ground behind Merlin. He rises to his feet and is stricken when meeting Ana, keen on her appearance.