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Vany'a

Exhausted.

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It was bright and early morning when the elf returned from the forest path leading away from the Temple. Her hands were visibly soiled, wet earth clung to them and bits of ground remained on the bottom of her pant legs. The elf known for remaining so clean had obviously been busy, and for once did not seem to care that she had dirt on her hands. Harder to care about that when you had blood on your hands instead. Literally and figuratively.

 

The dragon priestess muttered something in Draconic, under her breath before stopping at the fire pit outside the inn. There was nothing left but ashes from the previous day. She didn't really need the warmth, it was a warm enough morning anyway, but for some reason the elf found herself longing for a fire. She wiped a bit of sweat from her brow and took a precautionary glance around, as had seemingly become habit for most Pinedale inhabitants.

 

Exhausted, she plopped down on the bench outside the Inn and stared blankly out towards the field.

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"EEE! NO NO NO IDON'TWANTIT IDON'TWANTIT IDON'TWANTIT go awaaayyy!" Eliana squeaked as she quickly vacated her blue-and-white striped tent pitched out in the field just beyond the trees. A harmless little bumble bee flew out of her tent after her, circling her crown of blue flowers before becoming disinterested and flying off. She huffed and looked around her to make sure no more insects had decided that her head was a swell place to hang out before she disappeared back into her tent and re-emerged with her spire, heading toward the inn.

 

"Hi, Vany'a!" she greeted cheerily, heading for the door when Vany'a's appearance made her stop in her tracks. "Are you okay?" she asked, looking over the elf's unusually dirty and disshelved state.

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The elf leaned forward, elbows on her knees, boredly watching Eliana's noisy display. She shook her head a bit, watching the human as she entered the tent for her weapon before coming towards the inn.

 

Vany'a thought about making a comment to Eliana about how bees liked flowers, and perhaps wearing them on one's head was not the brightest idea for someone who did not like bees, but she didn't think it would be all that funny.

 

"Mm? Oh yeah. Bad sleep the last couple nights. Lots on my mind... You seen the playboys? Owe me money..." she muttered a bit, stifling a yawn.

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"Uh, not this morning, no," Eliana said, thinking about when she last saw the Playboys. They seemed to miss each other a lot lately, which was just fine with her. They weren't really her kind of people. "Though I suspect you'd hear the Playboys before you'd see them."

 

She walked over to sit on the bench where Vany'a was sitting and rested the spire between her knees. "Are you getting more visions from Draconis?" she asked. Obviously, she suspected this could be what would keep her friend up at night. It would certainly do a number on Eliana.

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Vany'a gave a bit of a chuckle at Eliana's comment about the Playboys, and nodded in agreement.

 

"Visions, not particularly. Dreams, though. Very intense, sort of scary. Fae mess with your head," the elf tapped her temple a couple of times. "Bout you? Bugs in your tent, it seems?"

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Eliana nodded. She knew all about intense dreams, though thankfully she hadn't been plagued by many lately. Living in the Freelands, sometimes what one saw when they were awake rivaled anything dreams could conjure. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that. Elrohir's working on a concoction that would result in a dreamless sleep, if you're interested. Personally, I would advise against it. I thought I heard him muttering something about turning the skin orange," she explained, making a little face. No matter how much time passed, she would never get used to or understand her business partner.

 

"I'm not a particularly big fan of bugs, no matter their size," Eliana said with a shrug. "I'm thinking about buying a net to keep them away when I'm trying to sleep. They seem wholly inconsiderate of my personal space."

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The elf smirked. "No if I want dreamless sleep I will simply stop ingesting that blue sand," she nodded. "I can't really complain with what I brought upon myself. I think tonight though I will just let myself rest. I need it. But this dreamless sleep thing of Elrohir's, it sounds interesting... I might like to purchase some from him. I think it might be funny to turn a few people orange," Vany'a chuckled a bit.

 

"As far as bugs, be glad you weren't in the field the other day. A queen buzzer had gone practically nuts, summoned a swarm of waspoids and yebs under her control... scared the Well out of her daughter. We had to dispatch most of the bugs and relocate the queen to a new hive. Quo said we placed them right next to a giant spider's lair... I am hoping he was lying. I haven't heard of any giant spider's in the area."

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"Ingesting blue...?" Eliana began, furrowing her eyebrows in confusion. "Vany'a... you've been eating that blue sand? Why? That can't be healthy for you! Is that supposed to produce more of the stuff or something? Did that strange little Quo person put you up to this?" Ah, gods, if she could just hear herself she would wince at how much she sounded like her nagging eldest sister.

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Vany'a laughed hard, suddenly, almost in the same fashion that Blagar often did. "I've been doing this for a while, or at least I used to. The grains always showed back up on my lip. And Quo isn't such a bad guy, he's just... well okay, yeah he's a bad guy. But Fae think differently than we. To us, the things he does are bad... to him it's just fun. I don't think any fae actually TRY to be evil... their natures are just so very different than ours," the elf grew thoughtful.

 

"But oh the dreams I've been having... would you like to try a grain? It's... invigorating."

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Eliana stared at Vany'a with wide eyes. She didn't know what to make of this person who was not exactly like the elf she called a friend. "... well, I must be dreaming right now because you seem kind of..." Be nice, she thought before she continued with, ".. off. Vany'a, you should be more careful about the company you keep." Well, now she was sounding like Elrohir two years ago, when they first arrived in Pinedale and she was a bit more free with her healing and friendship. Much had changed in two years. "If something were to happen to you because of this Quo fae person... well, I'd be very upset."

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Hearing laughter Blagar makes his way towards the Inn.

"VANY'A," the normal, excited and or hyper voice was now a low growl. The blue haired Faekin came through the woods from the temple. He wore all red. The color matched his personality at the moment.

 

Shaking his head the young man approached the pair. "I had to run across the entirety or Novitas to find you. You think you are so sneaky not telling me that you are in company with the Fae you have been looking for. All I hear of you is that you went off with the Trickster Fae and no one has seen you in hours. Your not at the shrine, your not at the inn, your not in the casino."

 

Blagar is now talking in a normal tone, the anger seems to have subsided. "I watch out for all of my friends. It might not mean anything to you if you throw your life away and go off on your own but by the gods I do not want to have to bury another one..."

 

The blue haired man cracks. He sits on a bench and takes a long deep breath.

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Eliana turns her stare toward the childish faekin and gives a great sigh. "Uh, Blagar. I don't mean to be rude but... could you give us some space for a little bit?" she asked.

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Blagar looks between the two, slowly he stands up, then without a word he throws a shuriken. The weapon glows with primal energy as it leaves his hand sinking a few inches into the ground in the fire pit. The leftovers from last nights fire smolder as the Faekin glowers

 

He walks to the tree a cross the path and sits up against it. Muttering as he give the others "Space"

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Vany'a tilted her head a bit at Blagar's sudden appearance, blinking when he began lecturing her. At first she seemed as though she was going to become angry with him, before she shook her head and instead looked like she was about to laugh. She opened her mouth to speak to him before Eliana's voice reached her ears, and the elf shut her mouth with a slight click of her teeth.

 

"...well that wasn't very nice," she pursed her lips thoughtfully. Which one of them she had been referring to was impossible to determine, as Vany'a was busy staring at the shuriken in the fire pit.

 

"Everybody's hating on the Trickster fae, but he took gods know how many years of work and gave me what I needed in a single evening. I sat and had conversation with a bagman. A BAGMAN! Who can say that? If I end up dead because of him, I will still die having had experiences unique to me," she shook her head sleepily.

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Eliana rolled her eyes at the faekin. She imagined that if she ever caved and decided to be a mother one day, all of her children would be as incorrigible and moody as Blagar. As if she needed more excuses to avoid procreation, ever.

 

"Yes, I'm trying to be less nice. It's quite liberating," she said, turning her gaze back to Vany'a.

 

Her expression was clearly one of concern now. "Vany'a," she said, "talking to a bagman is not something you should be trying to do. They are some of the worst creatures Novitas has to offer. Chasing a meaningful death doesn't make chasing death any less... well, crazy. I care about you. Please just be careful."

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Vany'a just grinned, still staring at the weapon.

 

"Oh but they aren't! They were beautiful once you know... they are bad now, oh sure.. but they won't be, they won't be..." she muttered something that sounded like a muddle of sylvan and draconic, and possibly a little canine, before she blinked. "What? Oh. Right... I'm not looking for death. I want to change things. Make things better," she didn't realize she was grinning ferally at Blagar. "He gets it. People don't believe him but he gets it... the faekin understands."

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Now Eliana looked scared for her friend. She wasn't making a whole lot of sense. Eliana reached out to touch Vany'a's arm with a hand that glowed slightly from the ring on her pointer finger. "By the power stored in my ring, I cast Diagnosis," she said, closely observing the elf.

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Blagar silently watches the elf, he is amused by her ramblings but he understands her. He understands trying to make a difference in this world, trying to save lives and help people. He ignores the smile that is obviously due to whatever the Trickster has done to her. It was a bi product of her ambitions.

 

"You better be careful or you will end up like her," the words come from a voice in his head. They are a calm, cool, and collected warning.

 

"I know." the Faekin responds aloud in sylvan, keeping eye contact with the elf.

 

"What favors do you think your companion owes him for his servitude?" The voice was speaking as if another was in his head. The Fae blood growing more powerful perhaps.

 

The Faekin shook his head and laughed. These thoughts were for another time. He laughed his normal boyish laugh, one of youth and excitement.

 

"Is she alright," he asks Eliana.

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The inn door cracks open and Veria peeks her head out.

"Did I hear a Diagnosis incant? Is everyone alright out here?"

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The Diagnosis came back with no immediate alerts, though perhaps it would have picked up a trace of fae magics left over from what sand she had consumed off her fingers. She kept finding traces of it on the table that she had missed when scooping up the pile Quo had left her, and like some sort of addict, would consume it.

 

"I should learn how to cast that... Never really saw the point, for poisons and stuff... but sparks is nice. Oh hey Veria. Yeah I'm good. Eliana thinks I'm a werewolf or something," the elf chuckled. "But Blagar is over there talking to himself and nobody seems worried. S'ok Blagar I talk to myself too."

 

She suddenly stared at him wide eyed and practically yelled.

 

"HAY. Whatever happened to that scar on your face?"

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"Magic," Blagar smiled it was a devious grin. "The more powerful I become the more magic I have at my disposal, For the time being. It must have healed on its own. The perks of Fae blood I suppose." The Faekin's gaze never left the elf as he spoke.

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Eliana looked pale. Unfortunately, she didn't need Diagnosis to identify madness. This was not like Vany'a, the stoic elf she met two years ago. As far as Eliana knew, this change came on suddenly and might be temporary, given the fae magicks she was sensing. Still, she was scared. Madness terrified her. She felt powerless to do anything in these kind of situations that she was tragically too familiar with. There were no Restoration magicks she knew of that could help.

 

The Vleanoan healer glanced at Blagar who was all but begging for attention, and so as she would an unruly and annoying child, she chose to ignore him. She picked up her spire and headed to the inn, brushing past Veria and closing the door behind her. "I don't know," she said. "Could I borrow your quill again? I need to get in contact with someone."

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She steps aside and holds the door as Eliana walks past. "Always."

She retrieves the slender box that contains all her writing supplies and sets it in front of Eliana

"You might be happy to find that I've gotten a new bottle of plain black ink. Ivan grumbled the last time he had to borrow my pen. The bottle reads 'red' but I guess it turns out pink on paper. Oh and I've a few more generic seals in there too if you need them. I'll leave you to write in peace."

She heads outside picking up her staff on the way. She reflexively examines the immediate area for threats and checks to make sure both potion bottles with easily removed lids in her belt pouch are filled. She frowns glancing at the blue faekin. Her expression changes to one of concern as she gets a closer look at Vany'a.

"You don't look well my friend. Is there anything I can do that might help you?"

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Vany'a's eyes were locked on Blagar the whole time that the other two spoke, not even blinking when Eliana got up and moved inside the inn.

 

"Understandable," she whispered to him in Sylvan. "The Father grants me more magic as well," she seemed suddenly and utterly enthralled with the blue of his hair. Veria's voice finally made her gaze snap away from him.

 

"Huh? What? Oh. No, I'm fine, really. Seriously I'm good." She only then seemed to realize how much dirt she had on her hands, and much like she used to when she was dirty, the elf wrinkled her nose. "Oh eww..."

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"Ew indeed. Your appearance is quite uncharacteristic for you you. Hence the concern. I won't pry, but if you need assistance you need only ask and I'll help as best I can." She looks at the faekin again; her face thoughtful. After a minute her expression clears and she sits across from Vany'a.

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