Ninsarn (white stone)

Ninsarn (white stone)

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Summary

Ninsarn (title is a work in progress) is the tale of a young girl, Lucinda, who's father is murdered by the once thought creatures of myth, moon elves. The moon elves possess an ancient relic of immortality that demands the blood sacrifice of children. Lucinda is rescued by the druids, an ancient race of forest protectors. Her only hope to avenge the death of her father is to become a strong fighter, but what secrets does her future hold? and what has her past hidden?
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Summary

Ninsarn (title is a work in progress) is the tale of a young girl, Lucinda, who's father is murdered by the once thought creatures of myth, moon elves. The moon elves possess an ancient relic of immortality that demands the blood sacrifice of children. Lucinda is rescued by the druids, an ancient race of forest protectors. Her only hope to avenge the death of her father is to become a strong fighter, but what secrets does her future hold? and what has her past hidden?

Chapter1 (v.1) - Prologue/A child’s fairytale

Author Chapter Note

There may be a lot of typos and errors but this story is in its very early stages

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 05, 2017

Reads: 37

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 05, 2017

A A A

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In a forest teeming with dew coated fauna, fresh from the rainfall, hooves strike on cold earth, an old mare of sorrel with ashen flecks grunts and her nostrils flare as she races through an indistinct forest path in the darkest hour of night. The burden of her two riders weighing heavy on the nag. An aged, elderly, man by the name of Cedric Silvermane sat leaning forward in the saddle to shield his child from the stinging mist. His knuckles white and frozen from the cold, he attempted to guide the reigns of his mount with nothing but the light of the moon.

“father…do you see him?”

The child uttered, her eyes inclusive with a sense of terror as she looked off into nothingness

“be calm, stay calm my child. There is nothing there but the creatures of the night, they will not harm us”

He seeks to harm us; he whispers in my ears”

the young girl grimaces, pressing her hands over her ears in an effort to drowned the voices in her head.

How could her father have known that amongst the oaks and pale birch trees the eyes of a demon lie upon them. With the grace and movement of wind his taffeta locks reflected even the palest light. At first appearance his attire may have made him seem a regal gentleman, if not for the long-pointed auricles that extended beyond his lengthy sinewy hair and abnormally elongated, lean extremities.

“Come dear child and play. We shall delight in jubilant times whilst we frolic in flowers of countless hues, adorned in many fine ornaments”

“Oh father, do you not hear his wicked promises?”

The girl grows more frantic. Why could her father not sense this creature who manages to glide alongside their steed with ease? As though he were their shadow.

“I hear nothing but the faint murmurs of the forest and those that stir at night, dear Lucinda”

“come, oh child of light and feed me” the creature growled hungrily.

Suddenly a bolt of lightning streaks across the sky accompanied by a clash that sounded more like a smith’s hammer hitting metal then that of thunder. For that brief moment the forest ignited in a inhospitable violet glow. This spooked Cedric’s mount and she threw her hooves to the sky, kicking the air and letting out a piercing neigh. Both father and daughter were hastily thrown from the saddle and the mare disappeared in to the mist, the sounds of galloping hooves growing ever more faint.

Cedric had made sure that when he landed his daughter had fallen upon him. He released her from his cradled embrace and attempted to stand but the fall had knocked the wind from his lungs, making it a difficult task. The burlap cloak and leather slacks that he wore had become completely coated in sticky ooze-like mud making his clothing heavy. Nevertheless, he eventually struggled to his knees before finally getting to his feet.

Lucinda already stood, her back to her father, she stared wide-eyed into the murky tree line, frozen in fright. Cedric placed a hand on her shoulder and followed her gaze. Scanning the tree lines, in the briefest moment of a passing breeze, he finally caught a glimpse of a shadowed figure standing amongst tall brush. Her father tightened his grip on his child’s shoulder, guiding her slowly backwards. His face was stern.

“I see now; how grey the ancient willows appear when beside a creature most foul”

The dark figure’s features could be but barely made out, his pale eyes glistened and his mouth twisted in to an unnatural benevolent grin. His every step forward was quiet; no leaves crunched beneath his feet. He stood tall and proud and his movement was almost elegant but with a sense of strong deprivation behind it.

“come to me”

His whisper was soft and deceptively kind. His eyes remained fixed on Lucinda

“stay beast!”

Cedric produced a polished-steel stiletto from his belt and thrusted it out towards the being. His hands shaking, admittedly more out of fear then weakness

“I know not what you are, but you shall do no harm here”

“Oh?” exclaimed the humanoid creature averting his eyes to her father “I think you know quite well what I am”. Clouds passed over the moon allowing faint beams to shine down. He who had been nothing more than a shadow was now visible, his eyes were angled slits with dark rings surrounding them and his face had high cheek bones complimenting a slender structure. Perhaps most notably, however, was his skin for it was the palest white and glowed with a luminescent aura, much like that of the giant silvery sphere that hung in the sky above him.

“M-moon elf”

Lucinda stuttered faintly, though she did not mean for the words to escape her lips, let alone be heard

“I am delighted that you are familiar with that which pursues your purity, I am Daggnir” He stated arrogantly as he bowed in a manner that seemed to be almost playful. Lucinda’s father turned his head gradually to her in disbelief at the title she had given this thing before them, he knew what a moon elf was for there had been many tales of mythical beings that stalked the forests and in some stories, they had even been rumored to be cannibals. But they had been just that, stories, and he had never thought to see one in the flesh, or any monster of myth for that matter, and now, Cedric turned his attention back to Daggnir, he could see it in his glassy eyes, a choice had to be made. He shoved Lucinda back behind him and unfastened his cloak, as to not limit his mobility. At this Daggnir simply scoffed

“Shame, I had thought this to be a pleasant encounter”

He produced two swords from their sheaths which sat upon his back buckled by leather straps. The weapons themselves had curved blades crafted of fine white mithril that gleamed like mirrors. The leather-bound handles were carved with intricate eleven symbols of which no human had ever seen aside from ancient artifacts thought to have been replicating the tales of their ancestors, more a work of entertainment and fiction to humans then that of reality.

The magnificent blades were sharp and Daggnir’s speed was obvious enough to the blind eye and Lucinda’s father was no fool, he knew he stood no real chance against the elf. yet still he remained tall and aggressive, allowing adrenaline to build in his body, preparing for what would come next. He looked over his shoulder at Lucinda and smiled at her lovingly, his face was strangely apologetic

“My daughter, you must run”

Lucinda hesitantly took a step back

“run!”

He commanded it this time and still she took a few more steps back and eyed the creature which was now approaching, not her father, but her. Reluctantly she obeyed and turned and fled in to the darkness, stumbling only briefly. Daggnir readied to give chase when Cedric intercepted him. Catching him off guard, he managed to bring his dagger near to the elf’s throat “I am Cedric of the Silvermanes and you shall not lay a hand upon my child so long as my heart beats!” he pronounced but before he could pierce Daggnir’s flesh he had spun swiftly and blocked the small blade with the back of his own weapon.

“very well…if that is what you wish, then I shall end its worthless beating”

Daggnir twirled his blades in hand so that the blunt edges were faced inward and without hesitation he lunged forward at Lucinda’s father who had attempted to dive out of the way. Though his right shoulder had been cut and he had nearly fell, his rebuttal was surprisingly quick. Cedric swung his weapon wildly at Daggnir, his dagger gripped tightly between his fist, as blood trickled down his bicep.

With every swing Daggnir seemed to glide backwards with ease, avoiding each attack. Lucinda looked on in disbelief from the bushes that nestled in the shadows of the trees. She desperately wanted to help her father, but what could a child do against such an advisory? Suddenly, a shrill cry of agony fell upon her ears. Lucinda is horrifically petrified; For the scene she had witnessed was her father heaving and choking on blood filling his lungs, one of Daggnir’s brilliant swords had penetrated her father’s chest.

“Pity…”

Daggnir said contemptuously, retrieving his sword from the old man’s upper body. Warm red fluid gushed from the hollow in his torso, forming a pool at his feet. Cedric fought to stay standing, cupping his mouth, he coughed out blood. At last he could sustain himself no longer, he fell to his knees, buckling under his own weight. Daggnir, raising his black-hide boot to the unfortunate man’s chest, kicked him to the ground where he fell in the mere of his own life.

Daggnir looked down upon him with condemnation, wiping his blade “now then-“he fell silent and watched as Cedric desperately began crawling towards his dagger which had fallen in the dirt in the midst of combat. While Daggnir found some amusement in his efforts, he kicked him over onto his back and bore down on him with a terrifying face, implying he was sick of toying with the man and was prepared to end it “come, allow me to release you from this weak husk of a body”

“FATHER!”

Lucinda cried, running from her hiding spot to her father’s side, she threw herself over him and began to sob “please don’t leave me”. Her father’s voice was shrill and hushed “shhh, be silent now my daughter” made delusional by the effects of death, he smiled. Wiping the tears from her eyes, he coughed, spitting blood onto Lucinda’s face before his head turned away from her, limp and lifeless, Cedric had breathed his last breath. Lucinda, refusing to believe he had gone, mustard up the courage to look in to her father’s eyes but she was met with a cold icey stare devoid of any essence that a soul had once inhabited his person.

“Enough” Daggnir growled in frustration “child, you will come with me!” he reached out for Lucinda’s cloak and yanked her off her father’s corpse. She fell backwards but quickly sat up, feeling a solid cold item beneath her hand, she closed her eyes and grasped it, thrusting it towards Daggnir. He cried in pain, blood gradually trickled from his wound. Lucinda opened her eyes and saw that she had stabbed him in the side of his leg with her father’s dagger. This was her chance to get away. She rolled over to her hands and knees and began to scuttle as fast as she could, forcing herself to her feet in the process she darted off on an unknown course.

Eventually she could hear nothing behind her, but Lucinda was certain she should not stop running, her life depended on it. Though her legs writhed in pain, she pushed herself to keep going. Bobbing under branches, weaving through trees and swiping away hanging vines. She had looked back over her shoulder only briefly, but It was too dark to see and all that she could hear was the hooting of an owl. Suddenly Lucinda’s cloak snagged on a branch. Panicked, she tugged at it but it would not come free. “come to me child, come” a faint voice resonated. She knew Daggnir was close, with nary a thought Lucinda unclasped her cloak and hid behind the thick trunk of an oak tree. It was at that moment that Daggnir’s silhouette manifested in the near. He began to draw closer and closer, swaying side to side with a slight hobble due to his wounded leg. Lucinda felt certain that she had hid herself well from the murderous elf and put her back to the tree focusing her attention on remaining as quiet as possible, taking small shallow breaths.

What she had perhaps not counted on was the impeccable eyesight that the moon elves possessed. In fact, they were quiet at home in the darkness. The forest was relatively dim this night and, though the storm had passed, the fog had still refused to lift, it served as a fantastic shroud for the cunning elf. He knew the child had no way of escaping and even if her impaired vision did not manage to slow her, she would surely get lost in the labyrinth of these ancient woods. So, he limped casually forward, scanning his surroundings. That is, until he spotted a small thickly woven cloak drooping from a thorny branch. Snapping the branch in two, he yanked the fabric free. For moments, he stood there in silence, listening to the crickets’s chirp and all the other natural sounds of nocturnal life, when something caught his attention. A magnificent oak stood more proud then the ones among it, its trunk was dense and the bark was well-aged. But this oak held a secret, for behind it breath escaped the lungs of another living thing.

Determined to mask her presence, Lucinda pressed her back against the course bark of the tree where she hid. She could feel the tickling legs of insects crawling all over her, but she knew if she moved her position would be given away. Still, she neglected to realize that her breath had begun to quicken and she had already revealed herself. A boney hand possessing sharp claw-like nails curled around her shoulder, she began to feel stinging pain as Daggnir yanked her from behind the tree. This was it, she was going to die. Oddly, she felt at peace with this. How could she go on living after watching her father perish? Did she feel anger and hatred for this monster? Of course she did, but she resigned herself to the fact that, even wounded, she was a helpless child in the hands of a malicious and powerful creature.

“Dear girl, I’m not going to kill you” he said, as though he were capable of reading her mind “you must live to be of any use to us” Daggnir ripped away two of the leather straps used to bind together his mantle and chest piece and tied them tightly around Lucinda’s wrists as to pacify her. Who is us? she thought. Did he mean to imply that there are more like him? And why did they need her? She would find out soon enough…

Daggnir had been forcing Lucinda to walk for what seemed like hours. The sun had begun to rise in the sky, painting it shades of pastel and the rain had ceased. Moisture in the air seeped through her cotton tunic and slacks and her lengthy platinum hair, dripping wet, clung to her skin. Harsh night breezes chilled her damp clothing causing Lucinda to shiver. Luckily her boots were a nice fine leather, water did not penetrate them, nor her woolen socks. At the very least her feet were not numb. Which she was grateful for. Daggnir kept a firm grip on one of her arms tugging Lucinda along. When she would trip, he would simply drag her until she regained her footing. He was tall and his stride was quick and wide causing her to barely be able to keep up with him. All the while he spoke no words, he did not slow his pace or even look at her out of the corner of his eye.

Whiiiisss!

The whistle came out of nowhere, followed by a crack. Daggnir jumped back, pulling Lucinda along with him. An arrow had soared out from the canopy above and hit a tree, causing it to break in two. “Go no further!” a rugged female voice called out “you are trespassing on the ancient lands of Freya”

“Freya?!” Daggnir cackled as though he legitimately found something funny “and who might you be then?”.

As if to answer his question, a dozen men and women adorned in animal furs, teeth and bones manifested all around them in the treetops. Their skin was dark and bore colorfully painted markings. Each of them equipped with a bow and an arrow ready to fire. “I am Maev, priestess and daughter to the dryad chieftain Avalbane” An irregularly short, muscular, auburn haired female announced “and you are a moon elf, but who is that child you have with you?”

“she is none of your concern, what you should be worrying about…is how to escape” Daggnir pushed Lucinda to the ground, leaping into the air. Even with an injured leg he possessed agility, enough so that he had reached the tree limb on which Maev and three of her warriors stood. With ease, he sliced through each one. Maev extended her hands into the air, her fingertips formed a triangle, and she lowered them back down in front of her face, chanting inaudible words. The vines that dangled from the trees surrounding her became lively, moving like serpents. Wrapping around Daggnir’s legs, they began to cocoon him. His anger only heightened when he noticed that three druids had jumped down from the trees and were searching for Lucinda. He could not allow himself to fail, this girl was a necessary resource to his people. Fortunately for Daggnir, the vines were frail and easy to slash apart, in what seemed like one fluid motion, he tore them away and continued his pursuit of Maev, only this time she was more prepared. Maev had already begun to draw her bow, the arrow glowed with a fabulous green aura as it soared through the air and, in a rather unclimactic fashion, pierced the limb beneath Daggnir’s feet.

“It appears you missed” He scoffed.

“Don’t be so sure, wretch”

 Daggnir suddenly noticed the ground forming into a soft sand-like surface. The branch was becoming brittle and disintegrating into ash. Before he knew it, Daggnir was plummeting towards the earth. In response, he engaged his cat-like reflexes and twisted his body until he was sure he could land on his feet. He hit the ground with such force that it stirred up a cloud of dirt. Four druids waited, ready for the dust to settle. Maev pounced from the trees, swinging from vines along her decent, and quickly joined them. However, when the air had cleared there was not a single trace of the elf. The druids readied to give chase. Maev put her arm out in a halting gesture “Do not pursue your own demise. In time, we shall deal with that vile creature, but for now…” she looked to a cavity buried deep beneath a tree, sprawling with roots. Somehow, she could sense her; Lucinda had been concealing herself in a hollow beneath the trunk of a tree in hopes that neither the druids nor Daggnir would discover her. Alas, she was wrong, Lucinda crawled from her hiding place, rose her hands in surrender and got on her knees as she was surrounded by druids, all pointing sharp wooden weapons at her.

“what are you?” Maev’s tone was serious, it terrified Lucinda so that she could not bring herself to answer and instead started to cry. Maev was quite aware that this was a child she was dealing with, still, the forest was a dangerous place and she must have a reason for being here. At this point she had noted that the tiny hands the girl had raised in the air were bound by leather “so you are a prisoner?” She questioned. Lucinda nodded “Where do you come from?” Maev continued. Lucinda wiped her eyes, the female druids voice had become so calm and nurturing. She pointed to the far east “I-I come from the village of Oakshield, just over that hill. Me and my father were traveling through these woods when we were attacked”

“and your father?”

Lucinda bowed her head and said nothing, again she began to sob

“I see…may the spirits of the forest guide your father to the realm of gods so that he may know peace” a moment of silence passed and Maev gestured for two of her soldiers to come closer as she knelt beside Lucinda to cut off her bondages “the journey is a long one, but my people are willing to return you to your family in Oakshield”

“My father was my family” she rubbed her wrists which had been bruised by the tight leather “I’m not even sure where we were going. So, you see, I have no home now”

Maev shooed her soldiers back into formation and paced, pausing to stare at Lucinda, her brow creased as though she were thinking very hard about something “very well, you will accompany us back to our encampment and I will introduce you to our leader. Chief Avalbane, he may know what to do”.

 

Much unlike the night, the early morning was warm and inviting. Blue jays sang lovely ballads to the sun and small creatures frolicked amongst the dandelions. Settled alongside a creek lie the encampment of the Dryads, tall fences made of sharpened logs were erected to enclose huts of straw and mud. Maev and her party approached the entrance; “We have returned from our hunt, open the gates” she called out to a druid woman who sat above the wall with a spear and shield. Briefly, she looked down from her post, upon recognizing the priestess she promptly motioned for the guards below to unlock the gate.

Maev paid no mind to the eyes of her fellow druid’s quizzical expressions at the sight of the fair-haired child that tailed her and her party. Many of the dryad people discontinued their activities of crafting armor and weapons to stare at this strange foreigner. It was not often that outsiders found their way so easily into the encampment, in fact it was virtually unheard of. Let alone at the accompaniment of one of the tribe’s leaders.

Lucinda had often heard stories from travelers about druids and their considerably barbaric and strange customs. Their camp certainly looked as she had heard. Furs, jewelry crafted by animal bones and primitive looking wooden weapons cluttered tables, in what looked to be a small bazaar. Nearby, a small corral housed the most unlikely mount, not a horse, but that of the most brilliant looking stags Lucinda had ever seen. Their coats were dark and glossy and they held their massive white antlers high with regality and poise. A young druid boy, surely no older than Lucinda, led one of these beasts into the pen and the animal lowered its head to receive praise. By the tales told of them, druids were considered to be excellent animal tamers and this was very evident, not only with the stags, but various woodland animals; from wolves and foxes to panthers and bears, were coexisting with their druid masters in a tranquil and obedient manner.

The group came before a tent bound in scraps of various animal hide and adorned with a large pair of antlers, hanging over two large leather drapes that could only be assumed as an entrance. Suddenly, a low growl came from within the tent and the body of a creature almost more massive than a man with pale silver-blue fur soon followed. It sprung from the entrance of the tent with such ferocity, baring its fangs. Lucinda wanted to run, but she was frozen in fright. “I have no time to play now Fennore” Maev scolded the animal, once it had come into the light it was apparent that it was a giant leopard, who by now had complied and lowered itself onto its haunches making a path for Maev to enter. She turned to her soldiers “you may all return to your normal duties” the archers all bowed in unison and marched off “come child” Maev pulled open the tent folds and motioned for Lucinda to enter. Lucinda slowly approached the structure and as she crossed the leopards path Fennore hissed, his face twisting angrily at the unknown visitor.

Inside of the shelter the darkness was vaguely lit by a few burning candles. In the melancholic orange glow the figure of a large muscular man sat stooped over in a throne made of animal skeletons and tree bark. His chest was bare and covered in intricate scars and he wore a heavy cloak made of white bear fur, as well as a headdress of beast horns and beads carved from various gems. He was Chief Avalbane, fearsome and wise leader of the dryads, fearsome as he was, something seemed to trouble the old shaman. He had anticipated his youngest child Maev’s return for a few hours now. The spirits of the forest had warned him, long before Daggnirs attack on Lucinda and her father, that humans were in the woods and they were in danger and thought his daughter and her hunters may run into the devilish elf. He had not foreseen the survival of young Lucinda, however. He was taken by surprise when he raised his head to see the pale face of a weary child looking back at him “Dear little mouse” Avalbane’s voice was low and deep, barely higher than a whisper but somehow still reminiscent of his awesome strength “truly you have suffered a great deal on this day. Tell me, what is your name?”

“Lucinda Silvermane, daughter of Sir Cedric Silvermane, my lord” Lucinda’s voice cracked as she spoke, for she had not said a word in quiet a many hour. She had attempted to be polite and greet the Chief as you would any royalty. Even she knew she could not afford anymore foes.

“Fear not little mouse, feel no obligation to appease me. We are not your enemy and wish you no harm” Avalbane’s smile was slight, but warm and sincere. Maev stood next to Lucinda and bowed her head in respect “father, this child claims she has no next of kin and seeks your wisdom-” Avalbane raised his hand to silence his daughter “I know of the young one’s dire circumstances. The question is, what shall become of her now?” Avalbane thought for a moment, eyeing Lucinda. In the soul of this sad child he could see a spark of something special and he knew that within her hid strengths comparable to the finest warriors. He had come to a revelation “If it is your wish to become strong enough to avenge your father, then you will need proper training”

“what are you saying father?” Maev interjected. She had saved young Lucinda, but she also knew that her presence would only attract the violence of the elves. Putting her people in jeopardy for a human girl seemed foolish, how could her father suggest such an action?

“What would you have her do Maev? Why bring her before me?”

“She needs to be returned to her own kind, that is my wish father or else she will call the elves to our doorstep and they will raze our village!”

“You have such little faith in the tenacity of your people? Aye, you’re mind, cunning though it may be, is still naïve”

“Naïve?!” Maev was appalled “How can you say I’m naïve when you want to keep this human here?!”

“My daughter, calm your temper. The spirits are mysterious, but they are not blind. The child will stay and in time you will see what they see”.[AS1] Maev was not content with her father’s decision but she knew it would be pointless to push the issue any further. She placed her fist over her chest and bowed. Eying Lucinda, she couldn’t help but feel the slightest bit of regret for saving her.


 

 


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