Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Tunnel to Topside

[Previously]  Ry’llia observed as a 20-something girl used a twig to scrape dirt from her unkempt nails. She was so thin.  What had the human world become that they were trapped like animals in their iron cages?  How many of them counted this gather as the first time they had ever seen a living tree?...

Gwydd of the tribal pixies was not without observance. She looked at Ry'llia and shook her head. "Perhaps, we should take them home and start our mission."
Xan looked at the fierce creature and agreed. "The sooner, the better." He looked to Ry'llia and bowed. "Thank you for this. For everything." The humans and their otherworld companions turned to make their way back out of the forest, and into the poisoned lands of the Humans.
Ry’llia placed a hand on the wild fae’s shoulder, giving brief pause to their departure. “Tira ten' rashwe.” Her slender fingers tensed, emphasizing the warning. “The Queen’s Sgiandearg are everywhere – they won’t hesitate to redden their blades.”  She turned next to Willow, with her soft features and enigmatic eyes behind long hair. “Any clue that will help us understand why their dreams wither will help us repair the Queen’s mad ravaging.  No stone unturned.”
The Speaker reached into pocket deep within her fleece coat and withdrew a tiny clear phial, decorated with cobalt drops.  It had been carefully handmade with its elongated teardrop shape at the neck from which two tiny loops rested like glass arms on a matronly brownie’s hips.
Mith’en.” Lowering herself to one knee, she partially unwound a suede strap from her tall, fern-toned boot.  She cut the strap with a small blade hidden in her hair, which she carefully re-tucked as she stood again. “One drop of aquasilver will light a path – even in the Waenen - like moolight on water.  Pour it out to for a mirrorpool, thus we can speak as often as many times as you can manage to save it for re-use.”
With that, she threaded the corked phial on her lace and handed it to Willow.  Ry’llia’s golden-brown eyes settled with a nod on Xan and his human troupe. “Tenna’ ento lye omenta.”
She didn’t bother to translate.
Gwydd nodded and grinned a wicked little grin. While most fae bowed to the Queen and Her Guard, pixies followed a different Queen, Joan of Wad. And they had no qualms about reddening their spears and blades with the fae blood of the royals.
She started to gather the humans while Willow accepted the phial with grace and honor. "If I have not contacted you in three days, fear for us." It was as simple as that.
Xan on the other hand looked confused at Ry'llia's words in such a native tongue, but he nodded. Perhaps his spirit understood, but he was still too deaf for them. Gwydd prodded him to move. The journey would be long and difficult, and with the Sgiandearg hunting, it was imperative to move quickly.  She grabbed the arm of the young girl, who seemed a bit…disenchanted…with what was going on, and forged a path with her motley tribe of beings.
They journeyed toward the human world via a winding series of underground tunnels.  Once sewers, unfinished subway rails or long-since evaporated water ducts, it was not a path for the faint of heart.  Some stretches of passage seemed to bear down on them, an intangible blanket of darkness.  Voices – when someone spoke to signal a turn or hurdle – sounded preternaturally muffled.  Moistness grasped at them from walls they could not see, petting their skin with sinewy fingers giving the perpetual impression of clammy skin.

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