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Chapter 2

The battle was vicious for Taurse and Rider alike. Pallor made short work of its challenge within a few minutes, but not without sustaining a heavy bite wound to its left flank and a heavy bruising to the front legs. Magnus and the Abomination, however, had moved further off, star-steel crossing with dream-steel. Both had gived each other many nicks, slices, but only at the same time do each finally strike the others' good sword arm, rendering them useless. Magnus placed hand on his arm. "I heal this limb because you were stupid and lost it, do not do it again, you fool, Heal Limb!" His arm restored, Magnus continued advancing after finishing the verbal. The monster, however, paused to growl out one word: "Magic?!"
Magnus paused as well. "Was that not part of your expectation in terms?" He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, uneasy
The monster's response was to put its sword back in its sheath, and growled at the man, dismissing him with a wave. It walked, making head-way away from the river, its dead mount (which was producing quite the stink) and Magnus. The man quickly looked back over his shoulder to see what was happening with Pallor, Lily, and the masked creature. He returned to Pallor first to heal him. The masked creature was quite undone, caught in the river's tow under downed tree branches, not stirring other than the river's movement. The dog, although nervous, was unharmed. The Taurse nudged Magnus's head as he cast the healing magics. The abomination's mount twitched, its body began to hiss with putrid smoke as it slowly disintegrated. Magnus hurriedly placed Lily on Pallor's back and told her to stay as he scrambled down to the river himself. He waded up to the creature after testing the waters: strong, shin deep, then knee deep, then dropped off unexpectedly. The cloth worn by the creature was drab-colored, the mask was not of Masks, but interesting unto itself - green and white. At first, Magnus offered his hand to help the creature out of the tangle and to the shore, but it did not stir to take Magnus's hand, for it was very tangled in a downed tree, with many branches.. The river here was up to Magnus's shoulders, no bottom could he barely touch.
Carefully, Magnus climbed out of the river onto the branches, up on the tree. He tied a rope around the tree trunk on the shore, then threw the rope down to the creature. He then slowly and cautiously removed the tangling branches one at a time, slicing at the root of the branch limb and not too close to the creature. After minutes of careful work, Magnus was able to free the masked creature, getting a rope around it as well to hoist it out. The man carefully made his way down to the branches and took the extra slack on the rope to tie the line to himself before swimming up-stream to Pallor. After dragging the creature onto the banks, catching his own breath, the man noted that it made no signs of moving from its prone/dragged position, and that it was overly swollen with much water, disfiguring the creature muchly like a balloon about to burst.
"Are you okay?" Magnus moved over towards it, unsure how to check for injuries. Splayed out, the creature only 'jiggled' as the man removed the rope from it. The rags and cloths that held it together were stretched and bulging, much like an over-used wineskin. The man sat next to it and reached for its gloved hand. "Rise and Fight," he spoke, squeezing it gently. The masked being shuddered, then whipped its gloved hand from Magnus to its throat, attempting to slam down on its chest with the other hand, but not getting anywhere, as it was just cloth hitting cloth. Magnus, however, being a clever fellow followed the motion and actually did what it indicated, pressing down on his chest and pushing out water. The creature placed its hands over his, helping out with each press, as water seeped out from the seams.
After seven or eight grueling pushes, Magnus managed to right flatten the heck out of it, and it wearily held his hands back for a ninth, granting the man a nod.
"Better now?"
It nodded again, this time slower as it attempted to sit up, failed, then laid back down again, shaking its head and looking up towards the embankment further, where Pallor and Lily were. It made a small sign with its hand, and Magnus recognized the letter Y. Taking out a piece of paper and drawing the symbol for Defender, he showed it to the creature. He also added, "I am one of the followers of the Light. We do not allow innocent or good people to die to evil things. We do not abandon those in need. And we try to help those who need it. Besides... you remind me of Masks, The Dreamer."
It spelled out 'O' 'I' 'C' And struggled to sit up again, but deflated, it failed.
"You seem to be missing Space," Magnus mused.
It nodded wearily, signing one letter at a time. 'S' 'P' 'A' 'C' 'E'
The man asked, "Can I help?". The creature nodded again. Magnus looked it over once, but his face fell, at a loss of what to do. "Um, how do I do that? I have magic to bring you back from death; but you need to be ...full. Recommendations?"
The dog, Lily, yipped as she joined Magnus, traipsing onto the masked being like a rug. Pallor came closer as well, but did not join, just watched. The masked being, having never encountered a dog, paused with a hand in the air, unsure of what to do at all. "Lily! Get off of-- umm...come here and sit next to me!" Magnus picked the puppy up by the scruff and put her next to himself. "Stay."
(Rug all wet?) she asked her master. He nodded as the being peered curiously at Lily, and signed "What?" and pointed at her.
"Puppy. Young Dog. Friend. Now, as to fixing you?" Magnus was silent for a moment as he pondered this, as Lily asked (Can not talk?)
'fix-question'? It signs, Magnus slowly remembering it again. 'not-understand-fix'
"How do I create Space inside you?" asked Magnus, a bit forlorn about the situation. The creature mimed a wave, or a breeze, took Magnus's hand and placed it on its forehead, then touched Magnus's lips and mimed talking with its hand. Pallor whinnied, and trotted a bit to the side, something in the grass not pleasing him too much.
"You want me to blow into your forehead?" asked the man, perplexed. He took his sword in one hand, put Lily in a side pouch and faced the tall grass to watch for predators; and then he began to blow on its forehead. Magnus sent a thought toward Pallor, who not only was a Taurse but a creature of the very Dreaming. (Danger/Fear?) he thought at his faithful steed, since Taurses and their riders communicate more with emotion than words. (Danger.) was the thought sent back from Pallor.
As the kiss of a Defender is Water and Sky, Magnus attempted to fill the creature with air. He believed he could, after all, he was a Defender! His will, his whim, and his wish was for it to be alright again, and then everyone could be happy and their way once more. To help, to heal, to defend: this creature was just as important as any other. It took many minutes (that felt like days) for Magnus to complete the task, and, quite winded, he took a break. The masked being sat up beside him, holding up both gloved hands and looking at them, then patting the chest to make sure everything was all there. It looked at Magnus and signed again, "Why?"
Magnus, still winded and tired, looked at him with a blank stare. "Because. ...That is who I am."
The creature thought about this for a moment or two, then it leaped to its feet, placing both gloved hands on the sides of its heart, covering one hand over the other. It nodded quickly and the body language seemed quite happy.
"You're welcome. Now, stay out of trouble." Getting his breath back, Magnus mounted Pallor and looked into the tall grass, with a readied sword.
The creature rushed to Magnus's side, and in one bound was on the back of the Taurse, peering at Magnus's puppy in the side pouch and tapping it lightly with a gloved finger.
"Are you planning on tagging along then?" asked the man. It shook its head up and down, then looked up into the over-cast sky for a minute as Pallor shifted its weight. Magnus heard tiny hissing in the mud and grass about, and held tightly to Pallor. "Hold on!" he bade the creature to do the same as he, and mentally sent a message to Pallor: (GO, RUN, SPEED.)
Pallor was off like a shot. Lily clung tightly as the Taurse rose and fell repeatedly, its thunderous hooves flinging mud and grass as it went. The masked being looked back, and then clutched tighter to Magnus. Faster the Taurse went, barely touching the ground, changing the dreamscape with its rhythmic stomping, when Magnus saw fog up ahead. "...if that is what I think it is," Magnus's face showed a small flicker of nervousness.
(Danger, different way) thought Magnus as he worried that they were headed straight into the Mysts of Faerie, that some called The Mists, or the Mysts of Forgetfulness. The tales of such a place, however, are a story for another time.
(Herd. Family.) "Pallor, take me to Faelinn, or Iawen, or anywhere else but in that fog-" An idea came to the man. "AISLING! Take me to Aisling!" After another second, he cursed. "How the hell do I describe a ghost-specific being to a Taurse?!"
In the Dreaming, Pallor did his best to comply, but the masked being raised an arm and pointed at the fog, shaking its head. Lily yipped. Magnus looked where the creature pointed to see what was happening. The fog looked like fog ought to look, settling over trees and the muddy ground and the tree-shaped shadows; but the masked being made a fist with its hand, still pointing it forward.
"YOU WANT ME TO GO INTO THE FOG?!" Magnus yelled, incredulous. Many a man had been lost there! The tales... the creature could not be serious! But it nodded heavily. The dog whimpered. Pallor however, shared no fear or danger from the suggestion.
"Fine." Magnus was resolute, but not happy. "Ulyaoth. I'm not going in there unprepared."
Magnus directed Pallor into the fog as he uttered a magical Rune he knew well. The weapons he carried, all the gear, even the armor and clothes began to twist and wave and whip around his person, changing to that of a Defender, of Water and Sky.
The masked being raised itself up a bit behind Magnus, placing hands on his shoulders to see further. Lily whined as the group rode forward into the fog --
Created by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 07-22-11 12:41 PM
Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 07-22-11 12:52 PM