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Old 03-11-2006, 07:20 AM   #300
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,532
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Merisuwyniel’s lovely violet eyes filled with tears - very becomingly so, of course. Not for the first time did she wonder if all she had done, all her planning and effort on behalf of the Entish Bow, had been in vain. “It cannot be!” she cried out passionately.

“Hush, my dear,” Yawanna reproached her, causing Pimpiowyn to look up in puzzlement until she realized that, as her knife was not sentient, it could therefore not be the recipient of those words. “The Children should not interrupt when grown-up Velour are speaking among themselves.”

Merisu’s full crimson lips trembled most fetchingly at those harsh-sounding words. How could the Green Goddess turn her back on them? Of course, she cared about the Ent, and it looked like it was to achieve the whole life it had so long desired. But what of Muddled-Mirth? What good was it to save one Ent when all Nature would suffer under the cruel rule of the Dread Developer? “There must be some way to stop him!” she exclaimed.

Mantoes, who had been paging through his battered notebook, looking for the old curse in order to erase it, sighed. Even in speaking, the Elven maiden’s voice could not fail to charm him. He could only hope that she wouldn’t start singing, or he would melt as wax in her shapely hands. “Here it is,” he said to the others. “But – ”

“What’s wrong, dude?” Manuël asked.

“It’s indelible!” Mantoes gasped. “I can’t erase it! You wouldn’t think it now, but I was so brash and arrogant in my youthful days that I wrote everything in ink – crosswords, sudokus, dooms: once they were on paper, there was no turning back.”

“Can’t you cut the page out of your book? I can give you my nail scissors,” Chanessa offered helpfully.

“But there’s something really important on the back side of it,” Mantoes moaned. “My handy-dandy All Ages Chart of the Tides.”

The others nodded sympathetically, recognizing vital information when they heard of it. Môgul tensed, though it went unnoticed, as all were looking at Mantoes.

“Well,” said the ever pragmatic Vairsacë, “you could copy that chart onto a new page, then cut out the old one.”

This brilliant proposal was vigorously approved by the Velour. Estë-Lynn found a pen in her totebag, and Mantoes sat down to begin the task at hand.

Merisu could take it no longer. “What are you all thinking?” she accused. “You can’t give up like that! And even if you do, I won’t let it happen. Môgul must get what he deserves.” With those words, she unsheathed her sword and approached the ghastly figure valiantly. She managed to slash an “M” into his skin before Exfoliant turned to defend him. Before her comrades could come to her aid, she was pinned to the ground by huge mandibles. She gasped in pain as she felt them pierce her delicate skin. Then, as suddenly as the creature had assailed her, it withdrew again.

Yawanna stood there, holding a glowing green gem in her hand. Its rays were directed into the beetle’s eyes, and the foul creature writhed in pain.

“You are not ruler yet, Melvin,” she exclaimed, “and not here! Call your pet back until your time comes.”

Reluctantly, Môgul waved a skeletal hand to motion Exfoliant to his side.

“She looks hungry,” Yawanna mused. “I have a very special pipeweed stashed away here, on the holy mountain – for medicinal purposes only, of course. Perhaps she would like to try some?” She held out several leaves, almost hand-shaped, with long points, to the beetle. Greedily, it grasped the greens and stuffed them into its mouth.

In the meantime, Gravlox had hurried to his beloved’s side. He looked into her anguished eyes and saw the blood drops flowing from the sides of her head. Fortunately he was now in the habit of carrying clean handkerchiefs in his pockets, and he pressed one to each wound. “Your ears, your beautiful pointed Elven ears have been pierced,” he mourned. “Will those wounds ever heal?”

Exfoliant swayed from side to side, a blissfully vacuous look on her face, if insect expression could be interpreted correctly. A strange humming noise emanated from her bloated body, and those listening heard strange words with no context to make them intelligible. “Yellow submarine... four beetles... my friends... must go there...” She turned about as if searching for something, then tumbled down the mountain, into the sea, and was never seen again on the shores of Valleyum nor in Muddled-Mirth.

Yawanna looked at Môgul triumphantly. “That is what happens to those who destroy my children wantonly,” she said.

“Oh, but there are more of them in your wooden corpse,” he sneered. “You cannot rid the world of evil forever.”

“Perhaps not, but I can do more than you think,” she retorted. Leaning down to touch Merisuwyniel’s wounds and stop their bleeding, she picked up one of the improvised, blood-drenched bandages. She waved it at the still motionless Ent, and the wood began to vibrate. Yet alas, it was not a sign of life, but the movement of the foul spawn of Exfoliant. Hosts of beetles emerged from every crack in the wood, drawn by the scent of blood, and began to swarm toward the Paralyzed-in-Terror-Ship.

Yet they were stopped, for Yawanna stood before them, a flashing green gem in each hand. The rays blinded them and seared their flesh; soon they dropped to the ground, lifeless. Môgul watched aghast as he was bereft of the last of his allies. He gathered up the dark mists that surrounded him in an attempt to disappear. Yet the Green Goddess held him fast with the two rays, like unto a tractor beam. She motioned to Merisuwyniel, who arose and came to her side.

“Hold these jewels and make sure he doesn’t get away,” she admonished.

“But am I strong enough?” the Elven maiden hesitated.

“You now bear the marks of the sting of Exfoliant,” Yawanna informed her. “He can no longer harm you. But first, you must give back to me that artefact of mine which you hold in your possession.”

Puzzled, Merisu’s brow furrowed – becomingly, as always. “What on earth do you mean? I have nothing of yours.”

“Remember the white tower on the shores of Muddled-Mirth, and the globe which you took away ere it fell?” the goddess prompted her gently.

The Elven maiden blushed in shame. “Oh, that...” she murmured, rummaging through her pockets till she found the desired object.

Yawanna smiled. “Do not fear, for you did right to bring it here. This is the occasion for which it was created, and its purpose shall be fulfilled this day.”

She raised the glass orb in both hands, and the sun shone on it until it glowed with a fiery warmth in its depths. Mantoes, who had finally finished copying his chart, with many comments from his breth/sistren, ambled over to report, yet they were all stricken with silence as they perceived the import of what was happening. The Hopeful-At-Last-Ship watched with bated breath.

A clear, pulsating light shone from the globe, and as Yawanna turned toward the Ent-That-Was-Reunited-But-Not-Yet-Alive, its gleam seemed to reflect on the wood. Yet it was rather shining into the wood, into every crack that had been defiled by the vile creatures of evil, until all was purified and warmed by its light and its very sinews were knitted together again. A gentle breeze arose from whence none could tell, but it was whispered ever after that it must have been sent by Emu himself, for it caused the branches to shiver and and buds to awaken on its twigs.

With a gasp and a cough, the Ent began to breathe. Its eyes opened to reveal pools of green and golden depths, shining with ages of memory and long, slow, steady thinking, yet their surface was sparkling with the present. It felt as if something that grew in the ground had suddenly waked up. “Hrum, Hoom,” its voice murmured, a deep voice like a very deep woodwind instrument. “That was not hasty, and it was almost not hasty enough for me.”

The animated skeleton amidst the dark mists above their heads rose slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire. For a moment it wavered, then crumbled into a pile o’ bones and faded into a haunting spirit. Drawn inexorably by the force of the glowing globe, the Dread Developer ceased his earthly exploitations and was pulled inside the glass orb.

The holy mountain of Tan-Quickly-Hill trembled and quaked at this monumental event, and its peak did open to reveal fiery depths. In measured steps, the goddess walked to its very brink, holding the globe, then she dropped it into the bottomless chasm. It sank with a series of bubbles and was gone.

“Now, where were we?” Yawanna said brightly.

Last edited by Estelyn Telcontar; 03-11-2006 at 04:45 PM.
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