A Ranger Caught Off His Guard?
It's Gilday, Callem 17 14:21:15 1018. The full moon isn't up. The tide is low and ebbing. Towering white clouds drift slowly through the blue sky. It's hazy and hot, and the glare of the sun seems to drain the color from the landscape.
H03: Eldwyn Road
Ga'Elian is playing a form of 'fetch' with his griffon companion off the side of the road. He is standing on the ground, firing arrows into the sky one-by-one, while the griffon flies around snapping them up in its beak.
Un'eth walks south along the widening road, though travels through the underbrush (and beneath the shade) at the periphery. She slows well short of the city to move towards the Tornmawr rather than the gates.
Ga'Elian spots the shaman as he releases another shaft a good 140 feet into the sky. As the arrow slows to its zenith then barely flips and starts to fall again, Erithamiel flies straig at it, and snatches the shaft from mid-air. Down on terra firma, Elian watches, then bows to Un'eth, and says, "Don't frighten the ferryman" with a kidding wink. He then turns his attention back to the sky and whistles loudly. The griffon descends towards the archer, arrow still gripped securely in beak.
Un'eth's head lifts skyward as it turns towards the greeting. "The softskin has more to fear from falling arrows than me, at this moment. I have no quarrel with those who cross the Tornmawr, though they would be better to swim than float."
At the sith's words, the ferryman looks with mild shock up toward the sky, then with relief as the griffon touches down, folding its large wings against its armored body.
Elian stows his bow back in his quiver, and takes the shaft from Erithamiel's beak. He says, "He might at that. As for the Tormawr, I think you're right.
He heads with the griffon to a spot on the riverbank, both off the road and away from the ferry, where he removes the barding from his companion, then strips down, himself, then wades into the water. Erithamiel also goes into the river, but does so by taking flight and landing in the swifter current toward the river's middle.
Un'eth reaches the bank not quite as swiftly as the airborne pair, but reaches it nonetheless. With only a belt-satchel worn at the moment, she simply wades into the waters. "The Tornmawr is not as swift nor high as during the melt, but its waters still refresh, cool, and transport." Primarily for those intending to move downstream, that is.
Ga'Elian relaxes into a backstroke and says, "That it does." As he lazily moves through the water, he takes up a song that the fae have been heard to sing from time to time. Its lyrics make fun of city-folk who fall victim to the capricious mischief of sprites in the forest. <sylvan>
GAME: Ga'Elian rolls Sing: aliased to Perform/Sing: (13)+4: 17
Un'eth lies back to float, in no hurry to reach some other destination. Ear-frills lift to catch the song, some of the lyrics causing a snort or two of amusement.
After a bit of the song, the sound of several high-pitched voices giggling can be faintly heard from within the trees.
GAME: Ga'Elian rolls 2d4: (7): 7
The hum of rapidly beating wings seems to come closer, and suddenly Ga'Elian's singing improves—drastically.
Singing is not so unusual. Not for people other than Un'eth to be singing, that is. Giggles and humming wings are a little less common, and Un'eth's attentions shift towards those sounds over the singing. She even straightens upright, keeping herself at the surface with rhythmic strokes of her tail.
Ga'Elian, too, notices the sounds and the effect on his singing, and stops abruptly, almost gagging on a mouthful of water. He seems beyond startled--more like he's overtaken by a sudden anxiety attack, and thrashes about momentarily until he regains his composure. He says, "Um, I really should be more careful." and stands up, then starts to wade back towards dry land. The giggling continues, but is mixed with the quiet chitter of indistinct high-pitched muttering.
As the naked elf strides as quickly to shore as he can, a tattoo is plainly visible on his right butt-cheek. It looks like a viciously spiked shoe smeared with blood. Ga'Elian says, "That may be, and wouldn't bother me, but some time ago, I seem to have been marked by the fae. It is that marking that makes me nervous to encounter fae-kind, at least away from the Ygdrassil Tree." He gets to the riverbank, and makes a beeline for his stuff.
Un'eth's head tilts. "If you are marked for mischief, I doubt that the Ygdrassil Tree will aid you." Her eyes narrow and focus more firmly. "If you somehow earned malicious ire, you may face more troubles than the fae."
Ga'Elian gets dressed as quickly as he can, preparing for some potential ambush. He says, "That all may well be true, but my point is, I should not let my guard so completely down as to lower all my defenses and practically invite the fae." He whistles to get Erithamiel's attention.
About that time, a group of three liminal sprites appear above the water, fairly close to Un'eth, in fact, right where the giggling/muttering/wing noises had been.
Un'eth looks back from fleeing syl to the sounds, in time to view the sprites as they appear. "The fae are almost never malicious. Mischevious, perhaps, but that is all." She flicks a hand, sending droplets of river water, not truly a splash) at the trio.
The griffon approaches, swimming in the water, quite playfully, in fact. Ga'Elian smiles at the sight, and calms down a bit, feeling now like he's as prepared as could reasonably be expected should some malicious creature ambush, and says, "Oh, normally I'd not worry either, but when I heard these and especially when I felt their influence upon me, I simply realized that I was being perhaps a bit foolish. I suppose an ambush by some other monster is more likely than a sudden appearance of Jack, and there I'd have been just as defenseless if it had been trolls instead.
The sprites flit around dodging the splash as if doing so were great sport, and having a high time of it.