Soothe is a female Plains elf.

Soul Name: Thuaa
When Found: early in life
Doing What? While: wandering around
Who else knows name: her mate, friend and other lovers
Mate: Recognized, Lovemated, Clear Thrust, captured by Humans; Child: Stronghold, dead

Mother: Middle Shard, always near; Father: Prance, enfatuated; Siblings: Brother: Iryum, younger, in hiding

Skin: amber-tan
Hair: violet-brown
Style: in two pony tails
Length: shoulder length
Eyes: evergreen
Age: a Young Adult
Born in Whitecold/Late Winter

Strength: Very High
Dexterity: High
Agility: High
Health: High
Size: long-legged, compact body (Whispersoft-type)
Intelligence: Extremely High
Appearance: Very Low
Charisma: High
Magic Power: Above Average

Sending: Below Average
Magic Feeling: Below Average
Plant Sense: Very Low

Running/Endurance: Extremely High
Attack: Average
Verbal Communication/Songsmithing: Below Average
Physical/Body Communication-Sign Language: Average
Net (hunting): High
Lasso: High

Animal Bond - Shell-back (dead)

Dragon Bond: Narric Toerii'Taykah from Traval Generations (see bottom of page)

She has a perfect sense of direction.

Moonsight is a female Wolfrider.

Bond Page

Soul Name: Oqoo
When Found: a few years ago
Doing What? While: escaping a dangerous animal
Who else knows name: no one
Mate: Lovemated to more than one partner (Cloud, male, defensive) and (Dapple, female, defensive)

Mother: Ire Side, presumed dead;  Father: Offering, loving; Siblings: Brother: Pansy, younger, defensive;  Brother: Bully, older, infatuated (likely all dead now)

Skin: freckled fair
Hair: tan
Style: simply styled
Length: down to their waist
Eyes: goldenrod
Age: a Young Adult
Born in Deathsleep/Winter

Strength: High
Dexterity: High
Agility: High
Health: Very High
Size: curvy, sexy build (Leetah-type)
Intelligence: High
Appearance: Above Average
Charisma: Below Average
Magic Power: Below Average

Sending: Extremely High
Magic Feeling: Low
She is unable to use any other magical powers.

Weaving/Nets Only: Extremely High
Riding: High
Mineral Lore/Dirt: Average
Artistry/Scuplture: Below Average
Hunting: Very High using Blowdart
Hunting: Average using Bolt (with atlatl)

Wolf-Friend - ButterFinder (dead)

She has no sense of direction.

Crystal-Rain Caiya

Bats is a male Wolfrider.

Soul Name: Joli
When Found: so long ago
Doing What? While: arguing
Who else knows name: no one
Mate: Lovemated to more than one partner (Ripper, female, captured by Humans) and (Fishhook, female, captured by Trolls)

Mother: Obsidian Dare, loving; Father: Speaking Lily, presumed dead; Siblings: Brother: Smoke, younger, alive; Sister: Geckos, older, captured by Trolls

Skin: light tan
Hair: red
Style: simply styled
Length: cut short to ears
Eyes: viridian
Age: an Elderly elf, with a full beard and ear-tip fur, kept nicely
Born in Deathsleep/Winter

Strength: High
Dexterity: High
Agility: Above Average
Health: Extremely High
Size: above average in build and muscularity (Cutter-type)
Intelligence: Above Average
Appearance: Above Average
Charisma: Average
Magic Power: Low

Sending: Very Low
Magic Feeling: Below Average
He is unable to use any other magical powers.

Trapping/Trap Making: Extremely High
Weaving/Nets Only: High
Mechanical Lore/Toys: Above Average
Mechanical Lore/Chemistry-Alchemy: Average
Hunting: Very High using Net (large game hunting)
Hunting: Below Average using Bow

Wolf-Friend - none

He loves being near sharp hills.

Uktui is a male Blue Mountain inhabitant. (Is also known as Bones)

Soul Name: Lhehlhy
Who else knows name: no one but his mate
Mate: Lovemated to more than one partner (Syei, female, on a vision quest) and (Xysh, female, loving) (both now dead) Mother: Tayah, captured by Humans; Father: Utdl, defensive; Siblings: None (all now dead)
Skin: olive-tan
Hair: silvery
Style: in a single tail
Length: to their high back
Eyes: ultramarine
Age: a Mature Adult
Born in Deathsleep/Winter Strength: Below Average
Dexterity: High
Agility: Extremely High
Health: Extremely High
Size: long of body and light in weight (Glider-type)
Intelligence: Below Average
Appearance: High
Charisma: Above Average
Magic Power: High Sending: High
Magic Feeling: Extremely High
His other magic powers include Bone Shape: exceptional level of ability

Healing Lore/Medicinal Herbs: Extremely High
Animal Lore/Large Creatures: Very High
Climbing/Assisted (ropes/grapples): Below Average
Artistry/Drawing: Average
Hunting - Lance: Below Average
Trapping/Pits and Hidden Traps: High

Bond animal - male giant hawk (dead before Blue Mountain fell)
Ride Hawk: Extremely High

He loves being near forests.

Dragon bond:  Iceso Promontores from the Bower

 

Rescued!

***

They had of course long been speaking mentally to one another, these captives of the Trolls. They had hardly spoken in words, with their voices, for almost a hand of turns. They'd cried out, they'd sobbed and bemoaned the Trolls who kept them, they'd screamed when they were injured. But now, it was actually hard to shut them up.

Weeds kept watch, knowing the other elves eyes would be maladjusted to the starlight let alone full moons - and forbid they stand unshaded under the sun! He was working out a way to get them away from here - but where? He honestly didn't feel like heading all the way back toward his Holt. Why? What was it now, that was bugging him? He could still head north, surely, into the unknown frozen mountains and what else? From what the elves said, their Troll captors asserted the northern trolls were horrific. While the southern plains Trolls had fine weapons and were adept traders, apparently the northern ones were cruel and heartless, warriors who lived for nothing more than killing and treasure. This group of Trolls had eluded being captured themselves, but told of weapons as long as an elf, and able to split them upon a single spear...

It was tales like that which twisted Weeds' stomach. It was also: these captives were loud. Louder than he expected them to be, at least the two males! Of course! It was the hammering!

"Keep it down," Weeds said, quietly, and noted well that they hardly heard him. The females were all right, in fact Moonsight giggled a little at that. **Send, until your hearing is better.** He urged, and they listened well to that advice. **When we're away from here, we will sing and howl like the loudest storm! But... not before then.**

**A good idea, I had not even realized... it really is that bad, isn't it?** Bats sent. Even his sending was a bit loud.

Over the next moon, the Trolls all but gave up on their search for the escaped elves. They had posted a guard around one of their major exits: however the elves never used that one, knowing it to be popular with the Trolls. In this time, the group got to know more about their saviour. But they also began to form more close ties with one another. Especially after they began moving on. There was something about being able to touch and see directly, instead of just through thought, that did this.

Weeds had consulted with Bats - why not the more aged and supposedly wise Glider? Because Uktui was still scatterbrained, overworked by the Trolls and having had his spirit almost thoroughly broken in the process. Uktui had been captive longest, over a hundred years underground, but still stately and slender. He'd been traded several times, from Humans to Trolls and back, more than one tribe knew of him. But since he was not a flier, he could never really try to escape properly.

Wolfriders were of sturdier stuff, and Bats was an elder in his own right. "We should head into those hills there," Bats pointed to the north east, between two taller snowcapped hills. "The farther north we go, the less likely that these Trolls will follow us, at any rate. We might go up against something different - humans, probably - but we can handle that."

"So... why do they call you Bats anyway?" Weeds asked abruptly. The red-headed elder turned his green eyes on the youngling and said without pause:

"Because I like bats?"

***

Over a campfire, under another neatly shaped dome of thorns and tree limbs, able to see out but easily avoid detection from the outside, the group told stories to one another. Things they'd forgotten, answering questions that were more personal than they realized, but were able to help seal their friendships. The Wolfriders and their Plains kin agreed that passing back around the Troll lands on their way to their Holt or tribeland would be suicide. They would rather now experience the world above, relish it, see things they'd never seen before.

Moonsight offered her opinions on Troll foods, and lamented her hopeless ability to be lost in even the most simple places. "I swear, there was a hallway I walked every day - every single day! And still half the time I always forgot which side the Mistress was on - left or right!" They laughed.

But she missed her home a bit, between she and Bats they knew of at least three other elves from their tribe, and several others who they assumed were from the Plains - but one red-head was clearly Weeds' mother, who had been split up and sent to other Troll encampments. It was obviously worse for Bats - he had lost a lovemate and a sister to them!

"They took her from my hands," he said of Fishhook, his lover. "It looked like they knew we were mates, I think it was why my sister Gecko remained quiet. But ... she was taken with them too, it was no use."

"There will be other mates," Uktui said, quietly. He used his fingers - missing one, like Soothe - to weave a rope made for trapping. "There will be others - where we are heading, I know it in my soul."

"How mysterious," Soothe said, unconvinced. But she'd lost her own child (she didn't look old enough to have one!) and her abruptly Recognized lovemate in a clash with hostile Humans on the plains, not long before being captured by the Trolls. She seemed a little sadder about that now, she had never really gotten the chance to mourn them.

"We'll howl," Weeds suggested, he took her hand. Bats and Moonsight stood as well - and encouraged Uktui to do the same. He wasn't sure what was going on. "Take your voice to the skies," Weeds said. Wine and Cane saw what was going on, and immediately sat and howled. The sound carried for many miles, across the wide bowl-shaped plains. Perhaps far away, it would be answered. It was a song of loss, and of hope. Life goes on.

***

They spent three more moons walking, slowly, among the hills. They passed two Human encampments, one of which was known to Soothe as a friendly trade tribe. She approached them - the others were too terrified to do so (well, Uktui wasn't, but he was mistrustful of anything but elves for the moment, and didn't imagine that these Humans were anything like those pets who worshipped Winnowill back at Blue Mountain!). Shortly, she got word that several tribes of Humans had come together on the plains, traded and split up again but all noticed a weird feeling - far to the west there had been something, something happened.

They didn't know - even Uktui didn't know - that Blue Mountain had collapsed and so many other things had gone on while they were hidden among the Troll tunnels.

Soothe bid the Humans good hunting, and informed them that this group included the wolves - who were also instructed not to get in the way of the Men. They even shared one meal, distantly, with the Humans. Though Bats and Weeds didn't much care for cooked meat, they dug into the offerings of flatbread and stew with loud belching and hoots of praise for the cooks.

"If I ever have to cook again," Moonsight laughed, "I think I'll poison it!"

"You'd spit in it anyway," Soothe chuckled. "I saw you do it all the time!"

As they went northeast, they also shared their talents and learned to balance each other's skills. Both Moonsight and Bats were quite adept at hunting and creating nets - so they and Weeds would do the bulk of the hunting with them. Together they'd be able to take down much bigger prey, and these woods were teeming with large deer and scoop horn! There were also foreign wolves, but they weren't hostile outright. The pair of wolves and the hand and one elves posed no threat to their pack order, and never did they threaten the group.

Uktui's long-dusty skills of shaping bone finally came to the fore when they did bag an old buck with a massive rack. The group would need weapons, and bone made good basic material especially when properly shaped. He created a lance for himself, and various darts and javelins for the others. They didn't have much skill in the way of ranged weapons, so they stuck to what they knew.

"I think we should call you Bones," Soothe said, of the elder. He didn't say no, and besides (Bats said on one hunt) it was easier than the name which sounded like someone spitting!

It was an oddity that they all commented on, when Winter came upon them. "I was born in Winter," said Soothe, and the others all chimed in, even Bones. Without fail, they were all born during the snows and storm seasons - wherever they had lived. It brought them that much closer together.

And fortunately, they didn't have to endure much more difficulty while they traveled. They did have to work with the hides and furs of the animals they killed - poorly, not one of them was a tanner or cloth weaver. But the winter would be hard, and they didn't think too much of their ill preparedness. But they didn't have to deal with it. Well they would be in the Winter, however they weren't going to be spending it where they thought they would.

"What is that up in the air?" Moonsight said, one evening. They had taken more to a daytime walk and night time slumber, as the woods were more filled with diurnal predators. Up in the twilight skies, was a moving shape.

"Hm, it reminds me of the great eagles," Bones said. "I ... I used to help breed them, make sure their eggs were sound. Our eagles were huge, like that."

"Huge? That's got to be ... no way!" Weeds said. "That's big enough to fly on!"

"... That is what we did, at Blue Mountain, pup." Bones chuckled. He thought that was pretty darn funny, in fact. "Ah, I miss my eagle... But he was old, I left the Mountain in search of something new. And look where it's brought me."

"Pretty far," Bats said. "But... wait, is that thing getting closer? I hope it's not hungry for elf!"

They dove into hiding, but as her usual fare, Wine jumped out and started barking and snarling at the approaching form. Weeds tried to coax her back, running out and grabbing the unruly huge wolf by her scruff, tugging on her. But to their surprise, an elf's cheery mind-voice came to them.

**Well well, more travelers? Welcome to Bald Mountain Holt! I have to tell our chief to expect you! Watch for more... watch the skies!** She was out of sending range momentarily, but they all got a strange sensation. A bright, glowing feeling in each of their guts - hope. A holt? And... what was it that the girl was riding! It was huge, they'd seen it from below as it swept overhead - four limbs, batlike wings? What was it!

It turned out, of course, to be a dragon. Of all things - nothing like this existed anywhere but in the human imagination, and here on Bald Mountain. There was a host of them - big and little, colorful or drab. Everyone it seemed, at least all the adults, had paired off with a dragon at some point.

"But ... where do they come from?" Asked Weeds. Even Bones was interested in this, because with his flight knowledge he was extremely curious, and eager. Eager to ride again! He looked more and more chipper as they went on through the huge hollowed out - but very airy - Mountain. It was closer to Blue Mountain than they realized, with sweeping dens and walls with hangings, ramps up to the aeries.

"Everywhere," Apogee said. She was spritely, slender, happy looking. "Literally, everywhere. We ... don't stay here on Abode to find them, none of them are natives."

Even Soothe was confused about that. "I'm not sure what you mean, where else is there?"

Apogee gazed at her, and then smiled. "Come with me. This is something new we're working on." She led the group into another den, this time darker and sheltered away from the openness of the mountainside. The dragons and many of their riders remained. There would be time to properly introduce everyone later. Inside this chamber there was a single, softly glowing and oddly steady light. It wasn't a fire, was it? It didn't flicker. The newcomers had no idea what 'electricity' was, but would have an even harder time figuring out the 'battery driven generators' they had hidden in the mountaintop... However it came about, this light made all the small gems and stones set into the walls flicker as though they were stars themselves.

"This is the star chamber," Apogee said. "Since we've had some new shapers come along, we really do have some wonderful things to do and see all day. It's not hard to live here, it's not like it is in other places. We have the dragons to protect us, we hunt in safety. We've got healers and shapers, and artisans."

Did they ever. For this room was shaped like the sky dome - and filled with sparkling gemstones. But one thing nagged at Weeds' mind, and he said something.

"Those aren't our stars," he said. "What is this?"

"Well this," Apogee said, "is Abode." She pointed to a small cluster - and only upon close inspection did they realize that there were two moonshaped stones, along with a number of constellations they all recognized among the dotting of gems. "And these other places are where we go, where other dragon worlds exist. You might do well to think about that: we can travel by thinking hard about where to go, and sometimes the only way to know is to memorize the stars in the sky. Where they are, what season... It's complicated but it's not all that hard to do."

"Wait, wait," Soothe suddenly said, "these ... this is our home, our world...and there are others... The legends are true - we came from elsewhere? The Humans all have legends of it!"

"The Trolls too - they tell a different story," said Bones, sadly. "They tell it as though they themselves were captives once, and I ... believe them."

"You should," said a voice from a dark archway, "it's true. They were captives, but they were why we are here, at all."

***

He was tall, as tall as Bones, if not taller. But it was more his bearing that said volumes. This was someone who had existed far, far longer than even Bones had.

"My parents told of their betrayal, before we lost them to time," Kolgar spoke, while moving his hand over his own work. "But that's long past. They ... are troublemakers, still, aren't they."

"We were only just rescued by Weeds," Soothe said, blurting out, "your parents ... High Ones?"

"Indeed," said another male, who came in shortly. "I heard there were newcomers, I wanted to make sure - oh, my," he looked at them, not with distaste, but with pity. He reached down to Soothe's hands, and pulled up the one missing its finger, and then looked at her ear. He noticed the others: a finger here, a tooth there, a toe... Deep gouging whip wounds across backs and bodies. Without pause, he said, "my dear, I assume that you would like that finger back?"

Soothe's eyes filled with tears, hot liquid streaming down her face.

It took a while, one by one the travelers went with Awlvon into his own den, which he shared with the last of these Firstborn - Yasheel the plant shaper.

At first, Weeds was very happy to learn that she was a shaper too! He eagerly introduced himself, and told briefly of how he'd shaped the puffer plant to explode on the Trolls heads, the other useful things he'd been doing. But the moment she looked him in the eye, he knew... Something was wrong with her. Not physically, but mentally. For she said, "please do not touch me again," and left the aerie.

"...w...what was that?" Weeds said, blinking. "I mean... she's... and I ..."

"You're a Wolfrider, are you not?" Awlvon said, bringing Moonsight back up with him and taking one last glance over Bats - the last of the group, who declined to have any of his scars removed. Bones was still always going to be delicate in appearance, but he was as Awlvon said quite sturdy, much more so than any other he'd encountered of that age. It was probably his work in the Troll forge, which made his body respond.

"Well I'm a Wolfrider, yes, but... what does that have to do with anything?"

"My lifemate... is a bit put off by half-blooded elves." Awlvon said, "I admit that I used to be as well, but ... there have been other developments in our lives which made me change my mind. Your wolf blood makes you very strong, adaptable. I admire it, as much as Yasheel loathes it. She longs to be away from this world - I think if she could, she might escape entirely, but she remains."

"I think she stays," said another elf, a female with darkly brown-red hair and a bold smile, "because she likes to complain so much."

"Who else would listen?" Chided Awlvon. If they were lifemates, it didn't much show. The black-haired healer was far and away kinder than the blond female, and then there was ruddy Kolgar who was the stone shaper who urged them to continue looking over the star maps.

Eventually, after being given plenty of rest and foods - exotic dishes and plain old raw fish - they were all outfitted with 'proper' clothing. The holt had its share of clothing makers, but relied more heavily on leathers and the like. Some of their leather, however, was softer than the finest woven silks Blue Mountain could make! It turned out their part-time member, Ainea, crafted those furs up in her frozen den.

What surprised the whole group, however, was how many elves lived here! More than ten hands of elves, almost fifty lived here! And so many were quite young! Well, three of the newest five were also young - even younger than several of the Bald Mountain 'kids'. They entranced Bones most of all: it had been ages since he'd seen a truly young elf, though he considered Weeds, Soothe and Moonsight all to be children themselves - the fact that they looked like adults to anyone else lent even him to realize they were hardly children. But...

There were three young children, Starcap, Soulbind and Rook, who gathered around them every chance they got. Out of chores, picking things up, tending fires, making sure the aeries were free of any loose items... the kids would gather around and watch the newcomers. They had never heard more close tales of Trolls and escapes, even from Jade! And Rook was her son!

"Doesn't it make you want revenge?" Jade asked, while collecting her younger son. "I mean... they killed two of my pups, I killed more of them than I have fingers."

"I just wish to never encounter them again," said Soothe, true to her name. "The women are treated like slaves too - they believe themselves to be held above as treasures, but they're really just slaves too. What a sad place, what a horrible life. Why have they never tried to even live in peace?"

"They are greedy, insensible creatures," Bones said, pulling on his new green fur lined gloves. He looked very different now: now that he wasn't emaciated from hunger, and driven bent over by the whip. He stood gracefully, strongly, and he looked to the skies once more. "If it were up to me, they'd be wiped from the planet, but we'd have to find them all first - and frankly I'm done digging in the ground."

"You look ready for a trip," Moonsight commented, and Bones turned to look at her. He was actually a very handsome elf - if a bit soft in the head sometimes. His silvery hair glistened in the day light (they were finally used to the sun again, and most of the elves and dragons here lived daylight lives), and he dazzled her with a smile.

"I am, I'm going to find a dragon bond. I've already spoken to Apogee about it. Her dragon is ... well, the ancestress of a nest somewhere. You know she's also the mother of that shapeshifter..."

"Well you've certainly learned to blend in here!" Moonsight laughed. She boldly went up to him and hugged him, "stay safe, come back to us. I can't bear not hearing you grumble about things."

"Well I will be back, and Weeds there will also, I think he's plotting something." Bones kissed her on the forehead, "I'll return with a fine dragon. I've been aching to touch the sky again, after so long."

BONES bonding

***

"Where is it, though?" Asked Weeds, and Apogee admitted they didn't have a star-chart for it just yet.

"It's near one we do know, where we've been before. Frankly I don't know how our dragons find out about these things, but at least when they do, we're ready."

Weeds got himself prepared. They would all be remaining at Bald Mountain, especially if they were going to become dragon-riders - they could fly to their old Holts, couldn't they! And they would be defended by more than just tooth and claw of wolves, they would have magical fire breath, ice magic... He didn't want to get too ahead of himself though. The dragons which he was set to find were a little ... different than that.

Weeds wasn't much for flying, he discovered, but he could pull it off. He was good at riding a large creature, or a small one - Cane and Wine were both quite disparate in size. They were a little put off by his sudden interest in finding a new bond, but they both were also fairly simple minded. They enjoyed the small pack they had - one or two wolves had come near and remained, the safety of the area with dragons overhead was astounding. No human hunters would trap them for furs, nor accuse them of stealing sheep.

And eventually, Weeds knew, they would die. But dragons were magical, he was told. Plus, they had ways of making... changes.

The fact that there was a Human man here - a rider, in fact - made Weeds realize that the world was a much bigger, much different place than he ever imagined. Just to think though - he might be able to seek out his mother more quickly - and mount a real rescue with fliers from here! That gave him a boldness that he relished.

When Weeds was taken up to Roland's Bazaar, he and his transporter got a bit of a surprise.

"Wait, wait," sunset-haired Rasp snapped at the 'greeters' who stopped them both as they arrived. "Wait, we were told to go on in!"

"This is as 'in' as you'll get, until we inspect your goods," said one of the human-sized creatures there. Rasp took care of the main discussion - she was far more outgoing than even Weeds was, and more: she seemed to know what she was doing. He was unsure at all - they'd been on her fabulously striped dragoness and teleported onto another world. Just like that: Abode was an incomprehensible amount of distance and time away from here. Weeds was a little dizzy.

He looked out and saw, through big sheets of clear glass (was it ice? was it metal that was magic? what... was this stuff?) the stars far away - they were very different indeed from the ones which he'd known all his life. But he did know what his world's stars looked like. Apogee was right, it wasn't that hard to do, thinking of where to be.

"Ahem-" said a woman's voice, "You bringing anything in?"

Rasp was over by the other person, yelling something about no way they were taking their weapons away - Weeds didn't even think of it. He had handed over his sword without really worrying. This was a trade center, after all, and not a fighting zone. **Rasp, just give them your knife! It's all right, we'll get it back!** He sent.

"Oh that's easy for you to say, you've hardly gotten attached to yours!" What a weird thing to say. "I'll wait out here, if I can't be safe in there with it, thanks."

"Your friend will be waiting quite a while, I think," said the female, who was still standing near Weeds. "It seems like you're here for a bit, and for ... hhmm."

There was a strange sensation, while she sniffed at Weeds. "You might be good to handle one of thsoe little shit-spores... um... I mean... well look at this, is this a bracelet? Are you going to trade up to something else?" She distracted herself from saying any more, leading Weeds in while Rasp still argued about her knives. (( nothing comes from this, sorry, move back to Weeds page... they leave empty handed.))

***

Bats made a lot of toys in the coming eights. While the others were out, he found that working with Kolgar and Jade as they made their own magically forged items was pleasant enough. It kept him busy. The toys were for the children, who loved them. They also loved hearing Soothe's singing. Her tribe's many historic hunts and adventures, on through the ones she was composing about their life with the Trolls and their rescue, all these came tumbling out of Soothe's lips with a gleeful tune. Moonsight sculpted too, but also was happy to learn more about how to hunt from dragon-back. She could easily adapt her use of the arrow-whip or blowdarts from a flying perch, and several of the others in the Holt gave her practice time.

***

Soothe was tugged aside from her practice with the cubs, by Brittlebough, who was the rider of a pleasant green dragon. "You know that our dragons all talk to one another," she rolled her eyes as the dragon outside gave an indignant bellow. "Well mine thinks she's spotted a great place for you to find a bond of your own!"

Sooth should have been elated, but instead she felt a weird kind of longing. "Oh I.... oh."

"I know you've suffered loss," Brittlebough said, lowering her gaze. "I have been so very blessed, my whole family remains with me. I don't know what I'd do without them. But now - we have duties to the Holt, and we're your family now, too."

The younger elf pulled in a deep breath. "I suppose you're right, it's just... so much all at once. Sometimes even the sun still burns my eyes."

"We'll take you, Ashtoreth and I, if you want."

It was hard for Soothe to believe that in the time long before her own birth, this elfess was supposed to be quite the fire-brand and hot head. Now, perhaps it was her Recognition (oh that hurt the memories hurt) and her children (... it hurts too much! let it end!) or even their move to this hillside. But she was definitely a more mature, careful elf. Brittlebough chose her words well.

"It is time to move on. Your heart will always have them in it, but there's room to be made. You'll see, when you find your dragon-friend."

So it was that Soothe was packed up and ready to go, almost instantly - they hadn't had enough time to really gather a lot of extra things while here. There would be time for that, certainly. So the flight away from Abode was quick and easy, with a practiced ease that all teleporting dragons seemed to have, Ashtoreth took them through the frigid darkness between worlds. Soothe swore she heard her lovemate's voice, and her baby calling to her... But they called with joy, not terror; with her eyes clenched shut but her mind wide open, Soothe knew that their suffering hadn't been as great as she felt it must, and now that they were reunited with their ancestors who wandered endlessly ... They were happy. They had nothing to worry about, now. So Soothe let them go, let them be happy, and hoped that she could be too.

She wouldn't be disappointed. The two-toned green and brown, earthy-shaded male dragon that approached her was unsteady on his feet, but would be sure eventually. It was the gentle touch of his muzzle against Soothe's hand that solidified their bond. "No more sadness," he said. His voice was young-sounding, nothing like she expected from a dragon.

"Oh how can I be sad when I've got you!" Soothe laughed, tears rolling down her face. They went almost immediately back to Bald Mountain, enduring the chill of between again, but it was far from unfriendly now.

In the eights that followed their return, Narric's abilities began to grow strongly. While Soothe wasn't all that hot at riding (and prefered to remain safely on the ground) Narric was quite good with teleporting from one spot to another, and she did enjoy that. But what was more important was that Narric's size wasn't fixed. He could be as small as a wolf, or full-sized three elf-heights tall! However it was when he noticed Soothe's state upon having burnt herself over a cook fire that he really shone.

"Let me see," he said, and she hesitantly put her hand up in front of his big brown eyes. "Ah, I see the problem." He closed his eyes a moment, and like an elfin healer, Soothe felt the wound being reversed!

"You can heal!" She said, excited.

"So can you, only in a different way," Narric nudged her, and she went off to tell the others of his new abilities.

Name: Narric Toerii'Taykah
Color: green
Gender: male
Eyes: brown
Abilities: verbal speech, teleporation, heal others, alter physical structure (sand), shrink
Personality: integrity, helpful
Height: 12'9"