Stories of Rumor Woods/Cysaelotar
She was excited when her mentor told her that they’d be part of the contingent going to Summit Academy. She had endured the fussing of her mother, reminding herself with each statement or pat on the back that she only did it because she loved her. She had not, even though she had wanted to, removed many of the items her mother had insisted she packed. Rubbing her mitten-covered hands together, she was very happy that she’d kept the woolen leggings and heavy, lamb’s wool undershirts.
She diligently helped her elder arrange the small geteld, careful to lay the baskets out along the lowest edges of the walls to block the wind. She made sure to dutifully layer both of their bedrolls the way that her father had explained to do for cold ground, and even moved a small brazier to the center of the space. And though she was diligent in her tasks, her eyes kept wandering to the hillock that they were on.
The horses were below, the tourney track resplendent in forest green and red pennants that snapped in the wind. She could hear their neighing and desperately wanted to go see them, but there was so much to do still.
Turning her gaze, she watched the sedge and blue-green grace that spread through the area as it ruffled in the semi-consistent breeze. One of her friends was higher up the hillock, tending to the bonfire that would be present throughout.
The elder smiled at her, and she grinned broadly up at the aging aelotoi.
"There is a cavern," the elder said. "Just outside that leads to a garden lower down the mountain."
Grinning, the elder reached out to her with an open hand.
"Shall we explore it?"
Mirror of the Sky
Eyaeno looked over the glacier, her wide eyes taking in the expanse of glassy ice as a growing sense of wonder and awe-filled her. She had noted during the day that the surface reflected the sky like a polished mirror, the sun glittering off its surface and reflecting in the surroundings with golden flares. At night, she marked how the stars were reflected in it, the sensation making her dizzy and filling her with a fear that she might drown in its depths. She chided herself, knowing that it was frozen and she couldn’t drown, but she was unable to shake the feeling none-the-less.
She was an elder now, inheriting her own elder’s position at his passing, and it was at moments like this, when she felt an unfounded sense of fear, that she missed Elder Gaehn the most.
Stepping to a nearby bench, she scooped up a windracer stored in a bowl there and whispers a soft prayer into its sails. She reverently placed it on the edge of the glacier, past the piles of snow and rough boulders. Within seconds, the windracer shoots across the glassy surface and disappears over the cliff’s edge.
In keeping with our theme of Memory, Cysaelotar has several bowls placed around it that will offer you opportunities to send messages to the wind.
The one that Eyaeno used provides the following:
Holding your message close in mind, you select a red silk-sailed windracer from within a small earthenware bowl and whisper into the sails. You carry it to the edge of the glacier and carefully set it down on the glass-like surface before stepping back with a shiver. Almost instantly, a red silk-sailed windracer surges across the ice as the air current that courses through the area catches its bright sail and sends it racing. It surges over the cliff, only to be lifted by the wind, and disappears in the sky above.
Roar of the Stars
Ayleano climbed the simple track that wended its way through the ivory sedge and blue-green grass. She was surprised as she went to note that fireflies and dragonflies lived this far north and this high up, but her understanding of the subalpine meadow was growing with each day that the small entourage went about the task of preparing for the Grand Tourney. There was all manner of life here, despite the pockets of half-melted snow, glaciers, and icicles. Bright, jewel-toned beetles made light work of rotted wood that had laid buried during the months of heavy snow, hummingbirds visited bell-shaped flower the size of her fist, and fat bumblebees hummed their happy tune as they danced from one black-eyed flower to the next.
The meadow in the mountains was alive with life.
When she crested the hill, she lifted her eyes to the night sky and watched as the embers of a nearby fire drifted towards the stars. She smiled at the attendant, a young woman who greeted her in return and dipped her head into a small enclosure fashioned of pine and canvas.
Despite the cold that made her wings ache, she was happy to have joined the contingent. Excited to make new memories, and also pleased to share some of her own memories.
She thanked the old woman that handed her the baking vessel that held her dinner and then ducked back out of the enclosure to sit by the fire. She ate her meal, but not in silence as others of the group she traveled with came to share their day.
Ayleano smiled. It was nice to sit around the bonfire and enjoy a meal with her friends.
This year, Rumor Woods will have a bonfire for guests to share a meal around. This bonfire has a great many interactions that can be taken with it. One might even say that you could ANALYZE it for a deeper understanding of its purpose. One would then also caution guests to be careful of what they FEED it.
She sat upon the incline, in the space where the sunlight crested the cliff that she was gazing at, and warmed the fertile grass around her. That golden light warmed her in a way that the bonfire could not and she felt the membrane in her wings loosening. She watched the young man before her as he listened to the instructions elder gave him. She could not hear them and when they glanced her way, she pretended not to listen. She busied herself by collecting loose pebbles, dusting the dirt and debris from them, and dropping them into a small clay vessel.
The elder finally left and she returned to her favorite pastime of watching Lynai as he set about hammering drakar spikes into the ice-covered cliff. He was sweating, how that was possible in the breezy subalpine air was beyond her, but there you had it. He was sweating.
She did not mind.
He stepped back to admire his handiwork, which had turned the icy facing into a small, whimsical waterfall that fed into a pool surrounded by large, flat stones.
Dusting her hands and her skirts, she moved to his side with her collected pebbles and placed them on the edge of the pool. She picked one up, held it close in hand for several moments, and then tossed it into the water.
"What did you wish for?" he asked her.
Blushing, she did not answer but instead took his hand in hers.
Cyslaetor has various flowers and grass blades that can be plucked from the ground. Weavers should be sure to bring their weaving tools.
There is also a wishing pool, but you only need to take a provided pebble to make a wish.
Garden Descent - Part 1
Ceha carefully walked down the steps at the side of the elder, her eyes watching as the light played off the granite walls. They hadn’t traveled far when she heard a giggle, but the elder didn’t seem to hear it and so she shrugged and chalked it up to the sound of their feet echoing off the stone. The cave opened, spilling like a basket of fruit into a verdant landscape, causing the pair to share a glance and grin over a gasp of awe.
The air had changed.
There was a consistent breeze that tumbled through the area, its gentle caress creating the appearance of wave in the foliage. And it was warmer, so much warmer than the meadow they had descended from. Within moments, they found themselves tugging their minutes free and loosening their collars.
And the colors! Everywhere that they looked something was in blue. From large-headed flowers to plump berries dangling from bushes and vines.
To the north, where the breeze originated from, was a cliff ringed by large boulders covered in moss, while to the south a mist-shrouded incline butted against a sheer rock wall.
There were tiny streams that slipped down the incline, disappearing for several yards only to pop back up lower in the garden. And there was a pond surrounded on one side by a forest of pine trees and scraggly blueberry bushes, with the other side being home to moss, sedge, elderberry, and aspen.
They wandered through the foliage, taking in the honeysuckles and lilacs, sundew and sweetspire, clematis and azalea, hellebore and hydrangea, and so many more varieties. At one point, the pair parted to enjoy the space alone.
Ceha found a mineral pool that was billowing steam through the area, surrounded by bright azaleas and that’s when she heard it again.
She searched around for the owner of the sound, but it was only when she glanced at the edges of the nearby foliage that she observed the footprints…
Garden Descent - Part 2
… and so, she decided to follow them. It took a little bit of work…
… a keen eye here or there to observe the broken twig or bent leaf in the foliage.
… a bit of patience to track the tiny footprints.
… and a split-second decision to search through the foliage.
Plunging her hand into the underbrush, she wrapped her fingers around…
Ceha gazed in amazement at the pixie that was wiggling and giggling in her hand.
“Well done, Ceha, you caught me this time," she said as she popped out of Ceha’s hand.
Ceha reached for her again, but the tricksy pixie pushed a flower into her hand so fast that it took the young aelotoi by surprise and she instinctively looked at what she had been given. When she looked up, the pixie was gone.