Raven's Spire

To My Best Friend

You appear in a forest, the trees growing in dense patches about you. Towering pines, mostly, with the occasional aspen scattered throughout for color; their leaves blazing in the apparent autumn. A cool wind brushes by you, wrapping about you and caressing your bare face like a lover's touch. It picks up the smattering of leaves on the ground, moving them and replacing them, like a haughty maid never satisfied with their placement. You turn around several times, but there is little to see beyond more trees and a very narrow trail winding through them, the dirt packed and smooth under your bare feet, cool to the touch. You walk along it, aware that your only company along the trail is a raven, a rather small one at that. He watches you, shadowing you by hopping from tree to tree where he can, and flying from one to the next when he cannot. He makes no sound, not even a raucous *caw* to you. He only watches.

You seem to have walked for hours when he lifts off one final time and flies far on ahead, far beyond the tops of the trees. What had at first been small pebbles by your feet have now grown into boulders that seem to be in no order, thrown about by some giant long before you were ever born. Some are round and squat, brooding over lost eons like doddering old men, while others rise from within the earth as sharp, jagged grey fingers that point accusingly to the skies. Somewhere you recall knowing that the locals call the spires Hag's Hands. You don't know how you know, you simply KNOW. Before long, the rocks tower, fewer and fewer of the small, lumbering boulders. They have given way to the Hands, and they grow in size until they tower hundreds of feet above you, trees growing about their bases and even up their sides a little bit, the grey rock pointing high into the sky with no less ferocity than before. There is a road before you, nothing more than a packed bare patch, but broader than the trail, so you step onto it, noting that it heads inexorably towards the largest of the Hands. You turn quickly, hearing the pounding of hooves behind you.

The horse is far closer than you thought, so close that you can see the red tassels on his bridle and breastcollar swinging with each powerful stride. You can see the white streak along his forehead. Most of all, you can see the rider plainly.

She rides the animal as if born to the saddle, sure of her seat and skill. A longbow rests along her right leg, in a special carrier on the saddle itself. She is clad in blue breeches and a pair of boots trimmed in an odd, golden fur. The shirt she wears is loose, and seemingly a bit too large, the shoulders dropped to the middle of her upper arms, the sleeves themselves large and flowing. On her right hip is an ebony handled, black bladed kriss sword and on her wrists are broad, golden bracelets, inlaid with swirls of silver. Her hair is black, shining in the sun like a raven's wing and falls to just beyond her shoulder. For a fleeting moment, you toy with the idea that this female is the raven itself. But you know that to be impossible, as the raven is sitting on her shoulder. Again, you know not HOW you know it is him. The big, amber-colored horse slides to a halt right beside you and she looks down and offers a cocky, self-assured grin. "Lost?" the young outlaw asks you and you can only mutely nod as you look into a pair of dark, cobalt blue eyes. She laughs, the sound soft and ringing. She offers a hand and you put your foot in the stirrup. She hauls you up with more strength than you would have given her credit for, given the very slight build of her frame, but she does indeed give you quite a tug, enabling you to climb into the saddle. The big chestnut begins walking along the road again. "Very easy to get lost around here, the Hands all seem the same, but they aren't. Eveything looks the same, I'm told, but it really isn't. I grew up around here." She pauses and looks back at you a moment. "I'm sorry. My name is Rhiannon Swift, daughter of the trader Ethan. I have a brother, Storm, and two older sisters, Aleya and Rebeccah." She turns the horse and he takes off in a long-strided gallop, running around the base of the huge Hand. It takes a few minutes for you to round it, and suddenly, before your eyes, are several towers seemingly carved right out of the rock, reaching to the sky. The big chestnut stops and she looks up at the "building" in the rock Hand. "That, is Raven's Spire. My father's home. It has been in our family for generations, but no one really knows about it." She smiles and the horse takes you towards the building. The raven takes off from her shoulder and disappears into the sky. A giant hole opens up in the base of the Hand, the jagged edges like hungry teeth closing about you. Two tiny dragons dart out of the darkness to the two of you, chittering and squeaking happily. One, a glittering purple thing, lands on the horse's head and looks at you, then hisses, as if scolding the lot of you. Rhiannon grins at it and the second, shining the color of a freshly cut sapphire, lands on her shoulder. "Sorry. These are Amethyst and Cobalt. Our guard dragons."

You eye the two creatures, neither bigger than a ferret, looking much like the tiny mammals, but reptilian and with wings. "Guard-dragons?"

She laughs. "They'll grow!"

You look at her as she dismounts and urges you to do the same. She takes note of your gaze and looks herself over, as if wondering if something on her was drawing your attention, then looks back up at you. "Yes?"

"Who are you?" you ask. "And what is this place?"

She laughs. "I told you already!"

You shake your head. "I want to know EVERYTHING....."

She looks at you a moment. "All right then. Granted, I have little gift for tale-telling, that belongs to Rebeccah, but I shall do my best........"

Sign the Wayfarer's Scroll
View The Wayfarer's Scroll

Visit the Map Room and Learn About Knaar
Learn about the Spire's Creator
Visit Rebeccah's Chamber and Read Her Tales
Go to the Armoury and Check out the Links
to All of my Companions
Seek out Conversation and Visit the
Inn of the Weeping Rose,
just a fast step through a portal.

Visit the Registry and browse through my characters.

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These Are the People Who Either Helped Me Put This Thing Together, or People From Whom I Mooched Pics! Thanx guys!

Arden: For the cool sword pic and a LOT of advice, along with the background!
RAKKIR: For being here to help, in more ways than one. *S*
LoreMaster Jorel: Again for just having the roses, which I stole from Arden, who stole them from you...and so on.....*G*
Rakshae: For the cool background and animated wolves! Thanx!
Ace of Space: For providing me with LOTS of awesome backgrounds for my pages, a must-see site!

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