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Hidden Forest - New Future

Discussion in 'General Role Play' started by LilFlow, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. It had been snowing. The Winter months were still in their fullest and there didn't seem to be an end to the constant blizzards and freezing cold temperatures. The Forest trees were covered in the thick white blanket and were so compacted together that from above it would have just looked like the ground with a few small green patches. But the fact that it is a forest is what makes this so amazing, so life changing for the small group of people that decide to make something of themselves, and that is where this story begins.

    The snow fell off the branch of a tree, falling straight onto the head of a sleeping girl, waking her instantly. "Ack!" She jumped up, totally drenched and sprinkled with tiny dusts of snow flakes. She wasn't that tall, about 5ft. 2 and she had a slim build. Her shoulder-length, black hair reflected the morning sky, grey as it was, and her bright, blue eyes were big and had the look of a curious young child even though she herself was fourteen. Emiru Honoka was well known in her small town in the middle of the forest, for always running away from her older brother and causing endless trouble and at this moment in time, she had indeed, run away from her brother in the middle of the night. Not that this bothered her, he had to be used to it by now. But now, to her annoyance, she would have to return home herself without being looked for, to look for dry clothes before she froze to death.

    The wind blew flakes off of the branches of the trees which arched over the path leading into the town. So many changes had happened in the last few years that if someone had asked, Emiru could name fifty in under a minute, but no one asks because no one new ever comes into the area. "Life's boring." Emiru said to herself, walking through the town gates, leaving footprints in the perfect carpet of snow, making the first marks of life in the still sleeping town. She pasted many alleyways, many shops, but no people. All curtains in windows were drawn shut and there was no sign of candle light, the same as every single early morning, no different, no change, not this time. "I want something to happen. But it won't" She said, kicking up the snow and following the street further.

    "You're late this morning." The boy looked about nineteen and had the same black hair but in spikes, as Emiru and he had the same blue eyes.
    "Get over it." Emiru said. "Make sure something happens today, or I'll disappear again." She turned her back on her brother and walked up the stairs. "Oh and Jiko, brush your hair, you look like a mug."

    And this introduction leaves this rebellious young girl in her house with her brother, in a small town, in the centre of the forest where changes have happened. But further changes are still to come. After all, this is a new future.

    [OCC: I hope people can make something out of that, if not let me know and I'll use it for a story plan instead and I'll start again here.]
  2. The early, golden sunlight was streaming through the trees, from the just visible, great sphere hovering on the horizon. The snow glistened as fir tree branches danced in the light breeze.

    Hoof prints were now visible on the snow, following a well-known track, hidden under the white blanket. The chestnut horse was the only creature showing itself in the early dawn. Birds' song echoed from deep within the forest, but the feathered animals did not dare to show themselves.

    A slender girl with long, sweeping blonde hair sat atop the chestnut mare, the saddle underneath her creaking gently with the horse's movement. The stirrups hung redundantly by the horse's side, the rider's feet stretched lazily towards the shimmering blanket of snow. The girl's head was tilted upwards, her hands gripping the back of the saddle for support. Her bright, emerald eyes observed the pale blue sky, which melted into the Sun's fresh rays.

    The girl sighed quietly as she sat up straight again. She picked up the reins and carefully placed her feet back into the stirrups. The mare's head was low now, her neck stretched out so her nose was just above the ground. Her feet plodded on, slowly taking the pair forward.

    "Come on," the girl said, digging her heels into the horse's sides, but to no success. She tried again, speaking clearly into the morning air as her legs kicked, a little firmer this time.

    Smack. The whip in the girl's hand hit the chestnut's hindquarters. Immediately, the mare's walk quickened and she lifted her head up sharply, both ears pointing backwards as if to ask, "what was that for?"

    "You know exactly why I did that," the girl answered aloud, as she gathered up the reins, keeping a light contact. "Come on," she repeated, her heels hitting the mare's sides, who sprang into a lively trot.

    For the next few minutes they moved on at a considerable pace. The clouds that had once been a few miles away moved too, whisked on by increasing winds. It began to snow again, the tiny crystals floating gently down until they joined the rest of the white mass on the branches and ground.

    The wind stirred and all of a sudden there was a great crack. A weak branch of a great fir tree had been overloaded with the weight of the snow and snapped.

    The great mare leapt sideways, away from the noise, her rider jerked through the air after her. The girl forced her heels down to keep her balance and instinctively tightened the muscles in her legs, worrying the horse further. There had to be something wrong for her rider to panic. She threw herself forward, not daring to turn around and see the possible horror that had caused the noise.

    "Whoa," the girl cried as she was pulled forward by the great power of the horse's canter. She put pressure on the reins and kept her heels pushed down in the stirrups, leaning back a little to encourage the animal to slow down.

    The snow had thickened and was now a freezing swirl of grey in front of the pair. The girl narrowed her eyes, but still tiny droplets caught in her eye, stinging fiercely until they were blinked into tears. The path took a turn to the right but the horse cantered on, her neck stretched out, her ears pointing forward; alert. She dodged the trees easily, her large eyes continuously searching for anything in her path.

    Finally, the rider's words and actions managed to convince the mare that there was no reason to worry and she slowed her pace into a gentle walk. They both breathed deeply from the exercise and past fear. They had come into a clearing, snow still falling silently around them, their tracks covered by the fresh layer of white.

    They must have been near the centre of the forest by now. The girl looked around, trying to find some kind of landmark and decide which way was the best to go, when she noticed something different something out of place. Houses. Houses in the middle of the forest. Houses where no one lived. Her horse neighed loudly, sensing that something was wrong again. The girl patted the chestnut's shoulder absent-mindedly, her eyes fixed on the village in front of her.

    OOC: Sorry it took so long but I've been a bit busy
    #2 Rosie, Jan 17, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  3. OCC: No worries Rosie, I've been busy myself for the last few days.

    Emiru looked out of her bedroom window, barely seeing anything through the blizzard of snow now sweeping the streets of the village. "Oh great, just when the day was looking up" she said to herself, fustrated, "oh well, better get going." She grabbed her boots and over-coat and headed downstairs. Her brother had already gone to work so she was free to do what she wanted until that evening, but she usually stayed out for the night as well.

    Heading out the front door she was blown back by the force of the wind but managed to battle her way outwards and into the street, then, thinking better of herself, stepped back inside, rummaged around for a few seconds, then pulled out a small dagger and a staff, fastening the blade to her belt, she was set for the day and headed out again, locking the door as she left.

    As she struggled down the road to the towngates she thought she saw flurry of colour between the trees. Villagers, bundled up in blankets, protecting their stalls, stared at her with an odd look but Emiru was used to being given the least most respect from her fellow townsfolk and stepped closer to the gates, "Was that a horse?" she asked the empty space in front of her.
  4. The wind swept through the girl's long blonde hair. For a short time she could not see further than her horse's head, with a thick wall of white obscuring her view. She tightened the numerous jumpers she had on, slouching slightly to try to stay warm. Flecks of snow landed in her hair and started to melt, making it wet and darker.

    The horse shook her head, snow flying off her mane. The wind had swept the worst of the sudden snowstorm away and now there was only a gentle tumbling of white specks, leaving the village visible once again.

    There was another girl too, who hadn't been there before, which made the blonde girl jump slightly, tensing once again. The horse sensed it and immediately jerked her head up, though this time the girl kept a strong hold on the reins, restricting the mare from going forward. Instead the horse moved backwards, very slowly, trying to turn as she did so. The girl relaxed her hands a little, still staring at the other girl stood in front of her.
    #4 Rosie, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  5. She's new here. Emiru thought, No one has blonde hair around here. She took a couple of steps forward, sinking slightly into the deep snow, watching the horse carefully for any sudden movements. "There ain't no one like you 'round here, what d'ya want?" Emiru was a cautious girl, she always had been despite her character. If something meant that she didn't get hurt, she wasn't scared of it, if something was new to her, she was weary and if it was attacking, she would throw her weight about, fighting back. Holding her staff in front of her she took another step and slashed it forwards, waiting for the next move.
  6. The horse reared at the movement, the girl leaning forward and putting all her weight into the stirrups to keep her balance. "Whoa! Hush, Epona, hush!" the girl said soothingly. The horse stopped rearing, her hooves hitting the ground with a thud, compressing the snow underneath. Epona then thrust her head into the air and neighed loudly again. "Good girl," the girl said, patting her on the neck.

    "Don't ever do that again!" she said to the other girl "can you just tell me where I am? Then maybe I can find a way back to the bridleway," she asked, all curiosity about the mysterious village leaving her head and a pure desire to get home, to the warmth, filling it.
  7. "It won't do you much good even if you do know where you are. This place ain't on any map, they ain't town signs, nor any sort of direction sign for miles, we don't get 'em here in the forest, we don't need 'em, we don't leave." Emiru was annoyed about the girl's outburst and was all set for a full on argument, but then thought better of it. "But then again." She said, "If ya come with me, I can sort out you and ya friend some rest, we 'ave a stable just 'round the corner." It was rare for Emiru to actually show any consideration towards anyone but her brother, this was a good turn of luck for anyone who saw, it means that she's in a "good" mood. "Just make sure the horse don't thrash out again, 'kay."
  8. "Okay, okay" the girl agreed, and dismounted, still keeping a tight hold on the reins. The snow was deeper than she had expected, but thankfully didn't come over the top of her boots. She lead the horse up to the girl, the mare's white socks on her legs blending in with the pure white snow. The only other white that was not a speck of snow on her coat was a small star on her forehead.

    "So, what's your name?" the girl asked. She had accepted that this place existed, but now she needed to find a reason for it being there and being so mysterious. She also knew that she might be there for some time. She might as well make some friends.
  9. "I don't introduce myself first, but believe me, I'm well known in the town. Tell me who you are first and then I'll tell you who I am." Emiru approached the horse as slowly as she could and stroked its side. "She's a beautiful horse. Well trained, but a lil jumpy, no?"
  10. "She's just young." the girl explained, frowning slightly at the other girl's response. She had already been very trusting today, which was quite out of character, but since there was no one else around and this girl could help her, the rider gave in to the girl's demands. "My name is Zelda and this is Epona," she said, patting her horse on the neck.

    Epona seemed un-phased for once and lowered her neck, inspecting the cold floor in the search of grass. Zelda took the reins and passed them over the mare's neck so she could lead her properly. Then she moved around to the other side of the saddle and pulled the stirrup up its leather so it would not hang and its heavy metal hurt Epona's side. "Excuse me," she said to the other girl as she moved back to pull the other stirrup up. She lifted up the saddle's side too, revealing a complex system of leather and buckles. She lowered the strap around the horse's middle so she was more comfortable, before moving forward to Epona's shoulder and patting her once more.

    "Where's this stable then? And what is your name?"
  11. "Okay, okay. Alright already, I'm Emiru, no need to get all impatient with me." Emiru didn't liked being pushed to do anything, it all goes at her own pace in her eyes. "Come on then, I'll show you the way." Turning on her heel in her boots, Emiru waved her hand for Zelda to follow and started to saunter off down the street, "Oh and by the way." She called over her shoulder, "If people stare just say your with me and they won't give you a second look, I have a reputation to keep up around here." She winked and hit the ground with her staff as she carried on walking.

    As it was still snowing a lot of the villagers who had been out before had no packed up and gone inside. The grey sky seemed like it was getting lower and something didn't feel right for Emiru but she tossed that caged sense to the back of her mind and shook her head, clamping her eyes shut and trying to shut out her banging head ache. She almost ran into the large wooden shed which was the stables, startling half the horses and the boy who was there. "Something wrong, Emi?" He asked, concerned.

    "Nah, nuffin' wrong." She said, stroking one of the horses to calm it down. "It ain't nothing." She turned to look to see if the others were there after realising that she hadn't checked before.
  12. Zelda had also been lost in her thoughts, ignoring the stares from the few people still in the streets. The village was larger than she had expected, but even further towards the centre it still seemed just as mysterious. The girl shook her head to get the hair out of her eyes. It was properly wet now and was beginning to stick to her head. Epona swished her tail as Zelda lead her, stretching her neck out as she breathed out heavily through her nostrils.

    Zelda walked past Emiru into the stables, raising her eyebrows at the staring boy. She found an empty stall and undid the latch, letting her horse inside. She followed Epona in and began fiddling with the saddle again, until she could lift it off the horse's back. It was heavy, the brown leather now slippery from the snow. She placed it on the stable door and took off the horse's bridle too. Epona shook her head, tossing her long mane over her neck, obviously glad to be free of the leather straps.

    There was already hay in the stable, which Epona began to eat greedily. "Hey," Zelda called out to Emiru and the boy, "have you got a rug I can borrow to keep her warm? The last thing I want is for her to get sick."
  13. The boy, not really paying attention, tossed a rug to Zelda and stood up next to Emiru, he wasn't as tall as her but anyone could tell that he was older, "You've got a fever, kid. Might be best t' get some rest."

    "I don't 'ave time for that!" Emiru exploded, seriously annoyed that he had suggested such a thing as 'rest'. "Do you know how much I have to do today?! And that load has just gotten bigger from having to get this girl shelter and a load of other stuff she's bound to be after, so don't you even try to tell me to rest! It ain't gonna happen!" She turned her back on the boy and went outside to sit on the stool by the stable door, hugging her knees to stop the cold from getting to her too much.
  14. Zelda finished tying the rug onto her horse and walked out of the stable, closing it behind her. In the mean time Epona had managed to lie down, obviously tired by the early morning adventure. She didn't seem to be phased by the strange new stable or itchy rug, though. All she saw was a bed and some hay.

    What if I never get out of here? Epona's already settled in and we haven't even been here an hour, Zelda thought. She had heard the conversation between the two villagers and now felt that she should give something back to Emiru, especially since she'd been so kind. Quietly Zelda walked out of the stables, looking at the other horses in their stables.

    "Tell me," Zelda said, sitting down in the snow next to Emiru, "what do you have to do today? Maybe I can help. Its the least i can do." She smiled, genuinely, her emerald eyes warm in the growing sunlight.
  15. "Huh? What?" Emiru looked up at Zelda. The stable boy had been right, she even looked ill, it must have been sleeping in the snow that had done it. "Oh right. Well I have to help my brother in the forest, he always brings back wood for the village so we can make repairs and stay warm and he only has a couple of others helping him, right, so I was gonna go help him. I feel terrible though." She put her head in her hands and sighed, "But I have to go help. I promised." She looked back up at Zelda, "I don't expect you to help, you don't look suited to the forest work. Where'd you come from, anyway? Cos I can tell you ain't from any of these parts to start with. You journeying or something?" She heeved herself to her feet, leaning on the wall for support, the look of curiosity all over her face.
  16. "You could say that..." Zelda tailed off, unwilling to give away her whole life story, even if Emiru seemed trustworthy. "Anyway, if there's two of us, you won't have to do as much work," she said, changing subject somewhat obviously. Maybe I'll tell her later. Maybe...

    "Which way is it?" Zelda asked, standing up and wiping her hands on her blue jodhpurs. She wasn't exactly jumping at the idea of working, but Epona needed to rest and there was nothing else she could do. She may as well help.
  17. "Well it's out in the forest. They could be anywhere by now." This obviously wasn't helpful, "I you want to help, then we have to find them without getting lost first." Emiru knew that even she could get lost in the forest while it was snowing, it was always a worry but this was dangerous, everything looks the same while it's covered in white. "We'll have to be careful not to lose each other. I need to pick some stuff up from home that we can use first to make sure that we stay together then we can head off."

    She lead the way back to the house and went inside, "I won't be a sec'." She said, rushing up the stairs, falling over and then disappearing into a room. She rummaged around her room, pulled out another over-coat, a rope and something that looked like a piece of red wood and then ran back downstairs. "Okay, all set. You ready? Let's go!"
  18. Zelda waited patiently outside, watching the snow tumble around her. She rubbed her hands together to keep warm, looking at the number of footprints in the snow, thinking about all the people that lived there. How did they get so cut off from the rest of the world? She'd ask Emiru later. Maybe when she knew the other girl better.

    Her thought were interrupted by the girl emerging from the house carrying a few curious objects. The coat was quite self-explanatory but a rope and piece of red wood? They set off together for the forest and Zelda was the first to start conversation, "what's the wood and rope for? And what exactly do you mean about forest work? What are we gonna be doing?" she asked,reeling off the first questions that popped into her head.
  19. "Well, you see, forest work is gathering wood for the village, pretty basic really. But the forest is alive, so they say, it's kinda a legend around here. This thing, which isn't wood, it's pure magic, or that's what the shaman in the village said it was but I doubt it, it works well as a coloured marker to show where we've been and the rope is for this." She tied one end of the rope around the strap of her satchel and then held out the other end to Zelda, "Well tie it onto yourself then." she said, "Don't wanna lose ya now, do I." She laughed and took out the marker and slashed a tree with it, leaving a bright red line. "Let's get going, we shouldn't stay in one place for too long unless it's dark, which it ain't." She looked around all the openings around them, "They shouldn't be too far into the forest so we'd better be quick finding them."
  20. Zelda listened intently to Emiru's explanation, but didn't believe anything about the magic. That would explain why the village isn't on any map she thought as she tied the rope around her waist obediently. She walked behind the other girl now, since the trees were too close together for her to walk alongside her, and she could not pick her own path because of the rope.

    "So, how many people live here? And what's its name?" Zelda asked. She felt like an inquisitive child, but since there was nothing else to talk about, and she wanted to avoid talking about her past at all costs, she may as well have some of her questions answered.
  21. "Hm... how many people... probably nearing on fifty, not sure though. Is a village supposed to have a name? We just call it "The Village" because we don't go anywhere else and we don't have to call it by a name but I think I heard the elders call it Hidden Leaf or something like that. Why?" Emiru slashed another tree as she passed it and then came to a sudden stop and looked down at the ground. The look of fear written across her face. Her breathing became quick and sharp and she stooped down towards where she was staring, covering it from view. She touched the snow and the tree and then stood up abruptly, untied the rope and pulled out her dagger. "Untie the rope." She said flatly. "This is serious, no time to play games or look for my brother, something may have already found him." She moved from the place she was standing, showing the spot of ground she had been looking at, and the blood that was covering the snow.
  22. Zelda was shocked. She'd seen blood before, but always from dead animals on the road or in a hospital, never from someone who had been injured by something and was obviously in need of help. She quickly untied the rope and handed it back to Emiru, her face frowning in thought, what could be so dangerous as to attack someone in this forest? Carefully she looked around her in the snow, looking for tracks, stains of red on the pure white or something to indicate which way the injured person had gone.

    "This way," she said clearly, finding footprints in the snow. She had tracked a few animals before, the last example being on a holiday to Exmoor, where she'd managed to successfully track down a group of wild ponies. Zelda broke into a brisk walk as she followed the footprints. They were irregular, staggering almost. They needed to get to the person, presumably Emiru's brother, and fast.
  23. Emiru followed at a briskly behind Zelda. This had never happened before. Was the forest attacking the villagers? Were they all going to be killed by raging gods? No. That couldn't be right, the people had stopped believing in the gods, so they were Emiru's last concern. "Whatever has done this is gonna be sorry for messin' with me." She said, trying to sound brave through her wavering breath.

    Slowly enough she emerged into an opening. The forest spring where they collected water was in the centre, the water stained crimson red. A body lying face down, arrows in its back. Falling to her knees after seeing the familiar colour hair in its original style Emiru couldn't control herself. Silently crying as she stared at her brother's dead body. "It's not fair. He's all I've got! Why did you take him?!" She screamed into the sky and then pounded the ground with her fists.

    The snow had stopped and people from the village had also started to appear in the clearing. Some of the men removed the body from the spring. It's no use Emiru thought, there's no more water that we can use, it's ruined. She looked at the people who were trying to clean the water, We'll all die if we stay. She got up and quietly left the clearing, making sure that no one saw her leave.
  24. Zelda had been waiting in the trees herself. It would have been strange, sitting in on something, watching someone being mourned who she didn't even know. There was something though, she still felt the sadness. Sadness of the whole village, of her friend, somehow it felt like the whole forest was mourning.

    The girl shook her head, the confused thoughts leaving her head and clearing it considerably. She saw the figure sneaking away from the clearing and recognised it to be Emiru. Sighing slightly, she pushed herself off the tree she had been leaning against, the cold wood seeming to shiver as her warm body left it. She followed the girl for a while before calling out to her, she obviously didn't want the rest of the villagers to see her leave so there was no point making a scene close to them.

    "Think you can get rid of me that easily?" said called, quickening her pace to catch up with Emiru. Then she put her arm around her friend's shoulders, not really sure what to say next. She had never really been very good with sympathy and this time was no exception.
  25. "You don't need to follow me!" Emiru said, pushing Zelda away, her temper back in place. "I've had enough. There's no place for me anymore!" She kicked the snow, sending a pile up into the air, "It's best for you to go as well, before the villagers start sending people away. The last person killed, their family were sent away, so I'm leaving too. My own path. My own way!" She turned and ran towards the village, her over-coat billowing out behind her as she went. There's no place for someone like me in a place like this... she thought, I cause nothing but trouble and everyone hates me, it's better this way. She disappeared around the trees, darting in and out of clearings as fast as she could until she reached the house and locked herself inside.
  26. Zelda ran after Emiru, ignoring her shouts but staying out of pushing distance. This would be so much easier with a horse, she thought as she arrived outside the door and breathed heavily from the exercise. She tried to door handle, but after finding it locked, sat down in the snow, her back against the door. She tilted her head backwards, looking at the clouded sky and sighed, thinking about what Emiru had said.

    "Emiru... Emi" she called out, settling on the shorter and easier name, "Look, I'll tell you what happened to me today, shall I?" said said, even though the girl probably wasn't listening to her. She needed to tell someone, even if it was thin air. "I ran away. My parents, the house, my friends, life... it was all getting too much. I couldn't stand it. I've been planning it for a while now, running away. This morning I got up early, took Epona and went." A tear began to roll down her pale cheek, but was brushed away swiftly by a gloved hand. She didn't know what she was crying about or why, but it just seemed like the only thing left to do. There had been so many suppressed emotions in the past week, now they were all coming to the surface. Some of her wanted to go back home, there was still time, whilst the other wanted to curl up in the snow and lie there until a blissful sleep swept over her.
  27. The sound of the lock clicked and the door creaked open. Emiru stood in the opening, her satchel now obviously full and ready for a journey. "Grab Epona." She said. "Travelling is better with more than one person." Emiru's eyes had lost their spark. The truth that she was alone now was seeping deeper into her, but if someone was there, maybe it'd be better, "Let's go." She stepped out of the doorway, leaving the door unlocked as she walked away from the house where she had grown up and into the unknown world. "I may never have been out of the forest before, but there's always a time for everything, I just didn't think it would come so soon. The village is practically deserted, they must've all gone to the spring. Good. It makes it easier to get the things that we need for a long trip." She started walking further into the village, waiting for Zelda to follow.
  28. OOC: Sorry about the lack of posts, but I've been busy. Very busy. Anyway, now things have started to get less hectic I should have more time. Maybe.

    Zelda picked herself up off the floor and smiled at Emi, walking fast to catch up. "There were plenty of other horses in the stables. Were any of them yours?" Or your brother's she thought, but didn't add it. She didn't want to say anything she'd regret. She knew how hard it had been to leave her own family. Yes, she had already had regrets. Seeing Emi and the village had made her think about her own home. Maybe she could give it another go? There was still time.

    The girl shook the thoughts from her head. She couldn't go back. After three months of living under so much pressure and who knows how many years of discomfort before that, it was impossible for her to go back. It was naive to think that she could make it work. Naive to think that she could change her parents, their home or even herself. She looked down at the glistening snow, the sun beginning to break through the clouds, which turned it a dazzling, pure white.
  29. "Wellity wellity," Emiru said, in her 'as a matter of fact' voice, "I haven't ridden in a while but I suppose I could take Plum out, I ain't seen her in yonks, I used to ride her when I was little and she don't belong to no one so they won't mind be havin' her." she spun round once in the snow, slipped and steadied herself, "C'mon, it's freezing!"

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