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Erik had noticed the ent as well. Ents didn't frighten him, even though they were enormous, because they had always been extremely gentle towad all living things. If you didn't bother them, they didn't bother you. But when Etharion noticed the other elf hiding behind one of the trees, Erik stood up, totally alert. He looked up at the ent again though, when Etharion and Ice also noticed that this particular ent didn't look gentle at all. Erik scrutinized its expression and only then did he notice that it hadn't really picked up its "foot," it had just started to shift its lower half. "Great," he muttered to himself. "It's not an ent," he said quietly to the others. "It's a Huorn."
With that last comment said, he slowly began to pick up his bow and arrows while at the same time checking that his long daggers were in place on his back. He glanced again at the other elf, to make sure she hadn't moved. *Hopefully she's already noticed the Huorn* he thought to himself. If she hadn't, she'd soon notice it because she was right underneath it. *Why?* he thought again. If she wasn't there, he wouldn't have to play hero and save her. With lightning quickness he ran toward the she-elf with his daggers in his hands. He prayed she wouldn't think they were to use against her but really for protection against the Huorn. He'd soon see.
"OY!! You two get away from under that rampaging tree!! We must leave at once. We cant kill it without setting half the forest on fire! Comon."
Calenia looks up to see the Huorn, and reaches for her whip, when she sees Erik running toward her, daggers in hand. Oh, no....Two at once! She is soo lost in her thoughts that she momentarily forgets about the Huorn.
Ice whips out her sword, and backs away from the tree, holding it in front of her. "What did he say that was?" she whispered to Etharion. "I thought that all those things died out..." she said, bewildered.


"No. There are thousand of them in the wild. There are rarely any survivors to tell about them! Now you two!! Do i have to move you myself?!" he yells at the two doging the Huorn in slow motion."Lets go!"
"That would probably work best..." she whispered to him. The female elf standing far too close to Huorn lloked slightly faimliar to Ice, but she couldn't quite place a name with the face... Ice gripped her sword hilt tighter, and back slowly away from the monstrosity.


"Get out of the way!!!!!" Erik yelled at the she-elf but she still didn't appear to hear him. Over the crashing rampage of the Huorn, almost nothing could be heard. Erik was aware of everything around him happening very slowly: he watched as in slow motion the she-elf pulled out her daggers and readied herself for a fight. He watched as Etharion and Ice readied themselves to battle the Huorn, and finally he saw himself diving toward the she-elf, trying to tackle her under the legs so that he wouldn't get impaled and she wouldn't get whacked clean off her feet by the Huorn. Suddenly everything sped up again and he collided into her legs, knocking her to the ground. He attempted to grab her wrists and force the daggers out of her grip but she clung to them like they were her last resort. Which the were......but that was beside the point. "Stop fighting!" he tried to tell her. "I'm trying to help you!" Like she really would listen but its not like he couldn't say he tried. The Huorn noticed the two fighting and turned its gaze to them. Erik looked up. "Oh great......"
When Ice saw the Huorn turn to look at the two, who were, at this moment, pretty defenseless, instinct kicked in. She rushed to the Huorn, and clambered up its tall, treelike back like a cat. This greatly annoyed the huge beast, and it got annoyed even more when she started whacking at it with her sword.

The Huorn reached up and groped the lightening-quick figure that was, at the moment, its ultimate annoyance. Ice dodged most of its powerful swings, but one nearly managed to knock her clear off into the the forest. Finally managed to land a good, solid hit, she leapt off the thing's back, fell to the ground, and stumbled to her feet.

As Ice was the person who injured it, it ran for her. She glanced around at her fellows, cocked her head to the side as though saying, "Farewell," and dashed off into the forest, limping slightly after the Huorn's powerful blow.


Shaking her head groggily, Calenia looked up at the person who'd rescued her and relaxed her grip on the daggers slightly.

"Uh, thank you for rescuing me. I was worried you were going to kill me for a second there. By the way, I'm Calenia. I don't mean to sound rude and I really am thankful but, um, if you could get off me, Ice is in danger and I'd rather not lose a dear friend who just risked her life to save mine."

Shaking her head again to get the copper strands of hair out of her eyes, she gripped the daggers again, her gold-flecked green eyes flickering.
Etharion groaned annoyed as Ice nearly got crushed by the Huorn."Oyy!! You old pieace of floatwood!! im here come and get me!" and as he yelled that he sent a colorful burst of ..something.. at the tree creature.Hoping to distract it. It worked. It turned its head slowly and started flat footedly to stump its way to the elf, each step like the fall of a tree. Etharion walked backwards from the huorn keeping its eyes on him.
Erik got up off the she-elf feeling slightly, no actually, REALLY embarassed. But he didn't stop to apoligize or say "You're welcome," because Etharion was firing magic at the Huorn, attempting to distract the giant, clomping tree. "HEY!!!!!!" Erik shouted as one of the bolts sizzled past him. "You want to hit the tree, remember." Shaking his head he followed after the she-elf watching the Huorn the whole time. He dove and rolled as a huge branch came swinging toward him. Then as he rolled into an upwards position, he pulled out an arrow, nocked it, and sent it toward the Huorn's eye with deadly accuracy. It hit just it just below, and only managed to distract the tree even more. Erik pulled back to where the others were standing. Quickly looking around he noticed that someone was missing. "What happened to Ice, Etharion? I thought she was with you." Erik shot another arrow at the massive piece of living wood and continued to scan the trees for any signs of the wolf-sorceress.
A bush ruffled near Erik's feet and he turned to look. There was Ice, crawling out from under it, panting. She stood slowly, a comically funny, confused look entering her face. She swayed slightly as she looked at the Huorn, opened her mouth, and closed it again, seeming to think better of it. She opened her mouth, "There are more...." she whispered hoarsely and half-turned to point her hand behind her. She stumbled back a few feet, that confused look still on her face and cleared her throat, "They are quick, too," she managed, then fell face-first into the dirt, where it was a discovered that the back of her head was bleeding a lot, There was a long strip torn out of the back of her cloak, and the edges were soaked red...


Calenia rushes to Ice's side pulling out scraps of clothing and kneels next to the unconsious form. She quickly and deftly bandages Ice's head then half-carries and drags her out of the rampaging Huorn's path.
Etharion tried something diffrent now. Pulling out a bastard sword he stood Gandalf fashion with it and his staff in both hands. He concentrated and set afllame the sword with his staff. The blade burned with a green tinge as he swiped it at the tree. Feeling rather invigorated he continued to block the Huorns swipes and swiped back now and then disstresing it." Arhhhg!! Come on, you can do better than that!" he yelled." Is everybody there ok? We can leave now if you feel like it."
Etharion tried something diffrent now. Pulling out a bastard sword he stood Gandalf fashion with it and his staff in both hands. He concentrated and set afllame the sword with his staff. The blade burned with a green tinge as he swiped it at the tree. Feeling rather invigorated he continued to block the Huorns swipes and swiped back now and then disstresing it." Arhhhg!! Come on, you can do better than that!" he yelled." Is everybody there ok? We can leave now if you feel like it."
Cal yells at Ethy that Ice is hurt then turns to the stranger who rescued her.

"Um, hey you! Pick up Ice and let's get out of here!
Erik was about ot give some smart-mouth response like "So now I'm your slave, huh?" but then thought better of it. He quickly scooped up the limp form of Ice and followed after Etharion and the she-elf. He tried to carry her as gently as possible without losing a hold on her and dropping her. They would kill him if he did that.
Once they made it out of reach of the rampaging Huorns, Erik put Ice down and began to examine the wound on the back of her skull. From the way it was bleeding, he could tell it was a pretty bad injury. He looked at the she-elf. "I know how to heal but it requires some herbs. I'm not sure if they're around here. Either start healing her, or go get me the herbs." He was in no mood for small talk so his responses were blunt and to the point. If he was being rude he didn't care. It was politeness or saving a comrade. "Well?" he enquired. "You better be good at one of those or else you're completely useless." He turned back to examing the other wounds. Even if that last statement was a bit over the top, he thought, at least it will get her moving. Or, he pondered she could smack me, and then we'll have two injuries on our hands. He hoped she'd take the first option.
Ice stirred slightly, feeling something on her head. She opened her eyes slightly, and discovered her vision was blurred. Suddenly huge strikes of pain shot through her head and she fainted once again.


The sounds of battle died away and you all sudenly see no sign of Etharion or the huorn. Some time later Etharion comes through the bushes all torn up and bloody from spiky plants and the trees attacks. He still held his staff but his sword burned no more now. "Is everything allright here?" he asks not minding his scratches."Ice!! Is she ok?" he asked as he kneeled next to her."This dosent look good..We should both starrt fiying her up as soon as posiblle. But we need a safe place. Comon lets go!" he says. He secures his staff & sword on his back and picks Ice up and heads off through the undergrowth.
Ice blinks her eyes, feeling herself being moved. The jolting of footsteps bring her halfway to her senses. She realized that it was Etharion who was carrying her and she opened her mouth say thanks, but suddenly a tree root caused Eth to trip and nearly fall and jolting motion he caused made more waves of pain shoot through her skull. She passed out abruptly once again.


"&%$&#!!!" yelled Etharion as he triped on a root. " Its getting dark, we need to find some shelter." and he walks quickley but with greater care now so he dosent make Ice any worse.
"Geez you fool!" Erik yelled at Etharion. "I was gonna help her. You think I can't do this on my own?" he asked angrily. He follwed him and the rest of the group. His vision adjusted quickly to the darkness that was creeping in. "It looks like there's a clearing up ahead," he mumbled. "If we can get Ice over there soon, I can start a fire and we can camp there for the night. Then we'll figure out what to do about those gashes on her back and head." He looked at the rest of the group to see if the rest of them were all O.K. "I'm gonna go up ahead to see if the clearing is safe," he said to Etharion. He jogged up ahead and pulled out his weapons as a defense against anything that might have been waiting in the clearing.
After a minute he came to the clearing and set Ice down. He huridly gathered some wood and lighted a fire while Erik prepared his things.
Erik had gotten the rest of camp set up. He looked at Etharion and said, "I'm gonna go get some herbs for Ice. I assume you can heal so watch over her and make sure her condition doesn't get worse. I'll be back in a couple minutes." With that he grabbed his weapons and pack and headed into the forest to search for some healing herbs.
Etharion sat down next to Ice and looked after her." Im sorry Ice. I should have be more carefull, and stop the huorn first. But youll be allright. Erik is a great knower of the forest. Hell know what to do." he then turned to Cal and said."My powers are nearly gone. I must recollect them or ill be no use to anybody.If i dissapear before Erik returns tell him and Ice that i will be back as soon as i can."
"As you wish."
Cal sits back next to Icey, watching her until her strange rescuer returns.
Though the forest was dark and stiffling, Erik managed to keep his cool and search for the herbs needed to heal Ice. He found them within a relatively short amount of time and then returned to the clearing where he found a fire already burning. He strode over to the limp wolfish-figure on the ground and began preparing the herbs he had collected. He bit off a couple of the tops of plants to get to the syrupy liquid inside of the plant. "Hey," he said between a mouthful of plant, "you thik you could gepme phum water?" The question was directed toward the she-elf but it was hard to tell what he was asking because of the stems in his mouth. While she readied the water, Erik started to crush some of the herbs in his hands and begin mixing it with some of the syrup he had squeezed out of the saplings he had gathered. After awhile, when the water had fully boiled, he washed off Ice's cuts and spread the balm he had created from the herbs onto them. He sung softly as he worked. Whether it was an old work song he had been taught or an actual enchantment, it was hard to tell. But miraculously, as he worked, the balm seeped into the cuts and they began closing themselves up. He washed the salve off with more warm water. When that was finished he placed his palm gently on Ice's head. A tiny charm appeared to burn onto her skin, sink in and then dissappear as suddenly as it had come. With that done, Erik gave one last glance over her wounds and, appearing to be satisfied, wrapped them up. It was odd to see him work so long and hard on such a project because for once, it looked like he belonged where he was, doing what he was meant to be doing. He never glanced away from his task and he worked quite proficiently. When he was finished he had a look of satisfaction on his face. For once it looked like Erik had finally learned what helping people was all about.
"That was Incredible work. But I, um, still don't know your name. I'm Calenia."

Calenia stuck out her hand, and examined the stranger closely.
Ice slowly opened her eyes. Her head no longer pounded, Definite good sign, she thought. She looked around and found herself lying near a fire in a clearing in the woods. She looked up and saw clear blue sky above her head. She quietly got up and went to sit by Cal, saying, "Good morning, my dear friend. How have things been? Was it you, Erik, who healed me? Because if it was, you did a very good job!" She smiled.


"Well Ice, it's glad to see you back among the awake living, how ru feeling?"
Erik leaned back on a log and quietly smiled. It was good to see someone who had been dieing a few hours before, laughing and joking around. He was dead tired though. He didn't want to admit it to the others but if he didn't get some sleep soon, he was afraid he would pass out. When Ice asked if he had helped her he replied "Yeah. But it's no more than what you would have done for me." He squinted up at the rising sun. "Oh and by the way," he said to Calenia, "I apoligize for my rude behavior so far. It seems that since I met you the only thing I have been doing is yelling at you or knocking you over." He gave her a slight smile. "I'm Erik by the way." He shook her hand. "From the elven kingdom of Mirkwood."
(Sorry Ice but as i said im not there. Etharion left before you were conscius)
On the floor where Etharion was last seen, now only a shard of strange dark glass lied, in the shape of a crescent moon.
(Oopssses....ah well! I'll go edit that part, then...)

Ice grinned and said, "It feels wonderful to be awake again, Cal! You truly are a good healer, Erik, my wounds don't even ache." She looked around, "Um, Cal?" she said. "Where is Eth?"


"No need to apologise Erik, we were all rather stressed last night. Oh, Eth's power's were a little low after the incident last night, he said he needed to leave and regain them...he didn't say when he would be back though, sorry Ice. So what's the plan? Are we waiting here for him to return or are we going to be leaving? Oh, and if we are, might I suggest a little rest first for Erik, he was up most of the night caring for you, Ice."
Ice stood a minute, and stared expressionless out throught the trees. "Well, weren't we going to see Etharion's friend, Erik? If you want to get there quickly, then I guess we'd better head out. Eth should have no problem finding and catching up to us..." she said softly, looking at Erik and Cal. "What do you guys think?"


Erik shrugged. "I guess if we want to get out of this obviously dangerous forest, we should start heading off about now." He sighed. "Though it would be nice to get a little nap in before we set off on this new journey. Whatever you guys want I'll go with," he finished. He couid go for a couple more hours, he thought to himself. At least he hoped so. Wouldn't that be embarrassing if he was traveling with them and collapsed. No, thought to himself, I'll die before I show any signs of weakness. Though Erik had always been a determined elf, even as a child, it was often this stubborness that got him into comfrontations with the other adults and his parents. "You sure about Etharion though, Ice? I mean it's not like we can leave a note here saying 'Sorry, we headed off to your friend the sorcerer's place. Meet us there.' It'll be a little hard for him to track us and catch up." He gave her an unsure look and resettled himself back on his pack.
"I say we wait a few hours and see if he shows up. That way Erik can get his nap so we don't end up nursing him back to health as well."
Five hours pass, you all have a rest and Erik has a quick nap.No sign of the elf.
Ice stands up, stretching, and walks around the clearing to get the blood pumping in her legs again. Suddenly she trips over something on the ground. She turns around, and pickes up the strange object. Wonder what this is, she thought, turning the dark piece of glass over in her hands.


Erik looked over at Ice as she tripped over the object. "Hey Ice, what's that you got in your hand?" He walked towards her and examined the little glass object in the plam of her hand. "Could it be from Eth?" he asked her. The object sure looked harmless but Erik had come across enough "seemingly harmless" objects in the past. Like the Huorn that had amost killed Ice. There's definately some powerful magic coming from this tiny piece of glass, he thought to himself. He lightly put his hand on it as a surge of magic went through him. He quickly pulled his hand away. "That's no ordinary thing that you should find in the forest, Ice. I think we should just leave it alone," Erik cautioned.
As Erik touched the item, a unnatural sound was heard(something like when Gandalf tried to touch the ring, and the eye flashed). The forest grew a bit more darker and the trees seemd to be closer and more...aware. The sun was setting and a light mist was starting to seep out of the ground, crawling like the clutching fingers of death. A bird sang out, but was cut off in half as something stoped it. The moon was rising, a pale orb of milky white.
"Um, Erik...Ice...what is that thing?! Oh, and um, does this mean we're not leaving now? Cuz if so, something tells me we might wanna eat now."
"What the.....?" Erik looked around him at the unatural behavior of the surroundings. The tiny glass piece started to glow and shimmer from within. "Ice!" he yelled. "Drop it before it you get hurt or anything! C'mon I really don't fancy healing you again!" As he said this, the glass piece started to expand. A crystaline blue-green color shimmered inside the orb, and a black cloud started to pulsate around the ever-growing object. Ice seemed to be held to the orb and the darkness emitting from the globe seeped around her fingers and through her skin. There was an insistant humming noise growing around them and it progressively got louder and louder. The air grew tense. Suddenly it was almost painful to breathe. Erik felt his lungs try to expand but they felt like they had ropes tied around them, keeping him from getting any oxygen to his brain. He couldn't think. His vision started to fuzz and the last thing he saw was a heavy blue mist swirl around the ground like the hurling ocean waves against the rocks. He saw Ice and Cal but he couldn't tell what they were doing. Where are you now Etharion? he thought desperately. Why did you have to be gone now? Now that we need you the most? Those were his last thoughts before he blacked out and his vision went dark.
Cal watches as Erik blacks out and rushes forward to catch him as he falls. She turns to Ice.

"What should we do?! "
And gradually you all fall unconcius...................Some time later, you dont know how much, you wake up. You are in a dark space with no visible markings to tell you where you are.
Cal sat up goggily and looked around her. She noticed Ice and Erik lying nearby, just beginning to stir.

"Hey, guys, any clue where we are?"
Ice slowly shook her head and blinked. All she saw for a second were swirling lights. She sat up, looked around, blinked again. "Where are... what is this place?" she asked no one in particular. Standing up, Ice looked around again. She took off running to her right, and disappeared. A second later she reappeared from the left, still running. She skidded to a stop and stared at the others. She ran again, and reappeared again. She did this a few more times. "I'm open to ideas on where we are," she panted.


Erik woke up feeling like he had the worst hangover in his entire life. He slowly sat up, then suddenly feeling really sick, threw up on the ground next to him. He flopped back on the ground, panting for breath, and rolled away from the disgusting pile next to him. He groggily looked up at Cal and Ice. They were there but all around him was only darkness. He wondered if it was his eyes that were messed up (after all he felt like he had just had 15 pints of beer) and rubbed them to push the darkness away. When he stared at his surroundings again, they were the same. "Uggh........" he groaned. "Where, in the good name of Varda, are we?" He stared up at the infinite blackness above him. "I don't know about you guys but I'm all adventured out." After a few minutes he sat up. "Ok, let's take a look around this place." He paused. "Wherever we are......" He got up with the help of Cal. The whole pace seemed to be enveloped in smoky blackness. But suddenly there was a glint in one direction. A subtle glint, like the sheen of a curtain of water or the shimmer of a reflection in a mirror. Wait, Erik thought. It does look like a mirror..... But what was "it?" he wondered. He trudged toward it, ignoring the pounding in his head. As they got closer and closer to the glinting.......whatever......Erik made out the same color of the object they were holding that sucked them into this place. "Wait," Erik mentioned aloud. "Is that some sort of castle?" He thought he saw turrets, huge reflecting walls and gauzy banners waving in a non-existant breeze. He asked the others, "Are you guys seeing a castle or is that just my vision going all screwy again?"
"No, I see it too Erik. Though I'm rather confused, do you have any clue where we are? anyway, i say we head toward the castle, maybe there will be someone or something that can help figure out where we are and how to get back..."
"Yeah......" Erik's head still felt a little fuzzy but he decided that if they were ever going to find out their location, they had best head toward the castle.
As they got closer and closer to the silvery mass, the light around them increased and the darkness gradually faded away. The castle looked like a fantasy come true......almost like a picture in a children's storybook, Erik thought to himself. Suddenly, they found themselves right in front of it. If there was anyone, or anything, inside of that castle, they were about to find out exactly what it was.
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