A Quiet Month in Winterspring

Cute and Quiet. Makes a lot of hand gestures, a bit like Yoda, but less green.

Topic/Postby Gergel » 21 Jun 2008, 22:39

A Quiet Month in Winterspring

IC Stuff

* * * * *

Eastern Winterspring, two days ago.

A Winterspring Owl hooted in annoyance and fluttered upwards. A trail of frozen vapour shot through where it had been hovering a moment ago. At the head of the trail, a tightly-packed shard of ice streaked in a perfectly straight line from a figure barely visible against the snowy backdrop into the thick fur of a giant bear. It reared on its hind legs, let out a bellowing roar, and dropped dead on its back as a second icicle embedded itself in its chest.

A white-haired, fair-skinned female Gnome dressed in all white ran past the flapping owl. She paid no heed to the bird who in turn did not attempt to attack her. Instead the Gnome knealt beside the dead bear, pulled out a skinning knife, and expertly skinned the corpse. With a few additional strokes she separated a large chunk of tender meat from the carcass, as well as a juicy flank. Then she jumped up and headed towards another bear a few dozen yards away.

The owl hooted again. This time it seemed most satisfied. There was plenty of meat left on the carcass and the bird settled down upon it to feast. In its tiny bird brain, the feeling of annoyance of having to dodge frostbolts and ice lances was largely overshadowed by the satisfaction of getting a free meal.

* * * * *

Northern Winterspring, two days ago.

Rivern Frostwind stroked Glacier, his tiger guardian. The tiger's ears perked and it sniffed the chilling wind eagerly. A mere few moments later there was a thudding of swift paws and a white riding tiger pulled up next to the two. A familiar gnome dismounted. She smiled at Rivern, patted Glacier (who seemed to enjoy the familiar motion), and dumped a bag's contents at the Elf's feet.

Rivern picked up five chunks of bear meat and five chunks of strange-smelling flesh which could only have belonged to the local chimaerae. He poked a small tangled pile of furbolg amulets with the toe of his boot.

"I am relieved," he said, "to hear that for a short moment, we will not have to worry about the Winterfall intrusion. And the meat you have brought is a welcome treat to the frostsabers I train."

The Gnome smiled at him. She pointed at the pile of items on the icy rocks, at herself and then made a sweeping gesture across the frozen Winterspring behind the Elf.

Rivern nodded. "Yes, Gergel. The Winterfall furbolgs are still encroaching on our lands and attacking the sabers. And the beasts themselves are still hungry and need feeding. I would appreciate it greatly if you would assist me with these problems once again."

The Gnome jumped on his tiger and the beast pounded away into the distance. Rivern huffed. The sabers raised by his Elven brethren in warmer climates seemed so... clumsy. It took a pile of metal armour and a complicated rein system to make one behave properly. And even then the rider required more skill than the tiger itself had.

Rivern picked up the pile of meat and walked to where his frostsabers had already gathered expecting their food. He quickly distributed the meat to the hungry beasts. And one of them, a lithe sharp-eyed she-cat, received slightly special treatment: a larger chunk of meat and the small pile of furbolg regalia. The smell on both items, Rivern knew, would cause an slowly building yet impregnable impression on the beast's mind. He was grooming that particular saber for a very specific purpose.

* * * * *

Eastern Winterspring, one day ago.

"Raaaaawwwwwrrrrrrrr!!!" yelled a grey furbolg. Its mad eyes could only see one thing: several of its brethren bearing down on a tiny white being in front of them. It leaped at the being to tear it to shreds.

The small humanoid figure thrust both hands forward. An explosion of ice radiated outwards from her. The attacking furbolgs stumbled, dropped, and found themselves frozen to the ground by large chunks of ice. The figure raised her hands. Her eyes flashed and wisps of vapour shot from her mouth as she breathed quickly. Large frosty spears shot down from the ever-windy skies and landed on and around the furbolgs. They never really had a chance. One managed to break free from the icy bonds and make a few steps forward. Then it dropped dead next to its companions.

Gergel gathered the furbolgs' meagre possessions -- a few pieces of cloth, a small flask of green horrible-smelling liquid, a few strings of amulets they thought would keep away evil spirits. She jumped on her white armoured tiger and they rode off to north once again.

* * * * *

Northern Winterspring, today.

A smile appeared on Rivern's face. His companion jumped to its paws and leaped a couple of steps forward eagerly. His second companion eyed them both with apprehension.

Gergel rode up to the Elf. With a well-practised move she once again emptied her bag. She waved at Rivern and turned.

"Gergel. Wait!" Rivern Frostwind said. The Gnome turned in surprise.

"You have done far more for me than most people I have met even dream of doing," the Elf said slowly. "While I very much appreciate your continued assistance, I realize that by asking this much of you I have drawn you away from your tasks outside Winterspring. And I suppose you must be freezing every time you..."

The Gnome interrupted her by raising a finger and smiling widely. She patted the snow beside her with a bare hand and did not look discomforted at the slightest. Gergel pulled both her arms sharply against her body and a shield of swirling ice particles appeared out of nowhere around her body. She conjured a tiny frostbolt on the palm of her hand.

"I see. You wield the frost magics and with that, you have become accustomed to the cold."

The Gnome nodded.

"I am glad. I would hate to cause you discomfort. Nonetheless, as I said, I cannot allow myself to keep you doing my chores any longer."

Rivern reached an arm backwards and beckoned to his other companion who was still standing a few yards away. A white tiger with light purplish stripes stepped forward gingerly.

"When I first met you, I told you that one day, if you work hard enough and gain my trust, I would grant you something very special. Something that even extremely few Elves possess, let alone other races.

"I think it is time I stood by that promise. Reach out your hand."

Gergel hesitated only for a moment. She trusted the Elf. The Elf trusted her. She reached out towards the frostsaber.

The beast sniffed the approaching hand once. Her eyes glowed and she leaped forward, pushing the surprised Gnome to the ground. Then her mouth opened wide... and she licked Gergel several times while the whole hill where they stood rumbled with her loud purring.

Gergel giggled -- the first sound Rivern had ever heard from her. She tried to put her arms around the frostsaber's neck but could not really reach. Nonetheless she pulled herself up and the two -- Gnome and saber -- seemed to flow and melt into one another as they walked around and rubbed against each other.

Rivern Frostwind smiled affectionately. "I have trained her especially for you. She will never accept another rider. You will find her far easier to control than any other tiger you've ever ridden. She will not need this clumsy saddle and harness --" he eyed Gergel's current mount a few steps away "-- this will do." He dropped a comfortable-looking woollen blanket across the she-tiger's back.

Gergel carefully took a hold of the beast and leaped on her back. The tiger stretched. The Gnome seemed to meld into her back. The beast made a tremendous leap and shot into the distance. A hundred yards away, at the slightest of prodding by Gergel, she turned and headed back.

Gergel's eyes shone with delight. She jumped off her new mount and hugged Rivern's legs tightly. The Elf knelt and embraced the short girl gently. "I hope you two will be very happy. Do come back and visit me sometimes. I still need someone to keep down the furbolg population and bring a few pieces of meat for my sabers, you know." He smiled.

"As for your old wintersaber," he stepped up to the beast and pulled its armor off, "I am sure that with proper diet, exercise and training he will one day be as good as any other saber around me. Do not worry. I will take good care of him."

The Elf watched them ride off into distance. The Gnome who did not speak, and the frostsaber who could not speak. He smiled, picked up the last chunks of meat Gergel had brought, and started towards the saber feeding grounds again.

* * * * *

OOC Stuff

* * * * *

Aaaand I'm done. You might have noticed that Gergel spent a lot of time in Winterspring these last few weeks. After a loooooot of grinding, the oh-so-rare Winterspring Frostsaber is finally mine. Of course, it wasn't all boring mindless worthless grind. I did end up making an incredible pile of money out of the whole deal.

All in all, I'm glad Blizzard increased the old world reputation rewards in a recent-ish patch. It would have taken me oh, four times longer with the old system. I think, however, that I would still have done it. Getting a Frostsaber has been my secret dream for quite a long time.

So what now?

I guess I could go and grind dragonkin for a few weeks to get all the four whelps... or something. We'll see.
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Topic/Postby Nysard » 23 Jun 2008, 12:38

Fantastic tale, really enjoyed it :)

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