Wavering Trust

Just outside the reach of the rest of the world, the Ashen Forest rises up around the city of Eldestra. Its lush green foliage encompasses the town to provide an ever changing landscape with the passing of seasons to it's residents. Just outside of the tree line the sun shines brightly above, warming the leafy canopy with it's rays. Within the forest though, the sky vanishes almost completely aside from a few fragments of light that pass through the treetops like pieces of an impossible puzzle. The only movement is the occasional squirrel rushing up a tree trunk or a bird starling the branches. Fingers of water branch off from the nearby river to carve small streams throughout the grounds here. It's at these streams where one might catch a glimpse of deer or wild boar stopping to drink from the cool liquid.

Bow at her back, Kaiyri slowly and silently follows the trails left in the soil, still moist from the morning dew that had to yet to dry in the warmth. A hood resides over her head so as not to frighten off her target with her red tresses while her feet replace several deer marks with her own steps until her boots come upon one of the streams. Here she stops, years of training come together as if they were a natural part of her and her silvery gaze follows subtle shifts here and there in the forest.

Check the hunting grounds just outside of Eldestra.

Aranvar stands just at the edge of the Ashen Forest, his eyes lifting up to watch the wind pick up sections of the thick tree line, whipping the late summer leaves into miniature frenzies. His arm involuntarily twitches, the bandage wrapped thickly around the injured forearm scratching his skin. Not that he actually believed the human male who gave him this information but it did not hurt to take a look and Aranvar is desperate for any sign and clue.

The tanned fellow sweeps locks of intrusive hair from his sights as he proceeds inwards, unaware fully of which path to take or even if he is walking on a unmarked trail. He continues walking, shadows cast by the sun dappling over his head and back as he makes his way further in, unsure of where he is supposed to do. As knowledgeable and skilled as Aranvar is about the sea, the land and these trees dumbfounded him. Sweat slips down his brow and his arm aches again, a clean line of blood welling up to stain barely the surface of his bandages. The forest seems never-ending, the trees stretching forever on-wards, the buzz of insects and life unseen thick in his ears.

Suddenly the tanned fellow swings on one heel, alerted to a crackling of a branch underneath a foot behind him. He makes a move back slowly, his heels taking calculated steps backwards while fixing a stare at the gloomy gaps between the trunks.

'What is with this Forest?' he swears barely under his breath before choking back his words as an old hunter's snare snaps shut around one ankle and a worn out rope swings out like a hungry snake.

"What the… !"

A genuine scream of surprise escaped Aranvar as the trap locks into place, leaving him to hang upside down from a branch of a tall oak tree.

Slender fingers release what should have been a pristine shot right into the heart of a grazing doe. Instead, the sudden scream in the distance fills the air just as Kaiyri unleashes the tension on her bow. The sound startles off the animal, and Kaiyri's arrow flies into the empty forest across the stream.

Incredulous, Kaiyri lowers her bow and stares silently into the dark wooded area she just shot into before her swears further scare off anything still roaming nearby. She contemplates ignoring whomever is shouting or confronting the source of her losing an easy payday. Glancing over her shoulder across the stream one last time, Kai decides she is just angry enough to possibly shoot a person instead. Hopefully they'll have a ransom or price on their head.

Removing another arrow from her back, she presses it into its familiar place in her bow. Keeping her weapon at the ready in front her, hood obscuring her face, she starts back toward the opening clearing.

Aranvar catches his breath in mid-scream, the entire length of his body now dangling upside down from the thick branch of an old oak. His ankle is caught by a coil of worn rope and the rusted teeth of an old snare. He tries to twist his body and the trapped leg with a jerking movement but only succeeded in making the knots tighter. The tanned fellow closes his eyes and curses under his breath as he spots his only means of escaping, on the ground. His dagger had fallen out of its scabbard when he was forcefully pulled upwards.

He sucks in a deep breath and attempts to bend himself upwards to reach the knots around the snare, his muscles straining at his waist and back. It is a good thing, he thought, that the boots of sailors are very thick indeed else that snare, worn or not, would had snapped the bones of his ankle. His fingers grasp at air as he struggles to reach the knot's frayed end. His back trembles and tightens in painful exertion as he pulls himself further forward.

It is no use.

The tanned fellow lets out a long wheeze of compressed breath and he falters back upside down, the violent drop shaking some leaves and twigs off the oak branch he is swaying on. Maybe someone will come this way and cut him down or he'd be food for the crows a few days later, he thinks groggily as a wavering haze comes over his eyes. Tired out from the blood rushing to his head, Aranvar faints.

Leaning her shoulder against the trunk of a tree, Kaiyri slides her bow over her shoulder, staring in utter confusion at the scene she walked into. Surely this was a joke of some sort. Or a trap. She blinks once, her gaze scanning the immediate area for anyone else nearby. Anyone accustomed to hunting in these areas knew to look for traps. Either someone really didn't like him or he had some seriously dumb luck. Feeling confident that no one was waiting in the distance to jump out, she walks beneath the man dangling in the air. Lifting a hand, she places her palm in front of his mouth and nose. Feeling the warmth of his breath against her skin, she lowers her hand again and checks for any injuries. His body turned from where he hung as she checked him over and her gaze finally falls upon the features of his face.

"Clearly sailors do not belong in the forest," She remarks with a laugh, shaking her head. Picking up the fallen dagger underneath Aranvar, Kaiyri takes a step back and begins moving undergrowth into a soft pile beneath him. As she works, Kaiyri mutters to herself about how he was too pretty for a broken neck and she expected a very large present now. Turning the dagger in her palm and heads to where the rope is pulled taut from his weight.

With a quick flash of the blade, she cuts the rope holding him suspended in the air. Cracking twigs and a large billow of leaves rush out in a large circle as he crashes back to solid ground.

The shock of hitting solid ground (despite the sad bed of hastily put together leaf litter) rattles through Aranvar and his eyes jolt open, irises twitching in a gray haze of confusion and agony.

He has fallen in an awkward position on his right, the arm lacerated previously by Valen Sylvanis' rapier had bent underneath his weight. The tanned fellow lets out a most ungainly moan and doubled up, the semi-healed wound breaking apart. The light streaming through the gathered treetops above him feels too warm, too hot, the bright heat splicing through his nerves. Turning with much effort, his face rubs against the leaves as he gasps into the sickly sweetness of damp forest soil.

It is only after a long moment that he realizes that he is no longer hanging and as the pain in his arm slowly dulls, the pinched nerves of his ankle return to remind him that he /was/ indeed earlier upside down from a tree. Aranvar turns up his head backwards, towards the light as he rights himself on his back, laying the injured, bleeding arm to rest on his side. He squints barely at the haloed silhouette above him.

His savior obviously.

The light is too bright. He lifts his better arm, his hand wiping across his eyes to shade them from the afternoon light as soil-stained fingers push locks of blonde away from his face.

Grey eyes meeting grey, and those subtle flows of dark red locks around her face. And the glint of the three silver coils on one ear.


Her name comes out in an awkward dry croak and he forgets the honorific as he recognizes her, realizing he is perhaps lying on the ground in the most comical position ever.

Two slender eyebrows rise upon noticing that Aranvar has regained consciousness while an amused grin quirks the side of her mouth as he garbles out her name in recognition.


Kaiyri lowers herself into a crouch beside him, creating a shadow across his features and hopefully relieving some of the light beating down on the forest floor as she looks him over.

"Aren't you quite the damsel in distress."

Her gaze is interested, even if amused at his predicament, and showing no real sign of finding him feminine or in immediate distress in the least, save the injury to his arm.

"You should probably see a cleric about that," Kaiyri remarks casually. Her words are reminiscent of a previous encounter between the two of them, and her head tilts slightly to gesture toward his open wound. She doesn't wait to see if he recognizes her meaning and instead turns the blade in her palm until the handle is faced outward, extending it toward him, and patiently waits for him to retrieve his weapon while he regains his composure.

Her brows crinkle together just slightly however, her eyes silently questioning what he's even doing out here but her questions remain securely trapped between her lips. At least until he gets off the forest floor.


A slight dryness etches into his throat as Aranvar automatically remembers he should not be calling her that way.

"Miss Kai." He corrects himself and flips his head back into the shade generously offered by her form crouching next to his side. Catching a breath, he rubs absently at his temple before flicking his sight upwards to look into her face. "Quite the damsel rescued, quite."

Aranvar follows her gaze to his arm wound and he offers barely a small shrug at his good shoulder as he props himself up slowly. His able arm shifts to take the dagger Kaiyri proffered before talking again. "Tilea would probably be the best choice right now, don't you think? It would probably had been better to get it stitched … just I didn't want her questioning." His voice trails off and then, the tanned fellow seems to blush barely, though the redness fades immediately upon his face as he continues speaking. "I'm not very good at sewing myself up either anyway."

The tanned fellow hooks his good arm upon one bent knee and begins a rather poor attempt at twisting back the unkempt bandages around his wounded forearm, his gaze turning away from Kaiyri as he starts in a strained tone :

"You remember that time, we were at the tavern? The group that came threatening me about Ashkera's murder." He pauses, fingers pinching and tucking away a length of bandage. "So, I met Ashkera's son the other day - that was how I got this wound. Then, there was this man who told me to go to the hunting grounds and I will find the person I was looking for."

Aranvar tilts his head, his gaze slipping sideways to look at Kaiyri's features. "He was a large man, a human. Hmm… he seemed injured, with a bad bruise on the right of his face." The tanned fellow lets out a scathing laugh, at himself apparently. "Whatever, I guess I trusted his words too much so I just decided to take my chances in the forests…"

"Because I don't have much time left." Aranvar says suddenly and then he trails off, looking away back at the trees behind him, perhaps as if he could just see the red edges of rose petals wavering in the shadows.

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