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[Magic Hat] Wait For The Stars To Align

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Octi, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Octi

    Octi The Helpful Octopus
    Community Relations Division

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    June 16 Y7

    @Fëanor & @Jack Jackson


    Marmalade


    Magic Hat Guidelines
    • Welcome to your magic hat thread! This thread will not be moderated by staff.
    • You are free to get creative and expand upon the provided prompt however you like. If a location is not specified in the prompt, you are free to decide as partners what you would like to do.
    • Communication with your partner is encouraged!
    • Once you've reached six posts in this thread, feel free to come back to claim your trophy!
     
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  2. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    He had heard somebody once claim that sandstorms were the devil’s creation. Jack didn’t quite know about that given he wasn’t a religious individual, but they certainly were a struggle to say the absolute least. The winds having torn his pack away from him, all of his supplies had been lost to the storm and in his thoroughly desperate attempt to find shelter, Jack, himself, had found himself more lost in the desert than he had in a very long time. There was no telling anymore which direction Horizon was in as he trudged over dunes and shielded his eyes from the son, squinting in every which direction.

    Jack cursed himself for not being more prepared, for not realizing that there was a storm on the horizon, though it seemed to have come out of nowhere at all. As they sometimes did in places like Pandora. It truly could be unpredictable.

    Nearly an hour or so of wandering brought him to a fruitfall spot of green with a pond in the center, like a little untouched oasis. Jack was almost reminded of the day that he and the small group of fellows who were no longer here had discovered Horizon, the untouched patch of paradise in the middle of nowhere. But, really, he was too hired and too hungry to think hard about it.

    He focused on the water instead, sat on his knees in the grass as he cupped the liquid in his hands and took as much of it in as he possibly could. Twenty minutes later, he was on his tired feet again, stood under a tree that rose tall above his head and staring up at the big orange fruits grown at the top there. How was he meant to get those down exactly?

    Five minutes later, he was looking the fool as he started throwing rocks, hoping by some miracle, he might be able to knock one down.



     
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  3. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

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    280 Valian years
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    link


    [​IMG]

    Well, that had not worked as expected.

    Fëanor had decided to try the strange mirror traveling system after the incident with John, certain that he would be able to navigate the system with ease and wind up exactly where he wanted to go. Said destination was Horizon, a hidden paradise that had been settled only recently. It was supposed to be a test of the mirrors alone, but he supposed there was an ulterior motive to his traveling, especially after he heard what he did from his second-eldest son. He needed to see something that looked like home again, something that looked like the world in full bloom with no disasters on the horizon.

    But when he opened his eyes, he was forced to blink repeatedly as sand swirled through the air. This was why he did not enjoy his forays near Alqualondë, he muttered, but he had to admit that he had never experienced anything quite like this before. Yes, there was sand in Alqualondë, but it didn't move like this, and it certainly didn't feel like grit in his nose and throat and ears and everywhere.

    Horizon was supposed to be surrounded by this landscape, he heard, but he had barely listened when others explained to him how the mirrors were supposed to work. Of course he had assumed he would be able to figure it out, but it seemed the magic of this world was different from anything in his own. And now he was lost in the mess of swirling sand.

    He spent what felt like forever wandering before he saw a spot of blue in the distance. He made his way over only to see that there was a small pond there. His steps hastened when he thought of the cool liquid on his parched tongue and chapped lips, and he drank deeply as soon as he reached it, not fearing for his reputation. Who here would care to see him on his knees?

    A sudden thwack made him turn so quickly that he slid off his knees, sitting in the sand and looking up at a man he had not taken the time to notice. He looked human at first glance, and he was currently throwing rocks at a tree at an attempt to remove its brightly colored fruits.

    Fëanor wondered about the intelligence of humans as he called out, hoping the stranger knew what was going on with this sand and how he was supposed to go to Horizon. (It was pointless, he figured, to ask about the mirror. This one didn't seem like he would know anything.) "Do you know where we are?" he called out, then he felt as though he simply had to ask, "And... what are you doing?"


     
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  4. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    There was a good chance he looked like an idiot, but then, Jack didn't really expect to see anybody else or for anybody else to see him. Really, what were the chances? He was lost out there in the middle of the desert after a sandstorm that most people would have been smart enough to steer clear of. Normally, Jack would have been smart enough to steer clear of it, but it had practically come out of nowhere. This has never happened before, and it felt a little bit hopeless with the knowledge that these sands were just so big. Maybe he could have made some sort of judgement from the position of the sun, but he didn't know where Horizon was in comparison to his current position.

    So he just tried to focus on what he was doing, and by some miracle, what he was doing did manage to attract a bit of attention. A voice cut into what was otherwise silence behind him and Jack gripped the rock in his hand all the tighter, whirling around to stare at the stranger who was stood there a short distance from him. He'd never seen him before in his life, but it would have been an incredible coincidence if he had. The next thing should have been simple. Finding words, telling him that, no, he didn't know where they were, but for somebody like Jack it wasn't so simple at all. It hadn't been so simple for a very long time. Before the accident, he had been a quiet boy, he hadn't spoken very much at all, but then suddenly, he couldn't speak and it was like he'd taken the ability to do so for granted. Communication was the most difficult obstacle he found himself with and even now, he seemed to hesitate, his gaze dropping slightly and then looking back as he finally shook his head.

    He honed in on the second question, following the stranger's gaze toward the colorful fruits at the top of that tree and he lifted a hand to point before gently pressing his fingertips to his lips as though to try to signify to the man that he was hungry. Maybe they couldn't be eaten at all, maybe they were dangerous, and maybe Jack knew that his choices very well could have been to die of starvation if he ended up lost in this dunes longer than he wanted to be or to risk the mystery fruit at the top of the tree.

    But then he was staring again. Jack had always been good at staring, though he'd grown more self-aware during his years in Pandora. Still, the sight of those pointed ears poking out from behind the man's dark hair threw him off guard despite the fact that he knew he had seen others with them. Elves, he believed they were called. Creatures of myth where he came from, but here in Pandora, they were real like so many other impossibilities.



     
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  5. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
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    [​IMG]

    The human pointed up at the brightly colored fruits before tapping his mouth, a signal Fëanor didn't quite recognize. Was he unwilling to talk to him, like some crony of John's who had come through the mirror just to treat him like a second-class citizen, or... well, the hand signal was clearly some type of communication. Was the man unable to talk?

    Fëanor had never heard of such a thing, but he would ask nonetheless. "Can you talk?" Sure, the question would likely sound patronizing, but he was curious as to how someone could have the prowess to aim rocks at a high point on a tree but not enough to speak. It would also prove if he was a decent person or one of John's people, if John had told him how to use the mirrors incorrectly on purpose just to land him here with a man whose only communication was tapping on his mouth.

    Perhaps the tapping on his mouth meant that he couldn't speak, Fëanor realized - or that he was hungry, given the fact that he was attempting to throw rocks at a tree in this climate in order to get to the fruits. They were nothing like Fëanor had ever seen before, but he had to admit they looked good, especially now that he had tasted far too many mouthfuls of gritty sand. If they were juicy on the inside, he might soon be willing enough to climb the tree and get some for himself.

    He hadn't climbed a tree in far too long - since Nelyo had gotten stuck up one when he was little, but that one was shorter, and just thinking about Nelyo made his heart clench - but he didn't see any other ways to get the fruit down. Shaking the tree might work if the human wasn't on it, but that was the only thing Fëanor could think of with the resources he had. The water couldn't help him much, nor did he have any of his supplies from the forge that he could have tried to use to cut the tree down or throw at a fruit. The tree might be able to hold him, but for now, shaking might be better. The last thing he needed was for John to pop up out of nowhere and see him halfway up a tree of all things.

    Frustrated with his inability to find a quick solution, he asked, "Is it worth shaking, do you think," wondering if the human knew much about this kind of tree or the fruit it held. He had never seen anything like it, but he was trying to put his curiosity about the human and the environment aside for now in the face of the puzzle to solve. Introductions and chit-chat could come after the fruits were safely down on the ground.


     
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  6. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    The elf looked confused, and Jack couldn't exactly blame him for that. It wasn't the first time he had watched somebody stare at him with that perplexed look, trying to work out what the issue with him was. That he just didn't talk? Once upon a time, that was all it had been, and Jack could only wish that was all it was, but that was far from the case now. He was missing something precious that he had taken for granted, and he would have given the world to have it back. Or maybe he wouldn't, not anymore. Not when he'd had that opportunity only for Apollo to grasp it and take it away from him once more. It had hurt. It had hurt literally and figuratively.

    Communication would always be his biggest obstacle and as he stared at the other man, he couldn't help but feel just a little bit useless, his shoulders slumping his response to that question. He wanted to nod his head, but it would have been a lie easily thwarted, so he shook his head, dipping his gaze momentarily. There was the option to write, of course, but he had nothing to write with or on, and there was no telling the elf would even be able to read what he wrote for him. There were a hundred reasons for this situation to be the opposite of ideal.

    At the very least, though, he did seem to understand what Jack was trying to do, the redhead's gaze following that of the dark-haired man up toward the fruits at the top of the tree once more. Shaking it was a thought, but the tree struck Jack as incredibly sturdy. Still, there was nothing at all to lose, so he glanced back to the elf and gestured for him to come closer and he moved to the tree's side. He'd already made a fool of himself in front of the other, so how much worse could it possibly have gotten? And at the very least, maybe the pair of them could be a fair of fools together.

    There was nothing to lose, and nothing else to do either besides wander the desert hopelessly.



     
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  7. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

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    Location:
    67 River Styx Lane, Midcourt, Pandopolis
    Race:
    Noldor Elf
    Age:
    280 Valian years
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
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    link


    [​IMG]

    The man shook his head, confirming Fëanor's idea that he couldn't speak. This only made things even more difficult - how was he supposed to plan a way out here, or even ask where he was, if the only other person around couldn't speak? Then again, he was not known for backing down from a challenge, nor was he planning to start. He would simply have to do things the stranger's way and hope they found their way to another mirror (or civilization) before too long.

    In the meantime, he would do what he could - namely, shake the tree, because he was not nearly desperate enough to try to climb it yet. When the man nodded his approval, Fëanor walked around the base of the tree, looking for an area that might be weaker than another, or perhaps a fruit that was already dangling. There was one that looked like it was hanging a little lower, so he motioned the stranger over, feeling a little funny speaking if there would be no response, and settled himself on one side of the loose-looking fruit. Hopefully, the other man would take his place on the other side, and they could begin to shake.

    The shaking was a tedious process - the tree was indeed rather sturdy, and although Fëanor had hoped for a quick and easy solution, that was definitely not what he was getting. As he shook and shook, he became angrier, thinking of how the only reason he was even out here was because that obnoxious fool named John Uskglass had walked through a mirror into his house, and he had to try it too. But why didn't it work for him? He thought he had done everything exactly right, so much that he broached the silence and asked the man another question: "Did you come here via mirror as well?" Perhaps he had made the same mistake - or perhaps he came from nearby and knew of a way out...

    In the meantime, Fëanor continued to shake the tree as hard as he could, using muscles honed from years of forge work to get it to shake even a little. The one fruit that he spotted at the beginning looked looser, which only spurred him on.

    He didn't know how much time had passed, but eventually, that little strand broke off from the rest, leaving a single fruit to begin its plummeting fall down to the sandy ground...


     
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  8. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    More than used to those sorts of silence but easily readable responses to the news that he could not help carry a conversation, Jack felt himself absently sink his teeth self-consciously into his lower lip as he averted his gaze once more. He tried his best when it came to communication, but there were such severe limitations to what he could and could not say, and more often than not, those limitations meant not using his voice at all. Still, he supposed the man hadn't given up on him entirely, though it was just as likely the only reason for that was because he was the only person around. Jack felt useless in the state he was in now. He had once recovered in a miraculous way, he had once been a councilman in Horizon. And frankly, he had been terrible at the job for a number of reasons, but he had been physically capable of it and that had meant quite a lot to him. Now, though? Now, after Apollo had stolen away the gift he had given to him and rendered him a hopeless mute once more, what use was he at all?

    But then, could you really steal something you had given as a gift? Perhaps Jack had never deserved it at all.

    Whatever the case, it was gone and nothing could be done. Truth be told, were he given that opportunity once more, he didn't think he would take it, the feeling of his tongue slowly rotting away in his mouth until it was gone entirely once more leaving a bitter taste in his mouth, both literally and figuratively. It had been traumatic and sometimes, it felt like a miracle that he wasn't thinking about it at all. But he was thinking about it then.

    Thankfully, the dark-haired stranger stole his attention back again as he watched him move toward the tree to shake it, motioning for Jack to move to the other side. He seemed to have his eyes on the same fruit he'd been uselessly chucking rocks at, which looked like it might be in a state where it could fall from the tree with a bit of extra prodding. So the red-haired young man positioned himself on the other side of the tree and, giving the man a slight nod, proceeding to start shaking it. What a pair of fools they must have looked, but it could have been worse. They could have been out in the middle of the desert with no hope of food or water.

    Glancing distractedly back to the man when he asked that question, he shook his head. There had once been a time he could firmly say that he had no idea what mirrors he was referring to, but during his time as a councilman, he had learned quite a lot. There was little he could say in response, but still, his mind did wander as he tried to figure out how he could give him at least a little bit of helpful information. There were words, though, here and there which he could still say without use of a tongue to help him, and Jack managed one now. "... Home." It sounded strange from his lips, rounder than it should normally have, and a bit muffled as though something were just missing.

    There was a sense of accomplishment, though, from just saying one simple word and as though on cue, the fruit suddenly felt from its branch, nearly clobbering the elf right in the head on the way down. Jack's lips twitched to a smile.



     
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  9. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

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    67 River Styx Lane, Midcourt, Pandopolis
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    280 Valian years
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    Fëanor nearly let out a jubilant shout as the lone fruit finally fell from the tree - although all that would have led to was a mouthful of sand. He nearly missed the human's remark, but he turned around when he did, internally thanking who- or whatever was translating so he could understand. "Your home? Where is your home? Do you remember how to get back?" he asked. There was no way anyone would live amidst swirling sands like this, and that was the first lead he had on how to get back to any sort of civilization.

    In the meantime, however, the fruit still remained on the ground. Fëanor approached it, noticing some strange spikes on the fruit that lay somewhere between orange and yellow in color. It didn't resemble anything near Tirion, or even anything he found on one of his expeditions into the strange areas of Valinor with Nerdanel during their early years of courtship.

    "Have you ever seen a fruit like this?" he asked the stranger, knowing that this would at least be answerable with a simple nod or shake of the head.

    In the meantime, he examined the fruit more closely. There were some small spikes, but he could situate his fingers between them to not draw any blood. The flesh of the fruit was wrapped in the spiny carapace, and with no way to get a firm grip on it, there was no way to peel it back. Grumbling under his breath, he soon turned to the human once more. "Do you still have that stone?" he asked, his first idea involving smashing the fruit even if that would sacrifice some of the juice.

    But just as soon as he asked, he realized a problem. If he held the fruit in one hand and tried to smash it withe the rock in the other, he would just drive the spikes into his hand, and the last thing he needed was to be unable to work. He looked around for a place to put the fruit, wondering if there was some solution to this that he was missing. Letting the human in on his thought process, he said, "If I just hit it, the spikes will hurt me, but I do not know how else to break it - do you have any ideas?" This could be nonverbal as well, as he soon held the fruit in his hands out towards the human, wondering if he would have any better ideas than his own.


     
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  10. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    The dark-haired man with pointed ears had quite a lot of questions and they weren't always easy questions for him to answer. Horizon. It wasn't a word he could say, and Jack was caught in another moment of uncertainty, his eyes slipping away from the other as though searching for a way to communicate in the environment around him. His lips parted, rounded, tried to form words, but all that left his lips was a quiet, choked sort of sound as though it were sinking in for the hundredth time that he was not the recovered individual he had been a month ago. But knowing how to get back, that was an easy question to answer, though disappointed just as well. Jack shook his head.

    Rounding the tree to stand beside the other man, he stared down at the fruit in question, his brow furrowing. Another shake of the head. He'd never seen a fruit like it in his entire life, and he did like to believe that he'd seen quite a lot in Pandora. And yet Pandora's nature always made certain that there was something new to be seen everywhere you looked. This moment was no exception at all.

    Realization that the spikes on the colorful spiny fruit would hurt his hands if he tried to hit it left them with a perfectly reasonable concern and for a moment, Jack just stood there, his gaze slipping to the rock on the ground a ways away, the same one he'd been throwing up at the fruit. But then it dawned upon him, an idea. Eyes widening a fraction, he looked back to the elf and brightened up just a bit, his hand suddenly reached for his belt where some tools hung by his side, namely the small chisel and hammer. As little as they were, he thought they might've been the appropriate size to squeeze between those spikes.

    And so, suddenly, the redhead was crouched in front of the elf, hunched over the fruit as he narrowed his eyes, positioning the chisel carefully as though he were getting ready to start on a sculpture, but when he smacked the hammer into the end of the chisel, it wasn't with the same sort of care he would have when working with stone. It took three hammers, the third significantly stronger than the last before the fruit suddenly split open, making way for the soft citrus-y orange of the inside. A triumphant smile on his face, Jack jumped to his feet, swiveling his gaze toward the man at his side.

    Well, it seemed even with no voice, he'd found a use for himself.



     
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  11. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

    Posts:
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    Location:
    67 River Styx Lane, Midcourt, Pandopolis
    Race:
    Noldor Elf
    Age:
    280 Valian years
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    Fëanor's query about the stranger's home didn't seem to go anywhere (not that it could go many places, if he was unable to speak). He seemed dejected even when the fruit came down and Fëanor put it on the ground.

    But just as Fëanor was wondering what to do, the stranger pulled out a chisel, one just like Nerdanel's (ai, how he missed her, but this was no time to get sentimental), and began trying to make a hole in the fruit. He knocked once, twice, and then with a powerful third swing, the fruit cracked open, displaying an orange-yellow center.

    "Ah!' Fëanor exclaimed, approaching the human as he stood up. It seemed that even without being able to speak, he was still intelligent, which bolstered Fëanor's hope for getting out of this place. He flashed a smile at the stranger before kneeling down and examining the fruit.

    More than the color, the smell - and the taste, once he touched a bit of the juice with his finger and slipped it into his mouth - reminded him of a concoction he had tried in Alqualondë on a state visit. It was made from one of their local fruits - not quite this one, because had seen the trees and the fruits were not nearly as high up - and then it was spread on bread like a jam but without the sweetness of apples or ripe berries.

    "This is like marmalade," Fëanor said as the word popped into his head. "A Telerin concoction." He looked down into the open fruit again, the gravity of the situation beginning to impress itself upon him.

    They needed to get out of this place (no one would go looking for Fëanor, nor did he know if anyone was interested in finding the mute man), and with the fruit, there was at least an option of attempting to travel. They could try to get some more fruits, perhaps, and then drink their fill before heading out. Hopefully the fruits would keep them well-fed and hydrated until they found the man's home. Hopefully...

    "Even with this fruit, we cannot stay here forever," Fëanor said, picking up the fruit and standing up. "Do you think that if we work more on this tree, with a combination of shaking and using your chisel, that we might be able to get more fruits down, enough to carry us on a journey to your home?"

    Even knowing he wouldn't get a verbal answer from the stranger, he hoped they would be able to plan things together. Fëanor at least didn't plan to spend the rest of his eternal life wandering around a desert.


     
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  12. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    People made quite a lot of assumptions about Jack Jackson. That had been the case even before he had lost the ability to speak. Back then, he had just been naturally quiet, self-mute as some may have called it, and people had taken his silence as that of a fool. It wasn't only that, of course. It was his background, it was growing up in the woods with no real education. But then, that wasn't true. He wasn't stupid. He taught himself how to read and write at an early age, and he was sharper than just about anybody gave him credit for. It was a little bit better now, with his history in Horizon as one of its founders and one of its former councilman, however terrible he may have been at the job.

    The smile the elf flashed him brought a faint one to his own lips as well, that sort of acknowledgement doing well to make him feel slightly less useless. It was easy to feel useless and hopeless when you couldn't speak, when communication came as much of a struggle as it did for somebody like him. The only relief, he supposed, was the fact that the other was willing to work with him. But then, what choice did he have, stranded out here in the middle of the desert?

    Listening to him, his gaze returned to the tree in question, his expression thoughtful for only a moment before nodding his head, a gesture more firm than any he had made thus far. Perhaps his success in cracking the fruit open had left him with confidence more that they wouldn't be trapped here forever, that they really would make it home. Whatever the case, he didn't waste any time at all as he got to his feet and returned to the tree again, his beckoning gaze returning to Feanor as he waited for the elf to join him.

    From there, they didn't stop, the two of them feverishly dropping fruits from the tree. Some came easier than others. Some didn't want to come down at all and they stopped hoping. Even so, they had six decently sized ones by the time they were done.

    Then Jack was crouched by the water, drinking his fill, his hands cupped together again and again as he downed the warm, fresh substance he had needed more than he realized. If only they could have taken it with them for their journey, and at that thought, his gaze started to shift to the bushes, to the light undergrowth, to the water, trying to spy anything they could carry water in even if it only lasted them a short while and disappeared with the blazing heat overhead. Something was better than nothing at all. With no ideas coming to mind, though, Jack felt himself shift a hopeless gaze toward his newfound companion once more.

    It was the only thing holding him back from starting on their journey, the idea that it might be longer than they intended. The idea that they might go in the wrong direction, the idea that they might make a mistake and end up parched out in the desert, left to die in the heat.



     
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  13. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

    Posts:
    174
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Owner & Blacksmith at Mind Over Metal
    Location:
    67 River Styx Lane, Midcourt, Pandopolis
    Race:
    Noldor Elf
    Age:
    280 Valian years
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    Fëanor joined the human again by the side of the tree when he motioned, and used all the strength he could muster to get more fruits down. It took a little while, but after the first, several more plopped into the sand until they had eight fruits, two of which looked under-ripe and unsafe for eating. The other six, however, looked good, and gave Fëanor hope that they would not be stuck in the desert forever.

    With the success in this area came the hope of success in others, so Fëanor knelt down and had more water, sure that he looked quite debased for a High Prince, but the heat and the swirling sands were enough to make him desire water above keeping his reputation - not to mention that if this human couldn’t speak, he also couldn’t tell tales of Fëanor on his knees in the dust.

    When he drank his fill, he stood up again, looking at the opened fruit and at the ones still on the ground. Even with the juice inside each fruit, it might not be enough to get them back to safety without a way to transport water. But then he looked at the fruit again, the open one that still had at least some bits of shell left…

    “Take out your chisel,” Fëanor said when the stranger looked at him, perhaps lacking any ideas of his own. Between the two of them, they might be able to create waterskins out of what they had - and the only watertight things they had were six spiky fruits.

    “If we can get the fruits to splinter in such a way that they leave a mostly-round interior, we should be able to extract the fruit and fill the husk with water. If we each have one of those husks, we should be able to keep a good amount of water with us on the journey.” He wasn’t sure if this would actually work, but it was the best thing there was - a leaf wouldn’t hold water for long, and he didn’t have any sort of container on him that would be of any use. It might take some precision work, but with his own skill (and likely the stranger had some as well, seeing as not many people carried chisels around), it was the best option he could see.


     
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  14. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    The elf's idea was genius, truth be told, given the limitations the pair of them had been presented with. Jack looked up at him a moment longer before suddenly scrambling to pull out his tools again so that they could get right to it. The quicker this happened, the sooner they could go, and the sooner they could reach Horizon. Hopefully. It was just as likely they would go in the wrong direction and die out there in the desert, but it didn't do either of them any good to dwell on everything that could go wrong. Everything had already gone wrong, hadn't it? A sandstorm had led them here. It could have been worse, though. They could have been entirely alone, and the company wasn't exactly terrible either. The man was patient with him, and that was what mattered.

    A man whose name he hadn't gotten, but Jack hadn't quite worked out how to ask him without resorting to writing it in the dirt, and that all depended upon whether or not his newfound companion to read the English he had taught himself.

    More important even than a name, though, was cracking those two fruits open so that they could extract the contents just as he had suggested. Moving back to the fruits they had managed to get down from the tree, Jack took care to push it round in the dirt to a more secure position with his boot before he crouch low above it, position his chisel and smacking the hammer against it. Once, and then again, and then once more. With the last swing, the shell of the fruit splintered across its surface. A faint smile twitched across Jack's lips as he glanced up to the dark-haired elf, giving him a firm nod as though to try to silently show his appreciation for the brilliant idea.

    His attention had shifted already to the other fruit, though, as he rolled the splintered one over to the other so that he could start the fruit extraction process, which Jack could only hope would be an easy one. If this didn't work, he didn't know what other option they had as far as carrying water with them went. If that were the case, perhaps their best option was to drink their fill and venture out into the desert, hoping for the best case scenario.

    That sounded a bit like a suicide mission.



     
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  15. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

    Posts:
    174
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Owner & Blacksmith at Mind Over Metal
    Location:
    67 River Styx Lane, Midcourt, Pandopolis
    Race:
    Noldor Elf
    Age:
    280 Valian years
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    The man (it was strange to think of him like this, but with no way for him to get a name out of him, it was Fëanor's only option) seemed to approve of Fëanor's idea to use the fruits as makeshift waterskins, and quickly took out his tools and got to work. Like the original fruit, the new one took a few whacks before it began to splinter, but with some more precision, it looked like it might actually work.

    "You are very welcome," Fëanor said at the man's appreciative look, likely his closest way to express his thanks. He leaned over to look at the fruit, hoping there would be an angle to lift a piece of the shell away and dig at the insides. The fruit itself would be a good snack, one for each would be enough to fuel at least part of their inevitable journey, and perhaps during the time it would take to hollow the fruits and fill them, some of the swirling sand might dissipate. There was no way it was like this all the time, even in a desert...

    Fëanor would work together with the man to get the fruits open, prying first the one he had struck with his chisel and then another of the large, ripe specimens. Hollowing out the fruit would take time, but at least without the spikes in the way, he would be able to use his hands to hasten the process. It was definitely not the most dignified pose for the High Prince of the Noldor, but he knew that if he ever wanted to get back to a place where that title mattered, he would need to do whatever was necessary for survival.

    Once he hollowed out his own fruit, he would eat the flesh inside, marveling at how much it helped to protect him from the dry mouth inflicted by the wind and sand. He would then kneel by the water once more, drinking as much as he thought he could before dipping the fruit in, trying to fill it with water. However much would go in was better than nothing, and he still saw no better alternatives around. Perhaps Tyelko would have known if he was there - which gave Fëanor another idea.

    "You said your home is around here, yes?" he asked, turning back to the stranger once his fruit was full of water. "My son Tyelko says that he can tell directions by the position of the stars in the sky. I know there are no stars now, but is there anything you know that could help us pick a direction to begin our journey?" If not, they would have to choose a random direction and trust in luck, something Fëanor didn't particularly care to do. He could only hope the man knew the climate better than he did.


     
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  16. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    There was no telling how well this would work, no telling whether or not the water would just evaporate into the air the moment they began their trek beneath the burning sun overhead. A part of him wondered if it would be smarter for them to wait until the sun started to go down, but it didn't as though that would be for a few hours and that was at the absolute least. No, there was no telling what could have happened in that amount of time and the cold of the night was just as dangerous as the heat of the day, as Jack had quickly learned during his time living out here in the desert. And it had been a long time now. He never did stop to think about it, but it had been a long time.

    Eventually, the pair of them had some hollowed out fruits and Jack was just finishing filling his own with water when he heard the elf's question, lifting his gaze toward him as he remained crouched by the water's side. His blue eyes drifted away then toward the sky above, squinting his eyes and lifting one hand to shield them from the sun. But it was the sun he was watching, knowing you could determine at the very least which direction was which from the positioning of the sun. It was something his mother had taught him all those years ago, which somehow left that knowledge in a special spot in his heart. He missed her more than he missed anybody, even Guinevere, somebody he thought he may have truly considered to be the love of his life. But then, Jack Jackson was a hopeless romantic even if he had never realized it.

    Predictable silence followed Feanor's question, but it was clear that Jack was trying to determine and answer as he got to his feet, nearly losing his balance a split second in his own distraction, but he caught himself easily as he continued to stare up at the sky, trying to work out which direction they had gone in. He remembered looking up at the sun before the storm had hit, but the storm had blurred it all. By then, he hadn't been focused on where he was or which direction he was going in. He had just been focused on finding some form of shelter, but there had been the occasional glance, the lucky sight of sun piercing through the storm overhead.

    And he thought, he thought just maybe he knew.

    Still, the look on his face wasn't exactly a surety, but he did look toward Feanor, hoping and praying that he could say yes. And he did, giving him a silent nod of the head. The hesitation was clear, but there was at least a glimmer of hope in his eye. Whatever the case, he either knew or he didn't. It wouldn't change the fact that they had to start walking at some point. Jack's gaze flicked up toward the sun and he pointed upward toward it and then out into the desert in the direction the sun was headed. West. Horizon had to be west of here. Or he thought so. He had never been so hopelessly lost in the desert before, so all he could do was try his best.

    He supposed he was just thankful that this elf was patient as he was tall and elegant.



     
  17. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

    Posts:
    174
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Owner & Blacksmith at Mind Over Metal
    Location:
    67 River Styx Lane, Midcourt, Pandopolis
    Race:
    Noldor Elf
    Age:
    280 Valian years
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    It was unsettling to Fëanor as the man looked up at the sky, seeing something Fëanor didn't understand and telling him which way to go. Yes, he had water for now, and some food, but he was essentially putting his life in the hands of this stranger, trusting in his ability to read the skies even in this storm. It was... honestly, far more of a risk than even Fëanor was known to take, but there was no chance otherwise, and he would not spend the rest of his life by this oasis, waiting for the fruit to rot and the water to dry up, alone with nothing but his thoughts.

    He nodded at the stranger, wondering if he was about to die wandering in the desert with only this silent stranger for company, but he had to shake that thought out of his mind. He needed to focus on survival, or there would be no chance at all.

    "Let us go," he said simply, taking his first few steps in the direction he indicated. Fëanor tried to find surety in his eyes but couldn't see it completely, and eventually he ended up shaking his head again and continuing to walk in the direction the man indicated.

    Breathing quickly became difficult, but Fëanor did his best to concentrate on why he was moving forward. Every step was getting him closer to his son, to Káno, who he still needed to learn more from regarding his horrible future. And he would need to change things... a corpse in the desert could change nothing, especially if no one even knew he was there, so he had to keep going through the swirling sand and the gritty taste in his mouth and texture on his teeth. He had to keep going, protecting his water as best as he could, and holding the other fruits as tightly as he could without injuring himself on their spikes.

    Hopefully their journey would be fruitful in other ways, and lead them to wherever this stranger was from. They might even be able to explain to him his error with the mirrors that had led him here in the first place...


     
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  18. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest

    It was difficult to tell how much time had passed after they had started to walk. Jack was admittedly glad for the company even if the conversation was both incredibly light and incredibly one-sided. There was a certain comfort in knowing that he wasn’t out here alone even if the dark-haired elf at his side wasn’t somebody he really knew at all. And yet there was a part of him that was willing to pour his trust into him, though he couldn’t put into words why. Maybe it was his sense of desperation clinging to the only thing giving him hope.

    At the very least, it had to have been an hour. Probably more than that, much more than that, and by then, Jack’s pace was a slow trudge behind the elf, trying to hold onto the fruits into his arms. He was tired, the sweat rolling from his forehead, from the base of his neck down the length of his back. His red hair was frizzy, roots damp. The sun was a relentless force, it seemed, and Jack had told himself he would be okay. He was used to the desert, he was used to this heat.

    And yet he was lagging behind his companion now, his blue eyes staring down at his feet as though watching like a hawk to be sure his trudging legs didn’t trip. And yet they did just that. Jack stumbled and although he managed to catch himself, his fruits went tumbling to the sand, most of what was left of the water inside one of them spilling from it.

    Suddenly, Jack was dropping to his knees, maybe just exhaustion or from a sense of desperation as he scrambled to reach for the fruit and roll the opening upright again.

    Were they going the right way? Were they going to dry up and die out here?
     
  19. Fëanor

    Fëanor Tolkien Legendarium
    Drama Prince of the Noldor

    Posts:
    174
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Owner & Blacksmith at Mind Over Metal
    Location:
    67 River Styx Lane, Midcourt, Pandopolis
    Race:
    Noldor Elf
    Age:
    280 Valian years
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    The journey proved more arduous than Fëanor had expected, his mouth and eyes quickly feeling dry and itchy to the point of pain, not to mention the way his feet did not find full purchase on the shifting ground and every step felt like two, if not more. If even one thing had gone right - the air, the temperature, the ground - then he would not have felt nearly as exhausted shortly into the journey, but as things were, he began to tire very swiftly, grumbling under his breath that he was the High Prince of the Noldor and deserved far better than to die out here.

    The very thought of death propelled him to go on, even when he saw his companion beginning to stagger in his steps. The elf was still able to move more smoothly, even though the impaired sight made things difficult, but the human was moving much more slowly and erratically, not bestowed with the natural grace of elvenkind. Fëanor slowed his steps a little, knowing that this man was his best chance of finding his way out, but if things got too dire, well, he might just have to strike out on his own. He could not die here, after all. He still needed to figure out how to turn his silima back home into its full potential...

    Suddenly, the man fell to the ground, his fruits beginning to roll away, including the one with the precious water. Fëanor ran over, trying to nudge that one with his shoe before grumbling again and putting his own precious fruits aside, trying to quickly save what little water the pair of them were able to save from the oasis. He braced his own water-filled fruit between his knees, letting the others begin to drift away. As soon as he was able to, he would stand and retrieve them, using his superior agility to waste the least amount of energy possible.

    As he finally retrieved the last fruit, Fëanor saw something in the distance. He wasn't entirely sure what it was - his vision was rather impaired from the swirling sands - but it looked like some sort of shape. Was it an animal? They needed water to live, and his companion could replace the precious liquid he had wasted... or was it another person? Were they getting close to the stranger's home, or was that being far too optimistic?

    Either way, Fëanor reached out his hand and pointed, his voice coming out in little more than a rasp. "Something is out there," he said. It was likely too far for the human to see given his inferior senses, but if they headed in that direction, then maybe, just maybe...


     
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  20. Jack Jackson

    Jack Jackson Guest


    KINDLY UNSPOKEN
    and silence speaks louder than words

    The moment he was on the ground, it didn't take any time at all for his elven companion to backpedal, hurrying to his side to help him save what little previous water they had. Neither of them wanted to die out here. They were both desperate, though Jack had to wonder just how desperate. If he lagged too far behind, would the dark-haired man leave him? Would Jack have done the same? No, he didn't think so. However distant he could be from others, life was a precious thing and he had no reason to damn the elf to a slow, burning death out here on the sands. He would have helped him trudge through the dunes, he would have attempted to carry him, he would have done whatever he could in order to keep him alive.

    Jack tried not to think ill of him, though, and considered the fact that he was helping to save his water at all. He could have ignored his fallen form and pressed on alone, but instead, he was there at his side. keeping the fruits from rolling any further.

    At the mention of something in the distance, though, the stonemason's gaze snapped up in that direction. He saw it, too, a shape that he couldn't quite make out, but it was a shape nonetheless. It could have meant something very good, or nothing at all. Or maybe it was something very bad, but all they could do was assume. It seemed to be in what Jack believed to be the right direction, his gaze squinting up toward the sun once more, but with his head pounding as it was, it was hard to really make out. There options, however, were few and far in between. Go toward it and continue to trudge off where there was no sign of any hope.

    So, with a glint of determination in his eyes, Jack gathered up his fruits again and dragged himself to his feet, his hand reaching for the elf's shoulder to clasp it firmly for his own benefit to keep himself upright and from falling again. Once he was steady on his feet, he released that grip, nodding slightly to his traveling companion and then started to trudge off toward the shape.

    There was no telling how much it took to get close enough to make out what it might be, but once they did, Jack was sure he recognized it. It was one of the sand runners, a sleep, long-necked creature that they had started to make use of for travel purposes about three months prior. The first one had been sweet. The first one had connected with Jack, he felt, in a way that humans didn't seem to connect with him anymore, not since the attack that had stolen him his tongue. The sighting was good news, as was evident on Jack's face which took on a turn, brightening despite how tired he looked. The sand runners were known for their close proximity to Horizon.