Submission (#3873) Approved

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Submitted
22 July 2022, 13:57:51 PDT (3 weeks ago)
Processed
28 July 2022, 09:25:16 PDT (2 weeks ago) by tatter

Comments

Regional Affinity: Ealei
Elnin: https://worldofeyre.com/character/ELN2578 (Rhapsody)

Second Nin: https://worldofeyre.com/character/ELN2648 (Deryn)
Third Nin: https://worldofeyre.com/character/MYO-ELN418 (Phoebee)

Word count: 1185

Content

One step in front of the other… Rhapsody carefully navigated the narrow tree branch. He wasn’t necessarily afraid of heights, but a fall from this altitude would mean disaster. The little black, red and gold kittom paused for a moment to look down. Yggdrasil towered above the teal blue ocean, its massive roots anchored deeply into the ocean floor. In the distance he could just make out the capital city of Nalnalo, its docks and wooden buildings nestled against the great tree’s roots. The surf was dotted with boats of various sizes, some bearing fishernin and others filled with travelers and merchants. He was far too high up to hear the waves, but the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves was magical. This was his first time visiting Ealei’s elder tree, and it was certainly a sight to behold.

The branch widened the closer he got to the massive tree’s trunk. A rope bridge connected this branch to the next several hundred yards ahead. He had heard that there was a network of bridges and ladders that made navigating this area more manageable.

As he approached the bridge, he found a nice sturdy wooden knot to sit on and pulled a slice of crusty bread and pumpkin butter from his heavy pack. He savored the snack and observed his surroundings. Bells tied along the bridge’s length made a soft tinkling sound in the breeze, while birds in the canopy chirped in harmony. It was such a peaceful place – perfect for outdoor adventuring. After a month navigating the hustle and bustle of Port Pthalo’s crowded docs and mangrove settlements, this was a welcome change. Through the deep green leaves high above him, he could make out white puffy clouds gliding across the sky. To the west he could see gray, rocky cliffs rising up out of the blue waters and reaching all the way up to Yggdrasil’s lower branches. Waterfalls streamed down from the tops of some of the cliffs. These were the only spots where you could find grass in this region. Ah, grass. He had grown up surrounded by sand and was pleasantly surprised the first time he felt grass tickle his toe beans.

As he finished his snack, he spotted a gray and white nin followed by a black and orange kittom on the next branch over. The kittom was darting around the branch, pouncing on something. Rhapsody’s stomach turned as the kit skittered a little too close to the edge. That little one must be fearless, he thought. The adult nin went about their way, not appearing at all concerned about the welfare of the little one. After pausing for a moment, the kittom took another great bound and slid right off the branch. Rhapsody threw his pack to the ground and thrust out a paw, willing the kittom to somehow be saved. To his surprise, the kittom just floated in the air as if frozen in time. Rhapsody stared at his paw and then back at the figure suspended in air. Suddenly, with a flourish the tiny nin flitted back and hovered above the branch.

Rhapsody let out a sigh of relief and crossed the bridge as quickly and carefully as he could. It was rare to meet a faenin, and this was his chance. When he was most of the way across the bridge, the strangers took notice and stopped to greet him. Rhapsody looked the nins up and down. The adult nin was mostly dark and light gray with white ear fluff and lacy patterns on their flank. The faenin looked like a large bee with a heart-shaped marking on their chest and dreadlocks that ranged from bright orange to pale yellow. With elfin, the adult faenin was not much larger than a typical kittom. They had tiny antennae that glowed yellow at the tips and a bulbous tail that glowed yellow where it came to a point. Their wings were translucent and made a light buzzing noise as they hovered over the other nin’s back. Tiny bumblebee illusions trailed from their paws and faded away as they got too far away. Those must be what the nin was pouncing on.

The gray nin introduced herself as Deryn. She spoke at a leisurely pace in a thick, Old Eyrish accent. The faenin was named Phoebee. Unlike the larger nin, she spoke quickly, stumbling to get her words out in a logical order. Deryn explained that the duo was visiting from Bellmoril in search of the fabled rainbow grove, an orchard of rare trees with colorful blooms that had been grafted directly into Yggdrasil’s branches. She was a beekeeper and hoped that she could take cuttings to graft into her orchard back home. It was said that these trees were brought to Eyre from other worlds and couldn’t be found anywhere else. The vibrant blossoms produced rich nectar that could be transformed into some of the most delicious varieties of honey known to ninkind. Mana blossoms also produced phenomenal honey, but she didn’t believe that any nins had successfully cultivated them outside of Ealei. The faenin buzzed with excitement at the mentions of honey.

Rhapsody was intrigued. He had heard rumors about strange trees fused into Yggdrasil’s trunk and had come here in hopes of finding a mythical golden apple tree. Some said that the apples were made of solid gold, while others said that they were just normal apples with gilded peels. Either way, he wanted to find out. A grove of otherworldly trees sounded like a great place to look. At best, he’d go home a wealthy nin. At worst, he’d have a grand adventure. Well, worst would see him falling off a branch and tumbling toward the roots and churning waters way down below. Maybe the faenin would be kind enough to catch and airlift him to safety. He’d just have to resist the urge to prank the silly little nin in the meantime. No sense in burning bridges!

Rhapsody realized that he was getting ahead of himself and politely asked if he could tag along and help the other nins find the grove. Deryn and Phoebee agreed and the gray nin produced a map from her leather satchel to show Rhapsody their route. The drawings on the weathered parchment reminded him of pirates’ treasure maps from picture books that his dad read to him back home. The borders were adorned with strange symbols and Old Eyrish script, which he was unable to read. Deryn explained that the letters spelled out a riddle and that the symbols were the key to solving it. She felt confident that she had deciphered it correctly, but she wouldn’t know for sure until they reached the spot that she pointed to on the map.

With a renewed sense of purpose, Rhapsody marched forward with his newfound companions. Ahead of them, Yggdrasil’s huge, knotted trunk loomed. The ladder anchored to its side would lead them ever closer to the cerulean sky. Whatever the next few days would bring, Rhapsody was already having a fabulous time exploring Ealei’s lush, green landscape. Onward!

Rewards

Reward Amount
Elecite Coins 8

Characters

Thumbnail for ELN2578: Rhapsody

ELN2578: Rhapsody

Reward Amount
AP (Ealei) (Currencies) 1
Thumbnail for ELN2648: Deryn

ELN2648: Deryn

Reward Amount
Thumbnail for MYO-ELN418: Phoebee

MYO-ELN418: Phoebee

Reward Amount

Add-Ons

These items have been removed from the submitter's inventory and will be refunded if the request is rejected or consumed if it is approved.

Item Source Notes Quantity

Picnyx's Bank

Currency Quantity