Submission (#60) Approved
Act Type: Exploration
Word Count: 2543
Adult Elnin Present: N/A
Regional Affinity: Faerindell
Claiming Regional Affinity for: Spritz [ELN557]
[Noble] Rank Unlock Mini-Requirement: Depict your Elnin during a journey far from home
[Act 1 - Stepping Into the Unknown]
There was no other way to describe it other than a low roar ringing in her ears: white noise that was as fleeting as hummingbirds. While it started in intervals, often after intense play sessions, it had developed into a constant companion. In the few moments she got actual conscious answers from her father, he had muttered something about "the calling," but, as per usual, got distracted by something and did not elaborate further. The lackluster conversation left her feeling lost again. What was a calling? Was it something she needed to see a doctor for? The noise was like a blanket, one that was too warm and made her itch like wool. It was uncomfortable at best, and in the warm air of the islands felt all the more suffocating. She only felt a soothing silence when she headed into the market, anywhere towards the east. It would pitter out slowly, like putting out an alarm in her small ears. That solace was necessary. Wanted. Finally, Spritz had come to the realization.
In the distance, she could see her parents dozing by a juice bar. The brightness of her mother's tails was unmistakable, and she had to laugh under her breath. Already she'd left a note for them, figuring they may notice when they came back to enjoy themselves. Though they'd never been as hands-on as some Elnin parents, she did appreciate that they both were connoisseurs of fun. It had made for a long, happy childhood. Her ears throbbed with the roaring, and she took one last look, seeing the fluffy tail of her dad wrapped around her mom. The two were made for each other.
The homing beacon, or de-roaring as she came to call it, only lessened when she was heading east. That was easy enough, and she found charting a small boat to take her from Palu'au to Faerindell to be more than accessible. On the clear waters, the town of Silveil reflected brightly. Spritz felt a moment of curiosity strike her, but like the view, it was fleeting, and she turned away from the glittery, sinful city that she had heard so much about. Someday she'd go there, but that wasn't where the de-roaring was taking her. The low hum was still near-deafening, lessening the closer she got to a port in Faerindell.
Even from a distance, the pink petals of the great tree were caught in the breeze, flitting down to the ground to litter the small seaside town. Spritz eagerly took off from the boat in earnest, racing off down a dusty path among rolling green hills. There was something ethereal about Faerindell, regardless of the season. The kittom recognized it, as she had been here with her parents many times before, but with her newfound freedom, nothing was holding her back from a proper view of the beautiful, blooming region. Her small ears wiggled at the warm winds rolling over the lush green hills, and she turned down a path on the outskirts of the farmland.
Tiered farms were stacked along the sides of the main road. It reminded Spritz of lilypads, piled on top of each other. Out in the fields, she could make out the Sylvan workers, happily pulling up their crops for harvest. Robust smells of dark green vegetables mixed with dirt filled the air, and she trudged up a small hill, staring down into the valley of agriculture. Softly, she smiled as she walked the farmer's work. Surrounding the valley was a ring of dense trees, leading back into the forested areas. Small blots of color rimmed the treeline, the result of faerie shrouds reaching back towards the sun. Their dotted colors were like freckles on the land, and she grinned, starting a saunter down through the outstretched farmlands. "Beautiful." She said to herself, walking with such vigor that the bottles in her bag clinked together softly.
Different from her last trip to Faerindell, which was during a festival, was the relaxed nature of the land. The soft warmth of the sun glittered off of the freshly watered fields, while only the distant singing of birds and hums of the working farmers pierced the static noise in her ears. It was as if destiny was playing out to the perfect traveling day. Spritz took the time to stop on the side of the road, munching on a piece of cheese and leaning back against a soft patch of grass. Butterflies danced overhead, leaning down to kiss the new blooms of flowers, gently slipping past her crown. From the bottom of the valley, she could make out the bright purple and pink hues of the shrouds, slowly releasing petals into the warm wind. Across the growing plains, the stalks of beans were filled with flowers, ranging from purple to white. Deeply, she inhaled to enjoy the sweet scents of the land. Her tails twitched at it, and she felt her nose itch. "It's just perfect here. I wonder if I would be able to stay... the noise isn't so bad." She mused to herself, her bright blue eyes moving over the land, where more Sylvans were out with broad-brimmed hats, happily harvesting without care.
As she passed under the low hanging boughs of weeping flowers along the path, staring at the dense road in the forest. "Mmm." Her tails wiggled in agitation, as she leaned her head under a sizeable hanging leaf, the noise filled her head. "No, thank you." She grumbled, slapping her paw against her head and turning a different way. At the very edge of the forest was an extended field of grass, freshly cut and baled in large clumps. Beyond, she could see another pathway and craned her tiny body upward to look at it. Does it go around the correct way? She slapped her other ear and looked around, ducking underneath the wooden fence and moving along the field.
Underneath her paws, the sprawling grass felt like a blanket, soft to the touch. She smiled, looking back on the rest of the field that moved into a bright cabbage field, filled with purple, white, and green rows. "Wow, it's so pretty." While her eyes affixed to the distant color, she bumped into something soft in front of her. Grn. The noise was not from her mouth, and she looked up, coughing at the new sensation of smoke, and she jumped back.
The fur on her back stood straight up.
Before he was the farmer at the cottage from before, holding his pipe angrily with his shadowed gaze looking down from the protection of his browed hat. His dark eyebrows were furrowed, puffing out a ring of smoke down on the little kittom, and she coughed again. "P-pardon me..." she squeaked out, feeling her eyes watering, and she had to turn away. A loud "humph" was gruff, and the large Sylvan man glowered down at the elnin kit with disdain. "More than a pardon, missy," he stared at her little bag and back, "You're trespassing here." Slowly he glared directly, taking the pipe into his hand and holding it aside. "I saw you back there walkin', thinking about moving here like all the others, right?"
"Nope." She put bluntly, staring back at the rude man, her tails wiggling as her anger was rising. What right did he have to stop her and be so rough?
He scoffed. "Don't you try to deny it. I see that same twinkle in the eye of travelers all the time. They come here, buy up some land with winnings from Silveil, till the fields for all but an hour then get fed up and hire out." With the pipe-holding hand, he pointed off to a series of larger buildings reminiscent of a castle from far off. "Want your proof? There it is. Some fancy Kyunru came in, bought out the neighbors, and drove them off. Built that monstrosity too." Suddenly the stare looked more sinister. "You scoping out my land then?"
Spritz pursed out her lips, sniffing the air, and her eyes shifted to the sight. A visible look of disgust was on her face, and she scrunched her nose in, staring back at him. "What? That's not at all what I'm doing! I'm just walking. I don't even have any money to buy anything like that." Despite her sharp words, her tails shook behind her. It was too late, though, the man's sharp stare gave away his feeling.
"That's what they would say, isn't it?" He jabbed down at her with his pipe, poking her in the chest. "Get off my property now, and don't even think you can settle here. We're all aware of your games."
Spritz moved back, but as she did, the roar in her ears swelled to a crescendo, and she bit her lip. "I can't go that way!" The kittom protested, pushing back against him. He wasn't prepared and lost his footing, falling in the grass. From afar, she could hear calls of "Are you okay?" among mixed expletives. In that moment, she froze, her bright blue eyes staring at the forest beside her, the grass beyond and backward as other farmers were peeking over the tall grass and crops. ...move... Spritz stared back as the man tried to recover. MOVE. The word barely scraped through the surface of the roar that was getting louder and louder inside her head, like a surge of an ocean wave. "MOVE!" The word bellowed out from her lungs, and she bounded off, jumping clear of the grumpy Sylvan.
She swore she felt a kick against him, hearing faint yells from afar while she followed the tree line in a long curve. In her ears, the roar was overtaken by blood pumping loudly, her heartbeat like a fast drum. The further she moved, the better she felt. Even the small kittom could make leaps and bounds, disappearing over the tall lemongrass. Can't catch me! She thought, laughing while she jumped over one of the bales of long grass, turning to look behind her. In the distance, blotted against the colorful landscape, the indistinct blobs of farmers had stopped, giving her rude hand gestures. A soft cackle escaped her, and she bounded over another, hurried with new life.
Once on the road, she felt the urge to slow but felt other glaring eyes peeking over a stone wall at her. It spurred her on. With the wind Spritz, with the wind! A full laugh fell out into the air, and she lept with joy, heading down to the southern area of Faerindell. Eventually, she stopped, resting under a weeping willow with bluebells hanging down over her like a veil. Again, she was laughing with a sense of joy she had not known before. "Even though they were chasing me, that was... exciting!" She heard a squeak of protest from her shadow as Pizzelle was likely toppled over with her hoard of items. Staring up at the shrouded canopy of leaves and flowers, she took in a deep breath, her ear twitching to the softer roar that still called to her. It was hitting her now - feeling alone. Though she held a spark, clearly demonstrated by her fast getaway, she was unable to shake the feeling that kittoms with parents rarely got the same treatment. Those were still children, the babies of Eyre. Well, she wasn't one of those babies. Not anymore. Everything felt different now, and the trip was not for sightseeing or leisure.