Netasha’s Discovery –

Friday, March 23rd, 2018 { Earth Parallel designation =”Nor-Am/CanMexUSA -05″} {{ North America, Canada, USA, Mexican model  }} @ 11:45 pm Atlantic Time

Netasha

– Netasha, (Novice) Forest Elf Healer –

— Forest Elves are generally a shy and extremely modest race – But on this one summer day the sun was really hot and the atmosphere was muggy – and with no one else in sight, Netasha removed her leather Ranger armor and wore just her Healer essentials while she tended flowers and planted trees.  – Then an official messenger told her that her Ranger watch duty had suddenly been switched and she would have to be on duty that night and she wouldn’t have time to change back into her ‘respectable’ armor. She thought the messenger relished in her discomfort at going on duty ‘half-dressed’ and might even have hoped she’d be ‘taken down a peg or two’ for working out of uniform when he’d been sweating all day.

— When the unruffled Watch Captain told her she’d be working alone in the ‘Shadow-Lands’ she was almost relieved. It had been two weeks since Healer-Ranger Eslyn had her vision in which Shanti – the ancient Guardian of all living things – had explained why very strange things filled the skies of the Shadow Lands, especially at night – And no Rangers had reported near misses from flying boulders, trees or buildings since.

- morning mist in Shadow lands -

– Typical Morning mist in the Shadow Lands –

— The flying debris in the air might actually be slowing down. It had been days since phantom buildings appeared and vanished, or appeared and shattered into bits of blasted masonry, burned wood and crumbling dust in front of the toughened band of Rangers and highly dedicated Healers who braved the lifeless Shadow-Lands, keeping the unwary safe, bandaging wounded comrades – Some even tried to coax lost spirits into heading for the Light and beyond that – Heaven.

— There had even been reports that some buildings, in various states of disrepair and structural integrity – had actually landed intact – Some were guarded fiercely by Rangers who kept everyone away, some were actually safe to step right up to and touch.

Netasha witnessing the chaos in the skies over the Shadow Lands.

– There was just a bit of activity as the sun went down that evening –

— Just as darkness descended – Netasha saw a light travel across the sky and thought it landed quite near where she had been posted. It was her duty to report anything like that which happened on her watch.

— She had a near perfect memory – she ran to where she believed the light had gone out of her sight and –

Lamp Post and Shrine to All Living Things.

– Netasha discovered a perfectly normal lamp-post and something she’d heard of from the legends of the ‘old times’ –

— The lamp-post had not been there half an hour earlier when she’d made her initial rounds and reported nothing suspicious to her gruff old Watch Captain. She’d never actually seen one of the legendary ‘Shrines to All Living Things’ – But in the light of that lamp-post, it sure looked like one of those shrines had suddenly materialized ‘out of thin air’.

The shrine was surrounded by flowers. And weeds.

– She approached with extreme caution and discovered —

— Where nothing had grown in a thousand years – The shrine was surrounded by a circle of flowers… and weeds.

Netasha at the shrine with its fowers surrounded by lifeless Shadow Lands.

– She was stunned –

— Young recruits and young and old volunteers had never been briefed on what to do if a Shrine surrounded by living flowers suddenly appeared in the midst of a lifeless scarred landscape. If she didn’t complete her current round they would surely send a search party out to look for her – Would they scream at her and use words she’d never heard before she volunteered to help the Rangers as the only Healer around who was naive enough, maybe stupid enough – to go into the Shadow Lands with them? Or would they be just as amazed as she was?

Netasha stood guard at the Shrine through the night.

– She made a snap decision –

— Her first sworn duty as a Healer was to heal and protect all manner of living things, no matter what – She decided that since these flowers and weeds were obviously living – it was her duty to stand there and guard them through the night – Guard them from what? Would demons and monsters from the tales of the old wars appear and wage war on flowers? She had no idea. She didn’t think anybody still alive had any idea what perils magically growing flowers (or weeds?) might face in this forsaken landscape.

Morning at the shrine with Netasha still on guard.

– Morning finally did arrive –

— When the morning finally did arrive and the watch Captain appeared with seven angry-looking Rangers. The Captain only managed to scream, “Where the- !” before he saw what she was guarding – Grizzled old veterans gasped and sank to their knees – most with tears in their eyes. The oldest woman in the group gasped, and in the old language, cried – “The Prophecy was True -”

— They left two Rangers there to guard the spot – and escorted Netasha back to headquarters – They surrounded her – She couldn’t tell whether they thought they were protecting her from something – { What? } or wanted to take her prisoner for having the audacity to break her normal routines to protect a bunch of silly flowers –

— After senior officers questioned her for hours – A commanding officer from another region of the Shadow-Lands arrived and spoke in whispers while Netasha desperately tried to remain awake and alert – and then that senior officer ( The Regional Commander ) and her Senior Officer, and her Watch Captain came to her, smiling –

— “You did the right thing.” The Regional Commander nodded – “We will be stationing Rangers at that shrine, day and night from last night forward – They will probably carve a plaque with your name on it and Rangers from now until the end of time will know that it was you who discovered that miracle of a shrine reappearing in the midst of the Shadow-Lands here. Hell – They might even make you a saint among Healers – Crazy young woman too stupid to avoid the Shadow Lands by night discovered that the rumours were true and the Spirit of Shanti has returned to bring life back to the Shadow Lands. But never speak of this to outsiders – If the dark ones hear of this they may claim that Shanti has come back from the dead to declare war on them and give the – nasty sonofaguns – a reason to raise their biggest army in five hundred years and attack again -” He nodded, “Go home and get some sleep – you’ve earned it.”

— She felt a tingle of optimism and wonder and had a hard time falling asleep in spite of her earlier struggle to stay awake.

— And when she did fall asleep, she dreamed.

- Shanti -

– She dreamed of Shanti –

— She dreamed she went back to work planting trees and tending the flowers in a nearby valley and saw a stranger standing where she’d been working the day before – The stranger looked – cautiously ‘regal’? And when Netasha approached, the Lady seemed to come out of a trance and smiled. The flowers that Netasha had just planted had sprung up with more than a month’s growth and seemed to be almost growing taller and more healthy by the second.

— Netasha blinked, “Who are you?”

— The Lady smiled, “You know who I am, you guarded my shrine all night -”

— Netasha woke up trembling, “Why would a legendary Goddess from the old days come to me?”

— She heard the Lady’s voice while she knew she was fully awake. “You died with your family on that very spot a thousand years ago. It took you almost all that time to forgive the DelVahrians who didn’t know the difference between friendly elves and the slaves of the Krim – And when you did forgive them, I felt a ripple through the fabric of time and space and knew it was time to return to this universe and invisibly guide this land’s healing process.”

— Netasha trembled and shook – but there was no one for her to run to and ask for advice – She was an orphan and her friends were all on duty somewhere –

— She trembled herself back to sleep and woke up to the cheers and celebration of almost everyone she knew, all acting like she was some kind of hero who’d actually done something worth their praise.

Shanti at the Shrine.

– Two days later Shanti first appeared at the shrine –

— Shanti began appearing at the shrine at odd and unpredictable times. She never stayed long. She always seemed to be looking away through time and space and maybe looking for something – or someone –

 

~~~~~ TaleRocker

Eslyn’s Vision

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 —

Strange sights in the Shadow Lands.

– A tower was discovered jammed sideways into a mountain –

— The day began with reports that a flying tower had slammed into the side of a mountain and was hanging there, precariously, sideways – And somebody else { A credible witness } had seen a mountain get up and sail over the Eastern fringes of the Shadow-Lands –

Sailing stones and crashed buildings.

– Boulders had crashed near a bridge where at least one more tower had embedded itself at a weird angle on the ground –

— After a long day with reports of the usual flying stones, boulders, ghost buildings and solid buildings crashing to the ground – Solid boulders barely missed the Rangers and Healers who have been trying to nurse the devastated Shadow-Lands back to health – mostly in daylight – And a very solid wagon full of what looked like an old sculpted dragon, maybe looted from a temple-? had appeared near that same bridge.

Eslyn verntured out into a night with dangerous skies.

– Eslyn reported for duty in a very active ‘hot-spot’ –

— Eslyn began her night shift – where one strange rock formation had been seen circling in a random pattern for several days – almost as if it was looking for some familiar spot to crash to the ground – She walked carefully, watching the skies for flying debris – talking to herself, repeating the warnings she’d heard every day for years – “Do not – under any circumstances – allow yourself to fall asleep out there – You might never wake up.”

Eslyn hovering near a tower's turret.

– Eslyn felt herself rising into the dangerous night sky –

— When she felt herself rising into the night sky – she resigned to the idea that she had been killed and was probably flying up toward Heaven.

Eslyn in the sky with boulders.

– She stopped rising and felt several large boulders just miss hitting her head –

— When she stopped rising she began to fear that she was in real trouble. Huge boulders missed her by less than an arm’s length. She’d felt the wind blow her hair with their passage.

— She heard the screams of dying children and their parents. She felt the heart breaking agony of loving craftsmen watching their life’s work torn to pieces in front of them as they felt themselves dying. She thought she could feel the bricks and wood feel the pain of being ripped apart.

Eslyn looking toward the sky.

– She surrendered to the idea that her death was near –

— She gave up any hope she had left that she might survive this, turned her eyes toward the sky and began to pray.

— And as soon as she began to wonder what to pray at a time like this, the rocks, the buildings, the boulders all changed their courses through the sky and sailed away from her.

— She almost thought she heard a voice say, “You have nothing to fear – I am with you.”

— She shuddered and asked, “Are You an Angel?” – she could see pretty far in almost every direction, but could see no person she could associate with that voice.

— The Voice answered, “The ancients knew me as ‘Shanti’. I was born during a time of intense war between those who wanted to enslave and rule the younger races and those who wanted to guide and protect them. My parents named me with the Sanksrit word for ‘Peace’.

— With the crazy skies over the Shadow-Lands almost quiet for a change, Eslyn listened to the voice and hung on to every word as if her life depended on it.

Eslyn looking calm as the flying debris moved away from her.

– She felt very calm and ‘saw’ everything the woman’s voice described –

— She felt amazingly calm – amazingly loved by the voice that continued –

— The woman she couldn’t see almost apologized, “I must go now- be at peace and tell the others what I have told you -”

— She slowly felt herself lowered to the safety of the ground, and then felt like she knew every rock and bit of wood by name. She felt that the air rejoiced in her awareness. She felt loving little bubbles of air rush past her and caress her skin as they did.

— When she stumbled back into the watch headquarters the Rangers and Healers there later told her that her eyes had sparkled so brightly they could light up any room. More than one of her friends and colleagues wanted to know, “What the heck were you smoking last night?”

— She thought she could feel the peace that Shanti had given her touch everyone she saw as she shook her head, “I didn’t smoke anything, I flew up into the sky right over there and had a vision -”

— Her friends really got worried at that point, but they listened as she went on to explain, “Someone who told me her name was ‘Shanti’ told me all about what all these flying artifacts are all about and why they’re coming here.

— “The dark side tried to gather up every rock and piece of a building that was filled with agony and terror as the ancient residents of this area were butchered in that war a thousand years ago –

— “The dark side thought they could use all that negative fear and emotion and amplify it and use it as a powerful weapon in their next war against us.

— “But Shanti and a legion of Angels intervened, communicated with the stone, the wood and the lost souls who’ve never gotten past the horror filled moment of their deaths – She told them that we were healing this land and She was guiding us, and we would make them a home that was safe and loving where they could live their next lives in peace and harmony and heal the thousand year old wounds in their souls…

— “Shanti promised to watch over everyone and protect them from their baseless fears –

— “These rocks and these buildings are coming home!” she beamed a smile she thought could melt the toughest heart.

— A lot of Rangers laughed. Quite a few shuddered and looked at her like they hoped she wasn’t contagious.

— One very old ex-ranger who these days could only push a broom around and clear the others’ plates after a meal – came to her and gave her a hug, “Many of our ancestors thought of Shanti as a Goddess. They credit her with forming a religious sect that taught many to Love, and forgive, and protect the defenseless – in a time when everybody else thought that war was the only answer to anything.”

 

~~~~~ TaleRocker

 

Jeff’s Fog –

Um – Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 —> { There are two versions of this story in “Comic Life 3” format – This is the more realistic and has slightly better graphics – }

— Jeff decided to take the chance his Captain would think he lost his mind and reported all of this.

— To his surprise the Captain lowered his voice and said, “You’re not the only one who’s seeing this stuff – It happens almost every night. Most of even my best men and women are afraid to report this stuff- Thank you -”

 

~~~~~ TaleRocker