G2A Many GEOs

Chapter 6

Magus_Anon Jul 11th, 2018 1,145 Never
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  1.     “Arsofina dear, we need to have a chat about the human you brought.” said Lady Irin. She sat behind a large wooden desk that was formed by the same enchanted wood the rest of the tree was made of. On it were several small piles of papers, an inkwell and a cup of quills. There was nothing out of place on the perfectly organized desk.
  3.     Arsofina sat across from Irin in one of the two chairs that sat in front of the desk. She fidgeted nervously at Irin’s demand. However, there was no avoiding this conversation.
  4. “What about it?” asked Arsofina.
  6.     Irin leaned back in her chair and looked past Arsofina out the window that formed the opposite wall. From this vantage point, one could see the entire town of Oreath. The main plaza was directly below, then the short main road that led to the gate and the wilderness beyond.
  8.     “I think that it was kind of you to take pity on him, but there is something… strange about him.” said Irin. “An unclaimed man appears out of amazon territory, with no knowledge of common, or any other nearby regional dialect. His clothes are like nothing we have seen before, and his skin and eyes are the wrong color. As if that wasn’t enough, he lacks ANY taint. It’s as if he just appeared.” Irin turned to Arsofina. “Something is seriously wrong.”
  10.     Arsofina shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
  12.     “That is true Milady, we do not have any knowledge of his past, but I do not believe that he warrants as much suspicion as he garners.” said Arsofina.
  14. “And why is that?” said Irin
  16. “He is not malicious. I am certain of that. He made no attempt to harm me at any point. It goes against what we know of humans, but even when he was on the brink of starvation, he never attacked me for my food, or made to threaten me.” said Arsofina. She remembered the pouch of berries he had left her one night. “I can see it in his eyes, he was so grateful and happy just to have someone to accompany. He may be a dullard, but he has a childlike innocence that I cannot ignore.”
  18. Irin grinned. “You sound quite fond of him.”
  20. Arsofina blushed and looked away “NO! I don’t like him, I… I just don’t think he deserves to be treated this way. He isn’t like the other humans, I am positive.”
  22. “What will you do after he recovers?” asked Irin.
  24. “I was planning to use him as labor, or… sell him…” Arsofina trailed off, her plans sounding quite harsh all of a sudden.
  25. “Mmm, so even though you think him to be a good person, his rescue is still just business.” said Irin.
  27. “Well, maybe I’ll let him go. After he makes up for all the money I lost saving him. And besides, we have yet to find out where he hails from.” said Arsofina.
  29.     Irin lifted a piece of paper from the top of a pile and began looking it over.
  31.     “I have already made a special request of the archivists to assist you in finding his people. If he really does belong to a tribe of undiscovered humans, I would be eager to learn about them. Their magics must be strong if they are not corrupted. I only pray that they are all as amiable as this one.” said Irin as she passed the page to Arsofina. It was a brief note saying that no one in the archives of Oreath had heard of such a tribe. They went on to list several possible places the human may be from, but asked that he be made available for questioning, and that his “handler” accompany him.  
  33. “Does this mean they want me to come too?” asked Arsofina.
  35. “Yes. You have the most experience with him, and he seems to trust you. I find it quite endearing actually, the way he follows you around. He certainly doesn’t seem trust the rest of us, after we threatened his life twice.” said Irin.
  37. “As you wish Milady. I will accompany him.” Arsofina rose from the chair and gave a short bow.
  39. “That is good, as it has already been decided that you will be responsible for him while he is out guest.” said Irin.
  41. “W-what?” stammered Arsofina.
  43. “He likes you, you like him, and you brought him here. I already spoke to high priestess Salvica and guard captain Stellora. We agree that if the human is a docile and clumsy as you say, he should be no trouble to control.”
  45. “What exactly am I to do? Am I responsible for feeding and housing him? Or am I merely his handler?”
  47. “He is already being housed in the medical ward. You will not be responsible for feeding and sheltering him; all we ask is that you keep him out of trouble and under control. You should go see him now, the archivists will be along shortly.” said Irin.
  49. “Yes, Lady Irin.” said Arsofina. She gave a short bow and rose from her chair, before exiting the spacious office.
  50. ~~~~~~~~~~~~
  51.     Arsofina hurried quickly across the central plaza, crossing through the throng of shoppers and mercahants as she made her way to the medical complex. The complex itself was small, but well stocked to treat the often grievous wounds incurred on the frontier. An apothecaries lab was attached to the actual ward, so that any remedy could be easily made and delivered to the patient. Arsofina had always disliked the look of the structure, and hated the stench it gave off even more. The putrid odor of death and the sterile and equally lifeless smell of antiseptic and harsh chemicals. Entering the laboratory, she asked the attendant about the whereabouts of her charge.
  53. “He is in the last room on the right, first floor. The archivists are already there.” said the attendant in an uninterested tone.
  55. Arsofina thanked him and hurried off through the breeze way into the care building. As she entered, a flustered archivist burst out of the door, her robes ruffled and her cap resting crooked on her head. Her long brown hair was brushed to the side and blocking her eyes.
  57. “Are you the owner?” she asked brushing a lock of hair to the side.
  59. “Er, yes? I have been charged with the humans well being an-“ Arsofina was cut off as the archivist seized her hand and began dragging her down the hall.
  61. “It’s about time you arrived. We’ve been trying to run experiments on it all morning and it’s becoming belligerent! I thought you said it was trained!” fumed the scribe.
  63. Arsofina tore her hand away from the bookish elf. “He is very easy going. Just what kind of ‘experiments’ are you running?” asked Arsofina.
  65.     The duo arrived at the room at the end of the hall, peering inside. The human was being restrained by a very angry scribe while another was doing his best to make an incision with a surgical knife. The human was having none of it, and was thrashing wildly in his ethereal restraints. The only piece of furniture that was still standing was a chair that had been pushed into the center of the room. The other chair and the table were knocked to the ground, and the bed sheets had been ripped off and thrown into a heap on the floor. The rug was wrinkled and folded, covered in specks of food, dirty dishes, and several fruits. A puddle was formed near the foot of the bed where a pitcher had been over turned. Arsofina stared at the scene.
  67. “What in the God’s names have you been doing to him?” said Arsofia.
  69. “Like I said,” replied the scribe, “we just wanted to do some blood tests, collect a sample of his hair and clothing, maybe a bit of skin, and ask him some questions, but he became irate when we tried to hold him down.”
  71. “I don’t suppose you ASKED him, did you?” said Arsofina dryly.
  73. “He can’t even speak. I heard that he didn’t speak Common, but NONE of the archivists can figure out what he’s saying. What were we supposed to do?”
  75. Arsofina sighed. That everyone in Oreath was relying on her to communicate with the human when she herself could not understand his speech was already wearing her patience thin.
  77. “Just let him go. I don’t think he’s ever seen elves before, and he isn’t fond of us since we tried to kill him… twice.”
  79. The elf restraining Anon released her magical grasp and he wrenched free of his binds. As the woman moved out from behind him, the human scurried up against the wall to take stock of this new development.
  81. “Anon? It’s me. Hi. Are you alright?” asked Arsofina.
  83. The human may not have understood what she was saying, but he certainly associated Arsofina’s arrival with salvation. Already his shallow breathing was giving way to more relaxed, deep breaths.
  85. Arsofina picked her way across the room and offered an outstretched hand to the man.
  87. “Come here, it’s alright. Just sit on the bed here ok?” she said patting the bed.
  89. The human’s gaze flitted between the archivists and Arsofina, clearly doubting whether stepping away from the wall was worth the risk of more ‘experimentation.’
  91.     Arsofina patted the bed again and the human caved to her suggestion. Slowly he sat down on the bed and stared expectantly at Arsofina.
  93. “Alright,” said Arsofina turning to the archivists, “now don’t make any sudden movements, don’t try to have me leave, and don’t do anything to him that he doesn’t like. Collecting ‘samples’ will be easier if he actually trusts us.”
  95. A chourus of grumbles arose from the trio of scholars but they reluctantly agreed to the terms. Arsofina sat beside Anon on the bed.
  96. “Anon, I need you to behave. Follow.” said Arsofina.
  98. The human began to fidget as the archivists drew near, note paper and quills in hand.
  100. {"Safe?"}
  102. The elves froze in their tracks as the human uttered a single word.
  104. “Do you know what that means?” asked an archivist?
  106. “Uhh… yes, he asks it when he wants to know about something. Whenever he found a plant in the jungle, he would ask that. I guess it is an inquiry about the danger of something.” said Arsofina.
  108. The archivists scribbled madly and began to whisper and conjecture amongst themselves. Arsofina took the opportunity to reassure the human.
  110. “Yes, Anon. 'Sayvv'” she said with a disarming grin.
  112.     Anon relaxed, and Arsofina gestured the archivists forwards. At Arsofinas request, they settled for asking questions, as best they could, with Arsofina acting as a very poor translator. She only knew a handful of the human’s words, and even then had trouble remembering what they meant without certain context. None the less, the scholars seemed delighted that some progress was being made, and that they no longer had to forcefully restrain the human. The more questions that were asked, the more Anon seemed to relax. The scholars loved the information they were collecting, and Anon loved conversing with people beyond simple orders.
  114. After an hour or two of difficult conversation, it was decided that a break was in order, and the archivists shuffled out of the room for lunch, saying that they would return later.
  115. ~~~~~~
  116.     Maybe these elves weren’t so bad after all. Arsofina was no doubt your friend. She had saved you three times now, though two of those times she had saved you from other elves. The elves that had busted into your room and held you down seemed like good people after they put away the needles and knives. From what you could tell, they just wanted to learn more about you. Rightly so, you suppose. You were essentially an alien in this world. No one here knew anything about you.
  118.     That brought up another point that had been bothering you. What was this world? Was it completely foreign to you? Or could this be a world that existed in the imagination of humans? For all you know, Sauron could be waiting in Mordor for you to bring the one ring to him. Chances are that this was not a world you would recognize. It was probably just a coincidence that these creatures resembled elves. And used magic. That bothered you the most. The magic and the appearance of these creatures was just too uncannily similar to the elves of fiction. Perhaps your mind was subconsciously guided to an afterlife with familiar aspects.
  120.     You looked across the table at Arsofina who had finished her meal of roots and vegetables and was staring out the window. She was absolutely stunning. So were the rest of them. Even the men were beautiful (no homo). Her ears wiggled a bit and she looked towards the door as the trio of dark robed elves reentered the room. They greeted Arsofina, and attempted to do the same to you.
  122. “Hay-low Ayy-none” said one of the women.
  124. “Avarine-dalay” you replied, giving your best attempt at their greeting. The elves beamed and began to chatter excitedly amongst themselves. Arsofina cleared her throat and the elves collected themselves.
  126. {"Arsofina, do you know if he is literate?"} said the male elf.
  128. {"I haven’t seen him write, but his clothing has runes in some places."} said Arsofina.
  130. The scientists cleared a space at the table and set down a piece of paper and an inkwell.
  132. "Anon,{can you write?"} asked the female scholar with the brown hair while pantomiming a scribbling motion.
  134. You look at Arsofina. She stares at you expectantly, but when you take no action, she grabs the paper and writes a string of symbols. It looks almost like Asian logograms linked together like cursive. She points to the string of symbols and says “Arsofina.”
  136. So this was a writing exercise.
  138.     You take the paper and a quill, and begin to write out your name. You had never used a quill before, but thankfully the elves had already prepared it. The scholars gasp as you make the first line, but as you tear through the paper their mood instantly dampens. Undeterred, you persevere through ink smudges, torn paper and a dry quill until you have an acceptable example of your name.
  140. “Anon”. you say pointing to the letters.
  142. The scholars write furiously in their tomes.
  144. {"Incredible, I’ve never seen any runes like those."}
  146. {"Strange, why does his name have the same symbol twice?"}
  148. {"Why is the first character so much bigger than the rest?"}
  150. “Arsofina, {can you get him to write more?"}
  152. {"More?"} said Arsofina.
  154. Was that their word for ‘more?’ When you wanted more food, the had used a word that sounded quite similar to that.
  156. “Ehzone?” you said, doing your best to mimic the noise.
  158. They froze, and then began to nod excitedly. {"Yes! Yes!} Ezone!" said the male elf.
  160. These elves learned surprisingly fast. Taking up the quill again, you wrote out the word ‘more.’
  162. “More.” you say. “Ehzone.”
  164. Again there was a chorus of scribbling as the elves took notes. One snatched up the paper you had been writing on and began to point at it. The other elves looked curiously at it, and even Arsofina got up to inspect the paper.
  166. {"See here, it’s the same rune! This circle in the third place of his name and the second place of more!"}
  168. {"What does it represent?"}
  170. {"Ask him."}
  172. The elves broke their huddle and set the paper down in front of you.
  174. “Ayy-none, waht thise?” asked Arsofina.
  176. A scholar drew a line connecting the ‘o’ in your name to the ‘o’ in more.
  178. “O” you reply.
  180. The elves look at you blankly, waiting for you to continue. When you remain silent, they exchange confused glances.
  182. “O?” said the female elf with the blond hair.
  184. “O.” you reply. “Oh, aw, oo,” This was going to be a problem. It seemed like elves used a logographic language instead of a phonetic language. It would be best to just give them a copy of the alphabet and try to explain it to them. Flipping the battered paper over, you begin writing out the alphabet. The elves watch you intently as you scratch out all twenty-six letters, upper case and lower case.
  185. When you finish, you present it to them, and they wordlessly accept it.
  187. {"What in the name of the Chief God is this?"}
  189. {"Look! Some of these symbols match his writing! His language must be phonetic!"}
  191. {"Phonetic? There hasn’t been a civilization that used phonetic languages for centuries. All civilizations just use common."}
  193. {"Well, let’s see if we can figure out why he wrote this. I doubt this is his entire language, I mean look, there are only… fifty-two symbols here. His words would have to be a hundred letters long to avoid words with the same spelling."}
  195. The elves returned your paper once more and gestured to it.
  197. “Waht thise?” asked the elf with the brown hair.
  199. “Letters.” you replied.
  201. Pointing to ‘a,’ you sound out all the sounds it could make. Then b, then c, down the list of letters. The elves were staring with mouths agape. Clearly this was a new concept to them.
  203. {"It’s phonetic! It really is phonetic! Do you know what this means!? This type of language has been extinct for more than a millennium! And suddenly a human arrives in an outpost with a completely new language and no knowledge of Common!"}
  205. {"Unbelievable! A new language, a new civilization! And WE are the ones who discovered it!"}
  207.     The elves seem quite excited about your language. While they chatter amongst themselves, you notice Arsofina quietly looking over your shoulder at the paper. Her eyes are full of curiosity. Taking the quill once more in you hand, you write out her name underneath the mess of letters and words you had scrawled.
  209. “Arsofina.” you say pointing at her name.
  211. She gives a little gasp and pulls it closer to her. She looks at her name, then you, then back to the paper, scrunching her brow in frustration. Swiveling the paper around and moving behind you, she points to the first letter.
  213. “Ah…” she begins with her index finger on the a.
  215.     With your index finger, you follow along, helping her sound out each letter in her name. Her eyes light up as she finishes, and she says something unintelligible to the other elves. One hands her a scrap of paper, and she quickly copies your sloppy handwriting. You peek over at it to see that she has written her name. Interestingly, her letters have a bit more curve and swirl to them, little tails coming off some of the letters. It must be a sort of muscle memory from her own writing, and accent in penmanship. You smile and nod, and she holds it up to the others beaming with pride. The female with the brown hair snatched it away for inspection and the four elves began to squabble amongst themselves. You couldn’t help but laugh at the silly display. Maybe this place wasn’t so bad after all.
  216. ~~~~~~~~~
  217. Madari looked out across the clearing at the elven village. The huge trees that formed the town’s structures were lit up by magic and fire, a hundred tiny flecks of light peeking out from windows and doorways. By now, the runner that had been dispatched to the tribe would have conveyed her message, and veterans would be on the way. The outpost was small, but more populace than Madari had originally thought. Her estimate was now about two hundred elves. The tribe would be more than enough for them. The extra hands also meant more loot could be carried back.
  219. Already her scouts moved silently through around the city, searching for weakness. It was already known that most within the walls were noncombatants. There was a good chance that they would merely hand the human over. Madari half hoped that they would resist though. It had been ages since her tribe had been truly challenged.
  221. On the wall and elf appeared carrying a lantern and took the place of another. The two figures stood for a moment probably chatting, before one disappeared down a staircase and out of view. Madari looked to the stars and noted approximately when the change had taken place.
  222. Soon, the human would be theirs, along with whatever treasure could be carried back to the village.
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