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Anathain

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1 Anathain on 26th August 2011, 7:34 am

Dov Kayranslayer

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MNI Author

MNI Author
Before-story-note: for the full feel of this story, get a pint of beer and drink up, dammit, for Oktoberfest's sake.

Also: WARNING AND LEGAL DISCLAIMER. Not recommended for -fanatical- abstentionists from alcohol. Not recommended for vegans and/or people who hold that a mention of gender inequality in my world means that I actually agree with it and I don't just do it for the sake of realism. Not recommended for freaks paranoid at the (completely innocent, too) usage of the word "breasts". Not recommended for those who look at life too seriously, and definitely not that fraction of them that is opposed to Fantasy because it creates a world of its own. Consumption banned for Twilight fans, for the fear of the fact that it might actually cure the damage to their brain. Consumption by political/social/religious fanatics, and by fanatics I mean the type of guys who try to impose their opinion on everything by force, physical or mental, just because I do not respect such people, banned. You have been introduced to the basic guidelines for usage of this product. Failure to follow them will result in a Facepalm 2 emoticon and a continuous trolling of your rather lacking mental health.

© Idiots and Co, 2011
Vilnius, Republic of Lithuania



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Anathain! Midsummer's Eve!

Hauntingly, the sing-song voices of thousands of men and nonhumans echo through the night. From the Western to the Inner Sea, millions upon millions of voices raise their vocal chords up in a song as hundreds upon hundreds of dances take place throughout this wide territory, feet colliding with the ground in a wild staccato throughout mead halls, castles, inns and assassins' guilds everywhere.

On this night, the gods will have to scream in pain

Thousands of students explode through the doors of universities and colleges all throughout the Westlands, as the night stars blink, in a desperate attempt to understand what the heck is going on here, at a rejoicing world for the first time. Various constellations of them. The Starstar, five stars aligned in a pentagon, though mocked by many beginner scientists for the straight-out ridiculous name, the Curse, a threatening-looking finger pointing accusingly at humanity - and of course the other races, too - and the Murderer, an ashamed-looking man trying to hide a bloody - or it seemed so due to the fortunately placed red giant star at its tip - sword away, and the Ruin, a deformed building of stellar figures, and many others.

As mortals celebrate so that immortality seems like no gain!

It was proven fact that on this night, on Anathain, on Midsummer's Eve, on Westlight, nobody, nobody whatsoever, could have as much fun as the Wood Elves of Alfantuath. No matter how hard anyone tried, they'd never, ever, ever best how much fun the siarwen people would have.

It is quite logical, therefore, that we should now, as thousands of fires light the starry summer night sky, swing the camera focus to a town in southern Alfantuath, called Taraidhen, clinging on in the esque of a drunkard holding on to a nearby wall onto a lakeside. There aren't many people in Taraidhen on a common day, maybe seventy. Seventy five. Something about that number.

But now, thousands of people, from the nearby towns, and from the cities, storm the village in an attempt to capture the supposed magical aura of the day. In the morning, the villagers prepared themselves for the festival, their houses, of whom about a third were treehouses, revealing extraordinary sights towards Lake Mirnaill, suddenly exploding with flower garlands that they put up, and stands simply being crushed under the weight of hundreds of bottles of ale placed on them. And by ten in the morning, crowds rammed the town.

Among them was Riandh, a carpenter from the city of Dunnadh to the south, who now vaguely remembers having arrived with a group of friends from Dunnadh. As he stumbles onto a stand and orders another pint of ale, he strains his memory desperately trying to remember who, exactly, were they, when exactly they set out from Dunnadh, and when did he have his first pint of ale.

The Anathain celebration in Taraidhen began as it did nearly everywhere in Alfantuath - with a wedding. Or rather, three simultaneously. Wood Elves, or siarwen, had picked up some silly traditions over the years of their existence, such as the idea that celebrating weddings on the longest day in the year was preferable. It started a few centuries ago with a dolt of a siarwen - Wood Elven - prince, who happened to have been away for half a year when his wedding was supposed to take place, and he arrived back in the capital, Thaalfaardun, where his betrothed was waiting, on Anathain. He then proceeded to hastily marry, and somehow, the whole of the goddamn kingdom decided that it was incredibly romantic, having a wedding on that supposedly magical night. Or day.

On the other hand, an utterly wonderful tradition, in Riandh's honest opinion, was that on Anathain, wherever you went, you were SUPPOSED to be given ale, mead, and roast meat off the spit. Sort of a law of hospitality, so to speak.

After a vague memory of participating in a few of those weddings and gladly drinking every pint of beer he saw in a five-mile-radius, Riandh recalled proceeding towards a field just outside town, where they proceeded to begin a dance. Dance! Elvenkind's most fun achievement! Joining their hands together, he and the crowd enjoyed hours upon hours of dancing. The summer made them more drunk than their being drunk. The wind in their hair, thrusting through it, shattering the silence inbetween the locks of their hair.

Riandh had, in a fashion lately popular amongst inhabitants of Alfantuath, long, taken-care-of, dark brown hair stretching down to the geometrical center of his back. Whilst dancing, his hair scattered in the wind in a whirling cyclone. It was a truly awesome feeling.

"Listen, man, maybe you need help?" somebody asked him as Riandh threw his latest pint away and dazedly stared at the lights all around - in Taraidhen, on the fields beside it, across Lake Mirnaill, even in the generally dark forests to the north. He couldn't see that person clearly, but thought the voice, a male and low one, familiar. Probably one of his friends from the city.

"Sure, man... help me up." he asked, in a voice just as giddy as his eyesight was, weakly holding out a hand towards whoever it was. He felt a slightly less dazed palm grip his. This hand brought him towards the great fire built and lit on the fields just outside Taraidhen.

After the dances, the whole congregation in located in Taraidhen set up the tables for Anathain's great feast. Riandh didn't remember much about it. The ale served was, for some reason, terrible. However, it served the true purpose of Wood Elven ale - causing immediate fainting for any non-elf who drank it. By now, Taraidhen had been littered with the unconscious bodies of approximately nineteen humans who were either unfortunate to live in Alfantuath or so misguided by the stories of it being the best place to celebrate as to come to Alfantuath for Anathain.

The stories, of course, were true. If you were an elf. Otherwise, like said before, the beer was unfortunately unadapted to human biologic standards.

After the feast they started fires. From the horizon to the ground your feet were touching, large fires littered the surface of the earth. Soaring up into the skies, shattering the silent solemnity of the evening sky, with its red-lit clouds. And thousands of Elves, dancing, singing, roasting food on the flames, 'round the light in the darkness.

It was particularly exciting and impressive now, in the midnight darkness, as an inferno of flame struck up at the shadows. Though Riandh had great difficulties concentrating on the sights. Someone handed him a piece of meat on a spit. The meat was burnt.

He could swear his pint was there somewhere. It had to be! He reached out, feeling around him. Dammit, where was it? He, though to his great belief that he was going the wrong way, shot a hand forward. And quickly took it away with a scream, because then it positioned quite successfully in the fire.

Suddenly somebody not unkindly gave him a new one. He tried his best to look grateful, though he wasn't sure in what direction whoever was there was.

The reply was a laugh. A female laugh, lighthearted. He smiled too, stupidly and his face most likely red. He probably looked damned dizzy, just as he felt.

He also felt a difficulty to speak, but gulped out, "Thank you."

A fracture of his dizziness disappeared, and he realized sitting before a beautiful dark-brown-haired apparition of a she-elf. She wasn't a particularly pretty girl in most standards - short hair, grey eyes, rather wide shoulders, small breasts, and she was clothed in nothing particularly attractive, a simple linen dress and on it, she wore a leather shirt, a true abomination, her being a woman, to the silly fashions of the day.

Riandh didn't give a damn about fashions. He was a carpenter, dammit, a simple man, and to him she seemed beautiful. Plus, he was drunk and couldn't see well.

He tried to introduce himself, but then he realized it was the particular moment he drank up again, so she bowed her head slightly in greeting. "I'm Ayann."

Riandh gulped in acknowledgment.

"I think I saw you before. Right, at Kinnon and Riall's wedding, now I remember. 'Was there too. Kinnon's my sister," she spoke quickly. Hers was a rather quiet, yet high voice. Though Riandh's hearing, like all of his senses, was giddy, of course.

He wasn't too sure whether he was at that wedding. He probably drank too much to remember. The carpenter threw his head back and said a quick prayer in his drunken stupor to the gods, asking for mercy. No doubt someone - a probably dislikable individual at that, because only someone without a sense of either humor or hospitality would do so - would show up now and blame him for drinking all the ale in that wedding, now that she's announced it to the world.

And then the gods decided to have mercy on him and granted him enough clarity to realize that she said it too quietly for anyone to have heard.

"I'm Riandh," he, through struggle, released these words from his drunken mouth. "Riandh tiar Amagh... of Dunnadh..."

She nodded, acknowledging his introduction unceremoniously.

"Are you one of Riall's friends, that you were there?"

"No..."

"Relatives, then?"

He felt more ashamed by the minute.

"Not really... I don't..."

She laughed her lighthearted laugh again.

"Are you saying you just ended up there?"

He scratched his head. Or tried to, and missed. "No... I think I went there to get free food and ale..."

Ayann smiled at him, again.

"I would ill-advise you to drink more of it, personally."

He fell backwards onto the cool grass. Not intentionally. He simply couldn't hold himself up anymore.

"I would ill-advise you to drink any of it..." he managed a semicoherent sentence, "... or you'll end up like me now."

She looked a long look at him for a few moments and stood up.

"Wait... where are you going?" he, despite his stupor, straightened himself up and asked.

"To dance," she nodded towards a circle of dancers on the other side of the fire. "I seem to need a partner, though."

Riandh was too giddy to notice the circle was not one in which you typically have partners, and he said, with an expression just as incoherent, "Um. Ayann..? Want to dance?"


_________________

Bow low, you stand before a head crowned.
And you are?
A friend of nonhumans. I have an offer.
I can add several more heads to this one, all crowned.

Go on.
I want no gold, and have no interest in a killer's fame.
Why do you wish them dead then?
It's a long story.
--------------------------
Prepare to fight, and ready yourselves to avenge your fallen king!
--------------------------
King or beggar, what's the difference? One
d'hoine less.
--------------------------
I'm no avenger of orphans. No executioner for hire.
I'm a witcher.

2 Re: Anathain on 6th September 2011, 12:27 am

Legolover-361

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MNI COO

MNI COO
The back-story was introduced in rather large chunks in the very beginning of the story. It might have been nice to spread it out just a bit more. I'm not saying it should have been in the middle of the conversation between Riandh and Ayann; I'm saying you could have introduced Riandh after writing the first part of the back-story, then had him remember the rest of the back-story, and then written about the Anathain celebration.

Otherwise, this is brilliant. The descriptions and dialogue are nicely-handled, and the plot itself is quite interesting. All-in-all, this was a very enjoyable short story.


_________________
User: You know, I need sleep.
Cleverbot: You don't sleep.
User: Do you watch me?
Cleverbot: When you sleep.

[21:17:07] @ Legolover-361 : Ads, you do realize that if I came, I wouldn't eat what a stranger baked anyway, right? Tongue
[21:17:22] @ Tyler St. Francis : But you'd eat what I baked, right bro?
[21:17:23] @ Tyler St. Francis : right
[21:17:24] @ Tyler St. Francis : right
[21:17:30] Aderia : left
[21:17:41] @ Tyler St. Francis : dead center

3 Re: Anathain on 6th September 2011, 10:58 am

Dov Kayranslayer

avatar

MNI Author

MNI Author
Just one word.

No.

Or longer, I'm simply not doing that.


_________________

Bow low, you stand before a head crowned.
And you are?
A friend of nonhumans. I have an offer.
I can add several more heads to this one, all crowned.

Go on.
I want no gold, and have no interest in a killer's fame.
Why do you wish them dead then?
It's a long story.
--------------------------
Prepare to fight, and ready yourselves to avenge your fallen king!
--------------------------
King or beggar, what's the difference? One
d'hoine less.
--------------------------
I'm no avenger of orphans. No executioner for hire.
I'm a witcher.

4 Re: Anathain on 6th September 2011, 11:04 am

Legolover-361

avatar

MNI COO

MNI COO
I did say "you could have" done so. If you'd rather not... well, no writer can write a good story without first pleasing him- or herself.


_________________
User: You know, I need sleep.
Cleverbot: You don't sleep.
User: Do you watch me?
Cleverbot: When you sleep.

[21:17:07] @ Legolover-361 : Ads, you do realize that if I came, I wouldn't eat what a stranger baked anyway, right? Tongue
[21:17:22] @ Tyler St. Francis : But you'd eat what I baked, right bro?
[21:17:23] @ Tyler St. Francis : right
[21:17:24] @ Tyler St. Francis : right
[21:17:30] Aderia : left
[21:17:41] @ Tyler St. Francis : dead center

5 Re: Anathain on 6th September 2011, 11:12 am

Dov Kayranslayer

avatar

MNI Author

MNI Author
Yeah, I know, I just wanted to sound strict. xD

Thanks for finally properly re-reviewing it btw


_________________

Bow low, you stand before a head crowned.
And you are?
A friend of nonhumans. I have an offer.
I can add several more heads to this one, all crowned.

Go on.
I want no gold, and have no interest in a killer's fame.
Why do you wish them dead then?
It's a long story.
--------------------------
Prepare to fight, and ready yourselves to avenge your fallen king!
--------------------------
King or beggar, what's the difference? One
d'hoine less.
--------------------------
I'm no avenger of orphans. No executioner for hire.
I'm a witcher.

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