Knight of ZantarniZantarni NPC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:50 pm
“Sharlous, Sharlous, everywhere.”
Meldrick smiled as he sat in the park as so many of Edingtol’s citizens seemed to be out that day, playing in the park with their sharlous. He knew the sharlous were there without hearing them, as they had a very distinctive scent . . . like a mixture of mint and chocolate.
He started to remember when he first encountered the little gargoyle-like creatures, with their strange propensity for eating or redecorating with steel. As he remembered, he started telling the tale; as a few people recognized him and sat about him; their sharlous resting on the grass or in their laps.
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The caravan had stopped and set up camp out side the walls of the City of Celthros. They had arrived there for the weekend ‘Festival of the Shamrocks’, which was held on the 16th, 17th and 18th of the 3rd month. The townspeople were already in a festive mood and it had spilled out to the countryside.
Meldrick had slipped away from the camp, which had become his normal routine, and he headed into the foothills of the northern Range. Smiling as he walked along a long forgotten path that led to a small isolated valley.
After hearing tales of ghosts and evil spirits that inhabited this valley, Meldrick had decided to check it out for himself. He knew that most ghost stories had their origins in truth, but that most had nothing to do with ghosts.
He followed the path along the bank of a small river that flowed down from the mountains high above him. The path led him to a heavily wooded area. He smiled as he found a place to sit by a large elm tree, then picking up some stones, he starting throwing them in the river, skipping them along the surface.
As he sat there in this area of nature’s beauty, he thought he heard laughter coming from the other bank of the river.
“Who’s there?” Meldrick asked as he looked about, trying to locate the source of the laughter.
As he stood up, he heard the laughter again. Someone or something was obviously having a good time . . . either that or they were making fun of him.
Meldrick lightly tossed a stone in the water and waited. He didn’t have to wait long, as within seconds, a stone came flying out of the trees from across the river and splashed not far from where his stone had hit the water.
He jumped a little and looked into the trees, trying to find out exactly where that stone had come from.
“Hello. Who’s there?” he took another rock and tossed it into the river, tossing it in a high arc, trying to draw out the mystery thrower’s location.
As his stone hit and splashed in the water, Meldrick caught sight of a flash of color high in the trees, in fact he noticed there were several flashes of color near treetop level.
“Hello up there!” He smiled and waved as he thought he recognized the creatures. They were straight out of his bedtime tales.
His Uncle Jacob was a storyteller of some note. He always told Meldrick tales of dragons and faeries and all types of ‘mystical creatures’.
He remembered a story of a knight who had rested and had his sword bent and twisted into a flower shape. “Now what were those creatures called?” he asked himself.
“Sharlous!” he said aloud, as he remembered what the colorful creatures were called.
Meldrick picked up several stones and tossed them in the river. He laughed as several stones came flying out of the treetops to splash in the water.
Since he was not getting any response from the sharlous except the throwing of stones, he looked for a way to cross the river. Looking a little downstream from where he was, he saw some stones in the water that he should be able to step on to cross the water. He started to cross the stones when at about ¾ of the way across, he slipped on a wet stone, falling into the river and banging his head.
As Meldrick opened his eyes, he could tell that a lot of time had passed, for it was now dark and the stars were in the sky. He moved a little and stopped as his head hurt and the world began to spin around, as he felt a small hand on his chest. He turned and saw a golden sharlou sitting by him, trying to steady him.
There was the sound of drumbeats and laughter as he could sense that there were many creatures here, many more than he had suspected that there were.
He turned to the golden sharlou and realized that they were much more beautiful than he had thought that they would be. He hadn’t really expected to see so many different colors either. Watching them dance and play made him smile.
The golden sharlou placed its hand on his head, gently touching the lump that he had there and the pain seemed to ease a bit. Meldrick laid his hand on the sharlou’s and whispered, “Thank you.”
The sharlou smiled and then turned its attention to the dancing and playing, it was obvious to Meldrick that the creature wanted to join the others.
“Go ahead, little one . . . go and have fun, I am not going anywhere.” He motioned to the sharlou to go and that he would be right here. The sharlou smiled and bounced off the join the party.
Meldrick slowly sat up and found a tree trunk to lean back against. As he sat there a couple of younger sharlous came over to sit by him, they were chewing on shamrocks. See the three-leaf plants hanging from their mouths made Meldrick smile. He reached down and picked a shamrock and started to absently chew on it. The young ones giggled and rolled about, as if what he had done was the funniest thing they ever saw. He smile and continued to chew on the shamrock, listening to the drumbeat and enjoying the sharlous’ company.
He yawned and looked about and laid down on the soft grass, as he fell asleep he could feel the little ones laying against him, the sent of mint and chocolate filled the air.
Waking as he felt the warmth of the sun on his cheek. As he sat up he realized that the sharlous had again disappeared into the woods. He smiled at the pleasant memories of the night before as he slowly got to his feet.
He was hungry and thirsty so he walked to the riverside and dipped his hands into the cool water, bringing it to his face, and rinsing off then sipping it. The taste so fresh and cool. He gently shook his head, realizing he had missed the first day of the festival. He stood up and turned to the woods, “Good bye little ones, I hope we meet again.” He waved and then started heading back towards the encampment and the city gates.
As he walked along the path, he whistled. Meeting the creatures from his uncle’s stories made him smile. He had never expected the sharlous to be so cute or to come in so many colors. They really were smart creatures.
He heard a rustling off to his left, but when he turned there, there was nothing there. He must have been imagining it. He shrugged his shoulders and continued down the pathway coming out of the small valley and finding the road back to the City of Celthros. Crossing over the bridge across the river, he headed to wards the gypsy elves encampment, whistling as he walked on .
As he neared the encampment a few of the gypsies turned and pointed, “Mellie, what are they?” “Mellie, they’re adorable?” “Mellie, can I have one?”
Meldrick stopped. He was confused until he turned around and there spread as far as he could see, were the sharlous . . . all sizes and colors . . .
“What are you doing?” he said to the sharlous.
A red sharlou stepped forward and move to Meldrick.
Meldrick knelt before it as it reached out and touched his temple. “It’s our destiny.”
Meldrick heard the voice in his head. “Your visiting us was prophesized by the ancients, it was to signal the renewal of our friendship with the other peoples of Zantarni . . .”
Smiling, Meldrick lightly touched the temple of the sharlou and turned to the gypsies, “Yes you may all have one as may all of the City of Celthros.”
Meldrick turned and marched into the gates of Celthros, where the festival was in full swing. As the sharlous followed him, many turned and smiled at the sight of these cute creatures. Children ran to them and the sharlous broke free to play with them.
Finding the Mayor of Celthros, Meldrick bowed. “Honorable Lord Mayor, the sharlous are here for all to share, to mark your Festival of the Shamrocks, they are available to all and wish nothing more than care and friendship . . . I hope the people of Celthros know what an honor this is for them and all of Zantarni.”
With that, a red sharlou stepped forward to stand before the mayor. It looked up at him with ‘puppy dog’ eyes and outstretched arms. The mayor looked down at it, his gruff expression turning into a smile as he leaned down and picked up the red sharlou, then turned to Meldrick.
“Young gypsy, our people have heard stories of sharlous for all of our lives. I truly never thought that I would live to see their return. This is indeed a joyous occasion, for me and for all of the citizen’s of Celthros.” He laid a hand on Meldrick’s shoulder “I thank you for returning them to us.”
With that, the crowd cheered as the people of Celthros and the sharlous were united in friendship again. Each person smiling as sharlous found people and people found sharlous and the festival continued in full-swing, only more festive than ever before.
Meldrick smiled as he waved good bye to the red sharlou and the mayor; then headed back to the encampment and his wagon.
Smiling as he crawled into his own bed. He heard the door open and close and the patter of little feet. Looking down, he saw the golden sharlou and smiled, “Hello little one.”
- - - - - - - - -
Meldrick yawned and stretched as he arose, “The 17th day of the 3rd month . . . the Festival of the Shamrocks . . . The day the sharlous returned . . . this was the 50th year since their return.”
Sit back and I'll tell you tales of Faeries and dragons.
Last edited by Meldrick the Elder on Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:38 am; edited 1 time in total