“Remember little sister, You must not control the water. Water is a forever-free flowing spirit of energy. Controlling it is like controlling a wild horse. Show it your loyalty and it will give its own.”
Standing knee-deep in the fast moving current of the Palebird river, Sparrow the Stormborn took a stance, her arms raised. Closing her eyes, she fixated all her thoughts on the icy-numb water, ignoring the tiny shards of ice that peppered the stream. She ignored the patted down slime and mud between her bare feet, the tiny setimits of mountain rock and other remnants not dared named rushing over her skin as she concentrated on grasping the flow of magic within the water.
She could see it within her mind---- Minuscule strands of Arcane magic, thin as fishing wire. There were numerous, all tangled and twisted and knotted together like a fast moving tapestry dyed the brightest shade of blue. They seemed to bend and weave around black dotted objects within the river, their magic flowing freely as they drifted
Knitting her eyebrows in concentration, Sparrow reached out toward them.
Sitting on the largest river rock, Leaning against a bend leg while the other danged helplessly in the stream, Badger the Swift watched his sister make the connection. Her hands did not ball into
fists---like many of the other spellcasters he had seen do But rather she kept them straight and taunt as an arrow. Badger gave a amused chukcle as he watched her.
Taking slow and even breaths, Sparrow pull against several of the fibers of magic. To a normal person, One would mistake the snapp for being just a rock tumbling through the water, hitting the others on the bottom. However for both Badger and Sparrow, the snapping was like thunder---deafening and rough against their sensitive elven ears.
From her minds eye, she saw the threads she had selected snap from their unknown base, twisting and floating freely like strands of hair. However, the end-points that had snapped free caught wind of her begging request, and coiling like snakes, the threads gave their consent.
Gasping at the sudden coldness coiling in her figuers, Sparrow eyes snapped open. “B-badger,” She stammered, her teeth chattering from the sudden coldness. “I-i made the connection..”
Badger chuckled “Very good little one. Can you feel its pull?”
Sparrow swallowed a lump within her throat “Y-yes.”
With a deep-throated grunt, Badger pulled himself up from his perch, his feet soundlessly slipping into her water as he trudged forward toward her. Standing in water that reached only to the mid-calf of his legs, Badger towers over his sister, grinning a jagged smile as he observed his apprentice.
It still surprised him to see this girl—once a week premature infant, born during a particular bad summertime storm.—stand before him, her breath shaky and mussels taunt as she held firm her grasp with the arcane threads.
Mother and father would never see her like this. Nature, in all its cruel beauty, had taken mother shortly after Sparrow had been born. Father soon joined her when he found his heartbreak too heavy to bear.
It gave Badger a privileged feeling, watching as his sister take her first steps, learn to climb the highest trees within their forest, wielded the tribal scimitar, and now practice the ancient art of their people. It was his own private performance, and it warmed his heart knowing he was passing down his beliefs and traditions to his own flesh and blood.
“B-badger,” stammers his sister. She gazes up at him with clear hazel eyes. “W-what now?”
Taking a stance himself, Badger made his own connection, the thunder-like snapp once again cracking against the air. “We practice,” he simply said.
Moving his right hand, Badger made a flicking motion upward with this clasped fingers, almost as if he was motioning an attacker to move first. Below, a small lump lurched within the water. It remained for only a second before dropping down back into the river, disappearing beneath the stream.
Sparrow followed suit. Moving her hand, she made the flicking motion, the water lump bulging and falling as well. Badger gave a pleased nod before shifting his stance and moving.
He turned his hand straight, showing off his palms. Long, jagged scars criss-crossed his hands, light-colored roads crossing a tan landscape. Sparrow had always found those scars intriguing. She had imagined her brother facing off against a giant foe that had somehow founds its way into their forest, standing proudly before its corpse, his palms bleeding deeply before closing and forming the scars.
But Badger had dismissed the image multiple times, saying that his sparring partners Scimitar had sliced his hands. But Sparrow had found that bland and forgettable, so she kept her own image of him instead.
Shifting his feet, Badger held his arms steady as he pulled them back, almost as if he was preparing himself for a large blow. In the water, Sparrow felt the current tighten strongly, the stream that rushed over her knees slowing as water flowed backwards. Pushing his arms forward, a surge of cold water rushed over her knees and thighs, almost wetting her animal skin shorts. The force of the push was so strong, sparrow stumbled back a bit, fumbling a moment before catching herself.
Chuckling, Sparrow repeated the motion, Pushing the water against her brother, though he did not stumble as she did.
They practiced for several hours, Badger manipulating the water into various forms and shapes, and Sparrow repeating his movements. Eventually, their stances began to loosen. Turning and twisting their bodies, they manipulated the water around them, creating large waves and powerful wips of water.
However, as the two pushed and pulled, Badger began to… change. His pushes began to become more forceful, Sparrow’s feet skidding roughly against the mudas she caught a fast moving wip of water. He began to push them out faster as well, his arms and hands moving quickly as the two circled each other within the stream.
In one swift movement, Badger sent out a large wip of water, splashing harshly against Sparrows body, soaking her completely from head to toe.
Coughing and Desperately trying to ring water out of her eyes, Sparrow was bombarded with another wip of water, pushing her back brutally against the grassy edge of the river-side. However, as she gripped the edge for Support, Badger sent another water-wip, before sending another in its wake.
“B-badger,” Gasps Sparrow, trying desperately to wipe lose strands of hair from her face. “Stop. I don't want to do this anymore!”
“Your opponent won't let you stop the fight once its started. Take action and counter their blows.” Moving his arms, Badger creates a ring of water, its fast moving rapids circling him before flicking his arm and sending it barling into his sister, the water rushing dangerously over her face.
Desperate to find air, Sparrow draws forth her own whip of water, spinning it madly around herself before thrusting it toward Badger, who bats it away without a flinch. Sparrow springs out of the river, her mud-crusted feet skidding against the grass as she joggs to high ground. Hearing the ripping of water, Sparrow turns sharply, throwing up her hands as she makes a connection with the earth.
Unlike with the river, with its many tiny threads. Long thick bars of arcane energy slumber deep in the earth, a bright green glow illuminating them. Hearing the thunderous snap, Sparrow made her connection, and soon, large wooden tendreals sprout from the ground, giant dark colored thorns sprouting from the wood. However, before sparrow could fully use her connection, A sharp lash races against her spine, sending her flying across the grass, tumbling swiftly before catching herself. Growling, She staggers to her feet, wiping her mouth of a tiny trail of blood drips from her lip.
Whipping her arm wildly, she sends the wooden tendrel flying at Badger, who was climbing out of the river, a tentacle of water raised in defense. With a wild lash, the air crackles as the tip of the thorn whip lashes Badger across his cheek, splitting the skin and throwing back his head. A small teardrop of blood slides down his olive skin, dripping off his chin.
Grinning madly, Badger breaks his connection. The water-whip drops from his grasp, splashing back into its river. A thunderous snap crackles in the air as suddenly, with a flick of his foot, The earth beneath sparrow’s feet shift and makes her do a split.
. She gives an ear-bleeding scream as she grips the grass, her legs spread wide and low to the ground. The pain is unbearable, sharp pulses convulsing through her muscles.
By the riverside, Badger gives a cackle as he watches his sister struggle, her eyes mistly as she tries desperately to pull her legs comfortable position. Flicking his foot again, the earth begins to pull together, moving her heels and legs together as she whimpers in pain.
Gripping her crotch as she stands to a comfortable position, she staggers forward, knees locked together as Badger walks his way toward her.
“Im sorry,” He mumbles, a smile plastered to his face. “I went a little too far, didnt i?”
“You should be thankful you’ll only have a sore crotch when this is over. Trust me, I’ts not fun walking home with a broken leg and arm---Hey, why are you crying?”
With tears rolling down her face like waterfalls, sobs claw up her throat, echoing over the treetops. She tries desperately to wipe her eyes, the back of her hands gliding roughly over her eyelids. Words tumble from her mouth, with sobs breaking the sentences apart. “y-you...A-and t-then…. The earth….Water… My back…”
Moving a hand from her crotch, she touches her back, her fingers gently hovering over an area across her lower spine, near her pelvis.Moving slowly and lifting her shirt, A large black-and purple bruise forms across her skin, an ink-spill on paper. Stretching in deep red lines, veins could be seen peppering the bruce. Sucking in air, Badger takes a long look at his disheveled sister, then back at the bruce.
Giving a sigh, Badger picks himself up, moving around his sister to stand behind her.
Cupping his arms, Badger bends low, scooping sparrow into his tattooed arms, pulling her close to his chest.
“Im sorry, Krusha,” He whispers warmly, pressing his diamond-tattooed forehead to Sparrow’s bare one. “I pushed you too far. You’re not ready, Not yet. I should have known.”
Kissing her red and tear-stained cheek, Badger turns from the river, Sparrow’s sobs breaking the quiet of the forest.
He was a higher druid, his ceremonial tattoos showing years and years of battles fought and abilities masters. She was still an apprentice, her only tattoos being the ones dripping down her cheeks. She wasn't like him--- He was immune to the pain, his emotions pressed down and chained deep inside him. Sparrow wore her heart on her sleeves, her emotions ever-present and bright and free.
He and She were different. Different in everything. In Appearance. Brown hair for her; Black for him. In personality. Sweet, shy, and a little dence; Strong, aloof and somewhat cocky. In name. Sparrow the Stormborn. Badger the Swift.
She was nothing like him. It was a blessing. And a curse.