"How about we start with Astra first, eh?" Seeker smiles in a comforting smile as Astra jumps at mention of her name. "Rank may not have much privileges here, but at least we can let the warrior princess go first, right?"
Astra, elfin ears twitching a little in consternation at the words of this strange elf, just sighs and decides to humor him. Lord knows that the whole situation has gone to luney since she had been freed from the grasp of that horrible....lecherous wyrm/mage. But God help her, if she didn't get a straight answer from these other elves she was ready to kick their butts up to around where their pointy ears were!
She decides to start from the beginning of her ordeal....in order to at least tell Fred some more about herself. Her heart flutters a little bit faster at the last part about Fred. As strange as it seems, Astra felt that somehow her heart was beginning to be snared by this brave young man....and for the life of her she couldn't understand WHY! He seemed to be a man of deep honor...but like all the mysterious dwellers of Alaria....Astra found Fred to be a mystery.
Astra felt her heart flutter more in excitement at the thought of plumbing those depths.
She sighs, acknowledging that her heart seemed to have decided the matter for her. Hearts were like that, and rarely listened to their more logical....rational partner....the mind.
If this budding relationship did blossom into something serious, then if she ever DID regain her God given form (not that the thought of her being an elf for the rest of her existence really bother her....she thought, surprised at her feelings) then there really would be no real big political scandal. After all, Frederigo D'Honaire was the son of one of the great dukes of the kingdom of Alaria,or he wouldn't be Lord Fred. Certainly he'd certainly be a fine match for her if he could become a companion in arms, and in life, of her! And there seemed to be some real hope for the young man...since he hadn't done anything to hint at the rumored conciets of other Alarian nobles...who seemed to hold all woman as something less that equals.
Astra was succumbing to the nature of her now elfin body. Elven hearts were....wiser....than their human counterparts....and knew a good "catch" when they sense them. This tended to lead to what humans felt was flighty behavior on the elves part, but in all the elves had better romantic realtionship by FAR than the average, mundane human being.
As far as this budding relationship between the elves Astra and Fred, Seven of Nine said it best in regards to them trying to resist this. Resistence is futile.
Just another insight into the minds and hearts of the nonhuman minds and hearts of Terra....
Anyway, her mother, the Queen and ruler of Aqualaria, had done much to bring equality to the males of her land.....perhaps the same was happening hin Alaria....and they were becoming enlightened?
Astra shakes her head to focus...and begins to tell her tale.
"I'm not going to tell the life history of me, but I'll just begin from where I had been captured by the vile dragon Vellus," she begins, noticing that Seeker seems to react slightly as if he recognized the name.
Yep, sounds like a Mirror of Astra, Seeker thought to herself, nodding slightly, causing his mane of coppery hair to shift a bit to where he needed to brush it out of his way. He made a mental note to at least make a headband in order to keep it out of his eyes (his equipment seemed bereft of scissors....if not some of the other equipment that he was used too).
He brushes his hair out of his eyes, and Astra continues.
"For some reason, my mother had gotten the idea in her head that an arranged marriage between me and a Duke by the name of Zular, a man I've never met, to improve the rather strained relations between my country and Alaria," Astra said, with a bit of anger in her voice. "Now, I have nothing against this Zular, but I'd be hung if I was going to be forced into a marriage like that."
"Well, even if it did happen," Fred said. "You wouldn't have an ogre for a husband. I happen to know and like Zular. A real man of honor and courage.....and a real brain inside his head! Fact is, I owe him my life when he came up with an antidote for a slow poison that some enemy to the House D'Honair slipped in my food!"
"But I'm glad that the marriage didn't happen....for else I'd be heartbroken right now," Fred mutters softly to himself, heartfelt. All eyes turn to him and smile, and Fred feels like dying! He'd said it softly enough that human ears wouldn't have heard or understood that....but the others AREN'T human!
Astra, feeling something warm rush through her heart, gave Fred a fond pat on his hand (sending a jolt of pleasure through both) and the returned to her tale.
"So....as a service of equal importance to Aqualaria to substitute for the arranged marriage I went off to slay the Dragon of the North Cavern," Astra finishes up, silently cursing the Greek philosophy duty to state. "The lore books I had read on this vile dragon were erroneous and I was capture....and used as bait for other adventurers."
"And to make you a more....effective bait Vellus stripped you naked," Fred sighed. "And quiet an effective one, frankly. Vellus almost got the drop on me!"
Seeker makes a mental note that, sometime in the future, to find out just how many Earth phrases and concepts seemed to be floating around such a remote Mirror world.
"But you killed it...and that should have been the end," Astra sighs. "Vellus' mentor banished us via magic into the desert... We survived to find a mage tower of the....er...eccentric Mage cum Scientist Dr. Vincent. He magically whisked us inside his tower, only to have disaster befall Lord Fred when the magic creation known as Bobo injured Fred terribly."
"Aye, that purple toaster headed ape did indeed," Fred muttered darkly. "And that mad mage healed me...HAH!.....by turning me into a freak with scissors for hands! Only when I and Astra begged did that idiot try to turn me back."
"And then disaster struck when I sneezed at an important point," Astra said, puzzled. "Funny, there wasn't anything around that should have made me do that. Say what you will of Vincent....that was the cleanest mage laboratory that I've ever seen!"
"Actually my brother Charles' lab was better than than Vincent....but I see your point." Fred put in, wondering if he would ever get to see his sometimes zany....but brilliant brother again!
"Perhaps you were allergic to Bobo?" Torres conjectures. If all that had happened to hadn't happened, then she'd have thought Astra and Fred mad for the tale they were telling.
As it was, it just made her head spin a bit.
"I ended up in the dark caverns of the dragon again and was able to find my way to freedom," Astra says. "I had thought of using the magical ear ring that vincent had given me to call forth Pronklezilch, a friend of Vincent. But I'd had a funny feeling about Vincent, about how stable he was. I didn't want to risk calling forth another mage to somebody who I had grave doubts about."
"Birds of a feather flocking together, huh?" Seeker put in. "You figured that since Vincent was a little mentally unstable that the same might be for his friends?"
"Right," Astra said. "Nice turn of the phrase, by the way. I've never heard it, but it fits!"
"Er....thanks," Seeker said. That phrase was hundreds of years old back Home.....but never had been born apparently back where Astra was born.
"I went through a passageway with demons carved on it and then swam through an underground river and came to the beach of the river. Fred soon found me, and we then made our way out to try to find our way to civilization when we ran into the fell forest of Xythryx. We were entrapped by a giant spider's web and knowing the deadly nature of those monsters, we had to call upon Pronklezilch...else we'd be a spider's dinner!"
"But the damn mage turned out to be not only mad....but...horny," Fred ground out. "He appeared, found us in danger, but wouldn't have lifted a finger to help unless Astra did some sexual favors for him. She tricked him into freeing us....and killing the giant spider that was approaching....and that REALLY got the mage angered. He used the ancient Atlantian Crystal Staff on us....and transformed us into elves! And since....by some strange sense of...alieness to this land around us....we've been teleported to some other world! Meaning, I and Astra are now elves forevermore."
Elves have a connection to the land around them....and can tell things instinctively about it that a human is blind to. Fred's senses are telling him that Terra Prime isn't His Tera!
"Is that so bad?" Astra says softly. "We don't age...and we could be together forevermore.....forever young and in love?"
2/7/2000 5:28:58 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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