Poster: Raphael O'Keeffe
Post # 19
Raphael sent word to Gabriel to come this night where the moon was high
and certain elements whispered through the trees especially the Great
Oak where their tree house was built. One he was given permission from
the very Oak itself. It called itself Marx. As much as one could
translate tree talk or more feel that came through, past barriers of
completely different life forms that shared the same planet. Gabriel was
to see if any of the others could come as well. He would have the trap
door open and the rope ladder down in anticipation. It was also
requested he bring some food and potcheen. Raphael had run out as he
stayed close to the tree, the middle level tier of the home. One that
had a round shaved off area of the tree, part that had been having the
bark coming off leaving a circle of about three feet round.
Gabriel had gotten the note and knew he had about an hour before heading
for the tree house. He heard the others had been practicing on the water
gauntlet and so headed there to see if they were about. Not finding them
there he headed for the Thistle to pick up some food and of course a
case of potcheen. He would pay coin for buying a case as oppose to
taking a bottle or drinking at the Thistle. He hoped to at least find
them there and if not he would send a runner up to the knight's hall as
a last resort.
Aiden was making his way toward the tree house. He had talked to Mo, but
she had a meeting with the Crown Princess that couldn't be put off.
Instead of using the ladder, he used shadows to bring him to the tree
house. Jewel was close on his heels as they stepped out of the
shadows near Raphael. "Evening, Raphael. " The shadow cat was
right over to the other man, purring a greeting.
As usual, the last resort would serve Gabriel to contact Cole. He
received the missive, slid the runner some coins, then took up his sword
and went straight away to the Tree House. He'd be the only one that
needed to use the ladder and he was grateful to Raphael for realizing
that. He climbed up, joining the others inside the home of their winged
comrades. A touch of fist to chest was his silent greeting.
He flew in, arriving with basket in hand and a case of potcheen under
the other arm. Luckily he could fly carrying weight and not be bogged
down. He came in from the top landing then down to the main floor room
where Raphael was, setting the goods on the table off to the one side.
"Help yourselves, though maybe leave some for Raphael."
Grinning with the last as he waited.
Raphael gave Aiden a look, "I still need to get use to you
doing that," though the shadow cat gave him away some as she had
darted ahead to curl around his leg. "Cole, I'm pleased you
could make it." Being this would be the first time for him to see.
He had not imposed upon the man when he did some soul searching, he
didn't need the worry nor burden. Looking between them as this was as
much a brotherhood as the oaths they took under the kings in serving
them, "Brąthairel," a brotherhood of skills to serve the good
of the whole. "Come watch." Indicating the seats set around
circular barren spot on the tree. "It will be soon, a
glimpse." He waited for these glimpses to better understand what
would be required of them before the portal opened up for them to go
back in time. He was over to collect the basket of food to set on the
floor near his feet. He was starving at this point for not wanting to
leave when a moment could make the difference in getting the preliminary
glimpses that were leading up to this one.
He just grinned at Raphael then returned Cole's greeting. All he wanted
from the supplies Gabriel brought was potcheen. A bottle was obtained,
and glasses set out. He didn't know who else wanted a drink so once his
glass was filled, he looked up. "Anyone else?" When that was
finished, he was over to one of the seats. "Raphael, you should
make sure you have one of us bring you food every day." They could
work it out among themselves.
Cole denied any need for food or drink by a single shake of his head,
but joined the others in the circle. He unstrapped his sword and placed
it aside, he'd have no use for it while here, and then he lowered to sit
as a part of the group of four.
He touched off a fisted hand to his chest before taking a seat near
Aiden and Cole as he settled in to watch what would transpire.
"I'll have one." There was plenty to share but he already had
a hearty meal at the manor with Melantha, her family and Grandmother. He
had noticed the look in her eyes she was pleased to see him there. Now
he would be again as often as he could. "I alerted Hazel to have
something sent for the next couple of days." For all Raphael's
skills and intelligence, he'd forget to screw on his head when he got up
in the morning if it wasn't already attached.
He motioned to Aiden he'd have some but more a gesture of his hand for
he was stuffing his mouth. That and looking towards the window that
showed the lake beyond in one very peaceful night. The Moon
was moving into position as the first rays hit the bare spot, it spread
out, like the tree soaked up the light turning it a silvery charcoal
grey. Dark enough that images would start to show. Gabriel and Aiden
were privy to the scene in a few ways already. The sole male standing on
the cliffs, the Saoi-dhean, the valley that spread out from this bird's
eye view of strange extremely large trees compared to some of the
recognizable creatures such as birds. Though amongst those birds were
not so normal in the size of a dragon, leathery skin, hammer shaped
heads and split tails much like the lion. One flew across in pursuit of
a small group of geese. There was much squawking and honking as the
creature swooped in to inhale three of the ones in a row, shattering the
V formation and the others diving back down to the protection of trees.
He made sure Gabriel and Raphael had those drinks before he settled to
watch. Though he had seen such before, it still was fascinating. He gave
a soft whistle as the geese were attacked then glanced at Cole to see
his reaction. Only a quick look. He didn't want to miss anything.
Cole sat forward, his hand resting lightly across his lower face, that
elbow on his other arm for support. Over the years, this particular
warrior had seen many strange and amazing things and still, he could be
intrigued when something so fascinating presented itself to him. He
didn't speak for he didn't know if words would break the spell, the
vision, the incoming information, but the questions were there, so many
The vegetation was lush, waterfalls from tremendous heights fell miles
below down the sides of rocky mountainsides feeding the river below.
Strange sounds would assault their ears not in volume but uniqueness. A
few long neck, heavy torso and legged beasts came to the water's edge
before immersing themselves partially into the water and feeding off low
lying branches that grew there. It was almost as if they followed the
descend of the geese escaping the carnivorous bird, spiraling down in a
vertigo as the whole scene changed from above looking down to one under
the canopy of trees. Rich leafy fauna grew here. Here they would
see the winged tribe milling about the great Redwoods in which their
homes were built way up high, much like the treehouse they were in and
all networked into a city of them. Two men and a woman were talking,
gesturing north which they took off in that direction taking to wing
only to stop at a canyon area where a man casting shadows joined them.
Always something new. He found himself engrossed as the people with
wings took flight and found the one that worked with shadows. Jewel
meowed as if speaking to Aiden and he looked at her and just nodded. He
looked back, studying the area where the four were. It might be a place
they'd need to know when they went back.
Though this was something the others had already witnessed, it was new
to Cole and he was engrossed in the images which passed before his eyes.
Each and every detail taken in and remembered. He wasn't sure as yet why
these scenes were presented to them, shared with him, but nothing as
extraordinary as this could be for naught. Only time would reveal the
purpose, Cole would be ready.
Like Aiden, Gabriel had seen most of this before. The scenes were
altered somehow though it was suppose to be of the past. This is what
held his thoughts mostly about it this time around. There had been
four starting out with them from the winged village, this time there
were only three and one was a woman. Before that had not been
distinguished. Either that or his memory wasn't serving him correctly as
eyes turned summer blue Aiden's way to see if he noticed the same.
The four at this point were conversing, gesturing in a direction it
would be hard to tell without any compass point set in these scenes.
They seemed to agree and all went on foot in that very direction. Trees
and brush intermittently blocked the view of the four beneath on foot
and completely after the trees grew even more dense from this bird's eye
view again. In the next moment they were seen again in a field of tall
grass as well the sides were moving in on the four from all directions.
The movement took clarity of large fur covered men and strange beasts
looking like giant werewolves with no fur upon their bodies. They went
on the attack, one of the four casting out shadows that turned into
beasts looking like giant wolves with fiery eyes. The winged threesome
lifted into the air as arrows started raining into the masses along with
shards of icy shock waves, bolts of lighting and fireballs. Still the
Dubh Daoine came undaunted pressing towards the four bent on destroying
them. They were the soulless, mindless brutes of something far more
powerful driving them. It was then an army of Elves, sprites and other
Fae joined in to help the four, the Saoi-dhean. Still there was an
impression this was only one minor battle as a shadow passed over the
scene, filling an empty spot that looked very much like a wolf. There
was far more to these scenes but the passing of moonlight only
Cole's gaze narrowed, his pupils shrinking into mere slits as the
furless wolfmen and fur covered men attacked. That scene seemed all too
familiar to him in ways he kept to himself at present. No words. Just
the tensing of his shoulders as he trained his gaze back to rounded
pupils and scanned the enemy lines. The shadow had him casting a look
above, then back quickly to the scene lest he miss something of
importance and the moon refused continued cooperation.
Gabriel ended up watching Cole as something drew his focus there.
"What is it?" He knew Raphael, or even himself, would explain
anything needing an explanation of what they knew. There was more to all
"Why are we showed this?" He answered, still looking at first
to where the image had been and not to the comrade he spoke to. Slowly
he shifted his gaze to Gabriel, then scanned the gathering, each of
their faces taken in before returning to his winged brethren. "I
know of these people. These furred men...these wolfmen. Why are we
Raphael held up his hand in a gesture to Gabriel that he would answer
the questions as best he could. "For many years I have known that I
was here for a reason, that my wings were for a reason that would not be
self serving. They say time bends back on itself to certain crucial
times. A very Ancient past where the humans of today were a minority to
breed such as myself, the shadow casters and Wolfmen. The fur clad
giants with little brains and taken over by the Dubh Daoine. I have not
seen them yet, nor know what gifts they possess other than they seem to
control the Giants and the furless wolves." Wolves that were as big
as a human male and not always on four legs but at times upward on two
as he would have seen. "There was not the scene of hundreds of
years later when many volcanoes erupted that laid waste to the lands
below. Many would die, and enough would survive to continue on as the
Earth itself changed over time. New races born, some from the old mixed
in and the way of life to change with it. The terrain would change as
well. There is a fracture in time from what I've seen so far that calls
us, much like our ancestors," though somewhat different too,
"to go back at a certain point and win a battle for them, they
didn't make and were suppose to in having the outcome that leads to
today. Otherwise our races will be destroyed and the Earth shadowed in
darkness and pain for many centuries. Humans will almost cease to
exist for being far weaker."
Cole nodded in thought following Raphael's explanation. "So, we are
to go back? Through this fracture you have found? We..." He
motioned with a nod alone to indicate the men gathered within the
treehouse. "are to travel back in time with what we know of these
races to fight a battle or the world as we know it today, will
"That is of my understanding of the situation. Yes. Those that
will. It is why the scenes change each time subtly. It takes but one
little ripple to change the course of history. Four of us are going, it
seems to have reflected the decisions made today. We are to learn to
fight together, using all our skills as one to defeat the Dubh Daoine.
Those that are the Fae forerunners will help to keep their races alive
or at least not enslaved." Though Raphael didn't directly ask Cole
where he stood on this, he waited to see by his words instead.
He had nodded at Gabriel, having noted the differences as well. And
seeing how the shadows came to life for the other, he knew where he
needed to focus his training. His dark eyes shifted from the scene
before them to Cole while he too, waited for his answer.
Cole still divulged nothing. "And the woman?"
"I believe the woman is Mo, who has wings also and discovered after
coming to these lands. You came this night and witnessed what has only
been shown to us so far. You may say, well, you invited me so why would
I not come and I will say to you that if you were not to have seen this
of the past, something would have come up to not have you here. It may
seem a simple way in how this is determined but I believe things happen
for a reason, not by chance. Still, you are here, you have seen. What
you have to offer, even remains a question to be seen. Even if seen, you
have the choice to step aside, have us leave you behind. To face what it
is we are to face without your gifts, without your support."
He knew that Cole was avoiding the question though not certain why.
Still, in the end, he had to make his own choice, his own decisions. He
didn't sense fear from his friend, but ... caution. And that he
understood. It worried him that Mo was to go but he wouldn't stop her
even if he could.
Cole passed his gaze over the other men again, lips pursed. He drew in a
breath, released it, then drew in another to begin to speak. "You
have my support and my sword, Raphael. As in this realm, so in an
unknown one, my place remains ever at the sides of my comrades. Aiden.
Gabriel." His eyes could even appear to glow slightly as he looked
to each as he spoke. "I would have it no other way no matter the
enemy we fight. No matter the reason...to engage in battle." His
talents, his skill other than that which served Daurenia and now Innis,
would remain his own secret for now.
Gabriel sat back, watching, listening, ever since Raphael took over in
an explanation to Cole. Good thing that he had for he had not known all
that Raphael had to say. Knew some but seemed he got to learn more. A
slow smile emerged as he heard Cole step forward to meet his fate, his
destiny with his brothers. It comforted him. "Melantha wishes to
come. Before deciding against it, please talk to her, Raphael." She
had told him she could be of an asset and this he would let Raphael hear
for himself being all of this turned to have Raphael the natural leader
for this expedition into an ancient past to fight an ancient battle.
"We need your support and your sword, Cole. I felt you would but
knew how drastic the change would be if you had not. There is a destiny
for your kind that is also held in the balance from what I've seen. We
all need to meet and practice our skills together as one force. I will
do my best to try and find out more about that which we really fight.
The minions are led by someone or ones. I'm not sure how I will be able
to find this out but if there is a way.. I will discover it." One
blink as he was derailed with Gabriel's information. "I will speak
to her on this." Though he had wanted to answer with a no, he would
give the lass the benefit of the doubt she could be of real help. The
last thing they didn't need were extra causalities or ones to cause
causalities. Gabriel's concentration could be at risk. "There were
shadows that could be others to join us. Those will present
themselves." Mel might well be one of them.
Cole cleared his throat softly, bowing his head before speaking. "I
can help you find them, I've been told of them." He glanced up to
Raphael, sliding his gaze over the other two men, then lowering it again
to his lap where he plucked at a leaf that had drifted down near his
"It seems to me, it would be good to look into other possibilities.
I don't think it will be a big group but if others can contribute ...
" He let that thought trail off.
"I will have her here as soon as we can meet with you." Which
would be in the very near future. Though thoughts of Grams plagued his
mind, he would need discuss that with Mel.
Cole's words had brows lifting, "I was hoping another that wasn't
to be part, would know some of that which eluded me. It proves not one
will lead but all of us working together equally. Help me find
them," a nod given Gabriel as it was important and if she was to be
involved then she would need to train with them. Though he was curious
about one thing, "who told you about them?" Directed back to
Cole. Wondering if it was like the one that told him originally and had
placed the tattoo upon Gabriel not of this world but of a past one.
He looked at Gabriel and gave a slight nod of approval. He could have
not said anything to Mel about what they were about to face but was glad
he did. It was easier for Aiden since Mo was a part. Dark eyes shifted
once more to Cole, narrowing slightly in thought. He was certainly
avoiding something but then their comrade had always been private.
He stood, looking to Raphael. "The Dubh Daoine these were stories
told to us as children. Much was told of them in these tales." He
scratched at the side of his nose with a knuckle. "I've much to
consider, Gentleman. Please, excuse me." He offered each a nod,
repeating himself. "Please...excuse me." He spun on a heel and
started for the ladder.
"It is time for all of us to get some rest. We will meet again
soon. I will send word and see what steps we have taken and what changes
present themselves." He was up as he needed to take a flight to
cure some of his restlessness. Instead of getting drained, he got hyper.
As Raphael took off, to take off, he turned to Aiden. "Shall we go
see to our ladies together and have a drink or three at the Thistle or
wherever we may speak in private about what transpired tonight and a
heads up that Raphael will wish to speak to them?"
"Aye, I think that would be a good idea." He watched as Jewel
disappeared into the shadows and then turned back to Gabriel.
"She'll join us later. She's going to seek out Duff."
The shadow wolf was often on his own, but Jewel usually found him
quickly. He grinned at Gabriel. "See you there?" He was
going to the castle via shadows but their walk to the Thistle would be
in the usual way.
"I'm with you as I need head up that way then meet you there.
Aye." If Aiden took to the shadows, he'd fly or chase him since he
was that close to his friend.
He gave Gabriel a quick grin as the shadows began to grow up around him
... something new he had learned of late. And then, he was gone... and
the race was on!
Wings only came out part way which sped up his running ability as
something new he learned so the race was on!