• Froxxe's Plummet

    The world was a wash of sounds, the soft crash and kiss of the tides on something softer; something even more delicate was all that composed the realms of reality. At first, only this could be heard, but as the feeling of ascendance grew, more was added to this primal brew of sensation, the tug of a force below and around, and finally that of an ocean. A salty tang in the air confirmed that, yes, it was an ocean.

    Time drifted until something more substantial than ocean pressed against what seemed like the back side of soft form. The softness of what could be described as liquid pushed and pulled, continually, redundant. The form traveled no longer.
    A sting of what seemed like water in lungs brought consciousness to the immediate present; the body erupted in a series of frame-wracking coughs, a natural defense of the foreign liquid to breach its equilibrium. His mind was struggling at the tugs of oxygen that surged into him, and eyes fluttered, and body shook; every natural alarm was set off. The tings of what seemed like glass around it screamed with the alarms, a natural confusion added.

    But, the coughs began to recede and the eyes flickered open to grow more acquainted to the brightness of blooming being. The sound of waves became less of a roar and more of a voice, hushed, whispering, calm.
    It was realized that there was something around, and blinking the first rays of light away, eyes studied it's landscape. The limbs were still weak, they flopped like fish as the body pushed back and out of the surf and into the sand-- yes, the grainy dots were sand.

    A dim consciousness rose like dawn, slow, but brighter as the world spun. It felt as if the mind had been in dormancy for years, and now it was rebooting, going through the process of analysis. In an awkward twitch forward, the body that had been resting on the ground made an attempt to sit up. It failed, once, falling back to the soft earth, and in a second act of defiance rose through the bonds of gravity. Gravity was more troublesome than ever, it seemed.

    That thought registered foreign, but the body jerked towards the surface of the water, limbs feeling surer by the second, palms slapping down on the malleable surface.

    A quivering face reflected in the dull waves, the face of a boy, more grey than brown that originally colored flesh. Eyes with naught but a glimmer of teal and taupe stared back, like that of the waves below, profound and fluid.

    This was the visage of a male, one whose hair licked around his face and over his eyes and down his neck. It's color was of the sky, a quiet shade of white; touched from the early reds of dawn.
    This boy blinked his teal eyes and looked down at the rest of his body. He was thin, he was hungry, presumably, if the dull thud at his center was indeed hunger. His clothes were nothing but a loose wrap of faded violet cloth, a single piece of fabric, the boy presumed, that had begun to unravel and drape around his neck like a wet, unhappy scarf.

    He took a deep breath--- still difficult as residual water remained in lung's base, caught in his throat-- he fought the urge to cough again, and stood. His legs were unsteady, the acclivity brought blood rushing; yet he felt more invigorated after the black dots swam away from his vision.

    It was as if all of the world had materialized in those instances and this boy was there to uncover it.
    The sea was a crescent stretch of white beach that veered off into a mountainous landscape to the right, and a greener area of trees to the left. He looked further out to the grey sea to gaze upon a solitary flock of gulls fly above the surf with no discernible path or intention, until one snatched something out of the water, flying up with it, a happy squawk emitting among the competitive group. A sun rose in the east, a half-orb of pale aureolin light to greet this boy. Directly ahead of the sun and far off, the boy could imagine a road stretching to meet these two directions. The boy felt sorely out of place. Among the waves, a scattering of random flotsam and jetsam came washed up with him, the variety of objects evident to their correlation (Or lack thereof).

    /I/ am a piece of flotsam. He thought, scanning the ample quantity of objects around.

    Full questions hadn't begun to form yet in the disarray of his still-waking mind, but as he took in more and more, they bloomed at the back of his mind and pressed in on him from every angle. But above the jetsam of inquiry, a single quandary presented itself most apparent.
    "Who...where...am I?"
    Well, two inquiries, that is.

    As he spoke, the sound of his own voice was a new experience to him, it's tones were no older than a youth of 17, and in them echoed something grave, something persistent and demanding.
    He shrugged, remembering what that body language meant the moment he choose to do it, and took his first steps down the shores, he began to walk south. The sight of greens seemed more appealing than any mountains could.
    As his bare feet touched upon the cool, wet sands, the boy worked around the objects that had washed up; some he recognized, a dark green bottle, a waterlogged book, a scattering of buttons, a colorful ripped up cloak, and bones of all shapes and sizes, picked clean of their external counterparts. The boy gave a sympathetic shiver and continued walking whereupon a glittering in the sand marked the shape of a ring. He bent over to pick it up, and inspected the small golden thing closer. In it was a series of small blue crystals, perhaps of noteworthy value. Dubiously, he attempted to slip the band around his pinkie, and alas it was too small. Keeping it nonetheless, he tied it around his neck with an adjacent piece of thread. Later, after stepping over more pieces of useless objects, he discovered a brass compass-- he took this, staring down at the spinning dial with a sense of comfort. Well, that was one question answered. (On a sour note he added aloud: "Out of many, many more." wink
    A few things were found, however, that he did not recognize, metal wires that wrapped around mysterious leaking cubes, tubes of a waxy, flexible material, even further on he found a large metal orb, about the size of his chest, with even smaller circular holes in it's surface, but for-whatever it could have been used, the boy could ponder infinitely.

    As the beach began to recede in distance, the objects also appeared in lesser quantities, yet not before he saw a pile of black, discovering it to be a weathered jacket. He realized at it's sight that it was rather cool out, the north-western winds from the shore blew chilled airs at him, and he picked up the coat in zeal. His hands were shaking as they gripped the thick, canvas material. It was slightly damp, slightly used, but in otherwise good condition. The coat also had many pockets. As he put it on, the coat fell to just over his knees, which was just as well, for he feared that the cloth wraps were soon to unravel in travel.
    The boy smiled at this, for some reason this was a delight to him, and the smile upon his lips was a sensation that he believed had not been present for a very long while. He placed whatever useful objects he discovered into the pockets, including a thick and jagged piece of glass that he nearly sliced his foot on.

    By the time he had reached the beach's end, he was feeling more awake, he had dried out and had a lighter step. He was busy studying all that he passed, birds, bright plants the transition of the sun and his compass-- and his strength had returned. (But where it had returned from exactly was a mystery.)
    “So many mysteries,” sighed the boy, eyes astir for an answer. None came.

    His trot along the shore became a trot along a grassy field, a series of knee high yellow stalks of plants brushing and whispering to him in a way that was similar to the sea.
    Eventually, as he walked eastwards to where he believed a road to be, a few trees poked awkwardly out of the ground. The venture into the field brought him to the commencement of forest. They were gnarled and bent at odd angles, and the more he came across, the surer he believed to be coming upon his destination.
    Hm. Destination wasn't the right word, he had no idea where he was going.

    He continued to walk on, well into the sun hovering 10 'o clock of his brow. Suddenly, feet upon soft, black dirt met the hardness of road.
    The road was less of a road and more of a path, but he could imagine a single wagon easing down it's flat surface. The ugly trees of the shore had even straightened out and developed more certainty, their tall trunks rising above him in a canopy of green leaves and saffron colored flowers.

    ...But by noon he was beginning to wonder if his decision was wise. He was beginning to feel thirsty, and the hallow ache at his center had began to talk to him, like the sea. A growl, a grumble.
    "I know, tummy. I'll get you something soon." He spoke, and at the sound of his voice, his body seemed to respond, a second complaint in result.
    He walked further on when the sound of horse-foot met his ears, a clop beginning at one end of the forest, and then closer. In the sounds, he could determine perhaps three riders came from behind him. He spun in surprise, hasting over to the side of the road, where the horses rounded the corner he had just passed.

    Three riders, indeed, rode in traveler’s regalia, cloaks, hats and leather, at a measured pace. They appeared as if they would continue on their merry way, when one of the riders had released a note of surprise when he saw the boy, and turned to address to his comrades. This first man was stockier than the other two, he had a healthy childhood, the boy deduced. He wore clothes of a noble, but the style was unlike anything the boy had seen. It was all layers and metal grommets-- the man chimed like one large bell. His face was oval and not unpleasing, if not bland and shaven. The woman riding behind the two had the tanned skin of the ocean, with black hair and relaxed demeanor. Her clothes reflected a humble upbringing of tan, soft fabrics, but along the way she came to acquire significant magical possessions, a ruby collar studded her neck and bangles bright ringed around her gloved wrists. The third male, riding far right of the two wore the heaviest of regalia, thick, dark leathers, with copper mail in accordance with all essential regions. An unbuttoned tunic gave him a more relaxed appearance , exposing a muscled chest below a square face, with facial hair that gave him the appearance of a wolf. Upon a leather belt was a series of useful travel gear, daggers of all sorts and a short-sword to complete his prospective.

    The first man had spoke in some strange dialect, and the boy struggled at trying to discern his words. They spun out in circles, the letters at the beginning of each word sounding similar to the end. The only thing that he could manage to hear was the words 'Froxxe's plummet.' Whatever that meant.
    He played with the word 'Froxxe' on his tongue like candy and spoke it like song. A smile rose, but at the sight of the alien identities, his hand went instinctively to the large glass shard in his pocket, a preemptive method of defense. But it appeared they were friendly, the first man stopped and got off his horse.

    "Hey, you." The boy understood this, but replied with a grunt, at least confirming that he heard it.
    The woman stopped as well, her brown eyes filled with a mixture of sympathy and curiosity.
    "We just want to know where you're from."
    The boy looked at them long and hard. They had strange looks in their eyes, no doubt, as if of shock, or surprise. After another moment of silence, the woman spoke again. "Are you from the ocean?” the question was asked deliberately, “There's been tales of people washing up there."
    More mysteries.
    This time the boy did speak, he was as shocked as they were. "Yes, well...no, ah...I don't know." A sound of exasperation escaped his lips. "Look-- I woke up there. That's all I know."
    The second man in leather gave a nod with a smile, the boy did not know whether or not this was a smile of benevolence or otherwise. He took a step back.
    All members registered this subtle action by intensifying their expressions of interest.
    "We're heading to the town just south of here." Said the first man, a hint of his dialect still creeping through the friendly tones.
    The second man chimed, his voice heavy with tones of the north. "Aye, there is a town by the name of New Diallerin where you may claim respite. You seem as if you've traveled far."

    At that note, the boy gave a suspicious and desperate look at them all. Something about the group seemed deeply unsettling, and he could not determine whether or not it was from their friendliness, their willingness to provide information, or something else entirely.
    "Thank you, but I don't even know who you are." He replied, curt and codial. “Or what you want from me, at that.” He wasn't ready to accept any handouts from strangers just yet, especially not in his weakened state.
    The woman gave a short chuckle that sounded like regret, "Apologies! My name is Rairyn.” She spoke with her hands, as if trying to convey information to a child. The boy felt as if it was almost condescending. Perhaps it was his nerves.
    The fellow in leather spoke: “The man before you is Andeon.” He gave an acknowledging nod of his head and looked at the boy with hazel, almost orange eyes, intrigued.
    “The gentleman who saw you first is good Caerith. We want to know if you want perhaps a guide to the city, considering your assumed identity?" said good Caetrith himself, lifting a top hat in respect.
    The boy had to admit, a guide sounded very appealing.
    They all seemed nice enough; still, the boy had some measure of defense set up. His had drifted away from the glass shard, and he took a few tentative steps out of the road-side brush.
    "And may we ask of your name, one from the sea?" Caerith asked, bowing, a coy smile upon him.
    "I am...uh..." His mind flipped in search of the answer to that essential question, when at last he remembered what the man had said earlier, summoning a name from an affinity:
    "Froxxe. I am Froxxe." He bowed in return