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The sleepy village of Aspenlee lies in the peaceful valley at the western foot of the Blue Mountains. To the south-west of Aspenlee is the River Mourn, and beyond its banks lies the Whispering Wood. It is thought that enchanted creatures may roam deep within its borders, but no one in Aspenlee has ever cared to investigate.

Lord Cullan's manor sits atop the nearest foothill to the east of Aspenlee. He rarely ventures to the valley himself. The villagefolk tend to the land and other necessities and are given a fair (though not extravagent) portion in return.

Life in Aspenlee is quiet and peaceful - perhaps even a little boring. This is where we'll begin our story.


Hello, all! I'm looking for human (or mostly human) characters to fill out this story. Think of the world as something of a traditional European fairytale world where there is magic, but the magic is a little unsteady, unpredictable, and usually seen as scary or evil.

Elves, fairies, and dwarves have ceased to be seen by the human population but are believed to exist deep in the forests. The differences between those races have been forgotten in the world of men. Elfshot is often blamed for illness (especially of the abdominal kind), and fairies are thought to be responsible for mischief and things going missing.

This will have very little combat and mostly focus on storytelling. There is a mystery aspect to the story as well.

I much prefer a freeform game in forum settings, but I do have a few rules to (hopefully) keep things enjoyable for everyone.

1. Be kind to your fellow players.

2. Read, and respond to when necessary, what others have posted.

3. Post length should be at least several sentences and with decent spelling and grammar. I'm not asking for perfection - just put some time and thought into your posts.

4. In certain situations, especially combat, there are two ways action can be taken. The first is to state your character's action and intention while allowing the GM to decide the outcome. The other can work better for creating a continuous story; we'll call it "GM stamping." If you wish to take an action and write the outcome, send me a PM. If I approve your intended outcome, I will let you know. You can then post and "stamp" your post with "GMAA" (GM Action Approved).

Thanks for reading! Please PM me with your character or character idea before joining. :)

Spring is in the air! Wildflowers bloom across the meadows and up the slopes. The days are pleasant, and the evenings are cool. The breeze ruffles through your hair. It's May Day. The Maypole is standing in the village square, and hearts are merry. Lord Cullan himself has even made an appearance today and given a speech (mostly on looking forward to an abundant harvest, but no one seems to mind).

Today is a good day to relax, dance, feast, and drink. Have fun! But at some point before the end of the festivities, you all find yourselves seated near one another.

It was the colors of spring that Fyonae loved about the season. Never-mind the fact that folk were more cheerful in general, the colors themselves held a vibrancy that could lift any spirit, turn any frown into a peaceful smile, and gladden any heart. And then there were the smells... fresh, clean, and crisp after the frigid and empty cold of winter. New grass lofted its warm earthen scent, mingling with the budding flowers who's perfume lent to happiness, cheer, and even romance. Truly, it was a spectacular season.

Fyonae made it a point not to spend too much time within the town of Aspenlee itself, when she was not there selling her handmade carvings or other curiosities she'd picked up during her roamings. MayDay, however, was another story. It was a celebration she never missed. It was easy to mingle, as everyone was full merriment, distracted by drinks and dancing, and they didn't pay too much attention to the petite woman herself.

Copper hair framed a soft yet slender face, and freckles dusted her cheekbones, drawing attention to the hazel green of her eyes. Her rose pink lips were held in a natural smile, and an ever present curiosity shone in her keen gaze. Several young men whirled her around in flurry of laughter and merriment, one even tried to steal a kiss, which she expertly evaded, moving on to the next person in line as her light green cotton dress swirled about her legs, hanging about calf length. Her feet were bare, despite the cool evenings, and a pretty floral tribal tattoo adorned the side of one of her feet.

Fyonae was known in town only a little, many folk would recognize her but only from market day shopping, for she never lingered long. Her clan lived just within the Blue Mountain itself, making their home by its crystal lake, several days journey away. They kept to themselves, needing very few supplies they couldn't make, and those Fyonae brought back with her, after trading her own wares.

Today she lingered though, enjoying the freshness, the smiles, and the rare bit of company, all the while making sure eyes never rested on her for long. Finally, as dancing continued around her, Fyonae found a seat within the shade of a nearby building, where food and drinks were being offered, her bright eyes assessing the scene around her as she listened to the speech the Lord offered.

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Glenn has lived in Aspenlee nearly 9 years now, sent by his own poor parents to live with his widowed Aunt Dotta, his mother's sister, to help her tend her homestead that sat along the River Mourn. He, along with his aunt and his much younger cousin, Roxi, had been hard at work all week in preparation for this festival. Besides the normal farmstead chores, they'd culled some of the older chickens, gathered extra firewood, and butchered one of the steers.

And today they enjoyed it. Glenn, despite his above average height and girth, was usually a little shy and a bit awkward around pretty girls, but, perhaps emboldened by the handsome blue tunic Dotta had made for him and the wine he'd drunk, he'd found himself dancing and laughing with them today. He'd even tried, unsuccessfully, to steal a kiss from one bare-foot beauty in a light green dress. One of the folks from the Crystal Lake, if he remembered right.

He face turned a shade of crimson now as she came over to the shade where he was enjoying one of the roasted chicken legs. "Hey Roxi," he turned to his younger cousin, mostly so he could avoid looking at Fyonae, "...you want one of those deviled eggs your mum made?"

Auralia had enjoyed the festivities of the day and joined in with the dancing at least as much as anyone else. Her father, or "Da" as she called him, sat talking with a few of the other men from the little village. Today, he had told her, was her day to get to know some of the rest of the younger folks.

With the music dying down in preparation for the speech, she noticed a few young people resting along one of the buildings. She approached the little group with a pleasant smile. "Hi," she first addressed the two she assumed to be brother and sister. "I'm Auralia. Fairly new to Aspenlee, and I don't think we've met. Though I've seen you around some, I think." She smiled at the other woman to indicate that the conversation was open to her as well.

At first Fyonae hadn't realized she'd sat so near the young man who'd tried to kiss her earlier. She didn't fault him, though. She knew drink colored folks' perception and it was more than likely he'd never have tried if not for the influence of wine. It was still flattering, and she offered him a soft smile when she caught him glancing her way, before he suddenly turned to to speak with the young lady beside him. Curious, she watched them for a few moments, gathering they were somehow related, until suddenly the pair was approached by yet another young woman.

It seemed that today was indeed a day for merriment and an ease in conversation, allowing for strangers to speak together without the usual censure or suspicion. But perhaps they knew each other already? No, for the woman who'd just approached was introducing herself, Auralia. Fyonae sitting close enough it was nearly impossible not to overhear, glanced up as the other flashed a smile her way as well. A responding smile echoed across her own features and she inclined her head in a silent greeting, turning her body just slightly so she was more facing the small group. After all... she didn't want to seem reclusive today of all days. She stuck a few more roasted nuts in her mouth, savoring the delicious spiced flavor of them as she listened to the conversation before her, one hand tugging on a strand of copper hair.

"Em Gle...," the tall youth replied, forcing the last bit of chicken down his throat too quickly and coughed a few times, face turning a deeper red in embarrassment as he cleared his throat.

"He's my cousin, Glenn," the much younger girl replied for him. "I'm Roxi. You came with your dad, right?" Roxi asked, making it evident that gossip about Auralia and her father had already circulated around the village. "How come you moved here?"

Aspenlee seemed such a boring place to the young girl, she couldn't fathom why someone might want to come here.

"Roxi, that's not polite," Glenn chimed in, recovered from coughing. "It's.. ah.. nice to meet you... Auralia."

The young woman seemed a little flustered by Roxi's question and her cousin's response. Her face flushed a light pink before she regained her composure and smiled.

"Roxi. And Glenn. I'll try to remember, but I've met so many others today...," Auralia replied. "And don't worry about," she addressed the young girl. "We just, um, got tired of where we were before. Folks there weren't always too kind to my Da. Aspenlee seemed a nice, quiet place. Mind if I join you?"

Then she turned to the other woman. "Sorry, I don't think we've met yet. Do you reside here as well?"

Yona's smile quirked up at the corner when she picked up on Roxi's words to the Auralia. Though they were almost painfully blunt, it was refreshing to hear someone speak so openly, to one's face. Gossip was one of the reason's Fyonae spent so little time in town. Small places like this one meant that everyone felt that everyone else' business was also their own. But they never talked about it to one's face. Instead, they made relationship troubles a lunch time repast, and family illness an evenings topic. Perhaps this was the same in larger towns, but here... gossip was sustenance.

When she was address, Yona blinked a few times, tilting her head slightly as she considered Auralia, her gaze moving to also include Glenn and Roxi. "I'm called Fyonae (Fee-own-a)." She grinned momentarily at Glenn as she added, "I suppose we weren't properly introduced before." Looking back to the woman who'd addressed her she shook her head. "And no, I live near the lake in the mountains, though I come to town near every market day. Celebrations are special, and this one is a favorite of mine."

One wouldn't think Glenn's face could turn any redder, but it flushed an even deeper shade as Fyonae eluded to their earlier encounter. He pulled uncomfortably on the collar of his blue tunic. "Please do," he said to Auralia's request.

"Where did you live before?" inquired Roxi, undeterred by her cousin's reprimand.

"Oh, that sounds very pretty," Auralia replied to Fyonae. "This is a nice celebration, isn't it? I think my feet may be sore tomorrow though."

As she seated herself on the ground, Roxi questioned her about where she and her father had lived previously. A melancholy smile pulled up at the corners of her lips. "Two places actually, but they're not very interesting. By the way, Glenn," she quickly changed the subject, "my Da likes to farm; he just isn't so young anymore. But would you folks have any herbs you could share so he can garden a bit at our little place? It'd do him good to dig around in the earth and help things grow."

Right about this same time, Fyonae began to have an odd sensation within her mind. It was almost the feeling of quill on parchment. Actually, if she concentrated, that's exactly what it was. Soon, the very words that are being written began to sound within her mind - almost the same as hearing another conversation in the background of one's own. The "narration" described the goings-on of the celebration as the musicians began to play again after Lord Cullan's speech.

Glenn and Roxi also began to experience something a little strange. For them it was more of a deja vu as they could almost anticipate what was taking place around them. Both of them seemed to know exactly which dance song the band was striking into. But, perhaps it was just intuition...

"How kind of you." Yona murmered in response to Auralia's compliment, a natural smile curving her lips upward and reaching her green eyes. She avoided glancing Glenn's way as he seemed to be needing a moment, not wanting to make anyone feel awkward. Instead, she focused on Roxi, thinking to ask the girl one of her own questions, but before she could, her expression turned momentarily vacant, and she tilted her head slightly, as if listening to an invisible conversation.

What's going on? She tried to give herself an inward shake, thinking perhaps it was just an odd fluke... but no... this wasn't like anything she'd experienced, even since the shift. She focused with difficulty back on the others, watching carefully to see of they were experiencing the same, an uneasy glint shadowing her eyes.

"Probably," Glenn answered to the question about herbs, relaxing a bit as the conversation turned to farming. "I know Aunt Dotta has a bunch of mint. Maybe some thyme and chives too. If ya need some chicks, we've got two broodies sittin' now. First batch is due in 4 days, the second in about two weeks."

Meanwhile, Roxi actually started humming the next tune a few moments before it started, but Glenn barely noticed that it was odd, for he was thinking of the same thing. They must have heard them practice in that same order yesterday...

"Oh! Those would be excellent! I'll have to ask Da about the chicks, but we might want a few. Perhaps we could meet to talk it over sometime tomorrow or next day?" Auralia replied with a smile. "I think we shall like it here very much - everyone seems to be pleasant and agreeable."



Auralia showed no signs of unease. In fact, the only clue that any of the others were experiencing anything out of the ordinary that Fyonae might pick up on was Roxi's humming.

Meanwhile, Fyonae's inner commentary took a sudden dark turn. "The revelers continue in their happy and contented celebrations with no cause for alarm or unease. But there is cause for alarm, for their quaint happy ways will be broken by night's fall. Unbeknownst to the sleepy little village, an ancient evil is lurking, prepared to sweep down upon them and render destruction."

Glenn and Roxi may have begun to have a sense of something being "off," of possible impending doom. Auralia showed no signs of noticing anything wrong or being unsettled.


((I'll pause here to give your characters a chance to react. If you'd rather wait, I'll be posting again this evening.))

There was no ignoring it now, no way to explain the oddly scratched message in her mind. Dread pooled in her breast as she scanned the crowd, her green eyes scrutinizing each face in turn, as if she could pick out whoever was working this magic. Nearby, Roxi hummed the tune that now played, only, she was several beats ahead..

Fyonae turned to stare at Auralia, Glenn, and Roxie, lips pursed and no longer smiling. "Something is wrong." She whispered, loud enough for only them to hear. "Something is going to happen." She felt foolish, for indeed the hum of cheer, drink, song, and dance was still in the air. The sun still shone, yet it didn't feel the same to her anymore. It was as if the happy colors had drained from the scene, leaving behind more ominous hues.

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