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Topics - Jeb

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Writers' Gallery / Displaced - The resurrection of One-Eye
« on: April 21, 2018, 10:04:25 AM »
There was a discussion on another Elfquest site about the nature of Timmain's split to become Cutter and whether when she did that, was another spirit that was the true child of Bearclaw and Joyleaf's Recognition displaced? That started me thinking about that poor spirit wandering around, and imagining a story where that spirit found and claimed One-Eye's "empty shell".

When I started this, I kind of forgot about the whole wrap-stuff business and how he would need someone to help him get out of it (how was that going to work originally, I don't know. Leave One-Eye all wrapped up in hopes he'd return to his body and...lay there?).

I looked back at the times when One-Eye was unwrapped, but none of them worked with the story as I had started to map it out, so I decided to heck with it. We will ignore any canon ideas of wrapstuff and just let it conveniently disappear when needed here.

The story begins...

Part 1

There were only two events with any significance.

The first was the one that had called him out of the void and into existence. Something had pulled him apart from the Others and into a different world. He had gone from insensate darkness to the brilliance of two sparks meeting, joining in a shock of new sensations. Light, color, warmth, feeling - all exploded out of the joining and he found himself pulled irresistibly towards the fusing sparks. It grew closer every moment and he was on the point of being consumed.

Then, nothing.

It was almost as if he had been pushed away, as if something else had taken his place in the growing fire.

He returned to the darkness, but still kept his separateness. He was aware now that Others had been separate, too. They tried to explain this new separateness, but he had no understanding of what they tried to convey. Death, life, love, it was all meaningless.

He did find that in his separateness he was able to “go out.” He had a new concept of distance and he found that there were some like him, who were able to leave the Others. Each was a bright spark and he could travel from one to the other. Some, he could commune with, but others seemed surrounded by some barrier that made them faint and unapproachable. The travelers tried to explain, but they also spoke in the language of life and death and he didn’t understand.

The faint sparks drew him like the brilliance that had called him into separateness. He began to be curious. If only he could get inside one of the barriers, but each was full of its spark and had no room for him.

Then the second event happened.

A barrier was brought to the presence of the Others, but there was no spark inside.

He surrounded it, and as he got closer he once again became aware of the same senses that had been there at the two sparks joining. It was...painful. And...joyful. And bright, and cold, and warm and dark and hard and soft and so much, but he couldn’t stop, falling deeper and deeper into the blinding chaos. Turned around and spinning until finally, all was quiet.

The sensations stabilized. He was enclosed. No longer infinite and formless, there now were limits to him. He could feel edges of his awareness. Below him, there was a feeling of pressure. Above and around, something soft rested against him. Beyond that, nothing.

He opened his eyes. He tried to make sense of the new world he saw. He was vaguely aware of the presence of the Others around him, but they were far away. He was in a large, bright space, laid out on a soft surface.

He lifted his hand and stared at it, amazed at the feeling of muscles pushing, softness sliding over his skin. Somehow, as he saw each new thing, he was able to name it and it made sense as the knowledge he had gained from the travelers fell into place.

He could hear a noise. Voices, not far away, but muffled. The sound of them caused a tightening feeling in his gut and he knew the sound was not happy.

He swung his legs over and gingerly touched them to the floor. He tried to lift himself, but was too weak. He stumbled to the floor, gasping at the crushing sting as his splayed hands hit the hard ground.

The voices stopped. For a minute there was silence, then footsteps, slow and soft at first, then louder and faster as they raced toward him and abruptly halted. A gasp rang through the stillness.


He raised his head to find two figures in front of him. Their basic structures were similar, and similar to his, but in appearance they were quite different. The closer figure was of almost uniform thickness, slightly wider at the top, and gave an impression of overall darkness. Long hair was pulled back and fell in a straight line behind, rippling like the blackness between worlds. The whole body was covered in dark skin, but the eyes were a color like the heart of a star. The other figure that held back also was dark on top, a shaggy halo surrounding its upper half. This one though had a variety of thicknesses. Wide, then narrow, then wide again, with more complex contours than the other. And its skin was light, blending in more with the brightness around them.

He remembered the long ago decision to become beings that required two forms to reproduce and thought maybe that explained the differences. But which one was he?

The nearer figure had knelt next to him and moved to support him back up to standing. He focused on where they touched, and the contrast he saw there. So he was light, like the other figure farther away. Did that mean they shared biological function? But as he pulled up he realized his build was top-heavy and narrow, more like the one helping him. He seemed to share characteristics of both. It was very confusing.

The darker one helped ease him back onto the platform from which he had fallen.

“One-Eye? You’ve come back!”

He raised his hands to his face and felt that he indeed had space for two eyes like the ones watching him, but one had been covered with a scrap of material. He lifted it, and where the eye should be, only felt thickened and twisted skin. It disturbed the others to see it, he could tell, so he lowered the fabric back down.

He took a deep breath, registering the novelty of the sensation of filling his lungs, expanding, contracting, feeling the air rushing in and out. He focused on this as he steadied himself before finally attempting to shape his mouth and coordinate the release of air to make the correct noises.

“No.” it was little more than a breath at first. He drew another breath in and tried again.

“No.” It sounded rough and ripped through his throat. He cough and swallowed, pressing his lips to bring moisture to his dry mouth. “I am not the one you call One-Eye.”

The Other Art Gallery / Jeb's photo gallery
« on: June 30, 2012, 06:15:04 AM »
EQ-related stuff is all the drawing I do, my "other art" is photography, so I thought I'd share some recent pictures.

First is a couple of landscape shots from a recent road-trip. It took us past a fish hatchery that is one of my favorite places to visit.

Last week there was a family of fledgling swallows hanging out in the backyard as they built up their flight muscles. I got really into watching them while wondering if my ancient cat would notice them flailing around.

Yesterday a wolf rescue group came to talk at my son's day camp, and I got a couple of okay shots. This is a timber wolf.

And they said this is a wolf-coyote-husky mix.

Chit-Chat / Elfquest.com "upgrade"
« on: June 21, 2012, 07:19:19 AM »
Well, they did it. They managed to remove any and all redeeming features and make elfquest.com a facebook replica. Ugh!


Facebook is the evil empire, and now the Pini's fall to the dark side is complete.

Art and Elfquest / Hints for drawing curly hair?
« on: April 11, 2011, 03:42:04 PM »
One of the things I would really like to get better at is drawing curly/wavy hair, but I just can't seem to come up with a good method. Would anybody mind sharing some tips?

Chit-Chat / Secret Santa at elfquest.com
« on: November 24, 2010, 07:52:26 AM »
Hi All!

Just wanted to let those of you who are registered at Elfquest.com know that Sofia is organizing a secret santa exchange. Sign-up deadline is Dec. 12th.

Writers' Gallery / The Recognition of Rayek - A Gender-Bending AU
« on: February 17, 2010, 09:40:22 AM »
This has already been posted at EQ.com for those who visit there. A work in progress...


Cutter was caught short by a pair of glittering golden eyes, warm as the setting sun. He felt a thirst no water could quench. He reached for the maiden. She grabbed his arm, braced herself, and in a swift movement pulled him from his wolf.

He tumbled against the hard packed earth, the sand stinging his eyes, dust choking him. He tried to cough, but a weight on his chest made it hard to breathe. Opening his eyes he found himself pinned down by the maiden, her knee on his chest, a short knife at his throat.

Rayek regarded the pale-skinned intruder. He was a elf, no doubt, but unlike any she had ever seen. His hair was almost white, faded like cloth left out in the sun too long. The animal skins he wore grated against her legs. But most startling to her were his eyes. They shone with the intensity of the sky at midday, a depth-less blue pulling her in.

Rayek had never 'sent' before. She had never had a reason to...until now.


The intruder made no answer, but Rayek could feel him shiver beneath her. Her heart was pounding more than it should be, the rush of blood in her ears blocking out all other noises. It took her a minute to register the blade poking her shoulder. She looked up to see more pale elves surrounding her, weapons raised.

"Boo!" She turned to find the spear poking her in the hands of an elf with hair like flame. He moved forward and reached toward her knife. "Let's have the pig-poker."

Her head snapped up to meet his eyes, hers narrowed to glowing slits. Pike sprang bolt upright and froze, his eyes wide and unseeing. The other elves crowded around her, pushing her to the ground.

"Whoa, this one can do more than 'send'!"

"Pin her down and cover her eyes!"

"She may have other tricks!"

They held her wrists and someone pulled her hairband down over her eyes. She struggled against them when a voice made her freeze.

"Stop!" All eyes were on Cutter as he reached down and helped Rayek up. "Don't harm her."

Tentatively, Rayek pulled the band off her eyes. The pale ones still stood around them. The one who grabbed her must be their leader and they were waiting for his direction. Beyond their circle she could see the people of her village watching the events play out with fear and concern. She wrenched her arm from the blue-eyed one's grip.

"Let go of me."

He dropped his arm as if her words stung him. The look he gave her was apologetic, yet held a plea, a wanting for something.

None of her people moved to fight against them, so the strangers began to slowly drop their weapons. Rayek regained some of her composure.

"Who are you? And why have you attacked us?"

"We are the Wolfriders from the faraway woodlands. For three days we have journeyed thru the burning waste."

Rayek looked at them in disbelief. "No one can cross the desert and live."

An elf with silver hair spoke. The trace of a smile played on his lips, his eyes lingered on her a breath longer than was comfortable. "Desert, eh? So that's what you call it. If it can't be crossed, how did your people get here, black-hair?"

Rayek was taken aback for a moment. She was not used to being questioned. First they invaded her home, and now they were mocking her. She longed to wipe the smirk of his face, but she could feel the eyes of her village upon her. She wrestled for control of her emotions.

"I will take you to meet the Sun-toucher. He will know if you are telling the truth."

The Wolfriders sent for more of their number who had been in hiding as soon they were gathered in a grassy area in the center of the village. Rayek watched as the Sun-toucher spoke to them. These elves were not soft, as her people were. As a group they had survived hardship that would have broken all but the strongest of the Sun-Villagers. They were hunters, adorned with knives, spears, and swords. Never before had Rayek met another that understood the thrill of the chase, the taste of fresh kill, but she did not welcome them.

Once again she felt her thoughts cut off. Mind and body, even breathing stilled by the voice of their leader.

"Redlance and Nightfall! Forgive me, Sun-toucher, but we had to leave two of us behind in the desert. One was injured - perhaps dying!" He mounted his panting beast. "I've got to go back for them before it's too late!"

Rayek was incredulous! They had just survived three days in the burning heat, still hadn't eaten and had barely rested or quenched their thirst. How much could he endure?

Her thoughts were echoed by the Sun-toucher. "But you are exhausted, young chieftain, and so is your beast!"

"No matter." As the silver-haired one brought him his fur vest he turned to address the village. "If there is a healer among you villagers who dares follow me - let him do so now! I'm going!"

"Wait, Wolfrider. I am a healer." Ahnleet, son of the Sun-toucher, and Rayek's heart's desire for more years than she could count, broke free from the gathered crowd. He walked toward the wolf chief, soft amber curls afire in the fading sun.

No, no, no! Rayek's mind screamed. Do not do this, beloved!

His face was determined, his steps did not falter as he walked forward, but in his green eyes was a trepidation that Rayek was sure only she could see. A healer, soft and gentle, Rayek knew that Ahnleet never went far from the village, never looked beyond familiar comforts. Rayek wanted to step in front of him, to voice her objections out loud,  but again the Sun-toucher before she could.

"My son, are you sure you want to do this?"

There was only a heartbeat of hesitancy in his response. "Yes, father."

Rayek's heart swelled with pride for her lovemate. She had often been proud of his healing abilities but he was showing a bravery she had not guessed he possessed.

"I will accompany you." She could see the relief in both Ahnleet and the Sun-toucher at her offer. After all, she was her people's protectress, it was natural that she should go with them. Rayek tried to think that she was only doing her duty, but if she was honest with herself she also wanted to learn more about this tribe's chieftain, to be near him a while longer.

He led them out into an area where there was no plant growth, only some rock spires providing feeble protection against the heat of the sun. The only sign of life Rayek could see was a vulture perched on top of the stone. Suddenly there was a cry and the vulture took flight with a screech.

Atop his zwoot next to her, Rayek saw Ahnleet flinch. She reached over and covered his shaking hand with her own.

The wolf chief gave out a strange cry. "Ayoooah! Nightfall!"

In answer a maiden came running. "Cutter! Oh, Cutter!"

He swung off his mount and embraced her.

Rayek was glad that Ahnleet's attention was absorbed by the injured one. That he didn't see her falter slightly as she dismounted as the contact between the two newcomers struck her with an inexplicable ache.

The pale ones focused on Ahnleet as he slowly walked towards Redlance.

"Who - Who is he?" The maiden, Nightfall, asked.

"Shh! He can help Redlance. You must trust him." Cutter assured her.

Rayek was barely aware of the exchange as her mind reeled in confusion. The maiden had called the wolf chief 'Cutter.' That was surely his name, then why did this name 'Tam' echo in her brain? Rayek's line of thought was cut off as Ahnleet gasped. He knelt by the striken Wolfrider, astonished by what he saw. "These wounds were deliberately inflicted! Who could have done such a thing?"

"Humans!" The hatred in Cutter's voice was unmistakable. "The same ones who tried to destroy us with fire!"

Rayek had moved closer to Cutter and Nightfall, almost without thinking about it. Her eyes were on Ahnleet, but her attention was on the wolf chief next to her. "Really..? We have legends of such creatures - but I never believed them."

"You're looking at their handiwork right now." As Cutter spoke, Nightfall came up to his side between them. Cutter put his arm around her and pulled her close. Rayek fought against a sudden, overwhelming irritation.

"Silence!" She hissed. "The healing begins."

Not a word was spoken, nor a sound uttered as Ahnleet passed into a dreamlike trance. Beneath his fingers cracked bones began to knit, torn tissues mend, and hidden bleeding subsided. Redlance's reawakened heart beat angrily now, staving off death with a fierce will.

Finally, Ahnleet sat back with a sigh and wiped the sweat off his brow. "I have given him the strength he needs to recover."

Cutter smiled. "And you have given me back a tribesman!" As they rose, Cutter extended his hand toward the healer. "No words of thanks could say enough - "

"Do not touch me!" Ahnleet spat. His features hardened as he stepped backward. Without a word he turned his back on Cutter and walked back to his zwoot. Sitting stiffly in his saddle, his gaze fixed pointedly away from the Wolfriders, toward his home, he did not turn his head as he spoke. "Rayek? I am ready to go."

Rayek sat on a stone outside of the cave where she lived. It used to be quiet here, away from the village, but now with the Wolfriders moved in not far away she could hear voices and movement, occasionally a child's laugh. She pulled the whetstone against the blade she was working, letting her mind get lost in the rhythmic movement of her hands, the crisp tang of the sound of stone and metal shutting out all other noise.

Finally satisfied with the edge, she set the blade down and became aware of a figure standing a short distance away. She did not have to look to know who it was. At the edge of her vision she could just make out the cloud of hair, bright against the blue sky. Blue eyes, like bits of the sky, shining with a light of their own.


Her breath caught. She willed her breathing to slow, her fluttering heart to calm.

"Many days have passed without a word between us. Why do you deny the truth we both know?"

She lifted a stick from the pile next to her. She held it up to her eye and looked down its length, testing it for true. "Truth? What truth?"

He didn't answer right away, but when he did his voice was low, somewhere between a growl and a whisper, as if the words were being ripped out of him. "My soul-name. You know it."

She pulled out a length of sinew and began attaching the blade to the spear shaft. "I'm not sure I know what you mean."

Again his words were forced as he held his emotions tightly in check, using the measured tones of one explaining something that needed no explanation. "Recognition. 'Soul meets soul when eyes meet eyes.'"

"I know what Recognition is." She tied off the cord and checked that the blade was securely bound. "And I have come to guess what a soul-name is. But there is much I still do not know about you."

She grabbed another finished spear and rose to face him. "For instance, how would you do in fair combat, without your tribesmen to defend you?"

She tossed one of the spears to him. He caught it deftly, but held it at arms length as his gaze shifted from the weapon back to her in disbelief. "I will not fight you."

"No?" She raised an eyebrow. "Then how will I know you are worthy of me?"

She widened her stance to a defensive crouch, but still he made no movement. She charged.

Thrust ,turn, feint, thrust. He matched her movement for movement, blocking her every attack but making none of his own. She was not used to having a sparring partner, it was an effort to get past his defenses, but finally, with a feint and wild swing she made a hit, nicking his upper arm.

"Hey!" He looked at the droplets of blood forming and Rayek was pleased to see the fire begin to smolder in his glare. She came at him hard again and managed a grazing scrape across his belly. He touched his wound, staring at the blood streaked on his fingers. He rubbed them together and tightened his grip on his spear. His eyes burned into her with the intensity of his mixed emotions. She smiled and braced herself but she was still unprepared for the ferocity of his attack as he ran at her with a growl.

Block, turn, feint. Thrust, turn, parry, thrust, block. He came her with a quickness that left her breathless. She would've feared for her life if this was real combat, but he was also incredibly controlled, always turning the blade just short of contact. He drove her back against the cliff face until she had no more room to maneuver. A final strike left her pinned to the rock, her spear held across her chest, blocking the blow.

They stopped like this, him leaning into her, inches away, his strength confining her. Their bodies rose and fell in syncopation as they gasped for air. His breath pounded against her skin, causing little tingles as her sweat evaporated. His eyes met hers and his lips curled back in a hungry grin, exposing pointed canines. Her name was a growl, the low rasp resonating with a quaking in her core. "Rayek..."


She looked past the Wolfrider to where Ahnleet had stopped in the trail to her cave, his face aghast at what he was seeing. He stared at her for a moment, then turned and fled back down the path to the village, shaking his head as if trying to erase his vision.

The sight of him was like a sudden downpour, breaking the spell of Recognition, allowing her mind to function again. Her gaze returned to Cutter. His eyes now seemed to her bottomless pools, pools that once she entered, she feared she would never escape.

'I'm not ready! I'm not ready for this!' She thought.

"I am more than a mere animal ruled by instinct. And you have much to learn." She mustered all the strength she had and pushed Cutter back. She swung free and ran, following Ahnleet down the path.

The trail rippled in front of her and her body ached as if she were running through a sandstorm. She paused in her flight, afraid her lightheadedness would cause a misstep in the treacherous rocky terrain. This was the effect of Recognition, taken to the edge then denied, and Rayek began to realize how little choice she actually had. This was no bad habit or urge she could control by acts of discipline. This was an all-consuming fire that would not be quenched.

She staggered through the village to Ahnleet's hut. Gathering all her strength against the drain on her body, she parted the bead curtains and stepped into the darkness. She closed her eyes to let them adjust and breathed in deeply the smell of herbs and oils, warm beeswax candles, all the scents that signified Ahnleet. This is what she had wanted her whole life, to belong here with the healer, both of them using their powers to protect their people. She had been waiting only for Recognition to seal their commitment and bring a child bearing the best of both of them, an elf with true powers of the first comers, the way elves were meant to be.

The effects of Recognition began to fade as Rayek was filled with the bitter taste of resentment for dreams crushed by a situation beyond her control.

She opened her eyes to face Anhleet's cold disdain. "I was surprised to find you giving the wolf chief such a warm welcome. I'm sorry if I interrupted."

Rayek shook her head. "You don't understand."

"And you owe me no explanation." Ahnleet began gathering the pottery pots and pitchers he used in caring for the villagers. "I gave no answer to your offer to lifemate. You are free to do as you wish."

"It's Recognition."

The clinking of dishes stopped as Ahnleet froze in bewilderment.

"It can't be." He whispered.

Rayek sank to her knees in front of her lovemate. "Heal me."

Ahnleet's gaze travelled around the room before landing on Rayek, looking not at her but for answers in his own mind. She grabbed his arm. "Please, take this away!"

He made no response for a while, but then his eyes focused on her. For the first time that Rayek had seen in several days, his expression softened. "My dear friend. This is not an injury of the mind or body that can be healed. I can no more stop Recognition than I can call it forth. I can lesson the effects somewhat, but no more."

He grasped her by the shoulders as if trying to transfer his own conviction into her. "You have always been the strength of your village. Use that strength now to resist this!"

Rayek rose and turned away. She could not admit the need that overcame her in Cutter's presence, or what it cost her to resist it.

"And if I cannot? Will you be a father to my child in the Wolfrider's stead?"


The word was like an arrow to Rayek's heart. She shut her eyes against the pain.

"Is it possible the three of us - "


She turned and studied Ahnleet.

"What has happened to you, beloved? I've never known you to possess anything but compassion. What is it about these newcomers that arouses such hatred in you?"

Again Rayek waited as Ahnleet silently weighed something in his own mind before speaking. "I have shown compassion in keeping what I know to myself. But since it affects you so closely, I will tell you."

"You may have noted the close relationship these elves have with their beasts. They are more than pets or work animals. Much more. They share a blood bond. I cannot tell how long ago it happened, or how. They may not even be aware of it themselves."

Ahnleet paused, gauging Rayek's reaction before continuing reluctantly. "Or they may renew it even now."

Rayek felt the bile rise in her throat as Ahnleet revealed the full cruelty of her fate.

"Whatever the case, the effect is the same. They are not true elves. They have mingled with the creatures of this planet. And like all its creatures, they will age and die."

"As will your child."

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