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Rhovaniel learns the way of the Rangers


Rhovaniel

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This is my first foray into narrative for this challenge, so let me know if anything feels wrong or if you have any suggestions for improvement, please feel free to comment. The narrative is very loosely based on middle earth, but with my own names and places because I'll need to freedom to move things around and change stuff from Tolkien's excellent world. Anyway, the plan is to post a narrative a few times a week, interspersed with my OCC posts about specific goal-related updates. The narrative probably won't follow real life too closely, but if I have a bad day, so will Rhovaniel, and if I pass a milestone, so will she. How well she does and how well I do will be identical. Hopefully. 

 Anyway, this challenge is pretty much split into two sections. I'm on holiday for week zero and week one, so my goals will be more relaxed to reflect this. So:

 

Week Zero and Week One:

Exercise

- Go for a run at least once in the week

- Swim out to the buoy and back at least once in the week

- One bodyweight workout per week 

 

Nutrition

- No more than 3 times eating out unrestricted during the week. Rest of week healthy dinners

- No more than one ice cream a day!

 

Life Goals

- Set aside one hour a day to work on challenge narrative (prep for when I'll need an hour a day for uni work)

- Create a spreadsheet or some other method of tracking goals, uni work, and other things I need/want to accomplish (like driving)

- Keep a log of what works and what doesn't. Do I write easier in the morning or evening? Do spreadsheets work for me, or to-do lists? That sort of thing. 

 

Week Two, Three and Four:

 

Exercise

- 2 x cardio exercises during the week (running, swimming, etc.)

- 2 x Strength exercises during the week (karate, bodyweight circuits, etc).

BONUS: Pass Karate grading to earn a new belt. 

 

Nutrition:

- No more than three variances in a week. Rest of meals to be healthy.

- Keep a food log every day. No exceptions

 

Life Goals: 

- Set aside 1 hour each day to work on uni stuff, especially dissertation

- Set aside 1/2 hour each day to work on driving test practise

- Keep to some form of organisation and schedule for uni work and other projects, like this narrative, driving, learning spanish... 

 

 

I think that's it. First narrative post coming soon

 

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Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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Rhovaniel stumbled, falling hard on the rocky terrain, and cursed as her knee scrapped across a jagged edge and tore her clothes, as well as the skin underneath. Slowly, she pushed herself back on her feet. A keen wind had been gathering power all day till even despite the sweat on her brow she shivered. One more hill, she muttered under her breath. One more hill and she would leave the rocks behind for a bit.

 Breathing heavily, she reached the top and stared out at the landscape that opened up ahead of her. To the east lay vast green plains, where wild stallions were known to roam, and further beyond the lands of people she knew only in tale. Proud warriors, for the most part, a fierce race of men she would do well to avoid. They spoke a language alien to her. The south lay behind her, the demons no doubt already recovered and on the prowl, searching for her. The west and north were completely unknown to her – there were no maps in the capital of any land outside the Empire.

 A wave of hopelessness crashed over her and she sank wearily onto a large rock, wincing as she did so. Carefully, she lifted the grubby hem of her shirt to look at her torso, cross-hatched with deep cuts and purplish bruises the spread up from her naval to her ribs, wrapping around her hips. She probed gently, sucking in air as she pushed against the worst of the cuts, but when she let out her breath it was in relief. She had been lucky, this time. The wounds would heal on their own, so long as she kept them clean. The demons had been toying with her, not interested in the kill, apparently.

 She stared out, wondering in which direction she should head next. West or north seemed to be her only options. The south she was running from, and as for the east, she did not speak their tongue and their reputation preceded them. As she stared at the horizon, hoping some inspiration would strike her, she became aware of a sound behind her, a footfall in the barren dirt, ascending the hill at least twice as fast as she had managed. On her feet instantly, her hand went to her hip where the notched sword she had bought cheaply and third-hand was strapped, but her hand had barely reached the hilt when a man appeared, holding both hands up to show they were empty, although she quickly realised he was well-armed, with a hunting bow slung across a broad back, sword at his hip, a dagger on the other side.

“Your caution is wise, Rhovaniel. But I mean you no harm.”

“How do you know my name?” She demanded, taking stock of the newcomer even as he openly regarded her. His hair was dark, a few inches shy of his shoulders, a neat beard on his tanned face and bright green eyes that seemed to pierce right through her. His clothes were weather-beaten and old, but well made, supple leather boots caked in dust and dirt, a cloak whose original colour was lost in the grubby grey it had become and a leather tunic above a dark green shirt. A symbol of a white sword crossed with a white bow was emblazoned on the scabbard of his sword. He was a Ranger, she realised, a true Ranger. Not like her, stumbling about in the wild with little knowledge or skill. But that also meant he was dangerous in a fight, and she had no doubt who would prove better if it came to swordplay.

“I will tell you all that you desire to know from me, but not now. The enemy can see us on this hill. There’s a sheltered spot at the base. Will you come? I have food to spare, and wood enough for a small fire. The enemy will not see it; the wind is in the east.”

 Not waiting for a reply, he started off again down the hill, leaving Rhovaniel to regard his retreating form. He was quick, his feet nimbly choosing the best path down. Indecision tore at her, but her stomach rumbled, reminding her of her empty pack, and the thought of a fire to warm herself against the cool autumn afternoon was too much. She followed warily, her eyes ever watchful for the demons that appeared everywhere, especially when she wasn’t watching for them. 

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Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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Loving the start of your narrative.  I'm eager to see your mentor's revealing!

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 [ Level ?? ] Thunderbro Maximus of the Thunderlords Legion

BRUTALITY 13 | FINESSE 12 | GRIT 13  | INSIGHT 15 | MOXIE 13

Challenges1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR.

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wolfpool.

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager.

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Me likey!! I can't wait to see what happens next! You bet I'm following!!

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Thanks everyone. I will try to keep them coming and hope they live up to expectations! Next one should be up within the hour...

 

Anyway, it is Spain and it is hot. And I don't want to do much besides sit on the beach with my book and maybe a little wave jumping after. But it's been yellow flags every day since I've arrived, so no chance to get out to the buoy for a proper swim. And I had a bodyweight circuit to get through. So, pulled on my trainers and pushed stuff around in the bedroom to be able to move and groaned, panted and sweated through three circuits. Ugh. Don't like doing them in the heat. But it's done for this week anyway, and hopefully today or tomorrow the sea will be calm enough for a proper swim. The ice-cream goal, though small, is actually quite hard to stick to in this weather. We hide from the midday sun so for most of the day until around 4 I'm in the apartment just reading or writing and knowing there's ice-cream in the freezer if I want it. Ugh. Saturday we go up to Valencia though, so there should be more to do. Guardamar is a small beach town, and the beach is pretty much its only real attraction.   

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Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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By the time Rhovaniel had reached the bottom of the hill, the Ranger had set a small fire in a circle of stones and was unpacking cured meat and a half loaf of bread from his pack. Hunger clawed at her belly, but she ignored it. She wasn’t going to take this strangers food until he had explained himself.  

“Who are you?” She repeated, standing as close to the fire as she dared, arms folded across her chest.

“I am known as Strider,” he said calmly, busy cutting the bread. “My true name I do not reveal to many. I come from Ervedya, to the North, and I know of you because we share an enemy, and he is hunting you.” Finally, he looked up at her. “Is there anything else you wish to know before we eat?”

 Rhovaniel swallowed. There were a thousand questions running through her mind, but the Ranger was spreading the meat over the bread and she couldn’t tear her eyes away.

“I – how do I know you mean me no harm?” She asked eventually, forcing herself to look at him and not the food. “How do I know you’re not one of the enemy’s servants?”

“You don’t,” he said simply. “Except for the fact that I am about to eat the same food as you, so you know it is wholesome. And I have not attacked you. If I were a servant of Daechir, I could have killed or captured you long before I climbed the hill. You would not have been aware of me until my sword touched your throat.”

 Rhovaniel nodded. Her previous encounters with the enemy’s agents had all gone the same way. They attacked by stealth, and took her by surprise. Eventually she sat herself down, wincing. She had forgotten about the bruises.

“Must be hard, out on your own.” Strider remarked, glancing down at her latest wounds as he handed her a thick slice of bread, laden with meat that made her mouth water just to look at. “I can help you, if you’d like.”

“I don’t need a babysitter,” Rhovaniel told him archly. “I just need food and rest. I’ll soon be on my way.”

“Just how far do you think you’ll get with the enemy in hot pursuit and no place to go?”

“I’ve managed so far.”

“Badly.” Strider held her gaze. “You started strong, but the mistakes you’ve made have cost you dearly. You barely escaped with your life this past week and a half.”

Rhovaniel bit her lip, his words hitting home. The past week had been a rocky one, and her clothes, torn and bloodied, only hinted at the damage the Sugar Dragon and the demon Sloth had done to her body.

“Look, let me help you.” The Ranger said. “A brave heart will only get you so far. Come to Ervedya. There, I can teach you how to fight, and how to fend for yourself. How to survive. And there are others there who can teach you many other skills besides. Languages of the world that will make your travels easier, for instance. We can teach you how to be a Ranger, a good one.”

“Why should I trust you?” Rhovaniel asked quietly, struggling to contain herself from accepting immediately. Ervedya sounded like a fairy-tale, too good to be wholesome, far too likely to be a trap set by the enemy. Instead, she took a large bite of the bread. It was delicious.

“Rhovaniel,” Strider sighed, “the choice is yours. I’ll not force you to come with me, but I will say that your path is more perilous than you know. There are worse things than the Sugar Dragon out there.”

“Why is my path so perilous? And how to you claim to know so much about me? I’m as anonymous as any other who wanders the wilds alone.”

“No, you are not. Rhovaniel, I was sent to find you, and bring you safely back to Ervedya if I could. As for why, it is because Daechir fears you. He has sent out powerful emissaries, tasked with bringing you down. They will capture you if they find you, and drag you back to the Empire, to face the wrath of Daechir.”

“Me? Why should a lone figure like me be feared by anybody, least of all by such a powerful entity like Daechir?”

“He fears what you can become. Who you can be if you truly embrace the life of a Ranger. The Empire seeks to have all souls under his dominion. Already, so unlearned and with barely any knowledge of the wild, you set out in independence, in open defiance of his authority. Rhovaniel, I do not say this lightly. You have the power to break that dominion, be mistress of your own destiny. Do great deeds that serve the world as well as yourself. It has been foreseen.”

“Foreseen? By whom?”

“Gailon of Ervedya has long been aware of you. The Elves have a remarkable way of being aware of powerful talents. I myself was discovered, long ago, by Gailon’s skill. At first, you were no more than an unknown entity, a silver shadow in his thoughts, deeply held in the Empire’s grasp. But when you set out to discover the world for yourself, when you chose to defy the Empire by rejecting its values, its lies, the drugs of comfort and false convenience, then your identity and whereabouts were revealed at last to Gailon. And also to the enemy, who keeps watchful tabs over the wilderness, and knows who exits and enters his realm.”

 Unsure what to say, Rhovaniel took another bite of her bread, uneasy. How could she of all people have some great destiny to fulfil? She had set out to find herself, yes, but greatness? It seemed beyond her.

 She glanced across at Strider, but he seemed content to let her sit with her own thoughts and was busy with his food. His face gave nothing away, and he seemed to be making a point not to look at her, to leave her alone with her thoughts. She was grateful for that, and stared instead at the fire. Ervedya… she hadn’t heard of it, but if it was in defiance of the Empire, that was hardly surprising. A place to train, to learn. Somewhere safe. Could it be true?  

 

 

“I will go with you,” Rhovaniel said eventually, breaking the silence. “I will come to Ervedya and learn what I can. But do not expect greatness of me. I do not feel it is in my destiny. Or if it is, I do not know if I am capable of such.”

 Strider smiled, the first time she had seen him do so, and years seemed to fall from his face as the weary look left him.

“I think you chose wisely. As for greatness, it is one of many paths your life may lead to. But that is a discussion I am ill-qualified for. Best to leave such for when you meet with Gailon.” He got to his feet and started to douse the fire with a little water from his pack. Rhovaniel wondered how he could spare it, but he seemed to know what he was doing, stamping out the last few flames and disguising the area the fire had been. Already, twilight was drawing near, and Rhovaniel felt less secure once the light of the fire had gone. She quickly finished her last mouthful of bread, savouring it. Who knew the next time she would be able to eat?

“We should start as soon as may be. It is still a little over a week’s journey to Ervedya, and we should travel at night whilst we can. The enemy’s sight is veiled more then, and we may hope to avoid the worst that he can send after us.” Strider told her.

“I’m ready,” Rhovaniel said.

“Good. We’ll start at dusk.” 

  • Like 3

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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29 minutes ago, Rhovaniel said:

 

“Gailon of Ervedya has long been aware of you. The Elves have a remarkable way of being aware of powerful talents. I myself was discovered, long ago, by Gailon’s skill. At first, you were no more than an unknown entity, a silver shadow in his thoughts, deeply held in the Empire’s grasp


Sounds like code for "creepy spying magic" if you ask me. Let's hope Gailon's one of the good guys. The only other possibility I can think of is seeing the future, which is about a thousand times scarier.

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Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

.

5k: 25:01

 

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5 hours ago, Ranger Five said:

 


Sounds like code for "creepy spying magic" if you ask me. Let's hope Gailon's one of the good guys. The only other possibility I can think of is seeing the future, which is about a thousand times scarier.

Time will tell! :D 

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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Okay, this is likely - but not certainly - my last week zero post as tomorrow I'll be travelling to Valencia for the weekend, where, fingers crossed, I'll have free hotel wifi, not my phone's mobile data allowance that makes me dip in and out of the internet. And here. 

 

Yesterday and today were both green flag days at the beach. In fact, I have rarely seen the sea so calm. So went out to the buoy both days, though today I had DOMS from yesterday's bodyweight circuits. Ugh. Didn't stop me going to the buoy, swimming to the next one and fighting the current to get back to shore though. So, week zero more or less complete, and the second swim makes up for the fact it may, in fact, be too damn hot to run tomorrow or even sunday. I'm used to England's weather, not sticky heat all day long. I may just walk the 5 k on a supply run. Or, you know, explore Valencia. Either works, I guess :D

 

Oh, I also started a Bullet Journal using a squared sheet notebook I bought here. Only day two, but going well! I even have pages to track the challenge, so I can see how the BuJo can be adapted to different needs. Here's hoping I can stick to it!

  • Like 2

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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Have a fun trip! So impressed with your swimming.

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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On 20 August 2016 at 1:02 AM, Elastigirl said:

Have a fun trip! So impressed with your swimming.

Thanks! Though to be fair the current wasn't trying to pull me out to sea, just in a different direction down the beach, and I didn't fancy a walk back to where my beach towel was. I'm getting better at swimming more. For me, it's a mental barrier. I can swim fine in an indoor pool. Salt water, waves, currents.... I feel a little apprehensive. And I hate the feel of sea water going in my mouth, ugh. But I got through it, and once I'm down in Calpe I intend to go out some more. Got to push those mental barriers somehow!

 

Anyway, day one of the challenge. Part one of this week's narrative to come soon, probably tonight when I can be sure of the wifi connection. 

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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7 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

Thanks! Though to be fair the current wasn't trying to pull me out to sea, just in a different direction down the beach, and I didn't fancy a walk back to where my beach towel was. I'm getting better at swimming more. For me, it's a mental barrier. I can swim fine in an indoor pool. Salt water, waves, currents.... I feel a little apprehensive. And I hate the feel of sea water going in my mouth, ugh. But I got through it, and once I'm down in Calpe I intend to go out some more. Got to push those mental barriers somehow!

 

Anyway, day one of the challenge. Part one of this week's narrative to come soon, probably tonight when I can be sure of the wifi connection. 

I get that. I'm a fine swimmer at the pool, but really nervous in the open water. I'm starting to slowly get over my nervousness, but I have only dared swim a very short distance.

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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So Gailon is an Elf? That's interesting ... I look forward to learning more about who he is. He sounds quite powerful. Your guide/mentor reminds me of a rather gruff Aragorn ... which is definitely a compliment.

 

Also, good for you in completing your bodyweight circuits in the heat!! Heat is one of my biggest nemeses (along with bagels, weekends, and pizza) and I frequently use it as an excuse not to exercise. Just remember, you slay an Orc (or your enemy of choice) every time you overcome those temptations!!

 

I hope your first week gets off to a great start!! Enjoy your holiday in Spain - it sounds wonderful!

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Rhovaniel saw little of their road to Ervedya. With dusk approaching, they set out, taking paths Rhovaniel couldn’t see but apparently appeared familiar to Strider, since he bent their steps with confidence into the thickest of tough grasses, or around swampy areas that made Rhovaniel wrinkle her nose at the smell. The world was veiled to her, a mass of vague shapes and shadows in the dark. With dawn, they hid in caves, bushes or the like, sheltered from unfriendly eyes, taking what rest they could. Three nights passed the same way, crossing the wilds quicker than Rhovaniel would ever manage on her own, struggling along as best she could. Occasionally, Strider would look back and find her almost half a mile behind, clutching a stitch at her side but battling to keep moving all the time. Each time, he would double back, concerned, and they would rest for a few minutes before going, once more, on their way. Rhovaniel tried to apologise the next time they stopped for the approaching dawn, sheltering at the edge of a forest where the trees offered both shade and a screen from unfriendly eyes, feeling weak and sluggish next to the powerful Ranger, but he refused to hear it.

“I have spent many years out in the wild, Rhovaniel, and I know these paths well, especially in the dark. I doubt there was much call for such long marches in the Empire?”

“No,” she admitted, trying not to devour the bread he’d given her too quickly, though he took none himself. “I’d go on what I thought were long walks now and then, a few hours, but never like this.” She sighed, for the first time a small desire to be back in the Empire, back where home used to lie, taking root in her mind. Back when walks were in daylight and she had chocolate bars in her pack and the promise of a hot shower and a large, tasty dinner when she returned. She shook her head. She couldn’t afford those thoughts now.

“Get some rest,” Strider advised, handing her a blanket. “I’m going to take a look around.” The man seemed to be immune to fatigue, she thought, a touch enviously, as she stretched out, stiff and exhausted, on the borrowed blanket. Weak autumn sunlight filtered down in pale shafts between the glossy leaves that were halfway between green and gold, and she watched them dancing on the breeze for a few minutes, intending to wait up until Strider came back and she knew it was safe to sleep. Instead, her eyes closed almost without her noticing and she fell immediately into slumber.

“Rhovaniel!” The whispered voice in her ear was urgent, as was the rough hand shaking her shoulder. “Wake up. We have company!”

“What is it?” She whispered back, still groggy and half in sleep. The sunlight was stronger now, she guessed approaching midday, though it seemed she had been staring up at the early dawn a moment ago. Clumsily, she got to her feet and Strider hissed at her to be quiet.

 She had never seen him so tense, she realised. His face was drawn halfway into a scowl, and he looked past her rather than at her.

“What’s out there?” She whispered, when she could bear the tension no longer.

“Demons. Sent, no doubt, by Daechir. He’s found you.”

 Rhovaniel’s pulse quickened, though she did her best to hide it. Her wounds had been healing nicely in the short time she’d been with Strider, but she still feared a rematch. Sloth and the Sugar Dragon knew her weaknesses far too well, better than she understood the demons, at any rate.

“What do we do?” She asked, wishing her voice didn’t sound so afraid. She cleared her throat in an attempt to mask it.

“Draw your sword,” he said quietly. “We fight.”

She reached for the hilt with an unsteady hand, but when she gripped it, resolve seemed to strengthen her. She had to fight them sooner or later, and this time she had an ally, a powerful one. Strider had drawn his own sword, his face grim. Next to his polished blade, her own felt stunted and almost childlike, a foot shorter at least, unpolished and notched in several places where his looked like new, sharpened recently.

“They are about a mile out, that way,” Strider muttered, pointing deeper into the forest. Trust demons not to walk in the open sunlight, Rhovaniel noted. “They are moving fast, but they expect to find you unaware. Best to face them with open eyes.”

 Rhovaniel nodded, not trusting herself to speak. Sweat began to grease her palms.

 Before ten minutes had passed, she could hear them, their soft voices already putting their powers out, seeking to enchant her before she could stir. The smells of a bakery seemed to waft in the air about her, the sweet stickiness of iced pastries, the freshly baked cakes. She gripped the hilt harder. The Sugar Dragon was here.

“Hold your ground,” Strider told her softly, though seemingly unaffected himself. She nodded.

“I…. see… you….” The demons revealed themselves, and immediately Rhovaniel recognised her familiar adversaries. Sloth was there, sliding slowly across the forest floor, his large blue eyes perfect circles as he looked straight up at her, beseeching her to join him. Her arms felt heavy, the sword an unimaginable weight in her weary hands. It would be easy. So easy just to drop it, let someone else take care of it. Why was she even holding it? Sloth came closer, his eyes never leaving hers. “Rest… with…. us. So… tired…. you…. are….” He rose up, barely a metre from her face. She tore her gaze away, breathing hard and saw Strider watching her in concern.

“You’re a lie!” She yelled suddenly, turning back to face it and wrenching the sword back up to defend herself. Somehow it had fallen down by her side, her fingers barely gripping it. “Get back, demon!”

 Several screams and wails filled the air. Sloth launched at her, the Sugar Dragon whipped her tail, the colour of bubble-gum, out to trip her and a third, lurking in the background, suddenly sprang out of hiding. Despair started to rise in Rhovaniel’s chest. Greed. She hadn’t face him in ages, but she knew how strong he was. Too strong. Here was the beast that convinced her not to stop at one ice-cream, one chocolate. That wanted everything and then more. Already, she could feel him, looking into her heart, searching out her weaknesses, playing on her desires.

“She stands not alone! Go back to your foul master!” Strider was suddenly in front of Rhovaniel, brandishing his sword. “Get back, foul demon!”

 The only answer was another piercing screech, and then there was the awful clash of metal as sword met demon, and demon fought back. The Sugar Dragon found her path blocked by Strider, whose sword rang out as it glanced off her scales, but Greed locked onto Rhovaniel and rushed at her, teeth bared, ready, she knew, to sink into her neck and drain her willpower, fill her veins with his poison.

Rhovaniel swung at him, and her ears filled with the rush of blood as her heart pounded and the sounds of battle as they fought. He blocked her first blows easily, too easily. He was toying with her, knowing that before long her knees would bend and then she’d be his. But even as she swung wide and felt one long, horrible fang sink into her elbow, even as she screamed out in pain, she knew that, this time, she would not buckle. Blood flowed freely down her arm but she held her ground and did something she had never before dared to do. She looked Greed in the eye. He faltered, just for a moment, but it was enough. She had never seen him hesitate before. She brought her sword back up, ready for the second round. 

  • Like 2

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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The outcome of the battle depends entirely on my own performance this week. The fact that Greed managed to injure Rhovaniel is testament to the fact that I did not stick to one ice-cream today, I had two. But whether Rhovaniel recovers and gains the upper hand depends on whether I beat the rest of my modest goals. Running it is too hot for, and I walked for ages around the science and oceanographic centres here in Valencia. At least seven hours out of the hotel, most of it on foot. So, I am counting that as an okay exercise sub, given that tomorrow we go to Calpe where I can swim again, and get in another bodyweight workout. If I do good, and Rhovaniel beats Greed, then Strider is impressed, and gives her some small reward (real life monetary value £5. Probably a book). If not, he is quietly disappointed, which is punishment enough, but as he tells her she’ll have to try harder when they get to Ervedya, she also forfeits a variance in week two.

 

74c6dd51fbeef987f6b4c284f72c4fb3.jpg 

  • Like 1

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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4 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

So Gailon is an Elf? That's interesting ... I look forward to learning more about who he is. He sounds quite powerful. Your guide/mentor reminds me of a rather gruff Aragorn ... which is definitely a compliment.

 

Also, good for you in completing your bodyweight circuits in the heat!! Heat is one of my biggest nemeses (along with bagels, weekends, and pizza) and I frequently use it as an excuse not to exercise. Just remember, you slay an Orc (or your enemy of choice) every time you overcome those temptations!!

 

I hope your first week gets off to a great start!! Enjoy your holiday in Spain - it sounds wonderful!

Can't tell you how happy I am you said that! I was totally picturing Aragorn in my head! Strider is his alter-ego, I suppose! (I know he's also known as Strider, but hey the name fits so well I couldn't not use it!) 

 

Thanks - Spain is lovely, but part of me just wants the comforts of home. A friend assures me its raining and miserable in England though, so maybe its a good thing I have another week left here!

  • Like 1

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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6 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

Can't tell you how happy I am you said that! I was totally picturing Aragorn in my head! Strider is his alter-ego, I suppose! (I know he's also known as Strider, but hey the name fits so well I couldn't not use it!) 

 

Thanks - Spain is lovely, but part of me just wants the comforts of home. A friend assures me its raining and miserable in England though, so maybe its a good thing I have another week left here!

 

Aragorn is a wonderful mentor - the noblest and bravest of mentors!! An excellent choice for your teacher and inspiration!  :-)

 

And a week will pass very quickly - you'll be back home in the wet and gray before you know it!  ;-)

  • Like 1

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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The lack of wifi here is driving me crazy. Sorry everyone I've been terrible this week at checking in on threads. We're planning on eating out tonight so hopefully well find a place with free wifi!

 

 Anyway, in case I dont get wifi, my week so far: pretty decent. The buoy here is futher out than in Guardamar, and the current is stronger so I weaved and zigzagged all over the place but managed to swim to it and back again. Greed is still a threat. I want all the icecream and have started craving chocolate. Ugh. But I've stuck to one a day and tonight I'm going to skip dessert completely. I will defeat my demons this week! In fact, I've already written up my "success" post where Rhovaniel defeats Greed to motivate myself since I don't want to have to change it to a failure post. So long as I keep the rest of the week in check, manage another bodyweight workout and either swim out again or possibly run early morning on the beach I should be good this week. 

  • Like 3

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: Rhovaniel looks Inwards, to change Outwards

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25|26

 

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Love your challenge and I am so jealous of the beach and the ocean.  Sounds exactly like what I visualize when I meditate.  I am land locked and feel lucky if I get to a pool.  Keep up the great work and look forward to more story when you have wifi back.

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Level 36 Ranger Sorcerer 

 

Current challenge 

 

 

 

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