Ayreth's page

1,182 posts. Alias of Slyness.


CG Changeling Heavens Oracle(8) | HP: 87 | AC: 19 T:13 FF:17 | DR: 5/cold iron | CMD:20 | F:+5 R:+4 W:+9* | Init:+5 | Perc:+14 | Darkvision: 60' | Low-light Vision | Speed: 30' |


Mythic Power: 7 | True Lore: 2 | Vision: 2 | Cleric Channel(1d6): 11 | Oracle Channel(4d6): 11 | Spells: 1st: 9 | 2nd: 9 | 3rd: 7 | 4th: 5 |

About Ayreth

The first thing people will notice is that Ayreth is small, which is usually just after they trip over her. Then is her long, freely flowing white hair with a black streak that one can surmise has not been cut in a very long time. If her hair isn't covering half her face, then next is her unsettling eyes; one is silver, reflecting light, the other is usually hidden, but midnight blue in color, absorbing any light. Her figure is decidedly feminine. On her left thumb, she wears a silver ring. She appears unarmed. She sometimes speaks and acts primitively, like an orc. Sometimes at her feet, but usually looking over her shoulder is Emmitt, her black cat. Ayreth tries very hard to be a good person. One of her greatest fears is being anything like her mother, a hag.
| Pic: 1 | Ht: 4'9"/1.44m | Wt: 96lbs./43.5kg | Age: 19 |
| Str: 12 | Dex: 14 | Con: 16 | Int: 14 | Wis: 16 | Cha: 30 |
| CL: 8 | Concentration: +18 | vs. SR: +10 |
| Spells/Day: | 1st: 9 | 2nd: 9 | 3rd: 7 | 4th: 5 |
| Languages: | Common | Celestial | Draconic | Dwarven | Elven | Gnoll | Orc | Sylvan |

| HP: 87 | CMD: 20 | Fort: +5 | Ref: +4 | Will: +9 |
| Armor: Mistmail(+5) | AC: 19 | Touch: 13 | Flat-footed: 17 |
| DR: 5/cold iron | Spell Resistance: 0

| BAB: +6 | CMB: +7 | Initiative: +5 | Speed: 30' |
| Melee: Claws(B/S)(x2): +7(1d4+1) |
| Ranged: None |

-----Trained Adventuring Skills-----
| Diplomacy: 21 | Heal: 7 | Perception: 14 | Sense Motive: 14 | Spellcraft: 13 | Survival: 10 | Use Magic Device: 18 |
| Know-Arcana: 7 | Know-Dung: 7 | Know-Local: 7 | Know-Nature: 7 | Know-Planes: 7 | Know-Religion: 10 |

-----Trained Background Skills-----
| Linguistics: 5 | Perform-Sing: 21 | Sleight of Hand: 5 |
| Know-Eng: 6 | Know-Geo: 6 | Know-History: 6 | Know-Nobles: 6 |

-----Changeling Racial Traits:-----
Ability Scores: | Constitution -2 | Wisdom +2 | Charisma +2 |
Darkvision: 60'
Claws: Changelings' fingernails are hard and sharp, granting her two claw attacks (1d4).
Mist Child: When the changeling has concealment or total concealment, the miss chance of attacks against her increases by 5%.
Natural Armor: Changelings have a +1 natural armor bonus.

Focused Learner: You have proved to be exceptionally skilled at learning the lessons Zhen imparted, and it shows in your abilities. Benefit: You gain an additional skill point each level.
Dangerously Curious: You have always been intrigued by magic, possibly because you were the child of a magician or priest. Benefits: You gain a +1 bonus on Use Magic Device checks, and Use Magic Device is always a class skill for you.
Slaverbane: News of your reputation has spread among slavers and those who fight them. Benefit: You get a +1 bonus to intimidate any slavers, and a +1 to diplomacy to anyone fighting against slavers, including the Eagle Knights, Bellflower Network, and most Andorans.

Armor Proficiency: Shield, Light, Medium
Weapon Proficiency: Simple, Martial
Spell Penetration: You get a +2 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome a creature’s spell resistance.
Strange Revelation: The next time you select a revelation or take the Extra Revelation feat (including if chosen at the same level you take Strange Revelation), you may select a revelation from another mystery instead of your own.
Mythic: Dual Path: Select a mythic path other than the path you selected at your moment of ascension. You gain that path's 1st-tier ability. Each time you gain a path ability, you can select that path ability from either path's list or the list of universal path abilities.
Mythic: Spell Penetration: Add half your tier to caster level checks to overcome spell resistance. If you have Greater Spell Penetration, add your full tier instead.

-----Oracle: Heavens-----
Curse: Haunted: Malevolent spirits follow you wherever you go, causing minor mishaps and strange occurrences (such as unexpected breezes, small objects moving on their own, and faint noises). Effect: Retrieving any stored item from your gear requires a standard action, unless it would normally take longer. Any item you drop lands 10 feet away from you in a random direction. Add mage hand and ghost sound to your list of spells known. At 5th level, add levitate and minor image to your list of spells known. At 10th level, add telekinesis to your list of spells known. At 15th level, add reverse gravity to your list of spells known.
Revelation: Awesome Display (Su)(-10): Your phantasmagoric displays accurately model the mysteries of the night sky, dumbfounding all who behold them. Each creature affected by your illusion (pattern) spells is treated as if its total number of Hit Dice were equal to its number of Hit Dice minus your Charisma modifier.
Revelation: Channel Positive Energy (Su)(4d6)(11/day)(DC:23): You can channel positive energy like a cleric, using your oracle level as your effective cleric level when determining the amount of damage healed (or caused to undead) and the DC. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the cleric. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st.
Revelation: Spray of Shooting Stars (Su)(7d4)(2/day)(DC:23): (Su): As a standard action, you can unleash a ball of energy that explodes in a 5-foot radius burst dealing 1d4 points of fire damage per level. A successful Reflex save halves this damage. This attack has a range of 60 feet. You can fire one explosive ball per day, plus one additional ball per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter. You can fire more than one ball at a time, but creatures caught inside more than one simultaneous explosions only take damage once.

0: (DC:20): | Create Water | Detect Magic | Ghost Sound | Guidance | Light | Mage Hand | Mending | Purify Food & Drink | Read Magic | Spark |

1: (DC:21): | Color Spray(M)(+2CL) | Comprehend Languages | Cure Light Wounds | Murderous Command | Obscuring Mist | Protection from Evil | Shield of Faith |

2: (DC:22): | Cure Moderate Wounds | Hypnotic Pattern(+2CL) | Lesser Restoration | Make Whole | Levitate | Minor Image | Spiritual Weapon |

3: (DC:23): | Bestow Curse | Cure Serious Wounds | Daylight | Stone Shape |

4: (DC:24): | Blessing of Fervor | Cure Critical Wounds | Rainbow Pattern |

-----Cleric: VMC-----
Deity: Desna
Domain: Clandestine Inquisition
Disappear(Sp)(6 rounds)(6/day): You can become invisible as per the spell as a standard action. The invisibility lasts for 1 round per inquisitor level or until you attack. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.
Deity(Desna): Selects a deity within one alignment step of her ownand gains the cleric’s aura, bonus languages, code of conduct, and restriction from casting spells of opposed alignments.
Channel: Gains the ability to channel energy as a cleric of her character level-6 a number of times per day equal to her Cha+1.

-----Mythic Tier:3 | Living Saint | Hierophant |-----
Bonus Hit Points: Whenever you gain a tier, you gain 4 bonus hp.
Mythic Power(Su)(9/day): Each day, you can expend an amount of mythic power equal to 3 plus double your mythic tier.
Surge(Su)(1d6): You can expend one use of mythic power to increase any d20 roll you just made by rolling 1d6 and adding it to the result.
Amazing Initiative(Ex): At 2nd tier, you gain a bonus on initiative checks equal to your mythic tier. In addition, as a free action on your turn, you can expend one use of mythic power to take an additional standard action during that turn. This additional standard action can’t be used to cast a spell. You can’t gain an extra action in this way more than once per round.
Hard to Kill(Ex): Whenever you’re below 0 hit points, you automatically stabilize without needing to attempt a Constitution check. If you have an ability that allows you to act while below 0 hit points, you still lose hit points for taking actions, as specified by that ability. Bleed damage still causes you to lose hit points when below 0 hit points. In addition, you don’t die until your total number of negative hit points is equal to or greater than double your Constitution score.
Aura of Divine Favor (Su)(+2): You can expend one use of mythic power to create a 30' radius aura of divine favor around your person for one hour per mythic tier. The aura affects all allies in range and grants them the benefits of the Divine Favor spell(+1 luck bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls for every 3 levels), cast at your caster level and with a maximum luck bonus of +6. Allies remain affected only while in range.
Inspired Spell: You can expend one use of mythic power to cast any one divine spell, treating your caster level as 2 levels higher. This spell must be on your divine spell list (or your domain or mystery spell list) and must be of a spell level that you can cast using that divine spellcasting class. If you are a spontaneous spellcaster, you don't need to have the spell prepared, nor does it need to be on your list of spells known. Using this ability does not expend a prepared spell or available spell slot. You can apply any metamagic feats you know to this spell, but its total spell slot level must be a slot level you can normally cast.
Faith's Reach: Whenever you cast a divine spell with a range of touch, you can instead cast the spell with a range of 30 feet. If the spell normally requires a melee touch attack, it instead requires a ranged touch attack.
Mythic Spells: At 2nd tier, you may select one mythic spell and expend your mythic power to cast that spell with enhanced results. You must be able to cast the normal, divine version of the spell or have it on your list of spells known. At 4th tier and every two tiers thereafter, you can select another mythic spell.
Sustained by Faith (Su): If you spend at least 1 hr. of prayer or meditation, you require no food, water, or sleep for 24 hours. This time can be the same time you use to prepare spells. You must still rest 8 hrs. to regain spells but you are not subject to fatigue or exhaustion due to a lack of sleep. Additionally, once per day you may expend one use of mythic power as a full-round action to refresh yourself as if you had rested for 8 hrs. for the purposes of regaining spells and healing HP and ability damage.
Hand of Mercy(Su): If you have the channel energy ability, you can touch a creature and expend one use of channel energy to remove a condition afflicting that creature. Each time you use this ability, you can choose one of the following conditions: dazed, fatigued, shaken, sickened, or staggered. At 6th tier, you can also choose from among the cursed, exhausted, frightened, and nauseated conditions. At 9th tier, you can also choose from among the blinded, deafened, paralyzed, and stunned conditions.

-----Haunted One-----
Ability Scores: | Con +4 | Int +2 | Wis +2 | Cha +2 |
Skills: Knowledge skills are always class skills for a haunted one.
Languages(Orc): A haunted one gains a bonus language possessed by the rider. Additionally, haunted ones possess telepathy with other haunted ones, to a range of 100 feet.
Haunted (Ex): If at any point a haunted one’s rider spirit feels the haunted one needs “persuasion” to follow its demands, the spirit can inflict 1d6 points of Constitution damage upon the haunted one as a free action, up to once per round. The haunted one can resist this Constitution damage by making a DC 20 Fortitude save—with a successful save, the spirit cannot attempt to harm the haunted one in this manner again for 24 hours.
True Lore (Su)(2/day): Once per day, a haunted one can gain a +20 insight bonus on any Knowledge skill check that it makes, provided that the haunted one possesses at least one skill rank in that Knowledge skill. Every 5 HD possessed by the haunted one grants an additional daily use of this ability.
Vision (Sp)(2/day): Once a day, a haunted one can use Vision as a spell-like ability (Caster Level equals the haunted one’s HD). Every 5 HD possessed by the haunted one grants an additional daily use of this ability.This spell functions like legend lore, except that it works more quickly and produces some strain on you. You pose a question about some person, place, or object, then cast the spell. If the person or object is at hand or if you are in the place in question, you receive a vision about it by succeeding on a caster level check (1d20 + 1 per caster level; maximum +25) against DC 20. If only detailed information on the person, place, or object is known, the DC is 25, and the information gained is incomplete. If only rumors are known, the DC is 30, and the information gained is vague. After this spell is complete, you are fatigued.

-----Dream Creature-----
Ability Scores: | Wis +2 | Cha +4 |
Senses: The base creature gains low-light vision.
Skills: Perform (sing) is a class skill for a dream creature.
Defensive Abilities: A dream creature gains DR 5/cold iron and is immune to figment, glamer, and pattern spells.
Sleep Vulnerability (Ex): A dream creature takes a -2 penalty on saves against sleep effects. Furthermore, it counts as a creature with 2 fewer Hit Dice than it actually possesses for the purpose of determining the number and HD of creatures a sleep spell can affect. If the base creature is immune to sleep effects, it loses that ability.
Dream Spellcasting(Su): A dream creature’s effective caster level for figment, glamer, and pattern spells increases by +2 over that of the base creature. This ability is cumulative, e.g., a dream creature casting a spell that is both a figment and glamer casts it at a +4 caster level.
Dream Travel(Su): Once per day, a dream creature can go to sleep and travel about in the realm of dreams. This ability works like the ethereal jaunt spell, except that the dream creature leaves its material body behind. It can remain in dream form so long as its body sleeps, and the dream creature travels through the realm of dreams instead of the Ethereal Plane.
---At any point in time, the dream creature may go to sleep with the intent of traveling in dreams. When it does so, a dream version of it like the ethereal form resulting from an ethereal jaunt spell rises from its sleeping body. This version of the dream creature can then travel about the dream realm, roaming material areas like an ethereal creature, and act as it wills. If its sleeping body takes damage, is subjected to a harmful spell or effect, or is awakened by a loud noise or vigorous motion, the dream form vanishes, and the dream creature awakens with the knowledge of what its dream-self experienced. The same result occurs if the dream form leaves the dream realm (by its own will or by force), or “dies” (either from damage or from some magical effect). Beneficial spell effects cast on the body of the sleeping dream creature benefit its dream form as well, but negative effects that affect the dream form do not affect the sleeping body of the dream creature, nor do they affect the dream creature after it has awakened. If the dream form would become material through some action or effect, it vanishes, and the sleeping dream creature awakens.
Lulling Gaze(Su)(DC:19): Any creature within 20 feet must succeed on a Will save or take a –5 penalty on Perception checks and a –2 penalty on Will saves against sleep effects for as long as it remains within range. A new save is required each round until the creature either fails or is no longer within range. A dream creature can suppress or resume this ability as a free action. This is a gaze effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Sleep Song(Su): As a full-round action, a dream creature can sing a lullaby that puts nearby creatures to sleep. Any creature within 100 feet of the dream creature that can hear its song must succeed on a Will save (DC equals the dream creature’s Perform [sing] check result), or fall asleep as though affected by a sleep spell for a number of rounds equal to the dream creature’s total Hit Dice. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected by the same dream creature’s sleep song again for 24 hours. Dream creatures are immune to their own and other dream creatures’ sleep songs. Sleep song is a sonic, mind-affecting sleep effect.
Waking Dreams(Su): At will as a standard action, a dream creature can cause the area within 100 feet of its position to become hazy and dreamlike at will. This effect penetrates solid objects and even crosses the boundary with the Ethereal Plane. Distances and speeds in the affected area become hard to judge. Bright areas seem dark, and dark areas appear to have some hazy illumination. Colors blend into one another in strange and unpredictable ways, and creatures seem to take on the features of objects or other creatures. Every creature in the affected area takes a –4 penalty on all attack rolls, checks, and saves as long as it remains in the area. A creature outside the area taking any action that would affect creatures within or on the other side of the area also takes a –4 penalty on any associated roll or check. Waking dreams is an illusion (figment) effect with no save, but creatures that are immune to illusion effects are immune to this effect. True seeing and similar effects allow a creature to act in the affected area without taking the penalty. Dream creatures are immune to the penalties caused by their own waking dreams and those of other dream creatures.

-----The Anemoi - Mists of Revelation-----
(1)Flowing Mists: The mists can enhance another ability. When moved to a weapon slot, they grant a +1 magic bonus. When moved to the head they grant a +1 Caster Level bonus when dealing with spell resistance. When moved to the body, it increases AC by 1, and when moved to the feet it increases move speed by +10.
(3)Covering Mists: As a full round action, once per day, the Anemoi can be forced onto another creature. A reflex save equal to half the character level and a mental attribute of their choice can avoid this. When used this way the creature is affected as if by the Slow spell and the Blind spell for a total number of rounds equal to half the character's level. All other effects the Anemoi would normally provide are suspended when used this way.
(5)Oracle's Fog: This ability allows the user to see through fog, smoke and other forms of obscuring mists. In addition, once per day, the spell Haunting Mists can be used as spell-like ability at a caster level equal to the user's level.
(7)Sweeping Mists: The bonus granted by the Flowing Mists ability increases by 1, or 5ft if moved to the feet. The neck slot is now opened as well, and when moved there adds +1 to Spell DC.

-----Other Gear-----
Cloak of the Dark Tapestry
Vambraces of Defense
Shoes of Lightning Leaping - Red
Limited Wish Gemstone
Misc: Oracle Kit | Fish Hooks x 5 | Twine | Utility Knife | Journal | Charcoal Sticks | Familiar Satchel
Gold: 6700

Progression Ideas:

9: Greater Spell Penetration

2nd: Make Whole | Divine Trident | Hold Person | Silence |

3rd: Stone Shape | Chain of Perdition

4th: Blessing of Fervor | Greater Make Whole | Restoration

Mythic Ideas:

Feat: Spell Penetration

Living Saint Abilities:

Deliverance (Su)3rd: Whenever you would die as the result of a failed save, you may expend one use of mythic power to automatically succeed on that save.

Spell Slot Accretion (Ex)3rd: You may sacrifice two spell slots of the same level to gain one spell slot of the next level. You may repeat this process as often as desired. Thus you could sacrifice four 2nd-level spell slots to gain two 3rd-level slots and then sacrifice those two 3rd-level slots to gain a single 4th-level slot. Any gained slot must be of a spell level you can cast.

Endless Power (Su)6th: You gain the ability to cast spells without expending your power. If you are capable of casting divine spells of 5th level or higher, whenever you cast a 1st-level divine spell, it is either not expended (if you prepare spells) or doesn’t use up a spell slot (if you casts spells spontaneously). You can select this ability more than once. Each time you do, the level of divine spells you can cast without expending the spell or using up the spell slot increases by one, to a maximum of 3rd level.

Hierophant Path Abilities:

Enduring Blessing (Su)3rd: Whenever you cast a spell with a duration of 10 minutes per level or longer upon one willing target, you can change that spell's duration to 24 hours. If the spell has other duration conditions, those still apply (for example, the duration of stoneskin changes to 24 hours or until discharged). A creature can't be subject to more than one spell affected by this ability at a time; if another is cast upon the creature, the first one ends. You can select this ability a second time at 6th tier or higher. The second time you select it, you can use it on spells with a duration of 1 minute per level or longer.

Universal Path Abilities:

Longevity (Su): Upon taking this ability, you can no longer die from old age. If you have penalties to your physical ability scores due to aging, you no longer take those penalties. You still continue to age, and you gain all the benefits to your mental ability scores.

Plot Threads:

Symbol of Authority
The Debtor
Druid Tower - spores
Gem dragons
Slavers on nearby island, Okeno
Zhen's body missing
Freed slaves in town


"Happy birthday, Ayreth!" The older woman hugged the young girl tightly.

"It isn't my birthday yet, Sister Gia. We still have a few hours," the young girl quietly replied.

"Soon enough." The affectionate Sister stepped back and brushed some of the long white hair back from the girl's face. "You are so beautiful. You shouldn't hide behind your hair."

Ayreth looked at her caretaker for a moment, one eye golden, reflecting the firelight, the other eye midnight blue, absorbing it. She self-consciously pulled her hair back down, veiling half her face and her golden eye. "I should finish up and go to sleep."

Later that night, Ayreth was woken by a beguiling feminine voice. For a brief moment, she thought it was her mother. She dismissed the notion quickly. This voice was soft, like her own, and compelling. She knew it was calling to her, though she couldn't make out the words. She rose from her bed, exited the cottage, and followed the voice into the woods.

Ayreth was not aware of how much time passed as she walked. The woods seemed to be in an eternal twilight, neither day nor night. Mist clung to the ground and the trees. And still the voice called, compelling her forward. At some point, the trees ended at a tiny clearing in front of the entrance to a cave. Run. Ayreth stepped forward to the cave's mouth, running her hand along the stone. The voice's call was almost overwhelming at this point. She could almost understand what it was trying to tell her. Run. Ayreth brushed at the air near her face as if swatting away a pest.

As she stepped inside the cave, Ayreth saw that it was finely furnished, as if someone of means was living there. In fact, there was a blazing fire in a huge hearth. The fireplace seemed to be a natural formation of the cave wall. Out of the shadows on the side of the hearth stepped a feminine form. Ayreth could not make out any details because the fire was at the woman's back. Ayreth stepped closer to change the angle. Run. The unknown woman was incredibly beautiful. And she was singing to Ayreth, calling to her. the woman held out her hands and Ayreth placed her own hands into them. The singing stopped and the woman said in a melodious voice, "You have finally come, my dear. I have waited for this moment for so long."

"Who are you?," Ayreth inquired timidly, intimidated by the other woman's beauty.

"I'm Belda, your mother, of course," she replied reassuringly.

"My mother?," Ayreth asked hopefully, her voice rising above its normal volume. "I've never known her."

"You do now." The woman, Belda, stepped further into the light, revealing her midnight blue eyes. Ayreth gasped, knowing that one of her own eyes reflected that same color. "Yes, dear, we are going to know each other very well in the coming years." She reached up in an oddly familiar gesture and brushed the hair away from the other side of the girl's face and recoiled. Run! Ayreth quickly pulled the hair back to cover herself again, ashamed of what the woman, her mother, had seen. "So you are also your father's child? We will fix that shortly," she continued, an edge creeping into her voice. She turned to the immense cauldron over the fire. Had that been there the whole time?

"My father? He had silver eyes? Nobody that I have met has them." Ayreth was confused and her voice was diminished again.

Belda laughed, but it wasn't beautiful or reassuring. "No, it's very rare for meat to have them. Your father was special, though," she said, gesturing to something on the mantle. Ayreth took a few steps towards the object. It was a skull, humanoid looking, but with tusks, with a silver ring beside it. Run! Ayreth could not decide if the woman had meant the skull or the ring.

"I don't understand."

"He was a holy warrior of some sort. A fine hunt, that was. Righteous and pure, tender and delicious, he was," she cackled. "But don't worry, we'll rip that purity right out of you, dearie."

Ayreth reached out towards the ring, the woman's words not registering. The moment that she touched it, the fog finally lifted from her mind. Run! Run! Run! Run! The word repeated in her mind without end in a man's voice. It was gruff, not beguiling in the way that Belda's had been. She looked around, seeing the cave for what it really was, a hovel. The furnishings had once been fine, but were worn and dirty, a farce of luxury. Afraid to look, Ayreth steeled her will and turned towards Belda. She was revealed in her true form, a huge, hunchbacked crone with skin that was black and blue, as if the entirety of her was bruised. Run! Run! Run! Run!

The cauldron bubbled and Ayreth thought she saw a child's arm rise to the surface. It was pushed down by the hag. "He was my father and you are my mother," Ayreth stated with conviction, somehow knowing it to be true, but hoping for a denial.

"Of course, dearie. I just said that." The witch continued to stir. Tears fell down Ayreth's cheeks. Run! Run! Run! Run! Discovering that this monster was her mother filled her with emotions that she did not know how to control. Run! Run! Run! Run! Summoning her courage and her rage, she lashed out, shoving the crone forward into the cauldron. Run! Run! Run! Run! The hag came up screaming. Run! Run! Run! Run! Finally, Ayreth ran.

Ayreth ran out of the cave and ran into the woods. She ran through the mist until she could not run anymore. Out of breath, heart racing, legs aching, the girl hid behind a tree. With tears streaming down, she put her face in her hands, attempting to be quiet. It was that gesture that made her realize that she still had the ring in her hands. She looked at it closely in the dim light, glad to distract herself from the terror and exhaustion that she felt. It was a silver band with two etchings on it. Two figures in flight, the first, an angel, the second, a dragon. It was a large ring, or seemed that way in her tiny hands.

Did the ring belong to my father? It seemed reasonable that it had been the hag's trophy of his murder. If it had belonged to him, then it is my inheritance. It is all that I have left of my parents. At least, it's the only legacy that I want. That thought inspired her to slip it on her thumb. As soon as she did, a hand slipped over her mouth, muffling her ensuing screams. A face slipped into her field of vision. It was a bestial face with grayish skin. The heavy brow was furrowed, and long canine teeth protruded from its mouth. It put its arm against her shoulders, pinning her to the tree. Between her weakened state and the sheer size difference, Ayreth knew that she wasn't going anywhere.

"No cry. I help. Please no scream. I remove hand, you no scream.," a rough, gravelly male voice emitted from his mouth. Eyes wide in fear and shock, Ayreth slowly nodded. It... err, he can speak. What new terror is this? He took his hand off and waited, their gazes never breaking contact. When she did not scream, he nodded. "Please no run. Run from evil bit... err, witch, not me." He removed his arm, trusting her. She adjusted her position and he looked concerned.

"Who are you?"

He hit his chest with his fist in some sort of salute. "Thark. I help. You no cry. Keep safe from witch."

Ayreth wiped the tears from her eyes. "Ayreth. I know your voice. You were the one telling me to run." Thark nodded. And that was how Ayreth met Thark.

In the coming days, Thark taught her how to survive. He taught her how to hunt and fish, how to hide, and the ways of orcs, as he was a half-orc. He taught her about honor and combat. Her affection for the half-orc grew even faster than her skills. And each day, they searched for a way out of the mist. They avoided being caught by the hag, but they were snared by her mist, unable to leave her territory.

One day, out of the mist appeared a man, another half-orc. "I am Zhen. I seek my son." He looked the slight girl over. "You are not him. But, there is something..." His voice trailed off. Thark stepped out from behind a tree, but the stranger did not acknowledge him, his focus entirely on the girl.

"I'm Ayreth. Is it Thark? We have been trying to find our way out of the mist for such a long time. Do you know the way?," she asked, her voice hopeful.

"We?" Zhen looked around. He turned in Thark's direction, raising his nose and sniffing the air. "I see," he said gravely. "Come with me." He turned quickly, not waiting for an answer. Ayreth and Thark followed.

They walked for some time, taking peculiar turns, doubling back occasionally. Zhen never changed his pace. The entire time Thark trailed just behind Ayreth. She would occasionally look back at him and smile. Each time, he simply nodded in response, never betraying his thoughts about their possible escape. Finally, they came to a place where the mist clearly ended.

"Thark, do you see it? It is real!" She rushed out into the first sunshine she had seen in a very long time, their new companion forgotten. She spun in circles, head back, arms extended, basking her fair skin in the warmth. She looked back to Thark, who was still standing in the mist. "Thark, come." She took a step towards him. The half-orc shook his head. Her voice turned desperate. "You must. You gave your word." He continued to look at her impassively. "No, don't do this," she pleaded. Thark did not move. "You never promised that, did you? You promised to help me escape, but you never promised that you would escape."

Ayreth went to her knees at the edge of the mist. Her tiny fists beat at the ground in anger. She looked up at Thark again, tears in her eyes for the first time since they had met. The moment gave her the courage to ask the question to which she thought she knew the answer. "You are my father, aren't you?," she asked, searching his face for the answer. For the first time, his beautifully ugly face smiled. As the mist swallowed him and his image began to fade, he offered one last piece of advice, "Run."

"No." Ayreth stood again, filled with resolve. On her left thumb, she was wearing his ring. With her right hand, she grasped it. She created an anchor in her mind and reached towards the fading Thark with her consciousness. "Run with me." A sudden rush and his image came into focus. She pulled at the line connecting him to the anchor in her mind. Slowly, he began moving towards her. At the edge of the mist, it became more of a struggle. Mentally, she wiggled the line back and forth, trying to draw him through it. Finally, in a rush, it happened. Without any more resistance, his spirit came hurtling out, slamming into the petite girl. The impact knocked Ayreth down on her back. A scream of rage was heard in the distance. As she sat up, Zhen put a hand on her shoulder.

"It is time for us to leave, little one."