The waves crashed against her feet, as Melandra coughed wet sand out of her mouth. Dazed, she lifted her head to look around. She was alive, but alone. Debris from the ship lay all around her, along with the crates from the cargo hold. However, there were no signs of any other survivors. She was shocked to find that all of her items, though waterlogged, stayed with her, reminding her of her determination to hold on to her only protection. She was dizzy and weak from floating on bits of wood all night. Hurt but still alive the wind reminded her that she may not remain so if she doesn't get warm, and soon. The temperature was only slightly warming with dawns light breaking over the pine trees, past the beach.
She searched around but all there was to offer was wet wood. Causing it to be much more difficult to light a fire than it usually was. She owed it to being so dizzy and disoriented. Looking around she spotted black smoke rising from up the beach. With an inability to raise a fire herself, and a worry to what had happened to all the other passengers of the ship, she moved toward it. Surely she was not the only one to survive.
The trail led to a fire and an interesting assortment of people. She recognized the group as passengers from the broken ship, breathing a sigh of relief she approached them. There was a dwarf, hardy with armor and a sword, in which he was sharpening. An elf, the same height as the dwarf, pulled out items from a bag to lay out before the fire. Two human men, on one armor shown bright even with the sea weed that clung to it, the other lay deathly still.
Melandra approached slowly. Watching as the others noticed her. The armored man moved toward her with a smile on his face. "Greetings, it's good to see another survivor!"
The elf turned to look at her, glared and went back to her duties. Her long blond hair curtaining over her face. Melandra had hoped that she would find some solace in having an elf there. She didn't look like her mother, but she was an elf, surely this elf would not be so different from the woman who raised her. Yet, she had a feeling this one would be completely different.
The dwarf huffed an acknowledgement before returning to his own items.
She had been relieved when she had found them, but now she was not so sure. Introductions were short and curt. She didn't like how everyone seemed to be settling on the beach, with no shelter. "We must scout the woods, we need to find a better place to rest for the night."
Lia threw down her soggy back pack and twisted around to meet this half-elf eye to eye. The half-breed had the nerve to smile at her. Such audacity! "You're going to scout? Alone?"
That childish smile was wiped right off her face. "I... um..." the half-elf breathed before recovering. "I can scout, alone, and be fine. We need to find food."
"And water!" The husky dwarf pointed out. "Fresh water." He seemed to have as much contempt for the half-breed as Lia did. The elf nodded to the dwarf and went back to tending to her soaked items. Salt water was in everything. There went her rations, and she could not find her canteen anywhere. Fresh water was a must. They were leaving their survival to a half-breed. Things couldn't get any worse. She tossed her soggy rations aside and went back to hanging her clothes and bedding.
"Go quickly. Let us know what you find. If you locate shelter of any sort, return so that we may settle in before night fall." The paladin was way too kind, but what else could Lia expect from a human. They were far too trusting. However, being a paladin would make him honorable. That would mean he could be trusted as well. It was good to know.
Lia turned to the half-breed and rolled her eyes. "Well then, get going. We don't have all day. Try not to get killed, since we need you right now." She did not leave any of her contempt hidden of the creature standing before her.
"I'll be sure to come back safe, Elf." The half-breed sneered before she turned on her heel and headed for the thick pine forest. Lia shook her head, what a predicament to be left stranded with such a frustrating creature.
Melandra stomped when she first entered the forest. That elf was infuriating. Her mother had never been such a snob, she had never treated her like that. She could not believe, even though her mother had told her many times, that an elf could be so cold, so cruel. Taking a deep breath, the half-elf scanned the area, quieting down her steps as she looked for animal trails.
She spotted two trails after a time, and followed one deeper in. She kept herself as quiet as she could, leaving no sound to scare what ever she may be following. None of the trails had fresh foot prints, but they may lead to water. She followed in, continuing to be diligent in her pursuit till she found herself standing before a large hollowed out tree. The tree was large enough to be a shelter in itself. This is what they needed first, and though the elf had been cruel, she was not so snobbish as to leave anyone stranded. She headed back to the group. The time seemed fast but when she broke back onto the beach, the sun was low in the sky, hours must have passed.
"Well, did you find anything?" The elf shouted as she was rolling up her bed roll.
Melandra tried to ignore it as the Paladin ran up to her, concern on his face. "Have you found anything?" His voice was kind and soft, allowing the half-elf to gather her wits and concentrate on what her task was.
"No food or water, yet. However, I did find shelter. It's a hollowed out tree, big enough for all of us to fit comfortably and keep away the elements."
"Very well." He said turning back to the group. "Pack everything up. We're headed for shelter."
The others did so quickly, gathering their things as a cold wind bit the skin.
To be continued...
Do you want to see more? What sort of things do you think should happen to our bickering companions? Do you think they will solve their own bigotry or will they become endangered by it?