The Faerie Blade: Chapter 17

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Chapter 17: Kaelyn’s New Clothes

Kaelyn was just trying to fill her belly, but she got a lot more than she bargained for when she decided to save the life of a Faerie.

 

“It’s for your dancing,” she explained, confirming my fears. “You said that clothes were a problem with your Tien’jin, but these won’t get in the way.”

 


 
Author's Note: I would have liked to post this yesterday, but I was crazy busy with work all weekend and didn't get home until late last night. Anyway, here's chapter 17 of The Faerie Blade. Further chapters are available on Patreon.~Amethyst.
 


 Chapter 17: Kaelyn’s New Clothes

Things settled into a new pattern after we left the Fae of Thaeria village to build their new home. The fully Fae members of the troupe would awake well before dawn and while preparations for the morning meal were underway, I would feed Zaiya. Once the owlet was fed and I had shown her some love, I would leave the wagon while Vesha and Master Nirlyn were still sleeping to start my sword practice with Shava under Sharai’s tutelage.

Sharai would start with control of my body while running through the motions of the first dance while I focused on the way our body was moving and how those motions felt, and then she would watch Shava go through it while occasionally correcting her stance or the way she moved or held her wooden sword. Then she would relinquish control of the body to me and Shava and I would go through the first dance again on our own, with her telling me any corrections or adjustments that Shava or I needed to make. After that followed practicing some of the more important individual motions and techniques that Sharai thought were particularly important to focus on.

Once sword training was done, Shava and I would get some archery practice in. Mostly I was teaching her from what I had learned from my father and my own experience, but sometimes Mara and Hagan would watch us practice and give us both some pointers. It was helping too since Shava was starting to improve and I found myself improving as well, and having to compensate less as I got used to my new Faery body and followed their advice. I was beginning to think that I might come out of this a better archer than I was before.

By the time we were done practicing, breakfast was usually ready, and we would eat as the sun rose. Vesha, Master Nirlyn, Daivin, and the half-human kids would usually come for their own breakfast once we were finished eating and while Joak and Sten were hitching the kirgens up to the wagons for the day’s travel. Then, after cleaning up and packing up camp, we would be on our way for the day.

We traveled at a fast pace to make good time but would start looking for places to make camp by midday. Kirgens can move as fast as a good horse at full speed, even when pulling the wagons, and their stamina is impressive. They could keep going hard until midday and cover what would normally be a full day’s trek for other Voyager caravans, I guess that was part of why Joak had wanted them for our troupe.

Once we set up camp and the Seeming was in place to keep us safe and out of the notice of anyone traveling the same road, we would have a simple meal and then work on whatever we had to do for the rest of the day. Joak and Sten cared for the kirgens and found them a spot to graze, Glimma took care of her owls, and the Bards among us practiced and had lessons. With three apprentices now, Master Nirlyn and Journeyman Daivin decided to teach all three of us general music and Bard teachings at once and have us practice together.

Our group lessons covered diplomacy, manners when dealing with wealthy patrons, music theory, voice control, reading and writing music, harmonization, and composition. I was thrilled that we were learning composition since I wanted to write a song that would do Lorai’s Fading justice. It was a beautiful and melancholy moment that deserved to be recognized and I learned a lot more about her as a person from those who knew her best while we traveled with the Fae of her village and searched for a new place for them to call home. I was itching to write a song about it, I just had no idea how yet.

For any special studies that we wanted to pursue, we had one on one lessons with one of them as well. These private lessons mostly consisted of our individual instruments, and magic for me and Korine since Vesha had no talent for it. Since Daivin was human and couldn’t use magic either, he started giving the Dragonkin lessons on sleight of hand while his daughter/apprentice eagerly joined me in learning magic from Master Nirlyn.

Korine might have been half human but she was also half Changeling so she probably had enough mana that she could learn what Master Nirlyn called spellsinging. Not that we were learning actual magic yet. For the moment, it was largely the theory of magic and the basics of how it works since she wanted us to know that before she started teaching us actual magic, but she promised to teach us more once we had a good grasp of the basics.

Our lessons usually took us well into the evening when those who helped with the cooking finished making the evening meal. We would eat with the rest of the troupe and then be able to relax for the rest of the evening until bed. It was a nice time for me to get to know others from the troupe better and spend some time with Vesha as we explored the possibility of a relationship. Korine seemed to always find some excuse to go talk to the other kids of the troupe or her parents and give us some alone time.

I was supposed to be getting dancing lessons from Selice after dinner, but I had successfully avoided it thus far. It wasn’t that I did not want to learn to dance, I was eager to learn, but wearing the Tien’jin with clothing had proven difficult. If I wore them under the clothes, the light and sounds were too muted, and they would not fit properly over my clothing or sense my movements properly when I could get them to fit over top without awkward bunching.

It was four days after we had left the Fae of Thaeria village when Zenna, the troupe’s seamstress, found me snuggled against Vesha’s warm body and enjoying her company after the evening meal. Apparently, she had come to correct my clothing dilemma. “There you are, Kaelyn, I should have figured you would be with Vesha. Come now, lass, I finally have proper clothes for you, and we had best make sure that everything fits right and proper.”

I was reluctant to leave Vesha’s embrace but I had to be practical, and I did not wish to seem ungrateful to Zenna. She had been working hard on new clothes for me and I did appreciate it, especially since I had been switching between the two sets of Woodwarden clothes that I had gotten since I was first changed. So, after sharing one last quick kiss with Vesha, I stood up and stretched to get some kinks out of my back. “Thank you, Zenna, it will be nice to have something else to wear,” I admitted.

Zenna led me to her family’s wagon and once inside she revealed a stack of clothing on one of the bottom bunks. She had me try on all of it to ensure a proper fit, but the bodices were a little hard to get used to. I had never worn one before and these were different from a normal bodice to allow for my wings. They did not lace up as high on my waist, and ribbons at my collarbone tied behind my neck to keep the upper half from falling open and exposing my breasts.

The bodices were black and made from some of the star-spider silk that we had gotten from the Fae of Thaeria village, with leather laces. I would be showing a lot of skin if I did not wear a cloak with them, but I guess that I would not be alone in that. In fact, if not for my shoulders and upper back being bare, the garments looked much like the bodices favored by every woman in the troupe, save Vesha.

The Dragonkin’s wings were larger than mine and more like a dragon’s, so they would have made even something like my new bodices impossible for her. Thus, she usually favored tunics with a long slit in the back to allow her wings through. A button cinching it at the top of the slit kept the garment from falling off.

The skirts were ankle-length, bright and colorful, and made from the kirgen wool cloth that Zenna wove for most of the troupe’s clothing. There were also head scarves, and long star-spider silk ribbons in various bright colors to compliment the skirts and be woven around the arms from shoulder to wrist in traditional Voyager fashion. Rather than loincloths or breeches, there were form-fitting silk undergarments similar to those that I had gotten from the Woodwarden outpost that Zenna called a moonskin.

“Moonskin?” I wondered aloud as I pulled a pair in place and fastened the ties to keep them secure. They were tight enough against my womanhood that they would have left little to the imagination were I somehow exposed.

“Aye, loose breeches and loincloths can get messy when your moon cycle comes along, so the Fae and we Voyager women wear these. Should your moon cycle come, it will hold a bloodmoss pad in place so you’re not leaving a mess with every step,” Zenna explained. Then she decided to answer my next question before I could ask it. “Bloodmoss is fairly common; you might know it as witch’s moss. It absorbs blood and other liquids well, so we wrap some in a strip of cloth and slip it securely inside our moonskin when our cycle comes.”

“Is that the moss that I see Mara bringing back sometimes when she and Hagen return from scouting or hunting?”

“Aye, she tries to bring some back every day in case any of us need some,” she replied with a nod. “Niryln or Vesha can show you what to do and where to get strips of cloth and the moss when your cycle comes around.”

I continued to try on the rest of the clothes after that. Overall, there were half a dozen skirt and bodice combinations, and twice that many moonskins. They all seemed a good fit but Zenna said that we would need to get me some good sandals when we reached the next town. She did make me a good wool cloak to keep me warm and dry though, and to cover my wings if needed. She felt that it would be warmer than the Woodwarden’s cloak that I was currently using, though she suggested that I would probably want to keep that as well, for warmer weather.

“And last but not least,” Zenna said once I thought that I had tried everything on. She produced something else from her worktable and offered the garments to me. I looked at the tiny bits of violet-dyed star-spider silk in confusion for a moment. The first part looked like a moonskin, but the second piece was confusing, a pair of triangular bits of the same material and color that were connected by braided silk ribbons.

“What… wha…” I…” I sputtered, in confusion and some dread. I had an inkling of an idea what they were for, but I could not possibly reveal so much skin in front of others, it would be scandalous. It was bad enough that most of my arms, shoulders, and back would be bare when wearing my new bodices.

“It’s for your dancing,” she explained, confirming my fears. “You said that clothes were a problem with your Tien’jin, but these won’t get in the way.”

“I should say not, they will barely cover anything! I may as well dance naked!” I retorted as my eyes went wide while I stared at the flimsy garments in my hands.

“Ah, right, you were raised human,” the troupe seamstress said with a sigh. Then she put a hand on my shoulder and offered gently, “You know that we do not have any nudity taboos, Kaelyn. You need to get used to that. You are going to see others unclothed; we will see you that way as well. We have already, every time that you have bathed with the women and children of the troupe. Do not be ashamed of your body, there is no need to hide it from those who care about you and know you.”

My cheeks were bright red. I knew what she was telling me, and she was right, but it was not easy to just discard everything that I knew and do something that human society had told me was wrong my entire life. I was not human though, was I? I had not truly been before, and I certainly was not now. I took a deep breath and nodded. It was not going to be easy to adjust to, but I was a Voyager, and our ways were not human ways. We only pretended to be human sometimes to fit in. “I… I will try it.”

“Good, it should allow you plenty of mobility and it will cover the more personal bits when you practice or perform. Let’s see you with it on and see what you think, Kaelyn.” With that, she showed me how to put the garments on.

The bottom part was easy enough; it was much like the moonskin she had shown me earlier, just a bit thicker to preserve what modesty I might have when this was done. It also had a sheer bit of silk in the same color that draped from my hips to my knees to slightly obscure things between my legs, much like a loincloth would. The top was to be tied behind my lower back and my neck to allow the pair of silk triangles to cover my breasts. “I… Well, I can move in it,” I offered uncertainly as I tried a few stretches, my cheeks bright red.

Zenna looked me over for a long moment before nodding in what seemed to be satisfaction. “Good, it’s a fair fit and it will leave your little baubles free to make their music and pretty lights. I based the outfit on something that scarf dancers among other troupes and the Fae use to dance in and entice the men. I would have made you a face scarf as they wear as well, but concealing your face would do little good.”

“Why is that?” I asked as I tugged nervously at the silk top I was wearing.

“You’re the only Faerie in our troupe, Kaelyn, and your coloring stands out. You can also use glamours to disguise yourself should you need to blend in.” She paused for a moment to let that sink in and then smiled at me. “I’d wager that you’ll be fine once you’ve had some time to get used to being a Faerie and part of our troupe. You had best hurry; Selice is waiting to begin your dance lessons. I’ll run your new clothes to your wagon for you.”

“Thank you, Zenna,” I managed to say before hurrying from the wagon. I did appreciate the new clothes and her taking them to my wagon. I also thought that maybe she was right, and I just needed some time to adjust.

Still, that time had not yet come, and I felt exposed and uncomfortable as I left the wagon to find Selice. That was when Sharai’s voice gently soothed me. -This is your troupe they will not judge you and, as she said, you will get used to this in time. What you wear is not so different than what other Tien’jin dancers have worn before you. When you dance, do not concentrate on how you may appear to others; focus on the music that you wish to make and the movements that will make it possible. That is your passion, and with it, all else will fade away.-

© 2022 - 2023 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved

Further chapters are available to the public on my Patreon page.

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Comments

focus on the music

good advice for any performer.

fantastic stuff!

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Music

Amethyst's picture

Yup, the music is Kaelyn's passion, and she needs to focus on that and not her potential embarassment.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

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Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Adjusting

joannebarbarella's picture

Kaelyn has to get even more used to Faerie and Voyager ways. The time will come when she needs to blend in.

Blending in

Amethyst's picture

She is getting used to things, slowly. This new lifestyle is a huge change for her, but she does want to fit in among her family as well.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

I would not be surprised

Wendy Jean's picture

If she discovers a new facet to her magic.

It's possible

Amethyst's picture

She is starting to learn the basics of magic from Nirlyn, but the Bard will want Naiya to be careful with magic other than her natural Faerie gifts.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3