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The Not So Triumphant Return. (Joint post Rhyslin/Markus)

 
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Rhyslin Darkblade
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:39 am    Post subject: The Not So Triumphant Return. (Joint post Rhyslin/Markus) Reply with quote

Two Years ago
The Great Wastelands

“They’re getting closer,” the ranger whispered as he watched the desert bandits slowly move in their direction. It had taken he and the mage weeks to track down the bandits that had stolen the orb. What had started out as a quick jaunt into the oasis, had turned into a trek into the great wasteland, one that had tested the ranger’s ability to survive. He had been very surprised when Rhyslin not only knew how to survive in the desert, but taught him what to look for, what he could eat, and what he couldn’t.
They had tracked down the bandits and had infiltrated their camp under the cover of darkness, taking great care not to leave behind any tracks that would lead back to them. “How in the name of the old worm did they find us?” He whispered as he watched the mage tracing the sigil that would open the portal back to Garnholme. It wasn’t that Markus really expected an answer, he realized how deep Rhyslin was in casting the spell that would get them home. Pulling his cloak closer around his frame, the ranger silently drew the long sword from its sheath and gauged the distance between where he was and where the bandits were. ‘If I only had my longbow,’ he thought to himself. ‘I could take them down from here and they’d never know where it came from.’ But, he had left his longbow home, thinking that it would get damaged in the dry heat of the desert. ‘I’ll know better next time.’
Just as he was about to sneak out to take care of the approaching danger, he heard the last of the casting and looked over his shoulder to see a patch of darkness open up in the night. “It’s about time,” he whispered.
“Next time you can cast the spell, and I’ll watch our backs,” the mage retorted drily as he gestured toward the portal. “After you, Markus.”
Markus nodded and sprinted through the portal. Within seconds, Rhyslin joined him and looked around. “Just follow the yellow brick road.” Markus nodded again, then started down the path. They had only taken a few steps when Rhyslin froze and looked around with narrowed eyes. “Markus, stop.” He continued to look around, whispering softly to himself, ‘Something is not right here.”
“What’s wrong, Rhys?” The ranger asked, as he started looking around for a foe to fight. He couldn’t remember a time when he’d seen Rhyslin act so strange, and they had been in a lot of strange places.
“Something is wrong with the weave,” Rhyslin explained, with a glance upwards, finally finding the cause of his unease. ‘What in the abyss is that?’ he wondered as he watched the source get closer, until he could see it with more than just his own eyes, he could feel it with his bones. He reached out to push the ranger down out of the way, when the darkness descended upon them.
Markus took a deep breath as the darkness encompassed them, and then closed his eyes and waited for the light to return. When it didn’t he reached out to Rhyslin, only to find that the mage was down on both knees, with his hands over his ears, as if trying to block out a sound that Markus couldn’t hear.
What Markus couldn’t see, was the miasma that reached into the very thread of the weave and started unraveling it. To one who immersed his life in the weave, it felt like a thousand knives slicing through his nerves. In the space of a second, his whole world was turned upside down and inside out. He was barely aware of Mark’s hand on his shoulder. However, that one touch was also his salvation, because he could feel the ranger’s trust and friendship, and was with a great deal of effort, able to bring himself back to reality. When he finally opened his eyes, he realized that the weave had lost its luster. A few minutes later, and he finally heard Mark’ question.
“What happened? Why is it so dark?” Those questions weren’t filled with fear, just confusion.
Rhyslin cast about for how to describe it to the ranger. How could you describe it when the fabric of the universe simply ceased to be? Then it hit him. “It’s a blight. It’s completely destructive, and it destroyed the magic in this area. It should come back in time, but I don’t know how much time.” ‘and I don’t if we can both survive here in this place.’ He thought to himself.
“It’ll be okay, Mark, I’ll get us out of this.” He calmly stated as he turned toward the ranger and called upon what was left of the weave to enact a spell that put his friend in stasis. “I’m sorry Mark, this was the only way I could give a chance to survive.”

Today
West End

In the dark alley, if anyone had been paying attention, they would have seen what appeared to be a dark shadow forming, where there shouldn’t have been a shadow. Then they would have seen a hand reach out of the shadow and feel around for a moment before withdrawing into the darkness. Then as if the shadow was a prison, another shadow pushed its way out into the alley, and after taking a look around, decided it was safe enough to stay, and reached back into the shadow to pull out another shade, this one wrapped in a protective cocoon of weak light. The first shadow seemed to take a deep breath as it sank to one knee and placed a hand on the cocoon and softly whispered under its breath, willing the cocoon to come apart, before falling to the other knee and then collapse on the ground, as if bringing the second shadow to life, had drained it of life.
The second shadowed figure yawned and slowly stretched, and then blinked a few times, before looking up into the sky. “Stars,” a masculine voice whispered, “You did it, we’re home.” Then the figure took another look at the stars and shook his head. “This isn’t Garnholme, nor is it Torre De Ilarita,” he continued under his breath as he looked around the alley. “Damn, where did you bring us, Rhys?” After taking a deep breath, Markus picked up Rhyslin’s staff and used it to push himself to his feet and ran his fingers through the scruffy beard, and muttered, “How long has it been?” Once he was steady on his feet, he reached down and hefted the unconscious mage into a fireman’s carry and shuffled toward the end of the alley, still using the staff for occasional support. Upon reaching the street, he paused again to look around, then softly laughed, “Bless you, my friend, you got us back to the west end. Now, to find you some help.”
Picking a direction, Markus made his way down the street, looking up from time to time, to look at the swinging signs over his head. “There’s got to be a healer here somewhere.” Then, as if finding what he was looking for, he turned to one side and made his way to the door under the Elven Healer Mark and tapped on the door frame with the staff.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mark was subtle in the door. With the recent wave of violence in the land, she just as soon not openly advertise her presence. She preferred private quarters outside of the house. Those that could understand the mark knew this was a haven.

Those that could see, would also see another underlying mark. She had her sister place it along with the wards. It was to give family a place they could go if they couldn't reach the safety of the house. Even rioters were not inclined to mess with a Trueblood and a sword.

Ever since the run in with the kidnapper and her subsequent return to Rhydin, she had taken to staying by herself. She would receive family as they came by, her sister determined to get her out of her shell or the occasional person looking for healing that did not wish to chance the clinic.

That was the thought pushing through her mind as the sound as the door spurred her to action. She looked out the peek hole and threw open the door immediately.

"Quickly, come inside. It is not safe out here." She urged softly.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Master, may I have leave to speak?” The beauty at the behemoth’s feet stirred in her posturing. Storm did not stir in the grand, barbed throne. The throne had been created from the swords of warriors he’d slain in many wars, fused together in a web of barbs that created the backing of the regal, though ominous, funishing. A large majority of the blades had been gained from the Slaver Association and LeFey wars, and others during the days of the guilds and mercenaries bands. Heavy was the burden of crown and kingdom, thus the throne was symbolic of an aversion to becoming lethargic, comfortable, and thus complacent under the weight of duty and responsibility. “Mmm, ye wish to speak to us, do ye? We are busy cultivating souls, speak to us not. Resume ye posture, and do not break position again, Angelique.” His tone was cold, distant, as if lead to distraction.

---Hours dwindle on as she awaits her master's attentions.---

“That is strange.” It was evident, by Storm’s rhetoric that the slave-girl at his feet wanted to inquire into the matter. “What is it, master?” Despite how many times she’d been punished for it, her curiosity still got the better of her. She thought, perhaps with his distraction, he’d overlook the slight of her speaking out of place. “The flow has been disrupted. Something is draining massive amounts of ambient mana from the rivers of magic. An old ally and colleague of ours has returned as well, though he is in two places at once.” He seemed more lucid suddenly as he drew his awareness back into himself. “We are rousing ourselves to investigate these potential incidents in more detail.” He drew himself into a forward posture in the steel throne, his back rigid.

“Ye have roused our ire, however, Angelique. Ye have not been pleasing to ye master. Ye task whilst we are away is to clean the sleen cages. Tell the trainers we have commanded ye to do so and they will make the proper arrangements. Displease them, girl, and we will have them cut away ye bosom in slivers and feed the meet to the beasts. Afterwards, ye will beg of each trainer the mercy of kissing their kurts. If you are sufficiently appetizing, ye will receive their lustful attentions as appropriate. When we return, we want you cleaned, fed, and chained at the foot of our pleasure couches. Do not disappoint us again, Angelique. Our patience with you is running thin.”

He left her, wide-eyed in horror and mouth agape in shock as he strode forth from the dias, through the grand crypt turned audience chamber and throne room. She heard his footfalls grow distant as he ascended the spiral stone stairway, the sound of passage echoing in the shafts. She waited many uncounted heartbeats as she willed her raw nerves to settle before planning out the steps of the dangerous tasks she was set to do as her punishment.

Angelique felt the great weight of her master’s displeasure riding on her shoulders and she found it hard to brush aside her melancholy for quite some time. She knew well that she must eschew her fears and sadness, for if the free men of the kennels were to see her out of sorts, they’d surely report the findings to the one they’d come to worship as Legion.

With a slow rise, she took a deep breath and forced her trepidation to the wayside. Pivoting with a grace honed over years of expert tutelage, she made for the antechamber that led off to the corridors of the underground complex beneath the temple district. She tugged down on the hem of her wool slave’s rags idly to allow her a false sense of security as he traversed the depths of the compound into Storm Frosts personal Abyss.

"Angelique is master's first girl, his beautiful one, and she has steel in her blood. Angelique will do as she has been bid, and masters foul beasts and whore-men will receive their comforts at his whim. It is our hope, wish, and longing desire to be found pleasing." The images of other girls being fed to the sleen ran through her head as she walked. Her brows knit and lips pursed in determination. "Angelique will be exquisite and exceptional in her task, and perhaps master will be kind enough to allow this girl into his furs this cold Autumn night."
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cloaked and hooded man nodded as he stepped through the doorway, being careful not to drop the person he was carrying over his shoulder. "My friend needs help. Yours was the first healer’s mark I saw."

She nodded, "This way. I have a room set aside for this." She closed and bolted the door after looking into the streets to make sure there was no trouble coming this way. She then moved toward a spare room she had converted into a private infirmary. "Too dangerous to be seen with a *magic-user* these days."

Mark grunted. "Used to be a time when people didn't worry about that." He followed her, and carefully lay the black robed man on the bed, and then carefully leaned the ebonwood staff against the wall. "I don't have any coin at the moment, but if you can take care of him, and I can find some friends, they'll take care of your payment." He had never met her, nor did he know she was a member of the house; and he most certainly didn’t want to get her into trouble. However, curiosity compelled him to ask, "What's the beef against weave wielders?"

She waved off the offer of payment. "Some fools are playing on the fears of the round-ears that live in the city. They are trying to pass a law that would force us to register. So far my house has been silent on the matter, got enough issues to deal with." She set to work on getting the black robed man comfortable and looking for visible injuries.

As she looked Rhyslin over, Markus moved back toward the window to peek out. "Foolishness. With all the dragons, liches, and other fools out there, Mages should be the least of the problems." He leaned against the wall for a minute or two, then continued, "If I can get to the wharf, I can find my friends. They work down there." He was being circumspect, in order to protect this healer, and because he still had no idea who she was. "Can I leave him with you and come back later?"

"I am a healer, of course he is." There was that gentle way about here, even mixed with that typical arrogance in the True's. "Even if they were able to get past the wards, I did my time on the border." She moved to prep a simple mixture.

He nodded and reached for the door. "I'll try to return quickly." He had lapsed into true-blood. Far from being offended, he found true's to be refreshingly honest. Before leaving, he filled her in on what happened. "He is most likely just worn out. We were finishing a job, when something tore apart our way home." He looked through the door at Rhyslin, "I think he put me in somekind of stasis bubble until he could find our way here."

She nodded and assessed him with a practiced eye, "You could do with some time off your feet yourself. The stasis is going to be a bit of a shock to the system."

"Most likely true, but I can't take the time right now." He spoke calmly, "I have to see if I can find my friends." He bowed slightly and whispered a farewell in true-blood as he slips out the door, leaving Rhyslin in her care.

Crystal shook her head and went to tending to the mage. She settled herself on the edge of the bed and lightly touched his forehead, seeing the exhaustion with her sight. A murmured spell and a light boost was given to aid the replenishment. The mage appeared almost as if he were drained of energy. From what she could feel from her touch, he was running a slight fever, and his pale skin seemed almost as if it were loose on his arms. The boost in place, she immersed herself in getting the fever down. She had a few herbal remedies she could use and food would be a priority.

Feeling the touch of healing magics, the mage coughed softly and sank into a more restful state. Even if he could move, it wouldn't do him much good in his present condition.

She moved to resettle the pillows and sees the different items he carried. There was a soft laugh at the irony, when she found the *Blood*stone that was mixed in with the rest of his fetishes. "Silly man,” She thought about Mark, “he should have stayed. His friends were closer than he knew." She smiled and went to prepare the draught.

In his fevered dreamless state, Rhyslin could almost swear he heard true-blood being spoken, and attempted to return to the land of the living.

She set the restorative to brew into a tea and moved to settle again. The back of her gentle hand rested on his forehand to gauge his temperature.

He was still warm, and even though drained, he tried to speak, but only ended up whispering lowly, “Oseas Heartan?” Which is to say, “are we home?”

She murmured softly in common, "Sssh, rest. You have been through much."

With a soft sigh, he relinquished hold on awareness and sank into a healing trance as the gentle hand soothed the white hair from his brow.

Amethyst eyes regarded him a moment longer before rising for a cool cloth. She returned to run the cloth long his face to help with the fever.

(Collaboration between Rhyslin,Mark, and Crystal.)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's back, the thought entered the Dark Elf's mind. I can feel him again, but he's very weak.

Deep in the forest cave, Bintyl Uth Drakkonwye started coming out of hibernation. It was not a hibernation he had intended to take, and as such, he hadn't gone into it prepared for a long stay. It was all due to the bond he shared with the ShadowMage, just as it was that bond that had awoken him after two years.

Vith, he mused, I must stink something awful. His breathing quickened as he slowly moved toward awareness. I guess I'm lucky there's water nearby. A couple hours later, he was unsteadily standing up and hobbling out of the cave, into a bright sunny day, where the light trickled through the canopy of leaves. He made his way to the creek and stripped, before walking into the cold mountain stream. Gritting his teeth, he reached down to the bottom of the stream and grabbed a handful of sand and started to scrub. While he was cleaning up, he closed his eyes and reached out for the bond. He slowly turned to the west and opened his eyes. What is he doing in Rhy'din city? He was in the great deserts when he disappeared. With a shrug,he finished bathing, and then washed his clothes the best he could and set them out to dry.

When they were dry, he fastened the weapons belt around his waist and started the long trek back to Rhy'din City.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Live RP between Markus and Natolii)

Word had gotten back to her by now, at the very least. She had brought herself to the Tea Shop to think. Natolii stood before the globe in the shop. To her hand was a bottle of soda, a Zeppa. Before her was an image of the past in Neblis.

Markus cautiously steps into the shop, warily looking around. At the sight of her, he nods and silently moves toward her. The jingling of the bell on the door ruins any attempt at being silent. Turquoise eyes cut to the side and her face softens perceptibly.

He hadn't bothered to look for any bells, so when they jingled, he winced slightly, and then kept moving in her direction. "I've grown rusty. There was a time, when I would have noticed those bells." He whispers as he comes to a halt by her side and looks at the globe.

Natolii laces her right hand in his and the scene in the globe goes dim. It then shifts to a scene from his home. He watches the scene and just for an instant, his eyes tear up.

Rather than wipe them away, he whispers, "It seems like it was only yesterday that I left." He was still having trouble reconciling that it had been two years. "I'm sorry I've been gone so long. It was never my intention...." He stops, still watching the globe.

There was a gentle squeeze in her hand and she turns to him. The left hand coming up with the ring in place. "(vq) I know, love. It'll take sometime."

A slight nod as he starts to slide his arm around her. He stops, not sure what she's thinking. "What do they think about me?" He rests his other hand on the globe, bringing forth an image of Angelica and Damien as he remembers them. Inwardly, he's asking, 'Do they hate me? Do they think I deserted them?' But he holds back those thoughts to keep her from detecting them.

The image shifts to show Damien hard at his studies with a black haired True lady standing near. Angel is somewhere in the woods exploring. A pair of fuzzy noses were peeking from her bag. "They miss you. Angelica took it the hardest. She's always been your little girl."

"Yes, she has..." He whispers, and then lifts his hand from the globe. "And you? What did you think?" He aches to hold her, but doesn't, for fear that she will turn and leave.

She murmured softly, "That you had died." Her eyes lowered then, "That is what we thought... That we had lost you, perhaps forever."

Another nod and he rests his hand at his side. "If it weren't for his power, I guess I would be." He gestures over to a table. "Would you care to join me?"

She smiled, nodding, "I... no we owe him much then." She made her way over to a table.

He makes his way over to one of the tables and pulls out a chair for
her. She settled into the chair gracefully. She has chosen a purely mortal appearance for today.

He gently pushes the chair forward, then sits down beside her. "We had just finished that job for Bagdan and were on our way back, when something...." he pauses to search for the right words, "ripped the weave apart and left us in darkness. That's the last thing I remember, before waking up in the west end, last night."

The hand sought his again. She wasn't pushing him away. "Powerful magic to do that."

He gratefully closes his hands around hers. "All I remember is darkness. He must have put me in stasis or something, while he tried to find his way back." He looks into her eyes.

She looks into his eyes. "We didn't know what happened. There was no word..." Her eyes glittered. "Damien tried shutting himself into his studies. I sent him to Cerise so he wouldn't be completely closed off. Angel... I can't reach. She took it so hard especially after Byntil disappeared. She spends her time in the woods with the ferrets."

He nods. "I wish it hadn't happened, but it did." He had never been one to deny the past, and he always lived in the present. "After I came to, I found a healers house in the west end and took him there." He managed to grin, "I think I can find my way back there."

She nodded, "We can go there and check on him. If need be, I can call Crystal too look after him. The house has been building up its strength especially with those damn lawyers on the move."

"Crystal?" He blinks, then almost chuckles. "A true-blood lass that has a crystal sign up?"
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She tilted her head with a smile, "Yes, she's the sister to the True tutoring Damien."

He nods. "That's where I left him. I didn't know she was a member of the house."

She chuckled and shook her head, "Fortune smiled on you two then. At least he is safe with a house healer."

Another nod. "What's this she mentioned about registration?"

The smile faded, "I take it you have seen the flyers and the simmering violence in the streets, more so than normal?"

He shakes his head. "No. Last eve, it seemed peaceful and quiet. The first I heard of it, was when she mentioned it."

She nodded, "It is called Proposition 37. It is a law requiring all *magic users* to register. In the context written, it should mean mages and clerics..." She scowled, "In the context presented by the people behind this farce, it means all supernatural beings."

A quirk of a brow, and concern was on his face. "What does the house think about this? and more importantly, who's daft idea was it?" He traces her fingertips with his, savoring the feeling when he twines his digits around hers.

He squeezes his hand gently. "There has been no word on it officially from Bel. One of our affiliates, House Demeur is strongly against. I tend to favor his stance personally."

Gazing into her eyes, he nods, "Somehow I knew that you would feel that way."

She smiled at that, "Knowing that this law effect me and the twins directly."

A grunt, "And Rhyslin, and the bloods, and yes, even me." A disgusted look crosses his face, "And 3/4 of frething Rhydin."

She brought his hand up to her lips and placed a kiss on his knuckles, "Yes. Anything we care about. Should this law come to pass, I will withdraw to Gharneholme and Carowyn."

Bringing himself out of that mindset. "Aye, but I can't see so many residents voting for it." He takes a deep breath. "Does the house know we are back yet?"

She shook her head, "I have not had the opportunity. If Rhyslin has a token on him, Crystal then would know. But not who."

"He's got the 'blood' stone hanging amongst his fetishes. If she's found it, she'll know." He shakes his head. "I feel so dense. I told her I needed to find friends, but didn't tell her who."

She shook her head, "No, no need love. She wouldn't have volunteered until she was sure herself. Too many ... issues, especially with those lawyers."

"DCH, eh? I would have thought they'd have given up by now."

"Those old fools?" She shook her head. "No, They've been making attempts. Plus Mab is awake."

Now, that surprises him. "Bloody damned parasites." He takes a deep breath, "Who woke Mab up?"

She shook her head, "She came through Sid... Somehow manipulated her. There were whispers of Pecca too."

"Bloody damned hell," he whispers, "I disappear for two years and the damned abyss drops on us."

There was a wiry grin, "Hell in a Handbasket and someone forget the basket."

He manages to chuckle. "So, in addition to fighting off the parasites and Mab, and maybe pecca, I have to track down Angelica, and bring Damien out of his funk." He makes a gesture. "Well, nobody said life was easy."

She chuckled, "The kids are easy to round up."

This time a deeper laugh, "And here I was thinking the parasites would be the easy ones."
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She moved close to place a kiss on his lips, "(vq) You are underestimating how much we've missed you."

His arm slips around her and he pulls her close, returning that sweet kiss, then breaks it to whisper. "That's why I was saying that, it's been so long."

She closed her eyes a moment with a wiry grin, "The kids will be home."

He simply savors this moment, then laments, "Why can't the world just let me enjoy this for a while?"

She laughed softly, "Because we will have all night and many more to come."

A soft sigh, "I could stay like this for a week." He softly caresses her back. "I've dreamt of this." It is then that he does remember dreaming while in stasis.

She leaned into the embrace wrapping those arm so they came around and up his back.

He simply rested his head against her shoulder. "I have missed you, my heart."

She murmured softly laying her head against his, "I've missed you my soul."'

He softly exhales against her skin, "The next time some idiot hires me, I'm taking you with us."

She murmured softly, "Having a tame demon on your side helps."

A soft laugh. "There is that. So which comes first, Kill the parasites, or go talk to the kids?"

She was comfortable. "The kids I think. The more immediate issue."

Another soft exhale against her skin. "Aye, that's probably right." He softly traces a finger behind her left ear. "I hope this trip is better than the last one."

She murmured, "(vq) I maintain a private house near Onyx House."

A slow smile. "Good. I don't want to portal travel for long while."

"Somehow I figured you wouldn't." She murmured quietly, "Brutin made a brief reappearance."

At this, he grunts softly, "Who bloody gives a damn. He's a pretentious bastard."

"He's worse... TO the point he has lost the support of Fiona."

A shake of his head, "Like I said, pretentious" He runs one finger down her side, "All style and no substance."

"Beyond pretentious. To coin a phrase he liked to use a lot. A drooler." She leaned into his touch.

Very gently traces a rib. "So he's gone senile. Who'd have thought it?"

She smiled at him, I have missed you so much."

"Didn't I just say that?" He muses tenderly.

"So you have." She chuckled and heard some grumbling in her mind.

Now that he was back, he could pick up on some of her thoughts, and whispers, "Keep yer yap shut, Saris."

She laughed and nuzzled in close. "(vq) The kids are waiting."

He moans softly, "If I have to leave this, I suppose the kids are slightly more important."

She murmurs, "Temporarily. Then we have the privacy of our chambers."

He nods and gives her a slight push off off his lap, taking the opportunity to goose her.

She laughed and stood. The she teased lightly, "I still have those rings."

A mischeivious smile crosses his lips. "Thank the ancients for small miracles."

She grinned leading him out the door, "Not the chains mind, but definitely the rings."

He laughs softly and follows her out the door.
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