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Broken Hearts, Old Relics, and New Beginnings

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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:26 pm    Post subject: Broken Hearts, Old Relics, and New Beginnings Reply with quote

RhyDin was known for its crisp, beautiful, chilly fall days, and this day was a picture-perfect November morning. The Rhydin Museum of Histories was hosting a display of ancient magical and scholarly tomes from various lands, as well as several collections of ancient relics of varying degrees of power. Curious minds from all over RhyDin and beyond came to see them, and to hear lectures on the origins of the more noted pieces. The exhibition was to last for a week, and already there was much to see - though the added security forces made sure no one saw too much. The first lectures were done, and people were walking through the marketplace discussing them, and getting food before the afternoon sessions.

Such an exhibit attracted the attention of Wyheree, who had been in a rather grey mood as of late, ever since the... Reunion... of a couple month's passing, when she had learned her Beloved was everything she ever wanted, and everything she could never have. Her darker thoughts set aside in the autumn noon, she finally emerged from the lecture hall to get herself something to eat, but there were SO many people that it was impossible to find anywhere to sit. Finally... she spotted a lone empty chair at a table, and she made a beeline for it - even going so far as to push a youth in armor away from it with a subtle burst of chill winds.

As she approached, she found the other chair at the small table occupied by a most fascinating looking individual, of a type she had never seen in all of her adventures. He was tall, which was not unusual - she lived in a land where many guys were, after all. He was rather large, too - not obscenely muscle-bound, but rather wide and sturdy looking. But most curious of all... he was covered in a dark steel-grey fur, that she could see - he wore a rather plain looking brown robe with a rope belt, yet she could see enough over the collar of the robe. His hands were covered in the same steel grey fur, and tipped with wicked, WICKED looking claws. At his throat and upper chest, the robe showed that steel grey.. and just a teasing hint of white fur, perhaps a trick of the sun. His head was not the head of a man, but of a large wolf... and yet not. For his was not the mere head of an actual wolf on a man's body, but slightly different, as if blending humanoid features with the wolf - his muzzle shorter than a wolf's, more rounded, unlike anything or anyone she'd ever seen before. His eyes were a startling royal blue, striking against the steel-grey, poring over a thick tome while eating what looked like spareribs.

Wyh paused for a brief moment, the seat still beckoning her. Her initial thought was the man (for he was definitely male in build and look) was a werewolf, but she quickly determined that was not the case. For starters, the moon was barely waxing. Second, there was no sign of savagery from him, not even in his eating habits - his manners were flawless. Third, his features were not sharp, or cruel, but rather pleasant - almost appealing, in fact. His expression was decidedly curious, as he read - an expression she often had herself, when perusing the many works within her library. Her lunch still in hand (a bowl of a dainty-looking, pasta-laced salad), Wyheree approached the table slowly, a model of elegant, exotic beauty, wearing a rather thin gown of royal blue silk, with a pattern of silver woven through it, and trimmed with silver lace at the cuffs and bodice. Unlike the majority of the other patrons, she did not wear a cloak, the chill in the air exhilarating to the Ice Mage. Her long pale hair was down, a waterfall of foam to her mid-back.

His muzzle twitched slightly, one ear as well, long before she got to him; and he looked up as she reached the table; her first hint of those incredibly blue eyes - eyes that matched her gown exactly. At the closer range, she could see, balanced on the end of his muzzle, pair of wire-rimmed spectacles - a scholary touch so at odds with his fierce countenance, and yet, so fitting. She regarded him with a curious tilt of her head, and a lovely smile, speaking at last, "Is this seat occupied?"

His voice, when he answered, was a delight to her ears. There was a strange resonance, a harmonic echo to it, and he had such an interesting accent. Heavy on the K's and R's and O's, but quite learned, a superior intellect indeed, if she was any judge of such things (and she was, being highly intelligent herself). "Not at all, Madame. I would be honored."

His courtesy and manners were a pleasant surprise - this was no coarse ruffian, no uncouth seaman. His voice had a harshness, to be sure, because of what he seemed to be, but it was balanced with the elegance of his words. Her smile warmed as she took her seat opposite him, setting her lunch down, while smoothing her skirts under the table with her free hand. "Thank you most kindly - it seems all wished to eat at once."

"You are the first to claim that seat since I sat here, some time ago." The tone of his voice suggested a wry amusement.

"I was surprised to find one unfilled, given the mass of people." She took a small bite of her salad.

"I suspect my... appearance put a few off."

She again regarded him with that tilt of her head at him. "Why? You are no stranger than others here." To prove her point, she indicated a draconian curled around several chairs with an airy hand.

He gave a slight chuffing sound, which she immediately knew to be a laugh. "Yes, but that one had comrades already with him." He paused, taking his last bite of lunch, before continuing. "I have noticed something, however. Those who are visiting this place, are the ones who are unnerved. Those who live here, are much less so. May I make the guess, Madame, that you are one of those who live here?"

Wyheree smiled. "Indeed I am - I have lived here for several years now. It is safe to assume, you are visiting?"

"Then, you are quite open-minded." He inclined that huge head in a gesture that evoked acknowledgement and appreciation, then answered her with a nod. "Yes. I am here to see the exhibits and the lectures. And yourself?"

"I am here to see the same - the ancient texts are fascinating."

His right ear twitched slightly. "Did you attend Doctor Verkovka's talk this morning on the origins of the Dryonic tomes?"

She frowned for a brief moment. "Indeed I did - though his conclusions were faulty, at best. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows the tomes originated much further west than the Doctor allowed."

"He seems to be invoking the old "Men from the stars" concept to substantiate his claims of the eastern location," His ear twitched again. "while disregarding some of the other and more subtle writings that point west."

"Subtlety is not Doctor Verkovka's specialty." A wryness was in her voice, as she snuck a bite of her near-forgotten salad.

The two of them, in fact, spent the next half hour, without realizing it, without even introducing themselves, talking animatedly about the lecture, and the tomes in question. The crowd was starting to thin slightly as people finished their lunches, while the two of them still talked and ate, and ate, and talked more.
"Like a sign, like a dream, you're my Amaranthine."
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To some, the wolfen man might give the appearance of a savage brute, but to her he showed a passion for antiquities and a surprising knowledge of the local relics on display, considering he was not from RhyDin. Besides, the spectacles he had folded up and tucked away in his robe told her he was definitely not a savage, but someone more... like her. She finished her lunch as he told her a tale of his time so far in the city she called home.

"...and the Innkeeper tells me, "Yes, sir..".. called me "sir", which I don't think he did to any guest he's ever had by the looks of him.. must have been the teeth.., "We have a room, but I don't think the bed will fit you." He finished, ending with that chuffing laughter, which was soon echoed by Wyheree's laugh, a rarely heard sound, like sleigh bells.

Her expression sobered, as a thought crossed her mind. "You have no room for the evening?"

"I do, though I would not call it the best ever." He again had that bemused expression. "But I'm not here for a vacation, I'll spend most of my time at the exhibits." He chuffed again.

"You will be here for the entire exhibition, then?" She asked, a faint hint of hope in her voice.

"Oh, yes." That huge head nodded. "I fear I still won't get to see everything, but I'll do my best." He paused a moment, considering her. "Would it be too forward of me to ask if you'd care to accompany me during the exhibit's hours? It is a fascinating experience, but one better shared." For in the hour-plus he had known her, he already found he enjoyed talking to the snowy-maned "hooman", her wit and her knowledge were both very striking to him.

"It would be my pleasure to do so, good Sir." Wyh's smile was warm, and lit her face in the early-afternoon sun.

The remains of their meals were properly disposed of within the ever-ready jaws of one of the patrolling trolls, and then he stood, waiting with a courteous air for her. His now-obvious size and bulk would be quite good at providing a blocker for getting through the thick crowds heading back to the exhibits.

She stood after he did, and together they walked side by side, her sharing little anecdotes of the people she saw with him, and he in turn offered her insights on RhyDin from an outsider's eye - something she hadn't been in a while, and the time flew.

Before they knew it, it was late afternoon, and the exhibits were closing for the day. All of a sudden, she realized they didn't even know each other's names. The crowds were dispersing slowly, as the patrons went to their homes for the night.

A rather odd thought flit through the mind of the Ice Mage - for someone so large, and so.. furry.. he smelled quite nice. Hygiene, to be sure, was NOT one of his problems - unlike some she had seen. When she stood nearby, she picked up a faint spicy scent, like cinnamon spice and sandalwood, his scent already a comfort to her, even in the short time she'd known him

For his part, he knew her scent (and to his kind, that was a name in itself) quite keenly already - a hard-to-describe scent, as he'd never come across anything like it in his travels. It was heady... clear, sweet, like the icy wind of a sparkling winter's day - almost like wintergreen, yet not.

As they stepped outside once again, she felt that faint and strangely familiar feeling from long ago, the feeling one gets at the end of a first date. She dismissed it as silly, for she had not dated in so very long, yet.. the feeling persisted as he spoke.

"Madame, I must say... I had no idea how delightful a time this would be when you appeared with a lunch tray at my table." He bowed his head slightly to her. "Are you going to be here for the entire exhibit?" The hope in his voice was matched by the hope in those eyes.

She nodded. "Indeed, I will be - I find your company very pleasing..." She gasped aloud, one slender hand covering her mouth. "I do not believe we ever introduced ourselves!"

With a slightly abashed look, he dipped his head. "Forgive my utter lack of manners... I don't know how that happened."

"I believe it is because we were lost within the conversation." Her smile was so warm, as she looked up at him.

"I am Roran'ark'hiradan. Though, it is difficult to say properly for hooman lips. If it please you, you can just call me Roran."

"Roranark'hiraidan..." She gave it a grand attempt, but stumbled a bit at the end.

He chuffed slightly. "A brave effort, Madame."

"Roran does flow off the tongue easier." She smiled that smile up at him - and she was fairly sure he was smiling back, though with that muzzle it was a bit hard to tell.

"I am Wyheree Ravenlock - though most here call me Wyh, for short."

"Wyheree.." He did have some trouble with the W' sound, and the end came out like a soft howl. But it was eerily beautiful the way he mispronounced her name - it evoked an image in her mind of a wolf howling at the moon, for someone, and the image brought a touch of wistfulness to her silver eyes.

"Lady Wyheree..." He began. "If it is not too forward, I would very much like to enjoy the rest of this exhibit in your company."

She smiled, and nodded. "I would like that, very much - for you are correct - these exhibits are far more interesting, when shared with someone."

He paused a moment, then continued. " Perhaps we could meet at the Luisant Relics exhibit, in the morn?" They had spent the better part of the afternoon there, talking animatedly about the delicately beautiful, very rare pieces on display for the first time in recorded history. It was already a special place for them, even though they'd just met.

"What time in the morn, Roran?"

"I am an early riser by habit, I will be here when they open."

"I shall see you by the Luisant crown, on the morrow then, Roran."

And with that, they parted, leaving Wyheree to reflect on the day. It was rare for her to be out and about in the public eye - ever since the abduction, and subsequent betrayal, she had stayed close to home. She smiled as she headed for the Eastern woods, thinking of the conversations, the way his eyes lit when he was passionate about the subject at hand, the way he subtly blocked off any would-be trouble from her, and the way he fired her own intellect in an animated debate over the possible magical properties of the Luisant Crown. The scent of cinnamon and sandalwood followed her all the way back to her Manor, and she found herself excited for the dawn.
"Like a sign, like a dream, you're my Amaranthine."

Last edited by Wyheree on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Old Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the remainder of the week, Wyheree found herself in the company of a foreign scholar, one of a race she had never met before, and had never imagined could even exist - though he was no stranger than most races she'd met here, truth be told. The wistful sadness that had hovered over her ever since the Reunion was very nearly gone, borne away by the most pleasant week in her recent memory. Roran seemed fired by her intellect, her mind, and they talked endlessly - mostly about the exhibits and things related to them, but after a day or so, the conversations slowly started to branch out, about other more random things. Being the consummate gentleman, he did not pry into her personal affairs, but a twisting thread revealed that he was unmated (his word) and that she was single; not that they'd been keying on that info, but it had come out rather... obliquely.

The last day had dawned, and although neither had spoken of it, they both had the acute realization the night before, that their time was.. almost over. They decided to meet for lunch in the Marketplace, as Wyheree wanted Roran to experience a true RhyDin meal, rather than the "tourist" fare offered at the Exhibition. The Marketplace was a fair bit wilder than the museum - raucous, baudy, with less of the visiting academics and scholars, and more of the usual suspects - including a very rude and crude pirate-type, who recognized Wyh from years past.

And so it came to pass, that a most unwanted meeting took place, and the exchange was hostile - her voice low, so as not to attract further attention, but her words cut like ice shards, "You have no right to speak to me, as if I was naught but a common scullery wench." And as she spoke, the temperature around her plunged, making passers-by shiver and huddle into their cloaks and jackets.

At first, Roran said nothing - this was, clearly, a personal matter, and he did not interfere. But he watched, and listened, intently - his ear flickering every now and then. The sudden chill puzzled him greatly - though that was a matter he would attend to later, for now, he was frowning rather heavily at the rough looking "hooman". Finally, he spoke up, in that at once beautiful and growly voice. "You wrong the Lady, little man. I suggest that you cease."

The pirate scoffed. "This ain' no lady - she be a pirate!"

Roran gave the man a scornful look. "She is a Lady, and you are slandering her. This is a public place, and so I cannot ask you to leave it. But I can and I will ask you to back off."

He snorted, and spat on the ground. "She be the Ice Witch!"

Roran's blue eyes flickered. "Let me make it indubitably clear what I mean by back off. When I say back off.. I mean..." He snarled, showing ALL of his teeth (admittedly an unsettling sight at best for Wyh, compared to the friend with whom she'd been talking the past week). "BACK. OFF."

His hands slid out of his robe's sleeves, his vicious claws quite apparent as well - Roran had little need to draw a weapon, as Nature gave him his own. His voice was no longer the soft cultured one that Wyh had heard all week - it was a snarl, a bloodthirsty wolf's snarl, that betrayed everything civilized about him.

The man had the option to draw a blade or a pistol, it was true. But even a fool would know that by the time he got the weapon out and up, the huge wolf-being would have those claws well in play. And the man's face and neck were both exposed. And since the man was a coward at heart, he took one look at Roran's teeth and claws, and a dust cloud was all that remained, as he fled into the crowd.

There was a moment of pause, then the snarl faded, and the hands quietly tucked themselves back into the sleeves, his expression quite abashed. "Your forgiveness, Lady Wyheree."

Wyh was visibly unsettled - the claws and teeth only a small part, as the confrontation with the pirate disturbed her more. "No - it is I, would must beg forgiveness from you, Roran."

"Hardly. You did not ask for a ruffian's accostal. I apologize for the unseemly show of savagery.. it is not our way in modern times."

"No - but the ruffian... was correct - I was indeed a pirate for a time."

He blinked. "Come again?"

She sighed, and gestured to an out-of-the-way alcove. 'Please - the tale is not for the masses..."

Roran walked with her, away from the small crowd that had been watching the argument. When they reached the alcove, her expression was pained, her silver eyes downcast.

"Lady..." Roran spoke. "You do not need to tell me this tale. I can see it pains you."

"It does, but it is one I must tell you." She paused a moment, then looked up at him, silver eyes to blue. "Three years past, I was not single. I foolishly gave my heart to a pirate captain, and sailed with him."

Roran silently listened, as she continued. "There was an incident, where he was imprisoned, and scheduled to hang. I could not allow that to occur, so I aided his escape, earning the moniker "Ice Witch" from those who witnessed it." She sighed, a flicker of old hurt crossing her eyes. "The marriage ended when he chose his crew's needs... over my own."

One of his eyebrows, bushy and slightly darker than his face, rose as she paused. Wyheree looked Roran in the eye, as she held out her hand, palm up - a small flurry swirling over her fingers, yet the day was a sunny, crisp 45 degrees - far too warm for snow.

His muzzle parted slightly as he watched the flakes dance, the tone of his voice decidedly curious. "I see... you are a magic user?"

"Yes... I can manipulate ice, snow, sleet - any combination of air and water, together or separately."

His expression was an odd mix of seeming fascination and surprise, as she continued. "The pirate captain feared my power, though he never admitted such." Her tone was bitter at that last.

"I.. had no idea. My deepest sympathies, Lady." He ducked his head slightly.

She managed a smile, and reached to cup his cheek with her hand, a reassuring, gentle gesture. "It was for the best, truly - though I have no wish to be reminded of my past failings in public, by so-called men who quake in their books at the sight of power."

He growled slightly - softer, the first time she'd ever heard that slightly wicked sound. "He was a coward."

Her fingers lingered on his cheek, for that first touch of his fur was like plush velvet under her slender hand. "Most pirates are cowards at their core, Roran."
"Like a sign, like a dream, you're my Amaranthine."
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rest of lunch was a somewhat more uncertain affair. They had exchanged some vulnerabilities - he'd shown her his (apparently somewhat shameful) savage side briefly, she'd shown him her past, and her very being. The afternoon seemed to fly by, as now, looming ever closer... was nearly the end of their time as Museum companions, reluctant as they were to see that time end.

The underlying emotions came to a head when the exhibits began to close. During the week, they had gone to dinner together after the closing - simple, companionable affairs like their lunches, usually at some local little kiosk or place she wanted to show him, to give him ideas of what RhyDin had to offer in the way of unique foods, like the sandwich shop run by a Elven family they'd frequented twice already. But this last dinner seemed to almost demand something more than a sandwich or soup . As they walked, they passed a small restaurant, the aroma of garlic and oregano wafting out to the sidewalk. The name was the same as the quaint place Tabitha mentioned once to Wyh, a place she and Toby had enjoyed when they dated - a concept that hadn't occurred to either her or to Roran.

They paused on the sidewalk, and in unspoken agreement, they went inside, and soon were ensconced in a quiet little candlelit booth - one in which he barely fit, but he managed well enough. After enjoying their meals (Italian-esque pasta, heavy on the spices), they lingered in the booth. It was Roran who first broke the silence.

"Lady..." He always called her that, as respect was high with him. "It has been an absolute joy this week. I knew the exhibits would be a delight... but I had no reason to suspect I would meet someone to enjoy them with. Nevermind that your company alone was so delightful - I am truly happy to have met you."

Wyh smiled, one that chased the shadows from her eyes. "As am I to have met you, Roran - you have made this week one of the brightest I have ever known." He had noticed, clearly, her innate sadness. But he had refrained from asking about it for the moment, as it was quite personal.

"I wish they would extend the exhibits, I find myself unwilling to see it end." There was a wistfulness to his tone that hinted that it was not only the exhibits he would miss, a hint that Wyh nearly missed in her own thoughts

"The Luisant Relics are to remain, as there are still so many who wished to see them - it is rare indeed, to have so many ancient pieces as intact as they are."

Roran chuffed softly. "I did not know... I'd have brought more coin with me if I had." He poked at his food, lost in thought for a moment.

Wyh ventured to break the silence. "Perhaps.. a better room could be found, now that the crowds are thinning?"

He gave her a slightly rueful smile. "I fear my coin was only sufficient for the sparse accommodations I had."

"If coin is the only issue... I have plenty."

"I could not..." Wyheree had learned in the time spent with Roran that his kind had a great amount of pride... no matter how muich they might want something, they greatly preferred to earn what it was they desired.

"I could speak to the scholars who funded this trip.. perhaps they would permit an extension.." He knew deep down that they would not, but he Was very reluctant to give up all hope.

"It would be a loan, Roran, rather than a gift." She was also reluctant, and as she sipped her after-dinner wine, an idea took form in her mind as he shook his head, that wistfulness back in his tone.

"I am a scholar... I have little in the way of an income. And no way to pay you back for any sort of accommodations they have here." He could not quite meet her eyes, though he kept glancing towards her. After another sip of wine, she voiced her idea, the earnestness on her face so plain to see.

"I have more than enough space, in my Manor.."

His ears twitched sharply; and he rumbled rather...almost embarrassed, yet also intrigued by the idea. "I... Lady..." he looked slightly abashed. "It would... well... it would not be proper for me to stay with a lady that I am not... er..."

She immediately tried to smooth his obvious, and rather surprising, unease. "The Manor is large - you could have an entire wing, for yourself."

He cleared his throat slightly; an odd half-growling sound. "Would this be as a visiting scholar?" For that arrangement would be acceptable for his ethics, and strong moral code.

She nodded - a little quickly, perhaps. "Indeed, it would be."

"I.. I do not know what to say." He rumbled slightly. "That is incredibly generous of you... I would be honored to accept your offer of housing as a visiting scholar from the Empire of A'Tara."

Deep down inside themselves, they both knew the arrangement wasn't for professional reasons. It was for a blossoming friendship. Wyheree smiled, and reached across the table for his hands. Roran had always seemed a little .. not wary, but cautious, about physical contact. But he did not refuse her, and their hands met, as did their eyes as she spoke.

"I think you will find the Manor.. enlightening. It is the ancestral home of a long line of Mages."

He cleared his throat, and sealed the propriety of it with his question. "Then perhaps I would be allowed to request the opportunity to study the history of Magic and this Manor with you?"

"It would be my pleasure, to study Magic and the Manor with you, Roran." Her hands, initially cool in his much larger ones, soon warmed as they lingered over dinner, the restaurant closing around them.
"Like a sign, like a dream, you're my Amaranthine."
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