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The Shadows Dance Adventure

 
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Cieara DeAuster
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Joined: 17 May 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: The Shadows Dance Adventure Reply with quote

"Why, I'd like nothing better than to achieve some bold adventure, worthy of our trip."
Aristophanes


Prelude for this story located here: http://rdi.dragonsmark.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=26756 "Myths & Legends: The Shadows Dance"

?I have been invited to visit a number of sites in Zymire.? Cieara stated at the weekly family gathering. Radiant pale green eyes shimmered with her usual good humor as she peered at her mother and then at her father in turn. ?Should be safe enough as well for most of the locations are on the queen's land. Besides, Danny, Sorcha and Uncle Lor have already offered to come along. Perhaps even Julian as Sorcha has said he knows these places rather well.?

She had to be cautious on how she stated this request. Cieara had not missed how both her uncle and her brother had reacted and suspected that if either of her parents felt the same, there would be no trip. So she had planned carefully on how she was going to ask. She didn't want Lucius or Fiona to get overly cautious. While it was true there may have been a compulsion placed upon her, it was a mild one. Cie honestly felt that it was her own insatiable curiosity that was the true drive to making this trip.

?Who invited ye Sweet?? Fiona asked as she took a seat close to her husband on the sofa nearest the hearth. Mug in hand, she regarded her daughter over the edge as she took a cautious sip.

?Bronwyn Mum. She suggested a number of locations that I may wish to see.? Cieara had done a bit of research and was ready to answer any question that she believed her parents might have. ?Tis part of our heritage. Places that are important to the DeWil side of the family from what I was told.?

Watching her parents exchange looks with each other her mother turned back with a slight tilting of head. ?What locations does Bronwyn think ye should be familiar with Cieara??

Cieara actually had a hand written list of locations that Fiona's cousin had really suggested so again she was fully prepared as she removed the folded bit of parchment from a skirt pocket. ?Let me see.? Luminous eyes regarded the list before she handed it over to her mother mere moments later. ?I am quite familiar with the ?Arches of Oimir? as that be near Grandfather's castle. I also have already seen ?Museum of Ancient Treasures?, and the ?Pavilion of Stars?, as those are located in the region of Minavyar.?

Fiona's own icy green eyes narrowed slightly at the names she was reading and glanced at Lucius again. Cieara knew from past experience they were likely having a mental conversation. She didn't show any sign of nerves or deception, for she was telling the truth which made it all so much easier to start with.

?Why would Bronwyn list the ?Labyrinth of Shadows Flame?? Tis a location that is nae safe generally and I nae recall it being linked to our family.? Fiona commented as she refolded the paper and handed it back to her daughter.

?Ah, Tis likely my interest in the legends and stories about the land. I attended a musical event with Sorcha just a few days before returning home that mentioned it and I was curious. Bronwyn has offered her keep for our use should we visit that location along with some of her guards.? So casually her words and tone, Cieara was still being careful. She had purposefully arrived early to ensure she would not be distracted or that her parents wouldn't either.

?I don't see a problem with her going Fiona. She will have plenty of protection by the sound of it and I am certain Lorcain, Julian, and Sorcha will ensure that both Cieara and Daniel will be well guarded.? Lucius commented before he handed a stack of papers to a waiting Steward and stood up. Moving to a small elegant bar in the corner of the room he paused there to pour himself a small glass of the spiced rum he favored. ?If any of them sense even a small bit of trouble we both know they all will takes steps to avoid it.?

Fiona nodded quietly as she leaned to place the mug of coffee down on a side table. ?Aye M'Love. I know that, but I also am aware of recent activity in the area. I shall certainly tell ye Uncle, Cieara, and the others to keep a cautious eye. Zymire is nae as safe as their diplomats like to claim. Nae as dangerous as other places to be sure, but tis nae a stranger to conflicts.?

?We plan to travel more through the shadows Mun. Should be safer that way.? A smile was blooming upon Cieara's rose tinted lips as she realized they were going to let them go. Just like that.

It was a penetrating gaze that alighted upon her youngest child. The look was searching before she nodded again, the action sending the long braid swaying along her back. ?The ?Labyrinth of Shadows Flame? is said to be a doorway into the ?Palace of Mist? where the Gods dwell, so it is nae a safe location. Tis said that if ye are nae invited ye are likely to find more dangers then naught. So tread there with care Cieara.?

?I intend to Mun. I know well enough that most Gods guard their realms fiercely and I nae have any intention of invading when I have nae been invited.? Humor now colored Cieara's tone as she peered at her Mother then chuckled quietly. ?Ye did teach me better then to be so foolish after all.?

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium


Last edited by Cieara DeAuster on Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cieara DeAuster
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

?Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.? ― J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


The white city of Minavyar was cast in gray under the thick angry sky when they arrived. The thunderous sounds coming from both the clouds and the crash of the sea against the high cliffs that surrounded the large island warred with each other. They had been lucky, for the portal was working today. Of late, it had become unstable resulting in travel between a number of lands becoming sporadic. Sometimes travelers would have to wait weeks or take other means of transport to arrive at their various destinations. Carriages and ships were now often in demand, to aid in traveling when the magical portals were shut down.

This day, the lone carriage they had housed their gear and Cieara's handmaiden. The rest were mounted upon their own horses. While their Grandfather could easily afford to provide them with any form of transport they required, the decision to bring their own had been made. Truthfully, not a single one of those in attendance cared for the idea of traveling in any carriage.

Emerald eyes, luminous and dancing with excitement, glanced around at the rather dismal day. But bad weather couldn't quell the smile or the energy Cieara felt. Easing up beside her brother with a sure hand on the reins of her mount, she peered at him curiously. ?Hopefully this foul weather will pass, else we may need to stay a few days. The ferry doesn't run when the sea is riled up.?

Her brother shot her look but his features remained stoic, which told Cieara he wasn't not nearly as excited as she was about this adventure. ?If we need to wait, then wait we shall.? His voice then rose to be heard over the damp wind that blew past them upon the road. ?Aye, Uncle??, Daniel inquired to the rider leading them.

?Aye.? Even more stone faced then her brother, Lorcain looked over a shoulder and out of the hooded, long leather jacket to regard the pair of them.

?Ye two are mood killers.? Cieara snorted and then peered back at Sorcha and Julian who took up the rear. Neither looked at all cheerful, which was not a good sign of things to come for Cie at all. She was suddenly realizing she was surrounded by some rather anti-social individuals. ?

Upon arriving at their Grandfather's townhouse, servants quickly collected their horses, the carriage and their collection of belongings, ushering them inside just as another ominous crashing of thunder rolled over the town. Moments later, sheets of rain fell from that angry gray sky in torrents.

?Ah, good ye are finally here!? Rhystil stated, as he came down the hall. His tall form was adorned in black traveling leathers. Ice green eyes were veiled of expression as he looked at his son, Lorcain, for span of a few seconds before moving to embrace Cieara and Daniel in turn. This was followed by the shaking of hands and greetings with Julian and Sorcha.

In a short time, they were all seated at the dinner table with an array of Zymirian specialties and thick, rich coffee in front of them. Plans were being made for an early start the following morning, with an itinerary being crafted for them to follow. ?Remember, while ye can travel some by the shadows, ye will be expected in some of these locations.? Rhystil stated after lowering his cup of coffee to the table top.

?Ye will also need to have care when visiting the Stones of Bailintre. Word has reached us that some raiders have been spotted in the area. Likely from the low land tribes out of Taybior.? Sharp green eyes alighted upon Lorcain for a moment before he continued. ?I have complete faith in all of ye to keep my grandchildren safe on this adventure. Remember, while it may seem serene on the surface it nae always is and even here in Zymire, there are many dangers.?

The Stones of Bailintre was some distance down the coast. A high cliff that stood, like a shadow, over pristine white beaches below. It was said to be a magical place and what made it rather special was the various towering stones that rose upwards in a perfect circle on the edge of the cliff. Each was made of an unusual crystal that sent prismatic light dancing outwards, even on cloudy days.

The rest of the evening seemed to pass easily enough with light conversation and an early night taken by all. If their grandfather had further conversation with their Uncle, it would be anyone's guess. Cieara, while curious, was not about to pry. She knew it would do little good to start with as both her uncle and Rhystil were not prone to sharing such things with anyone.

Cieara did have a hope as she prepared for bed that the pernicious storm that seemed to be quite active this night would be long gone by morning. As she so wished to be on her way. She had a hope that moods would lighten some with the planned destinations. There was also the Queen, who would likely issue a summons if they lingered. Cie wasn't at all sure how her uncle would handle that. Thus, in her mind, it would be best to launch this adventure as soon as possible. It would be safer for all of them really for Lorcain's social skills were not refined. He simply did not suffer fools or flibbertigibbets with any measure of patience. So, while the rumbling growl of thunder sang in the distance Cieara could only hoped for a dawn departure as she drifted off into the land of dreams.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium


Last edited by Cieara DeAuster on Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

?Let us cherish the hope that the day is not far distant when we will be in the midst of this next adventure.? ―
Ernest Lawrence


Cieara awoke to the heady scent of fragrant Zymirian coffee. It had a distinctive aroma that held notes of rich spice and earthy floral tones within. It was different then what one found in Kaylieth, whose robust flavor and vanilla nuances was in demand across realms besides their own. It was one of her father's biggest imports. For Cie however she had started to realize that every region and continent of her home world had their own spin on what many referred to as Cafeh, or Coffee. Even the name varied in places.

Savoring the scent wafting through the early morning hair Cieara cracked open one sleepy pale green eye and found Rhian nearby placing a steam mug on the side table. ?That alone makes for a very good way to waken a soul M'sweet.?

Across the room the sun had not even yet rose by the look of it and at first she didn't even realize but then both eyes flew open. ?Be the weather still ugly?? Words falling in a rush as she sat up abruptly and sending the down quilt flying back across the elegant bed.

?Last night's storm has passed Milady, but the thick clouds still linger. Tis sure there is to be another one by midday, but for the moment there is a lull.? Came the reply from the dark haired handmaiden as she placed some leathers out for Cieara.

?Ye bag is all ready for ye and ye Grandfather's cook has prepared a basket for ye party to carry along.? Rhian added with a quiet smile tossed Cieara's way. ?Tis full of many of ye favorites as well. I think the cook be sweet on ye.?

?Ah, ye be teasing I see.? Cieara replied as she sat up with a limber stretching and in moments was doing a quick washing up. Once she had completed the usual morning rituals she quickly donned her clothing. ?Nae forget, ye brother is going to be picking ye up later today. I believe Grandfather said ye would be spending a few days in the City of Storms.?

That news brought a radiant smile to the usually somber young lady who served as Cieara's ladies maid. It was a disguise of course but with the various intrigues at play currently within the realms of Zymire, it kept Rhian safe which was the whole point after all.

?I have nae ever been to Sagecrest or Roseford Castle. My Grandfather would always say there was plenty of time to visit eventually.? Deft fingers were securing the last latch on one of Cieara's bags and then the shimmering crystal gaze rested on the auburn haired elf. ?Will it be safe there??

Throwing an arm around Rhian's shoulders a moment later Cie gave her an emphatic nod. ?Indeed, my grandfather has assured me that ye will be in good hands. There will be many of his order there to keep ye safe as well as ye br?thair's own hand picked guards. Ye have nothing to worry about whilst in his home.?

Giving Rhian a light squeeze. ?I shall ask my grandfather to also provide ye with the means to escape should something unforeseen happen, but I have faith that Falcon will nae allow any harm to befall ye Sweet.? Cieara knew that before the girl departed on her own little adventure Rhystil would give her a ring that would teleport her to safety for what ever the reason.

Giving Rhian another hug, Cieara advised her to have fun and be safe. Scooping up her travel pack from the end of the bed she headed for the door, hearing the girl behind her call back. ?You as well Cieara. Tis dangerous places you plan to visit, so have care.?

?Aye, I know M'Sweet. I shall be very cautious.? With that, she moved off, heading down a sweeping flight of stairs into the foyer of her Grandfather's townhouse.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium
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Cieara DeAuster
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 167
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Can Be Found: Usually Gharnholme, RhyDin, Cisroe, Or Tignus.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment."
Hilaire Belloc


After a delicious, all be it hurried breakfast and
farewell to their families, Cieara soon found herself standing outside in the
courtyard of the elegant townhouse. She peered up at the gloomy sky, a
slight frown pulling upon her brow and then she glanced over at her
brother. ?Do ye think we can manage to make it across the Gulf of Myhera
before this storm breaks??

?I nae know Cieara, but I do know Uncle Lor is determined to get to the
next step in our journey today.? Daniel was also gazing upwards and then
gave a mild shake of his dark head. ?I suspect the crossing will nae be an
easy one, so be ready for some rough seas.?

Securing her pack on the back of her mount, Vespa, Cieara was soon
settled into the saddle. The rest of the party also readied themselves for
the next part of the journey, silent at the moment, with the only sound
being the movements of preparations to that eminent departure. Lorcain
nodded and they were soon moving, one by one, following him out of the
gate and into the still quiet streets of Minavyar.

It was early yet, with only a few of the nearby residents stirring. They
were mostly servants and some of the rare early bird types that liked to go
out, do their various businesses and return home. Even with the gloomy
morning, the view of the white castle that loomed high above the city,
shone with its legendary light. The light would dim to almost gray when
the storms finally arrived but for now, the sight was lovely.

Daniel moved up and started a conversation with their Uncle, leaving
Cieara to come up behind him, with Julian and Sorcha taking up the rear
flank. She watched her brother as he spoke with Lorcain. She was struck,
as always, with the similar appearance of the two. Their demeanor was
generally different, unless Daniel was in a foul mood, of course. This trip
had him on edge so the family traits were showing quite clearly. Cie could
only hope that both of them relaxed a little. The tension was giving her a
major headache already.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium
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Cieara DeAuster
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 167
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Bullet Catcher
Can Be Found: Usually Gharnholme, RhyDin, Cisroe, Or Tignus.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I can hear your whisper and distant mutter. I can smell your damp on the breeze and in the sky I see the halo of your violence. Storm I know you are coming.?
― Robert Fanney


It was the first ferry of the morning and they arrived just on time to board and settle for the rough trip across the wide Myhera Gulf. It would take a few hours, but they didn't have a choice. The Portals were once again fluttering with wild energies, making them deadly to use. While most didn't care for the inconvenience of the fluctuating magics plaguing a number of realms, it was an expensive albeit dangerous luxury used more by the wealthy, so most used the more standard form of travel. Yet, with the current state of the portals, it meant the Ferry Captains were making a bit more profit.

It was a surprisingly comfortable state room they were escorted to. There were cozy sofas to sit and even lounge upon should they wish. Large storm windows displayed the view of the bow of their ship where they could clearly see the waves that were rocking the vessel in a rough dance.

?We need to be ready. The Captain has warned us that if the storm breaks, the already rough sea will become worse. He has asked us to nae spend much time on the deck, as it would be easy for one of us to fall over the side. In these rough waters, the odds of rescue are drastically reduced. ?, Sorcha stated as she pushed the stateroom door closed. ?Our mounts and wagon are secured below and hopefully this trip will be uneventful.?

Half way across, or she rather hoped they were that close to land, Cieara was turning a bit green. The rolling of the sea, the rocking and twisting of their ship had carried her stomach along with it, leaving her feeling more then just a little queasy. She was actually glad the storm seemed to be holding off, because this was rather dreadful as it was. She really was not in the mood to see worse.

The trip seemed to take ages. The thunderous crash of angry water was heard as the bow of the ferry cut through the rolling furious waves many times. The sudden rises and dips had everyone feeling unsettled, to put it mildly. Even Cieara's stoic Uncle looked slightly more pale then usual by the time they arrived in port.

They were not the only ones feeling the effects of a very rough crossing, as all the passengers departing the ship looked rather shaken. Luckily the storm had chased them, but had not managed to catch up until they arrived. However, now the dark ominous clouds were rolling ever closer. That sight brought dark mutterings from most of Cieara's party as they worked efficiently to collect their mounts and belongings.

?I 'ad 'opes o' makin' it tae Corlyn by nightfall, but 'tis apparent th' weather is nae cooperatin'.? Lorcan said, while sending a glower upwards towards the impending storm.

?With this weather, the roads will nae be safe. We run the risk of ending up bogged down with the wagon.? Julian commented as he also looked upwards in a contemplative manner.

?Then we shall find lodging here in Morhaven and depart the moment the weather breaks.? Sorcha stated firmly, as she swung up and settled atop her own mount. ?There is a few Inns leading out of town we can stay.?

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium
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View user's profile Send private message
Cieara DeAuster
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 167
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Bullet Catcher
Can Be Found: Usually Gharnholme, RhyDin, Cisroe, Or Tignus.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

?We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.? - Ana?s Nin, The Diary of Ana?s Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974

?Wake up!? The words were like thunder through her sleep laden thoughts. The shout was a cacophony of voices all screaming out at once.

?Wake up!? The voices continued to boom across her consciousness, demanding and insistent. ?They know ye are here! They will come! WAKE up!?

Cieara woke with a start, sitting up in her bed with a gasp and realized it was silent and dark. The only sound she heard was the quiet breathing of Sorcha sleeping in the other bed at the other side of the room. Cieara's heart was racing. There had been a certain urgency in the voices she heard. The volume made it impossible for her to determine what genders the warning voices were, as it had been a discordant choir; many speakers all tangled up into one.

Dragging auburn hair from her sleep weighted eyes, the feeling of tension lingered and, after a few moments, she was slipping from the warm, comfortable bed and pulling on her leathers. She wouldn't be able to go back to sleep now. Dressing quickly Cieara decided to head down to the common room to see if anyone was up and about. Her own internal clock told her that daybreak would be arriving soon, which gave her hope that she wasn't the only one making an appearance so early.

She and those she traveled with had been lucky enough to get two rooms, as this quaint little Inn had been filling up fast. Many travelers were looking for a place to stay while the angry storm waged its battle upon the land beyond. Most knew it was dangerous to try and travel. Thankfully, the storm had apparently passed sometime in the night. It was a relief really.

Entering the common room, she was surprised to find her Uncle just returning from outside. Something was off, however, as she took note of the frown on his face. ?Go an' wake th' others. Apparently some one alerted the Laird o' th' land 'ere to yer presence so we 'ave lil' time tae depart afore they descen' 'pon us fer some feast, festival or frivolous event.?

?Um, why would our being here matter?? Cieara peered at her uncle curiously, baffled.

Lorcain's response was a mere shrug of broad shoulders. Sorcha, who had followed Cieara down, replied, ?Tis merely superposition on my part but I would guess, 'tis ye association to the queen. Many have heard about ye family. About ye and ye brother and Uncle, ye mother, even me. We are members of the ?Royal? Zymirian family thus most nobles are going to want to garner our favor or marry us. 'Tis normal enough I would think. Ye should hear the gossip about all of us as well, tis rather amusing.?

Cieara shot a look at the other woman and then turned to head up the stairs. ?I am going to get Daniel and Julian up. I am nae in any mood for any events the local lord may be planning.?

One hurried breakfast with several cups of coffee later and they were on the road, just before the sun had touched the horizon. Once they had cleared the city and were moving into the more rural areas where the road started to become difficult to navigate, they used the shadows to jump closer to their next destination. This allowed them to avoid any further storms or messengers that may seek to waylay them.

The cultivated landscape of gray city walls and worn weathered roads had given way to the tangled beauty of the forest and dirt paved lanes. The sounds also altered, the symphony of voices one heard in a busy city were replaced by the softer tones of nature. The lilting calling of the birds and other smaller woodland creatures traveled on the cool winds of the season.

There was a bite of cold in the air as it was still winter, but in their current location of the lower lands, the climate was normally more temperate, which suited their party just fine. However Zymire's northern regions were very much like Mercivya, as the snow there had been about hip deep when they had departed. Luckily, it would only be the last leg of this adventure that would carry them into the mountains and into possible harsh weather.

They traveled for several hours, and finally started to see small dots of civilization in the form of small farms, a vineyard and even a mine of some sort. A road sign located on the road they traveled told them they were only an hour out from Corlyn. That would certainly please Lorcain, as they were nearly caught up on the lost time due to the storm.

?We nae need worry about any nobles in Corlyn.? Sorcha stated with a glance over at Julian, who gave a bark of laughter.

?Aye, the one ruling this area is considered rather ancient and nae prone to seek out company or anything aside from knowledge and books.? He added, with another laugh falling.

?Good...?, Lorcain replied with that usual deadpan expression of his.

?I want a good night's sleep, without being woken up before the sun has even sought to show it's face.? Daniel commented with a pointed glance shot at his sister.

Cieara took it in stride with a cheeky grin returned to her obviously grumpy brother. ?Tis hardly my fault ye stayed up late fleecing the locals out of their hard earned gold. For all we know, ye may have said something and one of those who left with lighter pockets ratted us out.?

?That is possible.? Julian responded, while making an adjustment to the reins of his horse. The beast sensed something and became a bit unsettled with sharp hooves stirring up road dust with their prancing action. It was likely a scent dancing in the wind. ?I think it was one of the serving ladies that did call ye Lord DeAuster.?

That information made Lorcain send a disapproving glower back towards Julian and Daniel. It was a brief glance, as his own mount was showing signs of mild stress as well thus requiring more of his attention.

?We're bein' followed.?, was the observation from Lorcain. All of their small party heard it, including Julian, who, to his credit didn't look all that unsettled by a voice echoing inside his head.

It was a mental call that made Cieara look towards her brother, who now looked a bit more alert at least to her eyes.

?There is a clearin' up ahead. Let's stop, give th' 'orses some time tae take a res', an' ourselves will stretch our legs fer a few moments.? If there was to be a fight, none of them wanted to be mounted when it started.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cieara DeAuster
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 167
See this user's pet
Jobs: Messenger, Bullet Catcher
Can Be Found: Usually Gharnholme, RhyDin, Cisroe, Or Tignus.
10532.00 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I think it's my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may." - Leonard Nimoy


Mere moments after they had stopped and dismounted, an arrow flew from the woods surrounding their location and everyone froze. Tolar, the carriage driver could be heard muttering a few choice insults, along with the words ?brigands? or ?highwaymen.? Neither sat well with the adventurers.

?Hold steady and nae anyone will be hurt.?, a voice called out from the same area from which the missile had flown. Cieara saw the scowl darkening her uncle?s face and the light of murder lurking in his pale green eyes. All did remain still and almost calm otherwise. Stepping into sight was an elven male wearing woodland colors, so that he and his associates could blend into the landscape easily.

At first glance, he didn't appear to be a bandit but then again, looks could be deceiving. He had the usual dark hair one expected to see in Zymire and pale skin. However, this one carried himself with a certain sense of purpose. Perhaps, one could even call it an arrogance that was only found with nobility, generally.

Others elves joined the first and soon enough, Ciara counted at least eight, with a likely chance others were still well hidden in the thicket. That told her easily that they were slightly outnumbered. Such a thing hardly mattered to any of their group, as every last one of them had taken on massive numbers in their recent battles.

?What be ye names and what brings ye to Corlyn??, came the next demand. Before anyone could answer, it was Sorcha who glowered at the men in annoyance and spoke up sharply, ?I would ask ye first to identify yeself as it be ye who has accosted us!? Her tone held a note of exasperation and outrage and her stance certainly mirrored that with hands moving to her hips, a chin lifting in challenge.

?I am Tydris Tel'Corlyn, Captain of Corlyn's guard...?, he didn't seem the least bit put off by Sorcha's less than polite retort, ?...and I ask again for ye names, travel papers and what business ye have here.?

Cieara glanced at her brother and a hand dipped under her cloak, drawing out her own papers. She was fully aware that the array of notched arrows were now pointed in her direction, but felt certain they wouldn't fire. And if they did, well that would likely be the end of most if not all of them. Lorcain wasn't known for leaving survivors.

She didn't move further. Instead, she made the Captain step over towards her. He had told them not to move, after all. The moment he saw the official seal of the queen however, his demeanor shifted drastically.

?Milady, may I ask what ye association is with Queen Bronwyn??, he asked as he flipped through the sheath of parchment, looking towards Cieara curiously.

?She is our mother's cousin.?, Daniel stated bluntly, answering before his sister could, offering his own papers now with an expression that remained unreadable. ?She was the one to suggest a tour of our mother's homeland.? He did not add that the queen likely didn't expect them to be interrogated in the process.

?Be yeh satisfied nae, Captain??, Locain said, folding his arms over his chest and bearing a rather irritated look on his face.

?Aye, everything looks to be in order.?, the captain replied while handing back the various papers to their respective individuals. He paused when he reached Sorcha. ?Mirawyn? Be ye any relation to Lord Drammon Mirawyn??

?As there are nae many of that name roaming about the countryside, I can say aye, he is my father.?, Sorcha replied, with a sharp look from stormy blue-green eyes.

?I know him well, as he often visits my own sire.?, Captain Tydris added before turning to send a signal to his troops to stand down. ?I apologize, but we have had several trade parties, convoys, caravans and travelers attacked on our road, so we are being cautious. We nae wish to cause ye further inconvenience by detaining ye from ye path.? Offering a short bow after his comment, he continued. ?Have care. Many think these roads are safe, but in recent months, we have been dealing with raiders and brigands. So stay alert and aware.? With that Tydris and his men melted back into the trees.

Sorcha was still seething even as Tolar set out the basket for lunch.

?Do stop, Sorcha, as ye be giving a dreadful headache.?, Cieara said, while pressing fingers against her throbbing temples. ?Ye be emitting intensely.?

?Village captains with delusions of importance. They are often the bane of any travelers, though, I had hoped it would nae be the case in my own homeland.?, Sorcha groused, after dropping down beside Cieara on the blanket. She accepted an offered sandwich a moment later.

?His father is the lord of these lands, so he may be merely doing what needs be done.?, Julian commented. He had taken up a lean against a nearby tree and paused, eating for a moment. ?If ye heard such activities were occurring in ye own lands, would ye not do the same, Sorcha??

Instantly, the anger started to fade and Cieara breathed a sigh of relief even as Sorcha replied, ?Aye, ye be right about that. The only difference is I would hunt them down and kill every last one of them.?

That brought a fleeting smile to Lorcain?s austere features. It was a rare thing but considering the lady had simply echoed his own thoughts, he found it amusing.

It was Daniel who took up a plate and a bottle of the chilled apple cider and took it over to their driver. The older man gave the younger one a grateful smile and bowed as well, which brought a faint flush to Daniel's elven visage. He didn't linger long and was soon returning to the others, accepting his own lunch from Cieara.

Cieara sent a searching look towards her brother and a brow arched slightly. Pale emerald green eyes noted the tension he was trying to hide. Hence, she sent a mental query towards him, one none of the others could hear, ?Something bothering ye Danny??

?I do not want to talk about it right now, Cie. Later perhaps.? He didn?t even look up to meet her gaze, which made her frown a bit.

?Do nae even think I am going to let this go, Danny. We will talk later. That be a promise.? Cieara turned her attention to her own feast, appreciating the surprisingly cool fruity beverage the Inn?s cook had provided for them upon their departure.

?I nae even know why, but I suspect that we shall likely see that Captain again before it?s all said and done.? Cieara then said out loud while picking up the remnants of her lunch.

?Aye, I suspect ye are right about that Cieara.? Julian stated. His own lean features wore an expression of consideration. ?As it is, we have at least another hour or so before we reach Corlyn. Shall we continue onward??

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium
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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet dreams are made of these
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" by Eurythmics)


The coach inn was a welcome stop after the events of the afternoon, giving the travelers a chance to decompress. With bags secured and a warm dinner enjoyed Daniel had stepped out onto the porch, a hip set against the railing as he looked out over the trees to the mountaintops that stood in stark contrast to the first of the rising moons. He popped his neck with a rolling of shoulders before easing back into the lean again, arms folding over his chest as he began to relax.

Cieara followed her brother out on to the dimly lit porch and regarded him quietly. In her hands she held a warm mug of hot coffee and slowly, she moved to take a perch near him on the railing. Across the way the mirth filled sound of travelers partaking of one of the Taverns could be heard echoing in the courtyard. ?So, think this might be a good time to have that talk maur Braither??

Daniel glanced toward his sister for a second before adjusting his lean to better face her of course she had not forgotten, her very nature one precluded the possibility. "What would you like to know maur sethar?"

Brushing a random curl back behind her ear, her pale emerald eyes lifted and met his straight on. ?I would like to know why ye are acting so, unsettled.? Cieara couldn?t quite find the right word to describe her brother?s behavior, so she picked one that was a bit broader in scope. ?Ye be acting more like Uncle Lor then be normal for ye.?

"That might be a compliment." the corner of his lips curled upward in a wry half-smile before he took in a deep breath. "You know I've been here before, with mathair." it wasn't a question. Daniel looked back toward the nighttime vista for a nonce before his gaze returned to her. "I do not remember any of it."

?Aye, I think I recall that. After Uncle Lorcain came to stay with us. Mum told me to nae pester ye about it.? Often a rebellious child, her mother?s nature at the time made it clear she was quite serious about that request. So, for once Cieara had complied, but now she was curious. ?Ye remember nothing at all?? Her tone taking an incredulous note.

"Nothing." He motioned toward the street and the buildings across the way. "The further we go the worse it gets. I know I have been here before..." He shook his head, a flash of annoyance crossing his lean features before he continued. "...but it's vague, almost like a dream." A hand clenched for a second before he relaxed, letting out a long breath. "And it's damn annoying."

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Weep not for roads untraveled
Weep not for sights unseen
May your love never end and if you need a friend,
There's a seat here alongside me"
Roads Untraveled - Linkin Park


?Who? Why? Tis baffling really. Did ye nae speak with Mum about it?? Pale emerald eyes widening as she struggled to understand. Still, she could also appreciate her brother?s frustration as well. Cieara would be furious is anyone had stolen her memories like that. ?Well, we shall have to ensure that nae happens again. I would nae care to forget what brought me here.?

"Mother was...less than forthcoming when I asked her about it." He shifted in his lean, rolling his shoulders before he settling again. "She said it was for the best, whatever that means." It had been one of the few times he had been at cross ends with his mother. He regarded Cieara evenly. "I do not want you to forget either."

?If ye remembered anything at all, would ye have tried to reconstruct that trip?? She paused to take a sip of the hot coffee, but never took her eyes off her brother. Watching the emotions moving upon his expressive features and the shadows that even in the low light she could clearly see, flicker in his eyes.

"Probably...maybe..." he sighed softly. "I don't know. It would depend on what had happened before." A knuckle ran along his lower lip for a second. "I don't know why my memory was taken away, but it's something I'm going to try to find out." There was a hardness to Daniel's tone for a second, his own frustrations and resentment bubbling for a second before he got his emotions back under control. "And I worry about you, maur sethar."

?Ye need nae worry about me in this. Tis? an adventure for us all. Perhaps ye might learn why ye memories were stripped from ye. I can nae explain but, the closer we get to the Guardians, the stronger the pull becomes. But I nae feel any fear, or even an inkling of worry. Tis nae threatening.? A mild shrug of Cieara?s shoulders with those words. Gazing still at Daniel, whose form was more in shadow then not and a smile touched her lips. ?I do think we should visit the springs here before we depart tomorrow. Tis said they have healing powers. Touched by the Gods. What do ye think Danny??

Daniel trusted his sister, and if she said she did not feel threatened he accepted it without reservation. He nodded slowly once, her second comment bringing a slow smile. "I think that is a great idea."

Daniel glanced toward the window and the warm light spilling from within. "I saw Julian leave earlier before you came out, and undoubtedly Uncle Lor has slipped away, so I don't think they will miss us."

?Ye be wanting to visit them now?? Cieara?s brow arched slightly with a faint tilting of her head, considering the prospect. ?Tis dark, but I nae asked if they would still be open. Perhaps we should, as a long soak would be appreciated.? Riding all day did have a way of taking its toll, but it was still better than being cooped up in a carriage.

"Well, you did say it was an adventure." Daniel chuckled softly, finally coming out of his lean. And there was a subtle change in his demeanor having talked to his sister, the weight of what he was experiencing now out in the open. Cieara may not even know how she had helped her brother by just listening. "And I think I know just the place to go."

Cieara?s smile brightened, noticing that some of that oppressive tension had left her brother. That was a relief, but she suspected that the closer they got to that unknown destination, that mood of his might return. As it was, now he seemed more relaxed so she found herself giving a quiet laugh. ?Ah, did ye already ask about that Danny??

A second's shadow crossed Daniel's features, but it was gone just as quick as it appeared. "Actually it's something I think I found before." He may be totally wrong, but something inside told him he wasn't. "If you want to wait until tomorrow morning though, there is a little place at the edge of town that's built around one of the springs."

?I think we can visit one tonight. I am rather sore after a long day in a saddle, besides, I nae saw a tub in my room. So, tis likely that is how we shall get clean anyway.? Not an unusual thing in the least, as the place had several springs surrounding the surprisingly large town. ?Be it a good thing that ye may have remembered something from the last time?? Cieara was sliding down to her feet as she spoke and tipped her head back to gaze at her brother curiously.

"Like I said, some things are like trying to remember a dream, but it gets harder the farther we go." He started to the door, turning back to her as he opened it. "I might be making a mistake here and we will not find anything, so you've been warned beforehand."

?Tis likely ye do remember, but I have been warned.? Laughter colored Cieara's words as she moved towards him and then returned the Inn with a glance back over her shoulder. ?Let us investigate. Worst that can happen is we nae find anything at all. Aye??

"Aye." Daniel nodded in agreement, following her back in to gather up a small travel bag, the two departed again shortly thereafter, leaving a note for Lorcain beforehand with the innkeep for when the elder Dewil returned from his own wanderings.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"This is a fight for the day,
Night, black and white
A victory dance,
A burning riot."
"Conquistador" by 30 Seconds to Mars


For Cieara, battle always felt like a rather deadly dance. Every movement flowing from one to the next as one sought to duck and dodge an attack while perpetuating their own damage upon the assailant. To watch from a distance some might think it was choreographed. The motion and movements that flowed with such smooth grace, seemed so natural with the five circling giving the impression they were moving as one. Blood droplets arching through the air and splattering to be absorbed into exposed earth, or to paint the dry leaves with the patina of death. Sound fell away, caught more like an echo in the ears as the dancers moved seamlessly.

Spinning like a ballerina, a blade tipped boot caught one of the attackers, slashing through to bone. His cry was a muffled howl that barely registered before she was wheeling back around into the safety of her own. Cieara barely had landed when she felt her brother?s hand enfold her arm in a firm grip and she was again sailing through the air, this time the razor sharp edge protruding from her boot found a home in the throat of another. The man dropped instantly as she twisted free, that glint of silver left impaled in bloody flesh.

Daniel spun nimbly with her in toe, slashing another down while their uncle simply flowed into the seemingly endless crowd intent upon capturing or killing. None could actually decide what their goal was, considering the attack had come out of nowhere and was rather fierce from the start.

Lorcain was methodically making his way through the still incoming surge, his personal symphony; that sickening sound of bones breaking in his wake. Screams of pain being snapped off that swiftly as he worked with blade and claw. Yet, even his movements were agile. He moved so fast, rather like their mother did, that preternatural talent evident as he blurred with dynamic kinetics.

Not to be forgotten, Julian was also leaving an impressive array of defeated piling up around his own feet, while Sorcha was lost in the crowd, which was starting to diminish rapidly. The whirling dervish within ripping the assailants apart with expert precision. Every lash of her blade, or sharp stab of steel finding its mark with deadly effect.

It was then over abruptly. It ended as swiftly as it had started. Daniel immediately looked for their driver who was well covered, having crawled up under his wagon with a small, rusty blade in hand looking positively terrified.
Sorcha was standing in the middle of an array of bodies. Most of a gory mess with missing limbs and the like. She was breathing heavily with her eyes fully consumed with the crimson rage. The woman was visibly shaking and had apparently came very close to losing control by the look of it.

Much to Cieara?s surprise it was Julian that dared approach Sorcha. Placing a hand on her shoulder and he then led her off to the side to calm down. Whereas Lorcain also had the same glinting scarlet fire in his eyes, he seemed eerily calm. ?What lands be we in??

?This be Stimyl. The lands are in dispute as the last Duke has passed and there be two sons seeking the title.? That came from the obviously still rattled driver as he clambered out from under the wagon.

?Thus reporting this, will likely have little effect.? Julian added, his dark head lifting up to look over at Lorcain. ?I have knowledge of this family. Tis more likely they would lock us up instead, papers or nae.?

?I have sent word to our grandfather, he will send Duihb agents to clean up this mess.? Daniel then stated with a narrowing of his own faintly reddened eyes. ?Pity we didn?t keep one alive for questioning.?

Those words brought a cold smile to Lorcain?s bloodied features as he reached into the pile nearby and dragged one single soul from the mess. The man was struggling to play dead but the bone crushing grip upon his shoulder was making that attempt next to impossible. ?I do like tha? way ye think Nephew.?

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium


Last edited by Cieara DeAuster on Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Breaking up or breaking through,
Breaking something's all we ever do,
Shoot straight, travel far,
Stone crazy's all we ever are,
But I don't care for lies,
And I won't tell you twice,
Because when all else fails,
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Motorhead - "Dead Men Tell No Tales"



Bark flew as the back of the sole survivor slammed into the trunk of one of the trees. His feet dangled several inches above the ground as Lorcain held him easily, one hand tight around his throat. Lorcain flung the man towards Daniel without much effort at all. ?Tie ?is hands, Danny.? Wasting no time, the scowling young man lashed their captive?s hands behind the trunk, the bonds tight enough to offer considerable pain without killing.

?I dun know nothin?.? The man growled while attempting to struggle against the bonds. Behind him, Daniel merely tightened the ropes.

?'Oo hired yeh?? Lorcain demanded, grabbing the man?s face with a clawed hand. Sharp nails broke the hostage's skin without mercy and tiny beads of blood began welling up around the pressure applied, dripping down the victim's cheeks.

?One of them tha? ye killed!? The man snarled his response. He was resisting.

He went suddenly still and silent, though, as Lorcain's crimson shot eyes looked searchingly into his widened pupils. Whatever their uncle saw was a mystery and before they knew it, Lorcain let his grasp go, pivoted and stalked towards the pile of bodies the battle had accumulated.

?Tha' one be useless. A mere dimwitted 'ired thug an' nae much else. Nae sure, but I almos? feel insulted by th' caliber of mercenary tha? was sent our way.? That cast back over a shoulder just before he started sorting through the dead with careless disregard.

Pausing on one, Lorcain yanked the corpse from the mix. It was missing an arm and had a gaping wound in his chest. It was far too clean to be Lorcain?s work. It was likely one of Sorcha?s kills. ?Aye, this one looks tae be righ?.?

What followed next had all of them just staring in utter shock. Cieara?s pale green eyes went wide and then a shudder followed, more due to being unprepared for the dark magics Lorcain next performed.

With just two bloodstained fingers, he made a sign near his lips and then the palm of his hand pressed to the dead man?s head, the single act reanimating the torn and still bleeding body of a new captive. His eyes, already clouding in the grips of death, opened and the creature wheezed, thick ropes of vitae drooling from its slack lips. Cieara glanced to her brother and saw her shock mirrored in Daniel?s features. While both knew that Lorcain was an excellent fighter, neither had suspected his talents extended into the darker arts.

?'Oo hired yeh?? Lorcain demanded an answer from the corpse. His tone was sharp, cold and it was apparent his patience was already beyond frayed; his volatile temper was barely being held in check.

?I cannae answer that.? The graveyard whisper was followed by coughing fit and the grotesque oozing of various body parts. Those sickly looking eyes, glazed and milky white, stared blindly outward.

?Yeh will answer meh!? Growling now, Lorcain gave that limp husk a shake with just one fist.

He was answered with ice-cold laughter. The sound emerged from the undead thing, but it was clearly from some other magical source entirely. That detached, eerily mocking voice held a touch of distorting static that sent a chill racing through Cieara and she cast another look towards her brother.

?This one?s soul is mine. Wonder as you will, but a mystery this will remain.? The reply came from the bloodied, broken and dead vessel. Some of the party felt the sudden snap of black energy that had finally stretched to the breaking point. Sparks of it hung in the air and then, one by one, faded out.

?We need to get moving.? Julian broke the silence as he looked off into the darkness of the nearby wildwood. ?I nae understand that devilry, but something is heading this way.? The shadow-legionnaire looked back to his companions.

?And it is nae on our side.? As he spoke, they caught the baying cry of what resembled wolves coming from a fair distance off, the sound of the rising hunt on the wind.

Tolver, their driver looked positively traumatized at this point, so he didn?t even react when Sorcha moved towards him, removing the gloves that still wore the drawn blood of many. Her hands were reaching to take both him and the carriage into the shadows. Behind her, Daniel and Cieara followed, having collected their mounts. These were beasts trained for this very action, which was why they made the effort to bring them along instead of hiring locally available mounts. Their destination was now close enough for the jump, and, with a rush a cool air, they were just outside of Shadehaven, the gray marble keep looking almost white in the glare of the sun.

The Duke of Wildebourne kept his home as warded as one might expect for one of his position and station, but he also didn?t allow shadow travel into his keep walls other than for himself and his daughter, who Daniel and Cieara couldn?t see at the moment. Guards, however, were moving to open the gates and allowing them entrance without question, so they were obviously expected.

?Where are Julian and Uncle Lor??, Cieara questioned as they started down the cobblestone road that lead up to the impressive keep ahead.

Daniel just looked over at her, his features cast in a dark solemn look. ?They stayed back to lead whatever is after us a merry chase and give the Order time to clean up the mess we left.?

?We could have helped with that.?, Cieara stated, a bit confused as she glanced over at Daniel. Her curiosity now piqued.

?Not if it was actually us that was the target. We would have become a distraction for them, sathair, which is why we are here and not racing through the wildwood.? It was apparent that Daniel was not happy about this either, but seemed to be understanding of it.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium


Last edited by Cieara DeAuster on Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Curiosity is the essence of human existence. 'Who are we? Where are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?'... I don't know. I don't have any answers to those questions. I don't know what's over there around the corner. But I want to find out." - Eugene Cernan

Relaxing in the window seat that overlooked an expansive garden, Emerald pale eyes watched the slow setting of the evening sun. The sky looking touched with the elegance of a painter?s brush. Hues of peach, red and gold a pastel array against the darkening night sky. It was just two of the three moons present and only one of those was full.

?Be ye sure about this Cieara?? The voice questioned behind her and she turned to regard Galen standing just between the light and the darkness that lurked within the sharper corners. His expression one of concern and something else. Something she could not fully define.

?Aye, I am sure. I nae feel threat Galen, just the compulsion to go. The closer we get the pull becomes more urgent.? Cieara?s fingers were toying with the soft fabric of the green silk skirt she wore. Another glance over towards her Sentinel. ?Why??

A look of could best be described as frustration moved over the shadow?s face. ?Just a feeling this may have far reaching results.? He remained unmoving while another form wavered into view. Trilyre?s shaded features wore a apprehension expression. Smaller than the Galenstar, but just as powerful in a different way, both her sentinels were worried. That was obvious to Cieara.

?All ye allies be ready if need be.? Her softer tones were hushed in the quiet room. The color deepening with every moment, even with the glow of the fullest of three moons radiating outwards. Her sentinels had been with her, unseen throughout the entire journey. It was only now they both appeared and that made Cieara curious.

The green silk drifted down in a swirl as she rose and with delicate hands moving behind her back, Cieara strolled across the elegant room she had been assigned. ?Tell me, what be the concern regarding my trip??

?Some think ye be following some fool?s errand. That legend is nothing, and others think if it be true, ye will rip our world asunder via vengeful gods and their petty quibbles.? Galen stated, watching Cieara as she drew closer to them.

?And what do ye both think about it?? Pausing, she stood in front of them. A faint rocking on her feet sent her skirt shifting but she waited quietly to hear their concerns.

Galenstar glanced at his companion before looking back with eyes narrowing faintly. ?I nae care one way or the other. I am going to ask that Goddess ye seek to give me the ability to be corporeal.?

That made Trilyre?s gasp in surprise. ?Galen nae! Ye can nae demand that of any gods. Tis nae done!?

?Like I care? I can serve that goddess same as any other, if I get what I want from her.? His response was matter of fact, even if a bit harsh in the offering.

Trilyre simply shook her head, her own gray gaze sliding towards Cieara who was simply watching them. Little showing upon her pale-lit features, as she had seen the pair quarrel often enough and was not about to take sides.

Trilyre sighed and just offered a shrug to Cieara. ?I nae know if the legend is true or naught. Do ye really think there be a God living amidst the Guardians??

?Aye, I know it. My mum does serve her.? That made them both stare at her in surprise, apparently, Fiona did keep her secrets well.

?From what I understand we have one more jump we can make to the village of Exetari. From there, We shall have to travel by road as our passage I?m told, is bared from the shadow travel. However I think ye both will still be able to follow as ye are nae subject to the same rules.?

?We shall stay the night at ?The Gorgon's Gate Tavern? as mum already made arrangements. Tis a place she knows well and trusts those that own it.? Tomorrow she may have answers. Maybe, because the Gods were a fickle, crafty, and often cruel lot by her own experiences. Cieara was well aware she was being used, but to what end? Well that was the question of the moment. One she hoped to have answered very soon.

That evening while at dinner, the conversation focused upon the recent attack. With Drammon assuring them, they would have a restful night at his home. He was obviously troubled, as those lands were close enough to his own to be problematic. With the two brothers both warring over a single title however, his hands were tied. He would certainly be informing the Queen directly, and perhaps she might step in. Since it did seem as one disputed region had become a haven for brigands, thieves or worse.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium


Last edited by Cieara DeAuster on Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lon-dubh a' seinn ann an dubhar na h-oidhche
tog do sgiathan brist' is ?irigh suas
fad do r?, bha thu a' feitheamh airson an t?d' gu togail rithe.
Lon-dubh a' seinn ann an dubhar na h-oidhche,
tog an sg?il bho d' sh?il is seall gu geur
fad do r?, bha thu a' feitheamh airson an tioc a bhios tu saor.
Lon-dubh sg?ith, lon-dubh sg?ith,
Steach dhan t-s?las dubh na h-oidhche.
(Blackbird fly, blackbird, fly, fly...
into the light, dark black night...)
Lon-dubh a' seinn ann an dubhar na h-oidhche
tog do sgiathan brist' is ?irigh suas
fad do r?, bha thu a' feitheamh airson an t?d' gu togail rithe.

"Lon-dubh/Blackbird" by Julie Fowlis


After another long day of travel, they had settled for the evening at the ?The Gorgon's Gate Tavern?. In search of her brother, Cieara glanced around the commons of the inn as she came in from the porch, but she did not see Daniel anywhere. A frown crossed her features as she walked over to the bar where Lorcain was seated enjoying a pint. ?Uncle Lor, have ye seen Daniel by chance??

?Nae. I thin? he wen? upstairs.? Lorcain glanced over to his niece. ?He said somethin? ?bout a headache.? Cieara?s frown deepened as she nodded to Lorcain.

?Thank ye, uncle.? She gave him a quick hug before turning to head up the stairs. Lorcain watched her leave the room, noting a couple of nondescript men, mercenaries by their gear, also were watching the redhead with what seemed to be more than a passing interest. Stormy ice green eyes narrowed slightly as he turned back to his drink, but his attention remained across the room.

Cieara walked down the hall and knocked on the door at the end. ?Danny?? She said softly, and eased the door open. The room within was lit by only a couple of candles and the low-burning hearth, casting the room into a shadowy murk. ?Daniel?? She asked again, and sharp eyes caught a slight movement across the room. Her brother was slumped in one of the chairs beside the hearth.

?Not so loud, maur sethar.? There was no mistaking the pain in his voice, and Cieara eased the door shut and moved over to the chair.

?How bad?? She asked simply, taking off one of her gloves to run her fingers into his loose hair, massaging his scalp gently.

?It comes and goes.? He replied, leaning into her soft touch. ?I keep getting flashes?like I have been here before. But if I try to concentrate on it the headache gets worse.? He groaned softly, a brief look of pain crossing his features. ?It gets worse the closer we get to the gate.? Cieara nodded slowly, moving to pull off her other glove before reaching to a pouch at her belt.

?I?m going to make ye some of Aunt Myri?s tea. It should help ye relax.? She busied herself with a mug and the small kettle hanging in the hearth, and soon the aroma of steeping herbs started to fill the chamber. ?I?m sorry about all this.? She said as she steeped the small bag. ?Had I known ye would suffer like this??

?Don?t.? Daniel cut her off, perhaps a bit harsher than he intended. He started again, his tone softer this time. ?Don?t, Cie. I chose to come with you. And I would not change my mind.? Cieara nodded ruefully, and carefully brought him the mug.

?I know, brathair, but I do feel bad about ye hurting.? Cieara perched on an arm of the chair as Daniel sipped the tea slowly. ?And I promise ye I?m going to find out what?s wrong with ye, and have it undone.? Daniel looked up to her, a small half-smile finally cracking his somber mien.

?I know ye will, sethar.? The two sat quietly for several moments as Daniel slowly finished the tea. The herbal blend was designed to help alleviate headaches, though to be potent enough to work on the children, it oft-times had the side effect of making one sleepy. Cieara was watching her brother closely, and when she noticed his head bob slightly she reached over to take his empty mug and set it on the table.

?Come, maur brathair. Lets get ye to bed.? Daniel didn?t argue as she pulled him up from the chair and walked him to the bed in the corner of the room. It was only a couple of moments to get him settled, the covers pulled up over his shoulders. Sitting beside him on the edge of the bed she ran deft fingers through his hair as she began to softly sing, something few people had heard from her, a tune from their mother?s homeland. She soon felt the change as Daniel?s breathing became shallow and knew that he was finally asleep. ?Sleep, beloved brother. We?ll find out what?s wrong with ye soon.? Standing she leaned over and pressed a kiss to Daniels forehead. Then, easing back into the hall Cieara headed for her room.

Sorcha looked up as Cieara entered from where she was laying out a nightgown for bed. ?How is Daniel?? Sorcha was quite intuitive, knowing that Cieara was worried for her brother and undoubtedly had gone looking for him.

?Asleep for now.? Cieara crossed to her bed and started pulling clothes from her bag. ?Though I hate seeing him like this.?

?Hopefully soon we will get some answers. The Gates are only about a day away.? Sorcha moved behind the changing screen, leaving Cieara to look out the window for a moment.

?Aye? she said softly in reply. ?Soon??

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

They woke to a gray, dismal day. Overnight, the fog had crept in, spreading misty fingers along the earth and entangling with the branches of the trees. Beaded dew dripping like tears from the leaves above. The earthy forest fragrance hung heavy, mingling with the chilly, damp veil that reduced vision to a short-range.

The travelers were already tense, and the weather didn't improve their mood in the least. Lorcain was responding to everyone with minor growls. Cieara's brother was obviously still in pain but did appear to have gotten some rest. Still, he wasn't feeling at his best. Julian just looked nervous. A reflection perhaps of Sorcha who seemed more twitchy than usual.

It was a slick wet road they traveled upon. Their mounts were fidgety, picking up on the silent tension which made them just as uneasy as their riders. It was just a few hours ride to the valley, but fighting the mood, horses, and dismal effect of the perpetual damp, Lorcain already planned to stop and rest before reaching the entrance that housed the ?Labyrinth of Shadows Flame".

They had traveled for quite some time, and in the gray doldrums it felt like ages, when Cieara heard Sorcha behind her whispering to Julian. ?I'm telling ye, there be someone following us.? Her words a low hiss, sharp and tension laden. Since there had been little conversation, it was hard for the others to miss.

Ahead, Lorcain and Daniel paused, looking back while awaiting the others to catch up. ?What be ye picking up Sorcha?? Cieara asked, leaning to peer into the murk behind them and seeing nothing.

?We are being followed.? Quietly stated with obvious conviction, Sorcha didn't look back over her shoulder, simply gave Lorcain that full on pointed stare. ?Started shortly after leaving the Inn. They be staying back but I am certain they be tracking us.?

?This road isn't a good place to take a stand.? That came from Julian who was looking at the watery ruts and the thick mud. It would make fighting treacherous on such muck.

?I t?ink I be knowin? who be followin'. Bloody mercs.? Lorcain muttered with a sudden wheeling of his horse. ?Let us quick'en th? pace and make ?em catch up wit' us.? He then took off down the mist engulfed lane, leaving them to follow just as swiftly.

Cresting the ridge soon afterwards, they saw before them a blanket of dense green wood with the mist dancing along the tall bowers. Above the sun sought to break through the dense veil of fog, but it could only cast forth a feeble light. Off in the distance, perhaps another hours? worth of riding, the tops of the stone guardians could be seen towering above the tree line.

Downward they now moved, following a path carved into the mountainside. It was a perilous decent. The silver rocks made their ride hazardous, due to the water that was running down from above. Off in the distance that thunder that seemed to have been following them for days, rumbled in a threatening manner.

Lorcain was hoping to reach the ?Labyrinth of Shadows Flame", before those that followed got even close. He had become aware early on that Cieara had been ?invited? to visit this location so he didn't expect any trouble from that direction. He did hope, however, to get a look at the number of those behind them.

It was a small clearing which Lorcain found where they could stop, one drenched in gloom. The culvert allowed a denser concentration of fog to gather and it hung untouched by wind or light. This and the shade did give them an advantage. While they couldn't slip away into shadow, as the entire region appeared to be blocked, they still had use of a variety of skills that would prove beneficial.

Dismounting, Julian and Lorcain did step out of the clearing, peering upwards. The sound of dripping water, as well as all other ambient noise, was amplified by the still thick lingering haze. But the sun had managed to burn off just enough for them to gauge the numbers of mercenaries following as they started down the dangerous pass.

A muffled scream bounced across the valley, as one man had lost his footing on slippery rock and over the side he went. The sound brought a faint smile to Sorcha's lips. ?This excursion for them will be an expensive endeavor.?

It would seem to be twelve mercenaries, minus one.

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And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Danger gleams like sunshine to a brave man's eyes."- Euripides

?I nae understand why they be following us.? Was Cieara's response and a moment later the growling of her tummy was also clearly heard. She had enjoyed a single cup of coffee only for breakfast. However, the sound caused her Uncle to send her a glower. Shortly after, Sorcha tossed her an apple taken from the basket of food the innkeeper, Reanta, had provided upon their departure.

?Ye and Sorcha be pretty enough to fetch a good price at Ivory Flails for one thing. ? Daniel said, dragging a hand across his eyes. Cieara could tell the pain in his head was increasing again. ?They may have also recognized any one of us from various wanted posters across the realms.?

?Wha' ev'r th? cause, we are goin' tae star? movin'. Th? cover o' trees will help hide our location.? Nimbly, Lorcain mounted and impatiently motioned the rest to follow. ?We ?ave abou' an hour or less. Let's make the best o' it.?

As a group they were soon heading towards their predetermined destination. Behind them, those that hunted them were still carefully navigating the formidable downward path. It was hard to tell how much time had passed, as the light remained ever murky. Yet it felt like some time when they finally broke from the leafy cover.

Riding out into the clearing, the icy fall of water to the left appeared dull in the gloomy light. The storm still had yet to break fully and the faintly chilled breezes buffeted them once they exited the dense forest.

Cieara's gaze moved towards the misty break between the still massive statues that marked the gate. They stood some distance from them at present, and to her eyes they looked older than time. Pale marble shot with dark silver and faint shimmers of gold caught the little bit of light breaking though the haze. Carved in archaic armor and seemingly haloed in the dim light, the guardians held blades in their massive gauntlets while standing at silent attention, waiting through the ages for something to happen.

?Ye better ?ave an open invite, Cieara.? Lorcain said with another glance behind. ?Our 'unters be in the wood now.?

At those words they took off at a gallop towards the guardians. Cieara did have a moment to wonder if their pursuers would leave or wait for them to emerge later. The open field was now spread out before them, leading towards the waiting entrance.

It was an instant moment of terror when both guardians started to move, their mountainous forms stomping towards them, swords rising to strike. Their uncle simply hunched down against the neck of his horse, snapping out a command. ?Keep movin' straigh? ahead!?

The ground was moving under them rapidly, then in a flash they were past the Stone Sentinels. They were not the intended targets, unlike the following mercenaries. That realization brought a quick release of a relieved breath from Cieara as she reigned her mount in and looked back. The screams of pain were hard to miss after the silence of the valley.

_________________
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And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate." - J. R. R. Tolkien

?We need to wait here.? Cieara said, while hitching her horse to a nearby pillar of stone. ?It would be rude to ignore the ritual. Mum did say we should not seek to bypass those.? She was still seeking to calm her own nerves, but also realized that her brother was not faring so well. ?Come Daniel. I be hoping we can find aid for ye suffering soon.? Having followed his sister, he was struggling to find balance when she caught his arm and helped him over to sit upon the steps said to be carved by the very gods of Zymire.

With the calm returned to their territory the Guardians returned to their posts, blood gleaming wetly upon the marble carved swords and the towering boots. They resumed their former positions, falling back into their dormant glory with a final creaking of stone. ?What now Cieara?? Sorcha asked, as it didn't seem as if the stone forms were going to do anything more.

?I nae rightly know.? Emerald pale eyes gazed upward at the now silent, motionless pair and then at everyone else. One pale hand rested lightly upon her brother's slumped shoulder. ?Mum said they talk.? There was just a hint of disappointment in Cieara's tone as she spoke, for she could not see any indication that the guardians were going to speak.

?We do.? Words came crashing down from two sources, a thunderous symphony upon sensitive hearing to be sure. The sudden words brought curses from some and wincing from all at the volume. ?The Lady awaits ye within.? Cieara?s face lit with delight even as her ears rang, for the tales she had grown up hearing were coming true before her eyes.

?Open invite.? Julian commented with a wry smile and a glance toward Lorcain, while stepping over and helping Daniel to his feet. ?I nae know about the rest of ye, but I am relieved we nae need dance to formality.?

The rest agreed, with a few nodding of heads. Daniel wasn't paying all that much attention by this point, for he was near to blacking out from the pressure assaulting his skull. Just a little of his control slipped and nearly sent Cieara to her knees with a sudden sharp cry. Their connection made her very aware of his present state of agony. Sorcha quickly caught her and hauled her up to her feet.

?This is almost over. Let us see it to the end.? Sorcha softly stated, keeping a steadying hand upon Cieara. They entered the mysterious darkness that awaited them.

Navigating a steep flight of stone stairs, Cieara led the way towards a faint light beckoning in the deep black. Behind she heard Julian talking quietly to her brother, encouraging Daniel to hold on just a little longer. The pull was keenly felt here, which made her just a little irritated. She had been ensorcelled and that did spark her temper just a touch. She had been used, but still didn't know to what end. It was by sheer strength the shadow-legionnaire kept Daniel on his feet and helped him along the narrow, steep path. ?Just a little longer Danny boy.? He mumbled to his charge quietly. Lorcain brought up the rear, his scowl felt more than seen.

_________________
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There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The gods did not reveal, from the beginning, all things to us." - Xenophanes

Stumbling into the glow of the fire in a solitary hearth, Cieara looked around. Towering walls rose upwards into darkness while above it looked as if all the night-realm stars were sparkling. The ceiling was made of some sort of scrying glass that brought the heavens close. Yet, she didn't see anyone waiting for them. Fingers pushed damp auburn curls from her brow and she looked over as Julian helped her brother sink down to rest against the door jamb.

From the fingers of shadows, chairs took form and shape and this sent Cieara wheeling about. ?So, ye be wanting me here, perhaps ye should be showing yeself eh?? Her outburst did not resound within the chamber as one might expect, but almost seemed to be soaked up by the bordering darkness.

Under her breath Sorcha leaned to the smaller elf with her words pitched lower. ?This be the lands of the Gods Cieara. Perhaps ye should be a bit more?polite.? Was the offered suggestion.

It was, however, futile as Cieara wasn't happy. Her brother was suffering and all because he had agreed to come along on this adventure. Had they not tinkered with her via their foul magics, he wouldn't be suffering so now, because simply put, she wouldn't have even come. Her patience was reaching a limit. ?All this force and fuss and there is nae anyone here Sorcha. I am nae fond of being used and then left dangling. Magic!? The last word loaded with disgust as she moved towards her brother.

?I am sorry for the delay.? Words designed to sooth drifted honey smooth around the darkened room. From one bleak black corner a female form emerged. Everyone turned in that direction, weapons coming easily to the groups hands and at the ready. Cieara and Julian stepped in front of Daniel, who was in no condition to defend himself. The newcomer took in the collection of individuals that had accompanied Cieara, her glittering gaze resting upon Daniel the longest.

Cieara motioned towards her brother, her manners forgotten in the moment. ?Can you help him Lady? I nae know who placed blocks upon his memory but I would ask ye aid him. They be killing him.?

?I recall Daniel's last visit in my home. It was nae I that did such a thing.? One moment she was standing across the room, and the next kneeling beside Daniel where he sat upon the onyx black floor, fingers gently touching his brow. Julian blinked as he spun to look back, having not seen anyone move quite like that. ?I think this be the work of Star. He will nae like me interfering, which I care not about actually. Tell me Daniel, do ye mind me tinkering about ye brain for a moment??

To his credit, Daniel managed to offer a tight wan smile to the Goddess of Shadow. ?Why not, everyone else seems to have.? He winced, eyes screwing closed for the moment. His voice lost the sarcastic edge, replaced by an almost whimper. ?Please. My skull feels like it?s about to split open.?

?I will remove the barrier, but I shall make it so the memories will return at a slower pace to nae overwhelm ye.? Sparks danced upon the pads of her fingers as she brushed them across his brow. ?It will take a day or so before ye can recall all what was hidden.? Under her ministrations the pain eased and the tension in his shoulders relaxed. Cieara sighed with relief as well. Slowly the others lowered their weapons as they realized Daniel was recovering.

?Better Daniel?? The dark-haired woman asked with her starry gaze inspecting his form. A faint smile lurked upon the elegant soot smudged features as she rose back up, and this time her attentions fell upon the younger DeAuster even before Daniel could reply. ?Is he with you??

?Who?? The question catching Cieara off guard, as another wince danced across her features. Something was happening. Her sentinels were screaming and it felt as if the shadows were warping and writhing in an unseen grip.

Torn from the comforting shade that held them were several forms. At whatever silent command given, those that followed Cieara, Sorcha, Julian and even Lorcain and Daniel were stripped from the darkness and left to stand bare in the cavernous hall of the Goddess.

Sorcha had the most, and she found herself surrounded by six figures, clutching at her as small confused children might. They huddled, trembling against her in what could only be called terror. They had been left cold and vulnerable, having been ripped from the world they knew. The very lands of shadow was shaken with a rippling of energy that would be felt by shadowmelders across the world of Carowyn, a snap and crack of a clashing of inter-dimensional realms.

In the midst of all the various shades of gray, one stood clear. Head bent with his gaze rested upon his hands, the color of pale ash, hair black and cerulean eyes that swirled with stardust. Slowly his head lifted and he stared at the Goddess in awe and a touch of bewilderment.

_________________
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There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don't find out til too late that he's been playing with two queens all along." - Terry Pratchett

?I thought it was a fable. The story told to young shades.? His words were hushed and yet reverent. Galen was looking at his own fingers once more. ?I was going to ask for this. I came with Cieara to meet you and request for such a favor.?

?I did nothing but seek a way to bring you here. I have yearned to see you for so long. . . I have been chained to my forge for eons unable to find you.? Ceidwyn's gentle words carried the notes of sorrow and pain at her imprisonment and loss.

?Was this all planned then?? Cieara cut in upon the reunion, as she looked from one to the other. ?Did both of ye use me and likely bring the wraith of some psycho Death God down upon me head as well?? Trilyre, while she wasn't quite cowering did stay very close to Cieara, crowding into her and unable to hide the edges of panic flickering in pale eyes, mostly hidden behind drifting dark russet hair. Her long fingers plucked gently upon Cie's sleeve, reminding her. ?Could ye also send those nae him, back please? They be obviously terrified.? Cieara sent another sweeping wave outwards towards the various shadow-beings.

The goddess stared at the young woman for a moment and then a faint fall of laughter spilled forth. ?Nae, he can do nothing to you, as ye had no way of knowing. Galenstar made his own choices and when I learned he had actually selected an ally, I had to act.? With a blink of light dancing above, the shadow-beings returned to their own realm, just that simple. ?I am sorry. I could nae summon ye mother and request she bring ye along as that would have been breaking the rules. I could nae be directly involved in such a way, even if was easier I admit. Instead, I asked one I trusted to ?encourage? ye to make this trip.?

Galen was listening. Dismayed, and obviously unsettled, he suddenly moved, wrapping the Goddess into a tight embrace. That single action sent another pulse-wave of energy through the surrounding area. The effect of the mother and son's hug brought forth a crashing like thunder above and light flooded the room. As the group brought their arms down from shielding their eyes and blinked away the sparkles from the sudden light, shapes began to take form in the shafts of brilliant illuminations. An array of several figures, male and female, and each exuding a palpable aura of power, stood along the walls facing the reunion of mother and son.

The gods of the Zymierian pantheon had arrived.

_________________
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There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate." - O.Henry

The sight of that had Cieara easing back to stand near her uncle and brother. Nervous, even if she wasn't to blame. As if motivated by instinct the entire group started edging towards the exit. Gods were in general very fickle creatures according to her mother, so one never knew what they might do. To see so many around them almost sent her to her knees in awe, she would later admit, as well as a little fear.

The shouting then started in earnest, causing the mortals in their midst to seek to protect their sensitive ears. Sides that had been drawn ages before were still defending their affiliates at exceptionally high volume. It only got worse when the King of Shadows appeared, his attendants in tow and all looking ready for war. With his arrival Lorcain started urging the others toward the entrance of the forge. The situation had quickly escalated into a matter far beyond them. This wasn?t their fight; it was time for them to leave.

Ceidwyn's star-filled eyes glanced in that direction, and then looked at Cieara, a secret smile gracing the young half-elf. She raised a hand and gave a slight wave toward them, and all felt caught in a sudden rushing of air. As their sight came back for the second time in as many minutes they found themselves transported several miles away. All were standing in the middle of a muddy lane, with their horses waiting in a small clearing nearby.

Some distance away thunder boomed loudly, bouncing across the heavens; a sign of some god's displeasure. It was easily heard. Were they actually able to see the violent strobe of light with flame dancing through the clouds they would have noted how stark against the cold gray sky it was. Was the light show a reflection of the Gods displeasure? But here, far enough away from the conflict of deities, the quiet was most welcome.

Cieara was seething and just stomped towards her mount while dark mutterings under her breath were unleashed. ?Drag me all over the bloody countryside to break some curse and then ?Poof!? here we are, dropped in the middle of nowhere.?

?Personally, I be glad to be free of that place. The shouting was painful enough, and I think I saw the Lady's ex as well. He looked furious.? Sorcha stated as she took the basket and headed towards some trees. ?All this nonsense has left me hungry.?

Cieara just stared at the other woman and shook her head. ?Ye be kidding me, aye??

Daniel laughed. It was a sound they hadn't heard in days and it did bring Cieara's gaze back to him abruptly. ?I agree with Sorcha. I haven't eaten much in the last few days, and I am starved.? Cieara just shook her head in astonishment before following.

It was just a matter of minutes when they were all perched upon upraised roots or fallen logs, partaking of the excellent fair the inn had provided. The sun was finally coming out from behind the thick clouds overhead and with it, the forest started to come alive with the sound of birds and other woodland residents.

?I am nae sure what to think of all this. While it makes for an interesting tale to share, I am wondering if I lost one of my Sentinels.? After a hearty bite of fresh, crusty bread with delicious cheese Cieara looked around. ?Where the heck are we anyway??

?Barston Lane.? Julian said around a mouthful of roast beef. ?Nae all that far from the Inn either.?

?So, what did ye think of all this Uncle Lor?? Cieara had to ask, even while she was still concerned about the fate of Galen, and Trilyre, who she could sense was still traumatized.

?Bloody Gods.? So much disgust was interwoven into that short, abrupt statement. He was quick to toss back a pull from his bottle of ale, as if needing to wash the taste of those words from his mouth. Banked, ever controlled rage lurked in his ice green eyes. As always, Lorcain summed it up succinctly.

And with that, one adventure ends, and another begins soon enough.

_________________
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem, a new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
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