Saturday, December 16, 2017
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Book Three Pt 1 - The Reckoning

Written by - Turin Wallace Page 6 Book 3

The snow fell hard now. It had only been a few days since Turin, Nica, Deluwiel, and a few escorts had left their adopted home in search of his daughter, a part of their family. The weather had not been kind so far. Severe snow and bone chilling wind had slowed their progress, but this was the frozen north after all, Turin had to chuckle that it was appropriately named.

Turin did not know how long it would take to reach where he was going. All he knew was that he was headed south, past Westgale and into the elven lands. He was to look for the citadel of Lothiel-Gadith, there he was told he would find answers and the treasure he sought. But first things were first, he had to get there.

As dusk approached, he and his party could see a town, dark and foreboding against the darkening grey. Moving into the town, Turin noticed there were no signs of life save for the tracks made by a few horses and some wagons. Judging from the snowfall, he would say that they were no more than a day old, as they were very hard to distinguish. Turning to Nica, he says,

"Seems like either the town left in a hurry, or someone passing by did. Night is coming, and I would prefer not to spend another night out in the snow keeping myself from being buried alive or turned into a icicle. Take a few men and look at the Inn, I'll take a few and look around some of these houses to see what I can find. Take mom with you, too."

Nica nodded dutifully and their searches commenced.

Taking a few soldiers, Turin began searching the houses closest to the Inn. In each he found the same thing, nothing. If it had been raiders, or Orcs, dead bodies and blood would be everywhere, but there was nothing. It simply looked as if folks had gotten up one day and just walked out the door, not in a rush or panic, just up and gone. Instructing the others not to touch anything in these houses, they made their way back to the Inn.

At the Inn, Nica and the other soldiers opened the door to find much the same thing. It was if one night the barkeep had closed up and just never re-opened the next morning. Nica spied wood in the fireplace, laced with kindling. Lighting a small match, she started the fire, which allowed for the candles to be lit to add light to the deserted inn. Nothing was out of place.

Just after they checked the rooms, all vacant, Turin and his men came in. Looking to those assembled, he said,

"We'll use our own supplies of food and drink. We don't know what happened here, but whatever it was, it's very odd and puzzling. We all have heard the reports of whole families up and disappearing, but whole towns? We should trust nothing here, but as it is late, let us stay here for the night and be gone come first light."

Everyone nodded in agreement. After everyone had rested for a bit, Turin went to Deluwiel and asked,

"Mother, think the earth mother could grant us her blessing this eve and offer us a little extra protection?"

Smiling, she replied,

"Of course, my son."

Closing her eyes, Deluwiel began to chant and pray, the earth shook for but a brief moment and she was done. Upon opening the outer door, Turin smiled. The entire outside of the inn was covered in a hedge or bramble trees, their spikes better than a man-at-arms with a spear. Whoever, whatever, if anything, was out there it would have to hack and claw its way in. Of course, by that time, they would know and be prepared.

He earnestly hoped the protection was for nothing, but still, it was better to be prepared.

Hugging his mother and sister goodnight, Turin laid down with his back on the wall next to the door, sword in hand. As he started to fall asleep, he still preferred to be here than out in that freezing snow...

Written by - Tempyst

Amara looked back towards the sailor and could see him heading her direction. She wasa bit surprised when she felt her heart skip a beat as he approached. "Khai'hanas, you really have outdone yourself. That was a beautiful song..." he paused for a moment. "I know I said I'd be here for a while, but I think I'm gonna call it an early night." Hesitating again, he said after a pause "I don't know if I'll see you again, so fare well wherever you fare. May the wind carry you swiftly to your dreams." He nodded to her, then headed towards the door.

Amara watched stunned, as he walked away. Wow, it seems Leov Kline got his lands legs back after all. She thought as she watched him exit the party. I...well Amara, that's a first. Usually you are the one turning the other person down. Well, he is a sailor. All alone at sea with all those men. Hmm, what a waste of perfectly good men. She sighed, then smiled to herself. Then her attention was brought back to the party, as Koso and the other musicians had made their way back to her. "Looks like the guests of honor have arrived dear Nightsong."

Amara looked and saw Commander Ithramir and Commander Lithwyn enter the party, both of them hanging upon each other, love obviously surrounding them. "Well my friends, it seems Commander Ithramir is no worse for the wear after his demon encounter today. I do hope I can talk with him at some point to get a first person account of the tale. It will be one that everyone will be asking to hear in the years to come."

Koso nodded. "Aye, but for now, we had best play some more music, so the lovebirds can dance." Amara nodded, a smile upon her face. She quickly let the band into a good dancing song, a waltz. Everyone loves a good waltz. As she and the band played and as the Commanders and others started to dance around the room, Amara found herself glancing back at the door Leov had left through. Then song came to an end and the band started up some background music, waiting for the next request to come in.

Then she watched Commander Ithramir motion for the room to quiet down. She quieted the band, then waited to hear what he had to say. Once the room was quiet, he stood in front of Commander Lithwyn, then dropped to one knee. "Lithwyn Deltheron, will you marry me?" Everyone watched as he pulled his signet ring off, offers it to her. Amara efen felt her own breath slip away, as she and everyone else also awaited Lithwyn's response.

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya awoke with a start and a scream. She had dreamt about the earlier battle. Once again she had tried tokeep the demon from taking over but found herself helpless, unable to do anything but watch. She sat there in the corner of her cell shivering. Soft moonlight lit the dark, cold compartment, enough for her to see that while she slept, someone had places a small tray with some food on it, in her cell. She stood and weakly made her way to the cheese and bread and the small jar of water. Kaya resisted the urge to wolf down the food, knowing if she did not eat slowly, she would cramp up and possibly regurgitate the food. Kaya was too hungry for that. The last thing I was... Kaya put down the food and threw up anyways, remember what the demon had made her do to those children a few days earlier. She drank some of the water to get the bitter taste from her mouth, then used some of the straw to push the mess down into the sewage hole.

She left the food where it was, to wait for her stomach to settle once more, but sipped the water slowly. She wished she had more of the precious liquid; more water, more hot water. A bath. By the gods what I would give for a bath and clean clothes. She finally put the jar down, still half full, for she did not know how these people treated their prisoners so thus, did not know when she would get more. Kaya leaned up once more in the corner of the cell, pulling up the small blanket around her. What now Kaya? Will they leave me here to rot? She sighed and began to feel sorry for herself once more.

"Kaya, what the hell are you doing?" She said outloud to herself. "This is not who you are. You are better than this." Kaya stood up and began pacing the cell, still keeping the blanket wrapped around her. You know you were manipulated, you tried your best to stop it and that is all you could have done. So what if you can't tell anyone about it. They have to be smart enough to figure that out; they have mages and priests that can see through truths and lies. Kaya stopped by the cell window and looked up to the sky. I have given you my confession Avandor. You are the one who will judge me. Me, on the other hand, I need to think about what to do when I get out of here. "And I will get out of here!" Kaya said outloud to the moon. Then more quietly as she sat back down. "I will get out of here."

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Leov and his party made their way to the stockades in a grim procession of purpose.

Stoping just outside the stairs to the the underground prison, the group ducked into an alleyway to plan their break in. "We're going to need a distraction... those guards sure aren't just going to let us just walk in..." Gilbert said as he peered out towards the prison. "I'll take care of it, guys." Josef spoke up enthusiasticly. Leov gave him an unsure look, then went against his better judgement: "Don't do anything stupid Josef." "Of course not! Just tell me when you guys are ready," he said, getting ready to bolt towards the guards.

Leov and his friends made a few small preparations, then he gave Josef the go ahead. Running out into the night towards the guards, Josef formulated his plan along the way. He ran headlong into one of them and wrapped his arms around the elf's waist. "Mister... mister... you gotta help me... you gotta help me misters... they're gonna get me," he said between fake sobs. He found the keys he was looking for, then deftly lifted them off the guard's belt and dropped them on the ground. "What's the matter? Who's after you?" Smiling to himself, Josef played his part a little more, "Follow me misters, I'll take you right to 'em. I just hope we make it in time." They started to follow Josef until one of the guards looked over at the other and said "Audun, are you sure we should abandon our posts like this?" "No one's going anywhere Kaeltan. We'll be right back, and besides, we're doing the right thing."

After Josef had lead the guards out of sight, the rest moved towards the gate. Gilbert bent down and picked up the keys, then carefully and quietly unlocked the gates. Moving down the hallways quickly, they came to a small, lightly guarded office before the cell blocks. "What in Avendor's name are you all doing down here!? a guard shouted as he started to draw his weapon. Dom slammed him against the wall and pinned him there. Placing his hand over the elf's mouth to muffle any calls for help, Dom looked towards Aloray, "Get anyone left kid. You two get a move on, and we'll keep a lookout here." "We're good!" Gilbert yelled as he unlocked the gate. He and Leov made their way down to the cells and began to look for something familiar.

Walking slowly and quietly, Leov heard a faint, familiar whisper on the wind: "I will get out of here" "Gil, this way," he said as he dragged Gilbert down the hallway towards where he heard the whisper. Slowly and purposefully, the pair walked down to the cell where the faint voice had come from. Seeing the familiar, beautiful, violet eyed woman agian, Leov said with all the seriousness and gravity in the world: "We need to talk."

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya heard the voice at her cell open and she looked up with curiosity. A look of surprise came across her face as she saw the sailer that had earlier been in the cell beside her, at her door holding keys. He had a grim and serious look upon his face. "We need to talk."

Kaya raised an eyebrow. "Well, well, when did you get a job as a guard?" She could see her attempt at humor did not find its mark. Standing up, she looked Leov straight in the eyes. "What my good sir, do we need to talk about?"

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Leov let out a long, frustrated sigh. "Cut the crap lady."

Gilbert stood back and watched what was going on. It was rare when Leov started acting this way, but Gilbert had known him long enough - since he was a child, in fact - to know to stay out of his way.

"I'm going to ask the questions and you are going to answer them..." He took a deep breath, then began his questioning: "What the hell is going on here? I knew... I KNEW we shouldn't've come to this land, but NO! Tiertiala has other plans... We're here for a reason, and I intend to figure out what it its."

Leov looked directly into the girl's enchanting violet eyes and said "Are you in league with demons... with this one that looks like a kid... or a cat... the one that murdered my people? Are you in league with ANY demons? Is it true you tried to kill that Ithramir guy... the commander of this city? Who's this hero kid everyone's talkin' about? What... in the name of the gods... what... is going on?"

Leov took another deep, frustrated breath as Gilbert kept an interested vigil.

Written by - Tempyst

Leov let out a long, frustrated sigh. "Cut the crap lady." Kaya folded her dirty arms over her even filthier clothes. But before she could respond, the tall man before her kept right on talking. She listened to his questions and let out her own frustrated sigh. Kaya was tried of all of this. She knew full well she could not tell him a damn thing he wanted but something about him barging in and blabbering like he wsa got under her skin and was the last straw to all she had been through.

Kaya took a few defiant steps forward. "What's going on? You want me to tell you what I know? I would LOVE to tell you everything! YES...." Kaya throat bagan closing up on her once again, this time harder and faster than ever before. She dropped to her knees hands at her throat as if she was trying to pry some invisible hands from them. She fell over, her face starting to turn purple. KILL ME AND GET IT OVER WITH She screamed inside her mind, but she could sense, whatever this was, it would not kill her but keep her in pain for a long, long time. She looked up, her eyes now pleading with Leov.

Written by - Ardwen

The sound of an opening door broke Ardwen's thoughts. The servant who he had earlier sent in search of Ithramir had returned . . . but Ardwen clearly saw Ithramir was not with him. A moment of silence passed before the servant spoke, "Your pardon swordsman, but Ithramir instructed me to inform you that he would not be available for an audience until the late afternoon of tommorow. He did suggest, however, that you enjoy the celebrations tonight and take time to relax and rejoice over the recent victory."

Ardwen leaned forward in his seat and muffled his face with an armor-clad hand. His voice came out thick and stiffled by his posture, "So be it. You've done your duty well, however, I have one final task to ask of you. Please bring me some parchment and quill - I need to scribe a couple of letters. Ah, and before I forget, bring me two strips of cloth, each a little longer than half the length of that sword on the wall," he motioned towards Turin's blade, "with one strip died sable and the other deep blue."

The servant tilted his head and muttered quickly over all that Ardwen had just said in an effort to memorize it, "Alright, but sir, if I may - what's it for?"

Ardwen raised his face from his hand and said simply, "Why, it's for one of the messages I intend to write."

The servant bowed briskly and left the room, closing the door gently behind him. Ardwen returned to his reclining posture and placed his feet on the small desk, he looked up at the cieling that was already shadowed with the closing evening and thought. It was thus that the servant found him, and without a word between the two he placed the desired items on the small desk, just to the left of Ardwen's feet. He left the room, almost as silently as he had entered.

Righting himself, Ardwen dipped the quill in the prepared inkpot and wrote the following:

Commander Ithramir,

I regret that I could not wait for our meeting on the morrow. Doubtless, you would have presented sound council for what I already fear is a fool's errand. Nevertheless, we must all do the duty that falls to us, and I can no longer ignore mine. The All-Father has made it painfully clear as to how and why I was brought here, but doubtless things did not progress as he had expected. I will be terse sir, for you are a busy Elf, and doubtless your duty calls you as well: I'm going to Westgale. To be more precise I'm going to castle Ancora - to be even more exacting I'm going to where the Hands are laid to rest in this world - to where my fallen brothers and sisters in arms make their final repose. Alaric told me precious little, the human seemed suspicious of me in all regards, how very like their kind.

My largest regret is in not being here to finish the campaign with you, but I have little choice in the matter. This is not my world, and I have no place here. You have proven to be most hospitable to a stranger, but a stranger I remain. Perhaps this is for the best. I do have one final request of you, as a fellow soldier: should I die upon this trip, and should you find my remains, do not bury them. Burn my corpse. Then cast the ashes to a strong north wind.

In Service,

Ardwen sighed, that was the easy one to write. What was to come would be much harder. Grabbing another clean sheet of parchment and wetting the quill with fresh ink he began a second letter:

Turin Wallace, by the grace of the All-Father Priest of Battle of the Hands of Providence,

I've never scribed a letter to the dead before. Yet in this world have I seen many things of wonder already. Perhaps it is not insane to think that one day you might somehow read it? These words needed to get out in any case, and your blade needed prepared as befits a warrior of your stature. Turin . . . it's strange how hard this is to write this even to a dead man. After all this time the words still don't want to come. I've become a monster in every sense of the word. Since Ancora fell, since I was gutted like some mewing lamb by the traitors in the Cathedral of Saint Lorne, since that night . . . all has changed. I have done things that incarnadine my name with the blood of countless victims. Men, women . . . children. It made no difference to me.

I have thought it a mercy that you left the world before this happened. I don't think I could bear to have you look upon what I've done; what I've become. Yet it was the greatest cruelty too. If you were there, who knows how things might have been? Perhaps with your strength we would have triumphed, or with your mind a cunning solution reached. But it was not to be, and I was alone as I fought. Damn, listen to me. Three years and I've just pushed what happened into a small corner and covered it in blood and wine.

But then, that's the problem, isn't it? Yes, above all do not blame yourself. You, Ariana . . . all of you tried to make a virtuous man out of me, you tried to guide me to be a better person. But once you were gone I showed my true colors, guess I always was crooked on the inside. Kierhaven taught me that much. I don't know what else to say. If the gods are good this letter will be nothing more than a flight of emotion never to be read. But knowing the gods you'll come across me even as I walk to the graves of those I could never forget. Should that happen you may thank me for my service under you by granting me a quick death.


The Elf folded each letter onto itself three times. He placed the one for Ithramir on the small desk and scrawled the commander's name hastily on the outside. Taking the two strips of cloth, Ardwen wound them about Turin's blade with the deep blue cloth covering the blade of the sword and the black the hilt and pommel. Twisting and tying a simple knot from the excess cloth at each end, Ardwen wedged the letter partly into one of the folds, and then propped the sword back against the wall. Grabbing his own blade and a map that would hopefully take him to where he desired, Ardwen headed to the larder to gather supplies. He would have a harsh road ahead of him, but such was his path.

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Kaya took a few defiant steps forward. "What's going on? You want me to tell you what I know? I would LOVE to tell you everything! YES...." she began to yell at him, then collapsed on the floor in a coughing fit. She looked up at him, with her raven hair dangling in front her face. Her eyes locked on his, pleading in silent desperation.

Leov stood there in confusion until Gilbert's stern voice brought him around: "Leov! She needs help." A warm wind blew from the barred window in the opposite cell - the one he had been in earlier. He looked at her for only a moment before he made his fateful decision. "Damn your eyes..." he said taking the keys from Gilbert and hurriedly trying to unlock the door. He had a feeling that he would be saying that again. The gate creaked open and Leov walked in and knelt down beside her. "Just uh.... just breathe. Breathe real deep," he said a bit flustered. "Kid, if you say anything that stupid again, I'm leaving you here..." Gilbert said jokingly trying to calm his friend and the girl down. "You're NOT helping Gil," Leov yelled back. He stood up and paced back and forth for a moment as Kaya continued her fits. "What am I supposed to do..." Leov asked himself. He cought himself looking out the window and he felt another breeze. Another snap decision was in order.

He abruptly knelt down again and took Kaya into his arms. "C'mon... just calm down... please calm down. You... you're the only one who can help me... so please... please calm down," he whispered to her as he carried her across the hall into his old cell. He lifted her up onto the bench there next to the barred window. The wind howled in glee. Leov steadied her as she started to take in the fresh night air. "I am the wind... I will lift you up to the heavens... and scatter your fears to the far corners of the world..." Leov whispered the old saying his father used to tell him.

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya locked eyes with Leov, his sage green eyes staring back in disbelief and concern. She heard the other man shout, "Leov! She needs help." But that was about the last she could make out well. She heard something about eyes, then feeling the man kneeling next to her and telling her to breath.

Is this the end Avendor? Am I doomed to be silent now and forever. She felt her head going fuzzy from all the choking, which took her mind off of what she had been trying to reveil. I can't give up, I can't... Then she felt herself being lifted up and could feel the warmth of a body holding her close. She heard a whisper, "C'mon... just calm down... please calm down. You... you're the only one who can help me... so please... please calm down." Then she felt a warm, fresh breeze play across her face and heard the whispers again. "I am the wind... I will lift you up to the heavens... and scatter your fears to the far corners of the world..."

The invisible grip around Kaya's throat began to loosen up, letting her breath once more. As the choking began to subside, she closed her eyes and layed her head against the warm shoulder. Be smart Kaya. If you are to get out of this, you have to be smart. Kaya gasped deeply, then coughed a few more times, intaking as much air as she could into her lungs. Kaya suddenly felt so small, weak and lost. Without even realizing why, she began to cry while Leov held her. Through her soft tears she managed a few words.

"Please, please don't ask me those questions, please."

Written by - Rikshanthas

Sharanya was about to speak up when she saw Ithramir turn and address a tall, robed man with the most unusual eyes she had ever seen. Too proper to butt in, and a little unsettled by the human's appearance, she simply stood and waited until they had finished. Before she could speak to the commander though, he had started moving away from her location, out among the guests, forcing her to fumble across the hall after him mumbling apologies to the guests she jostled past.

She had just about reached him when the music started, and he moved to the dance square with an elven woman Shara would have to have been a fool not to recognize as the lady Lithwyn. She sighed, arms dropping impotently at her sides. Seeing Sir Mathell was nearby, she decided to loosen the tension that had been building up in her for the last few hours, and asked the knight for a dance. Gentleman that he was, Mathell obliged with a smile.

Sir Mathell proved an excellent partner, though Shara realized she would have preferred to dance with Lienad, had the rascal not ducked out earlier - the man had an uncanny knack for being elsewhere when there was music and dancing. Mathell chuckled, and she flushed at having allowed her thoughts to be so apparent on her face. But before he could comment, the room fell silent as all eyes turned to the couple at the center of the square. When Ithramir dropped to one knee, Shara gasped, her hands coming together over her mouth, and waited with held breath for the lady's reply.


Lienad walked back toward the main hall at a brisk pace. It had taken him over a half hour to get Nightwind back to the Citadel and properly stabled, and himself properly dressed for the celebrations. He noticed the rain had lessened to a light drizzle, and loosened his cloak slightly. His two decades of mercenary work having trained him to spot the unusual, he also noticed the five humans - sailors by the look of them, probably out of Kassal if Lienad knew his seamen - heading toward the Citadel's stockade. One eyebrow raising slightly, he altered his direction ever so slightly. Shara's probably going to kill me for bailing on her, but this is just too good to pass up, he thought, indirectly following them toward the cell blocks.

He kept his distance, using every trick in the book to keep them unaware of his presence, while still keeping them in sight. He knew he couldn't risk a confrontation; with only his belt knife the fight would be over laughably quick. When he finally heard them stop, Lienad maneuvered himself as close as possible while remaining out of sight, and settled in to listen. He was too far away to hear them clearly, though he was able to discern they were speaking with a female prisoner - and down here he had a good idea who the woman was.

"... questions ... the hell ... I KNEW we shouldn't've ... but NO! ... plans ... " Lienad couldn't quite catch what they were saying, and he risked a lot to get just a little closer. Then the woman nearly shouted something, and Lienad heard an awful, racking cough echo down the hall. ... the hell? "Leov! She needs help," another voice said, giving Lienad one name at least. He listened as they continued to speak, his mind storing every word, every nuance for later recall.

This was getting interesting.

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Leov wrapped his arms around the crying girl, unsure of what to do. "Please, please don't ask me those questions, please," she said between quiet sobs. "I'm...I'm sorry. I just... I need to know what's going on here... I need to know why my people where brought here."

Leov looked up through the barred window again to the mood shining above. He reached out with one hand towards the shimmering moon as he had for the sun earlier that day.

Written by - Tempyst

"I'm...I'm sorry. I just... I need to know what's going on here... I need to know why my people where brought here." As Leov's words faded, Kaya took another deep breath and quieted herself. How can I tell him? How can I tell anybody? Do I try to escape or wait to see what fate befalls me here. Kaya looked up at Leov, seeing the concern and desperation in his own face. You know what you must do Kaya and you cannot condemn anyone else to your fate. She took another deep breath, then weakly began to move herself from the man's arms. She sat upon the bench and looked at him and his friend. "I wish I would help you. I don't know why you were brought here. If you stay and help me, you will be able to help no one, not even yourself. I killed..."

Kaya then looked at Leov, suddenly remembering something from his first outburst. "Is it true you tried to kill that Ithramir guy... the commander of this city? Tried to kill Ithramir? Did that mean he was not dead. If he is not dead, then perhaps I have a chance. She places a hand on Leov's shoulder and looked into his eyes once again. "You said I tried to kill Ithramir. That means he lives! And if he lives, there is hope!" Kaya stood up and began to walk weakly back to her own cell. "Please, please leave before you are caught and lock me back up. Have Ithramir find me, have him, tell him to talk to Avendor and seek me out, please. Then, maybe then I can..." Kaya began to cough again, falling against hallway wall. Once more she felt invisible hands clasping around her throat, this time, she was not sure if they would stop or not. She looked up and whispered, "Please hurry." before the choking overtook her once more.

Written by - Lucant Dolvan

Leov instinctively knelt down to help Kaya again as she fell against the wall. She looked up and whispered, "Please hurry." before the choking overtook her once more. Leov helped her to her feet, then carried her back to her cell reluctantly.

"Kid... maybe she really can't tell us about it... I mean... I don't think she's faking this," Gilbert said flatly. Leov looked Kaya squarely in the eyes again. Another warm breeze blew in from the window. "Leov... one way or the other, we have to do something," Gilbert urged. Leov let out an acquiesing sigh to Tiertiala, then spoke to Kaya. "I'm... I'm going to trust you. I'll speak with Ithramir for you. But..." he said, stepping back into the hall, "I'm not going to lock this door."

He stood there, still locked in place by her piercing eyes, until Gilbert unceremoniously jerked him along down the hallway. "Some way, some how, I will get some answers about what's going on here..." he said to Gilbert as they made their way back up the hallways.

When the two reached the small office where Dom and Aloray where, he saw them leaning against the wall, waiting impatiently. "It's about time you two got back! I thought you got lost or somethin'," Aloray yelled. "Al, shut up before you get us cought.... speaking of that... what'd you two do with the guards," Leov said, looking around for them. "They're in the office... counting up a... gift," Dom said with a nod towards the office. "You've been hanging around Gilbert too much, Dom," Leov grinned. "Hey! Well... I suppose you're right. I hope you didn't pay too much," Gilbert said lightheartedly. "We can talk about it later. Let's get out of here before someone notices something," Leov stated as he started up the hallway.

Written by - Sycon

Sycon awoke slowly, letting his limbs stretch out along the bed he lay on. It was satin, such a wonderful cloth for a bed as he spread himself out amongst the sheets as far as he could. His hand closed on the satin, curling it into a soft ball of fabric almost caressing his palm.

The recent events did not come rushing to him in a shockwave nor did they haunt him in any way, but were more of an omnipresent luxury about him. But There was another in the room and his thoughts drifted to her. A woman, to Sycon's liking and her throughts drifted across the room to him where he lay. She was entrusted with his care till he woke, and if he woke in time, with instructions to send him to some fancy party nearby. But now her thoughts were in big jumble. She was startled at his awakening, but her mind had been on other, softer things. And they were not the satin on this bed, but rather his skin.

This made Sycon's mind almost roll in both laughter and excitement. Life today, it seemed, was full of surpsises. Only a five year old at his birthday celebration would have been happier and it was still a close comparison. He let go of the satin and sat up in the bed, draping his legs over the sides of the satin sheets the fell gracefully on the floor. He found he was still proudly naked as before and as usual, trying to impress, he liesurely strode across the floor to a small wardrobe against the stone wall. He blatantly ignored the maid sitting by the door, almost teasing her in a sense as he felt her eyes move with him.

He opened the wardrobe without a creak. It seemed this place was well kept for the wardrobe was old, but the hinges were perfectly oiled. He found a new set of robes where his old ones were naught. They were the same as his old, but uncut and actually white where his others had turned brown from his days on the road. They had an a deep red velvet trim. Fancy, Sycon thought.

Above his head with his arms first, all the way to his feet, Sycon slid on his magerobes. A sash was neatly hung on the inside of the door on a shiny gold hook and newly polished black boots sat on the floor next to the wardrobe. He reached down and grabbed the robes directly between his legs and tore straight up. Sycon could have sworn he heard a gasp from where the maid was sitting. He then reached to his sash bit it on both ends with his teeth making small rips, then with both hands tearing both of the ends off. He took these sash miniatures and tied them to his ankles, making the newly ripped robe more of a pair of pants. He made sure to fold them correctly so he wouldn't be flashing any skin from his ankles up. The fold would even hold during battle, but was elegant enough for dinner apparel. The robes hung on his form loosely enough for any priest to be pleased, but cut for a warrior to make long strides and quick evasions in.

The original sash was long almost to his shins, for was the style these days, but from the rips and the square knot he wove around his waist, it hung a square eight to ten inches on either side. The sleeves were next as he rolled them three times upon themselves to rest on his upper forearms. The neck was a bit tight though. His hands tore another small rip just below his throat to create a "V" that was rather more comfortable. Finally the boots. Sycon took great care as he felt let his feet glide in. Soft interior, and he bet they were warm. They fit his feet perfectly and this was a surprise considering his left foot was slightly bigger than his right, but not even enough to notice even when staring at them. He tucked the robes into the tops of the boots, along with the minisash, hiding it from sight.

"A pair of scissors perhaps?" He asked gingerly.

Startled by the question and quickly gaining back her composure, a quick "Aye m'lord" and she walked elegantly, swaying her hips, over to the small bedstand. She opened a small drawer and pulled out a pair of scissors and proceeded to sway her hips all the way to where Sycon stood. Sycon watched with delight, letting his face obviously show he was enjoying her subtle behavior. She handed him the scissors and promptly returned to her seat. Sycon's eyes danced with anticipation as he turned his attention back to his new outfit.

He cut the loose strings from the rips he had created. Making small folds and snips to make them close to tailor perfection, or at least look it. He half strutted over to the nightstand and placed the scissors on top of it. "I'm guessing I am supposed to head to the party then?" His head turned to the maid, catching her on her guard this time.

"Why yes, m'lord. But the party will last all night I'm told. You may go whenever you wish. But this is such a comfortable corner of the grounds, and a beautiful evening." Her words had an eagerness in them, almost luring him to stay.

"Really?" He turned completely toward the door and the maid beside it. Poised as best he could, he walked toward the door. The maid stood to her full height, a head shorter than Sycon. Her hair pitch black and shone off the evening light that played through the window. Her eyes were narrower than most and skin darker than his, but not by far. He stopped in front of the door, his right shoulder no more than a foot from her as she stared intensly at him. He turned to face her as she stepped into him. Her eyes closed and she leaned in to kiss him even before he had the inclination to do so himself.

Sycon always did love the agressive type... Agressive was the word he found as new thoughts caught the fringes of his mind. Between frustration and seemingly stubbornness, these thoughts reverberated around inside his skull. Someone was in the hallway, making a brisk pace and what seemed in a bit of a mood. Maybe anger, but moreso leaning toward determination. All these thoughts progressed in Sycon's head almost in a instant while the maid leaned even closer to his lips. Time almost stopped as the thoughts of this stranger and this lovely maid, and his alternatives calculated in his brain.

The thoughts he knew, as well as the stubborness. Sycon's lips met hers as he put one arm around her waist and his other opened the door soundlessly. Good, it opened to the outside. He faked being feint from 'falling from the sky' and stumbled out the door holding the maid with him. The door thudded into the figure that was passing by, knocking him to the wall opposite the door. Sycon nearly fell as well as the maid he held onto. He quickly righted himself before the stranger could and looked into his old pigheaded eyes. Pigheaded being a more crude comment that he had heard many women call him in the past. It meant being thicked headed or the like, or at least that was what he hoped.

A smirk ran across Sycon's lips as the maid stepped back as quickly as she could, trying not to look incriminating. Sycon stared at the stranger who righted himself quickly...and... was that a hand going toward a blade... Their gazes met, Sycon letting his smirk turn into a sly smile.

"Well, what have we here? Its been a long time Ardy."

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