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Meanwhile, in Triskellian...

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  • #61
    Meanwhile, somewhere far to the northwest.......

    Bright jade eyes opened to stare at the vast miles of western sea before them, their glow nearly unnatural for the briefest of moments, as the wind whipped auburn strands across her cheeks. The storytellers were right when they said this was a sacred place. She could feel the energy seeping from the earth here, especially in this spot high upon the cliffs. Stretching her fingers, palms upturned on each knee, she closed her eyes for another deep inhalation of that energy, the sound of high waves crashing against the steep cliffside below her magnifying that rush often encountered when visiting this location.

    The sound of a lofty bell began to clang its mournful song in the distance, those black ears twitching above the small smile that flickered across her face, ‘So that’s why I felt the pull to return. I’ve been sitting here nearly eight hours’. Once her senses returned to her fully she realized she’d been sitting that entire time on a pebble that seemed to have dug its way into her backside. Meditation; It’s one hell of a numbing agent. Rising to her feet she drew the drab garments assigned to her around her small frame, there would be rain come nightfall. Sniffing twice she deduced it would bring a thunderstorm with it. Sighing to herself, she drew the deep hood back over her head, hand clinging to its base beneath her throat. Saying one final farewell to what had become her favorite spot beneath the lone, wind-swept pine atop the highest crag, she turned her feet and her attention back toward the tolling of that high-towered bell.

    ‘At least the incessant singing plaguing my dreams has stopped since coming to the temple’, she silently mused to herself. But, she wondered, as she often did, was it worth leaving everything she knew behind? Sighing as she climbed the last rise, she resignedly accepted her fate. If what they had said was true… She’d have gone mad on her own without the teachings being bestowed upon her in a matter of moons. The singing, it seemed, was some sort of warning she should have been aware of long before now, had she been taught her people's history.

    The evening lights of Cathair Murias finally came into full view as she tread the last few steps over the rise that would take her to her temporary ‘home’.

    Waves crashing against the steep cliffs behind her, and wind whipping her hair to the southeast, she closed her eyes yet again, focusing with all of her might that that same wind would carry the love and longing emanating from her core along its gusting flight to the one place she would ever consider her true heart’s home.
    Last edited by Dollface; 09-27-2018, 10:15 PM. Reason: Cause sleep deprivation.


    • #62

      Staci grabbed a poker, and spread the charred wood and coals through the small fireplace. She bent upright with a twinge of her back, then settled into the feathery bed and giant covers. The world finally stopped bumping up and down like an angry jennet, but sleep wouldn't come. Not unlike the last wisps of smoke from the fire, a malevolent worry clung in the air around the whole manor. Lying awake, she brought the candle on her bedside table into life, and curled up with a dense iron-plated book. A stamped and crisp paper fell to the floor reading, "Special Pass, Staci Fisher, Esq" Tucking another blue parchment in, she crooned, "Beaumont Family Liaison," with a broad smile.

      Settling in a pile of blankets and pillows, she set the book in her lap, studying the new sketches she's scratched out. Amid broken scenes of bumps of hills and trickling rivers, a few sketches had more detail. Slowly, she scanned them each with the flickering candlelight.

      One such sketch is a white-walled estate of plaster, entrenched in a shallow valley with roots lined up into the distance. Raised beds cover a bountiful harvest, with different patches of carrots, tubers, and parsnips. A dozen faceless, but grinning horses in simple garb stand before the manor, with a plentiful basket set at the feet of the tallest horse.

      Another is a detailed dark glass bottle, with a simple label reading, "Guillame, 879" Only a cup of smooth, toffee liquid remains in the bottle. A tight-necked cork and three cups sit next to the glass. Most of the cups have some little remaining in the bottom, but one is completely licked clean.

      The last sketch is far from finished and a mess of people and faces. A large, open courtyard stretches against the page, half-finished horses filling up the scene with high noses and over-frilled clothes. Many arches lead this way and that, trees or stairs letting the artist keep the perspective close. The one finished bit is a bannerman tacked with a staff and stiff heraldic banner, and foppish tunic. He bears the flourishing symbol of Duke and family Richelieu with a great pride to his long face.

      Turning to more private pages, Staci smiled, collapsed the book, and sought dreams once again.


      • #63
        The air in the small, somber study was crisp with the chill of night, a fire burning in the fireplace providing only a tenuous warmth as the autumn wind jostled the window in it’s casement. Emmaline stood stark still amidst the chaos of papers stacked on every available surface, surveying the mess with an expressionless gaze as she exhaled with a soft sigh.

        A hallow knock rapping thrice upon the door woke her from her stillness, propelling her form forth to answer the call. At the threshold, an aged stallion clothed in all black bowed carefully, his torso hunched with the weight of duty and age combined.

        ”There is a caller at the gate, ma’am. Bannerman of Marchion Richelieu,” he relayed with a hushed whisper.

        “Thank you, Pernod. Please see him into the sitting room. I will attend him shortly,” Emmaline replied, her eyes scrunching with a soft smile as she reaches out a hand to halt the butler’s departure. “And please...retire to your chambers after. I will lock up tonight.”

        The relief was visible in the butler’s carriage as he dipped his torso once more and slowly returned into the darkness, the halo of light cast by the oil lantern in his hand fading around the corner as Emmaline retreated into the study to corral the parchments back into their folders and cases. Grabbing an oil lamp from its holster on the wall, she stepped through the door into the brisk autumn chill, locking it behind her as she departed.

        In the sitting room, glowing bright with numerous candles and lamps against the darkness of the night, Emmaline greeted the young bannerman with a crisp, formal tone. “He’s nervous, the poor thing,” she thought to herself as she poured a mug of coffee and proffered it with a maternal smile. Barely fifteen, the young boy was clearly exhausted, his eyes sunken and dark with circles. He took the beverage with a shaky bow, gulping it down with the ferocity of a man who had crossed a desert.

        “What is the message from the Marchion, young master?” Emmaline pried once the drink had been emptied.

        Clearing his throat with a nervous fidget, the young bannerman carefully laid his words into the expectant silence, “The dove flies east at three o’clock, but the duck remains at the s-southern pond. The heron is lost and the hawk waits till midnight.”

        A flicker of a scowl pursed the corners of Emmaline’s mouth, but she regained her expression with a soft smile, thanking the bannerman for his delivery.

        “Follow me...I will show you to the barracks where you will stay the night. I will have a message to return to the Marchion by morning.” Emmaline beckoned with a subtle gesture, leading the young boy into the darkened front yard. Once he was settled into the respite of the military barracks, she stepped back into the dark, autumn night, turning her eyes to the stars with a lengthy sigh. It was going to be another sleepless night.