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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.


        • #64
          Adon peered out over the top of the gates leading south, back toward Triskellian. The frozen, matted grasses and snow burdened trees seem to beckon. There's death out there. He;d seen enough in recent months, and before that hauling the body of a man he has once been at odds with back home. He hadn't stayed for the rites or rituals, and whatever graven facade was placed in memorial would rarely if ever reach his view.

          He turned back, popping down from the gate and patting the guard on the shoulder as he made his way back into the town center, keeping his hood up, giving the slightest nod to passers-by. He returned to his perch near the little chapel, sitting among the gravestones, listening idly to the priest calling down fire and brimstone on the nonbeliever.

          Was that him?
          The Non believer?

          Will there be a reckoning in the end....or is this existence the reckoning realized and only now will he discover the terms of his sentence?

          The locals shuffle about their business around him and he wondered if they even saw him, or if he had become like one of the sad lonely statues posted out among the dead to bring hope, or solidify that this is a place of mourning.

          He glanced back at the chapel, and the gnawing ache at his core seemed all at once unbearable. His soul, so tainted with time and deed recoils at even the thought of entry. The thought of forgiveness.

          Adon closed his distant pale gray eyes and focused. A downward thrust, spear driven through, into the ground, and the blood. A cage surrounded in muck, another bowl of foul tasting soup, more pain. The eyes of those who hurt, and those who clearly didnt.

          Adon drug his claws over the little bench and pried his eyes open to focus on the frost glazed cemetery. He bid the empty yard in a soft, low voice.

          “Why am I still here?”, he queried.

          "The question is why you're not there..." A whisper in his ear, disembodied and soothing.
          He glanced to the side and there was nothing.

          "Maybe I am mad" he posited, but no one answered.


          • #65
            The night is black and inky, like the depths of the seas that claimed the life of one of theirs. The heavy clouds ready to release another snow block the moon and stars. The Shamans said it would be the right time. That snow would cover them. They have watched and waited. The pack of six, white as the snow around them have found the moment. They slip over the wall to the city unseen. They pass through the darkened streets without notice, just a group of monks or priests. They are dressed in the robes they got from that old yak, and they carry the beads and murmur prayers learned from missionaries. Into the Cathedral they slip, down to the altar. They gather the one there and carry him out. Not a soul to trouble them. That is good. They did not want to fight, only to bring their own home to rest. Back to the wall and over, taking the body with them.
            The pack vanished into the wilderness as though they were never there. The snows come as spoken and all sign of their passing is erased.


            • #66
              The young vixen sits, hands folded neatly in her lap, thumb and forefinger pinching a pear whose flesh has been pierced only once, it's sweet nectar too much for the taste buds. Morning sun does nothing to warm the face as biting wind lashes from the bay. Melancholy outweighs the sting. Bitterness and anger, overwhelming grief, those are what keep the heart beating now. Hopes of a life without bleakness, dashed on the rocks as the waves on the docks. The plants she tends provide distraction but only in that they allow some kind of penance for guilt that lives deep within a person deposited there by loss of those dear. Creaking ships spark a fleeting memory, one brief moment that paused in time, freeing her from the weight of it all. "Why?' the girl barely whispers to the wind. The reply as empty as her being.


              • #67
                Spat, spat, spat. The sound of the droplets hitting the wooden planks of the dock as he sits against the bowed wall of an old warehouse. He watches the crimson droplets as they form a small pool beneath him. His frame has always been big, and he is strong. Why can't he find work. He's tried, The city is gone poor. All them fancy folk up past that gate, they done moved most of the business out of Docktown. Left all the folk to go hungry down here. The dock master ain't got room. The harbormaster ain't got no room. The Sailors, well, they done hired all they acan stand to fill ships in this slow run. Left to lower myself to beg. I beg, they refuse. Desperate times and all that. Got to take what I can to get what I need. Man's got to eat. That fancy lady wolf, she always helps out with a couple of coin, then another comes. I get beat up and they take what I was given and send me to jail for the night.

                We got plenty of us down here hungry. Time to get something together. We'll show them. Sending us to jail for the night, take what little we got, or worse. There been a few done gone missing now. We ain't fancy though. We just poor folk that got left behind and ignored. Guild Council is a joke with all that bluster about the people of Docktown and the helping the folk of Docktown then doing nothing. Time to make them pay to come down here methinks. Force them folk to pay us a tax to come down here. They want to use the docks, They got to pay, They want to use the warehouse, they got to pay. We need to make our own guild down here one to make them give us our due for them coming down here to fish or anything else.


                • #68
                  Meanwhile...somewhere elsewhere

                  The sun sets and rises, as quickly as she blinks, the voices of loved ones seeming to echo through her very being, whispers....

                  "...Not ready to let you go... ", blurs of light, flashes of misty people, in hued reds and greens, blues crashing into violets in a confused cavalcade.

                  " sorry", the whispers return, but she is walking now, curiously peering around what feels like a tree, and the sun again rises and sets, the woods endless, the river calm.

                  "...right into my belly, sopping wet..." the voices growing distant, as if someone had shut a window and she was locked outside. Peering in through the window, everyone so sad, and then laughing, so confusing.

                  "...words will likely be "Oh...", the shadows curl in around the misty figures, seemingly infecting them as she begins to step away.

                  "Esces...." the words seems to thickly roll into her, like honey before it dissolves in tea.

                  She turned and peered out, luminescent amethyst eyes lifting up to see where the voice was from, so much clearer now, her tattoos no longer weaving in mass, but reaching out toward the new figure....the old figure.

                  She smiles as the warmth grows all around her, casting only single last glance back at the misty, green hued, manor.

                  "Farewell, my little ones" A tear could easily pass her cheek, if the warmth and the light didnt wisp it away.

                  She turned back, and stepped toward the final figure, the warm, blue hued light of her reaching out to tangle with the amethyst tendrils of her own

                  The wolf before her, now seen, smiled.

                  "Mother" She spoke again...

                  "Aesinvianna" the voice came, soft and warm....

                  Sinn smiled, and in that moment there was no manor, no river, no sunset

                  Before her stretched a landscape...but who can know where , when, or just was, and wasnt.