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     It was time. He had watched, waited, studied and waited again. He felt more prepared for this moment than he though he could have been... Dedicancy had instilled something much more potent than his talent alone could account for. He thought about what he might have thought in this exact moment had he simply given up with the passing of Awaiti, or with the departure of Lavinia. He felt a sense of pride in his resilience as he pondered these ideas, pacing along the coastline with a simple smile and holding the hand of what he swore was the embodiment of the ocean's grace in the form of a single elfess. She was as much his witness to his growth as the Aspects themselves, he supposed... but this was also a moment truly worth sharing, as well.

 

     It made sense that the bearer of the title Lord of Moonsong would have a particular longing for the beauty of the silver light of the night. He couldn't have asked for a nicer evening for the event; the rain had departed on a swift southbound current of wind and gave way to a smooth and clean shoreline. Once at a small outcropping of rock that he had found himself at for many nights in the past, he moves a stone that concealed a simple earthen tomb for his research diary. He offered himself a short smile, thumbing through the pages and reliving his thoughts as they changed from scientist to devout, and now some strange blend of the best qualities of both. 

 

     "It's nearly time, I think..." the elf-lord murmurs to his companion as he watches the stillness of the evening turn the waves flat and calm, like layers of liquid glass flowing over the starry reflection in the beach sand. It was a nearly perfect reflection, vaulting the two in a dizzying, astral dreamscape. Aerendyl casts a glance to his right, admiring the moonlight streaking along the stormy curls of the Lady Tahorran. "Can you promise to stay still and keep your voice low?" he asks with a simple smile, knowing well that she could and would.

 

     "Of course." she murmurs her reply, a whisper on the wind. Her eyes carefully waltzed up and down the familiar shoreline of her home waters. It amused Aerendyl to know that even he held a secret about the shores that she called home. He crossed his legs and balanced the breadth of his staff along his lap. His dusky eyes slip shut, offering a prayer in his mind.

 

Green Mother, may your breath of life find its way safely to the shore... Horned Father, may your shadow of death be just

Morea, give me the wisdom to know when a warrior stays his fury, and when he acts

 

     "Oh my goodness!" whispers an entranced Nemea. He opens his eyes just as he hears the small splashes, plops and flops of the young sea turtles amassing in a communal hatch. the awkward, stone shaped young flap their comically large flippers all over the beach and each other in a mad moonlit dash for the glassy surf. Hundreds erupted from their deep nests, swarming the beach like ants to a forgotten sweet.

     

     "Remarkable, isn't it? I've been watching this ground since before my dedicancy.. and here I see the mass hatch through with new eyes. That is my charge, to see the cycle of nature undisturbed in both the veil of life, and the shadow of death." Aerendyl mutters, his scarred lips offering a simple and peaceful smile as he is surrounded by the young turtles. The aura of life was palpable, here.

 

     Every now and then an opportunistic gull or a particularly mighty crab  grab up the young into a quick meal. Ever watchful, the dedicant monitors the beach with a careful gaze. He was prepared to watch the young life snuffed out as soon as it came, but such was the way of the world that Awaiti and Emilei so studiously taught him. Where there is give, there is take. Even this could not sour the sight of the mass hatch, for there was so much rich essence of nature among him, her, the moon and the ocean. He thought of his adopted son, and of his brand new niece, and wondered what price he would pay for those souls who have entered his life. What pain awaited him to balance out this bliss?

 

     He shooed off a group of canoeing folk at the break of a new morning... Another night fell. Another sun, another moon... The hatch lasted quite a while, and his weariness had begun to darken his gaze. He was determined, however, and saw out the very last little flipper that entered into the surf.

"What becomes of those that don't hatch?" the elfess asks with a yawn, taking his outstretched hand as they both descend the viewing rock.

"They are swallowed by the earth... nourishing the scavengers and the soil for another purpose... They aren't forgotten." Aerendyl mentions. His greatest fear incarnate: being forgotten.

 

"I don't see the point in continuing... this." 

 

     Those words haunted him like the whispering of the pines behind him. What was the point in himself? Was he actually somebody worth others investing time into, or is it some sort of cruel joke that many people were unconsciously perpetuating? Even as he was now, he didn't know the answer. He figured if he kept on the path, either answer would be clear. There was a point in what he was doing here, and what he was giving to the Order and the Aspects. That much was clear.

     "I fear that too, you know." his companion mentions as she takes his hand, beginning their journey along the shoreline. She had every reason to speak the truth, as her path was like a mirror of his own. Perhaps there was a point to it all, like those baby turtles hurdling themselves into the surf on nothing but instinct... unknown until you go on and dive right into the call of the sea: Destiny. And with that, the elf-lord summoned a smile as they departed. He'd have quite the story to tell his guide.

 

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