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  1. ♪♪♪ [Kosuke Ajiro] THE CURSE OF THE FATHER & AN OFFICIAL MISSIVE FROM THE HOUSE FALCONE •⋅ ───────────────────────────────────── ⋅• The following is NOT PUBLIC knowledge. Please refrain from metagaming. •⋅──────────────────────────⋅• Mischa Florentina Falcone-Lesanov, a creature of naive deceit and selfish ambition, slithered through life like a leopard blending with desert sands, ever poised to ensnare her prey. Her birth, to two serpents of yore, was a cruel joke in a dying town, held together by the toil of weary labourers and the dubious efforts of ne'er-do-wells. Her lineage, a dynasty of murderous mobsters, liars, and cheats, carved her path. Claimed by the sinister Beast of Dobrov, her childhood was shadowed by its dark influence, leaving a trail of shattered lives, her empathy as elusive as mist. Blame it on a child’s ignorance if you will, but her toxic legacy seeped well into her adulthood. With a charm as lethal as the poison she inherited, Mischa ascended the social ladder, each step marked by the downfall of the righteous and more deserving. She found herself ensconced on a throne fashioned from the bones of the deserving, a goddess in a world of ruin. At last, she died, killed by the blade of an old friend, and left to rot where no one could find her. A deserving death. Born a pawn, she ascended to queen, and fell off the board into pure nothingness. A dark testament to the curse of the father. •⋅ ───────────────────────────────────── ⋅• The following is PUBLIC knowledge. •⋅──────────────────────────⋅• LA FAMIGLIA FALCONE EST. 1629 To the Royal Courts of Haense, Aaun, and Balian, and their peoples, It is with a heavy heart that House Falcone announces the passing of Princess Mischa of Haense, Duchess of Greywyn, Countess of Florentine, and Court Astronomer of Haense. Her Highness departed from this world peacefully, succumbing to natural causes in her beloved southern estate. Princess Mischa's legacy is etched in the annals of history through her unwavering dedication and profound contributions to the courts of Balian and Aaun. Her wisdom and generosity enriched the Haeseni, leaving an indelible mark on the realm's intellectual and cultural heritage. As the former Royal Chamberlain of Balian, she exemplified grace and leadership, fostering unity and prosperity. Her honorary titles, numerous deeds, and cherished belongings will now pass to her last living son, Andrik, who shall take the Falcone surname and be named the head of House Falcone. We trust that Andrik will honour his ancestor’s memory and uphold the esteemed traditions and values they so diligently championed. May her soul rest in eternal peace, and may her legacy continue to inspire. [Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer] MISCHA FLORENTINA BARBANOV-LESANOVA NEE FALCONE 1872 - 1982 DAUGHTER OF COSIMO ANTONY FALCONE & MARGOSHA CARRION-LESANOV MOTHER OF ELIZAVETA & ANDRIK BARBANOV-LESANOVA WIFE OF PRINCE NIKOLAS BARBANOV POSSA RIPOSARE IN PACE
  2. !!WARNING FOR MENTIONS OF BLOOD AND GORE AHEAD!! "These crosses all over my body," There were many times the Adunian imagined how she would die… "Remind me of who I used to be..." Living in the shadows of her past of a failed community… The shadow of her Sister she had long craved to be free from… That heavy cross that hung around her neck… "And Christ forgive these bones I'm hiding..." She had thought she finally got out… Having a kid… Redith Lorcán Horisp Getting a fiance… Roylan Ser Grant Making new friends… Gaining new Family... Aiyeis Acal'Turrii "From no one successfully..." But magic was never a gift… Not when it was dark in origin… It was a trade- and in the end The price had to be paid… ‘Shink! A spike sliced open her throat, a very real sense of fear going through her- just like when an arrow from the past had struck her trapezius. Though only this time, she could feel her life slipping as she fell to her knees- the sands below her staining in deep crimson. It was almost like drowning again… that feeling of burning in one’s throat as water invaded their lungs and nose- but only this time… it was thicker- her own essence spilling past armored fingers as the sound of her sword slipping through her fingers was barely heard. Pain… Panic- Oh how it filled her very being like a sickness. Her Genus she used now flooding her lips, her lungs, her heart straining to keep on beating! But it all stopped with one Final ‘Squelch!’ Everything eased away… the pain quickly snuffed out as Basha found her eternal rest… Her face forever morphed with tears and fear at what had transpired. Basha never thought she’d pay her price in Blood, and die doing it… But perhaps- finally… she could go home… Basha Tallis Horisp Formerly; Basha Tallis De La Croix Step-Sister to Meredith Nazenna Horisp 'Sister' to Aiyeis Acal'Turrii Mother to Redith Lorcàn Horisp Fiancée to Roylan Ser Grant Friend & Student to Madoc'Lur Friend to Hesperia Hargrave Made on May 26th, 2022 Died on May 28th, 2024 Age 129 (born during SA 53)
  3. Perhaps, this is hell. Tchort wandered the putrid hallway, the silken, scarlet robe that once adorned his ravaged and scarred body in pride now completely ruined, devoid of its faux-divinity. His dirtied face ran red, two dark, scabbed spots where his eyes should be, a dried waterfall of blood running down his cheeks and neck, blending into cloth. His scarred hands ran across the pus-covered walls as he whispered his mantra without end. Your seat is stained my Lord, And your tears carmine red. A man is dead; a Prince is born, All men should die so a Court is born. All hail the King; A Prince of Nothing. Yilth’r Marog. His hands led him into an open room; a throne room, it would seem. He fell onto his knees with a weak thud, hands trailing across a damp, torn carpet that led further into the royal hall. Upon reaching what he deemed the throne, his frail figure rose, placing its’ mass upon the great stone chair. Within moments he saw once more; a sight without seeing, a vision without light. There he sat, atop a rotting chestnut chair, hands and feet nailed to the wood, yet he struggled not. The newly acquired vision led him to pace around the great hall, head frantically locking onto the nearby environment. With his feet he felt the ground, one not made of stone or plank, but gray ash and dead, wrinkled roots. His eyeless sight then trailed, seeking to find the source of such massive roots, yet they found nothing - nothing but a great, endless and dark void stretching in every direction. — The Prince was at peace, it seemed. A sigh of relief was given, as five figures then approached with a lazy step, each older and increasingly marred by scars than the one before it. Friederik, The Gelt, Horus, Ifan and Aesyr. The nailed man counted, each name spoken with a tremble, of both pleasure and terror. The figures stood a few feet before the chestnut chair, glancing at each other and sharing whispers, only occasionally shifting their gaze towards him, as if with disgust and admiration. They walked onwards after a short while, each passing by the chair, stopping momentarily as family members would before the coffin of a loved one. Tchort tried to move as they passed out of his vision, yet the chair stood stalwart, intent on staying in place. Nothing would help him now. As he turned to face forwards, an antique closet appeared in front, where the five men once stood. He looked down at his body, and the nails that bound him to the chestnut prison were gone. He rose, shaking and trembling as if he had not stood in years. With slow, irregular steps he made his way towards the closet, opening it. The inside was empty, save for a human’s left ear and left hand, laying in a small puddle of blood on the bottom. He knelt, hesitating if the offerings were to be picked up or left alone in their rest. The Prince signed the Cross, and stood back up. With a slow, jerky motion the closet was shut, and he moved back to sit atop his throne. The closet then changed into a visibly older one, and as the Prince noticed, he tried to stand, yet his hands and feet were bound by nails once more. The closet opened without a sound, revealing a man standing inside; A malnourished, contorted figure caked in dried blood and vomit, a descendant’s entrails hanging around his neck like a noose. With a heavy step the figure left the inside of the closet, and the martyr noticed that the other was missing his left hand and ear. — Tchort inhaled as to speak, and the figure spoke alongside him, word for word. Perhaps, this is home. It was then that a great urge arose within the man, and he could feel it rising within the standing manifestation of the Larian Wretch as well. With a final weep, a final look around the endless void, the duo began to sing a prayer. Oh black bird, Sing me your song of sorrows. Cardinal! Cardinal of midnight soot! What do you spy at the bottom of the well? Tchort felt a fire igniting beneath the seat, slowly pecking at his cold feet, as if he was nothing but carrion left for vultures. His fingers began to elongate, skull cracking and growing a snout, legs forming an extra joint. I see a weeping devil damning hell, Dancing, Dancing with its ghosts in its watery halls. A primal hunger took control over his body, and he thrashed, his jaws snapping at the man who only stood and observed, cracking lips singing, as did Tchort’s, involuntarily. It’s shadows sold, It’s children drowned, And it’s God, ever smiling? The skin began to melt, that inkling of flame transforming into a great pyre with Tchort at its center; his malformed, charred carcass screaming the remaining words of the song. O, little devil, crying in the well. Why do you weep, O why do you weep? Little devil, dying in the well.
  4. The Falling of A Blue Salvia _____________________________________________ The 18th of the Amber Cold As the Blue Salvia Flower falls, a story would be shown as to Meira Kervallen-Elmwood's true colors. *A flashback through her life unfolds before her eyes from start to finish as if she would be no more.* Meira had a struggle for her life going on adventures, going places, seeing things, having fun, and doing some pranks as a child. Growing up in a happy family, she was shown her true, colors for the first time as a child. "I see pink! Pink is all I see mat'er! 'nd a little bit of blue too!" Her mother turns to her after performing some sort of a spell and asks "W'at do ye' see now?" Meira's mother questioned Meira. "I... I don't know w'at t'ese colors are." She'd reply to her mother. Her mother then pointed to each color and told her each color until it was time to go out and about, the spell went away and all she saw, was pink again. She went on with her life as she saw it in her normal state, but sadly never saw purple as a colorful color. She grew up in her life fighting for her home and friends. Friendship was the only thing that meant anything to her to those who knew her well. She had a bow custom-made to her. She bought it from the man not knowing who the individual was officially. And to this day always brought it, and never missed a single shot when wielding the bow as her main weapon. She was a proud archer, fighting for her pride, fighting for what she thought was right, fighting for what she believed in. She was the best among all those wielding a bow. However, things changed a lot when she followed her mother's dream. She took over Ravenmire, to follow her mother's belief and try to bring pride onto the lands to make things enjoyable. Always was happy, always working around, and was always busy but able to help those in need. She needed help choosing who to help her as her delegation. Though who better to go to than her friends, including the one who made her, her primary weapon. At that point, things kicked off fast and everything went to plan as she then ventured on making more and more friends. She made friends across the lands far and wide, though she was always able to make time shooting with her favorite bow. Before leaving for good, she was able to shoot her arrow once more at target ranges and moving animals. Though something, took her by surprise, causing her to fall limp in a pool of her very own red ichor that had poured out of her. Her amber-colored eyes shutting as she was passing knowing her time had come and now onto her new adventure. Now seeing her fellow fallen friends, as she entered into the land of the fallen, she would show each and every one of them a smile from ear to ear, as she had always shown to nearly everyone. The background being in her favorite color, cotton candy pink, with her blue outline popping out in the background. Down came what appeared to be a rain of blue Salvia flowers as she looked about. She heads further into the fallen pink lands, and turns around offering a gentle hand to the next person to join her, saying "Trust me, it will be okay!" in her cheery way with a smile to them... whoever it might be. Then continue forth to an edge and fall to be among the flowers of that she truly adored in life in all of their true colors. _____________________________________________ In Ravenmire, her will would be sent out to her family and friends by a raven as a symbol it is from Ravenmire. ((OOC: Only those who are pinged or named or a part of ther group/family is part of can read those sections of the will.)) To Bo Rostova @moosehunter123@Aces__1, To Hacket Hemoss @Hacket, To Kelton Thorne @RedResult, To The Rex of The IronHorde, Klog'Akaal @LobsterLarry, To Vlachia @chaotikal, To The Kervallen Family Far and Wide, @KaptainScarlet@ECS1999@Lmcfc@Snow1770 To The Valiant Seekers @Roguechaotic, To The Entirety of Rhosmark @mojanghunter, _____________________________________________ Now everything below this message is OOC. This is just my goodbye from LoTC entirely. I'd like to thank everyone that I have roleplayed with and around and even those I have talked to only in ooc manners. I enjoyed the roleplays I have encountered, the ones on stream and off streams. Unfortunately, I realized I cannot stream LOTC very well, and streaming is what I wish to do. I will admit, I have gone through the good times and the hard times on this server, but with every beginning, is an end. To all those I have wronged, I am deeply sorry that I have wronged you in any way shape, or form. This is my goodbye from lotc, honor is honor and I wish this gets passed around, hold your honor above everything else, this is just a game to be fair. Who knows, maybe I will come back in the future to have fun, if I have lost all motivation in my future or something exciting is happening. I stress this part heavily though, do not be afraid to be perma-killed, sure you lose items you gained on the persona, but your persona's legacy still lives on to those you interacted with. Do not be the 15 thousand death warrior NL that never perma-kills, takes all the fun out of roleplay. We all want enjoyable roleplay, so make it more enjoyable, make it better than what it is right now. I believe that you all can do it. Speacial shoutout and respect to all you fellow military veterans, active duty, guard, and reservists (Yes Space Force and Coast Guard counts lol), y'all are the real ones, and glad to call you a brother, sister, and everything around. HUA - Heard, Understood, Acknowledged, and I hope every day you all come home safe and enjoy life as it is tough. With all that said, for the last time, peace out, stay safe, and have a great time on lotc!
  5. 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝘿𝙀𝘼𝙏𝙃 𝙊𝙁 𝘼 𝙎𝙏𝘼𝙍 Hey if you’re reading this, then I am dead. I did not expect to die so young you know, I wanted to accomplish so much more and I probably didn’t but hey! At least I'm probably free in the seven skies with my big brother so don’t worry about me, you hear me! Tell me something though… Did I die a good death? “AGH! THAT WON’T WORK!” a voice growled throughout the house of Faen-gil 2, the young man sighed rubbing his forehead before grabbing another sheet of paper, dipping the pen inside the ink before writing his letters again, behind him was a pile of destroyed papers in one corner of his room. “Get the prince to the heart!” The knight-commander shouted, a breath releasing from Ezequiel's lips as he rested the bow by his side, his guard lowering for a second or more watching his friends fight the voidal beetles that continued to try and stop them from getting to the second heart linked to the beast behind it. For a second, just for a second, he lowered his guard. A buzzing sound came from behind him and before he knew it he was flying from his wheelchair. Ah…tell me something Eze, did you think you’d really be safe? He spat out blood, ignoring his wounds as he gripped his knife staring down at the creature in anger, I’m not dying today. He thought, his body swaying back and forth before speeding towards the creature aiming for its neck as he shouted “Utúlie’n aurë!” and down they went. “MY SWAIN!” camulos yelled, his voice fading as the boy closed his eyes, his body slowly failing him. Did i die a good death? [!] Letters to those designated had arrived either on their doorstep or in their window, by what looked like an owl with white eyes before it flew off. To My Pater and Mater To My Nieces and Nephews To Tar-Caraneth and Tar-Consort peter To Princess Eriantiel To Glyndwyr To Arathor To The marsyrs To Eyrah and wilhelm To Master Baerte To Phaedra and Nenar “You’re a good man,” Arathor murmured, the dagger hovering over his friend’s chest before the blade pressed into the dying man’s chest and the petals of calahdril fell around the now dead man, a pang of silence throughout the city of numendil for a moment until the bells rang, announcing a great friend, a courageous man with a good soul had passed onto the seven skies. “Thank you for being my friend, Aevos.”
  6. The old Adunian stood held in the arms of the grandmother he had not known for so long…his tired bones ached as he found his old eyes welling up with tears some, admitting to the fear yet..peace with that he would soon be able to see his mother once more. “Be not afraid, my dear..your bones will return to the soil of this earth, as they were always intended to. You will finally rest amongst the roots, amongst your mother” Those words remained in his mind, and from then on..he remained in the home of his grandmother…a basically retirement for the old adunain…it was peaceful his days filled with the gentle melody of the birds that found the little grove home and the sweet gentle wind that swayed the tree leaves. When he wasn’t resting however…he was at his mother’s grave, tending to it and leaving flowers…her favourite flowers in life. He also thought back on his life…a life that started off rocky in a life where his future had been decided for him and there was expectation, expectation to be a rough and tough man, a fighter who would run a clan. Then when he wandered upon Elvenesse and met its people..began going there more often..and the fights it caused at home, where it was assumed he was being brainwashed, but still he found family in the elven people, he met people he would forever hold in high regard…then met the man who he didn’t know would turn into his father Galan Brylynn, and his travels to Haelun’or began in which he then met his adoptive mother Syllana. Eventually despite hardship…pain and fear, Cypress had his new found family…the Brylynn’s even a little brother and…a mentor of his own, an elder Adunian by the name of John and the group he brought with him also. Those years were simple, happy…but they didn’t last. The battle of Azdromoth reminded him how things could be ripped away and destroyed, a reminder of the mortality of him and the others around him.. He laughed as he thought about that day..now that he was sitting there accepting his body was finally starting to give out, he thought on his son…his darling boy Sylvan…he was happy that he knew his grandmother would be watching after him…since his mother and father were gone…and he had no partner to speak of, he thought on that too how he spent his life a lone man. He never thought he would be a father..but then Sylvan popped randomly into his life..at a time where he was struggling deeply…his sister and mother dead from suicide, his father missing and his mentor also gone having died on a mission. Then there…one day on a patrol a woman long dead with an infant crying in her arms, and despite not knowing how to be a parent he took him in…and he didn’t regret it. Finally…he forced his old creaky bones up as he looked to his mother’s grave a final time and hobbled over to the Vuln’rith home…he went to his room, the one that had been given, he sat down at a desk and wrote, wrote and wrote till his inkwell ran dry and he placed each paper in an envelope to be handed off certain groups and people. Once he was finished…he got up to lay on the soft bed…he looked up towards the roof. Eventually his eyes began to droop and he didn’t fight it one bit, his eyes then fully fell shut…and he breathed his last breath a single thought in his mind. “I am coming home mom…and my dear son, may he live a great life even without me..I finally…get rest” The following letters were left for different people and groups. To the people of Petra: It was a honour to serve for and with you, it gave my life purpose during a time when I had lost purpose and you saw me as capable and for that I will forever be grateful, and continue to serve the crown and it’s people with valor and honor..i know you all can because I have seen it many times before. To my fellow Adunians: Things changed a lot after John died…and many others also breathed their final breaths, and now I will be joining them. I am not a man of much faith but I pray that you all thrive and continue to grow, it's what john would have wanted. To Valindra: I don’t know if you will get this letter, but I have long since made peace with what happened in Haelun’or and how you stood and others stood by and how you tried to keep me there to be turned into a ‘proper high elf’ but that never happened nor would have, I was never a high elf to begin with, and I will forever be disgusted by you and the people of that time, I hope karma will or has been swift to you and the others of that time who stood by and did nothing when I was almost killed…and was broken, and the people that tried to kidnap my baby brother. To Sonna: We have talked already..and I have thanked you already as well..but I leave this letter for you to thank you once more, thank you for making my last days peaceful…and comfortable, I know my son is in the best hands and will not know the loneliness I have once felt in the past..and I will make sure to tell my mom that you say hi. To Matthias: My dear friend, I don’t know where you have been but I hope you are doing well and you get this letter. Thank you for always being there when I was younger, teaching me new things and worrying about my well being during arguments I had with the man who was a part of my birth. You helped me so much to become the man I became and show me there was nothing wrong with being who I wanted to be, I hope you have an amazing rest of your life.
  7. [!] A roughed up sailboat has been dashed upon the shores of the Shiredom of Dunwen, its aged planks scattered and its sail tangled in a mess with the boat's shipwrecked passengers. A familiar blonde halfling lies thoroughly waterlogged in the wreckage. After Marigold Fiddleberry, the long missing community member of the halflings and previous owner of the Fiddleberry Cheese & Wine Company (prior to her having a mental break and leaving her twin sister Maggy to take the family business) was found and brought ashore, she began her work. The soggy and disheveled halfling brought with her stacks of weathered parchment, clutched closely to her chest with far more care than for her son Cal that trailed after her. The parchments carried with her across the ocean would turn out to be the will of her late father, Callum Fiddleberry. --- In their home in the now-lost shire of Bywater, Mary remembers her father's last days clearest. Callum Fiddleberry, a poet of the weefolk since the later days of Arcas- had always had a foggy mind. From what could only be assumed to be head trauma from the halfling's childhood, Callum had a faulty memory which only seemed to get worse with age. In his later years, he would hardly leave his burrow: clinging to the side of his husband Hawthorn, he would often ask his family for news of his friends: of Iris Peregrin, of Filibert Applefoot, of Rufus, of James, of Monkey. It was difficult for Mary and for her twin sister, but they tried to look at the bright side of things; he was among family, he was comfortable, he was safe. It was the final days that stood out to Mary. Callum would wake early, far earlier than usual even for when the halfling was in his prime: bustling around his abode, dusting and mopping and baking and sewing. And writing. In the weeks following up to his end Callum would set himself upon hefty stacks of parchment daily at his desk and write feverishly until forced to go to bed when his family grew concerned for the elderly man. And finally, on the last day, Callum would come to his beloved daughter Marigold and place a brown paper package in her arms. Tied with thread and smelling of ink, the package was only to be opened after he was gone, Callum instructed her. Mary's father never asked anything of her or her sister, so when she was told to make sure his will was enacted she took it to heart. Hushed whispers of goodbye and tearful embraces, Callum left his burrow with Hawthorn on his arm, the two of them having secured a nice little sailboat that they would take to somewhere warm. Callum wasted not the time to speak to the village members or to say his goodbyes to his friends: for none of his friends remained. The poet thought it a cruel irony he would be the last standing among so many great and honoured halflings who'd perished before him. --- [!] The parchment would be tarnished from a voyage at sea, but the words are still legible. THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF CALLUM BERLAN FIDDLEBERRY, former Patriarch of the Fiddleberry household, former Head Librarian at the Soggy Sonnet Library of Bramblebury and whatever it was we named the one in Honeyhill though I think I lost my job there, former team member & cheerleader of the undefeated Honeyhill Hedgehogs, former Elder of Honeyhill, former Thain for a few days when the Thain at the time went on holiday, former member of the Neighborhood Watch Alliance until I quit cause' Greenholm is a ****; poet, singer, lute player, painter, baker (poorly), father, husband, amnesiac, (mostly) valued community member, cat enthusiast, and friend Dear halflings of [INSERT CURRENT RESIDENCE OF WEEFOLK], if this paper has been published then it means I have passed. I have no doubt this will come as a great tragedy to you all, and I understand that this may be hard news to bear. Do not despair- as I am happier now, and roam the wheatfields with my beloved husband Hawthorn, blissfully free of any overbearing biggun visitors telling us how much they admire our culture and wish to live with us. Ugh. Please, try to keep any weeping to a minimum, crying dries up your eyes and makes you look like an old hag. Here are some tips on how to cope with this: [The following three pages are filled with instructions on how one might try to recover from the absence of Callum Fiddleberry, and an assurance that you will probably be okay and that you can live without him. It seems to stretch on endlessly until finally returning to the contents of the will.] With that out of the way, this is the part where you skim to find your name and see if you got anything good in my will. TO LILY PEREGRIN, OR HER CURRENT LIVING DESCENDANT One of my greatest regrets in life was not realizing how fortunate I was to have a friend like Iris Peregrin in my life. Your mother was an amazing woman, full of light and joy that managed to balance out the dour I brought into a room by being a malcontented bastard. Iris was the best of us all, and I am sure you will do great things just as she did. TO FILIBERT APPLEFOOT, OR HIS CURRENT LIVING DESCENDANT Filibert was a simple man in the grand scheme of things, but also one of the most steadfast friends (acquaintances? I never really asked if we were friends or not…) one could ask for. When I found myself untethered and overwhelmed with the abject horror of existing in this universe, Filibert was the grounding anchor telling me to shut up and stop staring at the clouds and help him harvest the bloody crops because it's gotta be done and his back hurts. I haven't spoken to him in some time so he's probably dead, so I leave this bottle of wine to either him or whatever living descendant of his remains. TO MONKEY PEREGRIN I hope this finds you well, Monkey- I hope it finds you alive. I dearly regret that I did not do better at keeping in touch with you and keeping track of your doings but, as all boys do, they grow up to be men et cerera et cetera… I'm glad you found your path, and I'm glad to know you found belonging even if it took the form of hocus-pocus shamanism… At least it meant you had a good pipeweed supply! I have to say that out of all of the halflings I met in Bloomerville and Bramblebury you felt the most like family, like a brother to me. Stay strong and stay true to yourself, Monkey. Whatever it is you've chosen to do with your life, I'm proud of you. TO CYRIS COLLINGWOOD You are a bastard and I am going to haunt you. How did you outlive me? Stop it. TO SEVREL VALIN'DAR If you were about to think I'd forgotten you, and that you would not be mentioned in this document: you would be very correct, because I very much did forget you up until two hours ago. I can't remember much of what we talked about, but I recall the presence of a kind dark elf with a magnificent beard, and merry evenings spent conversing over good food and good pipeweed. May Knox keep you and your family, as I'm certain you're still alive because elves are weird like that. I leave you a bottle of wine from my cellar, may you raise a glass of it in my name. TO WINTER… If you're alive somehow Sorry I was a prick. Thank you for helping me realize I don't like women. TO MAGNOLIA FIDDLEBERRY I leave the best and most dear to my heart for last, Maggy. I don't know when this letter will reach you. I don't know how old you are now. As I write this, you're in your fifties, learning who you are… You've started a cheese business, and people from all over come by the burrow to trade for these magnificent wheels of cheese you craft… I've never seen my family burrow receive so many visitors, and it is all because of you. I hope you've stuck with it- but if you haven’t, that’s fine. In whatever you do, I know you'll be the best. You're my child- so of course you will be. Your grumpy old man will always believe in you, and I hope you look back on your childhood with me fondly… I don't know how good a father I was, I was never prepared. But despite my incompetence you've surpassed my every expectation and have grown into a halfling more talented and clever and beautiful than any other and I hope you know it. Don't ever let anyone tell you you're not perfect, cause' they don't know what perfect is cause' they're not you. Be good to your sister, be good to yourself. In the end it's just the two of ya. Your pa loves you, keep being yourself- whoever you decide that is. I leave you this mahogany walking cane- pray your knees never deteriorate enough you should depend on it- and my smoking pipe. Anything other material possessions I have you may split up between you and your sister. OOC:
  8. Always gotta have Laufey...also magnolia was linli's vibe As Chen Linli's vision began to fade, her thoughts rested on her family. The incredible life they'd given her, despite her undeserving status. As memories rushed back to her of her time in the Jade State, Talon's, Norland, all of it became quite overwhelming in the best way. Quiet moments in the teahouse with Ren and Meixing, reading with her mothers and siblings, walks in the forest with her children, or a quiet cup of tea with her beloved aunt. Regardless of the heartbreak that marked most of her life, Linli truly passed at peace, grateful for the life she got to live. Her last sight was her sister, passing in Liu's arms. OOC: Peace out Linli, and LOTC....until there's a wedding to crash @Amethyst_Starry
  9. .-=~1.2.3~=-. . Edlynne Mara Amador exited the cart, her black heeled boots clicked and clacked on the rough cobble below. Her mind hummed softly as she made her way down the narrow road, scratchy weeds licking her legs as she trotted along before coming to a sudden pause. Before her stood a masked humanoid of average build and height; they stretched out a limb to offer the child a delicious cookie. The man led her down the path, past the sea and into the dense woods surrounding Adria until they reached a lovely tree buzzing with bees and flowing with sticky honey. The man suddenly grabbed the child's long ivory hair and threw her against the tree where a fowl rot began to manifest.. The girl clawed and scratched at the creature, her screams silent like a sigh in the wind as the black tendrils cocooned her. The girl's body became weaker and weaker as her life force was drained until she was not but a husk.. Her body fell with a dull thump at the gates of Haense, the pale cadaver folded in on itself at painful angles like a broken doll. Her large pale eyes still parted as if she was naught but feigning a crooked sleep. .-=-. Only a ragged and threadbare crow doll was left behind on the stone steps as Edlynne's corpse was gently carried away, later to be placed on the dinning room table to be feasted upon. Naught was left of the dear child but doll bones and dust.. .\|/.
  10. Life can take turns in many directions, some for the better, some for the worst. Unfortunately, life turned for the worst for Teft Barclay, the beloved friend of many. Attacked and killed over a miscommunicated love affair, his body was burnt and all possessions taken, and there was nothing left behind to remember the beloved Barclay by. Perhaps his friends think he’s missing, though after some time a certain elf didn’t believe that, because the elf saw his old friend get taken and he was powerless to do anything about it. The death of Teft was speculated by a young Tobias von Minitz, the ward of Teft, who found a unfinished will that was left behind in Teft’s house. In loving memory of Teft Barclay, may your soul rest in the seven skies and your life be forever remembered. (Credit to Bird2k for writing this for me <3)
  11. [https://youtu.be/nn_0zPAfyo8] Only a fitting end… [PK] Markus’ Resolution As if it was any other day, Markus began setting up his tent. He sat down his pack just off the road, a good distance away from a small hamlet. He was somewhere in the hills between Haense and Aaun. The rocky hills gave way to a small field, and he elected to create his camp there. No cozy tree to sit under- but that was okay for him. He couldn’t have it every day. He opened up his canteen to take a drink. There was barely any alcohol in it- just enough to ensure the drink was clean. If there ever was a promise he had kept, it was his promise to Koeng Sigismund- his promise to cease his incessant drinking. It was tough- very tough- at first, but eventually, it grew easier. It became one of his proudest accomplishments. Abandoning Haense. Abandoning his Marian duties. Abandoning his Morovar kin. Abandoning his responsibilities, duties, and expectations. If there ever was one thing that he abandoned that was good, it was his drink. If there ever was one thing that he abandoned that he wished he hadn’t, well – that story has been told a thousand times. It did flash in his mind still, often. How many years has it been now? Twenty? What if I hadn’t accepted the results? What if I didn’t let everyone down? What if- His doubts constantly plagued him, though he did never again attempt suicide. It is true. Markus had fled from Karosgrad. From Haense. From responsibilities. The streets he had grown up in, and served, were all too familiar a reminder of his failures. He had begun to recover, to move on- but he spiraled. What truly caused him to spiral, even he didn’t know. Whether it was the sudden change in the abstinence from drinking. Whether it was that one time he achieved euphoria at that one festival. Whether it was seeing Adelajda daily. But he did spiral. Before he left, he gave up his blade, back to his father’s friend. He walked with a newer one- a weaker one, one not thanhic. He was about to use it. He finished the tent- it was a simple piece of cloth, held together with stakes. It had to be light and small, considering it had to be taken around daily. Night had begun to fall, and he had elected not to make a fire and instead eat from some salted provisions. So that’s when he noticed the glare from the village in the distance. “Looks like some idiot kindled their fire too well,” Markus would remark sarcastically with a grumble, before putting on his belt, fastening his sword, and beginning his jaunt over. He watched it grow bigger and bigger, consuming more buildings. He then began to hear the screams. He then began to increase his pace. He then began to loosen his sword in his scabbard. He eventually became just about a field’s length away, and saw veiled men throwing about torches. A sacking party. He rushed forth, drawing his blade. He met his first opponent behind one of the houses, an unsuspecting bandit with only a torch in his hand. Markus slew him without remorse, but not without him crying out. Soon, it was as if they had swarmed upon him- many men threw themselves upon Markus, but they weren’t skilled bandits- they weren’t match for his experience. He cut down the five or so that came upon him, and rushed into the first house. Inside was a child, cowering in the corner as flames licked the side of the building. Markus gave the child a wave, as if he wanted him to come forth- but the frightened child shook his head in terror, tears consuming his face. “Move, or these flames will consume us both! Eam niet leaving without vy!” Markus exclaimed, pleading to the child. The pleas worked. The child fled, leaping over a burning piece of the thatch roofing burning on the dirt floor. Markus grabbed him by the shoulder, and began to lead him out of the house. Outside, two bandits had waited for him. Markus yanked the child to the side of the house, before engaging the two with his sword. Luckily, his gambeson had absorbed a weak blow to his arm- their ragged clothes no match for his blade. It was clear these weren’t professionals, or Ferrymen. Markus went back to regard the child. That’s me. Amidst the carnage, he found himself in a touching moment with the child. “What’s vyr name, boy?” “Ekhard.” “Ekhard. Take this. Run that way, to my camp. If eam niet there in a few Saint’s Minutes- pack it up and run. Don’t get help. It’s too late.” “What will vy do?” “Niet run.” And he did not. He faced many bandits, his training granting him strength. But his true strength came from not running. He had always ran. But not this time. The damage had already been done. But perhaps he had been able to prevent the slaughter. But he was unable to prevent his death. His gambeson had been torn to rags by the time he had finished- the adrenaline running off. Blood streamed out of his body steadily In his travels, he always had time to ponder. But it was before his death when he had the most time, as he laid comfortably on the ground. His thoughts returned to his life. All of his loss. He had lost his best friend. His mother. His father. His twin. His future. His positions. His name. His glory. His duty. His body. His love. His mind. But in the end- he had regained it all. His pride. His duty. He had served. I will have died with honor. He was soon to be reunited with all the people he had lost All except what had mattered to him most, all of those years. But that didn’t matter anymore, not to him. In death, he gained absolution. In death, he let go. He let go of Margrait. In death he finally achieved victory. In death he forgave everyone. In death, he forgave himself.
  12. Qrue would Take some Parchment and a Quiver and think deeply before he starts to write down his Final Words. When I think back on my long life I sometimes wonder upon all the things that went down, as I sit here writing down my Final Tale I wonder what would be relevant and what really mattered. Was it the beginning of living a normal life like any other watching everyone around me having the times of their lives all for it to be taken by decease, death, loss… Losing my Mother was hard on all of us. I attempted to pick up where she left off, to heal the sick with herbs we had found from the forest but those herbs did so much more than heal wounds. The potential was limitless. They could make us feel really good. Perhaps it was the time when I was so high I accidentally had my Brother Qrarm killed by my own hands. Rather than face my consequences, Face my Father, I ran, Hid for so long, From days to weeks, weeks to years, years to decades. Consuming my creations of herbs, forcing myself to forget what I had done, Losing myself wandering the long distant lands until I was completely Lost.I was so lost that I had forgotten my own name. The only name that stuck in my head was that of my Brother so I took it for myself, I named myself Qrarm. And yet with all that loss and forgotten I was found after so many secluded decades I stood before another Dwarf, Bjor Cottonwood. He took me to his village where more of our kind resided. Bjor offered me a Home to live in, a place to create my creations of herbs in peace and share them with others within the village. In time I formed The Huff n’ Puff and the Puffden. All seemed well in the world and yet… Death Followed. I followed within the deep Caverns of Urguan. Perhaps I could’ve been of help but the caves were dusty, I sneezed. The Creatures, Cave Alars awoke and bit a few Dwarves, Bjor stood his ground while we escaped that cave. Was it my fault, My sneeze that had awoken those beasts. It was never mentioned within the History books. Nonetheless I Lost it once again seeing Bjor die took me back to the time I got my Brother killed. I wanted to forget, I had to forget… I spent a week within my home, consuming and smoking so many Puffs. forgetting it all without a care in the world. I even forgot my own name again, I named Myself Qrue after that time. Time went off its normal course once again Like I was reborn, Met new Dwarves, Meeting Beorn felt familiar. I looked upon the petrified corpse of Bjor Cottonwood with a strange feeling but I could not remember why the Stories Told of this Paragon Bjor felt me with excitement and sadness without really knowing why, Sometimes tears would form I assumed that was just normal after all it was usually Karl that told them with great detail. Of Course when you think all was fine, Khorvad starts knocking. The ground shook, Fire spread… I awoke Alone, Broken Arm, Half burned. How much time had passed? Where was I? Who was I? Oh I remember… Qrue. This time I did not forget my name but why was I alone, I had slight head trauma. With the few Medical lessons I remembered I patched myself up, Gathered some things and went on another long lonely wandering path. Eventually found a ship to rescue those who have been left behind like myself, I kept to myself throughout the whole journey. The ship docked on some new land unfamiliar to me. I gathered my belongings and continued on my journey. My arm battered and broken started to hurt really bad, I found a secluded Doctor, tat insane perhaps but he told me I could die if I kept my arm like that and offered to chop it off but, He had that bloodlust in his eyes so I told him I’d think about it and left him be. Still thinking of what The doctor said I built a small form of guillotine with an axe head stuck to a few rocks hung from a tree, I prepared a fire with a steel pan on top to burn close the wound after… Let's just say I was successful and It hurt allot for a week or so. I had some herbs to help with the pain. I spend a few years wandering the new lands of Almaris hoping to find my kin amongst the trees only to realise I went the opposite way and landed a city with elves, they gave me directions to New Urguan once I arrived I was met with a Familiar face that of Beorn Cottonwood, I lived within the Puffden for a while before I picked a home that suited my needs but once I did I had finally decided to start a healing process of the mind while retaining my Puffden duties. I spend most of my time travelling, reading books from libraries. From the things I’ve studied I created other things like a prosthetic arm with little cabinets filled with many useful things, To replace my missing arm. Once again years passed by like it all was right in the world. Yazmorra was the Chief at the time. We've made a fairly interesting friendship, Both shared an interest in Puffs and other narcotics. I joined the Seers with Ogradhad as my devotion. Through many meditation weeks I started to remember my past, who I really was and what I had done… It almost broke me but I kept true to myself. I wanted to move forward from it all and I did. It helped me become the Dwed I am now. When Yazmorra’s husband Levian’Tol became High King of Urguan, Yazmorra was destined to become High Queen so a new High Chief of Hefrumm was required, I offered myself in attempts to extend my Puffs to more places however while I had kept Hefrumm’s image intact I did not achieve any of goals I wanted, I had hoped Yazmorra could guide me more but her Queen duties kept her busy and when we all needed her most she vanished. It was hard but I waited until a new proper candidate could take my place and before long Celeste’Tol Daughter of Yazmorra and Levian came along. I trained her in all she needed to know and even when the Crown was placed upon her head I stuck around if she ever required guidance from me. Even if Celeste was Chief it felt more like we still ruled together for a long time until it was no longer needed. And once more all felt good. Decades passed, Life went on, Dwed came and went, Old familiar faces vanished and became new ones then some of those new ones vanished. Like an endless Cycle. Now here I am a Familiar face soon to vanish. My only Hope is that my Legacy of the Puffden will live on as long as there are Dwed in Hefrumm and consuming those Fantastic Puffs, My Lives work. I Thank all those who have talked to me throughout the decades of my Living Life. May we meet in The Halls of The Fallen. Qrue would take one last hit from his Hookah and meditate one Final time. Within his vision, Dungrimm would enter his home as The Lord extends his hand Qrue would finely accept the invitation with a smile. Qrue would let out his Final Breath as his soul would leave his corporeal form and follow Dungrimm to The Great Halls! Qrue Grasswhistle would succumb to his illness of Lung Cancer at the age of 422 on The 6th of The Ember Cold, Year 105 of The Second Age
  13. The Death of an Ireheart “One who might be forgotten” It was a normal day for Lorba, buying goods, wandering around Almaris, and fishing. With the end of the fight between Oren and Urguan, Lorba decided that it was a good idea to go fishing at Acre. Arriving at the small settlement, he got straight to his tasks. Unexpectedly, he fished up a lot of cod from the river, one time he even fished up a piece of an old armour. As time passed, he still remained focused on fishing up stuff, not knowing in the slightest that this would be the end of his life. Suddenly, an orc appeared from the distance asking for a fishing rod, but with kindness he didn’t respond to the orc. The orc then received a fishing rod from his fishing crew, Lorba would try to avoid him as much as possible due to the current war between Urguan and the Horde. After a lot of dead cod, the orc changed his mood completely. It would draw a weapon and slashing it at him from behind, due to Lorba liking fishing too much he didn’t realise that an upcoming attack was coming toward him. From the attack, his body would fall down the river immediately, the orc would grab him up brutally to cut off every hair particle Lorba had. With his last breath, he would stare at the fishing crew hoping that the man would tell the world about the story of “An unfortunate dwarf, who comes to fish peacefully, got murdered by an orc in a holy land of cannonists.” His body would never be seen again, not even by his long lost son -Larbar Ireheart-. ==Lorba Ireheart== Forgemaster of the Ireheart Clan
  14. Pyrin Nria-Crane, a man amongst the crowd who had stuck out like a sore thumb due to his exterior. Most find the concept of an elf, nonetheless a dark elf confusing. Alas he had been born of poor heritage, that of a hybrid.Cast into a hell-ish scape he had been fond of up until he became that of a young adult. Contempt with his life, his family, his friends, his nation. Abandoned and tossed aside from his Mother, Father, Sister, and Elder Brother. Friends of Elysium had turned their backs when he required a guide most. Whilst the pain, hatred, and agony built up and teared at his insides, he looked onwards to relieve his pain with combat and militaristic strategy. .. Through the tragedy of the comrades he lost along the way, he had still found light upon the world. Reuniting with his best and only friend, one of Vanari blood , gaining others like that of Solros and de Astrea. Gaining his first love, short lived as that was, his spiral had begun. Facing hardships and cold depression, a blood soaked revenge was washed over the Young Ker before he had even struck the age of thirty. Causing him to act irrational and be stripped of his uniform and post within the military. ... Years to come he’d weep within his household, only coming out once to witness the death of his last family member, his dearest Aunt. Realization striking, stirred up a storm of vexation, resentment, and rage. Tearing at himself he’d vanish from society, hunting anything that’d take the chance at himself. Seeking a blood strewn victory or a death like the rest of the men he’d witness fall. Losing an arm and his pride in the process. Upon such he’d withdraw from his vengeful battlefield. .... Dreamt of being an honorable or heroic figure for generations to come, now a washed up fool destined for a forgetful death. Only few names could spring into his mind as he’d seal his eyes shut for a final time. Ellathor. Oliver. Nisreen. Three figures he’d think of for his lifetime that felt as if an eternity, fading away like flashing lights. Upon the figures of the darkness, seemingly growing cold. The washed up bastard only came to mutter few words before passing on. “This isn’t fair.”
  15. The night crept upon the small halfling quickly, her addled mind only making the time pass quicker. But there she sat, beneath a tall willow tree, only a day's trek away from the destroyed and deserted Rozania. The smile on her lips shaky and her eyes unfocused but her hand was in the form to write. 'To those who may not have known, my years have doubled… As I sit in a place that feels familiar but in my mind I have no idea where I am, I grow weary that my days are coming to an end.' The small halfling stopped to draw a shaky breath and blink some wayward tears away as she continued, knowing that this note is important for the people she loves. 'Since Rozania my mind and spirit haven't been the same. The days fly by now, I don't know my way home anymore, I am starting to lose memories but don't remember which. Even forgetting the ones I live with on occasion, Donna and Marb.' She stops again to blurily look at the paper before crossing out the names. A concentrated frown on her face as she tries to think but sighs and continues once more. 'I remember more though, mostly bad but some good. With this note shall be a series of letters to the important folks I've had the honor to meet and know… I'm terribly sorry that things must come to this. I never thought my time would end this way either. I feel old and I never wanted to feel that way ever. Bless be, safe travels, and don't forget to wander off your path everyonce and awhile.. you never know what adventure you might find along the way' The halfling smiled at her closing line. Then signed her name 'Delphi Wanderfoot' the one thing she felt confident in anymore. She then took another shaky breathe and gave the letters to her snowy owl with a short order. "Deliver these to the proper folk, and make sure to be there for my rose bud" The owl flew off quickly as the previous owner drew a couple more breathes before grinning down at the ground below, right before death managed to capture the tortured soul that was Delphi Wanderfoot. To Bella, To Mellow, To Per, To Rosebud, To Otter, To Will, To Filibert, (OOC)
  16. [!] Grief. Grief is what the Khurhukar family felt, when they learned that Nossir was dead. The events leading up to it: Nossir, living in Elysium, joined the war effort. He couldn't really do anything, so he just helped out where he could. His family supported him, but then, the fall of Ebonwood. That, as the clan got a piece of land there, drove him mad. Then, the blood rain came, which, while didn't touch him, made him even more mad. He couldn't take it. One day, he woke up, got dressed in his clan armor, then went out. He was feeling...weak.... He couldn't run, and even walking was hard... The curse of foresight: He knew he didn't have long. He has had a lot of visions leading up to it. He began writing. [!] A book could be found under the pillow of his death bed My dear family. If you are reading this, then I'm most likely dead. I want you to know, that I love you. I tried my best to make your lives better. Kax, my dearest friend, you taught me a lot. About our culture, our ancient history and our culture. Thank you for that. Tuluk, my partner in trouble, you really did make my life really fun. I hope you will remember me as the clan leader who killed a giant bear, and not that one Tigrasi who was doing stuff. Kabuki, my dearest son, I'm sorry that I left you alone. This world is a mean one, and now you are alone in it. I hope the clan will take good care of you, and that you will carry the name Tul'Kabuki Khurhukar with pride. Please do not mourn me, or dwell on my passing, instead, live your life to the fullest. I ask you one last thing. Please remember me, and tell stories about my life. I love you all the same, I really do, but this is what Metztli wanted. Remember me. I have spoke with some people, and they told me that, after death, if even one person remembers you, you live on as an observer, observing the lives of your loved ones. [!] Some words would be unreadable, as he cried when he wrote it. The passing of a leader: Nossir felt that he wasn't okay, and sent a bird to Kax'ahli. Kax received the letter, and hurried over to the clan house. He saw that Nossir could barely walk, and he helped him home. They sat down. Kax asked Nossir what the problem was, and he told him. Then, Kax helped Nossir upstairs to his bed. He prepared his stuff for the ritual. This is when news got to Ursus Grandaxe, who was a dear friend of Nossir, and he rushed to the home. Nossir was sleeping. When he woke up, he signaled to Kax to begin the ritual. And so, Kax started praying and gave a lot of things to Nossir, as to help him along his way to the afterlife. Nossir started saying random words, and he fell asleep for one last time. Kax finished the ritual. In tears, he walked out onto the balcony, and yelled something along the lives of this: Elysium! The great leader, Tul'Nossir Khurhukar of the clan Khurhukar is dead! He was a good friend and a great leader. Kax then went to blow the death whistle. Ursus walked out to where Kax stood, and he yelled: NARVAK OZ NOSSIR! NARVAK OZ TAE KHA!! After the two went to leave, the bed started shaking violently. It stopped after a few minutes. Then, Nossirs dead body started levitating. His eyes and mouth were open, and spewing out a blue light. His fur was glowing with the same blue light too. It stopped right after, the whole ordeal lasting at most 5 minutes. Nossir's body was now laying on the bed again. A whistling was heard inside the room. Then whispering. It couldn't be made out what it said, but it could've been heard. Nossir didn't go without a fight. He fought his fate, and he tried to outplay death. Well, he almost did. He almost survived. He was dead. Well, he wasn't really dead. A last, fragile and quite word came from his lifeless body. Goodbye... Nossir, at last, was dead... or is he? After a few days, the house was closed. No family member entered. Nothing. But after 4 days, Patlana entered. He entered sad, and left shocked. Nossir was gone, his body nowhere to be found.
  17. In the dead of the night, a hooded figure snuck into numerous buildings in the Vortice capital city of Talon's Port... Nothing was taken, however some choice homes would find notes placed atop spots where the council members would have no choice but to see. Once this task was finished, the hooded figure made their way to the top of the Alley Alehouse, not bothering to lock the doors of the rooftop. The figure sat upon the wedding stage, sighing and dropping their cloak, revealing a de-crowned Vivian Maelstorm, her face reddened and puffy, running mascara covering her cheeks as she withdrew a moonsteel dagger from her waist-sheathe. “....Syl always told me that elves would last hundreds of years before devolving into madness… well, I guess that wasn’t the case with me, huh?” The short ‘aheral chuckled dryly, her free hand lofting to remove a final note from her bosom. “...Maybe one day, everybody can forgive me.” Another tear fell from her real eye as she set the note gently against the ground, away from where she had planned to die. As she did such, a tinge of hurt shot through her core. The woman had lost so many in such a short amount of time… how selfish was she, to take her life at this, when so many others had suffered so much more! She grit her teeth as she sat back down upon the stage, deliberating upon her next course of action as memories flooded into her mind. Her wedding with Joakim af Orvar… How they married under the Heart Tree. The birth of Dana and Corrin af Orvar. Her short-standing marriage to Seryne, and how horribly that turned out in the two years they spent together. Her thirty something year long marriage to Eoghan O’Cathain, the wedding they had within the settlement of Talon’s Grotto, and her children- Eliott, Lilith, and Seteth… Two of which were now dead. Her marriage to Sylvain Ainzworth Majin, and their many, many children… those of whom the pair had adopted, and those of whom the pair had produced of their own blood. She choked back a sob as she remembered the pain the pair had endured together. Her sisters, Athri, Lenora, and Sana, and the love they shared… Her brothers, Gail, Ren and James, and the laughs they had... her best friend, Eugeo, and the secrets they had kept together… her many children, two in particular stuck out in her memory- they were only thirty four, how could they live with the loss of their mother? Mystralath and Belladonna were both old enough that they would remember Vivian forever more- unlike Fable, Claude and Aer, who were still mere babes and had hardly spent any time with Vivian. The red-headed monarch sobbed again as she raised the dagger, staring up to the sky in emotional agony… before plunging the blade into her chest, taking the moonsteel directly to the heart. After a few seconds, the elfess slumped down, the colour draining from her once purple eye as tears fell, her hands dropping from the hilt of the blade and down to her lap as she fell to her side, dead. Inside the note, when she were to be found, was a single paragraph, reading as follows. “To my people, to my family, to my friends… I have loved you all so dearly, but it is my time to depart now. I bid thee farewell and I hope to meet you all again in another time. You are all so important in your own ways. As of the Deep Cold of the 35th year, I wish for Athri Onfroi Belrose-Maelstorm to carry on the Monarchy of the Unified Domain of Vortice on my behalf, and to be crowned as the Heir Monarch by the Congress. Thank you all for your time. Vivian Maelstorm”
  18. Lacazette would look up to soulless armoured man, a man he used to call friend, a man he had seen like a father, he had accepted his fate, however a look of sadness was painted on his face. His goals, his dreams, and those who he was about leave behind… “I j…just hope M…Madalena will be alright.” A tear would fall as the blade would carve through the broken, betrayed man’s neck, cleanly separating his head from his shoulders, as the floor of the dingy basement would become a river of crimson. The body would slam into the statue next to him, sending the depiction of the deceased ‘pencil pusher’, flying to the floor causing it to shatter, like his dreams… (OOC: death is secret)
  19. The Fall of Kind Hands & A Strong Soul Listen for Added effect The day had been like any other, and yet, the snowy hills seemed restless as the winds twisted and turned dark dreadlocks in their wake. The bear cloak, which laid upon green shoulders, was nearly snatched by such winds, yet golden eyes kept searching for their prize. The axe in hand glittered in what sunlight was seen, and the grip was only made tighter as dark shadows were brought forward. There was more than what was expected, yet the form of an orc stood tall and ready. The tall shadows in the snowstorm surrounded the orc, and snarls of wolf-like nature cut their way past the screaming of the wind in her ears. The feorc would return the snarling with her own, and as the bear claw around her neck swayed with the wind, she would take strength from such and watched as the shadows moved closer. One after the other, each form would charge, and the feorc would swing her axe. These creatures were bigger than any bear she had fought, yet they were familiar foes she had faced a time long ago. With heavy breaths, and her strength waning, the snow would be stained with blood. The crimson stains a sign of the orc's resistance as she kept swinging. There were too many however, and as she missed one more swing, old scars would be reopened, and the feorc would fall to her knees. With no help in sight, all the feorc could do was try and stand once more. With the axe as her support, golden eyes would stare upon the leather braided ring; with silver that laced with it. The wedding ring her mate had given her. With her other soon raising to grasp at the bear claw she had with the engravings of her old mate's name. The feorc would find strength once more to stand and keep on fighting. Memories of old, with thoughts of those she had cared for and cherished, ran through her head. She pushed to fight, and to live for them. The flash of a small goblin cook, the flash of an old, blue, rex; the flash of a grey orc with red eyes, the flash of a half-breed orc, a shaman, and the flash of Krugmar. The flash of Elysium, with a Duke, a wood elf with gold eyes, and a wood elf with green, and the flash of small kubs. All of this, had kept the feorc fighting, and yet.... It wasn't enough. The splatter of blood and a groan was made from the feorc, before she would fall back down to her knees. A hand would raise to her open stomach, and with blood spilt, the figures would depart. Bruised and battered is how the feorc was left, and deep wounds would send her form gently falling to the snow. The white, cold, yet soft, feeling underneath herself was soon drenched in a deep crimson red. A cough would be heard, and as her bloodied axe lay beside her, she would let these memories of old start to consume her. Memories of Old Krugmar and of Elysium. From the Orcs she called brothers and sisters, to the Elves and Humans she called friends. A muttered apology was given to the screaming winds, "Mi beh zorry...it iz...mi tik..." Yet through the snow, help did come. The sounds of hurriedly crunching snow was heard through the calming winds, and the sight of a familiar Wood Elf would be seen. As the feorc would begin to take her last breaths, Songs would turn her head to look at Nesrin, her wife, her lifemate, running towards her. Her mouth appeared to be screaming, her mouth open and face full of agony. However, the feorc couldn't hear her too clearly, as she was already in the grasp of death's hands, and being pulled slowly towards the darkness. She gave her lover a gentle, yet strangely sad smile, as she felt the rough texture of Nesrin's hand. She knew she could be at rest, happy to die in her wife's arms. The orc was finally put to rest, and Songs Jhet-Krask Sarosa, was now in the skies. A loving mother, a kind friend, and a gentle lover. Long may she live within our hearts. Songs Jhet-Krask Sarosa Born FA 1787-SA 49 (Died at Age 58)
  20. [!] After three decades as a Blacksmith and untold hours of man labor in his various builds, Kalvaroth Vallel'kor was found passed away in his bed still in a resting state. It is presumed he slowly suffocated in his sleep after, following a Post-Mortem Examination where his windpipe was found to be swollen. He passed at the age of 61, on the 16th of The First Seed, Year 42 of the Seccond Age. His last willing testament stating to be buried on the O'hara Keep ground, facing towards his greatest build, the Rænrland Canal. All of his items are to be left in the estate of the O'hara Clan, including all of inventory, treasury items, and his boat he'd bought for them. (OOC: He died in his sleep because of breathing problems mid-rest and lack of oxygen. All of his items are now under the ownership of Eleonore O'Hara de Astrea, aka SadBeanQueen.) Capitals; Vigenere Cipher; Ype Cikq Ahr Ygm Eujv Kkag
  21. The death of Thalion Araen Drakon 12th of the deep cold, 1836 ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ He wrote on a page... " Pure white lands sweeping across the horizon, untouched by agents of evil. Deep-dark towers of bark covered in dark greens, sprouting out of this desolate terrain. Bright blue icicles reaching onwards towards a starry-night sky, crystals gleeming and refracting beams of starlight outwards as if a performance for only my eyes to see. Wildlife having left prints in the snow, directed the way to their burrows and nests as if inviting me along. A single lit fire illuminating the folliage around itself, hues of red & orange obsorbed by the overwhelmingly white territory. " White lands always reminded him of his home in Atlas yet that was taken from him. Dark trees reminded him of his hunting trips with father yet he was taken from him. The blue icicles reminded him of the Ivae'Fenn, his own role within it over the countless wars and conflicts, yet it was all taken from him. Wildlife leaving imprints in the snow reminded him of the once-competant leadership of his people, always creating paths for others to recognise & follow yet that competant leadership was taken from them. A single lit fire reminded him of the brothers and sisters he made along his way through the past three-hundred years of life, each one of their deaths engained within memory, they were all taken from him. With a large sigh the Fenn' said: "Of all the atrocities committed, none are soo brutal as those originating from incompetance" giving into the idea that although he gave his utmost, it was all still his own incompetance which led to these numerous outcomes. Drinking through the night and feeding into his affinity with Ikurn'Valai, the Fenn' unbuttoned his clothes by the fire revealing the numerious scars, injuries and missing parts of flesh healed over by skin, incurred through nearly three-hundred years of perpetual war. His breathing was shaky at-best, the pain in his body had been growing more and more for a year now, he was certain his time would soon come. On the eve of the next day he painstakingly placed his armour on, grasping onto his trident and using it as leverage to stand up. Once fully equiped he set out through the wilderness, taking on the many different beasts of the cold north, each time becoming a little more worse off, each time gaining more injuries, each time incuring damage upon his Drakon armour... Muttering to himself once more through the gasps for breath: "none... soo brutal... as those... originating... from incompetance" falling onto a knee in the face of a large white bear, the Drakon contemplated his choice for a single second as the bear rose itself up on two feet, yet still, gaining a decisive look upon his face he'd jab up and catch the bear in the neck with the three prongs of his trident, losing his own strength to hold the weight of such a beast, the bottom of the trident fell and dug deep into the ground, a white bear hung from atop its prongs. The Drakon would set himself upright gasping for air and severely wounded, leaning against the corpse and smacking the side of the white bear a few times, he'd say: "A shame... that..." he'd cough up some blood before continuing "would've made... a nice rug... for the bathroom" his breath continued to slow as the large Elf, dawned in ruined armour, leaned against a large body of white fur, the ruined metal parts of the armour now bent inwards and pierced him. witnessing the Pure-white lands infront of him, the dark-bark trees, the bright-blue icicles and the now burnt-out fire... the Mali'Fenn drew his last breath. ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ Knowing his time to be running out, he left a series of notes days prior, the first to his wife, left at her bedside: (( @Starlight)) " Dearest Estelle, We both know the difficulties that faced our kin daily, and I hope you remember each one of those difficulties not for the tough times they created, but rather each of those that I faced head-strong, and at times alone. You know of my numerous injuries, you've seen them countless times and aside from that you still believed me invincible, yet you also knew a Drakon plans to die in service to his kin. Unfortunitely, I am not invincible and I will die, perhaps not in military service, yet still a death in service to our people. I was saved in vain, I tell you now that my injuries will take me soon and I sense you have also known for a while now, perhaps by the time you find this note I will have already passed. Yet even so, do not fall into disarray, I will not allow my death to be one of shame. For this is the last time I dawn my armour, for this the last time I wield my weapon, any & all hostile beasts I encounter lurking near the Fennic' Remnant will perish at my feet and eventually, I too will perish at the feet of one of these beasts, yet I will go honourably, taking many beasts with me, and succeeding in making our lands that little bit more safe for our kin and for our daughter. I must apologize to you Estelle, I will be spending my last moments alone, as much as one wishes to die in the company of love and comfort: I will not allow you nor anyone else to witness the unsightly view of witnessing yet another prideful-Drakon in his last moments of life, I welcome death and I will welcome you when it is your time to join me in Fin’ciwn when Wyrvun judges you worthy. Signed, Thalion" ⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐ A second note was left in the room of the Matriarch of the Drakon bloodline: (( @Sygnus_ @Little_Lulah)) " Honoured leader of the Drakon bloodline, I write to you as a notice, I am Thalion Araen Drakon and I bid you warning. It is known that I did not join the reformed Ivae'Fenn under Vytrek, nor did I stay in the new settlement, and yet still I have served more time in rank and as an officer than anyone else, yet I will not recieve military honours for my death. I fulfilled my responsibilities and what was due, and just like you I once served as the leader of the bloodline and for many Elven-years I built us up as one of, if not the strongest of all the families, so I demand of you: Do not let all that has been built fall into disarray, do not forget our values, our traditions. We are loyal, we are truthful, we are honourable and we are natural-born leaders, guide onto better tomorrows. Even now, as you read this letter I am assuring that my last moments are ones of honour, I will not fail our blood and I will not bring shame to our name. No matter what you hear of me, remember all that I have done, whilst it may not have been perfect, I did my utmost and encurred great loss in the process. Should you fail to uphold our bloodline I am certain Wyrvun will judge you unworthy and to your own fortune you would avoid encurring my wrath upon arriving in Fin'ciwn. Recover my body in the forests to the west, lead our people well and perhaps host a party or two to lighten hearts. Signed, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon Bloodline retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ A third note was placed under the door of Vytrek Tundraks personal room: (( @Monkee)) " Chosen of Wyrvun, I, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon line call upon your resolve, do not follow in your fathers footsteps, do not yet again thrust us into more pointless war on the behalf of those who would not do the same for us. Of all those we aided and protected in the past, none have cared to return the good faith, even now as our Princedom devolves into a remnant they dare not show their face to you, they dare not after soo long tempt you with shallow excuses of their poor faith. As a Drakon I can only emphasize our traditional views; If war is inevitable then let it be upon all those who have foresaken us, the other Elven-kin care little for us, let war wage against those who talk of their might but fail to field enough military might to fend off common bandits. Though we spoke rarely, you were one of character and I do not believe you nor your brothers care to walk the path of your deranged father. Im sure you will hear word of my actions and their repercussions, yet do not think me a fool. I set the standard for all Drakon who come after me, right now resolve & duty must take precedence. Do not fail them. Signed, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon Bloodline retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐ The fourth note was slid under the Sylric manor door, meant for a friend (( @GrimDeValhalla)) " Mister old & ugly, Taveric, I have done something idiotic and impulsive once again, im sure you will find out soon enough. I'll be seeing our comrades in Fin'ciwn soon, im sure you'll end up here soon too with your old age. Right now I face down my last day of battle, my old injuries ache though my resolve has never been stronger than now. I may not have been present during the past few years but im sure with your own resolve you may once again pull your bloodline out of obscurity. Im sure your time will come and you will come face-to-face with Wyvrun, if he judges you too ugly to enter I would completely understand his decision, though I am also sure that if you mentioned the great Thalion Drakon Sentinel in the Ivae'Fenn of the Princedom of Fenn, and your role as my trusty-side kick, he'll be sure to let you in. I don't believe much needs to be said, I figured it was best that you found out this way than through someone else. Make sure whoever leads Drakon went I am gone, that they recover my body and I am not left to rot. Get to me before the animals strip my bones of flesh and ideally do it with haste, with your age you may never know how soon you'll keel over and with a face like that you may just be killed for no reason at all. Do be safe, and send Velatha my regards. Signed, Thalion retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ (( OOC disclaimer: )) (( If you haven't gotten a letter or been told by someone who has, then you don't know about his death. ))
  22. The Amber druid would look at the explosion before him - the explosion coming to him as it disintegrated all in its wake. He would lean upon his staff as it came towards him, no fear or anger within his visage. Though what was left was sadness within his tone as his death was to come. “Aspects protect Sonna.” he would say softly before being overtaken by the blast, the druid turned to nothing but dust. “Uncle, why do the druids try to fight us? They are weak and know nothing of how this world works.” As Zolvan Elverhilin spoke he would be in the black armour of the Sons of Malin, looking to his Uncle Valandos before him. “They are fools, a plague. We shall destroy them Zolvan, we shall bring them to destruction along with their homes in the trees.” Valandos would respond, the Sons entering their golden age within Helena. For years that man, a Herald of Azdromoth, fought alongside the Azdrazi, Sons, and other Mali under the banner Pale of Aldemar. He fought undead, paladins, druids, and watched his daughter Katari fall wounded to the undead - For decades he served the sons, spying within Aegrothond and Siramenor till the Sons fell, betrayed by the Empire till they were disbanded and hunted as criminals. The Elverhilin ran and hid in the very place he once planned to destroy, he once planned to slaughter. Slowly he hid his nature, he hid his disgust for his own kin so he would blend in with them, becoming one of them. His nature came to change, he came to like his kin, seeing the lies of his Uncle - coming to love nature and the Aspects. He spoke to the Druii he once hated, those he once wished to kill, yet they helped him see the reason the balance must be kept, see the path ahead of him - although he did not know it. “Remove these tattoos - I am no longer a follower of the Titan and wish to hold them no more. I am not worthy of any gifts bestowed.” That man would say to the Azdrazi within Haelun’or, speaking up towards the two who watched him from the stairs. “Very well.” that draconic creature uttered back as the deed was to be done, the man once more becoming free of bonds, free to pursue his own destiny. The Elverhilin would return to Siramenor, a smile on his face as he came to enjoy his freedom, he came to learn more of the Aspects, of the Mani, of the past of his Kin. Fighting within the Inferi war he fought alongside some of his fellow ‘ame, helping fight the demonic creatures till they were pushed from Arcas, going to Almaris. Within Almaris were the happiest years of the Elverhilin’s life. He met there the one he would come to love, the only one he felt he could truly trust - Sonna Vuln’miruel. He would come to date her, wishing for her to soon be his wife. During his time with her he would come to join the Druidic order under his mentor Quillian, joining the Ichorians as the Amber druid. Sonna had once said to him she would only marry him if he were to become a druid - and now that time had come. A single decade came before he proposed to her, making her his wife only a few decades later. “I shall always love you, till my death comes and I am brought into the arms of the Aspects.” The Amber Druid would utter out to Sonna as he gave her the blade Fisuloem on their wedding - a sword he had made himself so he may show his love for her. “And I shall love you, forever and always.” That Fox would say back to him with a soft smile as he gave him a pendant with her aura.. A soft, playful fox humming within the song of nature. How he loved that pendant.. No matter where Sonna was he could feel her aura beside him, singing a soft and playful tune within the voices of nature. For decades he would spend time with his wife, enjoying the freedom he had as he did his duties for the Aspects. Every look at her was pure joy, and soon they would have a child together, Sulcelia. The child was his world, just as Sonna was - he loved them both more than words could describe - finally having a true family in the Vuln’miruels. His Step-son Amaesil, his Druidic Brother Becclain, Druidic Sister Sera, and his adopted daughter Ophelia. Happiness being what he felt the most as he saw his Step-son get with a wonderful young Mali woman. Those years of joy would then come to an end. After a failed coup upon Elvenesse that Zolvan helped watch fall, he would come once more to the defense of the balance when Tahlia sent him a letter. “Zolvan, I know you may hate me - but an urgent matter has come up and I need your help. Please come to Ando as quickly as you can. It is for the balance.” that letter would read, Zolvan raising his staff once more, the balance being defended was all he cared for. Before he left he placed his beloved pendant in an envelope, sending a letter to his wife, asking to speak to her on his return - a gift he planned to give her. As he sent the bird off he wondered why, why he put the pendant in there - perhaps a feeling of dread? Maybe some sixth sense that something was to come. Yet he cared not, moving off to do his duty. “You have courage for calling me Tahlia. What is it you need?” that Druid would call as he reached the steps of Ando. He would listen to them as they spoke of a Voidal tear, his only thought ‘It must be destroyed’ - unaware of the consequences. Being thrown to the ground by the voidal knight he would watch as some odd homunculus would rush towards the tear, exploding in a blast of boom steel. Zolvan would watch in astonishment as the Yellow king screamed out “You fools! You’ve damned hundreds, I was going to save this city!”. That scream came too late - the explosion coming towards those who destroyed it. Zolvan, having had no idea what he was walking into now about to face his end. The Amber druid would look at the explosion before him - the explosion coming to him as it disintegrated all in its wake. He would lean upon his staff as it came towards him, no fear or anger within his visage. Though what was left was sadness within his tone as his death was to come. “Aspects protect Sonna.” he would say softly before being overtaken by the blast, the druid turned to nothing but dust.
  23. Amalric was a mystery to many. Few had ever seen him. Fewer knew his name. He just seemed to appear one day, always lingering in the shadows, just out of sight, just behind his employer. And he died just as quietly as he lived. He never lived to see his 18th birthday. It is surprising to some that he lived to see his 17th. Indeed, Amalric, though a quiet sort, lived an extremely dangerous life. He spent every waking moment surrounded by beasts and monsters, demons and devils, clowns and queens. Power was always within reach, but it was not his to have. He didn't want it. Indeed, he spent all of his life advancing others to their goals. Where did this loyalty get him? In pieces. Pieces.. Morgan can remember the blast. The cannon fire, the volleys that impacted all across Yong Ping. She was just trying to help. She was just trying to be useful. Where did this need to be useful get her? In pieces. The shrapnel tore her limb from limb, cut through her organs and her flesh, diced her apart. She was never supposed to survive it. When an alchemist plucked her mangled body from the wall and carried it away, she was not conscious to see what he did. Til the day she died, Morgan was never sure if she'd have rather had him just leave her. It would've been less trouble, for everyone. She wouldn't have had to do what she did. It'd be a lie if Amalric said he wasn't the vindictive sort. He didn't think he was. So many people had wronged him, but he never gave it any thought. But no matter how many days and years passed, he could not let go of what Karl Amador did to Morgan. His employer, so many times, had told him to stay out of Haense to avoid conflict, but many days were spent sitting. And watching. Watching Karl, watching Petra and Sigismund. And Karl... He had moved on from Morgan. He had gotten himself a wife, and children. A wife. And children. It made Amalric sick. Had Karl forgotten what he'd done to Morgan? All the suffering he caused to his first kiss? Kiss.. In truth, Morgan never expected it to go this way. Karl was never on her mind romantically until that very night they kissed. It was funny, almost. When she was a beggar on the streets, her eyes followed Petra Emma. No one noticed her, the way she stood back and observed Petra and Karl talk. She wanted to approach, to ask for food, or for a friend, but she was shy, and words were trouble. But it was Karl who approached and put food in her hands, and declared himself her friend. She so desperately wanted friends. Someone to follow, someone to give her meaning. She found it that night in someone else, someone who'd lead her astray, ultimately. Someone she'd fall in love with. But Morgan fell in love with so many people. A crush on Karl. A crush on Sigismund. A crush on Petra. A crush on Hesperia. At the time, Karl was the only one who returned her romantic advances. She was so sure they were meant to be. Foolish. He didn't intend to cause such a scene. But he enjoyed every moment of it. Walking into that tavern, reminding Karl, and everyone, of who Morgan was. What he'd done to her. It felt good to be vindictive. To finally make someone scared and regretful. He wanted to punish Karl for forgetting Morgan, for getting her killed. No one knew who Amalric was. They couldn't. He didn't exist, he wasn't a person. He had no paper trail. He liked it. He liked that he seemed to be a ghost of Karl's past, coming to haunt him for all the wrong he'd done. Wasn't that exactly what he was? He was a ghost. A memory forgotten. And of course, Karl being Karl, all he could think about was the assassins. Assassins.. She never wanted it to come to this. Morgan didn't ask for this. But she enjoyed it. She was.. vindictive. Karl never noticed her. He ever even saw her among those who came to kill him. How could he have? She was dressed in armor like the rest. It was all his fault. He had caused so much trouble. From those who wished to do her arm to the ones she lived with yelling at her and demanding to know who she told. Who had she told? Who did you tell? She didn't tell anyone, none but Karl. No one else knew what was required to get her back onto her feet. He said he wouldn't tell anyone. She trusted him. She loved him, but he denied her and spread word of her condition to all who would listen. The rumor came from Haense. It had to have been him. It was not Amalric who sent the assassins. He was more subtle in his maneuvering. He was a private person, he preferred man to man talks, in secluded locations. His revenge was quieter, the way he stalked Karl and Petra and Sigismund. Attended their balls. Watched Sigismund dance. Watch Petra and the boy she courted dance. He even tried talking to her at the time, his mind not so bent on causing suffering. He just wanted her to be his friend again. He wanted to have that tea.. Tea.. Morgan and Petra were supposed to have tea. She was going to have a friend, despite how disfigured she'd been made. Karl abandoned her, Sigismund called her a wretch, but Petra spared her those small kindnesses. She never got to have the tea, because of Karl. Morgan cried about it often, though she'd tell no one. She wanted so desperately a friend, she'd lost everyone. And she would continued to lose. Her sense of self, her identity. Her name. Her appearance. To avoid those who would hunt her, who would ask questions on her appearance, they fixed her. They made her acceptable again. They made her.. Amalric didn't have any friends for some time. When he came back from that ball, so upset that he'd been invited and then ignored by Petra, so enraged at the success of Sigismund and Karl, he was told by Hesperia to never return to Haense, for it only caused him pain. But he was obsessed. He'd put so much time and emotions into the trio, he cared so much about their lives, that he returned anyways. Every month, to watch them, to follow them, to listen. Who was he if not for his attachments? Was he a person? He'd been a person. He'd been several people, in fact. So many names, so many faces. And for what? Was this not what being a person was? Caring? Trying to make friends? Being hurt and hurting in turn? Was that not humanity? He'd spent 10 years in the service of Hesperia Von Drakenhof. He loved her. He was obsessed with her. Every second at her shoulder. If he knew her location, then he was there, whether she invited him or not. Amalric was her eternal servant. He changed his name for her. He changed his appearance for her. He lived for her, and he would've killed for her. He would die for her. He did die for her. He'd given everything up but her. He lost his friendships, those he'd known. He agreed to marry her, because he thought was what she wanted. He did everything for her. Though, in the quiet hours of the night, he would know in his heart that he did it for himself. It would take years to unravel the thing that Amalric was when he died. It would take longer to unravel the circumstances of his death, and his relationship with Hesperia Von Drakenhof. Only she could truly tell the complicated and tragic story of his life, and even she didn't know him completely. And this is how he ends. An unfinished story. A mystery unfounded. A tragic ending to a tragic life of a tragic child.
  24. Judgement; Reversed OOC: The following is a mix of my character’s memoirs meant to be published after her death and memories from her life. Do not metagame the contents of the memories. The memoirs are able to be read by members of the Paladin Order and the Asul’onn Family. [!] A stack of journals would be sent to one Yarikh Asul’onn with a short note attached: “If I am killed or go missing, let our family and the order read these. I trust you, sister. -Revas Asul’onn” [!] A stack of letters would be left to Elren Asul’onn to be sent out upon Revas’ death. -=- Table of Contents: 1. The Gathering Storm 2. Isolation. a. Memoir #1: Beginnings b. Memory #1 c. Memoir #6: Adelith d. Memory #2 3. Self-Doubt. a. Memoir #3: Amthalion b. Memory #3 c. Memoir #2: Tarathiel; Elren d. Memory #4 4. Pride. a. Memoir #4: Canonism b. Memory #5 c. Memoir #7: Friends d. Memory #6 5. Fire. a. Memoir #5: Koenas Mariya b. Memory #7 6. The Storm’s End 7. Letters 8. OOC The Gathering Storm "Though my soul may be set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." Revas Asul’onn was always a reckless woman. Lately, her head had never ceased running at a mile a minute. The only time it seemed to stop and allow her to simply be was when she found herself in a dangerous situation. This led to many moments throughout her life that could have and should have been avoided. The first was when she, at twelve years old, purposefully sought out bandits and other dangerous people on the roads. Her mother was none too pleased, and made her start taking a bodyguard. Another time, she found herself right in front of a rock troll. And, in possibly one of her least thought through plans, she threw a bottle of alchemist’s fire at it. That only pissed it off. The final time Revas Asul’onn sought out danger was a quiet night. There were no clouds in the sky as she set out into the wilderness near the small farming village of Veritas. It was just her, the various weapons on her person, and the sounds of the different animals. She had left a stack of journals and letters on her husband’s bedside table, just in case. The letters and memoirs had been written long ago. Revas Asul’onn was reckless, yes, but she was not completely idiotic. She knew the risks she threw herself into. Isolation. ♫♫♫ Revas Minaeve Barrow-Ambrose. That is my birth name, or at least what I believe it to be. My earliest memory for many years was waking up on a beach, ocean waves lapping at my feet as I called out for my parents - two men. No replies came to my calls. I bled profusely from my head, but I was only five. I gathered a few of my belongings and started down the road. I came upon the Village of Siramenor and slipped through a gap in their wall. No one questioned where I'd come from, but one woman did treat my head injury. It wasn't until I stated that I needed somewhere to sleep that someone took interest in me. A man named Anessan, I believe. He placed me with a stranger, said he would be my 'guardian'. I didn't like this new man. At this point, I couldn't hardly read nor write but I could practice my combat abilities. I picked up a stick and bound toward the nearest group of people - straight towards a tall man with long, black hair who wore a crown. My guardian yelled for me to come back, but I cared little for what he had to say. I began my assault on the Sea Prince with my stick which I saw as a mighty broadsword. The man bellowed a big, haughty laugh. "My assassins keep getting younger," he'd said through the laughter as he picked me up and placed me upon his wife's shoulders. My guardian ran up to us, a glare set on his brow. He apologized for my behavior, but the Prince didn't mind one bit. Eventually, I was placed down and a high elven woman offered me a dagger. Tick. Tick. Tick. As I stared at the outstretched hand, I couldn't ignore the sound that came from her. It filled my ears and seemed to beat in time with my very own heart - but it was comforting. I took the dagger from her with a wide grin and opened my mouth to speak. I was cut off by my guardian as he tried to take my dagger, but I moved it out of the way. He said how he should strike me down where I stood for my behavior. At the moment, I decided I would not stay in this village long at all. [!] End of Memoir One. -=- She ran from the village of Siramenor. She ran as far as her small legs could carry her. She knew she could not go back, not while she was so small. Instead of living among her kin, Revas had somehow ended up in Helena - the capital city of the Orenian Empire on Arcas. That is where she stayed, alone, for years. Even Astrid hadn't given the girl a place to stay. -=- ♫♫♫ Seven days. Seven long, sleepless nights I waited up for Adelith. My sons, Christopher and Elias, were just as worried but I refused to let them stay up with me. When Addie had said earlier that month that she was being watched, I'd wanted to tell her to stop being silly. But I knew she was right. I saw the men staring at the manor and the people stealing glares our way. Sometimes I resented the stupid noble title Tara was given. I blamed it for Addie's paranoia.. but her paranoia was justified. There were wolves in sheep's clothing everywhere, but I knew I was safe with Adelith. She was my big sister, she'd never let them harm me. But she was gone. Her headless corpse was at my feet later the seventh day. "We should move it," I'd said to Thalion. Despite everything he had said and done to my friends, he was the one who offered a shoulder just after Addie's death. My friend had not. We moved her into her bedroom and I barricaded the door. Oddwig was left to me, and I gave that pup all the love I could give. He was my companion and my closest confidant. He was there when I sabotaged my own happiness, after all. [!] End of Memoir Six. -=- "I'd rather be dead than left broken," Luxiana Uradir had spoken these words with a quivering lip. Revas had broken her, but she did it to protect them both- right? "Ti, that will be my last thought." Luxi turned her back on Revas as she uttered out a final sentence to her now ex-lover; "I loved those memories." Revas had waited for Luxiana to leave the room before she allowed herself to even move. Oddwig, the late Adelith's warhound, whined at the woman's feet anxiously. The woman crumpled to the floor slowly, a sob rattling deep in her chest. She curled herself into a tight ball with only her face showing out as tears finally flowed freely. She had done what she needed to protect the love of her life. Self-Doubt. ♫♫♫ Amthalion. That is a name hated amongst my eldest friends… And yet I’ve always found it hard to dislike him truly. As I write this, I realize how much I’ve always wanted to say to him. I know I never can, as he’s likely long dead by the time this is published. When I was younger, I would have said how I hoped he could make it to his fiftieth birthday and how he needed to stop cutting out the people who truly cared for him. If he wanted to be a rat, he’d end up in the gutter. But, in all honesty, my opinions have changed since then. In a way, I still pity him but it’s different. I pity that his mother never cared to raise him correctly, that he felt like he needed to reject Tara’s love in some fucked up loyalty to Vyasaldris. I’ve not always been an open book, but the one thing those who knew me when I was twelve to thirteen could easily tell was that I was head over heels for Amthalion Elyra. When he said jump, I’d ask how high. The power he had over me was… More intoxicating than the nights we shared a bottle. I never stood between him and the woman he loved despite my feelings, and although he may wish he’d never married her I am glad I stood aside. I never wanted to be the second choice. “Maybe, if things fall through with her…” Those words broke me even though they were his attempt to console me. Amthalion made me feel like a normal child, but in the end he did hurt me. We got over it, yes, but the words he said to me which he seemingly forgot will always be engraved in my mind. I was always his second choice. Until I wasn’t. And then he killed himself. [!] End of Memoir Three. -=- The fire crackled in front of Revas and Amthalion as they sat in the restricted section of the library. The two did this often, her being thirteen and him fifteen. Revas had very few friends her own age and Thalion had always made her feel welcome. The two discussed Revas’ feelings toward a boy in her past, how they felt about Yarikh, and they touched a bit on the girl known as Ophelia. Amthalion and Revas spoke for hours before he brought out his stash of ponderlot. The two had done this once before. It had ended badly, but they were bored teens. It also made their games of asking questions much more fun. “What’s your favorite color?” Amthalion asked Revas after a bit of back and forth. Gold. “Blue, you?” “Why?” “Because… I like the ocean and the sky. Gold is quite nice too.” “And why gold?” Your eyes. I love your eyes. “A lot of my favorite things are gold. Well, I started to like it 'cause of Yari's magic things, right? But, I've noticed a lotta nice things are gold. Not like expensive things, but pretty things.” Revas pointed to his eyes. “Gold.” “Ti, that's why we're the lions. Though my title is The Flood, ti?” “It is?” Revas tilted her head. “I didn’t know that. But, anyway, you didn’t tell me your favorite color.” “My favorite color is blue.” He said with a laugh. Because it’s my favorite? “Why?” “Because of my Title. Everything I do is like.. Ocean themed, ti? As for my second? I don't really have a second. But gold I guess, since my tattoos are going to be that color.” “Now you’re just a copycat!” Amthalion reached forward, poking Revas’ forehead. It sent a jolt through her body, reminding her of the day before. The day before, when he had run a finger over the tattoo lines on her face. She flinched back. “What was that for?!” “I distracted you!” His classic smirk was back. “But, you never told me who likes me.” “You gotta guess.” “Well… I don’t know, I guess Ophelia.” “Other than her!” “Er.. Anna?” “Nay! You’re hopeless.” “And high. Just tell me.” “I suppose… That I like you, Thal.” “Oh. You like me?” “Yarikh said I shouldn’t.” “I'm sorry you like me or whatever, I guess..” “Why are you apologizing?” “Because I’m with her.” “Aye, but you shouldn’t be apologizing.” “Eh. Maybe, if things fall through with Ophelia, until then we're just friends, ti?” Always the second choice. -=- ♫♫♫ When I was twelve years old, I came to New Reza. I had only a stick and a small bag of my belongings. I marched straight into the tavern and shoved the stick onto the counter. “Gimme somethin’ alcoholic, Miss!” I’d said to the barmaid - Tarathiel. Sat down beside me was a fourteen year old elven boy - Amthalion. He gave me an odd look, but didn't say much. Tara, on the other hand, broke into a smile that rivaled the sun in its brightness. "Oem'ii, you're much too young! But, here, some tea on the house." With a flick of her wrist, she had brought a tea cup to rest before me as golden threads weaved over her arms. A housemage. I'd never cared much for tea, but I was so amazed by this woman's use of magic that I took the tea anyway. She fascinated me, and eventually this woman would become the person I trusted most in the world. She asked me where my parents were and I told her I didn't know. Hadn't known for a long time. I suppose it was a half truth. I knew where Xanthus, my legal guardian, was. I wanted to stay away from him after all. Despite the fact that I was a grimey child who talked funny with a scar over the top of my head she took me in. She also took in Yarikh, my eldest sister. Like me, she is missing most of her memories from before waking up. Together, the three of us made new memories. And then I was offered the Elyris name. Tarathiel, at the time, was an Elyra. A relative of Vyasaldris Elyra. Vya and Tara didn't get along for a multitude of reasons, most of which would take too long to explain. To put it simply, Tara believed - and still believes to my knowledge - that Vyasaldris was a bad mother to her children. She isn’t entirely wrong, as I’ll go over in my next ‘chapter’, but Vya never seemed to care for being called out. Tarathiel truly wanted me as her daughter, but I was unsure. I had only lived with people who either hurt or used me and I never wanted to feel so helpless ever again… But Thalion convinced me to give it a shot. So I did. I will never regret that decision, no matter what happens to me. The Elyris name was special to me at the time. It represented being a part of an actual family. But, as most good things often do, it came to an abrupt end. Myself and Tarathiel were disowned by Vyasaldris and so we created House Asul’onn - the infamous ex-Barony. So many good things came from our new family. Despite all of the criticism we endured and the disaster that was Haenseni Nobility, we were happy. I worked hard in the clinic, staying beside Aestenia and Katerina as long as I was able. I became a competent alchemist to be more useful to them. And then I met Elren. He was another ‘aheral seeking refuge from Haelun’or at the time, not unlike Aestenia. He wished to learn medicine under me, and I was happy to oblige. I had never had a proper apprentice before. At first, I thought he was a bit simple-minded. He puked on my medical equipment the first time he saw a dead body in the morgue. He grew on me, though. With each passing day we spent working side by side, a bond formed. And then, he asked me on a picnic. I said yes. And years later, when I asked him to marry me, he said yes as well. Vivienne is our pride and joy. She is perhaps one of the three people I could ever love more in this world than Elren. Children have a special place in your heart. [!] End of Memoir Two. -=- Luxiana Uradir. Luxiana. Luxi. “Please, call me Luxi!” Those few words, however meaningless they seemed, made Revas’ stomach do a flip. Butterflies she’d never known existed tried to escape, flapping up her throat and coming out in stutters and flushed cheeks. “Revas,” She’d said as she reached out to shake Luxi’s hand. “I-I mean.. Call me Revas. That’s my name.” A giggle escaped her mouth - another butterfly escaping. ‘She’s pretty. Why do I think she’s so pretty?’ Later that day, Revas sat upon her bed staring down at her sketchbook. She’d drawn that woman’s face. It was so engraved in her brain, she couldn’t shake how… How this woman alone had made her feel like a child. In a good way, though, not like how she felt when Tara scolded her. A child who was discovering what a crush was for the first time. Blond hair. Golden eyes. Golden eyes. She flipped back to the sketches of Amthalion. Then, she flipped forward to Luxiana. Golden eyes. She’d always loved the color gold. Within the year, the two were together. They were nearly inseparable. ‘They’re just best friends’ Tara had assured people. Friedrich knew. Marcella knew. Stefan knew. Teni knew. They all kept it to themselves, watching the two girls fumble through love. They watched the two girls grow together and tear each other apart in the end. Revas never forgave Heinrik for giving her mother nobility. She ripped Luxiana’s heart out to save face for her mother. Then he took the title away. Oddwig slept beside Revas every night, his coat soaked in her tears. ‘I hope I’m not her second choice.’ Pride. ♫♫♫ Canonism. I’ve never really gone to church on a regular basis. I put all of my faith in Godan, yes, and I pray to him every day. Church, though, has never been my thing. At least, not since a priest tried to wash the tattoos off of my face with holy water. Tara stopped them, but it was still a terrifying experience for a child. Despite these events, I still brought the twins up to be good canonists. Even when I was told that the Creator was dead, I continued to worship. It changes nothing to me whether or not He is dead - He still created us all. Maybe not directly. Maybe it was all accidental. But, it was still Him. I could not be the person I am today without my faith. It drives me forward, keeps me from going insane, and gives me reassurance that I will be reunited with those that have passed someday. I know I will see Adelith again, as well as my birth parents. They are all waiting for me. If I didn’t believe it would be much scarier. The greatest grief of all is to be left in this world when another is gone… If you have faith you will see them again, it ebbs the pain. Don’t you think? I never cared for painkillers either. I used them, of course, but it is important to have pain tolerance. Perhaps Canonism is my spiritual painkiller. Perhaps the afterlife is not the Seven Skies at all and I will never see them again. But, keeping my faith keeps me going as I said. So I will continue until I take my final breath. Once that final breath has left my lips, I will know for certain. Until then, I must keep my gaze set forward and not linger long on death. So, to all of the Paladins reading my words: I never had faith in Xan. I used his gifts to serve the will of the Creator. Dark beings have no right to exist in our world, and I stick to that belief. I just do not believe Xan even listens to the prayers you tell me to make. [!] End of Memoir Four. -=- Sapphire. Everything was sapphire. A roar, distant. A lion, perhaps? A battle, Champions of Xan and Tahariae dotted over a battlefield. A shift, now to a cliff. More Xannic champions all around. Revas reached out to help, but grasped nothing. The scene had shifted. Gudour. She’d learned of him from other Paladins. A Drakaar. Druids, Azdrazi, Paladins, all united. One banner. Peace. Clerics heal, Paladins kill. Adelith’s words? Anduin’s? Yarikh’s? “I will heal,” Revas had promised Stefan. “We can be different.” Would she be different, really? Peace hadn’t been achieved in decades. Peace was never possible in Revas’ lifetime. The Azdrazi had made it clear with Adelith. A question. “Will you serve me?” A lion. A sapphire lion. She kneeled. “Yes.” She dropped to her knees, back in the chancery. She had her eyes open a mere second before blacking out. She was a Paladin serving Godan. -=- ♫♫♫ I have a few close friends, aside from my family. Friedrich, Stefan, Marie, and Aestenia are the Haenseni ones. I also know Anduin, Rhaelanthur, and a handful of druids. I hold my friends as close as I do family, with Anduin and Rhael acting like my odd uncles. Friedrich is like an older brother while Marie and Stefan are like my weird younger siblings. Aestenia is a wine aunt. They all keep me from doing things that will likely result in my death or a serious injury. If I had not become close with Franz and Friedrich in my youth, I would be worse off. People seemed to believe Friedrich and I were involved. Nein, we were not. I am no race mixer. And, to put it frankly, I was courting someone for nearly a decade and he has been happily married for even longer. The woman I courted was everything to me at the time, but when we were given the title of Barony, I didn’t want anyone to find out. So I ended it. I loved her, but it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps I blame Heinrik for its ending, perhaps not. Perhaps I could blame myself. I need someone to blame. I used to miss her so much. I was her first choice, but I was also her last. “I’d rather be dead than left broken,” she’d said to me. She isn’t dead. In the end, it may have been for the best anyway. I married a man who I love to the stars and back. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. [!] End of Memoir Seven. -=- Click. Click. Click. The sound of boots on cobbled streets - or was it heels? Heeled boots? Revas couldn’t tell the difference, she was too zoned out. She did, however, hear the sound of two wailing babes from a nearby alleyway. An alleyway which had just been exited. Revas turned suddenly, but no one was around. The moon was high in Providence, casting long shadows over the streets. The woman turned to the alley, creeping in. “Hello?” Her voice cut through the wails, ricocheting off of the walls of the tight space. With no answer, she quickened her steps in the direction of the babes. Within seconds, she stood before two swaddled newborns tucked into a hand-woven wicker basket. There was nothing to identify the two aside from their golden locks. Their eyes were closed tight, but they were not asleep. The twins cried all the way home. Revas didn’t mind, she was smitten with the children. She knew she wanted to raise them, no matter how bad it may look to others. "No matter what, you two are my children. You will always be my children. It doesn't matter if we share blood because we are still family. Remember that." Fire. ♫♫♫ Koenas Mariya Antoniya Barbanov was one of the strongest women I ever had the pleasure of knowing. I wish I could have been closer with her, but right as we began to truly know each other she was torn from this world by the hands of a murderer. For a time, I suspected her husband to be the cause. Mariya sought me out to treat her for bruises, you see, and they were… So utterly horrifying to look at, I even became queasy at the sight. I told her I didn’t want to know what had happened. I told her my job was to simply patch her up and send her on her way. I should have asked her who did it. I’ve spent my entire life wondering if it was Heinrik, or possibly one of the knights. Or, was the Queen sneaking out of the city and getting herself hurt? I should have asked her so many questions. I was going to ask her after the garden fair, the one that was right before her death. We had spoken beforehand about something quite concerning, but it was cut short. I have never forgiven myself for never asking her if she needed help. [!] End of Memoir Five. -=- Revas spent hours in the clinic, Temi by her side. The pain was worse than any injury she’d ever endured. Teni assured her it would be worth it. And, in the end, it was. Revas held the infant so close, fearful that she would disappear. The child wailed, even when her father took her from her mother’s arms to allow her to rest. Her name was Vivienne Hanna Asul’onn. Much like with the twins, Revas made a solemn vow on the night of Vivienne’s birth. She swore that she would protect the girl with her own life if the need arose. She would never abandon her child, never let her feel unwanted. She would love her unconditionally, no matter what. The Storm’s End It was an accident, in the end. A single wrong move on a simple hunting trip. She’d sought out a bear. Bears provided much more of a thrill than deer, after all. She’d hunted a bear with Anduin in the past, so she believed she could do it alone. Of course, she was wrong. Perhaps she was resigned to her fate when the claws came for her neck. She did not move, after all. She hardly flinched. She didn’t even call upon her mists to stop the bleeding. It was not right to use her gifts for something as mundane as a hunting trip. Revas was able to get away and stumbled toward the village she had started at. Her paranoia had subsided into waves of sheer acceptance. She laid upon the grass just outside of Veritas and stared up at the stars she and her husband had spent many nights talking about. As her eyelids began to slide shut, she felt a hand stroke her cheek. “It’s okay now, Pup,” her father said gently. “Come home with us.” She saw her two fathers - the one she shared a blood relation with and his husband - who had died before she had even reached seven years of age. And she smiled. Cassim smiled back as he took his daughter’s hand. She allowed herself to fall asleep, hearing the lullaby Christopher had sung to her every night before his death. Letters. ((These are private, do not metagame)) Family: [!] A group of letters were sent to Elren, Vivienne, Aela, Tarathiel, Elias, Christopher, and Yarikh Asul’onn. ((Will be DM’d separately.)) Stefan: Friedrich: Teni: Veren: Astrid: Anduin: Revas Minaeve "The Storm" Barrow-Ambrose Asul'onn 1781 - 1828 OOC: It has certainly been a rollercoaster playing Revas. I want to say thank you to lillyeveans, Wolfey34, altiar1011, JustGrim, BobBox, MissToni, ColdestPepsi, Cypher_nicus, StrongBear, camocat9, Ztrog, Covey, and Saffryie for making my time playing her an absolute blast. I’m sure I missed some people, and apologies if I forgot you. I wish I could say it was all fun. Unfortunately, that is not the case. With this PK, I will be basically ending my time on LoTC. By that, I mean I am getting too busy with my summer courses and preparing for university. I will still be around on discord to chat with friends, but I will be 18 soon. I have been on this server for nearly 6 years and I am tired. I plan to still play my character Isolde Barclay when I have a night off from studying or to wind down, but this is more for my own satisfaction to see her story ended in the way it should. I’ve learned that not many people see LoTC the same way I do in how I seek to create a fun story rather than essentially play Crusader Kings. Oh well. Art dump!
  25. ...BUT ONE, WHICH ECHOES ETERNAL I. DREAMS It was like it had always been. For but a fleeting moment, the thought lingered; the memory had faded already when he made the first step. One more, and then another, and his weary gaze lifted from the beaten path, to a scene which filled him with dissonant relief and uncertainty alike. The village lay before him, upon the slopes of the valley, and where the pines thinned rose high-peaked roofs so customary of Waldenian architecture. The gloom and heavy clouds, joined with the setting, betrayed the scene to be of a Haeseni spring, though no icy chill beset him as he walked on; his leather coat, so ancient and so dear, was soon to be carried across his shoulder. Onward he stepped past the first thresholds, slicking back his copper-hued hair above his torse, and no sounds of a bustling hamlet ever reached his ears. The peace bothered him little, as it always had been, yet deep down the unease persisted. He exchanged the road for an alley, capped boots striking the grounds in a heavy gait. His eyes flicked across the closest homestead, and somewhere in his mind, a whisper came, sudden and unwanted: “Home.” And this time, he froze in his tracks. Against all impulse, and though the scene and the path beckoned him to walk on, he resisted. One gloved hand parted the gate from the wooden fence, and the cobbled walkway led him beneath the sloped roof. Where it extended past the painted wall stood a smithy. Home was elsewhere, protested his inner voice. But he knew by heart where each tool lay, the hammer stands and tongs of all sizes. Chisel drawers, and bins of steel, barrels of water and oil, anvil and the stone-sided forge. Where his coat had gone, how the steel was heated, and how a week’s worth of work ended in a blink, he did not know. What he knew was that he had never lived this scene before; that the beating of the hammer filled his ears, that the work he was born for filled his soul. In his hands lay a tempered blade of steel. And when he turned around, in the smithy stood a figure. “You have done well, Sigmund.” “Ja- Corwin. My name is Corwin,” Corwin mumbled in bewilderment, falling still as the other man approached from the shade. The blade, yet lacking a hilt, fell to his side and faded. His former unease, so easily forgotten, now resurfaced. How could it be? “Whatever name you choose for yourself - you will always be my son,” spoke Wilhelm, the old smith. Gray-haired he was like Corwin remembered still after two centuries, of a stocky build not many men could boast so gracefully. The coat Corwin had brought now graced the shoulders of its true owner. His eyes, always so burdened by understanding, rested on Corwin in anticipation. He felt as if he were twenty-five again, when the man he now faced lay in a grave beside the ruins of the house. In one quick stride Corwin closed in the distance, drawing his father into an embrace. Tears welled in his eyes; he squeezed them shut, holding onto the man before him. “I’m sorry, father,” he mumbled. “I-” “Never should have left? You would have never become the man you are now.” His father returned the embrace. Corwin still held back tears. Shame and remorse overcame him, and not even in this dream he could escape his regret of an empty, violent life once lived, in another time. In his mind where but a few moments ago was purpose, humility filled in the blanks, and he cried out a simple confession which once worried the Pontiff so, and which only his beloved truly understood. “I have done so many terrible things.” Wilhelm nodded. “Your mistakes broke you, my son. And then you chose to put yourself back together. You chose better. You chose to be better. That is all that matters.” “I didn’t mean to leave you.” Corwin pulled back, pleading, parting from the man with his eyes now open. “And for me it’s enough. You lived your life and I lived mine. And then you lived another. Not all are afforded such a chance. Fewer still make good use of it.” Corwin made the nearest barrel his seat then, calmed somewhat. Wiping at his eyes with the back of a gloved hand, he looked to his father. To tempt the fate which altered his dream so, to delay now that his being tethered on the edge of consciousness, was unwise. He wished to tell his father all else that he could not all those years ago - but was there time? And would he know of it once they met elsewhere? Father, I sailed the seas and walked our people’s homeland. Father, I was an anointed knight, and I saved many innocent souls from wolves rabid like I had once been. Father, I was a king, and I saved my people from a fate of servitude to oppressors. He was halfway awake already when she joined Wilhelm’s side, joining hands with her husband. She never grew old, his mother, and his vision recalled her as she had once been portrayed in the eyes of a child, beautiful and unchanging. Elsa smiled at him. As the dream faded, he uttered to them one final thing. “Father, Mother, there is someone I need to introduce to you.” And it was better than what it had always been. He hoped it would be enough. II. ECHOES In an ancient, forgotten realm, the wind blew southward across its vast expanse and over its southern shores. It swept across the narrow sea and its restless, beating waves, and towards the great southern isle, forested and rugged. Its ancient woods, untouched for centuries now, gave way to a wide inlet; ruins that had once been a bustling city raised on stone platforms in its very center streamed from the waters, as the sole reminder that these lands had once housed life. The wind howled over the great stone bridges, segmented and broken, and wailed over palaces of pale marble, now ruined and overgrown; it streamed around the derelict city’s grand landmark. Amidst the city’s heart stood a battered tower, looming over the ruins in its forgotten glory. The great clocks’ mechanisms had corroded since, and the covering plates rested shattered upon the grounds below. But upon the tower’s peak waved a foreign banner, clashing defiantly in its novelty with the decay beneath. Corwin stood on the raised roof platform and watched the breeze lash the flag of Alstreim above. Or, rather, had turned his eyes to its direction. The elder’s eyes were claimed by a cloudy mist, which restricted his view greatly; climbing atop the tower in his state required care and effort that few men his age could command. He had never been one to resist a challenge, however, and claiming the sole spot in the dilapidated city so conducive to introspection, a pastime so favored by old men especially, was well worth the hazard. Besides, knowing that the banner above him braved the whistling winds let the elder carry himself with deserved smugness and well-warranted pride. In another life he had seen the tower’s peak but once; today he was its undisputed master. A pair of ravens, twinned with the crimson figure which lay displayed on the midnight-hued flag, circled the tower. Corwin waved his companions away. In his hand, wrinkled and pale, rested a folded note. Reading it would have required strenuous, yet unnecessary effort. He was its author, and knew its contents by heart. In silence he considered his writings, drawing from him reminiscence of long years past, and in particular one old friend. “...The simple matter is, my friend, that I’ve missed you greatly throughout these many decades, and your presence in all my endeavors since. Already I find my memories fading, and in these years I’ve put to writing most of what mattered in this lengthy life of mine. Fruitless it might be, I know, to address you in this manner, but for the briefest of moments it warms this old man’s soul to have you return to life between these words, that fearsome knight yet the truest friend other than her that I had ever known. By my quill I revive this Tereus that I once knew in Metz and Adelburg…” He could see him clearly by his side as he had been in life, piercing through the mists dancing before his gaze. Tereus de Chambery had seldom smiled, but Corwin saw the apparition of his long-gone friend curl his lips in a wistful grin, in this short-lasting reunion brought forth by the vivid imagination of his mind. “...The truth is that us Horen’s folk were never meant to suffer the mortal coil this long. But I know, my friend, that you will understand. You knew me better than most, and though your ardent faith suffered in the presence of the terrible man I once had been, for me you had nothing but understanding. Did each of us not deserve to find redemption, to command true purpose and master our own fate before God? You, my friend, found your repentance in faith. I had been given this chance to start my life anew even before I was granted rebirth by my benefactor or spared the suffering of my scars, and I know, my friend, as my true final days near, that I haven’t failed your trust…” Corwin squeezed the note in his hand. A recollection of his lives came alive much alike his friend as he progressed through the letter in his mind, the expanse beneath him transforming to images of battles and celebrations, from Elba to the Merryweather War, from the Imperial revival and coronation to the Sutican reclamation. “...It is fitting, my friend, that in Waldenian culture there exists a concept of second birth: that a man lives again once he redeems himself or gains his honor through following the sacred code of our forefathers. I, who was rid of my scars and granted a new body through the wonders of alchemy, perhaps was granted a literal vessel to embody this principle. The honor is mine to have walked the steps of Aesterwald in the dead realm of Athera, to have served faithfully to those values I had sworn to myself to keep on that day…” A sweep of his free hand adjusted the fit of his torse, nested upon his whitened locks. The ceremonies of his first and his second knighthood vividly returned to his memory. Which values were these? I swear to be a good and true knight, to uphold the honors of knighthood… to remain faithful to my king… I swear perpetual fealty and loyalty to House Horen… I shall safeguard the helpless, show vigilance and courage even in the face of death… And an eternal oath to the one who mattered more than all the kings and emperors of the world. I accept her as my wife and swear to care for her. I made a promise that it was forever. “...You would recall with much dismay, my friend, that at the beginning of our companionship you and I, and the others, fought with little regard for honor and merit. We were mercenaries, little above common brigands, and all which distinguished us from those wretched souls was our skill with the blade. We put villages to the torch, and relieved cities of their goods and coffers; slaughtered indiscriminately for coin. It pains me to recall, my friend, with how little honor we carried ourselves. In the Crusades we received our indulgences, but for her and for my own sake, I went a step further: I changed, Tereus. You found relief in your faith, and I found mine in protecting Mankind. We raised the banner of Alstreim on the side of law and chivalry this time, alongside the sacred banner of Horen...” He pressed his eyes shut, summoning the faces of his knightly comrades to his memory. For one brief moment, before returning to their eternal rest, by his side stood all the immortal heroes of Man. Emperors Aurelius and Augustus, Prince Antonius Owyn, Prince Cassius; the Aurelian Four and the Waldenian Circle, Frederick Pius, Carlovac Kovachev, Brand and Robert Denhardt; Godfrey II and the enforcers of the Imperium Renatum, Darius Ault and Prince Martinus, Uthred Gromach and Frederick Baden. “...It saddens me, my friend, that our stories woven together couldn’t have lasted longer; that there had to be an end to our everlasting victories, that those I had served alongside in our sacred duty towards Horen and the Empire could never know my secret. But I am honored that, much like yourself, I’d known them at their best. This is something that no usurper can take, nor a revisionist change, this flame of righteousness that engulfs my heart...” His other hand, rested on the platform’s railing, quivered and grasped the stone. Without prompt, and in a low, mournful tone, the elder began humming the Imperial anthem. In his mind the song echoed high, however, as if it were sung in the square of Carolustadt by thousands. His raven companions, drawn in by the humming, perched upon his shoulders. The sheer emotion of that recollection made his thoughts focus like an arrow on the one who awaited him elsewhere in the ruined city. He knew where that path led, and deep down feared that mentioning it would bring that story closer to its only possible conclusion; that the impaired clock below would, from the void, ring out his last hour. But in his letter, he kept no secrets from his friend. “...Of course, my friend, to omit her from my recollection would have done me no good. You, among the very few, knew her as both Adelheid and Laethesia. You know that it was her who helped me bring myself back from the brink, that without her my bones would have been buried at Jornheim Fields. The borrowed time I lived on after Elba and my gift of rebirth I, therefore, owe to her. There is nobody else I would rather owe my life to, and nobody else I would have rather spent it with. Did you ever know, Tereus, what it was like to love truly and selflessly? To think an eternity is too little time to spend by someone’s side? I was graced, my friend, with a hand that parted the storm clouds and pulled me to safety from my maelstrom of misery…” He breathed in, a sharp movement which unsettled his ravens again; with a sweep of their wings, the pair flew off into the city. It was time to brave the final stretch, so long delayed. After all, could there have been a better time and place than here, a better way than this? “...I await, then, in peace the day you and I will meet again, though I fear it may yet be a short reunion; I have elsewhere to be, and who can say for how long and will it be the place my heart desires? Tell my father that I’m sorry, Tereus, and in my stead keep Ath, Ramsey and Killian company. They were right, but I won the bet, and not even in death will I let them forget! Until we meet again, friend: Godfrey guide you. -Sigmund” On his way back, he parted from the railing, and released the note to the wind. III. ETERNITY Some ways from the ancient tower, somewhere within the disorderly ruins, stood a home. And this peculiar and important detail separated it greatly from the townhouses which surrounded it. That is not to say that its facade could boast a particularly differing degree of preservation; its walls lay disturbed beneath a twisted maze of vines much alike the others, its pillars of marble crumbled, and its roof tiles did suffer from a centuries-long state of disrepair - but what feelings slept within its halls at night and then surfaced radiantly, like First Seed flowers in bloom, in the morning made it a home, and this was enough. Therein lived the pair which, as one past acquaintance had portrayed it in his fleeting thoughts, pulled through regardless of city and era; a pocket of peace which made his mind wander and his lips smile. It took no more than a shipment of material, some foraging and handiwork, and that kind of inner peace which seclusion with a loved one grants to transform the crumbling house into their sanctuary once again; in the days that passed, the elder and his elf-wife were serene. This idyllic scene played out as if portrayed by some Orenian painter or playwright, and truly, the pair lacked nothing in their shared dream of Paradise. They began their mornings tangled in each other’s arms, and shared their morning meal. Often, though with care and with slow footfall, they wandered the ruins together. For hours on end they engaged in pleasant conversations of the kind they had indulged in for all of their one hundred and eighty years of marriage, and near-two centuries of felicity in companionship; they had no need of the company of others; their lives, so intimately entangled, required no other experiences left but continued mutual happiness. In the evening hours, as the cerulean blue gave way to that crimson-hued sky strewn with golden rays, the spouses danced slowly beneath the tree that had breached through the fighting pit’s sands before their abode, in the city’s long years of solitude. With woven hands they smiled and reminisced of their first dance, so many years ago in Linandria; they spoke fondly of old friends and adventures shared until the light paled completely. At night they embraced, and to each other’s ears murmured those tender words of lovers, before slumber. Through pleasant dreams and haunting nightmares they kept each other company. So the days passed, and each was content in their ordinary familiarity. Corwin rested often beneath the tree’s bountiful shade. In brief solitude while his beloved ambled elsewhere, his bushy brows creased in contemplation. He thought of his legacy; the family left back in Sutica thought him their great-uncle, and committed themselves to keeping his memory alive. He thought of his grand-niece - in truth a distant cousin - and though perhaps he regretted not having spent enough time tutoring Lina Johanna, he admired the young monarch nonetheless, and her unwavering resolve and sharp wit; Corwin understood she would do well in her endeavors without him. He thought then of his lives, and lessons learned through his prolonged existence. It was worth it, then, to have suffered in anguish and immorality as Sigmund, to then finally learn of love and adoration; to have served a greater goal in honor and chivalry as Jan Sigmar, to then finally learn of respect and duty; to have been reborn as kingly Corwin, to spend in peace his final days and in the company of the one he loved most. It came to be that his sight dimmed completely, and the ancient was left but blind; it caused him little grief. Laethesia was by his side, and in her care he felt adored though he could see nothing. He was content. It was known that those who are blind and who are loved always feel the blissful presence of their caretakers, and even in their brief absence know their devotion would be reaffirmed by their return. He desired, perhaps on occasion, to look upon her, but in his mind she was always unchanging, and beautiful as the day they met, his kindred soul whose love radiated brightness even in his eyes’ obscuring shadow. This was always meant to be, Corwin was convinced, and by then all his concern had faded. There could be no sin in the purest form of love, and in such contemplations the elder thought himself once more the sure recipient of Divine mercy. With grace Corwin accepted, as days went by, that he must concede the race with time, and at last surrender to that terrible curse of Horen his body. He withered and wrinkled, his hair receded and grew wispy; his proud, streaming height was slowly whittled to a hunch, and to step without aid or a cane became impossible. Unlike him, Laethesia was not blind. Through endearing stubbornness equaling his acceptance she instead ignored this change, and Corwin understood that she saw him in the same light as he considered her own figure. And no matter how deep his devotion to her was, he had not the heart to broach the subject. Instead he conceded this final, endearing hope to his companion, made ever so easier by his own, enduring belief that this dream did not have to end. By the oak’s roots they rested together in each other’s arms when Corwin’s eyes fell shut for the final time. One shadow gave way to another, and then to one entirely foreign, yet so innately known to every mortal, fleeting being. The call was felt, the ethereal hand of passage offered. Yet even in that moment her presence comforted him. He knew no fear, only endless love that he truly, deeply believed transcended eternity. To her ear he whispered lovingly, with the last atom of his strength the first and final thing which crossed his mind. “I made a promise that it was forever.” IV. CLOSURE Two letters, presumably, made their way to the intended recipients; one sooner than the other. To Laethesia Thylsealaes Elverhilin von Alstreim: @Areln To Lina Johanna von Alstreim: @Axelu
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