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Aedon's Journal

Discussion in 'UO Catskills Role Play' started by Aedon Durreah, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Journal


    [​IMG]




    *A soft green tablet with a Yew tree etched on it and gold trim*

    A daily journal and record kept by Aedon Durreah
     
    #1 Aedon Durreah, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  2. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It is not the fear of death that has ever brought me to my knees and sent me into hiding. Nor have I at any times willingly run to meet my end. I have always known that in life there are many things and people that might wish to do me harm. This is all a part of living, and if you spend your life hiding from death, you will never truly live.


    Dramora seems more concerned for my life than I am sure she thinks I am. She thinks I take too many chances and would have me cower in some dark hole until some solution can be found. And while I appreciate her caring about my welfare, and will do those things I can to make her believe I am as she says “being good” I cannot find out the things I need to learn if I am secreted away guarding only my own arse.


    I would like to say that hearing that Gillian had signed an order for my arrest surprised me. But in all truth much of her actions of late have clearly been leading her to this end. Janissan would scoff at me and tell me that this is what comes from trusting folks too much. Time after time I have reached out to others in friendship, offered my aid and support and then been let down time and time again. But I suppose it is all fine, because in the end, when they have what they want, Gillian will become as useless to them as last week’s roast.


    I do not wish to see any harm come to her, she is after all a young mother and for Thom’s sake I would see her safe. But given the chance at this point I would love to see her locked behind bars for the harm she has visited upon Yew.


    For now I will stop holding any special nights at the Rest. Not only due to the danger it could be to me but more so for the safety of those who like to attend tavern night. But I will not be cowered, nor will I give way to any demands and conditions which might impede upon my full authority in Aegis.
     
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  3. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There are many forces moving now, some I know of and approve, and some which though necessary, make my blood run cold.


    The hold that Gillian has allowed the Hand to have over Yew must be broken at all costs. These words spoken in a private meeting have plagued my mind, and left me sleepless. While I do wish to not only break the Hands grasp, and bring to Yews Governor to justice for her part in the crimes against the people, I find myself hesitant to give the go ahead for those who will carry out the acts to proceed.


    It would seem that the trusting fool within me still struggles with that inner voice that is telling me this is the best course of action. I am not sure if I hesitate for Thom’s sake, or due to some small voice within that keeps saying, she will be true to the City in the end.


    I am used to moving within the shadows, and have many methods of keeping a watchful eye on those I wish to. But in the end I know full well I must step forward and fight this menace face on. For now though, I will heed calmer heads and do all I can to avoid capture by the Hand. But if in the end, I am brought before the court of Yew and must face charges brought by one with no understanding of what it means to govern justly, then so be it.
     
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  4. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Dramora is right about one thing for sure. I cannot stay someplace where I can be safe while we are working to undo some of the damage Gillian has allowed to be done. It is not though that I have a death wish as she supposes. Quite to the contrary, I enjoy my life, and would like to see it continue for some time to come. But I do not fear death as some might. To me death is but a stepping stone to that next layer of existence.


    The house I am staying in is pleasant enough. But at night I miss the sounds of the wolves howling in the forest. I miss sitting on my steps and watching the sunrise over Aegis, and the smell of a rainfall on fall nights. There are few things which bring me as much joy as the Yew woods always have. And to be removed from them now brings a deep sense of loneliness to both body and soul.


    It is funny how all too often we look past or take for granted the small things that bring us joy. A cup of tea while reading a good book only to be suddenly interrupted as James comes running in with one of his many new plots and plans.


    Home, it is said is where your heart is. If this is true, then my home lies far from these lands- in a small house on the outskirts of Bree. That is where all that I could ever wants lives a life in peace, far from the turmoil that is Yew. But my heart is at times conflicted, and driven by a sense of honor and a dedication to duty. And that is what has kept me here for so long watching over Aegis, as far away my life, and my heart go on without me.


    So no, I do not fear death as Dramora thinks I should. For in many ways such a thing would free me finally from my charge, and allow me to return home to Jan and Kylee.


    For now though, I will listen to calmer voices and cooler heads. But I will not spend my life skulking in the shadows. I have gone over time and again the next steps I might take. Some of them fill me with a sense of sorrow when I realize that it could spell disaster and heartbreak for others.


    Gillian once asked me who I stood with, the Alliance or Her and Thom. My answer to her then still rings true and is the only one I can give.


    I stand with Yew.
     
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  5. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am glad I mad time to go to the trial in Skara tonight. It was not easy convincing Dramora that I would be safe out and about on my own. But I assured her I would be as safe as I would anyplace she relented. Though she did insist I wear my armor and go armed. Hmmp, armed into a courthouse? This did not seem a good course of action for me, so I left my scabbard strapped to Leannan’s saddle. If anyone attacked me I was sure they would give me the time to fetch my sword.


    This trial was important to me because it dealt with the one accused of killing T’serim and Corinna. And though I hardly knew the lady, I had become rather fond of the Great Ranger. It was hard to believe that he would not be sharing any more of his stories of bravery and conquest against all odds. Perhaps at times his tales were a bit fanciful, but they always entertained and brought a smile to my face.


    As some of us were waiting outside to be let in, a rather curious man showed up dressed in a dapper manner. He claimed to be the assistant to the defense attorney, and showed some credentials to the Rangers guard. He was then taken inside presumably to meet with his client and solidify his defense.


    His defense was a bit of a joke, ranging from wild accusations against witnesses to long pauses and theatrical moves. His client, a lady named Arroway sat beside him and spoke in soft tones when a question was asked of her. It was clear that she was in some sort of intestinal during most of the case, and this manifested itself in the form of a rather noxious gas issuing from her and filling the small courthouse. Many of those watching from the gallery had to cover their mouths and noses and some slid quietly towards a window. After a bit the air within the courthouse was so putrid than Clive seemed to melt into the floor and vanish.


    Oh how I wished I could follow him.


    The story told by Rhys and Mylar of the Rangers was compelling. And though at times Rhys admitted to a lapse in some details due to being attacked, Mylar and Lady Piper of the Guardians were able to fill in some facts. It was perhaps not an iron clad case, but the details of what the witnesses saw seemed to me enough to bring about a guilty verdict.


    After the closing arguments, the jury was sent upstairs to deliberate, and the spectators sent outside for a recess. It took the Jury all of five minutes to come to a decision. That is two and one half minutes each for Corinna and T’serim. I was hoping that so speedy a time could only mean that the evidence offered was so clear that it made a conviction easy.


    The judge read the charges one by one and polled each of the jurors to their verdict. As she sat and listened the lady Arroway sat as though dazed only calling out mother from time to time. Each charge in its turn was met with a shocking verdict. Not guilty on all charges. It was clear by the sound of the gasps and cries around the room that the Rangers did not approve of the outcome.


    As the Judge was letting the lady know she would be released immediately, Arroway started to convulse and vomit blood. Then she grabbed her stomach, and fell to the floor dead. I could not help but think that in some small way justice had been served. But I also felt some small measure of compassion for the wretch lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood.


    At the direction of Governor Greywulfe her body was removed to the upstairs, and a healer sent to look her over. It was then that I noticed Tobias standing almost in a state of shock, staring at the blood left on the floor. Piper noticed as well and went to check on him. There was a look of helplessness and lost about Tobi. The way one might look when poised between the satisfaction of justice, and bewilderment at losing someone you have been charged to guard. I have seen this look many times over the years, and have myself had to face the remorse felt when you feel as though you have failed all around you.


    Eldaern gathered the names of all at the trial as well as the names of the Rangers who guarded her, and any visitors.


    Many of us stood there for a time talking and watching Tobi. The healer came down in time and told the Rangers that if they would leave a few windows open, that they would come back and retrieve the body. I suggested to the others that if there was a danger of some exposure to something that they may wish to seal the building. As most of us walked outside, Piper instead pulled her cloak over her mouth and nose and headed upstairs.


    We stood outside in the fresh air talking, and in time Piper came outside to join us. I asked if she had seen anything and she replied that she was not a healer. She just wanted to see if she could spot anything out of the ordinary. After talking a bit more about possibilities, I said my goodbyes and headed home.


    It seems all too convenient to me that the lady died while in the care of the Rangers. I cannot see them doing any harm to her seeing that they wanted to see justice for their friends, and did not seem to be seeking revenge. After all, they could have ended the poor soul’s life while taking her into custody. A couple of us questioned the sudden replacement of the know defender just before trial. And while I can come up with no more answers than any of the rest in attendance tonight I am left to wonder who may wish to harm further or discredit the Rangers.


    The days to come will be hard on some of the Rangers, but I have no doubt that they will carry on and seek the person or persons behind what transpired. They are a determined, resourceful lot, and I believe that Tobias for one has something to prove. He wondered how Governor Greywulfe could trust them with prisoners again, but in reality the Rangers are the best of Skara and faith placed in them to find and do what is right will not be ill spent.
     
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  6. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    What was it James said last night? He said that a change was coming. But if it were for good or bad he could not say. James has always had a way of seeing past the mundane things that many of us see as fact in life. There was wisdom to be found in his words as well. Even though at times many might see his antics as wild, and a bit insane, James sees more of what is truth them a room full of the wisest of men. I think this is one of the many reasons I enjoy counting him among my friends and as a trusted counsel.


    It is good to be home in the Freehold. I have so missed this snow clad canyon, and the feeling of warmth which emanates from the ground. It is here that outside Aegis I feel most at home. There is a degree of peace to be found in this area. I will not say that the fae still living here ignore the pain and struggles of the outside so much as it does not scar them. They know well that beyond what we see in the physical world there is so much more waiting to be dreamed.


    Dramora has decided to move into the house next to the Rest. I am glad for this though will admit to missing Thom, Gillian and especially Wa-ya. I especially miss seeing the latter. Wolves of any sort have always fascinated me. I made the offer after Dramora mentioned the other night how she missed living in Yew. And though her propinquity to Mikael might be a thing of some concern, it will also give them a chance to see what may still exist. I also have deeply enjoyed the many chats I have had with the lady, and find it rather amusing to see the Mistress of Virtue tending bar in the Rest.


    Things have been quiet in Yew these past nights. There have been no attacks, no fights and in truth all seems to be well ordered. Will this last, who can say? It may well be that what I perceive as peace is simply the deep breath before the next round of mayhem. But for now, I will take my respite as it comes, and not look for the devil behind the rock.


    I have sent another letter home to Jan asking her indulgence once again as I tarry in this land far from hearth and home. It is at this time of night that I miss her most. I sometimes fear that I have forgotten the sound of her voice, and the feel of her hand in mine, and Kylee is mostly growing up without really knowing her father. But I am a creature of duty and oath, and I cannot leave Yew for too long until I am convinced she is in the right hands.
     
    #6 Aedon Durreah, Oct 14, 2015
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  7. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I slept well last night. In fact I slept better than I have in many years. I cannot help but wonder if having that thing out of my house has had something to do with that. It was odd to me that I so easily allowed her to remove it from the table it has lain on for so long. Bound there by spell and talisman I had hoped that I could preserve the knowledge within, without being once again overtaken by the contents.


    The damage caused by Charnadis has healed over, and many who were afflicted by the curse seem whole again. But always beneath the surface those of us who committed atrocities while under the influence will forever carry the scars and the burden of the lives taken. And beyond that there are the physical remnants of that time. Had it not been for the intervention of Beleg, I would still bare the shadow of his name on my arm where Aravis carved it.


    Dramora believes she can keep the tome safe, and far away from the prying eyes of those who might use it to bring further grief to a land which has already suffered so much. But if I have made an error in judgment, and she is harmed in any way, then I will have one more to add to my tally, and enough regret to last me several lifetimes.
     
    #7 Aedon Durreah, Oct 15, 2015
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  8. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There is a guest staying at the Rest right now that has me a bit on edge. Not that he has done anything or made any threats at all. It is more who he is.


    He came to the Rest seeking the direction to local inns. I told him that we had a couple of rooms available in the Rest and informed him the price was five gold pieces a night, and that included meals. It was odd that I showed him the room before asking for a name of any sort. But he seemed well spoken enough and lacked any visible fangs. Once he had been shown the room, we rejoined Dramora downstairs. It was then that I finally got around to asking his name.


    The surprise on Dramora’s face was clear to see, and I must have looked like the local fool as I just stared at him. He gave his name as Octavios D’Amavir. We had seen many of that family passing through the Yew area of late, but this one was more than another D’amavir. This one was Mikaels brother.


    He seemed a bit taken back once he learned Dramora’s name, and the displeasure on his face was clear to see. He said he had come there looking for Mikael because he was concerned about how he had been action of late. Dramora asked what he meant by how Mik was acting, but he became a bit illusive and vague.

    After a bit he said he had a stop to make at the stables and the Abbey before turning in, and as I did not wish to make the lad think he was being relentlessly questioned, so held some of the things I wanted to ask him and wished him a good night.



    After he was gone Dramora and I talked for a bit about what his coming might mean. We both wondered what he could mean by saying he was worried about how Mikael was acting. Although I must also admit that his actions regarding my arrest still puzzles me. I am still sure there is something he either needs from me, or has plans to do to me down the line. But for now there is little any of us can do is watch and wait.
     
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  9. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I spoke with Octavious again tonight, It is clear that he is here on some matter of concern over his brothers actions. He has a good sharp mind, and it was a pleasure to have a chance to discuss some matters with him. There is some truth in some of his observations of the situation in Yew, but also much that he does not know or understand about what is going on within the forests. Dramora did not seem taken much with him, and you could feel an air of tenseness between the two.


    She does know the D’Amavir family far better than I and may have an intimate understanding of their methods and intentions. But I still believe that Dramora is not being completely forthcoming on some matters. But then again, I must face also the fact that I am also not being fully honest. There are times when deception must be used, and subterfuge a needed part of all dealings with any one considered hostile. And though my mind at time aches from some of the words I must use to keep others off balance, I will continue to do so, because I must.


    There was a lady in the Rest tonight who had a power that fascinates me. She seems to be a seer, one gifted with the ability to look inside others, or past the facades we all build in front of our true selves. It was clear she had seen something within Dramora, and I heard her speaking some soft advice to her. As I sat later and spoke to her she asked why I allow myself to be pulled in so many directions. A good question I will admit.


    But when we keep ourselves to a path which is too straight and rigid we eliminate the chance for surprise and compromise. We become so focused on a certain end game that we miss life passing by on the sides as we focus always ahead. I mentioned that my roots run deep and to this she suggested that I dig in.


    It would be nice at times I will admit to be the predictable person that went day to day with no variation in life. To know what I would be doing based on the time of the day. To have all my opinions and words based solely on what was expected of me and never deviate from the life of a solid well behaved town elder. But I could not live in that way for long because without surprise in our lives we have little to look forward to. If you cannot allow yourself a chance to change your mind on a person or matter then you may miss out on meeting your best friend or soul mate.


    I do want to talk to the lass again because I find some degree of comfort in her presence. She sees past the visible and is still able to maintain a life that appears on the surface to be a good one. And that is something I greatly desire, To look past the troubles of today to something better tomorrow.
     
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  10. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    The meeting between Clive and Penrose seemed to go well. It was not as though either man smiled warmly and offered aid and assistance to the other. But at least they did not spring on each other, knives at the ready. I am not sure what, if anything will ever come of their meeting, but to me it is clear that Penrose needs some sort of aid, and Clive seemed to me to be the best suited to what appears to be his special needs.


    The favor I did in introducing Penrose to Clive did little if anything to take his mind off his growing dislike of me. He did in fact threaten me multiple times. Well, he can get in the long line of those looking to take my head, or break my will to do that which I all too often find necessary. Penrose seems a rather tragic figure, and I find myself often wondering what he conceals behind the mask he always wears.


    Well, I suppose we all wear our masks. It is most times a lot easier than showing our true selves to others. Some mask their insecurities and failings with swords, threats and intimidation. I have always done so with words. It is getting harder on me to maintain the pretense, façade I put before the public. Many times now I find my words falter, and for a moment I feel stripped bare before the world, my fears, feelings and emotions visible to any and all. That for me is a greater pain than any blade could inflict.


    The sword I wear strapped to my back is more for show, or at times for peeling a rather stubborn apple. I am sure that at one time I may have known the mechanics of battle, and perhaps even been able to hold my own in a fight. But that which may have been second nature to me is now much akin to the dreams a young may have of surpassing skill with a blade. Be it dream or fancy I feel myself wholly incapable of protection myself, let alone those near and dear to me.


    My magic is more a parlor trick than any real magery. The sort of stunt one performs in front of a room full of tired old tea drinkers. And though it may look impressive to some when the cup vanishes as I toss it into the air, this sort of skill would only serve me well if we were attacked by a china shop. I am all in all merely a tired old leader who lacking men to do the job must resort to subterfuge, trickery and at times buffoonery to keep safe the lands and people I so love.


    Dramora has suggested that I consider wearing armor. She and Clive issue warning after warning about the dangers which are surrounding me. Well, I can wear a suit of armor, but that will not make me a fighter. I am beginning to think that if danger is truly all around me, if Penrose or one of the dozens who threaten my life often are indeed serious, then I suppose I will either try to recall what little swordsmanship I ever knew, or arm myself with a tea set and cast it piece by piece at any who attack. I will of course save the pot and my favorite cup for last.


    Mikael came to the Shattered Skull in Skara tonight. It was interesting to watch Dramora as he entered the room, and walked to a table in the back where he sat alone. I of course could not allow such a thing, and went to make small talk and invite him to join us. I made sure that he was seated across from Dramora. I wanted to watch them, see how they responded to the other being so close at hand. I did catch Mikael glancing at her when she was not looking, but she kept her mask on and her demeanor cold. He did not stay long, I wonder if I would have stayed long either.


    Mikaels brother Octavious is still staying in the Rest, and though he is a quiet and rather polite man it is clear to see that he has little use for Dramora. He looks at her as one that has a long held a grudge, or perhaps some level of resentment. I have suggested he speak to his brother, though for now he prefers to keep secret his presence in Yew. That is fine, but a brother is to me someone that you should seek to maintain some contact with. Family is important to me, though at times I am sure many wonder if anything other than Yew matters to me at all.


    It is never good to allow yourself to be weak in front of those you are trying to influence in some way. The façade must remain intact and true lest you become little more than the injured wolf in the pack. Those perceived as weak are all too often gobbled down by men so hungry for power that they do not look to see what they walk over or destroy to suit their ends.
     
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  11. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was not the sort of meeting I had hoped it would be. For some reason Gillian showed up at the Rest armed as though she were expecting to be attacked. I cannot understand what would have put such a notion into her head. I have never threatened nor acted violently towards her. I have treated her and Thom as friends and had felt a closeness and caring for them. I suppose people change. They get a taste of power and it corrupts their minds and hearts.

    When I told her about the fire set at the Rest and gave her the name of the one who carried out the attack she asked for the names of witnesses that might have been there. I did not ask her to Aegis to have her play detective, I told her I wanted Malekai arrested for his acts. I very much doubt that Yews governor will do anything to one of the crew that she hired. I cannot help but wonder if it was she that put him up to doing so in the first place.

    Dramora seems determined to bring her in on the issues dealing with Penrose. I think that to do so would be folly. Her connections with the Hand would only leave us open to further attacks. And I cannot in all honesty say that I trust Gillian any longer. I will say I was a bit surprised that Dramora would ask me in front of Gillian if I trusted her. I did not answer this question. I really feel she should already know the answer to this after the many long talks we have had.

    One good thing did come of the night though. Tobias came into the Rest as did the man Lyric. While we were talking Tobias mentioned that Gillian and Thom both knew Penrose from before. That he had not been as he is now, though he was interested in magic and knowledge. He also told us that at one time Penrose was also known as Merek.

    If this man had been different in the past, then perhaps there was some hope that he could be made whole again. I plan to try to sit down and speak to him again soon. Perhaps we can come to some real understanding. Dramora may not like my plan, but then I again I do not much care for her idea of placing any trust in the governor of Yew.

    Tobias said something that was curious. He said that he knew Merek before he made his true love run around on four legs. Is the wolf more to Penrose than a companion and protector? As always, I have more questions than answers. And in all truth I am not as driven as I once was.

    It seems that far more often then not I sit here on these steps and wrack my brain trying to come up with answers. I have given several lifetimes to helping others when I can; I have treated those I meet with fairness and compassion even when they have proven unworthy of consideration, and for what?

    There is so it is said a spark that dwells within us all. It is that which pushes us to do more, to be better than we have been in the past. I know full well that in my past I have done many things I am not overly proud of. But I have tried to learn from the past, and put forth greater effort for those I care for. It gets hard at times, sometimes what I have done may have seemed folly to those who could not or would not understand the method to my madness.
    So why should I keep on trying?
    I have long ago earned my rest. And the thought of taking flight and leaving the distractions of an ever changing world behind causes my heart beat to quicken. But I am a creature of duty, and do not take lightly promises made to those who came before.
     
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  12. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I must admit to being a bit surprised at the effect Dramora seems to have over me. In the past she and I were often at odds with one another, even when we seemed to be on the same side. We could argue around a point for some time with neither of us willing to say aloud that really, we had the same goals and plans. Llyr always told me that this was simply the effect caused when two strong personalities collided. Perhaps he was right back then, but since Dramora’s return to Yew things have seemed somehow different.

    Now I am still not about to say that I have ever been wrong in my past dealings with the lady, but I have come to value her input on a great many matters. Like Jan, she is a strong woman, with the spirit of a warrior. And she has been a leader of many in her times, well respected by folks throughout Yew. But the reason I believe that I listen closer to what she says is simple. I like her. I am not certain when my thoughts about her turned from worthy advisory to trusted friend. It seems to have taken place on the spin of a top.

    I had confided in her my dismay at the change in the relationship between myself, and Gillian and Thom. For some time I had enjoyed this couples company, and looked forward to seeing them night after night. It was not that the three of us agreed on all things. In fact, we were often at odds even when I tried to see things their way. But after the blow up over the naming of Mikael Protector of Yew, the relationship between us started to dissolve. It would seem that even when not there Mik seems to have a way of inserting himself between folks. I suppose that is a part of the man’s charm.

    Thom and Gillian moved out of Aegis even though I told them it was not needed that they do so. After all, Gillian is the Governor of Yew, and Aegis is a part of the greater town. But they left, and I continued on as though nothing mattered. It is amazing to me how quickly you can grow accustomed to the company of others, and look to see them walk through the door. For a few weeks after I continued to put down a bowl of water and scraps of meat for Wa-Ya. When a wolf is that large you feed it or eat eats you.

    Dramora encouraged me to try to mend fences between us, and though at first I dismissed the idea as interference, inside the idea took root.

    The first meeting did not go too well. Gillian showed up at the Rest armed. This was to me a shock seeing that I had never posed a threat to her life and safety in the past. I asked her to disarm, and she did not comply. So we sat across from one another, and it was clear that though I could see her, and she me, neither of us could hear the other. As always, when I feel the urge to start yelling at someone, I simply left the table and looked for something to do to calm me down.

    After yelling at me, Dramora started telling Gillian of our concerns over the man Penrose. We had heard that Gillian was acquainted with him from a time before he was as he is now. At this point I did not really care about what they were saying, I was angry and bulled up at another table. As I sat there I did notice that it was neither Gillian I was angry at nor Dramora as much as me.

    That night, after all were gone I did a lot of thinking, or perhaps soul searching and decided to ask Gillian to meet with me again. I was pleased that she agreed, and more so that she chose the Rest to come to again. Our chat was a bit more relaxed than the one before, and I hope that we have made some sort of start towards recovering the friendship and trust we once had between us.

    Will things be as they once were? Who can say? Many times something once lost can either never be recovered, or is found again, but greatly changed. All I know is that my heart is lighter for having made the attempt.

    Anger is a terrible thing which left to fester can eat away at a person body and soul. Unexplained anger is the worst of all. Because there is no place you can truly point to as the cause or catalyst for ones ire. I do not wish to be the person that takes a matter and allows it to forever sit between me and those I care for.

    Dramora’s friendship has had a lasting effect on me, and I have come to treasure her company and trust in her advice. And should there be a true mending between Me, Gillian and Thom I will feel that my life is blessed, and that few things will be able to stand before us when united in purpose and cause.
     
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  13. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was a bit odd seeing Seska in Aegis tonight without Penrose. She came in the form of a young woman of surpassing beauty and charm. One who any man would have a hard time resisting should she turn her gaze upon him. Dramora was sitting at the bar with her, and was asking her questions, most about her being there alone. She very artfully answered the questions taking great care not to give any answer that might be used against he who held the leash.

    After Dramora had departed, Seska spoke of a way one could redeem her from her servitude. She said that Penrose would hand over her leash in return for something of value. The man is a fool if he cannot see the prize he already holds, but all too often I have found that a thirst or greed often wins out over common sense. I knew of course what Seska was getting to, and I told her that were it in my power to release her, I would do so. But that I could not hand over the Book to Penrose. She seemed quite upset, and went outside for a bit of quiet.

    When she returned a change had come over her. Though still soft spoken and plaintive in her words, there was a shadow that seemed to wrap itself around here. And though to most in the room little real change had taken place, I could not help but notice a hidden danger about this woman. Still, given reason and cause I would help the lass and even do what I can for Penrose. Before I left I asked that she take a message to her master. If it were truly knowledge that motivated him that he should come and see me, but not to come in anger or with threats dripping from his tongue. Knowledge is not just power after all, knowledge is everything.

    Returning to my room, I poured myself a cup of tea and sat down to go through the months receipts. I thought of what Dramora had told me earlier. She said that Judas would be helping her keep an eye on Leela. This was of course a good thing. The ladies needed as many eyes on them that they could get. Judas is a good man, if a bit on the bawdy side, and it was nice to see Dramora smile so easily when he arrived in Aegis.

    Life in the Glade can be a wonderful thing, but it can also leave you hungry or longing for something more. We all deserve a little fun in our lives, a chance to live, a time to love and be loved. For those under my care I always wish the best that life has to offer, and happiness to see them through the long cold months of the approaching winter.
     
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  14. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Saying goodbye is never an easy thing. This I have learned through countless farewells spoken far too often. And often these farewells signaled an absence from friends long treasured, or the ending of a cherished relationship. There are many ways I have discovered to say goodbye. One can have long drawn out; tearful partings that rend the soul and leave scars on the heart that seldom heal. Or you can choose to go quietly at a time of your choosing, and leave behind a letter explaining why you must now move on. All too often I have chosen the latter method to spare any hard feelings or, well I am not sure what else. Perhaps it is to spare myself the pain with little thought to what my departure may do to others.

    Dramora will be fine while I am away. She has Leela, Faeryl and Judas to keep her company. And I know full well that James will keep a watchful eye on her. And I know well that she will make more and more friendships as she settles in, and becomes more aware of just how much she has to offer. She has said on more than one occasion that she needs no body guard, and I am certain she also does not need a pseudo father forever looking over her shoulder, or watching her steps.

    I have put the Rest in order for the winter, and will be sure that there are enough casks of specialty drinks supplied by Dragons’s Foot. Moonshine will be a big order for sure, as will strong Whisky for James’ enjoyment. I had hoped to be here for the Yule Party at the Rest, but I am sure that James and Dramora can manage the party with a bit of help from Llyr or John.


    I have one more important task to tend to before I can set out. The meeting we are to have with Minalin. It is my hope that with his aid we might be able to at last destroy the Book. I am however taking a step to insure that even if the book proves impossible to destroy, that the other part needed will be far beyond the reach of Penrose or any other who might seek to call back the demon. I have Ahoun safely packed in her scabbard, and secreted in one of my bags. I will bear the blade far from Aegis and bestow it in a place where light or hands will ever touch it again.

    It is a funny thing to hear it call to me again after so many years. Long has it laid on the case prepared for it and looked more like a treasured blade handed down from father to son than a deathly reaper of souls. Even the scabbard is lovely to look upon, though to some it may seem to vacillate between plain and gaudy. It is something that under different circumstances I would be proud to wear at my side. But through the beauty of the item I can see the dark hands which reach out seeking to grasp me and once again pull me in. I will not think of that now though, for it is hidden from all eyes and will soon begin its last journey.

    I have sent a message on to our home letting Janissan know that I will be heading home by mid week. It will be good to sit again in peace in the parlor before the hearth enjoying a cup of tea together as night closes in. Dramora is right; I have been far too long away. And I am glad she decided to urge me to head home. Perhaps after a bit of rest I will be able to return once again to the Glade- for though I love my family and my home, Aegis is a part of me. And I will miss those familiar paths that once I walked.
     
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  15. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Penrose has the book now, for all the good it will do him. It was not as though I wished him to come into possession of the blasted thing. But I have to admit to a certain measure of relief at being a long last free of it. Time will tell if the actions taken were folly or not. And I am sure that Dramora will have a mouthful or anger ready to hurl in my direction. I did after all deceive her about the book as quickly as I did others. But she could not really in all good though assume I would ever have handed it over to her so easily.


    I have to say I was pleased that Penrose kept to his word and released Clive and Leela in exchange for the tome. I had half expected to be tricked into handing over the true book, and he would find some other thing to demand for their release. But if nothing else the man seems to have an honor about him.


    The book will do him no good, unless it is in the study of the words written on the pages. The spell itself cannot be cast without the missing piece. And that I have removed beyond all reach.


    I have always believed that the true measure of a man is not in his prowess with the blade or within the bedroom, but by the content of his heart. Perhaps there is more to Penrose than many others might see, and as Leela thought he is still holds a chance for some redemption. Or perhaps her heart, which looks always to the good within each person, sees something that is not there at all.
     
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  16. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I often wonder just how rooted I am in repetition or habit. It has been many years since I sat in the Shattered Skull enjoying a bowl of soup with Beleg and Ahmaya. It was something we had taken to doing on a nightly basis, and I found myself enjoying the time away from Aegis. It was a time for pleasant conversation with good friends. Time has passed, and they no longer meet me at night, and yet still I go there to sit in quiet and enjoy a light supper.

    With the Rangers spending much time around the tavern, I have tried to find a time for my meal that does not interfere with their social gathering. And for the most part I have been able to avoid the public. For the past couple of nights however I found that I walked in when two ladies were sitting in the tavern. In fact, it was the same two each night, Izznet and Dramora.

    The first night I offered a polite greeting and went to get my soup, taking it to a table in the corner where I would not seem to be eavesdropping on them. I ate faster than is my wont, and left as quickly as I could. Last night however, as I went to get my meal, Izznet asked me to join her. So with meal in hand I sat at the table opposite her.

    I had at first thought the two were together, but it became rather clear that though Izznet was facing where Dramora sat, that they were at different tables. As I sat, Izznet turned towards me and we chatted pleasantly as I ate. I did get the feeling that she is not a big fan of tomato soup though, as she seemed to cover her nose in an attempt to avoid the aroma coming from my bowl. I know it was not due to me seeing that I had bathed just before heading to Skara.

    A couple of times as we talked, my glance strayed to Dramora. Had she seemed the least bit interested, I would have suggested she join us. But she did not look our way, and never uttered a word. I can only assume that for some reason I cannot understand she is angry with me. It could not possibly be the letter Leela sent to me still, seeing that her sister is home and safe once again. There was something about her though that seemed oddly like something I experienced years back from Lydia. In time, she arose from the table and walked to the door. I wished her a pleasant night as she opened the door. I am not sure if she responded as I once again turned my attention to Izznet.

    We sat there talking a bit longer. I had finished my soup, and passed the bowl to the waitress as she passed. I found that I really enjoyed the time we spent there. The chat ranged from serious, to cheerful and at times a bit playful. After a time, I bid her good night and made my way home. Before departing I asked that she visit with me again, and I do hope she can find the time to do so.

    It seems that over the past few days she and I keep running into one another. And I even took her to see the fount that marks the balefire of Dragon’s Icefall. It may have been a mistake on my part, but she seemed interested in seeing it. It did appear to make her a bit ill at ease so perhaps she will wish to stick to visiting the pond in Aegis.

    Tomorrow I will look for a quieter time to have my supper in Skara. Or perhaps it is time I let go of this old habit and learn to make my own soup.
     
    #16 Aedon Durreah, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
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  17. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Once bitten, twice shy.

    Seems to me I have heard that old adage often in my lifetime. At one time I believed it referred to snakes, and that if one had any sense about them, they would avoid a nest of vipers once they had felt venom coursing though their veins. But as is often the case, most of us tend to gravitate back to those things which cause us the most discomfort.

    Some might call this insanity, others a manifestation of a desire to cause oneself harm. For me it has always been more a matter of choosing to believe that people and things can change over time. It is not easy to always look for the good in others. In fact many times it is folly to do so. There simply exist within the world those who are far more concerned for their own gratification in all things and less concerned for others, or the greater picture.

    Well I suppose we all have a bit of narcissism in us. It is part of being human to see ourselves as infallible. When things go wrong, it is through no fault on our part, but that of the person on the other side of the room. It is far easier to blame others rather than look to the flaws within all of us. And much like a child pointing their finger at a sibling when confronted by their parents questions, we spend far too much time looking around for someone to take the blame and less time in self reflection and improvement.

    I do this myself as well. When something I have labored long on falls apart or I am late getting to a meeting on time, it was not my fault. It was Llyrs doing, or the note did not arrive on time or my time piece was three hours off. To seek to absolve ourselves of blame is normal and a part of people on a deep level. It is as natural a thing to humans as drinking water or breathing air.

    A little white lie never hurt anyone.

    If that is true than why are so many folks touched deeply by an untrue statement uttered more for convenience of the teller than spite? We can never be sure of how our words affect another, but we should not be so afraid of offending another that we break down all lines of communication.
    But when we do wrong, or cause pain should we not seek to set the records straight, or bring some measure of relief to those we may have hurt simply because it was easy to do so in the moment?

    I have tried to live my life well and to offer help to those who need or seek it. All too often though my good deeds have been met with lies and betrayal, and I live in fear that one day, the bad will outweigh the good, and I will stop trying to help others altogether.
    But for now I will continue to stick my hand in the vipers nest and hold out hope that Llyr got there ahead of me, and defanged those little buggers.
     
    #17 Aedon Durreah, Jan 4, 2016
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  18. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I feel lighter than I have in some time. I awoke this morn not to a world veiled in shadows of the past, but to a place where possibilities are boundless. At first, I sat naked on the edge of my bed and searched my thoughts for the darkness which all too often over the years had been a part of me. My soul long mired in dark thoughts and regrets walked through a meadow of flowers in full bloom. Bathed in the warmth of the sun they swayed above a green pasture awash in colors so vivid that the sight of them stung my eyes.

    I thought this to be simply the continuance of a dream, but in time came to know the true nature of the vision. A person once lost utterly to the shadows of the past all too often must shut their eyes for a few moments when the light comes streaming in. And long my thoughts have trod dark places of regret and pains too real to turn from and yet too horrible to long endure.

    Standing, I stretched long, and then dressed myself going quietly to the area in which she slept. No line marred her visage, and though the room was darkened, a soft glow danced over her form. I was moved to draw nearer, and lay my hand softly upon her hair. But being the man I am, I sat across from her and waited for her to stir.

    When softly her eyes did flutter open, I smiled at her and reached my hand across to her. We sat there, for a time speaking at whiles about things which had transpired between us. In time, she mentioned she must return to her home, and I willing agreed to accompany her there.

    She is above all a gentle soul, and her thoughts turned to ways to protect me from things seen and unseen. An earring she placed in my left ear the purpose of which was to keep me safe from things which might seek to overcome my mind. This I allowed full willing. I did make a small joke about being a pirate, but I think she could with ease see through my mask and view the man that has long laid hidden there.

    Her touch reaches a part of me I have long denied. Her lips upon my chest gives rise to stirrings of not only strength, but a deep caring and a wish to keep safe that which is so dear to me. In another time or place, I would have willing lay there with her for nights untold reveling in the nearness of her body and her soft breathing against my ear.

    But for now I bid her good eve, and returned to Aegis.

    I am not as of yet sure what sort of man this will make of me or if in fact it will serve only to draw forth the man I have always been. Buried beneath countless years of pain and regret I have long struggled to find some solace or release. Perhaps now, in the most unlikely of places, I have found it.
     
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  19. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I find myself having to be a bit careful these days.

    I have found that my time with Lady Izznet is becoming an important time for me. I do not wait for word to come from her, but actively seek out her company. And though I am a person that values privacy and decorum I was a bit surprised at the cavalier manner I greeted her with as she stepped from her shower.

    In the past, I would have quickly begged the lady’s pardon, and removed myself from her room. I am sure there would have been many awkward utterances, and I would have sat with downcast eyes until such time as I felt forgiven for such a bold appearance.

    But I did not feel either embarrassed or compelled to turn away.

    I stood there instead admiring her form as she stood before me. I allowed myself to take her in fully, as my gaze traveled the full length of her for. She is remarkably lovely, and the way the moisture gave iridescences to her bare shoulders and hips aroused stirrings within me I would prefer to keep hidden.

    I watched transfixed as she crossed the room to gather her inks and then sat on the bed calling me to her side. And though I did not wish to put ink to her skin for fear of marring her beauty, her encouragement and smile made me wish to do anything she asked of me.

    I was surprised at the outcome of my work. Driven by thoughts and visions within my mind, the stylus danced across her skin leaving glorious etchings of soft blue against her dark skin. At times they seemed to glow and reach out wrapping around my fingers like soft tendrils.

    When all was finished, she put the stylus away and covered herself in a robe of soft satin. I could still see the markings on the upper part of her breasts glowing softly around the collar of the robe. As she sat next to me once more, she reached over, untied my shirt and removed it. I could feel a shudder welling up within me as she began to touch one by one the scars I bore. I have always tried to keep them hidden, but I willingly accepted and in many ways yearned for her touch.

    Her fingers came to rest on one scar and as she probed the raised ridge of the mark she asked that I tell her about it. Talking to her comes easy for me, and I do not think I could keep anything secret from her even if I wished to. So I began to tell her the story of how the scar came to be.

    She listened, but slowly moved her head in closer to my chest. At first, she ran her lips over the mark, and seemed to kiss it lightly and lovingly. I could feel my own heart beat quicken and it truth, it was all that I could do to resist taking her into my arms. Her touch was cool and yet it caused a fire to burn which I was afraid would soon consume me.

    It was as if my mind lost all control when I felt her fangs as she slowly buried them into my chest. She clung to me for a time, sating the need she had. It was not an act of violence. I did not feel as though I were being attacked. It was highly personal and sensual. And I wished for the feeling not to end.

    After she released me, she ran her tongue over the marks on my body, and soon it was as though nothing had happened. There was no mark, no outward sign. But within I felt a deep sense of satisfaction and a greater desire for more. She lay in my arms for a time, and I am sure she must have felt the pounding of my heart and heard the labor of my breathing. She talked in a low soothing tone, and in time I relaxed and held her closer enjoying the bond we now shared.

    I became a bit afraid of myself as I sat there. The need I had for her was growing and I knew if I did not leave, I might do something that I should not do. I told her that I really should go, but I sat there at first unable to release her. When at last I was able to, I reached for my shirt and slipped it over my head. Leaning in towards her I kissed her warmly and then headed home.

    I should most likely have taken some care in leaving Shadowmoor. I am not sure if anyone is watching and what might be said by those seeing me leave her home at that time in such disarray. The cool night breeze whipped my damp shirt around, and helped to chill the fire still burning deep inside.

    Arriving home, I removed my clothing and lowered myself into my tub. At first the waters ran hot across my skin. Taking up a sponge, I soaped my body and my hair to a heady lather. I lowered myself head and all beneath the water’s surface to rinse myself off. Then turning on the shower, ran cold water over my head and body laying back to get the full effect.

    From where my shirt lay upon the floor came the aroma of her bath salts. It filled my senses and delved deep into my imagination conjuring up the vision I had beheld earlier this eve. And I found myself moaning softly as I recalled the feel of her touch on my skin as she drank deeply what I had to offer.

    It was a good bath.

    And afterwards I walked to my room, and climbed beneath the sheets.

    Sleep came easy for me last night, and with it dreams unbridled by convention or decorum. Our dreams are after all the mind roaming free to take a look back at what it has seen, and respond in ways that when awake, I dare not.
     
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  20. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Evening shadows were deep, and as our eyes met, she smiled and asked that I walk with her. Taking me by the hand, she led the way quietly down paths strewn with leaves and bathed in moonlight. There we came to a forest hall with trees as old as the stream which ran nearby.

    Heavy over head, and yet so light as to be wafted on gentle breezes the roof swayed lazily. Rowan and Oak, Yew and Birch all stood around as silent watchers, observers of all that transpired in the sheltered glade.

    She sat me there upon the ground and I looked at her as nervous as a schoolboy. But she smiled warmly at me, and laid a silken hand against my cheek. And then rising and lifting her arms above her head, she danced for me.

    Slowly at first and graceful as a swan she moved about me. Always a bit out of my reach but ever nearer she came. She stepped with care over my outstretched legs, brushing hit toes lightly across my thighs.

    All things were cast aside as she moved, and through the green roof the light of the moon reached down to caress her form. No sound was heard past that of the rustling leaves beneath her feet. But they moved to a melody which played in her mind and reached deep inside of me urging my heart to beat in time with the dance.

    Her dark skin shimmered as the light played upon her skin. She swayed now unclothed before me. I did not close my eyes to her beauty, but studied her form as she danced. And though I knew I should not be there, that my place was not within this glade I dare not stand to leave lest the vision which moved before me should vanish.

    She danced for me, and in that brief span of time my soul felt lifted above all the troubles of my life. And I could not help but smile.
     
  21. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am continuing to spend time with Lady Izznet. And the hours we have between dusk and dawn have become very dear to me. It is good to find someone that I can talk to openly about any subject and not feel as though I were being sized up or judged.

    She seems to have a deep understanding for commitment, and all that comes with caring for another being. I have stood witness to the pain that the disappearance of Elvira has caused her. Far too many see her as cold and calculating, when in fact there is a wealth of emotions within the lady yet untapped.

    She has been speaking with Aila and the two agree on a course of action that may be best in dealing with the lost house ghost. Izznet speaks of these options in a calm manner. But you can see the pain which lines her face at the thought of losing one who has been a part of her household for so long now.

    Avalon used to tell me of the hope she had for the Lady. She seemed to believe that there was more to her than the creature that haunts the night that many others view. She has suffered greatly at the hands of others, and paid the ultimate price when she placed her heart into the care of one who offered love, but vanished leaving her unsure and broken.

    I have seen great heart displayed by her in her dealings with me. I sought her perhaps to find a way to punish myself for past sins, and in doing so end my life on my terms. But she without a heart took me to her care, and offered not death but strength -and she has helped to open my eyes to the possibility that I can find some solace, some redemption.

    For this, have I given her in return? Only that which I can at this time –stories, songs and walks in the woods on dew kissed grass. And what affection I can offer short of breaking my vows to my wife and family. And she understands this, and respects who and what I am.

    Do I love her? Of course I do. She has given me more than I can ever repay, and I treasure her beyond words. So I will plan a surprise for her, and bid her return us to the glade deep within the forest. And there, as she did for me, I will dance for her. And perhaps, if she is willing, she will join with me, and we will happily entertain the stars and moonlight.
     
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  22. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I was feeling a bit restless after Izznet went home last eve and decided to take a ride. She had been speaking about Elvira I wondered if there was any way I might help her and Aila in guiding the wayward soul back. I have always had a way with spirits, and been able to see them since I can remember. Someone said it was due to my having had a close brush with death.

    I decided to start my search in the city of Nu’ Jelm seeing that the ship the lass was to set sail on was traveling between that town and Trinsic. Spirits always seem to be drawn to the last places they recall in life, so this appeared to be a logical first step.

    I have never liked that town. It is given to excessiveness and a place where enough gold can buy you whatever you wish - even the life of another. But I endured the place in order to achieve the task I had laid on myself.

    As I neared the North West area of the town, I thought I heard the sound of crying. I followed it and in time came to a low building. Walking within I observed a lady dressed in garb as for a wedding. She was weeping and did not hear or notice my entering within. I stood for a moment and then spoke up asking if perchance she was Elvira. She turned suddenly towards me and after a brief moment, said that she was she.

    I did not wish to frighten her, and there by drive her from this place to perhaps not be found again. So smiling to her I introduced myself as Aedon and emissary of Yew and friend to her family. I had been sent, I said to find her and see to it she had housing.

    She told me she had missed her boat and now could not find it. I responded saying that the ship had sailed, but that members of her family would be coming to fetch her.

    She seemed a bit relieved, and I showed her to a guard tower nearby telling her all the rooms in the inns were filled, and that she should rest there till the ladies of her house arrived.

    The curious thing was that I noticed where she walked; she left a trail of shimmering sand. Once I had her settled in and calm, I scooped some of the sand, and placed it into a small vial.

    When Izznet arises, I will tell her of what I have found, and give the vial to her. I am sure she will know what it may be from. I hope the Lady will be pleased with what I have done, and pray it will help her to bring home the wondering soul.
     
  23. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Speak softly night

    and lay not shadows upon my heart

    But guide me gently by the light of thy stars.

    Reach deep within,

    and draw forth pains long hidden

    with thy gentle nature,

    draw me ever towards the moon in all her splendor.

    Give no heed to dreams fraught by perils,

    but lay me down to slumber

    on dew kissed grass.

    Offer me not a cage to live in

    But stretch before my weary eyes

    Green pastures ablaze in wild flowers

    And days filled with promise

    And if at times,

    Through word or deed I displease thee,

    Remember that I am but a man

    Seeking to stand within thy splendor

    And not lose myself.

    Come softly to me

    And dance with wild abandon

    To melodies as old as time

    And as new as a baby’s cry

    Take me as I am

    And try not to make me that which I cannot be

    And know that at times

    I will feel unworthy of such bliss

    And yet as any man reaches out to touch the sky

    So I reach out to thee

    Allow me time to sleep

    To dream

    And upon waking;

    Time to tell thee what stirs within

    Dreams are but fancy,

    But fancy doth move the hearts

    And drive the souls of mortal man to greatness.

    Speak softly night

    And hold me within thy embrace

    And when dawn approaches

    Release me full willing,

    So that I may once again

    with anticipation,


    Look to thy coming.
     
    #23 Aedon Durreah, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
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  24. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was a lovely spot to spend the evening.

    There atop the waterfall, where the past has seen many joined together in love unending we sat and talked at wiles. I told her I had not been to this spot in some time but recalled a small hidden place behind the falls. It has changed over the years, with a small gazebo and benches added. Flowers have been planted to bring color and fragrance to the area. On a couple of benches, we sat facing one another, thoughts moving from one mind to the others.

    As I sat there, wrapped in joyous talk with one whose company I have come to treasure thoughts filled my mind of the night before on the roof of Shadowmoor. There two has been sat a pleasant garden and benches on which to sit. Taking my hand, she guided me towards one facing the rear of the building.

    As I looked towards the roofs edge, my gaze fell on what appeared to be a small wooden casket. She noticed me looking at it, and spoke softly saying that it was hers. I tried to remain calm. I did not wish to give the appearance that I was frightened by the site. I am sure though the lady knew what was in my mind as she knows me inside and out. Standing, I moved to the far side of the roof to a seat facing towards the buildings front. As she joined me I told her I just could not look at it.

    I know what she is, and in truth it is why I sought her out. I have though over much lately of ending my life, and for this reason at first I was drawn to her. But things shift and change within the moment, and I am unable to see her as an instrument of my death - for she has lifted my heart and mind and given me some hope for the future.

    My heartache I know is of my own making. The years have passed and I can no longer lie this all at Figol’s feet. He gave me, in the end that which my heart most desired. And moved me far from Aegis and a past he tried to wipe from memory. But as a moth is drawn to the flame and unto his own death, so too am I it would seem.

    I was thinking of Elvira, and her being drawn back to the last spot she knew in living. Perhaps that is what ever draws me back to Aegis even though a full life and love await me elsewhere. Well, it did. I am not sure that after so many years spent running from my life that any part of it still awaits my return.

    Yes I am lonely, but it is a loneliness of my own choosing. It is far easier to keep folks at a distance than to open wide my arms and accept the friendships and love I so desire. And Izznet knows all that I am –my hopes, fears and desires. And she has promised that should I so ask, she will end my life -and allow me to die peacefully in her arms. I think her for this, and perhaps it will be what I choose.

    But for now we longer on the edge of night, and enjoy one another’s company. I have taken her fully to me in many ways, and she has enjoyed receiving that which I can offer in return. And together we await my decision.
     
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  25. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have been called cattle a few times as I recall. Little more than something that those who see themselves as superior beings use to feed on, and when cattle become useless to draw milk from, they are slaughtered and thrown into the stew pot. My time being held by Valencia left me with scars on my body and soul. And left me believing that my main use to them was for food, and once her needs were met, I was left for dead deep in umbra, bone sewed to my hands arms and legs. What she took from me I will never regain. What she left me with I will never be able to shed.

    When she dumped the small girl in Aegis my first thoughts were to kill the child. She was after all not only the child of an abomination, but also a symbol of my torment and pain. It would be mercy to take her life, I told myself time and again. But when she looked at me, green eyes shining and called me daddy, I melted.

    And so my Bella stayed with me in Connemara and I worked hard to put her feet on the right path. She was treated as a princess, and had the best children in the area as playmates. But over the time tales came to me of her seeking to hurt the other children. I tried not to believe the reports and reminded her again to play nicely with the other children. She did not hit another of the girls, but instead killed a cat and consumed it in front of the others.

    When the parents of the others came to me I was forced to face the fact that my Bella did not belong around normal children. So packing her belongings, I shipped her home to Valencia. She cried and begged me to let her stay, but I knew that it was either this, or I would be forced to kill my daughter.

    I did not think about her for some time other than missing her late at night and an empty feeling every time I passed her room. Months passed and word came to me that Bella and her mother were both slain by Valencia’s sire. They did not die easy and he made damned sure that I knew that my daughter, my Bella died calling out for me to save her.

    Izznet offered to take this pain from me as she had so many others of my scars. But this pain I do not wish to let go of fully. I do not so much feel responsible for my child’s death so much as burdened by the fact that I could have giving her a soft and easy death, and was too weak to do so. And now, I have asked that Izznet will one day grant me the one thing I denied Bella - A chance to pass from the world in loving arms.

    But now is not the time of my passing for I know there is still much I must do first. When my labors are done, and I am content that Aegis and Yew rest in good hands, I can make the decision and hope it is a right one.
     
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  26. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There are times in a man’s life when he takes that one step further, and in doing so, alters the course of not only his life, but all too often, the lives of others. I have stepped over that line. Some may say I erased it. And though I know I will have many regrets, I cannot help but feel some measure of relief and happiness.

    I have often been accused of consorting with those seen my many as outside the norm of society. In truth though, it has always been among those people that I have always found the greatest acceptance. I have never been what one might call common place or ordinary, but I did my best to fit in and do what was expected of me.

    I do love my wife, this I can never deny. Unlike being offered in marriage to a woman I did not know to calm the drums of war, I had not known true love till I met Jan. She felt as much a part of me as my own heart. And though I tried my best to be the man she deserved, I failed utterly time and again. And though she pleaded with me time and again to stay with her in our house far from Yew, I ran back time and again to what appeared to be the point of my spawning. And she went on with life, taking care of our home and child, and learned to live without me.

    I have never doubted her love for me. In all the stupid things I undertook, no matter how futile it seemed, she most times stood firmly at my side. Only a few times has she taken another’s side against me, and after all was said and done, I had to admit she was right in doing so. And though for many years my heart has harkened to the beat of hers, I have remained a man out of place and time, and profoundly alone.

    The time I have spent with Izznet has been a lifeline to me, and always she spoke of not wishing to do anything that could put in danger my marriage and life. We had toyed with each other, flirting with wild abandon at times. But always, there was that point not to be crossed. And as the time has passed, and we came to depend on one another for support, I had found myself wishing to be more to her than the one that offered her my strength when she felt weakened.

    Consort is a word used to describe many aspects of a relationship. But in the truest sense of the word, I have become as such to her. I hold back nothing from her, and willing will lie with her, enjoying what each of us can offer to the other.

    I know this means that I can never again return home, that some will seek to charge me with not only breaking the laws of Aegis, but the laws of nature. But after feeling broken and alone for some time, I have found some sense of peace and belonging. And I will not inflict what I have become on Jan and Kylee. They can live the lives they have for so long, still parted from me. And though I now walk on a path many have long believed I would, I have only small regret, and for now, I can live with that.
     
  27. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    She came looking for me again tonight. And it seemed to me that though I was not in Aegis, she knew where to find me. This is owing to the bond we now share. There are times when she creeps into my mind, and whispers Words across softly into my ears. And though some might find such a thing an intrusion, to me it is like the feel of a cool breeze against my skin on a sultry day.

    I was glad to see her and yet a bit ashamed that she needed to come find me in such a place. It was a small cave, too close to the desert for my comfort, and a bit damp and ratty. As she entered she looked towards where I sat with my back against the cave walls. And she smiled warmly and set my mind to rest and my heart racing at the same moment. She stood still for a moment looking at me then said calmly;

    “You poked the hornets’ nest I suppose.”

    I nodded in response and then standing, went over to where she waited. Taking me by the hand, she opened a gate and took to a place dark in tone. She must have noticed my discomfort for she asked that I meet her at the docks in Magincia. She met me there aboard a ship, small but crafty, and we set sail into the night.

    I have always loved the sea, and the spray of the sea water against my face invigorated me, and set my mind to thinking of sea adventures wild and free. We sailed for some time, and a whiles, came to a small Island. There we anchored close to shore, and disembarked onto a beach which ran up to meet the grass and trees of a light forest.

    Bidding me wait a moment, she returned to the boat and in time returned wearing a very lovely gown. There was no one color I could say it was, as it shimmered in shades of cream, green and midnight blue. It was a fine compliment to the silkiness of her dark skin. She twirled for me a few times and as I watched her I felt as light as a school boy. I pulled her to where I stood and kissed her in the full light of the moon, caring not who might happen along.

    Taking me by the hand, she led me deeper into the forest to a place where the trees thinned forming a pleasant glade. She sat on the grass encouraging me to sit beside her. I needed little coaxing, and willingly and clumsily plopped myself down on the ground. She laughed lightly for a moment, and then leaning in, kissed me passionately.

    The rest of the night was spent within each other’s arms and pleasures not the least of which was the sensations brought as she sunk her fangs deeply into my chest. Her drawing from me strength as I drew from her passions unbridled.

    After, we sat talking on the grass and she produced a small basket containing food for me. As we continued to speak, I enjoyed the bread and cheese she had brought, but an odd sensation drifted over me, and I struggled to keep my eyes open.

    The moist grass felt good against my back. I drifted between dreams and waking, never sure if I was where I thought I was, or still sitting with my back to a cave wall. Taking my hand, she helped me to my feet –and led me back to the boat. I can barely recall removing my clothing and slipping between the soft sheets. She slipped in next to me, and laying my head against her shoulder, I slipped into a deep slumber.
     
  28. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was not the oddest of my meetings with Figol. It always seems that we are trying to catch the other off guard in the strangest of fashions. And as always he made well known to me the many ways I have disappointed him in the past. I should in all rights hate the man, but he is the only father I have, and there are times he shows his affection to me. But I wonder, am I a treasured son to him, or simply a beloved pet?

    I do not mind that he snatches and grabs me without warning whenever he wishes to converse with me. This has been going on for as long as I can recall. But I fear that the method of my departure and the damage Nemira did to the boat may have caused Izznet some concern.

    When Figol and I were finished with our talk, Nemira took me and deposited me on the streets of Skara. Looking around for any sign of the Hand, I made my way to the shattered skull. It had been a very long and eventful day, and I found that I was rather hungry.

    As I entered I saw the tavern was empty but for a woman sitting at the far right table. Though she was garbed in dark clothing with a dark hood cast low over her face, I knew it was the Lady. I walked and stood before her and said hello. She slowly raised her head, and looking at me blankly said simply;

    “You live.”

    It was clear that something troubled her deeply, and I hoped that I had not been the cause for her state of grief. I sat at the table across from her and tried to make idle chat. But her answers were short and mostly in hushed tones. Feeling I might be intruding in something private, I excused myself, and told her I was going to buy some shoes. She nodded in response, and as I turned to leave she said, Elvira is gone.

    I sat back down and listened as she told me that she had held the spirit of the young bride in her arms as she took the life away from her. She would be at rest now with her father, and not alone on mean streets searching for a husband that never showed her love or kindness.

    I did my best to console her, but there are few words I could offer that could dispel the profound sense of loss she felt. She said that she wished she could cry. I told her that not all tears are seen on the outside, that the deepest of tears are felt within.

    When I asked if Nemira had frightened her she scoffed a bit, and said; “She gave me this.” In her hand she held a large white feather that seemed to glow with power. I asked if she had spoken her desire yet and she shook her head. Perhaps while she grieves for the loss of her companion it is best she do not use Nemira’s gift.

    After a few more minutes she said she was returning to the Moors, and it I wished to see her later, to feel free to come by. Then she said I want to kiss you. I could not remove her pain at such a loss as she suffered this day, but I could at least grant this request.

    Standing, I went to the other side of the table, and sitting down, turned to look at her. Her hands upon my face were both silky and as cold as the death she had witnessed this day. Leaning in, she kissed me softly. She stood slowly and walked out the door of the shattered skull. I sat there a few moments longer watching the door. I had by this time forgotten about my hunger. I longed only for a hot bath and a warm bed to sleep in.
     
  29. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am a bit interested in who this woman Cas may be. She seems to be in charge of things concerning the Hand right now, or perhaps an up and coming in their ranks. Either way, she has shown more leadership than Mikael has of late. I suppose though, that much like me Mik is showing the effects ageing has on a person and in a group where only the strong thrive, he may have already met a bad end.

    So far Yew is going along fine, with most of the citizens taking care, and staying out of the way of the Hand’s thugs. This is a good thing really. I will not have innocents harmed in order to carry on as I must. And though I am accustomed to life within the woods, and am adept at moving about unseen when need be, I know that in time I will have to make the next step in order to push forward my plan.

    I know I worry Izznet at times with my seeming cavalier approach to my life. But all things good are worth fighting for, or at the very least taking some sort of stand.

    Yew needs a strong leader, and if cost me my life, I will find her one.
     
  30. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have come to an agreement with Penrose. Though every part of my being screamed words of warning, I find that I am painted into a corner. I had hoped to hear something from the Rangers of Skara, but I know they are busy with matters of their own town, and have little time to give to Yew. I hold no ill will towards them; they must put their manpower and resources to keeping safe their own lands.

    Protecting Yew was the province of the Governor of Yew, and she has walked away. Those she left behind to protect the town she swore an oath too have proven to be unchanged from the years in the past when the Knights of Yew had to deal with them.

    I am still hoping to gain some insight into the woman Cas who now claims the sear of Governor. She seems new among their ranks, and perhaps has not yet been thoroughly corrupted by the Hand. But now, any information gained about the woman will be of little use to me. I have set things in motion which may in time stand out as the biggest folly in my life.

    But my hands were tied, and with no other aid to be found, I took that which I could find.
     
  31. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was not so much a trial as an execution. Three men who Penrose had labeled as criminals were tied up, and set on fire. Their crimes listed seemed to be vampirism or some such thing. Under the laws of Moonglow Penrose acted as judge, jury and executioner.

    There were a few of us present who objected to the execution, but it seemed that far more were taking special delight in watching these three die. Izznet, who was sitting next to me turned and hid her face against my shoulder. I was sorry that I had asked that she accompany me tonight. Had I known the nature of the evening, I too would have stayed away.

    The events of the night called into question the contract I was about to sign with Penrose. I could not help but wonder if Penrose would be as much a plague on Yew as the Hand is. At least they are the devil we know. But this woman Cas is an unknown component in this whole thing.

    When the execution was over, I headed to the Governor’s office, and was stopped at the door by Skylar. It seemed that Governor Guy Greywulfe was already meeting with Penrose. I stood waiting, and Keeper Mitre came up and told me he had received my note. He suggested I speak to Skara’s Governor about it. At that time the man many in his time Guy walked out the door and I turned to address him.

    After speaking a few minutes I asked if I could have some words in private with him. He agreed, and I suggested to Izznet we speak to Guy first. Penrose was not happy as we rode off, but if the deal we were making was a good one, it would be worth waiting for. Arriving in Skara, we went to the Governor’s office and entered. Addressing the Governor properly at first and completing introductions, we sat down across the desk from him.

    I told him what had been going on including my pending contract with Penrose. I spoke of my desire only to protect the people of Yew and asked that if need be he would offer citizens shelter there. He looked at me and slid a note across the table to me which Gillian had recently sent. In it she claimed to be naming Cas as her replacement. Sliding the note back to Guy I said that Gillian did not have the Authority to do so and that I could produce letters from the Knight of Yew naming me guardian to countermand hers.

    Guy nodded as he put the letter away. He then went on to speak of a meeting he had with Cas. The woman had come to him seeking assistance in capturing me. She told Guy she wanted to question me about my crimes in Yew. It occurs to me a bit strange that a person affiliated with a collection of thugs like the Hand had some nerve wishing to question another.

    I did not lie to the Governor but told him I had killed the men when they tried to arrest me for posting a notice on the Yew public board. Governor Greywulfe then asked if I wished to run for Governor of Yew again, and I told him no. I lack the strength to lead the city any more, and Yew deserves and needs a good leader. All I want to do is keep her safe until the next elections are held.

    Guy said he had offered to set up a meeting between myself and CAS. I agreed that I would take part in such a meeting. I thanked him for his assistance, and left. I still had Penrose to face tonight, and he was not going to be too pleased with me.

    As we stood outside I asked Izznet to wait in town for me. She voiced concerns and objected to the idea. But after a few moments she relented and walked me to the gate. I could feel her hand trembling in mine as she looked at me and tried to smile. She asked me to promise I would be safe, and though she and I both knew it could not be guaranteed, I told her I would as she let go her grip on my hand.

    When I arrived back in Skara it was clear that Skylar was a bit put off at my leaving. I asked if he was still in and with a scowl on her face, she opened the door and stepped aside grabbing James to keep him from following.

    True to my obstinate nature, I started off by telling Penrose what I thought of his trial. To my surprise rather than getting angry and menacing, he did his best to explain his actions. I was a bit surprised at his patience and listened as he told me of his meeting with Governor Greywulfe. Perhaps we are all on the same page here, and an agreement I started out of desperation could turn out to be a good one. I asked for one more night before signing the contract, and though he protested that we had a verbal agreement, he granted me the time I asked.

    I met Izznet back in the Shattered Skull in Skara, and after sitting for a few minutes, we decided to head someplace quiet. She was a bit tired, and in all truth, though I did not let on to her, I was worn out. My mind was reeling most of the time now, and the image of those three men burning had left me feeling numb, and unable to feel anything.

    Arriving back at my house, I asked her to sit and chat a bit. She agreed and I noticed that my conversation was drifting between light and airy and some degree of confusion. Teasingly, I asked her if she wanted to bite me. Smiling playfully she lifted my hand, and stated to kiss my fingers. Looking into her eyes I said;

    “No please, not there.”

    A bit puzzled, she looked me asking;

    “Well where then?”

    Looking at her a moment I slowly untied my shirt, and exposed my neck to her;

    “Here,” I said. “And I want to feel it.”

    "You wish to feel my bite?" she asked.

    "Yes please." I said softly.

    Nodding a bit she moved over so she was sitting next to me. Touching my face softly, she smiled and moved in kissing me on the neck before plunging her fangs deep into my skin. As I shuddered in pain, gripping the arms of my chair I thought to myself.

    “At least I feel something.”
     
  32. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Sitting on the roof of Connemara, Aedon enjoyed the brisk winds which blew down the north side of his valley. He had only this day completed work on the roof top garden, and looking around he realized how much he had missed having one. Izznet had just returned to ShadowMoore to practice his puttering, and he made a cup of tea, grabbed his journal and came up to the garden to relax and think.

    Many things had been happening over the last week. In addition to Izznet leaving her house in Magincia for a quieter locale, there had been the trial in Moonglow followed by meetings with both Governors Greywulfe and Penrose. Much of what had transpired weighed heavily on his mind, and putting things to paper had always been an aid in dealing with issues and feelings he preferred to keep hidden. Setting his tea cup aside, he picked up the leather bound book and a pen and began to write.


    Things at times seem to be happening far too fast around me, and oddly at times, far too slow. The trial in Moonglow was of course distressing to me, and the meeting to sign the contract with Penrose led me to ask for more time, which to my surprise, Penrose granted. There seems to be much about this man I have yet to discover. He is at times ruthless, demanding and quite selfish when it comes to things he desires. And yet there is honesty about him rarely seen in one such as him. If he gives you his word, he keeps it after his fashion.

    The following day Izznet and I returned to Moonglow and signed the contract I have made with him. I will still keep the meeting Guy sets up with Cas, but I cannot take the chance that something may happen to me and I leave behind no plan of action.

    Izznet’s vision drove this home to me with great certainty. If as she saw the Hand keeps no meeting, but instead takes me prisoner, at least I am leaving in place the instrument of their downfall, and assurances that the people of Yew will be cared for and protected. History alone will judge if my actions be wise or utter folly. My life in all this matters little, Yew and Aegis must be free of the tyranny the Hand offers as succor and justice.

    But I am concerned for the Lady. The times we spend together are like the air I breathe. It sustains me and keeps me grounded in some sense of reality. And each time I must leave her side to tend to business, I find myself anxiously looking towards the time I am again lying by her side. Her heart beating close to mine, her hand upon my chest brings me a sense of peace and joy I have not felt in some time.

    Oh I know there is a darkness and sense of danger to the lady. And at times I find myself putting a table between us as I back towards the nearest exit. But she has never sought to harm me, and in fact has made promises to me that no Drow woman let alone one of the Kindred would be expected to make to a lesser life form.

    If her vision should come to pass, I have asked that she restrain her ire and walk the path and plan we have devised. I could not bear to think that harm came to Izznet of those of her house because of me. It is my hope that Minalan can speak to her, and convince her to take the quieter path.

    Dawn now approaches, and I am filled with a sense of apprehension and dread. I have planted my feet firmly on this path, and can see no turning back now.
     
  33. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It is a bit odd to me that my life can be both tumultuous and calm at the same time. The two states rarely go hand in hand and yet I find myself able to deal better with events in Aegis because there is a calmness which has entered me, and lends me strength when I most need it.

    The agreement with Governor Penrose of Moonglow seems at this point to be a good thing. He and some of those that serve him patrolled Aegis tonight, and I had time to check on the Rest, making sure all was in order. The Hand never showed their faces while the new protectors were about. I am not sure if it is due to a fear of facing defeat, or lack of numbers on their part to face Penrose’s forces.

    I am still awaiting word from Governor Greywulfe about a meeting with Cas. Izznet still fears that something will go wrong at suck a gathering, and I will be taken, thrown in jail or worse. But whatever may be ahead for me I will not run nor hide from.

    I have visited with more of the farmers and woodsman of Yew, and assured them that they will be protected from harm should war come to the City of Yew. They have been offered succor in both Moonglow and Skara. I am grateful to both towns for their generosity.

    Tonight I attended the reading of the will of Lady Alionna Arroway's. The affair was held in the courthouse within Spiritwood. It is a rustic building, quite suitable to the surroundings - with a smallish court room fit for a few spectators. Many of the rangers were gathered there as well as members of the Stower family. The first part of the proceedings was the disposition of assets bequeathed to her heirs. And at the risk of seeming disrespectful to the departed I must say that the list of oddities left to the equally strange inheritors caused me to several times have to suppress a growing laugh.

    The last order of business was to name the one who would not lead the Stower family. An honor that it seemed none of them wished to have as one by one they replied no, when asked if they accepted. In the end, a rather drunk member of the family announced that he now had a daughter who being of blood and legitimate had some claim to the title. To the surprise of many the name announced was Erollisi, who happens to be one of Spiritwood’s rangers.

    At this most of the family who had just turned down the title scoffed and cried foul. But at least they had the good grace to leave the building. I am not sure myself what to make of this turn of events but I do believe that with a family like the Stowers, it might be a blessing to have a level headed person at the helm.

    That is tumult in my life, now to the calm.

    My time with Izznet has grown longer in duration. I am loathed to leave her side for longer than it takes for me to tend to my duties and check on my properties. Evenings find us always together either in Skara enjoying a chat, hunting, or simply sitting together enjoying our time and each other.

    I used to have some deep seated fear of the lady and it caused me to be a bit reserved in my dealings with her. But as we share our nights together I have come to fully trust her and do not believe she would ever seek to harm me.

    When I seem stressed, or if I come in angry after dealing with some obstinate person she has but to lay her hand on my chest, or whisper softly in my ear and all care seems fade, all anger melts away. And she is not some timid lass that may fret on what she might say for fear of offending me. She is honest at all times, and I appreciate that in her.

    My nights are calmer and sleep filled with dreams no longer dark or ominous. And I awake refreshed, and eager to take on the fight that lies ahead. When all is said and done it is my hope that Yew will be free of the Hand’s tyranny. Then we can look towards the elections to come, and a more secure future.
     
  34. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was a simple ceremony with no one in attendance but the two of us.

    I have really been enjoying my time with Izznet, and though I do not know what force moved her to seek my company, but I will forever be thankful that she did so.

    I have for some time now spent more time alone than in the company of others. For me it has been a haven, a respite from the world’s worries. It is not that I prefer solitude just that it has always served me well to keep folks at arm’s length.

    My return to Aegis was less than triumphant. I did not so much come back to tend the Glade as I told others, but to run away from issues at home I an ill equipped to deal with. Jan is the great love of my life, but decisions I have made time and again have placed a strain between us. And so, to keep a measure of peace surrounding Kylee, I moved back to Aegis.

    Within the Glade I can remain busy. And my time as Governor of Yew also helped to fill a void in my life. Having Thom and Gillian about for a time was rather cheerful. It was always nice to see the young family walking the path between Aegis and the Abbey. They left and Dramora moved into the large building behind the Rest.

    We had gotten along well for a bit. So much so that I almost forgot the long standing dislike we seemed to have for one another. We sat many nights in the Rest chatting like old friends, and my fondness for her grew. When she started keeping time with Judas though things took a change for the worse, and in time she moved out. The house sat vacant for some time. I had no desire to live in it myself or to look for another tenant.

    And so I threw myself back into the day to day business of Yew and Aegis, and started to build the wall around me higher still. It was my intent to put my affairs in order, finish my will and seek death on my own terms.

    I am not sure what she thought when I asked her to help me with my plan. I had known Izznet for a long time through her watcher, my friend, Avalon. But she sat across from me stoic, and did not hesitate to agree to be the one that would see to my last moments. She seemed saddened at my request, a thing that at the time moved my heart a bit. It was odd to think that one I have spent so little time with in the past would show a measure of compassion to me.

    After this discussion we started to spend more and more time together. And as we grew in friendship, I shifted my plans a bit to further down the line. For one of the Kindred she had a remarkable sense of humor and though I could see her groan at one of my really bad jokes from time to time, she always managed to smile. And she made me feel special again.

    She shared her pain with me. Wounds of the past deeply etched into her body and soul. She spoke of great loss and pain, and yet still she stood tall as she faced the future. I too shared all of my sorrows, my hopes and dreams. And slowly, we became very dear to one another.

    It has been my great joy to share many nights wrapped in her embrace, looking towards a dawn I wished would not come. The smell of her hair, the silkiness of her arms and the thrill I felt at her touch were things I craved beyond measure. And I know that I am happy lying with her listening to the gentle beat of her heart.

    But I am a married man, and she knows this as well as I. My devotion to Jan and Kylee are deeply ingrained and heartfelt, and so long as she will have me, we will be husband and wife. But I have been lonely far too long now, and letting go of what I have found with Izzy is for me, not an option.

    And so, with the moon shinning down on the small chapel overlooking a water fall we stood hand and hand, and I pledged myself to her house and heart. As matron of her house she has consented to accept me as her male, her companion, her lover. And for whatever time I still walk Sosaria she and I will be connected.

    There is no wish I would deny her. No deed I would not do for her. And for now, the request I made in a time which now seems ages ago, will be only a thought in the backgrounds of our minds. For there is to be no death when the stars shine - the flowers are fragrant -and our hearts joined this night beat in time with one another.
     
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  35. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There is little I could do to stop this all now. With the agreement I signed, Penrose and his Inquisitors have taken over the fight against the Hand. Having gotten wind of the treaty, the Hand has set out to punish any mage of the council thinking it will spark some fear in those of Moonglow and head off any more attacks.

    But I do not think Penrose scares easily. And with Mikael missing, I am not sure that the Hand has the direction any longer to help them in staving off the attacks from Moonglow. I have asked that Cas be arrested if possible and locked in a cell within either Moonglow or Yew. In truth, I care not where this woman is housed, so long as she is behind bars.

    Part of the agreement with Penrose is that I also ride with his forces into any battle which may take place. I am as ready for this as I can be, but cannot say that it is something I relish. The heat of battle has long ago burned to an ember, and nothing seems to have been able to stoke the flames I once felt.

    Perhaps I have something more to love for now. I have been happier in the past few weeks than I have been in a long time. Or maybe I am no longer a man of battle, and plan to surrender easily to whatever fate may await me.

    Whatever may come, the battle is joined, and there is no turning back.
     
  36. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Night’s shadow comes softly, and I welcome the velvet shroud’s touch on my soul. I have spent far more time thinking things out than doing them lately. And in all truth I grow weary of the game. It is difficult at best to play out most puzzles. But when you are bid to play and yet know not the rules of the game than it becomes more an exercise in futility.

    I have worried for much of my life about Yew and Aegis. Tried hard to always do what was best for the land I have long called home. But battles fought, wars won, and countless bloody exchanges that left neither side able to claim victory is wearing me down.

    In truth, I am not a well man, and Izznet knows this better than most. I tire much quicker these days, and sometimes have trouble recalling where I laid my shoes. So how am I to serve Yew or even manage Aegis if continue this slide?

    I have always drawn my strength from the land. But there is a sickness which emanates from the trees and paths of the Glade. And I too quickly fall to the conditions which threaten to destroy all that I care for.

    Why should I care for this land? Why continue to put myself at risk for a parcel of land that even the Knights sworn to protect it have abandoned? I can do no more for Yew than they could, less really -for they had many in their service, and I? Well I have only James.

    I come here still most nights to walk paths I remember so well I could walk them blindfolded. I know each tree by touch, the sounds made by a fox family as they skitter into their den. I can feel the moon’s beams as they cascade through the canopy of trees, and cast soft light to guide my way. But being akin to nature, feeling the cry of the land neath thunderous hoofs will do little if anything to aid the people.

    And so, I make my way to Shadowmoore, and find her waiting for me on the lawn. Taking me by the hand, she leads me towards the field of stars, and there, casts off her clothing to dance joyously beneath the moon. She is unlike me in many ways. She is free and unfettered in her expressions of anything from duty to love. And I long to be more as she is and cast off cares and heartaches.

    And so, I kick off my shoes and remove my shirt, and join her dance far from the cares of Aegis and throw myself with wild abandon into the movements she is leading me in. And for that time, in this place where stars walk along beside us I feel free and alive.

    And then, sitting on the ground she watches me as I finish my dance and join her on the fragrant grass. With the speed of a tiger, she grabs my legs and tickles me and for the first time in many years I hear myself laughing out loud. And not the way one might laugh at a stale joke told in some musty tavern, but real laughter.

    But care and worry stalk me like prey. Destruction and death calls to me in the bitter watches of the night. There is no peace to be found in Yew, there is only my end waiting there. And perhaps, when all is said and done, that is just the thing I seek.
     
    #36 Aedon Durreah, Feb 2, 2016
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  37. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It is quiet tonight, and all along the field of stars I search for some meaning to my questions. I have walked now many steps and in the distance the shadow of Connemara is fading in the mist. Within the building my lady rests. It is nice to see that her rest these days is complete and sound. In the past she has tossed and screamed out more than a few times as she faces some terror of which I do not know.

    She has shared much with me, and in my way I have told her much of my nature and past. But always, I have held something back. Ever I guard some secrets tucked away in the deepest corners of my mind. It is not through any lack of trust that I do so but simply because it is the way I am. Some things are never spoken of, some secrets never revealed.

    I am still bothered by the run in with Dramora in Moonglow last eve. I had gone there wishing to speak with Governor Penrose about his inquisitors. Having spoken to Skylar and seen the man Rizik I was ill at ease and questioning involving Moonglow in the affairs of Yew. Dramora and Judas were already waiting when I got there so I remained outside while they first spoke to Penrose.

    After a short time, the door opened and Dramora stormed out, heading straight for me. This never ended well, and I was steeling myself for what was to come. I was not disappointed at all. She opened her mouth and with no greeting simply shouted.

    “What the hell have you done now?”

    It is not odd that she address me in this fashion seeing that the woman and I have never really liked each other. She is loud and pushy and I am quick to anger and bossy. Moving slowly to the doorway of the small governor’s office I replied.

    “What I do lass, is none of your damn business.”

    “It is when it puts me in danger.” She said.

    Stopping, but not bothering to turn around I replied.

    “Then I suggest you run.”

    I am not sure if she knew that I did what I could to remove any threat against her with Penrose and in fact had also asked for the safety of Gillian which Penrose flatly refused. When I entered Penrose told me that Dramora was doing her best to interfere with the agreement hetween him and I. Seeing the agitation which already gripped the governor, and noticing the men that surrounded him I felt it was best to not broach the subject that had brought me here, but instead asked how plans were proceeding.

    I was angry when I left the office, and in truth had Dramora still been standing outside would have lit into her. But the area was clear of most, just James and one of the Moonglow guards. So I made my way through the streets and headed home.

    It is odd to me that with all that she has done since her return that Dramora lays blame for all this mess at my feet. She has danced around sensibility where the Hand is concerned for many years. Her desire to punish Mikael for their past coupled with her constant interference in matters which she has been away far too long to understand is baffling. First she wanted an agreement between Gillian and the Hand then she did not. This was folly and I would have preferred to ask for aid from the Rangers and make a stand win or lose.

    But that is in the past, and now this new agreement haunts my nights. Had she only known, I would gladly have sat down and talked through mine and her concerns. With no other recourse, and no other help offered, I must find my path and hope that somehow I choose wisely.

    I suppose it is time I make my way back to Connemara. My night wears on and I am no closer to a solution than before. Perhaps I am past the time when my service to Yew is helpful, and all that I try will bring only more unrest and grief. I will do what I can to push aside my cares, I do not wish for Izznet to see how worried and unsure I am.
     
    #37 Aedon Durreah, Feb 5, 2016
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  38. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Penrose is lewd and crude. And Skylar seems to be following well in her mentor’s footsteps. I had planned to meet Izzy in Brit for supper, and figured it to be faster to simply use the bracelet she had given me in order to travel directly to her. When I arrived, she was being faced off by the Governor and Skylar. I was not privy to what had transpired thus far, but their manner of addressing my lady was less than polite.

    In truth, much of the chatter bandied about buy the two was language not even fit for a bordello. They made not only interferences as to her nature, but also commented in a vulgar manner regarding what I had come to eat. I was relieved when at my suggestion Izznet moved towards the exit off the Brit Bank roof.

    I am becoming more and more convinced that the pact I have made with Penrose will serve no one but Penrose. He shows neither respect nor deference to those he claims to have an accord with. And the more I see of his inquisitors the more I become sure that the Governors plan is not to aid Yew, but to place it under the heel of Merek and his Vadan Myr.

    My days living close by to Izznet along the stars have been happy. And if all I know were to come to an end tonight, I would face what is to come with a sense of serene happiness. She has not only been a valued advisor to me, but also the greatest part of my heart and soul.

    They can do what they will with me, and perhaps I deserve the worst. But I will not stand by while She is demeaned, harassed or made to feel in any way less than she is.
     
  39. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have been happy these past days working on the new house. And the prospect of completely separating me from the turmoil that has gripped some of the towns and villages of late seems to be all that sustains me. Well that and Izznet’s reassuring touch and words.

    It is not as though I have not tried to leave before, but each attempt was met with calls for me to return, which I heeded often at the cost of my home and family. This time, I want to do things better. I want to be there to offer Izzy as much love and support as she has given me.

    She seems pleased to see me relaxed and puttering around the house. I have never enjoyed wearing armor, so am quite content to leave it handing on a peg in the office. My sword I still strap to my back when I go out, more out of habit than anything else.

    And I have noticed that when we are in town together and I seem to be getting engrossed in discussions of fighting between folks that Izzy looks at me and says;

    “That is a Ranger issue.”

    She is of course correct, and I should mind my own house and let those of younger years ride off to battles or adventure. I suppose that keeping the weeds out of the garden and finding just the right table to complement the new couch is adventure enough.

    I do enjoy the idea of living in relative peace, and not having to worry again about Yew or the Hand or Penrose and his minions. And though I know at times Izznet wonders if I feel confined or trapped, that I have told her nothing of the pains I have been experiencing since the incident with Skylar.

    When she goes to her rest she always reminds me to try not to get into any trouble. And I hate to think that I have been the cause for so much worry.

    But today, as she slept I put on my armor and headed to Moonglow in search of Va’lis. I had heard he was spending a lot of time within the town’s boarders again, so I stopped by Penrose’s office to ask if he had been seen. To my surprise, Va’lis was sitting behind the Governor’s desk and James was in a chair in front tasking the poor man.

    I knew I could not speak to Va’lis with James there. After all, part of what I wished to tell him was information I got from James. It is not that I wanted to betray James trust, but I feared that actions that might soon be taken by the rangers would do little more than start an all out war.

    There was reason on the Rangers side to be angry. The separation of a mother and her cub was something that was causing a great deal of pain. But negotiations seemed useless here, and instead a plan was being devised to take one of Va’lis children. This would serve neither side, and there would be blame enough to go around.

    But I could not talk to Va’lis other than inquiring after his family and suggesting that he keep a close eye on them.

    Riding through Skara later I came on several of the rangers standing around the Governor’s office including the Xuri, cub’s mother. I greeted them in a friendly manner and after asked if Va’lis had been seen about. Now I knew I had just left him sitting in Moonglow, but I lied a bit, telling them that I had followed him this way and lost sight of him.

    It was clear that Mylar and Xuri were on edge, most likely due to the plans being made, and when I asked what Va’lis had done to them Xuri told what she would of her tale, and that Va’lis was not keeping her from seeing her child.

    As with Va’lis, I could not speak clearly of what I knew, and in all truth if Izznet knew I was here she would give me the look. So I decided to head home, but before I did I told the rangers;

    “Think long on any plan they might enact. Va’lis is dangerous when he feels cornered.”

    I then said my goodnights, and headed home.

    I doubt either side understood my meaning, or in fact they would most likely tell me to mind my own business, call me a traitor and continue down the same destructive paths they always do. But this time there are children involved, and I can only hope that sensibility wins the day, and talk is preferred to taking foolish and perhaps deadly actions.
     
  40. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    No good deed goes unpunished;

    If I never believed that old adage I do now. And though in a man of any sensibilities would turn his back on the lot of them and refuse to become involved even if he came upon one of them whose hair was on fire and I had a pitcher of water, I doubt I could find the strength to turn away and allow them to burn. But if ever I do feel badly for anointer and look to involve myself in the hope of stemming even a measure of violence, I am sure the pain in my leg will at least give me pause.

    I thought it not an issue if I headed to Skara as I do most nights for a bit of supper. It was near time for Izzy to be about, and I was sure she would soon join me there. Nearing the Governor’s office I was surprised to see Penrose and a few of his minions standing with Guy. Not wishing a confrontation, I turned aside planning to take the back route to the tavern.

    From behind I heard someone shout halt. I am not sure why I bothered to stop, but seeing that I was trapped, I paused and waited as they surrounded me. Skylar, Rivik and Penrose encircled me, and I was a bit surprised to see Kanaye with them.

    Rivik informed me that by order of the Governor of Moonglow, he was going to break my leg. Penrose then spoke up saying that I had a choice between that and time in jail. Before I could answer that I would prefer to serve the time, Izznet rode up and my heart started to pound. I asked that she go home and wait, but she refused to leave me there. I was then hit with a blast that knocked me to the ground. As I lay there, Rivik got down from his horse, and shattered my right leg. The pain was excruciating, but I was determined not to give them the pleasure of crying out.

    As they rode off I was bothered by several things far more than the pain in my leg and the utter helplessness I felt. I realized what a fool I had been to try to keep the Rangers and Va’lis from killing each other. And three things stuck out in my mind as I sat on the ground trying to keep myself together until I could muster the strength to try to stand.

    That Izznet was there to see how helpless I was.

    That Kanaye simply stood by and watched.

    And That Governor Greywulfe had granted them permission to take these actions in Moonglow.

    I wondered if the fact that Penrose and his Inquisitors had fought the Hand earlier in the night might be a factor in their attack on me. Fresh off a victory against the Yew thugs they may have been looking for someone else to brutalize. I had heard that their victory against Cas and the Hand was rather complete, and that the Hand stood little to no chance against such forces.

    Do any of us really though?

    This is a foe filled with far more cruelty than the Hand showed on their worse days. They believed that it was their right as some sort of superior beings to murder, main and menace any that they believed broke a set of laws that they themselves were breaking being as inhuman as any kindred they ever set fire to.

    In time, I did try to stand. But the pain was too great and I ended up on my backside in a small mud puddle. It was then that Izznet reached down and helped me onto my one leg. Then summoning a gate, she picked me up and carried me to her house. Once inside, she laid me on her bed, and cut my pants off so she could see the damage. I was surprised that I felt so cold. I ever fill cold.

    Going to a table she took some up some items and fashioned a splint. Then coming back to me, she felt my leg until she found the place where the bone was broken. And grasping hold pulled hard setting the bone back in proper alignment. After this, she applied the splint and bandaged my leg.

    She crawled up and lay alongside me running her hand through my hair. I kept my eyes closed hoping that she would not see the extent of my discomfort. She had seen enough weakness from me today, and I was determined to remain stoic. But alas my body betrayed me and I felt her hand gently brushing away the tears that escaped my tightly closed eyes. Standing alongside the bed she lifted me again and opened another gate.

    “I am taking you to the House of Song.” She whispered.

    I was glad to be back in Aerlinnbar. This close to the fire my healing would increase even past my normal speed. And the beauty of this place set my mind at ease. Lying next to Izznet I thanked her again. This was the second time in a week that she had come for me and carried me home. And tonight, I needed to know that someone would come for me. Laying my head against her, I closed my eyes and hoped for restful, healing sleep.

    I am done, I say with trying to help others. No good deed goes unpunished and I have over my life time had far more than my share of punishment.
     
  41. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Being cooped up is starting to wear on me a bit. Even a place as pleasant as Aerlinnbar seems a prison, and I can feel the walls slowly closing in about me. Izzy says I need to take time to heal and it is for her sake alone that I consent to sitting about with nothing to do but count the tiles on the floor.

    In truth, it has only been a few days since the attack by Penrose and his team left me on the ground with my leg shattered. But my very design was to allow me to be broken, heal quickly and be thrown back into the battle. I heal at an oddly rapid rate, and it is in fact one of the secrets I wish kept from Penrose. I am certain that if he knew of this factor within me he would wish to take me apart and see what makes me tick.

    Izznet seems to fear that I will rush headlong back at those who attacked me without giving thought to my fragile body. But I prefer to bide my time and wait till plans and means are in place before I seek my revenge. I know I must confound her with my seeming disregard for my own life. But years and years of conditioning have made me react in the ways I do when danger presses in.

    I am certain that Penrose hoped his letter would get under my skin, and that his blathering concerning my manhood would weigh heavy on my mind. But I know that when one is incapable of understanding a person or ideal before them it is the first recourse of lesser minds to seek to tear down rather than to learn.

    Now I do not for a moment think Penrose to be an uneducated mind. He has the training and discipline of mind in some areas or he would never have been accepted into the council of mages. But circumstances unknown to me seem to have corrupted his thinking, and set him on a path or vengeance and lust for power. And in the face of such things knowledge fails.

    Izznet’s first thoughts seem to be going after Governor Greywulfe for allowing the attack on me. And in truth a part of me for a moment entertained such thoughts. But a day’s rest and a calmer mind have led me to wonder if there is any truth at all in what Penrose claimed Guy said. So when I am released from my cage I will pay a visit to Skara and find out for myself. If the statement turns out to be true, and there is no reasonable explanation for allowing such a thing, I will then decide what will be my course and take action.
     
  42. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    All I wanted was a nice dinner in town. It was the first night since having my leg broken at the hands of Penrose and his minions that I felt like going someplace. I had become restless of sitting around all day and doing nothing, and thought that no harm could come from going to Skara for a quick bite.

    The moment Cas appeared behind me in the tavern I knew I was in trouble. At about the same time the door opened and a young man entered, looking towards where I sat. I did not make a move. Izznet was with me and I did not wish her harmed because of a misstep by me. Si when Cas announced that I was under arrest, I simply turned and said as you wish.

    I apologized for the walking stick I was leaning on, but she said I would have to leave it behind. I handed it to Izznet who watched as they took everything I had on me including my sword. I was surprised when the young man took me by the arm and offered support for my walking as he led me outside.

    Izznet followed, and I asked that she go back inside. When she refused to leave Cas told her that if she did not go back inside, they would slit my throat on the spot. Izzy relented, and returned to the Shattered Skull as the Hand led me through two gates, to their tower.

    I had been in this place before and did not relish spending more time in the filthy dungeon they called a lock up. I was led through to a room where a gate keeper sat and was asked to sit in a chair. Again, the young man helped me to the chair for which I thanked him.

    Cas began to question me about the incident with the two guards in Yew. Before I could say a thing Fate took the sword he carried and bashed me across the leg with it. As the pain coursed through my body I tried to tell them that I was attacked at the board as I tried to post a message and defended myself. But the truth did not suit the lady, so she handed the young man an arrow and he rolled up my sleeve, and stuck it into my arm. I was told that any time I did not answer in the right way, it would be done again, and then for good measure, Fateweaver again used his sword on my leg.

    It was clear they had no use for the truth and that my speaking anything other than what they wanted to hear would result in further torture. So when I was handed a pad and a pen I wrote down just what she wanted me to. That I had in fact killed two guards in yew and that under the same circumstances would do so again. As I handed my confession back to her the younger man applied a bandage to my arm to stem the bleeding. I was then led down stairs to the cell.

    They had what they wanted, I had signed a confession and using that they could try me for murder in the court of Yew. But that was not enough for Cas, she was determined to humiliate me. Perhaps this was in retribution for my being able to outsmart her and her men for so long. They made me remove my clothing and out on a rather drab frock and a bonnet. I am not sure what thrill this gave them. Respect for ones foe has always been a part of what men call “civilized” warfare.

    They have spoken about hanging me, perhaps they will. But once they figured I was well subdued, they left and went outside. A while later they returned with Skylar, tossing her in the cell with me. Seems there had been a fight outside, and Skylar was captured.


    They went back upstairs and in a bit returned with a man that I remembered from some years back. Damien I believe was his name, and he was a rather dark sort back then. He seemed to be trying to make some bargain to take Skylar with him. I was hoping the Hand would let him take her so Skylar could break free and wring his puny neck. But it seemed he had to go check on something first, so Skylar and I were left in the cell.

    Cas seemed very interested in Skylar, and what made her tick. She even had her wrist slit to see how fast the wound might heal. Skylar was not to be cowed by them though and tried several times to attack Cas through the bars. All the while blood was dripping from the gas on her wrist. Reaching down, I ripped off the bottom of the dress they had me in and held it out to Skylar. She accepted it, wrapping it around her wound.

    During a scuffle with the young member of the Hand I grabbed and broke his bow, and he tossed it into to corner of the cell. After they left, Skylar wondered if she could fashion a weapon from it, so I reached over and grabbed it, handing it over to her.

    I watched as she worked on the pieces of the bow, taking the long part of it and working it against the stone on the floor to sharpen it. As she worked, I could see blood seeping through the bandage, and so scooting a bit closer, asked how her arm was doing. She seemed a bit surprised and said it was doing fine, and went back to her work. I then asked if I could see it, and to my surprise, she offered her arm over to me.

    Removing the bandage, I looked on the angry gash and knew I had to do something even if it meant revealing too much of myself to a person that a few days before had aided in an attack on me. Holding her arm steady, I laid my other hand over the wound and focused on healing her. It is to me second nature to so such things, but what is nature to me can get me killed by others.

    When I sat back, she looked to where the wound had been, and then to me. Tossing me the other half of the bow she said.

    “Sharpen this.”

    We worked a while longer, and then, as I knew it would a tiredness swept over her, and she lay down to sleep. I watched her for a few moments and then, making a cup of tea, sat with my back against the bed and watched the stairway.
     
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  43. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    At least Skylar is free now. I was sure that they would have killed her when they took her upstairs. It was clear when she returned that she had been through much. I sat on the floor listening as they questioned her. I will admit to a bit of my own curiosity as to the nature of what she has become. She answered their questions for the most part, but at times she seemed as one broken or drugged.

    Towards the end of the questioning Cas informed Skylar that after their last question she had just one task to complete for them, and then she would be free. The task it seemed was that she would fight me in an arena, and once I fell, she would be turned free. I was a bit surprised when she seemed to take a delight in the prospect of fighting me. Not sure why this surprised me seeing that she had taken some pleasure in recent weeks making me suffer in one form of the other.

    I still have nights when my heart seems to tighten within my chest, and my breathing becomes irregular and painful. This has began after her attack on me in the Shattered Skull. In time and with the closeness of the fire I should heal. But for now it is a weakness I must keep hidden at all costs. Any chink shown, any sign of a wavering body or soul and the vultures will swoop in to feed.

    We were taken to an Arena and given our clothing back. I had my black pants and a nice white shirt, and Skylar had some rather nice armor and her weapon. I was given a sword, but the fee of it in my hand seemed foreign and somehow wrong. On signal we walked to the center of the arena, and I dropped my sword to the ground and stood ready.

    Skylar’s air was true and I found myself lying on the ground staring up at Cas who I am supposing was disappointed in my performance. Skylar was released and I was taken back and returned to my cell. Lying on the floor my head began to swim, my stomach lurched and I could almost feel the rather potent poison coursing through me. Closing my eyes, I reached out my mind and sought the healing flames of the balefire. But in this I am alone, and if I cannot find a way to purge the poison from me, then tomorrow may find the Hand’s work already done for them. I can only hope they will then return my body to Aegis for burial.

    The moon is shining outside, and through the narrow bars of my cell small beams fall lightly across the floor. In the distance I can hear the sounds of hoppers in the fields and the call of a wolf to his pack mate. Not too far from here, over a span that crosses the starry void lies home and safety within the arms of one who loves me.

    If things go well, I will see this spot again and perhaps travel to Aerlinnbar for healing and rest. If the days ahead bring an end to my travels than I will at least go secure in the fact that within that house is another whose heart beats in time with mine. And knowing this will bring some peace to my final moments.
     
    #43 Aedon Durreah, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  44. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have never really liked dancing on the edge of a knife. Less still when others hold the blade on which I stand. But situations change, and I find myself being traded off to Skylar. I am not sure what he purpose may be, but in truth I almost welcomed the site of her when she arrived.

    Cas had decided that she would administer Hand justice for my alleged crimes against Yew. Never mind that all the Hand has done since their unfortunate arrival in the area has done little to benefit the city. Nothing done by that lot is ever done for any other their selves. And no deed, no action done to achieve their goals seems to be forbidden.

    She and the one I have heard called Cas and the one I heard her call Sean came to my cell and having removing my shirt, bound my hands and pushed me through a gate to another building. Stating the charges against me, I was then bound to a column and whipped.

    When she was satisfied that I had been sufficiently punished, she had him stop. I tried to remain standing, refused to give them the satisfaction of crying out in pain. But whit the last lash, one that dug deeply into my skin I sank to my knees and resting my head against the pole. I barely heard the footfalls as Skylar rode up accompanied by Kanaye.

    Cas greeted her and told her that I was now all hers. As she walked towards where I now stood, Sean came out, and poured strong liquor down my back. The sting as the alcohol touched the raw gashes on my back made my stomach lurch. Leaning a bit closer Sean remarked something about it being necessary or they would become infected. I vaguely remember thanking the man who had just beaten me. Then Cas tossed him a vial and uncorking it, collected some of the blood off my back.

    Skylar then come over and taking the ropes, bound my hands even tighter, the ropes cutting into my skin. Then pulling me off the porch, tied the rope to her saddle, mounted the horse and set off dragging me behind her. I could still hear Cas laughing as I stumbled behind Slylar far into the woods.
     
  45. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    If I make it out of this alive, I am certain that Izznet will suggest that I keep to my house and tend my garden. After all, little harm can come to me if I am far removed from the turmoil which seems to have taken hold of not only Yew, but many towns of the realm. Within the walls of Connemara, or Aerlinnbar I can live my time in peace surround by my books. It is somewhat tempting to do so, and allow life on the outside to pass by as I wait other times, and cooler heads. I long for peace, and some glimpse of past and future beauties to be shared and enjoyed. There is for sure a lifetime of peace waiting for me on the outside of all, but it is not within me to accept this and turn my back on the rest of the world.

    I have never been the sort to back down from a challenge. I have stood before the gates of hell and never bowed or capitulated to those wishing to defeat me. A body is but flesh and bone, and can be stricken down time and again. But a spirit held by strong resolve can endure most of what life throws at it, and not only survive, but thrive.

    Retribution has never been a way of life for me. I have suffered much at the hands of those who show a callous disregard for all forms of life, and in the past –have tried to rise above this and move on with an eye towards the greater good. But there are times when striking back are necessary. When holding those accountable for countless crimes against a weaker population is the just thing to do.

    The Hand may think they have won, and in fact, I will grant them this minor victory. The Governor of Skara may or may not have offered me over to Cas in order to assure a small measure of peace for his city. But when peace comes at the cost of freedom it is but a shallow and short lived thing. We all take measures to gain that which we seek most in life, but for all actions, there must be a price to pay.
     
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  46. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    The more I stare at these walls the more I become convinced that I could do more with them than has been done. There are many views on what constitutes a prison. For many it is the old idea that stone walls and bars do a prison make. But I firmly believe that even the most pleasant of surroundings can become unpleasant confinement.

    In truth, I have never been fond of any place, no matter how pleasing which curtails my movement. It is for this reason that often when I have been ill and bed bound I have felt as though I were in a cage. And anytime one that values freedom above all feels trapped, it can lead to depression and a need to take flight.

    The wall in front of me now is not unpleasant to look at, nor has my captor been anything less than a gracious host. It has indeed been a far sight more enjoyable than my last accommodations. And yet as I have continued to see little more than these same walls day after day I find myself filled with the desire to blow the blasted thing up. Or at the very least ram my head into it a few times.

    I have always been aware of my aversion or even deep seeded fear of confinement. And the past week or so have done little to make me feel secure and at ease with the direction my life has headed. The company has not been unpleasant for the most part, but it has been controlled and almost singular. And I find myself longing for even the inane chatter of the Shattered Skull.

    If I could be a small bird for just a few hours, and take flight passing over towns and forests I would be content. Or perhaps a rabbit hopping through the brush, lifting his nose to sniff at the change in the wind I could feel some relief from my seclusion.

    But though with eyes shut I walk the paths of the Yew forests enjoying a chill breeze on my face I know full well that when I again open my eyes that wall will be waiting. And slowly, the cage closes in around me and thoughts of flying free fade and disappear like dreams on waking.
     
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  47. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    What did I drink last night, and what exactly did I do? I fear that time confined has caused me to let slip my guard. The drink she brought me seemed harmless, if a bit heady. But I was ready to have a good stiff belt in an effort to break the monotony of captivity. Therefore, I gratefully accepted the keg she placed on the ground before me. As I drank from the keg, I can recall from time to time a sort of pleased laughter, and then everything went black.

    So I come to now. I have awakened on the ground, furniture shattered about me, the leg of one of the chairs in my hand and a good amount of my clothing shredded or missing. And I cannot recall what happened or who for sure was there.

    I have tried to sit up several times, but each try is met with a steady throbbing in my head and a deep desire to drink more from the keg, which oddly, seems the one thing in the room still in one piece. And I have aches in places I did not know that I had places.

    Perhaps it is better that I lie still for a while and allow my head and body to catch up with one another again. Perhaps when my captor returns later she will have an explanation for the state of my cell. Or perhaps, she will bring me clothing that is not ripped to shreds and another keg.
     
  48. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Skylar has told Izznet the conditions for my freedom and in truth; the cost is far too high. I would have willingly offered my services and my sword in exchange, but to request information best left gone is something I must refuse.

    There is no value to be found in knowing the forging secrets of Ahoun. The methods used are far beyond the skills of most smiths, and known to those of Athryvald alone. And the damage that would be done to any who sought to wield this bade would be catastrophic.

    In truth, ever were I to offer her scabbard to those desiring her, she would be of no use to them. Ahoun and I were forged for one another, and without me, she is a black blade in a rune covered sheath.

    The blade cannot bring victory or riches to another. Even I could not attain much past the success in the battle she was made for. The blade is altogether corrupted now, and the pain I experience each time I lay hand to her hilt is retribution for the wrongs I committed. Each cry of agony, every face of men I slew or the voices of those who begged for mercy, and received only death still echo in my mind.

    And now, because of me and that blasted blade Izznet may have been placed in danger. I cannot allow this to stand. I had hoped to see her house rise to greatness again. And that even though I could make no amends to those I wronged in the past, that I could perhaps erase some of her pain, and if only in dreams give her one shining day under a war summer sun.

    Perhaps Figol is right. It may be that the time has come when I remove the temptation of Ahoun from the world, and that together, we go to the long sleep prepared for me. I am frightened to face such a thing alone, and yet I know that it must be so. And as the moon overtakes the sun and draws darkness across the land I somewhat welcome the peace to be found under the stars.

    But please,grant me one more night.
     
  49. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have had several things happen this week which surprised me a bit. And in all truth, it seems that few things can surprise me anymore.

    First, James has a heart bigger than even I thought he did. His desire to build a sanctuary to aid any and all looking for a hot meal and a warm bed speaks more to his character than anything I have seen before. Even among those who proclaim their generosity of spirit and nobility of heart I have rarely seen them offer little more that promises of grand deeds. James has moved forward with actions and a song in his heart. And if the tune he hums be off key and a bit odd, so what. I am in awe of the Pooka, and watching him as he goes about the work in his castle makes my heart almost burst with pride.

    Then there was the event in Skara the other night. The Hand had been in the Tavern and at times seemed to be looking for ways to increase my discomfort. And yet later on when the blue demon attacked and I gave chase, it surprised me to see the Hand join in and help bring down the foul thing. And though I of all people know full well the cruelty they can bring forth, it leaves me wondering somewhat about the possibility that there is still some good to be found within them.

    The third thing which surprised me is on a more personal level. I have discovered that Izznet’s ears are ticklish. It brought me such joy to see her giggle like a school girl each time I touched or teased at her ears. And I will admit that I was so enjoying her reaction that I tripled my efforts to tickle her and enjoyed immensely her unashamed glee.

    It has been an odd week, but the end of it has found me still free of any confinement. I have had a chance to sit freely in the Shattered Skull and enjoy a drink and the company of others. I watched as Gillian made an effort to set up a service of some sort honoring the Rangers and the fallen two T’serim and Corrina. And watched sadly the anger wrought of a feeling of betrayal and what seemed to me to be a genuine measure of sorrow and loss.

    I know now that there is nothing I can do to aid those whose lives have been touched in ways which have colored their thoughts or clouded their eyes. And in truth, it is not my place to seek to intervene in the lives of others I still barely know. And I have learned to accept the limitations of my intentions good or bad.

    I am still a bit concerned that Skylar may still hold some interest in Ahoun. For though I have seen to it that the blade was moved far beyond the reach of most, I know that should I be put to the test, that the sword forged to be a part of my soul would surely find its way back to me.
     
  50. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It has been a long time since I took time to reconnect with the woods around me. I have spent too many days caught up in the day to day politics which dog these lands listening to the constant whining and bickering that serves only to divide and in time ruin a people.

    You cannot change the minds and hearts of those locked into the past or mired in fear and hatred. You should not condemn all nor paint all those you see as different with the same broad brush. And you should not resort to petty talk and insults when you disagree with others around you.

    I am guilty of doing these same things, and will admit that in the past I might have been compelled to be as rash and narrow of view as those around me. I have sat in judgment many times of people who might wrong me, or even those who are simply different in appearance or lifestyle.

    But time spent walking the pathways of the great woods have brought a sense of peace to my soul which I have labored to carry with me every day, and all too often, failed. But I cannot give in to baser instincts, and will not allow others to douse my spirit, or taint my heart with the same hatred I labor to leave in the distant past.

    I need not take much with me, for in truth I can pick up what I need as I travel, and hopefully, I will not be away long enough to run myself low on funds. I have stashed some clean clothing, some apples, cheese, bread and a skin of wine into my pack. These items, along with a few books, and some writing paraphernalia should suffice for now.

    I have asked James, Izznet and Avalon to look in on my house, and hope that it is not too scorched by the time I return. I am certain that James has already given thought to a careful application of fire to help mend anything that may be wrong.

    It will be nice spending some nights in the cathedrals of nature, listening with reverence to the songs of trees and forest creatures at play as I walk in the complete peace my mind so craves right now. And it is hoped that as in the past, I will return with clearer thoughts and a vision for where my life is heading.