When she closed her eyes, Olivia Kanlocke could still see the face of Ors as she last saw it - haunted. Desperate to do something to save his wife, he had left the gruesome scene of her murder - a murder in which he was the unwilling perpetrator, and returned to Britain for help. By the time Olivia had returned to the castle, Ors was dead. Horrified by his own actions, he had killed himself. They rest in peace together, Olivia thought as she gazed upon the tombstones marking the graves of Queen Dawn and her husband. It was only midday now but it felt as though she had been sitting next the memorial for ages. She was preparing to say her final goodbye and begin her journey back to Britain when she heard the sharp snap of a branch being broken underfoot from behind her. Calmly, but quickly, her hand moved to the long dagger sheathed at her belt. "Please, steady your hand. I did not mean to alarm you," a feminine voice quickly asserted. "I believe I am here for much the same reason you are." Turning around as she rose from the grass, Olivia identified the source of the voice - a young Meer woman standing just outside the cluster of trees that now shaded the area. "Dasha, I presume?" Olivia asked. Dasha nodded her head in affirmation, "And you are Commander Kanlocke." "Right now...I'm just Olivia," the answer came haltingly. "Very well. I did not know if I should expect to encounter any visitors here today," the Meer said as she glanced to the memorial that lay behind Olivia. Noticing her gaze, Olivia moved to the side, "It is the first time I have been able to get away from Britain, or I would have come sooner." "I know what you mean," Dasha stated in a tone that made Olivia believe the Meer woman knew exactly what she meant - that it wasn't merely an issue of time or duty, "I hope I didn't interrupt. I can return later." "No," Olivia replied softly,"I am done. I was just about to leave myself." Dasha nodded, "How are things among your people?" Olivia paused to consider the question before answering, deciding just how frank to be. "Not as bad as I expected them to be. There is relief that Virtuebane is gone, and...acceptance that so is the Queen. There is little unrest among the people, but without a ruler I don't know how long that will last." "Perhaps all they need is another capable warrior woman to take Dawn's place," Dasha suggested, a slight grin pulling at the corners of her mouth. "No," Olivia responded perhaps a bit too forcefully, "I mean, perhaps, but that person won't be me," she continued, her tone softening. Dasha cocked her head to the side, imitating a very human expression, "Do your people not respect and admire you? You led the final battle against Virtuebane, and locked swords with the demon. You won." "Perhaps, but there will be other threats in the future. Threats I would rather be freely able to meet with my sword - a luxury that would not always be afforded to me as a ruler. I would not even consider what you suggest if it were offered to me - I don't know what the future will hold, but it will be in the hands of those more capable than I." "I can't say I blame you for feeling that way," the Meer warrior replied knowingly. "But what in the meantime?" Olivia's gaze turned to the distant road to Britain, "I return home. Politics of rule will be left to the politicians, and the protection of our realm will be left to the Guards. I have reports indicating Orc movements near Cove and Vesper, local healers gone missing, and all manner of rumors of strange individuals appearing suddenly in Britain. I know where my place is." "Then you should go," Dasha stated, "And while I can't speak for the Meer, if you ever require assistance, let me know. I would owe nothing less to a friend of Dawn." "Thank you," Olivia responded with appreciation, "May we next meet under happier circumstances." Dasha smiled, "I can think of few better moments than the ones we spend honoring those we respect." "Well said Dasha, well said." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All Guards and able-bodied warriors of the realm should be on the look-out for Orc movements in the woods about Cove and Vesper for the next few days. Reports from the local Guard units indicate that the orcs seem to be content with scouting the area for now, but may me preparing for an attack three evenings from now (Friday, between 7 EST and 9 EST). As always, check with Lt. Jeffrey outside the Castle in case more details are brought to light.