Soundtrack: The Calling by 2002 on Land of Forever:: http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/s/The+Calling/z0gg "Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends." Richard Bach--Illusions. This story was taken from the UO Journal of a scene between Aedon Durreah of The Glade of Aegis and Sage Aurora of the Freehold of Roses. ===== The raindrops fell softly on my face as I walked from the moongate to the Knights Rest, the last walk I would make to visit with Aedon Durreah. I'd watched the activity in the Aegis from my scrying bowl and the packing was all but done, dawns light would bring the first steps of his journey. The rain in The Aegis was welcome, the deep greens of the glade and lush landscape drank deeply and often; the water on my face was a gentle reminder of the life sustained here. I walked up to the tavern and stepping in the door I could smell the freshly steeping tea, mingled with the hearth fire along with the wood and textiles that made up the Knights Rest, the tavern had its own personality that separated it from others. The laughter, songs and stories of many years white washed the walls of this place. The heated words of debate dinged the finish and made this a home; one well lived in. Aedon greeted me from the table by the door, standing as I entered and asking me to join him. “I have tea prepared... and cookies,” came his soft voice. There are some things that I can not control and the soft trill my breathing makes when I am filled with affection is one of them. Seeing Aedon for possibly the last time brought out all the love I've had for this man for a long time. In the moment our eyes met I remembered years ago meeting him at his tavern in Umbra, working with him as elf for his Yule gatherings. It was rare a winter came and went where Aedon and I didn't work together since then to prepare for the celebration of Yule. Trilling softly I bid him good evening and took a seat across from him at the table. “Tea in the Rest in your company I will miss...” I said softly as he poured a cup for each of us. Aedon smiled and pointed to his circlet, I'd not seen him wear it in many years. “I wore this to honor you,” he spoke softly. “It has been sometime since you were comfortable wearing it,” I said sipping the tea. Aedon laughed softly then offered, “I suppose I have been remiss in that area. Things change dear; time moves us all and calls us to meet our destiny.” I could feel the smile on my face as I acknowledged it did, but that few listen. We both laughed as he told me that some need to be hit across the head to catch the voice, then got comfortable as we sipped our tea for a moment in silence. “You've always worn a crown well, you seem to understand that it's a position of service” I told him. Aedon grinned, the one that makes his eyes twinkle when ever someone compliments him and he has to make ease of the moment. “Its the hair,” he said lightly, “I have nice hair.” “You do,” I laughed and he did too. Aedon reached up and removed his circlet holding it in his hands as he stared at it, “Either way,” he spoke softly, “I will not be needing this where I go.” As he finished his words soft and heavier with his accent, Aedon placed the circlet in the table before me. With a deep breath I picked it up and examined it carefully, running my fingers gently over the Crest of Connemara. “It is yours now, I want you to have it.” The Guardian of the Aegis said his accent deepening still. “I will keep it safe.” I assured him. Aedon took a sip of his tea and told me he had always wondered about the shield and the tree, how it took him years to fully understand the meaning contained. Protection and shelter he said, and expressed that he supposed Aegis was a natural place for him to settle, then looking slowly around the room he met my gaze and told me that they were to leave at first light. “I know,” I told him, my voice softened by the affection I felt, and I explained how I'd been watching from my scrying bowl. It seemed to please him to know he was watched over. We talked on for a time about friends and, what he'd miss and who I should keep my eye on. Aedon asked about the Freehold and how it fared, he knew it had been quiet. Even the recent unrest had subsided of late. Talk to lengthen our time together, the same chatter we've been sharing over tea for years. As we spoke, the changes we'd seen over time touched our conversation and I reminded him how we both encouraged the inner child in people to come out and play. That many forgot how to do that. “I forgot that... and so much more for the longest time.” Aedon confided in me. “Its not good for a person, it weakens us,” he added. “It does,” I agreed and told him, “my life is to short to forget.” “Mine has been too long to remember at times,” Aedon responded “You need to remember,” I told him, “its the only way to be whole.” Aedon looked to my eyes, his own bright green, “I have done so,” he told me; “I am no longer afraid to face the future Sage. I know my purpose and place in things.” I trilled lightly holding back my tears, “that is the best place to be,” I offered in a whisper. “My only regret is in leaving you all behind...” Aedon said softly. I had to remind him that he said himself that he left none of us behind, he would take us with him in his heart; that for those who matter most, goodbyes are only temporary, and needed for there to be hello's again. “Your spirit and mine are tied Aedon, they will find each other again,” I said with a soft trill. A comfortable silence settled over us as we finished our tea watching each other smiling softly, finally broken when Aedon thanked me for allowing him to be part of the Freehold, and all I'd been to him. I told him I loved him, and that I would always be on my mountain if he needed me. “I will always love you dear lady,” Aedon told me, “even the ceasing of my heart won't change that.” I knew he meant it, I could see in his eyes. “I am going to get misty soon,” he broke the silence again. I trilled softly and stood, moving to kiss his cheek and feeling his tender touch on mine. As I moved to leave Aedon smiled and bowed his head. “Be safe till next we meet,” he said softly. I curtsied before the King of Connemara and told him simply, “safe journeys.” As I approached the door, I said lightly, “I may have to try on your crown.” “May you wear it better than I did,” he said smiling. “Not bloody likely,” I giggled and stepped out the door. I could hear Aedon laughing from inside, I took a moment and burned the sound into my mind and my heart to remember him by before leaving the glade for my mountain of snow on Malas.