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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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    There are many things which from time to time cause me too pause and think though what I am doing at the time. Not many things can bring me to change my mind once I am convinced I am right. That is due to the high degree of stubbornness I possess. I am not really prone to listen to the advice or warnings from others. I am more than capable of making my own mistakes after all and need no help from others.

    There is however one person above all in who I place my trust.

    James has never really steered me wrong and when he brings me a warning I know full well that it is wholly out of concern for me, and not due to any profit or gain to him. And though a most happy go lucky person, he is capable of showing a degree of caring rarely found among the most serious of us.

    Sitting with him tonight talking, I hazard to ask him the one question that I have hesitated to broach these days.

    “Does my association with Izznet concern you?”

    As always, his answer was quick and honest as he spoke of his concern for me. James either knows or senses Izzy’s nature, and he worries about what might happen were she to take it into her mind to do me harm.

    I did my best to assure him that I was staying alert and of the promise she made to me. She said she would never seek to turn me and I believe this with all my heart.

    We also spoke of the chance that the balefire might be harmed. James could not state for certain seeing that this was not the area he tended. But he did recall the harm done to silvara’s court due to the relationship of one of the fae and one who was kindred.

    I am still bound to Queen Elisandra, and my long standing closeness to both her and Sage brought me into direct contact with the balefire at the Freehold of Roses. I have touched that fire, and been a dreamer in the court of Countess Selora.

    My connection to these flames is precious and I draw much of my strength from them. The thought that actions I have taken might endanger them is repugnant to me. I would see my own life end before bringing harm to such dear entities.

    The living flame is with me in my daily life, and walks with me through good and evil times. It has brought me comfort and healing when I needed it most and I have brought before it a being that through no actions she might intentionally take may still cause irreparable damage.

    And though I have assured James that I am taking great care, I cannot speak with certainty that I am not looking aside and letting the danger move ever closer simply because of my feelings for Izznet. More thought is needed on this, and I must take steps to assure the safety of both balefires. Dearer than life, greater than the rising sun itself. They both mean the world to me.
     
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  2. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I had spent the night on the roof of Connemara searching the skies for an answer to my problem. At one point I must have fallen asleep and dreamed that I heard the flutter of great wings. Jarring awake, I looked around and went to the edge looking down towards the front door. In the shadow of the apple tree a figure moved heavily and with purpose, and opening my mail box, dropped something inside and flew off.

    Heading down, I went and retrieved the note that was inside, opened it and began reading. The message was from Avalon telling me that Izznet was at Shadowmoore in grave condition. She implored me not to go there until I had spoken with her. Heading inside, I poured a cup of coffee and went to sit on the porch and await the watcher.

    I suppose I dosed off where I sat and was awakened to a curious munching sound. Walking down the stairs I looked into the garden area and found Avalon eating all the ripe apples on my tree. It was a most humorous sight watching as she stood there, close to the height of tree methodically devouring them one by one. As she spotted me she apologized, and came to stand towering above me. I asked what was wrong with Izznet and then listened as she spoke of the events of the day.

    Izznet had come here to confront the watcher about her meeting with Penrose. I know from words she spoke to me that she was livid at Avalon for even considering speaking to the man that had caused her and me so much grief. As they spoke, Izznet became weak and collapsed onto the ground. Once she had her back at Shadowmoore she began to notice the full effect of her condition and became concerned. A search of the place where Izzy rested turned up a single silver pin sewn into the satin. She warned me of her condition and allowed me to then go visit her Charge.

    Even her description could not prepare me for the lady’s condition. She lay upon a bed, her skin ashen, her aspect likened unto death. As she opened her eyes to look at me I became keenly aware of her nature. Her eyes, which had always looked on me softly and lovingly, appeared wild and desperate. There was a hunger in her eyes as she watched my moves, and I feared that at any moment she might launch herself towards me and rip me apart. But she made no move towards me and I stopped a good distance from the bed, and remained watchful as we spoke. Her emerald eyes appeared dull and almost gray in tone, her skin dull and the color of putty.

    She spoke slowly of how she was feeling and tried to assure me that she would recover. It was hard for me to say so but I told her that Avalon had advised me not to attempt to heal her as the act could prove damaging to me and the fires I am connected to. She nodded understanding as I told her I agreed, and could not risk such a thing.

    I told her though that I would be willing to aid her healings in other ways which I knew she understood. Looking to me I watched a singly grey tinged tear slid down over her cheek as she refused what I offered.

    I was in truth a bit relieved that she sent me away and yet at the same time I felt lost and alone. The bond we shared has been weakened by the actions of one she never met. A descendent of the bounty hunter who dogged her steps long years in her past. I will honor her request and the advice of the watcher and keep at a safe distance while Izzy recovers. I have been cautioned to let Avalon know ahead of time should I wish to visit, as there might be a mess within the building that should be cleaned up first.

    And so I went to Skara alone tonight, and enjoyed the archery tournament, then drinks and pleasant conversation in the tavern. It was odd at first not seeing her across from me, but as luck would have it, Callista was there and did not object to my sharing her table. Later James came in and I met a ranger who seemed to be questioning his path in life.

    The conversation was enjoyable, the company good. And as the night wore on I almost forgot what I had seen on entering her room at the Moore.
     
  3. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There are many things going which urge me to give pause and think. Not the least of which is the coming attempt to transfer Ahoun and the souls within to another. Though Skylar’s method still concerns Izznet a bit, I am more than willing to take a chance to be rid of that blasted thing once and for all.

    Nemira warns that there will be some cost to pay for my freedom and parts of the price may seem a bit steep to me. But the thought of dreams not haunted by the faces of countless dead urges me to continue on and see this through.

    Also, there was a Druid within the Spiritwood the other night speaking. I went to listen and was intrigued by much of which he said. It did concern me that without permission from the Rangers who hold watch on the land a rock, had been placed, along with a tree. He called it the rock of Brannoc, and said that the pair would cleanse the lands of the corruption which infested it.

    In truth the lands are ill. From Spiritwood to Yew the sickness was clear to be seen. It reached deep into the earth and spread its influence through all forests, dales, glades and thickets. It is as though the lands were subject to some sort of demonic possession.

    Those assembled seemed divided on the means which must be taken to cleanse and make whole the living earth. But it is clear that balance must be brought forth again, and as in all cleansing, some culling take place before the new growth can spring forth.

    I would not impose my thoughts and methods on those who keep safe the forests of Skara, but I can offer to assist them where they may. Perhaps through this Druid I might learn more about the care of the lands around and beneath me.

    My life which always seemed to follow a path laid out by others is rapidly changing. And though I am not one made comfortable by change, sometimes a shakeup is a good thing and brings about new adventures and excitement. But change to me all too often makes me prone to flight, an unsure of myself and things around me.

    Izzy has taken note of my discomfort, and has spoken of allowing me more space and time to adjust to all that has and will transpired. I am grateful to her for this acknowledgement of my uneasiness with many things that move now within my world. Perhaps once I am free of Ahoun, I can look forward to all that life has to offer.
     
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  4. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I cannot seem to shake the feeling that something is horribly wrong. I have not been myself for the past few days and trying to figure out what is troubling me has not proven easy. I ride from one end of Yew to the other, visit Skara, go hunting in different areas. I am trying most anything I can think of to clear my mind.

    One would think that the best thing to do is to simply plug along, and let whatever this is run its course. But it is affecting not only me, but Izznet as well. When we sit together for supper, or ride around I am either overly quiet, or uncomfortably talkative. And not in the way she is accustomed to.

    I am becoming more withdrawn, preferring to sit someplace alone and read rather that visit spots where others gather.

    Izzy says she understands and is granting me my space. But I have to wonder what my sudden aloofness is doing to the bond we share. She is dear to me in more ways I can explain, and I have assured her that she has done nothing to bring about this change.

    I am beginning to wonder if the sickness which permeates the ground and moves as a sullen cloud through the forests is somehow also reaching into me. I do not feel ill though, I simply feel lost. But if some hidden malady has crept from the trees and invaded my body, then would I really know?

    With no answers and no surety of what questions to ask I must simply wait this out, and hope that it passes soon. In the past I would have looked to heal myself, but since the healing of Avalon I have been unable to call forth any energy to sooth my body and soul.

    Perhaps a bit of rest will help, but the past several nights have done little to clear these feelings and show me what I need to do. But I will try once more and hope that the night passes without incident.

     
  5. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was nice to see Izzy enjoying hosting her Tavern night. She had not done so in a long time and after encouraging her to reopen I was hoping that all would go well and she would be reminded of how pleasant things could be at one.

    She had a fine turn out, and Baron Arkon brought her an assortment of fine drinks to help make the night a bit more festive. In addition to Tobias and a young lady he seemed rather smitten with, Devon was also there and in fine form.

    I know Izzy is bothered by the man’s rhetoric, but for some reason I find him most amusing. I decided to test the limits of his capacity for strong drink, and made sure that drinks kept flowing his way. The man must have the constitution of a rhino when it comes to alcohol, and lasted far longer than many might. But in the end he left the Moore in his tiger stripped shorts, singing loudly.

    Callista came in and was looking very lovely. She sat with James and me and seemed pleased by my lighter mood. I must say I was a bit surprised at how upbeat I was feeling, and took full advantage of my lighter mood.

    Arakad came in later and asked me to keep an eye out for some property along the waters for him. I am glad to have my old friend back around again. James seemed to have a good time, and the tavern was set on fire, so a successful night.

    Earlier in the day I spoke to Izznet about Avalon. There had been a notice posted on the Rest by Gillian seeking healers, and I thought Avalon should apply for one of the positions. She is a natural at healing and has a way of relaxing others in spite of her impressive size. I thought that Izzy should encourage the watcher to send word to the young healer.

    It is my sincere hope that Avalon and all the ladies of Izznet’s house step forward and make themselves known to more people. It will go a long way towards aiding Izzy as she works to rebuild her house. I am still at times surprised that she chooses to share her journey with me and hope I prove a worthy companion along the way.

    There are still many worries and doubts which pull at me and cause me to second guess divisions and goals I have set for myself. But each day gets easier; each turn in the road brings a more pleasant path. I just need to convince myself to stay the course and steer towards calmer seas.
     
  6. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    She calls me chev sea’an and in all truth, I am not sure such a title fits me. She tells me it is a Drow phrase meaning Beloved Hero. Well, perhaps I am the first part in her eyes, but I have never seen myself as any sort of hero. Still, it is a term of endearment, and I cannot help but smile each time she addresses me as chev.

    The peace with the Hand seems to be holding for now, and though I have had many misgivings about her, Cas is proving to be good to her word. I will therefore hold to mine and show her the respect her current office is due.

    I was encouraged to build a bath house in Aegis, and after finding a suitable building, have had the work completed. There is still much decorating to do, but Izzy has already taken advantage of the warm pool, and Alira stopped by to gaze longingly into the bubbling waters. This may not seem a practical building to many, but sometimes one must give way to a bit of whimsy and fun.

    Having mentioned that I would need a person to handle the building and one to give light massages to patrons, Izznet suggested that I look for the dancer in Skara. I found her in the wooded area near the moongate and asked that she come speak about a position I was offering. She followed me to Aegis, and we had a few words describing the job before heading to the bath house. She seemed a bit surprised when I mentioned that the massages would be nothing inappropriate, and that she could dress in a manner that was comfortable to her.

    After showing her around the pool area and where the massages would be given, I took her upstairs to see where her room would be. This seemed to surprise her more than anything so far and she asked who else would be staying in the room. I assured her that the room would be hers alone, and would be fitted with furniture that would make her feel comfortable. It was sort of sad to hear her say she had never had a room of her own before. She accepted the job and I asked James to put her up at Innis Free while her room was being completed. The rest of the evening I spent moving things into the building and trying to get it ready for opening.

    The rite of water has always been important within the Glade of Aegis. Water purifies and makes new most things. And as a river washing over its bed of rock wears down and makes smooth the jagged stones, it is my hope that this house will bring a sense of renewal to Aegis and all of Yew. At the very least it will show one small Drow lady that not all people she meets are bad.
     
  7. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I was a bit apprehensive about meeting Skylar alone. It is not that I am second guessing our plan; in fact, I look forward to being rid of that thing forever. But thought there is this humanity about her that I find compelling, she is still a being capable of inflicting great harm. And seeing that she has many times displayed intolerance for those who show up late, I have decided to arrive early.

    The ride to the meeting place was uneventful, and I did not come across another soul along the way. I made my way down wooded paths, and through the gate, and then headed out past the area where most houses sat. It was not a deserted area, but those buildings near to the one I was heading to seemed to withdraw in an attempt to hide their selves in the growing shadow of evening.

    Arriving at my destination, I tied Leannan out front, and then knocked on the door. When Skylar answered the door, she nodded once and said my name. She then motioned for me to follow her, and lead me to a balcony to await someone or something.

    On the way through the place, I tried to take note of furnishings and hangings on the wall. But the nearness of Skylar brought me to a sense of heightened awareness, and caused me to keep my eyes ever on her. There is a sense of danger about the lass, a feeling that one might get just before being attacked and ripped to shreds by some wild animal. But there was also a deep sense of caring and honor in her that brings me to trust her in spite of many of my dealings with her in the past.

    And so I sat on the balcony, with my back to the wall and my eyes following her movements as she paced back and forth like a caged beast. The house responded to her anger and seemed to slowly close in about me. The air became stuffy and hot. Even the floorboards seemed to tremble before her steps as covered the ground between where I sat and the middle of the inner room.

    I am not sure of the time that passed as I sat there, the movements of the hour was only marked by the deepening shadows across the wall. It became a chore to keep myself calm as her moods shifted between welling anger, and resolve for the task at hand.

    No other person seemed to enter the room. I could hear no voice, no foot falls, and no rustle of passing wind. But something she was waiting for either arrived, or Skylar was simply tired of waiting. Turning towards me, she locked her gaze on me and simply said.


    “It’s time.”

    I am not at all sure of what happens next, but the first steps are about to be taken. I do not fear for my life, seeing that I died long ago, and in truth have long been on borrowed time. I only hope that the choice I have made proves to be the right one, and that no one else suffers and dies to feed the insatiable appetite of Ahoun.
     
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  8. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There have been many things I have done in my life that I have been less than proud of. But always, I have tried to do what is best for the greatest number of folks. Sometimes, much to my grief others have paid for things I have chosen to do or not do. And I can only pray that when my life is run out I will find some measure of forgiveness for my many sins.

    It has never been my desire to have others looks to me for guidance or protection. In fact I am ill equipped to save others when I cannot even save myself. But if by the giving of my life others can find some measure of peace and happiness in their days then it would be a good death.

    I know that in outward appearance I may not look it, but I am old and tired. And sometimes I dream of the peace I might find on the other side of the grey veil. To walk on golden sands beneath an azure sky and not have to worry about those I can or cannot please through my actions or words would be bliss. To lie beside a stream in a meadow of wild flowers listening to the voice of the water with no cares to darken my mind would be the ultimate peace.

    I know there are so to whom my passing would bring some grief. And a few more that would find cause for merriment and song. And I do not begrudge them their laughter or tears. Laughter after all is a salve for the soul and tears the wings on which those who pass from this plane of existence fly to their eternal homes. And in time even those racked with grief will mend and move on. That is after all the way of the world.

    As I look back through the long years I can count on one hand those that have left a lasting mark on my heart. With one more hand I can number the true friends I have had. But I have not the fingers to list those who I have cared for and will miss when I make my final voyage.

    Friends it is said by some are like the stars in the heavens. They shine down on us in the dark times and share with us joy and laughter. And though I do enjoy that sentiment I think friends are more like a garden. You plant a seed of hope and hope it takes root and thrives. And yes, sometimes you must spread around a bit of manure to see to it the roots are fertilized. Sometimes you must cut away the dead parts so the tender bulbs can be nourished. And if you are really lucky, some of the seeds will burst forth in a magnificent harvest of lasting friendship and mutual caring.

    I have not tended my garden well in some years now. The loss of Beleg and Ahmaya was harder on me than I have ever cared to admit. And the later departure of Alyssia Kanath and others of the Rangers of the Heart served to further scar my heart and cause me to keep to my study allowing my garden to wither and die. But always there have been those I have allowed in a bit only wish to flee before I reveal too much of myself to them, or come to care too much.

    Yes, I have done many things in my life that I have been less than proud of. But when I stand at last before the maker of all things, I hope that he will look deeper to see my heart, and know that I have done the best that I could, That he will notice I am less sure of myself than many think I am and am in fact often as scared of what may come as the next person. And if he can see me for what I truly am, then perhaps he can forgive my many mistakes, and welcome me home.
     
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  9. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Yew seems to be taking a good turn again, and I am pleased with some of her prospects on the horizon. There has been a steady build up within the old city, and the woods around Aegis are once more alive with the sounds of progress and life.

    Alira has been a lot for the area and seems to have an odd drive towards increasing the quality of life within the city. She goes above and beyond the norm to draw new business and family to Yew.

    Baron Arkon has his shipping business up and running and his supplies of fine drinks are a hit not only with the folks of Yew, but other towns as well. He seems to becoming a fine, upstanding member of the community.

    James has Innis Free set up well, and several people are already taking advantage of the free hospitality he offers, So far I have received no complaints of fires or exploding supplies within the old castle.

    The Bath House seems to be doing well, and Hun’ep is doing a fine job as manager there. It is my hope that she continues to enjoy life within Yew. She appears to enjoy her freedom and her living arrangements. Will this be enough to encourage her to carve out a life of her own filled with her choices? Only time will tell.

    I have decided to open the Knights Rest again. Not that I am anxious to again run the tavern. I do so to offer my support to those that are working in their own corners of Yew to bring life back to the woods.

    As to my life, I have been encouraging Izznet to get out among other folks. I am afraid that my actions may confuse her, and each time she asks if I am sending her away my heart aches. It is not that I do not treasure her deeply. In fact, I offer up thanks often to whatever divine being took note of my loneliness and sent her my way. But I fear that if she does not widen her circle of those she spends time with that she will surely grow tired of my company alone. And it is good that she does things not with me, and enjoys other conversations and activities. It is for this reason that I encouraged her to reopen Shadowmoore.

    Night is gathering in the Glade, and I sit her on the balcony of the Rest listening to the sounds of the woods. But unlike some recent nights the chatter of the small creatures and the voices on the wind speak to more promising days to come.
     
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  10. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am not sure what has come over me. I have been feeling odd sensations since returning from Skylar’s. At first I was tired, but that sensation rapidly gave way to a feeling of invincibility and a bit of euphoria. Putting on my armor, I rode to the cave outside Trinsic, and entering within, killed anything that got in my war. And unlike other times, I enjoyed the bloodshed, relished the small taste of that which splattered across my face, and ran down to my lips. It was not as satisfying as that which I had at the end of the ceremony, but still it held an allure for me which served to increase my thirst.

    I was sitting in the library when Izznet arrived, and though I tried to make small talk, I was keenly aware of the beat within her chest and could smell the metallic scent of her blood. I suggested that we go to Skara for supper, and she agreed. As I ate, my eyes were ever on her neck, and it took very little straining for me to hear the sloshing sound deep beneath her skin. I suggested we go home, and she readily agreed.

    Arriving at Aerlinnbar my thoughts and desires were driving me close to mad. Turing to face her, I unclasped her cloak, and then removed her gorget. Moving closer, I kissed her neck, and ran my lips softly over her skin. Had I not voiced my intention to taste her blood, I would most likely have attained that which I sought.

    But as I spoke, she recoiled from me a bit. I told her I was stronger than she and could surely take what I wished and lunged forwards to grab her. A soft shimmer and her fading from my sight- as she cried no, left me standing alone in the room, angry and with a growing need that seemed to be driving my steps.

    I searched for her in Shadowmoore and Aegis and eventually went to Skara. I found Skylar sitting at a table alone, and sat down telling her of what had happened. She offered to help me find Izznet, and together we headed outside, and mounting our horses, started towards the gate.

    Rounding the corner we came on a group of Rangers, and I was filled with a sudden desire to torment them. I am sure they thought that I would simply move on as they gathered in a mob to face me, but in truth I did not care what they thought. They seemed suddenly small and insignificant to me. Like gnats one must swat off an arm from time to time. Skylar seemed rather pleased at my taunting, and told the Rangers that my eyes were at last open. But I tired of them quickly and seeing that Skylar were on a mission of sorts, we moved along. There will be time to deal with them other nights I suppose.

    Riding to Aegis Skylar asked that I show her all my houses. So I took her first to the Rest and then by the Bath House. She then said she wished to see where Alira lived, and so I led her there. It seemed as though Skylar wished to show me things about Alira. First showing me a picture of a young woman on the wall, saying she thought it to be Alira, and then going up the stairs standing outside a locked room she told me that Alira was hiding much.

    She then asked where the entrance to the roof was. Searching around, we found it, and went up to a small garden. I am not fully sure of what happened next, but I am sure something happened there. The next clear memory is of the two of us out front saying good night. Skylar said she will send word when she needs me again.

    I continued my search for Izznet and in time found her in a spot she and I used for safety from the Hand. She was not happy to see me and I was still working to curtail the thirst I felt. We had words that were not very loving, and I left her crouched in the corner of the room and went to a table outside.

    Sitting there, I could not shake the picture of Izzy crouched in the corner of that small room obviously fearing me. So I walked over and entered again, and sat in the opposite corner watching her and speaking softly. As I stood to move closer to her she crouched lower and growled deeply. I sat as close as I dare to her and continued to speak to her.

    In time, I talked her into returning home to Aerlinnbar with me. One of the things she asked is that I would not try to take blood from her. This I promised and helping her up, we headed home. I asked if she wished to have the bedroom alone, and she said no, so we both walked upstairs. It was clear that we were both still ill at ease; neither of us dressed for bed, but lay instead in out street clothes. As I told her I would keep the promise I had made her, she scooted in closer to me, resting her head on my shoulder.

    I knew that this bonding would have some effects on me. I was not sure what they might be, nor do I know what the long term scarring may be. I am without a doubt a bit more arrogant and sure of myself, and I feel a sense of my own powerfulness. But deep within me there is a flame that does battle with that which seems to be seeking to overpower who and what I am. And though I enjoyed feeling the strength I did when facing the Rangers, I also felt a deep sense of shame and regret as I looked into the eyes of those there.

    I hope. No, I pray that once the summoning is over, and I am free of Ahoun that I will be a man I can be proud of and Izznet can still love.
     
  11. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It occurs to me that at times I cannot for the life of me understand women.

    I had gone to Skara to search for James. Izzy did not seem to approve of my choice of evening’s activities, but I was a bit bored, and wished to have some fun. I knew that James was always good for some scathingly brilliant plan, and relished the idea of a bit of chicanery. When we entered the Shattered Skull we saw only two women sitting chatting at a back table. I had just turned to Izzy telling her he was not there, when he suddenly popped out at the very table we had been seated at earlier.

    Joining him, we started into a lively discussion of the possibility of James hosting a bard’s night at Ques. I had wanted some sort of dance, but Izzy told me that it was not likely to happen. So of course the next best thing was a bit of story and song.

    James was quick to come up with a theme for the night, so all that was left was to decide on some prizes. We knew they would have to be rather good items for such a grand occasion. James had tried matches the last time and they were not at all well received. I suggested gold matches seeing that most folks seemed to like gold.

    Izzy did not seem to be quite as interested in the subject, and excused herself, leaving the tavern. She had not been gone long when James turned at directed a remark to the women at the other table. He said something about Mylar and I asked him what that was. I had hardly gotten the comment out and turned back to our conversation when one of the ladies came over and tapped me on the shoulder, calling me by name..

    As I turned I smiled politely asking what I might do for her. Well I would have fully asked it had she not suddenly balled up a fist and taken a wild swing at my face. Ducking the blow, I grabbed her arm and inquired what her attack was about.

    To my surprise she let loose with a long tirade accusing me of insulting her friends and attempting to bed her. I of course denied her accusations and assured her she and I had never met. And really, I have never been the sort who would accost a lady.

    Nothing I said seemed to convince her of my innocence in this matter, and I know enough not to keep poking at a hornets’ nest. Well she told me I had messed with the wrong spitfire. But either way I was not about to try to convince a person hell bent on not listening.

    She returned to her chair and the other she was with made sure I knew that she was not a lady. I am not sure that is information I can use, but I will file it away for future reference. For a time they sat there commenting about killing me. The one went so far as to take out a dagger and carve my name along an arrow shaft.

    It was about this time that Izznet returned and I told her what I had been accused of. She was rather amused at the idea of my showing such blatant disrespect for a lady, even if she claimed not to be one.

    The two women seemed to calm down, and I only caught an occasional nasty glance thrown my way. But with some sense of quiet restored James and I started back into our talk.

    A bit of time passed and I figured it was time I return to the Freehold. Turning to Izznet I asked if she wished me to see her home. She said yes, and bidding James good night we stood and moved towards the door.

    By this time there was only the one called Mylar sitting at the table with a lad who had come in while we were discussing the Bard’s night. I stopped a bit before the door and turned and bowed to the lass bidding her a pleasant night.

    After I saw Izznet home, I took the paths that led to the Freehold of Roses. It was a pleasant night so I decided to walk the short distance and enjoy the night air.

    I am not sure what it was about me that convinced Mylar that I had been so vile to her, but in truth I cannot figure why I should try to sway the thoughts of one who seemed hell bent on knocking my head off. Looking back on it now, it was a wee bit funny, and I can smile at the fire she showed in thinking she was defending herself and her friends. I am not sure I would wish her to sneak up behind me in a darkened ally and knife me without bothering to allow me to clear my name with her. But it might be a bit of a joy to watch her bashing a couple of troll heads together.
     
  12. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There is something wrong and try as I might I cannot get a handle on it. I have been feeling better over the past few days than any time in my recent memory. But today I awoke with a sickness in my gut, my head spinning and a deep seeded hatred of those of the kindred. This seems strange seeing that I awoke lying alongside Izznet. And I tried to push the feelings down and blame them on a bad dream. But as the day progressed the feelings only grew.

    I went to Que’s hoping that a bit of friendly chat and a few drinks would serve to lift my mood. Scarst and Rorik were both there, and I did enjoy a bit of banter with them. I have always enjoyed a bit of a friendly fight. Not only does it serve t get the blood boiling, but it also sharpens the mind.

    We were not talking too long when the sound of horses could be heard outside. In short time the door flew open in Penrose entered followed by some of his crew. Those of us present tried to be pleasant and bid them hello. But pleasantries, as always were the last thing on that mans mind.

    They started by first attacking and knocking out Gillian followed by Thom than myself. In time they had taken down everyone who had been in the room. It was not a hard task seeing that most there were unarmed and enjoying the night.

    Penrose than ordered his minions to tie up Gillian and Thom, and as the rest of us struggled to our feet, they dragged them out the door of the Tavern. Calli begged then not to take them, and seemed determined to follow them out the door. I did manage to stand, and get out the door and down the stairs.

    As I got to the last step, I could feel the hair on my neck stand as though charged with some force. My stomach began to spasm violently and I feared I was about to throw up. Looking to the right I saw Lady Alira standing there and I just wanted to scream.

    I know that in recent weeks she has had some visits from Penrose in Yew, and her presence out there made me believe that she had come there with them and stayed outside until the act was done. But there was something more that shook me to the core and drove me to the point of wanting to find a sword and strike the lady down.

    I remembered what she had done to me. I could taste her blood in my mouth; feel the burn lie fire upon my tongue. And I could hear her voice whispering into my mind urging me on as I performed the rite for Skylar. I cannot recall what her part was in all other than to seek to direct my actions, and in fact do not know how close she stood and I called to Ahoun. I just remember the sound of her speaking and the taste in my mouth. And then, as I reached for the blade, searing pain as she allowed the strength of her thoughts to flood my mind unbridled, ripping and tearing at my thoughts until I collapsed upon the ground.

    Past that I can recall heading back to the Freehold. I suppose it is by design that many of my thoughts are veiled. And in truth had the attack not occurred tonight I would most likely still remember nothing of what she had done.

    So if in truth Alira is in league with Penrose, and knowing as I do what she is capable of, what assurances are there that she is not planning to use Yew as her private feeding ground. With the aid of Penrose she could soon lay waste to much of the country side and devastate the population.

    And as I think back over the night, what became of Callista? We were asking that she reframe from going looking for Thom and Gillian alone. Her plan to offer to trade herself in trade, though a very noble show of love for friends could only lead to her capture, and perhaps further harm to the couple. I hope she will wait and give time for aid to be gathered.

    Izznet is clearly concerned that my anger towards Alira is so great. I am sure she knows more than I can recall about what happened prior to the summoning than I can. But I fear pushing her for answers. I do not wish to risk bringing any harm or pain to her. She has spoken sadly of the bond we shared, and how she misses the closeness. But I cannot allow another control over my mind and thoughts. Already I hear the voices of the three within min mind, always talking, pushing me in directions I am loathe going.

    There are a couple few options open to me. I can lie in wait, and with sword and fire put an end to Alira, forever silencing her voice. But can I silence the one without also putting some end to the other two? Or I can take James advice and walk the paths of Faerie until my mind has a chance to heal itself and drive the voices out.

    So much blood has been spilled; so many lives lie in ruin on verdant field stained red with the blood of the innocent. Am I really one that should pronounce judgment on another when my own thoughts still elude or betray me to fits of anger and confusion? But when I close my eyes and try to sleep I do not find the peace I was seeking.

    Only voices in the dark driving me to seek out, and kill my tormentors.
     
  13. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It is becoming clear that Alira has more in mind for Yew than I will have done to the city. She herds people like cattle promising them wealth and security only to use them to slake a thirst born of a mind too long mired in her own self importance. She has over the years, on many occasion reared her head and make moves to turn Yew into her private feeding ground. This however will not be done.

    She can gather what fools may fall for her whispered lies and title bought with gold, but Yew will thrive and continue on in spite of her hunger.

    It is odd at times to see the number of people that turn a blind eye to one such as her and only lament their state when it is almost too late to do anything about her. The Knights of Yew found this out before, and I have long had my dealings with the vampires.

    Like most within the boundaries of Aegis, she is welcome to live her life, if life it be in peace. But should she make any move to disrupt the loves of the citizens of my Village, I will do what the Knights should have done years ago.

    I do not like violence, but there comes a time when some degree of it is needed to rid a land of a disease which slowly eats away at the fabric of life. It is always best to bring a rapid end to any infection before it spreads too far.
     
    #63 Aedon Durreah, Apr 22, 2016
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  14. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have been working hard to master that anger that had welled up suddenly with me, and am happy with the progress I have made. A sense of calm has returned to me, and I am looking forward to the days to come.

    I have found an editor for the Yew Times, and he seems to be a bright and focused young lad. Once he has settled into the residence, he will get to work publishing.

    Hun’ep has returned to the Bath House, and with Kanaye close at hand I am sure she will again feel at home, safe and mistress of her own destiny once more. I had struck a deal with Skylar to assure her freedom. I am not sure why Skylar did not show up to collect the price, but it matters little. Hun’ep is a free woman and that is really all that matters.

    Baron Arkon has been away for a time, and I am looking forward to speaking with him about his travels and future plans. He lives the sort of free live out on the oceans that I can only dream of. At least I may get a taste of such days through his stories.

    James seems well pleased with the two new pooka in Aegis. Hairy is doing his best to imitate James in every aspect. He is still rather in awe of the James in many ways. The little female pooka, who I have not yet met, has been seen calling every tree in the glade rude. And while I do agree that many of them have a bad habit of leaping in front of a person, I fear it is only a matter of time before the forest is ablaze in fairy fire.

    Izzy and I have been enjoying many quiet moments at home, or hunting. I have not been to Skara for supper in some time since I finally learned to make my own tomato soup. Skara had memories I missed, and drew me there to try to recapture a bit of the past. But in truth, I am more forward looking now. I will always miss Beleg and Ahmaya, but looking always into the past has a way of cheating the future.

    I have been spending a lot of time walking the woods of Aegis and Yew, speaking to farmers and husbandmen. The common thing they all seem to be speaking to is a new hope for better times. It does my heart good to see children at play and wives feeling free to stand chatting over walls with their neighbors.

    Freedom is a great thing, and when it goes hand and hand with a real sense of hope it sets a people free to achieve greatness. This is my hope and dream for Aegis, Yew and all those who call the area home.
     
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  15. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There has been much written through the years on the subject of love. Some things have been more poetic in nature extolling the virtues of some fair maid. Her hair is like spun gold, her eyes twin pools of azure water into which I pour my soul. And when she doth speak, it falls like the music of the angels upon my ears. Some things have been written in the quiet hours, by women speaking at great length about the nobility and virility of a particular gent. His shoulders are broad, his back straight and he has strong hands which offer protection in time of need. Yet for all his prowess it is his tender kiss that doth move me to swoon.

    Love is after all the one thing that most of us seek. Some searching a lifetime only to find their later years spent sitting in a room all alone. Some may settle for one who others tell us will in grow on us in time. People do not grow on you no matter how great the passage of time. You may become accustomed to having them around, or even comforted by having anyone to share your life with.

    I have always thought it cruel and selfish to have another in your life simply because you do not wish to be alone. There are many sorts of friendship which can provide adequate companionship. Love should be more than this. This is not to say that you cannot be friends with someone that you love.

    The hardest part of loving another is when others cannot understand why you love the person you do. Friends may see your love as beneath your station in life. Too poor or a bit slower than the next person. Some cannot see a reason to care for one of various body types, or why at times we may be drawn to someone that goes against all the common rules dictated by society.

    We all do the same thing at one time or another. We define what love is, who love is, and call out or condemn any who dares to love someone not approved or religious beliefs. We judge relentlessly when we should be loving fully. After all, should not love be above the common hatreds fears and distrust we so readily employ when looking at others?

    I chose to allow my heart to define love for me. I have often opened myself up to experience not only what is approved by others, but desired or admired deep within. And yes, sometimes I am led down a path which leads to heartache. But always I have been able to look back down the road I walked and know that though I may not always love wisely, I have always loved freely.
     
  16. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Another of the old members of Connemara has returned, and it has been good to sit and talk with those who hold a genuine love of Yew and her people. I have heard that Arakad may start training again, and that is a good thing. The other that has returned is a lad named Rowan.

    Rowan was quite young when last he was about, and it is a pleasure to see how much he has grown in mind and strength. He returns with a drive to help out all he can within Yew. I have heard that the lad is good with his weapon. That may well come in handy should further threat come to the forests.

    Kanaye is spending more time with Hun’ep, and it is clear to see they enjoy one another’s company. For me it has the added bonus of knowing she is being watched over. The Skree Baron sent still keeps its post atop the bath house, and the far sight inherent to it will assure ample warning of any dangers.

    Izzy is still a most positive thing in my life. I find it amazing at times that she cares so deeply for me. I once warned her that I was not the easiest person to love, but she sees past the façade I put up and knows my inner soul. I treasure her deeply and at times, do not know what I would do without her. Her devotion to Yew is heartwarming. There is no bond that holds me to her past what my heart tells me.

    I wonder still what place I will find in the future that Yew is moving towards. The city must move on, must continue to grow and thrive. It is within the hands of those who have returned, and those who have long weathered the trials this city has undergone that Yew will find what she needs.

    I am content with the role of Tavern Keeper, story teller, lore keeper, and friend.
     
  17. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It has been many years since Yew had a Knight Protector. Not since Theodore dwelt within Aegis has one come forth whose baring, demeanor and valor set him apart and spoke to knightly virtues long past. I know that it has always been within my authority to name someone to such a post. But the passage of years, and the fall of chivalry and courtly ways has left me less than willing to take any such steps.

    I have spoken often of how the past must give way to the future. I believe fully that those of us whose time has come and went should step aside and allow a new generation to move across the land, and leave their own mark.

    But always, in the back of my mind, I have yearned for days of yore when knightly virtues and those sworn to land and king stood as bulwark against all that sought to lay waste to the peace we far too often took for granted. For many years the Knights of Yew kept safe the lands from the Empath Abbey, to the Drow lands. They kept constant vigil on the towns and burgs within the great Northern Forests, and offered succor to those who sought their aid.

    When they departed, I was charged by the Knights and Brother Kyriel with protecting all the lands they long held dear, and at the time, I happily accepted this charge. And so, with all the people of Connemara, I took up residence in the Glade of Aegis and charged the Knights of Connemara to fulfil our duty to those we served.

    It was easier then.

    With more than one hundred knights and rangers at my command, safe keeping of Yew was never a task. And I had the added bonus of living in a land that I truly loved.

    But as all things must fall before the passage of time, so too did the knighthood of Connemara. Those who did not retire moved on to other lands or ended up seeking renown on distant battle fields never to return. For a time, this thinning of the ranks was something I tried not to allow to bother me. But with the departure of the Elves of Silverwood, Rangers of the Heart and finally my first knight Theo I found that it was far easier to step back, and live the life of a tavern keeper.

    No one ever expects one who tends bar to do little more than pass drinks and tell stories, and I became so good at what I was doing that I too stepped away from myself, and forgot much of what the past had been.

    The hard times came when there was a need for some authority within the area, and I looked always to others to deal with brigands or those who sought to dominate Yew and her people. I talked of alliances with those who looked at me and laughed seeing little more than the mad bartender of Aegis trying to make deals and failing miserably.

    I ran for governor in an attempt to lend some validity to my claim of Guardian of Aegis and Yew. I am not sure how I ever thought that such a title would make more real to me the position I already held. Nor did it take any approval of a sovereign in Britain to seal or make real my charge. That was granted to me long ago, I simply did not handle it well.

    It is with the return of Arakad and Rowan that I have been forced to look at myself again and see that I can no longer hide within the Knights Rest and wait for things to get better. It is a comfortable hole I have dug for myself, but as with all such things to move forward, you must first climb out and take that first step.

    And so, at Arakad’s urging, and with a full heart I have taken my first step.

    Seeing Rowan in front of the Rest tonight, I called him inside to chat. I spoke to him of how proud I was of the man he had become. The boy who had left Aegis so many years back returned as a strong and capable man. His love for Yew still ran deep, and his devotion still to the virtues which guide so many of us made him the right choice.

    And this was the right time.

    I told him I would like to offer him the position of Knight Protector of Yew, and he humbly accepted. Looking around the tavern then back I told him that I would not knight him in a tavern. Kyriel’s Garden would do well.

    Following me outside, he took his position between the two virtue tiles in front of the pond. Smiling at the man who stood before me, I searched my memory and began to speak.

    “Valor and compassion. These are two of the virtues a knight should always strive to uphold. Valor is knowing when to draw your sword in defense of others, and for a just cause. And compassion is knowing that the time is not right to fight, and to offer understanding. Even to your foes.”

    As he knelt before me, I drew my blade and touched it to his shoulders. From the right, to the left, then bring it back to rest on his right shoulder saying;

    “Arise Sir Rowan, Knight Protector of Aegis and Yew. May Valor and compassion always guide your heart.”

    As Rowan arose, I knew that the decision had been a correct one. The Knight who stood before me would offer protection when needed, help when asked for, and care to those in need.

    Inviting him back into the Rest I poured us both a drink, and toasted his health. In another time I would have performed this ceremony before many of his peers following his rite of passage and vigil kept in the chapel of the Abbey. But in truth, the pond built in tribute to the spiritual leader of the Knights of Yew served my purpose well.

    It was interesting to for a brief time feel like myself again. To cast of the apron of the tavern keeper and take up the mantle of leader of a City and her people. In truth, I enjoyed the way it made me feel and believe that the time may be right for me to set aside my books and jokes and take on my post and charge again.

    I have never asked those who serve me to do anything that I would not do myself. So as my Knight Protector takes on his new duties, I will rise to be the person I once was, and Eru help any who seek to harm those I lead.
     
    #67 Aedon Durreah, May 1, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  18. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Cas stopped by the Rest tonight, and I cannot help but wonder what her true purpose was. I invited her to sit at the table with Izzy, myself and the man I recently met Marcel. As I always do with visitors to the Rest I offered her a drink, and she said wine would do. I also wonder if I should have introduced her to Joshua D'Amavir, but she seemed a bit ill at ease around pooka.

    It was a bit curious to watch her reaction as I set the glass in front of her. Like all who tend to think along a certain vein, she was seemed suspicious. As though she thought that I had placed some sort of poison in her wine. This is most like due to the fact that it is what she would think to do to me. But I am not the sort to try to harm someone to whom I have extended the hospitality of Aegis to.

    I introduced her to Marcel as the current Governor of Yew. Not that I believe her claim to the office to be a just one, but in deference to her belief that she has the right to lead. And I did sign the paper saying I would not fight her on this until the next election cycle. Well, this month that all begins.

    At one point she said that she was curious about my claims. I found out that what she spoke of was my claim to being tasked by Brother Kyriel and the KoY with the car of Aegis and Yew. She spoke of the fact that none in the area could even remember ever having met one of the Knights. But then again as I told her, until she showed up claiming to be the rightful Governor of Yew none of us had ever heard of her.

    I am sure she has something up her coral sleeves, but in all truth it is nothing less than I would expect out of her. She is accustomed to taking things through force, deception and outright lies. She believes in leading through threats and intimidation, and I have been on the receiving end of her brand of governance.

    It has always perplexed me as to why there are some who simply cannot understand a true since of duty to a land and her people. That someone may have pure motives for their actions, and their insistence on taking a stand even in the face of pain and torture.

    I am fully aware of the duty I am sworn to and know well my right to protect and help guide Yew to a better tomorrow. With me it is the same as Thom in Trinsic. We both love our towns, both have accepted leadership from a higher power, and like Thom I will do most anything to keep my City out of the Hands of those who only seek power, and give little in return.

    For myself I do not seek the office of Governor in any city. Though I am certain that in Cas’ mind I look only to that which will give me what she sees as power. My charge never mentioned holding down any public office.

    I do believe firmly that Baron Arkon is the right man to lead Yew forward, and know he will do good things for the city, the Village of Aegis, and all the Northern Forests.
     
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  19. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am thoroughly convinced that Baron Arkon will be a good Governor in Yew. It is my hope that once the elections have passed, he can move forward with plans for the area. There is much to do in Yew, and some things which will need fixing. But I suppose this is always the case when the reigns of a city are passed from one to the other. I have spoken with him about some things I would like to see happen for the area and some of the ideas he has told me he has are far beyond my wildest dreams for Yew.

    The idea of seeing Yew in stable hands after the past several months seems a bit of a blessing. And it will be a lot easier for Aegis to deal with the Baron than the Hand.

    It is not that Cas is the worst thing that ever happened to the area; in fact, I could name a few off the top of my head that would make that lass look like a saint. But she was never really of the city, and seems to have little idea or no respect for the long and rich history of Yew. Had she been more amiable tonight I could have walked her around and showed her the borders of Aegis first hand. But all that is really of little importance to me.

    I have long known my charge within the city. I have tended Aegis and Yew through the years when not one of the faces around the table tonight had been seen. And I will continue to care for the people and lands long after those who do little more than level threats are gone. And even though I did not recognize Cas’ claim to the office of Governor, I could have worked with her still. But she looked only to make demands and threats. She all too often resorted to idle name calling, but I tend to allow such stuff to pass. It is all politics, and politics is an ugly business.

    I was reminded tonight just how unimportant such things are.

    I attended the funeral for Katalin in Spiritwood. I had not planned to go, but as the time grew near I felt the need to stand and show respect for a young life lost. As I stood listening to the grief expressed by those who spoke, I could feel a loss so deep as to make the forest itself weep. Each ranger, each friend of this young woman told in their own words what Katalin had meant to them. I learned that her father had himself been a ranger, and that the lass was hoping to make her father proud of her.

    I am sure he was proud of her. What father would not be so having a child who touched so many hearts in her lifetime?

    The last to speak was Mylar. I have teased this one many times, calling her stabby. She has tried to punch me. But always I have admired her devotion to the things and people important to her. I watched carefully as she stood before the grave, and expected to hear her start to speak at any time. Instead, she started to sing. Her voice rang out through the small grave yard, and I do not think there was a person passing within ear shot who would not have stopped and listened to her lament.

    And as I listened to her I could not for the life of me remember what was so important in the boundaries of lands, and in who was leading who. It is not in things we hold onto greedily that happiness will be found. Katalin had the green trees surrounding her, and myriad stars on a summer night. She had a wealth in friends and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you know your path in life.
    And in the end, though her life was cut far too short. She will long be carried in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved her.

    And when you set her life against all the lands one can hold, all the power many of us try to cling to. It is a sobering thought and deeply sorrowful thing to see how we continue to value possessions over the lives of others.
     
  20. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I suppose it was bound to happen. Every time Izzy heads someplace for the day and cautions me to stay out of trouble I seem to head for the biggest den of turmoil I can find.

    At first, I headed to Trinsic seeing that the tavern was open for the night. I believe I irritated the bar tender a might when all I ordered was water, but I made up for this later when James showed and I bought drinks for the pooka.

    There were a number of folks from Spiritwood in the place, along with Gillian and Thom sitting at a table with Alira.

    I was a bit interested in the conversation going around seeing that part of it dealt with Tserim and his banishment from Spiritwood and Skara. In the course of the conversation I learned that Governor Guy was taking the sentence under consideration and that perhaps there would be a lessening in the punishment. If this happened, it would bring a bit of fairness to the trial that had being held. In the course of the proceedings both the prosecutor and defense spoke to the mitigating circumstances behind the crime which Tserim pled guilty to.

    At one point a reminder was voiced concerning the trial of the druid to be conducted that very evening. As the Rangers stood to leave, James and I joined them and the pooka opened a gate to Spiritwood. I at times hate to admit this, but I do enjoy a good trial.

    As the Druid was brought in, and the charges were read, he spoke up not only condemning the trial and the Rangers, but also demanded Trial by Spiritwood. This would mean that the Rangers would choose a champion to fight the druid. Were the accused to emerge victor, he would be immediately released. If he fell in combat, he would be summarily executed. As we all filed out of the courthouse, I could not help but feel a bit uncomfortable. Trial by combat though just in many ways, also carries with it the risk of an innocent man falling to a stronger fighter.

    With the choosing of the champion, the trial began. And though the Druid put up a good fight, he in time fell to the champion of Spiritwood. Once it was determined he still lived, he was taken by guards to be prepared for execution.

    As the others took the druid back into the courthouse, some of us were left standing there. Tobias seemed more than a bit bothered by what was happening, and had voiced his concerns earlier. Now, as the prisoner was taken away, he leaned towards Piper and said something. I could hear the lady reply that she would stand with him if he wished to. He then turned to the rest of us and it became clear that he was proposing we intervene, and try to rescue the condemned man. At least then, he might get a full and fair trial.

    To my utter shock I heard myself respond that I too would stand with Tobias. We prepared ourselves for something we all knew would be an unpleasant task. Among us were Myself, James, Piper, Callista, Xuri, Wolfwood and Tobias. We followed the ranger to the door where he walked within and requested that the druid be turned over to us. The request was refused and I found myself engaged with the Rangers inside.

    It was an unpleasant task, and I doubt any among us enjoyed the task. Well other than James who said he had always wanted to be a part of an angry mob as he brandished his pitchfork. As I turned towards the front of the court, I saw Mylar fall, and heard the call from Tobias to stop fighting.

    Several had been injured, and Tobias stood near Mylar with a pained look on his face. The rest of us lined against the wall, and sheathed our weapons.

    Guy and Mitre entered and accused us all of criminal acts. We stood silent and allowed Tobias to speak for the group. As they spoke, my eyes were on Mylar. I was deeply concerned for her, and was more than a bit heart sick that she had been injured. The lass has always been a favorite of mine, though I cannot exactly say why. Perhaps it is that I admire her devotion to her path in life, or maybe it is because she is feisty.

    After speaking to Tobias for a bit, Guy Greywulfe and Keeper Mitre turned to look at those of us standing against the wall saying;

    Creature, (meaning James) Callista, Aedon you are here with banished from the lands of Skara Brea and Spiritwood. If you are seen here again, you will be immediately attacked. Turning to the others, the informed Piper and Xuri of the same banishment. We were ushered out before I heard the punishment dealt out to Tobias. As I walked into the courtyard I noticed that Skylar. I was sure that this would only spell more trouble, but I wanted to get Callista safely back to Yew. Asking James to open a gate to Yew, we passed out of Spiritwood.

    Perhaps what we did will be seen by many as illegal and a monumental error. But there are times when a solid stand must be taken. I trust in the motives of Tobias and believe him to be a good and honest man and Ranger. Would I make the same move again knowing the outcome? Yes. I have no regrets where my actions were concerned. Only in the injuries that needed to be brought about in a quest for justice.
     
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  21. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I found Rotep standing in the pond in Aegis today.

    This was an unusual place to find the mage. He has often visited Aegis, and stopped into the Rest to chat or for a drink. But rarely has he stood silently in water above his ankles staring into the sky.

    The times have been odd of late. From the turmoil within the ranks of the Rangers, to the disarray which has rocked the town governors following the disappearance of the king. I will admit, it is hard to govern without any clear direction coming from the crown, but most of those seated have tried to muddle through dispensing laws and going to unusual lengths to maintain some sense of order.

    The Rangers of Spiritwood and Skara have borne the brunt of much of the unsettling times. From the infection which crept through the forests, to the loss of some of their own and the disquiet within their ranks.

    I have seen some of this myself, though in truth I spend little times among them and right now am forbidden to even go to Skara for my evening meal. This may seem a small punishment for my part in the uprising following the trial of the Druid, but in truth it cuts me to my soul. The Shattered Skull was a place of friendship for me in years past. And though time has passed since last we gathered there, I can still feel the presence of Beleg and Ahmaya when I sit there.

    And though I do not agree with much of what Governor Greywulfe has done in the past, an in fact deplore his and Mitre’s banishment of some of their number, I know that some degree of law must be maintained or society will descend into anarchy.

    And though I am haunted greatly by some of my deeds and misdeeds in the past year or so I am bothered less by this than I am in finding Rotep in the pond.

    He would not say much, even when James arrived. But James told me later he seemed upset about some of the events which have transpired. And oddly, he spoke to James of a change to come, asking him if he was ready.

    I am not sure if the change he spoke of what something of his making, or if he simply has sight into coming events. But it is clear that Rotep knows that things are about to change within the lands.
     
  22. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I cannot say that it surprised me a bit when Avalon came to the Rest and told me that Gillian had locked her out of the clinic. The young woman at times seemed to act before thinking things through clearly. She had hired Avalon to work at the clinic and yet never called for her when healing was needed. She did spend a good amount of time fund raising though, and I suppose that is what is done these days before patients are seen to. Medicinal costs have risen greatly over the years.

    What tickled me the most was Avalon’s attitude about the entire affair. She neither seemed to mind that she was locked out of the clinic without notice or cause, nor did she see any reason to be upset. She knew that her talents would easily be put to good use elsewhere.

    Yew has been growing rapidly again, and I know we have Baron Arkon to thank for this. He has worked tirelessly at times setting up not only his export business, but plans to move the city forward and bring prosperity to all who lived within the great North Woods. The alliance he has put together will serve the area well for many years to come.

    I have become more and more content to work in my garden at home or tend to matters within the Glade of Aegis. Live has become peaceful again, and I find myself feeling glad that I did not give up and move out of the area. Aegis will always be home to me, and I am called on a deep level to return time and again; no matter how far I may roam.

    There is a peace to be found walking the wooded paths, serenity grows sheltered in the arms of ancient Yew trees who have stood through wars, plague and fires. And for me, being a part of this community has given me a chance to learn new ways of facing life and the problems it brings.
     
  23. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It is a relief for me to be kept busy doing what she refers to as puttering. Izzy has been at work redoing Aerlinnbar. It makes me smile to watch her coming in and out with different sorts of deco to use to make her mark on the house. I had tried to make it seem as much her home as mine, but in truth I am more given to using earth tones in a house, and most ladies I have encountered prefer a splash of color.

    It is sort of funny to just finish moving a piece of furniture from one side of a room to another only to be advised that she liked it better where it had been, or that perhaps it would look better upstairs near the window. I do not mind the changes, and in fact enjoy the entire process.

    The house is beginning to take on a homier atmosphere, something I have long missed All that is needed is the smell of supper cooking in the kitchen, or the enticing aroma of fresh baked breads and cookies from the hearth to draw my mind to wander down paths of cherished memories.

    I try not to dwell on such things any more. My separation from my family in time and space has a feeling of finality about it. But with tomorrow being the tenth anniversary of my marriage to Jan, I find I am drawn towards thoughts of happy times spent at home. Oh I know that just as any couple we had our trying times. But those times always faded before her smile and melted from my mind at the touch of her hand on my face.

    I wonder the sort of lass Kylee is growing into. She already showed a cross between my immovable stubbornness and Jan’s determination. She took to riding as a fish takes to the waters. She showed no care, no fears as she galloped through the meadows outside our Breeland home, her wheat blond hair flying wildly behind her. Some nights I remember the times I was able to tuck her in and read to her from her favorite book. It was always about pirates. Kylee loved pirates. And much like her Da, she dreamed of piloting a craft on the open seas in search of adventure.

    I hope she finds that adventure in her lifetime.

    I have no one else to blame for my exile. I chose my path and traveled the distance back to Aegis knowing full well it might be that I had looked for the last time on their faces. And it is hardest today to think of building any new life for myself as I sit her holding my wedding band in my hand wanting nothing more than to feel her touch as she slides it onto my finger, and kisses he lovingly.

    Izzy will arise again soon, and we will work a bit more at decorating the house. It is a lovely place and having her here with me is comforting. In truth, I love her deeply. She treats me well and never holds back in showing her affection for me. I hope she will understand if tomorrow I withdraw for a bit and sit in my library with a cup of tea looking back and remembering the life and family I walked away from.
     
  24. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Dearest Jan,

    I have chosen to mark this day as I have done so many times over the past years. Time seems to have passed quickly since our parting, and now another anniversary finds us still separated. I know many times in the past I have sent messages by Nemira promising my return, and just as many times that vow lay broken and scattered along the tree lined foot paths of Aegis. And now, with no sign of Nemira for months, I cannot even send you words that speak of any chance of my return.

    It is quiet aboard my ship. I put out some distance off the shore where our house once stood. The years have done their job and no sign remains to mark the place we once called home. From the deck, I can look towards the plot of land, and closing my eyes call to mind the structure. In dreams I recall walking through the doors in the evening to find you tending Kylee, while supper simmers in a pot hung low on the hearth. A sudden rocking of the waves and the vision fades to be filled only by the emptiness of the shore line.

    I have thought many times of late that I should seek out Figol and implore him to send me home. But all that I have done in this past year has found me out of favor with my father. Would he even listen to my words knowing the hands I allowed to seize Ahoun? He had after all countless times told me that the sword was a gift that should be cherished in spite of the pain it brought to me. But to me it was more a curse that once the purpose of the sword had been fulfilled that it remained bound to my soul bringing only torment and regret for the lives it had ended. And yet, though I count myself lucky to be rid of the accursed thing, I would willingly take hold of the hilt again were it to mean I could once more look upon the faces of my family.

    I wonder at times; do you even recall me at all. I have seen that Figol has moved time, space and circumstances to achieve his purpose. I have died and been reborn more times than I can count-married and had children only to have their existence erased from the world. I have a recurring nightmare in which I am surrounded by a great vortex, clinging tightly to you. Then, through the swirling haze I see a pair of emerald eyes and the face of a young man with his hand outstretched towards me. I know his face, but as I go to call his name, the winds vanish, and I am standing in a field before a stone house. I try to remember the young man’s name, but find that not only can I not do so. Was this one of my own? A son forever sundered from me, his name and likeness cast upon the shifting sands of time.

    I have left the shoreline, and have turned my craft into the west setting sail towards a dream. In the past, Figol has allowed me to glimpse a distant shore where you sat looking towards the waves. Kylee sat nestled close on your lap, the sun’s rays playing upon your hair. Now as I look out over the waters I see only an endless blanket of dark blue waves. And though I feel as though my heart has been ripped from my chest I cannot shed a single tear. What has been done I have done to myself, and in turn to you and our child.

    To you this day I wish only happiness. I pray you have found peace in your life and that love has again found you and wrapped you in a loving embrace. I hope Kylee grows to be as strong a woman as her mother is, and that in time she finds a man who will stay by her side always. There is a part of me of course that hopes you remember my face, my touch and my love. That you see me not as the man that always left you but as the one that will always love you. But if memories of me bring you only pain, then I hope you will have let all thought of me fade into the sea of dreams.

    For my part, I will love you through all time.
    Happy Anniversary my Love.………Aedon
     
  25. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    In all good times, all times when many of us turn our thoughts to happiness and rebuilding there will always be those who seek only upheaval and conflict. It would be easy for me to dwell upon the actions of one hell bent on causing grief to others, but I would rather turn my thoughts to happier tidings.

    I had long awaited the formal announcement of Arkon and Calli’s intentions to wed. not only because their coming to and Yew was good for the City, but because there are good for one another. They do not hide their love behind a mask of friendship, nor do they use their love as club to keep one another in line. Theirs is a meeting of the heart, mind and soul, and not simply a lust of the body. Seeing them together makes me smile, and in truth have brought me to a decision of my own.

    It would be a cold heart that did not see how she is with me. She walks beside me in all I have done, and has never asked more of me than I can give. Her support has been unwavering even in the hardest of times. She tells me her heart beats for me, and I believe that to be true.

    In truth, I have been happier in her company than I have been for many long years. In another time and place, I would have asked her to be my bride. But circumstances make such a union unfeasible. And so, I set a plan in motion with only Arkon as my coconspirator.

    Having spent a couple of weeks looking for the right item for the occasion, and racking my brain for the proper words I came to realize that there was no perfect prop for sale, and that the words need only come from my heart.

    And so, I called her to come aid me at Arkon’s house telling her that what I was to pick up was far too heavy. Calli backed me in this and soon Izzy showed up to once again aid me. She found us on the roof of the house, and no boxes in sight in need of being carried.

    Taking her hand in mine, I reached into my pocket and drew out a ribbon that had once been a part of my armor. Wrapping it around our hands I then looked at her and asked if she would consent to a hand binding between the two of us. She quickly answered yes, and I untied the ribbon and braided it around her wrist as a sign of my devotion and promise.

    I asked that she plan a ceremony that will please her. And after hugs with our friends gathered on the roof, she and I said our good nights and headed home.

    Some say that it is the woman that needs a ceremony, rings and all the trappings in order to forge a strong bond that will last well into the years together. But when you take away all that it is truly love which sustains a couple. As Calli and Arkon are gifted with a rare and true love, so too are Izznet and I bound by more than any ceremony can bring about. And in all truth, I do love her deeply. And really, it is nice to be able to openly proclaim love for another. To say to all that this is someone I choose to walk with and share good and bad times. And to do so unafraid of those who may scoff at or criticize you and the one you choose to be with.

    Today was supposed to be about love and new beginnings. And it would have been easy to fall victim to anger or the mad mutterings of a confused knight tilting at invisible windmills. But I would rather devote my time, my heart and my energies to more pleasant matters. And after an evening spent in Calli and Baron’s home I go to my sleep happy and filled with joy and hope. And that is more satisfying than any need for vengeance.
     
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  26. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I do not care for change.

    Though I know that some change is necessary to insure that society progresses and builds on past experiences, change to me has always brought more sadness than good. I have over the past several years watched as all I have known, all who mattered to me have slipped away or fallen victim to the ravages of time.

    From the departure of the Knights of Yew, to losing the company of Janissan, Beleg, Ahmaya, Aly and her family, Elisandra, Phaen, Sage and Princess RiRi I have found all too often that I am the last man standing. And though I live within the same area of Aegis I always have, it seems at times as though the Glade were shrinking in around me.

    And now, I have spent time saying farewell to another relic of my past.

    For a time, I could do things which reminded me of better days, and somewhat eased my lonely passage through my daily life. I could still sit in the Shattered Skull and enjoy some soup at much the same time that I once gathered there with Beleg and Ahmaya. And though were not sitting across the table from me, I could recall conversations we had, and sometimes hear the laughter of my closest friends.

    But I have long observed the rapid changes taking place in Silverwood, and today, I wait here for the Chapel of Corellon to surrender to neglect and decay. I have spent many long nights sitting her alone as I worked through issues in my mind. There was always a measure of peace to be found here, and at times I could almost see the lanky elf as he went about his duties within the building.

    It had been a place of healing for me, and I remember well having been strapped to the floor of the chapel as Beleg and the Priestess of Corellon prayed to the Father Creator to save me form Charnadis. The madness which had claimed my mind did subside, and I was left with a bluish mark in the shape of a crescent moon on my left wrist. It covered the mark of Charnadis.

    To many, my sitting here for hours as a building slowly collapses may seem folly. But to me it is as though yet another mark of my lifetime is being erased. The Temple is more than a building, it is history. And Silverwood was closely bound up with Aegis in many ways.


    I knew it was coming. It is why I have sat here now for six hours. And yet as I look upon the ruin where once stood a place of peace, I am devastated. As I slowly pick my way through the rubble seeking personal items, reminders of my friend, I wonder why I am bothering to do such a thing. The items will not bring back the people and times I so miss. In fact, it is more than likely that this is a process I will repeat time and again as the last vestiges of a simpler time sink beneath the soil and are covered up as the forests reclaims the land.

    For now, there is still Grey Manor that I can retreat to when I find that I no longer wish to live in the world as it is now. But like the Temple of Corellon, it is only a matter of time before it too slips into the past.

    All shall fade

    All shall fade.
     
  27. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am glad James had a bit of fun with the election process this time. It tickled me no end to watch him campaign in Brit, putting up posters and passing out drinks. Even when it was clear that he could not win the, he still continued to campaign making outrageously funny promises to a city that in all truth could benefit from a bit of whimsy. It is a shame that more could not look at the process as something more than something to win.

    Politics can be a dirty game, and Britain politics are a bit filthy. The city has always been hotly contested, and many times votes were brought in from outside the area, paid for with gold or promises. And if all a person wants is to win at all costs, this can be a good thing.

    But what about that person who looks at the world through different eyes, and sees people, cities, animals and land as something other than a prize one must possess? Perhaps James campaign vows were a bit on the odd side. Bringing trees to a city of stone, keeping at least half the town standing. But a bit of greenery would do Britain some good, and as to half the city, well East Brit has always been a bit of an afterthought. Perhaps James would have kept West Brit and blown up East Brit.

    He never planned to do any of those things of course. What his campaign was about was challenging the others running to debate him on the issues important to the town. Or at the very least, to campaign in the city they were running in.

    Will Dramora be a good Governor for Britain? Who is to say? She did lead her people for many years through some very turbulent times. She is battle tested, and has lived for a time now on the outskirts of the city. This should at least give her a feel for what the people really want and need. It is my hope that she has great success in her task to guide Britain forward, and that her ears and eyes remain alert to the people she will serve.

    James will of course be fine. He will shake off the disappointment in time, and move on to the next project. And if we are all lucky, he may run for office again next term. But every time a voice is silenced, a person dissuaded from participating, we as a people are diminished. And when a voice such as James’ is confronted by not a defeat, but a callous disregard for the work he has put into mounting a campaign, we can only shake our heads in disbelief, gather seeds to plant, and move on with other plans for the future.
     
    #77 Aedon Durreah, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  28. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have heard dreams referred to as many things over the course of my life. Some say that dreams are the minds way of sorting through events of the day, bringing proper order to a degree of chaos. Some say they are the deepest desires of the soul, spoken only in the late watches of the night. And others believe that a dream is a wish made by a heart longing for much more than they believe attainable. And though I logically believe the first to be true, there is a part of me that truly believes that dreams are but our fondest wishes.

    I have long found myself wrapped in dreams both horrid and fanciful. Seen many bloody battles give way before the wish for peace. And walked shady paths in fragrant springtime savoring the feeling that only a deep and abiding love can bring.

    I have never been truly lucky in love, and yet still my heart holds tightly to the possibility that once again I can find the contentment and joy which seems lost. I have known from time to time feelings of belonging to another, and the peace that comes from hours spent before a hearth sipping tea as outside, night moves slowly past. But night now seems to envelope me, and I find myself sitting on the steps of my home bidding the dawn to come.

    I feel lost in a world of shadow, alone in a room full of people. And no amount of encouragement or urging from those who care for me seems able to lift my spirits. My dream, my wish seems to have fallen down around me, leaving me standing in a ruinous field searching for answers, and knowing that they can only be found within myself.

    The perch on the roof of Connemara stands empty still. And though I can feel the touch of the west wind upon my face, I do not feel the joy which once lifted my heart, and moved me to work harder to attain my goals. I wonder sometimes, if I stood high on the peak of the roof, and allowed myself to fall towards the ground, would I even for a moment see with clarity what has past of my life?

    To do this would be easy, and a way out of the nightmare which now seems to hold me tightly in its icy grip. But I am Dree, and to cast aside the gift given me by the maker of all things goes against everything I have ever claimed to be.

    I long to walk once again in the clear light of day, and feel the sun warm upon my face. To gaze westward across the surface of a clear blue ocean and know that in the distance, other eyes are looking back towards me.

    To feel once again that I am home.
     
  29. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There is a point far beyond normal sight, lying just beyond the horizon where what was gives way to the possibilities of what might have been. Where the dreams of the heart move softly through the eddies of time and space, and write, or perhaps rewrite life stories thought long told. It is for that place that I have set sail many times, and crossing the great barrier found myself in new places and new times.

    It is the hope of man that the life he lives at any one point is not all there is to him. That there are someplace other futures, other chances to be that which perhaps he has failed to be in some other existence. And though many men live out their lives never finding the path to the barrier, I have crossed the sundered sea many times.

    Figol once told me before one such trip that to seek this spot would mean that I must forget all that I left behind. After all, when you arrive at the far shores you will no longer be the same. And in some ways, he was correct. But I somehow, perhaps through some grace he or Nemira passed to me recalled somewhat my lives before.

    But changed I was. In age, height, looks and heart. But something within me remained, and I maintained a connection to what I had been. I am not sure if this was through memories held in the deepest recessions of my mind, or feelings born of vivid dreams which stalked me through the night.

    It would have perhaps been better for me if I had forgotten all that I had been, and had the chance to begin life anew. Certainly on those far shores I was happy. But always, have I been drawn back to this one spot in time. This city of Yew and into the Aegis.

    Perhaps it is because I feel I left something undone, and that until my task is complete I will return to my spawn point time and again. Or maybe, it is my deep connection to a parcel of land which has surely suffered as greatly as I have. I am not sure which it is, but I feel that until I can see clearly my purpose in this place, that I will be called back until the worlds ending.

    And I have tried again to figure out this mystery, and worked ceaselessly with a devotion born of the many tries and failings. And now again, my thoughts turn to the horizon, and I can hear the voices of the seas calling to me.

    I long to board my shop and steer a course into the setting sun. And to look for that point, that last ray of sunlight as it touches the edge of the horizon and then reaches beyond illuminating my course. It has been long now since I rested in my house, sitting before the fire as outside the scent of night blooming jasmine fills the air.

    I am not sure if the time is right for my voyage, but my heart tells me it is close at hand.
     
  30. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    The last of the preparations for the voyage are complete. The Celtic tide is fully loaded with all things which may be needed, and stands ready at the quay. I have spoken to Governor Arkon and have made assurances that I, well we will not be long away. I have been most thankful that not only have we elected a governor that can well ten Yew, but that I have found still a way to serve the area I so love. And with the business of the trip complete, I must now turn my thoughts to other things.

    The Hand Fasting

    I have left Izzy in charge of most of the details of the ceremony. Not because I think it is her place to see to such matters, but more due to the time I needed to make ready, and the fact that the ceremony means more to her than to me.

    It is not that I do not love her. She has for months now been my greatest source of happiness. She has given me a sense of belonging I had thought I could not feel again, and it is for her alone that I consented to such an event. I would stay at her side, ceremony or not. But unlike her, I have had my ceremony and spoken vows which hold my heart and soul bound to one.

    It is in the late watches of the night that I miss that life the most. And in night visions I can still see She and I sitting before the fire of our house, while our child plays happily on the floor between us. In reality, I know that what was before is long gone, and that I am not likely to be able to recapture what time and circumstance have stolen from me.

    It has been said often that when a door closes before us, a window opens onto new possibilities. Izznet has shown me that though I am sundered from my former life, I can still live and find a degree of happiness again. She has brought me to song more time than I can count. Though in most instances I try not to disturb her with my singing. I am not sure if she would break into laughter, or perhaps join me in my tune.

    She sent me an early copy of the ceremony. I have asked that all mention of wedding or man and wife be removed. And as a Celtic druid, I wish that we honor the elements and seek their blessings. Izzy has agreed to this and I am sure would like my input in what is to happen that day.

    I will meet with her later, and it is my hope that I will be able to assist her in her planning. I want all to be beautiful for her, and hope that the day makes her feel even one tenth as special as I know her to be. In the end of it all, vows of some sort will be spoken, but always will deference and respect be shown to the words I spoke long ago in the chapel in Aegis.

    And when she and I set sail, it will be with hope that the blessings called forth during the hand-fasting will follow us, covering our vessel in a sense of peace, and contentment that will see us to the barrier, and beyond.

    My vows will be simple, and not those spoken by a bridegroom to a bride. But by one heart, speaking to another.



    You cannot possess me for I belong to myself.
    But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give.
    You cannot command me for I am a free person.
    I pledge to you that it will be your eyes into which I smile every morning.
    I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care.
    I shall be a shield for your back, and you for mine.
    I shall not slander you, nor you me.
    I shall honour you above all others, and when we quarrel,
    we shall do so in private and tell no strangers our grievances.
    This is my vow to you.
    This is the joining of equals.
    (Vow from an old druidic hand-fasting)
     
  31. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It has been fun to watch Izzy now that we have returned home. She spends a great deal of time sitting on the roof overlooking the waters. Her feet bare, wiggling her toes in the tall grass. It is one of the little things most of us take for granted. The feel of grass, the fragrance of a breeze, or the sounds of the forest in the early evening. And even though she has seen these things throughout her existence, she is now seeing it all through new eyes, and enjoying all aspects of the world around her.

    I have had her go see Avalon. I want the watcher to check her over and have asked that she make sure Izzy does not over tire herself trying to see all things in a few days. Avalon wanted to check on me as well, and remarked on the changes in my appearance. I have a few more wrinkles, and a bit more silver in my hair. But as Nemira said, all things come with a cost. And if the price for Izznet’s redemption was a few years off my life, then it was well worth the cost. I owe her and Avalon for past kindnesses and care, and I try to always repay a debt.

    I also needed to talk to Avalon about the gift she gave me in the days before we left. A small crate containing an unused a few items from Izzy’s past, including the last of the soil from her original grave. The other items I still had, but the soil I used in tending to my last task aboard the Tide. Avalon wanted to thank me for what I did, but in all truth it was Izznet who freed herself from her curse, I was simply a conduit.

    What she faced within the barrier is hers to know. But Nemira spoke of her resolve and will to live. It was these things which saw her through her personal battle, and delivered her safely to a new life. I will not push her for any details. Sometimes it is best that some things remain buried.

    She was curious about the scar on her chest above her heart. I told her that she must have caught herself on some rough part of the ship during the rougher part of the passage. I know she wondered about the dagger I carried that was etched with the silver form Avalon’s talons. I presented her with Do Gra as a gift or memento of the past. I did not speak of the second blade I had Llyr make, nor the silver heirloom of my family used to make the tool I needed in those final hours on the Celtic Tide.

    I do grieve for the woman I knew, the person I fell in love with. I knew what she was, but I never saw her as some vile creature. She loved music, art and literature. She swooned for a good cup of coffee shared in the long shadows of the evening. And she treated me with kindness and caring at all times. Even when I might be in some snit over something someone else was doing.

    Yes. I will miss the woman she was, but I will also take great joy in the person has become. And now, she can take those long walks through the woods on a sunny afternoon with me. It will be nice to not have to leave her waiting on me, trying to convince me that she is alright with sitting waiting on night fall.

    When she is strong enough, we can move forward with the hand fasting ceremony. I wanted to see to it before we left on the voyage, but I think she was looking forward to holding it at any time of day she pleased. Were I a free man, I would happily wed her. But things being as they are, and me being the man I am, this is the best I can do. I can never forget Janissan and Kylee, they are a part of my being. But it is the happiness I shared with my wife and child, no matter how brief or seldom a time we were together that makes me yearn for someone at my side. Izzy is not a replacement for my wife, she is woman that I love and want to be with.

    She is the joy of my heart, and I cannot imagine what my life would be like without her.
     
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  32. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have sent the information requested to Lady Piper. It is my hope that she can use some part of it in her defense of John, Rotep and the others. I was there the night in question, and cannot in all good conscience say that what I witnessed was an attack on Penrose so much as people taking action against one who made it his life’s work to victimize others. I find myself having to stop from wishing that they had actually killed the thing. It is not as though it would be any real loss to society as a whole.

    Things seem to be settling into some sort of daily norm. Izzy has been under the care of Avalon, and continues to take chances in the name of discovery. Though this vexes the watcher greatly, I cannot say much seeing the chances I have always taken. Any discovery worth making has always been worth whatever risk to me. Of course now I should temper my ways seeing that anything I do can now pose some sort of threat to Izznet. I will do what I can to curb my reckless nature when it comes to dealing with others. It is my right to live as I see fit, but it is not for me to endanger those who walk alongside me.

    Avalon keeps insisting that I come in to be checked out. And though I have tried my best to put this off, she is the health administrator for Yew, and I should bow to her judgement in such matters. There is little to be learned from examining me. I am for all intents and purposes a normal man. She will find little more than a few odd scars and bruises. Little to tell the truth of the matter.

    I am tired these days, more so than I can recall in past years. And thought I see a new way of life for the people of Yew and a measure of stability to the region, I find myself more often than not lapsing into periods of depression. This I have kept hidden through the use of humor and a stand offish nature.

    Izznet is looking forward to planning the hand fasting. In many ways I wish we had done this before the voyage. I hope she knows that she never needed to change herself for me. I have been by her side through many issues and would have continued to stay with her no matter what. I am after all a creature of habit, given to a fierce sense of loyalty to those I love. I often wonder if she could see that in me. I have tried for so long to project a more open and devil may care attitude.

    The truth is hearth and home mean much to me. Knowing that there is someone waiting for your return who is willing to listen to your day without judging your actions. And I do miss having a real home in all truth.

    Izzy deserves to have a day when she feels special. When she knows that attention and actions are focused on her alone. She should have a day where she shines, much as Calli did on the day she and Arkon were wed. Her life has changed, and I have tried to give her the time and space to decide if I am the one she wants to share things with.
     
  33. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    The world needs more heroes.

    I suppose in many ways I did not consider those words before speaking them to Tserim last night. It was more an afterthought, or the sort of thing one might say in response to a comment that they have given little thought to. But in truth, truer words were never spoken.

    The lands have seen much heartache and turmoil over the past years, and always it has seemed that it was those on the evil side that seemed to triumph all too often. For evil to succeed all that needs to happen is for good to do nothing. And I, like many others have sat by and allowed a darkness to creep in seeping into the most vulnerable areas of society. But lucky for us, there are still some who walk this world that can truly be called heroes.

    It is a word bandied about often with little regard as to what makes a true hero. For me the word has always denoted an ordinary man or woman who performs extraordinary acts of selfless courage. A hero gives little to no thought to their own safety when they see others in danger. They act swiftly and with purpose. And once they are certain a problem is resolved, they look on to where they are next needed most.

    I suppose that in my time I have from time to time been of service to those under my watch. But I am long past the ability to take up arms and sally forth into adventure. I fight most of my battles these days with words. But words can be of service as well, and in what time may be left to me I would seek out the tales of those who offer service above and beyond all call, and capture their stories and songs on paper so that those who come long after we are all gone, will read, remember and perhaps be inspired to greatness. I have chosen my first subject. Now I need to find those willing to tell his tales.

    Tserim, Great Ranger of Spiritwood and rescuer of damsels in distress. To some his stories may seem fanciful, and little more than the bragging of a young man. But I have seen his bravery first hand on several occasions, and can say in truth that though he may exaggerate some of the details, the stories of daring do are true.
     
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  34. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    “N’il aon teintean mar do the intean fein,”

    Is rud suaimhneach chun suí os cinn thinteán féin mar Shadows an oíche bhailiú i. Ach le déanaí go bhfaighim amach go bhfuil an tine iompú chun luaithrigh fáil bháis, agus an teas a mhothaigh mé uair amháin anseo cosúil le bheith ina eternity shin.


    Setting his pen aside, Aedon sat back in the large chair before the fireplace in Connemara and picked up the cup from the side table. Bring the cup to his lips he drank deeply, savoring the flavor and aroma of the coffee. He had become quite fond of this drink. In fact, he rarely drank tea as had always been his habit.

    There was an odd honesty to be found in the brew, and the fact that it helped to soothe his nerves and focus his mind were an added bonus. He sat for some time watching the sparks dance across the surface of the log, then gather in the updraft of the chimney to be drawn up into the night sky. Within the flames he saw visions of the past both pleasant and sad. And though he tried to catch some glimpse of the future, what was to come was veiled in smoke, and uncertainty.

    Going to the kitchen, Aedon refilled his cup, then headed back to his desk. Picking up his pen, he continued where he had left off.


    (There is no fireside like your own.

    It is a calming thing to sit before one’s own hearth as the shadows of night gather in. But lately I find that the fire has turned to dying embers, and the warmth I once felt here seems to be an eternity ago.

    I recall that proverb from my youth. Spoken many times by men and women gathered around the family hearth as night’s shadows creep slowly across the landscape. Words which spoke to the deep meaning of family and one’s own home. At times, I have myself uttered the phrase on returning home after some time away. But never have these words gripped my heart as they do at this time in my life. )


    Mo oíche ag fás níos lú. Agus am laistigh de mo ballaí féin, sula Tarraingíonn mo thinteán chun deiridh. Ní féidir liom breathnú chun todhchaí nach féidir liom a chreidiúint sa. Agus ní féidir a fháil ar iasacht am ó dhaoine eile ach a chaitheamh oíche amháin níos mó ina suí anseo sipping caife. Mar sin, táim chun an tine, agus réiteach a leanúint na gluaiseachtaí na luaithrigh. Beidh mé aon brónach A le brón, ach beidh rince ar mo bhealach isteach spéir na hoíche ar.


    (My nights grow fewer. And time within my own walls, before my fireside draws to an end. I cannot look to a future that I cannot believe in. And cannot borrow time from others just to spend one more night sitting here sipping coffee. So I look to the fire, and resolve to follow the movements of the embers. I will go sadly and with regret, but will dance my way into the night's sky.)

    Closing his journal, Aedon stood, and taking his cup of coffee walked out onto the porch. The moon played lightly on the surface of the water, and the gentle lapping of the water against the rocks of Emerald Point was almost hypnotic. Glancing towards the empty perch, Aedon raised his cup toasting the Shadowy figure of the swallow tailed kite that only he could now see.

    Gach rudaí deireadh, gach gníomh, a thagann go léir draíocht le praghas. Feicfidh mé thú go luath mháthair.

    (All things end, all actions, all magic comes with a price.

    I will see you soon mother.)
     
    #84 Aedon Durreah, Oct 2, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  35. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am not accustomed to such darkness. I feel as though I am in a room of some sort, but no light touches anything within, no sound seems to penetrate the utter darkness. It is as though I have strayed out of time and place and sit within some box simply waiting. But waiting for what?

    I have always been a great believer in the life that lies beyond death. It is something which has served to render me clam in the face of annihilation when other men might quake and bargain for a way out. But if this darkness is all that is left for me, then I would much rather pass into the quiet peace which only the grave can offer.

    My head hurts terribly. But beyond that I feel nothing more than loneliness. I am neither hungry nor thirsty. But would give much for the sound of another voice and the end to this eternal darkness.
     
  36. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    How long have I been here now?

    If days have passed I would not know within this tomb. My eyes have become accustomed to the dark only to be greeted by the sight of the utter darkness that it is. How can a place be so devoid of sound and smell? If I have been here long, I would think that I would at least have my own odor to keep me company. But there is nothing. Only the emptiness of a dark void.

    I have long known he wished me dead, but I would never have imagined that he would seek to torture me to this degree. Or perhaps I am already dead and sit within limbo waiting for the final call to judgement. And if so, what may the punishment be for the crimes of my life? For I know there have been many.

    I must be dead; Why else would I have no desire to eat or drink? If this is all there is to death, if nothing lies beyond the grey veil then all I have believed for my lifetimes has been a lie, and I am now sitting in my own silent hell.

    But if this is simple a machination of the one that brought me here than I can only wait and hope that he either lets me go, or end the job and my life fully.
     
  37. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It is good to sit in the sunlight again. To feel the wind against my face and enjoy the sights, sounds and smell of the open sea. We have been moving swiftly from east to west and back again. Always though keeping clear of the sight of land. I miss seeing the forests of Yew, and feeling the good earth beneath my feet as I walk the pathways I can still see vividly in my mind.

    I miss James. Listening to his wild fanciful stories, allowing myself to get happily caught up in his special brand of madness. He has been my companion for some years now, and it distresses me deeply to think of never again sitting in the Knights Rest with him. I even miss Hairy, scoundrel those he is. He is exuberance in the raw, and I hope James is able to keep him in check, and steer him down a good path.

    I miss Avalon and her stern looks as she tries to scold me for things she believes I have done wrong, while all the while she is trying to conceal have the crop from my apple trees in her robes. She seeks to always stand strong and stern, but as many of us all too often she is betrayed by the softness within her heart.

    There are so many people who even though they may not believe it to be true, I miss seeing. The Rangers, Faeryl, Rowan, and on some level, even Alira. Figol has spoken of her deeds in Moonglow following the departure of Penrose, and I must admit I am amazed. It is my fondest wish that she and those others of the city who have stepped forward are able to bring some measure of peace and stability to that town.

    I miss Callista. I know she is struggling to find her place within Yew at the same time that she is trying to rediscover purpose to her life. She is strong that one. And once she sees this within herself she will become a great leader. I had promised to be there to help her, but others will step forward and she will see the number of friends she truly has.

    I was just getting to know John, and have seen a side to him that before I did not see. He is stern and regimented tis true. But he is also loyal and honest, and much like me, I believe he has long struggled with events in his past. He is blunt. Almost to the point of seeming unkind. But At times I think he is truly surprised that some are taken aback by things he calls them or statements he makes. But he has made a good ally in Piper. Perhaps in time, she will be able to draw him out more, and help him to find more genteel ways. If not, then he will still be a true hoot to watch and listen to.

    The other night, as we sailed East, under what seemed an endless passage of stars my heart suddenly leapt within my chest. It was a rather still night, and even the Tide made no sound or ripple as it glided along. And as I sat on the deck, near dreaming, I thought I could hear a clear voice raised in song. And though the melody seemed sad and forlorn, for just a moment I felt a lightness within me. I am not sure how it would be possible, but I believe that at that time we were passing Emerald Point. Looking out, I saw nothing but water. Not even a dot of land or any trace of the beacon from the lighthouse.

    More than anything, I miss Izzy. I dream often of sitting before the hearth sipping coffee at the close of day. Or walking to the Rest for super or to meet Hairy and James. I miss gathering seeds with her in the any lair, and her always reminding me no to attack the ants. I miss lying beside her in the wee hours of the morning listening to her heartbeat and her breathing. The smell of her skin and the feel of her hair across my face.

    Figol is right on one account. I do not wish Izzy to have to deal with my decline. It is not a matter of male pride, but a wish that she remembers me more as I was than what I might become. She is young still, and deserves a chance to live a happy and full life. For me, I have lived more than my share of lifetimes.

    If songs are the prayers of a hopeful heart, then I pray I hear that song again as we pass back to the west. But if I am not so blessed, it will not matter. Because the sound of the voice is imprinted on my mind, the hope in the song lives in my heart.
     
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  38. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Figol has spent the past several days talking to me of family and duty. I am not sure what it is the old mage plans to do that will get the Gathering so angry with him. But whatever it is, he seems to truly believe that for him, it will be the last straw.

    Most of my time though is spent sitting on the deck of the ship, as Nemira pulls it along on a course that keeps me far from sight of shore. I have pled with her to take me home, but she is loyal to Figol and only tells me that she cannot do what I ask of her.

    Last night, just past the gloaming, I thought I saw a pair of eyes peering at me from behind some crates and chests piled on one side of the Tide. My first thought was a rather large rat was regarding me as his supper. My second thought was James. I called his name a couple of times, but there was no sign that whatever it was planned to answer. I was about to give up on contact when from beneath a bench which sat between the crates and chests a small book slid out.

    Picking up the book, I opened it and read what appeared to be part of a song. But the lyrics seemed a bit fuzzy to me. Looking back towards the eyes I could swear they then winked at me. Not being sure of who or what it was, I had to be concerned that it was Figol who had found yet another way to torment me. But chances must sometimes be taken, so taking a pen from my pack, I wrote something within the book.

    Oh, if I had money enough to spend and leisure time to sit awhile
    There is a fair maid living in old Yew town, that surely has my heart beguiled
    Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips, she alone has my heart in thrall.
    So fill me to the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all.


    I then took my knife and cutting a piece of the ribbon that was braided around my wrist, and slipped it into the page of the book before sliding it back under the bench. I watched as the book was pulled in. Then the eyes blinked, and went out.

    I am certain that if it was Figol that he is having a great laugh at my expense. But if not, then perhaps another will find what I have written.
     
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  39. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Figol said he had no intention of harming Hairy, and in truth I believe him on this count. The man has lied to me more time than I can count through the years, but other than me, I have rarely seen him set out to hurt another being. Jumping between him and Hairy was most likely a mistake. Hairy would have dodged anything thrown his way, and I am sure the blast harmed me more than it would have him. Pooka are a resilient lot.

    When I awoke, Figol was sitting next to him, and for the first time I saw a note of concern or maybe even regret in the old mages eyes. I am not sure if any of it were for me, or more for what the future held for him. Nemira keeps telling me I should take some pity on him, but it is hard to feel some care for the man that single handedly controlled and manipulated my family line for generations. I was the final of his experiment, and by the accounting of the Gathering, a dismal failure. And yet when they ordered me destroyed and for a new aim to be taken in his work, Figol refused and moved me far from their reach.

    After that began years of training, breaking down, rebuilding and more training. In the end, I am told I performed the task I was designed for efficiently. Figol’s first strike with the gathering was not destroying me as ordered. His second came after the battle with Donn. The breach was sealed and Donn was banished to the other world, but I fell in battle as had long been foretold. And once again Figol took me from death and placed me down in another land, another life. Now he tells me his final sin against the ruling body of Athryvald will soon be committed, and that he needs me with him when the time comes.

    For him I cannot say I would do any favors. It is for my mother, for Nemira that I am willing to stay here. I have had ample chances to leave this ship and return home to Aegis. I have chosen to remain here for now, and hope that in the end, Izzy will understand that this was more than a duty I owed to the man who gave me life. It was my chance to repay Nemira for her long years of caring for me.

    We are close now Figol has told me. And I can feel the regret which surrounds the eld mage and dogs what may be his last days on this plane. I lay for a while still, watching him from beneath the edge of the covers on my cot. He seems not the man I have recalled in dreams of the vengeance I would visit on him should the chance ever arise. He seems, tired, and alone. And that feeling I know so very well. It was odd to see him in this way, and I am beginning to wonder if perhaps there is more to his and my relationship than I cared to admit.

    Pushing the covers off me, I sat on the edge of the cot looking at the one face I have hated so greatly all of my life. And reaching out, I took his hand and spoke softly to him telling him not to worry. I would be here can care for Nemira in his absence. She would never be alone, though no doubt she would still feel the pain of her loss.

    I was surprised when he squeezed my hand softly. It was so unlike him and bore the markings of a loving father rather than a long-standing tormentor. I did not move from my cot, but watched as he made his way up the stairs, and out onto the deck of the Celtic Tide. And as the sunlight filtered down the staircase, reaching towards the place where I sat I realized, that I too would mourn his passing.
     
  40. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I awoke this morning to a most welcome sight. I went up on the deck, and taking a cup of coffee, went to stand at the rail of the ship. As I looked out over the water, at the very edge of sight I could make out the distinctive shapes of land masses. Taking the time to look out from other vantage points I could see that the ship seemed to be sitting in the center of a body of water encircled by lane. And though I could not walk along the sand or stroll through any forest that may be found close by, I could at lease see the land for myself, and know that there was an end to the water. I did not pay any attention to Figol when he announced he was departing for a time, and barely heard the flutter of Nemira’s wings as she lifted into the air, and sped off on business known perhaps only to her. I did not want to take my eyes away from the glad sight before me lest it vanish in the morning mist.

    I am not sure how long I stood there, but by the time I took the next sip from my cup, the coffee was quite cold. I had become so enwrapped in the sight of land I did not a first hear the soft patter of footsteps behind me. Turing, I expected to see that Figol had returned and was creeping up on me to see what I was up to. But who I found causes my heart to leap with joy, Izznet. Going to her I wrapped my arms about her and holding her close, kissed her. I asked how she had found me, and she replied that Hairy had given her a rune he marked to the ship. I had to laugh at that recalling Figol’s words about the meddling Pooka.

    Taking Izzy by the hand, I bade her to come and see what I had been looking at for so long. She seemed surprised to catch sight of land as well. Perhaps when she had snuck on board before, the ship was further out. She had brought me coffee from Aegis. And I savored the rich brew that I so often enjoyed before my own hearth in Yew.

    It was good to stand close to her again, and see her eyes shining as she listened to be talking about the things and people I missed so much. I wanted to hide her below deck, and keep her there with me for a time. But I knew all too well that should she be discovered there, Figol’s wrath would be terrible. So reluctantly, I told her she should depart. With one last embrace, one long lingering kiss, she was gone.

    I think tonight I shall sleep better. There is a fragrance on the breezes blowing through the sails that speak of trees and shrubs. And as gloaming approached, I could swear I heard the call of a wolf singing to the moon.

    Izzy will take back a message to James. What news I had gathered from Nemira about the assassin and what truly transpired that night. For now, I will keep my vow to Figol and remain on the Tide. But things I have seen and overheard have served to increase my distrust for the eld mage. The scars of the past I though long healed have begun to sting my heart once again, and I will not be so easy a puppet as Figol thinks I am.
     
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  41. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Izzy has been visiting the Tide often over the past few days, and it has been nice to get a bit of news about home. Although I will admit that bringing me news does not seem to be as important to her as bringing me coffee and treats. I swear that should I ever be able to disembark from this vessel I shall weigh a ton. She has told me that there is snow on the ground in Aegis, and I have noticed a chill in the air that accompanies mid-November.

    Oh, to be sitting before a roaring fire in Connemara, or standing behind the bar in the Rest listening to the chatter of people that have stopped by for a drink, or just to share the company of others. To be before my own fire again as night touches the glade and awaken each morn to the fresh fragrance of dew on forest leaves.

    There is truly no fire like your own. And though I have always associated that phrase with home and hearth, being out here so long has given me time to ponder the true meaning. Yes, a fire can be a physical thing which gives both light and warmth to a room. But there is much to be said for the fire that burns within us all. And from person to person, this flame is unique and defines us at a level far deeper than a name or title.

    From James’ passion for family to Alira’s for Moonglow, the fire is no less consuming. And it drives us all to achieve greater things than we might ourselves think we are capable of. Tserim with his all-encompassing heroics and even the righteous Justice of John. We are all moved by a spark unseen towards that which we think will make our world a better place. If a man charges time and again towards something unsurmountable he is said to be tilting at windmills. But in truth it is normal for us to seek to break down barriers and reach beyond the reachable.

    I know Izzy’s heart, her fire. And though she might fear what she may find standing on the decks of the Tide on any given visit, she still comes. And I can say that in truth, when she is with me, I feel the presence of my home, my fire. And for this small amount of time I am willing and able to endure what is to come for me. Because after lifetimes of trying to break me down and squash my spirit, I still can stand against the one that holds me here. And the tiny spark that he sought to snuff out has ignited into an inferno.
     
    #91 Aedon Durreah, Nov 16, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  42. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Well it is done. At least I suppose it is done. But for all the talking he did, all the warnings he sought to impart to me, I felt nothing. There was no sudden surge of power, no momentary sickness, no sudden sense of euphoria. In fact, if I could ascribe any feeling or emotion to the entire process I suppose it would be resignation.

    Over my life time I suppose I have become accustomed to acquiescing to the whims and machinations of Figol. He has always been there, and always seemed to have some hand in anything and everything I ever did. And I will admit to harboring a deep ceded desire to strangle the man from time to time. And though after each major event in my life he swore that it was the last time, and that I was now free to live as I saw fit, each time he returned with still another task that he thought I was suited to. And now, with his last breath he seeks to bind me to this ship and an owed debt that I may end up spending several lifetimes repaying.

    It is not that I begrudge anything I am asked to do for Nemira. She above all on this world has always been there for me. Ever my supporter and champion, she has stood before the mage many times and defied his judgements where I was concerned. Even this time she took chances for my sake. It was she who arranged for Izzy to be able to visit me on the Tide. And she who made sure that while Izznet was on board, that she was kept safe. Even through Figol’s spell of veiling, I was, through her grace able to watch as Izzy snuck aboard, and left coffee and cookies for me. At least in this way I knew for certain that I was not given up and forgotten. Now though, I wonder if it would have been kinder to allow Izzy to believe I had died in the Rest that night rather than know that I live, but cannot come to her.

    Tomorrow we will bid farewell to the old mage. We have made him a place to rest on the deck of the Tide and Nemira will not leave his side. I can understand what she is going through now that I know more about their relationship with one another. It is funny after all these years to learn that that which I thought was simply Figol’s pet or familiar was so much more to him. Lovers separated by deed committed centuries before I was born. I know the feeling he must have had as he sat by watching her life fade away, and understand the need not to lose her that drove him to cast the spell which turned her into what she is. Oh, the grief that must grip their hearts to be so close, and yet unable to be as they were before. To be able to see and to touch one another and yet never again to feel the full joining of body and soul. I do feel for his loss of his lover. I suppose I feel this more for him than he ever has for me.

    To him, my life has always been something he had given, and was therefore entitled to take as he saw fit. My attempts at love, a home and family must have been quite an amusing thing to one such as Figol of Athryvald. I am the puppet on a string that danced through time and space for his amusement. Never given a full chance to know, to live, to love. And here now I sit once again waiting on his command to begin the next phase of my wretched life. He will lie there on his bed, with the one he loves to hold his hand as he peacefully slips behind the grey curtain and I, will duty sworn once again fade from the lives and memory of those I care for. Adrift on the waters of time in a ship veiled in mist, will I become as he is? Will this power he placed within me harden my heart to the needs and feelings of others?

    It is unfair that he has been allowed to play god with so many others. There should be a price to pay for the generations of my family he manipulated. For Aramis, Janissan and Kylee who were used to taunt me through many years. Always given glimpses of home and family only to have them pulled from my sight. For Izznet who must now face what will come with the full knowledge that I am alive. I suppose he finds this the most amusing torture of all.

    Always through the years, above all things he taught me was that any magic came at a cost. There was always a price that must be paid by someone. Do I sit now and watch as he slips away free from any repayment for his deeds?
     
    #92 Aedon Durreah, Nov 25, 2016
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  43. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I am sure that in time Nemira will understand and forgive me for what I have done. After all, she above all others, knows what I have endured through the years at Figol’s hands. And, now all that is over, I do feel some sense of remorse. After all, he raised me, often treating me more as a possession than a son. Still, he taught me much during our time together and, in many ways, molded the man that I’ve become. For good, or for bad, I suppose.

    What I did was a just punishment for his transgressions against me, my kith, and my kin. Because he did in the end pay some price, I can look more kindly on him than I thought I was capable of doing.

    The Tide rests again at Emerald point, and it is good to see my home once more. Though the lights within still burn dimly, I know that, at this hour, Izzy must still be asleep. I wonder what she is dreaming about, and how she will react when she arises to see this ship again docked outside.

    Time and tide wait for no man.

    That is an old adage ingrained in my thoughts which all too often I have called upon to explain some action I took because I believed it was the proper time to do so. Sometimes I have been proven to be in error, and have struggled to recover from my mistakes, and move on towards the right and proper solutions. In this matter, I can see no other path other than the actions I have taken. And, though the feelings of remorse will follow me for some years to come, given the chance to repeat the day, I would not change a thing.
     
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  44. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have been enjoying decorating Connemara and the Rest for Yule. I think this is one of my favorite times of the year. It seems that folks are a little nicer, and that life slows down a bit. The colors on the lights, and the anticipation of the burning of the yule log all serve to calm my nerves, and give me time to slow down and take stock in my life. I am sure Izzy thinks I am a bit odd scurrying about as I carry boxes and large armloads of decorations from the store rooms, flop them on the floors and sit for hours sorting through my memories of seasons long past. Within the many crates, I have collected mementos of those I have known and cared for over the years. Each one now I will take out, and carefully place them where I can enjoy looking at them, and reminiscing about old friends.

    I suppose there are those who would say that I live in the past, and they may be correct. But at my age I feel I am entitled to remember fondly older times. And yes, sometimes I do wish that nothing would have changed. That Beleg and Ahmaya were still here to visit towards the end of a winter night. I would love to knock back a few ales with Alyssia Kanath, or sit through till the wee hours of the morning sipping tea with Sage, Eli or Phaen. But alas, they have gone to other lands, and I failed to follow them.

    When I returned from the Tide, I thought I would give a try at getting out among other folks more. To that end, I headed to the Moonglow Community Center for the night. I had heard that following the departure of Penrose, Alira had stepped up and was doing some great things for the city on Verity Isle. I was surprised, at first with the graciousness she greeted guests to the tavern. And the place was warm and inviting. She even had some really good coffee on hand. And so, I stayed for a time sipping coffee and listening to people chatting close by. I am not certain how long I was there, but in time, Izznet showed up and joined me at the bar. Maybe it was the warmth of the company, or the ambiance of the place. But in time, I could almost hear Beleg laughing in the corner as he shared a joke with Jack Jones. It was all in all a most enjoyable night, but Aegis, as always called me home.

    Winter is close at hand, and has wrapped the towns and forests in a blanket of snow. From within the houses and businesses the glow of lamplight can be seen, and from time to time, as I walk the path from Connemara to Aegis I can hear cheerful voices raised in song. And for a moment, my heart soars. But the doors to the homes that once I visited are closed now, and the only decorations that can be seen is the moonlight playing on gossamer webs. And though I will always work to serve the people of Yew, I no longer find places to stop on cold nights, and enjoy the company of old friends as once I did.

    My home, and the Rest will be decked out in all the warmth, lights and memories I can pull from chests and crates. I will welcome those that stop in for a drink, something to eat or simply to share time together. I will smile with delight when Izzy dances across the floor showing off some new frock, and enjoy in the antics of James and Hairy. And as each night draws to a close, and darkness creeps into every corner of the Glade, I will light a lantern and place it on my steps. And perhaps, in some far off land those I miss will be doing the same.
     
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  45. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Since my return to Yew and with my decision to run for governor, I have started taking a closer look around the city. I have long known if the orc fort and orc cave in the area once inhabited by Shadowclan. And know that recently the Guard has had some dealings with troubles in the area. To me, this was nothing new, and in fact, dealing with orcs has long been a day to day thing in the area. But as I visited shopkeepers in town to ask if they had seen anything odd, or were in need of any assistance I came upon some oddities that have raised concern.

    Most of the shop keepers seemed pleased to see me and went about chattering about their business and families. But in a few of the buildings I came upon people that looked oddly out of place. And It was not because they were a bit quieter than others around them. It was more what one might call a shifty or furtive nature about them. Even their mode of dress seemed out of place. Leaving the healers, I walked a bit further on planning to check on the cabins and farms close by.

    One if the cabins, which at one time had housed a local farmer and his family now seemed in some degree of disarray. And in truth showed signs of someone other than the farmer now living there. Food prepared and left sitting around was not of a type most folks would enjoy, and the clothing strewn about was rougher in weave and construction than I have ever seen citizens of Yew wearing. On a bed in one cabin, I found a journal with crude writing. I suppose what was written could have been penned by one who normal speaks a different language. But with my concern rising, I saw things which reminded me of the old days.

    I have in the past conversed with those of Shadowclan, and in fact I do speak a bit of their language. And in the one book the word Howse written was very similar to things they said or wrote back then. Also in the room was a silver bracelet with an odd engraving. But jewelry in a house is rarely a cause for concern.

    In the past, we have had incursions into the city, orcs sneaking up on the unsuspecting to a dire end. But I cannot imagine that an orc would be able to pass for a human. And yet there have been whisperings in other towns that this is just what is going on. If this is true, then I fear for Yew and her people. And really for all folks in other towns should this become a new mode of attack.

    Add to this the disturbing finds at local taverns and Alira’s home and I cannot help but know that something bad is on the wind.

    The elections are almost over, and I will soon take Yew’s seat at the council table again. And I cannot continue to sit in Aegis and believe that all around me is fine. To that end, I will continue my patrols of the city, and even plan a trip to the old lands of the Shadowclan.
     
  46. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It was a good meeting, And I was heartened to see the number of people who showed up from different cities and towns. All of us came with the same purpose in mind. To try to figure who might be responsible for the bodies and notes left at various locations including Aegis, and if possible, to put an end to the senseless slaughter.

    None of us had any real evidence to go on, but some reasonable possibilities were out forth. All the notes were laid out on the bar for any to read, and those who wished to see the remains were able to do so.

    The language of the notes, as put forth by several in attendance was crude and much on the order of threats sent in the past by followers of Travixus. But though the Necropolis still stands and is occupied, it is doubtful that any who now call that place home would be responsible for these attacks. And yet, there is something in them that speaks to me, reminding me of darker days in Yew, and ancient threats.

    John made a suggestion concerning what I should do in the days leading up to the Yule Party, and I take his ideas as good and useful. I will be sure to have a guard posted around the Rest and Innis Free at all times. I still have not had the chance to tell James about the bodies left within his sanctuary. That is something that must be done soon. The pooka is resourceful and may have an insight into things we have not considered.

    There is also the Druid and the mages who may in time be able to see beyond any veil which separates us from the truth of the matter. Rotep has a way of finding out things. Perhaps he will be the one to set our feet on the right path. And the aid lent by Alira and the people of Moonglow will prove a boon should we be faced with information which can only be found in the recesses of the Lycaeum.

    I keep reading each of the notes over and over looking for any obvious clue we may have missed. With so few words one would think that it would be simple to glance at them and declare; “Not enough to go on.” But I have found that more often than not the shortest note can speak volumes.
     
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  47. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It is never easy to say goodbye.

    Since Sage’s return to the freehold I have known that having her back in my life would be a very temporary thing. And yet I worked hard to convince myself that her stay would be a bit more permanent, and that things would be much as they were some years ago, I had allowed my thoughts to stray to old familiar things and visits spent sipping tea and talking until the late watches of the night.

    And even though, along with James I assisted her in removing everything from her house in the freehold, I still did not wish to deal with her departure. Her house bare, all traces of what had once been a refuge that I sought in trouble times gone, I closed my eyes to the thing that was simply too painful for me to consider.

    Even as she spoke of placing her last seed into my care, I would not, or perhaps could not consider my world without the chance of seeing her again. I would of course rend to her gift, and cherish her memory. In seasons to come, I would sing to her offspring and tell stories of the one who had brought her forth leaving her as a gentle reminder of where she had passed.

    I am lucky to have known her, and shared her seasons upon this world. From the verdant spring, through a shady summer and on into a golden autumn. And as winter’s frost touched her, I knew that soon I must bid her farewell. But as an ardent lover, I clung to the memory of her beauty and grace and could not believe that any divine powers would see her cycle end in a time I considered to be far too soon.

    I felt her presence when she entered the Clinic, though I was at work on the third floor. And setting aside my labors, went downstairs to greet her. I knew when I looked on her face that this was to be our last meeting. She had brought me a gift, and had come to say her farewells. She asked that I keep an eye on James, and I promised that I would do this, as I always have. She said I should tell him not to mature too much. That is not good for a pooka. Then she looked at me and my heart ached within my chest. I told her that I had forgotten how much I would miss her until seeing her again.

    It was an odd thing to find myself at a loss for words. But try as I might I could find no suitable prose to fit the moment. And so, I leaned in, and kissed her softly on the cheek. Wrapping her arms around me, she held me close, and I returned the embrace. As well released one another she said softly; “Dream well Aedon, and often. And I will be there with you.” And then, she was gone.

    There is a part of me that longs to follow Sage, Elisandra, Phaen and others I have known to that place beyond the veil of night. To sail a river of endless dreams and look to new life and new adventures. And in my time, I too will make this journey. But for now, my place, my charge is here. And I will go on as I have and smile to those I meet. But ever will my heart feel the loss of those dear ones. And ever will my soul look to the time when I will once again sit with them laughing, telling stories.
     
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  48. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    In the past few months I feel as though I have gotten years of work done. All the things I had hoped for, planned for where Yew is concerned were at long last falling into place. The docks were but the beginning. From there I have worked for forge alliances and more importantly friendships with folks from other towns. And now, once the project at the Abbey is complete I can look towards some of the other things I am thinking of. And the citizens of Yew seem to appreciate the work, a couple even turning in a suggestion for a statue to the Legendary Ranger.
    Yes, I know the Ranger is from Skara, but no one can deny that he has on more than one occasion come to the aid of Yew and her people. I am thinking that perhaps near the Abbey would also be a good spot, and if not, then the Yew town square.

    My personal life is steady right now. Izzy has brought great happiness to me, and I am thankful that she came into my life. She has given me a purpose I thought I would be forever denied. It is hard to always feel alone, and though I was not looking, for another, I cannot imagine my life without her. I will admit though that in the late watches of the night, I am often kept awake with thoughts of my family. I suppose missing Jan and Kylee will never change. And when I close my eyes I can still picture our last night at home together. But time passes steadily and without pity, and I cannot spend my time dwelling in the past alone.

    I have been going to the Tavern in Trinsic more. I truly enjoy sitting around listening to the chatter of those gathered in friendship. Many times, a quiet night has given way to sudden adventure, and though I drag myself him afterwards bloodied and bruised, I find I am exhilarated and looking forward to another night where I can feel useful to others and not as nothing more than a relic of the past.

    I have filed the papers with the clerk to run in the next election. And though I had claimed this term would be my last, I am in truth looking forward to the possibility of another spell as Yews Governor. If I do not win, I will of course assist the new Governor in any way I can. And perhaps spend a few more nights in Trinsic in the company of the Knights of the Holy Fist.

    I have missed the company of a knightly order, and even though I am but a tag along on their quests, for me it is as though I am once again in true service to others. And if only for a night, I can recall with true clarity those times when I was more than a Governor, more than a Tavern keep. And I can hold my head high at the end of a night’s battle knowing that for some one, for a wee bit of time, I was once again a knight.
     
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  49. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    I have become more concerned as to the true condition of things in Yew. It has been easier to sit back and believe that those who sat before me, and to some degree, the time I have spent as Governor has been spent well. I have managed to get a few things done for the town tis true. But have I in my arrogance allowed myself to believe that all around me was in order? No one thing brought this idea home to me as much as my recent visit to the Jailhouse.

    True, I have not used these facilities in some time. I have tried more often to deal with trouble makers in a way that allowed them to maintain their freedom. As Dree, I feel keenly that all of us are entitled to freedom. But I have sat by as the crown, and those of other towns have incarcerated folks for what I would consider small infractions.

    The trip to the Yew prison with John, Piper, Faeryl and others brought this home hard to me. They had asked me to accompany them to speak to a man locked up by then Governor Greywulf. I knew little of Kalaric’s crimes, only what I had heard various evenings while sitting in a tavern. John had become convinced that the man held in Yew was innocent of the charges against him.

    After a confrontation with the guard on duty. A man who seemed more concerned with sitting at his desk than doing his job well, we were taken into one of the basement holding areas. There, in a small cell at the end of a long line of barred cages we found the man. He was brought out before those assembled, and immediately slumped to the floor muttering. Most of what he said seemed gibberish. But when the name of Greywulf was mentioned, he started saying; I” I did what you said.” Followed by words I had a hard time hearing. It was then that Piper stated that the man was not the person she had met as Kalaric.

    After listening to what the others had to say, I too was convinced that the man we were holding in Yew may have been the last victim of Greywulf’s treachery. Not being able to release the man on his own in his condition, I asked Piper and John if Trinsic would accept him into their care. It was decided that Faeryl would look after him until he was more coherent, and could be questioned.

    At that time, Stevie asked if I might do something to help Shamus. I went to the cell where a rather bedraggled looking man was being held. Like the other prisoner, he had only moldy bread to eat, and a small cup of what I can only assume was muddy water. I walked out with the others, stopping in the Guards office where I fired the man. I then ordered the other guards to see to it that proper food and drink was brought to all prisoners, and that they be given those normal comforts owed to any human.

    I will be petitioning the King to order a review of all prisoners being held in the Yew Lockups and ask that the gypsy be released into the care of King Sev. It is the least I can do after paying so little attention to the conditions within the prison for so long.

    In the meantime, I am in need of better guards to see to the prisoners in Yews care. I am certain that with a bit of diligence, I can find those of proper temperament and compassion.
     
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  50. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    There is much to do, much I wish to change about myself. I have far too long held on to assumptions that over and again have proven wrong. Many times, to my determent. The assumption that my father would one day see me as more that the useless, book-worm son. That some folks might take time to listen, and notice that I am not the madman many suppose, and even that my wife and child might one day return home.

    The last of these has been the belief I have held onto desperately. If one could by sheer force of will, or through dreaming could make a thing happen, then this, above all things I have wished for would long ago have come true. But after years of silence, I am forced to face another harsh reality in my life, and know that they are gone for good.

    I suppose the recent events at the Yew jail have served to send a wakeup call to me. It is not enough to wish or believe in something. You must work to make things happen. I did not work hard at my marriage, this I know for a fact. And now, as I face the hard truth I pray that it is only I, and not my child who will pay the price for my distant behavior.

    I have never been one to put my emotions on display. Men do not do such things; This I had drummed into me from an early age. And though on so many occasions I have longed to hold another’s hand, or kiss their cheek lightly in public, I have remained steadfast and seemingly cold when it comes to my feelings for others.

    I cannot change who and what I am, but I know now that I can and must try to do better for others. To Janissan and Kylee, I wish a long, healthy and happy life. And it is my deepest wish that Jan will find a man worthy of her love. It would be selfish of me to want them to think of me from time to time. So, I will instead keep them in my heart wherever I go.

    For Yew, I will do a better job than I have in the past. I will listen to those around me knowing well that I do not have all the answers. The past is something that we either learn from, or are doomed to repeat again and again. I can say I have learned my lesson, but in truth, only time will tell.