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The Price We Pay

Discussion in 'UO Catskills Role Play' started by Aedon Durreah, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    It was a pleasant evening in Aegis. Aedon and Izznet were sitting, enjoying a cup of coffee together, before heading home for the night. Most of the preparations for the ceremony were complete, and what few things remained were afforded ample time in which to finish them. They spoke a bit about the end of the invasions that had been plaguing the cities of the realm, and minor matters of the glade. As their talk turned to easy chit-chat, Izzy suddenly went quiet. Looking at her Aedon asked;

    “Does something trouble you tonight?”

    Nodding her head slightly she asked softly;

    “What is a fetch?”

    “Well, A fetch is a supernatural double or an apparition of a living person in Irish folklore. It is largely akin to the doppelgänger, and sightings are regarded as omens, usually for impending death. Why do you ask this?”

    Without looking at him Izzy lowered her voice a bit more asking;

    “And, is that what I really am?”

    Looking at her a bit surprised Aedon asked.


    “Who told you that you were a fetch?”

    “Hairy.”

    “Hairy is a young rascal Izzy, I would not be taking much he says to you as hard facts.”

    “Then, what am I?” she asked softly

    Sitting quietly for a few moments, Aedon glanced towards the hearth, deep in thought. Then, looking back to her, he asked.


    “Do you really want to know?”


    He had thought her answer would be slow in coming. That she might pause, wondering if knowing the truth of her being would be of any real help to her. With her eyes on the cup she held in her hands, she replied.

    “Yes, please.”

    Nodding, and studying her face, he started to speak softly and slowly.

    “What do you know of Figol, leannan?”

    “Only that he scares me.”

    “I do believe he enjoys scaring people. Figol, and all his race are what is known as time walkers. They exist not only in the place we are in now, but at many points of time on our world.”


    Looking at her Aedon paused to see if she had any questions, then continued.

    “Each of us that walk through the years leave a tiny spot, or echo on the thread of time. One that can walk from point to point can witness these echoes as they stand at the point in which they last existed. You recall I told you that Figol said I asked too much of him this time? And perhaps I did. You see, I asked that Figol walk along the thread of your life and search for an incarnation of you in a before time. A point where you had been happy, and whole.”

    “And, did he find such a point in my life?” she asked.

    “Yes, He came upon a point where you stood, dressed in fine cloths, looking out into the night. Behind you, a fire’s flame stood frozen in the moment. And seeing that you looked happy, he captured that moment, and brought it forward.”

    “So, that is what Hairy saw and called a fetch?”

    “I imagine so. You see though visible to the time walker, and those on the Tide, the echo lacked thought, or life. That is where Nemira came in.”


    Pausing, Aedon took a deep drink from his cup, twirling it a few times in his grasp before setting it back on the table.

    “I lied to you Izzy. And, in truth, I do not regret doing so. It spared you any fear or knowledge of what was to come.”

    Looking him in the eye, Izzy seemed to be searching for any deception in his demeanor or aspect. To her, it was clear that at this time, Aedon was speaking the whole truth to her. She wondered if she should ask the next question, but the need to know overcame any lingering fear.

    “Chev, what happened out there?”

    “You asked if I could release you from your curse, and I told you yes; but, there is no cure for the affliction that plagued you dear. There was only release. And, though the pain inside me was threatening to overcome my decision, I held fast and trusted that the bargain I had made with Figol would be honored.”

    “As we approached the barrier, you were dancing under the last stars of a quiet night, but we sailed into a swift sunrise that touched our craft as we touched the point of crossing.”

    Watching his face, Izznet avoided asking the questions that were welling up inside her. Perhaps it was a fear of knowing, or wishing to spare his retelling the events of the day; but, the question need not have been asked, and she sat transfixed as he continued.

    “As the sun touched your body, you began to wail in pain. The skin on your face started to melt, and slide down over the muscle and bone that lie beneath. You did not move from the spot, so great the agony must have been for you. I watched as you were slowly consumed by the light, and just as you slumped to the deck, Nemira swooped down on you, and sinking her talons deep in your dissolving flesh, ripped out your heart, and flew through the barrier. At this point, Figol appeared and stood over your writhing form, spoke some words of power, urging forth a glimmer of light which he held cupped in his hand as he vanished.”

    Pausing, Aedon breathed in deeply, and then continued.

    “When the Tide crossed through to the other side, an echo of all that had just transpired stayed behind, frozen in time. On the deck of the ship, the you that Figol had brought from the past stood unseeing, unmoving.”

    “Walking to where she stood, Figol opened his hands and whispered a few words. I watched as the light left his hands and entered your body.

    Then Nemira swooped down and, transforming, walked over to stand next to Figol.”


    Looking towards the hearth Aedon paused again, waiting for any sound to come from Izznet. The silence seemed to compel him to go on.

    “I am not sure what the two of them whispered as they stood there, but Nemira released the beating heart she held in her hands, As Figol seemed to guide it, and as he continued chanting, the heart entered the body facing him.”

    She began slowly speaking, “I remember the feel of the warm sun on my skin, and the sea air blowing though my hair. And I remember you standing their smiling at me.”

    Nodding, Aedon said, “You awoke to a world that was all the things you had been so longing for. Sights and sounds that you could not appreciate just days before now served to draw forth a burst of laughter from deep within. You danced and twirled and ran from one end of the ship to the other.”

    “Then, I am a fetch as Hairy said?”, Izznet continued.

    “No, my dear. You are as real as I am. You are the person that you would have been had nothing happened to change the course of your life.”

    “Chev, in some books I have read, there were things that frightened me, and some that made me smile. If I could have anything it would be to meet the child that was spoken of.”

    “That would be impossible leannan. But, as to some of the things you might have dreaded that happened, fear not. That child, the woman that died on the tide never existed for you. You are the Izznet Hu’nar that looked with hope out into the night dreaming of what her life might be.”


    They sat quietly for a while. Aedon was unsure if she was shocked by the method he had employed to keep his word to her or if she were trying to process all that she had been told. He feared that some of the events might be too much for her, causing her to withdraw from him for a time. But he had trusted in the training she had been undergoing, and in the power which he knew now welled up within this child of nature. After a time, she spoke again.

    “I have much to consider now, Chev.”

    She paused for a moment, then turned towards him, and taking his face into her hands kissed him saying; “Thank you, my love.”

    Standing slowly, Aedon offered a hand to help her up. Wrapping her in his arms he kissed her gently, and then gazing down at her asked.

    “Are you coming home to sleep.”

    Placing her hand on his shoulders, she replied.

    “In a bit, Chev, I would like to take a walk under the stars and think for a bit. I will see you at home soon.”

    Nodding, Aedon walked out into the night and headed through the glade to Connemara. The air was fragrant with the scent of the wildflowers that dotted the path and hugged the trunks of Yew trees as old as the forest itself. He felt a deep sense of relief at finally telling her the tale. He did not regret the telling, it was clear that she wanted and needed to know all.

    Reaching the house, he entered first into his library and headed to his easy chair before the hearth. Picking up the Journal that sat close at hand, Aedon took up a pen, and began to write.

    Outside, the moon shown down through the trees casting dappled shadows on the path on which she walked. The fragrant breeze teased at her nose and tossed her hair about. And as a smile traced her lips, she began to sing.
     
    #1 Aedon Durreah, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
    Jaden Rain and Izznet H'unar like this.
  2. Izznet H'unar

    Izznet H'unar Journeyman

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    Walking around the glade, sandals dangling at her side, Izznet made sure to feel every blade of grass beneath her feet. The evening with Aedon was pleasant and light, until she asked the leading question to provoke deeper thinking.

    “What is a fetch?”

    She knew the answer would make her head spin, but had no idea as to what extent. Not to be disappointed his answer left her staggering. The more she heard of Figol and Nimera the more she wondered just what would be in store for her. They wielded a power beyond comprehension, and that alone was terrifying.

    She was not a Fetch, as Hairy believed. She was living the life she would have lived had it been allowed to take a natural course. So what did her life look like? How far back did she go? More to the point, what memories were hers and what were now merely stories from another possibility?

    How she ended up standing at the base of the giant yew, she had no idea. But the tree called to her. Its branches waved softly in the breeze as if in friendly greeting. Sitting on a root that stuck from the ground she nestled into the rough wood embrace.

    “Who am I really?”

    The gentle whisper lingered in the air before a gentle puff whisked it away into the starlit night. Once again the tree lent an ear and shoulder. The touch of a low hanging branch across her shoulder gave permission to continue the thoughts begging for release.

    Closing her eyes she listened to the whispers of the leaves. Stars sung her name and spoke of things ancient and new. Visions danced in her memory as new and fresh as the dawn. Thoughts and actions she believed to be dreams took new weight as details formed in her mind’s eye. They were not merely hopes, but events that took place.

    ~*~

    The tall, fiercely elegant Drow priestess stood examining her image in the mirror. The gown of whispering blue silk clung to her body and accented the deep ebony tone in her skin. Ice white hair moved freely around her body as she combed into order the long tresses. The thin silver bands and chains that adorned her forearms represented the stages of her study.

    This day she was to be presented to the House as High Priestess to the goddess Elistraee. Unity within the Houses was not standard, yet Izznet was determined to do what she needed to do in order to make it happen.

    The warring tribes were slowly killing themselves out of extinction. Without intervention the race of Drow would be gone and forgotten. Izznet had trained for years to find peace with all people. She had even discovered a special talent for speaking to animals and nature.

    Standing at the grand balcony overlooking the courtyard Izznet welcomed the cool winds that touched her skin. Crisp smells of cook fires wafted up with the sounds of music and celebration. Stars smiled at her winking their approval. Life would be different, but she was ready for it.

    Turning, she took another deep breath before making her way to the banquet hall. Piercing emerald eyes glimmered as she took the scene before her. This was to be the last time she would see this place. Her duty called her to the top world, whatever lay before her, this night was the first of her new life.

    This was her time to rise up and take her people into a place of peace.
     
    Aedon Durreah likes this.