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Michael-TLH

The Darakan Chronicles, Part 2

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Keeping her council to herself, Mylayla watches the reactions of the others. Well, things are definitly getting interesting. she thinks. As for Ada She just Hrumphs to herself I can't believe she aknowledges the dog but ignores me! Not a very observant mage is she? she thinks to her mistress If I were as big as my kin she wouldn't ignore me! Mykayla chuckles to herself and reaches up to sooth Ada's injured pride with a good eyeridge scritching.

LT

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The elven princess smiles and floats serenely to Stern's side. Slipping her arm inside his, she leads him to a chair and bids him sit beside her.

 

"I am sure you all have many questions and concerns. By your friend's tone," she says patting Stern's massive hand, "I imagine this comes as quite a surprise."

 

Shan, meanwhile, walks over to Warrick with a rueful grin on his face.

 

"Brightblade? Ashes... I'm sorry Warrick... I haven't got much sleep."

 

Turning to face the gathered Chosen, Shan clears his throat.

 

"Friends... I know you may think I am abandoning you at an inopportune time... and, in many ways, I am. But not without good reason. As you know, there is a darkness inside me which clouds my memories... my history... even my name. As of yet, there's nothing to be done about it. The only solution would probably turn my brain to mush... well... more than it already is anyway." Shan nods at Warrick.

 

"I know you go to face a great danger... and I think, if I were to go... you would be in more danger still. But... to make up for it, Lady Air and I have arranged a couple things."

 

He nods to Aifrik who again opens the door through which walk a palace guard carrying a small chest. With a gesture, Lady Air lifts the chest with a breeze and it floats to the center of the room. Shan opens the chest and reaches in, pulling out a ring and a wand.

 

"All of the things you need are here. Arrows, sling stones, provisions, spare mounts, tents... everything I could think of, anyway. These," he says and walks first to Mykayla, "are for you. They will duplicate some portion of my power... use them as you see fit." He hands the wand to Mykayla and smiles, moving over to Jesset. "This... will allow you to cast more spells per day... increasing your ability to memorize."

 

Princess Ai'marianne walks over and stands in front of Mykayla and Ada, head tilted to one side. "Sorceress... Kai'denn has told me of how many times you have saved his life and the life of your companions. For this, I am in your debt." A bound leather book, stained dark green floats up out of the chest and into her hands. "This is a book penned by my great-grandmother. In it, you will find all you have ever wanted to know of herbcraft and remedies and such. Treasure it, as I treasure my love for your friend." She places the book in Mykayla's hands and reaches up, brushing a lock of hair out of Mykayla's face before turning and winking at Ada. Of course, I noticed you, little one... how could I not? It's just that your beauty took my voice away.

 

Turning, she addresses the companions once more.

 

"Now then... if you are all ready... I shall summon a wind to carry you at least part of the way to your destination."

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Jesset is stunned to speechlessness by such an incredibly powerful - and Generous! - gift. Never had she thought to own such a token. With what she had learned from Shan, she could now indeed make up for some of his loss by memorizing spells of fiery power. With a heavy breath, her nostril-slits flare before slamming closed with a noise audible to those closest to her.

 

Garr thoughtfully aids her in this moment her words are stuck in her chest:

 

"AaarrrrOwOwwooooo!" he declares as he launches himself several bounding galumphs over to Shan. As the Aspect turns towards the familiar Dog-voice, the familiar rears and thumps two paws against his chest. With his height, the huge war-dog looks the moderately-sized human Fire in the eyes from a near level position. Face full of Canine seriousness, his monologue continues: "Barr! Wwoooll, wigh aarroo..." he trails off. Then his tone becomes one of concern as he scolds Shan for a few syllables before finally falling silent, staring into the powerful Wizard's eyes...and then licking his entire face thoroughly.

 

"Just what I was thinking, Garr..." Jesset adds.

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"A couple of trinkets and you think that's enough?"

 

None of the chosen have ever seen Robert like this. Even in battle there has ever been a flicker of the careless youngster about him, as though the bloodiest swathe was a mere adolescent's playground but there is nothing of that flicker in him now.

 

He came to this place full of hope and excitement; the belief that his Mykayla was but an example, although a perfect and wondrous one, but an example still of Elven generosity of spirit, kindness, faithfullness and selflessness which would be matched a thousandfold in their great city was an article of faith in the ranger's soul. That belief is gone, killed by the arrogance, ignorance and ingratitude of every elf he's met, from the King down and his soul has not yet recovered. There is a black gulf in his heart, an emptiness of spirit that sucks every vestige of joy and self-sacrifice from him. He's felt it's pull before and like then he cannot help but fall headlong toward the despair.

 

"You come in here, after keeping us waiting all morning, in your arrogance and presume to tell us that one of our best is not to go with us. Talking to us like children! I don't know what you've done but Shan's an Islander, and if the stories are true then Islanders FIGHT. If I hadn't seen you, Shan, seen you and been beside you then I'd call you a coward. But, you've got an elven name now, and maybe an elven soul so perhaps that explains it. You too good for us now? I don't ask for much. I don't want crowds to chant my name, or even to know it, but I will not risk my life for people who do know and don't even care. <e>I will not die to save a people that have nothing worth saving.</e>"

 

Robert's eyes are black with anger, his mouth thin and narrow as he almost spits the elven words at the woman. "Mykayla" he turns his head to her, quieter now and forcing himself to be calm. "I will never ask you not to help your people, even though you are worth more than any hundred of them and if you go then I must go for I will never leave you but you must know I will go only to protect you and, if necessary to die for you. I care nothing for the quest and will do nothing to aid it, nor hinder it."

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Stern's anger subsides a bit as the situation is explained, but the mighty Aegis remains disturbed by the news that Shan will stay behind...

 

"I am sure you all have many questions and concerns. By your friend's tone," she says patting Stern's massive hand, "I imagine this comes as quite a surprise."

 

"Aye yer highness, our strength lies in our unity and a group, each dependin' on tha other, now yer sayin' our master wizard is ta stay behind?"

 

Stern turns his gaze turns to Shan

 

"Shan, er' K'aidden, ye canno' stay, fer we're needin' ye about now!"

 

Stern watches as the elven princess presents the gifts, but still the paladin remains visibly concerned about one of the Chosen remaining behind...

 

Hammer is silent at her master's heel trying hard to pick up on the subtle cues of her human company. At Garr's excitment, she briefly wags her tail, but does not allow herself to share in his excitment. Instead, she looks up at Stern and whines pleadingly.

 

I mus' send word ta Janchu, Viktor, n' Father Antonius, fer we may be needin tha asisstance o' me Corpus Brothers 'afore this quest is done... Yes, a unit o' Rockfist Knights! Surely, they would come ta fight at our sides if need be...

 

Stern's thoughts are broken by Robert's outburst.

 

"A couple of trinkets and you think that's enough?"

 

"Robert, wait..."

 

"You come in here, after keeping us waiting all morning, in your arrogance and presume to tell us that one of our best is not to go with us. Talking to us like children! I don't know what you've done but Shan's an Islander, and if the stories are true then Islanders FIGHT. If I hadn't seen you, Shan, seen you and been beside you then I'd call you a coward. But, you've got an elven name now, and maybe an elven soul so perhaps that explains it. You too good for us now? I don't ask for much. I don't want crowds to chant my name, or even to know it, but I will not risk my life for people who do know and don't even care. <e>I will not die to save a people that have nothing worth saving.</e>"

 

Thare's fire in his belly after all...

 

 

"Mykayla" he turns his head to her, quieter now and forcing himself to be calm. "I will never ask you not to help your people, even though you are worth more than any hundred of them and if you go then I must go for I will never leave you but you must know I will go only to protect you and, if necessary to die for you. I care nothing for the quest and will do nothing to aid it, nor hinder it."

 

"Ranger, we're all upset about this... Ease yer mind man fer St. Marcus will guide us... Wha' does no' make sense now shall someday be clear ta us, trust me ma woodland friend... (Reaches out to clasp Robert's shoulder) I hope ye'd fight fer Rockfist, fer Searoad, n' fer all tha innocents if no' fer tha rest o' us... Like it er' no' Robert, we may be Darakan's only hope.

 

Stern turns his massive shoulders back to face the elven princess, Shan, and the rest of the Companions. He places his helm back on his head and nods.

 

"Master K'aidden, please see tha' Castle Rockfist is contacted... Request a unit of Rockfist Knights ta join with us n' fight fer Searoad in tha name o' St. Marcus."

 

"Now then... if you are all ready... I shall summon a wind to carry you at least part of the way to your destination."

 

Stern slowly draws Karamor from it's sheath and kneels placing the swords point to the ground, "Very well... In tha' name o' St. Marcus let us rain holy terror down upon this dark legion o' undead... Fer tha innocents elf n' human alike let us be victorious in tha days ta come..."

 

SK

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At Robert's outburst Mykayla raises an an eyebrow Best take care of this before it gets too far gone. Rising she moves towards Robert.

 

"Ranger, we're all upset about this... Ease yer mind man fer St. Marcus will guide us... Wha' does no' make sense now shall someday be clear ta us, trust me ma woodland friend... (Reaches out to clasp Robert's shoulder) I hope ye'd fight fer Rockfist, fer Searoad, n' fer all tha innocents if no' fer tha rest o' us... Like it er' no' Robert, we may be Darakan's only hope.

 

"I will talk with him Stern." And she gently guides Robert outside of the room to talk to him in private.

LT

 

(Going to take it to Smokin via PM to work out.)

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Before Robert and Myk can leave, Cuchulainn speaks up. Deliberately standing in the man's way, Cuchulainn raises his head to look into the ranger's eyes.

 

"His name isn't Elven. If <I>Touched by Fire</I> feels he needs to stay here, thats his choice. There isn't a thing we can do about it."

I will not die to save a people that have nothing worth saving

 

"Every Life is sacred, Every Life is precouis..."

 

if necessary to die for you

 

"Even yours."

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Mykayal silently takes Robert to the other room, they are gone a few tense minutes, before returning. With a tight lipped nod, she let's Shan know that they are both going, and she leaves it at that. What was spoken between her and Robert remains between the two of them.

LT

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Kai'denn's eyes glisten as he watches Robert walk away and Mykayla go to comfort him.

 

Ai'mariannae places a hand upon his shoulder and they look into each other's eyes.

 

They do not understand, beloved. Let me tell them...

 

She clears her throat as moments pass and Robert and the elven sorceress rejoin them.

 

"Believe me... it is not as if he does not want to go... it's just that he dare not. While trying to piece together his memories I've seen... something... I don't know what."

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"I know he would not stay without reason: Garr spoke with as much wisdom as anyone here. We are Kai'denn's 'pack'. He says the gifts you give are only proof of how much a part of our pack he truly is.

 

Jesset smiles at her hound, "While I think the pity he showers on you is not truly necessary... I know this parting hurts you."

 

Pensive thought is displayed openly under the shadow of the Blue Companion's horns: "As much as any of us, I know the dangerous power of allowing arcane energy to occupy, to colonize, a part of one's mind. And this energy has already been crashing about the skull of Shanhaevar like rebounds of the powerful ocean waves into which he plunged when he first left Kai'denn behind.

 

"The fracturing of his power months ago...and its reassembly into the power of a Wizard...was the beginning of the return of Kai'denn. Shanhaevar, for the time he existed, was a sorceror."

 

The skoli licks her lips with her pointed tongue, "The waves are obviously powerful, and I fear they will break his mind as they have already broken and rebroken his power."

 

"They will not calm merely because of our presence. I think we should be with you, Kai. I think we do help, even if our help is not enough. But we cannot take him with us - pack or no. If we love him, we must trust him to the healers."

 

 

At this, a chittering sparks exitedly from a familiar mouth.

 

"To Nutkin and the healers, then," Jesset concedes. "But as much love as I bear you...My home is in Peril - perhaps the forest is already damaged beyond what one lifetime can repair. I must go to the wood, and you must stay.

 

"Garr will go with me." She sneaks a glance at Warrick. "And Sir Greywynd - tho' that is likely only because of the constraints of the Regent's Orders," even now the sinister-born one makes room for light play, but she returns to the dire choice at hand. "But we all do aid Kai'denn. We are a pack - a pack of hunting wolves, no doubt - and we can aid him, we who stay. But others need us too, and we know nothing of the time these separate battles may take. Perhaps the battle against the crashing waves will be over soon and any who stay can catch up to the others before battle is joined. Or perhaps the army may be undone with time left to return to Kai'denn's side for the worst of his trials.

 

"I don't know which if either may be true, but I will guide any who come as quickly out and back as may be. I only need to know who still marches against the undead today, and who waits behind til Kai'denn's battle is done."

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The giant paladin listens intently as Ai'mariannae, Kai'denn, and Jesset speak...

 

I don't know which if either may be true, but I will guide any who come as quickly out and back as may be. I only need to know who still marches against the undead today, and who waits behind til Kai'denn's battle is done."

 

Stern turns his steely gaze upon the skoli, his trusted friend, and speaks to her low and direct his voice rising with emotion though as he reminds those present of his commitment to the mission at hand.

 

"Ye know where I stand ma blue champion. I have pledged meself as yer vanguard, remember? WE SHALL LEAVE NO ENEMY STANDIN'! Shan, er' Master Kai'denn has got himself some business ta take care of, n' with er' without Robert it is OUR duty ta try protect those who canno' protect themselves... We are tha Chosen o' Beleah, tha Shield o' Searoad."

 

Deeply moved with emotion and a deep sense of urgency, the young Aegis of Rockfist, well over seven feet tall in his horned helm, moves to the hallway outside the meeting area to see if Myka has convinced Robert to see things differently. As he ducks underneath the door frame, he turns to the skoli, "St. Marcus shall guide us of this I am certain Jesset."

 

Hammer follows at her master's heel, glancing back at Garr once before exiting into the hallway.

 

SK

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Jesset's face is impassive. Tho' she nods to accept Stern's words, she waits patiently for the others.

 

It is time! The gods of Air blow me home. The Gods of Earth have set a lodestone in the Bole. No matter who comes, it is the time Karrock saw for me. No mere corpse will keep me away.

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"You're the closest thing to a brother I've ever had." Cuchulainn says, embracing Shan. "Your presence has been the only thing keeping me sain in these strange lands. <i>Go with the gods, friend.</i>." With that, Cuchulainn makes his way after Stern.

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