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 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame

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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:47 am




Ceridwyn felt Aeolis’ arms around her and she pressed her lips into his neck as hard as she could. His voice was like a song in her ears and she spoke as she lifted her head up to look him in the eyes, the sonnet of native Elven filling the air, “My lord, my friend, I have the gift of a renewed vow, and the folly of a lifetime to live past. I swore I would never love again, but who are we to swear to the dirt or the moons? Solinari has given me a grace, and a little bit of a lecture if I might say it that way.”

She released her grip and slid to her tip toes and then leveled herself back down on to her feet. Looking up at him and holding his hands in her own and she squeezed gently as she spoke again, “I do have some news however,” Her eyes suddenly filled with a playful glint, “I am no longer the head of the Council of White Robes.” She chuckled softly as she witnessed the sudden gape in his mouth as his jaw dropped and she turned to look at a child that was staring around looking for his mother. Turning back to Aeolis he could clearly see that she was about to begin again with her joyful game of cat and mouse, it was a game that she had been playing with him since they had connected so many months ago. It was not malicious or hurtful, it was simply the “she” that she was. It was a playful game, an “I have something you want but I am gonna make you love it out of me” sort of affair, and she revealed in it. This was her at her most playful, it was the deep down Ceridwyn, the one that was often buried beneath the politics and the structure, and it occurred to Aeolis that since she was no longer bound to the social order of things, he might be about to get his fill of it. “Hmmm, that child needs assistance, I suppose duty calls.” She winked and let his hands go, picking up the child and whispering to him softly. She side glanced at Aeolis, knowing his mind was absolutely reeling with questions about her last statement, and there was a shining sparkle in her chestnut brown eyes.


Trystan looked at Kellan as she approached, and he watched the reuniting of the Elves. He turned and looked at her with a smile as she spoke of ‘revelations’ and he turned, looking back at the couple whom he had grown to love and respect over the last few months, “Perhaps, or perhaps it was less a change of heart and more a misunderstanding… you know how men are.”

As she turned and looked at him with a ‘gaf-aw’ sort of look on her face he winked and smiled cheerfully. He turned knowing she would follow, they were ten minutes from 11 and when it came to meetings with his superiors, Trystan was never late. He walked with Kellan, they stayed in perfect formation as the military order dictated, but he snuck a glance or two as they went, the silken blond hair catching his attention more than once. It was stupid to think that something could happen. Sure, they were a man and a woman, sure there was the spark between them, but what on Krynn would come of them getting involved. It couldn’t happen, he wouldn’t see her under another’s command, he simply could not allow her to be brought into someone else’s fold. He never held her back, he put her in harm’s way plenty of times, Kellan was a strong warrior, and he knew she could handle herself, it was more about keeping her as close as he could, for now.

They arrived at the Commander’s door and the two Knight’s of the Crown standing watched snapped to a salute. Trystan returned the salute and smiled to both the young men, freshly out of Paigeship it seemed, “As you were men, no need to be too formal.” He turned and looked at Kellan a very brief moment, she would understand him. He was not the type for all the lower rank formalities, he had always tried to create an atmosphere of equality for those under him, especially when they had bled with him on the field of battle. His approach was always that he was in charge, but if you obeyed orders and trusted his judgement you would be treated fairly and with dignity and honor.

The two men relaxed slightly and Trystan smiled. “Is the Commander available? Lord Trystan and Lady Kellan to see her. We have an appointment and we don’t want to keep her waiting.” The two men nodded and one turned, knocking, “Commander, two to see you, Sir Trystan and Lady Kellan.”

Trystan looked at Kellan, and then turned to look behind him, Aeolis and Cerudwyn had not followed. He turned and looked at Kellan, whispering, “I think in these dark times it is forgivable to allow lovers a moment of peace don’t you?” He felt his cheeks flush slightly, as he wished her was speaking those words about them, however for now it was not for them to focus on such things. With a slight wink he turned back to the door as the answer came from within. Instinctually Trystan smoothed the front of his tunic and stepped through the opening door.


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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:01 pm


Rose set aside the pile of reports that had stacked up in her absense. She was sipping her tea rubbing her left temple lightly when the knock came. She glanced up as the door opened and stood to greet Trystan and Kellan. Before anything could be said Rose spoke in a flat tired tone. "We can dispense with the formalities this morning Trystan. There is much to go over and I have no desire to waste time with the traditional rhetoric.

As was customary Larissa was present with a fresh pot of tea and was pouring glasses for them. Rose was usually very adamant about the adherence of protocol on most occassions. However she was known to dispence with formality when the situation was time sensative. There was also the fact she was clearly not fully recovered from what ever she had endured. Larrisa finished pouring their tea and removed herself from the room.

Rose motioned to two to take their seats. She noticed that the elves were not present this morning. Not entirely surprising when one thought of it. As far as they possibly knew there was not much to be discussed as of yet. Her meeting with them would come soon enough for now she focused on Trystan and Kellan.

"What do you have to report Sir Trystan?"
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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:07 pm


Trystan was just about to salute when Rose spoke, he smirked gently and could see that she was completely serious and was too tired to be fought with over the matter. He was a relaxed man for the most part, but he did tend to stick to protocol’s pretty tightly. Nodding respectfully of his Commander’s wishes he absent mindedly pulled out a chair for Kellan and then one for himself as he sat and picked up his tea. He looked at the map on the table before them and picked up a piece of writing silver, placing it gently on the map.

“Well Commander, here is the exact location of the three towers,” He drew them out in three circles. “As you can see the three towers make a perfect equilateral triangle, why this is possibly significant we still don’t know. What we do know is that the towers are protected by some sort of magic that even the most skilled Wizard’s have never encountered. Ceridwyn, the Silvanesti White Robe and leader of the White Robe Council told us yesterday that this type of magic is called ‘ambient’ magic, and though it is not evil in its nature, this particular usage is very perverted and distorted. The wizards of all orders are apparently in a panic about this as the appearance of the towers has caused the moons to dim, and as you know that is where the wizards draw their magic from.”

Trystan went on in detail about the wards of magic, the intense fear, more intense than dragon fear, and the scaring of the land where the magic erupted. He also drew in the massive gape in the landscape where the molten magma had begun to show, and how it seemed to be happening with the most intensity around the southern most tower. The he went into more detail about the northern most tower and how it was barely visible now through a dense shadowy like fog, and finally that the third and tallest of the three towers swirled with shadow and flame that seemed to draw from the other two towers.

“Lastly my lady, there is a fracture in the sky for lack of a better phrase. Ceridwyn described this as a ‘rift’, a place where the planes of time have actually been severed and this is apparently the source of the ambient magic field. When I questioned her about the possibility of somehow closing this rift she merely shoke her head and appeared to become very perplexed herself.”

He leaned back and turned to Kellan. “Kellan here has a bit more of an ‘on the ground’ perspective. She has been helping the citizens and has some unique perspectives of what happened from the citizen’s around the area. I also should add your Ladyship, that Kellan deserves some serious commendations for her work these last three days, she has served the citizens of the entire region of Heartlund with honor and courageous self sacrifice, especially in the face of losing her brother.”

He could see her eyes sadden as he mentioned her brother, however he was motivated purely out of giving her the credit she was due to her commanding officer, and she would see in his eyes that this was his only motivation in bringing it up. As he turned back to Lady Rose he spoke, “I would like to recommend she be awarded the gold crescent for her efforts, in my opinion she has earned it.”



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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:26 pm


Aeolis could have strangled Ceri the kissed her breathless before she could succumb to his choking hold. The Elfess was nothing more than a vixen in disguise. And he would have it no other way. While she frustrated him to no end he knew this was simply her nature and he had actually come to look forward to it. He liked this side f her much better than the serious, politically entrenched person he’d seen. Ceri became more of a free spirit, the way an Elf should be, when she let this side of herself free. And from what he could tell, she was free to let this side be more of a constant than the exception from now on.

That alone made the Elf smile broadly.

”I shall expect a full report later, M’Lady. Lest I be forced into forcing it out of you in a way I think you would find most…….enlightening.”

He called to her from across the way as she scooped up the child and started aiding the citizens like he had been. Like Ceri, Aeolis had a definite twinkle to his gaze and the smile he wore gave hint to much more than what met the eye. But their jesting was placed to the side when he suddenly found himself in the middle of more refugees as they began to move closer into the center of Heartlund as the daylight allowed them to move freely.

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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:30 pm


Kellan walked proudly to the Commander’s area with Trystan. His commanding style had given him respect from the others as well as a sense of awe form the newest members of the Knights. She could see the way some of the younger citizens of Heartlund stopped to watch as they passed by and it made her own posture stand just a little taller because of it. While she’d always been proud to be considered for the Knighthood, to actually finally be one brought a whole new sense of pride to her. And the fact Trystan was her Lord and trainer made her all the more proud.

When they finally arrived and Trystan announced they were there for the meeting, she stepped in behind him and sat down in the chair he’d offered as he sat down in his own. Listening to his report with the attention e was due, she found the news disturbing and informative all at the same time.

From time to time she would gance at Lady Rose and see the looks that crossed the Commander’s face. What she read in those looks and expressions made Kellan think there was much more to what Trystan had reported than they both knew at the moment but would soon enough. And for some reason, Kellan was now dreading hearing the news Lady Rose was going to relay.

When Trystan announced he wanted her to receive an accolade for her work in helping the citizens, Kellan blinked and snapped her gaze to his then she glanced at Lady Rose before she turned her attention back to Trystan. There was no doubt of the surprise and shock she was feeling as it clearly showed on her face and in her eyes.

“Lord Trystan honors me with his recommendation and I thank him for it, but in all honesty, M’Lady, I wasn’t the only one who worked at helping the citizens. Nor was I the only one who’d lost someone. It was a collaborative effort with the other Knights and those who see us as allies we were able to bring the citizens of Heartlund into the heart of the city and make accommodations for them all. I wouldn’t have been able to complete the task if not for his superior training.”

With that being stated, she went right into her report for the Commander.

”When the towers appeared there was a terrible sound that filled the air and the ground felt as though it was being torn apart. The only way I can describe it was that it felt like all of Krynn was dying a horrible death. As soon as we were able we sent patrols and scouts to get a closer look at the towers. As the Knights left to investigate the citizens of Heartlund began to panic as they saw the towers and the sky break open. We immediately began to find accommodations for the influx of people we knew would be coming to us looking for help. We weren’t expecting quite as many but we were able to double and sometimes triple the amount of people in rooms and even in the stables and barns. But what we weren’t expecting were the reports of what the people were telling us. I rode out with another patrol to look for myself and the first thing we noticed was the…..raping of the land. It was as if a great force had swept in and took everything. There’s nothing….absolutely nothing left. The ground turned to molten creating a chasm around the towers that’s too hot to traverse across and there’s no way around it. And the fear…..”

Kellan couldn’t stop the uncontrollable shudder that coursed through her body as she remembered how that fear felt.

”….it was mind numbing. Those who could return did so only out of sheer instinct. Many of the Knights ran away screaming and we have yet to find out just where they went. We have patrols out looking for them now. And those who have returned….I’m afraid many of them are afraid to even come out of their rooms. And each time they look towards the heavens and see the sky looking so….angry and see the towers, they scurry back inside like mice looking at a hungry cat. It’s only through training and discipline the others are able to continue on with their duties. I would humbly ask leniency be granted to them as they didn’t know what they were facing and the heinousness of the towers creation forced us to go into the situation without fully knowing what we were dealing with.”

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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:29 pm


Rose sat patiently sipping from her tea taking notes down as the two made their reports. Trystan's report troubled her as he described the towers and laid out their positioning on the map. The composition of the towers brought to mind the battle of Northkeep and it took all her will to not shudder thinking of the events there. She was certain without a doubt who was now responsible for this abomination of the natural order. For the moment though she chose to remain silent letting Trystan finish.

Trystan's professionalism was admirable in how he treated Kellan. Often her gut told her there was something there but at the same time she never saw it interfere with duty or responsibility. With Trystan's recommendation she had to way what she knew versus her gut feeling. The surprise on Kellan's face was genuine enough and her words following made Rose take note of the knight she was being molded into. With their reports done Rose sat silently contemplating things for a few moments.

She set down her tea and straightened herself. "Given the nature of these towers and what you have described to me I am inclined to accept your recommendation of leniency for our afflicted comrades. Though I am remiss to say that cases will have to be assessed individually. It will be the one caveat the higher powers will ask of me."

Her eyes shifted to Trystan "Your recommendation of the Golden Crescent will be taken under advisement Sir Trystan. I am certain however there are others whom are as deserving as well. I require a list of nine other candidates of which I will choose five. In a situation such as this we want the men to be sure fair consideration was mad." she held up hand "Kellan has proven through deed and word she is worthy of the commendation so worry not about the details. If you disagree with my decision I understand." She was a commander and had to oversee morale as well as juggle the political aspects of her job.

Rose now sat forward leaning upon the table "Now onto more unpleasantries... judging by the shaken look of Kellen yesterday despite her best efforts to remain strong I am going to assume word finally reached you about Northkeep." she held up two fingers

"Two mages... two of the most horridly powerful mages I have ever seen sacked the Northkeep. The high Commanders of the three orders were there in meeting when they began their assault. Unfortunately the commander of the sword was slain." Her eyes were focused on Trystan for a moment before they shifted away.

"The remainder of the high command chose to keep this secret at first while they gathered a force to retake the keep. That is when I was called away with the bulk of our fighting force. I knew the terrain there like the back of my hand since I grew up in the lands around the keep. When high command revealed what had happened the sword whipped itself into a frenzy with Sir Rausley acting as the stirring stick."

She took a moment to sip her tea "We spent weeks trying to test the mages limits. When we thought we had them figured out we made ready to take back our keep. We were not prepared for the horror those two unleashed upon us. I saw things on that field that will haunt me for two lifetimes" Her hand trembled slightly and she set down her tea.

"It became obvious we were going to be routed and I gave the order to withdraw... Rausley that impudent pompous bastard ignored my orders and accused me with being out of touch with my duty and the needs of the order. Accused me of cowardice..." Her shakes vanished in a flash as she slammed her upon her desk.

"That fool convinced the entirety of the sword to march to their deaths and we lost many more as a result. What few men that came with me were the ones that knew I was right and where also the ones lucky enough to not be picked off by the horrors those mages called down upon us..." She took a moment to compose herself "But I fear that is scarcely the worst part of it... One in particular was focused on reaping as many of us as possible while the other over saw some item I could scarcely make out. There were eerie green lights all over the field and it wasn't till I saw a man struck down taking a magical bolt meant for me that I discovered they were capturing the souls of slain our comrades."

She saw the looks in their eyes and envied them knowing their minds could only imagine such a thing but it would never compare to seeing it first hand. "While we raced from the keep to return here I could only wander what nefarious purpose they had for doing what they did... I believe these towers are their doing. The towers appeared the day after the force was routed. I can only surmise they used those souls to fuel whatever is happening here."

Rose grew silent taking up her tea. Her eyes held a mixture of horror and rage. Horror in what she had seen and rage at the loss of life that could have been avoided. "I already sent a runner to the high command with my report detailing the events that took place there. My only solace is knowing that idiot Rausley died on that battlefield... I weep for every soul lost but his"

She noted the strange looks from the two and composed herself. "I am forgetting my place I am sorry..." As of yet she clearly was unaware that Rausley had survived and had reported the fall of Northkeep.
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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:54 am


Trystan sat up straight when Rose spoke, her eyes darting from Kellan to himself, he was uncertain of her thoughts. When she made her statement about needing nine more names he nodded and spoke, “Of course commander, I can have those recommendations by early afternoon. Please excuse me if I was speaking out of turn with my recommendation for Lady Kellan, I was only trying to give her the credit due her before our commander, nothing more.”

Rose would see a sincerity in his face, it was not for love or affection he was trying to have praise brought to Kellan, it was merely for the sake of her honor. As Lady Rose began to relay her report to them Trystan’s face was like stone. The only crack in his composure was when she mentioned that the head of the Knights of the Sword had been slain, he was visibly shaken by this, Commander Herrington had been a good mentor, and an honorable man, Trystan would miss him dearly, but that would be dealt with later. Rose went on with her description of what transpired and Trystan could only listen and imagine how horrific the events were. When he heard that Rausley was responsible for the last charge, and how it seemingly played directly into the plans of the two magi his face twisted slightly Rausley, the man was not honorable, he was a twisted blight on the Knighthood, but somehow he had managed to ride on the laurel’s of his father’s great deeds and advance himself through the Knighthood. Rose thought he had died in the last charge, and she had finally released her thoughts about the man. Worse than that she had spoken down about a fellow Commander to her and his subordinates, it was something they all had thought, but she had broken the surface and he glanced at Kellan and then to Rose. This was a tremendous break in military protocol, it was not a wise thing to complain down the chain of command, and now he and Kellan were suddenly in the middle of a dangerous situation. Their loyalty laid with Lady Rose, but while her feelings were contained things could remain rather even keel. “With respect Commander, Rausley delivered a full report to Ceridwyn yesterday, Commander Rausley is not dead.” He noted the look on Lady Rose’s face, and the implications that were now lingering in the room. His face relaxed slightly and he looked at his Commander, the woman he trusted and honored with his unbreaking service, “Not to speak out of place Ma’am, and with all due respect, might I suggest that we all agree our personal feelings can remain in this room, and that we can continue to do or duties with the honor and integrity demanded from us by the Knighthood?” He glanced at the two other fellow knights in the room, their silent glances to each other speaking volumes and his face broke with a slight smile, “Agreed then.”

As she described the device and the use of the soul’s to create the towers, his face went white. To think that his comrades, his friends were now a part of a sharp evil was more then he could take. He stood and walked over to the window, staring out over the rooftops of Heartlund, looking at the three spires that now loomed over the walls of their might Keep. The arrogance of the Knights was beginning to come into reality again, for hundreds of years they had been the driving force of virtue, and in the last 25 had seen corruption and political squabbling replace honor and duty. Too many Knights vowed to being each other down in attempts to advance their own wealth and power instead of seeing the purpose of their brotherhood, to be the tip of Paladine’s sword, to fight the evil and be the measure of light to match the darkness. He pounded his fist gently on the window pane and turned to look at Lady Rose and Kellan, “Commander, Lady Kellan, if we are to face this evil, it has to be with the aid of the magic users, Ceridwyn can get us in touch with two whom I have heard are Lunitari’s voice on this land. I believe Rayann is the name of one, and her daughter, Kali. Apparently they have recently vanquished an agent of Tahkisis, a powerful wizard named Rorie. I don’t know a lot of the details, some is hearing Ceridwyn occasionally speak briefly about them, others is soldier rumors. I do remember that they are in the region of Glen Durel, only a few days ride from here. Might I suggest that we get word to them and solicit their council? I am sure Ceridwyn or the elf Aeolis would be able to get us audience with them.”


The hours of aiding the citizens went by swiftly. Ceridwyn found Aeolis and walked up behind him, placing a gentle hand on his back. He was just finishing speaking with a human soldier, giving him some comfort. Speaking in their native language she whispered, “You have a way with words Aeolis, you bring comfort, though I must say your Common is laced with a horrific accent.”

As he turned she winked and slid her hand down his arm, taking his hand in hers and walking towards the mess tents. “I am hungry, and believe it or not, I secretly like military ‘chow’ I believe they call it. There is no taste, and yet it satisfies in a way beyond just filling the void in your stomach.” She looked up at him and smiled. Her chestnut brown eyes were sparking through the dirt and soot on her face as she looked up at him. “It’s the little things…”

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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:17 pm


The knowledge that Rausley was alive hit her like a load of bricks. Worse than that her conduct was less than was expected of a knight in her position. Had this ordeal shaken her up so badly that she could so easily forget herself like this. Rose reached up rubbing her temples lightly as she nodded in agreement with Trystan. "Twould be best for all if we did so... you do not speak out of place by suggesting we do as such. I am more aware than anyone how easily it is for me to narrow my focus. It is why I encourage you to speak up to me when it is appropriate to do so."

Pouring more tea she contemplated the recomendation before her. The towers were abominations against the natural order created by devilsh magics. Whether the knighthood liked it or not they would need help from the most unlikely of sources.

"I would meet with Ceridwyn to discuss this matter... the sooner the better... I think concludes this meeting lest you wish to remain and count how many more social slipups I can walk myself straight into this afternoon."
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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:56 pm


Trystan could only smile as Rose made jest at her own slip up and he nodded slightly as she reminded him that they could in fact speak up when and if necessary. It was one of the reasons that he liked serving under her command, she had proven that she was a good Commander, both on and off the field. Her orders were never to be questioned, for as lenient as she could be there was also the side of her that would not tolerate insubordination, and more than one young knight found themselves spending time in the stocks for inappropriate behaviors. Rose was sometimes referred to as “The Velvet Hammer”, and this was one such an occasion where the name was proven to be accurate once again.

“As you wish my Lady, I will dispatch a Runner right now, if you will excuse me,” Trystan stepped out and returned in mere seconds, “I took the liberty of having a runner ready just in case something along these lines came up, this is no time to be wasting our resources. The runner has been dispatched to find Ms. Ceridwyn or Aeolis, and bring the back on the double.”


Ceridwyn sat with Aeolis and some soldiers of Solamnia, sturdy warriors who showed the scars and the faces of battle. The talk was not very cheerful, it seemed that the towers and the uncertainty of things was dampening the spirits of the citizens of the whole region of Heartlund, and Ceridwyn was saddened by this. She could see it on the faces all around her, hope was fading fast.

She was mid-bite when a teenager came into the mess tent and made a bee-line straight for her and Aeolis, “My Lady Elf and my Lord Elf, Lady Rose, a Commander of the Solamic Order of the Rose requests your presence immediately.” Ceridwyn looked at Aeolis uneasily, she had completely forgotten that they were to accompany Trystan and Kellan to the 11 o’clock meeting. Flushing slightly she put her spoon down and stood, bowing her head, “We will join you at once young man, please lead the way.”

Taking Aeolis’ hand in her own they followed and she spoke in a missive to Aeolis, ~ “How could we allow ourselves to get caught up in our own lives and forget our vow? How incredibly embarrassing…” ~


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PostSubject: Re: 10: Interests of Shadow and Flame   Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:04 pm


As Kellan listened to what Lady Rose relayed from her experience, Kellan felt her body tremble as she held onto her control to keep from breaking completely. Liam’s soul would know nothing but eternal pain and strife, unable to find the peace he so longed for and deserved in the afterlife. What sort of perverse magic were these mages dealing in that they required the souls of good, honorable Knights? It was enough to make Kellan’s concentration break.

Reeling herself back in so she could glean as much information as she could from Lady Rose, Kellan was thankful for Trystan’s voice and she quickly zeroed in on his words. Of course when Lady Rose spoke unkindly of Rausley Kellan let her gaze settle on the Commander and the look she gave her was nothing short of total surprise. Had it not been for Trystan letting Lady Rose know Rausley was still alive and well and had sent a runner, Kellan thought she would have let Lady Rose know only she would have been a little less diplomatic. Not for the lack of training but merely for the lack of experience on dealing with this sort of situation. Another lesson Trystan taught her without realizing it.

Agreeing with both the Commander and Trystan as to keeping their thoughts to themselves, Kellan listened again to what both Lady Rose and Sir Trystan suggested. When Trystan suggested they ride to Glen Durel to try and garnish the aid of the mages of Lunitari, Rayann and Kali, Kellan perked up. She would welcome the change of scenery and the opportunity to see if she could hold herself to the code on such an important mission. She glanced at Trystan with an eagerness in her light brown gaze but never said she wanted to go. Knowing he would send whom he thought best for the mission, she would wait to find out if he chose her. If not, she would continue to do what she could here for the citizens of Heartlund. As Lady Rose asked for Ceridwyn and Aeolis to join them, Kellan finally spoke to both of her superiors.

The Lady Elf Ceridwyn and the Elf Lord Aeolis have been extremely helpful during this difficult situation. Their compassion and strength has helped urge the rest of us on when we thought we could do no more.”



Aeolis smiled when he felt Ceri’s hand on his back and when he heard her comment about her accent, he chuckled softly as he spoke in Elven.

”That is because the common language is difficult to my delicate tongue. I find our own language is much more pleasing to my senses. Especially when it is uttered from your sweet lips.”

He saw the look on her face and he laughed softly as he closed his fingers around her hand when she slid her hand down his arm to rest in his hand. His green eyes twinkled as he looked down at her.

”You said I had a way with words. I figured I would try them on you to see if I could seduce you with them or if you are going to make me work at it the old fashioned way. I am glad to know you are going to make me work at it the old fashioned way.”

As she started leading him towards the mess tent, he leaned closer and kissed the tip of her head. As they made their way through the assembled Knights and picked up their food, Aeolis saw the looks on the Knights faces. Many were still in a state of disbelief. Others were unreadable as they were working on only a few hours of sleep. Others still were trying to talk about anything but the obvious. His heart went out to these brave Knights knowing many of their comrades had perished trying to defend their people.

He was picking at his own meal when the teenager Trystan dispatched was sent to retrieve them. Pushing his food away, Aeolis stood up with Ceri and as she took his hand he went with her to join Sir Trystan, Lady Rose and Lady Kellan. As he heard Ceri’s mental missive, he furrowed his brows and shook his head ever so slightly as he responded in kind to her.

~It is understandable, Ceri. Let us not worry about what we did not do and concentrate on what we can do now to aid these pwople.~

As they walked into the room where Lady Rose, Sir Trystan and Lady Kellan, Aeolis gave a quick, smart salute then stood with Ceri by his side, still holding her hand.

”Forgive our tardiness, Lady Rose, Sir Trystan, Lady Kellan. We got caught up in assisting the others and failed to remember our meeting. It shall not happen again.”

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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10: Interests of Shadow and Flame
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