Midnight RPG - Chapter 44.143

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An isolated room in the Crystal Keep, during the day while Kuyad rests and Durgaz meditates. This is after Ahemia's free will has been restored.


Eranon peers into the room, clearly looking for something or someone. Seeing Ahemia and her cat, he steps into the room, making sure to be heard so as not to frighten or startle her.


Eranon stands, watching the woman. In his right hand, he absent-mindedly twirls Hell's Heart. With his left hand, he reaches up and pushes his lengthening hair from his face. As he comes to a stop, his cloak sweeps around his legs, swaying slowly as it follows its wearer's momentum.

"Lady Ahemia, I was hoping that I could speak to you. I have been thinking about things like aligences and future plans, and I..."

Ahemia, Lady of Steel of the Gaskindin family, a Bearer of the Black Shield, a Harrower of Legates, a Soldier of Shadow[edit]

Ahemia's brush
The raven haired girl, now wisened from her 28 years, a woman by mankind standards... a child to Eranon's elf-eyes... Ahemia sits on the stone floor of Crystal Keep, the geo-stones embedded in the wall-stones sparkling around. Like Eranon she toys absent-mindedly with something in her off hand... a brush... now and again she strokes it down Dahiran's short black coat... the tiger, more amused by it that comforted as he paws at it like some toy... At first its as if she doesn't notice anyone has entered the room, adrift in her thoughts but Eranon's eye clearly sees as he steps closer that her strong hand has made its way to the hilt of Blackblade that rests on the ground to her side... instincts of a warrior... being pulled back into the world from her day-dreams...
"...hmm..... oh... hello Eranon... I... I was just day-dreaming..." the girl turns the brush in on itself and slips it into the pouch at her side. She sits with her breast plate to her left side, leaning against the wall... resting in only the light chain and silken shit normally beneath it, though her legs are still armored (until bedfall) in her Legate fired plate...
"... sorry... you needed me..?" she begins to push to a stand but stops and shuffles back down as Eranon continues...


"...and I wanted to make things crystal clear. I am glad that you have been restored to your right mind and still do not view us as enemies, and still see fit to travel with us. However, I must ask why. Why do you stay?"

Ahemia, Lady of Steel[edit]

"... clear... as crystal...?" she smiles looking to any one of the hundreds of quartz gems wedged into the granite walls... she continues with a touch more formality than she had in previous days with Eranon. This is the first time he's treated her as a co-worker... as someone would have amid the Black Nail... This isn't the tone of a friend, she thinks... As she snaps her fingers to usher Dahiran off her lap. Ahemia stands and walks to a stool. She pulls it out at the table and reaches into the bag where her brush was placed. Pulling out a rudimentary map of the Cold Downs she sits it on the table, a piece of charcoal with it... she offers Eranon a stip of dried Coney she'd hidden away from the elf's last food scavenge...
" Of course, elf... You are alone in the world are you not? Your people are with you..." she taps her finger to her head then her heart... "... but in essence you're alone, correct?" she only waits for indication of a nod, then continues... " You see... I was alone all my life. Even with my family behind me, I was alone. The only thing that kept me warm was knowing my family was proud of me... With the twisted treachery of the Vile, I lost all I'd worked for. I lost any friendships that I'd managed to gain (although I'm not sure what of those WERE friends...) and then I found Zael... Zal'Kazzir... rather, he found me. He made a way for me and accepted my faith, while I knew in his heart he didnot believe. He risked his life to hide me from you... his friends. In a way he paid that cost yesterday... I've been nothing but a failure to everyone I've hoped to love. I have prayed for guidance and have had nothing but lose returned. Yet I will remain true to those I love, I will remain true to the guidance of my grandfather and my father. They pointed the way to the Dark Star... your "Killer of Trees" and that faith has been the only thing that's given me solice in the cold night. Now... in this... in... in you... I've been given a glance of how that pray can be answered... you brought back to me the little girl of my youth. You brought back my Dahiran and with it my faith I'd somehow managed to faulter in" (she says referring to the, now, confusing time of being Mind manipulated to leave her faith)
"... Now Eranon, you see... I must continue on your path... I don't know where that's going, but the faith you have in your heart... is it really that much unlike mine? You hold dear to your 'Great Lady'... I'm seeing now that perhaps She and He are not that different in nature. The Dark Star draws from the strength of your Great Lady as did Zal'Kazzir from me... And as with m'lord, Zael's light was turned darker by the need to become a great man. Perhaps the Dark Star seeks a similar greatness, perhaps He seeks only to ride at the lead of the Host to find his way into the other stars. And as Zael did, he only now uses the Great Lady's strength... Loving Her as Zael did me... Perhaps this magic that builds your hopes and dreams are what bolster the Dark Star in these 'Last Days' of the 'Last Age'?..." Ahemia seems confused, but desperately trying to work out the reasons for the events of her life, the recent death of her love, the birth of her child, this "friendship" she's made with Eranon... The puzzle isn't one to be made by warriors such as her (and Eranon) but they are the ones that live the lives of the common folk, those that are not of divine inspiration.
"...so... Eranon. Are you asking me these things for a purpose? Is it time our 'friendship' has come to an end? Has the Orc or the Wizard threatened my life again? Are you asking, hoping that I will leave?... because if you are Eranon... I... I must tell you... I... I have no.. place to go............... " Ahemia didn't cry at the death of Zal'Kazzir. There was no lament, no soul-searching. She didn't take time for that. She was strong in front of her "enemies" (the Orc and Wizard). But now... here... in this place... with you... her voice quivers.... and she turns her head, her raven hair masking emotion.
Ahemia slides over the map on the table, with a strange marking unkown to Eranon... it is a map of the province of the Riismark and the Northlands, up the "River Eb" as much as she knew to draw - some 200-300 miles north of Theros Obsidia... to Bastion. There she has noted details of villages that would naturally be taxed by legates that lead up to what she's labeled "the Black Road" that trained in the High City... and also the other area well marked is the mouth of the Ishensa River at Port Esben as it opens to the Pellurian, up as far as Davindale... with her head still turned...
"...Esben has been a major supply port for the armies in the south and home to the most capable ships, manned mostly by humans and hobgoblins, in the Shadow’s navy. If Fallport is the shipyard, Esben is the naval hub... for what it is. Your plan... It won't work without considering Esben... And it would be a boon to the Dorn's goodwill if you have plans to fall their Traitor Prince... " the Lady of Steel, having pushed back any emotion seems now intent on becoming a player in this deadly game... She begins to plot, hoping Eranon won't have seen the weakness in her armor...
"Prince Vildar is the lord of the land, commander of Esben of the great Dornish Houses... he can't be bought ... he is by far, the most dangerous and calculating of the traitor princes, it is said he delights in manipulating his family, his clan, military leaders, the local legates, the dwarves that navigate the Ishensa and even the orc warbands stationed on his lands. They all battle for influence and power by dancing to his music, whose rapid shifts in tune and time are bewildering to all who do not have to live in Port Esben. Those who lose in this very deadly game adorn the gibbets outside the town, which never seem to lack for occupants. If you take him, the others would tremble..." (meaning other Traitor Princes)
Ahemia pauses... Looks to Eranon and asks... "...Now... I must ask YOU why. Why did you help me?"


Eranon listens, his heart going out to this one he should call enemy, he nods and listens. As she speaks of her thoughts on the relationship between The Sun-Eater and the Great Lady, his eyes narrow, deep inside a flicker of flame burns.

"Loving her??? M'lady, with all respect, you cannot hear the giver of life cry in pain as I do. Her sobs ring in my ears, and rend my very spirit to hear her scream as she is ravaged. Your Water's Taint does not love her. Love is give as well as take. This relationship is all take, and without permission. He means to leave her a scarred husk."

Eranon calms after his outburst, regaining himself.

"I am sorry, I do not mean to throw my ire on you. And no, to my knowledge, no one cries for your blood, as long as you remain friend. I will do my very best to see to this. You have no allies under the Lightbane, this I understand. I only ask you because I wish to make sure of your true desire to help us. You do understand that our goal, as I have just revealed my self in my emotion, is to counter that of your lord, correct? Our plan against Fallport is to directly opose your lord. I have trouble seeing how you can stay with us knowing this. I want to make sure that you will not turn on us at some crucial point. I do not see you as enemy, Lady Ahemia, but our goals seem very different."

"Please, tell the others of this information, they will understand it better than I, and this will go far in gaining their trust."

"Finally, you ask me why I helped you, I will tell you truly. When I destroyed the shadow-spirit granted to you, I was acting in self-interest. I will suffer no spy in my domain, inasmuch as it is my ability to do so. When I returned your Dahiran to you, I acted more of compassion to him as a child of Aryth than for you. However, you then said that we are not enemies, and as such, you are under my protection. This is why I wanted to help you escape the Vangard. I wish no ill for you, so long as you are not enemy, but I wanted to take this time to be sure that we are well understood by one another. I beleive I have convinced the others that there is no profit in your death, and you should be allowed to leave if you so desire."

Eranon looks her over for a moment.

"However, I am afraid that things may have changed, now with what has taken root in you. If the child is human, as you say, I will advocate for the child. I beleive no judgement shall be passed before one is given the chance to prove their actions for good or ill."


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