Midnight RPG - Chapter 44.744

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Setting[edit]

In the Crystal Keep, in the quiet hours of the morning as Eranon wakes up again. This inner room's walls are sturdy and thick, allowing no light at all to penetrate. In the pitch blackness Kyuad sits twisting spider webbing and found wool into yarn, but all the while seemingly distracted by his own thoughts. Kaiel lays nearby, having felt comforted by continuing to rest at night though he feels little need to recharge his energies.

Only a few hours before, Kyuad had spoken to the spirit of his friend Zal'Kazzir. Not knowing what will come of the day or what mysteries may be laid bare by their efforts, his thoughts turn to friendship.

The Room, When Lit[edit]

Looking about this dank room, at one point it might have been used as a small private room for one of the captains of the old Fortress Wall Keep... amid the stone were cut shelves and notches for long ruined furnitures. Though Kaiel had done his best to secure trapings of comfort from the former master of the keep, the Dornish Baron's rooms... It was still hollow and cool with the coming of Autumn. Deep within this crystal keep, the ceiling of the room still glistened with crystal shards showing like stars in the sky across the stone and woodwork above.

Glancing around the room:
  • Kaiel had slumped from sitting against the darkwood door and now lay loosely at the door's foot.
  • Ahemia lay separated from the group, her armor resting as a barrier at her feat. Ahemia's back was to the corner using fine Sarcosan silk sheets of her dead lover to soften between the course wool of blankets found in the Corbron Isles. Dahiran's black coat mixed with the shadows of the room as the former asterax warmed his master's sleep. Her sword noticeably absent... but one could guess it might rest in her grip beneath the bedding.
  • Durgaz's needs for comfort were few and far away from that of man. But the rest must be good, he'd gone sleepless over the last night. He lay opposite of the Legate in his own corner.
Only packs and equipment of the adventurers and the recent dead lay out on makeshift tables brought into this room earlier by Kaiel. Whetstones for sharpening weapons and the like lay about. Books and the supplies needed for nightly arrangements lay on the table. While two Hearthstones sit supported in the fireplace to warm the room for all...

Conversation[edit]

Kyuad and Eranon talk of the past, and of friendship.

Kyuad[edit]

The blackness of the room feels disorienting to Eranon as he wakes. With no frame of reference the walls feel miles away until he places his hand on the cold stone next to his head. As he surveys, the only thing he can see are two pinpoints of red not far off. As he moves his head from the bundle of clothing he uses as a pillow, the points of light rise and change angle slightly. With nothing else to experience, the red points of light seem almost mesmerizing, but when they line up with Eranon's gaze, a surge pulses through his body, making him feel weightless, breathless, and lost.... but not at all alone.

From beneath the fathomless depth of the universe inside of those red gateways to oblivion comes a raspy whisper that slowly brings Eranon's consciousness back to the present. He hears himself quietly mumbling "mwaaah?" and then hears the voice repeat its words, "I SAID GOOD MORNING, FRIEND." For some reason Eranon thinks of a nanny's gentle morning nudge before a breakfast of fruit and milk.


Eranon[edit]

Eranon stirs, suddenly, jarred awake. He instinctively raises his head, tenses his muscles and then relaxes once he realizes that all is normal. This, is not wholly unexpected from the rather tense elf. "Good morning, Kyuad. Have you been up all night?" Eranon slowly sits up, and looks around the room, trying to determine the time of morning.

"Are you alright? Is there something I can help you with?" Eranon's look softens as he speaks these last question.


Kyuad[edit]

"YES. KAIEL AND I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT HIS MILITARY SERVICE, AND I AM WORKING ON A SOMEWHAT MAGICAL MEANS OF DETERMINING SOMETHING. AS I HAVE BEEN WORKING, MY THOUGHTS HAVE TURNED TO LOSS." Kyuad's voice sounds more lonely and warm than it has since his emergance from the Eye. "I AM GLAD YOU ARE AWAKE, IT WOULD DO ME GOOD TO BE REMINDED OF FRIENDS WHO REMAIN." Unwavering, the two points of redness float in the lightless room, shedding no light themselves, but observable on a more primal level. It's almost as if the part of one's mind that senses fear marks those points, warning the rest of the observer's mind not to look there.

"THUS FAR I HAVE NOT KNOWN WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE AS I AM NOW WITHOUT NISSE... OR, WITH THE PORTION OF ME THAT SHE HELD NOW RETURNED. I FIND IT SHOCKING HOW MUCH FULLER MY EMOTIONS ARE NOW THAT HER ESSENCE HAS REJOINED WITH MINE. I FEEL THE LOSS, NOT ONLY OF A COMPANION AND TRUSTED FRIEND, BUT ALSO OF THE ONE WHO LOOKED AFTER ALL OF US. I WAS NEVER CONFIDENT OF MY ABILITY TO FILL THAT ROLE, AND NOW THAT THE DESIRE TO DO SO HAS RETURNED, IT SEEMS WE WILL HAVE TO FIND OUT HOW CORRECT THAT DOUBT MAY BE."

Eranon can only guess what those eyes might see as they look through the room, gazing at the group of sleeping allies, and the legate whose continued existance is even less assured than the criminals with whom she travels. "I REMEMBER A TIME WHEN NISSE FIRST CAME TO ME, SEEMINGLY SO LONG AGO. I FELT LIKE A CHILD THEN, IN A WAY." The two points of redness blink once, and their absence from the room makes it obvious how rare this blink must be. "YOUR CHILDHOOD, ERANON... WHAT WAS IT LIKE? IT WAS LONG AGO, WAS IT NOT? TELL ME OF IT, OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE AN ELF OF THE CARAHEEN."


Note: Eranon doesn't remember ever seeing Nisse before Kyuad created her on the way through the swamps.


Kaiel[edit]

The plainsman found his head coming to rest on the stones within the cleared out keep room the travelers had made their makeshift home for the past several nights... So much oddity... adventure in this... new... life. The draw of hunger at his gut hadn't gnawed at the Sarcosan since he found his way out of the Green Marches, nearly three weeks ago... He'd positioned himself leaning on the outer door that led into the old keep's wallways, literally putting himself between the friends of his master and the danger of the outside. Kaiel no longer grew tired as men do, he no longer needed to eat or drink as men do - but time didnot pass any more rapidly in this new existence. If anything being this "Ungral" as Master Kyuad described it, slowed time as his dead eyes looked at the grayed out world. So now and then he'd find his muscles taking up the memory of their past, as they did now, and he would lie - but his mind wouldn't slow... no dreams... no rest... for the wicked.

He could only listen to the skitter of spiders and things that crawled in the dirt. So it was a relief to here Master Kyuad speak again... Though Kaiel wouldn't intervene he would listen. Afterall, what else was there to do...


Eranon[edit]

Eranon eventually turns away from the two point of light, standing slowly and walking to a nearby window, looking out over the cold morning.

"Loss, you say? I think we have all learned about loss over the past few months. I would never have imagined these things before Valendil asked for the favor that took me out of the Caraheen. It's interesting that you feel Niesse return to you, that you feel more complete now after what happened. I would expect you to be happy, yet clearly there is some sense of loss in you."

"I can say that for each person or companion I have lost, instead of them returning to me, I feel a peice of me has forever gone with them, Valendil, Vor'zon, Anuil, Kethrial and even Zal'Kazzir."

Eranon stares out the window a little longer, sighing deeply.

"The Caraheen. . . yes, it was long long ago, before the days of the Ruin of Trees. You have seen the Caraheen when we went to the Hamlet, but truely you have not seen the Caraheen as it should be, as it was before the Shadow fell. Green and lush as I see only in my dreams now, as I only glimpse when I hear the whisper. As an elf child I had very few cares, we were kept sheltered in the forests around Caradul. I would run and play in the woods with Valendil, spend hours in the tree's embrace. I could scarcely be bothered with the growing anxiety and activity of the grown soldiers, my own family." Eranon pauses for a moment, lost in thought.

"Mostly, though, I would seek out the wisdom of Isiki, the learned one, the one who taught me the secrets of the wild, of the whisper. I beleive you met him in the Hamlet, though you likely don't remember him amongst the other wisened loremasters at the meeting."

"And what of you, Learned Master, have you memories of fonder times. You grew up under the shadow, was any joy to be found there in the company of men and orc?"


Kyuad[edit]

Kyuad sits in silence for a moment, either waiting to hear if Eranon has anything more to add, or lost in a thought too gripping to interrupt. "NISSE IS GONE, AND I WILL MISS HER COMPANY... SHE WAS A GOOD HELPER. BUT WHAT RETURNED TO ME IS ONLY WHAT HAD BEEN INVESTED IN HER FROM THE BEGINNING. A PORTION OF MY OWN SOUL, WROUGHT FROM THE HINTERLAND BETWEEN WHAT MAKES ME WHO I AM, AND WHAT MAKES ME PART OF THE OLD LIBRARIAN. SHE CARRIED WITH HER A BURDEN I HAD HOPED TO DO WITHOUT, FOR IT CLOUDED MY JUDGEMENT TO THINK TOO MUCH ON THE COMFORT AND CARE OF OTHERS. I AM NOT ENTIRELY SURE THIS WAS WISE, OR THAT SHE SHOULD BE REFORGED..." Kyuad's voice trails off for a moment, as if he were thinking on another topic.

"I ALSO FEEL A SENSE OF LOSS FOR ZAL'KAZZIR. SOME OF WHICH, OF COURSE, IS BECAUSE WE LOST A FRIEND. BUT ALSO I MOURN WHAT WAS TAKEN FROM HIM BY RAZ'KALVOSH. I CANNOT HELP BUT WONDER HOW THINGS WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT WITHOUT THE SCHEMING OF ARDERIN AND THE SUCCUBUS QUEEN. THOUGH SOMETIMES FOOLISH AND RECKLESS, HE DID NOT DESERVE THEIR CONNIVING WAYS. I EVEN WONDER AT MY OWN MOTIVATIONS, IF I WAS NOT ACTING ON MY FEELINGS ABOUT MY TEACHER'S KILLER - I AM UNSURE IF ZAL MIGHT HAVE ACTED WHOLLY ON HIS OWN THOUGHTS AS WELL, IN RETROSPECT.

"I... FELT A pain AND LOSS WHEN THE 'EYE TOOK MY LIFE AND REFORGED MY FATE. BUT THAT WAS A PALE LOSS COMPARED TO COLLUNE'S DEATH. IT WAS SHE WHO RAISED ME, IN MANY WAYS. MY MOTHER WAS TAKEN BY ORCS, SO I WAS TOLD, AND MY FATHER LOATHED THE BURDON OF RESPONSIBILITY. I MAY HAVE LIVED IN HIS HOME, BUT ONLY AS A MERE TENANT. COLLUNE FILLED MY LIFE WITH WONDER, DANGER, LEARNING, PURPOSE, AND WISDOM. WITHOUT HER... WELL I WOULD HAVE BEEN CONSUMED IN FIRE. I WAS STILL-BORN, YOU SEE. COLLUNE WAS THERE, ASSISTING HER MASTER WHO SERVED AS THE REGION'S HEALER AND APOTHECARY. SHE SAW SOMETHING IN THAT DEAD BABY, A SPARK OF HOPE, AND BEGGED TO ARYTH THAT NIGHT FOR A BLESSING. SHE SPENT THE FOLLOWING WEEK WITH ME, RISKING BEING CALLED A MAD WITCH, IN THE HOPES THAT THE BABY SHE HELD WAS NOT YET DEAD. I TOOK MY FIRST BREATH A WEEK AFTER BEING BORN, IN THE SUNLIGHT, AS SHE HELD ME ABOVE HER HEAD, WEEPING, SURE THAT SHE HAD BEEN WRONG ALL ALONG.

"AT FIRST THEY CALLED ME A FELL CHILD, AND COLLUNE NEVER TOLD ME HOW SHE CONVINCED THEM OTHERWISE. STILL, THE NAME 'FELL BOY' STUCK WITH ME THROUGH MY CHILDHOOD, UNTIL THE OSTRACIZING FORCED MY FATHER TO MOVE US TO HILLBIRD. COLLUNE THEN WIDENED HER AREA OF SERVICE, NOW THE MASTER HEALER HERSELF, AND TOOK ME ON AS HER APPRENTICE. SHE SOON CONFIDED IN ME HER GREAT SECRET, THAT SHE WAS IN FACT A WITCH OF SORTS, AND THAT SHE ACTED ON HER HATRED FOR THE DARK ONE WHENEVER SHE COULD. THROUGH HER I LEARNED TO READ AND STUDY FORBIDDEN LORE. HAD I KNOWN HOW KNOWLEDGE WOULD WARP HIM, I NEVER WOULD HAVE SHARED MY STUDIES WITH DIERRO."

Kyuad pauses for a moment again, and continues, "AND NOW, WHAT OF ALL OF US? HE HAS KILLED COLLUNE, ALLIED HIMSELF WITH EVIL FORCES, AND HERE I SIT DECAYING, NOT WILLING TO LET LOOSE MY HOLD ON THIS WORLD OUT OF BLIND, FOOLISH HOPE. EVEN NOW AS MY HEART ACHES WITH PAIN I THOUGHT TO NEVER EXPERIENCE, MY VOICE DOES NOT CRACK, MY PULSE DOES NOT QUICKEN FROM ITS SLUMBER, MY EYES DO NOT WET, AND THIS CORPSE IN WHICH I AM TRAPPED CONTINUES ITS SLOW DECAY, AS UNRESPONSIVE AS THE RUBBLE FALLEN FROM A RUINED WALL. EVERYTHING IN ME IS BEGGING JUST TO CRY, TO WEEP FOR THE WOMAN WHO ASKED NO MORE OF ME THAN RESPECT, AND YET WHO GAVE HER LIFE FOR STRANGERS, AND ALL THIS BODY CAN DO IS MIMIC MY SHAPE... LIKE SOME STRAW MOCKERY WITH PAINTED EYES, I HAVE A VOICE, A FORM, AND NOTHING BUT PAIN."


Kaiel[edit]

The southman clasps his left leg, pulling it tighter up to him now. Remembering what it would feel like to rest in the womb of the tall Maudrial trees of the Northern Erethor. He was used to being on the run... living and breathing in hidden places. But now he no longer lived or breathed or slept. And though painful to hear this plight that has taken his Master (Kyuad) he slowly realizes that he may well become how his Master is now... Kaiel had just learned of his undeath nature only a few weeks ago... the pains of life had left him - his leg... his side... they no longer hurt or bled but he'd not yet lost the memory or pain of emotion. He'd just spoken to Master Kyuad of his brother, his mates in 'the Brigands'... Would those feelings dwindle as they have seemed to from his Master? And quickly the revelation of the emotions of laughter and tears having not been something he has experienced in the last month or more... Since he died on the battlelines. And in this Kaiel tightened his hold on himself, the need for warmth also gone. Laying here... was now more habit than anything. He'd never had 'idle' time before... not in the camps... and NOW he couldn't stop... listening... It could be maddening!!


Eranon[edit]

Eranon strains in the dark to make out the form of which Kuyad speaks. He watches the pinpoints as long as he dares before looking away. After a time, though, he grows tired of straining in the dark to see nothing, blinded like a man, and his eyes drift back to the minute red orbs, to start the cycle again.

Eranon's face shows pain and empathy as Kuyad spins his yarn of his birth and death.

"I understand, someone who is a beloved teacher may never be replaced, and the hole they leave when they are gone will never be wholly filled. Remember, however, that she will never truly be gone from you if her words and wisdom remain in you."

Eranon thinks for a moment before his eyes widen, having throught of something. "Is there not hope for her return? You showed me the path yourself, wrapped in cloth, and preserved."

"Kuyad, how does one learn to weave the gifts of the Great Lady in the occupied lands? There are orcs, and the power sinks placed by the Father of Murder. Where I grew up, magic was a free as the air and water, in fact, we all possess some trick or two to carry us along."


Kyuad[edit]

Note: I'm in the process of adding this, and it's not done. -Bill

Breaking from a whisper for only a moment, Kyuad blurts out, "IS IT NOT RIGHT TO MOURN?" After a moment, whispering quietly again he continues, "I APOLOGIZE. YOU ARE RIGHT, FRIEND. THOUGH, IT IS MAGIC I HAVE NEVER ATTEMPTED, AND SO IT WILL BE DIFFICULT. I WILL NEED TO FIND A NUMBER OF TOOLS AND GATHER TOGETHER A LABORATORY OF SORTS. ON THE RUN AS WE ARE, IT MAY BE MANY MONTHS BEFORE I AM ABLE TO START.


Questions, Comments & GM Commentary[edit]

  • Bill... I would note that THIS line of "emotion" is the kind of thing that may eventually lead toward "good". Well done so far... Actually, using Nisse's passing as a point to add to your character is great. This might also be a good conversation in which we (the group) learn of Eranon's feelings about his animal companions, the dragon and all the death that has surrounded him recently... Not to mention the recent reminder that he'd actually met Durgaz in the past!!
    • I'd brought up the fact before that Nisse's personality held a portion of Kyuad's. She and he together made a whole, and he relied on her to carry out the desires of one aspect of his person or another. He hasn't changed at all, and still has the same emotions he's always had, but without the separation of himself, he is more aware of feeling those emotions. He no longer can completely compartmentalize things that Nisse used to do.



LINKS[edit]

PORTAL | DURGAZ | ERANON | KYUAD | ZAL'KAZZIR