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Impresk - Alturiak, 1377

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Impresk - Alturiak, 1377

Post  Penelope on Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:36 am

The weather had been frigid and cloudy, but no chill breeze could touch the excitement and warmth in her heart on that day! It was the 15th of Alturiak, and in spite of their chaotic schedule during the past five months since the loss of Kaimelithil, Elric and Ashara had managed to carve out a day to themselves on their fifth anniversary. No outside distractions allowed!

It was early afternoon, and Ashara was in their room on the second floor of the Champions' house nervously pulling a particular scroll case off of a peg on the wall. She hadn't had time for proper packaging for the gift, in fact, she'd barely had time to complete it at all, only just finishing it that previous morning. Removing the cap, she pulled the item from the case and unfolded the linen cloth in which it was wrapped. It was a rod. A scepter actually, about a foot and a half long. The shaft was formed of dark bone with mithril spiraling up the length of it and capping each end. At the head, three mithril prongs held a large, perfectly spherical, clear goshenite gem, which seemed to contain a golden vapor that swirled continuously in mesmerizing patterns.

Ashara wanted Elric to have a chance to Speak with his father again whenever he wished. At least that's the purpose she kept repeating to herself over and over again. She wanted to sound convincing when she presented it! It certainly was an intended purpose for creating the item, it just wasn't the only purpose. Someday she would be parted from him too...

As if sensing the anxiety, the child within her kicked her hard in the ribs. The priestess chuckled and nodded her agreement. "You're right, little one," she whispered, gently brushing her hand along the side of her growing belly. "None of that thinking today! Let's just hope your father accepts my reason for making this gift!" Ashara wrapped the scepter within the linen once more, and tucked it under her arm to leave. As she passed the mirror she appraised herself briefly. The priestess was nearly seven months along now, and the simple scarlet dress that she was wearing hugged the very noticeable bump in her midsection. Smiling at the thought of their growing family, she left the room and headed across the hall.

Elric was waiting for her in the meeting room, where they were to have their annual Memory Read session, though it had truly only been five months since their last. After the recent events, and the revelation of his draconic heritage, her husband had returned to his former state of insecurity about his mixed blood. It was not without reason though... There was still the question about how this would effect the children. Marinelle had told them that subtle changes might occur as they grew, if not evident at birth, but no scales, wings, claws or anything like that, they were assured! There may also be no noticeable differences at all! Then of course there was the issue of his elf-like lifespan, which was what spawned the idea of the scepter in the first place. After a few weeks of seeing the occasional melancholy in his eyes, Ashara had insisted that they sit down and do a Memory Read right then and there! She'd sought out those memories when he felt most loved and accepted, and had also gone back and shown him some of her own memories of him that she'd shared on that Midwinter day five years ago, so he could again feel how strongly she feels for him. It seemed to have helped!

Ashara's heart pounded in her chest with both excitement and anxiety at the thought of presenting her gift to Elric. She stopped before walking into the meeting room, and said a quick prayer for strength. This was no time for an emotional meltdown... Gift before Memory Read. That would be the best order of things! Their sessions were always intense, and she was fairly positive that she was physically incapable of giving him the scepter after the Read without bursting into tears.

She took a deep breath and walked into the room with the wrapped gift in her hands, a bright and genuine smile lighting up her face when she saw the handsome half dragon waiting expectantly.


Last edited by Ashara on Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:35 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Needed a less date-specific title...)

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:59 pm

This had the makings of great day. Elric had been looking forward to this day for weeks. Even before Kaimelithil, personal time together was considered a luxury. Since learning Lathanders plan for his wife, it had gotten even worse. There was always something or someone who needed their attention. Whether it was the chapel seeking advice from their Sunrise Lord or his own students needing their Tura.

He was so proud of what Ashara was accomplishing, and despite her occasional doubts, he knew Lathander couldn't have chosen a better spokesman. All that extra responsibility had a price it seemed. So much of their lives were tied into 'diplomatic' exercises... In the last fifteen ten-days, they'd been to ten different temples all over the Faerun. There was a lot of time spent traveling, but a good part of that was spent either worrying about what she'd say, or wondering how they had reacted afterward.

They had agreed from nearly the beginning that on this day... they would simply be Elric and Ashara. Not Tura', not Sunrise Lord, Not even Mama or Papa. Just Elric, and Just Ashara. No distractions, no outside world.

It hadn't been easy. He wasn't sure what she'd told Davion and her other young priests, but he may have 'implied' to Bramin that he'd be going on another trip with his wife to Waterdeep... Just to be safe, he had gone so far to send his students on a trip to Caradoon. Bramin had been there before, and they could use a few tips on how to break holds. He was sure they'd be fine.

He'd dropped the three children off at their grandparents earlier that day. No stories were needed with them. The Rosemorns understood all to well that they needed to step back a bit. More than once Arryn had made her concerns known about Ashara and the baby's health. Despite Ashara's insistence that all was well, Arryn and Ebbard both didn't believe that Flaming Chariots or being turned to wind was any place for a woman in her condition. What were they going to do when they had another newborn? Elric supposed they'd do what they always did... Adapt accordingly.

So unless Therogeon blew up his tower, or Lathander himself showed up, today should be just the two of them. He had been sitting in the meeting room for just a few moments when he heard her steps coming down the hall. He set his mandolin back down on the floor and waited for her to come in.

The moment she stepped into the room he greeted her with strong embrace and a kiss to match. "Happy Anniversary, Mrs. Everdawn!"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:47 pm

Ashara enthusiastically returned her husband's greeting with one of her own and set her gift down conspicuously on the large table.

"Oio naa elealla alasse', Heruamin, <Ever is thy sight a joy, my Lord>" she grinned with eyes sparkling, as she stepped back into a deep curtsy. Ashara rose then, lifting his hand in the air before spinning herself around joyfully in a brief dance. Unfortunately her balance was compromised due to her body's recent changes, and she teetered slightly before falling against him. "Seems I haven't gotten any better at this dancing thing," the priestess laughed.

She raked her fingers gently through the short beard Elric had grown and smiled up at him. "Happy anniversary to you as well, Melamin! I'm so very glad we have this day together!"

The last months had been stressful and exhausting for all of them, but this past week they returned from the last trip she hoped they'd have to make for a few months. Travelling was becoming increasingly difficult for her, and trying to do so in the next two months would be nearly impossible. There were priests travelling to meet her here in Impresk of course, but until the newest Everdawn arrived, and until they figured out how to make a new schedule work, she intended to stay put if she could help it!

"Any plans for the day?" Ashara asked with a grin. "Sledding is probably out of the question, and it is amazing to have the entire house to ourselves for a change!"


Last edited by Ashara on Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:17 pm

Elric matched her grin with a mischevious one of his own.

"Well Melamin... Through no small effort, I have completely cleared my schedule." He couldn't help but look at the wrapped gift on the table in confusion. Not the shape he'd been expecting...

He still remembered the time, a few months ago now... He remembered the day she told him she was going back to visit King Thenden and the dwarves of Dagadar. Foolishly she had suggested that she could go on her own! Like he was so busy with his students, that he'd make her go to that place of so many memories alone! Ridiculous! She must have realized that too, because she didn't try to hard to keep him away.

There was only one thing he could believe she'd go there for. Mithril. Crafted by some of the greatest craftsman still living. Like the ring she'd given him so many years ago, he'd suspected she was working on a gift of some sort. Granted the sword of Zabos had shredded her Mithril armor in places, but once there she'd required way to much time alone with the craftsman just to get her armor repaired. No... She was having something else made.

Still he knew she didn't like secrets, and if she was keeping one it was for a good reason. Not wanting to spoil any surprises, he'd contented himself with looking through more of the lost elven music. And he was glad he did! There were quite a few gems left in there.

He knew she was enchanting something too. She'd been spending a lot of time at the altar ever since returning from Dagadar. The pieces just fell into place too well. But that shape still confused him...

"Nobody will come looking for me today." He said with a question in his voice. "Today, I'm all yours!" He smiled down at her.
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Post  Penelope on Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:08 pm

"All mine?" She asked with the tiniest arch of her eyebrow. "Then, I am a lucky woman!"

Ashara smiled and stood up on her toes for a kiss, enjoying the blessedly uninterrupted moment. "I told Davion and the others that I am not to be disturbed today under any circumstances," she said as she opened her eyes. "He has been warned that the door is warded, and that I won't be Curing any blindness until tomorrow morning!" The priestess laughed thinking of the look on the man's face when she issued her threat. He knew well that she wasn't joking.

The Dawnlord had been shouldered with many additional responsibilities since they returned five months ago, and he had taken them all on with eagerness. He was an excellent priest. Wise, humble and hardworking. The plans for the new temple in Impresk were complete, and construction was set to begin next month on the Spring Equinox after a formal ceremony. Ashara had every intention of announcing on that day, that Davion would become High Dawnlord, and leader of the new temple in Impresk! When he had come to her from Darrowmar three years ago, he was already a priest in his own right, seeking only to learn from her experiences. During that time he had become a respected and well-loved member of the community. He had earned this honor.

Ashara intended to oversee things of course, but she knew that she was simply unable to add the responsibilities of Head Priest upon her own shoulders. She looked forward to occasionally spending a dawn at the personal shrine she'd built on the roof of the Champions' house, for the creation of the Everdawn Blade. Just a few moments of peace with her husband and children before they set about their various duties for the day. She'd been doing a poor job of balancing it all, in her own estimation, since Lathander set her on this new path, but it had only been five months...she would do better.

It was ironic in a way. Ashara had always been reluctant to wear the white robes as head of a shrine or temple, not wanting to tie herself or her family down to that responsibility. Now she wore either the simple white robes or the extravagant sun robes depending on where in Faerun her mission took them. She had to become whatever was necessary for Lathander's message to be heard without distraction. It was difficult. She had been trained as a priest, not a diplomat, but she was learning. Elric was her rock as always. Happy to listen to her concerns about stubborn priests unwilling to hear the truth, or overzealous believers trying to twist her words. Some days it seemed as if every moment was filled with business and responsibilities.

As she glanced over to the gift she had created for her husband, it only reminded her how precious each moment with him was. They'd sort it all out. They would have more moments together and make more memories, like the ones she hoped to make with him today!

Ashara picked up the linen-cloaked gift and pulled Elric over to the couch they had put into the room after Romen and Me'awen set the 'comfy' chairs on fire. She still had no idea how that happened...

"I've been excited about giving this to you for months now," she whispered, as she reverently placed the item in Elric's powerful hands. Her mind spun thinking of all the things she wanted to say, but in the interest of staving off tears, she decided upon reciting the words she'd gone over and over again in her head.

"You've had a chance to reconnect with your mother, now I want you to have a chance to get to know your father..." Already her voice had caught in her throat as she finished. She merely smiled and bit her lip, waiting for Elric to open it.


Last edited by Ashara on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:31 pm

"My father??" Elric did a double take. Now he was at a loss. Between his sword and the recent meeting with his mother and Tomar, he'd felt more connected to his father than he'd ever expected possible. Did she find some new artifact of his life before Impresk?

With slightly trembling hands, he slowly unwrapped the gift. What he saw only added to his confusion. It appeared something more akin to something for Therogeon than him, or his father for that matter.

As he watched the swirling gold, it was obviously magical, but appeared to be wand, or rod shape. As far as he knew his father never had any dealings with magic. Did she find this... or somehow make it? There spiraling around it was the mithril he'd expected...

"It's beautiful... Thank you." He looked at his wife watching him expectantly. "Ummm... What... What does it do?"
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Post  Penelope on Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:13 pm

The priestess smiled nervously and began twisting a lock of hair around her finger as she spoke.

"I've tentatively named it Shessepra en i' N'demade Manu... It will allow you to Speak with your father's spirit." She paused for a moment then, watching as Elric digested what she'd just said. "There are two conditions. First, the spirit must be willing to visit. The summoning is more of a request than a demand in this case. Secondly, you must be within ten feet of some physical remains of the spirit you wish to call."

Ashara swallowed hard and her eyes drifted unwillingly to the magical ring she'd created for him those years ago. During the enchantment, she had infused it with her own blood. Through that blood, the item was bound to her physically, and would allow Elric to sense if she was in danger. Little did she know at the time, that someday he might use that same physical link to Speak with her own spirit after she had passed on.

Six hundred years... It was still hard for her to fathom. In a way, it was comforting to know that the same remarkable man that had begun the family line, would be able to shape so many generations. He wouldn't be just a picture in the story books, or a face sketched on an old piece of parchment... He would be a flesh and blood hero to their children and their children's children, for centuries! But how many of those children will he have to bury? Ashara hated the thought of him having to go through that without her, but even if she were to live the full span of life allotted, they would be separated for many hundreds of years longer than they will ever be together. He would almost assuredy be the one to bury her someday. Elric had accepted that burden before he asked her to marry him, but now with so much more time potentially dividing their reunion, she wanted a way for him to still feel connected with her.

It had been a hard decision whether or not to create the item. Was it in his best interest, or was she just being selfish? Would such an item prevent him from moving on after her death? She wanted him to be happy, with and without her. She wasn't arrogant enough to believe that in six hundred years there wouldn't be any other women in his life, but if he was ever alone and needed someone, Ashara desperately wanted a way to be there for him. Maybe he would never need the scepter, but it would be there. As an option. It was with those thoughts that tears began welling in her eyes.

"If...if those two conditions are met," she said with quivering voice, forcing herself to continue, "then you will be able to see m-...the spirit and speak with it for up to an hour if you choose."

Ashara traced her finger along the mithril spirals before closing her eyes and finishing her speech. "You will be able to Speak with someone who has been dead for up to a thousand years. So, for the rest of your life, you will be able to hear..." She bit her lip as she choked on the words. Clasping a hand over her mouth, she took a moment to collect herself, though there was no stemming the tears streaming down her cheeks now. "Y...You will be able to hear...his voice and be comforted by your father's presence. I know he must miss you so much!"

She wanted to kick herself. This was EXACTLY what she was trying to avoid!

"I...I'm sorry, love... I'm just looking forward to this chance for you to get to know him personally!" Ashara smiled up at him through her tears and wrapped an arm around his broad shoulders.

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Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:59 am

Her words drifted in and out to him as he gazed into the magic of the scepter. They had spoken of the possibility before. Back in Dagadar... So many years ago. Before... Everything. To find answers about his mother she had reminded him that speaking to his father's spirit 'was' a possibility. The stipulation then had been that they would need to dig... and that simply wasn't an option. When he was young he'd believed there was no line he wouldn't cross to find his mother, he'd been wrong. There were some things that he simply couldn't bring himself to do.

Ashara had found a way around that. This gift... The Scepter of the Unforgotten Spirit... Ten Feet was plenty of distance. The memory reads that they did, had allowed him to hear his father's voice, learn from his wisdom, but there were limitations. It only allowed him to remember what he'd already been told. There was no chance to tell him anything new, or get advice for current problems. Now there was.

He could tell him about Marinelle, who she was and why she'd left... Ashara... his grandchildren! He felt a lump forming in his throat as he felt Ashara's arm around him.

"Thank you Melamin... This means so much to me. I'll treasure it forever."

Noticing the tears in her eyes, he gently wiped them away. She was very emotional lately. Whether from the baby or the added stress from her duties he didn't know. Probably both. He'd hoped today would be the break she needed.

"No tears today, my dear." He managed a grin. "We've still got the whole day ahead of us. You did something truly amazing here... Definitely worthy of a new verse in 'your' song!" The grin broke into a full fledged smile.
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Post  Penelope on Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:35 am

The hard part was over. The scepter was in his possession now, just in case something tragic happened. With luck, it would be years before he thought of other potential uses for the item apart from speaking with his father. After all, she was still here! Healthy and still relatively young for a human, so there was no reason for him to be thinking of the future without her. That was her hope...

Ashara's sniffles became chuckles at the thought of the song her husband had written for her. It was her own personal version of 'the list', and like Elric's list, there had been additions since it was first written. Finally noticing the mandolin that rested on the floor, she wondered if she was about to hear a new extended version!

"No more tears," she promised, with a bright smile, as she wiped the remaining mosture from her cheeks. "How can I cry, when I have the enviable honor of listening to a personal performance this afternoon!"

It had been too long a time since she'd had a chance to just sit and listen to Elric play, and now that the stressful presentation of the gift was over, she felt like she could relax and enjoy these precious hours of time alone with him. After he picked up the instrument and began plucking out the first few chords of her song, Ashara sighed contentedly, breathing out all of the tension that had collected in her shoulders over the last few months.

He was her gift. From the first anniversary to the last, it would always be so, and she could ask for nothing more.


Last edited by Ashara on Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:29 pm

***16th of Alturiak, Impresk***

The sweat caused his shirt to cling to him but he tried not to notice. The house was a comfortable temperature, but it was still winter. Bramin and his other students were due back today, and he looked forward to hearing about their exploits. However they were not back yet. For the moment he could focus on training himself and not the others.

He was making the most of the time he had. One thing he had begun to notice that concerned him. Spending so much time on the rudimentary basics of the Salk-sirra, he wasn't advancing his own skills anymore. He wondered what Eldorath had done? Yesterday Ashara had scanned his memory for clues, but they hadn't found any. He had found a lot of advice and training techniques he had long forgotten... but nothing on how his own master had kept up on both his own studies and his students. While teaching all his beginning students, he could feel his own skills getting soft. It was a rarity to find a 'challenge' that would work up a true sweat. He found himself looking forward to the next tournament at the Spires of Morning come spring. That was always fun.

As his breath came in ragged pants, he realized that this was the hardest he'd worked since Kaimelithil and the demon Zabos. As he spun through the air, his feet lashed out striking three separate targets before landing on the ground. He pushed all thoughts of Zabos from his mind. He didn't want to think about that anymore. The memories they had touched yesterday of his mother were still too raw.

Yesterday. As the memories of yesterday invaded his mind he couldn't help but smile. The resulting distraction made him miss one of the next series of targets, but he really couldn't bring himself to mind. He hoped they'd have more days like that soon. They needed more time as a family and less time... distracted. That's all there was to it.

I've tentatively named it Shessepra en i' N'demade Manu..." He could still hear her voice. "It will allow you to Speak with your father's spirit."

The Scepter of the Unforgotten Spirit. He'd planned on trying it out today, but now he wasn't sure. Was he really ready to speak to the father who had been dead so many years? What do you say in a situation like that? Would he answer the call? Ashara had said through her tears that he had to be both nearby his father, and that he was willing to come back.

"If...if those two conditions are met, then you will be able to see m-...the spirit and speak with it for up to an hour if you choose."

He imagined that he'd speak to him about Marinelle... He knew that his father had never stopped loving her. You could hear it in his voice as he had told those stories. But how would he tell him about the 'dragon' aspect? How would he react? Wherever he was, did he already know?

Something about the exchange still bothered him. A nagging sense that something hadn't been right. She was so emotional when she explained about the rod and how it worked.

"You will be able to Speak with someone who has been dead for up to a thousand years. So, for the rest of your life, you will be able to hear... Y...You will be able to hear...his voice and be comforted by your father's presence. I know he must miss you so much!"

She had been acting strange for some time now. In the morning she was excited and giddy, and in the evenings she was... more introspective? Clingy wasn't the right word... Affectionate perhaps? There had been many evenings where she just wanted to be held. He had thought it was the baby, or perhaps the stress... but was it something more?

"If...if those two conditions are met, then you will be able to see m-...the spirit

Half of what she said then had sounded like a prepared speech. And the other half sounded like she wasn't saying what she'd meant to... Deep in his heart he knew what she was trying to say, but his mind wouldn't let him accept it.

He stopped and leaned against the wall and shook his head. He could still hear her voice, as if she was in the room with him. But now he heard what she'd 'meant' to say.

"If...if those two conditions are met, then you will be able to see my spirit

So, for the rest of your life, you will be able to hear ME Y...You will be able to hear... MY voice and be comforted by MY presence. I know I will miss you so much!"

He couldn't breathe. He felt his legs go out from under him and a cold the likes he'd never felt run through his body. Why would she... Was something... How?? Unable to go a moment longer without answers he burst through door of their house and raced off toward the chapel.


Last edited by Elric on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:49 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post  Penelope on Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Her eyebrows were crushed together in frustration and she reached for the onyx pendant at her chest to calm herself.

"I realize that it's difficult, High Morninglord, but as the High Sun returns to power we will inevitably lose some among our own ranks. If a brother has been called to a different service than the one we've taught him, it is natural to feel a sense of betrayal, but the worst thing we could do is to allow that hurt to become hatred! Not only would that drive a wedge between our two faiths, but it would also drive away those who seek to follow the tenants of hope and renewal that Lathander represents!"

High Morninglord Granan Chorster had traveled all the way from Ankhapur to speak with the young Sunrise Lord on the matter of the heresies that were dividing his priests. Considering the season and the age of the man now sitting across the desk from her, that was no small feat! He was angry and hurt, but as he was the head priest at the Temple of the Morninglord, there was no room for wounded pride.

As she paused, Ashara's eyes rested on Dawnspeaker that lay next to her on the desk in full view of the visiting priest. When she was assured that his focus had also been drawn to that symbol of divine authority, she clasped her hands together in front of her and continued more gently this time.

"We will have to foster our relationships with those brothers that have chosen a different path, for they are our brothers still! The time is coming when both the church of Lathander and that of Aumaunator will have to stand together against the growing Darkness. If we can provide a strong and united front in those days, than no force of evil will be able to stand before the Brilliance of the Rising and Risen Suns!"

The passion with which she spoke and the reassuring smile she wore seemed to placate the old man for the time being. He nodded in assent to her wisdom and Ashara was almost certain she saw a small smile crack his troubled facade.

"I'm so pleased that you have made the journey to our little town, and I would very much like to continue our conversation after you've had a chance to settle in a bit." Ashara stood then, indicating that this meeting had come to an end for the time being. "We've made arrangements for you to stay at the Weary Wanderer while you are here. I wish I could offer for you to stay at my home, but I'm afraid we haven't enough room to house a gnome at the moment," she laughed. "Please feel free to get situated at the inn, and when you return I would be honored to have you accompany me back to the house for lunch."

"Thank you, Sunrise Lord," Granan said, as he stood and bowed. "It would be a pleasure to meet the rest of your family." The old man glanced over to the two-year-old boy in the corner of the small room. Romen had been quiet through the meeting, which was unusual, but he was busy playing with the small animals his grandfather had carved for him. Apparently the wooden bulette was hungry as it was attacking and devouring all of the other little creatures until the dragon flew over and snatched up the land shark in its claws. Circle of life.

Ashara opened the door to the meeting room which led into the central area of the chapel, and after another bow, the High Morninglord set off toward the inn. Davion was standing up on the dais going over some of the finer points of Lathanderian principles with the seven young Awakened sitting on the benches below. With a smile and a nod to her disciple, the priestess returned to the meeting room and sat heavily in her chair.

Back to business. Instead of feeling mired in the politics and power struggles between the two factions as she had been previously, she was now feeling quite optimistic about the future of her chosen faith and its standing in the Realms! Yesterday had made all the difference in the world... Ashara felt as if her spirit had been renewed; like she could breathe more easily. She hadn't realized how desperately they both needed time together, and she was determined to create more opportunities like that in the near future!

With eyes closed, she smiled softly and started to hum the song that her husband had played for her last night. Her song he had called it and that was his gift! A hauntingly beautiful, elvish love song he had found among the ancient scrolls in Dagadar. Elric had even learned it in parts so that when he played it for her, she was the first one to have heard it in millennia. He left it up to her what she wanted done with it, whether she would like him to play the song in public or keep it between themselves...since it was her song, it would be her decision. Ashara had chosen the latter. At least for a little while. Such a thing shouldn't be kept secret forever, though she hoped she would be able to hear a few more personal performances before it was unleashed upon the world!

Romen crawled up onto his mother's ever-diminishing lap as she hummed the tune, and listened intently. The little quarter dragon screwed up his face in confusion when he realized the song was unfamiliar to him. "New moosik," he said in as much a statement as a question.

"Yes, Romen, new music!" Ashara grinned at the sparkling emerald eyes that peered up at her. "Maybe your father will teach it to you when you're older, so that you might play it for your wife someday!"

"MORE," the boy demanded, hardly caring about the future, when now was happening NOW! When he saw his mother's arched eyebrow, he quickly and sheepishly added, "peese..."

Ashara laughed and kissed her son's disheveled auburn hair. As she hummed, she began reading through the small stack of correspondence that had arrived from a few different temples in the region. It was difficult for her to focus on the work though when her mind kept wandering to the memories of yesterday... The memories of Kaimelithil, and the private conversations Elric had shared with his mother, that he wanted Ashara to see now. He'd been having some concerns regarding his students and his teaching style, so she'd sought out those memories of Eldorath. Living through the pummeling wasn't her most favorite thing to do, but if it could help him feel more confident as Tura, it was worth it. Besides, she had found a few memories for them to relive that more than made up for the beatings!

She sighed wistfully and Romen starting squirming on her lap, annoyed that the 'moosik' had stopped. Ashara couldn't help thinking as she resumed the humming, that she was really looking forward to getting back home today.

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:50 am

Fear and desperation fueled the half-dragon as he sprinted through the lightly falling snow. In his hurry he hadn't stopped to grab his cloak or even his boots. Ice and cold bit into his bare feet, but he didn't even consider turning back. Dark thoughts filled his mind and he needed answers.

Normally he approached the chapel with pride and awe. To think that just a few short years ago, it had only been a mere shrine. Ashara had been the driving force to upgrade it to a more enclosed building. This Spring it was about to grow again. Soon this humble building would be a full fledged temple. It wouldn't surprise him in the least if someday it hit cathedral status... Every time he turned around the faith in Impresk was growing and adding. Much like his own family. Normally that thought would bring a smile to his face. Today those thoughts were gone from his mind. As he bounded up the stairs two at a time he forcefully pushed open the door.

The resounding crash startled Davion and the other young priests. Davion excused himself from his students as he rushed over to see what was wrong. Elric failed to see the concern in his eyes or recognize how he must look. Wild eyed, barefoot, clothes starting to freeze up. He certain looked worthy of concern.

"Elric... What's wrong?" The young priest questioned.

Elric's eyes darted around, but not seeing what he was looking for quickly enough gasped. "Asha... The Sunrise Lord!? Where is she? I need to see her now!"

Davion with his eyes wide just pointed at one of the side rooms. Without another word Elric turned and headed toward it. He knew she often used these rooms for meetings, and he knew... someone was coming in town today. If she was in a meeting right now, he was sure Davion would have stopped him from interrupting.

Well... He was sure that Davion would try...

As he threw open the door to the office, he saw her sitting with his son, and his heart skipped a beat. Trying to catch his breath he was able to gasp out, "Ashara... We need to talk!"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:26 am

The office door flung open, startling mother and son alike. It wasn't often that Elric would come to visit her at the chapel, since he was almost always busy with his own students at the time, but her first reaction was to be pleased to see him! As Ashara took in his appearance though, the panicked look in his eyes, the soaked-through shirt and bare feet...the smile died there on her lips.

"Ashara... We need to talk!"

For just a moment, she studied him, now very concerned about what could put that fear in a man who had lived through the kind of unspeakable horrors that they had!

"Marstine!" The Sunrise Lord called out to one of her students, a young girl about nineteen years of age, who had assisted as midwife for the birth of their twins. She was a huge help with the children, and had offered her assistance when the newest addition to the family arrived. Ashara had jumped at the suggestion, and agreed to tutor her privately in exchange. The girl had a healer's heart, and after Josiah's instruction, some independent study and far too much practice in the field, the older priestess had much she could teach her! She would be an important asset to the faithful here in Impresk.

"I've got 'im!" Anticipating her needs, the willowy girl was already heading toward the room before she had been called. She stepped carefully past the heavily-breathing man in the doorway, scooped up Romen and a handful of wooden animals and hastily exited the room.

Ashara moved quickly to her husband and pulled him in gently before closing the door on the concerned faces of the young priests in the chapel. Her heart was pounding hard in her chest. Mentally, she going through a list of what could possibly be wrong as she pulled her winter cloak off the peg next to the door and wrapped it tightly around Elric's shoulders. Demons? Devils? There was that dracolich they never properly destroyed... The assassin threat from Evereska had been dealt with, but they were certainly on some kind of hit list among the followers of Shar and Cyric! Was one of his students hurt? Had something happened to one of the other Champions? Was something wrong with one of the children!?

By this point, Elric's panic was mirrored in her own eyes as she desperately searched his face for answers.

"Elric, what is it? What's wrong?!"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:21 pm

"You tell me!" he said with his voice in a panic. His body was trembling now, but whether from fear or the cold neither could tell.

"The scepter... It... You..." He tried to control his emotions. He could see the fear on Ashara's face and he didn't like it. He tried to teach grace under pressure. He used to be decent at it himself. He closed his eyes and took a few steadying breaths.

"Speaking with my father..." He didn't know how to approach the subject. It was a lot harder than what he'd expected. "That wasn't the reason you made the scepter was it??"

"Is there... something wrong??? Are.. Are you all right?!? What ab... about the ba... baby??" He was rambling now, and now that he'd stopped running he was starting to feel the effects of the cold wet clothes.

"Did you receive another vision or something?" He asked scared of what the answer would be. "You'd tell m... me if some... something was wrong right?!"
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Post  Penelope on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:53 pm

Ashara's heart sank in her chest when she realized that it was her own poor judgement that had caused Elric's panic. The last thing she wanted to do was cause him pain, and now he was standing here in the first stages of hypothermia, thinking that someone was about to die!

"No, Elric..." Her voice was filled with remorse and she couldn't even make eye-contact as she pulled her cloak off of him and peeled the icy-wet shirt from his body before wrapping him up once more in the dry cloak. "I'm fine! The baby is fine! If something was going to happen to me, or to any of us, I would never keep that from you, Aratoamin!"

Ashara stepped around the desk and rifled through a pouch of components in one of the drawers. Pulling out a small piece of willow bark, she whispered a few words before popping the fragment into her mouth and crushing it between her teeth. The temperature in the room began rising rapidly.

"I'm so sorry, I never wanted to worry you like this," she said softly, moving back to him. "I do want you to use the Scepter to Speak with your father, but... I..." The priestess wrapped her arms around her husband and laid her head against his chest as much to avoid seeing the distress in his eyes as to warm his freezing body.

After taking a long breath, she continued. "No, it was not for that reason that I'd originally thought of creating it. When your mother... When she said you'd live an elvish lifespan..."

Ashara pressed her lips together and shook her head, fearful to even go down that road of thought again. "It doesn't matter now, Elric, it's not something you'll need to worry about for hopefully a very, very long time! Please forgive me, I was so afraid to tell you the other purpose..."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:25 pm

Elric felt her hold him and return the embrace enthusiastically, burying his face into her soft hair. Almost as if he were afraid Time itself would try to yank her away from him. "A very, very long time..." he confirmed.

He believed her. Though she wouldn't look him in the eye, he knew the sound of truth in her voice. What his mother had told them... that he would live as long as an elf... he knew it had affected her. It had affected him too, and not how most would have imagined. When Therogeon had become an Elf, Elric knew it had made his friend happy. Mages were a peculiar lot on the best days. All Elric could think about was outliving his wife, his children, his children's children. And more. So many generations of humans, friends, and loved ones could easily pass before an elf.

That thought hadn't pleased him in the least.

They hadn't talked about it much since. She was so intent on showing him the good parts of what he was, they had always sidestepped the bad. Well here it was. Provided he didn't do anything stupid or foolhardy, he could easily live for 600 years after she was gone.

"I thought... I mean... I... I just... Please don't scare me like that again..." He said lifting her chin up so their teary eyes met. "I'm not ready for that..."


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Post  Penelope on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:06 pm

Even after five years together, her breath still caught in her throat when he looked at her like that. Ashara prayed it would be the same for fifty years more. Sixty more?

"I...I didn't mean to scare you," she whispered, "I just wanted you to have it in case... Well, just in case something ever did happen."

Her eyes scanned over his features, memorizing them again. "I would hope that you wouldn't ever be ready to lose me, otherwise I'm doing something very wrong..." The corner of her mouth turned up ever so slightly at the tease. "I know that I couldn't imagine a life without you, either here or in the Halls of the Morning. I cannot fathom living in a place where I'm not by your side!"

Ashara reached up to gently brush away a tear crawling down Elric's cheek. "In hindsight, the Scepter may not have been the best gift for an anniversary," she said with a grin. "I think I owe you a do-over..."

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Re: Impresk - Alturiak, 1377

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:25 pm

"Never ready Melamin... Never!" He held her close and they said no more on the matter.

Shortly after he faced the unavoidable task of leaving the temple. The young priests were very good at not staring, but he knew that he'd made quite a spectacle of himself and was sure he'd be the talk of the town by the end of the day.

Though Ashara had cast her blessed warmth before he'd returned home, it appeared to have come to late. Without too much shock, he spent the next week fighting a rather annoying cold. Through only the grace of Lathander, Ashara and the kids missed it. He'd have felt horrible if they got sick because of some foolish stunt he pulled.

*** 28th of Alturiak***

"And that brings us to now... I tried to dissuade her, but her do-over present was a portrait of our family... as it is now at least."

Elric was sitting on the frozen ground in field of gravestones. It had taken some time to work up the courage, but finally he had used the scepter. It was strange to see the spirit of Arturo the shepherd, the hero, the father... Elric never realized it before, but he was nearly as old as his father was when he'd died. He would be 28 this year, 29 counting some unfortunate spell choices... though with his dragon blood he still looked 25. Arturo may have lived long for an adventurer, but he'd died fairly young for a shepherd. It was just... strange speaking with such deference to someone who looked more like a brother than a father.

The hour was nearly up, and they had covered many subjects. Though to tell the truth Elric had done more talking than listening. Arturo had been shocked to find out about Marinelle, though apparently once he knew the truth the pieces fit together for him. Things that had confused him before made sense now. He also understood why she hadn't stayed.

As the spirit dissipated into the wind, Elric made the long walk back to the house. It was evening, but it didn't seem that cold tonight. His thoughts weighed heavy on him. While his spirit had been lifted talking and laughing with his father, there was a dark undercurrent he couldn't hide from. Someday that would be Ashara.

Nobody was home when he finally arrived. Ashara was visiting her parents this evening, and originally he'd planned on meeting her there. Now however he had a different idea. After carefully wrapping the scepter back up, he stored it in the safest place they had. The same place they stored the bag of hair Ashara had collected for possible resurrections. Or as they jokingly referred to it as 'plan B'.

Elric took one of the few bottles of Feywine they had off a high shelf. It was expensive, but tonight felt like a good night. Taking the bottle, he headed off to Therogeon's house and knocked on the door.
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Dhara

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:18 pm

Dhara hated door watch. It was boring. Impresk was a large town to be sure, what with a mage acadamy, a temple of Lathander, and a martial arts school, but it was boring. Nothing ever happened here, which in retrospect, was probably a good thing. Of course that meant that the hours the young woman spent on door watch were some of the longest and most boring of her life.

Dhara settled back in her chair near the tower door and let her mind drift. She would much rather be up in her room reading her collection of Amnian romance stories. True, most of them were far fetched, but still they were filled with stories of true love and overwhelming passion. What eighteen year old girl didn't dream of these things? Love like the kind the stories said the Everdawn's had.

The young girl blushed, she had to admidt, at least to herself, that she had a crush on the martial arts school teacher. Then again, most young women in town had a bit of a crush on him. He was strong and gracefull and his half elven features gave him an exotic look. And anyone looking at him and his wife could tell that the love they shared was pure and beautiful.

A quick knock on the door caused her to jump and, to her chagrin, emit a small squeek of suprise. Quickly she rose and opened the door and blushed again. There in the doorway was the Lord Elric Everdawn himself.

"Umm, Welcome my lord, ahh can I help you with something?" The young woman wanted to kick herself. She was learning to be a mage and here she was stuttering like a little girl with her first crush. She barely heard him say he wanted to see Therogeon before she nodded and ran off through the tower. Oh Mystra and Tymora let him not have seen her blush....or heard her squeek.


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Therogeon

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:27 pm

Nearly two and a half years had passed since the founding and rebuilding of the City of Hope. Nearly two and a half years since Therogeon had stopped being a half-elf wizard and had become a full elf. Nearly one year had passed since Therogeon's mentor and friend Talembor Ringweaver had retired to live out his old age in the new City. Nearly one year since Therogeon had been named Talembor's successor in heading and governing the school. Nearly one year since his tower in Impresk gained three new floors magically above ground (and two below ground that no one knows about). Nearly one year since Maris, the first of Therogeon's students perished fighting Cult of the Dragon members in Amn. Nearly eight months since Almara had cornered Therogeon in his tower and finally confessed her feelings for him. Nearly eight months since Therogeon realized he felt the same way for her. Nearly five months since he found out his best friend, his brother in all ways but blood was actually a half dragon and not a half-elf.

Therogeon spent most of his time in Impresk. His tower had two active teleport rings that when activated, would send the user to the school in Waterdeep or to his house in the City of Hope. In truth the elven wizard spent as much time as he could in both places. However the school mostly ran itself only needing him for occasional disturbances and for administrative purposes. Escape to the new City was rare for a chance to relax and recover from life's trials and to share knowledge and stories with the many others who lived there from time to time. In fact it was only last month that Almara heard the call of the City and was able to join Therogeon there.

As it had been when he weilded Mystra's Silver Fire, the wizard found that sleeping was difficult. For that he was truely glad for the gift of Reverie. A simple thing taken for granted by too many elves, it allowed him to relive his memories. Both the painfull and the joyous were experianced again. He also found that his spell detecting magic in Impresk would easily rouse him from his memories if he detected something amiss.

Impresk had grown significantly in the few years since the Champions had settled down. Now, it was a large town, with nearly double the population. His students as well as the priests of Lathander and the students of Elric's learning the way of the Silk-Sirra and the others all looking for a peacefull place to live. Therogeon watched them all from the top of his tower. He spent many a night up here once Almara was asleep just gazing across the town. This truely was the first place he really felt at home. Sure Waterdeep was his first home, technically. He still loved the hustle and bustle of the City of Splendors, but Impresk was home.

Therogeon leaned back and cast his gaze up to the stars. The night was cool but again thanks to his relatively new elven heritage he barely felt the chill. Two of his newer students were practicing, and Therogeon chastised himself for not remembering their names right away. They had each just gained a new spell and were demonstrating it for each other. He smiled, the practicing and showing off of new spells was common for fledgling mages but these two had not yet earned the right to cast without supervision of an elder student. Tomorrow the all knowing teacher would remind these two new apprentices that practicing without supervision was frowned upon and the students would relearn that there was little they could hide magic wise in Impresk. A slightly timid voice broke into his musings.

"Master, Lord Elric Everdawn is here to see you" The wizard looked over at the speaker. A human female she had come to his tower from Waterdeep last year. She was skilled in the Arts but she lacked confidence in her own abilities and while the town might be relativly save from magical attacks, the mundane could still suprise the unwary. So the students took turns on door watch. Besides, keeping watch through an odd shift or two would help them out if any of them took to being adventures.

"Thank you Dhara, I'll be right down." Therogeon smiled at the apprentice and grinned then calmly stepped over the side of the tower. The student gasped and ran to the edge, expecting to see her master splattered six stories down. Instead she saw a calm elven face slowly floating to the ground. The master wizard looked up at his bewildered student and winked.

He landed softly on the ground near Elric and smiled up at his friend. "Well met my brother. What brings you out on this lovely evening?"
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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:56 pm

Elric forced a grin at the spectacular entrance. He still remembered the master of the tower when all he would ever say was "Someday..." Well, none could doubt that day had come.

"I have a serious problem, I was wondering if you could help me with." Elric answered the mage. He produced the bottle so Therogeon could recognize the contents. "I have entirely too much of this fabulous wine lying about, and nobody to drink it with."

He smiled at his attempt at humor, but the smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
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Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:21 pm

The smile on his face slipped a little. A joke that didn't reach the fighter's eyes was very unlike him. That and no one ever had "too much" feywine laying around. Something was wrong, and it was easy to see to the elf who had known him for so long.

He clapped his friend on the shoulder and turned to allow him into the tower. "Of course my brother, I am always glad to spend a quiet evening enjoying a good bottle of wine." He turned to Dhara, now entering the entranceway after having teleported from the roof. Her soft cheeks still flushed from Therogeon's suprising leave. "Dhara my dear, Lord Elric and I will be retiring to my private library. Should anyone come looking for him, please let me know. And, since I'm assuming this will go on for a few hours, let your relief know that we are in there." He smiled his thanks to the apprentice and turned back to his friend again clapping him on the shoulder and leaving his hand there.

He tossed a quick wink to Elric, reached his other hand out to a particular rune on the wall, and whispered a single soft word. Suddenly, and without fanfare, the two companions were standing in Therogeon's private library. High walls lined with shelves filled with books. Soft magical lamps spread throughout the room provided comfortable light to read by. Three soft sitting chairs, overstuffed for comfort sat in a corner with a small table between them. Two tall cabnets stood just behind the chairs, the glass doors showing decanturs and various bottles of different drinks. Therogeon turned to his friend, "I'm sorry for the sudden departure, but I sense something is wrong. Elric my brother, what is the matter?"
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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:46 pm

Elric popped the cork off the bottle and inhaled the sweet fragrance. He handed the bottle to his friend and replied simply "Drink first, Talk later."

As the mage took the bottle Elric looked at his hands. Deliberately he removed the two rings he always wore. The one that Ashara had made for him, he always wore on his left. On the right he wore the ring he had commissioned all those years ago for the entire group. The Champion's ring. A ring made from the first dragon they had slain. It gave him mixed feeling now. He thought differently of dragons as a whole, but he continued to wear it. It was really more about the brotherhood of the group, then about the enemies they'd killed.

It always had been.

Silently he put the rings back on, but on the opposite hands and sat and stared at them like that for a few moments. It was a signal. One that he had arranged with Ashara a few years ago. For years he had opened his mind to her, but there are sometimes that man's thoughts must be his own. They'd discovered that three years ago when they shared their anniversary memory read, and she stumbled across him picking out her birthday present. The surprise was completely ruined that year.

Now they had a system. If she was skimming through his mind and saw the rings reversed, she knew it was something that was meant to be private. Since the system was put in place, he'd only had cause to use it a handful of times mostly involving surprises. Today was a little different.

"Now, I don't know if you've figured out how turn this stuff off or not... But I would count it as a particular kindness if we could both simply get a little drunk together. After I leave, feel free to turn it off all you want, but while I'm still here... indulge me."
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Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:29 pm

The wizard took the bottle and carried it over to his cabnets. He opened the doors and removed two crystal goblets, pouring the wine into each and setting them and the bottle on the table between the chairs. He motioned for Elric to sit in one as he sat in another. He had seen his friend switch the rings around and he knew if had significance though for the life of him, he couldn't figure out what it was. Maybe after they were drunk he would ask him.

"Ahh, I've never had the occasion to turn it off as you say," he grinned slightly as his friend sat opposite him, "so it will be an interesting occurance to see if I've learned how...after you leave." Something was definitely bothering Elric and Therogeon desperately wanted to help. He had rarely if ever seen his friend this way and they had been through alot together. Silently he slipped a hand into a pouch and grasped a ring held within. The ring was the parent of the one he had worn for so long, the one that allowed him to speak with his master at will. Only this one was the master ring and it allowed him to communicate with any in his order who wore a similar ring, and this time he chose to speak silently. Gently he sent his thoughts out through the ring.

"Almara my dear, a friend needs my help. We will be in the private library and are probably going to be out of sorts, so to speak, for a while. I may not make it to bed as early as I would have liked to."

Gently her voice drifted into his head, "Of course my love, you and the Lord Elric have a good evening. Try not to get too drunk." A whispered sensation akin to a mental kiss signaled the end of her sending and only a slight twinkle in Therogeon's eye showed he had communication with the outside world. He didn't even blink that she knew who he was with and what he was doing. Dhara had probably run straight to her as soon as Therogeon vanished.

The elf wizard and master of the tower in Impresk raised his glass of feywine, "A toast then, to the Champions all, where ever they may be."
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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:45 pm

"Here, here!" Elric clanked the goblets and drank deeply. There were things he wished to discuss with the mage but couldn't find the words. So instead they spoke of frivolous things. Adventures past, friends come and gone. Meanwhile the bottle seemed to get lower and lower.

After time had lost meaning to him, the half-dragon looked at his CoRD ring and shook his head. "Someday brother, it'll just be the two of us left... Do you think we'll still be sitting here like this three... four... hell, six centuries from now?"

He leaned back and set his goblet down a little harder than he'd meant to. Therogeon's ears were able to pick up a whisper that he didn't think he was meant to.

"It just isn't... fair."
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