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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:29 am

Elric ran his fingers through her soft hair. "I have difficulties seeing things that way... To me, anything that wants to seperate us, for however long, is an enemy..."

"You may not be 'truly' gone... and with the scepter, I'll be able to see you and... and hear you... but I won't be able to hold you. It's going to be difficult for me."

He looked down at her in curiosity, "You never told me about the elf bit. Did you mean that? That you wish you could stay with me through the years..."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:29 pm

"Elric," she said with some incredulity in her voice, "of course I mean it! I would stay with you for whatever lifetime I've been granted! It's unfortunate that I am so limited by my race, but Eddick's potions will help a bit."

"I... I know it may seem petty, but the thought of growing old while you remain as you are..." Ashara bit her lip and briefly averted her eyes. "It bothers me more than I thought it would," she whispered. "Not for vanity you understand, but because I don't ever want to be a burden to you. I feel like I've already been that to you enough for one lifetime..."

She paused for a breath and looked up at him again. "It's our reality though, isn't it... Watching my parents tonight, I see them facing the difficulties that come with aging, together. They can share that burden... It won't be that way for us..."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:55 pm

Elric was silent as he let her words sink in. He hadn't realized that she'd felt that way. How much thought did she put into it? Just an idle dream... or had she investigated options herself? Suddenly he had an image of her sitting in Therogeon's tower having a similar chat, begging him not to tell Elric! Had she thought of the downside? There was always a downside...

"First of all, any burden you've given me, has been repaid with more joy in these few years, than I'd have expected in a hundred of them. Don't give that another thought." They'd had that talk quite a few times. Often after the annual memory read. She always felt that his response to the her curse had been above and beyond the call of duty. To him everything had come so natural he didn't see it worth mentioning. It was a common disagreement.

"What... What if we weren't bound by that reality?" He watched her face to try to gauge her reaction. "We have the potions, there's magic... heck, Therogeon's an Elf nowadays..." He couldn't help but glance at his ring as his friend was mentioned. "Is 'anything' really impossible?"

"What... What if you could get a choice in the matter?"


Last edited by Elric on Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:44 am

Ashara's eyebrows lifted in surprise at his words as well as the tone in which he spoke them. She hadn't missed the glance at the ring either... Why did he sound so hesitant in the asking as if there was something he was holding back?

"Are you talking about finding a way to let me live the lifespan of an elf?" She blinked a few times as she processed the notion. Elric certainly didn't look like he was merely playing a game of 'what ifs'...

"Honestly I... I've never thought that I had any choice in the matter whatsoever. Not really. The potions will reverse my aging instead of technically extending it, though it effectively creates the same result. With potions though, there is an increasing chance that each time I drink one, I will lose all of the years that had been magically gained through them. Not really something I could just continue to drink every few years, without something horrible happening."

"I do see your point... Nothing is really impossible, but such magic always seems to come with a price. I've heard of powerful priests who become liches in order to continue in service to their deity, but I'm fairly sure that's not what you meant!" Ashara couldn't help but smirk at the idea of praying that Lathander grant her lichdom... He would probably take Dawnspeaker back at that point!

"My knowledge of arcane magics is limited I realize, but I don't know of anything that could extend my life without consequences, or simply change me int-..." The priestess' brow furrowed and she gently chewed on her bottom lip as she worked through a thought that had just occurred to her.

"No," she finally concluded, "Reincarnation could just as likely turn me into a fox as it could an elf, though I have heard that there are ways to influence the result of the spell... Then again, it would be truly unfortunate to come back as a male elf!" Ashara laughed loudly at the image of the awkwardness that would result from such an event, but she quickly hushed herself not wanting to wake the children.

"Yeah...not really an option," she giggled, "I've found far too many reasons over the last years to enjoy being a woman!"

With a warm smile, Ashara pulled her husband's arm over her shoulders and happily tucked herself in next to him.

"What... What if we weren't bound by that reality?" "What... What if you could get a choice in the matter?"

Something about how he had asked those questions, nagged at her. Did he know something he wasn't saying? While her own knowledge of arcane magics was limited, Therogeon's understanding was vast... Ashara glanced over at the ring that Elric himself had just looked at. This couldn't have been the reason he spent the evening with their friend... Was it?

That thought sobered her mirth almost instantly.

"Aratoamin..." She began again slowly, using a nickname that she'd given him in appreciation for how fiercely he'd fought to save her soul from the Curse. Ashara realized that now, he was fighting not for her soul, but for her life! How far would he be willing to go to win a fight against Death?? She swallowed audibly, then looked into his eyes before continuing.

"Tell me please... Do I have a choice in the matter?"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:52 am

"I don't know..." Elric answered honestly. He realized now that her wish to be an elf hadn't been... seriously considered. She had no further ideas than he had.

"There may be ways... Potions, fountains, magic in general..." he began. "There are always THINGS that can be done... but as far as specific spells or whatever... I don't know."

"Therogeon will try to find some answers for me, but nothing is known right now. The best idea we had, was if I could share my life force with you. I'd give you half my possible years. But we don't even know if it would work... So little is known about Half-Dragons... Therogeon is concerned I may have some innate resistance that will kick in."

"I was a little afraid to say anything, at least till I had a definitive possibility. I didn't know what you'd think about it. If you would even accept my gift."

He ran his finger along the rounded tip of her ear. "I don't want you to be an elf... male OR Female! I like your features just how they are. I just want them to be with me for longer..." He knew there were times that she been jealous of Syrllynna and her eternal beauty. He had hoped he'd dispelled that thought over the years. To him, his wife's beauty outshone any elf's, and he'd told her that. He didn't know if she believed him or not.

"There are risks, and it's not somthing we'd even have to think about for many, many years... I would never risk the years we will have with the years we could have..."

"And of course, You'd have final say... There isn't much advantage to sharing my life span..." He took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "I know it's pure selfishness on my part. I'm asking you to put off the Halls of Morning, to stay and watch our children grow old. If anything happened to me, You'd be the one without me for hundreds of years... There's little advantage for you... I'm a little ashamed that I even brought it up, but the thought of life without you makes me do selfish things..."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:00 pm

"Sh...share your life force?" Ashara's mouth dropped open slightly as she softly repeated the words. "Half your possible years... Elric, that could be three hundred years!"

Her head spun with the implications. Three HUNDRED more years to spend with this man...growing old with him as it was meant to be! The opportunity to see many generations Everdawns! To travel and share so many more adventures... It was so easy to think of reasons to pursue this course of action, but the cost? Three hundred years of HIS life!

The internal conflict was etched across her face. The temptation was immense... She knew that the idea of living out their lives together from beginning to end was a dream that she desperately wanted, but something about attaining the dream like that just seemed so...wrong!

"I.. I don't know if I could possibly...take from you in that way!" Ashara winced at the thought. "Have you really thought it through, Melamin? It sounds like you still believe your 'extra years' to be a curse, but life is ALWAYS a gift!" She smiled and brought his hand to her belly, where their fourth child was kicking merrily at her insides.

"Think of all the things you can do, all the lives you can touch in six hundred years! So many generations of Everdawns could be affected by you directly, and they would be stronger because of it! You could watch over them and ensure that this family that began with us could last for perhaps thousands of years!"

"And just because I'm gone for a time...doesn't mean you won't find more joy and happiness in your life," she whispered, forcing a smile. "How could I take that from you? It would be selfish of me to rob you of that hope for the future!"


Last edited by Ashara on Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:18 am

He sat there feeling the child's antics and it always brought a smile to his face. He was saddened but not overly surprised that she balked at his idea. Still he could see she was at least 'considering' it, and that gave him hope. As if on cue the child gave a powerful kick.


Elric's smile lit up his eyes. "I think this one takes after me... that felt like a 'circle kick! Regular little Salk-Sirra master I think..."

"Blessing or Curse is irrelevant. My opinion changes based on the time of day, but all your arguments about what I could accomplish... What about all that WE could accomplish? We're better together than we ever were apart. Three hundred years together would be much more productive than six hundred apart..."

"Life is a gift darling, and that would be my gift to you! You wouldn't be taking anything that wasn't freely given." He couldn't help but smirk as he added, "Years ago, you agreed to share my life with me... I bet you didn't think I'd be so literal..."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:42 am

Elric's bright smile was reflected in her face as well. Between sickness and melancholy, it had been far too many days since she'd seen it...

Ashara sat and listened to her husband's reasoning, while a feeling of warmth grew in her heart. She laughed at his reminder of her promise, and forcefully pulled his mouth against hers, kissing him between chuckles.

"Do you have any idea how much I love you, Elric Everdawn?" she asked with eyes sparkling. "I know it's been a long while since that Midwinter Memory Read, but hopefully we don't need magic for you to understand that!"

She grinned and sighed gently after kissing him one more time for good measure. Every year she would tell herself that she could not love this man more, and every year he would prove her wrong. A pretty good position to be in she thought!

The priestess did however, have some concerns about this idea...

"You're right, I did agree to share your life with you, but we'd have to really investigate the risks, and I'm going to have to do some serious praying about this... Even if it is a gift freely given, my agreement to do this would decrease your life expectancy, and my entire purpose for being has been about giving life, not taking it!"

"I wonder," she thought aloud, raising an eyebrow, "what would you do if our situations were reversed? Would you take the three hundred years I would offer to you?"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:26 am

"Hmmm.... What would I do?" Elric pretended to think for a moment. "I would probably do whatever the wise Sunrise Lord thought was best!" He laughed aloud and then hushed himself before he woke the whole house. This conversation was a long time in coming, and it felt as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. The fact that she hadn't shot the idea down outright lifted his spirits.

As his laughter died down, he took on a more somber expression. "Honestly... If the situations were reversed, and you offered me years of your life for the chance to be with you longer... I'm not sure what I would do."

"I've already told you not to use the Resurrection spell on me for just that reason." A smirk appeared in the corner of his mouth. "But, I think you'd do it anyway..."

"If the situations were reversed... I think I'd agree with your suggestion of Caution. We would wait. Let Therogeon see if it's EVEN possible. There's no sense in making life altering decision if we don't even know if its possible."

"Investigate the options, Know what the risks are... Like the potions, the risks may not be just mine! I would say wait as long as we can naturally... With the potions we could put off something this drastic for another Forty years or so... I know Therogeon always wants 'more time'... But he SHOULD be ready by then!"

His eyes danced as he broke into another smile. "By then you would have done everything in your power to make sure I'd want to stay another three hundred years, and I'd probably break down and accept." He winked with the subtle promise.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:01 pm

"And of course you'd need lots of convincing, so I would have to work at persuading you at every opportunity!" She grinned mischievously, with the not nearly as subtle invitation.

"I'm worried though, Melamin... What if this scenario isn't possible? What if there is nothing that can be done to extend my life without unacceptable risks?"

A veil of thoughtfulness descended upon Ashara's face as she studied his reaction.

"I don't want this pursuit to consume what life we will have together! You wrote in a letter to me once, that if something were to happen to you, that I not let your loss become my obsession. I feel like I need to ask you the same thing... If it turns out that I only have a few decades on this plane with you, will you be able to accept it?"

"Do you think that's something you can do, Elric? I don't want depression to plague either our years together, or our years apart!"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:50 pm

He was quiet for a long time. He remembered the pain and fear when he'd written that letter. Down in the hidden caves of Kaimelithil, caught in a war between dragons and demons. Enemies using weapons that would erase your very existence. He was still surprised they had survived that adventure. Many had not...

Her words echoed his own fears that he'd spoken to Therogeon hours before. It was a dangerous path they were traveling. It would be so easy to miss what they had in the hopes for what they could have... With the memories of Kaimelithil, came thoughts of his mother.

"I don't know... Obsession seems to run in my family!" he tried to chuckle glibly, but the joke fell flat. Truth was, he was worried about what would happen to him if disaster fell. Would he become obsessed, chasing down any lead... any rumor that would bring her back to him? Would he fall into a bottle for a couple of decades and just drift away from the world? He had good friends, some who would be around for a very long time and he prayed they would bring him back before he fell too far.

"I don't know... I hope I can be that strong. I hope that the realization that I did everything I possibly could... would be enough."

"IF... there is nothing to be done or IF the price is simply to high.... I 'think' I'd be able to accept that... It'd be like the tournament a few years back in Marsember. I may have 'lost' in the strictest sense, but I still fought hard, I still tried, I just... lost. I was able to accept that. But to not even try?!?"


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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:07 am

"Pfft..." The priestess pressed her lips together in a thin line, as she thought back to that day at Morningmist Hall's spring tourney. "He just got in a few lucky shots that's all... Besides, I believe you were the one to walk away from that fight with a couple new moves! He was there to try to break you, which he didn't. You were there to learn, which you did. You win. Period."

Ashara smiled up at the warrior. What she hadn't told him was that the first time Elric's opponent hit him, she'd started casting the spell. The second time, the clouds started rolling in over the arena. The third time, the air began bristling with electricity... She was just about to Whisper to her husband to jump out of the way, when fortunately the match was called. In her blind rage, she would have loosed the lightning on that man...

That was one of the first tournaments he'd attended, shortly after returning from the Spine of the World to visit Kaber's clan. She'd been pregnant with Arturo at the time, and was feeling overprotective and very emotional. Logically she knew he was fine and that he could handle himself, but when he took a kick to the face from that monk, she started having flashbacks from some of the battles down in Dagadar. It took her a while before she could sit in the stands again after that... Even now she always took someone she knew to accompany her!

After the brief detour, her mind returned to the matter at hand.

"I know that you are strong enough to deal with anything that may come, and you have to remember that it wouldn't be a permanent separation..." She sighed slightly, concerned by the dull look in his eyes as he spoke. It was hardly certain that this 'life sharing' could be accomplished, and Ashara was afraid that he was already putting too much hope in something that was little more than a vaporous dream.

"Just in case it isn't possible for us to extend my years, I hope that you'd be able to come back to me someday with stories of all the adventures you'd been involved in over the centuries! You'll have a lot of them I'm sure, and we'll have an eternity together for you to tell them over and over again!"

Ashara smiled genuinely. That had been the future she was anticipating. She'd never thought anything else would be possible, and she honestly looked forward to their future in Elysium! What she didn't look forward to, was six hundred years in Elysium without him... The thought made her nauseous, but she guessed that Elric might have a harder time dealing with it than she would. It would be easier for her to see and hope for their future there, than it probably would be for him here on the Prime (as Dkarthius used to call it) living in the past. Not for the first time, she wondered if these yearly Memory Reads were a bad idea. Not that she didn't eagerly anticipate it all year, but perhaps they were binding them together too closely. Maybe it was a good thing to let some memories fade with time. Was she making it harder for him to let her go someday?

Pausing as these thoughts washed over her, her eyes began to glisten. She realized that the words that had been in her mind for years finally needed to be put to voice. He had to hear them, as difficult as it was for her to say, he needed to know.

"My dearest love, please listen, I think I may only have the strength to say this once... If this...idea...doesn't work out as we hope, then when I'm gone, I need you to find happiness... I want you to be open to finding someone to love and care for you in my place. Maybe you'll meet someone as long-lived as you, with whom you can share the centuries... You deserve a life of joy and my only regret is that I may not be the one to help provide you with that! If you can allow yourself, you'll find love again."

Ashara bit her lip to stave off the tears. THAT was her greatest fear... Not that he would find love again, but that six hundred years with another woman would trump the measly sixty to seventy that they would share. Would he remain faithful to Lathander through all those centuries so he could meet her in the Halls of the Morning, or would he choose another path? No matter what he chose, she simply and truly wanted him to be happy.

"I am willing to look into some options we may have that would allow us to stay together, and I want that more than I can express to you, but I can't help but think of it as a long shot. I was born a human. I have no elf, dragon, or any other species of blood in me. Well...at least I'm fairly positive... I just need to know that you will go on living life to the fullest in this place, even if I can't!"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:17 pm

Elric stiffened at her words. How did the conversation turn to THIS... Once the shock passed a shadow crossed his face and he suddenly felt very cold. HE resisted the powerful urge to just dismiss her request. The pain in her voice was too much to do that. He could tell this may be the hardest thing she'd ever asked him. He knew it was the hardest thing he'd ever listened to.

Moments passed and still the half-dragon didn't know what to say. Finally in a weak voice he stammered. "I... How can I promise..." He shook his head. "I can't even imagine there being someone else..."

"I can't... Plan to fall for someone else... You're not so easy to replace, melamin... I can't imagine ever feeling like this with someone else..."

"I will promise to try and enjoy life... but anything else... I don't know how I could." The thought saddened him again. He didn't know what the future would hold. It was 'possible' that in six hundred years he find love again, but he couldn't plan for it. He hadn't planned on falling for Ashara! He didn't want to think about it. It stirred him to know that she thought that far ahead. He hadn't. She was afraid of him growing old and alone.

"What of you my love... Will you be able to find someone else?" He forced a slight smile. "There's no guarantee that I'll be the one to outlive you! I am prone to making impulsive and poor decisions... Even with all our spells and locks of hair and other contingencies... You've said yourself, there's no guarantees."

"If anything happened to me, I'm sure there'd be a line out the door of potential suitors... Don't think I haven't seen the young men staring."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:21 am

In spite of the dour topic of conversation, she couldn't help but chuckle at his last comments. Something about voicing these concerns and facing the fears she'd carried for so long, was very freeing!

"First of all, you may be impulsive, which I happen to think is one of your more endearing traits, but you are not prone to making bad decisions! Anything that's happened in the past has brought you here, Hooreatarenamin, and I happen to believe that here is a pretty good place to be!" Ashara grinned at the new nickname and poked him in the side gently. "What was it Eldorath used to say? 'You can't enjoy the destination, and still curse the road that brought you there'."

"I'm not asking you to promise that you'll replace me... It would be easier on my heart if you didn't," she added with a whisper, "I just want you to be as happy as you can be in this life, and then hopefully if you're still willing, you'll come back to me when your time here is through..." She swallowed hard after the admission of that fear, but managed to smile up at him.

"As for me being able to find someone else? Hardly! All those 'potential suitors' would be plum out of luck I'm afraid, because I couldn't simply settle for second best, and after you, that's all anyone else would be. All of that is irrelevant though. There will be no 'after you'," she stated matter-of-factly.

"There may be no guarantees as you say, but if something were to happen to you and for some reason you didn't come back, I would just have to go find you!"

With a broad smile, Ashara reached for the book she'd been reading earlier, holding it up for him to see the title.

"I'm already planning our next vacation," she teased.

She was only 'mostly' teasing actually... The priestess did hope to visit some of the planes, but there were no plans to do so in the near future. Elric had an aversion to just about everything planar, but after some of the things they'd battled and seen, she could certainly understand it. Visiting the Plane of Radiance while working on creating his ring, had opened her eyes to entirely new and limitless possibilities, and she wanted to be able to share that with him someday.

Ashara's lips turned up in a lopsided grin as she set the book back down and turned toward him, playfully walking her fingers up her husband's chest. "There is always the possibility too, that if I'm a very, very good little priestess, that I could convince Lathander to grant me shore leave every hundred years or so. If you'd want to see me of course...," she added with a wink. "May be I'd even have wings at that point! Who's to say!"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:03 pm

Elric laughed. "Then I guarantee there will be a LOT of disappointed men who will NOT be pleased to see me again!" He pulled her in for another kiss, and whispered, "Still, their loss is my gain... It takes a special women to go searching the planes for her husband... and I think you'd do it too! That's going to go into your song" he added with a wink.

"I also have no interest in second best. The only woman I love is written in that song! If another woman can't fulfill every quality that is in that song, she'll just have to keep on moving! " His smile danced in his eyes as he reminded her,"And as you know, Verse Two is pretty specific!" He wished he'd had his Mandolin on him, now would have been a good time to break into the song. Instead he started humming it.
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Marstine?

Post  Penelope on Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:48 pm

Just outside the window, a low, disgusted groan escaped Marstine's lips when she heard Elric start humming that song. Again... It all made her physically ill to have to stand there and listen to all that sentimental tripe. What sickened her more though, was knowing that soon she'd have to play that part herself...

Sooner than she'd realized actually... The two figures now huddled outside in the frigid shadow of the Champions' house just arrived in town about an hour ago, joining her a full month earlier than expected. Drykkal and Nakgha delivered the news that their employers stepped up the schedule, expecting two of them to be in place by the first of Ches. That kind of change in plans bothered her. Preparations of this nature couldn't be rushed if they expected complete success, and they were asking her to impersonate a favored priestess straddling the divide between two theological factions! She felt ready though. Over the last three months since she'd murdered the real Marstine and taken her form, she had been able to work closely with Ashara and glean the pertinent information from her mind. Once she replaced the Sunrise Lord, then they'd be in the perfect position to take out Elric when Drykkal was ready to replace him. Therogeon would be next, but that would take slightly more planning. Tonight they were merely awaiting an opportunity to strike and begin the first phase of the plan.

Unfortunately they'd missed a perfect opportunity to catch Ashara alone, the trio having arrived shortly after Elric returned. Now it looked like they'd have to wait until the following evening, considering that attacking them together would almost certainly be suicide. One at a time. That would be the safest way.


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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:07 am

She felt the heat begin crawling up her neck at the thought of 'Verse Two'. Pretty specific indeed! Definitely not a song to be played in public...

"The men might not be pleased to see you," she said with a smirk, as he continued humming the song, "but I know the vast majority of the women in this town would be falling all over themselves to welcome you back!"

The humming ended as a look of confusion washed over his face, and Ashara smiled and pressed her lips over his to stifle the obvious question that had been forming.

After a long and leading kiss, she pulled back slowly and rested her forehead against Elric's.

"I think we've done enough talking for one night," she laughed gently. "Let me go down and put these things away, and I'll meet you back upstairs in a moment."

The priestess stood and picked up the pie and tea cups and left him with a grin before heading downstairs.

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:43 am

He just shook his head and smiled as he watched her leave. "Wings indeed..." he chuckled quietly. He rose from the couch and put the light of the lamp out and watched the shadows engulf the meeting room.

As he turned toward the bedroom something made him stop. He thought he'd heard something from the children's room. Probably nothing, but no harm in checking one more time.

Silently he slid the door open again. In the darkness he heard the noise again. a rustle and a low sniffling coming from one of the cribs. Through his infravision he could see that Me'awen wasn't as asleep as she should be.

She was on the verge of tears and Elric knew if she started crying, she'd probably wake her brothers. So without hesitation he made his over to her side and whispered soothingly, "What's the matter Aitarien?"

The toddler started at the sound of his footstep, but at the sound of his voice looked around hopefully. "Daddy???" the little voice questioned.

"I'm here..." Elric assured her.

"Where??" he heard her question. "Too dark!"

It was strange Elric realized... just how often he forgot his children couldn't see in the dark. No reason they should... very few people he associated with actually could... but the little detail seemed to slip his mind. Carefully with one hand he reached in and layed a comforting hand on her head, and with the other loosened his shirt allowing just a little of the light from his holy symbol to reveal his face.

"I'm right here little one... Now shhhhhh.... don't wake up your brothers." With a quick glance he could see the two boys were still sleeping peacefully. "Did you have a bad dream?" .

The little girl nodded "Scary things..." she admitted. "In the dark!"

"Everything's ok now...." he whispered. "There's nothing to be afraid of. Mommy and Daddy will always protect you from the scary monsters..." He leaned and whispered conspiratorially. "Wanna know a secret? The dark is scared of you too!" Me'awen giggled. A sound that always brought a smile to Elric's face.

"Now, It's time to go to sleep... " Elric started to say when he noticed that she was already starting to drift off again. She seemed to take peace from the confident sound of his voice. If Daddy said it was ok... then it was ok!

Ahh, for the world to be that black and white again...


Last edited by Elric on Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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The Assassins

Post  Penelope on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:53 am

This was it... The chance they'd hoped for!

After watching Ashara begin to head out the meeting room door, the assassin disguised as Marstine launched herself silently off the roof, falling into a roll, then coming up into a crouched position in front of her comrades.

"Now is the time," she rasped in barely a whisper, "Drykkal, you will be Marstine. Nakgha, remain as Kendra. You and I will stay in the shadows until needed. If battle is engaged take the priestess and ride hard to meet up with our contact." She shifted her gaze between the two of them. "Know my mind."

Their heads twitched, almost insect-like for a moment, before they nodded to the assassin they knew as Phaldran. It was much more efficient to communicate plans in that manner and thay had no time to waste here.

At that, both Drykkal and Phaldran's forms began shifting. Thick, hairless gray hide could be seen briefly beneath the undulating skin, as the burly, masculine form that Drykkal had been using, was reformed into the willowy, blond Marstine. Phaldran's frame grew slightly taller, and long, auburn hair sprouted from her head. A dark smile crossed the assassin's new face as she felt her abdomen swell.

It was a shame their employers preferred to keep the priestess alive, but after hearing of these 'contingencies' Elric had just spoken of and the locks of hair, perhaps they had the right of it. If the ruse was discovered earlier than hoped, than keeping her alive would prevent any unfortunate resurrections. It would also allow them to extract additional information on the absent targets. A druid, a minotaur and a pixie. What this adventuring company had done to incur the wrath of their mysterious employers, wasn't known, but no expense was being spared for their systematic elimination, and Phaldran had the suspicion that this job was only one of the plans that was to be put into motion...

"Go," she motioned to Marstine as the newly formed Ashara removed a scarlet dress from the small pack under her arm. She pulled it over her body and wrapped herself in a winter cloak, before stepping back into the darkness with the black-cloaked Nakgha.

Phaldran knew that the mace that had been altered to appear as Dawnspeaker, was strapped beneath that velvet black cloak, but it was unlikely she'd need that tonight. It would however be needed while attempting to undermine her efforts among the Lathanderian clergy.

The young girl approached the doorway, panting as if she'd run some distance to get here. Through the small window at the side of the door, she could see within the light from the priestess' holy symbol, that she was hurriedly fiddling with some dishes. Painting concern onto her features, Marstine tapped gently at the glass, not wanting to wake anyone in this house full of powerful fighters...


Last edited by Ashara on Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:53 am

Ashara was still flushed and grinning as she attempted to quickly and quietly get everything put away before heading back up to join her husband. She had just waived her hand dismissively at the mess, telling herself she'd get to it in the morning, when she heard the tapping at the window, and nearly jumped out of her skin!

The familiar face of her disciple, midwife and occasional babysitter peered in at her. Though she relaxed a bit when she saw the identity of the evening visitor, her heart sank slightly in her chest. It wasn't common for her to be called upon at these hours, because Davion usually was able to take care of any issues that would come up. Since Marstine had come here however, that meant that the remainder of their evening was most likely about to be disrupted, and she wasn't especially pleased at the prospect...

"Marstine, it's really late," she whispered after quietly opening the door, unable to help the note of exasperation in her voice. "Is something wrong?"

The young girl curtsied apologetically before speaking.

"Ms. Kendra's real sick, Sunrise Lord," Marstine whispered back in a panicked tone, "n' the Dawnlord says he ain't knowin' what to do 'bout it!"

A pang of guilt stabbed at her for her previous selfish thoughts. Another distraction, yes, but some distractions couldn't be helped.

Kendra Starbright was a very sociable, middle aged woman who owned the small trinkets shop at the town circle, and she'd kindly offered to take Marstine in until the temple and priest quarters were finished. The two women had grown rather close, and the girl's concern for her friend was written all over her face.

"Of course, of course! Let's go!" Ashara, feeling suddenly very tired as if just realizing the time, grabbed her cloak off the wall and stepped out into the cold air, shutting the door quietly behind her.

Now outside, she could see that Marstine was wearing a brown woolen winter cloak that looked like it would be large on a normal sized man, let alone a waif of a girl! Strange, but she was probably in a hurry to get Kendra some help and didn't much care whose cloak she grabbed.

With Ashara's jeweled medallion lighting the way, the young girl took off at a brisk pace, ignoring the road and heading south, presumably to save time in the journey across town. After they started out, Ashara began whispering under her breath, using the gift Therogeon had bestowed upon them at their wedding to communicate with her husband.

"Seems we've been interrupted... Marstine is taking me to Ms. Starbright now, who is apparently quite ill. Sleep, Melamin, I'll be back when I can..."

They hadn't even gotten fifty paces from the house, when Ashara finished her message and suddenly sensed a presence behind her. She spun around, but saw nothing but blackness outside of her light radius. Still...something was off. The priestess turned back to see how far away the girl had gotten, and was startled to see she was standing there just in front of her with a perplexed look on her face.

"We really should hurry, m'lady, Kendra's needin' ye as soon as possible!" She tried urging her on, but Ashara couldn't shake the feeling.

"I don't think we're alone out here, Marstine," she whispered while her eyes scanned the darkness. "Let me ask Elric if he can c---"


Last edited by Ashara on Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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The Assassins

Post  Penelope on Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:59 am

A razor sharp blade at her throat halted Ashara's tongue in mid sentence. The stinking, foul concoction that dripped from its keen edge, frightened her even more than the blade itself.

"If you so much as breathe another word," came the familiar voice that dripped with as much venom as the dagger, "I will gut you where you stand and bring the newest Everdawn brat into the world a couple months early."

The speaker stepped around into the priestess' line of sight, and reveled in the horror that shone in her eyes. The same eyes that the assassin was currently wearing. In one fluid motion, Phaldran violently ripped the blinding holy symbol off of the priestess' chest with one hand, and pocketed it as her other wrist flicked once, cutting a long, vertical gash in Ashara's neck, opening up the artery and delivering a large dose of the paralyzing poison into her bloodstream.

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:22 am

With everyone sleeping peacefully he quietly shut the door and returned to the hallway. He was a little surprised when he found their room empty. His time with Me'awen hadn't taken too long, but he didn't think Ashara had much to put away. He really thought she'd beat him back here.

Deciding to see if she needed a hand he started down the stairs when he heard the whisper. "Seems we've been interrupted... Marstine is taking me to Ms. Starbright now, who is apparently quite ill. Sleep, Melamin, I'll be back when I can..." The warrior sighed.

Despite his disappointment he felt a pang of concern. Kendra Starbright was a good woman who always doted on the children when he visited her store to pick them up a new toy. He hadn't heard she was sick, and it must be something pretty bad. Bad enough to find Ashara in the middle of the night. Bad enough that it couldn't wait till morning.

He was about to whisper back. To ask if there was anything that he could do to help, when a familiar pulse of power shot through his hand. More specifically the ring that Ashara had made for him... the one that warned when she was in danger!

He still remembered the first time she had given him the power to cast the Sacred Guardian spell. He had debated with himself what was worse... Knowing she was in trouble and not being able to help, or never knowing what had happened in the first place. He had wanted to know.

With the knowledge of her peril also came a vision. Despite the fact that this was WHY the ring was made in the first place. The ability to know if she was alright when they were seperated, it had rarely been used as such. Traditionally they faced their dangers together.

When they were together, the vision took on a unusual property. It blended the danger that he was seeing, with the vision of what threatened Ashara. Sometimes they were the same thing. Sometimes it was as if he had eyes in the back of his head. With his already exceptional senses it allowed him to react to threats that hadn't even made a sound.

When they were separated however it was a very different thing. The vision wasn't as clear. The way it overlapped with where he was... was disorientating to say the least. He could see the stairs and the dark hallway, he could see the outside of the house and two or three people. Marstine... Ashara... maybe someone else? Maybe just the two of them. Whether through lack of sleep or the lingering effects of the wine Elric lost his footing and slid the last few steps. The attack was swift and the vision lasted only a split moment, but the last thing he saw before he hit the ground was a blade slicing through his wife's throat.

"Noooo.... " he whispered in shock. All the fears of the night came crashing back. He leapt to his feet and headed for the door. The vision was disorienting, but he knew they were outside. He knew they weren't far either. Acting purely on instinct, he found himself beside the cabinet he'd relieved of the Feywine bottle so many hours ago. This time he grabbed a different bottle. A more valuable one. They didn't keep many healing potions in the house. With Ashara's ability to heal they were hardly necessary. Still they had a few and this was a strong one.

As his hand clasped the bottle and he ran into the night, a small part of him realized the futility of the potion. The blade he'd seen had cut deep. It was killing blow. Done by someone who knew what they were doing. For years now he'd forgone the 'Regenerative Heal' spells. At least for everyday use. It just wasn't practical. It was also a little hypocritical. He taught that pain was a lesson, and then to watch his own disappear? It was a powerful spell, and that power was better spent elsewhere.

Still, he used to take comfort knowing she still used it. USED to. It wasn't a very reliable spell. The slightest hit or nick could activate it. Deep down he knew he'd be too late if she needed the potion. He prayed to Lathander, Tymora, and every other relevant god that he'd be in time...

And that she hadn't hurt herself already today.
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Therogeon

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:27 pm

Even though it was late, Therogeon wasn't asleep. His talk with Elric had peaked his curiosity and even now he was in his library looking up what information he had on dragons. While his library was extensive, it was not the most filled. The only information he could find on half-dragons was that they existed. With a grimace the wizard tossed that book aside muttering "well, I could have told you that!"

The elven metamage had no idea how long he'd been pouring over his tomes when he first felt the vibrations of a spell effect going off. In a town like this, there was always (or nearly so) a spell going off and each person had a different 'feeling' to them when they cast. This allowed the spellweilder to know who was casting a spell provided he had met them in person. A wandering wizard arriving in Impresk for the first time and casting a spell would be unknown to him though any time in the future that same wizard cast a spell, the 'feeling' would be the same, so while Therogeon would not know who the caster was he would know that the person had cast spells in town before. Items however had an entirely different feeling and there was no way to tell 'who' was using the item only that one had been used. And of course the aproximate location of the effect. This feeling was one that was very familiar, it was Ashara (she was up early...or was it late?) and was whispering to Elric.

Therogeon smiled as he remembered the day of their wedding and how her eyes sparkled with happines and silver tears as he bestowed that ability on them...or maybe it was it was his eyes that held the tears...ahh, who knew. There was so much crying that day that it was possible that both of them had been crying. The wizard smiled as he turned to pick up another book and suddenly stopped.

Sacred Guardian...from an item and that could only mean that Elric or Ashara was in trouble. The feeling came from the aproximate direction and distance of their house and there was no mistaking the feeling of that spell.

With a haste that spilled numerous books and sent Calim hurrying into a corner, Therogeon reached a mirror in his library. Harder than he intended, his open palm found a certain rune on the edge of the mirror. As the glass rocked he nearly shouted, "Elric". Quickly the surface of the mirror shifted and it showed him his long time friend grabbing a potion in haste and hurrying out the door. So it was his sister who was in trouble...again the nearly shouted command of, "Ashara" and again the scene in the mirror shifted.

There she was laying on the ground having been cut in the neck by Ashara.....wait. Marstine and Ashara were standing over Ashara who was laying on the ground bleeding. Shapeshifters...that wasn't good. Not many things worried Therogeon anymore, but shapeshifters presented different problems. The wizards hand reached into his pocket and grasped the ring therein sending an urgent and short message to Almara, "My love, trouble." Then his hand was slipping a different ring on his finger even as his other hand closed around his staff 'Tru'Maris'. With a word he activated one of the staff's powers enabling him to be gifted with powerfull magical sight that would peirce any but the most powerfull illusion and should dispell, to his eyes at least, the false forms that the shapeshifters wore. A half second later the wizard spoke another command word and activated another function of the staff, dissappearing from the tower and reappearing a short distance from the scene in the mirror.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:44 pm

Ashara saw…herself…step into view… Her own body holding the knife to her throat! It was the same face she’d seen in the mirror at the Land Turtle in Port Kir before heading out into the night searching for blood. In the shock of it, the only thought her mind could solidify around, was the terrifying idea that the dark priestess that had haunted her dreams for years, had come back to finish the job. To destroy the final vestiges of good in her so that evil might have free reign…

Whether from shock or exhaustion or horror, she didn’t hear the words that the hate-twisted face spoke to her, nor did she feel the sharp blade slice open her neck. All she could think about was the danger this imposter would pose to her children, to Elric and to their friends!

Warm blood ran down her chest, soaking the crimson dress she wore and matting her long hair against her body. She could feel the flesh knitting back together as the Regeneration did its work, but such quick blood loss sapped the strength from her and she collapsed to her knees. Her lips tried to form words. She tried to force breath from her body to whisper to her husband, to warn him of the danger, but already the poison was numbing her throat.

In the not so distant past, Ashara had felt the power of the toxins within the fiend Zabos’ bite, but he’d bitten her in the shoulder through her mithril armor, and the she was able to shake off its effects. This time, though the poison was weaker, so very much more of it was now coursing through her veins.

The paralyzing agent stole what remaining control she had over her limbs, and the priestess fell over on her side. Wide, unfocused eyes stared blankly across the field, as her cheek struck the frozen ground.

‘Fight it!’ She demanded of her uncooperative body, but there was just so much poison…

At that moment, Elric’s panicked whisper drifted into her ear.

”Ashara! I’m coming! Please, hold on…”


Last edited by Ashara on Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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The Assassins

Post  Penelope on Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:00 pm

Phaldran smiled as her twin flopped to the ground. She had known Ashara used the Regenerative Heal spell, foolishly not keeping the fact a secret, and while she hadn’t needed to cut her so deeply, it felt very satisfying.

Nakgha was already bringing over the horse they’d tied up at an old elm tree on the nearby Featherdawn property. Not a powerful animal, but a fast one. When Drykkal alerted her to the partially hidden light approaching them from the direction of the Champions’ house, she was glad of their choice. Phaldran carefully pulled the onyx chain from around Ashara's neck and removed the dragonbone ring from her finger. as the horse came to a quick stop next to them.

The dark-cloaked figure that had disguised herself as Kendra had seen the approaching threat as well, and though she couldn’t make out whom it was, the identity could be easily guessed… Not good…

Phaldran hoisted Ashara’s body onto her shoulder and handed her off to Nakgha, who pulled the immobilized priestess onto the horse to sit astride it in front of her.

“When the wound at her neck is closed,” the false Ashara instructed, “break her fingers so she won’t give you trouble. Now ride hard, avoid the roads!”

Nakgha enveloped the additional rider in her cloak with her, and nodded once, kicking the horse into a leap before it charged off to the south, into the swallowing blackness.

Moving quickly, the assassin pulled the jeweled medallion from her pocket, and tied it around her neck. How anyone had known they were out there, she couldn’t tell. They had been absolutely silent! The light was moving towards them quickly though, and she could just now make out the half-elven features of her new husband. He had been slightly drunk when she was watching him earlier. Perhaps she could use that to her advantage.

Time to play the part…

With easy confidence, Phaldran approached Elric as he ran up.

“Did you miss me already, Melamin?” She questioned with a brilliant smile, and voice laden with that same sickening sweetness that the true Ashara always used when she spoke with him. “It shouldn’t take long to resolve Ms. Starbright’s issue, then I promise I’ll be back straight away!”


Last edited by Ashara on Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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