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A New Sunrise

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A New Sunrise

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:26 am

Ollimer stood on the beach south of town, looking at the silhouette of the shrine out on the point that was, slowly, but surely turning into a temple. She had done much here, perhaps more than she would know. He smiled to himself. No, not perhaps. Those under command often did not know the weight of what was required of them. Theirs is but to do. And she had done.

Was their more to do? Always. But what was to be done with limited resources? Ollimer smiled again, not his choice, not hers. The solars, through experience and careful planning became more than mere mortals, but still held themselves short of the gods, becoming the champions of good, the generals war against the tide of evil. The gods were limited to their portfolios, but the solars could agree on nearly everything, which made them nearly invincible. Though vastly outnumbered, they were more than a match for any squad of demons. And they had sent him here.

Sometimes, it did not make any sense of what he was to do, until he could look back at it. Then he would know that following was the right choice. Even when it seemed like the wrong time, or the wrong place, it always ended up right. This he had learned through experience, and a little faith.

He walked up the sand toward the end of the plain that bordered the beach, creating a small ridge. As he reached the grass, a small ferret waited for him among the long blades of grass. He extended his hand to the creature who sniffed his finger and rose up to greet him with a playful bite. With his other hand, he brought a small scroll up and attached it by a string to the tube rat.

"Go find her, my friend. Give her this message. It is time."
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:15 am

The metallic rattle of the paladin's scarlet platemail could barely be heard over the din of construction going on in the refugee camps. Many of these friendly folk nodded in her direction, not that they knew her specifically, though some likely remembered, but they recognized and appreciated the one whom she served.

Dawnlord Redleaf had done an amazing job assisting these people who'd been driven from their homes. He provided them lumber and tools to build new sturdy shelters. Also, supplies that they might again take up their trades and start earning a living for themselves and their families. Lady Darya could see the hope on their faces. Hope for a new life in this new place. Hope that whatever horrors of war they'd left behind them were just that. Behind them. They were quickly becoming productive potential citizens of Turelve. Because of the Dawnlord's wisdom, it wasn't hard to imagine that soon the city's walls would extend around this new ward.

Perhaps around a new temple!

With a warm smile, the young woman adjusted the rope over her shoulder from which hung the holy lantern, and picked up her pace a bit. She was eager to see the progress that had been made there, and even more excited to see the Dawnlord himself. The communication barrier between herself and the head priest was eased a bit with the new Awakened, Kadeth, and she loved seeing that the enthusiasm for the future heard in the man's voice was mirrored ten-fold in the saurial's eyes. At least in this little corner of the city, Turelve was filled with hope and promise.

It was through this cacophony of sound...armor rattling, sawing wood, hawking of wares, hammers on anvils, the general chorus of industrious life... It was through all of it that Darya heard a single squeak...

Stopping her in her tracks.

The symphony of sound was immediately drowned out by the blood pounding in her ears, and she turned toward the tiny noise afraid it would simply be a mouse or rat of some sort, though such a creature traipsing about in the middle of the busy path in broad daylight wouldn't make much sense. It wasn't a mouse nor a rat however, and when she saw the long, sleek body of the ferret standing up on its haunches looking at her, the paladin emitted a tiny squeak of her own.

Darya kelt down and the furry messenger scampered over and hopped up on her plated knee.

"I've been waiting for you a long while, little one," she whispered, still in disbelief. She scratched his soft head with one hand as she pulled out a bit of dried meat from her rations and offered it to him. After a cursory sniff, the ferret snatched it into his hands and began chawing on it merrily, while Darya took the opportunity to gently untie the tiny scroll around his neck.

Her hands trembled and her heart threatened to beat clean out of the plate mail as she carefully unrolled the scroll.

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:20 am

The scroll simply read in perfectly formed, flowing letters
Meet me south of town along the beach. Settle your affairs before you come.

The tube rat finished his meat while the stunned paladin read the message, and bounded off into the crowd. After a few minutes of nearly getting stepped on, finding interesting things to sniff, and being chased by some small children, he escaped the burgeoning town itself and made his way through the grass of the plain. Some time later, after a snack of a juicy caterpillar, a narrow escape from a hawk, and the exploration of hare's tunnel, he made his way back to the beach where Ollimer was waiting.

"You found her then?" He smiled. "Good." He rewarded the ferret with a handful of berries. He was looking forward to seeing her again, both of them actually. He had already hand picked some of his favorites for this next mission as declared by the solars, and these were the last of them. The anticipation of what they were about to do was making him a bit nervous, but excited. If all things went well, promotion would not be too far away for him.

He had never thought he would get as far as an astral, but lately, he had been more ambitious, more daring, more courageous, and it started to show in his assignments. In the past couple months, he had completed three missions flawlessly, and some in record time. He had even wondered about the change in himself, due to how laid back he usually was. He now had something to look forward to.

He walked down toward the waves, stopping well short of them and settled down in the warm sand to wait, although it was not too long until he was pacing again. He seemed very energetic for this time of the day. Bulentain was right. This arrangement was more for his own benefit than hers. But it was not as if she did not get anything out of the deal.

The difference between good and evil in the matter of duty was the mutual benefit of those serving and those in charge as opposed to the advancement of those in power. The difference between law and chaos in the same matter was that reward come to those who are worthy, instead of merely random. He knew that the powers that be were placing on both of them a test, to determine their worth. He would not fail that test. And if she did not fail either, something very good could happen.

He shook the sand off of his clothes and stared up at the sky. His white teeth gleaming as he took a deep breath of the sea air. Something very good indeed.
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:37 am

To The Fellowship of the Opposing Eight Signs,

I am being set upon a new path. The same servant of Lathander that sent me on the mission to find the Lantern and Szeraal, now calls me to a new mission and one that I don't believe I will be returning from. At least not to this place.

While I greatly desire to see these matters in Haranshire brought to a close, that decision is not mine to make. I must serve where and when I'm sent, taking solace in the knowledge that if my departure would put our mission at too great a risk, that I would not be pulled away.

Continue in courage. I will likewise continue in my prayers for our...for your success against this great evil.

Lady Darya Nishan

Inside of the letter, she folded her map of the Haranshire area and the key to the party's chest that she'd been entrusted to carry. Scarlet dripped on the parchment and pressing her ring into the heated wax, Darya affixed her seal. A lighthouse silhouetted by the breaking dawn.

Another letter was written to be sent to Dawnmaster Alokkair at the Tower explaining the situation, before she said her goodbyes to Dawnlord Redleaf and Kadeth. They would see to it that the Fellowship received the note by the end of the day. She also gave her tithe and then some, leaving herself with only a few gold with which to meet her meager needs and the not so meager appetites of her bonded behir.

Her affairs settled as requested, Lady Darya whistled for Szeraal who left his patch of black sand immediately (though with a hint of reluctance), climbed atop him and set off to the south leaving the shrine, Turelve and her companions behind them.

Conflicting emotions crashed together in a maelstrom of anticipation and anxiety. As frustrated as she was at being sent elsewhere before their work in the area was through, she couldn't deny her excitement to discover this new mission, assuming that the matter must be of some importance to pull her from her current assignment. Her excitement couldn't be attributed only to receiving this new mission however...

The ride south was swift and silent thanks to her scaly friend, and all the while, Darya gave her palpitating heart a stern talking to. She wasn't going to stutter when addressing him. She wasn't going to faint. The blushing she could do little about, but she hoped that that would be the extent at which she would embarrass herself in front of the paragon of virtue that had sent for her. Ollimer was here on business. All the lies that her mind had been trying to convince her of these last few months were utter impossibilities. He wasn't even mortal! Any interest he might have in her had to be professional alone, and therefore the young woman resolved to focus on this new duty she was about to receive. Yep, focus only on her duty...

Well, all the good intentions in the world couldn't have helped her the moment she saw the golden man standing there upon the beach. It was by the grace of the Morninglord alone that Ollimer was facing away from her as she dismounted and moved within a few paces of him.

Taking a knee before him, a heat that couldn't be attributed to simply the season, flooded through her. "My lord, I've come at your request," Darya managed to utter with head bowed. The tiniest scent of spring could be detected upon the breeze that blew across her flushed features then and with a quick intake of breath and a slight waiver in her voice she added, "It is...wonderful to see you again..."

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:08 pm

The sound of the waves masked the sound of their approach until the last minute. A slight increase in heart rate happened when he finally heard them arrive. He was slightly perplexed at his physical reaction because he couldn't recall the last time he was startled. He turned to find that his quarry had knelt in the sand, the red plate mail shining in the sun, still appearing feminine underneath all that metal.

"My lord, I've come at your request," Darya managed to utter with head bowed.

"It is...wonderful to see you again..."
"Rise, Milady." O said regally. He crouched down and caught her chin with his finger and stood her up straight to look into his smiling face before adding with a twinge of boyish charm, "It is good to see you as well." He left his finger on the underside of her chin for a moment, then reclaimed his wayward digit by putting his hand in his pocket.

He continued on in a relaxed fashion that seemed quite out of place in regards to the news he brought. "It seems as if there is a spillover of the Blood War into the Prime Material. Throughout the Eastern Sharr, there have been reports of increased Devilic activity, and we just received word from an escapee about some of the extent to which the enemy has already infiltrated some of the command structures of the evil organizations in this area.

"Our mission is to discover the headquarters of this faction and bring it to ruin or retreat and thus disallow the escalation of the power of evil using planar allies. In short, since they brought in creatures from the lower planes, I can now directly interfere in their plans." He smiled at her, obviously pleased.

"There will be room for Szeraal and Lavendolyn to come with of course, if they are willing. We might want to pick up another ally or two along the way, but we should leave your old company alone for what they are doing is still important.

"Do you have any questions?" He asked simply, and with a hint of concern due to the fact that she seemed bothered about something.

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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:25 am

The soft skin beneath her chin still burned from his simple touch. Her throat suddenly parched and her faced flushed as if the young woman had been standing too near the sun.

Focus only on her duty... Right... Maybe if his eyes weren't the exact same shade of deep blue as the summer sky. Maybe if his dimples weren't JUST asymetrical enough to hold her gaze transfixed for longer than was appropriate. And by the Dawn his smile!

It was only the rapidity with which Ollimer got down to the business at hand, that saved her from any further embarassment...and gawking...

After he'd given the quick rundown of the mission, Darya's mind spun with questions. Blood war? She knew of the Shaar of course... From his comments it seemed like the mission would have something to do with devils, and she'd heard a little of the lawful spawn of evil from the Nine Hells... NOT that she'd ever encountered one of course! Though the prospect was enticing...

Lavendolyn? He could only be referring to the being that dwelt within...or perhaps even existed as the Lantern she'd retrieved on the last mission he'd sent her on. Ollimer's minor slip of the tongue when they'd last seen each other had revealed the first part of the feminine sounding name.

The paladin's hand drifted to the Lantern slung over her shoulder as she lifted her eyes to respond.

"Our mission?" She chanced, not knowing which of her questions to begin with, and not wanting to start with the one she wanted to ask the most desperately... "We will be working on this together?" The very idea made Darya want to dance for joy and vomit at the same time, and the corners of her lips twitched up into the tiniest of smiles.

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:03 am

"Our mission?" ... "We will be working on this together?"
"Why, yes!" He said with a bit of enthusiasm. "But it won't be all roses, I'm afraid. First of all, I we are going to have to split up with Szeraal and meet up with him later. We are first going to the White Rocks, and it would take much too long for him to swim there. I would have great difficulty teleporting him there, so..." He turned to address the Behir.

"I need you to swim up river, but take the southern fork, called the Liontongue. Up in the headwaters of that stream, there is a Young White Dragon Mage that I need you and Lady Darya to kill. It has some treasure that will be quite useful for the church, as well as yourselves in what you are about to do. I have to take her for a few days, but we will meet you upstream."

Szeraal looked really happy when O mentioned the whereabouts of a dragon for him to kill, but looked sternly at the mysterious man when he mentioned borrowing his master. He got close, bowed his nose down and got his eyes within inches of the Deva's face as if to say, "You better take good care of her and return her as soon as possible or else." To this, Szeraal received a pat on the nose and a smile at which the great lizard backed off slightly but still regarded Ollimer with suspicion.

"There is a good reason I needed to get you first before I went gathering more information concerning the devils in the area," O continued in Darya's direction as a change of subject. "There is a diviner who lives in a tower on the White Rocks, who is a good man, but slightly unhelpful when having to deal with requests. He is just too used to getting his own way. With you along, we stand a much better chance of convincing him to lend a hand."

Ollimer had began talking directly toward Darya, but finding her distracting had moved his eyes toward the landscape. By the time he finished his last diatribe, he turned back to her suddenly, "Have I been going to fast? Perhaps we should take a breather. What do you think?"
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:19 pm

"A breather... Yes, perhaps for just a moment?"

Darya leaned back onto Szeraal's neck, using his comforting presence to calm her nerves. "I'm afraid you have me at somewhat of a disadvantage, my lord," she began softly, gently stroking the underside of the behir's massive jaw, to which he grumbled contentedly, the fourth leg on his left side thumping rhythmically on the ground. "I...I wasn't expecting to see you here today, let alone discover that I should be brushing up on my devil lore!" The paladin smiled into the face of the sun as one who'd spent months without its warming rays. And indeed...she had, in this particular sense at least.

"I believe I understand the purpose for this mission as you've explained it, but before I bombard you with the questions of what and who and how and where, maybe I could use this breather to ask you a question of a more...personal nature before we begin delving more deeply into the details..."

She swallowed audibly before continuing. "While it is hardly my place question... As if I would ever have justification to ask anything of you, O... But, there...there is one thing," she stuttered, trying desperately to stall now that she'd gone too far to turn back. "Since you left me last, I've spoken with my companions who were graced with your presence for much longer than I, and I also had the opportunity to speak Eltarius, a mage of the tower in Turelve who you've apparently met before."

The crimson flush deepened at the realization that she had just effectively told Ollimer she'd been gathering information on him...

"Um yes, well... I guess that until recently, I was under the impression that you are...human..." Darya winced at the awkwardness of the comment, but forced herself to meet his gaze. She had a sinking feeling that she wouldn't really want to know the answer to this question, but she was driven to know the reality of it. To hear it from his lips.

"I understand that in the interest of not interfering, perhaps you weren't able to divulge the whole truth of your identity before, but now...since we'll be traveling together for a time and now that you are able to directly interfere as you say, maybe you would be willing to...tell me who you are... If you're mortal..."

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:45 pm

As Darya began her long, drawn out, apologetic question, Ollimer felt a twinge of apprehension. He suddenly realized that the last few assignments he had been on were solo ventures or with fully trained and capable Agathinon lieutenants. He was woefully unprepared to answer the emotional curiosity of the enchanting paladin casually leaning on one of the more deadly beasts native to this prime. Everything about her seemed to collaborate to distract him from the task at hand.

He smiled defensively to buy a few seconds time. It seemed to work.

"Let me say this." He began, looking into her grey eyes filled with wonder, and his heart left him for just a moment. That moment became quite suspended, as neither of them wanted to disturb such a delicate and beautiful thing. And Ollimer continued, as he could no longer believe the moment to be safe hanging out there in the open, as he willed it into form with his mind, and tucked it away like a treasure hidden under the surface, to be brought out and marveled at when no one was looking.

"I am not from this world, no. And as far as me being mortal, I assure you that I can certainly be killed. I have seen far too many of my fellows fall, never to rise again, to believe that I have some claim on immortality." He brushed the hair out of his eyes and seemed a bit distant for a few seconds.

He resumed his dialogue with slight sigh acompanied by a sudden involuntary smile. "As far as how I view you, you should know that everyone where I come from considers Paladins and Priests of Lathander as brothers-in-arms, capable and necessary in the fight against evil, often capable of greater things than we can accomplish depending a good measure on faith and devotion. Both of which you have a fair amount of, milady."

He looked down at his clothing to regard himself as he spoke his next words. "As far as who I am, I claim to be none other than what I am. Some of me is hidden, for protection, but there is always more to a person than just what one sees." He looked back up into those stormy eyes. "My purpose, is very similar to yours. My people, are very much like yours. My name requires no honorific and I require little. The most descriptive thing I can tell you about me is that you and I will go into the heart of the beast, like an arrow, destroying its will and strength, and we will both emerge on the far end stronger than we entered. I will not allow us to fail."
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:17 am

"Fool!" She screamed internally, berating herself for asking the question which she knew she had no place in asking.

Ollimer's veiled response hinted at everything while revealing nothing. He wouldn't have lied to her, that went without saying, and while she believed he'd honestly stated that he needed to keep certain things about himself hidden 'for protection', that knowledge wasn't enough to prevent the disappointment from clouding her features and dulling her eyes. He'd seemed uncomfortable with the question, and his business-like demeanor shamed the young woman.

It had been so long with no word and no sign of him. She'd lived off the same meager scrap of beautiful delusion since he'd left, that maybe there had been something there... How silly of her to believe such a thing could be possible, even if he was from this place!

Her youthful heart fractured at the loss of that fragile splinter of hope that she'd so cherished, but before she was able to register the pain of it, Darya quickly patched the wound with the poultices of service and of duty. The bandage wouldn't hold forever, but it would be enough for now. It would have to be. There was a new mission that had been issued and she would meet that challenge in order to prove her worth to all of them...her deity, her order, her beloved, as he would ever be...and to herself. She would prove herself a capable and necessary sister-in-arms...

Perhaps it would be difficult at times to maintain the proper focus with the object of her affection so very close, but the young paladin realized that she would much rather be tortured by his presence than tortured at the lack of it.

Slowly, she raised her eyes from the sand to meet the twin sapphire orbs that were peering back at her. This time her gaze did not waver, and any despair that she might be harboring was thickly cloaked with determination.

"As you have said, my lord, so let it be." Darya stood up straight as she spoke, touching her hand to her opposite shoulder and bowing slightly at the waist. "We will not fail in this endeavor.

"Thank you for that kind indulgence, allowing me a moment to focus my thoughts, but I believe I've no further need of hesitation. Perhaps it might be best get back to the more appropriate questions at hand," she stated with a gentle smile that belied the chaotic churning in her belly.

"Where exactly is White Rocks, and how might I aid you in convincing this Diviner to be more...helpful?"

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:57 pm

Ollimer could tell that she was dissatisfied with his answer. The rules were actually pretty nebulous when it came to displaying who he was to mortals. There were some good guidelines and rules of thumb, but they were not anywhere near as strict as the Eladrin. They had to stay in Elysium for a hundred years if they reveal their identity. Seeing that beautiful face fall in disappointment made him want to immediately take back what he said, display his true self and perhaps even sweep her up into his arms for a quick flight as the sun went down over the water displaying its brilliant hues as the whole world was reminded of the glorious dawn that Lathander provided each morning.

But then again, maybe that would not have satisfied her either. It was hard to tell what women wanted, because they rarely knew themselves. She was right, in that another topic of conversation would help ease the tension. O followed her lead and began to tell her about the diviner. "The White Rocks are a few small islands formed when an earthquake moved a large coral reef up out of the sea. Wizards are quite fond of finding out of the way places to build their towers, and this one is no exception.

"Jarlbur, for that is his name, is an elderly man who likes to keep an eye on things. He has given generously to the Church of Lanthander on occasion, mostly due to his late wife, who was a cleric of the Dawnlord where they had met during his adventuring days. She is gone now, but she was considered quite a beauty when she was younger." Ollimer paused and wondered if she would catch the compliment inherent in what he was about to say.

"Your help will be three-fold. First of all, your mother is a diviner herself, though not as powerful as Jarlbur, and he might have heard of her, and therefore you. A familiar face is useful for softening one's attitude. Secondly, we know he has a soft spot for pretty dawnmaidens, so that would also work in our favor. Thirdly, your enthusiasm for me and our mission is terribly useful. It is only through our connection that my request for information might be heard. I chose you to help me due to your family connections, beauty and sincerity most of all."

Ollimer reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Also, you should not hold anything back when you speak to him. As you well know, there are no secrets around a diviner."
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:21 pm

Any tension that may have lifted while discussing the mission, fell back upon her tenfold when she felt the weight of his hand on her shoulder.

Darya was surprised at the mention of her mother. Perhaps she shouldn't have been, but that Ollimer would know who Lady Leila Nishan was took her slightly aback. He knew so much more about her than she knew of him and in spite of how desperately she wished to learn more, he wasn't exactly forthcoming. Somehow that mystery made him all the more alluring... The Inquisitor was always up for a good investigation, and while she had thought the direct approach with this elusive man might have been best, it seemed that she'd have to glean her information through observation and careful study. A study which she was more than willing to put her efforts into!

"No secrets? Not even yours?" She smiled, trying to focus on O's words and not the distracting nearness of him... And the fact that he apparently thought her beautiful...and sincere...and that he recognized her 'enthusiasm' for him...

Should it be this warm out this late in the afternoon??

"My lady mother once told me that a good diviner would have you believe him omniscient, when in truth his sight is limited. A great diviner would have you believe his sight is limited in order to put your mind more at ease, and therefore less likely to adequately guard your secrets. I am eager to learn which category Jarlbur fits into!" A grin turned up the corners of her mouth, and she returned to the matter at hand, offering Ollimer a slight bow of her head. "As you request, I will hold nothing back from the man. I have nothing to hide...

"If I might have just a moment to say goodbye to Szeraal and then I will be ready to depart whenever you desire."

It was almost painful when he withdrew his hand from her shoulder to grant her request, but at least this time he wouldn't be walking off into the woods... She'd be going with him!

Darya moved over to the great scaly beast with a sad smile on her face, as she wrapped her arms around his neck. "I'll see you in a few days, my friend, and then we'll get a chance to sink tooth and claw and morningstar into a dragon!"

The behir raised up onto his back eight legs, lifting the paladin in the air while gently engulfing her with his four front claws. As excited as he was at the prospect of feeding on dragon... And he was! He was concerned about letting his charge out of his sight.

"Don't worry, Szeraal," she chuckled, hearing the worried growl that rumbled deep in his throat, "I'll be fine! Now you take care of yourself while we're gone and make sure you don't go slaying any dragons without us! No fair taking all the fun," Darya laughed, hugging him all the more tightly.

It was with some sadness that she watched the lizard slip into the golden water of the bay and swim off to the north, but as she assured him, it would only be a few days and they'd be reunited. Even bonded behirs needed a vacation now and then!

She turned back to face Ollimer, and summoning every ounce of boldness that always seemed to flee at his presence, Darya stepped forward within inches of the radiant man. Close enough to feel the warmth of him and smell the sweet scent of spring that she remembered so well. Close enough to tie her stomach into knots and turn her legs to jelly...

"I'm ready to see what I can do about charming your diviner friend into a more helpful state of mind," she smiled nervously. Looking up at him, the memory of the last time she'd travelled with Ollimer flooded her thoughts and senses and started her hands trembling.

"Will you require that I close my eyes again?"

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:40 pm


"No secrets? Not even yours?"

Ollimer smiled and raised up his eyebrows just a bit, not saying a word. He didn't need to do that. She seemed better with the change of subject and a little playful banter. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad after all. It was kind of mesmerizing to watch her lips move. They were naturally rosy, and they had a bit of shine to them. Before long he realized she had asked him a question about Szeraal, and he was startled and embarrassed enough to withdraw his hand from her shoulder. He was about to try to explain his distraction, when she smiled and turned around to go talk to the great lizard, her hair spread out and caught the sun just right and he was again, momentarily dazed.

He looked over toward the setting sun. Even the prime had its time of beauty. It reminded him of home actually, which was also slightly disconcerting. The lighting was probably why he was distracted. As the sun set in the west, its light came under the clouds and lit up the whole sky in hues of pink and purple. No wonder the sight amazed him so.

When he turned back around Szeraal was swimming off on his crusade to fight the dragon, and there she was. Right there. Looking up at him with those eyes filled with hope and expectation. Instinctively he reached out his hand again, and caught her by the back of the elbow. Perpendicular to the rays of the setting sun, their forms made a sillouette against the backdrop that was the envy of every painter in their hopes to recapture moments like these.

Having rationalized his emotions, O was handling her nearness with a stoic grace. He glanced back over her shoulder toward the disappearing form of he mount and began to speak. "It is good you sent him on his way, because he can't possibly get to that destination before five days have passed, and our errand seems like it will be shorter than that. And I apologize for not making this clear before now, but we don't leave until morning."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:08 am

Darya could have sworn her face had been lit afire... For a moment she thought to pull back from him, but his feather-light touch at the back of her elbow held her as securely as if her feet had been planted into the ground.

"Oh! Tomorrow we leave! Of course... Um, please forgive my forward behavior, my lord, I simply assumed that... You know... like the last time we... When you had to..."

With a soft sigh and a self depricating chuckle, the paladin shook her head and ran her free hand through her hair. Travelling with this man was going to be incredibly difficult if she couldn't get a handle on her nerves! Sure, she didn't even bat an eye at the prospect of battling a dragon with Szeraal, but there was just something about Ollimer that stripped her of her usual confidence. It was a dilemma... One she hoped could be addressed with her preferred method of openness and honesty. Her journal, the 'other' journal, of unsent letters that helped her through many dark nights over these last couple of months, was burning a hole in her pack. No reason for that much openness! She shuddered at the thought of him finding those...

Darya shut her eyes a moment and took a deep breath before looking back up into Ollimer's unreadable and divinely handsome face.

"It must be obvious that I find you terribly distracting," she admitted quickly before she had a chance to think better of it, "but I'm sure you get that a lot... I assure you I will find my focus, O, and that you've no need to worry about my ability to see our mission through to it's inevitably glorious end!"

The paladin smiled at that and glanced over to the resplendant sun that was sinking into the bay. "Perhaps with the extra time we have you could tell me what you know of this dragon mage, or if you'd rather, I wouldn't be completely averse to hearing tales of your home," she grinned.

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:47 am

"Well, a focus on the mission would be useful." O said playfully and with his winning smile. He used her elbow to turn her toward his things that lay in a pile a little ways up the beach. "Though I should be more forthcoming about that especially so we can avoid future oversights. Like leaving your bedroll with Szeraal." He casually pointed back toward the north with his thumb, but never took his eyes off of the blushing paladin before him. "Don't worry, though, You can use mine."

He kept on going with his next sentence, cutting off any possible objections to what he felt was a semi generous offer. Sleeping on the beach wasn't too bad though, as long as the weather was good, besides, it was the chivalrous thing to do.

"The Dragon mage is means to an end. I found out about her a few years ago before I was promoted, and kept it filed away for a time such as this. The thing is your weapons, although magical, won't be effective against the stronger devils. We need something better. Dragon hordes are especially good for this. Either we will find something you can use, or we will have the funds available to convince new wizard contacts to help us in that endeavor." He pulled his bedroll out of his pack and started to roll it out on the sand for her.

"It is also on the way to our destination, I think at least for Szeraal. If I knew exactly where the devils were holed up, we wouldn't need to go see a diviner. Speaking of, we are going to have to make a quick stop first, down in Halruaa. It is pretty rude and dangerous to drop in on a wizard uninvited, and we need to send him a message first. Magical messaging is cheap there, and I know a Behir breeder who would love to meet you."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:14 pm

The paladin, suddenly distracted from her embarrassment, lifted her eyebrows in surprise at the comment. "Behir breeding? In Halruaa?" When Szeraal had been freed from his stony prison, there had been a corpse at his side whose robes bore the heraldry of a city in Halruaa. Presumably a wizard that had been her mount's former master. It was from that mage's severed hand, retrieved from the belly of a dracolisk, that Darya had acquired the ring of immunity to electricity that allowed her to touch the behir. But...breeding them!? She wondered how dangerous an occupation that would be! And just how many behir served as mounts for mages...

"Yes, I think I would very much like to speak with one of these breeders myself! I'm sure I could learn a lot about what to expect as Szeraal grows, and how to better care for him, though he really is quite self sufficient," she smiled wistfully, already feeling the absence of her scaly friend. It was silly of her to leave her bedroll strapped to the back of his saddle like that, but she hadn't actually used it since the Fellowship had first descended into the tunnels beneath the ruined bandit keep. Since that time, when she wasn't sleeping at an inn somewhere, she was sleeping beside Szeraal, tucked in between a few of his legs where they could share each other's warmth.

Darya was still blushing at the awkwardness of the situation as Ollimer finished smoothing out the bedroll. An awkwardness only in her own mind apparently as he seemed not bothered by it in the slightest! It wasn't the most terrible oversight she could have made she thought, wondering (as she blushed even more fiercely) if the blankets would at all smell like him. By the Dawn she hoped so...

"If you like," she began, after setting down her pack and shield next to the bedding, "I'd be happy to take the first hours of the watch so you might be the one to see the night slowly giving way to the Dawn... It seems only right, since you've been generous enough to let me borrow your bedroll."

It's not like she'd be able to sleep right away anyway... Not with him so close! At the thought, Darya could feel a single bead of sweat slide down her temple.

Why was it so blasted HOT out this evening?!?

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:17 pm

Ollimer seemed slightly puzzled. "Watch... watch, oh! That's right. You don't want to sleep at the same time because you are worried something might sneak up on us in our sleep. You don't need to worry about that, because I am a real light sleeper. Also, I have made some friends with some of the nearby nocturnal animals who will alert me if anything seems unusual tonight."

He sat down on the sand next to the bedroll. The sun had sailed below the horizon, but the sky was still rippling from the wake of the sun. O did not feel like sleeping yet, not with so much beauty still around him. He wanted to say something, but he was a bit at a loss. Five days until the dragon, then whatever travel time was needed to get Szeraal to the Demon's lair, then he did not know if he would be able to spend any length of time with her ever again.

The most reasonable option was to remain distant, to not promise anything that could not be delivered. But the point of good was to give, to make and fulfill the dreams of others, rather than yourself. It really was the defining difference. Regardless of his feelings, he had to do what was best for her, and the only way to do that was to get closer, to understand. But it also increased the danger of doing something wrong, causing all his hard work to be fruitless. Once again, it should never be about him though. He stared out at the sea. One could not experience the sea until one was in the midst of it. There was never understanding without experience. Perhaps it was time to dive in. He flopped back on the sand and wiggled a bit to make himself comfortable, staring at the still glorious sky.

"If this operation is a success, I will likely be promoted. For a long time, I didn't care about such things, content in my place, but recently, I have begun to have greater desires. I want to make good flourish in this world and beyond, I want to defeat evil's purposes, wherever they are found, and I believe that I can do that job better if I have more authority. My desire for advancement stems from my desire to make things better.

"I was at your induction ceremony. If you were wondering about how I knew so much about you, I was there. My people love going to such events, and me and a few of my friends were present when you took your vows. I had some good conversations with Lord Gaspar and your father concerning you and their expectations for you. My question for you is what do you expect from yourself? What are your goals, dreams, and aspirations? What does your heart hunger for?"
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Post  Wynnsaren on Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:18 pm

Darya could only stare unblinking at the mysterious man lying in the sand beside her.

"You were...there? At the ceremony, you where there?!" She chuckled and shook her head as she rubbed the aging scars on her shoulders where the ropes holding the water buckets had cut deeply. "Forgive me for not noticing at the time my lord... I must have been..."

Blind!, she thought, not to have noticed such a man in the crowd and then speaking to her family and mentors! WHY hadn't either of them mentioned this to her?? Mentioned that THIS man was inquiring about her?!

"Um...otherwise occupied... I don't know how I might have missed you!"

This was the second time Ollimer had mentioned a promotion, and her curiosity about what might be meant by that was very thinly veiled. While she suspected that he recognized her interest, she managed to hold her tongue on the matter. At this point at least... It was still too soon since her last attempt at prying into his life!

She lay on her back on the bedroll, propped up on her elbows to watching the horizon.

"You wish to know what my heart hungers for?" Darya chanced to turn her gaze upon one of the answers to that question, but when she realized he was looking back, she quickly averted her eyes.

"Hope," she answered honestly, though through the deep blush it might have seemed suspicious had it come from any other source. "Not for myself you understand... I've been blessed with more in my few years than many can lay claim to in a lifetime, and I've done nothing to deserve these things. It simply is a matter of where and to whom I was born. No, I wish to help those who believe they have no hope. I want to defend them in their times of trouble and show them that indeed there is hope for a better life, and that their hope may be renewed each time the sun peeks over that horizon..."

Her normally gray eyes appeared as if they were glowing in the reflection of the sunset, and considering the passion in her voice, they might have been. She thought of Friend Carlos and Jennelith, and all the many others that the Fellowship came across (or were seeking) that had been kidnapped or enslaved.

"I aspire to be an implement of Justice against those that seek to steal that hope from others," the paladin continued. "Especially those who feel it's within their right to twist the gift of magic to their own evil purposes! Magic might potentially give someone the ability to control and dominate others, but it does not grant the authority to do so. A man's life should be his own, unless he gives it to another. He should have the chance to make a good life for himself..."

Darya smiled. It had been a long time since she'd discussed these things, and it was surprising and pleasant how easily...once she'd pulled herself together...it was to talk with him. It helped if she didn't look at him directly while doing so.

"That's all generalities though, isn't it... I've only been a paladin for a little over a year now, and I know I'm young and inexperienced and that I've yet to prove myself worthy of any expectations, but I continue to learn what I can and improve myself. I've certainly learned a lot since I've come out here! It's strange really...it used to be enough to drive me...the desire to fulfill each mission, but I find now that there is another fire lit within that I hadn't anticipated."

Hmm... Maybe slightly too easy to converse with him... The young woman cleared her throat and hastily changed the subject.

"From what you've told of your desires, it sounds like you must be a great knight among your people," she smiled. "Do you and your friends go to the induction of new paladins to seek out potential recruits for special missions? Perhaps just to ensure that we're on the right track?" She turned her attention away from the horizon and back to Ollimer as she asked the questions, hoping that she wasn't overstepping her bounds. "Or is there another reason you have spoken with my father and the unyielding Lord Gaspar?"

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:35 am

"You were...there? At the ceremony, you where there?!" She chuckled and shook her head as she rubbed the aging scars on her shoulders where the ropes holding the water buckets had cut deeply. "Forgive me for not noticing at the time my lord... I must have been..."

"Don't worry about that" He said quickly, but not quite quickly enough because he ended up talking over her next sentence. He stopped talking and motioned for her to continue.


Ollimer listened to the passionate soliloquy erupt out of her. Some less enlightened folk might have found what she had to say boring or not applicable, but to him it was like food to his soul. He could listen to her talk like that all day.

When she turned the conversation back toward him, he had to smile. It seemed as if she indeed had something to hide. He would have to get that out, but he had time. Tricking it out of her was not what he had intended, he would rather ask her straight. But the subject had changed, and he respected her wishes.

"A great knight... I suppose it depends on your definition of great. I have been promoted only twice, and just to the next highest rank. Most of our people don't consider my station great, worthy of respect perhaps, but not great. I would need at least two more promotions for that to happen. Not that I am looking for the approval of my peers anyway."

"But we like to attend ceremonies like yours because of practical reasons, sure, but also because such things cause us much joy. Any who are willing to stand up and be counted for the sake of good not only relieve our burden, but show the support and goodness in the hearts of men, a hotly contested battleground.

"The day did not belong to us, but to you and your temple. Therefore we did not want to be noticed, and took appropriate measures. When I talked to Lord Gaspar, he mentioned you, and so I inquired. After him, I talked to your father for more information. But like I said before, it wasn't simple recruitment, but like finding out more about a cousin or relative who has accomplished what few people have ever been able to do. How does that not bring joy to the heart. Some of my friends asked about the others that were there, and I got to hear about you.

"Ever since, whenever I was between missions, I would stop in and check on you, and then tell my friends back home. They tell me about other people they have been keeping track of, and it is something that helps us get through some tough times. It is fairly common among our people for us to do this, although we don't like to make it too well known, because this world is not where we write our stories, but it is where you write yours. The greater you show yourselves to be in this world, the more others will strive to be like you. If we show ourselves to be great, what advantage is that to our cause? In the long run, not as much as we would like." At this he sighed. He pulled up one knee and took off one boot, and then the other. He put his feet into the sand and wiggled his toes.

"We can't wage everyone's battles for them. I know sometimes I would love to do that. But then it doesn't make them strong, it makes them dependent. Then they will follow anyone, instead of waiting for the one who is truly worthy. It is a hard concept for many, but it is important. That's why our rules about interference are strict. Does this make sense to you?"

He looked over her way to find her staring at him. He smiled, he had hoped that he had not lost her attention with that speech. It was getting later, and he did not know how tired she was.
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Post  Wynnsaren on Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:17 am

She watched in surprise as this unearthly champion of good did something so mundane as wiggle his toes in the sand! It brought a smile to her face. Don't make assumptions. That's what the mage Eltarias had told her, though she wasn't entirely sure what he'd meant by that...

"I believe it makes a great deal of sense," Darya nodded as she turned to watch the fading light of the sun, still feeling slightly nauseous from the reference to her being like a cousin or relative. "Though you should know that it was very much my honor to have you indirectly interfere in the matter of Szeraal and the lante...ah...Lavendolyn that is, and it is likewise my honor that you are able to directly interfere in this matter in the Shaar. I hope that any aid I'm able to provide will assist you in achieving that promotion. I know without doubt that I will learn much from the mission!"

The paladin smiled and bowed her head before sitting up to unstrap the plates from her armor. Sleeping in platemail wasn't even an option if she wanted to move the next day. The chain mail...sure. You could go a couple of nights until the chafing got too bad, but Ollimer seemed quite confident that they wouldn't be attacked.

"Were any of your people looking in on Sir Raethe occasionally?" She asked with noted melancholy as her fingers deftly worked at the leather straps. "I don't remember him ever mentioning anyone of particular note that he met, though perhaps he never got the chance... He was killed not long ago, protecting a village from ettercaps and monsterous spiders so I've been told. He is sorely missed... Raethe was the best of us. I know it's selfish of me as his death was a noble one, but I wish I'd had the chance to see him one last time. He was a close friend and confidant."

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:20 am

There is a type of panic that seizes a man whenever a woman he finds beautiful removes clothing of any kind. Sometimes, the more innocuous the item leads to the greater reaction. A shoe, a hat, a cloak, really anything at all, was all it takes for that seizure to cause his head to turn, his heart to race, and his palms to sweat.

The demons of this world and the next think they have mastered the art of seduction with their spiderweb clothing and blatant overatures, but there is no value in that which is common for everyone to see. The more hidden the secret, the more excitement in the final revelation.

This holy warrior had seen multitudes of so-called seductive temptresses completely nude and had been able to easily handle their pathetic attempts to destroy his purity and his soul, smashing them with righteous might without so much as a slight increase in the speed his heart would beat.

He actually became concerned that his heart may not be able to take the strain of seeing her remove even a glove. O made sure his eyes remained fixed on the horizon, but he was aware of her every movement. He could hear her inhale sharply and exhale in relief as she removed the protective pieces. He could smell her pheromones erupt from the walls she was letting down. He could feel her lithe muscles stretching and filling with her revitalizing lifeblood.

Instinctively his muscles tensed and his heels plowed deeply into the sand. The colder sand underneath that had not spent the day being heated by the glorious sun chilled the backs of his legs and he spent more energy than he thought he would have to to get his legs to relax.


"Were any of your people looking in on Sir Raethe occasionally?" She asked with noted melancholy as her fingers deftly worked at the leather straps. "I don't remember him ever mentioning anyone of particular note that he met, though perhaps he never got the chance... He was killed not long ago, protecting a village from ettercaps and monsterous spiders so I've been told. He is sorely missed... Raethe was the best of us. I know it's selfish of me as his death was a noble one, but I wish I'd had the chance to see him one last time. He was a close friend and confidant."

An unfamiliar stab of pain in his midsection shocked him out of his enchanted state. How close of a friend might Raethe have been? O paused a moment and corrected his reaction. Jealousy was only available to those who had a right to feel betrayed. He had to remind his yearning heart that despite his emotional state, he had no such claim.

"Yes, we followed all of you who were presented that day. Raethe did some very mighty things, and caused many hearts to yearn after and desire such a life as he led. Because of his influence alone, there are no less than five new canidates for paladins learning from Lord Gaspar as we speak. When you say he was the best of you, I understand that is not simply well-wishing from an old comrade, but rather an accurate understanding of your old friend. His sacrifice was not in vain, and his final moments were comforted. He received a hero's welcome in the halls of the Morninglord. Of that I am certain."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:50 pm

The paladin was quiet for a time, deep in thought as she methodically lay her armor out to the left of the borrowed bedroll, while her morningstar and shield were set in their usual position to her right. It felt strange speaking aloud of her friend. It was freeing in a way...to begin the process of letting go of the pain of his loss.

"Your kind words fill my heart with warmth, my lord," she smiled appreciatively. "I know Sir Raethe would be proud to know that he affected people so..."

Dressed from neck to ankle in the heavy padding that protected her skin from the chain, Darya hardly needed the additional bedding to keep warm, but she wasn't about to be discourteous and refuse Ollimer's kind offer. Nor was she going to simply pass up an opportunity to be close to him! Even if it was just one of his belongings and not the man himself...

As she slid beneath the covers a grin pulled at the corners of her mouth. She could smell the scent of fresh grasses warming beneath the sun. The sweet fragrance of spring flowers pushing their brightly colored petals up through the newly thawed soil. The heady bouquet washed over her, reminding her once again of the brief moment she'd spent in his arms months ago. To say that she hadn't thought of that moment every day or fall asleep to the memory every night, would be completely false. A deep sigh of contentment issued from the young woman's lips. Maybe that was something she could look forward to again in the morning...

Even if Ollimer could never reciprocate her affections, that in no way changed how she felt for him. For Darya, the only response to his goodness, virtue, kindness and his blindingly handsome form, was to love him. There was no other option.

"Your friends," she whispered dreamily, "have any of them made...personal contact with those they follow?" The young woman's eyes drifted open slowly and she placed her hands behind her head as she turned towards him. "Given your rules about interfering, I would doubt it to be a common thing, but surely others have come to their charges appearing to be a simple, human follower of the Morninglord in order to nudge them in the right direction for a misison or simply learn more of them."

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:57 am

He heard her snuggling up in his bedroll and sigh. Such contentment could only come from the trusting nature of good company. The wicked never have such peace.

"Well, it has happened more often than one might think. But we don't always sit around the campfire and chat with them. Sometimes we just show up and offer a kind word of encouragement, or a friendly piece of advise. Sometimes we watch over those who Lathander chooses and intervene at the appropriate time only to disappear or even to never be seen in the first place."

Ollimer looked over and saw her toes making small peaks in the end of his bedroll. The rest of her was stretched out on her back. The blanket over her revealed more of her form than he had really ever seen before, due to the rather bulky outfit she normally wore. As the blood rushed to his face, he turned away again to what was left of the horizon.

"Actually that reminds me of something. Due to the nature of this mission, and the possibility of it being made public, I am afraid that you are going to have to take responsibility for its success instead of me. If people ask, you are to tell them that you received word from Lathander to do what you are doing, and that you received help to accomplish your task. These are true things, and leaving out information given to the public that might help the enemy is a time honored tradition in warfare."

He looked over her way again, telling himself it was okay to do so because he wanted to read her body language to be sure of her response to the news that she would probably end up famous due to the nature of the mission.

"I know that if my identity became known, the stories that would be told about what we are to do would be more about who I was and where I was from than would bring glory to the Morninglord, especially if our enemies got wind of it. That is why I am going with a simpler identity when we travel together, especially in the cities. I can't do so with Jarlbur, for obvious reasons, but otherwise you are to refer to me as a fellow servant of Lathander, and I will leave you to handle most of the conversations and accommodations."

He felt like he was staring, and he could easily be mistaken for doing so. When he realized this, he turned his head again, and turned over on his side with his back to the Lady. Realizing that as soon as it was done that it was rude to do so, he flopped on his back again, but now had a irritating ridge of sand in his back. He squirmed mostly due to his embarrassment, but also to flatten his bed again.

"You can still call me "O" although I will be telling people my name to be Omer, which is another nickname I have. It is short for Ollimer, but we don't need to let that get out. Ollimer is starting to get a reputation in this area, and the less of that I have, the better."

He decided at last to fold his hands behind his head like she was doing. His arm was then in the way if his view, but it did not really block the sound of his voice. He might just be able to relax like this.
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Post  Wynnsaren on Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:07 pm

"As you command, my fellow servant of Lathander," Darya smiled as she gazed up at the ever brightening stars. "I must admit that I would prefer to call you Ollimer, if only because I've always thought it rolls nicely off the tongue, but you of all people are certainly entitled to be called anything you so choose!"

Turning over on her side, she propped her head up on her hand so she could see O's face. The moonlight was bathing his features in a beautiful silvery radiance that startled the woman momentarily. "A...About taking responsibility for the success of the mission," she began again after collecting herself. "You should know that I have no personal interest in accolades, and my own minor part in the great achievements we will accomplish together, I would attribute wholly to the Morninglord.

"I of course understand and will honor your wishes to remain anonymous. Your reward after all, is not to be found in this realm!" Darya grinned at him with the tiniest hint of a doleful expression on her face. She suspected that after this mission had been accomplished and Ollimer had been promoted, that she might never see him again. On to bigger and better things and all... The thought immediately clenched her stomach into a tight knot. She couldn't imagine living without even the hope of meeting him from time to time, but that would be a problem to deal with another day.

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:31 pm

"I of course understand and will honor your wishes to remain anonymous. Your reward after all, is not to be found in this realm!"

As she lay there, propped up on her elbow, silver moonlight shining off of her silky hair, he wished with all his might that it was.

"A servant never gets to choose a payment for service, but if he serves well, and the master is good, then perhaps he get something better than he would ever hope for. Such is the benefit of loyalty to a goodly god."

O paused for a moment, thinking that he would get going on another speech about how good it was for good to be pursued, but it seemed to catch in his throat, which was wedged in there with another object. He swallowed hard.

It was a good thing that Lavendolyn was here, and the thought that they were not alone was useful for grounding him. He was pretty sure she wouldn't read his thoughts without permission, but he could be very certain that she was keeping good tabs on Darya. He was slightly confused why she had not manifested yet to the young paladin, but he figured that it would happen soon. It would also have been useful to him for the other lady to be present, which would deflect some of the attention that he had been receiving from the young paladin. Not that it was unwelcome, but it might be easier to accomplish his goal this way.

"Perhaps it would be a good time to get some rest. Hopefully we will get a bit farther in our quest tomorrow, and still have plenty of time to catch up with Szeraal so that he will not encounter too much temptation to go after that dragon mage himself."
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