Amarathia: A Brief Respite

a topic in Orsa of Terminus, a part of the RPG forum.

The lull in the war has ended, and the Orsa of Terminus is on the rise once more. Will the battle hardened Patronus remain strong, or fall under the growing might of this renewed threat? A mature roleplay. This forum is one large roleplay within a set world and designated story lines.

Re: Amarathia: A Brief Respite

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Imehal on Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:26 pm

(Post co-written by Arrow and Imehal.)


All was quiet amongst the maze of shelves that made up Sylvire's library, the only sound being the occasional rustle of a page being turned, or the faintest echoes of conversation from outside. The dim light of the hovering magical globes above the bookcases created a peaceful ambient glow, dwarfed as they were by the cavernous space, mimicking the atmospheric flickering of candles. Alone in the silence, Elante sat with a book held loosely in his hands upon one of the armchairs in the clear area near to the exit. The mage's legs were tucked up onto the chair, and his eyes wearily wandered across the text he held.

The book itself was unassuming, far from some of the imposing magical tomes that Sylvire possessed, and upon closer examination was easy enough to identify as a perfectly mundane novel. The silence that surrounded Elante did not peturb him - it was more reassuring than anything. He wasn't quite at the point where he was comfortable with spending his days in the chaos of the Fort, where the rest of the Patronus were residing. He found that the little conflicts, the discussions and plans, even the occasional jokes still irritated him far too much. Too much to spend an entire day around, at the very least.

It would be unfair of him to remain only to snap at his allies, and so he chose instead to retreat to peaceful solitude. At least until he felt he could deal with company on an at least civil level. Elante let out a slight sigh as he turned the page of his book, considering just packing it in and going to sleep at whatever ridiculously early hour it was.

It had been quite a task, Parlina had found, trying to get Elante alone somewhere they were most likely to not be disturbed so she could approach him about the service. In the end, it had taken her the greater part of two days, realising that often the mage disappeared, preferring to spend time alone. She did not begrudge him that need; indeed, such desires would have driven her had she not had the others to bolster and support her mood and determination. He had people he could turn to, no doubt, but...

"That's not your place and certainly not what you came here for," Parlina chided herself quietly as she slipped into the library's doors, attention immediately drawn to the figure who was seated in the armchair scarcely a few feet from where the druid was stood, book in hand. Only now did she realise that he might be coming here to do research, hesitating for only a moment before clearing her throat and waving across at Elante.

"I don't mean to intrude, but I am really hoping you are Sir Elante," she said whilst brushing a curl behind her right ear, looking expectant.

Elante looked up sharply when Parlina entered, eyes settling on the girl for a few moments as she spoke, before drifting away again. The mage nodded slowly, eyes lingering on the book before he set it down. "I am." he replied, "You're Parlina, aren't you? From the temple. We haven't met, have we?"

Looking up again at Parlina, Elante mentally went over the little he knew about the girl. He was aware she had been close to Taima, or at least a friend of hers. The mage wondered what on earth brought her to him, but assumed she had some sort of reason. "Is there something..?" he trailed off, leaving the question open.

Confirmation came from the mage, which made Parlina smile in triumph, though she knew that what she was about to ask would not be received favourably, even if asked in the best possible way. "I am, no we have not, not properly and oh, yes, there is something!" she replied quickly, a little giddy for some unknown reason, taking a few steps away from the door behind her, eyes a curious blend of aquamarine and peridot.

"I mean," she started, looking a little breathless, "yes, there is something. I don't know if you've heard about the service tomorrow. Actually, do you intend to go? Because if you don't, it makes what I'm about to ask a little pointless."

The service. Yes, he'd overheard people talking about it. Elante sighed, lowering his eyes to the floor. "I haven't decided yet." he said, "Maybe. It seems ..." Here he cut himself off, realising that to call the service 'pointless' would probably be quite offensive. "I didn't really know Taima very well, and ..."

And, well. Elante leaned back in his seat and rolled his shoulders. "I'm still thinking about it." he finished.

In the time that Elante had been talking, Parlina had simply listened, a frown turning her lips downwards at his misunderstanding. That was to be expected; after all, why would a stranger who had never even met those deceased and indeed, those still in danger, want to give their prayers to them? 'Well, I'm hardly a normal person, with normal selfish tendencies.'

"It's not just for Sir Taima," she pointed out at the end, taking a few steps across the room towards him without lowering her gaze once, steady and intent on her course. "Or Sir Aeryn, for that matter. It's for everyone who got lost when the Orsa of Terminus decided to hurt us all where it would do the most harm. It's for everyone here who has suffered, lost and had to leave behind treasured people and indeed, their very lives to walk this dangerous path that we chose."

Her eyes flashed peridot solidly for a moment, though she refused to let her determination falter, waving a hand towards Elante with an encouraging smile. "It's for us bearers, because we will have to go onwards and work together, even though we might not always get along. I did not know your friend, like you did not know my leader well, but does that matter? Can I not be sorry that I never got to know him? Can I not wish to offer you some comfort, superfluous though my ritual might be?"

The druid knew that her ritual had a measure of power behind its symbolism if the distance between the site and those concerned was not great, but she had no comprehension about the vastness of time, spaces and dimensions that separated this small group of Patronus from everything they cared about.

Elante looked over to Parlina and met her eyes solemnly, frowning. "That's not why I hesitate. Taima might not have been my friend, but she was my ally. I wouldn't feel awkward going to a service for her, that's ... not it."

The mage looked up at the ceiling. He knew why he didn't want to go, and he knew that it was ... stupid, but knowing that didn't make it any less true. "I have my own reasons." he said, sighing.

"I wasn't suggesting that you would feel awkward..." Parlina began steadily, train of thought set on their tracks and intent to continue on their course until Elante suggested that there was perhaps something beyond what little she knew about his situation. That was hardly surprising, being that all she knew was that his friend had been called Aeryn and that he was lost, same as Taima.

Still, something did not seem... right? It was not grief holding Elante back. Parlina had seen and felt enough of it herself to know it plainly and thus, she settled on the floor before peering up at the ceiling just as the mage did, waiting a few moments before speaking.

"I'm your ally too, but I do want to be your friend if you'll let me. What is it, if it's not awkwardness?"

Looking back at Parlina, Elante stared at her for a few seconds as if trying to decide whether to be irritated or appreciative, eventually turning away to run a hand through his hair with an expression that suggested a conflicted mix of both. "I... I don't know a lot about your service, but the closest parallel I can think of is a funeral."

Elante bit his lip as he leaned forwards, linking his fingers in his lap and staring at the stone floor. "Going to a funeral would be giving up hope. I don't know if I'll ever see Aeryn again, but I refuse to believe that he's dead. I grieve because I know the torment and the horror that he's going through in the place that witch sent him, and because I know that there's nothing I can do for him from here. Not because I believe him to be dead ... he's gone, but I won't give up on him."

He looked up at Parlina, then, meeting her eyes. "I have nothing against you, or your ceremony, but going to something that feels like a funeral is too much like giving up. And I won't ever do that, not until I know that there's no hope. He would do, and has done, the same for me." Elante remembered all too well the month he spent imprisoned by Nyx. If it wasn't for Aeryn and the others, he could easily have ended up like Whisper -- and that didn't bear thinking about.

At the word 'funeral' Parlina blinked, unfamilar with its meaning, though from what words followed, she could only assume it was some form of ritual that pertained to mourning the dead in whatever world the mage had come from. It was only when Elante spoke of the suffering that his friend was enduring – not potentially, because he seemed so sure – that her gaze lowered to watch him again, frowning even as he met her gaze.

Her head shook from side to side, indicative that her ritual was most certainly not a funeral, raising a hand from the stone floor to summon spirits to her side, green sparkles that added another, more natural glow to their surroundings. It was an acute reminder that Taima had not even made it this far and that no matter how hard she wished, the dragonborn was out of her reach forever. Her expression turned forlorn, for though she had accepted that loss for a few days now, its hurt would not heal with mere conviction.

The spirits floated across the distance between the two young people, for although Parlina herself was hesitant about invading Elante's personal space, they held no such reservations, halting beside his hands and causing the druid to smile unexpectedly. "You're right you know. You mustn't give up! You've got a chance, Sir Elante, to regain what was taken from you by them. I don't know where Sir Aeryn went, or how he got there, but there's always a way if he lives! At least, that's what they – and by they, I mean the spirits - tell me."

Her fingers shaped into a point that was directed at Elante, her smile turning thoughtful. "Come tomorrow please, and I'll show you that my people's ritual is about everything but giving up hope." Then she shuffled a little closer to the mage, within arm's reach now, though still settled on the floor.

Elante flinched away from the spirits before realising what they were, and relaxing at least somewhat. "I ... I'll think about it." he said, "If it means a lot to you, then I'll make the effort. It's not like I'll be doing anything else... apart from moping in some bloody darkened room."

The mage grimaced. He was doing a lot of that lately, but he didn't have any intention to stop until he could cope with people being people all over the place. "Was there something else, or did you just want to know?" he asked.

Grimacing, it took Parlina barely a thought to coax the spirits away from Elante, if only to give him a touch of breathing space, face bright with approval. "It would mean a lot to me, especially if your alternative is hiding away in some room. You don't have to say a word, just come and watch." Parlina kept the fact that she actually thought him good company – even when moping – all to herself for now, realising that her original purpose for coming here had been left rather impressively by the wayside.

"Yes, but there wasn't much point asking if you weren't coming! Anyway, do you have anything that Sir Aeryn might have possessed that I could use tomorrow in the ritual? It's purely a symbolic role.... I won't do it any harm, I swear! It helps the spirits to know where to circulate their help to those in need, be it spiritually or otherwise."

Hopeful, Parlina waited patiently for a response, tucking her legs up and circling her arms around them comfortably.

"I..." Elante blinked, hand subconsciously going to his pocket and hovering there almost protectively. "I don't ... I'm not sure I can ... quite ... do that, yet." Frowning, Elante slipped his hand into the pocket and closed it about the ring within.

"I only have one thing." he said, bringing his hand out and holding the bejewelled object gently in his palm. "It's his engagement ring ... I don't think that I can... you understand, right?" Wincing slightly, he closed his hand over it. "It's all I have."

Parlina pushed off the ground with one hand to stand, looking across at the seated Elante, ring protected only by the flesh of his hand, and yet the druid knew that the ring could not be in a safer place, save on Aeryn's own finger. Slowly, so not to cause alarm, she began to walk forward until she was standing before the mage, then lowering a hand to her side pouch to feel at the little stone within that for her, mirrored Elante's ring.

It was so small, just like the pretty jewellry that the mage could not give up to her, and yet equally meant so much. All that they had left of people that were so very lost to them. Her smile was weak as her free hand rose to try and cover Elante's closed fist, nodding.

Elante drew his hand back as Parlina made to cover it, not out of any conscious mistrust but simply on reflex. The mage hesitated, looking away.

"Of course I understand." she said simply, not seeming perturbed at all by the reaction her movement garnered. Instead, she focused on turning her little object over through the leather of the pouch and remembering her foolish impulse to want to toss it away, hateful thing that it had been once.

"If I'd have known it was the only thing you had, I certainly would never have asked," she added quietly, painful understanding showing through peridot eyes. "When you come tomorrow... if you decide that you can, then I would be grateful and if not, I'll make sure my words reach him regardless. No one deserves to be lonely."

As Parlina spoke, Elante slowly nodded, looking back at the druidess with a faint smile. "Thank you. I appreciate your kindness. I'll be there." he said, slipping the ring away again. "It's been good to meet you. A shame it had to be in a time like this, I suppose."

"You know, people keep saying that. 'A time like this.' It confuses me." Indeed, only Kirae had not added that little phrase since Parlina had started getting to know everyone around here, but she waved away that thought in favour of more pertinent matters. "I'm pleased to have met you properly as well, of course! You are quite friendly, and listened to me whitter on, which can only be a good thing!"

His admittance to attend had made the druid grin, for although her purpose for finding Elante had not been fulfilled, she felt good about their meeting nonetheless. Looking down to the book that rested in his lap thoughtfully prompted her to change the topic once more. "I should probably let you get back to reading, really. I kept you from it all this time!" she suggested, waiting for both his verbal and emotional response before making any decisions herself.

Elante almost laughed, a small momentary chuckle that quickly faded, but near enough nonetheless. It did feel like the conversation had reached a natural close, but that could just be his short tether talking. "It's nothing special," he said, glancing at the book, "But I'm sure you have other things to do."

He himself was largely ambivalent over whether the girl stayed or not, but he certainly couldn't think of much else to say.

Parlina herself chuckled at that, nodding quickly. "I can always find something to do, yes, but I'm sure Sirs Kento, Rynhart and Alair would appreciate time to actually practise, especially following the shoulder wound that Ke... Sir Kento had to recover from." she explained happily, really having no objection to talking anyone's ear off unless they pointedly interrupted her flow of speech. Speaking of which... Parlina abruptly realised that she had been going on again and chuckled nervously, waving a hand towards him, a suggestion in mind.

"I could stay and read books with you, for my own sake as well as to keep you company, if you want. I prolly should get some practise in anyway because with Sir Taima gone, there's no one to teach me any more."

That prospect did not fill her with joy, glancing at the bookshelves apprehensively. Taima's intense desire to teach the druid to read had been heavily imprinted on Parlina and so she would do her best to fulfill that expectation, even with the dragonborn gone.

Smiling faintly, Elante shrugged his shoulders. "I don't mind. Feel free to, if you want." he said, faintly curious as to why Parlina couldn't read, but not of a mind to inquire. The mage picked his book back up, hesitating there so as not to be rude by launching straight into reading whilst Parlina still seemed like she was likely to make conversation.

"Decisive, aren't you?" Parlina quipped, grinning even as she turned to wander over to the bookshelves, painfully aware that she was not even sure what she was picking up to read, though it seemed to be a history textbook of some sort from the illustrations as she flickered through the pages. The druid then settled herself on the floor, legs splayed out in front of her, leaning back against the wood of the bookshelf, shifting a little until she was comfortable before smiling up at Elante.

"Enjoy your book," Parlina offered with a slight grimace at her own tome. Overcoming impossible odds in combat? Refusing to accept a birthright that had been forced upon her? Learning how to utilise her spiritual connection? All effortless when compared with the trouble she was in trying to learn to read at nearly eighteen years old. She, however, had never been one to give up, determinedly opening the book at what she hoped was the contents page and running a finger underneath the words as she began to read them achingly slowly in her mind.

It would be almost as if she were not there, save for the occasional page turning and frustrated noises that escaped the young druid when a difficult word came along, which was more frequent than Parlina would admit to at a later date.
Gasmask: Alright. Either your CD is corrupted, which'd explain the crashing and odd stuffs.
Imehal: Or?
Gasmask: Your windows really, really, really hates icewind dale.

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Re: Amarathia: A Brief Respite

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:22 pm

(Post co-written by Imehal, Arrow, Script, Ishae Junta, Conumbra, Tiko, and Moonscar)

The near torrential rain of late had left a heaviness in the air that was thankfully countered by the sunshine that had followed. Not that it bothered the little druid who was knelt down beside the ruined structure, staff laid down before her and gazing out to where the prison fort stood tall. There was a brightness to Parlina's smile that hid any nervousness almost perfectly as she awaited everyone's approach.

Rynhart was the first to draw near, lowering a firm hand to Parlina's shoulder in support before stepping past and taking a place near at hand. Drawing his flute from within the folds of his clothing, he blew a few gentle test notes on it as he prepared himself for the piece that Parlina had requested he play. Offering a brief nod to the young druid he lowered it once again to await the start of the ritual.

Silence spoke volumes in many situations, and it was in an almost oppressive silence that Elante stood, leaning on one of the garden's trees with his head resting against the bark. The mage watched Parlina with a cold neutrality that would be familiar to any who had seen him over the last week, describable only as a total emotional mask. His brown eyes were sorrowful, but they were also hardened. They were the eyes of someone in mourning, but perhaps more so, the eyes of someone who was ready for war.

Footsteps broke the quiet that had enveloped Elante's thoughts, however, as another approached his chosen vantage point. He was quite a distance from the pavilion, but not so far as to seem as though he were entirely excluding himself from the goings on. The mage resisted the urge to turn around and look at whoever was walking over.

"Elante." Arrow's quiet voice was something of a relief, Elante realised. He had been hoping that it wasn't one of the others who would doubtless try and offer him condolences. Arrow knew that wasn't what he wanted.

The mage turned to look at the soldier's sombre face and nodded. "Morning, Arrow." he replied. His voice was small, but level - he was long past the point of wavering words and stammering.

"I'm glad that you came. I know Parlina will be too."

The simplicity of Arrow's words was also a comfort. He knew there wasn't any need to try and read between the lines. "I figured that I had to start showing my face more at some point. This seemed the most appropriate time."

Arrow nodded. "You are correct, of course. It will be good to have you around more again. We all have to work together in the coming battles, we should at least be on speaking terms with all of our allies by that point. I would hate for an argument to break out and interrupt some high-octane battle with the hordes of the Sealed One. I doubt he takes kindly to people ignoring him to get angry with one another."

That almost made Elante chuckle. It did bring a smile to his face, and he nodded absently, his eyes wandering back over to the pavilion and those assembled closer to it.

Aliana watched her brother speaking to the young mage with interest, noting the boy's change in posture and manner when he recognised Arrow. She smiled; Alex always had been good at making friends, even in the hardest of times. His honesty and genuine nature were no doubt a breath of fresh air to someone who was sick of people being sorry for their loss.

There were other times, though, when her brother was as insensitive as any other man, and thinking of it brought the bard to roll her eyes. A tactical genius and paragon of good, but her brother was still a total idiot. She really felt sorry for the victims of that particular side of him, though perhaps more for some than for others. If they lived through this, she might just have to do something about it.

After all, at this rate she'd never have any help at all in keeping Arrow out of trouble. She couldn't devote herself to that twenty four seven...but that was a thought for another time. As it was, Aliana simply made her way past her brother and the mage to stand at the back of the main group respectfully.

Amongst this group, Kirae sat with avid curiosity, gazing up at the druidess as she prepared her ritual. The sylvari was clearly enraptured by the ceremony of everything that was going on, and the way her eyes snapped from one thing to another suggested that she was trying to analyse the significance of quite literally everything.

The giant, Narruk, stood closely behind the group, making sure he would not be a hinderance of sight in front of the other, much shorter beings before him. His sights, set onto the druid as she spoke, were made softer by his upturned brows. Besides his slow, hollow breathing, he was very silent. His staff was on his back, and his axe was left behind in one of the massive, crumpled structures. Without turning his head to look, he viewed every one of the beings before him, studying their sullen faces and downcast eyes. His attention was then brought back to the druid, Parlina.

Alair had come, of course, and was waiting, remembering silently...and well away from Aliana, just in case. The half-breed stood a bit away from most everyone else, feeling awkward and unsure. They were allies, but he still barely knew the names of most of them.

But he wasn't here for them. He was here for Parlina, and for Taima. To remember.

Remembrance. There was a lot of remembrace that could be taken from a thousand years past, a lot to remember. Most importantly, a lot which deserved remembering, and of which there was nothing left beside that memory. Sylvire stood with stoic eyes with the main body of the group, her mind turned inwards.

Taima's loss was a devastating one, but Sylvire found herself taking it in stride. There was little now that could increase the sense of loss she already buried. Elias, Seridur, Aurion, Peregrin. There were many names, even those she did not know the fate of for sure. Friends from the city, from other lands, family members... it was safe to assume they were dead. It seemed as though everyone in this light-forsaken land was dead, judging by the number of void creatures that roamed it. She doubted any nation could have stood against the tide.

These thoughts brought her mind back to what had been worrying her all week. She had seen them, Selwyn, Luriel, Oron and Kaelan. Puppets of the Sealed One, constructs and deceptions... but perfect likenesses nonetheless. Her allies were not the first to be recreated as his servants, but it was the first time she had witnessed this aspect of his power.

It meant that he was growing strong. Tales of reincarnated heroes slaying their former allies came from the tales of the first war, when he had been free. They didn't have much time; a year at best, even if they kept the artefacts from him. He could not escape his prison without them, but as he gained followers his influence grew. Eventually there would be nowhere to hide, and he would be too strong to stop.

But that would not be allowed to happen. Sylvire had failed the world once before, her own world, this land. She would not fail Terra, not these allies -- perhaps even friends -- and not herself.

Marxan had entered later than most, hoping not to be noticed by those already present. It would only disrupt the purpose of the ceremony if everyone's thoughts were on him, and what he had done. So he was -for one moment in his life- meek and modest, standing over in the corner. He had lost his sister during the conflict, but he doubted she would be remembered by others.

She wasn't important enough to them; he doubted anyone else even knew she was dead though this was partly Marxan's fault. He hadn't talked much about his sister to anyone else these past months. He had wanted to deal with it on his own then but not he couldn’t help but wonder whether that had been the right course. He lowered his head in reverence, not wanting to upset the others gathered.

Coming to stand facing her gathered friends and allies, Parlina hesitated a moment, gripping her little oaken staff all the tighter as the smile returned, reminding herself that although this was quite the largest gathering she had ever performed before, it was also only her second. This was a time for celebration, remembrance and hope, and she would do her best to make sure that amidst all the sadness and doubts that the unity and optimism was remembered.

As Parlina began to speak, Rynhart raised his flute and began the first notes of a melodious and uplifting tune. "Mother and protector, hear us." The base of the stave tapped against the floor of the pavilion, causing spirits to reveal themselves to all present, illuminating the area in a ethereal green glow. They answered her call; always had and would. It was a comfort that would never fail to bring peace to Parlina's heart, watching as they spread out away at a sweeping motion with her arms to settle around and beside everyone who had deigned to attend.

"The road we have chosen to walk will be hard, of that there is no doubt and we should not allow ourselves the naivety to believe that the worst is behind us. Loss and doubt will visit us without warning but we will endure them, for there is simply no other option."

Spirits hovered a little closer to each person present, their unified glow brightening as the strength of the words that the druid spoke passed over the connection, amplified by her desire for the Divine to bless them.

"We must always remember that from this day forth, we walk forward as one. Some of us have only met one another less than a week ago, but already we have fought, defended and survived together. Just as I am bound to the land by love for the mother," Parlina gestured towards the floating sparks, who had gravitated downwards at her silent urging, "so are we now bound to one another as allies, united by a goal that transcends everything before we swore to this cause. We face a great enemy and only with unity, devotion and above all, trust in each other, will we triumph against the overwhelming odds we face."

Words ceased for a few long heartbeats, and the spirits that disappeared into the ground chose now to spring forth anew, this time as a sparkling, swirling cloud of energy settled around the entire group, symbolic but powerful.

"For surviving what has come to pass, we thank each other and the graces of all divinities that brought us through. For those already lost, we beg that you let them hear our prayers and guide them swiftly to where they are supposed to be." Parlina's free hand extended outwards then, palm up as her fist uncurled to reveal the Stone of Visions, which was raised from her hand by the spirits before it lowered once more. Her green tinted eyes were clouded, unreadable for a few moments as the druid remembered Taima and prayed that Aeryn lived to see Elante again.

"And for us who must go on, we ask that to never be allowed to forget that we are not alone, no matter how hopeless or divided we become and that we must succeed, whatever costs we must pay. Divine bless and watch over us, we who stand between the world and those who would seek it harm in the name of the Sealed One."

Stave raised once more, the druid brought its end down heavily against what remained of the pavilion's base with a firm thrust downwards, causing the mist to descend onto all within and below it, emerald dust resting on wherever it found a place to settle. Parlina seemed satisfied, smiling broadly as the crystal on her pendant illuminated and when she spoke next, it was with a slight echo, as if she was not speaking alone.

"By your grace, Mother Divine, may the balance be kept and those who preserve it be blessed. Spirits forever guide our paths."

The accompanying music came to a close as Parlina moved to stand closer to those that had gathered, eying the spiritual energy that had covered them all, and judged herself content. The smile upon her lips was genuine and she carried hope that their meaning and delivery had reached her allies and friends would not be easily forgotten.

It was sadly nostalgic for Narruk, to stand at the ritual, watching as the brightly glowing dust descended slowly upon them, like starlight upon an Oasis island when a star had been put out. He stood, always silently listening in honor of the dead, listening to the words in which the druid spoke. They were good words. Reassuring and strong. Though, it would take these words and more to help these soldiers in their fight against the Orsa.

Standing just a few paces closer to the pavilion than the more distant Patronus were gathered were Natalie and Whisper, with the former observing the young druid's ritual with a mixture of curiosity, odd familiarity and understanding. It was a little wordy in places, but the right message was there, the sorceress watching the little sparkling remnants as they floated down onto every spectator, unsure of herself.

It was troubling to see that not everyone was yet grouped together for events such as these. Elante she could forgive and the temple dwellers, for their grief still hung around some of them like cobwebs, as yet unremoved from their demeanours. "Spirits forever guide our paths," Natalie repeated quietly after the druid, ill at ease for brief moments before catching the eye of the young druid, smiling at the girl's satisfaction, concerns for the future fading momentarily in the light-hearted moment.

Reaching out to the side with a hand, Natalie tilted her gaze away from the ritual's end to look upon Whisper. Some of them had already endured much, but that did not make the road ahead any less daunting.

However, rather than take the offered hand, Whisper simply continued to silently observe the happenings around them. She could feel Natalie's gaze upon her, but the compulsion to understand and to remember kept her attention elsewhere. She couldn't truly appreciate the situation, but she could feel the range of emotions playing over everyone and it left her brow furrowed in concentration and mild discomfort.

Scrambling down from the pavilion with all haste, Parlina spun around on the spot at the bottom of the stairs to smile at Rynhart mid-movement before continuing along past everyone towards the two men that had singled themselves out amongst the Patronus. Her aquamarine eyes, though they retained their cheerfulness, held a sense of purpose that rarely manifested outside of hostile situations in the little druid but it did not seem to impede her bounciness, halting a few paces before the pair abruptly.

"I... oh!" Speech halted as Parlina seemed to remember herself, curtsying before righting herself to carry on as if nothing had happened, pleasure radiating from her, "I'm glad you attended, Sir Elante."

Elante glanced up at Parlina as she approached, nodding to her reservedly. "I said I would," he said, "It was ... nice. Right. It was the right thing to do." The mage smiled faintly. "Thank you for asking me to come."

"My pleasure, on all counts!" Letting out a breath that Parlina had been quite aware she had been holding in at the smile, however faint, the druid bobbed her head once more. "Now, if you'll pardon me, I have to ask Sir Arrow something."

Eyes shifted to the man in question, peering inquisitively back at those closest to her before regarding the warrior with what could only be described as trepidation. "There are so many of us here and yet, we know very little about what we're all capable of, which strikes me as a bit of a silly thing when we have all this free time to dawdle about in."

Parlina paused, taking in a deep breath before grinning mischieviously. "So I was wondering, Sir Arrow, do you want to try a spar against my group..." Trailing off, the druid looked a great deal cross with herself before continuing, smile momentarily absent, "those of us from the temple?"

When Parlina mentioned his name, Arrow raised an eyebrow in curiosity. "A group training session?" he mused thoughtfully, "Yes, that does seem like a good idea. I take it that it will only involve select individuals? If I remember correctly, there are four of you from the temple - three, discounting Kento, due to his need to rest his wounds."

Arrow glanced over to where Aliana stood, "I am sure that my sister would be more than willing to participate. As for our third ..." The archer mused momentarily, his eyes wandering around the group.

"I'll pass," Elante noted, "The abilities I've been refining over the last few days aren't exactly ... spar material."

Nodding to the mage, Arrow smiled, "I suppose that the logical choice would be Narruk or Kirae, as they journied with us here. I will speak with Aliana, and get back to you."

There was a passing look of disappointment at Elante's refusal to participate before Parlina appeared thoroughly delighted at Arrow's acceptance of her offer, clapping hands together with a bouncy nod. "Yes, that would be the idea. Something small but educational."

His choice of teammates did not surprise the little druid; Aliana had been a given after all. "Okay, I'll be with Sir Kento when you need to find me." It was hardly subtle the amount of time that the little girl spent with the blacksmith, irrespective of injuries still healing, but Parlina had never given any indication that she was aware of appearances, let alone cared about them. "This'll be fun! Now, if you'll excuse me..."

Peridot eyes lowered to the ground as Parlina curtsied once more, refusing to meet anyone's gaze, turning to retreat towards Rynhart, Alair and Kento. Their presence would unfailingly bring comfort to her, even in the darkest of times.

Marxan waited for the others to talk amongst themselves or or leave. He stood within the corner, contemplating what he could do to honour the loyalty of the fallen. An idea came to him, and he made his way to the wall of the prison where the ritual had taken place. Using his abilities he indented words into the wall that read "Let the fallen never be forgotten." Underneath that were the names of the Fallen that Marxan knew. Obviously they weren't all the names but he tried. He softly left without saying a word. Anything more that he said would likely offend someone.
I've moved on. If anyone stumbles on any of my old roleplays or wants to hit me up for nostalgia sake, feel free to shoot me an e-mail me at RPGTiko@gmail.com or hit me up on http://www.storytellerscircle.com. Good luck RolePlaygateway.

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