A new chapter

Tales from a menagerie of characters.

Moderators: Talathian, Intern Kenzi, Rayvinn

Post Reply
User avatar
Rayvinn
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Upon the winds

A new chapter

Post by Rayvinn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:28 am

Recap of the events leading up to leaving…

For so many years I have been single minded in my goal to overthrow Lialin. Vengeance has driven me when exhaustion, or common sense, would have stopped me. Over the past year, I’ve been less focused on vengeance and more focused on my domestic bliss, however. Domestic bliss in the form of constant adventure with a 6’6", blonde, half-elven, banished prince. He just happens to be my match in skill, wit, deviousness, humor, and jackassery. That last one is very difficult to accomplish, trust me, but he is quite skilled. I wouldn’t say he is quite my match in beauty but I certainly do not mind spending an embarrassing amount of time looking at him. He’s rather beautiful, really. Though he abhors that word being used to describe himself, I cannot help but to use it because anyone with that bone structure and hair cannot be anything less. We’re elves, of course we’re beautiful.

So there I was, jaunting along in my domestically blissful life of assassinations and espionage with Kalamere at my side when it dawned on me: we’re so badass, we should go after Lialin and reclaim my throne! We could spend the time needed, in breathtakingly beautiful Faerondalen, to acclimate my people to freedom again, appoint a regent to govern while we were off adventuring, and my happiness would be complete! Should be easy, right?

I’d begun preparing for the invasion by attempting to track down my drunken general who’d gone AWOL for reasons I’d rather not disclose because they incriminate me and paint me in such a poor light. Entirely unfairly, too! That little mishap with his kidnapping was Kal’s fault, not mine. I didn’t even know about it! I eventually found him and convinced him to return to his duty, so that was one part of the plan that had fallen into place.

The next part was far more difficult to resolve. Lialin had in his employ one nasty battle mage. I’m sure my people were starving in order to pay for the beastly lout; he was renown throughout the lands as the best of the best (as well as quite the gambler). Certainly, I could have used my own nasty battle mages but magic has the ability to obliterate anything in its path. My people and my soldiers would suffer. I’d have to find another way or simply wait. I decided… what’s a few more decades, or even a century, in the life of an elf after all? Kal agreed that this was for the best.

I didn’t have to wait, though. Because my darling, devious, murderous love devised a plan to place within reach my deepest desire. He’d had his people dissecting this mage’s life to find a weakness to exploit. It’d taken some time but he found what he was looking for and then...he murdered the mage’s mother. When I very calmly (or maybe not so very calmly) asked Kal why he murdered the poor woman, he told me of some very heinous crimes she’d committed against some of my people during a recent visit to my kingdom. He said to think of it like I had contracted his services in order to avenge these poor voiceless souls so I paid him a few silver (I got the girlfriend discount), which he then used to buy me a beer so I would calm down and not stab him. He then explained the actual reason…the mage had been extremely close to his mother. Apparently, the apron strings had never been fully cut so Kal did just that. The mage left Faerondalen to take care of funeral arrangements and investigate into her death and that gave me the opening I needed. I had to admit it was a brilliant plan but I was a little put off that he had thought it up and I hadn’t. It did prove that Kal is more murdery than I, though really, what is the loss of one life compared to the subjugation and torture of thousands of innocents?

I was sure there would be eventual plans to retaliate against us if the mage ever found out it wasn’t an accident. Kal is very good at what he does, however, so maybe I wouldn’t have to start worrying about being firebombed! Heat is hell on hair, after all, and I already had enough trouble trying to tame this Medusa-esque mop atop my head.

Lialin was without his infamous battle mage and he had no particular worry that anyone would attack within the few days the mage would be gone. I was his biggest threat and I hadn’t bothered him in years. My golden opportunity lay at my feet; the playing field between he and I had suddenly become level. Of course, my army was superior to his and I still had two battle mages under my employ but I called that level enough. Kal and I began solidifying our plans and then… Dinias died and altered the course of our future. Karma had come back to bite us both on the ass!
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.--Friedrich Nietzsche
User avatar
Rayvinn
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Upon the winds

Post by Rayvinn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:31 am

Beginning of April…


“Well, I’ve just been putting off the inevitable, haven’t I?" I laughed in effort to mask the turmoil I felt.

It’s not that Kal and I haven’t ever discussed feelings because we’ve had some surprisingly open conversations regarding how we feel for one another. These feelings were much less pleasant than those I’d experienced previously, however, and I had no desire to muck up our last few moments with sniveling and tears.

“I mean, it’s not like we’ll never see one another again. It just means we have to stab people more for stress relief for a while. That’ll actually be pretty useful considering I’m going to war." There was that laugh again, though the humor hadn’t quite reached my eyes. “And you’re…" my brow furrowed with a frown. “You’re going to war too, of a sort." All traces of laughter left my voice as I leaned in to press my forehead to his chest. “I swear I will personally wipe out that entire ****ing assassin’s guild if something happens to you, Kalamere." What was it he had called me, on more than one occasion, due to my penchant for curse words? His delicate flower? Yes, I actually rather resembled that…a delicate, and currently wilting, flower.

“I read this quote in a military book from one of those Earthen realm countries… ‘Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain’…and I think I understand the weight of duty right now more than I ever have in my entire life." I smiled wryly. “Since the moment Lialin murdered my father and took my throne, I have dreamt of the day I would remove his worthless head from his worthless shoulders and take back my kingdom. Faerondalen has been my greatest desire for so many decades…and now it is finally within my grasp and…" I sighed and shrugged. “Now I can feel the weight of my kingdom upon my shoulders. Am I ready for this, Kal?"

“Aye, lass. What do you think you do better than stab and wreak havoc? Useful skills for this endeavor, by my estimation." He was doing what he always did when I was in a tizzy; using his humor to take the edge off. He had become my balance early on in our relationship and now over a year later, his skill was honed to perfection. I often accused him of handling me but I never told him that I loved him for being able to. He knows I love him but encouraging behaviors that he can utilize to keep me in line is not beneficial to me!

“You’re not wrong, of course. I wish you could still go with me, though, instead of making me wait for you to finally show up. You orchestrated this entire event and now you won’t be there to see my victory…to share our victory." At some point in our relationship things had changed from “I and me" to “our, us, and we" but neither of us had run away scared when we realized it. Miracle of miracles, right? I pouted, going so far as to stick out my bottom lip. He’d always found it amusing and we had this game where he would tap it, kiss it, and then tell me something that would make me laugh which made it impossible to pout or stay upset with him. I hated that trick as much as I loved it. My half elf was a vexing individual. Not at all as sweet, even tempered, and undemanding as me, of course.

“Dinias picked a really awful time to succumb to old age. I think he was just jealous because I’m your favorite and he wasn’t so he figured he would really throw a wrench into things by kicking the bucket when I need you to go sneak in and poison my most hated enemy." I teasingly huffed a little and then stroked fingertips across his cheek softly to take away the sting. The words had sounded coarse and the humor was rather twisted but the way Kal and I lived our lives required sick humor and we’d always been able to laugh inappropriately at the things that good, decent people wouldn’t laugh at. I knew he was hurt over losing his mentor, his dear friend, but I also knew he wouldn’t express those feelings and would appreciate the humor. A year ago, he wouldn’t have really even felt those feelings so I had to wonder if the grief overwhelmed him when he was alone since it wasn’t an emotion he had much experience with.
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.--Friedrich Nietzsche
User avatar
Rayvinn
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Upon the winds

Post by Rayvinn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:32 am

Still leaning against him, I looked up at him imploringly. “It isn’t too late for me to put my plans aside and come with you to take care of this guild business. You know they are going to form a coalition against you, babe. I’d rather be there than in Faerondalen." I was moderately surprised when I spoke those words because nothing had ever been as important to me as my vengeance and my kingdom. I meant every word, though. This was what we’d become.

“Darlin’, I appreciate the offer and have no doubt you’d taken them all on single-handedly if you had to. Or maybe just wanted to" he grinned, “but I need to do this solo to earn their respect." He lied so smoothly, but not so smoothly that I didn’t know he was doing just that. Kal couldn’t care less about the respect of the other assassins. He was all about survival and I was a tool for survival if he needed it. We had been that to one another among all of the other roles we assumed in our relationship. No, this felt like him doing what he always did for me…giving me space and freedom to do what I needed to do.

I chose not to push. He’d given me an immeasurably precious gift when he removed that mage from the equation and I wouldn’t cheapen that gift, or his sacrifice of facing the guild alone, by arguing further or throwing away the opportunity. Besides, I knew Kal and in so knowing him, I had absolute faith in his ability to survive. He didn’t actually need me to survive any more than I needed him to ensure my own survival. That strength and independence were two of the biggest reasons why we’ve been perfect together.

I changed the subject as I released him and moved to open my bag. Both of our bags were upon the bartop, ready for our separate trips out of RhyDin. I frowned at the sight; or more at the feeling the sight of the bags brought. “G’nort should have my soldiers in Faerondalen within the next day or two. I put a weather mage on his ship to ensure weather wouldn’t delay them. He has enough ships to be able to blockade if we have to lay siege." He knew how much I wanted to avoid that scenario because that would likely mean more suffering for my people. War was war, though, and once I committed to the course, I would see a victory no matter what I had to do. “General T’alathian is with them so that’s one less worry on my mind. What weapons and armor Kruger can’t make, or doesn’t have time for, I can get from Andrea through that portal to the elemental plane that she gave me. So, I think everything is set." Which meant I couldn’t put off leaving for much longer. I had a narrow window of opportunity that had been paid for in blood. As cold and calculating as I could be, I wouldn’t let that be in vain. I tried to tell myself that the mage’s mother deserved her fate and it wasn’t my fault she’d been killed. I tell myself a lot of lies to be able to sleep at night.

I took out the vial of green toxin he’d given me and crinkled my nose. “I just need to use a few drops, right?" With any luck, I could sneak in and poison the bastard and maybe, just maybe, avoid starting an all-out war that could harm my people and my soldiers. Kal is kinda brilliant when it comes to planning ways to quietly murder someone; another reason I love him.

I admit that this morning I hadn’t been paying especially close attention to his instructions regarding the poison because we’d been having breakfast and he was still shirtless at the time. Yes, we always have really fascinating topics of discussion over meals. A little tale of poison here, a story about stabbing someone in the throat there, where would our jobs lead us today and who would wish they hadn’t crossed our paths. Since we’d begun working together on various missions, those discussions had only gotten more colorful. I’m sure everyone has their version of mealtime conversation, though.

“Aye, just a few. Try not to get any on your fingers, darlin’. I’m fond of ‘em just as they are and you’d be awfully upset if you couldn’t hold a blade, or a beer, any longer." I smirked as I swatted him playfully. “I’ll take that under advisement, shady half-elf."
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.--Friedrich Nietzsche
User avatar
Rayvinn
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 pm
Location: Upon the winds

Post by Rayvinn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:32 am

I packed away the poison once more and took a long look around the place that had become like a second home to me. “Tell Jerry not to let Ken stuff Matilda into that picture box on his desk like he did his last girlfriend or when I get back I will kick his ass. Tell him not to be an ass to Tahlia or to forget to feed Rath either. He gets cranky when he misses his snacks." I was stalling and we both knew it. We have rarely spent a night apart and neither of us knew how long we’d be away. This was the way of things, though. I had a kingdom to retake and he had a guild of assassins to lead; plenty of opportunities for us to die, but that wasn’t anything new. What was new, and made this so difficult, was the fact that we wouldn’t be there to watch one another’s back. We’d become quite a team.

“Watch yourself, half-elf. If I get back and you’re dead, I will dig you up and find a necromancer to bring you back. You’ll be ugly and gross and I know you wouldn’t want me to go around being seen with ugly and gross. I don’t own shoes to match that. So, do us both a favor and just pre-emptively kill whomever it seems like will cause you trouble. You know where to find me if you need backup."

“No darlin’, I would feel just terrible if you had to be seen with ugly and gross. Gods forbid your shoes not match your zombified Kal." He smirked as his fingers brushed through my hair like they had numerous times a day for the past year. I would miss that. I would miss everything.

I wrapped my arms around his neck and held on far longer than I had intended. It didn’t help that he hadn’t let go either. I finally released him, before I could start crying and mess up my face, and grabbed my bag from the bar. I adjusted the quiver of arrows on my back, the intricately carved longbow on my shoulder, both sword hilts, checked various other sheaths and hidden compartments before there was nothing left to check or adjust. I was meticulous with planning and hadn’t deviated from that which meant I had no more reason to delay.

“You have the trump cards I gave you that will portal you to Autumn’s Reach and to the Arena in an emergency?"

I nodded, though we both knew I would never abandon my soldiers and friends to save my own life. “You only reminded me a dozen times, Kal." He grinned and kissed my cheek. Sometimes I think he enjoys harassing me. No idea what would cause me to think such a thing.

That familiar blue mana fire appeared between his hands as he opened my portal. I took a deep breath and swallowed heavily but managed to put on my best smile for him. “Kiss me and tell me goodbye, Shady. I have havoc to wreak and eyes to stab out, after all. I’ll make you proud."

He did kiss me but, being his usual obstinate self, he wouldn’t say goodbye. “I’ll see you when you’re done harassing some other lad, darlin’." Humor. That was our way, always.

I stepped through the portal into a land I hadn’t seen since that fateful day so many years ago. I had left alone, broken, and hunted. Although I had returned alone, I was stronger than I had ever been and I was the one doing the hunting.

Queen Isa’viel A’elavien had returned to Faerondalen. May the gods have mercy.





((Quote taken from Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors by Inoue Kowashi and Yamagata Aritomo. Many thanks to the player of Kalamere for his collaboration!))
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.--Friedrich Nietzsche
Post Reply

Return to “The Mundane and Mystical - Tales of Elves and Men”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests