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Post by Xenograg » Sun May 28, 2006 5:20 pm

It is early evening, after supper. A page brings him word to Xenograg that Queen Teleperien wishes to see him in her study. Xenograg immediately walks across Sawrey Castle. The study door is open. He steps into the doorway. Before he can knock, Teleperien looks up and sees him.

"Xenograg, please come in," she says.

"Shall I close the door?"

"Yes, thank you." Xenograg closes the door. Teleperien stands as he crosses the room. "Please make yourself comfortable," she says. He instead walks right up to the elven queen. He looks at her directly and intently for a moment before smiling and holding up his hands before her. She takes his hands in hers and smiles back.

"It is good to see you well, my friend. I...," Xenograg begins but falters. A shadow passes behind his eyes, and he takes a deep breath. Teleperien nods. He releases her hands and moves to sit down. Teleperien retakes her own seat. He sits there looking at her with her natural skin color returned. She smiles at the attention.

"I understand you contacted Alatar," is Teleperien's statement to get the conversation started. "I am grateful to you."

"Yes," Xenograg answers, and the answer being easier to formulate than a statement of his own. "I had considered it several times over the past weeks, but I hesitated to take such a step into your...privacy." Teleperien nods.

"It was a hard decision, I understand." Xenograg is still tentative.

"I should have dared." Teleperien looks at her hands

"Never feel I would be insulted, Xenograg."

"It was Erwyn that asked me to contact Alatar."

"Alatar told me."

"Erwyn came to Rhydin City, to the Dueling Arena, to find me. That was a very brave thing to do. Entirely for her love of you. I was very impressed."

"I am entirely at a loss what to say. Her bravery...."

"I wanted you to know."

"I understand she even faced off with Philippe," she adds with a small smile.

"I had heard that, but only as rumor."

"It was true."

"It seems something good has come of your injury: the Crown Princess has arrived." Xenograg's levity gives Teleperien a smile, but her expression quickly changes to one of intent.

"This is why I wanted to speak to you, Xeno." Xenograg blinks, not knowing what Teleperien intends.
Last edited by Xenograg on Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Sun May 28, 2006 6:53 pm

"Indeed?"

"Alatar has spoken to me. He sees she is incredibly talented. I am at a loss." Xenograg realizes what she means and nods.

"You speak of magic. Nom's heritage."

"Yes, she has her father's powers."

"Your people do not have such, I know."

"I confess I do not know how to approach this."

"What advice do you need?"

"Xeno, would you instruct how to handle her powers?" Xenograg blinks again, this time in surprise.

"You honor me, lady." He sits back into his chair, stroking his beard and staring into the fireplace as he ponders this request.

"Alatar will also be involved. I think she will be as powerful as Nom, and even more so." Xenograg looks back to Teleperien.

"I know you do not approve of Nom's people."

"No. They want to take her from me."

"Yes, I remember now. So you wish me to teach her as I would wish a mage to learn." Teleperien gives a slow, deliberate nod. Xenograg strokes his beard again.

"To control, to understand her role. She is a young girl, she knows she has powers I do not share. Her ability to see beyond the surface has impressed Alatar."

"As with my dueling students, my goal is to help a student discover their own authentic abilities. A proper foundation is a standard. I need not change anything I am giving to Amanda or Mystic."

"I have to say, she shows cheek. She stood up to my husband. I am impressed how well she handled the situation." Teleperien beams with pride. "She is like me. I will stare down a dragon if I need to bring help to someone."

"Assertiveness is necessary in a future queen. It is to be developed, not discouraged. But then I forget you may be queen for centuries." Xenograg smiles, but inside he prays what he just said will be true. "She has a good heart. We all know that. She simply needs guidance as her talents emerge with adulthood."

"I agree."

"A third student. A third princess." Xenograg chuckles. "As if the three girls did not spend all their spare time together!" He makes a dramatic gesture of throwing his hands in the air in futility.

"Erwyn loves Amanda and Mystic. Those three are trouble." The two parents share a laugh. Teleperien then reaches for the teapot. "Care for tea?"

"Please." She pours for two and sets the pot down. She lifts his cup towards him.

"To good friends."

"To lifelong friends," he adds with a double meaning. Teleperien smiles wider, fully understanding his intent. They sip their tea for a minute.
Last edited by Xenograg on Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Sun May 28, 2006 7:24 pm

"My mind just got made up about something," Xenograg says, ending the pause.

"Indeed?"

"I have been considering giving up calling duties in the Arena. This settles it. I cannot spare the time for it."

"I agree. I understand the construction of your tower has resumed as well."

"Yes, Lómënolmë has relocated to the build camp."

"Good!"

"My tower will be nothing like yours."

"In what way?"

"It will have only a few Eldar touches."

"A shame. The Eldar have excellent taste."

"Oh, I agree, but it would be out of place. Yours is to be the epitome of Noldorin design, if I understand Master Vinyamar." Teleperien only smiles in answer, her grey eyes twinkling in delight. Xenograg takes another leisurely sip of tea. "I missed you, Tel.... This room."

"I understand I was rather difficult," she says, and reaches over and takes his hand. "I apologize for the hateful things I said to you."

"Already forgiven, Tel. It happened over time. We all noticed, but kept thinking it was...justified after what you went through. I am perhaps the worst of them. Unlike your countrymen, I expect people to learn hard lessons and lose their innocence."

"My innocence has been removed, aye, no doubt."

"I first saw your change as a maturing. I did not welcome it, but I thought I understood and told you so."

"I hope maturing does not include insulting my good friends."

"That came later when we tried to question your darker changes. Paranoia, I suppose. All your most-trusted retainers and friends turning against you."

"I remember sliding slowly into darkness, at first I resisted."

"I remember it now, too."

"But, it grew too strong for me, as you saw."

"Then my absence of those weeks. [link]" Teleperien nods. "I returned to find you...far gone. Gwindor and Borin sought me out, but my delay cost us time."

"I remember your absence. For a reason I couldn't explain, I longed for your return. Perhaps it was the only sane thing I knew of." Xenograg can only smile in reply to such a deep statement. "On a happier note...."

"Yes, please."

"In celebration of Philippe's return and my return to sanity, there will be a feast and a dance afterward!"

"Wonderful."

"Of course, Amal, yourself, and the girls will be invited. Erwyn would never forgive me if they weren't invited." Xenograg makes a mock groaning sound.

"New dresses for all," he adds before breaking back out in a smirk.

"I can send dressmakers," Teleperien volunteers with a mischevious look in her eyes.

"You better! They only have to travel up one story and down the hall." They both laugh. "Amanda will love an Eldarie gown."

"It will make her lovely skin glow. Will Mystic be able to endure such a night?"

"We will have a maid available should Mystic get tired."

"Of course."

"She is well-behaved and will not complain."

"She has been a delight."

"Will probably find ways to entertain herself. Speaking of Mystic...." Teleperien is sipping tea has he begins, and raises an eyebrow. "Do you remember the problem she caused between us?" Teleperien pauses, trying to remember. "Her leaving Sawrey without permission," adds Xenograg to help her memory. Her eyes widen as she recalls the scene.

"Oh, yes. I remember our discussion."

"I will tell you now that you were in the right, despite your condition. She was abusing your hospitality, and I was letting her."

"It did cause worry with Christy."

"Truly." Xenograg sips his tea, letting the subject rest. Teleperien sets her cup down and reaches up to pull her hair out of its bonds. Xenograg can only look on in mild surprise.

"Please excuse my familiarity. I have answered more missives than I can count." He smiles warmly.

"I take it as a compliment. Just as you are one of the few people to see me in this," as he gestures to his favorite red-brown caftan and sandles. It is Teleperien's turn to smile.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:18 pm

"Begin," is Xenograg's command.

The three girls -- the princesses Erwyn, Amanda, and Mystic -- move in unison, dropping into the first combat stance. The three are wearing lamellar armor and wield wooden swords. Xenograg is also wearing armor, a hauberk of elven mail under his usual topcoat. A wooden sword is in his right hand while his left is tucked behind his back. Xenograg walks in a circle around his three students as they move through the assigned kata. His eyes watch all three at once, noting strengths and weaknesses.

"Third form...switch!" The girls have come to expect such impromptu changes and adjust with only a little hesitation. It will be many more months before any of them will be able to act without conscious thought. Xenograg completes his second circle and stops in front while the girls finish the third form. All forms end with a salute, and Xenograg returns it. He does not always, though; not if a significant mistake is made by any of them.

"Good. First form again...begin."

The training session continues. Two to three hours a day, six days a week. The girls are young, but each knows the world is not a friendly place.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:46 pm

Xenograg is a busy man despite rising before dawn every day in Barsi. He performs his daily sorcerous rituals before waking Amaltea at mid-morning. Then he is off to Eldicor to apprentice his students which lasts until noon. He returns to Barsi for lunch with Amaltea and his sons, followed by a short siesta of meditation or an actual nap. The afternoons are given to his duties in Barsi, with the occasional inclusion of Xenodar or Eldicor. Evenings are Xenograg's flexible time. They run the gamut from court socializing (Barsi and Eldicor), to dueling, to a private evening with friends or family (one of the halves). Whenever possible, Xenograg returns to Eldicor to bid goodnight to Amanda and Mystic. Finally, back to Barsi to do the same for his sons (if not too late) and to bed with Amaltea.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by QueenTeleperien » Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:39 pm

Watching from a discreet position, Tele watches Xenograg tuck in his daughters. This nightly ritual illustrated his devotion to his family. Suddenly she felt a stab of sorrow. Erwyn has never had a father, being that Nomrah died before she was born. Xenograg was the closest to a father figure to the princess. No matter how well Xenograg filled that role, it wasn’t the same as an actual father. In the other room Erwyn was already in bed. Tele of course had visited her as she always did. They talk of their day and Tele listens as Erwyn tells how her lessons were going and how much she loved the sword training the most.

When they finished, Erwyn wiggled under the blankets. Tele had leaned over Erwyn and kissed her on her forehead as Erwyn hugged her mother.

"Mara lomë" Tele says gently as she stands.

"Mara lomë" Erwyn repeats as sleep takes her.

Coming back to the present, Tele turns and silently returns to her apartments.
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Post by Xenograg » Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:44 pm

"Remember: a spell is a process, not a thing," Xenograg tells his students for the hundredth time. Today, the three girls sit and practice carving runes into wand-sized wooden dowels. It is delicate work with a very sharp knife; each girl has nicked her finger at least once this morning.

"Preparation is everything," continues Xenograg's lecture. "Magicians are people who pay attention, think ahead, and get ready for things before they occur. The spell or skill that may save your life someday in the future will be begun here today. All learning is preparation."

Erwyn finishes a carving and adds the dowel to her work pile. She takes a moment to look up at her teacher to show she is paying attention to his words, then takes up a new practice wand. Each girl works through a pile of a dozen sticks at her own pace.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:57 pm

"The first magic comes from within," Xenograg explains to his three students. "All living things generate energy, however limited in quantity. This Personal energy can be utilized by a sentient being with practice."

The girls sit cross-legged on the floor facing their teacher who sits likewise. They are not meditating but are in a period of contemplation. Xenograg continues the lesson in a soft voice.

"Before you can use this energy, you must know it -- become aware of it, learn its rhythms. You focus your awareness on your body, feeling every little thing it does and why. With this knowledge, you begin to establish better control over your body and its actions. You eliminate wasteful movements and refine the rest."

"Naturally, I am talking about a high level of physical fitness. Sorcerers are akin to martial artists in this regard. The latter apply their knowledge and awareness in different ways for different purposes, but the results can sometimes be very much like magic."

"Emotion is the heart of sorcery. No one can doubt the power of emotion. Emotions summon and release one's energy -- anyone's, sorcerer or not. Sorcerers are aware of their own emotional state at all times: what they are feeling and why. Certain spells require a specific emotional state. A sorcerer knows how to change what he is feeling to create the effect he desires, or prevent an effect he does not. I speak of control, not suppression. Suppression leads to losing access to your energy; you cripple yourself."
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:51 pm

The training hall is filled with the ringing sound of clashing steel. Teleperien and Xenograg spar at full speed with heavy swords. Neither bears a shield; their only protection being padded training armor and each other's skill. The Queen is a proficient swordsbeing, but knows that is not good enough. At her request, Xenograg scheduled a lesson a week for the last month. Unlike her daughter, Teleperien is not learning Xenograg's sword-magic, just receiving advanced weapon training.

They cut and feint, parry and riposte; attack, defend, then counterattack. Teleperien sees her opponent's sword come slashing down near-vertically and shifts her weight into the parry -- only to find Xenograg's blade mere inches from her face!

"Mark," is Xenograg's obvious judgment. The blow would certainly have been lethal. Xenograg steps back, and both combatants drop their guard and rest. Xenograg is frowning.

"You have to do better than that, Tel," he admonishes. "You have seen that feint before."

"Also that pattern," she rebuts.

"Yes, exactly."

"You mean...?" and he nods. "A good set-up, Xeno."

"I have warned you against patterns in your own actions. Likewise, do not assume an opponent's apparent pattern is a mistake on his part."

"Point taken."

"Other than that, you did well. It is taking me longer to score on you."

"And if you were using sorcery?"

"Answer your own question," he retorts. Teleperien thinks for a few moments.

"Our fifth pass and my weak parry."

"Which it was, but I would have crippled your leg in the third pass."

"Indeed?" she replies, using his favorite sarcasm for levity. "Perhaps I, too, am holding back to keep things fair." Xenograg grins and raises his sword in salute. She returns the salute, and they turn away towards the dressing rooms.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Erwyn » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:46 pm

Watching from the door, Erwyn was awed by both her tutor and her mother's ability with the sword. Amanda and Mystic stood next to her, but seemed unphased by this. They had seen her father in both training and even attacked.

"Oooh.. I want to learn how to fight just like my mother."

"Father will teach you such things," Amanda reassured her.

A voice sounded behind the girls. "She is quite the warrior, is she not?" Turning they see Philippe watching with admiration in his face. Erwyn smiles and slips her hand in his.

"Aye that she is."
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Post by Xenograg » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:52 pm

Xenograg sits cross-legged within the magic circle inscribed upon the floor in Nom's Tower of Sawrey Castle. His hands rest upon the wooden scabbard laying across his lap. The scabbard is capped in bronze at both ends with a bronze band midway down its length. Half of the scabbard's surface bears either carved symbols, gemstones, or small bronze medallions. Xenograg's left thumb is carefully placed over a just-carved glyph so that the blood from the pricked finger drips into it. His eyes are closed, his meditative posture a vehicle for focusing his psyche.

Xenograg has repeatedly told his students that preparation is the hallmark of any magician. He has also told them that a spell is not a thing but a process. Preparation and process are what Xenograg is engaged in at this moment. Now projecting into the astral planes, Xenograg gathers energy and shapes it to his purpose. The spell is begun here where time and energy are abundant. He works without haste, entirely intent upon quality. Once satisfied, Xenograg suspends the spell. It will remain thus until triggered or its energy dissipates after a period of time. Xenograg imbues the trigger into the new glyph on the astral analogue of the scabbard. Every symbol is or was a pre-prepared spell. In this way, Xenograg can appear to cast spells in seconds instead of minutes.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:41 pm

Erwyn is getting an individual lesson from Xenograg. With a sword in her right hand, Erwyn holds a round shield at the ready with her left arm. Its wooden front is marked by many small burn spots. The spots are old, though. Erwyn blocks another of Xenograg's small eldritch bolts, its impact making her magic shield visible for a moment.

"Good," judges Xenograg, indicating the end of this lesson's phase. Erwyn dispels her shield and relaxes. Xenograg walks over to her. "You are proficient with using a physical shield as the focus for your sorcerous one. The similarity make a shield an easy focusing object."

"Easy?"

"Yes, though I am not trying to belittle your progress," he reassures her. "You have a foundation you can build upon. A shield is a natural first focus here, but it has limitations as one. Have you noticed any?"

"The shield only covers the left side of my body. It is also bulky." she postulates. Xenograg nods at each point.

"Well said. A focusing object -- a wand or shield -- is needed at the early stages of evocation. With sufficient training, a sorcerer can dispense with such a prop entirely. Like this...." Xenograg brings his empty left hand up and conjures a visible magic shield of his own. At such close range, Erwyn can sense the disc as well as see it. "I can even switch which hand it follows," Xenograg says while simultaneously demonstrating the action. He also rapidly moves the shield left and right, up and down, with only tiny movements of his wrist. Now done, he lowers his arm and the field dissipates.

"A shield is not the only focusing item for a ward. You could use a wand, a staff..., or a sword." Xenograg draws Nartelemna from its sheath and brings it into a ready position. A moment later, Erwyn again senses the magic shield pop into existence. She also realizes it is not circular but oval -- befitting the rod-like shape of the focus object.

"Must it be oval?" she asks. Xenograg smiles.

"No, but oval is its base shape in this case."

"How do you maintain a magic shield while attacking with a sword?"

"I cannot," is his honest answer. "This directional type of sorcerous shield requires concentration that cannot be sustained amid physical combat. Even casting other spells can imperil us."

"What do you do?"

"There are other forms of eldritch defense," he says in a tone that invites Erwyn to answer her own question.

"Oh! An aura shield?"

"Indeed. It is a weaker defense but easy to maintain; and omni-directional, too."

"Better than nothing."

"Exactly."

"Can a sorcerer's shield block a physical weapon?"

"Yes, at great cost. Usually done at a last resort." Xenograg sheathes his sword.

"If you have the strength left."

"Right. Now, back to your lesson. Do you think you can raise a shield with a sword in your hands?"

"One way to find out," says Erwyn with a smile and a tone of confidence.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by QueenTeleperien » Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:21 pm

It was if no one or nothing had dwelled here. A castle with red brick turrets and slate floors stood empty and lifeless. An explorer steps through broken gates into a courtyard. A strong gust of wind stirs dead leaves with a melancholy sigh. Though the castle was abandoned, it still held memories of those who lived there before. A vision, danced in front of the explorer, a play of the history of those who once lived in the now silent halls.

A young elf, very unsure enters the castle to assume the rule of a magical land. Queen Teleperien. After marriage she bears a son, Elladan to her husband Nomrah Allaen. The son and husband disappear, leaving the elf queen alone, expecting their second child, a daughter.

The daughter is born who was named Erwyn. She proves to be spirited and lively and the delight of queen and those who lived with the queen in the castle.

Another person enters the vision, a burly human with dark blonde hair and a fine grey cloak. Near by is a small woman with dark hair and a baby, Sir Llewyss GreyMantle and his wife Lady Murelle GreyMantle. The child, Gweynelth Patrice is content to look at the intruder of these memories, eyes wide and dark brown.

Then a ship had arrives with broken masts and a half-starved crew. Upon was the queen’s last husband, Philippe de Bouillon. For the next few years, both heart ache and joy was part of the marriage. Teleperien understanding her husband’s yearning for adventure sent him to look for trade in the southern waters. Against his wife’s admonition, he took up his pirating. The ship was captured and all but himself survived the imprisonment. For three years Tele was convinced of his death. Later when he returned without notice.. Tele confessed to having an affair with another. It almost ended their marriage. Philippe, chose to forgive his wife and though it took time, their marriage was stronger than ever.

What ended this almost peaceful realm? The visitor pulled out of his cloak a letter, folded neatly. It was unfolded and it was re-read:

My dear Xenograg.

By the time this missive reaches you I will be gone. As you know, my daughter has been the target of the Circle for abduction. It was learned that even under your protection, she would have been found. Alatar soon arrived and of course knew of the plot. He told me the only protection she would have had was in the Blessed Realm of Valinor. It was determined that we leave immediately.

Philippe was sent back to France and will have no memory of Eldicor save as a vague dream. I would have him accompany us to Valinor, but I know in my heart he would have chaffed against it. He is meant to belong to the sea, not in a realm of elves.

I will miss your company and your friendship. I may return when the danger has passed, but that has not been determined as yet.

You will always remain in my heart as a faithful and true friend. I will not say farewell.

May the blessings of Valinor be with you.

Teleperien
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Post by Xenograg » Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:36 pm

Xenograg magically travels to Sawrey Castle to pick up Erwyn for her regular morning lesson. A page stands waiting outside the door to Nom's Tower. As instructed, the boy delivers Teleperien's letter to Xenograg. Reading it, Xenograg feels a chilling shock. His mind agrees with the Istari's advice and the elven queen's decision, but his heart aches -- he misses them already.

He attempts to act upon what is. He looks up to the page.

"Who is stewarding the realm?"

"His Highness, Prince Boromir, has been appointed as Regent, General," is the boy's answer. Xenograg nods. Boromir is Teleperien's brother and is the obvious choice. Xenograg has met him a few times, all during the Mount Dread campaign.

"I am sure His Highness is very busy, but I wish a short audience with him concerning my status and privileges." The page bows and departs upon that errand.

Despite everything else on her mind, Teleperien had anticipated Xenograg's request. Within half an hour, he is escorted into Prince Boromir's presence. The Regent assures Xenograg that his access to the realm is unchanged. With characteristic Eldar grace and diplomacy, Boromir indicates that Xenograg's advice will not be sought as frequently by him. Xenograg accepts this without issue; it was his friendship with Teleperien that made him an unofficial counselor.

Xenograg departs to give Amanda the bad news.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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Post by Xenograg » Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Amanda knows something is wrong because her father and Erwyn are late returning here to Dojo Darelir. She tries a meditation to calm her worry but is only partially successful.

Xenograg finally arrives, alone. His expression confirms there is bad news. Amanda's worry becomes fear.

"Father?" is all she ventures. Xenograg steps close and simply hands over Teleperien's letter. Amanda reads it.

"No...," she moans as tears come. Xenograg embraces his daughter, and she cries into his chest. Her best friend is gone, and she never even got to say good-bye!

Her crying eventually subsides. She looks up to see her father's eyes also teary. 'Yes, his pain is threefold,' she thinks. 'For his friend, the Queen; for his student, who was as a daughter (and thus my sister!); and for me and my hurt.' Amanda cannot but smile up at him, the most important man in her life.

"I love you, Daddy."

"And I love you, Amanda."

"Will we see them again?"

"Someday. The letter said so." Amanda quickly re-reads Teleperien's message.

I may return when the danger has passed.... I will not say farewell....

Not exactly the truth, but a clear desire on Teleperien's part.

"Someday," she repeats, part reassurance and part hope.
"The stupidest creative act is still a creative act, and that the real gap isn't between the mediocre and great work. The real gap is between getting started and doing nothing. If you've created something, even if it's stupid, you've put yourself in a position to do more." - Clay Shirky
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