INTERLUDE (a.k.a. The Vapor Thread)

The Brighter The Light, The Deeper The Shadow - Jay Kristoff

Moderators: Elessaria, Connar Valdor

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Connar Valdor
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Morning’s angelic reprise

Post by Connar Valdor » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:15 pm

The early hints of morning were peeking through the window blinds of the inn. Eless was sleeping against him in the oversized armchair, snuggled under a blanket - a gift from the sister gnomes no doubt. The empath’s face radiated peaceful warmth as she slept. It was all he could do to resist the urge to touch her cheeks and lips. This spot at the inn had become their retreat, their escape from cares and burdens, if but for a little while. They talked and teased in circles with their words. He knew she had deeper questions and desires; they both were experts at evading harm, even the emotional variety. She knew him better than anyone else ever had, and he felt he knew her, yet there was much of their lives, past and present, that remained a mystery.

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A gift from the heavens

Post by Connar Valdor » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:30 am

As Connar scooped Eless into his arms, he hoped she didn't think he saw her as needing assistance. He used the fact her shoes were missing as just cause to carry her home. In truth, he simply desired to hold her close a little while longer. The tiny scars and scratches covering her body were troubling as well. He didn't know how her healing powers worked only that they took a toll on her when used. The long day she had preparing and participating in the Beltane festivities and the extended hours spent with him had their price on her health as well.

He looked down at her and smiled as she locked her fingers behind his neck, her way of shouldering part of the load. The empath was lithe and light in his arms - made so by his affection for her as well as the fact she couldn't weigh more than 6 or 7 stones - and a good portion of that weight was in the material comprising her gown.

As they emerged from the canopy of the forest onto the cobble road leading to Rhydin, he glanced up to the night sky and the flickering stars in the distance. ”Can I tell you about the stars I saw while on Patmos, chére?”

Her gaze followed his, and she brushed her fingers over his shoulder, ”It’s not exactly like talking about the weather, but I think we can allow it.” She smiled up at him, leaning her head against his chest. ”If my eyes happen to close, it's only so I can better imagine what you are describing.”

He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her head. ”I will only take offense if you begin to snore.” That earned him another pinch; the third such pinch for the night if he were keeping score correctly. He chuckled and cleared his throat to announce that the story was about to begin.

”Patmos is tiny, barren, and not the kind of place one might imagine when thinking of an island escape. It is one of dozens of such islands scattered between Greece and Turkey - you may have heard of these places before. Many of the stories of Earth's gods and fanciful legends come from this part of my world.” He smiled, thinking he recalled someone comparing Eless’ beauty to that of a Greek goddess. As he looked at her now, the comparison didn't come close to capturing her true beauty and allure.

He stared silently at her as he carried her in his arms. She looked into his eyes, reading his mind from his expression, the hint of a blush coming to her cheeks. ”Wasn't there supposed to be a story about stars in here somewhere?” she asked with amusement playing on her lips.

Her comment snapped his mind back to the present. ”Yes, where was I? Oh, ah, Patmos...it’s not the kind of place I would want to string a hammock. The land is rough with boulders strewn across its surface. For centuries, people were sent there as punishment, not as a retreat from the cares of city life. The wind blows constantly, sometimes tis a breeze, other times it is a steady gale as it was the night I looked up and beheld the heavens filled with stars.

”There were no lantern lights from the town nor were any of the campfires large enough to compete with the light descending from the stars. The night sky was clear and cloudless and blacker than ink. The stars seemed so close...as if I could extend my hand and touch them. It filled me with a sense of calm and peace. It was as though a small gift was being offered to me, a recompense for trials endured and those yet to come.”

He looked down at her, the night sky reflected in her loving gaze. ”All my thoughts were filled with you. All the beauty and splendor before my eyes were meaningless if I couldn't share them with you. As I sat and stared up at the majesty on display, I could only see you in the lights above.”
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Connar Valdor
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A Walk Under the Stars

Post by Connar Valdor » Thu May 23, 2019 12:35 am

Escorting Elessaria from the Inn to her residence was a bitter-sweet pleasure for Connar. He relished the time with her - any time with her was more than he felt he merited. But there was always the parting, the well-wishes for safe journeys and speedy returns. Neither Connar nor Eless could say with any certainty when their next meeting would be - try as they might, each "see you soon" shared at their parting felt like good-bye to their hearts. It was no wonder that on each occasion they reunited that they spent the majority of their time together simply re-affirming their love for each other.

On this particular stroll to her home, Eless had asked for another story about the stars. Connar was happy to entertain her. He spent many nights over the centuries looking into the firmament pondering the lights that hung in night's heavy curtain.

"Not so very long ago, I used to lament the coming of the night. You know how much I love the light and warmth of the sun."

She squeezed his hand, acknowledging her agreement.

He chuckled, returned the squeeze to her hand, and continued. "Well, I dreaded the night and the absence of the sun until I realized that each star pinned to the blackened sky was, in fact, a sun. Though faint and weakened by distances I cannot even imagine, they were still great suns straining to share their light and warmth across the vastness of space with me. It made me ponder those distances."

He pointed to one of the brighter stars above them as they walked. "I wondered if that star burns brighter than the rest because it is a bigger sun or because it is closer to this world and our eyes." He smiled and looked at her rather abashedly. "I really have spent far too much time thinking and pondering on this."

His voluntary admission made her laugh. "You taking something like this to excess is not that surprising, Connar."

Connar chuckled, "It gets worse."

"Do I really want to hear the rest?"

He brought their intertwined hands to his lips, pressing a kiss to her skin. "You only risk becoming bored to tears."

She laughed, warmed by the kiss, "Then, by all means, please proceed."

"Very well; you can't say you weren't warned." He drew in a breath and returned his gaze toward the night sky. "I know not how long it takes light to travel from those distant suns to our eyes. Hundreds or thousands of years perhaps. The idea that captivated me was, no matter how long the light took to get to my eyes, I was seeing that sun in its past. In a way, when we look at the stars, we are traveling back in time."

Connar then pointed toward the two bright moons cresting Rhydin's distant nighttime horizon. "My world has but one moon, so I know that I travel great distances to be here." He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as his voice mellowed. "Somewhere up there, one of those stars could be the sun for my world. If we possessed a lens or scope strong enough, you could see my world and see my history."

He paused for a moment, letting the idea settle in. "It makes me sad when I am back at my world gazing up at the stars."

Eless looked up at him, touching his cheek with her fingers. "Why is that?"

He turned to face her, taking her hand in his and pressing a kiss to her palm and wrist. "It makes me sad because you are yet to be born, and your light is not found in the stars dotting my nighttime skies."

Eless let him soak in his heart-felt melancholy before she began poking tiny holes in his bubble. "Have you considered, cher, that your travels here might be as much about time as it does great distances? You could, in the blink of an eye, be traveling a thousand times a thousand years measured by light. Unless you are millions upon millions of years old, your light isn't even a glint in your father's grandfather's eye."

He looked at her and smiled, raising a brow as he did. "Pray tell, what is a million?"
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The Bungalow Retreat

Post by Connar Valdor » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:51 pm

Escorting the lovely empath to her home was always bitter-sweet. While he relished the time they were able to spend hand in hand, there would be a parting at the end of the night's journey. Their frequent separations often spanned multiple weeks, which made their farewells all the more heavy on the heart.

Connar listened intently to Eless's description of her bungalow retreat, paying particular attention to how she traveled there and back. She described the place as if retelling a lovely dream. It was her escape, her private shelter from the cares of this realm and Evandar. She repeatedly told Connar the only thing the retreat was missing was him. Had Eless asked him, he would have gone there with her. He sensed she dared not ask. In the past, he may have declined the offer, but the pressures and strife in his realm were slowly and steadily driving him away.

Even her laments about closet space was not lost on him. While he teased her about considering having fewer dress options, he was also scheming how he might sneak away to the bungalow and make a few desired renovations. He wouldn't tell about his plans; it would just be a surprise. Eless would arrive on her next visit and find an expanded closet and a few new dresses as well. She chided him about his missed calling as a fashion critic; he might as well see how he might fare selecting a few dresses for her.
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Elessaria
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Starlight And Moonbeams

Post by Elessaria » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:47 pm

While Elessaria and Connar caught a few hours sleep in their imaginary hammock, Lyavain maintained watch nearby. Tasked with the protection of the Ladyfire of Evandar by her god, he found taking the form of a massive, white furred wolf was most convenient. Most of those he encountered viewed him as an ordinary, if overly large lupine, and as such, The Empath's guardian was often able to avoid more than a cursory interest. In the hours before dawn, he would silently patrol the sandy beach so the pair could lower their guard and rest more peacefully than when they were apart.

Beneath the blanket, Eless had snuggled against the Valdor's side as the long day finally caught up with her and sleep eventually claimed them both. Both moons and the stars still dotted the nearly cloudless sky when the icy cold talons of a nightmare attempted to drag her from her peaceful slumber. She whimpered faintly as she stirred, awakening. In spite of her drowsy state, Eless managed to refrain from bolting upright or making any other sudden moves. The last thing she wished for was to startle the warrior, causing him to wake and thus deprive him of his much deserved and needed respite.

Connar did respond, however, to her whisper soft mewl by wrapping his strong arm more tightly about her, drawing her fragile frame closer and pressing a tender kiss to the top of her head while she continued to use his shoulder as her pillow; his reassuring presence thwarted the nightmare's attempt to infiltrate her subconscious and ruin the serenity of their time together. Eless surmised he was an even lighter sleeper than she; therefore, she remained silent and as still as possible - reluctant to disturb his rest any further - even if he was most likely awake now.

The gentle sounds of the waves rolling against the shoreline with the shifting of the tides only served to add to the tranquility of their temporary hideaway. The diminutive empath nestled nearer - molding her soft, feminine curves to Connar's more muscular and powerful frame- not only to soak up the warmth he radiated in contrast to the chilly breeze, but to drink in the security and intensity of their shared love. Eless counted the stars and her blessings as she fell back to sleep ensconced in her betrothed's embrace, silently praying to whatever gods and goddesses who might be listening in hopes one day their dreams would come true.
~Can you use these tears to put out the fires in my soul?
'Cause I need you here...
Let beauty come out of ashes...
And when I pray to God all I ask is
Can beauty come out of ashes?~-Ashes
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