Title: The Map Room at the House of the Dawn
RP Thread Number: 45
When Occured: Between Sessions #21 and #22
Location: Dawn Manor (House of Dawn)
Out of Game Date: Jan 12 – Jan 20, 2019
Participants: Anglerond, Alluvian, Keyleth, Night Scale
Original Thread: http://silkandspices.net/forums/index.php?topic=12.0
Previous Thread:Frenetic Activity at Amal’s Tent (01/08/19 – 01/11/19)
Next Thread: Walking the Halls
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Key walks into the map room with the map that they stole from Glorian rolled up in one hand. She unrolls it and pins it down on one of the large tables placed in the space for that purpose. She puts both of her hands on the table top and leans in to view the minute details of the map. There is worry etched in the lines of her body. Worry for her healing but not whole sister, worry for Veronwe who they left behind in the underdark and worry for Anglerond who she watched very nearly die in their last fight. She moves away from the table and pulls out a few other maps for comparison purposes and tries to shake of her mood, burying it in the task in front of her.
Anglerond steps into the map room. He stops for a half a second when he sees Keyleth standing there and a smiles broadly. He walks over behind where she is sitting and wraps his long arms around her from behind. He puts his head into her hair on teh top of her head and breathes in deeply. “Good morning beautiful.”
Key closes her eyes and smiles broadly. She sits there for a moment just enjoying the feeling of being wrapped in his arms. “Good Morning. How was your night?” Did you rest at all?” She stands up and turns so she can wrap her arms around his waist.
“How long do I have you until duty steels you away?”
He looks down at her and smiles, “You are the empress, I am fairly sure I can stay however long you need.” He looks her over a bit, “You did great by the way, your sister was out in the garden this morning. She gets around pretty well with that blindfold on. She almost doesn’t seem to need her eyes. Have you talked with her?”
She smiles and lifts an eyebrow. “Im sure Im keeping you from something, but I can’t find it in me to care at the moment. I haven’t seen Alluvian yet today.” She rests her head on his chest and takes a deep breath in then out, taking in his scent.
“I just hope that being here helps her recover. The thought of her being captive for over a year breaks my heart.”
He ruffles Key’s hair, “Nothing for you to feel bad, you moved a lot of things around to get her as quick as you could. I don’t think she holds you accountable at all for that, she is still hoping she can save Glorion, she doesn’t seem as scared of him. I am not sure if that is better or worse though.”
She pulls back so she can look him in the eyes. Her face is full of shock and fear. “That’s the scariest thing Ive heard in quite some time. He’s past saving.” She pulls away and sits back doyat the map table.
“He sat by while she was tortured for over a year. How could she think that he can be brought back after that? Maybe I should talk to her, show her what he’s planning.” She motions to the map, then lets her gand fall into her lap. She sighs then reaches out to take his hand. “How are you? You almost died.”
His face hardens slightly at the talk about Glorion then softens as he thinks about Alluvian. He takes her hand and holds it firmly, rubbing is thumb along hers. “It will be ok, talk to her, she will like that.”
When he looks back at her, “I have almost died before my love. I had it under control” he gives her a humorous smile. It gets a little more serious, “Although I never want you to worry about me and I am sorry that happened.”
She squeezes his hand and shakes her head. “It didn’t look under control from where I was fighting. It was hard to watch your blood leak out onto the floor and not be able to stop it.” She shakes her head.
“It’s okay, your okay now. What did Alluvian say when you talked to her? Did she talk about her time with Mori?”
Anglerond shakes his head, “No, I did not talk to her. She looked strong but I didn’t want to throw things off and she didn’t bring it up. Night Scale follows her constantly though so someone is almost always there. Although Night Scale asked if I could occasionally follow her instead, so she can go with you and Luke if she is needed.”
He leans forward and kisses Keyleth softly, “I am so very sorry for bleeding in front of you.”
She grabs either side of his face before he can pull away. She kisses him but where his kiss was soft and tender, hers is fierce and intense. As it progresses he can feel her fear for him drain away and when she lets go the fear is gone from her features and all that’s left is love.
“I’ve never felt that kind of fear before. It really caught me off guard. Your skilled and capable, Im sure that you had it all in hand.” She smiles playfully and winks at him. She stands up and moves to roll up the map and put it away with the others.
“I’d like to go talk with Alluvian, will you go with me?” She looks up from her work and gives him a dazzling smile.
A huge smile blossoms across his face, “Of course I will. Also, maybe now you understand why I hate that you joke around about being a strobe light of death. I am terrified I am going to get a message, or that Luke is going to walk up to me and say you are gone.”
He seems to be thinking for a moment, “I realize we have some possibility of bringing back people, but the enemies you are fighting are the kind that consume souls when they win, please be careful is all I am saying I guess.”
With that he tugs her hand, “Let’s go find your sister.”
Key lets herself be led. As they walk she moves closer so that the lines on thier bodies are touching. “For the record I said I was the strobe light of life.” She winks and gives his hand a squeeze before her expression turns more serious.
“I promise not to joke that way anymore. There is a lesson in all things my master used to say. This was my lesson.” She looks around at the halls and rooms they pass bustling with activity. Aftee a moment she looks up at Anglerond.
“There is going to be a drow embassy here at the manor. Are you going to be alright with that?”
Anglerond shrugs, “Ok is not the right word. I respect it, we want to unite all the elves and that won’t happen without the drow as well and I realize it. Am I comfortable? Not really, but that isn’t a rational and I can handle it.”
He smiles, “Although I do like that it will make some of the houses pissy, that pleases me.”
Key smiles up at him. “I really do hate that it makes you uncomfortable. Maybe we can work out some sort of reward based system when you deal with them to give you something to look forward to after you’ve dealt with them.” She gives him a suggestive wink.
“It will only be one person. Maybe we can set her up in some rooms under the manor where she’ll be more comfortable. It will give everyone the opportunity to have some distance from each other when needed.”
Anglerond smirks, “I can work on a reward system, I would definitely be ok with that.”
He gets softer and slightly more serious, “Please do not fret about how I feel when it comes to putting your empire together though. You have no reason to feel worried or bad or anything. I will be perfectly ok. Although I can tell you that I know Nestrim, myself and I am pretty sure Sobhan will all be watching over the representative. Definitely put them in the main manor house, keeps them safe from outside and it makes it easier to watch.”
Key nods. She stops at the doors to the garden and pulls him in for another long kiss. She lets go when she needs air and looks up at him.
“Im so thankful that I have you in my life. Im not sure I know how I got by without you before. I’ll put her in the house where its easy to keep an eye on her. Maybe not next to the maiden we brought back. Im not sure how well they would get along.”
Anglerond sighs happily after the kiss, “The maiden might be her own problem. Rabbit keeps sniffing around her, and if I didn’t know better I think Rabbit might try and make her disappear… and not in a positive way if you get my meaning.” He raises an eyebrow at Key, curious if she knows what that is about.
Key furrows her brows. “Really, I guess we’ll have to talk with Rabbit at some point soon. If the maiden wants to stay I will make a place for her. I really just wanted to give her options. If the maiden wants to stay on the surface but not with us I’ll help her find a place wherever she wants.”
Anglerond watches the people around Key and himself as he talks “The garden is beautiful. Also, you would do just fine without me. You can carry all of this if you needed, but you shouldn’t have to so here I am” He beams at her.
“Im not so sure, but Im glad we won’t have to find that out for a good long time.”Key smiles back and grabs Anglerond’s hand to lead him into the garden. She stops amd looks around. Once she finds her sister she moves in that direction and sits next to her. She rests a gentle hand on her knee and waits for to notice her.
Anglerond steps to the side to allow Keyleth unfettered access. As Key walks into that corner of the garden it is only her training that she catches Night Scale sitting to the side, silently watching the garden. It is obvious to Key that she is doing this and blames herself for all the pain caused to Alluvian because she felt she had failed her friend. Her eyes momentarily flare to life as she sees new people in the garden, but the moment she realizes who it is a friendly smile crosses her face and she goes back to just watching.
Key turns and finds she would almost not recognize Alluvian if she was anyone else. Gone is Alluvian’s long blond hair, bright blue eyes and white dress. Now she sits in the garden with her hair chopped off above her shoulders and dyed a bright red (very similar color to what Rabbit has told Key she was going to dye her own hair). The white lock of hair on her forehead no longer seems like part of the blond but stands out from the rest of the hair, an obvious change that wasn’t going away with a good cleaning. Her lip ring is small, platinum and understated. Alluvian’s ears are a different matter entirely. Her ears have been recently covered with rings in a slightly different pattern on each ear. Something that would be considered garish by elves of Arborlon (or forbidden possibly in some of the desert tribes) isn’t that unfamiliar to Keyleth, after having seen a drow encampment and lived with a drow itself for several years.
The most drastic difference is the grey silk cloth wrapped around her eyes, tightened down by white ribbon, closing off the sky blue eyes belonging to her sister from the outside. The wrapping reminds Keyleth of some sort of cage around a wild animal, or binding of of a criminal, but in this case the thing being treated like a criminal is her eyes. it is an almost ritualistic covering, far beyond what is needed if Alluvian truly didn’t want her eyes to be open. Her head is cocked upwards, listening to the wind in the garden as it rustles the flowers.
Alluvian is dressed differently too. Instead of wearing long flowing dress (or a simple summer skirt) that she often favored, she is wearing a tunic and trousers with boots that Keyleth has seen the rangers wear. On her left side is a wicked looking long dagger, and hanging off her belt on her right side is a short tube that Key recognizes as a wand of some sort.
As Key had walked in Alluvian’s head had cocked to the side, listening as her big sister sat down beside her. When she feels Key’s hand, her smaller hand rests on top of it, still warm and still full of the love she has for her big sister.
“Good morning big sister, how are you doing?” Her voice still strong, still youthful, but still with an older tone to it.
Key sits still for a moment taking in all the changes and reconciling them with the Alluvian from before. She nods and smiles at Nightscale in her place in the corner of the garden. She takes in a breath to speak but stops, realizing that she can’t speak yet without anger and pain seeping into her tone. She takes a few more breaths then turns her hand over so she can twine her fingers with her sisters.
“Good Morning. Im okay, how are you settling in? Is your room okay?” She takes another breath and can’t hold the anger back any longer.
“Im going to kill them both.”
A softness comes to Alluvian’s lips and she smiles. At the same time she squeezes the intertwined fingers gently. “You are fine Key, you did nothing wrong. You sound like Night Scale, I keep telling her that she did everything she could. Things change, but we are still alive and that is what is important.”
She takes a deep breath in through the nose, out through her mouth. “Who exactly are you trying to kill Key? Don’t make me about vengeance, that is why Glorion is where he is. I am safe, as safe as I could possibly be. Don’t make revenge your motive, make freeing Veronwe and that is all that counts.”
She chuckles, “Can I get a bigger bed, Night Scale hogs the covers and sleeps in the middle.”
Key chuckles softly. “We can get you a bigger bed, but I think a bigger bed won’t help if she sleeps in the center. I think she’s trying to get as close to you as she can. That’s what I would do.” She shakes her head, then realizing she cant see the motion speaks instead.
“We’re going to get Veronwe back, but if we can rid the world of those two at some point I will be performing a service. Its not vengeance, its housecleaning.” She pauses, trying to put words together as gently as possible.
“Can you, either of you,” she motions for Nightscale to come closer. “tell me as much as you can or feel comfortable telling about what happened? Any details you can share may help us help you both and bring Veronwe back.”
Her smile freezes momentarily, “I don’t remember much right now. I can remember in a few days if you want me to. Nestrim has me on some herbs and they will take a few days to clear. It helps with the nightmares and as long as I keep the blindfold on the visions have been minimal. The side effect is it really messes with my memory and I only remember things like a fog.”
She looks down to her left as she thinks, “I do know both Glorion and Mori serve someone. They reported back regularly. Glorion is under Mori, but I think he is maneuvering to get moved above Mori.”
She stops momentarily then nods to herself, “I think Glorion was using the map to compare to his notes. He wanted to go to multiple places, but I don’t remember why. I know they used my visions to help, but I don’t remember that either.”
Key puts her arm around Alluvian. “That’s more than enough for now. We have the map. Maybe Luke will have some ideas.” She chuckles.
“Are the herbs anything like the ones Rabbit gave us? I still only get those days in fits and starts.”
Alluvian bursts out laughing, “No, those gave me weird dreams.” After her chuckling subsides she squeezes Key’s hand again, “No, he redid the mix of herbs he was giving me to calm me down when I was having nightmares. They seem to be working better.”.
She motions for Night Scale to come over and looks over at Anglerond. She cocks her head and takes her other hand and touches Key’s abdomen curiously. A flicker of a smile and she pats Key.
Key rolls her eyes and sighs, but she’s still smiling. “Dream on little sister. I have way to mych to do to worry about carrying a baby too. Maybe in a few years. The house isn’t even finished for cripes sake.” Her voice rises at the end of her sentence but laughter can be heard in her tone.
“Im not sure Anglerond is ready for babies either. Give him some time to get used to his new duties.” She bumps her shoulder against Alluvian’s playfully.
Alluvian laughs, almost a full laugh that ends slightly short. She bumps Key back and with a smile still on her face she mutters, “Someone is having a baby pretty soon. I just had to check.” The smile is still on her face she takes a drink of the flask offered to her by Night Scale who was now standing beside her.
Key eyes the flask being passed between the two girls. “Could it be someone else in the house?” She clears her throat.
“Was Mori lying when he said you where married to him? Im working on an annulment ritual just in case.”
Alluvian chuckles, “It could be a servant as well, that is very true. I was kind of hoping I would have a niece though.” She touches Key’s abdomen again.
Alluvian then gets quiet and Key can see her visibly swallow, “Yes, he is my husband now. He bonded us in front of his master. I am sorry I don’t know who, or at the very least I don’t remember who it was.” Her voice gets even quieter, “I don’t think it can be annulled though.”
Alluvian perks right back up almost by force, “Don’t worry though, between you, Rabbit, Luke and Salkya I don’t think much will come of it.”
Key mumbles just loud enough to be heard. “Damn straight it wont.” She puts a smile back on her lips and moves on as if she hadn’t said anything.
“I think it’s wishful thinking on your part. How am I supposed to adventure with a baby? Its not like I could strap it to my back like a sword.” She laughs at the thought.
The smile returns on Alluvian’s face, “Silly you would leave the baby here. Let it be raised by very well trained staff and Anglerond. You wouldn’t be taking the baby anywhere. Welcome to being a royal.”
The smile becomes a smirk at this point. “Don’t try keeping the idea you are raising the child yourself, that should go away right now. That isn’t your life and if you did try that you would be denying your child learning how the court works, sciences, and how to trust staff. You would also be dividing your attention away from what you need to do too much. You aren’t a farmer that can take your kids out into the fields and have them work for you.”
Key laughs even harder. “I get it now. Your not the first person to give me the farmer analogy. Your going to have to wait a bit longer for nieces and nephews.” She looks to Nightscale.
“Are you moving into the manor now?”
Alluvian laughs again, “I wouldn’t count on it, accidents happen and the two of you act like teenagers.” She settles back comfortably on the bench. “I bet it was Nestrim wasn’t it. Father gave us speeches all during both our younger years about not being able to raise babies like farmers. Although I don’t think Nestrim ever wanted babies… I don’t think though you get what you want sometimes and he is going to be surprised.”
Night Scale looks down at Key and smiles, a very hopeful look in her eyes, “I would very much like to move into the manor if you and the team are ok with that.”
Key nods. “Yup, that is definitely where I heard it on more than one occasion. I guess it’s taking longer than normal to get through my thick skull.” She turns to Nightscale.
“Of course its okay. Im surprised it took you this long. I just want to make adjustments so that your comfortable here. Should we keep the island as well? It wouldn’t be a bad idea. You can keep your hoard out there.”
Alluvian’s smirk remains, “When are you guys going after Veronwe, and can I come?”
Night Scale’s eyes expand in concern, “I don’t want to give up the island, that is my island.” She catches herself and smiles again, “I just need to be able to keep some of my stuff here in a room somewhere, preferably safe. I will sleep in Ally’s room, but it won’t fit my hoard as it builds up.”
Key laughs softly at Nightscale’s response. “We can keep the island. It might not be a bad idea for you to keep your cows there too. You can have your own room. We have plenty of space.” She looks back at Alluvian with a look of concern.
“I’ll have to talk to the rest of the group. But Im going to ask you a few questions because its stuff I know they will ask. Answer as honestly as you can. First, can you go an extended period of time without a vision incapacitating you? Is anything else triggering you? How well can you defend yourself if needed. You’ll also have to prove that you can take the blindfold off without incident just in case it gets pulled off you unexpectedly. We just want you to be safe.” She puts an arm around her sister and pulls her in close for a hug. She keeps her arms loose just in case she needs to let go quickly.
“We’ll also have to fight Nestrim. Would you be up for that? He’s going be a big hurdle.”
Night Scale gets quiet as the two sisters talk, she watches very carefully over Alluvian.
Alluvian stops for a moment, closes her mouth as she thinks. Her voice is quiet but still has that strength, “I can go without a long time without a vision. Nestrim’s herbs are helping even more with that. There are other techniques I learned when I was with Mori to shut them down at least for a time… until I could get away from him and he wouldn’t use them.”
She swallows as she continues, “Nothing more than it used to be. Strangely enough some of my old triggers don’t seem to bother me anymore.” She runs her hand along the dagger and then the wand on her other side. “I can defend myself well enough. The week and a half you were gone talking to mother when we were down below Rabbit showed me some tricks to not using my eyes. Also I have gotten used to not seeing things anyways. I can make hot tea without spilling it on me”.
She chuckles, “Did you know Rabbit has really bad eyesight?”
She continues on shortly thereafter, “I can take the blindfold off for short periods of time with no response. It all depends on the situation of course but even at the worst I can shove down my reaction for a time. Mori didn’t like me screaming so when he took the blindfold off to look into my eyes I learned to distance myself. It comes back eventually but I can do it when needed.”
Key squeezes her reassuringly. “That’s all good based on that I’d vote for you to go. I think it might be cathartic for you to beat some stuff up. It helps me sometimes.” She pokes her playfully.
“Why don’t we start with Nestrim and work on everyone else from there. Has pur brother been over reacting where you are concerned?”
Alluvian shakes her head, “Maybe you will get further then me, because he doesn’t listen at all to me.”
She curls her lip in imitation of Nestrim being annoyed, “Young lady, you were abducted, you just got back, you have responsibilities… blah blah blah.” She ends her imitation by laughing.
Key throws her head back and laughs. “It’s amazing how you sound almost exactly like him. I’ll talk to him, but it might be nice to have you in the back ground for a bit of pouty lip. Although the new ring kind of lessens the effect.” She looks her over again without the emotion she held the first time. Really taking in the changes.
“I like the look overall. Its just really different from before. Maybe we could add some tattoos to the mix.”
She brings Key’s hand up to her lips, gives them a quick sniff and kisses it. “I was already going to do that. Rabbit thinks she is going to get in trouble for the rings. She is the one that pierced me… ok that sounded bad.” Alluvian laughs to herself, “She is going to take me to her ‘guy’. I think she is worried you, Luke and especially Nestrim are going to get mad at her. She even put piercings in herself so I didn’t feel weird or alone.” She thinks for a moment, “You want to come with us and get another tattoo? We could get matching sister tattoos.”
Alluvian gets quiet for a moment, “You aren’t going to let her die horribly are you?” the question seems to come out of her mouth just as unexpectedly to her as to Key.
Key shakes her head as if she were getting rid of the effects of a physical blow. “No Im not going to let anything happen to Rabbit. None of us will. Did you see something?”
Alluvian shrugs noncommittally, “Yes… No… I don’t really know. I know that was a future for her in the beginning but things have changed a lot. Things are radically different for you now as well, things seem to go going the way they should, not the way they were in the beginning. I am not good at future predictions, they only happen rarely. However I think my aunt was good at them, so sometimes I get … feelings… more than a vision.”
Key seems to relax as Alluvian talks. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out. I just thought that you might have seen something. Between that and what mom and dad have said it put me on edge.” She refocuses to a lighter topic.
“Sister tattoos would be awesome. Depending on what you want done.” She laughs and nudges her.
Alluvian laughs, “I will leave that up to you, I suspect I won’t actually see it much and therefore I just want it because you like it and it makes us closer”. She hesitates for a moment and starts breathing hard. Night Scale doesn’t say anything, she just cups Alluvian’s elbow and makes a soft hushing sound and before more than a couple of seconds have passed her breathing becomes normal and she smiles as if nothing happened. The whole incident was quick and it was only Key’s intimate knowledge of Alluvian did she realize it wasn’t just a friendly pat for no reason from Night Scale to Alluvian.
Alluvian continues on as if she didn’t even realized that had occurred. “I was thinking something that would incorporate your tree symbol”.
Key smiles seeming to let the incident go for the moment. “That would be great. It would also be great if eventually we could get you to a point where you can see it too.” She turns to Nightscale.
“How often does that happen.” She raises an eyebrow and the look on her face is serious but soft.
Alluvian doesn’t seem to catch what Key is talking about, but Night Scale nods, “Not very often, and you just need to give her a moment of reassurance and it goes away. The more you can keep on it, the less visions she gets without taking her blindfold off.” She just shrugs, “She is fine, the priestess says it is a way to test her, and it will eventually fade away if she keeps faith.”
Night Scale gets a sneer at that last sentence. “I am more interested in taking her to Salkya, the Corellon priests haven’t been able to do anything real for the last few weeks, mostly they can make healing and sleep potions and that is it.”
Key nods. “They won’t be able to do much until we get Veronwe back. Your right it will be interesting to see what Salkya can do since she specializes im healing. Maybe more than the Correllian priests at full power.” She winks at Nightscale.
“Maybe I’ll have an artist draw the tattoo then have a create a song to discribe what it looks like. A three hour song.” She giggles.
Night Scale only smiles as Alluvian gets even more excited at the thought of tattoos but she just rolls her head, and Key can imagine her eyes are probably rolling under the blindfold as well when she mentions the tattoo song she bursts out laughing. “You are such a dork big sister, don’t drink, don’t carouse and you want to have a 3 hour song about a tattoo written for me… so dorky.”
Without saying a word she just turns around facing Key and hugs her fully.
Key hugs her back. “If that means Im a dork, then I guess Im a dork. I’ll design something and tell you what it looks like. I feel like I might be corrupting a minor.” She laughs.
Alluvian laughs even louder into Key’s chest, “I highly doubt that. Someone has discovered how to use a lightning wand static charge to make herself happy… so I get to hear it for half the night sometimes. She also reads me really bad erotica… I mean really bad because it is funny. I mean she is right it is funny, but I somehow think I am not corruptible now. Mainly because I am already corrupted.”
She hesitates for a moment, “I think our brother found us.” As Nestrim steps into the garden area himself, dressed in comfortable tunic and trousers and a smile on his face. One that just gets bigger when he sees his two sisters hugging.
Key laughs until she starts to cry, “Im not sure I needed to hear the explanation bit its a load off my mind at least.” She gives Alluvian one more squeeze before letting go and wiping her eyes.
“Nestrim. We were just talking about you. Are your ears ringing?”
Nestrim stops smiling as he hears Key’s words. He raises an eyebrow in the same motion see sees whenever he is getting ready to be annoyed. “No I didn’t dear sister, is there something I should be concerned about.” His humor is still obviously high though, and he seems pleased that Night Scale is so close. “Are you blowing up the world on me again?” That last line caused a twitch of a smile at the corner of his lips.
Key rolls her eyes and grins. “Im not blowing up the world. I’d tell you first.” She winks.
“Our sister just asked me about something but I told her I’d have to talk to you first before I gave her an answer. What brings you out on this fine day?”
Nestrim’s eyes don’t portray the same carefree sound that his voice gives as he glances at Alluvian, “I just was curious what kept my little sister out here so long. She has been enjoying the fragrances of the garden for almost 10 hours. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t cold, or hungry. After all she used to eat like a pig and I feared if both her and Te’Teh lived with us we would go broke from feeding them. Now she barely touches anything.”
His tone is humorous, but the flicker in his eyes directed to Keyleth are more concerned. “I wouldn’t want her to worry that she can bankrupt us so quickly and I take it as a personal challenge to afford to feed her.” His words carry to Alluvian as she just smiles and ignores him as she lets the air blow on her.
Key looks to Alluvian while Nestrim talks, a look of disapproval on her face. “Well you can add eating to that list I have you. You can’t defend yourself if your so week from hunger you cant stand. Why have you been out here for 10 hours?” She looks to Nestrim.
“I agree, we’ll find a way to feed them. This last haul should help with that quite a bit.”
Alluvian cocks her head towards the sound of Keyleth’s voice, no judgement in her own voice at Keyleth “Because I hadn’t felt the wind on my face in more than 72 weeks with Mori. I didn’t feel the breeze, the rain, the cold or the heat. All I could feel was the slight damp and coldness of the caves. I like being outside and just feeling it.”
She shifts slightly, “As for food, I do eat, just not as much. I am not as hungry as I used to be. Night Scale insists that will come back and I was just hibernating down there, and she is right. I am eating a little more.”
Key’s rising anxiety fades with Alluvian’s response. She continues in a tone filled with concern. “Statement still stands. If you don’t eat you won’t have the fuel you need to fight. Fighting takes a lot outof you.” She sighs as if resigning herself to a difficult task. She mumbles something to herself along the lines of ‘now is as good a time as any’. She looks up at Nestrim determination in her eyes.
“Alluvian wants to go with us to rescue Veronwe. I told her that if she could meet a certain list of criteria, of which she meets all but one.” She shoots a look at her sister.
“That I would support her choice and talk to you and the rest of the group about it.”
After realizing what Keyleth is asking Nestrim’s face shifts into being ready for a confrontation. Before he can say no, which she is sure he is going to do with a forceful voice he stops. Looks at Alluvian and an incredibly frustrated look crosses his face combined with a tinge of sadness.
“I would recommend against it.” he says in a short clipped tone.
“She is heir, she is young and she has only just gotten back from being kidnapped and forcefully married.”
He is quiet for a moment, “However, I cannot forbid her. She is an adult now. She is a married woman and I have no say over what she does, all I can do is give advice on what I think should be done.” Those words seem measured, straining against Nestrim’s desire to scream into the sky.
Key tilts her head back and forth as if she’s weighing options in her head. “Im the only living heir to my dynasty too, Im just throwing that out there. Although you do bring up a few things I hadn’t considered until now. Like, does he have some sort of magical control over you?” She turns to look at Alluvian.
“That will need to be looked at by Silkya. What will happen if you have a flashback or something like it? Will being in the underdark spark more visions?” She turns back to Nestrim.
“All that being said, I do think that kicking a little ass will be cathartic for her. Don’t ever think you don’t have any say, your opinion is valuable to me.”
Night Scale steps forward before anyone can answer Key and stands in front of her, “No, Mori could never control her. He tried and tried, he was hoping to use her as a device on command but it never worked. Miffle got beat pretty badly when he made fun of Mori, and Alluvian was beaten constantly and then healed. She never once bowed to a command of his. Never once broke on him.”
Night Scale seems slightly uncomfortable when she realizes she is speaking on behalf of Alluvian, however Alluvian has remained silent. “I think this would be the best thing for her, whether or not she has visions. If you keep her here, you are saying she is a cripple and might as well give up. She is as capable of defending herself as Te’Teh is, she is as smart as Luke, and as creative as anyone I know.”
Key looks a bit surprised, but as Nightscale continues relief seems to be the prominent emotion. “Thank you Nightscale, you’ve taken a weight off my soul. I understand your point of view. I don’t, nor will I ever think of my sister as a cripple. But she does have some limitations right now, ones that Im confident that in time she will overcome. Those limitations could be a contributing factor in getting us all killed. We need to weigh all the disadvantages before we make a decision. Thats all Im saying.” She smiles fondly at Nightscale, pride for her friend in her features.
Night Scale seems slightly annoyed but says nothing about her annoyance, she leans forward and quietly says “I was meaning she will feel like a cripple if you leave her, that is going to be worse than anything. Besides I will be there, I will take care if her,”
Nestrim steps forward, “You can’t go Night Scale, if you leave then everyone will know that she is gone and if she does go we can’t have those that would work against her know that. They may do something rash. We have to keep up the ruse you are here.”
Key rolls her eyes.“I got that. Thanks Nightscale.” She turns to Nestrim.
“Who are we worried about? I mean it doesn’t get much worse than a crazed demigod and Im sure he bound them in such a way that he already knows where she is.”
Nestrim steps forward about to say something when it becomes obvious an idea popped in his head. “Whatever magic Mori and his disciples, including probably Glorion, seems to be able to control your dragon body… However, it seems in your two-legged form they couldn’t control you and it got bad enough they cut all your limbs off to stop you…”
He turns to Keyleth, “Night Scale can go, but only her humanoid form like you found her. The dragon form could stay here anyways, people wouldn’t think twice about Alluvian then, at least not for awhile. They will realize you are gone and send things after you, but if both of you are together, that is well worth whatever cost they have to pay to get both. I can’t control anyone, and the group may say ya or nay, but I recommend only taking the humanoid part of Night Scale with you. I already talked to some of the wizards and they think it is actually an easy process to separate her now that it happened once.”
Concern starts to bleed into Keys expression. “Just because it’s happened once doesn’t mean it should happen again. What are the draw backs? How would you control the dragon half?” She turns to Nightscale.
“How do you feel about that?”
Night Scale hesitates, unsure of how to respond and then looks over at Alluvian. “I would do it for her, or for any of you.” She turns her attention back to Keyleth, “Whatever my family needs.”
Nestrim sits down beside Alluvian’s spot, “I have talked to the wizards about how it happened to Night Scale. Evidently Black and Brass Dragons are more easily… directed in the wild. They are often used as guard animals through things not even as advanced as the collars. When Night Scale’s mind is moved out of her body, it makes her as easy to direct. The dragon body wouldn’t be hurt at all, it would be more aggressive probably, but that can be taken into account.”
He looks over at Night Scale, “The humanoid form would probably feel less instinctual and more intellectual. It is probably why she resisted them so well, by removing her out of her six limbed form they removed some of the instinct and it propped up her intellect and will. She would probably resemble more a dragon born then a dragon in her humanoid only persona. Still deadly, maybe more so because of her intellect.”
Key smiles at Nightscale warmly. “We would do anything for you too. We also need for you to be safe. As long as both parts of you will be safe…” She trails off as something else that is still bothering her bubbles back up. She turns to Nestrim.
“Who are we worried about? These are extreme lengths to go to to keep up appearances. Anyone smart would start to think the ruse is just that after they notice Nightscale has been in dragon form for weeks on end without shifting.”
Nestrim looks annoyed at the thought of others, “Several houses would active start politicking openly if she was gone, using her going away as an example of how they couldn’t trust her to stay around when times were tough. They will try and find her anyways secretly, but if they confirmed she was gone they would probably reinforce it. They will eventually figure it out, but if its secret it will give you a chance to get ahead of them.”
He shifts, “The drow would also move when they hear. They… or at least some of their members are already going to try and stop, intercept or capture you when they figure you are down below. If the heir of Arborlon went down, they would just redouble it.”
Key sighs. “Its so irritating. We go out of our way to rescue thier god and the reward we get for that is more back stabbing and intrigue. This is already old.” She shakes her head and turns to Alluvian.
“I’ll take this to the group. If they out rule us you’ll have to let it go. No running off on your own. Can you do that?”
Nestrim chuckles darkly, “It is because most of the houses follow your line of gods. They don’t truly believe, they pay lip service but have no interest in what the Seldarine are looking for.”
Alluvian faces Keyleth, even if her gaze is not quite on her. “No, I can’t make a promise like that.” She hesitates, “I will take your advice and the group’s advice. I may not go, but I can’t give a full promise it won’t happen. Veronwe needs to be rescued and if I see you might not be able to do it, I will go.” She hunches slightly waiting for Keyleth to yell at her and be angry.
Key lifts her eyebrows at Nestrim. “I would never have thought. I always thought that the vast majority believed in the gods in one form or another. Valuable intell.” She turns to her sister exasperated. When she speaks her tone is level.
“Why didn’t you say that in the first place? I jave to admit I feel a bit manipulated.”
Alluvian shifts, seemingly confused and a little hurt by Keyleth’s words, “I haven’t lied to you about anything. I asked if I could go with you. How did I manipulate? I am even honest enough I told you I can’t give you that promise. I never promised otherwise.” Keyleth can see Night Scale shift slightly, uncomfortable at seeing Alluvian distressed.
Key raises an eyebrow.“Maybe I misunderstood. Why would you ask if you could go if you plan to go anyway even if we ask you not to. Im not trying to hurt your feelings Im trying to understand. We have a history of getting things done. Im confident that we can do this. If we asked you not to go it would be for your safety. If you left after us and alone, you would have less chance of changing anything than we do leaving as a group.”
There is a twitch on Alluvian’s lips as she doesn’t respond at the first moment, once Key is done speaking though she does speak with a little fire at the end of her voice. “I asked if I could go with you because we are family and my best chance is with you. That is why I asked you.”
She takes a breath and bites down on her words, “If I go, it is because you all missed something, or are dead. None of you have visions, none of you get the idea of where Veronwe might be. I am more likely to find him than you, you are more likely to survive long enough to get there. If the team fails, or goes too far afield and will fail I need to go.” Alluvian waits to hear if Nestrim will contradict her, but he is unusually quiet, so she continues. “I asked because I wanted to travel with you sister, that never was a manipulation, that was just me asking.”
Key smiles. “Okay, that makes a lot of sense. All things I hadn’t considered. Im sorry, I totally over thought that.” She puts an arm around her and squeezes.
The heat in Alluvian’s voice is gone as quickly as it was there. While Nestrim raises his eyebrow Alluvian wraps both arms around her big sister again and squeezes. “There is never a reason for you to be sorry with me keyleth, I love you and even if we disagree that will never change.”
“I love you too.” She lets go and leans back to look at her.“Next hurtle will be Luke. You ready to takle him?”
Alluvian looks a little anxious at Key’s words. “It makes me nervous to ask him. He is the one most likely nix the idea. You know how he is.”
Key smiles. “He is the most pragmatic of all of us. I’ll be there to support you but I think you should talk to him about this.” She looks over to Nestrim to judge his reaction.
Nestrim shrugs and seems like he doesn’t want to engage, “I would prefer to not try and help with this. I know what he is going to say and we are seeing each other so I don’t want to influence it either way.”
Alluvian is very quiet, she seems to be gathering her energy, “I am ready to talk to him.”
Keys eyes shift back to Alluvian, accepting Nestrim’s position. “Okay, we’ll have that conversation with him after he’s had some time alone with either Rabbit or Nestrim. I think that will be the best time to convince him of anything.” She chuckles.
“Until then I have some questions for our brother. How much longer do you plan to stay out here? You know you could open the windows in your rooms and get the breeze off the ocean.”
Alluvian takes a breath to steady herself, she seems uncomfortable with the idea of being inside. “I can go back in whenever you want sis. Opening my windows isn’t the same. I was trapped underground for over a year, I just like being outside where the smells and wind and everything is there. I didn’t realize how much I would miss it until I was down there.”
Key takes her hand. Both as a gesture made to comfort and to assess her body temperature. “You can come in when you want. You’ve just been out here a long time. We’re all worried about you and want to help in any way we can.” She makes a motion that encompasses everyone around her with her free hand.
“We could always make your room into a garden with half naked attendants with fans to recreate the breeze.”
Alluvian’s hands are fairly cold in the mild temperatures, that is another difference Key notes. Alluvian always complained about being cold, but while she does have some goosebumps she seems acclimated. It could be from the time underground in the frozen caves.
She smiles at her sister, “I love you Key, I can come in. I don’t want to worry you and I can come out later. Although I will take a bunch of naked men and women fanning me anytime. So count that as a yes.” She gives her sister a kiss on the cheek.
Key Chuckles and stands, pulling Alluvian up with her. She loops her arm in hers and starts toward the door to the garden. She looks iver her shoulder to see if Nightscale follows. Her head turns to face front again as she talks.
“Your cold, and Im not sure you are aware you might have been out here to long. The garden is isn’t going anywhere and neither are you. Just spend some time inside where its warm for a bit. We can set a table up in the hall just beyond the doors if you want.”
Night Scale falls in behind the sisters, watching over their movements. Alluvian just shrugs and smiles, “Fine fine, set me up a table by the window. You sound like an old woman. Just don’t get too old, and don’t forget to take me with you.” She gives her sister a smile,
Key laughs out loud. “I’ll try not to. I think you may be mistaking concern for old age. I will not forget to take you to talk with Luke.” She guides her through the door and toward thr stairs before letting go of her arm.
“Im going to talk with our brother then go find Luke. Thank you for indulging me by coming inside.” She kisses her forehead.
Alluvian chuckles, “It is ok, I will take care of you when you become aged and infirm. Also, I really would like to go with you to Luke. You aren’t talking to Nestrim about me are you?”
“Absolutely not. I have some questions about putting a gate in here at the manor and I’d like him to catch me up about finances. I thought be could show me how the barracks and barn are coming as well.” She looks to Nestrim then back to Alluvian.
“I won’t talk to Luke without coming for you first.”
Alluvian hugs Key again, “Come back soon and get me, if I am no there that might mean that Night Scale convinced me to go down to the kitchen.”