Title: Anglerond’s Bedroom
RP Thread Number: 48
When Occured: Between Sessions #22 and #23
Location: Dawn Manor (House of Dawn)
Out of Game Date: Jan 26 – Feb 07, 2019
Participants: Keyleth, Anglerond
Original Thread: http://silkandspices.net/forums/index.php?topic=22.0
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Key raps on the door with two knuckles then enters the room. She strides in with the confidence that she won’t be turned away once inside. She leaps on to the bed and lands lightly barely ruffling the bedclothes. She seams happy, all that happiness bubbling over in the way she swings her ankles in the air as she lays on her stomach on the bed. She doesn’t pause for a moment before she says: “We need to talk, Ive decided something.”
Anglerond is momentarily worried until he realizes that Keyleth is happy then a smile washes across his face. He leans over with his long, lean arms and pulls her up against him, wrapping himself around her back and holding her tight. He wuffles in her neck and once he is comfortably resting as much of his body against hers as he can he starts, “I am listening my love.”
Key lets herself be moved into position, then enjoys the contact for a moment before responding. She tilts her head so she can look up at him.
“Well, Nestrim has been pestering and I’ve been watching Rabbit circle Luke for weeks now. It made me start thinking. If you’re ready, I think once we het back from the underdark I’d like to have a baby.” She pulls away to look him in the face.
“We don’t have to if you don’t want to. If you don’t want to I’ll need to figure out some other way.” She seems to be thinking out loud now, just vocalizing a train of thought.
Anglerond leans over and hungrily engulfs Key’s mouth with his own, rolling her on top of him he doesn’t release her for an eternity. Holding her tightly, his face in her hair, “No one else, just me and whenever you want her my love.”
When she’s aloud to come up for air she laughs. “I wasn’t sure how you would feel about it after the other day.” Her face looses some of its happiness at the memory.
“We’d have to wait until Im home from the Underdark just in case…. I madw Alluvian my heir for now and you after her.”
Anglerond watches Key intently, the love is almost palpable, “I just want to make you happy, I want to spend the rest of my days with you and I would love to drown the world with your children.”
He pushes her hair back out of her eyes, “We should wait until you can take time for childbirth. I realize you will adventure when you are pregnant, but I would prefer you aren’t squatting in a cave somewhere giving birth while a dragon is trying to find all of you… unless that dragon is Night Scale of course.” He chuckles at that last bit.
Key’s eyes go a bit wide when Anglerond says ‘drown the world with our children’, but she laughs. Happy that sheymade him so happy.
“Lets start with 2 and see how things are after that. You’re right, it will need to be timed just right, but I think after we’re home from the Underdark we don’t have any huge plans to go tearing off somewhere.” She just looks at him for a moment, thinking.
“I thought you were going to change your name. Have you changed your mind?”
Anglerond gets quiet and a bit uncertain. He opens and closes his mouth a couple of times before speaking “I need your permission, I was thinking about taking the name Galanodel. It isn’t the surname of any royal house, no ties to royalty that challenge you or others. But I get to share a name with you, if you are ok with it.”
He takes another breath, “I have a couple of names I have considered for my first name. It is harder making a final choice that way but I am favoring Tari’lond.” He waits for her response quietly.
//Tari’lond roughly translates from Elven to “Queen’s Haven, or Queen’s Sanctuary”
“I would love for you to take one of my surnames.” She beams at him.
“Are you sure about you first name? I like it, but are you sure you don’t want another name that is morw your own?” She looks a bit self conscious.
Anglerond shifts and looks at the love of his life, running his hand through her hair “That is my own, that is who I am. I am way to old to become a musician and to find my place. My place is to be here with you, and our children. To be here for your family and do what I can for as long as I have. That is for me.”
He kisses her forehead, “I am glad you are ok with me taking Galanodel though, I was worried about that.”
She lifts an eyebrow and smirks. “A musician? I didn’t know you played an instrument. Im not sure why you would be worried. If its in my power to give I’ll give it to you.” She crawls off him to sit cross legged on the bed.
“I like the new name. We should let Nestrim know. He’ll have a mountain of paperwork to change.” She chuckles at the thought.
He smiles at Key, pushes his hair back like a teenager “When I was not much younger than you I wanted to be a bard. I learned several instruments… sort of. I found though hunting with your father’s older brother I was better with a bow, and much better with a sword.”
He shrugs, “I suspect you would not have been interested in an older musician though, so I am glad where things ended up.”
Key smiles. “I would have noticed you whatever your profession. You have lots of time to pick those instruments back up. We have a few days before I have to leave. Would you like to go shopping?” She waggles her eyebrows.
“Im more than happy to fund your musical come back.”
He laughs “I can play a little, maybe if your nice I will play for you. However, I think I want to do something new. I was thinking about learning how to smith jewelry. It doesn’t have the creepy older man context and it is something new that makes hopefully beautiful things eventually.” He touches her face gently,“Of course it will never be something that would bring out your beauty anymore than it is.”
He smirks, “Besides, I am positive I can’t play like Rabbit, I heard her the other day in one of the closed off rooms singing and playing something far beyond anything I could do. Is that how you keep entertained during adventuring? I mentioned it to Sobhan. He hadn’t seen her touch music except for unusual circumstances and he thought it was interesting she was performing.”
She tilts her head at him. “What’s creepy about you playing an instrument? You should do what makes you happy. If that’s playing an instrument, then play an instrument. If its making jewelry then make jewelry.” She stops talking and thinks, after a few seconds she begins to shake her head.
“She definitely doesn’t entertain us with singing and playing. I have seen her dance though, but that was here at home too.”
He smirks “I can try out the lecherous older bard. I can go get a colorful cloak if that helps.” He gives her his best smile,“I don’t think you could contain yourself, it might be too much for the world.”
He gets thoughtful for a moment, “You should ask her to do it sometime, it was something I hadn’t heard before and I still can’t quantify what it was. I think I sometimes hear her humming when she is around Luke, but you are right that is the only time I heard it.”
He raises an eyebrow, “What about you? I think you have a beautiful voice and I would love to hear you sing.”
She rolls her eyes and smiles at Anglerond. “If you want I’ll have Nestrim build you a new room for all the harem girls you bring home with your fancy cloak and your lute. I’ll be sure to stay away, my voice would scare away all your new little pea hens. I can’t sing, and you sir are biased.”
He gets a mock look of surprise and indignation “I bet Night Scale and Rabbit both say you have a great voice.”
His look becomes a little more devious…, “You make the most incredible sounds I have ever heard, I can’t imagine your singing being anything else but angelic.”
She snorts and looks at him with eyebrows raised. “You’re biased. I could croak like a bullfrog and you would say I have the voice of a nightingale. No one has ever heard me sing and never will. I know where my straigths lie.” She pokes him lightly in the side, fingers drawn together like a blade.
He flails around from the pokes and grabs her hand and gently holds it, pulling it onto his heart“I would kill anyone who wasn’t enchanted with your bullfrog noises.” A smile cracks his lips.
He takes his free hand and runs it down her chest to her abdomen, enjoying the feel of her body he exhales “Where are you and the team heading next? Do you need help with anything?”
She throws her head back and laughs.“If thats the case you’ll have a long list of about everyone in the Empire.” She looks back at him her expression going serious.
“We have to go get Veronwe, his fairies and as many of the nobles as we can. We know where they will be in the Underdark and we’re hoping to hot them before they get into any major cities. This will be a long trip I think. It was tougher than I imagined last time. Im not really looking forward to this trip.”
He nods to Key,“I know that Nestrim was preparing for business in the long term, I wasn’t sure if he was thinking negatively or if he knew what was happening. Do you have enough people? Do you need anything I can help with?”
She gets up off the bed and opens the window to let in the sea air. She sits on the sil and swings a leg while she talks. “Are you asking to go? That’s a decision that’s not just up to me. I won’t stop you from going if that’s what you want, but I have to be honest I would feel better with you safe here at home. I won’t keep you trapped here.”
He smiles softly at Key, she can tell he truly wants to go but his face becomes more calm, “That is up to you my Empress and my heart. I do want to be there to protect you, but I acknowledge that your team is already very effective and sometimes more people makes it harder. I also know Nestrim will need some trustworthy people before this is over. Sobhan will help, but it might be better to have house members here as well. Also with your sister here and Mori still wanting his wife back I do have to admit I am reluctant to leave her out of my sight for too long”
Key tilts her head, squinting at him a smile still on her lips. Her eyes relax and her head moves back to its normal position.“You can’t put this on me. This decision is yours. You make some very good agreements for staying though. You’ve become quite protective of Alluvian. Between you and Nightscale I think she’s as safe as she can be.”
He seems sad for a moment, “I know you will come back to me. I won’t make the difference for you team, but maybe I can be of help here if something happens. I will stay.” He looks at his hands tired, “I am going to miss you a lot though.”
Key gives him a soft smile full of the love she feels. “I’ll miss you too. Im a bit jealous of Rabbit and Luke. They get to be around each other all the time. I will come back though. Hopefully after we defeat Glorian. Im pretty surw he’ll be with that caravan. He’d want all the glory of handing over corellian.”
He smiles at key again, the sadness disappears “It’s ok, I can commiserate with Nestrim. Although I think you are right and part of me wants to be able to be with you just for that. Be careful, don’t go charging by yourself, work as a team. He is better than most people assume.”
Key chuckles. “I make no promises. Its gut instinct to rush in at this point. Although I’ll have to beat Luke out, he wants to bloody Glorian so bad he can taste it. I will try.” She says the last before he can protest any further.
“Lets talk about anything but my leaving for a while. Maybe we should go riding.”
Anglerond stands up quickly and bows to his Empress “I would be honored if you would go riding with me, your Empress.”
She laughs and unfolds herself from the window. She walks to the door and opens it looking over her shoulder to make sure he’s following. “What do we feel like city or country? My vote is for country. Its a bit more… private.” She looks iver to Anglerond with a lear and a smile.
An excited look crosses his face “I think country sounds great, I like spending time away. When you get back I want to take you out for a couple of weeks into the forest. You are more than skilled enough we wouldn’t be in any danger.”
He looks out the window towards the stables as he follows Key, “You going to take your new horse with us?”
“Which forest? Im not really into vacationing in a wood filled with purple mist.” She winks.
“I had planned to take her out. She’s been couped up for to long. A good hard ride will do her good.”
Anglerond bursts out laughing, his wheezing breaths mask all his words except something about ‘that is what all women say’. After several more moments he stops himself. Red faced and smiling, and kisses Key on the cheek.
Key rolls her eyes and shakes her head. “Im glad I can be a good source of amusement for you. Ive noticed that you only have a few sets of cloths and… a set of armor. Maybe we should do some shopping before we heas out to the country.” She raises an eyebrow and smirks.
Anglerond’s laughing subsides but doesn’t go away. He smirks affectionately at Key “Is there a style you would like me to adopt?”
“That’s not what I said and you know it.” She says with a smile.
“I just think you should have a variety. You can’t ware armor all the time and you’re going to wear out the ones you have.” She shakes her head.
“It still makes me mad that they took everything from you. A life dedicated to thier order and in the end they take everything from you and leave you with nothing but the cloths on your back.”
A slight bit of sadness and age crosses Anglerond’s face “You are right. I have nothing left and it is hard to try and collect stuff now. I have spent more than a century with minimal belongings. All my holdings are gone, all the trophies I collected as a Ranger are gone. Even my carvings are gone. I don’t blame the Rangers, I wasn’t supposed to ever leave. Normally the only way out is death… and upon my death my things would be divided among my cohort, which they were given away as if I had died.”
He looks over at Keyleth, “I am happy I found something different though. I will need to make a concerted effort to catch up to where I am supposed to be. I like making you look good, and you are right, me wandering around here in beaten armor doesn’t to help that at all.”
He pulls her close and kisses her deeply, “I want to be with you, I want you to know no matter how moody I may be, or off somewhere else mentally, I am glad I made this choice and I would make it every time.”
She wraps her arms around his waist and looks up at him. “I’ve never doubted your choice. But the fact that the only way you can leave the Rangers is in a casket is wrong. The fact that they are intentionally poorly funded is wrong. That you are dead to them now because you decided to change your path is wrong. I understand and fully support you if you want to find your own way to earn back all that you’ve lost, but you don’t have to. Whats mine is yours. Im really just made that they turned their backs on you the way they did.”
He smiles sweetly at Key, he loves her so much it hurts “I was mad at first, but not anymore. I understand they feel like I left them, betrayed them. I didn’t, and some have already reached out a little to acknowledge I am alive. Maybe there will come a time when the Order will accept people moving on. I think it would only be good for both the Order and the Houses. They are so afraid of the Houses gaining influence over them though.”
A smirk crosses his face, “Do I need to start a specific healthy diet in preparation of when you want children? Both the Desert Elves and the Drow do that sometimes.”
She smiles and shakes her head. “I plan to cheat. Nestrim says there is a potion I can take that will make sure I concieve first try. Why would they change their diet?” She cocks her head, genuinely interested.
He thinks about it for a moment, “I think at least the drow believe they can push a gender or a specific thing about their child by eating certain things. You know the whole heart of a spider to be closer to Lolth, or the face of an enemy… I wonder if Rabbit has ever had any kids, most drow that live beyond 70 pop out several.”
He nods his head to a thought inside, “I think for the Horse Elves that they do it to ensure the healthiest child they can have, especially since they usually live in such limited means for food areas.”
“Interesting. I don’t think Rabbit has any other children. I think that would have come up by now, or Luke would have seen it in the ritual he did. But if you want to try out a new diet so that you can keep up with running, screaming children then go for it.” She lets go and starts toward the stables again.
“Although I don’t think you’ll have much trouble in that regard. As an aside Rabbit and I have been discussing how to prolong Jack and Lukes life span. If your interested I can ask her if the research could extend to you as well.”
He follows Key, “As long as it doesn’t cost someone else too dearly, of course I want to live with you as long as I can.” I want to make sure you are protected, loved and that your children grow up to be good people. I can’t do that from a grave.”
Key looks over at him. “I think Luke and Jack have said the same thing. I haven’t pushed Rabbit for specifics but I will. I’d like to have you around for as long as possible” She smiles lovingly.
“Rabbit has some scary resources.”
He squints at Key, “No heavy cost to her as well. While earlier in my life I would have happily caused her pain, I would prefer to not hurt my love’s sister now. I would like to have Luke around as well, maybe keep the group from running off a cliff.” Anglerond chuckles a bit.
She smiles. “She didn’t go into specifics, but that would be a prerequisite of mine too.” She barks out a laugh.
“Luke tends to be the most rational of the group. I wonder if that will change with the addition of a sword.”
He follows Key as they walk and turn towards the stables, “I think it won’t change for much… except maybe Glorion. He seems very upset with what Glorion did to those he cared about. I think he will still be rational with Glorion mostly, but it will be tinged with wanting revenge.”
She walks along in silence for a moment then stops, turns to him and grabs his hand. Her face is full of sadness when she speaks.
“Most of the time I feel the same way, full of the want for revenge. But sometimes I want to try to save him. Then I feel like a traitor and go back to wanting revenge. I just wish we could find out why and how he could do this. Thats what hurts the most about it all.”
His gaze softens as she holds his hand. He leans closer and whispers, “There is nothing wrong with wanting to save him. Part of me still wants to do that. I know somewhere in there is still the boy I trained and helped raise. Somewhere in there is a young man full of future. Part of me even hopes none of that is him and he is being possessed, which is another possibility. I will do what I can to save him, unless it puts you or yours in danger and which case I will burn the ground with him on it. If you find a way to rescue him, don’t look away and don’t feel bad. I am starting to learn that it isn’t good for your soul to purely desire revenge.”
She sniffs and blinks back tears. “I guess we’ll see once we face him for real. I feel like we’ve been toyed with so far. The real confrontation is yet to come. Would you like to be there for that if possible?” She squeezes his hand.
He looks at Key for several seconds, “I would absolutely want to be there. However I have already accepted the fact it will happen when I am not and I will try and not worry about you.”
Key grabs him by the shirt and pulls him down for a kiss. Its full of love and compassion. She lets him go and looks at him.
“I’ll do my best to make sure you can be there.”
He stays as long as Key will let him bent over and kissing until she lets go, “I just ask you don’t throw yourself into a battle you can’t or probably won’t win. We need you up here, and we need you badly.”
His smile gets soft, “I need you badly.”
She gives him one more quick intense kiss then steps back. “I promise to try and make wise decisions that will keep me out of trouble.” She takes his hand and starts walking again. She leans in so the whole side of her body touches his.
“You’ve been spending lots of time with Alluvian lately.”
His eyes search around the barn in a practiced way looking for threats as he continues to speak, “I have always liked working for your family, until I left. Your sister is incredibly charismatic, and it is good she has you and Nestrim to keep her grounded. Otherwise I could see if she weren’t so well controlled and have you two that she could lead our people in a bad direction if she wanted.”
He looks over at Key, “Also your brother asked me to keep an eye on her, to keep her safe and make sure she was ok. Nestrim trusts that Night Scale would protect Alluvian, but her loyalties are to Alluvian before anyone else and may not give him the information he needs to make sure Alluvian is doing ok.”
Key takes a few steps to the nearest stall while Anglerond speaks. She reaches up to scratch behind an ear. She nods to let him know she is still listening. “Huh, he’s always thinking.” She says almost to herself. She finally looks up and makes eye contact.
“Does he seem that worried about her? When I talk to him he’s all cool nonchalance.”
Anglerond pulls down the saddle for Key’s horse, “Not worried as in worried she is going to change tomorrow. However he is always watching for possibilities, especially worst case scenarios. He also wants me to keep an eye on her so she doesn’t disappear. To be honest I won’t be able to stop or follow them if she just climbs on Night Scale’s back and leaves.”
He looks over at Key, “I am going to go to either Sobhan or Rabbit for a loan. We need some sort of aerial transportation anyways and you can still get griffons or Pegasi sometimes. It is expensive, but there is no way for us to follow Night Scale if something happens. I hope I am not overstepping.”
Key takes her sadle from Anglerond and tsks at him. She smiles. “Don’t take out a loan. Just tell them what your thinking and Im sure they’ll implement it or something close.” She chuckles.
“I’d like to be there to see the look on his face.”
Anglerond smirks as he thinks about it, “Actually that part is already done, Te’Teh was watching me try and set up money and she said she would communicate it to Nestrim in an unforgettable way.”
He gives a small look of panic at Key indicating he knew how that would probably go, “I figure the borrowing is only secondary if Te’Teh can’t convince either … Sobhan… Rabbit… or Nestrim of some other way. Te’Teh is able to drum up money the weirdest ways and it makes your brother and Rabbit uncomfortable. I counted it as a double win.”
Key settles the sadle gently on her horse and begins checking hooves as she speaks, “Im going to pretend that I didn’t hear anything about Te’Teh finding money. I guess the stables will need to be expanded as well. Its absolutely amazing to me how much is being built into such a relatively small space. Adding flying mounts to the stabkes is a great idea by the way.” She flashes him a smile as she moves on to buckling the horses berth strap.
“I would have never thought of that. We could use them beyond chasing after my errant sister.”
Anglerond chuckles, “I never would have imagined the gutter rat wanting to help anyone of nobility, she just hates them all… well most at least.”
He looks up at the roof, “Actually Nestrim and Sobhan got together after the gold and silver cache was brought in and they already have plans. Your palace is going to grow upwards, I think it might be huge. I know towers on the stables for flying messengers, they will probably just knock out a few walls to station aerial troops.”
She finishes up with her horse and cones to stand near her head. She shakes her head and smiles. “A city within a city. I know that what they are planning far exceeds the funds donated by Rabbit.” She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.
“I’ll have to try not to think about that. One day we will be profitable and prosperous. All.. well most of mt people and those others that wish to follow me down this path will be happy and healthy.” She opens her eyes again, calm restored.
Anglerond looks at Keyleth, as if caught off guard by something, “You don’t know do you? You are going to owe very little if anything. The odds are you will have a nice treasury.”
He gently takes a hold of her upper arms and spins her to him, “Rabbit not only gave up all of her belongings, which put her on par with House Elenren, those other caches were Drow House stock areas. Surface caches that they stored all their raiding goods so they can focusing on taking slaves and coming back for the gold/booty. She gave Sobhan and Nesterim the locations of over a dozen caches. I don’t think she was going to do that part, but she did. Evidently the Handmaidens are similar to rangers, as a group they operate separately and given locations of these so they can refit and survive their missions on the surface. The Houses don’t tell each other where the caches are for fear of being raided, so we don’t have to grab them all at once, we can snipe them as we wish since they won’t want to let the other houses know they were stolen from.”
He purses his lips, “I think Salkya had a small stroke when Nestrim sent her a letter indicating what her share of it will be. She gave one tenth to Sobhan, half of what remained to Salkya and the other half to you. Plus she just drained the bank of the drow houses.”
Her eyes go wide, her already pale skin going ashen. Her expression runs the gambit of emotions, from shock to sadness and a bit of relief. “Im glad we’re mostly out of debt. But as long as we’ll be making enemies I’d like some of that money to work for the people of the Underdark that wish to leave there. Can we start a network to get those out that want out? Maybe put some money into the warrens and relocate some of the refugees there? The money would do good in more ways than one that way.”
Anglerond smiles at Key, “Of course we are doing that. Sobhan is already arranging for charities to come in to help to take a way a little of the eyes on you. Nestrim is also taking a close interest in helping the warrens… I think the fact it is a passion for his boyfriend means he will move things more for you in that direction. As for the underground network, that takes a long time. It will get started but travel down there is hard, and I hear things are going worse so getting in and out is fairly difficult even for a well seasoned Handmaiden.” He gives key a wink
She relaxes and releases a breath.“You all anticipate what Im going to ask for before I ask for it. Im lucky to have you. I guess all we need to do is prepare for any fall out. Do we know what that might look like?”
Anglerond starts settling the saddle he picked up on his horse for the afternoon, “Against you? Nothing. They will want to deal with you and won’t risk blowing things up officially. They will try and kill Rabbit of course, now it won’t be just her mom, but that isn’t new. They may decide to try hitting anything of ours in a shadow war if they get really pissy, but the advantage of not having anything… is we have nothing for them to hit.” He chuckles at that.
Key swings up gracefully into her sadle and pats her mare on the neck in comfort.“We wont always have nothing and Im sure their memories are as ling as ours. If they’re smart they’ll know that my wealth isn’t where to hit me because that’s not what I value. It’s the people I love.”
Anglerond pulls himself up as well, “If they intend to sink you before you become powerful, the wealth is exactly where to hit you. You aren’t a danger to any house by yourself, even the group isn’t a danger when it comes to flexing power. To run an empire takes wealth, whether you get that through trading, slavery, invasion or something else. If they want to hurt you personally then they will avoid it. They probably won’t try to hurt you personally though, they will initially want to sink you.”
Key turns her horse and heads out of the stable. She waits until Anglerond has ridden up beside her to speak. “I suppose we have a while before we have to worry about all that. Hopefully they won’t discover anything for some time. The embassies will be a good idea then, keeping our enemies close and all that.” She nods at the gaurds at the gate as she rides through. She turns her horse to follow the road that will lead them out of town.
“Sometimes I miss life before everything was a political chess move.” She looks over at him and smiles.
As Anglerond follows up he nods, “They won’t notice for a long while, I hear things are heating up down there anyways. Are you going to allow refugees? Should we set up a refugee camp outside the city? Kokand won’t allow us to import a large number of drow if they try and escape.”
She doesn’t hesitate when she answers.“I think we should. Although it will create another logistical nightmare for Nestrim to cringe over.” She huffs out a quiet laugh.
“If you guys don’t think its a good idea though…”
Anglerond chuckles again, this time at the thought of Nestrim pulling his hair out, “I absolutely think we should do this. You know, I heard that Langwina’s Estates are for sale, it is outside the City proper and would give a home, plus a lot of land to go towards these kind of projects. Maybe even have Rabbit arrange underground connection.”
Key laughs. “That would be poetic justice. Using the slavers manor for freed slaves. How much is it going to cost us is the next question and will it make a vein explode in Nestrim’s brain is the most important consideration.
Anglerond chuckle becomes a laugh, “The possibility of Nestrim having a stroke is more than payback for the cost! I say do it. Plus, we all know you are going to do this at some time, we might as well prepare it and do it right as of now.”
Key sighs, happy and resigned. “What a bit more debt added to the mountain that’s already there right?” She looks over at him.
“Maybe we can head in that direction and take a look at it.” She frawns thinking.
“I can’t remember the condition we left it in.”
Anglerond snorts, “Scattered and mostly barren. It did burn for awhile, but Langwina had it set up to not burn down so it is mostly there, just needs repairs. The orchard is very large and lots of room for grazing so that would be a lot of room to put up new buildings. Don’t worry, we will probably die in debt, but leave behind valuable places for our people to live.”
Key grumbles half heartedly about mountains of debt. “It will all be worth it and Im trying hard not to let it bother me but it does sometimes. Just another one of those things that comes with the crown.” She shrugs a shoulder.
“Im glad we wouldn’t have to build from the ground up. I would like to keep some of the orchard if possible. It was the best feature of the house.”
Anglerond smiles at Key, “Of course we can keep the whole orchard, in fact Langwina did half the job for us. He was terrified someone would discover his child slavery ring so he all but ran off his neighbors, we can pick up chunks of their land for a good price as well.”
“That should make Nestrim happy. He can get all that land for cheep.” She pulls back on her rains to stop her horse then grabs the bridle to gently stop Anglerond’s.
“Would you mind taking charge of this project? I can talk to Nestrim and let him know this is all something I want.” She goes quiet and gets a bit self conscious.
“You don’t have to though. I can find someone else to do it.” She lets go of his horse and nudges hers back into motion.
A look of curiosity crosses Anglerond’s face, “Of course I will do that my love. I am curious why me? Don’t get me wrong I can work stuff like this, but it isn’t my speciality. That being said, I would love to take responsibility for one of your pet projects.” He gives her a loving look.
She smiles. The relief evident on her face. “Because it means so much to me. I know you would take care of it how I would, even if you would rather not spend time around drow in general. If you really don’t want to do it I’ll understand.”
Anglerond waves off Key’s concern, “Don’t worry about that, we haven’t gotten any refugees yet, all I have to worry about is approving plans and coordinating with Sobhan and Nestrim’s construction”.
She shoots him a sideways glance. “We will eventually, that’s kind of the point. Will you let me know if it becomes uncomfortable in any way? The last thing I want to do is force you into a situation you aren’t one hundred percent comfortable in.”
Anglerond raises an eyebrow, “Let me be clear, I am never going to be one hundred percent comfortable working with drow. No elf will be, but especially anyone of the majority who have lost people to them. It doesn’t mean we can’t work with them, make friends with them, etc. However, you are incredibly fortunate to not have any hesitation, that your life hasn’t been struck with tragedy and the drow, and I am happy. I am also very happy to take this on, but don’t be fooled by me, there will be bad days for me, and days where in my head I don’t want to do anything but shove a sword in their face.”
Anglerond takes a breath, “That being said, I think you are doing the right thing, and I want to help with it. It is just sometimes your overly optimistic view on race relations gets a little in the clouds for most of us and I don’t want you to be caught off guard if people have bad days. Not just me either, Rabbit will have bad days, your sister and brother. Hell your mother hates drow with a passion for the loss of her sister, but we all support you on this.”
Key nods her head once in understanding and reaches over to squeeze Anglerond’s hand. She lets go and is quiet for a moment, watching the road between her horses ears. She turns just her head to look over at him.
“Thank you. I promise to be there for you when you have need.” She smiles softly and turns back to watch the road.
Anglerond returns the soft smile, “I don’t think you understand, you have already been there for me more than you can imagine. I was on a destructive path, had not found anything I wanted to live for and was getting ready to do a final raid into the underdark… then I met you and everything has changed.”
Key looks back at him eyes soft. “I have one more reason to be glad we met.” She punches him lightly on the arm. “If you go go down that road again I’ll bring you back and kick your ass.”
He makes a small motion with his left hand to Key, she has seen other Rangers communicate like that. It isn’t nearly as in depth or advanced as handmaiden sign language, but he definitely said something to Key, “As long as you are breathing, I don’t think I will ever be in that position again, even if you dumped me, knowing you were safe and hopefully happy would be enough.”
She takes note of the sign language but seems to ignore it for the moment. “Im not going anywhere…. voluntarily that is.” She chuckles.
“I’ll talk to Nestrim when we get back and get him moving on acquiring the manor and surrounding lands. I know it weird, but this is the kind if thing that excites me about all this.” She rolls her hand in indication of ruling in general.
Anglerond raises an eyebrow when Key doesn’t ask about the hand motion, “That translates roughly to ‘forever you’. It isn’t as fancy or able to pass as complicated of messages as the handmaidens, but it is something.” He gives her a smile.
Key looks over at him with a broad smile. “Thank you for the translation. You’ll have to teach me some of that if you wouldn’t mind. I am yours forever as well. I didn’t ask because Rabbit says some pretty baudy shit so Ive never bothered to ask her to translate. I just wasn’t sure what you had said.”
There is now a curious look on Anglerond’s face, “The maidens say bawdy shit in hand speak? I never knew that, and it’s bawdy enough you don’t want it translated? Does Rabbit speak like that to you in common and elven as well?” He isn’t sure if he should think its funny or be annoyed at Rabbit for treating Key like that.
“I didn’t say she said it in her hand speak. I have no idea what she’s saying. I know what Ive heard cone out of her mouth and have chosen not to ask what her hands are saying.” She laughs.
“You have to have heard her before. Haven’t you?”
He raises an eyebrow at what he imagines she must be saying, “Honestly no, she doesn’t talk in front of me very much, not more than a few words or a couple of sentences. Definitely nothing racy or personal, at least up until recently. She would go whole days of not saying things in my ear shot when we were underground. I think she is worried about setting me off and causing a problem. I actually didn’t imagine her being bawdy at all” He seems to think about it for awhile, “If she talks like that in front of you, I am sure she is saying something equivalent in hand speak knowing you won’t ask her. You should find out, I am curious how much more they do with hand sign then we do.”
“I think she’ll open up a bit more around you know. She carries a lot of guilt for the things she did. Giving back the armor was a good thing for both ofvyou I think.” She reaches over and takes his hand again.
“I’d wager you both did a bit of healing.”
He closes his eyes momentarily when she takes her hand, “A little, it has helped a little. It will probably help more overall, but I haven’t really thought about it much. How are you doing is the big question? Having to go back down to the Underdark is going to be hard.”
Key takes in a deep breath and lets it out gathering her thoughts. She tenses when he asks the question but by the time she finishes her exhale she’s relaxed again.
“I just want to get Veronwe and the fairies out of there. They’ve been down there a long time. All I can think about is the horrible things they did to him… are doing to him. Its hard to wait to go back down.”
Anglerond looks worried at Key, “What was the final reason for waiting? I wasn’t there when you all planned it.”
“We are timing it so that we can ambush the skave caravan outside the city. There is a tunnel close to where they will be. I think there was also talk of a portal down there as well.” She lakes another deep breathband lets it out.
Anglerond watches her breathing, “Is that all? Anything else you want to talk about? If you allowed me Key, I would undertake this quest in your name have you remain to start your empire.”
She looks over at him and smiles. “Thank you, but I’m no good at all the political stuff. I want to go. The problem is that it’s not happening fast enough. It makes my job easier to know that you and Nestrim and even Sohban are here helping me by keeping all this stuff running the way it should.” She waves a hand over her head to illustrate the ‘stuff’ she’s referring to.
Anglerond turns back to Key, “You do fine with politics and running things. You are smart, you get advisors the only thing you are still learning is to run your plan by your advisors… otherwise no real reason to have them.”
“I think I may always struggle with that.” She pulls her horse to a gentle stop near a big tree with lots of shade. She hops down and settles herself under the tree and leave the mare to graze.
“You’ll spend the rest of your days cleaning up my messes.” There is a spark of humor in her eyes that goes with the mischievous smile on her lips.
Anglerond hopes off his horse, looking in the direction of the Langwina estate, “You are picking this up fine, I don’t mind cleaning up after your messes, you already do that for me.”
She barks out a laugh. “What messes? By comparison I think what you have to do for me overshadows anything I have done for you.” She pulls a dagger out from her hip and starts cleaning under her nails with it. She glances up at the peaceful landscape, then over at Anglerond and smiles.
Anglerond chuckles softly as he leans over and kisses her cheek, “Being with you is a walk in the park, just being able to lean over and smell you, touch you and tell you what is on my mind is everything I will ever need.”
Anglerond looks off in the distance at the abandoned premises of the Langwina Estate and sighs, “I am very proud of you and the rest of the team, even Gorion, for removing the world of that pedophiliac slaver. So very proud of you..”
She shrugs a nonchalant shoulder. “If I could wipe slavery off the face of the planet I would. For the time being I’ll have to settle for abolishing it in my little corner of the world. Who knows, maybe one day the idea will become popular.” She puts away her dagger and leans into him, kissing him soundly. She stands up and gathers the horses from where they were grazing. Key turns back to him with a smile.
“Lets go tell Nestrim what we have planned.” She swings up into the saddle and tosses Anglerond’s rains to him.
“I’ll race you back.”