Old September 20, 2018, 08:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Port Alyxandrya] Are we still bros, bro?

Timestamp: Mid Winter Era XXV, Post Fractum.

Calanon could admit to himself that he did not always find it easy to swallow his pride. And yet, the necessity to do so seemed an all too regular occurrence, and he wondered,more as a distraction that anything else, if he was cursed for it always to be so. Dark brows drew together in consternation as he gazed down at his booted feet, picking their way with some care through the slush and ice.

He had thought, nay, had hoped, that the structure and discipline required of him in his new found faith might have stayed some of the tendencies that saw him ending up in such straights. And if he were looking upon himself kindly, perhaps he could say that it had.

The problem was Calanon mused, that it was very difficult to look kindly upon very much of anything that he had done over the past few brightenings, and it was this realisation that explained further the rather dawdling pace the elf had adopted on his walk up toward the Nest. Even the chill of the winter’s day was not enough to see him hurry, for he did not relish the prospect of what lay ahead, but already he had let too much time pass by and he could not avoid seeing Moss forever. Nor did he want to, for his friend merited an apology, much as he would not enjoy facing up to his own foolhardy actions.

The past days had been somewhat enlightening for the Sylrosian, for want of a better word. First the explosive news that he had returned to, and his own shocked disbelief. And then those words that had fallen from his beloved’s lips, leading him to think she had made up her mind, that was all too much of an ask. He had not taken it well, and the tenuous affectation at calm that he had attempted in the aftermath of Niven’s revelation had fallen away entirely at the thought that, in amongst all this mess, he might be losing Kailin too.

Calanon sighed, his breath gusting out only to be lost in the cold wind that whipped off the sea, for still these things were so close, so raw. With such high stakes, nerves were ratcheted tight in every direction, and untangling one thing from another was nigh on impossible. That expression of dismay though, was more for how he had worsened things, and for that, he could blame no one other than himself. Indeed, he had not meant to flee in the face of Kailin’s words. Not at first. But something had shifted and then the idea of slowing the racing of his overwrought mind with a drink or two was appealing. And taking the edge off had slipped into washing all the edges away and that's where things had got messy.

Messier.

The elf had been treated to the slow resurfacing of memories since then, each one sliding in and around the broad brushstrokes that Kailin had informed him of. Each one invoking a certain cringing recollection that had done nothing to soothe his growing mortification. Each one something he had added to the growing list of things to atone for.

He was already uncomfortable then, as even at his sluggish pace, his feet carried him all too quickly to the doors of the Alyxanda home, and Calanon wondered if it would be too much to hope for that he would find none of Kailin’s family within. He was not ready to face them yet, but his business with Moss would wait no longer, and so the elf gave a sharp knock on the wood, and sent a prayer to the All Father to be merciful.

At least Kailin had relented and used her magic to whisk away any visible reminders of his foolishness, and he was more than glad of that as the door swung open and Jean, the Alyxanda’s housekeeper, looked up at Calanon with what he observed as a carefully neutral expression.

“Vedui, Heru en amin Siluvanade. And what can I do for you today?” She did not make any presumptions about his reason for calling, and he appreciated that too, for really, he had gotten himself in such a muddle that it would have served him right if she had summoned Niven. Or told him Kailin was not home. Or not answered the door at all.

Calanon met the woman’s steady gaze for but a moment before he dipped his head and returned her greeting. “ Mae Govannen, Jean. I hoped I might be able to speak with Moss..Mr Oktra’rek”

Again, the butler proved discreet as her expression did not flicker past a polite smile, and she moved back to let the elf past. “Of course, I shall have Maya fetch him. Will you wait in the drawing room?”

Calanon was quick to shake his head; he had no desire to conduct this conversation in Kailin’s family home. “ No, thank you Jean, but I will wait here, if that is well” he corrected,not wanting to cross paths with any of his lover’s siblings, or her Mother. Or Niven.

Ai, this was all an unpleasant tangle. He did not know who knew what about anything.

Needless to say, his refusal to come in did earn him a slight frown, but Jean seemed to read the elf’s discomfort well enough not to push, and so she bobbed a quick curtsy and did not make a fuss of the fact that leaving a guest on the doorstep was not how things were done there.

Calanon, feeling his stomach sink at the impending conversation, turned away from the door, pulled his collar up against the cold and gazed at the rather grey, brooding sky that seemed to match his mood so exactly as he waited for his friend.

Still his friend? That remained to be seen.
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Old October 28, 2018, 06:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Minutes passed silently by, the front door of Alyxanda Manor open enough to allow Calanon a glimpse of the warmth inside, but not so wide that the cool winter air would steal that attraction from the building. The manor itself loomed over the man, the façade an intimidating sight to one who already felt so unwelcome in its shadow. The wintry temperatures had nothing on the coldness with which the structure threatened.

It took Jean two attempts at knocking on the internal door before she caught Moss' attention. He was staring at the window in the bedroom that the family had kindly afforded him, and he had to wrench his dark grey gaze from the lacking view that a sight of frosted glass could offer him. He acknowledged the kindly woman's announcement and thanked her, but it still took him several moments to leave the room.

In truth, the mystic had been expecting the elf's arrival, but even that foreknowledge didn't prevent him from feeling nervous when he realised that the time had finally come. Another glance was sent towards the bleakness of the window as he reflected on what might follow.

Bleak indeed.

Moss had had time to contemplate the coming encounter. Since Kailin had visited and healed him of his injuries, finishing the task that Niven had generously started the darkening after the fight, the mystic had considered what he might say when he and Calanon would inevitably cross paths again, though he'd never settled on a preferred opening.

He had been honest with Kailin about what had happened - she had deserved that much - but he hadn't been too punishing on Calanon. In a sense, he had felt an obligation to protect each friend, but not at the expense of the other. It had been a much more difficult balance to maintain than his struggles on the rope in the Alyxandas' garden.

In the end, though, he'd told the brunette of her lover's undeniable drunken state when he'd arrived at The Toasted Barrel, and he'd acknowledged the whore's presence when Kailin had questioned it, but had said nothing of Calanon's wandering hands.

He'd been more specific about the nature of the physical altercation, though. He'd spoken of how he'd tried to stop Calanon - drunken fool that he was - from stumbling into The Gut in the blackness of darkening. He'd told her that her lover had punched him not once, but twice, before he fought back. He'd even revealed how he had finally felled his friend before he'd been able to put the man to sleep, though it was no boast. In truth, the mystic was embarrassed by what had happened.

Only Calanon's use of sorcery wasn't mentioned. He wasn't sure what the Sylrosian himself remembered from the encounter, but that was a particularly embarrassing detail that didn't seem necessary to draw attention to.

He was relieved that his friend had been taken home relatively intact, but the former militiaman had been left to wonder for brightenings if their relationship was similarly hardy.

Until Jean had ended the wait by knocking on the door.

Moss let out an anxious sigh, then started to pull on extra layers. He doubted Calanon would want to enter the manor, especially with Niven staying there, so he expected to be stepping out into the cold. And that meant a different pair of gloves, kindly donated by Kailin's brother Ian, after his own pair had been torn. His studded leather gambeson was the last thing he garbed himself with. It would provide some warmth, but he hoped Calanon's knuckles had short memories.

It was a stoic expression that eventually stared out at the elf's back as Moss stepped through the entrance and closed the door behind him, letting the click and thud draw the sorcerer's attention. Dark grey eyes looked him up and down, hoping to catch and avoid his friend's gaze in equal measure.

"Serale, Cal," he offered the elf, his tone as neutral as he could manage, his words sending small clouds of air into the street. "You look well..."

The inflection rose at the end of his statement, as if it were a question. Calanon did look like he had recovered from his cuts and bruises - and not least his hangover - but Moss was uncertain of how else the man fared.
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Old October 29, 2018, 07:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The delay in Jean disappearing and the click of the door closing behind Moss did not help in settling the elf’s nerves. Almost reluctant then, despite his best intentions, he turned slowly to find the man’s eyes on him, and the elf could only hold them for a moment before his own gaze skittered away and to the side.

Ai, this was painful already. Calanon had debated his own words on the walk over here, but they all seemed to desert him now. It was Moss’ voice that broke the silence then, his observation enough to draw the elf’s attention back from where it had fallen to studying the stone steps that led up to the front door. He looked well?. Calanon wasn’t quite sure how to take that until he had a grim realisation that he probably did look well compared to when the man had least seen him.

“...Kailin relented and patched me up”
he offered by explanation, sure that Moss didn’t really need one. Straightening slightly, the elf glanced up at the windows that overlooked the sweeping drive upon which they stood, and abruptly, Calanon jerked his head away from the Alyxanda’s home. “ Take a walk with me, will you?”

Thinking Moss had come this far so was unlikely to refuse him now, he did not wait for a response, but instead turned and began walking, hoping that the man would understand his need to not conduct his affairs in earshot of Kailin’s family. Or rather, not conduct any more of his affairs in earshot of Kailin’s family. He still had not seen any of them since that unpleasant homecoming, and it seemed folly to court such an encounter now.

Of course, Calanon was also more than aware that it was rich of him to expect any understanding from the human he sought it from just then, and so he slowed his steps minutely, cast a brief glance back at his friend that was filled with entreaty.

It was easier with the distraction of movement, the care needed to navigate the icy cobblestones, for Calanon to speak, and he did, keeping his gaze resolutely on his feet as if it were the terrain that demanded it and not his own embarrassment.

“...I..think I owe you an apology, heruamin.” It seemed a fair enough place to start, the elf letting the words hang a moment like breath in the chilled air before he slid a look over at the man beside him to judge how they had landed. Clearing his throat, Cal rushed through the next.

“ What little I can remember..or have been told, leads me to believe I treated you ill.” He paused, forcing himself to look at the man to convey the sincerity in his words even if he could not disguise his discomfort as he caught a hold of the man’s arm briefly. “ I am sorry for that, Moss”

That the apology still wanted to stick in his throat surprised him, he had delivered so many over the past few brightenings that one would think it would be like second nature, and yet each seemed to carry with it its own painful reminder of the foolishness that had led to it. Where Moss was concerned, Calanon had endured a less than pleasant recounting of events from his beloved ,both before and after she had returned from healing the man, only added to by the glimpses of memory that had come back to him in varying intensities since then. He had rough idea of his transgressions then, but there were still hazy moments that he half hoped Moss might enlighten him on, and half wanted to forget entirely. He wasn’t certain he dared ask though, until the man had accepted his apology...or otherwise.
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Old October 29, 2018, 11:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Moss offered a small nod of understanding when Calanon explained what the mystic had expected: that Kailin had healed him. But the mystic's response was as non-committal as a nod could be. He was, after all, only being polite.

The brightening was frigid, even for the City of Queens being located so far south, and every breath was followed by a small cloud that quickly dissipated, being stolen by a gentle sea breeze that had somehow managed to clamber its way up the The Nest.

As such, Moss took no convincing to follow Calanon. Any opportunity to move around in the cold street was welcome, even if the elf led at a sedate pace that would to little to warm either of them. Human fingers stretched within borrowed gloves; the sizing was unfamiliar and would take some getting used to, but hopefully he would have a new pair of his own without much delay. He rubbed the leather palms together futilely, before clenching his fists and then stretching out his fingers in an effort to maintain what little feeling he had in them.

Dark grey eyes lifted when the bearded blond heard the elf speaking. He listened as the apology came, but he didn't immediately respond. His gaze searched for some form of sincerity, and the mystic believed he found it, though he wondered if his friend fully understood what he was apologising for.

Another silent nod followed, but it was not accompanied by a proper response to the apology.

Friend?

Truth be told, it would take more than a drunken scuffle in the middle of winter for Calanon to truly fall foul of Moss Oktra'rek. They had fought together: nobles, hobgoblins, and monks be damned! The elf had shown a willingness to risk his skin alongside him, and any man who was willing to take such risks would not find himself easily discarded.

And yet despite that, Moss wasn't prepared to let his friend off the hook so easily. The elf had erred - that much was clear - but not all failings were equal. He sent the man a hard stare, even as they continued their glacial pace upon frozen cobblestones.

"What do you remember, Cal?" he asked, his deep voice cutting through the chilled brightening air.
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Old October 30, 2018, 06:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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He tried not to read too much into what could only be described as a curt nod, gritting his teeth a little as he turned and led them away from Alyxanda’s, and then eventually delivering his apology in a rather a garbled rush. He wanted that to be then end of it, wanted the awkward feeling between he and his friend to dissipate and just be one thing that was normal in this situation that was so….not normal.

But as the elf was granted with another silent nod he felt his hopes fading, and tried not to let the hard stare he could feel burning into him further dampen his spirits. There was a prickle of annoyance too, somewhere beneath all that, that the human had not just accepted his apology with good grace, and that flickered and surged at the question that fell between the two males.

What did he remember? Calanon glanced sharply at Moss, but under the onslaught of broken memories that the question provoked, he found himself unable to hold the eye contact and so turned again to watch his feet. He didn’t like being put on the spot like that, pushed to recount what he knew of his own failings. Never mind that he wasn’t sure he trusted his memories….

“I remember that we fought”
Calanon offered, trying and not quite succeeding to stay the defensiveness in his tone. “ Kailin left me with little doubt that it was my doing, and so I have apologised.”

It had not restored the status quo as he had hoped though, and the elf felt a little flustered as he had not considered much past the point of delivering his apology. “ Is there more that you would have me sorry for?” he asked irritably.

As usual, he found it easier to give rein to annoyance than to accept the other feelings that drove his defensiveness, but even as he heard himself speak the words, Calanon wished he could take them back. He did not need to invite critique of his behaviour after all, he was well aware.

“...I know it was unmerited, that is what I’m trying to say” he added, consciously measuring his words so they fell on the right side of conciliatory.. “ I just wanted to set things right between us.”
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Old November 1, 2018, 07:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That Calanon was a proud man was not news to Moss Oktra'rek. The human had known the elf long enough to understand that apologies didn't come easily. And so, as he heard the hint of defensiveness in his friend's response, Moss didn't take advantage of it or use it against his friend. To do so would only breed further discontent between them.

Moss, like Calanon, sought reconciliation, and that meant awkward and uncomfortable apologies might be necessary - but only if there was a clear understanding of why such contrition was required.

"Aye," his gravelly voice agreed, "we fought."

He studied his friend's expression, silently observing as the man began to flounder and showing no great urgency to rescue him from himself. Instead, he waited patiently, and when the Sylrosian's tone swung from sincere to irritable, he offered another nod. This time, however, it was quickly followed by something other than silence.

"Kailin told me that she found lipstick on you," he began, veering his path so that he rounded Calanon before halting his walk and turning back to face his recent adversary. "I owe you an apology for that. I thought I'd cleaned it all off..."

He paused then, his calm but hard gaze not even attempting to hide what he was thinking.

...but perhaps it is best that Kailin knows.

Moss looked away then, setting his jaw as he scanned the view of the Bay Of Queens that he could see between two large houses. The height of The Nest afforded impressive sights at times, but he was really just attempting to navigate the choppy waters that Calanon's actions had flung his closest relationships into. Stifling a lamenting sigh, the human turned back to face the emerald gaze of his friend.

"...but I wonder if you remember its owner?"

The mystic felt sympathy for the elf, having to bear such leading and probing questions, but he felt they were necessary to tease the answers out of someone who was clearly struggling to embrace frankness.
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Old November 2, 2018, 08:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Calanon gaped at Moss a moment, halting his steps so as not to careen into the man, sideswiped by what he had said.

“..there was more?” he could only ask dumbly as he considered how that might have gone down with his love. Moss had cleaned it off?. That there were such yawning voids in his memory scared the elf, and he had been ashamed that he could not honestly tell Kailin that he had done nothing, when all evidence seemed to point toward him having betrayed her trust. And this only seemed to support that.

He could not blame Moss then, for the judgement he felt in what he didn’t say, and Cal felt cold suddenly, pulling his cloak around himself as it might protect both from this discomfort as well as the chill. He watched Moss anxiously as the man turned away from him, only to find his gaze slide away again with the question that followed.

The elf was silent for a long stretch, finding a way to speak past the shame of the admission that no, he did not remember and ask his friend what he was afraid to know the truth of. Eventually, when he knew the quiet could go on no longer and he could not avoid answering, Calanon spoke.

“.....it’s very vague. I remember a blonde…”

How hard it was to own that. A few months ago, he could have claimed ignorance of Kailin’s views toward fidelity, could have done as he had always done and sought comfort where it could be found. But they were past that point, he had promised her, and to have fallen so quickly back into old habits was unforgivable.

“Did I….do you know if..” The elf stumbled over his question, the words sticking because it was so shameful to have admit that he could not remember if he had done anything more than share clumsy kisses with a whore. He had told Kailin he would have remembered if it had been more, had lied, but now he looked for confirmation from his friend, shrugging helplessly as he hoped the human would catch his meaning and not make him spell it out. Whatever Moss had told his love had not seemed to enflame the situation, and so Calanon hoped to find some denial, something that might take the edge off how guilty he felt.

If the man had looked to impress upon the elf the necessity for his contrition, then it appeared he could not have picked a better starting point.
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Old November 12, 2018, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dark grey eyes watched Calanon patiently as the elf attempted to gain a better understanding of precisely what had transpired that recent darkening. His gaze narrowed slightly, head cocked gently to one side, as he took in the sight of a man coming to terms with the reality of a past he simply couldn't recall.

How curious, he pondered, to witness someone else struggling to recall a memory, when it is a plight I have struggled with for as long as...

Internally, Moss felt a rueful chuckle ripple gently through his body.

...why, for as long as I can remember.

Calanon's all too vague description of the woman in question bothered Moss. His friend's clear confusion showed just how unfamiliar he was with memory loss, and a pang of jealousy rushed through the mystic, and he had already begun to speak before he could reign the emotion in.

"Funny that you recall her hair," he retorted in a humourless tone. "I'd have thought you'd have remembered her thighs, draped as they were over yours."

Too late, he stopped himself, regret immediately catching up with his senses, and his watchful eyes visibly softened. He lifted a hand to hold the elf's shoulder as the man tried to ask the question that most clearly needed answering.

"No, she took no coin from you that darkening, Cal," he spoke as reassuringly as he could, his tone noticeably softer, "though the ale in your belly might have wanted her to."

Moss sighed, withdrawing his hand and turning to move onwards, a glance over his shoulder sufficient - in his own mind, at least - to serve as an invitation. Their pace would be slow, but standing still certainly wouldn't make the brightening any warmer.

He took a few moments to speak, giving Calanon the space and, he hoped, the time to take in each piece of new information, the sound of their leather boots on frozen cobblestones filling the silent gaps. And when he did talk, his tone was more conversational than it had been since the beginning of the Sylrosian's visit.

"I suppose, then, that you don't recall attempting to cast a spell, either?"

Another glance was sent to his friend, but where there had once been judgment, his words were now laced with a mixture of sympathy and curiosity.
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Old November 15, 2018, 04:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The elf had recoiled slightly at Moss’ blunt words, but he could not speak against them, and just hung his head, the question he feared the answer of even harder to voice after that embittered revelation. The man’s hand, settling on his shoulder as it did, was a surprise, and when Calanon heard Moss’ words, the human could easily feel the sigh of relief that the Sylrosian heaved. The uncertainty of his knowledge had clearly been weighing heavily upon him.

Not that it negated him of any wrongdoing of course...it was enough that he hadn’t been able to offer Kailin such reassurances himself, and Calanon shook his head at himself. “ Thankyou, Moss...i know I do not deserve to feel any better knowing that, but I do.”

His steps felt least a little lighter when the pair started walking again.

But of course, it was not why he had come. For whatever had transpired between him and that vague notion of a woman really had little to do with Moss. It was his beloved that he needed to make that up to. And Cal was trying to find a way into thanking the man for getting him home and preventing him getting into any further trouble, when Moss spoke again.

The more relaxed tone that the man had taken did not suggest to the elf that his words were leading anywhere, but by the time the question had been asked, the Sylrosian felt rather differently.

“..I..was using magic?” Calanon frowned. It was no small thing to think that he had done so whilst so drunk that he could not even remember it, and he felt a whole new wave of worry.

“ What do you mean? What did I do?”

It could not have been anything bad, surely, or he would have heard about it already? But the Sylyosian had to wonder why Moss had brought it up.
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Old November 19, 2018, 02:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Moss felt the release of pressure as his hand rested upon Calanon's shoulder, and he felt a sense of his own relief, knowing he was helping a friend. Whether the elf actually deserved forgiveness was relevant to the mystic. As far as he was concerned, that was a question best answered by Kailin. His role was simply to be his friend. Sometimes that meant fighting him in the street and carrying him home; sometimes it meant a much more gentle approach.

He nodded, accepting Calanon's gratitude, offering the man a final reassuring squeeze of his shoulder before releasing it from his grasp.

Another nod followed when the Sylrosian confirmed that he had no recollection of his use of sorcery. No surprise came from this revelation, but an air of resignation somehow wove its way into Moss' tone as he considered his response.

"Aye, you were," he began, answering the simplest question first. "As for what you did..."

The human sighed gently, trying to find the right words. He maintained the casual walking pace he'd adopted, though, hoping that even that small gesture might make things easier for his friend.

"You attempted to teleport home," the mystic eventually continued, consciously attempting to lighten the mood with a more friendly tone. "You made it as far as the nearest hedge."

He chuckled softly, then - partly to ease the discomfort he anticipated Calanon might feel, and partly because with the benefit of hindsight, it had been quite something to witness the elf's limbs sticking out of the shrubbery at awkward angles.

The human's face straightened, though, acknowledging the seriousness of what had happened, and this time he did stop in the street to face his friend. Every breath left him in a small, visible cloud, and goosebumps were evident across the parts of his neck that were exposed to the cold weather.

"I had to cast a spell on you, Cal," he spoke quietly, as if the cobblestones themselves had ears. "I tried to talk you into going home, but you wouldn't listen. And even after we'd fought, you insisted on walking into The Gut."

His words became quicker then, and Moss could feel his own defensiveness.

"And I was worried for you, Cal. You'd have been such an easy mark, so...I cast a spell on you...made you fall asleep...and" - Moss winced as he realised that his next piece of information might bruise his friend's ego - "carried you home."

The human fell silent, then, suddenly feeling the chill of winter much more deeply as his grey eyes searched for Calanon's response to his own unsaid apology.
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Old November 22, 2018, 05:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The elf made a small noise of distress, a gloved hand coming up to cover his face at Moss’ words. He had thought he could not be more shamed, and yet it seemed not to be so.
Not only did the man’s words do little to soften the fact that it had been a monumental mess of a spell, but Calanon could not help but feel that he had failed in his faith. Unless perhaps Phedos’ had a sense of humour and could forgive such a wilful misuse of his gifts. The Sylrosian was not certain that his mentor would find it so funny, and he could only be glad that the sword dancer did not make Port Alyxandrya his home and therefore would remain entirely in the dark: Calanon would not be telling him.

His soft exhale, a whoosh of breath as he found a little humour in envisaging such a conversation, stilled in the next though, for the man had stopped again and Calanon felt there was yet more to come. The elf bore it as he must, for some was not news. The humiliating tale of how he had gotten home had not been kept from him, and yet, that did not shelter him from the discomfort he felt at hearing it again. He became enraptured with the view down to the bay all of a sudden and was silent as he listened to his friend’s words, almost winced at the fact that Moss seemed almost apologetic.

When he finally dragged his eyes back to look at the human, he felt even more wretched under the concerned gaze of the man. He shook his head.

“ Do not speak as if you have anything to be sorry for, melamin. I am ashamed at myself.” He rubbed at the back of his neck, took a deep breath.

“ I’m sorry that you had to deal with that..me. I didn’t intend for you to get caught up in all of this. I didn’t mean for….any of it” His words fell off at the last, a whisper of defeat for the Sylrosian realised his intent did not excuse the reality. Not in this, not in the root cause either.

Calanon blew out a frustrated breath and began walking again, faster now as if he might pace off his agitation. And when Moss fell into step beside him, the Sylrosian opened his mouth not once, not twice, but three times, falling silent again before he finally seemed to make up his mind and pursue whatever it was he was trying to say.

“ I feel like I should explain a little….if I may?” There was a quick sideways glance and a dismissive wave. “ I don’t mean because I think it excuses anything” he got out, before Moss could respond. “ There is just much you do not know, and if you did, perhaps you might at least understand in part why...Why Niven’s news has been so hard to bear”
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Old November 25, 2018, 07:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Selfishly, Moss felt a sense of relief that Calanon was willing to forgive, and the mystic's own actions hadn't jeopardised their friendship. He had watched the elf's gaze shift to wherever caused the least discomfort, and the return of the man's green eyes had brought with them a sense of trepidation.

Then the mystic fell silent, only offering a slight nod at the Sylrosian's assurances. He briefly lifted his hand to his companion's shoulder once more when the full apology came. Moss knew his friend well enough to be aware that such words did not come easy, and he wanted to receive them as kindly as he could.

He watched in a rather awkward silence as Calanon thrice opened his mouth to speak, and the elf was halfway through his offer of an explanation before Moss realised that he, too, was standing there, mouth agape. Catching himself, he nodded, before finding his voice.

"Of course, Cal," he spoke, his tone gentle. "But perhaps we should get out of the cold, no? There's such a chill."

Even as he said so, Moss tugged at his collar, as if doing so might be enough to stave off the worst of winter's grasp.

"Anywhere with a hearth, really," he added. "Is there somewhere we can go?"

Just as long as it wasn't The Toasted Barrel.
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Old November 26, 2018, 05:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Calanon blinked back at Moss,watching as the human turned up his collar, realising that whilst the cold had provided a biting counterpoint to his own flusteredness, it likely had not been so welcomed by his friend. Still, he had been ready to speak of things which he avoided, and so was a bit put off by the unexpected request to relocate.

“Oh. Right, yes. You are right.”

He looked around as if trying to orientate himself, for he had been walking without any particular destination in mind and now was not sure which way would bring them soonest to warmth. Noble’s Nest was not exactly the kind of neighborhood to have a tavern squished between the elegant houses after all.

Still, it did not take them much more walking to locate a small establishment, well tended and discreet, and when they entered, blessedly warm compared to the chill outdoors. The tables nearest the fire that burned brightly in the grate were taken, but Calanon gestured towards a vacant space close enough to benefit from the crackling blaze.

“Will you have a drink?”
he said, almost sharply, as he tried to regather his will to talk of things he kept close to his chest. And then the Sylrosian went to to place their order, returning a while late with Moss’ choice and a steaming mug of tea for himself. Alchol would not play a part in this conversation. Nor in any others in the forseeable future as far as Calanon was concerned.

“Better?” The elf pulled off his gloves and laid them on the table, having already shrugged out of the woollen cloak that was far too warm in this new setting. For a moment, he nursed the tea he wrapped his hands around, before he seemed to commit himself, and looked up to Moss again, expression set.

“ As I said, i want to try and explain myself. We have known eachother some time now, but there are things… I do not share my past easily. I am not proud of it.” Calanon shook his head, visibly unsettled, and his gaze shifted around the tavern restlessly before he could make himself go on.

“ I had a child Moss. Before. He may yet live..I am not certain”
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Old December 3, 2018, 03:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There was no getting around the fact that the walk to The Roasted Quarrel - a tavern with a name that made Moss pause when he first saw it - was cloaked in an awkward silence, save for the sound of snow being crunched between boots and cobblestones. Calanon clearly had more to say, but the middle of the street was not the place for it. And winter was not the time for it.

The small tavern offered an opportunity, however, and brushing away a few stray snowflakes that had burrowed into his facial hair, the mystic eagerly followed his friend's lead, relishing the warmth of the nearby hearth. His gloves were slowly teased away from his fingers, fists clenched sporadically to regain feeling.

When Calanon offered to buy him a drink, Moss gratefully accepted, although he wished he'd requested something other than ale when he saw his friend return with a non-alcoholic beverage for himself. That didn't stop him enjoying it, though, taking a long, slow sip from the tankard before putting it back upon the table when he saw that his friend was ready to speak.

Firelight danced in Moss' storm-coloured gaze as the elf began, and he leaned forward slightly in anticipation - and also so that his friend didn't have to yell his secrets across a crowded room. When the words came, the human had resolved to remain stoic, though one word did manage to escape his lips.

"Oh..."

It wasn't the best response, he knew, but the reaction had beaten his brain.

"I didn't realise you were a father, Cal," he spoke softly, quickly recovering. And...I'm sorry..."

Moss reached out for the elf's forearm as an act of support, and his eyes were etched with a mixture of confusion and concern.

"He is...missing?"
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Old December 5, 2018, 06:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The elf watched his human friend somewhat warily. Of course Moss would not have known he was a father : it was not a subject that he spoke on often. Ever really. And as always, when the expression of sympathy came, it burned, for he hardly felt he deserved it. He had been a poor excuse for a Father to that boy, and to lay claim to a parent’s grief at his loss seemed hypocritical to the extreme.

He pulled his arm back from Moss’ grasp, shaking his head. “ I don’t...just let me finish if you will? It is not so clear cut”

How he hated recounting this: there was a reason he did not, and already Calanon could feel the hot wash of shame licking up from his collar. He forged ahead, speaking quickly because it was better than letting it drag on and giving Moss chance to interject.

“ The boy’s mother. She was my sister in law” His throat constricted around the words, they never failed to sound as terrible as they undoubtedly were, and the elf’s gaze dropped away so he did not have to witness the shift in expression that inevitably followed his confession. “….it was a mistake. Just one night.”

Long fingers traced the edge of the mug over and over again, a repetitive motion that betrayed his discomfort as he went on. “ You can imagine the fallout. I..left. Didn’t know about the child until my parents and brother were gone, and then I could never….I found it very hard to reconcile the fact that I never got to say goodbye. That Cal’ed was there and they were gone”

The unspoken suggestion that he believed one had led to the other was clear enough, and Calanon sought to forestall the judgement before Moss voiced it. “ I know it was my fault. I know that. But I returned home to my world having changed so greatly. I wasn’t prepared to be a father, nor any kind of ..partner to my brother’s wife. I tried, and it wasn’t good.”

The Sylrosian shut his mouth then, aware that he had just unloaded rather a lot onto the man opposite, green eyes lifting only momentarily to find the face of his friend before Calanon distracted himself by taking a too large swallow of too hot tea. He felt it burn all the way down. There were precious few he had spoken of this to, and always it was accompanied by the fear that they would pull away from him upon learning the extent of his failings. He did not need to draw the lines to underscore the similarities between this story of his past and the sudden twist that his future had taken, but even so, could not help but wonder if having Moss understand at least some of his panic at recent events was worth the loss of the man’s good opinion.

He would not blame him for it, Calanon knew well enough how he had let people down, himself included, and it had cost him dearly. He hoped it would not cost him this friendship, too.
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