Old July 21, 2017, 04:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[New Coldmoon] Former Relation Ships

Summer Era XXIV PF


The trip from Daltina had been relatively swift, with good winds taking Kailin easily past Port Alyxandrya and further down the coast toward Cameon and the River Juliana. From there, she'd secured transport upriver to the headwaters where the Juliana turned back into the Diana, and across the border of Medonia to High Hold.

It was a path she'd traveled many times, but it was this last leg - from High Hold to New Coldmoon - with the juddering of the carriage around her and the soft, steady clanking of the horses' harness, that seemed to be erasing the past ten plus eras with every mile they put behind them. She could remember with too-sharp clarity the last time she'd traveled these roads, could hear the high sweet laughter of her daughter, and the gruff, teasing tone of her husband as they played endless games of 'I spy'.

And when Lilia finally gave up and fell into the sleep seemingly reserved for children her age, the soft sound of Orrian's singing as he sent her off to dreams with his lullaby.

Ugh, this.

She dashed the pair of tears off of her cheeks with something very close to anger. This was why she hadn't come back, not in all these eras. It was also why she was currently curled around a tight knot of fear that had settled low in her belly as soon as she'd stepped into the coach's cabin.

If not for the gifts she'd brought with her, she would have simply rented a horse. It would have felt less familiar then, less a piece of her past taking over her present.

Or, gods, if she'd simply had time to wait for Calanon to come with her. Though... now that she was here, she couldn't help but be grateful that he hadn't come. This was nothing he need be exposed to, not when their relationship (could it be called that, yet?) was still so fragile. They would start fresh when she returned.

And there was a positive thought to hang on to. This trip would be behind her, then. Hopefully a lot would be behind her, then.

Kailin had never appreciated what her father had gone through, making this trip in the eras after Lilia's death. Of course, he'd been very close to Orrian's father (part of why the match had been made in the first place), so perhaps they'd found comfort in each other's presence?

How angry would Rilien be with her? Or would he understand why she had delayed so long? Had her mother's letters helped to smooth things over in the eras since her father had died?

All questions that ran through Kailin's head in a loop as the coach bounced and shook its way closer to her destination. That and others, like how New Coldmoon was faring since the Xet attacks, and what she would find with the Elven population there. Had any Silrosian exiles found their way to the small inland city near the Dolwoods?

There was a lot to be learned on this trip, and hopefully a lot to be accomplished. With the pirates making life difficult for merchants like herself along the coast, it was time to focus once again on the overland trade routes and partners. It was part of what had made the partnership with the Arabani's so successful, given that they had a strong - and very long-lived - presence (and reputation) inland. Together, they had covered quite a lot of ground.

Ground Kailin needed to cover once more. And she knew that supplies were needed inland, as people focused on rebuilding and resupplying, or simply strengthening what they'd already recovered since the attacks. Not just that, but it never hurt to have more channels for goods to get between landlocked areas and the coast.

Or so she was hoping.

Kailin was aware that she had been avoiding thoughts of him again, of whether he was once again assisting his father with business. Of how she would feel when she saw him. Of how he would react to seeing her.

She had, of course, sent a letter before leaving Port Alyxandrya for Daltina, alerting the family of her intention to visit. She barely remembered writing it - it had been not long after that brightening at the graveyard with Adyn - but she was sure it had been short, addressed to Rilien, and vaguely remembered saying that it had been too long, that she was sorry for it, and that she'd taken over more fully from her father, finally. That was a good way to start, right?

Only time would tell...
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Time was a funny thing. So good at soothing old hurts, at allowing the passing brightenings and cycles to smooth away splinters so one might feel almost whole again. But as Kailin was all too aware, there were also those wounds that time did not seem to touch, and as she drew nearer and nearer to New Coldmoon she could feel her loss as if it were new again.

But there was also an anticipation building. What bonds might she able to reforge, what growth might she be able to find? Thoughts that rattled around in her head as she in turn rattled around in the carriage that bore her further back into the arms of her past.

She did not seem to have as long to muse over it all as she might have liked, for it seemed like no time at all before open fields and distant woods shifted to cityscape, sandy carriage track shifted to cobblestone and the driver was asking her once again to confirm where they were headed.

A few turns, some delays as they passed through a market square where people and traders milled across the street and the carriage man had to drive the horses forward to forge a path, a few curse words being directed their way.

Kailin might have felt her nerves ratcheting up as they swung left onto a familiar street, where tall grey stone townhouses crowded the cobbled streets. It was a wealthier part of town, but still, the scars of the Xet invasion were visible in the somewhat broken skyline visible.

The carriage rumbled to a halt, lurching a little on its springs, and all of a sudden the time for thinking was done, the time was doing was upon her. When she gathered herself enough to descend from the carriage and walk up the familiar path of the Arabani’s city residence, she would be faced with an imposing dark wood door, that of course had opened for her many times before.

A knock, should one be offered, would be greeted by the door swinging open, a bright faced young woman looking out.

“Good day, my lady. May I help you?”
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Old August 18, 2017, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Kailin was not surprised to see the signs of invasion in the city as the carriage forged a path through the cobbled streets. Was there anywhere the Xet hadn't reached? It sometimes seemed a wonder that they'd survived the attacks at all, given how wide-spread they were.

It was a thought that, however disturbing, couldn't hold her attention for long. Even as she tried to track the changes in the skyline, her mind was rushing forward to the imminent meeting with the Arabanis. To that dark wooden door and everything she'd left behind it last time she'd been in New Coldmoon.

And all too soon she was standing in front of it, nervously rearranging her skirts for the third time since stepping down to the street. Behind her, the carriage driver stood next to the conveyance, waiting for instructions. Inside were the goods she'd brought with her, silks and wine and a few other curiosities, as well as the trunk containing her clothes for the visit.

Finally, she did lift a hand to knock on the door, feeling strange for doing so after having had free access to the place for so many eras. It was like coming home to find oneself a stranger, and she had a flash of compassion for Adyn, for how his childhood home must have affected him, that darkening he'd stood outside the window and looked in.

Steeling herself, she had just managed a soft smile when the door was pulled open by a young woman she didn't immediately recognize. Brows twitching upward, she just barely kept herself from a nervous throat-clearing, instead nodding in greeting.

"Serale, yes please. If you would inform Heru Arabani that Kailin Ar--" the blush that attacked her face was immediate and hot as Kailin stammered to a stop and gave a quick shake of her head. Damnit. Now she did clear her throat before starting again, "Kailin Alyxanda is here to see him. I sent word ahead, so he should be expecting me."
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Old August 20, 2017, 05:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There was a slight widening of the young woman's eyes, and she made a slight curtsy before the door was opened a little wider. " Of course, my lady. Please, come this way and I will let his lordship know you are here"

The girl stepped back, her gaze sweeping past Kailin to the coachman. " I will have your luggage brought in"

Kailin was led then, through a familiar hallway and right into a bright day room. She knew the space, though the decor had changed, meaning it felt both known and unknown. Giving another bob of a curtsy, the young woman left Kailin alone as she set to organising the luggage and alerting her employer that his guest had arrived.

The room was a peaceful space, clean bright white with swathes of pale green. There was greenery too, bringing life into the room. A straight backed sofa, a small armchair and a writing desk where correspondance could be seen scattered across the velvet blotter. A pair of bookcases flanked the fireplace, stocked with well thumbed volumes, and various curiosities collected over a life far exceeding that which a human might aspire to. Above the mantle hung a portrait of a human woman.. Orrian's mother, as Kailin knew. It was a permanent reminder that she remained a part of this family, even if her spirit had long since departed for another realm.

Lower, propped against the wall was a charcoal sketch that would be more than familiar to the woman, for it was her hand that had drawn it.
The picture, an early draft of one of her many portraits, was of a cherubic child, half turned away from the artist, attention drawn by something delightful that was just out of sight. Kailin had not sent it, and it would be a shock to see it there.How....? It had been framed, set on a mount of thick card, sealed behind a pane of glass in wooden walls. Perfect and unchanging, like the subject within. Not hung though. It sat well within reach if the artist were to wish to see it closer as she waited to be received.
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Old August 31, 2017, 11:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"Thank you," Kailin was already moving into the opening the young woman had presented by stepping out of her way when mention of her luggage being brought in was made. Faltering for a moment, she looked first at the young woman, then back at the coach with startled eyes, before nodding her agreement.

"And... thank you..." if she sounded just a bit more hesitant than she had a moment before, it couldn't be helped. Appreciative as she was for the family opening their doors to her and offering her rooms, she was all too aware of the fact that it made the situation far more intimate than she'd counted on. Intimate in the sense that - as she walked into the familiar hallways and toward familiar rooms - memories of a life lived here rose like ghosts. The sound of childish laughter and the uneven beat of unsure footsteps seemed to follow her as she was led to the day room.

Then she was grateful. Grateful for the solitude in which to retrieve her composure, and grateful that the room was not the same as she had left it eras before. The changes should likely have bothered her, but Kailin found that they helped just as much as the similarities did. There was certainly some relief to be found in the fact that the family had moved forward, too. It would have been worse, so much worse, to be stuck in a house that had lingered fully in the past. Or at least, in her past.

Past and present, she had found, meant different things to her than they did to the longer lived race she'd been wedded to.

Moving slowly, she navigated the room, letting her fingers travel over those bits that were familiar to her - pausing near each of the bookcases with a fond smile - and Kailin couldn't help wondering whose hand had wrought the changes.

Finally, she ended up standing before the picture of Orrian's mother, unable to help the quiet greeting that she'd always felt the need to proffer, "hello, AtaraMother."

Then she froze, lowering gaze caught by an all-too-familiar sketch that leaned against the wall before her. Unthinking, she reached out to take it down from its perch and held it in hands that shook at the same rapid pace her heart had galloped into.

A draft... a draft that...

Kailin shook her head, letting her feet shuffle their way to the small armchair before sinking onto the edge of it, body angled toward the mantle where the framed piece had been kept.

How had they come by such a thing? Her fingers hovered just above the glass that separated her from the charcoal strokes she'd set there some time ago, eyes unblinking as she tried to process its presence here and now.

And before she could move past the shock of finding the sketch, pain bloomed fast and strong in her chest and she covered the sob that tried to escape her with a hand, unable to hold back the fat droplets that fell to the glass pane, splashing her other hand as they did. She'd known, of course, that she would face these emotions. But Kailin had hoped - rather naively - that she'd be able to hold them off until she was alone and unlikely to be observed.

Faced with her own work, unfinished as it was, she was brought back to the emotions she'd felt when creating the piece, as she always was. The two had never been separate for her, and here in this place where she'd lost Lilia, and where she'd watched her daughter grow and bloom, it was all the more acute.

Sniffling, she wiped at her eyes, trying hard to shake off the barrage of emotions so that she could be even partially presentable when Rilien finally made an appearance.
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Old September 2, 2017, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"Begging Pardon, my lady" The voice of the young woman who had seen her in startled Kailin from her memories. She would look up to see a somewhat embarassed expression on the girl's face as she hovered by the door.

"I'll just..leave this". A tray bearing a platter of cut up fruit and a jug of some fruit infused water was set quickly and quietly down, and the maid was just scurrying away, awkward at having intruded on Kailin's grief, when she collided with a figure coming the other way.

"Steady, Elspeth" A voice familiar to Kailin, as the elf who had been her Father in Law caught hold of the girl's arm as she bounced backwards off him. "Why such a hurry?"

The question was answered when bright eyes, undimmed by the many eras they had seen, came to rest upon his guest's tear marked face. " Aah. I see. Thankyou, Elspeth. That will be all for now"

He bade the girl go, and stepped more fully into the room, gaze not leaving Kailin as a soft smile, tinged with sadness, sat on his face.

"My dear girl" Rillien said, as he took in the sight of the woman sitting by the fireplace. " I cannot say how glad I am to see you. Nae saian luume It has been too long."

He did not comment on the shine of tears that glazed those familiar green eyes. He did not need too, the picture that Kailin clutched explanation enough. Instead, the man who had been her Father's friend, then a Father to her him self when she had wed his son, crossed the space to lay a hand on her shoulder, looking down at the sketch she held with such tenderness, it was enough to cause the tears to fall anew.

"It still has the same effect on me" Rillien said gently. "Truly, when it first arrived on my doorstep I stared at it from dawn until dusk. I forget how talented you are, amin tinu my daughter. But of course..who would see a child better than her mother."
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Last edited by Calanon; September 4, 2017 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Because apparently Kailin has been sketching FOR EVA. :<
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Old September 7, 2017, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh damn.

Kailin had wiped her eyes, and more than once, but clearly had not successfully erased the signs of her grief from her expression. And in fact when she lifted a hand to her cheek - startled by the interruption - it was once again wet as she gave the young woman a soft smile, nodding her gratitude for the refreshments.

"Please..." Kailin nodded for the servant to proceed, not wishing her to bear her load any longer than necessary. There was little else she could do, and so she sighed as the young woman all but ran from the room.

And right into the elf Kailin had come to see. Pale green eyes, red-rimmed and solemn, met Rilien's and held them unwaveringly as he first steadied and then dismissed the girl, before coming further into the day room.

A flurry of emotions crossed her features as her father-in-law, ex father-in-law, spoke of it having been too long. Shame and grief warred for dominance before a soft, guilty sigh slid between her lips and she simply nodded her agreement. It had been too long, and yet she still wondered if it would ever be long enough.

Gods how she had missed him, missed them all. It had never been her intention to leave this family, as Rilien well knew. But Orrian's grief had been destructive, at the end, and Kailin's choice had been an impossible one, one which Rilien had ultimately helped her to make.

As his hand settled on her shoulder, she glanced briefly up at him, before following his gaze back to Lilia and the curve of her cheek, the sweep of her lashes, and the delicate point of her tiny ear that was so clear in profile. For once, she had no space for the usual criticisms of what was, in essence, a rough draft. Her heart was too full for such small concerns.

One hand lifted to settle atop Rilien's and she clasped his hand in a gratitude she did not have words for. "I should have sent more. And better than this, atarfather," flushed with the shame of realizing how entirely she had neglected them in this matter, she lifted her eyes from the drawing, craning her neck to find Rilien's gaze again, "But who was it that sent this one?" And when?
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Old September 8, 2017, 12:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For Rilien, it was a bittersweet thing to have Kailin there again, in the home that she had once been such an integral part of. So many roles she had played in his life; daughter of his good friend, wife to his son, Mother to his grandchild, daughter to him. And just as Kailin might never have wished to walk away from the Arabani family, it had grieved him deeply that she felt like there was nought else to do.

But he had watched as the loss that had so cruelly beset his family had twisted into a bitter anger in his son’s heart. Had seen as it had eroded what love had been between him and his human wife. Her years, so short in comparison to those Orrian would weather, did not deserve to be spent in such a corrosive environment. So he had nodded and hugged her and bid her farewell when it all become too much. But it had bruised him deeply to lose her so completely from his life. Especially once her Father had passed too. Such was the price to pay when one grew close to the shorter lived races. He was glad beyond belief to see Kailin again now, even though it stirred up pains and memories. They were there anyway.

His hand briefly tightened on her shoulder as she spoke and her palm came to rest atop his own.

“ Your brother sent that one” he said, eyes once again drawn to the sketch of Lillia. “..and it is perfect.” A gently admonishing slant to his voice at her self-depreciation, much as she had though it was not present. “ He told me you had been in Jaedaxia a time- did you enjoy it there?”

It was no small storm to weather, the loss of a child, and Rilien had worried after the wellbeing of his daughter just as he had over that of his son. It had been some small comfort to hear that she had stepped outside the arms of her family, that her spark and fire had not been extinguished by the grief that had befallen her.

Turning away, he walked to the where the tray had been set down, and picked up a glass, hand reaching for the jug of water before it stilled and he looked back to his guest, eyes twinkling.

“Water?....Is it too early for wine, would you say? I had looked out a rather fine bottle”
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Old September 18, 2017, 06:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ian, of course.

Kailin smiled at her brother's temerity, a fond look that passed quickly as Rilien chided her gently for her unintentionally critical words. Her brows raised at that, and her smile widened a bit. It was well meant, of course, but this rough sketch was far from perfect, and she had - or could even create - better than this.

In fact, Kailin resolved right then to have something for him before she left. It was a gift that she herself should have thought of originally, and she couldn't help but be grateful for her brother's care. Gods, she hated to think what she would do without Ian.

Rilien's question regarding Jaedaxia distracted her from her gratitude, and from the thoughts that had begun to percolate about how she would sketch Lilia. What memory could she return to Rilien?

And what memories did she now need to keep from flashing across her face at his query? For she had, indeed, enjoyed her time there, in large part due to the elf that had found his way first into her bed, and then her heart, and who might be waiting for her in Port Alyxandrya even now.

Kailin's cheeks had gone quite pink at the thought, and she released Rilien's hand, standing abruptly to walk the portrait back to its place on the shelf. For all that she trusted he had her best interests at heart, he was still Orrian's father, and she did not wish to greet him with the news that her human heart had moved on and found another. Surely it would seem too quick, to him, too capricious, despite the eras that had passed.

Clearing her throat nonchalantly, she fussed with the placement of the sketch, "I think I made great strides with my art while I was there, yes. And it was so nice to have a proper studio to work in," her enthusiasm swept over whatever embarrassment or hesitation she'd had at the thought of discussing Calanon, and her eyes shone as she turned back to face Rilien.

"I spent candlemarks observing the great masters' works in the Chateaux Mavloix and wandering the halls there, trying to recreate what they'd done. And I made many friends in the community where I had my studio. It was a wonderful time..." and there again was that hesitation, a flash of some shadow that was there and gone so quickly that Rilien missed it as he turned away at just the right moment. Because it hadn't all been easy or good, and she'd left Jaedaxia in sorrow. Kailin did not wish to try to explain the pregnancy, or its loss.

Her face was composed when he turned back with the question of wine, and the grin that blossomed was likely answer enough, but just in case she replied, "when have I ever said no to one of your bottles, Rilien?" And the sparkle in her eyes answered that in his, saying that she would never be so foolish.
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Old September 19, 2017, 02:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One did not live for as many years as Rillien had lived without learning to appreciate the subtle nuances of expression that made up so much of communication. The elf's brow crinkled just the tiniest bit as he noted how Kailin walked away before she spoke, how her skin, pale and still awash with the remanants of her momentary grief, flushed a little as she went.

But he did not press his human daughter for her secrets. She had as much right to them as anyone, and he was glad enough to have her here that he would not want to assume any level of confidence than might not still exist between them.

He was not surprised that she had enjoyed the city, with it's eccentric academics and artistes. He was quite fond of the place himself, truth be told. Sharing in her enthusiasm, he was smiling broadly as he turned to arm them both with refreshments. But water would never do.

And Kailin did not let him down, allowing him to cross to the bureau and retrieve the fine vintage he had left to breathe. Nevermind that he would have to drink it himself if she had declined, it was not a hardship after all. But no, this was a better. A celebration to welcome his stray child home.

Rillien poured and offered a glass first to Kailin, before filling his own and taking a seat on the sofa, patting the spot next to him. " Sit then, my girl. Tell me all of what is new with you."

He would be happy to hear it. The vaguaries he heard through her Mother, who wrote occassionally, and her brother, who wrote less again, were only enough for him to have jigsaw pieces of the life she had been living. Now the woman herself could fill in the gaps.
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Old September 27, 2017, 01:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Accepting the glass with very real gratitude - and not just a little anticipation, given the quality of wines she knew the elf kept in stock - Kailin was quick to sink onto the couch next to Rilien. His question was not unexpected, but required the organization of her thoughts nonetheless, now that she was here.

And so she quite deliberately stuck her nose into her glass and inhaled deeply, a smile curling over her lips as her eyes fell shut in ecstasy. Elves and their wines... Kailin couldn't help but think of the last very fine bottle she'd shared with a young half-elf in Jaedaxia. His family had seemingly been as enamored of the drink as the Arabanis, and oh how she'd relished it.

Without tasting it, she opened pale green eyes and turned her head to her father-in-law (finally giving up on the idea that he could ever be anything else to her), "I have missed this, Rilien, and you." And she lifted the glass in acknowledgement before taking a sip and rolling the liquid slowly over her tongue as she decided where to start.

"You know I went home for a time, back to Port Alyxandrya." Again, her gaze lifted sideways to meet his, seeking confirmation before she continued, "I was there through winter. But there were nearly as many memories of Lilia there as there were here, and I found I could not stay."

She let out a long sigh, and gave a small shake of her head as she considered the next portion of her tale, "I went to Paxia, and only the gods know why. I think it was as far as I could think to go, clear across the continent, and yet still close to the sea." She paused and sought to focus on him again, her smile warming, "you know how I missed it here... the sea."

Then the smile faded, and she couldn't help reaching for his hand, her grip tight, "When I left, my father had been ill, but seemed to be recovering. It was a simple ague, Rilien, nothing serious. I..." she faltered, and blinked back a sudden rush of tears, "I could never have imagined that he would succumb to it. But he did, shortly after I left." Sniffling, she squeezed his hand and then released it to wipe at her cheeks. "I know mother told you of his passing. I would never have left... not if I'd known we were going to lose him." Her expression was earnest, and there was a pleading in her eyes as she looked at him. She needed him to believe her about this.

Eventually she continued, settling her palms around the glass again as she spoke, "I ended up helping to rebuild the city as best I could, and got into politics, if you can imagine," looking to him with raised brows, the wry twist to her lips was soft, "They were foolish enough to vote me into the city council, and even named me President. And that after I swore I would never be like Aunt Constance." It was an irony she felt sure he would be able to appreciate.

"But it felt good, to help in that way, and to make my own path... to start from nothing." Her words had slowed, gaze falling to settle on the glass she held, though it was clear she wasn't really seeing it. Indeed, she was seeing the faces of those she'd loved in Paxia, the people who had become like family to her. After a time of silence, she shuddered, swallowing the grief that always seemed so endless when her thoughts turned in that direction. Her next words were bitten off tightly, "Not that any of it mattered, in the end."

She did not elaborate, and did not need to. Surely Rilien knew of the destruction of that city. Taking time, then, to let herself move past the emotions, she lifted the glass for a sip, all too aware that her story was - on the surface at least - not a happy one.

"I was there, you know... when Aslangrad reappeared. There was the brightest light I've ever seen, and we went to investigate." She shook her head, still able to find wonder in the magic that had been wrought there, despite everything she'd been through in that gods-forsaken place. "It was incredible. Unbelievable really."

And as her thoughts tried to turn to what else had happened in Aslangrad, she jumped quickly to the next part of her story. There were things she did not need to share, and her time of imprisonment was one of them, the revolution another. It would only darken the already gloomy tale she was telling.

"After Paxia I returned home and began to help with the business in earnest. I did so until the attacks, and then..." she trailed off, recalling the numbness of the eras that followed. "And then we all did what we could to rebuild and keep the business going."

Inhaling, she pursed her lips and looked to Rilien with a small shrug, "And that is the broad strokes. I'm afraid the details would only bore you, although," and here she paused and a flash of anticipation lit her eyes. She took a sip of wine to wet her tongue and for a quick dose of courage before she was able to continue, "Rilien I was unbound."

Still hardly able to believe it herself, that she could wield magic, she turned to capture his reaction. "I saw what the healing magic could do and knew I had to try, for Lilia's sake, and my father's." Both of whom she couldn't help but think she might have been able to save, if only she'd had the use of Light and Order, as she did now. "I'm a mage."

And suddenly needing to focus on something other than herself for a moment, she went on without a pause. "I saw the signs of the attacks on my way into the city just now..." and now her brows drew together in concern, "How have you fared? What have I missed here, in my absence?" Of course, she could see the changes in the room around her, and the new face that had greeted her at the door. But what else had changed? Kailin thought she didn't have to speak the one question that hung between them. Or perhaps she hoped she wouldn't need to, and wasn't sure she could. How was Orrian? After all this time, had he found his way out of the grief that had buried him?
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Old September 27, 2017, 02:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The elf had settled back easily, the lines of his body still fluid and graceful even as he folded into the small sofa and gave Kailin his full attention. His expression was soft as she raised her glass toward him, and the small nod he gave was enough to convey the shared sentiment.

For it had been many eras since he had last seen his Corm Tinu Heart Daughter. He did not wear them on his countenance, his kindly eyes the only real suggestion of the expanse of years that he had lived. But he could see they were gently sculpting this mortal child, experiences and memories living on her skin in a way that they never could on his people. He would know the stories behind them all if he could.

A tilt of his head indicated that he remembered her return to Port Alyxandrya. It had been no surprise that, for her to retreat to her home, to her blood family when she had left his son. He had thought then she might not outrun her grief there, and it seemed he was right, not that it pleased him. And he had heard about Paxia too, his concern for her still bright in the months after her leaving, he had oft sought news from his old friend. Whilst he had been hearty and hale.

Kailin's sudden grip on his hand alerted him to the portion of her tale he thought they could both have done away with, and Rillien was touched anew with the pain of loss. He had seen so much loss in his long years, and still it hurt. But he wished it not for the woman sat next to him, much as he understood the brief moments her and her kin had in this world.

" Death is a treacherous master, dear child" He squeezed her hand in return before she let go, his gaze a little misty as he looked back at her. " None of us ever know when he will call our name, we can only go when he does"

There was no censorship there. He had seen too much of death and the destruction it could wreak even after the departed were long gone to even consider any ill feeling toward this girl who had already lost so much. He halted her for a moment, bringing his glass up and speaking a few soft words that he knew she would understand

"Hiro hyn hidh ab ’wanath" May he have found his peace after death

Taking a sip of wine,Rillien bowed his head then, suddenly looking almost all of his years, before that elvish remove was back in place and he nodded his head for Kailin to go on. His friend would have been so proud of what his daughter had done, how she forged on with life, and the elf allowed himself a little of that pride too. He was not surprised that she had dipped a toe in politics, having marked her charm from the moment he first met her. That she was a good heart too could only mean Paxia had been lucky to have her, which he told her.

News of her unbinding did have him raise his brows, and he smiled at her apparent self surprise at the fact. " A healing mage? It seems to fit, my dear" He gave a small sigh then. " And the world does seem to keep needing healing".

Rillien gave a small shake of his head as Kailin asked and yet did not ask the unspoken question in her eyes. So he both answered and did not answer in turn. " There are scars, as you would expect. And it was hard for a little while. But we were fortunate in that we have strong relationships here, friends to which we could cling. Things have settled back in to some kind of normalcy for the most part."

The elf stood then and moved to top up his glass, glancing to Kailin's to see if she too was ready for a refill. " I suppose the hardest thing, as always , is growing and moving with the times. And yet we continue to strive to"

He glanced at the fob watch at his breast then, and Kailin might have fancied she saw a faint line of tension settle briefly between his brows, but it was quickly gone. " How fairs your business? I imagine you have face your own challenges?"
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Old October 4, 2017, 02:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Sipping her wine at his rather perfectly put toast, Kailin stared unabashedly at Rilien as the elf bowed his head, and her smile was warm and a little sad to see the eras so unexpectedly weighing him down. It was just as fascinating to see the time fade away as he was once more himself, or at least himself as he allowed her to see him. She wondered whether she had the skill to capture such a subtle thing on paper, and vowed she would try, if only for herself. She was quite certain the elf would not thank her for capturing such a private, unguarded moment and sharing it around.

Reflecting that she'd only seen that facade break down on very few occasions in the time she had known him, Kailin couldn't help but feel grateful that her father had had such a friend as Rilien. And then grief for the losses the elf had faced over the centuries of his life struck her, and she looked down to her wine to keep him from seeing the pity that she suddenly felt.

In her jealousy of the lifespan elves were given by what amounted to an accident of birth - something that weighed on her increasingly as she considered what sort of life she might share with Calanon - Kailin sometimes forgot to take into account the added burden of pain that they shouldered. Reaching over, she set a hand on Rilien's knee and squeezed softly, getting her features under control before she looked to him with gratitude and love shining from her pale eyes. Gods how she had missed him.

Then she released him and went back to catching him up on the eras they'd been apart. His reaction to news of her magic lit a soft glow of pleasure and pride in her chest, and while it was not the same as sharing the news with her own father might have been, she could not deny the fact that Rilien's approval was a balm to that specific wound.

Rilien's answers to the questions she had posed brought a few nods from Kailin, though her lips tightened and her brow creased as his words nicely spurred on her curiosity. It felt very much like a tease, as she wondered whether the words he'd chosen were as precisely chosen as her mind made them out to be.

Strong relationships.

Friends to
cling to.

Kailin lifted her glass to Rilien, now in definite need of a refill as her heart thumped hard against her ribs. She hoped - knowing it was a vain hope - that the elf wouldn't notice the sudden color in her cheeks.

Forcibly pulling her thoughts back from spinning over and around what his words might mean, and whether they had anything to do with Orrian (was it as glaringly obvious to him as it was to her that neither of them had mentioned him yet?), she looked up to catch Rilien checking his watch. The tension that so briefly marred the space between his brows sent her own shooting up in surprise, and quite nicely dislodged her thoughts from the path they'd become lodged in.

It took her a moment to stammer her way into a response to his question, "I..." she cleared her throat with a sip of wine, "the changes that were wrought on Enamoria, now Maeve and your own Medonia, have been, admittedly, hard for us. And with the pirates along the coast growing bolder by the month..." her smile was distinctly vexed, "Well that's all part of why I've come, Rilien." And she wondered whether it was time already to move on to business.

But then her gaze fell back to the watch briefly, before lifting with a slight worried frown, "But is everything alright? You cannot have known exactly when I would arrive, so if I am keeping you from something, you need not worry." The frown melted, leaving behind a warmly wry smile, "I am no guest that needs constant tending, nor do I expect you to put your life on hold for me, Edhel Elf fatheratar.Elf father" It was her old name for him, one she'd started using well before she was old enough for any romance to have blossomed between herself and Orrian, when she'd first learned a few words of his language and thought to surprise him while on a visit with her own father.
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Old October 4, 2017, 07:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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There was almost a tinge of exasperation in the expression that settled on Rilien’s face at Kailin’s reassurance that he was not to go out of his way for her. Both at the fact that she would say such a thing, and himself, for forgetting just how perceptive she could be. Had always been. He simply gave a tight smile as he refilled her glass, before turning to set the bottle down again.

As he did so, there was the sound of the front door opening, and a voice that spoke directly to Kailin’s past sounded out in the quiet, clearly greeting the girl who had shown her in only a candlemark or so ago.

“ Thankyou, Espeth. Might you be so good as to have this coat cleaned? I’m afraid it had an unfortunate run in with my sandwich. Is my Father about?”

The elf in question felt his shoulders drop slightly. He had hoped for a little longer before having to share his visitor. And the fact that he had not spoken to his son of Kailin’s intent to visit, well he suddenly found himself questioning the wisdom in that too. But no, Rilien reminded himself he knew his son. And Orrian would have overthought it, worked himself up over the brightenings.

He was much changed since the pair had split, and the elf had not wished to see their reunion shadowed by irrational hesitance based in memory. They were all adults. And they had shared too significant enough a history for it to be ignored for evermore. This reconciliation, for he still tentatively hoped there could be a friendship between his son and heart daughter, was overdue by longer than he liked. So, Rilien shot Kailin an apologetic look, just at footsteps could be heard moving down the hallway towards the day room.
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Old October 13, 2017, 01:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Rilien's reaction to her statement was classically stoic and understated, but Kailin was certain she'd seen his equivalent of an eye roll in the tight smile he gave. She couldn't help the grin that snaked across her features as she watched the fall of dark red liquid, but managed to stifle a chuckle as he turned to set the bottle down.

Still grinning, she'd lowered her head to inhale the rich, heady scent of the wine when she heard the rather innocuous sound of the front door being put to use. The sound that followed it, however, was anything but innocuous, and her grin soured on her lips as her gaze flew up to her once father-in-law with a look of startled betrayal pulling her brows up and together.

It was an expression she clamped down on (or tried to) in the next instant, along with the tidal wave of emotions that came with it. She'd known, after all, that she would have to face him at some point during this visit. Had talked herself through her reaction to seeing him again on the long carriage ride in. She'd been preparing for this very meeting for eras, emotionally.

All of which, she found, flew right out the window as soon as she heard his voice. So familiar, and wrapped in so many memories, memories that were already crowding close around her, being here in this house. Heart beating rapidly, hand unsteady around the stem of the glass she held, cheeks suddenly burning, she was on her feet before making a decision to move. And as she turned in a slight circle - the footsteps in the hallway growing ever closer - Kailin acknowledged to herself that she was half a breath away from making an attempt to run and hide.

Don't be foolish.

Which was when she, instead, stopped spinning, faced the door, and took down a good third of her glass in one gulp (not feeling the least bit apologetic for the fact that she tasted none of it). The look she sent Rilien was rather scathing, for his having given her no warning, and - from the sound of it - having left him in the dark, too.

So she settled her shoulders, then swallowed against the sudden strange longing that twisted in her gut - which scared her more than anything else at that moment - and waited, face paling noticeably as his steps (even those were painfully familiar) sounded just outside the door.

Orrian...

With every fiber of her being focused on the empty doorway before her, and on making it through this encounter, Kailin didn't even realize that she'd whispered his name out loud.
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