Old April 21, 2017, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Demios]Reunion Amidst Sorrow (Niven and Dante)

Crysatum 4 Era XXIV

A elvish youth walked down the streets of Demios enjoying the spring weather that had come to the island. To the casual glance his youthfulness was very pronounced. His skin was clear and smooth and his golden hair vibrant. His eyes were a vibrant green, as one looked it seemed as if there was a inner light dancing there. There was something new in his gaze though that hadn’t been there. Loss, sorrow, and above all determination. It was that determination that told the good observer that this youth had survived as an adult.

He had received directions when he had first arrived in the city so while he walked at a sophisticated pace, he was who he was after all, he made a straight line for it. Ebramsom had spent much of his life going between familiar place but in the past eras he had learned how to visit new places. Demios was new to him despite having been here once before for his wedding, at the time he hadn’t really explored the city.

It wasn’t long before he found himself at this destination. He quickly checked himself over. He was dressed for travel, but the clothing was well made and designed to last well over the miles. Unlike the first time he meet Dante, Ebramsom did travel armed but also carried it with confidences. He paused at the beautiful house and admired it. Despite the destruction of his world Ebram was a De Lylles and they loved beauty where they saw it. Not to would be denying his heritage.

Ebramsom de Lylles knocked on the door of the manor excited and hopeful of seeing his friend again. He had come several reasons. One was to reconnect with an old friend, but another was to ask his help in his search.
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Old April 22, 2017, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The brightening had begun peacefully, at least for Niven. Arising with the first sun’s light, she’d gone about the morning routine in the household, one she’d fallen into quite easily since her return. She’s helped Kala get the children off to Schola and then had retreated to the Library where she curled up on one of the armchairs with a good book her bookish daughter had recommended.

The sound of knocking on the front door reached her pointed ears and she looked up sharply from her book. Her dog, Juno, who had been laying beside the chair on the floor raisted his head and gave a sharp bark. Adrenaline flooded her body as she went into high alert. They weren’t expecting anyone, or at least not that Dante had mentioned and he was usually quite good about that, especially after they had been hunted for so long.

In a flash of skirts she was out of the chair and out of the library into the foyer. She was tense as she stood there, staring at the door. What she wouldn’t give to be able to see through the door right now! The elf glanced at the upstairs. Her weapons were there. “Feth!” she thought. She was at home, why would she stay armed? “For times like this,” she thought, ruefully. She resolved to at least wear her dagger from now on. But that didn’t help her now.

Glancing around the room, Niven spotted a pair of silver candle sticks on a console table. Moving soundlessly across the floor she grabbed one and removed the candle. It was better than nothing. She moved across the floor, as soundless as a ninja, and reached for the door handle and opened the door, the candle stick hidden behind her back. Juno was at her side, his ears back a low growl in his throat.

M-m-my Lord!” She stuttered, her surprise clearly written all over her pretty features as recognition of the man on her doorstep dawned on her. The arm hidden behind her back dropped to her side. “Come in!” she said, opening the door wider, allowing Ebramsom enter. She nudged Juno with one foot to move him out of the way and quiet him. She closed the door behind him, her shock still evident on her face. “How can I be of service to you, My Lord? Would you like to come into the library? I could get some tea?
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Old April 22, 2017, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Golden Son of Lauryl was more observant then he had once been. He noticed Niven's hand behind her back but he said nothing and didn't react. By the gods these were dangerous times. Having fled before Black fog as it killed Lauryl and then returned to see the destruction of that beautiful land. His mind still realed from the destroy of the Lylles Palace.

Then there had been his own abduction. The Lylles didn't let any of this thoughts show on his face, as his lessons of self control came back to him. He was really discovering that his upbringing was a great strength in this time of sorrow. He smiled in genuine pleasure at seeing the beautiful Niven.

His green gaze could see the surprise on her face and the quiet paranoid part of his brain felt relief. No one had been expecting him. Talking the offered invitation to come in Ebramsom stepped in to the hall. "Vediu," greeted her in the ancient elvish way that stretched back across the centuries with a bow of his head.

Ebramsom smiled again as he held his hand out for her dog to smell his hand and to show it friendship. He wasn't actively seeking to pet the dog but was willing to show he wasn't a threat. "I would love tea." He paused and then spoke again his voice had settled into a beautiful tenor. "I apologize for just dropping in but if you weren't expecting me it means no one else was." He said the first paranoia speaking for a moment. "It has been awhile and it is a pleasure to see you again and to be here. This is a beautiful home."
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Old April 22, 2017, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The familiar elvish greeting went a long way to calm Niven and a smile played momentarily on her lips. It had been a long time since she had been greeted in the traditional way and she didn’t realize she’d missed it until Ebramsom had said it.

Juno sniffed the outstretched hand of the visitor cautiously. Noticing that the tension in his mistress had abated upon her recognition of the man, he also relaxed and offered his own friendly lick. Satisfied they were no longer in any danger, the dog trotted into the kitchen looking for a drink, leaving the two to converse alone.

The note of agitation in Ebramsoms words was not lost on the she-elf and she nodded in understanding. It was scary times they lived in. “The pleasure is mine, M’Lord and you will always be welcome here,” she said, her sincerity plain in her own peridot eyes. Niven glanced down at the candle stick still in her hand. “My apologies,” She said, her usual pale cheeks flushing slightly in embarrassment. She moved to put her makeshift weapon back where she’d got it from, replacing the candle within it. “It’s been hard few eras for our family and one can never be too careful when you are not expecting guests.

Leading him into the library, Niven waved her hand to one of the many options of seating. Her earlier reading could be seen left haphazardly on the floor beside her previous seat. “Please, make yourself comfortable. I will see about the tea.

Niven took her leave of his lordship and hurried to the kitchen where she knew she'd be sure to find Kala. "Please inform Dante that his Lordship, Ebramsom de Lylles is here. And would you mind bringing tea into the library as well?" she asked, getting out the good tea set. Kala would be the best and most reliable way to get her fiancé back home from the docks where he'd be checking on his business. "Thank you," she said as she finished arranging the items on the tray, leaving Kala to finish up, and hurrying back out of the kitchen and into the library.

Outside the doors of the library, out of sight, Niven composed herself. Smoothing her skirts, she took a deep calming breath and entered the library herself. “Now then,” she said, gracefully moving to her original seat and swiftly picking up the book and placing it neatly next to her on an end table. She sat down. “It is very good to see you again. I am pleased to see that you managed to escape the black fog. It’s devastation was widespread. My own family, in the Silrosian forest, was not as fortunate.” By now the elf had been able to detach somewhat from her grief, though her sadness was still reflected in her eyes. “I know Dante will be pleased to see you as well. He should be back shortly."

When Kala came in with the tea, the elf thanked her with a very grateful look, and got up to pour a cup for herself and for Ebramsom. "I'm afraid I don't remember how you take your tea," she said apologetically, handing the cup and saucer to him.
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Old April 22, 2017, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dante was whistling merrily to himself. The brightening had gone well. All the ships had made a decent haul, the crew men seemed content, and the books were in order. He was able to visit with the sailors in his employ for awhile and it did his soul well to see them happy again, especially with all the trouble recently.

Suddenly he received a call, "Dante. Niven requires your presence. She says that a Lord Ebramsom de Lylles is here to see you."

Dante bolted up to the shock of his sailors, "Sorry gents. I must return home. Have a round on me." He gave the nearest a bag of coins and headed home. Demios wasn't huge, but big enough. Dante had understood that all the de Lylles had been slain. He raced home either confirm that Lord de Lylles was actually who he was and not some emposter looking to hurt his family. "I'm on my way," Dante responded back with the call, "Stand guard in case he isn't who he says he is please."

Long ago Kala had gone from employee to family. He literally didn't know what he'd do without her. Especially during Niven's absence it was Kala who filled in and took care of the day to day with the children as Dante tried to protect and provide for them all. "Of course," came her amused response. As if she'd have done differently.

The dracon in human guise raced as quickly as he could through the streets and towards his home. It was still outside of town which was why it was such a useful smugglers tool when he originally found it. He saw it in the distance and only hoped that he'd get there in time if anything went wrong...
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Old April 22, 2017, 09:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ebramsom patted the dog after it licked his hand and departed out of the room. He saddened a bit to see his paranoia understood by the she elf. Dante had always been fairly alert and Niven hadn't been lost in the clouds either, but she had changed, as they all had recently.

He smiled in good humor as she set the candle stick down. He nodded in understanding and indicated to his own weapon. "I understand. My mother is rolling in her grave knowing that I am visiting my friends armed. She frowned on weapons in the house." He said with a laugh. Despite these many eras since her murder Ebramsom was still convinced she was watching over him. "Hopefully we can see the world safer soon." He said from the heart.

The library was pleasant and designed to allow for reading and visiting. With evidence that some one had been doing the former. He except Nivan's invite and picked a chair to be seated. The chair was comfortable and Ebramsom relaxed in it though to the observer he sat with a straight back and held a proper posture.

He sat quietly looking around him while noticing the titles of books but resisting the urge to stand up and look at the shelves. He turned and smiled as Niven came back in. He listened as she mentioned her family in Silrosia being lost to the black fog. He bowed his own head in sorrow for a moment. "You have my sympathy and my condolence." He said in elvish as it was really the best way for elves to express their loss. "My father's parents were lost with Silrosia and many of my Lylles kin were lost in the black fog." Until he heard something more concrete he wasn't willing to wright them off as dead.

He took the cup of tea from her offered hands. He took a sip and the expression on his face spoke of the pleasure the taste brought him. "After the what the west is now passing for as tea I have taken to avoiding it but this Tea is excellent."

He took another sip before setting the cup back on the saucer. "What where you reading?"
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Old April 22, 2017, 10:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When he switched into elvish, Niven smiled. His condolences meant that much more. She matched the change from common. It was good to speak her native tongue again and she appreciated the opportunity. She replied in kind. “My condolences to you as well. It seems there are very few people the black fog didn’t affect. I waited 2 eras for my family to come to the refugee camp at Sancta Nova. After that long, it was clear that no one had survived. I hope you find better news of your family.

She smiled at his comment about the tea. “You are more than welcome to as much as you like. And I would be more than happy to send some with you.

Niven returned to her seat, her cup and saucer held in her lap. At his question, she glanced at her book beside her. “Oh, it’s something my daughter recommended for me. It’s a story of a knight and a princess who fall in love due to magic, though the princess is married to his uncle, a king. It’s actually quite beautiful and tragic, but I am enjoying it immensely.” She took another sip of her tea, letting the warm liquid linger on her tongue for a moment before swallowing.

Smiling at Ebramsom, she asked, “Do you have any favourites you’d recommend when I’m finished? I’m always looking for another good read.” The elf was enjoying her conversation with the Lord de Lylles, but knew that as kind as he was, he wasn’t really here to see her. She hoped Dante would arrive soon so as not to keep Ebramsom waiting too long. If he’d come, and came in secret, it was obviously important.

oocAll conversation is in elvish, just so there is no confusion
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Old April 23, 2017, 02:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Fortunately Dante had stayed in good shape, unfortunately running as far as he had momentarily had him breathing hard and had his hands a little shaky. He reached the back door and took a moment to catch his breath. Once he was able to speak without panting he stepped inside his kitchen door, light as he could. Following the safe spots in the floor he knew were there he stepped lightly until he reached the corridor. Peeking through the kitchen door he saw Kala, bow out, but not drawn, waiting out of sight near the library door.

Dante sent the call, informing her that he was here. She looked over at the source and nodded. He stepped through the kitchen door, silently approaching the library. Once he reached the door he turned the knob slowly with the patience of a father trying not to wake his sleeping children. He let the door open barely enough so that he could see through to their guest on the other side.

Well he certainly looked like Ebram although usually he would have expected a crowd of attendants, security, a coach, something. Dante would have been less concerned, but he'd heard that the de Lylles of the western branch had been lost. Perhaps Ebram was the exception, but he was going to play it safe until he knew for sure. He couldn't understand a thing they were saying and it annoyed him no end. How many opportunities had he wasted with Niven not learning her native language.

With nothing left to do, and seeing Niven actin so relaxed Dante attempted nonchalance. Motioning Kala to the side, so the person who might be Ebram wouldn't see her there armed, Dante entered the room cautiously. "Lord de Lylles?" he queried incredulously. He bowed formally always keeping his eyes on who he hoped sincerely was his friend. He then moved, as casually as he could, to put himself slightly in front of Niven although a little off to one side to make sure that he could protect her in case this wasn't who he hoped it was. In the course of following the will of Diana he'd seen many strange things. Shape shifting wasn't all that unusual, there were three in this house who could do it.
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Old April 23, 2017, 10:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ebramsom sat holding his tea cup as he acknowledged her sympathies towards his family. He actually had more to say on that subject but didn't want to repeat himself when Dante arrived. So he moved onto the conversation about books.

"I don't think I have read that one." He said and thought through a few of the titles he had read. He had started to explain about one of his boyhood favorites. That involved two cities at war with each other over the most beautiful woman in the world.

He stopped as the door was opened and a human male stepped into the room. Ebramsom turned his gaze upon the new arrival. The elf lords green eyes meet those of Dante. The face was different but the gaze was the same.

Ebramsom set his tea cup down and stood with a fluid moment that spoke of training and many years of practice. The youth smiled at the surprised look on the man's face as he greeted Ebram. The inner light in his eyes twinkled as he returned the greeting with a perfect bow. "It is a pleasure to be here Earl Asunder."

Once the startled introductions were over Ebramsom continued to smile. "It is good to see you again my old friend." Ebramsom sat down and picked up his tea cup again. He remembered Niven warning about it being a difficult time. Which might explain the slightly stiff reception.

"Nikki sends her greeting. She and our son are in Prime since the Lylles palace was destroyed." There was a tighten to those green eyes and a dimming of the inner light at that last statement. Ebramsom thought of something. "Dante I'm not sure you ever meet Gabriel?"
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Old April 24, 2017, 09:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The elf smiled as her guest started expounding on a story that he’d read as a boy. He seemed to perk up a bit as he spoke and she smiled warmly at him. Niven made a mental note to search the library for the story and she would read that one next

Dante entered and she smiled and visibly perked up. “Dante!’ she exclaimed happily, switching to common again, pleased he’d finally arrived home. “At last!” The look on his human-seeming’s face was not one she would equate with being pleased to see an old friend and she shot him a questioning look before he came in and stood by her. Well, sort of. He seemed to be more in front of her then beside her. Niven could see the tension in his muscles and wasn’t sure as to why. “Off day at the docks?” she wondered. In the interest of getting him to calm down, Niven put down her own tea on the table beside her book and moved gracefully out of her seat. “I’ll just get you some tea, my love,” she said, smiling at him, hoping to put him at ease.

As Ebramsom started speaking of his family, she shifted her attention back to the handsome elven lord as she delivered tea to her beloved. Perhaps the tea would calm him down. “Oh, you have son!” she said, smiling at the lord, as she took her own seat and picked up her own tea again, bringing the cup and saucer to her lap before raising the cup to her lips again. “How wonderful that he and your wife escaped with you! I'm so glad to hear it! How old is he now?” she asked, returning the cup to the saucer.
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Old April 24, 2017, 01:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Dante smiled at Niven's greeting and put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it lightly in greeting as he stepped up to Ebram. It didn't escape Dante's notice that Lord de Lylles still wore his sword. At Niven's offer of tea Dante was about to decline, but the dracon saw something in Ebram's eyes. A look of exhaustion rippled through his eyes. He was tired of always being on high alert and suspecting people of betraying him.

Dante decided to trust 'Ebram' for now and motioned for his lord to retake his seat. The dracon sat once Ebram retook his seat and gratefully took the tea from his fiance. He visibly relaxed and smiled at Ebram, "It is good to see you as well my friend. I'm glad to see you survived the trouble in Arakmat."

He waited for Niven to retake her seat. "I'm glad they are well. It has been too long since I've seen your lovely wife," he paused taking a sip of tea. "And no. I have not met Gabriel, but am glad he's doing well as well." Dante let Niven make the small talk. It wasn't really his thing and he knew that, based on the circumstance Ebram was here for a reason.

Once he'd answered Niven's question Dante asked Ebram, "So what brings you here my lord?"
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Old April 26, 2017, 05:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ebram settled back into the chair and watched as the other two settled into their own chairs. He could see Dante relaxing as he settled into this chair. Dante was normally warry but something seemed to have made him even more warry. The Lylles lord could understand that as he still paranoid that his once upon a time abductor might still be lurking around any corner.

He grinned as Niven asked him about his son. “He is 6 eras old and extremely energetic.” He paused, “He was with me when the Fog came upon us so I carried him with me as we fleed with others. Nikki was visiting family in the east at the time but we did loss contact for a while.” His eyes were filled with a wild grief at the memory of that brightening.

He pulled himself out of his thoughts and looked at Dante’s direct question. He gave a sad smile at the memory of his friends direct questions. ”You do like to get to the point my friend. Well the reason is in direct relations to our conversation. As I am sure you heard most of my family haven’t been seen since the black Fog. Oh there are a few of us who either escaped our were out of the provinces who, but none of them are the heads of our family.” He paused and sipped at the tea while he control his emmotions. Still talking about it hurt and he struggled with the very real possibility that they escaped. He looked at Niven, ”Many people have decided that my family is all dead, and I am beginning to believe it likely, but I want to check on a few things before. . . “ He let the sentence trail off.

”I want to go into Lauryl and visit the Lylles stronghold of Atlantia and see if any of my family survived there. I came here to ask for your help to make the trip as Lauryl isn’t the peaceful land it once was.” He said looking at both of them. ”I’m not going to pretend that I am some great adventurer, and so I ask for help, but I will leave safety to find those I love, or find out what happened to them.”
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Old April 26, 2017, 07:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Niven smiled at his reply about his son. Memories of their youngest at 6 flooded her and the elf remembered what a fun age 6 eras was. She could imagine how frightening it must have been for the boy to be fleeing such a frightening ordeal and was extra grateful that they had both gotten away. “What a blessing from the gods for you to know without a doubt that she was safe,” she said, sincerely.

As Lord de Lylles explained why he had come, Niven tensed, gripping her cup and saucer tightly. The story was all to close to her own and she hadn’t been prepared to come face to face with her feelings about it so soon. She had spent two eras searching for her family among the survivors of the black fog and at the end of that time she’d had to come to the horrifying conclusion that they had all perished. The wound was still very fresh and her grief hit her again like a ton of bricks, and it took her breath away. She did her best to keep her composure, but whether she succeeded or failed would depend on who knew her best.

immediately after the wave of her grief ebbed slightly she was conflicted by Ebramsom’s request. One the one hand, it was very likely if he hadn’t heard from his family by now, they were gone. But on the other hand if there was a chance that his family was still out there…

Unable to say anything for the moment, as her mind raced and she endeavored to sort out her own feelings, she let Dante respond first.
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Old April 26, 2017, 07:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Dante listened to Ebram respond to Niven's question. Realizing the parallel that there was between the two elves' stories, he stood as casually as possible and moved to stand by Niven again, this time to her side while still facing Ebram, and he lovingly placed a hand on her shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. "I'm glad that you and your boy escaped such an ordeal," he stated sincerely. "Many were not so fortunate."

Still looking at Ebram, Dante nodded. "I am sorry for your loss. I had heard that you and your family had been lossed to the fog. I'm ashamed to admit it, but that doubt made me more suspicious of you than I would have otherwise been upon your arrival. It's not every brightening that you see a friend return from the grave."

Dante listened to Ebram's request while staying close to Niven. Holding her shoulder, unless she shrugged him off or took his hand instead. "Before I agree I would like to hear your plan and what role you expect me to play in it. Also," he added quickly "just to inform you upfront, leaving Niven is not an option. We've been apart for too long already and I refuse to endure more separation from her right now." Dante tilted his head to the side slightly as he awaited a response.
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Old April 29, 2017, 11:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The youth watched the two of the as he explained his reason for coming to see them. He could see pain in Niven's eyes and a protectiveness in Dante that he could completely understand between two people who love each other. He felt a happiness that they had each other but his expression was calm as he listened to Dante.

"I understand your skepticism. To the world at large the western Lylles are gone. Weather dead or vanished it amounts to the same thing. The world tends to overlook the few of us who survived since we are young." He said with a smile that spoke of his understanding.

He spoke in his elvish tenor. "My goals over all is to try and physically restore the west. Lauryl and Silrosia. First thought I want to restore symbols of hope to the people as well as direct my families resources towards the rebuilding of the west." He paused and sipped his tea before speaking again. "My plan is to travel across Lauryl to the location of Atlantia. I can't say what is there now but I hope to look and see what I can find. It is dangerous to travel now in the west and I am hoping both of you will stand by my side so that we can have each other's back." He paused and though. "While we are there we might also look and see what is poisoning the rivers of Lauryl as Atlantia is near the head waters. I haven't worked out a detailed plan not being sure of finding you and also not sure if you can or will come. I was hoping to travel as friends not lord and guards."
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