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Old May 7, 2019, 03:28 PM   #1
Veleraen
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[Caronis Keep] This is my legacy; it calls me [Igrainne]

Era XXVI PF - Cryxatum - Beginning of Spring

Eras had passed and every darkening he had seen himself walking through the eternal forest of Sonos. The once burned and charred landscape ripening before his eyes, coming to life all around him. Aetherium fingertips brushed through the lush pines and feet scraped against the damp earth...it felt like home; it was home. At least, in his mind every darkening it was. During his visions through meditation, he could feel the aether course through him as the Chains of Aslan called and beckoned his weary form to return. His mind was tired and his body ached. Surely he had imagined a better future for himself but all he could do now was contend with the images that coursed through him in his dreams and try to prevent them from taking over his own reality.

Every darkening, he enjoyed and suffered this torture, as his mind wandered and became lost in the river of voices that spoke his name, that told him to return to the world of truth that he had left his mark permanently before. They had called to him for eras now and for eras he had sat in his keep, meditating, writing, trying to keep the tide at bay. Every brightening was a little harder to keep an even keel between what was of this world and what was in the other. Sonos could not be denied, at least not for long. Eventually it would overcome him and he would be pulled back to the Eternal Battle, the Library of Truth; the throne and ultimate altar of Aslan's power.

The Titan did not know why this was happening or why now of all times. Perhaps the multiverse was calling him for a higher purpose. Or perhaps it was his time, perhaps Jalat had come to collect his debt and Aslan had succumbed to the will of Law, having to sacrifice his Champion for the greater balance of things. Whatever it was, it was pulsing stronger and stronger with each sunrise and sunset. He felt it every time he looked out upon the fields of Caronis each darkening, the setting rays seemingly predicting his own fate for this world. Soon, he too would set from this place. Maybe his time would come for him to rise again upon the world but for now, this was his destiny.

The time had come to face it but before he did, Veleraen had a few things that remained that he had to put in order. That was why he had sent Dame Eryn on a brief mission to send for his Castellan, Lady Birch to come to the main hall of the keep to speak on such matters.

He had knelt before the hearth, soaking up the warmth of the fire on that early spring morning. The morning frost had still yet to be melted away by the suns above as they had barely begun their trek across the sky. It was still early enough in the season that the cold was still harsh and bitter in the morning, causing a small cloud of breath to escape his mouth before the heat caught it in its tracks. The banners in the hall around him had grown old in his eyes; those of the houses he belonged to and had pledged allegiance. Time grew weary of such things, as words disappeared into the echo of the past. He knew not where such oaths would end up with his disappearance but had hoped that perhaps maybe, the world would still turn for the friends and family he still counted among his allies. The Titan's thoughts wandered to that of his family in the Centripaxian mountains. Veleraen had left home long ago in search of a more exciting life; a more honourable life, he had found it but at a cost. While he still loved them, he no longer felt connected to them, their paths diverging long before now when he decided to take upon the mantle of Champion of the God of Truth and Honour. They walked a simple road while Veleraen had chosen the maelstrom that had become very difficult to navigate. It had brought him to this moment, where stone walls kept him in place, by a warm hearth with a heart filled with turmoil and regret.

The Titan was not sure of what he was going to tell his Castellan and very dear friend. Igrainne knew the Titan better than most, which was why she deserved to hear about it first. Not only was she in charge of the Keep's day to day operations but she held a special place in his life. She had saved him when guilt had almost swallowed him whole. He had charged halfheartedly into danger in a fit of anger that had almost killed him when he had happened to stumble upon the Birch farm that rainy summer darkening. That kind, gentle soul had given him a rebirth and a second chance at redemption. He had not been in a good place then and ever since their fateful meeting in the countryside, Veleraen had a lot of time to reflect upon his own life and what he had accomplished. Some brightenings these reflections were clouded with events that did not occur in his life, as the lines between Sonos's honoured dead intersected with his own. Certain realities were overlapping his and his memory had started to fade. There were certain things, memories of events he had written down in his own chronicles that he now could no longer remember. The anger that swelled from frustration on the darker days of these occurrences brought with them sadness and regret that lingered for longer than he had wished.

These were all signs that his time upon his world were coming to a close. Tales had told of Argus, a previous Champion of Aslan who held these Chains in the past. They had said that he had gone mad and taken his own life...now Veleraen could truly see why, if it was true. He could not discern this certain truth however, as it was hidden from him. For somewhere behind the power of the Chains of Aslan, this truth could not be seen. While the truth eluded him, he knew the truth of what was to happen next.

His large chair in the hall had been dragged over to the hearth now and he was sitting in it, almost absentmindedly staring into the flames. His towering frame was slanted slightly away, back to the door of the hall. His garb while simple of his usual uniform, it did not hide the fact that his posture exuded his frame of mind. Shoulders sagged slightly, head angled, eyes postured upon the road ahead. Red, skull-locked hair, braided and resting on his chest. A metallic aetherium hand laid at rest upon the arm of the chair, a single finger raising itself now and then as the Titan was embroiled in thought. The crystalline chains of Aslan shimmered as always below his form, more so now than they had done in the past. They grew in fiery colours and cascaded harshly across his frame, as if they were trying to exact their will upon him but were being resisted.

Even the scars upon his face could not hide the waves of hesitance and anxiety that crossed it. The struggle upon his soul was internal but it was fighting to show itself to the world and he was determined to not let it. At least, not until he saw the face of his Lord once more.

Until that time came, he waited in silence for his Castellan and dear friend to come to his side. He only hoped that the candlemark was not too early, as he knew he rose before any of those stirred in the keep.
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Last edited by Veleraen; May 7, 2019 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Grammarz.
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Old May 9, 2019, 03:22 PM   #2
Igrainne Birch
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“You should eat something,” she told Veleraen when she found him by the hearth, passing up a basket of scones that smelled of lemon and dried currants. Eryn had left Igrainne’s home with a similar basket and the same reassurance.

“Don’t worry; I didn’t bake them. They’re from Tulee’s.”

She pulled at the clasp on her cloak as she walked back to the human-sized chairs, tossed the cloak over the back of one, and dragged the chair over as she’d done a hundred times before.

Igrainne, a farmer’s daughter, had always been an early riser; while an at-first-light summons from Veleraen wasn’t exactly normal, she often began her work at dawn. She’d mostly been relieved that Dame Eryn had not come to drag her to the knights’ practice field. Igrainne rarely made time for that anymore. More practical matters had taken over her days and nights, and besides, it wasn’t wrong to feel safe in Caronis, no matter what they’d seen in the war. Igrainne had never healed her scarred, burned hand, but still those horrors felt far away now. The dead were remembered and the living went on.

But a long peaceI have no idea if it’s been peaceful in Caronis or elsewhere over the last few years. did not suit everyone the same. Igrainne had noted his mood before she’d crossed the great hall. They’d been friends for such a long time, since she was a child, and Veleraen wasn’t exactly good at hiding his emotions. Right now, he was fifteen feet of worry and sadness, tied up with glowing chains.

“We’re not here to talk about the spring crop rotations,” she finally said as she sat down, gesturing for him to toss her a scone. “What’s troubling you?”
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Old May 9, 2019, 04:20 PM   #3
Veleraen
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The Titan hadn't even heard her come in.

Normally his senses were heightened but these brightenings, he was on sensory overload and even the lightest of steps from his Castellan were disappearing in the background noise that filled his mind.

This had elicited a look of surprise when Igrainne spoke up about eating something. The enticing smell of the freshly baked scone drew a weary smile from the Titan as he grabbed the basket and took a couple of scones between two metallic fingers and plopped them in his mouth, chewing rather slowly and methodically like a cow chewing cud.

Igrainne had always treated him well, almost like a mother would her son in a way, except the obvious age difference. Sometimes he felt like he was being coddled but oddly this feeling was needed in some some weird corner of his life. He had never been coddled or pampered at home, his life had been a military life, a hard life entangled with blood, sweat and tears. This aspect of Igrainne's nature had been a wonderful side effect of their friendship. She was looking after him, well, mostly his stomach, but her thoughtfulness was never forgotten nor taken advantage of.

As his Castellan dragged the chair over the stone floor of the keep, he kept wondering how he was to tell her of such dire tidings. They had lived in relative peace the last few eras since the Xetan War. Granted the air was still uneasy and bandits and other criminals were trying to take advantage of the gaps in authority that were left behind by the destruction of local governments and many of the legions, they still enjoyed a modicum of peace here at Caronis. Veleraen had kept to himself mostly in the keep and the surrounding countryside, withdrawing from the world more so in recent eras. The toll of war had weighed heavily upon his mantle and this had caused a slow down in his own cause that he fought for in the world. Constantly fighting and breaking down your mind and body did no good for the future battles you were to continuing to pick. Even the Titan of Aslan needed a breather now and then, especially after being swallowed by a five hundred tonne worm and having it explode while you were still inside its stomach.

Veleraen had been so tied up in thought, he almost missed Igrainne's gesture for a scone for herself. He idly reached over and tossed one down to her. The Titan swallowed his scones and his upper body rotated itself so that he could see Igrainne's face a bit better and cracked a wry smile in the light of the fire.

"No, I am afraid we are not." He said with a heavy sigh and looked at Igrainne with a rather lethargic look. Sleep had eluded him greatly the last few months due to his strained condition. It was true, he was quite the open book when it came to reading his emotions.

"Are you happy with the life you have here?" He didn't know why exactly but the words just kind of blurted themselves out of his mouth. "I mean, being a Castellan, taking care of the knights and the people here? Taking care of our home?" Uneasy eyes scanned back to meet hers as his question had caused him to look to the fire and back again.
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Old May 15, 2019, 05:16 PM   #4
Igrainne Birch
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Have I been gone long enough for Iggy to transform from daughter to mother figure?lol

She delayed her answer with a bite. Was she happy? This was really more of an end-of-day-over-a-drink kind of conversation. Something was on his mind.

“I dream of turning myself into a tree every time a village council meeting ends in petty arguments,” she said. “But yes, I’m happy here, Vel. I always have been.”

It was the right answer, and it was mostly true. Igrainne loved Caronis. She was dedicated to her work as castellan of the keep and village druid, and could not imagine calling any other place her home. There had been times when she felt like she owed Vel this service, that she could work here until she was gray and still be indebted, times when she’d felt a kind of resentment at being given so much that she could never repay it. After all, he’d lifted her whole family out of poverty, had given her a title and lands when she’d come looking for work as maid.

She ought to have ended up as a servant somewhere, or married to a farmer at best. Or dead, like so many peasants in war time. With their father deceased and their brother Walen missing then, anything might have happened to Igrainne and her mother and sister, but it didn’t, and they had Veleraen to thank for it. Igrainne was lucky to have friends like Aydyn and Vel who envisioned more for her, especially at a time when she could not have dreamed of it. So, yes, she decided; she really was happy in Caronis.

’He looks awful,’ she thought, eyeing her old friend. ‘Probably not sleeping well. Again.

She knew he was lonely, even if he never phrased it as such. How could he not be? There were no others of his kind here. Caronis Keep was built to a giant’s scale, yet it no longer seemed to suit the one person it had been built for. Igrainne did not regret making her own home in the village proper, though. She was never going to be a knight; she would certainly never be a giant.

“When did it stop feeling like home for you?” she asked him.
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