Author Topic: Echoes  (Read 1143 times)

Lucius DeAuster

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Echoes
« on: August 05, 2015, 10:00:18 PM »
Dust slowly filtered down from the tilted ceiling as Valkier dropped from the hole in the ceiling to land in a crouch in the middle of the hall. He glanced in both directions before rising and moving to the wall, his back to the aged paneling. Nothing moved in the flickering light of the torch that had been tossed down ahead of his descent and the rogue released a breath he had not even realized he had been holding.

A muttered curse brought Valkier's attention back to the hole he had just come through and he watched as another clambered down the rope, dropping the last few feet with another oath. The half-elf shook his head slowly as he peered down the hall. "You almost landed on the torch."

"Ah, shut yer trap, elf." The dwarf hopped ungainly to his feet, axe in hand as he looked about. "Would have been better anyway. I can't see a damned thing in the dark with it around."

"I thought you were just getting old."  Valkier snorted softly as he looked back around. "And I'm not an elf"

"Coulda fooled me, longshanks. Those ears of yours are pointed enough."

"Valkier's ears are cute, Ferrox." Both men looked upward as another descended the rope to land lightly in a swirl of cotton skirts. Tucking a lock of blonde hair behind her own gently tapered ear she patted Ferrox's shoulder as she drew out a slender wand from her belt. "Just like the rest of him." The dwarf huffed in annoyance as she moved to stand beside the rogue, wand held at the ready.

"And you're biased, Natanya." The playful chiding caused the mage to giggle softly toward the last to arrive and Ferrox to grumble into his beard. "But then, that's been obvious ever since we left Bain-heptan."

"You could have joined us Francesca." Valkier smirked toward the ranger, who rolled her eyes in reaction.

"In your dreams Valkier, in your dreams."

"If you three are done gettin' yer bedmates for the night, what say we get movin'." Ferrox stomped past the others and stopped just beyond the edge of the torchlight. He peered into the darkness for several seconds before looking back to his companions. "Looks like there's a corner up ahead. Why don't ya go check it out, longshanks."

...

"Three hours now and all we've found is dust and trash." Valkier bit into the ration bar with a gusto borne of disgust, and Francesca patted his shoulder with a soft chuckle. Natanya leaned into his side in a gesture of sympathy, and he offered her a bite of the bar.

"We just got here cariad.  You cannot expect to find life's riches in the very first room we come across." The blond mage said with a laugh.

"Of course I can. Gold and platinum already loaded by the chestful, enspelled weapons and armor resting in their racks, spell books filled with incantations to make you the envy of the guild..." Valkier sighed dramatically, earning him another pat, this one from Natanya.

"You might be getting yer wish longshanks." Ferrox's voice preceded the dwarf from the shadows. His eyes took on a red glow as they reflected the torchlight, giving the dwarf an almost-demonic mien. "There's another door around the corner, near a shaft heading down." Valkier scowled at the news as he came to his feet, a hand offered toward Natanya.

"Oh happy me. Another storeroom filled with rotten crates and moldy sacks of grain."

"Maybe not." Ferrox allowed a sly smile to split his thick beard. "The lock on this'un ain?t corroded."
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 09:27:36 PM »
"So, if the lock?s not broken, does that mean you?re losing your touch?" Francesca queried lightly as she leaned against the doorjamb watching Valkier attempt to unlock the complex tumbler. Natanya had dispelled the ward cast on the door itself but the lock was proving to be quite stubborn.

"Not as much as being distracted by stupid questions." The rogue didn't spare an upward glance, and with a muttered curse he reached for another tool. Ferrox stood to the other side, his axe held in anticipation. The dwarf was as keen as the rogue in his desire for the lost treasures of Kahadras, having spent several months attempting to put together a band willing to even brave the edges of The Desolation much less enter the benighted limits of the ancient city itself. He had finally met with Natanya and Valkier, who had joined as partners in the expedition. The mage was seeking to prove herself to the masters of the Collegio Magorum and advance within the Mages Guild, while her lover simply desired riches. Natanya had heard rumors of a ranger in Bain-heptan, and after a couple of days searching the various inn?s and marketplaces Francesca was hired as a scout, for an equal share of all profits.

?Why don't we make our own door?" Leather creaked softly as Ferrox tightened his grip on the axe?s handle, the gleam of avarice unmistakable in his eyes.

"And risk setting off any kind of trap? No thank you." Valkier shot back just as his right hand shifted upward suddenly. There was an audible click' and the half-elf smiled as he slowly turned the knob and eased the door open. "Losing my touch indeed. Now, hand me the torch?" Francesca passed him the lit brand and he slipped through the crack into the room.

"I'll be damned." Ferrox growled and before Francesca or Natanya could stop him the dwarf reached out and shoved the door open. "Yer not goin' in there outa sight of us!" Natanya cringed back as though expecting something to explode while Valkier snarled in disgust.

"You blundering idiot! If there was any trap you could have killed all of us!"

"Aw, quit yer whinin'. If there had been any traps you wouldn't have waltzed in like ya did." Ferrox chuckled quietly, evidently pleased with himself.

"Ferrox, don't do that again." Francesca stepped past the dwarf and looked around the room. Natanya was on her heels, one hand resting on the rangers shoulder. Her eyes lit up at the sight of a bookshelf and worktable and the mage made a beeline for the tomes. The dwarf warrior, still snickering from a moment before, started poking around a stack of crates in one corner while Valkier began to inspect the dilapidated equipment on a table by the bookshelf after handing Francesca the torch.

Natanya carefully set one of the books on the table and gingerly opened it, running a fingernail along the spidery lines of text. Francesca peered over her shoulder for a second. "Can you read it?" Natanya shook her head, lips moving as she silently mouthed words before replying.

"Only a word or two." Natanya's eyes almost glowed in excitement as she glanced back to the ranger. "I'll translate it when we get back." Francesca gave a nod as she stepped back toward the center of the room to allow the torch to better illuminate the entire room.

"I found something!" Ferrox threw aside a bag, sending dust flying as he revealed a small chest shoved into a corner. The dwarf reached for the hasp with the intent to flip it open but a shout from Valkier brought him short.

"Don't' touch it!" The rogue was already heading in that direction scowling at Ferrox all the while. "Are you wanting to get us killed?"

"It's just a storage chest, longshanks." Ferrox snorted as Valkier pushed past him, but he let Natanya draw him back with a gentle touch.

"Just a storage chest in a locked alchemical workshop, hidden under bags and boxes." Valkier flipped a length of wire in his fingers as he examined the lock. "If you're so eager to die go jump off a cliff and stop trying to take us with you."

"Valkier..." Natanya admonished softly, trying to diffuse the argument. She was as eager as the dwarf to see what might be hidden away inside the chest though Ferrox was trying to downplay his initial excitement. Francesca watched from where she stood so as not to add to the press around the thief.

"Let?s see...it looks like a simple enough lock." Valkier gingerly worked the wire into the keyhole, slowly twisting it to feel the tumblers inside. His eyes narrowed slightly for a second before he grinned, looking back to his companions. "And there's a trap, shortstuff. Be glad I stopped you."

"Can you disarm it?" Francesca asked before Ferrox could start another round of arguing. Valkier nodded in reply as he focused on easing a second wire into place.

"I should be able to in a few minutes."  Valkier gave the top wire a tug and then began to slowly turn the lower tool. "The trick is finding the setting cog of the mechanism." He paused for a second before giving the top wire a twist. "If we can just avoid shortstuff there barreling..."

Natanya sneezed.

The dust was a powder-fine sheen that had settled over the contents of the room despite the precautions the original owner had taken. Ferrox in his searching through the bags had stirred up a small cloud that was slowly dispersing, and the young mage had unwittingly breathed in enough to unsettle her sinuses. The sneeze was not particularly loud but in the expectant hush of watching Valkier work it was positively deafening, making Francesca jump and Ferrox curse with the suddenness of the sneeze. Valkier flinched, and he felt a sharp tremor flow through the wire as the mechanism snapped closed.

"Oh fu..."
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2015, 01:01:58 PM »
"We found something!"

Terreth B'garreth, mage and explorator of the Collegio Magorum, looked up from the book he was carefully examining as one of the apprentices attached to the expedition skidded around the corner, robes flapping in his haste. The expedition, a small group funded by the Mages Guild, had been slowly picking through the ruins that constituted the outer edges of Kahadras for several days with little success until a scout had discovered a medallion in one of the half-tumbled towers. While the enchantment on the medallion had been weak it had been enough to spark a flurry of activity in the tower. The Explorator had been delighted to find what appeared to be a study with the books somewhat preserved through a combination of the dry climate and enchantments and had tasked his apprentices with searching the half-ruined edifice while he began the cataloging of the find.

Straightening from his lean over the table, Terreth stretched with a wince of tight muscles. "What have you discovered that has you so excited Relgin?"

?You must come and see!? Relgin was fairly hopping with excitement and with the Explorator in tow started down the hall hurriedly. ?We found a break between levels and descended to investigate. There was an old study or laboratory, but what was inside is incredible!?

?You did not disturb anything?? Terreth glared at the apprentice, who shook his head and pointed toward a jagged-edged hole in the floor.

?No m?lord! It?s as we found it.? Terreth nodded and muttered a slowfall spell before stepping into the hole, his robes disturbing the rotted remains of a rope in the process. Relgin followed, landing beside the Explorator at the next floor down, the passage softly illuminated by glow-orbs floating at various points along the hallway. The apprentice hurriedly led Terreth around the bend to an open door, shooing the other three apprentices back as the senior magus approached. ?It?s in here!?

Terreth paused at the door and stared dumb-founded at the room before him. Four figures were in the room, three standing over a fourth who was crouched at a chest in one of the corners. Terreth?s eyes narrowed as he processed the scene. Not crouching?no, the man was falling backward, or would have been had he not been stuck in midair. Relgin started to enter the room but was stopped by the Explorator?s outstretched hand.

?Stop, and look.? The magus pointed at the armored woman in the middle of the standing trio. ?Look at the torch she is holding.? Relgin did so, as did the others, and a murmuring broke out as they realized that the smoke of the torch as well as the very fire itself was as still as the figure that held it high.

?They?re frozen!?

?Not just frozen.? The senior magus held up his hand, a small ball of mystical flame dancing across his fingertips. At a gesture the small flame flew through the door into the room only to stop about two feet in, the air rippling as though the ball had pierced the surface a placid body of water. The dance of the flame stopped, even the inner pulse pausing as it hung suspended. ?No, this is some form of time stoppage, a very powerful spell.?

?Can it be dispelled?? Relgin looked to the Explorator, who was rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Terreth smiled slowly and nodded.

?Of course, Relgin. Though it will take some?? The older mage?s lips quirked at what he was saying, but finished. ??time.?
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2015, 10:46:01 PM »
Antetion Halls, Mercivya

?Cutting the taxes like this will bankrupt the treasury!? The beefy-faced nobleman, Earl Bollarn Crestvielle, glared around the table at the other assembled councilmen. Odgen Bradford, the Earl of Briarstone, nodded in quiet agreement. Others, sitting across from Crestveille, scowled as he continued. ?The costs of rebuilding and repairs enough have nearly drained what we have left, especially after the looting!?
   
?Did you stop to think for a minute that maybe the reason the people were looting was because of the outrageous taxes this council has levied in the past?? Grant McVallen shot back as he returned Crestvielle?s glare evenly. An export merchant and representative of the Merchants Guild McVallen was one of four newcomers to the Cisroe council, placed into seats vacated during the recent battle and subsequent power shuffling. Members of the Cisran middleclass of merchants and craftsmen, McVallen and his compatriots knew the hostility Crestvielle and several of the remaining noblemen not on the council held for the new order, and were determined to make changes in what the city and realm had previously endured.

?Outrageous?? Sputtering, Crestvielle?s fist clenched in open rage. ?The taxes in the past have gone to pay for the protection of this city!?

?Protection that was obviously lacking!? Another newcomer, Horace Silvershield, yelled in reply, his own anger breaking forth. ?The council has bled us dry for years, and for what?? He started to stand and continue, but a loud ?Enough!? made him pause, as well as dragging the attention of the councilmen toward the open doors to their meeting hall.

Flanked by Jonathan Harte, Lieance DeCort and Morguian Albaelia, Lucius entered the chamber, moving to the large chair at the head of the table to sit. Harte took his seat at the head of the left side of the council table, while DeCort and Morguian sat down to either side of Lucius. Two of Commander Farriss? men took up positions behind and to either side of the Lord of Pandemonium, hands resting at their belts within easy reach of their sword hilts. Lucius slowly looked around the table, narrowed steel-grey eyes locking on each council member in turn for a few seconds before moving on to the next. He knew he had few allies at the table, and less for the moment among the sitting nobility beyond Harte, and thus he held his ire in check for the moment.

?First, you will be happy to know that, for now, no more changes will be coming in the established hierarchy of the city.? The glares and hostility from the left side of the table amused him greatly, for after purging Urevan?s solid followers, Crestvielle and Bradford were the only remaining nobility of the old order allowed on the council. Harte had been an advisor for Urevan more for familial ties than any true loyalty. Four of the council had openly defied orders for their militia to lay down arms after Cisroe was taken, and the day after the wall had been breached Lord Unthor, Jerrak and Lord DeCort had led the assault on the walled manors to root out Urevan?s supporters. Lucius had wanted to kill them outright, but cooler heads, namely Fiona and DeCort, prevailed, and the families were sent in a wagon train toward Malirid under heavy guard.

?You men now represent the ruling nobility of Mercivya.? Lucius continued, keeping his voice low and even. ?As long as you enforce my edicts, I will leave the rule of the city to you.?

?How can we rule the city if we have no coin?? Crestvielle asked, scorn fairly dripping in his tone. ?We have to pay the workers in the government, as well as rebuild the city guard and the wall.? He leaned forward, a hand again clenching into a fist. ?Your tax tables will bring in half of what we had before!?

?First off, councilor,? Lucius?s growl sent the nobleman sitting back in his chair, and brought a faint chuckle of amusement from Morguian beside him, ?the wall is being repaired by my own men and with my own coin. You and the treasury will not pay anything for it.? He held up a hand to still any protest from Crestvielle, and continued. ?As for the city guard, they will be paid for by the general taxes of the realm.? Now he leaned forward, as if daring the nobleman to interrupt him. ?The taxes I have laid out are more than sufficient to pay for everything the government should have to fund, as well as generously fill your own purse. The days of inflated taxes and excessive skimming of the treasury are over.?

Crestvielle?s features reddened, and McVallen thought he was about to have a heart attack. Any explosive reply was thwarted, though, as DeCort now spoke up. ?You?ll also find that the city coffers will swell with new trade now that a different vision is coming into place.?

?I assume you mean with Malirid?? A woman, another of the new councilors and the chosen representative of the various churches of the city, near the other end of the table spoke up. DeCort nodded, letting a smile play over his features.

?Just so, Your Eminence. With the new government in place, Malirid will be eager to open formal trade with Mercivya again.?

?As will Tignus.? Morguian chimed in from where he lounged. ?Briarstone?s already seeing profits from the new trade routes.? He looked over toward Bradford, who reluctantly nodded in agreement. The councilors who were merchants by trade brightened visibly at the thought of the new possibilities. Urevan had banned trade with his neighbor to the south, though goods did make their way north through smugglers and adventuring companies. What the foreign noblemen was offering would indeed enrich Mercivya?s and Cisroe?s depleted treasury as well as fattening their own pouches on the side.

While the talk continued around the table Lucius sat back, a movement in the corner of his eye drawing his attention to a young page standing near the door. He motioned the page closer and leaned near to listen to the message he had. Nodding once he dismissed the page and rose to his feet, the others at the table following suit seconds later. ?Gentlemen, another matter needs my attention. I will return shortly.? He paid no attention to the bows of those around the table as he headed for the door, the two guards falling in step behind.
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 08:31:25 PM »
"You wished to see me Your Eminence?" Edward Gent, wizard and the representative of the Mages Guild, affected a half-bow and then moved to stand before the throne as Lucius sat down. His two escorts took up their positions behind and to either side of the throne, arms loosely folded over the dark green tabards.

"Yes, Your Majesty, and thank you for taking time from your schedule to grant an audience." Again Gent bowed, and Lucius found himself developing a dislike for the portly mage.

"I was told that it was a matter of some importance." And at least it got me out of that council meeting.

"Indeed, Your Majesty." Gent nodded, his hands folded before his ample stomach. "I trust you are familiar with the ruins of Kahadras?"

"As much as any." Kahadras had once been the greatest human society on Carowyn, a center of knowledge and exploration where it was said many wonders were created by the mages of the day. But then came what later generations called The Darkness, a time when Kahadras, along with the neighboring elven realm of Eriagoth and the dark elves of Dyranzor, was destroyed in an unknown calamity and the world shrouded in a twilight for decades. It had taken the races of Carowyn centuries to build back to a level close to The Time Before Memory, as that whispered age was now known by most. As for Kahadras and the surrounding lands there was only ruin, a haunted realm where even the very fabric of reality was at times unpredictable "Many treasure seekers and adventurers are drawn into The Desolation and never return."

"The lure of Kahadras is indeed potent, both in material wealth and the knowledge that ancient society held." Gent's hands started to move in emphasis with the unfolding conversation. "We see a pale reflection today in the dynasts on Orphelias, but what may lie in the ruins could change our world were it to be rediscovered."

"But for good or ill?" Lucius interjected, leaning forward slightly. Gent merely shrugged before he continued.

"That would depend on who unearthed such knowledge." Gent replied. "The Collegio Magorum has sponsored several expeditions into The Desolation, and a couple have managed to reach what we believe is the outer districts of the city itself. Those have proven to be quite informative, but the latest discovery is nothing short of miraculous. An entire group of fortune- hunters, caught in a spelltrap that stopped the very flow of time itself for almost three hundred years...?

?I am certain it is fascinating Your Eminence." Lucius interrupted before Gent could go any farther. ?Another day I might enjoy hearing about these itinerant adventurers but I do have several other people to see, so you will have to pardon me.? Rising to his feet Lucius looked back to his guards with a nod. However Gent took the opportunity to forge ahead with his narration.

?Of course Your Majesty. I do understand your time is most precious, but you will want to hear about these unfortunates.?

?Your Eminence...?

?Your Majesty, one of the people we found claims the last name of DeAuster.?
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2015, 12:16:08 AM »
The Collegio Magorum, Tignus

?Your Majesty!? Lucius ignored the protests of the young man who was scurrying to keep up with his long strides as he stalked down the halls of the Collegio Magorum. Fiona, Myrialla and Sir Herzog followed behind with the honor guard bringing up the rear. Students moving between classes hurriedly stepped aside to make room for the group, with many staring after them for several seconds after they passed.

After his audience with Gent Lucius sent the remaining petitioners away before retiring to the family manor of Shadows Falls to prepare to travel to Tignus. In turn Gent had contacted his counterparts at the Collegio to prepare for Lucius's arrival, but the magus assigned to greet and escort the party had been unsettled at the sight of the heavily armed and armored figure that had stormed from the portal. The honor guard had quickly assumed the role of armed escort, with another two falling into rank with their fellows as the procession turned into one of the interior halls of the college.

The magus, Jaicen by name, finally managed to get in front of Lucius and stopped, forcing the other to finally pause. "Your Majesty, you cannot come in here with this attitude and armed as you are!" Lucius stared at him for several seconds before stepping forward, his armored chest bumping into Jaicen?s as he leaned close.

"You mages bring a wild story to me about some wretch having the audacity to try to claim my family name, and then you tell me I cannot 'come in here' with an ?attitude??" His tone was low and measured, belying the seething rage lurking just beneath. "I do not know what is going on but I intend to find out, starting with this shavarst." Fiona stepped up beside her husband, a soft touch to the shoulder of the quailing mage bringing Jaicen back a step.

"Take us to the meeting room Jaicen.? Her soft voice, coupled with her ranking within the Mages Guild, had Jaicen bowing gratefully before turning and continuing down the hall. Fiona, Lucius and Myrialla exchanged glances before following. Each of the women could understand Lucius's sentiment. His family, being human, would have passed through several generations in the past three centuries, and Lucius had found no descendants in his searches throughout the decades. For someone to claim to be a living relation was tantamount to insanity, and given the lord of pandemonium's temperament, suicidal.

"Before we enter," Jaicen paused outside a closed door, turning to look at the four visitors while speaking, "I have to remind you, the young lady has been trapped in a bubble of non-time for many decades and is still recovering. I would thank you to not do anything to startle her." Lucius growled and stepped forward, a heavy arm sweeping Jaicen aside as he flung the door open.

"I assure you I intend on doing more than..." Stalking into the room the rest of his sentence died as he stared at the red-haired woman across the room who had risen to her feet. Fiona's eyes widened in surprise as she entered behind Lucius and Myrialla could not contain her gasp. Both had seen memory-orbs from their husband's past and the woman now standing across from them was the spitting image of his sister Francesca. There was a second's pause, and then all hell broke loose.  

"I thought you said my brother was coming!? The young woman turned toward the mage that had been waiting with her while Lucius whirled toward Jaicen and grabbed him by the nape of his robes, slamming the poor magus into the wall hard enough to knock the breath from his lungs. The blades of Lucius?s right battle-gauntlet extended with a sharp 'thunkt' as he drew his arm back to strike.

Myrialla shrank back as Sir Herzog whirled, gleaming blade drawn and held at the ready, with the fighter-mages behind the skeletal warrior doing likewise. The two guards who had been waiting with the woman and her escort also armed themselves and stepped to either side of the table. Myrialla backed against Fiona, whom quickly stepped up beside her husband. ?Lucius, put him down.? He paused, his right arm trembling in his rage, but when he did not move to release the choking young man she set a hand on his forearm. ?Lucius Carradine DeAuster. Put. Him. Down.?

Red-flecked eyes glanced toward Fiona, then back to the purple-faced Jaicen before his hold relaxed. Jaicen slumped against the wall drawing in heaving breaths as Lucius stepped back slowly. ?Myri sweet, would ye please take Lucius outside, and I will try to find out exactly what is going on here.? Myrialla moved beside Fiona, taking Lucius?s hand and leading him to the door and back into the hallway. He made a last glaring look back before leaving the room, the undead knight following. Once in the hallway Myrialla guided him to the railing overlooking the expansive inner courtyard of the Collegio, whispering softly to him as Herzog taking a position nearby, baleful red eyes locked on the mages who stood near the door.
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 01:13:35 PM »
Fiona waited until the last of the mages had exited the small chamber, the knights closing the door behind the small procession as they took position by the door, before turning back to the other still in the room. ?If ye brother is Lucius Carradine DeAuster, then the man ye saw is indeed ye sibling.? Fiona's voice offered in a low smooth tone as she glided towards Francesca. Her dark head tilted as she drew to a stop and quietly regarded the obviously unsettled young lady.

"But I was told that 300 years have already passed in that trap.  There is no way that he can be.  Besides..."  Francesca had to pause as she tried to put words to the ill feelings she had been accosted with upon his entering the room, "There is something..." again a pause, "not right about him."

?Come, let us sit and speak for a bit. Perhaps, ye can ask me some questions and I can aid ye? Tis true that Lucius is nae the same as ye knew. Many things happened so long ago that brought about changes to the man he once was. However, his youthful past is one ye would be familiar with, aye?? A graceful motion of a gloved hand towards the elegant sofa placed before the hearth was made. Fiona did not dare to touch, but merely made the suggestion at this point. A slight frown creased Francesca?s brow, but she finally nodded and sat down, considering the things she might ask to help her figure all this out.

"Very well.  I suppose you would know the basic information, like who our parents were."

 ?Aye, he has shared many a story about ye parents. Garm and Marriam. He still leaves gifts upon a local memory tree each year for the Day of Memory.? Fiona also took a seat, sinking down with a faint hissing of supple leather. Ice green eyes watched Lucius's sister with calm attention. ?He is still very proud of his family.?

A look of sadness touched Francesca?s eyes at the mention of their parents, now long dead.  And as a tear threatened to form, she took a deep breath, releasing it and rolling her shoulders. Then she asked as she smiled a little, "and did he ever tell you of his dog, Spunky?  I swear, that was the best hunting dog." Fiona?s elegant brow arched faintly, following the hint of a smile curling upon rose pale lips. A touch of humor colored the words that followed.

?I nae recall him ever claiming to have had a dog. Now, on the other hand, he used to tell stories about his cat, Scruff, to our children. They loved those tales before bedtime. Often begging him to share more about an adventurous, trouble-making red tabby.?

Francesca laughed at the mention of the cat.  "Oh yes, tha' cat was a trouble-maker.  No doubt 'bout it."  A crinkle of a smile now touched her eyes as she gave her sisterly assessment, "Perfect pet for 'im."  But then back to the question that was going to haunt her until she understood, "What happened?  He should be long dead."  Francesca had been ready to mourn her bother as well as her parents when told how long she had been frozen in time.  Now, this made so little sense to her.

Fiona's gaze shifted towards the Collegio's guardians who were standing back, giving them a moment to chat. Her tone was low and quiet in her reply. ?That is more his story to divulge but I shall share one major detail. Old gods have their ways. Ye could say ye brother caught their attention.? Cryptic but Fiona did feel Lucius should be the one to explain how he was still around, after all this time. Francesca looked back over at the door and frowned slightly, having heard the stories of ?The Gods Touched? since childhood. She shivered faintly, as if those tales were not something she would have wished upon her brother.  She then looked down at the floor and the toes of her soft boots.  

"So he serves these Old Gods?"

[size=9]
*adapted from live play between Fiona DeAuster and Francesca DeAuster[/size]
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2016, 03:17:36 PM »
?Aye.? Fiona was watching the young woman, gauging her reactions and in minutes had decided she was authentic. Not that she actually believed anyone would even attempt to fool her husband to start with. His reputation alone would make such an attempt suicidal. ?He is a champion of Pandemonium now.?

While her brother had taken to the church and the serving of the gods, Francesca could barely name any of the ones who guided those in the very churches built to memorialize their names. She did look up at Fiona then, and asked, "You mentioned children." She was imagining the little tikes running around like she and Lucius had as children, driving their parents to distraction.  Had they run to the river banks with poles in hand, or through the woods near their home?  A quirky little smile touched Francesca's lips as those thoughts raced through her mind.

?Indeed. We have two, Daniel be our oldest and Cieara our daughter. They are away presently.? Another rare smile bloomed, this one of obvious pride for her offspring. Fiona then added. ?I think ye will get along well with them. They have heard stories about ye already, and I do think ye arrival with be a delightful surprise to them."

Francesca couldn't help but laugh at that, "Well a surprise at least." And then a second soft chuckle, "I can jus' imagine the stories," remembering her own childhood and growing up with Lucius. "I think I will be correctin' some of the tales." That last said with a slight nod.

?That is possible. However, with Lucius he has an entire library of memory orbs.? That ghost of a smile moved fleetingly upon Fiona's pale features with a warming of ice green eyes for a moment. ?The children have gone through their father's and my own recollections over the years.? To some occasional embarrassment as well. Head turning she looked towards the door, as if listening and then her attention returned to Francesca. ?This has been a shock to Lucius. He has mourned so long that news of ye appearance. . . .  I think ye both understand the confusion, but tis a good thing nae the less, that ye have been found. He will welcome ye gladly once the shock dims.?

Though there was not much hope that it might still be standing she had to ask, as there was nowhere else for her to go, "I don't suppose that our home in Straddleford still stands."  Somehow, Francesca hoped that touching something familiar would help her to ease her own pain at the losses she had not been prepared to confront.

?He has some of ye mother's belongings, her jewelry and some of her clothing. He has kept them stored in the vaults back home and kept in pristine condition. As for the house, I believe it is now in the hands of another family. Our family lives in Mercivya, the lands in which Lucius is king.? Fiona's words flowed casually as she offered another smile to Lucius's sister. ?If ye ask, I be sure he would let ye see those precious memories.?

Francesca nodded and rose then from the sofa. "I would really like to see my brother now."

Fiona rose smoothly to her feet, following Francesca's lead. Her movements were liquid and silent and she inclined her head towards the young woman. ?Come then, let us both find him. Again, he has changed, but I nae think ye will find his affection for ye to have become lost. I know he searched long for ye.? She started towards the door on light steps and paused at the door. ?As a last comment to ye sweet. Welcome home.?

A hand reached out and lightly touched Fiona's elbow as Francesca softly spoke. "We have sat here talking now 'bout m'brother and me, but no one has told me your name."

"I am Fiona, and ye being family are welcome to call me Fio if ye wish." Pausing, she did take Francesca's hand into her own gloved ones. "Tis a delight to finally meet ye Francesca. Now, let us get ye to Luc so ye both can settle.? Francesca took the gloved hand and smiled warmly, which caused a crinkle at the corner of her eyes.

"I'm glad to finally have a sister."

[size=9]*Adapted from live play between Fiona DeAuster and Francesca DeAuster[/size]
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2016, 05:37:09 PM »
Myrialla touched Lucius?s arm as the door opened, and both looked over as Fiona stepped out of the conference room. Fiona held out her hand, and Lucius stepped away from the railing to take it. He followed Fiona back into the room while Myrialla stopped to linger in the doorway. The mages kept their distance, both out of respect to Fiona, who had apparently soothed the tensions from before, and the continued balefire glare from Sir Herzog.

Fiona led Lucius around the table, stopping a few feet away from Francesca. ?Lucius, ye know what I have been told. And I believe what she has said to be true.? The Pandemonium Lord glanced between Fiona and Francesca, who looked equally uncomfortable being back in his presence for the moment. ?There is much the two of ye need to speak about, but for now, m?heart, know that beyond hope ye sister has returned.?

Lucius took a step forward, and eyed Francesca warily. He trusted Fiona implicitly, but was still trying to come to terms with what was happening. He had mourned his sister, believing her dead for three centuries. He finally spoke, his voice a rumbling growl, fighting back emotion. ?You haven?t changed since I last saw you in Relishan.?

?It was Straddleford, you big lug.? Francesca replied, looking him in the eye. ?And you have changed. And if you can?t even remember a detail like that, not for the better.? Lucius snorted lightly, and then reached out and drew her to him. Francesca returned the hug just as fiercely. Both Fiona and Myrialla smiled as Lucius came to an acceptance of the situation.

Finally the two parted, and Francesca took a few seconds to look over the baroque armor that Lucius was wearing. ?Your wife said that you have quite the life story to tell me.? He nodded slowly in reply to her words.

?Indeed. We both have a tale to tell.? Fiona stepped up beside the two, her hand coming to Francesca?s shoulder.

?Those would be better told back at home, wouldn?t you agree?? Lucius nodded once, and turned without preamble to head for the door. Fiona smiled slowly and glanced to Francesca, motioning for her to follow. As Lucius stepped out of the room to inform the mages that they were about to leave and deal with Jaicen?s protests, Fiona introduced Myrialla to Francesca.

Soon enough Jaicen was persuaded to allow the group from Mercivya to leave the Collegio on the promise that Francesca would return to speak to the explorators again about Kahadras. Lucius led the way to the portal back to Shadows Falls, where Francesca was soon ensconced in a room of her own, with Fiona and Myrialla making plans to take the young woman to be fitted for a new wardrobe. Upon having a chance to refresh herself, Francesca was finally sitting in the richly furnished family room of the manor across from Lucius, speaking long into the evening with him and each sharing their stories that had brought them to this day.
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Lucius DeAuster

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Re: Echoes
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2016, 03:35:16 PM »
A dark shape grew in the energy plane of the portal a second before Cieara pushed through the shimmering energy field, her brother following right behind. Her eyes brightened as she caught sight of her parents waiting in the portal chamber, and she moved to give Fiona a hug. ?Mom! You won?t believe what we saw on our trip!? Lucius chuckled softly beside his wife, watching the rest of the small group return home from Zymier. After the solemn Lorcain, bringing up the rear of the small troupe, had passed through the portal he reached out and pulled a glittering gemstone from the framework, the portal connecting Shadows Falls and Bronwyn?s castle fading away as Lucius turned back to his family.

?I cannot wait to hear all about it.? Fiona couldn?t help but smile softly as she turned her cheek to receive a kiss from Daniel. ?I imagine you had quite the adventure.? She kept an arm around Cieara, happy to have her children home again. There had been much concern with both Lucius and herself in letting them go to Zymier, given the threats to their family, but in seeing the animation in Cieara?s features Fiona knew they had made the right decision.

?Ye have no idea.? Lorcain growled softly, bringing an inquisitive look from Fiona. He shook his head slightly, for that was a story that Cieara would tell, being the one who had organized the whole trip. Lucius moved around Julian to stand beside Fiona, taking a second to give Cieara a hug.

?Myri is having dinner prepared, and we will enjoy your stories then. However, we have a little surprise for you.? He and Fiona stepped apart, and the Pandemonium Lord held out an am to the door in a beckoning gesture. There was a puzzled exchange of glances between the returning family as a young woman stepped into the portal chamber and moved to stand beside Lucius. ?We have had our own little adventure while you were gone. Cieara, Daniel?this is Francesca, my sister and your aunt.? Cieara blinked in surprise, and exchanged a look with Daniel, seeing the same shock on her older brother?s features. The two looked back to their father and expressed in unison the thought of everyone who had just returned.

?WHAT??
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]