Author Topic: Looking For Doran  (Read 925 times)

Ebon Ilnaren

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Looking For Doran
« on: January 26, 2012, 11:15:39 PM »
Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tell me, Ebon... do you know where your son is?

Those words from Grey had sent a chill through Ebon's bones even as he felt Phen's bond-sending touch his mind.  Doran was gone!

He rushed home to the manor, tearing through the night sky without care for wind or chill.  Phen stood outside in front of the main door, her face a fragile veneer of control covering a torrent of anxiety.  Even as Ebon touched ground, she stepped forward and slapped him hard.  Why didn't you come?!  Our son is missing!

"I know.  I couldn't hear your call until now," he replied aloud, with a grimace of mixed pain and contrition.  "The bond was blocked.  Grey."  That made Phen's sapphire eyes go wide; she knew that name through Ebon's tales.  He forestalled her next question, taking her into his arms and kissing her forehead gently.  "No, I don't think he's responsible.  Grey enjoys watching me react, but he wouldn't have taken Doran."

"It doesn't look like anyone took him," came a gravelly voice from the darkness, and then a many-eyed creature floated into view.  "I'm sorry for letting you both down, Ebon, Phen... but I've been checking around the stables.  There's no sign of any struggle or anything to indicate abduction."  Tenball gave a heavy sigh.  "It looks like he took one of the horses and left on his own."

Phen slipped out of Ebon's arms, signing her question for the beholder's benefit.  Why?

Now it was Ebon's turn to sigh.  "Doran may have left under his own power, but he may not have been acting of his own volition, not entirely.  Damn it!  Elessaria warned me of the danger... with everything that's been happening in the city, chaos and murder, innocents dying, shops destroyed... and Doran is an empath, he sensed there was trouble during that last battle in the Marketplace, even when I couldn't."  He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  "And then Katt... his newfound but much adored friend, dying..."

He didn't cry, he just looked so haunted, added Phen.  Her expression took on a cast of steely resolve.  We have to find him.  He's alive, but he's lost and in pain and we have to find him.  Help him.

Tenball started moving towards the manor.  "Many of the other staff have already headed off down the road toward's Rhy'din, or off the other way.  I'll keep my eyes on this place, on the rest of the kids, and make sure they're ready to move."

"Good.  Eregor will be along to take them all to safety in his Tower.  In the meantime," and Ebon turned to his wife, "reach out to your old contacts in the thieves guild, get them to keep an eye out."

She gave a curt nod in response.  While I'm doing that, you go to the Watch, have them post notices, and then...

"And then we scour the city until our boy is home."

Ebon Ilnaren

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Re: Looking For Doran
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 10:59:05 PM »
Friday, 27 January 2012

Five days.

Five days since Doran had disappeared, and Ebon was feeling every second of it.  He ate sparingly, just enough to keep up his strength, and only slept when forced to it courtesy of a certain beholder's talents.  Almost every waking moment was spent searching the city for his boy.

Doran wasn't dead, that much Ebon knew, and sometimes that certainty was the only ray of hope he had left.

Then there were other times, when he could feel a tugging in his heart, a call... but muffled, or perhaps drowned out by other voices.

He found some solace in the fact that he was not searching alone.  Phen had put the guild on notice and they were on the lookout; Elessaria and Luke had joined in the search without a qualm.

Unfortunately, Rhy'din was a fair-sized city, and there were countless places to slip between cracks, out of sight.

As he left a grisly scene in the back alley behind the Red Dragon--thankful that Doran had not been involved--Ebon sighed wearily to himself and cast his thoughts out across the city.

Where are you, son?

Doran Ilnaren

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Re: Looking For Doran
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 11:05:31 PM »
Where are you, son?

For a moment, that silent voice broke through the haze that filled the boy's mind, and he looked skyward... if only he could reach...


The ghosts that haunted him churned once more, and Doran Ilnaren faded back under their rage.  He wanted to help them, make them feel happy again, but that wasn't what they wanted.  They desired one thing only, a concept that the 10-year-old boy could not have named, a hateful desire from the world of adults.


Doran Ilnaren

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Finding Doran
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 03:36:43 AM »
Saturday, 28 January 2012

His roaming through the city, urged on by the ghosts that haunted him, had finally borne fruit.  He came upon Brian Ravenlock--Raven--battling the dragon, Icer, among some abandoned warehouses near the docks.  Their fight had apparently been going on for some time, but the spirits swirling within Doran's mind didn't care.  All that mattered to them was that Raven was having the tar beaten out of him by Icer.  A cold blue-white light, like the hottest flame, shone in the boy's eyes as he watched the two from the edge of view.

"This is for the innocents you killed," cried the dragon as she slammed Raven into a post again and again, holding him tightly within her tail.  "And for my grandchild and great-grandchildren!  For every one of them!"

Something in her words struck a resonant chord with the spirits within Doran and he spoke softly, with an echo as if multiple voices were speaking at the same time.  "Yes, he killed... killed... he killed us... us..."  Those glowing blue eyes focused on Raven's face.  "Why did you... why... kill?... why did you kill us... kill us?"

"Tell them."  Icer had heard the boy's voice, or voices.  "Answer them."  She cracked him against the post once more, enough to hurt Raven without killing him.

"I---- because I could!"  The man spat blood, ever defiant.

"Because... you could?"  Now the echoing voices spoke as one, softly at first but rising in intensity.  "You hurt us... killed us... because YOU COULD?!"

The gauntlet on Raven's hand had once more begun to flare.  A pulse was felt easily by Icer, soft at first but growing with each moment, as fingers flexed more so.  Raven took her tail by sheer force and worked it from his battered form!  Icer snarled as he managed to slip from her grasp, though a forepaw went flying towards his head.  

"Yes-- because I could!!  And more will fall!  What started with simple revenge will become so much more!!"  Raven saw that forepaw and caught it easily enough as he lifted Icer clearly, over his head, to the ground.  The amount of strength was actually sickening for him, and Icer would feel that he was not alone in his efforts, as NO one should have been able to do that in his condition.

Icer grunted as she was slammed down, before righting herself.  Her jaws snapped, aiming for Raven's bloody arm and the gauntlet it held!

"No!!"  This was the voice of Doran himself, without his ghosts.  "If you do that... then you'll be alone!  Empty!  Is that what you want?"  It was unclear whether that last sentence was addressed to Raven, or to the spirits within Doran.

"I am emptiness and have always been SO!"  The gauntlet met Icer's maw, as fingers interlocked with fangs!  His other hand met the bottom of her jaw, as the same thing happened, but something new.  His other hand, the good one... was now gauntleted as well.  Each gauntlet flared with such runes of frost and blood!  Icer hissed and snarled, fighting to snap upon that arm as Raven grabbed her jaw.  It was a contest of wills, and Raven, it seemed, was not alone in his efforts.  He pushed as good as he got despite the sheer beating he had taken.  It seemed where flesh had failed, something else took up the reins.  So back and forth they went, as he growled with such a gutteral tone.

"You see?" asked Doran, clearly talking to his ghosts.  "Do you want to be like him?"  Then the other voices returned, though their response was not so full of vitriol as it had been before.  "He deserves... needs to... to die!... a monster... deserves to die!"

"Shut UP!" yelled Raven while Icer growled and shoved, snapping even as the frost bit into her jaw; she didn't mind, she was always cold!  "I died long ago! Do not speak of death to me! I-- am--- DEATH!"  A welling felt deep with, and shown outward, as the runes of blood hissed, and crackled along with those of frost... more so, and more so.

"No."  Despite the timing, Doran was not replying to Raven, but to his quieting ghosts.  "He deserves pity.  Nothing more.  He's lost.  Even if he gets what he says he wants... he'll be lost."  The blue glow faded from his eyes, and then he looked up as Ebon came upon the scene from above.  "Papa!"

Finally, in a burst of sheer power, Raven unleashed a torrent right there, engulfing he and Icer in the resulting explosion of power!  The result was Raven being sent hurling into an old abandoned warehouse that collapsed atop him instantly.

Ebon dropped out of the sky between Doran and the fight, shielding his son even as the explosion threw Raven and Icer apart.  The dragon was blown back into one of the nearby buildings, giving a grunt as she collapsed onto her side.  With a thought, Ebon grabbed mental hold of parts of that building that would have fallen upon Icer and sent them hurtling through the air, away from her to bury Raven further.  "Stay buried, you twisted bastard!" he exclaimed softly, though he knew it was unlikely in the long run.


Turning towards the boy, Ebon placed his hands on Doran's shoulders.  "Son, are you all right?"  Then there came a sound of soft rustling, as debris began to shift.  More rubble flew through the air, adding to the pile atop Raven.  "That won't hold him forever... we need to get out of here!  Hold on to me, Doran!"

Doran wrapped his arms around his father as they rose into the air.  "What about Momma Icer?"

Settling down next to the dragon, Ebon gave her an appraising look.  "Icer?  Can you move?

She hissed back, "It hurtssss."

There were groans of pain from the rubble, and little else.  No anger, no malice, just sheer pain, as the rustling continued.  Finally, fingers found freedom, feeling about, as debris shifted... then another set, as Raven cried out in pain more so.  Doran glanced that way.  "He hurts!"

"Good!" snarled Ebon, earning him a shocked look from Doran.  "He deserves some pain!"  An arm could be made out, as more debris was shoved aside roughly.  Ebon unwrapped Doran's arms from around his waist and reached out with his mind, lifting rubble from above Raven piece by piece, slowly.  White pinpoints of light began to shine in his dark eyes.

Beside him, Icer was slowly, slowly trying to move.  "You will get what you deserve!"  Ice blue eyes narrowed on the emerging figure as she shakilly managed to get to her feet.

Slowly Raven rose to his feet, a bloodied, and quite battered mess... crimson, nearly head to toe as well as dusted, tattered clothing, and all that.  He was just fubar'd.  Yet he breathed, and more so... he lived.  No words were spoken, as he simply stood there.  Ebon glared at him for a moment  "I so dearly wish I could get inside your head, Raven... but your shields are very, very good.  So if I want to hurt you, I'll have to do it the old-fashioned way."  A boulder hurled through the air, heading straight for Raven's skull

"Papa, no!  Don't turn into him!"  With that cry from Doran, the boulder turned away at the last second.  Raven's hand lifted, the gauntlet flaring to life once more.  His head lifted more so to see what was coming, and it was too late as the boulder swerved.  The hand lowered, as the light faded once more.  Still there were no words.  Icer's tail tip swayed and coiled as she stood, shakily, still eying the battered form of her brother.  Doran gave his father a pleading look.  "Let's go, papa!  Get away from him!  His pain... hurts me."

Ebon didn't take his gaze away from Raven.  "Icer, can you fly?"

"Not right now."

Raven fell to a knee once more, and slowly moved to his feet, shakily.  "One sister lost-- can we make it two? I wonder..."  That was said with a rasped tone, as he coughed violently.

"I'd like tae see you try."  Icer grinned a bit.  Even through the pain, she would face her brother.

Ebon gave a heavy sigh.  "If it were just you and me, Icer, I'd say we stay and finish this... but I won't risk my son, not like this, and you're sorely injured."

"Take the boy, and dragon," Raven said.  ""This is over--for now."

"For now," replied Ebon.

Icer chimed in next.  "No, this is not.  I know my brother is in there somewhere."

"Icer lady, we can't help him."  Doran gave the battered Raven a sad look.  "He doesn't want it!"

"You want the truth, Icer... I've been here the whole time."  The man coughed for a moment.  "So yes, you are dealing with me.  No more pet names... I am Brian Ravenlock."  Tension rose in the air as he went on about his goals, to strike at the city with all of the power and knowledge he possessed.  While Icer and Ebon met his words with defiance, Doran continued to look at Brian with that same expression of sadness and pity.  

Finally the man turned away, with Icer's words following his retreating back.  "You are broken, and will never mend if you do nae lt anyone in."

"He knows that, Icer lady," commented Doran with a sad sigh.

Without turning, Brian replied to Icer.  "I was broken a long time ago... and now the world will break.  Or at the very least... your world."  And he was there no more.

The sounds of Andu Kirost's train had been approaching even as Brian spoke his last and departed.  Now the minotaur was on the scene, helping Icer into one of his cars to transport her away, while Kruger and S'jira joined Ebon and Doran.  As they came up, the smith asked, "Is there anything we can do here?"

"No.  Ravenlock has gone, battered and bloody."  Ebon smiled down at Doran.  "And I have my son with me again."

"I had thought that his was over with... 'jira wished to collect some things she forgot."  Kruger smiles to Doran as well.  "I am glad you are safe, there was much concern over you... we feared you had fallen into the same as the other children."

Doran grinned back at Kruger, though a faint blue glow came back to his eyes.  We're fine.  Then the glow faded again.

The smith's face took on an expression of concern; he had never seen the boy's eyes do that.  He looked to Ebon to see if he hasn't perhaps been seeing things, and got a raised eyebrow in answer before Ebon spoke aloud.  "I'd best get Doran home, before Phen kills me."  He took the boy in his arms, then frowned.  "Perhaps a stop with Elessaria first.  I'll see you later, Kruger, S'jira."  He nodded to them both.

"Right Ebon."  Kruger's expression showed sympathy for Ebon, and a certain amount of gladness that Doran had been reunited with his family.

"Eless?" asked Icer, peeking her head out from the railway car.

"Yes, Icer... shall I tell her you're all right?"

"I can see her, yes?"  The dragon was trying to make herself comfortable.

"I'll let her know to expect you at the Inn."  Holding Doran, Ebon rose up into the air.  "Be well, my friends."

"Bye!" called out Doran with a wave.

((adapted from live play that Brian Ravenlock and Icer1978 were kind enough to let me join, with additional bits at the end from Kruger, S'jira, and Andu Kirost... many thanks!))

Ebon Ilnaren

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Helping Doran
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 10:03:30 AM »
Sunday, 29 January 2012

Doran was home.

After a week filled with worry and tears, the boy was back with his family... but he was not entirely himself yet.  Whatever had affected him, drawn him away in the first place, that still lingered.  The remnants of Ravenlock's victims--echoes of their auras, perhaps, as Elessaria had suggested, or true soul fragments--remained within Doran's mind, though they were calmer, more subdued now.

Doran had promised to help them, it seemed, and so Ebon would help his son do just that.

In the meantime, the family relaxed together at their townhouse in the city.  The manor had been emptied, with most of the foster children in safety at Eregor's Tower, and the faculty at their homes; only Tenball and a few of the older children, such as Narisa, remained to keep an eye on the place.

Now it was time to focus on bringing Doran's "guests" some closure.

Doran Ilnaren

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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 08:40:44 PM »
Saturday, 4 February 2012

For the past several days, Doran and his father had travelled back and forth across the city, visiting the families of those innocents who'd died due to Brian Ravenlock's... activities.  The ones whose only mistake was being too close, or too slow to run.

With each visit the boy's burden grew lighter, as he was able to give loved ones a chance to say goodbye.  Now there were only two goodbyes left to be said.

Dark, booted feet strode up to a nondescript door in the Market district, and gloved hands rapped gently against the frame.  When the door opened and a haggard face looked out, the man who had knocked bowed his head.  "Good evening.  My name is Ebon Ilnaren... are you Feran Dantes, the husband of Mirellen Dantes?"

Brown eyes widened at the mention of that name.  "Y-yes."

"I've come to you, or rather my son has come, with a message.  From your wife."

The man's expression hardened, and he started to close the door.  "Go away!  Leave me in peace!"

The door stopped short of closing, though, as if held back by an unseen hand.  "Please, sir.  I don't wish to intrude upon your grief; believe me, I know the pain that comes from losing someone you love.  If anything, my son's message is meant to ease your loss.  Doran?"

Stepping up beside his father, Doran looked up at Dantes with eyes that seemed to glow faintly blue.  He spoke, but there was an echo to his voice, and then the echo was the only voice, as the soft blue glow seemed to coalesce above the boy's head.  "Feran?"

"Mira?"  Pushing the door wide open, Dantes stared out at the image before him.  "This... this is a trick.  It has to be..."  Yet in his heart he knew, he was certain that this was the essence of his beloved wife.  "Darling."

"Dearest Feran.  I'm sorry... I'm sorry I had to leave you, so alone, so suddenly.  I didn't want to go."  An ethereal blue hand reached out to stroke the man's cheek.  "I can't stay, not like this... but I wanted you to know that I will always be with you, my love, in your heart.  Don't shrivel away, cold and alone.  Live, knowing that I want to see you happy, perhaps even love again."

Feran shook his head, tears welling in his eyes.  "I could never...."

That ghostly hand extended a finger to touch his lips, silencing him.  "Shhhh.  I know your heart, darling.  Don't look upon my memory as a chain binding you to the past, but rather as wings carrying you into your future.  Live, and love, and be happy.  Goodbye, Feran, until we meet again beyond this world."  Then the faint image of Mirellen stepped forward and embraced her husband one last time before fading from sight.

"Goodbye, my love."

"She loved you a lot," said Doran, speaking solely with his own voice once again as he and his father stepped back.  "She didn't want to see you hurting anymore.  I hope it helped."

Feran smiled down at the boy.  "Thank you for bringing her to me, and letting us say one final farewell.  Good night to you both."  His voice caught in his throat, and he softly closed the door as the Ilnarens turned and walked back towards the street.

"Last one, then?" asked Ebon as they strode towards the Marketplace.

"Yes, Papa."  Doran was oddly subdued.  "Just one left."

Doran Ilnaren

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Re: Looking For Doran
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 09:26:50 PM »
The Marketplace had recovered from the attack a few weeks before, and most of the damage was repaired.

Except for the Bon Bon.

Two figures approached the ruined bakery, a man cloaked in black and a boy holding his hand.  They stopped in front of it, standing there and staring at the destruction for a moment.  Finally the boy released his father's hand and took a step forward, then another.

Ebon Ilnaren looked down at his son with a mix of expectation and confusion.  "Doran?  You said there was one last stop, one last soul who needed to say goodbye.  But this is the Bon Bon, it was destroyed; there's nobody here to... oh."  He saw his son drop to his knees, shoulders wracking in sobs, and quickly moved to kneel by the boy's side.  "This was for you."

"She's not here, Papa!"  Tears streamed down Doran's cheeks as he gazed up at the rubble and ruin.  "I couldn't feel her with me, but I thought... maybe her spirit stayed here!  Maybe I could say goodbye to her!  I know I only knew her a little while, but... she was pretty and nice, and she was my friend!"  He lifted a crystal that hung upon a black cord around his neck, pale blue with a swirling, darker interior, and stared at it for a moment.  Suddenly he scrambled to his feet and charged at the ruined building, beating his fists against a crumbling wall.  "I want Katt!"  Turning his blue eyes to the sky, Doran screamed out a challenge to all the gods above.  "GIVE HER BACK!"

Yet no host of angels came forth bearing his friend back, whole and alive again.  His cries were met only by the faint light of the stars, amid the unyielding darkness of the night sky that cared nothing for a young boy who missed his friend.

For several long minutes father and son held the tableau, before Ebon surged forward and swept Doran up into a comforting hug.  "I miss her too, son.  She's gone, but she'll always be in our hearts as long as we remember her."  He stood up and, reaching out, wiped a tear from Doran's cheek.  "Right?"  When the boy nodded, Ebon smiled and offered his hand once more.  "Come on.  Let's go home, and remember her together."

As they started to walk away, towards the main Marketplace and beyond to home, Doran looked back over his shoulder and gave one last sniffle.  "Goodbye... Pretty Lady."

((cross-posted in this thread over in the Bon Bon Boutique))