AL001 - Homecoming.   Posted by Story Guide.Group: 0
Story Guide
 GM, 14 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:45
AL001 - Homecoming
Oct 07, 2008#25
Julian steps back from his sisters ministrations, watching as Fiona gently turns your head to check the progress of the bruising. She moves your hair, and checks the back of your neck, and even proceeds to begin checking your shoulders. "Very well dear." I think that might be for the best. "Julian, fetch something clear for Aria would you?"

You are sure you are under some deep magic. Surely you didn't just hear someone tell your father to 'fetch' like a hound. You try to turn your head back, but Fionas ministrations are stronger than they appear, or you are just too weak. You hear the footsteps, followed by the hound across the floor before the door clicks shut.

Fiona proceeds, asking questions like a doctor, "does this hurt? How's about here. Do you notice a difference when..." You quickly find out that there is a numbness down much of your right side from the neck through the shoulder and an equal distance onto your back and chest. The effects of the dart were much more brutal than you had at first believed.

Upon further questioning about your sword, Fiona moves to a corner and produces Epee still in its sheath, and lays it on your bed. "You mentioned Epee was wounded dear?"

This message was last updated by the GM at 10:56, Thu 03 Dec 2020.

Aria Lynn
 NPC, 12 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:45
AL001
Oct 07, 2008#26
"Yes, she took a dart before I did, as we entered my house. She had a difficult time transforming to sword form."

How could no one have noticed? Granted, sheathed they may not have seen, but these are not mere shadow dwellers I am amoung. These are my aunts and uncles, I was sure that one of them would have sensed Epee's peril.

I keep staring at the door for my father's return. Why send him? I know my family well enough, aunt Fiona either knows something she won't say in fromt of my father or thinks I do.

I have only met a few of my aunts and uncles, Fiona, Eric, Benedict, Osric, Brand and Bleys. I know little of them beyond order of birth (or as close to order of birth as is known) and their particular strengths. I was taught to keep my own guard up whenever around any of them though.

Fiona, being the only aunt I have actually met, has been somewhat of a mothering character to me whenever I am around her, but it always left a hallow feeling in me.

I am quite curious as to why she sent my father away though...

"Should I have Epee transform back to a tiger?"
Story Guide
 GM, 15 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:46
AL001
Oct 07, 2008#27
"A tiger? Oh my! Is this trinket really that large beast I had heard about you being with when you stayed with us at the castle so many years back?" Fiona seems genuinely interested in what you have to say, and reaches down to unsheath the sword. It is strange watching Epee come out in her hands. It gives you the feeling of being forced to unrobe in the middle of crowded streets.

The sword slides out, the long sleek blade held deftly in her hands, and she gives it a few practice swings. "It seems quite well balanced my dear." Your eyes keen on her movements pick up the defect in the blade immediately.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 13 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:46
AL001
Oct 07, 2008#28
"Well, it was until she was effected by the dart"

"Yes, I thought you were aware that Epee was my tiger and also my sword?"

Not worried about such information being known, no one in the family is shocked over such things, and Epee does an excellent job at taking care of herself and her mistress the few times that her mistress has let her guard down. When Aria was a child Epee was her sole protector when her father was away...so pretty much always...

"Would you like me to have her transform then so she can be cared for as well?"

Aria is hoping in the back of her mind that Epee will be able to transform, knowing she had a difficult time becoming a sword. Also, that once transformed whatever Fiona did for her will work for Epee as well.

"I have to worn you she doesn't like my father's hounds much, nor them her...it's a cat / dog thing I suppose. Though they all know better than to actually do anything to each other, it's a lot of bark and no bite kind of thing."

I am also beginning to wonder if my father has taken the time to make me broth himself...I did not expect him to take this long...

I pull myself up into a sitting position, ignoring the protest from my body, I refuse to show any more weakness at this point. During this entire time I have not taken my eyes off of Epee though, wanting to see her well again...and not in someone elses hands...
Story Guide
 GM, 16 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:47
AL001
Oct 07, 2008#29
Sitting up, you are able to watch Fiona more closely. Her practice swings are elegant.

She sits back down beside you, and begins tracing her fingers over the various elements commenting on the similarities of the handle and your fathers scaled armor. She hands you back the sword.

"My dear, the choice to transform it is yours, and while I find the idea of rousing Julians dogs quite enjoyable, I am not sure of the advantages. If we transform her, and she is indeed alive, it may be that we are unable to heal her, and she dies. If we do not transform her, there is no way to know if the poison still exists or is actively damaging her while in her sword form. Or lastly, it could be that you command her to transform, and none of the life force in her form remains leaving a dead tiger on the floor, though I think the last is the most unlikely."

"It could be that your father has been remiss in the logic and deduction aspects of your training. The blood that flows through your genes is as likely the cause of your survival as the ministrations we provided. Your naivete is sweet." She strokes your hand, and places the sword across your lap. "The choice is yours darling."
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 14 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:47
AL001
Oct 08, 2008#30
Knowing Epee better than my aunt I tell her to transform, confident that she will be able to pull through with the same ministrations I was given.

I glance at the door thinking it would be ironic for my father to return as Epee transforms since he usually has at least one hound with him.
Story Guide
 GM, 17 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:48
AL001
Oct 08, 2008#31
'Unusual' barely covers what occurs.

Epee's transformation is a usual and quick occurance in all the years she has been your companion. This time it is something utterly different. From the moment you reach out, your hand stroking the hilt and crossguard giving her the gentle command, there is a queer feeling to the moment. No large tigress suddenly appears.

Instead there is a rending of space. It is as if you are looking through a crack in reality, with something flashing and dark on the other side. Epee flashes into reality, but as if she is being pulled through this crack from someplace farther off. There is a deep growling sound, as the full weight of her settles onto the bed and across your legs. It is not the sound of the bed, but something coming out of the tear itself. Just as quickly as it appeared, there is an audible snap, and reality snaps closed.

Epee's weight is crushing your legs. Fiona has lept to her feet, in an effort to clear the tear in time/space or the tiger; you aren't sure which one. Epees eyes have a wild look, and the whites are somewhat visible. She tries to move to get off of you onto the floor, and succeeds in falling down, her front legs not supporting her, and her near 200 pounds makes quite the noise. It is quickly followed by a tray with broth and clear ice water falling from the startled servant in the doorway.

Epee's rear haunch no longer has the small fist size of black. It has grown to encompass her entire right rear side, and spread onto her left, and partway up her back as well.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 15 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:48
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#32
I scramble out of bed to lie next to Epee, practically falling out myself due to the amount of pain that surged through my body from the quick movement.

I spoon Epee and start stoking her head. The servant is gone from the doorway, probably due to fright, or perhaps getting something to clean up the mess...most likely the former.

"What is it you did for me? We need to do the same for Epee."

Epee continues the low rumble, so I whisper in her ear as I pet her that all will be ok, she will be taken care of. I look at Fiona, wondering if she is in shock from seeing that Epee truly is a tigress as well or from the strange crack in reality that occured during her transformation. What ever the reason she composes herself quickly when she sees me looking at her.
Story Guide
 GM, 18 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:48
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#33
Fiona does not immediately answer your question about what she did for you. She seems to be staring intently at the area where Epee' transformed above your bed. Her hands move as if touching and feeling invisible things, and her brows are knitted together in concentration.

Epee continues to rumble lowly, her three good paws contracting, and exposing the flesh rending claws alternately. The one rear leg not moving at all, the fur shiny and black, all traces of the former browns gone. You touch it, and your hand comes away with a thin blackish substance on it with the consistency of water, and the feel of oil. Epee is unresponsive when you touch the area.

You hold her like when you were young, her large head in your lap, and sooth her. After a few more moments you hear Fiona say something like, "hmmm..." and you look to see her still staring at the space, but her hands now on her hips.

You hear some shouting outside, a horses whinney, and the slamming of the stall gates near the house. Someone must have been doing something near the stables.

Fiona notices your attentions, and seems to come round before you can say something to her. "Yes dear? Oh, the poor beast." She kneels down beside you looking at, but not touching the black area. "My dear, it was your constitution that mostly healed you. We of the blood royal are a hearty lot. Indeed, all who dwell in Amber are given to a longer life. Perhaps Epee will take strength by being here, but I believe it was because of who you are that you were able to combat the affliction. We provided magics, and restoratives, Gerard even had your DNA tested, and found the results interesting, but nothing we found could directly be said to have been the cure for what ailed you."

There is a thundering up the stairs, and you see Julian come through the door, shattering the porcelain cup the servant had previously dropped, his hands on either casement as he looks quickly, his eyes wide. A hound peers around his side, and growls. It is Arthur, a particularly nasty brute, of ill temperment. Arthur begins to push beside him, and Julian glances down giving a soft whistle. Arthurs ears roll back, and he quickly moves back silently and sits without another sound.

"What has happened?" The clarity and brusqness of his voice snap you to attention as surely as the whistle for Arthur. Fiona continues to concentrate and whisper words that do not sound like Thari or any other human tongue you know.


She begins to make motions over Epee
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 16 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:49
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#34
Glancing between Fiona and my father I answer his question, "I had Epee transform so we coul dheal her, I am afraid she startled the servant bringing my broth. Perhaps it was her transformation that scared the servant, it was a bit..." I cannot think of the correct word to describe what I had witnessed,

"odd"

I watch Fiona, knowing full well that there must have been something she did...something she is doing now...

I then look at my father who I know will be rather short with me for having Epee transform in the house. His hounds and Epee are trained well enough that nothing has happened, but he has often told me that Epee is not allowed in the cabin as a Tigress. Perhaps her's and my own weakened condition will allow for some sympathy.

I look directly at my father and ask, "Will we be able to save Epee?"

I know that of anyone, he knows Epee the best.
Story Guide
 GM, 19 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:49
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#35
"I do not know." He moves from the doorway, coming to you, and Arthur stays behind.

Kneeling beside Epee, he glances at Fionas machinations, but says nothing to interrupt her. With the skill of one who has handled many beasts, he begins examining Epee on a much more fundamental level, proceeding over her eyes gums, neck, back midsection and working back towards the afflicted area. Through it all, Epee is unresponsive to his touch. For such a disciplined man, you see his hands moving with deftness and precision in a way that would easily be mistaken for caring if it wasn't for the cool look in his eyes that reminds you he is far older than he looks, and practiced in many skills for longer than you have been alive.

Fiona stops what she is doing abruptly. "Julian, we must speak."

He looks to her, and at you. "Stay with Epee."

He gets up and they go to the hall and begin a whispered conversation. This whispered conversation becomes louder, and while Fiona is out of sight around the corner, your father can still be scene and the occassional louder phrase picked up.

"It's out of the question. She's too weak!" this hissed from Julian.

"I don't give a damn about it, I won't risk her." Julian again. Obviously not as easy about keeping his voice down, or not suspecting that your girl-earred-radar can pick up quite a bit more than he thinks he can hide.

Fiona's soft voice can barely be made out. "... no other way..." and then, "...your choice. No time."

Julian re-enters followed by Fiona. If stormclouds were on the horizon, they had already broken across the brow of your father. His actions are cool and even, but there is a depth in his gaze and reflected in the depth of his tone that you are quick to pick up on."

"Your aunt feels that with a strong enough dose of Pattern, it may drive out the influence that is eating away at Epee. You are too weak to do this thing; the pattern will kill you. It may kill Epee regardless. Items taken across the pattern are... changed. They become more a part of you, so it is not appropriate for some other being to take it across in your stead."

He takes a deep breath, "You are going to have to say goodbye to her." His hand strokes the fur on the top of her head, lying in your lap.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 17 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:50
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#36
My first instinct is to say no when told to stay with Epee, but between the tone of my father's voice and not wanting to leave Epee's side I nod to him.

I wonder what they are arguing about as I pick up the bits and pieces, mostly from my father.

Walk pattern or lose Epee, when hearing this I am in immediate denial,

"No, there must be another way."

My own voice barely audible as I fight back the tears.

"I can't lose Epee."

My father is well aware of my past with Epee, if it wasn't for her I would have probably been killed when my mother was. She has been my one true companion these past many decades. Due to my own injuries my father feels I am too weak to walk Pattern at the moment, and I have to trust him in that...I look between him and Epee...

"Daddy, please, there must be something...what if it was Morgenstern?..."

I feel more like I am 10 again rather than a grown woman, I cannot lose Epee.
Story Guide
 GM, 20 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:50
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#37
Julian looks at you, and turns his head away. Whether your words of Morganstern, his most beloved of horses, is having an effect, you cannot be sure.

"It can be done." Fiona says.

Your eyes shoot to her, in unison with your fathers. Yours holding hope, his holding daggers.

"She is too w-" Julian begins.

Fiona cuts him off, "You could do it for her."

"She is not mine." His voice is barely above a whisper. "She would die in the attempt, there is no tie to me. And even if by some miracle, she and I lived, Epee would not be the same." You would swear Julian is saying this to you, but his eyes do not turn to meet your own. "Would you have me risk my life?" This last is definately aimed at his sister.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 18 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:50
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#38
My own emotions are in a tug of war. I know I do not want to lose my father, if the chose is him or Epee, I could accept losing Epee. As far as Epee changing, if my father could manage to save her, a tie to him couldn't be all that bad...

I stare at my father, wondering if my aunt has some other reason for wanting him or me to walk Pattern...I feel as if so much is just not being discussed because I am a "child".

"No, don't, if Epee dies she dies I cannot risk you; both of you just leave"
Story Guide
 GM, 21 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:51
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#39
Julian looks back to you. His hand reaches out to stroke your long black hair. "I am sorry Aria. I would carry you across the fires of the Pattern or any hell, but I cannot carry you both. You remember the ordeal of Pattern, don't you? It is wearying on it's best day. On it's worst... there is no choice between you and Epee'"
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 19 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:51
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#40
My mind a muddle with grief, I finally realize what I should have from the start,

"What if Epee can transform back to a sword?"

As I pet Epee and whisper reassurances in her ear I apologize to her mentally as I ask her to transform once more so that we might save her. I am sure that if it is successful, my aunt will have even more of a "show" to wonder at.

Nagging at the back of my mind is the fact that she mentioned DNA testing when it came to finding a cure for myself. What exactly is different, strange, odd about my DNA? These are questions I do plan on persuing when I am more myself.
Story Guide
 GM, 22 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:52
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#41
Epee's mind is sluggish and distant, as if somehow her very presence were diminished. You give her the mental command, and she seems to be trying. You feel more of her mind come into clarity.

Julian frowns. "You may be asking her to do the impossible. And even then, it seems that whatever attacked you both, continued to have a dark grasp on her when she remained as a sword."

Fiona turns here attention fully upon you. "Is she responsive to your thoughts?"

You don't want to say anything and break the tentative connection you two share, so you nod affirmatively.

"Julian," Fiona's voice getting your fathers attention. You keep your mind focused on Epee, but can see what it is that Fiona is pointing out. The blackness is spreading up Epee at a rate you can physically see! Bit by bit, hair by hair it creeps, now half way up her back.

There is a growling noise, and then some short barking. Arthur, no longer sitting still can be seen moving out of the corner of your eye on the other side of Julian.

You plead mentally with Epee' begging her to transform, trying to make it happen by willpower alone. Her mind struggles under your grasp. You reflect on memories of your youth. Here, and in the Savannah. The times of joy, running in the fields, the times of pain, your mother passing. Amber may be the center of reality, but there is no doubt in your mind, that Epee is the center of yours.

There is an audible snap, and a displacement of wind, as the familiar rent in the fabric snaps open around Epee. Fionas hand shoots forward, and to your surprise, disappears inside the gap. You can only see her arm up to the elbow! The distraction causes you to lose focus, and the sudden wind is cut off as the rent snaps shut, just asFiona removes her hand.

In your hand lay Epee, with a pommel of black, and a dark line proceeding all the way up the center of the blade from tang to tip.

Her weight is gone, and the psychic impression in your mind is faded once more.

Julian is already standing, concentrating on a card in his hand. He reaches out with the other, and says, "We have no time. Come now Aria."

Fiona stands up brushing herself off as he begins to speak. Whatever may or may not have been in her hand is nowhere in sight. She clears her throat, about to speak.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 20 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:52
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#42
I take my father's hand, hope against hope that we will be successful.

I know that my aunt is up to something. What, I have no idea, and at the moment I do not care, my only focus is on Epee.

Too full of my own emotions to speak I just look questioningly at Fiona, what is it that she knows and is not speaking?

I fo with my father through the trump, something we have done together many times since I was a wee girl. In fact, I again feel like a child with my hand in his, why he always has this effect on my I do not know. I suppose all children must feel that way when around their parent.

I just keep repeating in my mind, this has got to work.
Story Guide
 GM, 23 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:52
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#43
In a series of rainbows you arrive in the courtyard of Amber. The castle doors directly ahead of you lay open to allow the summer air inside. Your head is still spinning, and you want to stumble. The sword and leather sheath clutched tightly in your right hand.

Julian pulls you along, talking the while. "Listen Aria: I know this is rushed. We shouldn't truly be doing this, I know better." You are up the few steps to the large doors, the sigil of the rearing unicorn split down the middle, half on each door. "You are too weak, and Epee..." down the hall, "... she may survive, but there is something you need to know." around a bend, "I tied Epee to you, before I gave her to you. She is tied by blood Aria." Through the back of the lower area, the steps just beyond the coming door. "She isn't ordinary magic. I needed you to have something more solid, something that couldn't be taken away."

A figure steps out directly in front of you. It is Brand. You know him by his card, and only an occassional meeting. He is well groomed, and while healthy, he holds a look of concern on his features. "Brother. Aria! Fiona contacted me and told me you were coming. She said it was urgent."

Julian brushes past him. You aren't sure if Brand is just that lithe to move easily, or if Julian was just being gentle. "We cannot delay Brand."

As you begin the first steps, Brand voice rings clear. "I came to help Julian." You can feel your father pause. You know you need help. The way down is long, and exhausting, and then there is the Pattern itself. Your fathers mind is probably going over the same things as yours. You look back towards Brand.

He nods, seeing he has at least one persons attention. "I can get you down there more surely, and more quickly. Let me help her Julian." Your father does not turn. Brands faces seem to shadow with the lack of movement of Julian, and he changes his tone trying to break through to Julian, "We are family!"
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 21 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:53
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#44
"Father, please"

While I have been stuborn and prideful and wanting to save Epee, I know full well that I will need help making it down the steps to Pattern, and my father will need all his strength once we reach it. I also know He trusts very few of his siblings, if any really. I often wonder how one is supposed to survive in this family.

Part of me wants the time alone with my father, it is always when we are alone that I learn more and more. I want to learn more about Epee, about what my father did, how he did it. But, what would be the use if Epee died?

I can feel my father's reluctance as he agress to allow Brand to help, with just the slightest nod of his head as he passes my hand to Brand's.
Story Guide
 GM, 24 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:53
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#45
Brand accepts the hand you offer.

Taking it in his, he leans close. "I need you to trust me. Can you do that?"
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 22 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:53
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#46
Not sure if I can really trust anyone of my uncles, I also feel as though I have no choice.

I whisper back, "Yes"
Story Guide
 GM, 25 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:54
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#47
"Julian, step up here please."

Julian moves back up the few steps and joins you on the raised platform at the edge of the giant spiral staircase spinning down into the darkness below.

"This is a little something I have been working on for many years Aria. When I tell you to, I need you to close your eyes, and step out into the space beyond. I will be holding your hand, and moving with you."

Your response is similarly quiet, and apprehensive, but agrees to what uncle Brand asks of you.

"Julian. Remain in contact with one of us at all times. It is a long way down."

Brand whispers a few short words in the language Fiona had used back in the hunting cabin. Something stirs inside you, and you actually feel stronger. Butterflies alight in your stomach, but it feels easier to stand, as if part of the sickness had been lifted from you.

"Now dear." Brand says to you.

You and he step out into the black. You can feel your fathers left hand on your shoulder.

"You can open your eyes now," Brand begins. "It won't be too much to see, until we get near the bottom of course." You feel your fathers hand shift on your back, but remain. Brand holds your hand firmly in his own. "You may wish to keep your skirt down my dear. We are picking up speed now." Sure enough, though you feel the same as if you were floating in water, your skirt is beginning to catch the air traveling up past you.

The journey is indeed quick, and you occassionally can make out what you believe are the stones of the stairs flitting by as you pass one part of the circular stair and then another. Occassionally they are so close you begin to wonder if you are going to bump into them. The faint smell of seasoned tobacco surrounds you. Within a few minutes, you see a willow-the-wisp in the distance below you. Shortly thereafter, it becomes a firefly, then the glow of a star. It reminds you of shifting through Shadow. Its form finally rests on that of a lantern.

The lantern sits on a desk next to a guard wearing black and silver. As you touch down, he turns slowly, as if not startled in the least. The guard reaches up, and removes the pipe he was smoking. Starting to rise, Julian says, "Don't bother. No time. Give me the lantern." Before the guard can react though, Julian has already crossed, and taken it up. With a quick turn he puts it to its brightest and moves towards the corridor.

"Go with your father Aria." It is Brands voice. "I'll be right behind you."

Julian is waiting for you, and takes your hand as you catch up to him. Holding you close, he leads you down a way that you aren't sure you could ever forget, to a place that both delights and terrifies you. Arriving at the door, and taking the key, he hands you the lantern and shoves with tremendous force on the doors. Despite their old look, they make no sound as they swing inward.

It lay before you. The stuff of dream and nightmare. A blue white fire etched on a floor of glass. No light is needed here, the Pattern itself, larger than you remember, stretches out before you.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 23 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:54
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#48
I am in awe as I see the web of light that is Pattern on the floor. I strap Epee to my side and with a reassuring nod from my father and his hands on my shoulders I put my first foot on pattern. It tingles, like the air when there is a lightning storm approaching on the savannah.

I step completely on, feeling far braver than I should knowing I have my father at my back. I begin to walk keeping my left hand on Epee and my right atop my fatherís hand on my shoulder. The start feels more exciting than terrifying. But, it quickly becomes more difficult.

I push my way through the first veil, feeling the electric type force increase as I move as well as the resistance. As I manage my way through the first veil many images of my childhood come to mind, beginning with the death of my mother. I can feel something from Epee at this as well, she who saved my own life that very day.

I follow the path, each step harder than the last, but knowing I cannot stop. Once through the first veil the way becomes easier for a short distance, I pick up a little speed, but not much to brag about. I can already feel the resistance of the second veil.

If I thought I was sore before, I can definitely feel my body protesting now. As if electricity were liquid I feel as though I am wading through it up to my knees. I stumble, but my fatherís sure hand makes sure that I do not fall as he helps push me through the second veil. I begin to think of the good times with him in Forest Arden, in Amber. I can also feel more of a connection with Epee, I cannot tell if it is working to heal her, but there is definitely something happening.

I finally make it through the second veil and take a few deep breathes as the way becomes slightly easier once more. One more veil. I know that I will make it, and I am wondering how this experience will change me, my connection with Epee, my relationship with my father.

My feet feel as though they must way a ton. I preserve. I learned to endure a lot over the years. My mother was killed in front of me at the age of 7, my father left me to be raised on a shadow with no family ties, I was taught to hunt, track, ride, fight. I never grew close to anyone except Epee, yet always felt protective of the people of the savannah as I grew older.

I remembered my few attempts at love, always cut short. With Julian as a father it makes it quite difficult to have a boyfriend. If Morganstern or the hounds didnít frighten someone away Julian himself certainly did. My years of wanting my fatherís approval all came upon me at once. I wondered exactly what his plans for me were, or if he wished I were never born. I also wondered at his words about Epee. I knew she was a gift from him, but of what kind?

My steps slowed considerably as I pushed my way through the third veil when I felt a gentle yet strong and urgent push on my back and I finally made it through the last veil.

There I stood at the center of Pattern with my father, and Epee on my sideÖwondering if it worked, wanting to fall into my fatherís arms with love and gratitudeÖ
Story Guide
 GM, 26 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 10:55
AL001
Oct 09, 2008#49
While your walk has drained the last of your reserves, and you are forced to your knees from sheer exhaustion another sensation can be fealt. Sweat drips from your brow, but you can feel your heart beat. It is a strong sensation beating inside you. And for lack of any better way of putting it, you feel pure in a way you cannot recall feeling since you were young. The very air inside you seems somehow changed with each breath. It is the Pattern, having recognized and accepted its own, it has left you charged and revitalized in the knowledge that you are indeed an Amberite! One of the select few throughout all reality and its many shadows that could survive an ordeal of this nature. You are a daughter pure and true.

Julian kneels beside you, holding you. Your breath ragged, where his is steady and strong. If he is winded by the experience of supporting not only himself, but you, he does not show it. He takes you in his arms, and holds you like when you were seven once more. His warmth is all encompassing.

To more firmly nestle into his broad chest, you move Epee from between you, the akwardness of her hilt getting in the way. You are rewarded with a reassuring mental purr. A solid connection. Your heart skips a beat. Something you had taken for granted for all these years... Something you appreciated, but never thought of losing. A dear friend, who's life was not just in the balance, but required a willingness to sacrifice your own good, and those around you for hers.

Tears of joy cover your face, and you cry into your fathers silk shirt, making a mess of it, and not caring for the moment. You wipe your eyes, and see your uncle Brand silhouetted by the Patterns light on the far ouside of it. The Patterns sparks having returned to a more normal level, leaving him in an odd ghoulish looking way. He waves to you, but says nothing. Not wanting to break the moment you two share, but not wanting to leave without saying goodbye. He waves to you, and then without waiting for a response, turns and heads back out the doors, closing them behind him. The long walk back up before him.

The solid sound of the doors closing is reminiscent of some tomb. It does what Brand had been refraining from. The spell is broken as Julian is reminded of where you both are. He scoops you up in his arms. You are seven again, and the pain of your mothers passing is negated by the mere presence of the man you call father. Your size may have changed, but you feel as small as ever. You could fall asleep.

There is a whisper of wind, and the light is incredibly bright. You are once more in your room of Julian's hunting lodge. The bed is made, and he lays you on top of it. He unbuckles your sword belt, and with a moan, you reach out. He tucks Epee into your cradling arms like it was some sort of Teddy Bear. Then he pulls up the thickly woven comforter and lays it over you both.

It is good to be seven again. He reaches across and pulls the drapes.

As he leaves the room, you can't help but notice the spilled broth and juice have been cleaned up. All is right with the world. You are here with your father, and it seems anything can be cleaned up.


Aria Lynn's Adventure continues in: AL002 - Another day, Another family plot.