AL002 A new day, A new family plot.   Posted by Story Guide.Group: 0
Story Guide
 GM, 59 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:30
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#63
He seems a bit taken aback, as if unsure exactly what he should do.

"A hunt in the day usually requires flushing things out. My lord, your father, has the hounds, and I wasn't assigned a mount. Begging your pardon Lady Aria, but I don't know that you were either, even if there are any left in the stables."

You do know that Julian has fewer mounts than men, since many of his men serve different duties. You have no idea how many would be left, since you hadn't checked any inventory of your fathers things, or the number of men he has here. You also know that the hunting cabin does not house all of Julians men. Many are expected to be in the woods at various locations. Arden is vastly too large for Julian to 'defend' on his own.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 53 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:30
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#64
"Well, we will make it work."

Back at the cabin I change into more appropriate hunting attire and find a bow and arrow before meeting back with Galoro.

"Come, Epee can flush the game and we can just enjoy a little hunt."

I am hoping that if I spend most of what is left in the day with Galoro he will report as much to my father and forget to mention that he lost me for about an hour or so in the morning.

All in all it is an enjoyable time. I get little info from Galoro, but I did not expect him to tell me much. We return with a few pheasants just before sun down. , and Galoro definately seems to be acting more open by the time of your return, and even smiles a few times. He seems mightily impressed by Epee's skills. When he remarks that, "Epee is as good as any dog he has ever hunted with," her growl puts him to rights. He comments on the fact that it is almost as if she could understand him, but you give nothing to confirm or deny his suspicions. He keeps a wary distance from Epee on the return trip, walking on the opposite side of you from her.

There should be just enough time for me to wash up and get dressed for the evening meal.

Once cleaned up and in an appropriate evening gown I tell Epee to remain in my room as I head down the stairs to dinner.
Story Guide
 GM, 60 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:31
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#65
Your arrival back at the cabin is timely. Just barely after six.

You can tell by the activity that Julian and his party have already returned. His men moving about tending to the horses, and other tasks necessary to keeping the hunting lodge running smoothly.

Galoro breaks company with you, and moves to the stables, telling you he will have the birds properly dressed and prepared for the meal tonight or tommorow depending on the cooks plans. Your time with him was most pleasant, and without a doubt reminds you of your time with friends in Sanctuary, hunting and purpose driven.

You enter the cabin, asking after your father, and are told that he is out tending to Morganstern. Dinner will be served at promptly seven. Hearing your voice, a familiar face comes out from the back. It is the man Julian had bringing you water this morning. "Is there anything I can get for you Lady Aria?"
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 54 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:31
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#66
I smile, "No, really, I can take care of myself."

I hate to make him feel put out having to play at being a lady's maid.

Epee obediently stays in the room when I head down to dinner. It is actually quarter after seven as I walk down the stairs, since I can hear the clock chime. I should be able to figure out what Galoro told my father once he sees me...unless he is upset because I am a bit late. Although, he did say sevenish this morning...

If Galoro mentioned my disappearance this morning I begin to wonder what my answer should be...
Story Guide
 GM, 61 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:31
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#67
"Aria." Julian stands, followed by all the men of the table, as you descend the stairs.

"How good of you to join us." He moves to the side, motioning to a chair and holding it out while you are seated. He sits by your side, and the rest of the men return to their places.

Two men begin bringing out one or two of the dishes that had to be kept in the kitchen, and the rest begin removing the covers from the dishes. Julian bows his head, and offers a traditional blessing of the Unicorn for the abundance provided, and for the health of those surrounding the table. He then serves you some of the bird, and a light helping of the potatoes, and something that looks like a thick cheese over something resembling cauliflower, before serving himself.

You observe that while his men put food on their plates, no one began eating.

"Please Aria, enjoy. We do not stand on ceremony here." His words bely what your eyes convey, and you wonder if your presence is the cause of it.

The men's conversation is light, and when your father takes the first mouthful, they begin to eat without delay. The wine is nice, but nothing compared to what you shared with your father in his private chambers.

"So how was your day today Aria? Anything eventful in your journeys?"
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 55 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:31
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#68
I notice that once he and I begin eating so do his men.

Smiling I reply, "Oh nothing unusual, Galoro and I just went for a hunt. I really must apologize for being late for dinner, but I do not believe that any of your men should have to play at being a lady's maid," I pause as I take another bite of food, swallow, "or baby sitter for that matter."

I put my fork and knife down and look innocently at my father as I wait for a reply. I feel a bit braver than I should, with his men at the table I know he will control himself. Granted, they will not be around all night. I still have no idea what all Galoro reported though.
Story Guide
 GM, 62 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:32
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#69
Julian gives you a charming smile that you can easily imagine must have won over your mother. It crosses your mind to wonder if he practices it.

"A hunt. How grand! If you had mentioned the desire, I would have enjoyed going with you. Galoro," who is not present at dinner, " must have been an excellent guide. He showed me your birds. I did not realize that you had taught Epee how to hunt and fetch game."
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 56 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:32
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#70
"Well, you looked as though you already had plans this morning. I needed something to occupy my time after all."

I am greatful for times spent at court in other shadows. I feel as though my father's hunting lodge is as formal as any court, and I am sure it is because of my prescense.

I take a sip of wine and begin to eat once more. Wondering how long he will chose to ignore my remark about baby sitting. Most likely till will we are alone.

"Epee, and I, have learned quite a lot over the years."

I mention a few of the people I have met on my travels, some of the training I had recieved on various shadows. Hunting being the main one I focus on since I know that to be my father's passion. I do not mention exactly what it was we hunted, but I tell him all about Ashley and her skills.

Dinner seems to be winding down quickly and my stomach churns as I realize it won't be long before my father and I will be left alone.

Trying to keep a conversation going I ask him, "So what did you do today?"
Story Guide
 GM, 63 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:33
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#71
"I had the opportunity to visit with family. It seems to be the moment in time that is bringing everyone together." He raises his glass to you acknowledging your part in the matter. It is good to be able to reach out and connect with those of similar mind and spirit is it not?

He places his silverware on his plate, and the cooks that brought the dishes begin clearing his. With a few more comments to the men, they begin excusing themselves, being certain to offer their gratitude for your presence at the nights meal.

All too soon you are left alone with your father. The other men, a few of which remain in the main hall, but away from the table have dispersed. Julian offers to continue the conversation over an evening constitutional.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 57 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:33
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#72
A walk through the forest at night with my father sounds lovely. There are a few butterflies in my stomach though as I accept his invitation.

"Should I fetch Epee to join us?"

Not that I ecpect him to agree, I feel as though I should ask wanting to feel some kind of safety between us.

"She is just upstairs in my room."
Story Guide
 GM, 64 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:33
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#73
"No need my dear. I believe I am quite capable of handling whatever should come our way."

He escorts you to the door, and outside.

"I'm afraid my abrupt switch to a walk may sidetracked my earlier question. Have you had the opportunity to reach out to anyone since you've been here?"

Thoughts tumble through your mind. Could Julian be referring to Galoro, Aunt Fiona, Gerard, or any person in your trump deck, Epee since you healed her or something else entirely?
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 58 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:33
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#74
While I realize that he is probably quite aware that I trumped somewhere I reply,

"No, I haven't really had a chance to do much. My main focus has been on Epee, her recovery. She is different now."

I describe the changes I have noticed in Epee and suddenly remember her nails, the floors must be scratched and I somehow think that my father did not miss that while I did not pay any attention to it.

"I have enjoyed climbing the trees again, like when I was young. And the hunt with Galoro was quite enjoyable. But that really sums up my past couple of days."

I am hopeful that he is unaware of my disappearing through a trump. My answers should suffice if he is not aware, but I am certain that Galoro saw me this morning as well as last night. Where should I say I have been? I know he does not like aunt Fiona, but how will he feel about our chats? He also told me to get to know her myself and make up my own mind.

If Galoro doesn't know enough, or saw closely enough, perhaps all he knows is that I disappeared and climbing up into the trees may be just enough of an explanation to that fact.
Story Guide
 GM, 65 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:34
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#75
You maintain your privacy at the possible cost of putting a father on guard against his daughter. You pass along some of the ways that are wide enough for a horse and easily allow the two of you to walk side by side.

"It is good to see you happy. I had not realized that climbing the trees meant that much to you. There were not many where you lived on the Savannah."

"If Epee is hunting again, she must be feeling better. The changes you describe are... unusual. One can not specify just how an inanimate object is altered by the Pattern. Artifacts reflect their creators, and in this case you are Epee's having taken her across the Pattern and made something new, that is also a part of you.

"I would no more fear her changes, than you would fear me."

"What are your plans over the next few days. Would you care to hunt some more? Your conversation at dinner said you are avid about it, and there are many things here for a good hunter to pursue."
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 59 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:34
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
I glance at my father, "Fear and respect can sometimes be mistaken one for the other."

I stop walking, which causes him to stop as well. He is right, while there have been times that I have feared consequences I have never actually feared my father.

"Last night and this morning I went to see Aunt Fiona. She gave me a trump of herself that I used. Somehow I have the feeling that you already know this though. Well, at least that I had trumped somewhere. Galoro seems to have been watching me rather closely after all."

Before he can respond I add, "I have given her trump of myself as well."

There, it is all out in the open now.

"Who is it that you got to visit with?"
Story Guide
 GM, 66 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:35
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 12, 2008#77
Julian stands in place listening to you. As he gazes forward, beyond the pair of you, it is difficult to judge his reaction. having witnessed so many people, you feel you can read body language easily. But your father is not the type of person you have had to read before. His calm reserve was the subject of many of your mother's stories. Now you wish he would react. His silence reminds you too much of the long absences back on the Savannah. Not even the servants, the baby-sitters, could tell you when he would come back for you.

"Both fear," he starts, "And respect are healthy in the right amount. Both can keep you alive. I have failed you if I have not taught you enough of the one, and too much of the other."

He takes a deep breath as if considering what the correct reaction is. "Family is often the solution to many problems we experience. I am sure you realize this after your own ordeal recently. Unfortunately, it is also the source of most of those same problems."

"Galaro was not watching you. He was however watching for you. There is a distinct difference. You came into Forest Arden in a way that has never been done before. Using a Trump that has never been witnessed. The mad mage Dworkin who first created has been missing for time out of recall. Then my daughter shows up, on my doorstep, dying. No idea how she got here, but carrying a handful of cards painted to resemble and feel like the family trump."

"You may choose to forget that I am the Defender of the Forest, but I can not. Perhaps I should have taken the card from you when you arrived, but... I didn't. I suspected it's Trump-like ability, but could not make it work. While I chose to leave them with you, I did feel it necessary to locate the exact spot that it went too, on the off chance my hunch was correct, hence Galaro's presence to identify a potential weakness affecting the realm."

You wonder if that is the reason why Galaro seemed hesitant to come with you. It would be a difficult call for any sentry to make. Guard a potential access point, or go with the individual who doubtless used the access point, and try to find out more information.

"Your decision to embrace your aunt Fiona will doubtless have unforseen results. Your giving of a trump to her is... also unexpected. Your aunt Fiona is, beyond a doubt, the wisest of us in the ways of sorcery, and may be able to help you with understanding their abilities beyond anything I could teach you."

You are not sure if your father is finished, but he begins walking, and you go along with him. You are determined to remind him about your question before returning. You will not let him treat you like a little girl, and ignore you. It is some time, before he speaks again, and this time it is to comment on one of the constellations. You give him a reply, something casual about their shape. You have a feeling that there is something between you, and aren't sure how to cross the barrier.

Soon your walk, and your time alone will be at an end. You feel like you spent more time on this walk then you have in a lifetime. It isn't exactly true. When you were in Amber, you hunted together. But time alone, like now, where you were the only focus hasn't happened since the weeks following your first Pattern walk. It seems like a lifetime ago. It was a lifetime ago by mortal standards.

Whether it was your patience he was testing, or just the need to organize things in his head, he stops once more. You can feel something at the fringe of your thoughts, a familar presence. "I was visiting my brothers Gerard, and Caine. I needed to talk with them about what happened to you. Something as dark as the thing that was pulled from Epee, could be bad timing. But I am not one to leave loose ends. As you realize from Galaro."

"Beyond the next bend is my home Aria. And for that matter yours, if you choose to stay. That room will always be there. You, however are an Amberite. And few of us stay together and close for overly long periods. Your cousin Martin is proof of that. I respect your choice to stay distant, and find out who you are these many years. I understand it. But I do not have to accept it."

His tall visage turns now fully on you. The starlight reflects readily off his white shirt, and makes his hair seem as if the night itself were something tangible around his face. His height has never changed, but somehow his words make him enormous, as if you were no more than a leaf falling from a tree somewhere in these woods. You recognize the presence now as the faintest tinge of Epee's awareness, just outside of your reach, and a crazy thought runs through your mind of a tree falling in the forest, and no one can hear it fall... or hear you yell.

"I want one of those Trumps of you, the ones that work, like you say you gave your aunt Fiona."
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 60 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:35
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#78
My eyes fill with tears, so I turn my face away. I am a bit curious as to why he could not make my trump of Arden work, it has now worked for me three times, and the first time saved my life. I wonder if it has anything to do with how Inderproof made them.

I wipe away the tears that have begun to flow, "I would actually like to stay, for a little while at least. All though, I do not want your men to feel put out by my presence."

I pause, for a short while, before looking up at my father once more, while I was able to hide the emotion in my voice it is not so easily done on my face,

"Of course you can have a trump of me father, I would love knowing that you can reach me whenever you wanted or if you ever needed me. I'm sorry I stayed away as long as I did, but there was so much I needed to find out about myself...and to learn."

I glance around quickly before embracing my father in the tightest hug I can manage. Careful not to stain his shirt with any makeup that may be running thanks to my crying. I hold him for a minute, and can feel his uncertainty as to how to respond, before I finally let go.

"I would like to find out just what has happened on the Savannah, I do think there is an outside force at play, and I'm not sure if it was aimed specifically at me for some reason...Of course, I would also love to go on a hunt with you as well. There is a lot that I would like to do."

I do wonder about Galoro, Im sorry about pulling Galoro away from his duty, but I was rather upset when I thought you left someone there to baby sit me. I smile, hoping that perhaps I can get Galoro out even just a little bit of trouble.

And with that I start heading back toward the hunting lodge, almost skipping like a child. The first thing I want to do is get to my room and find the best trump of myself for my father. Oh...and I should probably check the floors and have Epee transform back before anyone gets too upset, or Arthur happens upon her, or her him...
Story Guide
 GM, 67 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:35
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#79
Julian heads back to the cabin with you, and at the door you seperate. While you head inside, and he bids you a good evening, he tells you he wants to check some things around the grounds, see on his men, and the like, and heads off towards the stables.

Upstairs, Epee looks up from in front of your bed, and stands to greet you. Her mental complaint about the room being as restrictive as a sword sheath reminds you of who and what she is. That, and you need to allow her to go outside, NOW.

Taking her out, and through the lower door, you quickly head to the woods. Epee lets off at the pace of the hunting cat she is, and you enjoy the opportunity to be once more under the stars, and hearing the trees. Your passion for the horses you rode in shadow leads you back towards the stables.

As you come closer, you can hear your fathers voice talking. Not wanting to interrupt, you approach more carefully. By the sound, he is just outside the stables at the far end. His voice is strong, and you could easily make it out if you were to approach a bit closer to the edge nearest him. Whomever he is talking to, must have a softer voice because you can't hear it from here. A woman perhaps?
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 61 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:36
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#80
I approach as quietly as I can, as close as I can to see if I can catch any of the conversation. It is easier to pick up my father's side than whom ever he is talking with. I venture in a bit closer to see what I can find out, I figure if anyone notices I can just say I was going to go for a ride.
Story Guide
 GM, 68 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:37
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#81
You can make out Julians voice clearly talking, and you know you should be able to hear the other person at least murmuring. The area seems brighter than the starlight, or a lantern would be, and you risk a quick peek. Sure enough it's a trump connection your father is speaking through.

"No, I don't think she knows anything at the moment, but it likely won't stay that way for long."

There is a suitably long pause while he must be listening to the other person.

"We'll have to keep her close than. I have some plans in that regard to keep her active, but suspecting nothing. She'll be busy for a while."

Another pause.

"No. We'll keep it in the family. Too many outsiders, and there are too many loose ends. We risk discovery, and she is already asking me questions. I don't trust lying to her, or I don't trust what I will tell her, I'm not sure there's a diff-" Julian stops abruptly. "We'll talk later."

The extra light reflected on the ground dissapears, and you know he has severed the trump contact. You are fairly certain he hasn't heard you, as you don't think you made any noise. Your position is rather revealing if he comes this way.

To complicate matters, you can sense Epee nearby. She must have circled around back near the stables, her eyes picking up the light source even more readily than your own. What's that they say about Curiosity and cats?
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 62 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:38
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#82
I sneak back a couple of steps and tell Epee to head towards me. If my father noticed my presence I can still say I wanted to go for a ride, but just as he is reluctant to lie to me, I don't think lieing to him works that well either.

I can only hope that I was not the reason he cut short his discussion.
Story Guide
 GM, 69 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:38
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#83
You hear the bushes, and the familiar sound of steel being drawn out.

Then it stops. "What are you doing here." No reply.

You can't imagine who it is. Epee comes around the corner from near where your father was, and peaks around at you, while you squat down low against the wall.

Julian walks around the corner. Right behind her. "Aria."

"I thought I had seen you off to bed. Now you send Epee to spy on me?" His voice has taken on an edge that you don't recall hearing since the time of Mark. "What have you heard?"
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 63 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:38
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#84
"I assure I did not send Epee to spy on you, she just needed to get out after being stuck in my room all evening."

Obviously going for a ride now will not work for a cover.

"As for me, I heard your voice and was just, well, curious," I smile, hoping that I can calm him even just a little. One of the worst thing any child can do is get caught spying on a parent.

"I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to spy either, but it is a habit I find hard to break I suppose. So, how do you plan to keep me busy, and why?"

I want to ask who he was talking to as well, but figure that would be really pushing my luck. I motion Epee to my side and rest my hand on her head, the connection helping to calm my nerves.
Story Guide
 GM, 70 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:38
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#85
Julian looks at you, and his brows furrow. The last time you saw that look was when you were playing a four-player game of chess and his brothers had him pinned. You wish a simple game were all that is at stake now, rather than a precarious relationship with your father where approval and disapproval, love and distance, hang in the balance.

His tone remains the same, sharp like his blade. "Your timing is unfortunate." He reaches his left hand up, and rubs his brow. You've seen that characteristic before on shadow dwellers, but never on your father.

"Being a girl and lacking the influence of my guidance has made you something more devious in nature then. You will break the habit, and you may as well forget this conversation took place. Plans change Aria."

It seems as if he is done talking there, as he lets a long pause come in. Then as if a thought has been formed, he continues, "People rarely do. We are capable of being what we see ourselves as. If you see yourself as a spy, than so be it. I shall choose to see myself as a tolerant father at this moment, believing I can be more than an individual subjected to the indecent act of an inept spy."

"Go to bed Aria. And take your tiger with you. It's upsetting my horses."

Julian turns around, and walks away from you into the night. You doubt he is quite finished with the conversation you interrupted, and you are more curious than ever at how it might now change.
Aria Lynn
 NPC, 64 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:39
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Oct 13, 2008#86
I reach my hand out, but stop.

"I'm sorry, I really...," I pause as I am speaking to his back, "I'm off to bed now sir, if you wish to speak further I will be in my room."

And with that I take Epee and retreat back to the cabin, up to my room, and climb into bed staring up at our names in the rafters. Hopefully he will cool off and perhaps decide to talk further. Sleep is slow in coming.
Story Guide
 GM, 71 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 11:41
AL002 A new day, A new family plot
Aria Lynn's adventure continues in
AL003