Post # 1
Mist of Time
Hope was lost in tears shed, turning into a mist that encompassed the
lands. It wasn't so much a state of sleep but a mindset for the citizens
of the empire known as Heathfield continued with their daily lives. What
was different was time. Years passed as if yesterday since the King's
disappearance and Honeee not accepting the inevitable.
She stood countless nights in repetition by her chamber window
overlooking a good portion of her lands. Winter seemed endless as a
memorizing snowfall drifted mixed with the unearthly haze. This mist
extended from the borders of Heathfield, to Tyremoor, Ballicastle,
Luneburg, Kildare, Innis Daingneach, Ashford Island, McDonough Shell
Islands and even the Wild Lands between Kildare and Luneburg. All fell
under this spell woven by a distraught queen.
It would have continued indefinitely if not for one particular citizen
not affected by time like most. Timmy Lear, whose mind was permanently
as a child's in a grown man's body, decided to visit his pretty lady
that lived in the castle. Emmie had passed a time ago, he wasn't sure
how long other than she was gone and he lived alone. A few times he
still tried to find her thinking she was only lost. There were families
that checked in on him for Honeee had made sure there would be. He could
do simple tasks and provide food and warmth for himself but prepared
food was brought regularly as well to be certain he ate properly.
Clothes and other such needed items were left. It was why Timmy thought
Emmie was still around, just hiding as a hide and seek game.
It was the knock on her chamber door that startled Honeee from her
reprieve into the past. Happier days where she was loved and cherished
by one particular man: Karl. Somewhere in the fog at the back of her
mind she knew she could not continue living in the past this way, that
she had to let him go for he was gone after so many years. A few years
ago there was a failed attempt by the remaining kingsmen to find the
Griffon but to no avail. The glow in their connected rings shimmered
then dulled again and remained so.
Swiping a hand over her cheek then straightening out her smock dress,
hair, then turning she addressed the guard stationed outside her door.
The door swung open as the middle aged man stepped within bowing as he
did. A handsome man if one were to notice but then Honeee hadn't notice
such things in some time. Awareness was of a good man, skilled, well
trained, that did his job as expected. That was what she noticed about
him although his face was presently flushed.
"My Queen," taking in a breath before getting right to it.
"There is a man here to see you. He has.." taking a spaced
breath, "brought flowers."
If Honeee had been distracted she was pulled from that distraction that
seemed to plague her a lot in the past few years. Melancholy some would
"Flowers? What man?"
Sean was at a loss for words for a few seconds that seemed like an
eternity at the moment.
"Hundreds of flowers, My Queen. He calls himself Timmy. He is
waiting down in the foyer."
It took only a moment to comprehend his words, to picture Timmy standing
down in the foyer holding hundreds of flowers. The image broke through
the Mist that had encompassed her mind and of which in turn spread over
the empire as a result. For a lingering moment she stood perfectly still
before she was in motion, as ice breaking free upon water and gaining
momentum. Hand slid to hold the folds of her smock, lifting enough as
she rushed right past the guard leaving him stumbling to catch up and escort
his queen down to the foyer.
Post # 2
Peals of laughter filled the halls as Lydia all but danced around the
lumbering Timmy. The sound seemed to bring the lands out of the comatose
that had befallen them. Maids perked up, opening up windows to let the
cool but cleansing air chase out the sleepiness that had filled the
Lithe as a fairy in dance, she would scoop up any flowers that had
fallen. Golden streaked hair, much like her mother's fell loosely about
her shoulders. A white lace smock only added to her appearance of some
winter angel, and certainly how Timmy saw her. Staff members were
quickly retrieving vases to put the flowers in. Timmy got plied with
questions which soon exposed his mental status of a child. It did not
deter the teenage Lydia as she had him blushing nonetheless going on
about how big and strong he was and how gallant it was of him to bring
flowers for her mother. She also asked where he had gotten so many and
found not only from fields of early blooms but *glass houses* with many
in them. She would later inform her mother and was certain those he had
taken flowers from would be compensated. She knew he had no idea he had
stolen some of them.
It was at this point that Honeee had arrived with the castle guard
catching up behind her as she finally slowed her steps. Her smile was
bright and warm seeing Timmy and decided right there she would find
other accommodations for him being she learned of Emmie's recent demise
by another guard who approached with such information. She was sure
something suitable could be established for the independent mentally
challenged young man. Something too for him to do that would make him
productive and in turn rewarding for him. Setting aside the thoughts for
the moment, she thanked him for the flowers and between his tale of
getting them and whispers from Lydia, she knew whose flowers they were,
including some from the castle greenhouses. She was sure Lisette would
understand and would see her the following day.
There were vases of flowers all over the castle within the half hour
that only added for the lifting of the sleepy veil, coupled with fresh
air... the lands had come alive again even if spring was not quite here.
Air was cool. snow still fell but there was that scent that came before
spring actually did. Timmy was sent off to the kitchen for a good meal
and he would be staying in the guest quarters until they found a new
place for him. After the evening meal, Lydia pleaded with her mother
until she agreed to tell her the story of how she met Timmy. So in
Honeee's antechamber with both of them comfortable in their nightgowns,
a pot of tea and some various tidbits to munch on, she began the
Post # 3
From: 01-15-2005 Valley of Shadows
Honeee had been up all day and most of the nights for three days.
Carlton had picked up a bad cold coupled with croup. Karl was
in Luneberg but he was informed and kept abreast of his son's
condition and all that was being done. The fever had broken but she
knew it would be another good week before he was back to full health.
Her supply of a few rare herbs, ginseng root being one, was depleted and
she would need more. She stood at the window of her son's room that gave
way to a panorama view of the lands. This day had given some relief
as the temperature had risen allowing the snow to melt some and the
ground soften. Something rare for this time of year. The sun
filtered through the gathering of clouds along with the blue of sky to
be seen at times. It was the best time for her to go out while
Carlton had finally found some restful sleep. She watched the play of a
shadow cast by a larger cloud to slither over the roll of white
covered valleys and hills. It seemed to disappear after rolling up the
side of a far mountain as she turned away from the window to
instruct the Nanny and inform her of where she was going. She was also to
send the letter by messenger to her husband in Luneberg, letting him
know his son was on the road to complete recovery. Karl would be
relieved and Honeee knew he was ready to ride back in if needed. As
always it was addressed My Heart, and signed With all my heart and love,
She changed from the smock dress to britches, a thick cable stitch wool
sweater and fur lined boots. The cloak donned hid the more masculine
attire as a large enough basket was looped over her arm. One of the
guards would accompany her so far and wait for her at the forest's edge.
Even he would not be allowed to the secret places where certain herbs
could be found for it was the way of the Elves and Grugrach to keep
them to themselves. She was allowed for who her mother was and so
respected their ways as her own. Sometimes she was gone an hour
collecting herbs and rare roots while other times many hours would pass. The
guard would not be alarmed if she didn't show after four or even six
hours. She would be back before dusk fell as the forest sometimes
changed during the shadows of the night and one could become lost
easily. Honeee was not one by her nature but she'd not worry the man nor
the others back at the castle. She would not worry her husband. The
area had a small outpost structure the guard could take shelter
under from the elements as they parted ways, he to wait and she to
search. She went by scent, for hers was acute being half Elf, to find
the herbs needed. This afternoon it led her deeper into the forest and
deeper still to find the elusive ginseng root. The clouds had gathered
more by this time but she was nearly there following that certain scent.
The trees gave way to open up as the tall ginseng tree overhung a
small lake formed by a beaver's dam. The ice formed looked solid and
distractedly noted although Honeee knew with the rising in temperature
for the length of the day such a smaller but deep pond would not be
safe. Mist had formed rising up in shifting veils that
obscured the view more often than not. She carefully picked her way over
bramble, bush and broken tree branches to the trunk of the tree. The
half laden basket was set securely to the ground with her collection so
far as she asked the tree in Elvin to be favored of some of its
root. An offering was made of strands of her hair before she was
crouched down to dig through the snow, her dagger ready with the other
to help the process through the hardened soil and cutting
pieces of root. The temperature had dropped as snow started to fall and
an over laden branch of an adjacent tree finally gave way in a piercing
crack. It was one of the larger ones that came down right on her head as
she went to rise causing a splintering light behind her eyes then
darkness. Knife slipped from her hand as she was knocked backwards
and slid down the short distance of the embankment onto the ice. She
ended up on her back, her head slightly to the side as red mixed with
white dusted over the ice. The ice had not been thick enough for even her
light weight as cracks snaked out like a star being formed beneath until
it gave way completely having her slip into the icy depths beneath.
Silence once more reign as the snow fell heavier into the rising mists
consuming them gradually.
Post # 4
From: 01-17-2005 Valley of Shadows
I walk through the valley of shadows, I shall fear no evil...
Shadows loomed up in the world Honeee was thrown into as her life paraded
before her eyes then marched away into more shadows as if
everyone she knew had vanished though unseen doors. Hardships,
pain, worries and even the initial touch of freezing cold fled
with them, leaving them behind as she was taken into this
comfortable place from there. The shadows dissipated into vibrant colors
and the faint sounds of songbirds growing in harmonious melodies.
The sun seemed brighter in the bluest of skies unlike she'd even
seen as were the waters of the lake spun like blue white diamonds
beneath. Fragrance filled the air to intoxicate as wild flowers seemed
to be everywhere around her from where she stood upon a grassy
knoll overlooking the most beautiful scene she could ever recall. It was
not familiar but it filled her with an inner peace as if absorbed into
every fiber of her mind, body and soul. A butterfly fluttered by to
land upon the open palm of her hand, wings of translucent changing hues
of no known species in her recollection. When it lifted up to flutter
away she went to follow but as she took the first step all went black
Timothy Lear was born in hardship, a breech birth taking his mother's
life and leaving the newborn damaged but alive. No father to claim the
child, he was left upon a porch of a tavern. He was taken in but as the
child grew and it became evident he was mentally slow, he was taken for
a ride and abandoned in yet another kingdom. He was taken in and cared for
by an elderly woman whose heart went out to the lad so many turned away
at the age of ten. Timmy grew into a hulk of a man standing at six foot
six, the face of a basset hound and the mentality that never developed
beyond the age of eight. A gentle giant that was tortured and taunted by
his peers and adults alike for his deficiencies. Many felt he was demon
possessed for his disability and drove him out using physical
abuse. They feared killing him for then the demon would possess them. It
is a wonder he even survived other than he was meant to survive. When
the elderly woman died he took to traveling one place to another and
eventually took to the forests where the small creatures held no fear of
him and gave him solace. They would come to him unlike other humans.
Emily Doleman came upon Timothy in the forests near where she
lived. A gypsy and druid by nature, she found the wilderness
more a home than the clustering of humans that made up villages and
cities. She only went there to tend the sick, healing with herbs
and acting as a midwife until her aging years had her settling into the small
cabin deep within the forests of Heathfield. She adopted the overgrown
lad whom she took the time to teach as much as he could learn. One of
his greatest achievements was being able to write his own name. He would
venture to the commons of the various lands and earn coins by hauling
things for others. Here in these lands he was not taunted like he'd been
in others except for the rare occasions. Those who had known Emmie, as
she was called, made sure the lad found work and would even send extra
things back for the woman. So the mismatched pair worked out as she saw
to him being fed and clothed while he brought in enough to buy them food
and the few other necessities society supplied. They lived mostly off
Timmy was in the woods that day as he tended to wander at times but never
too far. He saw the lady with the pretty hair and watched her from the
cover of woods at the other side of the beaver dam. He was too
shy to hail her but when the branch fell and she rolling into the
lake, there was no hesitation in him ploughing forward and right into
the icy waters that came up to his waist to pull her out. "Nooooooo."
He had cried out, but his plea had only broken the silence of the forest
for that brief moment. He wrapped her in his heavy cloak as best he
could coaxing her not to die as he headed for the cabin he called home.
Even before reaching the door he was crying out. "Emmmmmiiiieee, ye
fix." Words Emmie was use to hearing when Timmy came home with some wild
animal, big or small, that was hurt for her to tend to and bring
back to life. Most she could but some were already dead or beyond her
gifts to heal. They were the hardest to explain to the lad, now of
twenty-seven years old physically and comfort the tears he'd shed
over their demise for days at times.
Emily wiped her hands upon the apron she wore as she turned
from the pot of stew she was making over the hearth's
fire to intercept Timmy at the door. Would it be a fawn, baby
raccoon or even a full grown wolf this time? She opened up the door
excepting to see some woodland creature in his arms only to blink
away the shock surprise. For all her years, nearing sixty, she moved
fast in ushering him within to place the unconscious, and near
frozen, woman on her bed. One loaded with furs for it was harder for her
to keep warm unlike when in her younger years. It was also situated
near the hearth while Timmy was given the small adjacent room to call
his own. Timmy stood staring at the lifeless form of the woman
laying on Emmie's bed. "Pretty hair lady, ye fix Emmie?" Emmie
assured him she would do her best as she checked for vital signs. They
were faint but there as she shoo'ed him to go fetch fresh water down at
the stream and put to heat up in the hearth when he got back. Timmy was
quick to do her bidding, closing off the door behind him as he lugged
the large pot.
Post # 5
From: 01-25-2005 Valley of Shadows
cabin fell back to the quiet crackle of the fire in the hearth as Emmie
took a moment to stare at the woman placed on her bed. A hand cupped her
chin to turn her face sideways then push back her hair as she noticed
the slightest tapering of her ear. "Well, tha' explains it lassie,
ye be part Elf." It had perplexed her that anyone was found near
where their cabin was located for it was protected lands. Timmy was
allowed for his gentle innocence and she was allowed for having helped
one of the Elves in a time past. Her own nature and gifts appealed to
the elusive Elves of the forests here and accepted the two within their
domain. A domain that protected them too. They rarely ever came although
she caught sight of one or two over the many years here. Elusive race.
Magical. Kind. Emmie set to work quickly while Timmy was gone to change
the soaked clothing into a warm shift of her own. It was big on the
slight woman but warmth mattered more than style! She carefully cleaned
the wound on the woman's head, tsking with a click of her tongue the
whole time. It was a nasty one and maybe the fact of her duo nature the
only reason it had not killed her. She was not out of danger yet as a
few stitches were carefully applied to close it then a salve
administered. The long length of hair was braided away to the opposite
side of the wound. Timmy was right, the woman had beautiful hair but she
also found her face was the same quality once cleaned up. There was
something about the woman too that spoke of nobility just in the
structure of her facial bones. Emmie had tended so many from all social
standings she got so she could tell. It didn't matter to her, however,
as life itself was important over anything else.
The door soon opened as Timmy huffed and puffed his way in lugging the
large iron pot to the hearth. Just in time as Emmie preferred changing
the woman's clothes while he was gone. No sense having the lad asking
all kinds of questions. It was then as she turned to Timmy she noticed
he was soaked. In all the chaos and concern over the woman it had gone
unnoticed. Now she was fussing over him as he was trying to see if Emmie
had fixed the broken woman. She was ushering him into his room to change
into dry warm clothing as he was trying to see the woman on the bed,
still laying very still. She assured the lad she was fixing the woman
but had to tend to her wound before trying to wake her up. Timmy was
appeased enough to do her bidding and the fact the wet cold was
starting to numb his legs. His door was closed over as she
went to the shelf that kept all her healing concoctions and brought down
some smelling salts. She would first start the brewing of a special
tea before coming back to the woman with the pungent aroma to waft
under her nose. It took three passes before the woman groaned in
pain and the flutter of lids in an attempt to come from the shadows that
held her. Only one word managed to groggily escape Honeee's lips
"Luneberg" before consciousness slowly rose while ocean
blue eyes opened. Honeee stared at the woman with that total look
of confusion. Delicate brows had slid into a furrow but even that
reflective movement had a shooting pain through her head. Emmie spoke up
to assure the woman she was safe. "Ye be staying still or that head
of yirs will be complaining. Ye be safe with Emmie while I see to
helping ye heal."
Honeee didn't try to move as suggested for the pain was hard to bear.
Her vision was not all that clear as it was difficult to keep focus
on the woman. Her words, or more the tone of her voice and what it held,
was the thing to comfort and the feeling gained she was in good
hands. Eyes were starting to drift close again but the woman's voice
brought her back as she started prattling on about how she lived here
with her adopted son Timmy and that he found her in a small lake after
she fell in. Emmie knew what she was doing in this case as she was not
one to prattle let alone even talk much to others at all. She could tell
the woman was slipping back to those shadows and she needed to keep her
from going back there again or they might just keep her if they became
too familiar. Next she started asking questions to get the woman's mind
functioning. "What be ye name lass?" The woman didn't look to
be all that old, maybe later twenties but it was hard to tell with the
Elf breed in her. Honeee tried to concentrate but no name came to mind.
"I don't know." She realized she really did not know and that
was confusing in itself. Timmy had returned, warm and dry, as he hover
just behind Emmie to watch the woman. He was smiling. "Emmie
fix." He probably looked just as confused when the woman couldn't
remember her name so he helped out. "Ye be Lilac." He was
giving her a name which Emmie took as him knowing the woman's name.
Timmy had noticed the scent of the flower that seem to cling to the
woman when he brought her back.
"Timmy, ye kin where the lass is from? Her family?" Emmie was
around to question the lad so word could be gotten to the family but
Timmy only shook his head. He felt there should be an answer so he
added. "She is of the special woods." Which Emmie knew others
were not allowed there outside of the Elves and they could not be found
even if she wanted. If she was one of theirs they would be here so
somehow, this woman had gotten into this area by accident. It might
even account for the incident but she doubted that. She was back to
the woman using the name Timmy gave her as he tended to name
all the wounded animals he brought home. "Lilac, I want ye to
drink this tea I made for ye." A flutter of hands in motion for
Timmy to go over and fetch a mug of it as she spoke to the woman. Honeee
eased up against a large pillow with Emmie's help as she put Timmy to
task. "Well, ye mentioned a place called Luneberg but I know not of
any such place around here. Once you're well we can help ye get
there." The word repeated to Honeee drew recognition but nothing
more than the name. "I am not sure but the word is familiar to me.
I spoke of this place?" Hope rose up but then was squelched when
Emmie explained it was in a groggy moment between shadows and
consciousness. Timmy was over at that point with the tea which
Emmie helped Honeee to drink. "I will sing ye songs tonight."
Timmy offered and Emmie knew it was a statement he was going to do so.
He did it for all the wounded he brought home. At least his voice was
good, gentle, and had a lulling quality about it that Emmie swore was
what saved some of the woodland creatures from slipping into death.
That night Timmy sang sweet melodies from far off lands and mystical
creatures that kept Honeee from slipping back into those dark shadows.
He sang them until dawn when Emmie would be up and he to sleep only
then. The quality of the gentle giant's voice eased Honeee's
mind from the present physical pain, leading her into a healing
rest. His voice kept her from becoming lost.
Post # 6
From: 02-03-2005 Valley of Shadows
Under: Andrew MacNeil
Mists rose as colors shifted moving the veils of the rift aside as
Andrew stood there. A hazy silver lifted to wash over tanned muscles of
a bare chest and arms except where the MacNeil tartan crossed down over
at an angle. Left shoulder to right hip. Gold bands etched in Runes
glistened beneath the hazy sheen defying it as well the man that stood
there. The Master sword was drawn, the blade pointed up at an angle.
White light blazed out to clear the area of shadows. Piercing blue eyes
of the Druid Prince searched beyond the veils to the lands about from
the coexisting plane of the astral. Swift of feet the haze was pulled
from across his skin leaving a trail to swirl behind him as he became
part of the blur. Dark leather pants and boots that laced up to just
below his knees were of a supple quality leaving no hindrance to
physical movement. The sword hummed as it was seared down over a rift to
open, closing it off before it could be used. The astral planes were
dangerous for most. Only a few dared their travel to keep the other
level of existence crossing over where it should not. Andrew held his
own against entities of old that existed before time and even the Earth
itself. He and Myles were two of them, embodied and back amongst the biological
It was after he turned back to another area of the lands that he felt
the severance of the connection he always held with his mother. He stood
still as his mind searched, it was not of death for she was not felt in
that realm either, yet, she was gone. Like an eagle soaring with an acute bird's
eye view he saw the guard that had accompanied his mother lost in the
forest. The man attempted searching for her. He was not one that could
enter the realm of the Silver Elves. They were the elusive ones of the
lands. Hermits. Highly intelligent race and gifted in the mystical but
very few knew of their existence. The Sylvan Elf race mingled still with
humans more as somewhere employed in the Rangers Division that helped to
keep the lands secure. Sword was sheathed as he appeared at the guard
outpost with the setting of dusk. Andrew was quick into the forest to
follow the man that went in search of his mother. He could see the area
where she was last seen, basket left by the tree near filled with
medicinal herbs, the dagger that had slid near the embankment of the
frozen pond and the break in the ice. A trace of blood left against white. He
did not see nor felt her there. Place was marked in his mind before it
could fade as his mother's presence was gone and the residue would only
linger so long. The guard, whose name was Kenny, was taken back to the
castle to be seen to as he was nearing hypothermia.
Andrew only let a few know that were at the castle, those of family and
the guard to hold his tongue until Karl was back. The only thing the man
was told was that his mother was lost and they would find her being she
was in an area not assessable to them. He could bring in a few,
especially those of the elements and those connected by blood or strong love.
The castle was left behind as he headed back into the forest. Barely a
step within had the air around him shimmer breaking off into rippling
shards as he took to the astral planes once more heading for Luneberg.
Andrew wasn't particularly fond of traveling them outside their lands
for the tears there in time were numerous and left unattended. One man,
in spite of his greater abilities, could only take on so much. Some
areas had the guards and some were long gone, taken over by the others.
It was a constant battle and would be until the dusk of mankind to
become his real dawn. It wasn't long, only a few minutes to flee, when
Andrew stepped from this other means of travel back onto the Earthly plane down
from the Luneberg Keep. An area where he would not be noticed. Muscle
tightened along his jaw as the guards gave a nod to the passing Prince.
They didn't question the knowledge that was just there in their minds on
who he was. One of the guards inside showed him to Karl's office and was
then sent to alert the Black Griffon that Prince Andrew awaited him
there. Karl would know it was an emergency without the need to alert the
guard to such.
He stood by the window as the fire crackled in the hearth. Arms folded
over his chest as the night was pierced with unearthly blue eyes. Blond symbolic
braids, one each side, traveled down near to his waist while the length
of the rest was cut to taper half way down his back. Stars were crossed
in a glance and read as he continued his own kind of searching. He would
also need to break the news to Karl on what happened, the oddity of it,
the area that most were not allowed in where Honeee was lost to them. The urgency
of this visit would have the guard waking the King even if he was
asleep. Not too many would dare such an order and he was sure the guard
was extremely nervous over it. Andrew's name would save him from any
wrath. He also knew they would have to travel back by conventional means
as he would stay with Karl. There was something else there as he
assessed the situation that told him, his part was to help but not lead.
Things he could do, things he could only help with and things he
couldn't touch at all. The wisdom was in knowing the difference. It was
one of the reasons his connection was severed and this weighed very
heavily on him. The love of his mother, sisters and brothers went deep.
Post # 7
From: 02-05-2005 Valley of Shadows
Under: Karl VonRundstedt
didn't take long for Karl to join Andrew. The man had simply wrapped a
robe around himself and that would suffice. In fact, from the
bedchambers to the office, several second looks were granted the King
with his unexpected bared feet and legs. It was not like him to step
from his chamber not fully attired. When he entered the room, he caught
the door in passing and closed it behind him with a shove.
"Andrew." The Prince, at this hour, did not bode well and Karl
knew without even being told that, since Andrew had come, the message he
had to deliver was about Honeee. He had shouted orders upon is departure
from his bed to have clothes delivered to him here. He meant to leave
immediately if his gut instinct proved correct.
turned as piercing blue eyes touched upon Karl. Stepfather. Black
Griffon. Most of all one he considered a friend. Dark blond brows
dipped, there was no easy way to break the news. "You will want to
come back with me." Pausing a fraction of a moment. "I will
need a horse." Minor detail but Karl, for all his feelings of
certain abilities would understand why he was horseless. "My
mother, Honeee..." Recognizing her given name in meaning to him.
"Is missing. She went into the protective lands that the guard
could not venture into even though he searched until nearly frozen. I
will take you there. Alert any you feel you need to." Muscle
clenched along his jaw as a glance strayed back to the night beyond the
window. "Our connection was severed, it was how I was
alerted." There then back. "I do not feel she is dead."
That was his gut feeling in spite of how Karl would find the area she
was at last.
Black Griffon said not a word, just dipped his head to the younger man.
He had felt it and was braced to hear what he feared most. As the men
entered behind them to bring Karl his clothes, Karl jerked the sash
around his waist loose and began dressing. "Lawson, wake Carno and
de Vimeure, have them meet us at the stables." He leaned to the
wall to pull on his boots glancing over to the other man who still
remained. "Hobson, have four horses prepared, two for the Horseman,
one for the Prince and mine." The man would know which ones to
order readied. Karl strode to his desk and, from the drawer, he slid out
a white sheet and, with the other hand, flicked the top of the ink off
in order to dip a quill within. "And the guard? He will be all
right?" A note was penned to Garath and sealed.
Karl got dressed he once more turned to pierce the night with blue eyes.
Stars read again as one word resurfaced. It wasn't that she was missing.
"Lost." More to himself before he was back around as the men
were given the orders in preparation for their departure. He knew they
would be riding long and hard this night and with a little help from
him, unbeknownst to them, make record time getting there at the crack of
dawn. Every minute saved this night would count. "I brought him
back to the castle, he will be all right. Good man and did his best. He
would not know of the Silver Elves and their domain." Did Karl know
Honeee traveled to them for special herbs? "Carlton is recovered
from his cold." This he would assure Karl also. He moved to the
door in wait as Karl wrote up the note.
was relieved to hear that his son was healthy and well, but with his
mind on his missing wife, Karl tucked that previous information to the
back. He passed Andrew, heading out the door and handing off the folded
letter to guard that stood outside. Karl knew of the forest protected by
the Silver Elves. He knew that Honeee could and did often venture there.
Knowing this did not, however, bring him ease. It only amplified his
concern. Several other guards had gathered, and one handed off a heavy,
fur cloak to Karl as he passed. Honeee was not just lost. The Queen of
Heathfield would not be lost within those familiar woods. To have
severed the connection with Andrew, and not have returned home, this was
above and beyond lost. "Andrew, once we reach Heathfield, take us
directly to the last place you saw her." Not the last time the
guard saw her, but the son who was connected in spirit to this woman
they both loved so deeply. There was not a wasted movement, or comment.
The entire time they strode down the halls, different items were handed to Karl
until they came to pause just at the door that would lead them out into
the courtyard and from there, to the stables.
did not, as of yet, alert the whole castle leaving it to your
discretion. I told my sister Lah what I know. She is tending to Carlton
and will tell the other siblings as needed. I did not feel it wise to
send the whole lands into a frenzy." If they could not locate her
right away then it might be wise to have everyone on the look out.
Andrew was sure Karl would figure out all the oddities of it. That which
logically would be ruled out and the fact her son didn't know where she
was. "That is my intention and why I am here." He didn't say
anything about the instinct this was going to be left for him and not
her son. Not any of her children. There was something more to it that
belonged to him and his mother. "I can bring you into that
protected area." Veils were not such to him besides being welcome
there as his mother was. "Elementals connected to you will not
defile the protected area either." Giving him more precise
information he would need make use of. He moved like a panther on the
prowl in that feline grace that held to a silent step. He could more
than keep up as they were quick to the stables and mount up.
and Lazare joined them there, and lowered words of explanation were
shared with the horsemen. Soon enough, four men surged from the stables
on horseback, Heathfield bound. In the keep, at a lofty level of
observance, a damask curtain settled, once more, back into place.
was hard to tell what Andrew noticed or not for a mind steeped in Druid
ways. Luneberg was one of those places that held shadowy veils that
shifted. Unsettled. Darkened corners held their whispers as the walls held their
secrets. The steeds chosen were the best of their breed. Long of wind
and swift of hooves. Weather would not prove a problem this night even
if light snow fell to drift in areas. The four would ride in silence,
concentrated on their destination and prepared for lack of sleep without
dulling their senses.
Post # 8
Under: Honeee Valley of Shadows
Timmy was very gifted in song for they easily held the healing of one
part Elf and other Fae. A peaceful tranquility set in before it faded
into silvery dream plane mists. It was at this point at dawn when
Timmy went to get some sleep and Emmie was making ready for the morning
that the plateau Honeee had been on, changed. The mists turned more
ominous in swirls that gradually took on dimension and form. She could
see the valley that rolled under twilight shadows to a distant hill
overlooking all. Dark clouds of thunderous girth rolled behind the
silhouetted of a massive warrior seated upon a stallion that
was equally huge. The wind played with the folds of his cloak to billow
around the form in a constant motion, the only animated part of this
visual so far. At one point twilight's light illuminated the silvery
blue gleam of a hilt to a large sword sheathed at
his hip. Hood was up and what didn't cover the man's features left
them in shadow. It wasn't so much the visual that had Honeee starting to
twist and turn where she laid on the furs, but the feel that surrounded
and engulfed her that emulated from him. There was great strength in the
unknown rider but it was the anger and foreboding that came in
heavy undertones. A man feared by many. There was a draw too she
attributed to the great strength felt. She continued to look on
until she realized the one was looking straight at her or so the turn of
the hood and darken area beneath indicated. Still there was no face
nor eyes to be seen. The steed reared up with forelegs kicking out
before once more planted solidly against the ground and into
a gallop. Lightening streak the sky behind as the rider headed straight
for....... her, she realized shockingly. Natural instinct was to recoil
with a gasped intake of air. It was still upon her lips as
the hand touching upon the sweat of her brow had her leaping to
consciousness and fleeing from the dream plane and rider. Eyes flew
open into focus.
It was Emmie's voice she heard and gradually made out the words that
were first at a distance then grew nearer, clearer. "Yea be
breaking the fever, lass. All be better now." There was a moment
taken while Emmie studied her. "Yea be knowing your name now
lass?" Honeee still struggled with the image left in her mind which
had her sitting allowing the foggy residue dissipate.
"You said it was Lilac." Emmie gave a slight shake of her head
with a pat to her hand, a smile wan upon her lips as she knew then that
memory was not regained. "We'll see about getting you to this
Luneberg so someone can help ye out. Timmy can take ye on old Amos to
the northern boarder. I'm sure some of the places beyond them, there
be someone who will know about those lands." Emmie took a
glance to the closed door Timmy was behind in his room fast asleep.
"We have a few hours before he wakes and can see to ye fed and
properly dressed. I have a few coins to spare for ye that should
last." Honeee smiled, the imps curl naturally there, for Emmie's
kindness hit a deeper chord as her hand reached out to gently squeeze
the older woman's. The thanks was more in her eyes than the soft words
that came between them. "Thank you." She didn't go into how
she would repay them both for she didn't even know if she would be
able to but she vowed to herself that one day she'd find a
way. Emmie helped Honeee up to the basin of water so she could wash
while she went back to the bed to pull out a covered bundle from beneath that
held a riding outfit from long ago when she was young. It was one of her
most prized possessions, one of her few possessions, and had been
made for her by her father when he managed to scrape enough coins to
give her one outfit of fine clothes.
Emmie sat on the edge of the bed as aged fingers caressed the fine dark
brown leather of the outfit that brought her down memory lane. She
remembered wearing it for the first time when out with the esteemed
Michael Etherland. A man that asked to court her and held her heart. She
had been considered a beauty, even if not of wealth, but no one
would ever know that now for the toll of countless years. A wistful sigh
came beneath her breath. There had been an accident and Michael was
killed. She devoted her life to healing and never wore the outfit again
but could never part with it either. Until now. The need of this woman
she took in to heal needed it far more than she did for her
memories would stay and the outfit had better use now. "I think
this will fit ye, Lilac." Honeee had just finished washing up as
she turned back towards Emmie upon hearing her words. There was a
pause in her step but then they quickened as her arms went around the
woman in an impulsive hug. The sudden comfort surprised Emmie and
became the culprit in letting loose those withheld tears to
roll down wrinkled cheeks. "O' lass ye give an old woman a
blessing." The hug was returned but she fussed as it
ended and set the outfit aside on the bed as she rose. "Now be
about getting dressed before Timmy be waking and wanting something to
eat. We best eat before he does or we'll have nothing left." Words
came in a teasing tone but it also got her away from painful memories
and a life that could have been so different. Children were not to be a
part of her life but now she had Timmy as a son and this lass God saw to
cross her path was like one even in this brief time.
Honeee quickly got dressed with Emmie's help for the aged woman would
hear no protest. Emmie had been thin when younger years graced her
figure and face as the leather skirt and jacket top fitted well. Her
boots had been dried and fitted snugly at first but the leather would
give gradually in better comfort and fit. The smock dressed was torn
beyond repair but her cape was repairable and mended by Emmie. She
checked the wound on Honeee's head then insisted in brushing out her
hair and braiding it again carefully. "Ye be looking quite as
fetching in the outfit as I had been once." The fact seemed to
please Emmie in her decision. It all felt right, she didn't question it
beyond that as once she was done and Honeee ready she saw to their
breakfast of eggs and some curried ham. Timmy awoke before they were
done and came out dressed for the day. He was hungry even more than
usual for his singing seemed to do that to him the day after. Honeee sat
back amazed at what the lad could consume. Emmie had been right, had the
meager portions they had consumed been there, they would have been eaten
by Timmy easily too. She swore he inhaled his food. The amazement on her
features brought about an amused laugh on Emmie's part before she
instructed Timmy to get Amos ready. He was to take Lilac beyond the
lands of the Silver Elves and even to the northern boarder of Tyremoor
lands. He was to leave Amos with her so she had transportation to
the nearest tavern whereupon she could turn him loose and he would make
his way back. They didn't need him until spring as they didn't attempt
going into civilization during the winter months. This was another
Post # 9
From: 02-08-2005 Valley of Shadows
too soon it seemed, the three were standing outside the cabin. The
outfit given along with her cloak now donned kept Honeee warm.
Timmy came around from the back leading ole Amos. A strong mule Honeee
noticed even for his aging years. The animal took to her right off which
surprised both Timmy and Emmie for he was usually a cantankerous sort
and not given to being nice even towards strangers they seemed to
accept. All would go well as Emmie drew the heavy shawl around her
shoulders more. "Ye will be all right Lilac, Amos here will take
care of ye once ye reach the boarder." Timmy seemed hesitant for
some unknown reason but soon helped Honeee into the saddle as he
would walk leading the mule. "I will be back before dawn Emmie.
None you worry. I see Lilac safe." Turning once his task was done
and Honeee settling in, to give Emmie a squeezing hug and a kiss to her
weathered cheek. Emmie swatted him. "You'll be squeezing the breath
from me." But she was quickly hugging him back just as
fiercely with what strength she had in her frail body. She was over to
Honeee's side where she sat upon Amos with her parting words.
"Ye keep safe and send word once you find those lands if you can so
we know you're safe." Honeee agreed as fingers touched Emmie's
cheek and a smile to rival a new day's sun. "I will be fine and
that comes thankfully to you both." Emmie was getting emotional as
she patted the hand to touch then quickly disappeared back into her
cabin to watch from the window.
The day was overcast but snow kept from falling and enough daylight it
didn't hinder their traveling. They took rests every few hours but Timmy
would not be persuaded to ride Amos for even a short duration. There was
no way around the stubborn man with the mind of a child set in his ways.
Dusk would be falling soon as they reached the road beyond the
boarder of Tyremoor lands. The three stood in the middle of the deserted
wide road, one well used, as the drift of snow started. Timmy went very
silent with a downcast of features and head to lower, looking very much
like the basset hound. "What's wrong Timmy?" Honeee
slid from the saddle as cloak and skirt below were guided distractedly
with the brush of a hand. Timmy's head shot up. "Ye be staying on
Amos." Stepping closer as he'd not expected the woman to dismount.
"He has a good nose and will find a tavern." Then to Amos he
turned to cradle his muzzle in a large hand. "Ye take care of Lilac
or I'll be taking the strap to your hairy hinney." Although a
warning the tone never came close to the strict words that held the
affection for the beast and the caring of the woman to keep safe.
Honeee's hand settled on Timmy's forearm as reassuring words came
quietly. "I will be fine Timmy." Her hand falling away as he
turned and seeing those big alligator tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Timmy?" He was quick to wipe them away. "I don't want
you to go." A soft sigh escaped before she gave him a hug. "I
know but I have to find this place called Luneberg so I can find out who
I am." Words came in a heartfelt resolve as Timmy relented, hugging
her back. He never liked parting with the woodland creatures he found
but Emmie said he needed to and he knew he needed to let Lilac go now
"Timmy scared for you." Stepping back as it showed on his
features unmasked. "Promise me you will visit once you can."
He wasn't sure what words to use for all the emotion that welled up in
him but he needed some kind of reassurance. Honeee watched him, she
could feel the caring and the fear that went with it. "If I can,
know that I will come back to visit you Timmy. You and Emmie. I
will." The best she could reassure him not knowing what was ahead
of her and not even what was behind her save for them. The emotional
part seemed to be over as Timmy starting to check his clothing almost
frantically before finding what he remembered about.
"There be bad people, you take this." From one of the
hidden pockets of the cloak he wore, a sheathed dagger was held out. The
surprise was evident on Honeee's features as she looked from the weapon
to him again. "Where did you get this Timmy?" He shrugged as
he took her hand and placed the weapon within. "I find. Emmie don't
like weapons. I hid it. I give it to you for any bad people. You hide on
you." Before Honeee knew it she was being lifted back into Amos'
saddle. "You go and find a place before dark." The words
sounding more like a command. "You be well Lilac. Timmy go
back to Emmie now." The last barely spoken and he was around to
lumber off in quick steps before changing his mind. It was obvious he
didn't like leaving Lilac on her own just like every time he sent a
healed animal back into the forest where they belonged.
"You stay safe and well Timmy. Take care of Emmie." Knowing he
would with the words trailing in the wake of the man child. She sat
there watching him go even as Amos started them off down the road.
Turning in the saddle as needed, and could be afforded, before
Timmy lumbered from the side of road into the woods, disappearing
from sight. Only then did she turn back around to the sight of the
long and winding road before her. She felt very alone at the moment in
the silence of drifting snow and the darkening of the sky as night
started to descend. It reminded her of the dream and the dark rider. In
the quiet she could hear every sound, acute Elf hearing adding to that,
and would have her quickly looking this way or that, a twig to snap
here, a rustle of brush there, wondering if some massive rider
would leap out of nowhere and give her chase. The thought brought a
nervous laugh that held to the light lilting tones of the Fae as she
imagined trying to flee on a mule from a swift stallion. A dagger
against a massive sword. A woman pitted against a large warrior
man. "Amos, it is going to be just as hard to depart from you
once I find civilization." It was amazing how dusk could hint and
so soon into complete darkness. No moon to cast its light but
Honeee could see in the dark for her heritage. Amos didn't seem to be
bothered as steady hooves met the hardened ground, set to his task of
moving forward. Fingers would brush in his mane as she finally eased
from every sound and any fear of a rider to descend. Hours
passed in an eternity of silence other than the sounds of Amos and the
woods beyond the road when finally a pinpoint of light was spotted of
some tavern quite a distance still. It wouldn't be long.
Post # 10
From: 02-15-2005 Valley of Shadows
Under: Vincent de Beauvais
attract and these four men were living proof. Each of them possessed
temperaments and attitudes so different from the each other and yet,
when the Four came together they were ... as one. As in the past, what
brought them together, all in the same place at the same time, would
always call for drastic measures. This night, however, in the midst of
the turmoil as the search for The Queen began, the Four relaxed as best
they could around the table. Food for Carno. Drink for de Vimeure.
Conversation for Cairns. Brotherhood for de Beauvais.
Lazare leaned up from his chair, reaching across Dana's plate in order
to snag a pheasant leg that Trevor had not yet touched and probably, as
far as Lazare cared, would not, so all the better it didn't go to waste.
It was always interesting getting a conversation around Lazare's chewing
which usually amused Trevor immensely along with stealing something from
his plate if he could get away with it. Not so this night as the gravity
of the situation hung between them all. "We will help find
her." Trevor knew he was stating what all of them felt. Dark eyes
traveled to Vincent as he was the last to see Karl. "How is he
taking it?" Wondering if the room they left him in for some time
alone was in shambles by now. It would be a few hours before they set
out again to search. They had made record time and with the aid of
Andrew found the location but far too dark to make out any definite
signs or clues.
Vincent's answer was spoken low, but the other three would hear him
fine. "He stands at the window, looking out." As if Karl could
find her by standing there. As if she would just walk from the fields in
this dark hour of morning and return home. The Black Griffin did not
speak much. Just the commands of what he wished them to do. Otherwise,
he did not do much other than ... watch ... until the appropriate time
would come for them to move. His son, Carlton, had been brought to him,
and for the most part, the child was the King's only company save the
counsel of The Four. It was the Black Griffin's silence that was
deafening. The man was a riot of emotions and none were being expressed.
Dana sat back in his chair, looking to the other three, his drink
balanced on the crook of his arm where he held it. "With the
connection lost between The Queen and Andrew, it's as if we'll be
searching in a dense forest with blinders on."
To that, Lazare wagged the leg of bird. "Ah, well, your lack of
grace will not be hampered much then, Frenchie."
Dana shot a look to Lazare and chuckled briefly. "And your lack of
stealth will matter not at all."
Vincent slammed his palm to the table and shoved away, standing with a
low growl and storming toward the bar to gain a tankard.
Lazare looked to Trevor arching his brows." Such witty repertoire,
always de Beauvais' strong suit." Though Carno was well aware of
the dire circumstance with the Queen's disappearance, at the moment,
there was nothing they could do ... but wait. He would make the most of
Trevor had eaten enough and lost any appetite. Wasn't really one there
to begin with but he knew the food would not go to waste for Lazare. He
pushed his plate around Dana's so it was not so far for him to reach.
"Something happened." Glancing to Dana in that consideration
as he sat back. "When has finding a needle in a haystack ever
stopped us?" Even if not hungry, that dangled leg of bird was taken
a tearing bite from as a strong hand clasped Lazare's wrist in that sudden
outburst from Trevor. It was just as quickly released, it was the leg
from his plate originally. The bite swallowed as eyes narrowed from
Lazare to Vincent before he stood stretching his legs. "Karl will
be a bear worse than ever so I suggest you mind your words around him." He
stalked the bar. "I need at least one drink. The minutes will not
tick away fast enough. Hell, the seconds."
Vincent was ready to ride. With the other three here, each of their
gifts surged within them, ready to be utilized, needing to find release.
"I know not what we wait for, each of those seconds...minutes...are
placing distance between us and the Queen." Vincent jerked a nod to
Trevor and returned to the table, pulling the chair a bit farther from
the wood surface so he could stretch out his legs. The King had every
right to be that wild beast. He had actually ordered Vincent to silence
(Vincent ordered to be silent!) and demanded that he leave him in peace.
In peace. Peace was a state that the Black Griffin would not find
himself in until The Queen was found.
"Would you wish for us to search the area immediately?"
"I wish silence, de Beauvais. And to be left in peace."
The King's Man needed no further instruction and had provided that which
the Black Griffin demanded.
Though Lazare did know, he started his comment with ... "I don't
know about all of you..." When together, there weren't many secrets
between the Four. "But I've felt the winds of change. You, Frenchie,
can't you scrive?"
Dana nearly choked on his wine, swallowing hard and clearing his throat." That
would be scrying, My Friend."
"Care I what it is called? You know what I mean. Can you do it or
Dana nodded, pricking a pea with the tip of his knife and sliding it
free with a scrape of his teeth.
"Well?" Lazare looked to Vincent and Trevor.
Even as Lazare spoke, Dana changed that nod to a shake of head.
"The Black Griffin frowns on magic, Lazare. Is that not so,
Vincent?" Afterall, Vincent managed to see into the flames as well
as Dana into the water.
It was Vincent who stood and, placing his tankard on the table,
flattened his hands beside it to lean toward Dana." You think he'd
actually care how any information was gained to find the Queen? Let him
frown, dammit." The next two words were ground out between his
teeth. "Do it."
Trevor poured that drink and kicked it back right there immediately
before setting the glass down. He was around to glance between them
each. They were Karl's support and help in any matter they were needed.
They were all ready to ride. "We wait on the Black Griffin."
As always it would be at his command when he was ready. His reasoning
for any hesitation not questioned. Even when at times it was unnerving as now.
He tried to picture himself in Karl's boots, not a place he ever wanted
to be in such, but it was understandable the man would wish to clear his
head as emotions ran rampant first. He would need to be sharp.
"That forest is not the usual." Mussed before recalling what
they could determine. "It wont be long." Just hell until they
set out again. "Lazare, you'll have better scent in daylight as the
veil of night seems to cloud things in that woods." He understood
why but he'd never experienced such before. "I can see into the
earth if any weight has pressed even under the filled in snow." Now
he quieted as he looked upon Dana. "I agree."
Since it seemed that all three agreed, Dana would not argue more.
"Quit growling then, de Beauvais, and get me a silver bowl."
Dana drew in a deep breath, moving his plate aside with the back of his
wrist. Lucky for Lazare, it was slid toward him.
A slap of hand popped loudly on the wood of the table in the otherwise
silent room and Vincent shoved off to do just that.
Pure water they would need. Ones from the mountains where Andrew's cave
was and his cabin. Trevor knew they had some stored so he was off to the
kitchen area and into the storage room. His search didn't take long
before a capped earthen urn was found and he coming back out to set it
on the table next to Dana while he worked the seal free. "I suppose
you want me to pour this for you too?" He was pouring as he spoke
to fill the bowl within a quarter inch from the top before setting the
urn aside. He stepped back leaving Dana that space to concentrate as he went silent.
Dana had closed his eyes, drawing into himself, but he cracked an eyelid
to peer up at Trevor with his comrade's comment.
"Bloody devil take you, Trevor! Be quiet!" Lazare hissed,
completely forgetting his food for now as he scooted up closer to the table in
order to watch Dana. "Can't you see the man is attempting to
concentrate?" As if Lazare's words wouldn't interrupt the process! Awe,
nothing less, was written all over his features.
Vincent rested a knee to the seat of the chair where he stood, and
crossed his arms over his chest, just watching.
At that point Trevor actually grinned for the first time in many hours.
Not since they were called to task in this urgency. He didn't add any
more sound as he shot a look between the others then back upon Dana to
A sweep of hand passed over the water as a blessing and then Dana
lowered his gaze to the crystal clear water. A focusing and, in turn, an
unfocusing of physical vision, opening himself to the sight which had nothing
to do with the body ... and all to do with the universe.
"Well? Can you see anything?" Once again Lazare - didn't -
cause a possible distraction. And if his words weren't enough, he pushed
the chair from under him with a press of his knees and moved around to
stand closer to Dana's shoulder, peering into the water too, finding
nothing but a faint reflection of his left eye.
Trevor elbowed Lazare. "Give him room or he'll never see
anything." Words growled under his breath being Lazare already
broke that silence.
At first, it seemed as if Lazare had interrupted any possible success,
because Dana sat back sharply, sucking in a quick, life-fortifying
"What?" That deep command came from Vincent, arms still
crossed, and he cast a dark gaze to Trevor before returning it to Dana.
de Vimeure closed his burning eyes, then as he opened them, he looked to
each of his brothers-in-arms. "The Queen is safe. She is with those
who will help her. Though, where she is I couldn't make out at all.
Oddly, it was blurred, a haze of uncertainty, as if she knew not as
well." He shook his head, attempting to figure out what he saw.
"She is traveling. I couldn't recognize any of the background but it
was moving and, since that's impossible, it means she is."
Vincent paraphrased. "She's on the move." Which was exactly
what Vincent didn't want to hear. "Is she coming here? Or
Vincent's question was answered at first with Dana just cocking a brow
and looking at him. "I said I didn't know where she was, how would
I know if she was coming home or if she was moving further from
"He did say that, de Beauvais." Lazare was nodding, he heard
him say it as clear as that water was .. clear.
"Lazare, what do the winds tell you?" In a way inviting the
man to stick his head out the window. Dark eyes traveling there like he
could ask and either they would blow in his face or suck him out the
"The winds tell me not to stand downwind from you, Cairns."
Carno wasn't falling for that one. Although, the winds had whispered to
him of Honeee's injury, an injury where healing was well underway. He
knew what information to share with the King and which to keep to
himself. Since the Queen was healing, there was no reason to worry
the Black Griffin. Although, when the time was right, he would share
this with his comrades.
But if Dana shared that information it might piece together the mystery
why she didn't come home even if wounded. "I thought that was just
the backlash of your own scent." Words half hearted in the tease as
he was watching that door where Karl would come through and them on
their way. At least all this helped to pass the time.
"Once again, you attempt to think and fail miserably." Carno
cracked a half grin, slapping Dana on the shoulder for the good work.
"In this, none of us can afford to fail." The voice of
authority joined them from the door as Karl stepped through. No doubt
not only Trevor had felt his nearness, it was something that always
unnerved the Black Griffin about his Men. Still, it was also what served
him best. "If the Four of you are finished loafing about, it is
time to ride."
"Time." Only word spoken as he was already grabbing his cloak
from the back of a chair and heading to join Karl. Trevor was fast when
he needed to be.
Karl's gaze touched on the bowl of water, then lifted to de Vimeure.
That man shrugged, pushing up from his chair and taking up his cloak as
well. "Finger bowl?" Although it was clear what he had been
doing, especially to Karl.
Carno was a step ahead of de Vimeure, swirling the cape around his
shoulders and twisting the clasp at his neck.
Vincent, bared arms exposed from under that vest of leather, draped his
cloak over his arm.
Karl nodded his gratitude for the loyalty, managed a deep breath with
the support provided by these Four, then turned and led the way.
Although this was not the first time that the Black Griffin and his Four
Horsemen set out into the unknown ... it would be the most crucial.
Post # 11
From: 02-24-2005 Valley of Shadows
Under: Karl VonRundstedt
fringe of morning tainted the horizon, promising arising sun even if shadows
of evening lingered still. Five riders approached the tree line which bordered the
enchanted forest. Rider and horse, alike, confident of their status,
their purpose, their goal ... and though they were cloaked in darkness,
any who knew von Rundstedt and his men would recognize these riders
immediately. Von Rundstedt rode a neck ahead of the other Four, creating
the point of an imaginary triangle. The large mount he commanded
whinnied and shied away from the trees, jerking its massive head against
the reins. "Yes, it is here you stay." The large, cloaked form
dismounted, as did the others, and the well trained war horses remained
where they were even though the five men bent their height beneath the
bough of trees to enter into this otherwise forbidden haven.
sounds of dawn filtered through the trees as nature progressed, the
creatures of the night settling in and the critters of the daylight
waking from their slumber. The men continued in silence save for the
occasional sound of movement. Energy around these masculine forms
crackled with Elvin power, centuries upon centuries of protection and
sanctuary. There was no mistaking that they were being 'allowed' within
this bower, and that they were being watched closely by a force that
used not the sight of eyes. The Five did not need to speak yet as they
reached the lake's shore, each branching out to search on their own near
the place Andrew had indicated he had last seen his mother, the Queen.
Because of Dana's vision, they wouldn't need to enter the water, but
rather, seek out the direction she may have started out in.
forest held that feel to it as if it had eyes in every tree they passed.
Trevor followed with the others behind the Black Griffin. Aware but he
felt all was yet ahead of them instead of off to the sides or needing
that kind of focus. Diverse. It was all forward. Ahead. He spoke low to
Vincent in an aside as they reached the area the Queen was last seen.
"It bothers the Prince he is to step down in this. But.." Hand lifting
to rest palm flat against the very tree the limb broke from as he
glanced up the distance through the network of branches "..he is
tree creaked, limbs groaning as Trevor closed his eyes listening. Channeling." I
am old, my limbs falling. One fell. I weep but my roots grow deep.
Across the pond you will find more but it's deep this side and the
waters freezing. A fallen comrade upstream stretches across where it
narrows beyond the brush. Not far." He pulled out from the
communication and for the help a strand of hair was plucked and hooked
into a piece of bark before he pushed up. Dark eyes held that residue as
he had heard his own words but not his words. A glance shot between his
comrades and leader.
took in the words of the tree, casting a dark gaze across the way to
find the spot mentioned.
The Black Griffin had even paused in his search, listening instead to
what nature could provide by way of the Earth Elemental.
The breeze caressed the skin, carrying with it a chill which would be
expected for this time of year. And yet, none of the men seemed to
notice it. Save one. And that one cared not for the temperature. Lazare
held his arms down at the sides of his thighs, palms out to receive the
message whispered on the wind. "There is more, Comrades."
returned as Carno stood there, drawing in a deep breath before turning
to look around his shoulder. "The name is Timmy. He is a welcomed
soul here, this Timmy."
Karl jerked his chin upward in appreciation for this further information
and started away. They would proceed to the fallen tree where they could
cross and continue their search.
Dana quirked a grin at Lazare. The man, for all his idiosyncrasies,
still had it. But then, they all did. A slap of palm found the back of
Lazare's shoulder as he passed. All Four were moving again to follow the
man they served.
had a tendency to come to the place where Lilac was found. Scene of the
accident even if he didn't understand what drove him to do so. Maybe it
was he missed her already. Today he followed his usual routine but he
didn't get too far when he heard noises. Felt the difference and watched
from the cover of trees and brush across the pond and area beyond. He
was frowning. Five men. Flashbacks of such attired assaulted his
memories and beatings he'd taken when young. Bad men he mumbled to
himself. Then the flash of warning to get back and protect Emmie became
foremost in his mind. He was quick to backtrack and at a run to the
cabin in the last stretch. "Emmmmmie. We hide. Bad men come."
He threw open the door startling her as she dropped the mug of tea onto
the floor spilling its contents. "Timmy?" His name barely
spoken as he wrapped her cloak around her and was ushering her to Amos'
stable down the back and hidden by the woods. It was the best place he
could think of. "They come. Now. We hide. Maybe go away." Down
past the two stalls behind the buckboard and into the area bin with the
bales of hay. He helped her hide behind them as he took up a club he
kept there and waited. Emmie went to speak, to question him, but all she
got was a "Shhhh." She wasn't sure what the lad was up to but
she'd go by his instincts.
is movement upon the ground some distance from here." Then Trevor
lost it as they made their way upstream. Brows furrowed as a hand came
to rest on Lazare's shoulder. His own respect shown for the
contribution. A grasp then released as the fallen tree was approached.
There was patches of ice on it, partially snow covered and although
provided a natural bridge it would be dangerous. A straying glance was
given Vincent or they would be crawling on their bellies and hope to
if that were a problem. Karl stepped aside, guiding de Beauvais to the
forefront. A heated temper was not all the man possessed. "If you
would be so kind, de Beauvais?"
Vincent grunted his response, and with a sweep of one large hand, the
ice and snow melted away, evaporated from the fallen tree into the
atmosphere. That same hand pressed to his chest and he took a backward
step, a flash of 'something' in that dark gaze as he looked to the Black
Five sets of boots crossed the crude rendition of a crossing as if it
were as trustworthy as the Tower Bridge. Dana glanced into the water as
they crossed. The last in the line, his steps slowed, stopped briefly,
as Honeee's face was seen there, and then, the blend of faces until that
of a man remained. A man, whose eyes held the mysteries of youth and
innocence. A quick cut of gaze to the others, but rather than share that
just yet, he continued on, joining the hunt on the opposite shore.
As they made their way back down to where they would be across the
original area, Trevor was feeling the earth beneath his feet as a part
of him now. "Snow fell that night. Thick and heavy. The wind
blowing and filling any tracks." He stopped facing the forest ahead
with the pond to his back, once more feeling part of the earth before
pointing what was a path to him. "She was carried, dead weight for steps are
heavier that went this way." Then indicating another direction.
"Steps were lighter that came down this way." So the one had
come from one direction but carried the Queen in another. The fact she
was carried said a lot and the second direction would indicate they
would head for where they lived.
think the Griffin cares much for your choice of words, Comrade."
Lazare twitched off a wink to Trevor as he crossed beside him to start
in the direction the man had indicated they should follow. No. Dead was
not a good word when associated with the Queen.
Karl, too, passed Trevor, turning as he did to smile down to him. Carno
had a way of exaggerating a situation. Any information was good
information as long as it had them moving on a path that would have them
closer to Honeee.
Dana paused near Trevor as de Beauvais also moved beyond them.
"This Timmy, that is who those steps belong to. I saw him, in the
water there." A jerk of head indicated the lake behind them.
"A large man, quite capable of carrying the Queen's slight weight
to wherever he took her." The other three were putting distance
between them. "Come on, Brother. The Griffin will be waiting for
more instruction from you." Dana swept the protection of cloak up
and round his neck, continuing on.
A grin slightly twitched as they were right and he the one that had said
mind their words earlier. Trevor would need to mind his too. The
tendency to give information as it came, also came with the words that
defined what he felt. He cleared his throat just as Dana caught up to
him. "It would be so. The prints are large why it wasn't hard to
feel their impressions." Hand now coming briefly to Dana's shoulder
as steps quicken while taking up the rear. Once they got through the
woods, as it was a fairly straight path, he stopped again to survey the
area then indicated to their right where it sloped down a hillside.
"North to where another tree area begins."
burning..." Carno added to Trevor's comment, sniffing the air, then
slanting a look around his shoulder. "Or, is that you, de
Beauvais?" There was that grin, but all in all, Carno was as
serious as he could possible be. "There is a dwelling not far,
Griffin, to the North" Agreement with Trevor shone in his eyes as
he looked to his comrade. "To the North, yes."
to the North it is." This was all the King said, and to the North
... he started.
wasn't long before he picked up the scent of peat too as he concentrated on
the tracks left in the earth beneath the snow. A cottage sat tucked away
before the forest's edge. "They lead there." As they could all
assume by now this was where the one went. Hope of finding her finally
welled up although he had no idea what condition they were going to find
her in. A straying glance was given Dana who was closest before back
upon the cottage up ahead. It was a typical thatch roof and stone
dwelling and the barrier of forest would protect it from the harsher
weather. He noted the door left open which was not usual. There were
also tracks leading away from it and down around the side.
Post # 12
From: 02-24-2005 Valley of Shadows
Under: Karl VonRundstedt
was a heat which emanated from the cottage, but that was of a fire, not
... "Hold, Griffin." Vincent called to Karl as their King
started with purpose toward the hut. That darkness of gaze scanned the
landscape, the outbuildings, crossing over and then returning
immediately to the shed. Within that place was where he picked up the
pulsing heat of bodies, that throbbing of life's beat. "There, My
Liege." He jabbed his forefinger toward that very shed where Trevor
had seen the steps.
For a large man, Karl came to a skidding halt, turning to look back to
his men, then off to where Vincent indicated. Another look to the
cottage, then to the shed. Very well. It seemed all five moved at the
same time, Karl reaching and entering first, filling the doorway then
moving inward with his hand ready on the hilt of his sword. "Show
yourselves." He demanded to the interior which, from what he could
see, held none except a field mouse or two.
was a frown to show as they passed through the opening of the shed. Odd.
It wasn't a large one and the scent of dung was picked up along with
hay. Trevor stepped around the buckboard as they spread out waiting to
see who was in here and where. There obviously wasn't a lot of area to
hide in either as he noted the back door was open leading out to the
woods but he felt no tracks there as he glanced back to the others with
a silent shake of his head. Although it might look like they passed
through there, it was not so.
knew now that Timmy had been right and there were men coming. Men now in
the stable. She couldn't see for Timmy's large form but when the men
came in, stayed and then demanded to show themselves. Timmy charged out,
club arching over him. The only thought in his head was to protect Emmie
from the bad men. "Bad! Bad men." War cry from the big
man-child as the club came down on the closest one. In such violence,
surprising Emmie in the outburst, she let out a shriek.
happened to be Trevor as honed instincts came second nature and his body
turning to stone just as the club impacted against his head. The club
would split with the force instead but the momentum, especially
unexpected, caused him to be stumbling back from that force set in
Vincent bolted forward as Trevor was attacked and a gesture of hand
ignited the wooden club (or was it his anger from the unexpected
attack?) Either way, the weapon was soon an ashed stick in the large
Karl also reacted, jerking the sword from its sheath, the tangy song of
metal aiding to the chaos.
Lazare dove through the bodies, catching the large man at the back of
the knees with a broad shoulder, collapsing the muscular chap like a
house of cards. Unfortunately, it was right on top of him!
And to add to that weight, Dana sailed toward the man's solid chest,
going down with him on top of Carno.
Karl rushed to Trevor's side. "Is there damage, Cairns?"
Casting a glance between the three men rummaging about on the floor and
back to Trevor.
with Timmy's limited intelligence he knew something was strange when the
club split and not the man's head. He was staring at it as it then
blasted into flame and ash burning his hand as he cried out. The cry was
of a child not a man. That was barely out and he was down then heavy
weight slamming on top of him. The gush of air pushed from his chest was
frightened. "Emmie. They hurt." Emmie was bursting out for as
fast as her frail body would take her and trying to pull the man off that
was on top of her adopted son. Voice was frail and scolding. "He's
a child of mind not body. Don't hurt him for he was just protecting
me." Voice cracking with age as all that her pulling managed was
the material to stretch.
Still more surprised as Trevor watched the one go down then piled upon.
Next the woman was coming out as he was quickly realizing what was going
on here than what it seemed. A hand to Karl's shoulder came briefly
before starting to the pile up. "I think we need to get them
untangled." More on what the older woman spoke rang true to his
ears coupled with the way Timmy was acting and reacting.
too was to the pile, even though Dana was already rolling from the
struggling man's grip. No doubt they all realized this man did not
possess all his facilities, however, he could kill any of them just as
easily as the slyest evil. "Please, Madame. Step away." As if
the woman could make a dent where de Vimeure and Carno were concerned.
Gentle guidance moved her behind him but she continued to attempt to
look around him. "Get up, Dana ... Christ." One hand held the
woman at bay, the other reached down toward her man. "Mind
yourself, Sir. We are here in search of this man's wife, our Queen...and
do not wish to harm you or this lady further." But they would, if
the strong man did not desist. "Trevor, get Carno off the
For all that was holy, the man seemed flattened to the floorboards, he
wasn't moving, just sprawled beneath his cloak, face to the floor.
Vincent knew he was alive, the energy of life still filled the man. He
was just ... being Carno. "Get up, Comrade, before I provide a seat
for this kindly lady." With that he nudged Carno with his boot toe
and, only then, did Lazare roll, holding a hand up to Cairns for the
assistance to rise.
Karl strode to Emmie, easing his sword away. "I am Karl von
Rundstedt, M'Lady. These, are my men. We are in search of Honeee. Our
Queen. My love. All signs brought us to your door...and...then, to your
stable." A moment of notice was tagged onto Timmy, just to make
sure there was no further threat there before returning to the woman.
the situation wasn't so dire, Trevor would have been laughing at this
point as he helped Lazare up. He didn't say anything but his comrade
would be sure he was going to be teased unmercifully over this later on
at an appropriate time. Hay and was that dung pressed into the front of
Lazare's shirt? A dark eyed glance strayed to the large spots there then
back up. There was only a twitch to a corner of his lips before stepping
back as if that very motion made a statement.
gave up the useless attempt as she stood back with the man's guidance.
She was watching Timmy though in fear for the lad. In his way he had
been very heroic. Timmy had tears rolling down his face as he was hauled
up once the one atop was removed. "No hurt Emmie." As if he
didn't hear their command only what was on his mind. One track, simple
but true. Timmy broke from the men, shrugging them away as he went to
Emmie and putting an arm around her protectively. At this point he was
confused and didn't know what to do. Emmie patted his hand as she
listened to the man speaking to her. "Timmy, it's all right now.
Calm down." Before taking a study of this man, Karl. "I know
this name." And with the realization she was dragging Timmy down to
his knee as she did her best to. "It's the King, Timmy."
Hushed words as Timmy only went down with her because she did. Emmie
spoke up. "Timmy found a woman that had a wound to her head. She
doesn't know her name and Timmy named her Lilac." Questioningly as
she dared to look up at the man.
of spun sunshine, eyes as clear as a crystal lake?" Karl's heart
tightened, his pulse leapt with this information, and he stepped closer,
offering a hand to help the woman back to her feet. He did not require
this homage, what he required was word on Honeee. And yes, Honeee was as
fresh as lilac on a early summer day. It must be Honeee she spoke of!
There was just too much that had lead them here ... to these two.
Dana slapped a hand to his thigh, and not just to clear the hay dust
from the fabric. That made perfect sense now. Honeee had no idea who she
was! THAT was the reason he couldn't get more from the water. The Queen
didn't know who she was. She didn't know where she was.
Karl cast a quick look to his man, then back to the older woman for
confirmation of the identity of the woman Timmy helped.
simple mind could easily let go of the moment before. One moment in a
heated rage to protect one he loved more than his own life and the next
almost smiling as he bobbed his head. "Timmy find. Pretty hair.
Smells like lilacs." Simple association and thus the name given.
Emmie patted his hand again before she was helped up. "I gave her
clothing I had from long ago. Some coins and we lent her Amos. Timmy saw
her to the northern road.." Timmy interrupted then as they stood.
"No like Lilac go, bad men. I gave her the knife I found."
Then realizing he spoke on the weapon eyes went wide on Emmie for she
would not be happy. It was the least of Emmie's worries as the pause
gave her a moment to recall the bit of information. "She only had
one word she remembered. Luneberg. It was spoken as she regained
consciousness so we figured she was from there. That's where she is
headed but we don't know where it is other than it would probably be
north." She waited on the king as all this was putting the pieces
of a puzzle together for them also.
With that tidbit of information, Karl could have scooped the woman up
into an embrace. "Thank you, Madame. Thank you ... Timmy."
With his hand on the hilt of his sword, he bowed deeply to them. Each of
the Four also offered a bow of sincere and immense gratitude to these
two, and with a look from Karl, then filed out of the door. "Lilac
will soon be home, safe, Timmy. You may be happy to know that. How long
since she started out?" He lingered a moment more to gauge the
amount of time Honeee was ahead of them.
find. I come visit her when she is back." Timmy spoke out loud but
more an oath to himself as it was a statement more than asking. Emmie
would explain to him later you don't tell a king but she felt this man
probably realized more about Timmy and would give him that leniency.
Emmie calculated from the time Timmy brought her back to now and what
they needed to know. Timmy would have no concept of time in that way.
"About a day and a half ahead of you." If anyone could find
the woman, she felt these men could and would.
Could ... and would ... or would die trying. Karl just smiled to Timmy
with a nod then dipped his head to Emmie. "Again, thank you."
And he set out to join his men.
Post # 13
From: 02-26-2005 Valley of Shadows
The Owl's Nest Inn
wasn't in any hurry to change the steady, but slow, pace he'd fell into
a pattern of. The pinpoint of light grew to where it played over
snowbanks and sloping grounds alike in front of the tavern to even the
road it set back from. At this point muffled voices could be heard
intermingled with shouts and even laughter at intervals. The place was
crowded but at least Honeee would not need to go looking for
someone or continue on at this late hour. It was about that
time she instinctively knew that taverns filled up, some for rooms and a
meal, some for companionship and getting out of the cold and some for
more devious purposes. Honeee's pursuit would be three fold. First to
get out of the cold. Second something warm to eat even if she wasn't
overly hungry. Third, to hopefully procure a room for the night and much
needed rest. A sign set out closer to the road creaked on rusty hinges
as the two near. The Owl's Nest Inn painted in a weathered script. Fingers
stroked Amos' mane with comforting words. "I hope they have a
dry stable so you get some rest and feed too, Amos." The mule
nickered without a step lost until they came to the area in front
of the Inn where he finally stopped. Other horses were about along with
a few lads warming by a fire made outside in a discarded metal barrel.
Nest Inn was more a sprawling ranch type. Probably was at one time
and converted. There was a wide, long covered porch with chairs and
small tables set out. In a few months many of the patrons would be out
there instead of inside. Honeee dismounted as one of the lads came up to
her asking if she would be staying the night and would like her Mule
stabled for a coin. A smile warmed her features as she spoke with the
lad of about ten years and a coin handed over before he led
Amos away. Oats and hay would be included. Luckily Amos didn't
protest as she was told he sometimes did. With the guide of her hands in
the grasp of cloak and long skirt beneath she headed up the steps to the
porch taking a pause there to listen. With such acute hearing she picked
up a lot already, knowing there were more males than few females
inside. This too was about par for a roadside Inn out in the middle
of the wilderness. She didn't realize just how cold it was until she
eased the door open to slip in. If she was lucky she would become part
of the background after gaining the tender's attention in getting a
meal and room for the night.
all her precaution she near collided with a man taking his leave, a hand
moving to open the door only to have it open at that moment. His
quick one step back had him smiling down upon the woman, even
with the hood up he could tell. Hand was up with fingers in a
grasp to tip the broad brim of the hat worn. The motion
had it shadowing his rugged features even more. "Mam'am, good
evening." Honeee was trying to see around him but when he spoke it
drew a wary glance up as well a polite smile. "Evening, sir, may I
pass?" He was blocking the way. "Aye." He retorted but
didn't budge, instead he had the audacity to move that very same hand to
slide over her hood drawing it down. He sucked in a breath, the kind
that hissed through one's teeth. She slapped away his hand then drew the
hood back up before she was fast to push around him and into
the crowd. His robust laughter rose above the noise of the crowd but
he didn't pursue, instead the door was drawn open and he out into the
night as it was closed behind him. Honeee was tempted to flee but she
needed something to eat and a room even more. Besides, that man
could still be outside for all she knew. That would be worse. She could
do this, brave this crowd, for she needed to get to Luneberg, the
only one clue she had that might help her find out who she
tender seemed to be a man that could easily take care of himself. He
would need to be of that caliber to manage successfully a place such as
this. Rugged but polite when it came her turn to be addressed. For a
coin she could have a single bed with a room. Nothing fancy and the
sheets were usually changed when they weren't busy. A smile hitched on
the man's features as he waved the boisterous patron on and the sassy
bar maid was around to take care of the one, diverting his focus from
the owner and tender of the Inn. Paul, she found his name to be was
studying her in a way she felt she should be cringing, not lustful type
but more a quizzical one. A man who'd seen all kinds come through here
and she was different. He leaned closer over the bar with his forearm to
brace against the roughen wood with the angling. Her instinct was
to draw back as stale ale and tobacco smoke clung to the man
assaulting her senses. He pointed in the direction of a corridor to give
her directions and where her room was located before slipping
her the key. She realized then he didn't want some of the men gathered
around to hear so needed to get that close.
shy, slightly embarrassed smile touch as the man drew back with a
wink before calling out to the barmaid. "Maggie, see to a bowl of
stew for this lady when you get a moment." Yes, he had used the
word Lady. Maggie shot a smile Paul's way noting the one he indicated
with a bob of her head before she was back to teasing a male in a
spar of words. A male she knew could easily find trouble if he
got too bored. There was a method to Maggie's outrageous flirting at
times, one that was as precise a weapon as a honed warrior
wielding his sword. With matters settled, Honeee sought out an empty
smaller booth not far from the bar. The fact it was small was why it
wasn't used for most were in groups or just like occupying a large table
others would have to make use of too. The hood was lowered leaving
the long sun streaked braid free before the cloak was slipped from
her shoulders and bundled to place on the small bench of the booth. She
settled in next to it releasing a breath as one finally able to
relax. She could feel the tightening of the scar's scabbing beneath
her hair. One that was nearly healed but itched for the weight
of the braid to pull against it. Nimble fingers worked the braid free
leaving the waves of sun spun honey hair to fall as it pleased. It eased
the pulling and the itching in turn as a content sigh escaped the part
of her lips. She took a moment to finally view the room at large
and those occupying it.
Post # 14
From: 02-26-2005 Valley of Shadows
cast of ocean blue eyes slipped discreetly beneath the slightly lowered
fringe of golden lash in noting. First the gathering of a few men that
obviously knew each other for the taunting and robust laughter. There
was a set of couples, the two other females with a male
companion that was probably their husband or someone close related. The
males seemed wary and on the alert protectively in such a tavern. The
thought brought a hint of a smile, one she was unaware of, to curl
upon her lips and a pang in her heart she knew not the source.
There were gatherings of smaller groups of men, some standing and
milling around with tankards in hand. As the barrier of bodies would
shift, it was then she noted the lone male off to the far corner in a
booth keeping to himself. The area lacking much light as he nursed a
tankard without seemingly to be aware of so many others. Focus lingered
there a few moments longer than the others, probably because he seemed
so unaware. Something about him reminded her of someone she could not
recall only that feel of quiet formability. It was those very thoughts
of trying to recall that held a lingering gaze until movement not far
from him came, surprisingly, from beneath a table. A lad of about
seven in ragged torn clothing, that was obviously hand me downs,
crouched there as if waiting. Hiding.
Maggie came by to set a tankard of mulled wine and a plate with some
slices of homemade buttered bread. Both were set as she assured the
lady the stew would be on its way within fifteen minutes. Maybe it
was the look up on Honeee's face of trepidation that had her pat her
hand with a friendly smile to boot. "Din yea mind 'em." A
jerk of her chin over her shoulder at the crowd behind. "Quiet
nig't' 'ere compared tae ot'ers an' t'e owner, Paul, can 'andle 'em."
She leaned in with a whisper to assure her further. "On' o' t'e men
about bae one o' ours, mean fist iffin need bae an' guid wit'
a sword." Wink added as she straightened away then bustled off to
keep the customers happy, especially the rowdy males with just enough
flirting to boost their egos. A happy crowd was a better crowd and fewer
fights to break out. Maggie never let on that a man was killed here in
one of those fights a fortnight ago and such wasn't all that
uncommon. The barmaid also didn't let on that it was not the best
of situations for a woman to be traveling alone, she'd just keep her eye
on the lady as Paul had pretty much told her to in his way. Maggie knew
the subtle codes given as sounding like regular orders.
It seemed all the sounds of the room converged on her acute hearing as
if right next to her when her focus turned to the fold of her hands
against the table. One of the sets of couples were exchanging words of
endearment in a way it seemed they were newly wedded and on their
honeymoon, this place a stopover to their destination. A ship to
catch the next day. The other couple, it seemed the female was extremely
annoyed they were here and making the male pay for her discomfort by
constant complaining. His words were lower as if trying to keep hers
down while attempting to offer her some comfort. She could hear the
street urchin sniffling and even the scratch of wool from the sleeve of
his cloak against already irritated skin beneath his nose. The press
of lead against parchment as someone scribbled off a note to another was
also picked up upon. The gurgling sound of ale being guzzled and the
snore of a drunk passed out in distant corner booth. Another sound
came swiftly as a fist connected with a jaw and the one slammed into the
backboard of her booth causing her to instinctively bolt up. Ocean
blue eyes held a wild look to them like a startled creature of nature
ready to defend themselves. She couldn't see who it was but she
noted that quiet stranger finally give one glance that way before drawn
back unimpressed. That was the first indication the man was well aware
of his surroundings.
Honeee dared to glance around the edge of the backboard to note another
man come between the two in a warning. Words in such a way it had the
one backing off. She got the impression this one had not started
the fight but had landed the fist well against the other. The other male
was wiping blood from under his nose and chin but started in on the one
stopping the fight. She felt a hand on her arm with a quick glance back
to find Maggie there. There was a kindness in her eyes as she urged
Honeee back into her seat. "Best tae ignore 'em or become noted an'
drawn 'n." Advice given as she felt this lady was clueless to
the ways of such taverns and Inns. "Stew bae almos' done an' I'll 'ave
it out fer yea 'n a moment." Honeee notice Maggie taking a
corner glance of the two left in this argument before the one halting
the disturbance dragging the other to the door and booting him
out. The wry smile that touched on Maggie's lips gave that hint to
Honeee that was the very man she spoke on amongst the crowd to take
care of things so Paul didn't have to step in constantly. Satisfied all
was over, Maggie was off to get that stew.
Post # 15
From: 03-29-2005 Valley of Shadows
Owl's Nest Inn
The stew was collected rather quickly from the kitchen, balanced
precariously on one hand as she stepped back inside the main part of the
inn. Her free hand made an effort to swipe back a few loose curls,
flashing a smile to the occupants but making a straight line toward the
waiting Honeee. She was not quite certain why a lass like that would be
traveling alone, but would not ask questions, the poor thing seemed too
good for a place like this!
Eyes narrowed upon his comrade that sat across from him at the table.
"What do you mean I can't get me a woman? Of course I can. If I
wanted to. I'll prove it to you too." Hand slammed upon the table
as he stood abruptly from his seat, which caused the chair to kick back
behind him a bit. "You're the one who can't get women. In all the
years I've known you, I've never seen you with one that wasn't paid for
in advance." Sneer.
Ardley Bancroft Weddell's portly frame made a poor shadow for the man he
considered his mentor. Although, by no means would he consider himself
less than perfect. He was not overweight by any means, at least to his
thinking. Never overweight! He was...stout. What he lacked in height he
made up for in roundth. Ardley rubbed his palm against the swell of gut,
pulling up the fabric of stained shirt as he made those circular
motions until the poked out naval made an appearance. Then, he played
his thumb against the thing. "Go fer it then and show me how it's
done, when coins ain't involved." He was grinning. From the feel of
that protrusion? Or from the idea that his companion was out to 'get 'em'.
He sucked a sliver of beef from his front teeth and looked toward the
booth near the bar. That was the one. Yea. Right there. That blonde
haughty taughty. Go fer it!
Aiden had chosen his seat so that he was able to observe the room. Dark
eyes narrowed slightly on the two men who were talking so loudly and he
nudged his companion with his foot. "Those two are lookin' for
trouble." He spoke so only Dylann could hear.
The nudge of his boot only had brows dipping low in a furrow, eyeing his
comrade before shifting his gaze to the duo. Content at the moment to
enjoy the leisure of subtle comforts and fine made tobacco. Drawn puffs
had the haze of blue smoke in a billow around his face before lingering
off. Languid repose that left him with a half lidded expression. Even if
his attentions were sharp on those that Aiden already sniffed out as a
hindrance to good times. "Just keep an eye on it. These places
always have one or two undesirables."
The back of a hand swiped across the runny nose of the small lad again.
His large earthen brown eyes were swollen and his nose raw with that
reddish color from where he kept dragging the ragged sleeve of the
oversized sweater he'd snatched
off a clothes line a few weeks back. He sat crouched down in the corner
of the Inn, having slipped in during the direction of the robust men
bumbling their way inside and stole to a quiet corner to watch for that
perfect opportunity. His tummy rumbled, rather loudly in his own ears.
Caleb hadn't eaten, he figured, in three days now. In his back pocket of
the baggy pants, cinched at the waist with a knotted rope, was a sling
shot. In his right hand he held a small round wooden ball. He watched
the two men, the one's speaking loudly and when they started to move he
leaned forward from where he'd hidden himself, ready in a moment's
instance to make his move and piffle any goods he could pick pocket
without detection during all the distractions that looked to be soon
Honeee barely noticed the barmaid coming out when the slam of a hand to
a table had her stiffen immediately. Sounds were extra loud to her
sensitivities. Not that she was skittish but more out of her element
with not even knowing who she was other than the name of Lilac. A glance
shot there then concealed beneath the lowering of gold lash. Best
not to look their way and so the glance slanted away to lift once more
upon the barmaid. She was hungry and it was felt acutely at this point.
The appeal of a warm bed and some rest presently overruled even if she
was uncomfortable, or growing such, with the mannerisms of some. Once
more she noted the lad as she could hear his stomach rumbling too. She
tried to gain his attention with a motion of a hand for him to join her.
She would share what was on the way.
The slam upon the table also drew the attention of the barmaid, tilting
the auburn head in that direction and long lashed eyes, a pretty shade
of simple chocolate, narrowed at the loud rogue. " Hey,
luv, t'ose tables're sturdy, but dinna tempt t'em, aye? " A
wink tossed with a hint of a beguiling smile upon cherry red lips,
continuing on her way toward the waiting 'Lilac' with a rustle of skirts
and confident steps.
A snort at his comrade, then those grey eyes would turn to focus upon
the barmaid with a glare. "Shut up you cow, I didn't ask for any of
your sniveling." Baritone growl. Drake was no Atlas or Adonis
himself. Over indulgence of ale over the years had added to that
midsections girth. Bull strong, but where he excelled in strength, he
lacked in the brain pan department. Now it was time to pick out the
lucky lady of the night. Seeing the one at the booth near the bar,
who stood out from the rest present, he'd grin. Glance back to Waddles,
a tip of his head to indicate his chosen point of focus. "Now watch
a pro in action." Hands smoothing down that heavily stained tunic,
coated with food, liquor, and only God knew what else. When he flashed
his teeth, lack of dental hygiene was all too evident. What was left of
enamel was rotted, not to mention the build up that would make his
breath oh so .... aromatic. He would then pull up on those canvas pants
and stride towards the booth. Staring right at her, there would be no
question as to his intended target.
A rather large hoot of delight filled the room when Drake pinpointed the
very one Ardley had eyed. Bet she didn't reek of fried garlic and hairy
pits. Not that his companion would be able to tell past his own body
odor. Still, there was something to be said for a woman who had flesh
that wasn't pocked, pitted with excess skin and riddled with more hair
than his own chest! His thumb motion increased over the herniated naval
and he eyed the blonde and then the barmaid, pushing back in a tilt of
chair so that he teetered on the verge of imbalance. Weddells
Aiden shifted out of the lazy slouch he had taken earlier and
straightened, knocking the bowl of his pipe against the table. It was
tucked away as he continued to watch, dark eyes narrowed slightly.
"I always do keep an eye on things." He glanced at Dylann and
smirked slightly before turning back to watch. A metallic sound was the
only hint that he wore armor beneath the heavy cloak. Fingers drummed
lightly on the table and for some reason, he began to hum.
"Your getting the itch. Don't anticipate. It makes the shock value
better for the blood in your veins." Even if Aiden knew it already,
Dylann was on edge as well -- masked by the cooled exterior. Blue eyes
kept their hawk study in range. It would rely on how the events
portrayed. Even if their air of humor came from the wabbling one. Let's
hope he didn't fall. The bigger they are, the more money it costs to
replace a hole in the floor.
Caleb had rolled forward onto his knees. Now crouched and ready to
spring into action. Those round brown eyes caught the hand movement of
the nicely dressed lady. She seemed to be beckoning him on over to her
table. Maybe she was gonna give him a piece of bread or a coin so he
could buy some food to eat? Her timing only aided the little street
urchin for his set up. Quickly the small lad rose to his feet and
scrambled out from the corner. The wooden ball in his hand was released
and rolled out in front of him, the boy giving chase as the ball bounced
right past the feet of the first rogue (Drake). Caleb put on the brakes
of his worn shoes and bumped into the side of the burly man long enough
to pilfer what he could out of that pocket closet to him. The boy made a
hasty movement of bending over to pick up his ball, then looked
innocently up at the man. "Gee, sorry Mister. I seemed to drop my
ball. Thanks for stopping it." Without a second to waste he
scrambled into the booth beside the nicely dressed lady and looked up to
her with a toothy grin. "I'm sure hungry, momma." For only
seeing seven; the boy was smooth.
Paul was seeing to the ones huddled at the bar but he was well aware of
the two that had that look about them. Appetite for trouble came with
the brew after a while or naturally inherited. He could spot the other
two of a higher caliber but such was not something one could count on.
Few wanted to step into a brawl a tavern like this had too often. A
hand passed beneath the shelf for a flintlock he had there and a long
blade knife. They hadn't been moved. Paul glanced to Hoss, the bouncer
he had out in the crowd. Man looked like he was almost asleep in the
corner not far from where the booth the blond woman sat. The fact his
hand rested on his chest, Paul knew he was very alert and what rested
beneath that vest where his hand laid.
The motion of eyes lifting came slow as this very man approached. She
stared back at him with a rather blank look. Anything she might have
said was lost when the boy scrambled into the booth and the man ignored.
Honeee was not aware of such looks passing between patrons or the
proprietor and another. For the first time a smile hinted in that impish
way it curled at the corners of her lips upon the boy. Best to let the
ruse ride but his calling her momma struck a pang in her heart she could
not associate at the moment. It was as if she'd heard it so many times
over she could never forget.
Post # 16
From: 03-29-2005 Valley of Shadows
Here ye are, sweetheart. Let's hope ye dinna lose yuir lunch now, aye? " Setting
the stew down in front of Honeee with a playful grin and wink sent
toward her alone, knowing that surely she would get sick if that bloke
was showing any interest! Just having to move by him to the booth
in order to deliver the food was more than enough, wrinkling her nose in
disdain but smiling so very sweetly when she turned to face him again. " If
ye need anythin' else, perhaps fer yuir boy here, just give me a yell,
aye? I willna be far. "
He'd just glare down at the boy, lucky for the child he took off before
he could reach down to snag him. He felt the hand insert into his empty
pocket. Drake was no fool, his coins weren't kept in there. It was a
pouch around his neck. Then to see the same child rush to the woman and
call her mom? Outward groan, and he nearly gave up the thought of going
after her. Couldn't have fun in the sack with a kid in the way, unless
the kid was out of the picture. A glance back at Waddles and a grin.
"Feel like babysitting?" Back to the blonde his attention
would return. Pushing past the barmaid that was standing in the way,
he'd move to the booth and lean on the tables end. "Evenin' Ma'am.
You're looking mighty fine tonight. How about a name to go with the
woman of my dreams, hmm?"
Ardley was lusting after the barmaid. A sway of hips like that, and the
hips! Ho-Nelly-grab-a-bedpost! could make any man sit up and take
notice. In fact, the legs of the chair dropped down with a thunk onto
the wooden floorboards. The roundness of cheeks concealed the dart of
beady eyes to the bouncer and to the man behind the bar. No trouble
here, Misters. No trouble. Just some good ole boys looking for a good
ole time. If Drake wanted the sweetmeat, then Ardley would have to deal
with the kid. Though, might do the lad some good to see how a real man
managed a woman! He was out of diapers, that one. 'Bout time he learned!
Instead, Ardley jammed his finger and thumb between stew-slicked lips
and sent out a shrill of a whistle in the otherwise quiet room.
"Hey, boy! Boy! You...boy! Let your mama entertain and bring your
scrawny arse over here and I'll buy you a tankard of ale." If the
boy was old enough to learn about the workings of a man and woman, he
was old enough to drink! And, that pickpocket wouldn't find anything in
Ardley's pockets either. Beside the fact he had been the one to foot the
bill for their most recent lodging, and the food, he kept his coin pouch
tucked in a much safer place. One no lad would dare go! One ... that
would make any woman do a double take when he had sufficient coin tucked
away in it.
answer, Aiden just grinned at his brother-in-arms and picked up his
drink. He drank down the remains, wiping a hand across his mouth after
setting the tankard down. Arms came to rest on the table before he was
back to watching. That whistle had not made a good impression on the
man, nor had his offer. Still, it was not yet time to interfere.
Even the hungriest animal knew when the moment was peak to strike. For
all he knew, the woman could well take care of herself. He'd seen it
before. A knuckle knocked against Aiden's mug with a grin before he
watched the dynamic duo again.
Caleb was smiling up at the nice lady he'd called momma. He turned to
smile even at the barmaid when she referred to him as 'her boy', but the
two burly men didn't get the same pleasant look from the boy. Clutched
in his hand, the one that had pilfered goods from the first Rogue, was a
handful of lint. A waste of good, raw talent. He squirmed beside the
woman when the second rogue yelled from him to come on over and drink
with him. The charm turned on as those big brown eyes looked up at the
woman he sat next to. "Momma, those men aren't bein' nice to us.
And they smell sumthin' awful too. Make 'em go away, I'm so hungry
momma." For effect he sniffled again, pressing himself against the
woman's side. Instinct told the lad she was the motherly doting type.
One quick whiff of himself and Caleb realized he smelled about as
pleasant as a barnyard rat.
She outright ignored the man as the barmaid pushed pass. "Yes,
another bowl of stew if you would." Words barely out with the fumes
descended when the barmaid moved away. The look on her features he could
wonder if she was about to faint. That
oh-my-god-I-can't-breathe-or-will-die-from-the-stench look. "Li..
Lil.." She started to see double while gasping for air. No. Not
here or she would die. She couldn't breathe but she could move fast.
Half Elf mixture and her senses saturated with the stench. A quick pat
to the boy's hand, she couldn't speak. Slide. Dip. Up and run as she
headed for the door to throw it open and GASP. WHEEZE. Drinking in air.
Hand gripped against the solid wood as her breathing started to ease.
Cold and sharp it certainly cut through including into the room.
Maggie had heard the order and gone back to put it in, moving rather
swiftly past the sidekick with little more than a glance his way, that
usual curl of a smile upon her full lips, and the swishing of her hips.
The stew would take too long to go with the effect she wanted, having a
short amount of time to snatch the tea kettle from where it had been set
to cool, still steaming with hot water. With a glass in one hand and the
kettle in the other, she moved her way swiftly back to the booth and
smiled ever so sweetly. "M'dear,
I t'ought ye may want some tea an' ... oops! " She was gone. With
careless art, she made as if to lean over and pour Honeee's tea but
instead bumped into the first Rogue, spilling a good amount of steaming
hot water onto his pants. " Oh
blast it all, let me get ye some ice fer t'at, love! " Hiding
a grin behind a worried frown!
The hot blonde was up and heading towards the door, just as he was about
to follow, that barmaid was in the way again. The bump gained her a
glare, but the hot water on his leg, that made him yowl. Instinct and
reaction would be what happened next. "You graceless cow."
Roared at the barmaid. Hand came up and a resounding slap as it met her
cheek. He'd wipe that grin right off there in no time. Stomping that leg
that was burning like the beejeebits, pulling the material away from
swelling flesh beneath. If she didn't move back with that slap, a hand
would push her so. He had his mind on one thing, and one thing only, he
was GOING to have that blonde. Not moving as quickly as he'd like,
but he was hot on her trail. Once the door was reached, he'd grab Honeee
by the arm to turn her towards him. "Hey Lil..." That was the
name she gave. "How about giving me some sugar." Stepping
close to pin her against the door jam, all prepared to take that kiss,
given by her or not.
The woman was getting away! Ardley came to his feet, bounding around the
chair that separated him from the room. The toe of his boot caught on
the leg of the chair and he pitched forward, all of his weight carrying
him in a clumsy stumble in the direction of ... "Drake, I've got
you're back!" and Ardley didn't mean by way of support! The chair
he had hooked spun and tumbled across the floor and Ardley slammed, all
five foot five two hundred and eighty-three pounds of mass, right into
his comrade. If the woman wasn't up against Drake before, that collision
would have shoved him right against the female. Thud, bounce, and off
Ardley rolled to the side, his own feet tangling about his own ankles,
arms in a swirl above his head. Come on now, you know Maggie wanted some
of this man's action! Compare the moves of this man to those he might
just make ... in the sack!
was getting out of hand now. Aiden looked at Dylann, a brow raising. As
he slid out of the booth, his cloak was deposited on the seat and he was
striding toward the door. If Ardley was in the way, he was going to be
stepped on not over.
With a push up from his own perch, long strides had him coming up on Mr.
Clumsy. Aiden made his beeline proven towards the other man, so Dylann
guarded the bumbling fool. "All right, you've done enough dancing
for the evening. Try and find your feet and be gone with you."
Warning, nicely. Even if it was through clenched teeth and a gritted
As the wheel of action turned in motion, the set up had been played out.
Just one more routine for the small boy to perform before his role was
done. With the dramatic role of a junior actor, he swept both arms
across his chest and wailed loudly for everyone to hear. "They's
hurting my momma! Oh sumone help her, please. Dun let 'em hurt my
momma!" After that little announcement and since the pocket picking
had been a bum deal, he scooted further into the booth and pulled the
bowl of stew in front of him. Scooping up that spoon, the boy dug into
the meal, munched on the bread and watched the ready made brawl about to
begin. Ring side seats where the best!
Just when she had gotten air into her lungs to clean out the stench,
there it was again as the man talked about sugar. "The
barmaiiiiiiiiiiiddddddd." The last coming out more in a whoosh as
she was crushed into the man's body. She saw stars for a moment but next
she knew she was spouting ancient words she knew as she squirmed to
get free. Ones that would have him feeling like there were hot coals
beneath his feet. Some things came naturally she had learned long ago.
Hoss was on the move for he wasn't asleep at all as Paul took out that
flintlock and shot it off. Of course it was aimed above the patrons'
heads but it might get attention for certain actions to cease. The
bullet severed an already fraying rope that held a lantern from the
rafters. One right over the bumbling, rotund, man's body. It came
crashing down as the child's cry had a few patrons up while some of
the men started in that direction.
The slap had certainly sent her reeling, enough to stumble backward a
few steps with the sheer force of it, but Maggie was made of tougher
stuff than to merely crumble now, righting herself into a proud stand
and glaring at the rogue as she followed. The tea kettle was still in
her hand, she resisted the urge to slam it against his ugly head, but
instead managed to squirm a hand around him to grab a hold upon Honeee's
arm lightly. " Lass,
move with me an' fast. " The
shot in the air would certainly startle the rogue, not to mention the
men about to get involved, hopefully distract him enough that the two
women could make a strategic getaway.
Post # 17
From: 03-29-2005 Valley of Shadows
ole Waddles, he was always at the wrong place at the wrong time. Feeling
the weight of his comrade slam into his back, which in turn had him
pushed forward to press against the front of Honeee. Any anger was
quickly ebbed when he felt that soft body pressed tightly against his
own. "Waddles, you're a genius." Barked out in a laugh. Until
he felt his feet get hot, now he was shifting weight from one side to
the other, which had his front grinding into that of the woman pressed
between himself and the wall. When the barmaid tried to interfere, she'd
gain an elbow in the chest. The bark of the pistol would have him glance
towards the source, and then a growl. "Come on, we're getting out
of here." This was to Honeee, he was going to drag her out of the
building and into the nearest alley. Wouldn't be the first time he took
a woman that way, and it sure wouldn't be the last. Still holding onto
her arm, he'd try to drag her out of that opened door, hopping around a
bit. Perhaps it looked as if he was doing an Irish jig.
Dem'dere weren't love making words the woman was spewing at Drake! At
least none that Ardley had ever heard before! He was still careening to
catch his balance when that nosey bloke came strutting up. "Ain't
dancing, ye'dem arse. If you can't tell the difference, then you're a
right dumb blockhead, ain't 'cha." Whew, balance gained, thumbs
hooked to his armpits in a show of cocky-confidence as his comrade
seized the opportunity to whisk the woman away (or at least try). That
smug grin of success quickly turned to the gapped mouth of surprise when
the light fixture from above, slammed down on that hard head. Ardley
stood there a moment, a blink, another ... then his head rolled around
on his neck, his knees buckled and he pitched forward. Pudgy fingers
grappled at the 'demarse's chest and then just scraped on down ...
eight, nine, ten ... Weddell was out for the count!
He was well aware of the sound of the flintlock but after a quick glance
over his shoulder, Aiden continued on. A meaty hand clapped onto Drake's
shoulder, jerking him back from the lass. Without a word of warning, or
an attempt to talk the man out of his actions, a fist was aiming for
"Blockhead." Repeating the words as he watched the man falter
to the ground. Backing up enough, he avoided being pulled down with the
klutz. Quick shot glance towards Aiden, knowing he had his end in
control -- even if Dylann's side eliminated his own threat. "Right.
Well, ain't is not a word." An upnod too any willing men who'd help
him to escort the dead weight of lard arse out the door once Aiden was
The action was good tonight! Spoonfuls of stew was quickly shoved into
the lad's mouth. No time to chew, he just swallowed the pieces whole.
But hey now, he didn't like how that man was treating his 'make believe
momma'! Even though others were quickly coming to aid, the boy felt he
had to do his part too! Lickity split, the sling shot was pulled from
his back pocket and a large dried bean was slipped into the leather
strap. Aiming for the Rogue's (Drake) face, which was turned in profile
to the boy now, he pulled back and let the bean fly towards the side of
the man's nose! Caleb figured he'd let the two knight's finish cleaning
up the fight scene. The last of the stew was scooped into his mouth, as
he sat back to watch the end results.
Honeee was being pulled in two different directions but the edge was she
sent a booted tip into the shin of the rogue. HARD. Amazing what she
could pack in a kick. Her hold on the barmaid's arm tightened for that
balance. Pulling away as they would squeeze by the other two knights
coming to help.
Hoss in the meantime noticed the two men of caliber taking on the one
left and the woman getting free with the help of Maggie. She got a wink
from Hoss as he helped the other men drag out the beached whale. Half
rolling him and it took four big men even though the man was not that
tall. Paul was around with the flintlock and ready to use it. It had the
ones too curious and starting to crowd in to move back so they could do
their jobs. "Geeet bock yea all now." Command had even some of
the men scurrying to do his bidding. The jabbering wife even hushed by
her husband putting a hand over her mouth with a not now look.
" Ye show him,
sweetheart! " After
being slapped and jabbed in the chest with an elbow, Maggie was not in
the best shape, but she was a feisty woman. Still a pillar of strength,
she allowed Honeee to lean on her arm and pulled them away from the
fray, sliding that arm around her shoulders once they were clear in an
effort to comfort the poor lost lamb. " Now
let's get ye upstairs, ye can bunk with me if ye feel better t'at way.
What'd ye say yuir name was, luv? " Soothing
words, glancing over her shoulder angrily at the two rogues that caused
all this foolish trouble!
Just when he thought he had it made, a hand grabbed him and turned him
around. Much to his surprise and chargin, a fist would connect with his
sweaty face. Blood and snot flew everywhere, the man was a bleeder. Then
a kick to his shin had him pitching forward, this in turn lined his
temple up with the projectile shot at him. Already woosey from the jolt
to the nose, then the ping as something slapped against his temple. Like
a mighty oak, forward he'd fall in the position he was in. Slamming to
the floor, his head would bounce once, then no motion after. He was out
down and out! As soon as Drake was down, Aiden stepped back to allow
others to drag him out. He'd need to wash his hands of course. Dark eyes
went to the blonde and the barmaid to make sure both were all right,
though he was frowning at the mark on Maggie's face. Glancing around, he
checked to see where Dylann was before turning back. The crowd was at
least backing off to allow the two women to leave.
The fly of that shot had a turn of blue eyes towards the boy, flashing
him a grin before looking back to the scene. No, neither of those men
stood a chance. Women and children did the brunt of the damage! Proud of
Aiden's quick shot nonetheless, Dylann stepped forward to clasp his
shoulder before looking on the women. "You both are ok? Besides
possibly shaken." Tough nails, the pair.
As the ruckus began to wind down, if one looked they'd find the little
street urchin slumped over the empty bowl of stew and sound asleep. Tiny
bubbles beaded up against his lips as the boy snored himself into
slumber land, oblivious to the goings on around him. His work was
"I am fine." Even though she was frowning for the swelling on
Maggie's features. Instinctively she lifted a hand to touch, healing
touch, she would not be aware of but her gifts still there. It would
help ease any pain and healing accelerated. "I am sorry. Thank you
lass. I'm Lilac." Trying to ease some of the tension. She was no
longer hungry either after all that. Even though it wasn't her fault she
somehow felt inadvertently it was. Hair was in a disarray but otherwise
Paul spoke up. "Drinks around fer t'ose t'at 'elped."
Motioning to the men involved and then having Hoss see to taking the lad
to a room to sleep. He'd earn his keep. Better than waking in a bowl
that sill held remains of the stew. Even as the burly Hoss lifted the
lad up, a piece of potato squashed to his cheek fell away. He
hoisted him up over a shoulder to disappear into the back as Paul
rounded the bar to the tender side and slipped that flintlock back to
the shelf below. It was back to regular business until something else
happened. Most nights all would be calm at this point for it got that
" Canna get a
lass like me down t'at easy, luv. T'anks fer t'e concern. " A
wink toward Dylann and a bob of her dark head, glancing over to Honeee
when her touch soothed and blinked in bewilderment. " Well,
he must not've hit me t'at hard, aye? Mayhaps only a bruise. An' dinna
ye worry 'bout it, Lilac, I wouldn't let a lug like t'at hurt ye any
day. Ye dae look exhausted t'ough, rooms are upstairs, ye should get
some rest. " Hands
placed firmly upon her hips. " C'mon
boys, a drink on mae fer helpin'. " Flirty
smile toward Aiden and Dylann, for truly, they had come to the rescue!
right, Lilac. You should rest." He flashed both women a rare smile
before clapping a hand to Dylann's shoulder. "Another drink before
we head up as well?" Never sure if Dylann was planning on sleeping.
"Might as well get another one in. Can't sleep now." Dylann
tipped his head to both of the women, his own smile more of a soft
version of his devilish charm. Not after that scene would it come into
view. "But sleep will do you better, lass." Nodding towards
The boy was sound asleep when Hoss picked him up and carried him off to
a room of his own for the night. A lazy smile was seen on the smudged
face of the lad, but he didn't bother waking up. He'd sleep good this
night with a full belly and a warm bed to sleep in.
(Special thanks to all players involved playing these npc characters!)
Post # 17
From: 04-02-2005 Valley of Shadows
Maggie had seen Honeee to the hall as Hoss emerged from a
smaller room where the street urchin was put to bed. She went back out
to see to the customers as the crowd was thinning out, assuring Honeee
she wouldn't be long. Hoss would see her to Maggie's room as it was in a
different section of the sprawling ranch-type tavern than the rooms
rented. There was another burly man there, one who served as a guard for
the place and especially this area to keep intruders out. Hoss spoke
with him a few minutes as he stepped away from Honeee then saw her
to the room Maggie called home. He opened the door then saw to closing
it once she was inside. He too had to get back to his duties.
It was not an overly large room but she was certain it was larger than
the ones they rented out. A table with some chairs, a couch in front of
a hearth and a four post bed with two cots along the one wall. She could
only guess that Maggie sometimes shared her room with others as needed.
Like tonight? The thought had the fact of what transpired earlier was
not so out of the ordinary for the Owl's Nest Inn. Wherein there were
probably worse places, she was sure there were more safe ones. She
wasn't sure how she knew that but she did. Maggie wasn't exactly
neat as the bed was made but more in that kind of way where one
just threw the blankets over the area leaving them somewhat askew
as if they had been in a hurry. The feel of the room was a
homing point, yet one that could be left at a moment's notice.
Nonetheless, there was a good overall feel here in Maggie's room as
Honeee chose one of the less cluttered cots and curled up
there to find some sleep. She was exhausted. The noise from the tavern
was muted down to more a background rumbling at this point. The more
rowdy had either left or were thrown out. It was more than likely there
were no sounds to the normal human hearing but then her hearing was not
of the norm. Sometimes that was unfortunate and sometimes it meant the
difference between life and death so there was a trade off. The
exhaustion kept her from any dreams at first and she recalled vaguely
through that sleepy haze when Maggie finally made it into her room.
There was a touch on her cheek and something said low but that too was
lost in that haze.
Eventually she rose to that dream plateau where the mixing of
events came in a tangled mess. The faces of Emmie and Timmy faded in and
out. Little would she know she had started to toss and turn on the
cot as next there was a child in her arms. The sweet lulling melody she
heard came with the realization she was singing it. Low and
haunting as if from a distant place or more, recollection in the cobwebs
of her memory. She could see his sweet face and the crop of blond hair,
eyes of ocean blue that held another quality to them even as a newborn,
looking up into hers. She noticed as she gaze lovingly upon him
that his features started to change, shifting some as his hair turned a
darker blond, then to a few females before the last was of a male
with dark hair and dark blue eyes. It was very odd but the melody sung
stayed the same throughout as that heartfelt loving care filled
"Mommy." The child gone from her arms as she turned to the
young voice before a chorus of mommy shifted with the appearances.
It was becoming a kaleidoscope of children as ages now varied with the
faces. When it became more of a vertigo, she shot up into
a sitting position on the cot completely disoriented. The room was drenched
in shadows and the form beneath the covers of the four post bed,
slowly brought the realization of where she was. She had made not a
sound as the woman, Maggie, hadn't stirred so Honeee laid back down
drawing the coverlet over her again. It was still pitch dark outside so
it wasn't time to get up. She would try to get some more rest as the
dreams she'd been in were remembered but only left her confused. She had
held and known children, children that were her own.
Sleep once more engulfed as she finally let go of the confusing haze and
succumbed to that still needed rest her body demanded. Where there had
only been blackness it changed to where she was once more standing
upon a hill overlooking over a valley still in twilight shadows.
The streak of lightning drew her sight from the valley below to the
large knoll where the cloaked rider sat upon his steed. The feeling of
dejavu overwhelming as she once more watched. The breeze teased at the
folds of his cloak as he sat unmoving upon the giant warhorse. That
visual seemed to linger until next she noticed four shadows loom up
behind him. Cloaked riders also upon massive steeds but the details were still
missing on them as they appeared more as dark forms. The formable
male didn't look their way but it seemed as they appeared he spurred his
horse forward in a charge.
She remembered the first time and wanted to flee again but she was
held frozen, locked into this scene. She tried her best not to let the
fear of the unknown consume as once more the cloaked rider was heading
straight for her. The feeling of being held there, forced to watch no
matter what harm it brought her, came demandingly. The size of the horse
and rider only grew in immensity the closer he got. It was
then she realized the warhorse was not a horse at all but a massive
black griffin. Surely she would be trampled over. She tried to
close her eyes and it felt like she had, squeezing them
shut tight ready for that impact. The impact wasn't felt as they
flew back open only to find a pair of dark blue eyes staring right into
hers as if searching. The male was off the black griffin and
standing there in front of her. The shock alone had her bolting up from
the cot in a cold sweat and leaping to her feet. This time it took
longer to gain her bearing as arms curled around herself in an attempt
to afford comfort. She was shaking.
Post # 18
From: 04-05-2005 Valley of Shadows
shaking eased as she chided herself it was only a dream. Only a dream.
It was then she noticed the lighter shade of gray at the horizon as
sight was drawn to the window. She moved there as hands braced against
the window sill while she looked out. The silence seemed to still
surround as the sky grew a shade lighter before her very eyes. Dawn was
breaking and the sun would be appearing within the half hour or so. She
noticed the small desk off to her side with parchment and pen there. She
utilized a sheet writing a note off to Maggie, thanking her for her
kindness that would not be forgotten. The note was simple and short and
she about to finish when she decided to add she was heading north to a
place called Luneberg for she felt Maggie deserved to know that
much. She barely finished with the flourish of Lilac at the bottom, when
she heard Maggie mumbled something about Hoss as she rolled over onto
her other side, arm now dangling down the side of the bed. At least it
sounded like her dreams were more pleasant by the tone the mumbling came
in. It brought the curl of a smile before she vacated the room, slipping
out silently as to not wake the barmaid. She certainly could use all the
sleep she could get with what she went through on a daily basis.
She barely stepped into the corridor easing the door closed when the
guard there was up from the bench he sat upon and approached as she
turned. The surprised showed in the widening of her eyes as she adjusted
her cloak, pulling the hood up to cover the length of blond streaked
brown hair. He greeted her in a low voice asking her
whereabouts being up this early. She in turned explained she needed to
head north and couldn't sleep. It seemed he was going to frisk her to
make sure she hadn't taken anything from Maggie but something changed
his mind as for a moment his expression would indicate. Instead he
showed her another way out that would not have her needing to go through the
bulk of the tavern and main room with the possibility of disturbing
others. With her request they stopped in the room the young lad occupied
as she left a couple of coins there for him, slipping them into a pocket
of his shirt which hung over a bedpost. He was still dead to the world,
sprawled out over every inch of the bed and the look upon his face held
that youth that was denied by the harshness of day and the life he
was forced to live. A touch was given to his cheek and a smoothing of
his hair before she was back out under the escort of the guard. Raleigh
she found his name to be or at least he went by.
She gave her farewell to Raleigh once outside as he needed to get back
to his post. The lad she had employed to take care of Amos was doing
chores at the stable which was only a short distance away from this
exit. He was quick to saddle up the mule and grumbled some as Amos
decided to show his more stubborn side. As the mule started kicking,
Honeee approached the stall watching the lad dodge those hind legs and
hooves. At this rate she might not get to leave early as the saddle was
once more thrown into the straw lining the stall. She spoke in that
ancient tongue again holding a soothing tone, so much so it had the lad
staring at her as Amos quieted. He only gained a smile from her, imps
quality, as he saw to the getting the saddle on the mule as quickly as
possible in case the beast decided to change his mind again. The sky had
lightened to whiten golds with the hint of blue by the time Honeee
set out in the direction the lad indicated that would take her north.
The road would fork and she was to keep to the right that would then
wind around through many forests and occasional farmlands. He warned her
to be careful and stick to the road, which was dangerous but not as
dangerous as what the forests might hold. There were renegades and all
sorts about which she knew to be true for what transpired in the tavern.
She thanked the lad for his sound advice, remembering in that moment the
flintlock Timmy had given her which was hidden inside her cloak. She had
nearly forgotten about the weapon but still would have been hesitant to
use it the night prior. Miles had passed in the slow progress of Amos
along a road that after a while could have one dozing off. Lack of sleep
and still healing she had to make a conscious effort to stay awake.
It seemed her sleep would be plagued with dreams and insistent ones at
that. She remembered one teaching her that such kinds were for a reason.
They would plague until they were figured out, listened to. As that
memory came up so did a flash of an old man's face, one she recognized
but could not remember his name. He knew her, she knew him, both like a
father and daughter. It was for that moment as if he was there
encouraging her to remember. The older face turned into a younger one
with those piercing blue eyes that met. She knew him also, stronger
bond, but still no name could be recalled. Only faces were being
briefly recalled. The eyes were the same as that first
child she held in her arms for the pierce of blue but older.
Instead of it being unsettling in the feel of being watched, there was a
comfort to it. The images were there and gone as that haze
still held over her memory but certain things were starting to get
through as the veils thinned.
Post # 18
From: 04-05-2005 Valley of Shadows
The loud booming voice of one Jonas Bromberg had the window panes
rattling as he stormed out of his office calling for his right hand man.
Keats had been flirting with one of the younger female cooks making
breakfast when he dropped the conversation with a slap of a hand to her
backside before moving in a rush up to his boss' office. Jonas was a
determined man when he wanted something and means would not hold him
back in getting what he set out to. Not overly vicious on the norm it
was a trait he could take on if it served his purpose. He was a
good size man with a bit of extra weight around the middle showing more
his growing older and wealthier than a hindrance to physical tasks.
Keats, on the other hand was a good ten years younger than Jonas.
Somewhere in his early thirties and had yet to show any
fattening for a better life than most in these parts. He too was a good
size man and brawn, chosen for his ability to fight. Size and strength
mattering in the hiring. Jonas was no fool, he'd have the men under him
do his fighting before he'd have to.
Brows lifted minutely as he approached his Boss and the anger there
noticed immediately. He could read Jonas very well and knew this was a
time to be mostly quiet and curtail to his anger in whatever had him so
riled this morning. "Yes'sir." Standing straight at attention,
knowing his response would keep Jonas from striking out at him with a
fist instead of barking his orders. Jonas was a bit red along his cheeks
which indicated he was furious. One meaty hand gripped the frame of the
door he filled blocking the way from hall to office. "T'e wenc'
got away. Escaped. S'e bae indentured tae me for ten mor' years. I want
'er back." Which meant immediately. "Rosy 'er name bae,
twenties, about this tall and blond 'air." One hand rising that
would put her about five foot and a half, Keats took note. He knew
about the one but then there were so many employed or indentured by
Jonas. The bulk of the workers had not been seen by him other than the
masses that filled the fields to work them. "Immediately. Yes'sir."
Keats turned on a heel heading out as Jonas once more bellowed to his
back. "I want 'er 'ere by tonig't." Before the slam of the
door was given. In a way it was good Jonas kept to his office to cool
down some or someone or ones would end up hurt. Sometimes badly.
Bromberg's potato farm was extensive, accrediting to the
wealth the man had accumulated over his forty some years in the
business. A shady business at times with a means to an end, more wealth
and power. There were the men and women hired that took care of the
sprawling ranch he built along with those for protection. Keats was
the head of his henchmen plus he had a foreman that took care of the
workers. Randy didn't always get along with Keats for in a way their
positions were debatable in who was over whom. Quite a few nights the
two would get into a fight, sometimes egged on by others for their
notorious dislike of each other. There were far more workers under
Randy between the indentured servants and the bulks hired for a season.
With near five hundred acres of land to plough and plant it took many
workers along with grueling hours. They could not afford to
lose even one in seeing this task done. April was the month to plant and
it would take two weeks of hard work, the bulk of hired help would then
be let go and the remainder to keep the fields weeded enough to
ensure proper growth.
The fact that this lass got away from Randy and Keats chosen to return
her had him grinning. Randy would have hell to pay for from Jonas
and he that edge when he deposited the chit directly to Jonas so he
could take the one back to Randy and rip him apart. There was one man he
trusted more than the other henchmen hired by Jonas and that was Henry.
Both skilled fighters it should only need two to find and bring back the
woman. Henry, who got along better with Randy, was the one sent to find
out anything on where the one headed while Keats saw to the horses being
saddled up and some provisions packed in the saddlebags in case it
took longer than they wanted. He was smart enough not to go unprepared.
It was discovered, or so believed, with the threatening of another woman
by Henry, where Rosy would head. The West Road that branched off
from the North Road. Once Henry was back the two mounted up, spurring
their horses into a gallop heading that way.
Lost in her thoughts and that daze that held to her this early morning,
Honeee hadn't noticed when the fork was reached and Amos continued on
taking the left road. Her mind was plagued with smaller things in
remembering. The old wizen male was a wizard she had studied under and
the pull of a twin sister was made in a slight connection. That was why
she knew those ancient words so well that were drilled into her head all
those years growing up. Bits and pieces would come and go but not in any
given order. More the feelings at times than seeing a face. Her thoughts continued
to plough onward much in the same rhythm as Amos
moved beneath her. Slow and steady gait gradually moving forward.
The jolt came, more in the response of Amos than her being aware
until that split second. Two riders came crashing out from the forest
lining the road behind them as she realized they had gone quite a
distance from when she last noticed. As ornery as Amos was the Mule
could move, bolting forward into a gallop as if demons nipped at
his hooves. Luckily Honeee grabbed his mane just in time with a
lean in to hold on for dear life or be thrown to the ground. Hood flew
back with the spill of golden streaked brown hair to whip in waves