Poster: Aaric the Black
Post # 81
Thunder rumbled as Storm made his way up the cobblestone side street. It
was as each hoof marked the rumbles while he carried his hooded
rider. Rain pelted down bringing leaves that were starting to turn. In a
few weeks the change would be far more noticeable. There were few out
and about and those that were, scattered to find shelter from the rain
as it continued to mount into a downpour. Autumn storm would not last
long especially after Storm was rein in at the post in front of the
Thistle. Aaric dismounted as booted feet settled solid on the ground
below, rain pitter pattering all around as droplets bounced. A few words
spoken in and ancient tongue as a hand ran down the neck of the
stallion. Storm's nostrils flared with a snort while dipping his head up
and down then was off in a trot to head for the stable down the
back. Those there were use to the horse coming in on his own when he
wanted, knew to take care of him and always the coin would be given
in extra. Aaric turned after watching his friend take his leave to head
up the steps onto the porch. A glance through the window assured him the
tavern was quiet at this moment, this didn't alter his decision in
coming here as he headed on in, closing the door behind him to stay the
Alas for Maggie, the morning had dawned cool and clear, luring her out
to spend some time wandering about the markets. She planned to look for
some things for Bradley's new manor, which she'd begin decorating soon.
Unfortunately, it was after she had an armful of shopping that rain
began to pelt down. There was a mass exodus from the markets of
customers and vendors alike, and she was one of them, running from the
stalls and back towards home. She'd brought no parasol or even a
shawl, so she was nicely soaked by the time she made it back. Jogging
steps could be heard coming up the porch before she flung the door open
and stepped in, swiftly turning to close the door against the downpour.
Then she was laughing, only because she knew she was a sopping mess. Her
dark hair was straggling wetly around her face, mostly escaped from its
ponytail, and the hems of her dark red dress were even darker from
moisture and muddy. She set all her shopping down on the floor, then
reached down to pull off one muddy shoe at a time, balancing perfectly
on each leg. Only in the midst of this did she glance up to greet Alex,
and saw a stranger instead. "Oh, hello," on a bit of an easy
He was amused as his trek to the bar was stalled by another coming in
behind him. Swift she was to set her things on the floor, which had him
those few steps over to help pick them up and set to the nearest table.
Something he took upon himself without a by-your-leave even.
"Hello, it seems the rains caught you unaware as it has many."
Something that happened a lot with Aaric's appearance with little to no
affect on the man. He was use to it, welcomed it, riding in the rain
seemed to soothe both beast and rider. "I am Aaric," no
surname for he had none. Well, it was unknown to him and he'd claim no
other than what was his own which remained to be discovered.
"Aye, but it's lovely, isn't it?" Maggie loved the rain in
fact, relished it, especially after a long hot summer. "Thank
you," she added as he collected her shopping and put it more safely
on a table. A smile quickly flashed, a glimpse of dimples and white
teeth. Then she was crossing the room on bare feet, her skirts gathered
in one hand, shoes dangling from the other. Maggie opened the back door
and put her slipper-type shoes outside; they were already soaked, so she
left them there to let the rain wash the mud away. "I'm
Maggie," she called back.
Smile had a way of reaching his eyes and making them brighter still.
"I happen to like the rain, especially in the summer, warm and full
of life giving qualities, good for both body and soul." He found it
easy to smile when she did, she had that kind to respond to. With the
packages all safely on the table, he continued his trek to the bar as
she took off to see to her shoes. "I'm pleased to meet you Maggie.
You are the new waitress here I've heard about then." He would have
an ale this early which the request was given to Alex as he took up a
menu in debate of something to eat also.
She had one bare foot out the back door, leaning over sideways to wring
the water out of her hair, which she'd tugged loose from its ponytail.
Blazing blues glanced back to Aaric when he spoke and she smiled again,
naturally. "Aye, that's me. I hope it's good things you've
heard." She straightened again, reaching up to sweep her hair back.
She moved with the unconscious grace of a ballerina with her straight
shoulders and slender arms.
"Let me see," as if mussing over all he heard on the Thistle
waitress, "fetching lass with fire in her hair and her soul."
Which she might in that moment make a connection to unseen forces as
intense darkened blue eyes met hers and held. She might for a split
second get the image of a tornado with his features within its heart,
the force tremendous that he controlled when needed. There was something
else, an empty spot that needed fulfillment but hard to tell what
exactly was the need, there was more but those layers were closed off at
the moment. "Would you say that is close to the truth?" Eyes
followed every graceful sway as he took up the tankard that was set.
His words had her gaze settling upon him with a curious smile, an
expression which froze into something more serious as their eyes met.
She felt something like a spark in her veins, a jolt of electricity as
she noted all she saw, and there was an answering fire in her eyes of
deep blue. Something in her own soul screaming to be free, her own holes
which needed filling. Then she blinked and the moment passed, with only
a distant crackle of electricity lingering. Leaving her to continue
watching him, intrigued. "Aye... something like that."
He saw, he recognized the hidden ability deep within her heart, her
soul. It piqued his curiosity that she seemed unaware, not something
totally unusual either of those not brought up to develop that which
laid within. He was tempted to say something but he learned from
experience to take it piece meal and bide his time to make certain. He
felt the electrical current, especially him. The answer was in her eyes.
The last had him smiling again, "there is modesty which has its
place but truth should be recognized, besides there is far more to the
waitress of the Thistle than her beauty and spark in her eyes."
She could feel the pull of power like a magnetic force, almost tempting
her to say something about it. It was a temptation like a lake on a hot
summer's day, but she resisted diving in. Instead she smiled lightly,
pulling her hair over one shoulder as her eyes bounced away then back.
"Perhaps, but that is for you to find out." She had that
flirtatious streak too, and it was easy to revert to that demeanor. She
gathered up the wet hems of her skirt again. "I need to change out
of this mess. Perhaps I'll see you again if you're here later, aye? It
was a pleasure to meet you." She flashed her enigmatic smile once
more and was gone, down the back hallway.
"Indeed, we will." Trailing after her as he watched her take
her leave. A bit disappointed they didn't get to talk more but there
would be another time. It seemed to be in the stars. Aaric already
knew what he saw, already could take a good guess but it would be more
fun to find out as she put it. Time would tell but it gave him
something else to think upon that was pleasant to do so. He stayed
awhile but then went out to see to a few things before he returned to
Thistle. He still mussed over the brief meeting with this waitress, Maggie. She
had a spark in her few had, one that was found in Darragh, Desiree and
Orlaith, in the kingsmen and in Hugh MacNeil. There were other sparks
too, or such abilities they were above and beyond the average human.
Such was possessed by the knights under Peter and under Leoric. Some
were not aware of their potential, this is where he classified Maggie.
He was seated at the bar presently going over the menu.
Darragh had been away for a few days, though where he had gone was a
mystery. If asked, all he would say was family business. Of course, he
had spoken to the Crown Prince before he left and had likely informed
him of the exact reason. He could have come in with a rumble of earth
but instead he came in quietly. His horse was left at the Thistle
stables while he headed inside, planning to enjoy a good meal tonight.
Aaric had been informed by the Druid Prince and didn't think much
further on it until now that Darragh showed up. Was there a reason?
Rarely would his comrade do anything for the heck of it. "Evening,
Darragh, did you get done what you left for?" A round about way of
asking and such his friend could answer as little or as much as he
wanted to. He still hadn't decided what he wanted from the kitchen as he
added, "care to have a meal?"
"Evening, Aaric." He gave his friend an easy smile, nodding at
the question. "Aye, I did. I needed to check on things to do with
my family." He didn't say more though in time, he intended to fill
Aaric in on it all. Just not here, in the Thistle. "And I was
planning on it. Better than eating me own cooking." Or the cooking
in some of the inns he had stayed at. "How have things been
"I think I'll have the venison pie with mash potatoes and gravy on
the side. A slice of blueberry crumble pie and a tankard of ale to wash
everything down with." This more to Alex who would let Hazel know
his order. "I know little of your family." Thoughtful way as
he added in more a mumbling, "at least you know who your family
"Chicken and dumplings for me. And the blueberry crumble pie as
well. Coffee with it and ale with the meal." He looked at Aaric and
nodded. "Best if little is known of them for now. I'm still not
sure of the situation of late and don't want to put them in
danger." He offered a slight smile. In time, he hoped to contact
Which had his brows rising a fraction with the comment of putting their
lives in danger. "As you wish but you know where to find me if
needed. My sword with yours in protecting them if needed."
"I know and it's appreciated but for now, me enemies think I'm
dead. Best to leave it that way for a while longer." He picked up
the tankard that Alex had place in front of him. "The right time
"Aye, I'll leave you to judge that time." As in he would not
pester him. Which left him thoughtful a moment or two. "Have you
met the waitress here, Maggie, yet?"
"Aye, I have, but it was brief as the lass was busy. Lively enough.
and personable." He gave Aaric a curious look. "Why?"
"Seems she has that spark as found in each of us and a few others
but I don't think she is aware of it." Which one never knew how the
person would take having such, welcoming it and learning what they could
or act like they had been cursed by the devil.
"Does she? Could you tell what caused the spark or is she
suppressing it?" There were a few like that but some would never
develop their abilities.
"No, only saw it in her eyes, sensed it as there was an electrical
feel when our eyes met. I would guess fire as that was seen in her eyes,
a blue fire and her hair is streaked with red highlights. The encounter
was brief as she could not stay and I hesitate to say anything on what
I've seen as I don't want to alter the natural course of things. I would
need to know more."
"I wouldn't be surprised since it seems that those of ability are
drawn here." He grinned as he spoke. "Of course, some would
argue about that." He rubbed his hands together as their meals were
delivered. "So, you'll just keep an eye on her, or inform
someone." Either the Crown Prince or someone else. He wasn't sure
who should be alerted in such circumstances.
"Aye, she might not want me keeping an eye on her but we'll see.
I'm willing to go the natural course of things, perhaps become her
friend or even mentor if needed. Good ability should not be wasted and
best guided correctly." Which he would know what he meant, one with
ability without guidance could go the dark path.
They had each had to make that choice and not all had ones to help them.
"No, it shouldn't be wasted. If that's what she wants." He was
thinking too that her reaction could be good or bad. It would be
interesting to find out. He started to eat, though did keep the
conversation going. "How are Orlaith and Desiree doing?"
Which remained to be seen, what Maggie wanted where her abilities were
concern. Once she was aware of them to start. He was guessing on that
part. All talk on such was put aside as their meals arrived and he dug
in like one starved. Taking a moment to answer him, "they are doing
well that I know of. I don't necessarily see them any more than you
do.." which had that bit of a smile before he was back to eating
That had him chuckle softly. No, they didn't see them much but that
wasn't a surprise. They had their own training and exploring to do.
They'd both be silent for a little while until not a trace of food
Not a crumb left of the pie especially before he was up from his seat,
finishing off the ale before the tankard was returned empty to the bar
top. "I think I'm going to go pass a bit of air," which was a
dangerous statement coming from Aaric. He was joking of course, "so
best I head down to The Field," one few knew of except ones such as
Luckily he had finished drinking so there was no choking. Laughing, he
stood and stretched. "Maybe I'll join you, though I'll go to the
far end of The Field to avoid any blast." He lifted a hand to bid
Alex farewell. "Good night to be out. Nice and cool." His
favorite kind of weather.
"It's my secret weapon and I could get you across the ocean after a
night of eating beans, if you want a quick trip?" He was trying
hard not to laugh but that didn't last long as he decided to have a
tumbler of the pure being he was still there at the bar.
"I think that might be something I'd forgo." He didn't bother
to even try to hide his laughter.
Maggie had bathed and changed after her run through the storm earlier,
combing her hair and soaking for awhile in the warm water. Even when the
water grew tepid she remained floating, suspended and weightless for
those few moments. Her encounter with Aaric earlier had been extremely
brief but it stuck in her mind, like a splinter that wouldn't come out.
She could still go about her activities but it was always there, a
twinge in the background. Her head had started to ache not long after
and she'd laid in bed for a bit, but that didn't help much. So she was
up, pulling on a new gown of cinnamon red-brown and dry slippers on her
feet. Her hair was still damp and so left down in a tousled tumble as
she ventured out into the taproom. Alex was offered a faint smile.
"Could I have some tea, please?" He knew which type. Eyes then
roamed the place, recognizing Darragh vaguely, then noting with some
surprise that Aaric was still? here. "You didn't get far..."
was the comment offered with a slight smirk to Aaric. "Good
Well, speak of the devil and certainly she was late as any good looking
lass would be. Had a smile tipping boyishly. "I've been waiting for
your return the whole while.." liar! "Actually, I left for
awhile but came back to have one of Hazel's infamous meals and look what
I dragged in with me." Just the slight turn of his hand in
indicating Darragh. "Seems you two already know each other?"
"Aye, we had met briefly as I said." He gave Maggie one of his
boyish smiles. "Evening, Maggie. Good to see you again."
The two of them seemed a couple deep in potcheen too, making her smile
expand some. "Aye, you as well Darragh. Have you lads eaten yet,
then?" A brief turn away to thank Alex as she accepted her tea, cup
in one hand, saucer in the other. Its strong medicinal smell was bracing
and she blew across the surface gently to cool it. Take a sip now and
she'd fry her tongue.
"Aye, a very guid meal it was too." Which had him pausing as
the scent of certain herbs assaulted his extraordinary senses. "You
are not feeling well? Did you take a chill earlier from the rains?"
Voice held a natural concern.
Did they? This was the first of the night for Darragh. He took a drink
as Aaric asked his question, his glass lowered as he turned his gaze to
All eyes were on Maggie.. even Alex.
And then they were all looking at her. Saucer set on the bar behind her,
she smiled and waved her hand to assuage their concern. "Oh, no,
I'm fine. It's just a headache." They were still looking. She
cleared her throat delicately and blew on her tea again. "What did
you boys have, the ham, the venison or the dumplings? The dumplings are
Smile brought out the dimple as he was assured she was all right.
"I'm pleased to hear, I would hate to think you caught a cold from
the rain earlier." That particular rain as it had been caused by
him even without that intention. "I had the venison pie, mashed
potatoes with gravy and a slice of blueberry crumble pie. A tankard of
ale to wash all down." Lifting the tumbler of the pure, "and
this for a nightcap." Certainly he had not enough to drink to be
anywhere in his cups as she might have thought.
"And I had the chicken and dumplings, with pie after." He
grinned at her. "Not sure which is my favorite yet, but I'd have to
say the dumplings are close to the lead right now. And trying to decide
would be an enjoyable pastime."
She relaxed some when they dropped the subject, and was grateful for
that too. "Well, all of Hazel's cooking is wonderful, so it's
difficult to decide." She agreed with a smile. Easing her frame
down for a leaning seat on the edge of a barstool. A cautious sip of the
tea and the pain would begin lifting, in a few minutes anyway. Going
quiet when Aaric spoke again.
"Aye, it was a hard choice but I had chicken last night and needed
something with a bit more weight to it this one." Hence the choice
of venison. He was tempted to pry by some gentle questions that might
bring out if she knew of what laid hidden within her but decided with it
being this late he would not initiate it but certainly would pounce on
any opportunity that presented itself all on its own. As she shifted,
bronze blue eyes lifted to see how the red in her hair shone under the
firelight within the room. Perhaps there as more of a clue there.
She knew what lay hidden, aye... but had spent years suppressing it till
it was almost forgotten. Almost. Her hair did gleam under the influence
of firelight, like molten copper, almost seeming to glow with its own
light. Her eyes caught the fire too, shining with its reflection. They'd
all gone quiet again and she looked around between them. "Are you
from here, Aaric?" She asked only because she hadn't ever met him
Darragh was growing quieter, if that was possible, and tired as well. He
finished the potcheen and pushed off the bar. "I'm needing some
sleep. Aaric I'll talk to you tomorrow. Maggie, it was good to see you
"Aye, safe journey Darragh, nice to see you as well." She
nodded towards the man gently with a smile.
"No." Although that might seem an abrupt answer. "I'm
from the Isle, born there but I've no information on who my family is.
It lays hidden, a secret, one I am to uncover one day and by then I
suspect will understand the circumstances better. Until I do, I've no
surname to call my own." Then switching focus to Darragh, "I
wont be long behind you my friend and we'll have to do some practicing
on The Field to keep our senses sharp and our skills honed."
"Aye, we will." He clapped a hand to Aaric's shoulder, bowed
slightly to Maggie, waved to Alex and headed out through the hall. First
he'd collect his horse then head to the castle.
Maggie blinked, features going solemn as he mentioned having no family.
"How terrible," she murmured. Though in truth she had no
family of her own, anymore. But at least she had the memories, dim and
distant as they were. "I hope you find them, someday." The
smile she offered was sweet and warm.
"Well, don't be feeling sorry for me, things happen for a reason
even if I don't know the reason yet. I had a wonderful woman take care
of me since I was an infant until grown and on my own." He was
watching her in that way, way of one perceptive but said nothing on what
he was seeing, "I will one day when I know it is time for me to
"Aye, you shall." She agreed with another smile, then went
quiet a few moments, sipping her tea while it was still hot. It was
beginning to fill her with that cloudy tired feeling but at least it
helped with the pounding. She was glad too that it wasn't busy here
tonight, so she could sit and relax instead of waiting tables.
He was tired, exhausted, but he was one that could push himself no
matter. Except he could tell she was tired and needed sleep too. "I
hope to talk with you again. Soon." As much as one was tempted to
rush steps, it was not a good idea. First off it would be taken wrongly
and in his experienced if one chased, the other ran, that would do
neither any good. "I will be by again, hopefully when you are. Have
a good night Maggie. Sweet wind and dreams until our paths meet
again." Kicking back what was left in the tumbler, he would be
making use of the back hall to the office in Darragh's wake although not
catching up with him.
It was a little strange, the intent way he said Soon, but it was
easily dismissed. She came back to earth when he spoke, glancing back up
to nod and give another smile. "And you as well. Goodnight, Aaric."