A Turning of the Seasons

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A Turning of the Seasons

Postby Lorsalian » Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:30 pm

Lorsalian looked out through a break in the upper foliage of the tree onto the forest below him. The view from up here is simply wonderful, he marveled. The leaves around him had begun to turn a golden red from the bright green a few weeks earlier, but he tried not to let it get to him. Not everything is a symbol.

He looked down to see ice blue eyes staring up from a pale face framed by silver hair as Lilira climbed the tree and looked around. “This tree appears to be occupied now,” she observed, grinning wryly, then added as explanation, “I've come here before to practice my music.”

Sensing something, Lorsalian chanted briefly, and a frowning smoky form of ash resolved, hovering, to Lilira's left. “Referring to me, or the form to your left?” Lorsalian asked calmly.

Lilira's cheeks flushed, and she looked apologetically at the para-elemental. “Oh. Him. He's under my control, for the moment.”

Lilira looked sadly at the smoke para-elemental. Her eyes brightening, she changed the subject. “Actually, this is fortuitous. I wanted to speak to you.” Her expression then changed again to nervousness, and she glanced furtively to the base of the tree as if looking for something.

She apologized again. “I'm jumpy.”

“Not altogether a wise thing to be in a tree, but occasionally better than eternal stillness,” the ranger replied, then after a few moments, chuckled self-deprecatingly, and added, “Sorry, this view occasionally makes me over eloquent. You were saying?”

“I need your assistance, but I can't tell you why. But first I must ask you a question or two.”
His eyebrow raised, he listened.

“When we were on the isle at the court of the Queen, you behaved as though it were not your first time? I don't mean to be intrusive,” she quickly apologized, “Certainly if you do not wish to give me the details, I will not press you for them.”

He sighed, pondering. Turning back towards Lilira, he replied, “Far from it. Many times during, well,” he nodded at her, “you know.”

She nodded in return, and he continued, “I answered the call for aid, and escorted Llandrien until he wandered away. I imagine I was more civil then than recently, however.” With a brief smirk, he concluded, “But that is too much of my own problems – unless you want to hear them.”

“Certainly good sir. One day after I have finished getting up to my no longer existing eartips in trouble, perhaps one day we can swap tales.”

Lorsalian frowned consolingly as he again noticed the scars on either side of her head, but Lilira merely shrugged, “Tis something I have put in the past. No longer does it matter.”

“What kind of woman is the Queen? I have met her only once,” she asked, warming to her subject.

“Stern, engrossed in traditions, yet not quite as ... intolerant, as some. She regrets letting those brigands land, but she will not move against.”

A band of shipwrecked humans had been allowed to make their homes after contributing some aid to the court in the swell of goodwill that followed the destruction of the vile one. They had turned out to be among the worst that humanity could offer as examples – slavery, and rampant logging with no efforts to rebuild their ship had followed. Lor feared the current renewed conservative stance was influenced by these miscreants.

Correctly anticipating a long-winded tale, Lilira settled to a sitting position in the structure atop the tree, as Lor stood and continued, “And she lets me into her presence, which is more than some, but that's the other tale again,” he smiled, looking again to his guest.

“I have the misfortune to be related to one who is intolerant. That audience recently was the result of some machination on the part of a relation of mine. I am waiting for a message. If it is the one I hope for, I will be once more entering into the presence of Her Majesty. However my reason to see her is to deliver a message. I thought at first to go alone.”

Lorsalian rolled his eyes slightly. "To deliver a message to summon a messenger from across the seas to deliver to a neighbor is either foolish or arrogant."

“Tis my doing. I am incapable of walking to the gates of the palace and asking for an audience. I requested that someone beg an audience on my behalf”
“Ah. I misinterpreted. I thought it a summons, not a response to a request.”
“I apologize for my reluctance to divulge all. If you choose to accompany me, you will learn all.”

“Little problem,” Lorsalian replied, “Such trust needs to be earned, after all.” He shrugged, and pondered for a moment, then added smirking, “I would ask, however. This message doesn't include the words "war" "death" or anything of a seditious nature, does it?”

Lilira looked at Lor solemnly, and Lorsalian's bright expression melted off his face. “I swear. It is nothing that I can determine will harm the isle,” she said. “There are those fanatics within the elven people that may see what I am doing as treason.

She gave a half-grin, “However as I am not a citizen of the isle, I care not what they think. I only want what is best for everyone. Faerun, Toril, as a whole, not just one part”

“I personally would say you are as much as they, although with your will your own,” Lorsalian replied with a shrug. “That is good to know, though. That look frightened me.” It was Lorsalian's turn to chuckle nervously.

“It concerns the health of Evermeet as well as Faerun.”
Lorsalian leaned forward as much as the tree allowed, and whispered, "The 'magic'?" to Lilira's silent nod.

He sighed loudly. “I too think it folly. A child holding a candle in one hand, and refined spirits in the other, beginning to pour.”

Only by the grace of the elven pantheon (or more, perhaps) had the creation of the isle – the last time the magic was used – resulted in a success rather than a destruction perhaps worse than what would have been had Auzorm'Tvorl not been defeated.

Lorsalian chuckled again, and shrugged, “This view again - even when I'm serious.”

Lilira pondered solemnly. “I should have listened closer to the tale spoken by the Oracle. The whole mess may be greater than it was indicated. All this is the reason for my.... nervousness,” she said quietly. Scanning the shadows at the base, she added, “And the reason for my - odd - companion.”

“You seem jumpy again,” he noted.
“Not jumpy - just watchful. The shadows move on occasion and silent footfalls have passed me unseen. I was once attacked by a creature and a figure stepped out of the shadows to slay it. Before returning to them. Hence my watchful gaze, and not panicked.”

“Ahh.. the delight of being a bard,” she grinned, “Feckless and nosy.”

He could only blink incredulously. “Hmm,” he pondered, “So many possible meanings. I'll not pry, since you seem unwilling, but you've raised more questions than answers. I will accompany you if you wish, and I think we're of a similar mind, but I'm no Seer. I can't say how I'll react to this.”

“Well,” he smiled, extending his hand to the sitting Lilira, “Seems we're waiting for a message, then, aren't we?”

She extended her own hand nervously, unsure. Lorsalian held his still, not advancing, nor pulling her to extend further.

Of course. That business with Teflor, he would conclude later. Lilira had followed one who had seemingly switched sides during the fight against the vile one, then switched again, and once more. Lorsalian had made no secret how he had felt of Teflor's actions. She must have really been wondering if she could trust me. I think I know how she felt, he would think,

After a moment of hesitation, Lilira leaned forward and placed her hand in Lorsalian's and felt the ranger balance himself before pulling her to her feet with a nod.
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Lorsalian » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:01 am

post 3 of Lilira's Journal Entries
post RPNEWS 10/30/2005
Possibly concurrent Nilan's "A Warning Delivered ... A Warning Ignored"

The chill breeze stirred him, then faded away, and the figure sighed in return. He sat in the temple in the Llewyrr valley, staring at the elfgate. How could I screw up so badly, twice? Lorsalian could only marvel.

Lilira and he had traveled through this portal mere weeks before. Lor still occasionally suspected her motives because her involvement with Teflor, but she had paid for that many times, and he had agreed to escort her to deliver her message to the court.

That wasn't the mistake – he frowned silently. He could be said to be guilty of 'consorting' himself. He found himself liking many who he probably shouldn't – the drow Nilan, the necromancer Lintral and his wife Teej Carcophan, who was a paladin of the Nightsinger. He wasn't sure he trusted any of them completely – the drow least of all (one of Lor's favorite phrases when explaining his association to others was “I kind of like him, but I'm not foolish enough to trust him”).

His mistake was staying silent. He was certain the magic was a bad idea. That Lilira was blameless. He wasn't certain about the high priest's motives, but he and the priest seemed to share a concern. All though the vile insinuations – the Queen accused Lilira of being a traitor, and of being a baser entertainer than she was – he was all but an impassive statue. The noble Queen, the sole high mage alive, and the pride of Leuthilspar, had behaved (Lorsalian would say only in his mind, trusting no-one with this view) like a petulant child in the southern quarter of Waterdeep – and the ranger had tried logic as a defense. That perhaps it was best not to provoke a child with such power was beside the point – he'd felt as if he'd betrayed the trust Lilira had given him.

No more than a week or so afterward, the messenger who had warned them about the invasion of Beluir had warned about someone hiring mercenaries for similar mischief. Lorsalian, Azelrus, and Areh had donned false names in order to enlist.

The ranger had slipped so easily into the role. It was no different than pretending to be a beggar or an errant healer in his youth, or a mere fisherman on board the “Realms Master.” He'd been all bluster in front of the agent (Krelg Blackshield) – bragging about all sorts of evil in order to impress him – pretending to be a master of thrown daggers instead of a skilled bowman. Azelrus had seemed to be less than thrilled about hiding who she was, and Areh was visibly pained as he hid his mighty two-handed blade in favor of a tiny dagger.

Krelg had said specifically that he wasn't hiring the squeamish, and he wasn't exaggerating. Any hope of a peaceful raid was lost as much as the rivers of blood in the streets, and the hacked former denizens who were barely recognizable as humanoid – they had arrived too late. In a now-empty house, the three of them argued about what to do.

Don't pay attention, Lorsalian had told himself and his companions, ignore a leech to find a dragon. Areh was unconvinced, and Azelrus was adamantly against leaving any of the brigands free to do this again. The shouts of the orcs outside as they further reveled in the bodies didn't help, either.

Lorsalian was the epitome of courtesy. “Fool acolyte” was about the nicest thing the ranger had said to Azelrus. “Bastard half-breed” was about the nicest said in return. Finally, both had had enough, and she told them to go on without her if they wanted – no good could come of aiding such evil. Lorsalian and Areh had left to talk to the brigands to try to learn something of their employer. Without the fool's help.

Lorsalian blinked from his staring, and sighed. The worst thing was – after all the heated words I'd said – she was right. The orcs they tried to talk to couldn't be drawn away from munching on the corpses of the villagers, and most humans were talking about the best way to torch the houses in order to get the prettiest colors. The next time they had spoken was when Areh and Lor had burst back into that house, Areh's blade glowing in the sun, and Lor's arrows stained with orcen blood he hadn't been able to clean off yet. “We need your help”

In the end, they had learned all they'd ever needed to know from another late-comer that Areh had interrogated expertly – oddly enough, pretending to be a friend of the employer of the creatures whose remains were then burning a distance from the town.

Not twice. Thrice. Lilira, Azelrus, and for truly feeling that the atrocity didn't deserve an immediate response. Almost as if the humans were beneath my notice. He sighed. Hypocrite, he scolded himself.

Lorsalian stood up, and began to walk back to the docks to return to the mainland.

Time to make amends.

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