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  1. #571
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    Capios of Enchantry, The Ailes Bones: A Hillside of White Ruins...

    Alain's interest almost immediately focuses on the restoration of the ruins. He hasn't visited the island for a while. Not since the mass exodus from Maginus, Darmon's arrival, and the attempted assassination.

    As they walk by the large blocks of pale stone he runs his fingers over them. They're the fingers of his stone hand, and don't offer a true sense of touch, but do relay some information in their own way. Alain's expression is one of wonderment. He's always had a passion for exploring, though his multitude of obligations have often left him with no time to indulge in such desires.

    Alain wonders why Maginus never sought to delve into the lost history of this place. Sure, they would claim it's the wild magic of the area, but surely they could have worked out a way to overcome such things.

    He thinks back to those early years after the War ended, when he and his province finally had time to dig themselves out of the horrors of war and try to reclaim so much of what they lost. While picking through the fresh ruins they discovered so many older structures and relics hidden only inches below that which the war had destroyed. Even on Faraking island, which many would have thought already fully explored, an ancient LeCavalier fortress was discovered. No one knows why they would have built such a place so far north and well beyond their own territories.

    Alain envies Nalia for having this lost, forgotten city to dig up and explore. So many mysteries to solve, and lost histories to bring to the present. Who were the people of this island? Why is there no record of them? Could they be the creatures of myth that abandoned the human world so many ages ago? An elven kingdom? Or maybe something far more fantastical, like angels or vampires?

    Gradually, he can sense Nalia's nervousness. It draws his attention away from the partly restored ruins. He wonders what kind of gift could break Nalia's usual cool and controlled mood. Is it Darmon's head on a pike? Some amazing totem that will solve all of the world's problems?

    He listens as she begins to explain the work being done. When she tells him this is the beginnings of the school they once discussed, Alain takes his gaze off of Nalia and looks at the surrounding stonework with a new fascination. This information changes how he sees this place. As Nalia continues to speak, Alain walks around, his gaze isn't truly seeing the ruins or the restoration as they are, but as they could be.

    He pauses the tour of what will soon be, and offers Nalia's small joke a smile.

    When Nalia presents the velvet cloth holding crystals, Alain stops walking and looks down upon the gleaming gems. He holds his right hand over the crystals, feeling the energy they contain. After a moment to sample the arcane potency of the crystals, he lowers his hand over the bundle, while bringing up his other hand beneath it. He holds both Nalia's hands and the bundle of crystals within his warm, gentle grasp.

    Alain finally looks into Nalia's eyes. There's a light in the dark depths of his gaze.

    "Thank you," he finally breaths out his heartfelt words. There was half an instant of struggle, as Alain LeCavalier tried to find the right words to express the gratitude he feels.

    "This is all perfect. The school, your research, and these crystals. You're saving many of my people from torment and terrible sacrifices. These crystals will bring the first shining rays of hope for those that have none."

    He looks down at the hands he holds in his own, and enjoys a soft laugh.

    "I want to go and give these out right now, but I doubt breaking into peoples homes while wielding a handful of crystals would help my image. I'll task Doraen with organizing the initiative- No, wait. I don't think he's in Taroc. Hmm. I'll find someone."

    Alain returns his full attention to Nalia's eyes.

    "Thank you," he whispers to her.

  2. #572
    Capios of Enchantry, The Ailes Bones: A Hillside of White Ruins

    Nalia al'Vatar of Enchantry

    She wished there was more time. She had seen him touch the ruins as they walked, how his eyes lit up at the sight of the stone with an origin of mystery. She had felt- still felt, really- the same way bout this place. Her sight of the white stone was colored. She knew its origin. She knew its history and she would replace every single stone exactly as it had been. She would do her part to right a wrong, an unjust, horrible wrong. She had suffered too much, seen to much to be able to sit idly and do nothing.

    Now Enchantry had a name. Soon it would have a presence again.

    Perhaps... Perhaps, if they were ever given an ounce of time, they could explore these ruins here.

    Both of them, together.

    And when he took her hand and the part of her gift to Taroc that she could give him now, she smiled. His gentle whisper causes her to look down for a moment before looking back up at him.

    "You're welcome" she said just as quietly, if not, moreso. She looked up at Alain and dipped low before him. One ankle slid behind the other as she offered Alain a curtsy deep and formal, just as she had mentally given such an image to Clow. Except here she did it before him with her own flesh and the way her wind toyed with her hair that was clasped to spill over one shoulder of her formal wear as she fell and rose made it seem all the more timeless. Her hand and the offered crystals remained in his hand as she paid tribute to him. When she rose, her other hand came up to rest gently upon him as it sat atop hers.

    "There is one more thing I wish to give tonight, but" she said gently and carefully to him "This gift is for you."

    Her thumb smoothed the top of his hand gently. They were alone here, on the hills of his gifted ruins and future. Nalia suddenly found her breath getting caught in her throat and when the wind blew it raised bumps upon her flesh and caused her cheeks to pink slightly. Yes, it was the wind.

    "Come with me" she managed to ask of him.

    If he was willing, they and the wooden box floating on her wrapped shawl, would disappear from this tiny hill on the island.


    They re-appeared within Nalia's personal tent, father north on the island, toward where the island arced into a bay. She was the only one who could teleport in and out of her tent Farther down the hill, closer to the hillside ruins where they'd taken shelter from a Maginus man who, by now, had been Quieted for his attempted assassination of a, now, Guild Mistress, were smatterings of more tents. Many more than had been there when Nalia first called her people to Capios on that fateful night not so long ago. All the tents on Capios were Enchanted to give the permanent residents comforts while more permanent structures were being built.

    A breeze blew through Nalia's tent, fresh from the sea, and smell Alain would know. There was a small, canopied bed by an open window that faced the hillside as it rolled on emerald grasses down to the shore below. There bedroom portion of the enchanted tent was raised up a step higher than the rest of the surrounding room. The bedroom area stepped down into a formal sitting area. There was a lowered pit with Astral-syle couches around it. A small, enchanted fire crackled silently at the center of the raised pit. They teleported in between the bedroom and the hearth. Gently, she took her hands from Alain's and re-wrapped the crystals for him. She lifted a hand and the floated scarf unraveled itself and coiled itself into her hand. The other reached up and collected the box Alain had given her. The scarf was deposited on one of the couches. Lovingly, she held the box in one arm and reached for his hand again with the other.

    "Come with me" she asked softly of him.

    Nalia lead him the opposite direction of the hearth and the bed. They go to the end of the tent that is a singular, bare wall. There was a small writing desk beside a purposely blank patch on the bare tent wall. The desk was littered with texts and scrolls, but only a single book was opened. Nalia studied the penmanship in the worn pages. Alain would recognize the elegant scrawl of her own hand and, what appeared to be a list of runes and dates. Nalia studied them a moment before reaching up with two fingertips. They glowed green and upon the care canvas she left a trail of green as she wrote. When the rune was completed, Alain would realize it was not a rune at all, but a constellation. A simple set of lines designed to convey a single constellation from Liar'Adon's starry sky. The Wooded Rose, said to be a depiction of the Tiarnan Rose from the Woods in Shamaa. It was the image Nalia used in her calming techniques. She had told him stories of how her mother had gone into the Tiarna Woods and brought back the seeds to grow herself. Upon its completion, the green lines of the rose scrawled outward to create the outline of a door. Nalia looked back at Alain with a hint of adventure in the brights of her eyes, and lead him through the rosen door.

    The room they entered was round and full of Totems and artifacts. Alain would know the telltale hum of magikal energy emitted by the stored items. There were ancient tomes he would recognize as hundreds of years old, star charts and dragon scales the size of a small shield. There were potions and bottles and, from somewhere, the sound of running water. As they moved further into the round room, there were shelves that lined the walls and the walls themselves went way up to a single opening that let in a single shaft of moonlight. The moonlight came down and illumined a single, small tree. It was a foot taller than Nalia and the entirety of it's weeping branches were covered in balls of dew. The tree was set in a pot that was within a hole made in the floor. The running water that they heard flowed through a small channel on the floor and down into the hole where the potted tree stood. Nalia released Alain's hand so that he might look around.

    "Be careful of the waters" she warned him gently as she looked at him through the branches of the dewdrop tree. "There is a portal that lets water flow in from the Tiarna Wood. Mindoka fashioned it for me so that the tree might live here outside the forest in the Unsettled Lands. it is not what it is sustained on, but it is a close"

    Alain would begin to smell the sweet-scented water as he approached the center of the room. A few,white rose petals floated by and dipped down into the well for the tree. There were stone tablets written in ancient runes, bones as large as they were, the dried tail-fins of a mermaid, a collection of artifacts and Totems that any anthropologist or runeologist or historian in any province would melt at seeing. She had brought him here. The possibilities of what lay in this room were endless. Nalia stepped carefully over the small channel of enchanted water. She peered carefully around the tree. The dewdrops did not distort her person and reverse her image to stand on its head as normal dew would. Instead, many beautiful Nalia's looked at Alain. She watched him curiously to see how he would react to this place.

    "This room is the beginning" she said to him. "These are the artifacts I have collected, all the Totems I have unearthed that were safe enough to keep. Or small enough to fit."

    He might recognize a trunk with a handprint carved into it and linework and scrollwork. It was the trunk for which she and Oliver had gone back to Maginus. Oliver had died that night and Olivia had been born. There were countless treasures within this place. All hidden behind an illusionary door.

    "What is something you need, Alain LeCavalier?"
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
    *Dexter to the Core|Council of Guidance|Matriarch of Poetry*
    -Official #2 fan of Greg Land|#1 fan of Reesha Teramu & Nevole|#3 fan of Gareth|#4 fan of Arwyn
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    \"You know me: everything detailed and long, blah blah blah.\" (Brath OOC)

  3. #573
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    Capios of Enchantry, The Ailes Bones: A Hillside of White Ruins...

    The bundle of crystals are carefully slipped into Alain's coat pocket.

    Alain follows as Nalia guides him deeper into her many sanctuaries. First her tent, then into a hidden chamber of salvaged totems. The magic of this secret place hums like a chorus to his arcane senses. Alain may lack Nalia's sensitivity to totems, but with this much magic kept in one place it would be impossible not to feel it.

    He looks at the many artifacts of this place. There's so much more to explore. Alain wonders if this is how it has always felt for Nalia whenever she's around Totems. To hear them calling out, and seducing her with their many mysteries and miracles. It's a lot like Alain's passion for the stars. A desire to seek them out, study them, and discover every secret they sing out to the depths of the cosmos.

    Even Clow is fascinated by the treasures he can see through Alain's eyes. The ancient spirit can link a few of them to stories that were even legends in Clow's time. The rest of the collection is as much a mystery to him as it is his host. He wonders if any of the other Guild Spirits could offer other tales for some of the other artifacts. Though, he doubts most of them would offer such knowledge any time soon. Some probably never will share their wisdom and support for Nalia's work here in Enchantry.

    There are places like this in Taroc. Chambers housing relics and items of importance or power. During the War Maginus raided as many of these chambers as they could breach. Hundreds of Taroc artifacts of mystical, artistic, and cultural importance are still missing to this day. Although, Taroc did take back quite a bit of what was taken during the War, and also claimed a great deal of Maginus relics as well. Though, unlike Maginus, Alain showed no interest in items that were of strictly monetary value, and only focused on the artifacts that would bring power or a strategic advantage. These days, Taroc's relic archives are an assortment of Taroc and Maginus items, with a few Shamaa, Astral, and Da'Jinn items mixed in.

    The items in this room, however, are unlike the things Alain has studied in the Taroc archives. These are exotic items that defy what historical tomes or cultural sensibilities can teach him about their nature. They're well beyond his expertise, and out of his range to research. There's so many unknowns contained in this one place. Alain can't help but feel a thrill at the many possibilities this treasure trove contains.

    Alain is baffled by Nalia's question. What does he want? Peace and prosperity for Taroc. Justice for those that Darmon slayed and tortured during the Great War. A house in the country, a wife to hold, and children to raise. Of those desires, Alain knows only peace has any hope of coming true, and only then through eternal sacrifices and titanic efforts. The others, even for the most powerful man in Taroc, are simply fantasies.

    He shrugs his broad shoulders and offers Nalia a helpless smile, as he can't decide which of these ancient treasures he would desire.

    "You know us Taroc men, we're simple creatures," Alain lightly tells Nalia. "All we need is the ground beneath our feet and the stars above our heads. Some of us don't even need the ground."

    He tilts his head slightly and gazes upon Nalia with a daring glimmer in his dark gaze.

    "What do you think I need?"

  4. #574
    Capios of Enchantry, The Ailes Bones: A Hillside of White Ruins

    Nalia al'Vatar of Enchantry

    The shrug of his shoulders is met with a smile and a shake of her head. Nalia came out from behind the dewdrop tree. Carefully and with grace, her fingertips run along one of the bent, weeping branches of the tree. It caused the drops to shiver and tremble. The clear, small image of Nalia in the drops faded and swirled into soft sparkling clouds within the drops. Nalia plucked one of the dewdrops carefully from the tree. She held it delicately within both her palms as she walked toward Alain.

    "You Taroc men" she said as she watched the dewdrop in her hands. "Are more complicated than this tree."

    Nalia stepped with infinite grace toward him.

    "These trees can only grow in one part of Rekōdo. Their dewdrops can only appear with just the right amount of moisture. If it rains, they run down the tree and are gone. If it is too dry, the trees are barren. But in just the right valleys in the Unsettled Lands, these trees grow and they produce these beautiful orbs."

    Nalia carefully cupped the orange-sized droplet in one hand and held it aloft for him to see. The swirling opal color began to settle and take shape. They formed a small girl in a small nightgown, toga-like cottons fit for cool summer nights in Astral. A man played a set of hand pipes. His green eyes watched her between trails of his dark black hair. Beside him a woman in white healer robes and a long golden braid that hung over her shoulder hummed in a lilting voice. The mother hummed a tune to which the little girl danced. Her movements even for one so young, were elegant and graceful. Her freckled features were calm, tied unbreakably into what she was practicing.

    Alain would hear the woman's voice like an echo and the lifting of the pipes as if someone played them on hills far away.

    "They hold a memory. Just a single one. It could be something you want to see, or something you have long ago forgotten. Your happiest memory or the worst day of your life. The day you had your first kiss or the last moments of a dead relative."

    Nalia watched the memory of herself dancing for her father and mother with a veil of no emotion across her face. There was just a hint of something, for a brief moment. Sadness. Longing.

    "How treasured these trees would be for us all, if they could remain permanent."

    Nalia tilted her hand slightly and the drop began to roll.

    "When the rains come or the air and earth becomes too dry-" the drop rolled and fell to the stone floor. It burst like a balloon full of water and the memory it held burst with it.

    Nalia's hand remained upward, empty of the dewdrop. He had asked her a second question, one she pondered now.

    "Freedom" she said gently, a bit sadly. She amended her response. "More time. There is never enough."

    Nalia's eyes finally tore away from him as she looked around the room full of unexplained treasures.

    "Nothing here can stop or stall time. I wish that it could. It would be yours."

    She offered such a fictional treasure to him without hesitation. Instead she turned from him and went to something behind her at the end of the small, towering room. Something was nestled among the dragon scales and things that hummed with old magik. Something tantalizing, natural and yet foreign. It was wrapped and when she carried it to him, it was as larger than a shield, perfectly round and slightly bowed. Slowly she took the cloth from it. The circular disk was clear, but held a pearlescent hint to it. What part of it was held in front of Nalia seemed clearer, more defined as if seen through the eyes of something otherworldly. There was a hint of something around the clear definitions of her body. Something of an aura.

    "This is the lens of a dragon's eye" she said and held it out for him to observe if he so wished. "It is without flaw or defect. You will need it to view your stars through the mist of the Ailes."

    There were horizon-hugging constellations, ones that could only be seen at certain times of year and if the mist of the Ailes was thick enough, they went without detection or observation.

    "Dragons are old, older than we can hope to know or understand. Their eyes have seen so much of our world that we cannot, in ways that we cannot. They are attuned to the Old Magik of the Ailes. Their lenses can pierce the mist so that you can see your stars."

    The lens provided hints of auras, of colors around everything in the room. She could use this to define and catalogue everything in this room, for new discoveries. And she gave it to him so that he could study his stars more succinctly.

    "It is not so beautiful a gift as the stars in the sky..." Nalia stopped and something changed in her face. She tried to sort through something, some words or some thoughts.

    "I wish I could give you-" she started quietly. She stopped and shook her head softly. "Will this do, Alain? if there is anything else in this room that you desire more, speak of it and it is yours."

  5. #575
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    Capios of Enchantry, The Ailes Bones: A Hillside of White Ruins...

    Alain studies the droplets of water. A single memory stored in the palm of a hand. He ponders the collection of memories that makes up his life. So much that hurts to recall. So much more that would bring joy to relive. However, Harbin didn't raise Alain to look backward. To learn from the past, yes, but not to dwell on it. For Harbin, the pursuit of new cherished memories was better than looking back at the old. Alain guesses it was because the past offered the old man too much pain. Harbin had lost too much, and so his memories felt like a curse to him.

    When Nalia guesses what a perfect gift would be, Alain nods in amused approval. The passage of time is an enemy that none can escape or vanquish. If Alain had access to an eternity he might actually accomplish every item on those schedules Verona is always crafting for him. As it is, Alain is lucky to make it halfway through Verona's perfectly calculated schedule before some emergency derails the entire thing.

    Alain winces when Nalia shows him her gift for him. He had not expected Clow to suddenly cry out with so much excitement. True, Clow has been struggling to solve the problem of the mists for as long as he's existed, but the volume of his childlike glee still takes Alain by surprise.

    Alain begins chuckling at Clow's reaction. He tries to explain his reaction to Nalia,
    "On behalf of Clow and myself, thank you."

    Alain laughs again, as the spirit rushes off to some corner of Alain's mind to begin planning out how to best implement the new lens. Alain whispers to Nalia, as if that will prevent the spirit from hearing him, "You should hear how excited he is. I don't think I've ever felt him this happy before."

    Clow doesn't seem to have heard Alain, as the spirit vanishes into Alain's telepathy power. There he communes with the Heli'Dom, and begins setting everything up to have the tower and telescope ready for workmen to arrive in the morning. It might take the rest of the night, but Clow will do everything he can to ensure this new lens is put to use as soon as possible. Now that Clow's presence is away in some deeper part of Alain's psyche, the Guild Master is able to focus his full attention on the lens and the woman giving it to him.

    "This is beautiful. Truly. I don't know what to say. You've given me a new corner of the sky to explore."

    Alain looks up from the lens when Nalia asks him if there's anything else in this hidden chamber that he might desire. His dark gaze meets with her green eyes. He immediately knows exactly what he wants. He forgets to hide that desire in his heated gaze.

    "I can't ask for any more," Alain whispers. "There's only so much we can give to each other. There are rules. Laws."

    There are indeed rules against large transfers of magical gifts. Anything beyond a certain limit would require council or the king's approval. Although, they have not yet reached such limits, and Alain is not truly speaking of those laws. There is one law that forbids what he desires right now.

    Alain steps closer to Nalia. Only the offered lens is between them. Some part of him is tempted to cast aside the infinitely valuable lens and cross that final distance.

    "I should go," Alain says with a quiet voice that would give anything not to leave.

  6. #576
    Capios of Enchantry, The Ailes Bones: A Hillside of White Ruins

    Nalia al'Vatar of Enchantry

    Nalia's brow furrowed at the wince, but at its explanation, she smiled. It was a soft thing, a light dapple of joy across her lovely features. Alain rarely ever used Clow's name in conjunction with happiness. His compliment of her gift brings a small amount of color to accompany the small smile. Nalia looked down at the lens as if to study it and be sure it was truly a flawless piece for the Master of Taroc. She would give no less to his Heli'Dom. To him.

    "What is a telescope lens when compared to giving a chance at life to a young child? It is a small star in the vast sky in comparison."

    She looked back up to find him staring at her. The way he looked at her made her go very still. Her lips parted as she felt the answer to her question fill her with a warmth she forgot she so wanted. Nalia felt her heart hammering the need for his warmth into her chest. Her hands tighten on the lens as he approached. She knows the law of which he speaks and she hates it. If this wasn't a gift for him, she would let it fall so that there was nothing between them. Nothing but a law she knows is wrong.

    His whispers cut like sharp glass, because he's right. He should go before this becomes a regret that would mar the creation of Enchantry forever. Nalia looked away from Alain. Down and then around behind her at the dew tree. She does not want to remember. She turned away and was faced with him again. Nalia tried to hide the breaks she felt in her heart- something for which she was entirely unprepared.

    "As you wish" she said quietly and then quieter still after swallowing the desire to ask him to stay. "I will lead you out."

    The room was warded against teleporting in or out to protect the precious cargo within the hold. She lifted the lens and passed beside him to lead him out. She hesitated a moment and reached back with one of her hands. Slowly, as if afraid of what could happen, she slid her cool fingers into his flesh and blood hand. Her emerald eyes looked up at him and then she guided him forward. When she got to the doorway of the tower, she carefully placed the lens down and touched her hand within an imprint in the stone. It was perfectly her size. emerald scrollwork lines scrawled outward in a circle from where her palm connected with the tower. Alain would feel a slight tingling, of Old Magik being used. When the lines completed their fingerprint pattern, they pulsed softly and then disappeared.

    "I've never brought anyone here. I did not want the wards to lock you in."

    She did not let his hand go as they left the room. They reappeared on the other side of the tent wall where they'd entered. She looked back as he came with her as if to make sure her wards truly did not trap him there. She had been extra cautious in keeping her collection safe. She looked back at him the entire time he re-emerged from the hold. As he came safely forth, emerald light would flare in the hand that held the lens. The pearlescent disc melted away into droplets of emerald starlight. She tried to imagine look he'd given her disappearing in much the same fashion.

    She couldn't.

    "I am sure Clow has already called in the cavalry to get the lens installed" she said as she looked back at him. "I sent the lens ahead. It will be waiting for you at the Heli'Dom along with notes on its uses and properties."

    A cool breeze came in through the bay style window by her canopied bed. Nalia looked up to the window, to the bed and stopped. She did not want to remember, but the look he'd shown her in his eyes made her. She remembered the sound of buttons raining down upon the floor of the Heli'Dom, his lips upon her skin, the way he touched her delicately, the way he moved above her. His sounds. Every scar upon his flesh that she'd touched, discovered. The noise he made when she- Nalia suddenly felt a piece of her resolve crumble. Her head bowed before turning to look back at him. She was still holding his hand. The same look he'd given her moments ago was returned, but it was laced with restraint that hurt her to bear.

    "You should go" she said. Her voice was painfully quiet. He would see it in her eyes that it was the farthest thing from what she wanted.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 11-21-2017 at 07:03 PM.

  7. #577
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier

    Capios of Enchantry, The Ailes Bones: A Hillside of White Ruins...

    A younger Alain would have damned the laws and ended this charade. That Alain had the luxury of leading in a lawless war. He could let his instincts and passions rule him. During the War he had almost nothing to lose.

    With peace came the shackles of rules and laws that he couldn't ignore, because now he has a world to lose. With age has come the wisdom to understand that the rules and laws exist for a reason. It's only on nights like tonight that this reason evades Alain's very frustrated awareness.

    Where Nalia leads him, Alain follows. This is Nalia's domain. He trusts his hand into her grasp. Her chilled touch excites a tingle up his arm. Soon she has guided him out of the hold and into her tent. The hum of ancient magic is replaced with the sound of the night air gently pressing against the canvas dwelling.

    "Thank you for setting me free," Alain lightly comments when Nalia tells him about the wards she needed to move him beyond. "I've been told I make a terrible captive."

    Alain attention drifts towards the cool breeze. A hint of the seas lingers in the wind. He finds his eyes looking upon the bed. He quickly tears his eyes away from the bed and returns his attention to his host. He reminds himself that Nalia is a fellow Guild Master. It's his duty to try to treat her as such, and not give in to whatever desires he might have.

    For the sake of Taroc, the laws of their lands, and both of their futures, he should just leave. End this quickly. Not give himself the chance to do something foolish.

    "Farewell, Councilor Nalia of Enchantry," he softly tells her. Alain can't help but smile as he uses the title Nalia has struggled so hard to achieve. "May the stars look favorably on you, your people, and your reincarnated city."

    He gives her a slight bow and evaporates into a burst of crimson fire that burns itself out within moments. The flames are no warmer than the man's own body temperature, and do nothing to harm the surrounding tent or the hand that held Alain's hand.

  8. #578
    The Grand Palace in Rekōdo City: The Gardens

    King Heron Younger.jpg Young Prince Eri.jpg

    Heron, King of Rekōdo, Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo and Prince Eri, Protector to the Heir of Rekōdo

    The Gardens was a natural wonder of Rekōdo and one of the few natural things left in the large cityscape that was tribute to its original state. The Grand Palace was as it was named: grand and beautiful in it architectural feat. With its spires of dedication to each province, there was little else like it in all of the City except The Gardens.

    Built atop a sharp uprising in the earth, the slopes of the palace were steep. Over time, the city was built up around it with walls marking occasional needs for protection and walls farther out from the palace as a need for expansion. The Palace itself was the highest point in Rekōdo City. The city built itself around that hill. Within the walls that surrounded the hill where the palace had grown was a garden. From the beginning, it had been a place of tranquility, where those of the palace could come to escape the harsh stresses that came with the power of rule. From its conception, the garden was tricky in nature, because of nature, to design. The slopes of the hill upon which the palace was built were of a steeper grade than traditional garden work would allow, and so when design upon design failed to take root, the most natural thing to do was mold it to nature itself. Nothing brought in, planted, constructed obscured the natural elements of the forested hillside. Pathways were built around trees, moon bridges in high, arching coils over lakes. Paths were hewn of the stones of the earth. Rounded stones collected from beaches around Rekōdo made for a pleasant sounds as one walked along the trees and fauna. All over the secluded hillside of the gardens were things from the provinces that could survive naturally and not interfere with the natural order already in place. There were symbols pf the provinces hidden, old runes and sayings, things that would only catch the eye of the careful observer. Some would only shine or glimmer faintly at the presence of one who wielded powers of that province. All were to the delight of the wanderer.

    By far, the Princess's favorite things of the garden were the Taroc Maples that flourished in the low light of the much larger and taller Rekōdo oaken trees. They were not large trees, but the boughs spread out at wide, even angles along the ground. Their leaves remained at a range of sunset orange to deep crimson red all year long, even in winter. They were native to their namesake along the border with Maginus in the northeastern regions of the province. Some even grew along the cliffs between Clow and Al'Rora. It was said by Taroc sailors that a man knew he was home from the emerald seas when the bright red beacons of Taroc lined the cliff-shores of the land.

    It was within one of these trees that the remnants of the Princess's present hung. Ribbons of the palest pink hung like party streamers from one of the lower hanging branches of the crimson maples. They had tied back the long, strawberry blond hair of the future ruler of their lands, but had been un-entwined from her fancy braided coils and hung carefully there. There were books balanced carefully atop one of the twists the trunk of the tree where it branched out horizontally from it's base. Three, all of her magikal studies for the week. They too, like the ribbons, had been abandoned carefully in search of greater things.

    There was a bridge and a pathway that branched off from the small glade with the maple of her favor and just off this path, nearly hidden by the natural world around it, was a stone gazebo.

    It was the end of summer and even with the bloom of wildflowers that thrived in all kinds of weather, the rest of the world was slowly beginning to unwind into the coolness and color of fall. The Princess walked on the beaten path amongst the tall lavendars and purples that lead up to the gazebo. She seemed to belong here, amongst the flowers, with her pastel pink dress, her long, pale wavy hair and her pale green eyes. She was a quiet girl, observant, and she came unto the stone gazebo with that same quiet observance that marked her as an intelligent child. She'd had a birthday this past summer. She was six now, almost a lady.

    The sounds of swords, of her father and her brother in one of their rare moments to be able to train together when neither were entrapped by their royal tasks. The Princess turned and watched what she could see of them with her watchful eyes. They stopped sparring, her father lowering his sword to step forward and adjust the setting of Eri's shoulders and how wide he held his arms as he moved. Her father was patient with Eri and she could tell by how attentively her brother, five years older than her, stared that he was listening avidly and retaining everything he said.

    That was the beautiful thing about Eri: Everything said was important and given all of his devotion and attention. Every detail was memorized and stored. Pasce watched her brother and father and then turned and entered the gazebo.

    It was an old thing, carved of the same stone of the castle. At least that's what she thought. It appeared to be the same. She ran her fingers over the smoothed stone, over the veins of marbles ores within its surface. She looked upward into the dome of the gazebo. It was pitch black with what appeared to be tiny holes. Light filtered in from the world around and mapped out the night sky of their world. Each time of day lit up a new set of stars and moved them across the night sky. The pillars that held up the sky dome were the five, now six provinces of Rekōdo. Each one had the marks of their province upon the stone. Pasce stopped curiously at the one that held the horizon of Enchantry. How did it get here? It was only six months old. the Princess reached her fingers up to touch it, but hesitated before doing so. Something caught her eye. Another pillar, a seventh beside the pillar of Liar'Adon, Deanna and the two creations before man. It was smooth except for a single place. It looked as if something had been scratched off. It was like the High Council Chamber. The empty chair. And the unlit tower above the palace. A reminder of war and what consequence it wrought. The Princess's brow furrowed.

    The clanging of swords picked up again, but she did not turn around to watch this time. The clanging echoed in the beautiful serenity of the garden, terribly out of place and entirely right as her pale green eyes stared at the damaged pillar.

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