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Wednesday, 08 June 2005
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Chapter v, The Begining of Exile
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Her eyelids did open, the act achieved with reluctance, for to awaken to the physical weakness of her body and the wound within her spirit was sufficient cause for her to wish that she was dead. "Ah, you do awake at last; I did begin to wonder if I did but stand watch over a pair of corpses." Dragging herself to her knees, the effort causing her stick-like limbs to begin trembling Ae'thenal did at first make the mistake that it was Naideth Morningstar who did lean upon her spear. Only it was not, for it was Nimine Starbrow who had stood a night's watch over them. Nimine with her armour and weapons that had been hers when she had been of the Maiden Guard, her seven years of service at an end before both Si'anelle and herself had been born into this World.

"It is my true desire that I had not awoken Nimine," Ae'thenal did reply as her eyes did fall upon the Banepearl where it did lie half covered by the tattered ruin of her cloak. Dark as the night's core a flicker as of flame did show itself beneath its smooth surface as if it did give acknowledgement that she was now one of its damned guardians. Casting her cloak the more fully over the hateful object she did say, "To sleep forever in death, to know no more of this World, this is my one and true desire."

And in response Nimine Starbrow did take the three quick steps necessary to reach her before she did bestow a ringing slap upon her face. As Ae'thenal did raise a trembling hand to her cheek, her sudden tears wet on her face Nimine did knot her fingers in her cloak and by main strength lift her to her feet. "Might well you stink unwashed as if you were numbered among the beast creatures of a Chaos Lord Ae'thenal, daughter of Telimis; - Telimis, your father who did breath his last in my arms on Finuval Plain. But you shall not give voice to the Doom that does lie upon you while the entire company of Si'anelle's household does stand outside this pavilion; in hope that by their love and continued service they shall see the day in which their mistress is restored."

Releasing her Nimine did now shove her towards a basket that did lie upon the ground within the empty and bare pavilion. "You live Lady Ae'thenal, so eat and gain you some small measure of strength. Or will you have me feed you by force?" With the weakness that was afflicting her, she could do no more than fall to her knees beside the basket that did contain small loaves of waybread, a flask of water and an assortment of fruit. Her shame did now lend a hot flush to her cheeks and it did seem Nimine did take a measure of satisfaction at the sight as she did stand over her.

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