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Wednesday, 07 September 2005
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Chapter ix, Exile, a leavetaking with both honour and hope
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"You we may trust Ae'thenal; - the Banepearl we do not," Nimine did sigh in her ear then. "And the Banepearl now does stir a little within you foster daughter does it not?" Which did cause her to hide her face in her hands while she did wonder for how long this remnant of Arhaindir Moonhand's people would continue to be the patient guardians of Si'anelle and herself before their patience was at an end and they would be abandoned. Though Nimine's next soft word in her ear did serve to drive away her doubts and cause her to smile.

"I do find myself attempting to remember the last occasion I did see you attired in a gown and with your hair dressed and not in a wild tangle Ae'thenal." The smile her fostermother did give her then was a small gift to treasure. A comfort to hold in this moment when Prince Tyrion and his retinue were now begining to cross the open expanse of ground that did separate his warhost from them.

As if they had been waiting for this moment the three she-Elves now did bring Si'anelle forward carrying her between them. The fourth setting the finely worked folding chair down before her father's standard and assisting her companions to settle Si'anelle into it. At a silent sign from Nimine the four did quickly rejoin the ranks of their fellow female guards and now Nimine did guide her to stand at Si'anelle's right hand, placing her left hand upon the back of the chair so that she might have a measure of support in her weakness. Her friend did wear a simple gown of green silk banded with white and her hair was elegantly dressed, though for all the care that had been taken with Si'anelle's grooming she did wear no gems or jewellery. Shapeless in its covering of sky blue silk the Banepearl did lie in her lap and now that she was no longer being carried Si'anelle's hands had abandoned it.

"Remain beside me sweet Ae'thenal," her friend did whisper softly to her as her hand sought her right hand.

"You do know I shall Si'anelle," was her quiet reply as her friend's hand closed over her own. For all that Si'anelle's formerly unremarkable beauty had been transformed by the Banepearl her face was now so marked by her sadness and despair that to look upon her face was to know a chill abandonment of all hope. Ae'thenal did know her own despair within her was a deep weariness, but it was a mere shadow of her friend's. Then she was but a companion to the Banepearl's mistress who did ever only taste of the shadow and not the full measure.

In her former life her heart may have fluttered a little at the sight of Prince Tyrion arrayed as he was now in his ancient mage wrought armour, his burnished winged helm upon his head and with his fine cloak upon his shoulders. But this was another life and another time. Six other captains from the warhost did walk with him, and Ae'thenal did recognise them to be the commanders of regiments who did hold a depth of honour about them that had been hard earned on Finuval Plain. And if their eyes were cold as they did look upon them all, her eyes were also cold as she did match their hard eyed expressions. As Prince Tyrion did come up to them he took up a stance before Si'anelle where she did sit before her father's war standard and said in a loud voice without preamble. "And does the rune 'Arhain' set above the full moon upon your banner signify treachery? Do I find myself confronted with the enemies of Elf-kind this day?"

On hearing these harsh words a hot rage did at once ignite within Ae'thenal's breast, but while her left hand did clench tight upon the carved wood at Si'anelle's back Ae'thenal did also note the tight lines of anger now worn openly on both Cedwyn's and her fostermother's faces. And Lanan and I'ssina both did also not give shift to hide their offense as they did grip the standards they did hold the more tightly. Though before any depth of passion could give rise to any retort from any of these four it was Si'anelle who did break the angry silence.

"My Lord Tyrion," she did say softly in a sad voice that did carry for all its measured quietness, "You do demean my father's banner; - the banner that was carried aloft on Finuval Plain. And the banner beneath which more than a full score of Arhaindir Moonhand's people did end their lives that cruel day." Drawing in a breath as if the very act was an effort Si'anelle did raise her left hand, making a gesture that did encompass all who were of her household. "No fell enchantments do bind these my people to me as I do journey into exile; - I did release them all from their oaths my Lord Tyrion, - and not a one of them did go from me for all my entreaties that they should do so."

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 September 2005 )
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