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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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In cold fury Elanise did reply, the sharp edge laid at her throat not shifting so much as a finger's breadth, "I shall not be made to be no more than a brood mare held in dishonourable hostage for my babe Nimine. It shall require far more than the one small life within my womb to save Elf-kind and Ulthuan; - I did freely chose exile and I shall have of it or I shall have death."

"What insanity is this?" Prince Tyrion did demand then as he did take a step towards to Elanise, his eyes studying the detemined set of her jaw and the steady grip she did have upon I'ssina's sword. "What fell hold do you have upon these people that a she-Elf with child would destroy herself and her unborn babe before she would remain in Ulthuan?" "The name of it is loyalty and love my Lord Tyrion," Si'anelle did quietly say as she did shift a little in her chair to face him. "Take Elanise daughter of Helandir if you dare Prince, only remember this. I do also serve Alarielle Everqueen of Avelorn. For when death does close your eyes at last, both the Lady Ae'thenal and I shall still be alive and undying, living out our days of weary despair as we do hold and ward the Banepearl from other hands. The gift shall forever remain ungiven my Lord Prince; - and if for a span of years these my people shall adhere to our purpose and give what aid they may to us then it is no less than Isha's will."

Of a sudden pain did wrack Si'anelle's limbs and body as upon her lap the Banepearl did spit flame, cold dark fire that licked and played beneath sky blue silk without consuming it. Falling to her knees Ae'thenal did hold her friend close while she did tremble in her agony without so much as crying out one single word. Then Si'anelle did become the more steady in her arms and now she did seek out Prince Tyrion, their Everqueen's champion expression cold as he did look upon her as if she was Chaos spawn. Unoticed Nimine did now step past them and take the sword from Elanise's loosened grip, the she-Elf given over to weeping for her Lady, and lead her away to the care of her female guard. "So you do think I fear to speak Isha's name my Lord Prince," said Si'anelle then and again agony did make her jerk in her friend's arms. "For Isha I do love and serve, and shall forever..." And the scream that was torn from her throat then was more than Ae'thenal could bear.

"For Isha's sake pity me Tyrion...," Si'anelle did gasp at last when she could again manage speech, her eyes large and bright with tears as she did turn her face towards him. "For Isha's sake..." And she did scream in agony a second time, her pain like knives in Ae'thenal's heart. "Isha,...Isha,...Isha..." Three times more before Si'anelle did faint slack limbed into her arms, the Banepearl rolling from her lap to lie near to Prince Tyrion's feet, dark cored flame flickering across its surface as it did continue to punish its mistress.


Prince Tyrion had not taken Elanise from amongst them. That was perhaps their one small victory that day upon that green meadow bordering the forest of Avelorn; - though despite this they had been given no choice save to surrender the fostered male children, Telisur and Findrion, to Prince Tyrion's care. Sighing Ae'thenal did sniff away her tears as she did continue to lean against the rail. In this perhaps Prince Tyrion had also been able to claim a victory of a kind; - at least the children had gone to him freely, their faces bright with awe and excitement at being in company with the great champion of their Everqueen. Whereas in their place Elanise would have delighted to mark his noble face with her nails and bruise him with her elbows and knees if he had attempted to lay a hand to take her unwilling.

Also and not least Prince Tyrion had unbent sufficiently to listen to the telling of the battle against the Beastmen. Gravely attentive as Cedwyn had told the tale of it, and listening also when Nimine had at last told of her hard fight against Dechala. In this she had been amazed as she had sat upon the ground with Si'anelle unmoving in her lap. For in the aftermath she did have no recollection, save for the flash and ring of steel, the rage and hatred in her heart and the black sword made of flame in her hand. When Nimine's voice had fallen into silence Prince Tyrion had come to her then, most cautiously skirting the Banepearl where it did lie dark and cold and wicked upon the ground, before raising up her right hand and drawing back the sleeve of her gown to reveal the bare knitted cut upon her arm. The flesh about the wound reddened but clean in spite of the poison on Dechala's blade.



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