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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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"I did doubt you Lady Ae'thenal," he had said to her with a now honest respect in his voice.

"Not I my Lord Tyrion," she had answered her own tone cold, "but my Lady Si'anelle who is far the more braver than I." He had knelt then, putting out a hand to examine her friend as if uncertain that she did still live in her stillness.

"Oh my Lady will survive her punishment a right my Lord Prince," she had told him her tongue bitter. "For neither Si'anelle nor I shall know death, though we shall often enough desire it before the World's ending." Then she had met and held his eye and said one word. "Isha." And paid for it with dear coin as her nerves took fire. Again she had spoken while Prince Tyrion had looked upon her with a fearful concern for her.

"Mother Isha we your children do call upon your...mercy...for we...are lost...and do wander...alone...in the World..." Until at last not even her will could stand against the Banepearl's fury and she had been forced to abandon the words of the ancient prayer unable to do no more than moan aloud in her agony.

"Are you now satisfied my Lord Tyrion?" Nimine had said then as she had stepped past him on quiet feet to drop to one knee before taking her in her arms. Several of Nimine's female guard had accompanied her fostermother and now they did claim Si'anelle bearing her away in their arms without a word.

"I do think I am well satisfied Nimine Starbrow," had been his answer as he had risen to his feet. "For Alarielle our Everqueen did charge me to discover if the Banepearl had yet begun to erode their wills and turn their hearts towards Chaos."

Nimine had laughed sharply at that and shook her head. "These two do hold a hatred for Chaos that did so shape their faces before yesterday's battle that the entire host of Ungor and Gor did retreat from them as they did advance on them alone. And each dawn as the sun does rise they do pray to Isha even though they do suffer agony for the act my Lord Tyrion." Here Nimine had gently stroked her hair as if she was still a child of tender years. "No my Lord, you may tell our Everqueen that she shall be forever safe from the Banepearl's harm; - though I do think the allies of Chaos shall suffer much at the hands of these two before the World does end."

The warhost of Prince Tyrion had become their escort after this, warding them all in their journey across Ulthuan to take ship at last into exile. At their leavetaking gifts had been given to both Si'anelle and herself, armour forged by the smiths of Vaul, of ancient work and with mage craft alloyed in the silver Ithilmar. And Prince Tyrion himself had placed a mage wrought sword heavy with gems and smouldering runes of power into her hands to replace her own lesser sword. Si'anelle did already own her father's sword with its two mage wrought Elf runes, Elthrai and Ceyl, and did have no need for a replacement; - though Ae'thenal had known as she had held her newly given mage wrought sword in her hands that she of the two of them did now own the greater blade.

"Alarielle herself did charge me to give you this gift Lady Ae'thenal," Prince Tyrion had said to her while they had stood before their ship's gangplank but spare minutes away from a final leavetaking. "My Lady did instruct me to tell you that your oath to the Noble Lady Si'anelle will demand a good weapon in your hand as you do journey together." So it had been a leavetaking undertaken in honour and not shame as she had thought it would be. Though for all that Si'anelle had still fled to her cabin even as the gangplank had been drawn up and had not stirred beyond its door. Nor would she answer any knock upon its surface save her own as she did lie hunched in her despair upon her bed, the sheets sodden beneath her with her tears.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 September 2005 )
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