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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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Though as Bronwyn did fade from sight the landscape did now shift and reform so that now she was looking upon a wide and grassy meadow bordering a forest that could rival the forest of Avelorn. Tall and mossy stones did stand upon that meadow as if they were ward stones set to mark a boundary and Ae'thenal was now certain she did look upon the Old World forest of Athel Loren.

"Ah, now another does arrive my Child." The lightest of touches upon her shoulder did give her the direction to where she should now shift her gaze and now Ae'thenal did see a fair maiden riding a white horse at an easy canter towards the mossy ward stones. The maid did wear a green gown and her hair the colour of wheat did flow out from beneath a wimple that was as green as her gown. Girded at her slim waist was a sheathed longsword and in her right hand she did carry a mage's staff of power. Though for all that the maid did carry both a longsword and a mage's staff, and that she did seem to be content enough to ride alone in this landscape without a sign of fear, Ae'thenal did think it strange that she should be here on the borders of Athel Loren.

"Her name is Jean-Marie d' Quenelles my Child, and she is well skilled in the magic arts," Isha did now tell her. "Do not allow her youthful appearance to deceive you for she does own a scorceress's craft in full measure and is a welcome friend to the Elf-kindreds of Athel Loren."

"Another Elf-friend that Si'anelle and I shall meet at a future time?" Ae'thenal did ask and again soft sweet laughter did surround her as if Isha did know of yet more secrets that were her's alone. Which did give Ae'thenal cause to wonder if even before Si'anelle and herself had set foot upon their ill fated quest they had already been well warded and provided for. Now the maid was dismounting from her horse and engaged in unpacking a flask of wine from her saddle bags. This she did place with care in the shadow of one of the great ward stones before she did lead her horse across the boundary and towards the trees of Athel Loren. In the moment before she did pass beneath the trees however, she did now turn and stand, her eyes as blue as cornflowers seeking her out across the meadow to where she was at the ship's rail. Of a sudden the maid did raise her hand in salute, her smile quick and warm, and then she was leading her horse beneath the tree's shadow and in a moment was gone from her sight.

With her own hand still raised in answer Ae'thenal did feel a rising sense of relief within her. They would not be alone and without friends in the strange lands of the Old World. For neither herself or Si'anelle had met with humankind before this day, and neither of them had given a thought before this to the strangeness of the races of humankind that they would all too soon find themselves amongst once this voyage was at an end. And if these two women were to be their companions, there could not be a greater contrast in their manner. Where Bronwyn did seem to view all with mirth and a lightness of spirit for all that her armour and shield did bear the marks of hard fought combat against capable foes; - Jean-Marie did seem to own a seriousness quality of manner as if her every act was well considered and not undertaken lightly.

"Others you shall also meet my Child," Isha did say to her then, her sweet soft voice all around her as if it was of the air itself. "But these two shall be your principal companions, and they shall go with you in all that you do in the lands of the Old World."

Quietly then Ae'thenal did say, "I have been so afraid, not for myself but for Si'anelle." "Ah Child," Isha did say, "the Banepearl is a wicked thing. Made by Chaos long ago to be an agent of destruction in these times; - and that it was made to seem fair and only able to be claimed by a one of good intent does doubly make it wicked. However its purpose is now thwarted, and for as long as it does remain ungiven it must give reluctant service to the one who does hold it. Until the World's ending you shall ever receive the aid you require at my hand my Child. And ever shall individuals of good heart join to your cause and give of their strength to fight against those servants of Chaos who will seek to reclaim the Banepearl from you. So even though you and your Si'anelle shall taste of despair and shall at times think yourselves abandoned, - in truth you shall not be abandoned and shall ever be beneath my hand."



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 September 2005 )
 
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