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Content copyright Lands of Exile 2019
Mar 7, 2018

The New Vigil

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Aiden closed his eyes, and within his mind he could see the high alabaster walls of Argulin Proper as clearly as if he were starring right at them. He could see the the mountains that surrounded his homeland; the plains that stretched out before the base of the highlands, the cathedrals and bastions that dotted the landscape to protect the various towns and villages and offer places of prayer to the Dawn Mother. So sad he was when he opened his eyes, that instead of the glory of it's former days, this new "Argulin" was naught but tents and hastily built structures made to cover building supplies while construction of a rudimentary town began that they had all called New Vigil.

He had taken Rin and brought her with him, having heard of her ordeal when he had last went out on a mission to gather information, returning to learn she had been felled in battle again, and that her soul's light had faded to a dangerously dim aura. That was a few months back, and they had been here helping for a good while, trying to enjoy their marriage and help his surviving countrymen make something for themselves in the Exiled Lands. He had sent Wolfram with some of the construction teams to gather up the resources needed for homes and fortifications, and he was still waiting to hear of where Zujoji and the others had vanished off to (though to be fair, he had become well used to White Wolf members disappearing to and fro as they please.)

The surviving knights from the various orders now looked disheveled and tired. Aiden had thought it rough for he and the others back in New Haven, but they too had dealt with great hardship and struggle since coming in off the sea, especially since they had but the princess-turned-queen to lead now with a few surviving members of the clergy. While she was knowledgeable for one so young, they all had much that must be taught to Alescia that she would need to know, and given the circumstances they would need to teach fast and she would need to be a quick study.

Besides helping the new queen and rebuilding, Aiden also intended to have Rin taught how to better defend herself, in fact he wanted her trained in the ways of the Knights of the Jade Rose, though she did not seem enthused with the strict training regimen that it entailed. Still, he was insistent that the least she could do was take their training to heart so that she would be better equipped for the hardships they would surely endure when they returned to New Haven. He had pained himself over leaving, having left much undone, but he could not afford to lose any of friends from home. He could not afford to lose the love of his life, whom he had only but recently wed.

It would be a few months before he and her would return to New Haven, and to him this was as close to vacation as he could imagine, even if the work here was hard and he longed to see his other friends back in town. In the least, he figured, this would let him and RIn have some time to themselves though, a luxury hard to come by in New Haven. But no matter how much he was torn between staying here and returning, Alescia and Barrus had both essentially told him he was needed there more than here, though for now they were glad to have him and Rin here to help out. He would take this time to sharpen his devotion, his emotions, and make himself stronger. For Argulin. For Dawn Mother I'nil. For Archangel Almeria. For the Knights of the Black Rose. For White Wolf Company.

 

For Rin...

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  • NOTE: This is to read and enjoy out of game (OOG) only, not known outside of her in-character journal in game. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *writing her next journal entry, she dips her pen in the jar and gives a long sigh, a brief pause and then leaned in to scribe...* "11th month of di 13th day, 3rd year after fire.... I write to you, not sure where my thoughts are going beyond this parchment? Today has been strange, as I find myself pacing seeking some kind of positive affection. I step outside to feel the sun but alas, I cannot feel it. Too cold.... My eldest, I dread the winter, I really do. Our Inil, how much we need you. I find myself perturb with silly notions of wearing some kind of headpiece? A beautiful tiara or some strange extravagant priestess head piece, as if to replace what I lost? My hair. I try not to mope or mourn about it. I try really hard not to cry in front of others about it. It's just hair. It'd grow back. It didn't hurt. The scars will heal. They didn't take your life. Others had it worst. You'd be fine. It's alright. Over and over I repeat the mantra but alas something inside me feels gone. My boiling anger and rage has dissipated? I've returned to a much more sensitive and vulnerable emotions I once had before entering the Exiled Lands? I feel so unsafe all the time...my skin sensitive to the touch. *she pauses to dip her pen, frowning a bit and leaned in to continue her script*.... I do not know if I can call out my Holy Fire again? That immense courage and fire inside my spirit? It's been covered in ashes or water,..something feels wrong. I feel off. I feel out of place. Where did the long hair spirited version of me go? Trapped in that imprisonment, I kept ruminating over and over what was just hours prior, the delightful amber sunset afternoon of having lunch with Theron. We teased, joked and shared even a tiny cheery pie I made.... It was the sweetest afternoon I ever had in a long time, the way Theron looked upon me, we shared an innocent intimate moment of just relaxing before heading to New Haven. He looked so happy.... That amber color of sunlight in his eyes, and his smile...looking upon me. His sweetest attention towards me... And then hours later, I am suddenly ambushed, violently ropped and abused in an enclosed space. I was unconscious after the first few whipblows. there was a mysterious sting of pain on my ribcage. My screaming, the dark enclosure and feeling hot dripping down my chest and legs. My own blood,....am bleeding. My mouth hurts! What did they do to me? I can't move my mouth,.... I knew suddenly what it was, my inked words. My writings. That letter. They saw it. My declarations. Did my little writings really haunt them so? Encouraging them to do such horrible things??? I thought it was all over as I sat there among the screaming, I had no clue what had happened? What was going on everywhere? The sun was gone, and I was completely convinced that all of New Haven was captured and we lost the war. What the hell happen? What went wrong? How did we all get caught? I painfully watch them torment everyone, one by one for information. Forcing greyloks to do biddings, laughing at us choking in pain. They were enjoying it. They found pleasure in our pain.... I couldn't bear looking at them in the eye. I try to block it, but it haunted behind my eyelids. I watched poor Percival bleed before me, I can never forgive myself for not helping him. I remember what the inners of poor Zeerah felt in my hands! I fruitlessly in muffled cries tried to push them back in, it did not help her..... There was growling and shrieking at one end of the prison, one of the Norrats was going Feral in the chaos as they smell blood in the air,...was it Mama Kym? I was terrified of it... I agonized in a corner. To resist breaking down, I told myself that no matter what they did to me, they could not take my sunset afternoon away from me. That sunset was mine....and we had to find a way out..... We had to escape. I tried to comfort those who are hurt byside me.... To give them hope... To show that love has not died... I wanted to see Theron again..... I wanted to be safe with him again.. I was scared he was somewhere else, being beaten down. I had hopeful low thoughts that if we were turned to Greyloks, that at least I can be beside him... What a horrible thought that was, to submit. But every time I saw mysterious things happening among the inmates. The confusion among the guards, I was renewed with great hope. Our people,...fighting back. I just couldn't figure out how. There were daggers being passed around, whispering plans that fell apart easily. A coo breaks up as someone gains a blade only to be struck down once again. They heal us, the greylocks Then break us all over again.... All I thought of was surviving which each blow..... And then the drums, a booming outside of the doors. Never was I so happy to hear drums outside those doors! I knew it was our bards, our people! And right there I see Kannoth, bursting the door and others bursting with blades fighting their way in. My body slumped in relief scampering for escape...... We were saved....but I still feel I left something behind. It's been days, and my wounds are closing. But I feel as if my skin was some how peeled off and a version of me is lost? My trust in so many people has ruptured as I see so many so willing to practice dark arts, blood magic and even helping them consume blood knowing what it causes us. What it did to all of us. Loosing the stone, loosing our home. How it ruins our world with each apathetic acceptance of darkness... I am quietly horrified. I watch others revive the likes of dangerous people? Are we doing the right thing? I did the one thing I knew I could do, entrust information to everyone as I can. We only succeed. We ONLY succeed when we KNOW what we were doing! What a catastrophe it would be if no one understood the objective. Everything lined up one after another at a fast pace....something that happens often. Behind the major ritual, I am skimming from group to group on what is the objective, who is doing what, what are we seeking, and what is not known. Everyone doing their part... And even then, things didn't go as planned? Us ritualists could not break the Wards! As we brought one down, someone else brought them back up from the enemy lines! I was mortified. And when I saw the Blood Stone gone, I assumed the worst. I assumed a drow took it away and ran off and we lost the battle. We had no reason to be there anymore and we told the masses we had to leave.... I am still very shocked at Percival declaring that if we lost our objective than we continue to fight and die there. Never, did I think Percival was one for Matyrlism? But there it was, and I will now take that to account, his mentality lends more to warrior than a healer. I for one, always seek the path of having everyone survive so we can ALL return again and fight once more. A battle can be lost, but never a war. We are both so different.... But as it turned out, either by luck or some kind of mysterious ways, the very fact myself and the ritualists were targeted for putting down the ward on the left flank (a total mishap!) was actually the lucky opportunity for Thornir to do what he had to do.... We unintentionally were the decoy to let him succeed unnoticed. Could a moment be anymore amazing in luck? Destinies are such mysterious ways. And it came to everyone's knowledge then, that it was actually Thornirr who ran off with the stone! With puzzled faces, myself and others declared we had to leave immediately! I am haunted by the image of a discarded Ro'an, left in the ward of the Drow. I could not save him. Everyone ran, breath caught in our throats, everyone knew what to do in the panic. Plans fell together in a messy beeline to a tent and before we knew it, everyone had the stones gathered together in a massive chanting to banish the blood fae. I am in shock how it came together so quickly! By the skin of our teeth! And then,....she was gone. Leaving a gap of nightmares behind her, but gone. We stare in disbelief and have a short victory of embraces. It's not quiet over though. The stones still need to be send away safety. To be sent to the original guardians of the Fae Stones, the Watchers. These white masked individuals, with red bleeding eyes, have been long gone, but I did not forget them. They will be the new keepers of the stones once we successfully pass it to them. Although many not know who they are, I learn now that my only key moment was to assure they were not an enemy. They, three years ago lead us on issues related to the Liche, Lala and the original Forest Fae, until they disappeared when Zu did. I hope they don't go about picking a new 'Watcher'.... So where am I now? I do not know. I've given so much attention to Theron, fearing where his mind would go in dangerous risks that even he can't control. My heart aches and it hurts so much to see himself dismiss his own safety and value of life during that strange ritual with Ro'an. I feel there's a part of him I cannot trust? Do I not matter to him?....does he not want to stay alive and be with us?.....with me? I am scared. And days later, he finally breaks down. Weeping in my arms in loud sobs until he fell asleep. The fear of failure, the feeling of approaching death. It came crashing on him suddenly. I wept with him....giving him all the love I knew I could give. After many days resting, he decided to find some recess on his own, to put himself together again....pleading to have faith in him. I hope he'd be alright... Meanwhile, I too decided to recess myself. In quiet ruminations wondering how do I properly heal myself ? The nightmares fade but a miasma left behind. Could a pretty headdress for a priestess help me find what I lost inside, or at least help the healing? My pride in those white long locks, I didn't realize how meaningful it was to me now that it's gone. I shall ruminate what exactly did I loose in those locks? what I lost that night.... I look in the mirror now and very slowly I am accepting the new visage. The compliments do help alot, and the softening of the locks helped by Dr Arthur. It is pretty.... But instead, what I see is Elijah, my paladin brother. This hair is identical to his.... I wonder, if he's doing alright?....Where could he be? What would he say if he knew of what I endured? My eldest, I feel so lost. I tremor at large fights, I'm so apprehensive, the trauma of being captured again loud in my ears,... How others call me a disappearing 'white bunny'....even rumors that I turn in to one has circled around. I feel terrible, where did my fighting courage go? I'm I just being more realistic? Is this really myself understanding how weak I really am? And in the past, the long hair fiery cleric, was she just foolishly rampaging in to front lines attacking? Was I really being rash and naive in those moments? Or did I loose something inside of me? Was I better before hand? Or am I better now being more cautious? What's wrong with me my eldest? I will always push against the darkness, never submit to the dark elves, and be there when I can.... But, Inil, where did my fiery light go? Was it wrong to have it? Was I suppose to be more demure? More careful? Is this a hidden blessing or a terror I must face? I want to be a your priestess of your light... Please teach me, show me your way.... Please heal what I've lost? So that I can teach others who lost something too... I am but just your humble light, kneeling before you,.... I am nothing without you. please...help me. Aleena Cloudlily *She frowns reading what she wrote,...and gently leans back to let the ink dry up, putting her penset away*
  • Ro’an wakes to the sounds of screams for the second morning in a row. “Noooooooooo” he shouts, tears stream down his face. Images from the Drow prison race through his mind. His head throbs like the pounding of a raging river against a boulder. Bleary eyed, and shaking Ro’an looks around taking in his surroundings. Pulling his black cloak in tighter around him like a security blanket. He finds himself waking in a dark corner of the deserted high town Tavern....again. Huddled against the two walls was the only place he felt safe. The only place he felt he could sleep after his experience in the Drow prison. He did not feel safe in his bed. However, no matter where he tried to sleep when he closed his eyes all he’d see was what he was made to do there, Or the ritual that people, he thought were his friends, forced on him. Ro’an sat there huddled against the walls of the tavern conflicted. The whole time he was imprisoned the Grehlok guards kept asking him, “Why was he in New Haven?”, “What was he doing there?”, “Had he run away from his Mistress?”. Then later during the ritual the Archon kept saying, “see how they treat you, Ro’an?!” “These people do not care about you. In Drow society you are valued; we would not treat you this way.” Yet only hours later he found himself in front of the Archon themselves. Not entirely sure how he got there. Being told he would assist the Drow in a ritual by being a sacrifice. He knew better than to question the will of the Archon or the other Drow gathered. He had never seen so many Drow in one place. It made his head hurt more thinking about it. Ro’an felt so confused. He had no idea how he had gotten to this point in his life. He began to cry again. The emptyness in the pit of his chest grew more. The sounds of the early morning birds were so much louder now, he could hear things much father away than before. He swore he could hear the various buildings of New Haven creaking, the wind blowing the sand, the water lapping at the wood of the dock in the harbor. The silence in his head was almost worse than whatever was there previously. He felt so alone, so lost, so lonely. He missed his brothers and sisters, his mother and father. If they saw him now what would they think? This did not help Ro’an‘s tumultuous thoughts. They continued to crash into his mind like waves in a raging hurricane. The Drow had abandoned him. New Haven tortured him with the excuse of helping Ro’an. Who are his friends? His family? He questioned. These thoughts mixed and frothed about with images replaying through his mind of the horrible things he was made to do to his “friends” in Drow prison. Or the pain he was made to feel yet again as Alaniel performed their ritual on him; his whole body feeling like it was on fire before blacking out. This only turned his tears into wrenching sobs. Ro’an begins to cough violently through his tears as blood ejects from his mouth onto the tavern floor. All Ro’an can think is, “what is wrong with me?” as he rocks back and forth sobbing, wiping more blood from his mouth.
  • So much has gone on in the near past. to be captured while out mapping the land and to be dragged into the torture room. A humans instincts was lost in that place. All the background for why you need to talk and how to interact with other had been locked away deep in the back of the mind turning Drivek into a primal beast with the form of a human. Others tried to help heal him only for Drivek to be left by the war party. before Drivek fully died the drow decided to change him into a Grehlok. Now What is Drivek but a mess of conflicts between three separate instincts and ideals. Drivek would enter town confused. constantly touching his one good ear. It had been changed. HE had been changed. What should he do? no one really liked what he had become. And not enough understood what he was originally. lost as any other would be we could do no more then gather materials and plants and find places to sit out of the way and watch. Not human...... not any more, he lost how to interact socially with others and how to put on a face. more close then ever before to snapping at someone and biting them or growling before swinging was more natural to him then using words and having others understand. And now a Grehlok. all Drivek ever heard on Grehlok's have been bad. though from a few he had run into didn't seem all that horrible. it was frowned upon for Grehloks to be around. Drivek felt even further away from actually having a place to stay then he ever was. who would understand Drivek? who would put up with Drivek? worse yet who would hire Drivek? So in his spare time when not on out hunting food. Drivek would sit cross legged and inspecting plants learning what he could from these