~Arthur stared at his clothing trunk and drew in a deep breath. His nerves had settled considerably over the past couple weeks. His research had allowed for a welcome distraction, however the hangover brought on by the accompanying wine was a wake-up call for him. The citizens of these lands were at odds with each other, even when allegedly allied. He was told he would find many willing to take advantage of his nature and skills, and yet that is not what he found when he finally set foot in the Exiled Lands.
~ He had found community in chaos, in need of order and compassion. The trials of this new land had turned the citizens of New Haven, Ever Dusk and so on into paranoid and selfish creatures in their most dire moments. Arthur had worn his training clothes during his first few days in the Exiled Lands hoping to learn more of the people before allowing his true nature to be shown. With a heavy sigh Arthur opened his trunk and peered inside.
~ A bit of candlelight fell upon a piece of silver and twinkled like a small star against the deep purple of the cloth inside. Unlike the vibrant fuchsia of his training hood and vest, this garment was deep hue of the purple found in the depths of both the sea and the storms it produced. Pulling out the garment Arthur smiled as it unfolded in his hands. The captains coat was long and lightweight, bedecked with near two dozen silver buttons bearing different nautical and alchemical symbols. The coat had been a gift from his mother, the pirate captain Anne Read, when he liberated his first ship and truly become a captain. He had named the ship Ordin’s Mercy, a nod to his studies and desire to use science and medicine to help those in need. “Gotta look like royalty if you want to be treated that way” his mother had said. Arthur swallowed as a single tear escaped his eyes, he had not forgotten his true purpose in the Exiled Lands. Arthur stood and wiped his face, turning to hang the coat by his bed.
~ Sitting down Arthur picked up his notes and skimmed them once more. He had many theories about the Blood Fae, Immortals, Noraht and so many more. If only he had the confidence or authority to share these ideas. His position as Deputy of Ever Dusk afforded him little to know authority even when Torrin was absent. The town had a plan to attack the Drow soon…a counter strike against something the Drow called Nightfall. Perhaps it was time to learn a new recipe in preparation for the upcoming war.
~ Glancing at the sunset Arthur smiled once again, knowing that while each day brought confrontation closer, it also brought him something that brought him piece. Morgan, his husband, was on the way to the Exiled Lands. With that man beside him Arthur felt he could take on the Drow near singlehanded. The image of Morgan’s amused and kind smile brought a deep sigh of content to Arthur, offering a moment of relief he cherished.
~ The wind kicked up and blew out Arthurs candles with chilling quickness. Shivering slightly Arthur relit the candles and shut the window. Digging deeper into his trunk he pulled out what looked to be a hand woven blanket. Purples, pinks, blues and corals streaked across the fabric like a sunset, a deep silver lining holding it all together. Shaking it out a small hood plopped into place, revealing the garment to be a heavy cloak. Wrapping it around himself Arthur inhaled the smell of incense from the cloak and thought of home. His grandmother, Marion, had made it for him as a congratulatory gift for finishing his surgeon studies. She had made one for Arthur’s father, Bartholomew, when he completed his studies as well. “I simply must do my part to keep my little men warm and loved mustn’t I?” she had clucked at him as she affixed it to him the first time. The memory of her doting made him laugh a little.
~ Stepping out of the cabin and into the crisp autumn air Arthur looked out across the town. He knew he had to aide them all in the coming battle. He just didn’t know how. Perhaps he should speak to Torrin or someone else. Then again, perhaps he should consider making some new alliances. Before he could become lost in thought Arthur’s stomach growled loudly. Wincing at his body’s admonishment Arthur gathered his cloak to him and headed towards the tavern. Thinking on an empty stomach was never a good idea.