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Coming Home

Postby kaylor » Thu May 02, 2013 12:50 pm

Dusk whispered over Faerwhynne in variant hues of lustrous radiance. Muted mauves and astral azures reposed upon the horizon ensconced within sunlight's remaining vestige. Kaylor stood at the window, solemnity in singular possession of his gaze as he stared out through the beveled glass seeing nothing of that which lay beyond. A deep sigh escaped his misgivings, longing for truth weighing heavily upon regret. New ventures had led him not forward but back, treasured acquaintances left in the wake of their seeking. While his realm had indeed been in need of its sovereign, fulfillment in meeting those demands had found absence. He would call Evan back to purpose, place him as Castellan and return to joy's haven at Chalnoth's side. While Sosaria was not home, it provided blessed comfort in the company of friends.
Last edited by kaylor on Fri May 03, 2013 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Message for an Old Friend

Postby Masaka Soong » Fri May 03, 2013 1:26 am

The guard could hear the clack of determined foot fall upon the pavers. Movement with purpose, coming closer. Still none could be seen down the long sconce lit corridor. He stiffened, now fully alert, ready…waiting. This was his watch and none would pass his post without challenge.

It had been many long months since Masaka has traversed these halls, yet his stride was sure, steady and knowing. His planned travel had not intended this return to Sauria. However a long and trusted allegiance to the Lord of this castle demanded he detour to impart the intelligence of the previous evening. He prayed that he would find the man in keener spirit than when last they parted. For that would most certainly hasten the possibility that he may be on his way on the morrow. After all did he not have tales to tell, songs to write and crowds to enthrall!

Raising his gaze he caught the glint of light reflected from shield…A guard? How unlikely.

Closer now, catching the sway of cloak, indistinct shadow moving forward. “STAND FAST and DECLARE” commanded the heavily armored cadre.

A smile crossed the Bard’s lips. *How jumpy these soldiers become merely by one’s sure and meaningful approach*

His Lordship surely has seen to the sure and tested training of anyone placed in such proximity. Discretion is advised, he thought. Yet he strode, steady and straight, to within less than a forearms-length of the sentry, before dipping to one knee. Arms flourishing wide, “Tis I, Masaka Soong! Personal Raconteur to your Liege and Master Chalnoth Tholl”. Come to inform of recent encounter, most assuredly of import to his Lordship”

The Sentinel’s sword trembled ever so slightly in his hand, the tip nearly piercing the rosy right cheek of the minstrel splayed before him. Quickly gathering his composure the guard bids the visitor “Rise”. Although he was not personally familiar with this brazen “Masaka”, the reputation was well known amongst all the guard. Turning around to his left, he slams the hilt of his heavy weapon down upon the thick oak door three times. Pushing the door open slightly, he steps to the side and entreats Masaka to enter the chamber,

Pulling a lute, slung behind his back, from beneath a woolen Scotch cloak, Masaka strides briskly forward and strums a familiar chord. Before another chord is struck, having strode perhaps only three steps into Sauria’s Meeting Hall, Masaka halts. He retches at the rancid olfactory assault. The sour sickening smell of old wine mixed with the stench of what?...vomit? The odor changes to taste, that of rotting cheese most foul. Masaka suppresses a wave of nausea as his nostrils betray his tastebuds. Never in his memory and long association with Lord Tholl has this hall, nor any other place within these walls, reeked in such a manner.

*Alas my most wanted prayer is unanswered.*

Continuing inward, he surveys the chamber. It appears empty. No herald, no staff. Candelabra and chandeliers ablaze, but the room seems lifeless. To his left a large table. Normally bedecked for feasting, it sits quiet. A figure slumped over the table. Goblets and casks strewn about. A few plates of days old food adding to the fermented stink of the room.

Masaka raises his lute and plucks a few tentative notes. No response. Moving forward he strikes the strings with more vigor. Moving within five feet of the slumped figure he breaks into a favored song. A chanty of brave deeds and worthy battles. The man at the table moans. Rolling his head to the right, not lifting it from the table, hair clumped and matted to his face with wine, and smelling of urine Chalnoth bellows…”STOP!!! You interminable fool give me QUIET!!!
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The Bard continues...

Postby Masaka Soong » Sat May 04, 2013 12:18 am

Chalnoth, head still pressed to the polished mahogany planks before him, growled “Cease that incessant walling, you God-forsaken excuse for a musician!

“Ah splendid, he doth still live” chided the Bard, strumming the lute more vigorously.

“I feared this serenade, so well loved across your lands, was falling on ears quieted by rigor.” He launches into a second verse, the volume noticeably higher.

“I swear Masaka you WILL leave me now in solitude, or I shall have you racked for your insolence.”

Continuing to play, “My Liege you spout nonsense! Frankly I believe I would prefer the rack to the current stench of YOU and this grossly neglected chamber.”
“How long since you have bathed?”
"No... do not answer, for thy breath be more foul than the north end of a south-bound skunk!"

“Pleeease Masaka”, implored the Guild Master, “stop thy playing, I fear your infernal strumming shall so worsen the pounding in my head so as to make my eyes to burst or ears to bleed!”

Soong lowered his lute, leveling a stare at the disheveled Lord his eyes softened. Never would he have imagined finding Chalnoth, revered leader, master strategist and benevolent Lord reduced so as to be confused with the common tavern swill. Surely recent events could not have shaken Tholl’s resolve in such a total manner.

Reaching down he grasped the Lord by both shoulders. Voice still melodic, but much softer now “Come mi Lord, it’s mid day and time that you rid thy self of this stench.” Firmly Masaka assisted the wounded Chalnoth to his feet.

The pair moved as one toward an ante chamber to the left leading to the Lord’s private rooms. Catching a passing glimpse of himself within a polished mirror, Chalnoth swooned!

“Steady” Soong spoke with compassionate voice, while bracing the man, seeing that he remained upright. “Sire, I would have thought you to have moved on hence last I departed.” “But you remain mired in drink and useless recrimination”.

“Useless you say” he snapped back. “Whence last you so failed in judgment or lacked foresight so as to have jeopardized all those you have sworn to serve?”
“Treacherous deeds within my own ranks.
"Unimaginable harm befallen Elder and rank and file!”
“No matter my effort to divine the truth, I have no answer.”
A low sigh escapes Tholl’s lips. “I alone am accountable.”

Knowing the full measure of the man before him, the Bard waited. Then locking eye to eye with Chalnoth he said “You may NOT assume accountability for villainous acts, not of your own or your orders.”
He continued, “It is time to end this self-flagellation.”
“Those who know and depend upon you need you to allow this festering sore to be cleansed. All will rally to you, if you will but make the call. You are still the most trusted leader in Sonoma. Let this be what it is, nothing more than cowardice acts of miserable souls.”

Entering Chalnoth’s private suite a chamber maid is encountered. “Draw the Lord a bath…now” commanded Masaka.
“And tell no-one of his state”.

“Discretion always My Lord” is her reply, as she turns and moves quickly to fulfill the order.

Masaka leans close to Tholl’s ear, suppresses yet another retch, as the odorous attack resumes anew. “Sire, I bring word of the return of one you believed lost.”
“A most striking countenance and a manner sure, yet clothed in piety and humility.”
Fast as a viper Chalnoth turns, a sparkle of recognition lively in his more recently vacant eye.
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Postby kaylor » Sun May 05, 2013 5:57 pm

Kaylor was met with a myriad of emotions following his conversation with Masaka. Friendship beckoned him toward immediate approach, respect demanded him otherwise. If his Lord desired solitude mayhaps it was best that he be allowed it until he once more sought company. Saints knew how such circumstance burdened the soul. Had he not himself known similar more than well? During the days of his moribund darkness he too had retreated behind safeguarding walls. Ancyous' attempts to draw him forth from their enclosure had succeeded only in distancing him further. Thus rather than rushing to Chalnoth's keep, he chose return to his own until daybreak.
*****
Bright morning sunrays splayed over Kaylor's armour as he summoned his steed and rode to his purpose, hopeful his presence would not seem intrusion. He meant but to bring succor not to advance distress yet, having shared like situation, awareness of his intent being received as unwelcome was not lost on him. He would take no offense if such were the case, for understanding and compassion would rule his accordance.

Knocking having served him no use, Kaylor lowered his hand to the iron door's latch surprised to find it uncommonly unsecured. Entrance greeted his senses with discordant odors that permeated dimly lit surroundings become unrecognizable. He shook his head in deep sadness and climbed the stairs. Following the sound of familiar voices led him to discovery of Chalnoth's location.

Finding the door partially ajar, he eased its compliance toward further opening with the toe of his boot and dared a step within his Lord's bedchamber. A wave of nausea swept over him as he was engulfed by dereliction's fetid stench. Swallowing back the bile that rose in his throat, he lowered his head as his eyes fell upon Chalnoth who appeared freshly stepped out of a bath.

"Good morrow, My Lord. May I beg audience?"
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Wakened

Postby Chalnoth Tholl » Mon May 06, 2013 11:28 pm

Chalnoth regarding the Bard. Dare he believe this? Could it be true? Masaka was one of his closed circle. There were perhaps only two, maybe a 3rd that he would trust with his very life and this man was one. Kay alive and returned to Sonoma!

“Speak true, my friend…you have seen Kay?”

“Indeed My Lord and he was inquiring as to your disposition.”

Eyes narrowing, Chalnoth pressed, “And what did you say…of MY disposition?”

Masaka lowered his gaze and reported, “Nothing of significance Sire..uh, um well perhaps a mention of your recent melancholy..but but nothing alarming I assure you.”

“Melancholy?...damned pissed-off would be more descriptive” he continued “And where was this chance meeting?” Countered Chalnoth.

“It was in a Guild Hall just outside of Luna, Sire. In fact I am sure that he had joined the evenings hunt. Perhaps expecting you.”

“Then it was well you were in my place. Why is he not here with you now?”

“I cannot say, other than he asked that I pass word, and I came here forthright” Masaka seemed to relax.

Chalnoth stepped back. Taking a deep breath he was instantly reminded of his recent bingeing. Taking inventory of his person he was, frankly, aghast at his state. “Afternoon you said? I must recover.” “Order me a bath, will you?

“Did that”, replied Soong

“Good, do keep watch, I will not tarry, and when refreshed we can both ride to Luna.”

“Think you can hold on to a mount?” jabbed Masaka.

“Watch your barbs, Fiddler my wits do return with due haste.” Chalnoth turned away and headed in the direction taken by the hand maiden some time earlier.

Waiting for the Master of the Manor to return, Masaka surveys the private chambers. Here all appears as it should, fresh and orderly. Perhaps Lord Chalnoth’s untoward behavior was not as wide spread as he had first imagined. More probably his loyal house staff extended extraordinary effort in caretaking during his plunge into dark despair. So had it always been with those loyal to this man.

Masaka approached a large desk. The highly polished ebony wood reflected the light flowing in from open window. The finest craftsmanship evidenced in the intricate hand carved fancy work. Masaka survey the neatly stacked piles of parchment and tightly wrapped scrolls. This pile affairs of his property, and next to it issues regarding the People’s Army. The casual on-looker would have been leery of the Bard’s nonchalant perusal of this material. However if Chalnoth himself had entered at this moment he would show no concern. So had he placed his trust wisely in this magician, san Bard, san confidant.

Chalnoth returned looking the resurrection of a man with renewed purpose. Masaka was infact startled at his near miraculous recovery.

Standing at the open window Chalnoth bid Masaka to approach. “Come, I want more details of your encounter, before we depart”.

Masaka turned from the desk and closing the distance between them he prepared to entreat the Lord with the full detail, when chamber door swung open. Standing tall in the light filled room, bright sheen from raven hair to his shoulders the Squire entered the room. “Good Morro, My Lord. May I beg audience?”

Upon hearing the voice, Chalnoth did not turn from the window. But Masaka had full vision of his countenance and what the sunlight reflected there spoke more of sublime pleasure than he had ever before seen on the man's face. “If you had kept away from this house for much longer Squire perhaps I would have plunged from this window! Do enter and know you are received, not as a prodigal son, but as a prayer answered.”
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Postby kaylor » Thu May 09, 2013 7:41 pm

"You do honour me too much, My Lord."

Humility's cloak graced Kaylor's countenance, a genteel smile offered in greeting as he stepped into the chamber. Uncertainty had ruled his concern with regard to how his Lord might receive him in lieu of his lengthy leave-taking, especially in the wake of recent circumstance. It greatly pleased him to discover his presence so warmly welcomed. His thoughts had often returned to this world while he'd been away, wondering how Chalnoth was and praying for his safe-keeping. To return upon word that he'd gone into seclusion, enshrouded himself within guilt's heavy blame, was not what he would have ever considered. He knew his Lord for honour and strength, yet every man had his limits as well as his breaking points.

Kaylor strode to the window and placed a firm hand upon Chalnoth's shoulder, determined to bring him forth from his woe. "Now allow me to return the favor, my friend. Speak with me on what troubles you. I've come to assist in whatever manner you may deem need of."
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