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Friv
Essence 6
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Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
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Age Of Bone And Blood, Part Eight: All Together Now

02 Jan 2008, 16:25

Alina leaned back in the grass, looking up at the pale blue sky, and sighed happily. Beside her, one arm holding her close, Cathak Citrios glanced over at her and smiled. “Good day?”

“Very.” Alina looked back at her lover, and grinned. “But then, you know that already.”

“It’s nice to be appreciated.” Citrios matched Alina’s grin, and she luxuriated in the feel of the grass beneath her. For the last several days, she had been out with the crew of the Azure Sky, patrolling the waters around Juriss for ships out of Luthe. The Risen City had become increasingly aggressive since its rise during Calibration, and while no one thought that they knew of the Malfean gateway hidden in the island’s depths, they were still ready to act as predators. Alina’s visions had warned her of one such fleet, and the Sky had sailed out to lead it astray, pulling it apart. It wasn’t a grand blow against the Conduit of Cytheria, but Alina wasn’t ready for another fight of that magnitude yet. It was enough to work to keep the surrounding area free, and train for the day that she knew was coming.

And speaking of which… “There they are.” She resisted sitting up for a moment, but then sighed. “Right on schedule.”

Citrios followed her gaze towards the sky, nodding after a moment as he saw the specks on the horizon, already growing in size as they approached. One was traveling due west, with the other a good distance away, but they were converging towards the island. “Are you sure?”

“How many skyships are we likely to see out here?” Alina slid out of Citrios’s grip, her expression turning solemn. “It’s the ones I’ve dreamed of. Trust me.”

“Always.” Citrios rose a bit more slowly, his eyes fixed on the two boats gleaming as they sailed through the air. They were still several miles away, barely more than tiny shapes, but it would only be a few more minutes until they arrived. “We’d better get down to the harbour if we’re going to beat them there.”

Alina nodded, taking his hand. Together, the two walked down to the harbour docks. As they did so, her heart raced. Everything was coming together. It remained to be seen how accurate her earlier vision had been.

At the harbour, newly restored from the battle three months earlier, they found Cathak Lodaris already waiting, his armour polished to a shine and his swords belted at his hip. The former Immaculate’s hair was pulled back in a ponytail behind him, and he stroked his beard as he watched the skyship approach. As the others walked towards him, he glanced over and nodded. “Citrios. Alina.” He gestured to the air. “Is this it?”

“I think so.” The skyboats were slowing now, losing speed and altitude as they approached the harbour, lowering towards the water. The first splashed down in a swirl of sorcerous Essence, a rainbow of lights bleeding away from it as it pulled gently into dock. The three Exalts stepped forwards as a pair of sailors lowered a ramp, and dockworkers, trying to disguise their awe, scrambled to arrange it properly.

Alina stepped forwards as the first woman stepped off the boat. “Madame Conduit. It’s an honour to meet you.”

For a moment, the other woman paused, then she suddenly grinned. “You must be Alina. I was wondering whether you would know we were coming.” She gestured behind her. “I am, as you guessed, Serafin Ordered-Chaos. My husband, Alakazar the Sky Dragon, Silver’s Hand.” As a brilliantly-clad Fair Folk stepped off the boat, a smile on his lips, Alina bowed, mostly to cover her surprise. She hadn’t been aware of who was coming with the Conduit of Gaia, only her approach. A Fair Folk?

Well, she thought, glancing over at Lodaris as she rose, stranger things had happened.

Serafin, meanwhile, was continuing. “Thetram Nash, a good friend of mine. And our companion, Tandar Kieran, of the Twilight Caste.”

There was a long pause. Kieran, halfway down the ramp, broke it, his eyes meeting Lodaris with a smile that held a hint of nervousness. “Uh… we’ve met.”

“Indeed.” Lodaris, after another moment, bowed low. “You are looking well, Master Tandar.”

“Yeah. You too.” Kieran finished stepping off the plank, glancing over at Alina. “So, uh… I take it you… uh…”

“I am aware of Madame Alina’s nature, yes. And I am no longer with the Hunt.” Everyone else was looking between the two now, and Lodaris glanced back at them, and then to Kieran. “I hope that this is not…”

“Water under the bridge. We fought against each other, we fought together.” Kieran smiled. “Besides, everyone in Creation needs to stand together right now.”

“You speak wisdom.” The second skyboat was now mooring, and Lodaris glanced over to it as its passengers began to disembark. He froze. His jaw dropped. Everyone followed his glance, and Alina’s eyebrows rose as Citrios mirrored him. There was nothing particularly impressive about the middle-aged man strolling towards them. Although, she reflected, he looked vaguely familiar…

“Regent?” Citrios’s voice was faint, and Alina gaped as it fell into place. The man shrugged.

“Not anymore, I’m afraid. I’ve been rendered superfluous.” He grinned, and bowed. “Now I am merely Tepet Fokuf.” A heartbeat pause. “Eclipse caste.” He gestured behind him. “My companions, Tenrek and Amaya, of the Zenith and Twilight castes, and our new friend Khory, who travels with Kieran.”

Khory grinned. “We’ve met too. No hard feelings about that, ehn?”

After a moment, Lodaris laughed, shaking his head. “Will wonders never cease. Of course not, Master Khory.”

Alina looked around the gathering. Townsfolk were assembling to gape, whispers running through the crowd at the strange people on their docks. “Maybe we should continue this inside. I believe you’re here to recruit me for something?”

“I am.” Serafin smiled and nodded. “Please, lead the way. I think we’ll all want to be sitting for this.”

The group moved off. Lodaris brought up the rear, muttering to himself. “The Regent, a Solar. Wonders upon strangeness.”
Last edited by Friv on 12 Apr 2008, 00:44, edited 1 time in total.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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BrilliantRain
Essence 8
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Re: Age Of Bone And Blood, Part Eight: All Together Now

03 Jan 2008, 20:36

Hmmm... this seems to warrant one of those lines like "Well, Well, the gang's all here" or "We're putting the band back together."

I really need to go back and re-read Twilight of the Second Age so I can remember everyone better.

This should be very fun. The question is, where is the city they are going to? I'm guessing South, which implies that Saloy Hin, The Perfect, and the Lion could be problems. Of those three, I'm most curious as to their confrontation with The Perfect, since he might respond to their death threats with an offer of alliance (assuming Gaia and Co were the group he was referring to when he proposed his "blasphemous" alliance)

I can't wait to see the return of Autochthon. My circuits surge with anticipation.
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Fenris
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Re: Age Of Bone And Blood, Part Eight: All Together Now

04 Jan 2008, 02:40

I feel bad for not reading some of your previous works. Especially now that I'm starting to get confused as to who is who and who is representing what and where. :( Once I have more time!
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Friv
Essence 6
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Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
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Re: Age Of Bone And Blood, Part Eight: All Together Now

05 Jan 2008, 12:49

BrilliantRain: Well, my next installment, coming quite soon, will spell out most of that. I will say only - good guesses. :)

Fenris: I may have to create a Dramatis Personae and add it to my table of contents. I'll start working on that as soon as I finish the next part. I imagine that will at least help people get references.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Epiphany
Essence 7
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Re: Age Of Bone And Blood, Part Eight: All Together Now

12 May 2008, 00:15

Heehee. Poor Lodaris and Citrios.

This is a story years in the making. It's one of the things that's most impressive about this story arch, Friv. Tracing back the lineage, from story to story, it's been an absolute pleasure to see familiar faces reunite even as it's been sad to see a couple go. I'll always be said about Milia. :(

It does seem like the gang's about all here.

Despite the relative lack of action (say relative to parts 4-5 with Kieran), the interactions here were too delightful. Nicely done, Friv.
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

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