Posted on Fri Jun 30th, 2017 @ 12:03am by Aramil Moonshadow
Timeline: After the Samhain attack
Aramil sat bent over his desk, a thick tome cracked open upon it. A few candles burned strategically, offering enough illumination to read in the waning twilight. As he reviewed the runes recorded upon the page, he swiped a stray lock of platinum blonde hair behind his ear. The book, a treatise on Portal Theory, had been borrowed from the library at Sanctuary. He could have easily studied in his assigned room at the citadel, but he preferred the comfort of his own bed.
The half-Sidhe had earned his Journeyman rank nearly a year ago. Derwydd Grenneth, his mentor and teacher, had marked him ready for Sentinel assignment. But, for some reason, the Theurgy had yet to give him one. So, he was spending his time studying. A mage's education never really ended, after all.
He was brought out of his concentration by a rap on the door. Aramil's head snapped up and looked quizzically towards the closed entryway. "One moment," he announced as he carefully marked his place in the book with a length of ribbon. He stood, his chair sliding loudly across his hardwood floor. It did not take long to cross the single-room abode. The door opened at his flick of the latch, revealing a Theurgy courier on the other side.
"Aramil Moonshadow?" the courier queried.
At his assent, the courier passed a wax-sealed letter to him, then pulled his cowl back over his head and disappeared into the thickening night.
Aramil closed the door and turned away from it, his eyes focused on the paper in his hand. He had a feeling he knew what it contained, but tempered his emotions in case his prediction was incorrect. He made his way back to the desk and retrieved a small blade for just this purpose. He carefully slipped the blade under the seal until it separated from the page with a pop. He returned the blade and unfolded the letter, his eyes scanning over the document.
[The next morning]
Aramil dropped off his horse and led it to the hitching post outside the house. He patted the animal's neck and clicked an oat bag on his bridle. He would need energy for their journey. Seeing the horse tied off safely, Aramil turned towards the door to the house. With a small touch of trepidation he rapped upon it.
Shortly, the door yawned open and Aramil smiled widely. "Mother," he said.
"Well hello, dear," Dewyn, his mother, replied. She was a small but plump woman, the lines of age just beginning to crease her features. Her brunette locks tied back in a tight bun, an apron tied around her waist. She stepped out and wrapped her arms around her son in a motherly hug. After a long moment, she let go. "So what brings you around?" she asked as she led Armail inside.
Aramil returned his mother's embrace and followed her inside. They sat at the kitchen table across from one another. Aramil was quiet for a moment as if to collect his thoughts. Dewyn could tell he was barely containing himself, expending some effort to keep his composure. At last, he said, "The Theurgy has given me an assignment."
Dewyn smiled widely. "Oh, that's wonderful, Aramil." Her hands wrapped around his upon the table. "You will be protecting a Gyfrin?" She, being a Gyfrin herself, was quite familiar with the way things worked. Though at times the preferred pairings were superseded given the needs of the Theurgy.
He nodded, "There was an attack and I am to protect the Gyfrin involved and find out what, exactly, happened."
Dewyn's expression was a mix of concern and happiness. She knew Aramil had been looking forward to this day for some time, but she still couldn't help but feel that motherly protective need. "Let me give you some advice, Aramil. I was a Gyfrin for almost two centuries. Let the Gyfrin lead. I know you can be headstrong at times. But if there is a Shard at stake, he or she will know better how to proceed."
Aramil nodded, "I know, mother. Derwydd Grenneth hammered it into me."
She smiled, the Derwydd was a friend of hers from back when she was training. She knew his character and his preferred teaching methods. "Yes, he would have. Still, I don't want you running headlong into danger. You are not a Master yet."
"I can take care of myself, Mother. Barrett ensured I can."
She exhaled a small sigh knowing how her family felt about each other. The mention of Barrett brought another thought to her mind. After a pause she spoke again, "There is something I wished to show you. Now is as good a time as any." She stood and shuffled into the bedroom area of the house.
While she was absent, Aramil fixed some tea for the both of them. While he filled the small ceramic vessels, his eyes strayed towards the doorway she exited through, his curiosity piquing at what she could be retrieving.
Before long, Dewyn appeared once more, a piece of parchment in her hand. Aramil brought the tea to the table and Dewyn slid the parchment in his direction. "It is from your father. Your Sidhe father."
Aramil's eyes widened as he took a sip of his tea. Dewyn had not hidden his heritage. Not that she could really have done so. He looked different enough even among his own family to raise questions. But a letter directly from him was a new development. He reached gingerly for the letter and carefully opened it to read.
It was addressed to Dewyn, and if his math was correct, was dated near enough to twenty years ago. The letter went on about how much their brief adventure meant to him, and how he wished he could have met Aramil. Unfortunately he was needed to fight the Shadow, and something he referred to as a "nightmare". He did not expect to survive, though he hoped to so that they may meet once again. it went on in similar vein, closing with a flowy Sidhe signature.
Aramil slowly placed the letter back on the table, processing what he read. Dewyn waited expectantly, sipping at her tea. At last, he raised the first questions on his mind. "That was fifteen years ago. Why didn't he contact you prior?"
Dewyn sighed and placed her cup on the table. "He was a Tarai'cane. The fact our paths crossed once was coincidence enough. While I stayed here to raise you, he was busy fighting the Shadow. From what the courier told me, he did indeed perish on that day fifteen years ago."
"And you don't know any more?"
Dewyn shook her head, "No, I do not. I told you all I know as you grew up, this letter was the only additional piece I had."
Aramil nodded and gazed at his tea. He was not surprised, she hadn't hidden anything from him, save for the fate of his Sidhe father. Being an intelligent young man, he reasoned it was to protect him at that young age. While he would have liked to know, fourteen-year-olds aren't known for their reasoning ability especially where emotions are concerned. "Thank you, Mother," he said honestly at last.
"You're welcome. Now... what do you know of your mission?"
They spoke for a while longer about lighter subjects. The hour waned late, and Aramil still had to get on the road. Dewyn followed him out to his horse and gave him one final hug before loading him down with waybreads and other supplies for his travels. "Be careful, Aramil. The roads are a dangerous place."
Aramil hopped upon his horse and took the reins in a practiced hand. "I will, Mother. Thank you." He offered a smile to her before turning his horse and heading down the road. His mother watched him go with a wave. He was well trained and ready for the assignment. Still, she would worry. Such is the nature of motherhood.