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Messages - Darion Greenstone

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1
Sør Province / Re: Under Grey Skies
« on: July 07, 2018, 07:05:19 AM »
Aeon never had to wonder where Aniko was. It worried him as much as it comforted him; he always felt guilty, seeing Ani there by the window, bundled up tight, always just where he’d asked them to stay. For their own safety. But he was out and about frequently, in fields and mansions and towns, scouting the area and meeting its people.

Perhaps it wasn’t fair. Perhaps they resented him for it. These days, it was hard to tell what either of them were thinking without extending a probe, which felt too invasive. So, he kept wondering.

He appeared through the side wall; his room was between Ophelia’s and Ani’s, just a few steps in either direction. Sometimes he found them together, but not this morning.

Aeon tilted his head.

“It’s nicer today,” he said, glancing past the tiny Priestess and out at the scenery. “I was wondering if it would ever warm up.”

He wanted to ask her what she was thinking about. In a vague, lingering way, he wanted to apologize. But he did not know what he was meant to apologize for, or what else he might have done.

“Er, I brought breakfast. And tea, if you’d like some.” He presented her meekly with a tray. “Do you mind if I join you?”

2
Sør Province / Re: Late mornings
« on: June 27, 2018, 12:44:30 AM »
She smiled. Aeon was temporarily stunned, speechless and lightheaded while his heart double-beat against his ribcage.

“Ah, well,” he said, shyly. “I’m trying to do better, you know.”

He watched her keenly as she inspected the day’s chocolates, smiling all the while. It pleased him to know that they were close enough, now, that he knew what she liked. It made him want to learn more, so that he could do more, all to keep her smiling.

“Report! Yes, it’s quite important.” He lowered himself into the chair, crossing his long legs at the ankles and smoothing his palms over his thighs, chasing the wrinkles out of his trousers. “I only spied a very little bit. I met the sjef, and he’s agreed to let us stay in the court nearby, under protection of the city.”

What was his name again? Aeon’s eyes went glassy, seeking his fragmented thoughts. Arthur? Arty? Arbor?

“Arkyn.” A firm nod, tone decisive. “His name was Arkyn. He wears the Summer-sky. I told him I would consult with you and give him your answer.”

He leaned forward in his chair. Eyes twinkling, cheeks pink. Eager for praise.

“It’s a very nice house. Quite secure. I checked all of it. I thought you would be more comfortable in a place like that, without maids in and out. A bit of peace and quiet.”

3
Sør Province / Re: unexpected company
« on: June 27, 2018, 12:30:24 AM »
Patience. Just the concept made Aeon restless, the idea of pinning up his boundless energy. It pained him to do nothing. So agonizing to wait. In the end, wasn’t patience just a kinder word for torture?

“Yes.” Soft, almost grudging, because he knew the other man spoke the truth. “The hunt is not over, but it’s turning out to be much longer than I’d like.”

He studied Arkyn, this Warlord Prince, sjef of Meols. It sounded like he spoke from experience, which piqued Aeon’s curiosity, but he did not pry. It wasn’t the right time; they were just allies, not friends, and he suspected that any personal questions he asked would bounce off of those menacing eyebrows unanswered.

“I should like to take you up on your offer. There are three of us in total.”

Yes. He’d report to Ophelia, and tell her that he’d found them someplace safe. He’d put his trust in this man to guard his blind spots, and pray to the Darkness that it was the right decision.

“I’ll send you a thread before I call on you again. Prince’s honor, no more trespassing.” Aeon flashed Arkyn a grin and crossed his arm over his heart. “And seek me out if you need anything, Prince. After all, I owe you a favor.”

4
Sør Province / Re: A rose by any other name.
« on: June 27, 2018, 12:09:32 AM »
Aeon craned his neck to peer down the hallway, eyes chasing the path that the other man had taken. Nothing, except the subtle lingering scent.

“Not that close,” he said, with finality. “Plenty of time.”

He shook her hand, gave it a bit of a squeeze, and beamed ear to ear. Truly, Glacia was a unique place with unique people. It put him at ease, filled him with a warm contentment like his heart was, finally, at home.

“You can do it.” Aeon had no doubt; that fire behind her eyes was ferocious, contagious. “Now, hold on tight. And hold your breath—I’ve heard it helps.”

With no more context, and a quirky tilt of his head, he pressed his fingertips more securely into her forearm and slipped with her into the Darkness, through the other realm where only Blood could tread. A swell of dark energy surrounded them, swallowed them. They landed in a clearing a stone’s throw from the forest, a grassy knoll from which the house they’d just left was visible. There, on the hill, its towers standing guard like sentinels.

“Ah, that’s a nice view,”
said Aeon. He still had a firm grip on Astrid, and used it to gently pull her up to stand beside him. “Are you alright? It’s always an experience, I guess, the first time.”

And the hundredth time, for that matter; the hairs at the back of his neck were still prickling with excitement. He glanced down at her through windswept hair and grinned.

“There’s a good stick just there,”
he said, gesturing. “Seems like as good a practice sword as any.”

5
Sør Province / Re: Late mornings
« on: June 25, 2018, 12:21:49 AM »
The way his name fell from her lips set his pulse to racing, and he wondered if he’d ever get used to it, this strange ever-present tingling. He opened his mouth to speak and closed it again, deciding first to wiggle his way free from the door.

“Ah, er,” said Aeon, after a brief moment of rustling and clattering. “Yes, well, that was me.”

A long, sheepish pause.

“You don’t like it when I come through the wall, so I thought it would be better that way.” He felt the heat rise in his face, and turned his head for fear that she would notice. “Sorry. I worried you.”

Still, the sight of her did his heart good. Cute, bundled in blankets with her hair sticking every which way. And she seemed better nowadays, even when she complained about the snow; the farther they traveled, the more life she seemed to have.

He stood up straight, then, eyes twinkling, in that characteristic pose he took when he’d remembered something important.

“I came to report,” he told her, sounding quite proud of himself. “And I’ve brought you these.” A stack of ribbon-wrapped boxes appeared across his open palms, sweetly fragrant. He set them gently at the foot of the bed.

“You ate the ones I brought yesterday, right?” he said, with a grin. “Let me know how these are. I picked different ones.”

6
Sør Province / Re: unexpected company
« on: June 25, 2018, 12:07:30 AM »
Aeon relaxed his lean form against the desk, cat-like, long legs stretching. Not a bad man, this Arkyn. Anywhere in the Realm, he had utmost respect for a man who served.

“Yes. The Territory court in Little Terreille thought that, too, before their Queen’s blood stained the floor.” His dark eyes grew darker, storm-like, remembering. “It made them bold. I had to smoke them out of inns and shacks and taverns. And even then I didn’t get them all.”

It occurred to him that perhaps he shouldn’t be telling this story to a perfect stranger after trespassing in their home. Perhaps the incident in Little Terreille had sparked a fire under the beast in him that had not yet been quelled.

Day and night, the failure nagged him. He needed someone to understand.

The broad line of his shoulders sagged. Defeat. Exhaustion. He heaved out a sigh, and then followed it with a lilting laugh.

“Arkyn, sjef of Meols.” Aeon smiled, then offered a weary bow. “I serve. My Queen was a target of the rebels, and I only ask for a safe place to shelter, with promise that I’ll remember the favor. I spend too much time worrying about tomorrows to worry about summer.”

7
Sør Province / Re: A rose by any other name.
« on: June 24, 2018, 11:43:30 PM »
Aeon smiled warmly, so that his eyes crinkled into half-moons behind his glasses. He pressed a fingertip gently to her nose—quickly, so she didn’t have the time to protest—and with a brief flare from his Ebon-gray, he wove a simple healing spell.

“Brains are important, but you’ll be needing that nose, too.” He tucked his hands back into his trouser pockets. Come to think of it…where was her escort, anyway? Aeon had a right mind to ask, but then, knowing what little he knew about this Queen, he could hazard a guess.

“Yes. And it would be difficult to explain to the man who was looking for you just now,” he replied, voice light and sing-song, “so we’re partners in crime.”

Fire in her eyes as she mentioned sword-fighting; yes, he’d pegged her for a wild one. He’d never been good at saying no—not with a Queen’s eyes trained on him like that.

He grinned, wide and sheepish.

“It can’t be that hard.” That probably wasn’t true, but Aeon couldn’t bear the thought of losing face so soon. So he straightened his back, raking fingers through his white-streaked bangs before offering her his arm in Protocol-defined escorting position.

“If you’re keen to get out of this hallway, Lady Heartsbane, and unravel the mysteries of combat, put your trust in me.”

8
Sør Province / Re: Late mornings
« on: June 24, 2018, 01:54:50 AM »
Aeon stood awkwardly on the hallway side of a door and found himself feeling strange and vulnerable for the experience.

Traveling with Ophelia had given him a lot of insight into dealing with women in close quarters. Or, rather, it had given him a lot of experience with dealing with Ophelia in particular. She didn't like the snow, for example; he'd found that out not long after they'd crossed the border, where the rolling fields dwindled to sad little shrubs and frozen, white-dusted ground.

She did like chocolate. It had surprised him to learn this, largely because for the first half of their journey he'd become certain that she didn't like anything at all. Now he picked it up whenever he could, just to see her eyes light up at the notion.

As for himself, he wasn't sure exactly where he stood. Somewhere between snow and chocolate, ostensibly, although if he was honest with himself he was probably closer to snow on the spectrum.

Most importantly, though, he had learned that she didn't like it when he appeared out of nowhere, through walls or closed doors or up out of the floor. And doing it subtly seemed only to make it worse; if she kept screaming in his ear like that, he'd surely go deaf.

So he knocked, now. He'd finally remembered. And Mother Night, the waiting was killing him! He juggled his weight from foot to foot, smoothed his wild white-streaked hair, fidgeted with his spectacles.

Had he knocked enough times? Loud enough? Was he meant to knock again, or was that rude, too?

His only answer was the thin psychic thread he received at the height of the Yellow, vibrating with tension. It made him tense, too.

“Lady Ophelia?”

There was a blanketed lump where his Queen ought to be, but the lump didn't seem grievously wounded. He had half a mind to tease her, but then, his heart was still racing, and...

Well, he was stuck mid-torso inside of the door.

9
Sør Province / Re: A rose by any other name.
« on: June 24, 2018, 01:24:46 AM »
“Does Witch use hallways?” asked Aeon, with a tilt of his head. Her barrage of questions coaxed another grin out of him, and this time it didn't fade. “Lost? Yes, maybe. I was aiming for the forest, but I fell short.”

It was the truth: he wasn't shy about dropping in on random dwellings as a general rule, but his preference was to bridge into an open space. There was less to get stuck in, and it tended to cause less of a ruckus.

She didn't seem terribly alarmed, though, this Queen. The flash of fear had gone almost as quickly as it had shown, and Aeon was grateful for her nerve. People who feared him only reminded him that they had good reason to be afraid.

“No healers,” he agreed, wide-eyed, momentarily stunned by the rise in her voice.

Astrid Heartsbane. Indeed, he'd never heard of her. But then, he forgot most of the people he'd ever heard of, with rare exception; in any case, now he'd heard of her.

“Hm.” Aeon leaned closer, eyes still alight with mischief. “Yes, I've been to lots of places I shouldn't have been. Are you going to tell on me, Lady Heartsbane?”

He bounced on the balls of his feet, looking pleased with himself. It was nice to have a proper adventure again.

But...

“Sword fight?” Dark eyes flitting in thought. “Well, I know how to not get hit by a sword, which I gather is the hard part.”

10
Sør Province / Re: unexpected company
« on: June 23, 2018, 10:57:00 PM »
Aeon tilted his head, considering. What a curious place! And this man, the Summer-sky sjef of Meols; if his brows dipped any further, surely he would have to pick them out of his frown.

The idea of bringing Ophelia and Ani to a dim little office made him laugh, a soft huff that registered barely above a whisper.

“No, I think not. I should never hear the end of it, if I did.”

Eyes locked, each measuring the other. Didn't seem like an unreasonable man, this Arkyn; still, the danger they'd fled had a long reach, and Aeon erred on the side of caution. For Ophelia's sake.

“I brought myself.” He adjusted his glasses, so that they sat a little more neatly on his ears. “I don't suppose you've seen any cultists around? Queen-haters, murderers, big meetings in remote taverns?”

He let the question linger for a moment or two. Not a challenge, as long as he was innocent.

“You'll have my honesty, Prince, as long as I have yours. I'm told I'm a good neighbor, and I needed to confirm the same of you.”

11
Sør Province / Re: unexpected company
« on: June 22, 2018, 10:16:52 PM »
Aeon roamed, a ghost through the walls of this newfound place. Inhaling deep. Gauging the scents. Fingertips pressed to the backs of hardwood doors, trying to divine the memories they held. He poked and prodded and juggled the fragments he found in his mind, forgetting some then remembering them again, only to repeat the sequence.

But it didn't seem like a bad place; recently he'd been to several, and so figured he ought to know. He sensed flashes of temper and passion, happiness and grief, but altogether it felt something akin to normal. So when a door opened and shut at his back, he peered around slowly, curiously, but didn't answer the other man's tension with his own.

“Is this your office?” Tone light, eyes glittering. Yes; it smelled like him, and looked like his mind felt. “I promise I'm not up to anything devious, Prince. I only came here to make sure that it was safe.”

Summer-sky. Aeon felt, more than saw, the eyes trained on his Ebon-gray. He removed his hands gingerly from the desk and presented his open palms in a gesture of peace.

Peace, but not surrender. It was a fine line they walked, being men born to Blood who served.

“Aeon.” He smiled lightly, eyes twinkling behind the crooked frames of his glasses. “And here I thought I was being subtle. I didn't even hear you following me.”

12
Sør Province / Re: A rose by any other name.
« on: June 21, 2018, 06:20:14 PM »
Lost again.

He was in the hallway of a building that was something like a house, but bigger and grander. Innumerable psychic scents pricked at the edge of his barriers, too close for comfort. For good or ill, he was not alone.

It had been a long, wearisome journey to Glacia from Little Terreille, with bright spots here and there in those moments where he could grow closer to Ophelia. Drinks in taverns. Whispered conversations in dim-lit inn rooms. It pained him to leave her alone, even for an hour or two.

A very big place, this. Aeon wondered if there was room for them here, or safety, or respite from the ceaseless running.

He walked slowly, peeking around corners and inside open doorways, a curious mess of crooked spectacles and wild dark hair. A man wearing a uniform breezed past him, looking everywhere but not at Aeon, his stride brisk and determined.

His wandering took him to the end of the hallway and around the corner, and there was a collision so sudden and teeth-jarring that he yelped a little. Then he was still, stunned, rubbing his chin gingerly.

“Pardon?” Aeon blinked for several moments before he realized what—or whom—he was blinking at. A Queen wearing the Rose. His expression shifted, glowing bright with sudden realization, dark eyes resuming their familiar sparkle. “Ah, I see. This is your hallway.”

He bowed first, and then shot her a grin, although it faltered in the face of her indignation.

“Is your nose alright? Do you need a Healer? Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. I’ve only just arrived. Er, I’m Aeon.”

13
Nharkava, Kaeleer Archive / Re: Visitors
« on: March 12, 2018, 06:24:49 AM »
Aeon squinted into the sunlight, smiling but pensive; he did not remember what he’d said last time, and desperately wished that he did. Everything had happened so fast. Many dreams had come between then and now. His dreams were so vivid that, sometimes, Aeon remembered things and didn’t know if they were real at all.

“Some people do,” he replied, playful. “Many, even. Plop down roots and grow like trees. Entire forests of them.”

He didn’t want to tell her that he’d killed. That he’d used his power to wipe out a room full of people in an instant, and worse, that it had been easy. Barely a tap into his Ebon-gray, and their Jewels and minds had shattered under his pressure.

Silence, so long and full that it became a feature of the conversation. Aeon just looked at her, wondering, and then shook his head.

“No, not this time. I had business in Little Terreille.” He turned his head back, watched the water run over their toes. And then, “Let’s explore. I want to follow the river as far as it goes.”

14
Shahllene Province / Re: Killing Queens is a Queens Business
« on: February 22, 2018, 02:08:03 PM »
Aeon couldn’t remember the last time he’d entered Iris’s office via the door. Surely it had been a long time; he didn’t bother himself with doors at all, generally, unless he was using them for the benefit of other people. The man who’d been sent to fetch him was one such person. No need to startle him—he was young, and nervous already.

Which meant it was important, this summons. He smiled warmly upon entering, but searched the Gray Queen’s eyes for any hint of trouble.

“Iris,” he replied, taking her proferred hand and bowing to press his lips tenderly against the back of it.

But her mention of Lady Ophelia was unexpected, and his cheeks flushed at the sudden reminder. Was he quite taken? Yes, he supposed so. Dark eyes slid shyly away.

“She has a good nature,” said Aeon. “And she is no longer inhibited by fear. I told her I would keep her safe, and I intend to.”

He studied her eyes again, wondering. Had she called him here to forbid it? Aeon hoped not—he did not want his promise to become the knife that severed their bond, such as it was, but it was a promise all the same. He did not offer his service idly.

“She said the Sapphire one hurt her,” he said, after a while. “I would ask you to deal with him in my stead, out of fear I would not be… fair.”

15
Little Terreille Archives / Re: Beneath the Frost
« on: February 17, 2018, 11:55:16 AM »
Aeon perked up as she offered the name, replying with a vigorous nod and a sheepish grin.

“Yes, that’s the one,” he said. “I always forget. My, er, memory isn’t very good, you see.” He drew a hand up to the scar on his forehead as if to emphasize, combing back the silver hair there. Perhaps that was enough of an explanation for now; after all, it was the plain truth.

But the smile was gone quickly. He could feel her hands quaking in his, and knew, even as she confirmed it, that his suspicion had been right.

A snap of anger, fast-buried and replaced by remorse. He’d had the man in his grasp, earlier, and had done nothing.

“A bond is not a Queen’s alone to maintain,” he said gently, trying to reassure her. “It is a vow of two souls. If he did not honor it, the fault is his.”

He pulled one hand free and called in a handkerchief of soft white cotton. Reached up to her beautiful face again, softly, and dabbed away her tears.

“There, now.” He tucked the handkerchief into her palm and picked up the waiting glass of water, holding it out for her to take. “It’s alright. We can speak of it later, or never. Drink this. Rest. You’re safe with me.”

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