For centuries the mighty kingdoms of The Visible Wyrld fought to hold back the ravenous tide of conquest. After many generations of war, a much-needed peace has settled over the mountains and plains. The human kingdoms of Nyveria and Dunbachmoor maintain a delicate truce, united in keeping their hereditary continent in balance. The ancient empire of Cóng Manaar - once a dominant force protected by their living dragon gods - thrives as a society woven of honor, tradition and faith. The dwarven kingdom of Garten Forge - changed little by the brutal cadence of time - stands strong within the towering stone fortresses and fertile valleys of the mountainous island. But now...something wicked blows in with the chilling rain, as clouds of black roll across azure skies. Listen closely...for a terrible voice whispers in the wind, wrapped around echoes of the approaching thunder. Something approaches. The Visible Wyrld is about to change once again, as days of peace and prosperity fall violently in a rage of blood and fire.

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New Dangers in the Desert
Dearest Love Gehrent,

We are only the first night away from Amendar and I miss your touch already. I sit here looking at my ring and memories come flooding back.

Heading northwest across the singe has already shown a difference in terrain. It is more rough, rocky and compact with low vegetation as compared to the north where it was rolling hills of sand and rock. The heat remains the same however.

We passed what looked like some hunters who had slain a rather large beast. I've never seen anything like it, it was very large, reptilian, I believe, yet had smooth skin. I didn't approach, but it appeared one of the hunters was gutting the beast. According to K'ain and some of the knights who parlayed with them, they were acting somewhat suspiciously. One was collecting the venom and fangs from the beast. Not a favorable notion in my book. They demanded we move along. We decided to stop at a cluster of trees for a respite from the Midday sun. We decided it best to travel in the evening and night.

Brother Guil was not prepared for travel within the Singe. He kept talking despite our warning. One of the archers, Akin, I believe his name is, was kind enough to offer one of his water skins to the young priest to help soothe his parched throat. He'll need to learn quickly about survival in this desert. I can speak from experience. When Bregg, Rogan and I traveled north to Baru Kai, we ALL learned quickly.

As the sun was beginning to set, one of the knights began yelling. Something was biting him. I've never seen anyone act like that. He was screaming and tearing at his legging, then was ready to stab himself in the leg to make it stop. There was an entrance wound on his leg. Something was actually burrowing into him. I began healing his leg, but the parasite, whatever it was, was not coming out. One of the other knights, took a knife and split up from the wound to help get the creature out. He stuck his finger inside the cut wound and pulled back in pain. The creature had bit or pinced him. It was at this point that Brother Guil offered to help. He apparently had helped the Bregorian Brothers with similar ailments. Using multiple tools heated in the fire from knives and daggers to a broken arrow, he pulled out a large insect. It had vicious rasping teeth and barbed legs to burrow into his leg for warmth. K'ain quickly dispatched it and I saw to his new wound. We all took note of what to watch for from now on. Other parasites, like blood worms, may also be waiting wherever we camp.

As the Sun fell over the horizon, we continued on our way. After a while, we came across a Shar'Sariin Tribe. They were wary of us, as usual. But most remarkable was the Rogan, K'ain and I were able to understand them. The gift Höryntheus gave us is already showing to be a blessing. After learning that they are heading to the Isle of Burnt Paw to escape the death and destruction that has been plaguing them in the guise of Snake Demons. Only their followers of the old ways can see through their illusion, and there are so few of them remaining. They invite us join in food and revelry for a bit.

I was approached by their Holy Woman, named Vaanist'lis. She could see I am a holy man and shared a vision with me. One of our party, holds a darkness within their heart. What she showed me, I will not share as it is too gruesome and disturbing of heart. I shared this with the other Guardians and we agree that we need to find out who this person is before we enter Cóng Manaar.

I've tasked Brother Guil with surveying the knights and gathering information, though I'm not fully convinced about him...yet. He will need to prove himself.

I now look at the ring Marustade gifted me and I find it endearing that he chose to give one that most resembles a wedding ring. I am curious as to what it does, if anything. He is a very gifted child and I no doubt will discover that in time.

All my love,

Tyvian


Session: Once More Into The Singe - Saturday, Jul 19 2014 from 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM
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Epic!
Our Wedding Night part 2
Gehrent, my love, I pray these occurrences do not become too much to bear.

Marustade explains that he "hears" when something occurs affecting the veneer between the worlds. Therefore, when Cerisc would change places across the veneer, Marustade somehow heard it. He said there was a man, a dead man, placed in the otherworld for the sole purpose of implementing the curse on Cerisc. This dead man, a soulless being, was a puppet of Arwic. All of this was meant to happen, so the wolf-beast would attack and cause death, destruction, and suffering. However, Marustade surmised that if we could convince Cerisc to grab the man on the other side and not let go, then when he switched back, he would drag the foul being into our world and we could destroy it. The difficulty was that Cerisc was not in his right mind. Marustade then suggested we get Höryntheus to speak to Cerisc to convince him to do what is needed.

We returned to the Citadel of the Blade Watch with Bregg, Davyn and all of the children in tow. The guards explained that Cerisc had been acting strangely since coming to and acting as if they are the Brothers of Pain. Höryntheus convinced Marustade to use another one of his gifts to calm or soothe Cerisc while in his rage. These children are amazing in what they can accomplish. I'm particularly proud of Marustade, he seems to be maturing, most of the time, rather rapidly. There is something I need to tell you about him. That can wait until morning, before we leave.

After Marustade soothes Cerisc, Höryntheus approaches and whispers in his ear. We can't hear what she says but his countenance changed dramatically. She planted the seed in his head so he'd know what to do when he arrived in the otherworld. Now came the tough part, Provoking Cerisc into bi-locating with the beast. K'ain and Bregg were doing a remarkable job at prodding him. I, on the other hand, am not the taunting type. I do not believe I was very effective in this manner. Then finally, when Bregg began to piss on Cerisc, that did it.. Suddenly the beast was back, but behind bars. I kept my distance, but stood between the bars and the children ready for action. Almost as suddenly, Cerisc re-appeared but holding onto the head and neck of a walking abomination. A corpse, walking and flailing to get Cerisc off of him. His claws tore one of Cerisc's ears off. K'ain, Bregg and Cerisc quickly dispatched the creature, with Cerisc pulled K'ain's arrow from the corpse's throat and thrust it into its skull.

We returned to the Hooded Hawk and I to you. To see you at the table, writing something. My heart was overjoyed to return to you even in our brief parting. I do not look forward to being away from you again, but these letters will keep you to heart. And I already long for our return. My heart longs to beat next to yours.

Your forever loving husband,

Tyvian

Session: Crusade of the Righteous - Saturday, Jul 12 2014 from 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM
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Our Wedding Night part 1
Dearest love,

I want to keep you informed as to what happens to me when we are apart. And starting with the evening after our marriage. I was not prepared for what befell K'ain and when we left the party to retrieve Cerisc.

We wandered down the street toward the Baker's Son. Along the way, some young, socially questionable young women approd us. One seemed to dance about me with a long garland of flowers trying to convince K'ain and I to go with them. They didn't even seem to consider that I am a priest. I do believe she also tried to pickpocket my belt pouch but was unsuccessful. They said we should celebrate as it was Judge's Day. I am not sure what holiday that is. I am still relatively new to the culture in Amendar.

As we approached the Baker's Son, I heard a woman screaming in distress, so we ran straight away. Upon entering, some patrons were exiting. We were met by the keep who said that our companion was in the back room with a woman. She's yelling for help, and he's screaming that he'll kill anyone who comes in the room.

K'ain calls out to Cerisc, but only more screaming. We agree to break down he door. As we are not built like our friend Bregg, it took some effort on both our parts to get through. Immediately, I was rushed by Cerisc with his rapier. I tried to fend him back with my staff, but he maneuvered and stabbed my arm. He had an odd, crazed look in his eyes, he wasn't looking at as and attacked as if we were someone else. I believe he thought the girl was his lost betrothed.

I responded by requesting that Surin entangle him so as not to inflict further damage, but K'ain was already responding to his attack. He attempted to subdue Cerisc with a blow on the head with the pommel of his sword but his strike was particularly brutal and caused some facial damage. His face hit my entanglement and cut it, seemed to cushion the blow as it did not knock him out. It did, however, stir whatever force that curses him to awaken. I could see the portal open above him. In an instance, Cerisc was gone and the wolf - beast was in his place. It attacked. K'ain stabbed, I attacked with the force of Surin. It lunged and bit my neck.

In an instance, all I could think of was you. Losing me on our wedding night. How could I be so foolish? As I reach up to my neck, I whisper prayers to Mother Surin to heal me so that our love does not end in tragedy. K'ain deals a critical blow to the beast who immediately vanishes, replaced by a weak Cerisc. K'ain jumps on him, knocking his head on the floor and knocks him out and binds him.

We had the Blade watch take him to their holding cells until we can talk with Rogan and Bregg. We head back to the Citadel of the New Order of the Trium finding Marustade and Davyn along the way. Marustade devises a plan to cure Cerisc. It seems bizarre, but circumstances being that either we cure him, or leave him behind. This was the second time his curse almost killed me. I did keep my promise and kept my leg out of the wolf's mouth. I still wonder what he was seeing while in that room. He looked like he was attacking something evil.

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Home
Though the day dawns brisk the air is warmer here than in the straights. The morning brings us the sight of the coast, the heat of the Singe blowing across from the land and Rogan points across to the cliffs naming Sulaka on the horizon. Sulaka, where we first confronted Thessina so long ago. We will pass Denbrie soon and by the middle of the day we will arrive again in Amendar.

Amendar.

The smell is the first thing that reaches us. The scents of a city, clay and timber, food and spice and people and filth, sand and sea, all baked under the hot desert sun and mixed to form a unique perfume. It is a smell unlike any other port we have visited. A unique, Mandarin smell. And there is Amendar herself, buildings and tents, grand and humble, and jumbled together, clustered along the shore where ships form Cóng Manaar, Dunbachmoor and Nyveria jostle shoulder to shoulder with local fishing boats.

Home.

Rogan cranes at the rail, hoping to see his mother in the crowd thronging the docks, but it is not Dauengard who has come to greet us. Standing a head taller than the merchants and fishermen, truly bear-like in the crowd is Bregg, waving his great arms and grinning wider even than Rogan at his best. As we disembark he runs up, picking Rogan up bodily in a massive embrace with a bellow of laughter. The hug we ourself receive is almost enough to crush the air form our lungs and we find our self smiling almost as widely as our big brother.

He is full of news of the Hawk and how it has faired in Rogan's absence. But when pressed about Kastigelle and Vroenesande his face darkens. Vroenesande is recovering, but apparently Kastigelle only becomes weaker and weaker with every day. They have brought healers and priests but nothing seems to do her any good.

We all of us remember the prophecy, but we none of us wish to speak of it.

The Hawk is nearly unrecognizable. It has been more than seven weeks since we set out for Nyveria and Walthram Barg and his men have been busy. The complex now has an extra out building and a low keep tower as well as the wall which has been finished. In the common room Dauengard is waiting. She looks more at home here, in her element than she ever was in Dunbachmoor and we find it hard to picture her anywhere else though we have seen her in the court of kings. Rogan is nearly in tears as he embraces her and the worry we have felt since her disappearance from the sanctuary is finally put to rest. She greets us each in turn, bustling us to a table by the kitchen. We would see the children as soon as possible, but she insists we eat first, snapping her fingers at the serving girl to bring food and ale.

Bregg has apparently abandoned the vow he took on the Thyrd Sun, and starts into a tankard with gusto. He tells Rogan that they have named a beer after him, to be served in a small tankard, a joke which gets him a punch on the shoulder. But we are distracted. All the warmth and laughter seems like background noise to the worry in our heart. Worry for Kastigelle, and for the other children, who we have not seen in so long. Bregg says they have grown, as Höryntheus has, and we feel a pang of loss for their childhoods. Not just for ourself, a father bereft of years spent with his sons and daughters, but also for them. The conflict with Arwic is quickening. And as the powers of darkness grow in strength so too do the children. It is a blessed thing. And yet as a child turned soldier before his time we mourn the loss of innocence that is to come, wishing it could be postponed.

The food is good, the ale better, but we barely taste it. And once the meal is done Bregg takes us to see Vroenesande before we go to the children.

She is pale, paler even than usual, propped up amidst cushions in Daungard's room, but she smiles to see us. Bregg sits at her bedside like an awkward bear, looking worried, but happy. We look for a moment to Tyvian. Lieutenant Schrüg is still with the ship, working to load and offload supplies. We do not know if he plans to sail again for Dunbachmoor. We had not considered it. For Tyvian's sake we hope he does not.

The children are housed in the main keep at the center of the compound. What was once the warehouse for Rogan's less than legal merchandise. Bregg waves aside Barg's guards who are standing at the door. We note they each wear an insignia of Aethelgrim, though they are not dressed as full knights.

Inside is cool, out of the desert sun. In a room at the back, are the children.

Höryntheus is sitting, legs drawn up beneath her, pouring over a tome by the light form the window. She is as we saw her last in Dunbachmoor, though perhaps a little older, a golden haired child of seven or eight springs, but with the poise of a Dunbach lady. Playing on the carpet, tossing eachother rough balls of iron as if they were hide are two boys. One, with tousled chestnut hair and a ruddy round face must be Marustade. The other, with his father's black eyes and leaf shaped ears, round, though hu'manii might call them pointed, is Aboraas. When last we saw him he was small enough to hold in the crook of one arm, his tiny fist too small even to enclose our finger. Now he looks up at us with the face of a young child and he speaks in perfect Cóng Manii.

We do not know if we are feeling joy or sorrow, or both. Joy at the healthy boy standing, smiling before us. Sorrow that we could not see him grow into such.

He reaches up and runs a finger along the curve of our ear, fascinated. He has not seen Cóng Manii before. Not since infancy, and says there is a majesty about us. Ragged from our travels, pale from the loss of blood, tired with worry and care, we know this is not true, still we do not believe he is being facetious.

Marustade makes a joke, which Bregg quickly stifles, but the other children laugh, though Höryntheus chides him. Seeing them laughing and quarreling together eases some of our sorrow, and we can not help but smile ourself.

Kasitgelle however is a different matter. We do not know what breaks our heart more, her tiny form, pale and thin, curled under the blankets, or the look on Bregg's face when he draws aside the curtain. Jordann's sister, Bregg's special favorite of the four, nicknamed little Breggina in the desert, when we laughed with our brothers after our escape from Baru Kai.

She is so small.

But her eyes are bright and she smiles weakly at the sight of us all, naming us each in turn. Like her sister and brothers there is a strange wisdom to her words. A child only a month old, touched by Gods and Dragons with life beyond her years in the Wyrld.

She says Höryntheus has told her of us. We kneel beside the bed, lowering our head to better hear her words. She say she knows us and of how our love is locked behind a curtain.

It is all we can do not to swallow our tears. Because, although she sees into our very heart, she is wrong. Though our love walks the halls of Tagaar, behind the curtain of the veneer. In the living, breathing, Visible Wyrld, surrounded by our brothers, our sons and our daughters, our love is also here. Here with my family.

Höryntheus looks down at her sister with a solemn gravity that is strange on the face of a child so young. She has been studying illnesses and can no more find a cure for Kastigelle than any of the healers and priests Bregg and brought to care for her. She tells us her father says there are some things which simply must be. She knows the prophecy, as do all the children, and they know what it says about their sister.

But we will not give up. Perhaps what the healers and priests could not Tyvian might do. Perhaps this is not yet her time.

We leave Kasigelle to rest. But before we go we kneel before Aboraas and give him the Pajak we made for him when last we were in Amendar. Marked for his birth, colour, for Va Laa Kaiir, and for Fiir'ti, one of K'laan's earring for his father, and his mother, and with ash from Yagris for the covenant. Through Nyveria and Dunbachmoor we have worn it close to our heart, but he is old enough now, at least in wisdom to wear it himself. He takes it reverently, not even needing to be told what it is, and ties it to his belt. Marustade laughs and jokes about it, but Aboraas does not seem to mind. He smiles and thanks us.

Seeing him. So grown. Pajak at his side. We think we can name this feeling that is both joy and sorrow.

We are proud of our son.

And we he whispers in our ear, we are also amazed.

He knows where lies the bow of Angwan.
Session: The Scent of Desert Rain - Saturday, Jun 28 2014 from 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM
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Men and Wolves
The morning dawns bright and clear. Tyvian is missing at breakfast and at first we worry that he might be ill, but Rogan tells us he is otherwise engaged with his lover.

At first we are confused. Tyvian has never shown any interest in any of the many girls mothers and aunts have thrust into his path, and besides there are no women on the ship. Rogan smiles a smile as if to tell us how thick headed we are.

Tyvian's lover is Gehert Schrüg, the first mate.

We can not tell if we look stunned or simply stupid but by Rogan's laugh it is probably the latter. We are not entirely sure what to think. Our mind immediately jumps to Sculura, the whore who seduced Ra'aviik so completely only to use him to his own destruction. But we have been at sea for over a week. Lieutenant Schrüg has been a fixture of our social evenings since setting sail, had he somehow meant Tyvian harm he should have had plenty of chance before now. Our second thought is for the man himself.

The Wyrld is one of dualities. Day and night. Father and mother. Death and rebirth. Fiir'ti Cóng S'ai A'maan takes the dead under his wing, and Fiir'ti Cóng Lag S'ai A'maan births them again into the Wyrld. It is a balance. Man and woman. Each half, half of a perfect whole.

There is a way of things.

There were such couplings amongst the Ka'iin. To'rai and Arm'aan were caught once and Dra'kaiir Fas'rai had them beaten until To'rai was coughing blood. He called them "s'uluuk." Spitting the word like bile and said it was sacrilege dishonoring the Mother and Father.

We were taught to believe this.

There is a way of things.

But Tyvian is our brother. He joins us on deck mid morning, smiling the barely contained smile of a man who wants to share a secret. A man with a new lover. A happy smile.

Rogan's own smile widens at the sight of him and he needles Tyvian with jibes, but we retire to the rail to clear our head. Uncomfortable with these thoughts.

Eventually the needling stops and the conversation turns towards our destination. The captain says we will be in Amendar with the next few days, and the important question is raised as to how we are to stop the precipitous speed we now enjoy before the beast takes us all the way to Cóng Manaar. We could simply cut the ropes, freeing the boat of the leviathan, but that would leave the beast dragging a harness on it's back. Someone suggests Cerisc climb back onto the beast and remove the harness just as he put it on, but even he thinks this plan is foolhardy. It is Davyn of course who has the answer, silent through our deliberations he tells us at the last that Wisk gave him a word. A word to stop the leviathan when we reached our destination. We are not sure if he forgot to tell us, or has been enjoying his secret through out our discussion. The boy is getting more and more like Rogan every day.

Still it gives us all something to laugh at as we start to make our way to the galley to find Tyvian something to break his fast. And turning towards the stair there, standing on the deck, blinking in the bright sunlight is Jordann.

He looks around with confusion, but no fear and devours the simple stew the cook has prepared for the midday meal, with a healthy appetite, asking for seconds and then thirds. It seems he remembers nothing of the plague boat. Or if he does, perhaps it is only as one might remember a fever dream. We do not press him, though we long for answers, letting him instead tell us in his own time.

Rogan presses a bowl of the stew on Tyvian, insisting he take it to the first mate as a good will offering. We are glad of our father's complexion, though our ears are hot, we know we can not have turned the shade of red Tyvian's pale Dunbach face has become. We are not sure if it is an eagerness to rejoin his lover or to escape Rogan's teasing that sends him from the galley with such speed.

Soon the sailors start arriving for their mid day meal and we retire to the deck, Davyn taking Jordann to the bow to see the leviathan. We lean on the rail, enjoying the salt and spray. Rogan beside us has to stand on the bottom rail to rest his crossed arms on the gunnel. But he is in truly good spirits, glad to be returning again to Amendar and home.

Home.

It has become a home of sorts to all of us. But to Rogan it is home indeed. Laughing he tells us of his childhood. It makes us laugh to imagine him, scabbed knees and dusty hair, running through the streets of Amendar. The migdin boy, making up in bravado what he lacks in stature, chasing the neighborhood boys out of the Hawk's courtyard. An onion in a barrel of apples.

When he turns to us and asks when was the last time we were in love. We are a little taken aback. We told him about Mei' on the Galagoraas. He knows she is dead. But we have never really talked of her with anyone but Tyvian, and not truly even with him. Never have really talked of how she stood by us in battle as well as lay with us as a lover, of how we could never truly love another woman in her shadow, and we have never talked of the good times, the happy memories. We have never really talked much about ourself with either Rogan or Bregg at all. And so we talk. We tell him of our childhood. Of the mother who does not know us, the grandfather who cast us aside. We tell him of the monastery. Of a life of training, and discipline. Of Dra'kiir Fas'rai and his beatings. Of the day we burned our Pajak and the day we first went to war. We tell him too of the good times. Of running through the fields, laughing and playing with the other Ka'iin between lessons. Of lying in the grass to watch the Cóng Jeht migrate over the mountains, pretending they were dragons. Of stealing sweetbreads from the kitchen and hiding behind the temple steps to share with Mei'tii. And we tell him of how we first came to share eachother. Barely sixteen springs of age. Only children. Soldiers, huddled for warmth in a Stagsbury barn. Trading eachother our innocence, sheltering from a Nyverian winter storm.

Furasc l'iir in heart and mind and body.

It is good to talk. To remember without pain.

The sun is setting over the aft rail when the Captain comes to inform us that tonight the crew plan to celebrate the full moon. A night, he says, when the veneer is at it's thinnest. And indeed, we can see what he means. As the light fades and the moon rises the sea shines as if plated with silver, the leviathan, seeming almost to glow beneath the glassy surface.

Tyvian comes on deck and joins us again. We can smell the musk on him, both rank and sweet at the same time. Rogan starts in with his jibes again, so we join Davyn and Jordann at the rail, looking down at the beast.

…Sul'uuk…

We are not sure what to think.

Rogan wakes us form our contemplation with the offer of wine, one we are grateful of, and he and Cerisc go below to fetch both it and cider for the boys, leaving us standing with Tyvian in awkward silence.

We are about to say… something, when the quiet of the night is shattered by a monstrous roar and the shouts and screams of sailors from bellow. We are half way across the deck sword drawn before the echoes die away, Tyvian behind us. Rogan, who was just arriving with our drinks turns as well. At the top of the stairs he stops, pale. When we ask why he says he can feel something very evil below. Neither Rogan nor Tyvian is armed, and we have only our short blade, having left behind our habit of going fully armed days ago. An decision we now regret.

The screaming and growling is coming from the galley. While Rogan and Tyvian run the cabin to fetch arms, we go to the door. The sounds form within are sounds of fear and pain as well as the savage sounds of a beast. Without waiting for our brothers we shoulder open the door. Admits a wreckage of pots and dishes stands a massive wolf. Nearly as large as a bear, all black, with only a single streak of white running down its neck and back. It's eyes are deep and red and unlike any natural animal in the Wyrld and glow with a malice and intelligence we have never seen. In it's mouth it holds the leg of a screaming sailor and as we watch tears the limb clean off with a single shake of it's massive head. Blood spatters the deck and we can taste the iron in the air. Almost as soon as the sailor's convulsing body hits the deck the creature turns, jaws wide and lunges towards us. We stumble backward, raising our sword, but the jaws close around our arm, fangs sinking into the meat of our shoulder until we feel the grind of teeth on bone. We think we feel something crack, but the pain is too great and too sudden to be sure. Our head spins, and we feel sick, but when our sight clears we are still on our feet, the beast has released us and we have picked up our sword wrong handed.

We think we are swearing. Words are coming out of us, but our ears are ringing. The pain is a fugue, our arm useless and throbbing, blood pumping from the massive punctures with every heartbeat. Warm blood? We can not feel it soaking our shirt.

The beast growls. We hear feet pounding the deck in the hall and Tyvian arrives in the doorway, staff in hand. He looks at the wolf, then the ceiling, raising the staff. We expect to see a the wall of thorns rip the wolf's fur and flesh, but instead he blast the ceiling with a white light. This achieves nothing but to cause the wolf to turn on him instead. We shout, we think we shout, but whether we are heard or not it lunges for him, seizing his leg in it's horrible bloodied jaws, shaking it's head, trying to tear the limb from it's joint.

Even wrong handed and stunned as we are, the beast's broad flank is hard to miss in the close space. Our blade passes between the ribs. For a moment we feel it, slicing the meat and muscle, scraping bone, then, our blade slicing air nothing but. Tyvian is lying on the deck, blood soaking his robes, and Cerisc is curled, shivering, clean and unhurt, in the center of the carnage.

Cerisc…

He tries to stand up, looking about confused and bewildered, but we raise our blade, leveling it at him.

Cerisc?

More feet are running down the hall way, the Captain, other sailors. The captain is calling for the healer and Rogan is at our side. He ties a tourniquet around our arm and for a moment the numbness is gone, all at once replaced again by white hot pain. The deck beneath our feet is slick with blood. Our's? Tyvian's? We turn to Tyvian, but Lieutenant Schrüg is already at his side, hand pressed to the wound, staunching the flow of blood.

We know the pain of seeing our love wounded. It is a fear of loss and a passion to protect and defend rivaled only by a mother defending her children. We have felt it, and we have seen it too in Mei' when we ourself was hurt. Schrüg looks at Tyvian with that same fierce fear we have seen in her eyes when binding our wounds, and the tenderness with which he pulls the bloodied robes back from the wound is the tenderness of any man with his a'laasiis.

Or a'laasiir.
1

"Su'luuk." The way Dra'kaiir Fas'rai spat that word, it was the same way he spat when he called us sand elf. The same way he spat when he called us bastard.

We were taught many things as Ka'iin. We were given a mask. And we were told to kill. And we were told many lies.

Day and night. Father and Mother. Death and rebirth...

This past week we have passed through the veneer. When we are with Mei'tii amid the flames of that place it is a perfection that has nothing to do with the blood and bone of the Visible Wyrld. A heat in the heart that can not be endured by the body. A singularity of souls, not of flesh.

The Wyrld is one of dualities. Each half, half of a perfect whole. But whatever it's shape in the Visible Wyrld the body is only a vessel.

We should be happy to see anyone look at Tyvian in such a way and see him smile back.

The healer is here, with his crystals and silver tuning fork. He looks to our shoulder and we are distracted by another jolt of pain, which soon turns into a dull throbbing. The blood soaking out shirt is warm and the sick feeling in our stomach lessens. Replaced only by a light dizziness not unlike the effect of wine. We have lost a lot of blood. We see Tyvian speaking his words to Surin, Lieutenant Schrüg staring in disbelief as the wound closes under his hand.

The Captain is shouting now at Cerisc. The boy looking stunned, and mumbling something about a cave. His wounds healed Tyvian speaks softly, from where he sits, propped against the table.

He says that Cerisc was the wolf.

We should not be surprised. The boy was subject to that Ka S'kaiis and her tortures for weeks before we saved him. But that Tyvian knew…

The Captain barks an order and two of the sailors drag Cerisc to the hold to be clapped in irons. We do not believe Cerisc is responsible who what has happened. But the bodies of the sailors lie strewn about the cabin, Tyvian is propped up in a pool of his own blood, and we remember too the Lieutenant in the forest, his throat ripped out by the wolf, staining the snow. Cerisc is safer locked up.

The captain is eager to hear what Tyvian has to say, and though our brother looks both pale and shaken by the encounter his wound seems almost entirely healed. Part of us wants him to rest, the other wants to know the truth. And so he tells us of a conversation he had with Wisk soon after finding the boy in the mansion.

As the Sorgün told it, on the other side of the veneer are echoes of spirits. The imprints of beasts. Hungering for life in the Wyrld. The lady used men and women as conduits for these spirits, giving them body in the visible Wyrld in exchange for their service. Wisk believed Cerisc was to be such a conduit, though the process was interrupted. However when the veneer is thinnest the wolf has power to push through into the Wyrld.

A "shared space"…

The Captain orders Cerisc to be brought back. Though we still feel there is danger, he would not hold an innocent man. The youth looks less confused now, but more concerned. He tells us the same as Tyvian. That Wisk told him of this possibility, though neither realized it might be so devastating. He says he does not know what happened, only that he was wracked with pain, and woke in a cave, full of burning vapours.

Sulfur…

We would be angry, should be angry. Tyvian and Cerisc kept the secrets that killed these men. Secrets that have endangered every man woman and child we have encountered since leaving the monastery. But we are stunned, and distracted.

Cerisc describes, pain, fear, discomfort, but he is describing the same place or somewhere not unlike it, where we walk every night. We have felt other spirits there, as well as Mei'tii, though we have not seen them. Could it be the same? When we sleep V'aliir flies in the free air of the visible Wyrld, we feel her along the delicate tether that links us. Are we somehow the same as this boy? But V'aliir is no wolf, ravening after a life in the Visible Wyrld and we are not displaced by her.

Still, it is a secret we ourself have not fully shared.

We determine Cerisc is not to be left unattended until we can ascertain a way to deal with his condition. Until then there is little we can do other than chain him in the hold, which the captain refuses to do. And so, while Tyvian retires to his cabin to sleep we sit on the deck with the boy, in silence, each wrapped in our own thoughts until we each of us fall into our own sleep. We to the sweet smell of sulfur and wild flowers, he to whatever his dreams bring him.



1. A'laasiss - Lover (fem.) A'laasiir - Lover (masc.)

Session: The Scent of Desert Rain - Saturday, Jun 28 2014 from 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM
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Setting:
The Visible Wyrld (1st)
1 other campaign in this setting
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