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Netheril : Age of Magic

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Author Topic: Ashram Aardyn  (Read 2466 times)


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Ashram Aardyn
« on: August 28, 2018, 12:53:15 pm »
   Dark. Grim. Rigid. Rough. These are the words most commonly used to describe my family. They’re accurate enough by all accounts. “The Black Aardyns” they called us. It’s not a secret title and it suits me just fine. “Mad Ash the Dark” seemed to be the preferred moniker for me. How fitting.

   Though others may cower in the dark, We shall always embrace it.

   You always hated that motto. I could see it in your face every time you mouthed it. It would turn your eyes vacant. Those beautiful violet eyes, a gift from your distant elven blood. I remember the first time I saw them. I was six and you were four when your Lord father brought you to Silver River. We spent a ten-day together before they told us we were to marry when you came of age. Remembering the shocked look we exchanged then still breaks me from the foulest of moods. Remembering how we shared that as a private joke between us later in life, even more so.

   It seemed almost cruel that someone like you should be sent to live with us at Aardyn Manor. We loved each other well enough, it’s true, but it was plain to see you were so different from us. I know what people said about it. “The Lady Lyra Lightfellow, sent to the Black Aardyns. The only Light in a Dark place.” Often this with snickers and sneers. You never let that bother you though, did you?

   Not much ever seemed to bother you. You burned bright and never let anything stop you. The ideals you lived by were so foreign to my family and I. You treated everyone as an equal, regardless of rank or station. There were no classes, no walls or barriers, when it came to you. I remember you sitting in the gardens, taking water and food, chatting with the maids like they were old friends. I remember when my father tried to stop you and you fixed him with that even stare, enchanting him with your violet gaze. Left speechless, he let you be. Don’t think for a second that I didn’t hear about it later.

   When I close my eyes at night I always see you. I see you as I saw you that day, as I watched you from the window. I watched you in the field, dancing in your circle with the servant children, laughing and singing and playing. I see your fair skin framed by your raven hair. I see your white dress fluttering in the breeze as you twirled, it’s skirt gracefully nipping at your knees, floating with each delicate move. I recall the colors. The colors of the wildflowers and the hills, as they seemed to blend around you. How the sunlight seemed to beam off of you and meld all else together. Most of all I remember your smile. Not on your soft lips, but in your eyes. It had a way of infecting everyone around you, melting away the sorrows and lightening up the darkest places. How badly I wanted to come down to join you then, but I knew my approach would only sour the mood for the servants.

   My brother urged me to stop you once, as I watched. He insisted it wasn’t right and the hierarchy was at risk. You were my wife, and my father and brother respected that it was MY business to deal with. I refused them. I promised myself that when I was Lord things would change. Perhaps you were right about equality. On the day my father was slain and I became Lord, however, I delayed. I don’t know whether it was out of respect for him or at the insistence of my brother but I delayed. A regret I will carry until the day I fall.

   When I left you for battle I did so because it was my duty as a Knight and a Lord. You shook your head at me before we kissed, that day. I remember smirking at you, as if it were some kind of joke between us. I rode off then, already dreaming of my return to your arms.

   The battles all but won, our commander urged us to pursue the enemy, leaving no man alive. I put forth that it would over extend us and leave our flanks undefended. The disagreement was heated but in the end he pulled rank and I fell in. The enemy suffered a crushing defeat and we were all given leave to come home, words that I had longed for since the moment I left.

   When I crested the hill into our fields my heart soared at the sight of Aardyn Manor. I was so eager to arrive that I quickened pace. My heart quickly stopped at a dead halt when I saw the first body. A servant woman. She had been running through the berry fields when they overtook her. Her lifeless corpse a harbinger for what was about to come.

   I sped with all haste to the manor, barely glancing at the men, women and children laying dead on my path. When I arrived at our home and found you there, I could physically feel the color drain from my body.

   You were so still. So quiet. Somehow, still so beautiful. I cannot think about those lifeless violet eyes without my inner rage burning. Or how the gaping slit across your throat opened as I turned you over. Or how I could tell by your skirts and your wounds that they used you before they ended you. The gaping void I felt then, I fear, will never be filled. I broke, then. Weeping and blubbering incoherently, I rocked you in my arms and sang your favorite songs for what must have been hours.

   Finally, when I began to return to reality, I carried your body up the stairs to our bed. I loosely remember stepping over my brother’s body, but paid it no mind. I tucked you in to bed and wiped your face clean. I will forever see you peacefully asleep, whenever I find my mind wandering. I kissed your forehead one last time and told you “I love you. You were right.”

   I stepped back and lit a candle in the corner of the room and watched over you as the sun disappeared over the horizon. When the darkness came I stood and lit the bed sheets, and then the drapes, and then anything else I could find on my way out of the house. I burned it. I burned it all. When I got outside I burned it too. Aardyn Manor and 600 acres of farm, field and woods set a blaze in my black burning rage. I set out at once for my commander’s home.

   I arrived and burst into his home, my visage the likeness of death itself. He met me and I challenged him to single combat, after I explained to him what his decision had cost. We were both knights and to his credit he accepted. He was an excellent fighter but his guilt weighed on him and my black hatred fueled me. There, in front of his family and a few other Knights, I killed the man that caused me to lose you. I did so with a dark grin, the vengeance was so sweet. I then forsook the knighthood and my titles. Any holdings or wealth be damned. I wanted, then, to have no more to do with it and I left Utrisk behind.

   So many things, I wish I could tell you. I wish I could tell you how right you were about everything. How rank and file cost me everything and yet, somehow, it cost you even more. I live now by your ideals. I live free, and amongst equals. You’ve taught me a costly lesson that I will never forget and I’ll honor you until my last breath.

   I hunger for the day that I may meet those who ended you. I will haunt them and give to them the pain they gave me tenfold. I will give them suffering and torment unending.

   I will teach them a fear of The Dark.

   With love eternal
=Cheers and Beers Kids=


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Re: Ashram Aardyn
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 01:00:42 pm »
   The town of Hadrian is not so different from Utrisk. The same could be said for Valstiir and Ioulaum. While they are not as big as home, they follow the same basic guidelines.

   I've become rather accustomed to my anonymity in this place. It's refreshing that people don't already know who I am when they meet me. No one cowers or ducks into doorways when they see the colors of house Aardyn approaching. I have become used to it.

   I've bought a home and made friends. Useful friends, at that. They don't seem to mind my obsessive draw towards the Darkness. I cannot say for sure that they understand it, because I barely understand it myself. I know nothing, save that I want it, badly.

   I had met another child of the Dark in Morwiena. "The Darkling" I called her. An excellent comrade and drinking companion in the field, her deathwish not withstanding. It brings me mixed feelings to have heard that her wish was granted in the arena games a few days past. I mourn the loss of my friend but am happy for her getting her one desire.

   I fear I am alone now, in the Dark. Most people will assume the Darkness is evil but it's not so. It isn't anything. It's only absence. Thankfully Keelie, my closest companion and consort, sees this. She is the Light to my Dark. I am drawn to her inexplainably. The Irony of the Light and the Dark sharing a life is not wasted on me. My humor has always been a little black anyways.

   I've taken rather fondly to her friends as well. The Foresters seem to appreciate the need for light and dark together. "Balance" they call it. Lushen and the Lady qiip have become fast friends and trusted allies in my never ending quest to quench my dark thirst for the blood of my enemies. I've found their tribe to be rather warm and inviting. They've taught me to look around me and appreciate the world I live in.

   I am learning to love this place but I take measures to avoid any role or position of leadership. It's been suggested but I'll not return to that life. I want to live simpler, laugh louder, and love longer. My friends here give me that, even as they keep me from plunging too far into the Dark. I wouldn't trade them for the world and would as soon burn the world down, if it meant their lives. The old knightly habits of loyalty and sacrifice don't wash out so easily, I suppose.

   Whatever may come, this place is home now and I will protect it with my life. Protect it... with my Darkness

Though others may cower in the Dark, We shall always embrace it
=Cheers and Beers Kids=