Not All Is Done.
Part One
“Preparations”

Timeline:

Upon extended experiences,
both on a personal and professional level,
Queen Alor’Nadien ne Feymist
and King Udoorin Shieldheart have
come to a certain, definitive conclusion;

 

Defense can not win wars.

 

Hence, a daring and extremely dangerous plan
is formed to seek and destroy the
Orken Grunt Generals and their Blood Shamans
in hopes of bringing dissension and chaos
among the coming Orken ranks and
weaken their march against
Serenity Home and the Kingdom of Isles.

 

This story begins shortly after
Surgical Strikes.

 

 

Somewhere in the dim and quiet halls of Serenity Home Temple and in an interconnected, two-room dormitory, one reserved for study and living quarters, the other for sleeping, Thomas is awake in his bed and is watching the young, beautiful woman dozing, or perhaps, snoozing inertly next to him, her coarse black hair scattered freely and framing her peaceful face. It had been quite a surprise for him when he’d found out that this beautiful girl never truly slept, but dozed, or perhaps, snoozed, and would wake up instantly and quite alert whenever there was any sound out of the norm. And said sound did not even have to be near.

At first, he had thought it was due to her deep-seated ranger training, and in all likeliness, it probably was. To his dismay, her being a ranger was the symptom, but not the core reason. Years of training as a hunter, tracker, scout, fighter, and an archer had merely hyped an already existing issue;

Morel Songsteel had never truly slept since that dreary and unspeakable day she had witnessed her parents getting butchered from inside the tiny closet her mother had hidden her, right before a marauding band of orcs had barged into their home when she had been only four.

Thomas gazed at her and noted her eyes were moving under their lids.

 

She was dreaming.

 

And whatever it was she was visiting, the senior temple guardian dearly hoped it was something nice.

One day, he promised himself, we will put your past behind us and you will sleep —truly and peacefully. Together, we will manage that.

“Thought I told you it was a bit creepy watching a girl sleep.”, Bremorel whispered, her voice slightly slurred.

“And we had argued about it, extensively, and come to the agreeable conclusion that, between husband and wife, such acts of creepy gazing were acceptable.”, Thomas replied quietly.

“No, we did not agree. I only caved in because I was being honest—”, she said with a little smile.

“—honest about you watching me when I am sleeping, though I can’t imagine why.”, Thomas wondered. “Mine is just a face. Yours is beautiful and I just can’t help but stare at it.”

Bremorel shuffled a bit and drew closer to him.

“Not just any face. A handsome, honest face.”, she said, her smile widening. “And I just saw a very, very.. interesting.. dream..”

“Ow?”, Thomas said carefully.

“Would you like to know what I saw?”, she purred..

 

..and jumped him!

 

In a few hours, they would set out on one of the most dangerous missions they had ever been assigned and Bremorel had no intentions of wasting what little time they had together.

✱ ✱ ✱

This is foolishness.”, complained Agent Largo. “Why do you get to go and I am forced to stay behind?”

Lilly Venom stifled a laugh.

“Boys.”, she sighed with resignation. “It isn’t like I am going out to play and you are left behind to do chores.”

“As a matter of fact, that is precisely what is going on here.”, Largo fumed.

“You are needed here. Should anything happen to my brother, you are the most qualified to do what he does.”, she explained.

“Sounds like a good excuse. Did you come up with this? Just to keep me safe?”, Largo frowned.

 

Lilly did not reply..

..and Largo immediately regretted having said it.

 

“I.. am sorry Lilly. That was a tad uncalled for on my part. I know you are going everything you can to help motivate me and get my mind off my troubled follies.”, he said morosely.

 

Lilly did not reply for a long time more, but stared at him, and deep into his eyes.

 

“Do you love me?”, she asked finally.

“What kind of a question is that?”, Largo spluttered.

“A very simple and pertinent question. Do you love me?”, she repeated herself.

“Of course. With all my heart.”, he replied honestly. “Why would you ask me this?”

“Because of your unwillingness to part your guilt, my husband. Perhaps you are not aware, but it casts doubt on what you say you feel for me. These past weeks, I have tried my best to rid you of it, but I have thus failed. I have finally figured out why, though; you do not want to let it go. You want to be defined by your guilt. I love you, Largo Summersong, as much as I love a warm summer song.. You are the only man I ever wanted and the only man I let in me..”, she said as she reached up and kisses him. When she spoke again, however, there was a very determined expression on her face, even though her eyes yearned for him. “..but I shall not be wife to a guilt riddled man who wants to die. I plan on making a future, a family, and a home. A home with children in it.. with you. I love you, but I shall not share that home with your guilt. Now, I will be leaving. Should the Great Heavens forgive my past sins and smile down on me and I return, I want to return to a guiltless man who wants to live. I shall not, however, return to a martyr waiting to happen.”

 

Lilly Venom hugged her husband, fiercely, for one last time, turned around, grabbed her long, dark brown leather coat, her many belts holding her two, ancient-looking daggers, her numerous knives, her coiled garrotes, her shark teeth, and her poisonous darts..

 

..and left.

✱ ✱ ✱

How are they?”, Perigren Ostlanna Temez asked, staring at the dormitory door. The halls down here were even dimmer than they were above, in the Serenity Home Temple, lit by torches spread apart and it was still a few hours to dawn.

“Intertwined!”, replied Hamna Vir. “The idiots.”

“It was a good fight, though we should keep the noise down next time there is a mating ritual. Senior Temple Guardian Thomas did not respond well when he saw all the blood and cinder.”, Temez said.

“This isn’t any of his business.”, Hamna Vir scowled.

“This is his temple, Hamna Vir. Everything is his business here. We should have informed him. I am surprised he hasn’t thrown us all out already. We must be mindful from now on.”, Temez said, then looked at the door again. “Are they going to live?”

“I wouldn’t know. Hal Mali stabbed the crap out of Demelze when she started burning him down to charred clumps. When we brought them here, they just clung to each other and wouldn’t let go.”, Hamna Vir said, a bit creeped out. “I.. can’t do what those two did to each other, to my Dar Derune when he grows up!”

“The mating ritual is not a compulsory obligation, dear. Merely a means to light a spark in our hearts. I believe Hal already had one. Or perhaps it was ripe to bloom. Their ritual was to see if Demelze would oblige and submit to her own heart. After all, she could have our right burned Hal, but she didn’t.”, Temez said.

“Pissed the Hell out of him, though. I didn’t even know Hal could get so angry and aggressive. He was always so calm. So much so that some of the girls thought he had been castrated.”

 

Temez sighed.

 

“He will be looking after our brothers and sisters while we are gone, once he wakes up.. If he wakes up.. Senior Temple Guardian Thomas offered to heal them, but I declined. They must spend this time together, either to blend their souls and heal one another or die. I have arranged for several others to take up their responsibilities should that happen. Demelze is a pain, to be sure, but she is ours, and as troublesome as she is, she is still dear to us. And Hal has the most practical and calm head of us all. Now, I need to visit the orc smith of this town for the small order I gave him. Perhaps you and your sister should head out and meet with Sheriff Standorin Shieldheart. We must be out of this town before dawn.”

“Why must I be the one to go with the sheriff? He is a stubborn, mule-headed Mortal. I want to stay and be with my Dar Derune.”, Hamna Vir said sullenly.

“I believe you just described yourself, dear; stubborn and mule-headed!”, Temez smiled.

 

Hamna Vir scowled at her.

 

“And, you ought to give our beloved Dar Derune the chance to miss you.”, Temez added. “Yearning is good for the soul.”

“You burn to see the young man you ate, and you fade, day by day, every day, ever since Merisoul..”, Hamna Vir fumed. “Which part of yearning is ‘good’, exactly?”

“I would rather burn down to further cinders to see my young man.. and fade out of existence if that is what it would take to see my merry soul, once again.”, Temez whispered with cold, smoldering fire. “Had we stayed in Hell, you know what Auntie Irine had in mind for Dar Derune.. Tell me, Hamna Vir, what would you have done, to save him?”

 

Hamna Vir refused to reply for a good long while.

When she did, she only hissed with savage vehemence.

 

“I would have died at the hands of Auntie Irine, before my Dar Derune.”

✱ ✱ ✱

He was putting on a good appearance, but he isn’t well.”, Udoorin rumbled, as he sat in one of the low, backless chairs he abhorred. He, Lorna, Lady Anglenna, and Lord Armathelius had returned to the high elf camp on the northern shore of Serenity Home town and somewhat to the west, forming a barricaded and entrenched buffer-zone perimeter for the Arashkan refugees in case the Orken attacked from that, likely direction. Lady Anglenna had retreated for a brief rest before they started out on their mission and, for some vaguely worded reason, Lord Armathelius had insisted on escorting her to her tent, leaving behind a squad of his most trusted veterans to guard the king and the queen.

“I have never seen him like this. Not since my mother died.”, the young man said depressed.

“Yes, something has happened. And it has him very much disturbed.”, Lorna agreed. “I haven’t seen Liaison Constance around, either. Not since the attack.”

“Neither have I.”, Udoorin frowned. “Perhaps.. they broke up?”

Lorna did not say anything for a while, though it was apparent she wanted to. Sheriff Standorin, however, was Udoorin’s father and, queen though she may be, she did not think she had.. jurisdiction.. in this matter.. per se..

Silently, she opted for Udoorin to prompt her to speak as she fiddled with the sleeve of her long, elegant gown.

“Lorna. Please. If you want to say something, by all means, do.”, Udoorin said, when he saw the mutely suppressed expression on her face. “He is my father, but you are his daughter, now, and he adores you.”

“That is kind of you to say.”, Lorna blushed.

“I am not being polite, love. He truly adores you.”, he said sincerely. “When we had returned from Themalsar and were at the night celebrations, the two of you talked for a bit, remember?”

“Yes. He was very open-hearted and candid with me.”, she said with a smile.

“Neither of us knew who you truly were, then. Yet, after the talk he had with you, he took me aside and spoke to me, quite firmly, that should I ever break your heart, he would break my head!”

 

Lorna blinked!

 

“But.. why? He didn’t even know who I was.”

“Who you were, as a princess, mattered very little to him. I am guessing, it still does not, now that you are a queen. Who you were, as a young woman, mattered more, and father has always been a good judge of character. I knew I.. uhhmm.. very much loved you the moment I saw you.. But I knew I had made the very, very right choice when my father threatened to break my head, should I ever hurt you.”, Udoorin grinned at her.

“I.. I do not know how to respond to that. I must find a proper way to thank him some time.”, she said, her face a bit flushed. “But since it is alright with you, I will speak my mind. Would it bother you if someone, a woman, entered his life, once again?”

“I would be happy for him because I know exactly how much he loved my mother, Lorna. But I have seen what her absence has done to him.”, Udoorin mused and his frown returned. “He.. he did a lot for those around him. Quite selflessly too.. and he always went the extra mile.. He blamed himself for the attack that first triggered the chain of events nearly a year ago. He blames himself more, now, for this attack. At the end of the day, though, we both know, nothing survives a well-planned attack. Those were well-trained assassins and they were committed. I cut nearly a dozen of them as they came at us down the hatch on the roof of the sheriff’s office, and it did not even deter them. If it weren’t for all the preparations he had done; the Arashkan militia and the regulars, the elves, the rangers, the dwarves, and all the trained town guards, I am guessing we would have buried a lot more than we did.”

“I am truly happy you think like that.”, Lorna admitted. “When we had talked, back then, at the celebrations, he had a whimsical smile on his face. As if he was remembering his own ‘good old days’.”

“He.. he wanted me to be happy even though I did everything to make him feel nothing less than shame. Why bring this up, though? Perhaps you are wondering what I would think, should he.. I don’t know.. want to make a future for himself with Liaison Constance?”

“Yes.”, she replied simply.

“I do not really know Liaison Constance. She is a half-born. And I do not know what that entails other than they had a very hard life. But if she is anything remotely like Merisoul was, and if father can handle that kind of.. I am not sure how to phrase it, really, but if they like each other, and want to spend their life with each other, and want to look out for one another, sure, I’d be happy for him. Not that it is in any way my business nor is it up to me. I am stating that I’d be perfectly fine with it, honestly, sort of so I wouldn’t be used as an excuse for them not to be together.. if that is what they want.”

“You truly surprise me sometimes.”, Lorna said with a smile. “You are more understanding and grand when it comes to certain things than I would ever have been. The elves couldn’t even tolerate a human —my mother. And you are fine with a half-born with your father.”

“The elves do not have a say in what my father does. Much like they did not have a say who your father wed. They thought they had a say in that, much like they thought they had a say in the choices you made. I think they paid a hefty price for their arrogance. If they want a place in this our Aranië, they had better change their attitude.”, Udoorin said and he meant it. “And I do not believe I am any more understanding than you are in anything. You forgave those who rebuffed you. I did not.”

The smile Lorna gave him was even brighter this time.

“We have a few hours more before we leave. Perhaps we should make use of that time and rest. Our journey will not be easy.”, she said.

“Alright. A fresh start is always a good start, I’ll escort you to your tent —wait! What are you doing?”, he very nearly spluttered when Lorna let her long, elegant gown drop off her slender shoulders revealing the rest of her slender figure, teasing behind a gauzy, black, undergown.

 

Udoorin tried very, very hard not to ogle, but failed..

Utterly!

 

“I am going to sleep.. Here..”, she said with a very shy, blushing smile. “And I would much welcome the company of my husband.”

✱ ✱ ✱

I did what you said and removed the old mattress.”, Inshala said with a guilty pout as she lit the few candles of the attic-bed room of their new home.

“You like it more this way, then?”, Aager smiled down at the skinny girl in her barely hip-high, white, shirt-like nightgown, lying on the much larger, and certainly much softer mattress made for her by the ogre chieftain, Mother Ganiste.

She didn’t reply immediately. She lit the last candle, went over to their new bed, pulled open the quilt with the vividly colored tribal patterns, nested herself in the bed, pulled the quilt over her head and..

..hid under it.

 

“I feel guilty.”, she said and drew her knees up to her chest, making herself turn into an even smaller lump under the quilt than she already was as she further hid her face behind her slender hands.

Aager took off his dark leather hood, his half mask, his heavy leather belts with his weapons, and then his dark, leather armor, revealing his much scarred, spring-coil, lean-muscled chest, and to his surprise, noted the girl was peeking at him from under the quilt and between her fingers!

“Are you spying on me, love?”, he asked, trying hard not to chuckle.

“I.. don’t know..”, she said as she shut her eyes tightly and blushed.. furiously. “I.. want to.. but I do not know if it is alright with you that I do.. I have seen you without your leathers before. But always to clean and mend your wounds. Sometimes, though, I feel.. I feel I want to look even though you have no wounds.. But I do not know if I have the right or if you will be angry..”

“I am angry only when you do not take care of yourself, Inshala. If you want to look at my scars, by all means, do.”, Aager said kindly.

“You.. you do not mind?”, she asked a bit surprised.

“I do not mind. And you have all the rights to do so..”

“I do?”

“Yes. We are married. We have all the rights to each other.”, he said.

Inshala threw the quilt aside, hopped out of the bed and came at him, stopping just short of bumping into him!

Very slowly, she reached up and touched him and Aager felt a distinct tingling jolt run down his spine.

 

Inshala had very warm hands.

 

She closed her eyes and those hands ran, very, very slowly, up and around his lean chest, pausing every time they came to a scar as if committing them to memory..

..and they paused many times.

 

Aager cleared his throat carefully, also closed his eyes and stood still.

 

It was the oddest sensation and a singularly unique, sensually elusive experience for him to feel her feel him, more than inspect, really, and when he opened his eyes, he saw hers were open too, now, and she was starting up at him with large, dilated eyes.. And to his, somewhat alarmed astonishment, she was also breathing deeper and harder the more she ran her hands over him, as she went around and ran her hands on and over his bare back as well..

 

“You.. have so much scars.. They are.. beautiful..”, she said in a hushed and awed voice..

 

..until she held him, and she held onto him with her skinny arms and rested her face there, on his bare, scarred back as if listening to his heart.

“I feel.. strange.. my Aager..”, she said and now her voice sounded somewhere between an eager snarl and a purr, and then..

..it was filled with panic.

“I feel it.. all over me!.. In my mind and in my heart, in my hands, and in my breasts, in my spine, and in my legs.. What.. What is happening to me, my Aager?”

 

Aager swallowed the rising lump and slowly turned around to face Inshala to see her face burning in mortification..

..and wont.

He looked into her eyes to see them glazed and feverish..

 

Very slowly, he reached down to her, his own, calloused hands in her barely hip-high, shirt-like nightgown, feeling the whip-scars on her small, skinny back, then the heaving, throbbing of her nubile breasts.. and spoke with a hoarse, dried, and choked voice.

 

 

Upon this World, I have been, but a Grain of Sand
To have seen your Fever thus Wild; the Heaven’s Land

To hold you Eternity in the Palm of my Hand
Would I trade Infinity, but for an Hour, so Grand

I see a Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in seething Rage

A Wolf & Lamb partake in this Home where we Belong
To have thought I was, but a Fool and so Wrong

Men with Naught and Sin have bought you Scars
Thus are they Fools, for yours are Heavens’ Pars

✱ ✱ ✱

Lilly Venom tapped on the door of the house with the beautiful, blooming cherry and entered, perhaps hoping to catch her brother and his skinny little girl in an awkward position; anything to rile up her elder brother, Aager Fogstep, and to see the cute blush on the skinny little girl, Inshala ‘la Fey’ Frostmane..

..and came face to face with a tall, lithe elf with long white hair, braided all the way down the small of her back, holding a dreadful-looking sword, a bushy little hobbit frowning, a scruffy looking midget of a gnomic girl with something round and packed in her hand, and a scowl on her tiny face, and a very tall, very dark girl with braided, vivid pink hair, scandalously short, also pink, dress skirt with two, long horns staring down at her, as her long, cat-like tail whipped right and left with distinct agitation!

She also noted, her own two, ancient daggers were in her hands..

 

The silence of the moment stretched and a tumbleweed was the only component missing in the stand-off scene.

 

“Who are the Hell are you and what the Hell are you doing in this house?”, the scruffy little gnomic girl hissed.

“I, the Hell, might ask you the same thing!”, replied Lilly Venom. “Though I remember seeing you at the delegation a few days ago. Put that grenade down, Miss-Whatever-Your-Name-Is! Should you foolishly use that thing here, you will hurt yourself and your friends more than you will hurt me, and bring this house down, in which case, you will truly hurt, by earning the wrath of your host!”

 

Another silence settled, though this one was more on the awkward side.

 

“She is right, you know.”, said the lithe elf girl.

“Yeah. Choose her side!”, sneered the gnomic girl, her scowl deepening.

The hobbit snorted.

“I remember you.”, the very tall, very dark girl said. “You were hiding up on the chandelier during the meeting. I thought it odd for someone to be up there, and hanging upside down for that long, at the time.”

“You saw me?”, Lilly Venom asked a bit surprised.

“I did. Though I didn’t tell anyone, I had my eyes on you all the time until Sir Aager came in with the human king of the elves, along with his beautiful queen.”, the tall, dark girl said with a smile.

“You should have warned Aager!”, Lilly hissed. “I could have been an assassin!”

“I believe you already are one. But the reason I didn’t was the apparent similarities between you and Sir Aager. Though I could not see the whole of his face, both of you have similar eyes and brows, both of you were clearly Drashan, and both of you were coiled to kill. Hence I came to the conclusion that you were siblings and part of the security, and opted to wait rather than reveal your position or outright banishing you.”, the tall in pinks replied in her cultured and illustrious voice.

 

Lilly Venom stared at her, then the rest of this weird bunch, and came to a conclusion of her own; it was just too bloody early to be hassled by this much weird! All she wanted at the moment was a hot cup of bitter coffee, a moment of silence, and possibly contemplate on what she would do if her hubby, Largo, couldn’t let go of his guilt-riddled past. She was sure she loved the man as much as she was sure she didn’t want another in her life. Much like she was quite sure she wouldn’t be able to get over her base loathing for all men for someone else..

 

“I am going into the kitchen, now. If you would kindly tell my brother I am there and waiting for him, I would be grateful.”, she said and glided off to the kitchen.

 

“I think we creeped her out.”, Tonic snarked.

“Tonic, luv, you really should stop greeting everyone with a grenade.”, Seressa sighed.

“Yeah. As opposed to your skimpy pinks!”, guffawed the gnomic girl.

“My pinks are not a danger to anyone, nor are they a threat.”, Seressa replied, slightly taken aback.

Tonic snorted.

“I beg to differ.”, she said sarcastically.

“Perhaps we should prepare to leave. Our hosts will, when they come down. And I believe we have imposed ourselves upon them for long enough.”, Cora said quietly.

“I concur!”, piped Brom and started gathering his things.

“Are you leaving so soon?”, asked a voice shyly and Inshala came down the stairs, followed closely by Aager.

 

There was a distinct, happy blush on the skinny girl’s face and the man behind her gave the impression that he very much wanted to just grab her and run off!

 

“We have made good on our stay, Lady Inshala. Thank you for your hospitality. It was pure delight.”, Brom said honestly.

“You will not have breakfast?”, Inshala asked with a tiny pout.

“Master Hobbit is right.”, Cora said, a bit gruffly. “I was indeed a delight. But we have imposed ourselves upon you for long enough and we have a long way to go.”

Seressa came to Inshala and quietly hugged her.

“You are a wonder, my dear. I would want to visit you oft more if I may.”, she said, giving one of her best, illustrious smiles.

“My home, is your home, dear Seressa Wraiven. You and your company are always welcome here.”, Inshala replied and hugged her back. Then she turned to Tonic and smiled at her. “I would very much like to pocket you, dear Arcantonic Palecog.”, she said.

“Again, with the pocketing!”, Tonic scowled.

“You can not blame others for your cuteness. But you can smile back and hug.”, Inshala said. “I was ever ashamed of what I was. But my Aager taught me that shame was never mine to have.”

Tonic sighed.

“You are worse than Seressa.”, she said with resignation and hugged the skinny little girl.

“I see a people in your future, dear Cora Sleet.”, Inshala said when she came and stood before the lithe barbarian elf.

“What?”, Cora exclaimed, a bit freaked.

“I see a people in your future.”, she repeated. “Many a people. Your people. They will come, should you call, in crowds and in throngs. Go in peace, and live in peace.”

 

Cora stared at the skinny little girl, totally freaked out now.

 

“Master Blom Bundlebim Hobim.”, she said with a brilliant smile when she came and stood before the hobbit. “I would very much like to pocket you as well, but you are simply unpocketable!”

“I suppose I am that.”, Brom said and grinned up at her.

“You know me.”, Inshala said simply and suddenly. “And kind as you have been, you have avoided me, thus.”

“Yes.”, Brom replied honestly.

“But you are not going to tell me.”, Inshala said brightly.

“At the moment, no.”, he replied.

“I want to ask, why..”

“Because the past holds many mysteries, my dear girl. The future, however, holds exactly that; the future. You have made yourself a life, uniquely and singularly your own, and have become a wonder to behold. Only you should get to have a say in that. Not the past.”, Brom replied kindly, but adamantly, also.

“Smooth.”, murmured Cora.

“I have no idea what you just said, Master Brom, for I am young and oft silly. But I am patient, also. I promise I shall understand it in time.. Hence, for now, I bid you, Master Brom, and my tundra sister Cora, and my beautiful sisters Seressa and Arcantonic farewell. May the Heavens smile upon you and light your trek, always.”, Inshala said sincerely.

 

Cora approached the man in dark leathers standing behind the skinny little girl and nodded at him.

“Thank you for slaying the man coming at me from behind, during the meeting.”, she said.

 

Aager stared at her for a long moment before merely nodding back.

Apparently, that was all the interaction necessary between them.

 

After a few more moments of hugs and heart-felt farewells, the Tundra Walkers were gone..

 

“I smell coffee.”, Agger growled and headed for the kitchen.

 

✱ ✱ ✱

Several streets over, in another house, Sheriff Standorin Shieldheart was sitting in his couch, once again, staring at the dying embers in the fireplace, contemplating on his follies —a something he’d been doing, not unlike a daily prayer, ever since his beloved wife, Limnia Karya, had passed away.

And now, at that very moment, perhaps for the first time, he felt his age..

..for he was, also at that very moment, contemplating on his latest folly; the one, alluringly called, Constance..

Then he noted the dim of his home was slowly withdrawing and the first lights of dawn jabbed at him from between the shutters.

 

He sighed..

 

And, with inhuman stoicism, and with a grim and determined expression, he got up to face the day and whatever it might entail or throw at him because the last words his Limnia had said to him had been;

“Take care of our son, and yourself, my beautiful boy..”

 

To that day, and to be rather particular, to that very moment, he had always thought his Limnia had been referring to their son, when she had said, ‘my beautiful boy’..

To his dawning recognition.. and heart wrenching remorse, he understood.. she had, in fact, been referring to him!

 

His Limnia had been thoughtful.. and awesome like that!

 

To that end, he went over to the fireplace, picked up the bucket of water sitting next to it and dumped its content on the smoldering embers. He was going to be away for a long while and he had no intentions of returning to a house burned down on some foolish technicality!

Then he took a deep breath and went over to his kitchen.

 

First things first, then; coffee!

 

But when he saw the pristine condition of his kitchen, however, his shoulders slumped.

“I can’t believe I let the Queen of the High Elves clean my kitchen!”, he rumbled and easily admitted that she, Alor’Nadien ne Feymist, was one of a kind young woman and dearly hoped both her, and his boy, Udoorin, would live a very long and happy life together.

Sheriff Standorin had always been a very disciplined man and that had extended to his home. He knew it had driven his Limnia to the heights of frustration at times. Looking at the pristine condition of his kitchen, and the rest of his home, however, it was apparent, no amount of discipline nor tidiness beat a woman’s touch. With their innate, and intimately assuring presence, they seemed to turn a roof and four walls, into a home.

 

Standorin turned around, went over to his room, put on his armor, grabbed his always ready back pack, his great sword, and his shield..

..and walked out of his home, locked its door, and left.

 

Coffee was important, but he just didn’t have the heart to destroy the newly cleaned kitchen trying to make some.

 

Hence he veered for his most likely successor and acting sheriff, Aager Fogstep’s home where he was sure his pretty little wife, Lady Inshala, could be persuaded make some for him.

And even part with some her strange wisdom.

 

Then, he would head to the Serenity Home Temple and meet with the surly girl and liaison, Berete Hamna Vir, and whoever the other half-born was, and do what needed to be done to save his town.

And when the enemy was finally routed and everyone was safe, he would have a sit-down, and hopefully, a long conversation with the alluring girl, Constance.

A conversation starting with an apology..

✱ ✱ ✱

It is ready, Mistress Perigren Ostlanna Temez.”, growled the orc black smith, Kor’gral, when the lithe, ravishingly beautiful young half-born girl ghosted into his workshop in Serenity Home town, just about dawn.

“I would rather have adapted a simple clasp and you kept the original, but against all my reservetions and my cautions, you persisted otherwise.”, he rumbled.

 

The pale half-born looked at the tall, well-built form of Kor’gral for a silent minute, then spoke in her soft, somewhat husky voice, void of all emotions..

 

“I have come from the very depts of Hell, Master Kor’gral, in hopes of finding peace. Yet, this Mortal coil has already taken that which was most dear to me.. There is no more peace to be had for me here. The sins of my former masters run deep and far. But with this..”, she said, as she slowly, almost tenderly, picked up the deadly craftmanship, the orc had placed before her.

 

She stared at it as she ran her slender fingers over the thing she beheld in her hands untill she drew blood, and her voice turned cold, brittle, and vexed..

 

“..I shall make them pay for my merry soul. I shall make them pay untill there is no them, or there is no me.”

 


The original verses of the poem Aager whispers to Inshala belong to William Blake. I used the first few verses and other than two, I modified them quite heavily to suit Aager and Inshala’s theme and added two final lines of my own.

The original poem from William Blake;

Auguries of Innocence

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour
 
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage 
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions 
 
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State 
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood 
 
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear 
A Skylark wounded in the wing 
A Cherubim does cease to sing 
 
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright 
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul 
 
The wild deer, wandring here & there 
Keeps the Human Soul from Care 
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife 
 
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
 
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men 
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
 
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity 
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night 
 
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief 
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly 
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh 
 
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar 
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat 
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat 
 
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue 
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot 
 
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags 
 
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent 
It is right it should be so 
Man was made for Joy & Woe 
 
And when this we rightly know 
Thro the World we safely go 
Joy & Woe are woven fine 
A Clothing for the soul divine 
 
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine 
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
 
Tools were made & Born were hands 
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity 
 
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight 
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar 
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore 
 
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death 
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear 
 
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun 
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
 
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands 
Or if protected from on high 
Does that whole Nation sell & buy 
 
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death 
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out 
 
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death 
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons 
 
The Questioner who sits so sly 
Shall never know how to Reply 
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out 
 
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown 
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace 
 
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow 
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply 
 
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile 
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please 
 
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt 
Theyd immediately Go out 
To be in a Passion you Good may Do 
But no Good if a Passion is in you 
 
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate 
The Harlots cry from Street to Street 
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet 
 
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse 
Dance before dead Englands Hearse 
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born 
 
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight 
Some are Born to sweet delight 
Some are Born to Endless Night 
 
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night 
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light 
 
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night 
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day

 

1 Comment

  1. Heroes of Serenity Home and The Tundra Walkers have come together and are now parting, once again, each as a micro group;

    > Bremorel Songsteel, Thomas Dimwood, and Perigren Ostlanna Temez
    > Anglenna Brightleaf, Udoorin Shieldheart, and Lorna Feymist
    > Brom Bumblebrim, Cora Sleet, Seressa Wraiven, and Arcantonic Palecog
    > Aager Fogstep, Inshala ‘la Fey’ Frostmane, and Lilly Venom
    > Sheriff Standorin, Berete Hamna Vir, and another half-born

    These missions will be very difficult and quite deadly, and against many Orken warriors, along with their Grunt Generals, and their Blood Shamans and the result of these missions will directly affect how the Orken will come at Serenity Home..

    Hence, each to his own, part their home, trying to make the best of what time they have with their loved ones..

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