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On The Edge Of

Discussion in 'UO Catskills Role Play' started by Aedon Durreah, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    Darkness settled in around the stone building which set along a field of stars, nestled in a grove of living emeralds. In the distance, just on the edge of sight, small creatures could be seen scurrying from the shadow of one bush, to the relative shelter of another. Beneath the ground, lay a labyrinth of tunnels and warrens that made up the homes of rabbits and hoppers. Here, within the comfortable safety of the earth, their young nestled close together for warmth as they awaited the return of parents off on the hunt for food.

    Within Connemara, all was quiet. For the first time in some weeks, Izzy seemed to be resting soundly. The nightmares which seemed to plague her faded and gone. At least for now. Aedon sat for a time, watching her peaceful slumber. He was careful not to make any moves or sounds which might disturb her. The thought never crossed his mind to disrupt her sleep or cross any boundaries into her quiet dreams. For now, it was enough for him that she was not awaking often, or calling out from deep within the grasp of nightmares. Could they really have passed? Faded into the shadows of night as swiftly as they had come. Reaching for a book on the table that stood close at hand, Aedon took up his book. Opening it to a page, he removed the leather bookmark, and started reading where he had left off.

    “A deep sigh seemed to come up from the ground itself. Tortured and twisted, trees reached grotesquely towards a sun blotted out by the billowing smoke. Black and fetid, it arose from the fields of slag and scorched bracken that covered the earth for as far as the eye could see. Acrid it was, stinging the eyes and scorching the throat making every breath a laborious task. His body was stretched beyond all endurance, his soul cried for the sweet rest of oblivion. And though it would have been easier to lay himself down, and surrender to death, he could not help but believe that he must carry on towards…

    “Towards what?

    “Hill after hill he climbed. Each step forward brought excruciating pain, every breath became shallow and labored. He longed to see the light of day again but, as with the trees, his aching eyes were met only with a thick, grey haze. For how long he trudged forward, he could not say; a week, a month, or perhaps it had only been an hour or two. All sense of time and space were lost here, all hope strung out behind him as seeds cast on fallow ground. Unattended, unnurtured, left to wither and die in this god-forsaken land. Until at last, broken and at the end of all strength, he lowered his body to the ground, and lay still.

    “He was unsure how long he had lay there. His eyes opened onto the same grey landscape that had been there ere he closed them. Struggling to stand, he peered off into the distance. All directions he saw the same thing. A moving wall of grey rising from the many deep scars cut into the earth. His lungs filled with smoke causing him to cough violently. At times, barely able to keep his footing, and yet still he managed to trudge on. But to where? What was it that he sought, if he sought anything at all? Nearly spent, he was about to sit on the side of a slag hill when something caught his eye.

    “Was that a point of light?

    “Trudging onwards, he made his way towards the distant point; at times, it seemed to vanish and then reappear as though something had passed between him, where he stood, and where it was, but always, it reappeared. With each labored step, it seemed to grow closer. Until at long last, he climbed a last hill and looked down on a small wooden bridge, with a single lantern hanging over it. Just past the bridge, in a small, green clearing, sat a neat stone cottage. It seemed oddly out of place within the blackened fields of destruction. Perhaps it was a mere mirage or, just maybe, his salvation.”


    (To Be Continued)
     
  2. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    It did not seem a far distance to the bridge, and yet with every step he took, his goal seemed to retreat from him. His legs grew heavy, making movement a laborious, painful process. Each step was agony, every breath he drew in scorched his lungs. It would have been far easier to give up, lie on the ground, and wait for death to release him from this living hell. But the bridge urged him on, the green grass beyond offered a respite to eyes weary of fetid heaps around him. And from within the house, a soft voice called his name. And so, he struggled on foot by foot until at long last he reached the bridge.

    He did not walk across as one would, but instead stepped into the cooling waters of the stream which rushed over his feet, bringing blessed relief. He was not sure how long he stood there, the thought of moving on past fled from his mind as days, perhaps lifetimes of pain washed away. Stepping up onto the shore on the other side, he made his way to the front door of the cottage, and placing his hand on the knob, turned it gently. The door swung easily open, and with a renewed vigor in his step, he entered the dwelling.

    It was a well-kept place. Stone floors swept clean, and the smell of fresh heather filling the air from the small vase on the table. He noticed it was setup for two people. The open cabinets were stacked neatly with dishes, cups and saucers, and a rather attractive gravy boat. He was unsure why the gravy boat drew his eye to it, but there was something about it that was familiar. As an old song from the past, or a well-worn pair of slippers. Before a cheerful fire sat two overstuffed chairs, separated by a small table. Moving over to where they sat, he lowered himself gently into the one on the left side of the hearth. As he settled back into the chair and closed his eyes for a moment the smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the air.

    Opening his eyes, he was shocked to find that the tattered, dirty worn rags he had been wearing for so many days had vanished, Replaced by clean pants and a dressing gown. On his feet, which no longer burned and ached were the richest pair of slippers he had ever seen. And on the table next to him a cup of steaming brew awaited him. Taking up the cup, he drank deeply of the rich, dark liquid, savoring the taste and aroma as it teased his senses. Settling back, he gazed happily into the fire.

    “I could be happy here the rest of my days.” He said aloud, then took another sip and closed his eyes.

    The peace of the moment did not last long. Contentment faded as voices and faces filled his mind. He sought to make sense of what he was seeing. The woman with spun gold hair. The mighty lord seated next to her before the hearth and playing on the floor with a set of carved horses was…. The child. He leapt from his seat so suddenly the cup he held flew wildly into the wall. The crashing sound as it struck the surface, and the tinkle of the pieces of crockery falling down onto the stone floor brought him back to his senses. He could remember now. This cottage, this room, but in another time long past. He was alone in the room, he was certain of that. But where was she? Where was the child.

    In panic he searched the room. Behind curtains and the small door which led into the bedroom. His heart pounded in his chest, and a sense of urgency filled his mind. He had to find her, she was the key to this all, the thing which time after time drew his here. Desperation grew within him with every stop he searched, every empty corner, every vacant closet. What was it she wanted this time? Finally, in desperation he stood in the middle of the room he screamed out loudly;

    “I am here, where are you?”

    As the last sound of his voice faded, the room seemed to dissipate around him, and he found himself again standing outside. But the lands around him were shrouded in mist, and only the smell of the sea air told him that he stood near some shore. From within the fog a figure formed and started to move towards him.

    Was this her?

    had the child come at last?












    (To be continued)
     
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  3. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    He moved with caution towards the shadowy figure. Not so much out of any sense of dread, but more the fear she would, as she had done so many times before, flee before him. The dense fog would make any pursuit of the child difficult to say the least. One wrong step could send him over the lands edge, and into the water he knew to be close at hand. He stepped forward once, hand outstretched, speaking soft, reassuring words to her. One step, then two. She remained as she was when he first caught sight of her. It could be that she had come to trust him from their times in the past. Or perhaps she was as lost and unsure in the fog as he was. He spoke of their meetings in the past, and of their time before the fire in the cottage on the edge of destruction. She did not react to any of his words, but to his delight, she did make any move to avoid his advance.

    It was a slow process. One small step followed by words and stories, and then another step. At last, he stood within arms reach of her. It was odd, he thought, that he could be this close to her and yet still be unable to make out her form or features fully. Swallowing hard, he took one more step, and reaching out, laid his hand on hers. At his touch, the fog seemed to suddenly withdraw revealing the plot of land on which he stood. He shook his head as one awaking from a long dream and looked down at the child that stood clearly before him. As his mind struggled to come to full awareness, he realized that he knew the one before him, and knew her well.

    Aila~

    He was shocked at the coldness of her skin. She was frozen, as a statue standing a long watch over history. As he called to her, her eyes seemed to look straight through him as the snows of Yew fell softly on her hair giving an ethereal appearance to her face. Removing his cloak, he wrapped it around her shoulders and called her name again softly.

    Aila~

    He watched her closely. Studied her face for any sign of wakefulness. Looking around him, he saw branches and twigs which had been shaken from the trees by the recent winds of winter. Gathering some together, he started a small fire close to her. It was a small, but lively flame, more than capable of providing a gentle warmth to the area. Going back to where she stood, he sat down on the ground near her watching, and waiting.
     
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