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Author Topic: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17  (Read 4060 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« on: June 26, 2013, 02:49:44 am »


Previous chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1094.0.html

Chapter 17   MC 11.30.985   5th Coin


The deep tones of the cathedral bells rang across the mountain city of Cynfyn.  The bells rang Sext, yet the low, dark clouds held the Lendour Mountains hostage from the noon sun.  Most years it was a joy to see the first snow fall; the castle rooflines turned white to gleam and sparkle in the daylight, and drops of water iced over to hang like ornaments from the stone crenellations and window embrasures.  The first snow usually signified an end to the harvest and an end to external strife; a time for peace and for family to celebrate life in full with the past told in stories and the future whispered in dreams.

“Tomorrow,” the earl said aloud as he looked across his office to the snow piled a handspan deep against his window ceil.  “Tomorrow, we will celebrate,” Muir promised himself.  Today, he frowned at the freezing cold air and worried over those out in it.  As he watched, the snowflakes fell with a silent calm, unlike this morning, when the winds had blown them harshly against the window.  He wondered what his brother was thinking of the weather now.  Last night, as the rain started once more, Washburn had joked that if the heavens favored him this day, than the rain would turn to snow to give his team an advantage.  Did Wash still consider this being favored?  Were things proceeding according to the plans they had arranged?  Muir held his confidence and laughed at his own unease.  His men were entering a convent; this was not a mission into an enemy’s stronghold.  Nothing like the King’s orders the previous spring to infiltrate the occupied City of Rengarth.  There should be little cause for concern.

The sound of a throat clearing brought Muir’s thoughts back into the room.  “If you do not sign that agreement soon, I do not see how we can celebrate tomorrow,” Ohlin admonished with a light voice.  He sat at the side of the desk with a pile of parchments already signed.  His feather quill reached across and tapped the blank space at the bottom of the dowry agreement.

“Is this the last of it?  I cannot believe the detail required for a simple marriage,” Muir stated as he looked over the long agreement again.

“Yes, my lord.  This is the last one.  The most important one that releases your ward from your guardianship and gifts Jessa’s dowry to your brother’s estate.  Your signature just there, and all will be done as stated within.”  Ohlin once more indicated the blank space.  Muir hesitated.  “Is there a problem, my lord?”  Ohlin inquired more seriously.

“No, not really.  I just wish there was more to offer.”  Muir put his quill to the ink and signed his name with a flourish.  “Who would have guessed that little lost girl who was found in the city would someday be the same young woman who would marry my brother?  I don’t believe my father could have ever anticipated that to happen on the day he signed that first letter of wardship twelve years ago.”

“There is much that has happened that your father would never have anticipated.  Your father was right about you boys, though.  He always said both of you would grow up to be honest, respectable men.  I saw that in you right away; the oldest taking a firm hold of his responsibilities.  However, your brother….  From the over-told stories of self-reliance coming out of Rhemuth and the little that I saw of him, well, let me just say that I owe Lord Washburn an apology for thinking him a trouble starter and a ne’er-do-well.”

Muir had to laugh.  “Do you still hold a grudge over that dog bath incident?”  The earl paused to snicker at the old man’s fallen features.  “You know that it was I who purposely gave Wash the wrong words to that spell.  And you know, I never did tell him.  All on his own, he learned to make that spell work correctly even with the wrong words.  In a lot of ways, Wash is a more responsible man than I am.”

“My lord, I would never go that far.  In the past weeks, I have come to appreciate, even admire, your brother.  However, I cannot understand why your ‘responsible’ brother, who is about to be married, is out gallivanting with his men in this miserable weather.  Do you know he is out on a stag hunt!  Honestly, where is the responsibility in that!”

Muir looked up at the disapproval on the steward’s face.  He had forgotten that he had not told Ohlin the truth.  Until Wash returned, the castle residents all believed the bridegroom had left early that morning to go out on a hunt.

“Lord Washburn is not out on a hunt; at least he is not hunting wildlife today.  He is on a mission for Jessa— and for me….”  The opening of the office door interrupted Muir’s explanation.  At the earl’s nod, a squire walked in and bowed.  Behind him, a city guard was standing just beyond the door.  Muir motioned him to enter.

“My lord, a delegation from Tralia has been seen on the road.  They should be entering the city gates within the hour,” announced the guard.

“They are out in this weather, too?  Here I thought we would have to hold the ceremony for their arrival tomorrow.  Have Sir Lambert and Sir Kass greet them properly at the city gates and escort them with full honors to the castle.”  Muir turned to Ohlin.  “I hope all of our guest rooms are in order.  We will need them all this day.  Be sure to put aside two rooms for those that Wash will bring back with him.”  Ohlin gave Muir an inquiring look, but Muir did not answer him.  He looked out the window once more at the snow and then left his office to go in search for his ward.

Two days had passed since the wedding banns for Washburn and Jessamyn had been made public to the people of Lendour.  In those two days the ladies of Cynfyn had congregated in the withdrawing room opening onto the castle’s gardens.  They brought with them yardages of cloth, winter flowers, sprigs of evergreen plants, ivy, and garlands, along with an array of ribbons.  They created the decorations that would turn the main hall into a place of celebration.  In addition, they sewed the necessities needed for the sweet but deprived young lady to have in her trousseau.  Privately, during the two weeks of Jessa’s seclusion, Lady Melina, and Sister Vivian worked with Jessa to sew gowns for her to wear and other small necessities that she would need in her new life.

The Countess Ida of Carcashale, Jessa’s closest friend while growing up in the convent, had arrived in the middle of those two weeks.  She arrived full of worry, intent on caring for her injured friend. To the countess's great relief, she was quickly informed of Jessa's secret recovery and upcoming nuptials.  Enthusiastically, Ida joined in on the creation of her best friend’s new wardrobe.  Gowns of red, pink or blue in velvets or wool, lightly trimmed, were quickly sewn.  But what had all the ladies in disagreement was the choice of fabric for Jessa’s wedding gown.  When Sir Ronald returned from the Isle of Orsal, the problem was solved.  Among all his letters, he held out a linen-wrapped package addressed to Jessamyn with a note from her mother:

“I have never forgotten your first golden aura when you were only the age of four.  Your father commented how it perfectly matched the gleam of your hair.  The color of gold has always reminded me of you, my dearest child.  I am giving you this yardage with joy in my heart, and I cannot wait for the time when we can be together again.”

The linen unwrapped to show a resplendent silk taffeta of honey-gold.  There was no longer any doubt what Jessa’s wedding gown would be.

Muir arrived in the withdrawing room, in the midst of industry.  A lute and a tenor’s voice filled the room with music.  Women giggled and flitted about the room with streamers of ribbons and garlands.  All but three women were enjoying the preparations.  Appearing out of place amidst the gaiety of the room, the three women sat sedately in the window alcove sewing the last embroideries on the hem of the wedding gown.  Muir approached the ladies and saw his baby sleeping in the basket near his wife.  He affectionately touched the boy’s little hand, allowing the tiny fingers to curl over his.  The three women anxiously waited for the earl to look up.  Melina was the one to openly address her husband.  “Is there news, my lord?  We would gladly accept any news that you may have.”  As the countess spoke, Jessa sat up straighter, bracing herself for the earl’s answer to his wife’s inquiry.

“The news from our hunter is scarce.  An hour ago, he sent that the wolf had left her den.  I do not expect more news for some time yet.  But I am certain there is no need for worry.”  Muir’s confidence seemed to reassure two of the three ladies.

“There!  See, Jessa?”  Lady Ida said to her friend.  “You needn’t worry.  Focus on your stitching and the day will go by much faster.”

“Actually, my ladies, I’m here to ask you to put aside what you are doing and ready yourselves for the arrival of the Tralian delegation.  Jessa, I’m told your mother will be with us within the hour.”

A small gasp escaped the bride’s lips.  She turned paler than she already had been and her hands shook on the fabric she held.  Melina took the needle and silk thread from Jessa’s fingers and then hugged her tightly.  “We will happily greet them when they arrive,” Melina said as she smiled at Jessa’s dismay.  “Ida, hand the gown over to Lady Lisa to finish the hem.  Nellie,” she called to the baby’s nurse, “please bring Euan with us.  Jessa, I think that rose-colored gown will put some color back in your cheeks.  Come ladies, there is much to do.”

*******

All the preparations for the next day’s feast came to an abrupt halt as the populace of Castle Cynfyn gathered in the great hall to greet the travelers from the south.  Fifteen people—three women and twelve men—stood in the screens passage and divested themselves of their long winter cloaks.  They took a moment to neaten their attire before standing in ceremony at the opening to the hall.
 
“Baron Jathurn Kyriell and the Baroness Elzia von Horthy de Kyriell.” announced Steward Ohlin with a formal flair.

A tall man led his delegation down the center aisle.  His hair gleamed with various shades of cooper and his tunic was lavish in greens and ivories.  The lady he led forward was wearing a matching gown with a green veil hiding the coils of her long blond hair.  Intermittently, one of them would glance away from the earl and countess and search the throng of people standing on the sides.  Muir noted how Jessa stood hiding behind Ida in the midst of the crowd.  She held Ida’s arm, her fingers turning white on the countess’s sleeve.

Muir looked away from Jessa.  He greeted her family with gracious formality.  They completed the formal greeting with brief words from his royal highness, Prince Erastus, from across the narrow sea.  When the earl did not immediately produce the subject of the Tralians’ visit, the Baron openly made the inquiry.  “My mother and I would wish for an introduction to Lord Washburn, your brother, and to his betrothed, the Lady Jessamyn Kyriell.”

“I will make you a formal apology that my brother is unattainable at this moment, having been called away for an arduous task.”  Muir smiled at the disappointment on the two faces standing before him.  “Nevertheless, I believe I can accommodate the second part of your request.”  Muir stood with a slight flourish and stepped down the dais passed the Baron and Baroness to face the populace.  The crowd parted, revealing two women standing alone, one nearly hiding behind the other.  “Jessa, I believe this is a moment you have long awaited.  Come, greet your family whom you have not seen for twelve years.”  Muir held out his hand.  The woman behind suddenly blushed the color of her gown.  She untangled her long fingers from her friend’s sleeve, straightened her shoulders, and stood tall.  Hiding her insecurities, she smiled and stepped up to take Muir’s hand.  Her grip that moved to his arm was firm as he walked her forward to greet her brother and mother.

“I give you my ward, Jessa, recently released from the Convent of Saint Clair.”  Jessa curtsied deeply, her head bowed low.  Lady Elzia stepped forward, bending down to touch the young lady’s chin and to turn her pretty face upward.  Both their eyes met, and for a long moment neither dared to move.

“I searched the markets for a match to your favorite tapestry.  You remember the one I speak of?”  Elzia asked, biting her lip in need of the proper reply.

“Yes, my lady.  I recall two tapestries that had my love: the one in the family solar with the knight on a sorrel horse and a red-roofed castle in the background, and the other, my favorite, with two white unicorns that played beside a lake deep in a forest.  On the night before my birthday, I told Father how much I loved that tapestry, and the morning of my birthday I saw it hanging on the wall above my bed.”  Jessa’s voice quivered as she spoke.  “I am sorry, mama, but I watched that tapestry turn to flames….  It terrified me.”  Tears wet her cheeks.

“Shush, my sweet.”  Instantly, the mother pulled her daughter into her arms.  After many years, Jessa was held in the embrace of her mother, the pair of arms that could soothe all her fears away.

*******

The sun had set and the flurries of snow once more filled the air.  The bride stood upon the rampart wall, staring off to the east.  Several women stood beside her.  Among them were her best friend, her future sister in-law, and her mother.  They eased her worry for the absence of the bridegroom.  He should have returned from his campaign by sunset, and their attempts to contact him had brought no results.

Lord Muir paced just outside the eastern gate.  The entrance was open and the drawbridge was down.  Guards lined the end of the bridge, attentive to the road leading into the forest.  Just an hour before, at the turn before the castle wall, the rushing stream had given up the body of a man.  The men of Cynfyn could only identify him as a priest; however, Muir recognized the monsignor immediately.  That was when Muir sent out two scout parties: one to scour the river’s edge for more casualties, and one to race up the road to find their missing team.

The earl stepped to the center of the drawbridge with Baron Jathurn walking beside him.  Both men looked up at the walk above the gates.  Through the crenellations, they saw Jessa leaning outward, a cloak draped across her head and shoulders.

“I think my other two sisters would be envious of this young lady’s beauty,” the baron said with a sideways smile.  “We all reviewed the coins, of course, but seeing my youngest sister in person lends reality to the story.  Mother cried for days afterwards, and I’ll admit, I was mad at the coins for reopening an old wound.  In my skepticism, I told my mother I would travel here to learn the truth,” the baron continued.  “The seas were rough, but still, I could not stop my mother from taking the journey with me.”  Just then, Lady Elzia leaned out beside her daughter.  She brushed Jessa’s face with her fingers, and then pulled her daughter back within the wall.

“I am glad you both came,” replied Muir.  “The past weeks have been emotionally charged.  Jessa seems much more secure since she received your letters.”  Muir looked back to the east.  “And with the worries of today, I am grateful that your mother came.”

Muir was beginning to think it was time to ride out on the road himself.  Taking a deep breath, for the tenth time that evening he broadcasted his thoughts toward his brother.  Unlike all the times before, this time he caught his brother’s exhausted attention.

“We’re coming home,” Washburn announced through the link. “There are a few injuries, but mostly we need a change of clothes and a warm hearth to thaw our frozen bones.” Muir acknowledged the link and barked out a list of orders; one was to stoke all the hearths in the main hall. 

“My lady, they are coming,” Muir mentally sent to the bride.  She once more leaned outward, straining to catch the words from her beloved.  They must have passed private words, for suddenly she turned back from the wall and hugged the women at her side.  Word traveled fast, and anxiously everyone waited for a first glimpse of the returning party. 

The band of riders emerged from the darkness of the trees.  They looked worn, bedraggled, and cold, though mostly they seemed grateful to be home.  Muir’s escort men led them across the bridge and into the bailey.  Sir Washburn headed his team, an elderly nun seated on the horse’s withers before him.  Following the Knight Captain came his two lieutenants.  Dillon sat in the saddle straight as he guided the bay horse Artimus rode.  Arty was slumped back against Sister Vivian.  She held the wounded knight, preventing him from tumbling out of the saddle.  Arty lifted his head as he entered the castle courtyard.  Home at last!  His was not the only face that reflected the relief of this day coming to a close.

The earl pointed everyone to continue to the great hall.  Muir counted each person as they passed by him.  All the men from the rescue team and the first scout party were here, with the addition of the five nuns and three other clergy.  Wash pulled out of the line, motioning for the others to move on.  Jessa had raced down the steps, stopping only as she came to his side, both her hands reaching upward to give greetings to the two people she loved.  Muir was reminded that his aunt, Sister Meris, had been Jessa’s caregiver after she had been taken from her mother.  The two womens’ eyes glistened with tears as they privately renewed their relationship.  After a minute, Wash walked his horse toward the main hall, with Jessa walking beside him, her hand resting on his knee. 

Lady Elzia walked up to Muir and Jathurn, her gaze still watching the couple retreat toward the castle.  “She really does love him.  In all my days, I never imagined such a reunion as this.”  The princess smiled happily.

“I too am pleased.  My lady, I think it would be best for you to get out of this cold.  I would not have you ill from our horrid weather.”  Muir motioned for Jathurn to escort his mother into the main hall.

There was much activity on the cobbled grounds before the castle steps.  Men and squires took horses in hand and assisted the weary riders from their mounts.  Everyone was ushered into the warmed main hall where fresh blankets and warm clothes awaited.  Muir stayed out in the courtyard until the very last man-at-arms had dismounted.  He ordered the grooms to see to the wellbeing of the horses.  When all was secure, he followed the last man inside.

As Muir entered the festive hall, decorated for the celebrations yet to come, he checked on the men gathered at the west hearth.  All of the men were being relieved of their chainmail and tunics or priest’s robes.  Most of the men stripped to the skin, not caring who was near.  They would do anything just to get dry and warm.  Chills and chattering teeth had just become the symptom of too long exposure to the icy air.  The knights’ squires and castle servants held out fur-lined robes and ushered each man before the blazing hearths where warm, oiled hands rubbed down numb legs and arms.  Muir found the women at the east side hearth behind long portable screens doing the same.  Melina had everything in hand; with hot bath water and warmed furs the women found ways to turn away the cold. 

Muir continued on, finding Wash at the upper hearth; Artimus lay on a fur on the warmed stone.  His clothes were removed, and he lay snuggled in a fur.  The only parts exposed were his right arm and shoulder where sword cuts and bruising told its own story.  Jessa was kneeling at his head, already in Healer’s trance.  As Muir watched, the raw wounds diminished, then faded and healed away clean.  That was still a wonder to behold.  After another moment, the cut on the knight’s head disappeared, leaving only the mat of blood in his hair.  Artimus opened his eyes wide at the Healer, a faint smile on his lips.  When he tried to sit up, both Jessa and Wash held him back.

“No you don’t,” Wash commanded.  “You just rest here for a time.  That brain inside your head has been rattled and you need to let it settle back into place.”

“I won’t miss the wedding.  After everything to make sure we got back….”

“You’ll be there, my friend, at my side, I promise,” Wash said with a smile.

“Good man.  You did well, bringing home the bridegroom unscathed.”  Muir patted Arty’s shoulder in approval before turning to Wash.  “Dear brother, Jessa’s family has arrived.  They are waiting to meet you.  However, I suggest you see to your own needs first.  Robby over there has been biting his lip with concern.  I believe he even has a hot bath waiting.”

The Knight Captain cringed.  “More water.”  He was sure water was going to be the death of him yet.  Jessa reached across and brushed his tired face.  Whatever it was that passed between them, he suddenly flushed, warming up inside.  As he stood and then left, both Muir and Arty looked back at the bride.  She, too, was blushing. 

Quickly she excused herself, muttering, “I’ll see to the others.”

Muir nodded approval when Jathurn said he would assist her.  The baron said he himself was not a Healer but he had often assisted his younger brother who did have that gracious gift.

*****

The bells chimed Sext when the wedding procession from Cynfyn Castle arrived at the Cathedral square on the glorious first day of December.  The entire population of the Cynfyn valley had turned out for the pageantry.  They cheered and threw garlands before the feet of the bride’s white palfrey.  The bride rode seated delicately aside, with her brother Baron Kyriell on a large black destrier, offering escort.  The storms of yesterday had passed in the night, and drifts of fog still remained in the air.

The bride was beautiful.  A white fur cloak lay about her shoulders.  The front stood away, exposing a gown of deep gold.  The delicate veil over the bride cascaded down her sides and around the horse.  The sheerness allowed the artistry of ribbons and flowers to be seen intertwined in her hair.  In the middle of the procession, the wisps of fog lifted and a golden glow of light shone down on the bride.

The front of the procession was a vibrant display of Lendour red and white banners heralding the twenty knights in full parade honors escorting the bridegroom.  Sir Washburn, on his sorrel R’Kassi stallion, was dressed in a white silk shirt under a black velvet tunic embroidered in red vines and a rearing stag over his heart.  A white fox fur cape was draped over one shoulder.  His rank of Knight Captain was distinguished by the gold chain lying around his shoulders.  The exhaustion from the successful campaign of the day before was gone.  Wash was beaming with as much nervous pride as any bridegroom could show.  Lord Muir rode at his side, and two proud knights rode just behind.  His two lieutenants, between them, shared a series of stories that were meant to tease the groom.  Their banter had little effect as the bridegroom, with anxious anticipation, continually glanced back over his shoulder to find a view of his bride through the crowd. 

The knights and squires dismounted before the cathedral square.  They cleared a path down the center and stood at attention every few feet along the aisle for the wedding procession to continue on foot to the Cathedral doors.  The earl pulled his brother aside as those behind disembarked from their carriages.  The ladies of the court¬—Princess Elzia, Countess Melina, Countess Ida, Sister Vivan and Sister Meris—were honored with escort to the steps by Earl Titus, Sir Dillon and Sir Artimus.  Once there, they were merrily greeted by Bishop Michael in full regalia of his office: the sacramental alb of pure white under a chasuble of sumptuously decorated white brocade, the stole of gold elaborately embroidered, and the mitre of white and gold.  The bishop stood before the doors to the Cathedral.  Before him, the prie-dieu awaited the arrival of the man and woman wishing to be joined in matrimony.

The baron dismounted and stepped to the side of the white palfrey.  His hands encircled his sister’s waist to lift her from the saddle.  With a flourish and grace, he walked Jessa forward and bowed before the Knight Captain.  “I present to you my youngest sister.  On your honor do you promise to protect and cherish her?”

“I most certainly do, my Lord Kyriell,” Wash replied.

“Then with my blessing, lead her forward into marriage and a good life,” Jathurn replied, placing Jessa’s hand in Wash’s.  Both men bowed and Jessa curtsied low.

Wash raised her up with a broad smile.  “My lady, would you join me before the Cathedral doors?  I believe we have a new life to begin.”

Blushing under her veil, she gave him a happy smile.  Arm in arm, they walked forward up the steps and knelt side by side on the prie-dieu to begin the wedding ceremony.

Before all of Cynfyn they exchanged their vows.  The words “I do” were declared by both, and a gold ring symbolizing eternal fidelity was placed on Jessa’s delicate finger.  And then Washburn was lifting her veil and she was closing her eyes as they kissed.  A golden halo encompassed them, and many thought the sun shone just a bit brighter in that moment. The crowd of onlookers joyously cheered.

The doors to the cathedral parted for the Nuptial Mass to begin.  The bride blushed with happiness.  Father Pernal emerged and escorted the newly wed couple into the serene mountain cathedral stylized in marble and wood.  Muir stood back and let others enter, waiting for his wife to come to his side.  Hand in hand, the earl and countess walked within, both feeling the oneness that they had made of their lives together.  For the briefest moment, Muir saw the Reverend Mother Phyla Mary’s eyes widen at the sight of Sister Meris entering the cathedral.  Muir was going to have a thing or two to say about the previous day’s events to the bishop when the celebration was over.  For now, he was secure in knowing his ward was safely wed to his brother.  He was quite intent that nothing more would befall the couple.  In celebratory clothing, the knights and men-at-arms of Lendour, numbering well over two hundred, were interspersed among the guests, ensuring that nothing ill-fated occurred.


********
   
The very last impression upon the coin was of the Earl of Lendour witnessing the nuptial mass for Washburn Iliff Cynfyn and Jessamyn Kyriell.  The couple knelt before Bishop Michael and Father Pernal.  The house of God was filled with the gaily attired people of Lendour.  The sun shone through the clerestory windows, giving a rainbow of glory across the choir.  In the eyes of a few, the light seemed to glisten and shimmer as a figure of a man stood translucent before the congregation.  Muir blinked and the image was gone.  He smiled to himself, knowing who it was that made his own blessing upon the couple.

The duke and duchess, now enfolded within each other’s arms, released the memories that fell away from the coin in their joined hands.  Richenda sighed, closed her eyes, and snuggled deeper into her husband’s shoulder.  Alaric held her close for a time, breathing in the scent of her red hair and holding her delicate figure close to him.

“I knew love would prevail,” whispered Richenda. 

“Ah, you were right, my love.  We are not the only ones to find happiness in Lendour.  Perhaps we should invite Kelson here to see if those emotions rub off on him,” Alaric said with a mischievous smile.
   
With a light laugh, his love looked up in his eyes, as a sparkle of amusement gleamed there.  “I pray for the day when our Kelson will find his true love, and not just a lady forced upon him by the kingdom’s needs.  I do not suppose that you have any distant relations who we can introduce to him?  You come from a strong line of good marriages.  Your parents had the gift of love.  Both Washburn and Muir managed to find happiness several generations before them.  Well, of course there was the incident of Keryell eloping with Stevana.  Even though he was said to have abducted her, she was never heard to be displeased by her marriage.  And then there is your story, my lord.  I dare hope, you have found happiness in your marriage to me.  Even though there were many who misunderstood why you married a traitor’s widow.”
      
Alaric did not flinch from her words.  Instead, he firmly reiterated his true feelings.  “I married you because I love you.  I love your heart, and your soul, and the children you have borne unto me.”  He nodded at the sleeping form of his son in the crib near at hand.  “I love the boy Brendan that you have brought into our home.  He is a testament to the greatness of his mother.”  Alaric brushed the tear off her cheek and kissed the woman he chose to stand by his side.
   
After a moment, she whispered, “You must be a descendant of Washburn.  I see his passion for life in your eyes.”
   
He sat up straighter and looked at the items on the table before them.  “We have yet to prove that.  Is there nothing more here that would tell us of Washburn’s children?”
   
“The ring and the cameo will have been Jessa’s.  The five coins have been viewed in full.  The only other thing was this blank parchment enfolded at the bottom of the box.”  Richenda said softly, unfolding the parchment for him to see the seal inside.
   
“My love, that is not blank!  There are names and dates listed all down the page.”  Alaric bristled with excitement and began to peruse the sheet.
   
“But there is nothing there!  What is it that you see?”  She sat up straighter, confounded by what he saw that she could not.
   
“Use the family spell I taught you, and see if you can visualize the names.”  He helped her cast the spell and break the enchantment shielding the ink from her eyes.  With instant clarity, black letters formed on the page.  An opening paragraph was written in a neat hand, followed by a list of names and dates of the ancestral line of the House of Cynfyn.

With great sorrow, on this day, the XVII of June, in the year of our Lord ten hundred and thirty-five, I lay to rest the strength of this family, the matriarch who for fifty years has brought peace and joy to the House of Cynfyn.  This great Lady, Jessamyn Kyriell de Cynfyn, I commend to the heavens: daughter of the healer Sir Jacuth Kyriell, aunt of Prince Olivier of Tralia, wife of Field Marshal Baron Washburn Cynfyn, healer in her own right and mother of four.  May my grandmother’s love forever light the path of her descendants.  I, Taillefer, first son of Tiegan, third son of Washburn, do honor to the lives of those who have passed before me.  May Saint Camber ever bear their souls into the light.
Taillefer, 11th Earl of Lendour


Richenda gasped at the list of names before her.  Jessa had four children by Washburn—three sons and a daughter: Kyriell, Walther, Tiegan and Merissa.  Kyriell and Tiegan had married and had children of their own.  Merissa had married and had children.  Walther, it appeared, had never married.

Richenda wanted to imagine that all was well with the family of Cynfyn until that horrific Great War in the year 1025.  What a devastating moment in time that battle had been!  The Battle of Killingford had taken its toll with the lives of so many men.  Whole families had become extinct in that two-day war.  The Cynfyn family had not been spared from that atrocity.  From the list before her, she counted seven direct male heirs whose lives were lost in that battle.  As she counted them, tears fell down her cheeks: the Earl Euan, son of Muir, and his son, Muran.  The next heirs to Euan died beside him while protecting the King: Lord Washburn, Washburn’s first son Kyriell and two grandsons, Ashtin and Justin, and finally Tiegan, Washburn’s third son.  Only Washburn’s second son Walther survived the battle.  Walther became earl but lived only long enough to see the last Cynfyn male heir come of age.  At fourteen years old, Taillefer, son of Tiegan, became the eleventh Earl of Lendour.  The duchess was aghast at the waste of lives.
   
Alaric took the scroll and added the names that followed from Taillefer to himself.  “I recall most of the dates, but you will have to check me on this,” he requested, holding the sheet up for his wife to approve.
   
“You have it right, my lord,” she said, wiping tears from her cheeks.  She reviewed the whole list.  Not only did the list follow the Cynfyn ancestry, but also it listed Jessamyn’s ancestry through her mother’s and father’s lines.  Within that list were the names of the Sovereign Princes of Tralia, and almost as importantly, the Earl of Culdi, Saint Camber himself.  She lifted her husband’s chin and kissed the lips of the man whose blood ran far richer than anyone had imagined.  “I want to believe there was great joy in that couple’s lives.”
   
“Life is a mixture of joy and sadness.  So long as the joy outweighs the other, then life is well worth living.  I see two people overcome the difficulties of their time and prosper.  They have shared their story, ensuring that it is not lost in the passage of time.  I, for one, appreciate the enlightenment.  Names and dates are so drab….”
   
“NO!” 

The mental screams of two children resounded within their parents’ minds.  Richenda stood in shock, but Alaric was already at a run out the door and down the hall.  The duchess stared out the window at the garden below.  A huge branch of the old oak tree was broken in a heap of twigs and leaves.  Both her children were somewhere within the mass.  She could not breathe; her mind hurtled through the space to find her son and daughter.  They were both there but in shock.  Richenda gathered up Kelric in her arms.  Fear tensed every muscle in her frame.  She had to slow at the stairs, terrified she might lose her footing and injure herself or her youngest.  When she reached the garden, Alaric and Derry already had taken some semblance of control.  Briony was scared; she had cuts and bruises, but was otherwise uninjured.  Derry held her in his arms.  Brendan lay across a knee-height garden stone wall, his back arched awkwardly over it, and his legs under a heavy broken tree limb.  Richenda’s heart sank when she saw her boy lying there.
   
Alaric already knelt at his stepson’s side, his hands encompassing the front and back of the boy’s chest.  The duke’s dilated eyes held the power of his Healing gifts.  “He has fractured ribs; thank the Lord his spine is whole.  We have to move him to heal him.  We must be careful.  I do not want to injure him more.”

Gaining a mother’s strength, Richenda knelt at her son’s side her free arm cradling the back of his head.  Her surge of energy soothed her son’s fear.  His pain was diminishing with the concentration Alaric was exerting.  Brendan’s eyes opened wide and he managed to whisper, “I heard the branch breaking— oh, Briony!—I tried to catch her—is she all right?”  The boy projected an image into his mother’s mind of Briony jumping into his arms just as the lowest branch came down on top of them.

“Oh my love, my sweet boy, Briony is all right.  You’re so brave.  Be easy now, you’ll be all right too.”  She kissed her son’s forehead, sending a wave of reassurance to him.

“I need men to lift this branch,” Alaric commanded.  “Take it straight up, enough to clear his legs.  Derry, help me lift him the moment the branch is clear.  We’ll go straight up off the stone.  Be ready!”  Alaric, still in Healing trance, was only partially aware of the castle’s men quickly arranging themselves around the large old oak branch.

Derry placed Briony in the hands of her nursemaid.  He placed himself at Brendan’s opposite side.  At a word from Alaric, the men strained to lift the broken tree limb upward.  The boy’s legs were freed, letting Alaric and Derry carry him up off the wall.  Very gingerly, all three adults supported the boy and moved him across to the stone pathway.  Brendan stifled a cry, and his mother sat at his shoulder, her right hand on his forehead tempering his pain.  She had to lift baby Kelric high in the crook of her left arm, his face resting against her bare neck.  This freed her left hand enough to grasp her husband’s wrist and then balance her energy with his Healing ability. 

Alaric was already realigning the two ribs that had been splintered from the fall.  Thank the Lord they did not puncture the lung!  Still, there was damage done.  Alaric recognized the deep bruising that was even now forming from the impact.  Quickly, he deepened his level of trance and poured healing energy into the boy’s side.  He used the energy his wife offered and took them both down into an even deeper level of healing.  That was when Richenda saw the second pair of hands cover Alaric’s hands, and the grey-cowled head leaning down toward Brendan.  The presence of Saint Camber made her hold her breath.  He was, as he had always been, there in the time of need, pouring energy and knowledge into a healer’s hands.  Alaric healed the last of the bruising.  As he did so, Kelric, in his mother’s arms, stirred.  With an innate family gift, the baby sent healing energies through his mother into his wounded brother.  Saint Camber turned his gaze up to the baby and smiled.  The apparition faded away as the healing was complete.  Both parents were stunned.

Alaric gathered Brendan in his arms and bid Derry to get Briony.  “Let us move indoors,” he said, willing his family to follow.  Once they reached the garden withdrawing room, he sat Richenda and the baby on the long cushioned settle, and placed Brendan there with the boy’s head across his mother’s lap.  Brendan’s eyes were now open and his pain was gone, but the terror of the moment remained.  His mother was the best for calming those fears.  The father then enfolded his daughter in his arms and sat with her in the chair next to his wife.  He quickly Healed her cuts and wrenched wrist, then held her tightly against his shoulder.  She did not cry; she was being brave for her brother’s sake.

“I jumped on the branch and it broke,” his daughter said.  Fear shone in her eyes.

“Uncle Seandry told you not to do that, didn’t he?”

“Yes.”  The three-year-old put her hand to her mouth.

“If Uncle Seandry asks you to stop, then you need to stop,” he told her, his face close to hers.  “Can you stop when you are asked to do so?”

“Yes,” she said, tears starting in the corners of her eyes.

“Oh my love, you don’t need to cry, your papa has you safe.”  He kissed his daughter’s cheeks.  “I love you, my poppet,” he said, calming her.  Alaric reached his arm across to his wife, reassuring himself that she had both her sons in her strong, caring arms.  “I love you too, my darling,” he said in a soft whisper.

She held his hand tight.  “Alaric, oh my love, I….”  Her words trailed off for a moment as tears of released tension fell on her cheeks.  Not finding her voice, her mind softly reached out to touch his.  “I need no further proof to know that you are a descendant of a Healer named Rhys Thuryn and his wife Evaine, who was the daughter of our Saint Camber.  I had considered the possibility before, but now the truth is revealed.  The gift of Healing runs strong in your blood and this gift has been discovered in our son.  I think now I understand even more the greatness of the man that I married.”

Alaric, still holding his daughter in his steady arms, he moved over to the settle and slipped next to Richenda’s side.  His arm embraced her shoulders and his mind embraced his whole family.  His wife nestled into his reassuring warmth.  Her love deepened even more for this strong, loyal, loving man. 

He was her miracle!



Earls of Lendour

House of Furstan-Festil—Earls of Lendour

Festil II (son of King Festil I of Gwynedd)   1st  Earl:  822-839

Festil III (son of King Festil II of Gwynedd)   Duke of Lendour
                           2nd Earl:  839-851

House of Cynfyn—Earls of Lendour*


Cynfyn ap Dauyd                              3rd  Earl:  856-888   

Iliff (son of Cynfyn)                       4th  Earl: 888-911

Merrik (First son of Iliff)                              5th Earl: 911-933

Weir (Second son of Iliff)                   6th Earl: 933-956

Erwin (son of Weir)                             7th Earl: 956-979

Muir (First son of Erwin)                          8th Earl: 979-1011
    Born: 954
    Died: 1011 age: 55
    Married: Melina

Euan (only son of Muir)                     9th Earl: 1011-1025
    Born:   985
    Died June 17, 1025 at Killingford  Age: 40

Muran (only son of Euan)                    
    Born: 1006
    Died: June 17, 1025 at Killingford  Age: 19


Washburn (second son of Erwin)                
    Born: 959
    Died: June 17, 1025 at Killingford    Age: 66
    Married: Camilla, 980    Born: 963   Died in childbirth: 982
    Married: Jessamyn (Jessa), December 1, 985   

 

Kyriell Iliff (First son of Washburn)          
    Born: 987    Healer
    Died: June 16, 1025 at Killingford   Age: 39
    M arried: Felistina,  1005 (Two sons)


Ashtin (First son of Kyriell)            
    Born: 1006
    Died: June 16, 1025 at Killingford   Age: 19


Justin (Second son of Kyriell)             
    Born: 1008   Healer
    Died: June 17, 1025 at Killingford   Age: 17


Walther (Second son of Washburn)         10th Earl: 1025-1029
   Born: 988 
   Died 1029   Age: 41

Merissa  (daughter of Washburn)
  Born: 989

      
Tiegan (Third son of Washburn)           
  Born: 992   Healer
  Died: Jun 16, 1025 at Killingford Age 33
   Married: Javana (one son, three daughters)

June 17, 1025 (Seven male heirs died in the Battle of Killingford)


(Signed)
Taillefer  11th Earl of Lendour in the year of our Lord 1035

(Added by Alaric Morgan’s hand)

Taillefer (son of Tiegan)                  11th Earl: 1029-1055
    Born: 1015
    Died 1055  Age: 40
    Married:

Keryell (son of Taillefer)                12th Earl: 1055-1086
    Born: 1042
    Died: 1086
    Married: Stevana de Corwyn (heiress of Corwyn) May 25, 1069
    Born: October 18, 1042  Died: 1075

Alyce Javana (daughter of Keryell)            Heiress of Corwyn and Lendour
    Born: February 2, 1070 older twin to Vera
    Died: December 29, 1095
    Married: Kenneth Kai Morgan June 18, 1090 
   

Vera Laurela Howard(daughter of Keryell)
    Born: February 2,1070 younger twin to Alyce
    Died: January 31, 1115
    Married: McLain, Duke of Cassan

Ahern Jernian (Son of Keryell)               Duke of Corwyn: 1072-1090
    Born: Februaury 1, 1071 twin to Marie   13th Earl: 1086-1090
    Died: June 7, 1089

Marie Stephania (daughter of Keryell)
    Born: February 1, 1071 twin to Ahern
    Died: September 2, 1088


House of Morgan –Duke of Corwyn- Earl of Lendour


Kenneth Kai Morgan               14th Earl: 1091-1100
    Born: October 7, 1046 
    Died: September 24, 1100
    Married: Anya (three daughters) Died:
    Married: Alyce Javana Cynfyn de Corwyn, June 18, 1090

Alaric Anthony (Son of Alyce)                  Duke of Corwyn: 1091-+
    Born: September 29, 1091  Healer       15th Earl: 1100-1125
    Married: Richenda Rayma FitzEwan, Lady of Rheljan,  May 1, 1122

Briony Bronwyn (daughter of Alaric)
    Born: January 31, 1123

Kelric Alain (Son of Alaric)              16th Earl: 1125-+     
    Born: May 3, 1125            Heir to Duchy of Corwyn

Brendan Borisov Coris (stepson of Alaric)       Earl of Marley
    Born: June 2, 1117

Lineages Related to Lendour

Camber ancestry** 

Camber Kyriell MacRorie “Saint Camber”       Earl of Culdi 
    Born: August 3, 846    
    Died: January 6, 918
    Married: Jocelyn de la Marche,  May 18, 871   
    Born: July 21, 848   died: December 12, 896


Evaine Elspeth Jessamyn MacRorie de Thuryn (daughter of Camber-sixth child of six)
    Born: October 6, 882   
    Died: August 1, 918
    Married: Rhys Malachy Thuryn, Healer  January 6, 904  4 children
           Born: February 17, 877    Died: December 25, 917   

Tieg Joram Thuryn (Son of Rhys and Evaine- third child of four) Healer   
    Born: August 1, 914 
    Died: May-July, 948 Age: 34
    Married: Karis d’Oriel,  August 25, 935   
              Born: February 14, 917   Died: 948 Age: 31

Jacuth Kyriell Thuryn (Son of Tieg- Third child of four) Healer     Baron
    Born: 938   
    Died: 973  Age 35

    Married: Elzia von Horthy,  959
    Five children: two sons and three daughters
                  Births:  960 Jathurn, 961 daughter, 963 daughter, 965 son, 967 Jessamyn


Jathurn Kyriell Thuryn (First son of Jacuth)    Baron
    Born: 960   
    Married:


Jessamyn Kyriell “Jessa Keryell” (daughter of Jacuth- fifth child of five) Healer
    Born: July 22, 967  Died: June 17, 1035   age: 67
    Married: Washburn Iliff Cynfyn  on December 1, 985   
    three sons and one daughter



House of Horthy - Princes of Tralia***

Peador                          reigned: 833-888

Ulick II (son of Peador)                   reigned: 888-893

Uriel (second son of Peador)                 reigned: 893-918
    Married: Rurikana Furstan

Udes (son of Uriel)                            reigned: 918-962

? von Horthy (third son of Peador)

Cyric I (cousin of Uriel, son of ? von Horthy)   reigned: 962-977

Erastus (son of Cyric I)               reigned: 977-992
    Married: Gesella Haldane, (born between 949-956),
    no children

Makonnon (second son of Cyric I)             reigned: 992-1008
    Married: Anastasia Furstan-Festil, no children

Elzia (daughter of Cyric I, sister to Erastus, Makonnon, Ademar, and ? von Horthy)
    Born: 942
    Married: Jacuth Kyriell Thuryn 959 at age 17
    Had five children by him: two sons and three daughters
    Births:  960 Jathurn, 961 daughter, 963 daughter, 965 son, 967 Jessamyn


Ademar (third son of Cyric I)             reigned: 1008-1018
    no children

? von Horthy (fourth son of Cyric I)

Olivier (son of ? von Horthy)             reigned: 1018-1049

Cyric II von Horthy (son of Olivier)          reigned: 1049-1074

Sobbon von Horthy (son of Cyric II)             reigned: 1074-1101
    Born: 1038 Married Mava Rhupen

Letald von Horthy (son of Sobbon)          reigned: 1101-1130+
    Born: 1077



Normal font= characters and dates are attributed to:

The complete Deryni series by Katherine Kurtz, published 1972 to 2013

Codex Derynianus II by Katherine Kurtz and Robert Reginald, published 1998, 2005
     *Earls of Lendour  page 154
   **Camber Kyriell MacRorie  page 54
 ***Horts of Orsal  page 197

Genealogies of the XI Kingdoms
http://www.mindspring.com/~rebldavis/home.html


Bold italicized= characters and dates from the Deryni fan fiction story Coins of Memory


The End

With very special Thanks given to Evie-Delacourt, without whom this whole story would never have been viewed by the public.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 12:58:42 pm by Laurna »

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 09:05:15 am »
What an epic!  Thank you.

Offline Evie

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 09:08:55 am »
Huzzah, Laurna!  You're not only a fanfic author now, you're even a fanfic novelist!   ;D  I know how difficult (even terrifying) putting this story before a reading audience was for you, and I am so very proud of you for braving your fears and posting it here anyway.  I hope any others reading this who have a story tucked away deep inside them that they have been afraid to share for fear that their writing skills aren't "good enough" for the general public will take heart from your example.   What truly matters is that you loved and believed in your story enough to want to share it with others.  Any other obstacles can be overcome with the help of good beta-readers and/or a writing coach to help you get the story that's in your heart into comprehensible text.  Your love for and belief in your own story shone through any lack of polish and roughness of presentation in your early drafts. You baked this cake; I just helped smooth on the icing.  I am honored that you chose me to coach you through this story's birth process.  Teaching an eager learner is always a joy.   :)
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 10:24:06 am »
What a wonderful story, Laurna!  I enjoyed it thoroughly and am sorry it had to end, even though I liked the ending.   :)

I hope you will write more.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 06:41:21 pm »
Excellent story and kudos!!  Thank you very much!!
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 02:14:29 am »
OMG
You guys are the best!  I have had tears in my eyes ever since yesterday. I have been living this story for so long  I think I am having with-drawls. I did, however, manage to deep clean my house today which has not been done in months. Jerusha, Elkhound, Derynifanatic64, TKnTexas, Annie and Evie I want to give a special thanks for always offering a word of support. You all kept me going.

Now I wanted to give you a little background to my story and the theory behind it all.

For a very long time I had a need to answer one question: How were the main characters of Camber’s time related to the main characters of Kelson’s time ie. Alaric to Rhys  After ‘In the Kings Service’ when the answer was not apparent, I started to do some research.  This was in 2004 before I had my own computer.  When the Codex came available at the book club I snapped it up, I also found the Deryni genealogies website.  I tried to read though every reference that might led me to some clues, for surely there were clues out there. I found where Evania MacRhori had married into the Corwyn family sometime between 845 and 867.  I believe this is a relation to Camber, possibly a sister. But that does not tie in  Alaric to Rhys.

I suspect that if the truth is ever revealed by Ms. Kurtz that the relationship will actually fall into the human McLain line and the Morgan line.  The Deryni healing genetics/abilities will have lain hidden and dormant until the sisters, Alyce and Vera reintroduce the Deryni genes back into those human blood lines.  I did not want to play in this area because I truly hope that one day that story will be legitimately told.

I did take several classes in genetics in college, so I was still intrigued by the healing problems. We have three males born related to the sisters, Alyce and Vera—Alaric, Duncan and Dhugal—all three males heal.  That is 100% passing of that ability.  Never before was the ability shown to pass 100% of the time.  Therefore, I started to think that there must be two separate incidences where the genetics led back to a healer and if so why not make that second healing ancestor from Rhys as well.  Therefore, I searched Keryell Cynfyn’s ancestry and low and behold  I found a hole; A place where I could easily play with my imagination.  Between Euan(son of Muir) and Walther(cousin of Euan) there was a Cynfyn unnamed.  And that was where Washburn was born.  Tieg’s children are listed with Jacuth being his youngest son with no further generations listed.  And that was where Jessamyn was born.  The dates fit perfectly to the war at Rengarth in 985.  Low and behold a story came into being.

My story started small in 2006, then grew to 40,000 words in 2011, This is when my sister was great help in encouraging me to continue the tale.  I realized I needed an additional plot line to make an ending fight as fun as the first battle.  And the story grew to over 80,000 words.  Then Evie offered to lend her expertise.  She not only corrected my dyslexia in spelling and grammar, but told me where my story went amiss.  I rewrote every chapter to correct a little this or that, which was not quite right: A premarital incidence, I was told no, no, no:  Too much happening in one day, I had to split that up into two days:  The dilemma of saving Sir Thomas vs. not saving him, well you read how that turned out.  Evie was so supportive and patient with me through the whole process. 

All of you who are reading this have been so supportive through the whole process, as well.  I really do love to tell stories, so I am signing up for a writing class.  You have no idea what a dream this has been and how much it means to me to have written the words “The End.”  There I go again, I still have tears in my eyes.
Thank you everyone.
Laurna
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 03:29:00 pm by Laurna »

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 10:58:05 am »
I had tears in my eyes as well when I saw that final chapter posted.  I know how hard you worked for this!   :)
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Offline TKnTexas

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 08:25:08 am »
Thank you so much.  I enjoyed the story so much.  I always wanted to know more of Rhys' family.  Alaric Morgan and Richenda have been my faves for so long.  True love finding itself.  This brought it all together.  And I am humbled by the awesomeness.  You told their story so well, brought them to life for me.
Thomas Hill

Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 03:01:14 pm »
So I'm months behind, but I've read all of it at last. I loved how the stories wove together; all the plotlines tied together like a charm.

Wash was a sweetie and he and Jessa were made for each other. I have to say I liked Muir too, what we saw of him.

Well done, and I'm glad you're going to take a writing class. It's addictive. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing! ;)

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 04:05:19 pm »
Thank you Annie.  I'm so happy you liked my small tale.  Jessa and Wash have made a permanent place in my heart as have Muir, Father Pernal and  all the others. They now sit alongside Alaric and Richenda, Rhys and Evaine and Camber. It means everything to me that you have shared their story with me.

Oh, I have so much reading I need to catch up on this forum, and so little time. I want to take the whole summer off and play.  And then there are those little ideas dancing in my head. Maybe some day they will come together.

Have a great day Annie,
Laurna
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 03:49:03 am by Laurna »

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2016, 08:07:49 am »
Thank you for a llovely story

Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2016, 10:38:07 am »
I thank you for reading it.

Offline Jared

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2016, 07:23:58 pm »
Laurna, I was ecstatic to find this! You did a beautiful job recreating the atmosphere of the original tales, and you certainly seem to have acquired some knowledge of swordsmanship along the way. Thank you so much!
SCA: Baron Jared Alexandre Blaydeaux

Offline Laurna

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2016, 10:05:20 pm »
Thank you so very much, Jared.

The only thing I can say about my knowledge of sword play is that I personaly own 5 swords, none of which are too sharp, :D and that I dearly love to watch Medieval sword play on TV and Film. I love fantasy action.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 02:22:20 am by Laurna »

Offline revanne

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Re: Coins of Memory - Chapter 17
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2017, 12:06:10 pm »
Really enjoyed rereadding this wonderful tale and, having dabbled a little in fanfic writing since I first read it, I am in awe of the effort and time spent inot writing it. Thank you so much for sharing.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

 

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