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Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by judywward on August 11, 2019, 02:00:29 pm »
Even more great writing! You are all keeping it hopping!
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by Jerusha on August 11, 2019, 01:11:25 pm »
Darcy Cameron swished his razor in the basin of water and then dried it on a towel.  He did not know if he would get many other nights in private with his wife, and the pain of shaving was worth it if it pleased her.

They had arrived at Arx Fedei as the shadows lengthened before fading into twilight.  There had been some confusion as they were granted access to the abbey’s courtyard.  The abbot had left that morning with those of the brethren who could be spared to make the journey to Valoret for Bishop Arilan’s funeral.  That had left the abbey short of brothers to deal with those who wanted accommodations at the abbey as they made their journeys to Valeret.  Although Washburn tried to remain unnoticed, the brothers remembered him from his previous stay with the Duke of Corwyn, and they were welcomed for the night.

At first there had been some discussion of Fiona sharing a chamber with Aliset.  Fortunately, a daughter of one of Baron Stuart’s knights was also making the journey to Valoret, and the two young women would share a chamber.  Darcy, even though realizing it was selfish, had thanked Saint Nicholas for his good fortune.

Aliset had slipped into the bed before him.  Darcy smiled inwardly at the thought that this time he did not need to sleep on a pallet just inside her door.  Though he might enjoy the opportunity to throw Lord Peacock out on his head a second time.  One look at his wife put all thoughts of Jaxom Trillick out of his mind.

Darcy took very little time to slip in beside her.  “Are you eager for sleep?”  he asked.

“Perhaps not,” Aliset said with a demur smile, though her eyes were dancing in a delightful challenge. 

“Well then,” Darcy said after kissing the tip of her nose.  “Let me see if I can come up with an appropriate diversion.”  He kissed her lips and moved onward….


“Bloody hell,” Darcy growled.

Startled, Aliset pushed back from his embrace.  “What is it?”

“Iain.  It’s bloody Iain!”  Darcy moved to bring his Heir’s ring into view and focused his powers on the call that came through.  What? he asked rudely.  Aliset dug her elbow into his ribs.  "What, my lord?” he amended.

”Happy to speak to you too, little brother,” Iain responded with a touch of acerbity.

”Your timing is not the best,” Darcy said.

Aliset looked at him and Darcy nodded.  Aliset placed her left hand wearing Darcy’s miniature Heir’s ring on top of his hand and joined him in rapport.

”Good evening, Sir Iain,” she sent.  ”How can we assist you?”

”Ah, someone appreciates my contact!” Iain said dryly. ”I have a question or two and some news to report.”

”Actually, I have a question as well,” Darcy said.

”Then my contact is not totally inconvenient!”

”Peace, brother.”

Iain relented.  ”Where are you now?

”We are at Arx Fedei on the way to Valoret.  Sir Washburn, Father Columcil and cousin Fiona are with us.”

”Cousin Fiona?” Iain asked, somewhat startled.

”Aye,” Darcy responded.  ”She comes with us to represent Baron Stuart at the funeral.”

Iain felt a pang of guilt.  He had not thought of his ward for several years.  He had left her safely in the care of her aunt and uncle.  On the border of Meara.  Where there was now a rebellion  brewing.  Damn.

”Tell me how this happened,”  Iain said.

Darcy quickly related what had transpired since they had left the Michaeline ruins.  Aliset was impressed by his succinct report that nevertheless left out none of the details.  Darcy did not presume to judge what details his brother might or might not need.

”I confess,” Darcy concluded.  ”I was hard pressed to keep Washburn from killing Jaxom and preventing Baron Stuart from throwing us all out on our asses (sorry, love!) for threatening the man who had freed his manor.  It was Fiona that turned the tide in our favour,” Darcy added.

”How does Sir Washburn fare now?” Iain asked.

”Well enough,” Darcy responded.  ”Baron Stuart devised a plan, with input from Washburn, for the neighboring manors to join with him to mount a defense against the rebels.  He charged Washburn with training up the men, and he could not have made a better choice.  Washburn excelled at the task.  The men respect him, he has the skills, and he instructs without the slightest bit of arrogance.  He honed my skills with the bow as well.  No man could have done better.”

”And now?” Iain asked.

Darcy paused for a moment.  ’He has the idea in his head that he should travel east to Lendour.  He thinks it may help him calm the turmoil of what has happened and find new purpose.  Valoret is on the way, and he also wants to pay his respects to Bishop Arilan.”

Iain said nothing for several heartbeats.  Earl Kenric was still in Rhemuth as part of the king’s council, so this should not pose a threat.  But King Kelson would need to be informed.  ”You said you have a question for me.”

”Cousin Fiona wants to attend the Deryni Schola in Rhemuth.  She asked her uncle for permission, but he was not willing to grant it without consulting you.  Fiona is a headstrong lass, and the baron finally granted her permission to travel with us to represent him at the funeral versus risking she would strike out on her own.”

”Sir Iain,” Aliset interjected.  ”Fiona desperately wants the chance to attend the Schola and learn to use her Deyni powers responsibly.  She fears that if she remains at the manor, she will be trapped there until a suitable husband is found.  Once that happens, the opportunity may be lost forever, and she will never realise her full potential.”

”I have no objection in principle,” Iain said thoughtfully.  ”But the Schola has lost many of its teachers to serve with King Kelson’s forces.  This may not be the best time.”

”Or it might be,” Aliset said quickly.  ”Fiona is just beginning to learn the basics of her powers.  The teachers there now would be able to bring her up to a level where she can begin to learn more advanced skills with others of her own age once the senior teachers return.  She would not need to be held back.”

”She has my approval, but you cannot bring her to Rhemuth because Washburn cannot come here, and your party must stay with Washburn.  I will not trust Fiona’s safety to just anyone to escort her here from Valoret.  I will try to speak with Archbishop McLain, both about her admission and about someone attending the funeral that he might trust to escort her here.”

”May we inform Fiona?” Aliset asked.

"Yes, you should. It may curb her impatience a bit,” Iain responded.

”You said you have news,” Darcy reminded him.

”Ah, yes.”  Iain paused.  ”Lord Oswald is dead.”

”What?” Aliset gasped and her hand tightened over Darcy’s.

”You killed him?” Darcy asked, more curious than surprised.

”No, I did not,” Iain replied.  ”Though I would have welcomed the opportunity.”

”How did he die, Sir Iain?” Aliset asked.

”He was poisoned in Ratharkin.  A particularly nasty poison, both slow and painful.  The perpetrator remains unknown, but my suspicion is that Master Feyd placed the contract.”

”Master Feyd?” Darcy questioned. ”I can’t imagine him doing us such a favour.”

Iain’s ironic chuckle came through clearly.  ”I can’t imagine him doing anyone a favour. However, he held Washburn captive for several days, and Washburn was desperate to keep Aliset safe from Oswald.  Feyd owes no allegiance to the rebellion; he might strike a side deal if the price was right.  The ruby from Washburn’s great sword was missing when the sword was recovered in a room rented by Feyd. Feyd may have considered it sufficient payment.”

”May we share this news with Washburn?” Darcy asked.

”That may be a good idea.  Watch how he reacts.  I would not tell him that Feyd may have arranged it; see if Washburn jumps to that conclusion himself.  Now I will let you go to salvage what you can of your evening.  Godspeed on your journey; I’ll contact you again sometime along the way to Valoret.”

”Fair winds and calm seas, Iain,” Darcy responded.  "And an improved sense of timing,” he added dryly as Iain broke the contact.

Aliset was too preoccupied with her own thoughts to poke his ribs again. Darcy had no illusions that the romantic night he had planned was lost.  He gathered his wife into his arms and held her close.

Aliset’s mind was filled with thoughts of her family and Oswald’s destruction of those she had loved.   She could not control the sobs that burst forth, and Darcy held her tightly. She was comforted by the security of her husband’s strong arms, but it was a long time before the memories would let her sleep.

The Legends of Camber of Culdi / Bruce Invsion of Ireland
« Last post by Lochiel on August 11, 2019, 01:03:20 pm »
There is a documentary out on Amazon Prime called "After Braveheart" which is about the Bruce Scots invasion of Ireland and their war against the Anglo-Norman invaders/settlers of Ireland. Kind of reminds me of the Torenth Festi/Moorish invasions Gwynedd. Its worth a watch to those who like Medieval history
How about the Deryni/Michaelines/Gabrilites being comparable to the Cathars of France?  Their was a war of extermination put out by the Pope (Innocent the III) and carried out (some) by Simon DeMontfort?  Its a horrible yet fascinating period of history.
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by DesertRose on August 11, 2019, 10:01:54 am »
Just the right touch! Who knows what awaits our young heroes in the cover of Arx Fidie? Is that how you spell it?

Almost.  It's Arx Fidei, which is Latin for "Citadel* of the Faith."

*As always with translation, there are several other possible meanings, but fortress, bulwark, stronghold, and castle are some of the other meanings for the word "arx," but they all have similar meanings.
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by judywward on August 11, 2019, 12:31:18 am »
Just the right touch! Who knows what awaits our young heroes in the cover of Arx Fidie? Is that how you spell it?
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Jerusha on August 10, 2019, 04:24:47 pm »
Great scene, Laurna! Loved all of the descriptions, though I can't imagine why Darcy would be thinking about a private room.   ;D
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Laurna on August 10, 2019, 03:31:43 pm »
Lovely writing Laurna. Although the phrase "herding cats" does come into mind.

"Don't let anybody tel you it is easy... I am living a dream...  I wouldn't do anything else."

Love it, revanne
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by revanne on August 10, 2019, 03:19:38 pm »
Lovely writing Laurna. Although the phrase "herding cats" does come into mind.
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by Laurna on August 10, 2019, 01:21:26 pm »
“Whoa! Stop!  Will you look at that!” Fiona’s exclamation brought all five riders to a halt. Four of whom were instantly on their guard looking for trouble, while the one who called out was far from concerned and simply enjoying the view. Her sense of awe brought on fresh excitement as everyone else began to relax. They had skirted the city of Cuiltiene two hours before and had trotted down the road through the thinning woodlands until just now when they had crested a hill. Rolled out before them, under the brilliance of a clear blue afternoon sky, was the vast green lands that lead down out of the highlands. For as far as the eye could see, land continued on and on, until it smeared to a haze. Even then in the far distant east a shadowy grey line seemed to define the edge between land and sky. Southward, the haze was closer; far nearer, the green plans softened to obscurity.

“The great and beautiful Rhemuth will be down that way, cousin,” Darcy said as he pointed south. “Due to the smoke from the city kitchens, I doubt you will see it unless we were very near to it. At least not unless the winds pick up to clear the air. The road we travel upon will not take us that way, not this time anyway.”

Fiona’s gaze was open and expectant as she looked over the vast landscape. “Perhaps not yet, cousin Darcy, but mark my words. I will find a way to get to Rhemuth and to enter the Schola. Valoret is our destination, yes?” She turned from the South and pointed out across the hills toward the east.

“Yes, my lady,” Wash answered her. “Those mountain crest lines, which are barely seen, are the Lendours. From here they appear as nothing more than a rise of land.  Yet from Valoret you will see that they are sharp and rugged with immense beauty, teaming with an alpine forest nestled between their jagged crags. It is both stunning and serene,” Wash said, displaying his own yearning for home.

“Valoret is only a stepping stone for me,” Fiona countered. “I want to learn about… everything! I want to be so much more than I am now. There is no going back for me. From Valoret...” her eyes looked to the distant east, but then her hand pointed to the haze in the south and her face followed her fingers. “I will find my path to enter the great capital and become a student of the king’s university.”

“Aye, Lassie, we will find a way to get you there,” Father Columcil said with a nod.

Wash only looked down at his riding gloves and shifted the reigns between his fingers. Rhemuth was denied to him, no matter how much he wanted to go back there, he could not. Yet he could go back to Lendour. He raised his eyes to the east and felt the pull of home. “Cynfyn Castle is a marvel to behold. It is like a castle in a story land, my lady. With it’s needle towers and red slate roofs, it stands in the foreground of a great forest and mountains beyond. I would share with you it’s beauty, some day.” He added almost shyly.

But the lady did not turn her eyes to the east, she kept her gaze fixed south. As best she could, she attempted to see what lay behind the smoke and haze.
Father Columcil nodded, feeling the longing of both the young person’s who sat their horses to either side of him. “Ay woulds see ye both in the places ‘at will see ye happy an’ hale. Juist mind, sae lang as ye keep God in ye heart, yer pure happiness isn’t dependent upon a location. It is wherever yer own hands mak' it tae be.”

“Amen to that Father.” Lady Aliset said.

“I for one am not sure what we will find farther along the road east,” Darcy said taking back control of the group. “But I do know where Arx Fidei Abby is.“ The navigator pointed to a series of small hills much more close than where the other two had been looking. “We have been there before and we will stay there again tonight. That way, I know that we will be safe and comfortable for one more night before we travel into mists of you two’s hopes and dreams.” He looked for confirmation from his companions. “Are we all in agreement?”

“I didn’t think of you as the pragmatic one,” Aliset teased her husband.

“Oh, I have my own idealist dreams, my love. Never fear that. They have to do with being in a secure, nice, private chamber to share with the one I love.” Darcy smiled broadly and skirted his horse closer to Aliset.

She allowed him a kiss before saying. “Not in front of Fiona.”

“I beg to differ. She needs to see what a good marriage is all about.” Darcy claimed with a happy grin.

Aliset let out a good chuckle, “It is about more than that, dear husband.” And with that she kicked her horse and cantered away like a fleeing fawn, leaving Darcy to quickly gather up Sigrun’s  reigns and to chase after her.

Washburn let out a great laugh. “I never grow tired of those two.”  He gathered his own reigns, holding Shadow to stay at the back. “After you, my lady Fiona, good Father Columcil. Let us proceed to Arx Fidei… for a comfortable night's rest.”

“Aye, let’s.”  The father cheered, and then the three were away to follow their leaders down the road, out of the highlands, and into the proper lands of Gwynedd.
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