Role-Playing and Other Games > Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming

Ghosts of the Past

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This is the official thread for in-game characters only. Anything that is related to the game but not something the characters are doing or saying should be posted in the Out of Character thread. As such this thread will be monitored. Any post that does not belong will be removed and possibly smited.

** It has been 36 years since the beginning of the Pax Kelsona was declared. Fortunately it has truly been peaceful for most of it. Although King Kelson did lose his friend and mentor, the Duke Alaric Morgan, two decades ago when the outlawed Count Teymuraz made an attempt to invade Gwynedd from the south. Corwyn held them back, but the cost was high for her men and her Duke. In the end, Count Teymuraz was dead, blasted away by arcane power summoned by Morgan himself in defense of his King, his family, his people and lands. Count Teymuraz army retreated and there has been peace ever since.

The line of Teymuraz countinues on in Byzantyum. His children claiming their rights to the thrones of both Gwynedd and Torenth. Although no attacks or other attempts have been made. But peace is not guarenteed. Despite the attempts made to prevent wars with oaths and marriages. These are the things that sometimes cause the very wars they were meant to stop.

It is now the summer of 1164. A warm morning which will lead to a humid afternoon in Culdi. Lord Alister and his man-at-arms, Master Darcy, arrived in Culdi the day before on their trip to Rhemuth. Here they have stopped to refresh their horses and themselves. Spending the night at an Inn. Alister is to meet up with another here to help with his escort to Rhemuth and the King. **

**Darcy Cameron surveyed the tavern area of the inn they had arrived at that morning.  Coming down from the private room Lord Alister had paid good coin for (extravagant as far as Darcy was concerned but it was the young lord’s coin to spend) he  had selected a table in a far corner out of the direct light of the large fireplace with a good view of the rest of the room.  The tables were gradually filling with patrons he did not recognize.  Good. No one appeared to be following them.  Lord Alister seemed withdrawn, but that was not unusual.  Darcy suspected he surveyed the room with as much interest as he did.

The tavern maid planted two bowls of stew, two mugs of ale and a loaf of bread in the centre of the table.  Her strong arms and ample cleavage were clearly in view and Darcy tossed a coin into the cleft. 

“We’ll have the better ale,” he said to Lord Alister.  Alister gave him a withering look.

The stew was a bit thin, but appeared to contain  a reasonable portion of meat.  Lord Alister broke off a piece of bread and passed the loaf to Darcy.  Darcy broke off a chunk and examined it carefully, looking for the weevils that were too often present in the loaves served at sea.  Lord Alister looked amused; Darcy scowled and took a large mouthful of bread.

A loud crash sounded from the kitchen area, followed by a shout and a wail.  Lord Alister startled, then looked to investigate.  Darcy laid a restraining hand on his arm.

“No good comes from interfering with the kitchen.”  Darcy said quietly.  “Unless you want to be poisoned in the morning.”
Lord Alister looked like he might object, but instead turned his attention to the stew.

Darcy did the same, but looked up as another entered the inn.**

::Washburn Morgan had been riding several days, when he rode through the streets of Culdi looking for a particular inn.::

A late night Rapport from his brother had sent him out on this latest quest. He had been at the University of Grecotha representing Corwyn’s Patronage of the Schoola there: a school sponsoring the brightest human students in Gwynedd. His welcome in this good year of King Kelson's reign had been far more accepting of his family's known Deryni blood than compared to how his father had written of it in his journal. That was back when Alaric had first sponsored the Schoola to match the Royal sponsoring of the Deryni Schoola in Rhemuth. The suspicions and fears of the Grecothan human clergy and professors had finally been proven unfounded after the Morgan’s thirty years of patronage.

::Washburn smiled briefly, checking that his saddle packs were still closed.::

The contents of the bag were minimal, nothing much of value. Except… for that precious journal that his mother had always nagged his father to keep. He had not known his father well. That man had been no other than the great Alaric Morgan Duke of Corwyn. He had been and had done so much in his far Too Short a life: he had been king’s champion, a general in the wars, a hero, nay, a legend in the eyes of Deryni and human folk, alike. Washburn had only a few precious memories of the tall golden haired Duke of Corwyn; glimpses of happy moments of father and son: riding a big black stallion on the saddle before his father in a parade beside King Kelson who sat astride his royal white stallion, and that time reenacting a battle scene with wooden horses and wooden warriors within the castle gardens of Rhemuth. Washburn had only a few memories of his father in Corwyn... only that last one… that last memory of the great warrior riding out the gates to meet an invading army. Washburn had been only five.


If it hadn't been for his brother gifting him his father’s journal upon his knighthood, he wouldn’t have learned of the personal thoughts of the man who was a legend. The journal gave him a goal to strive toward. If only he could be half the champion his father had been. Or even half the nobleman his two brothers had become. It was hard living in the shadows of the Duke of Corwyn Kelric, his elder brother and the Earl of Marly Brendan, his eldest half-brother. They were truly great men. Wash felt the eyes of court, expecting so much from him. Perhaps that is why he was just as happy in the saddle doing the king’s business and/or his brother’s business than that of playing courtier at either Coroth or Rhemuth.

::Washburn rode passed the family gardens where he knew his grandmother and aunt had been entombed.::

That was decades before he was born. He had seen the tombs upon his last visit here. This trip, there just wasn’t time for that. He had promised to be at the inn by noon and it was already two hours after. He was late, and that was a poor showing on his part. Especially to the young lady who had been much distressed by circumstances beyond her control. Kelric had requested that he escort this young lady to the king. If they started out right away, they had several good hours of daylight remaining. Trouble was, he did not know if the lady in question was willing to camp out under the stars. Perhaps she traveled by carriage with a retinue of women; in which case their travel to Rhemuth would be very slow indeed.

::Washburn dismounted before the inn indicated by his brother's Rapport. He unbuckled his one personal saddle bag, then handed his horse's reins over with a small coin to the inn’s stable boy. He walked into the inn, his eyes ever vigilant of his surroundings. There were no noble ladies seated in the main room. He did not think this unusual, as a baron’s daughter would not have waited for him in such a public place.  There were several men seated at various tables, every one of these men seemed to mark his entrance. He was used to that. He was not here to hide, so he sat at a good table with his back to the fireplace and a good view of the entrance door and a door that lead to the kitchens.::

Moments later, a serving wench burst out that kitchen door, she yelled some rude words in Mearan-border tongue before coming over and plopping down a large wooden mug filled with light ale on the table before Wash. “Wha' can a get fa’ ya’,” the girl asked.

“The pottage I see your other patrons eating would be good enough, lass. I’d like it hot.” Wash put an extra small coin in the buxom girl’s hand. She almost seemed disappointed that his gaze stayed on her face and not lower. But then she saw the coin. She smiled happily and returned to the kitchens, bellowing some coarse words and hopefully fetching his meal.

**Lady Aliset glanced up as the handsome blond knight entered the inn. He looked familiar, although she was fairly sure she had never met him before. She felt certain she would have remembered. No, if this was the man the Duke of Corwyn had arranged to meet with her here, their paths had not crossed before, but his resemblance to his elder brother was unmistakable.  There was no hiding a Morgan, Aliset supposed, no matter how much he might try to blend in with his surroundings.  Unless, of course, Lord Washburn knew how to shapeshift also.

With a start, she realized that the lord in question had probably been told to expect to meet with a young noblewoman on the road, not a nobleman.  She suppressed a rueful smile. It had not seemed entirely safe to head out towards Rhemuth on her own--well, nearly on her own--in her true form as a young maiden. Not to mention how her reputation might suffer were it to get out that a noblewoman was traveling across the kingdom without any maidservants to help safeguard her reputation. But she no longer knew whom she could trust at Caer Mariot, nor in the village below her family manor, now that her cousin Oswald had replaced so many of her household with his own supporters and cowed the villagers into grudging acceptance of their new de facto overlord.

The King, of course, would hardly allow that situation to stand for long, especially once Aliset had a chance to inform him of Baron Oswald's true allegiances.

But first, there was the problem of getting to Rhemuth.

She turned to the traveling companion she had hired to escort her this far. "Cameron, I believe that's the man we're looking for." She pointed out Lord Washburn to him with a subtle glance in his direction and a slight tilt of her chin.  "Would you let him know we're here? I . . .doubt he will recognize me."  Especially not in a young lord's guise!  Unless . . . Had Lord Washburn ever met her twin brother Alister? That thought had not occurred to her before now.  Had his brother informed him of Alister's death along with the rest of her male kindred?

This meeting might end up being more awkward than she'd anticipated! She hoped not.  Maybe there was some way to discreetly inform him of her true identity once he grew close enough to touch. She dared not attempt a mind-link with an unfamiliar Deryni, even an allied one, from across the room. There was no telling who else might be capable of sensing the attempt, even if they couldn't actually intercept the message.  And she didn't want to risk him giving her away with a startled reaction if she spoke into his mind unexpectedly.  Not only did Darcy Cameron not know the noble lord who had hired him was actually a noblewoman, she had also neglected to inform him she was Deryni.  How might he react to that if he knew? While there was a greater tolerance towards Deryni and magic in the Kingdom in her generation than in her parents' day, a few people still regarded Deryni with suspicion, and a few days of acquaintance had not been enough to let her know if Darcy Cameron fell into this category or not.

Aliset hoped for the best as she watched her hired escort approach the Deryni from Corwyn.**


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