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Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by Laurna - Today at 06:52:17 AM
Her name in GOTP was Amaryllis Alden  but her nickname at that time had been Ellia. After she ran away from home she changed her nickname to Amy. She is still my girl and her story still has a little more to go. She thanks you for noticing.
Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by JudithR - Today at 01:40:06 AM
Quote from: Bynw on July 20, 2024, 07:10:44 PM
Quote from: DerynifanK on July 20, 2024, 09:16:19 AMAmazing! Amy is the girl who saved Wash when he was near death in the dungeon.

Yes. I wondered when it would come to light. I knew exactly who she was the moment I read her character description.

Took me a few posts
Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by DerynifanK - July 20, 2024, 08:35:46 PM
Amy will have the strength and the courage to change her life now, I think.
Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by Nezz - July 20, 2024, 07:12:52 PM
Quote from: Bynw on July 20, 2024, 07:10:44 PM
Quote from: DerynifanK on July 20, 2024, 09:16:19 AMAmazing! Amy is the girl who saved Wash when he was near death in the dungeon.

Yes. I wondered when it would come to light. I knew exactly who she was the moment I read her character description.

I suspect Amy would not be exactly thrilled to know that you've noticed her existence. ;)
Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by Bynw - July 20, 2024, 07:10:44 PM
Quote from: DerynifanK on July 20, 2024, 09:16:19 AMAmazing! Amy is the girl who saved Wash when he was near death in the dungeon.

Yes. I wondered when it would come to light. I knew exactly who she was the moment I read her character description.
Forgotten Shadows / Re: Forgotten Shadows
Last post by revanne - July 20, 2024, 12:37:55 PM
    Very early next morning.
Edwin had barely slept. He had been aware that Amy and Airich were talking quietly, too quietly for him to hear even had he wished to and not loud enough to distract his whirling thoughts. Either he must face his terror or go, tail between his legs, to the Canon, confess that he was too much of a coward for this assignment and crawl back into the safety of his books praying that trouble would not come for him. No one in Culdi need ever know. Was that really what he wanted? As soon as it began to be light he slipped out of bed, and unusually for him, slipped to his knees in prayer beside the bed. Herbs crackled underneath his weight releasing a pungent scent; scattered on the infirmary floors  and, changed daily, they almost masked the inevitable smell of stale blood and worse. He inhaled deeply, asking whichever saints might find it worth the trouble to listen to him that he might inhale courage. He heard a quiet noise behind and looking round saw that it was Elspeth. Oh God. Did he even have the courage to face her?
Elspeth had awoken early herself and, quietly slipping out from under her blanket, came to check on Robert. He was lying quietly and seemed to be still deeply asleep, doubtless thanks to Airich's ministrations for which she gave thanks. How he did it she neither knew or particularly felt the need to know; what she was sure of was that the gift of such peace could not be evil, unlike those who had perpetrated such pain.

She saw that her patient's outer cotte had been roughly bundled onto a stool and with a suppressed sigh of exasperation began to fold it neatly. As she straightened a sleeve she felt something rustle beneath her fingers and pulled out a scrap of parchment with something written, no, drawn, on it. It looked like an outline of thin inner workings of a windmill but with a lot of odd looking lines and arrows particularly pointing to a set of small gears around the shaft

Edwin watched her, grateful for her sensitivity in not appearing to notice him at prayer. He really, really did have to do this. He got to his feet, already feeling the redness of shame colour his face.
"Mistress. I am sorry for my rudeness to you, yesterday." What excuse could he offer? "Maybe try the truth," said the voice of his conscience, perhaps awakened by his prayers "The truth is, I am sick with fear."

"So are we all," she replied. "I don't see that as a reason to insult anyone." But she spoke gently and her eyes were warmer. "It is natural to be afraid of such things as we have witnessed here."

Emboldened by her gentleness Edwin rushed on "It's not so much that I'm fearful of being killed. What I am truly afraid of is being made to tell the names of students I know to be Deryni. I knew a man who had been captured and tortured in the war; I think I might do anything to stop being hurt like that."

There it was out. Burning with the shame of his admission he could not look at her. She gently reached out and lifted his chin so that his eyes met hers. "None of us knows how we will face anything, we can but pray for enough courage if the time comes. And pray even harder that it never does."

She held his gaze for a moment longer then she looked down at the parchment in her hand and briskly continued. "This was caught in Robert's sleeve. I have no idea what it might mean, do you?" Edwin took it, grateful for the chance to look away and pleased that this, at least, was something he knew the answer to.

"It looks like a bit of a test; you know, for a student hoping to be allowed to join a fraternity." At Elspeth's blank look, Edwin thought he was being stupid again and hastened to explain. "Students with the same interests tend to gather into fraternities, and there's usually some sort of test before you are allowed to enter. I'm more of a literary man, but this looks like the sort of thing that those who are drawn to mathematics and the design of buildings would do." He took it to the eastern window, by now letting in the early morning sun, and squinted at the piece of parchment. "I can't say for certain, but it looks like the design for the gears above the grindstone of a windmill, Some one has circled the spokes of this gear here. I wonder if it required realigning or repairing. and the test might have been to have the mill working by morning. There is a rhyme here about sails turning in the breeze by early dawn's light. If that was the test, then the Fraternity would see the windmill turning from the distance of the gates and the students would be admitted into the esteemed secret society for the rest of their studies here at the university. It is considered a high honour to belong to such a company." A silence hung in the air, then Edwin slowly said "Not a bad way to lure someone into a trap."

Elspeth remained silent as her hand reached to reclaim the parchment. But before she took it back from Edwin, she asked. "Did you pass such a test?"

The scribe remained quiet and did not look at her, but then thought about honesty; what could he say that was discrete yet truthful. "In literary terms, I once had to reiterate selections from Satires and Epistles from the King's Gwyneddian back to its language of origin from old Rum."

The lady looked up at him with an approving nod. "Latin verses in the original?  That would be a challenge ."
"The selections were not for repeating in the hearing of the University Masters." Edwin could not hide his enjoyment of the memory.

"Perhaps it is best that I do not take that challenge." Elspeth could not help the smile that brightened her normally composed facade.
Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by DerynifanK - July 20, 2024, 09:16:19 AM
Amazing! Amy is the girl who saved Wash when he was near death in the dungeon. This was a wonderful chapter where she learns what happened to him and it gives her the strength to make changes in her own life. Great writing
Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by Laurna - July 19, 2024, 09:34:25 AM
"Thank You"  Airich/Nezz.  that was a story for the Ages. You just showed my girl that her actions were without shame, regardless of how her father had accused her and abused her after.
Airich is a beautiful story teller, I think he has a future in the career if he wanted one.
Forgotten Shadows / Re: Forgotten Shadows
Last post by Nezz - July 19, 2024, 01:40:53 AM
(Not technically a collaboration, but I sure couldn't have done this one without loads of help from Laurna. She changed this scene from a stuff-that-happens scene into a major chunk of character growth. Thanks, Laurna!)

Amy sat quietly, reflecting on her day as she watched Robert slumber. Elspeth and Edwin both slept on two of the other infirmary beds. Airich had been standing by the windows looking out at the cold darkness: frost once again appeared on the lattice panes.  She stopped watching him the moment he turned back to look around the room. She closed her eyes, but heard his footsteps and the muffled chink of the mail he'd been wearing this day. She felt him sit on the edge of the bed next to her. For several minutes they both just looked at Robert neither saying anything.

"How do you feel?" he finally asked her.

"Strange. Wonderful. Terrified."

"That's not surprising."

"I need to know more about what this means."

"We'll get you there. But as you saw, it's exhausting. Don't try to run faster than you can walk."

She gave him a direct inquisitive smile, but found that too personal when he returned her gaze. Quickly she looked back at Robert. The boy seemed to be having a bad dream, he rocked in his sleep. A cold shiver went through her. Someone had done this to him, deliberately, and for no reason but that he had Deryni blood.

She had Deryni blood. She could be in just as much danger.

Sir Airich bent over and reached across to Robert's good hand. He closed his eyes. Steadied his own breathing and, after a moment, Robert ceased his rocking and he relaxed back into calm sleep. Satisfied, Airich opened his eyes, released the boy's hand and sat up straighter. Somehow he was sitting even closer to Amy now. For a moment, he reminded her of her knight, even though the two looked nothing alike.

Amy reached into the neck of her gown and pulled forth a long silver chain. The chain was weighed down with a signet ring dangling from the end of it. She turned it up and showed it to Airich. "Do you recognize this?"

He turned it in the candlelight, reflections of tiny flames dancing across its curves. "Aye, the stag is the emblem of Lendour. This is Kenric's heraldry."

Kenric. She'd discovered recently that the Earl of Lendour was named Kenric. The man who'd given her this ring had claimed merely to be a knight, not an earl or heir.

Airich was squinting at the ring again. "How would you be carrying Kenric's ring? Oh, wait..." He twisted the ring to see it from a different angle. "I see. The stag is on a roundel, not a shield. It's old, too." He handed the ring back to her. "This is the former signet of the Steward of Lendour."

Amy nodded. This sounded right to her. She thought longingly of her Lendour knight.

He just said Former, but hadn't he said before that He lives.

She closed her eyes—dare she question this—then looked back at Airich. Soon she might work up the nerve to ask him to tell her more about her knight.

"Can I tell you a story?" Airich said.

"Yes. If it is not full of monsters." It would help her keep her mind off the horror of the murder, and further possible attacks.

"Hmm, all stories have monsters, otherwise they would not be worth telling," he said. "But since you ask it of me, I'll leave out most of the monsters. What do you know about Alaric Morgan?"

She looked at him derisively. "Don't tell me you believe the rumors of that man being a monster.  They're not true. My father called him the rescuer of Saint Brigid's, and even Morgan the Kingmaker."

"I haven't heard him called "Morgan the Kingmaker," but yes, that would be him."

"I know the Morgan name, but only what history says happened," Amy said. "And I know that history changes depending upon the person telling it. The way I've heard it told is that the Duke of Corwyn helped King Kelson keep his throne, he was loyal to the king for his entire life. Wasn't he a cousin of Archbishop Duncan, too? Oh yes, and he was the first lord to openly flaunt his Deryni power—oh!" Yes, he had been Deryni. That meant something to Amy now.

"Let me tell you a little bit about Alaric Morgan," Airich said. "In a hundred years, I believe the history books will record his name as the greatest man of his age, barring King Kelson himself." Airich reached out and set his hand near Amy's arm, and touched her wrist with his fingertips.1

An image sprang into Amy's mind. A blond man, handsome, dressed in black and green and gold. A man with the presence of subtle power and control. He looked every bit the legend she would have expected from such a man.

"Understand that I have, on occasion, told tall tales of General Morgan, speaking of him as if he were a saint sent from God, or sometimes telling of his sorcerous ways, depending on my audience; in all honesty, he was greatly amused by the stories of his sorceries. But to you, Amaryllis Aldan, I speak his truth only. And trust that I know whereof I speak, for several generations of my family served him: my father, and his father, and his father before him, when Alaric was but a wee lad."

Amy looked up, straight into the young knight's eyes: the blue irises shimmered, bespeaking personal knowledge. Yes, she could feel that truth in him, so much sharper than she ever had in the past. And within her mind, she saw another man alongside Duke Alaric, with laughing blue eyes and mouth, and brown curls that couldn't be tamed with a leather thong at the nape of the neck. This man could be no other than Airich's father. She could see it in those same eyes.

"Why do they call Morgan "Kingmaker?" she asked. "The King is Deryni himself. Did Morgan train him?"

"No, Kelson was completely untrained the morning of his coronation. He had no powers whatsoever. Duke Alaric and Archbishop Duncan—he was only Father Duncan back then—gave him the ability to defend himself when he was challenged to a magic duel later that self-same day."

A new man appeared within her vision now, wearing a simple priest's cassock, the barest tonsure at his crown, and eyes the color of a summer morning.

"Lord a-mighty, that's Archbishop Duncan?"

"Ssssssh, don't wake the others."

"Sorry. My goodness, he is—was—a handsome man."

"Much to the dismay of the women of court." Airich grinned. "Many the lady was sure that she would be the one he abandoned the priesthood for."

"I understand why they hoped that."

"Anyway. Alaric and Duncan performed a ritual on the fourteen-year-old King. This awakened the powers that the Haldane kings have passed down through the generations for hundreds of years. It was these powers, not his Deryni heritage, that made it possible for him to defeat the Duchess of Tolen when she challenged him for his crown. She is the first monster in this tale."

A different vision appeared, one of King Kelson—as a boy!—manipulating crimson magics against a beautiful yet sinister woman, who herself wielded magics of icy blue. Amy shivered from the image.

"The following year saw many changes take place in Gwynedd, but this is a story about Morgan, not the land he loved. A year after Kelson's coronation, Alaric courted and wed his Duchess, the beautiful Richenda." Amy saw the woman now, masses of strawberry hair framing a heart-shaped face and cornflower eyes, a smile playing about her lips.

"She... I mean the Duchess, she was a stunning lady," Amy said. It was the woman's eyes that caught Amy's attention. They reminded her of her knight's eyes, smudged and bruised and sunken, but clinging to life, and looking at her to help him. "A noble Lady fit for a duke."

"Indeed. The story of Alaric and Richenda is truly a love story for the ages, for their courtship was not without its struggles. But the King granted them permission to wed. And wed they did, for a mere nine months later, the Duchess presented the Duke with his first child, a daughter, followed in short order by a son and yet another daughter. To this brood, we must add Richenda's son from her first marriage, Brendan Coris."

"Oh, I know of him. Isn't he the Earl of... um, let me think. Marley?"

"Aye, the Earl of Marley. Alaric took him in with the same love he gave the boy's mother and was as true a father to Brendan as he was to any of his own children.

"For eleven years, this family grew and loved each other well."

Amy could see them, could visualize these children as they passed through their years as babies, then children, and then the older ones into their very young adulthood. The sight of this family filled her with joy, even as it broke her heart. Her own home growing up held moments of love, but the harsh times outweighed them. And the idea that she might herself one day have a happy brood of her own, well... it seemed so unlikely now.

As she watched this family grow, it occurred to Amy that these visions seemed extraordinarily vivid, and full of the details of true friendships and comfortable intimacy. They couldn't have been imagined piecemeal from courtly gossip.

Also, Airich couldn't have been born at the time these images had been committed to memory. Where could he have gotten them from? Amy focused behind the image of the happy family. Right... There... She heard the voice of a man laughing with the red-headed boy over a new-born foal in a barn. Then the voice of the same man consoling the little blonde girl after she'd scraped her knee. Airich's father? He didn't just work for the duke, they were good friends, a friend to the entire family by what she witnessed. 

Airich, meanwhile, had continued his story, "But the family was not quite complete, for, long after Richenda despaired of birthing any more children, she presented to Alaric one more fine, healthy son. The title of "Hero" must have been writ large upon his brow, for surely he grew in power and stature from a boy to a squire to the finest knight I have ever had the pleasure to know. He wins most of the tournaments he competes in. The other men have to pry the ladies off him with sticks to have a chance with them. And a few years ago, his own healing skills manifested themselves in him."

The baby boy Amy saw began toddling, and then played with other children, and moved on to serving as a page in the King's court.

"In short, this splendid man is the epitome of what it means to be knight of the realm.

Amy watched as fleeting images as a child became a page, the page a squire and then the squire earning his knight's belt and spurs. Amy witnessed a confident man, with the entire world laid out before him like a jewel, waiting to be plucked. There was nothing this young lord, with his golden hair and cornflower eyes, was incapable of, no lady who couldn't be won, no enemy he couldn't defeat.

"His name is Washburn Morgan."

While still bewildered by this man Amy had never known, Airich's vision of him changed, a shadow fell across him and his brilliance; Amy gasped as the shock of recognition struck her.

"A few years ago, Wash was summoned to help a friend recover his lands. But during his mission, he fell into the hands of the other two monsters in this story, and they meant to use him for their own foul purposes. Very few people knew what had become of him during these dark days. It's said that the enemy tried to break his mind and convince him that his own beloved family had rejected him and his King had abandoned him. These nefarious fiends would make a pawn of this man, the greatest knight of the kingdom and the son of the King's dearest friend, and use him against his own country in bloody war."

Amy now saw the images she had shared the night before reflected back at her: her Lendour knight brought low, near unto death, cursing both enemy and family alike for their torment. It was strange yet mesmerizing how the storyteller weaved in these most recent insights into his tale. "It is only by Divine Providence working through the King's spymaster that Wash was able to escape. But word has recently reached my ears that there is more to this part of the story than was previously known. The kindness of a beautiful maiden gave him the courage to be more than just his enemy's pawn." 

And she saw herself lying beside him, black and gold hair intertwined as their bodies had been for that brief night of shared comfort. Amy should have shied from the story teller's vision, but in this one thing she felt no shame. She had known nothing of the man before that night and never learned anything of him afterward, but she knew in her heart that he would have despaired unto his death if she had not acted as she had.

"It took time, for such hurts do not heal easily. Time and the loyalty of a few friends. But he grew strong once again, stronger even than he had been before, for no man goes through such experiences and returns unscathed. He was given lands and a commendation from the King."

And he was once again the golden, comely knight, a little older, wiser, with bright eyes and a warm smile. His shoulders square with the conviction of a man who knew his own will and power.

This, Amy realized, was a personal memory, something that Airich had seen with his own eyes. It was her knight's—no, it was Washburn's truth. He lived, and he was whole. She longed to touch him again in this new rebirth, but she knew such a thing could never come to pass. Her youthful, seventeen-year-old heart protested, but her wiser self realized she had no need.

The sense of dread that had been Amy's constant companion for four years unlocked itself from around her heart. The unknown fate of the prisoner had been replaced by a nobleman with the conviction to protect others. Lord Washburn Morgan was again a man of strength; Amy emulated that strength by straightening her posture and squaring her shoulders. If he could refind himself,  so could she.

As this final vision faded from her mind, Amy turned her head and looked at Airich. She mouthed the words "Thank you" to him. His eyes smiled back at her in return.

1 Mind Share 2d6: 1,5=success
Forgotten Shadows / Re: FS Out of Character Chat
Last post by Laurna - July 18, 2024, 05:30:49 PM
Quote from: Marc_du_Temple on July 18, 2024, 04:56:09 PMWhat a day these people are having! Hope that they can learn to trust each other eventually.

Trust seems to come and go with about the same repetition of Bede's shirts. LOL that boy is sure hard on clothes. Nice scene,Marc.