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Order of the Sword & Rose
She held the ironwood and sapphire seal to the lump of wax that crossed the ties of the ribbon binding the rolled scroll, and whispered her name, “Eildre Hal’Eruil”. The sapphire seal in the form of a pair of crossed swords imposed over a stylized rising sun glowed and sparkled with magical energy, sealing the ribbon to the parchment. When she lifted it, a faint golden sparkle of latent energies danced through the sunburst, effectively protecting the document from prying eyes and magics til the seal itself was broken by its intended recipient.
She placed it in the pile with the other scrolls, each held shut with specially colored ribbon and leaned back, sighing as she looked about the room again. The windowless room was as inviting as it could be, warm golden oak panels on the walls with drapes of dark sable brown velvet cloth in the corners to soften the enclosed feeling. Several masterfully worked landscapes in highly polished frames set on two of the opposite walls, giving the illusion of windows looking out onto lush scenery. Everglow lamps lit each corner with a soft light, and Eildre returned her gaze to the parchments. All the details were there, enough to cover the Dawnswords for a few months while she .. concluded her business. She shook her head, her eyes narrowing as she struggled with her decisions. Unconsciously she reached out towards the rapier that hung from the chair she sat in, its slender blade supported by a fine webwork of the leather straps that composed its belt and sheath. As her bare fingers brushed the hilt, her eyes took on a vibrant red glow, and a soft smile crossed her careworn features. The Rapier's dull black blade, long and slender, hung in the fine jet dyed leather with an inherent grace that no mere metal weapon should have. Its metal patinaed with darker swirls in a manner that only finely crafted adamantite exhibits. What was even more unusual, was the faint purple and red sparks that seem to follow the swirls in an endless race of energies. The dark almost black metal basket hilt had been designed to resemble a scorpion with legs curled to protect the fingers, segmented back as the guard for the hand and the tail and the rounded, menacing stinger as the quillon's blade catcher.
Keaoden’s attack had taken her by shock, upsetting her even more than she showed to her friends and allies. Even with the information Maiyarra had coaxed free of the gods that night, she had refused to believe. Though Ryndal and Tahl’emar had warned her that the evidence had been pointing to something horrific having happened to or changed her friend’s mental set, she had declined to think in that direction until the very moment he had attempted to .. steal her very soul. If it hadn’t been for Tahl shielding her, jumping to the forefront as he shoved her back into her mind. Ryndal, putting his own body between her and Keaoden. The swift actions of Points finely honed senses and Nklos’s watchful and ready reflexes, her very soul and essence would have been lost to his dark attack and she would have.. Eildre shook her head, chasing the horror of the situation from her thoughts, refusing to replay it in her mind again.
Speaking as if to thin air, “You were right.. I should have listened to you and Ryndal.. But I couldn’t believe he would have fallen to such a dark path.. He honestly .. or had seemed.. “ She shook her head at a loss for words again, the aftermath of the past few weeks still haunting her.
She looked back at the scrolls on the desk and sighed. She replayed the words of the sealed scrolls over in her head. Her eyes first falling on the two with the gold ribbons, one edged in silver the other in green.
(Missives to Syilva and Mykka of the Dawnswords )“My dear friends, these words I write, I hesitate over. So much has happened, what lays ahead I both seek and dread. I was attacked last eve by someone I had considered a good friend, if it were not for the swift actions of Points, Nklos, Ryndal and Tahl’emar, and the goodwill of others, my .. soul would be gone, my essence the prisoner of Keaoden. Yes.. Keaoden.. There are a few of us that knew something was wrong, and we treated it carefully, but still.. my position and emotions put me in the line of fire that should never have been. Ryndal and Syilva were right to be concerned, and I was wrong when I thought friendship could not be corrupted. But enough of this, its in the past. Though as I look back now, I wish I could stay to help with the hunt, as Keaoden still might be able to be saved. But other matters have surfaced.
((In Syilva’s letter only)) Syilva, I ask that you keep up contact with the Allies, offer them any assistance you and the others can in these times. I hope to be gone only for a few months, but much can and will happen in those times. Our doors are open to Alliance members in need, please continue that policy while I am gone. You are our head and heart while these matters are attended to, I have full trust in your abilities.
((In Mykka’s letter only)) Mykka, I hate to ask you for more favors.. you have already given more than I could think possible for one to give, but please.. back Syilva up when possible. Your skills and talents will be sorely tested along side hers. I know we are weakened, and I know things could have been better. But you and yours are the brains and sinew to our backbone. I hold myself still in debt to you, Maiyarra and all the Dawnswords, for being there during these trying times.. and for believing me when things had become unbelievable.
I shall be in touch with any changes to our plans, but for now.. We travel to Khovaire, more specifically to Karrnath. The clues point to Vol and hers. With my current sources, these impeccable, I fear the trail for my sister heats up, but I worry with the attempts recently that something wishes to .. end my search. So I take myself away from the Alliance and other innocents. I just wish .. never mind.. I do worry for Ryndal and the others, I did not wish to drag the Dawnswords into this mess so wholly.
She is alive, my sister that is.. But what will I find when I find her, what has time done to a beautiful Jade Flower.
Sincerely and hopefully,Eildre Hal’EruilDawnswords Guild Master”
Five scrolls in all, the ribbons are a deep blue, one edged in crimson (CN), one edged in gold (LI), one edged in silver (OSR) and red , one edged in pink (Fellowship aka Jaggie) and the last edged in green and black (Valianna and Points).“Dearest Friends, Allies and All,
I know not how many of you know the recent events that have lead up to this moment, so I shall summerize. I have been in a search since coming to Stormreach for news concerning my sister, she was lost to me some many years back and I have always harbored the feeling she was alive but.. lost to me and my family. This search has lead to many a strange or false trail. It has threatened the lives of myself and those I am close to, so I have tried to hide it, to avoid.. endangering any friends or allies. But I have found I can do this no longer without it becoming a greater threat to those with who I associate.
My sisters’ name is Ry’oro, meaning Jade Flower in the elven dialect. She was a skilled warrior and cleric of .. the old ways. She is my height, long golden hair down to her waist and eyes of the clearest emerald jade. Lost to I and her family years ago. Her trail has led to followers of Vol, leading this way and that. To this continent and dark and forbiddon corners of its jungles and deserts. Recently I had followed up one lead only to be ambushed and left for dead. This was the event that preceeded my arm regenerations and the events that lead up to me being attacked by an insidious curse. When this curse had been delt with, another attack had poisoned me and nearly cost me my life. I started to pull away at that point, not wanting to endanger anyone. But when what I thought halluscinations started, I found that it was more of a threat as a secret than it would ever been up front. The hallucinations were followed up by auditory, and other sensory attacks, the few that were actually witnessed gave me the strength to bring this all forward.
Or I would have in person, but for the attack on me by Keaoden. This assault was a wound of a different type, one I .. took deeply. ((Describes the attack, the attempt to steal her very essence and soul as it happened that night)) A friendship shattered like that is a wound I would wish I no one, but I must not let it sway me in my other matters. I can only hope his actions are stopped and that something can be saved of the caring man I know still exists somewhere in that tormented body. But I digress.
The reasons for me leaving town at such an inopportune time, with the other Murders in the Harbor, fill me with regret, but the trail is more than warm now and I have a soul wrenching feeling that if I do not follow up on this now, Ry’oro will be lost forever. I must travel to Khovaire, more specifically to Karrnath, and a contact with the Cult there. Members of the Dawnswords refuse to let me take this trip alone, so though I am loathed to deplete the chapter house so, Primus, Ryndal, Regulus, Mayzial, Neric and a few others have insisted on traveling with me. Syilva shall be left in charge of the Dawnsword affairs, along with Mykka, Halquin and Delvanos, should you have any need of reaching them. I have asked that Sereyne seek out the confines of the Fellowship halls if they have need of her, but am unsure if she is going to take this advice.
((In the Fellowship letter)) Jaggie.. I am sorry at leaving with such short notice, but.. I could not ignore this lead, and with Keaoden .. like he is.. I knew I could not hunt him down and watch what might have to be done to him.. I know.. its cowardly, his attack didn’t hurt me.. thanks to Points and the others, but it wounded me in a way I am not sure I will be able to over come. I hang my head in the thought of how you will view this, and am ashamed.
Sereyne told me of your request, and I could think of no other so .. qualified as to deal with your special situation. She is a treasure when you see past her clinical views of the world and I only hope you can benefit from her skills and knowledge. She may not have shown it.. but she was flattered by your request for her to be your Artificer. Since her banishment from House Cannith, she has had little that gives her joy, and your challenges shall lighten her broken heart.
I will be in touch via secured Orien post, I have contracted with them for a special type of message delivery with you and others that is promised to be as secure at possible. Syilva is also in possession of a crystal, a simple way to find out if I am okay is to ask her if the light still shines. She will know what that means.
I am sorry my friend.. so sorry for my actions.))
((In Valianna and Points letter)) My dearest friends.. Please give a hug and kiss to Ty for me. These words leave my hand with a heavy heart. I would stand beside both of you through thick and thin, give my life so that you two would be shielded. What happened with Keaoden the other eve, while regretful and .. shockingly painful, does not lead to my actions.
My sister is alive, and .. in trouble.. I feel this in my bones, and have a chance now to possibly come to the end of this path. The recent attacks upon me have lead to a surprising source, one who has given me the knowledge and proof that she lives but that she is in mortal danger. Its funny, everything happens at once it seems. Now I must beg of you your forgiveness for running away. I .. I fear what will happen when Keaoden is confronted again, and in my shame, I could not face him should it be the tragedy I forsee. I am sorry this is so abrupt, but.. I wanted to risk no one else, and still managed to be accompanied by a majority of the Dawnswords. I just wish..
Wishes safety and the warmth of love to you both, and begs your forgiveness..))
Sincerely,Eildre Hal’EruilGuildmaster of the Dawnswords.
She gathers up the blue ribboned scrolls for delivery, placing them in the secure House Orien pouch. Then looks at the two scrolls with the gold ribbons, and the remaining scroll with the scarlet ribbon. Laying near that scroll is a single quartz crystal set in a silver webbing. Eildre picks it up and weighs it in her hand for a moment and takes a deep breath. Her other hand moves to her waist and pulls out a slender stiletto, its razor sharp edge winking in the steady light of the everglow lamp hanging over the desk. Holding the crystal in her right hand, she draws the blade across her right thumb and winces as the skin parts like butter, immediately the blood wells to fill the cut and spill out over the flesh. Placing the stiletto on the desk, she closes her right fist, holding the weeping cut to the crystal. She closes her eyes, concentrating on the stone in her hand and states her name out loud three times, with each repetition the crystal pulses, absorbing her blood and emitting a brilliant blue hue. With her final repition of her name, the crystal stays a deep vibrant blue, its light steady. The wound on her thumb puckers with the new pink of fresh healed flesh, to rapidly fade leaving no scar. She places the crystal with the red bound scroll just as a knock sounds at the door.
Eildre moves to open the door, finding Regulus and Ryndal waiting there. She shoulders the Orion message bag and follows them. Dropping the bag off to the messengers just movements before stepping on the airship heading to Khovaire.
Eilde looked at the land skipping by below her, leaning out over the railing of the airship as it soared through the sky. Regulus sat on a bench near the stairwell down, watching Eildre with a concerned look on his features. Ryndal stood nearby, his attention on the swiftly passing clouds. She sighed, no sign of the others, but they were there, a palpable feeling of their worry hanging over her like a cloud. This trip could prove deadly, but she would close at least one chapter in her life before confronting the next.
Eildre turned her azure gaze to the rapier she wore at her side, and brushed her fingers across the hilt. Immediately soothing thoughts filled her mind as Tahl’emar sought to calm her conflicting emotions. She let out another exhale of breath as she split her thoughts with contemplation of the ground below and the intelligent rapier at her side.
::Eildre laughed as she avoided yet another thrust of the young sailors saber. They had been unwilling to spar with her at first, but now, they looked forward to the daily exercise as much as she did. She had begun to see some improvement, and the sheer joy of testing her own skills of dodging their blows and faltering their steps made up for her lost rest and disturbing dreams. They had not stopped, not at all, but she had found a way to hide them from her overprotective friends. There was nothing they could do to stop them it seemed, so why let them worry. She sighed as the young man repeated his last blunder, thrusting too deep, and slapped him on the wrist with her rapier. The other men chuckled and she motioned two more of them to join the lesson. Tossing her hair she laughed as she sported with the crewmen.
::Eildre stood on the deck with Ryndal, and Mayzial, watching as the boat pulled into the tower dock. Since Primus had fallen from that silly perch of his and nearly cracked open his skull, Regulus had returned with him to Stormreach via an emergency Gate. She hoped the elven man was alright, Regulus would find him the best help possible.
Hoisting her pack over one shoulder she looked to the others and smiled. “Well we have the name of a reputable inn, and the names of some less.. reputable sources, so shall we?” She cocked her head as the other two looked down at the bustling city, Ryndal’s features as impassive as usual, Mayzial’s slightly apprehensive.