(1866-06-28) Ribbon Wrapped Shadows
Ribbon-Wrapped Shadows
Summary: Lady Emilia Cassomir heads to the chapel for a quiet moment, finding Sir Destrian Rosendal there praying. The two foster-siblings get a chance to talk about shadows, among other things.
Date: Juin 28, 1866
Related: None
Players:
Destrian  Emilia  

Chapel of The One, Roseguard Castle, Ironhold
Room description
Juin 28, 1866

The chapel is quiet.

It is no wonder, given the late hour.

The priests dwelling near the castle of Roseguard, in the county of Ironhold, have all gone to bed, leaving the stone room with its high, vaulted ceiling and perfect acoustics alone with the spirits of the fallen, and of course the One, Himself. At this late hour of the evening, however, there is more than silence and spirits in the chapel. Sir Destrian Rosendal - clad in tunic and hose, with his dark purple cloak draped over his shoulders - kneels by the altar, quietly praying.

On the floor beside him rests his sketch-book and pieces of charcoal - ignored for the moment as the man communes with the One, murmuring words in both the Common Tongue and High Imperial. His spear lies on the floor next to his sketch-book.

*

It was not uncommon for the youngest of the mainline Cassomir siblings to ghost about the castle at the late hours, for even after all the time that had passed, sleep was not the easiest for her. Dreams and memories, and something worse all tried to exist then.

Emilia found herself at the chapel, gazing quietly upon the praying form of her foster-brother. She thought it would be empty..it usually was, the priests could not ask her questions if they were not here. Perhaps he came for the same reason. Bare foot, she moved silently into the stone room. Perhaps the barest whisper of fabric from the tunic and leggings she wore, likely lost to his murmured prayers.

Settling just to the other side of his sketch book, almost like a spirit herself with her ethereal grace and silence. Legs crossed as she sits, eyes flitting across the sketch book and to him. But she says nothing, not while he prays. Perhaps even offering some silent word onto the One herself as she waits for him to finish, to notice her.

*

"Amen."

The knight lifts his head, looking at the altar - a faint half-smirk on his lips after he has finished his prayers. Blinking slowly, he opens his mouth to address his audience-of-one, but without turning around:

"I remember a time when one of your entrances would have me leaping out of my skin, little Firefly," he tells Emilia, still smirking. He pauses and rests both his hands on his thighs, given that he is in a kneeling position. "How long have you been there, anyway?"

Finally, he turns his head to look askance at his foster-sister, an eyebrow arched as his gaze shifts between her and his sketchbook on the floor. The book itself is open, and the two uppermost pages display charcoal drawings of:

A) the head of a spear - leaf-shaped and engraved with floral images.

And B) Destrian's horse, Old Friend, standing on a dirt road with a mouthful of Emilia's hair in his teeth as she tries to pull away.

*

There is a tugging to the corners of Emilia's lips when he starts to address her without turning about. "There are of many who of yet leap out of their skin when I of appear, and yet I am not trying for it." It was true, Emilia simply…had a way of being quiet.

"Long of enough," she answers softly. "I did not of wish to be of interrupting of prayers and talk of with of the One. More comfortable to sit if here then of some of trees." A faint quirk of her lips coming at the comment.

A finger drifts along to the second sketch, not that the first was not taken in as well. "You were gone, much of long… Much has happened, of here…of there. " Emilia's finger lightly touches over Old Friend's muzzle as if petting it…even if just a drawing. "You know of a fraction of what it was of like now. " Those dark eyes looking to him, "When something is trying to be of eating of you." A statement simple and soft.

*

The knight's smile fades.

Turning about in order to regard Emilia more fully, Destrian's face appears to turn a greyish, deathly pallor - not fear, but perhaps something closer to horror - as if a veil had been placed over his countenance. A hand moves involuntarily toward his neck, concealed as it is by the folds of his hood and cowl.

At least here - in this holy place, and in the company of family - he can be more himself; there is little reason to conceal the spectre of memory as it looms behind his intelligent, watery-grey eyes.

"The healers of the Order tell me the scars shall endure no matter what they do - and I must admit this actually pleased me." He lowers his hand to his side once more, and shifts his weight to sit cross-legged on the floor beside his spear and sketch-book. "I have no desire to forget; the memories will live as long as the threat does."

He pauses, giving his head a shake.

"Even so, there is a smear before my eyes when I think on… it. 'Tis a shadow that hides, but does not leave - to be present and forgotten."

Suppressing a shudder, Destrian reaches inside his cloak and produces a leather skin of liquid that he squirts into his mouth to drink. It is wine. Swallowing his second mouthful, he holds out the wineskin to Emilia. "I confess to the sin of stealing from the cellars," he remarks in a lighter tone of voice.

*

Dark eyes watch him as the smile fades and the memory washes over him, the emotion it brings up. There is true understanding to be found in Emilia's eyes, memories of her own never to fade. Her own experience…different, thankfully so for Destrian.

Emilia murmurs softly, "As I yet of bear of Her of markings," did he even know? Few did. He had much to see to after, and not as much chance to see her til much time after. "Some of threats cannot of die, only be of contained, you know of this…." A hesitation before she asks," but this of one, can of die?" Perhaps not entirely informed of all the details.

There is silence for a few moments, dark eyes looking to him, "I am of sorry that such of a smear has been of witnessed, I would of wish all of lives to be lived without experiencing of such. Yet it cannot of be. Thankfully, least of most, if there must of be smears, they are of smaller then what truly could of be. There is still of purpose in of them as well, is of there not? Just as of the blackening of the fire by of lightening bring of new of life. Of aye?"

Brows arch slightly as the wineskin is offered over, accepting it. Though Emilia notes, "One cannot be of stealing what would be of given of freely. Be of sides, is of yet of your home too. " A faint look given over to him, that half tugging sort of smile before she squirts a bit of wine into her mouth.

*

"Now where's the fun in that?" the knight asks, referring to the wine being given freely. "You must admit, my little Firefly, that vices are hardly something I do very well… I'm still trying to find one, let alone keep one. I suppose I will just have to settle for being sinless."

Destrian's laughter is brief, muted and lacking somewhat in enthusiasm, but it is laughter all the same. He shrugs his shoulders as if to say, You know me; I had to try. Then he falls silent for a handful of seconds.

The silence is deep - both full and empty at the same time.

"Tell me of this mark," he murmurs, whether he had heard of it before or not.

*

“Of true,” she admits quietly. Even with more freedom now as a Huntress, she still stole away in the night. Emilia cants her head a little, “Of fearing, is of our bad of influence of that. Do not much of practice of vices of about of here. You just might have to be of settling for being of so, I fear of this. I am of sure, the One will be of forgiving.”

A minor little tugging to the corners of her lips as she does work with it a little, to hear his laugh. Even if muted. it is a laugh. It was more than one could hope to hear from her, even now laughter was a true rarity from Emilia’s lips. She nodded to his shrugging, yes, she did know him.

There was not attempt to break the silence. To prod him from his thoughts. She knew the weight of dealing with such an experience. She knew him as well. One did not rush him.

A breath is drawn softly at his murmur, her hand comes up slowly and gently touches to a place just over her heart. “It is of here,” Emilia says softly. Likely why a rare knew of it, not a thing that would be seen easily, least when properly clothed. Fingers flit and take up a piece of the charcoal and then on her leggings she sketches out a symbol that with his time as Gatewarden, his own experience as Gatefinder and staring at such things…he would see the Sidhe like nature within and to it, though it would not be one familiar. Something different, something more ancient. “This is of how She of marked of me.” Her dark eyes look up to Destrian from it as she says softly, "I am knowing of what it of means now…I have of learned of this of recent, have learned of things this of last of year. Still learning of things… “

*

Destrian's grey eyes focus on the curious mark as Emilia draws it, and a frown forms deep creases along his brow. There is recognition in his gaze, but the man makes no further gesture to indicate as much, nor does he speak to it. Not yet.

The silence remains.

Destrian finally lets out another breath in the form of a soft sigh, and wets his lips with his tongue. Drumming his fingertips on his knees, he sniffs lightly and looks across the floor at Emilia's face, his expression grim.

"You realise…" he murmurs. "You just drew on your clothes?"

His eyes sparkle.

*

There is a solemn nod a this murmur, "I am of realizing,” Emilia says softly, a little mirth in her eyes. Though she goes on to explain softly,” charcoal will of smudge and wash of away of clothes. Will not draw of ire of priests for of drawing upon of floor,” her hand flitting toward his sketch book,” nor of leave of something that might draw of wrong of questions."

Though he could perhaps get away with having strange Sidhe symbols about in his drawings, certainly more so then she.

A breath. A pause. Her dark eyes drop down to the mark drawn on her leggings,” It is of Her mark…from when she was of alive, of flesh..blood. A mark of like of our crests of Houses. But of Her’s…of the Blackened Wood Court of the Bane Sidhe.”

Drawing her eyes up as Emilia notes softly, "Even the Sirrah was not of knowing of such words when I was telling her of this. “

*

Destrian stares at the mark for a number of seconds after Emilia finishes speaking, reaching up to his jaw with a hand to clasp his chin between his forefinger and thumb. For all intents and purposes, he might be committing that sigil - the crest of a Sidhe House? - to memory.

Wordlessly, he reaches for his sketchbook and the charcoal, turns to a blank page and begins deftly drawing a replica of the same sigil as Emilia had drawn it. It takes moments only, and when he is done, he tears the page free, folds it up and deposits it inside his jerkin.

Then he flicks through the pages to one in particular, and hands the book to his foster sister. The page is full of runes and curious designs, grouped together according to the style of script used - which differs slightly from one group to the next.

The gesture is clear in meaning: Have a look and tell me what you think.

The Gatefinder's lips form a subtle half-smirk, wry in nature. "I may have lied to your cousin, earlier," he confesses lightly. "My adventures were far from boring. Some of these you might have seen before - I copy whatever I find, even if there is no Faegate to go along with them… and to make my fortune."

Says the knight of a not-exactly-poor noble House…

*

Emilia remains silent as he stares at the sigil, seeming to commit it to memory at first. Then soon committing it on to paper with the charcoal as well. The page being tucked on away. Though a hand briefly rises and touches to that spot on her chest for a moment as he sketches it. It was not a thing she was ever without, that mark. She bore it always.

Her dark eyes go to the pages he flips to and offers over to her. Brows rise a little before she looks over to him. A nod coming, "Of course, she is not of knowing. Did not of think your of adventures were of boring, Knight-Hunter.” There is a faint quirk to her lips, a hint of a wryness. “Said much of has been of happening, of aye? Jaren…was of telling, am of Brethren of now…cause of things, of happenings. Raelyn is of Knight-Sergeant.”

Emilia looks back to the sketches after delivering that bit of news, her head canting a little. Fingers touching to some, "Of aye…seen of these…or of similar.” There is a faint wince, a sigh. A hand presses a little to the side of her head. “You were having quite of the trip, weren’t of you?”

*

Seeing the pained look on Emilia's face, Destrian reaches a hand for the sketch-book - offering to take it back. "There is too much white in you now, little Firefly," he tells her gently, his other hand reaching for hers. "Come back into the space in between, where pain is just another colour on the palette, and memory is just another stroke of the brush."

He smiles at her fondly.

Referring to the sketch-book - rather, the sigils drawn within - he remarks, "I thought some of them would seem familiar… I have been able to draw connections between certain ruins - even across entire kingdoms, thanks to similarities in the scripts… Methinks that has something to do with Faegates that were once in frequent use. When I have time, I will draw the sigils anew - but in ink or paint. The colours speak to me in a language I cannot write… in mere charcoal."

He lets out a sigh of exasperation… and looks into Emilia's eyes as if searching for something.

*

The hand presses for a moment before it falls away from her head, settling to her lap before it inches out to be found by his own. A faint quirk to one side if her lips at his words coming, "I will of come of back," Emilia offering the sketchbook back offer to him. "Is not of memory that of brings of so much of white, too much of..noise…too loud." Her other hand raising as her fingers make a little dance motion in the air at her head.

"Something of being familiar in some, the one of grouping, I am thinking….that is why such noise, such a burst from Them," a mild sigh, before she shakes her head, "Too much of noise and of chattering not of clear." Her eyes touching to the sketchbook a moment as he explains his thoughts, "Would make of sense, possibilities of such to be, like of connections between of places of now. "

There is a small tug to the corners of her lips, "The charcoal is of being of language of its of own, like of shadows. But is world that is shades of grey, little of colour. Beauty in of its own way, for there is of light of yet, in such of a world. Harder to of speak in, frustrating, like having to deal with little of girl wishing to weave of ribbons into squire's hair."

Dark brown eyes look back to him as he looks, seeking. A faint questioning hint rising in her gaze.

*

Destrian offers a smile of encouragement to his foster sister, opens his mouth to speak… and clamps it shut again. He blinks, tucks his chin inward and blinks again at Emilia.

"What's this?" he inquires with a slowly-raised eyebrow. "Who is this little girl? And this unfortunate squire? What ribbons?" He pauses and smirks impishly at her. "And should I have my sketchbook handy when I meet said girl and squire with these ribbons?"

*

Those lips tug again at the corners as Destrian blinks and does a small impression of a surprised fish out of water.

Emilia managing to look her most stoic self as she speaks, with a hint of mock surprise, "How could you not me of knowing? And for of sure the squire is much of busy," for aren't they all as they run about seeing to their many duties and the bidding of their knights. "But is he so of un-of-fortunate? Such of colour to being of added. "

There is a pause as she considers. "Even if of perhaps not all of ribbons might be of going with one of a other. But one cannot fault of little of girl for of wishing to bring of colour to of one, can of they?"

Canting her head a little, "Are you of not always of having sketchbook of handy?"

*

"Ahhh," replies Destrian with a knowing gleam in his eye, lifting his chin and leaning back somewhat in a posture of sagely wisdom. "I see. Then, my little Firefly, I feel it is my sworn duty to inform you that squires are prohibited from such frivolities as ribbons in one's hair."

He pauses for effect, nodding as an instructor would to his student.

"Mmhmm, we are all sworn to forsake… uh, shall we say extravagance as an outward depiction of inward humility. It is their loss, sadly, for if they could but see the simple and exquisite colour of humility - surely they would wear their ribbons with pride. Alas, for them. They have not the eyes of you or I."

He pauses again, studying Emilia's face as if to gauge whether or not she believes him.

"Just out of curiosity - who is the squire?"

*

There is a widening of Emilia's eyes at this news, "Surely of not? They would not be of disallowed of such of colour to of their of lives. "

Her brows furrow just a hint in consideration, before her head cants to study him, "Of surely, he would be of allowed least of one of ribbon, much of like a favour, since is for of little of girl, of aye? Is only of bit of colour, but of little of bit being better than of none. Though of alas, little of girl would still have many of ribbons of left of over. But of still, to be allowed of one of ribbon to of his hair would not be such an extravagance, of aye?"

Emilia cants her head as those dark brown eyes study him a moment, "Have there been of so many of adventures, you have forgotten of being of squire and dealing with of such of frustrating of little of girl?"

*

"I remember," Destrian replies with a faraway sparkle in his watery-grey eyes. A smile rests upon his lips - as one who enjoys the taste of a memory, however brief it lingers in the moment - and he inhales through his nostrils, exhaling in a sigh.

"I remember… " and his eyes close. "A world of white — " Destrian squeezes his eyes shut for a second, in a wince of pain. " — Threads of iron and blue, pulling, always pulling through the white. Unchanging. Unbreakable. A song in every thread: clear, crystal… and keening. 'Onward, onward, harder, faster' — never stopping, never resting, never…"

He pauses and opens his eyes.

"Aric. The iron in the white, 'twas he. I remember blood — He bled, but never broke. Not him. Not iron." In a moment of emotion, the knight's eyes moisten, gleaming in the candlelight, and he smiles at Emilia. "And I remember… white turning into gold — ribbons of red and gold, but methinks they were in someone's voice, and not in my hair."

The man utters a short, wry chuckle and looks at Emilia closely. "I am sorry," he admits quietly. "But I remember all those days of learning — of becoming. And I remember a frustrating of little of girl who made the world change colour, with ribbons."

Suddenly he laughs.

"Did I actually answer the question?"

*

There is a gentle touch to his hand, a light squeeze when the wince is seen, induced with the memories that come forth for him.

She listens as he speaks, a hint of sadness at the memory, a turn of happiness of well. There were so many memories they had, that could not be forgotten. A quiet breath.

The corners of Emilia's actually curve upwards into a hint of a smile, "Of course, of not, it was always of blue for of your hair. If it could not be of a rainbow. "

The hint of a smile deepens to a true smile, a rare thing to behold upon the young woman's lips, as he laughs. Even if Emilia might yet give a stoic nod, "Of aye, you were of answering of the question."

*

Destrian turns his hand over so as to clasp his fingers around Emilia's, and he gives her a slow nod of appreciation and affirmation. The bearded man smiles again, showing white teeth, then he lays his other hand upon the girl's.

"There is shadow and flame behind us, my little Firefly," he tells her, gazing into her eyes with sincerity. "And likely more of the same to come. Do me this favour once in while — laugh. Laugh for me. Laugh for your brother, your cousins. Laugh for yourself. Remember the colour of joy, Emilia — you wear it better than most. Like ribbons."

As he finishes speaking, he removes one hand from Emilia's and reaches for the sketchbook. Flicking through its pages he finds an old sketch — old and weathered, from being taken out and put back into the book frequently — of Emilia herself, only much younger.

And wearing ribbons.

"If it helps," he adds with his usual, wry smirk. "You may laugh at me."

*

The smile lingers as his fingers clasped around hers. To see the wide smile come, even gone for so long, there was understanding and memories.

There is a small nod of Emilia's head, "Much of flame, of shadow..so much…of behind. And likely to be of more, of aye. " Her brows furrow a little at his request, murmuring ,"I remember the color of joy, of delight, of happiness…Of seeing, of feeling…I still of feel of it, it dances of within. And of yet it does not always reach of without. "

Dark eyes shift to his sketchbook as he flits through pages of it looking for the one. Leaning a little to see the weathered page, her free hand flitting forward to it, "I am of remembering….when laughs could of just of escape, to dance of out like ribbons when twirling of about. " Her eyes come to look to him, "I wish of it, to of laugh… To not to fight for of it. But They…."

There is a soft sigh. A quietness.

Then she blinks.

"You are not knowing of Them…" Emilia's dark eyes looking to him, "The grey is of Them, it is not of me…"

*

Destrian is quiet for a long time.

Gently, he gives Emilia's hand another squeeze with his left, and he looks downward at her hand as though to study its hue, texture and each digit. "I promised you once before," he murmurs to her, still looking down at her hand in his. "A long time ago — the grey shall not have you, Emilia. Let Them weave their threads of shadow and the ever-reaching dark — there are blades aplenty sharp enough to cut them."

The bearded man lifts his gaze to glance at his spear upon then floor, and then to peer into Emilia's eyes. In truth, he peers past her eyes and into something else… something else that is not Emilia. Perhaps he only imagines it. Perhaps his words are naught but the encouragement of one who is both family, friend and protector.

Perhaps there is more to it than all of that.

"I see thee," he says at Emilia, if not to her. "I see thy webs, thy machinations, thy threads and subtle devices. I see thee — and I swear I will see thee gone. By the One and His immutable word. Now, see me… for I am become grey for this one's sake. I stand between thee and her, and I am not alone. She is not for you."

The words are soft, deathly soft, but Destrian's eyes burn… until he finally lets them fall closed. How like him, to jest one moment, and swear holy vengeance the next — but is not this family as the One intended?

Laugh with them.

Stand by them.

Fight for them.

*

And perhaps he does not imagine it with the brief darkening that comes to those dark brown eyes, as if a shadow were cast across them. Yet naught else but Emilia's eyes are touched by it as he would gaze upon her.

"They are of weaving, always of weaving, and I am un of weaving, adding ribbons into Their threads of grey," she murmurs. It was no wonder the world thought her 'touched'.

There is a wince that comes when his eyes fall close, a response that comes that he cannot hear. Emilia murmurs softly, "They are not much of liking of you. " There is perhaps a tinge of amusement that actually laces that simple statement, even for the white that surges to her colouring.

*

At that last comment, Sir Destrian gives Emilia a puzzled frown, both his eyes sparkling to life with… glee? At the very least, he is not at all offended nor disconcerted by this revelation. A few seconds pass — by now the candles providing light in the chapel are burning low, since this conversation began — and Destrian smiles a wide, triumphant smile.

"What can I say?" he remarks with a modest infusion of jocularity. "If one can't piss off an entity of ancient evil once in a while, one mustn't be doing it right. And look at me — I managed to piss off an entire pantheon of gods all in one afternoon… after a long grilling by a priest so full to the eyeballs with purple, I swear he was vying for early entry to the Inquisition."

The man laughs, merrily.

"I should write a book."

*

There is upwards tick at the corners of Emilia's lips at his words, though she gives a rather solemn nod. "This is of true, one must try to be of doing so of regular of like." She might actually see to it on a daily basis really.

"He likely of was," leaning in a little, "or was of Inquisitor in of disguise, under of cover." Another little solemn nod from Emilia on that part, though there was a bit of a merry twinkle to her eyes. Inquisitors in disguises!

"You of should." A beat. "Though the of Church might see it of tucked away in of vault, secret of reading of only." Canting her head slightly, "Maybe, I could be wrong of foreword, or of prologue, of perhaps? Ensure it gets of seen by only those with special of permission. "

*

"Perhaps it can wait," Destrian replies with a light mouth-shrug. "The truth is not for everyone — although I must say I would love to know what that 'Inquisitor in Disguise' said about me to his superiors… I may have to ask the Archbishop about that."

Slowly, the man reaches with one hand for his sketchbook, and for his spear with the other, and rises to his feet. He extends a hand toward Emilia if she should desire to stand as well. "It is late," he tells her with a smile. "And by 'late', I mean 'early'. There are others who will want to see those runes I drew, and know what I saw — tomorrow…" He heaves a sigh and tilts his head to one side a fraction.

"Tomorrow is going to be a long day."

*

"Of true, the truth is not being for of everyone, most can barely of handle the shadows of it," comments Emilia softly. There is a mild tug to the corners of her lips, "You should of ask, or go of finding of him now, see if he is full on of Inquisitor, see what he is of thinking of now."

Even if the aid to rise is not needed, Emilia accepts the offered hand, her fingers slipping gently into Destrian's larger hand before she eases to her feet. Ever the graceful creature even in that simple movement. "Of aye, it will of be, for they of will..and there will be of questions. There are always of questions, of aye? "

The corners of her lips twitch up just a little, "Tomorrow will of perhaps be of long, but tonight of bears less of shadows for of talking. "

END LOG.

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