Lothiriel's Journey | 60 4A +

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Lothiriel's Journey | 60 4A +

Post by Nara-pyon on Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:23 pm

A Traveling Companion

Location: Tor Karad, Southland
Year: 60 F.A.
Status: Early Spring

It had taken quite a while, and a lot of convincing, to get her parents to agree to her desire to travel the Four Lands. Her arguments had been very convincing. After all, had she not spent almost her entire life learning to fight and defend herself from the Child Warrior himself? Did she not have the gift of Sight, stronger than her mother’s to warn her of danger, and family of some sort just about everywhere with whom she could stay if necessary?

Her father worried that she was too innocent, too trusting of others, and that it might get her into trouble with some people – men in particular – but Lothiriel was certain that she would be all right. She could handle herself, and she had the Sight.

The debate had ended a month ago, and weeks were spent preparing for her journey. Gion lent her his traveling bag that had been given a rune many decades ago when he had first met Kara and Donovan, that could hold an innumerable quantity of items. Nadya made sure that there were dozens of sets of clothing for all occasions and types of weather. Laer spent every waking hour of every day preparing food that wouldn’t go bad on her, and others on the plantation worked hard preparing skins of wine and water. Lothiriel herself spent her time poring over maps with her father, learning what places were safer than others and what weather to expect at what time of year.

Now, nine weeks later, she found herself at the base of the mountain city that was Tor Karad.

The trip through the desert had been no different from the last one, when she had come with her father, save in one aspect only: she had no one to talk to. It was true that her father was incapable of speech, so the trip really wasn’t any quieter – but at least she had been able to chatter away to him … now she didn’t have anyone even just to talk to, and even through she knew she could speak if she so desired she felt strange talking to herself.

On the other hand, it had given her a lot of time to think.

One of the conclusions she had come to was that she was not going to be staying with any family members – not yet, anyways. She wanted to start out doing things on her own as much as she could. So rather than heading to the palace or the Autumnglow Inn (both places of which she could stay free of charge, she was certain), she decided to find another place to stay for a night or two.

On the second level of the city, she found a small inn called “Night by Night”. It looked cozy enough from the outside – shuttered windows, ivy growing up the walls – and though she was a little nervous (it was her first time ever interacting with strangers without her father) she was also excited to be doing something on her own.

The inside of the inn was nice, too. The dining room was perhaps a bit smaller than what she would have expected, but there were few people in there so it wasn’t crowded. White linen cloths covered the tables, each of which had a flower and a vase in its center. On the whole, Lothiriel thought it was a very nice place, indeed, and she took a seat at one of the tables and waited to be served. While she was waiting, she rearranged her silverware to the way she was used to having her place set. To her surprise, she was approached almost immediately by a rather shady-looking elf who, she was certain, was not an employee of the inn.

“The desert is a hot, dry place,” he said to her in a low tone, looking at her as if he were expecting some sort of significant reply.

Lothiriel raised one eyebrow, confused by the man, and after a moment’s thought she replied, “Not of you know where to look.”

After all, there were oases, and cacti, and tricks to draw water out of the sand itself if one had the time – and “hot” was a relative term.

The man appeared to be quite pleased with her reply. “Have you found him?” he asked eagerly in a low tone, leaning closer to her as if he didn’t want to be overheard.

She was completely taken aback by both his actions and by his question. She didn’t have the faintest idea what he was talking about.

She was about to tell him so when another man – this one appearing quite kind – also sat down at the table, on the other side of Lothiriel. Her expression grew even more confused, but before she could say anything the second man grinned at the first and put his hand over Lothiriel’s.

“Is there a problem of some sort?” he asked in an overly cheerful tone. “Because if there is, I would be more than happy to take care of it for my sister.”

Lothiriel blinked. Sister? She opened her mouth to protest, but the first man cut her off again

“She’s with you?” he asked in a surprised tone; and before Lothiriel could correct him, he was gone.

“Would you mind telling me what’s going on?” she demanded of the second man before he could say anything else, taking her hand out from under his and putting it safely in her lap.

The man smiled ruefully at her and folded his hands neatly in front of him. “Forgive me,” he said kindly. “You can call me Aeron.”

He paused, examining her closely. “You’re new here, aren’t you? To the city, I mean.”

She gazed back at him evenly. “How can you tell?”

Aeron chuckled. “You’re in this inn,” he replied with a mischievous grin. “You answered that other guy. You’re talking to me. Now, I warrant that talking to me is perfectly all right. Honestly, I’m the only good-looking guy in here – not to mention the only trustworthy one.”

“Ah, but you’re forgetting something,” Lothiriel replied emotionlessly, blinking innocently. “You’re the one with the ego.”

To her surprise, the man burst into laughter. “Aye, you’ve caught me on that one,” he agreed good-naturedly. “Of course, most women don’t put it so bluntly. I admire that.”

Lothiriel stared at the man suspiciously for several long moments, then decided that since he found bluntness so endearing, she would continue with it. “What do you want from me?”

He chuckled again. “Intelligence, excellent. This promises to be good. In reply to your question, there is only one thing I want from you – some good conversation, such as I have not had in a very long time.” He sighed dramatically and leaned back in his chair. “Good conversation is so hard to find in this place.”

“Then why are you here?” she shot back, folding her arms across her chest. “If there’s no one else worth talking to.”

He shrugged, grinning. “Eh, it’s food. Cheapest place around. Does it matter? Just be thankful I got you out of that situation, I know that guy, he’s trouble. You need to be careful who you talk to and what you say.”

“I just said the desert isn’t as dry as most people believe,” Lothiriel protested. “What else was I supposed to do? Agree with him?”

The man looked at her curiously, studying her for a while without speaking. Finally, he asked, “What’s your name?”

“Gwenthir,” Lothiriel replied slowly, suspiciously. “Why?”

She wasn’t certain why she had given the man her nickname rather than her real name, but she had a feeling he might have done the same – and she also had her mother’s warning ringing in her ears: Don’t trust strangers easily. Be careful who you trust.

Aeron grinned. “Would you happen to be a seer, then?” he asked. “That is what your name means, does it not?”

Lothiriel was surprised. “How did you know?”

The man chuckled. “I make it my business to know,” he grinned in reply. “I am a man of many names, and each name that I have I took for a reason. I am Aeron, the wanderer – though I suppose at the moment I’m rather stationary, sitting here in an inn for three days … which means I could go by Pengolodh, if you prefer – much more suiting for the situation at hand, I’m sure you would agree. Lore master and linguist, sitting here explaining to you names and their meanings.”

“You’re strange,” Lothiriel replied simply. “Quite possibly the strangest person I have ever met.”

“Ah, I am indeed a stranger,” he agreed. “That of course can easily be remedied. Tell me, Gwenthir – are you going to be here long, or will you be traveling again?”

Lothiriel didn’t know if she should answer that. She knew nothing of the man before her – save two of his names and the fact that he was strange, amusing, and full of himself. Yet for some reason, she had a flash of Vision in her mind, and she had the strangest urge to ally herself with him. He was, she knew suddenly, a very good fighter, and an honourable man.

“I will go north with you,” she agreed to his unspoken request. “I will be ready to leave in the morning.”

A look of surprise crossed the man’s face, but a moment later he laughed again. “Indeed,” he chuckled. “A true seer.”
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Re: Lothiriel's Journey | 60 4A +

Post by Nara-pyon on Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:51 pm

Off We Go

Location: Tor Karad, Southland
Year: 60 F.A.
Status: Early Spring

When Lothiriel met Aeron in the dining room of the inn the following morning, she was surprised when the first thing he did was comment on her clothes.

“You sure you can travel in that?” he asked in an incredulous tone.

Lothiriel looked down at herself. She was wearing the same outfit that she had worn in the desert (washed, of course, she had taken advantage of the inn’s laundry service the day before) – a thin, light silk skirt and top that was comfortable and would keep her cool in the desert sun.

“Is there something wrong with it?” she asked, her brow furrowing in confusion.

Aeron rolled his eyes. “If you don’t know, you wouldn’t understand even if I did explain,” he said flatly. He slung his bag over his shoulder and headed for the door. “Hurry up and pay,” he told her with his back to her. “I’m not waiting for you.”

Lothiriel took her time anyways, making certain she wasn’t being charged more than she owed and making sure she thanked the innkeeper properly for his services before following after Aeron. Despite he claims to the contrary, he was indeed waiting for her right outside the door.

“You took your time,” he complained, though he was smiling and looking at her curiously.

She must smiled back at him. “I knew you would wait,” she replied simply. Then she smiled impishly and continued on past him. She walked swiftly, sure of where she was going despite never having asked Aeron for his destination.

As she headed out of the city, she pulled a wide silk scarf and set it over her head to protect herself from the fierce heat of the desert sun. She had learned long ago that it was a good way to keep cool out in the desert, and there were times when she didn’t feel as if she were in the desert at all, and she could keep up the illusion for as long as she didn’t run out of water – which was a long time, considering how much her family had prepared for her.

For the first three days, they traveled in silence, as each grew used to the other’s company. But as the days grew even hotter as they drew further north, she noticed that rather than drinking more water, he was drinking less, and she grew concerned for him.

“Do you have enough water to last through the desert?” she asked him softly, causing him to start slightly.

He looked over at her, his eyes filled with doubt. “And I suppose you do?” he replied. “I’ve seen the way you’re drinking your water … I’m amazed you haven’t already run out. There’s still a long way to go here, you should conserve it.”

Lothiriel laughed softly. “Aeron, this is not the first time I have traveled through the desert,” she smiled, her eyes sparkling with amusement. “I know what I am doing. Trust me. I have water enough and to spare.”

She rummaged around in her bag until she found one of her flasks with water in it, then pulled it out and offered it to her companion. “Here,” she smiled. “Drink it. You need it, you’re going to grow weak if you don’t take it.”

Aeron looked at her dubiously, but he reached out and took the flask, opening it and drinking half of the water inside before tying it again at his waist. “Don’t tell me it will refill itself,” he said, almost suspiciously.

Lothiriel laughed, her laughter soft and clear like chimes on the wind. “Indeed not,” she giggled at him. “That would be a trick, wouldn’t it? No, nothing of the sort. I just have a good supply of water, that is all – and wine, if you would prefer that, though I was hoping to save that for a while yet. Besides, once we’re out of the Southland there are more rivers, aren’t there?”

She reached into her bag once more and pulled out several rolled up maps, looking at the ends of them until she found the one she was looking for. She returned the others to her bag, then unrolled the map and peered at it thoughtfully.

“Yes,” she nodded, then held it up to show Aeron. “Here. If we continue in this direction, we should reach this river in about three days.”

Aeron wasn’t looking at the river, however: he was looking at the map in general. “Where did you get this?” he breathed, passing one hand over the map’s surface, his eyes filled with awe. “I … have never seen a map this accurate before … ever … and I have been traveling for quite a long time.”

Lothiriel rolled the map up again and returned it to her bag. “My father made it,” she replied. “He used to travel, before he settled down with Mother. He originally traveled just to get away from home, but eventually it became something of an occupation for him, traveling and creating these maps. I have a copy of every one he ever made, he wanted to make sure that I would always know where I am.”

Aeron turned his attention back to the horizon. “Your father sounds like a wonderful man,” he murmured softly.

Lothiriel smiled proudly. “He is,” she replied happily. “The best person I know.”

Aeron nodded thoughtfully, his eyes on Lothiriel’s face. He watched her for a while, and after a bit his eyes turned to her bag, his expression curious. But he said nothing, and they resumed the quiet travel that they had been experiencing for the past few days.
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Re: Lothiriel's Journey | 60 4A +

Post by Nara-pyon on Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:22 pm

Unfortunate Meeting

Location: New Kaliningrad, Eastland
Year: 66 F.A.
Status: Mid-Fading

Lothiriel looked around excitedly, her dark eyes dancing. She had been traveling with Pen for a number of years now, but this was the first time he had given in and agreed to take her to the city where he had grown up. She of course had her suspicions for why he didn’t want to go there: she was, after all, a seer; but she had insisted, and so, for the first time in years, they went.

New Kaliningrad was the largest city save one that Lothiriel had ever seen: Chansond’eau, the capital of the Westland, being the larger. She was fascinated at first just by the sheer size of it: it had all been rebuilt in the sixty or so years since the war, after having been completely destroyed. But it was also the simple pleasures it offered: a glass of wine for the passersby of one particular shop, musicians offering to play a quick song for the lovely couple (Pen chuckled but flushed with embarrassment at this), or a fresh slice of bread or fruit from friendly vendors.

“How could you have kept me away from here?” Lothiriel accused Pen, laughing. “It’s so vibrant! How could you have even left?”

She could of course have found the answers to this on her own, but she respected his privacy and refused to Look into his past. Still, the answer was so obvious, once he gave it, that she knew her suspicions had been correct.

“My family,” he replied sourly. “So while we’re here-”

“I know,” she smiled, cutting him off and placing one hand on his arm gently. “I will follow your cues and interact with people how you would like.”

Pen nodded. “And it really doesn’t matter which name you call me by,” he added. “Here, I am everything and nothing. Here I have every name and no name. So … yes. Use whichever I will respond to your voice.”

She giggled. “Very well. And in return, you can just start calling me either Lothiriel or Seeker. From now on, I mean. I do prefer them to Gwenthir, and Lothiriel is my true name anyways.”

Pen nodded again. “Deal.”

With a smile, Lothiriel led them into a shop that caught her eye. It was a jewelry shop, one that reminded her of the one in Tor Karad, owned by her mother’s friend, Aranhil. It was a nice shop, with many beautiful pieces, and as Lothiriel began to look around, Pen headed over to the counter to talk with the clerk.

Lothiriel had only been admiring the beautiful jewelry for a few short minutes when the door of the shop opened again and a woman entered. She nodded a brief greeting to Lothiriel and then passed by her to do her own browsing. Lothiriel felt something tugging at her mind – a memory perhaps – but she didn’t know why or how. She was certain she had never seen the woman before … and yet she was equally certain that the woman looked very familiar somehow. She shrugged mentally. It happened sometimes. Quite often, actually.

When she had finished browsing a few short minutes later, she turned around to look for Pen, to ask if he was also ready to go … but to her surprise, he had vanished. She blinked as if to make sure of what she was seeing, then took a step forward and called out, “Pen?”

No response.

She tried again. “Pengolodh?” Perhaps she just had to try a different name. “Aeron?”
Her cries had apparently attracted the attention of the dark-haired woman who had entered the shop, for she moved a bit closer to Lothiriel, her expression curious.

“Excuse me,” she said politely, stepping in front of Lothiriel to get her attention. “Are you looking for someone?”

Lothiriel nodded. “My friend,” she supplied. “He was here a second ago …”

Suddenly, she had a flash of Sight, and she sighed and headed over to the counter, where the clerk had gone mysteriously silent.

“Pen,” she said in an exasperated tone, “what are you doing back there?”

“Hiding,” Pen replied with a frown as he rose from where he had been crouching down behind the counter. “Thanks for giving me away.”

“You’re welcome,” Lothiriel began to reply – but she was interrupted once more by the other woman, who shrieked and shot across the room to Pen and slapped him soundly on both cheeks.

“You!” she exclaimed furiously. “You! You’re gone for so many years and not a word to anyone, and all of a sudden you’re back and you’re with another woman and you’re hiding from me?!” And she began to slap him again.

Pen raised his hands in defense, and for the first time since Lothiriel had met him, he looked furious.

“What do you expect?” he growled at the woman, grabbing her wrists tightly to stop the assault. “No matter how I came back, you would react like this, and I didn’t even want to come back at all! The only reason I did was because she wanted to see where I grew up!” And he nodded his head at Lothiriel.

The woman whirled around and glared at Lothiriel. “You!” she exclaimed. “Who are you? Some useless tramp he’s been mucking around with?”

Lothiriel was genuinely insulted, and for the first time since meeting Pen, she allowed herself to See into his life, to find out who this woman was, and to find out what was going on.

“Amaess,” she murmured – and she could see that Pen was as surprised as the woman, but she went on, “I think … we need to explain some things … and that perhaps it is best we do so … somewhere else.”

She looked pointedly at the clerk, who looked positively alarmed at what was going on.
“Somewhere … more private, perhaps?”

The woman nodded, but her eyes were still angry and she glared at Pen as he released her wrists.

“There had better be a good explanation for this,” she murmured threateningly, heading out of the shop.

Half an hour later, the three of them were all safely at the woman’s house, in a room that seemed to Lothiriel to be full of things that Amaess would be able to throw if she lost her temper again. She sighed as she waited for someone to begin to speak, and brushed some of the dust from her clothes.

“Amaess,” she murmured softly, “is there somewhere I can bathe? I’m afraid I’m quite … dirty.”

Understatement.

But the woman nodded, and brought Lothiriel to a room where there was a copper tub and what seemed to be a stream of water flowing through part of the floor. It took Lothiriel a while, but she managed to fill the tub, warming it magically, and her bath was actually quite pleasant. Then she put on some fresh clothes, the same white silken skirt and top that she usually wore, with the same white silken scarf over her head even though they were inside, and then she made her way back out to where the others were waiting for her.

They weren’t alone, however; by this time, there was another woman with them, one who Lothiriel knew instinctively to be Pen’s older sister, whose name was Firianna. The three of them seemed to be arguing about something – but the moment Lothiriel entered the room once more, all of them fell silent.

Lothiriel looked slowly, thoughtfully, from one to the next, feeling as though she should say something, but she didn’t know what to say. Finally, Firianna saved her the trouble by asking her, “How long have you been traveling with my brother and what is your relationship?”

There was doubt in her eyes, as if Pen had told her something, and as if she didn’t believe it – and when Lothiriel replied, she just spoke instinctively, without knowing why and yet knowing that it was the right answer: “We have been together for six years, traveling together through the Four Lands … and for the past two years” – the time they had first visited the Borderlands, which she deemed a safe time – “he has been courting me. He is my suitor.”

Pen’s eyes grew slightly wider as she spoke, and his face flushed slightly, probably at the matter-of-fact way she had said it; but his reaction was nothing compared to the reactions of the two women.

“What?!” they exclaimed together. Amaess turned to Pen furiously. “No. I refuse to believe it.” And then she whirled back to face Lothiriel. “I don’t. I heard you earlier, calling him by different names – if he were courting you you would know his real name.”

Lothiriel blinked. “Of course I know his real name,” she stated as though it was a ridiculous accusation that she wouldn’t. He had never told her, of course, but if that was what was necessary to save him from a bad situation … she didn’t mind Looking into his past again. She looked up at Pen, her expression serious. “Estel.”

He started, almost violently, obviously surprised by her knowledge, but Amaess seemed if possible to be even more infuriated by Lothiriel’s words.

“You promised!” she screeched, turning once more on Pen, fists clenched and raised in anger. “You promised! You swore that you would never tell your name to anyone but the one you would marry!”

Pen winced. “You do realize,” he stated flatly, “that I never agreed to marry you. Our parents arranged it. I never wanted to.”

Amaess was seething. “You … promised,” she hissed.

Pen seemed to take heart from Lothiriel’s presence, because he stood up a bit straighter and looked his betrothed in the eye. “I most certainly did not,” he replied softly, firmly. “And now if you don’t mind …”

He stepped forward and took Lothiriel’s hand, tugging her towards the door.

“Hold on,” Firianna frowned, putting one hand on Pen’s shoulder and stepping in front of him so that the door was blocked. “First things first, little brother. Who is this that you’re traveling with?”

Pen scowled. “Lothiriel, now get out of my way.”

“Only if you promise you’re going home.” His sister’s eyes narrowed as she looked at him, and Lothiriel knew that there was a threat of physical harm if he would dare leave the city again without stopping to see his parents.

She tugged gently on his hand to get his attention and then looked deeply into his eyes. Just agree, she thought to him silently. We will meet your family, and then we will continue on.

Pen nodded to her, then at his sister. “Fine,” he scowled. “I’ll go see Mom and Dad. Now get out of my way.”

Firianna exchanged a glance with Amaess, and as if in one mind, they fell into step behind Pen and Lothiriel. “We’ll just make sure that you do,” Firianna smiled deceptively.

Amaess nodded. “And we’ll have to have dinner with you and your …” She scowled. “Girlfriend.”

Lothiriel rolled her eyes. She knew all three of these people were decades older than she was, and yet they were all acting so immature. She sighed inwardly. Even without her gift, she could tell that this was going to be one exhausting dinner.

~~~~~

Pen’s parents’ place was quite large, and suddenly Lothiriel understood that they were a predominant family in the city. Magistrates, perhaps? Her Sight told her that she was correct.

His parents were glad to see Pen home, but they were quite cool in their attitude towards Lothiriel. It seemed they shared Amaess’s opinion: that she was nothing more than a vagabond tramp that their son had picked up in the wasteland of the world. Lothiriel felt quite insulted, but she kept her opinion to herself. It wouldn’t do to upset those in charge of the capital of the Eastland. She might not have spent her life living as a princess at the castle, but she had more than enough sense to know what it would not be wise for her create a rift between the two families – which would mean a rift between the nations.

Dinner began quite … calmly, as far as these kinds of people went. With the magistrate at the head of the table, his wife to his right, and his daughter to his left, Amaess sitting next to Firianna, Pen next to his mother, and Lothiriel at the other end of the table.

Conversation was focused on Pen for quite a while, for which Lothiriel was grateful, but as she listened, she picked up several facts that she thought were important. First, he had been betrothed to Amaess on the day of her birth, though he had always disliked her and been more than willing to show it. Nonetheless, she had continued to visit this house and his parents as though she were already a part of the family. His sister of course was fast friends with the girl, and Pen didn’t get along with either of them. His mother treated him (even now) like a child, even though Lothiriel knew he had to be at least sixty years old, and his father … was silent.

And then it came to Lothiriel’s turn to be questioned.

“And where are you from?” Pen’s mother asked crisply, her tone more indicative of an interview than polite conversation.

Lothiriel cleared her throat and lowered her fork before she answered. She knew it would be a while before she would get to eat again. Again, it was one of those things she knew even without her Sight.

“From a plantation in the Southland desert,” she replied calmly, making sure to remain polite. “Just north of Rainbow Valley.”

Pen’s mother nodded. “And your parents, what do they do?”

Lothiriel explained about how her parents ran the plantation, growing grapes, making the wine that supplied most of the Four Lands, as well as raising their own horses, cattle, and poultry so that they were entirely self-reliant.

“Had to put themselves into debt for years to pay for that, I’m sure,” Pen’s mother sniffed. Lothiriel stiffened with anger, but she tried not to let it show. She just had to make it through this meal, she reminded herself, and then she would never have to speak to this woman again.

And then came the next question.

“What have you done with your life?”

Educated by parents and then traveled to see the world, thinking a bit of settling down.

“What are your plans for the future?”

She would see what the future would bring.

And finally, after almost an hour of rude interrogations, came the question that should, in Lothiriel’s opinion, have come first.

“And your name?” Pen’s mother asked haughtily. “Please tell me you are not like our dear Estel, taking on an assortment of names to suit your situation.”

Lothiriel was fuming, but she refused to let it show.

“I do indeed,” she replied perfectly calmly, “though I do admit I have only two names besides my own that I would use. The first is Gwenthir, the Maiden who Sees, and the second is Seeker, though I am called that only by those who are dear to my heart. My true name is Lothiriel, and the name of my family is Aldrich.”

Her eyes took on a steely glare. “I am Lothiriel Aldrich, daughter of Gion Aldrich, son of Ruel Aldrich, son of Atalya Aldrich, Queen of the Nation of the Southland Elves.” She sat tall in her seat, gazing proudly across the table at the woman who was being so insufferable, and though she was hot with fury and feeling more insulted than she had ever felt in her life, she did not let it show. She did however allow herself to feel quite satisfied at the look of shock and utter disbelief on Pen’s mother’s face.

“I …”

“Did not take the time to ask,” Lothiriel interrupted. “You have been kind enough to share your meal with me, and for that I thank you – but I must also inform you that I have never seen such treatment in all of my life, to anyone, and that I would expect a magistrate’s wife to carry herself with honour and respect, neither of which you have shown. Yes, I am young, but I know that I have honoured my family and my nation, as Pen does every day. You would do well to learn from your son.”

Her eyes turned to Firianna. “And your brother. He has shown me as much kindness as a dear friend, though we started as nothing but strangers. He did not want to return here. And now I understand why.”

She turned her fiery gaze back to Pen’s mother. Her fury was escaping her, and yet she managed somehow to keep herself calm and collected. Having said most of what she wanted to say, she picked up her fork once more and continued to eat.

No one else was able to do the same. Everyone in the room – servants included – was staring at her incredulously. She didn’t care. She knew for a fact that no one had ever dared speak to the magistrate’s wife like that. No one would dare speak like that to anyone in front of the magistrate. But she didn’t care. They needed to hear it.

Pen was also staring at her, but his expression was a world different from anyone else’s. He was looking at her in pure admiration and undisguised affection. He looked as though he were thinking something over, and finally it seemed as though he came to a decision, because he pushed his chair back and moved to stand next to Lothiriel.

“Lothiriel,” he murmured, taking her hand in his and kneeling next to her, “I know this is … probably quite sudden, and very unexpected …”

And she knew he meant, considering they had never really been dating.

“But … I want, more than ever, to ask you …”

She set her fork down and smiled at him encouragingly.

He grinned at her. “Will you marry me?”

Lothiriel laughed, then leaned forward and put one hand behind his head.

“Of course I will,” she murmured softly; and she pressed her lips against his.
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Re: Lothiriel's Journey | 60 4A +

Post by Nara-pyon on Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:34 pm

Long Awaited Wedding

Location: Mystic Mountains, Northland
Year: 70 F.A.
Status: Midsummer

High summer in the Northland had the ability to be just as hot as the Eastland at times, but Lothiriel had grown up in a desert, and she didn’t mind the heat at all. In fact, she was glad of it: she and Pen had made it there in record time, especially when one considered the fact that they had thought they would arrive just before winter set in, at which point they would be in the coldest area of the Four Lands. No, she was glad for this.

Pen, she knew, was also glad: he was from the Eastland, and while the desert there wasn’t quite as hot as the Southland, he wasn’t as fond of the cold either. Still, the heat of the day wasn’t the most pleasant time to travel, so the two of them headed towards the mountains, where they knew from past experience that there were caves and caverns where they could rest in the shade in peace.

“You know those dwarfs we ran into yesterday,” Lothiriel commented thoughtfully as Pen helped her over a pile of boulders, “I think … I don’t know why, but I think they recognized me.”

Pen’s expression grew troubled, but he tried to dismiss the idea out of hand. “Nonsense, we’ve never seen any dwarfs up here before,” he replied with an overly cheerful smile. “How could they have seen us?”

Lothiriel shook her head. “I didn’t say us, I said me,” she corrected him. “They had never seen you before … and I’ve never been anywhere here without you … so …”

She tried to think of where they might have known her from, but each thing she thought of came up blank.

“There is one possibility,” Pen suggested as they reached level ground once more and continued to walk. “You know how much like your mother you look …”

Lothiriel’s brow furrowed slightly. “But … as far as I know, Mother’s never …”

She trailed off as she reverted to her inner vision, trusting Pen to lead her safely down the path they were following. She looked back to thirty three years previous, a time quite distant, but a place not so far off. Cold, storms, a raging fight, invisible to the world and yet affecting almost every aspect of it.

She blinked, her eyes focusing once more, and looked at Pen, eyes wide in surprise and shock.

“She was here,” she breathed in disbelief. “Years ago … with Ada, and Donovan, and Triton and Yue … and this … was the core of all of the child slave trading …”

Pen looked doubtful. “Here?” he questioned, looking around. “There’s nothing in sight …”

Lothiriel slapped his arm gently. “Outside the mountains,” she corrected him. “In the dwarfish settlement.”

She checked her inner sight again, then nodded thoughtfully. “And it was just after they returned from the trip that they got married,” she murmured.

“We could always follow their example,” Pen grinned, slipping one arm around Lothiriel’s side and pulling her close to steal a kiss. “It’s been years, after all …”

Lothiriel was tempted to slap him away, but his lips were against hers before she could react, and despite her resolve to have a proper ceremony so that his family would be happy, she returned the kiss willingly – and longingly.

“Pen,” she murmured finally, lowering her eyes, her lips brushing against his as she spoke, “we’re in the middle of nowhere ...”

“Exactly,” Pen smiled softly in reply, caressing her cheek with his thumb. “We’ll never find anywhere more private.”

Lothiriel blushed. “But the dwarfs –”

“Are on the other side of the mountain, you say,” he interrupted her with a seductive smile.

“But – shelter –”

Pen chuckled. “We can find some, if that’s what you want.” He leaned forward and kissed her again, moving his fingers to her neck.

“But your family –”

“Hang my family!” Pen laughed aloud. “I don’t care what they think or what they say, if I did I wouldn’t be here, and I wouldn’t be with you at all.”

Lothiriel had run out of objections, and she had a feeling that Pen knew it. She had a flash of Sight, and then she laughed along with Pen, feeling giddy and excited all at the same time.

“All right, Pen,” she giggled, tapping him on the end of his nose with her index finger. “I will marry you … today.” And she kissed him once more, then led him off towards a safe place she had Seen.
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