- Temper's Ball
- Maxim

Author Rosaleen Dhu (closed)

Posted: 2001-07-25 12:54     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
(OOC: posting closed to Saidh & Dai only. thanks.)

The room was relatively spartan, but it made up for that with obvious comfort. Soft throws and the golden tones of fine wood in candlelight making more atmosphere than real gold and silk ever could. A book left open on the desk as if the owner hadn't wanted to leave it behind.

Which was partially true. For it was not the person who lived in this room that leaned over to peer at the words, finger trailing along the edge of the desk. This one didn't quite fit the atmosphere, and not just because of the formal clothing she wore. Something else, in the eyes or in the stance, didn't seem quite relaxed enough to ever create this atmosphere.

Her silence seemed to accentuate that feeling. The stealthy quiet of someone where they shouldn't be. But instead of leaving the room undisturbed, she grabbed a scrap of paper from the table and slid it between the pages, closing the book so that the breeze would not lose the reader's place. Another scrap of paper, this one taken from her own pocket, placed carefully on top of the book. Weighed down with another item taken from the other pocket.

No scrap this; the wrought metal of a cloak clasp fancy, although slightly out of the ordinary. A rose, but although the circular 'stem' that made the main body of the clasp was a normal silver shine, the petals of the rose were darkened through tempering in the fire. Still holding the metal's shine, but black beneath instead of steel's normal grey.

It wasn't the most fine work, no delicate filagree or engraving. But each petal was hammered out carefully, and the stem was relatively smooth. Except for one slight section half hidden beneath the petals themselves.

Only agile fingers would find that spot. Only a quick mind would realize what it meant, and find the hidden catch that would lock the sharp, heavy pin in it's open position. The person who lived in this room had both of those qualities.

And she, as well as the woman who stood here, knew the value of secrets.

For below, on the paper weighed down so that even the breeze caused as the room emptied again could not stir it, there was written a short note. Almost cryptic.

"In another age, you told me the person behind should be rewarded, not the mask of the leader itself. You always did give good advice. - S."

"The Wolf" - Riders of the Wild Hunt

On the ragged edge of the world I'll roam, And the home of the wolf shall be my home


Posted: 2001-07-25 13:43     Profile;   E-mail Edit   Reply w/Quote
"In another age, you told me the person behind should be rewarded, not the mask of the leader itself. You always did give good advice. - S."

The pin held in one hand, forgotten as she read over the words that Saidh had written. In another age... she repeated to herself silently, the words echoing in her mind. Her thoughts already muddled with the wine that had been passed throughout the celebration, she was now confronted with her past.

She was curled up in the chair when he entered, moonlight splashing over her like liquid silver, softening her features. Jenner didn't see her as she sat watching from her comfortable sprawl, removing his boots with an absent smile. She could not help but wonder where his thoughts were and if she had any place in them.

"You are much loved, m'lord," she said then, breaking the silence.

He glanced at her sharply, startled that one of his Riders, even this one, had escaped his notice so easily. "Am I?"

She nodded, expression strange in the moonlight, "You doubt it." It was not a question, but a declaration. "I love you," he started to protest but she cut him off, "For what you are to the Hunt." She corrected, before he could remind her that there were no words of love between them, ever. They both acknowledged that there was more to their lives than allowed them the pleasure and trial of any true commitment to the other.

Jenner said nothing as she moved in the moonlight, breaking a stillness that had stolen over them both. "Let the others praise the Leviathan. It is you that I praise," she kissed him, her smile bittersweet.

Her fingers closed over the metal as she let the note fall. Sleep beckoned, to wash away the ache that memory had recalled, to restore balance.

She had loved him, and not for what he'd been to the Hunt.


Posted: 2001-07-25 14:28     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
The main hall had emptied, leaving behind just the remnants of the main celebration. Most of the Riders had separated, gone either to rest to prepare for another day of work, or to smaller celebrations.

Those who didn't have to be watchful in the morning could still celebrate, however, and that was how Saidh found those who worked other than as riders. Picking her way through the storage hall that now held reclining people as well as boxes, hearing the music from one of the open areas, seeing the movement of different people. Searching out only one. And finding him, relaxed as he always seemed to be, watching the musicians with half his attention, mustache twitching slightly as he hummed along.

It had been something that had made her have to hide giggles, as a young Rider under his watch. Now though she could let herself smile openly, tilt her head to the side a little.
"Sure you're not cold? This room is actually a normal temperature after all ..."

"So you decide to unleash your words and see if you can heat it up a little more?"The forger's attention turned to her, and just as there had been humour under the sarcasm of her tones, there was a similar feel to the bite of his own. "The party is over then?"

"As it should be. Even now, I'm sure there'll be a few holding their heads tomorrow."

"And did the Falcon like your gift?" At her quickly hidden start of surprise, he chuckled again, and she could tell that the fact he could still startle her, with who and what she was, amused him more than anything. "It's not that hard to put together. It is her sigil after all, and you are known to be friends." He punctuated his conversation with a shake of his head as she sat crosslegged on a nearby crate. "Besides, tonight is a celebration of survival. Focusing on the Gryphon, true, but everyone's survival is behind it all. I believe many a word of kindness will be exchanged. A token of such isn't out of the normal line."

His explanation was partially right. The only thing he had wrong was the thing he shouldn't know. With that, she could relax a bit. Only to sit up and stare at him in shock again as he continued. "If I was a less observant man, I'd make a joke about you being shieldmates ..."

"What the ..."

"I said if I was a less observant man." This time it was a big belly laugh, and Saidh shook her own head as she couldn't help the glare at him. She'd have to just start going straight to bed after celebrations. Being in the Valley and celebrating must have let her guard down too much, to let her emotions show that much. "I know you, Wolf. And I know that many of my apprentices have caught your fancy. You and that other girl are more family than anything. A good thing, family, even amongst a tight knit group like this. Stronger bond than even loyalty."

The emotional tones were less like his normal talk, and definitely beyond what she would normally express. Even to one who knew her well, had treated her almost as if he was a kindly uncle. So she nodded to that, even as she took the other conversation angle offered. "You should bloody well know I wouldn't be shieldmates of that sort. Not my type of thing. Besides, your apprentices. .. well, if you blacksmith types didn't want strong women's interest, you shouldn't be so big and brawny and generally ... very male." Wolfish indeed was her grin.

But though he laughed, he still kept the conversation slightly serious. Enough to put her on edge, this night that she'd felt almost too relaxed.
"Plus in most cases they're temporary. No permanent attachments for the Wolf, other than friends." He eyed her at that. "Too many of you Riders are like that. Spend too much time alone."

"All part of the life, I think." A shrug given as she looked around. "Thankfully, I'm more inclined to the temporary. Not as luckless as those who actually crave the real thing."

"Real thing? Can't even use the word, can you?" His words were amused, and she shook her head.

"Depends. What's your new apprentice going to be like?" Her words had a tone of the devil in them, and that was what she needed. To hear him laugh again, deep and cheerful. Letting the conversation return to jovial things, to jokes and humour, the crowd around them joining in.

Saidh staying here for now, to enjoy the atmosphere. And, admittedly, to stop herself from the temptation of sneaking past Dai's room. To see if she'd returned there and found the gift yet.

"The Wolf" - Riders of the Wild Hunt
On the ragged edge of the world I'll roam,
And the home of the wolf shall be my home

[ This Message was edited by: Saidh on 2001-07-25 14:43 ]


Posted: 2001-07-25 15:10     Profile;   E-mail Edit   Reply w/Quote
"The real thing?" she queried, suddenly there at the Wolf's back. "Is the steward trying to pass off watered wine again? He's a cheap bastard is that one." The Falcon winked at the blacksmith, "You still putting up with her? I should think you'd had enough of her sharp tongue after all these years." She'd spent a time or two waiting outside his forge for Saidh to emerge, enough to have gleaned enough information to be at ease in his presence.

"Someone had the bad taste to assign me to duty tomorrow," she said acidly, though the duty was token work at best, glancing at Saidh, a wicked sparkle in her eyes though it was muted by something deeper that seemed to be bothering Dai. "...but I can't seem to make myself sleep. Never needed sleep anyway. Have room?"

She was holding something back. Her attempt at blitheness told Saidh stronger than words that there was something more to this visit than insomnia. But Dai seemed content to let it rest for the time being.


Posted: 2001-07-25 23:38     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
She was a bit surprised by Dai's appearance; not only the fact that she was here instead of resting, but the slightly drawn features. Something that it would take a lot of experience in the other woman's moods to tell.

Saidh had that experience, and that was why she worried. It seemed more than would be expected just from the celebration. And it was something she didn't like to see. Not for the other woman's safety, either physical or mental.

But she filed that away. Tonight was a time for celebration, and she had two considerations. One, that partying would be good for Dai. And the other that she didn't want to worry or feel responsible for anything. Not quite yet.

"If you want to join us, please, feel free. There's music, there's dance ... conversation might not be the finest..."

"But neither is the drink, and it makes the conversation seem better." A mug forced into Saidh's hands with a grin. She took a sip for politeness's sake, sliding over on the crate to make room for Dai as well.

"Or makes the conversation forgotten. Where'd they get this? Steal it from some heathen who was working on poisons? A bit of exagerration, but it was harsh. Even a second sip not changing her opinion of that. Before passing the mug down the line to Dai, leaning back against the wall. Back into her almost relaxed boneless sprawl. Only the eyes that watched the room, especially Dai, carefully giving her away.


Posted: 2001-08-04 01:12     Profile;   E-mail Edit   Reply w/Quote
She stretched her long arms over her head, loosening muscles long taut with tension before dropping with birdlike grace upon the crate. Both eyebrows raised as she took the mug in her turn, downing a more than generous amount. For a moment she paused, still and unapproachable as she contemplated the offending mug."By all that's holy..." she finally breathed, breaking her horrified silence. "Where's the steward now, this could use a bit of his watering."She turned a caustic gaze upon the blacksmith as he laughed, shoving it back at him.

Wiping her mouth on her sleeve she looked at Saidh thoughtfully,
"Do you suppose we should petition to have him paid more so he can get some decent brew?"

[ This Message was edited by: Dai'Alein on 2001-11-29 02:59 ]


Posted: 2001-08-04 16:11     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
<!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=silver>She chuckled at that comment, eyeing the forger with a rueful grin.</FONT><!-- BBCode End --><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=CCCCFF> &quot;I don't think paying him more would make a difference. He likes to test things. Not just his steel.&quot;</FONT><!-- BBCode End --><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=silver> Deftly she snagged the mug again, eyes shining with amusement as she toasted him with the glass before throwing the last, large swallow of it back without even a blink of her eye or the slightest shudder.</FONT><!-- BBCode End --><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=CC9966> &quot;Aye, and you can't resist a challenge. I'd like to think I had something to do with helping that defiant, troubled youngster ...&quot;</FONT><!-- BBCode End --> <BR> <BR><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=669966>&quot;Into a defiant, troublesome sentinel?&quot;</FONT><!-- BBCode End --><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=silver> Dai's voice teasing in her ear, even though Saidh still could hear something behind it. Something holding back the other woman's normal good nature. <BR> <BR>But she turned towards Dai with only a grin on her face.</FONT><!-- BBCode End --><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=CCCCFF> &quot;You better be good and just enjoy your night. Enjoy for once. Because first thing tomorrow morning your duty involves a meeting with that stubborn Sentinel.&quot;</FONT><!-- BBCode End --> <BR> <BR><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=silver>The fact that duty was a change from the earlier assignment wouldn't be noticed by anyone but Dai and herself. And Saidh turned her head back to the festivities before Dai could question it.</FONT><!-- BBCode End --><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=CCCCFF> &quot;Enjoy&quot;</FONT><!-- BBCode End --><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=silver> muttered under her voice, and if there was a defiant, 'don't argue with me' tilt to Saidh chin as she said that, well ... that was just the way she was. <BR> <BR>Tonight, she was determined that they all should let their hair down. Tomorrow would be soon enough to deal with everything else.</FONT><!-- BBCode End --> <BR> <BR> <BR><!-- BBCode Start --><FONT COLOR=CCCCFF>&quot;The Wolf&quot; - Riders of the Wild Hunt</FONT><!-- BBCode End --> <BR> <BR><!-- BBCode Start --><I>On the ragged edge of the world I'll roam, <BR>And the home of the wolf shall be my home</I><!-- BBCode End --><BR><BR><center><font face=arial color=CC9966 size=-2>[ This Message was edited by: Saidh on 2001-08-04 16:12 ]</font></center>

The Falcon

Posted: 2001-08-22 22:53     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
Sitting perched upon the Wolf's seldom used desk, the Falcon braided her hair, long strands gliding through her fingers with the same grace that marked her body at every move. Her eyes were fixed on nothing, an image in her mind that would not be banished. She had not slept for that image, though the evening had left her pleasantly weary....enough so that she had fully expected that sleep would no longer elude her. Wrong she had been.

The Wolf's cryptic change of assignment failed to trouble her, knowing it for what it was. Saidh did as she pleased, no matter that she held no sway over the Falcon, her friend, ally, and family before all else.

[blue]The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon
which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.

The Falcon:Riders of the Wild Hunt

[ This Message was edited by: The Falcon on 2001-11-29 22:07 ]

The Wolf

Posted: 2001-11-30 12:15     Profile;   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
She knew Dai would be curious. That her own change, unexpected and out of the blue as it was, would be a surprise. And she knew the Falcon; she didn't like to be surprised, not really.

Which is why Saidh had expected her to be waiting there, early. Showing no alarm at finding the other woman perched on her desk as if she'd been waiting for awhile.
"You'd think after last night's brew you'd be a little less inclined to be up and about so early." Her only response to the unexpected presence as she moved into the room with her tray, placing it down.

Taking her time, doing what was her normal morning routine when she was in office. Pouring the steaming liquid from the earthenware pot into a mug, adding a touch of sweetness, stirring it all before moving to perch in the windowsill, the cool rock of the castle wall a startling contrast to the hot tea, but both serving to chase away the last vestiges of sleep and the night's revelries.

With a gesture she pointed towards the tray, signalling that Dai should help herself. She'd brought another mug and more than enough drink. She'd expected this.

Same as she expected that it wouldn't be long before Dai broke the silence and asked, instead of waiting to be told.

A lone wolf howls her ancient rune
The fell arch-spirit of the wild.

[ This Message was edited by: The Wolf on 2001-11-30 12:20 ]

The Falcon

Posted: 2001-12-25 05:11     Profile;   E-mail   Homepage Edit   Reply w/Quote
Twisting the last of her hair into place she tied it with a strip of soft, strong leather. Paying as little attention to Saidh's presence as her friend had to her own, she moved to the tray the Sentinel had brought with her. A slight unsteadiness as she poured her own mug, little enough that even Saidh would be hard pressed to see it, enough so that Dai cursed herself.

The warmed clay vessel served to ease some of the tension from her lean form, drawing strength as if from the sun. Slowly she sipped, tension easing between her shoulders, sliding down her back, as the liquid eased through her body. She slid fingers over her braid, stretched her neck with an even roll of her head from left to right.
"The night was not kind." she broke the silence finally, shadowed amusement within her bright eyes, "One does not sleep well when their taskmaster suddenly desires audience with them." a glint in her blue eyes that warned Saidh off from dangerous ground, a warning that Dai knew would go unheeded but gave all the same, all in silence. She knew she would not like what was coming.

The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon
which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.

The Falcon: Riders of the Wild Hunt

[ This Message was edited by: The Falcon on 2001-12-25 05:13 ]

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