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 3rd adventure: Rebirth

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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Fri 28 Jul 2017, 11:29 pm

Ever so subtly, Mihai's expression does as well.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Fri 28 Jul 2017, 11:47 pm

"Good to see you're doing well, kid! Can't believe they make you wear that, but at least it looks nice on you."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 12:38 am

"Thank you," Yen replies, a little shy.

"I see that everyone is getting reacquainted," a new voice says.

Appearing at Fedler's side is Velstar. She must have been sitting on one of the chairs in the waiting room when Yen suddenly got up to hug Fedler.

"May I suggest that we catch up somewhere more private?" she adds, a warm smile on her face.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 12:48 am

"Some privacy would be most welcome." Konrad picks up a bag of gold, testing the weight with his hand firmly clenching the mouth, wondering what he'll use it for.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 12:50 am

"Yes, please do not forget your reward," Sonlake says to the party. "Also, Sobotka? The Prime Councilor would like to speak with you."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 12:57 am

Steve pulls off his pack and places both his and Breeze's gold within before putting the pack back on. "Should we wait for you Vel? I don't think anyone would mind." He looks to the others to see if they have any objections.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 12:59 am

"Wait for me?" she repeats. "I don't have anything else to do but follow Yennefer for the next week."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 1:05 am

Mihai finally nods to Sonlake. He looks meaningfully at Fedler for a moment, then tells Yen - "I just have to take care of a few things. I'll join you in a little while."

Then proceeds to pocket his pay, and make ready to speak with Knight.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sat 29 Jul 2017, 1:47 am

Steve looks at Vel in confusion. "Aren't you talking to the Prime Counselor before we leave? I have no idea how long it will take so I was asking if you wanted us to wait for you or if we should head out and meet up later."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sun 30 Jul 2017, 12:44 am

"No, I don't need to talk to him," she tells Steve. "I've already been told what I need to know. Now, shall we go?"

"Before you do," Sonlake interrupts, "I would like to formally ask all of you not to discuss any of the details concerning what we've discussed today, and everything that happened at the asylum." He pauses and looks suggestively at the party members. "Can I count on your discretion?"

Yen peers at the adults, curious as to what this is all about.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sun 30 Jul 2017, 12:47 am

"Of course."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sun 30 Jul 2017, 12:48 am

"Sure."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sun 30 Jul 2017, 3:09 am

"Yup."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sun 30 Jul 2017, 10:04 pm

"Yes sir!" Breeze confirms.

"Understood," Fedler replies as she takes her niece's hand and eyes the exit. "Let's go." She faces Mihai and nods at him. "We'll see you back home."

"Do you live close?" Yen asks.

"Yeah, in an apartment just ten minutes from here. It's small, but it's enough for us."

"I'm coming too!" the fairy exclaims as she trails behind them.

They make their way outside.

___________________

3:58 PM, 26th of December
Near Highwind, Free Feathers


The cold light of the setting sun hits the draped body of Eleanor Oldturn.

The two men who brought her body at the top of this cliff stayed with the carriage, back on the road. From this distance, the group can see the dark outline of Highwind and of the wall that defends it. All that can be heard are the sound of the sea water hitting the face of the cliff and the wind ruffling through everybody's clothing.

Yen takes the hands of both Fedler and Mihai, and waits patiently for the ceremony to proceed. Velstar turns to face Steve, wondering whether he prefers to give his eulogy first or not.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Sun 30 Jul 2017, 10:33 pm

Mihai's clothes are still black, but they're different from his street clothes; less comfortable and more presentable (i.e., not one size larger, like he normally prefers).

He gently holds Yen's hand without a word; his expression more solemn than usual. His eyes don't dart around or squint coldly, but merely look on Eleanor's remains with a hint of melancholic reverence.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Mon 31 Jul 2017, 1:21 am

Steve has traded in his usual robes for a black suit and tie. He looks tired, like he didn't get much sleep the night before and is unusually subdued. When Velstar indicates it's time to start, he squeezes Zelk's hand for strength, before stepping forward to start the funeral. "Thank you everyone for being here. This is a hard day, so please bare with me.

Mom, Eleanor Oldturn, came from a small town called Oldmark somewhere here on the east coast. I haven't worked up the courage yet to look it up on a map but I'm sure I will someday. Her parents owned a shop there, though I'm not entirely sure what it is they sold or for how long they owned it. I really like the idea that it was a joke shop of some kind, or perhaps an apothecary, which is much the same thing if you know what you are doing.
" He laughs in that hollow way folks do when they are sad. "What I do know is that when they passed away Mom decided to sell it to fund her education at the Citadel. There she graduated, though I'm not sure what kind of mage she was. Perhaps a black mage like me?" He does a full shrug, with the arms and everything. "Right now you might be thinking to yourself that I should have ran this shipwreck of a eulogy by Velstar first but I assure you there is a method to this madness.

In trying to write this thing I realized that no matter how much I search and no matter how much I look, there are things about my mom and her life that I will never know. Sure, I can request her transcripts from back home and try to track down her school friends, and I will. Or I can travel to Oldmark to look at the public records there and to ask the locals for any stories they might remember about the Oldturns, and I will. But so much of who and what she was is lost for all time, because I never got to experience it through her unique perspective. And in light of that realization I can only say, take the time to tell the people you care about how much you care, but more importantly, show them through your actions how much they mean to you. Ask them questions, listen to their stories, and above all make time for them, so that when it's your turn to say a few words when they pass, you don't look like a giant idiot like I do today. I love you mom. I hope you would have been proud of me.
"

Wiping away tears, Steve leaves the area in front of the pyre to stand next to Zelk again.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Mon 31 Jul 2017, 2:20 am

Konrad's face is a little flushed from drinking, and has been all day since he woke up. He hasn't worn his armor or his sword since the day at the asylum, and wears black finery recently purchased. When he stands up to read what he wrote in front of those gathered to mourn the late Eleanor, he finds the attention strangely unpleasant, but warmer as he finishes.

"My name is Konrad. I'm here not because I knew Eleanor personally, so I haven't got much to say, but I know people here whose lives she has touched, and some who have witnessed her deeds. I know she strove to protect those she cared about, most of all her son, for whom she gave all. It's thanks to Eleanor that I have the honor and privilege to know him today, in admiration of her courage, her passion, and her kindness, reflected in him. For her role in that, I am wholly grateful."

He pauses a moment, to swallow, and puts the paper away as he closes. "And I can say very sincerely, from my view, she would indeed be very proud. To that mother in the unknowable Beyond, I thank you."


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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Mon 31 Jul 2017, 11:21 am

Mihai remains silent for a moment, almost until it would become awkward not to say anything, until he finally pipes up.

"I, um..." - he trails off for a moment before resuming - "...i've been here a few times."

He quiets down for another breath, as he struggles with what to say - "In my earlier line of work, you're taught to move on. You can't afford to dwell, or wonder why, or regret, lest it'll drag you under and drown you." - he pauses, as he looks at Eleanor's remains - "It doesn't work. Not when it matters. You always think about it, hold on to what you didn't say or do, or wish you hadn't, and curse yourself at night for all of it."

He looks down for a moment, in thought. Then looks up at Eleanor again.

"I didn't know Eleanor. No idea what she liked or didn't. Whether she was a morning person or stayed up late, or maybe both. There's all sorts of things i'll never know about her. But..." - another pause, as his expression becomes more focused.

"...i know she loved her son. Whatever else may have gotten lost in translation, i'm pretty sure that if there was one thing she'd want to say, that would be it. And i guess..." - he hesitates a bit before continuing - "I guess if it were me, i wouldn't mind if people didn't get the details right. So long as they took care of what's important to me, i think i'd be able to rest easy."

"And so... she can. Because we will."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Tue 01 Aug 2017, 12:29 am

Once Steve comes back to her side, Zelk doesn't let go of his hand. She listens attentively to everyone, and even more so when Velstar's turn come.

The silver-haired mage, who usually look so confident and wise, now appears almost apprehensive. She clears her throat, and after a brief glance at the pyre, she let the words flow.

"Hi Elly. It's me, Velstar." Velstar pauses, and licks her lips before she continues. "I wasn't sure what kind of eulogy you would like, and we never knew each other really well, so... I'm not sure what you would want me to say. I've tried to prepare for this, for a few years now actually, but... you can't always predict how life will turn out, right?" She brushes back a lock of hair caught in the wind. "It's been five years since I last visited you. I haven't had a chance to tell you how Steve was doing since then. Well... he managed to graduate. Surprising, uh?"

She briefly smiles. "He hasn't let up with the pranks though. The teachers and students at the Citadel are not on the receiving end anymore; it's now his colleagues, Coins mercenaries. He even got a new prank partner, a little girl named Breeze. She's a fairy, about yea high."

At the mention of her name, Breeze happily waves her hand. "They're good friends. With their influence, Steve might just become a responsible adult one day. He and Zelk are even together now. They haven't killed each other yet."

"Give it some more time," Zelk whispers, amused.

"All in all, despite the hard time he's going through right now, he's doing good. And I think you would be happy for him, and the life he is now living." Velstar lowers her head, and then says, "Goodbye Elly."
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Tue 01 Aug 2017, 9:57 pm

Having taken back her place among the others, Velstar meets Steve's gaze and waits for his signal. Once he does, she calmly raises her right hand and casts a Fire cantrip at the pyre. The wood is do dry that only a few sparks would have been enough to ignite the pyre, and within a few seconds, the fire begins to spread. Very soon, the draped body of Eleanor Oldturn is surrounded by flames, and it won't be long before the fire burns it.

Despite the cold air, Breeze deploys her wings and leaves Konrad's shoulder to land on Steve's. She then gently puts her arms around his neck and comforts him with a hug. Steve can also feel Zelk tighten her grasp on his hand.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Tue 01 Aug 2017, 10:19 pm

Konrad burns his eulogy in his hand.

"If you need anything, you know where I'll be. But first, I need to go pay my former handler a visit."


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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Tue 01 Aug 2017, 10:25 pm

Mihai just keeps holding Yen's hand.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Tue 01 Aug 2017, 10:54 pm

Steve quietly watches the body of his mother burn. He squeezes Zelk's hand, and places his other hand on Breeze at his neck, attempting to draw what strength he can from then. He is determined to watch until the end. He barely registers Konrad, only sensing that he should nod so that his friend will stop talking to him. After he does so he goes back to his silent vigil. To those looking at him he is distant and sad; his mind off wandering in distant, melancholic grief.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Wed 02 Aug 2017, 12:24 am

After twenty minutes, Fedler approaches Steve and puts a hand on his shoulder. She nods in understanding at him, and then gestures at Yen; the young girl is getting cold. After giving the mourning mage a hug, Fedler takes Yen's hand and begins the long walk on the road that leads back to Highwind.

Breeze is unsure whether or not she should follow them, but after looking at Steve, she realizes how comforting her presence is to him. So she stays, just like Zelk and Velstar.

It a full hour before the pyre stops burning. By then, the sun has disappeared below the horizon, and the only source of light left are the bright embers spread all over the ground. A soft breeze has already started to disperse the ashes toward the sea, and in a few days time, the wind and the snow will erase all traces of this funeral.

The two men who came with the carriage are still waiting by the road, torches in hand.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd adventure: Rebirth   Wed 02 Aug 2017, 10:51 pm

Steve sighs when the pyre goes out, trying to release at least some of the tension he still feels, but it doesn't do the trick. Instead he feels he must say something, for himself but also for those who were and are still there, and this is what he said:

"Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
"

And with that the funeral was over and they left together.

[Poem by Mary Frye]
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