Sunday, October 2, 2011
Chapter 16: From the Breath of a Dragon
"I'm not going to argue with that," Adele laughs, "Did your mother say anything about why she hid the truth from you for so long?"
"Yeah, she said it's because we were too young. That we wouldn't know any better than to talk about it to other kids and stuff. And I guess she's right, you were never able to keep your mouth shut," Tristan says, giving Adele his most charming smile.
Adele slaps him lightly on the hand, and then rests her fingers in his. "My mother is proud of our heritage, to the point of being obsessed with it. She wouldn't care if we announced to everyone that we come from fae blood. And of course everyone just thinks she's crazy. I talked to you, but never to anyone else."
"A lot of people descend from fae blood without even knowing it, and they lead mostly normal lives. Mostly normal...there aren't any 'powers' that come with it, but there is a heightened perception, an ability to see things that others can't. And if you maintain your family connections to the fae, you can call on them. Though doing that always comes with a price."
"I kind of wish I could go back to not knowing all this, and just be normal," Tristan says.
"We are what we are. You can fight against it, or you can embrace it. But knowledge is always better than ignorance."
"Gvaudoin didn't push you into this?" Thierry asks, a little suspicious of his cousin's interference.
"I've hardly even seen her. I love Adele. She's the only one I can talk to. Not just about...family stuff...but everything."
"As long as you are happy," Thierry relents, remembering his own childhood friendship with Amelia. He always knew she was the one, and he doesn't doubt his son's surety.
"It's not important," Thierry says, "My real life is here."
"But you can't just be sitting around doing nothing," Amelia insists, "This may be your real life, but you spend more time there than here, and I'd like to know what you do."
Thierry takes her hand, and sighs reluctantly before he speaks, "I do much the same as you. Train and prepare for battle."
Amelia can't hold in her laughter, "What, you're a soldier in the fairy army? Do you have duels with flower stems? Throw sparkle dust at your enemies?"
Thierry bites his lip. All Amelia knows about the fae comes from stories written for children. And that is perhaps for the best. "I'm champion at hurling sparkle dust," he says, laughing along with her.
"It's...a badge of sorts," he explains, unable to look in her the eye as he fabricates a half truth to protect her, "A mark of rank. I told you, I'm the champion sparkle dust hurler in the whole of the fae."
"Oh, wow!" Allyriane is beside herself with excitement, "Are you a knight? For real? Have you ever killed a dragon? Will you come to the royal feast in my tree house?"
"Aymeri," Thierry says, "What are you doing here?"
"Forgive me, my lord," Aymeri says with a bow, "But there's been an attack. Summerdream requires your assistance."
Amelia followed Thierry out to see who the strangely garbed man was, and is there in time to hear her husband addressed as 'lord'.
Amelia embraces her husband, and wishes him luck. She's been in the military since their son was born, and has always been prepared for the idea that she would have to leave her family and go to war. How strange it is to learn that her husband has been fighting battles all this time. "When you return, you will tell me everything," she whispers in his ear as she says her goodbyes.
"I will," he promises.
"Magic?" Allyriane breathes in wonder, "What kind of magic?"
"Flame, from the breath of a dragon," Aymeri says with a smile.
"So you have slain dragons?" Allyriane asks.
"Slain? My lady, I am a dragon," Aymeri answers.
After her father last left, her mother explained to her about the fae and her family's relationship to it. It was like discovering all her favorite stories were really true. But this, meeting a real dragon in person..."You? A dragon? Why do you look like a man?" she asks, wanting to believe, but at the same time, not wanting to be fooled.
"I take many forms," Aymeri says. "In your world, I am a man."
"Is my father all right?" Allyriane asks, feeling suddenly selfish. Her mother had also explained that her father was involved in a war in the fae, "He's not hurt is he? Is that why he couldn't be here?"
"He is not harmed," Aymeri answers, "The enemy presses, and your father is a great champion of our people. He could not leave now."
"Who is your enemy?" Allyriane asks, "Tell me what's going on."
"Your world and our world are linked. Everything here, the oceans, the wind, the plants, the land, animals, everything, has a spirit that lives in the fae. And what happens here effects these spirits there. Here, your people poison the land, the air, the water, and we suffer. Many become sick, twisted. We try to help our sick brothers and sisters, but they've become too numerous, and they've established an identity. They no longer want to be helped, they want to take over. So, we fight an endless battle against our own kind."
"Indeed," Aymeri says with a sad sigh.
"I must not tarry," he says finally, "Many days have flown by while I talked with you. I must return to my lord, and fight by his side."
Aymeri was named after Aymeri de Narbonne, a hero of legend from the Charlemagne era. Which was a kind of random thing for me to do. I just have always loved that name and wanted to use it.
As far as challenge stuff goes, both my goal and Fun thing are ongoing. Amelia really gets very few opportunities for Opportunist. Sadly, she gets a lot of travel related ones, which are exempt. I may at some pont choose to travel, but for now I don't want to deal with the increased load times that come with adding WA worlds, just to do some opportunity.
And for live your trait, Amelia again doesn't roll a lot of wishes related to her Athletic trait. She does swim, workout and/or jog every day for that (many times she does that autonomously), but having related wishes to fulfill only happens once every few days.
Her LTW is to max Athletic and Logic. She maxed Athletic ages ago, and her Logic is level 8. She got that far as a teen, because I put her in charge of making potions until she was able to get the IF transforming potion for Zhenzhen. After that, I dropped her chemistry so she could proceed with her own story. Now she spends a little time playing chess or stargazing when she gets a chance, so she still hasn't increased her Logic skill. But I'm not worried, she only just turned Adult and still has time to get the last 2 levels of logic.
Allyriane's generation goal will be Living Green. I've planted the seed for that interest in this chapter.