Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chapter 44: Sacred Spring

Kieran and Theophile play pretend.

"When is Mom coming home?" Kieran asks as they sit down for lunch.

"Sometimes her work keeps her out all night," Joffrey explains, "I'm not sure when she'll be back."

This time, Sage is back shortly after Joff has cleaned up the lunch dishes.

"I didn't expect you so early," he says, greeting her with a hug and a passionate kiss, "Can I make you some lunch?"

Sage accepts the lunch, and spends the rest of the day with her family.

It's only later when they're in bed that Sage tells Joffrey about her meeting with Moth.

"I'll be leaving before dawn," she says, "Moth says Aymeri has gone deep underground and it might be sometime before I get back."

"Maybe I should go with you," Joffrey offers, "Kieran could spend the night with the Saint James family. He and Theophile have gotten very close."

"I'd love to have you along, but Moth says only someone with fae blood would be allowed to enter," she answers, "But I will need your help in this. Moth doesn't know where Cecilia has taken Summerdream. You know MorcuCorp, I'll need you to help me find her, whether or not I suceed in getting Aymer's aid."

Before the sun rises, Sage follows Moths directions to the frog pond in the small wood outside of town. He told her she would now the place by the magical butterflies that frequent the area. One lights on her hand in greeting. Faintly, she hears a voice welcoming her in Moth's name. Moth does not show up himself. He had told Sage that the last time he spoke to Aymeri, the dragon had warned him off, telling him not to come again, and Moth is far too frightened of the dragon's wrath to even come near this place. Sage knows no such fear, however, and sets to smashing the boulders that covered the entrance to the underground lair.

Below she finds no natural cavern, but a series of twisting corridors. Steam vents provide water for the grasses ad flowers that grow here.

Along the way she encounters dart traps that block her path. The mechanism that controls them responds to her presence, and clears the way forward.

The maze of tunnels finally ends at a dive well of magically swirling green water. So Sage dives right in.

On the other side is a large cavern, dark yet filled with life, trees and flowers growing everywhere.

"You have come through much to get to me, great-granddaughter," Aymeri says, embracing Sage in greeting. She hadn't known what sort of welcome to expect, and is pleasantly surprised by her first meeting with her ancestor. "Well met," he continues, "But surely you did not come all this way simply to make my acquaintance; you must have something you want of me."

"My husband has told me much about you, and I did want to meet you for myself, but it was Moth who asked me to come here," Sage explains, "Tania Summerdream has put herself in MorcuCorps' hand; we have to rescue her, as you and Joffrey rescued me."

Aymeri frowns, "I gave the traitor to Summerdream to bind her. Instead, she made a bargain with the woman, and set her free. Why should I rescue her from a trap she stepped in to?"

Sage is taken aback by the sharp anger in his tone, but it doesn't frighten her the way it did poor Moth. "Cecilia promised her she could help her and Auberon conceive a child," she says, "You must understand how difficult it would have been to walk away from that."

Aymeri doesn't soften in the least, "I understand Tania's weakness," he says, "She believes in a future that will never be. And I am done with fighting a war we lost ages ago. We are over, and it is time we let it go."

Sage realizes there's a lot she doesn't know about these fae she's only recently discovered she's related to, she's gathered only bits and pieces about their long war and the vast numbers of them who perished in it, but whatever the past, she cannot accept Aymeri's defeatism.

"How can you say that?" she asks, "As long as you fight, there's always a chance."

Aymeri shakes his head, "I have fought for more years than can be counted. Fighting will not bring us back to what we were before the mortals came. We were numerous then, the world was ours. Everything changed when the mortals came, we became vulnerable, we began to die, and there were fewer and fewer children to replace those that were lost. The world belongs to the mortals now, and perhaps that is the way it is meant to be."

"That sounds like an excuse to me," Sage says, her jaw set firmly, "Your human wife and children have grown old and died, and you're holing yourself up here because you don't want to face it."

"I cannot deny it," Aymeri agrees sadly, "I have seen too much of death, and my will to fight has died in the process."

"Bullshit," Sage says, but a loud splash interrupts her, and a head emerges from the well.

"Ico," Aymeri says, turning to the woman as she steps out of the water.

"You come here, to my place, and yet you are surprised to see me?" Ico says.

"I came here for you, but I did expect you would show yourself," Aymeri answers.

"You came to lay your grief at my door, seeking comfort. Did you grieve so when you killed our daughter?"

"I grieve for many things I've done, Ico, and many more that I haven't," Aymeri answers, "You saw what she became, the pollution made us into monsters. Your own hands are not so clean, you fought in the war, and killed in it."

"She was your daughter."

"I have not forgotten, Ico. Would you have wanted her to live, polluted and twisted as she was. You know as well as I, death was a mercy."

Sage listens uncomfortable to their exchange. Clearly, there is much she doesn't know about her great-grandfather.

"Excuse me," Sage interrupts,  addressing Ico, "I came here to find help rescuing Tania Summerdream."

The fae woman stares at Sage for a moment, "You are his kin, and yet mortal. And you are fae, as well," her eyebrows raise, "I even sense some elf in you. Strange. I am Icovellauna, and this is my place. Tell  me, what has become of Summerdream that she sends a halfing to my spring to ask my assistance?

Sage explains the situation.

"Oh, poor Tania," Ico sighs, "She has long wanted a child. But to throw herself into the hands of mortals...she must have become desperate. Of course we will aid you, mortal child."

"'We', Ico?" Aymeri says, a spark of hope lighting in his eyes.

"I will put aside my wrath to join you on this quest, Meri," Ico says, "For Tania," she adds, looking away with a blush.


  1. Oooh, is Ico an old flame of Aymeri's? She looks fascinating

  2. Wow, Ico's beautiful. How'd Aymeri ever let that one get away? O_o

    I love how we're learning more about the fae realm, and Aymeri's past. Sage is such an awesome character and I'm hoping this means a long story arc for her <3.

  3. Aww, Kieran is cute.

    Ico looks pretty cool, indeed. I can see why her relationship with Aymeri might've fallen to pieces (though I wondered if it were the case, when you first brought it up in generation 3).

  4. *drools*

    i love all those colorful sims you create and add to your story!! Ico is gorgeous!! And i enjoy it a lot to see her actually show up in your story!

    and the picture of sage diving into the well just cracked me up :D

    well done on another great chapter!!

  5. Yeah, as Becky just referred to, I made brief mention of Aymeri having a child with a water sprite who he had to kill during the war they were having.
    After I put that bit in, I did always want to expand on it, but there was never a good place for that. Until now.
    I kind of wanted to make Ico nude, but I didn't want to freak anyone out. :P

  6. I love this story! You're doing such a great job.

    I can't wait to learn more about Aymeri/Ico. :D

  7. The last picture was my favorite. "For Tania" (yeah right!) =)

    The setting in the cavern, Ico's springs, is beautiful. It creates such a nice backdrop for their meeting.

  8. I just love the imagination and thought that has gone into this story. You've certainly created a vast world here! So excited to see where it all leads!!!

  9. I've always loved Tuatha's cave (or garden, or whatever they call that tomb) and I was very excited to have a story around it.
    I should mention, Icovellauna is named after a minor Celtic deity of a spring in France.

  10. Oh I so totally love and adore your fae. I am going to be sad to see the end of this.