S3S8-ErysValorn

Erys Moongem

The Elven ale still fresh on her lips, Erys walks away from the table in the common area, Edric, Dagger, and the disappointment of having a come-on not just get rejected by go completely unnoticed. Something was wrong with her. Nameday fast approaching…. training as a Paladin formally ending soon…. there was so much going on, and so much responsibility and—- and suddenly there was Valorn, in the hallway, looking as if he'd been looking for her. She smiled warmly. As always with Valorn, she effortlessly speaks to him in Dwarven. "Sorry, I was totally lost in thought and… almost ran into you."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn, after a long day of adventuring, has been looking for Erys. He hasn't taken his armor off, as it's just too dangerous to do that when he's going to remain awake, but he has left his helmet in his room. He returns Erys's smile. "I'm surprised you didn't, lass. You look quite swept up." Valorn ponders whether to tell her he's been looking for her. She probably knows. He senses a bit of drunkenness in her. "What a day, eh? Certainly the most… exciting day of fighting and progressing forth we've had. If I were more of a… celebratory person, I'd probably have joined ya."

Erys Moongem

Erys lets her usual flirtatious grin slide across her face and moves to touch his chest. "It's a shame you d—-…" She pauses, pulls her hand back, inhales, and exhales. "Sorry. I'll do better. You did great down there. I'm shocked at how well we seem to work together, all of us. We'd make a good team." The flash of an image of their naked bodies surrounding her, caressing her, of Dagger's… ale, definitely the ale, definitely don't drink ale on a mostly empty stomach.

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn chuckles silently, putting his hands on her shoulders to keep her from stumbling, which is pretty funny because of their height difference, quickly realizing that she's not as drunk as he thinks. "We would make a good team? Erys, I'm pretty sure we make a great one." Valorn considers that he does want to talk to her about something, and people could walk through the hallway and hear their conversation. "Want to talk somewhere? Are you, em, in a good condition?" He laughs, nervously.

Erys Moongem

Erys giggles openly. "I'm fine, I'm fine, though perhaps I should sit down, so…." "My room or yours, handsome?" "So… let's head to my room. We'll have some privacy there and I'd love… to talk."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn ponders this proposition. He settles. "Sure, that sounds good." He follows Erys as she leads him to her room. He thinks of the poetic callback this serves to… the other night. He's never been lead to an elf's room before, but there's a first time for everything.

Erys Moongem

She opens the door having obviously not fully closed it on her way out and pulls a seat for Valorn over near the bed – then knocks it just a step or two further. Probably wise. For now. Or whatever. And unceremoniously flops herself up onto her bed, not worrying about adjusting her dress so much as preparing for the conversation at hand. This is the part where the dwarven gentleman, of course, takes off his armor, and compliments her on her strength, her perseverance…. or they have a friendly conversation about something mundane. She closes her eyes just a half-second to pray. 'My Lady, if you will it, I am yours.' "Feel free to sit there, get comfortable, my hearth is your hearth, as it were."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn begins to take his greaves off, casually, while talking. "I wanted to thank you, Erys, for helping me in our damned battle against those unworldly zombies." He looks up at her. "You specifically were targeting and helping me, and while I wasn't hitting as well as I have in some past encounters, I just wanted to say I felt great relief that we were working together so effortlessly." Valorn has his left greave off, and begins to take off his right. "I know what happened the other night left the two of us in an…" He gulps, softly. "unenviable position, but I very much appreciated the strength that you showed today."

Erys Moongem

Erys' eyes go wide and her full attention suddenly is very much on the moment at hand. "Absolutely. I promised…. and, and, um, I'm the one with the shield, right? A choke point like that, Edric's grease… I meant what I said I down there. I had your back" Then, the shame, the memory of the grey slash across her darling sister's shoulder. "Sune demands more than love from me. I need to work harder with my shield, so that I can better prevent things like what happened to Ona. She got really hurt. I'm very fortunate it wasn't worse."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn, as Erys talks, gets his right greave off. "I nearly got mortally blasted by that bugbear. We don't get to decide who gets hurt and who doesn't. Who lives and who dies. We should all be aware of the risks of adventuring in such a party. We have very real risks here, and severe injuries like Onys and myself have now experienced, and, and, death-" His eyes go a little blank, but he plugs back in. "can happen. It's important to remember that as we get to know each other and plow through the foul beasts we'll inevitably find more of on our way to Gundren." Valorn, realizing he's monologuing again, tries to stop himself.

Erys Moongem

Erys just smiled and listened to him talk. It encouraged her, but also strengthened her resolve. "There will undoubtedly be a ton of shit between us and Roxie, to say nothing of whatever is going on with those assholes at the gates. But we're committed, now, and through it all… you can count on me to do my best to protect you, when I can." She wondered for the first time where he'd grown up, what his past contained, why he chose to be a blacksmith, but she just wondered these things quietly for a moment. "I wouldn't worry about Roxie, either. Fuckin' dwarves are hardy, strong, brilliant. He's sturdy, I'm sure of it, and he'll be laughing when we rescue him."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn laughs a deep belly laugh, as he normally does when sharing a laugh among dwarves. "Hardy and strong, I'll agree with ye', but brilliant? I believe you to be going a bit too far. Many of us are dumber than a pot of rocks, and I should know." Valorn chuckles, taking his gauntlets and pauldrons off. "I wanted to ask you something, as you are a paladin. Have you taken your oath?"

Erys Moongem

Erys laughs along with him, in exactly the same manner. "Aye, true, true." The light in her eyes recedes almost immediately. "N….no. Not yet. I'm supposed to, soon, though. And my centennial is coming up, too, as is Ona's, so… you might say we've met at a very interesting time in my life."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn's face fades a little bit to a more concerned look. "Why yes, that's very fascinating! I would not have guessed that you were, err, beginning paladins." He hopes the adjective doesn't hurt her feelings. "Then again, I'm a beginning cleric. To be honest, I probably know more about paladins than I do about clerics, even going through my training the past couple years. If you need any advice, not that it's my place, but I'll try my best to give it."

Erys Moongem

"Ona's had that frost spell since we were kids, and I can fix things that are broken. A lil bit. Not big things. I think I'm… kinda wishing I became a cleric? I don't know. I like being out and about, I like seeing the world. I like meeting…." She can't keep it out of her eyes as she glances up at him with a smirk. "Interesting people. But… I'm starting to think my true calling was that of a proper Heartwarder and I'm… I just…" She looks at her hands, frustrated, but trying not to show as much emotion as she had earlier in the day. Not to show weakness in front of the dwarf she was hoping would some day come to admire her enough to… "I'm not sure that I'm ready to take my Oath. I'd love your insight, actually."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn, smiling as she talks, has his smile wane to a blank face as she finishes, asking for his insight. He knows what he has to do. He has a lot of experience with paladins, and he might as well let Erys know why. "My wife, Bavina, was a paladin of Moradin. She was a very active member of the clergy in Neverwinter, one of the commanders in the Neverwinter city guard, and also…" Valorn, finding himself now looking at the ground, looks back into Erys's eyes, focused. "My fiercest love, the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on." Valorn, looking at Erys's face, figures he needs to continue. "She took her oath of devotion very, very seriously. She was fiercely loyal to her ideals, and that manifested in everything she did. She outdid me in every way, and that was just one of the thousands of reasons I loved her. Why she loved me, a blacksmith just trying to sell wares, I'll never know." Valorn quickly wiped his right eye with a finger, not even thinking about it. "She passed away about three years ago, trying to protect innocents. She died doing what she did best. It's why I've chosen to become a cleric."

Erys Moongem

Erys' heart breaks in sympathy, and she tries to hold on, tries to maintain her composure, tries so desperately… Ona, what did Ona do when the letter about Hadrin came? She couldn't remember. All she could feel was the hollow pit expanding in her heart, feeling his pain as her own. She gritted her teeth as she listened, and slowly, a stream of silent tears made its way down her face. Three years alone after having his truelove ripped away from him. What would she do without Sune? Hells, without Ona? The pain was unimaginable, but… "Valorn," she began again, her voice failing her slightly, moving closer to him to take one of his hands in both of hers, "I don't mean any disrespect, none whatsoever, but she saw in you exactly what I already see in you. You're a trueborn son of Moradin if there ever fucking was one, and there's pretenders aplenty. You don't take that fact with pride," she felt her tears stream down her face again, little rivulets like raindrops, but she just talked through the shaking in her voice, "you take it as a simple fact of your life. What more could a paladin ever wish for in a truelove? This may be… difficult to hear… but Moradin was always first in her heart. And when time came to collect, He did. For a brief time, He let her enjoy you as one of her principal rewards in this life for all of her work on His behalf. And now that she's gone…" she lets go, standing quickly, her hair flipping over her shoulders as she gestured wide with both arms, "Look what you're becoming."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn, as he listens to her words, begins to have tears stream down his face as well. He's not used to sharing these tears with others. He's not ashamed of them, but the rest of his face doesn't really react to them. When Erys finishes, Valorn begins, in a very somber monotone. "I am perfectly aware that her love of Moradin was above her love for me. She never made that explicitly clear, but I knew. And she also knew that my priorities were not the same. Are not the same. Maybe one day, long from now, I will come to terms with what the All-Father has done to me and my beloved. For now, I'm doing the only thing I know what to do. Acting in her memory. Trying to become a person similar to who she was, knowing I will never truly accomplish it. Her love-" He takes a deep breath. "Her love will always be greater than I can return, but I feel like… I feel like this is my only true chance." Valorn leans back on the chair, looking up at the ceiling. "Service. Service done well."

Erys Moongem

Erys moves to wrap her arms around him, holding his body for just a few precious moments tightly against hers. Her body reacts, as of course it does, but she ignores it. She pulls away, wipes her face with a bit of her dress, and blinks away the remaining tears. "I need to be clear… between us, and as a Sunite unsure if her service is good enough to meet my Goddess' expectations. Did I increase the weight of the burden you carry when I kissed you?"

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn's eyes go wide. He thinks about it for a moment, and then smiles. "No, lass." Valorn chuckles. "My most primary thought was not upsetting you. I like you. My wife wasn't quite so-" He pauses, thinking for a moment. "-flirtatious," he says, not wanting to say promiscuous, his first thought. "but she had a similar spirit to you. The kiss was mildly uncomfortable at worst, but it was kind of funny in hindsight. I haven't kissed a paladin in quite a long while now." Valorn's smile has gone from a full, happy one, to more of a wistful beam. "But my emotions are not your problem, and yours are not mine. We can help each other, but we're not each other's responsibility." He wonders if it's even his place to say these things. "You don't have to see me as a target of your 'Sunite service' unless I am in physical harm."

Erys Moongem

"That's part of why She'll always be first in my heart, Valorn. I don't have to. I get to. I get to light up my lovers' nights like they've never experienced before, and teach them beauty, and grace, and show them just how important love really and truly is, and how wonderful it can be to love, lessons you've already had…. except then what I show them fades, in a way. They may still like… being with me, y'know, I'm fun and I enjoy it, but… well, it seems impolite to go on and on about any of that when you've just told me of Bavina and her passing. Sune literally fills me with Her own essence and I take you to bed? I will never match what you had with Bavina. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be fun, or it couldn't honor her memory in some way. Nothing beats a truelove's touch. Nothing. That being said, Valorn? It's not that you're my responsibility. It's not that I have to. It's not that I think of you as some half-hammer who can't find his way." She smiles mischievously, consciously mirroring what she said to him while they battled the undead. "I've got you. I see in you what I wish I saw in more people, and I'd like to see more of it in you, too."

Valorn Aenethal

As Erys talks, Valorn feels a bit of tickling in his brain. The sort of warm, good, ticklish feeling that occurs when he sees something beautiful in a relatively unfamiliar person. It washes over him, and he has to remind himself that he's felt this before, and it's not just an element of Sune's… service. He smiles a bit internally. "It's all very nice of you to say. Very, very nice. But have you ever known a dwarf to take a compliment well? I've already talked about myself far too much, and it was all a way to discuss your internal conflict about the oath!" He suddenly remembers, as he says it, feeling very insensitive and stupid to make this conversation all about his problems, as serious to him as they might be. Like a battle of self-sacrificers. "What I wanted to say is that, in many ways, you remind me of her, and your passion and grace is something I have found admirable. I cannot help you find the way – that is not my place nor my capability – but if there's anything Bavina taught me about being a paladin, and something I felt that I could not live up to as a paladin myself if I were to try and become one, it's that you will find it. The way will become clear. You will feel it in your gut, it will well up inside you, and you will know what you are to do. Not because Sune wills it, but because you, Erys, as the sum of your parts, know it." Valorn smiles, hoping he's making sense. Bavina would've said it better. "But you're not allowed to just find it without a struggle."

Erys Moongem

Erys considers Valorn's words thoughtfully for several moments, her eyes tracing along his face as if looking for something. Bavina was clearly the key. Somehow. And this was obviously why Sune had brought the two of them together. So that she could heal him for Moradin, and so that he… could tell her of Bavina. But why? She felt like she was so close, but something was missing. "Valorn, over the next few days… would you tell me stories of Bavina? How she would have handled situations we encounter, how she would have felt about the people we know… I get the feeling her story is going to be very helpful for me, and it might just soothe your pain a spell, too."

Valorn Aenethal

Valorn mulls over the idea. It's intimidating, and brings up a lot of pain and grief. But, more importantly, the vast majority of the memories he has of his late, beloved wife are great ones. She was such an inspiring presence in his life, and he could only hope that her memory could be an inspiring presence as well. There was only one choice. "That sounds… nice." He smiles, especially when thinking of what Bavina would think about the rest of the party. He laughs, even. "That sounds fun. She wouldn't like me talking about her so much, but I hopefully won't have to hear her objections for a while." He stands up, straight. "Moradin requires my service. And Sune requires yours! I will do my best to help you."

S3S8-ErysValorn

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