s4e13-Rowan and Onys

Rowan

Rowan steps into the front door of the inn. Greeting the bartender again, she wonders if he slept at all. She knows she barely did. She considers going back to her room, but with the sun beginning to rise as she heads into the small tavern space she instead takes a seat nearby the hearth and closes her eyes. Her mind finally quieted, she is content with her decision to stay. She feels the heat of the low fire warm her feet and lets herself become completely relaxed.

Onys Kiirnodel

It's a little while after dawn when the first early-riser comes down the stairs, the rising sun painting the horizon in shining gold, burning away the morning frost and autumnal chill. Rowan, at this point, may not yet have seen Onys dressed casually, in her simple-yet-clearly expensive dress of white and blue. She most certainly has not seen the pendant hanging from the elf's neck, a simple ornament of a gold heart, perhaps a smidge larger than a songbird's egg. Onys looks around, and, seeing Rowan, follows her over to sit by her, in another chair facing the fire. "Good morrow, Rowan," she says, briefly tugging on the hem of her dress to ensure she's not sat on it improperly. "Have you slept well?"

Rowan

Rowan opens her eyes at the sound of her name. She sees Onys standing in front of her and she laughs softly to herself at the timing of it all. When she was seeking Onys out only a few hours earlier but was unable to find her she had been plagued with doubt and fear. Yet now that her heart was calm, the elf instead finds her. If she believed in fate and divine intervention, she would have claimed its presence here, but she knew better than to rely on such things. As the elf sat and tugged on her dress, Rowan looked at her closely. She looked different, somehow. Perhaps it was simply her more feminine attire, or the pendant that reflected the fire, or just something in her eyes. Admittedly Rowan had not had the opportunity to look at Onys very closely since their initial encounter, but whatever it was that was different, it seemed to be agreeable. She didn't see the hard anger in her that she'd witnessed up on the hill. "Not particularly, but it is no matter. Even without sleep it has been a good night. In fact, I am glad that you have come to sit with me. I had actually been looking for you earlier."

Onys Kiirnodel

Onys looks puzzled for a moment, not entirely being sure why she might have been sought, but instead rolls with it. "Had you? I was…elsewhere at the time, you have my apologies. Is this a matter of concern, or merely a social call? I would be pleased to hear either, yesterday was…difficult." She shifts the chair an inch or two inwards to face Rowan more directly, having crossed her legs and leant a bit against the armrest, getting comfortable in the early-morning quiet.

Rowan

Rowan, who has still been smiling at the absurdity of the coincidence let her smile drop. She did, unsurprisingly still feel some anxiety, not knowing how Onys would react, but it was important enough to power through her fear. "It is actually a serious matter. I suppose I want to begin saying that I admire you. Not long after we started this journey you saved my life when our camp had been overrun by those Orcs. You must understand, nobody has ever come to my aid like that. I have had to fend for myself for so long that…well, to receive help from a relative stranger is something I never expected. But…" Rowan pauses for a moment. This was what she had wanted to say, needed to say, but she still found the words stuck in her throat. "But, on the hill, this last evening I watched your anger with Quinys and all I could think of was…that could have been me."

Onys Kiirnodel

Onys bites her lip and inhales, then lets it out in a sigh. Well, this was presumably coming, and not hours ago, she swore she would bear responsibility for her actions. Time to make that the truth. "That is certainly the truth of it," she begins. "At that moment, lost in my rage, it could have been anyone. She, or you, or even my sister. And that is why I was wrong. I was blinded by o'erweening attitudes and excessive pride." She shakes her head. "Perhaps I should start from the beginning. When we entered into the trap that forced magical sleep on us, all I could think of was the mortal peril we all were in. When we awoke, bound and gagged, with Quinys being offered sweets by one who called her pet names and then demanded our lives in tribute to him, I became enraged. I did not pay attention to how she defied him, attacked him and loosed us from our cage. I merely saw her as our betrayer, who allowed him to escape, and I demanded satisfaction for my questions. There are a number of things that my sister and I have not—-and continue to not see eye-to-eye about, but she was right in preventing me from further accosting Quinys. And I understand why you would bear a certain concern from that encounter." She thinks for a moment on how to best sum up where one goes from there. "I have spent much of the evening chastising myself for my poor judgement, even after I had received the forgiveness of my fellows and the corrective guidance of my patroness."

Rowan

Rowan is taken aback. This was not the reaction she had been expecting. The last she had seen of Onys had been anger before they retired for the night. It is difficult to reconcile that image with the person sitting here in quiet contrition. Perhaps she is not the only one who has had a formative experience this evening. Onys' sincerity emboldens her to tell her what little she knows. It may have been her mother was overly cautious, but if her warnings came to pass, she couldn't let it blindside the group like it had yesterday. "I am glad to hear it. I cannot say that I fully understood what happened in the basement and who that man was and his connection to Quinys. And if I am being truthful, I do find it difficult to trust her. But, she is not alone in having those who may wish harm to her or her companions. I'm afraid I do not know much in the way of details, but I do know that I grew up in the forest for a reason. There are those who are…hunting me. I don't know who they are and I don't know to what end, but I do fear they will find me someday. If those demons in the forest were being truthful, they may already know where I am." Rowan's voice breaks, she pauses for a moment, staring at the ground, unable to look Onys in the face. "You and the others have been so kind to me. I..I don't wish to be a burden to you."

Onys Kiirnodel

Onys nods. This is more like what she's used to. "I understand that we have only been together a short time, so my reassurances may seem facile, but I am a paladin, as is my sister. Our life's most paramount duty is to protect those who have no defense, to show love and compassion to those who suffer alone. We bear burdens that others might flourish, and in doing so, share in the sweetness that follows." She slips out of her chair and kneels by Rowan's, placing a hand gently atop Rowan's head, between the rising antlers, at once to comfort and also to almost give benediction. "Be tranquil, Rowan, child of the forests. You are no burden. You have provided us much service in fell combat, and, while we have not spoken much as friends, I would be gladdened by your continued presence, cruel pursuers and all, regardless of what duty I bear."

Rowan

Onys couldn't have known it, but her small act of kindness in touching Rowan's had been how her mother had used to comfort her when she was still small. She felt immediate peace, and is able to blink back her tears. She knows now beyond doubt that she made the right decision to stay. She opens her mouth, trying to find words of gratitude, unable to summon them to her. Luckily, she is spared from her speechlessness by the sound of activity and voices coming down the stairs.

s4e13-Rowan and Onys

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