S5E2-ErysEdric

Edric Crestrun

Not long after he had finished up with Quinys's lessons, Edric found himself alone with his thoughts. All he could see in his mind's eye was frustration and anger, taking the form of that rotting, swinging head which had recently hung from the walls of that wretched castle. How could they have been so naive…they were never going to save him. Even if landing the killing blow on the monster who had done it had felt satisfying at the time, that satisfaction had turned to ashes in his mouth as he now obsessed about the man behind all of this. Black Spider. Whoever he was, he was going to find him, and make what happened to Gundren seem merciful when he got his hands on him. Even he could recognize, however, that this was a dangerous place to be in for him, especially after almost running off last night. He waited about half an hour, before heading over to Erys's room, knocking on the door and hoping for an answer.

Erys Moongem

Erys had foregone her usual celebrations and jovialities, and had simply gotten into the inn, split the cost of the rooms with Valorn, headed up to her room, removed her armor and ran her hands over it gently, letting the love within her mend any dents, scrapes, restoring it to perfect beauty – well, as beautiful as chain could be – and finally slumped into bed in her undergarments, not bothering to cover herself, just finally letting herself cry. She was crying a lot these days, she reminded herself. It was hours. It felt like days spent in mourning, in writhing in despair. But all the whlie, she kept her heart focused on prayer. And slowly, over the course of her time alone with her Goddess in her heart, she was coming back to life. A knock on the door interrupted her mourning. She ran a hand through her hair to straighten it just a little, wrapped herself in her blanket, and she made her way to the door, opening it and seeing Ivaric. Sniffling, she invited him in with a wordless nod, and closed the door behind him, locking it out again.

Edric Crestrun

Stepping in just as wordlessly as her invitation, Edric looked frazzled to say the least. He took a seat onto her bed, as he tried to figure out exactly what to say. He'd been focusing on other things, but here, in this room, he wanted to talk about what had happened, now that there was time to fully process it. "I'm…sorry, Alvaroda. I shouldn't…shouldn't have forced your hand back at the castle." His nickname for her had changed, shifted to the more feminine form of the two words of giant dialect, thinking it sounded far better even if it altered the meaning slightly. "I never even thought it was possible. Just this morning I was joking about how he was going to be fine, while his head rotted from the ramparts."

Erys Moongem

She smirked through a sniffle as she heard the modified nickname, figuring out pretty easily exactly what mistake he had made. Humans. Fucking Wizards. Ivaric himself. Alvaroda was much better. She liked it. "Let's get one thing perfectly straight, Ivaric…" She said, turning her chair to face him and moving it closer to him and seating herself within it. "I do what I fucking want to do. Or what my Goddess wills. And since I obey Her willingly and completely, technically not even She can force me to do anything. Especially not you." The words were harsh, but the way she said them was full of fondness, reminding him of the bond they shared. Her smile reinforced that fact. "I was doing the same with Dagger. But where there were six of us – two of us full paladins, realize – there were only two of them. That bastard bugbear got what he deserved." She recalled the casual, hateful way she had tossed the bugbear's head aside after the goblins inside Cragmaw Castle gave in to her demands. She had not been kind. She had not been loving. But she didn't believe love could have saved Roxie. So it wasn't important. Theoretically, he could be resurrected in Waterdeep. That was good, she supposed.

Edric Crestrun

Something about the harsh and yet familiar way she addressed his concern helped snap him back to his regular state of being, as he stood up, the anger starting to swell back up inside him. It wasn't enough. The bugbear hadn't been nearly enough. He wanted all their heads if he had the choice. He had calmed himself down then, but now he was starting to pace across the room, his steps betraying a deeper hate that was growing and stoking inside his heart. "You're right. I appreciate the honesty…I'm just not sure what to do right now. I'm so god damned angry, all I can think about is furthering my revenge. More heads need to roll, Alvaroda. Far more. Whatever Gundren was after got him killed, before he could…dammit!" His fist slammed into the wall, as his anger moved from internal to external expression, regretting it almost immediately as he nearly broke something in his hand and blood dripped from a split seam of skin in his finger.

Erys Moongem

Erys jumped as his fist slammed into the wall, but moved quickly, not realizing the blanket was falling away as she tore out of the chair, leaving her in just her undergarments. Not like Ivaric hadn't already seen her naked. And Scout as well, apparently. She ran her hand over the wall, mending even the small amount of damage that Ivaric's tiny muscles could put into it, and she reached for him. "Breathe, Ivaric. Breathe. I'm here. We're going to follow Roxie's instructions and do whatever his brother asks of us." Waterdeep. Thieves' Guild. Yikes. Remembering their destination cast a shadow over Erys' expression, and she ran her hands over his small wound. Healing wounds had become second nature to her now, even though the presence of Sune's magic in her body still made the flecks in her eyes sparkle, but it was nothing like the first time with Valorn.

Edric Crestrun

He was already beating himself up inside for resorting to such a base form of expression, and the shock of pain helped bring a bit more clarity to his anger as he looked to Erys with eyes that went from wild to subdued. "He was supposed to be alive. He was supposed to be alive and drunk and jolly, not rottin' on a fucking wall! He was supposed to tell me things, things I gave up my whole life for to learn, and now…now I don't know if anything I see about the future is right anymore. What if I'm wrong about what I saw last night? What if we're all dead by the next tenday, rotting heads on someone's wall? What would the point of this whole fuckin' endeavor be?" As she healed his wound, he could feel the positive energies mending his soreness away, almost unhappy that the pain wouldn't remain. "I…I don't want to be wrong. I can't be wrong. If I'm wrong about my portents, then how do I keep moving forward?" He had relied on them for so long, how could he go back to living entirely in the present.

Erys Moongem

"I was certain Dagger was the sort of girl who would sleep with me just for the hell of it the first time I asked her." Erys smiled, shrugging. "Your magic gives you great abilities, and that knowledge of the future… I don't know. You're overstepping. The will of the Gods is what it is. You said it was possible to bring Roxie back, so we bring him back. Sometimes we fall unconscious in a pit, sometimes we kill a demon it seemed we had no chance against. Look at me, Ivaric." She held both of her hands now, squeezing tightly. "You can be wrong about the specifics and still on the right path. You keep moving forward by moving fucking forward, no matter what." She smiles, realizing she had a practical example. "Have I told you about N'laea and Ivran?"

Edric Crestrun

As she took his hands, she could feel them shaking, yet slowly starting to settle a bit in her grasp. "I don't….I don't know anything about the will of the gods. I want to know more, because if I can't rely on my power, then…maybe I need to rely on something bigger than myself to keep things on the right path, day by day." He had never even considered such an abdication of his own personal destiny, always considering himself the sole author of his history. Now, however, he saw the certainty in Erys's eyes and wanted some of that for himself. He wanted to know what it was like. "No, I don't think ya have." His eyes looked into hers, looking to hold that connection, as if he could simply rest his own uncertainties within that resolute gaze.

Erys Moongem

She takes a deep, calming breath. "Alright, Onys and I are of House Kiirnodel, a noble house of Evereska. There was a bit of controversy surrounding our mothers becoming co-matrons of the House, so there's some history to this that I… honestly never bothered to learn. But the Matrons were working to bring a greater peace to court, which is a noble aim, and they were sure they were doing the right thing. So N'laea, of House Alanree, was chosen to wed Ivran, of House Straeth, two houses who had been all but at war with one another for as long as anyone could remember. The hope was, I imagine, to bring their houses together… and… I don't know, there was a noble goal in there somewhere. Worthwhile. All the portents said it was a good match. Everybody was excited. Except I knew something about N'laea that nobody else knew. She isn't attracted, sexually, to men. Ivran was never going to be a happy marriage partner. Now, if a ladylover wants to sample a man from time to time, who would hold it against her? But… Sune made clear as day to me what I had to do. I took N'laea to bed, reminding her – as you now well know – of all the wonders the female body can provide. Then, both in a spirit of fairness and to really drive the point home, I took Ivran to bed, demonstrating that he was not at all interested in N'laea. The marriage was founded on shaky foundations that would crumble, and ultimately the houses Straeth and Alanree both would be at even greater odds. Instead, they united in purpose: that that Kiirnodel slut be punished for ruining the hopes of their union.

In the end, my way was the only way to save them. But at no point did anyone think so. Even my sister still believes me to be in the wrong. But Sune has shown me, clear as day, exactly what would have happened. But there has been a cost. I've been informally exiled, and the Matrons begged Ona to follow me, to keep me safe. It's resulted in a great amount of hardship for both of us. But it also resulted in our meeting, Ivaric." She swallowed. "Everything eventually proceeds as it ought. Sometimes it hurts. But the prices we pay are always worth it, and sometimes… they are not so much prices as gifts in disguise." Though lost in thought a bit at all this recollection, she smiles up at Ivaric with these last words, making clear to him that she believes him to be such a gift.

Edric Crestrun

Edric listened to her story intently, every detail seeming to illuminate another piece of her nature to him. He had to pour through it in his head, even as she spoke he was piecing together the meanings of the allegory at play here. It was like an old tale, yet…she had lived it. She had endured all of that, just to be here, and soon his mind moved to his own troubled past. They were both here by the vagaries of fate, both drawn to this very moment by actions and movements both in and out of their individual control. As she looked up at him with that smile, he understood something, and before he would express it in words, he would do so in a far more intimate way, as he leaned down into a kiss, this time not provoked by a need of passion or a desperate attempt to bridge a gap, but to show that he understood her. Since the night before, she had been correct, feelings had started to foster for the elf in ways he had promised himself he would restrain himself from. Yet, he was young, inexperienced, and already an impulsive person who would grasp all that he could reach. "I had no idea…what you did was braver than anything I've done in my whole life. I could have never been so certain."

Erys Moongem

As he kissed her, she felt herself giving in to the simple delight of being touched. This wasn't a good idea. But it would be alright, as she felt the Goddess' fire in her heart roaring ever stronger at his touch. It would be alright to allow him to stoke the fire between them. She would just need to be careful with it. "You… have the burden of responsibility, of very real need, of anguish at the losses you've suffered… and I have the absolute freedom of pure faith. My Goddess revealed Herself to me when I was but a child, really. And again, last night with you. Everything and anything, everything and anything She asks, wills, expects, demands, I will perform without hesitation. And in return, I get the truest pleasure I can know: the privilege of being Her conduit in this world."

Edric Crestrun

He put a bit of distance between them, just enough to recognize the restraint she was showing and respect it, while also practicing that same restraint himself. Last night had been…incredible, but it was risky. Far riskier than he had ever allowed himself to be, and yet while he could deny himself the impulse of those feelings, he couldn't deny their base existence. "If…I wanted to serve her, even in a small way, even just if it was to know I was working for somethin' greater and more beautiful than my own causes, what would I do? I don't know the first thing about devotion to a belief in anything besides myself, and now…I don't know if I even believe that anymore. I had thought of abandoning my fate to the one who had spared me so long ago to stoke my anger, or even the author of the Weave in hopes of understanding it even more deeply, but…I want to fight for something better than either."

Erys Moongem

Erys closes her eyes and finally sees the precise nature of the moment. "Lady Firehair is about love, and… you heard my oath. In the truest sense of those words. She surrounded your body with Her essence. It's no wonder to me that it might have left a mark upon your heart. Since you're a—" Erys again restrains herself, though this time from her usual way of saying the word "wizard, I would recommend you start by studying. You have a head start, having taken me to bed. You know what love feels like in its most basic, most elemental form. You felt my hands caressing you. You've also felt Her love pour through me and into your body." A split-second memory appears to Erys, and a flash of a smirk shows on her face, but she honestly hopes it goes unnoticed. "I could write down the oath I took, if you'd like, because it's based directly in Her specific tenets and dogma. And… if you found yourself so inclined, you could try to pray to Her. You would likely find this an easier connection to make than another mortal in your position because She's surrounded your body before, but it might take a bit. And – though she is a Goddess who requires and rewards having a very active relationship with Her… you have to learn to go with the way you feel because of Her touch, and not so much explicit instruction, as I understand other Gods from time to time give to their clerics." Erys blushed hotly, actually so vulnerable in the moment, discussing her Truelove with a man who had shared her bed. "…last night was actually the first time I heard Her voice just as well as you hear mine now. And you no doubt felt what it did to me."

Edric Crestrun

He looked surprised, more than anything. A day ago, he had dismissed what she said as a simple allegory, some kind of characterization of her renewed faith, but…had a god actually inhabited him for the cause of communicating something to her? Did he indeed feel some divine touch, lost in the new and exciting sensations he had already been immersed in at the time. He had no precident to pull from for this kind of thing, it was as absurd to him as he imagined his own visions of their future had been to her. "Why would she have…I don't understand, Alvaroda. I've never been faithful to the gods, I've only ever prayed to…well, you know." He didn't want to say her name any more than he did, knowing that in Waterdeep he would be once again near the ocean and within her explicit domain. "I never saw a need to. I thought myself self-capable, unneeding of the blessing of a distant god, but now…yeah, I think I'll try it. I want to understand this love you felt. I want to rely on somethin' beyond murky visions. I want to understand what you saw last night, and at the same time, feel that guidance myself. Just…show me what I need to do, and I'll do it." He was uniquely vulnerable in this moment, this genesis of abandonment of self to something far above him, rather than living in passive rebellion against divine will. His contemporaries would call him an utter fool for even considering such a thing, but they would do so anyway for who he was, where he had come from.

Erys Moongem

She moves to undo her undergarments with the practiced effort of a motion that's been repeated without fail thousands of times. "Take off your clothes, we'll pray together. And Scout, if you're watching, try to give us some privacy, somehow? It's important." She moved to the bed, sitting cross-legged and taking up the position Ivaric was already no doubt already familiar with – the one she used to meditate. She motions to her stance and to her position on the bed, inviting Ivaric to mirror her.

Edric Crestrun

Feeling a bit awkward at the vulnerability of it all, Edric did as she bade regardless as he disrobed completely and took a seat upon the bed in front of her, crossing his legs and attempting to assume the same stance. As he closed his eyes, he temporarily severed the connection to Catbird, who agreed to the notion despite its strangeness and began his hunt for lady cats and mice and other fun things. In this pose, utterly naked and attempting something he had never, ever attempted before, he tried to focus his thoughts on the divine. "This is…a first for me. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do."

Erys Moongem

She smiled at his form, delighted that he was willing to be vulnerable with her. 'Careful, girl… be very careful.' She took a few calming breaths, and then allowed one of her hands to reach forward for one of his, forming something of a two-person prayer circle. It would do. "Ivaric… what was your first love?"

Edric Crestrun

Taking her hand in his, he tried to look back into his history, which was far less familiar than his search for the future. Even so, he found answers within the pages of years past, as he remembered the first time he had traveled by boat, looking out upon the seemingly infinite waters and being utterly enraptured by them. He remembered the fish he had caught, and the feeling of joy he felt as he learned to clean it, the fresh taste as he ate the dinner of it his mother prepared for them. "The ocean. I fell in love with the beauty and majesty of it."

Erys Moongem

'Beautiful.' Erys thought, 'At once majestic and wonderful and every bit as dangerous. That works.' She nodded, though he could not see. "The ocean is a wonderful love. It is a home, it is beautiful, it provides, it is like so few other things… this is a great example. Majesty truly is a fantastic way to describe it, isn't it? I want you to focus on that feeling. See the beauty of the ocean, how its majesty, how its unique traits add up to a whole to make that what it is. And realize that because you love it so, in a way, it is always going to be a part of you."

Edric Crestrun

His focus shifted as she bade it, as he imagined the beauty of a sunset upon the glassy waters of a doldrum, that green flash that would interrupt it for just a moment. He imagined the waves as they crashed upon the black sand beaches of a distant land. He imagined the steam rising from it as a new island rose from the birthing of a new volcano. His grip suddenly tightened. His mind slipped into nightmare. Sharks swam around him. Umberlee looked into his eyes and spoke words he would not understand. Now they seemed angry. This was a betrayal, she had let him live, and now he intended to give him self to a god who rivaled her in all ways and means.

Erys Moongem

She felt the grip tighten and opened her eyes, moving her hands to his face. "Ivaric, focus. Focus. I'm here. You're safe. You've got your magic and I've got mine. Nothing is going to fucking hurt either of us so long as we're together." 'Again, Lady Kiirnodel?' "Tell me what you are seeing. I can help."

Edric Crestrun

"It's her." The fear in his words belayed exactly who it was, as the sharks drew closer. Suddenly, he could feel Erys there with him, surrounded by the darkening waters and suddenly he was terrified that he had endangered her too, that he had made her complicit in this betrayal as the bitch queen's terrifying visage stared down at the two of them. A great hand reached out in the darkness, threatening both of them.

Erys Moongem

Erys narrowed her eyes, caught once again between a risky course of action and… nothing. A warmth spread over her and she knew at once what the course was. It was obvious. 'Truelove,' she prayed, 'protect me.' As he had done before, she moved her face to kiss him, closing her eyes and surrendering to the will of her Goddess. She let Her essence flow into him, through her hands and lips, embuing him with an immunity to fear and a clarity of mind that would make that which was horrifying plain and simple, as it was in reality and nothing more. This was like when she'd kissed Valorn, but so much more. Not the naive overflow of passion she'd allowed to make things so awkward between them, but an outpouring of Sune's love in the form of Her holy essence. Even though it was not how Erys understood it, it was a spell, and a simple one. Ivaric would have the clarity of mind to make his decision based on his values, and not upon fear.

Edric Crestrun

He barely felt her lips upon his again, as the radiance of it's secondary effect infused him with a feeling of great radiance. The dark sea lit up with a blindingly bright light, as the Erys of his vision seemed to take on the visage of Lady herself, rebuking the advance of the Bitch Queen and sending her and her minions back down into the depths. For a single, fleeting moment, he saw her the same way Erys had the previous night. She was beautiful. More beautiful than anything he had ever seen in his short, mortal life. His eyes opened, as the vision receded and tears rolled down his cheek. He understood, even if only a fragment, what Erys saw in this faith of hers, and it was suddenly something he wanted to grasp as much as his understanding of the Weave. He was speechless as he looked at her.

Erys Moongem

Her eyes sparkled with the after-effects of the power flowing through her, and as his eyes opened to meet hers, she saw understanding in them. She'd done it, to a certain degree at least. "Are you alright, Ivaric? Do you see how we're safe, together?" She paused, blushing just a little. "Can you tell what happened?"

Edric Crestrun

"H-her. I saw her, your patron. We were about to be swallowed up, and she shone brighter than anything I've ever imagined." A smile came across his face, his eyes lighting up, and his anger seeming to fade into the background for now. "The Bitch Queen fled at her sight, even so deep in her domain. I've…never seen anything so beautiful before, Alvaroda. I understand why you love her so much…even I can't help but admit I was feelin' a little bit the same way. Is that what you saw when we made love, when you saw her inhabit me?" His mind raced with possibilities. Looking at Erys now, he couldn't help but see her own beauty as an aspect of the Lady herself. "I've never felt so hopeful, or so…complete as I did in her presence, even it if was nothing but my own imaginin'."

Erys Moongem

Erys loooks upward, as much in relief and thanks. "Truelove," she prays aloud, "we thank You this night for Your protection and for Your blessings. You honor us endlessly. I love You." Erys strokes Ivaric's cheek, loving the way her nickname sounds in his voice, loving the way his eyes lit up with the grace of Sune upon them. This was good, this was fantastic, this was… obviously what had been meant to happen all along. "Perhaps my Lady was who your empty heart has been searching for, this whole time? Open up to Her, Ivaric, and she will fill you with light every bit as much as She has me, and yes, you may even grow to love Her the way I do."

Edric Crestrun

Her words rung true, even despite the rage that had inhabited him for so long, as he imagined if he could feel this way all the time, to feel a serenity and love in his heart rather than the almost endless resentment that had dwelled there for longer than he could rightly remember. "I want to do this. I want to do this right…I just don't know how. How would I devote myself to her, how would I show her that I am worthy of her guidance and protection?" His life had been bereft of such feeling for so long, it was like he had been starving but not known, only to be shown nourishment in its most simple and compelling form. "I don't want to stop my studies, though. If only I could impart to you the beauty of the Weave the same way you have shown me the beauty of your Truelove…but I want to believe in more than just that now."

Erys Moongem

She smiles at him, leaning back away from him, desperate in a way for a few minutes relief from the constant humming she felt inside of her whenever she touched him, if only for a few moments. "I have observed the beauty of your Weave. Valorn almost died fighting that bugbear. You didn't fuck around. What you're capable of, because of your studies… it's incredible, it's beautiful, it's amazing. But to really make an honest connection with Sune, you'll have to at least take some time to study Her doctrine. To really work towards a relationship with Her, you'll need to learn to recognize love in all its forms, fostering friendship or admiration where love cannot or should not go, you'll need to get over your shyness… Sune does not want us to hide ourselves away but to stand as exemplars of Her beauty… which," Erys makes a point of glancing Ivaric up and down. "shouldn't be a concern for you. You'll need to learn to understand that if love ever fails in your heart, you will fail. The cost of that could be great. Love must always be your highest priority, indeed it must at least in part inspire your further understanding of the Weave, right? Because it's the most necessary thing you'll ever learn. And perhaps most difficult, in addition to coming to love Lady Firehair Herself, gaining the capacity to love others…" Erys' eyes gained an air of sympathy for the pain she knew she was about to cause him. "You must love yourself."

S5E2-ErysEdric

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