S6Montage2-EdricErys

Day 1 – 2

Edric Crestrun

Dirt on his robes. As he hit the ground hard, the armor surrounding his chest thudding solidly against him, his arm stung from the blow that sent him there. His ears rung from the metallic clang that filled the air momentarily, replaced quickly with the sounds of nature around them. He looked up at his attacker, the sun in his eyes as he struggled to even get off the ground…he held out his hand. "…ouch. How in the hell do you get used to that?" It was the first of many training sessions he had organized with Erys, who had taken him on when he told her he wanted to learn to use armor and shields, so he would no longer need to cower behind the others in battle. He had no idea it was going to be this rough.

Erys Moongem

"Can you even lift it?" She'd pulled the punch, she'd specifically tried to be weak about it. But Ivaric had a long way to go. "You're just like Atara, you've spent so long cooped up with your books that you can't fight." She walked over to where he'd fallen and held out her hand to pull him back to his feet.

Edric Crestrun

Taking her hand, he grumbled a bit as he was pulled to his feet, only to almost lose his balance and fall back down, righting himself just in time. "Y'know…" He had a witty reply about books being more dangerous than swords, but he relented. "…you're right. I always thought that they'd be enough, but if things keep getting dangerous, one day I'm gonna have a sword in my gut and no one to blame but myself." Lifting the shield, he had at least one quality that helped him make up for his lack of strength, and that was his stubborn durability. He might not be able to block well, but he could at least take a few hits. "Yeah…let's try this again."

Erys Moongem

A look of concern at the mention of the possibility of a specific crossed her face, but she did her best to hide it. She'd been seeing him meet grisly fates recently, which made this exercising of his shield arm all the more important. Still, as she thought about his body opening to an attacker's blade, she couldn't help but realize she was picturing his stomach as it was just a few nights ago, beneath her. She shook the image from her mind, reminding herself to be careful. To focus. "Alright, I'm going to punch straight for your midsection. Brace and use your whole body weight to absorb the shock. Push against the blow if you can." She tightened her fist. Intense physical intimacy like this wasn't exactly good for preventing infatuations, but it gave her something to do. Actively trying to hold her full strength back, Erys moved to strike at her own shield in Ivaric's hands.

Edric Crestrun

Trying to hold fast against the blow, he cursed internally that he could not use his magic to do so, but reminded himself that wasn't the point, nor was it possible while cooped up in this heavy kit. As it landed, he felt the pain in his gut as the force of the blow bled through, and he almost hit the ground again, managing to right himself at the last moment and stay somewhat standing, if in a poor position. "Oof…how the hell do you handle a real blow in this stuff?" Except for an arrow that had caught him in the shoulder back at the treacherous Cragmaw Cavern, Edric hadn't taken blows like the rest of his compatriots, shielding himself with either magic or his friends themselves, while he performed his tricks from afar. He hadn't known true pain like they did, and it felt like it set him apart some times. In this sense, the pain was good. Still, if it had to be anyone…something about her raw strength and martial prowess seemed to only make her more beautiful in his inexperienced eyes.

Erys Moongem

"You practice," she said, launching another strike with barely any power behind it, "you take the best anybody ever throws at you," and another "and you stand up for girls getting picked on by bigger, tougher, older guys until finally—-" this last blow had finally done it, barely any power behind it but he was on his ass again. Still, an improvement. "Are you alright?"

Edric Crestrun

He hit the ground hard as he failed the weather that last blow, sliding along his back as the armor cut into his hip and he let out a grunt of pain, trying not to show how much it hurt. Gods, she was good at this, her movements struck him by how efficient they were, how well practiced each maneuver was in its execution, reminding him of the kind of masterful expertise he remembered from watching archmages at the academy. As he admired her, still remembering what she looked like under how kit with a faint blush, he felt his robe soak just a bit with blood. He didn't want to worry her, it felt like a minor wound, nothing compared to getting disciplined back on his old ship. That…and he didn't want her to think he couldn't handle this. He needed to show her that he could, it drove him to endure it. "Y-yeah, I'm fine." A bit of red stained the grass below him as he tried to cast a prestidigitation to hide it, only to find his magic failing him again. "A scratch, just a scratch."

Erys Moongem

She moved to where he was and ignored his protests, reaching out with her heart and letting some of Her love flow from her fingertips. The gold flecks in her eyes sparkled, and his wound healed itself. It was nothing, and she felt like she could effortlessly heal wounds like that all day. "No hiding injuries, no matter how minor." She glanced quickly to see if any of their companions were watching, and finding their privacy intact, she chose to tease him. "I've already seen you naked, Ivaric. No sense in not letting me patch you up. Plus, once you're above level, er… zero, I'm going to be hitting harder. I need to know if you're hurt so that I can see to it right away. It's non-negotiable."

Edric Crestrun

Seeing her so effortlessly heal his wounds, watching for those telltale signs of the Weave's manipulation as his flesh knit itself back together, he couldn't help but feel some of admiration for her and her skills. Yes, they had their night together, but he was starting to wonder, a few days later, if her warnings about developing feelings were just a mere side effect of her practice or something a bit more…real? Either way, he managed to pick himself off the ground this time and dust off, looking a bit embarassed. "I can't believe I'm so bad at this…but don't worry, I won't conceal anything anymore. I need to get better at this before we get to Waterdeep."

Erys Moongem

Erys finds herself smirking a little, as if to say 'you couldn't get much worse, dear', but she doesn't say it. "Let's call it a day there and head back to the group, yeah? I think Rowan mentioned finding some food."

Edric Crestrun

Even without words, he parses the meaning just fine as he hands her back her shield and slips out of the breastplate she had let him borrow along with it. "Food sounds good about now. Do you…think this is even worth it? I mean, if I can't cast my spells in the armor, there's not even a point to wearing it."

Erys Moongem

"That'll come with practice, Ivaric. Don't worry. When I first started, it was… nearly eighty years ago. And I wasn't much better. Atara was against me learning to fight but too many of the guys in our classes started shit. I had to learn to dish 'em out as well as take 'em, and believe it or not, it's much more important to take them. Trust me, we'll get you there. It's a long ride to Waterdeep and you've spent your whole life learning." She smiled reassuringly, or as reassuringly as she was able, leading the way as she effortlessly put her kit back on.

Edric Crestrun

"Trust me, I've taken more than my share of blows. When it's fists, feet, or even a cat-o-nine-tails, I can handle it well enough, but being durable isn't going to help with bladed weapons and morningstars." Just thinking about that blow from Groll that had sent Val down to the ground back at the castle was enough to give him immediate pause. "You really have been fighting the good fight for so long…I've only been around for a fourth of that, and only about ten of them actually studying magic. How could I ever catch up?" Thinking about it, the elves who mocked him unceasingly…they had spent decades trying to do what took him only a few years. No wonder they had been so mad. "So…before we get back, I wanted to know more about your Lady Firehair. Seeing her in that vision last night…I have to know more."

Erys Moongem

Erys' face instantly lit up. "Would you really? There's little in this world that brings me as much joy as celebrating and sharing in my love of Lady Firehair. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. But the vision from a few nights ago… I only got details. Why don't you tell me exactly what happened?"

Edric Crestrun

Nodding, he looked at her as he smiled, recounting the events as he still remembered them so vividly. "Well, I had been envisioning the sea and all its splendors, trying to visualize it as you had told me to, to better recount my love for it. I saw a sunset, a green flash, and the eruption of a volcanic isle being born. Then…" Even now, recounting that nightmare gave him chills, and he walked closer to her as he spoke, his voice hushing a bit. "…she appeared again. Umberlee. She was so angry, so sure I had betrayed her and her mercy. But then I heard your voice, clear as day even deep underwater, and you were there with me. For once, I wasn't alone, and you were holding my hand." His recounting grew more confident, as he looked at her with eyes that almost seemed…smitten. "She reached out to crush us, but as you spoke, you…you became Lady Firehair herself, or at least how she's described in the books I've read on the subject. You…She saved me, and brought to light the whole of the nightmare, and dismissed it entirely. I haven't had the same dream again since." Thinking about it, he could not seperate the feeling of infatuation he felt for Sune with that of Erys but…she had warned him about it, right? It wasn't anything, just sex, she had let him know that.

 

Day 3 – 4

Edric Crestrun
Surprise. That's what he felt, as he opened his eyes and found himself still standing after another of her blows rained down onto the shield. His arm still hurt like hell, and the armor still felt like a lead weight tugging down on his neck, but he was standing! He laughed, looking at her as he brought his shield back up quickly in anticipation, almost like he was challenging her to do it again, to prove he could. He was like a kid again, almost, proving his mettle in a very new way. He may be able to alter reality at a whim, but now he could block attacks with a big chunk of metal! "Hah! That was…ow, still, but I actually did it this time!"

Erys Moongem
"Great job, Ivaric. Fantastic. Take a breather, and when you're ready, bring the shield back up and hold. I'm gonna hit you for real this time." Erys stretched, rolling her shoulders, getting ready to really come at him. Unarmed, still, but she had to keep pushing him further or he would never advance.

Edric Crestrun
Taking a moment to recover he smiled, breathing a bit heavier but still raring to go as he raised up his shield once more, bracing behind it as she had taught him. "I'm ready when you are, Alvaroda. Don't be afraid to hurt me, I can take a hit." That was at least one thing he was certain of. The things he'd survived had proven that well enough long before he had met any of them. "I'm not gonna stop until I can knock you on your ass, that's a promise!"

Erys Moongem

Erys laughed, loud and carefree. She was going to enjoy this. As the days had gone on, she had felt her infatuation fading in favor of an honest appreciation of Ivaric. Yes, he was beautiful. Yes, he was powerful. Yes, he was truly blessed. But he was not irresistable. "Hold, Ivaric!" She shouted in warning, slamming her fist as hard as she could against her shield in his hands, pushing with her body weight and strength against his attempt to hold her advance back. The chainmail glove she wore protected her from all but the most superficial shock.

Edric Crestrun

For just a moment, it seemed like he might in fact hold, his feet holding firm into the dirt as the blow struck, but it was the followthrough that got him. The angle of his shield ended up wrong, and he felt something 'snap' in his wrist as he went right off his feet and toppled backwards. The pain hit him moments later, as the bones in his wrist ground against each other as he tried to catch himself, as he grabbed it with his other hand with a hiss, surpressing the urge to cry out as he looked up at her with a look that defied any attempt at pity. The bruising was immediate as he realised he had broken it, dropping the shield with his now useless hand, yet pulling himself back up to his feet with haggard breaths. "N-Not…bad…"

Erys Moongem

"Ooooh wow, I heard that. Sorry. Here." She moved to his body, ran her fingers over his wrist, pouring just enough of Her into the wound to mend the break, prevent the bruising, and undo the damage she had caused. The buzz was there, but it was weakening, which she felt good about. Still, it made her feel safer teasing him. She whispered, letting her voice take on a soothing tone "You needn't save face, Ivaric. I've seen you cry out in your most vulnerable moment."

Edric Crestrun
"It's not you…I guess I'm still that boy getting beaten down by his peers, trying not to let them see me cry." The pain faded away so quickly every time, as he felt her healing touch restore and mend the break almost instantly. It almost felt a bit euphoric. "I have nothing to hide from you, Alvaroda, but I still feel like they're staring me down sometimes." Picking the shield back up, he looked at her with that same eagerness in his eyes to continue, trying to sublimate his growing feelings into his efforts to improve at her behalf.

Erys Moongem

She returns to her position and waits for him to stand again, taking up a boxer's stance. She wasn't especially good at fighting unarmed, but it would spare him any serious injuries until he had a better chance against her. "You have nothing to hide from them, either. Hold the shield up when you're ready, Ivaric. We're all watching."

Edric Crestrun
He nodded as he held his shield up against her, fixing his stance and preparing for another strong blow. He wanted to prove them all wrong, but more than that he needed to prove himself wrong. Prove he was worth Sune's affection, and to feel that the way that Erys had shown him she did. "I wish I could honestly believe that, and maybe one day I will, but they're still out there…still looking down at me, thinking I don't deserve to be here. Thinking my name is garbage!" His arm stood strong this time as he took an aggressive pose.

Erys Moongem

At his remark, Erys' face hardens. "Don't talk to me about worthless names, Ivaric." She put the flash of anger flaring up in her heart, focused on Atara's constant chiding 'Again, Lady Kiirnodel?' and ran at him, slamming her fist again into the shield with all the fury and resentment she was harboring. As Ivaric managed to take the first, she instantly launched a second, momentarily blinded with rage at the vision of a tear-stained letter from Shad Dunbar.

Edric Crestrun
That second, enraged blow was one he was not prepared for at all, no matter how well his stance had been placed he just did not have the skill to properly deflect or absorb it. The shield was sent off to the side, as the blow connected with his chest instead, as he felt ribs crack under her knuckles, sprawling to the ground as he tried desperately to take in a breath. For a moment, his life flashed before his eyes, less out of imminent danger and more out of post-traumatic shock, as the memory of feeling bones broken under the fist of an angry elf flooded back to him as he was left shaking on the ground. Suddenly she was them, and he was the scared little boy again, eyes wide with terror at being trapped back in that hated moment. "S-st…stop….d-don't…"

Erys Moongem

Reality flooded back all at once, and Erys swore in Dwarven on reflex, "Caradhak. Ivaric, Ivaric, Ivaric, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. Shhh, shhh…" She tore her glove off on the run over to him, slid the last few inches, grabbed his face and kissed him, letting all of the healing light within her pour into his shattered body. 'Again, Lady Kii—' she shook the voice from her head and focused on her charge. She continued to cradle his face for a long moment, furious with herself for losing control for even a moment. "I'm sorry. You weren't ready for that blow. I was remembering my mother and the way she used to taunt me with my 'nobility'. I wasn't angry with you, I'm not angry with you. Everything is just fine. You're safe, I promise. But that's all for today."

Edric Crestrun

It took him a few moments to return to reality as her kiss seemed to snap him back, a flash of Sune's image appearing to intercede directly as he felt her kiss. His eyes went from a wild panic to a subdued calm, but a pain still lingered in his heart as he looked up at her, seeing the regret on her face as he weakly smiled. "It's okay. I'm okay, Alvaroda. I'll be okay." The way she held him made him feel even safer than her words could accomplish, as he put his arms around her for a moment to linger within that feeling, hugging her tightly. "It was…it brought me back to a bad time in my life, a time thankfully long gone." It was getting harder and harder to properly sublimate these feelings, as he felt that he wished he could remain in her arms like this more often, and her kiss still lingered upon his lips.

Erys Moongem

"Just rest for now. Healing magic is good but I feel like I let anger into our space. You'll be able to take a blow like that in a few days, but not yet." She frowned, moving to put his head in her lap and gently stroke his hair – a small act of reassuring intimacy, to roll back the damage her anger had done. "Let's talk about that. You mention it all the time. It's time I heard."

Edric Crestrun
Closing his eyes, he embraced her comfort happily as he began to roll back the years in his mind, revisiting those early days at the Academy. "I should explain something first, to give context to much of this story it's important to understand why I was treated the way i was before I detail the transgressions. My name…my surname isn't actually Crestrun. That's something I made up for myself when I signed up onto the crew of the Golden Lion, when I decided to become a new person and throw away my past. My real name is Edric Serall." The name alone brought back potent and yet faded memories of his dear mother, her smile as she watched him play, her tired expression after a long day. "I don't know if that means anything to you, but Serall is a Brothel Name, something they give to the employees as a way of protecting them and fostering a sense of familiy amongst the girls under their Madam. My mother was one such employee."

Erys Moongem

Erys chuckles ruefully a little, but it certainly made sense enough. "I think a lover I took in Neverwinter earlier in the year had that name. It makes sense, I suppose. You surely know from the way my sister looks at me every time I say it that Moongem isn't exactly the surname I was born with, either. And with my centennial approaching, I get to pick my own once I've decided on one. Serall is a beautiful name, surely as beautiful as Kii—… Kiirnodel. Why forsake it? Is it well-known as that sort of name?" She looks down into his eyes, trying to make clear she was listening and paying full attention even as the words 'become a new person and throw away my past' bounced around in the back of her head, resonating with intensity.

Edric Crestrun

Nodding, he had realized just through his incredibly rudimentary knowledge of Elven that Erys was the one with the altered surname, and he had wondered why for some time. Perhaps he would have an honest answer soon. "It's…one of the most popular brothels in the city. Anyone who heard my last name knew my mother was a prostitute, and reminded me of it on a daily basis…it stung far worse after she died, hearing their cruel taunts and insults about her. Some of them said they were glad she was dead before she could birth any more spawn like a rutting…bitch." He tensed up a bit, remembering their phrasing and feeling that old anger and shame welling up. "The one person who didn't care was Alvin. He was an incredible wizard who saw in me a talent that he claimed was deserving of the best attempts to foster it. He considered me a diamond in the rough, and was, at the cost of a great deal of his professional capital, able to admit me into the Academy of Neverwinter."

Erys Moongem

At his tensing, her gentle stroking of his hair became a firm, attention-grabbing grip. "You're beautiful. I am sure she was as well." She heard the rest, and smiled at the mention of his entrance to the Academy. "And which voice has proven the clairvoyant one? The ones who called you whoreson as if it were an insult? Or the one who said you had talent?" An Erys of even a month younger would have taken the opportunity to segue this conversation on talent into an awkward sex joke, but she was learning the lefts and rights of the social conventions of the group, and she opted out of remarking on recognizing his talent in the bedroom, 'y'know, for a virgin.' But that didn't stop her from grinning a little wider at the thought of it.

Edric Crestrun

Opening his eyes a bit at her grip, he blushed a bit as he returned her grin and tried not to let thoughts of their night together recently distract him from his retelling. "Well, you tell me. I can do things those pompous sons of bitches would turn green with envy at witnessing. But it still stung. It still stings to this day, even if I don't begrudge her a moment for what she did. I never felt ashamed of her, only of myself, because you are right, she was a beautiful person inside and out…she even prayed to Sune, even if I hadn't realized it until very recently, thanks to you." He had only just put this together with his new knowledge of the goddess, and it almost seemed fateful somehow. "Point is…they didn't like me at all. They were all highborn elves who had been guaranteed their spots in the Academy since birth, training with private tutors for over half a century with their privledge and told that they would become Bladesingers and High Mages without equal, and here I was performing above their level with only a fraction of the lifespan." The next part as he remembered it…his healed ribs ached with a phantom pain. "So they beat me. Almost to death once. They forced me to eat dung, saying it was fitting for a beast like me. They even humiliated me in front of one of the first girls I had ever had feelings for, just because she happened to be one of their sisters, stripping me and mocking me and bading her to laugh at me in my disgrace until I could never bear to even look at her again."

Erys Moongem

Erys knew the rage would be impossible to hide on her face, but as her fist clenched she at least had the good sense to pull it away from Ivaric's head first. "There is no greater sin than to sit idly collecting your daily allotment in feigned study, or real study even, without actually getting out and fucking doing something with it. To take something into yourself and to just… Ivaric, the things I've seen you do already, the things you're capable of. They would astound elves I remember from Evereska. Already, already, you're so capable. And we both know there's no stopping that particular wagon anytime soon, is there?" Finally feeling her blood cool, she moved her hand back to his face, to stroke his cheek in reminder of her verdict on the matter. "If we should ever encounter any of those knife-ears, you be sure to point them out to me. I'll show them the value of their wasted decades. You are no beast, Ivaric. You are brilliant and beautiful." 'If only you believed me when I said it.'

Edric Crestrun

Seeing her righteous anger only seemed to make his passion rise again, along with her declarations of his self-worth in her eyes, it was becoming more and more difficult to lie to himself. He was developing real feelings for her, but he believed she didn't feel the same way. She shared her love with everyone, why would she devote any extra to him? Even so, he leaned up as she stroked his cheek, and kissed her himself this time, closing his eyes and savoring the moment as he lay in her arms. All he knew right now is that he wanted to act on those feelings, the same way he did with Quinys, and in his heart he did not see a betrayal of either. "Alvaroda…you might just convince me yet."

Erys Moongem

She wrapped her arms around him tightly, enjoying the simple delight of being outside with a lover and having the freedom to kiss him without concern for being interrupted or bewildered or for…interrupting anything herself. The shock of the memory made Erys realize she needed to seek out her sister. "Ivaric… few things would make me happier. If we're done for the day, I need to find Ona. I just remembered that I owe her a rather big apology for something private that went wrong… Goddess, a month or more ago. I'll…probably tell her about us, too. If that's alright with you."

Edric Crestrun

Smiling, he nodded as he looked into her eyes and appreciated the view for just a few more moments. "I wouldn't mind at all…but if it's possible, I'd like if we could…have some more private time together ourselves later, if that's alright with you." Even if she just considered him another of her many lovers, he wanted to embrace her again, and show her just how much he appreciated everything she had done for him so far. She had helped him realized more about himself than almost anyone ever had, and let him find the good within the dark days of his adolesence "I need to go and speak with Dagger anyway, she's been asking for more help with her magic."

Erys Moongem

Erys giggled. "We have another tenday or so before we finally get back to Waterdeep." She winked seductively, her usual sense of self returning with the passing of the anger. "We'll have plenty of time together. Easy on those ribs, Ivaric." And as they parted, she found herself laughing internally at the revelation that the whoreson had adopted her nickname for the target of his affections. All concerns aside, she'd clearly done well to intercede there.

Day 5 – 6

Erys Moongem

She ran forward, picturing again the image of her mother absolutely decking the dwarf. She felt her muscles tense, she felt Sune's light fill her, and then with all her strength, WHAM against the shield from the left, a sidestep and WHAM against the shield from the right, and finally with all of her bodyweight a solid strike to the center of his mass, pushing as hard as she could against the shield to knock him down. She was already sweating from the effort they'd put in today, and breathing hard, and she could tell that he was too, and frankly, there was an undeniable beauty to it, even as she fueled her punches with rage. "Well done, Ivaric. And in only about a week. You're really getting there."

Edric Crestrun

Every blow of her gauntlets rang out against the shield like a bell, his confidence rising with every blow he withstood, even pushing back a bit as he gained a bit of ground on her advance. As they finished up that day's training, he was panting but not out of breath, sweating but not exhausted, and while he still didn't have the concentration needed to cast a spell, he was getting closer and closer every day. "Thanks…always said I was a fast learner, be it magic, fighting, or in the bedroom, according to you." He grinned, as he started to feel like he could be a little cheeky now, trying to make that part of him real, and not a play he put on just for the others. So far it had only been Quin and Erys who had seen past that mask, but he hoped soon he could be his true self all of the time.

Erys Moongem

Erys chuckled. "Don't get fuckin' cocky, tomorrow I'm coming at you with a dagger. It's gonna hurt if you fuck up. It's gotta. Only way you learn the reflexes. Might stab you a little." But she nodded, giving him his win for the day. "But you're right, you're picking this up quick. Still no magic?"

Edric Crestrun

Shaking his head, he set the shield down, his arm plenty sore today but in a good way, that way that told you that you'd made some progress. "Not a bit. Couldn't even if I wanted to, mind you, but that was all me." Of course he could have cast a spell beforehand to give him protection, but that wasn't the point of any of this. He had to get good at this for real, or it wouldn't matter if he had full plate on, he'd still be dead if someone closed the distance. "You know, I'm curious, who taught you how do do this so well? I'm asking because, really, you're a fantastic teacher. I don't think I'd have learned so quickly or as well if it wasn't for you. Isn't this kind of stuff part of the training for nobility or something?"

Erys Moongem

She takes a seat in today's particular grassy field and stretches, getting comfortable. She was really starting to love their post-session talks. "Oh, fuck no. No, gosh. Okay, so we have two moms. Avara – Aegan, who I take after a bit more, and she's really sweet. Really compassionate. She got me out of a lot of trouble when I was younger, y'know, this or that noble boy said for sure I would marry him, of course my daughter would never…. and okay maybe I had, just to get him to sleep with me. I was young! I was still learning. She was there for me all the time. But she was much more focused on making sure we were loved, that we grew up healthy. More of the traditional mother, I guess you could say."(edited)

Edric Crestrun

Pulling off the armor, which had gone from a ten minute process to something he could do with little effort, he set it aside and took a seat next to Erys, leaning a bit as he rested against her. Listening to her story, he couldn't help but be a little envious, even if he tried to hide it, knowing that her childhood had been rather blessed. More than envy though, he was happy she had that. Happy that someone had that, after his conversations with Quinys, it sometimes felt like the two of them occupied their own world of bad parents and absent ones. "Sounds nice. You elves really start off young, huh? Or was that just you?"

Erys Moongem

Erys giggles a little. "I joke with myself sometimes that Sune knew I was Hers so early on that She got started on me early. I started a little earlier than you're technically supposed to, but most elves are at least experimenting… at least, commoners. Nobles there's all this… you've seen how obsessively I drink my nararoot tea. I absolutely cannot get pregnant because then there is big trouble shit, especially now, a year out of Evereska. Word would get out, Ona would undoubtedly feel dutybound and… And there would be questions. I don't want questions. I don't want kids. I don't really even necessarily want to keep—- So, the point is, Atara, Vestera, she's my other mother. Ona takes after her more, right? So just look. She was more the prototypical father, I guess. Very firm with rules, very disappointed when I got caught doing things that weren't befitting a noble lady. She used to get these letters from the other Houses, fucking detailing this or that fist fight or this or that illicit dalliance and it'd always be, 'Again, Lady Kiirnodel?' just to drive the point home. Like I was supposed to even want that. So no, being a noble had nothing to do with it. Far from it, actually. Maybe that's where Ona got her training? But I learned the way you're learning, just slower because I didn't have a teacher. Really… nice of you to remark that you think I'm doing a good job, by the way." She kisses the side of his head. "It obviously means a lot, considering the context of our relationship."

Edric Crestrun

He smiled, both because of the casual kiss and the way that they were talking, her so casually going on about her childhood of constantly defying the standards of nobility, that small annoyed tone in her voice making him laugh occasionally at this detail or that. It had become sort of a regular thing now out here on the road, something he hoped could continue on their arrival in Waterdeep and the continuation of their actual, rather grim task. It was like living in a different world for awhile. More and more, however, he couldn't help but feel that warmth in his chest as he laid against her, slipping his head down into her lap as he looked up at the bright blue sky above them. "Nobility sounds so overcomplicated. How can you keep all those rules in mind all the time? No wonder Onys hates me so much, I must seem like a total boor to her." Things made more sense when it all came into context, the wild child and the 'good' sister who has to keep her from getting in trouble, and often failing. And yet he could understand the love between the siblings was stronger than any bond he'd seen in this world. "How do you see the context of this relationship, Alvaroda?" He was starting to get genuinely curious. It was true that she was helping lead him not only towards martial prowess, but both a better understanding of Sune, and of himself. Where he fit in, he wasn't totally sure yet.

Erys Moongem

She started stroking his hair as he returned his head to her lap, perfectly fine. Having been days, the buzz had faded. Infatuation was no longer a concern, and her honest appreciation for Ivaric's beauty could stand as exactly as it ought to. So she found his question rather… perplexing. "I'm not sure I understand, Ivaric. Are you asking me if I'm falling in love with you?"

Edric Crestrun

"Not exactly…" He wasn't ready to be completely honest about how he felt, or even totally sure if that was how he felt in the first place. Even so, he didn't expect her to fall in love at all, to the contrary, she had made her stance on such things quite obvious from the very beginning. That didn't stop some small part of him from hoping for something more, of course. Between Quin's outer shell, and Erys's fleeting stance towards romantics, Edric felt…a bit adrift in his feelings, and it was starting to make him feel a little less secure. "I'm happy the way things are, you know? I guess I just don't have much experience with this, not like you or Onys, or even Val. Unlike you, I'm starting really late at this whole game."

Erys Moongem

She continues to stroke his hair, really enjoying the feel of him between her fingertips. It fels especially nice to be able to enjoy the physical sensation without worrying about infatuation causing issues… but perhaps Ivaric himself was a little faestruck. Was that such a bad thing? Maybe it would help him keep his relationship with Dagger professional until he was no longer her mentor, no longer just another Adonis for her to cling to. That was important. So she didn't hesitate to touch him even as she saw what she saw in his eyes. "I love the way things are between us, Ivaric. I love spending time with you. I love knowing you're behind me with powers I just don't understand and you're growing every day. I love watching you grow. I love seeing you wield what you wield and I love how well it complements what the rest of us do. I love teaching you. We're meant to be together, all of us. You and I were meant to be together that night. I am sure of those things. You're experiencing your first infatuation, and that's okay, but I did warn you. I'm beautiful, and you loved making love with me. And Sune Herself, blessed be, was right there with you. Your heart thinks there's maybe more there. It's okay to admit it out loud if it's true."

Edric Crestrun

Maybe if he wasn't as mindful, or even overly intelligent, he would be able to so easily admit how he felt, and just accept it and move on. Maybe if it was just a simple infatuation, he'd be able to dismiss it and be happy with the deep friendship that they had developed together. No, he was happy, just sitting her with here and listening to her talk, he was happy. But the way she said it, the way she presented those last few lines, 'your first infatuation' 'that's okay' 'I did warn you' 'Your heart thinks there's maybe more there' 'It's okay to admit it', it felt like she was talking down to him. She was dismissing how he felt before he had even admitted it, as nothing but a schoolboy infatutation. Maybe it was. But it still stung somehow, and now he couldn't admit it, out of some sense of pride, because to admit he felt that way would be to admit he had made some judgement in error born of a naivety, and he wasn't comfortable in that space. "No, you're right. It's just an infatuation. I'm…sure it will pass soon enough. I appreciate everything you've done for me so far, and it's only…natural I'd feel some kind of attachment to the person who introduced me to my sexuality." Now he was rationalizing it, and pushing it into a quantifiable box. It couldn't hurt him there, and he could just look at it and remind himself what these feelings really were. He could just enjoy the contact between them. Time to switch the subject. "So, tell me about some of these fist fights you got into, is that why you had to train yourself?"

Erys Moongem

Erys shook her head, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. "Ivaric, it is very important to me that you understand two things. What you feel now may be infatuation. Particularly if you find yourself called to service for Sune, real romantic affection may develop between us. If that's the case, we are helpless. Like…" she quickly tosses aside a 'ships lost at sea' metaphor and reaches for… uh, shit. "Like… wild animals. If Sune sees fit to light a fire between us, trust me. We will be unable to resist, and I will give myself fully to that fire. There are some who believe that when a Sunite's service is well and truly finished in the world, they're granted that… second Truelove in their life, because of course, Lady Firehair always comes first." 'Stupid joke.' "I don't want you to feel belittled or discarded. Just to recognize that you are every bit as attractive to me as I am to you, and that we share a bond – thanks to the night of my Oathtaking – that will last forever. Period."(edited)

Edric Crestrun

His attempt at redirection rebuffed, it was for the best, as her explanation seemed to strike a better resonance this time. This time he could be a little more honest. "I…you're right, I don't exactly know what this is yet. I'm overthinking something that's already been wonderful and unique, and built on something that I still don't have any grasp of yet, but you seem to consider a divinely unique moment. I don't want to say how I feel, just not yet, not until I think I'm sure about it. Especially because I don't know if it's as simple as it is for most people. For instance…I think I'm going to stop being a mentor to Dagger, I'm going to tell her when we get to Waterdeep that I can't be her teacher anymore." He didn't want to explain exactly how he felt there either. "Point is, whatever is going on between us, I want to find out. I care about you enough that I don't want to screw it up by assuming things too quickly, and if we keep talking about it, I'm going to make an ass of myself…and for once in my life I think I'm ready to start sharing myself with someone and screwing that up isn't an option."

Erys Moongem

She smiled. It wasn't all that often that a first-timer could handle this sort of thing so well. It was really cute. She tried not to laugh at him, but she knew it was showing in her eyes, that sense of amusement she always had now when she looked at him. Even when he argued with Ona. Her fondness for him was a direct result of what he'd done for her, sure, but also his beauty. He kept himself looking immaculate, even in the most bizarre circumstances. She'd wondered how but obviously: fuckin' wizards. It had to be a spell. "Once you're no longer her mentor…" She reconsiders. After all, he'd just expressed that he didn't want to talk about it. "I highly doubt you can screw things up with me, Ivaric." [i say, remembering our many conversations about nightmare scenarios and how we'll obviously flashback to this moment] She stroked his cheek again, bringing her hand to his chin and kissing him again. "Sometimes, I've found that making love without all the wonder of the first time can help ease that initial rush of infatuation. Plus, it's been a few days. It might be fun. Wanna sneak off together tonight, after dinner, once everyone's turned in? We could take our time, I could show you a few things we didn't quite get to last time. It's not like you can't sleep in. I've been standing watch constantly and fucking nothing is coming at us on the main road. Honestly… I could use the stress relief."

Edric Crestrun

He blinked, before grinning a bit, things normalizing again after the kiss, as he sat up from her lap, turning to stand up as he stretched, feeling the burn in his arms as he did so and looked at Erys with a warmth in his expression that had almost faded from self-doubt, so close to slipping back into that wretched state of self-loathing. "Yeah, I think that could be fun. Same place as now, or…did you have someplace else in mind? Scout found a nice clearing in the woods we could steal away to while he was hunting." He was glad she didn't ask further about Quinys…that was a situation that had yet to develop, but he hoped he could share with her soon. Two loves were blossoming for him at the same time, and despite what typical logic would dictate, he refused to make it a one or the other proposition. He was Edric Crest….Edric Serall, dammit, and if he could make reality his own plaything on a whim, he could love whoever he damn well pleased.

 

Day 7 – 8


Edric Serall

Another day, another grassy plain, another meeting with Erys. He looked forward to it every day, ready to once again throw himself into his training and improve his skills. The day before had been one of revelations, the wound on his hand still aching slightly, reminding him of the oath he had made to Quinys and his newfound devotion to the cause of inspiring love and admiration within her, truly beginning to understand the meaning of Sune's concepts. Looking around for Erys, he waved to her as he spotted her across the way, smiling. "Hey! You ready to get serious today?"

Erys Moongem

She had seemed to have been busy with something, but at the sound of Ivaric's voice, she cast it aside. "Hey!" She marveled at the sight of him. Something had indeed changed. She grabbed her dagger, spinning it a few times in the air as she walked over to the place it made sense to have their sparring session for the day. "Ready to beat your ass some more? Absolutely. Been looking forward to it after the other night." She tossed her shield and chainmail breastplate over to him, expecting him to cast the required spells to affix the fit appropriately, per usual. It's not like anything interesting was going on. She'd regret wishing for more action in no time at all, she was sure of it. "What's up with your hand?" She swung her dagger down into its sheathe and moved towards him, reaching for his hand.

Edric Serall

He grinned, as he stepped towards the makeshift arena, and shrugged at her comment regarding at the night before. "Oh? Are you looking for a rematch for that as well? Because I'd be happy to oblige, any time." Something about him was indeed different, and that sense of hesitation that had existed within him seemed almost imperceptible. Crestrun was gone, Serall was here, and he was ready to give it his all. Now that he had come to terms with Quinys, he had set his sights on the woman before him, and intended to share every bit of Sune's love with her, in more than just the physical sense. As she reached for his hand, he drew it back smoothly, tutting. "Ah, I can't have you healing that away. This needs to mend the old-fashioned way, or else I'll be doing injustice to Dagger."

Erys Moongem

It began with her eyebrows. They just rose. And they just kept rising. And they seemed to pull the rest of her face along with it, from the wound itself to Ivaric's face. Mouth wide half in shock and half in pride, her eyes darted looking for any hint, any indication. And then like a wave, the memory of Adonis and her stern warning against violating their compact. Her shoulders slumped and she looked downcast. "You didn't."

Edric Serall

He shakes his head, as he grins. "No, I didn't. We did something far more significant." He goes on to explain what had happened at the waterfall, as well as the questions he had been asking her the past seven days. In culimnation, he describes how they had cut their hands, and clasped them together, promising to stand at each other's sides until death came between them. He seemed to speak with an immense pride, as much as he had for their own first moment of intimacy. "We're bound together, now. She is my peer, my equal, and my right hand, and I am hers."

Erys Moongem

Erys lost herself in thought, and in the implications of it all, seeming to be lost in a complex calculation before realizing that… yes, that was the way. A partner in all other ways but a partner. An equal. She honestly felt a little embarrassed she hadn't come up with the idea herself. But then she found herself looking just the slightest bit crestfallen. "…is this an exclusive thing? Were you teasing me with the promise of a rematch in order to make sure I knew the door was closed? Was the other night goodbye, Ivaric?"

Edric Serall

Once again, he shook his head, as he reached out with his left hand, the one unscarred and took her hand in his. "Far from it. I meant that honestly. I love Quinys, but when I realized what I had accomplished with her, I also realized that I might just love you too. You have brought me to a place where I never would have imagined myself, and made me reconsider my life and it's purpose. Sune's path is to spread love, and to spread admiration and friendship where love cannot or should not blossom, and with you, I believe that love can, and should indeed bloom." Holding her hand in his, he now clasped it with the other, holding it between them. "I don't know how most people consider these things, but…I don't see a reason to kill one love for the sake of another. It would be nothing but a waste."

Erys Moongem

The touch of his hand on hers was every bit as electric as the first time their lips had met, and for a moment in time, everything froze. This wasn't going to be a declaration. This was going to a confession. It was in his eyes. It was in his damnable smirk. She had to focus on what he was saying. "Far from it," 'No, see, people, they don't actually love—-' "I love Quinys." 'Of course you do. Here it comes. This is goodbye after all.' "I might just love you too." 'No, no, Ivaric… it's infatuation, we've known each other barely a tenday and…and…' and then he proved it, the way a boy who grew up hearing false confessions would have to know was the right way to do it, the way a boy who'd seen what he'd seen would know he had to make it tangible and real for her. He had to prove it. The flash of an image in her mind of the sea, of sharks, of fury. Her impulse was to bury. To take a firm grasp of the feeling welling up inside of her and shove it as deeply down as she could, to not let it show on her face. She could at least step back and let the two of them have their love, have the satisfaction of having fostered it — and hadn't that always been enough? Hadn't that always been… She let him pull her close, let their faces be drawn a moment apart. She hadn't realized the tears were just slipping out now, that he undertood, that he really had been touched by Her. She hadn't realized how she'd react. People didn't love her. They loved her body. They loved what she taught them. They loved what her noble status meant to their plans for social ascension. But that never, ever, resulted in… and there was clearly no thought to her House, no mention of why, save Lady Firehair, which was certainly good enough for her. "Ivaric…" She found herself whispering, moving her head to rest for just a few precious moments against his chest. "You idiot." She just let herself take in the feel of his body against hers, the weight of him against her, and finally, blinking, she pulled away. "It's cheating to use Her words." She sniffled, smiled, and steeled herself. Her first formal response to an honest declaration of love in half a century. "I don't know if I love you in the language you're describing, Ivaric. But I do love you. I don't know if that's ultimately what She wants of me. But I do love you. And if you want to till the soil, I'll not disrupt your work. But I can't deny that I hope it goes well. And in the end, Goddess help me – what will be, will be." She pulled away from him, hoping it would clear her head, but she found that it only made her long for their training today, the physical sensation of moving forward. Waterdeep felt weeks away.

Edric Serall

His hand ran through her hair as she rested her head against his chest, having watched a kaledoscope of emotions cross her face. Things had changed so drastically for him recently, and having her to hold onto made things far more simple. She loved him, much like Quinys, in a way that wasn't quite love. He was learning that, in truth, that was more than enough. As she stepped back away, he moved to grab the shield and step back towards the designated area to begin their training. "I learned from the best, you know. Whatever happens, whatever future we end up choosing, I'll be happy as long as I get to be part of it with you."

Erys Moongem

She couldn't help but smile, a faint blush painting her cheeks as she readied herself, drawing her dagger from its sheath and twirling it with a practiced hand. "We'll see if you still feel that way in a half hour." She laughed, looking down at the ground, then at the sky, and then suddenly she was moving. She felt so light without her armor on, but she certainly was nothing like Dagger. She ran at him and swung her arm, careful not to cut him too deeply in the worst case and ready to heal any wound save his sacred mark with Dagger. She felt herself distracted with thoughts of her, with thoughts of Adonis, which was good. Mind not on the strike meant she wasn't putting her whole force into it. Safer that way.

Edric Serall

As she came at him, he moved his shield quickly to deflect the blow, but it was difficult. The edge made it skitter along the metal surface, and soon enough it dug into his arm and scored a cut across it. Even so, he barely winced, and if she gestured to try and heal it, he would shake his head and refuse and get back into his stance. "Don't heal me until I really need it. I need to see just how much punishment I can take before I go down, and this is the safest opportunity to do so." Even with armor, he needed to know how much he could survive.

Erys Moongem

Her gesture rebuffed and the explanation heard, Erys glanced down at the dagger in her hand, a sliver of blood along the blade. She grinned wickedly. "Alright, Ivaric. That's your decision. But… if you want me to stop, just say…" She considered a moment, the parallel as obvious as the ground beneath them. "…Giant." A moment later, she was on the move again.

Edric Serall

As they moved, the act became somewhat of a dance. The graceful movements of Erys and her dagger, the strong striding steps of Edric and the shield, as the sound of metal on metal clashing began to fill the air, silenced occasionally as the dagger slipped through his defenses and left another cut on him. As he found himself relying too much on the armor to deflect the attacks, he started pushing the shield out further. "I'm not going to stop until I'm on the ground, Alvaroda. Don't hold back so much."

Erys Moongem

She laughed, not stopping, quickening her movements, picturing the cavemouth. How had Dagger moved? She emulated it, lettering her legs carry her around and around him in unpredictable directions at unpredictable speeds. She felt contact but ignored it. He wanted to test his limits and she could bring him back from the brink. 'Stay away from the inner thighs… well, there's a thought I don't have all that often.' She noted his neck and spine as well, and kept him safe – but she gave him what she had with the small weapon.

Edric Serall

The more she rained down with her attacks, the more he blocked, and yet the more managed to slip through his defenses. He was too slow still in this armor, and as he found a break in the attacks, he stopped and held up a hand, cuts across his body already starting to bleed a little more than they should. With a bit of effort, he pulled off the breastplate, dropping it onto the ground as he pulled off his tunic shirt as well, the cuts across his body more visible against his skin. "No need to ruin a good shirt, right?" He was still confident, even as he started to feel the edge of the blood loss. "I'm going to get this down, I promise you that."

Erys Moongem

She was breathing hard now, having to put in a lot of effort to move around at this speed. She felt the soreness in her muscles and marveled at how he looked without his tunic on. Her eyes were wild, the sight of his pain and struggle possessing its own unique kind of beauty. "Better not take the rest off. A woman can only control so many impulses at -" She flew at him again, laughing with delight at each successful block and calling his name at each successful strike. It sure felt awfully familiar. She could get used to this teaching thing.

Edric Serall

Grinning, he was enjoying this, even as the pain started to become a distraction, and his body became a lattice of bleeding cuts. The excitement of it all, after his dual admissions to both her and Quinys, made him feel more alive than he had in years. Even so, the blood loss was starting to get to him, and soon enough his grip weakened, and the shield slipped out of his blood slicked hand, which lead a particularly deft dagger thrust into his shoulder, leading him to gasp out and go down to one knee, putting up a hand to yield. "E-enough…that's enough, Alvaroda. G-Giant."

Erys Moongem

In what looks and surely feels like a fluid motion, Erys kicks the shield away from the two of them, tears her dagger out of him, throws it so that it digs into the ground,, grabs him by the wounded shoulder and pushes him to the ground, straddling him, kissing him, pouring the light of their Goddess into his whole body — careful to avoid the right hand. Visible light shone around them as his wounds healed, his mind steadied, and he was good as new. Mostly. Still atop him, Erys' exhaustion was clearly apparent. "Tell me I beat you, beautiful. Tell me I made you give in."

Edric Serall

As her kiss sent Sune's light throughout his body, he could feel all his wounds sealing back up at once, as the pain faded away from all but a single, cherished wound. Straddled atop him, his breathing matched hers as a smile slipped across his face, fully pinned and defeated, and yet satisfied by the result. "You win, Alvaroda. Completely and utterly, I am defeated." His hands, shaking and bloodied a moment before, were firm and steady as they rested on her hips. "Is that what you want to hear?"

Erys Moongem

She made a sound of intense satisfaction and kissed him again, delighted. "Yeah," she whispers against his cheek, "it really fucking was." She stands, quickly, before she pulls him into a middle-of-the-day trist. The urge is pretty strong, but he'd just confessed a love for her and then she'd beaten the hell out of him. It was probably enough for today. "Let's call it there. You can take a lot more than I expected, Ivaric."

Edric Serall

Dusting himself off, he smiled. "Coming from you, that's quite the complement. You were pretty deft with that dagger of yours. Did you pick up a few tricks from Dagger, or was that all you?" He had been watching Quinys's technice since they had met, and while Erys had performed admirably, no one else quite matched her skill with a small blade. "You may not compete with her deftness with the Weave, but you might give her a run for her money in a knife fight."

Erys Moongem

Erys shook her head, catching her breath, stretching. "No… no way… I mean, I've used it all my life, it's my go-to in emergencies, but it just can't do the kinds of things my longsword can. She'd toy with me, tire me out, exactly like you were just about able to do there. And then she'd have me, worse than I had you. One major artery or one good feint and Dagger's probably got me in a fair knife fight. The things that girl can do. Beautiful." As she spoke, Erys gathered the various bits of her kit and mended them, redonning them with little interruption. "Before we even start talking about whatever madness you've taught her."

Edric Serall

Grabbing his tunic shirt, he slipped it back over his head as he began to cast prestidigitation to undo the bloodstains and small tears that had accumulated before he had removed it, doing the same for the rest of his appearance until, once again, he looked like he had just freshy showered in perfectly laundered clothes. As he watched her redress, he did a bit of the same, as he cast away some of the dried blood that had splashed upon her armor. "Madness? No, my love, I have taught her the Art, the most splendid of its kind, and she has taken to it as a fish takes to water."

Erys Moongem

Erys puts an active effort into not looking too disappointed at his redressing, but it'd be ridiclous to expect him to go around topless all the time. Kind of him, though. With a gesture, he cleaned her armor of his blood for her and she was almost disappointed. She found herself enjoying the evidence of his struggle to resist her. Someday, someday soon, he was going to be able to deflect a blow like the one that had finally beaten him; her breath catches in her throat, though she tries to hide it. "I've seen her practicing this and that, but it's awfully interesting that she has magical talent despite…" Erys finally thinks of something that cleanses the aroused blush from her cheeks. "What she's been through."

Edric Serall

"I almost wonder if, in some strange way, it had something to do with it. Her talent seems different from any elf practicioner I've met, and I wonder if that's due to her disconnection from her heritage, thanks to He Who Will Be Soon Forgotten." To wit, he would be forgotten when he was a pile of ash on the ground, or a very stabbed to death corpse, courtesy of Dagger herself. The latter would be more beneficial, but now that he had this bond with her…anything was possible. "To try and explain it, if I wield the Weave by taking a pair of sewing needles and adding a stitch here, removing one there, and weaving entirely new structures, she's…well, she's using them as stabbing weapons and tearing right through."

Erys Moongem

She smirked ruefully, hatefully, at the nickname Ivaric had chosen for Adonis. On this, most of all, they were most assuredly agreed. "So wait — after all the time she's spent with you, she's not using your techniques, but her own?"

Edric Serall

He shrugged, looking about as lost as she was on the matter. "She figured out her own way to do things before I could even teach her properly. There are some limitations, it's a rough way of doing things, but she's managing some unprecidented progress. Maybe she'll have to start relying on more traditional methods if she reaches her limits, and there are limits to such a style of magic, but she's smart enough to know what to do next."

Erys Moongem

That made Erys smile. It was no wonder that Dagger was uniquely talented. She felt a bit of pride, even, having recognized it so early in their relationship. After, she remembered, being a total bitch to her. She'd saved her sister's life from the wolves like it was nothing, and she blamed it on a deovtion to… Erys nods to herself, many things clicking into place for her at once. "I imagine she is." She glances up at him, a look of mixed concern and a dare in one. "What about your limits?"

Edric Serall

It was like he had been waiting for someone to ask him that question for weeks now, and he had. Frankly, it was something he thought about a lot, and it was hard to hide the excitement as a grin creeped across his face. "Frankly? I don't know if they exist, beyond time and effort. I've unfailingly managed to scribe everything I've gotten my hands on, and every day it feels like my control over the Weave improves….and it's only going to get stronger. There's a well known Wizard's Guild in Waterdeep, with a library of spells almost unrivaled. If I can afford their dues, I have access to…well, almost unlimited power." He was excited…if he was a guilded wizard, so many doors would open to him, both literal, figurative, and metaphysical. "Soon I'll be able to do things that I could have only dreamed about back in the Academy."

Erys Moongem

She loves seeing him happy, excited, almost childlike in his excitement. And at learning. Not at studying in some tower, and not staying in his Academy — but seeking out more. That she could respect. He'd meet his limits, someday, surely, and she'd be there to soothe him. And push him past them. The though delighted her. "If you need more money to be able to afford the tuition or dues or whatever, you could always sell that fucking robe."

Edric Serall

"Oh, I plan to…but first I'll need to offload some of the contents at the appropriate vendors. This thing is only going to cause more problems, and it'll be worth a pretty bit of gold to the right merchant." He had stopped wearing it often, mostly keeping it wrapped up in his pack where it wouldn't tempt him to come up with any more terrible ideas. "Honestly, it should be far more than enough. With the money left over, I should be able to stock up on enough spells for half a lifetime."

Erys Moongem

"Heavens above… I certainly haven't made that kind of money doing any of the stuff I've been doing. Well, Ona's hoarded most of our gold. I tend to, y'know, spend it." She smiles wide, excited to share her passion with an intensity equalling his. "So this chainmail, right? It's training armor. Now that I'm an official paladin sanctioned by Lady Firehair herself and all – thanks again for the assist, by the by – I've got to look into getting myself some proper plate armor. I'm gonna be at the head of things with Rowan a lot of the time and… we're gonna have a lot more shit to deal with. Especially this bounty situation in Waterdeep. Doesn't make any godforsaken sense. Anyway. So my first set of plate, right, I'm gonna get plated with gold and red, just paint, y'know – I can mend it when it gets damaged, so why not? But it'll look amazing. Seems to be the right way to advertise exactly what I am and not 'hide myself away,' right?"

Edric Serall

Listening to her describe her own passion, he smiled as in the back of his mind, gears began to turn. She really was beautiful when she was excited about something, more beautiful that is, like a fire being fed fresh fuel and blazing upwards in response, burning brighter and higher. As she did, he walked over, running his hands along her arms as he secretly did measurements in his head, passing it off as an intimate gesture. "Right, as if you would be one to hide yourself or your purpose. Frankly, you don't need armor to accomplish that, but it would send out the right signal. Personally…I think you make a bigger statement for Sune when you're wearing nothing at all, but that's a very different statement indeed. I'm speaking from experience, of course." He wasn't much one for flirting, but it was time to give it a spin for once.

Erys Moongem

She giggled openly, loving the feel of his hands on her body and the sound of his words. "Nice… nice… you really are learning. Heavens above, if I could serve Her without the need for the armor. That would really be something. You're certain you wouldn't find yourself jealous, Ivaric? All the men and women of Waterdeep with their disgraceful vices gazing upon…" She placed her hands on his and guided them along her body, describing a variety of her assets in turn with a mocking, seductive tone, challenging him to take possession of her in the moment. As she did, she gradually turned to face him in his arms. "The Lady Firehair desires more of me than enticing the beautiful to my bedchamber. As I believe you'll agree She's demonstrated. Just look at you, Ivaric."

Edric Serall

To be honest, he had meant it more as a joking flirtation, but seeing-and feeling-her taking it to a very real place was a pleasant turn indeed. "Jealousy implies I have some concept of exclusivity with you, and if there's one thing you've taught me, Sune will always come first. Besides, I wouldn't wish to prevent you from spreading Her love to others, that would truly put me on a shitlist to deprive Her of such an effective agent." His hands moved with hers, as he worked some of the same discipline that he used to master the Art to keep himself from doing anything too…drastic. "You're right…and that's why I wanted to tell you, I intend to devote myself to her in truth and practice. When we get to Waterdeep, I'd like to visit Her temple with you, and start working on becoming Her servant."

peramene

[ok now you gone done and did it]

Red Phantom

[oh i know i did]

Erys Moongem

Erys' mouth opened ever so slightly in a moment's expression of shock, her eyes darted over his face looking for any indication, any sign of deception. Anything. Anything to make her doubt his words for an instant, and there was none. She'd taken a lost sailor, a bitter, cynical, fuckin' wizard of all things, and she'd led him away from the watery depths of a nightmarish Hell she could only imagine… to Her. She'd brought him to Her. Perhaps she'd always been meant to, perhaps she'd always been able to. Perhaps she hadn't been working hard enough. It's not as though Sune had any shortage of disciples, but… but… he looked at her and he loved her. He loved her, and he wanted her, and he wanted her again, and he knew damn well She was first in her heart always and not only was that good enough for him… it was the natural order of things. In time, She would earn Her rightful place in his heart, too. But for now, Erys could do nothing but kiss him, and kiss him, and kiss him, as she desperately pulled away any possible barrier between them and pulled him to the ground.

Day 11 – 12

Edric Serall

With the journey almost at it's end, Edric was pushing himself. He was so close, and as Erys rained down attack after attack with her dagger, he felt like he was nearly there. No, he still couldn't concentrate long enough to throw out a single spell, but he was keeping her blade at bay, with nary a scratch on him. He was thrilled. He was alive, and moving with an efficiency and grace that would have been impossible before their training had begun. He shone out there, dodging and blocking, until finally he made his move. With a single, hard shove, he bashed towards Erys using the shield, trying to knock her onto her ass.

Erys Moongem

Breaking up the monotony of hours a day of traveling, these sessions with Ivaric had quickly become the highlight of Erys' day. The fact that he was so quickly advancing in skill, that he was so ready to devote himself to her Truelove and join the ranks of earnest heartwarders in the world filled her heart with a joy and dedication to the cause of pushing him harder than she had yet. She flew at him, barely getting a strike past the barrier and then – she simply stopped the shield with her free hand, pulled it off his arm and spun around, her dagger close to his throat. "And you're dead." She handed him the shield back. "I know it feels like a big heavy weapon, but it's only good in extremely close quarters. You can't use it to much effect against a single opponent like this situation, and if you try, you open yourself up to shit like that. Don't try facy shit, Ivaric. Focus on not getting hit, and focus on feeling Sune and the Weave or both or whatever inside you. That's what you should be trying to hit me with." She stood for a time twirling the dagger in her hand.

Edric Serall

Defeated and out maneuvered, Edric sighed before smiling and grabbing the shield back from her. "Don't worry, I'll get you one of these days. I just need to make a break through, and then we'll see who's on the floor next time." Since his promise of dedicating himself to Sune, Edric had redoubled his studies, leaving almost no time for anything but his training with Erys and his conversations with Quin, both of which he considered to be of the utmost importance. "I'm ready when you are, unless you think we need a break." Yesterday had ended rather abruptly, so he hoped he would be able to get a little more work in today…not that he particularly objected to how they strayed off the subject matter, however.

Erys Moongem

"If it's a breakthrough you need, we'll have to start pushing you harder. Let's rest a bit and enjoy one another's company. Then I'll get back to the grueling task of beating your ass. I got you once or twice that last round – want me to heal 'em now or wait 'em out?" After a tenday of training, the routine had become second nature. A gesture from her and their equipment was fixed, a gesture from him and it was clean. A kiss, and wounds sealed. The familiarity was nice. She sheathed her dagger and found a rock to sit on, exhausted herself. Ivaric was going to be a force to be reckoned with once he had his breakthrough, if it was even possible for him to cast and cart around a shield like hers, but whatever. 'It's good work for good pay,' she thought to herself with a grin. "Sit with me."

Edric Serall

"It can wait until we get started again, nothings bleeding badly, after all." Maybe some bruising, but otherwise he was far more intact after a training session than he had been before. Moving over to her, he sat down next to her, leaning up against her as usual as he smiled. "So…what do you think it's going to be like for us, knowing we're going to be together as a team for the long run? I mean…I really care about them, all of them. I know almost for sure that we're going to be in far more danger in our future than we have been in the past, and…" All he could think about in that moment was Gundren, his head swinging from the walls. Would that be their end too one day? Who would come to recover their bodies?

Erys Moongem

Erys' faith shines through in her eyes, her smile, and even in the way she reaches her hand to touch his. "Great danger. And heavy burdens. And it is impossible to know what role we play." She looks back towards the camp, tightening her grip on his hand. "I worry for my sister with every encounter we begin. Especially with this bounty. It was such a small job and now it seems to have exploded in our faces. We may all be at the mercy of the Xana….whatever's thieves 'ere long. To say nothing of what's after Rowan. We saw a giant eagle in the woods when we first set out for Waterdeep. Her eyes lit up like ours do when we see each other. She is so young, somehow, and yet capable of such things. I don't understand it."

Edric Serall

He gripped her hand back, as he thought about how close some of them had come to death already. This was all supposed to be a simple job, and yet they had come together as almost a surrogate family and fought off threats that would have slain any of them alone. "Then there's Dagger…I fear for when that wretched man steps back into our path, because I know while he's an unforgivable bastard now…he wasn't always, and in her mind she still sees him as the man who took care of her for so long." He couldn't imagine what he would do in her position, if the roles were switched and it was his mother, no longer dead, calling him back.

Erys Moongem

Erys' face hardened at the mention of Adonis, and she turned to Ivaric with a severity uncommon to her. "He has to die. He made a mockery of their relationship – whatever it was – and if he gets her back into his hands, he will only hurt her. He has to die, and we have to see it. But first…" She found her eyes narrowing, felt her ears twitch. Irritated. Offended. "We cannot do it in secret, or his spell will never break. And if she discovers us, she will never forgive us. We cannot do it in front of her for the same reason. She has to do it. She has to have to do it. But I don't see how we get there."

Edric Serall

Nodding, he laid back onto her lap like he had done a number of times before, closing his eyes and thinking about the situation as he mapped it out in his head. "I think it's possible. She cares about all of us too, and I think she feels like she has to prove herself sometimes. I'm going to find him, eventually, and if I can find him before he finds us, we can set him up into our own trap. He's too dangerous to be left alive, but I don't want to force her to do something she doesn't want to do." It would be hard for her, hard for him even, to kill her past like that, and part of him hoped they'd never run into him again. He could imagine the pain it would cause her. "Let's cross that river when we get to it though. I'm more concerned about your sister at the moment, Alvaroda. How is she holding up with this ransom on your heads? We're walking right into the viper's nest. "

Erys Moongem

Erys tries to give it some serious thought, she really does, but the image of Ona's face scrunched up upon unrolling the first scroll, the evening after they'd all met… just made her laugh. She'd seen the face many times over the last sixty years, of course, she'd been the primary cause of it, but Goddess above… she never thought it would be as bad as it was. She sobered. A thousand gold each. "Ona is Ona. She's the most brilliant, resourceful, resilient woman I've ever known. She was for so long my only real companion. This last year has… I'm sorry, Ivaric, is it alright if I just go on?" She smiled. "Ona chose to leave with me, she chose to keep me safe, and she has. Again and again. It's been more than a year and we're both coming up on our centennials and… it's a big time. She should be home. She should be with our mothers, the Matrons. She should be seeing to the future of House Kiirnodel. She belongs there. I belong here. And now that I have you, especially… with how dedicated you seem like you want to be…" Erys looked crestfallen. "Ona has been my only confidant for ninety nine years, Ivaric. My first and oldest friend. One of the most beautiful people I've ever known. And watching the way she seems to despise herself so just… tears at me. I want to help, but sometimes it seems like I have all the optimism and brightness in the world, and she prays but she prays… quietly. You've seen me over the last tenday. I don't have any shame. I am in love with Lady Firehair. Ona obeys Lady Goldheart out of… I don't even know what kind of sense of duty. Her love should be a garden, finely tended… and instead it's… rare. For her to even smile anymore. And I think maybe I did that to her. And if something happens to her because of this bounty, Ivaric, I hesitate to swear lest I be truly forsaken for my overwhelming wrath." She didn't know when she'd started crying, but it had become apparent to her now that she'd run out of steam, holding her body close to Ivaric's to recover from the emotional overflow.

Edric Serall

As she recounted her love and admiration for her dear sister, Edric's hand rose up to wipe away the few tears that had begun to roll down her cheeks, as he looked up at her with a smile. "I don't know if you realize it yourself, the way you talk, but she's lucky to have you, just as you're lucky to have her. You talk about her lack of love for herself, but you beat yourself up for what you seen yourself having done to her, blaming yourself for everything. Why do you think she stuck by your side instead of leaving you to your fate, choosing you over her entire world?" Sitting up, he pulled her into a hug as he felt her pain acutely. He had never had someone to rely on like these two sisters did, and for that it was all the more beautiful. "She sacrificed for you, yes, but she did so because of how much she cares about you, not in spite of it. If you were destined to be here, to serve your goddess and make the world a better place because of it…perhaps so was she.(edited)

Erys Moongem

Erys breaks down, a year of overwhelming guilt desperately ignored pouring out of her. Ona's confession of a few days ago — years — she kept to herself, but Ivaric's blessings came with the burden of the specific against the abstract. Had she not always been in the way? Had she not always drawn the eye and attention of everyone around them? Had she not know damn well the sorts Ona honestly fancied and ignored it, sleeping with anyone and everyone who expressed an interest in her in the most remote capacity that had even a scrap of beauty Erys felt she could magnify. But in some way, he was right. She marveled at his love for her, but she had been focusing on the fact that she had for decades known a deeper love for her Patroness. Indeed, she had not even thought to count the longest love of her life, though Firehair would always be first and highest, though She clearly loved her back… Ona had always, always been there. And Erys had always been so loud. So in the way. So she cried, She cried and she shared stories about Ona, going on for some time about the things they'd done together, sharing with him details that perhaps should have been left secret between the sisters, but she just lost control, she felt so safe and so comforted in his arms.

S6Montage2-EdricErys

Phandelver + Storm King and beyond CapitalistPig peramene