s7 - Onys & Erys

Erys Moongem
The tedious ceremony and return carriage having finally concluded, Erys wastes no time getting out. She rushes inside, casts a glance towards her bedroom and steels herself. Just up the stairs and three doors in. She could do this. She could make it. But she knew it was going to be a close call. She pulled her gauntlets off, tucking them under her arm. She opened the door to her room and tossed her bag across the room to the bed and set the gauntlets on her desk. She tried to breathe. The shaking in her arms was getting worse now that she could feel the air against them. They hadn't been able to confirm, but that was obviously Lady Farah. They hadn't been able to confirm, but it was the sort of thing she should've noticed. As if she and Onys combined could have taken Finale a month ago, without their allies, it was still… it was still… she had to stop thinking about it and get her armor off, she had to slip into her casual clothes and she had to calm down or she was just going to start screaming.

Onys Kiirnodel
The door silently closes behind Erys with her sister having stepped inside, the clanks of Onys's unadorned plate armor lost in those coming from the lacquered armor cascading to the floor around Erys. Her face is pensive, lined with concern. She finds herself somewhat at a loss for words, but calls to her twin quietly: "Era."

Erys Moongem
Erys' body moves on reflex to the desk where her sword and shield had been set, before seeing Ona and forcing herself back up against the wall. It was hard, unyielding and firm. She didn't want her sister to see her like this. She didn't want her sister to worry. She didn't… want… to picture herself wriggling free of the ropes and running back for her sword. "Ona. I—-" She didn't want to see her sword cleave the half-orc in two, the first sentient being she'd put a permanent end to. "I— I—" She didn't want to see the women, chained together, huddling close to one another. 'Slavers', she was sure she'd heard Ona say at some point. The word echoed in her mind. It felt like she was going to cry, and she'd been doing so well, but… "I killed four people over barely enough gold to pay our rent. And… and Hadrin's boy…" The look of confusion on Valorn's face was clear as day. Their friendship was surely over. What could she possibly say? "Hadrin's boy, I don't even remember his name… Dwanor? Dwenner? … fuck. Fuck. Fuck."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys can't help it, she's about to correct her sister's pronounciation again "Due—" but she bites her tongue, instead simply clanking across the room, letting her gauntlets fall, lifting a pale hand to her sister's cheek. She had no time to offer a warm shoulder, still encased in steel, but she moved with the speed and grace born of desperation, of need, of being unable to abide seeing her twin in this pain for any longer than she possibly had to. "Shhhh, Era. Era, Era, Era. I'm here. We're here." Her breath shudders as she leans in close, both women clearly affected, but only one being able to hold it in until now.

Erys Moongem
At the first touch, she is back home and barely twenty again, sobbing and shaking in her sister's arms, clinging to her as though the world would fall away if she let go. She was drowning in guilt and agony, for the risk to her sister’s life as well as their companions that she had caused. Guilt, indeed, at the feeling that rushed to her cheeks when it looked as though Rowan was about to brutalize Finale. "…How many of them are out there? How many of them are working together to kill me, us, for a stupid…childhood… error in judgment?”

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys does her best to comfort her sister, one in armor, the other mostly out of hers, the pair of them standing there in the room in the inn. "I don't know. I just don't. It seems unlikely that this was concerted effort, however, merely the rage of one aggrieved. It is a tragic downfall, but one can only make so much reparation before the seeking of retribution merely becomes senseless obsession. I would sacrifice anything to protect you, to protect our family." Anyone, even, she thinks to herself. Her replies to Erys seem a bit frayed, themselves, her own emotions leaping from one thought to the next entirely unbidden.

Erys Moongem
Erys doesn't seem to hear her sister's words, shaking and sobbing through them, her mind a blur with the images flashing through it. She can't focus on anything but her sister, even the room itself appears to be spinning wildly out of control and she just can't right it. But she tightens her grip on Onys when she reaffirms her commitment to their family. To her. "Nothing… is ever going to keep us from one another, Ona."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys squeezes her eyes tight, trying to hide the moisture lurking at their corners. "Nothing," she echoes. Her voice lowers to nearly a murmur, this close to her sister's pointed ear. "I was terrified when that dwarf appeared and smote you. I could only stand and fight because that is what I have trained to do."

Erys Moongem
"Valorn…" She can't. There's just too many details. "Ona…" Her shaking slows as anger takes over. She remembers that Edric was right behind her then, but… her face hardens. "Edric. Edric, Ona. You warned me about him. You warned me that he was the one to watch and I thought that was exciting." She releases her sister, needing to let her legs go and just fall to the floor, up against the wall. "First, where the fuck was he when I was chasing Finale? I saw your magic and Rowan was with me too. She almost got him. I love her even for that much. And second—-" she sniffles and roughly rubs her face "—-what the fuck is wrong with him taking such delight in what we found there? Lady Farah, dead, and he just… keeps messing with her body. Nothing to be done. An experiment. And then the women in the basement, Goddess, the women in the basement. Ona, I am so glad you found them and it is so good that they will be saved." 'But,' she thought to herself, 'perhaps a paladin of Sune should have fucking realized she had taken a job from a slaver all those months ago. Surely, there had to have been signs.' The realization that this was the fate waiting for her, had that first half-orc bounty hunter successfully captured her, was not lost on her – but that did not lessen the sensation of guilt at picturing the way she'd split his body in two.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys is confused. As she finds so often with her sister, when she thinks Erys is talking about one thing, something entirely different is on her mind. She sinks down next to her sister, undoing the first buckle behind her neck to possibly get out of her own shell. "The Greenhammers are one thing, but Edric…" her voice lowers further in a pained admission: "We…should talk about leaving Evereska. But not now, now there are other concerns, and if we don't deal with them, everything might just fall apart, and—-" she sighs, one arm reaching vaguely behind her shoulder. "Help me with this stupid steel, please?" She continues even as she, in her frustration and exhaustion, finds she forgot the order of disassembly for armor that was drilled into her head as a trainee years ago. "Was that…her? I could not focus, near the end, trying to deal with Finale's escape and those poor barbarian women…"

Erys Moongem
Erys follows her sister's movements with her eyes but with an otherwise uncharacteristc stillness, ultimately reaching with some effort under her sister's arm, her voice in a monotone reminding her. "Under the arm, leather strap, you just pull on it and the clasp gets undone. Hidden under your arm in a fight makes it harder for somebody to rip it off you… There's no way to be absolutely certain. But I am very sure of it. And while I can't speak to the potential of her involvement in any of that business or anything of the sort… I was the one who chose to put pressure on Finale through her. He probably thought I was doing what I should've done, which was investigate him and his trade. He probably put the bounty on us initially entirely out of that suspicion." Shaking her head slowly, Erys frowns. "But these things are impossible to know for sure. We certainly did not encounter the Lady otherwise. Maybe she left him. Maybe she's safe." 'Maybe I got her killed.'

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys nods. "I know, I should know, I'm just…confused and frustrated and frightened and tired….before what happened today, I thought we had things under control." She sighs, letting the steel arms fall to the floor, with her sister's assistance, then begins undoing and lifting the breastplate over her head, casting it aside. Mostly freed of the protective shell, she throws her arms around Erys with a tiny bit of a sniffle. "I can feel your heart from here, sister, you've clearly already taken her death on as your own wrongdoing. But what were we to do? Our duty is to the innocents and lovers, to be sure, but we are only elves. We are not augurs or oracles. We must not ever stop striving to perfect this world, but if we expect our mere presence to cause evil men to cease their machinations…we would go mad if we think that every single vile plot were to unwind by our hands."…and maybe if I keep repeating that, I will not feel this pain, either.

Erys Moongem
Erys tries to get the usual sort of comfort she would have expected from her sister's touch and presence, but her thoughts stray to how much of a burden – fuck that, threat – she remained on poor Ona. "…I… I get that, okay? Like, I do, but… I was there. I was there. I could have been the last friendly face she ever saw."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys holds her sister to her and leans her forehead against her brow. "I know. And we will take up swords and call to demand the balance be repaid for his crimes, for her death, because that is what we can do and that is what must be done."

Erys Moongem
Erys inhales, the thought of committing more violence frankly appalling at the moment, but understanding. "Yes." She feels her anger recede, swallows hard, and continues to try to just find herself in the moment with her sister. To get back inside of herself. But she just couldn't find the bright side of the last day's events, just couldn't stop seeing the Greenhammer boy pulling off that necklace, of Valorn and Rowan helping the group to recover… but at least the storm was slowing. "I'm still going to yell at Edric and I'm still going to drink like a dwarf tonight." She says, matter-of-factly and with a thin veneer of bitterness.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys snorts derisively. "I may just join you in that task. I suspect the terrifying truth may be that we are dealing with an actual idiot. Well-meaning, but inclined to the worst possible decisions. I meant to ask you about this yesterday, but I was distracted. Do you know what the relationship between Quinys and Edric is like?"

Erys Moongem
Erys tries to smile, the thought of the two of them at least a little warming. "Dagger and Iv…. they're… um, they're close. They're getting closer. They'll probably find something really special together. They made a blood bond about a…week ago? It…." A flash of memory of Edric's chest bleeding from the wounds she'd inflicted on him. "It's encouraged him. I thought he was really dedicating himself to protecting… her, me, even you, after yesterday." Talia. Another enormous mistake, all Erys' fault. She'd thought herself heroic for saving her sister from a threat she had provoked herself, and it only just now occurred to her.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys doesn't give the next thought much preamble. "He didn't bother telling her he was sleeping with you. I presume he was trying to let her down easy, or to protect her, or to keep it from turning into a tragic play….I doubt his cruelty, but I saw the hurt in his wake."

Erys Moongem
She scoffs. "Seriously? …gosh, I told her how I love him and wh—-" Erys realizes suddenly why Dagger's reaction was what it was, and she forces out something of a laugh, something of a scoff. It was not a noise she’d had much practice making. "I even…made sure she'd had nararoot so she didn't have any troubles, just in case." Idiot.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys plunges on ahead—-better to remove the scab all at once than to pick at it. "She's troubled. I've consoled her as best I could, but they're both—-well, they were both virgins. Now only one is. They're not even lovers. She's confronted with the case of a man who's professing tender feelings for her, but had to find out from you that he'd given his heart to another." She continues on before Erys can raise an objection. "I know, I know that there are many for whom their love can belong to more than one person, but she clearly doesn't work that way. I think we…or you, or I, may need to speak with your young charge. The fire of love is lit, but we must tend it, lest it burn innocent hands."

Erys Moongem
Erys holds eye contact with her sister for a long moment, considering her words. Frankly, the human was going to get some words already, but now it was probably going to end up a shouting match. "He… claims even to be working towards fellowship with Lady Firehair. And we've only had sex the twice, why in the Hells didn't he tell her? Why didn't I make clear she knew? They made a blood bond, for fuck's sake." She shook her head. "Another miserable disaster with me in the center. Lady help me, I was looking forward to having Dagger myself someday. She's…" she laughs ruefully, "the first elf I've loved in a while. Watching the way she rushed to save you when that wolf took you down. She was beautiful. That's why I call her Dagger, she's…she said it was nothing, that family was important. She didn't even know us, Ona, and she honored our bond. Who have we ever known other than the Matrons who would do so much in the name of family?" But she does not argue with her sister.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys chuckles slightly. "I don't blame you at all for this, I just want you to know because we, the both of us, have a responsibility to our companions, and a responsibility shared is a burden lessened." She shifts again and takes her sister's hand in hers, her other hand idly unbuckling the plates from her hips and thighs. "I just think he's a fool, awash in the storm that comes when love first turns physical. He will learn eventually, but he must be taught. As for Quinys…well, I would not think to even consider such with her in such pain, but I certainly cannot say she is not comely, or her company displeasing…" The generally-reserved elf finds herself blushing somewhat at this admission.

Erys Moongem
Erys' eyes go wide. "No, no. No. You don't get to get away from this that easily." She moves closer, examining the blush on her sister's cheeks with intense curiosity. She can see right through it. Suddenly her mind begins working, and now she has a problem to solve. Now, she can be of use, now she can move forward. The most important cause in her life, surely, she muses. 'My beautiful sister. My wonderful, brilliant, quiet, reserved, totally-going-to-fuck-it-up-without-my-help beloved sister.' She speaks again, barely above a whisper. "Say the words for me, Ona dearest.. Out loud. And I will do everything in my power to support your cause, my sister. Say the words. Let me hear you say them."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys frowns a little, a bit of the icy nobility back in her features. "Era, no. I will not be goaded into saying a single word that might hurt her, not like this, not now. I…she trusts me. If I betray that now, am I any better than that creature that gave her cakes and gentle words to entice her back into his service?"

Erys Moongem
Erys shakes her head fiercely, red hair flying all over her face before she pulls it back with a gesture that reveals her racing heartrate. "No. Not to her. Not for a while. But I see it on your face, and I need to know for sure. If your heart sings for her the way mine does, tell me. Sister, please. I will not say a word to her. I will not betray your trust. But I will aid you. Principally by ceasing my own pursuit, but in any other way you require of me. You have supported me for so long and have allowed me the space I needed to love my way. It is long past time."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. "Please, sister. Give me time to know my own heart. I will not play false, but I must not make a rash decision, not with as many hearts in peril as we have. Also, I fear that if you abandon pursuit, she may see it as an abandonment of friendship—-which can only bode ill."

Erys Moongem
Erys wilts, knowing that her momentary reprieve will soon end. "Perhaps… with everything that has happened, I should follow your lead moreso. It might be wise for me to make fewer rash decisions and be more concerned with… the fires I start." 'Anything, Ona. Anything. Just let me see it. Any indication. Anything. Is this the sort of girl you like? Firestarters? Thieves? Or do you perhaps find the idea of healing an injured soul enticing? Lady knows you'd be fantastic for her. Let me see.' She held her sister's gaze, watching intently. She meant what she said, but… but…

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys kicks her way out of the last of her armor, finally, leaving her in the leather padding and simple underclothes of the plate-wearer. She takes up Erys's spoken train of thought. "A single drop of temperance may be bitter by itself, but it may make your drink more palatable." She smirks a tiny bit. "But I couldn't have you become my doppelganger, life might be too boring, that way."

Erys Moongem
Erys slumps. She looks away, at her desk, at the bed. Just trying to avoid her sister's gaze. "Our centennial. No new lovers until our centennial. I focus on… others. Until our centennial. I want to get you something nice. I want to save up." She feels the tears coming back, so she just lets herself go. Blinking and just facing the reality of her responsibility: Lady Farah, obviously, dead. Tortured. Several women she should have saved months ago locked in the basement. She hadn't even looked. Three bounty hunters by her own hand. And every single wound they inflicted on her beloved sister. "I am so sorry, Ona. I love you."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys strokes her sister's hair, holding onto her and letting the crying happen. "I love you, too, Era. But…" Onys still may not understand exactly the extent to which her sister is blaming herself for the events that have transpired, but pushes ahead anyway. "But we are not lost. No matter how many disgruntled flautists seek reprisal, you have me, and I, you. We will lay these ghosts to rest."

Erys Moongem
The crying stops, and her fist clenches. "I'm going to get you killed. I almost did, today. M-maybe you should…should…" 'Get as far away from me as you fucking can.' She wipes her face, pushing her feelings down. Smiling. "I'll be okay, Ona. I promise. Thank you. I'll track down Edric later, and maybe I can track down D—- Quinys, too."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys tuts. "Tsk. You are not going to get me killed. We have far too much to do, for each other, for others, and for our patronesses. And…be gentle with them both, no matter how thick he might be." She frowns a bit, brushing another tear from Erys’s cheek with her thumb. "Even if only for Quinys’s sake. We've had decades to learn what they're just now feeling for the first time."

s7 - Onys & Erys

Phandelver + Storm King and beyond CapitalistPig peramene