Arc 721, 2 Vhalar
After the events of the Council Meeting, Elisabeth had decided to stay on in Scalvoris Town a bit longer, delaying her return to Faldrass and Haven for a few trials. She and Balthazar were in the same place at the same time, and it seemed a good opportunity for her to take care of some business that needed attention and spend a bit of quality time with her beloved.
The Knight’s Rest was always Elisabeth’s home base when in the town, having become friendly with the owner and his daughter. The establishment had clean rooms, good food and was accommodating to their guests, having gone the extra mile for Elisabeth during the Forging, keeping her personal belongings safe when she failed to return for them after being unexpectedly detained.
Balthazar had left early to check on some things for work, kissing her and promising to return when he could, leaving the young woman to her own devices for the time being. She had slept well next to him and was in an excellent mood but didn’t feel like going out into town. Deciding to stay in the room and read a bit, Elisabeth went downstairs to fetch some hot water that she could make tea with and took it back to her room.
It felt like it had been such a long time since she had sat down and read, just to read. There was always something going on, and she missed the simple pleasure of reading for enjoyment. Quickly making her drink, she then slipped a volume out of her bag and propped herself up on the comfortable bed, drawing a thick blanket over her legs.
The Baron Books. Elisabeth had been fascinated with the large set of books gifted to her at Cylus Dusk. They were truly a gift she treasured, especially considering her position as settlement leader on Faldrass.
Reading the books had helped her in many ways, from identifying flora, fauna, and locations, to learning information vital to the Forging. They had been invaluable to her, and she wished there was some way she could tell the Baron as such.
Opening the book, she noted that it was one of the more recent volumes. The Baron was very flowery in his descriptions. He sometimes wandered off on different tangents as if getting lost in the middle of what he was writing, but what the books offered Elisabeth was an insight into things that happened before her arrival on Faldrass but helped inform decisions she made for the betterment of the settlers and island itself.
11th Saun, 717. The date didn't stand out to the young woman, but then again, she was only recently catching up on events in Scalvoris before her arrival, and they were all vital to Elisabeth, but numerous. Currently, she had a vague timeline in her mind, dominated by the eruption of Faldrass in Ashan 720 but the more she learned and read, the timeline filled in, bit by bit.
Reading slowly, the Baron mentioned in his writing that he was hosting the first 'Murder Mystery' night at Smooglenuff Manor. Baron Rodrigues von Smooglenuff was a remarkable man to read about, especially since the books were from his perspective and often contained information regarding his thoughts and feelings on certain things. They indeed weren't the run-of-the-mill travel guide one might expect from the title.
The Baron expressed excitement at that evening's events, describing for the reader in rich detail what he had planned for the guests, and it was then that Elisabeth remembered something.
She had chosen to be Ice Forged but had been named Death Forged by the four Induks during the forging. During such, she was granted an ability that she hadn't mentioned in detail yet to anyone. Elisabeth knew she was Death Forged and understood part of what that entailed but wasn't entirely confident in her ability to explain things to others. The Forging was still difficult to talk about for the young woman, but shying away from exploring what she was wouldn't make things any easier.
The ability had been explained to her in simple terms: For any deceased person that had spent a significant part of their life in Scalvoris, if Elisabeth knew a specific date, she could look back and access memories from the eyes of that person. Her eyes found their way to the page again as she looked down at the book in her lap.
11th Saun, 717
Elisabeth had a date and name, and it was time to go back and meet the Baron for herself.
Sitting upright on the bed, she assumed the same position used for meditation. Of course, it wasn't necessary, but it seemed like it made sense to start from a familiar place when attempting something a little different. Besides, she wasn't sure how it would work, and it felt logical that a meditative state might ease the process. At the very least, Elisabeth didn't see how it could hurt anything.
Closing her eyes, she focused on the date and name. 11th of Saun, Arc 717. Baron Rodriques von Smooglenuff. 11th of Saun, Arc 717. Baron Rodriques von Smooglenuff. Elisabeth repeated the same thing over and over, focusing on them and that night.
What came to her was something quite like the visions she had seen on Faldrass, but there was one main difference. Instead of an overall perspective, like the Faldrass visions, the memories came from the person's perspective she focused on. In this case – Baron Rodriques von Smooglenuff. It had been explained that way but was difficult to understand until experiencing it herself.
The Baron walked into a room with an opulent dining table, people gathered around. Elisabeth instantly recognized Faith, Kura, and Padraig, but the others were a mystery. Surprised at the more relaxed Albarech she was seeing, the young woman supposed that her perception of Kura was tainted a bit by the fact that she only saw the Albarech during serious matters – Balthazar's trial, the Forging, the Element Hall, the meeting in Haven. It was nice to see the woman in a more relaxed state, though, and the realization that she was more familiar with Kura than the others was a bit shocking.
Inviting the guests to ask questions, the Baron kindly and patiently answered them, appearing to be a gracious host. Kura's question about planning a wedding was amusing, and the Baron answered it very diplomatically. He then began explaining the events of the evening and the murder mystery rules. It appeared to be a play of sorts, consisting of the Baron's staff members as the actors. Everyone engaged in the mystery game, including the two that she didn't recognize - the odd blond man and the avriel.
As the game progressed, something struck Elisabeth regarding snippets of conversation, mostly comments from the Baron. His thoughts on the term 'long,' for example. It was in response to Faith asking him how long he had lived in the manor. His reply to her was something Elisabeth would have expected from U'frek, or Xiur - very Immortal like in her eyes.
The event continued, and Elisabeth saw it all from the Baron's eyes. She didn't see the twist at the end coming, though, where the Baron announced that the murder mystery was, in fact, an actual murder involving the woman the Baron loved, and the true murderer was brought to justice, with Faith offering to bring his beloved's spirit to him and gift them three breaks together.
It was on that note that Elisabeth shifted her focus back to the room at the Knight's Rest, anchoring herself to thoughts of Balthazar. She wasn't entirely sure how to bring herself out of the Baron's memories but relied on things she had learned in meditation to assist. The mage took a deep breath, opened her eyes, and ruminated on what she had learned.
Seeing events from the eyes of another was something of a disorienting experience, but she was glad she had picked the Baron as her first focus. Elisabeth felt, in a reassuring way, the Baron's presence in almost everything she did. Since Cylus Dusk, his presence was undeniable. His touch, everywhere. He had sparked the imagination and loyalty of a young Videnese girl who had come to Scalvoris with the man she loved and now was charged with something so incredibly precious - people. Faldrass, and Scalvoris as a whole, had been important to the Baron, and she was aware of that. She would have given almost anything to meet the man for just a brief moment.
Clutching the book to her chest, she realized that even though it was impossible to meet the Baron, his influence and strength were everywhere. She could see his strength in the Faldrassians, and learn more about him and his life by talking to people.
Hearing the door rattle a bit, Elisabeth looked up in time to note Balthazar was walking through the door, smiling at her. Offering a smile back, she gently patted the space on the bed next to her. "There's something I need to tell you...."