• Closed • The Lost Rose

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Tristan Venora
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The Lost Rose

Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:42 am

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Ymiden 64, Arc 719

There had been a time when Tristan had wanted nothing more than to travel to Rharne. Two or three arcs prior, he had first met Ilaren, the Immortal of Alcohol, in a tavern in Andaris, taken her home with him and made love to her. There had been a time when he had wanted nothing more than to marry her and be with her – for as long as he lived. It was ironic that he had finally made his way to her city now, when he had stopped thinking about her and moved on, he thought, as he stood behind the railing of the Lady Celeste, and looked at the harbor that was becoming visible in the distance.

“It’s quite a sight, isn’t it, my lord?” Captain Sorensen, a tall, bearded human with a weathered face stepped near him and took a puff on his pipe before he extended his empty hand towards the young duke, a clear sign that he was expecting something. Tristan looked at him for a moment before he nodded curtly, reached into a pocket of his blue brocade coat and dumped a bag into his palm. The captain opened it, removed a shimmering golden coin and bit into it to make sure that it was genuine before he grinned.

Hjalmar Sorensen who had previously smuggled drugs and other illegal goods into Rynmere, had turned to smuggling people out of Rynmere after the Plague had hit. He had been the only one who had been willing to take the risk when Tristan had asked around after he had received Faith’s letter – and he’d demanded a fortune. Not that Tristan had cared. Money didn’t particularly interest him anymore since he had returned from his exile on Scalvoris and buried some of his relatives that had died from the Plague with his own hands because nobody else had been willing to touch them.

~~~

A break later, Tristan, his three bodyguards and his Mortalborn daughter Ayla were walking through the city. Mistral, Tristan’s beloved cat who was really a mystical creature from the Misty Miasma was sitting on Tristan’s shoulder and taking in the scenery. Captain Sorensen had been right, Tristan thought. The city was indeed beautiful. Had this been a different trial, he would be smiling all the time. He’d be singing and dancing and telling everybody how happy he was, but as it was, he was thinking rather melancholic thoughts.

He hadn’t thought that he’d be so good at being melancholic. It felt strange and unpleasant.

Faith had told him that Rose, the daughter she had insisted had been illusion once, might be alive after all. He remembered the trial when they had first talked about her – and how upset Faith had been. She had asked him to travel to Rharne and help her because she couldn’t do it herself.

He hoped that he’d be able to bring her good news. He wasn’t sure if Faith would be able to bear another heartbreak. He didn’t want to see her in pain again. Even though she had fallen in love with another man, he still cared about her – more than he cared about most people in Idalos.

~~~

After he had found an inn and left his bodyguards, his child and his cat there (he didn’t think he’d need protection in a place that was full of healers, besides it might leave the wrong impression if he brought a bunch of armed people), Tristan made his way to the Order of the Adunih and knocked on the door.

The young duke didn’t look quite like himself at the moment. He was pale and thinner than he used to be because he’d been terribly seasick for the first half of the journey and barely eaten anything, and his clothes, while of very fine quality, were several seasons out of fashion because nobody in Rynmere was interested in such things anymore, and most of the shops that he had frequented were closed – due to the owner dying.

“Faith … err … Mrs. Augustin sent me a message”, he said as soon as somebody opened the door. He said her last name with some reluctance. He was mostly okay with her husband Padraig after their alchemy lesson on Scalvoris (although he’d never say so out loud!), but he’d probably never love him. “She asked me to help her find Rose. I assume that you know what I’m talking about?” he asked and raised an eyebrow questioningly before he added, “I’m Tristan Venora, the Duke of Oakleigh.” He realized that they might not know who he was otherwise. “Faith and I are close friends.”
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Re: The Lost Rose

Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:51 am

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It was a blue cloak that opened the door, the man nodded to Tristan at first, then grew slightly stiff as the Duke told him of his titles and status. He stammered a bit at first, but eventually answered, "I - of course. We've been told to expect you, and be on the lookout, in fact."

Saying this, he slipped out of the Order Headquarters, and then wheeled around on his heel, and lightly slapped his forehead. "Oh how curt and foolish of me, did you wish to take refreshment in the Headquarters? Is there anything you need before we make for the house?"

The man leaned in, and whispered to Tristan, "Mrs. Augustin isn't here, and hasn't been for some time. But I was given instructions to bring you to their house, their garden. I think you'll see something there that may interest you, as a Venora."

So saying, he led him along the streets of Rharne. The healer looked nervous, casting glances over his shoulder as if he was watching or expecting to be followed. Yet Tristan would notice nothing out of the ordinary, as far as he could tell while walking along with the man.

A rowboat lay in the canal, which fed into Lake Lovalus. "Here, let me help you into the boat, Milord..." Once Tristan was aboard the boat, the blue cloak would push off from the stone wharf, and off into the canal.

Their trip took them some distance through the streets and was quite pleasant for all the blue cloak's suspicion. He didn't say much. The canal fed into the lake, and with it the rowboat floated into the expanse, carried by currents. From there, the blue cloak turned around and began paddling along the shores of the lake.

A break later or so, they arrived at a large mansion, which could only be Faith and Padraig Augustin's house. There were strangely a lot of men and soldiers stationed all around, perhaps more hidden nearby.

Their hackles were raised when they noted the approach of the rowboat, but then they saw the blue cloak and Tristan and eased their manner. He brought the rowboat to shore. The boat's hull crashed softly against the sand, jostling both the blue cloak and Tristan in their seats.

A soldier approached from nearby, and spoke to the blue cloak, "Where are you taking this one? Is this the Duke she sent word of?"

"Aye, we're to see him to the garden. Few other instructions besides..." The blue cloak looked uncertainly at Tristan. "I hope you know what you're meant to do in there because Faith didn't tell us a great deal."
word count: 454
"In Play by Posting Role Playing, inaccurate and inconsistent lore is considered especially heinous.
On Standing Trials, the dedicated investigators who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Lore Analysis Unit.
These are their stories..."
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Re: The Lost Rose

Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:23 pm

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Tristan didn’t know much about the Order of the Adunih, apart from the fact that it was an order of healers, more or less, and that Faith was involved. He didn’t know what the blue cloak meant, and if the man that had opened the door was important or not, but he inclined his head in a greeting nevertheless before he replied, “No, I don’t need anyting. I thank you for the offer though.”

As the man whispered to him, the young noble raised an eyebrow questioningly, wondering why he had suddenly lowered his voice. Was the fact that Faith wasn’t here not public knowledge? Did nobody but him know about her war against the necromancers? He decided not to ask him, for the time being, but simply followed him through the streets of Rharne, wondering what the man could possibly mean. Something that might interest him? Had some of his relatives survived the plague and were staying in his former slave’s house now?

Was Alistair here? Grandmother Ebony? His little sister?

The healer constantly looked over his shoulder, Tristan observed. He couldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary though. Still, he momentarily leaned over to him and whispered, “Is anything wrong?” Just what were Faith and those healers involved in? Did the man expect those necromancers that Faith was fighting to show up here? Just how many enemies did Faith have? He realized that he didn’t know much about her recent life.

She had changed so much since the trial he had bought her and taken her home with him.

He wondered what her house would be like. She was one of the most famous women in the world now. Did she live in a castle or at least a big villa? Luxury didn’t seem to be Faith’s style – she’d always had a problem with the pretty dresses he’d wanted her to wear, she’d preferred more practical clothing – but then again, she was someone important now.

Important people couldn’t live in a small house.

He entered the boat with some trepidation. The memory of the trip to Rharne was still fresh in his mind, besides, he didn’t particularly like water. It was full of fish and other unpleasant things, and if you fell in, you could drown. The trip on the rowboat wasn’t as bad as the trip across the ocean though. After a while, he leaned back and even began to enjoy himself, as much as you could enjoy yourself when you had been given a task by one of the most important women in the world who was currently at war with evil incarnate.

The trip took longer than Tristan had expected. By the end of it, he was actually a bit sleepy and stared at all the people he could see around the house somewhat bleary-eyed. In her letter, Faith had told him that Padraig and she were gone, and the children were hidden somewhere. Why on Idalos were there so many soldiers here then? It didn’t make any sense. Did Faith have something valuable in her house? Magical artefacts maybe?

Did they expect some of those necromancers to show up here and try to wreak havoc?

There’d been a time when he’d been quite fascinated by necromancers and other dark things (he’d always had a penchant for monsters and horror stories), but now he was just a little sick, and worried. He knew that Faith could probably defend herself now, but still, he hoped that she was okay, wherever she was. She was not his Faith anymore, but he still cared about her, more than he cared about most.

“I’m not sure what I’m meant to do”, he admitted and looked back and forth between the healer and the soldier that had approached them. “She only said that there might be a possibility of meeting Rose again, and that she would leave a note for me. Do you have a note from her?” he asked, narrowing his eyes momentarily. Why had he not been given anything when he had entered the Order of the Adunih? Was that man really a healer?

Of course, he was.

There was no reason to be paranoid just yet.

He entered the garden, taking a look around as he did so. There were a lot of roses there, but one stood out to him because of its colour. It was pink – the colour of House Venora. He walked over to it slowly, almost as if he were approaching something valuable and, possibly, sacred and knelt down in front of it in order to take a closer look.

He didn’t pluck it though – something as beautiful ought to be treasured and nurtured in his opinion, not essentially killed – he just bent down, let his fingers run across the petals and took in its scent before he turned to face the healer again, provided that he’d followed.

“How long has this rose been here? As far as I know, Mrs. Augustin didn’t take any of the roses with her when she left Rynmere.” As he waited for the healer’s answer, he wondered if the man was familiar with Faith’s and his history – that he’d owned her once. He hoped that he wasn’t. Nowadays, he felt a bit bad about having kept her as a slave.
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Re: The Lost Rose

Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:04 pm

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The blue cloaked man turned to Tristan and shook his head. "Nothing wrong, nothing... Well, you know about the war, do you not? The Witch is said to have eyes everywhere. And more than usual of late."

The older man quirked an eyebrow when Tristan mentioned Rose. "Hmm..." He seemed to trail off after that, and then perked up suddenly as they arrived at the entrance to the garden. "A note! Yes as a matter of fact... Here it is!"

The blue cloak handed it over without delay.

Dearest Tristan,

First - thank you. Thank you for coming to my aid, for trusting and believing me. I can't tell you how much that means to me.

During this war with Ellasin, I found myself in the presence of a number of Immortals. I've seen such strange things, Tristan - experienced so much. I look forward to the day that I can sit with you and tell you. Alas, now, I must be as brief as possible. However, in one, I have seen that somehow my daughter - Rose - is connected to Ellasin. She has seen Ellasin through the eyes of them both being children. I know that Aelig sped up my pregnancy and took Rose away the moment she was born. I know that Rose was in Vri's real - and then she was not. I know - because he told me - that Vri does not know where she is.

However - in a meeting with Moseke, the rose bush in my garden which I planted in remembrance of my baby began to have a heartbeat. It's Rose's Tristan. I know it is. Then, in a meeting with Vri, I found her. I held her in my arms and, in a cruel twist she crumbled to dust in my embrace. I wanted to die there. In that moment, I wanted to die. I don't know how, but I know that she is linked to this war. She showed me Ellasin - or Ellie as she called her - when she was a child, when Ellasin was abused and harmed by those who shuold protect her. Tristan, I held my baby. Vri told me that all is not lost, to be in my garden, at that rose bush, on this trial, as I said to you. I can not be. But you can. You are.

I know what a responsibility I am putting on your shoulders. She is my daughter. Please know that all I need is for you to do your best. Succeed or fail, please Tristan, please just give us back our baby. Losing her once nearly destroyed Padraig and I. Losing her twice has changed me in ways from which I may never recover. Please, just do your best.

There are no words to describe how grateful I am to you for what you do here. You are, quite literally, the man who taught me that there is hope and happiness, even for a slave. I understand what it is I am asking you to do and, for the weight I am putting on your shoulders my friend, I can finally tell you that yes, I pity you. But I also love and trust you.

Ever your friend.

Faith xxx
With that, the blue cloak allowed Tristan to enter the garden. He didn't stick around, but left him alone as per his instructions.

For a moment he enjoyed the calm of the garden, the leaves of its shrubberies gently swaying in the slight breeze, floral scents wafting on the air. The rose bush was there, for Tristan to approach and inspect. Sure enough, he noted the one among the black roses that was in the colors of his house. It's petals shining like silk against what light shone through the garden.

When Tristan turned around to address the healer, he wasn't around. Yet behind him, came a voice as he asked his question. "It's pretty isn't it?"

"We saw some on the road to Lysoria. Elle and the Babysitter showed me." If Tristan turned around, he'd see a little girl, who couldn't have been more than three or four years old. Maybe edging on four years old now. Her hair was dark black, and her eyes were amber. She wore a simple country dress, of yellow and pink. "Would you cut the pretty flower off for me, sir?"

Tristan would notice the teddy bear, tucked under her arm. It's button eye half-pulled out. When she saw his eye drawn to the toy, she held it up for him, "This is Jessica. We're looking for our friends, Gnasher and Elle. Oh and Mommy too. But I don't think Elle likes her much."
word count: 800
"In Play by Posting Role Playing, inaccurate and inconsistent lore is considered especially heinous.
On Standing Trials, the dedicated investigators who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Lore Analysis Unit.
These are their stories..."
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Tristan Venora
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Re: The Lost Rose

Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:13 pm

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When the blue cloaked man handed him the note, Tristan breathed a sigh of relief. Apparently, he had not been lured into a trap after all. A moment later, relief made way to confusion though, and he furrowed his brow as he read the message that Faith had left for him.

He already knew about the pregnancy and what kind of part Aelig had played in it – it was one of the reasons he disliked that particular Immortal so much. Aelig had tried to ruin both her and his life. He also knew how closely Faith was connected to some of the Immortals – she met even more Immortals than he had, and he had met quite a few of them!

But he had not known about Rose’s connection to Ellasin until now. His frown deepened the further he read. Ellasin was evil, she had caused Idalos so much pain, and she had destroyed so many lives, and yet his heart went out to her when Faith mentioned that the lich had been abused as a child. Was that why she had become like that?

If she had been hurt, if she had been innocent once, was there a way to heal her soul? How did Faith plan on dealing with her? Did she plan on killing her? In spite of everything that the necromancer had done and would do before it was finally over, the thought made him slightly sick – even though pitying someone like her was likely wrong.

What more, he had no idea how a plant could have a heartbeat and what he was supposed to do about it. Had Rose been transformed into a rose? Was her soul stuck inside that bush now? How was he supposed to get her out of it? He didn’t have the necessary skills. He had been blessed by the Immortal of Seduction and the Immortal of Art, but not by the Immortal of Transformation! He was completely out of his element at the moment!

Giving up before he had even tried was not an option though.

~~~

For a moment, Tristan simply looked at the rose as if it were the most beautiful thing that he had ever seen, and he enjoyed the calm of the garden. After everything that he had been through in the last arc, it was just what he needed. He forgot the people outside, and he even forgot Ellasin for a moment - until he heard a voice somewhere behind him. He turned around abruptly and looked at the girl for a moment before he smiled gently at her. She reminded him of his own daughter, Ayla – they had the same dark hair, and they were the same age - apart from her eyes. While Ayla had blue eyes, the little girl’s eyes were amber.

“The pink rose is special and must not be cut”, he said gently and knelt down in front of the little girl so that he could look into her eyes.

He wasn’t sure what would happen if he cut the rose that seemed to be connected to Faith’s Rose somehow. Would Faith’s little girl die? Would he be a murderer – or would it not matter?

“I can give you one of the other roses here though. The red ones are especially pretty! A red rose would look lovely in your hair!” he told her and smiled at her.

“Hello, Jessica!” he said to the teddy bear, as if it were a person as well, before he turned back to the girl. “What’s your name?” he wanted to know. “Can you tell me what your mommy’s name is, and where she and Gnasher and Elle are? Maybe I can help you”, he offered.
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