Words Left Unsaid

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Ruki

Scholar
After a grueling few days, Ruki found himself alone in his room with not much to do. He tidied the clothes that cluttered the floor, tended to his new wounds, and found himself at his desk full of half written missives and letters from others left unread. And by chance, he found a letter, more like a rallying speech, that he had half put together, to say before he and his allies launched their attack against the lady of hedonism.

"We may not live to see our glory. But we have all gladly joined this fight... when our friends and family and our children tell our stories they are going to tell the story of tonight. The night we stood our ground, the night we launched our first strike in this war. Success tonight means we will have a tomorrow....."

After that, the writing trailed off into nonsense as he had tried to figure out the right words that might motivate people. Maybe if he was a little better with his words things would not have gone pear shaped as soon as their boots met the ground. Maybe he wouldn't have died.

Died.

Ruki remembered vividly how it felt to come back through the earth circle. It wasn't like before, it was more painful, more exhausting, like part of him wanted to stay... but he couldn't stay, there was still so much left to do. So many things left unsaid. His spirit was weakening, and the human had no idea how much time he actually had left. The depressing thought gave him an idea of another thing to write and likely leave unfinished.

"If you are reading this note then I, Ruki Lanark of Highport, have unfortunately perished in this war. Consider this my last will and testament, but as well as a list of things I've left unsaid and undone. First and foremost, my biggest regret is not being there at the end when you finally defeat Al'Zoon and give the land of Calandonia a tomorrow that it truly deserves. I hope no more friends were lost in this fight and that no atrocities as horrible as what I have done were committed. As Tengu once said, we cannot become the monster we wish to defeat. Unfortunately, I felt myself moving in that direction... knowing that my time in this world was limited. There was nothing I would not have done if it meant saving this world and all of you. Perhaps that is now why you are reading this. Maybe I committed such a horrible act I needed to be put down. Maybe I bit off more than I could chew. Maybe I gave myself once again to close one of the Reaches and this time I did not come back. Whatever it was... I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you must deal with the loss of a friend and ally, but also sorry that you must also go on and continue the fight which I could not finish. I know you can do this. I wouldn't have stood beside you for as long as I did if I didn't know you could."

He then began jotting down the names of his friends, with plans of writing each of them an individual goodbye. Elwynd, Siegart, Jinn, Briony, Calan, Kumari, Evo, Arylne, Xamot, Kai, Saryn Stig, , Hamish, Morrigan, Cato, Phal, Tengu, Sol, Baibh, Thistle were the first names he had written down.... feeling guilty that he knew there was more that he was forgetting. He got frustrated trying to remember, crumpled up the paper and threw it on the now somewhat clean floor. He grumbled for a few moments about not being dead yet, before picking the parchment back up and smoothing it out the best he could. War was hard... but he didn't want to die with words left unsaid.
 

CRivers

Artisan
Calan rummages through his room looking for his spellbook, he had just left the recruit behind to find it moments before. It didn't take him long to find it there were only so many loose floorboards in his room. he began walking back out towards the entry when he passed Rukis room there was light coming out from under the door and he could see a shadow moving. Calan started to continue walking but then turned back to the door. he hadn't really gotten to talk to his friend the past month. which was a shame since Ruki was one of the few people that Calan truely recalled.

Calan knocked on the door. "Ruki" he paused "Can I talk a minute?"
 

Ruki

Scholar
Ruki jumped in his seat, caught off guard. He flipped over the crumpled piece of paper and called out to his friend, "Calan, you can talk for as many minutes as you wish. The ward recognizes you in."
 

CRivers

Artisan
Calan enters the room and can’t bring himself to look his friend in the eyes instead his eyes wander around the room looking at various things Ruki had about.

“You are a good man Ruki, it’s bad enough that you are short lived I don’t know that I can see you throw your life away so recklessly.”

Calan paced a bit tapping the spell book against his other hand.

“First you offered yourself up in the reaches, then you exploded yourself and Mal at the orc encampment, true I didn’t see that one but it’s not the point.”

Calan lets out a long sigh.

“I know I was upset about the fae, but that was more to do with the situation than you. If that is weighing you down you need to find a way to let it go my friend. I need you to take a moment from now on breath, be patient; I am already charged with remembering lost spirits I don’t want to add you to the collection.”
 

Ruki

Scholar
"Throw my life away? Recklessly?" Ruki stood up from his seat, feeling wounded. "Do you think I made that decision easily? Do you think I wanted to do that? I waited until the last second for someone else to step up and no one did. If I didn't do that, the ritual would have failed, the realm would have stayed open, and we would have marched closer to the end of days!"

The human took a moment to collect himself, he knew Calan meant no harm with his words. "I'm sorry. Between my weakening spirit and the fae, things are just weighing on me. It's hard to let go when I know we have to do the exact same thing at least five more times. And that's just one of the things we have to do. This war has just begun, we're going to do dark things, evil things. Just the other day I saw someone willingly cast chaos for the greater good." He sighed heavily, "I'll rest and let things go once the fighting is done...or my fight is done."
 

CRivers

Artisan
Calans shoulders sunk. He walked over to his friend and rested his hand on his shoulder.

“You are a good man.” Calan pauses a second to collect his thoughts. “ You are exactly right we have to do this at least five more times. I can’t have you taking a death every time we need to save the world. Your spirit can’t take that. I know you mean well and I know you want to make the world better. But you deserve to be here to enjoy it when all is done.”

Calan removes his hand and begins to pace again.

“So yes, reckless I understand what was at stake I understand why you did it. But I also think you are punishing yourself. This world is better with you in it you fool.”
 

Ruki

Scholar
"No," Ruki chuckled, "You're right, I can't die every time something needs doing. I would very much like to share some of the burden with the others." He paused, "But for what I deserve? That's for fate to decide. And I don't think you're entirely wrong about me punishing myself. Perhaps I'm pushing myself to this to make amends for what I've done and what I will do."
 

CRivers

Artisan
“ I don’t recall if you visited the nightmare titan once upon a time with me or not, but I want to share a story with you. It’s not something I talk about ever. I killed my family. I had a sister, and parents. My father was a simple thatcher who fixed roofs.” Calan took a seat once more he couldn’t look his friend in the eye as he recounted his story.

“ my parents were kind, they were the sort of people that would happily let you rob them. They would tell you that clearly that person needed the coin or food or what have you more than we did. Anyway this one night a man came to the door looking for shelter and my parents took him in. He smelled of death.” Calan was looking off into the distance his eyes welling up. “ I snickered and made some sort of remark about his smell later that night he tied me up and paraded my family in and cut me over and over forcing me to pick which of them would die in what order. I chose my sister first. I couldn’t bear to see her suffer , then my father because I was ashamed of the choice I made. Then he killed my mother chopped them all up and took them away. As far as I know they all died permanently that night. I’ve never seen them since, and if they aren’t dead it’s better they think I am. I let them all die to avoid pain. To avoid being cut one more time. I know what it’s like to hate yourself. I know what it’s like to feel a guilt so heavy you feel like you can’t breath. That’s why I have a hard time doing things even for good reasons. I always wonder if the reasons are good or if I’m just back in that chair trying to avoid getting cut or stabbed again.” Tears roll down Calans face; he wipes them away and once more looks back at his friend. “ if you need anyone to talk, come to me. I will do my best to shoulder what burdens you.
 

Ruki

Scholar
Ruki sat there in stunned silence for a few moments, trying to find the right words.

"....**** me."

Those were not the right words.

"I'm sorry Calan, I never knew. I couldn't imagine having to live with that. THe man.... did you ever find him?"
 

CRivers

Artisan
Calan sat a moment before responding.

“No, I suppose that’s another way I haven’t done the right thing. To be honest I wouldn’t know where to start looking.” Calan pauses “besides now isn’t the time for that sort of thing. But maybe now you can understand why it is that I hated the sight of my own face so much. Don’t let jinn know I remember that though, he’s too cocky letting him know he was right about anything even something as small as me recalling that I wore a mask... woo eee I’d never hear the end of it.” Calan stands up and starts to leave spell book in hand. “ I lost a lot of memories when I died in that other shard, unfortunately that wasn’t one of them, if it’s all the same maybe keep it between us. It’s not one of my best moments. When I do meet my permanent death, I’d rather you lot remember me for the good I’ve done.”
Calan gave a wink to Ruki and left the house .
 

Ruki

Scholar
The human reached out, there was more that he wanted to say, but he held himself back from calling out. Of all the memories that he got to keep, why would it be something so horrible? The fates were truly unkind. Ruki made a silent vow to himself, that he would assist Calan once this was all done, to find his family's killer. Just like he would help find the one who murdered Arlyne's sister and framed her for it...and help Evo with his interesting family situation.

...was he doing this out of the kindness of his heart? Or was he distracting himself from the thought of returning to his own life? Thankfully, it wasn't something he needed to worry about just this moment. With a sigh, he stood up and headed outside, the fresh air would do well for his mind.
 
Phalaenopsis stuffed his "safety bag" underneath his bed; he'd actually remembered to remove and wash his gloves before leaving the Sanctum this time, rather than risk slathering poisonous plant residue all over the Guild. Hopefully, just another month of tending, and then... The thought of keeping a shoot or cutting for personal use was tempting, but with so much at stake if they didn't plant enough, he wondered if his personal desire to concentrate the toxin out would sabotage everything they'd worked for up until now; perhaps he'd been a little too judicious in his pruning, in preventing the plant from spreading to new pots and growing new shoots? But tending them was hard enough as it was, given that even the slightest brush with the smallest leaf resulted in a painful rash, or worse; the watering can he was using was already showing signs of being eaten away by the plant's secretions, and he suspected he'd need to replant them in a larger pot before whatever might be on the roots ate through the clay. His first pair of gloves had all but disintegrated within weeks, and the new pair were starting to show similar signs of decay despite his attempts to wash and preserve them. 'Truly, the Plane of Plants is a marvelous place. I wish I could have gone.' he thought to himself, 'Maybe I'll ask Evo to send me there some day.'

His task for the day finished, he heaved a sigh, and as if on cue, his stomach let out a loud growl. "Oh... I don't think I've eaten dinner yet, have I?" he wondered out loud, trying to think of the last thing he'd eaten, "Between the plants, and my hawks, and the forest shifting..." His stomach growled again, and he laughed quietly to himself. "Yes, yes, 'feed me', I heard you the first time." He left his room quietly, preparing to head for the tavern, but stopped outside Ruki's door; he thought he'd seen a light coming under the door when he'd left in the morning, and it was still on now. 'Surely he can't have been in there all day, that's just not like him...' he thought, knocking on the door. "Ruki," he called loudly, "have you been in there all day?"
 

Ruki

Scholar
Once again, not expecting a guest, Ruki was startled. Was he always this jumpy? He made his way to the door and opened it, "Good.... morning? Afternoon? I kinda lost track of the time in here. Some cleaning and tending to wounds and resting, which is very much needed." He smiled, "I was just leaving now though, figured I could get some fresh air. Is there something you need assistance with?"
 
"It's early evening, Ruki, so I guess the answer was 'yes'," Phalaenopsis replied with a chuckle, "but also, no, I don't need anything in particular, it's just that it's not particularly like you to be cooped up in your room all day, so I was a bit worried. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself, though. It's good to rest, and a good clean of your room can sometimes help you clear your head." The Sylvanborn reached out to pat Ruki's shoulder, but was stopped by the Ward he'd forgotten about. "Oh, right, everyone Wards their rooms here..." he mumbled, withdrawing his hand.

"Well, no matter. I'm done everything I have to do early, and was going to go for dinner; would you care to join me, or did you have something else in mind for getting fresh air?" Phalaenopsis asked pleasantly, before slightly switching tone and pointedly asking, "Since you've been in your room long enough to not even know what time of day it is, have you eaten yet today? Do I need to drag you to dinner?"
 

Ruki

Scholar
Ruki took a moment to think about his stomach, and it began to grumble from a lack of food. "Well, according to my stomach I have not eaten today. Probably not the best thing to do when we need to keep our strength up," he laughed. "Dinner would be swell."

The human grabbed his belongings, turned off his light, and headed out the door. "Shall we?"
 
"Absolutely." Phalaenopsis responded with a smile, following Ruki out the door. "By the way, have you been sleeping better in the last month? You slept quite well this past weekend, but I'm worried that may be more from exhaustion than actually getting a proper sleep. If you need an Elixir, let me know, okay?"
 

CRivers

Artisan
Calan re-enters Jinns house and makes his way back to the room he had been sharing with Jinn. many questions filled his mind he needed answers. He thought back to the advice he had just given Ruki only hours earlier and wondered if he shouldn't take that same advice himself. the trouble was he couldn't shake the feeling he had; there was a terrible thought gnawing at the back of his mind, no matter how hard he tried to think of something else it seemed to just crop back up. I will sleep he thought. Calan climbed into his bunk but as he lay there the thought wouldn't let him sleep. the thought was like a thousand little rats just scratching and chewing at his mind driving him crazy that is until another thought crept into his mind. Calan now in a completely drenched got out of bed and methodically cleaned up all of his belongings. sashes that had littered his space were all neatly folded and placed in a drawer. he organized all of his books. he even placed some of his loose drawings up above his bed. once everything was neat and tidy he took out a piece of paper and began to write a letter he then folded it up just as he would fold up any other letter he wrote a name on the outside of the letter then he went over to the same floorboard where he normally hides his spellbook opened it up, pulled out his spellbook, then finally inserted the letter before placing the board back down. for a short second he considered casting a wizard lock onto space but then he decided against it. The letter would probably be found sooner than Calan wanted it to be if he did that. Calan then strapped on his belt and swords, he strapped on his leather armor before taking off the eagle pendant that normally hung on his sash. he tucked the pendant under Jinns Pillow along with his blue crystal bracelet where he knew they would be safe. He was sure to keep a couple of other odds and ends on him that had been given to him in the past while. Calan pinned a sketch next to Phals door, he placed his guitar outside Rukies room, he paused at Rohnans door and thought for a moment; here he decided to leave nothing. everything else could be explained away one way or another. but if he left something at this door she would know right away. and then they would all know. he needed a head start so instead he left the house.
 

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Rohnan woke the next morning later than intended. The angle of the sun coming in through the window was enough to tell her that. She was supposed to meet Arlyne for breakfast before they went through the portal to do research in Calanhelm. She quickly scrambled to grab a few needed belongings, she didn’t know how long she would be gone for, but it hopefully wouldn’t be more than a few weeks at the most. She hesitated for a moment, deciding whether or not to bring her pole arm with her. She decided to leave it behind instead of lugging it around a library all day.

After kicking on her boots she quickly checked her room to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything. She grabbed a few coins to pay for what she might need while she was gone, and her spell book. Everything else she left where it was. Jinn and Calan had overheard Evo asking her to go and do this research so she wasn’t worried about being missed. She also hoped that she had enough time to look to answers of her own questions.

She closed the door to her room and made her way quietly down the hall, almost tripping on the guitar outside of Ruki’s room. She was just glad she didn’t nock it over and wake the whole house. She headed out of the cabin quickly towards the tavern, hoping that she hadn’t kept Arylne waiting too long.
 
((Sorry to back up the timeline, but I promise it's just for this one post.))
Phalaenopsis returned later that night to find everyone else asleep, their door shut and lights extinguished. He smiled to himself at the quiet house; the air felt less agitated now, as though a calmness had settled over the house in his absence. He paused briefly at Ruki's door, mildly confused at the guitar propped up next to it; not only had he never heard Ruki play, but it didn't seem like the kind of thing the Human would leave laying out like that. He brushed it off, heading for his room, and noticed a paper pinned next to his door in the gloom; peering closely in the dark, Phalaenopsis could make out the lines of charcoal on the sheet, and he squinted a bit to make his eyes adjust until he could make out what it was. "Oh!" he said in surprise, perhaps a little too loudly, before dropping his voice to a whisper, "It's a sketch of me..." He unpinned the drawing and took it into his room; he lit a candle and examined it in the light, lightly tracing the lines with his fingertips and smiling. 'Whoever did this did an excellent job.' he mused, his smile getting bigger as he noticed more details, 'They got the crow's feet, and the dimple, and even the small ridges on my horns are there. Just wonderful.' Unsure where else to put it where it wouldn't get smudged or creased, he left it on the small stand next to his bed, leaning upright on his box of Potions and Alchemy. He got undressed for the night, climbed into bed, and took a last happy look at the picture before blowing out the candle and falling asleep.
 
Rohnan approached the house and was surprised to see that there was no ward on the door. Of course the magic would have eroded by now. She was just surprised that no one had bothered to reapply it. Either way it was useful as she didn’t have to wait for anyone to let her into the house. She had been gone now for several weeks and was looking forward to sleeping in her own bed.

Her official research at the Arcane Sanctum proved fruitful, and they had a lead to go on. Her other research however... gave her a headache just thinking about. She learned nothing that she couldn’t have learned by just asking carful questions and didn’t know how to look further without drawing suspicion. Either way, she would tell Calan what she learned and maybe between the two of them they can figure something out.

Rohnan entered her room and was already removing her bag and dropping it on the floor. She was about to fling herself onto the bed when she noticed that there was a rather large package on it. On top of the package there was a letter. Rohnan’s eyes quickly scanned the room looking for anything else that was out of place but nothing seemed amiss.

She then brought her attention back to the package and the letter. In perfect calligraphy that was somehow so familiar that it filled her senses with memories of a dark wooden room, a cracking fire, large heavy tomes, ink and parchment. She traced the letters that made up her name on the front of the letter as a second of memory flashed as large pale hands guided small, pink, and ink-stained. She knew that the memory was hers by how fragmented it was and she found herself blinking away tears.

She sat down on her bed and opened the letter.

Daughter,

I wish to apologize to you. When we last spoke I disapproved of your decisions. Know that my disapproval was out of concern for your wellbeing and not a comment on you and your abilities. Do not let my disapproval of your choices stop you from sending word of your well-being.

Your anger was unexpected. It seems that your time back in Turom, and among your mothers people you have forgotten what your I taught you as a child. No matter, it should have been expected. After all it seems that you take after your mother in every way.

That is also the reason for my letter now. When your mother had taken you back with her to Turom she had left this with me. She knew that her spirit was weakening and wanted it kept safe. She said for me to give it on to whichever of her children it would suit the best. I believe that she always intended it to be given to you. She knew as well as I that your brothers take after me as much as you take after your mother.

Use her sword well and remember her sacrifice.

In hope of receiving word from you soon,

Your Father


Rohnan read and reread the letter several times and found herself sobbing. She had a father. Her father knew where she was. She had brothers. Her mother was dead. This was more information that she had learned about herself in months, and it was simultaneously too much at once and not enough.

With shaking hands she carefully put away the letter and lifted the package. It was long and heavy but now that she knew what it contained it made sense. It was wrapped in fabric and rope. Slowly she untied the bundle and unwrapped it. She found herself gasping at the beauty of such a weapon. The handle reminded Rohnan of her polearm, but that is where the similarities between the two started and stopped. The blade was long and curved with golden leaf details near the hilt. The guard itself was two large golden leafs. It was beautiful and deadly. And Rohnan was going to shake the rust off of her sword skills so she can properly use it in the morning.

For now though, she was going to let her emotions overtake her and she cried in her bed.
 
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