Tales Light After Dark

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Gerrard Duvont, Nov 18, 2018.

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  1. Gerrard Duvont

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    Gerrard Duvont Devil of Murant

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    "Old," he replied. They were nearly there. That meant he had to concentrate and try and stay alert. Being alert made the pain more acute. He was getting used to it now, but this one would go away. Not like the one that spread across the scars on his chest. Some mistakes stayed with you forever.

    They were stopped briefly at the guardhouse built into the gate. Gerrard sat tall to try and avoid any questions. He couldn't abide pointless questions.

    They were waved through whilst the guards inspected a merchant's wagon. Gerrard brought his horse level to hers and gave directions when he could muster the breath.

    The inn sat at the crossroads near the centre of town. Hanging over the doorway was a grid of pieces of metal painted red. The rusted gate.

    "Go ask the innkeeper to get his boy to stable the horses please," Gerrard asked as he summoned the willpower to get down from his saddle.
     
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  2. Audreyn

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    She nodded, hissing as she slid down and waddled off, rubbing at her rear. That'll be a bruise. Oi. And maybe a sore or two.

    A few spare minutes later she came out with two others, one young girl darting down the street after a wide-eyed glance at Gerrard. The boy with her dutifully went for the horses, allowing her to yank off Gerrard's packs before absconding with the animals. Audreyn shrugged his bags over her shoulders, hip checked out as she looked Gerrard over. She grimaced.

    "I hope you have enough money for a doctor cause ... I sent for one." She turned and quickly scrambled inside. Where he couldn't whack her for it!
     
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  3. Gerrard Duvont

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    Gerrard stood alone in the street. The boy was walking around the house leading both horses. The girl turned a corner and carried on - he presumed - towards the doctor's residence. The door swung shut behind Gerrard.

    "Well...fine," he said to no one at all.

    Taking a moment to shrug at the door, he limped after Audreyn. The door swung open before him, but Rolland was on the other side.

    "You look like shit Gerrard," the heavy-set innkeeper said.

    "Thanks."

    "Bleed on my sheets you pay for them."

    He did, at least, hold the door open for him.
     
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  4. Audreyn

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    Audreyn rolled her eyes behind the mans back, mouthing 'I'll steal extra from the maid closet'. They could throw them out and no one be wiser.

    She shifted at the weight on her shoulders, ignoring her exhaustion. "Well don't just leave him standing there," came the attitude. "Where's the room? And does this doc keep rabbits on hand, she might needa do extra stitching. I've kept him riding for over a day..."
     
  5. Gerrard Duvont

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    The innkeeper looked from one to the other. Palms up, he offered a shrug at the question about the doctor. His face managed to scrunch up so tightly that his eyes became almost invisible. He strode past Audreyn, muttering "room" under his breath.

    Gerrard had stayed here several times. The innkeeper was an honest man, but a gruff one. Gerrard imagined that when he dreamed, his limited imagination probably only conjured more tables for him to clean in his sleep.

    Still, after the last few days the room looked like a palace. Gerrard limped straight to the bed and sat himself down.

    "Get yer anything?"

    "Water please."

    "One beer, right."

    Gerrard looked up at Audreyn as the innkeeper walked away. "Made it," he said quietly with just a hint of a smile.
     
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  6. Audreyn

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    Audreyn gingerly sat on the opposite bed. It was interesting to note that while Gerrard had once ordered two rooms for them out of propriety, she ordered one shaggy one out of cost. They came from two different worlds, really. At least least room felt a little familiar to her.

    After an unsure glance over him, she offered a tentative smile. It quickly crumbled into a revealed sigh, her tense shoulders relaxing.

    "We did." And she was wagering to bet no one would have expected them to make it this far with one of them injured. So now not only could he get proper rest and care .... but she could entertain the thought that for a moment, she was safe.

    She sighed again, rubbing her arms and looking around. "Where are we, anyway? Family member's house?" They had both been the same brand of grumpy, it made sense.
     
  7. Gerrard Duvont

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    He chuckled once and then winced with regret. "No, he's no family. Don't quite see the resemblance myself..."

    Gerrard kicked off his boots. Just lifting his feet up onto the bed was a slow, tentative series of movements. He slipped his hand into his coat and under his shirt. Something still seeped from the wound, but it was fairly clear and odourless.

    "I've stayed here a few times. The town sits on several roads. I think I'll pull through this," he said. There was none of the command in his voice now. It was strained, weak. There was a touch of relief, as if it was the first time he dared to think that he might be on the mend.
     
  8. Audreyn

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    "You better," she nearly mewed, stress tight in her tone. She couldn't see the wound and she rather didn't want to. She had watched her parents get sliced open and that had killed them, it has hard to conceptualize how this would be any different. Still, she told herself. He wasn't dead yet. And a doctor was on the way.

    "Can I get you anything? Food or- or- a book?" She fussed with her simple silver brooch, palms sweaty.

    Thunking footsteps signified the return of the man with the beverage. No doubt the doctor wouldn't be far behind.
     
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  9. Gerrard Duvont

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    The innkeeper - Roland, Rolland? He couldn't quite recall - didn't waste any time in dropping off the clay mug and leaving the room.

    Gerrard ignored it for now. He was too drained to be subtle about his gaze falling to her fidgeting with the brooch.

    She didn't have anything left. Parents murdered, evicted by the only people she had known. It was an unforgiving world to face alone. Especially for a young woman with no coin or connections.

    "I'll give it my best," he said with a forced smile. "If the infection was getting much worse the wound would smell putrid. He wouldn't have hesitated to finish the job. If you hadn't got in the way. It's what he does - or did - for a living.

    "You don't need to get me anything. But...could I trouble you to help me get this coat off?" he asked, looking a touch embarrassed at having to ask.
     
  10. Audreyn

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    She flustered for a moment, jumping right off the bed without hesitation. Of course she would help him with the jacket. She had known him for short of two weeks but he was the furthest thing to a stranger for her. There was no awkwardness in helping the life that had saved hers.

    None at all.

    Okay, well maybe a little. But she didn't show it, not one bit as she gingerly helped peel the sleeves off his arms, trying to spare him the effort of having to engage his core. She even went for the shoes, the last one thunking to the ground as she stood up and stretched, considering him more.

    Her mouth opened-- the door opened, the doctor pushing briskly in.

    "I heard someone's dying?"

    Audreyn gave Gerrard an abashed look.
     
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  11. Gerrard Duvont

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    He had never liked asking for help. Even now, when he knew that he had no choice it still didn't feel right to him. So many had assumed that the titles inhereted from his parents had taken him to the heights he had reached. They hadn't seen the long night's of study by candlelight. They hadn't seen the risks he had taken, the sacrifices he had made.

    Gerrard mumbled a thanks as the door swung open. He looked up towards the doctor.

    "We're all dying doctor, eventually. I'm not planning on doing it soon."

    This seemed to take him aback. "Yes, well, clearly you're wounded. What happened?" The man had a large, leather, case that he plopped down on the next bed.

    "Stabbed...here," Gerrard said, putting his hand over his side.

    "Lie back," instructed the doctor.

    Gerrard looked towards Audreyn, as if looking for some favour for complying. He hoped the bag wasn't just full of leaches and home-brewed tinctures.
     
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  12. Audreyn

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    ~~~~~
    Days had passed. As it turned out, the doctor didn't carry any leeches on him. The boy that brought him had indeed brought a the real deal. But at the cost of gold, he kept insisting. That was what a panicked Audreyn had promised him, thinking a doctor should cost about that much.

    The rest had done her good, a lot of time spent in the thatchet bed across from him. She had never traveled so hard before. She was sure she'd never be able to sit on a horse again.

    She had done well to make sure he could rest too, often bringing him meals and books and helping where she could. She gingerly placed a breakfast for him on the nightstand next to the bed, peeeeering over him.

    "...youstillalive?" She whispered.
     
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  13. Gerrard Duvont

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    "I'm really not going to die now Audreyn," he said quietly. There was no anger in his words. Instead mild amusement that the girl had repeated checked to see if he was gone when just resting. It wasn't actually amusing, not when he thought about it. Everyone else had left her left just a week ago.

    He took some care in sitting upright. There was still a great deal of pain, but his skin was well on its way to healing over. The doctor had given him a curious glance when he had seen the permanent scars on his chest, but hadn't said any more. That was what gold could pay for, he supposed.

    Gerrard took the bowl of steaming porridge. He had insisted the owner drop a splash of rum into his breakfasts to take the edge off the pain.

    "I think we might head for the road today Audreyn. Or maybe tomorrow. I'll see what it's like walking."
     
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  14. Audreyn

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    Her expression crumbled in an instant, a groan pulling from her. "Like, with horses and stuff? You sure you aren't dead?" She jabbed his shoulder to nudge him back down. "I can get the doc. He can say. Maybe you need a wagon. We can just sit in it."

    She nodded, as if trying to compel him to agree.
     
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  15. Gerrard Duvont

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    "I will stay here until I am certain that I can travel by horse myself without being carried in a wagon like an invalid!" he said firmly.

    Steely gaze lowered until it fell upon the finger that had jabbed his shoulder. He arched an eyebrow at Audreyn, curious as to whether she would poke him again. He continued to sit upright and dipped his spoon into the bowl.
     
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  16. Audreyn

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    The hand withdrew, Audreyn taking a slight step back. "Well. Fine," she huffed, sitting down on the edge of her bed instead. "If you fall I'll just drag you back."

    She sat propped there, arms tense against the edges as she practically leaned forward, watching his every move for a sign of pain. "...Where... are we going, anyway? Some place small to get out of their sight? Do you... do you think they're still looking for us?" She asked for the first time, the question always lingering in the back of her mind, unspoken.
     
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  17. Gerrard Duvont

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    "I was hoping that bald assassin might be dead. Or at least hurt so badly that he has to slink off home to avoid us."

    He took a mouthful of porridge, looking forward to the pleasant sensation that would come from the shot of rum swirled into the oats.

    "We have two choices. Well, there are two decisions to be made and two choices for each. They're both yours to make really. We can go north or south. North we can go to my family's estate around Elbion. Large enough that we could stay out of the way of the world. South we could go to Vel Anir. It's a city that...I think you could fit a hundred of these towns inside it.

    "The other decision is about what you want to do. If you want I'll take the time to show you how to take full advantage of your powers. You've earned that. You could be brilliant Audreyn. Or we can find a way to control them and we can find you some farmer to marry and you can go raise ten children."

    His tone made his view on the second question obvious, but he had no clear preference on heading north or south yet.
     
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  18. Audreyn

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    Her face crinkled in distaste, the look given to him hefting a heavy 'how could you even suggest that' into the mix.

    "I'm not going to be someone's wife," she said with no hesitation. She crossed her arms, the rest of that... not so simple. She was still unnerved by magic. She still... didn't think it was good. But there was no doubt that it had saved their life back there, and ever since that moment she had been left frustrated that she hadn't known more spells that could have done more to stop it.

    Maybe if she had, Gerrard wouldn't have been stabbed at all.

    She started with the easy part.

    "South. I wanna see this 100-city city. Is that even possible? How do they all eat?" She asked, exasperated.
     
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  19. Gerrard Duvont

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    "They have extensive farms and ship food into the city. They have great warehouses where they keep it. As the city gets bigger, the nation consumes more land. There are many orcs and elves were are not that keen on the idea," he explained.

    "It is not the most friendly city, but I have always been welcome there at court. We'll be well looked after."
     
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  20. Audreyn

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    Her jaw dropped. "We're- we're going to- to-... court?" She asked slowly. Her eyes widened as well, her thoughts reeling. "I need a bath!" She exclaimed, jumping off the bed."And there's mud on my clothes. And, fuck, the blood stain. That's not gonna come out. "

    She moved around the bed, going to the pile of her things she had now kept wrapped up in a pillowcase. She unfurled her cloak, batting at it and fussing with the material as he was left in her wake, eating unhindered.
     
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  21. Gerrard Duvont

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    Gerrard kept spooning porridge into his mouth, waiting for the rum to take the edge off his pain.

    "Yes we are, yes you do and no it probably won't come out. We'll need an entirely different set of clothes. Both of us will. So do not worry about that for now. But do get a bath. There's only one in the inn. Ask the innkeeper to have it filled in here and I'll go and sit at the bar and wait for you."
     
  22. Audreyn

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    A slight heat filled her cheeks. The cloak lowered and clutched to her chest. She eyed him for a long moment, the concept of propriety dawning on her for the first time.

    Her mouth open. Then closed.

    No, she concluded. His motivation towards her was utterly platonic and that was simply that.

    The concept was dismissed without further thought, though one other question was left in its wake. She kept it close to her chest for the moment, asking instead. "Are you a prince?"

    She folded up the cloak, relieved to find its pretty blue color unstained by anything that couldn't wash out.
     
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  23. Gerrard Duvont

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    "No. Technically I was a baron. That title was stripped from me and is now held by my younger brother."

    A scraping sound as he scooped the last of the porridge out of the wooden bowl seemed louder than it should have done in the small room.

    "If we had gone north we could have stayed at one of his private estates," he explained. There was a slight crack in his voice, the chagrin at those all having been his estates once.
     
  24. Audreyn

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    "Ah..." Was all she said, knowing better than to push that conversation on him just yet. She had a feeling he'd answer her questions if she asked them, but she recognized that tight twist to his voice as he spoke. It left her with no desire to implore further and worsen it.

    "Right, well. You see if you can stand. I'll get the bath drawn. ....If not, I can just....push you in it. Maybe I can try a drink," she mused to herself, heading right on out and leaving him to pains in privacy.
     
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  25. Gerrard Duvont

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    Gerrard was a driven - and stubborn - man when he needed to be. He was also both of those things when he didn't need to be. The rum certainly helped as it took the edge of a pain that was already a fraction of what it had been.

    Gerrard reflected that he should have seen that coming. An assassin of the coin was never going to face him head on. Not when he could hide until the moment was right. Coward. Effective, murderous coward. Gerrard held him in begrudging respect.

    Other than his boots and socks, Gerrard was almost entirely dressed when Audreyn returned.

    "It seems there is no need to push me into the water," he declared. "Even if I did drop you in a lake," he admitted a moment later.
     
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