View Full Version : a bitter homecoming - 2/19 - Jynessa [Open to anyone in the 1st party]
12-14-2010, 02:56 AM
Jynessa had abandoned the wheel house to ride with the others. Her father was laying lost in dreams the opiates so easily granted, and she had not been able to take any more of it. Sitting by him reminded her too much of the day before the king’s wedding, when she’d sat by another bedside, and realized the world was worse than even she’d ever thought. Outside it was better. The cold left her shivering inside her layers of wool, fur and leather but she could breathe and felt less as if she were about to be buried under four collapsing walls.
They had glimpsed the city as they rode, but it was little more than a trail of smoke in the distance. Now they were almost there, and the woods were thinning around them as they continued. Jynessa spurred her horse toward the head of the column.
The town before them was a wreck. Charred, skeletal remains of buildings were all that remained of entire sections, while a handful of areas seemed unharmed, and off in the distance the castle walls shone white in the sunlight. Amid the ruins people moved about, some of them obviously clearing the rubble and others on errands only they would know.
Jynessa was among the first through the gates, and cast about anxiously for anyone she knew well. Faces heavy with grief and dirt, aged in mourning, all seemed alien to her.
"Lady Jynessa!" A male voice hailed her and she turned sharply. A boy her own age was waving. It took her a moment to recognize him, and after that nothing stopped her. In a flash, Jenna was off her horse and running toward him.
"Feren! Where is everyone?" The rest of the travelers were forgotten, as was propriety as she threw her arms around the blacksmith's boy. "Are you hurt? Your father?" No one sent news of smallfolk, but the blacksmith was one of the men who knew everything that went on- almost as much as the tavern keeper.
"He's well enough. Took a bad blow from one of them sea-demons, but he's at the forge again. I'm on my way now." Feren had returned her embrace but stepped back to finish the bow he'd tried to give before she interrupted.
"I have to go to the castle first, but we're all back- and my uncle Jacques is with us. He's Lord Ashpool now, he's going to help." Jynessa rolled her eyes at the bow and managed to smile. "I'm going to go to the temple... is it still..."
Feren nodded. "Aye, m'lady, 'tis there. It came through right as rain, though without a lot of its valuables. They're keepin the sick there, and what families they can fit."
"All right." She nodded. "Food? Where are the other families?"
"Livin with the others what has houses, or sheltering as best they can while the builders work. Food's... well it's not too bad for the moment."
"The castle stores?"
"Lord Ryger ain't partin' with 'em withouten his Lordship's sayso."
Jynessa drew a deep breath. "Thank you, Feren. I'll... see what I can do. What we can do. I'll go to the temple. My lord husband might want to be there...."
The blacksmith's brows rose. "Husband, m'lady? But you're--"
"In the capital. Father thought it best done before we returned."
"Aye, he's a canny one. Well then, a new lord to match the current one. That'll be a sight for sore eyes." Feren bowed again. "I'll be off to tell the rest o' the world." He smiled.
"Do that." She could hear the words he wasn't saying, and it mostly had to do with what Ryger though of her marriage. Jynessa turned back to her horse then stopped again. "I'm glad to see you, Feren. Tell your father I'll send him something for his wound."
"Aye, Lady." Another smile.
She mounted again and turned the horse back toward the line of Ashpools and Harrowmont retainers filing into the city.
12-15-2010, 08:43 AM
The town looked charred and burned, even weeks after the attack. Elysia cringed at the thought of fire spreading from building to building, the horror the people must have faced. Their castle was mostly stone, but there was enough wood that it too could burn. Her eyes searched for something positive to focus on, but short of the people who were obviously trying to rebuild their lives, and the few buildings that had been reconstructed or were partly being built, there wasn’t much.
She turned to see Jynessa approaching and tried to be sympathetic. This was her cousin’s home. It was the same to Jynessa as Vadra was to Elysia. “You alright?” she risked asking. The gods knew she’d be a wreck if she saw her home reduced to ashes.
12-15-2010, 06:17 PM
Something like a smile appeared on Jynessa's face, though her eyes were worried. "I'll be better after we cross over to the castle." She sighed. "It's going to take forever to get everything ferried over." The one drawback to Brightwater's safe distance from the shore was that it was also an inconvenient distance for getting quickly there and back.
"I need to see how things are there but... I need to be in the temple too..." It had been a hard day already, and a harder journey. Jynessa was exhausted. How long could she do any good in the temple before she fell over where she stood? Delaying to go first to the castle and then back would mean it was almost dark before she made it there and she'd be useless...
"I'm going to just go to the temple, I think. They've set up the sick there, and as many families as they could." Jynessa looked around them again. "How could men do this? Why? Dynga doesn't have sailors or ships. We never went against the Skalldings. It's just traders and shepherds here!" she knew Elysia probably didn't know or care about any of it, but the frustration was just too much to keep silent.
"I hope those wretched islands are wiped from the world."
12-20-2010, 09:11 PM
Elysia looked over to where the castle stood. It had been ages since she’d visited Brightwater, but the times had been far more pleasant. The town was thriving, the people happy, and the Harrowmonts had been eager for their company. “What you need to do is rest, Jynessa! You and I and the rest of the party are exhausted and lucky to still be alive. A good night’s sleep and then you can help the rest of these people. They’ve been managing for a good month now. One more day will not hurt them.”
Elysia had no idea why the Skalldings would attack them. “Why don’t you ask Travis? He thinks like those stupid barbarians. Maybe he knows why this happened.”
12-22-2010, 01:38 PM
"I forgot about Travis." All right so she hadn't really, but that particular young man was something of an anomaly and Jynessa had no idea how to go about addressing him. "Maybe I should, later..." She looked at her cousin and sighed.
"Elysia, one more night may not hurt them, but it will hurt me. I have a duty to them- rather like the one you now have to the people of Vadra, only moreso because I'm the heir. Not Alexandre: me. I want to know right now how they are, and which of them I must mourn for or with, who to offer prayers for, and who needs food or comfort that Brightwater can somehow provide...." She stopped and shook her head. It was hopeless. Elysia would never understand.
"Never mind. Just tell Alexandre and our fathers I've gone to the temple, please?"
12-24-2010, 10:05 AM
How could she take care of people if she couldn’t even take care of herself? Then again, Jynessa was a Harrowmont and not an Ashpool. Elysia couldn’t expect her to be nearly as smart. “Sure. If that's what you want, I'll tell them both. Enjoy your responsibilities then,” Elysia offered before turning her horse toward the rest of the column heading toward Brightwater. Her father was somewhere around there, but Elysia had a mind to find Aramis first.
Spurring her horse forward, she rode through the lines until she spotted him. “Aramis!” Elysia called out. “Wait for me.!”
12-24-2010, 08:35 PM
Jynessa turned her horse away from the column and rode toward the temple. Hopefully Elysia would be at least useful enough to remember the message she'd just been given... Hah. Well, if father or Alexandre were cross with her later, she'd deal with it then. For now, she had more important things to worry about.
12-25-2010, 05:56 AM
His mind was in so many places right now, that it was hard to focus on what he was supposed to be doing. So hard, in fact, that he couldn’t remember what he was supposed to be doing. He needed sleep. That was the bottom line. He hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since Solbra… It was sad to think of it in that time frame. With a yawn, he closed his eyes, not meaning to nod off, but doing so because that’s how things happened sometimes. But then he heard his name, and he perked up. He turned in his saddle to see his sister, smiling for her as she neared.
“Greetings, sister dear,” he said, sounding more chipper and awake than he actually felt. So long as his smile matched, it was all well.
12-29-2010, 04:55 PM
Forgotten was Jynessa’s request, as Elysia smiled for her brother. They’d hardly spoken most of the trip, as though Aramis was angry at her for some reason she couldn’t fathom. But now that they were here, she at least wanted him to know she still cared for him. Well, at least say as much, because how could he not know?
“I’m glad we’ve finally arrived,” she commented as she pulled up her horse to walk beside his. “Although, this place is rather hard to look at.” She almost turned up her nose, but thought better of it. Maybe Aramis liked Dynga, and the last thing she needed was to push away another family member.
12-30-2010, 04:22 AM
He didn’t look at her. Perhaps she hadn’t meant it as it sounded… Then again, perhaps she did. Had Elysia always been this way? Self-centered, unable to see the world passed her nose? No. No, that was not the sister he had grown up with. Not the sister he’d been so close to. “Yes, the journey was long… I’m glad it is behind us,” he agreed, looking at her at last. “It is rather hard to stomach, I know. But soon the city will be rebuilt and restored to what it once was. For me it’s not that… For me it’s knowing that so many people lost so much here.” Maybe if he put it in that perspective he’d get through to her. “Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if when I see a woman crying, if she weeps over the death of a husband… a child. It can be too much to witness… Is that what is troubling you, Ely?”
01-02-2011, 06:07 PM
The scouts had warned the town that the Ashpools were arriving, and Ryger had immediately crossed over from Brightwater to be ready to welcome them. This was the moment he'd been waiting for: Warren was returning, bringing back Jynessa. The succession would be finalized, at long last... Oh, he'd gotten the raven his blasted uncle had sent to say that he'd found Jynessa husband, and Ryger had beaten the messenger bloody but he'd reminded himself it didn't matter. Some idiot boy of some no-account hedge knight or fourth-son, they'd all be easily gotten rid of. A few coins and a pointed discussion and they'd disappear. Or they'd just disappear. Ryger smiled at that thought.
He rode toward the column of Ashpools, raising a hand in greeting. "Good day, my lords and ladies. Welcome to Amalthia's outer halls." A poor jest but Ryger didn't notice.
01-07-2011, 11:24 PM
Elysia nodded her head, even if Aramis’ assessment wasn’t quite true. She hadn’t been thinking as much about the women crying, as the fact that everything of beauty had been burned to the ground. “I just don’t know how I’d pick up the pieces and continue on.” That sounded better than calling the place ugly.
“Or maybe it’s just a reminder that our own home was attacked too, and we don’t know what that will look like when we arrive.” She didn’t want to think about their beautiful city being burnt or ruined.
“I’m still cold and feeling weak from the trip, that’s all Aramis. I don’t sound like myself.”
She looked up at the voice, Rygar Harrowmont. She remembered him from the few times they had visited Dynga. "I suppose we should thank you for that?" she asked. Amalthia was NOT her favorite goddess.
01-10-2011, 02:28 AM
He nodded, liking the sound of that much better. “It’s what people must do. They don’t have a choice. It’s either do that, or sit and let the world pass them by.” And Aramis understood. He’d never been the sit and accept your fate sort of fellow. Even when his mother died, he’d never stopped moving… And when he’d been forced to bed rest after his accident had been when he was at his most miserable. If he’d learned anything it was that if you stood still long enough, eventually you would be overtaken by the ghosts of your past that were always on your heels trying to catch up to you.
“It will be all right, dear sister. Or father will set things right,” he said with confidence.
He looked over at her with concern clear in his expression. It’d been so long since he’d looked at her this way. “Weak? Ely… are you well? Should I call for the physician?”
But he stopped speaking when he heard another voice. Aramis had no opinion about the newest addition to their conversation… but he didn’t necessarily wish to speak to him. And his words were… less than appropriate. But then, neither were Elysia’s. At least in her case, he could prevent her from sinking unwittingly down to his level. “Elysia, don’t be rude,” he said.
01-12-2011, 12:57 AM
He looked over the girl with a grin. Nice breasts. Pity about the voice. "I suppose you should, my lady." He had no idea which one she was. All Jacques Ashpool's daughters looked alike: blonde, pretty and not too bright.
"If you need a physician, we've got several, but they're a bit busy still. It's about two months but some wounds just don't seem to be healing. I imagine there's one who could find a few minutes to look over a lady of Ashpool, though."
He turned to Aramis. "How was the trip, my lord? It's a good thing you didn't come by sea- Vadra's a right mess from what I've heard. The merchants have had to go through Vryka, and those roads aren't made for that much traffic. It's been a rough winter all around."
01-16-2011, 10:55 PM
“I’ll be fine. I just need some food and some sleep. I tried to convince Jynessa the same, but... oh, she went to the temple. I was to tell you that.”
Vadra was hurting too? Elysia’s head shot around to Rygar and she resisted a shudder. There was something extra creepy about the way the Harrowmont was looking at her. Or maybe she was imagining it. “What of Vadra? What news? What has happened there? Surely our walls protected us better than the ones here?” She would cry if her home looked like this place. She loved Vadra! It was the city of her childhood, her birth. Rygar was ass enough to say things just to upset her.
“Maybe I’d rather not hear,” she muttered. Surely anything Rygar said was a lie anyway?
01-17-2011, 11:38 PM
“No, it is better I speak with you later about it,” Aramis said, glaring at Ryger. “Though, how refreshing it is to see concern in your eyes now. No matter how selfish the reason.” He knew that he probably should not have said that, but it was strange holding back. Once he could tell her everything… Now he tiptoed around her. Well, no more. If she could not handle the truth, maybe she should adjust how she behaved.
“It was long and a bit harried, but nothing unexpected. I know the Duponts are coming by way of Vykra, but yes, I have heard of Vadra and its misfortunes.” He was humiliated for Elysia that she perhaps unwittingly insulted the defenses of Harrowmont’s home. He closed his eyes and looked away. Good gods, had she become so… blind? Was that the right word?
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