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    By the light of the moon

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    elanya
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    By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 09:20 pm

    Finding Aleyn was something of a challenge. It shouldn't have been so difficult, considering that most people around were goblins or halflings, and he was unlikely to mistake him for any of the taller members of the Pak. After wandering around camp fruitlessly, Vedran started on a circuit of the outskirts. he'd just about given up, figuring the other man must not want to be found any way and that he might as well go and practice his mandolin instead (really he was just tired of playing nothing but the traveler's chant) when he finally spotted his silhouette resting against the base of a boulder.

    He seemed to be watching the moon rise over the plains, and Vedran thought about laving him to his thoughts. Except now he was curious what they might be and, besides, he'd come out all this way to see if he needed cheering up, and a man off watching the moonrise on his own didn't seem likely to be one who was feeling especially cheerful. Vedran wandered over, leaning against the rock when Aleyn turned to look up at him, then smiled.

    "Hey."
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    Curtana
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 09:32 pm

    "Hey, Vedran." Aleyn looked up at him, managing a bit of a smile back, but his expression was troubled. "Were you looking for me? Is everything okay?"
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 09:35 pm

    "Everything is fine with me yeah.... I was looking for you though - you seemed out of sorts at dinner. How are you holding up?"
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 09:38 pm

    "Oh." Aleyn had been trying to keep from seeming too upset, but evidently that hadn't worked on Vedran, at least. "I'm... I've been better. I know everyone has an off day now and then, but..." He shrugged. "I just felt like I couldn't do anything right today at all. But you guys did fine without me, anyway."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 09:44 pm

    "I don't know about that - I was pretty happy to have you around." He smiled. "I'm pretty sure you're in Warryn's good books too."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 09:51 pm

    "It's just hard when I can't control what I'm doing even when it works...stupid fire thing... and when it goes wrong it messes everyone else up too." He glanced up at Vedran, the moon lighting up half his face, shadowing the other half. "I'm glad at least I could help you."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 10:00 pm

    Vedran shook his head. "First of, thanks. Second - it happens, no one's worrying about it. We've all see what you can do on a good day, and really we've all had our bad days too. I mean, my first trip with the Thunderbolts we were fighting constructs. Do you know what a bard can do to a non-sentient construct? Absolutely nothing, that's what."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 10:09 pm

    Aleyn smiled, rueful. "Oh, that must have been frustrating." He curled his legs up, wrapping his arms around them. "At least I guess for once I didn't get blood or ooze or any other disgusting demonic fluids on my clothes."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 10:14 pm

    Vedran chuckled, and lowered himself to sit down beside the sorcerer, trying to ignore the thrill that ran through him as he did. "Whereas I, on one of the few adventures when I haven't prepared my fastidiousness ritual, thought it would be clever to jump right into the middle of a disgusting corrosive bloodpuddle. Fun day!"
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 10:23 pm

    "Oh, yeah, your boots... Can you clean them tomorrow, or are they ruined?" He knew how much Vedran's clothes tended to mean to him, and even though he thought it was a little silly, he was still sympathetic. They had probably been expensive, anyway.
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 10:30 pm

    he shrugged. "I did what I could - they should survive long enough to get back to Yondon anyway. It was worth it, anyway - whatever else happened, we learned a lot today."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 10:36 pm

    "I suppose we did. And I guess at least my alchemy was useful for something," Aleyn said with a sigh. "I hate using it like that, but I suppose it's better than the alternative."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 10:44 pm

    "Your alchemy was useful for lots of things today, not just that. But you're right, it is the better alternative, even if its hard." He glanced over at Aleyn after a brief pause. "I was talking to Roscoe about it earlier. He thinks we have the responsibility to ease the suffering of all those in our charge.... I think he's right. I don't know that it should feel easy though, even if it is the right thing to do, but I am sorry it fell on you."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 10:50 pm

    "No, it's okay," Aleyn said. "I mean... that part I can handle, even if I don't like it. I know it's important to interrogate people in order to hopefully save more lives later. It's just when I feel like there's nothing... n-nothing I can do..." He trailed off, looking down at his hands.
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 11:04 pm

    Cautiously he reached up to put an arm around Aleyn, telling himself that he;d done the same for kallista, that this was about what Aleyn needed and trying, on that account, to wrestle his anxieties to the back of his mind. "I think you're being way too hard on yourself, Aleyn. You had a bad fight, but you weren't useless today. You made getting through the upper levels a lot easier, and you did help in that fight even if it wasn't as much as you would have liked."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 11:17 pm

    Aleyn stiffened for a moment, momentarily surprised, but he decided Vedran knew what he was doing, so he just sighed and relaxed into Vedran's arm. "Thanks for saying so... I know it's not really the same, and everyone came out safe this time..."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 09/07/12, 11:32 pm

    For a moment he thought he might have misjudged, but then Aleyn relaxed against him and he busied himself thinking about other things, like the sorcerer's statement. "Everyone was fine, give or take some clothing. Didn't even need to take a rest afterwards."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 09/07/12, 11:43 pm

    Aleyn nodded, leaning his head against Vedran's. "I just... it's hard for me, feeling helpless, useless... it reminds me of having to hear my friends... dying, and not being able to do anything about it... I can tell myself all I want that it's not true, but... well, you know how it is, I imagine. It doesn't help to beat yourself up and tell yourself it's stupid to feel the way you do, that just makes it worse." He rested his scarred hand lightly on Vedran's knee.
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 10/07/12, 07:17 am

    Vedran looked down at the hand on his knee, then back over at Aleyn as he covered it with his own, his thumb brushing against the scars on his wrist, his own fingers wrapping loosely around the stumps where Aleyn's were missing and lacing between them where they weren't. "Oh, I guess I might know a little something about that." He meant to try and sound light, self-mocking, but he was nervous and wasn't sure it came out right, so he squeeze Aleyn's hand instead and continued more seriously. "I find that, for me, sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else, someone I can trust. You're not useless, Aleyn. And whatever happened to you before, I have a hard time believing that it was your fault."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 10/07/12, 09:04 am

    "It does help to hear it from you," Aleyn admitted, looking down at their linked hands, mildly amazed that Vedran was touching his scars, wasn't pulling away, and that he wasn't pulling away either. "And I mean... everyone else - well, mostly everyone else - told me the same thing back then, that it wasn't my fault. It just doesn't ever entirely stop the voice in my head that says 'if you'd just been better, then things might have gone differently.'"
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 10/07/12, 10:26 am

    It was easier, when he was saying it to Aleyn, to know that those weren't the kind of voices one should be listening to. The sorcerer's traumas made his own feel a little smaller by comparison, and it helped just sit there and be. "I might know a little something about that, too," he said, squeezing Aleyn a little tighter to him.
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 10/07/12, 10:37 am

    Aleyn leaned back against the rock, still holding tight to Vedran's hand. It felt so comfortable just to sit there with him, watching the sky and feeling less alone. It really was a beautiful night...

    After a while, he finally worked up the courage to say something that had been weighing on his mind. "Vedran, there's something I should tell you. I don't think it connects to all this stuff that's going on, but... on the off-chance that it does, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I hadn't said anything." He sighed, shifting nervously. "I met Melech Damakos once, about ten years ago."
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 10/07/12, 11:00 am

    "Oh?" It didn't seem likely to be connected, but one never knew.
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by Curtana on 10/07/12, 11:10 am

    "It was this case we were investigating, we thought it was just smugglers, but it turned out to be related to some old Turathi house, and so we... well, just me, really... ended up consulting him about that." There was something about the way Aleyn said 'consulting', as though the subject was a bit awkward for him, and he squeezed Vedran's hand a little tighter for reassurance.
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    Re: By the light of the moon

    Post by elanya on 10/07/12, 11:20 am

    Vedran frowned slightly in concern, unsure what to make of Aleyn's confession so far. "Did something happen?"

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