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    Family Reunion

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    Josh
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    Family Reunion

    Post by Josh on 03/02/15, 10:16 pm

    Roland knew Emir Dunmaril well enough to know the appearance of his son, and the manner of their meeting, could not have been a coincidence. He wasn't sure what game the ifrit lord was playing, but for the moment he didn't care. Though their first meeting had been short, Roland made every effort to have as much time as possible with his son the next time they met.

    Arranging a trip to the docks was simple, an extension of his normal duties. It was easy enough to stay behind after his fellow servants returned to the villa; a trip to the market provided a good cover for a trip to the bazaar. Fewer of his master's eyes would be present, though he'd be a fool to think this meeting would go unremarked. Still, he had plausible deniability for the moment, and he was relatively free with the confines of his duties.

    Having sent word to Aleyn, Roland found himself sitting outside a small cafe overlooking the bazaar space, the air filled with scents and sounds strange even in the City of Brass. Sipping coffee, he awaited his son's arrival with more excitement than he'd had for anything since arriving in this alien place. It reminded him a bit of when Aleyn had first joined the Union, all those times he and Nasira had waited for their son's return.
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Curtana on 03/02/15, 10:38 pm

    Aleyn wasn't sure what to expect from this meeting - he was still trying to process the revelation that his father wasn't dead, on top of everything else that he was dealing with. When he'd gotten word that he could meet with his father in something resembling more privacy, he'd jumped at the chance, hoping that some explanation might be forthcoming, and wondering if maybe his father would have some greater insight into the situation.

    He entered the café, glancing around until he spotted a familiar face. Smiling, he made his way through the tables and other guests to join his father. "Dad, I still can't believe this is real," he said.
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Josh on 03/02/15, 10:58 pm

    Roland rose presently, greeting his son with a bone-crushing hug.

    "I know the feeling son. I don't know how you're here, but I want to know everything. I never thought I'd see any of you ever again."
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Curtana on 03/02/15, 11:07 pm

    Aleyn only let go reluctantly, after a good long while, so that they could sit down again. "It's... a long story," he began slowly, trying to figure out where he ought to start. "Probably we both have a million questions. The short, short version of why I'm here is that Vedran Callais, who your, uh, employer? is holding captive, is my... well, my husband. We're married. And I came here to get him back."

    He paused for a second, partly to let his father respond, but also trying to think what he ought to say next.
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Josh on 03/02/15, 11:52 pm

    "Married!" Roland exclaimed. "I...oh Aleyn. Congratulations, and of course condolences for the present situation."

    Roland had to stop himself from rising again, or he knew it would be unlikely he'd let go any time soon.

    "When? Were you married, I mean. Your mother despaired of you ever finding someone...she must have been thrilled. Is she well? Your brothers and sisters? The kids? I've missed so much..."
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Curtana on 04/02/15, 12:17 am

    "Uh... about three years ago," Aleyn told him, with a rueful laugh at the futility of trying to catch his father up on everything that had happened in the past four years over the course of one conversation. "I actually... you might think it's strange, I don't know, but I didn't just find one someone. I also have another partner - her name is Ardith Aethelin. The three of us are very happy together, although I know it's unconventional. Torinth, the other, well, guest, is her cousin, so he's an in-law of mine as well."

    "Vedran and Ardith and I have four children - actually maybe five by now," he continued, his smile fading and growing more wistful. "I adopted two children - their names are Mhireen and Saiya, and they're eight and six now. Vedran has a son, Macen, from his first marriage, he's five. And together he and Ardith had another son, Edric, who is one - well, one and a half. And Ardith is expecting another baby, or maybe she's already had it by now... I wish I knew if it was a Roland or an Edith, so I could tell you." He shook his head a little, knowing how much it would be for his father to absorb all at once. "I'm so happy with them, Dad. I know you and Mom figured I wouldn't have a family, so I'm sure this is kind of a surprise, but Mom is thrilled, especially with the grandchildren... Everyone in the family is doing well, all things considered."
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Josh on 04/02/15, 12:28 am

    Roland's face showed only happy surprise, though he was somewhat confused about his son's situation. Another noble, and a woman at that? And so many children...with another on the way. Roland had tears in his eyes, hearing the joy in his son's voice.

    "Well, many joyous returns, son. I'm so happy for you. I hope you didn't think you had to live up to your mother's and my example," he joked. "And two adopted children. I hope you've enough room; I remember quelling quite a few arguments over privacy over the years."
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Curtana on 04/02/15, 12:48 am

    "We're pretty set as far as rooms go," Aleyn assured him with a smile.  "Vedran and Ardith come from nobility... so there's money in their families, although we've also done well for ourselves, if I do say so myself."  He smiled to his father, at having this chance to tell him all these things he'd thought he would never be able to know.  "And really, if I could live up to you and Mom, as far as parents go, I'd be amazingly lucky."

    Realizing his father had probably wanted to know about the rest of the family too, Aleyn gave a brief overview.  "Lystra and Tomas are doing well at running the shop - Alynna and Teyra are eight and six now, and I think Tomas would like at least one more but Lystra wants to focus on work for a while, so he's being patient.  Maynard and Korrinne had a son just after you... well, not long after the Overlook disaster. His name's Veryk.  And they have a daughter too now, just about Edric's age - her name is Sartha.  I think Korrinne argued pretty hard to have a name without a Y in it," he joked.  "Ciryl has a new shop in the north end of the city, and he's doing so much business in sheet glass he can hardly keep up.  And, he's been seeing Lila," he added with a shrug and smile at how oddly life turned out sometimes.  "If they ever decide to get married, then add three more grandchildren...  Bretyn's busy with work, as always - too busy to settle down, although I think Mom is starting in on him, now that all us older kids are more or less settled.  Tavya is... well, Tavya's Tavya.  And Len is working as an adventurer now, like he always wanted.  Although he might not forgive me for running off on this task and leaving him and his group in the middle of goblin territory... But I'm sure they'll be okay," he added hastily, so his father wouldn't worry too much.

    "But tell me what happened with you," he said, reaching the end of his siblings and their various families.  "We all thought... well, we all believed you were dead, after what happened.  How did you come here?"
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Josh on 06/02/15, 08:59 am

    Roland grinned as Aleyn spoke, his heart bursting to hear his family was safe and well. It was all a father could hope for, though bittersweet not to have been there for it.

    He'd known the time would come for his tale, and he took a deep breath.

    "I don't know if you remember, but I'd gone down to the Factore workshop in Undertow, part of their warehouse district. It was late for a consultation, but it could have been a big order. Just as I reached the warehouse, I heard the explosion from up the mountain. Debris came crashing down...I saw a few people on the street hit right then. I rushed to help, tried to usher some people to safety under the larger roof of the warehouse. Quite a few of us, thirty-two total, huddled there, as we heard more debris fall. When it cleared, there was smoke and fire everywhere. A piece had hit one of the neighboring warehouses, and it looked like the docks themselves were on fire."

    "We were about to head out to help when there was a flash, an explosion, I think, though now I'm sure it wasn't just an explosion. A wave of fire swept over the building, and we found ourselves...elsewhere. A forest, sort of, but the trees were made of metal and crystal. The ground, too, seemed metallic, a soil made of rust and sand."

    "I'd seen some strangeness back in Ahkas, but this was new to all of us. Ryman, one of the Factore foremen, had been a preceptor at the local temple of Ioun. He figured out we must be in the Elemental Chaos. It was...terrible. We knew almost nothing about where we were, except that few people ever traveled there, and fewer returned."

    "We learned of the mutability of the plane after some trial and error, and we managed at least to not starve, and find some shelter. We debated, rather hotly, whether to move on or stay where we were. Eventually, we sent out scouts...four of them. Maya, Gurak, Tower, Liseminee. I still remember their names. They never returned."

    Roland paused for a moment, his expression grim, his eyes distant.

    "We stayed where we were for...I'm not sure, exactly. Weeks, I think. I'm sure you know by now how hard it is to tell time here. Eventually, someone found us."

    Unconsciously, Roland's hands clenched into fists.

    "Slavers. Salamanders and archons. We weren't warriors, just a few of us veterans, either the old wars or the Northern Campaign, and some rough dockworkers. I like to think we did our best, but they killed five more of us and took the rest captive."

    "We were brought here, to the City of Brass, in chains. It was...not an easy trip."

    He paused again, his head bowed.

    "They sold the survivors to the head of one of the auctions, and we were put up for sale. Quite a few buyers looked at us, but it was...like an open auction. I'd seen such in Ahkas back during the wars. By chance, I met Emir Dunmaril, who seemed...well, he was still a slave owner, of course, but his attendants looked well enough."

    "I played up our talents. I'd been a quartermaster, I'd run a business. Likewise, Ryman kept the books for the warehouse and oversaw others. Mrala was a magewright, no battlecaster, but a skilled artisan for basic magics. And so on, selling our skills and virtues and, most importantly, that we shared a language and culture. I convinced him we'd be happier, and, thus, more productive, as a group. No need to try to break an individual...we would be grateful for the chance to stay together. I didn't want to lose any more of us."

    "In the end, it worked. He purchased the lot of us, and put us to work. We were separated some during work, but allowed to keep to the same portion of his slave's quarters."

    "Ryman and I proved to be valuable assets, generating profits first on some of his dockside institutions, then with greater and greater responsibilities. We did our best to bring our compatriots with us, and we have about as much autonomy and station as any slave in the city by this point."

    Roland sighed, having gone through the last parts of the story quickly, as though to make sure he got it all out.

    "It's not a great situation, obviously, but, having seen the way some houses here treat their servants...I'm glad to be able to shield our people from the worst."
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    Re: Family Reunion

    Post by Curtana on 06/02/15, 12:49 pm

    Aleyn listened to his father's story with a growing amazement and sadness at what he'd been forced to go through. "I'm so sorry, Dad," he said, and leaned across the table to give him a somewhat clumsy hug. "That must have been awful. I guess all things considered, I'm glad you wound up here rather than somewhere worse, but still..."

    He sat back, making a quick mental calculation. "So there are 23 of you that are working for Dunmaril now, is that right? Do you think he'd be willing to make a deal for freeing the whole group? We have funds, and it doesn't seem like he's likely to take them in return for Vedran and Torinth... I would be happy to at least be able to do something good with the money."

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