Returning Home

Started by ShadowMoon, October 26, 2011, 07:12:56 PM

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The warm breeze felt so good as it hit Shadows face. The leaves on the trees were beautiful this time of year. The vibrant colors of reds, yellows and oranges. Shadow was excited and nervous all at the same time to be returning home after all of these years. So much in her life had changed. Her husband Nighthawk, had passed on several years ago to the vicious teeth of a dragon. But Shadow felt good, she had come to terms with his death. She missed him everyday and knew that someday she would see him again in the beautiful gardens in the sky. Shadow felt it was fitting to be returning home now. Fall was her favorite season and she had never seen a more beautiful day.

Shadow followed the coast watching small fish jump and play in the water. Every now and then she would startle a bull frog that would splash into the cool blue water. Small animals were playing in the fallen leaves of the trees. She wished she could stop and enjoy a good tumble in the leaves. She hadn't played in a pile of leaves since she was a young child. But she must go on, her white marble mansion shouldn't be to far up now.

Shadow rounded the bend and horror hit her eyes. Small pieces of white marble overgrown with numerous plants and vines lay everywhere. Her eyes burned as she fought back the tears. Everything was gone. She slid off her white mare and could barely stand when her feet hit the blades of grass. She hung onto her mare in fear of fainting. She couldn't believe her eyes, the devastation was unbearable. So many questions raced through her head. How did this happen? Who would of done this? Why was it done? She knew there was one person that would have the answers. Rease. Rease was the local tavern keeper in Marketvale and had always been a good friend to Shadow. Shadow had always had a soft spot for Rease. She can remember sitting with him on a bench in the guildhall and laying her head on his shoulder as he rubbed her back softly. He was consoling her that day, but she cant remember why. The thought of seeing Rease again and all of her old friends cheered her up somewhat. Rease, Keely, Valorien, Biki, Crimson, Fen, Tawny, all of there faces just flooded her mind. She had to go find Rease.

Shadow jumped on the mare and took off through the overgrown path that she had made years ago, she had her katana out slashing at the branches and vines as she went. Pieces of vegetation were flying everywhere. As she entered the outskirts of Marketvale, she knew something wasn't right. It was quiet, some of the houses were in crumbles, the walkways were overgrown. This is not what she expected to see. Shadow had a horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach.

She could see the roof of the tavern in the distance and was thankful to see it standing. She knew Rease would be there and he could give her the details of all the devastation. As Shadow got closer to the tavern she could see that it also was in very bad shape. Vines had taken over the sides and their were various holes in the tiled roof. Shadow slid off her mare and tied her to a half broken board on a fence near the entrance of the tavern.  She walked up to the door and could see there use to be a padlock on it, but it was rusted and broken and one of the doors was leaning in and had a broken hinge. She carefully slid the wooden door open and stepped inside. The place was a mess. She called out to Rease, but no answer. It was all so eerily quiet. She removed some cobwebs as she walked towards the bar and picked up 2 chairs that had somehow fallen over. She placed her hand on the bar top and wiped away an inch thick section of dust. Where is everyone? She knew it had to of been something bad for Rease to ever leave the tavern. His heart and soul had been in this place. She made it up the stairs stepping over broken boards as she went. The doors to the rooms all stood open and each room looked as if it hadn't been touched in years. Dust and cobwebs covered nearly everything. Shadows heart broke to see this place in such distress. She knew there was nothing she could do. She carefully walked back down the stairs and to the front door. She stepped outside, turned around and carefully closed the door behind her. She tried to pry the door back up and fix the lock the best she could. She placed her hand on the door and whispered " Good Bye Rease", she wiped the tears off her cheeks and walked over to her mare. She climbed back on her mare without glancing back at the tavern. She knew if she looked back, she would loose it and that she wouldn't be able to control the flood of tears that would spill forth from her hazel eyes. She quietly strode out of town on the dirt road that led towards Vesper and Minoc, with her head down. She didn't want to see anymore. She couldn't see anymore. Her mind was racing with the memories that Marketvale had given her. It used to be a thriving town with merchants selling their wares and weddings and people walking in the park, the tavern was always bustling with people. Some just passing through and stopping for a drink, but most were patrons of Marketvale that just hung out there for the companionship of others. She would miss them all so much and she prayed that each and everyone of them were ok and would someday return.


(To the tune of Beltaine - An Astrailhad

A ship sails in on the tip of Britannia, coming ashore to the city of Trinsic. The air is crisp, cold, yet the sun hangs high in the blue sky to provide a bright contrast from the dreariness of the season below. Only a few more days can be afforded like this for the rest of the year, the dock workers know, and get right to task on righting the ship into harbor without delay, knowing that more ships will be coming before the winter storms freeze the ships to their docks.

As soon as the gangplank is lowered, and the bustle of men step off, a thick booted foot tentatively makes its way down followed with it's twin, and the body attached to it. Grizzled still, with his hair tied neatly behind him in a small ponytail the dark clothed man steps off the ship, glad for it to be over with as he bites down on the butt of his cigarette as soon as he reaches land. Looking around to remember where to go as various dock merchants come to hawk their overpriced wares to the sailors. Fish, Booze, Cheese, STD's in packaged deals. Often together.

Rease simply waves them aside, despite a good deal on imported cheddar. His business and coin isn't simply for Britannica pleasures today, but on more important matters. He hasn't seen his home in nearly three years, and he's become eager to get home and see how things have gone without him there. Hopefully, not everything has fallen to disrepair while he has been gone.

At least, is Hunter's hope in this as he reaches for one more of his cigarettes as he walks towards the gate of Trinsic to start his journey Northward.
Don't worry I'll put something here.


Shadow spent several days at the Tavern minoc. Not once during those 3 days would she be considered sober legally. Every time her mind wondered to the image of marble scattered everywhere or the door off the hinges or a broken step, she would take a huge swallow of the golden liquid that would burn her throat as she swallowed. She was thankful that Minoc was such a small town with very few citizens and that the bar was laid back with very few patrons. They could all see there was something troubling the beautiful blonde haired hazel eyed miss, so they left her to her thoughts. On the fourth day, the tavern owner waddled over and sat beside her. "Ya know ther' is noffing in dis world bad enouff to drink yerself to deaf ov'r". Shadow turned her head slowly, her hair tussled and hanging in her face, to look at the man. "What do you know old timer? Have you ever had a dream of returning home to only find everything and everyone you knew completely gone with no clue as to what happened except mass destruction?" The tavern keeper looked at her with a stern face and said "Nay I havn't but ye need ta get off the stool and make sumthing of it instead of giv'n up!" With that he got up and walked around the bar to pour her another drink. As he tipped the bottle towards her glass, Shadow put her hand over the top. "Let me think a moment." she said. As she tried to think of what to do and of what the old timer said, she realized in her state she couldn't think at all. "Do you have a place I could lay down for a few hours old timer?" He nodded towards a back room. Shadow got up the best she could, and staggered over to the door. She nodded her thanks and opened the wooden door. The room was very small. So small she actually hit her shin on the cot as she entered the room. She fell sideways onto the cot and just stayed there.

When she awoke, there was light streaming into the small paned glass window. For a moment she had no idea where she was. Then she remembered. As she sat on the bed she seen a small table at the foot of the cot that had a glass of something with a note that read "Young Miss, please take this for your headache, your gonna need it" Shadow downed the bitter tasting light green substance almost gaging with the thickness of it. She stood and opened the door, once in the tavern she could see that it was completely empty. She walked outside and noticed in the 3 or 4 days that she had been at the tavern that the air gotten cooler. The sky was still beautiful, but there was a chill on the air that hadn't been there a few days before. She walked to the stable pulling her cloak around her shoulders as she went and shivering slightly. She arrived at the stables and tossed the stableman some extra coinage for taking such good care of her mare. She walked out of the stables with the mare and hoisted her self up. She had a dream and she was gonna make the dream come true.

In her dream, she was at the tavern. It was clean and everything was properly placed. She had gotten a lot of goats and sheep to "mow" the grass. She was hammering shingles back onto the tavern roof. She had cut the vines. Shadow knew her dream was telling her to go back. To clean up and they would return. Maybe not the same "family" she had before. But they would come.

Shadow headed out of minoc on the dirt road and kicked her mare into a full gallop. Within a few hours she was entering the outskirts of Marketvale. This time she looked at everything. So much devastation and over growth. But she would tackle it one building at a time and would haul off the rubble one stone at a time if she had to. Her first task would be the tavern as it had been the center of Marketvale and had been what made Marketvale what it was. She rode up to the tavern and tied her mare to the same broken board as before. Took out her dagger with the white bone handle, cut off a leather strip that hung off the fringe of her saddlebag and used it to tie up her hair. She walked over to the side of the tavern wall, and started cutting off the vines that were over taking the tavern. It was a tedious task, cut, pull, throw. Her shoulder was already starting to ache, but it had to be done. There was an empty area next to the tavern on the other side of the walk. She picked up the large pile of vines and put them all over there. She would wait till it was all dried and have a bon fire. She did this to each side of the tavern and it took several hours. When she was done she walked back over to her mare and took out her water bag and took a big drink. She wiped the sweat off her brow. Even working in the chill of the day she was sweating. Next she would tackle the fountain. It wasn't working at all and she was sure the under ground spring that was feeding it hadn't dried up. She went into the fenced yard and started yanking the vines off and pulling out leaves and muck. She needed a bucket of some sorts and a hammer. She went into the tavern, carefully moving the broken door aside. She would just leave it open as she would have lots of work ahead of her running in and out. She searched the tavern. Various chests and trunks, dust flying everywhere. She finally found a large bowl she could use as a bucket and found a hammer and some nails in a wooden trunk. She went back outside and went to work on the fountain. She cleaned and banged and pulled and tweaked until she finally had the water flowing again. It was beautiful. She then tackled the fencing. It wasn't to bad just a lot of loose boards and several broken ones that she replaced from rubble that layed around in various places. It was getting dark. She was running out of daylight fast and knew she wouldn't be able to continue her work for the night. She walked across the rode in front of the tavern and turned and looked. It almost looked like it used to. She still needed to fix the roof and tidy up the yard abit. But other then that, the outside looked pretty good to her. She knew she had tons of work to do on the inside but that would wait till tomorrow when she could yank down the tattered curtains and let fresh light in.

She was thirsty and starving. She went back to her mare and brung her into the yard and tied her to one of the horse poles. At least the apple trees still had some apples on them so she grabbed a couple. Cut them into pieces and fed them to the mare, stealing a piece for her self every now and then. She pulled a small sack of grain out of her saddle bag and fed that to the mare as well. She walked the mare over to the fountain and let her drink, then tied her back to the pole. It was now really dark and she knew she would have a hard time finding a lantern inside the tavern, but she knew she couldn't walk up the stairs without one. She went inside the tavern and closed the door the best she could behind her. That was another thing she would tackle tomorrow. She felt along the walls until she came upon a sconce. Then reached into her dress pocket and pulled out her steel and flint piece and after some struggles finally got the candle lit. She took out the candle and used it to carefully make her way up the stairs. She went into the room with the big bed she had seen earlier that week. Shut the door behind her. Used the candle to light an oil lamp that was sitting on a bedside table. She took the blankets off the bed and shook them to get some of the dust off. She put the rough wool blanket back on, sat on the side of the bed and slipped off her shoes. She slid her feet under the covers and leaned over to blow out the lamp, then settled down into the pillow. She would take a bath tomorrow. She was to tired tonight. She let her thoughts slip off into dreams. All was quiet except some small animals and howls in the distance.


Shadow awoke the next morning as a sliver of light was just about to touch the morning sky. It was cool out, she could tell by the coldness of her nose that had been sticking out from under the blankets warmth. She had slept in her clothes and they were now a wrinkled mess as she pulled back the wool blanket and slid out of bed. She slipped into her shoes as she stood and stretched. She has so many things to get done this day. Her mind wandered from thought to thought. She made her way to the door the best she could with the little bit of light that was starting to come in through the window with the dingy curtain. Tomorrow she would try to send word for her sister Guin to join her. Guin was good with carpentry and pretty much everything else. But she wanted to get done what she could today. Shadow stepped into the hallway and made her way down it to the stairs. The stairs creaked as she walked down them. She went to the front door and carefully opened it. Her mare neighed as she seen Shadow step out. " Hello Beautiful. I am sorry about your sleeping quarters last night." She stepped to the mare and stroked her nose. The mare nudged her as if to say good morning. Shadow untied the mare and led her to the fountain. She let her drink her fill. Shadow decided after she grabbed her cloak, she would recheck the fence and if it all seemed secure she would let the mare loose in the yard while she worked. The fence seemed to be in good condition, and Shadow was proud that her work from yesterday was good. Shadow took the reign off the mare and then kissed her nose softly. She told her to go eat an apple as if the mare would understand. Shadow looked up at the roof and knew she needed to somehow get up there and fix it before she started on anything else. Shadow walked the streets and trails of Marketvale looking for anything she may need for the roof. She grabbed some decent shingles from a house that had fallen and she stumbled across a tall ladder sticking out from under some rubble of another house. She made her way back to the inn dragging the ladder behind her with one hand and her arm over flowing and barely containing the shingles.

Everything was so quiet. Nothing but small noises could be heard. Leaves rustling from the wind, small animals playing in the trees, birds chirping, the water from the ocean splashing against a shore in the distance. Shadow stood there for a moment and soaked it all in. The sun was up now and the beams warmed her face. She knew before long she would be loosing the cloak as the sun rose to warm the day. Shadow sighed as she began walking again towards the inn. She finally made it back and dropped the shingles into a pile. She stood the ladder up against the inn and it was just long enough to reach the bottom of first shingles. She knew it would be a struggle to get up onto the roof but she had faith in herself. She had survived some of the toughest monsters over the years, she wouldn't let a roof kill her. As she went to step onto the ladder she realized she would be walking on her dress up the ladder. She had her leather armor pants in her saddle bag, so she would put those on and then search the inn for a shirt of some type. The dress needed to be washed anyways. She went back into the inn, she searched chests and trunks until she found a shirt. It was quite large, but she would make it do. She stripped in the main room and layed her dress on a table. She put her leather pants on and put the shirt on. She had to pull it to the side and tie a knot in it cause it was so large. She grabbed a leather strap that was layed on the counter for who knows what reason and tied her hair up. She was now ready to begin the roof and it was still early. She went back out the door and grabbed the hammer and a few nails that she had left laying on the porch last night. She stuck the nails in her pocket and grabbed a few shingles and slowly began her trek up the ladder. When she got to the top, she layed the shingles on the roof, put the hammer on top and very carefully climbed up. The roof wasnt as bad she she had originally thought it would be. A lot of care was taken when this place was built years ago to make sure it stood for along while to come. Three hours later, Shadow climbed back down the ladder for the last night, she hoped. She stood back and looked back up at the roof. It looked good. She walked around the entire inn admiring the roof and picking up clutter and trash as she went. She piled it in the large pile of vines she had planned to burn.

She stepped back across the road and looked again at the inn. It looked almost exactly like she remembered, just aged abit. Everything was in its place and it looked kept up and clean. On the outside anyways. Now she would have to begin the job on the inside. She walked back to the door and used the few nails she had left to fix it and put it back on its hinges. She found a small oil can laying in a trunk earlier that day when she was looking for shirts. She used it to oil the hinges and the door swung freely as it should. She repaired the broken latch. She opened the closed the doors several times to make sure they were functioning properly. Shadow turned around and looked at the rest of the inn. She didnt know where to begin. The entire place was filthy. She decided she would begin at the top and work her way down. So Shadow decided to head back up the stairs. As she went she came upon a weak board. So she headed back down and went back out the door to the rubble pile of the old house and pulled loose a few decent boards to fix steps with. She went back to the inn and started repairing steps as she went to the third floor. When Shadow got to the third third floor she walked down the hallway opening doors to all the rooms, when she got to the end of the hall, she turned around and went into the first room on her left. She yanked the curtain down to let enough light in that she could see clearly. She went through each room stripping bedding, curtains and anything that dealt with cloth and threw it in a huge pile at the bottom of the stairs. The only room she didnt enter was Rease's bedroom. She felt that it was sacred so she kept that door closed and didnt touch a thing. 


They had traveled together for roughly four years now, this unlikely pair.  Their travels brought them to see such wonders in the world that description alone would never be enough to convey what they saw.  Together they had vanquished evils, fought monsters, and bargained with the gods themselves!  The felinus and the orc.  The thief and the "doodad".  They knew not much would be left of what they left behind, but they were returning home now.  It was time Rei and Kalador reclaimed their old lives.


By the time Shadow got done stripping all cloth items from the rooms, it was nearly dark. She went out to the yard and took care of her mare. Got a few more apples from the trees and let her drink from the fountain. Shadow was also hungry and thirsty, so she drank her fill and ate some of the apples herself. She was tired. All the muscles and bones in her body hurt. She knew she had a long ride ahead of her the following morning picking up her sister Guin at the docks in Britain. So Shadow decided it was best to just head to bed. She went up to the same room she had slept in the night before. She had also stripped it so all that was left was the straw mattress. Shadow used her cloak as a cover and when she layed down. She had little energy to take off much else.

Shadow woke the next morning. It was alot later then she had initially intended, she could tell by the way the sun was shining through the window. She started to quickly get up, but she could barely move she hurt so bad. So she got up carefully and slowly, grabbed her cloak and slowly made her way down the stairs and to the door. She closed the door behind her and latched it, hoping it would still be whole when she returned and that vagrants and vagabonds wouldnt have come in and destroyed anything. She walked to the mare and took her to the fountain and gave her the last remaining handfull of oats. After she knew the mare was cared for, she carefully climbed on wincing in pain as she lifted her leg over. Shadow was a lady, but riding side saddle was something she could not do. Shadow led the mare into a slow gallop down the road towards Britain.

It was an uneventful ride, grueling ride. With every rise and fall, Shadow would wince. After 4 long hours Shadow crossed the bridge into Britain. The town was busy and bustling as usual with various vendors selling thier wares and hollaring out prices. Shadow made her way over to the docks without buying a single item. She went and asked the dockmaster about Guins ships arrival. He said that the ship in the distance should be it and pointed towards the ship. Shadow could make out a black dot in the distance. It seemed like an eternity before the ship docked. She could see Guin waving frantically at her from the ship. Shadow painfully waved back. Guin climbed down the plank and walked over to meet Shadow. They exchanged greetings and Shadow explained to Guin the task she had come up on. Guin was excited. She loved to be kept busy. Having nothing to do was one of the worst things for Guin. Shadow explained what she had done in the last few days to the place and Guin let out a joking gasp. As if she couldnt believe her sister had actually done manual labor. Shadow nudged her sister with her foot and reached her hand down to pull Guin up on the back of her.  Guin noticed the wince Shadow gave as she pulled and her protectiveness kicked in. She informed Shadow when they got to the inn that she would be doing most of the work the next couple of days. Shadow was okay with that.

Four hours later, they arrived at the inn. Guin remembered the place. She hadnt visited it as much as Shadow had in the past, but she still remembered. They both climbed off the mare and Shadow let her loose in the yard. The ladies went inside and Guin told Shadow to go rest. It would be dark in a few hours and Guin wanted to explore the inn and surroundings to see what needed to be done. Shadow went upstairs and back into the bedroom she had claimed as hers. She laid down on the bed and covered up with her cloak again and within minutes she was out.

Several weeks later, the ladies had the inn completely done. Guin had scowered the lands for plants and flowers and boards and numerous items, but it had been entirely worth it. The inn looked as it never had before. Shadow knew bringing Guin in was the best thing she could of done. The inn was ready to be back in business. They had dusted off bottles of wine and restocked the shelves. They had visted the closest small towns and had restocked the kitchen. They had met a young mage that wanted to sell her wares in the market part of the tavern/inn. Shadow hoped and prayed that Rease would return to the inn someday to see the work that her and Guin had put into it.

The next project was to rebuild the guild hall and clean up the rest of the town. The girls knew it would take them several months to complete the project, but they were ready.


Shadow and Guin had worked day and night rebuilding the old guild hall. It didnt look the same but it still looked good. They had decided not to decorate it yet, because there were more projects that needed to be taken care of. They repaired the docks at the Marketvale dock. They started up a community garden for several items that most people in the area may need, if they were to come back. Shadow had moved her sons Trenton and Leonitus into the area to help out with cleaning up the town and to help protect it if the need arises. Shadow even got to meet an old friend that had returned and has his home on the outskirts of Marketvale. Rei Threnshaw. It was so good to have him near the town. His ex-wife had even came with him. Crim. Alot of the others had not returned. But she was still hoping they would.

Day and night, they worked burning piles of leaves, debris, fallen logs and limbs. The town was starting to look impeccable. They had cleaned up the old park and restored the church. If only they would return.