Enough Despair To Go Around

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Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:08 pm

They had been on the road for ten days. Well, not really a road persae, most of the people they had to try and find were in homesteads only reached by beaten paths. For the first time in Eldarion’s life he truly appreciated what he really had. Out here, the land was free but working and living off of it was not easy. The children pulled dearly at his heartstrings. Some still children themselves who stayed where they were even after they buried one of both of their parents. To many gold was nearly useless. So far removed from any sort of village or town, clothes, tools and the like were what they needed but Eldarion and Calista could not pause to have equipment and goods ferried to everyone who needed something other than gold. If he had known...if he would have thought, he would have brought a larger party. Maybe a whole caravan. But they only had enough horses and panniers to carry the food they needed to get them to the next town. And sometimes that was days and days away.

“Babies having babies,” he muttered as he wiped his nose. The morning had a chill to it and his nose was running. It wasn’t seeing the state of the little girl in little more than rags and burlap slippers. He was strong enough...He felt his eyes begin to water and he came to lean up against a nearby tree. He pulled out his handkerchief and wiped his nose. Many of these homes were barely livable. But each time they suggested the closest village they were met with stubborn resignation to remain where they were. “These people are crazy,” he said to no one in particular but Calista had stalked up behind him and heard.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:21 pm

Calista was in a permanent state of shock. Each day she thought she would grow used to what she was seeing, but her shock only seemed to deepen. She had been raised in a very comfortable, privileged life. She knew that not everyone (most in fact) did not live as she had, but seeing how many did actually live was enough to make her feel sick to her stomach. She had though delivering the gold would make her feel good, but it only made her wish they had brought more. These people needed equipment, clothing, food...The people always were grateful for what they received, but Calista knew that they needed more.

The hardest thing for Calista had been leaving a three year old girl who had clung to her leg and begged her not to leave. The girl was very hungry and Calista had given her her lunch instead of eating it herself. It had taken everything in Calista's being not to pick up the girl and carry her out of the village. She fought every motherly instinct she had in leaving the girl there and two days later her heart still ached.

She and Eldarion had stopped again at yet another village in desperate need of help. She could tell all of this was getting to Eldarion, despite his best efforts to remain strong. She walked up behind him and slipped her arms around his waist and gently kissed his shoulder.

"They aren't going to leave their homes...even if we think they should."

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:39 pm

He pulled away from her, angry, he did not know why, that ‘’she’ had tried to comfort ‘him’. He knew now that his father had known. He must have known. Was he punishing him and Calista? She didn’t deserve any of this. His tears that welled up in his eyes stung and it made him even angrier.

“The King knew what we’d find out here...I know he knew!” He nearly growled. More to choke back his tears than having to vocalize his anger. “We can’t help these people but even as he said it a very unorthodox idea came over him just then. They stayed because they could stay. If they could not, would they leave? He thought that they would and the idea grew larger in his head. He shifted his eyes to see where the guardsmen were then moved back toward Calista. He pulled her close to him though she looked confused.

“We need to force them to come with us. The only way I know how is to torch their homes. Without it to come back to I doubt they’d stay. They could bring their livestock, horses, everything. And the gold will buy them a place to live or at least lumber to buy a place closer to a village. There’s no law out here. No help if someone gets sick or injured. They need to move closer to a village or a town. It might cost us more gold but at least it would mean something then...what do you think? Could we do it safely?” he asked. He wasn’t certain at all about it but they did have guardsmen and authority of the King behind them.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:15 pm

Calista flinched a little when Eldarion suddenly pulled away from her. She could feel his anger and knew why he was upset. She sighed, wishing she knew the right thing to say to him. However, nothing came to mind. However, she could suddenly see his mind at work and watched as he suddenly pulled her close to him. It was clear to her that he didn't want anyone else to hear what he was about to say. As she listened to him her eyes widened and she shook her head.

"Eldarion!" she said in a whisper. "Just listen to what you are saying! People could be hurt...killed! We would be destroying possibly all they have! I have spoken to these people and they don't want to leave...they want to stay here. Just because we think something is good for them does not mean that they think the same. No, what we need to do is to return to Minas Tirith and use what gold is left to buy them things they need. Then we should return four times a year to check on each settlement and bring medical supplies or healers with us to look at the sick and injured."

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:28 pm

Eldarion’s eyes grew large when she mentioned 4 times a year. Did she realize that they were only at the beginning of this trek? He shook his head in disagreement. He did agree with his idea being completely crazy though and he abandoned it quickly.

“Do you hear yourself? Calista...we have just started. We will be out here for months just doing this!” he said and gestured to a small, gangly, poorly tilled field. A few cabbages poked out of the soil but they were stunted and already half rotted due to grubs or other things that ate at their roots. He shook his head again in dismay. “Insanity,” he said almost mournfully. He turned to the guardsmen. “Koralin...prepare your men to go...we’re moving on!” He said almost scornfully. None of this was Calista’s fault. But he was in an ill temper right then and he couldn’t seem to break from it.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:42 pm

Calista felt as if he had slapped her. She had only been trying to offer other ideas besides burning down their houses. She looked away from him feeling upset and stupid. For the next two hours she said nothing to him as they traveled to the next settlement. She wouldn't even look at him. She just looked out at the landscape as it slowly passed by.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:44 pm

Eldarion was lost in his own thoughts for a time. This journey was not going to get any easier or pleasant. When he finally snapped out of his thoughts he noticed how Calista avoided his gaze and how silent she had become. Quickly he thought back to what he had said. It wasn’t long before he found where he had erred and how badly he had treated her. He winced as he remembered.

“I apologize for my words to you Calista. You were only trying to help. I had no right to take my frustration out on you,” he said softly. He continued building up debt to her. Every dark penny he spent with her seemed to attach itself to the large sum he would never be able to repay. “Were you suggesting that we cut this trip short? And...and just focus on helping those we’ve seen thus far?” he asked properly.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Calista was tired...too tired to argue or be angry anymore. She knew that they were upset at the situation and frustrated with not being able to do anything about it versus being angry at each other. She sighed when he apologized and looked over at him for the first time in hours.

"No, I think we should continue...I...I just wish I could do more. But we are doing all that we can for now. I think next year we should suggest to the king and queen that we take the gold and use it to buy supplies that we can distribute instead of the money. What do you think about that?"

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:00 pm

He looked just over the next glade. They were close to another house...two in fact and he wished it would be the last they came to today. Unfortunately it would not be and he couldn’t manage to keep the cringe from his face. He only nodded to her suggestion but he didn’t have to like it!

“How much soap did you bring?” he asked out of the blue. The last few houses had problems with grubs and other things that ate their vegetables on the vine and a bit of soap mixed with water could help get rid of them if used sparingly but often. “I have a few idea that might help...a little,” he said. “Perhaps it is better than nothing,” he added doubtfully however as the guardsmen approached an arrow whistled right by Calista’s face from one of the windows. A fletching scratched a line just below her right cheek and droplets of blood fell from it.

“Fall back!” he said quickly and loudly. He whistled that command to the horses who knew what it meant and his hand gesture told them in which direction. Another arrow shot out at one of the pack horses but it only got stuck in the wicker pannier. “Eldarion leaned low so that his horse completely obscured him from view save for his leg.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:38 pm

Calista began to think about how much soap she had brought. It had been quite a bit and she was certainly willing to part with some if it meant they could help a little more.

"We have enough to spare some," she replied. "What are your...." However before she could finish asking him her question she felt a rush of air go by her face and felt something scratch her right cheek. To her horror she realized it was an arrow. She had thankfully brought the bow Serethiel had given her and she pulled it out and readied an arrow.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:45 pm

“Who are ya!? You’ll git or I’ll put arrows in ya!” They heard from the window. Eldarion saw that Calista had not moved and he clicked his tongue for his horse to stop just yards from hers. “Calista...what are you doing!?” He said in a desperate whisper. Calista saw someone knock another arrow from the window then point their bow at her. The guardsmen scattered, two towed the panniers further away from the house. “There’s movement around back!” One of them shouted but Calista felt the rush of adrenaline as the moment drew immediate where she’d have to shoot whomever it was in the window, she could not see well through the bushes or dodge and fall prone onto the ground and have her horse possibly take the arrow.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:05 pm

Calista had her arrow nocked and pointed at the window. All of her training had kicked in and she was confident she would be able to hit whomever was firing at them. She had the arrow drawn back and could feel her heart pounding. However, she knew she could not fire...she could not kill this man who was only defending his home. She lowered her arrow, but did not jump off her horse. She knew she was taking a huge risk then, but she hoped she would be able to get through to this man and at least let them leave.

"Sir...I have lowered my weapon. We mean you no harm. I am Calista, wife of Prince Eldarion, son of the king. We will leave immediately if you wish it. Please...just don't shoot."

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:06 pm

She heard someone speak to him, possibly a woman’s voice but it was to soft for her ears to pick up. Eldarion managed to wheel his horse around as the two mounted guardsmen leveled their bows at the window. Their horses frisked in anticipation to moving again but remained where they were. The other two guardsmen had rode around the side after those they saw that had ran. Eldarion was fearful that Calista was going to get shot and there was nothing he could do to stop it!

The man inside loosened up in his draw but kept his bow up and twisted to train it on one of the guardsmen.”Hold your fire!” Eldarion shouted. “We aves na truck wit da King...this ere be mah land!” She heard the sound of leather creaking as the guardsmen drew back their bows. The situation hung a hairs breath away from someone loosing and then that would be that she knew.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:41 pm

OOC-I'm so sorry. I didn't get the reply notification. For some reason that happens sometimes. I just thought maybe you were still busy at work lol

IC-Calista held her breath. She didn't dare move for fear that she would be shot. She felt her heart pounding in her chest. Her mouth felt dry and she could feel her hands trembling slightly. She drew in a breath before trying to speak to the man again.

"We are sincerely sorry we trespassed on your land," Calista said sincerely. "If you will just allow us to leave we will leave immediately and not return."

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:29 pm

There was no sound from the window for a few moments. However they heard a lot from the back. “Let me go!” A small voice shrieked and the shadow in the window shifted away. A few more moments later they heard the man shout, “Let go of my daughter!” And then, “Don’t father!” And then the sound of a bow string snapped. “Ahhhh!” Resounded from the side of the house and “To arms!” Rang out loudly from a guardsmen and only moments had passed.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:36 pm

Calista wasn't sure what was going on. She felt a wave of fear ripple through her body however at the sounds. She looked over at Eldarion, but still didn't move.

"What's happening?"

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:50 pm

Eldarion had just managed to right himself then heard what was happening and then jerked back on his reds reins. He wheeled him around and pointed toward Calista who already had her bow out and ready. “Go...go around the side, our men are under attack!” He said loudly as he drew out his sword. Whatever was happening, whoever these people were assault upon the Kings guards were an assault upon the king himself and at least one man was in distress. He never considered that she was his wife and he was sending her into the fighting. He just reacted but before he could stop her her horse lurched forward.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:54 pm

Calista nodded and without hesitation she gave her horse a solid kick and started around the side of the house. She had her bow out and an arrow ready to fire. She didn't want to hurt these people, but if it came down to it she would defend herself and the others. They had meant no harm in coming here.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:04 pm

Calista ran onto a scene of horror. She saw that one guard was fighting with a younger man who was on top of him and trying to stab him. She saw the other who stood over a young girl in a drab, tattered dress who appeared to have been shot with an arrow. She also saw the other guardsman run an older man through and blood went everywhere. Eldarion was coming up from the front of the house. The girl was screaming in pain and the guard and younger man growled as they strained against one another. The old man cried out but it stifled into a blood chortle as cold steel was drawn deep into his chest.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:10 pm

Calista's eyes widened at the scene she came upon. She could not believe that within several seconds this had happened. She felt sick as she watched one of the guards run his sword through the older man. However, before she could become ill she spotted the girl. She could see she was hurt and she immediately jumped off her horse and ran over towards her. She commanded the guard help the other guard who was still fighting with the younger man while she knelt down beside the girl to see if she was still alive.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:20 pm

And help he did as he stabbed the young man through the back with his bloodied blade even before the older man had stopped moving. The young girl groaned but Calista knew by how the arrow was embedded in her side that the wound was likely mortal. “Paw….paw!” She cried weakly…”Demi! Don’t hurt...Demi!” She said even more weekly and Calista saw her eyes begin to flutter. Eldarion flung himself off his horse but the fighting was already over. The guardsmen helped one another up. They both had blood on them and they stood warily as the two men expired.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:24 pm

Calista took one look at the arrow and knew there was nothing she could do. If she tried to remove the arrow she would bleed out immediately and cause the girl even more pain. All she could do was stand by and watch as her eyes closed and she stopped breathing. She was in shock as she looked around at the family who now lay dead.

"What happened?!" she exclaimed looking over at the guards.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:10 am

The guards looked at one another but the one who took out a piece of cloth and began to clean off his sword spoke first. “Milady...uh, well, I grabbed the girl an he shot at me an shot her...I think,” he said honestly. It had happened so fast and then the young man...her brother? Had rushed in and stabbed Kailan. He winced as he felt under his boiled leather jerkin. “Tis not to deep...I’ll be alright,” he said as he examined the blood on his fingers when he pulled his hand out. The other two guardsmen still on horses rode up from the back. “Milady, the other two ran into the forest...we lost them in the trees,” he said as Eldarion slid to a halt, his sword out.

“Well you two have made a dog’s dinner out of this haven’t you!” He barked at the two guardsmen that looked at him indignantly. He paused a moment as if in thought though he looked toward Calista who was obviously upset about the girl. “We’ll have to find them, Calista will track them. Rory...you’ll have to show her where you saw them go into the forest,” he said and sheathed his sword in one fluid motion. He drove it home loudly with a clang that proved how upset he was. He stepped over to Calista and lifted her up. “She’s gone...go with Rory Calista...find the others, we’ll make camp here,” he said softly.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:22 am

Calista was very upset. She had never actually had anyone die right in front of her and seeing that young girl die for no reason truly broke her heart. She felt in some way as if this were her fault. Perhaps if she had only tried harder to convince the man that they would leave then none of this would have happened.

She allowed Eldarion to help her up. She sighed and nodded in response to him telling her to go with Rory to find the others. She could only hope that they weren't hurt. She walked over and mounted her horse and looked back one last time at the dead girl before riding off with Rory.

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Re: Enough Despair To Go Around

Post by Conleth on Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:45 am

Eldarion gave her a last consoling look as they moved off. The dew of the morning was still on the grass and ferns as Rory helped her down from her horse. “This is where they ran into the trees milady,” he said in a grumble. Clearly there were two sets of footprints and even after she followed them in they seemed to stay close together. One set was obviously a child’s shoes but the other could be a woman’s or another girl she thought.

“See to the dead,” Eldarion barked. He could not look at the body of the girl but he’d have her and her family seen to. What a mess this all was. Here they were trying to help and instead, three were now dead at their hands or near enough. That blame fell upon him and he let out a long, cleansing breath as he sucked it deep down inside then began to search the house.

The guard behind her pulled out his dagger as if he feared of another attack and his eyes and ears were peeled to see or hear anyone who might be waiting in ambush. The ferns were thick here and there were alot of dead, fallen trees here and there that could easily hide someone smallish.

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