Luil 19th, 578, Third Age of Mankind
The banners of the column slowly came into view. Emblazoned was, Parted per pale sable and gules, dexter eagle displayed toward sinister argent, sinister wolf head couped gules., The arms of the Queendom of Faichtalia. The column pulled into the bailey of Gaer’Lismore, where Sir Athelas introduced Clan MacLismore to Queen Ealfith, Queen of Faichtalia and Regent of North Aethlia/ Followed by a fray* who was hunched and aged.
The Queen requested to go hunting for boar in the Duachwood, the forest north of Lismorg. On the way to the forest, Athelas picked a flower and gave it to Breilyn, saying, “A beautiful flower for a beautiful Lady.”
Breilyn and Aonghas helped her track the beast untill it was cornered. Ealfith shot it in the shoulder, enraging the pig; which subsequently charged the Queen’s palfrey. But before the creature could make it to the Queen, Breilyn’s companion catamount, Aakko, lept at the boar, tearing its throat out with his powerful jaws.
Once back the keep, Breilyn and Aonghas had a conference with Ealfith about her visit. Ealfith explained:
“I have come to you during grave times for my country; with the death of my husband,” she pauses, holding back tears, “Two years ago… He was assassinated by a slayer sent by King Hrodgar of North Aethlia, prompting a war between us. My spies in the King of Glanthia’s court have told me that my brother seeks to usurp my throne. The war with North Aethlia has left my forces weary and battered; Knowing the might of the Caer’Duine in battle, I hoped that you would happily lend your axes and swords to my cause.”
Aonghas replied “This war has been costly for us as well, despite our non-involvement. It has effected our cattle sales, as well as other trade avenues.”
“I understand, I am not asking you to make a decision now, But please consider it. Now, shall we feast and drink, and pray to the end of these dark days,” requested Ealfith.
After the feast, Breilyn headed for her chambers. She noticed the door was cracked and a fire had been lit in the hearth. She approached cautiously, and as she pushed the door open she noticed the hooded Fray from earlier was seated staring at the fire.
“What are you doing here?!” she cried. Aakko growled at the hooded man.
“I have come here to talk to you Breilyn MacLismore. I am Olek, of the Gaerblaidd Monastery. I have noticed that you are unlike the peoples here. You are of Elven Blood.”
“So?” asked Breilyn. The man pushed back his hood to reveal pale skin and long pointed ears and dark eyes. Breilyn gasped, as she had never met another elf. She immediatly spouted all of the questions that had been building in her mind.
Olek gave her a weak smile, “Let me explain about myself, and why I have come to you. Please sit.” Breilyn sat next to the fire, her eyes wide with expectation and interest. She felt like she was a child again, listening to her Adopted father Watcyn MacLismore telling her stories.
“About a hundred years ago, I was banished from the Alflands for a crime I did not commit. I found a place at the Tromsla Monastery in Fennvirland, where I converted to the Worship of the Trinity. After maybe sixty years, I returned to my home, where I met Heraa (lord) Karvonen, and his lady-wife Jaloburu. I stayed with them for a while. Oh how I remember the great fire, and the crib nearby… "
“One day, Jaloburu came to me with a request. Her daughter, Jamila, was to be cast into the sea. She asked me to take her daughter to a place where she could be safe. I agreed and took the Alfling with me on my return to Aideon. But as we were crossing Yggurhaggf, a great storm over took the ship and we were swept out to sea, and eventually the boat sank. When I awoke, I found myself on pale sand, and there was no child to be found. I had come across a Princess riding on the beach, Emma of Glanthia. She recognized that I was a member of the cloth and made me apart of her council. When she died in childbirth to Ealfith, I was tasked to care for the child, which brought me such pain, as she reminded me of the babe I had lost. I made certain to keep the young princess out of danger. When she was married to King Wulfa of Faichtalia I went with her. And now, Ealfith has brought me here, to this country, where I have found you… Jamila.”
Breilyn was astounded by the tale. “But how could it be me? How can I be Jamila? I couldn’t be who you think I am.”
“Child,” cooed Olek, “I recognize your eyes; your ears. Elves all have unique ears… I have come to tell you, that I can take you to your true home. But you must help Ealfith, Once the kingdoms are at peace then I can take time away from my duties, as Fray.”
Breilyn didn’t know what to say.
“Could I be alone please?” she asked.
“Of course child, may the trinity guide you.” He bowed and hobbled out the room.
Aakko sidled up to Breilyn and she hugged him and held him close. His rumbling purr soothing her.
Later that night, Aonghas woke with a start. Roused from his slumber by the scream of Flora MacAmbraise. The youngling was bolt upright in her bed. Her eyes full of terror and she was covered in cold sweat. He cradled the girl and she told him of her nightmare.
“I saw three beasts, an aged wolf, and a wounded boar… There was another wolf, black as night and eyes as red as fire. It attacked the aged wolf and boar and slaughtered them both. I saw a family of wolves, a dog and bitch, both unmated, Their hearts had been stolen and their throats torn out.” After Flora’s account she could say no more. Shortly after a scream could be heard from the castle.
Aonghas sprinted to the yard where a maid was distraught, she could barely speak between the sobs but directed him to a hallway where a guard, who was the maid’s husband, lay unmoving. Breilyn arrived shortly after Aonghas.
He had marks on his neck from a rope being tightened. The sounds of steel clashing could be heard from upstairs. As the pair headed up the staircase, they came upon the sight of Sir Athelas plunging his sword into the stomach of a hooded man. He told them that there was two more who ran up the stairs. Aonghas knew that that was the direction of Lachlan’s chambers, and the room where Finian was staying.
They first entered Lachlan’s room, but when Aonghas moved to wake the Chief, his hand touched blood. A great roar came from the next room. As they burst in, they saw Finian wielding his black steel Axe, in an attempt to fend off his assailants, two hooded men. Aakko attacked the closest one, pinning him to the ground, where Breilyn thrust her dirk into the man’s collar. As she withdrew her blade, she was sprayed with blood. Before Aonghas could subdue the other, the assassin plunged his stiletto into the neck of Finian, killing him. Aonghas then knocked out the assassin.
They interrogated him but gained barely information, save for the letter which bore the crest of the Kingdom of Glanthia. On the ruby-bronze daggers they discovered a symbol, A fist clutching a dagger. The assassin was executed and Aonghas politely asked the Queen to leave. Which she agreed with as she had already decided to return to her kingdom. Before the Queen’s party left, Athelas made sure to say goodbye to Breilyn.
*Fray: A monk of the Trinity