... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)

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PostSubject: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:13 pm


During his time in Telgar, Kazage had been through quite the series of trials and inquiries, subject to the suspicions and at the complete mercy of the Lord Holder himself. It had not been pleasant, necessarily, but it was necessary to get him to his goal. Thus, from him, there would be no complaints.

After months of ongoing debate surrounding the existence of Kazage's band of exiles and their origins, it was decided that given their situation, it was best to concede some of the things which Kazage had asked in return for his help during the kidnapping at the start of the turn, which nearly ended in the death of Lady Eolyn and her cousin, Lady Courisse. He had protected the current Lady Holder of Telgar River Hold, and been able to provide at least a few pieces of information regarding the rebels, which Telgar had not previously known, granting them some additional favour.

Though the Lord Holder was not able to reasonably concede to all demands by Kazage, he and the Exile were able to come to a fine agreement eventually, between themselves. And not all was for Kazage's own good. Lord Matoi was a mean negotiator as well. Kazage had learned to appreciate that trait in him, during their time together.


While their debate had ensued, it provided the opportunity to take up the sluagh ghairm (slogan) of others fighting a similar battle. Matoi had been made aware that there were a number of holdless at Telgar River Hold already, who sought refuge there, where his son had promised that they would be made proper citizens so long as they should earn their keep and uphold the law as did others.  Figuring that his son was onto something, Matoi took the idea a step further.

While the rebels were busy manipulating the holdless bands, the holds had done nothing to garner their support nor approval, thereby leaving the wandering bands without a champion, nor a choice in their future. Perhaps that was how it was supposed to be. Many of them were assumed exiles for a reason; though there were many who simply chose to live that way. But in these turns approaching the return of the Red Star and inevitable threadfall, and given the situation with the Chorong Rebels and their harassment of those groups, it was a good idea for the Hold to play their own hand. The additional bodies would also provide an easy way to increase production for tithes when they were starting to donate provisions for not just one Weyr, but two.

Therefore, Matoi wrote into law that any person of nomadic heritage, should they meet a small number of basic qualifications, had the right to seek refuge at the new Telgar River Hold. There, a district was being built in addition to the hold in order to accommodate their needs, so that they could be integrated into the rest of society. Those who decided to remain nomads had the right to file complaints with the authorities of any hold, given information about the rebels, should they be unfairly harassed or threatened in any way by them.

Even if some chose to remain holdles, Matoi still considered those who were law abiding people, as people of his hold who were in need of protection.

With the building of the new district, which was becoming better known as The Settlement, Lord Matoi's son, Rihan, appealed to his father to make Kazage the rightful Steward of the zone; just as his cousin Drien had been made the Steward of Telgar River Hold. Rihan's reasoning was sound however, holding to the opinion that the holdless would feel as though they held a greater stake in their own future if they helped in the building of their homes there, and if there was at least one amoungst them who held some position of influence. They would have a voice of common background and understanding to speak for them.

So far, a few vague rumours had spread about his origins, but nothing definitive or meaningful as far as he was concerned, and the people seemed not to care much as long as he was one of them.

All  of the holdless who gathered together at Southern Telgar Hold however, were given a probationary period in which they could reside there to live and work, before they were actually declared as proper citizens, so if there were unnecessary rabble rousers amoungst them, they could be culled without issue. Conveniently, throwing Kazage into that group allowed Rihan to do the same of the Exile if something should happen. Kazage had been all to glad to take the offer for that position, considering it brought him a step closer to his goals. It gave him some sense of power and accomplishment.

For some time to come though, he would still be working in league with the minor hold's Steward, Drien, in order to help work him into the position appropriately and get a feel for his capabilities. He did seem to be rather persuasive, and a cunning, if not devious man, but that alone would not make him a good Steward.


It had been a slow start, while summer was still upon them, but as winter approached, more and more people had heard the news or decided not to weather the bleak hardships of winter outside the hold, making their way to the region. Once they reached Telgar River Hold, families were required to create a family registry at the registrar's office where they would be included in the population tallies for food rations and tithes.

Presently, Kazage was officed out of a small estate located near the northern edge of the Settlement where the district connected with the rest of Telgar River Hold. It wasn't too far of a jaunt to make it to the Hold proper, where his cousins, Rihan and Drien, were housed, which made it easy to make his way there for meetings. Kazage had spent the past couple of months settling into the place and doing his part to organize events surrounding the continued building of the Settlement, working closely with Drien to ensure things went smoothly. Now, in almost every sense of the word, Kazage could be considered Telgar River Hold's official second Steward.

Though it was not orthodox practice at all, given the circumstances, Rihan had arranges for there to be a secondary Steward to Telgar River Hold, at least for the time that he remained Telgar River Hold's Holder -or as long as Kazage was still considered under his probationary term. Organizing the settlement was quite an undertaking anyway, so the additional help didn't exactly go unwanted. Especially at a time when Eolyn's health was suffering. Rihan would rather be able to dedicate his time to her.


So, that was the state of things at Telgar River Hold. Things had been going surprisingly well as far as the Settlement was concerned.




On an overcast day in mid autumn, Kazage had taken his time walking to the Hold where he would stop in to visit his cousin. It wasn't for the purpose of one of their meetings over Stewardship; it was purely for his own desire to share well-wishes for the Holder and his wife. Kazage knew that Eolyn had suffered the loss of her first child -a stillbirth. For any parents, it would have been a shock, the loss felt deeply, but given the circumstances of their marriage, he figured that Eolyn would be feeling even worse about things. If she cared about Rihan, she would. If she cared about her marriage, she would. Well, that was Kazage's opinion anyway.

So, after hearing that the Lady Holder was well enough to be out of bed and attend some of her basic duties again, he'd decided to visit the Hold in order to pay his respects to her and find out just how much improved her health really was.

Donned in a suit of white with crimson and yellow-gold detail, the attire was belted in a black leather that matched the boots that conformed to his legs up the shin, pants tucked into them. A long, double breasted coat of black with a thick, silver fur trim around the collar kept off the chill of the northern autumn air. He had been barred from wearing the signet ring he once wore, though he was allowed to keep it in his possession for now, but a frog at his right hip still housed his sword with its decorative tassel.

Reaching the gardens just outside of the hold first, Kazage's took a turn to walk its paths, thinking to take a moment to appreciate the colours of autumn briefly before continuing to find his hosts. As luck would have it however, the Lady Eolyn herself just so happened to be doing the same thing.

"Don't you worry that you might catch a chill, being out of doors on a day like today?"


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:22 pm


There had been much debate, more than she appreciated, until her guardians all decided she should be allowed to go outside. Although apparently riding was forbidden. What she wouldn’t give to have some time on her runner, to feel the wind on her face, to feel that exhilaration when she and the runner moved fluidly with one another. Yes it would have been nice but at least she was outside. It was a start. Her illness had taken a toll on her already small form.

Her gown was a dark slate gray, with silver threading in a design on the gown that looked similar to the swirl of a snow gust. She was wrapped up in a black fur cloak, which was too heavy for such mild cool weather but which was a stipulation made by the healers when they allowed her some time in the garden.

Eolyn had a healer’s interest in plants, perhaps more so than some other ladies. So part of the garden grew medicinal herbs. She was looking out at the expanse of some of the garden, taking in the beauty and the fresh cool air when she heard someone approach. Eolyn pretended she didn’t hear him until he spoke, then she turned her head to look at the person speaking to her. Returning his greeting, “Good day to you cousin.” She curtsied just slightly. Formalities must be remembered.

“The healers have decided some fresh air would be good for me.” After much insistence from herself, of course. “My cloak keeps me warm. I feel no cold.” For all her delicate lady-like behavior, she had proven herself resilient on more than one occasion, though she did not fault anyone for seeing her as someone who needed protecting, sometimes it was nice to not be seen as if a single flutter of wind would make her ill. She was young, she was strong, she was simply also beautiful and small.

“Did you need to speak with me about something or can I send someone for my Lord Rihan, so that you may speak with him?”


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:45 pm

Seeing the his Lady Holder dressed in black and grey was a reminder that her grief was still very near. It had only been a handful of days since his cousins had lost their child, so as much would be expected, he supposed. And he supposed it did take women longer to greive these things. They were so sensitive and fragile.

When she initiated the need for further pleasantries, he bowed toward her, more deeply than she had curtsied. Of the two of them, Kazage had more need to observe formalities than she did -which he did his best to accomplish, but Eolyn was the Lady Holder, so there were few who ranked above her. She could ignore such pleasantries if she desired, but for him, for now, if she or Rihan bowed, he would bow lower. Of course, to them, it was more than formalities; it was a reminder of status. A reminder that Kazage ranked lower and still submitted to their will. A reminder that his freedoms here were still dependent upon them.

That was all a price he did not mind having to pay though, for the time being. In order to achieve his ends, it was well worth it.

Kazage was please that at least right away, Eolyn didn't appear to detest his presence. He was aware that she hadn't shown any real preference for him in the recent past, but perhaps that was changing? He couldn't be sure...


"I came to see about your health. I'd heard you were feeling better -able to accept visitors." Whether she thought good or ill of him, he did have some real concern for her, as his cousin's wife, so it was an honest thing to do.

His eyes trailed toward the plants she stood near, then wandered to meet her eyes again before speaking, "Did you come here to seek peace? Your heart must be torn. Please accept my condolences. I'm sorry I did not visit you earlier."


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:08 pm

Hearing him speak with such familiarity to the family felt odd. Certainly she owed him her life, whatever it might be worth. But he had no real reason to speak with her on these personal matters. Unless he was trying to prove he belonged with the family by forging positive relationships with those around the Lord Holder and Rihan. She would be Lady Holder of Telgar some day and that was no small thing. Growing up in Igen Hold she was used to people who were politically ambitious but she has always been on their good side. Everyone in Igen had loved her. There was no reason not to.

The people of Telgar might not feel the same, no matter what Rihan might feel. It was a game of cleverness and knowledge. And knowledge could be power as easily a sword could. Still, she was determined to be kind and to see this gesture as one of kindness not of anything else. If he was using this as an opportunity well, that was his own decision to make it so.

"Thank you cousin. My health improves daily." Having been brought up properly she kept the right amount of distance between herself and Rihan's cousin. She also knew that she outranked him but made no move to treat him as lesser. Family was family.

She shook her head. "No. I came here to feel less smothered." In his attempt to empathize with her pain, she could feel her eyes grow wet though she did not cry. If he had never had a child, or almost had a child to have the babe taken from him, then he could not possibly understand what she was feeling. "They would not have allowed anyone in but Rihan and Courisse."

What was worse was that she was no in a horrible position. She had failed to carry an heir. Everyone would be watching her more closely. If she failed again, there would be talk. Rumors would lead to bigger things and those bigger things would reach important ears. Rihan might have to put her aside if that were the case. She could not fail again.

Eolyn nodded, "There will be more children. The healers say I'll have no trouble next time around. A fluke infection is hardly an indication of inability to carry a baby to term."

It reminded her, rather belatedly, "Have you plans, now that you will be in a position to offer a title to a lady, to marry?" Eolyn could be inquisitive but her question was meant to be courteous too. She was trying to be friendly. After all they were going to have to acknowledge they were kin from now on. She couldn't go on disliking him for an eternity. She was never one to hold a grudge anyway.


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:38 pm

So, he and Lady Eolyn had at least one thing in common; they both liked to feel free. Kazage doubted though, that that was enough to begin endearing her to him on any level, so he opted out of replying.


Eolyn nodded, "There will be more children. The healers say I'll have no trouble next time around. A fluke infection is hardly an indication of inability to carry a baby to term."


Kazage considered her words quietly, thinking that it sounded more like she was trying to convince herself of whether or not she'd be able to give birth to a healthy heir. As though her words were hardly for his benefit.

She would need to produce an heir before Rihan's brother, or perhaps even he himself grabbed at the possible future opportunities to remove Rihan from the running. Though, Rihan was still considered an Heir Apparent, not an Heir Presumptive, so as of yet, there was little to be done about Rihan's right to succeed his father. But rules could be changed. That was not to say that Kazage's ultimate desire was to take Rihan's place; but he wouldn't rule it out entirely, if that's what things came to. One thing was for sure though: Kazage would not be the all-caring, benevolent leader that Rihan was proving himself to be. But in Kazage's mind, that was perfectly alright. The world didn't need leaders of unfailing kindness as much as it needed competent, worthy ones.


"Have you plans, now that you will be in a position to offer a title to a lady, to marry?"


The new Steward of Telgar River Hold's holdless settlement stepped toward the plot of plants near where Eolyn had been observing them. A hand lifted, rather gently handling a leaf that was amidst its changing from a bright autumn orange, to deeper shades of red. Taking time to appreciate its beauty before making his reply, Kazage spoke curtly, and without much elaboration. "Mmmm, there are those whom I have considered."

Facing her more fully again, he thought to mention, "I have even considered your cousin, Lady Courisse." Wondering just what kind of response she might have to those words, it was an almost predatory watchfulness that he gazed upon her then, gauging her expression.


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:40 am

While she could see that he had no real regard for herself or Rihan other than they were family, she saw no reason to treat him unkindly. There were other people whom she could waste an emotion like hatred on. Eolyn did not have time to worry about those people though. She had her own issues; perfection was a difficult thing to achieve in and of itself. When he spoke she managed to reply more quickly than anticipated, given the nature of what he was saying, “Have you mentioned this to Rihan?” She asked.

Meanwhile her head was spinning a little. He wouldn’t take Rissi away from her so soon after her own loss. She needed her here at Telgar River Hold. Was he even serious? Wouldn’t he want a woman who could bring him wealth or land? That would make much more sense. Although it couldn’t be denied that her cousin had her charms. One of which being her good nature. She was also beautiful and had proven she could carry a child to term, which was more than Eolyn could say of herself.

“Does Courisse know of your interest?” She asked, trying to sound indifferent, although she wasn’t sure it was convincing. There was some concern at his interest in someone in her family. While Courisse was a fallen lady in many ways, Eolyn’s faith in her husband’s good grace was what raised her out of that position. She would be raised further if she married someone of the blood in Telgar. That would also make them competition for Lady Holder, especially if Eolyn failed to produce an heir. She would much rather have her cousin on her side.

“I apologize. Of course you’d be an excellent match for my cousin.” Eolyn said, forcing a courtier’s smile. “But I also warn you, I do love and cherish her so if you are not truly interested, then I would suggest you leave her be. She’s had enough heartbreak already.” Eolyn, who generally avoided confrontation and bullies and manipulators, was feeling out of place as it was. Now she was threatening a man who could kill her where she stood and not care one way or the other. She could be a little naïve fool.


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:00 pm

It was enough, in Kazage's eyes, even if his only concern for them were out of respects for that they were family. Not to mention, they were family separated for turns -generations even- and had no past opportunity to know one another. Could he really be expected to harbour those feelings when there were none. Did Eolyn herself, really feel any different?



“Does Courisse know of your interest?”

Kazage regarded the question somewhat flippantly, as though it had been a passing thought. And her apologies after, were set aside for now, though he thought it was rather sweet of her to defend her cousin so politely. He could tell that, even if she acted accepting of him, there was still some part of her that did not want to trust him.

That did not matter to him, though. Not right now. But it did impress again upon him, just how brave the young Lady Holder was, though perhaps too meek at times. It made him glad for Rihan though, to have such a pleasing wife. She was a good person. She was uncompromising when it came to her honour. She was proper and obedient when she needed to be, but courageous enough to be defiant when necessary.

Kazage could have considered himself envious of Rihan, for having married such a woman. Kazage could have considered himself envious of Rihan over many things.


"I have not mentioned it to my cousin, nor told Lady Courisse. But I promise you, my Lady, that I shall not confront her about it until my heart is decided. That way, you will know that my actions are earnest."

He could respect Eolyn for protecting her cousin like she did. He would rather be able to act out of earnesty anyway. If he did not, he was automatically less likely to win her favour. Though, there may come a point that he would have to marry before winning a woman's favour. But it was perfectly possible to learn to love someone after being joined together in such a way. And it was a eventuality that Kazage was willing to face if he had to.

"You're right, though. I should visit with Rihan about marriage, soon." Though he did not mention that he had at least one other in mind; nor did he mention that he was biding his time, until he was in a more stable position to begin inquiring after such things. He was not yet in a position that he would be considered amoungst more desirable candidates for marriage. But he was working on that...


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:07 pm


Eolyn was not surprised. Really if he had broached the subject with Courisse she would have known already. Not only was marriage a big deal but they were best friends, she would tell Eolyn before she told anyone else. Rihan too would have mentioned something of that nature to her, if only because it directly affected her.

Nodding in agreement, she thought she saw something out of the corner of her eye. Eolyn turned around with a quizzical expression on her face. There was someone running towards her or perhaps Kazage. The runner was fast, which was why they were used to deliver messages.

"My Lady." The courier bowed and lifted a message to her.

Taking the message, she dismissed the messenger. Opening the seal on the message, she saw that it had come directly from her husband's father. "By the First Egg..." She said with a gasp as she read the contents.

"We must find my Lord Rihan immediately. Cousin, please, walk with me..." She invited him. "I will tell you what has happened." Not only because Eolyn was a good person but because she figured this would affect him and perhaps the settlement in some ways.

"Rihan's brother, Ermon..." She paused, almost unable to get the words out of her throat. Her voice was always so soft but now even more so. "He is dead." She would let him come to his own conclusions but Ermon was a healthy young man. There was no reason other than foul play that could be considered at this point. All Eolyn knew was that Rihan needed to be aware and that she wanted to get to him as quickly as possible.

What if someone wanted to kill him? She could very well assume he would be next. Eolyn cared less for her own life than for his. The worry in her face could not be confused with any other emotion. Despite their arranged marriage, Eolyn had fallen in love with her husband and that love clearly made her a more courageous person.

They were headed in the only direction that made sense. He must have been outside or the messenger would have found him first. "Drien will know where he is." She said, her pace much quicker than any healer would have approved of given her recent illness.


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:13 pm

Kazage had not responded to her words before there was a messenger approaching them. Watching his Lady Holder's expression, he was just as in shock as she, when she revealed what news had come to them.


Keeping pace with her, Kazage wasn't going to argue about her running so frantically in her condition if the situation warranted it. He knew that doing so would only be a waste of his breath.

Soon, they had reached Drien, and Drien sent drudges urgently to track down their cousin, with word for him to return to the Hold. It was not long after, that Rihan came to join them.

(Sorry, kinna jumping it forward a little. Just figured there probably isn't much in between. Razz. If there is, lemme know and I'll adjust or we can work it in somehow.)


Reading the news of his brother's death, Rihan, his entire expression, was frozen in motion. Not once or twice, but three or four times he had to read the brief letter from his father, because he was still in such disbelief at it all. It was probably because of that, or because he was still in such shock over the news, that Rihan was able to maintain his composure at all, at that point.

Rihan was also focused on getting them to Telgar, though. Since the message was little more than a summons to gather together at Telgar Hold with the rest of the immediate family to grieve and plan the burial, Rihan was eager to leave and find out what more he could surrounding his brother's death. Once they were there however, it was likely that he would succumb to tears like the rest of them.

For the moment anyway, all he could do was stare vacantly, as if struggling to grapple hold of the usual self control he was possessed of; or perhaps trying to come to terms with this new reality -the feeling of Loss.


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:50 pm

Drien had done as she thought he would and promptly sent for her beloved. While they waited, Eolyn was already putting together a list in her head of what they needed to do. She was about to say something to Drien when her husband came into view and so she waited.

It was as bad as she thought it would be. Some families could be quite close and this was Rihan's younger brother, no doubt he had felt strongly for him. Eolyn put her hand on his forearm to let him know that she was there to support him as he read the letter over and over. Eolyn said nothing to him though, there was nothing to say to make it any better.

Her blues eyes watched his face in apparent concern for his reaction. He seemed unsure of what to feel and what to say. Since nothing came from him as far as orders, Eolyn did what needed to be done. She did not make a move to leave his side but rather began speaking to Drien as he was the Steward. "Drien, we need transport to Telgar Hold for myself and Lord Rihan. Have one of the drudges inform Courisse I need to speak with her." Her tone suggested he go and do that immediately.

While it was obvious there was one more person to deal with, Eolyn wasn't sure he would much appreciate where she thought he figured into all of this. "Cousin Kazage, I believe its time you were on your way." It was dismissive but not intended to be anything but polite. They had things to work out.

Her tone completely changed when she spoke to her husband. "Come inside my love. We need to prepare the Hold for our absence and pack." She would love to have taken him in her arms just then but she knew how he felt about public displays of affection.

The healers were about to kill her, figuratively of course, but nonetheless they would not be pleased. She was in no state to be going Between anywhere. No amount of convincing would dissuade her from accompanying Rihan for the funeral of his much loved brother. He needed her there, whether he realized it or not. She rather thought he knew he would rely on her when it came to emotional needs. Eolyn could be strong for him.


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PostSubject: Re: An exile amoungst them (Tags: Eolyn)   Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:58 pm

Not good with words of comfort, Kazage declined to speak, rather kindly obliging Lady Eolyn with a curt bow of his head. Before he departed however, he made sure they knew where to find him. "I will be at my estate." Yes. Estate. Though, it was somewhat small, especially since it was not yet complete, it was comfortably furnished. "Should you need anything from me, please send word, there. I will be waiting."

The Exiles eyes danced between Eolyn, Rihan and Drien. When nothing more was requested of him for the time being, he turned from them so that he could return to his own duties. He did not take it offensively that he was not counted amoungst their family to attend -nor had been Drien. The Hold needed its Stewards for such times as these. Either way though, Kazage knew that he did not yet stand acknowledged as a true member of the family yet. His position had yet to be made official in that regard. 




Unable to do more than nod his head in agreement, Rihan was glad that in such a moment of need, his dear wife was quick to respond, setting things in order which needed to be done. Folding the letter back into his hand, he focused on his breathing as they turned inside, the others going from them to make their own preparations.

For a moment, it must have seemed as though Rihan's hand trembled where he placed it upon Eolyn's own just then, reaching for her as they walked together back toward their own private quarters. But when he squeezed her hand, bringing it up so that he could kiss the back of it tenderly, showing his great appreciation for her sweet spirit, his grip was steady.

He spoke softly then, "Let's get ready to go. Maybe it will be good for you to get away for a little while, anyway."


[phase out?]


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