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literature

DDO :A Meeting of Hearts: P1

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By SunGryphon   |   
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Kilauea Darkchilde knelt in the stinking sewer water, staring down the poorly lit hallway at an ogre that was busy scratching itself. She held her bow tilted slightly to keep it out of the festering water, an arrow nocked and resting lightly on her index finger. Behind her, she could sense the presence of her cleric companion, Dolmer Syrinc. They had come to Stormreach at about the same time, and had gravitated towards each other with the ease of old friends. Although Dolmer was a cleric, he was skilled with a sword, and Kilauea was grateful for the backup.

"Especially in times like this," she whispered, and moved forward slowly, keeping quietly to the shadows. The ogre hadn't noticed her, but these sewer tunnels were full of nooks and crannies, and more often than not, those nooks and crannies were full of kobolds. The small reptilian creatures seemed to breed with the annoying alacrity of rabbits. Though the ogre was still out of her range, she moved as silently as possible, her bow at the ready. Dolmer followed behind a short distance, the rushing water covering the sound his armor made.

After several careful minutes of positioning, the ogre was within her range. She slowly stood, drawing her bow fully at the same time. She sighted down the arrow at a nearly impossible target. Holding her breath, she let fly, and the ogre's eye suddenly sprouted a feathered shaft. It bellowed in pain and Kilauea had smoothly drawn another arrow before it collapsed, waiting for the inevitable swarm of kobolds.

They came rushing around the corner, yipping and snapping in their high-pitched voices. Kilauea downed five before the bulk of the swarm reached her, and Dolmer stepped up to the fight as she took a few steps back to clear her range for more shots. Within moments, all the kobolds lay dead or dying in a heap around them. This battle was repeated twice more before the pair found the exit from the sewers and emerged, blinking, into the late afternoon sunlight.

Kilauea wiped her arm across her forehead, pulling strands of hair filled with sewer muck away from her face, and grinned at her companion.

"One of these days we're going to find the kobold factory and shut it down," she quipped.

"Aye, but then we'd have other, equally nasty things in th' sewers, like giant rats an' roaches," replied Dolmer.

"And those are worse than the spiders? I'd take the cockroaches."

Dolmer made a face.

"I need a bath," continued Kilauea. "Let's go to House Phiarlan for some pampering!"

"Sounds like a fine idea," said Dolmer with a grin, and slung his shield over his shoulder, sheathing his sword in the same fluid motion. Kilauea did the same with her bow, and the pair headed towards the massive gates that marked the entrance to House Phiarlan.

A relaxing hour of pampering later, Kilauea sat in a borrowed robe on the highest tier of the Livewood Theater. She leaned slightly to the side with her head tilted, drawing a comb through her long silvery-white hair as it dried.

"Allow me?" Dolmer drawled from behind her. She straightened up with a quick smile over her shoulder as she handed the comb back to him.

"Thank you. I thought I'd never get that muck out of it." She closed her eyes and enjoyed the feel of the setting sun on her face, and the slight shivers the comb caused to run up her back and neck.

After a few minutes of silence, Dolmer began speaking. Kilauea had learned more about him by not asking anything at all, and she knew he'd begin talking without any prompting from her.

"Th' trees here remind me o' my home," he said.

Kilauea cracked an eye and looked out over Phiarlan's unique flora, huge trees with masses of broad pink leaves on their branches.

"You have pink trees at home?"

Dolmer chuckled, "Nah, but t'was peaceful like here."

Kilauea noted the past tense, and wondered what had happened. Instead of asking, she said, "Where I'm from, there are so many trees, tall and broad, that you can't see the sky from the ground. You have to climb."

"Where I'm from, ever-one did their share of work and everythin' was shared amongst th' town. Sons grew up workin' th' land o' their fathers, an' when they came o' age, they got their own parcel o' land to work, donated by their neighbors an' fathers."

"It's the same where I'm from, at least in the sharing work aspect. We don't have much in the way of farmland. But everyone works."

"Are round-ears welcome in your village?" asked Dolmer.

"Round-ears, pointy-ears, cat ears, no ears. Everyone is welcome if they pull their own weight. That's why it's called what it is," said Kilauea.

"What's that?"

"Refuge."

The comb stopped momentarily in her hair.

"Refuge? That's th' name o' th' city?" Dolmer asked.

"Aye..." Kilauea smiled, even though he couldn't see her face.

"The Refuge? Th' one people talk about like it's a myth? Ah thought it was a bedtime story."

Kilauea laughed softly, "Oh no, Dolmer. It's very real."

The comb resumed it's shiver-causing motion through her hair. "Is it true th' streets are paved with gold, lined with alabaster fountains that spout a nourishin' life-extendin' water?"

"The gold and alabaster, no. We don't have streets. The water, possibly, though it may just be the aura of the place that makes people live a little longer."

Dolmer gathered her hair together, pulling it gently back behind her pointed ears, and draped it between her shoulderblades. He moved to sit beside her and handed her the comb. "No streets?"

"Refuge is in the trees, quite literally," replied Kilauea.

Dolmer listened in fascination as Kilauea described the tree-perched city of Refuge. Huge, ancient trees provided both shelter and safety, with various styles of home both in the boughs of the trees, and inside the trees themselves.

"People often go looking for Refuge, but they won't find it unless we want them to. Most times they never come within miles of it, and never make it out of the forest if they had ill intent."

"Are your people that bloodthirsty?" Dolmer asked, half joking.

"Oh yes. But only when it comes to thieves and murderers bent on destroying the city."

Dolmer's face clouded and Kilauea knew she'd touched on something about the previous past-tense reference of his own home town.

"What is it?" she asked.

"My town... Like Ah was sayin', everyone worked th' land equally. We were peaceful. But even in peace there are those who'd destroy everythin' for th' sake o' greed."

Kilauea nodded, then waited patiently as Dolmer gathered his thoughts. Some people thought he was slow because of stupidity, but Kilauea knew better. Dolmer looked and sounded like the country-bred farmboy he was, but his homely looks hid a mind as sharp as the blade he carried, and he usually didn't bother to correct people on their initial impression. Underestimating Dolmer was often the last thing an enemy did.

After a time he continued, "My uncle was one o' them. My father was th' town elder, an' although he didn't have much in th' way o' actual power, he had th' respect o' th' town, an' that made his position powerful. My uncle was jealous o' that power an' respect. He made a deal with some unsavories. But, they killed him an' decided to take th' town themselves. An' Ah don't mean take over."

"Oh no..."

"My father an' Ah were gone when it happened. We were in another town doin' some business. My uncle was going to drain th' town coffers and make it look like we'd taken th' money and left." Dolmer paused, collecting himself again. "When we got back, th' town was destroyed. Everyone was dead."

"Oh my God. What did you do?"

Dolmer looked into her eyes, not realizing his accent thickened with emotion as he continued, "We buried 'em. All o' 'em. Me pa an' me. An' when we was done... My pa knelt at me ma's grave. He never got up from there. But he did tell me somethin'."

Kilauea took Dolmer's hand, gently, and he covered it with his own, continuing, "He said 'Son, revenge isna th' answer. Rise above such thin's, an' show th' world th' name Syrinc is somethin' ta be praised, an' proud of.'"

He smiled slightly, "It didn't take long for me to find th' church, but that's a different story."

Dolmer brought Kilauea's hand to his lips and kissed the back of it lightly, causing her to blush.

"M'lady, Ah fear it is time for me to do my duty for the Church. Ah hope Ah will see you again soon."

"Count on it," was all Kilauea could manage, as Dolmer got to his feet and walked away. Just before he rounded the corner of a building, he stopped and turned. Without thinking she threw her hand up and waved, unsure if he could see her at this distance with his human eyes. She thought she saw his hand lift in return, and it was enough for her. She left the grounds of House Phiarlan and found her way home to her room at the Anvilfire Inn, to sleep.
© 2006 - 2020 SunGryphon
I had a brief argument with myself whether this belongs in "Fan-Fiction" or "Fantasy" and obviously chose fantasy. "Fan-Fiction" to me means slash-type stuff. This just happens to be set in Eberron/DDO, but involves aspects taken from my own Dungeons & Dragons world of Taren.

Part one of an unknown number.
Part two is here [link]

Co-written with my sweetheart. :iconbigtop76::iconsungryphon:

Dungeons&DragonsOnline (c) to Hasbro (yes, you heard me. Hasbro.)
Taren, Refuge, Syrinc & characters (c) to Gryphon Knight Media (das me & sweetie)
Comments6
anonymous's avatar
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War-Fist's avatar
I'm tired right now but enjoyed this just the same. I need to get back to my story, but i got writers block =/

Hope all is well with you miss sun
SunGryphon's avatar
SunGryphonHobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Writer's block is evil. RPing these sessions in game helps us get over it. For some reason it's easier for me to write when I have a visual of the character in front of me. Good luck conquering the block :) :hug:
Pteryxx's avatar
I had much the same argument with my piece, especially since the dA descriptions say 'fan-fiction' is tied to the PLOT of an outside source, not just the setting. I took the conservative road and called mine fanfic, but it could just as easily go the other way.

On topic, I very much liked this piece, especially the natural feel of the dialogue. Looking forward to the next part.
SunGryphon's avatar
SunGryphonHobbyist General Artist
The one thing that is making it difficult for Heath and I to cowrite based out of the game is that DDO doesn't have a chat log or copychat feature. You can copy and paste but it's a pain. In this case all the dialogue is from an RP session in the game, that I wrote out to the best of my memory and cleaned up a little bit. Heath is probably going to write the bulk of the next chapter.
Pteryxx's avatar
O-o It doesn't?! Isn't that supposed to be an RP game? Whoa. Maybe if it has a demorecord mode? And I did gather that this was a writeup of an RP session. It still rolls.
SunGryphon's avatar
SunGryphonHobbyist General Artist
Nope, no demorecord either. Have to do it by hand, or memory hehe.
anonymous's avatar
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