A Darkened Mind

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Log Info

  • Title: A Darkened Mind
  • Emitter: Ravenstongue
  • Place: The Soldier's Defense
  • Summary: Ravenstongue and Telamon go to the Soldier's Defense to see Ravenstongue's father for themselves. They quickly discover that Ravenstongue's father, who has begun to recover from his ordeal, has what appears to be layers of spellwork cast onto him by Lady Ainasse that affect his mind, personality, and memories. This is confirmed by the attending healer, a cleric of Althea named Elizabeth Ovethos. She states it could take months, even well over a year, for Ravenstongue's father to fully recover, as the process of unwinding such a complicated system of spells takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and energy for all involved. Telamon grapples with his guilt at not recognizing the signs sooner, and Ravenstongue tries to assuage him. The two half-elves go home focusing on all the happiness that awaits them in the near future.
-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- Dramatis Personae =--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-    
Ravenstongue         5'0"     99 Lb      Half-Elf          Female    Short half-elf girl with violet eyes and black hair.                       
Telamon              5'6"     140 Lb     Half-Elf          Male      A platinum-blond half-sil man with dancing dark eyes

-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-=-= NPCs of Note =-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-                 
Glórenacil           5'7"     120 Lb     Wild Elf          Male      A gaunt-looking wild elf man with violet eyes.
Elizabeth Ovethos    5'1"     170 Lb     Human             Female    A friendly, heavyset Hearthguard with a warm smile.
The Soldier's Defense, afternoon.

There's a sense of something odd in the air as Cor'lana steps in out of the light rain with her fiance in tow, her arm wrapped tightly around his. They are directed to the hospital room of one Glórenacil Lúpecyll, and once Cor'lana identifies herself as the man's daughter, the guards posted to the room let them inside.

There's a thin, gaunt figure on the bed, almost too thin. He is dressed in the simple gown that all patients wear. His scraggly red hair has been brushed through and washed, but only in the most basic of manners to ensure cleanliness.

"Nurse? May I have more water?" he asks quietly. Gone is all of the normal arrogance that normally is so thick in his words. But his back remains turned to the half-elves as they walk in.

Cor'lana looks about the room--there's no nurse for the moment. Just them. She sighs and looks at Telamon for just a long moment... her hands trembling, violet eyes full of reluctance. She looks like she's about to walk out of the room.

Telamon holds her hand, his fingers laced with hers. Squeezing gently, offering support, encouraging her. He looks back at her, and offers a gentle smile... warm, and full of confidence in her. Then, carefully, he releases her hand, moving smoothly over to begin pouring water from the sideboard into a simple fired-clay mug.

Silently, he walks back to Cor'lana, and offers her the mug... inclining his head towards her sire. Indicating she should take it to him... but he'll be there with her. Every step of the way.

Cor'lana takes the mug of water from her fiance, smiling gently at him as she gives it to him quietly. Her eyes linger on Telamon for a moment longer before she takes a deep breath. Her fingers stop trembling.

And she walks over to the thin man on the bed. He barely turns to notice her, and indeed, when he takes the water from her, he barely looks in her direction--

Until he does. His head turns. Violet eyes staring at violet eyes.

"Cor'lana?" he asks, quietly. His expression is almost blank. There's hardly a thing in those dull eyes of his--it's like looking at a realistic statue moreso than a man.

GAME: Telamon rolls sense motive+3: (6)+12+3: 21
GAME: Telamon rolls spellcraft+5: (19)+13+5: 37

Telamon stares at Glórenacil. It's not the terrifying glare he last leveled at the man, nor is it a prelude to more vitriol. It's analytical, studying him, remaining as objective as he can muster. Which... isn't much, seeing how much this is shaking Lana. So instead, he carefully walks around the bed to look out the window.

His expression is carefully blank, tailored to avoid causing trouble. But behind his starry eyes his mind is churning quietly. Turning back to Glórenacil and Cor'lana, to see what's happening.

It's a long moment before Cor'lana responds. She seems... bewildered. That this reaction--or more accurately, an almost lack of one--is all she's gotten from Glórenacil so far.

"Yes," she manages, finally. She swallows a lump in her throat before she elaborates, "It's me."

Glórenacil nods. He draws the cup of water up to his lips and takes a sip, putting it back down into his lap. His lips smack together for a moment, like he's trying to keep as much water in his mouth as possible--like he's savoring the taste of water. Finally, he looks blankly at Telamon. "And you are... Telamon." That one's more firm of a statement.

Then a beat. "You look like my brother."

Telamon twitches a little, reflexively. Last time that came up, Glórenacil went after him with a knife. But instead, he carefully puts a genial smile on his face, and walks over to the red-headed elf. "Indeed. I've heard the comparison before." He looks at Cor'lana, then back to Glórenacil again.

"Glórenacil, do you know why you're here? You're at the Soldier's Defense, in Alexandria." He folds his hands before him. "If it's all right, we'd like to talk to you about it."

Glórenacil looks at Telamon for a long moment again with that dull look in his violet eyes--a similar look to Cor'lana's when she was under the effect of Feeblemind, but where that was a strange expression that was struggling to convey something... This is almost like there's nothing there. Like he was robbed of everything that he had and the robbers left the windows open.

"I'm here to heal," he says. "That is what the healers told me."

Cor'lana shakes her head and looks away for a moment. "Who did this to you?" she asks. "Do you remember?"

Glórenacil looks far away for a moment, then a noise leaves him like he's struggling to say something--until he finally forms words. "I... remember... Aina. Beautiful, beautiful Aina... Smiling..."

Telamon nods slowly, working to keep the smile on his face, but there's an icy glint in his eyes. "Slowly, Glórenacil. What do you remember, before coming here? Just relax... focus, and let it come up like a diver surfacing from deep water." His voice is soothing and even.

"You've been through some rough times, and it's important to everyone that you recover. Nobody wants you to feel hurt or confused, so..." He reaches out and gently places a hand on the man's shoulder. "Slow and steady, that's the ticket."

Glórenacil closes his eyes and just breathes in, and out. In, and out. Slowly.

"I remember," he says. "Many years ago, when I met Ainasse--my brother's newly-married bride. My brother was so happy, and she seemed like it, too, but a few years later... She approached me in private. She... cast a spell on me... And swore I would not tell anyone of what we were to discuss until a year and a day had passed..."

"Geas spell," Cor'lana murmurs.

"She told me that I was to be her lovesick fool, to do everything as she wished, and I... couldn't say no. And yet, when the year and a day passed, I came back to her and begged her to remain in my life, for my love was true, spell or no spell. She smiled at me so brilliantly... Warm, like the sun, like no other I'd ever known." Glórenacil sighs wistfully.

Cor'lana's hands ball up tightly into fists. She's biting her tongue to keep from hissing out some sort of remark.

It's taking everything Telamon has to keep the genial, gentle smile on his face. What he wants to do is go back to Ylvaliel and fill Ainasse's cell with eldritch tentacles and cleansing fire. Instead, he takes a deep breath. "You seem to have been a little worse for the wear though. The last I saw, you looked like an unmade bed."

He reaches over to touch Cor'lana's hand, fingers sliding across the balled fist. "Do you remember what was happening in the house at Ylvaliel, Glórenacil? I thought you went back to Llyranost." His voice shakes just a tiny bit at the last word.

Glórenacil looks over himself at the comment about the unmade bed. "Well," he says, "I have looked better. Without her, I don't have a reason to--"

"Tell us about the manor in Ylvaliel," Cor'lana says, an edge in her voice. Her hand relaxes in Telamon's grasp, and her fingers intertwine with his--and she holds his hand tightly.

The redheaded man looks at Cor'lana again for a long moment--and then his eyes fall down to the curuchuil mark, exposed slightly by the neckline on her clothes. "You were claimed by the Feathered One," he says, eyes widening as there's finally something blooming in his eyes. "But... You are here. Not in Quelynos. What happened?"

"That is none of your concern," Cor'lana says, almost a growl. "Answer. The question."

Glórenacil looks in confusion between Cor'lana and Telamon. But then there's a moment of clarity in his eyes. "I... Went to go back to Llyranost. But Aina, my beautiful sun--she was waiting for me. She said she wanted to get away from Alexandria and bought us a beautiful manor out by the Mythwood. I said yes, of course--I was... so happy that she was willing to take me back..."

Then his face crosses into confusion again. "But... There are so many days I can't remember... I just remember... Darkness...?"

"Cor'lana," Telamon's voice cuts through the tension, smooth as silk. "Gently now. Slowly." He takes a moment to focus, to push back on his own emotions. "Glórenacil, there were some terrible things happening in that manor when we found you there. You were enspelled, and when I came through the door, Ainasse tried to stab Cor'lana with a knife. You stepped in front of it, took the blow."

A pause, then, "I... know you feel strongly, but I don't think Ainasse is very good for you, Glórenacil. It happens, sometimes. When you're in love, you're vulnerable." His lips quirk up. "I've experienced it myself."

Glórenacil goes from confused to sudden indignation in the span of just a few seconds. "No!" he says--which might as well be a shout compared to the more quiet words he's spoken the entire time. "No, Aina... Aina is my soulmate! She... She wouldn't do anything to hurt me..."

Cor'lana looks at Telamon for a long moment, biting her lip again. She shakes her head.

The elder Lúpecyll, however, does stop for a moment--and his hands go under his gown, finding bandages. This causes his violet eyes to widen. "These... No, no, they couldn't be..."

His tone and his eyes are panicked as he looks at Telamon and Cor'lana. "No! She wouldn't have... You! You two hurt me! You stabbed me! I remember!" he says, pointing his hands at them. "Guards! Guards, they're the ones who stabbed me!"

Thankfully, the guards posted outside the room are unmoving. It seems that they're used to outcries like this.

Telamon arches an eyebrow, unmoved as well -- in fact, there's a flicker of recognition in his eyes. Like he's seen this before. "Gods. She must've sunk her hooks in to get you like this. But then, she's had a long time, and she played her cards right." His lips twist in bitterness. "I bet it wasn't just you, either. I bet she had Vailevan under her thumb as well."

"She couldn't get what she needed from him, though... so she goes after you. Digs those hooks in... and you probably thought it was all your idea, too." Tel actually looks saddened at the thought. "But I wonder if somewhere deep down, you realized it. Whacking you with the wizard bane might've been satisfying... but it also meant you'd react on the most basic level. And what's more basic than a father trying to protect his only child?"

It's at that moment that a heavy-set human woman enters the room, wearing the robes of a Hearthguard. Her red hair slowly fading into silver is tied back into a matronly bun, and a pair of spectacles adorns her nose as she looks at Telamon and Cor'lana. She smiles warmly in particular as she looks at Cor'lana.

"Ahh, goodness--this must be that daughter you've talked about, Glórenacil," she says, padding over to the two half-elves as she pats Glórenacil on the shoulder. The rage and panic in Glórenacil's face calms suddenly, the wild elf man looking placid and peaceful.

The human woman pushes her spectacles just a little higher up her nose and smiles. "Forgive my manners, loves. I'm Elizabeth Olevos, one of the healers here. I've been working with sir Glórenacil here a while--and let me tell you, poor man's got a lot going on. That lady of his practically scrambled his head--from what I've been able to tell, she's been casting spell on top of spell on him for decades--but she overdid it recently and reduced the man to barely a person. Took me a few nights to get him back to this state, and I still have plenty of work left to do. Does that hypothesis seem like it's the case to you two?"

Telamon pastes a smile on his face, and responds, "That... would confirm some of my own theories, Hearthguard. Telamon Atlon, at your service." He offers her his hand, before continuing. "Having encountered Glórenacil a few times prior to this, it does make sense. She just... pushed too hard. I admit, I thought it was feeblemind at first. Might as well have been."

He sighs heavily. "Despite all that's happened, I don't wish him ill. What are his prospects for recovery?" He moves over to stand with Cor'lana, putting his arm around her gently.

Elizabeth shakes Telamon's hand, beaming with a calm and graceful sort of happiness that seems to be the healer's whole reason to be. "Telamon, and...?"

"Cor'lana Lúpecyll," Cor'lana replies, smiling as she also shakes Elizabeth's hand. "It's nice to meet you, Elizabeth."

The Hearthguard grins at Cor'lana. "Aha, but it's not Lúpecyll for much longer, is it? I can spot two young people totally in love and ready to tie the knot from miles away, you know--when you conduct so many weddings over the years, you just get a sense for it."

Cor'lana flushes a little. "Is it that obvious...?" she murmurs.

"Oh, don't get your yarn all tangled, love." Elizabeth pats Cor'lana on the shoulder. Then she looks to Telamon and looks much more sympathetic, her brows creasing in worry. "Well, I wish I had a more firm answer for you, but... This level of what I'd quite frankly call brainwashing doesn't exactly walk into the Soldier's Defense every day. It will take months, if not a year or more."

Telamon grins suddenly. "Well, we're not exactly distant, dear," he advises Lana with his eyes twinkling. His expression becomes more sober, though, at Elizabeth's prognosis. "I understand," he says somberly. "I... had suspicions, but... nothing I could take action on. And now..." His expression tightens, becomes self-recriminating, "He's like this."

Tel looks to Elizabeth, chewing his lip. "...If there's anything we can do, please let me know. I just... it's not right to see someone like this." He squeezes Cor'lana briefly, a hug to reassure himself perhaps.

Elizabeth's not a tall person--in fact, she's only an inch taller than Cor'lana--but she does put a hand on Telamon's shoulder and offers him a warm, motherly smile. "Telamon, love, you have to understand--this woman that did this to him was doing it in complete secrecy. I've spoken to people who are involved with trying to figure out where they're even going to try this case, and not even their current star witness seemed to know that this was happening to poor Glóry over there--believe it was a maid of some sort, from what they were saying. There's not a way you could have known unless you were the White Raven Himself."

Cor'lana seems a little unsettled by the mention of Navos, her hand going to the curuchuil on her chest for a moment before she wraps an arm around Telamon with a smile. "She's right," Cor'lana says. "There's no way we could have known for certain--and if we'd showed up demanding answers, we might not be here right now, either."

Glórenacil, for his part, simply yawns, crawling back into bed under the covers. This draws Elizabeth's eye, and the older human woman lets go of Telamon's shoulder to go over to Glórenacil. "Glóry, are you really going to curl up for a long winter's nap like that? Dinner will be in an hour or so. Would you like me to wake you up then, love?"

"Set a table for three, please," Glórenacil murmurs as his eyes flutter. "My Aina will like to join ussss..."

"Bless his heart," Elizabeth says quietly as Glórenacil begins to snore.

"My head agrees with you, Elizabeth, but my heart is... not so easily convinced." Telamon doesn't flinch from her touch, nor does he shy away from Cor'lana's gentle embrace. "I will... need some time. But... at least he's in good hands here." He looks at Cor'lana, and the mask falls a bit. The vulnerability, the pain in his eyes, of a perceived error that's cost someone dearly.

"We'll try and visit regularly, if it's all right, ma'am," he says to Elizabeth, as Glórenacil goes to sleep. His voice dropping a bit so as not to disturb the man. "I don't know if it'll help him, but... I feel some obligation here." He slips his arms around Cor'lana, hugging her tightly. Like a talisman against his own second guessing.

Elizabeth tucks in the covers around Glórenacil's form as she nods to Telamon. "Sure, I reckon you could come by every couple of weeks," she says. "I'm the main one working with him, as I have a bit of experience handling people like him, so I'll be the one you talk with the most about his condition."

She grins a little impishly. "Definitely don't come by next week, though. I have a honeymoon to go on."

Cor'lana blinks. "Oh! Recently married, too? Congratulations."

The Althean giggles. "No, not recently. My dear Mr Olevos takes me on a 'make-up honeymoon' every year because our original one got cancelled on account of him going and breaking his leg. He works as a librarian, you see, and he went and slipped off a ladder the day before the wedding. That was twenty-five years ago and I keep telling him twenty-five times is more than enough to make up for it. He thinks differently."

Cor'lana can't help but giggle at the anecdote herself, holding onto Telamon. She looks up at him and sees that vulnerability in his eyes... So she does what she does best in times like this. She gets on her tip-toes and kisses Telamon on the lips. "Everything will be okay," she promises. There's a pain in her eyes, too, but she's choosing to focus on what's ahead... and what's in front of her. Her fiance.

Telamon's eyebrows shoot up at the mention of honeymoon, but Cor'lana beats him to the question. Still... it makes him smile, a bit. Pushes back the pain. The kiss, and the soft voice of his fiancee, remind him what's here, and what he needs to do. "Thank you," he murmurs to her softly. Then he straightens a bit, his eyes going back to Elizabeth.

"Well, I'd say twenty five years is just a good start, all things considered. May your honeymoon be happy and blissful." He smiles more, the thought of where he and Lana will be in twenty five years quite the prospect. "Well then, let's leave Glórenacil to some much needed rest. We'll try and check in after a couple weeks. After your honeymoon," he adds with a small grin.

"Come back again then, all right? And let me know about your wedding plans, too, okay, loves?" Elizabeth begins to tidy up around the room in a way that seems infinitely natural for her. "Maybe I can give some input. Being married for twenty-five years with two kids and an army of cats, in addition to being an Althean, means I know a thing or two about the whole 'happy family' thing."

She then waves a hand, like she's trying to sweep them out of the room with her hands alone. "Bah, I'll talk your ear off all day if you go and let me. You two young lovers go! Shoo! I've got Glóry all taken care of."

Cor'lana snickers. "Alright, alright. Have a lovely day, Elizabeth," she says, departing the room with Telamon.

Once they get out of the doors, however, Cor'lana lets out a big sigh, hugging him tightly again. "I can't believe I thought the worst of him all this time," she says, quietly.

Telamon still looks pained. "I messed up, Lana. I thought he was acting off, when he came to our doorstep. And I did the one thing father always warned me about -- I let my emotions get in front of my judgement." As the two walk down the steps, his expression is anguished. "If I'd seen past his weird behavior, used my head... but instead I let myself get angry, and I threw him out, sent him right back into that bitch's arms."

He looks at Lana, the smile gone. "And now he's in there, his mind scrambled like an omelet. And I can't help but feel guilty for it."

Cor'lana puts a hand to Telamon's face, cupping his cheek in her fingers. She looks at him with worried, sad brows. "I know you feel guilty," she says. "I do, too. But... What would we have done? We could have brought so much worse onto our house. That woman could have done so much to us. She's a Son'doriel, Tel--she could have done all manner of things to us, could have hired all kinds of people to just kill us the moment she found out we took her fucked up little toy away from her. We can't light ourselves on fire to save other people."

There's tears budding in her violet eyes. "There's only so much we could have done, Tel."

Telamon sighs. "Maybe. But it'll be a long time till I can forgive myself for letting him go right back into the lion's den." He wraps her up in his arms, burying his face in her hair. Drowning his thoughts in her lavender scent and the warmth of her embrace. "Love you," he murmurs.

After a few moments, he draws back so he can look down at her. "At least she's not hurting him now. Or anyone else. There'll be hell to pay, of course... but 'consorting with ye olde powers of darkness' and abuse of compulsion magic... not even a Son'doriel can hide from those charges." He offers her a smile. "She's done."

Cor'lana keeps him there as long as he needs, just holding him there in her embrace. She can't help but smile, of course, with what he murmurs into her ear, even as she closes her eyes and the tears dart down her cheeks. "I love you too, Tel," she replies, gently.

And, well, there's Telamon pointing out the logical. That helps, too. She nods firmly, looking into Telamon's eyes as he draws back. "I don't think she can possibly escape the charges--especially with her disgraced social status. Her Majesty wouldn't dare try to fall on a sword to save a distant cousin, I think, especially not one who was already mired in such scandal. It's just a matter of when that trial will happen that's in question."

There's a little wicked turn to her smile. "Which means she might be waiting for a long, long time."

His smile mirrors hers. "What a pity. An elf's life is very long. Her prison cell may be quite cushy... but it will still be a prison." Telamon sighs, and gives his lady love a squeeze. "Let's go home. The weather is miserable and I don't need it to make me any more moody."

He cocks his head. "With all the hubbub, we never did find out how Addy's date with Algar went. We should ask about it at some point." His eyes glint merrily. "Do you think he even got the chance to get a word in?"

"Well, the nice thing about miserable weather," Cor'lana says cheerfully, "is that it's an excuse to go home and dive under the covers of a warm bed with the love of your life. That's one thing that I have that she's never had and will never have."

She intertwines her arm around Telamon's and looks thoughtful as Telamon poses the question about her cousin. "I don't know--that honestly sounds like it might be your cousin's idea of a dream date. One where he doesn't have to talk at all." She grins at Telamon. "I didn't tell Addy about him almost getting seduced by a fey creature, either, so she doesn't have to freak out about 'surpassing past partners' or anything like that."

And, well, there's that feytouched glimmer of mischief and even a bit of pride in Cor'lana's smile and voice as she says, "I can't relate, after all. I'm your first and last in many things," in an almost sing-song tone of voice.

Telamon nods and smiles. "There is that option, yes. It's certainly the right kind of weather for staying out of it." The two of them walk away from the Soldier's Defense, feet sounding on the cobbles.

"Almost only counts with fireballs, dear. And Algar... has always been kind of private. He's not going to say anything. So we'll just keep our mouths shut regarding that aspect." He playfully touches her cheek. "After all, you always blush when someone brings up our private time."

Tel's eyes soften, looking into hers. "First and last and always," he states firmly. "Queen of my heart."

Cor'lana blushes a little, of course, but she's still grinning. "Of course, but I think I'm getting better about talking about our privacy with you," she says. "Anyway--yes, we'll give them their privacy. Maybe we'll see a Branfeax-Atlon wedding if we're lucky."

She stops and rubs her nose against his, standing on her tip-toes to do so. "Same for me, my starborn prince," she says, before kissing him on the lips. It's an awfully romantic moment, especially as the slight rain comes down just a little harder...

Which means the two half-elves speed along home, presumably to dive under the covers of their warm and comfortable bed immediately afterward.