Hot Words on a Hot Day

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Log Info

  • Title: Hot Words on a Hot Day
  • Emitter: Ravenstongue
  • Place: A08 - Northern Banks of the Tornmawr
  • Summary: Raventongue, Telamon, and Pothy decide to hit the banks for a river swim (despite the fact that neither of the half-elves appear to know how to swim), where they run into Seldan, who's foraging for greens, and Aya, who takes the opportunity to ask for advice. Seldan and Aya have a heated conversation while Telamon tries to play mediator, but eventually, the words turn sympathetic. Aya departs, Seldan returns to his efforts, and Pothy gets a fish!

-=--=--=--=--=--=-<* A08: Northern Banks of the Tornmawr *>--=--=--=--=--=--=-

In the shadow of the great Highbridge, and beneath the guardhouses, a stretch of river has been laid out as a public park and fishing area. Here, the descending landscape of Alexandria folds into the river and crafts a comfortable view. On a typical day, a number of small boats and picnic blankets dot the landscape. To the side, a small shrine to Rada the River Serpent, as well as a dual shrine to Althea and Daeus, in their guise as Mother and Father of the world.

-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- Dramatis Personae =--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-    
Aya               4'7"     105 Lb     Shadow Elf        Female    Mul'niessa. Braided hair. Simple clothing.                       
Ravenstongue      5'0"     99 Lb      Half-Elf          Female    Short half-elf girl with violet eyes and black hair.                       
Seldan            5'11"    187 Lb     Human             Male      Ginger-blonde human in armor wearing Eluna's symbol.                       
Telamon           5'6"     140 Lb     Half-Elf          Male      A platinum-blond half-sil man with dancing dark eyes                      

It's a hot summer day, which means it's definitely a day to go swimming out at the riverbank--or simply go for a walk, if one is so inclined. There are two half-elves who look like they're contemplating the first option, however. Cor'lana looks nervous as she's dressed in a small purple sundress that goes down to her knees, and she's holding a picnic basket and a large rolled-up blanket. Once the couple find a spot to set down the blanket and basket, Cor'lana's violet eyes dart around the waters.

That's when she pulls off the sundress to reveal a modest, but form-fitting, violet bikini. It appears that she wasn't so nervous about actually wearing the bikini, however, as much as she's nervously looking to the sky to see what Pothy is doing above them. "I hope he doesn't get into anything he's not supposed to," she says. "Or terrorize other people for snacks. Pothy! Get down here!"

"No!" Pothy calls back in Cor'lana's voice. This results in the sorceress looking mildly frustrated.

"At least he's enjoying himself in the air," Cor'lana remarks.

For his part, Telamon is dressed in a loose-fitting linen tunic over a pair of durable canvas 'sailor's breeches' -- a garment that won't get away easily in the water. His platinum-blond hair shines in the sunlight, and he's definitely taken on a slight tan from being out of doors.

Tel does take a minute to blatantly and obviously ogle Lana, before grinning at her worried expression. "He'll get bored eventually and come back. And let's be honest, a lot of people know who he is and they'll let us know if he's giving them too much nonsense. Relax."

With that, he unlaces the tunic and slips it off. Emblazoned across his back is the strange tattoo, the sunburst-and-star-chart emblem picked out in blue and gold and silver, and he drops his tunic on the blanket. "I do have a confession to make, though," he says a bit embarrassed. "I really don't swim well."

Not all innately delight in the bright warming light of the sun... but some are becoming more tolerant. From the shade beneath the bridge, Aya emerges, walking along the bank. Her sandals are in one hand rather than on foot, as she steps through the shallow water, or upon wet stones or sand. The sounds of a stark negative call from the shoreline ahead draws her attention from the river, and then the echo above pulls her eyes skyward to the flying avian. It is the latter that holds her attention more, initially, if solely due to risk of dive-bombing beaks or simple bombing of ...other things.

The Tornmawr is a fast-moving thing, out towards its center, but here at its edges, the eddies and underwater landscape create an area where swimming, fishing, and small boats are feasible. The water is a little chilly yet for swimming, but later in the summer it will become a refuge from the heat. Even today, Ravenstongue would not be alone in desiring to swim, to beat the early-summer heat that promises far more like it to come. Indeed, a bit away from the sun, beneath the mighty northern bridge and in its shadows, a beaten old leather knapsack lies alone at the water's edge, tucked out of sight in the shadows.

That is, until a fair-skinned human hand emerges next to it, dropping a handful of underwater plants amid a splash of river water a few feet away from it. The rest of its owner follows, skin bright and fair even in the shade, topped with ginger-blonde hair.

Seldan is entirely shirtless as he hoists himself out of the water, a trimmed and muscular body that is really too thin outside of that, over a slender frame, more the build of a gymnast than a warrior. Some might expect that a paladin and one so reserved as himself would entirely eschew such body art as Telamon and Cor'lana sport.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

He turns his back to the riverbank, to sit on the rocks at the water's edge, displaying a set of arcane and divine symbols in a series of tattoos that span his spine from the top of his neck, and disappear into the waistband of the soaked canvas trousers he wears. In their center, at heart level, is the crescent and sphere of Eluna, writ large. Surrounding it, across the entire rest of his back and shoulders, wrapping around his arms nearly to the elbow, is a collage of images. A set of arches, flags a-flying. A cat with a furry tail across one shoulder blade and shoulder, wrapping its furry tail around his bicep. The mountains of Khazad Duin. Faces. Places. Castles. Spires. It is a medley, a collage of images with no apparent connection, rhyme or reason, but a eerily precise half-inch of clear, pale skin separates it from the center spine images.

Cor'lana stares at Telamon for a minute, of course, though it takes her a moment to actually register what he's said--and she flushes once her attention snaps back to reality. "Oh! You can't swim?" she asks. "...I was kind of hoping you'd teach me how? I, uh. You know. Didn't exactly have a body of water to learn when I was young."

She looks over at the riverbank shore and blinks as she recognizes the ginger-blonde hair. Violet eyes squint. "...Is that Sir Seldan? Wow, Tel, he has us beat on the markings department," she says, very audibly impressed.

Pothy also spots Seldan--specifically, Seldan emerging from the water near a knapsack. A knapsack that's full of SNACKS. (Or so Pothy imagines in his brain. So the corvid dives down from the sky and lands next to the paladin's bag. "Snacks!" he says, both in greeting and in request. (Okay, it's a demand. It's Pothy.)

That turns Cor'lana's expression a little sour. "Oh, no. Pothy! I'm sorry, Sir Seldan!" she calls out, jogging on the bank to the Elunan. She also spots Aya along the way and waves to her, too.

Telamon actually flushes a little. "I mean, I can dog-paddle a bit, but that's about all. It kind of got shunted to the wayside when my talent emerged, and I never got around to it." He reaches up to run his hand through his hair self-consciously. "Well, at least I don't need to worry about drowning while I learn..."

At Lana's sighting of Seldan, Tel follows her gaze, and his eyebrows shoot up. "Goodness. I... didn't expect him to have that kind of work done. That had to be expensive -- and a little painful. Good needlework isn't cheap or painless, even with magic."

And then, of course, Pothy decides to be a pest. "Oh gods," he mumbles. "Pothy, you little shit, don't harass the man..."

GAME: Telamon rolls spellcraft: (20)+13: 33
GAME: Ravenstongue rolls Spellcraft: (15)+12: 27
GAME: Aya rolls spellcraft: (7)+4: 11

The emergence from the water not far from her pulls Aya's eyes promptly to the emergent. It takes only a moment for her to identify Seldan, if just by hair, stature and The remaining half-dozen or so moments are spent in appreciation of said art. Just because one has a magnum opus at home does not mean one loses their sense of appreciation of artistic expression!

With Co'lana's inbound jog and subsequent call, Aya's point of focus adjusts slightly. "A fair day, Silverguard." She then turns to offer greetings to "Cor'lana" with a nod to Telamon.

And, it's the bird. Seldan looks down at the corvid a few feet from his hand, and snorts softly, a ghost of a smile tugging at his lips. "You again," he replies. With his other hand, he takes some of the bundle of greens that he'd just pulled out of the water and sets them in front of the bird. "I have no fruit today."

That means, though - he looks around, to spot Telamon and Cor'lana coming towards him - and Aya with them. Quickly, he scrambles fully up onto the bank and chants a simple cantrip, draws a sigil on his hand, and then uses that hand to run over his trousers first, drying himself off. "Her light upon your paths," he offers diffidently, and suddenly just a touch reserved. Much of his chest is as decorated as his back and shoulders, and up close, some of the images are disrupted by scars. One across his collarbone that looks like it nearly took his head off. Two gray dots on the point of his left shoulder. A few others. "I see that you, too, enjoy the day." His eyes rove over the art that both of them sport, then back to them.

The bird gets snatched up and put onto Cor'lana's bare shoulder, Pothy's talons not nearly so sharp as to puncture Cor'lana's skin. Pothy makes a protesting "merp" noise, but he gets ignored by his mistress as she inspects the art and scars on Seldan from this angle, too, looking thoughtful about it. "Good afternoon, Sir Seldan and Madame Aya. Yes, I managed to turn Telamon from a night owl into a morning riser," she says, grinning. "The early bird gets the worm and all."

"Snacks," Pothy corrects Cor'lana.

"Yes, snacks, I'm so sorry, Pothy," Cor'lana says, rolling her eyes. "I'd ask if you were foraging for salad materials, Sir Seldan, but I'm just impressed by all the art you have. At least yours is somewhat easy to hide, like Tel's is."

Telamon offers Aya a smile, inclining his head. "Lady Aya. We've met briefly but not been introduced, I think." His gaze moves back to Seldan, and he smirks as Lana snatches up Pothy. "Pothy, I swear..." He shakes his head. "In any case, yes, Lana insists on dragging me from my bed at ungodly earlier and earlier hours. Why, the other day I even saw a sunrise!"

His eyes sparkle as he teases, before shifting tracks. "But yes. That is a lot of needlework, Sir Seldan. I imagine some of it is personal, to commemorate something, but other aspects of it seem more practical." He shrugs lightly, turning so that the markings on his back are more visible. "At least we've fewer scars as well."

Aya has been called many things, but 'Madame' may be a novel honorific. First, she addresses Telamon's semi-introduction with a nod of confirmation. "We did, and I regret we have not." She then glances from his artistic enthusiasm to Cor'lana's smile, to Seldan's shift in demeanor and even to the snack-seeking Pothy. Further pause before she exhales a breath.

"We all enjoy the day, and I would not cast a shadow over it..." the oddity or irony of that statement may be conspicuous to Seldan above all, "but I would seek insight from all of you, on a matter than concerns us all. I do not know when I might have another opportunity to ask." Her eyes end upon Seldan with the last, knowing his whereabouts are exceedingly variable, and by intent.

"Most fascinating," Seldan's eyebrows go up in surprise at something, but he examines the needlework dutifully, pausing in his drying off to do so. "It speaks of the stars - a tie to the stars, then?" This last is said musingly. "Forgive me, I do not intend to pry unwanted. Much of mine - Reunion claims responsibility, but it has gradually appeared, over time. It is in my mind that my ancestors remind me of where I come from, and that I ought to learn their stories. Perhaps one day, when I am no longer hunted, I shall delve into such mysteries, for I am reminded that there is much to be learned from those who have come before." A very small smile accompanies that.

"The other - was not of my choice, but without it, I know not if I would stand before you, or be forever lost in the past." That is said seriously. "Or overwhelmed and destroyed by magic beyond my power. It was - needful at the time it was done, and yet it remains fine work. But enough of that. Seldom do I see sunrise, for my devotions to Her call at moonrise, and I do not often wish to stay up to see sunrise." The small smile widens into a boyish grin. "Salad, yes, but also favored by certain of apothecaries, and I had the time and inclination this day to go after them."

That smile, though, fades at Aya. "Indeed, fear not. How might I be of service?" The words are formulaic.

"Salad? Salad?" Pothy queries from Cor'lana's shoulder, mimicking his mistress's voice. A salad is not a snack, but it is food, and so it is of utmost interest to Pothy. One can only imagine him terrorizing a salad bar at a restaurant if he's left unchecked.

Cor'lana looks between Aya and Telamon, blinking. "Have you never been introduced? Oh, well, please meet my fiance, Telamon Atlon," she says. "Soon to be Telamon Lúpecyll-Atlon once it's all official." Her arm hooks around Telamon's, and this has an interesting effect on Pothy. He makes a noise like that of minor disgust before he takes off into the sky. Cor'lana can't help but snicker. "He sometimes gets annoyed if we're lovey-dovey. He's like a child."

She looks incredibly curious between Aya's topic of discussion and Seldan's words regarding his own tattoos--but Aya's sounds pressing. "Is it regarding you-know-who?" she asks, brows furrowing. She's referring to the demon woman.

Telamon looks rueful. "We originally met when Aryia was... well, fixing things." He lets the subject drop, though, uninclined to open any old wounds. "But yes, Sir Seldan. I suspect mine isn't as puissant as yours but it shares some similarities. No tattoo needle ever touched me, and some of the colors, well, you can't get those." He heaves a sigh. "The Watcher told me I would bear my burden on my shoulders, to carry light into dark places. I didn't think he was being literal, though."

He gives Lana a squeeze, as the topic turns to more serious matters, and his eyebrow rises as Lana brings it up. "Oh. Her." There's a lot in the way he says that one word. Icy contempt and wariness mixed together, as well as a desire for, at some point, a reckoning.

Aya's jaw tightens at Cor'Lana and Telamon's leaps of logic. It is a short leap, in all honesty. A nod. "It is. Specifically, a means to remove it permanently." She still refuses to refer to the fiend as 'her.' A brief pause before she is direct, "I would seek a fey queen," she looks to Lana, then to Seldan, "for a weapon you once held." Back to the trio. "Thus I ask for your council." She obviously holds some information, but is far from a subject matter expert in any aspect.

Seldan's suddenly frozen expression says that he knows exactly what Aya is talking about, and that it is not happy knowledge. "Mithralla told you of that weapon." It's not a question, and suddenly his easy boyishness vanishes into his usual reserve, his state of half-dressedness forgotten. "It was returned to the Queen of Air and Darkness, that it not fall into Eclavdran's hands." He falls silent, his eyes lowering, the reserve a troubled one. Whatever it is, it conjures some not-so-nice memories from the paladin.

"I would counsel you to consider well to what lengths you will go to reach your goal, and what damage might unwittingly be done." The pale blue eyes lift, and rest unflinchingly on Aya. "I would also counsel you to consider well that the demon has been banished to her home, and cannot return here without assistance. Does she return, from where does that assistance come? It may well be that Eclavdran's cult within the city yet remains."

Cor'lana's whole stance freezes as she looks at Aya when she mentions the Queen of Air and Darkness. "That's... Mmm. I'm not familiar with Her Majesty, but I've never heard of her spoken with... shall we say, welcome and open tones," Cor'lana remarks, looking at Seldan. "As much as I would sleep sounder at night... It's like what Sir Seldan is saying. Maybe we ought to figure out how she came here to begin with. If the cult is here, maybe they're playing the long game and are trying to bait out a weapon like that so that it may be stolen and used for their own purposes."

She shivers a little despite the fact it's summer and there's broad daylight. "But, if you want me to go with you if you want to make that journey... I can go, Aya. I was always destined to visit Quelynos. Telamon here was lucky and got to go before I did." She gives her fiance a little smile.

Telamon looks slightly askance at Aya. "While I appreciate the gravity of the threat," he says, reaching up to absently rub his neck, the memory of being throttled still not entirely faded, "I might ask if you're sure you know what you're doing? To treat with the fey powers isn't quite as dangerous as those of the Iron Hells, but I wouldn't do it lightly."

"Nevertheless, if you're fixed on this course of action, and Lana wishes to assist you, then I will help as well. However I can." He sighs. "We really need to chase down whoever keeps calling her here. Or..." He pauses, eyes twinkling. "...I wonder if the heavens might be willing to lend us some aid?"

The reaction this evokes is not unexpected. In many ways, it just confirms that Aya's information, limited as it may be, is accurate. Seldan's counsel is sharp enough to cause a wince, but also accurate and deserved enough that it is weathered tall. "All of this is a result of my making that error once, Seldan. I will not repeat it now in correcting it." To that end, she lifts a staying hand, looking to Cor'lana and Telamon. "I only seek counsel to arm myself, and do not ask any of you to accompany. Enough suffer for my actions as it is. This is no easy task; I am well aware, but perhaps moreso than marching into the Iron Hells, which is also under consideration."

Panning back to Seldan, her firm expression softens. "My goal is to prevent further threat, of any sort. To all of you, all of those around us." Her lips purse anew. "When we sent it back, it returned within less than a fortnight. It may have already returned. Yes, eradicating the cult might prevent its return, but it must still be removed. And how long might that purge take? How much destruction would be sown? How many might be lost?"

"It hunts my family. What risks would you consider were it seeking, Seldan, if it sought Malik or Zeke?" Brows lift and are turned to the couple. "Or either of you if it was focused on the other?"

"Who do you think Eclavdran found first, ere you ever knew his name?" Seldan's tone goes cool, even, and dangerous, his eyes narrowed. His relaxed stance shifts subtly, to the weight balance of a warrior, between balls and heels, although his arms remain at his sides. "Who do you think found Malik, inches from death with a demon claw at his throat, bound to him?" Telamon and Ravenstongue are forgotten, all of his focus on the mul. "Your desire to reach your goals, no matter the cost, has already done a tremendous amount of collateral damage, including to wholly innocent people who knew nothing of any of this." A jerk of his chin indicates Telamon and Ravenstongue. "The last time, a demon walked the halls of the Dreamer's temple, mere steps from me. Had I made a sound, I would have been slain, too weak to defend myself. Who knows how many others could say the same? Yes, I know who invited Eclavdran into the temple. I heard her do it."

"I do not hate you, Aya, for desperation and the wiles of a demon, perfected over millennia, can drive a man to do hideous things. But, learn from it, and do not repeat the error. I did. Did you?"

There's a definite chill despite the summer day, and Cor'lana shuffles awkwardly in place as she watches the exchange between Seldan and Aya. The question that Aya's put forth makes her uneasy, and she seems to have something to say--

But then Pothy flies back down from wherever he's gone, landing on Cor'lana's shoulder. And he's holding a crab by the crook of one of the poor crustacean's arms. "Snacks!" he crows--

And he drops the crab, on account of talking, from his beak and into Cor'lana's bikini top. She yelps and immediately bats the creature off herself and back into the water. Pothy, for his part, looks incredibly embarrassed.

"I'm sorry, that was the most poorly timed anything ever," Cor'lana says apologetically, inspecting herself to make sure she hadn't been pinched anywhere in the very quick pseudo-melee. She seems satisfied after a glance down at herself and her fingers and sighs. "I understand both of your perspectives. It... sounds like there's a lot going on here that Tel and I don't know about."

Telamon does something that's probably foolish, but par for the course with him. He deliberately steps between Aya and Seldan, breaking any eye contact. His voice is firm. "Alright, that's enough. If we squabble and point fingers, the bad guys win. And we've all come far enough that we don't want that." He turns to look Seldan in the eye first, before turning to stare at Aya pointedly.

"We've all erred. Made mistakes. Let's not make any more here." Then Pothy of course breaks the tension even further by dropping a crab on Lana, and Tel whirls. His eyes flash, and he reaches up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Gods damn it, Pothy..." he sighs.

And so the softening of Aya's features vanishes; inverts, rather, to harden even past the aloof coolness some may be most familiar with in the past. Not unlike Seldan, eyes and brows narrow and her shoulders square to him, weight shifting. The others are not wholly ignored, per se, but focus and eyes are locked upon the Silverguard.

"Should I have let him destroy me, before, all unaware?! Having his ear I could learn his goals, and guide him away from you, Zeke, and the others he wanted, and I did so. Yes, I brought him to the temple, as I could not leave it. We were, all of us, bedridden and helpless. You were believed far away and recovering, yet again! Had he known, he would have removed all that would best stand against him, with you elsewhere! No, Silverguard, I am not you, but someone had to be strong enough to stand against him!"

A finger jabs at him. "I am not blessed by a goddess as you! Tricked by Taara, yes; taken and beaten in the name of The Tyrant, yes; but never favored by one. Any and all that I ever gained was by my own hand, mind, and blood. Now I wager those to correct my mistakes, you would lecture me?! What would you have me do?"

"Master Atlon, you risk your life interfering here." Seldan's warning is controlled, quiet, even. "Much lies between us, and it will not be so lightly set aside. I understand the desire to confront the true enemy, but demons are masters of twisting intentions to their own vile ends. Aya has had this done to her once already, and does she tread not carefully, it will happen a second time."

Seldan turns then to Aya, speaking around Telamon. "No blessing from the gods is required to think, Mistress Aya, or consider whether the cost is worth the price. I wagered my soul to take Eclavdran down, and won, but could easily have lost. Without help unlooked-for, I would have done, many times over. You have more than you realize, and naught is required of the gods to have that."

"I was there when first Mithralla sought the Queen of Air and Darkness," he goes on. "Her price will not be light, and do you not meet it, you will face the Wild Hunt. Oaths are likely to be involved, and not small ones. Consider also that the demon will redouble her efforts, does she learn that you have such a weapon, and even do you manage to slay such a creature, the cults that summon her will find another to take her place. Do you not eradicate the cult, it will not matter how many you slay."

Cor'lana looks between Seldan and Aya, and her fiance in the middle of the two. She frowns. "Tel, please--just let them talk. It sounds like they have a lot to hash over about things way above both our heads and I don't think either of us can sway them otherwise," she requests politely, not loudly to disturb Seldan and Aya's conversation, but loud enough to get Telamon's attention.

Pothy looks rather guilty for upsetting Cor'lana--and perhaps upset at the turn of the conversation, too. He hops from Cor'lana's shoulder down to the ground and begins rooting around, foraging for little tidbits... Or perhaps shiny treasures to add to his collection back home.

Telamon fixes Seldan with a stare. "What, are you going to have a fight with her? Come to think of it... maybe you should. Just go ahead, punch the daylights out of each other. Father once said sometimes that was the only way to clear the air." He makes a deliberate, showy step out from between the two, back towards Cor'lana.

He flicks his eyes to Aya. "Sir Seldan makes a good point, though. I've met the Lord of the Wild Hunt. I would not want him showing up on my doorstep. Before you seek this... weapon, you might consider your alternatives."

The shifting Telamon draws Aya's eyes with him briefly, and she diverts slightly with his comment. "No, I do not seek a battle. I sought counsel." The pause is enough to vent some of the ire in her tone and features, or perhaps trigger a shift. Her eyes flick back to Seldan. "I do not make oaths lightly, and I do not expect a small price... but if I must wager my soul again against the Wild Hunt..." Her words trail off and her eyes lower, followed by a tilt down of her head.

"The cult must be destroyed, but this fiend..." her volume lowers a step and her shoulders sag from square "I witnessed Eclavdran's power over souls; watched him corrupt that of an innocent into a twisted fiend. I believe he did so again. The one that threatens all here, that wore my flesh, holds my memories... It is from me. A part of my own soul. It will ever threaten those around me, those I hold closest. It must be stopped. I can't..."

She looks up at Seldan anew, though her expression is contorted in pain rather than ire, her tone pleading. "I can't allow it to continue. I can't choose to do nothing. What alternatives exist? Any options, or wisdom, anything..." rather than meeting Seldan's gaze, her eyes search it. "Please, Seldan, just tell me what I should do."

A ghost of a smile plays around Seldan's lips. "Nor do I seek battle, but these matters should be discussed, for they are of great import, not least in protecting Aya. Be not so quick to silence a discussion, merely because it is heated, for things of great import may arise from it."

"Think you that I have seen less, Mistress Aya? Think you that I want not the same, for you, and all, to be freed of such?" His tone is still level, cool, but gentles, and is less hard. "Think not for a moment that that is so. Think not for one breath that I do not wish this fiend, and all his works, destroyed. Yet this do I also know, that he and his are wily, and not readily rooted out. To charge in blindly will be to fall into their trap, and that do I not wish for any, because does that happen, the victory is theirs."

"This will I suggest to you. Determine what you will offer to the Queen of Air and Darkness, in exchange for the use of such a weapon, and what oaths you are prepared to swear regarding its use and keeping. She will expect that much. The last time this was done, the oaths were met, and that will be of aid to you. The knowledge of the fae realms are not mine, and thus will I be of little aid in making such a choice, save only that which I witnessed the last time this was done."

"This will I warn you." This time, he turns to Telamon and Cor'lana. "The Queen of Air and Darkness possesses a great charm, and she can make you hers readily. True love's kiss will break her ensorcellment." That is for Ravenstongue.

Cor'lana takes in Seldan's words and she nods, looking resolutely at Telamon for a moment. "I think that means, if either of us are going, then we should both go," she says--a slight flicker of a smile as she knows what she's implying about their relationship in regards to 'true love's kiss.'

"But it sounded like Aya only wanted advice," she continues. "Madame Aya, if you do go, have your wits about you. Speak your intentions truly, do not give them your name when asked--say that they may call you by name instead, and don't eat the food or drink their drinks. And... if you happen to come across a large tree-home in the woods surrounded by gardens, tell Alud'rigan, the Feathered One, that you're my friend. Grandfather doesn't deal with the courts, so he will be of little aid regarding the Queen, but he can at least give you a safe harbor, I think, should you need one."

Telamon relaxes a little, as the chance of things coming to blows seems to pass by. "Lady Aya, I was there at the end, when you were restored. I know that fiend took delight in using your flesh to commit terrible crimes." He spreads his hands. "You are absolutely right to want this thing removed from the circles of the world permanently. I would only ask that you examine other options before you treat with the fey courts."

His lips quirk up at Seldan's advice. "True love's kiss. Well, I'm glad we've got that covered." His eyes glint. "But Lana speaks truly. Don't get caught up in the fey's shenanigans or you may find it hard to leave."

Aya blinks at Seldan's words, the motion banishing much of the excess wetness growing in her eyes. Instead, they hold a renewed brightness of a different sort as she straightens. Seldan receives a firm, slow nod. "I shall. Thank you, Silverguard." No rebuttal nor assurance that she had already considered such.

She then turns to the pair, a moment taken for a breath. "Your advice is most welcome, and I am grateful. I would not ask you to accompany as I would not risk others. This is my doing, and I should be the one to correct it. I will speak and tread carefully."

Back to Seldan, she does offer a different assurance, "Should I acquire it, I will be certain that it does not fall into wayward hands." Weapons of that sort are not exactly common, and she would probably want it returned, anyhow, but this is for Seldan's concern's not the fey queen's.

"Take someone with you," Seldan warns, holding his ground. "Her only other option to destroy it once and for all is to venture into the Iron Hells. A journey that is no small undertaking, and for which few possess the strength. I, too, hesitate to treat with the fey courts, but it may be her safest option." He turns back to Aya, though, and regards her steadily. "Still do I warn you, that the surest means to protect the innocent of the city from such as she is to ensure that such have no gateway into this place. Destroying her will not be enough, for always shall there be more minions of evil. Would you end the threat to Alexandria, the cult must be found and rooted out. That shall I undertake, such as I may, although I remind you all that my presence here in the city must be quiet, and variable."

Over on the bank, his greens are drying out nicely, but he seems to have forgotten them in the face of this.

But Pothy hasn't forgotten. His blue eyes lust after the greens that are sunbathing on the bank, the visual of those crisp leaves acting like a siren song to the white raven. What is he thinking in that little bird head of his? Is he dreaming of a spicy vinaigrette to drizzle on the leaves? Is he thinking about a playful lemon zest-infused olive oil and some croutons? Or is he thinking that they'd wilt nicely in a pan with some little bow-tie pastas and a light cream sauce?

"Snacks!" he declares, swooping down to the dried-out greens, where he plucks them off the ground...

And lands on Seldan's shoulder, very politely holding the greens out to him. Tail wagging. He didn't forget the greens!

Cor'lana tilts her head as she looks at Pothy and Seldan. "I... think he's trying to make sure you didn't forget about your foraged apothecary materials, Sir Seldan?" she says, putting a hand to her mouth as she grins.

Telamon nods slowly. "You know, Sir Seldan, Lady Aya... there's no reason we couldn't do both. It's not like there's a shortage of brave... or foolish..." he grins self-depreciatingly, "...adventurers here in Alexandria. Lady Aya should seek assistance from those who can handle the rigors of dealing with Quelynos, while those of us here can stalk the cult."

"The Iron Hells would find their machinations much harder if their profane acts are stymied here on Ea. As you say, Sir Seldan, there will always be evil in the world. But, much like sweeping a floor, it's better to do it rather than let the dirt pile up."

Then Pothy offers the greens to Seldan, and Tel can't help but chuckle. "Well, he's a better assistant than Costin Meadows, I'll give him that much."

"I will not be alone, Seldan," Aya assures him, albeit softly and with a hint of half-smile, "and neither will you. This one is a priority, but I would see all traces of him removed from Ea. I have no intentions of stopping at one nor ignoring his cult. The Iron Hells can also be dealt with, but they are a last resort and a mighty undertaking."

Pothy's helpful actions deepen Aya's smile and twist it more wry into a smirk. "I presume he does not like the greens, or prefers them cooked? Else they would be gone." The smirk grows at Telamon. "There is certainly no shortage of foolish in Alexandria. I would not ask either of you to go, but if you wished to of your own accord, your knowledge would be useful."

"I have no intention of moving alone, Mistress Aya. Well do I know such risks, and other tasks are mine as well, tasks that-" Seldan breaks off as Pothy lands on his bare shoulder, proffering the greens. The bird gets a nonplussed stare, but he accepts the greens. "I shall not forget the greens, and you have my thanks, Pothy." The greens in his hand get a look-over. "It is even as Mistress Aya says. There is no shortage of brave, and no shortage of foolish, within the Guild's confines. A good many are both. I shall not venture to Quelynos, but shall learn what I may of the cult, instead."

Pothy nods resolutely as Seldan takes the greens. "Special delivery!" he says, mimicking a rather chipper young woman, before he takes wing and flaps back over to Cor'lana's shoulder. His job here is done.

"Well, he wouldn't just steal Sir Seldan's food," Cor'lana explains with a bit of a bashful smile. "He's polite enough to ask. Although he doesn't usually just ask--he begs." She says this as she pats the white raven's head. He is placated... for now.

Cor'lana looks to Telamon for a moment, but she nods. "Yes. For now... I intend on having some fun in the sun today. We have a bit of time to decide what we're doing, and I don't exactly want to commit to any life-altering decisions while I'm wearing a bikini."

Telamon nods firmly. "We do not have to face any of the trials alone. We have not done so before, we need not do so now." He reaches out to take Lana's hand in his. "I think," he says calmly, "it would be a good time to start learning how to swim, in any case. You never know where the next adventure will take you."

He gives Lana a broad smile. "Sorry I can't help you learn beyond a dog-paddle, dear. I've many talents but sadly, I never did pick up swimming regularly."

Aya acknowledges Seldan with a nod. "You and I have stood apart on many things, and perhaps we still do... but we have also stood together on many, and will continue to do so." Cor'lana's comment causes a full smile to bloom. "I will not interrupt your fun any longer. Decisions can be made later.." Lastly, her eyes and smile pan to Telamon, "though I doubt HE has any issues with you doing most anything dressed in that. Enjoy the day, all of you." With that, she excuses herself and steps from the group. As she does not dash away and instead merely resumes her wet walk along the shore, perhaps she shall enjoy the day further, herself.

Seldan, oddly, remains reserved at Aya's remarks, saying only, "Her light upon your path. I, too, should begone, ere I am found here. Enjoy your swim." A very small smile, and he turns away towards his knapsack, now that he has mostly dried off. From it, he pulls a shirt, and the blue and silver open-front robe.

Cor'lana flushes a little, looking down at herself for a moment. "I mean, this is pretty tame compared to some of the stuff I've seen for sale in the stores," she says. "Goodbye Madame Aya, and let us know what the plan is from here."

Pothy just looks at Cor'lana for a moment, like he hasn't seen Telamon and Cor'lana being idiotic lovebirds beforehand. "Just don't drown!" he crows, before he takes off into the sky.

"No confidence in either of us," Cor'lana says with a sigh. "I hope you have an excellent day, Sir Seldan. One quiet and full of leafy greens for you."

She turns to Telamon and smiles. "Okay, well... Show me how to doggy-paddle, then, since that's what you know how to do..."

And from high up in the sky, Pothy keeps a watchful gaze over the two half-elves. He can't stop the demons from coming, but in the event the half-elves go in over their heads in the water... He might be able to help. Somehow--

Nope. He dives for the water and croaks happily as he catches a small fish in his mouth. The afternoon bird gets a snack, too, sometimes--if he's patient.