Die from a lesson, go find family

TraheyTrahey Member Posts: 39 Capable
Prequel to Trahey's journey to reclaim his heritage. Oops.
LOTS of aerochem and one temporary casualty. Little does the starring quartet know all this trauma's just for a race change.

*Atrium of the World Library.
Several large pillars mark the entrance of the World Library, framing the large wooden doors that stand on all sides of this impressive atrium. The doors are beautifully engraved with vines and leaves, providing an impressive contrast from the smooth pillars on its sides. Large clear windows are set into the walls, providing a dazzling view of the plateau before the world library as well as the mountain range that lies beyond it.

You have emoted: Trahey walks quietly into the hallway, eyes wide and unaware of anybody's presence until Alexandria appears.

Aramel nods to both you and Alexandria. "Greetings to you both," she says. "Here for some reading?"

You have emoted: "More exploring," Trahey answers. "I was so lost in Hallifax's library that I quite forgot this one."

Alexandria smiles pleasantly, saying in a faintly distracted tone, "Came to see if I could read more about Aerochemantics. It's all quite new to me, I feel very lost with it at the moment."

"It is a lot larger," Aramel says regretfully, "Though I think Hallifax's is better curated." At Alexandria's words, she visibly grows interested. "Oh, Aerochemantics?" she asks, sounding pleased. "Decided to leave the melding to Choros, then?"

You have emoted: Trahey wanders over to the windows, thoughts of exploration briefly quelled by the breathtaking scenery. He breathes deep as though to taste the air outside the panes, and his shoulders relax.

Alexandria looks up from her thoughtful stare, realising belatedly she is being spoken to. "Oh, perhaps. I heard great-grandfather was going to as well. There's only so much room for melders. Especially when Choros comes charging into my meld and breaks it." She scowls faintly at the last.

Aramel looks faintly amused. "You'll be glad to know that what goes around comes around," she says. "I made my first attempt at melding last month and managed to accidentally break Choros's meld, while an Aquamancer was attempting to break both of ours." She beckons to both Alexandria and you. "Shall we see if there is a reading nook somewhere?"

You have emoted: Trahey belatedly notices Aramel and gives a nod, leaving another glance for the windows.

*Hall of Arcane Knowledge.
An eerie mood fills this wing of the World Library, which contains a lot of the dangerous and rare volumes on arcane knowledge, a true treasure trove for those who seek to understand that which is not easily understood. The light appears less bright here and certain parts of the hall are uncomfortable to stay in for very long, but whether this is merely imagination or some actual energy remains undetermined. Large charts showing graphs detailing various workings of energy and ritual  cover parts of the walls and large tomes lie open on tables showing horribly complex figures and pictures, left open in a haphazard way that only the student of these works will be able to make sense of. 

Aramel settles into a nearby chair. "I think we shall find some of what we need here," she says. "However, if it is basic aerochemantics you wish to learn about, I might prove of some assistance also."

You have emoted: With a rustle of his coat, Trahey disappears among the shelves for a while, tracing the spines of tomes with a curious hand.

Alexandria finds an unoccupied chair before responding. "Ah, well, I'm afraid I've only worked out some of the more defensive capabilities so far. I'm really quite uncertain about the rest of the skills."

"The offensive side of aerochemantics is actually much simpler, though requiring some finesse," Aramel remarks, placing a small beaker of chemantic compounds on the table between you. "It's all a matter of mixing the reagents in the right amounts."

Alexandria looks at the beaker with blatant curiousity, her expression showing some concentration. "Very unlike Aeromancy, then, I suppose."

"Right," Aramel says. "Quite unlike. There are three primary ways you operate, as an Aerochemancer. The first is your aerochemantic fields. These are defenses that last for a day or so, and there are five of them - one for each reagent, and one static field. Try putting them up now - you will need to put them up before you go into combat."

Alexandria releases some wisps of cirrus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.
Alexandria releases some wisps of stratus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.
Alexandria releases some wisps of cumulus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.
Alexandria releases some wisps of altostratus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.

Aramel Shevat says, "Right, and then there's one that uses all of them - static field."

Aramel gestures briefly to the air around her, and her fields pulse briefly. "Once you've put them up, you can AEROWORK CONCENTRATE to make sure they all fire at once," she says. "It's like Windstorm that way, except you don't need power."

Alexandria nods as she listens and watches. "Ah, yes, that I understand. Might I learn a little more from you while you explain?"

Aramel Shevat says, "Of course."

Aramel puts out a hand tentatively towards Alexandria, drawing back as Alexandria's fields hum warningly. "The way your fields work is that any time someone attacks you, they will have a chance of being afflicted by your fields," she says, demonstrating.

Aramel coughs softly.

Aramel Shevat says, "Did I say fields? I mean your clouds."

Alexandria mixes together precise amounts of aerochemantic reagents, the strange solution scattering around her body in a field of static that fills the air with an ozone tang.

A rush of static energy caresses your skin as electricity rips through the air and disappears into the firmament.
The illusion cast by Aramel's lightwoven stole of shimmering luminescence ripples and falls away, revealing her.

Aramel Shevat says, "All right. So, you can focus your fields on me to make them attack me."

Aramel releases some wisps of stratus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.
Aramel releases some wisps of cirrus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.
Aramel releases some wisps of cumulus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.

A rush of static energy caresses your skin as electricity rips through the air and disappears into the firmament.
The plasma within Aramel's ionic cloud flares up at Alexandria, knocking her back.

Aramel releases some wisps of altostratus from her batteries, creating a cloudy field that dissipates on the winds.

Thin, wispy clouds from Aramel's cirrus field brush across Alexandria's skin, causing her to wince.
Alexandria sips lucidity slush from an overcast vial of churning storms.

Aramel Shevat says, "AEROWORK FOCUS me, or focus none when you don't wish to attack anyone."

Aramel inhales the ragged clouds spinning in Alexandria's altostratus field, gagging as her airway constricts.
Aramel eats a wafer of purity dust.

Lightning strobes within the clouds of Alexandria's cumulus field, washing out Aramel's features in blasts of light.
Aramel sips lucidity slush from a glimmering crystal vial.

Thin, wispy clouds from Alexandria's cirrus field brush across Aramel's skin, causing her to wince.

Scintillating arcs of electricity crackle through the stratus field around Alexandria, slashing across Aramel's skin in a dance of searing brilliance.

A thick stream of positrons from the cloud around Aramel funnel into Alexandria's mouth like a cloud of dust, annihilating her lungs from the inside.
Alexandria sips lucidity slush from an overcast vial of churning storms.

"So far we have talked about fields and clouds," Aramel says. "But there are two more factors in aerochemantics. One is your beam generator - have you put a focal tip on it yet?"

Deftly, Alexandria's skilled hands bend high-grade silver into a cone, tempering the metal with aerochemantic reagents to withstand extreme electrical force. With a satisfied grunt, she snaps her focal tip onto the business end of her beam generator.

Aramel beams broadly.

"The beam generator does a high amount of damage if you GENERATOR HYPERBEAM someone," Aramel says. "However, the damage is reduced if they have the galvanism defence. Happily, hyperbeam does strip the defence, so two aerochemancers can do a good deal of damage since the first one will strip galvanism."

With a fond smile at a noble unicorn, Aramel remarks, "It also helps if you have a beast who can poison your enemies with ibululu simultaneously with your beam. The enemy will not have time to cure it before he is damaged."

Marquessa Alexandria Shevat, Vivacious Rhapsody says, "Oh good. I can teach both of my beasts."

It is now the 7th of Roarkian, 534 years after the Coming of Estarra.

Aramel stares at Alexandria with a burning intensity.

With a loud hiss, a noble unicorn spits a stream of foul liquid into the face of Alexandria.

Aramel levels her beam generator at Alexandria, unleashing arcs of lightning that rake her body with burning lances of energy.
Alexandria sips a potion of healing from an overcast vial of churning storms.

Wryly, Marquessa Alexandria Shevat, Vivacious Rhapsody says, "I will have to get some poison though."

Aramel Shevat says, "Ibululu is plentiful, and not too expensive, although beasts do tend to run out fairly fast."

A misty sidiak bird with fluttering wings of metallic hues trots in with head high, butting Alexandria gently with her head.

With a loud hiss, a noble unicorn spits a stream of foul liquid into the face of Alexandria.
Tiny silver spheres skim around Aramel, slowing time as she enters Alexandria's dynomatic cloud.

(Hallifax): Nelras (from the Aetherways) says, "Greetings, Hallifax."
(Hallifax): Alexandria says, "Hello, Quintessence!"
(Hallifax): You say, "Good morning."
(Hallifax): Nelras (from the Aetherways) says, "I trust that all is well this morning?"
(Hallifax): Aramel says, "Indeed. We are merely engaging in an impromptu aerochemantics lesson."
(Hallifax): You say, "I hear some strange sounds coming from the library but besides that, yes."
(Hallifax): Alexandria says, "Quite well so far. I am learning about Aerochemantics."

Aramel Shevat says, "You'll run through altostratus quite quickly, since each hyperbeam blow consumes one altostratus reagent."

Aramel Shevat says, "Try it now."

Aramel urges Alexandria onwards.

(Hallifax): Nelras (from the Aetherways) says, "Ah, wonderful."

The illusion cast by Aramel's lightwoven stole of shimmering luminescence ripples and falls away, revealing her.
Alexandria levels her beam generator at Aramel, unleashing arcs of lightning that rake her body with burning lances of energy.

Aramel nods in approval. "Wonderful," she says. "Now, we've spoken about fields and clouds, and you don't really need to worry about those in the heat of combat - but it is necessary to speak now of catalysts, or what the uninitiated call 'bombs'."

Alexandria's eyes light up with a spark of mischief at this, and she sits up attentively.

With a swirl of her fingers, Aramel draws out skeins of two of her catalysts. "The one I use most often is called 'cloudkill'," she murmurs softly. "It hinders enemies from leaving the room, which I find to be useful. Be careful - if you disturb the catalysts, you might set off the explosion."

Alexandria ponders the situation.

With a deliberate gesture Alexandria pulls the clouds surrounding her into a tight, roiling sphere that surges with energy. Dramatically, she throws her hands wide to send a maelstrom swirling outward in a raging storm.

Aramel Shevat says, "The next one I want to speak of is Aurora. I don't use this one much, since I find the delayed movement from Cloudkill to be more useful, but - oh. Oh."

A rush of static energy caresses your skin as electricity rips through the air and disappears into the firmament.
You are afflicted with timewarp.

The raging storm engulfs you, lightning pulsing within the dark mass of clouds. The faintest whiff of ozone hangs in the air before the clouds are rent by slashing blades of lightning.
Lightning slams into your body, raking you with burning tendrils. Your screams of pain turn to choking gasps as the clouds rush in and fill your lungs like wet sand.
You are afflicted with sensitivity.

With a deliberate gesture Aramel pulls the clouds surrounding her into a tight, roiling sphere that surges with energy. Dramatically, she throws her hands wide to send a maelstrom swirling outward in a raging storm.

The raging storm engulfs you, lightning pulsing within the dark mass of clouds. The faintest whiff of ozone hangs in the air before the clouds are rent by slashing blades of lightning.
Lightning slams into your body, raking you with burning tendrils. Your screams of pain turn to choking gasps as the clouds rush in and fill your lungs like wet sand.
In the final moment before death, your muscles seize up as electricity courses through your nerves, swallowing air in futile little gasps as darkness takes you.

...

You place your palms against the shimmering surface of the Portal of Fate, and cry out to the Fates that your soul shard is that of a trill and you were born into the wrong body. A bright blue flame envelops you and painlessly incinerates your body. Your soul floats momentarily within the Portal of Fate as your destiny is rewoven into that of a trill. Your body now matching that of your soul shard, you step out of the portal to confidently walk the path of a trill.
Your race is now that of Trill.

Long, thick feathers of a rich brown sheen freely cascade down Trahey's back, over the apparent absence of wings, reaching almost to his waist like a protective cloak. He stands at a little over seven feet, strongly hinting he is a feathered trill. His eyes are a sunlit, smoky grey, his cheeks ruddy, and his bushy eyebrows are often raised with mischievous curiosity. The youth is lithely built and slightly tanned from frequent hours in the sun, but the slight flecks of ink on his fingers as well as the unexpectedly intense gleam in his eyes suggest other facets to his character. He walks with the truefavour of Czixi.

He is wearing:
a pale great coat of the Sentinels
a Sentinel Company watch gleaming silver upon his left wrist
a broad iron ring
armoured boots of dark leather
a nebulous pauldron of trailing mist, capricious tendrils spilling from his right shoulder
a desaturated stole of rough patchwork, its embrace both softening and sobering his countenance
a scale jacket of mirrored bronze
paned, loose-fitting pants of blue and pale grey tucked neatly into his boots
a beret hat of soft white wool as a jaunty, rather than jarring, addition.

The colours in the Portal of Fate swirl about soothingly.

(Hallifax): You say, "WHAT was that?"
(Hallifax): Aramel says, "Er."
(Hallifax): You say, "I think I've a right to ask!"
(Hallifax): Aramel says, "It was a catalytic chain reaction that went out of control. I am terribly sorry."
(Hallifax): Alexandria says, "I appear to have been insufficiently careful in my handling of aerochemantic catalysts. I am so sorry."
(Hallifax): Nelras says, "Insufficiently careful?"
(Hallifax): You say, "Look, I'm sure all this is a regular thing with you Fated, but even so... even so..."

*A platform overlooking Hallifax.
A frail railing is the only protection offered against a deadly plummet at this walkway that offers an alluring view that beckons one close to the edge to better enjoy the sight. The city below displays a glorious canvas of precise angles and refracting crystal, a glorious sight in itself. To the north rise majestic mountains whose combination of sheer rocky falls and snowy caps creates an imposing sight. On a clear day, even Avechna's towering peak is visible far in the distance. An unobtrusive sign hanging on the railing simply states: Ward 1 Precinct 1. A clear crystal plinth stands here prominently, catching the eye of all who move past. 

Nelras says to you, "Are you..." He shakes his head. "No, I suppose you are not alright. I am sorry that I could not get back to prime in time to bring you back to life."

You have emoted: Trahey curls up on the walkway, pulling his knees up below his chin. He stares out at the skies, looking not unlike a spooked child.

Nelras walks carefully to stand beside you. Quietly, he says, "For all of my time in Hallifax, I have not witnessed such an accident. I am sorry that it had to happen to you."

You have emoted: Trahey looks over his singed coat and whips it off in agitation, unaware of the protruding, crooked pair of wings this would reveal.

You have emoted: "I know I'm supposed to be strong, so if you'd please refrain from - " Nelras's words register properly, and Trahey blinks.

You say, "I'm sorry. About that. I was just..."

Nelras gives you a reassuring smile and says, "You are strong." He turns to look out over the railing and down to the city below. "For all that you are strong however, no, I will not refrain from caring."

You have emoted: Away from Nelras's gaze, Trahey blinks once, twice. The silence stretches long, during which the younger trill's eyes search Nelras's profile, and then, longingly, his healthy pair of wings. His voice is small when he does speak. "You... do?"

Turning back to look at you when he speaks, Nelras says, "Yes, I do care." He pauses for a moment, clearly noticing your wings yet choosing to say nothing on that subject. "I do hope that my actions have not been such that it comes as a complete shock to you that I might care."

You have emoted: Trahey shakes his head blankly. "I just... I didn't dare hope," he says. "Hoping does hurt. Even me," he laughs weakly. His eyes have noticed the movement of Nelras's own, and he dips his head. "One day I'll know why they... are the way they are. I did hope to one day fix them somehow. I've been afraid of heights, of flying, for some time now."

Curious, Nelras asks, "You are afraid of heights, yet when you are hurt your instincts bring you to one of the highest places in the city?" He shakes his head. "Hope can bring pain, but the agony inflicted by having no hope at all is far, far worse. You should have hope, Trahey, and one day you will find a way to fix your wings. Tell me this, if you would. Would you fly again, if your wings did allow for it?"

You have emoted: Trahey's eyes do not quite fill, but they are bright as they look upon Nelras - hints of sunny gold glimmering from their depths. "Yes," he whispers. "I once was afraid. And this fear feels out of place, as though I never used to have it, far, far back. I would. If someone could guide me, I would."

Nelras's eyes meet yours and he gives you a gentle smile. "I will guide you," he says without hesitation. "If you find yourself able to use your wings again, I will help you to fly."

You have emoted: Trahey finally stands. He makes his way to Nelras on now-stable feet, standing shyly about a foot from him. "I'd like that," he says, finally pushing past whatever has stopped him until now to add, "...Father."

Blinking a little quicker but smiling all the same, you say, "I think I'm ready to come out of my corner now."

Nelras's expression grows momentarily inscrutable before a gentle smile crosses his lips as he looks you up and down. He meets your gaze once more and nods his head.

You begin the process of considering Nelras and Xeii as your parents. During the next two Lusternian years, you may FAMILY REJECT PARENTS if you realise these aren't your parents.

You have emoted: Trahey falls in line behind Nelras without asking or being asked, shrugging into his coat again. His face is quiet, but his eyes still shine.
Poke the Hand of Doom for commissions.

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  • AlexandriaAlexandria Member Posts: 218 Gifted
    Continuing on from Alexandria's point of view, with some minor redactions where I lost logs.


    Alexandria gasps in horror, standing up immediately. "Oh dear. Oh my."
    "You've set off the catalyst!" Aramel exclaims. "I did say to be careful. Oh dear... Nelras will kill me."
    Alexandria's wings ruffle erratically as her discomfort is clear. "Or me. Oh dear. Oh dear."
    <Nelras enters>
    Nelras looks around quickly, trying to see any sign of what has happened here.
    Alexandria shrinks back a little at Nelras's appearance, frantically shifting as she tries to calm herself down. She says to Nelras, "Oh dear, I am so sorry. Mother was teaching me about catalysts..."
    (Hallifax): Trahey says, "WHAT was that?"
    (Hallifax): Aramel says, "Er."
    (Hallifax): Trahey says, "I think I've a right to ask!"
    (Hallifax): Aramel says, "It was a catalytic chain reaction that went out of control. I am terribly sorry."
    Nelras glances questioningly at Aramel, before turning his attention to you. He says nothing to you however, instead staring at you as if waiting for something.
    (Hallifax): You say, "I appear to have been insufficiently careful in my handling of aerochemantic catalysts. I am so sorry."
    (Hallifax): Nelras says, "Insufficiently careful?"
    Quickly, Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says, "Are you both unhurt?"
    Alexandria fans her wings frantically, looking about for the exit. "Horrendously alarmed and possibly not likely to try that on -anyone- again soon," she answers in a rush, some of  her words blurring together as she speaks.
    Unreadable, Aramel says shortly, "I was standing on the other side of the direction of the explosion."(Hallifax): Trahey says, "Look, I'm sure all this is a regular thing with you Fated, but even so... even so..."
    A slight frown comes to Nelras's face as he glances from Aramel to you and back again. "I should go and speak with him," he says quietly, before turning to leave.
    <Aramel and Alex chat a little, Aramel being flippant and Alex panicking - my computer crashed and I lost a bit of the log :( >
    <Nelras asks to speak to Alex as Aramel and Trahey go find tea>
    When Nelras turns to face you, there is none of the anger one might expect. Instead, his expression appears to be perfectly calm. When he speaks, he barely raises his voice above a whisper, "It was an accident, yes," he asks, his impassive demeanor faltering slightly as a slight note of hope enters his voice. "Please, tell me it was an accident and that you truly did as Aramel said."
    Alexandria's face pales even more than her usual fair complexion, her eyes clearly displaying the tempest of emotions otherwise absent from her demeanor. "Of -course- it was an accident. Why would you even..." She draws back away from Nelras, her wings curling a little around her as she attempts to retain her calm. "That you had to ask at all suggests you think much worse of me than I had thought," she whispers, unable to produce any more volume if her stricken expression is anything to go by.
    Nelras blinks, shaking his head. "No," he protests, glancing around quickly. "No, that is not..." He stops, muttering something to himself before taking a deep breath. He looks at you once more, waits for a moment, and says, "No. I do not think that you would ever do such a thing, Alexandria. Never would I think that."
    Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate whispers, "I saw him die, Alexandria, and you were not the one to kill him. Aramel was."
    Alexandria breathes deeply for a few moments, as her expression and demeanor return to something more normal. Choosing not to comment on the rest, she says to Nelras, her voice still faint, "Of course it was an accident. Mother was showing me how to use the catalysts. I thought Trahey was still looking around, and for all that mother was the final blow, it was as much me experimenting foolishly as anything else." She looks at Nelras with a depth of sadness showing clearly as she says, "I am so sorry."
    Nelras relaxes visibly at this. "Thank you," he whispers, allowing a slight smile to return to his face as he looks at you. "I am sorry if it sounded like I was accusing you. I am just far too familiar with...experiments, gone awry." He shakes his head. "Shall we join the others for tea now?"
    Alexandria remains quiet as she responds, "Yes, tea would be quite welcome right now."
    <Alex follows Nelras back to find Aramel and Trahey>
    Aramel shakes her head, mutely. "No, I am quite all right," she murmurs quietly, turning to look at Trahey more directly,taking in the long brown feathers and the smoky grey gaze as she studies his countenance. She turns away as Nelras and you arrive, though, and inclines her head to them.
    Nelras inclines his head politely as he enters the teahouse. He favours Trahey with a slight smile, before asking Aramel, "Will we be remaining here?"
    Aramel Shevat says to Nelras, "If you like, though we might also remove elsewhere, as I have acquired the tea you requested in a bottle to go."
    Nelras nods his head at Aramel. "Thank you," he says, before turning to Trahey. "There is somewhere else where we might speak, if you wish it, although we might also remain here if you would be more comfortable with that."
    Trahey speaks up. "I'm sorry. I don't think I can stay for tea after all. Sleep calls."
    Trahey gives the world a smart salute.
    Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says to Trahey, "Fair winds."
    Aramel waves goodbye at Trahey.
    <Trahey leaves.>
    Nelras stares at the spot where Trahey had stood moments ago. He blinks and, turning to Aramel, says, "Might we perhaps save that particular tea for when we meet with Trahey next?"
    "Of course," Aramel says, a quiet look of comprehension on her face. "From your tea choice, I take it that you no longer were concerned about the subject you spoke to me about the other month?"
    Nelras nods his head at Aramel. "It would be a relief to know the things which we discussed, but in the end I believe it may matter less than I had thought. After all, given the conclusion we reached at the time, the two matters might remain separate even if the first is of some concern."
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka says to you,  "So do I get a teacup this time?"
    Aramel blinks incredulously at Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka.
    Alexandria blinks rapidly at Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka, seemingly surprised. "You actually want tea?"
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka glances at Aramel, then ignores her reaction in favour of speaking to you. "Of course not. Just a cup."
    A faint smile crosses Nelras's lips as he glances at Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka, but he says nothing.
    Alexandria tilts her head to one side, staring at Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka.  "Sure. Why not." Continuing under her breath, she adds, "You probably just want to throw it at someone to entertain yourself."
    Pondering a beryl aerial tea cup, Aramel says, "I do have a spare cup, somewhere, though I might save these ones for a special occasion..."
    Alexandria peers inside an antique purse of silver-beaded silk, rummaging through the contents. "I'm sure I have a few more in here..."
    "Ahah!" you exclaim triumphantly.
    Holding on to the cup for the moment, you say to Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka, "Do you promise not to break it on anybody?"
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka huffs a little, only managing to look adorable in her mock outrage. "Why would I need to promise that? I would never do anything outrageous."
    With a slight smile, Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says to Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka, "If it is so outrageous to think that you would do such a thing, then surely it would be an easy promise to make?"
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka eyes Nelras suspiciously and moves towards him, circling her cloud around his head once before saying, "Oh, fine. I promise." She mutters disagreeably, keeping her words to herself.
    Aramel hides a smile as she glances down. "In any case," she murmurs, "If we are not to have that special tea today... would either of you care for fruit tea?"
    Nelras keeps one eye on Elliphira as she circles around him, before turning back to Aramel as she speaks. "That would be lovely," he says with a smile.
    Alexandria says to Aramel with the smallest of smiles, "Fruit tea is always agreeable."
    Accepting the cup from Aramel, Nelras carefully takes a seat on one of the nearby chairs. He shifts his wings slightly, allowing himself to sit more comfortably while still maintaining a proper posture.
    Alexandria grips a beryl aerial tea cup between both hands as she settles into her chair, sitting rather stiffly. She says to Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka, who was peering over the edge of her cloud, "Thinking of testing gravity?"
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka sits up abruptly, clearly startled as she says, "No!"
    Alexandria glances at Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka, expression full of disbelief, and turns to Aramel to say, "Have you ever been... privileged enough to see her behaving like this before?"
    Mutely, Aramel shakes her head. "She is usually rather quiet around me, for some reason," she observes.
    Nelras says "That is most unusual, if my experience is anything to go by." He glances over at Elliphira with a slight smile, before taking a small sip from his cup. "It is, perhaps, for the best however."
    With a hint of her usual liveliness, Alexandria says to Aramel, "Once, it was only me who was subjected to her... moods. Of late, she's taken to bothering Nelras frequently." She aims an apologetic glance in Nelras's direction, turning her face back to Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka to watch her antics.
    With a slight smile, Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says to you, "She has not been too much of a bother as of late, although certainly some of the things she says are unexpected."
    "Poor Nelras," Aramel murmurs with a smile. She continues to regard Nelras with a concerned look. "I hope our mishap earlier did not... unduly impact matters, then, given what you have told me about your decision."
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka floats around in lazy circles, drifting by Nelras frequently. "So what was all that vagueness about before? I could hear you from Alexa's hands, and it couldn't have been any less boring of a conversation as it was."
    Aramel winces briefly, just managing to hide her expression in her teacup.
    Meeting Aramel's gaze, Nelras pauses for a moment to consider his words before speaking. "It did not impact matters unduly," he says quietly, before turning to Elliphira with a quizzical look on his face. "I do not recall any particular vagueness," is his reply. "We were talking about having tea, and I thought that a specific blend of tea might have been most suitable."
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka perks up at this, smiling happily at Nelras as she says, "How kind of you to provide an opportunity so soon."
    "What are you," Nelras begins, before understanding begins to dawn. "I have not said anything that is untrue," he protests. "I was ensuring that a specific tea was obtained."
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka gives a gurgling laugh at this, zipping close to Nelras to gently poke him on the nose with one gnarled claw.
    Aramel leans back out of Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka's way, as if glad to be bypassed for now.
    Alexandria smiles faintly into her tea cup, relaxing her grip upon it so she can take a sip.
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka roams away, investigating every corner as she gurgles a happy tune about omission and lies.
    His chair keeping him from backing away, Nelras simply stares at Elliphira. "Was that quite necessary," he asks, before taking a small sip from his cup once the quokka has moved away.
    Elliphira the Cloud-Riding Quokka sits up straight, turns to face Nelras from across the room, and responds simply, "Yes."
    Aramel smiles faintly at Nelras. "Well, I suppose it is not to be a secret, after all," she says.  "Paperwork rarely is, you know."
    Alexandria lifts her gaze to the dome above, remaining silent.
    Still looking at Elliphira, Nelras gives a quiet sigh. His attention returns to the conversation at hand and he says, "Indeed, I suppose that is true. I have spoken to you both already about the possibility that Trahey might be one of us, have I not?"
    Alexandria nods in agreement, as her gaze returns to watch her pet fly about in dizzying movements.
    Aramel nods, though she remains silent for a time. At length, she says, "You were not sure, when I last spoke to you. Have you decided then, that regardless of that question, the eventual outcome you desire would be the same?"
    Nelras nods his head in response to Aramel's question. "Indeed I have," he says with a slight smile.  "I would prefer of course that nothing unsettling is discovered, but even if things are not entirely as they seem, we were both in agreement that Trahey would not have been involved." He glances around the table, letting his gaze settle on each person present before moving on. "I said that the most unfortunate incident which had occurred had not unduly influenced my decision, and it has not influenced it unduly. All the same, the conversation which followed it did lead to certain realisations."
    Aramel tilts her head at Nelras, as if inviting further comment. "Alexandria and I were busy trying to clean up in the World Library during that," she says.
    Alexandria murmurs into a beryl aerial tea cup, "Panicking. The word you were looking for was panicking. I'll allow you might not have been, though," she says to Aramel.
    With slight amusement, Aramel Shevat says to you, "The phrase I am looking for is 'covering up our tracks', my dear."
    You say to Aramel, "With family? How rude."
    Your eyes sparkle with amusement.
    Nelras says, "When I finally reached Trahey, I found him sat on one of the walkways near to the top of the city. He was saying to himself that he should be strong, and asked me to refrain from..." He stops suddenly, turning to Aramel and fixing her with his gaze. "Covering up your tracks," he asks, clearly trying to keep all emotion from his voice.
    Aramel Shevat says to Nelras, "The explosion managed to take out several shelves of arcane books, alongside catching poor Trahey in its radius. I did not wish for the Librarian to subsequently ban Hallifaxians from the stacks."
    Nelras appears relieved as the meaning behind Aramel's words becomes clear. Shaking his head, he says, "Where was I? I was speaking to Trahey, and while he did not finish his sentence I could only assume that he was planning to tell me not to worry, or to care."
    Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says, "For my part, I realized that I did care, perhaps more than I had thought. And I realized that no, I would not stop caring."
    Alexandria murmurs faintly, "Caring is always good." She gives a small smile, then falls silent.
    Aramel regards Nelras intently. "Trahey still seems a little bit... I don't think wary is the correct word, but it is as close as I can manage," she observes. "Sometimes I feel that he is not quite at ease around some of us, for all that he is usually a cheerful young man."
    "He is," Nelras says quietly, before taking a longer drink as he considers his words. "I know a little, perhaps, of the reasons why, and I believe that he will come to feel more at ease with us. He did not arrive at the Portal in very good circumstances I am afraid, and I suspect that he still feels torn between the life he has now and the people he has lost."
    Nelras sips black tea from a beryl aerial tea cup.
    Alexandria clasps her cup in one hand as she settles further in her chair, allowing her rigidness to fade away. "I had an unusual conversation with Trahey, in that the more discomforting the subject matter, the smoother the conversation flowed. I can see why the matters he raised could have some heavy impacts, even many years later."
    Thoughtfully, Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says, "It may be that he is not used to the restraint we usually attempt to show and feels uncomfortable attempting to act in the same way. By being more genuine with him, even if that may have led to some unfortunate topics of discussion, he may have felt more able to speak freely."
    Aramel takes a sip of her tea. "If nothing else, you welcoming him into the House as your child will help with that," she says to Nelras. "It is possible to be candid with family, in a way that would be egregious to a relatively distant acquaintance."
    With a slight smile on his lips, Nelras replies, "Indeed, I do hope that it will." He shifts his wings behind him and, a few moments later, says, "I do hope that you do not believe me to be acting with undue haste in this matter. It seemed an opportune time for such things, as we continued to talk, yet I am aware of our own discussions regarding such things."
    Aramel shakes her head. "There is plenty of time to consider the matter still," she says, with a wry glance at you. "Besides, I am no stranger to Trahey, and I do not believe you will come to regret it."
    Alexandria's lips twitch slightly as she agrees with Aramel's assessment. "Plenty of time, indeed."
    Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says to Aramel, "I suppose that there is plenty of time at that, although I do not believe that I will come to regret this either."
    You say, "I'm afraid I must depart."
    Aramel Shevat says, "It does seem like a good time for us to go about our other business. I am glad we were able to meet, though, even if Trahey was not able to join us."
    With a gentle smile, Quintessence Nelras Shevat, Her Silvern Legate says to you, "Fair winds, and may you know clear skies."
    You get up off a low, cushioned chair of beryl-hued cedar.
    Aramel gets up off a low, cushioned chair of beryl-hued cedar.
    You say, "Fair winds and clear skies."

    Czixi, the Welkin murmurs, "Fight on, My Effervescent Sylph. I will be with you as you do."

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