31st of Sunsebb 383 ONT 1:13am, Embassy of Redwall, Eiradun, Argyle
Please Listen While Reading
Thaden looked up from his mediation and locked eyes with Master Meagre; how long the Master had been present Thaden was unsure, he nodded alerting him that he was now awake and present as well.
“Did you see it?” Meagre asked his voice calm. Thaden gave a slight nod
“The confrontation, yes; but not the outcome I am afraid. Shepard, Thrawn and his apprentice will attack the Embassy” Meager stood and began to pace the room
“It is not too late” the Guard Mouse offered, we could retreat, choose another time, another location” Thaden could tell Meagre did not agree with this, but his conscious required he voice the option.
“No,” Thaden said “We will never have the warning, or the assembled allies we have now; we must make a stand at some point, and I see no other like options” Meagre nodded
“If we fail, he will march on Arbor-Portum and sack it, then take all his forces to wipe out the last of the Fur and Foot Nation. Four Guard Mice, against Shepard and his host…. I do not know”
“It will be both an end and a beginning… Shepard will not survive this battle; should that mean we are extinct afterwards… so be it; but his reign has come to an end” Thaden said rising to his feet “and we are not four… my apprentice is prepared, ze will take up our fight… Five Guard Mice, and Steward of Bendu, and …” he sighed not believing what he was about to say “St Fargazer is not completely without merit, I will gladly take his aid and fight by his side in the battle”
“Master Thaden! You would trust and Amphib of Bogna?” Meagre did not try to hide his shock
“I ask that you place your trust in my judgement and extend it to him, St. Fargazer and I disagree on many things philosophically, but he will not betray us; he is not corrupted” Meagre appraised Thaden for a long time, before he at last nodded
“Ok then, we fight beside him, and the others on the 35th and we see what the next age shall look like. If you have letters or final words that need sending, make your perpetrations accordingly” Meagre said bowing deeply, Thaden returned the bow
“It has been an honour learning from you Master Meagre, thank you… for everything” Thaden said, a lump in his throat
“I regret only that I was not with you when you attained the rank of Master, Thaden of Rootwallow. I am so very proud of you” the two looked finished their bow and locked eyes again, both could see tears. Both knew the other had seen more than he was letting on; both knew the other could not or would not share what they had seen. The embraced each other in a hug, something not customarily done by Masters of Ashla, but more reminiscent of brothers.
31st of Sunsebb 383 ONT 9:13am, Embassy of Redwall, Eiradun, Argyle
Thaden approachedLux de Umbra as she practiced and trained outside of the Embassy. Seeing his approach, she quickly shifted forms and became Autumn. He smiled and bowed to her, she gave him an odd look, bowing was not their custom but returned the bow in-kind.
“good morning Thaden, what’s up?” she asked cheerily, there had been a cool breeze that morning in Eiradun with a thin dusting snow, the day was bright and things had the feeling of new beginnings.
“Good morning Autumn, I know it may be asking a lot with your new role, but I was hoping… well” his tongue was tied, again not the norm for their relationship “with your permission I have an important errand I need to run… I was hoping perhaps I might travel with Aury if possible” he stammered out. Lux smiled at the little Waylen thinking him silly for being so worried about a trivial request
“Of course Thaden, is it far? Would you rather I take the form of a hawk to speed us there?” the Waylen shook his head
“it is not far, and if it is ok with you, I think Aury Cat would be best for this errand” she was already shifting into her cat form as he spoke. He grinned, running his hand through the fur above her head as he walked around to he flank and mounted
“is there danger? Should we invite any of the others to accompany us?”
“nothing we can’t handle” he said as he put his feet to her flanks, the two began a ride. Out from the Embassy the left veering through the district of Grandview and into the Temple District, from there they entered the gardens of Eiradun. Thaden chatted ideally to Aury as they rode, speaking in a manner he had not since their bond had been broken. He spoke of young Tander, of how much he liked the new ship; and how he thought his apprentices training was coming along. The two laughed together about the Pine Nuts that he had assured were in the conference room the other day. Aury found herself joining the conversation, telling him about her time with Talib and Illiate, about her memories coming back. They rode for near two hours before Aury realized they were almost back at the embassy. When they arrived and he dismounted she looked at him oddly.
“What of your errand?” she queried, he smiled at her before touching his forehead to hers in a sign of affection
“it is done Aury… you have my eternal thanks” he kissed her forehead and bowed once more before turning and entering the Embassy once more. Leaving Aury confused, but with an uncomfortable sinking feeling in her heart.
31st of Sunsebb 383 ONT 2:14pm, Embassy of Redwall, Eiradun, Argyle
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Thaden and Thalion entered the great room together. The walls of the room were covered with tapestries of Guard Mice from across the ages. The two came to the centre of the room, where two pillows lay, between them was a small table. On the table sat a steaming black tea pot and two white handleless cups, beside the table was a small package. Thaden ushered Thalion to sit as he took his own seat sitting crisscross on a pillow. He poured the tea for Thalion and before taking a cup himself. The two sat in silence for a long time, watching the steam dance from their cups, the sweet aroma filling the room.
“As you know, I am not a rich Waylen. The path of the Guard, is not one that leads to riches; and so where I might wish, and you are more than deserving of, the pomp and ceremony that you lavished upon your squire; I am afraid I cannot give you that.” Thaden raised a hand to stop Thalion’s objections “Thalion Alfirn, a Master begins crafting a cloak for his apprentice the day he takes them on; our circumstance is different, and instead, here is what I offer.” He passed the small package to Thalion, who carefully placed his tea on the table and opened it. Thalion opened it and found a well mended cloak. Thaden’s old blue cloak was in his hands. “With this gift,” Thaden began in a solemn tone “I mark you a full member of the Guard, welcome Thalion, May the Guard Prevail!” Thalion was speechless, he didn’t know what to say other than the very obvious
“May the Guard Previal! But Master Thaden… why? I still have so much to learn” Thaden smiled before sipping his tea again
“Thank you,” he bowed his head “that response is the best one a teacher can ask for… we never finished learning, but you now move to the next level Guardsmen Thalion… wear the cloak with pride, and remember your brethren in Ashla always”
31st of Sunsebb 383 ONT 6:24pm, Mess Hall, Champions Helm, Eiradun, Argyle
Thaden sat and listened to the crew as they ate their evening meal; he listened to Mandy and Taaj speak of their upcoming wedding, of the new Pebble ask endless questions of the Bolder. He smiled as he watched Tar-Di and Cassidy sit with the other crewmembers in a high stakes card game, he was even treated to some singing from a few of the crew as they got a little rowdier. He kept to himself mostly but listened and smiled as they went about their evening in laughter and joy.
31st of Sunsebb 383 ONT 11:14pm, The Great Apple Tree, Outside the Embassy of Redwall, Eiradun, Argyle
Thaden sat before the apple tree in mediation, at last he allowed himself to pull the simple cloth from his satchel. The sewn one that he and Moria were to be hand fasted with. He held it to his heart and let free a good honest cry. At last he had no one with him to be strong for, he sobbed and heaved until no more tears would come, until his throat was raw and his breath came ragged.
“I love you Moria, I’m sorry… I’m so sorry. It won’t be long now; order will be set right at last, and then… then I don’t know…” he took a moment to gather his breath “I don’t know if you are out there Moria… I don’t know how to find you. I have met Gods, beings of power… they do not know, where do the souls of the Waylen travel after they leave this realm? Do they go anywhere? Is there peace to be found… or just, nothing? I miss you Moria, I miss you so much my love… so very much”