A promise between friends

A promise between friends
Summary: Aylona comes along to scold Tylon for running off with the army, and for acting like a Chosen. They both perhaps get more than they expected.
Date: 21/June/2013
Related: To the log where Tylon meets the harpies
Alyona Tylon 

Temple Chambers - Laketown
Slightly vaulted ceilings continue into the common room of the Temple of Four. The common room begins the area of the Temple that serves as living quarters for the Covenant and Chosen of the Four. Before the hearth that usually has a fire within it, a small collection of tables and benches for the residents of the temple to share meals, give and take lessons, or simply take a break from the day.

Along the far wall to the west are several alcoves that serve as kitchen and several panties. And to the east a doorway to a long hallway can be spotted. Off of the hallway are the individual quarters for the Priests and Priestess and their Chosen along with the group rooms for the orphans and Acolytes.

Fri Jun 21, 1329

Night has fallen full. The hour that the acolyte was due to come help Tylon with cleaning her injuries has come and past by a long count when there is a soft knock at Tylon's bedroom door.

Followed immediately by the door opening just enough to admit a certain shadow in dark tunic and trews, trimmed in Stilltha-blue. Not the acolyte, but Alyona the Still, out of her armour for the night and carrying the acolyte's tray on one hip. She pushes the door shut with her foot, then stands a moment, head tilted just a little. Most would view her laconic stare as typical silence, but Tylon would know the signs.

The Mother Superior had been busy since pulling herself back to the Temple, there was need to get word sent, missives recounting what had been seen upon that field of battle. While the nobles held their usual tunnel vision seeing only a lose of family, a betrayal….there was worse afoot if truly the Fifth had gained such a foot hold. But if nothing more, having to write and rewrite such had forstalled her from any forth coming lectures about running off like some adventureous child.

There was a gentle,"You may enter," at the knock. Tylon to be found setting upon the edge of her bed, robes loose as with the absence of the acolyte she had finally opted to simply see to the mess herself. Eyes barely look up as that shadow slips into her room, "I had wondered when you would manage to corner me. I suppose I am due a few words for being as bold and careless as a new acolyte."

The Chosen sniffs softly, like a chuckle with no humour. "I thought I might give you some time to think about it." Her tone is some mix between a disappointed parent relieved mischief had come to no death, and the gentle "I told you so" of a childhood friend at the end of a disasterous marriage. At the very least, the time has dissipated Alyona's temper; Father Byron would have reported the honest-to-goodness fury the day Tylon disappeared. Several Chosen acolytes had ended up on sixteen-hour watches and kitchen duty for not reporting the Mother Superior's departure sooner.

Alyona moves into the room with nary a rustle, and sets the tray down in the center of the bed. It has all the expected bottles of tincture and salve, fresh bandages, steaming water, and one unlabeled, corked vial. She sits next to Tylon. To be proper, she should have asked leave, but in private it is as they were in whites again. "Let me see this mess. Your punishment is my bedside manner." No doubt she feels responsible, on top of it all.

It is not often that anyone ever thinks let alone dares to 'reprimand' the calm Priesstess, but of any the Chosen present has the most rights and ability to take up the task. "I have had plenty of time to think upon it. Intruth I had no wish to go, I was quite looking foreward to seeing the backs of that army. " Tylon's own focus had certainly not been upon the issues of missing Royalty run amuck. A slight smile with mix of amusement and sheepishness, for indeed she had heard from Father Byron. Someone had not been very Still that day. "But as we both know, the Guardians often have plans for us that we do not understand at the time. When the Wolvishire Duke and that Northern Princess came as they did seeking aid to slip along, " with how she says seeking, one might get the idea it was not so much a choice,"I did not feel it was right to force someone else to handle and ensure the deception and disguise held for as long as they needed. It was as if their apperance was a pointed message I should go with the party North, even if I fear I still had not wish to travel so. We still had much to deal with here."

As Alyona comes further into the room, Tylon allows her robe to fall further open, allowing the bandages that lay claim to her chest to be seen. A quiet sigh slips,"It does not heal like it should, slower….I have some wonder if there is something about their talons that impacts different than the creatures we know." Her hand reaches to help stripe away the bandage to reveal the four paralell lines where the harpies talons sliced through her robes into her flesh, neatly try to flay her breasts in the process. One line seems to have come particularly close to taking out a particular tender bit favoured by babes and men alike. The injury does should healing progress, but for the time that has passed, it should be further along more closed. "If I had not bee there myself, seen and heard what I have….I admit…I might be given to wonder to hear about it if the teller had drunken to much and taken childhood tales to heart. "

The Chosen slips back into her accustomed silence, now that she has something to do with her hands. Up close, she smells faintly of wine behind her normal perfume of plain soap and dusty roses; Aldrich /had/ been in the Temple that evening, and that was the one element of bonding the Chosen shared with her mentor.

The old bandage is taken up and and carefully bundled aside; for normal wounds, it would be cleaned, boiled, and reused, but for this… She is not as still at the sight of the wounds, however. Her nostrils flare with a sharp intake of breath, and anger paints a dance across her expression and out through a particularly harsh curse that promises death through seven generations of ancestors and involving several Guardians' genitalia. And her fingers actually twitch, though that nervous energy is quickly dispelled in action.

First, a sterile cloth warmed in the boiled water, to wipe away old salve, new blood and pus, and any other grime. Her touch is gentle, though, of course, she is hardly a healer. "Foul alchemy and tainted wilderness." She finally agrees. "It would be no wonder. So the rumors are true, then? /Harpies?/" Well, maybe, just maybe, the sight of the wound will forestall the inevitable lecture.

A flickering smile did come at catching that faint smell of wine, Tylon had heard her friend's mentor was a foot, and she knew how those two could be. It was good for friend to have the chance to catch up with the man. A rare opportunity Tylon was ever afforded with her own mentor.

For this, it was simply best to burn the bandages being used to cover Tylon's particular injures. Taking in the reaction, the anger…the fine curse and most dramatically, the finger twitch! Softly is it noted,"You might be proud, I still tried to catch her even after she did this. Even with all the pain it brought. Travel and seeing to others has been a mite uncomfortable, " you think!

A small breathe is drawn as Tylon prepares herself for Alyona to tend to the wounds, a few wines are had as the old salve is wiped away, the faint hints of pus as the wounds attempt to fester inspite of the treatment and can being taken. "Yes, the rumors are true, harpies. They came guised as healers in Temple robes, ancient ones from before the Kingdoms split, not that most would notice the subtly differences involved in the designs." Even many of the Temple probably wouldn't give it much thought. "Before them though…the battle….the missing royals, we arrived as they married in the name of the Fifth, proclaimed to fight for him and..for all I saw, Aly…it was the truth of it…Their control over such…creatures, the Prince he was felled time and again only to rise once more and fight on…It was why I was diricted there, to lay witness to this horror, to understand and see how much of a problem and fight we have before us, my friend. This is all much greater then some sect making a move, a handful of attempts at us by zealots." Talking helps to distract her a little from the cleaning of her woulds, though she cannot help but wince and draw a hissing breath when Aly works in a few of the more delicate areas.

"Harpies. Well. You did always attract the strange women."

Halfway through the cleaning, Alyona pauses. It is a normal pause, to swap out soiled cloth for a new one, but as she dunks the new cloth into the water, she offers a small flask up in her left hand, from one of her hidden pockets. It smells strongly of alcohol - so strongly, in fact, that maybe she should pour it on the wounds instead of the mild soap brought from the infirmary. "This is plain, simple field medicine - take a goodly swallow of this. No more than that, though. It'll dull the pain." And any more than a sip would probably put Tylon right to sleep. No wonder Aly was able to hobble her way all the way to Laketown with an arrow in her shoulder!

The continued narration earns quite a few dismayed flickers of Alyona's brow and an almost constant shake of her head. It is not disbelief, really, though if anyone other than Tylon were describing the battle, the veteran Chosen would laugh in their face. "I suppose we are lucky that the worst we'd seen to date were some zealot woodsmen." Her nostrils flare again, clearly thinking more about how to defend the temple from flying enemies that seduce your own than even the seeping wounds on her friend's breasts. "You needed archers, for certain, though I'm not sure how you keep a man down who rises from the dead. Fire, maybe, or decapitation." So practical, the Chosen.

When the cleaning is done, Aly gently pats the wounds with a dry cloth, careful not to open them any further. Then she reaches for the corked vial. "I am proud of you, I have to say. I have never, ever doubted your bravery, my dear." But there it is, just a twitch of anger in her dark green eyes. But that's my job are the unspoken, proudful words. Instead, she pops the cork off of the vial. "We have a tradition, in my path, that a Chosen's first scar in battle should always be commemorated. It is not a pleasant tradition." The vial is upended briefly over another scrap of cloth, which quickly runs black. Ink. If rubbed into a scar, it would mark it permanantly. And hurt like the wound taken all over again. Aly flourishes the cloth before Tylon's eyes, but doesn't touch it to any of the wounds. Of course not; from the tightening of the tiny muscles in her throat, clearly the idea of doing anything hurtful to the priestess might be making her a touch nauseus. But her voice is firm, motherly. "If you're going to act like a Chosen, Ty…"

A faint sigh occurs,"Yes, I suppose. Though you always seemed more concerned about the strange men." Especially a particular acolyte from their youth, turned Ravas Priest….who Alyona might have heard was seen paying visit to the Temple…and there had been whispers he spent an inordantly long time in the Superior's office before departing, looking smugger than for a Ravas Priest.

The pauses does give Tylon a bit of a breather, a few moments to center again. The flask is taken up when offered, fingers lightly plucking the cap from it to take a faint sniff of the contents to confirm her thoughts after a knowing glance to Alyona. She was not unknowing of the various tricks the Chosen took to at times to keep going, to endure to see their duty done. In truth, they all had them to some degree. Tipping the flask back, Tylon does take a swallow, giving a slight cough after as she recaps the flask,"Smooth like curdeled milk." One might give their chest a light pound after such a drink, but that would just be so unwise for Tylon right now.

It is a story that seems far more tale that truth, so much was from tales to scare children to behaving. "Aye, I believe so. I think it helps as well the goal seems not a single Temple, or even the temples themsevles, but upon the ruling bodies of the kingdoms, I think on some level with the….disciples…selected…we have been discounted." Not the best idea! "Yes, archers though I am not certain even they could bring down the dragon that pulled the pair out, and yes, I said dragon." She almost seems a little indignet on the point, granted, had it been a sea dragon she'd be beyond indignent. But that would also mean worse things were at play given sea dragons were the real of Stilltha. "Decapitation, I would think, but certainly fire to burn the body after as a certainty. I think it may be best to make it standard procedure to see any that are felled from those forces burnt.

There is a slight nod from Tylon when Aly gives her that look, a sheepishness perhaps. But there had not been much choice. Eyes flicker towards the vial, an eyebrow arching as this tradition is explained. "I have learned, tradition offer equates to something unpleasant more often than pleasant. " Eyes follow the movements and the flourishing of the cloth, certainly for show. But Tylon does give a little sigh,"Yes, if I am, we might as well see through the proper rituals and traditions. Though, I do think, perhaps next time I might consider some light leathers, the robes just do so little to deflect talons." Her gaze does touch to her friend's as she notes more seriously, gently and with that unfailling calmness,"Do it, Aly….I have been claimed by Ravas…and Stilltha, " oh how her friend knew of these things," it is perhaps over due for Bornas to have his claim upon me as well."

All of this is filed away dutifully. Even the bit about a dragon. Certainly, there would be lessons and tactics development in the practice field soon. Poor Castor… or not. Maybe the lad likes fire.

Surprise doesn't flicker across the Chosen's brow until Tylon agrees with her peculiar punishment. She draws in a breath again, and her throat ripples as she swallows a lump of misgiving. "This is not, mind you, your excuse to /keep/ acting like a Chosen. Though I think I will get you at least a proper gambeson." More ink is saturated into the cloth, just before it is dripping. Then Aly reaches around, resting one hand on the center of Tylon's back in a half embrace. The other is used to very gently press the ink-soaked cloth into the middle wound - not so high as to be seen in a robe, but not so low as to re-injure the… delicate bits. Gently, but persistently, though she does pause to gauge her friend's level of pain every now and then.

When it is all done, the Chosen takes another clean cloth to gently wipe away the excess ink, and then takes up the first of the bandages.

A smile is given to Alyona,"I have no plans to keep acting like a Chosen, I had not plans to start with, but you know we do as we are called to do by the Guardians. In that moment, I had to be as they needed me to be." A breathe is drawn as Tylon watches the ink poured, steadying herself within as Alyona does the half-embrace to steady her form. Even the gentle press has Tylon's green eyes going wide, but to her credit the scream that when the wound was first inflicted is not repeated. Teeth clench tight and it is only something akin to a whine that comes, even if she does pale at the re-newed pain. The calm priestess not particularly calm in the moment by that expression. There is pain, oh boy, is there pain. But who knew she had it in her to endure such a thing, that swig of field medcine surely had to help.

When it is over, Tylon takes a couple gaspy breathes to recover, her hands staying clenched for several long moments more. Noting calmly when the bandages are taken up,"I wonder what our young Acolyte is going to think when she comes to change these next."

"…As we are called to do by the Guardians…" Alyona recites with Tylon as she speaks. It is not mocking at all, but more the droll tone of a woman repeating the words that she knows will kill her one day, with a tight smile.

Her grip tightens as the ink is applied, as much to steel her own will as to comfort the Mother Superior. But surprisingly, her hands are quite steady as she applies the bandages and layers of salve - though she does, of course, need to be guided here and there. All of her recent experience had more to do with binding breasts for comfort in armour, not trying to securely and safely wrap grevious wounds. "It will look fairly nasty, especially when it finally scabs. But you will remember the cost of the Guardian's will…"

And now this is strange. Her voice catches a little. The rest of the bandaging is done in silence, and when it is done, she reaches to grasp both of the priestess's shoulders with her calloused hands, now pungent with the stronger salve the acolyte mixed. Her eyes dance along Tylon's chin; avoiding eye contact is another of those signs. Finally, moral courage is plucked up. "Ty, please remember that. You are my sister." Not a simile, but a direct metaphor. "I /will/ die for you. Gladly, as I have seen my brothers and sisters fall. It is my honor and my duty. But if you fall first…" Again, words snag like a stocking on an errant nail. She covers by reaching to brush back an errant bit of hair from Tylon's brow. "…Just don't. Please?"

No, no lecture at all. This is pleading.

There is a flicker of a smile that comes to hear Alyona reciting the words, it is a smile that does not reach her eyes. For Tylon knows as well that for all the words will one day bring about her friend's end, so to will that pledge and Oath she took be her own undoing. And they more than so many know the power and calling of the Guardians.

Gentle guidance is provided at times as the salves and bandages are done, sometime just silently offering what should be next or 'helping' hold a bandage or tightening it to hold the wounds together to knit, verses to be bound beneathe armor. The preasure is slightly different, as noted by a small gasp at one point when they get pulled just a little to tight at first. "I was not expecting pretty, but I do imagine that…this will make more…interesting to look at. But yes, it will be a good reminder of Their will."

Whatever she thought to say next is forstalled by what is next done, said by her long time friend, now Chosen. Or more so when her voice catches and silence follows, Tylon simply waiting for Alyona to find the words, the courage to speak what is in her mind. Ty had always been good at that, never demanding, ever patient and calm, able to draw out a person. Her green eyes to watch as Alyona's look anywhere but hers, her hands coming up to touch Aly's arms. "I have never forgotten, Aly. I know you would, you will…one day it might be what is required." A smile flickers as the hair is brushed back and despite what pain it surely brings, Tylon embraces Alyona tightly,"I will do all that I can to not do that. I promise you that, Alyona. " Or if she must go, Alyona has only gone but moments before?

The patience is, of course, exactly what is needed to draw the words out from Alyona. One of the many reasons they were friends, for many others lacked the patience to wait for the Chosen to ever find it necessary to speak. And now she has said her mind, and allows, if only for a moment, Tylon to comfort her with a hug. She is ever so careful not to press too hard, though she wishes rather to clutch her fiercely and make her promise not to worry her like that again. Instead, after a moment, she pulls back and nods - and in an ever so motherly fashion, closes up and rearranges Tylon's robe. When she speaks, it is with a teasingly pouty tone. "Aldrich says I should put a guard on your door, or insist on sharing quarters with you, you know." Of course, he did - a misfit like Alyona, Aldrich had a special devotion to Ravas above and beyond Bornas. He had been a good Chosen - as fiercely protective as his not-so-young charge - but the rumours had always abounded. Her eyes flicker up, with just a hint of mischief sparkling past carefully unshed tears. "But I guess then I'd have to actually hear the conversations you have with that Ravas Priest…"

It had been part of why they had become friends as they had, they balanced each other and just knew how to be what the other needed, whether that look, the calm silence, or the thwak upside the head. Tylon manages a fierce enough hug, even if not as fierce as they could often be between the pair. She cannot help but smile at the motherly fashion Alyona uses to rearrange her robes. "It may be worth considering for all so many reasons." A mixture of humour and seriousness to her tone. They were living in interesting times.

The mischevious comment about the particular Ravas Priest does actually cause a blush to rise in Tylon's cheeks, perhaps there was more than…talk. A mild cough,"He…we should talk about…sometime. But not tonight, the hours are not long enough for it and we both now while we would talk easily through the night, I should rest." There is some mild confusion in Tylon's eyes on the topic, for as Alyona would know for as close as Ty and the Ravas one had been the separation had left Ty shattered, even if it was of her doing. The pairs relationship since had been strained at best, and it had ended when they were Acolytes!

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