The Prodigal Horse Returns

The Prodigal Horse Returns
Summary: Destrian One-Hand returns from an extended mission upon which Mother Superior Tylon sent him, to find the Temple of the Four in Laketown, in ruins…
Date: 04/10/2013
Related: None
Destrian Tylon 

Laketown, Temple of the Four
Once pristine like most Temples dedicated to the Four, this Temple has been the focus of recent destruction. The roof is completely gone and walls have caved at various places. While much of the rubble has been cleared, the scorch marks and melted stone that remains gives a grim reminder of the dragon that wrought the damage to the building.

Proof of the resilience of those who serve the Four, makeshift alters and bowls of offering have been placed within each of the four corners for them and all to yet come and offer up prayers and offerings to the Guardians of Four. To the north is Bornas, the south Ravas, to the west Stilltha and to the east, Altheara.

4th October, 1329

Morning breaks over Eikeren, and the common folk of Laketown are already awake. As merchants lay out their wares, and craftsmen set about their duties outside their various homes, several supply-carts and pack-horses enter the city from the road. Standing in between them all, next to a proud, if shaggy, foul-tempered stallion, is Destrian.

He is all but heedless of the people around him, his arms at his sides — he does not even keep a hand upon the reins of his horse's bridle — as he stares at the Temple (or rather, the scorched and blasted remains of the Temple)…

…in utter shock.

Tears run down his cheeks as he stands there, motionless as a statue; but for his weeping, his face is expressionless. Dead. Grey. His white tabard and tunic are hardly white, so stained they are with mud and grime, as if from a long journey. The stallion, too, is coated in sweat.

And Destrian just stares.

The Temple was indeed a sorry sight to behold, better than it was in the days immediately after. Much of the rubble had been hauled along, save for some of the bigger chunks. And truly it was not that the Temple was the only building that had suffered, it had simply suffered the most for being the target of the attack.

Having seen to her morning prayers, Tylon was soon drifting about, a kind murmur here or there to give encouragement. most of those who had taken their oaths, who had seen war had been able to do what was needed, but those who had never faced…well anything, needed help and the occasional nudging. Turning from giving a murmur and nod of approval to a young acolyte who seems to keep glancing skyward himself. This is when she catches sight of Destrian…returned home…their house in ruins. And her with an arm in a sling, with what does seem a plaster upon the arm…broken at some point. Making her way swiftly towards him, the one good arm offering an embrace, "Destrian, brother, you have returned safe." Relief existing in her voice for this simple fact.

The one-armed Chosen outside the Temple entrance glances at Tylon as if waking from a nightmare — and instantly he stoops to wrap her up in a fierce embrace, all but lifting her off her feet. The man smells of the road — and of horse — with sweat and grime, and traces of blood.

He coughs, embarrassed, and steps back a fraction while his gaze shifts from Tylon to Temple-ruin and back again. He blinks, disbelieving, as his stony expression crumbles with confusion. Worry. Anger. "Tylie — Mother — I am…" he frowns. "Safe? How…?" He steps past Tylon to gesture at the destroyed buildings that are being repaired, then put his right hand to his head, pressed against his ear as he squeezes his eyes shut and the creases in his sweaty, grimy brow form canyons of discomfort.

"It screams," he grates through his teeth as he motions with the stump of his left arm at the fire-blasted ruin, his eyes still shut. "Why does it scream, Tylie?"

Even if the fierce embrace brings a slight wince for the mild squishing her arm takes, Tylon does not pull from it and quite clings and embraces Destrian in return. Not minding the smell of the road that quite literally coats him.

The bit of embarrassment that comes over him brings a hint of a smile, Tylon giving a moment of readjustment to that sling. Turning to look back at the Temple…least what remains of it. "Many of us were lucky and down in the tournament field for a contest when….this happened. Some were not so lucky. "Numbers and who, she does not offer up. For there were children included. "It was Darrin, Brother….his dragon came….its fires are what has caused this, made it scream….he left a message." A small breathe is drawn, "But we will recover, rebuild and ease the screaming…all wounds take time to heal, you know this….." Adding after she gives their ruined home a study for a few silent moments,"…and he and his professed Queen will pay for this."

Destrian lowers his hand from the side of his head, and turns just enough to see Tylon — as if turning his back upon the ruined Temple were something he could not do, physically or mentally. His bearded face is has returned to its austere appearance, with only the stain of tears recently-shed — like water over rock — remaining.

He takes a breath.

His eyes fall upon Tylon's injured arm, and his face twitches at the corner of his right eye. "You too… by the bloodied paws of Bornas, I — you should have sent me into Ellowe, Mother." He lets a breath out through his nostrils, flaring in anger — oddly enough at the same time as his horse, only a few feet away. The stallion's near, fore-leg paws at the stony ground, and Destrian unwittingly grinds the ball of his left foot into the dirt.

"I would have killed this… Betrayer, this Fell-King of Spiders, Altheara's Blessed Mane, I would have."

His voice never changes in pitch or volume, but his brown eyes harbour all the rage of a smith's forge. A moment or two later, he utters a barely-audible prayer for the fallen, and then looks toward the Temple. "What of Alyona? And Thomas?"

Tylon shakes her head slowly, "No, I should not have, Brother. We yet know to little about what is in Ellowe to have taken such a risk so soon. "Her eyes do fall to her arm before looking back up, perhaps even looking a touch guilty, "This though…was not from the attack. I thought some sparring after would help give fan outlet to the angry, Brother Ignacious was not pleased by my ability," after all she's only had a few months of lessons," and insisted on sparing with me. It was in that, my arm ended broke." A quiet glance goes to the horse, then to Destrian…indeed her brother was back.

"There are creatures we cannot fathom there, and how do we face and put end to beasts like the dragon that rained this fire upon us? That arrows cannot even reach for the winds its wings make? We must not let our anger and rage rule our decisions, Brother. And know such burns within me as well, it has simply been tempered by Stiltha's waters these past days. "

Drawing a little breath, Tylon nodding some to hear that faint prayer being offered. Even if she hears not the words of it, that it is a prayer and not a curse is easy enough to grasp for her. "Alyona is away as well, information is always a need and she had a task she would not entrust another to. And Thomas was with me when the dragon came, he is safe and well."

Destrian takes a step backward.

While the good news of Thomas' and Alyona's well-being is taken in stride, he balks at the Mother Superior's account of her injury. "A… Brother? He did this to you? I would make him weep! Alyona would make him leak!"

That thought almost has the tall, bearded man chuckling. Almost. Distressed, he paws at his face with his hand, and then rakes the fingers down over his eyes, then nose, mouth and beard — shaking his head. "Stilltha's waters would break the strongest of Bornas' stone… but the song would be dead long before then — and so would we. Kharnas is in the world, and everything is… is… noise. The road was… softer. Gentler. I miss the road."

He pauses to take a breath, just as his horse lifts its head and cranes its neck back down the way that both horse and rider had entered the city. Destrian snorts. Then he nods to Tylon. "I am here now, and I cannot remain idle. The stones weep, and the walls groan — if there are beds within the remains, give mine to another. I will sleep in the stables."

He pauses.

"And if there are no stables, I will build stables, and then sleep in the stables." He peers at the Mother Superior — his childhood friend — with the perfectly straight face of one who is completely serious.

A nod comes slowly, "Yes, a Brother…it was within the practice ring. " Though Brother Ignacious really doesn't know the meaning of 'go easy on me'. "And I imagine Thomas will not be pleased to know of it either. " Explaining, "He has carried word of this," a faint motion toward the carnage and weeping stone," to some of the others, so aid might come in the rebuilding, so they might be aware of what truly passed." Though Alyona beating up Brother Ignacious is worth a smile.

"There is always reason and need for those to be upon the road, others yet travel and see aid to those in need. Mother Cafell yet does, she has an Acolyte now even, Cristof has sought to join out ranks. I only pray he can keep her from trouble."

"There are tents mostly in the gardens for those not injured, or not overly so. The infirmary has most the beds otherwise…the stables…..the horses are being housed in the city stables for now. So aid to seeing our restored, and enjoy the openness of the stars til then, Brother." Knowing full well the seriousness to his words.

Destrian stands still for several moments, the faint morning breeze tugging at the stringy locks of hair hanging down from his head, and partly over his face. With a mute nod, he turns on the ball of his foot and walks three and a half strides to his stallion — who is whipping passersby with his tail. The tall Chosen steps up to the animal's head, leaning forward a fraction to touch foreheads while he strokes the mane.

When he moves away once more, the beast tosses its head in the air and walks in the direction of the nearest Inn, following the tell-tale scent of hay, oats, and horse manure.

Destrian shrugs at Tylon.

"I stink," he remarks blandly. "You will stink too, if you stand near me too long — I will go bathe before speaking again — with your blessing, Mother?"

The silence is simply allowed to be, Tylon was ever one who could rest and enjoy the silent moment, to have patience to allow another to find their words as she had no need to fill silence with needless chatter. And there was a lot for Destrian to take in and make sense of. Turning her head to watch as he goes to his horse, a faint smile to watch as the pair interact.

"There is one who has come, Brother Merrick, I do not think he can see as you do…hear. But he has a wolf of which is an often companion with him. He may be less bothersome then most to be around, for you." She knew well his preference for keeping company, rarely did 'people' top that list. "And yes, brother, go and bath, I would not wish to have to see you chased after with buckets of water again for having gone rolling about in the mud." A quiet and familiar enough tease before she does look back to the mess, so much to be done.

Destrian cocks an eyebrow at the mention of Brother Merrick, then frowns as if considering Tylon's description of the man. Mouth-shrugging faintly in amusement, he bows his head toward the Mother Superior, and turns to leave. He has not gone but a few steps, than he is already humming melodiously to himself.

Then a short chuckle escapes his lips, a bark of wry humour. "One cannot ride a wolf!" he snorts, for anyone nearby to hear — then he follows after his horse, who has already tried to bite someone, in the direction of the Inn.

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