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SoE: Remembering Aislin

The Society of Explorers is holding a public gathering in order to honor their former Pathfinder, Lady Aislyn Ashford. Explorers, friends, and family of Aislin are called together to share stories of their time with Lady Aislin, or any expeditions they were on together, or tales of adventure they might have had on their own - as she would have enjoyed hearing of others exploits. Alcohol and light snacks will be provided.

Date

Feb. 10, 2018, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Lou

Participants

Sparte Wynna Aleksei Waldemai Ailys Caspian Cadenza Lethe Esoka Archeron Peri Vanora Theron Aiden Shard Donella

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Society of Explorers - Charter Hall

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Waldemai comes in quietly and takes a seat in the corner. Even at his age, he looks like a fella that likes a good story.

4 Kennex corsairs, Serena, the charming Stormward lady-in-waiting arrive, following Vanora.

Cadenza was dressed not very somber...for she was not going to mourn per se. She was here to celebrate a beautiful life. But she wasn't alone. Along her side was Caspian, hand in hand as they made their way into the hall. A smile touched her lips before she leaned over to whisper something softly in his ear before giving him a soft kiss. Slowly letting go of his hand she'd make her way over to where Aiden and Lou were....because was totally there and listening.

Aiden murmurs something to Lou, which appears like an agreement of sorts, prior to drawing his hand up and ruffling the white feathers of his gyrfalcon, who is perched systematically on his shoulder. The Prince of Grayson remains seated for now, though he shows his support by his attendance as a Grayson and as one of the First Seekers. His silver eyes flicker toward Cadenza, watchful for a time, nodding to Caspian respectfully.

Max, an emperor tamarin, Rosalee, The Champion, 1 Grayson Guardsmen arrive, following Ailys.

Vanora Kennex slips in quietly unaccompanied, and finds somewhere appropriate and non-intrusive to observe the proceedings respectfully.

Caspian smiles at Cadenza's kiss, giving a nod over to Aiden and Lou as she joins them, and goes off to sit himself at a table, assuming that the bench is leadery types and not small fry explorers like him!

Caspian has joined the Table 1.

Lethe arrives to the event and looks around with a somber expression. She quietly makes her way to a seat.

Lethe has joined the Table 4.

Ailys is dressed head to toe in dark colours that hug her slender figure. A silk handkerchief for mourning is at hand, and she approaches her Grayson kin in melancholy fashion.

Keso, a street urchin, Peanut, an oversized mastiff arrive, following Aleksei.

Esoka comes dressed in the deep blue-dyed leather armor she prefers as her 'working' knight wear. She's washed herself up and pinned her curls back from her face, which is as 'dressy' as she's gotten. She mixes into the crowd, blue eyes scanning the faces there, offering a quick smile to Lou when she spots her.

Archeron slips into the room, the Thrax noble in his forest garb making him look more like a mainlander than perhaps is fashionable in the isles. His lithe frame almost stumbles and risks topplong as a small black, grey and white mammal snuffles around Archeron's feet in hunt for whatever it is. Steadying himself, Arch spies his twin and lifts a hand to Lethe in greeting - and then he scampers over towards her as Root has already decided to try and snuffle around Lethe's feet. "Mmph. Sorry Lethe."

Aiden looks up from murmuring something to Cadenza when he notices his sister in attendance. He gestures toward Ailys to capture her attention and notes to a seat beside him. There's still room on that bench afterall and he is fashionably unaccompanied!

Aleksei hurries in, a bit of paint still here and there on his hands, but he's back in his white leathers, which are crisp and entirely unblemished. He slows once he makes it inside, taking a slow, careful breath, like he's steeling himself.

Archeron has joined the Table 4.

Ailys has joined the marin'alfar wooden bench.

Cadenza could be seen laughing a bit before looking up. Her blue eyes land on Caspian and started waving, then waving him over.

Caspian has left the Table 1.

Caspian has joined the marin'alfar wooden bench.

Aiden stands up from the wooden bench to reach out toward his sister to greet her with a familial hug, gesturing to Ailys to sit beside him.

Donella seeks out a fellow Thrax in Archeron when he comes, merely smiling, and standing near. She holds her arm and waits, while she thinks.

Aleksei has joined the Table 1.

"Princess Donella, please, won't you sit with my sister and I? You are practically family after all." Archeron offers with a bow of his head, his blue eyes looking up at Donella "Have you met my twin, Lady Lethe?" And Archeron shuffles along to make room for Donella "It is strange, I last spoke to Aislin at Killian's wake."

Esoka has joined the Table 1.

Shard stalks into the hall, quiet and alone. Her eyes flick over those present, but she offers no greetings before she heads for a space near the back.

"I don't think circumstances have ever come together that Duchess Margot has been able to. Lady Lethe, charmed." Donella says and joins them with a nod of gratitude.

Donella has joined the Table 4.

Lethe looks to Donella with a smile. "It's good to finally meet you Princess Donella." She turns to Archeron. "That's also the last time that I saw her."

Though pertubed by the tragedy at hand, Ailys accepts a brother's embrace warmly. "Aiden," she speaks softly and takes her place.





Noticing the other woman across the room, Vanora catches Donella's eye if she can and inclines her head in greeting, making her way in that direction to sit at the Princess' table herself.

Vanora has joined the Table 4.

The room is filled with several tables. They've been clustered together to form two concentric circles. In the middle of those two circles stands an empty space, and a lone chair. Lou Grayson stands from her seat at the marin'alfar benches and walks across the room, and sets down the following item on the chair: A hand-sculpted Cloudstriker figurine. She then turns around the room, taking a moment to take in all the people and says, "Thank you for coming this evening. Tonight, we are here to remember our former pathfinder, Lady Aislin Ashford. As such, I felt it only fitting to use the same ceremony she used just weeks before her disappearance to honor Lord Killian Ashford in a wake. However, this is not a wake, but a celebration of life for Aislin - for we do not believe she is dead, only on to her next grand adventure - as someone who disappeared from her cabin in the wake of a storm on her journey home form Blackshore. So, we wait for her, until she finds her way home. But, in the meantime, we also remember her - and hopefully gain some closure so that we may, as yet, move forward while we wait for her to find her way back to us, for she did not want us to spend time looking for her - and wanted us to focus on current events. And, if I know Aislin, she'll be coming back with so many tome of knowledge larger than the Scholar of Vellichor can handle," she smiles a little bit at the end. "So, I welcome you here, and hope that you can share stories of Aislin - or in light of not having such stories, then stories of some grand adventure that you've been on, that Aislin would have loved to hear."

Lou drops A hand-sculpted Cloudstriker figurine.

Cadenza has joined the line.

Aleksei has joined the line.

Esoka has joined the line.

Aiden has joined the line.

Turn in line: Cadenza

Archeron has joined the line.

Lethe has joined the line.

Aleksei has joined the line.

Ailys is just silent in her contemplation of Lady Aislin's life, brooding over it all.





Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer arrives, following Theron.

Standing up slowly she would look around before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. "I...don't even know where to begin...." Cadenza let out a soft chuckle. "I was one of the first people that Aislin approached when she started this organization. I wasn't really an office person per se....I was almost always in the field....getting in trouble somewhere..." There was a pause as she looked to the chair. "She treated me like family...she was like a mother to me long after my mother died. So I know if she was here when I washed up a couple of months ago she would have be so mad...." Laughing she looked back up to the room. "I'd to think I'm alive because of her. So much she used to teach me....and that when I was kidnapped....it was her strength that kept me alive. For almost two years....I kept it together while I was in captivity. And I part of me wishes....that when I washed up....she was there." Those blue eyes were watering, a hand coming to her eyes to wipe them slightly. "She'd always fuss at me for getting in trouble and this is one time I think she'd just....let me cry, scream, vent, and tell her everything that happened to me....and still in her way, tell me I've learned from it and grown." With that she would just sit down, staring at her lap then as she went silent.

Turn in line: Esoka

Lou smiles an encouraging smile at Cadenza, and offers. "Thank you." She then looks over at Esoka and nods, motioning her forward.

Esoka steps up when her turn comes, squaring her shoulders as she looks out at the crowd in the Hall. "I can't say I knew Lady Aislin as well as many here. But I was honored to be her companion on a few errands into the wilds beyond the city, and it's there I feel I saw a glimpse of the woman many of you love so much. Committed and wise and most at home and happy when far from civilization, seeking something lost and fascinating. Most of the times we were thrown together were dangerous ones, and yet I look back on them fondly, even if they frightened me at the time. Tonight, though, I think of her as she was around the cookfires before we ventured into an old ruin or cave or what-not. Sharing stories and planning. Wholly possessed in herself, in her element, somehow calm despite the danger she was about to face. If I could call myself her friend, it was in those moments, and they are little bits of time I treasured, amidst any danger that came before and after." She bows slight to Lou, then returns to her table.

Turn in line: Aiden

When it is his turn to speak, nodding to Esoka and upon the words of Cadenza, Aiden leaves the marin'alfar wooden bench and comes before the audience gathered at the celebration of life. His fingers glide over the Cloudstriker figurine, for a moment taking a time to reflect upon it. "Aislin, had the heart of a queen," he begins with a sad smile showing on his face and his eyes drifting upward, "She was the queen of understanding what many of us couldn't, gathering information, piecing it all together into formats we could understand and sharing it willingly, never hesitating to dispense with what she learned to anyone who came asking her of it. She was selfless in that. She gave and gave and gave more of herself, each and every day, to try and bring every one of us up to speed of what she discovered with the world. Her willingness to share information, is something I'll always cherish, especially as a scholar of Vellichor - and inspires me on, especially now as First Seeker. I will try and live every day open and honest, sharing wealth, knowledge, and the skills I have, so that we're all strong together."



Aiden's fingers draw away from the figurine, "She shared with me her inner most secrets, not that I will repeat them here today, but it is a matter we bonded over, a connection we shared that ultimately, united us in quests beyond Arxian walls." He drops his hands down and he further proceeds, "When I asked for her help, she never faultered or hesitated. She was on board with whatever adventures proposed, certainly the one that enabled our similar passions to come together. I am very glad, she and Lord Killian, came with me and were able to witness something so incredible," he lifts the figurine, twisting it around in a comprehending and thoughtful poise, "It was not the last adventure I would take with her, as I was upon the ship in which she departed from. But I will always remember the happiness on her face that day, through my own tears, when she got to look upon ..." he shakes his head and puts the griffon statue down. "She was brave, she was selfless, and she never asked for anything in return for what she did, for all of us. She inspired me to explore. She inspired me to become more adventurous and daring, to never stop pursuing my dreams." Here his voice cracks a little, "I haven't yet given up hope to seeing her again. I think it's possible, if not in this life, in the next. She is a queen. Her memories will live on for it. Aislin, where ever you are, I hope you've found a way to soar, and know, I will never stop searching..." The Grayson prince barely maintains his composure but there's water building up in his eyes as he takes one last moment to pat the figurine of Cloudstriker, before giving up the floor to another.

Turn in line: Archeron

"I could share some story of Aislin as a child - but in truth she was a teenager by the time I joined Ashford. And we all admired her. I could tell you stories of how when others didn't know what to make of these Thrax refugees now in their House, that Aislin was kind to us." Archeron begins, standing to say his part "I could tell you how when we had to return to Tyde, when our Mother wished us to help rebuild the house of our birth and where we would have better opportunities than our cousins in Ashford might provide, that Aislin never bore us any resentment for that. That when I came to the city, it was Aislin who first bid me welcome. Who made sure I knew I had two families. I could say about how the last time I spoke to her was the wake of Killian, and where we thought the pain of loss could not get any worse. How Killian was meant to come on a mission to Blackstone with us, how I looked forward to spending time with my Ashford family. But what I will say of her is that when Killian was gone, she stepped into his shoes for that mission. She took on the obligation without hesitation and with no mind to her safety or comfort, because that was her. She was kindness, she was understanding, but she was also steel. There was no breaking Aislin." Archeron's eyes mist a little, and he looks down "On that mission, the storm that came, the loss. None of it seemed natural, none of it seemed right. I know she would hate the Thrax in me for saying it, but my father's instructions to me, his last, were to look after the family. That was my duty. And she was family. And I failed her in that. I cannot make it right, but I will do my best to honour her by being more like her. The world could do with more Aislin, and sadly we are left with less." And with that the lithe man sits back down, petting the head of his fuzzy companion

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Vitalis before departing.

While he didn't know the person himself, Theron filters in apparently to pay his homage. He nods to the words spoken as he slips in to the back of the crowd, expression unreadable. His eyes track Vitalis at a table and he endeavors to head on over in that direction.

Theron has joined the Table 4.

Turn in line: Lethe

Lou smiles to both Aiden and Acheron. "Thank you both."

Lethe looks around with mournful eyes. "As my brother has said before me Lady Aislin Ashford was my cousin. When we joined the Ashfords Lady Aislin was one of the cousins I looked up to even if she was older. She always made me feel like I belonged back then and I when became a Tyde again. I wish we had gotten to spend more time together, but the memories I have of her are something I'll always treasure."

Also unfamiliar with Aislin, but not one to pass up paying her respects to a fellow explorer, Lady Peri arrives quietly to slip herself down to the nearest empty seat at the closest table. She waits until there is a pause between sharings to sit down fully.

Shard listens quietly, arms crossed. Her gaze shifts in turn to each speaker, but she doesn't look as though she has any intention of getting up to speak herself.

Esoka has returned to her seat. Her eyes a little misty as she listens to the other memories of Lady Aislin shared. There's a glance over at Peri as the woman enters, and her head is politely inclined in that direction.

Turn in line: Aleksei

Peri has joined the Table 1.

Aleksei takes a slow breath as he steps up to the front, and then offers the room a tight smile. "The first time I met Aislin, we sat in a treehouse. I'd asked then-Archscholar Aldwin if he trusted her, and his response was simple: 'With my life.' And that's how I came to trust her. I think that the two of us trusted each other more than we trusted almost anyone else. We recognized each other, in a way. Every danger I faced, every stupid mistake I made. Every betrayal we faced, we shared. We helped to carry the darkness in each other. When Niamh died--" He pauses then, a thickness in his voice before it settles. "Aislin wasn't good at letting herself grieve. She would just work more. But she lost so much. More than most people realize. She had trouble opening up. Being -- affectionate. I'll hug pretty much everyone, but you knew you must seriously look like shit if you got a hug from Aislin." He scrapes his thumbnail over his brow, inhaling another slow breath. "When I thought my world was over, she was one of the only people I could tell. She was the only person who could understand. I don't like to use the word 'unwavering,' because I think it's kind of unrealistic, and almost a bit dehumanizing. None of us are built to be unwavering. But Aislin--" He stops again, almost unsure. And then he just says, "There is no one else who I knew so fully, so completely, would never fall to darkness. We rarely went out on expeditions together; we sat in Arx and planned the downfall of the Abyss." His jaw firms then. "Aislin had the brightest and most heroic soul the Compact has ever known." He rubs his thumb along the bridge of his nose, lingering a moment, and then he slips back off towards his table.

Aiden looks heartfelt and touched by Aleksei's words, nodding encouragement and murmuring his agreement with the other man's sentiments on Aislin.

Cadenza put a hand to her chest, listening intently to all the others who were speaking. A smile at her lips, she'd look back Caspian with a smile before waiting for the next speaker.

{%gLou smiles at Aleksei, a warm smile, and nods acknowledgement to his words. She then rises from her seat once more and asks, "Is there anyone else that wishes to speak of Lady Aislin? Or, to tell a take of some expedition or mission they've been on, with or without Aislin? Or have a story to tell?" If so, the line is open: +line/getinline. She waits a few moments to see if anyone else has anything to add.

Lou smiles at Aleksei, a warm smile, and nods acknowledgement to his words. She then rises from her seat once more and asks, "Is there anyone else that wishes to speak of Lady Aislin? Or, to tell a take of some expedition or mission they've been on, with or without Aislin? Or have a story to tell?" If so, the line is open: +line/getinline. She waits a few moments to see if anyone else has anything to add.

When it is clear that everyone has had their turn, Lou takes a place in the center of the room again. She takes a moment, thinking back, "Aislin and I have always been good friends, that I can remember. Very likely, we crossed paths several times, as Cadenza and I did over the years," she motions to Cadenza on the marin'alfar bench. "We saved each others lives, and helped each other, on so many countless journeys that it is difficult to pick just one. I've always admired her spirit and her excitement at discovering something new, tried to help lighten the heavy burden she sometimes bore as Pathfinder. My last expedition with her was when the Grayson forces came together to help push out the abyss in the Gray Forest. We barely had time to talk to one another, as we were both coming and going from various sorties. But we did always stop to look and nod at each other, and listen to one another's stories around the campfire. She is missed, and I cannot wait to get my friend back. I have every bit of faith that she is still alive. So, until then, I warm her seat, and try to run the Explorers as best I can, and look forward to that time that she can come camping with Princess Tikva and I, as we had planned long before the tides of war fell upon our lap." She pauses then and says, "Thank you, everyone, for coming. And, if you ever have questions about Aislin, or the Explorers, you are always welcome here, to ask, to share, to gain knowledge, and perspective. You are as welcome as you ever were under her guidance and leadership."

Aiden is overheard praising Lou for: For Remembering Aislin

Aiden is overheard praising Cadenza for: For remembering Aislin

The line has been dismissed by Lou.

Aiden is overheard praising Aleksei for: For remembering Aislin

The line has been dismissed by Lou.

Aiden is overheard praising Esoka for: For remembering Aislin

Donella is overheard praising Lou.

Aiden is overheard praising Archeron for: For remembering Aislin

Cadenza is overheard praising Lou for: Remembering Aislin

Aiden is overheard praising Lethe for: For remembering Aislin

Wilhelm the Iron Messenger, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Rinel, Wynna arrive, following Sparte.

Sparte enters late. Yes, terribly late, with two scholars in his wake who likely had no idea what he was leading them into.

Wynna looks somewhat put-upon as she eyes the Aislin figurine - perhaps she wasn't expecting to be led to this occasion in particular.

As Lou finishes addressing everyone who is already there, she notices two arrivals. She smiles at Sparte and Wynna, and gives Rinel a little wave! "Good evening! There's still time to get a few last minute stories in, if either of you would like to share your experiences with Lady Aislin Ashford, or perhaps an expedition you've been on. Sparte, I know you've been on quite a few. Or, even a story you'd like to tell that Aislin would've liked to hear."

Wynna opens her mouth and shuts it, looking vaguely flustered. "I... shall gladly hear what Sparte has to add, I think."

Aleksei sits at one of the tables with Esoka and Peri, attempting a smile despite the clear signs of quiet grief, however dry-eyed he may be managing. He looks over at Sparte's sudden entrance, brows sweeping up.

Lou inclines her head to Wynna, acknowledging her desire. She looks back to Sparte to see if there is anything he wants to add. If not, she's about to close the event.

Vanora has left the Table 4.

4 Kennex corsairs have been dismissed.

Serena, the charming Stormward lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Sparte gives Lou a smile right back. "I'm sorry to be so late, I was organizing another exploration if you'd believe it." He reaches over to give Wynna a reassuring pat on the shoulder before striding forward. "On the spot. Well, let's see if I say it well or not. I never got to share with her the story of the Nox'Alfar bandits and the flower. In the Gray Forest there is a stretch of woods that a half dozen Nox'Alfar call home, led by one named Thimble. He demanded our blood and our riches for passage, though I personally had little of value to take. So of me he only asked one thing, that I take and eat a flower."



Sparte chuckles. "The flower was of course poison, he admitted as much. We managed to untangle ourselves after a few in the party with me shouted mean words and got the Nox to back off, but the next day I woke up completely surrounded by those poison flowers. Every place it touched my skin I had an itchy rash that was absolutely terrible. If I'd been unlucky in my sleep I may well have rolled face first into the flowers and died." A pause. "So of course, several seasons later, I decided to go back and visit Thimble again. I brought him simple medals in the likeness of the flowers he tried to kill me with, and a thimble with silk to wear around his neck." Sparte shakes his head. "And now the Nox'Alfar that tried to kill me has not only granted me safe passage, but takes the time to gossip with me when my path goes through his woods." Sparte pulls out a small sketch of a flower with six petals and various notes in the margins, setting it down at the base of the figurine. "Aislin inspired me to be bold. To view dangers as challenges for more than a sword. I hope the stories we gather are ones she will one day share in." Sparte glances over to Lou, giving a small nod before stepping off to the side again.

Caspian blinks a few times as he hears the store, then actually lets out a laugh, a quite one, smiling as he looks over to Sparte, whispering something to the bench he is at.

"From what I know of the Nox'alfar, they do tend to get bored with things. So, I could see this happening," Lou tells Sparte, and then grins a bit. "Aislin had many stories about the Nox'alfar, particularly the one about how the spider that guarded their kingdom was a giant spider that tried to eat her, and all the others. Or, perhaps, how it really wasn't a giant spider, but how the Nox'alfar shrank them. Come to think of it, she and King Tyrval had a rather chilly relationship - perhaps over such matters."

Vitalis has left the Table 4.

Lethe has left the Table 4.

Theron nods a goodbye to Vitalis after a conversation with his kinsman, watching him quietly for a moment. His gaze slides over to Lou, then.

"And, as that seems like our last story, I will now - for real this time - end the event here. Thank you everyone for coming. Feel free to linger, eat the treats, and drink the whiskey," Lou calls out to everyone."

The line has been dismissed by Lou.



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