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Arulia's Vignette
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Author:  JadedDM [ Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Arulia's Vignette

Arulia is standing on the battlements of the wall surrounding the city of Haven. She used to patrol here regularly, when she was still with the Holy Guard. But she is not patrolling now. Rather, she is looking out to the horizon--to the west, at Haven Vale. The old highway winds up from the north and goes right up to the city's gate. The same road many refugees took to come here, seeking haven--but were instead turned away.

Far off, beyond the mountains, she spots a storm cloud approaching--big and black. She wonders if she should get indoors before it arrives, and she gets caught in the rain. But then she realizes that the cloud is approaching far quicker than it should. No...it's not approaching, it's spreading. From one end of the horizon to the other, it covers the entire region in darkness.

Within seconds, the darkness covers the entire city. The sudden change in lighting causes Arulia to blink and rub at her eyes. When she can see again, everything is different. The battlements are charred and and damaged. Stone debris lies at her feet, as well as dead bodies. The entire city is smoking from damage. Men in dark armor patrol the streets, separating families who cry and scream for each other as they are dragged away. And the sky...the sky is filled with horrible beasts--massive, flying lizard-like creatures that could easily swallow Arulia in one bite, without chewing.

The city has fallen to darkness. Arulia opens her mouth to call out for help--to anyone. But she hesitates. Is anyone even listening?

Suddenly, one of the beasts in the sky roars, catching her attention. This one is the biggest by far. And it has five heads--each one a different color. Red, blue, black, white and green heads snake about in a tangled mess. The beast lands on the battlements right beside her, the impact knocking over a tower and causing her to stumble and fall back on her rump. All five heads roar right at her, the noise deafening! The heads come at her, snaking around her body, entangling her so she can't move--!

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With a start, Arulia sits up in bed. She's soaked in sweat and her sheets are tangled around her legs. Her pillow lies on the floor, having apparently been knocked over at some point.

She was home...in her room. Well, not her room. She shared it with her three sisters, so it was quite cramped most of the time. But all three were gone, likely having already started their day. It was morning now...glancing out the window told her it was probably around Second Watch or so.

The terror of the nightmare was still with her. It had seemed so real. She had never had such a dream before. Could it mean something? Or was it, as her step-father often said, 'just a dream?'

Author:  djhyland [ Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia remains bolt upright for a long moment before flopping back down on her pallet. Throwing an arm over her eyes, she moans at the thought of facing the day as tired as she is, wrung out before she even rises by feverish nightmares. "I can already feel a splitting headache coming on already," she thinks.

Untangling herself from her sheets, she pulls herself from her bed and walks unsteadily to her chest. Rummaging through it, she finds herself suitable clothes for the day--a thick chemise, a heavy woolen kirtle, a sash. As she fishes them out, her hand brushes the cold metal rings of her armor, now tucked away for safekeeping. She pauses, caressing the metal for a moment, before dressing herself. "My armor won't protect me from my dreams, anyway..."

Once dressed, she hurries out of her room and into the kitchen, looking about for her mother, her sisters...even for her stepfather. "Is it my day to work?" she wonders. "But if it is, why did nobody wake me up?"

Author:  JadedDM [ Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia steps into the kitchen to find her family sitting down to breakfast. "Ah, there she is," her mother says upon seeing her. "You're usually the first one up. Were you up late last night? Well, come and sit. Eat up. It looks like it'll be a cold one this morn, so you might as well have some hot food in you."

Author:  djhyland [ Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia squeezes in between Cassilda and Camilla to sit at the table and gratefully accepts her bowl of hot porridge. With a weak smile for her mother, she says, "I didn't realize I slept so late. But I'm glad to be up now--I was having a bad dream." She glances to her sisters, and her smile grows stronger. "I must have been thrashing and crying out and woken these three. Why else would they be awake this early?" she asks with a laugh.

Author:  JadedDM [ Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

"Yeah, what was that about?" asks Niniva. "I was actually having nice dreams for a change. A handsome prince came by our place and asked me to marry him."

"I don't think there are many princes in Haven," her father comments wryly.

"What did you dream?" asks Cassilda earnestly.

Author:  djhyland [ Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia smiles at Niniva's description of her dream, but when asked about her own, she blushes in embarrassment. "I dreamed of war and...and dragons. I know that they're just childrens' stories, but it seemed so real! They came here to Haven, and killed and destroyed, and I couldn't do anything!" She shivers at the memory.

Author:  JadedDM [ Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

"Probably just something you ate last night," Thoron suggests. "An undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato."

"There's nothing wrong with my potatoes," Vera objects, playfully slapping her husband's arm.

"I wish dragons were real," Cassilda remarks. "I'd love to ride one, like the knights in the old stories."

Author:  djhyland [ Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia frowns. She doesn't think that her dream was caused by a bad potato, but she doesn't feel the need to argue about it. "You might be right, Father," she says. Though she does not speak it, her thoughts continue. "But if that is so, then why did nobody else have such dreams?"

Cassilda's words provoke another shudder. Arulia certainly doesn't think that the dragons in her dream would suffer knights to ride them, and the thought of being so close to one terrifies her. But she smiles anyway. "Do you wish to become a knight, then, Little Sister?"

Author:  JadedDM [ Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Cassilda thinks this over. "If I can ride dragons, then yes."

"I thought you wanted to be a Holy Guard," her mother points out.

"That was last week," her father adds. "And the week before that, she wanted to be a sorceress."

"Maybe I'll be all of those things," Cassilda says, smiling.

"Well," Thoron says, standing up after having finished his meal. "Some of us are mere blacksmiths and have better get to the forge. I heard there's a new shipment of iron finally coming from that mine that was closed down. It's about time, to say the least."

Author:  djhyland [ Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia laughs at Cassilda's multi-faceted future. "I'm sure that you'll make the finest wizardly guardian knight that the world's ever seen, Cassilda! Or the best at whatever you end up deciding to do."

As her stepfather rises, Arulia hurriedly eats the rest of her porridge. Her voice muffled by the last of her food, she asks, "Do you need me to help at the forge, Father, or shall I work with Mother today?"

Author:  JadedDM [ Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Thoron looks over to his wife. "Do you need help today?"

She shrugs. "Not especially."

"No, me, either," he agrees. Looking back to Arulia, he says, "Looks like it's up to you then."

Author:  djhyland [ Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia shrugs. "If neither of you need me today, maybe I'll go to the market. Is there anything that you need that I could pick up while I'm there?"

Author:  JadedDM [ Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

"If you could pick up something for dinner tonight, that would be great," her mother says. "I might not have time to go shopping later myself."

Author:  djhyland [ Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

Arulia nods. "Yes, Mother, I will. And I'll get dinner going tonight, too, so you won't have to worry about that."

Turning to her sisters, she asks, "If Mother and Father don't need the three of you, either, would you like to go to the market with me?"

Author:  JadedDM [ Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Arulia's Vignette

"No, thanks," says Niniva. "It's way too cold out today."

"I'll stay and help mother," Camilla says.

Cassilda pipes up. "I'll go! Let me get my cloak!"

"Keep an eye on her," Vera says to Arulia. "In case those cultists start another riot."

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