This dialogue takes place the evening before the war council.
In the city of Fennas Ëar the evening of the second day of Urui, the moon rises bright, but waning, closer now to new than full. The stars paint the deep cerulean of the night sky like a shining scattering of diamonds, and the scents of the city mix with the rich bouquet of the vast and timeless forest of Lëiore. Erenion Narbelmire cannot find peace in the trances that pass for sleep among the elves. He finds his feet wandering, taking him down dim corridors of gleaming marble lit by wisps of flickering mage light. He finds rooms so layered with dust that he surmises that none have passed their way in decades. He discovers hidden gardens, lit with moonlight and communal bathing chambers of pure green jade. He moves through a library whose shelves are laden with scrolls and carefully preserved books and still his feet carry him onward. He wanders up a grand stair and through a disused hall, a pair of thrones draped in delicate white mourning lace perched atop a dais of weirwood at one end. It is here Erenion’s feet finally pause as he looks upon the seat which once served his sister, Elenariel. Where now does she lie? He finds himself wondering. The dark, unused throne room holds no answers. A soft clink of a bottle makes him turn and he sees a thin figure sitting on the floor in the darkness cast by a pillar.
“Hello, old friend,” says Celorik Carnen, Erenion’s nephew, slurring slightly.
Erenion continues to gaze at the throne, a plethora of emotions flowing through his mind. He nods once, then turns toward the voice of his old friend.
“It seems we of the old guard see fit to torture ourselves within memories that should have been lain to rest long ago. I have so many unanswered questions…it’s a bit embarrassing, really. A fellow of my age should probably be dispensing prophetic wisdom, not worrying over what was.”
Erenion sighs quietly and walks over to Celorik. For a moment, the centuries of battle and strife show in his gaze.
“I’m glad you’re here, Captain. There are dark times ahead and if I can share one last drink with a boon companion, I’ll consider it a blessing from my lord.”
There is an uncharacteristic note of fatalism in his voice, though a grin stretches across his face.
Celorik returns the old elf’s gaze far more steadily than a man as far into his cups as he should be able. His smile welcomes his old adventuring companion, his eyes showing a dark tide of swirling emotions. Though far younger than Erenion, his face is lined and expression of one deeply wounded. Without a word, he hands his old friend the bottle and gestures to the floor as if to offer a seat, his eyes drifting to the empty thrones. Reaching into a short-coat that is resting folded beside him, his hand draws forth a silver flask of a type often favored by the noblemen of the edan [men], which he uncaps and raises in silent salute – to Erenion or the thrones is unclear. The sharp scent reveals its contents to be something much stronger than wine as he takes a drink, gasping faintly afterwards as the liquor bites his throat.
OOC: Celorik was born in 4560 which makes him around 320 when Jawarl Avignon fell to Mondru IV and the United Orc tribes. Korethor Carnen (Celorik’s grandsire) died when the last ship out of Jawarl sank with all hands and the city’s final defenders lost. That would probably would have been Celorik’s prime adventuring time. His father, Dior (your sister’s husband) was chosen to be the new Duke of Fennas Ëar, largely because he was the one all the various factions disagreed on least. It was largely thought that he would be the most maleable but Elenariel was her husband’s strength and touchstone. Many say that she was the true power in Fennas Ëar.
Around 4984 was the ‘time of troubles’ amonst the elves. The human citystates had been tearing themselves apart for a decade and there was talk of King Nicolos of Keloania setting aside his crown in an effort to pacify the conflicts. It was around this time that the various factions of Eldarea, who had been without a single unified leader since the disapearance of Mortethian (Korethor’s brother) fourteen years earlier, began a series of bloody internal purges. Many elves fled Fennas Ëar, some into Lëiore, some into the human lands. After the Winter of Death in 5002, elves outside of elven lands became less welcome. Celorik took it upon himself to find as many as he could and take them to a refuse some had established in a mountain range in the far north west – what would become Amcarofarne. He had the aid of a Argothan mage (a human) and several others – some of whom are probably still alive.
Erenion accepts the bottle and takes a long swig as he sits down. His eyes flicker from the throne to Celorik and back again.
“Look at us, a pair of old drunks, lost in history.” He gestures to the throne as he takes another long pull from the bottle. “Always hated that thing. Too much responsibility….like a prison disguised as a piece of furniture. I’ll never quite understand how she was able to do it, nephew.” Erenion clears his throat and twirls the bottle in his free hand. “The humans have a saying….‘herding cats’. Getting our people to agree on ANYTHING…..I imagine it must have been a stressful exercise… Heh, listen to me ramble.” He brushes a hand in front of his face as though to clear the jumble of memories.
A wry smile slowly paints Celorik’s face at his uncle’s words. “Cats, heh, yes that was what it was like. Father being the biggest one at times.” His eyes look in the direction of the covered thrones, but are clearly seeing them as they once were, not as they are now. “I miss father dearly, but mother…” He shakes his head and his eyes focus on the now. “That wound is far deeper.” He takes another pull at his flask and inhales sharply. “Its strange, Uncle. I was dead for around two years. I experienced terrible, nightmarish things. I come back and … " He waves his free hand around as if to take in the entire palace. “Its like I came back to a different place.” He shakes his head once more. “Celethor has grown cold and hard as I would never have imagined. Celemar. Well, I find that I don’t despise this new Celemar. He’s grown softer. Its like he got everything he was after – and by that I mean power – and found he didn’t want it. Like maybe he grew a heart.” He laughs softly and drinks again.
“And an entirely new generation of heroes have come into their own.” Erenion gestures vaguely at Celorik. “Your boy has grown into a fine warrior and leader. Have you had much chance to speak with him? I see more of you in that one every day. Well….the good parts of you anyway." Erenion chuckles and drains the bottle, then looks at it mournfully. “With all of our nation’s great magic, you’d think SOMEONE would have enchanted a decent everflowing wine bottle by now. CLEARLY our people lack the proper priorities these days.”
He stands and walks over to Celorik, resting a hand on his shoulder. “As different as this place seems to be, it still needs us.” His grip tightens. “I’ll be here for you, nephew. Do not despair. The world hasn’t fallen away just yet.” Erenion tilts his head, almost as though he is listening to an unheard voice. “The children will need our strength before the end.” He intones that last line in solemn fashion.
Even Celorik’s clouded countenance clears at the mention of his son. “Yes, he has, hasn’t he?” He hauls himself unsteadily to his feet, catching hold of his uncle’s arm until his balance returns. “There used to be a way to the kitchens back there,” he says, pointing past the thrones. “I may not be the swordsman I once was, but I trust that I am still up to the challenge of raiding the wine cellar!”
At first chuckling, then softly singing, the two old companions shuffle off into the dark supporting one another.