05.16.2013: Awakened in the Woods
Summary: Lucretia meets Aidan in Arboren, and they discuss the Hostiles.
Date: 16-05-2013
Related: None
Lucretia Aidan 

The Ways of Arborenin
Newcomers to Arborenin must take a moment to fully realize where the shimmering arch of the Ways have brought them. Hundreds of feet above the forest floor, the tree city of Arborenin seems to be integrated into the forest itself with soaring organic arches, tiered promenades, and staircases that spiral around the thick tree trunks. The Ways hub sits in the topmost roost of the canopy where sun- or moonlight easily filters through the large, broad leaves and the puzzle pieces of sky is easily seen.

Like other major hubs around Haven, it is a broad plaza with humped arches of varying sizes scattered across it. The rest of Arborenin is accessed through a series of staircases and silent lifts. The Heartwood is the most popular place for newcomers to venture as it is one of the major crossroads in the tree city.


"Careful with those." Aidan's saying to some men controlling the float pallets that are heading through the Ways. "My father won't be happy if one of them tips over." There's little do identify just who his father is except the Peake insignia on his tunic. In most other ways, he dressed identically to most of the Arboren natives. Unlike many of the obvious civilians though, he carries a bow and arrows. Many but not all, given the Hostiles that were found in the forest.

Striding into the plaza surrounding the ways, Lucretia doesn't look too bothered by the fact that they're standing amidst the canopy of a forest. The woman's hat, and the fact that she walks with a tall, gnarled staff topped with a large glass sphere held in one hand likely sets her apart from the crowd. "Yes, I've arranged for a shipment from Arborenin's bowyer's, it should arrive within the week. I figured we might as well get the best, right? Who's going to provide better? I'll talk to you soon." Speaking to seemingly no one as she walks, the brunette lifts a hand to tap at her ear, ending the call as her emerald gaze sweeps the area. Looking to the Ways for a moment, she sees that it's rather busy at the moment, and makes not of the man who seems to be in charge and wanders towards Aidan, inquiring as she nears him, "Supplies for the impending conflict, or something else?"

"Yes." Aidan answers, glancing over to see who's talking. Naturally, his eyes fix quickly on the staff and glass sphere which seems to be what prompts the amused look as he turns to her. "Some extra rations that won't go bad any time toon." Just in case they need to hole up. "Hopefully, it won't come to that since we've had time to prepare." 500 years in fact. "Aidan Peake."

Setting the butt end of the staff against the ground, Lucretia stops next to Aidan, not giving him much more than a cursory glance before she looks to the little convoy of supplies. Nodding, she comments, "Lucretia Cindravale, a delight to make your acquaintance. Hopefully our centuries of forewarning and preparation prove to have been well spent." A little pause and she continues, "I don't get out to the Spine very often, but it's a lovely place. Hard of course, but lovely all the same." Glancing fully to the younger man now, "One of Lord Trentin's children, or from another portion of the family? Do forgive me, I lose track of some families on occasion."

"His second born." Aidan agrees. His older sister is the heir and more commonly seen playing the game. "A pleasure, Lady Cindravale. And yes, it really is." He smiles, pleased at the compliment to the land. "Though no harder than most other places. The challenges are merely different is all and the compensations more than make up for it. I must admit though to feeling exposed here without a mountain above me."

"Hah, I admit, I feel a little out of place here myself. I'm used to having walls around me. The Fortress, everything is inside, it is a bit different than many cities and villages," Lucretia shakes her head as she speaks, an easy smile on her lips. "But, the people here are good, and there is beauty here as well, the kind you don't see anywhere else. The kind worth defending." Regarding the man, still smiling, she queries, "Are you aware of any your family intending to compete in any events at the approaching tourney? It will be good for the people's morale, I believe."

Aidan grins at Lucretia. "Oh, it's not the openness so much. I'm used to that while hunting. But growing up inside a mountain makes you appreciate being surrounded by solid rock." The grin fades as he adds "It's less flammable." But at the question, he shrugs the somberness away and shrugs. "I don't know. I don't really pay much attention to tournaments. I've always felt there were more important things to do than measuring your… ahhhh…" Ahem.

"Trees are a bit fragile," the brunette offers with a laugh. "As I am sure you are aware, the Valen tend to be all about measuring and making a grand show of it." Lucretia grins and tilts her staff to one side, as she adds, "It's fun, it provides a bit of entertainment, and it keeps us sharp. Even if some people do think we simply do it all for the show, we are quite talented. …And I suppose the knights aren't too bad either." The older woman laughs again as she adds the last bit with a smile.

Aidan grins and shrugs, acknowledging the point. "Well, now's a good time to have as much fun as you can." he allows. "Maybe I'll come watch if not actually compete." Not that he'd be up for anything but the archery competition. "Will you be participating?"

"Oh, no, no. I'm no Knight, I fear. Too soft and pampered. And I don't believe any sorcery duels will be part of the tourney, so that means I shall just be spectating with the rest of the crowd and cheering on the parts of my family who do compete," Lucretia answers. Hmm'ing aloud, she waits a moment before asking, "You heard about the two hostiles who were encountered, I presume. In the Spine, wasn't it? Have your heard anything much about it, beyond what they've released to the news?"

Aidan loses all the previous amusement from a moment ago then beckons Lucretia off to one side. "Not that I have anything to say that they don't know already but why worry them if they hear us talking about it. I actually got the story from one of the ones who was there. They'd been hunting some missing nobles and one only was found. Dead. That's when they ran into the Hostiles. But there were three pods found here, not two." Which might actually be something many of the citizens don't know.

Lucretia follows the young man, and listens in silence, content to hear what he has to share without interrupting. As he finishes, she nods slowly, "Now that -is- most interesting…I've spoken with two of the group thus far. One I tracked down purposefully after learning the Hostile seemed to respond differently to the Awakened of the group." The brunette shakes her head slowly, "Neither of them said anything about there being a third pod. So…another Hostile. Likely disappeared with the missing woman. Who was an Awakened. It makes sense that there was another, since they never found her." She trails off into silence, fingers drumming against her staff.

Aidan nods slowly. "Yes, there was likely a third in this group. They hope Lady Trella is still alive but…" A shrug indicates his opinion of the likelihood of that. "At best, I hope she's already dead and it was quick. But who knows how many there were total and where they all are. I'm not going anywhere unarmed now, especially if they're targetting Awakened."

"I…do not think she is dead. As much as it pains me to say that," Lucretia confides in the man. "My dreams coupled with the knowledge that they seem to focus on us when encountered..and have abducted an Awakened.." Her head shakes slowly as she speaks, "I assume you've had the same, if you are Awakened? They are taking us for something, I think. And a quick death is likely not it. You are wise to be armed. And I might suggest not traveling alone very often."

Aidan nods. "I have." he agrees. "But she might have been able to fight back enough to force them to kill her." One can hope anyway. "I've been thinking on why they might want us. If they used the original colonists as experimental subjects, or even maybe breeding stock, then they might want us for the same reason. So in another five hundred years, they'll have their own Awakened. Naturally, that can never be allowed to happen. We must make sure none of us fall into their hands alive."

"There are myriad possibilities. Especially when coupled with the fact that we've no idea where the Hostiles come from…" Lucretia starts, then pauses a long moment, "The dream, I know Lyrienne did not notice everything I did. She heard the voices, but I think there was someone behind me as well. Coupled with what was happening…I don't know. They could be using us for experiments as you say, trying to obtain our gifts, or just to understand them. Or perhaps, they -were- Awakened. Perhaps that is us. I've no idea how, but the dream seemed to imply I was becoming something else."

His head unconsciously tilting slightly to the side, Aidan studies Lucretia a moment. "Tell me everything you dreamt from start to finish? That's never been one of my stronger abilities."

"The bed, the humming, pain. A lot of pain, everywhere. There were voices in the humming, words I didn't understand. And then I realized I was screaming, but couldn't move. Then I sat up, and there was a mirror, and I could see myself. I was tearing my skin away, and beneath it, I was cybernetic, I was alien. And the entire time, there was something standing behind me, completely wrapped in an aura of white. I couldn't tell what it was." Lucretia falls silent a moment after offering her information.

Aidan is silent as he listens and for a few moments once Lucretia is silent as well. "I got some of that but not all of it. Not that I remember. Hearing what I missed… It makes me even more troubled. That they are trying to convert us is one conclusion. But the one in white you speak of…" He shakes his head.

"Very troubling. I am uncertain what to make of the other figure. Perhaps something to do with where the Hostiles came from," a pause, "—or what made them." Lucretia offers that possibility and gives a moment to let it sink in. "I suggest informing any Awakened you know to be careful. And doing so yourself. They are obviously here. I find it highly improbable they only sent three. Even a scouting party would be larger than that. I won't be surprised to learn of other small groups of them being encountered."

"Not surprised at all." Aidan reaches up to run his finger through his hair, dislodging enough to fall into his eyes which he absently pushes to the side. "No, there are more. Caution, not to mention logic, demands that we act as if it's fact." He thinks a moment then suggests "May I share thoughts with you? And study your aura? As a future precaution. Though in a more private location."

"Indeed it does," Lucretia agrees and then mmm's, "Of course. It might prove helpful, especially in the coming days. And it is always fun to see what someone's aura looks like." A small grin is offered before she asks, "Did you have somewhere in mind? We shouldn't draw attention for now reason, I suppose."

Aidan makes a sweeping gesture toward the Ways. "Peake is but a few steps away. And there I can ask a local shopkeeper to let us use his backroom." The advantage of nobility: imposing on those who aren't.

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