07.01.3013: What Dreams May Come
Summary: Aidan requests to talk to Lionel. Lionel doesn't really offer a lot of answers, but just causes more questions.
Date: 1 July 2013
Related: None
Lionel Aidan 

Gardens of Night, Khar-Mordune
Just outside the graceful entrance to the Nether Keep is the Gardens of Night. It is far from a traditional garden. There are no flowers, shrubs, or lawns to be found, but instead natural cave formations such as flowstone, draperies, and delicate helictites that are covered in bioluminescent algae and moss. There is a constant soft sound of dripping water from the spiky ceiling of stalactites that has been integrated into a natural fountain that cannot be easily compared to the classic, manmade fountains of other castle gardens.

At the back of the gardens is the organic and graceful entrance with a flowing staircase that leads up to a column-flanked archway. More of that delicate helictite formation is used to accent the gateway into the Nether Keep, inviting visitors inward.

July 1, 3013

Dax leads the charge into the Garden of Night, nose to the ground in an aggressive determination to smell everything. The nine-month-old, golden-furred puppy is wagging his tail with a kind of bruise-inducing intensity, his bright eyes ever attentive to where he's going even if his nose is doing most of the guiding. Striding behind the pup is the relaxed Sir Lionel Keats, hands buried in the pockets of his greatcoat. He is looking around for Aidan, and when he spies him, he whistles curtly to Dax to follow. The pup looks up, flopped over ears waggling a bit at the abrupt gesture, and then he bounds after Lionel as the man approaches the Peake Lord.

Aidan has picked a spot off the direct path between the Keep and the main cavern to avoid the people walking to and fro. On the far side of the 'fountain', he's leaning back against one of the sturdier stalagmites that's not covered in any type of growth. Looking up at the whistle, he lifts a hand in greeting and beckons in case he wasn't seen. once Lionel's close enough, he says "Sir Lionel. Thanks for coming. Though I'd have been happy to come to Arboren to talk to you."

Dax seems to be always on the brink of wanting to break away from Lionel, but that good Rovehn training keeps him bounding along beside The Mane. Lionel's expression lightens into a boyish smile as he finishes his approach to Aidan, offering him a simple bow of his head in formal greeting before he gestures down to Dax in a nonverbal command, and the puppy plops right on his butt. The Knight looks over toward Aidan once more, shaking his head a bit. "Not a bother, Lord Aidan… I first thought of requesting that, but realized Dax has never gotten to smell Khar-Mordune, and acclaimation is important training for him."

Aidan is smiling at the pup but looks up as Lionel starts talking. "He's a fine looking dog. Once we're done talking, you can give him permission to play so I can fuss over him. We'll need an amusing diversion by then too."

That last sentence draws Lionel's bushy brows up and he sobers a bit as he steps forward so that he may take a seat either beside or across from Aidan. He folds his fingers together, blue eyes glancing once around the garden before settling easily on Aidan's own gaze. "What do you wish to speak about, My Lord?"

"I don't know how much you know about the Awakened…" Aidan starts off and then pauses to get an answer to that before continuing.

Lionel blinks a bit, dropping his elbows onto his knees as he shakes his head. "I know as much as Jeremy tells me," The Mane explains.

"He's a druid? Or a scholar on the subject?" Aidan asks. "And if the former, has he mentioned any recent dream to you?"

This is when Lionel blinks, straightening up in his seat just as easily as he hunched over. He rolls his shoulders almost uncomfortably. "When did this dream happen? Last night?"

Aidan nods and reaches up to run a hand over his hair. "Yes." he answers quietly, looking down at Dax. "I'd wanted to ask you previously if you knew, or could find out, if any of the Rovehn captured were Awakened. But now I also want - no, I need to know - if any were priests as well. Was anyone of the Chantry captured? And not rescued."

"Shit, Jeremy…" Lionel mutters into the crook of his hand before he scrubs his hand back across his short hair. "You should have told me." Then he shakes his head, breathing out an honest sigh before he nods his head. "There were some… Awakened that is. But, as for Priests… no, there were none." He frowns. "What did you see? How does this concern the Chantry?"

"Shit." It's half mutter and half sigh. "You're sure none were from the Chantry?" Aidan asks but doesn't really sound like he expects the answer to change. He's silent a moment before saying "It… There…" Pause. "I can understand him not telling you. It's not something I'd want to talk about right after waking either. You're aware that, often when we dream, we are actually experiencing things from the viewpoint of someone who is actually there?"

Lionel frowns a bit at Aidan's hestitant voice. Worry flexes over his brow, darkening his blue eyes. He leans back a bit beside the Peake Lord as he considers this for another moment. "Jeremy doesn't often describe his dreams to me, My Lord… I'm aware that there is some transference, but also a lot of symbolic deciphering." He shrugs his broad shoulders a bit.

"Many times, things are symbolic." Aidan agrees, keeping his gaze on the puppy. "Many times they are exactly what we see except we don't know what it means, when it happens, or other factors. Such as during the feast… We all saw battle aboard ship. We saw friends dying. We heard singing. We just had no idea until it all came together that it was happening right then. But what we dream is always true even if we interpret it wrong."

He continues to frown, but while Aidan looks at Dax, Lionel looks at Aidan. There is a deeply worried line in his brow that he can't seem to shake. "And whatever you saw concerned someone of the Chantry? Have the Elders been informed?"

"I don't know, Lionel. I didn't contact them. But as many of us as there are, including in the Chantry itself I'd assume, I'd think they'd know. What there is to know." Aidan adds. "The thing is, I don't know what to tell them now that you've said no priest was taken."

Lionel breathes out a slow sigh. "I'm not much help… the Chantry and I… we're not on the best speaking terms." He frowns a bit. "It might be worth it to see if other Awakened have ideas… I can ask Jeremy if you'd like."

"It certainly can't hurt." Aidan agrees slowly, shrugging slightly, as he thinks. "I think… Hostiles landed on Primus didn't they." It's not really a question. "The dream…" Finally he looks away from Dax and over to Lionel. "It was a first person experience of being vivisected. And there was a charred brand of the Chantry on the forehead of whoever it was."

Lionel the Mane pales a bit as Aidan briefly describes the dream. He brings up his hand to his chest, rubbing uncomfortably at the center. "Where the hostages were being held," he explains, his throat a bit dry. "There were signs that the Hostiles had been… dissecting them. Perhaps they are not the only Hostile unit doing this." He furrows his brow. "We should find out if the Chantry is missing anyone."

Aidan nods. "I know. And yes, I'm planning to. But… Since none of your people were priests, I'm thinking it's not that simple. The mark could indicate a member of the Chantry but why burnt?" He shakes his head. "If I had to guess, I'm thinking it's going to be an attack on Primus where there will not only be captives but buildings burnt."

There is an obvious shudder that carries through Lionel's frame, though it is hardly caused by the natural chill of the caverns. He shakes his head a bit as he reaches down to give Dax's head a gentle rub. "The Knight Commander should be informed, as should the Elders, if they haven't already."

"I'll do that. It's possible no one else has." Aidan looks down at Dax as he gets ruffled then back to Lionel. "You understand that this is all supposition. Someone else can, and probably has, interpreted it entirely differently. Just as I was before talking to you about the Rovehn captives. The only sure thing is that eventually, it'll make perfect sense."

Lionel nods, looking somber. "And we have to hope that it doesn't make perfect sense too late for us to do anything about it." He then offers the fellow man a slight smile, reaching out to give his shoulder a companionable squeeze.

"They always come true, Lionel. Always." Aidan says, sounding resigned. "What we dreamt will happen. The strange thing? I got the feeling they were curious about it all. As if they wouldn't be screaming if we vivisected them. Though I suppose that makes sense if they're mechanical. Curious about pain, curious about how we're put together, curious about life."

Lionel grimaces uneasily. "Curiosity is dangerous, they always say." He scurbs his hands over his face and short hair before he starts to stand. "If you'll excuse me, My Lord… I need to go see if I can find Jeremy. He took off into the woods today… and now I think I know why."

Aidan nods and stands as well. "Yes, go find him. I have a message to compose and send to some people. Thank you for the information, Sir Lionel. At least it helped rule out some possibilities."

Lionel reaches down to offer the man a handshake rather than custom bow, gripping his forearm if he agrees to it. Once the exchange is done, or not, Lionel moves off to see if he can find Jeremy.

Aidan doesn't hesitate in clasping Lionel's arm and starts for the Keep as the knight leaves the garden.

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