Talus Kahar's House - Living Room - Crown's Refuge
Built mostly by his own hands, this is the first structure built by the exiled Emperor of Fastheld, Talus Kahar XIV, as a project to learn self-sufficiency among the denizens of the Wildlands.
The main living room area is rather spacious, with room for a couch and several chairs. An L-shaped wooden counter divides this area from the kitchen and dining area. A door leads to his bedchamber.

It's been a long day, and it's likely not over yet for the current inhabitant of the exiled Emperor's old house. It's in a state of disarray, with dried skins hung seemingly randomly about the room, and bundles of various colored herbs resting on whatever flat surface was closest at the time they were tied together.

Vhramis thumps against the door before shoving it open, the man muttering to himself. The gifted glowing bow is slung over his shoulder - the position it hasn't left since he received it.

Surprise A condition or situation in which a party to a proceeding is unexpectedly placed without any fault or neglect of his or her own and that entitles the party to relief.

Suprise, then, may seem a fitting noun to describe the events that follow the act of Vhramis entering the former domicile of Talus Kahar, for upon this cold evening, his ingress into the house of the previously exiled Emperor is greeted by a somewhat ominous noise indeed:


To the left of Vhramis's head, now deeply embedded into the wooden wall, quivers the harbinger of this heralding noise: A swift oak arrow, fletching shivering from the impact of the head biting deep into the wood, shaft vibrating with unleashed force. From within the darkness of the room, bathed now in the natural shades of dusk, a single voice promises: "The next one doesn't miss."

Vhramis' muttering ceases immediately as the arrowhead strikes the wood, freezing midstep. Indeed, he does look quite surprised, and for good reason, and it seems for a moment that he may throw himself backwards out the open door to flee the house. But the stranger's promise grounds his feet, and the Ranger makes no hostile movements. "Who are you?"

As vision adjusts to darkness, and perception shifts from pitch black to a more chromatic view of the world, the silhouette of the hidden assailant appears to become more prevalent; crouched into a kneeling stance, with a longbow held horizontally before him, and an arrow apparently already nocked and ready to fly, the coiled antagonist of this situation appears - as one might already have guessed - human, without a doubt. Long hair cascades from his head to fall upon his shoulders, while his form appears to be shrouded in dark leather. The whispering bristle of a quiver of arrows can clearly be heard with each subtle movement, while the glint of eyes - the cold eyes of a hunter - watch Vhramis intently from within that concealing darkness.

"I could ask you the same thing." the voice of that wolf asks; a voice that has an edge sharpened by more fighting than the owner would have perhaps have liked to have seen in their lifetime, and certainly no stranger to. Yet beneath that snarl rests a hint of compassion, and an odd yet casually regal purr...

Vhramis squints at arrow leveled at him, but more so at the figure. What he can me out, at least. "And what is that supposed to mean?" he asks, his voice somewhat distant, while his body remains perfectly still. A hunter being stared down by another. "You've invaded my home."


Now neatly resting at torso level, and slightly to the left of the one above it, a second arrow now happily shivers as it bites deeply of the wall in front of it. A fluid motion, almost cat-like in speed, from the shadow within the shadows upon the other side of the room indicates the rapid draw and nocking of a third shaft upon that longbow that so torments the waylaid Ranger.

"Wrong answer." the prowling wolf lowly growls, eyes flashing as the light of the moon peeking in through the clear window refracts upon their crystalline depths. "Now then, are you going to tell me why you're in my brother's home, or are you and my Longbow going to have a discussion regarding the nature of truth?"

"Your brother..." Vhramis murmurs, the man reeling ever so slightly. It seems like something has clicked, though the shock from the revelation is put under control. His eyes dart over the moonlit figure with an even more intent interest. "He's my brother too. In a sense. I keep his estate for him. You know this... Serath?"

Now it's the Wolf's turn to reel as the statement of the name of the hunter, apparently directly on the mark, takes the forsaken Prince of the Blood off guard. A rare feat indeed, and one that - if the shadows speak the truth - causes the aim of the longbow to train away from the general area that is Vhramis's direction for just a moment.

The silence speaks more of an answer than words could ever hope to achieve.

"We thought you were dead," Vhramis says to his half-brother, staring at him in wonderment. "We all thought..." He swallows heavily, looking more than a little relieved to not have the arrow pointed at him anymore. "I'm not your enemy. There's no need for weapons here."

The Wildcat - for that is what his true nature remains - slowly draws into a standing position, the longbow remaining lowered but in a position that will permit for a quick snapshot if the situation demands. For quite a few moments that silence remains the dominant sound within the House of Talus Kahar, Ranger looking upon Ranger within the solitude of the darkness that enshrouds them both.

"Who /are/ you?" he asks, his voice that familiar and distinctive purr, though with something missing. Something akin to a wildfire that has since been tamed. One must remember that, from Serath's perspective, his counterpart appears as a glowing blue hue.

Vhramis doesn't quite understand the question, it seems. That, or he's just thinking about it too much, for he states blankly at Serath for a moment, before abruptly dropping the bow to his side and stepping away. "I was your companion for a short while. We forged a bond in the blood of wildlings and the strange creatures of this land." Slowly, he extends his arms to the side, holding them out. "I'd embrace you, as companion, if not brother."

He's thinking about it too much, if Serath's amused tone is anything to go by as the Prince of the Blood figures it out. The voice of the other Ranger is more than familiar once the shimmering blue Longbow is out of the equation. "Vhramis." he states, softly, before - within the shadows - shaking his head. The smile upon his visage doesn't need to be seen to make its presence known. "Vhramis, I like you and all, but..." He shrugs, innocently, the darkness doing little to conceal the motion.

Quite the comeback.

The relief is obvious on his expression as he is recognized. It is hard to tell what being left for dead in the wildlands will do to someone, but apparently Vhramis figures it's nothing good. "I don't smell all that badly, do I?" he asks, finding the ability to be amused now that the danger of taking an arrow to the gut, chest, or throat has passed.

The Wildcat takes one step closer to Vhramis, and then another; his silhouette gaining definition with every inch closed between the two, shadow taking on substance taking on form within the persistent darkness of a wooden house nestled beneath the dusky starfield of a Wildland's night. He shakes his head at the question, though offers no spoken answer to either affirm of deny it. He does, instead, offer a leather-gloved hand to his counterpart, the rapiers that sleep at his sides - their somewhat tarnished hilts shimmering softly in the moonlight - remaining peacefully in place as he moves.

"I have a question." he purrs. A statement that may seem a little out of place considering the weight of unspoken questions about the last few months that no doubt hang in the air.

"Just one? I have plenty," Vhramis responds, gladly accepting the offered hand and clasping Serath's wrist. It appears as if, with the benefit of their closeness, he's now inspecting the unexpected guest for any obvious injuries. " all means, ask yours first."

"Which way is Fastheld?" Serath asks, the determination in his voice as sincere as the camaraderie that exists there as his wrist is clasped - and as he clasps Vhramis's wrist in turn - in a familiar warrior's embrace. "I have a promise to keep."

Return to Season 3 (2005)

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