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[Rhiswyn] Inevitable

Alynore's picture

It was a lovely morning in Stormwind; warm, but with a breeze off the mountains. There would be rain in the afternoon, given the scent off the ocean mixing. For the moment, however, the sun was shining, and the streets weren't too busy between Trade and Cathedral Square.

Curlaina made her way through the city, humming to herself as she reached the bridge to the Cathedral Square. As she came in sight of the Great Cathedral, she grew quiet and continued to the home of Father Linder. Arriving at the door, the priestess knocked gently.  "Father Linder?  It’s Curlaina."

Unlike his daughter, Jarren Linder was a morning person, and normally on a nice day the door would already be propped open as he went about his daily routine. As Curlaina approached, however, the door was still closed--he had been sleeping in a bit more lately, though.

"Father Linder?" Curlaina called again, hesitantly reaching out and testing the doorknob. It was still locked. She had a key, rarely used; he didn't go out much anymore. Curlaina frowned as she reached into her pocket and took out her keyring. She gently inserted the key and unlocked the door.  Slowly opening it, Curlaina stuck her head inside and called out quietly, "Father Linder?"

No answer. The room was dim, the stove cool. Linder was in a chair by the window, one facing the morning light where he could read first thing. A book rested on his lap, and he didn't rouse when Curlaina entered and called for him.

"Sir?" Curlaina whispered, her face full of concern. Slowly she walked into the room to Father Linder's side, and then gently touched him on the shoulder. It was more obvious when she drew near and touched him; it hadn't been long at all. He simply leaned back as if falling asleep. Curlaina still touched Linder's neck and checked for a pulse.


Curlaina's hand covered her mouth as she let out a strangled gasp. Looking around, she left the small building, hoping to find someone outside in the courtyard. There were plenty of acolytes and paladin trainees going about their usual chores and routines. A priest Curlaina recognized by sight as someone Linder was friends with was chatting with a female paladin as they meandered down the walkway.

"Quick! I need help!" Curlaina called out to the priest and paladin, concern obvious on her face.

The pair paused, a few acolytes noticing as well, but letting the grownups respond. The priest--about 60-ish, grey haired, turned and frowned. "What is it, child?" He started heading Curlaina's way, the paladin trailing along, her armor clinking.

"Something has happened to Father Linder!" Curlaina explained rapidly. "Someone needs to go tell his daughter! Rhiswyn needs to be here." Her eyes were starting to tear up as she explained, her words tumbling out far too quickly.

The priest paused a half step, then hurried past Curlaina into the little house. The paladin stopped by Laina; she was maybe in her 40s, and giving off a motherly sort of vibe. "Are you all right? What happened?"

"I…the…I came by…like most mornings. He…Someone needs to tell his daughter!"

The paladin carefully put an arm around Laina's shoulders. "We will, hun," she said, looking up as the priest stepped out, somber. He called to a few of the acolytes now loitering nearby, curious about the commotion, sending a few to the Cathedral before turning to Laina and the paladin. "I will go retrieve Jarren's daughter. Miri, can you stay with her?" He asked, nodding to Laina.

"Is that all right with you, hun?" the paladin asked her.

Curlaina looked from the priest to the paladin and then nodded slightly. Tears slipped down Curlaina's cheek and she sniffled.

Miri steered Curlaina to the bench outside Linder's little house, gently rubbing the younger woman's shoulder. "It's quite the shock, I know." She watched as a few more priests appeared, heading their way. They glanced at the women on the bench before heading inside.

"He…his health…he'd…been tired a lot..." Curlaina struggled to form coherent sentences. After a moment, she brought her hands up and covered her nose and mouth, closing her eyes while more tears streamed down her face.

"Yes, he was rather ill; it's all right to grieve, hun. Even knowing it's inevitable doesn't make it easier." She paused, thinking. "You're...Curlaina, right?"

Curlaina didn't open her eyes, but nodded to the question. She tried very hard to catch her breath and not break down any further, and after a few moments she looked back up, swiping her hands at her eyes.

"He mentioned you before; said you were gifted, and kind. I'm Miri." People continued to move in and out of the little house, but left Curlaina and Miri alone.

Curlaina looked over at Miri and shrugged a little. Then her gaze turned back to the little house and she shuddered. "We knew he wasn't well…but I…I didn't expect…At least he probably went peacefully, right?" Curlaina asked quietly, looking back to Miri.

"How did he look to you?"

"Like he was sleeping?" Curlaina answered, sounding sadly hopeful.

Miri nodded. "Then he probably felt nothing. Just slipped away to rejoin the Light. It was his time, that's all. We're not all so lucky."

Curlaina sniffled again and then nodded, her head turning back slowly towards the house. "He was really nice to me," she whispered.

Miri gave her a light, gentle hug. "I'm sure he was. Share that kindness with others, and you'll do his memory well."

There was a sudden thrumming of wings and the put-upon chuff of a fey dragon from above. People scattered as Rhiswyn landed her drake in the courtyard, immediately hopping down. The drake shimmered and changed to its smaller size. Rhis lookd around wildly, spotting Laina on the bench.

Laina looked wide-eyed as Rhiswyn suddenly appeared. Curlaina tried to dry off the tears from her face with the backs of her hands.

Rhis must have been woken up; her uncombed hair was in a hasty ponytail, she had no makeup on, and looked like she just grabbed the dress she'd been wearing last night. "Laina! Dear, Father Clefton said--" She stopped, blinking at Laina as she really looked at the younger girl.

"Rhis," Curlaina replied quietly. "Your father…he..." Curlaina blinked and then looked past Rhiswyn to the little house.

Rhiswyn's already fair face grew paler, and she rushed past into the house. A moment later, there was a jagged shriek from inside. Some of the priests who were inside tending to Linder hurried out.

Curlaina gasped, watching the house for a moment before she looked to Miri, unsure of what to do.

Miri gave Curlaina's shoulder a small squeeze. "I think she's going to need a friend, don't you?" The paladin urged gently.

Curlaina nodded tentatively and then stood. Holding her hands tightly, squeezing her fingers, she made her way over to the house and peered inside through the doorway.

Rhiswyn was now alone, dropped to her knees, one arm across her stomach, the other over her mouth as she rocked and sobbed next to the chair her father's body still rested in. The fey drake flit around, chirring in concern, fluttering to Laina making distressed squeaks before hovering back by Rhiswyn, not knowing what to do.

Curlaina slipped into the house and knelt next to Rhiswyn, wrapping her arms around Rhis and holding her. The younger priest started crying in earnest this time, quietly repeating, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

Rhiswyn clung to Curlaina, still sobbing. Eventually Father Clefton, Miri, and the others returned to quietly get to their work while giving the pair their space and time to grieve.