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The moon was slowly rising above the forests, letting it’s pale ivory beams shine down upon the land of Zel'aran.  Within her skies there was the light of stars that were still virginal and unknown.  However on this night the stars could not be seen, only the strength of the moon could cut down the shadows that the clouds created.  These clouds were not made by nature, but by dark impure magics in the realm.  It was under this dark sky that the Lord of the Merricks, Athos Jeremy Merrick, stood preparing a horse he’d borrowed from his kin, a brown mare named Restara.  He picked up the emerald blanket he often traveled with, laying it atop his saddle for the moment.  He rubbed that young looking face, he was lucky that he had maintained his exterior all these years.  It pained him to leave in this way, in the middle of the darkness.  However, knowing what things may cross his path in the night, and knowing his ability to fight them, he chose this time as the best for his travels.  However, he did not count upon the sight that approached him as the moon crested the trees of winter.

“Athos, ye be leavin’ me without even sayin’ goodbye, do ye?” Came the tender tones of his Highland Rose.  She pulled her salmon gown slightly about her, the flames that she called her hair licking over her head and let loose a tender glow.  Kaylia Merrick was a vision, one that Athos had dreamed forth, in a way.  He had dreamed of traveling to a world of his desire, to find his own way and destiny in the universe.  It was this dream that lead him to a run down tavern in a pirate’s wharf, and this lass had been sitting at the bar, dressed as any good sailor man would be.  A rapier at her side, a second within her mouth that stung with a wit that none could match save those she trusted, none thought her possible to be tamed.  It was only in the darker times that this lass had come into her own and in turn, had come to him.  Many a war-torn road he had fought across to be at her side, but in the end, he returned her heart to her intact after it had been entrusted to him.  Now he called her wife, and mother to his darling children who rested in the Merrick Keep.

“Kaylia, my love…” His voice was weary with pain and reluctance.  “I did nae wish tae wake ye so soon after ye finally got tha children tae sleep.”  He buckled the curved bastard sword to the saddle of his steed, trying not to gaze too deeply into those eyes that sought to sooth his pains and keep him at her side.  “Besides, tis only a two day ride, a week in tha field, and then I am returned to ye.”  It was only then that he would turn, the dress looking so radiant over her form.  Even now those emerald pools seemed to seek him out, drown him in their power and reform him anew.  But he shook it away, taking up the blanket he’d placed over the side of the horse.

Kaylia looked far more worried than her husband would give her credit for.  She touched his leathered chest gently with her porcelain hand, gazing up at him.  “Ye ride forth ona darker night than e’en yer kin expected it ta be.  The Dark Ones are out there, Athos, and they be wantin’ yer blood, an’ mine, an’ tha of our children.  I beg ye, wait another day, maybe even two.  By then, I’ll be strong enough ta join ye.”  She’d give him a grin only a rouge could love, “Ye be knowin’ I swing a sword jus’ as well as ye do.”

At that, her husband moved to her side, the moon now rising higher to shine upon them both and the keep behind them.  And in the reflections of the light, the pair could make out the images of three wisp-like faefolk, their wings glittering in the light as they danced about them toward the heavens.  A slight song could almost be heard on the air as they moved.  He draped his jade-colored blanket over his shoulders, and wrapped her up in his arms, the material just covering them both.  

“Fear not, my love.  For in this night, we ‘ave been blessed by the Lunar Goddess.  Her light will guide me through tha darkness, and return me safe to yer arms.  Carry on fer me, keep the Keep warm with thought o’ our love, and ye shall find the fortnight passes quite quickly.”  He would turn her to face him, and in a single gesture impart all of his love for her in a slow press of his lips to hers.  Time stood still for them in this moment, before he was forced to relinquish their heartfelt goodbye.  He left the blanket wrapped around her shoulders, and forced himself into the saddle.  

“In a fortnight then, Lady Merrick.”  He would pull his hood over his head now, letting the shadow hide all but his eyes with took a slight glow.  He then urged the horse into it’s motion, riding forth toward the trees.  It was unknown how long Kaylia stood there watching as he was her size, then the size of a child, then of a pawn on a chessboard, till finally he was a speck on the darkened horizon, leaving but the mists to roll in after his passage.  She then pulled that covering he’d left up to her face and took in his scent, smiling to herself before going back into the Keep.  She would keep her promise, the fire being brightly lit, and his family waiting for his return.
Written to my good friend Lacolombededeuil [link] based on a RPG that she and I work on together. It has been a long time since any of our tale has been told, but I think this will make a nice springboard back into things. As for the inspiration, the image above created by Cosmosue [link] found in it's greater glory here [link] which stirred a chord in me. I'd also like to thank her inspirations, Cobweb-stock [link] and Lockstock [link] for giving her the inspiration to create this peice of work, which in turn gave me what I needed. Please view each of their pages, for they may in turn give you the spark to create.

To my Highland Rose, your loyal Knight and Friend,
Johnathan, Prince of Jupiter
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:iconaheartswhispers:
AHeartsWhispers Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2008
:peace: Good, very very good! I can just hear her doing that accent! A definite fav! :peace:

Vic :peace:
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:iconlacolombededeuil:
LaColombeDeDeuil Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
"Come ride with me, I am yearnin thy voice to hear, come ride with me, I am wantin thy arms to be near me, come ride with me ore the moors in a wild moon night, and we shall find a meadow where a tree stands as sentenial and there my love we shall lay side by side. Aye, Athos, come out my love and with me ride."

k
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:iconandi101:
andi101 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007
awesome story
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:iconlacolombededeuil:
LaColombeDeDeuil Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Professional General Artist
"Watch where ye be headed, tis not long after Spring Solstice and the Sidhe be about! Aye if ye but glance at one ye be lost." her voice is carried on the winds across the moors, craps and lakes, like a rose petaled wind it blows - soft caressing - warning ye - aye the moors nor any dream plane be safe this night. There be Merrick Sidhe about." the slim tall auburn haired woman finished her words, and as her green eyes shimmered under a still soltice moon, enchantment drew you into them,danger drew you nearer, as did her voice recall to your memory life in all its most genteel of forms, "I dinna mean to disturb ye, me name be Chieftan Tansist of both Merrick-MacArdy clans, ye may call me Kaylie." and it seemed the mist of the moors grew for a moment in thickness, as the scent of heather was left behind, and she into the mist is gone, all you hear is a faint sound of horse beats and you have to smile::blackrose:

K:blackrose:
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:iconprinceofjupiter:
PrinceofJupiter Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006
"Ye be ridin' too much alone, dear Kaylia." His voice would come from the distance, road weary in it's way. He looked disheveled and somewhat wounded, an arrow still through his left shoulder. Restara looked like she'd been through a hellride, a breed of steed not known for perspiring was covered in a fine sheen of water, though there had been no rain. He would come to a stop near her, his lips pulling up into a weary smile. "I did the best I could, but a surprise troop came in from the south and ambushed our scouts. I could not leave our people alone to defend themselves... We fought them down, with minimal casualties... the moment the last was dead, I gave them orders to withdraw and refresh their number, then came to try and find you."
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:iconlacolombededeuil:
LaColombeDeDeuil Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Professional General Artist
"Ach, my love, " her green eyes deepened to such a color that to be called green one had to picture the sea in the midst of its saddest time, ' YE be hurt! Tis of nae importance the other matters," she summoned Airem who always followed her from the distance, the sidhe archer warrior a gift from her mother, 'Ride Airem, ride now, get to me Mother, tell her to tell Dair, and be ready. And hell's bell's Airem, ye may be the best,but I will separate you if you do not us help get." words said not in a tone of anger but more of authority used to be given and obeyed, "And send for Dair!" she then did not turn back to see if Airem had obeyed, she merely slid to the ground, grabbed a hunk of mane, and mounted behind her injured husband, hugging her to him with one arm and gathering his steed with her other, "Athos wrap yerself in me cloak best ye can love, I nae be riding alone from here. But hells bells Athos you try to let that poison of that arrow take you, I will come drag ye back by yer heels." her voice playfully attempted at but failing miserably in the deep sadness as she could feel his every pain, tears choked back , as she did nae wish one to drop on her husband's cheek as she felt his head on her shoulder fall and at that was off on steed bred of hooves of fire and magic power, to take him home, swearin under her breathe like a sailor as she once was that she had should have come sooner:
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:iconprinceofjupiter:
PrinceofJupiter Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006
He would let out a slight groan as she mounted up behind him, using his good arm to pull the cloak tighter about them. His wound was purple with infection, and the aforementioned poison. Not so bad that his arm may need to be taken, for there was more to this fine Laird than that. He would give his lady the lightest of nods as Restara would be lead at Kaylia's word. His groans were barely noticed as they rode, trying to focus his way through the pain. "Tis but a scratch..." He would mutter, holding close to her while the poison began to dull his senses. "Ye'll need more than this puny thing to fell me..." He gave a throaty cough of a chuckle at that "I'm made of sterner stuff."
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:iconlacolombededeuil:
LaColombeDeDeuil Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Professional General Artist
They rode like the wind and as the keep came into view, with its torches ablazing, she yelled, "Tis Tanist Merrick and her Laird, " her brogue thick, thick as the fog of the earliest hours on the moors arisin, she studied the mist for a minute on the horse, holding Athos to her, she was mere mortal nae, she was sidhe, goddess carried, then slid she did from the horse, ner letting him flounder, and cradled Athos to her as strong arms came out to assist her, nae a one would be touchin this body this eve, save she. Leanin ore to Athos she whispered soft - soft as the dandelions fluff, "Me mother be here. It is her Myst, she has brought a healer, t'will be alright with ye, hells bells it will Athos, or I shall cut all but me mother's throat." She handed him over to the arms of the archers, standing there, tall slim and all knowing in their auras, then with a whish of her ruined riding skirts, she had had nae time for the breeches, she stood as calm and serene as any could ere hope be. "Ye will nae let him die, he and I are too important."To whom she was speakin only she and Athos and a scattered few others would know, moments would tell, as the story in her mind began to unfold:
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:iconlacolombededeuil:
LaColombeDeDeuil Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2006  Professional General Artist
"Aye my love, in a fortnight, I will keep me promise ye know that. But if one moment of time slides through the glass past that, then I ride out to find ye my love. With thee I live, without thee I am but an empty husk."

To my Athos from Kaylia, a four year plus now tale that continues - "Le'annan Sidhe she may be, but she has a heart that is held dear for one man only and that be Laird Athos Merrick, her forever love."

Thank you my friend - this is amazing!

K:blackrose: :+favlove:
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:iconcosmosue:
cosmosue Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
I am so glad you found inspiration to write something from one of my works, its great!

And thank you for crediting properly! :hug:
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:iconprinceofjupiter:
PrinceofJupiter Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2006
If my friend Lacolombededeuil taught me anything, it was to properly credit and artist for their work. Also I support your current quest to stop the infringement of your artwork by others. Hence I persued permission first, then wrote and posted. I'm glad that you liked it, and I hope your models enjoy it as well.
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:iconcosmosue:
cosmosue Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
:hug:
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