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 The Silent Farewell 
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Post The Silent Farewell
The mid-morning sunlight danced across the mountain meadow casting its warmth on the lush grass. Overhead a brown hawk circled seeming to watch the ground intently. At the west end of the glade a brook danced its babbling song. Sitting smack dab in the middle of the field was Hesketh. He was leaning forward, elbows on knees, looking out across the Silent Valley. A smile flitted across his lips just as sadness wandered through his eyes. It was with a heavy sigh that he stood and picked up his staff and the leather satchel that contained the letters he had written that morning.

The walk down to Q'ils keep only took about thirty minutes. During that time he turned his decision over in his mind one last time. And while it filled him with regret he knew it was the right thing to do. Q'il himself was standing by the gates of the keep, seemingly waiting for him. Handing the dark skinned man a handful of letters from the satchel Hesketh hugged him before speaking.

My good man, Can I count on you to make certain these letters are delivered?

Upon receiving a nod in assent the Wanderer continued.

One thing though, if you would please be sure that the letter to Alcestis is delivered first. It is important to me that she read her letter before anyone else reads theirs. Thank you.

It was without another word that Hesketh turned and walked down the mountain road, away from the Silent Valley.

_______________________

Quote:
Alcestis,

I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and spirits. Rather than beat around the proverbial bush I shall endeavor to get directly to the point.

Ages ago the Cacophony of Silence was formed by a group of individuals that held the same set of core beliefs in their hearts. We came together so as to affect change upon the Isle. Change for the better. In many respects we succeeded. In some we failed. In either case the time for Silence has come to an end.

Nothing in the Isle is permanent. Except perhaps the Isle itself and the Gods. Foret knows, I'm still philosophizing on that. However regardless of the permanence of the heavens and the firmament we must change. Only through change can their be growth. And only through growth can we honor ourselves and our God.

It is now the time for change for myself and for Silence. If things have been done as I intended you should be reading this letter before anyone else is aware of the knowledge it contains. The knowledge is simple. As an entity the Cacophony of Silence now no longer exists. Any commitments made to, or from, Silence cease to be as of now.

Sorry this is so blunt, but this is not something that is easy to write. The Cacophony of Silence has been home to a number of the greatest people of the Isle and its demise, though attempted on numerous occasions by heathens, could only be brought about by one individual, myself. It was not with a light heart that I undertook this decision, but after careful consideration it is the right decision. It is time for each of us to move on. Time to change.

I know not what where the proud warriors of Silence will call home, only that I have not a doubt that they will continue spreading Foret's will across the Isle. I realize it sounds cliched, but as for myself I intend to spend my remaining years in quiet contemplation of the meaning of life, among other things.

Alcestis, thank you. I realize that those two simple words are not much, but they are all I have to give you. Your service to Foret and Silence has been immeasurable. Time after time you have proved yourself beyond compare as both a warrior and a friend. Truly I have been fortunate to have known you. Farewell from one who holds you with the utmost respect,

Hesketh

_________________
[center]Sometimes, silence is the most pervasive of sounds[/center][center]Voluntold Emperor of Maxim[/center]


Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:30 pm
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The woman was sleeping fitfully on her pallet of warm animal skins and blankets in her cavern. The soft sounds of people still bedding down for the night or others just waking up for the evening to go about their nightly living in the mountain filtered through the network of tunnels and caverns. Somewhere along the way a light tune was being played on a lyre. Alcestis rolled over and tossed and turned in her sleep until she finally woke herself up by smacking her wrist on the bare stone floor beside her.

The last remnants of a dream were running away from her mind too fast to catch them leaving her with only a shallow empty feeling in the pit of her stomach. She felt like Hesketh was gone. But where? That was craziness he wouldn't leave, would he? It wasn't so much that she had some sort of magical bond with the Wanderer, moreso that she'd grown to feel so close to him, that he was more than a good friend, he was her brother, and he felt so far away now. She sat up pulling a blanket around her as she rubbed her eyes with her other hand and spoke out to the darkness of her chamber.

"Where is Hesketh?"

The shadows in the recesses of the chamber shifted and pulsed softly. Darkness moved over the stone floor and puddled beside the woman, her guardian took shape with an arm draped around her shoulders. A single tendril of shadow reached from beside him and deposited a letter in the woman's lap.

Her heart felt to stop, a lump rising in her throat as she picked up the letter and simply stared at it.

"I don't want to read this. I don't want him to be gone." A long shuddering sigh let from her lips and she held the letter beside her to the Shade. "You read it to me please."

The Shade did as his charge asked of him, and while he gave voice to Hesketh's words Alcestis curled closer against her guardian, tears filling her eyes and dropping down her cheeks to darken the blanket she now clenched closed in a fist. When he finished, he simply refolded the letter and set it back in her lap and said not a word. Again, a single tendril of shadow reached from the Shade and alighted on the woman's cheeks wiping her tears away.

"I want to see him. He cannot just leave. I need to tell him...I just want to see him, I want to see him now. Take me where he is right this minute you must!"

The Shade shook his head and spoke more tenderly than she'd ever heard his gruff voice, "No. If Hesketh wanted to see you before his departure, he would have come here himself. There is a reason he sent this to you. Perhaps he thought had he come to say his goodbyes and explain all he's written in person, you would sway his decision and the Silent would remain even though he knows the time has come to put all this to rest. I will not take you where he goes, not now. At some point you will see your Wanderer again. He starts a journey now that all the Silent Ones must take. A journey away from this Valley you've called home for so long and go out into the Isle. Tis a time to learn so much about the land in which you live. So much more than you could see or learn while under Silence's banners which carry so much with them."

Alcestis sighed heavily, her tears dried on her cheeks now and nodded in solemn agreement.

"We have work to do then. The people here should be able to remain if they wish so and finally live in peace and quiet in the Silent Valley. You will take me instead, to any corner of this land you chose to show me. I'd like to go before sunrise, before my heart fails me and I cannot leave at all."

Over the next few days the Silent Valley emptied of some of its inhabitants, others chose to stay and live together there, a family as always. Letters would be sent out by her hand or Hesketh's she was sure, to friend and foe alike. The missives were mostly identical in nature, delivered in the hands of an oft' seen Silent courier. Each one summarized the events, that Silence as the guild would be no more upon the Maxim isle. Those to Foret leaders requested they help to guard the Valley against any intruders that might come along and also their thanks from Alcestis and Hesketh both for their steadfast loyalty as allies, neighbors and friends. To those they'd known as heathen, an additional note at the end of the letter to each requesting they honor the departure of Silence and honor still the Valley's boarders so that their people who stay behind could live out their days in peace. Those that journeyed beyond its borders now would see their Valley, and their Wanderer again, perhaps, when Hesketh knew the time was right and called them home.

_________________
"Experience teaches us that Silence terrifies people the most." --Bob Dylan.


Sat Jun 26, 2004 11:02 pm
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For a long time, peace has been observed in the cities under the jurisdiction of Regicider. Crops are flourishing, people are well fed and comfortable. Heathens have been driven far away and given up hope of invading. From his balcony, Regicider could see everything is well in order. Gazing into the far islands, Regicider felt his duty is done here and he should leave to seek new challenges and train himself more.

A messenger came into the room and handed him a letter. Regicider took the letter and read it.

“Hmm Hesketh has left… Maybe I should too.”

Gathering his close aides, after giving them specific instructions and future directions, Regicider left at dawn on his steed going towards the far islands.

_________________
:guns: Peace like still water. :guns:


Thu Jul 01, 2004 7:57 am
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Her gait was jerky and rough, no different than it had been a hundred years ago, and no different than it would be a hundred years from tomorrow. With the gait followed her grumbling, her cursing and spitting at those who dared get in her way.

It had been a long vacation, so much longer than had been anticipated. But then when a young man 400 years your junior comes along looking for a little fun you don't rush home. Offers like that can get rare! And so she had stayed till the young man was "young" no longer! When she'd left him he was creaking and groaning more than she was!

But alas for the first time in many years she had a place that beckoned back to her and her ever loyal hags. The lands of Silence had opened up and welcomed them in. They had put up with her foul moods, stick waving and just all around bad odor. She looked forward to meeting again with Hesketh, antagonizing regicider, and she still owed Dante a few slaps upside the head. He always needed a bit of taking care of, the big oaf.

But alas, it was all not to be, this the newest and only place she had called home in a long long while was disappearing. The threads had unraveled and the time to go each their own way was upon them now.

Slowly she returned the note from Hesketh into the folds of her cloak. It would serve as a reminder of the times she had spent here. Then, once she’d built up the energy she sat herself down. Putting aside her stiff swatting cane she started her own note.

Quote:
Dear Hesketh, I am not the greatest of writers, infact it has been many a year since a quill has last been in my hand. Yet I feel the urge now, the urge to write and the urge to pass wind. The later I will keep for myself but the writing is for you. You and the others of Silence opened your doors wide for my small and shapely frame. I know it is easy to accept such a sweet demeanor as I possess but still there was no obligation on your part. I know I gave pleasure to the young eyes of the army, my hags and I have always tried to please. Unfortunately the end is here and I pass my thanks and gratitude to yourself and your council!

Sass
Queen of the Hags


With that said she groaned her way back to a standing position and with a quick whip of her staff she summoned the wind to carry her on her way to whomever extended the next invitation…

_________________
Don't sass me sonny!


Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:57 pm
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