Elrood and Wenceslas

(OOC: Set in late 1106, written by Russ Phillips)

Elrood walked through the storm to the stables, his head bowed to avoid the worst of the driving rain. As he entered, he saw that the young elf that he’d come to see was exactly where he’d expected him to be – grooming one of the shire horses. Elrood shook the worst of the rain from his cloak as he tried to work out what to say. "Wenceslas", called Elrood above the din of the rain on the stable roof, as he walked over.

Wenceslas appeared to start slightly, then looked around. Seeing the Grand Master approaching, he gave a slight, awkward bow. "All elves are graceful", thought Elrood with a twinge of bitterness, "and all healers are lovely, fluffy bunnys that never shout or get angry."

"There’s no need to bow", said Elrood, then deciding to get staight to the point, "I’ve come to ask for your help"

Wenceslas didn’t make any sign, but simply stood, waiting to hear what was to be requested of him.

"I’m sure you noticed that people took quite an interest in your ability to heal, and to help in a ritual circle. The truth is, the faction needs all the healers and contributors it can get. We travel to Akamon in a few weeks, to fight Scirocco’s breed. I’d like you to join us, help us keep the faction safe."

Wenceslas looked worried, and started gesticulating. Elrood concentrated, trying to work out what he was trying to say, but he was never particularly good at interpreting Wenceslas’ signs.

"Yes, it will be dangerous," said Elrood, hoping he’d read the signs correctly, "but you’ll be with friends. Friends that will look out for you, and look after you. Remember – you’re a Lion, and no Lion stands alone. You’ll be there to heal people, and there will be plenty of others doing the same thing. There are some advantages to being a healer, too – healers always get healed first, and everyone looks after us."

Wenceslas gestured again. He appeared to be accepting Elrood’s decision.

"You know, I’m hoping you’ll find this to be a new beginning. The faction has a lot of good people, people you can trust. I don’t expect you to believe that just yet, but I hope you’ll come to believe it as you get to know people."

Elrood looked at the horse that Wenceslas had been grooming, and smiled. "I don’t think they’ve ever been looked after as well as they have been since you joined us. But I’d better be off. Good night, Wenceslas"

As Elrood stepped into the rain, Wenceslas went back to the horse, thinking about what it would mean to join the Order on Akamon, wondering how he’d manage. He remembered the night that Claw Keep had been betrayed, and shuddered, wondering if more nights like that were in store. But the Order had taken him in and been kinder to him than anyone else that he could remember, so he kept his worries to himself.

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