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Finding Peace for Winter's Veil

Theolidus's picture


(Lycandria Marilyn Ravenholdt)

Late at night, Doran enters the great hall at the Ravenholdt League garrison, noticing Lycandria in her nightgown, who's looking through some of her notes on a small table. He slowly approaches with a moderate smile. "Hey there."

She looks over after hearing his footsteps, standing and smiling a bit, then speaking with a soft tone. "Hey..." She clears her throat. "Everything at the Inn going alright, after the... passing?"

"As good as any of us can manage... How are you?" He asks in return.

She slowly nods, responding with a slight twinge of her face. "I'm alright... still trying to accept what happened in... the Hinterlands."  She says sitting down gently, looking reflective.

"You want to talk to me about... them?" He offers.

She looks over at him with a slight nod, but still seemingly a bit unsure. "That house was... I-I knew those dwarves, back in my youth... I used to visit them some." She moves a bit of hair from her face, tucking it behind her ear. She then smiles with a small chuckle in remembrance. "He was, such a scoundrel... rowdy and liked to scrap, and his wife was very sweet and caring... They had a few little ones back then."

After a silent moment, she looks down and swallows hard. "He was... the one that found me in the mountains... the first time I ever met a Wildhammer." She shakes her head a bit, sighing. "He invited me to come see them at Aerie Peak, and he had this amazing gryphon, very graceful and large... I really thought it was something."

He smiles at her. "They're pretty amazing animals to be sure."

She looks up momentarily and smiles back at him. "The view from the sky was just gorgeous... I felt like I was flying off into another world... and away from the manor.

"Flying is a lot of fun... have to admit." He adds.

"It's very, free..." She pauses again with a change in her expression. "But, he said he had noticed me months before this... and he was always wondering why I was alone out there all the time... I told him I just needed my own place to go to sometimes... I didn't want to tell him what was really going on..." 

Her eyes light up a bit. "So he offered and I hopped on, and we made our way to the keep... I still remember the first time I saw that statue, and the keep itself burrowed into the mountains... They were so good with them, the gryphons. I think that was also the night I had my first drink of Alterac Brandy... They had it mulled."

She sighs deeply. "I just remember for the first time in my life, feeling like I was around people that cared to have fun and be themselves... I knew it wouldn't last, and there would be hell to pay going back home... but it was worth every second." She pauses, looking up at him. "After that night, I got to see them more often. Grandfather didn't know where I was off to, but he already knew I had a habit of disappearing into the mountains... I mean, they did teach me how to hide well, right?" She smirks slightly at him.

He smiles a bit in return, then asks. "Were you ever afraid of getting them involved?"

"I felt like they knew it was something deep... and so they never asked me, just took me in. I didn't want to get anyone involved with what was going on if I didn't have to." She pauses. "I now had this outlet... and I didn't want to ruin it." She finishes rubbing at her face a bit, then sighing.

"So you never thought you might've been followed one night and have someone report back on you?" He considers further.

She looks at him. "I was typically very careful about things... and eventually someone spotted me, but it was near the time I was ready to leave the manor anyways."

There is a decent pause, as they look between each other and the table. She finally speaks again. "The other night... just seeing the destruction of the area and that house... It hit me hard. The one that came and found me that day, and now him and his family are just..." She sighs, closing her eyes and looking down and away. Her voice starts to break some. "I keep... hoping the children were... at the keep." She nods, wiping a tear. "Maybe they were safe."

"Hard to move a group like his through the Hinterlands without patrols spotting them... I bet they got word out quick and moved the people that needed moving." He tries to assure her.

She slowly nods, looking at him briefly before wiping a tear on her sleeve. "I hope... I've really grown attached to them... And I... They didn't deserve any of this."

"Not a lot of people caught up in a war do..." He adds calmly.

She shakes her head and sniffs. "I just... I don't understand why good people have to die like this... and these rampaging, murderous, assholes get to carry on." She seems to be more upset and angry. "I swear Doran... We will end him so fast... I-I..." She falls silent and holds her head, sobbing and shaking a bit. Tears roll from her nose, hidden behind her hands as she props her elbows on the table. She forces out. "I loved them... I-I... loved them Doran. They took, me in."

He stands up and goes to her, hugging her comfortingly. "I know..." He says softly.

She grabs his arm and leans back into him, closing her eyes and trying to calm herself. She then sniffles and wipes her face, slowly pacing her breathing. "I'm sorry Doran... I know I probably seem really weak. I just never got to talk about things growing up... It was always a bad thing."

He holds her gently to him. "We all have our moments of weakness, Ly. What determines whether we're strong or not is how we move beyond those moments."

She slowly nods. "It's taken me several years just to accept hearing it... but a part of me has always believed." She looks up at him, smiling weakly.

She pauses for a moment in thought, then wipes her face and sighs. "I think, I'm going to start sending some of my pay to those children... I really feel like they must have been away when the attack happened. I just want to make sure someone is looking out for them... I can't be there for them, but I want them to have what they need to be taken care of."

He smiles warmly, still holding her firmly. "That would be very kind of you."

"It's the least I can do... I can't bring them back, but I can make sure their children make their way into Azeroth... Maybe fly a grand gryphon someday." She smiles a bit. "The boy looked a lot like his daddy."

After a moment, she stands up in front of him; a smile piercing through her slightly red face. "I just want everyone to find some peace for Winter's Veil."

"That'd be nice. We're all long due for some..." He quietly adds.

She gently hugs him, hooking her chin on his right shoulder behind his neck. She then brings her arms around his waist warmly, closing her eyes.

He slips his arms around her and holds her comfortingly, giving her something to relax against.

She holds for a while, before sliding back to look at him with a soft smile. "I don't know what I'd do without you here for me all the time."

"Eat bad food? Have one less person who sometimes smells like fish?" He adds, playful and warm.

She lightly chuckles joyfully. "And you can always seem to make me smile, even when things are tough all over."

He nods at her, smiling. "I try my best... You've got a lot of catching up to do in the smile department, given how things were growing up... Just keep trying to help people."

She nods at his words, smiling brightly. She then gently brings up her left hand to rub his chest, starring for a brief moment in hesitation before looking back up at him. Her eyes seem to show she is conflicted and holding something back. She looks down. "Doran, I..."

"...Yeah?" He wonders, looking down at her.

She looks back up at him with her eyes gleaming and watery, hiding a bit of pain in them. "I don't know... what to do anymore. I don't know what we are... and I... I just want to." She looks back down again and sighs. "I'm scared... I'm really scared..."

He pulls her closer. "Lycandria, don't be scared. I'm not going anywhere. I'm always going to be here. You'll always be able to rely on me... I never stopped caring."

She slowly nods, looking up at him.

He continues. "I know you've come from a world where being wary kept you alive, and being alone kept weaknesses from being exploited, and helped project strength... but you've always got one place where you can just... breathe, relax, be you... and not have to worry about any of that."

She slowly nods again, as water fills her eyes. Her voice struggles to mouth out a weak. "Thank you." She then reaches her hand to gently caress the side of his face affectionately. Her pulse can be felt racing from her wrist, as she looks at him speaking softly. "Doran?"

He smiles reassuringly and responds softly, holding her hand. "Yeah?"

After some brief hesitation, she finally gives in to her impulse. She slowly leans in and presses her warm lips against his, closing her eyes and losing herself in the moment. She then gently guides his face to her, stroking her thumb through his beard.

He is a little surprised, but returns the kiss deeply, caressing her cheek and sliding his fingers through her hair.

She relishes the kiss, holding it for a while longer before finally pulling away with her eyes still closed, resting her nose on his. She speaks soft and low. "Sorry... I just..." She then finally looks into his eyes, wanting and longing with a hint of fear. "I wanted to."

He slips his arms around her, pulling her even closer. "Nothing to be sorry for... it was good."

She slowly nods, moving a strand of hair from his face, smiling somewhat warmly. She then leans forward and kisses him again, this time with a bit more vigor and life. Both of her hands come to his face, unleashing a bit of hidden desire.

He kisses her back, meeting her enthusiasm with his own. His hands instinctively pulling her closer still, as a shiver runs up and down his back. He pulls back just long enough to whisper. "There's that fire..." He then dives back in, matching her intensity.

She presses her nose and lips to his passionately, hardly pausing for air. After a few more moments, she finally halts with their foreheads touching, lightly panting as her eyes slowly open looking into his. "Stay with me... tonight." She says softly.

He slides his hands down her back, tracing his fingers along the fabric of her dress. As always his face is kind, but the look they exchange speaks of their inner intensity. "I will..."

She pulls back and nods, kissing him tenderly before smiling rather happily. She then slips her hand into his and closes her notebook on the table behind her with the other hand.

He squeezes her hand and smiles. "That's an awfully pretty dress... I've gotta say."

She smiles back warmly, then leads him back to her room.