There was no sound except the gentle ticking of the clock in his solar as the ebon-haired lord shut the door to his private quarters. Arandael’s emerald gaze slowly lighted upon the familiar surroundings, his lips turned into a faint smile as he reveled in these silent moments.
Ever since returning, he had been constantly moving, and working. Even given those days of rest, Aran couldn’t bring himself to relax. Too much needed doing, too much to think on, too much to worry about.
He promised himself each night since the return that he would spare the next day to reflect, to relax, to indulge in the pleasures of home. It took the night the templar and the guard was returned active duty for Aran to do as he had promised himself.
The man’s eyes closed for a several moments before he began to move into the room. The clang and rustle of armor, chain, and clasps disturbed the peace of the chambers as the elf tugged and unlatched the separate pieces of black and gold plate. The pauldrons were the first to fall, and the man groaned as they clattered onto the stonework.
Turning, his brow arched as he stared down at where the armor rested, as if this act would make them rise up and move to where they belonged. His pauldrons, Aran thought in resignation after nearly a minute had passed, held no such magic and power.
Heaving a sigh, the lord bent and picked up his fallen armor. Striding toward the armor stand at the far side of the room, he began to appropriately disrobe. Armor was placed in its meticulous place, his attention slipping away from the monotonous task at hand.
He found himself at a road that he would have never seen himself in not even two years ago. Only a few hours ago he had willingly, and eagerly bended knee to his cousin. Aran had claimed his birthright to the Bladerunner name and with it, his former bond and fealty to House Sunrunner.
Moments ago, he had been freed of that oath, of those bindings. Yet still, his thoughts fell not to ideas of autonomy, or a hunger for power. His thoughts instead turned to a need to serve this man he once hated to call kin.
Setting the last piece of armor onto the stand, the man stripped off his rash-guard and underclothes while turning toward his bedchamber. The man’s eyes closed in pleasure as the cool night air gently whispered over his bared flesh when he stepped into the chamber. The silk curtains across the room danced lightly from the breeze that slipped through the opened window.
Arandael’s steps took him to the small table next to the window. Atop it rested a decanter of his favorite whiskey. His head buzzed from his drink earlier, but his musings of indulgence took over. Throwing himself into his chair, the man poured the amber liquid into the glass that rested next to the crystal bottle. His green gaze locked upon the glass. As he placed the decanter lightly back upon the wooden table, he stared at the glass for several long moments with his thoughts continuing to linger.
That moment as he looked into the eyes of his cousin and swore himself as vassal, was not only a moment of loyalty, and familial love, but it also was the most freeing moment that Aran had ever experienced. As the lord picked up his glass and lightly sloshed the whiskey around within, a smile pulled at the corners of his lips. He released himself from the ambition that was driving him to self-destruction. He was released from the clawing desperation to prove himself.
Here he sat. A lord, a sworn templar, a friend to some, and a man that he knew Aeviry was glad to call kin. What more did he have to prove to anyone? He needed no ones validation, no ones approval. He would rise from where he stood. He would become great, and he wouldn’t allow self-doubt to cripple him anymore.
Letting a sigh billow gently pass his lips, the man lifted his glass to his lips and drained it of its contents. “Long live Aeviry Sunrunner. The man who saved me from myself.” He murmured to himself before laughter bubbled in his chest and shook his form. “Light save me. I’m glad I didn’t say that in my oath.” Arandael shook his head as he leaned back in his chair and swung his feet up onto the tabletop. “I’d never live it down.”
Arandael steps forward as he draws his own blade from his back. Setting the tip into the stone, the dark-haired lord slides into a kneel, his green gaze locking with Aeviry’s for a brief moment before dipping to the stone work. Pressing his right fist to the left side of his chest, the man’s lips part to speak. “My lord, my cousin, my kin. We met on less then amiable terms and from the fires of that strife I found in you a brother that I never had. I bend my knee and swear myself, House Bladerunner, all of the resources, strength, and power that my name bears to serve your name and your will. I serve you until I draw my final breath and my family after me will carry this oath even after my death. I am yours, my lord.”
Aeviry again nods. “Rise, Lord Bladerunner. I am happy to serve at your side, as always.”
Arandael raises to his feet as he places his sword back in his sheath. “It will always be my pleasure, my brother.” He bows his head and steps back into line.
Aeviry was both pleased and dismayed at the difficulty he had in tracking down his guard, intent on delivering the summons to each of them himself. It seemed that most of his men had enjoyed their time off, but alas, all periods of relaxation and peace must come to an end, and their little vacation had long since reached that point.
The rolled and sealed summons was doled out to each member of the guard with the request to keep the whereabouts and contents of the meeting quiet from outsiders, including his betrothed and her men. This meeting, he made a point of making known, was for those loyal to Sunrunner alone.
Let it be known that the sovereignty of House Sunrunner has summoned the whole of the Guard, including the Order of the Sun Templar, to formal attendance at a discussion of strategy and further training. The mandatory meeting will take place at 7 o’clock in the evening on the date of September 19th, at Sunrunner Hall.
Full uniform is required and let it be known that after this date, all military members of the House will be reinstated to active duty.
As he accepted his summons from his cousin and lord, Arandael couldn’t help but laugh. He had just the night previous finished the last of his work regarding his personal affairs and now his time would no longer be his own.
At least, he thought with a smile, he would have this last day fully to himself. Besides, he knew if he was left too long to his own devices he’d very quickly grow bored.
He always tended to get himself into trouble when he was bored.
It was while under a lamppost in the Royal Exchange of Silvermoon City that Arandael seemed to happen upon many individuals. What began as a simple jaunt into the city to stretch his legs away from the estate ended with him returning several hours later than intended.
It had been an extremely unproductive day. He did little more than chat and joke. It had been a nice distraction from the work that still remained in his study. His worries were eased about Sairys and his familial issues, he had the opportunity to see Saphrael was still training hard. He met up with his friend Aeloren who with her own background in the military wasn’t the least put off that he had disappeared for a year. Even the Captain had halted his duties, though he remained for only a few minutes, to carry on in the pleasantries.
It had been unproductive, but relaxing.