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RP:There's No Such Thing as Circumstance

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Part of the What You Leave Behind Arc

Part of the Magic, Madness, and Mayhem Arc

Summary: Six months after his disappearance on a rescue mission to locate the missing Esche, Lionel washes ashore at Chartsend. Where he's been, what he's learned, and why the world as he knows it may be coming to an end -- all these questions must needs wait. For now, the heroines Lanara and Penelope are his lifeline.

The Beaches of Chartsend

Lionel || Seawater was the first thing that Lionel tasted in a very long time. His lungs filled up with the stuff and he could not breathe. He opened his eyes, but after six months in darkness, the sunlight penetrating the water’s surface was too bright to bear. He thought he made out the dim shape of a fish but he couldn’t say for sure. What mattered, of course, was escape. Lionel flailed before he swam, his body so desperate to escape the sea before he choked to death on salt and liquid and fish piss. The first sign that Lionel’s fortunes were turning for the better came when he realized how close he was to the surface. It took only a few leg strokes to reach it, which was good because his legs already burned as if he had ran and ran and not stopped running for far longer than he could have hoped to remember. The second sign that Lionel’s fortunes were turning came from how close he was to the shoreline. So close, in fact, that even with his eyesight as damned as it presently was, he could make out the lines of beige-colored buildings right at the far edge of the beach’s expanse of sand. He coughed and hacked and spewed the seawater out of his lungs and back from whence it came and then pushed himself to reach the shore with what surely must have been the very last reserves of his energy.

Lionel || There was a gentle breeze in Chartsend today. The sky was blue and close to cloudless. It was warm outside but not too hot. For many Lithrydelians, this was as good a day as any day could be in a land so full of strife. Lionel preferred the rain, which was probably just as well since there was no way he was going to be able to appreciate the weather anytime soon. His clothes were torn in several places. His chest and back and legs were full of cuts, and some of those cuts were deep. There was a diagonal gash across his forehead that would certainly leave a scar. His ankles and knees and arms were bleeding. Alarmingly, the Catalian’s blood ran not red but black as the darkest night. Hellfire was strapped to his back, but its sheath was ripped nearly to shreds, exposing the wicked sharp steel within. Lionel was dizzy. So, so dizzy. And cold. It would be such a simple, welcoming, warming thing to close his eyes and surrender to oblivion.

Penelope had been pacing all over Chartsend looking for a particular herb. After all, Chartsend had a strong healing team, of course someone had to know something. She spent the afternoon talking to medical professionals and persuading them about handing over an herb that might help support people with amnesia. “Look, I have read and read, and you are the only place that uses this type of medicine on patients,” although, the clinicians would only tell her it was for clinical trial. They could just not hand out the herb to just anyone. “Look, I don’t have time to go find it!” Again, the professionals in the meeting were against the woman taking the herb for her own sake. “Fine, I’ll find it myself!” She screamed before taking her belongings and storming out in a rage. Penelope Halifax full of spite. That was new. Either way, she storms outside to breathe some fresh air and walk to brainstorm a new idea for the darkness that was surrounding the metallic-armed elf that was currently staying at Yerrel’s—a burden. Time passes and people pass by her in a blur. The freckled girl was in no fit to be a hero. Everything was slowing down until she felt like she was sinking. Sinking. Reality hit as she peers down with those mossy doe-eyes. Sand. Her vision focuses and the water of the sea sways back and forth. A small exhale releases in a calmer state of mind when she watches the waves crash to shore. Well, that was until she saw, what appeared to be, a battered figure in the distance coming from the shores. The girl with the tangled hair cants her head until she finds herself moving towards the figure out of automatic, nosy curiosity.

Lanara is enjoying a carefree day far from Enchantment, perched on the back of a chestnut mare that she had ‘borrowed’ from the magical city’s stables. The ankle monitor was removed, the juror’s were still deliberating on if she was to go free or burn at the stake, and boredom hit the woman in full force. The witch didn’t want to remain in her stifling apartment, nor did she want to spend time with her sister or friends, as they all were rather moody as of late and worried about her fate. Lanara often visited the beaches in Cenril, but she worried that she’d hear of the trial or be attacked by those that thought she was an evil wretch. Chartsend had the next best beach and it was so far from the more frequented areas, so it’s the safest bet. Clad in black leggings, a beige off-the-shoulder sweater, and a pair of knee-high riding boots, she throws her head back and smiles up at the cloudless sky. Long locks hang loose, fluttering in the breeze as the horse gallops onwards, her hooves steadily hitting the sand and sending up small clouds of granules in her wake. A soft neigh has Lana patting the velvet neck of the mare, “What’s the matter, Calypso?” Taking in their surroundings, she pulls gently on the reins to diminish their speed to a slow trot, and it’s then that she spies a wounded male lying on the beach. Dark hues narrow on the form of the petite woman that approaches the male, and Lana feels compelled to approach the couple and see if they need assistance. The horse’s hooves announce her arrival before her voice, “Hello! Can you guys use some help? I didn’t know that sharks loomed about this stretch, but you never know where one will turn up when hungry.” Her cheeks are flushed and her hair is tousled from the wind, but there is concern in her chocolate hues as she locks eyes with Penelope, before taking in the severity of Lionel’s injuries.

Lionel faintly registered the hooves and the shouting. They felt to him like distant aspects of a world equally distant. He was shivering but lacked the strength to bring his arms over himself for a modicum of warmth. Black blood mixed in with the sand near his most grievous wounds. With its sheath so damaged, it was easy for onlookers to behold that Hellfire’s steel was glowing a vivid autumnal orange. Lionel may have informed Penelope at one point, years past when she worked alongside him during the saurian wars, that the weapon glowed when the Ishaarite fire spirit within it sensed the presence of danger. Yet even if the healer was told, and even if she remembered, she would not see anything amiss about her surroundings. No act of simple sight would reveal the strange shadowy silhouettes dashing and darting around beneath the waves, but the realm of witchcraft might be useful in detecting it. Regardless, there lay Lionel. Cold, tattered, and nearly dead.

Penelope approached the man swifter than she thought. As she hovers over the man, there is a ping that stabs her stomach. The man blonde, lithe, a familiar weapon was perched up on the man’s back. “Lionel…?” She remembered the hero. From a long while ago. Her eyes trail about his broken frame that is covered in deep cuts and dark blood. “Oh, no,” she kneels down next to him. “Lionel, it’s Penelope. Penelope Halifax. You’re going to be okay,” although the man was dizzy, the girl would be the same as she always looked. Her chestnut hair was longer and still frizzy. Her hair was down and loose, but she tied a single, fat messy braid within her hair. Her white blouse with floral-covered bell-sleeves flows gently in the wind with a pair of black leggings with chunky loafers. As Lanara comes along, the herbalist is thankful for another face. “Yes, yes, please help. He’s severely injured… The bleeding is dark and it’s not good. It means his cells are dying and he is not healing—meaning, he has been like this for a while.” The woman then shrugs the bag off her shoulder that she always carries. The woman pulls out some guaze pads and hands some out to Lanara. “Here, any deep wound you see, apply pressure. We need to control the bleeding.” The girl observes the man, “I don’t know if this was a shark attack… I feel like there would be bite marks, right?” The witty herbalist looks at the witch with concern.

Lanara observes Penelope, trying to determine if the woman was here to help or worsen the situation. From her vantage point, it looked as though they both happened upon the scene at the same time, but the witch knows better than to make any assumptions. For all she knew, Penelope had come to finish off the Catalian! She’s mildly ashamed of her thoughts, as it was –Lana- that wears the pentacle and was being accused of heinous crimes. All this woman had done was strolled along the beach and glanced at the bloody male that was nearing a state of shock. Still, there was –something- amiss as the hair is rising on the back of Lana’s neck and she feels negativity in their presence. Their surroundings are picturesque and nothing looks out of the ordinary, save for the man nearing death that lay at their feet. She doesn’t think to check the water as she kneels at Lionel’s side to feel for a pulse, her fingertips grazing his neck as she closes her eyes and focuses, “His pulse is really slow and his flesh is clammy to the touch… You’re right, I don’t see any bite marks! I’m Lanara, by the way…” She lets her name hang in the air as she retrieves a satchel from the saddlebag and rummages through it for some healing supplies, “I have some salt and water… First, we should cleanse the wounds, no?” These are handed off to Penelope who seems to be some sort of healer, and Lana trusts she knows what to do with the items. Obediently, she applies the gauze to the wounds, but the bleeding refuses to slow on the deeper cuts and she steals a glance at Lionel’s face. She couldn’t quite recall his features as she only met him a few times, and that had been several years ago. Would he hate her if she used magic on his body? “I can cauterize the deeper gashes… With my magic…” Since when did she need the approval of another to wield magic?! The witch hesitates, applying more pressure to the wounds, and waiting for Lionel or Penelope to give her –some- kind of sign. The burns could be dealt with another day; right now she’s hoping they can save his life.

Lionel coughed and more seawater was expelled. He was so tired that he hadn’t realized there was still some in there. The dizziness immediately began to subside, leaving the Catalian to consciously recognize the tremendous amount of pain that he was in. Everything hurt, and the hurt was more vivid than anything he could remember. For a man who had already been sporting scars along his backside before his disappearance, that was saying something. Just staying awake felt like a hate crime inflicted upon his very soul, but just before he would have passed out, he heard Halifax’s voice. She was close enough, and the ringing in Lionel’s ears had subsided enough that he could actually make out her words. Her words were clearer, at least, than the blur that was her face. “Yeah.” It was all he said. Lionel could feel his lips trembling from the effort of it. He sighed, which caused him to shake, which reminded him of how cold he was. He couldn’t bring himself to say anything more yet, but he was reasonably confident it would be enough to indicate to the blonde blur and the brunette blur that he was alive. Something else was alive — or rather, several somethings — beneath the waves. Beings shaped like wisps of black smoke with menacing tendrils outstretched sped toward the shoreline in silence. The waters didn’t part where they went, as if they hadn’t disturbed their environment at all. As they neared, the sensation of a negative force in Lanara’s mind might have strengthened.

Penelope :: “Penelope,” she answers back quickly. As Lionel spews saltwater, the girl looks pained for him. “He’s probably dehydrated, but looks as if he almost drowned.” Odd. How? Lanara makes a good point for cleansing the wound, and the herbalist cringes. “Right, yes, thank you Lanara. I haven’t been in the field in a while. I’m more into herbal medicine, not trauma scenes.” Trauma was never meant for the woman. Lionel would know that, especially during the saurian wars. The woman graciously receives the items from Lanara. “I’m so sorry, Lionel…” The woman does not blink an eye and pours some of the salt water over the deeper wounds. Those were the most important ones, and she wanted to be able to save what items they did have. After that, she holds some gauze on one of the deeper gashes. As the witch speaks of magic, the human looks up with thankfulness. Was this luck? “Thank, Sven. I say do it,” the herbalist has a gentle, sincere tone. “There’s no way we would be able to make it to a clinic in time and I… haven’t practiced magic in a while. Normally Yerrel deals with the magic, I deal with the after care. We might have a chance to save him,” she gestures her chin towards the tattered man who was still moving.

Lanara looks relieved when Lionel sputters more seawater, as the less moisture that was held within his lungs, the more freely he’d be able to breathe. He’s shivering, and so Lana slides out of her sweater and lays it over his chest and neck, as a makeshift blanket. The faint scent of lavender clings to the fabric, a welcome reprieve from the salt water, as well as giving off a calming effect. Beneath the sweater Lana wears a black tank top, and her pewter pentacle is much more obvious now that it has a darker background. The witch usually wouldn’t be so brazen to announce –what- she is, but Penelope looks to grateful to have a magic user at her side, that she manages a small smile for the woman. As she is applying the salt water mixture to his wounds, Lana peers over her shoulder to look at the water, but nothing looks disturbed. Something wasn’t right, and the witch hopes that whatever is giving her this eerie feeling lurks far below the depths and doesn’t make an appearance. The healer was right… There weren’t any bite marks and with this much blood loss, a pack of sharks would’ve devoured the body. Although the beach was mostly empty, save for the three of them, the horse, and a few seagulls flying about, it felt oddly crowded. Someone or something was applying a mental pressure that she cannot put into words, so she gives a slow nod after the wounds are cleansed and prepares to use her magic. The wounds on the ankles and legs are far worse than those that line his arms and torso, so she focuses there first, but she avoids the gash on his face altogether. Penelope could stitch that area, as a scar was easier to mend than a burn, plus Lionel had a rather handsome face, if she recalled correctly. Palms are lifted to the sky as Lana closes her eyes and speaks softly in Sylvan, inviting the Goddess and the cardinal directions to loan her their power, before she opens her eyes and flips her palms over the form of the nearly unconscious male. “Fire, Fire, come to me! Ignite his flesh and heal completely! From my palms I call the element I best know, to remove debris and sickness that may grow. Seal the wounds shut with the powers invested in me, as I speak it, so mote it be!” An orange glow appears between Lana’s palms and Lionel’s flesh, a faint humming sound can be heard, and within a matter of moments the skin begins to pinch together by an unseen force. The Catalian would feel immense pain as he’s being burned, but it’s a life saving measure, and once the element of fire is sent away, the pain would subside. The witch focuses intently on mending the wounds, and only when the most grievous of cuts are sealed, does she end her spell and inspect her work. A thin line of pink surrounds each of the wounds, and a clear protective bubble remains over the freshly cauterized marks. “Okay… So, now we should work on sewing the less deadly cuts? Do you have anything that he can drink? We can try to put him on the horse, but I’m not sure if any bones are broken…”

Lionel healed even more swiftly from Lanara’s fiery magics than most of her patients ever would. The Ishaarite fire spirit Halycanos, which dwelt in Lionel’s blade, acted as a superheated conduit to assist in the life-saving burning. Lionel’s moans, groans, and cries were as loud and varied as any child’s, but for all the extreme pain blanketing his body, there was a merry warmth to it, and a sense of the familiar. That familiarity helped to protect the man’s fragile, exhausted mind from the further stinging of the saltwater which Penelope poured upon his wounds. The moaning and groaning and crying stopped and Lionel was silent, but not for long. “In the water,” he said more calmly than he’d intended. But it seemed too great an effort to affix the proper degree of emphasis upon his words, so it would have to suffice. “Sentinels. Dark ones. My sword… hand me my sword. Before it’s too late.” Lionel, it was of course plain to see, was in no position to be attempting to hold a sword. The notion of it was almost comical. He tried to move his left arm toward what was left of Hellfire’s sheath, but he failed to budge it even a centimeter. ‘Not like this,’ he thought to himself. ‘I didn’t make it this far to be felled by ghastly apparitions… by mere guardsmen.’ The ‘sentinels,’ as he called them, had followed Lionel through the dimensional rift in which he’d escaped . Where exactly he’d come from, and what had transpired over this past half a year of his life, was irrelevant right this moment. More pressing were the wispy, faceless apparitions which were rising from the sea. They zigzagged with apparent excitement and powerful dark magics swelled inside them, soon to be hurled upon the healer Penelope and her witchly ally.

Penelope watches with wide eyes as the witch uses the magic of fire to heal Lionel’s wounds. A fascination washes over the girl’s face, but this was not the best time to watch with amused eyes. The herbalist appreciates Lanara’s abilities with a “wow”. Lionel’s pained groans automatically makes the girl reach for his hand and give it a gentle, reassuring squeeze. As the wounds are sealed, the herbalist breathes out in a sigh of relief. “I have a bottle of water somewhere,” the girl rifles through her bag to pull out the deeply buried bottle. “It’s a little lukewarm but it’s better than thirst.” Then, Lionel speaks about the water and grabbing his sword. “No, no,” stubbornly she refuses to even let him try to move on his own. The girl looks at Lanara with those mossy eyes full of concern. “I don’t know what he’s talking about… do you?” The woman would then try to gently lift the man’s head to prop him up in her lap. “Here, Lionel,” she says ever-so-gently. “You need to drink water instead. Your body needs it,” she would open the bottle and try to tip it into the man’s mouth slowly not to drown him. If he drinks, great! If not, she would be concerned. “I have a quick stitch kit in my satchel. I can help him in that sense, at least.” The frizzy-haired girl holds Lionel with one cradled arm with the bottle in her hand while the other pulls out a needle and stitching thread, though these are dropped to the ground automatically as the faceless figures begin to slowly rise out of the sea. “Um.. Lanara, I think I know what he’s talking about now,” the woman slips from underneath the warrior to stand on her two feet. Brows furrow together while she stands tall in front of the warrior to hopefully protect him, at least.

Lanara exchanges a ‘look’ with Penelope when Lionel asks for his sword, as they both knew he wouldn’t be slashing anything for quite some time. Were he not so badly wounded, she would’ve chuckled, but she knows better than to insult the Catalian. He was closely related to her best friend, Khitti, and as she understood, he had been missing from the lands for quite some time. The redhead would be told of this news as soon as Lana headed back to the opposite side of the lands, but for now she’s rooted to the sand. As the male calmly mentions the sentinels that had attacked him, the sense of dread that had been increasing by the minute hits Lanara full force. “I thought I felt something… Dark? Lurking about?” A shrug is given, as she assumes they will be helpless on land, and they likely retreated to wherever they hailed from, hopefully. However, her careless demeanor soon shifts when Penelope drops the needle and thread to the stand and abruptly rises to her feet. The look of fear in those marvelous mossy eyes is mirrored in Lana’s big brown eyes as she turns to follow the healer’s line of sight. “Okay… So, do you have any idea how to defeat them? They came from water, so fire should work, right? Or… They are darkness, so, light magic?” She was a caster of white magic, and dark magic was rising from the sea, threatening to take the lives of the innocent three that met by happenstance. Calypso rears up on her hind legs, freaking out beyond belief, and takes off down the beach. Even the birds overhead that were noisily cawing seemed to vanish. The witch rises, more intrigued by the faceless intruders than fearful. She was more concerned with how to deal with this problem, and how they –all- could escape unscathed. Using the wrong magic could work in the sentinels favor and the last thing she wanted was to put the near death man into an early grave. Penelope and Lanara could at least run for help or hide, whereas Lionel was glued to the sand. “Okay… Why don’t I sprint down the beach as bait? And you drag him to a more protected spot?”

Lionel successfully sipped from the water Penelope procured for him, though he might have been able to consume more of it to slake his thirst if it hadn’t been for the arrival of his pursuers. Their excited swirling increased. They were almost snakelike in a way, but rather than slithering on the sand they slid effortlessly through the air. The composition of these creatures — or more accurately, things — was definitely that of imperfect dark matter. It was as though they had been given whatever passed for ‘life’ in them through the manipulation of dark magic conjured up from some infernal wasteland. They barely seemed alive at all, really; they merely thirsted to inflict fatal pain upon Lionel and anyone who stood in their way. Abruptly, they sped up, leaving wisps of smoky black in their wake. Physical contact with the apparitions would be akin to being shredded alive. It was truly outrageous, Lionel thought silently, that it should all come to an end like this.

Penelope tilts her head at the mention of darkness which automatically she is thinking about Linken. Were they connected? No. Linken’s darkness was more demonic. “Light beats dark, but they look rather… misty. Fire?” She questions, but she is not entirely sure. What was up with all the darkness in Penelope’s life recently? As the horse neighs wildly and takes off down the beach, the girl is weary. That may have been a quicker escape taking the horse. The girl then snaps her eyes towards Lanara. “Bait? Are you kidding me?” Seeing Lionel, however, makes Penelope quickly agree with the witch. The apparitions, however, are coming in closer and Penelope and Lanara are the targets before Lionel. They are black—evil. “Lanara, I’m thinking do anything!” The girl is at least hopeful the stranger can after talking about light magic and watching a fire healing. The girl then scrambles behind the man and put her arms underneath the torn up man. Her upper thighs flex as she tries to lift the man to his feet. “Lionel, damn you,” she huffs and tries to breathe. “You… need to move,” breath, “your legs,” breath and a grunt, “with me!” The woman yelps in frustration, and she tugs to get him to move, but she is probably painfully dragging him through the sand.

Lanara can sense that the creatures weren’t a type of human or animal, so it’s likely that they wouldn’t be harmed by any sort of elemental magic. She crouches low and watches them in wondrous confusion as they weave over and through the sand, their forms agile and in perfect synchronization. Why were they –here- and hunting Lionel?! “Okay… Go!” The witch didn’t have the answers, and it’s as she sprints towards the west and hopes to buy Penelope some time with dragging the Catalian to safety, that she realizes the apparitions aren’t paying her any attention. Were this a man, he’d be all over chasing the beautiful brunette around the beach, but these ghastly beings didn’t have the carnal desires of one that bore humanity. Lanara stops and turns her left ankle mildly sore from the mad dash that proved futile, as her achilles rupture was still on the mend. They took –forever- to fully heal, and though she couldn’t give dance lessons any longer, she was capable of being athletic in spurts. “Hey! Over here! You want Lionel? You have to-“ Was it his name? One of the creatures turns towards Lana, the faceless apparition considering the witch for a moment, as though sizing her up. It then returns to stalking the healer and the Catalian, and Lana curses beneath her breath before she runs towards Penelope with her hands outstretched. A glistening wall appears in front of Lionel’s feet, about six feet high and wide, the thrum of electricity in the air obvious to all that draw near. It’s a basic shield spell, and it would hold for a good ten minutes. Thankfully, the creatures pause as one bounces off of the shield, hissing in fury. Lana stands to the side, unprotected from the look of things, but it’s hard for her to wield both offensive and defensive magic at the same time. Again, she is playing the role of ‘bait’ and this time, it works as the creatures cannot pierce the shield but are intent on piercing the flesh of the woman that wield the magic. They turn towards her again, and Lana lifts her left hand and in a fluid motion a blast of white exits her fingertips and strikes the creatures like a bolt of lightning. Would light magic work in their favor? Lana doesn’t even look at the creatures to see if they were writhing in pain, she’s certain she hit the target, and needs to make sure the others are okay. It gives her a second to make a better plan where they could have a chance at surviving. The witch glances towards the gardens which are only a short distance from the beach, and she tries to alert Penelope to drag Lionel in that direction so they could hide.

Lionel had been trying to move his legs in tandem with Penelope’s efforts before she even called out for it, but he felt like they’d been glued to the sand. That was when it occurred to him — gluing anything to sand would be a futile exercise, for the granules are by nature resistant to prolonged friction. It wasn’t a science lesson that Lionel needed now; just a reminder that he might have been able to move himself if he focused on sliding his battered limbs across the sand and using the softness around him as a makeshift cushion to aid his rise. It worked. Penelope still needed to drag him if she was to have any chance at bringing him to safety, but at least now he was going to be far less cumbersome about the procedure. Behind them, a flash like lightning zipped through the air, and fate was clearly on Lanara’s side today. If the wispy monsters were sentient, then it stood to reason that holy magic was anathema to them, because in the wake of the witch’s blast they faded into nothingness, smoky black forms vanquished. Evidently, wherever they were from they weren’t designed to combat their elemental adversary in the slightest. The beach was suddenly a quiet place again.

Penelope is thankful that Lionel is moving with her, and Lanara is successful enough to provide a wall to protect the two. “Keep going, Lionel,” she would keep up his motivation. Cold sweat began to run over the girl’s neck. This was some hard work. Penelope was little and Lionel was a warrior, so one could see how that clashed in her own strength. The herbalist sees the cue to go to the gardens, but Lanara’s explosion of white disintegrated the black zigzagged spectrals. A big breath exhaled out of the frizz-haired girl’s mouth and she relaxes slightly, though she realizes the beach is probably still not safe. “Lionel, they’re gone, but we still need to get you safe and out of here. I don’t think I can carry you to the clinic,” she huffs. “Keep moving with me,” she would have to get him to the gardens. Just until Lanara and her figured out a plan. After all, Lanara’s horse ran for the hills. Hopefully, the steed would come back.

Lanara arrives at Penelope’s side and assesses the situation, relieved that Lionel is still breathing, and that the magical barrier is still in place. She lifts her head to see that the smoky black figures have dissipated into nothingness and that they had a minute to catch their breath. Were they truly gone, or lurking in an invisible state? Had they returned to the water? Lana centers herself and tries to feel any lingering feelings of dread, and thankfully, the negative energy seems to be far from the reach of her powers. “We are safe.” She assures them both and glances around the beach for her horse, her brows creasing in worry, “Calypso doesn’t spook easily… I can’t feel her in the area, either…” The witch looks at Penelope, “Do you know the area well? Is there a zoo, stables, or pet shop nearby? Perhaps, a large forest? I’m not familiar with Chartsend, but if you point me in the right direction I can lure an animal here… We can put Lionel on its back and get him to a healer.” Lanara doesn’t state how she’s going to lure said beast to the beach, but it likely has to do with her empathic abilities. Unless Penelope knew where they could rent a carriage, or get someone to help transport the warrior to a healing center. “Is there even a clinic, nearby?” She pauses to wait for answers, before glancing at Lionel, “How are you feeling?”

Lionel || Everything that had transpired since the deathly apparitions first arrived ashore had been a daze to Lionel, though perhaps less of a daze than anything beforehand. The running, the shouting, the witch’s bolt of apparent salvation, even Penelope’s pained requests that he move; all of it was as blurry as his vision. Now, however, his vision was coming into focus. He could make out Penelope’s features, and Lanara’s as well, though he was less familiar with the latter than the former. It occurred to him that this other woman was a witch, a fact which made him thankful; it was clear that misguided Larketian law had failed to curb the population entirely. But that was a brief respite. The weight of memory returned and he blinked several times before talking. “I… am far better than I would have been,” Lionel answered Lanara blankly. If nothing else, it was certainly true. “Thank you both.” There was something grim in the Catalian’s voice that had never been there before his disappearance. Something similar to apathy in sound, but in his azure blue eyes there was a greater fiery determination than had ever been seen before. Not apathy, then. Coldness? Maybe that’s why he still felt like shivering; he’d become emotionally cold as well. The wit and warmth of his voice when last Penelope would have heard him speak had buckled as badly as his knees must have before his return to this realm.

Penelope :: The herbalist gently places Lionel down as the stranger says they are now safe from whatever went after them. She found comfort in the woman that she did not even know. She trusted her now. Penelope was out of breath and sat down on the ground with the blonde warrior. “I don’t know of any animal shelters, but I was just at the local clinic. It’s quite a bit from the beach. It might be hard to carry him there.” The woman continues to cradle Lionel in his shivered nature to make him feel comfortable as he could. Although the two had grown distant, there was always a place for him. “You would’ve done the same for either of us and you know it.” The woman would then look at Lanara for signal on how to get the man out of this area and into a safer area.

Lanara feels powerful. She hasn’t felt like she was much of a witch since she had been banned from using her magic for nearly a year. The monitor silenced her powers, and the law wouldn’t allow her to go rogue, even if it was for the greater good. A death sentence could await her in the days to come, but for today she’s content that her magic has helped to save the day. Lionel was on the mend, and although he’d be at the healer for quite some time, he would survive. The Catalian would go on to fight many more evil doers and wispy shadows. Penelope was a pretty woman that had a heart of gold, it was plain as day to the witch, and oddly she finds herself hoping that they would see each other again in the near future. Good friends were hard to find, as was transportation to the nearest clinic. The witch sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose, trying to think of how best to go about this, as both parties were entrusting her with their safety. It’s a role she’s not used to having, but the shoe fits, at least in this situation. “Okay…” Swallowing hard, and hoping the duo were still roaming about in the forests of Venturil she uses her abilities to reach out to the direwolves. Lanara hasn’t seen the pair since she called off the engagement to Eirik, and even after that, only Sigrid had remained at her side. It’s no surprise that it’s the white direwolf that comes running down the beach at her beckon, and she releases a low growl when she sees that her ex-mistress isn’t alone. “Shh…” The witch approaches the massive wolf and runs a hand along her spine in a soothing manner, forcing her intentions into the glossy fur, as she motions for Penelope that it’s time. Together, the women would struggle to help Lionel mount the animal, and she assures them that Sigrid is all bark and no bite. “See to it that he gets to the healer, alright? I have to go and find the horse, she’s not mine, and if I don’t have her back to the stables by nightfall I’ll be in a heap of trouble.” Lana looks from Penelope to Lionel and then to the wolf and she gives them a small wave, “Be well… All of you.” As the wolf makes her way to the clinic, with Penny at her side, the witch remains on the sand until they fade from view. They would arrive safely and the Catalian would get treatment, while Penny kept a watch over her friend, Sigrid returned to the wild, and Lana eventually found Calypso.