Participants:

Cenn_icon.gif Seren_icon.gif

Scene Title Ghosts
Synopsis Cenn and Seren discuss the ghosts of the pasts.
Location Circle of Magi, Courtyard
Date July 10, 2016
Watch For Comforting floofbird.
Logger Seren

One of the useful things about having a bird that is as intelligent as Revas is that Seren can send messages. It takes some work, and he has to explain who the message is for, but she's a predator. She's good at hunting. Thus Cenn would have received a message with a request to meet in the courtyard. Fortunately? This time the bird only VISITED the smallclothes, she's no longer taking them (12 step programs sometimes do work). The mage has even picked a time when there will be little traffic through the area. Not that anyone would be surprised to find him here mid-afternoon, sitting in the corner and on the ground with the bird perched on his shoulder watching the progress he's making on a small wooden figure (complete with upside-down owl face).

It wasn't every day that Cenn received message by bird. That was certainly a different experience. None the less, the point is made, and he doesn't have anywhere else to be. So here the Knight Lieutenant is, in the simple under layer that is the standard under his armor and gambeson. It was hot, he was done with patrol for the day (he'd drawn the short straw this week and got the pre-dawn patrols), and he wasn't going to force himself into more layers than necessary. Out into the Courtyard he goes, looking for, and eventually finding, Seren. He approaches, but keeps a respectful distance.

Seren looks up briefly and gives a hint of a smile. "I'm not going to bite you or jump out of my skin," he promises before holding up the small figure. This time it's an actual halla, not the carvings he'd been making on both inside and out of the wooden bowl. "I wanted to let you know that I have things ready and to ask if you wanted to share this with anyone else? I've since found out that Katerina and a man named Anders knew him. It's up to you. You're the one I offered it to, so you have control over who's there. …but sometimes being with people who share the same loss helps." He just gets right to it, doesn't he? Of course, Revas has already turned her attention away from the carving- she sees it all the time- to the human and her hello? Fluffed feathers and one of those 'looking from all angles' turns of her head.

"I am not afraid of you, nor do I think you are afraid of me. But I do not invite myself into spaces, even personal ones, without leave." Cenn says, but his tone is kind and easy. The figurine in Seren's hands makes Cenn take a deep breath, and the small smile he's put on falters. It doesn't return as Seren continues speaking, though he doesn't seem offended, just… Somber. He nods. "They did." Cenn says, rather more quietly, stepping a little closer and settling himself down on the ground with a small nod to Revas. "If they have want to be there, I have no objections. I do not imagine he would mind." Cenn answers, tucking one leg under himself, the other bending at the knee to be pulled toward himself, wrapped around by one arm, his chin resting on his knee. It's a small posture, but not one that is fearful. Just… Sad.

"You mean not anymore," Seren corrects. "I'm not afraid of you anymore." He goes back to working on the figure, only looking up once when Revas starts to edge over to the human. "Revas, ask first. …Ir abelas. She's always been bold. She's always been welcome anywhere, and I think she has a hard time seeing things differently." He continues scraping the wood away with the small knife. "This grief is yours, so I don't want you to think I'm trying to intrude or force you to leave it behind you. I'd be a hypocrite and I don't think I've gotten there quite yet. If you want to speak about it, I'll listen. And if pointed ears aren't suitable, there's always the bird." Who is now trying to edge over to perch on the Templar because of COURSE she is.

"It is no trouble." Cenn says, dropping his shoulders slightly to allow for a better place to perch for the bird, should she pick up on the invitation. As Seren returns to the carving, it catches Cenn's gaze. For a long moment, he can't look away. There's something so very, very familiar to watching this. Trained, skilled, elven hands working wood into the shape of a halla… It makes his chest ache and his eyes sting. Realizing, he clears his throat, tearing his gaze away and then turning his head all together. The Lieutenant shakes his head, taking a deep breath that he manages to have only shake a little. "No, thank you." He says, "It is not your trouble, and you do not know me. Was that all you needed? To know if Katerina and Anders would be welcome?"

"It was," Seren assures. "I'm a Keeper, remember? It doesn't matter if the trouble belongs to me. The offer's open." He turns the halla over to work on the other side. "I used to make these for my daughter. She wanted an entire herd. I was half finished with them when I was captured and she had just turned four. I think she was angry with me for not having them done. Hopefully the father she has left will finish them for her." He stops and glances over at Revas and shakes his head. The nightwing steadily works her way up to Cenn's shoulder and fluffs out to 'warm mommy bird' proportions and settles down. "…I'll probably stop carving them as soon as the permanence of this place sinks in. But yes, that was why I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to know how many seeds to have Revas bring me."

That gets an ugly laugh from the Templar, who buries his face in his hand, and shakes his head. "Yeah…" He says, quiet and trying desperately not to sound bitter, but failing, "So was he." He swallows hard, and it scrapes at his throat like glass and he forces a breath but it burns and he closes his eyes but he can't stop the mistiness there. But something about the combination of fluffy bird upon his shoulder, the sound of that blade upon wood, and the story and admission Seren tells stop him from leaving, though every bone in his body wants to flee. For a long moment, he is silent, turning over words in his mind. "Do not stop carving them, then." Cenn says, sounding… Serious, like he's making an oath.

Seren half smiles. "I had six more to go. I keep thinking that if I get to the last one and find myself still here, I'll have to give up on ever seeing them again. Grief tells you those things and it's easy to believe them." He takes a moment and pulls out the bowl from the small cloth bag beside him. "This is for your ceremony." There's no surface that's been left uncovered with carved tree branches and halla. "And the ashes will be put into small pouches with the seed of a tree for you to plant where you wish."

"How long have you been - " Cenn stops, realizing that is a terrible fucking question and he shouldn't be asking it, and he shakes his head. Takes another deep breath. There's a glance to the bowl. It is beautiful and it pulls a sad smile to his lips but he… "I am sorry," Cenn says shifting gently to encourage Revas off of his shoulder slowly, "I can't… I can't do this." It was one thing, when the person he was talking to didn't remind him so pointedly of the man he'd lost. It was one thing when the person he spoke to knew Rylan, when he didn't need to explain, when he could just know that things were known and didn't need to think about them. This was too much, and it hurts.

Seren nods, and waits for Revas to take up her spot on his shoulder again. "The answer is almost three years, and the truth is that, even if the doors were open and I were tossed through them, I could never go back now." But he's not going to try to keep Cenn from getting up. He'll go back to the carving. "It doesn't stop me from thinking about it." For the nightwing's part, she gives a parting headbump- which is floofbird for a hug, apparently- before settling on the elf's shoulder and stretching her wings. Birdnap time.

Cenn is just shifting to get up when Seren says he could never go back and it stops him dead. His brow knits in confusion and concern and something like fear and perhaps anger. "I - You do not have to answer me, of course, but… Why not? Why could you not go back?" Cenn says, learning this piece of information like it's a slap to the face, but as though it was one that he was very much sure that he deserved.

Seren finally reaches up to push his hair behind his ear to show of the fine lines of scars over both it and the side of his neck. "Because the man who was taken while collecting herbs for coughing sickness died in the dungeon of a tower that he didn't know the name of. Even my escape attempt wasn't a route home, neither would my attempt to leave this place be. They'd welcome me, but going back would be a lie and I'm not going to lie to them." He settles the hair back down again so that only the tip of his ear shows. "If I brought up painful memories for you, it wasn't my intention."

The Templar swallows hard as Seren reveals those scars. Suddenly, it's not sadness anymore. Suddenly, he's sick with anger, pure, white hot anger and a disgust at this Order that he's gone and been stupid and naive enough to pledge his life to. What a starry eyed fool he'd been. He sighs, shaking his head. "I know it means… So much less than nothing… But, Seren, I am sorry. You shouldn't be here. You shouldn't have been there. You should not have been taken. The Order is wrong. The Chantry is wrong. Woefully, terribly, disgustingly wrong." He says, keeping his voice low, "And my memories are not your fault. He just… When first I met him, he was carving. This." He says, looping a finger under the leather cord around his neck, pulling the pendant free. Ironbark, carved and turned in the shape of a halla, finely done.

"You aren't those men. If they were more like you, perhaps I wouldn't have been taken and if the sky were water birds would swim. There are a lot of people who are very wrong about a lot of things, you shouldn't apologize for them." Seren studies the pendant for a moment and nods. "It's beautiful work, he was talented. I hope that it becomes more of a comfort than a reminder of your grief one day. It's what I'd want mine to become."

Normally, Cenn might have a rebuttal for that. Not today, so he just sighs, and resigns to that answer. It would have to do. "For the most part, it is." Cenn says, his hand wrapping around the pendant protectively. And if one is very observant, before his hand closes, there are scars on that palm. Scars at the places where the sharper points of the pendant lay upon his palm, as though he has an unfortunate habit of holding it tightly, and the strong material from which it is made will bite into his flesh before it will break. "It just… The act of carving like this. It is distinct, and it is familiar and it is… Thank you. Thank you for what you are doing. But I… I just can't. And that isn't your fault. It's mine. I shouldn't see ghosts so easily."

Seren shakes his head and places the bowl and the figure into the bag before standing. "These ones are going to be used, they won't exist when we're done. The truth is, once we're done I will probably find something else to do with my time. It's become clear that my trying to leave this place isn't a guarantee of a quick end… even if it were, others would pay. I can't do that. I'll have to find a way to pass the days. At least some of them are accounted for with this and with temporarily looking after a halla. We should perform this ceremony out of site. Away from this place if possible, somewhere hidden if not." He raises a hand. "You have my word, no escape attempts." He chuckles. "Why shouldn't you see ghosts, Cenn? You've been talking to one. There are a lot of them in this place." He gives a brief wave. "The offer stands. I'm still trained. I can still do that much." Now he's going to head off for the safety of the corridors and rooms.

"I will see about getting you and Katerina leave for an outing." Cenn says. It had been hard enough the first time. Again? After the events surrounding Karl? He'd give it a try, but he doesn't know how likely it is to pan out. "If you ever change your mind… About that word you've just given me… Just… Tell me." There it is again, that tone of a man offering a promise. None the less, he nods to Seren. "I will let you know if I have need." He's managed to set himself to at least looking like he's keeping it together, "Have a good day," The tiniest hint of a pause, "Seren." And he lets the elf walk away, sliding back to sit in the Courtyard once he is alone. "Yeah, I was…" He whispers quietly, just for himself.


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