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March 21, 2001

A Return to Lessons

Mirabel leads Blade up the steep hill that leads to Caelyn's small stone dwelling. Underneath the shade of one of the huge Yew trees, this small cave-like structure had been her home for many months at a time as she had studied with her master. She smiles a little, remembering happier times, when she and Lucas had made this trip together... excited to be leaving home and their parents on such an adventure. The forest here in Trammel looks little different than it had in her youth in Felucca.. She knew Caelyn longed to return to Felucca and begin the healing of the land, but the druids of his circle were forbidden to dwell in a land ruled by Minax. Mirabel shook her head sadly at the great loss, at all the destruction.. then continued her climb.

She must stay focused on her purpose. Although she cannot admit it to herself, she is concerned for Ivy's health and knows that delay serves only to hasten what now seems inevitable. By all rights, she shouldn't even be here, she thinks. What does she care for the life of the Mistress of the Dark Tower.. She who has hurt so many deserves a bit of suffering herself, doesn't she? Ah, but there's the catch, Mirabel thinks. She has suffered. She continues to. And if this illness is not cured, it will kill her. Curing it might be beyond all hope, but.. if it is possible to lend comfort, gain some time.. If Mirabel's healing skill can give that gift.. then is she not obligated to do so? Caelyn would say she was. Others will feel differently. Mirabel pushes her hair out of her eyes, pausing to think for a moment.

This is a point of no return. Once she asks Caelyn for his help... once she begins the research into a kind of healing she has never done before... Duty requires that she see it through to the end. She must make her decisions now, before she climbs this last bit of the hill. She can see her master's home just ahead.

Ivy does not serve the virtues, as I do, Mirabel thinks. She does not even serve goodness. She serves herself and the Tower. But.. as I serve the virtues.. and I serve the light.. I must, in all compassion, do this thing for my enemy if it is within my power.

Mirabel nods her head once, sealing her resolve. Taking up Blade's lead rope, she urges him up the last bit of the steep incline.

"Caelyn! You about?"

She smiles as he pokes his head out of his house, and as he sees her he breaks into a wide grin.

"Aye now lass. Come here and give me a hug!" he exclaims. "It's been too long since we've seen you here."

Mirabel nodded. "Things..." she gropes for the right words, how best to explain the last several months? "Things have been.. hectic. I've missed you," she replies, returning his hug warmly.

Caelyn frowns a little at her tone, and pushes her back to study her face. He notes the strain in her face, and looking into her eyes, he can see sadness.. "What has happened, child.. Isolated as we are, we had little word of your marriage save its announcement.. I am sorry I could not make the trip.. are things not well? Is your lord unkind? Do you come here seeking refuge?"

Mirabel smiles a sad smile. "My lord is not my lord, Caelyn. Much has happened and I will tell you all.. but that is not why I am here. I am.. getting better, myself. I come here on another's behalf, seeking your counsel on how best to proceed."

Caelyn nods slowly, measuring her response. "Alright then. Let us go inside, and we can talk.. and you can tell me why you are here."

She takes her pack off the horse and lets him wander about the yard, knowing he won't stray far.. and follows Caelyn inside.

Posted by Brenstar at March 21, 2001 1:29 AM

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