Teveriel (prime)/The Ianthine Heart

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28 Phoenatos, 5122

Recently, I was commissioned to sing to a certain item recovered by one Lord Teveriel Anduin, proud son of House Vaalor: an amethyst whose purity and radiance puts to shame any other that I've looked upon in all my days. It once belonged to his mother, and the tale it tells is one of love most joyful and melancholy of immeasurable depth. Lord Anduin gifted the stone afterward to his own lady wife, Uniana of House Nalfein, to adorn her fair brow. So moved was I by this renewed cycle of profound love, this continuation of the song revealed to me by the amethyst which I have dubbed "The Ianthine Heart" that I feel compelled to share it in these following passages from my own perspective. An unusual narrative style to be sure, but it is my hope that it allows you, dear reader, to share and appreciate the range of emotions I experienced in unraveling this tale.

By my hand,

Chrysain Iliathor Vaalor
Herald of the Dawn

Verse 1

As the amethyst responds to the vibrations of your voice, it seems to glow with an ianthine fire that brightens into a silver-tinged incandescence, forcing you to shut your eyes. The moment you close them, you find yourself beholding an adolescent elven girl with chestnut hair dressed in a fitted blouse with wrist-bound bishop sleeves.

Surrounded by an immaculate garden of spring-blooming flowers, she sits upon a low stone wall surrounding a bed of carnations, one booted foot drawn up onto her perch with a lute across the lap of her breeches as she plays an aimless tune. The harp-emblazoned purple banners of House Loenthra can be seen on display against the marble facade of the structure behind her, fluttering in the breeze.

She looks up as a golden-haired elven youth comes into view along the cobblestone path, regarding him with wry amusement. "If it isn't the Vaalor lordling," she coos in an affectionately mocking tone. "I look forward to further tales of prowess later in class - unlikely as their veracity may be."

The young man blinks at her in surprise and knits his brow in a wordless scowl, eliciting a soft chuckle from the woman as he continues on his way and the scene fades.

A trilliant-cut amethyst veined with silver in Chrysain's hand responds to his song with a dim ianthine light that soon brightens, forcing his eyes closed. As he continues to sing, a smile plays about his lips, the melody taking on a lightly mocking trill.

Verse 2

Your voice lifts an octave higher as a courtyard of freshly-cut grass fades into view, the heat of summer thick in the air. A number of elven youths form a ring around the green expanse as the pair from the previous scene brandish rapiers, adopting graceful stances. "Come, lordling," the girl challenges with a grin. "Let us take your measure at long last."

The pair lunge at each other as one, engaging in a dance of flashing blades and studious footwork, their long, tied-back hair streaming behind them like ribbons of copper and pale gold as their fellows cheer them. The girl lets out a musical laugh as she takes an agile leap backwards, avoiding a strike that might have cost her the duel had the blunted tip found its mark. With a flourish, she surges forward to engage her opponent again and their blades meet with a clash, each of them trapped in a struggle for dominance.

The smile she gives him from between their crossed blades is genuine and sweet. "Had this been a bout with shield and longsword, I don't doubt you would have bested me." Her long leg slides behind his knee as she shoves her blade forward, tripping him and sending him sprawling to the ground. A mixed chorus of groans and cheers follows as the girl stands proudly above her fallen foe, sword-tip resting beneath his gawking chin. "But this match is mine."

The youth stares up at her in shocked silence for only a moment before twisting his lips into a smirk. "Well played," he concedes. His vanquisher lowers herself into a curtsy before sheathing her blade and turning to accept the congratulations of their classmates, and his eyes watch her with the evident spark of love before this scene, too, fades from sight.

Chrysain's song rises in intensity, the rhythm akin to that of blades clattering in a pitched duel. After a rousing crescendo, he segues into a softer verse, slow and romantic as the amethyst's glow pulses with the rhythm of a beating heart.

Verse 3

As you continue to croon the amorous tones of a love song, you are beset by a number of fleeting images featuring the elven pair: a walk through the garden from before, a kiss shared in the pouring rain, a gentle ride huddled together on a gondola, and other more intimate moments before ending with a melancholy departure.

At last, your vision is filled with a woodland scene, the surrounding trees aflame with the red and orange of autumn. The pair are older now, standing locked in a tender embrace with the woman's head buried against the elven lord's uniform jacket. "I've missed you," she murmurs, her tears staining the crimson a darker shade. "I wondered if I'd ever see you again."

"I promised you," comes the gentle reply, his hands lifting to her shoulders and holding her at arm's length. "And this time I will not leave you wondering." She studies him curiously as he reaches beneath his shoulder-cape, producing a small box of vaalin-inlaid glowbark. Falling to one knee in front of her, he opens the box and raises it for her inspection.

Lifting both hands to her face, she gasps softly. Cradled within the box is a ring of entwined vaalin branches along with the selfsame amethyst, unmistakable in its silver-veined radiance, that you hold in your hands. "Will you do me the honor of being my wife once my duty is fulfilled?"

"I will," she whispers without hesitation, her tears renewing as her joy swells. Your vision focuses on a single drop as it falls through the air, refracting the ianthine glow of the amethyst, and there the scene fades.

Chrysain continues to croon in deep, amorous tones as soft as a lover's kiss. The tune is tinged with wistful melancholy, the glow of the amethyst starting to dim in response to the lowering of his voice, but there is hope reflected in the smile that tugs at Chrysain's lips, however brief.

Verse 4

As your voice segues into deeper melancholy, you feel the chill of winter gnawing at your bones. A fierce wind rattles the windows of the hall you find yourself in, snow flurrying around the bare branches of the courtyard. The face of the elven man of the preceding scenes is more mature now, his brow fraught with worry. An adolescent reflection of who he once was stands near, looking even more distraught as the sounds of a woman's pained cries echo from behind a closed door.

Presently, an older elven man emerges from behind the door, quickly shutting it behind him as her screams continue unabated. His tone is urgent as he approaches the lord in a hurry, "The time is near at hand, my lord. A choice must be made."

A flash of pained grief mars the other man's expression. Turning towards his son, he commands in a tone that brooks no argument, "Leave us." The young elf looks momentarily stunned, but one look at his father's steely gaze is enough to make him obey. Once his son departs, he fixes a weary gaze on the robed physician. "I already know her wishes," he states quietly. "If it comes to it, let it be the child."

The physician gazes at him with a look of sympathy before answering with a low bow. "It shall be noted, my lord." After he departs, the elven lord lifts his gloved hand, opening it to reveal his wife's amethyst, apparently divested of her brow to remove any distraction while the physicians tend to her. Unseen by any but yourself, tears stream unchecked from the lord's grieving face as the cries of his wife fall silent, replaced by those of an infant. The scene fades as the lord clutches his fist around the jewel, storming towards the door to his wife's chamber.

The melancholy of Chrysain's song deepens to one of profound grief. The dirge falls into the clutches of despair as tears well in his eyes, the ianthine glow of the amethyst fading to a dim phosphorescence

Verse 5

Your voice falls into a gentle hum, the melancholic tones resonating dark and heavy in your breast. Another scene opens, in which the elven lord stands among many others before an expansive tomb, watching as his wife is interred with a solemn ceremony. "She would want you to have this," he murmurs to the slight elven matron hovering near, holding out his gloved hand.

Curious, she extends her palm and draws in a breath when he places the glowing amethyst into it. "But should you not keep it? She loved you so, and you her; surely you wish for some memento of her." The lord's gaze flickers to his sons; one held in the arms of the midwife and the other standing near, grim-faced and silent without moving his gaze from the tomb. "She has left me with two, and I am content."

The elder nods faintly, her eyes clenching shut as her senescent fingers close around the gem. "Then we shall keep it in remembrance." An aged elven man with a shock of wavy silver hair moves to stand behind her, squeezing her shoulders wordlessly as he shares in her grief.

The scene fades much as the others did, but this time another comes fast on its heels. A young elven woman sweeps through a floral-decorated bedchamber, changing the linens and dusting the well-appointed furniture. When she comes to the small vanity set aside for her mistress's use, she takes a furtive glance about the room before opening an ornamental jewelry box. Her mouth opens in a quiet gasp, and you see her lift the amethyst in her slender fingers with a greedy smile crossing her features. Without further preamble, she slips the jewel into her pocket, and the song dies on your lips.

Chrysain's song falls into a gentle hum, the tones dark and heavy, echoing the melody of the earlier verses in a melancholic minor chord. the amethyst's glow gradually begins to fade as if in death, losing its luster entirely as the song dies on Chrysain's lips before returning to its normal, steady glow.