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Still of the Night


Aedon

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It was a quiet night in Aegis. The threat of bears moving ever closer to the Knights Rest seemed to fade from his mind, as he looked toward the renovations of the Tavern. It had been a long, slow day of work, and Aedon's thoughts turned towards the footpaths of the Glade. Setting his work aside, he picked up his walking stick, and strolled out into the fresh air of the midsummer night.

 

He had always loved this time of the evening. The stillness which wrapped its arms around the Yew forest afforded him time to think, to work out issues of the day. He had a bit of a set to with one of the builders. For some reason the blasted man just would not get through his thick head what it was Aedon wanted done in the center. And though those around swore he was seeing things, Aedon could swear that one of the walls added to the room was crooked.

 

“If only I could find an artisan craftsman.” he thought to himself as he made the slow trek past the stable on the path which curved around towards the gate and then led down to the Abbey.

 

He had not visited the waterfront in some time, and memories of a full moon reflecting on the waters drew him on with anticipation. He made his way past house and tree-his feet sure of their steps-as though he had trod this path daily. Approaching the Abbey, he turned and made his way to the rear of the great, stone building. Rounding the corner, he could see the lands edge, and hear the gentle sound of water lapping against the rocky shore.

 

There were not many houses behind the Abbey. Two stood close to the water’s edge. The one, he knew, belonged to Chaunce. He had often admired the construction of the place, a sound building, the design of which fit the surrounding woods well. The building next to it however, perplexed him.

 

Strong, gray stone rising several floors with banners unfurled. Standing before it, he studied it briefly. It appeared, on the outside, to be a fortress of some sort, the cold callous home of some land baron no doubt; but there was something about it which called to him.

 

Walking up the steps, he glanced around the stable area. The house seemed to be in perfect order, as though the owner had just walked away the moment before. The work area was neat and clean. In the far corner on a stand, a well-loved saddle lay waiting to be placed upon the back of some noble steed.

 

At the other side of this area was a door which led to the interior of the building. Walking across to the door, he reached out and placed his hand on the doorknob.

 

“Blasted fool, what do ye think yer doing?” he said out loud. “Best hope the owner does nae catch ye in here.”

 

He quickly exited the building, and went back to the water's edge; his heart was pounding with the excitement of what he had almost done. Had he been caught trying to enter a place, not his own, the penalty could have been great. Mayor Bunny-man did not tolerate lawbreakers.

 

Sitting on the grass, Aedon removed his shoes, and let his feet dangle in the cool water. He moved them around and watched as the ripples he created expanded and reached out from the shore.

 

Above his head, a full moon shone down brightly, illuminating the clear water, and myriad stars twinkled up to greet his gaze. To his back, cold and gray, the great manor hall of Connemara stood as silent guard and sole witness to the wonder with which the tavern-keeper regarded the stillness of the night.

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