Deep Breath Before the Plunge

A click of the door behind him ends another chapter in his life.

Kendall pauses in the hall just outside of Margot's suite to breathe deeply and re-center his mind to what was now in front of him instead of what lay behind. He stands for several heartbeats listening to the gentle shimmery sounds of the leaves above and the deep, cavernous silence that surrounded him; a silence that was yet thick with life. He draws on this thick emptiness, feeding the still center of his being with its constancy until he knows the weight of his purpose once more.

He takes in one last deep breath before he opens his eyes and heads off at a brisk pace. He had at least one errand to attend to before he went to be purified in order to stand before the priest, one he hoped to deal with quickly. Continuing along the empty hallway, another series of ways takes him out of the Halls of Yearning and into the manor in Chagodesh. There he is once more greeted by wailing, but armed with his inner peace, he passes through back halls to reach his private chambers without meeting many others. Within, he is greeted by the familiar and reassuring presence of his servant.

Rory follows the Lord into the dressing chamber and begins undressing him. Now left in the company only of himself and the one he trusted most completely, Kendall could feel the dragging weight of grief and pain tugging at his soul. He watches his servant lay aside his shirts before sitting down, feeling weary, worn, and quite content to give Rory this last opportunity to see to all of his master’s needs.

"Have you had opportunity to see Pavan yet?" he asks after a time, unexpectedly breaking the silence.

Rory looks up from where he is crouched to unlace the Lord's boots. "I have not," he admits.

Kendall frowns at this answer. "That is unacceptable, Rory. You have my leave to visit her as soon as we are done here, and do not return until word of my outcome reaches your ears. Is that clear?"

"Yes, m'lord," his servant replies. The lord nods his satisfaction at the result and falls silent again for a time as his servant finishes disrobing him.

"What is your next destination?" Rory asks as he stands back. He would deal with putting things away later; for now he stood at the ready for any request.

Kendall remains quiet as he stands up and begins to stretch and twist. His skin and limbs ripple without the confining clothing. But eventually he finishes the exercise and turns to study himself in the mirror. "I will be attending to my brother’s spirit," he answers in a quiet voice.

He wondered what one wore to lay one’s brother’s ghost. For lack of an immediate inspiration, he begins walking slowly through the suite to look at all the familiar trinkets and belongings stashed here. These rooms reflected him and held many things that were dear to him. It was the one place in all of Chanicut that was his alone, where no other person was welcome without invitation. While he knew his immediate family members felt no compunction about entering without his leave, no one else had ever been here. No, not even a single one of his many lovers.

A small object catches his eye as he drifts through one room, and he pauses to pick up the pipes he had promised to his little cousin. The pipes were old and very fine, a treasure that once belonged to the great master musician Tamiran. He would miss them. He strums the strings of his favorite lute as he passes, and painstakingly draws another line of charcoal on an unfinished sketch that had been left behind and nigh forgotten. The weapons rack was vacant of his sword, though, and warranted only a passing glance for the rest of the items hanging there.

Mementos and keepsakes. Gifts from his sister, lovers, some others. Mostly sweet memories surface and pass through his thoughts as his gaze lingers over each item. A particular ring in the jewelry case also draws his attention. He picks it up and carries it along with the pipes as he walks over to the balcony to have one last view of the fire garden. Yet nothing in these rooms aids in answering the question that lurked at the back of his mind and dogged his steps, so he returns to the dressing chamber and lays the two items on a table.

"Please make sure the lyrr'ah make their way to Tia, and the ring should find its way to Margot," he tells his servant after a long silence.

Rory nods. "Yes, m'lord."

Kendall evaluates the clothing his servant had selected for him without really seeing it, and agrees with the choice with a small nod. In truth, he didn’t care. Numbness was overtaking him, but his body knew what to do even if no other part of him wanted to take part. He stands and lets Rory hang the clothing on his limbs, tying the knots to elaborate belts and sashes and making sure all was arranged as was proper. And then he is ready.

Kendall stands still, breathes deep, looks within. "You have served me well, Rory," he says at last.

He opens his eyes and turns to face his stalwart servant. "May your next duty be light, and your heart be as true to it as you have been to me."

Rory bends into a deep bow. "Thank you, m'lord. May you find clemency in Lord Serpent’s sight."

"Thank you," the young Lord returns with all due gravity, answering the bow with a nod of respect. "You have your final assignments. You are dismissed to attend to them."

Rory surreptitiously rubs his eyes as he straightens. He claims the two objects that Kendall had chosen and then opens the door to allow his master to depart from his suite, perhaps forever. In the hall beyond, they turn their separate ways. Neither looks back.

Back to list of Kendall's game threads
Laying the Ghost

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