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Going Home (1 Viewer)

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Josephine was seated upon Seraphina's hip as the Fey and her family approached Tyr'Wrystel. The young girl was two years old now, and as she grew she had come to look quite a bit like her mother, much more than all of her siblings did. The same bright red hair spilled around the chubby rosy cheeks of the child and she had a thumb stuck in her mouth as she faded in and out of sleep. Her tiny cheek was smushed atop Seraphina's shoulder, her little head bobbing along as her mother carried her. Julius, Josephine's twin, had elected to walk the remainder of the way to the front of the castle, his short and stubby legs carrying him in awkward stumbles as he pattered on forth, full of excitement and giggles. His tiny hand was securely clasped within the cautious palm of his mother. The triplets, too, crowded around their mother as they made the trek back to the home they had been displaced from for so long. They would seem far more excited to be returning than the youngest two, as they had actually been old enough to remember the place well.

Caedan, one of her oldest, accompanied Seraphina and the rest of the children back to their castle. Seraphina's spriggan and treant flanked either side of the family as they headed home, helping with transport of luggage and children's toys. Upon arrival, should the gate be shut, Seraphina would call out for any occupants. If the gate were open, she would make her way inside and begin to unpack!

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As soon as word reached Alda that Seraphina was returning he'd sit up straight in his chair, a curious choice. He had obviously expected the Rhetts to return, but expected all of them to return. Either way, Alda would be glad to see his friends once more. as Seraphina and Caedan and the children drew closer to Tyr'Wyrstel, the sound of chattering, children playing and general happiness could be heard from within the walls of the city. The gates in and out of the city would kept open, people milling in and out, despite the recent goings on with Tiberius' departure, the deposing of Ishani and Perise and the dragon threats people seemed content in Tyr'Wyrstel. The walls and city itself was also noticeably well guarded, but not by any recognizable guards. It would seem that the entire guard force had been replaced since Seraphina was last here.

As Seraphina made her way up to the keep she'd pass plenty of people content in their daily activities and the gates and doors to the keep were kept wide open, people casually strolling in and out. Seraphina and Caedan would be escorted inside and into the main hall where Tiberius's 'throne' had once been. Alda would be sat on the raised dais, the chair having been torn out. Around him would be a group of about thirty children, all sat furiously taking notes parchment around the floor. From the wings, the parents watched with content. Seraphina would have to wait to speak to the man, but once the lesson concluded and the children all hugged Alda in thanks. Most parents and children would move to the dining hall for a free lunch in the keep. Alda would stand up on the platform, before taking a step down to be level with her.


"Seraphina! So good to see you, to what do I owe the pleasure. Are you returning to Tyr'Wyrstel, if so I can offer you a large house in the city for your family?"

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Seraphina and her family were certainly confused by the unwanted renovations to their home, but remained quiet for the time being as they waited for a moment to speak with Alda. The longer he ignored their presence and continued on with what he had been doing, the more anxious and uncomfortable the Fey became. Her children didn't seem to notice this, however, distracted by reunions with the many friends they had not been able to see for some time. Arbor, however, did pick up on Seraphina's discomfort, and was quick to attempt a simple gesture with the hope of soothing her nerves. A thick hand of bark was moved to rest reassuringly atop the shoulder of the Fey, and she flashed a concerned smile in his direction before Alda finally approached.

At first, she was reassured by Alda's warm welcome, but that feeling immediately diminished with his final inquiry. Her eyes widened somewhat and her heart felt as if it stopped within her chest. A house in the city? But this was their home. It had been their home since the start of this world. Her eyes flicked towards the place in the hall where the throne had been removed, and the color drained from her face as an unpleasant thought had quickly plagued her mind. Her muscles briefly tensed and she immediately bolted for the stairs, leaving Alda without a single word. She ran up several sets of stairs, fueled by anxious adrenaline as she rushed through the home. She would be swift to weave around anyone who was in her path, clearly headed towards a specific location in the house.

When she finally stopped, she stood still outside of Evan's old room. It was the one place in the house she never allowed anyone to touch. Everything that remained of her murdered child had always been safely locked away behind his bedroom door, preserved to keep the memories of him alive. Seraphina reached to her bag with a shaky hand, withdrawing the key to Evan's door. The quiet sound of metal scraping within the lock was audible, and her palm settled upon the knob to the door. The metal was cold to the touch, but her fingers were colder so, a result of the overwhelming anxiety within her. Her chest had tightened, making her breathing feel shallow as fearful tears began to fill her eyes. She was afraid to go inside, afraid that Alda may have disregarded the importance of this room to her. She had always worked so hard to keep things exactly the way Evan had left it, not a single object moved out of place in all the time since his murder.


When she finally felt about to faint, she knew she had to do it. She had to find out if the room had been desecrated. She had to open that door and look inside. And so she did.

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Alda stood looking a bit confused as Seraphina bolted, but he would go to slowly follow her upstairs. As she ran she would see that most of the keep was the same, the library had many new books, but the biggest change was that all of the rooms were now inhabited by families, people and children who were without family or were previously homeless. Alda had given them all homes in the keep so that they had somewhere safe and dry to stay. Seraphina would round the corner to the top bedrooms and would stop outside Evan's door.

It was locked, but it had in fact been sealed with a potent arcane lock so that no one was able to enter. This was the one room that had been kept the exact same, that no one had ever entered and was kept entirely out of bounds from all who lived in the keep. As Sera stepped inside she would find it was as she had left it, but with some dust over everything. Alda would eventually arrive behind her and would stand outside the room.


"You were worried I would touch this room? I would never, I could never, nor would I ever want to..."


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Caedan would be slightly horrified that a military installation, created by his family had been turned into what can only be described as an orphanage. His home of Tyr'Wrystel had been perverted, and those who now call it home now, but waiting for their destruction. He pushed these thoughts aside as he allowed his mother to run off, fully knowing why she had bolted up the stairs. Turning towards his siblings he'd manage a smile.

"Let's get something to eat, non? I don't think they fired ol' Grenda from the kitchens.. You remember ol' Grenda, oui?" He would lead his siblings to the kitchens, inwardly disappointed by the antics of the traitor simply known as .. Alda.
 

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As the door slowly creaked open and her gaze flicked about the contents of the room, Seraphina felt a great weight lift from her shoulders. She blinked several times as she was overwhelmed with emotion from seeing the scene for the first time in a while, silently stepping forth to enter the room. Her feet felt heavy and it almost seemed difficult to lift them at all and move. Everything around her was so still and silent that she could hear her quiet breathing like an avalanche and feel the blood rushing through her veins like rapids. She made her way over to the bed of her lost child, easing herself down to sit at the edge. Her hand floated over to the green baby blanket that she had given to Evan on the day of his birth. It had become tattered and worn over the years from use, but it still held a dull green color to it and still felt soft to the touch if you held it just the right way.

A soft sniffle escaped from the Fey as she drew the blanket into her lap, cradling it in her arms with distant memories of rocking her baby boy to sleep each night. Her palms closed very gently around the old fabric, only barely crumpling it so that her fingertips would brush along its texture. Her next breath caught in her throat and the tears that had flooded her eyes spilled over. She hugged the blanket to her heart as she cried, leaning over so that her tears would fall to the fabrics of her dress and spare the little blanket. It had been years since the loss of her son, but the pain of his death remained ever present within her heart, merely locked away to permit her to function and carry on with a normal life. A mother's love for her child surpasses all else in the end.
 

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Alda would depart from the room and would head to the library to give her enough time in the room, as much as she needed. Once word was brought to him that she had stopped crying, Alda would gently patter back to the room. A melancholy look across his face.

"What can I do for you today Sera?~"
 

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The Fey locked herself in the room for somewhere around an hour, taking the time to mourn, pace about, and in the end pray that her son was happy in the afterlife. She had been away for so long that it had become more difficult to compose herself after feeling such emotions overwhelm her. When she was finally ready to go back out and face Alda, Seraphina carefully arranged the baby blanket back upon the bed, exactly the way it had been when she first arrived back to the room. She sniffled a few more times as she dried her face with an auraweave handkerchief, blotting the tears from her eyes and taking a few deep breaths. As she slipped the handkerchief back to her pocket, the Fey raised a hand to adjust her hair, trying to look more presentable before heading out back into the hallway of her home, which had now more or less been turned into a public place. She stepped from the room and closed the door behind her, keeping her gaze straight ahead. She was afraid that if she looked back inside one last time, she may never want to leave and face the argument with Alda that would almost certainly be unavoidable. She did turn to lock the room up, just as she always did.

Alda was quick to return when she exited Evan's room, and Seraphina let out a soft sigh as she leaned back against the sealed door behind her. "Now that Ishani and Perise are no longer a threat to my family, we've come to move back home. Thank you so much for taking care of things for us while we've been away, we all sincerely appreciate your help with everything."
 

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Alda was waft his hand and the arcane lock would resume upon the entrance so it was once again secure. He would listen to what Seraphina said and would then let out a soft sigh.

"I am not sure what you expect Seraphina, yes I stayed to look after this place, yes I did it out of loyalty to your family but now I am needed here. These people depend on me and I have been legally granted this land by the past and current crown... My next words are not out of selfishness or a lust for power as that has never been who I am, but Sera... you won't be able to just move back in and take over. You are permitted to purchase a home in town, and are welcome here always... but I have a duty to these people as the new Exarch of Tyr'Wyrstel and I intended to fulfil that duty."
 

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Just as she feared, Alda had indeed taken advantage of the situation she and her family were forced into prior to their departure of Tyr'Wrystel. Tybalt and Seraphina had trusted Alda to look after things for them because they believed that he of all people would keep their home safe until they were able to return. Unfortunately, Alda turned out to be a threat, a person capable of backstabbing not only his mentors, but also his closest of friends. Alda's present resistance was not all that shocking to Seraphina. After someone she considered to be a friend tried to assassinate her entire family and poisoned over fifty individuals at Vulmar's coronation, it was difficult for the Fey to keep up her usual trust and optimism. Now that Alda was quite literally trying to force Seraphina and her family out of their home to keep it for himself, the petite redhead was prepared to fight back. It was true she allowed herself to be pushed around a lot and put up with her fair share of disrespect, but when it came to her family, her children both living and dead, Seraphina was not about to go down without a fight.

"Now Alda," she began, staring bravely up towards the taller Elf with determination in her eyes. "I understand that you wish to continue helping out the people of our lands, but by no means does that require you to be the only one present to do so, nor does it require you to take up the entirety of my home that my husband and I designed for our family. My children were born and raised in this house, and the memorial casket of my late son is buried on these lands. My family and I have already been displaced for long enough. I will not allow you or anyone else to scare me off. This is our home and we have done nothing wrong to deserve this kind of treatment, especially not from you. You can continue to help people just the same from somewhere else in town. You are the one who needs to go and purchase your own home, you can't just steal mine from my family and I, and I don't care who you think gave you permission to do so."
 

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Alda would let the woman speak, not interrupting her once. His hand softly drifted to the small of his back where they gently clasped each other. The hurt was evident in his eyes at what she was saying and implying.. He understood precisely why she said all this, and how he appeared to her. He didn't want this position and had no intention of being an exarch, but he now had a duty to these people and he knew if he relented and gave in his hard work would be torn down.

"Seraphina, take a second and remember that you as an ascended are asking the standing exarch of a region to step aside so you and your family can move back in and take over. With that in mind, I wish to remind you that you and your family fled and let everyone else pick up the pieces. I stayed, and risked my life to protect the people of Tyr'Wyrstel, to make positive changes around here that ensured everyone is safe and sound. The crown, the one you wish to return to, has given me this land and it is now my legal property. I do not, by any means have to offer you sanctuary and a life here. But I do so because you are like family. Can you honestly expect me to step aside and let you move your family move back in if it meant that all the children and families that live here would return to the streets. Because I will die before I see that injustice done. You have money, you have connections, you have protection. Buy a house here and help, or move along. This conversation is tiring, and my word is final. I am sorry to be like this, but you have rebuked me and my generosity. Must I remind you that Tiberius was denounced under the Folset crown, and such, as far as I am aware, has not been legally undone through Folset courts. Seraphina, I am sorry about this. This is now the home of many, not just me and I will not give it up lightly."
 

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Seraphina narrowed her eyes as she listened to Alda go on, moving to cross her arms atop her chest about halfway through as she waited for him to finish speaking. "Please excuse my language, but I care not for any of the political bullshit you're speaking of. This is my home and it always has been, always will be. You keep saying that you were 'given these lands', but you know what? Land does not belong to anyone. It existed here before we ever came to this world, and will continue to exist just the same long after we are all dead and gone. The only ones who can truly lay claim to it are the Gods themselves who created this world. Yet this house, this building here, it was built by my flesh and blood, my family and friends. My bedroom is the first place I took Layla when I brought her home from the Spirit Tree. I nursed her with Evan and Ella in that room, and the triplets, too, later on. You see the dents and wear in the floorboards and carpets here?" she asked rhetorically, dropping her arms and motioning towards the space around them. "They were caused by my children and family pets running up and down the halls during play. So far I have raised eight beautiful children in these walls. Do you see this room behind me that I always protect so fiercely? It is all I have left of my son who had his mind destroyed and was permanently murdered by Vallah who will never be brought to justice. I did not leave a place with such profound meaning to my life and my family because I wanted to. I left because I had to save my children from the murderers that Ishani and Perise sent hunting my family. Do you have any idea what it is like to try and put on a brave face for your children, when deep down you are terrified that at any moment a killer may burst in to end their lives forever the way they did to Evan? Do you even care? When we left, it was on short notice, and Tybalt was quick to put you in charge. We never left any pieces in need of picking up, and your life was never at risk. As for these people who you claim to be taken in from off the streets, well I have news for you Alda, before we left one of things I kept up on in Tyr'Wrystel was making sure that each and every family had a home of their own. I have no idea what you've done to cause all these people to become homeless, but in moving back to my house I have no intention of simply forcing them out onto the streets as you so terribly dared to imply. I will go back to work getting these families homes of their own set up because I believe everyone deserves a place to call their own, a place that others shouldn't dare to try and snatch away from under them. Quite frankly I do not care what your feelings are for my husband or whatever you claim his status to be. If you have a problem with Tybalt, take it up with him yourself. My children and I have done no wrong and I will not allow you or anyone else to push us around any longer. If you have a problem with my family moving back in, you will have to strike me down and remove me by force, because I am not leaving."
 

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Alda would look down at her, she was the unstoppable force to his unmovable object. They would never get anywhere like this, and Alda frowned heavily at the thought of having to strike her down.

"Yes you are leaving Seraphina, and I shall not here anymore on this matter. This world does not work on claims of 'I built it so its mine' or 'I was here first, so I'm entitled to it'. Yes you built this place, and lived here with your family. Yes it bears the marks of your family and the love you gave them, it houses the memories of those you lost. And how dare you imply I don't care about what happened to Evan. I went out of my way to get Perise and Ishani off of the throne for the injustice they brought upon your family, and the part they had to play in Evan's death. I sealed his room because I know how much that room meant to you and I would sooner die than let anyone trespass there. But Sera, you left this place, be it by choice or not. It has been a few Tsels now since you've lived here and this is now someone elses home. If you move out of a place, you cannot very well expect to just come back whenever you want to. When you and Tiberius fled, it shook this place. People left, guards were safely escorted and given freedom because I would not force anyone stay if they want to. And don't give me that shit about making sure there were homes for everyone, there wasn't. I've counted and there must only be seven or so houses in town and we have a much larger population than that. Plus, I opened the gates to act as a haven for any others in Folset feeling dejected by the de Noctis family, I opened these doors to them and gave them a home. I gave them a place to call their own. If you move in, with your rather large family, some of them have to go, that is the sad truth and that is not something I shall allow. Now, you can either walk out of here with your dignity in tact and with some semblance of a relationship with me, or I can have you escorted out. If you have a problem with what is happening to your home, then I suggest you go to the King because there is not much I can do for you."

He'd exhale softly, as he reached to a shelf in the library and pulled a poster out, it was recognizable as a poster Sera made recently, looking for a tailor to make eight dresses.

"Might I suggest that instead of commissioning several unnecessary dresses Seraphina, that you look into finding a new family home."

With that Alda would sit down in a nearby armchair and would await Seraphina's next move.
 

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"I have already stated I will not be forcing anyone to leave. There is plenty enough room for everyone to continue staying here until I have houses made for everyone new who needs one. And for your information, the outfits I need made are for a funeral I am planning for Thaddeus. But of course you probably don't care about that either since you seem to be rather good at backstabbing your supposed friends," she snapped back, bitterness in her voice. The Fey moved to seat herself criss cross on the floor outside of Evans room, crossing her arms tightly as she did so. "I sit here in protest of your cruel behavior towards my family. Go ahead and drag me out, because I am not leaving."
 

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Aldas frown would fade as she spoke, his face going very cold and stoic as she spoke about Thaddeus and Alda's apparent lack of care. He would watch her carefully for a long moment.

"I have three conditions you must accept if I am to let you live in this keep once again. The first, I am the exarch of Tyr'Wyrstel and such will remain that way even after the Rhett de Leons return. The second, you assist me in providing an education to the children and families that come here, I hold regular classes and often stay up through the night checking to make sure everyone is okay. And Third, you apologise for implying I do not care about you, or your family and that I have backstabbed you. Because since the day you all fled for safety, your safeties and well being have been the forefront of my mind. Not a day has gone by when I haven't missed you all, because you were my family Seraphina. If you accept, then you can move in and help me make lives better here. Oh and Seraphina, I am sorry for giving you the impression that I didn't care or wanted to backstab you.. If you accept I can also see about getting Tiberius exarchy over a neighbouring region like Drucaron or Feredir."
 

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"You know I cannot speak for my husband, and you know I have no care to be an exarch. If I'm honest with you I don't even really understand what exarch means. If you have concerns about Tybalt then you'll need to take them up with him. I am here because this is my house and my children have been wanting to come home. You know I don't have any problem helping you. I do things like that on my own free time regardless because I care just as much as you do about the well-being of others, and I don't ask for fancy titles or anything else in exchange," when it came to the part about apologizing, Seraphina paused for a moment, thinking over how she wanted to respond. She was not fond of lying, and she did in fact believe Alda cared not for the well-being of herself, her family, or Thaddeus. If what he said was true, why was he so resistant to allowing her family back into their home? Furthermore, he was demanding an apology before he himself had bothered to say he was sorry. Did he really mean it? Seraphina was not convinced.

Yet in the end, she had come here with a purpose. Her children wanted to come home, they had been happier here, and they were her first priority. Seraphina did not have problems with pride or anything of that sort. She did not care to tell Alda what he wanted to hear if in the end it would mean her family would be better off for it. So she obliged his request for an apology, despite still believing he did have within him a malice still present. "I'm sorry." She did not sound snarky, bratty, or anything of that sort when she apologized. The apology was made to sound genuine.
 

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Alda simply nodded and would go to turn to head off. Leaving her sat outside Evan's room.

"You will have the top floor for your family. Good day Mrs Rhett de Leon."

His voice was professional, and that of business. With that he would leave her to herself.
 

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Seraphina was thankful that things did not build up to the point of physical violence. She had known all along that if Alda did decide to fight her or send guards to do it for him, she would have taken every hit without fighting back, and ultimately been thrown out of the house. It was much better this way, with Alda keeping the peace despite his clear displeasure in doing such. As Alda hurried off to do whatever it was Alda did during the day, Seraphina stood up to her feet and smoothed out the skirts of her dress. She made her way through the house to find the rest of her family, and guided everyone upstairs to unpack. With the help of her treants and spriggan, Seraphina's bedroom was quickly brought back to the state it had been in prior to her departure, along with the children's rooms. The little ones were happy to finally return home, and eagerly invited their friends to play with all of the toys they had brought back.

Seraphina had Coconut deliver a letter to Tybalt, detailing the events of her conversation with Alda as well as the present outcome. As the miniature treant flew from the balcony to deliver the letter, Seraphina made her way down to the kitchen to bake some cookies for the many children that were presently being sheltered in her home.

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Coconut would return to Seraphina with a small torn out piece of parchment.

Dear Seraphina,
"Unfortunate and unacceptable of him. Such disobedience and treatment towards you will not be tolerated, he knows your word should be treated as if it were my own. I will be there in a septs time to see the Oathbreaker properly dealt with."

With Love, Tybalt.


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