Scene: Variel and Kess are sharing a room and preparing for bed.
<kess>: Kess is laying out his blanket and pillow and checking his bag. Stopping, he looks over towards Variel “Hell of time its been these last few days hasn’t it?”
<variel>: I suppose it has, first the zombies, then the vampire, and now this.
Variel lays down on his bedroll and takes out a book from his pack
<kess>: Kess chuckles “Aye, it’s been one thrill ride after the next. All we need now is some evil wizard in a tower”
<variel>: I can honestly say I very much hope we can get some peace and quiet before then.
Kess picks his pet rat out of his coat and sets him on his pillow. Then sheds his armor and coat.
Variel starts scribing into his journal, not looking up from it while talking
<kess>: I doubt I’ll get much of that in the future considering that dog is out there waiting for my return.
Kess expression sinks into thought, frowning slightly.
<variel>: Mhm…I had almost forgotten about the business with the wolf. I still can’t say I entirely approve traveling with her.
<kess>: “I don’t blame you friend. I wouldn’t blame you if you left when this is over either.” Kess turns to his bedroll to hide the look on his face “You know something mate? I haven’t thought of her much since we got here.”
Variel sets down his journal
<variel>: Relax, I do not intend to leave your side anytime soon. I’m not the type to abandon his friends.
<kess>: You don’t strike me as the type really, but I’m asking alot from you……..You wanna know what I have been thinking?
Kess looks back at him, from this angle his smirk can be clearly seen.
<variel>: I’m all ears.
<kess>: Big round ones with fuzz or pointy ones?
<variel>: The later, I can’t say I’ve ever met an elf with the former.
<kess>: “No, but yours truly has just those kind. Anyways” Kess’s expression changes to be more solemn “I’m changing Variel, I can’t see how exactly but I know something is different”
<kess>: I’ve spent my entire life underground up until the last few months, recently though, I’m getting this….“feeling”
<variel>: Hm? What do you mean?
<kess>: I don’t know. I think back on my home, in the underground warren. I just….I don’t want to go back any longer. My people are important to me, even if I haven’t talked much about them. Now I just….
Kess starts smoothing out his blanket.
<kess>: I started feeling it in the briar patch.
<kess>: Like everything was clearer, better even. All the green and all the smells.
<kess>: I….it confused me.
Variel looks to Kess with a bit of concern mixed with confusion
<variel>: Well, perhaps you are getting accustomed to the surface finally. But…
<kess>: But what?
Variel sighs and rubs his temples for a moment
<variel>: It is not good for one to not wish to return home. I should know.
<kess>: What do you mean?
Variel sits in silence for a few moments
<variel>: I don’t think I’ve ever told you why I call myself “the Exile”, have I?
<kess>: Sometimes when your asleep
<kess>: You talk, I’ve heard a few bits. But otherwise you haven’t told me much of your past.
<variel>: My exile…is a self imposed one.
<variel>: I’ve failed my kind, my house, and most of all, my family chasing after a fool’s dreams.
Kess turns to face Variel, sitting back on his butt atop his bedroll.
<kess>: What happened?
Kess cross his legs and rests his hands on his knees.
<variel>: I am a kinslayer, both actively and through negligence.
Kess eyes well up in tears.
<variel>: I have my father’s and my brother’s blood on my hands.
<kess>: Don’t say that word
Variel looks up, concerned.
<variel>: Are you alright?
Kess covers his face with his hand. “Sorry sorry, go on. I don’t mean to interrupt”
<variel>: Right…Well, I spent much time away from others of my kind in my youth…including my family.
<variel>: In my absence, a…darkness found it’s way into my house.
<variel>: A foul woman, who’s heart was as cold as her flesh brought my only brother under her sway.
Variel stops for a moment
<variel>: There where so many corpses that night.
Kess rubs his thighs unconsciously with his free hand.
<kess>: How many were made by you?
<variel>: One…There should have been three.
<kess>: Who was it?
Variel looks down and mutters under his breath sadly
<variel>: Lethaldirin, my dear brother. Please forgive me. I should have slain your captor, and then myself for failing you so.
Kess removes his hand from his face.
<kess>: I guess we are more alike then we thought
<kess>: I am also an exile
<kess>: I think…
<kess>: I think I may have killed my parents
Variel looks up, with his eyes wet with tears
<kess>: I don’t know for sure, what I do know is I have slain my kin.
<kess>: We were digging, tunnels you see, for the warren. It was my fathers business. When we struck a tomb.
Variel looks to Kess in silence
<kess>: It was just me and the workers at the time, the dead rose and struck fast. In our panic those who were not felled ran. I with them, straight back to the warren.
<kess>: We led the dead right to our people.
Kess looks down at his lap.
<kess>: I wish I could say that was the end of my folly….
Kess traces a clawed finger along his thigh.
<kess>: I ran home and grabbed my bombs and whatever explosives I could find and joined the defenders.
<kess>: In my…..my hubris I did more harm then good. I collapsed tunnels, burn down houses, exploded alley ways, anywhere the dead was found I carved an explosive path.
<kess>: When it was over they investigated what happened, the council that is, and I gladly stepped forward explaining. Thinking I was to be hailed a hero!
Kess starts rubbing his thigh again.
<kess>: The council was horrified, they told me I caused more death and destruction alone then all of the dead.
<kess>: They wanted me dead on the spot, I argued for my life and managed to convince them to let me live.
<kess>: After a vote they decided to exile me, though my intent was pure my actions were not.
<kess>: For the short time I was…..imprisoned..one of the guards told me of my parents death. I think….I think from the way the guard acted I killed them with one of my explosives.
Kess eyes well up in tears again.
<variel>: Shh…you needn’t say more.
Kess speaks through the tears.
<kess>: I wanted to go back!
<kess>: Every day of my exile I wanted to go back. Back there I had family and friends! I had my people! I was completely alone in my exile!
<kess>: Until I met you
Kess smiles through his tear stained face.
<kess>: Guess I have that to be thankful for.
Variel gets up from his bedroll and walks to Kess
<variel>: It would seem birds of a feather truly do flock together doesn’t it.
Kess smiles, looking up at his friend. “Yes, yes it does”
Variel kneels down and hugs Kess
<variel>: For I am very much glad to not be alone either anymore.
Kess releases his friend from the hug. “It’s good to have someone there”
Kess wipes his face dry. He pauses, looking at his hand.
Variel returns to his bedroll and picks up his journal again
<kess>: I don’t trust him
<variel>: Hm? Who?
Kess looks up at Variel.
<kess>: The more I think on it, the more I worry
<kess>: If Dubon is a paladin, then he is destroying evil. He is doing the right thing. If what he claims is true we should help him. But I don’t trust him regardless.
<variel>: He seems to be a little bloodthirsty, but I feel his heart is in the right place.
<variel>: However, I still do find his…condition a bit odd.
<kess>: When we we’re in the tent, when Dubon ran into Berns cage and killed him. I saw something that scared me, that got me really thinking.
<variel>: You are worried for your safety?
<kess>: No no, well….I guess
<kess>: It just…..
<kess>: I saw who I was before. It was like looking into a mirror.
<kess>: Someone so cock-sure, someone so sure in them self they don’t care who gets hurt
<kess>: I saw myself
<kess>: I don’t want to be like that
<variel>: Mhm, You are afraid he will do something brash then.
<kess>: I would
<kess>: At least
<kess>: Who I was before would
<kess>: I don’t want to be that man anymore
<variel>: People change, paths diverge. If you do not want to be that man anymore, then you are already on the path away from being that man.
<kess>: Rational like always…
<variel>: It’s a change of pace from before…
Variel seems deep in thought, or is just staring intently into his journal
Kess looks down at his lap.
<variel>: I have…dreams, visions.
Kess doesn’t look up.
<variel>: For as long as I can remember, I have had prophesies and visions sent to me as I sleep
Kess brings his hands together, tapping his claws lightly together he says “Of what” his tone is curiously flat.
<variel>: Glory, power, wealth. All bestowed upon me. I had thought them to be of Ketephys’ doing, and by following them I was doing his will, and becoming his champion.
<variel>: Now I am not so sure.
Kess smiles wistfully.
<kess>: Can’t say I’ve had anything like that before. Is that what you want?
<variel>: Now? No. But back then…It is because of my dreams, that night was aloud to happen.
<kess>: Does it matter?
<kess>: We’re here now are we not? Does how we got here really matter?
<variel>: Perhaps not. But I deal with a constant reminder most every night.
<kess>: Your visions haven’t changed?
<variel>: I decided to walk my own path, separate from my dreams since that night. And for a while, no I still had more or less the same type of dreams.
<variel>: But lately…
Variel sighs and finishes writing an entry in his journal
<variel>: Lately they have taken a turn for the strange and morbid.
<kess>: How so?
<variel>: I’m not even sure what to make of them now.
Variel sits and thinks for a moment
<variel>: Do you remember that cloaked figure from when we first met the others?
<kess>: Yeah, that bastard said things I’d kill lesser men for saying
<variel>: He…or someone like him, has been showing up, accompanied by a sense of dread and confusion.
<kess>: That is…
<variel>: And worse, when we spoke, he seemed to know of my dreams. You are the first person I’ve told of them since I left my home.
<kess>: Any idea what it means?
<variel>: None. In fact, the main reason I wish to travel with the knight and the priest is because I hope their travels will lead us back to him, and to some answers.
Kess slumps over onto his bedroll, tucking his arms behind his head he stares at the ceiling.
<variel>: But I am just thinking aloud at this point. Perhaps it is nothing.
Variel fold his arms behind his head and lays down
<kess>: At this point I should say something about how we should kill him or beat the answers out of him. Something violent you know?
<kess>: All I can think of right now is a forest, just walking through it.
Kess slowly grabs the tip of his tail with his toes, lifting it up and down in thought.
<variel>: Mhm, You would like the elvish lands I would think.
<kess>: I don’t plan on getting killed, one day you’ll need to show me.
<variel>: Forests as far as the eye can see, trees bigger than most houses…
<kess>: That’s a pleasant thought indeed.
<variel>: Perhaps someday, I can return. And if that happens, I will be sure to bring you.
Variel stares wistfully at the ceiling.
Kess giggles loudly, starting to outright laugh before covering his mouth.
<variel>: Mhm? Did I say something funny?
Kess laughter dies down to a few chuckles.
<kess>: No mate, its just. I got this picture in my head
<kess>: Variel, the slayer of the Barovia tyrant and hero of the land returning home with a rat man and his little werewolf in tow.
<variel>: Hm, I wonder how fast it would take before we caused another incident.
Kess expression sobers slowly.
<kess>: I haven’t thought of it much but, do you think I’m going to get my self killed because of her?
Variel is silent
<variel>: I will not allow it.
Kess looks over at him.
<kess>: How’re ya gonna do that?
<variel>: I…don’t know. But I will not allow you to die.
<kess>: If its any consolation I feel the same way
Kess smiles ruefully.
<kess>: I suppose we should get some rest now.
<variel>: As much as I dislike to.
Variel turns over to his side and closes his eyes
<kess>: Hey Var?
<kess>: I’m glad we met, I know I’m not the greatest friend. But I’ll have your back to the bitter end. I just wanted you to know that.
<variel>: And I’ll have yours as well. Good night, and hopefully we will all be back in Barovia when I wake up.
Kess smiles before turning over, falling asleep immediately.