I stood in the ancient chamber for what seemed like an eternity, watching the flickering shadows cast by dim candlelight dancing on the impossibly old altar. A curious thing to behold, while most gods would indulge in their followers opulent displays to them, Ioun seemed content with this simple display of affection. I reach out my hand and feel the power of this place beneath my palm, an almost primordial, yet astral power.

A voice cuts through the still chamber.

‘Master Aerion .. you wanted to meet with me?’

‘Keeper! Haha, I didn’t hear you come in!’ I exclaimed as I turned to face my most trusted friend through these years.

‘Heh, it seems i’m still light on my feet in my twilight years, and you know you don’t have to call me keeper Mas-’ The old man begins coughing and sputtering, attempting in vain to breathe.

I take them man by the arm and lean him against the altar ‘And you don’t have to call me master, Valor.’

A moment passes as Valor regains his breath andhis footing ‘Thats correct Aerion, I suppose I should address you as Lord now ..’

‘..I suppose so ..’ A fake smile spreads across my face that betrays my sorrow.

‘We all have our roles to play and our place to be in this world, Aerion. Your father accomplished a great deal in his lifetime, this is not a time for sorrow, but rejoicing his memory!’ Valor smiles back at me, though it is full of warmth and love, as a father would smile at his child. I have only seen this smile from Valor a handful of times. It does not suit him.

‘Thank you, my friend, your guidance always helps … They want me to return to portsmith .. To take over my father’s obligations, that is.’ I feel the words stammer from my mouth, Perhaps it has finally sunk in that I will be leaving wessex for good.

‘As was always expected Aerion, have you settled your affairs here?’ Valor has slipped back to his usual stern old self.

‘Mostly. My boys will remain here. I want you to give my eldest, Dario, the most universal education you can, so he is prepared to take on my roles one day and Thomas is to be groomed for command of the sons.’

‘Of course Aerion, but as i’m sure you’re aware, I’m not long for this world.’ This simple statement perhaps saddened me more than him.

I smile feebly ‘Then i’m sure your successor will do a fine job…’.

‘Aerion, please, do not be sad. I will be with the mistress in her loving embrace for eternity. If anything, i am looking forward to the rest.’ I smile, It’s not often Valor is not cynical. ‘Besides! Look at all the good we have accomplished here! The Sons of Dor Thune guard every noble for 100 leagues, not to mention the city itself! Wessex is thriving, Iouns name and worship spread by the day.’

‘ .. And Iountine brings more travellers year-on-year.’ I add.

‘Exactly.. Now Aerion, I’d hate to leave you at such a time, but the time is moving on and i am not as spry as i used to be, may we speak more of this tomorrow?’

‘Unfortunately not my friend, we are to leave tonight, the bags are packed and the horses ready.’

‘I see. Well, Where is the Lady Cassandra? I’d like to say my goodbyes.’

‘She’s waiting by the carriages ..’ I smile warmly at the old man before me ‘ .. You know she wouldn’t let me leave before she says goodbye.’

‘Haha! Right you are Aerion, Right you are ..’

‘I’ll be sure to return before the end, you know?’

‘I know, my friend. I know.’

The two men turn and walk to the doors of the chamber, the taller of the two turning to look upon the room in its full glory before closing the massive wooden door, almost shedding a tear, he whispers under his breath ‘Thank you for your help, My lady.’

Through his life, Aerion will assist Valor in the rebuilding of Wessex, but ensure the Sons have a key place in the rebuilt city, acting as part city guard, part mercenaries and part templars for the Temple of Ioun.

Using his connections in Portsmith, he will secure trade at favourable rates in return for their help in funding the rebuilding, as well as open up diplomatic channels and eventually trade with Regia Nova to the south, Armies need supplies afterall..

The sons of House Colywin will join The Sons of Dor Thune, as is tradition, with the eldest educated to rule and the other sons trained for command.

When his father dies and he returns to Portsmith, he will continue to support Wessex with his new position.

Aerion Undermines the Dwarven kingdom where he can, but eventually comes to accept the dwarven people of wessex.


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