Twice the bastard

The air between Athebryn and Matsuro has been deadly silent for quite a while now. Matsuro is making effort to avoid the gnomish terror, and Athebryn has more important things to attend to.

Ameiko has picked up on this. While the strained relationship between her and her half-brother has been loosening, these two boys seem to be getting to a point of no repair. She’s seen Matsuro’s attitude relax around the elves as he becomes more worldly, so she’s sure it can extend to the gnomes. As for Athebryn, well, she’s sure he’s just protecting her his own way from Matsuro, so if she intervenes, hopefully his attitude to her brother will soften.

After a consult with Koya, it’s decided, they will force a situation on Athebryn and Matsuro, so they can start building some bridges.

Ameiko lures Matsuro ensure he has no weapons or armour, for safety, to a caravan. She tells him that they need to talk about the Kaijitsu line and that seems to satisfy him as a reason. Athebryn, she simply asks to put on a blindfold, when she has him at the caravan she opens the door, takes Athebryn’s hat, pushes him in a promptly through.

“Why are you here?” sneers Matsuro.

Athebryn pulls down his blindfold, wiping off his goofy smile, “Well, this game just went downhill.” he looks around the room and sees everything closed up, and Matsuro about the most naked he’s even seen him on this trip, wearing no armour!

Matsuro tries the door, it’s closed hard, and without his armour ramming it open might be pretty painful. There’s not a thing in sight to use as a battering ram either.

“It’s an intervention.” Athebryn says as he shakes his head, “follow my lead, I’ll get us out of here.”

Athebryn begin to casts and a low murmur starts to play in the caravan, like the sound of two people deep in conversation, he sits on the bed and rolls around restlessly until the sound dies down. He jumps up, goes to the door and knocks loudly.

“Look it’s ok, we agreed to work towards a better tomorrow, and have put aside the past.”

The door goes through a sequence of noises, it must be smothered in locks, as it creaks open Ameiko’s nose and eye can be seen.

“Is it true?”

“Of course! You think a diplomat like me and a warrior like him couldn’t solve our difference?” Athebryn has his full charm on. Ameiko starts to open the door with a smile of accomplishment when a visible jab stops her… the jab of Koya.

“Ok… ok…Matsuro, you and Athebryn are ok? You’ll stop trying to undermine each other?”

Matsuro takes a deep breath and as eloquently as he can “yes, the gnome made… some good points… and… I think we can work on it.”

Ameiko’s face begins to drop as she looks back to Athebryn, he knows the jig is up, and his smile has become forced as the tries to maintain it.

Ameiko’s face disappears in a the door is slammed and the stomps of the princess fade to the distance.

Athebryn glares at Matsuro, his plan was working but ruined by this brute.

“As if that was going to work anyway!” Matsuro snorts as he returns to searching for a way out.

“I think Luthien may have helped secure this caravan, your efforts are pointless. Maybe… we should actually talk.”

Matsuro ignores the pigmy elephant in the caravan and continues his search.

“Ignoring me? Was it so easy to break you with my last prank?”

The ignoring continues.

" Do you know anything of gnomes? I imagine your little world hasn’t brought you such insight." Athebryn clutches at straws to fulfil Ameiko’s wishes.

“As if it’s possible to understand gnomes.” Matsuro utters while continuing his hunt.

“We were once happy, we lived in the First Forest, no one could die, pranks were hilarious, food and entertainment was plentiful. When there was no more for us to do, we’d relax doing nothing. Then the Father of the Forest strayed, his affair with the Lady of Golarion flung us from the Fey to this; a place where people die, suffer, go hungry and know no certainty. The Mother of the First Forest wasn’t satisfied, so she gave the first children of fey and this land a new trait; the need for amusement, change, or chaos, without it, our fey colours are lost and we become the sole child of Mother. We become twisted. We become bleached.”

Even Matsuro can’t help but engage with such a story, but he won’t give in to the entertainment of it, “You speak as though these realms were your parents, but Gnomes are no different, I know that much. They bear and have their children.”

Athebryn looks at Matsuro, his ignorance has barely faded, though his hatred may have subdued. Why are so many warming to him? Had there been a change he hadn’t noticed? He’s still ignorant and small minded after all we’ve been through.

“Yes, we are born of flesh and blood, but motherhood and fatherhood are not the same amongst Gnomes to the rest of you. The lust for new means children are often passed off to someone else, as to who brought me up, it was a bit of everyone but no single ones. The ones that guide and teach a gnome are the residual connection to the Forest, and the Reality of this realm, the father and mother who truly make us.”

Matsuro think for a moment, “…I pity you for having no father or mother.”

Matsuro’s failure to see beyond his human existence despite Athebryn’s attempt has proven enough.

“Well without ‘parents’ I have made a life, gained notoriety and travelled the world drinking to its depths. As a bastard of the Fey and this World, I ask you what you have done. Wallow at you heritage? Claim mounds to be mountains of your doing? Demand a respect you never earn? Place yourself where others strive? There are two bustards in this room, and only one has found his strength in it.”

Bastard… yet again! A light ignites deep in Matsuro. No one can get in so he might as well show Athebryn the strength of a man. He grabs a broom, snaps it in half and throws a part to Athebryn.

As Athebryn catches the stubbed broom, he feels a powerful whack to his side. While Athebryn may be armed he certainly isn’t well suited to this fight of muscle.

The two beat each other pretty senseless; Athebryn is much worse off. As Athebryn nears passing out, he changes tact, and with a flash of bright light Matsuro is held in place; Athebryn repairs the broom and readies one big attack.

As he pulls back for his first swing, the door blasts open, Ameiko screams “Stop it!” Athebryn stops mid swing, realising the magic light must have triggered this rescue plan, he grows more frustrated. Putting down the broom he turns to face Ameiko.

“I didn’t think this would happen, you don’t need to protect me from him, and he’s not a threat!” Ameiko strains between sorry and disappointment.

Athebryn stares through her and at his hat near the door, walking past her; he grabs his hat, pulls out his talisman and disappears on his phantasmic horse.

The hold on Matsuro disappears, and as he loosens a smile rides across his face, “Seems I won this round.”

Ameiko looks at him disapprovingly as Koya waddles her way in to provide some healing.

“Boys will be boys.” Koya sighs.

A few hours later Ameiko finally catches a glimpse of Athebryn, he’s now back at the camp, look his usual, cooking and laughing, no damage in sight. “If it’s not for me, then what’s it for?” she murmurs to herself.

“He’s fighting for his place in this world, and despises those who expect a place – Me.” replies Matsuro as he strides past.

“Does that..?” Ameiko exclaims as he keeps walking.

“It means he’s more of the fool then you realise.”

Twice the bastard

Adelaide Jade Regent Wildhunt78 Ribeena