The sound of heavy hooves trotting across lush grass is a familiar sound to him, lullling him into past memories both filled with sorrow and joy. He missed the smell of the land intermingled with the salty clean scent of the sea. How many times has this land haunted his dreams? Too many to count. More than the land itself he missed his family, the brothers and sisters her grew up with, but the one he missed most of all would never return. The cold grave has called him and death’s icy grib would never let go. It had been too many years of wandering, with nothing but his brother’s sword and the war-steed to keep him company. He wondered what looks they will have on their faces when he returns. Will it be joy, sorrow? He is sure Milorian will greet him with open but wary arms. Roland would perhaps share a drink with him, licking old wounds yet scabbed over. Most of all he wished to see Soleil, the one who perhaps understood him the most.
He sighed as his thoughts came back to the present.
His home the Free Marches, it has been too long since he has seen his island home of Eluvian. He has missed its lush greenery and the smiles of his people. Today he has returned from exile, like his family he too had no choice but to flee, all under the orders of his brother Milorian. He knew it was for his own safety as much as theirs. Before the exile he had been in a fit of near uncontrollable rage. His brother had no choice but to send him away, and he was thankful for it. It had given him time enough to cool his head, and temper his anger. Now unlike the fiery hate that boiled the blood, it had frozen into a ball of cold controlled rage in the pit of his stomach. The elves of Eluvian are long lived and their grudges last for longer.
He breathed in deeply the scent of his land once more. ”Will I be able to meet them with a smile?” Such thoughts had pervaded his mind since the day he started across the Crossroads not even the rhythm of his horse’s hooves against stone had failed to ease his worries. With each passing day he grew anxious, especially to the one face he longed to see more than any other.
Her name and face haunted more than just his dreams, but also his every waking moment. Her’s was an existence that was both longed for and dreaded. He had failed her more than any other, unable to strike down the Tyrant he had failed to bring back the man she loved. He had given up on winning her heart, he had no right to it, but alas did he so wish to see her bright smile. He hoped against hope that it had not dimmed but grown brighter.
The Mythal’s estate’s high walls rose courageously into view, and with it the small homesteads that tended the land. His appearance was too eye catching to be ignored, and most of all his noble and austere features were too well remembered to be forgotten. White hair braided in the Mythal fashion, the well polished armour and cloak bearing the House’s sigil. Most of all, the sword that rested at his waist. A blade that bore the heart and soul of House Mythal. Many of them dropped their tools, and began to stare in both shock and joy. Many had gone pale believing against hope that it was Soleil, or to some a vengeful ghost. He was neither, they realised. Gawyne has returned, and the first to follow were the small children never afraid when their youthful curiosity was provoked. Next came those new to adulthood finding that the once bright personality had been hammered into solemnity. No longer the bright and smiling nobility but a harder and tempered man. Some kept a respectful distance bowing to the last returning noble. Some of the youth asked questions, dancing around the hooves of his horse, they reminded him of a simpler time before the tragedy and also of the hope for the future. The land has begun to return to its former state, thanks in no small part to the Eluvian people.
As he grew closer to the estate itself his tagalongs began to dwindle and return back to the fields and their mothers aprons. He saw at the gates standing there, familiar faces coming to greet him. Perhaps they realised his return as soon as began his journey across the great bridge. There they were all but for Milorian, even the one face he both longed to see and dreaded. It seems that there is no way to avoid this, fate is inexorable.
Dismounting he lead his horse by the reigns, not to some clearing nor cave to rest. No he had finally returned home. All that remained to be see was if she would greet him with love or anger.