Mondevinno was a beautiful place. The many fields, orchards, and vineyards that dotted the landscape gave each breeze a new, unique scent, no two smelling quite the same. Arcangelo loved strolling through the countryside, letting each gentle gust of wind bring their scent, their own unique form of life, to his nostrils. Each one was like a person, the mingling scents as a personality. This one had the scent of ripe wheat and honeysuckle. That one was red grapes and strawberries.
Arcangelo owned a small vineyard of his own, one that he could tend himself, but it also brought in quite a nice bit of profit. His father had taught him how to care for the vines in such a way that they produced grapes perfect for fermenting into the finest of wines, with very little unsuitable yield. He spent the first part of every day tending to his grape vines, and this had the effect of making the light scent of grapes constantly hang around him, as if his pockets were always filled with fresh grapes. This was fine with Arcangelo, as he never noticed it himself, and had he noticed, he loved the odor fresh grapes wafted anyway. This scent also happened to be the favorite of Arcangelo's lovely girlfriend Adelaide.
Arcangelo smiled to himself as his mind played over the event that were soon to play out. He was walking through the streets of Luccere, Adelaide's arm looped through his. They had taken a short holiday together, at Arcangelo's insistance. As they strolled along the streets, Adelaide was pointing out magnificent structures and impressive architecture all around them, but Arcangelo could do little more than smile and nod his appreciation of the beauty, as his mind was on other matters, and his eyes were on the face of the lady at his side more than anything else.
The day was hot, and Arcangelo's nerves made this all the worse by causing him to sweat even more. He dared not remove his tailcoat, however, as he felt that the ring in the pocket would undoubtedly free itself of the fabric at the slightest provocation, and that would counterproductive to all of the planning he had done. Finally, as they reached the end of a street, whereupon which loomed an impressive temple of the Church of Light, Arcangelo decided this was perhaps the perfect place to initiate his entire reasoning for the trip. He knelt before his lovely Adelaide, and produced an exquisite silver ring adorned with a magnificent bright green sapphire, Adelaide's favorite kind of gem, from the pocket of his coat. A brief expression of confusion crossed the lady's face, which was quickly replaced by a wide-eyed look of shock. As Arcangelo took Adelaide's left hand in his own, his mouth formed the words he had been practicing for weeks of their own accord. He heard the sound that came from between his lips, but so focused on the woman in front of him was he that not a single syllable registered in his ears. With a shaky hand he gently placed the ring on Adelaide's finger, as her right hand covered the O of her mouth. Tears were welling up in her eyes, and suddenly Arcangelo found his own vision blurring as his face split into a grin that he could not hope to control had he possessed the wish to do so.
A few heartbearts passed as the two sat motionless in their pose, neither making a sound, both caught up in the enormity of the occasion. As Adelaide removed her hand from her mouth to respond, a small squeak was all that escaped her lips before her eyes rolled back and shut, her entire form going limp. Somewhat alarmed, Arcangelo hurriedly caught his love, saving her from a tumble onto the hard street. His shock soon faded, however, as he realized Adelaide had fainted, nothing more. She had excitedly regailed Arcangelo with tails of what she dreamed her wedding would one day be, and it was an occasion she looked forward to with much glee. She had even once gotten rather highly excited, and started inserting Arcangelo into the story as the groom, which quickly caused her to blush and halt her story as soon as she realized. The fact that she had fainted, then, was actually to be expected. Arcangelo tenderly carried his lady into the nearby temple, where a kindly old monk led them to small alcove with a simple cushioned bench inside. Arcangelo gently set Adelaide upon the bench, and the monk and he struck up polite conversation as they awaited Adelaide's reawakening.
After many minutes, Arcangelo began to grow restless and concerned. Adelaide surely should have awaken by that point, yet still she lay, eyes closed, unmoving. Arcangelo gently stroked one of the woman's cheeks, speaking softly toward her in an attempt to rouse her from the slumber she had entered. Her skin felt oddly cool and dry, despite the pressing heat which caused the kind old monk, even wearing not but a simple wool robe, to sweat ever so slightly.
The next bell passed as a blur before Arcangelo's eyes. The old monk placed a hand on Adelaide's still form and closed his eyes for a few moments, before calling back into the temple's main area for others to join him. After they had done the same, there was much ruckuss raised as they scrambled to find the wiser monks present. Herbalists were summoned, various herbs mixed and made into medicinal supplements. It was not until after everything had calmed once again that Arcangelo discovered that Adelaide's life had barely been present when he had stroked her cheek that final time. The herbalists had tried to cure anything they could think of, from heat exhaustion to dehydration to various other illnesses and ailments with such sudden onsets. The monks had combined their efforts in an attempt to prevent her soul from departing her body to give the healers time. In the end, all was for naught. Almost as one, all who had gathered to help rose somberly to their feet and left, giving sympathetic glances at Arcangelo as they passed him by. In mere moments, only the old monk, Arcangelo, and the now lifeless Adelaide remained.
The next few months of Arcangelo's life passed in a haze of sorrow. The only point in time that had seemed to last any time at all had been the funeral, and those few hours had been an eternity Arcangelo. He had begged, pleaded, and bargained with the most accomplished thaumaturges he could find, but none could being his Adelaide back. Arcangelo found himself drowning in a sea of his own grief, unable to cope with the loss of what he had thought to be his entire future.
A few months after Adelaide's passing, Arcangelo had gone on a stroll through the countryside, the first he had done so since that dreadful day. As he shuffled past the trees and fields, the scents that had once spoken life to him now seemed muted and dull, as if the very air and land around him had lost almost as much as he. But then a new scent passed along his awareness, pulling away from his grief. This was not an actual scent, but rather a small pocket of clear air, chilled to be cooler than the surrounding environment. Perhaps this gust of air came from the nearby stream,where cool waters trickled past. Whatever its source, this pocket of air caused a thought to rise inside Arcangelo's mind, one he had not considered before, and one that could possibly hold the key to getting his dear Adelaide back.
After asking around nearly all of Mondevinno, Arcangelo came to the conclusion that he would not find that which he sought anywhere inside the borders of Ivial. After all, most still associated sorcery with Rhun's rebellion, and as such either feared it or considered themselves above it, perhaps a mixture of both at times. That left Arcangelo only two options that could conceive. It would be quite impossible for him to get any closer to achieving his goal in Tol Rhun, as the Rhuidim likely held the same predjudices against the Viali as he had experienced amongst his kin toward the Rhuidim. That left Arcangelo with but one option.
New scents filled Arcangelo's nostrils now as he inhaled the air. The smell of fish, wet wood, and damp air filled overwhelmed his sense of smell, and he wondered how anyone could possibly bear to call this place home. However, since there was but one method of entry and exit for the whole town, which was surrounded by a large lake, it was likely one of the safest areas in the entire Lost Lands. In any case, Arcangelo was doubtful he would ever find a place even partially comparable to Ivial. Damp and depressing as it was, this town of Mistral Lake would have to satisfy his needs for the time being. And luckily, he had even heard that a chapter of the Rook Parlour was established within the city, which would make finding them that much easier.
(Hope you guys enjoyed my little short story. I know it's a lot, but I like it. I like it so much that I just had to share it with everyone. Yes, I play Arcangelo, and in all likelihood he will be my replacement for Fayne as a main character. I look forward to all future progression, and to all future interactions I'll be having with you all.)
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