Goldweaver legacy 5: Return to Valenwood (Special Legaversary Edition)
Goldweaver Family Legacy Chapter 5: Return to Valenwood
A/N: Of all the chapters that I’ve ever written for this legacy Chapter 5 was the one that I was the most unhappy with. We all start somewhere and this has certainly been a learning experience for me. I certainly feel that I’ve come a long way in two years, and even though I wish I had done some things differently in the earlier chapters of my legacy, I still enjoy reading them, all except one. Chapter 5 continues to drive me batty. I thought about completely deleting the original version and replacing it, but I’ve decided not to. I’ve left the original unaltered version up because I suppose it has its own merits. It is the only time my fourth generation heir actually speaks. But I’ve now rewritten the chapter from the perspective I had originally intended. You could say that this chapter is a spare interlude since it is narrated by spare child Artax Ceberlandon. Regrettably he did not play the crucial role in the story he was intended to play. And he and the Ceberlandon branch can never truly play that role now, but I wanted to give him and his family at least one chance to shine. I chickened out of this story once before, no idea why, and after two years of glaring at Chapter 5 and being completely unhappy with how it turned out, I’m attempting to make something I can be proud of. Enjoy!
I’m a quiet man by design and in no way do I see myself in leadership roles. I’m a follower by nature, but I like to think I would take a stand for what I believe in should I ever be called upon to do so. I learned from my grandmother how to read people’s faces and I guess you could say something about my great aunt in particular has always rubbed me the wrong way. I find her unsettling and un-nerving. I think others in my family believe my grandmother and my great aunt have reached a peaceful co-existence, and I suppose in a sense they have. But I get the feeling that my grandmother is still cautious and is keeping a vigilant eye on my great-aunt and her family. And I feel that as the new head of my family, so should I. After all, it is what I was raised to do, be ever vigilant to keep the main family safe from harm not only from without but from those who come from within. I will now recount my own experiences of our trip to Valenwood.
I approached this newcomer to our circle with the same caution I’ve been raised to use with any new acquaintance. He claimed and after close examination appears to be of noble intentions, but I still watch. My sister watches too, for though she was not born a Ceberlandon, she inherited our family’s code and purpose as much as I did. Julie had gone before us, being the eldest, to determine if the way was in fact safe for us. She was cautiously optimistic. And Julie finally sent back word after a few months that she sensed there may be trouble for our family in Valenwood, but to her it did not seem likely that it would come in the form of the mysterious vampire Edward Midlock.
So we came at last my cousin Atreyu and I. We settled into our new home some of us with more ease than others. My cousins are blissfully unaware of the prophecy, but my family was not given this luxury, as my great-grandfather Oloros revealed its contents to my grandmother shortly before his passing. My sister adjusted to life in Valenwood, but I find that my ears drew most unpleasant attention from some of the locals. A great deal of prejudice exists in that place. The groups seems to have a fragile peace between them that could easily shatter. It seems to mirror the peace held between our family’s three branches. But I carried the burden of their obvious disdain for what they do not understand, for I will not forsake my duty. I swore to take up the job that was entrusted to my father and grandmother before him, and I mean to see it through. I will protect my cousin to the best of my ability no matter what the cost to myself.
I will take a moment to give my first impressions of the Lady Fuchs with whom my cousin has grown quite attached. She strikes me as silly and I do believes she merely took part in a life journey because tradition dictate she should do so, not because she was interested in gaining any higher knowledge. She’s not the sort of woman that I would find desirable. But my cousin himself has always been disposed to forgive me, a a more immature nature. Do not misunderstand me, I do care for my cousin and we get along famously qwll despite all our differences, but I do have my concerns when it comes to his taking over the family tree. I’d have more if Kalina were not still about to assist, and if my cousin had not shown misgivings himself on taking the reigns.
My cousin Atreyu was shocked to discover upon our arrival that Julie had changed since last we had seen her. He seemed to believe that I too was unaffected by the change. However, I was quite shocked to learn my sister had become a vampire, having not received a single word about the transformation from her. What’s more was that I did not suspect upon receiving any of her messages that she was withholding such information. I do admit that this revelation left me in a most disagreeable disposition.
What were my first impressions of the dark elf Uruvion? As I stated I was left in a most disagreeable disposition upon our arrival and now I am ashamed to admit it, but I must do so. I also was left with impaired judgment as a result. My cousin Atreyu could find no reason to dislike our newest acquaintance whereas I could find no reason to like him at all. At this time, I now realize how inaccurate an assessment this was as I now consider Uruvion a dear friend.
I am quite ashamed of my actions during our first year in my family’s homeland. I know that I certainly did not aid in the viewpoint that was held by a majority of those who dwelt there with my most disgraceful behavior. I would intentionally instigate, or attempt to, (and in this Uruvion proved to be the better elf as he never once fought back) any arguments between myself and Uruvion. At this time in my life, I am grateful that at the very least I instigated fights with a most forgiving individual. Uruvion does tease me in good natured camaraderie in our frequent correspondence about how many of these “heated debates” as he calls them, he won with his superior dark elven intellect.
I recall learning about my cousin’s engagement to Miss Fuchs quite distinctly. It was early morning when he quite bluntly asked her to marry him in the middle of our shared bedroom. No elaborate thought out proposal was given. But Atreyu has always enjoyed doing things spur of the moment. Opal didn’t seem to mind the lack of romance in the proposal and was more than happy to agree. They are a good match and I’ve found Opal does possess some redeemable qualities. Despite her rather naïve and sometimes childish nature, like my cousin she is more hard working than I initially believed. And something could be said for her enthusiasm about life.
There was another resident who came to dwell with us for a time. My cousin Ulrich Cormier arrived in Valenwood. I was not certain my Aunt Elfreda would allow any of her children any further interaction with the rest of us. But I will admit that of my Cormier cousins, Ulrich seemed to possess the most independent nature. So it was no shock to learn he’d left home as soon as an opportunity presented itself. He was quite at ease in Valenwood, more at ease than I had ever seen him back home, but that is none too surprising as I imagine living in a house with Aunt Elfreda would be enough to drive anyone away from home.
The two of us shared frequent engaging chats. I was not surprised to learn of my cousin’s plans to move elsewhere after completion of our Life Journey. He had no desire to return to Lorian, life having been quite miserable for him. I felt confident that he would find happiness in a new home with ease, and our correspondence since my return home have verified my beliefs. As I understand he is happily running his own business and expecting his first child anyday now.
I will now to the best of my ability recount my experiences at the high council gathering which I attended. Some of the council was not present, but according to General Midlock this was not uncommon. And I noticed then that some of the councilors though present, did not seem wholly glad about it. Tension runs high, and I hope that in time this tension will dissipate. I cannot imagine that the tension can remain in place without serious repercussions. I do hope that in light of all that has transpired that all present will work to resolve these deeply rooted misconceptions that exist between yourselves.
I know it is possible for different people to live together quite peacefully. My cousin and I could not be more different, and yet we share a common respect for one another. We could have easily chosen to let the differences to tear us apart, but I believe it was witnessing the hatred already present in our own family and the effects it has that drew us together. Again, I can only hope that this most recent tragedy will draw the people’s of Valenwood together rather than push them still further apart.
Ah yes, the fire episode that occurred late in the evening. I will recount with as much accuracy as I can what transpired. After the initial meeting and the traditional dance, I was pulled aside and became engaged in a conversation with General Midlock, Ulrich, and Uruvion. It quickly turned into another debate as I still had resentment toward the dark elves. My treatment by others in his tribe, should not have affected my treatment of him, but it did. I suppose prejudices do in fact die hard, but they can be overcome as we have done so. To end the argument, Atreyu called me to join him by the fire. I did eventually join him, (my cousin does have a way of defusing a rocky situation), but in my distraction I came to close to the open flames.
I was soon completely on fire and I became most distressed when the flamed did not go out even after I rolled about the ground. To my great relief Uruvion leapt into action. He was able to retrieve a fire extinguisher from a nearby location and was able to quench the flames showing no fear in the presence of the fire at all. I find it quite remarkable and intriguing how calm his people are in the presence of such a destructive element, and he has my utmost gratitude for his actions that night.
I’m not overly affectionate, but as the fires were put out I was pulled into a large bear hug. It was from Atreyu, but I was still quite shaken up so I returned the gesture quite readily.
Urvuion’s visits to our home became more frequent after the fire. And I found I could no longer hold the same grudges as I had before. If a man saves you life, you may find it quite difficult to hate him. Though sometimes I still find his humor distasteful, I enjoy our now quite friendly debates. And I do believe that he has mellowed my own personality.
But some elements of my personality remain perfectly intact. Where Atreyu was happy to propose to Opal suddenly and with no planning, I planned for my proposal weeks in advance. I sought the approval of her family before even purchasing the ring. I cannot say was not thrilled when Tracy’s parents gave there blessing, but I would have respected their wishes should they have refused.
My cousin Elestelle and her chosen spouse Remmington London, however did not seem to hold the same belief. I do reflect and wonder if perhaps Remmington were foolish in marrying my cousin. Certainly he should have been aware of his family’s feelings on the union or at least had some suspicion? But now I see my cousin with their daughter, and I can see that some good did come from the tragedy that befell them. And this newest dark cloud, seems to have weeded out the uncommitted of my family tree from Lorian. Perhaps no ill tragedy now lies in wait for my family. Perhaps with this some of the harsher words of my grandfather’s prophecy will now not come to fruition.
My sister Julie had her own accident while we were dwelling in Valenwood. She was struck by lightning which was a frightful experience. She recovered save for a scar which covered her entire face, which we feared would never fade. However, I found upon returning home that Ivy (Kalina Goldweaver’s mother for those who do not remember and whom was tragically murdered by Lady London) had invented a new save which had removed the scar completely.
Julie left us first and headed back to Lorian with Edward, who has been of great help to my family in our mission to watch over the main house. I can only imagine how horrible that has befallen us all if not for his presence.
Ulrich and Cheryl left soon after Julie. We were all a little surprised that Ulrich left so soon, as he seemed to enjoy his time there. He sent his reasons for leaving sooner in a letter which I received shortly after returning to Lorian. I publish an excerpt in my personal testimony with his permission. “ I knew I’d accomplished all that I would in that place and knew I had no intention of returning home with the rest of you. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach which told me that if I waited to depart with the rest of you, my desire to leave my old life behind with as little drama as possible would be ruined.”
The day finally came for the rest of us to leave Valenwood behind. None of us expected come back as soon as we did, nor did we expect to return under such circumstances. I will say that I did not expect such passion and courage to emerge from Opal the day we returned. I admit she won my respect that day as I watched her persuade her people to leave Valenwood before the inevitable doom befell your and my homeland.
It is my greatest desire to see you rebuild your homes and I do hope that by the time my family returns to your shores again that some of the prejudices and hatred that exist between us all will have finally been put to rest. Artax Ceberlandon