In The Marble Halls of Althenia
"So you're sure you know exactly where this place – whatever it is – is?" Sora questioned as he fastened his adventure pouch to his belt. Though the two of them had lessons with Zexion this day, it wouldn't be a problem to break away from them, as they were often able to sneak away from them for several marks before the Fae found them. The pair would then receive a scolding when they were caught, but the lecture had never lasted that long before.
Checking his quiver of arrows and ensuring that his dagger was hooked on the side, the prince could only smile at the curiosity that his best friend was attempting to hide in his voice. It had been nearly a month since Riku had been granted access to ambrosia chamber, and he had been biding his time before attempting to explore the abandoned blood elf territory that his Lord Uncle had allowed slip about it. "It's an old village that Blood Elves lived in. Lord Uncle Xemnas said it's just on the other side of the gorge. I have a plan to get us over the gorge too," he said, stopping the question he knew was going to be coming. Pulling on his bow to make sure that it was strung to his liking, the silver haired elfkin smirked. "And I've gone through the archives and researched as to where it is."
"Alright," Sora said, checking the edge of his own dagger. They would not take the weapons to their lesson, but would hide them close by for easy retrieval after being able to escape from the Fae. "How did you know what to look for and the area if no one speaks of it?"
"I went through the restricted books of maps that Elder Vexen has in the library that he doesn't allow much access to. He wants me to know about the Blood Elves so that I can prepare to fight against them if necessary and I looked up the village when he wasn't paying attention to what exactly I was reading, and I think I'm pretty sure I know where it is. And I think that the Earth Voices will help us. It's abandoned. How bad can it be? We're just going exploring, Sora," the older elfkin said with a wide smile, grabbing his own adventure pouch.
"And we aren't going to get in trouble?" the brunet questioned, bright blue eyes looking at his best friend. After all, Riku was the Prince and had the ability to talk himself out of anything as he had been taught. The brunet on the other hand would have to face his parents, a task that was never enjoyable and usually ended up with him being saddled with double chores and extra training sessions, leaving him no chance to get into mischief.
With a small chuckle, the prince grabbed the two blades from the brunet's hands. "Of course we won't, well, not too much anyway. Besides, the gorge is still within the lands that we are allowed to explore, and from what I saw, the village isn't too far from the edge of the gorge, so we won't be that far out of the territory if we do get caught. And that's only if." Taking their various weapons, the young prince opened the doors to his chambers, looking into the hallway for anyone. He then opened his ears and mind to the Earth Voices. When he was warned of nothing, Riku quietly made his way over to a large onyx statue of the Goddess Shiva that stood out so much from the pale walls of the corridor. With the continued silence from the Earth Voices, the silver haired elfkin slid between the statue and the wall. Soon enough he wouldn't be able to fit back here, but for now he still could. Placing one finger on the back of the Goddess' leg, Riku extended the slightest amount of power as he traced his own personal rune on the flawless surface.
As always, the Earth Voices responded to him instantly and a panel slid open to reveal Riku's personal hiding spot. He then placed their weapons into the small compartment before closing and sealing it once again. Luckily this was on the route they would use for their escape out of the palace, so it would not be difficulty to stop and retrieve them on their flight. With a smile, the young prince slid out from behind the statue, winking at his best friend when he saw the brunet exiting the chamber. As soon as Sora pulled the door closed, the barest whisper in his mind warned Riku of another's approach. As soon as he heard that, he signalled to Sora and turned around, dropping to one knee in front of the statue. As soon as he heard the younger elfkin kneel beside him, they both began a whispered prayer to Shiva, and not a moment too soon.
"I thought that I might find you two here. Do you realize that your lesson was supposed to start nearly a mark ago?" The soft voice of the Faefolk caused both younglings to smile at just how close they had been to getting caught once again.
Sora was the first to finish his whispered prayer before rising up and turning to face their tutor. "We know how important it is to give our thanks to Shiva every day."
An electric blue eye was visible as Zexion raised his eyebrow. Knowing that it was pointless to ask the Earth Voices or the Wind Spirits when it came to Riku, he just sighed. Because despite the prince not holding control over the air elements, they refused to betray anything having to do with the young heir. "And you haven't been getting into mischief?"
Offering the slate haired Fae a grin, Riku then picked himself off the floor before offering the statue one last bow. "Of course we haven't been." There was a false sincerity in his voice, but the young elfkin knew that the Earth Voices would not betray him.
Not believing his student's words in the least, the Fae just sighed. "Very well. Then let us hurry off to your studies. As soon as those are finished, then you may go off on a small adventure before your after-nooning lessons."
"Why only a small adventure, Zexion?" Sora questioned with a very convincing pout. After all, if the Fae suspected that they were planning to sneak off, their plan would never work.
With a light chuckle, the slate haired Fae took one each of the elfkin's hands and began to lead the younglings to the teaching chamber, knowing that if he allowed them to follow him, they would run off. It had happened many times before. "If the two of you spent as much time on your studies as you did on your adventures, you would be free of the lessons sooner."
Neither elfkin said anything in response, but they did share a grin. They allowed themselves to be led to the teaching chamber, running to sit at their desks as soon as they entered. The Fae wished for a moment that the Elemental Voices were not so silent when it came to Riku. He knew that the two were up to something, and they would probably end up in trouble of some sort. It would be easier to handle these situations if he could only be warned of them beforehand. Zexion himself had entered into the Dream Realms many times to find out why the Voices refused to speak of the young prince and the only response he ever received was that the young elfkin had a destiny.
As they sat at their desks and Zexion began reading a text about a campaign from the last war, Riku got to work on the plan that they had planned out. As soon as Zexion's voice feel into a gentle rhythm of the lesson, the young prince allowed his eyes to close in what looked like concentration. In fact though, Riku was entering a spell casting. While he had control of the Earth Voices like no other, the young elfkin still had troubles with his spells if he didn't enter a trance.
Sora periodically looked over at his friend to ensure that it wasn't obvious as to what he was doing, asking questions of the Fae whenever it looked like he might notice what Riku was up to. With no other wanting, a non-tangible blanket fell over the young brunet, feeling suppressive and smothering. Gasping for breath, Sora desperately looked around to see what was happening, blue eyes going wide as he watched Zexion collapse onto the desk, the history tome falling carelessly to the floor. Feeling more frightened than ever before, he looked towards Riku, the overwhelming pressure making it harder and harder for him to move with every passing second.
As quickly as it began, the air returned to normal, lifting completely from the room and off the young swordsworn. It felt as if he couldn't catch his breath fast enough as he finally was able to look over at Riku, who appeared completely unaffected by the blanket of pressure. Zexion however remained collapsed on the desk unmoving, but a whisper from the Earth Voices assured Sora that the Fae was still alive, just in a deep slumber at the moment.
"What did you do to him?" Sora questioned, a little shaken by what had just occurred but not letting it show.
If possible, the prince's breath was even shallower than his friend's. For only a moment, he laid his head down on the table he was seated at, trying to collect himself. "It is a spell of slumber that Elder Vexen taught me to help defend against invaders. Better to immobilize them than kill them. It is meant for larger groups."
"Is that why I could feel it too?"
Riku just chuckled, "No, you felt it because I had to make it only target Fae and not elfkin and then contain it to this room, so that all the Faefolk in Althenia didn't collapse." If possible, the younger elfkin's eyes went even wider. He had no idea that his best friend was that powerful already. A spell like that took a lot of concentration and power. He had only ever seen or heard of Vexen being capable of performing such magical feats.
Standing up and placing one hand on the pale haired elfkin's shoulder, the youngling couldn't help the worry and concern that was apparent on his face and lacing his voice. "Are you going to be alright?"
Smiling, Riku finally sat up and pushed the hair out of his face. "I'm good now. I borrowed the energies of the Earth Voices and that's not easy. Now, I don't know how long the spell will last, so we need to get going before Zexion wakes up." As if exhaustion had not held hold of him only moments earlier, the prince stood up, leaving Sora standing there in complete disbelief.
Wasting no time, the two then hurried out of the chamber, hurrying back down the alabaster corridors. By the time that they return to the onyx statue of Shiva inlaid with sapphires, the two younglings were both laughing to almost hysterics as well as being completely out of breath. The younger elfkin leaned up against the figure as he stood lookout while his friend retrieved their weapons from their hiding place. When he heard Riku moving, Sora took the offered blades and strapped them to his body with practice, watching as Riku did the same. With a shared grin of mischief, they then took off once again down the hallway, taking a well memorized route towards a passage that would lead them outside the palace walls with very little chance of encountering anyone else.
They didn't stop until they reached a partially hidden doorway that was deep in the servant's quarters. Both younglings were sure that when Masters Squall and Cloud had shown them this escape route out of the palace, they hadn't realized that it would be used as the most comment route for the two friends to sneak out. Giving a quick look behind them as well as listening to the Earth Voices to ensure that they weren't being followed, Riku then pushed the wooden door open, before ushering Sora in first. As soon as the brunet was inside, the prince followed, pulling the door closed behind them. Sora had already located the torch they always left here and lit it.
With a long familiar practice, the two young elfkin walked through the dimly lit passage. After spending so much time in the pale halls of the palace, the packed earthen walls of the underground pathway seemed so dark. Both friends felt completely at east and safe surrounded by the earth, knowing that the Earth Voices could be heard very strongly here and would warn them of any and all dangers. Also knowing that the ceiling was right below parts of the palace, they both remained completely silent as to not allow their voices to carry through the floor and up to where someone might hear them.
The trek didn't take that long trough the winding tunnel, neither of them jumping whenever a small animal would cross their path or a plant root would brush against them. After walking for quite some distance, the faint light from the torch in the brunet's hand illuminated the sealed exit. Riku approached the solid rock wall and placed one finger on the smooth surface. With a barely audible whisper, the prince spoke the proper spell of release as he traced a rune on the stone. Instantly the large stone split down the middle, swinging open and flooding light into the dark tunnel.
With strain and concentration, Sora smothered the flame of the torch with only a single word. Magic was still very difficult for him, himself all too like his parents in preferring to handle things with his blade instead. He placed the extinguished torch inside the tunnel for easy retrieval for when they snuck back in this way. Stepping out into the contrasting warmth from the damp tunnel, both younglings had to temporarily squint at the sudden brightness of the sunlight. The passage had led them out deep into Demetris forest. They were on the northern end of the forest which worked out well for their adventure today. The gorge was not far from their current location, and from Riku's deductions from Elder Vexen's maps that the abandoned village wouldn't be much further from that. The two friends had always been warned and forbidden to cross the gorge. allowed to explore in it, but never go to the other side of it. With the tales that Master Cloud and Master Squall told them, it was usually enough to keep their curiosity at bay. Today was different however.
"Haven Blessed Shiva. I cannot believe that we're doing this!" Sora exclaimed, jumping up and down in place twice. It was very rare for the young brunet to do anything quite this rebellious so easily. Normally Riku had to spend weeks trying to convince his friend to go along with something of this magnitude. For some reason though, this time the brunet almost had been the one to convince the prince to go through with this plan.
With a chuckle, the pale haired elfkin unstrung his bow from around his chest, nocking an arrow as he did so. "I know. We should consider moving though as Zexion will awaken soon now that I am out of range for my magic to continue working and both Master Squall and Master Cloud know about us using this passage way to sneak out." Grinning broadly towards his best friend, the prince then took the lead, racing through the forest, ensuring that he kept his mind open to its full extent to listen to the Earth Voices.
The twosome passed soundlessly through the forest, not stopping to admire any of the flora or foliage. They had been in the forest enough and been schooled in the ability to identify any of them on sight, but on this day, that was not a priority. Aided by the enhancements that ambrosia granted to elfkin, they flew through the trees at a rapid pace. The Earth Voices were silent to both elfkin, warning neither of them of any dangers coming their way. Even the sound of the birds and other wildlife were quiet to their ears as their feet barely connected with the moss covered ground of Althenia's largest forest.
It wasn't until they finally got to the grassy clearing that served as the border between the forest and the gorge that Riku finally eased the grip on his arrow, allowing the string to relax. Although he was training with his swordskills almost daily, the prince still found it easier to wield a bow some times. Especially when Sora was around since the petit brunet favoured an aggressive style of dagger in one hand and short sword in the other. It made the two of them a formidable team despite their young ages.
Hearing Sora sheathing one of his blades, the silver haired elfkin lowered himself to one knee at the edge of the gorge, looking down into the deep cut in the land. "How exactly are we going to cross the gorge again?" the younger elfkin asked, coming to kneel by his friend. While they had been down into the lengthy gorge many times before, they had never actually been to the other side, mainly because the crevasse ran along the border to the Forbidden Lands that had been uninhabited since the end of the war.
"Shhh," whispered the prince as he placed one hand onto the grass in front of him, eyes closing as a string of melodious whispers sounded from thin lips. At first the words were quiet and barely audible, but with each repetition, the volume and force increased until Riku was in a full trance while chanting. As his eyes slowly opened, the brunet could see that the bright aquamarine eyes were glowing with the spell, something that Sora had never seen happen before. After several long moments of listening to the chanting and thinking that nothing was going to happen, Sora suddenly was told by the Earth Voices all at once to brace himself.
Following the instructions that he had received from some of Elder Vexen's scrolls as an incantation for the spell, the prince continued to echo the words while fully opening the channels of his magic. Without any warning at all, the entire ground began to shake beneath their very feet. At that moment, Riku abruptly cut off his chanting and stood up, allowing the spell to take effect.
"What's happening, Riku?" there was a little bit of fear in the younger elfkin's words as he stepped beside his best friend, grabbing onto the prince's arm. At the touch, the younger elfkin could tell that his friend was shaking and that Riku was breathing heavier than normal. Maybe it was just the fact that the entire earth was moving beneath their feet, but Sora could sense that it was something more.
With a heavy sigh, the prince leaned against the smaller body as support for a moment. After the two spells that he had recently performed, Riku felt that his magic was completely drained. He had never before used this much power and not so close together. It would take some time before his magicks replenished themselves. "Just watch," the taller youngling whispered, allowing his eyes to slide closed.
The blue eyed youngling was slightly worried about his friend's condition, but trusted him. He could only look out into the gorge while continuing to support Riku as the ground consistently shook underneath their feet. Still unsure of what he was supposed to be looking for, the brunet just scanned the land. Suddenly, the quake blow them increased in intensity before several large boulders rose from the gorge bottom, flying through the air as if they were weightless. With a gasp, Sora watched as rock after rock flew up until they began to create a bridge starting at their feet. "What's happening?"
Riku couldn't speak as he continued to try and regain his energy. All he could do was smile as he observed his spell in action. Each rock fitted perfectly against the one beside it and in no time, a stone bridge spanned across the gorge. When he felt the last boulder move into place, the prince finally lifted himself off of the support of his best friend. The Earth Voices spoke no warning to him, so he placed one foot onto the bridge, turning towards the younger elfkin. "Coming?"
"Is it safe?" there was a timid tone that normally wasn't present in his voice as he began to slowly approach the newly constructed bridge, stopping just before setting foot on it. Though he trusted Riku, a magically constructed bridge that assembled itself in only a few moments right before his eyes with nothing supporting it over a gorge that was deeper than any other? Not so much.
Laughing at Sora's reaction, the silver haired elfkin took several more steps on the bridge, feeling the complete sturdiness below him. "Of course it is. Now come on! We're almost there! Race you across!" with that, Riku took off running.
Not able to resist a challenge like that, the youngling shot off after his friend over the bridge, laughing all the way.
Sensing that the smaller elfkin was close behind him, the prince picked up speed, knowing that he had to beat his best friend across the bridge. He could feel the magic laying within the stones of the construction, but he could also feel the sturdiness in them. The spell had done exactly as he had hoped it would and the silver haired elfkin knew that chances were that nothing could bring down the bridge short of magic or killing him. As usual, Riku continued to lead even as the end of the bridge came into sight. As soon as he stepped foot onto solid ground, the prince bent over to catch his breath, positive that he had won. He should have known better. After only a few moments, Riku found himself falling forward as Sora jumped onto his back, sending them both sprawling.
"You cheated!" the common accusation came from the brunet, laced with laughter. It was the sure sign that Sora had lost. And it was also normal that they stayed like that for several moments with the younger elfkin sitting on his friend as they continued to gasp for breath. As they sat there for a few moments, both younglings jumped as a crumbling, followed by a loud crashing came from behind them.
The prince couldn't resist laughing at the sound, especially when he felt Sora stiffen up at the noise. Obviously the bridge was not meant to stay up while they were off exploring. At least that would make sure that no one would be able to follow them easily. Still feeling the exertion from the early spell casting, Riku stayed as he was for a few moments longer.
"Do we know which way we need to go from here?" Sora asked as he rested his chin between his friend's shoulder blades. The forest around them was dark, even the bright sunlight not able to penetrate the thick canopy of the tree tops. Where they had never explored this area of the Demetris forest, the younger elfkin felt a little frightened at the thought of the journey through them. But that wasn't enough to stop them for doing just that.
Feeling both his breath and his magical energies returning slowly to him, Riku looked around their position. "Can you make a small light so I can see?" Feeling the nod against his back, the short whisper of words from behind him was followed by a flash of light that all shrunk into a condensed orb that floated a few feet in front of them, the pure essence bathing everything in its soft light. Mage lights were one of the few spells that gave Sora absolutely no problems ad he was proud of that. The orbs that he created as well usually were brighter and lasted longer without thought that those produced by even the most experienced elfkin. It was definitely helpful when Riku was exhausted or couldn't spare the energy for one. Sending the light into the forest, the brunet moved it slowly in hopes that it would illuminate some sort of landmark for his friend to recognize. "There!" At the prince's cry, the younger elfkin stopped moving the light on what looked like a tree that had been stripped of all its bark.
Picking themselves off the forest floor, the two younglings then made their way over to the post. Upon closer inspection, they noticed that the bark had not naturally been taken off the single tree. It had been magically scorched off, judging by the remaining blackness at the base that had not been created by any natural flame. Also on the pale wood, only slightly above the two elfkin's line of sight, they both noticed a single dark mark. "A rune?" whispered Sora as Riku reached up and ran his fingers over it.
"It was made by tainted magic. But it's old. Very old. We need to follow these posts and it will lead us to the settlement. But the Voices tell me that it has been abandoned for many, many years," the silver haired elfkin spoke softly as he ran one finger over the dark mark. The residual magic that lay within the engraving spoke to the young prince and in an instant, he had the dark energy signature memorized and felt a pulling in another direction: the direction of the next post. "This way!"
The brunet nodded, temporarily sheathing his dagger, leaving his short sword in hand. "Alright, but first we should have some of this." With that said Sora reached into his adventure pouch and pulled out two medium sized pieces of the sweet ambrosia squares that they both enjoyed so much. As they ate them, the older elfkin felt his magic powers returning at an accelerated rate now. It wouldn't be long before he would feel fully replenished, and that time should coincide with the time that they would reach the village.
Without a word, the two friends then rearmed themselves then began following the residual trail of dark magic that only Riku could properly sense through the forest, Sora's mage light bobbing gently a short distance ahead of them. There was no other light in the forest, the thick treetops preventing any natural light to penetrate this deep into the woods. They both continued to keep their weapons at the ready to be prepared for any sort of encounter. Neither made a noise as they travelled from post to post, even their footsteps making little noise on the deadfall covering the forest floor thanks to training they had received from the swordsmasters. It was also due to that training that neither of them jumped whenever there was a sound caused by something other than themselves.
Twice, Riku shot arrows into the darkness, hearing nothing but more rustling of the plants after the arrows were loosed, frightening whatever creature off. Both younglings noticed that after nearly an hour of cutting through the forest, the trees were becoming thinner with every few steps. Finding the next pole, Riku felt a distinct change in the magical energies. "We're at the last marker. The abandoned village is straight ahead now. Are you ready?"
The mage light began to pulse rapidly in front of them, causing both of the younglings to watch it with confusion on their faces. "I wonder why it's doing that?" questioned the brunet, reaching out to touch the light, his eyes un-focusing in concentration.
As Sora did that, the prince opened his mind once again to the Earth Voices, but they remained silent and gave no indication of danger ahead. Thanks to the ambrosia, Riku felt that his magical reserves were completely replenished now, despite the two major spells that he had performed in such a short amount of time. The sounds of nature were surprisingly silent around them, but that did not surprise the elfkin much as they both could feel the poison that had been inflicted on the land from the nearby village. According to the few available records in Althenia about the blood elves practices, the prince had been able to learn that the entire Earth would come to detest the surrounding lands that had been tainted with the violent and gruesome deaths of innocents. That caused the wildlife to abandon the area. "Are we ready?"
"I am," Sora said with excitement in his voice. His made light had steadied out once again and the brunet offered no explanation as to what had caused the previous reaction. The two of them took one more moment to ensure that they were properly prepared before taking off in the final direction of the dark energies. They passed through the forest as the trees began to thin with each step, light slowly filtering through. Neither of the younglings had ever been this far from the palace before and that thought was exhilarating. With their weapons still at the ready, they continued to be on alert despite the lack of warnings from the Earth Voices. The only information that Riku was able to gather from them was the distance remaining to their destination, but it still wasn't as clear as the voices normally were.
The dark magic was becoming almost tangible as they covered the distance quickly, eagerness to reach their destination stronger than ever. Each passing moment brought more light and anticipation to them and fuelled their every step. Suddenly, just as quickly as they had found themselves in the forest, the dense trees came to a stop, sunlight bursting over everything and illuminating it. It caused the two friends to stop dead in their tracks in order to observe what they came across.
The land they had come upon was completely barren of any sort of life, plant or animal. All that remained was dust, rock and husks of what was once there. Skeletons of what they thought were the remains of houses were the only structures that remained, covered in the dust that the wind had deposited on them that remained undisturbed after Shiva knew how long. It wasn't difficult for either elfkin to notice that he could see no apparent life or movement from their positions just above the village. There was a rocky slope that led down into the abandoned settlement, but it didn't seem as if it would be difficult to traverse down. What stood out most in the desolation, however, was what appeared to be the city square. It was at the exact centre of the village, easily seen from cliff side, large boulders surrounding the area. Piled in the middle of the boulders was a mound of stones, the top of which was a slab, perfectly flat, appearing to be a much darker shade than the rest of the rock. It had to be some sort of alter. Neither elfkin wanted to consider what the darkness had been caused by, especially since it was easily seen even through the thick layers of dust and sand.
"Sweet glorious Shiva," the brunet whispered in awe. He had never seen something even close to what they were currently looking upon.
With a small grin, the prince could only nod in agreement at the statement. He could feel the history all around him, but still found it odd that he could hear even the barest trace of the Earth Voices here. He couldn't recall not being able to hear them for so long a time before. They would return soon though, he was sure of it. There must have been something about the village that held them quiet. Now however, his curiosity was getting the better of him. "Want to go further down?" without waiting to hear Sora's answer, Riku then began to climb down the embankment.
Sora's bright blue eyes went wide, but he couldn't let his best friend think that he was a coward. Being mindful of the loose rocks, he followed the silver haired elfkin down into the eerie silence of the village. "Wait up, Riku!" he called as his friend got further and further ahead of him. When the brunet was finally able to catch up to the prince, Riku was standing alongside the alter, looking around to take everything in. both of them could feel the dark power that had been performed here in the past and it caused them both to shiver at the sensation. It was quite disturbing. Standing there however, something began to nag at the younger elfkin. He couldn't quite figure out what it was as of yet though. Riku didn't seem to feel the same thing as he began to look closer on the runes that he revealed under the layers of dust with one swipe of his hand. The markings decorated the flat stone in the centre and they were ones that he did not recognize, which surprised him. Riku was sure that he knew all the runes in their language, and that made him all the more interested in what he was seeing now. Nothing short of an ambush would take the silver haired elfkin's attention away from them.
An ambush. That's what the nagging in the back of the brunet's mind had been about, and the reason for the pulsing mage light.
The Earth Voices were trying to warn him of an ambush.
"Riku! We aren't alone here!" Sora cried, drawing both his blades instantly again, his body going into a ready battle stance instantly.
As if that comment was enough to summon them, three shadows appeared from nowhere and surrounded the two of them. Before Riku even had a chance to rise to his feet from his crouched position, the two friends found themselves held at the point of two lances, a very broad sword and the tip of a very sharp arrow that seemed to be dripping a dark liquid that was too thick to be water.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here? A couple of light-walkers in our territory? What shall we do with these poor little elflets?" A sarcastic voice said from above them, causing the two youngling's blood to run cold in their veins. They were going to die, and no one knew where to find them.
SO this chapter (and the next one) have been done for over a month. I would have had it up so much sooner, but my beta seems to have disappeared….So you will have to forgive me for the self-beta I did. Also, I am going to blame any mistakes on Pahoyhoy and her L'il Hoy because I am currently visiting them and having an absolute blast here! I I will try and get the next chapter out in the next week or so, but no promises, as I am being distracted in the best way possible! Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me so far with this story, it's nice to be able to finally write this story. And I'm definitely using this visit with Pahoyhoy to iron out any details and things like that that I was still working on figuring out! Thanks again and until next time!