Rhiallis: Feels Good To Smile

      Today’s snippet, titled “Feels Good To Smile”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
      Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      She giggled.
      In doing so, she jerked her head a bit and Sadie snagged a chunk of her fine, platinum mane. Rhiallis winced, “Ouch.”
      “Well, stop moving then,” Sadie said, “I think we’re just about done.”
      Her friend stepped around to stand before her; she tilted her head, rubbing her chin, and appraised her work critically.
      “Nope – I don’t like it. I’m gonna start over.”
      Rhiallis laughed again. It felt good. She felt – radiant. Sadie was deftly plucking at her hair, undoing ten minutes of work, Aimsley and Tom Parris were resting inside the long hall, Korael and Cole were safely in Drezen working to re-build the trade of horses and draft animals in the city. Celeste and Mira were still dead, but there was hope now. Genuine hope – that they, and perhaps even Seraphina, Graves, Mytra – could be resurrected in the not-too-distant future.
      For Mira, it is just a matter of finding a priest who can perform the requisite ritual, Rhiallis thought as her young friend plied a wide-toothed comb to her curly hair. And for Celeste – or Graves, or whomever – we know the jeweler in Ryvendale has the diamond, we simply need to scrounge up thirty-thousand in gold pieces. A wry smile crossed her face. I suppose that isn’t as easily done as pouring cold molasses, but it is possible. And that’s a wonderful thing to know.
      “What do you think of Tom?”
      Rhiallis shrugged. “He’s so very… polite. But useful, undoubtedly. And the way he managed to just – hop – across the ground that way. Fascinating. I imagine Mira will appreciate having a priest of Desna around, rather than listening to me go on and on about Iomedae and the Inheritor’s Grace.”
      “We’ll all appreciate a break from that!”
      Her smile widened and she had to resist the urge to twist around and tickle the little monster. Still, Rhiallis could not be offended by Sadie’s wit. She was rarely malicious and besides – it felt so good to smile.
      “What do you think of Tom Parris?” she asked, closing her eyes as the hin’s tiny fingers began to work, separating the freshly brushed strands.
      “Not as much as I think about that girl in Ryvendale. Ohhhh.” Sadie’s hands twitched. “She was so beautiful. And that accent – fucking adorable.”
      Rhiallis nodded. Michiru Shumiyata was an attendant of the High Priest of Abadar in Phoenixa, Dakiru Shumiyata. Both had thick, black hair and dark, slanted eyes, though Michiru was far more attractive than her brother. They reminded Rhiallis poignantly of Kumiko, though she shunted those sorrowful memories away and held tight to the joy in her heart, and she wished she could have spoken to either of them at length. She was infinitely curious about their homeland in the distant eastern continent and wished, one day, to make the trek to Tian-Min.
      “Aren’t you deeply in love with Marley?” Rhiallis said, chuckling.
      “In love, sure, but I’m not dead Rhi. What – like you think James doesn’t drool over other women while you’re out saving the world and he’s stuck in Drezen stroking his lumber?”
      “Sadie!” Rhiallis tried to twist her head around, but was held in place by the girl’s surprisingly strong grip. “I- I imagine he looks all he likes, though we are exclusively intimate with each other. Faithful.”
      “No, we are. I mean-” She paused, chewing on the inside of her lower lip. “I think we are. We haven’t had a discussion about it, but we’re both- and I mean- Oh hells.”
      Sadie was laughing softly and Rhiallis felt her cheeks flush with embarrassment. “Its silly, that we haven’t made any sort of actual claim on each other, isn’t it? I mean – that we haven’t and I assumed.”
      “Hey – Rhi, I didn’t mean to make you second guess it and stuff. I’m just teasing, honestly. But you guys spend like, all that time together. What do you talk about?”
      Her blush deepened.
      “Stuff,” she managed to say, “Things.”
      “Uh huh.”
      Rhiallis knew Sadie was worldly enough, for one so young, to see right through her awkward reply. They spent a lot of their hours together in bed. Naked. Or getting naked. Or eating – before (or after) getting naked. It wasn’t that they did not talk, she knew, but perhaps that a lot of their discussions were about Drezen itself, the rebuilding efforts, the troubles they faced in the future. Rhiallis knew he cared for her, and believed that he was not seeing anyone else, but they had both avoided making any sort of official commitment. She wondered why.
      “You never did answer me,” Rhiallis said. “What do you think of Tom Parris?”
      Sadie shrugged. “He seems like a good guy. Pretty good with a bow, though after seeing all that Korael can do, anyone else seems sort of lackluster. And all those cleric spells will be sweet! You know, if he uses them proper. I bet Cole will like him.”
      “Oh!” Sadie said, her voice excited. “Do you really think that ‘demon brute’ guy Kamilo Dann was talking about is a demon? Maybe he’s a tiefling? That’d explain the horns.”
      “And the predilection for beating people to death with their own limbs.”
      “His head will look bad-ass on our trophy wall!”
      Rhiallis wrinkled her nose. “Gross.”
      “I’m going to have a mural done on one wall – gold paint on a burgundy, maybe. And it’ll have Radiance all glowing as part of our sigil, and then we’ll have the names of all the members of the Valorous Order, past, present, and future, around it.”
      She smiled, nodding slightly. “That sounds perfect.”
      Sadie patted her head. “You’re done.”
      Rhiallis ran a hand over the multitude of tiny, perfect braids and thanked her friend with a hug. A nimbus of freshly cleaned and sweet-smelling curls tumbled down her back, whilst tight plaits kept the hair at her forehead and temples well-controlled and out of her face. She wished she could go to James now, knock softly on his door, slip inside without a word, and wrap herself in his strong, masculine arms.
      She had gone to him last night, despite the late hour, when Aimsley had teleported the group from Kenebres back to Drezen. Though she was less nauseous these days, than she had been after the first few times the elf blinked them around the world through other planes, Rhiallis had not been feeling her best when she arrived at James’ door.
      Still, he had graciously invited her inside, ignoring her bedraggled appearance and not penalizing her for standing him up their last night in Drezen. Rhiallis had not wanted to talk, silencing his questions with kisses and caresses. They had spent the night locked in a sweat-dappled embrace. Rhiallis required no sleep and had selfishly kept James awake until the first rays of dawn appeared in the sky.
      He was snoring sweetly when she left, and she smiled at the memory of his hair spilling across his peaceful face. They won’t be getting much done at the lumberyard today, she thought ruefully. He’ll be lucky if he can walk right at all.
      She clapped her hands over her mouth, as if she had spoken the salacious thought outloud.
      It felt so good to smile. Rhiallis pushed the sorrowful thoughts of Mira and Graves and Celeste and Sera and Viggo – oh Viggo… – out of her mind as she rose from the bench, tossing her hair.
      “When we go back to Drezen, we’ll have to have a talk, James and I,” she told Sadie, who managed to nod with the barest trace of interest. “For now, Aimsley and Tom Parris will be awake soon and will take another hour to meditate. I think I am going to go nap while they do. Will you wake me when the hour is up?”
      “Sure. Hey – you wanna borrow one of my new buddies? Three magical settings,” Sadie said in a sing-songy voice, giving her a mischievous look and wriggling her brows.
      Rhiallis paused mid-step, considering. Then she shook her head, winked, and headed to a corner to roll out her bed.
      Gods, but it feels good to smile.

– – – – – – – – – – –
Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me

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