Azazial slumped deeper into the hot steaming pool. Every muscle in her body twitched slightly as the delicious barley tolerable burn of the water touched her skin, and then quickly relaxed, slowly her body slid deeper and deeper as her head submerged her hair floating above her. It was an amazing sensation. She remained under water allowing the heat to sting her eyes and ears, allowing the burning sensation to build in her lungs until finally she emerged taking a deep gasp of steamy air. She looked about the room more from habit then anything else and quickly relaxed propping her feet against the far end of the tub and allowing her head to rest on the lip. She stared at the ceiling for a long while, watching the smoky lantern throw shadows as the flame battled the steam. She lay there and focused allowing every little bit of heat to soak into her body, as if hoping that somehow she could keep it after she left the baths. This was the warmest she had been since her ‘return’. Always before she had thought she could tell, she knew warm from cool, hot form cold, but never had her body been so exposed to the cruel onslaught of disparaging cold that was the mortal plane. She shivered thinking about it; it would take some getting used to. A knock at the door interrupted her reverie.
“Come” she called, allowing her wings to fold over her body thus maintaining her modesty.
“Mam,” a young girls voice called to her “The elven Master down stairs advised me to bring you something to eat, shall I bring it in?” the girl offered up a tray with a clay jug and cup, as well as a mixture of fruits and cheeses as proof of her claim. Azazial smiled to herself, Fox was so sweet in his own way, always trying to appear gruff and distant and yet at the same time always trying to take care of her.
“Please do” she called to the girl ushering to a small table beside her bath. Her stomach growled at the sight of the food, eating was a new concept as well; she had enjoyed the occasional tastes of food and wine before, but had never needed it. Now she often found herself getting suddenly weak, or experience odd pains, Fox would always chuckle and tell her to eat something, he’d taken to carrying an apple or ration with him now. The girl placed the tray and quickly left, taking only a few moments to stare at her wings, many stared now, it made her feel uneasy, but there was little that could be done about that here. “thank you” she called after the girl as the door closed, then turned to pour a cup of wine and pick at the food.
The grapes were wrinkled and aged, and the cheese had a fierce odour to it, not exactly the grandest of qualities, but she was sure that Fox had likely spent a small fortune for fresh fruit up here. She sipped the wine, a sweet flavour played on her tongue as its cold temperature dulled her taste buds a little, it helped dull the sharp cheese. She hadn’t realised how hungry she was, and quickly ate the fruit and cheese.
Yesterday she had attempted bacon, but had quickly found that her system for some reason couldn’t handle meat, every attempt so far to eat it had caused her to become violently ill, a new experience that she had decided she was well finished with. She had been worried about the cost of non-meat rations in the mountains, she had been worried about the costs of clothing and equipment that she suddenly required, such an expense was not a fair one to expect Fox to pick up, and though she knew Raven and the others would be willing to chip in, she also knew that her needs would hurt their goals and endeavors. It had been a problem she had been mulling over the entire day until they arrived at Broken Bridge. Here Alex had been gracious enough to share spoils her had found the night prior, almost six hundred gold pieces. She had declined at first but the young human had insisted and seemed to glad in doing it. Perhaps she had misjudged him, he’d always struck her as secretive and untrustworthy, always hiding away, never sharing information with anyone. He seemed to be different now, she would have to learn more before she imposed such judgements in the future, she should know more than anyone else, humans were creatures of change.
She took another sip of her wine and proceeded to wash, paused as she looked at wings…
“Two is better than none” she sighed, missing her other four. “Why, why?” she asked looking up as if asking the lantern “Why banish me only to bring me back? Why give me wings but subject me to the colds and hungers of mortality? Am I Mortal? Is this you Korhan? Or Father is this your work? What did Fox say? WHAT DID HE SAY!” she cried. Fox had so far been unwilling to tell her what had happened, he kept saying that he would speak when the time was right, or when less friendly ears were not about, so far the situation had not yet arisen. She slumped back in her tub and glared at the lantern “I grow tired of these tests, these games, I think I have proven time and again where I stand, know that there is no force, on Argyle or the planes above or below that will change my course, this I vow… SO MOTE IT BE” she stood and wrapped herself in a towel as she left the tub, there was much to do, and little time.