p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;""So this is Ash Kordh," Vipsania whispered softly, her eyes wide. They stood on a peak overlooking the Watcher's Tears as dawn broke on the horizon, setting the waterfall aflame as it coursed down the cheeks carved into the living rock. On all sides was primal wilderness, ancient growth forests and the flow of magic through the world, the place of myth that time and men had long ago forgotten./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;""More than that," Sorne said, resting her head against Vipsania's shoulder. Neither of them were wearing armor or carrying weapons, not here and now. "This is emhome/em."/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"The western woman smiled. "Always."/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"A shape flashed above them, accompanied by a roar of delight. A sleek, black dragon landed on the path that lead down into the valley, cocking her head curiously to the side before approaching./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;""Oh, pretty girl," Sorne murmured, stepping forward and holding out unblemished hands. She ran them over the dark, hot snout of smooth scales, smiling so widely that her face hurt. The warrior hugged the dragon's head to her chest, basking the familiar warmth. "I emmissed/em you."/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"Nirsal hummed in agreement before making a curious clicking sound, turning her nose towards Vipsania. The dragon trilled an approving greeting, then almost pounced on the western woman, butting into Vipsania's head with her nose. There was no trace of caginess or fear from Sorne's dragon./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;""This is Nirsal," Sorne said with a smile, her heart lighter than it had ever been. "Nirsal, this is Vipsania."/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;""Her love is...aggressive," Vipsania said with a laugh, stroking Nirsal's dark scales. /span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;""The others must be waiting ahead," Sorne said, catching the soldier's hand with her own. "The ones who came before us." She hesitated for a moment. "I hope Zhou and Vridash are alright."/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"Vipsania turned to her. "They will be. Genev has healing and growing to do, and they will have their parts to play as we had ours," the western woman said gently. "We will see them again. Of that, I have no doubt."/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"Sorne nodded, equally certain that those paths would meet again, and that it would be alright. She gave Vipsania's hand a squeeze and then motioned to the path. "Shall we, my stone-soul?"/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"The western woman smiled. "Together."/span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"Part of her wanted to race forward like flame, laughing and crying, pulling Vipsania along with her, but she took her time and enjoyed the walk. They had all the time in the world./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"Genev was different. It would heal in time, but she had found peace in a way that it never could. Here, fingers interlaced with Vipsania's, taking those fresh steps towards the campsite where she had first met the orcs, she felt so light. The warmth of the western woman was soft and perfectly vivid, their shoulders brushing together as they walked./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"In the end, the world moved on, but they were no longer bound to its circles. Shooting buds and sweet breezes would give way to full, verdant growth, then riotous autumn, and then the hush and chill of winter. Every year it would be born again, and Sorne felt the magic rush through her body without any barriers to separate her from the emdenah/em./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"No longer was there a battle to be fought, a need for conflict or strife, a bite of pain in the soul. So it was that Sorne Thayer, once called Fire-Heart and Champion of Nessa, found peace at last./span/span/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 0.2in;" align="center"span style="font-family: Linux Libertine G;"span style="font-size: medium;"strongEnd./strong/span/span/p