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(Part 14) For a complete list of this series, please go here.

Aerissa stood motionless as she stared at the dagger.  The sunlight made the blue jewel on the hilt gleam.  She took a gasping breath, having only now noticed that she had been holding her breath.  Slowly she turned her head, her eyes meeting Locke's.

How… peculiar.  You bought that from the tradesman, yes?

Aerissa nodded, looking at the dagger out of the corner of her eye.  There was something almost familiar about it.  Fixing her gaze upon the blue jewel, she walked towards the target.  She leaned down, examining the dagger, but careful not to touch it.  She moved from side to side and around the target, looking at it from every angle.  Aerissa felt a connection to the dagger, but could not place it.

Let's hope it's not the “Enchanted Dagger.” Locke trotted closer, sniffing at the air.

“The…” she turned hastily towards Locke, startling him.  “How do you know about that? I thought that was merely a story told amongst the seediest of thieves.”

It is but a tale, a rumor… Aerissa, it has been a story long told before you were born. He walked closer to her, rubbing against her leg.

Aerissa ran her fingers through his fur, shaking the loose hairs from her hand.  “Sorry, Locke, it's just… something doesn't feel right…” her words trailed off as she squatted near the target.  The detail and craftsmanship of the dagger was very good.  The balance was perfect and the blade was serrated, perfect for use against a foe in a hand-to-hand fight.

What is that…on the blade? Locke inched closer, tilting his head.

Aerissa squinted, tilting her head as well.  There was something blemishing the edge of the blade.  Flecks of something.  “Rust?” she asked Locke.  Aerissa tried blowing at the blade to see if the material would fall off.

Locke shook his head.  Blood.  That's got to be blood. Raising his nose, he sniffed at the blade before bursting into a fit of sneezes.

Aerissa flinched as the spray hit her face.  Overreacting, she wildly wiped at her face, causing her to lose her balance.  She fell backwards onto her rear, letting out a laugh.  “Gross Locke.  You need to face away when you sneeze, please.”  She wiped her hands off onto her pants.

Aerissa, it's your blood. Locke stared at her anxiously.  He whimpered, looking from her to the dagger and back to her again.

“Wait, what? My blood?”  She sprang back up, squatting before the target and dagger again.

I know the scent. Locke sneezed again.  He licked the side of his paw and wiped at his face with urgency.  I know the scent, Aerissa.

She stared at the dagger, mumbling under her breath.  Aerissa pushed up her sleeves and reached for the dagger.  Gritting her teeth, she clamped her hands over the hilt and pulled it free from the target.  A searing hot pain pulsed through the scar on her hip.  A yelp escaped her before she could bite down on her bottom lip.  The fingers of her right hand spasmed, trying to release the dagger; however, she squeezed her left hand tighter over the top of her right hand.  Aerissa tasted copper as her lip began to bleed.  She refused to release tension from any of her muscles.

Suddenly, her mind was hit with thousands of images.  Colors, faces, words, music, all bombarded her mind and senses.  Everything was moving too fast, she couldn't make sense of any of it.  Aerissa's eyes rolled back into her head.  Her shoulders slumped as her body fell backwards onto the ground.

Aerissa? Locke whined, nuzzling his nose against her cheek, but she did not respond.

* * *

Aerissa could feel something prodding at her mind, but she did not know what it was.  She squeezed her eyes tight, trying to focus on one image.  If she could see just one, then she could slow them down.  Her mind grabbed ahold of one image as she tried to concentrate, but it was difficult with the barrage of images flooding her conciousness.

Aerissa running in a field as a child in a frilly dress.

A burning building, people screaming, children running.

A room full of children sleeping on the floor, crying.

Aerissa holding a dolly by one arm, her dress singed and covered in soot.

Shadows hiding the faces of cloaked figures.

Pieces of gold, weapons, and jewels strewn across a table.

A blonde elven man kneeling before her…

That one! She shouted in her mind.  Aerissa focused on the blonde elven man with all her might.  Her mind was blasted with images and memories of him.  Aerissa laughed and cried as the scenes flew by of how they'd met, their courtship, and his proposal.

Xanadrian.  Xanadrian.  Xanadrian.

His sparkling blue eyes became more brooding.  His mood less jovial.  He appeared secretive.  They fought.  Lots of angry words, but what words?  What did he say?  Flowers, lots of flowers and chocolates and perfume.  His smiles returned, but seemed almost forced.  Aerissa felt happy again.  She twirled about in her wedding dress, excited for the day yet to come.

Aerissa's mind vision became tinged with red.  The nightmares flooded her mind.  Hurt, anger, panic.


Her mind screamed as Xanadrian stabbed her with his prized, bejewled dagger.

coldragedagger* * *

Locke watched Aerissa with worry.  She continued to grip the dagger, but her face and body twitched and jerked as though she was dreaming.  Locke tried to enter her thoughts, but he was blocked out.  He began to pace the length of her, pausing now and again to paw at her.  Several minutes went by and her condition did not change.  Locke nuzzled his nose into her neck, nudging at her head.  With a final high pitched whine, he dashed into the Inn.

** Please note that some of the events included in RP pieces are based upon actual in-game role play.  Also, some of the events and/or character names may have been altered during the transition from in-game RP to story formation. **

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We are a family of gamers. Mom (Darcy/Syrana) and Dad (Brian/Sideshow) have been gaming for as long as they can remember back when you only had a joystick to use and saved your games to cassette tapes.

They've been gaming together since they met in 2002. Sometime after 2006, they both started playing World of Warcraft and did that for many years. They started this blog, originally called Sideshow & Syrana which has now transitioned to the new Stay-At-Home Gamers site, while keeping all of the original content.

Starting in 2010, two more gamers came along (now known as Princess Boo and Mr. X) and they are now old enough where they both enjoy playing games and watching others play games. They are both excited to have others to watch them play their favorite games. Come along with us and let's enjoy these games together!