Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chapter 58: Runs in the Family

"You're the last one in then, " one of his new roommates observes as Fergus interrupts their TV watching to introduce himself. "I'm Chadrick. I just moved in yesterday. And that's Cosette and Niles."

Fergus had spoken with both Cosette Hillman and Niles Dean on the phone a few days ago; they were the ones who advertised for roommates.

"Welcome to the warehouse," Niles greets him, "The finest in urban off-campus housing. We like to keep things very communal here. The space kind of demands it, everything is out in the open here. But you do have your own room to retreat to."

"Julian just stepped out," Cosette adds, "And that's all of us. It's great to meet you in person Fergus. Your room is up the stairs to the right. Next to yours is Julian's. He just stepped out but you'll get to meet him soon enough. Do you want me to show you to room?"

"I can find it," Fergus answers, and takes his bags upstairs.

The old wharf district in Evansdale was struggling to make a comeback, and aggressive measures by the city council were pushing beautification projects all over the docks. Old abandoned warehouses were being rezoned into residential lots and commercial spaces, attracting mostly the artsy bohemian set of students from nearby Evansdale College to take up residence here. Cosette and Niles had taken this warehouse with some friends back when they were freshman. When their former roommates moved on to more traditional, suburban lifestyles after graduation, the couple started advertising for new roommates.

His room is large and, for now, sparsely furnished. His windows afford views of the glitzy new theater that opened recently across from Evansdale's film studio, and of the small cafe and comic shop built out of container stacks next to it. Fergus had never been out of Drake's in his life, except through the memories he'd absorbed from contact with things from other parts of the world. It's a strange feeling, being so far from home, surrounded by new things and new people.

"There's Julian now," Cosette says, gesturing toward the blond making drinks at the bar when Fergus rejoins the group back downstairs, "Julian, this is Fergus."

"Making drinks is like chemistry," Julian informs him, not looking up from his endeavors, "You have to be precise, or it all goes to shit."

His face. Fergus has seen it too many times to mistake it for anything else. "You're a Landraab," he says, spitting it out like an accusation.

"Julian Landgraab," he answers, putting the unfinished drink down to meet Fergus' gaze. "Obviously you've heard of my family. Whatever it is you know about them, it has nothing to do with me. My side of the family is only distantly related the 'the' Landgraabs, and our wealth is at least half as filthy."

Fergus makes a read of Julian's history and finds nothing suspicious. Still, the resemblance is so uncanny..."Does the name Reinier Landgraab mean anything to you?" Fergus asks.

"Reinier. Sure, I had a great uncle Reinier. You couldn't possibly have heard of him though," Julian answers, "So I assume you're talking about the great dragonslayer. I don't know any more about him than you could find in the library, though. Family history has never been my thing."

He has an accent, Fergus notices, so slight that he almost didn't catch it, just a subtle rounding of his vowels.

"Wow, this place really is an old warehouse," Jilly says, interrupting the conversation, "The door was open, I hope it's okay that I let myself in."

"Of course, it's fine," Fergus answers as she leans him to kiss him on the cheek, "Are you all settled into your place?"

"You should see it, Fergus," Jilly enthuses, "I'm right on the beach."

"This is my roommate, Julian Landgraab," Fergus reluctantly introdices her, "This is my cousin, Jillyan."

"Landgraab?" Jilly asks, taking his offered hand, "As in the laptop?"

"Yes, the laptop, among other things. Landgraab industries has it's hands in everything," Juilan answers with a smile, holding onto her hand for longer than is necessary, "But as I was just explaining to your cousin," he nods towards Fergus, "I'm only distantly related to those Landgraabs."

"Jilly, let's go get a coffee," Fergus says, nearly having to pry his cousin away from the Landgraab.

"Why are you in such a hurry?" Jilly ask as Fergus rushes her out of the warehouse to the cafe across the street

"I just wanted to talk to you. I have a Landgraab for a roommate."

"Mmm, I noticed," Jilly answers, "So what's the big deal?"

"Only that Landgraabs have been dogging our family since before we were born," Fergus answers, "You know this, Jilly!"

"Yes, and Julian says he's a distant relative. Is he lying?" Jilly asks, knowing that Fergus would have already taken in his roommate's personal history with his abilities.

"No, he's not lying. As far as I can tell," Fergus admits, grudgingly.

"Okay, then. It's just a coincidence," Jilly says, her voice taking the tone of finality.

"There's no such thing as coincidence," Fergus protests, "That's what my father always said."

"Do you want to go back to Drake's Hollow and hide forever?" Jilly counters, "We came out here to get away from that. C'mon, finish your latte. I want to show you my place."

Fergus was not able to convince Jillyan to join him in taking a room in the warehouse. When he suggested it, before they moved out here and were still looking for accommodations for themselves, she just laughed and 'I'm pretty much done with 'communal living'. I want to be in a place where I'm not tripping over a dozen people every time I leave my room.' And she made good on her intentions, taking a house by herself on the beach, away from the community of students, across the bridge from the campus.

"So, is it awesome or what?" Jilly asks, flopping down on her sofa after giving him a quick tour of her house.

"Mmm," Fergus answers absently.

"Are you absorbing memories from the sofa?" she teases, kicking his leg to get his attention. 

"Jilly, I saw the way Julian was looking at you," he warns.

"You'd have to be blind not to," Jilly laughs.


"I can take care of myself," Jilly assures him, "I'm a Sim Fu master, remember?"

"You're a green belt," Fergus points out, "That's, what, halfway to master?"

Jilly rolls her eyes, "Okay. If you want to get technical. But you don't have to worry about me, okay? I think you're making a way bigger deal of the Landgraab thing than you need to. It's a huge family, right? They can't all be evil corporate drones..."

"I guess," Fergus sighs, "But, Jilly, his face. He's identical to Reinier Landgraab. My great-grandfather."

"So it's a strong family resemblance," Jilly reasons "Didn't you tell me that our great-grandfather Heath was nearly identical to some ancient dragon in our lineage? But he never had a clue about any of that. He was just a singer."

Fergus nods, giving up the argument. His apprehension is just a feeling, and he can't defend it with words, not in any way that Jillyan would accept.

The Hawksquill ability to read the histories of other people should be enough to assure him that Julian's story about being some distant relative of the famous Landgraabs was as true as he says, but it doesn't quel his uneasiness. As soon as he gets back to his room, Fergus looks up everything he can find about Julian Landgraab, including hacking into government records to find his birth certificate. It's all there, the documented, ordinary, non-corporate drone life of Julian Landgraab. Why does it all still feel wrong?

MorcuCorp could easily fabricate all these records, Fergus thinks. But could they fabricate the memories? 

Am I being paranoid?

Trust your gut, a voice inside him insists. The fact that it's the voice of Reinier Landgraab makes Fergus smile. "I suppose you would know best," Fergus whispers, "About how little to trust a Landgraab."

Jilly feels a light tap on her shoulder as she's walking to class.

"You know, you shouldn't go sneaking up on girl's like that," she says playfully, turning to face Julian, "I could have had you on your ass before you knew what hit you."

"You make getting beat up on sound oddly pleasurable," Julian answers, making Jillyan giggle in response.

"You have an interesting accent," she observes, "Where are you from?"

"Outside Aurora Skies," he answers, "Can I walk you to class."

It turns out that she and Julian were heading to the same class in advanced mathematics.

"Fergus mentioned that your grandfather was some kind of genius," Julian says, watching as she solves her problem.

"That's his grandfather, my great-uncle Farrell," Jilly corrects him, "My grandfather was a jock."

"Still, it's obvious that intelligence runs in your family," Julian caries on, "You're very good at this."

"Being a total badass also runs in my family," Jilly answers, "Don't you have your own problem to solve?"

Julian stops his hovering over Jilly and picks up a marker to work on the board beside hers. 

"The problem I need to solve is how to ask out such a badass and brilliant girl as yourself without making a fool of myself. Or getting my ass kicked," he says.

"You are a complete dork, you know that?" Jilly laughs, "Lucky for you, I think your dorkiness is kind of cute. You can walk me to class again tomorrow. Maybe after a night of practicing lines in front of the mirror, you'll have figured something out."

The next morning, Jilly rises at dawn and enjoys her pancakes on her deck.

It's too beautiful a day to waste inside a classroom she decides, and blows off school to enjoy watersports instead, completely forgetting about her offhand promise to meet Julian.

She'd taken a few lessons in scuba diving back in Drake's Hollow, but there was never anything under the local waters really worth exploring.

The more tropical climes of Evansdale make diving a much more interesting, and profitable, enterprise. What can college possibly offer her that would reap better rewards?


Okay, so, I was not lying and trying to trick you all when I declared Fergus for heir way back when he was born. I really did think that was what I wanted. But as time passed I discovered that Jillyan actually fit my roll better, and the Fergus' story was not so much an heir's story as it was something that would be happening alongside my heir's story, part of it but not the main focus.

I moved Fergus and Jilly to Evansdale together. Then Fergus was immediately moved out to the warehouse, paid for from the huge family funds they brought with them. The other roommates were merged in later. Cosette Hillman and Niles Dean are courtesy of Giga's Dean Legacy. I have an alternate save where I can get pictures of Fergus in his new home.

The whole college thing is a fake. I did consider at first actually sending Fergus and Jilly to 'real' uni together, but I just didn't want to spend the time on it. Evansdale does have an in world university that I'm using for sets, but I've decided against actually bothering with really pursuing degrees. Because, bleh. But since going to uni was a big part of my story, I'm faking it with pictures.

The original career roll was collector, and I was kind of 'grooming' Jilly for that, as much one can groom a collector. The stuff she was doing in China, collecting relics and gems, was part of that. Because the family is so rich, collecting was going to be more of her lifestyle than actual income. Since her misc fun is 'My Precious', most of her collection was going to be kept and displayed, anyway. I had also planned on doing a certain amount of travel and adventuring with her generation. So when the group decided to add scuba diving to the adventurer career, I decided to take the expansion gift and change Jilly's career to that. She hadn't sold anything she'd collected previously.

Now, for some outtakes:

"I haven't had my first psych class, so I will refrain from remarking on the Freudian implications of you spitting your drink out all over my crotch."

Jilly's living room and bedroom. I love ocean views and beach houses more than anything. =D

It's not shown in pics, but I did bring her vases and jewel collection, and they are all on display here. Her interpretation of 'My Precious' is going to include a wide variety of collectibles.

The warehouse loft thing. I used that empty warehouse in Riverview as the base for this.

I always wanted a cool loft like this when I was an art student. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bonus Chapter: On Your Altar of Solitude

"Is it---is it truly Talfryn's?" Evenfall asks, falling to her knees before the dragon's tooth laying on Rory's coffee table, her voice barely a whisper, almost inaudible.

"Iola Hawksquill assured me it was his," Rory answers, holding his hands behind his back, checking his impulse to reach out to her.

"I admit, I was surprised you would do this for me," Evenfall says as she rises to stand in front of him, "You refused to even try when I asked it of you, and you were so angry when we last parted."

Rory bites his lip, ashamed at the memory of his past behavior. "The way you used to look at me," he says remembering their sad, ill-fated relationship, "I always knew you were searching for traces of him in my features. I hated being a less than adequate replacement for another. When you asked if I could find and steal Talfryn's tooth for you, my resentment boiled over. Unjustly. This was my way of apologizing, I suppose. I'm sorry it took me so long to do as you asked."

"This must have been difficult for you," Evie says hesitantly.

"Actually, it was a remarkably easy job," Rory answers, deliberately misunderstanding her to move the conversation away from uncomfortable talk about the difficulties of overcoming his feelings, "The Landgraab just opened the vaults for us to take what we wanted."

"Are you joking?" Evenfall asks. It's been so long since she's been among the dragon or human kinds, she has only a vague memory of how their sense of humor works.

"No, that actually happened," Rory says, and tells her how the operation went down.

"And you trusted him?" Evie asks in disbelief when his tale is done.

"Trust him? No, not a chance," Rory says, "But Iola confirmed that the tooth was genuine, so I took what was offered. If he has some ulterior motive...I suppose we'll find out when he's ready, and deal with it as it comes."

She never officially accepted his apology or said she forgave him, but that wouldn't be a very fae response; they simply go with whatever they are feeling at the moment, and Evenfall is obviously feeling kindly enough toward him now, enough that Rory has the confidence to ask,"And you think you can really bring him back?"

"If humans can be resurrected, then surely dragons can be," Evenfall answers, smiling hopefully, "Fae don't truly ever die; if our bodies are killed our spirit return to my father's realm. Human spirits have a realm of their own. My brother is one who walks both worlds, the living and the dead, and he's helped me in my search to find the realm of the dragon spirits. With Talfryn's tooth, my brother's knowledge and my magic, I will be able to call him back to this realm, to his bodily form."


"I'm going to the office," Geoffrey says, turning off his computer and rolling his chair away from the desk.

"Has something happened?" Peridot asks.

"I'll be back in a few hours," is all the response he gives her.

"Geoffrey, please," Peridot begs as he continues out the door without speaking another word to her.

Shut out. After her botched attempt to capture the Brannons for him in Aurora Skies, he completely shut her out, replaced her with a new assistant, forced her into retirement.

He also told her he still loved her, and would always have a place for her, but his words rang hollow. The only place he had any use for her anymore was in his bed. Because of her failure, she lost his trust, so he tells her nothing about his work. But more than that, he's closed himself off from her emotionally, barely speaking to her about even the most inconsequential things. 

She was created for one purpose, and she failed. And now she serves no purpose at all.

Geoffrey finds her body, bruised and battered against the rocks on the shore of his private beach. Her death is on him; he created her and he destroyed her, though that hadn't been his intention. He wields the power of god, and sometimes forgets that he truly is only human. A god wouldn't mourn the death of his creation.

"Have you come to gloat at my misfortune?" he asks, not needing to turn his head to identify the intruder. He hasn't seen her since she laid her curse on him, but he can still feel the strangling tendrils of her wrath.

"It was just my luck to come upon you as you're discovering the corpse of a dead lover," the fairy answers, her voice gloating despite her denial, "True Love still eludes you?"

"What would you know about love, true or otherwise?" Geoffrey snaps, uncharacteristically bitter.

"I know that it sacrifices all in its name. While you seem to have a knack for sacrificing those who love you on your altar of solitude."

"What do you want?" Geoffrey demands, refusing to play her game, respond to her taunts.

"I want to know why you let Rory Bowman take what you refused to give me all those years ago," the fairy answers.

Geoffrey is stunned into silence by the revelation, for just a brief moment, before he can respond, "You wanted a dragon's tooth?" he asks when he's finally able to speak. "You weren't so specific about what you wanted when you demanded that I open MorcuCorp's vaults to you. Not that it would have made any difference. My father was in control of all that, I didn't have the access you were looking for, and even if I had, you were just some woman I'd slept with. I didn't know you were fae until you started hurling curses at me. I didn't know that such things as fairies existed until you enlightened me. But even if I had known what you were, or what you could do to me, I wouldn't have opened the vaults for you."

"And what has changed that you would open your vaults for Bowman?"

"What changed is that my father is long dead and I no longer crave his approval; I live and do as I please. What Rory wanted was his by rights, and of no use to either myself or MorcuCorp." Any other motives Geoff may have had for his generosity are none of the fairy's business. "So, now that the relic you wanted is back where it belongs, will you end this curse?"

"You know it doesn't work that way. There is only way to break the curse. You must find true love, or suffer your lonely existence forever. Tell me, are you so eager to lose your immortality? Has your solitude become so unbearable so soon?" she asks, the gloating unmistakable.

Geoff's glance moves from Peridot's still body to the vast expanse of the ocean, seemingly unending, but he knows another shore lies unseen beyond the horizon. It doesn't go on forever. 

He doesn't give the fairy the satisfaction of a response. "I hope you live for a long time yet," she says, getting in the final words before disappearing in a glimmer of fiery red sparkles, "And I hope that each year brings you greater suffering, dragonslayer."

Dragonslayer? he thinks as he rises, pulling his phone from his pocket. There hasn't been a Landgraab in generations who'd earned the right to such an epithet. Of all the crimes for which he could be held to account, all the wrongs he'd committed against her kind as well as his own, the fairy had ultimately chosen to punish him for the actions of his long dead ancestors. Typical fairy.

"I need a clean up team here ASAP," he says into his phone when his new assistant picks up,not bothering with any unnecessary explanations.


Extra special thanks to Ali for this chapter. When I originally came up with the plan to have Rory steal back Talfryn's tooth for Evie, I had in mind that they had some kind of romantic involvement that had ended badly (I had hinted at that in previous chapters) and I was going to use this mission as his way of reuniting with her, and giving her some kind of closure for the death of Talfryn. But I couldn't get past the feeling that any interest Evie had in Rory was due to his resemblance to Talfryn, and they weren't clicking for me as a couple, so I kind of let that subplot go and left the fate of the tooth out there.
Then Ali asked me if it would be okay for to have Evie resurrect Talfryn in her legacy (The Clemetis Legacy) where they are both side characters. Her idea solved my own problem of what to do with the tooth, so I asked if I could use it in my story as well.

Next chapter, Generation 4 officially begins.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chapter 57: Memories of a Dead Man

For days after Elliot's funeral, Farrell and Delaney go to visit his grave every morning.

"Laney, I know you feel bad about your relationship with your father, and that you wish you had more time with him after you reconciled," Farrell says, "I wish I had spent more time him as well. We were always so close growing up, and he was always there for me when I needed him. But after he married Claire, we just didn't have the time for each other, and a distance grew between us. But we were still brothers, and we always knew we could count on each other."

"I was so angry at him," Delaney sobs, "We didn't just grow apart, I didn't want anything to do with him."

"You had every right to be angry, you know," Farrell answers, "He did what he did out of love, but it doesn't make it right. The important thing is, you did reconcile before it was too late. Take comfort knowing that you did get to tell him you loved him one more time. You can't change the past, but the future is in your hands."

Despite her grief, Delaney finds a smile for her uncle. "You've always been there for me, uncle Farrell. I just want you to know how much I appreciate that."

Fergus took his uncle Max's advice and let the memories he absorbed from his medieval great-grandfather's journal into his consciousness. It helped some to face those emotions, those experiences, head on, but there were so many holes, so many gaps that left Fergus wanting to know more about Reinier Landgraab, and who he really was.

"I want to go on a spirit journey," he tells his father, hoping that direct contact with the spirit world could fill in the blanks.

All of his sons have inherited his gift for magic just as they've inherited the Hawksquill curse, but, like his sister, none of them have truly invested the time to develop it, instead treating it as a personal quirk. Part of Shadow is pleased and proud that one of them has finally asked for his help, but the fact that it's Fergus troubles him. 

"Becoming a shaman is a pretty big decision," Shadow says, "There's a lot of preparation involved..."

"I don't want to be a shaman, Dad," Fergus clarifies, "I just want to take a spirit journey. Just once. To see it."

"The spirit realm isn't a tourist resort," Shadow says, his slight frown about as stern as he ever gets, "When you ask to take this journey, you're asking for an experience that will change who you are, what you are, forever. You'll never live in just this world again, and you'll always be exposed to the other, and vulnerable to its influence." You're especially vulnerable, Shadow thinks but doesn't say, and wonders if that vulnerability would make Fergus an even greater shaman than he has been. Shadow knows his own feet are planted too firmly in this world to truly live between the realms the way a shaman should, but Fergus, born on the autumnal equinox, when the veil between realms is at its thinnest...his son could be what he is not. And that could be a curse as much as a blessing.

Fergus looks at the ground thoughtfully. All he wants is some answers he can only get from a long dead ancestor, not a life changing experience. "I guess I didn't know what I was asking for," he mumbles.

"That's all right, son," Shadow says, "Never feel bad about asking,. If you do decide this is the path you want to walk, I will help you. But it's not a decision you can make lightly."

That evening, Shadow tells Iola about his conversation Fergus.

"Maybe I should have been more supportive," he says, "I might have put him off something he truly wanted to do, just because of my fears for him."

"Do you remember your first spirit journey?" Iola asks him.

"Of course I do," Shadow says with a fond smile, "You were with me."

"You didn't ask anyone for help. You avoided telling your mother what you were planning, and you know that nothing would have put you off your path. I think if being a shaman was something Fergus truly wanted, he wouldn't be dissuaded so easily."

"You think he'll go off and do this on his own?"

"No, I think he was telling you the truth. He doesn't truly want to be a shaman."

"I still can't believe Dad's gone," Delaney sobs in her sisters arms, "I miss you so much, Cass. Our room seems so empty at night with just me there."

"Well, uh, sure," Cassidy says, long past the point where she thinks of her childhood bedroom as 'hers' anymore, "But we're grown up now. We have lives, children. It can't be like it was when we were kids."

"Kyle told me he ran into our mother," Cassidy continues, changing the subject, "He was playing a game in Storybrook County, and Mom insisted on seeing him, actually."

"Wow. I barely remember her," Delaney says, "What did she want?"

Cassidy rolls her eyes, "Kyle says she pretty much took credit for his success, doing the whole 'proud mother' thing. He said he couldn't get away from her fast enough, he was so creeped out. She remarried, you know. Some sports star. Jesse knows who he is, but I can't keep the jock stuff straight."

"So I'm guessing she didn't ask about us," Delney laughs.

"Kyle didn't say, so yeah, she probably didn't spare us a thought."

"How much longer?" Dlaney asks, rubbing her twin's expanding tummy. 

"Any day now," Cassidy sighs, "Aurora says it's another girl. I was hoping for a boy this time. Jesse of course says he's thrilled either way, but I think he secretly wants a son."

Farrell was having a one-sided argument with a guy on the History channel who persisted in claiming that aliens built the pyramids despite having no evidence to prove his theory when he suddenly felt himself lifted off his chair.

Death is a fascinating process, matter becoming immaterial, the body losing substance, becoming a shadow. It's too bad there isn't time to study this event more thoroughly.

Aouregan is just devastated to lose the love of her life.

For days after Farrell's death, Aouregan retreats into her greenhouse, keeping her mourning away from her family.

When the leaves begin to turn and fall from the trees, Delaney decides it's time to her daughter of their heritage.

"Dragons?" Jillyan asks, "You mean, like, actual dragons?"

"I know," Delaney says with a sigh and a wry smile, "I still have a hard time just accepting that. That's why I haven't told you about it before. But, I thought you should know."

"So, what does it mean? Do we get powers, like Uncle Shadow?"

"No, that comes from his mother. From the Brannon side of the family, we just get the dragon thing. There are abilities with that, I've seen Rory do some stuff, like teleportation. But he told me that only a very few people with dragon ancestry will manifest as true dragons, and even then it takes a long time to develop any powers that go with it."

"And that's why we went to China?" Jilly surmises, "So you could develop your powers?"

"Well, sort of. I have a long way to go just sorting myself out, I'm not really ready for anything more than that. But you're not like me, Jilly," Laney says, "I don't know if you're what Rory calls a true dragon, but I do know you're smart, and much more mature than I'll probably ever be. I know you want to go to university, and leave Drake's Hollow. I think that will be good for you."

Jilly and Fergus spend their Saturday at the coffeehouse.

"What are you going to do?" Jilly asks her cousin.

"Drink this coffee. Then I thought we could get in a game of pool?"

"Right," Jilly laughs, "I mean, with your life? Graduation isn't that far away."

Fergus takes a deep drink of coffee. He's spent so much of his time sorting through the memories of a dead man, he hasn't had time to consider his own future. "It's not so close that I have to decide today," he says when his cup is empty, "Do you want to play, or what?"

"I'm leaving this town," Jilly announces as Fergus lines up his shot, "I'm going to university."

"Yeah? And then what?"

Jilly shrugs, "I'll figure that out while I'm in uni," she says, "The important thing is, I'm going somewhere. You should think about it."

"About where you're going?" Fergus smiles at her as his ball falls into the pocket.

"No, silly. About where you're going."

"I wasn't planning on going anywhere."

"Maybe that's what you should think about."

"Jilly," Fergus sighs her name, then turns away from her, "I've just got a lot going on."

"What? C'mon, Fergus, talk to me."

Fergus leads her to a couch where they can talk. He'd already told her about the Hawksquill curse, though he wasn't supposed to talk about it outside the immediate family. But Jilly was like a sister to him, and it didn't seem right keeping that secret from her. He was always more comfortable talking to her than even to his brothers. "I've picked up some strong memories," Fergus begins, telling her about the ancient journal his parents brought home, and the memories of his great-grandfather that came with it, how he's tried to process them so he can put them to rest. "But, it's like he can't rest," he sighs in conclusion, "I go over and over these horrible moments, his anguish, his despair, and it just won't go away. It's especially hard because I see it all from his perspective. He did some really horrible things, Jilly, and I have to feel both his side of it and my own revulsion for him at the same time."

"Things were different then, right?" Jillyan says, "It was a more violent time."

"Primarily because of people like him," Fergus answers.

"I can't even begin to understand how hard it is on you, to see all that shit, live it, even," Jilly says, "But you can't change it. Whatever he was, he's dead and in the past. Your life is now, and you need to live it."

It's not that easy, Fergus thinks, but there is some truth in her words. He'll have to deal with these memories no matter what he does. Letting them take over his life would be the worst thing he could do. Following Jillyan into the world, going to university, experiencing new things, could what he needs to break this hold Reinier Landgraab's ghost has on him. If not, at least he's in no worse a position than he was before.

With that decision made, Fergus and Jillyan begin researching campuses.

"Evansdale University has a great art program," Jilly says. 

"Doesn't that seem a little weird?" Fergus muses, "Evansdale, it's so similar to Avendale."

"Where's Avendale?" Jilly asks, not getting what he's referring to.

"It's my grandmother's family name, and the village she was from," Fergus answers, "It's probably just a coincidence."

"I'm sorry I wasn't here for you when your Dad passed," Jack apologizes again.

"It's okay, you would have been here if you could," Delaney assures him again.

"My contract is up," Jack tells her, "They're asking me to sign on for another tour."

"Jack, I know how much it means to you, to be out there, doing what you need to do, and I know how selfish this is of me to ask, but, I want you to turn them down, and stay here with me."

"Baby, it's not selfish to ask that," Jack answer, pulling her down into his arms, "It's what I want, too."

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Jack asks.

"Of course it is," Delaney answers with a mile, "It's Spooky Day. We have to have a costume party."

Jesse and Cassidy arrive early. There second child was another girl, just as Aurora promised.

Aurora and Jaybird's son Dexter is a teen now.

Max;s wife Judith is expecting their first child. Any minute now.

Cassidy's oldest daughter, Laurie, looks jut like her.

After all the guests have arrived, Jack and Delaney get on to the real purpose of this party, their wedding.

"We could think about having another baby," Jack suggests.

"Seriously? At our age?"

"Why not? Jesse and Cass just had one. And your father was older than we are when Danica and Corinne were born."

"Or we could buy a boat and go adventuring," Delaney counters.

"The pirate thing is just a costume," Jack laughs.

"Oh, c'mon. It would be fun. Captain Jack. You know you love it."

After the wedding is over and everyone has gone to bed, the rocking chair shimmers as it sways, back and forth.


Okay, so this is the end of Gen 3. I've got another chapter coming soon that will wrap up a few things with Rory and the dragon tooth, and Geoffrey and Peridot. Then I can finally get Gen 4 started.
This chapter turned out a little jumpy and all over the place, because I really just wanted to push everything forward. I was already finding the 10 Sim household difficult enough to put me off playing a lot, and then after IP, this town started giving me problems. So, I decided to just buckle down and get to a point where the teens all made honor roll so I could pick traits on age up.
I am going to be kind of cheaty and age Fergus and Jillyan up early so I can move them out to a new town to start Gen 4. While this town is playable, I'm getting constant errors on pretty much everyone in town and it's annoying, and distracting. So it's time to move on.

A couple of final outtakes:

Farrll pretty much refused to materialize. That didn't stop Jack from coming down to have a conversation with him.

Or stop Farrell from responding.