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The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

The realms where magic is the most prevalent. These are the realms of traditional fantasy but includes any setting where magic is the primary focus. Examples: LotR, Harry Potter, Dresden Files.

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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:20 am

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The Daughter of the Sorrows
Aurlulent Quay
The Tropics


Rarely was it that the Daughter didn’t rise before the sun, and this warm morning was no exception. Sleep wasn’t a term any would use for the rigid posture she unfolded herself from. Meditation, perhaps, but nothing quite so restful-sounding. In her absence from the waking world, her hands would grasp at nothing, her back arch, her mouth open and close as she muttered dark things. Even occasionally, a muscle or bone would make a gruesome popping sound as she lashed out in her dream state.

Slipping from her broken reverie, she found her way in darkness to the stove where she lit a fire. She did nothing physically, the flame just leaping to life as she fed fuel into the furnace. Her dark hands reached up to the shelf above, taking down a small cauldron. She set it on the stovetop, fingers working over it as water bubbled up from the cast iron in a most unnatural manner.

Hanging from the shelf from whence she collected the cauldron was a bag of crushed leaves. She sprinkled them sparingly into the water, taking a long-handled wooden spoon from a hook beneath the shelf. Idly, she stirred as she thought on her dreams.

The Daughter raised her head at the faint sound.

She uttered a curse, plunging the tiny room into darkness. From beside the slab of wood and stone that was her bed, she collected her horned mask and set it over her eyes to leave only the lower half of her face exposed.

Her home was her world. Oh yes, she set out often at night, but this shack was hers inside and out. She knew it like a lover, not an inch unexplored. She knew the scents of the hanging herbs, the bundled roots tied to the low rafters, easily navigating in the dark beneath them.

And so she swept to the door, her fingers tightening about the knotted wooden staff that leaned on the wall. Setting an eye to the crack above the latch, she peered out. It was too early for even the shadiest of individuals seeking her services. So it should have been no surprise to find an all-too-familiar figure blocking the light of the shoddy streetlamps.

She swung open the door, letting an identical figure to herself in. But this figure carried a bundle in its arms, easily the size of a generous sack of potatoes. It set the bundle down on the Daughter’s bed as she shut the door.

“What is this?” she demanded of the figure.

It turned, smiling her smile back at her before simply melting into another shape – that of a red-headed young woman, dressed well in a beautiful yet practical green frock. Her hair was long and wild, untamed even by the bow holding it behind her head.

“Your charge,” the shifter purred with the girl’s voice.

It threw off the bundle’s covering, a black blanket, to reveal the sleeping form of a child with the same unruly red hair. The Daughter could sense the curse of sleep on him, the hunger in his belly, and she didn’t need any magical affinity to see the cracks in his dry lips.

“He’s finally using me, is he?” the Daughter sighed. “For this? To babysit a child?”

“To raise a child. Like he did you.”

The Daughter stared levelly at the shifter for a long moment. She couldn’t deny Him. No matter how hard she tried, what forces of magic she came to bear, she couldn’t say no. She couldn’t leave. Couldn’t refuse.

“Father hasn’t deigned to make contact in over twenty years. What is this foolishness?”

“It’s time,” was all the shifter said. And then it let itself out, shutting the door firmly behind it with a girlish giggle.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Shakey Jake » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:10 am

House Sabre, Platinum Gardens, Everglow City.

"Shoes impede my connection to the Earth." Lady Attia swirled her hands around in the air. Plucking her pipe up from the table Attia glanced at a servant who hurriedly came to light it. Deep rasping coughs came from her upon the first puff, by the fifth puff she was done spluttering.
"Sir Druun indeed..." Attia rolled her eyes and wiggled her little finger at Talia "...Do you think so badly of me that you think I would simply sit there and let them slash your throat? How unkind you are." grinning Attia pointed at Kavi "With a word from me my Emerald would rip off your enemies heads. Old names mean nothing here. I know I'd never be able to stop it but sit back silently? Never."
Drunk and chatty Attia waved her hand dismissively when Talia spoke of the senate "I do not care for it. When I remarry I shall refuse to be a part of it. I'd like to unpick this house from it. I will unpick this house from it. It squeaks like an old wheel...."
The rather jovial atmosphere evaporated the moment Talia mentioned Roth, it was as if Attia had turned from a feather to a blade "Roth is the rarest of creatures. A good person. An actual good person..." she leaned in closely to Talia, close enough to kiss "...not like us." Picking up the bottle of Ash brandy Attia swigged at it, she was far beyond being able to feel the burn of it "You're probably thinking that Roth can't possibly be all that good if he's involved with me. Well...I keep him out of my shadows...shhh" Attia giggled and put her left index finger to her lips "Anyone fucks with him and they fuck with me. Do you know what happens to people who fuck with me?....." With a laugh Lady Attia shook her head at Talia, Attia's words were not merely big talk it was a fact that people in her way died, but she stopped short of exposing her crimes to Talia "...so serious you are. I jest. I'm a pacifist don't you know? Ooooooooh! I almost forgot! Rivka has your nephew on board does she not? Not ideal. Not ideal at all. They shouldn't have carted her off so quickly. Poor girl didn't even get a chance to enjoy her widowhood...when my husband passed...ooooh...I partied so hard....still am!"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:39 am

Kavi, House Sabre

"It is for Rivka's safety that she be taken far out of the Bloodhawk's reaches my Lady" Kavi interjected, politely but firmly after her lady had stopped "Garin Dul-Sansiska has let it slip that Drake the Lizard is to be married into the Accord, such a union between the Accord and the Alliance means that Caybourne is quite possibly the safest place in all of Aradia for her to stay." she shifted her body weight steadily and grabbed a heap of leaves from a gold dish, stuffing them in her lower lip. Her knuckles seemed quite a bit more bruised than normal. "It is good to know that there are two figures who caused such great misery, to be death and gone forever from this world. May the Void devour their souls" she sighed and cracked her neck from side to side and nodded to herself "However this is just the beginning to something far more interesting" she began to chuckle mildly "It will be a bloodbath soon enough, and I can't wait" a flash of her race's penchants for fighting and the thrill of the battle.

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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:06 pm

The Void, Divan

"Quite so, and I think that time works at a dilated pace, but due to how elves work at the best fo time sits a toss up. We're strange creatures, not like Aradia's other creations we're attuned to certain things. Magic, nature" he gestured at her knowingly due to the scene of her escape from the Void "And demons" he gestured to himself "Creatures made for a purpose, advancing magic, protecting nature, and fighting monsters......"he took her hand gently and they floated from the island down into the murkier depths "The Vrow are made for no such purpose but are yet fulfilled, it is quite strange how my closest racial relatives are so different from myself" they seemed to become swallowed and they were flat on another expanse of earth and rubble and wood. This one felt denser int he air- but now with Divan's ominous aura nothing dared to come near them.

It was an odd aura yet unseen, only burning brightly due to their short window of time in the void, his body was siphoning power from the area around them as he did with entities of the Void. Passively certainly but it was undeniable his form was unsustainable without a connection to this place and as they went he would grow in strength. But that still cast a shadow on what he could be capable of if he was turned whole once more, he released her hand and breathed in deeply trying to sense his kind, but felt frustrated looking around and only feeling the energies abound.

"It is no use, my sense of familial energies is so deadened I cannot feel her, perhaps you can detect her- an anomaly of sorts in the flow of the Void. Your magic is more intuitively based and spiritual in nature while mine is highly refined and overtly problematic when it suffers failure- if you cannot then we must find another way....the Void is endless and thus to search blindly will reach no end but to tire us for Kraai to strike out for what she believes belongs to her. My power in the Void is growing so for the time being....I should be able to protect you if she comes round again, but knowing my make up soon enough that same strength will become a burden in its own right and Molak will wish to seize control or the other tormented ones I hold within me" it was cryptic but it was clear he meant they were on a timetable to be sure "Our only other recourse I can imagine is for us to venture even deeper to the core of the Void and to find the Shadow Dancers....but I do not think I am ready to come face to face with the people who stole my existence for untold knowledge- not until I know my kin is safe"

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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:10 am

A few days ago…
Lord Darcy Piers
Piers Estate
Golden Mile, Everglow City


He’d heard about the man seeking an audience with him. But Lord Piers had made it more than clear (via servants, of course) that if he didn’t have business with him he would not be seen. The stranger then sent messages that it was an important family matter. But Lord Piers acknowledged no family – no one had made contact with him in over twenty years, after all.

So that morning when he found the white-haired gentleman sitting in his poorly-lit study, his hand was quick to the hilt of his rapier. The man crossed the room in a bound, his own golden-gilded dagger pressing to Lord Darcy’s throat in a swift motion. The stranger put a finger out for silence.

In a quiet tone, the stranger began to speak.

“You are a very hard man to get an audience with,” he rebuked with an accusatory glare.

“Pray tell,” Darcy replied in a normal conversational voice, “you are the family member who seeks me?”

The man flipped the dagger about in his hand, sliding it into a sheathe on his hip. There was a matching dagger and sheathe on the other hip. “Darius Black, son of Elsik Piers and Jacinta Heartstone.”

Black?” Darcy paused, frowned, then moved to his desk to begin pouring two glasses of Ash Brandy. “An alias for your life as the so-called ghost of the Sorrows?”

He turned to the younger man, eyeing the white hair. He should have known. His brother’s talent for drama, his penchant for the theatrical, were evident in the stranger all-too-clearly. The impressive body, the elven good looks, the cocksure stance, hubristic clothing style, the scimitars across the back… And the same smouldering stare that would have any woman’s panties about her ankles.

He already hated him.

“My nephew is a fictional pirate,” Darcy laughed, the sound ringing out against the marbled floors. “How quaint. I personally would have gone with Heartstone… bastard child, after all, and a rather fitting name for a pirate. But I remember you at your parents’ wedding. Perhaps you could have brought some meaning back to the name Piers.”

“I had nothing to contribute to the Heartstone name,” Darius replied coolly. “Nor Piers. But perhaps you do.”

Lord Darcy handed his nephew one of the two glasses filled with Ash Brandy. Darius accepted it, but did not drink. Darcy saw the glint in his eye and smirked as he downed his own glass. Suspicious bastard.

“I’m listening. I presume something has happened to my brother?”

There was a pause, an awkward one, confirming what Darcy had already suspected. He chuckled. “He’s been dead a long time, hasn’t he?”

“About ten years after the wedding,” Darius confirmed quietly. “Along with my mother and sister, Angelique. It was an illness, took a few more members of my mother’s side also.”

“Hm,” Darcy said, placing the glass down on the desk. “Never heard of Angelique. Lyron has reached my attention once or twice. I saw him compete in the tournament a few months back, and also saw him attending the Senate with young Lady Ludlow.”

“Angelique was his twin. There’s another sister, our youngest sibling at fourteen, Serenity. She is to be wed to General Drake under Xankresh Avani’s blessing.”

That caught his attention. Darcy stared at the young man, the gears clicking in his head. “That serves to connect our houses in a very strong alliance. Yet… you sound frustrated by this betrothal.”

“She is only fourteen. This General has at least several centuries on her and won’t have aged a day by the time she reaches her seventies.”

“An age dilemma?” Darcy chuckled as he sat down behind his desk. “Why do you come to me with this? Wouldn’t it be you who would have agreed to this partnership as the head of the house?”

“It was Mancel Ludlow. I gave up my position when my parents died and I left Caybourne. Now I have no authority to override his decision.”

The pirate seemed almost reluctant to go on. But after a moment of hesitation, he did. “You would still have that power. As would Lyron, but he refuses to see my point. You are the highest-ranking member of the Piers family.”

To be honest, Lord Darcy Piers hadn’t expected that at all. Mancel Ludlow was a non-traditional sort. He would have thought the Lord Admiral to keep Darius’ position in the family sacred to the firstborn of Elsik Piers, not to demote him to some lesser family member for having left – even for a life of crime. So to discover he was indeed the highest Pier… that was surprising. And intriguing.

“You wish me to begin a dispute with Xankresh Avani.”

“Yes. Or with General Drake. We leave for Sylvie Isle this afternoon – Lady Claire Ludlow, Lyron, and myself. Would you join us?”

He thought about that a long moment, then gave a shake of his head. “I will make my own way to Caybourne. I must do some research first, see if this is worth my time and effort to take on such powerful men all in the name of a young girl. You understand, surely.”

Darius’ eyes flashed. “She is your blood.”

“And my blood would be joined with the powerful drow. What influence we would have, my young nephew. I don’t know why you would dispute this. A girl’s temporary discomfort would elevate our name far from the status of ‘minor nobility’. Surely you understand the benefit in this alliance. We would become something greater.”

“Judging by how difficult it is to find you, I’m surprised that’s even the direction you want to be going. You seem to be very intent on keeping a low profile.”

“Until the time is right,” Piers agreed. “And this might be the right time. I will let myself be known to this Drake, and Xankresh Avani, but it will be some time before I announce my intentions with this betrothal.”

He drew open a drawer in his desk, retrieving parchment, wax and seal. He readied his quill, dipping it in the pot of ink at his elbow before pausing to look at his nephew.

“I trust that was all?”

“I’ll let myself out.”

Darius crossed the room to the windows behind Lord Darcy Piers. He swept aside a thick swatch of blue curtain and climbed swiftly out the shattered window. Piers looked at the glass littering the floor as the curtain fell back into place. He sighed and shook his head.

Melodramatic, just like his father.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:04 pm

Characters & Info
The Provenire
Sylvie Isle
Caybourne


The sun had risen in the sky by the time Sylvie Isle came into view. Rasheba stood at the prow of the ship, her arms folded over her chest as she stared resolutely at the cloud-wreathed island. There was comfort in coming home, but not to this. Never to this.

They drifted along beneath the cliffs of the high island, the spires and roofs of the town of Lawaoe the only visible structures above them. Walls of dark grey rock sped past as the ship sailed beneath the first bridge.

No one knew who had constructed the bridges. Only that they had been there years before Keyair Heartstone first found this island, designed by ancient architects who preferred space, wider roads and larger steps than most humanoids were accustomed to.

Just beyond the first bridge the ship swerved into a small port built out the back of the town, in what could only be called a partial cave carved from the rock by millennia of erosion. A few tiny fishing vessels bobbed on the waves the Provenire created as she slid into a berth.

Rasheba asked the Vennets to wait below-decks until she sent Carndas for them. Just to be certain of the situation before possibly endangering them.

The port was quiet, with only guardsmen wearing colors of the Ludlow Accord there to greet them. A young man, shorter than most of the human and high feline guards, stepped out to meet Rasheba as she took point on the boarding ramp.

Rasheba met Casim with an embrace, holding him close.

He had grown in the short time she had been gone. Had he not stepped out she might not have recognized him, to be honest. On his smooth face, some ginger stubble had sprouted. There was something harder in his face. Something resolute. But it also wasn’t common for him to be seen in his armor. The boy had skill with a blade but Rasheba had never seen him wear armor where some fancy clothes might serve the same formal purpose.

They didn’t say anything a long minute, then Casim pulled back from his aunt’s hug. There was much she could have said in that moment, but one glance in his eyes and she found herself mute. This wasn’t Casim in any sense she knew him. Her hand lingered at her waist, hesitating at the hilt of her sword.

“I hate to ask this of you,” she murmured.

Casim gave a short shake of his head. One of the guards stepped forward, removing his helm – it was Elmer. Rasheba found herself equally startled to find him in armour. Elmer knew magics, his usual clothing was enchanted, he didn’t need armour.

“I can vouch for him,” Elmer said. “Both myself and Moxus thoroughly ensured he is indeed himself. He hasn’t been out of my sight since our questioning. Everyone has a partner to vouch for them.”

“Then what of the Shifter?” she asked, letting her hand fall from her sword. “Any news of it or Eason? Any demands?”

“Moxus got a report of… Jenny being sighted,” Casim said. “With Eason, shortly after the attacks.”

She felt her jaw crack as she set it. “And?”

“She paid a vast amount of coin to an arcaneologist in Maria Vale,” Elmer said. “We spoke to him and he said that he had teleported them to mainland Aradia. He doubted that was their final destination as the shifter had much more gold to spare.”

“He’s been sworn to secrecy on what he saw,” Casim added quietly. “Eason was unharmed, and seemed comfortable enough. The shifter obviously wanted to keep him calm by using Jenny’s image.”

“We should not keep the Vennets waiting,” Elmer said, putting his helm back on and concealing his identity. He stepped back into line with the other guardsmen. “It’s about time we meet our new lady.”


Casim Ludlow
Sylvie Isle
Caybourne


He watched as Rasheba walked back up the boarding ramp to fetch the Vennets from below-deck. His tongue touched nervously to his lips to moisten them. But he stood straight, his armour silver and emerald-threaded gleaming in the torchlight of the docks.

As terrible as the situation was, he did want to give his betrothed a strong first impression. In fact, he couldn’t think of anything more important than making sure Rivka knew she was safe.

That he would keep her safe.

He ran a hand through his unruly red hair. He had combed it so many times on the carriage trip down the winding path of the bridges and through Lawaoe, yet it still clung to its curly form. And he hadn’t noticed the ginger stubble until it was too late… at least it wasn’t patchy this time. At least he resembled a grown man in some way, not the usual scrawny kid he saw looking back from the glass…

But what of when the armour came off? When he was left alone with her to consummate their marriage? Of course she would just have to accept him for what he was, but… Will I be enough for her? Will I live up to whatever memory she has of Jaster Blackthorne? Of course not.

He and Jaster weren’t too far apart in age, but the man had experience. He’d lived on the mainland, carried the weight of a legacy… there was no question at all about whether or not Rivka’s former husband was a virgin. The guy likely had conquests all over…

What would she think of his body? Would it matter to her that he didn’t have sculpted abs? That he was lucky to even have a flat stomach? What about his chicken legs?

“You’re ripping your lip, my lord.”

He snapped his teeth together, glancing to Elmer at his side. He took a breath, looking back to the Provenire’s ramp.

Had he even spared a moment to think about her? He had wondered at her personality, whether they would be compatible. But he hadn’t found the time to even fantasize about what he might like her to be.

There was the idealistic side, the one that wished theirs would be a relationship like his parents’… like his parents’ had been. But her actual image, what her body would be like, what touching her would feel like… the thought honestly overwhelmed him. And he couldn’t find it in himself to conjure a true fantasy.

So he waited.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:31 am

Sylvie Isle
Caybourn Rivka


Rivka had dried her eyes by the time they arrived. But the excitement was gone, even the dread had dulled. She felt almost empty as she took her father’s arm as he led her up on deck.

And there he was. She recognized him from the drawing. He was wearing armor, she shouldn’t have been surprise but it only confirmed what she feared. She couldn’t help but study him her heart racing. Somehow seeing her future husband wearing his armor made her mind drift back to Jaster at the tournament. But this boy looked nothing like Jaster. He was much smaller and younger looking, he didn’t look like the ty[e who would win a tournament with his small arms and anything but arrogant stance. She couldn’t help but think he didn’t look like he belonged in armor.

What would she say to him? What could she say? She cast her eyes away as much as was polite as she was introduced.

“My Lord,” she said quietly, “It’s a pleasure to meet you….I’m so sorry…for your loss.”

She had lost a mother once, she knew words could do little to help the pain.

Freyr looked around for Lord Ludlow, but given the circumstances he understood why his host hadn’t come to meet them.

He looked at Casim, compassion in his eyes.

“If there is any way we can be of any service please let us know.” He told him sincerely. His questions could wait. “I can’t imagine your grief. Thank you for receiving us but please don’t let us be a burden to you.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:16 pm

Characters & Info
Metheryl Arcaena
The Void


This part of the Void was so utterly different from what she remembered. How could it be that this place felt more natural than the place she was trapped? There were planes, realms, even within the Void. How many levels of this hellscape were there really? Endless amounts?

She gently held Divankul’s hand until they alighted on the next expanse of the Void. She inhaled, the stale air hitting her lungs in a dry cough. She watched him as he stepped away, his energy swirling as it searched far and wide.

In the Void, magic felt so much more amplified. It was like someone yelling instead of the mere whisper that swished about on Aradia’s skin. Like the deafening roar of a heartbeat heard from within the heart itself.

A light smile tugged at her with the mention of ‘familial energies’. How did he know?

“I doubt Kraai will openly attack us,” Metheryl said. “I can feel her in my mind. Just as a constant eye, one I can mostly blind. But she is watching, and she does not have intentions towards us… not yet. She’s preoccupied by something else more pressing than our presence.”

She pulled her long white hair back from her face, summoning a tie so that she could bind it behind her head. She sank to the ground in a cross-legged position, closing her eyes as she soothed away most of the background noise in her mind, muted Kraai, smothered her in some dark crevice for later.

“I know not of these Shadow Dancers nor what they did to you. You will have to tell me your story one day, Divankul.”

She let her mind melt into the Void. For a dizzying moment, she lost all concept of self – the sudden return of an entire lifetime slamming back into her with a force crushing enough to squeeze the air from her metaphorical lungs.

Her mind felt Divankul, searched him with the same delicate touch an animal might use with the pressing of their nose to his offered hand. She felt parts of him distant, parts that tied back to Aradia’s skin, others that dug far deeper into the depths of the Void… but only a few dainty threads led that way.

And then she began her own search. This one was slower, more emotional than the one Divankul had done. There was truth in what he had said several times now, that his magic was a more practiced, clinical type while hers was one of the spirit. There was hardly anything academic to her methods. She followed no map or instruction. Her search was one of wild feeling, groping, sensing.

And then she found the flicker of familiarity. But not only to Divankul, to herself. Not one of blood, but one of venom. The taint of a Spider Queen so far below that of their own territory was suspicious and she focused on that.

She found the shadowed soul that burned that same hatred through its veins, detested the Queens, killed them. Who saw those same boughs above her head, the same hairy legs, the webbing, the silk, silk.

Silkstrider.


She held to the distant thread, tugging as delicately as she could to let that tiny tremble on the string let this Silkstrider know she was there, that she was watching. She felt the flicker of surprise return before the string snapped.

Metheryl opened her eyes.

“I found her.”



Casim Ludlow
Sylvie Isle
Caybourne


He drowned out the titles as Rasheba made the instructions.

Rivka had a plain sort of beauty compared to most noble women Casim had met. There wasn’t that white, blue-blooded look to her, nor the strict aversion of the gaze. She openly studied him and he studied her back in the moment before they would speak.

He felt the dip in emotion when her gaze landed on his armor. Disappointment, sadness, anger… he didn’t know her well enough to distinguish the difference. But he felt ashamed hiding behind that steel somehow.

He noted how the green of her dress complemented the soft olive tone of her skin. She had an oaken look to her, like the faded pastel painting hanging in the dining hall back at the Ludlow Estate. But she wasn’t faded. She was vibrant, alive. Sad, broken maybe, but he saw it in the spark of her face. She wasn’t dead to the world yet, hadn’t given up yet.

But his armor wasn’t putting her at ease. She was expecting to die again here. He saw it in the tired dulling of her eyes.

Who could blame her?

And then, she apologized for his loss. He took a moment, gazing at her. Her voice was beautiful, her words music. Almost too quiet, but a gentle melody.

“I am sorry for your loss too, my lady.” He didn’t mean her mother. He held her eyes for a moment to make sure she knew that.

Then it was Lord Vennet’s turn. “Thank my lord. And in no way are you a burden to us. I apologize for the Lord Admiral not being here to greet you, but he isn’t in the best way to receive any company right now, familiar or not.”

He returned his attention to Lady Rivka. He glanced to his men, giving them a small wave off before taking a knee. Gently, he took her hands in his, holding them like porcelain figures. He waited until only Freyr, one of Rivka’s bodyguards and Rasheba were within earshot.

“I want to apologize,” he said softly.

“We live in an imperfect world where no one should have to go through the pain you have. I don’t know what it is like to join a family only to leave it again, to be wed or even to feel love in a sense that is not familial. I know I am inexperienced. And I want to tell you now I am sorry for when I will inevitably screw this up, not know how to empathize, or just be an oaf because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”

He could feel the burn on his face, the embarrassment from this show to not only a stranger, but her father, to his aunt. But he knew now there would not be a private moment to say this for a long time. Maybe not even until they were to consummate the marriage. And that was hardly the right time for this. Even now wasn’t the right time for this… but he could choose the lesser of two evils.

“I want to be the man you need, and deserve. I hope I can live up to Jaster’s promises to you, maybe even surpass them if that’s possible.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:02 am

Divan
The Void


"Ah wonderful" there seemed to be echoing screams of utter pain as the intensity of Divan's siphons increased tenfold, the energies warping around him began to mutate in their colors and he seemed to be actively eating away at the denizens of this place as nonchalantly as one would breathe the air. Clearly he held no appreciation for this existence, it was food to him and nothing more; a tool for his power underfoot- possibly it was a necessity as they spanned this place they would find creatures and entities that would dwarf their surface level powers and would require far greater feats of destruction.

Even the twisted wilderness seemed to cry out in spasms as it was tormentingly torn asunder and refined into pure and raw energy. An apex predatory omnivore in the basest of meanings. An entity that ate everything from the rocks and the trees to the animals and the spawn of the void. Nature at its cruelest mixed together with a tool of utter contempt of the Void. The Drow were a creation made to destroy this place wherever they went, it was only fitting Divan turned the idea on its head and devoured it. Though he showed not emotion towards it, at least it seemed as though he did not.

"Then we should get moving, and quickly, the deeper we go the stronger the powers of the void awaken inside myself and the deeper I become entrenched in this reality. I can feel the eyes of many upon us and I'd rather keep them wanting, but you'll have to lead the way." He shifted his right arm into living smoke which formed a dense cloud at the wild elf's bottom. Which lifted her lightly and easily, now with his consuming of the Void energies he was growing more powerful in his use.

"Once we get to her, I'll know where we shall go, and I will allow you to witness firsthand through my own eyes who I was and whom I became after my contract. I will keep nothing from you, but I also find this is something that is to be seen to be believed my dear" he of course spoke about his interactions with the Shadow Dancers, while she might've meant someday she'd be allowed to hear him wax on the subject he intended to simply let her pierce through and see the events unfold as he had been forced with her. In at least that way the two could be made equal. "I'll ensure to lock away my mind from Kraai's influences if she wishes to muse upon my years, but I'll leave the door open for your intrusion. Its quite the story, I assure you"

They lept form this place as well, and this time it screamed and groaned as Divan's strength broke it apart and refined it into more energy that he would quite dearly need as they went through.

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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:45 am

Sylvie Isle
Rivka wasn’t sure what to say or even what to think when Casim began to apologize for his future behavior. She wasn’t sure what it meant, was it just nerves and humility, was it an admission of incompetence or a confession that their union would be doomed? She didn’t know and so she didn’t know what to say. She wanted to comfort him but wasn’t sure how.

She wondered what he meant by screwing things up and being an unempathitic oaf. He seemed empathetic now, the way he expressed remorse for her at her loss of a husband she barely knew even while he suffered the grief of losing both his mother and sisters.

She liked the feel of his hands on hers. His hands were smaller then Jaster's and softer, not the callused roughness of a trained warrior. His grip was gentle and almost tentative, betraying the nervousness he felt. she wondered how they would feel on her body. But the thought suddenly made her feel traitorous, like to even think about another man was to cheat on her late husband. She almost pulled away at the shame she felt but didn’t for fear of only heightening Casim’s self-consciousness.

Then he spoke of Jaster and she felt the shame rise.

“Jaster never really made me many promises.” She replied awkwardly. A thought occurred to her as she said. She felt her cheeks start to flush as she realized maybe to Casim this was more then just a political match. Maybe he did want her for more then just the alliance between families. She had never considered herself a prize and the idea of being desired by a man made her heart flutter a little. It made her even more conscious of the way he held her hand.

“Maybe…I hope we can get to know each other better before the wedding.” She added with a small smile.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:24 am

_______________________________________________________________________
Lady Sabre
_______________________________________________________________________


Talia watched, perturbed, as Attia seemed to gloss over her warning as if it were nothing.

Does she already know? Has she been working with him all this time? There was another more disturbing prospect. Does it even bother her? There's the ideal political accomplice--one who can be shown the danger in their actions, but simply does not care.

"Indeed," she said evenly in response to her sister-in-law's proclaiming of her servant's capacity to rip off enemies' heads. She tried to picture the likely outcome of a confrontation between Kavi and the Bloodhawk, and was visited by the amusing image of her uncle holding the Orc back with one hand while it windmilled its arms at him frantically. "Perhaps...your maid had best stay by your side. For her own safety, as much as Lord Blackthorne's."

She leaned back ever-so-slightly when Attia pulled herself in close. Her sister-in-law no doubt considered herself to be irresistibly seductive--but it did not change the fact her breath stank of alcohol and pipesmoke. The older woman asked if she knew what happened to people who "fucked with" her.

"Oh, I can only imagine," Talia muttered, drawing a sudden correlation between that statement and Attia's stated reaction to her husband's death. It did not exactly surprise her. Gordon had told her, years ago, that once you've killed one man, killing your second came easily.

But then, inevitably, talk turned to Jaster's legacy. Once again, Talia had thought herself able for it, but the wounds were still fresh. And they still hurt.

"That is a rumor," she said quietly. "Nothing more. You speak of this with a sort of joviality. I thought you would show more concern for Rivka's welfare, that she was your friend. Do you know how we deal with illegitimate heirs in my family, Lady Attia? Do you know how we deal with their mothers?"

There came a tapping at the window. Blinking in surprise, Talia turned to see a familiar figure perched on the sill. Roland the gyrfalcon tapped the glass again, his manner impatient.

He must have taken that comment about his delivery speed more seriously than I thought. Talia shook her head with a smile, and looked to her sister-in-law. "Forgive me, Lady Attia, but there are matters to which I must attend..."

Lady Ludlow,

Thank you for being kind to Roland. He was reared by my brother, and has been lonely since his master's death. In addition to that, he is the only messenger I trust to pass information without fear of interception. I am not quite sure what you fed him, but he seems positively eager to get back to you, so I shall convey this quickly.

My ancestor, the Black Griffin, forbade the practice of witchcraft in the West and it has since become ostracized. But this alone is not evidence enough to absolve my uncle of blame. Lord Dominic keeps a servant for a spymaster, a creature called Mister Sixx, and nobody knows for sure what it is beneath its mask and cloak, save that it is a powerful sorcerer. My uncle is not above the use of magic to accomplish his goals, then, but even for him this seems unnecessarily cruel. Your mother and sister cannot have had any part in any perceptible conspiracy. The Bloodhawk will seek retribution for this matter, but truthfully I do not think these actions were his.

I am sorry I cannot provide you with the answers you seek. I know that they would bring you consolation in this time of grief. I hope, some day soon, that I will have the power to provide your investigation with further aid. But in my current position there is little I can do.

With my sincerest apologies,
Talia Blackthorne.

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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:32 am

Characters & Info
Carndas Rodin
The Docks
Sylvie Isle
Caybourne


“Maybe…I hope we can get to know each other better before the wedding.”

“I’d like that.”

He eyed the young red-head as he rose from his kneel, gently releasing Lady Rivka’s hands. The boy was just as nervous as her, maybe even moreso naïve. Though there was a hardness that looked new to the boy’s face, something that hadn’t fully settled in yet – the grief he was holding off, Carndas supposed.

Carndas didn’t remember much of his own mother. He didn’t remember grieving for her, or even his father’s mourning. The day after his mother passed, his father had just announced to him that they were leaving. He had filled Carndas’ mind with so much, kept him so busy with helping him attend to his merchant wagon throughout Aradia.

There had been no time to grieve, no time to even really understand what had actually happened.

The true grief was being old enough to understand what happened with Nimbe’s mother, his step-mother Wynmae. But a death to save her children from the Spider Queens seemed more noble, more fair than a mysterious assassination.

So even in knowing Casim’s grief, he knew he couldn’t understand how the boy felt.




Sylvie Isle differed from the tropical shoreline that those of the Provenire had seen of Caybourne. Although the occasional little nook or cranny boasted ferns or exotic plants or fruits, this place was mostly rock with tiny stretches of grass.

The carriage containing the Vennets, Rasheba and Casim trundled along between the company of Casim’s and Rivka’s guard forces.

The two horses pulling the cart were stockier than those generally found in Caybourne, or even mainland Aradia. Their gray bodies were firmly muscled, their height ridiculous at nearly twenty hands.

These giants of horses made easy work of the steep, winding road that wove up into the small town of Lawaoe. Between the tudor-style townhouses and stores, the main road was wide. Curving around a town square, it meandered up between some larger estates.

Despite the uniformity of most of the buildings in design, the town was a colourful place. Buntings criss-crossed between the street lamps above the roads. Flags at half-mast danced in the breeze on the taller buildings – a church, a town hall, a guard tower and many more.

Early morning in any town generally had its share of busy townspeople. But this one, the streets were mostly still. A few children playing with a ball in the square stopped to watch the procession pass. The powerful scent of pastry from the baker’s had coaxed at least a servant or two to wait outside for the place to open. But the sombre banner strung up on the town hall’s front seemed to have all the power in this town:

Aradia be with Lady Amarika Ludlow and her beloved daughter, Jennifer. Be also at peace, unborn children of Our Lady.

Casim’s face hardened at the sight of the banner. But he didn’t say anything.

Rasheba took a deep breath and pointed out a window at the view just before they were to turn another corner on the road. This turn was barren of buildings, instead allowing a clear view back to Caybourne. But then the carriage had spun about on another winding path and the view was lost.

The road suddenly broke away from town and became much steeper. Casim and Rasheba had to brace themselves for the uncomfortable ride, having given the more comfortable seats at the back of the carriage to the Vennets. But the speed didn’t differ, the horses more than capable of hauling them up like nothing more than a backpack.

Then quite abruptly the road narrowed. Casim offered a small smile. “Don’t look out the window if you’re afraid of heights.”

On both sides of the carriage, the paved road turned to an older, sturdier sort of brick. And beyond that, was air. Straight down was the tiny port they had entered earlier. The Provenire was ant-like below them. And through the fog, looking north, were massive pillars that reached up, up, far into the mists above.

“We didn’t build this,” Casim said softly. “We never met the natives who did.”

The road widened once more, winding again but now tilting sharply to the right. And they were suddenly at the massive gates of a bridge high in the sky. Mist swirled below them – they had climbed right up through into the clouds.

Most of the guard-force broke off here so only two Accord guardsmen remained. The rest filed into one of the towers on the giant bridge. And the carriage continued forward.

The bridge was easily the length of the entire town, stretching over an abyss of sharp rocks spearing up from the Sorrows. The bricks beneath the carriage were ancient and firm, but much larger than any conventional architect would be comfortable working with.

Now and then, vision would be lost as they passed through a bank of misty cloud.



Claire Ludlow
Twicefreed Manor
Golden Mile, Everglow City


She woke grasping the sheets beneath her with white-knuckled fists. Her skin was slick with sweat, chills shivering through her bones as she threw a fresh breath back like a shot of liquor. Her nightgown clung to her in clammy swathes and she flung back the blankets to sit off the side of her bed.

Closing her eyes she attempted to still her racing heart with a few slow, measured breaths.

We should have gone.

She had obeyed her father and Moxus’ order for her to stay put, to not return home for the memorial service. But her dreams were plagued with thoughts that her mother was alive, was coming to visit. Or that she and Jenn were children again, only to witness one horrific death or another.

But now she wouldn’t see them entombed in the family crypts on Sylvie Isle. There wouldn’t be that visual, physical, spiritual confirmation that they were never coming back.

She kept trying to convince herself she didn’t need to go. That she hadn’t been close with either of them in recent years. But her blood screamed at her. That didn’t matter. They were still her mother and sister. She should have gone.

There was a faint knock at her door. “My lady?” Nimbe’s soft voice called. “The gyrfalcon’s back.”

She folded the parchment and glanced across the room where Nimbe was once more feeding the gyrfalcon tiny morsels of meat. The half-elf seemed to have a way with animals without fear of the little beast’s sharp talons or clacking beak as he gulped down giblet after giblet.

“I don’t really have anything to say in response to this,” Claire murmured.

Nimbe looked up, the smile on her face fading. Claire stood, crossing the space between them and gave her the parchment. The girl subconsciously continued to feed ‘Roland’ more food as her eyes darted back and forth over the page. Once she was done, she issued a short sigh.

“What do you think?”

“I think that you can’t correspond with her anymore if you let Roland go without a reply,” Nimbe said with a small shrug. “Perhaps just a note stating you would like to keep contact?”

“But she’s not in a position of power right now,” Claire mused.

“She knows things. Like about that Spymaster. And I think you could do with a friend.”

Claire’s face creased with something that felt like something between a stiff smile and a grimace. “I have you and Lyron. I can trust you both… How am I meant to trust someone from a house like Dominic Blackthorne’s?”

“Doesn’t it give you any consolation that he didn’t do it?”

Claire blew air from her mouth and sat down heavily at the table beside Nimbe. She flicked a piece of meat which the gyrfalcon caught easily.

“Not really. If I could find someone to blame, I think this might be easier. Better than just… the wait. The wondering. I’m so scared something truly bad is going to happen to Eason. That maybe he’s even dead… That murderer could just be toying with us by taking him.”

Nimbe was quiet for a long moment. When she spoke, her tone was even softer than usual. “I don’t understand politics.”

Claire’s laugh was explosive. Far too loud. And then she cried. She felt Nimbe’s gentle hand on her arm but her eyes scrunched shut against the stupidity of all this bullshit. It was barbaric. Raw, primal, but wrapped up in pretty dresses and polite Senate meetings.

“Fuck!”

She lunged from her seat, grabbing ahold of the nearest object – a book – and slammed it across her dresser. Brushes and small pots of makeup and perfume scattered, but none broke as they hit the thick carpet below. The gyrfalcon gave a startled squawk and hopped nervously.

Her hands closed on one of the poles of her four-poster bed and she gripped it until her knuckles were beyond white, just transparent. She watched her blood jump through her veins, pulsing like the racket in her head.

She was overly conscious of her teeth, the way her jaw clenched and tightened. Her eyes pounded like living things in her head. And she screamed.

She screamed until Lyron was there. Until he had wrapped her in his arms, muffling her scream into his shoulder. She pounded weak little fists against his chest in protest, but the scream devolved into helpless sobbing. She heard Darius asking panicked questions from the door, then everything fell silent – only her sad little whimpers filling the room.

And an impatient chirp from the damned bird.

Lady Talia Blackthorne,

Thank you for your prompt reply. My maid Nimbe seems to have a way with Roland, so she will have to be the one to take credit.

I’m not certain what else other than witchcraft would be capable of shapeshifting. I suppose some forms of sorcery might cover such a practice, but I admit I know very little about magic. My next suspicion would be something more demonic. But I still can’t find a way to rationalize why them.

I will send Roland back to you now. Thank you for your guidance and understanding. I hope to sometime contact you again in the future.

- Lady Claire Ludlow
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:52 am

Xankresh, Twicefreed Manor

He wrapped his knuckles on the door, loudly so, despite the time and his choice of dress. While the Blackthornes were well aware of the tragedy that had taken place over the course of the last day, Dul-Sansiska was not so keen as to have been spying on their potential allies. However the Resonance had been activated, the Resonance was an emergency beacon that was designed by Divan originally as a trinket to ward off nightmares- or in his case visions of the void. Now it was an insisted upon tool for all members of the Drow Alliance nobility and, oddly, Rivka Vennet who was unaware fo the trinket's use when Divan had gifted the device to her.

The tiny bracelet of craved rocks would resonate a beacon signal to a receptacle held in the Azure Box, warning of threats to a member of the alliance. Mossa's had been activated due to it being in Drake's possession. So Xankresh wanted answers and he wanted them alone lest one of his children appear and put words in his mouth. Divan had vanished, Argavir was off doing who knew what, and Mossa was still in recovery and unable to leave for home. Maria was currently throwing a tantrum at the fact he uncle had essentially routed his exile and used the house as he saw fit only to vanish once more; Xankresh knew Divan was not truly going to accept the ruling his King made, but he cared not.

He was aware of the Ravensyell between the two locations of the Accord, and if Drake was activating the beacon it meant something had gone catastrophic. Xankresh stepped back and waited patiently, he had never actually spoken with any of the Accord; He doubted any of their local nobility had even seen any of the elves outside of passing glances. This was not how he wished to make introductions but if one of his were in jeopardy he wished to know.

If there was an emergency he could only gather that these folks would also be in a state of turmoil, the thought kept him gorunded that Drake was probably not in danger really- it was that something beyond him had occurred and he wished for the family to follow up with an investigation while he was obstructed. He wore a plain white shirt and dark pants, he was unarmed, and his eye patch was removed with his runic eye sitting still in its socket. His bald head almost sheen in a way, it was perfectly smooth and without an ounce of hair, betraying his former flowing mane of white waterfalls of locks.

He was of a standard size of an elf, standing six feet tall and of a good one hundred and eighty pounds. He also didn't appear to be the oldest living Drow on record, but you could tell by his eye he had lived so many lifetimes that it had almost gotten boring. The longer it took for an answer the greater time he had to dwell on the fact that perhaps it had been a more personal matter that Drake had bore witness to and that, more than anything, he could be feeling responsible and wishing to use the power of their communications to request assistance from his King and enforce the fact he was betrothed as a means of helping the Accord.

If that was his plan it would work, as long as Drake was actually serious about the union then Xankresh would treat the members of the Accord as family to a point up until they truly were bonded together and he really would see them as an extension of his own.

Divan, The Void

The darkness was consuming, and then they broke into this new layer, and the sky was basked in eerie light and the imagery was confounding. They had followed the fain echo of Reynis to a place of spiraling waters and haunting songs. Fires danced along the air and earth reconstructed itself frequently. Also within this area were more horrid aberrations who met their end at the hands of Divan's ever growing tendrils, now formally visible sprouting form his back and racing to destroy and an all creatures it came into contact with.

"I feel her, faintly, this place is fueling her. I can feel the reverberations of a powerful source of the Void coming from her location now" he broke through the elemental parade into a grove of hellish barked trees topped with magenta leaves and ovular fruit. There were stronger monstrosities attempting to safeguard its center. Being sof flaming tongues and blackened eyes, moving suits of armor.....A corrupted elf, not a Vrow but a corrupted High Elven sorcerer. However with a twist of the wrist, they were burned away in agony and despair.

In the silence Divan heard a rustling, and a black foot came bolting from the treeline and sent the elf spiraling out of confusion. Before he could get a bead on the creature it had vanished and soon an arrow came striking out towards Metheryl's head. However its movement ceased as Divan exerted a suppression field. A way of slowing everything down. The item was soaked in poisonous bile and thus it was under Divan's effects. Though she was unaffected the wild elf could feel that Divan was exerting his amassed strength. The black being fell form her perch clutching her stomach in pain, behind her an impish entity fell away as we, wielding what Divan could only surmise were Reyn's bow and her quiver of arrows.

A pulse and the creature imploded leaving the three of them in eerie quiet. Reynis bolted upright, her armor was in tattered chunks and she was covered in the filth of this place's touch. In some spots her skin was even beginning to bleach from her void exposure. Drow and Vrow were fundamentally opposites as the Vrow came from Drow practicing demon worship. All in all only Divan could remain immune due to how his soul was trapped alongside his true body in the Void and thus left unaffected by the taint of demons.

Reynis was in terrible shape, snarling almost, and grunting as she strained against her own father's power and began to stand. Dandling around her neck was a crude necklace bearing an amorphous liquid that shifted and shuddered in Divan's powerful radiance, encased in a vial. The Stygian Phylactery, an artifact of such great strength it would even bring down Divan if it amplified the correct user. Logically Reynis should have been dead from the tremendous force this entity was capable of producing.

However she was Divankul's daughter and a partial demonspawn, at least that was the assumption.......She charged him through his suppression, and tackled him in full force. She began trying to tear him apart but all she managed to do was to force his body into smoky wisps as he studied her features. He sighed in embittered resentment of his tricksters, and raised his arm. Reynis was flung to the side as a spell of light hit her in the side of the head which was honestly more effective than his void powers. Before she could recover fully, being more animal than elf, Divan bound her feet to the world and placed her in a high level sleep that siphoned much of his accumulate powers to fully overwhelm the powers of the phylactery. without pause he snatched it off her neck and opened up a tiny portal, gently placing the living thing inside and snapping it shut from reality.

"This.....is my daughter, I am ashamed of the pain I have caused her by conceiving her while myself a demon. As a drow her body constantly fights for one sense of domination over the other. Before she probably just had night terrors and sweats, now she's begun to be overtaken by the void. IT may be reversible if a fraction of her soul is snipped away, the one retaining Molak's Eye, but that's something for myself and his kin to address. I'm sorry you must be terribly confused"

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