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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.

Moderators: Ares [Darkblade], Athena [Georgeanna]

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

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:42 am

Xankresh Avani, Twicefreed Manor

Xankresh said nothing, showed no emotion, and was very still until Lyron had finished his exposition as to what had occurred in Caybourne "I see, I won't question you further as to the how or why, such things are pointless now as you are all in grief and should be allowed to mourn without my intrusions deepening the pain" his face softened and he sighed "I am not a man without empathy for your situation, I have lost all three of the wives I allied with to defeat a common enemy centuries ago, my daughter was stolen from the safest fortress in all of Aradia and beyond, and my son has been stolen by the Void by body and soul and left as a mere shell of what he was with my other daughter crippled and my youngest son unable to take up the mantle"

"I say these things not for pity, but to declare that when I know what true pain and loss feels like I mean it and I do not state things in such an off handed manner, as humans are prone towards in times of grief. The most comfort anyone can give win these times of agony are that we are united in our shared turmoil, and as such I would like you to know that the resources of the Drow Alliance now fall on your doorstep. The moment I wrote the order for the union between our houses you became under my protection."

"And nobody, nobody, fucks with the Pirate King's family" his eye burned sharply with a distinct glow of anger and his runic eye lit and purple flames began to whip off it intensely. Despite his advanced age his control over his aura slipped and the air felt like twenty tons of power in the living room as Xankresh allowed his emotions to run rampant for just a brief moment before all was quiet again. It would make one wonder if it was really him or an effect of the mind he could play on people t display himself in a much greater and grander sense than his reality. He did not acknowledge whether it was real or simply the two's combined imaginations being manipulated.

"I suppose while I'm here I should ask one more thing, Do you or your brother have reservations as to the marriage of your sister and Drake? I wish to know what kind of outlook the Piers hold as they are the ones who are being most directly affected by the whims of the Accord and the Alliance. I am sorry for the sudden shift, but I am not one to dwell on topics of a morbid nature for too long such as to deepen scars."
__________________________________________________________________________

Somewhere Along the Coast

Shaki let her gaze wander up and down the newcomer, she was quite the odd thing- especially in these parts. Meroth was leering a bit hard so Roki smacked him upside the head. The orc was less gruesome than most of his race, he was a Kalsun so he looked more or less human but with green skin, big muscles, and an under bite with two protruding teeth. He was also runty for an orc at six foot three, it was his family's blood they were known for wrestling, mating, and getting on with humans as employees.

Meroth was a high elven caster in basic gear, old cloth robes, some leather gauntlets now sporting his new carbon ring, and leather boots. He carried around what looked like a satchel full of osmething or another and a short sword when things got too hot. As for Shaki she was a time wood elf, nimble and swift on her feet, rocking leather plates, a shaven head covered in paints, and a pissed off demeanor. Wielding a shortbow and a quiver still stocked with arrows it was obvious what she was capable of. A dagger in her boot and a few throwing knives on her belt ensured she was well stocked for incoming assaults. All in all the trio was more or less equipped for anything.

"Don't be rude" Roki stated looking at the young woman and scratching his head confused "Talk to her, I'm going to see if the boys are ready to move out of here" with that the terrifying blood crazed orc was leaving and taking his prize of a few slaver tools off for his own plunder and left the newcomer with the high elven pervert and the wood elven warrior.

"So, what does bring you here? The Damas are pretty to easy to take apart if you've got the kind of aptitude I've got" Meroth was pretty shoved far up his own ass it would seem with Shaki still eyeing the woman before nodding effectively. It seemed she had seen all she needed to and dropped her guard.
__________________________________________________________________________

The Void, Floating Downwards

This place.....it was so silent that one could feel the thrum of existence hum low in the distance, pitch as well, to where Metheryl could not even see Divan's face though she was held by him in their descent. He held his daughter in the other arm and seemed to be siphoning power at an exponential rate in preparation. They never landed, rather they simply stayed floating through Divan's power as light emerged as but a point and then began to swallow the darkness as piecing beams of ambient lighting set the theme of this new holding realm.

The grounds were old and ruinous, stalked by wraith creatures shelled in ragged clothing and with no muscle nor fat to speak of. Skin and bones and malice as they gently shifted around speaking in hissing whispers. Before the trio was a creature that lifted itself from what looked to be an altar, splayed out upon it was the body of a well kept elf in his adolescent years, still looking full grown to any normal person but Metheryl would be bale to tell the elf hidden there could not be over forty years old, and it would come to her that this was Divan's body and soul that he traded to the shadows in return for his power.

It looked nourished, strong, radiant and the source of an almost bitter glow of white. The creature was feminine, but without a lower half, though it was just cloth. She had strong arms with claws so sharp it could rend the flesh of a drake. her upper body did have breasts that were wrapped in bands and she would a cowl with a human's skull plated across her features to shield her identity. Erynols the Mother, she was huge, a living monument.

"I am aware of what you came for child" the voice was achingly soft and melodious "Come, let us begin to bargain"

Divan let go of his child and Metheryl and set Reynis to the floor, walking forward he had a locked feature to his face "Give back my being, remove the curse from my kin, and let me leave this place and in return I shall grant you your brother's essence, your sorry excuses for puppets and their prized catches, and I won't destroy you all in a fiery inferno of hatred and dissolution"

"Mighty boy, believing himself to be above his masters" Erynols smacked him sidelong and his form shuddered as it turned into gas, restitching itself "These are not adequate terms, and thus I reject them you little one"

But Divan was resolved to stand firm "Silence you insolent creature, I have the power to destroy you" Erynols grabbed him up by the neck, using her own massive frame to engulf his throat with just two of her claws. divan glared at her and eeked out some sort of spell, the darkness began to vanish as it was siphoned away into his being and the tone of the space shifted violently as Divan began to exert his domination. The Dancers began in canting spells and Erynols released the drow as he began to speak in the black tongue a spell of righteously benevolent evil

_________________________________________________________________________

Į ͝cal̶ĺ u͢pon͟ M̨olak Zul̴ the͏ ̵O̡m͝n͡i̵s̛cient͏,͞ ţh͘e̡ ҉shap͡er͢ of̸ ̴p͟r͡oph̶ec̕y,̛ ͠án͢d̡ t҉he conq͟ue͠ror ̀of ̡t̷h͝e dŗea͏m
̧
I̢ ͘ca͜ll͡ u̷p͏on T̵he͢ Cręstfall̷e̵n̷,̵ t̶h̨e͡ on͝e ̴who s͞o͞u̕ght t̨o̷ ͟cu̡t ͘the w͠in͡g҉s f͠rom̨ the ̷g҉r̨i͏p͏hon̴ ͜ańd͘ ̡cast̸ i̧nto͞ ̡d͝ar̨k͠n͘ess
̵
͝I cal̸l̸ upòn ͡the ̛Èas͡te̕r͏ner,͘ ͞t̢he̕ one ͘who͘ ̛d͞isto͡r̵ted̕ ̶t͝he̷ ́B͢la̡c̡k͢ ̢S͏un̛, a̶nd̢ w̸ho͟ sh̛all͝ t͠èar th̵e͝ ̛m̢oon̕ ͜a̴s̢u҉n͞d̸e̕r̛

I͝ ca̷ll upo͏n̷ the ̕Bl̡ack ̶E͠ļf͏,̸ ̷bet̵ray͠e̛d ҉b̢y̴ h͘is ̨o̶wn̴ an̷d̶ ҉vęn̢ge̷ful in̷ h͡is͠ ̵r͏ui̡no͘us ͝t̨ries̛.

̸I ͢ća͏ll ͜upo̧n̵ ͢the͡ ̨W͞i̶l͠d ̵O͡nè's i̷m͠pr͠essions̀,͡ ͟f͡ǫr s̵ḩe͟ h̨a͡s le͟ft i̵n m̕e a g̸re̴at ͞p͠ow̕e͘r͢ ͜of ͠u͘t͘te͡r ̨re̸so̧na̴n͟c̴e

̛I͠ ͏s͝ha̕l̛l d̡est҉ro̢y͡ t͜h͝ine en̢e͡my̵, a̷nd ma҉ke pe̕a͞c͜e i͟n my̴ s̵oúl, ͝my̷ ͞spirit͟,̴ m͝y bod̨y, ̢m̢y̨ ҉mìn͟d͡

S̛o̴ ̀s̛h͏all̕ ͏I dec̴l̀a̕re,͠ ̢a̕s ͢Diva͠nku̴l ̨th͝e M͜a̡st́er,̷ ̷t̵h̴e̛ ͢Ob́se̶r͝ver͜,͟ t̡he T̸h̢i͘e͡f, ҉aǹd t͡h́e Lov̧e͞r

__________________________________________________________________________

Metheryl and Reynis were encapsulated in some kind of shield of brilliant, radiant light. Divan was going to take everyone down with him and let those two have a way back out of this. Divan was no longer the form he once was, he was absorbing so much power and energy his form was distorting the very fabrics of time and space just as if he was becoming one with the Void itself. He was no longer in control, he was consumed by his nature, both as a drow sworn to do battle with the void and as a demon scorned by those who would question him.

Xanmar watched from high above the scene, still in the upper atmosphere of the infinity, it broke his heart to see his descendant in such a state but there was little he could do to stop what had been set in motion. Kraai could feel the power surge throughout the Void, not just through her conduit in Metheryl. It was something that threatened the stability of the entire plane, something so base and unhinged it had no rhyme nor reason. It was Wild

Erynols and the others tried to cast out spells of power, using their eons of study to formulate tearing blasts of gravity and time dilation; trying to cut off his connection to the void, praying to Mordaghast to send something to silence this anomaly. However Divan was in complete control and their power only served to grow his. He spoke once more, but with authority over all things in this pace, as a god becoming one with the surroundings.

"I cast you into the lowest hells of this infernal place! I don't give a damn about the end, I will take you all down with me! Reynis, Metheryl, Reynea, my family, my friends, my enemies. Forgive my transgressions, and may you find peace in the end as I have!"

Reynis would feel some of the burden of her rapid transformation lift, and feasibly even remove her sight, perhaps even her entire demonic inheritance. It was hard to say as she was in a deep slumber and thus it would only be apparent to her what had been taken from her existence. Metheryl might've not known much about the structure around magic, but it was impossible not to feel it in her core, Kraai's observations that this was wholly unnatural and a complete and utter take away from anything that had come before. It was a once in existence kind of sight-

Final Cataclysm, Resonant Word: Annihilation of Oblivion! THE END!

Everything came down upon this place and bathed it in intense darkness as the dancers exclaimed in horror. All was gone, wiped away it would have seemed. Metheryl wouldn't recall the next part but she found herself on a lakeside, the clear water and the black grass, trees that swayed with the ancient observance of creation. Above her some sort of dimensional rift had formed from the Shadow Dancer's region, it was quickly collapsing once more. To her right she had her partner's child, still fast asleep an unable to move, and to her left the body of her compatriot, naked and unmarred by battle, he had presumably been flung when his dark counterpart destroyed everything up above. Supposedly this was Divan's soul and his body, but his mind and spirit were lost to the anomaly above her that she could only surmise was the end of all existence- as that was what Divan had deemed it as in a way.

Even Kraai would have nothing to be said of the matter, it was surely something that just simply had never been done before as now Drow had ever held the power of the void without becoming one of the void elves. Divan had done it and become one with the Void itself. It was almost ludicrous, to think that a man like that could think in ways of so many varying levels of magic that he could create something of this magnitude. The whole thing would send shockwaves throughout the infinity expanse, hell there were probably people in Aradia who could feel this incident as earthquakes, tidal waves, and a dreaded sense of godly power unleashed.

Or maybe not, and this was all just stupid nonsense.

Regardless the three of them were here, and it was unclear if that case would remain
Image
Credit to Sammy and Nicodemus; one created my set for me, the other drew the source image as a request.
Thank You Both!

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

Post by Kotorchix » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:54 am

Characters & Info
Metheryl Arcaena
The Void


These were moments, thoughts of a place familiar to her. Black grass, fondling as spider legs brushing upon her body. The white trees, dancing and gnashing their ghostly fronds in the turmoil of a wind so violent, it should have killed all about. But despite the way the trees threw themselves, all was still.

And as the rift began to collapse in on itself, Metheryl found herself standing, staring upwards at the magical anomaly. And she could feel Divankul’s body as a husk. Living, breathing, hosting a soul, but the intricacies of his spirit were up there. In that.

Had Metheryl not detested religion, not already disowned Aradia as the darkest of all demons upon whose flesh the mortals lived… she might have deigned to consider Divankul a god. But this wasn’t just him. This was the demon within him, let free in a cataclysmic explosion of power.

Then her mouth opened and she uttered a word that was not hers to give, in the voice of Kraai:

“C̜͚̲ͯͫͬ̈̈́ȗ̲̣̤ͪ͌̋i͔͍͈͒̎ͪ̎ͦ͌m͖̻̣ͧ̿̎̽h̼̭͇̹̜n̹̯̗͇̞͒͠e͡a̞̖̒̏̀̑̑ͅc͉̭̹̍͐̊̅̈́̒ḩ̙̖͎͍͎̞̯̓͛̓̈́a̩̓͜d̞̱͔̝̑́̑ͭͩ̚h͛̏͗ͯ̓́ͮ͜!̨͇͂ͮͫ”

Violet energy whipped out from Metheryl’s chest, sparking up into the rift and grabbing ahold of something terrible. Something full of filth, twisted evils unspoken but felt to her very core. She screamed, the terrible sound ripping from her throat in voices that were both hers and not. And she felt it all as that energy wrapped about the evil, tugging it back. Pulling it back through that rift.

“T̑̿̏ͫ͛ḩ̝̯̖̦̋ͮo͔̦̙ͮ̌ͣ̋ͣ͌͗ĩ̗̮̣̤̍ͬͨ̂ͪ͋r̝̭͖͚ͯ̕.̦͎͕̬̖̳̿̂͢.̜̳͉ͥ̚.̹̬͛̐̒ͮ͐̋ ̙͉̲ͯͭ̎̄ͬͪͯa̹͔̟̼̔͒̾i̗͚̞̟̫̘r̛͙͖͕̟̥͖̍͋ ̝̺͑ͫ̽a̧̼͓͌̎i̼̊̈̏̆͋̄͑s̺̗͈͇̚͘ͅ ͯͣ̑͞a͖̠͍̠̅͆̆̍ͨͣ̈͠n̜͍͡ ͇͖̞̣͋̈͋ͮ͂ͩr͎̟ͪ͐̋ͨ̅́̚ü̺͍̏̿ͪd͓ͮ̌̉ͨ͜.͈̖͎͖͗̊̓ͅ.̞͖̹͌̓̿ͬ̔ͧ͐.̢̌ͤ̾ͭ́.̨͕ͪ͗̓͑̂̑ͪ ̵̻̦͙͌̉a͇̩̰͢ ̇̑ͭ̕t͉̘̩͔͖̙̭̿͊ͨ̔ͣ̚h̡̼͕̖͖̼̼̒̔̇ͅả̝̱̖̤͙ ̗͍̖̘͎ͤͩã̟͎̻̲̟̻̈́̀i̟̙̎͊̃̋̔ͭr̜̩̅͌́͑ͣ̔͋͡ ̜̂̅̄ͥ̀̀͟c̪̪̹̊̉ͯḫ̛͙a͕̣̜̬͖͉ͭͮ̀̕l̹̰̘̣̲̺̓͒͒͊͛̚l̖͔̤!̠̱̮̹͔̄ͦ̉”

“Stop!” she broke through. “Cease this, Kraai.”

But Kraai didn’t stop. The energy arced, slamming that evil back down to the surface of this plane with such intensity the ground rippled. Trees simply evaporated, their fronds fluttering as an explosion of torn paper bits. The lake rapidly froze, ice slathering across its surface in shards and spikes. And the evil was unseen, only a crater, the energy gone.

And Kraai stepped out of Metheryl.

The tall, scarred wild elf was dressed in a long, dark robe with silver trim. Her brilliant red hair was brushed straight, smoother than a polished gem. She stared up as the rift finally closed, her gaze lingering before she turned her attention to Metheryl. Golden eyes bore into the Void Elf’s form, furrowed brows dipped.

“D͍͓̻̙̮̎̄͐̂ͣ̑i͗͛̽̂ͪͩ͗v͖̦̪̠̰̑ͤ͊̈ͦͅa̳͚̼͙̠͓̍̂ͣ͌̌ͬͧ̕ͅņ̦͑k̏̎̾͑̇͏ụ̷̥̰̥̺͙͈̒̿͆ͪ̎l̩̮̻͈͚̲ͭ̓͠ͅ ̼̻͓͔̮͇̲͂ͣ̿̎͂̕j̧ͨ̑̓̏̓ûͧ̑͐͐̇s̺͉͖̪̐ͭ͑ͯ̈t̴̯̣̗̱̜̎ ̞̭̪ͩ̉ͭd̢̺͎̰͇̐ͯė̪̙͈̭͇͖͕̍̏̚s̜̣̱͉̍ͅͅt̰̣̞̽ͣ̅̑̇̑̀r̖̭͎̣̮̿ơ̼̫̩̳̆ͥͧ̍y̝̦̼̺̟̱̗̽̅̐ͨͧe͉̬̐ď̅͏͎͓̟̗ ͋̾͑̈́a̠ͮͧͭ͋̌͗̀ͅ ̘͕͔̤͈̥ͣ̀ͩp̛̲͙̩̺l̘̘á͖̻͍̪̿̎̇ͭ͂̀n͖͍̻͈͍̘̩͛e̞͙͒̓͂ͦͥ̃̏ ̟͍͓̩of̞̪̯̪̮ͪ͊ͤ̚ ̣̮ͬ͋͡t̳͎͔h̺͛̌̈͗ͥ̆e̓ͧ ̷̩͊ͥ̅ͪ̄̉Ṽ̼͓̤o̮͇̮̱̤͆̌͂ͫ̑̾ͩĩ̠͖̹̻̯ͯ͋ḓ̪̺͖ͥͅ.͔̠̠̺̱̦̣̐̈́̏͐”

“I should kill you now.”

“D̼̤̭͉ͦͯ͛ͥͬ̚͞i̓d̖ ̒͟y̷̰̞͖̪̩͛̈́ͭ̐ͬ̊̚ŏ̙̫ͤ̓̑̿͗ͬͅú̝͔͕ ͆͗͏͓͈̤̤͈̲ͅṇ̜̗̝̅̏͐ͥo̯̦̮͍ͪͤͧ͐̃̃t͈̻̎ͫ̆̔ͫ̔ ̯͙̦͐ͬͬ̆ͨ̿h̠̱̦̐̏̐ͦͦè͙̙̪͎ͅa͔͙͔̼͗̿̊̆͂ͤ̑r̷̯̱̣̱̦͖̭̓̅̅ ̟͕̘̱m̸̹̀̚ë̠̰̰͕͖̫͓́̋ͩͨ̄̚?̜̺̱̬̓̊̚” Kraai spat. “T̨̺͇̤h̝̥̖̲̦̭͖e̎ͩ҉̣̗̣̟͙ ̗̘͖͍̿̍ͥͦ̋ͣͅḓ̗̽ͦ̉͢r͌ͬͮ͗͏̗̦̗̫̼͇ͅo̠͔̰͇̜̖̳̓́̌w̫̅ͬ͛̇ ͚͉̹͂ͬ̈́́d̐ͪ̇̌̅̀̍̕e̻̭̝͇͙̾ͩͩ̐ͪͅšͦ͋̐̎ͬt̞͖̻͖̩̯̓̄ͤ̌͑̍ͧ́rͤͮͫ͑o̢ͥy̠̰ͨͦ̍ͪ̽e̜̗͎͇͉ͯ͞d͍̳̣̜̗̞ ͍ͥ̈́̚t̨̟̫͌͑ͧ̍ͨh͓̙̟͕͉̦ͨ͒̂͡e ̵̘̻̦̾ͫ͐̑ͮ̉̚ŗ͖̘̬ͭ̆̉ͦe͓̫͔͕̒̈́̅͟a̲̽ͤ̎͒̚l̶̦̤̝͉͚ͅm͈͉̞̼̠͉ͣ͡ ̻̗̥̣͋ͬ̀o͔̝͇̼͉̝̮͒ͯ̀̑̑f͙̠̱̬͔̠̣͒́̓̓̓͊ ̼̟̬̣̘̈̎͜t̷͖̗̱̮̹̱͋̒ͭ̓̒ͅh̛͉̠̦̪̺ͬę̰̠̟͖̓ͮ̾ͫ ͔̽ͨͯ̂̃̊͜S̄͘h͖̭͉̻̰̤a͚̮̦̐͊d̗̮ͨ̉ͯͯ́ͪ͢o͕̱͙̯̲̦͍͆̾̒͌̍͗ͩ͢w̯̱̝̬̜̺̆͋ͣ̄͡ ̰̠̙͓̞̑̽̔̿ͧͨD́ͧ̽ͮ̀̓ͬ͏̻̩a̧̮͔͋ͭͩn̵̠̯͕͑ͪ̃̈͋̉̚č̜̹̑̐ͦeͨͧ̌ͫͨ̚͏̻r͈̹̊ͅs͓̗̏ͬ̌ͅ!̖̝͍͍͇͐̅͌͒̈̅ͫ”

She curled her lip, folding long arms behind her back as she stood tall and straight. “I̞̹̯͉̣̹̒ ̜̜͚̈̍͐̓̈ͪw͉͎̪͈ͩ̓͋͠î̆l̦̪͖̿ͭͩ̄̒̀͐l̺̠̙̻ͮ͒ ̵͌̎̊ͭ̌ͅr̶̮̺̰̟̭̗͔e͊̉ͩ̋t̯͍̤͈͚̬́ͤ͠ŭ͔̬̒̿͊̈́͞r̗̓̃͊n͙̤̱͐̅ͥ͌̓̽ ̥̘͇̜̬ͩ͒y̔҉͓̟o̼̩̳̟͈͈ͪ̈́̐͌͌̓u̖̰̜ͨͣͅr̷̺̗̰̯̟͈ͨͩ̀ ̯̰͐̀m͙̖̆ͩ̽i̦̞̫͓̱͍͑̆ͯͫ͂͜ṋ̯̳͚̝̋ͫ̀̉̕d̴͇͛̂̈́ ̫̩̠͈̓̒ͦͯ́͑a̯̣ͤ͑n͔͍̬̂̾͆̾̾̓̏͡ḑ̭͒̇ ̿ͭ͛ͤ̒̇̚͏b̤̯̫̫̰͇̗ͯ͌õ̓ͩ͏̥̯d͚ͨ̽̈̔ỵ̣̮̮͓̀̾̎̇̇͜ ̤̼̲ͧ̑tͮ̿̓̅͊̚͏o̓̔͊̋ ͎̘̲̹̇y̼̏́̏̃͜ó̠̦̣͓̀̑̽̊̇̚u͎̲̗̺͑̑̒͡,̱͍̼̰̱̖̼ͯ ̴̮̪̒a̡͉̅̐͗n̼̄͐̔̿ͥd̢̬͖ ̓ͨ̔̎̾y̸̬̓͐o͖̼͚̍͆̃̓̌̂u̶̼̰͎͉͉ ͙̳͙̩͈́ͣaͯ͂ͬ̽ḷ̏͑̄̃o̵̼ͬ͒̀ͭṅ͈̻͕̩͎ͩ̅̒̍͜ȇ̖͇̻̱ͨͩ̌ͅ,̬̮̫̮̦͓͛ͩ̆͊̎ͤ̀̚ ̧̖̬̣̟̬̩̍i̯ͫͯ̒͡f̭̞̼͔̪̦͓̔ ̸͓͔̐y͇͈ͫͦ͒͋̉͛o̴̹̻̘͚̹͚͚ͥ̄û͍̘͔͈̝̹̩̅͗̕ ̟̠̺̰͙͔̉̏̽̃ͯ͊̎p̈́́ͥ͝r̷̜̳̒ͬ́̽ͧȍ͈̦͚ͥ͛̎͆ͅm͚͒̆͗ͩ̆ͥ͂͡ȋͭͯș͈̥͌͐ͅe̗̖̤ͨ͛ͮͩ̀͌̏ ̨͚̲̍̐̅̏͌m͓̞̋é̖ ̮̄ͣ̐ö̼͔̙̩̱̞n͉͚̝̳̭͓͙͒̈̃̽e̤͖̫̥͎̥͇͑͌ͭ ̶͎̯̲̫̪͚ͥ̋ͥt̢̰͋͐h͎̭̰iͣ̐̉̇n͡ǧ̙͉͉̙̥̏̋̈́̓̿.̯̲͇̄͋͐̆ ̼̠̙̞̩̝̝ͫ͐̏”

“And what would that be?”

“Y͎̱̪̳̏̿ͭ͡o̺͎͇̺̞ͭ̍͊̎͊ͅu͇̞̱̘͕̓͡ͅ ̯̝̹̖͐̈̋̅͜l̼͉̔͛̐̂ȩ͇͎̟͔̬̯͑ͯ͌̒̇ấ͕̰̬͈̫͚ͫ̉ͫvͩ̉e̟ ̻͂͒͛ţ̻͙͉̼͙h̯̻͑̓͌ͨ͡i̥̅ͬ̌s̛͇̫̍ ̭͕̝͖̱̙̇͢ͅp̱͙̮̤͙ͯl̳͔͚̜̳̪͛ͮ̕á̅̾̃͌̅́҉̰̻̰͍ć͔͈͕̬͋e͚̺̮͎̻͑ͦ̾̃̓ͧ̓͘.̣̖̱͐̔ ̫͖T̥̝̎̂å̛ͧ͗̂ͤk̰̖̬̳͈ͩ͗̐ͦ̔͋͞ͅe̫͈̲̬ͣͦͬ͂̄ͭ͒ ̷̪̣̩̘̣̣͍D͍̟̬̺̮ͩ̇i͉̦̙̻͙̜v͖̳͇͓̮̉̓̇̓̇͌̎͜ã̴̗͊ͣͦn̤̩̝ͤ̃͑̌͐ͯ̅̀k̬̦͂͑͌̓ͥͯ͒͘u̙̱͍̝͎̓̀̽̉l̖͓̈́̂ͩ͗̄̔.̯̃͊ͬ̔̈ͨ ̬̲̤̆K̍̇ͮ͗ͣi͉̞̻͓̫̳̪ͤ̊͡l̹̤̖̺͑ͨ̓̂l̞̬̪ ̓̈ͭ̍̊ͪ͏͉̜̜̘͖͖ḧ͕̭͉̻͒̅̌ͯ̚i̴̠̹͒m̮͙̓ͪ͢.̥̣̫͔͇̭”

“I don’t think I will need to kill him, Kraai,” Metheryl rebuked. She glanced at the drow’s still, naked form. “I believe his power died up there in one last brilliant explosion of magic. I don’t sense the demon on him anymore.”

“D̸̹͚͇̟͔̀ͪ̿ͮ̈̿ͪo͠n̻͈ͥ̃ͨ͋͌́̀'̴̈́ͯͣ͆͊̊͛t̙̗̰̘͡ ̛͍̘̗͍̟͙̯ͩ͑̀̂ỷ̪̪ͩ̓͢o̾ͭͫ҉̼̜͎̟ȗ̴̆̍ ̆̏̏̔̄͂h̙̤͓̫̃ͭ̇̆e̤̝̫̙̽͂̄͗͝a͍̣͖̟̝̫͍͒̐̋̒̉͑r̙̟̺͜ ̙͕͔̝̘̝̦̃̋͠m̶̭̜̽̿̑͗e̟̦͔̻ͫ̾ͣ̒,͉͚̽ ̞͔̜̗̣͟i̻̲͓̠̖̹̿͢m̬̭̟̑̽̈́͞b̗̦̬̝͊̍ͪ̍͆̂e̼͇̦̳̱̻̼͂ͩͯ̉̾̇͡c̜̱̈́͌̊̍ͨ̄i͕̦̘͙͉̖̼ļ͍̼̣̳̖̓e̥̪̙̜̒͊́?̢̠͔ͅ” Kraai was upon her, talons at her throat as she lifted her clean off the ground. With a heft, the demon slammed her down beside Divankul. “K̝̺̤͉̯̤̙̒̉i̧̥̋l͚̠̦͎̝̱̐̅̓͒̆ͫ̀͞l̦̀̔̏͛ͨͩ͑͟ ̡̼ͬḩ̣̂ͤ̌i̷̘̹̜̋̍̂̿̈́͛ͫm̩̮̞̫̞̞̞ͤ̕!̢̺̤͛̿͋̃͑̓̚ͅ”

“You,” Metheryl spat, rolling onto her knees and standing in a swift movement. “I felt your power wane as you stepped from me. I know you’re weakened. I know the destruction of that plane drained you in some way.”

“S̩̜̘̮ͪ̌ͮ̃̒ͫ̏ǫ̟̥̟͔̓͗̄̓ ̨̳ͧy͚̦̌̕ő̝̩̹̮̤͑ͫ͑́ǘ̥͈̒͌̋̍ͥ͐͜ ̫̜̣̬̠͉͇d̞͔̮̟̏͠ͅa͍̥̰̘̳̔r͔̄͌̍͐ͣͭ̍é̸̘́ͭ ͎͈͕̖̳̋͆t͓͛͂̐̃̂ó̓ͤ ̦̰̗̦̟̣̭ͩd̨̤̤e͉̫̞͢f͇̩͔̘͚͕͞y̧͔̩̬̋ͧ͛͋͗̾͊ ̩̳̉ͤͤ̃ͫ̊̈ḿ͍ͧͅe̮̦͎̥̙͈̬͐?̟͉̞͔̙̯̋̈ͭͥͮͫ” she snarled. “Y͎̺̲̰ͬ̌̒ͅͅǒ̲̜̇ͬu̳̣͉͕͕̠ͯ̏͠ͅ ̻̻̘͙̠̯͟b͔̥͕̝e̠̲̫͖̰̠̤̅͆ͩ̄̃͂ͪl̟̺̪̜͍ͧͫ̉̎̉ͅī̬̘̘͔̬̾e͕̼̭̻̹͈͗̌ͬͮͯ̋v͕̰̙̉̀ͦͩ̊ē̳͕̣̫̱̺̙ͩ͗̉̄̍̚ ̝̳̫ͬ͌͌̉̇ͤ͒I̳̳̹͍̠̽͋̔̃͗͊ͤ͡ͅ ̝̠̠̩̩̼͙̃͝w͙̤͇̺̭͎͋o͖͖̝̱̙̱̗ͧ̋̂̔̃nͮͤ̉ͨ̂͏̼̫'ͦ̍͗҉t̬̭̤̝͓̾̆̃͊̍ͭ ̶͚̙̣̳͖͒̇ͤ͑ͦk̘̯͔̬͖͎̜ͯ̋̓̾ͤ̒̿i̜̬̫̞̙͔̼ͤ̒ͤ͑́̉l͉̩̭̟͙͆͑̑͘ͅl͍̼̻̐ͮ͒͛͆̋̾͠ ̣̗̟͈̋ͥͯh̬̳̑̏͋ͭiͬ̇̉͛͋̈m͍͕̾̅ ̃ͪ̈̈́̚m͖̤̏ͬͨ̓̍ͪy̙̠͇͉͉̰ͯ̚ͅś̖̹̹̫̙͇͊̐̄̒ͅe̗͔͙̬ͪ́̓̕l͊́ͩ̓ͮ̊͏̼f͕̆ͧͥ͑ͣ̉?͈̈”

“Precisely,” Metheryl jeered. “You’re concerned that killing him here will punish you in some way. That you would give him more access to the Void in death… that maybe becoming a Void Elf isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a drow of his power down here.”

Kraai stood there for a long moment. A deep sigh hissed from between her red lips and she glared.

“Ÿ͍̩ͦ͡o̮̤̲̻͈ͅu͔̒ ͙̪̖̜̞̖̓̌̾ͤ̑͐h̠͐ͤ͠ḁ͑ͯ̉̚͝v̢̯̓̋̎͐e̱̩̬̹͓͂͝ ̩̩͕̙ͣ̓̂̊ͦ͘n͙̟̗̜͍͒ͮͪ̀̌ͩo͓͖̺̝ ̧̤͗̉́l̲̩̜͔̬̀ê̝̔ͩ̒̓v̜ͬ̉͑̐͐͗͘ê̩̣͖̣͗̎͒̄̍̄͠r̴̹̋̾̏̈ͨä́̿ͬ̇g͔̻̾͜e͚͍̬̻͕.̲ͥ̚͟”

“Yet you haven’t tried to kill him, nor me. You’re terrified.

“Ī̩̝̘̹̖ͩͮ̎ͨ̚ ̴͓̓͆̓ͪ̔d̞̘̣̮̭̾̒͝oͅn͕̮͍̲̲̬̄ͭ͐ͅ'̹̘t͕̫̫̮̰̘̆͋̓̂̐͋̔͞ ̷ͮ̂ͬ̽ͮr̢̰̦̞͖͗͛̌̓̆̔ȇ̘̜͈̣͔̼̲ͫ̆l̴̼̹̤͔̮͉̫e̬̞a̺̬̻̰̱̍̎̋̆͌̓̃ͅs̮̯̰̫͛ͭ̄ḛ̻͕̖͓͔͈ͣ͛ ̖̱̦̗̘͈͂̾ͯ͑ͥ̎ͅỹ̗̺ͬ̔̏̑̄̚ò̎͑͛͏̪͇̟̦̣̬̟ũ̢͚̙͖̜̍̐̓́̒.̌̇́ͨ̀͜ͅ ̶͔̬̪̞̮̹̳ͮN̥͑ͪo̦͖ͪ̋t̫̬͍͍̗͉͒ ͤ̓ͦ̄͘ȗ̩̘͇̃n̽͌͗t̸̞̲͍͈̺̫͙i̺̖̊ͣ͆̈́̑l ͉̠̣͇̣̠ͣ̌̓͋͛̑̋D͊͊ͯ͏i̹̱̹̼ͅv̡̖̹̞͇͈̘͊͒͛ả͖̖̺͖͖̉̇͝ͅͅn̵ḵ̲͚̗̌u̼ͮͮ͂͑ͭl̃ͫ͠ ̥͉i̖̥͕̿͛ͅsͥͦ͐ d͓̫̃ͦ͒̿͆e͒a̞͖͈̥̺̗͘d̟͕̪ͣ̇͊͒͢.̰̼̈́̆ͤ̀.͎͓̰̗̘̺ͦ̈̎ͭ.̴͙̖͍̫̜̖̲̿̅ͣͭͨ̔̚ ͍͉̀ͯ̍̽o̴̠͓̥̝̣͓̓̅̽̾̉̄ͅr̮̞̃̓ͧ ̵ͤ̿ͬͣ͑ǘ͖͓̲͚̅̃ͭ̿̀̽n̙̆ͥ̚̚ď͙̪͌ͮͤ͊ͬ̔e̼ͫ̔̈͆͢r͏͉̥̠ͅ ̱̳̏ͩ͑̈͒m̝̺͔̝ͤ͗̚ỹͪ͏͕̯̥ ͮͨ́̂̓̂͏͎̥̪͔c̫͇̪̺͕̺̍͊ͯo̱̲̳͍̰̳̊̆̓ͥ͘n̘̂̎̀͛̇ͤ̒͝ͅt̻̤̖̋͒̑̀́̒ŗ̘̂̿ͦͣo̘̓ͨ̕ḻ͕͖͋͌̇̊́.̼͈̣̤̲̊͑ͮ̔ ͈͕̞̗̻̰͠”

And with that, Kraai simply stepped back into Metheryl. The witch shuddered, turning her attention back to the two still bodies. Breathing out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding, she dropped to her knees beside Divankul and gently shook his shoulder.

After what he did… all of the Void would be searching for them.

Lyron Piers
Twicefreed Estate


The warmth disappeared in that one phrase: "And nobody, nobody, fucks with the Pirate King's family.” Lyron didn’t need magical affinity to feel the power radiate through the room – the house. He caught Nimbe’s eye as she visibly shivered, clutching the amulet about her neck.

And then Xankresh was on to another topic – yet another uncomfortable one. Lyron frowned, rubbed at the back of his neck and licked his lips – all stalling to formulate a response. He himself didn’t think it was a bad union… There were much worse partnerships that could be forged.

“Darius is something of a romantic,” Lyron confessed. “I have no real problem with the engagement, but he certainly does-”

“I can speak for myself, brother.”

Darius stepped quietly into the room, past Nimbe and stood before Xankresh Avani. Pirate-to-pirate he stared the drow down, his steel gaze hard – nothing to compare to that eye, nor the years of experience. But there was distaste in his face, anger even.

“Our kind don’t live anywhere near as long as yours. Serenity will marry, live, birth his children, grow old, and die all in the space it takes for him to age barely what humans would count as a year in appearance. She is a child.”

“Darius-” Lyron started, but trailed off as he spied Nimbe. She was pale as a ghost, her eyes rolling back to show only the whites. “Are… are you all right?”

The ground jolted. A crack wrecked its way up the wall from the floor and a window shattered. Everyone steadied themselves on furniture or the doorway in Nimbe’s case. Her breath shuddered and she stared about before her yellow gaze settled on Xankresh.

“Did you do that?” she whispered.


Casim Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


With Elmer handling the Vennets, Casim spent the rest of the afternoon in his new chambers. The family had upgraded him to a larger room seeing as he would likely be sharing it with Rivka soon enough. His things had been unpacked by Amayl’s servants, all his books stacked in the numerous bookcases about the room. The writing desk was set up with inks and fresh quills. The room smelled of parchment and leather – the familiar scents that made him accept this was his new home.

Laying back on his bed, his mind wandered to his bride. He rolled to look at the empty side of the bed, the fresh pillow and straightened covers. He would share this bed with a stranger. Even the thought of her simple beauty and how her naked body beneath the covers would look couldn’t distract him from the reality, the alien nature of their situation.

To share everything was also a strange concept. For so long he had kept his books, his musings, his sketches, all to himself. She might not have interest in any of it, but it was still uncomfortable to realize he had no real reason to hide any of it from his wife. What would privacy look like to him anymore?

The door to his chambers slipped open and he sat up. To his surprise, Mancel stood there.

His father looked older. His hair was loose and wild about his head, his beard untamed. He at least was wearing fresh clothing, but even it was dishevelled – crinkled, shirt half-tucked into his belt. In his hands he carried some paperwork. He shut the door behind him and took the room in a few slow strides.

He sat on the edge of the bed.

“Father?”

Mancel set down the paperwork – papers that Casim recognized as a marriage contract - his. “Why have you brought me this?”

His father didn’t say anything for a long time. Shadows were cast over his face, marking his age and grief all the more. With a slow, calculated breath, Mancel lifted his gaze from the contract to his son.

“You don’t have to do this.”

“It’s too late for that now, Father.”

Mancel shook his head. “It’s not too late until you’ve signed this. You can still walk away from this.”

Casim gave a soft sigh. Gently shaking his head, he refused. “I want to do this. I like her. I… I know it’s too soon after…” He trailed off. Mancel shook his head – it didn’t need to be restated. “Marrying her is likely the best thing I can do for Mother’s memory. I want to give Rivka a life like how you did with her.”

“She’s likely bearing Jaster’s child,” Mancel muttered.

“You said that didn’t matter earlier.”

“It does,” the Lord Admiral sighed. “The Bloodhawk will never let you be. What happened to Amarika, to Jennifer… that will happen to Rivka and her child.”

“We’re all grieving, Father,” Casim reminded him gently.

“You will die for her. And your sacrifice will be in vain. You will be just another casualty in this pathetic dance of nobles’ hubris.”

Casim stared at him. “You’re wrong. You’re letting your grief rule your words… which you can’t afford to do this evening at dinner.”

“I’m not going to be there,” Mancel grunted. “Hence why I’m giving you the contract. Elmer will oversee it.”

“You’ll be there,” Casim said firmly – his voice was far stronger and commanding than he intended or expected. “You are the head of this household and I will not have Freyr Vennet walk away from the table thinking we are weak because you aren’t there. You’re not dead. And we’re still alive – me, Claire, Amy, Eason. Don’t you fucking give up on us.”

Mancel gazed at him owlishly. Then gave a short nod. He left.



Somewhere along the coast…

This charming elf was an easy target. The shifter-… she bit her lip. Another thing to embrace, something it forgot every now and again – gender. To a being such as the shifter, gender was hardly anything of import other than what parts fit in what. But mortal bodies were such adaptable things…

And the shifter wasn’t against breaking some fleshy barriers to get what it needed. She needed.

A wry smile slid across her face as Shaki struck Meroth. Oh yes, he was leering. The easy target. Too easy. Her hooded gaze crawled to the woman.

The shifter had never found a preference for a sex, even if it did enjoy wielding the form of a woman. There was something more seductive about the sway of their hips, the shape of their bodies. Perhaps females caught its attention moreso than men, even if equal pleasure was taken with both…

Both. Delicious.

“Wellllll…” she drew the word out, tilting her head and flashing a brilliant smile. “You.”

She touched Meroth’s shoulder, her fingers digging through the elf’s garment to rake at his skin in a fierce gesture. A nip of her lip and she leaned in close, her breasts brushing his chest. Her fingers trailed down his chest, his stomach, then looped into his belt.

“I don’t want your gold. I don’t want your spoils. I want a being who can take what they want, when they want.”

With a firm tug, she slammed his hips into hers, her lips finding his mouth with a passionate kiss. She tasted of whiskey and something sweet yet bitter – licorice almost. It was a dangerous taste. It spoke of lust, but whispered death. And the thrill that passed through her nerves all the way into Meroth’s core was the sheer embodiment of desire… of obsession.

She broke the embrace, abruptly turning on Shaki, abandoning Meroth.

“But maybe I came here for you, beautiful lady. Strong, fierce…” She breathed the words out lustily, the smile fading as her pupils dilated wildly. “And ready for anything…”

Her tongue curled over the corner of her mouth, sliding seductively to the edge of her ‘love’-poisoned lip before retreating back between her teeth.

“… except me. Dare to take me on?”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:00 pm

Elsewhere

Divan blinked, he was quite surprised to see a mirror image of himself sitting and drinking from a tea cup. Wearing a bright red blouse and leggings, his eyes burned like fire and his hair was long and open "Sit, we need to chat as to what has transpired". Divan nodded and sat on a chair that had materialized "To get things started, yes we are the same person, I just happen to be the personality you created when you stuck down Molak and used him remnants for your own objectives. I am the Divan that everyone knows and that snapped- destroying the Shadow Dancers in a fit of rage and power tripping. I have reach apotheosis, godhood, divine levels of power that can destroy entire civilizations and rise them up. Or I will, after gestation and a renewed genesis"

"That would make myself the Divan before the schism of thought, the one of charisma and compassion unaffiliated by my guilt, and the one rightfully attached to the body back in the Void" This Divan had his same standard attire on as he sat forward heavily, his eyes pale.

"Precisely, I've already modified your personality to retain the knowledge of what I accomplished, but I have removed many crueler things such as most of the forbidden knowledge. You'll have my memories but they're be scars long since healed. We suffered multiple disorders that went untreated"

"Ah and thus we are distilled once again, a reset button if you would, rejoining my body, mind, soul, and spirit into one another while you remain in this nul space cosmos"

"Exactly, I think I am predominately between Aradia and the Void for all the good it does to speak of location in non existent space time but I have a sense this is where hammerspaces are kept and thus I am just another pocketed dimension. I will send you back with some artifacts to allow you to leave the Void. If you don't leave now your body could become compromised or worse Kraai could realize that all she has to do is inhabit the vessel and she could become privy to ways to find us eventually, rupturing the balance"

"Quite so, it has been a pleasure, I am glad we both gained what we desired, your insatiable need to become greater and my will to return to the body I forfeited to create you"

"I will seal up the exit, I doubt we will come into contact for some time, but know we are still the same being Divan"

"I shall endeavor to not forget, Divan" With that, the more mortal of the two arose form his seat and felt his existence wane form this place.....

"Oh before you are away fully, ensure that Kraai is not striving to do something down there, I believe I felt her reaching through the rift before it had healed properly and she might've stolen some of my power. It was distilled malignant energy, so it might've done some damage down below"

_____________________________________________________________________________

The Void, Divan

It felt nice to feel his blood pumping, his lungs filling, his body cramping form stiffness. He felt someone's hand on his shoulder shaking him gently and he understood the motions. He hadn't felt his arrival back to this plane, but maybe that was the point. He could feel his soul force reconnecting to the spiritual pathways. His body becoming a rejuvenated conduit to his mind, the interconnections forming as his eyes cracked open to see Metheryl over him and he sighed. Pushing himself up he summoned a pool of water to his hand and drank from it, his fingers became alight with energy as he sheered off his long flowing hair back into his typical style. Even reforming the strange beads that sat mingled, and braiding his two long tails, he snapped his fingers and his armor came falling out of nowhere and he began to dress himself.

Clothing, how he missed it, especially this silken and leather armor. He looked to his elven companion and flexed his body out in one fluid motion, a sickening yet engaging noise could be heard as his entire body was loosened in a wave. Nodding he scratched at his chin "Kraai siphoned off something or another; certainly so" he looked over the destroyed landscape shaking his head "To answer most questions, yes I became a god, then came back to my mortal form because I existed as two separate beings as a conscious. The Divan you knew wanted to attain power and destroy the Shadow Dancers and steal their secrets. He has and is now removed from this space, I wanted my daughter and my body. I have it, unless you wish to press our luck further I have an artifact to take up at least to mainland aradia. I'm in a weakened state, and I don't wish to be in the Void any longer, do you have any objections?"
____________________________________________________________________________

Twicefreed Manor, Xankresh

Xankresh laughed as Darius spoke firm, unafraid of the man's power, but as the ground rumble he stiffened and his face hardened "No, Nimbe, no that was not. I'd bet a thousand platinum pieces its my son making trouble in the Void, probably blew apart something that sent an explosion racing across dimensions.....he's more than likely fine" his smile returned as if he hadn't just casually spoken about how his offspring may or may not have destroyed something so violently in the Void, a realm completely disconnected with Aradia in a physical sense, that it literally caused damages on the mainland "On to more pressing matters, Darius I simply have a few questions for you, man to man. Father to older brother. When was the last time you spoke to your beloved sibling Serenity? When did you last see her? Do you have any idea what she wants? Had it occurred to you that maybe she might warm up to him and even get along with him, and maybe make her own choice and have her own voice be heard?"

Xankresh turned to face Lyron and then Nimbe in kind, before laying his eyes back on Darius "I won't try to intimidate you, won't throw my weight around, I simply wish to know what is going through your own head about all of this. You're her brothers, if you have objections you have objections and legal rights to voice them, but I want to hear why and how you come to those conclusions"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:13 pm

Characters & Info
Metheryl Arcaena
The Void


“I hardly believe in gods,” Metheryl rebuked softly. “And if there are gods, there is only one… and she is the greatest demon of all.”

She didn’t so much avert her eyes as Divankul dressed, rather than simply look over at Reynis. She went to her, gently cradling her in her arms before lifting her in a fluid motion. Some strain showed on her face before she summoned magic to aid in her act of strength.

“And to be completely honest, Divankul- or whoever you claim to be now, I have not fulfilled my own quest here in the Void. But out of respect for you, and to make certain your daughter is safe… yes, let’s leave this place.”

Her expression was obviously dissatisfied – maybe even mistrusting.

But she couldn’t dwell on what had happened to Divankul. There were more pressing matters – she wanted to know what Kraai had siphoned of the power, of the… evil. And why did that thought cling to her mind like a dirty rag pinned to cloth?

“I release you from our agreement,” she added. “I do not believe re-entering this place at a near date would be safe. All in this realm will be on guard after what you did.”

Twicefreed Manor
Golden Mile
Everglow City


Lyron could tell whatever had happened troubled Nimbe deeply. It wasn’t even that a crack had appeared in the wall, or the same unsettlement that came with an earth tremor. Whatever bothered her was something far greater as she quietly excused herself to the kitchen.

“No, Nimbe,” Darius said. “Come back.”

She gingerly stepped back into the room, rubbing at her arm self-consciously.

“How old are you? Fourteen? Fifteen?”

“Fiftee-“

“And how would you react to finding you are to be married to a man three centuries your senior?” Darius demanded. “Say Xankresh here wanted you as a wife. How would you react?”

“This isn’t appropriate, Darius-”

“Shut up, Lyron. Answer me!”

Nimbe flinched, but shook her head and looked apologetically at Xankresh. “I don’t want to be married. Even to a boy my age… not yet.”

Darius turned his scathing glare on Xankresh. “And that’s coming from a half-elf child.”

“It’s also coming from a girl not born into nobility,” Claire’s voice rang out. She stood at the bottom of the stairs, previously unnoticed. Fire danced in her eyes and she tightened her robe about her waist. “We are born knowing we have no choice in when or who we will marry, Darius. Serenity was prepared. The only person who was not is you.”

Darius stood there, fuming, then abruptly brushed past Xankresh and left the house without a word.

Claire turned her attention briefly to Nimbe. “Are you all right?”

With the girl’s soft nod, Claire turned her gaze on Xankresh. Her eyes were still red-rimmed, but there was a fierce determination in her focus.

“I apologize that this should be the way we first make our acquaintance, your grace. My cousin shunned nobility for himself and has no right to make claims on his sister – of whom you pointed out he hasn’t seen in over ten years.”

She clasped her hands before her gracefully. “Please do not trouble yourself with the issue of Darius, nor of his uncle who will surely be making contact with you soon. We of the Ludlow Accord will handle this matter.”

Lyron waited a moment before daring to speak up again. “My lord, as… her brother, closest living relative, I don’t object to this union. I have heard good things of General A’Draak and have no doubt he will make a fine husband for my sister.”

“At this delicate time with the opening of the Void,” Claire said, “and so many of the houses vying for power, we cannot allow Darius to put a wedge between our houses. Should you hear from a Lord Darcy Piers, I request you turn him towards myself to settle any dispute.”

Dinner at the Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle
Caybourne


A marble-floored room spread out before Rivka Vennet and her father as they were admitted through the eastern door, their titles announced to the room. High windows stretched beyond the height of ten men stacked upon each other, only on the southern wall facing out towards the ocean – but the sky was dark, the only light beyond the glass the faint glow of Caybourne. But even the sight of the mainland was hindered by mists.

At the head of the long stone table sat an elderly woman. Her eyes were intense and dark and she shared a familiarity with Rasheba’s appearance – who was sitting beside her on her left. The old woman’s long grey hair was wound into an elaborate design upon her head, braided and curled. Her face creased into a smug smile as she saw Rivka Vennet.

“Welcome, darling. And Lord Vennet, so good to meet our new family members!” she beamed.

She stood, stepping away from the table to greet them, taking Rivka’s hands and pressing a kiss to her cheek. She then took Freyr’s hand, expectantly waiting for a kiss on the knuckles. “Why, you’re both much more handsome than I expected! What a pleasant surprise.”

“This is my aunt,” Rasheba explained. “Amayl Heartstone-Rodin.”

A great barrel of a man stepped into the room behind them. He bore noble features, a heavy brow, and strong nose. His beard was groomed, knotted cleanly into braids that stretched down his chest. His long, dread-locked hair was tied back behind his head and he wore a green tunic, freshly pressed.

Elmer stepped up alongside him.

“May I introduce Lord Admiral Mancel Ludlow,” he added. “Lord Freyr Vennet and Lady Rivka Blackthorne, my lord.”

“Vennet,” Mancel corrected with a dark look. He nodded and gave a brief bow to both. “I appreciate you coming. After dinner, perhaps we could look at the marriage contract, Lord Vennet? I suspect we both wish this formality to be over with.”

“Don’t sound so hasty, Mancel,” Amayl admonished.

Casim entered the room from the western door, looking like he’d been running. His face was ruddy with the sudden change of temperatures, from being outdoors abruptly to indoors. And his hair was wild and curly, windblown. He gave an apologetic smile.

Also around the table were other members of the Ludlow Accord. There was a small girl, eight or nine years old, who stared at nothing right before her – blind. The obvious General A’Draak, the only drow. A young woman who was likely Serenity, his fiancé – not likely to be any older than Rivka herself. There were also more empty seats than needed for a party of their size – two of which bore large black bows over their backs, marked with flowers.

“Please, Rivka,” Casim encouraged her softly, stealing her away from her father with a gentle tug of her hand. “Sit with me. I would like to know you more.” He offered her the seat beside Serenity and another empty chair, pulling it out for her.

On the long northern wall stretched a great family tree, many of the branches unfinished. Rivka might have spied her guard, Carndas, staring up at it in some confusion, squinting to see it better from his position near the door.

Somewhere along the Coast…
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Meroth was the only one who succumbed to the Shifter’s charms. The wood elf made some excuse, some uncomfortable comment, and left in disgust. But the Shifter didn’t let that slow it down. It had Meroth in an alley, kisses pressing him to the wall, hands groping, hips shifting.

But it didn’t stop there. The love potion it had purchased from the Daughter of the Sorrows had no effect on it, so it soon grew bored of these minor seductions. It ripped the elf’s clothes from him, eliciting a delighted response.

The elf’s next response was far less delighted once it began to feast.

Meroth’s heart took a long time to stop. The Shifter drew out his torturous pleasure, mixing pain with it in a terrible concoction. Had the shifter not gagged him, his screams would have shaken all of Aruluent Quay.

The shifter’s nails were in his back, its hips working their magic as he died. It sighed as his heart gave its last weak beat, hiccupped. The horror spread across Meroth’s face as he realized what exactly had become of him – and what he now was. Dead. Possessed. Not even a person anymore.

The shifter savoured his soul’s screams as it pulled its female form from him. Unfortunately, his form was not as desirable as this female’s. But the shifter still stored him away for later, his soul neatly filed in the recesses of the demon’s mind.

As for his body…

The Lilin let its skirts fall back about its legs as it stepped from the alley, abandoning Meroth to the rats.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:54 pm

The Void, Divan

The Drow noted she was not too pleased with his new attitude toward their prior agreements, he nodded silently before sighing "I can see it in your eyes your not pleased, so I'll make it abundantly clear I will not abandon your wish to reclaim your body from Kraai. We will take your body back from Kraai at some junction in time, I thank you for aiding me in rescuing my daughter. Though I am released from our bargain I shall remain at your disposal, but as you said yourself, the Void is on high alert for me and movement in here is restricted. You can feel the whole of the Void coming upon us can you not? I feel it in my bones, a silent hunger roaring across infinity, and its screaming out for me"

He turned and threw a black ring into the air, it rippled and a hole was torn through space and time and existence to a random location of snow and ice "I'm not so sure where this will land us, it's an incomplete rift gate I designed while one with the energies of the Rift, but it should be close enough to Ques Novich I can get us into the city and get Reynis the help she needs." The silent roar was now becoming one of intense, baritone roars of actual hunger, something that was rocking the island they were located on and causing space to ripple almost. Like the aberrations and their masters were racing to get to Divan before he could leave.

With that Divan supervised Metheryl leaving with Reynis, before moving through himself and the two of them was transported a few miles out from Quest Novich's entrance, a massive wall across the forestry and foothills. A technological marvel made by the Drow in ancient times, it was legitimately a work of fiction. Covered in snow and ice, it shimmered in the dusk light. Two riders ceased their horses, they had been moving quickly due to the tremors felt on the surface, they took off their helms and bowed tot heir leader who waved them off.

"I will be heading home, continue your observations, the ripples were caused by myself" with that he muttered out a spell and a shimmering gate formed to take them into the interior of the Wall where Divan's quarters were "Light Gate, an incredibly multi-mapped ritual spell for transportation, cannot be used in the Void hence the ring I used." HE led the way and int hey were into his chambers where he settled his daughter down finally and Metheryl saw the tension in his body collapse all at once and his state return to relative normalcy.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Xankresh, Twicefreed Manor

Xankresh smiled as Darius continued to explosively challenge the king's accusations, though he felt terrible for Nimbe, so as Darius left and Claire concluded as well as Lyron he first addressed her "My apologies for you having been sucked into our bickerings, Nimbe, as a King it is of no right of mine to cause such a dutiful young woman discomfort so as to be used as an example of any kind." he reached int his chest and flicked a coin gently her way "Please, accept it, it's a cultural token" The coin was a platinum piece, the kind of stuff most servants maybe made in an entire year's salary, it was even everglowian currency as well. "As for you Lady Claire" he stood and set himself on a single knee bowing his head before raising and smiling.

"Thank you for the words, I'll point that all your way then, I honestly don't understand nobility and I'm not exaggerating- however if Maria happens upon you trying to do the same let me know and I'll knock some sense into my granddaughter. She's of Darius' disposition on this matter" he smiled shrugging "Ah well, I'm glad the talk about him is good, A'Draak I mean. I thought everyone just feared him by reputation alone"
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Drake, Sylvie Isle

Drake hadn't spoken much with Serenity after the interruption, he had told her in very plain words that he had major anxieties about being in intimate conversation with others in the open and would like to continue their conversations in private at a later time. However that time never really came up, when he had tried he was roundly chastised by Willek that he should let Serenity grieve and tend to herself, that time for conversations were not then. It was annoying but Drake, always the obedient, let it go and thus for the first day they neither of the other. Drake instead began training Amayl's own soldiers at their behest, he went easy on them, not breaking them as he would those under his own command. He taught them martial skills, as you can't exactly teach people intuition like what elves have when things are amiss.

He sparred for hours with each of those who wished to learn, teaching basic strikes and parries, and single combat tactics that he taught all his recruits. Drake's way was cautious and brought with it an air of reservation, if one were to use their barest essentials and reserve themselves in their poise they could control the flow of information in a skirmish and truly come out ahead. That was about all he could really give them int he time frame they had but to his pleasant surprise they were quicker learners than his recruits tended to be.

The next day had been a long crawl, the funeral was something Drake could not help but be distant in as others mourned. He felt awful for such feelings but he could not help the fact he hadn't known them and thus was unable to felt for the loss and the hole it left. That was also not a good time to speak with Serenity who had been paired with him in observance, and thus the awkward nature of the second day came about as well up until the dinner.

He was wearing a much more fitted black robe in respect for the dead, underneath he wore a tunic of navy blue and salwar pants the color of dark brown. Shoeless as he preferred of course, and still the largest in the room, still looking as a statue almost. It was clear he didn't know what to say or how to approach anything of note with anyone here, even Serenity who sat beside him. She would notice that now what seemed like an impassive face of observation was his default for when he was in uncomfortable situations, he turned to her trying to formulate something to speak and he only managed something brief "My apologies that I have not seen you in as much frequency as I had promised before we left for here" he wasn't sure how she would take it, if in any way but he was at a bit of a loss as he hadn't been given much of a chance to get to know her with how events had proceeded.

Then, the newest arrivals were here, and Mancel had come from his chambers and Drake noticed how much light had left his jovial features int he time that had passed. He seemed half dead, and it pained Drake, which showed as his face changed from impassive to softened as he empathized with Mancel on more levels than anyone knew. A muttered phrse only Serenity could catch "May peace find you brother, I share in your agony alongside" something to maybe ask about later.

He watched the exchange, and saw Casim pull on Rivka to come and sit next to the pair so the young man could get to know her better. Drake knew little of the Vennets, Divan raved on and on about them and typically had only good words about them, but he typically would stop listening after too long. He knew Rivka had bad hearing due to the plagued which she only survived via Divan's magics, as well as Du-Sansiska's intertwined relationship with the noble house, to the point that Divan was Rivka's 'Uncle' and usually kept on their side. Until currently. Maria apparently was best friends with Rivka as well from her time growing up in Ques Novich, Freyr as well and Freyr was also on very familial terms with Divan or at least he was. Honestly it was quite a blur tot he General but he understood why they were here.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:49 am

Heartstone Estate



Rivka looked around as they were escorted to the dining room. Somehow she had expected everything to look more like a fortress. But really it looked more like a noble manor house and a beautiful one at that. It would make a nice home. But the thought made her a pang of homesickness. She knew she could not go back to the mainland for years, maybe ever with the child she carried. She would hardly get to see her friends in Everglow, or get to spend time in Briochi with her cousins. This place was beautiful but she wasn’t sure it would ever be home. But that didn’t matter, because none of this was about her anymore. She subconsciously touched her stomach.



They were ushered into a large dining room and soon welcomed by an elderly woman who was introduced as Amayl Heartstone-Rodin. Rivka’s mind went back to book she had read. This was the woman who in her youth had been so lovely a man had been willing to search for years for her, the rescued damsel who’d been through so much. She was not the way Rivka had expected her, she had expected a frail, broken looking woman still grieving the honor that had been taken from her. But she seemed genial and even somehow a little intimidating.



But she welcomed them genially. Somehow though her comment about them being more handsome then she expected stung Rivka. What had she expected? What had Casim expected?



Freyr kissed her hand politely. It hadn’t bypassed his notice the position this woman held. She sat at the head of the table, a spot traditionally reserved for the man of the house. She had been the one to write the letter as well. He had to wonder about the internal politics of the Ludlow accord. Not that he foresaw any of it would be a threat to him or Rivka but he would tread carefully and try not to offend her.



“It’s a pleasure to meet you Lady Heartstone,” he told her then added with a smile, “And there is no need to flatter me, I’m well aware I’m nothing more than an aging man. Rivka got her looks and her heart from her mother I’m afriad.”



He glanced at his daughter almost sad for a moment. Before he could go on with more polite small talk Mancel arrived. Freyr fought to keep the pity from his eyes. He remembered how hard it was to go on with life after losing his wife and son. To keep up the noble appearance and hide his grief to deal with the daily business of rebuilding a city ravaged by disease.



Rivka felt her heart sink as Mancel talked about getting this formality over. To her it was more than just an formality, it was the rest of her life. And once everything was settled on, her father would leave back to Briochi and she would be alone. It also reminded her that this was an interview in a way, that Mancel, Casim and Amayl would all be judging her, watching to see if she seemed a suitable wife, and gauging what she was worth. She thought back to meeting with the bloodhawk before her marriage to Jaster, at least this couldn’t be as bad as that.



“Yes, I agree, Lord Admiral Ludlow,” Freyr replied, “I think it would be in everyone’s best interests to work out the details as soon as possible.”



Soon enough Casim arrived and led her to a chair. She looked at those beside her, the young woman she assumed was Serenity, and of course general A’Draak. She knew of him of course, she assumed everyone did but it seemed strange. She had not thought marriages between drow and humans were very common. She remembered as a small child telling her father she wished Divian had a son so she could marry him, her father had told her that the drow were different, that they only married for love and because they lived so much longer it was hard for them and a human to share those type of feelings. She looked at them, wondering what they shared.



She knew she was supposed to be try to act ladylike. To be quiet and only speak if spoken to, to wait for an introduction. But the room was quiet and she was nervous and talking was a way to release nervous energy and she’d never been good at only speaking when it was appropriate.

“Are you Lady Serenity?” she asked, “I’m Lady Rivka Blackthorne. It’s very nice to meet you.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:51 am

_______________________________________________________________________
The Griffin's Bastard
_______________________________________________________________________


The sun broke over the horizon, just as the needle broke through her skin.

Arianne clenched her teeth together and spoke with as much patience as she could muster. "And you're sure you can't just use a spell to close it?"

"Hmph! Kitten is always saying the same." J'Zara tugged the thread through the wound with an almost vengeful ferocity, and imitated the snide upper-class accent of the Blackthorne noble; "Eugh just use magic! Lord Kitten grow up in big stone house, Lord Kitten know all about advanced thaumaturgical techniques. J'Zara has no staff or wand! Only has herbs! Wounds not pockets to be closed with one push, human skin is complex organism--"

"Alright, alright--owch! Aradia's knickers, don't take it out on me!" Arianne barked, jerking her head away from the Feline's needle. With one hand, she patted the spot where she'd struck her cranium against the stone tomb. It throbbed dully but felt sealed nevertheless.

"Not done yet, not done yet!" J'Zara flapped her paws anxiously. "Still have to apply Salve of Oldsage for disinfectant. Still have to dress this." The Feline grabbed Arianne's ankle and waved her own foot at her accusingly. "This, by the way, this very stupid way to get wounded, even by usual standards of Elf. Kitten did this to you with one arm?"

"Get off," Arianne growled, freeing her leg with a kick. "You keep saying he has one arm but he seemed quite happy to swing at me with both."

Ogden, who was lounging nearby and chewing glumly on his roast rat, gave her a look of trepidation. "Hava chumph."

"What in Aradia's name are you looking at?" She snapped. "He swung at me first. Granted, I've been dying to hit him ever since we found the prat, but it doesn't mean this my fault--if you bring that needle anywhere near me again I swear I'll have you made into a carpet."

J'Zara, who'd tried to stealthily return to binding the head wound, subsided with a shake of her head. "Elf and Kitten did not seem to be fighting when J'Zara and Dwarf returned from hunt."

Ugh. We just have to talk about this, do we? Arianne folded her arms, watching her breath turn to steam in the winter air before her. It was a gift from her ancient Brecilidian ancestors that she could be as we was now, sitting on an old tomb dressed only in her leather trousers and the straps she used to bind her breasts in place, and yet barely feel the cold. And so it's always been for me. All of the noble ability, none of the noble responsibility.

That was the kind of thought that crept up on her occasionally, the kind of thought that had came to her the previous night when she had found herself with her bow trained on a boy no older than most squires who had been crying about how he'd gotten his friends killed in the war he was responsible for.

But each time those thoughts, those emotions, rose in her they would pass just as suddenly, as they did now. What responsibility? That boy is a man, a man who's a knight and a lord, a man with the agency to make his own choices, a man with all the riches and opportunities in the world. What does he know of hardship?

Yet she could not stop herself thinking of Jaster's proclamation that he had to be strong, strong for his household. She knew a man who had talked like that. She remembered being a girl of ten, brought into a room in a tall black castle during a thunderstorm, presented before this finery-clothed specter with eyes that gazed at her in silent condemnation. And she had remembered thinking that even though the other children called her bastard and half-breed, she would rather spend all her life with her unassuming pious handmaiden mother than be raised even for one second by this man.

He's your father, too.

Some of what she was feeling must have shown on her face, or in the droop of her ears. J'Zara leaned into her field of view. "Did Elf experience her very first feeling of sympathy?"

Arianne scowled, snatching her shirt from the rock next to her and tugging it over her shoulders. The scars on her arm tingled. "Fuck off, housecat."

"Is not weakness for Elf to feel sorry for Kitten." J'Zara was gazing at her soulfully, evidently under the impression she was being meaningful.

She buttoned the shirt with a perhaps unwarranted ferocity. "Maybe I've been overly harsh to him. Lad's on his way to the gallows as it is. So I'm not going to ask him to shovel corpses or throw bits of rat at his face anymore. Happy?"

"J'Zara happy." The Feline looked infuriatingly smug.

"J'Zara will make a very nice rug someday," Arianne grunted. "Enough of this. We have to keep moving."

There was previous little in the way of camping equipment they still had, save for the horses they'd recovered from the Brackensbridge stable. They had belonged to the Knox men, before the fire. Arianne had hoped to get the giant black stallion that their leader had rode for herself, and yet it was exactly that horse she saw eating grass from the hand of Jaster.

The lad had no doubt sensed her limping towards him, as his lips pressed together in that familiar look of grim displeasure. She was approaching him from his left side, where the wounds distorted his features. As far as burns went, they really weren't that bad, but it did not change the blotchy purplish color and stringy texture of the raw flesh it had left behind, blossoming from his jawline to his temple. Scars generally made a man look tougher, but he still radiated a palpable naivety to her.

She came to a halt about seven feet from where he stood, supposing it was down to her to make conversation here. "Made friends with our new recruit, have you?"

Jaster was silent for a moment, and she expected him to stay that way, but after a moment he spoke quietly. "His name is Reaper. He was Dorian Knox's horse. Must have passed on to Preston, since I..."

"Stabbed Sir Dorian in the leg?" Arianne offered.

The lad's lip trembled. He fed the stallion another fistful of grass.

Ah. More guilt over that, eh? Arianne rolled her eyes. "Take the horse."

He looked round in surprise. "What?"

"The horse. It's yours. He's a stubborn bastard, anyway--will barely let me sit on him. If you can keep him calm for this long, he's yours." Annoyed with herself, she busied herself saddling the nearest (next-best) courser.

She was no longer looking at him, but heard trepidation in his voice. "How do you know I won't ride off?"

"Heh. Where would you go, in the depths of winter with no food and no allies?" Arianne mounted her new horse with a practiced precision. "Where we're going you'll have both of plenty."

He squinted up at her suspiciously. "To Everglow?"

"Eventually." Arianne smirked, leaning over the saddle to look him in the eye. "But first...how do you fancy doing some honest labor, lad?"

The fresh bruises on his face contorted as he squinted in suspicion. "What?"

"Mount up, lad." Arianne pushed her steed forward into a trot. "We're going to see my old friends in the Wild Huntsmen."

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

Post by Kotorchix » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:23 pm

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Metheryl Arcaena
Former High Enchantress of the Shatterlight Coven


She remained silent, offering small nods at his explanations for what was happening. Yet in all the time it took to get to Divankul’s quarters, he didn’t answer the question most pressing on her mind. She watched as he deflated, the tension seeping from his body.

Seating herself on the bed beside Reynis’ still body, she brushed a few strands of mis-colored hair away from the girl’s face. She felt Kraai inside her, stirring, present. The demon was watching. And a whisper sounded in her ear.

“Kill him. Kill him and his spawn.”

She ignored it. And was pleased to find she had such a choice. Kraai didn’t bother her again.

“Divankul,” she said softly. “What is Ques Novich? I must remind you I only know the Wilds. I have been to and have knowledge of Everglow City, but this place… is this of the Drow?”




Lady Claire Ludlow
Twicefreed Manor
Platinum Gardens, Everglow City


She watched as the servant girl deftly caught the coin and stared at it in astonishment, glinting in the palm of her hand. The half-elf stammered out a thank you, bobbing the clumsiest curtsey Claire had ever seen. The motion prompted a fond half-smirk from her lady.

“I wasn’t aware Maria didn’t smile on this arrangement,” Claire said, “or at least view it with nonchalance.”

She offered a polite smile, letting it lapse into something a bit more natural after a moment. “If you don’t care for nobility and politics, perhaps we could be somewhat more blunt, Your Grace. Did Maria and the General share a… connection more than that of allies?”



Serenity Piers
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


There was hardly any space for even a hushed conversation as Drake joined her at the table. In response to his quiet apology, Serenity gently touched his arm with a smile: It’s fine. She hadn’t exactly gone out of her way to interact with him either – even if she had secretly watched him train the Heartstone guards.

She could have blamed it on Willek, for their separation, but the truth was that she was still getting used to the arrangement. Along with the deaths and the kidnapping, things were suddenly moving all so fast. And now Casim’s bride was here, a girl around the same age as herself, about to lead a similar yet very different life to hers…

But then Rivka introduced herself. “Serenity Piers,” Serenity smiled, gently bowing her head in respect. “I don’t hold the title of lady. It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Rivka. May I introduce General A’Draak, my betrothed.”

After the introductions were past, Casim gently spoke up, trusting both Serenity and Drake to be partial to their conversation. “My father isn’t usually such a brash man,” he explained. “He’s a romantic at heart. Before… what happened to my mother and sister, he was even looking forward to meeting you, Rivka.”

He rolled up the cuff of his sleeves so they fit on his forearms more comfortably. “Now I believe he is afraid. There was some concern this might be retaliation for inviting you to be my wife, but our sources aren’t convinced the Bloodhawk would go this way, especially so soon.”

“Casim,” Serenity softly rebuked. “She just arrived…”



Lord Admiral Mancel Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


He felt tiny fingers clasp onto his hand and he looked down at Aimee’s grip on him. She stood at the corner of the table where he sat with Amayl to his side, Freyr opposite.

Aimee’s knuckles were white and she breathed somewhat more quickly than normal. Another panic attack. He gently rested his other hand over hers, comforting her with the warmth of his touch. She climbed into his lap, blindly gripping with the strength of a vice.

“Lord Vennet,” Amayl purred, “excuse my grand-niece, this is Aimee. Now, Aimee, say hello to the Lord.”

Aimee’s voice was sweet, almost angelic. But it held an unsteady air to it, as if her heart was vibrating in her chest faster than any horse could hit the ground with its hooves. “Good evening, Lord Vennet.”

Mancel gently held her, his mouth stretching into an apologetic grimace for Freyr – it was meant to be a smile, but the corners never turned up.

Servants had arrived with trolleys and trays, laying out a lavish feast of meats, vegetables and assorted savoury pastries. There was much wine and Sylvbruuq set out, with delicate silver-rimmed glasses to complement the silverware.

Elmer sat to the side of Freyr, diagonal to Mancel, and covertly made a motion to ask if all was well. Mancel gave a slow blink in affirmation, gently rocking Aimee on his knee. She was far too old to be acting like such a small child, but he was a big man and they had both been through something terrible recently. He didn’t like showing this vulnerability to the Lord of Briochi, but… he had a daughter. He would understand. Not to mention, he had lived through a tragedy of his own.

Mancel felt the air sigh from his lungs. Yes, Vennet understood. But he also had his own experiences to pull from on how he had gotten past the horror of his wife’s death, his family’s illness. Mancel knew he was nowhere near reaching that sort of strength. And it shamed him.

“Lord Vennet,” Mancel said. “Before we go on with the contract, I want to tell you something.”

He felt Amayl and Elmer’s eyes on him. They didn’t know about this. Nobody did.

“Casim doesn’t know yet, but I will be ceding all Lordly titles and duties to him very soon.” He put up a hand to silence Amayl who was already opening her mouth. “I am not fit to rule a nation, much less head up a broken family right now. And Casim has shown great initiative I previously didn’t know him capable of. So I feel it is fitting that when the contract is signed, you do this knowing you have no deal with me – he will be the Lord Admiral of Caybourne.”
Isles of Aradia
The Runaway
Skyrim: Forged in Blood
The Witcher: Trial of the Spheres
The Blackblood Investigation

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

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:49 pm

Drake, Heartstone Estate

The massive giant sighed as Casim let out another string of unnerving revelations to the already terrified little girl he knew to be Divan's unofficial niece. "Lord Casim, with the utmost respect for yourself and your grieving family; the attacks had nothing to do with Rivka." his tone was sharp like a blade cutting down "I would ask you cease terrifying an already anxious and uprooted young woman, as for you Lady Rivka Vennet, the Drow have never let you come under harm. Much as in the way I shall never let harm come to Serenity" reflexively he gently touched her shoulder, but with only two of his fingers so as not to spook her by having his hand encompass her "You are Drowkin, Lady Ornia and Divankul ensured it all those years ago before your birth." it was a simple thing to say, but hopefully it gave her some ease.

When the food did arrive Drake was quiet and respectful once more, his small burst of speech was now done and his anxiety had reaffirmed its grip on him in this most awkward of social circumstances. Unlike how others might've felt: grief stricken, nervous, scared. He felt odd due to the fact that he was just as cold as ever except for the fact he felt the failure was upon him. But that was the extent of it all, he felt distant from everyone including his own fiance who sat right next to him. He couldn't tell if it showed or not, but then Drow were enigmatic sorts who were strange to begin with and so more than likely nobody could notice a difference.

Divan, Ques Novich

"Ques Novich is my home, Maiden's Shield to the rest of the world, it is of Drow construction. Drow were and still are one of the most highly engineering races on Aradia. We evolved from Obscuran elves such as they were" he nodded silently to himself, seemingly feeling something tug at him from afar "This is actually the height of engineering, an unsiegable wall that defends the city down below and the Briochi lands to the north. Nobody knows how it was made but we do know how its defenses work. Normally people would pass through a tiny ten meter gate, while in times of great strife apparently the entirety of the gates may open to allow something to exit and help the Drow. It is also where I was born, the city below us is a beautiful one to be sure, but the Shield as it were is a fine place all by itself"

He looked down to his daughter and sighed, angry with himself that she was placed into this horrible world by his selfish actions, she would be another reminder of his many failures in life and how his endeavors had truly made Aradia worse off place to live. He felt the tug on his heart again, stronger, and it snapped him. A pain, no, a sensation he hadn't felt in decades. He'd have to think on it more though, it couldn't be, he would've been feeling at least traces beforehand.

"Tell me about the Wilds? I only lived with the Cats, and they made the forests look tame due to how well they domesticated some of the spider species for silk production, and other mighty animals under foot for other domestication and culturalization. However, if the Silkwoods are any indication, where the Wood Elves have a semblance of control alongside Erenai; and they still suffer constant battles I can only fathom how the Wilds look to a non-Feline tribe"

Xankresh, Twicefreed Manor

"Maria? Not likely, she's a lesbian as it were and she actually doesn't like her own kind. She wants to constantly get with a wide mix of ladies much like her brother tends to, very unorthodox grandchildren I must say. No her issue is that Serenity's a child and A'Draak's not only much older but a giant and at least to her, terrifying. He's not big on talking unless its one on one in a room where his social anxieties don't flare, the man can't handle groups of people well outside a combat theater. Plus she thinks humans wouldn't be able to take him, or any elves really, sexually because of our added height our genitals grow in accordance. Naturally humans certainly can, and many do find drow to be highly desirable mates specifically for that trait plus the flawless skin and no fat content doesn't hurt, she's also just pretty damned racist on top of everything else so it skews her judgement." Xankresh was very at home just spouting off information once someone had a question, even addressing some unmentionables people never felt comfortable asking.

"Now Mossa, the General's Commander? They haven't, but when I ordered him to leave I could feel her wishing she had the balls her brother does to stand up to me and say that the man is her mate and nobody else's. Not sure if he reciprocated those feelings in private, but I'm very aware he takes great pride in being her subordinate and has more respect of her and her accomplishments than anyone else in the Alliance. So I'm not sure if they've had sex or not, never told me about it if they did and she's certainly not pregnant so I have no proof of any real relationship besides Mossa feeling jealous someone might get what she took for granted as her own personal hunk" Xankresh smiled to Claire and Lyron "I have no problems with being candid about my children and grandchildren, I'm old I get to spout off about my offspring and how they sometimes hate the decisions I make."
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:58 am

Heartstone Estate Rivka

Rivka apologized to Serenity for not knowing her tittle, she guessed she had more studding to do on the family she was about to join. It was when Casim spoke that she felt her heart start to sink. She didn’t know what to say but she felt guilty. Everywhere she went she brought death. Her mother and brother in her youth, Arthur Blackthorne on her wedding day, Jaster Blackthorne, her husband she barely knew and now her new family her future mother and sister in law. Was Lady Aradia punishing her? What sin had she committed to be cursed like this?

Had the Bloodhawk been involved? Could he get her even here? Unconsciously she touched her stomach remembering his warning. He knew. And she would drag the Ludlows into danger, maybe she already had. She was looking down lost in her feelings and trying to decide what to say when Drake started to speak.

It was on her bad side so she didn’t catch the beginning of what he said until she looked up to watch his lips. The drow were a little different in their speech then humans but having grown up around them she had no trouble reading his lips. Like most drow he spoke bluntly. She looked at Serienty with a bit of envy. She would be safe as the wife of man like that. But could Casim keep her and her child safe? Was it fair to even expect him to?

She smiled at Drake, “Thank you.” She said.

The food arrived soon enough, a welcome distraction from conversation though the quiet buzz of small talk continued around the table. Rivka did notice the drow general seemed a little nervous, she wondered if it was just his impending marriage or if it was the unknown threat that lingered. If the drow were scared it would be wise for them all to be scared. Rivka found herself eating a little quicker then she should and once again feeling a need to fill the quiet with chatter.

“This manor is lovely from what I’ve seen so far.” She said to no one in particular, “I loved the tapestries in the hall. What artist did them? I’d love to see more of the manor after diner…or tomorrow.”

---------------------------------------


Heartstone Estate Freyr

Freyr stopped eating at the revelation. He sighed considering what to say. He did not know Casim, did not know if this boy was ready. But what he did know was that the lord admiral was making this change out of grief and emotion. Still it wasn’t his place. It would put a lot of pressure on Rivka but really his daughter would have the other older women to guide her.

He sighed before speaking glancing at Amayl.

“I am sure Casim is a very capable young man, if he were not, I would not be willing to give my daughter to him,” Fyrer began cautiously, “It is not my place to question your wisdom, I only want to caution you that in the throws of grief sometimes emotions can get the better of reason. There is no need to rush this decision.”

He licked his lips, “There are important choices I made to soon after to the loss of my own wife that I wish I had sought more council on.”

He looked down, it had not been his place to say these things to man who was a stranger. But he remembered how he’d rushed to remarry, how every choice he made that year was shadowed in fear and depression and guilt. Divian had tried to warn him of his brashness but he’d lost friends and closed doors in his desperation to fix everything. But things had gotten better, time didn’t erase the people you loved and lost but it took the edge off the pain, so you could look back and see the joy, not just the loss, so you could think again.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:31 pm

Characters & Info
Metheryl Arcaena
Former High Enchantress of the Shatterlight Coven


She had seen Maiden’s Shield on a map before. Her ears twitched at the mention of something that could exit the gates. But they outright laid back when he mentioned the tame spiders of the Catfolk. A sharp, spiteful hiss sounded from between her teeth and she shook her head.

“The spiders the cat-people have are weak compared to the ones we fight. They are Void-touched, ours,” she spat. “There is no taming, only killing.”

She breathed, summoning calm. Rarely was it she had to do such a thing, but then again, there were few things that riled her such as the spiders and their mì-thoilichte queens. And… there had been much to process over the past… how long had it been? Days? Was that all?

“You know my people to be wood elves, but we have garnered another name because of where we live, of what we do. Wild elves. We… could be considered something more vicious than your typical wood elf. We aren’t all about harmony with nature, or druidic tendencies as children’s tales would have one believe.

“You drow are known for fighting the Void. And in recent years… that is also what we do. In a round-about way.”

She leaned forward confidingly. “I told you of my venture into the Void, where I went down through Aradia’s veins. The veins move. Caves, tunnels, winding chasms beneath her skin. And there, the Void leaks through into our world. Nothing compared to the Demon Wars, of course. But we deal with stragglers, with scouts. The less powerful of the damned.”

Metheryl sighed. She moved a long strand of straight hair away from her face and gazed at Divankul.

“But… our lives are not filled with only the fight against the Void. We live a simple life, secluded. We breed within our own species alone to keep the purity of our wild magic… so you will only find wood elves in Shatterlight, our home.”

She offered a small, tight smile. “My parents started the Coven. But they were part of another line of elves, one that led back to a secret organization… even I do not know the name. Whatever it was, the Spreading of Obscura broke their ranks and they were forced to flee to Everglow City.”

She had gotten off topic. Staring at the floor for a moment, she corrected herself. “The Wilds can be a beautiful place. Fairie-like, in some ways… magical, certainly. But often its dangers overshadow its aesthetics. Anyone who has lived as long as I cannot deny that.”

Standing, Metheryl glanced about the room. Her mind mulled over the events of the past while and she was surprised to find that despite what had happened back in the Void, she… trusted Divankul. A drow, non-member of her own kind.

“My child was near your age when the Spider-Queens finally took her life,” she murmured.

She sat beside Divankul, gazing at the features of his sleeping daughter. “She was my only one. The man she was bonded to didn’t come back from a raid against the Queens and she set out to find him without telling a soul. She came back, dying of her injuries… we were too late. We cut her child from her belly before death could also take her.”

Silence fell upon her. How many years, and she still grieved Holone. She no longer cared how far she had wandered from the initial topic. Divankul’s experience with his daughter reminded her too closely of her own… even if theirs was a simpler relationship.

“My… granddaughter,” she stammered, voice breaking for a moment before the strength returned. “I called her Wynmae, after Holone’s favourite doll as a child. And even she is lost to me now…”

To her shame, tears began to crawl down her cheeks. And to her great embarrassment and horror, she wrapped her arms about Divankul. But this was not treachery to her people, to her beliefs. This was the embrace of a fellow parent who understood loss.

“You have a second chance, Divankul,” she breathed into his ear. “Make it matter.”



Lady Claire Ludlow
Twicefreed Manor
Platinum Gardens, Everglow City


Claire felt her eyes widen at Xankresh’s blatant attack on his granddaughter’s honor. But in the same moment, her gaze shifted to Lyron and she understood. This was not about going against Maria’s honor, about besmirching her name. This was acceptance. And the sudden and great respect she saw in Lyron’s eyes for this Pirate King put her at ease for the rest of this conversation.

But then he just had to mention the word genitals. Her face turned a deep crimson and she couldn’t stop the awkward smile that flitted across her features. And quite automatically, she was now thinking about his… and really trying her best not to. She noted Lyron automatically rolling his eyes away to stop his own reaction.

Still, despite the diversion, she followed the conversation well. With the discovery of Mossa’s possible interest in General Drake, she gave a small nod. “Could Mossa be a problem for Serenity?” she asked. “For her safety?”

“For the love of Aradia, don’t tell Darius,” Lyron said softly. “He’s a womanizer… and although I don’t doubt Mossa could hold her own against his wiles, he could very possibly manipulate her into pulling Drake back to her side.”

“That is a fair observation,” Claire confirmed. “But… would Mossa choose to do Serenity harm to get Drake back? Or interfere in their marriage if it does go ahead as planned?”



Lordling Casim Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


He felt his skin heat with Drake’s gentle rebuke but he gave a soft nod and offered his apologies to both him and Lady Rivka. Drake was most likely right. But he knew his father wouldn’t agree. Grief had done something to him that wanted to heap this upon the Bloodhawk – and the only motivation would be Rivka.

Still, he didn’t continue to voice his concerns, or those of his father.

When the food was delivered, he found he had little appetite. He shifted things around his plate and nibbled here and there. Elmer had said this would happen, that it would be normal while he was still grieving his mother and sister, still mourning what had happened to little Eason.

He had also said that if Rivka proved to be what he desired in a romantic partner, love could also do something similar. But Casim had no disillusions.

Lady Rivka was pretty. She seemed a sweet girl. But Casim was something of a realist when it came to affairs of the heart, and he knew he was still yet to feel any such thing for anyone.

“Oh, uh,” he stammered when Rivka asked about the tapestries. He glanced at Serenity for help and she gave a soft shrug.

“Our great-aunt Amayl,” she offered. “She’s the oldest, has an interest in our family history… although there isn’t much to be found around here.”

“My father was an orphan,” Casim added as way of explanation. “And we can walk around the manor whenever you like, Rivka.”

Serenity glanced to Drake, also sensing the obvious discomfort. But she had hastened to fill the void left by Casim’s awkwardness, much to his relief.

“Your guard,” she said softly, nodding towards Carndas. “He hasn’t taken his eyes off that tapestry except to look at Aunt Amayl. Is-”


Lord Admiral Mancel Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


Lord Vennet, diplomatic as ever, surprised Mancel by advising him against it. For a long moment, Mancel sat staring at him, wondering in what world this man thought he had any place to advise a Lord, a leader of a nation, to-…

He let his eyes sink to his daughter on his knee. She was staring at his shoulder like it held all the answers in the world, yet slightly confused her. Gently, he gave her a squeeze.

“Lord Vennet makes a valid point,” said Elmer softly, with care. Not pity. Pity never came from Elmer. “You are surrounded by those who have lost, who have moved forward and made decisions brashly. And by those who made right ones. This is not the time to make this one.”

He wanted to rebuke his advisor, his friend… hell, mentor. But he didn’t. He just gazed at little Aimee’s sightless eyes.

“I need to be a father to those I have left,” he murmured.

“Is that not what you are doing?” Amayl broke in. He glanced at her, not expecting the harsh tone of her voice. She was irritated, but not just by this.

Abruptly, she spun in her chair to yell at one of the Vennet guards. “For the sake of the goddess, child! If you’re going to assassinate me, grow the balls already!”

Mancel blinked owlishly, staring at the subject of her wrath. The young handsome guard looked baffled, then embarrassed. He didn’t know what to say, his mouth open, apologies and confusion in his gaze as he glanced between Amayl and Freyr. “My lord-…?” he offered.

I’m talking to you,” Amayl snapped, rising from her chair in a strong, fluid motion not fitting of her age. “I’m not the young pretty bird I once was, so why else must you stare gaping at me like a moron if not to kill me? Get out of my sight!”

The guard wavered, but Mancel felt a slight smile curl his lip as the guard stayed. The boy’s gaze switched to Freyr instead, questioning. At least he is loyal to one master, not easily frightened off, thought Mancel.

“Enough, Amayl,” he said, making a motion with his hand for her to sit down. She had the attention of the entire table. “He is not yours to command.”

To his relief, she still obeyed, sinking into her chair in a much more elderly motion, bones creaking. She shot the guard another filthy look before breathing in deeply, looking to Freyr. “What is his name?”

“Amayl.”

“Sorry about that,” Serenity said to Rivka. “She can be a bit hot-headed.”

Casim found himself staring at the guard a bit longer. He looked familiar. Still… he turned his attention to Drake. “So, I’m curious. Where will you and Serenity be living once you’re married?”
Isles of Aradia
The Runaway
Skyrim: Forged in Blood
The Witcher: Trial of the Spheres
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:02 am

Heartstone Estate Freyr



Freyr did feel a little out of place as Elmer and Amayl advised the lord admiral. He flet as if he were eavesdropping on a conversation that did it was not his place to be involved in. But this did concern him. By inserting Rivka, his only child, into this family their fortune and status became entwined in his. It was hard to say though who was the better choice. Casim was young it was true but he had seemed calm and confident. Freyr mostly worried about why they were attacked and how they planned to respond. He intended to bring it up in the meeting, it did not seem an appropriate dinner time conversation, especially with ladies present.



He had not really noticed Carndas staring at the lady. He was startled as she jumped up and began to yell at the new guard. Once she was seated again he stood.



“Carndas, wait outside.” He told the guard before sitting back down. He did not want to offend the matriarch of this family before the contract was finalized.



“My apologies. He meant no harm I’m sure.” Freyr said speaking both to Amyl and Mancel. “He is new and still needs some training in etiquette. Rodin, I believe is his surname. He is a commoner, but he saved my daughter’s life. He showed bravery and a sharp eye. I will make sure someone speaks to him about his manors. I’m sure he meant no offense.”



-------------------

Heartstone Estate rivka



Rivka smiled, glad to have the topic changed. But she was startled by Amayl’s outburst. She bit her lip a little as Cardnas was dismissed. She almost wanted to interject, tell him to stay, but she couldn’t contradict her own father and it likely wouldn’t serve her well to offend Lady Amayl. But she did lock eyes reassuringly with her guard, hoping he would know he wasn’t in trouble. She felt safer with him or Thomas near.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:26 am

Drake, Heartstone Estate:

Despite the ruckus to their side, Drake sighed and nodded "I would presume to relocate to the mainland, Solstheim is no place for a young woman to stay, it is a military country with the only other community being that of a strong willed High Feline tribe to the north. So, I would make a motion to purchase a vacancy in the Platinum Gardens. Of course, I would more than likely retire to this site and simply act as a strategist and a supportive overseer of my command staff so that I could spend my time rather peacefully with Serenity. I am not one for large groups of people, I greatly enjoy time alone with those I wish to speak with. I feel Everglow would have the perfect mixture of civility and isolation when one wishes to lock back the world."

"However, this is all of my vision, it would be cruel and presumptuous to not ask the Lady Serenity what she would wish to have. One who seeks power or selfish satisfactions in a marriage, despite it being an arrangement neither one may control, is a fool and a bastard" Drake had to stop himself, he realized where he still was, it was as if in his discussion the world had slipped back away form him and he was in a narrow focus, but then the general noise of the room came rushing back and his face flushed up with a mixture of anxiety, discomfort, and embarrassment to have let his feelings slip so easily past his facade of a level minded general. "My apologies, that was quite a question and I allowed myself to grow into a, well something of a mad drow I would presume......in that vein, Serenity, where would you wish to live? That is the much more important question to be asked, not what I would plot, but that which would make you happiest"

Drake didn't intend to pamper and come across as spoiling his own fiance, in fact this was something he viewed as just a normal consequence of being a man who had always loved his wives and been one to treat them as they were, his equal.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Xankresh, Twicefreed Manor:

"Certainly not, she's a hot head sometimes but she'd never actively hurt an innocent or attempt a sabotage of anything. She'll maybe be a little miffed about the entire exchange but at the end of the day it'll be accepted to her as the way things are best met out to be. As for Darius, he could try but Mossa is a firebrand, she'd sooner knock him out for trying to drive a wedge between her and her family than go along with anyone. Serenity is secure, and Mossa will not become a liability, and Maria's not into men so she won't be swayed. My sons either wouldn't care or aren't here right now, and Garin could-but he won't. All of my family members will heed my order for once it would seem"

"Rest assured, everyone is safe, honestly you can't get any better than Drake- nothing will happen to serenity unless Drake is killed first. Considering he lived through a Wyvern assault, it's unlikely anyone can kill him at this point in time. Any other concerns I can put to bed for you two?"

___________________________________________________________________________________

Divan, Ques Novich:

His arms were strong, he was like a sturdy rock, it was unlike before where his touch felt almost otherworldly. He held Metheryl for as long as she would need him to, he was done with paying out the role of the monster. "I know I do, and I intend to use it to actually be the parent I was never allowed to be. I miss my wife, my sister, but at least now I have one fragment of my life back to me and I can begin to make it right" his voice was shaking and his seemed to be trembling. It felt right to be speaking of this, to let emotions flow out instead of hiding behind facades any more as a spiritual non-person.

That same shocking sensation rising up through his spine, this time stronger as he bolted a bit suddenly jerking and rubbing his temples "My word, what madness is this? I feel as though my soul is speaking of something long since gone thumpst my core. I'm not sure, maybe it's the feeling of being mortal again that I had forgotten in the interim" he sighed, breathing out some kind of weight "So, what shall we do now my companion? I am at a loss for what could transpire after all this has taken its toll on us both"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:07 am

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Lady Claire Ludlow
Twicefreed Estate
Platinum Gardens, Everglow City


It wasn’t easy to miss Lyron’s ears perking in interest at that comment about Garin.

The Wyvern assault… Claire nodded gently, her mind flitting to that terrible time not so long ago that the Crossroads had been lost. Really, the situation that started most of her own family’s dramas. Lady Rivka Blackthorne marrying her younger brother, Eason’s disappearance… hell, the only thing that had been planned prior to the demonic assault on Jaster’s men was Serenity’s marriage to Drake.

Absently, she wondered why her father hadn’t set her up to marry Drake. Was is to do with race? Wanting a human line? She doubted it somehow.

He asked if they had any other concerns. She was silent a moment, almost a moment too long to be anything other than awkward. But then Lyron spoke up.

“What do you know of shapeshifting magic?”

She glanced at Lyron sharply. He didn’t meet her gaze, his eyes level on Xankresh.

“We believe the murder of Lady Claire’s mother and sister, and the kidnapping of her youngest brother was all carried out by a practitioner of such magic. We don’t have many contacts in the magic fields other than Elmer Twicefreed. Perhaps you would know someone we could add to our investigation?”



Former High Enchantress Metheryl Arcaena
Ques Novich or Maiden’s Shield


The softest, most subtle smile touched on Metheryl’s features at the tender tone Divankul took in addressing the situation with his daughter. She gave a gentle shake of her head and moved back from him, regaining an appropriate distance.

“I, for one, am going to partake in a very mortal thing,” she said.

She seated herself on the floor, cross legged. Her clothes melted into something more relaxing – a simple cloth robe. Barefooted, her eyes closed, she breathed out and appeared to go into a deep trance: deeper than sleep.

But not a moment later, her eyes shot open, the glow of Kraai’s vibrant demon eyes fading in the same moment. Metheryl cursed under her breath, beads of sweat popping onto her forehead as she stared at Divankul.

“I must ask for some assistance in getting rest,” she admitted guiltily. “Might you have restraints for a magic-user? I wouldn’t want to…” She huffed an impatient sigh. “You know how Kraai is. And I trust you, Divankul.”



Mancel Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


At the sound of the guard’s name, Mancel’s gaze sharpened on the boy’s back. A Rodin? This Rodin did as his master bid, throwing one last apologetic look over at his lady, Rivka, before leaving the room. Mancel and Amayl’s eyes met, and he felt the steel in her look. He kept his suspicion from his face.

Someone didn’t get the memo however. Elmer’s brows rose high and he leaned forward in obvious interest. A none-too-subtle kick from Rasheba made him realize he’d missed the social cue and he distractedly stared at his food.

“Let’s have no more talk of politics or dark matters at dinner,” Amayl sweetly soothed. Her tone was abruptly different than of that of a few moments ago. “Now, Lord Vennet. I heard Lady Corsetta Doyles was performing in Briochi recently…”

Mancel found himself tuning out most of the dinner conversation. He knew a part of him should be grateful that Amayl and Elmer covered the moments left purposefully open for him to join in. But all he could do was pick at his food and gently bounce Aimee on his knee.

When she fell asleep, he excused himself with promises of meeting Lord Vennet and Elmer in Amayl’s study shortly.

Carrying her tiny sleeping body in his arms, he plodded down the long halls. Tall windows faced out onto a sea of ink; the stars absent. He watched his sweet daughter’s sleeping face – the only time she truly looked restful with her staring, unfocused eyes silenced to the world she could not see. Or the world that could not see her.

Why not her?

He knew why. They had left him one final precious thing in his life to hold on to with all his soul. They. Whoever that was. And of course, they’d left him the most ‘broken’ child. The one that would be hard to marry off. The one that tragedy naturally followed in the everyday things. The one he would never let go now.

Aimee had begged to sleep in the same room as him, fearful that the shifter might come back. It hadn’t taken much persuasion. He paused to talk to the guard at his guest room’s door – a room which might eventually become his own room should he stay here instead of returning home.

He asked the guard about his mother and had a conversation that only he and that particular guard would have. The guard knew it wasn’t genuine concern over his mother’s broken hip or interest in her pet cat’s name. It was an identification process to make sure he was exactly who Mancel thought he was.



Serenity Piers
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


She was silent as Drake outlined his hopes for the future. Judging by the words he was using, the terminology… they weren’t so much hopes as he believed expectations. Her gaze subtly washed over his face before falling to her hands in her lap.

Expectation, or… well, she couldn’t be certain. Reading people came with time, and nearly fifteen years wasn’t enough time to perfect that skill – however much she watched, listened, studied.

And then he asked where she would live. She didn’t hesitate, not even allowing for the customary shyness of a girl asked such a big question.

“As safe as Everglow City would be, it wouldn’t be my first choice,” she admitted. Her eyes rose to meet Drake’s again. “Were I a man, I would have already left to explore the far reaches of Aradia. Sail the seas, explore the Tropics and forbidden places such as the Untamed Isle. Collect the stories of people and lands alike, all the while drafting my own as it danced right beneath my feet.”

She felt stares on her, and abruptly the shyness kicked in. And she stuttered, her gaze no longer brave.

“My… brother wrote me some inspiring letters about his adventures,” she murmured. “I… wish he was here to meet you.”

Casim glanced at Rivka and gently joked: “You’ll have to forgive some of our family. Poetry and prose run in our blood.”



Darius Black
Everglow Docks


The first ship to set sail was a speedy schooner with a large sail and very little cargo. A messenger service, the crew agreed to carry Darius to Caybourne for several gold pieces. There was nothing to pack and he would not bother with goodbyes – he had never been particularly good at them.

And hell. Nobody would be surprised to find him gone again.

With his cutlasses strapped over his back, blades at his hips, he boarded the small craft and waited for cast-off. He could have stolen the ship, but even he wasn’t brazen enough to rob the docks of Everglow City. There were some lines even a pirate could not or would not cross.



Shifter – The Lilin
Aruluent Quay


It wore Meroth’s elven form. Shaki’s scent was still fresh on the air – a brush of clothing to a building, touch of a hand on a railing, drop of sweat here, strand of hair there. And although Shaki might have been the more desirable target, the stronger scent was that of her orc companion.

The Lilin walked about the Quay, drunk on the scent of desire. It wore Meroth’s clothes, carried his loot – uninspiring, useless mortal things, and walked with his gait.

But a demon of desire doesn’t easily stay on track. Before long, it found itself in a brothel, pressed to the bar with a drink in its hand – exchanged for some of the loot. It watched the whores, the men, tasted the air. And it waited, wondering if it should make its next kill in such an obvious place.

It twisted the carbon ring on its leather-gloved hand, a sad sigh whistling from its lips. Now Shaki could have done some damage here, had the shifter caught her and not Meroth…

It set down its drink without finishing it, hoisting the sack of loot and walking out. It headed to the docks, looking for the orc with the human features and the wood elf wearing the scent of its next lover.



Mancel Ludlow
Amayl’s Conservatory
Heartstone Estate


He arrived a few minutes before dinner was likely to end.

The room smelled of flowers, spices, and fragrances as any place where soap was stored will. Stacks of the stuff had been piled into baskets upon the long table. Ingredients and waxes were packed away in their respectful places, on shelves along the walls, in more baskets beneath the table. The strongest scents were lavender and cinnamon.

Mancel sat at the table with his paperwork, laying it out so Freyr could sit opposite him. It was a simple contract. It didn’t take anything from Freyr for some time – the only event it would take anything would be with the birth of a child to both Rivka and Casim. A child who would rule both Briochi and Caybourne.

Provided the Bloodhawk didn’t kill Rivka first.

Elmer let himself in, Freyr notably absent. He spoke in a hushed voice: “I can’t find the Rodin guardsman.”

Mancel looked at him blankly, then gave a half-bodied shrug. “I’m not concerned about him. I don’t see how he could prove any right to a heritage here. Did Amayl ask you to look into him?”

“She’s headed off to bed. Rasheba’s keeping Freyr busy, but they’re almost here. I need to get back to finding him… Mancel.”

He looked at his advisor again.

“Promise me, you’re going to do this without Casim for now.”

Mancel gave a single nod. “I’m still Lord Admiral. Casim will inherit the contract from Freyr’s and my decisions tonight.”

“Good.” Elmer ducked back out, just as Rasheba ushered Freyr in. Elmer gave him a polite nod and smile, then carried on his way. Rasheba closed the door behind him.
Isles of Aradia
The Runaway
Skyrim: Forged in Blood
The Witcher: Trial of the Spheres
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:25 am

Drake, Heartstone Estate:

He let out a deep, heartfelt laugh as he heard of Serenity's words, her wish, even the densest of people could tell it was genuine and loud even as it rank across the dinner table and brought tears to his eyes as it continued for a strong several seconds. He nodded happily wiping away the tears. For a moment his world had sparked with thought as the quiet and shy woman he thought to be just another normal girl gave him another ray of hope.

"The more you say, the more I love everything about you Serenity, you're not like anyone I have ever met before and it brings me a great sense of joy"

He rose his hand and brushed her head gently for a moment "I would love nothing more than to make that dream a reality with you Serenity, and if you would like we can speak on this more after dinner has concluded, just know that I share those passions. I have been a lot of places before, but mostly as a warrior, not as just a wanderer taking in the full depth of everything. To share it with you would be an amazing and unforgettable experience."

Something in him continued to snap along, the more he got to know Serenity the less he cared about their age and racial differences of the fact they were forced into this whole affair. The more he actually began to fall in love with who she was.
___________________________________________________________________________

Divan, Ques Novich:

Divan smiled and nodded, his eyes glowed white and he outstretched a hand, fingers tapping Metheryl's forehead she could feel the lancets of brilliant energy intertwining through her actual skull to help in suppressing Kraai so Metheryl could gain some restful sleep. IT was if Divan had set a watchguard of himself inside her head that she could only see out of her periphery. Her arms and legs would feel heavy as those same bounds of energy races through her her spinal cord and spread throughout her body. and army of Divan's energy standing guard in her body ready to react if Kraai were to try something in the night. It would also lull her deeper into a slumber per her wished to be resting, as Divan recited some kind of vocal charm to aid in restful and deep slumber.

When she was finally laid to the bed alongside his daughter, Divan folded his legs up under himself, and he began to wander his mind rather than rest. He was searching for whatever that sensation was inside of his existence, he needed to know and he needed to be sure. While his mind was away his body was at ease, slumped inwards on itself, however a faint ring of light surrounded him giving an ambient glow to the room, not something that would wake anyone asleep but just enough to give the pitch night a faded shadow of notice.
___________________________________________________________________________

Xankresh, Twicefreed Manor:

Xankresh's eye narrowed as he was asked abut shapeshifting magic, and told why the sudden interested into such a dark art form. He nodded sighing "I have seen many a wonder in my time, never such magic though I know it to be true. My son would be the best one to speak with you on it, as far as I can tell he just entered his homeland of Ques Novich-er Maiden's Shield to you two. The same one that caused the massive cataclysm that we felt here in the home. I'm not sure when he could be back home if ever, we're kind of in the middle of a family incident. But if you made the two day trip on over to Maiden's Shield he'd be able to answer just about anything I'd surmise. He's the only Drow in history who has been able to become a demon without converting into a Vrow, and he apparently had untold vaults worth of forbidden knowledge making him crazy for a century and a half."

Xankresh stood, straightening his garb and he cracked his neck "I'll tell him you two would like some help in finding who took Eason, he might be wiling to talk with you all since you have Rivka and he's protective of her to a fault. So while he might not care about the boy as much as myself and the family do as your allies, he'll help tangentially if it means the Vennets avoid a similar fate. Such as Drow are, we're highly selfish creatures according to humanity"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sat May 05, 2018 4:19 am

Heartstone Estate, Conservatory Freyr

Freyr could tell they were stalling just a little. He worried about the reason, was Mancel having second thoughts?

When he was ushered in he was relieved to see Casim wasn't present. He was afraid the Lord Admiral might have planned to let his heir conduct the negotiations. this was too serious and emotional a matter to let a young man handle alone. He realized then that he had seen Jaster as a man and Casim as a boy. He was handing his daughter's safety off to a boy. The daughter who would always be a bright and sunny little girl to him. They were just children being thrust into a violent world full of intrigue and uncertainty. But what choice did he have?

Freyr read though he contract quietly.

"There is something I need to discuss with you." he said looking up and looking around to make sure they were alone. He sighed.

"Rivka is carrying the late Lord Jaster Blackthorne's child." he looked to read Mancel's expression. "But this must be kept quiet. The current Lord Blackthorne has threatened my daughter and any Blackthorne child she might bear. We can hope to pacify him by renouncing any claim to the lordship of the Thunderlands once the child is born...but the child, Rivka and even your son will be in danger. I need you to know that now and I need your assurance that she will be safe here. I don't know how long we'll be able to hide it."

There was more he wanted to say but this was his first concern before any negotiations of the contract could resume. The lord of Briochi looked across the table at Mancel trying to look more confident then he felt. The soft aromas of cinnamon and clean spices did nothing to calm his nerves. There was so much at stake and he wondered could he trust the Ludlows in the emotional state they were in?
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Tue May 15, 2018 3:44 pm

Characters & Info
Serenity Piers
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


Her face flushed with color so quickly she thought herself dizzy for a moment. In embarrassment, she glanced down at her hands resting delicately on the table. But was it just embarrassment? There was a spikiness to it, a terrible thudding of her heart in her ears.

Was this love? She’d always thought the books described it in softer terms. Especially for girls and women. Theirs was a fluttering in their chests, a delicate song on their lips. Not this… cacophony of thoughts, smashing of drums within her head, and the awful cringe that sucked at her toes and threatened to swallow her whole.

But there was excitement. Whatever this strange feeling was, it was a sense of adventure in this new experience. Her skin burned where he touched and a smirk flitted on her features before she forced it away.

She noticed Casim’s gaze on her. He looked away quickly, picking at his food.

Before long, others were removing themselves from the table. There hadn’t been dessert, much to Serenity’s displeasure, but she understood the sentiment. There were a few sweeter options, some nice drinks, but dessert itself was not served in honor of the recently dead.

And again she felt shame that she could feel such things as this supposed ‘love’… or whatever it should really be called.

The group of four remained even as everyone else left. Serenity stood, placing her napkin on her mostly-empty plate. “Lady Rivka, would you like me to show you to your rooms? I’m heading that way to get my shawl. I imagine your belongings have already been delivered there for now.”

By ‘for now’, there was the obvious implication that Rivka would be moving room again after the marriage. Casim’s cheeks flushed and he looked away in clear discomfort.

“Or…” she glanced at Casim. “I don’t mean to intrude. If you had other plans, I understand.” She stared a little too long at Casim, but he got the message and quickly stood, offering to pull Rivka’s seat out like a gentleman.


Lady Claire Ludlow
Twicefreed Estate
Platinum Gardens, Everglow City


“It would seem your son is one for the theatrical,” Claire observed with a touch of humor.

She wasn’t daft. She knew that most forms of drow magic were far beyond her comprehension. Hell, she hardly understood regular old magic that one could learn at the University. But she knew the name Divankul well and wasn’t too surprised that he might have something to do with that disturbance earlier.

Although Xankresh hadn’t directly said Divankul’s name, again, she wasn’t daft.

“I would hardly call you selfish,” Claire said. “You have helped us greatly. I believe visiting Maiden’s Shield really would be our best next course of action. My father has forbade me from returning home while the murderer is still unaccounted for… but he never said anything about travelling elsewhere.”

The impish smirk on her face spoke of newborn rebellion.

Lyron broke in: “My lord, before you leave… please tell us of the road to Maiden’s Shield. I, myself haven’t travelled there from this direction before and have no notion of what to expect.”

Claire excused herself with a curtsy, heading into the kitchen to advise Nimbe to pack some supplies. They would leave before the day was over.

Mancel Ludlow
Amayl’s Conservatory
Heartstone Estate


He showed no obvious shock at this news. His tongue touched to the corner of his mouth, in some distant thought. But he slowly came back to the now, nodding.

“We had a plan in case this was truth,” he admitted. “My wife Amarika was some time into her own pregnancy. She definitely would have given birth before Rivka, but we had kept her pregnancy quiet until recently. We were hoping Rivka’s birth would be near enough to hers that she might take on the Blackthorne as part of a twinset. They’re not uncommon in her family, and she does-… did have a look of the Stormlords about her.”

He finally met her eyes from beneath bushy brows. “Tell me, if you were Freyr, what would you be doing right now?”

“Laughing that an old woman from a dead house thinks she has any leverage, for one.”

“Well that… is a bit self-derogatory.”


He tried not to let the memory show on his face, but the corner of his eye visibly twitched. The thought led easily to another memory. But this one had some paperwork to go with it. He reached beneath the leather folder which held his stationery and slid a letter across to Freyr.

It was written in the Bloodhawk’s hand.

Lord Ludlow,
It would seem that you have sought to arrange a match between your son Casim and the recently-widowed Lady Rivka. It does not escape my attention that this was done without any prior consultation with myself or any other member of House Blackthorne. Despite this I have deemed it appropriate that negotiations may proceed with my blessing.
House Blackthorne trusts that the Accord will remember this show of good faith, and will in future respond in kind with a gratitude that it has so far copiously failed to demonstrate.
Regards, Dominic, Rightful Lord of House Blackthorne, Lord-Paramount of the Thunderlands, and Shield of the West.


“We already have something of the Bloodhawk’s shadow cast over us. But I promise you, upon my life, no harm will come to Rivka. I cannot make the same promise for the child, as anything we do to protect its identity would be a thin ruse at this point. But promise or no, I will treat this child as one of my own.”

He hesitated, then pressed forward. “Casim already knows the possibility of her pregnancy. He will grow quickly to be a father, but I would encourage you to discuss with your daughter giving the child up. Not to some far-flung corner of the world, but perhaps to a maid, even to Rasheba. It wouldn’t be entirely improbable for an illegitimate child to come from her. She is strong in form so a pregnancy might never show through her muscle… and a child could not ask for a better protector.”

He didn’t like the thought of giving up a child. Especially to a stranger. He was an orphan and he knew what it was to grow up without the love of parents. But this child would be different. He or she would be loved.

“I won’t force it on her if she chooses to keep the child,” he added grimly. “But our future may rest on her decision. I will fight the Bloodhawk if need be, for my son. But I would urge her to consider all the lives that will be lost over one infant.”

James Umbridge
The Golden Paw Inn
Verdant Lea


He was uncomfortable. There was a terse excitement in the air. Most of the refugees from the Crossroads had been tended to, but another incident had lightning spitting through the room. Lady Celene Mac Tir and the Princess Everelda’s conflict had been resolved with the former’s head hitting the ground. He cared not for these strange mainlander ways, and might have been able to ignore the jubilant nature of such an event if not for the cats.

He couldn’t stop staring over his mug at them. Catfolk weren’t common back in Westgate. In fact, he likely hadn’t seen one ever set foot on the island nation. But they were a jolly sort. Loud, excited, forever smirking their feline smiles.

Some primal part of him urged the hairs on his neck to stand whenever one of their predatory gazes settled on him. He didn’t like them.

He let out a slow breath into his mug, one hand resting comfortingly on the hilt of his broadsword. He looked forward to going home. Being here in the first place to deliver aid to the refugees was service. Now that it was over, and some of the refugees were on their way back to Westgate to live temporary existences, it was time for him to also leave.

Draining his mug, he pressed a coin to the counter and left the establishment. The stars were clear in the sky above tonight. He nearly looked for a stable out of habit, before quickly reminding himself his horse was back home in Westgate. His mouth set in a firm line and he began to walk.

It wasn’t long before he reached the town square before the hall. He looked down at the blood on the cobbles where this Lady Celine Mac Tir had been beheaded. It congealed between the stones, only marred by one accidental paw step some unfortunate cat of a more normal size had made.

His gaze turned to the town hall. One day it might be his place to visit the Princess Everelda, or her half-brother Titus Sabre. Not that he particularly looked forward to the prospect… He would much rather live his life in Westgate, ignoring the mainlanders and their stupid feuds. Hell, it’d even be a relief when his grandfather grew too old to meddle in these peoples’ affairs.

He knew the man was setting him up for war. Harold didn’t care whether he besmirched his name or that of James’, only that he make something of that name. War with other houses would result in their names being known, whether in victory or defeat. But Harold knew James and was betting heavily on victory. And James hated him for it.

There was no better swordsman in Westgate: that, James was certain of. He could best his grandfather, his bodyguards, even the champion of the Westgate Arena. His men had such faith in his skill that he was allowed to wander this backwater town with no guard. But it did not mean he wished to wage war only because he was good at it.

War had to have a reason beyond bloodlust. And it could not be fought over a woman.

And as much as he looked forward to going home, he knew he couldn’t. It was why he had sent his men home before him, telling them he was going to ‘have a vacation’. Oh yes, some might call this a vacation. But James knew he was a homebody and just wanted his ragged cliffs and climbing gear, the scent of salt in his nose, and the feel of high winds whipping at his skin.

Tonight he would catch a ride down through the Marshlands. From the mouth of the river, he would find a way to get to the Tropics. He was just waiting for the certainty that his men indeed had a good head-start. He didn’t want news of his location to make it back to his grandfather.

Elmer Twicefreed
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


He found the Rodin guardsman standing outside Lady Rivka’s assigned quarters. The boy watched him stoically as Elmer approached, his boots making crisp clip-clop sounds on the marble floor. He stopped before the boy, immediately speaking in a hushed tone.

“Prove to me you are a Rodin,” he demanded.

The guardsman met his eyes in surprise, then hesitantly lifted a hand, holding it in a fist to show Elmer the back of his hand. The elf’s eyes landed on the ring with the all-too-familiar crest.

“I need more. Who is your father?”

“He was Ealthe, a merchant of Everglow City. His father before him was Greyson. I met his wife, Millendra Kilburn, when I was a child.”

Elmer knew the name Greyson, the addition of the wife’s name unnecessary. It only proved the boy knew the right names to drop. He stared long and hard at the boy, trying to determine whether he was lying. But if there was a lie involved, it was not the boy’s. His face was filled with earnestness, and even hope.

“Greyson’s father was called Sebastien Rodin,” Elmer said quietly.

“I didn’t know him,” the Rodin boy admitted.

“Neither did I, but I knew his other son.”

The two stood in silence a long moment, then Carndas softly murmured: “I don’t want anything from you people, if that’s what you’re worried about. I have to admit that this is all quite a shock to me too.”

“This House’s concern is only that you lie. Once the truth is proven, I believe they will have no issue with adding you to the family line.”

Carndas looked puzzled. He frowned. “Line?”

“I saw you take notice in the family tree in the dining hall. You aren’t as daft as you’re pretending to be. You know what would happen should you be added to this family, if your position is indeed true.”

Maybe he didn’t. Or he was a good liar. His face remained locked in puzzlement.

“You are of the legit Rodin line. The only other remaining Rodin is Amayl, and she has no legitimate claim to that name.”

“That… makes me head of the Rodin house.”

“I wish to test it with blood,” Elmer said. “Your closest relative would be Amayl, your father’s cousin, and she agreed for me to take her blood if only to test this. I need yours too.”

Carndas certainly hesitated now. “This is magic, right?”

“Yes. Your blood will be discarded once the ritual is complete. I will not keep it.”

“Am I allowed to watch this ritual?”

“I see no reason why not. Come.”
Isles of Aradia
The Runaway
Skyrim: Forged in Blood
The Witcher: Trial of the Spheres
The Blackblood Investigation

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

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Sun May 27, 2018 12:30 am

Twicefreed Estate, Xankresh

"There will be an escort waiting for you outside the city in three hours time, they'll get you to Maiden's Shield- but if you're still curious its part of the main highway system. You pass through the area to arrive at Briochi, Maiden's Shield is just as it sounds, a fortress city. The roads are safe-but then I never take things in this era for granted so Garin is going to be there personally to make sure you're all kept safe. Dress for the occasion, it's not temperate there, gets nippy and chilled there"

Xankresh stood and cracked his neck one way, then the other sighing "Just remind them you're my guests and who you are, that's enough to get you to wherever you need to be" with his words finished Xankresh turned and began to leave "If he gives you any issue, ignore him"
_________________________________________________________________________

Hearthstone Estate, Drake

Drake decided that it would be best to remain silent for the rest of the period, he felt as though he had struck a nerve with Serenity based on how she forced away her own reactions and he stood as Serenity did, silent and massive over them all. "It has been a pleasure speaking with you Rivka, you as well Casim" He looked to Serenity, unable to form a thought as to what was normal between humans-so he went with the elvish approach "Would you wish to join me out in the courtyard Serenity? I have issues sitting still for long periods of time and plan to be back outside before the day is drawn to a close, and it would be welcoming to have you there as well"

That was all very much true, but it was also so he could have more time to even get to know who Serenity was and break away from these constricting notions of social interaction. He really was not okay with being around so much activity. He waited for Serenity's words and then bowed, letting his frame come down like a level to Casim and Rivka's viewpoint and was on his way out of the room and the building to head outwards towards the courtyard.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:57 pm

Heartstone EstateFreyr

Freyr read the letter from Dominic. He was not surprised but it still left a sinking feeling. He listened to Mancel discuss his ideas for hiding the child. He intended that the child be raised in Briochi. And he wasn't sure the Bloodhawk could be easily fooled.

"There are many options to consider." Freyr conceded, "I fear there is little we can do to hide the child. Dominic Blackthorne knew about your proposal before I spoke to him. He interfered by his words to my daughter that he already suspects a pregnancy. The rumors of his spies..."

He shook his head. In a way he felt like a fool. It was his own ego that had gotten his daughter into this danger. Then he reminded himself it would be worth it, it had to be. He thought of the prophesy, the one he'd never questioned, the child would be alright. but would Rivka?

"I had hoped Clayborne was far enough away she would be safe. That maybe the Bloodhawk would be so distracted with the war..." he admitted quietly, "but I fear no where is safe."

He took the contract, and looked at it.

"The Lady will protect the child," he said almost to himself, "I just ask that you and your son take care of my daughter."

He picked up the pen to sign the document, quietly second guessing himself in his own mind.


-------------


Hearstone Estate Rivka

She felt shyer then usual. Rivka got up with the others, feeling relief at Serenity's invitation. She let Casim get her chair giving him a polite smile.

"I don't have any plans..." she started but then realized what Serenity was inferring. She glanced at Casim quickly. Drake then invited his betrothed on a walk. Meaning Rivka would be alone with hers. She wasn't sure she was ready for that. She watched Drake as he walked away, playing nervously with her hands. She felt burning in her stomach she wasn't sure if it was nerves, or just the havoc the tiny life inside her was playing with her digestion, and really with her whole life. But she extended her arm to let him take it and lead her, giving a genuine smile. A maid trailed along to act as a chaperone, though Rivka felt there would be little temptation to do anything scandalous or inappropriate.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:11 pm

Characters & Info
Mancel Ludlow
Amayl’s Conservatory
Heartstone Estate


He watched as his peer signed the document. Silence reigned for a long moment before Mancel leaned forward, resting his massive form on his elbows set on the table.

“I’m sorry we’ve become a family under these circumstances,” he softly rumbled. “I know Casim would have liked a wife in his own time, and Rivka… I can only imagine the possibilities she dreamed of for her life. But our children will be strong together. One day, perhaps they’ll even be a partnership, like… Amarika was to me.”

He leaned back again, breathing out a deep sigh.

“Well… wedding plans. I know in traditional circumstances, it would be our wives doing this talk… Elmer is available all day tomorrow if you want to discuss a large celebration with him. Otherwise, we can do something quiet… Either way, he’s the one to talk to. He’ll arrange whatever you or Lady Rivka desire.”


Casim Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


Relief flooded him as Serenity inserted a subtle suggestion that she take Rivka to her rooms, all under the pretence of getting a shawl. It wasn’t a cold evening, even up at these heights… but regardless, the subtleties seemed to elude the massive dark elf. Casim’s heart sank as Drake whisked Serenity away to the courtyard… leaving him with Rivka.

Numbly, he took her offered arm in the crook of his own. A glance back proved his suspicion they were being followed – not only by Rivka’s maid, but one of his guardsmen too, albeit at a far more discreet distance.

He wasn’t sure where to take her, his mind beginning to jumble with panic. Drake seemed to have already claimed the courtyard, so the gardens were off the list. Perhaps the great ball room? But what would Rivka want to do in a massive, empty room!?

Shit!

He could feel his palms growing wet with sweat. Moisture beaded on his forehead and he began to fret over what his betrothed might think of a sweaty, nervous little man such as himself. Cowardly? Weak? Unfit?

Not even a man.

In his silent worry, he had led Rivka down a corridor leading to-… Well. Even more shit. He found his feet had betrayed him, taking him down a familiar route to the family crypt. Not that Rivka would know by the well-lit halls, the subtly lavender incense burning on the occasional small table scattered here and there… But it was a familiar route that would only lead to one place.

And he would look a fool if he was to about-turn and walk the other way. But perhaps an utter creep if he just kept going!

“I… admit, I have just been walking where my feet take me,” he said foolishly, drawing to a halt.

He turned to Rivka, watching her face as it was illuminated by the hanging brazier above them. And just as his feet betrayed him, so did his eyes. They darted down to her belly, curious in this new light.

His gaze quickly returned to her face, and he released her arm. With a breath out, he leaned against the wall of the corridor, folding his arms. His eyes were soft on her, but he licked his lips nervously.

“I’ve never been with a woman,” he found himself blurting. His face turned nearly as red as his hair. “I… I mean… just… with you and Jaster, I…”

Abruptly he laughed. It was a choked, awkward little thing and he rubbed his hands over his face. “I feel a fool. I’m so sorry,” he said. “That’s the last thing on your mind, I… That was inappropriate, my lady. I deeply apologize.”


Serenity Piers
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne
But beyond the bridge was the Heartstone Estate, finally. Behind walls the height of ten men stretched steepled towers and buildings of grand design. The bridge led through the thick gates of the estate’s walls and emptied into a paved courtyard. But where paths and buildings weren’t, the gardens were illustrious. The trees were still young, younger than Freyr, but the flowers and ivies bloomed and flourished. The soft babbling of a fountain nearby filled the court.

Accord guards closed the gates behind them, resulting in a solid thud that echoed throughout the fortress… or perhaps palace. It was difficult to decide on a name for this place, but ‘estate’ certainly was too underwhelming a title.
She obediently followed Drake out to the courtyard through another corridor lined with tall windows on the southern side. Her steps were wider than usual to keep up with his long stride and she found herself eyeing his large hand as it swung at his side.

Glancing over her shoulder, she half-expected a guard to be following them like the one that followed Casim and Rivka. But by the time they had reached the end of the corridor and stepped out onto a stone patio, she found they were quite alone.

Chills found their way down her spine and she gave one nervous little shiver as she closed the large windowed door behind them as they stepped out.

Stone steps led down from the patio to the paved courtyard and they passed beneath the fronds of a young willow as they descended. Her fingers trailed the railing, then slipped from the stonework and into Drake’s massive palm.

It was bold. Far too bold, especially for her. And it conflicted with so much. Her mind, her actions… she was just as confused by her feelings as she was by Drake’s interest in her.

She let him lead, trailing wherever he went with her hand stretched out to his. She was surprised by how much she felt the size of a child in this role, wondered if Drake thought the same.



Nimbe Elassore-Rodin
Outside the City
Everglow City


Their provisions were light, but apt. At first Lady Claire had wished Nimbe to remain behind, but the woman seemed to gain a new notion just before leaving and quickly bid Nimbe to join them. Now she wondered if it was just so she could carry the food and drink. But Lyron helped her, taking the heavier of the two bags… so maybe it was just so Claire wouldn’t have to carry one.

She didn’t know the lady well enough to really make a conclusion.

Lady Claire was dressed in clothing unlike anything Nimbe had ever helped her prepare or dress into. It took some time before she realized they were Lyron’s clothes. It was strange to see Claire without skirts. She was so used to seeing her dressed in pretty fashions, it was quite alien.

Her eyes kept finding Claire’s legs as they walked, staring confusedly at the sway of the woman’s hips atop what Nimbe always assumed to be a masculine feature – trousers. She had seen women wearing them (and much skimpier things, or less things…) at the brothel, but had assumed they were meant to fulfil some foreign… kink.

Needless to say, despite trousers being inherently masculine, Claire simply couldn’t pull off looking like a man. She had the hips of the goddess herself.

Lyron led them from the Half-Moon district, heading for where their guide, this ‘Garrin’ was meant to meet them. He glanced over his shoulder at his companions and smiled.

“You look happy, Claire,” he noted.

“I’m not wearing a corset, of course I’m happy,” she laughed. “Now, this Garrin… I know little. Do you know anything, Lyron?”

“I’m afraid not. Aside from what Xankresh said.”

“He likes boys,” Nimbe mumbled.

Claire glanced back at her, then bit her lip and looked at Lyron with the largest, dirtiest smirk Nimbe had ever seen on a lady’s face.

“Shut up,” Lyron snapped, but Nimbe caught the hint of a smile. “We’re almost there.”
Isles of Aradia
The Runaway
Skyrim: Forged in Blood
The Witcher: Trial of the Spheres
The Blackblood Investigation

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