A Lifetime Ago.....
Reynea had to keep her husband from grabbing at her bottom every few moments as they walked- they were not the kinds of nobles you would expect. For one Reynea was a former laundry wench, and Divan was a lackadaisical professor of light magic in the University. Their union had sparked outrage across the city, everyone had been furious but none so much as Lady Volia herself. Lady Volia was Divan's grandmother and the last child of Dul-Sansiska, she had already been forced to throw her eldest into the arms of the Pirate King Xanvani and now was made to see her only grandchild of the time go against her orders and marry outside of his preassigned partner.
Divan had fallen in love with Reynea as she stamped at his feet and jabbed her finger into his chest, berating him over the noble's treatment of the Bronze Way as a way to keep the common folk blind to the workings of the Senate. Divan had found her not only ravishing but bold, being a beloved professor and witty writer he was so used to people kissing ass and garnering favor he had been set aback by his Reynea was willing to get up into his face despite he had escorts about him.
From then on it was years of hounding her with visits and gifts and the like that she finally warmed to him and began to understand his great master plan to reshape the world into a democracy- an unfounded concept doomed to fail but based on optimism and a will to end the bloody backstabbery that was Everglowian politicking at the time. They got married in the Bronze Way Temple, to the astonishment and anger of just about everyone; the ladies were fuming because Divan was a studly single nobleman for their eyes, the men angered that some pretty boy stole one of the few good looking women accessible to them. The merchants and artists felt the union would send a ripple effect and disrupt business, the nobility promptly burst in outrage.
Blackthorne felt the whole thing was preposterous and refused to even humor the idea that commoners could be allowed to even lay with nobles, Mac Tir saw the whole thing as a disgusting example of degenerate genetics at work and scolded the couple, and Dul-Sansiska nearly tore the marriage to pieces before Marissa Dul-Sansiska, Divan's mother, endorsed the two and kept her mother at bay. However on wards they walked around in the Bronze Way now, Divan was a playful sort without cause for concerns- a carefree new age noble who wished to see an end to the ruling class. Reynea thought he was a foolish but lovable oaf of a prodigy and a little bit too sheltered to really make any true headway, the man had never known strife or conflict and probably never would. Even with the literal stabbings and assassinations that took place Dul-Sansiska was deemed as one of the untouchable three: Blackthorne, Mac Tir, and Dul-Sansiska were the greatest Houses of the realm and held power with resolve- everyone knew to assault them was pure suicide much like how House Fairmane had invaded Stormrise only to be quickly ousted and their Lord hanged centuries before.
Striking out against an untouchable house however, if successful or with the blessing of the other Houses, could net you the capability of filling int he gap in their place. To destroy one and to leave the power vacuum unsealed could cause a terrible destructing as senators vied for the influence and the other remaining main Houses attempted to retain the balance in the wake of the loss. The untouchables knew this rule well and took great lengths to remain in good standing with the other so that no one entity could disrupt the balance. Blackthorne controlled the West, Mac Tir the South, and Dul-Sansiska the North.
Nothing could happen....right?
The Night of Broken Dreams
Divan screamed for Reynea to run, so she ran fearful of what his family was capable of. She couldn't believe what his own family was capable of doing to him and the very much pregnant Reynea, they were trying to murder the couple. Was it because he had traded his soul to Molak? Reynea had forgiven him for the deed because he did it with the greatest intentions of saving his grandmother. Was this her order? Or were their traitors just spying an opportune time. It pained her as she looked for Marissa, who took her up in her arms and quietly shuffled her inside her chambers.
she eeked out terrified and hushed "They're trying to kill us! They're trying to kill my husband and our child and me!"
"I know child, do not worry, my son is far more powerful than they can handle, I have to try and defuse this situation however before he brings this place down around us. Stay hidden my Reynea, do not leave this room!"
with that the powerful and enchanting Wife of Xanvani strode out- wielding a spear in her hands......
In the end nobody knows why Reynea left, or who supplied her a horse to make it as far out into the Wilds as she did, how she managed as pregnant as she was and why she ran form her husband and her mother-in-law. By the time Divan tracked her movements, she was gone from the world, he found her remains and determined her death to be childbirth....she had been alone and died giving birth to their child. Had she not left, had she stayed he could have protected her.....the child's body was not here however, Divan wanted to believe it was because someone had wandered by and stolen the newborn in order to grant it life. That was of little solace, he was broken, Divan would know true anguish and loss now.
He took out his agony on Mariana and Adurn's firstborn, Aldrin, killing him in a fit of rage as revenge for their plot to kill him and his wife. In return they attempted to have him executed by Xankresh intervened and declared the price for Reynea's death had been paid. In retaliation the couple petitioned Volia to exile him form everyone. Volia commanded it and Divan nearly incinerated her on the spot before his father and mother quietly took him aside and led him away from the city. The co-conspirators left outside of Adurn and Mariana were summarily executed by Marissa and Xankresh as a show of force that any further attempts on the lives of their children would be met with swift and unyielding punishment. Volia found this price to be a blatant show of disrespect and commanded Xankresh to leave.
"Is that what you said to my son's wife? To leave before she found herself at the end of a blade commanded by you? When my son returns, after he has expelled the hate form his soul- he will strike you away from history and sate his vengeance. Enjoy your last few decades child of Dul-Sansiska, you destroyed the light of a man's life, he has nothing left in this world and thus your time is up.....and that goes for your sniveling shits for a daughter and her bloodthirsty husband"
Forty years afterwards......
Molak peered at the elf curiously "What is wrong mortal? Have you grown tired of our arrangement? I gave you what you had wished for so long" He hadn't stopped trying to deflate Divan's ambition to expel the demonic presence, four decades of constant torment to attempt to break the drow's will to fight and surrender his body to Molak. The shadow creature knew that if he could take on the shell of a drow he would be able to set a precedent, and hopefully destroy the race as a whole once and for all and assure victory for the Void whenever they mustered again to claim Aradia, while also elevating his race's standing as the slayers of the Drow- an honor that would forever remove the stigma surrounding the Shadow Dancers.
However Drow did not claim their reputation without cause, they were stubborn to a point of exhaustion and so single minded in their pursuits everything else seemed to falter before them. Sure mortals could blindside them because mortals were odd and alien like the elves in some regards, but a demon could not sway the mind of one so resolute in his choices. "I lost my wife, I lost my child, I have lost everything to the woman I saved; Aradia has sent down her punishment for consorting with demons. There is no alternative"
"Aradia is a lie your people created to keep the masses happy, you disseminated the untruth because humans are scared infants and you are one of the ancients. Obscurans long ago made the myth and sent it far and wide in a bid to quiet the fear and unknowns, how better to pacify a people than to tell them a god can exist. It is just the terrestrial world and the endless abyss of the Void....Nothing more"
"Silence, Aradia does exist, somehow some way her energy does reach us"
"Where was she when my King laid siege to the world? Was she padding Jason's ass? Sleeping cozy with your ancestor? Was she just helplessly watching her creation die?"
"She was allowing her creation to do as it does, survive and thrive despite the challenges we face- for it strengthens and grows us" he finally set down his quill and sighed, looking over the spell he placed the final piece fo paper down and looked over his circle of runic words and stored energy. The carefully sculpted glyphs....the dagger in the middle.
"You cannot be serious to think this will work, I am part of you now, if you try you will be destroyed and I will simply leave" he sounded desperate, worried, and wary of the elven understanding of demons.
"No, this ends here..." and with that he stepped into the circle, and bathed in the blinding light of the world.
Divan walked the steps up the Platinum Gardens, when guards attempted to seize him he glared and spoke a single word, they faltered and fell weak to his striking voice. He walked beyond them and down the road to where it began. He was dressed in the worst kind of condition: he was wearing foot wraps on his once pristine feet, as they had long since blistered and callused over into hard affairs. His pants, if they could be considered such were just a cloth of a soft unknown material wrapped about his waist and taking on the discoloration of off white with stains of dirt and filth caked in over years of use. His shirt was much of the same, just a long tunic of off white substance looking as though it had been worn for decades without end. His hair was long and placed into dreads sitting heavy on his head, with a chest length beard braided up into three distinctive tails. All in all he looked nothing as the once touted young lording of half a century ago.
He was untouched by any, nobles who saw him as they traverse the streets called for their guards to bear their shields in case the homeless man were to try and assault them- commenting on why such a being could be allowed to even dirty the Gardens with his footsteps and where were the guards? In the end nobody wished to come near him as he stank to high heavens and he seemed as though he would lash out at anybody. He seemed almost half starved by how ropy his muscles were and how underfed he looked. How could a man such as this come so close the the richest and most powerful?
Divan stood at the outer gate to the Azure Box, the guards tried to shoo him off but he declared himself "I am Divan Dul-Sansiska- you shall give me audience!"
"Divan was banished, if you were to be him you'd have no power here- off with you beggar before I cut you down-" he felt his face become crushed by an open palm of Divan's. He lept up onto the gate and spun himself, kicking the other guard in the side of the head knocking them both to the ground. "Th-the fuck?!" the main one sputtered out with a healthy dose of blood pouring from his broken nose.
"I had to learn combat while in exile, you plebians, away from this place before I destroy you" his red eyes bore into the common elves and they began to scurry, fearful on the look in the unwashed man's eyes. It was the look of resolute rage and determination to see his journey through.
As he walked into the Azure Box he nodded, it felt as though time had stood still in the cramped conditions of the home. He pressed his hand to the glowing symbol to call the elevator, as it arrived he saw knights of Ques Novich brandishing swords and holding them to his throat. His eyes seemed to burn into them and as he breathed out, they moved to slice him down on either side.
Divan walked out form the elevator, the remains of the two knights behind him caking the passageway, he had relieved them of their blades and flung them powerfully outwards as Soran, a master of the Golden Tongue and the Dul-Sansiskan General, walked in to detain the crazed elf. He raised a hand and the blades fell tot he ground with a racket. Divan felt a splitting headache as Soran spoke out words of the Tongue and he felt his body grow rigid. Soldiers bound his hands and led him forward in a march, Soran held him by the neck as they pushed him forwards- suppressing Divan's powers.
When they were before Volia she scowled at him with her scarlet eyes, utter disdain and contempt laced her every word "So, the prodigy returns to me- after having so wounded us all you came to what? Beg for return? Kill me? You shall do nothing of the sort! I shall have the life drained from you and your remains will be paraded. You family cannot help you, as you are no Dul-Sansiskan"
Divan muttered something as Soran pressed ont he back of his neck and the guards held him firmer still.
"Speak up child, tell me your last words, before I end your existence"
"I said, I hope you can take solace in that much" Divan declared not lifting his head up, he didn't struggle as the force of which he was held and seemed to be almost becoming a weight into the two men. This angered Volia and thus she struck out an order to the executioner, a pale looking drow in a half robe of black cloth, sleeves held to his forearms by amethyst bands. He had possession of a massive skeletal scythe and was a master of the necromantic arts. He slithered to the forsaken elf and uttered out the Prayer of the Defiled Servant, the guards let go of Divan but remained nearby as Soran released his neck and stepped back to allow the executioner to do his work without fear of catching the loyal subjects.
Divan seemed to rock backwards from exhaustion as he was released but came forward all in one. The executioner saw the play coming and sidestepped shaking his head, he raised a hand as an incantation and shot out a sickly green gas. Divan breathed it in and laughed, his body contorting from the reaction "Yeah, using the poisonous energy of the arcane doesn't help you here, I built up a solid immunity by ingesting slow amounts of many of the marshlands most deadly poisons and venoms" his eyes glowed form behind as Soran attempted to rear him back in with a hand to the neck to suppress him.
"Thank you for leading me straight back to my grandmother, saved me from killing you" the guards moved to stab into him with their swords, to silence him and to stop him. He simply broke form his bonds and stepped up towards Volia even as the whole of her court moved to engage the younger elf, he declared himself once more and they ceased all at once. "I am Divan, to strike out at me is to strike against a foe you cannot defeat; your mistress is dead already, she always had been" with that everyone had stopped moving, they saw Volia's head roll off her shoulders and plop onto the floor, with her body quickly meeting it there. They had not seen Divan strike, not seen a movement, nothing at all.
It was because his mother had been behind Volia, ready for her son to draw Volia's court away from her flank and thus giving her the capability to kill her own mother and end this nightmare of Volia's creation. The mother and son had instinctively come together to reap vengeance on the probable cause of Reynea's dead, something which harmed them both heavily.
From there it was simply a matter of who was left to challenge Marissa- some had the balls to attack the duo and we quickly killed for it, the rest fell in line completely. The end of an era and the birth of a new one had just come to fruition.
Lady Ornia Dul-Sansiska, the second-born of Marissa and Xankresh and the beloved baby sister of Divankul Dul-Sansiska. A talented girl at only eighty she was the High Priestess of the Temple of the Servant in Ques Novich, her power to mend wounds and cure disease was highly sought fro the worlds over and it was thought she had accessed the fabled Tears of Aradia. This however, is very much a lie, instead it was the fact that Ornia's lineage lead her to the traits of healing while her brother preferred combat. She was no fighter, but a loving and compassionate young woman who took pity on the weak and preyed upon.
She had rekindled the love of her brother, who had lost his innocence when his wife had died far before her birth, but she was there to remind him there was still good left in the world; and without their grandmother that things could be repaired. However, ten years after she was born their mother had been struck down in the Senate by Lord Sanistar and his necrotic magic that the Executioner Lovias had bestowed upon the Hrow household in exchange for sanctuary when the duo had attempted to hunt him down. The price for this was dear, for even though he managed to escape the Senate after ending Marissa's life- Divan had ensured that Sanistar would never again pose a threat to anyone.
Divankul's purge of the entire Sanistar lineage, the utter annihilation of their manor in the Platinum Gardens, and the ravaging of their south western kingdom had sent out a clear message to everyone. To make an attack on House Dul-Sansiska was to incur the wrath of a vengeful and powerful man who went by the name of Divan. Ornia did not see her brother in this way, and had worked for years to repair what had come undone again, she was tireless in her efforts to remind him that while tragedies would come that the beauty of existence was that it would never define a person or their existence. she was a wise little girl and a beautiful picture of Aradian grace.
She had even began the diplomatic talks between Briochi and Ques Novich, who until this time had simply been wary of the other for hundreds of years having only basic interactions to move through the territory. It was Ornia's push in her much younger years when Divan was still seen as an angry and vengeful new lord that had brought the houses of Vennet and Dul-Sansiska into the folds of each other. She had introduced the two heads and in time Lord Felix and her brother had become great friends when Felix's father died, Felix had heard the rumors of Divan's brutality and excessive force in the face of anguish but unlike his father, never witnessed the power firsthand so he dismissed it in favor of the calm and composed professor. In time when Joseph and Freyr were just now born Ornia and Divan had become very well known in Briochi as a new kind of Drow.
A kind that was gentle and protective of their northern neighbors, that treated the entire kingdom as an extension of their family.
However it was on this day that a great and unbridled evil resurfaced, Arkon, the driving force that had fueled centuries of paranoia and contempt for modern drow and had decimated their own race two and a half centuries prior, returned. They rode on horses bearing the colors of Dargas, and thus were led inside. They claimed they were there to lay a commander to rest inside the Tomb of the Elves, the tomb being the final resting place of all elven kind if they so wished and a place where heirlooms and artifacts linked to the peoples were kept instead of in the Vauts. This was due to their nature of being mostly ceremonial and insignificant. It would so happen the High Priestess was there, tending to the mummified remains of Exarnkul Dul-Sansiska and Volia Dul-Sansiska, Dul-Sansiska's firstborn and thirdborn respectively.
One the mighty and celebrated slayer of ZZyxyzz the Conquer Worm, one of Vemrithrax's greatest generals who nearly destroyed all of the great Dwarven city-states buried in the foothills of Obscura before he met his end in the Deadlands as Exarnkul and his men slew the beast in anticipation of Jason of the Black Thorn's arrival and to hopefully stop Vemritrax's final march before Jason could make it to stop the wyvern once and for all. The other was the brilliant tyrant who masterminded the deaths of many political rivals, emboldened the slave trades, and helped to ensure that everyone would fear the Drow even after she allowed her daughter to marry into an alliance with the Pirate King to stop Arkon.
Arkon slew the guardians of the tomb, and grabbed several innocuous items to an average observer- but to those who knew their true strength it was as if they had garnered the greatest arsenal of the ancients. Ornia's guards slew several members of Arkon's ranks before being dispatched by a hungered Hrow Vampire, who ate of them as a woman covered in web and spider tattoos and the Lord Arkon himself stepped up to her. She screamed for her brother as she was bound by web magics and carried away. Divan would be there in but a quarter of an hour but by that time- even with the Rangers dispatched and the entire city on high alert, the final light of his life has been snuffed out forever.
He resigned himself at that point to never be beloved ever again and to never truly love again, because the pain of losing everything just hurt too much. However even in his numbness he took solace in his relationship with the people of Briochi and the Vennet Family, this would prove to undue him even further, to watch as beloved friends aged and died- he would attend ever funeral service in Briochi and was always counted among the mourners for even the most unknown of people in the territory. He knew them all by name, and had shared in their lives; to Briochians he was a favorite uncle who could always be counted upon to be sitting in a tavern, out helping carry lumber, or maybe he was in the Vennet's manor playing with the growing young lords Joseph and Freyr.
As the children grew older Joseph and himself became more estranged as time went on until he had his affair and Felix disinherited him, with this their friendship withered as he retreated away and Divan was left with Freyr and Marina, and soon Rivka and Tevon. Of course Divan still remembered Marina screaming to save Trevon and Rivka, it played out in his nightmares as he looked upon the plague stricken family he had left. Freyr had been the only one not on the verge of death- a testament to Felix's hearty legacy. Divan did what he could but Trevon was too weak to accept the treatment, and once Marina saw what Divan had to do to save Rivka's life........
The look of horror on her face, in knowing Divan's demonic power, the image was forever etched in his mind.
Metheryl's room, Azure Box, Present Day
Divan was dressed in white robes, quiet and quaint now that his family was off at the Senate meeting- or had it ended and they were in the midst of discussions? He couldn't care, there was much to be discussed in the now rather than to just let things simmer.
"Hello my dear, I've had time to rethink what Kraai had told me; I believe I have a fundamental understanding of how we can access the Void now" he looked to Elessia who bowed and left the two tot he comforts of the room. His arm went to smoke after she left "I plan to use the water as the gateway between the Void and here, essentially my body will act as the key mechanism because of my power over void magic. If my hunch is correct we can find my daughter, reclaim my soul, and confront Kraai together this time and have a true chance of defeating her and gaining you answers."
"Of course, I'm not going to go out there and try ripping apart reality unless you feel fit to leave this place- we are partners after all and I'm a terrible combatant compared to someone of your years as well as Kraai's and whomever else she has for allies. That and my meeting witht he Shadow Dancers could provide you your own valuable insights"
His arm snapped back to existence as a regular one "I long for the feeling of flesh and bone again, and to reclaim my soul, as well as to hopefully free you from Kraai's dark impressions once and for all. Because I have grown quite fond of you in our time together however short- though that may be because of our minds having melded together thanks to Kraai and our first meeting"
Caybourne Countryside, Overlooking Maria Vale
The old warrior chuckled "Quite so, it shall be intriguing what will occur next..." as he watched Elmer unpack the delicious picnic of items Drake felt a powerful rumble form his core that noted that the foot looked absolutely phenomenal. A drow warriors rumbling stomach as a sure sign that their interest had been peaked. He took a slice of the dense break and gave it a light lather of honey before biting into it hungrily, washing it down with more of the exotic beverage. He rather preferred this style of enjoying one's food, formality was not something he took too well.
"This reminds me of being on a patrol with myself and my men, stopping and unpacking rations a diving everything about in the cold before we would cook everything in a massive pot over the fire and just eat bowls of our ration stew and dense loaves" he ate of the seafood finding it delectable, everything here filled him with a sense of quiet enthusiasm. Elmer could pick up on the fact the elder general was simply taking in the moment without worry or cause for alarm, he didn't think about what was waiting back for him. He just looked out along the view and ate of delicious exotics he could hardly pronounce, he was just being a man.
"This is some of the most fun I've had in quite a time, it is most delightful to be able to say that" he turned with a smile, and despite his gleeful indulgence his way of eating was still spotless and perfected, the man did not make messes. A proper gentleman and a soldier even out and relaxed, always making an attempt to remain well spoken and deliberately moving.
Righteous Embrace, Cok-Vadan, North Eastern Obscuran Coastline
Ornia looked out the window of her chambers solemn, more than usual, she was having another fit of depression it would seem. While her husband had forbade her from attending the meeting, her son Vosal had filled her in on what Dorvan had in store for Aradia. It was comforting to know that Divan was still causing a ruckus even if she didn't agree with his methodology, she felt terrible knowing her brother was suffering and making poor decisions out of his crushing feelings. With a sigh Ornia turned form the window in her leisure gown, a thin wispy fabric Dorvan dressed her into due to relishing his lecherous hunger upon her, she disliked it greatly and her children agreed.
Zani came into the room in blackened leather, something was occurring, Ornia knew this quite well- however still seeing her twenty three year old was a delight as Dorvan did his best to keep the children as far from their mother as possible to avoid them colluding. However the three knew how to avoid Ornia's guardians, how to speak with Nakura about giving them time with their mother. Nakura was not their enemy here, she was still very much a Ques Novich woman and one of the Spider's court. She was also able to maintain her position due to her plotting and keeping Dorvan and his brother busy.
"Zani" Ornia said with a slight smile perking at her lips to the sight of her daughter, despite all the horrible things that had happened to her, Ornia did not regret that she had three wonderful children to call her own- despite their father. "What is your reason for coming to this wing today my daughter? You look as though you are dressed for battle, I would hope that isn't the case"
"Mother....we're getting to out of here; right now" she whistled and two handmaidens entered, both were very clearly set on a mission as Ornia looked them over in surprise. She didn't resist as they peeled away the hardly there gown, or as they dressed her up in woolen undergarments, wrapping her in dense robes and a male ranger's coat. It was very heavy and very warm, her head was pushed into a woolen cap and her face covered by scarves. This would be because of two reasons she could imagine, it was Last Moon which meant the mountainside was even more frigid that normal. Ornia was not like her children and could not handle the bitter frosts well, the second was to be able to move sneakily dismissing her as a ranger due to the coat- they had to move quickly now.
The handmaidens would stay, to distract, they would barricade the room and draw out attention- before plunging to their deaths bellow on the crashing coastline mountain. They could not be captured, they wouldn't allow it, Ornia uttered a tearful goodbye as they had been there for her. They were her friends here, and while she knew they had to stay to get her home- she felt terrible. They simply smiled "Lady Ornia, when you find your brother again, please hug him extra tight and don't let go. May Aradia be with us all High Priestess" they bowed and began to set upon barricading as Ornia left with her daughter.
"Mother, I know its hot but you'll have to get to Makai, I'm going to sound the wing's bell system to alert everyone to the handmaidens" Zani pushed her mother forwards, she stumbled confused but found her son waiting in much the same attire as her daughter. However he was already donned in his riding cloak. Without much for words the young man held up his mother in a carry and began to run them as commotion could be heard behind. First the bells and then shouting, followed by bashing and more shouting. She could even hear Dorvan and Moran Dargas rushing tot he scene yelling orders through the massive cavernous halls of the keep.
Makai was her second born, an a lovely child she wished had not been cursed by her family's heirloom of power and by the vengeance of the spiders "Makai, where are we going now? I have never been down these halls before" she was quiet, nestled by her son's strength and the heavy coasts.
"Momma, we are going to Big Brotha" his voice was distorted as always, torn up and reformed again and again "He's got the wagon set, we paid lots for guards looking other way momma. Almost there" there was a horrible noise of wood breaking far in the distance, it could only be surmised that they had broken through and that her friends were gone to the rocky expanse of the coast. Any death was preferred to being captured by that man.....
They were in a stable area, she could smell the animals, the hay, hear nays and whines and other odd sounds as she was placed up into a blocky wooden cart and covered by a large plank of wood. Making the box feel small but it was comfortable and packed with hay and blankets, pillows, and her own ration packs. Another plank closed it to most light, she was glad to be safe with her children "Momma?"
"Yes child?" Ornia replied to her son's concern as a good mother should, with quiet resolve and gratitude even though her nerves were shot and she was unsure of what the future would hold for them.
"Momma we ride soon- gotta wait Zani comin....Vosal here?" he jumped a little as his elder brother grabbed the thirty three year old's shoulder, Vosal himself was only forty but his younger siblings respected him highly. Ornia did as well for his accomplishments as a proper ranger, a good soldier and a lovely young boy she had raised in her time.
"Mother, I will head the cart, Zani and Makai are going to ride alongside. We're out of time so please excuse discomforts as I get us away form this place" Vosal was always a quiet boy and good to his mother, he had once tried to shoot Arkon in the heart for what he had witnessed Arkon abusing he rover and in return he had been forced into the wilderness to die of exposure before he came back and was respected enough to have one more chance as being a loyal scout to the Lord. He wore a scale plated breastplate and thick furs all over. Even his under shirt was woolen and he looked to be a good ranger still.
"Please, do not mind my comforts, let us just leave this place so that we may find your uncle- he will keep us all safe....I know he will, had he been there those years ago he would have kept me safe.....He needs me, he needs all of us" Ornia missed her elder brother Divan deeply, her children knew who he was by reputation and had a sort of celebratory admiration for their mother being his baby sister. When they were younger she'd regale them with tales of him doing wonderful things and being a dedicated warrior of the people. She had tried to instill the heroic spirit her brother had into her children, she wanted them tog row up and be fine adults.
They were well on their way to becoming that much, Ornia heard Zani screeching "GET MOVING! NOW!" then she saw them spring into action, Makai jumped to a horse, Zani doing the same now dressed in a rider's cloak. They looked as each other and nodded, they kicked off their horses as Vosal whipped the horses attached to the cart into a full gallop out of the stables. in the cracks of the wood Ornia saw that the other horses had been set loose and were running wild trying to follow out.
Sabotage to allow them more time for an escape, it was needed- she saw Morankul and Dorvan shouting for people to round up the horses to give chase to her now fugitive children and to reclaim her for his desire to lance her again with his malignant spear. She turned from the view as she felt the cart bounce and rock, they were going quickly along the path back to the city. No doubt guards would be there that he children could not bribe, she tried to remain comfortable as they made their way through the icy winds of an obscuran winter.
"Vosal?" Ornia uttered after a few moments, clearly still in shock that she was free from her hellish prison
"Mother?" Vosal replied, not turning to her and trying to keep the wagon steady while also gaining as much ground as he could, he was leading them off to a much better route than the main roads, that was was pure suicide. They would take a long unused road to a ranger's encampment, it would take them south but not nearly as south as Ques Novich. They'd wind up in the Briochi territories....
"Please, if they ever do catch us, send word to my brother as to where I am- I would like him to know where to direct his legendary fury"
"Of course, my mother" Vosal said grimly, ti was no secret this was not exactly their best plan- there was a high chance of being caught- but then, they were elves and so in theory the entire thing was perfectly aligned.
Outer Territories, Briochi
Maria had chosen to, hold off on the ranger detachment until she and Freyr could have a proper sit down. She had been advised by Bormin by way of the Governor that placing troops in the territory would have two immediate propositions. Either everyone would think they were under attack and hate Freyr for leaving in a time of war- thus swaying things in Vilhelm's favor more, or even worse would be that the Rangers were signified by Divan's will to keep Briochi safe. Divan was linchpin to Vlhelm's plot, without her Uncle's massive stores of influence Vilhelm hardly had a good case, but with Divan every move Maria made could be read as part of Divan's broader strategy.
Hell maybe things were transpiring how the old fucker had wanted them to, it was impossible to say because he was a mad man than thus his ploys were unknowable. Nevertheless Aoria was alone in the wilderness, hunting for a mountain elk to bring back to Vilhelm, they two were finally growing much more into each other and it was nice. While not a hunter by trade Aoria was still some kind of hunter and thus could find way to make it work if she oculd just find-
It was a group of two damn horses, with a wagon behind, coming down a heavily snowed in divide. That region was only home to, oh shit, oh fuck no this was not happening. Not not and not while she was out here. There was not
an Arkon ranger supply going back to their old fortification, for one Arkon was de-
That fucking bitch, that bitch knew Arkon had revived and was keeping it to herself so she wouldn't upset anything? Oh she was going to have fun witht him, but first....
Zani had held up her hand, her face covered by a dark hood "We've been spotted, it's not pursuit- it's form the south eastern area"
Makai snarled as his eyes shimmered "Not good, anyone who sees us coming form the mountain could mistake us for being loyalists"
"What is going on? Why have we stopped Vosal?" Ornia was in a bit of a light daze- they had been riding near nonstop for days only resting to allow the horses time to breathe and be fed. It was too cold to fall asleep, and too stupid to light a fire. Ornia was warm but she was also dehydrated and a bit worse for wear, her body was frail and unused to this sort of thing.
"Mother, silence please, we have been seen by an unknown enemy" Vosal lifted up his bow and notched an arrow- looking over the white forestry and open hillsides. It was then he felt the blade to his throat and knew he had been easily routed by someone far more skill than he. Her voice was pure elvish, and Vosal lowered the arrow in defeat.
"Why come here Arkon? Weren't you afraid of running into the elves who killed you last time? The humans down the mountains are our people so I won't let you come upon them this night or any other"
"We are not with Arkon, we are trying to run from him" it was then hi siblings turned to face the adversary. They could do little against the black cloaked assassin however.
"Then what's in the cart?" the sound of venom dripped off her words and made Vosal's heart sink
"Nothing that concerns you" he tried to sling his head back but she had already pivoted and he fell backwards with the woman now straddling him and a hand to his mouth.
"That so? Oh well then, guess I'll waste my time" her strength was impressive as she shoved Vosal unsteadily off the cart and into a snow bank, his sister attempted to say something but Aoria glared her deep red eyes and she fell silent. Aoria took some of the planks in hand and ripped upwards, what she found was a scared little feminine elf wrapped in blankets and coasts, on a bed of hay. Terrified, absolutely petrified of what would come next....
"......."Aoria was stunned in amazement, in disbelief, in a well of new emotions, the woman spoke first
"Please, do not hurt us, my brother is Divankul Dul-Sansiska.....I am Lady Ornia"
Vilhelm's Cottage, Briochi
Aoria quietly opened the door to find Vilhelm pouring over something or another, he looked to her and instantly she knew he had questions. He was a smart boy who could tell what was off in his partner. "Vilhelm....We have a few guests, I hope you don't mind" she ushered in Ornia, and allowed Vosal, Makai, and Zani to follow though they had been forced to keep their weaponry sheathed. "This" she said gesturing to the elf disrobing the heavy clothing in response to the heat of the roaring fire of the cottage "Is Lady Ornia Dul-Sansiska, she is my aunt and Lord Divan's baby sister....she was abducted forty years ago by Arkon and just now escaped. These are her children, Vosal, Makai, and Zani.....Lady Ornia is the one who originally made contact with Briochi and brought the two families, Vennet and Dul-Sansiska, into their partnership. She's pretty much the light of Uncle Divan's life, so I was thinking if we let him know we have found his sister and use that to our advantage- we have an even greater chance at success"
"You would use to torment of my mother, just to further some ignorant political contest?" Vosal spoke, clearly unnerved by Aoria's choice to use Ornia as a tool. But Aoria shot him a backwards glace.
"I love my auntie, quite so, she helped to raise me- do not misunderstand me I am Aoria Notusi, daughter of Argavir Notusi the Lord of Avamor. Ornia knows exactly what I mean"
"It is true Vosal, please do not fret we are among most gracious friends" Ornia had a sort of life n her voice, she stepped to Vilhelm and cupped his face in her hands "You are young Jospeh's son, you have your father's face but I am not quite sure I ever had the pleasure of meeting your mother- though I can see she must've had wonderful eyes" Aoria did not interrupt her aunt's way of greeting Vilhelm, the older woman pressed her forehead to Vilhelm lovingly as if they were already familiar.
"You were the one who dispatched Aoria, and in turn she found us and helped us to here.....I thank you for that, and I am happy that my brother still regards the Vennets as rightful family. But I must ask that you please contact him as soon as you can, I would most graciously give anything to see him as soon as is possible. would you do this for me young child of Joseph?"