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

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

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

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:28 am

Somewhere Within the Void......

Xanmar the Lightbringer

Xanmar sliced the being, that referred to itself as Agrimox the Paragon of Degradation, into a section of fourths; true to his name he whittled under the burning glory of his Aradian blade. The warrior uttered a prayer that he had been reciting since his admittance into his Mother's Army "Shine the Light among the demons and devils, bring upon the glory of Aradia to bear, and wield it as a mighty blade of hope. For we are her Servants, and she is our Master, for we shield the children and bow to no Underking"

He lept away from his spot as Agrimox's familiars began to hound upon the area, muttering further "Please allow my blade to pass through these embodiment of disease and filth in your honor, my Master, Goddess Aradia" with that he lunged forwards with a roar and began to obliterate all that his sword of the light touched. Even the twisted and sickly looking flora of the Void expanse died away from the sheer aura of the swings and the rocks under his feet began to give way as they eroded in the expulsion of the spirits of pestilence. He continued to utter prayers as he moved in an almost trance destroying the blight before him with utter ease.

He plunged his blade deep into the floating island and watched as it cracked and shuddered from the power released......He sensed something new in the air and went to investigate this new calling, all the while thanking Aradia for her endowment of strength and courage to dispatch of another construction of the endless Void.

__________________________________________

Drake, Ludlow Estate, Caybourne

He noticed his tiny bride to be coming after him and saw how she still seemed to have a striking of fear about him, so he crouched down and let her see the legitimate concern on his face "If not the Void, if not another creature intent on sowing discord and mayhem on the realm, then it is one who has access to the evils of the darkest magics- and thus is my sworn nemesis......I should have been here rather than having a jaunty stroll with Elmer for the evening, and I am sorry I was not here to protect your family." he sighed, trying to formulate that response without intending any sort of response was hard.

"I intend to contact Lord Argavir and King Xankresh, and inform them to dispatch the forces of Avamor and the forces of the Third Fleet of Harmony in order to find Eason and bring him home. However before I can do that I have to investigate and gather, and Serenity, I thought of why the creature did not intend on striking at you. So I thought about how it could have come close to your family, or at even slipped past a guard force that knows each other intimately." he placed a reassuring palm on Serenity's shoulder, the icy touch had given way to warmth, even if his hand was as big as he uncle's.

"Did the shifter have the form of a drow impersonating some kind of an escort to my person? As I see it, if you know that the General and the family's most trusted protectors are to be away, in that Moxus and Elmer were absent both of whom have the capability to prevent this tragic loss, as well as the only Drow in the estate who can sense your presence. You would take on the form that would best lure your first victim, and even if the Hrow are known for their alluring beauty there are some who find the Drow to be...." he cleared his throat and looked away a little, clearly he was quite embarrassed of this more lurid reputation the drow received.

"Well, sexually charged because of long lives and the common misconception of what occurs in our lives due to our advanced age, I'm sure that is your main fear of me-is it not? The fact I'm so old, so laid with experience and a terrifying frame that you fill in the gaps with advice from your family that revolves around how best to endure a consummation, or jealousy of such a thing from your older cousin perhaps? The same cousin who is now gone and mayhaps been lured by a shapeshifter taking the form of an elf so as best to lower someone's guard" he removed his hand and stayed crouched, his eyes were genuine and silver staring into hers.

"I am not the most warming presence, I know, but I am not evil or intent on making your fearful. I wish to make up for my selfish desire to avoid this evening's dinner which, had I simply endured the experience and the discussions of the two of us, I could have ended this before it began.....even if it is not to fall upon me a King must always take responsibility." he blinked as he realized what he said and waved it off "Forget you heard me speak of that last verse" he looked back to the hall and resumed looking to Serenity.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:46 am

Cottage outside of Briochi Vilhelm



Vilhelm listened carefully as Aoria spoke. Arkon, he had heard stories and rumors but he always thought that’s all they were, tales to keep children in line. Ornia then came up to look at him.



“My mother was a strong woman.” He replied, “she was not my father’s wife but she stayed loyal to him, even after he was banished when I was very young. If that was strength or foolishness I’m not sure. But she endured shame for my sake, and she taught me to be strong like her.”



“I do not know how to contact Lord Dul-Sansiska.” He told her, “He disappeared moths ago after being exiled partially for supporting me. He warned me it would happen. He was a great friend to me and I wish I could deliver to him the good news of your escape to him personally. But Maria is now lord of the Dul-Sansika house and she is made it clear she is no ally of mine. Neither I nor Aoria would be safe reaching out to her.”



He paced. “I can offer you and your children hospitality, but I have no army. I made my bid for lordship to keep Briochi out of wars that don’t concern us. But Divinkul Dul-Sansika is an ally who would fight to protect Briochi and if I could I would show the same allegiance to his kin. But it is just Aoria and I, I have many supporters but we are still organizing. The current lord trusts in strength and new alliances, I fear he would offer you little help either.”



“All I can promise you for now is to keep you safe and sheltered to the best of our ability if you would do us the honor of being our guest.” He told her, “If Divian returns he will know where to find me.”



He turned to Vosal, “I have faith in the long standing alliance between Dul-Sansiska and Vennet. As the true heir to Briochi I feel no need to keep hostages to guarantee that allianance. You and your family are free to leave but Aoria and I would be greatly humbled and honored if you would choose to remain as our guests. It would be only the smallest tolken of gratitude I could offer to your uncle who has been there for me personally and for our people in our times of need.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:19 am

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Serenity Piers
Ludlow Estate
Caybourne


She listened quietly, and when asked questions would dip her eyes in thought. She nearly flinched as he reached for her, but restrained herself and let the warmth of his hand settle over her shoulder. She felt all the more tiny being touched by him and a shiver crept through her body.

When it came to the talk of a drow’s sexuality, she felt her cheeks heat. Especially when Drake referred to himself and her fear of him. Her eyes skipped up to meet his upon the mention of a ‘King’ and his uncomfortable aversion to the accidental slippage.

“I do not think you evil. Regardless of who you are, my lord, it was not your fault. The shifter knew how to manipulate us all. I… suppose that’s what a shifter would know best.”

She took another deep breath to steady her nerves. Despite the conversation topic, she felt a small surge of pride that she was able to face her fears and speak to the giant drow.

“I saw someone, not certain if they were drow or not as he was in shadow, but I plainly saw the emblem of Dul-Sansiska upon his wrists. And… I know Jenny. She wouldn’t have outright admitted it, but she was a romanticizer. I could easily see her initiating something with the shifter herself.”

Her eyes darted to the floor, embarrassed that she could say such a thing about the recently departed.

“They said she was raped. I suppose… it could have been consensual at first. But he did terrible things to her. And what’s worse… I think I spoke to him earlier. I may have even seen the moment he kidnapped Eason…”

She rubbed a hand on her skirts again. “It was after dinner. I stayed in the dining room a bit longer than everyone else… Jenny came to me, making these… comments on you. Then she took Eason and left. But… I think maybe Jenny was already dead, and that was the shifter.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:21 am

The Provenire Rivka

Rivka absorbed the book. She found it beautiful and romantic despite the poor prose. And it was a true story, well partially true the rest she supposed was the way Harold Umbridge would have dreamt it to go. She wondered why the two hadn’t married. Was Amayl so ashamed of what had been done to her. But surely a man as heroic and in love with her could see past that. Oh to be loved like that! To have someone search in vain for years. To have someone willing to love a woman who had been so violated. Willing to love the child of another man.

She put a hand to her own stomach. Would Casim love her child, that way? Would he not just tolerate the little one but be a father? She couldn’t help but feel some hope. She made her way over to the railing to stare out at the ocean feeling the salty breeze on her face. She wondered if she were kidnapped by pirates would Casim search for her? Would Jaster have? Of course Jaster would have, she thought, he’s a hero straight out of a story. But the thought also sent a shiver of anger up her back. Why would she think he’d seek her when he wouldn’t even stay with her. He’d left her to go fight his war, to go be a hero. He could have sent his cousin or his uncle to lead the troops, he could have styed with his new wife a few months. No one would have begrudged him that. But he left her. This was his fault. She felt a tear down her cheek, a tear of grief and anger and fear and guilt all bunched in one unidentifiable emotion.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:05 pm

Drake, Ludlow Estate

"I doubt it was rape" Drake said quietly "More than likely, as you said she may have wished to have some some of fantasy appeased by a Drow male, nothing to be ashamed about even in death, as proclivities are not in themselves shameful until boundaries are crossed. What might've occurred is that in the midst of the exchange the shifter took its opportunity. Secluded, soundblocked, Jennifer in a compromised position and unsuspecting. Lost in a sense of exhilaration meant she could not have been easier prey. As you said shifters know manipulations best, opportunists that they are. Jennifer may have just been a victim of circumstance, because she was marked as good prey. Close to Eason, the daughter of Amarika, a Romantic....."

Drake folded his hands trying to run his brain through the many images a shapechanger could take to best impersonate one of the Dul-Sansiskans and found he was being silly. To actively impersonate a well known noble house was foolhardy- however the bracelets were monikers of many types and thus relative unknowns could be forged instead. He looked to his own wrists to see the bracelets in place bore Redoran's scarlet.

"I am relieved that you had encounters with this creature and were not brought harm....Though we are two pawns in a greater game of political chess you are still someone that I would not wish to lose, you are a very interesting girl Lady Serenity and I would be lying if I said I didn't think you're going to do some amazing things in this world soon enough." he ran a hand over his face "My apologies, I'm full of Sylvbruuq and delicious foods of Maria Vale, that mixed with my nervousness in having to speak to you makes me a bit more prone to lapses of the tongue. I cannot feel what you feel in the loss of your family members, and it is not my place to be shifting subjects about just because I am curious of the woman I am made to marry"

________________________________________________________________________

Ornia, Cottage

Ornia's face fell but she understood, Divan was quite one to do such things "I understand that- though it pains me that sons of Felix would disregard their own families so highly in these most dire of times.....I'm sure my brother will reappear, and though it would be possible to reach Ques Novich I'm sure"

"Actually Mother, since first frosts are settling, I doubt we could unless we reached Briochi by this stage. If the current lord is as hostile as Vilhelm says it could be dangerous. Especially if this Maria woman is willing to dispatch soldiers after an enemy" Vosal continued to speak.

"No Maria would not go that far; she'll just try to kill us if we wander too close. The Rangers are a fearsome force that requires a lot of finesse to outmaneuver ." Aoria corrected

"Hush children, nobody will harm anyone" Ornia said quietly "I do not know Maria- by who is she from?"

"Cousin Mikasa and Lord Barakul"

"Oh how lovely Mikasa had a child- I'm sure she was raised with the best of intentions" Ornia, always the hopeful

"Yeah, no, she been causing an eruption in the capital, and shes quite dangerous now that she rooted out Divan and forced him off. You'll be safe here Auntie; you're not fit for travel you were probably going to slip into hypothermia if you were out too much longer, your body isn't built for being this far into the mountains. I think it's how you were kept in Cok Vadan" Aoria pushed her aunt to sit into a chair because she could detect the light wobbles of the legs "Rest Auntie, you're with family, we can wait for Uncle together"

"Vosal" Ornia stated plainly, firmly, to her son

"Yes Mother" Vosal replied sincerely and with force

"Take Makai, ride to Briochi......inform them that Arkon is real and that the danger is coming, and call for Divan's return. I know my brother can sense me but I'm far too weak. They have been feeding my poison for decades to suppress my linkage to my brother so he could not find me and it will take weeks before it is purged from my body." Ornia seemed to try to straighten but it was difficult she was actually in a far weaker state than normal humans could withstand, a testament to her strength as a Dul-Sansiska.

"Momma that will makem riot, plus we're not known elves Ques Novich could quash us" Makai began

"And what is this linkage mother? I've never heard of drow having that sort of power between siblings" Zani chirped in for the first time

"Divan conducted an experiment before on us, it allows us to feel when the other is in need so that we may go to the other. It is a, as Divan put it, a high tier class sensory arcanum ritual that binds the min to another and requires intensive intimacy of the other party, intimacy of course being that your uncle and I are closer than siblings" Ornia, not one for lurid speech, paid no mind to what the intentions of her words could seem for some.

"Mother, we cannot just declare Arkon's return, regardless. Rest for now, you're in delirium, cold and hungry from the journey. You're dehydrated and since you haven't been given any doses for the poison to counteract the side effects they're causing you to lose yourself" Vosal spoke authoritative to his mother, who seemed to be succumbing slowly.

"Please ensure that our mother is taken care of, we must go check on some things, since she knows the both of you we are trusting. Do not betray it" Vosal directed his voice at Vilhelm as he looked to Zani and Makai "Come on we have to make sure the riders can't follow the tracks here, if they do we're fucked" and with that the three left as Ornia began to drift woozily in her chair "Arg! Vilhelm help me get her on the bed, she's under the influence of a lot of spider venom based poisons and heavy drugs- more than likely because of how powerful my Auntie really is. No wonder they hid her in a wagon, she's been so chronically doped up that all her Ladyship skills are useless and her restorative powers are suppressed....IT'll probably pass but for now she needs our help while those three cover their tracks"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:37 pm

Characters & Info
Serenity Piers
Ludlow Estate
Caybourne


Her blush deepened at his compliment, whether it was intentional or not. Serenity had never thought of her public image as one that could prompt someone to say anything like that… Who in her life would think little Serenity Piers, the lastborn of a dying house, would amount to anything more than a nobleman’s wife, the one-day bearer of his children?

And he wouldn’t want to lose her. She found herself staring at him, perhaps in bewilderment. She wasn’t entirely sure of her own emotions or what to call them, only that they were conflicted. She wanted to be suspicious of him, to believe that he was saying these things to butter her up. But he seemed genuine, and she couldn’t deny that.

“I… suppose there is only so much you can say about their deaths,” she said softly. “I understand. I admit, however wary I may be or seem, I… I’m curious about you too.”

Willek rumbled deep in his throat before clearing it. Serenity glanced quickly at him, then at the floor in shame.

“I overheard Moxus talking. He said we would be going to Heartstone Estate – where I normally live with my aunt and great-aunt. The defences are stronger there, and it’s more difficult to get to – my grandpa built it to withstand a siege. It’s the giant stone place you might have seen over on Sylvie Isle on your approach. Reinforcements are being brought in from Haven. They should be here in the morning.”



Rasheba Heartstone
The Provenire
The Sorrows


Rasheba reached beneath the shoulder strap of her armor, removing a clean white handkerchief. She offered it to Lady Rivka without question. She had watched the play of emotions across the young woman’s face, knowing all too well they were those of heartbreak. Too many times had she seen that look reflected back at her in the mirror.

“Do you know anything about swordplay, Lady Rivka?” she asked simply.

In a swift movement she drew her bastard sword, flicking it about in her hand to offer the girl the elongated hilt. The blade shone silver in the moonlight, glinting with razor-keen edges.

“How would you like to take a few swings? Don’t be afraid of hitting me. I know how to block.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:40 am

Drake, Ludlow Estate

Drake studied her face as the range of emotions hit, humans were fascinating in this way- they would betray their thoughts so easily by actions they could not control on their own. When she looked to the floor after the Free Cat had rumbled as bit he shook his head slightly and placed a finger under her chin pulling her face back up. "Do not ever feel ashamed of the words you speak and the thoughts you have, to find shame and discomfort in the natural progression of a situation is the way to a life of meekness and subservience.....the life I live is filled with moments I should have spoken up rather than hang my head in shame at my thoughts" Drake had a harder face on but it was more firm than anything- a care that someone did not just do as they were told and keep silent.

"As for hat you have told me, it is flattering that you at least find me somewhat interesting, and I thank you for that as I'll take it as a compliment. As for the estate, it sounds like you'll be quite safe there and that is a good thing, I'm glad your grandfather had the sense of mind to build a fortress rather than a home and to be surrounded by those sworn to keep the families safe from harm can we a reassuring feeling I suppose......" he sighed thinking and nodded.

"I would rather not end our conversation on such a note, the speaking of securities and of movements to new safe havens, so I shall instead petition a new subject. What, might I ask, are you fond of Lady Serenity? This whole journey I have only heard of the Ludlow Accord, or how magical this union of two powers is going to be for all parties involved, of how you're..." he waved that uncomfort away, not wishing to dwell on how much humans focused on breeding heirs.

"Even how you're partial Hrow so you may have longevity, but everything has revolved around the greater sense, leaving you to simply sit and be silent. I wish to know who you are. It's a gnawing sense at my mind and while it's quite selfish to ask- any answer you give me I shall return the favor and answer any question you have for myself. Nothing is out of your reach, even that which I am forbidden from speaking on"

_____________________________________________________

Divan, Azure Box

"Wonderful" Divan simply stated with a smirk as Metheryl came back into power, he hadn't been sure what to do about Kraai up to that point. "Well then off we go" he led her to the bathes and nodded "This is the key to it all, the waters are meant to be a reflection of Aradia's power, a drow is meant to be a servant, and thus a drow using demonic power in a sacredly held area upon the water should tear us into the Void"

Without warning he began to pour his power into his hands and chanting something in the black tongue Metheryl could not begin to fathom, but she knew it was not good as the world began to cloud up around her eyes. IT wasn't coming from inside her but it was Divan's radiating power that was obscuring her vision and soon her mind felt heavy as well. He wasn't using mental power, simply the extreme force of his source of strength was sapping energy away and dulling the world.

Then it happened, he shot forth a darkness that sent a rumbling chill through the air and an ungodly noise groaned.

He grabbed her and with a motion the two of them were flung into the maw of the Void, falling into the darkness of eternity......

___________________________________________________

.......

The falling did not cease, did not feel normal, all was clouded and darkness reigned until it suddenly and without warning didn't.

Then everything was a dullness of floating existence, red tinted ash floated freely like clouds, they were on a barren expanse of island int he middle of an endless astral sea of decay and rebirth. Divan was unconscious, and overtop the sounds of monsters could be heard all about- they had sensed intruders into the realm and were going to ensure that they did not make it much further. The screams of void bats and the cackles of aberrations were all around Metheryl now.....

But a new figure loomed overhead and landed in stunning black armor, rimmed with golden brilliance and wielding a mighty sword that burned her eyes to state directly at almost. His face was obscured by the cloak he wore around his head but she could make out the visage of a Drow. He said a prayer to Aradia and swung his sword in the four directions around them. The creatures of the void ceased their calls to hunger, and were struck down in an instant by the utter force of the strike reaching them far off.

"Vrow, please explain" the voice was definitely drow, almost accusatory at Metheryl for the implication she had rendered another drow inert. Not a bad assumption to make here int he Void. Vrow and Drow were mortal enemies who could not stand the sight of the other and wished to purge either side for domination. This one would be no different it seemed.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:05 pm

The Provenire Rivka

Rivka was a little embarrassed when Rasheeba handed her the handkerchief. She dabbed her cheeks daintily with a shy smile only glancing quickly at the older woman before looking out at the ocean, not wanting to give away any more of the storm of emotions stirring in her heart.

But she did stare at her when she drew the sword. She just looked from Rasheeba’s face to her armor to the hilt. Confusion then fear then apprehension crossed her face. Would she need to learn to wield a weapon? Her father had promised her Clayborne was safe.

“A lady’s not supposed to…” she started out hesitatingly. “Men are supposed to protect…”

But Jaster hadn’t been there to protect her and he wouldn’t be there to protect his daughter or son. She looked at the hilt. Casim was not a night, could she count on him to protect her? Would he be capable of it, would he even care enough. She felt as if she’d felt the baby move inside of her. It may have just been a wave but it reminded her of the promise she’d made to protect her.

She looked around. Her father was still busy in his room working on whatever had him worried now. She saw Cardnas and a couple other guards but she doubted any would tell on her. Hesitantly she took the blade. It was much heavier then she had expected and she found she couldn’t hole it straight without putting a second hand on the hilt. She tried to swing it, not at Rasheeba, just to get a feel. It felt wild and she stumbled with the momentum. The knights at the tournaments and always made it look so easy and graceful. She felt clunky and unsure as she attempted another small swing.


Cabin outside Briochi Vilhelm

This seemed like a lot to handle. But if he wanted to prove he was a true lord he had to handle this crisis well.

“She is right, it is best that the word of Akron not be spread by strangers.” He said, “we must protect the people but not panic them. If we cannot contact Divian soon I have people I can talk to too spread the word. I have a couple men in the guards, I will let them know so they be on alert.”

He helped Ornia to the bed. Once she seemed to be asleep he went to his desk.

“I’ll send word to Jared in the guards but I need to know everything you can tell me about Arkon and this woman.” He looked at Aoria, “Most of what I have heard were stories and rumors. I need as much true information as I can to make a decision. Is Briochi in trouble now or do we have some time?”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:12 am

_______________________________________________________________________
The Drowned Man
_______________________________________________________________________


"Say it."

Knox's face twitched, making the thread holding his lower jaw together strain dangerously. "What?"

"I need to hear you say it." Jaster's grip clenched around the handle of the blade, hard enough to produce an audible strain from the metal. "Say you killed my brother."

Sir Preston laughed then, with that same screaming imitation of mirth. "Is that what you think is happening here, boy? You think you're some brave hero, come to take revenge on the monster?"

You could call it that, if you like. Ever since the Riverford he had labored under no illusions of his own heroism. But if he could accomplish one thing in his sorry excuse for a life, Jaster thought, let it be this. He could pay the House of Knox back their dues, in whatever small part he was capable of, and even if (there was no if about it, some part of him knew) he failed in this, not even his father could fault him on it. Lord Arthur, after all, had met his end in the same way, killed by the same man.

He heard his father's voice, then. Whispers from the past, echoes from all those years ago, from that meeting beside the hearth. I told you to be stronger than me. If you fall to him, you will be no stronger than a cripple. My legacy drowned with you, boy.

"You think there'll be songs about you," Knox was saying. There was a long, finely-crafted silver dagger stuck in the wood of the bedpost; he pulled it from its moorings and weighed it in his hand. "All the bards telling tales of the Young Griffin who took revenge for his father--"

"For my brother." Jaster raised the sword, aiming it at him like an accusing finger. "For everything you've done. You destroyed my family. You destroyed my life. Say you killed Gordon."

Preston did not flinch away from the blade, but continued to gaze at his adversary calmly, his yellow-green eyes glinting from his ruined face. "There's a problem with your little plan, boy. Seems like you're having trouble staying upright."

There was a moment's pause. Jaster's mouth twitched. The sword he held was shaking imperceptibly.

Knox smiled wanly. "Going to run me through with that? I advise you get on with it."

"I'm going to give you the chance you never gave Gordon." The blade glinted in the candlelight.

"How honorable." Tucking himself back into his trousers (disturbingly, he had not wilted throughout their entire conversation), Preston turned his back on the younger man. "Very honorable. Worthy of a reward, I think. Tell you what, lad...I'll make it easy for you. I won't even wear my armor."

From the stack of armor, Preston drew a flatheaded mace with a bladed edge. Tucking the dagger under one arm, he swept the blanket of the bed over the girls' remains. Jaster caught one last glimpse at the look of frozen horror that had been the last thing the girl could express before the end, and then she was hidden from him. Spots of her blood blossomed on the pale sheet as it lay over her, like flowers blooming through snow.

"It was winter...a Last Moon, I think," Knox said softly, watching the display on the bed like a man hypnotized. "Like we're in now. That's fitting, I think. We'd gone out looking for foxes to hunt, me and your brother. We found their den...this little hill in the snow...the Griffin got off his horse, went to look at it. Had his back to me. And I just remember thinking...I'd never killed a man before. Animals, and Orcs, but never a man. Then I just couldn't get it out of my head. It was like...a compulsion." He hefted the mace. "And so I took this. And I gave him a tap, just a tap, on the back of his head, and he went--"

Jaster sprang into motion without making a single sound. And yet, even though Preston's eyes were turned elsewhere, he responded. The sword clashed against the mace, hard enough to draw sparks from the metal. And straight away, Jaster felt the strength behind that mace, the corded muscle on his adversary's upper torso the result of months of campaigning in the Marshes, and remembered how fragile and wasted his own body was, how two of his fingers were grey and dead, felt how much it took out of him to even swing the sword once.

Preston, who had parried the blow lazily with one arm, pushed his adversary back and took the dagger in his off-hand. "You should let it go, Blackthorne. You think killing me will bring back your family, or your fath--"

With the sword in both hands, Jaster brought the blade down again, aiming to cleave Knox's head in two right down the scar-line. But the mace came up again, stopping the strike in its tracks. This time he barely had time to move before the knife came darting at him like attacking snake, missing his chin by centimeters.

"Have it your way." Knox span the mace and dagger in his hands with studied fluidity. "I'd have killed you in public. With an audience. Your sister, and your wife. When I killed your brother, see, it meant nothing--"

With a snarl--it meant everything, it had ruined his life--Jaster went in again and was met with a boot to the chest. The air was battered from his lungs, and he was stumbling, gasping for breath, tripping over the ruins he'd made of the door, and he was on his back. He barely had time to recover before he saw Knox stepping calmly over the periphery, and he raised his sword to parry the incoming blow from the mace--it landed, but the force of it almost knocked the weapon from his hands.

This isn't how it was supposed to go. I was supposed to go down with a proper fight. His body, which he'd once so taken for granted, had betrayed him yet again. First his looks had gone, and now his skill at arms had followed. He'd become weak, and despite his conviction that he could not feel anything anymore, the injustice of that stung all the more.

"If you want to hear me talk, like you said, I advise you stop fucking interrupting me," Knox grunted, slashing upwards with the mace.

Jaster twisted his body out of the way seconds before the top of his head would have been cracked open, and kicked frantically against the ground, scrambling backwards into the hallway. Pressed against the bannister, he attempted to use it to stand up. Preston watched this display without much interest, stepping closer, and in desperation Jaster waved the sword at him clumsily.

Preston flicked his wrist. The head of the mace caught on the blade. With a single tug, the sword was pulled from its wielder's weak grasp. It clattered onto the stairwell below, far out of reach.

The Drowned Man backed up, and backed up again. He had suddenly forgotten why he'd started this fight in the first place. Who was he? Who was this deformed creature who was in the process of killing him? Jaster Blackthorne had been dead all along, he'd jumped from the ramparts at the Riverford. How could the Drowned Man have thought he was Jaster Blackthorne? The Drowned Man was a wretched creature, born from the Water, clinging to the Raft like it was an umbilical cord, swollen and burned and insensate with demon's venom when he'd been birthed on the floodplain of the Whiterush. And even a creature as wretched as the Drowned Man would not want to be that failed coward lord who'd gotten his friends killed, failed to save his own men, failed to lead the House that his father had entrusted to him...

But for some reason, he was still fighting. His hand closed around one of the oil lamps on the wall, seizing it from it moorings and swinging it like a weapon. Knox leaned out of the way, his yellow-green eyes following its trajectory with cool indifference. When it swung back around, he lashed out with his mace, and the glass shattered. The lamp tumbled, end over end, and fell onto the inn floor below. The flames must have caught on something, as the sounds of revelry below halted and turned to sounds of panic.

In the newly-darkened hallway, deafened by the screams below, the Drowned Man was suddenly reminded of the Undercroft, fleeing from the devouring shadows that had chased him for hours, and how he had revisited that in his nightmares ever since. How the advancing figure of Preston Knox reminded him of those demons. There was a sharp panic setting into him, a nausea, and he tried to push his adversary back but it was too late and the dagger burrowed into his guts. He let out a hollow gasp.

"Sleep." Knox wrapped an arm around his shoulders, pulling him closer in a comrade's hug as he twisted the dagger. At this range the grey stench from the infected wound was unbearable. "Sleep, Griffin..."

A madness seized the Drowned Man. With the only weapon left available to him, he bit into the side of his adversary's face and pulled back as sharply as he could. The stitching holding Preston's face together gave--once, twice--and the whole time the man merely laughed. The Drowned Man realized he'd been let go, and he was falling back, scrambling on all fours towards the stairs that led to the top floor. The blade was still lodged in his stomach, and the wound screamed with fresh agony as his every movement tore something new inside of him, but he could not afford to stop moving. His breath came in shallow gasps as he pulled himself out of the trapdoor and onto the roof level of the inn.

The night would have been quiet and still if not for the smoke billowing from the lower levels of the inn. From the edge, the Drowned Man could see that the patrons were flocking out, some stumbling, some dragging their unconscious friends behind them.

The Elf will burn, and the Feline with her, Jaster thought idly. An odd peace had settled over him as he knelt there. He looked down to the knife buried in him and freed it with a tug, watching idly as his blood flowed onto his hands. It is time. At last, it is time.

The trapdoor's hinges squealed behind him as it opened, and he heard footfalls. Preston strode into his field of vision. The stitching on his face had broken in two places, and the entire structure was sagging out of place, and when the man tried to reproduce his once-handsome wolfish smile it appeared as a nightmare rictus, fouler than any demon.

Jaster's voice was a barely-audible rasp. "Please..."

"I killed your brother, and your father, and neither saw it coming." Knox's voice shook with stifled mirth. "You're the first one who bothered to fight back. First I killed in a fair fight. And the sad thing is, no-one's going to believe me...the fucking irony of it, ahahhehehhAHHEHAH--"

"Please." Stronger, this time. "Please. Just end it."

The laughter stopped. Knox's ruined face made his expression impossible to read. There was a curious glint in his yellowy eyes. Not sympathy, not confusion, not amusement...disappointment, almost. And then Knox raised the mace over his head with both hands.

Jaster kept his eyes open. He wanted to see the end when it came.

There was a thrum, and an arrow shaft sprouted from Knox's bare chest, right from the heart.

Preston looked at the arrow for a single second, his gaze contemplative. Then his knees buckled beneath him, and he fell on his back.

The Drowned Man took a breath. No. No, no, no.

Arianne West strode across the rooftop, her bladed bow clutched loosely in one hand. There was a cold look in her bloodshot eyes. "Told you not to wander off, lad."

No no no NO-- He lunged for the mace from the corpse's fingers. "He's mine, I had him, I had him you RUINED IT--"

She caught him by the collar. "I'm far too hungover for one of your temper tantrums, lad."

The kill was a joke to her. it meant nothing at all. A funny little quip. Whoops, saved the idiot again, how droll. The injustice of it awakened a white-hot rage within him, and he was on his feet again, and he almost turned on her but she struck him over the head with something and it may have been that or the blood leaking from his guts or the acrid smoke filling the air but he found himself falling away from the world yet again.

But the anger was not forgotten.

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

Post by Kotorchix » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:33 pm

Characters & Info
Rasheba Heartstone
The Provenire
The Sorrows


She allowed one brow to raise in an almost-smirk when Rivka stuttered out her excuse. Men are supposed to protect. Supposed to, yes. But Rasheba didn’t lower the sword, instead letting her brow return passively to its regular place in her expression. Of course there was the implication that Rasheba was not a lady, but that didn’t particularly bother her despite her official title.

A soft smile crossed her lips as Rivka relented, taking the weapon. She nodded, taking a small step back to allow Rivka space to attempt her experimental swings.

“Good. Notice how you chose to use two hands for the hilt? That’s quite acceptable for a bastard sword – they’re often called ‘hand-and-a-half’ swords. With training, one can learn to alternate between the styles of a longsword or a greatsword with this blade.”

She stepped around Rivka, placing her hands on the girl’s shoulders as she stood behind her. With a few shuffling movements, she gently nudged Rivka’s feet with her own, into the correct posture for footwork. Then she stepped away again, giving the girl space.

“Don’t fight like a man,” she told her. “You’re right when you say men are supposed to protect ladies. They are the stronger sex, after all. There is no denying that.”

She took down her shield from her back, sliding her arm through its grips. Holding it in a defensive posture, she offered a wider smile to Rivka.

“But a woman can match a man in combat, provided she is prepared to learn how. Rarely would a woman of your stature win in a wrestling match with a man, but you might learn how to grapple him unexpectedly, topple him with a deft movement. Your strength will not be in your weight, but in your dexterity.”

She upped the shield, tilting her head back to signal Rivka should attack.

“When you swing, focus your thoughts on your waist and hips – notice their movements. Do not think of your chest like how a man does. We center our bodies differently than they do – where their strength comes from the shoulders, the chest, ours is from near our womb.”




Serenity Piers
Ludlow Estate
Caybourne


Serenity’s lips moved, but no sound came out and she felt her face deepen even moreso in color. She glanced aside, her mind racing through a confusing series of thoughts. Was it even right to speak to him as if two deaths hadn’t taken place? As if an assassin hadn’t stared her in the face, mocked her? But thinking on it, she knew all-too-well that were Amarika and Jennifer able to speak, they would be nudging her into this conversation regardless of who had died.

But after deciding whether she should have this conversation, she discovered her blood was running chill. For all the things she loved in life, it seemed all had fled her for that moment. All the questions she asked of him in her mind, mute and without substance.

She stuttered and ashamedly looked away once again. Could her ears burn any hotter!?

“I…”

She forced herself to look at him, the tiniest of smiles flickering across her face. She was surprised by its presence, how natural it was – impish, yet still utterly betrayed her embarrassment.

“I’m not sure how to present myself,” she admitted. “Nor what exactly to ask you yet…”

She hesitated, then glanced over her shoulder at Willek. He was staring at her with primed whiskers, obviously quite on the alert. But she didn’t want him there all of a sudden. Of course he couldn’t leave, she couldn’t dismiss him, but… She breathed deeply, then turned to Drake again.

“Would you come in, my lord?”

It was a bold question, she knew it. Willek tensed behind her, growling disapprovingly. She looked at him once more.

“Do you doubt the honor of General Drake, Willek?”

It was a softly-spoken challenge, met with a meek ‘No, my lady.’ Willek stepped aside.



Metheryl Arcaena
The Void


Had she known how abruptly they were leaving the plane of Aradia, she might have had the thought to change from the spidersilk gown. The Black Tongue remained in her ears as she felt Divankul’s grip on her, as they began to fall. The velocity of such a fall into nothingness nearly undid her, but she kept her head about her.

Despite remaining conscious, there was no real form of sense she could apply to suddenly being in the Void. It was a different entry than the one Kraai forced her into, a completely different sensation. The scent of this place bit the back of her throat, bringing forth memories of a much younger time.

And then the far-too-familiar sounds. She scrambled to her feet over Divankul, noting his limp posture. Aradia be damned, wake up! She remembered the fight upon her first entry to the Void, yet another different way she had come here once before. How slipping between the realms, squeezing out like the pulp of a pimple into this land of nightmares, how she had fought the horrors unleashed upon her…

But as all the creatures and their horrible sounds closed in on her, as she reached out to prepare her summon, a stranger appeared. She watched with curiosity as he dispatched the demons with his brilliant blade. Only once he addressed her did she recognize him as Drow.

She didn’t reply immediately, gazing at him as she mentally filed through her memories of this place. Never had she met a Drow in the Void during her first venture. What he was doing here was beyond her. Perhaps it went back to that strange Drow practice, these protectors of the small peoples, of the humans, from the Void?

That would explain the prayer to Aradia, however ridiculous uttering her praises in this dark place was.

To Metheryl, this was the heart of Aradia. Pretty on the outside, smooth skin with a luscious body to be claimed as the realm of mortals. But here, the undying organs beat away with relentless hatred, screaming at the parasites upon her flesh.

Instead of answering, she turned to Divankul and ducked down to roll him over. She checked his pulse, his breath, then settled down beside him to begin a healing spell – not a conventional one, but one of the mind, to restore vitality.

While she wove the spirit of her spell into existence, she finally spoke.

“Lord Divankul Dul-Sansiska is my friend and ally, Drow. He exhausted himself in bringing us to this place… Give me but a moment and I will revive him.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:37 am

Drake, Ludlow Estate, Caybourne-

"Of course, thank you my Lady" Drake bowed his head and body folding himself so that he seemed compact but still no smaller. It was impossible for the giant to appear any truly smaller than he was. He couldn't help himself but to say it as he rose once again "Your expressions and the way your face burns up with emotion is actually quite cute in a way Lady Serenity, my apologies for the statement but it's difficult not to think that way, I don't mean it in any malicious sense you understand. To one who has lived like I have I have a love of new experiences all the same" as they walked into her guest quarters he looked about, scanning the room like he was analyzing her every possession...In reality he was just flabbergasted by all the fluff and pomp about the quarters and shook it off.

His eye caught the katana and he nodded "I see Lady Rasheba trains you in the ways of the blade, I must admit the curved hilt of the katana is most productive for one that much rely on the sway of the hips and the fluid dexterity of the female form, rather than the raw strength of the pectorals and the utilitarian construction of the male body." he sighed and smiled "My apologies, it is rude to keep going on like this without giving you a chance to gather your thoughts; such is my curiosity, please I would like to hear about you still Serenity. I would also like to not be referred to as lord when we aren't watched over if that is alright. It is just Drake to those I am close with, or even more preferably A'Draak which is my birth name though that in itself is secret"

______________________________________________________________________________________

Divan, the Void

"Ah, if you are a sworn ally of Dul-Sansiska then I have no quandary with you, I am Xanmar long ago I was Dul-Sansiska's child alongside my twin Exarn." he noticed Divan stank of the voidflesh and sighed "Such a shame my sister's descendants would become one with the wretchedness of this place, Aradia shall preserve us" he nodded as Divan startled awake, snapping fingers for a spell in reflex but only having a hammerspace open to dump out Metheryl's battle attire at her feet. He had been thinking ahead, too ahead, he looked over at his companion to notice her eyes burning in him and then to the brilliance of the half obscuran, half drow.

"Hello Xanmar" he croaked out rubbing his face "So this is where you've been? Not dead, not on an epic quest- hiding out in the Void for nine hundred years?"

"Is that how long it has been child of my sister? I have been too engulfed in the thinning of Mordaghast's armies to notice, and the destruction of what is left of Vermithrax's lieutenants. Though I must say I have not found General Malakai nor Imshael yet- much as I wish to purge them forever."

"Imshael and Malakai were busy destroying the Riverford, a human fortification of the Three Rivers Basin"

"Why were you not in attendance to repel their forces?"

"We didn't know they'd be back, and I was off on an engagement cleansing a far southern island of the Void"

"I see, well so long as you make reparations" he turned to Metheryl and then back to Divan and so it went "What are you doing here exactly child? The forces of the Void are not to be trifled with even for one such as yourself who forsake himself and his offspring"

"I'm here for three reasons, my daughter, my soul, and to kill Kraai the Wild One so that she can stop tormenting my companion"

"Such is a foolhardy thing in itself, Kraai is a formidable adversary and quite elusive. Her allies have shielded her from my divine wrath on many occasions with their dark arts. Am I to assume that this one is the body of which Kraai inhabits now?"

"Yes, Metheryl was once a wood elf, she is in possession of Kraai's body now for all the years it has added to her life I suppose"

"Ah, well, that explains her discomfort int he clothes of the spiders- though most would find those garments disturbing. Spiders have always been the sworn enemies of the races of man and the wild elven brethren, to flaunt your dominion over them is a foolhardy implication child"

"So is it to assume that I cannot face Kraai"

"You cannot and you shall not- not until you have redeemed yourself and reclaimed Reynis from her fate you set her upon and retrieve your wandering soul from the depths of the Dancer's Domain. You should get moving, before more of the forces of darkness smell the wretched stench of the outside and come hounding for long desired flesh" wish a mumbled prayed he jumped off the platform and was thrown into a portal of utter brilliance and gold, and was gone- off to another spot int he impossibly vast infinity that seemed to be the Void.

"Sorry about the abruptness Metheryl, I got carried away in my own plotting and wished to quickly carry out our business while our capability to do so was strongest" he looked back to his wild elf companion as he spoke, giving a smile like the cocksure idiot he seemed to be when it came to actual reality rather than the theoretical he thrived in. Still he was ballsy and without a sense of hesitation to just go headlong to get what he wanted.

___________________________________________________________________________

Aoria, Vilhelm's Cottage

"That's....difficult to say Vilhelm, as really only the Heads of Dul-Sansiska, King Xankresh, and Lord Lorka know anything concrete. Xankresh because he fought Arkon the first time, Dul-Sansiska since they are the caretakers of the Vaults which means Divan and his sister know most, lastly Lorka are scribes and documented everything for their former masters. I'd say that if Houses Dargas, Quavass, and Ormana all sided with him; as I think Lorka's too crafty and Erenai is too far out, then Arkon becomes a dangerous source of turmoil in the northern region at least. Though I doubt it will be immediate we could have time to wait for Divan's return or Auntie to recover and get her to Briochi at the very least to begin a dialogue" Aoria took a seat in a fine worn wooden seat and placed her hands in one another.

"The High Priestess of the Servants, Ornia's former position, is as powerful if not moreso as ruling the House. It is a powerful point of influence in the drow because of how many subscribe to that faith and thus she transcends the policies of house networks and instead speaks as a spiritual leader. Add to that she'd the daughter of the the King and a beloved baby sister of the most powerful demon slayer in Aradia, Ornia is by far the greatest asset you could ever ask for. She united Briochi and Ques Novich after all, she cared for your father in his adolescence and Freyr in his infancy; she's a prominent figure not prone to flights of fancy so if she says Arkon is coming and fled her captors risking so much in the mountain winter? It is grave tidings indeed but there's no timetable."

"She is sick, and must be given time to recuperate but if you can get your hands on detoxifiers or poultices of purging- or tell me where I can slip in to procure anything; it would speed up filtering the products out of her system. The faster Auntie recovers the faster she also becomes a beacon for Uncle and you can ask him as well for help. Arkon is upon us it would seem, I have no doubts that Maria has already informed Freyr about what she must know. She overthrew her uncle and then the houses left the alliance leaving her alone in Everglow, she might not know when Arkon will strike but she knows he's active and that's enough to raise the alarm to the highest....." Aoria had to stop herself, as she could feel tears welling up inside her eyes and wiped them off before she continued.

"I won't go into the whole story, not now, but in ancient times I was told that Ques Novich once led a rebellion, and it was ten thousand of them and Redoran, Avamor, and Nagari vs the Empire of Dusk's million soldiers. They were so roundly defeated and brutalized by Arkon in particular it left a wound so deep it was forever unforgiven. Luckily they never got into the city proper or all hope of our race's existence would have been wiped away, but the pain of the the terror those people felt is reverberated in the generations long after. It it a painful memory even if it is not ours, add to that after the Empire fractured and we united against the Demons as one mighty force of elves against the terrible power of Vemrithrax under Dul-Sansiska's banner......."

"Arkon has always been pure evil to the very core, my grandfather nearly exterminated their lineage with my great aunts, but it wasn't enough. We should of hunted them from the corners of the globe, if they take hold of the north....if they can enter the Vaults then not only is Briochi done for, all of Aradia will feel the terror of facing the true power the Drow possess. You think we're much like you younger races, but no, elves are so far beyond your comprehension its almost comical. The pureblooded Grey Ones warped animals into powerful mythic beasts like the griffon, genetically modified humanity to be on par with elves and control the most powerful magic of the storms, and reshaped entire ecosystems. The Empire of Dusk existed eons before the Spreading utterly destroyed their advanced capital city and wiped away millenia of projects that could have subjugated the world, the Wood Elves once had such numbers that they were one with the Wilds and masters of the world to such a fine degree they spoke to the trees and the trees spoke back as a nurturing power"

"The kinds of things located in those Vaults, are why the vaults were modified to hold them. You heard about the Spirit Cannon that destroyed the barricades a the Riverford, something conventional cannon fire and siege equipment could not hope for without working for days or weeks or even months to accomplish. how it took a single shot and a small crew of engineers. That is just the tip of the iceberg and I'm not even sure how much farther it goes"

She continued to talk with him about the implications of Arkon's arrival, the history of the drow, everything and anything he could use to understand the unfathomable implications of Arkon coming back could mean. As well as know more about the race that took such high interest in him and his family.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:50 pm

_______________________________________________________________________
Lady Sabre
_______________________________________________________________________


Lady Ludlow,

I feel it remiss that I have not contacted you sooner in order to apologize for that debacle in the Senate. You must understand that to my Uncle, the veracity of Lord Umbridge's remarks were of no matter; he would have used any excuse to make a public spectacle out of me. Umbridge's exploitation of this was a plainly calculated attempt to get your political reputation caught in the crossfire. My advice at this time would be to publicly distance yourself from me, and by extension House Blackthorne through any means that you can.


Talia paused, biting her lip, her quill hovering over the parchment. She could just ask the question that had been plaguing her. It would be so simple, a matter of two sentences. Was Rivka Vennett pregnant with her brother's child? What were they going to do about it if she was? Umbridge was far from trustworthy and his comments had likely been alarmism, but even so...if the folk of Caybourne thought they could cross the Bloodhawk, they had to be warned.

I understand that you have recently lost your twin, and your mother. I offer you my absolute deepest sympathies for these tragedies. And I beg you not to exacerbate the woe that has been visited upon your family by further vexing my uncle.

Yours sincerely,
Lady Talia of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Blackthorne


She had written that signature without thinking, and she looked at it now with some trepidation. Identifying herself by her birth name had brought her nothing but trouble in the past few weeks. The Bloodhawk had outplayed her at every turn. Jaster had always told her she'd make a good politician. If that were true, why had she failed in her duty so completely?

Her gaze turned to the other letter on her desk. That had borne news that should have elated her, but just as everything did nowadays, had only left her feeling anxious. They had dredged a charred body out of a burning inn in Brackensbridge, and the local mortuary had identified it as being the corpse of Sir Preston Knox himself. Someone had put an arrow in his heart and left him to die. The method of death had filled her with the tiniest sliver of hope--until it occurred to her that Jaster would never use a bow to kill a man. The gallant fool had insisted on using that sword he was so fond of, right to the end when that had killed him. Some covert operation by the Bloodhawk, most likely, though she remembered Nestor had promised her the head of one of his foul brothers. Is this the debt repaid? Twas not a fitting death for such a monster, if so.

It certainly seemed like the thirdborn was not missed among his brothers, who had gone about their work without even a sign of mourning. Dorian Knox had gone South, now, to join Aloysius Corcoran in taking command of the last standing army in the Marshes. Cadmus Knox had personally gone to oversee the inevitable execution of Rhaegar Thormund. Preston's wife, Aislinn, remained chambered in a Blackthorne dungeon, where she was likely to stay until the end of the war. Lord Oswald remained in command at the Three Towers, just as Nestor remained at the Senate.

One Knox down, Talia thought, Five to go. Will I feel at peace when they are all dead? Will Gordon finally seem avenged?

But the loss of her twin to the Demons had made the tired matters of the war seem irrelevant now. Forcing herself not to think of that--she could not afford to lapse into grief, she had to keep working--she took a fresh sheet of parchment and once again began to write.

Dearest Rivka,

I can only hope this message finds you safe and well. Caybourne is closer to your homeland, and its peoples are kinder; you will find an acceptance among your new family that you could never have found among mine. I wish you the utmost happiness in your new life. However, I have heard some rumors of late that I must know the truth of.


How to phrase it? How to possibly extract this information without bringing the Bloodhawk's axe down on the neck of herself and everyone involved? There was no way the spymaster Sixx would fail to intercept this letter, assuming the Blackthorne didn't already have eyes planted in Rivka's personal staff. An enchantment upon the parchment could hide the text, but someone would notice it sooner or later, and then they would go asking where Lady Blackthorne had gotten that bit of magic done when she had no sorcerors in her personal staff. And that was assuming Sixx could not see through a minor spell anyway. A face-to-face meeting would have been the only viable way to find the truth, and the Bloodhawk had taken that from her too, having shipped Rivka out of his sight almost immediately after she became a widow.

With an angry sigh, she put the parchment aside. "Sir Tybolt, would you do me the favor of escorting me to the aviary?"

The Sabres did not make much use of airborne messaging, as far as Talia could tell, whereas it was a cultural institution out West. The aviary in Griffin's Peak had been used to house all sorts of mythical beasts and pets in its time--Chimeras, Cockatrices, and of course Griffins. It was thus the size of a keep unto itself, a marvel of architecture with its flying buttresses and steepled roofs and gargoyles all carved expertly from the finest black marble. The Sabre aviary, by contrast, was a little room in the topmost level of the villa; it had little in common with the rest of the building visually, with the straw scattered over the floor and the large window in the corner. There were very few birds in the cages that lined the walls, and most of them were mere pigeons or doves. It made the presence of the huge, grey gyrfalcon in the largest of the cages seem all the more striking.

Talia fastened a leather glove to her arm, then opened the cage. "Roland, come hither."

The gyrfalcon's hooded head perked up. It edged along the bars of the cage and onto her arm. Carefully, cooing to the raptor to keep it calm, she unfastened the hood. Its black eyes glistened with intelligence as it peered at her.

"i hope you haven't been feeling too lonely in here," she told him gently as she fastened a harness to his leg. "It's been difficult for us all since Jaster..."

Roland perked up suddenly at the name of his old master, his dark gaze sweeping the room as if expecting Jaster to appear at any moment.

"...I had expected you would know, somehow." Gently, she stroked the feathers on the falcon's head with the tips of her fingers. Roland shut his eyes, soothed. "There are precious few of us left, now. You might be one of my only true friends."

She hadn't realized how heavily she'd been relying on Druun before his absence. There was power in having a sworn sword of his reputation, a security in knowing she could never come to harm. All gone now. Since the debacle in the Senate, she had not heard from Lucy MacNair or Ameline Rookwood or even Kavin. Dominic was pulling strings with all of them, no doubt. Trying to shut her out, cut her off, make her forgotten.

As if sensing her feelings, the gyrfalcon on her arm suddenly appeared agitated, shifting from foot to foot and chirping.

"Easy now," she sighed, taking the roll of parchment. "I have a very important job for you. Are you still the finest falcon in the west?"

Roland stopped chirping, peered at her, then ruffled his feathers and held his head up proudly. It reminded her so acutely of Jaster's cocksure attitude that she almost laughed, but ended up making her sad instead.

"Then take this quickly to Claire Ludlow. Claire Ludlow, you understand?"

The falcon bobbed his head, a gesture he'd been taught that meant agreement.

"Good." She attached the scroll to the harness and took him to the window. "Ensure it goes directly to her. And please...stay safe."

Bobbing his head again, Roland dived suddenly from her arms, taking wing and soaring into the grey winter skies. Talia watched him until her was a speck on the horizon, and then turned to join Tybolt at the door.

They walked back towards her room in silence. Before all of this she could have made light chatter with Tybolt, who she found to be a good man; he was the son of the Archduke of Volmark, and they were cousins through her mother's side. With his sense of humor and honorable ways, as well as his skills with polearms, he made a worthy protector. But the Bloodhawk had ordered his promotion to guard-captain in a move that plainly made him uneasy, and placed undue pressure on such a young man. He had grown reserved ever since, as if he blamed Talia for his misfortune.

They came to the end of a passageway, and Talia almost bumped into someone as they came round the corner. Stepping back in surprise, she saw it was Roth.

"My apologies, Sir," she said, bowing her head. "I hope you are feeling well. Congratulations on your promotion to Guard-Captain, by the way..." She trailed off, giving him a worried look. "My uncle has sent Sir Daxter Waynrite to join your City Watch. He will support you, but...I urge you to remain vigilant of him. He is a cruel man, Sir, and sly besides." She paused. "I will tarry you no longer."

They rounded the corner, and came to the next door which was flanked by a pair of the Birhor that lord Henriik had ordered to fortify the Villa. Screeching noises came from within.

Tybolt snorted. "Is your Lady in her cups? That must be a new experience for you two."

One of the Birhor guards grunted. "Yeh doan't get teh pass judgement, turtle."

The Birhor had taken to calling Talia's men turtles for the armored "shells" they wore. It never failed to irk the knights.

"What was that? I don't speak loincloth-wearing savage." Tybolt drummed his fingers on his halberd impatiently. "My Lady, we should find another way around."

Talia sighed angrily and shook her head. "I imagine Lady Attia has amassed a collection of your brother is dead jokes that she is simply dying to tell me. Best face them now, while I still can."

She opened the door and stepped carefully inside. The Sabre woman was indeed drinking, and appeared to be celebrating something she'd found in a letter.

"Greetings, Lady Attia," she said levelly, curtsying. "You seem to have gotten some good news. Has Lord Henriik sent an extra shipment of wine, perhaps?"

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

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:59 am

Sabre Villa

Kavi was uncasking a new supply of brandy, which had been supplied straight from Maria's stores as a gift, she heard her lady going on and on above her head while she was in the cellars and smiled knowingly. She filled a decanter and headed back up, that that as Attia's bemusement subsided she found herself with another full goblet of the mountain drink sitting at her side right on time for an epic bout f shit to hit the fan as Lady Talia and her new sworn guardian entered. Talia was one that Kavi could stand and at least look past how she looked at the massive orc woman, though she still greatly disliked it.

The other one? She wanted to shove the halberd right up his ass with how he sneered at her beneath plates of armor, he seemed to view he with such a settling of disgust and repulsion that Kavi could feel her blood begin to boil, so she sighed and placed a hand on her hip. "Attia is in a good mood because at least her family can summon up the capability to care for it's own, but that's just in a general sense Lady Talia, there's much to be in celebrations over these days." Emerald knew it wasn't exactly right to be speaking out so much but without Druun around she could bite into Talia's smug attitudes- the new guard captain was a palsied little boy compared to how much respect she garnered for Druun. However she fell silent once more as she looked to her own Lady, speaking in a low voice "Don't drink too much Attie, Lady Maria sad this is well aged and stronger than what you've been having- so take it slow and savor it"

With that she stepped off to the side, allowing talia to only have to peripherally see her but still in a prime position to tear Tybolt in half if he dared to make a movement on Attia. She was done taking chances, while Attia was not to be crowded with guardsmen and protective detail- there was an exception when you had a massive orc and intended to let her protect you and carry out what needed to be done. That aside she was far form a savage monster Talia's people made her out to be, but then you never could change the minds of the retarded and the greedy.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:43 am

The Provenire Rivka

Rivka tensed a little as Rasheeba helped her into the proper posture, but she paid attention to her words. She felt a little awkward standing there, she knew she didn’t look like a knight or a drow warrior woman.

Gathering her strength she swung hard completely missing and loosing her balance slightly, stumbling and tearing the sleeve of her dress a little. She saw one of her guards smirking. A little red she tried again, controlling the weapon a little better this time.

They practiced a little longer and Rivka found herself tired by the time they sat down for diner. She still felt exhilarated though, it had been fun, it made her feel maybe just a little less helpless to know that she was learning the basics of how to protect herself.

Freyr was the last to arrive at the table. He looked stressed and tired as he sat down. But he spared a smile for his daughter before putting his hand to the bridge of his nose.

“Are you ok father?” Rivka asked him.

“There’s just a lot I need to take care of back in Briochi when I’m done in Clayborne.” He told her, then seeing the curious look on her face added, “Nothing you need to worry about. Lady Maria and I just have some things to discuss when I get back. I’m sorry I’ve been so busy. What have you been up to all day?”

“Reading.” She told him, “and watching the ocean.”

As the food was served Fryer noticed the tear in her sleeve.

“What happened to your dress?” he asked.

“I…tripped while I was on deck.” She said but she unconsciously gave a guilty grin knowing she wasn’t telling the whole truth and Freyr caught it. He raised his eyebrows but Rivka looked at her food and pretended not to see.

“Rivka…?” he said.

She glanced at Rasheeba, “Lady Rasheeba let me try swinging her sword a little bit and my sleeves were a little tight.”

“Rivka.” He smiled a gently but spoke firmly as if he were scolding a mischievous little girl, “A sword is not a toy. Its not something a young lady like you should be playing with, its dangerous. I know your worried with everything going on right now but you have guards and you know Casim will be there to protect you. Besides it takes years to master a weapon. Not even every man can wield one well. No more of that ok? I don’t want you hurting yourself or making people talk.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:39 pm

Characters & Info
Serenity Piers
Ludlow Estate
Caybourne


It was with surprise that Serenity felt herself both terrified and safe in the sole presence of this icy giant. Yet the terror wasn’t the same as their first meeting. It wasn’t the horrific thoughts of such a beast forcing himself on her, of bearing his children who certainly would take after their father in size. To force them from her

No, this one was anticipation. And she was shocked to find its presence. Anticipation of what? She stared at him as he spoke, only vaguely aware she still hadn’t left the door after closing it on Willek. Her fingers still trailed on the bronze door handle, wondering at the strange feelings she experienced.

And then he called her cute. Her blushing couldn’t have gotten any worse. And never had she expected such a word to come from one such as Drake. She nearly laughed at the ridiculousness of the image, but restrained herself to a smug, awkward grin.

She stepped further into the room as he noticed the katana and the grin turned into a real, genuine smile without warning. Then he was apologizing again. For a moment, and again, to her great surprise, it stirred anger in her that he would apologize so much. Should she tell him to stop? Would that be rude? Was this his way of covering his own discomfort? She didn’t know the answers.

“A secret name?” she looked at him inquisitively. “A’Draak.” She tried the name out on her tongue. It didn’t feel native to either her Common or Elvish tongues, but it was comfortable none-the-less. “As you wish.”

She made a gentle motion of her arm towards the katana on the wall. “I’m only permitted to take it down to train. Aunt Rasheba would have me carry it at all times if she could, but Amayl and Uncle Mancel won out on that one. They insist I must be at least sixteen – and that any suitor should be agreeable with me carrying it. Honor and pride of a man being able to protect his own House and all that, I suppose.”

She stole a glance at him. It felt tiresome to keep blushing, but it was happening. Her face steamed so and she felt a trickle of hot sweat run down her back. Was she talking too much? She didn’t know.

There was a sharp rap at the door and she jumped. Willek opened the door to admit Casim. The young lordling spared Drake a glance and a quick nod before addressing Serenity.

“Pack your things. We’re taking you home.”

“What of General Drake?” she asked.

Casim looked at him again. It seemed he was making this call, not his father. There was no hesitation, no reference back to Mancel’s instructions. It was cold calculation, turning the cogs himself. Mancel was in no place to set the gears in motion, so Casim had stood up.

“My lord, would you accompany us to Sylvie Isle? I feel it only fitting for you both to stay at least until after the funeral. It will take place as soon as Lady Rasheba returns with Lady Rivka Blackthorne.”



Rasheba Heartstone
The Provenire
The Sorrows


Rasheba’s eyes flickered up at the young lady’s lie. She took another deep draught of her broth, spearing a chunk of floating meat with her fork. But with Freyr’s gentle admonishment, years of pent-up frustration bubbled to the surface and she hesitated putting the beef in her mouth. The fork waivered before her lips and she found herself staring over at Freyr. But her expression was well masked.

She nipped the meat off the utensil, chewing it up quickly before she could say anything. But another moment of silence, another glance at Rivka’s sheepish face, and Rasheba felt the stirrings of a rant in her stomach. She silenced it with a sip of blackberry wine.

“No harm would befall your daughter under my guardianship,” Rasheba heard the words come from her, unwilled. “I understand a woman isn’t your ideal bodyguard, but we do have our merits.”

There was an uncomfortable silence along their side of the table. She noticed one or two of Rivka’s regular bodyguards shifting awkwardly. She selected one, a young man – Carndas, was it? – and challenged him.

“For instance, Carndas… would you think it fitting to guard her ladyship alone in private chambers? While she was dressing, for example?”

Watching the astonishment and embarrassment cross his face stirred a guilty pleasure in her. His gaze flickered to Freyr, to Rivka, then back to Rasheba.

“I could avert my eyes, Lady Rasheba. If I were commanded to, I would.”

“Bold,” she said with a smile. She took another sip of her wine, her gaze slipping to Freyr. “But isn’t the point of a bodyguard to watch over their charge? With a woman, well… you also see we can blend right in. Would anyone suspect Clarissa of wielding a dagger beneath her skirts? I think not.”

“I apologize, my lord, lady,” Carndas said softly. “I was just answering the lady’s question to the best of my knowledge. I am rather new to this.”

Rasheba hid another smirk behind her wine glass.


Caybourne came into view as a thin, smoky line on the horizon that night. It quickly sank back into the darkness of the sea as night claimed the world. But within a few hours, they were in the waters of the Ludlow Accord. A light from the darkness signalled them to a halt.

A small skiff glided up alongside them. The massive form of Commodore Moxus was the one that climbed aboard, gracefully sliding over the railing of The Provenire. Without decorum, he went straight to Rasheba on the deck, gripping her forearms as he spoke to her in a quiet tone, his whiskers brushing her face.

She collapsed in his arms, a silent wail on her lips.

From those standing nearest, the whisper spread across the ship. The Lady of Caybourne had died. Rasheba’s older sister had died. Jennifer Ludlow had died. Why? That question went unanswered. Amarika’s death could be guessed at – childbirth was no joking matter. But Jennifer Ludlow? A sickness? No answer was forthcoming.

Rasheba stayed in the captain’s cabin for about an hour alone. When she came out, she seemed almost normal, albeit with a sterner face. By that time, Commodore Moxus had left – without any word to Lord Vennet or Lady Rivka too.

The warrior woman motioned Freyr and Rivka aside. Once alone, she spoke to them in low tones.

“We will not be going to the Ludlow Estate. We are heading for Sylvie Isle, where my father built a fortress – my home. The nature of my sister and niece’s deaths was not natural. But do not tell a soul this thing. Moxus made me promise this.”

She gave Freyr a meaningful look. She knew what he was thinking, what he might say: Was Rivka in danger? And that look begged him not to ask. Not to plant the thought in Rivka’s mind that they were worried. She could worry all she wanted, but furthering that worry would only lead to panic.



Claire Ludlow
Twicefreed Manor
Platinum Gardens, Everglow City


Lady Ludlow,

I feel it remiss that I have not contacted you sooner in order to apologize for that debacle in the Senate. You must understand that to my Uncle, the veracity of Lord Umbridge's remarks were of no matter; he would have used any excuse to make a public spectacle out of me. Umbridge's exploitation of this was a plainly calculated attempt to get your political reputation caught in the crossfire. My advice at this time would be to publicly distance yourself from me, and by extension House Blackthorne through any means that you can.

I understand that you have recently lost your twin, and your mother. I offer you my absolute deepest sympathies for these tragedies. And I beg you not to exacerbate the woe that has been visited upon your family by further vexing my uncle.

Yours sincerely,
Lady Talia of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Blackthorne


Her fingers crunched the parchment and she glanced to the gyrfalcon. It was perched on the small outdoor table on her veranda, accepting small meaty treats from Nimbe’s careful fingers. It was a graceful creature, sleek and beautifully marked. But its presence stated something more sinister than the message it carried.

We are being watched.

The black gloved grip she held about the parchment tightened all the more. The falcon had been a subtle message from Talia – a grace which Claire didn’t deserve. But she was grateful, and immediately fetched ink, quill and her stationery.

Sitting at the table beside Nimbe, staring at the falcon, she was at a loss on what to actually write. Should she apologize she hadn’t sent personal sympathies on the loss of Jaster Blackthorne? But Lyron had written up the Accord’s condolences along with the gifted Sylvbruuq bottles. Further apologies, would they be unnecessary? But Jaster had been Talia’s twin…

She stared down at the black lace gloves coating her hands. Now in all her knowledge of twins, there was only one set who had ‘made it’ through their adulthood. Even then, Keyair Heartstone was now dead, leaving Amayl in her seventies.

Further correspondence with Commodore Moxus had also revealed the unborn child Amarika had carried was in fact unborn children. Twins ran strongly in the Heartstone line, or in the Rodin – it could never be fully narrowed down.

She bit her lip. Jenny had been on her thoughts far more than usual since the news yesterday. For twins, it was unusual for two to bicker as much as they had. But Jenny had been a cruel child. Claire had never let herself see her twin in the new light of an adult’s eyes. And now it was too late. Now she would never know what sort of woman Jenny was growing into, would grow into… if her maternal nature would in fact blossom into the myriad of children she had wished for as a child herself. If she would ever find that one after her many scandalous, closeted romances. Maybe Claire had been a cruel child too. Perhaps that was why Jenny had distanced herself just as she had.

A tear fell onto the stone table and she quickly smeared it beneath the bare letter before her. She had grieved. There would be more, but not for now. She needed to be the correspondent of the Accord here in Everglow, and she would do that job well.

Lady Blackthorne,

I also would like to apologize for Umbridge so easily manipulating me into his snare with your uncle as his accomplice, whether willing or not. Both men wove that trap for the two of us quite brilliantly, and I was the only one in a position to stop it. I am sorry that I only worsened the situation.

As one far more well-versed in the bloody dance of politics, I greatly respect your advice. Unfortunately, I do not think there will be a chance to distance the Ludlow house from that of the Blackthornes. Your uncle’s gaze will be on us until it can be ascertained that Rivka is indeed not with your brother’s child.

I thank you for your sympathies, and I give you mine too. I wish I could explain why this is all happening, but I can’t. And perhaps that leads me to this terrible next thing.

In your letter, you said something: ‘I beg you not to exacerbate the woe that has been visited upon your family by further vexing my uncle.’ It keeps running through my mind over and over and I can’t shake this terrible feeling. And I shouldn’t ask such a shameful question, but I need peace.

Would your uncle use the occult or a shapeshifter to exact vengeance on my family?

I truly do apologize for asking such a blatant, and disrespectful question. But maybe you should at least know that my mother, her two unborn children, and my twin’s deaths were not natural. So far I only believe my family and Xankresh Avani’s people know this. And my little brother, the second male heir, Eason, has been kidnapped.

I only ask this because of the beautiful gyrfalcon you sent. I understand this is a most private connection. Thank you for your warning, and I am most apologetic if I have unintentionally also vexed you.

Yours truly,
Lady Claire Ludlow of Caybourne




Metheryl Arcaena
The Void


As the two drow spoke, Metheryl changed into her battle garb. There was no pretence at modesty, although she did turn away when it came to removing the silk robe. She let it fall to the dusty ground, stepping on it with obvious disdain as she continued to dress.

“Kraai is a formidable adversary and quite elusive. Her allies have shielded her from my divine wrath on many occasions with their dark arts.”

She glanced up at that. Summoning new boots to replace the lost pair, she frowned. Allies? She hadn’t even thought of that. Of course there would be allies. There were those other Vrow, Wraiths, that she had seen in her memories of that time…

And then the stranger was gone, leaving them alone on the platform of the island.

"Sorry about the abruptness Metheryl, I got carried away in my own plotting and wished to quickly carry out our business while our capability to do so was strongest.”

“I understand,” she said.

She stood there quietly a moment, then turned to Divankul. “I saw myself as my younger form when I fought Kraai in the Void-tanglement of our minds. I wonder how much I have truly aged in this place.”

A soft sigh escaped her lips and she glanced away, out over the landscape of bizarre shapes and winds. “This is not the place where I will find Kraai. I know she’s deeper. This… feels like barely scratching the surface of what this place is. Let us find your daughter as your kin suggested.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:07 pm

Drake. Ludlow Estate, Caybourne

He sheepishly scratched at his features as he saw the glimmerings as her agitation with his apologies, he made a mental note to not be quite as formal with her privacy as they could be allowed to lower their guards when in each others presence, he had told her his true name after all. With that he seemed to ease up "I suppose that would get a bit nerve wracking, the apologies, so I'll cease the formalities when we are alone. I already heel comfortable speaking with you on a personal level after all."

He smiled at her red features, she was having fun, for what she was blushing against he could not fathom however "It's funny, I'm always cool tot he touch but your skin must be red as steel out of the forge. For what could be running through your ingenious mind that would cause such a thing?" he laughed as he rubbed his arm and nodded along to her explanation of what her katana's use was for.

He took it form the perch gladly and felt its weight "Your Aunt Rasheba is a wise woman, she would be right at home with the Drow; I would ask you keep your sword at all times and even practice daily still. Elves are meant to protect themselves, one another, and their families. Nobody gets to slack off and be catered to by some archaic sense of chivalry. So long as you and I are in each other's company it would serve my mind well to know there is a well trained woman by my side to watch my flanks and keep me safe" he was about to place the katana back up when Casim came through the room.

"Of course I shall, milord, it is only right that I would not only follow my betrothed but also to pay respects to your fallen family members" He bowed graciously and looked to Serenity, their silent time together cut short it would seem, he felt almost wounded by the fact their were so quickly moving without a chance for him to speak to her further but that was safety for you. "I shall help the Lady pack her belongings and prepare, you needn't worry" he had fallen back into his formal speaking voice, Serenity would notice the tone was radically changed than they just being alone and him speaking freely. He was choosing his words and speaking with a sort of quiet but authoritative tone.

When they had been alone he had been almost jovial and exuberant, he seemed to really enjoy the time together. Funny thing that it was that when people stopped paying attention is when he let himself relax. She could almost sense he wished Casim to be on his way once more, she knew he wasn't the type to be some ravenous dog, but he might've just wanted to not be constantly hawked over by others when he wished to have time with Serenity and to know he deeper.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:50 am

Cabin in mountains near Briochi Vilhelm

Vilhelm listened grimly as Aoria spoke. He almost questioned his bid for power.

“I’m tested before I’m even lord.” He told him. “But I have to do this for my people. Someone has to take care of Briochi while Freyr is off courting alliances.”

He smirked, “I hope we can get the guidance of Divian soon. For now I will make sure my men in the guard are prepared.”

He went back to the papers on his desk to carefully write the notes he would send by pigeon to Briochi.


The Provenire Rivka

It was obvious Freyr was a little offended at Rasheeba’s example. Rivka for her part got a little red but couldn’t help but giggle at the idea of her serious and proper nurse, the older woman who taught her to be a lady, wielding any sort of weapon worse then a hair brush.

Freyr’s expression softened as he saw Cardnas’s embarrassment.

“You answered correctly.” He told him. He glanced at Rivka, “but rest assured I will not order you to be in the room as my daughter dresses. Soon however that choice will be up to her new husband and if a circumstance arose where he felt that was necessary your job would be to follow orders.”

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

Rivka was up before dawn. Her new home was drawing near and she had to make a good impression her new husband. Her maids were busy doing her hair and choosing her dress and accessories. She babbled to Carissa and the others. She was a little bit anxious but also excited. She tried to imagine what Casim would be like. She pictured him as polite and gentle, romantic and sweet. She pictured them falling in love, laughing together, holding her child. But underneath it all was a profound sense of guilt. How could she love another man so soon after loosing one she had never gotten the chance to? Was she a whore for wanting so badly another chance at her fairytale? Was it foolish to think that fairytale even existed? But Jaster would understand, she told herself. Her father had desperately loved her mother but he’d remarried quickly. And this would work out better then his second marriage, she reminded herself, she would have a happy life with Casim even though she may have preferred a little more time to grieve. She was just slipping into a green silk dress when she was summoned to see Rasheeba. Consumed by her own tasks she had not heard the rumors yet so a smile still sat upon her face.

But any mirth and excitement was wiped from her face at the news she heard. Freyr turned to Rasheeba as if to ask more questions but Rivka spoke first.

“I want to go back to Briochi.” She told her father, her voice starting to break.

“Rivka,” he hissed shooting an apologetic look at Rasheeba as he put a comforting arm on his daughter’s shoulder, “This isn’t the place for this type of discussion.”

She pulled away.

“I won’t marry him!” she shouted. “There’s going to be a war and he’ll leave. He’ll have me once and then he’ll leave. I don’t want another war, I want to go home where its safe.”

“Rivka, calm down. Let’s go bellow deck and talk. I love you Rivka, I’m not going to let anyone hurt you and neither is RAsheeba or Casim or any of the Ludlows.”

There was worry and pain on his face as he shot the woman an apologetic look. Clarissa led Rivka down.

“I’m sorry.” Fryer told the warrior woman, “she meant you no offense, she’s not usually…she’s just been through a lot, please don’t hold her emotion against her. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

When he got bellow deck Rivka was sobbing in Clarissa’s arms.

“I want to go home where its safe.” She told him again.

“Rivka,” he said quietly and gently, “It’s not safe in Briochi, its not just Vilhelm…there were rumors of an old enemy coming back. Now their more then vague rumors. Rivka, nowhere is safe if some of the things I’ve heard in the senate are true. But I will see to it that you and the baby are protected, whatever it takes. I’ll speak with Lord Ludlow before any rash decisions are made. Maybe this was just political or an internal matter. Just keep calm until I decide what to do.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Niathria » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:05 am

Unknown

Ildor’s head was pounding, his vision the same whether he opened or closed his eyes.

All I remember is talking to that priest about the demons...

The surge of Void just prior to his trip to the temple must have taken its toll physically on his body.

All around him was darkness, like a engulfing depth. His lungs felt on fire like he was holding his breath for too long underwater.

He did not want to go under again...

A small hazy light floated before him some distance away. He scramble towards it, pulling against the pain and resistance. The more he struggled, the harder it was to reach the ray of hope. Finally out of desperation, Ildor yelled out.

“My Blessed Lady! HELP ME!”

His body convulsed somewhere on the other side of the living, a sign of life.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Shakey Jake » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:39 pm

House Sabre, Platinum Gardens, Everglow City.

Lady Attia Sabre looked at Talia with the blankest of expressions for a moment longer than was comfortable. As if she couldn't understand why such a creature would address her, why they were even sharing the same air. A smile emerged, whatever mathematical equation that had been going on in Attia's head when she saw Talia had equalled a somewhat pleasant greeting.
"Sister dear..." Attia was standing on the table now, swaying dangerously but managing to maintain a certain level of bizarre grace "...a letter comes from your husband." she passed it down to Talia and twirled on the balls of her barefeet "My sister Everelda..." likely the first time that Talia, or anyone would have heard Attia openly state such a thing "...has decapitated Celene Mac Tir." Attia mimed holding a sword and made a stroke with the imaginary blade through the air "How delightful to bury that cunt..." she put her hand to her mouth "...goodness what language...but we are sisters are we not? We can be candid." Attia jumped off the table at Talia. Despite her drunken state it was more of dance move than an actual lunge. Several of the servants gasped thinking for a moment that Attia was going to actually dive on Talia. Her feet slapped against the tiled floor. She landed directly in front of Talia "I'll be honest with you my little apricot...that stung my feet."
Plucking the letter from Talia's hands Attia pressed it to her chest "Titus is not happy. He wanted to forgive. Bless him, I understand his position of course. He means to look forward not back...but some people have to go. Some people have to die." Attia clapped her hands and demanded a drink be brought for Talia "Ash Brandy, it will soothe you."
Perching herself on the edge of the table Attia insisted that Talia drink the brandy "How amusing it was in The Senate when they tried to remove me and not you. I must say I found it all to be rather shit. All the time I spent manoeuvring myself into that place and what is it? Fucking nothing. Old houses, old men doing nothing. They can barely keep the fucking Grand Highway maintained. It's had its day. We pay a high price for what? For the likes of your lot to run riot through the Mainland using common folk as fodder. Such nonsense. I mean look at how they treat you. Fuckers. They spoke to you like a gnat..." Attia held her hands up and exhaled "...forgive me. I know we stand on opposite ends of this. But we both know what it is to be a pawn. Drink up, this is quality. Velsa Velandra gave me this bottle. It's over two hundred years old." In Attia's world sharing two hundred year old ash brandy with someone was as nice as she could be "Are you well?"
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IronParagon
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:17 pm

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Lady Sabre
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There was a brief silence after the Orc spoke.

Talia's expression stayed on its studied, polite neutrality, hands folded deferentially before her, her gaze averted from the creature that had addressed her. But her thoughts were raging. She had been prepared for cruel jibes about her family from Attia, but from the Orc...Talia had read theories of how terrestrials were uneasy around spiders and insects due to some natural, evolved instinct that these creatures were poisonous. She had thought that her own people had fought Orcs for so long that they must have developed some similar natural distaste for the beasts. Attia could look at her maid-servant and see a person, but Talia could only see a grunting foul-smelling green pig that had somehow learned to stand on its hind legs. And to have this creature talk about her family like that...

You would let this beast profane the memory of your brothers? You are a disgrace to the family name. A dark part of Talia's consciousness, that spoke with her father's voice. Make it suffer. Have your man rip its foul guts out. Hex it til it strangles on its own tumors.

No. No, that's not me, Talia thought, forcing rationality and decency to take hold over her gut reaction. She remembered Uun-Grad the Orc whose works she had adored as a child. If this creature wishes to walk among civilized society, and does so with success, it should not be my place to treat it as lesser for its race.

Tybolt had laughed coldly, drumming his fingers against the haft of his halberd. "I would advise you to take that back, monster, while you still have a tongue to speak with. Give the word, my lady, and I'll feed this thing its own fucking snout. It would be my pleasure."

"Tybolt," Talia said quietly. "Don't."

Her guard-captain gazed at her with a measure of incredulity visible in the sea-blue eyes beneath his visor, but he subsided. She wondered if he would have protested further to defend her honor if he hadn't already been feeling resentful of what he thought she'd done to him. Talia looked for a moment into the Orc's beady black eyes. Just days ago she could have summoned some snappy retort. But with Druun gone, she could say nothing that would not result in bloodshed. And so she looked back to the creature's mistress.

Through all this Attia Sabre appeared pre-occupied, staring at her sister-in-law with a look that suggested she was attempting to solve a mildly difficult puzzle.

Trying to remember who I am, dearest sister? Talia thought with some amusement. I imagine all us unimportant folk look the same to you. Just shadows in the fog.

But then the older woman came alive, and was up and dancing atop the surfaces, and the letter was given over. Talia took it gently. Her eyes swept over its contents with the practiced swiftness of an avid reader. It was indeed good tidings...of a sort.

When Attia bounced down to land in front of her, making Tybolt bristle, Talia flinched slightly in surprise. When her sister-in-law whispered to her at this distance, she could smell the brandy on her breath.

She raised an eyebrow when the older woman said the landing had hurt her bare feet. "Some shoes would be the ideal solution there, Lady Attia. You may find them especially useful in this midst of winter--"

But in one of the her sister-in-law's usual bursts of commanding energy, Talia found herself pushed into one of the plush armchairs with an ash brandy in her hands before she could finish. She watched Attia making her speech. The woman seemed truly elated.

Should I feel like this about Preston's death? Talia wondered idly. She wondered also if the Sabres knew that every living Blackthorne, herself included, had Mac Tir ancestors through the female line which likely ensured the old High Elven dynasty would never truly die out. But before that could be ascertained, talk turned to what had gone on in the Senate. Talia was as unsurprised as ever at Attia's remarks on the war. Seeing the whole affair as some excuse to "run riot" at the expense of the peasantry was the common outlook in the Sabre family, missing the jungle for the trees that composed it. Attia's impression of the Senate was of more interest.

"I stood in opposition to the Bloodhawk," she said quietly. "Though my actions were not so severe as he led you all to believe, his treatment of me was mild in comparison to what his political enemies generally receive. Did you know he could have ordered Sir Druun to slash my throat, right there in the Senate chamber before all the other Lords, and not one of them could have spoken against it?"

She paused, watching Attia over the rim of the tankard as she sipped the Ash Brandy. The alcohol tasted as bitter as she felt.

"We have had this conversation before, and I have told you of my favoring of a unified ruling body to direct the Senate's power, maintain the grand highway as you put it. My uncle happens to agree with me on that. Furthermore, he believes himself to be the only ruling body the Senate needs. You seem upset by the conduct of the meeting, but everyone treated your remarks favorably. That is because he did. And that is because your friend--" she jerked her head in the direction of the doorway to indicate she meant Roth "--is a part of his plan. He manipulates us all, dear sister. You ask if I am well...none of us are."

Talia quickly took another pull from the Ash Brandy after she'd said this. So long as this was kept in the realm of a light drinking conversation, she believed her words were more likely to hold the woman's attention.

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