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

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:04 am

Hearthstone Estate Courtyard, Drake and Serenity

"They'll benefit from having time together, prying eyes always ruin the growth of relationships as you feel ever so much more cautious as to the role you're meant to portray to an audience rather than to a companion" Drake's words were meant for Rivka and Casim, and why he felt it best to leave them to their devices, but they were also apparent as to why he wished to have his time alone with Serenity in the first place. The placement of Serenity's hand in his palm was an open shock but it was not apparent by the man's impassive features. He merely gently wrapped his fingers downward, encompassing Serenity's hand in his own but with the lightness only a trained soldier could perform that she could snatch it back to her own body at any time.

The gardens were majestic and beautifully cultivated. The soft velvet skin of Serenity made him remember taking his wife through the gardens in Anis. They were beyond exquisite and showed off the beauty of a frozen ecosystem, plants and animals that were made of ice and snow and magic. Drake didn't realize it but he halted while gazing as a particular bush of hydrangeas, his eyes watered and he was taken back to Anis before the wars, and the enjoyment he had back then. He broke back into reality a blinked the tears away, wiping at his cheeks and sighing. "My apologies, I just.....was reminded of the life I used to live. Your hand is smooth as velvet, if I may be so bold to admire."

His face turned to face her, his silver eyes flickered with a warmth "I would like you to continue telling me about yourself Serenity, and in return I will tell you about my past and the many adventures I've led in my life. As I now know you are fond of tales of great adventures and great epic landscapes the likes of which you've never known.....As well as the fact that I figure you may wish to know who I am, truly. I certainly wish to understand who you are, you've already captivated me and I wish to understand more" he continued to lead but he slowed considerably, it was less puling along as a very gentle shuffling of his feet to her walking easier with him. He was excited, and Serenity could feel it in how his hand twitched in anticipation.
_____________________________________________________________________

Outside Everglow, Garin

He wasn't fond of having to make the journey up to Maiden's Shield, however Xankresh made it clear that there was no budging on all of this, so he stood aside by the carriage. When he heard the chatter of the three ringing out he sighed and nodded, walking out and around the carriage to intercept them and grab what supplies they'd brought. He wore his typical attire of the long fur coat, with the diamond pattern running down his right arm, open to show off his shirtless torso and wearing normal blue trousers. He had a cutlass on a belt draped on his hip and a flintlock dangling from the other side. He did not look dressed for the journey but then, Drow were born in the cold.

His golden locks and light skin betrayed the fact he was a drow, as well as his deep blue eyes. It was a sign he was a mutt; but not in the ways other elves could be seen as. He was half hrow half drow, a bastard child. He met the group halfway, and spoke clearly.

"Hello there, I'm Garin. I'll be taking you to Maiden's Shield" with a gesture he took their supplies and packed them in, before aiding firs Claire, Nimbe, and then Lyron into the carriage. "I'm usually one for conversation but we're on a bit of a rushed schedule thanks to Xankresh, so to make this brief I'm the younger brother of Maria. You guys are in safe hands" He closed up the door and took a seat next to the carriage driver. There was a talking window that linked the passengers to the drivers, and so Garin was still able to speak clearly with them albeit with his back turned. As the carriage took off towards the mountains two horses came up on either side.

Atop were mounted elvish knights in basic undercloth and large naval blue robes of silk, Knights of Dul-Sansiska. A security detail as an added layer on top of Garin and the carriage driver, who happened to be High Feline and dressed in a dark brown shirt and pants. They were surrounded by safety and comfort, the Carriage was spacious for three, as it was built to handle six . It was cushioned to a fine degree and the seats were soft and silken. This was a carriage meant for elves, not humans, the proportions were offer by just the smallest degrees of measurements.

"Maiden's Shield is a three day trek without stopping" Garin started from the other side "So we'll be there as soon as we can be, thanks to the highway it makes things very simple however its still boring as all get out and I don't know how the hell trade can ever get over it"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:22 am

Heartstone Estate Freyr

"I think small and quiet would be best." Freyr said, "Though I know the marriage of your heir should be a large affair...considering the circumstances... it would probably be best."

"The fewer guests and the sooner the wedding the better." He looked down at the desk, at the letter from Dominic, "the Blackthornes will have to be invited, that can't be avoided. I doubt the Bloodhawk himself will bother to come and that should be some comfort to Rivka, but he'll likely send his niece and other spies. Rivka will likely insist that Sabre woman be invited but I'll try to talk her out of it, It will be a relief to have her influence removed. I have a few family members, but they can be here quickly."

He knew the sooner they got this organized the better. Fewer people would be able to come on short notice and fewer guests meant fewer people to comment on Rivka's growing belly and breasts.


-----------

Heartstone Estate Rivka

Rivka of course had no idea where her betrothed was taking her, it didn't really matter. She assumed someday she would know her way around this place without thinking, but right now it was all new and foreign. And maybe some day she would know the man beside her as well but he too was still new and foreign.

Casim stopped abruptly apologizing for having no real destination. That didn't matter much to Rivka, but she started to feel uncomfortable quickly as she watched his gaze. Instinctively she crossed an arm over her stomach as if that would hide her secret and not give it away.

She took a step away in shock as he began to speak. It was by no means what she expected. He's a man, she
realized with disappointment, of course he's more interested in sex then getting to know me.


The maid looked scandalized and almost ready to interrupt. Rivka looked uncomfortable but didn't look away from his face. This wasn't something she wanted to think about yet, it seemed like a betrayal to think about being with another man. She said the first stupid thing that came to her mind.


"I'm not marrying you because I don't love..didn't love Jaster." she told him. It was a cruel thing to say even with the hormones and emotions she was dealing with. But it had been cruel of him to bring it up. Her face was getting red too but with emotion not embarrassment. She thought of that one night with her late husband. The way his hands felt on her body, the pleasure, the initial pain, and the emotions. They way she'd felt like she never wanted him to let her go, the bond she'd felt, the longing it left her with. And then the disappointment when he left as if she meant nothing to him. The realization later that though that night had meant so much to her, it probably wasn't that special to him. If the rumors were true, he'd had so many gorgeous women to please him, their one night probably had very little significance to him. Her eyes drifted to Casim's hands wondering if she'd mean anything to him, before she looked back up at him to speak after an awkward silence.


"When your great aunt wrote the note to my father," she asked cautiously, "was it because you wanted her to? Did you want to marry me?"


Her eyes watched his mouth but she avoided eye contact.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:22 pm

Characters & Info
Mancel Ludlow
Amayl’s Conservatory
Heartstone Estate


“I’ll be honest in saying I’m grateful you’d prefer something smaller,” Mancel admitted. “Heir or no, a larger, more flamboyant affair would be somewhat overwhelming after recent events.”

He paused a moment, then stood. “Elmer is likely off-duty for the evening, but we could go see him if now if you like, get the guest list sorted out so things can get underway?”



Casim Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


Her barbed remark was warranted, perhaps even deserved. Casim didn’t show emotion other than the plain embarrassment that he had bull-rushed so clumsily into this conversation. He wanted to look away, to tear his gaze from her face, but it didn’t seem right to look away in that moment.

She wouldn’t meet his eyes as she asked her question. He breathed, hesitated a moment, wondering if he should lie. But Casim had never been a good liar, nor did Rivka deserve that sort of treatment. Even if the truth hurt.

“To be honest,” he started. “Amayl is something of a schemer and mischief-maker. Nobody knew she wrote the letter until she had already sent it to your father.”

He didn’t want to leave her on that thought. He straightened, his eyes softening even as his cheeks began to return to a normal color.

“I hadn’t considered marriage to anyone before you. I hadn’t even found someone I liked. But I think with time, I could grow to like you. And maybe, just maybe, you’d come to like me too.”

It sounded so childish. Like. Where was the adult talk of love? He supposed there was none. This was an arranged marriage… if love came, it would be a pleasant surprise.

“I know I don’t live up to Jaster’s image,” he admitted. “And I have no intention of replacing him in your heart. I know I’m a boy compared to him. I’ve never been in battle, loved a woman, or… or really travelled, been a part in political… things.”

He stopped, trying to catch her eyes. He wanted to make her understand. How could he? He didn’t want to disrespect her loss, her situation, but he wanted her to feel what he felt. Maybe she already did. Why would he wish that on anyone? Goddess…

You’re just making everything worse! This girl is making you nervous!

The realization stuttered him. He blinked owlishly at her. It wasn’t just the situation that was making him nervous, it was her… Her eyes sparked with an intelligence he had been too blind to see earlier. She knew she was a pawn in multiple games. She knew loss, just as he did, if not better.

It was startling to find he saw a reflection of himself in her. Even moreso to realize she was the stronger of them both.

“What do you want to do?” he asked quietly, looking at her directly. “Not… right now, I mean. If given the world, no limits, what would you do this very moment?”



Serenity Piers
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


She blushed at his use of the word ‘captivating’. Serenity hardly thought of herself as any such thing. That was a term used for women in stories, not her.

“Well,” she said softly, stalling, trying to think of how she could possibly present herself to him. But if he already thought she was captivating… there was little to fear.

“I don’t have any… mysteries as you seem to,” she quipped with a shy smile. “I think I might be too young for that. My greatest secret would be that I still believe in an imaginary friend I had since childhood, so that’s all I have for mystery…”

Her eyes darted from his hand up to his face. “But you read more of an open book than you care to admit, I fear. Who was she?”

It was a gentle question. Bold, but still soft. It wasn’t accusatory. She’d heard what Drake said in sympathy of Mancel’s recent loss of Amarika. May peace find you brother, I share in your agony alongside.



Lyron Piers
Outside the City
Everglow City


Lyron introduced the trio just as quickly as Garin introduced himself, with the same amount of informality. (Though he didn’t neglect to call Claire by her title.)

With the haste in which they were bundled into the carriage and set off, Lyron found the most entertaining thing to be watching Nimbe’s face. With all the grandeur, she looked entirely out of place.

Nimbe could have worn the clothes and gems of nobility and still looked wrong in this place. She sat wrapped uncomfortably in her green shawl, perched on the edge of one of the heavily cushioned seats, while Claire easily lounged beside her. Lyron found the seats to be a bit more comfortable than those of most carriages he’d been in. Although both he and Nimbe shared elven heritage, he happened to get the trait which increased his height… whatever trait that was seemed to have skipped tiny Nimbe, and she was more elf than he was!

“I’ve seen him before,” Nimbe whispered across to Lyron, making a subtle nod to the window behind him. “At a festival in the Bronze Way.”

“Well, he is rather distinctive,” Claire said, taking no care to mute her voice. Nimbe stared at her in open alarm. The Lady shrugged. “What?”

“Elvish ears,” Lyron chuckled. A trait he had skipped out on, but Nimbe and most likely Garin, hadn’t.

“Oh.” Claire blinked. She glanced over Lyron’s head through window. “Your hair is beautiful,” she stated bluntly. “I find myself envious.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:14 am

Hearthstone Estate Courtyard, Drake and Serenity

Drake sucked in his breath as the question was posed and then stood still, nodding and found himself a comfy rock to perch his behind towards "Her name was Aerinthal Erenai, a distinctive young woman from the Silkwoods who had been given over to me for political prosperity before the war began in earnest.....She was your size, compact but springy and made of silken skin and burning passion, she was my Queen and I will....I will...." the tears began to flow from Drakes face as he recalled their first encounters as highly complicated affair.

"You should learn how to treat a Lady, King Morvala, what possessed you to caress my face in that manner?! Your hands are like the coldest fangs!"

"My apologies" A'Draak replied, guffawing at her rapid expression changes "You're just so lovely and soft seeming, couldn't help myself, never seen anything like you! You're tiny and spirited is all!"

"That's no excuse, you're even worse than the men back home"

"Oh now come, you cannot mean to say that, I'm the Northern King! How can I be an worse than those of your homeland?"

"You just-"

"Hmmmm?"

"Oh for the sake of Aradia you're impossible!" Aerin sighed as A'Draak continued to laugh and guide her to her new home, a home they would come to love together.


"I will say in truth I was lucky to have someone like that woman, just as right now I am lucky to have met you, Serenity" he wiped the tears from his face and shook his head, a smile then began to run back across his lips as he sighed and looked around himself. "I will note that when one has such creativity such as yourself, it will blossom into a font of wisdom as you take in the knowledge of the world. You are to be delighted over" Drake stooped himself even on the rock and gently used his fingers to brush Serenity's cheek, feeling its warmth on his gray skin "Someone to be cherished, now" he arose and offered his hand once more "I'd like to know more about what you have learned for yourself in these early years of your life, it can be as mundane as being able to read all those illustrious novels. All that matters is I know more about you, Serenity, as I wish to understand you far more. In turn I will gladly regale you with whatever you wish to hear of; even more about Aerinthal if you wish to know more about her and my life in those ancient days"

__________________________________________________________

Garin, Carriage Ride

"Well thank you, it was just about one of the few things that moron of a father could give to me" Garin stated equally as blunt "Don't mind my ears by the way. I used to be a pirate captain and I used to head the Bronze Way branch of the Maiden's Shield Trust. I also have an adopted son named Saki who is also a half high and half dark elf who routinely follows me everywhere. Right now he's at home taking my place in making sure my sister doesn't go off the handle" Garin wasn't shy at all, he's lay out his entire life story if you gave him a pint and started asking.

"Did you have something about me you'd like to know about? Rumors to clear the air on?" the clack of horses and the gentle tip and wiggle of the carriage was the only sound int he carriage in that brief moment after the question was asked
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:51 am

Heartstone Estate Freyr


Freyr nodded. He was tired but he wanted to get things moving.

“I think that would be a good idea.” He agreed. “It would be best to get invitations out as quickly as possible. That’s all we’ll need to do right now. I’m sure Rivka would be honored to help with the planning of the party itself as well, she’ll make a good lady when Casim becomes lord.”






Heartstone Estate Rivka

Rivka began to feel guilty as he spoke. She had made him feel bad. She could tell how nervous he was. Her own emotions were to complicated to process. There was a little disappointment. There was a part of her that had hoped, thought maybe the inappropriately timed proposal had been the brainchild of her future husband. But that was a silly thing to think, she wasn't some maiden in a story being courted by some strong warrior who took one look at her and fell in love. Men didn't lust over girls like her. She was a political pawn of value not because of her great beauty or captivating personality but because of her father's timber. And this political game had been orchestrated by some dotty old woman who probably overestimated Rivka's value. And while she played her game Rivka and her father played their own.

She should know better then to be naïve about the reasons for marriage. She had been so proud to marry Jaster Blackthorne, as if she had done something to earn it, as if had been a fairy tale story, rather then a political game. A game her father had smugly assumed he 'won' only to discover that he, and more so her had lost. She thought back to the Bloodhawk's words, he had chosen her because she was weak and defective. Did Amayl have some secret end game too?

Casim admitted his hope that someday they would like each other. She felt guilt again. She had hoped he wanted her, that he would love her when her aim was little more then to use him for protection. Maybe it wasn't just women who where victims of this game. Sure they were used for their beauty and ability to bear children, but weren't men used for their position and strength?

"You don't have to be Jaster." she muttered quietly in a voice betraying her guilt. "It's just..."


But then he changed the subject. It was a strange question, but direct.

She smiled sheepishly before answering honestly. "I'd go home."

"To Briochi," she went on her eyes lit up, "Or to Curef, its this little mountain village where we have a summer villa. and my cousins would be there. We'd go out in that calm spot in the stream, just past the waterfall and swim. The water's always cold so we couldn't swim long."

She looked away a moment a little embarrassed. It seemed juvenile that that was the first thing she thought of.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Claire Ludlow

Claire couldn’t hide the raised brows as Garin spoke so freely of himself. Her gaze shifted to Lyron and he gave her a subtle shrug along with something of an awkward grin. Lyron was certainly more accustomed to rougher characters than Claire was, but despite the open-aired nature of Garin’s talk, she didn’t feel threatened. It felt right to speak freely, uncensored.

It still didn’t seem any of her business to ask the most pressing question, however. If she were wrong about her suspicion, not only would it look foolish, she might also endanger Lyron. So she did not ask that one – and she saw relief in Lyron’s eyes.

“What rumors are there to hear about you?” she asked instead with a playful smirk, feeling confident. “Anything deliciously scandalous?”



Serenity Piers

She didn’t know how to feel. This woman Drake spoke of held a place deep in his heart – somewhere she was one day to inhabit, or at least a place very much like it. She stared at him, but didn’t let her feelings show on her face. He wept freely, grieving the woman, but brushed the tears away before touching her face.

And again, she didn’t know how to feel. It was confusion. He adored her. How? And why couldn’t she just accept that? Women in books would kill to have a man like A’Draak fawn over them, touch them, kiss them. And while part of her wanted that, another fought against it.

Then he used the word she had been avoiding: Ancient.

He truly was, wasn’t he? She took his hand obediently but said nothing, lost in her thoughts. In one moment, she had been caught up in the whirlwind of this romance. In the next… she didn’t know. She wanted this. Surely, she did. Didn’t she?

She had said the truth. She was too young for mysteries. There was nothing of her for this man to discover. She didn’t even know all there was of herself. Physically, emotionally, mentally… her first blood said she was a woman, but with her hand in this man’s great paw, she knew she wasn’t. She was still a child.

And she denied it with all her heart. Again, whether through duty to her house, or the faint touch of something that might be love, she didn’t know. She didn’t know anything.

Her thoughts were disturbed by the sound of a door opening across the courtyard. Rasheba stepped out, too casually. Trailing them. It seemed they would have a chaperone after all, although she did keep a greater distance than most would. Her dark eyes glinted as she watched Drake in the starlight.

“I…” Serenity stammered. She pressed her lips into a line, then glanced up at A’Draak. “You saw I have a blade. Is that common for drow women? It isn’t here. My aunt Rasheba is the only other woman I know in our family who knows how to fight.”


Casim Ludlow

Home was the obvious answer, but Casim liked how she expanded upon that. Curef, the mountain village, with its icy cold stream and a familiar place – a villa, where her cousins would all stay. He couldn’t help but wonder if we meant to include him, or if it was only to speak of the cousins. He wouldn’t delude himself.

“It sounds wonderful,” he said softly.

For a fleeting moment, he considered throwing caution to the wind, trying to embrace her within his life by saying they should go there, right now. And then following up on it. Taking a ship with only a few guards, and just leaving without a word. But who was he kidding? He wasn’t the man out of stories or ballads that would do that. He held a duty to his father, to his sisters, to his brother. To the memory of his mother.

He looked at Rivka a long moment. Damn his meddling great-aunt. If things had been different. If he and Rivka had met under different circumstances, been allowed to talk, get to know each other… it could have been natural. It wouldn’t have been the forcing together of two pieces on a war strategy map.

But why couldn’t it be natural?

He grabbed her hand before he could remember the sweat on his palms, and started hurrying her back up the corridor, away from the mausoleum. They passed the chaperone and broke back out onto one of the main passages. He turned the opposite way from which they had originally came, and they dove further into the side of the mountain. They came to a set of heavy wooden doors, where he released her hand to throw his back into the act of pushing one open. He didn’t close it behind them, knowing the chaperone would be fast on their heels, but the door opened onto a rock-hewn staircase spiralling down.

“I may not be able to take you to Curef,” he said, taking the stairs down easily as he held her hand again. “But at least I can show you one of the odd little secrets of this place.”

They reached the bottom of the stairs and were left with one more corridor to walk down. At the end of that, a small door, which he swung open to reveal their destination.

They stood on the rock-slated bank of a natural pool within a cave. The only light was the stars shining through the roaring wall of a waterfall, pouring itself from the rocks above. A cool breeze with a hint of ice whistled through the gaps either side of the waterfall, but it wasn’t a shrill sound. It was soft, almost whimsical.

Backed against the far wall of the cave, about fifty feet deep, were barrels. Even some were submerged in the pool, tied down to rocks so there was no risk of them bobbing their way to the waterfall’s edge and tumbling over. A few crates accompanied the barrels against the walls, stacked neatly and tied firmly shut beneath nets.

“We didn’t used to visit here as much as the other half of our family visited us on the mainland,” Casim said softly. “Serenity brought me here once, told me no one would ever look for me here if I wanted to be alone for a time. Apparently it’s where our Sylvbruuq is kept. No idea what’s in the crates.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:56 am

Rivka wasn't sure what to think when Casim grabbed her hand, but she followed him. He seemed a lot more decisive and confident then he had earlier. she kind of liked it, though she had no idea where they were going she couldn't help but giggle a little mischievously despite her nerves.

She followed him curiously through the large doors and down the stairs. She looked at the pool as he spoke. A secret place, a place to hide. She let go of his hand and took a few steps toward the pool. She walked carefully because it was dark and the surface wasn't completely flat or level. She knelt down and slowly but her hand in the pool. She drew it back quickly, it was cold. She laughed a little, she should have known that.

She made her way back to Casim.

"What is Slvbruuq?" she asked, "Why would you want to hide here alone?"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:49 am

Drake

Drake didn't have to turn his head to hear Rasheba coming through, and observing the two outside, he was well aware of her presence and stroked his chin rhythmically before speaking. "It's not a common sight no, Drow women are resourceful and are priestesses, magical inclined, alchemists, and leaders. Drow men have the kind of muscles to back up what they need to do. However this is just the norms for drow across all generalization; sort of like if I asked you what all humans are like. In reality every clan has different methods. Mabusa follows the constraints that both sides must be bale to do battle int heir respective specialties and so on" he shrugged openly and noticed that she was seeming even far more tightly wound than before and though about how his words may have affected her.

"I know this is not your ideal world Serenity, and despite myself, I have made it even harder on yourself. Know this much, make your own decisions and stick by them till the end; that is one history lesson I can teach you. I made too many errors and kept trying to fix them rather than walking forwards, if you're unsure then by all means go with what instincts say." He removed his hand and turned to face her more apparently and crouched "For all that I say and all that I do, I will promise you this much, whether or not you wish for my company I will be on your side till the bitter end. Should you choose to forgo my companionship for your own reasons-I shall not become your burden, and I will face off against that which may wish against it."

"I'm having an agreeable time, you make my heart beat and give me a feeling of genuine enjoyment, however all of that pales in comparison to that which you must decide is what you wish it to be." Drake began to stand once more, patting her head "Now enough of that, I suppose would ask....how much do you know of your own family's history Serenity? Anything of note that you find intriguing about the members of the Ludlow Accord? A basic topic, but hopefully one that we may find ourselves grounded upon once again" he took a guided hand to her elbow comfortingly and began to walk some more.

_________________________________________

Garin

"There is not too much to say about myself on the terms of rumors if you haven't heard them before my Lady; they're your standard fare of incest and accusations of romantics between oneself and an orc. Nothing quite entertaining about it...." he began to grow more silent as he realized they really were at a loss for conversation and sighed . The rest of the journey had spurts of discussion but it wasn't until the massive masonry of Ques Novich came into view that Garin could notice the people within the carriage had never seen anything remotely like the splendor that was Maiden's Shield. It stretched up to the heavens and was big enough to eclipse the mountains on the other side of it as they grew closer. The main doors of which were taller than most of Everglow, and it was almost as if one was but an ant standing before a giant's homefront.

The walls stretched off into the distance on either side, the winter snow had caused the carriage to stop in its tracks and while the nobles weren't to ge tout, they could pay attention to the monumental engineering before the. The walls were a highly polished marble that glinted and shone in the winter sunlight, the whole thing was as if one were in a fairy tale. The land of the drow, such an exotic term but for their escort-it was a simple business trip as he began swearing in elvish to unseen figures; he sounded angered that the snow wasn't cleared correctly began after he climbed back to his perch, shovels could be heard in a chorus and the carriage lurched forwards again.

"We will be in Ques Novich within the hour, since you're guests you will not be asked for your visas or documentation but the guards might still eye you a fair bit; pay them no mind- they can be paranoid" As they arrived closer the blinding sunlight was dampened by the massive doors becoming the focal point of vision. From afar they were gigantic, up close they were monolithic, this was a dream- a massive fortress city that even giants would be dwarfed by entirely. far smaller freight doors opened up however and they were led through to the other side.

On this side there was no snow, no anything. It was dark and the horse's hoofs clacked and the carriage echoed. The doors swung outwards and armored elves looked through slits in their helmets at the newcomers warily. Garin swore at them and shooed them away with frantic elvish, before offering his hand for Claire Ludlow to step down. They were is a chasm like room, they had made it past the doorway into the point between it and the other massive doors. It stretched out for many hundreds of meters and the lights of candles or lanterns could be faintly seen off and away, they were now in the shield wall. Beyond it would be Ques Novich itself, the true elvish city, but for right now they were in a military base for all intents and purposes. A fortress.

Beyond Garin, as the three were helped out, a man in impeccable silken robes-colored a crimson with accents of violet around its fringes; and with undercloth of deep indigo- stepped from the shadows. His hair was, for the most part, cut short to his head but blown back in a wistful fashion. With teal beads laced among them and two distinctive braids coming from his hair, starting along his sideburns and racing downwards. One sat on his chest and the other had been pulled behind his neck and sat on his shoulder dropping down below it. His hands had some minor jewelry adorning them and he stroked his chin perplexed.

"Hello children, welcome to Ques Novich, I am Divan." Garin nearly tripped over himself noticing him appear, having thought his Uncle to be long since dead ever since he disappeared from the Azure Box.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Kotorchix » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:35 pm

Claire accepted the half-drow's hand as she stepped down from the carriage. After her, Lyron and Nimbe filed out, fanning to her sides as the distinctive frame of Divankul moved to greet them. With slight distraction, Claire noted Garin's reaction to his uncle's appearance - almost like he hadn't expected to see him here at all. Had he not been informed of why he was taxiing her and her party to the Drow City?

She understood a spattering of Elvish, although the Drow dialect differed rather drastically. With her limited vocabulary, she still attempted a greeting although it was rather clumsy and even archaic. "How now, what news good Divankul. I am Lady Claire of the Ludlow Accord in Caybourne. This is my cousin, Sir Lyron Piers, and my maid, Nimbe."

Lyron and Nimbe gave the appropriate bows and curtsies.

"Greetings. I apologize for my cousin's Elvish. She learned from textbooks." Lyron beamed.

"Pardon?" Claire looked at him, glowering at his perfect Drow inflection. But seeing the mischievous glint in her cousin's eye, she turned her attention back to Divankul.

"We heard news you might have knowledge of... demonic entities. Your father thought you might be willing to help us."

---

"Sylvbruuq was served at dinner," Casim replied, smiling as she returned to him. He offered her a hand to sit down beside him on the edge of the pool. "You may not have tasted it, mistaking it for alcohol. It is brewed, but it would take ridiculous amounts to get you drunk. Imagine a sort of mead with a hint of... hm... if you've had licorice, it isn't too far off from that. Or maybe aniseed. It's a strange taste, some say acquired. I dunno... I rather like it."

Once Rivka was comfortable, he pressed on. "I like reading. When I came to visit here, it was often chaos with all us children. Most of them were girls, aside from myself and Lyron - although, he tended to spend his time with Claire rather than me. I often chose my books over their company... perhaps something I will come to regret, knowing what I do now."

He fell silent, his thoughts on Jenny for a moment. And Eason. And his mother's laugh, how she and his father had danced last Winterfest until they lost their balance and fell over laughing like children.

"This was a nice, quiet spot to read and draw without interruption," he concluded. "What are your cousins like? These ones you would go swimming with."
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:12 am

Rivka

Rivka felt a little silly. She really hadn't done much research on the Accord the way she had on the Blackthornes. She knew what he was talking about now, she had thought the drink a little strange but had finished her glass to be polite.

"It was good." she lied. She was disappointed when he spoke of his preference for books over people. But really maybe that was better. She enjoyed parties and people and had hoped as a lady to host all kinds of gatherings. But a lot had changed. She looked down. She supposed the life as Lady Ludlow would be very different then the one she had imagined as Lady Blackthorne.

He asked her about her cousins.

"They're second cousins actually." she told him, "Or maybe third."

She stopped and though, "Sir Nance is my father's cousin so I guess they're third cousins. They're my closest cousins since my uncle doesn't have any children."

She frowned as it suddenly dawned on her that if Vilhelm really was her uncle's son he was her only first cousin.

"At least no children with his wife." she added quietly.

"They're all girls." she said, "Well they have a brother too but he's just a baby so I didn't grow up with him."

She told him about Jana and her gossiping, Mellissa and her drama and little Teena who always tagged along.

She went on to talk about her cousins and the places they would stay and the things they would do. She rambled on happily.

"Oh I hope they can come visit us here." she finished.

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

Freyr

Freyr had sent one of the servants to fetch his daughter to go over the guest list what seemed like ages ago. At first he was annoyed at the time it was taking but soon a nervous feeling overtook him.

When the servant returned to tell him that she had taken a walk with Casim toward the tombs but where no longer there he felt panic. The servant tried to calm him down assuring him he would check the gardens and other areas, it was a large estate. But all Freyr could think was that something had happened to them.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:06 pm

Divan let out a subtle chuckle at the elvish and the mildly amusing antics of family, he waved his hand and summoned a pipe, motioning them forwards and to follow as servants began tending to everything. "I'm more than capable of finding out whatever you wish to know, Garin pick your jaw up off of the floor please? It's unseemly"

Garin, for his part, snapped form his shock and eyed his uncle warily and began rushing up on his intent on punching him right out for his antics. Instead he was slammed backwards with a simply flicking of the wrist. "Don't act a fool, you think me to die? Balderdash, we have guests and I was informed that they had some....serious concerns regarding something that happened back home- and since they're allies I cannot and would not refuse them. Now behave yourself"

They would be taken to an arcane elevator, one more comfortable than the jarring shift of the one in the Azure Box and led into a guest room of cushions upon stone platforms as well as some suitable chairs lined in silks and cushions. Divan gestured as servants brought out a selection of tobacco and some unidentified materials, some of which Divan put into his pipe despite no longer needing to medicate his conditions. It could be presumed he was certainly smoking orc fist. He would gesture them to sit down and make themselves comfortable as he took his own seat and relaxed, thinking of his guest and other puling sensations, of his violent rending and remaking, and many other still unresolved issues as they made themselves as comfortable as one could in foreign lands.

"I am informed you had a possible demonic assault on your homefront, that house members were assassinated, and the youngest appears to be missing? You've relocated to a military stronghold and that the two people capable of sensing demonic incursion were out of the area at the time. That being your house's steward and counseling mage of Elmer Twicefreed and General Drake, who is currently there in accordance with our alliance to be betrothed to Serenity Piers. What I need is all the information in those gaps and what you are asking me to do for you that is improbable to be accomplished without my assistance." Divan had become straight to the point while still being very relaxed and spread. However his tone was in a serious fashion and he flitted his hand for a servant and whispered something before sending him off as Garin joined them late.

"Do not mistake me, I'm not implying you must have any compelling reasoning or bartering, as reason enough is some entity has assaulted a house in our care and we will annihilate them for their effort. I am simply a man of, lets call it excruciating detail" He let a smile come back to his face as his nose bellowed out dragontails of smoke.
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:41 pm

_______________________________________________________________________
The Griffin's Bastard
_______________________________________________________________________


"It feels," Arianne growled, "Like we've been waiting for a year."

"Eleven months."

Arianne whipped round. "Fucking what?"

"J'Zara feels like it has been eleven months. And a day." The Feline waved a paw airily.

"It feels like we've been waiting for a damnably long amount of time," the elf snapped, turning back to the sight before her. It was a clumsily erected wooden watchtower-and-gate, some twenty feet high, and she was getting rather sick of sitting here in the snow staring at it. This, apparently, was the best that the Headhunter could do in his design of a camp perimeter. Arianne had led the Wild Huntsmen for years, and in that time she'd made camp in every abandoned quarry and fallow field and ruined holdfast that she could fit them in. Every time she had ensured their position was properly fortified, as was her duty as the Corps' Captain. The Headhunter had barely bothered to do the same.

Arianne compiled, not for the first time, a list of things in her head that the Headhunter did not give a single solitary fuck about; his own men, fair deals, patience, his own men, strategy, his own men...it occurred to her she may have been repeating herself, and yet what she'd seen so far had done nothing to dispel her preconceptions of what a Headhunter-led-Hunt would look like. Indeed, by the time the small party of 4 had arrived outside the gates and asked to speak to the Captain, the watchman had informed them the Captain wasn't even in the camp.

"Awfully careless of you to have misplaced your own captain, Jory," she'd shouted up at him. "What is that...twice in a row now?"

Jory the watchman peered down at her skeptically. She knew him well; a sour man, aging and stubborn. All temperaments that made for a poor conversationalist, but made him somewhat excellent at guarding gates. "You ain't Captain no more, Griffin's Bastard. Headhunter says you n' all your lads died. Headhunter says he's captain now."

"Funny, seeing as I stand here before you. Use your eyes, man. Do I seem dead to you?" She gestured to her party. "Do my lads?"

The guard took a moment to inspect each of them. He pointed at the newest among them. "That one looks like he could be dead."

Jaster gave him a sullen look, picking at the bandages on his arm.

"Where is Headhunter now?" J'Zara ventured to ask.

"On a hunt." Jory pointed to the East, parallel the run of the Whiterush to its sister-river, the Lament. "Scouts spied a Cockatrice grazing out by Wallow's Way. Captain's gone to claim its head as a trophy. Sir Gaeus is in charge."

Gaeus? That fat oaf managed to bag himself a promotion to second-in-command, did he? Arianne chewed on the stem of her pipe, annoyed. "Tell Gaeus we would speak with him, then,and that I've brought a new recruit."

With some reluctance, Jory had gone to pass on the message. There had been no word from him since. The travellers had been left out by the gate in the snow. J'Zara was attempting to wittle a wand out of a branch. Ogden had busied himself walking around in circles while ranting incessantly about something called a kroofah. Jaster was petting Reaper's mane (the lad had grown fond of the fierce stallion over the past few days, and it was the first thing she'd seen to improve his dour mood). Arianne crouched before the gate, pipe clenched between her teeth, feeling the snow falling on the hood of her blue cloak. She was watching the banner over the gate as it cracked and warped in the chill winter breeze; rough-hewn yellow fabric it was, bearing the grisly device of a beheaded stag. That was the only coat of arms Arianne had ever had, despite all the noble lineage people tried to impress upon her. The Headhunter had taken that from her. That would probably amuse him, she reflected; if there was one thing that man did give a single solitary fuck about it was the trophies he took from the dead. Weapons, armor, titles...and the Griffin's Bastard was now just another of his fallen foes. Arianne dearly wanted to see the look on his face when he found out she was not so defeated as he hoped.

She was almost startled when the gates creaked, then slowly parted. There had been a gathering on the other side. A score of men-at-arms, familiar and new faces, peered at the party skeptically.

Arianne grinned, straightening to her full height. "Your captain has returned!"

A moment passed. The men peered at her, then at each other. Then, collectively, they turned their backs and began to move away.

She blinked. "Uhm...men? Comrades? Tis I, the Griffin's Bastard, your Captain. I have...returned..."

But they had already gone. Jaster moved up beside her, leading Reaper by the bridle. "They seem disinterested."

"There's not much that gets past you, is there, kitten?" Arianne seethed. She rounded on Jory who had been working on the winch that held the gates open. "You. What was that about?"

"I'd to tell 'em all you were alive. Most of 'em didn't believe me so they came to see for themselves." The watchman shrugged. "Some of em owes me a few coppers for that. Made the 'ole ordeal worthwhile. Sir's in 'is pavilion, you remember the one..."

Without another word, Arianne stalked off into the camp and left it to her companions to catch up. The Huntsmen numbered four thousand four-hundred men, all told, almost a thousand of which constituted heavy mounted cavalry. The camp was not nearly the size of some of the Blackthorne entrenchments she'd seen, but it still made for an impressive sight nevertheless. Patchwork pavilions and tents surrounded them in every directions. Noble armies had a uniformity to their constructs, Blackthorne blue or Knox red, but the men of a mercenary corps were never unified beneath one banner. Some tents bore insignias of ancient families, while other bore those of hedge knights; others were crude brown leather and cloth and bore no markings at all. Even though their Captain was absent, the camp was bustling with life. Squires and servants bustled between the tents carrying equipment to and fro, while camp followers lounged in the shadows, catcalling at the men-at-arms. Horses peered morosely from the stalls of a makeshift wooden stable. Smithee the Blacksmith, a burly man with a long beard and an unsightly purple boil on his cheek, hammered away at his makeshift forge. He gave only a taciturn nod with the party waved to him.

"It's like they don't even know you," Jaster muttered.

Ogden was happily toddling along at their heels, evidently having detected the familiarity of the camp without the air of hostility. "See korreeno passme."

"Headhunter always very popular." J'Zara's tail swished back and forth as she inspected her surroundings. "Even though he bring corps no contract. Elf takes a hundred loyal fighters to die at sea. Could have been only loyal fighters."

Arianne chewed at her lip and said nothing.

They came at last to a tall purple tent in the center of the camp, one of noticeably finer make than those around it. A banner was mounted on a standard beside its entrance, emblazoned with five golden thunderbolts. Jaster was peering at it curiously as if trying to place it when Arianne tapped him on the shoulder.

"You let me do the talking in here, lordling."

The lad's scarred face took on a stubborn look. "I wasn't going to--"

"Ah-ah-ah." She pinched his cheeks between her thumb and forefinger, squishing his mouth together and silencing him. "I know Sir Gaeus and I know what to say to him. I am doing my utmost to spare your wretched life, kitten. The least you could do is not make it more difficult for me. Understand? Nod if you understand." The lad gave her only another sullen look, so she pushed his face up and down to simulate the assent. "Good. Let us go."

There was a groom in his forties stationed at the entrance to take their horses. "Sir is occupied at present, and if you are willing to wait--"

"Bugger that." Arianne pushed past him and into the tent without a second thought.

The inside of the pavilion would have been standard fare for a tourney knight; bed, washbasin, armor stand. Unusually there was a dining table at the center, and that was where the two occupants were seated. On the left was a small, sallow elf with braided hair, a hooked nose, and darting eyes. He wore fur armor and had a quiver-and-shortbow nestled beside his seat. Opposite him was the man they'd come to see. Sir Gaeus certainly did not look to be a noble knight of a highborn bloodline. His ruddy face was marked with moles, close-set eyes beneath caterpillar brows, a crooked nose, and short greying hair that matched in color and length with his mutton-chops beard. While well-muscled he was two inches shorter than Arianne, and a considerable pot belly strained buttons on the front of his western-style coat to hang out over his swordbelt. The effect of that last detail was exacerbated by the fact he was currently trying to fit half a roast chicken into his gob. He had just about succeeded when the sudden appearance of his former captain made him choke violently.

"Gaeus." Arianne nodded at his companion, who was patting the knight feebly on the back. "Floyd."

"Elf--whhat--hkk--fff--" It took almost a minute, and a long pull of ale, for Gaeus to collect his bearing enough to string a sentence together. "Bloody hell, it really is you. I thought Jory was having a laugh when he told me. Headhunter said demons ate you."

"There were Knoxes there as well. We escaped them both as it happens. May I sit?" Arianne did not wait for an invitation, pulling up a rickety stool to perch on and motioning for her companions to do the same. "I suppose some introductions are in order. This lad is a promising young recruit we found out by the Riverford, a veteran of the battle. His name is..."

"Mavis?" offered Ogden.

"Arthur," Jaster sighed. "My name is Arthur."

"Handsome Artie," Gaeus' companion sneered, motioning to the lordling's scars.

The lad reddened, and Arianne decided she had better start talking quickly before he started on making things more difficult. "This polite fellow is named Floyd. We have taken to calling him the Barber, for his accuracy; with a single arrow, he can slice a hair in twain at fifty paces. So he claims, at least. Funnily enough I have never seen him demonstrate it."

Ignoring Floyd's scowl, she moved on to the second-in-command. "And this is the esteemed Vice-Captain."

The knight wiped his greasy hands on the front of his lilac coat and made an effort to look dignified. "I'm a Westerner like yourself, lad, as it happens. You may know me as Sir Gaeus..."

"...Thormund," Jaster finished. "Champion of the Fallowfield Tourney, 999AE. Fifthborn son of Lord Maegor Thormund. You were exiled after being caught with Priscilla Holloway in the kitchens of her father's holdfast with your hand up her--uhf--"

Beneath the table, Arianne had stamped down hard on the lad's toes. She fixed him with a glare. "You must forgive Arthur, Sir. His mouth is far too large for his tiny, tiny brain."

Jaster clenched his fists, but wisely chose not to speak again.

"You know a great deal about my...erm...accomplishments, lad." Gaeus squinted at him. "Have you read your histories? You look as if you have a drop of Stormborn blood in you. From where do you hail?"

"He is from Coldharbour," Arianne answered impatiently. "He was trained for the militia. A capable swordsman, and good on horseback, if you give him time to heal. And he fights well alongside us, once you take us back as well..."

Gaeus blinked, scratching at his mutton-chops with pudgy fingers. "Aradia's breath. You want to be captain again right away? Headhunter won't be happy about that."

"Let me talk to the Headhunter," Arianne said blithely as she poured herself some wine from the knight's pitcher. "I'm sure we can come to an arrangement."

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

Post by Kotorchix » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:31 pm

Lordling Casim Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


“I’m certain they will,” Casim gently responded, pleased by her willingness to relax and talk with him as she had. And the places she described… they truly sounded worth visiting. “And if your cousins don’t have the time to sail all the way out here, perhaps we will go see them in Curef.”

He wistfully flicked a pebble into the pool. It bounced off one of the bobbing barrels and made a smooth ploop into the water, sending ripples to battle with those summoned up by the barrels.

“I don’t know of any cousins beyond my first,” he admitted. “For a noble family, we’re rather linear. Father didn’t know his family. He grew up in an orphanage and on the streets of Everglow. Really, all the branches stem from my mother’s side.”

Gently, he took her hand in his. It wasn’t a natural movement, but he wanted to see if it could become so. His sweat had thankfully subsided, and he took a moment to appreciate her small, slender hands. They looked like they played music. He kept his hold loose so if the movement made her uncomfortable, she had all the ease in the world of freeing herself.

“Aunt Jacinta wasn’t your… typical noble,” he said, gently running his thumb over the slender grooves of her knuckles.

“I suppose neither of my aunts are. One proudly had a child out of wedlock, parading her half-elf lover about before finally marrying him. The other became a shieldmaiden and one of the greatest warriors in the Accord. I suppose it wasn’t too much of a stretch for my quirky cousins to have come from that.”

His thumb rested on her forefinger’s knuckle. “I never truly got to know my oldest cousin, Darius. He left home when I was five years old, shortly after-“

The sound of claws rasping on stone made him pause and he turned back towards the way they had entered. The massive, hulking form of Commodore Moxus loomed in the doorway, both Rivka’s chaperone and Casim’s guard flanking him. He cleared his throat, resulting in a low rumbling growl.

“Lord,” he snarled. “You’ve caused your mate’s sire concern.”

Apologetically, Casim glanced at Rivka. “Your father… I’m sorry, I forgot. He must be worried about… well…”

His brows dove into a furrow, frustrated at the reminder of real life. For a moment, it had all floated away with her presence. An unexpected development, but a relieving one all the same.

“Lady Rivka,” he said with a deep breath, standing and offering her help up. “This is Commodore Moxus. He is responsible for the security of the Accord’s members.”

“And finding lost cubs,” Moxus snapped before turning heel and leaving, brushing both chaperone and guard aside like nothing more than grass before his mighty stride. “Guard, inform the cub’s sire of their imminent return.” The guard turned and scuttled off in his wake.

Another apologetic glance. “He’s very blunt. Come, let’s go find your father.”

----

Lady Claire Ludlow
Ques Novich, The Mainland


Despite the luxuries poured upon them in the chamber destined to be that of their meeting place, Claire couldn’t find comfort to wrap herself in. She seated herself in a silk-draped chair, Lyron taking a seat at her side and Nimbe standing a few steps back like a good maid. She motioned that Nimbe should make herself comfortable, but the girl only perched upon the edge of a stone platform.

It felt so long ago that she had first seen orc fist consumed, smelled that musty taste fill the room as it punched back into her sinuses. Her parents had always been very strict on drugs, and as such she had never had any inside the Ludlow Estate.

In fact, the first time she had smelled this, it had been in Great-Aunt Amayl’s chamber in the Heartstone Estate – smoke quickly blown out an open window by her half-dressed aunt and a harsh command for her to leave the room quickly following.

Then again, perhaps that was a long time ago. How young had she been? Ten years? It felt like a lifetime ago, although it was no more than double that again. How the elves must feel when recalling a distant memory, she could hardly fathom…

“Lord Divankul,” Claire began, “I’m not entirely aware of all the happenings in the gaps, myself. I have only had short talks with my father and Commodore Moxus, but from what I gather… we are being made to look weak. Which does not concern you and me – we can leave that to my father to fix. What does concern us is the demonic… entity that must have committed the acts.”

Lyron leaned forward in his chair at this point, putting his elbows on his knees as he knitted his fingers together.

“Elmer is keeping things level on the homefront right now, so that’s our mage out of the investigation for now. He’s there making certain no further attacks are impending – if he can stop them, he will. Assumedly with General Drake’s help.”

Claire picked up the thread he left hanging for her.

“Elmer and Commodore Moxus did track the shifter. Which… isn’t something we’ve really let get out. We’d prefer the world believing we have no leads at this point. The Shifter took the form of my sister, Jennifer – I have brought an image if you should need it – and took our baby brother Eason to an arcaneologist in the city of Maria Vale – in Caybourne. This magician teleported them both to mainland Aradia for a vast sum of money… but this is where our knowledge turns to conjecture.”

She rested her hands elegantly on the arms of her chair.

“We know nothing of Shifters. Of what sort of magics they wield. Whether a demon would use the services of that mage. And if not a demon, what sort of foul sorcerer would do the things he did to my mother, my sister, my brother, and my unborn siblings? And with magic being so far outside our knowledge, we felt it best to speak to you. You… know much more about demons and such than we. Obviously.”

---

Nimbe Elassore-Rodin
Ques Novich, The Mainland


A shiver ran down her spine at all this talk of magic and demons. Although a budding magic user herself, Nimbe couldn’t imagine the sort of power that demons possessed. The sort of power… that she could feel radiating from the man before them. She had felt something similar of Xankresh Avani, this man’s father, but… Divankul was something else entirely.

Lyron had warned her he was otherworldly – part-demonic. And she had both feared and anticipated the cold thrill she expected. But this was not it. It was a shiver, indeed. But he didn’t hold that malignant power she had thought he would.

But what did she know? Had she ever met a demon? She doubted it. She was not skilled enough in these things. No. Here… she was a maid. One that was allowed to sit with her mistress, yes, given respect, but… just a maid, all-the-same.

Her eyes shifted to movement at the door they had entered through. An elven woman stood, grey in stark comparison to the décor of this room. Her long hair, whiter than spidersilk, hung freely down to her waist. Her clothing shimmered with the faint hue of a magic far beyond Nimbe’s skill. Summoned clothing. Trousers fitted tightly to her shapely legs, a pale blue tunic stopping at her thighs. She wore a jacket, white fur trimming the cuffs and collar. Flakes of snow budded on her hair and lashes, like she had just stepped in from the cold.

This woman with violet-red eyes paid her no heed at first, her gaze on Claire and Lyron as they spoke. But that stare suddenly landed upon Nimbe, sensing she was watched. Nimbe turned her eyes away, but-

“K̸̨̝̦̭̞̼͝ͅi̸̶͉͙̬͚̞̦̞̣̙̖̞̕͘ͅl̡̧̟̲̬͔̮͢l̡͝͡҉̥͖̗͚͕͙̫̭̯̕ ̴̵̵͓̱͙̺̠̤̹̙ḩ̴̮̠̮̜̺̮͔̻̙̹̹̗̦͉́́ͅi͏͙͓̥̩m̪͇̝̼̟̬͉̟̩͚̪̜͚͙̫̪͟.͝҉̸͍͕̲͙̪́ ͏͔͙̭̟͎̠̩̥̰͇̺͕̲̩ͅK̴̴̴͍͇͔̱͙̫̣̹̞̺̹̪̫͔͍̖͜í̢̪̞͔͚͚̼l̸̢͈̳̤͙̣̼̯͍̼̼͝l̷̀̕҉̡̰̯̻̪̫̩̮͔͇̗̺̜͇ ̢̢͕̘͔̹͚̣̭̣̺̖̞̲͇̲̰͟h̭͍̥̜̭͔͍̬͍̦͉͚͜i̷͍̦̗̤̬̫̹͉̜̬̟̦͔̪̕͟͡͡ͅm̸̷̲͙̪͓̰̤͢͡͝ ҉̖̲͎̮͉̖̜͙̱̺̲̖̖̼̤̟̕͝͝a̛̝̝͚̱̳̞͙n̢͚̰̤̞͉̱̩̺̜̞̤̖̟̠͢d̛̥̟̠̦̳̹̦͈͚̟͔̀ ̴̢̦͓̠͚̥̻̩̘̹̰͔͜͟͡ḩ̺͖̜̝̻̪̹͈͈̺͎̤̠̫̜͢͜͡i͏̷̨̛͔̲͓̲̦̤͓̣͈͍͜ͅs̶̪̖̥̬̪̮͢͝͝͝ ̵̨͈͎̯̗͉͔̖͉̰̥̮͎̲̱̕͜s̷͏̭͔̦͚̘̣p̨̢̼̲̭̳͕͚͙͔̰̫͈̘͎͖̝̝̀͜͡a͞͏̤̠̰̘̮̱͈̝̥̜̜͔̳͕̹͔w҉̠̜̼̱̳̩̦̯͜n̛͎̭̻̰̟͖͓̪̭͟.̧̩͇͇͖̲̳̯̩͓͓͖̻̲̀͟͠͞”

She shuddered as the voice hit her very veins, from within her blood. She and the pale elven woman locked gazes. It was not her voice. It was a voice beyond her, far away within the folds of her ancient soul.

“K̛͙͖͓̰̜̪̍̃̊ͨ̓͐ͨͩ̔̆̍̎͐̓͑͐̆̚͢͠i̶̦̮̺̗͕̺̣̎͒͛͋͜͢ͅl̶ͮ͊̂̾ͦ͂̄̅ͪͬͮ͗͗̀͊̽ͬ͑͏̣͇̠͈̞̤͙̖̜͔͓̳̜̝̦̣͙͇l̢̮̞̬̙̫̝͗̌̌͋̄̒̒͂ͭ͐̈́̚̚͢͞.̹̘̳̹̺̗̋̋̂ͮ̆ͫ̎ͭ̿̄̔̅͋̚͜͡ ̶̢̙̹͎̦͍̮̲̯̋͆ͩ̇̑͠ͅHͬ̉ͬ̈̽̑̓͐͒͐ͧ̑ͪ̒͒ͩ҉̴̴̭̟͈̲̖͖͇̙̯́i̢͔͈͖̦͍͇̳̟͎̓ͯͭ̆͑ͦ̉͛̐ͣ͗͒̎́͠m̴̻̮̼̤̱͔̼̬͕͖̬͖̼̞͙̜̘͋͆ͤ̄̂̇ͫ̾ͮ̇̽͂̃̏̽ͣ̊͜.̷̧̨̘̦̗͔̻̺̝̝͕͕̲̹̱͙͚͔̇̑͋̔ͪ̈́̉̄́ͦ̋ͣ̂ͮ̂͌̿͆͞ͅ ͋̈́̒ͪ̓̏ͤ͐̃̌͌̔̄̀ͤ̓́̕҉̱̤͉͎̰̹̩̥̖̦͓̫̩͚͈̥”

Nimbe found her eyes moving to Divankul, the man listening intently to her companions. Then back to the woman, she felt a brow quirk upwards. The elven woman’s jaw tensed, and she left the room. Nimbe confusedly tried to follow the conversation again, but she was still lost in the voice of that… other thing. The thing which was not that woman.

“W̵̵͓̙͇̪̺̮̣̬̿͗̒̓̎̀ͩ͗ͩ̃͐̋ͬͯͪ̑͜͠͠ȩ͈̰̬̞͆̔͌ͩ͂̿̓̂̌͝ ̢̘̮͙̭̳̪͚̫̟͖̖̹͈̑̈́͂̋̈́̈́ͪ̋̌́̄̓ͯͦͯ͗̈́̚̚͘̕͢s͋̃ͨͯ͡҉̵̢̝̟̩̯͘ḩ̙̦͖̝̊͋ͪ̿̉͒ͬ̿̓͆͐͛̋́ͫ̀̆ͭ̓̀͠ą̴̡̞͓͕̱̯͍͔̗̪̠̣̇̃̑ͣ̇̃̔͂̽́r̨̽̀̈̊̌ͩ͊͊̉͆͌̀͐͒̒͛͞͏̳̤̝̺̰̣̬̬͇͔͍͉͓̥eͪ̋͌̌͋͑̌̀҉̳͖͇̗̼̼̘̖̺̭͇̙̘̝͈̖͖̲̖ ̡̤͍͙͚̝̤̤̮̘͈̹̞̹͒͒ͯ̂̆͐͛̽̊̃͗̽̎̀̕͢ͅͅb̡̛̎ͥ͋ͭͧ͠͏̻͈̻͉̘̳̯̠̞̩̥͘ͅl̵̴̬̠̱͙̱͈̜̜͒̒ͤ̈̕͟͠ͅȏ̵̶̤͖͕̳̲̩̻͈̤̺͖̖͙̖̱͕̞ͫ́͌̅͊̇̆ͯ͊̽ͧ͆͋͊ͭ́͟ȏ̶͚̪̺̠̝̦̥̣̏̋ͮ̈́ͧ̆͛̋̂̉͘ḓ̵̵̥̝͎̞̤̞͖͇̘̙̞̣̙̺͓̇͛͌̓͌͘͠.̴̛̤͖̻̗̞̠̠͉̖͔̟̗̩̰ͭ̐̏̐ͯ͂ͦ̍̀̉̋̊͗͆̓ͭͧ̓ͅ.̨̔̋̃͋̈̏͆͑ͤ̉̓ͦͪͪ̒̍̌͒̈́̀̀҉̻͚̬͉̬̥̭̟͖͈̞̳̟͈̪̹̗̪̖̀.̤̦̠̰̠͖̬͙͕̒̀͗̌̽́ͭ͘͘ͅͅ”

The words thrummed within her, rattling against her rib cage. She swallowed hard.

The voice grew, a ringing in her ears as dark claws reached from her blood, gripping at her bones along the way, tearing and screeching as a poison introduced itself to her veins. The room faded from her vision, instead, the vision of a tall red-headed elf filled her mind, her talons closing about Nimbe’s head, sinking into her skull.

Abruptly, she came back to the room. The elven woman was back, her hand closed tightly about Nimbe’s wrist. She dragged her from the room, careful to avoid the gaze of Claire and Lyron so they would not recognize their maid was missing. At the door, the woman leaned close, hissing in a voice that was not that of the monster.

“She knows you. How?”
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Skummy the Kitty
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:56 am

Divan, Ques Novich

He nodded patiently as they spoke, breathing out puffs of fragrant smoke now and again, paying no heed to Metheryl, unable to perceive the conversation going on between Kraai and the maid going on behind the veil of subconscious. Instead he was raptly attentive to every droplet of delicious detail that could be amassed, Garin had come in late and had been intercepted by a servant- leading him on to other duties away from all of this. So Divan was effectively alone, as he refused to acknowledge his companion while his guests were speaking. When the explanation was over he motion to try and introduce her but she was already gone and away and he simply gave a half hearted shrug.

"You have nothing more to fear back home, Drake is one of the most brilliant men in Aradia, few match up to what he can accomplish, simply ensure he's within the grounds at all times and nothing living or dead will get past him. My summation is he's teaching them all basics in uncovering unseen threats and the like. Moxus is a name I've heard here and away a few times, from what I know of him he's an even better compatriot than my dear Fang was to me. However I'm sorry to give you this sort of news but the Mainland is a massive sprawling continent-with many unknowns hiding around it sometimes in plain sight." He tapped his pipe blowing out another billow, the ventilation allowed it to lazily rift off to some sort fo small pipe opening and out of the room.

"To put it plainly, Shifters are not so much entirely void per se so it's hard to detect them unless witnessed directly- that would explain why Drake was not on alert. I'm not familiar with them personally, more demonic than that I'm afraid. As for what could be hiding Eason from us may have an entirely different set of abilities that counter my own....The shifter probably feeds on emotions, extremes of sexuality or of desperation perhaps? Was, erh Jennifer provocative and bottled up in some frustrated ways?" he waved his hand dismissing the question as quickly as he brought it up forgetting his manners "Sorry, sorry, honoring the deceased and all- I'll simply think of a intuitive response and move on. Lets see, you were right to contact me, but I am no longer a demon- rather I'm split between that self and this one. One exists here as flesh and blood and self and the other has become his own between realms. Some fo the forbidden knowledge went with it you must understand"

A book floated along however and he flitted through the pages and nodded "However, if you wish for me to use resources in the hunt for the child I am more than wiling to do so- again I must ensure you realize I offer no guarantees. I'm a researcher and a battlemage first and foremost- illusions and subterfuge can really disrupt what I'm capable of and it seems this is rife with it. However if I find the shifter I'll find the boy, and if I find the boy I'll bring him home....was that possibly an answer that could suffice as of now?"

"You have my condolences of course, I know what it's like to lose everything because of the machinations of the wicked, my Sister, my Wife, my Daughter....my mother- many people of my life have been gone for one reason or another. It will pass in time but one is never the same, especially your father may be having whiplashing mood swings- please do relay a message of a poultice that will help with depression and anxieties to Elmer if at all possible. It might help him retain some of his senses in these times" he produced a small thing of parchment with the necessary ingredients for a medication for symptoms of extreme loss "Can't have him start self medicating like I used to now can we?"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:59 pm

_______________________________________________________________________
Handsome Artie
_______________________________________________________________________


It was the morning of his fifth day among the Wild Huntsmen when the fabled Headhunter finally returned to camp.

Jaster had risen at the crack of dawn after taking what sleep he could get, as was expected of him in his new role as Arianne's squire. It was an odd experience, following someone else's orders after having been in command for so long, and he would have been lying if he claimed he hadn't found it a tad infantilizing. Why can't I be a knight? Even just a hedge knight? he'd wanted to know, and the Elf had gruffly informed him that if he went about wearing titles it would bring the Bloodhawk's eyes on him faster than if he'd "rode through Griffin's Peak in the nip waving a standard over your head that said I AM THE YOUNG GRIFFIN PLEASE HANG ME." She had, as ever, quite the way with words.

He'd started by dressing himself in the rough-hewn brown leather jerkin, boots, swordbelt and trousers that he'd been provided from the armory, the same armory that provided J'Zara with an alderwood stuff she had used to start healing him in earnest. The jab from Knox's dagger in his side had sealed and begun to fade. The scars on his face, while still ugly, had lost the inflamed infected look they'd had in the wilds. Even his arm no longer required a brace, though two of his fingers remained cold, grey and stiff from the demon's poison. The Feline had said it was likely they would remain so for the rest of his life. The marks from his brawl with Arianne had been all but erased as well, and his hair had begun to regrow, though it was a dull blond now instead of red-gold. Examining his reflection in a cracked looking-glass that he kept by his tent, Jaster reflected that he would never look like his old self, but at least he looked alive again.

His first task for the day was always to fetch breakfast for his charge. The cook's tent was at the South end of the Hunt's camp, a large tent equipped with a firepit that leaked black smoke from its roof so it was visible from miles away. Jaster filed past a group of hungover, sour-smelling soldiers and pushed his way through the tent-flap, only to instantly tense.

An Orc was standing by the cooks, a great greasy greenskin with a broad jawline and a cowlike septim piercing. It turned its beady eyes on him, and sniffed the air with its snout.

"How now, Handsome Artie." The Dwarf cook handling the food spied his entrance. "Have you met Gilgun? Another veteran of the Riverford."

Jaster looked at the Orc uneasily. He remembered his Uncle Roderic had been keeping the Lockjaw's son prisoner beneath the castle. Why the demons had let this creature go was a mystery. "I did not know we accepted his...kind...in the Hunt."

"Oi foight where Oi want, 'ow Oi want, fer oo Oi want," the greenskin snorted.

"And what if we enter into a contract with the Blackthornes? Will you fight for them too?"

The Orc growled, a low rumble that made the tent tremble around them. It walked to Jaster, slinging the sheep's carcass it had taken over its back, and loomed over him. At this distance Jaster was not sure which smelled worse--the rotting corpse or the monster that was to eat it. "Yoo an ugly li'l Westman, inchoo? Yoo best mind yer own business, else you lose even more of yer face." And with that, it shoved past him and out of the tent.

Jaster was reminded that he needed to keep a low profile, and was lucky the Orc hadn't recognized him by scent from the Riverford. It made him feel ill at ease, all of a sudden, and he resolved to leave this tent as quickly as possible. "Platter for one, Hobb."

"I'm Bobb," the cook growled, waving his ladle at the other indentical dwarf on the other side of the room. "He's Hobb. This one for J'Zara?"

"For Arianne West."

The dwarf's heavy brows knitted together in a scowl. He spooned out a glop of greasy grey oatmeal into the platter Jaster had brought, then hawked and spat into it. "You tell the Griffin's Bastard to eat that right up, Handsome Artie," he grunted as he tossed a lump of black bread and a misshapen pear on top of it. "Might remind her who's in charge round here now."

"I'll...pass that along." Jaster could not see how a phlegm infusion would change the Elf's mind in any way, but decided not to comment. He was only a squire, after all.

Arianne's tent was near the center of the camp, not too far from Gaeus Thormund's. It was simple, scrappy brown leather. The only visible mark of its significance was the banner flying above it, which bore the ominous symbol of the Bastard of Blackthorne; the standard of arms of Jaster's family, but with the proud rampant griffin beheaded, the antlers of the Wild Huntsman stag hovering above the stump of its neck. He paused when he saw it, not for the first time, and regarded the grim image with some consternation. It made him think of Preston Knox, how he had crushed the heads of two Great Griffins, left them dead in the dirt. How Arianne had killed Knox in turn, which a simple arrow through the heart, a death far too merciful. The memory of it still stung. He decided to dwell on it no longer, and moving the platter carefully to one side, he pushed into the tent.

The sight that greeted Jaster was not one he was prepared for. He made a choked gasp, and almost tried to cover his eyes, only to swiftly remind himself that doing so would spill the bastard's breakfast all over him. Red-faced and blank-minded, it took him a moment to remember he didn't have to close his eyes to avert them, which he did.

"Oops," the girl in Arianne's bed whispered, then giggled and pulled the sheets up over her head as if she could pass unnoticed.

The Griffin's Bastard had no such modesty. "It's customary to make some sort of announcement before you enter private quarters, Kitten," she said archly, sprawled across the camp-bed wearing absolutely nothing.

Jaster, feeling the heat in his cheeks, kept his eyes fixed on the ground. "I didn't--it's never--"

"Did you bring food? Excellent. Madea, make yourself scarce will you?"

The camp follower slipped from the bed and dressed herself shyly. She was not much older than Jaster himself, dark-eyed and olive-skinned, the hair on her head dyed a bright purple. One of the peoples from the Blackthorne-colonized isles from the far south, perhaps. When she dropped a shoe and went to pick it up, her untied robe swung upon, and he saw with some alarm that her form was female and yet she had the parts of a man. She gave him one more bashful look before skipping out of the tent.

It took a moment for him to find his voice. "Was...was that a man or a woman?"

"Neither, and yet both," Arianne yawned, stretching. "Fascinating, isn't it?"

"But..." Jaster was nonplussed. "How did you both...how does she...or he...or..."

"If your tutors didn't bother explaining how all of it works, I'm not going to be the first to tell you, lordling." She arose in one swift motion. The shaft of winter morning's sunlight streaming through the tent's entrance illuminated her snow-white skin, but exacerbated the faded pink scars that criss-crossed her body; a slash across her belly, the puckered remains of an arrow-wound on her thigh, what looked like claw marks near her right shoulder. The Elf stopped before him, peering curiously at the food he was carrying, her long ears twitching. "Noble matchmaking and breeding is all very good and orderly and man-to-woman, aye, but I for one...agh, this bread looks hard as stone and probably tastes worse...I for one choose not to deliberate, lad, as do many. Marriage with a 14-year-old is, conversely, looked down upon out here, so..."

"My wife is fifteen. A woman flowered and grown, all agree." He pressed his lips together, reflecting that he was getting rather tired of having to stare at the ground. "Please put some clothes on."

The Bastard rolled her eyes. "First you storm in unannounced, now you're telling me what to wear in my own quarters. Where does it end?" But she found a green tunic on the ground behind the bed, and shoved it carelessly over her head. "Odd that you have no qualms about entering whenever you please, but get all bashful whenever you spy a pair of teats."

Now that she was partially covered, Jaster could properly scowl at her. "We are related by blood."

"Ugh. Don't remind me." Arianne was hopping on one leg as she pulled on a pair of patchy leather trousers. Her foot was still bandaged from their fight, but she seemed as uninterested as ever in finding boots. Tying her hair into its customary high tail, and tucking her griffin's feather behind one ear, completed the ensemble. She took the bread from the platter, dipped it in the gruel, took a bite, and made a face. "Has Hobb added a new flavoring to this? It tastes different."

Frankly, he was surprised she could taste anything at all considering the amount of time she spent smoking her pipe and drinking wyvern-mead, two activities which would quickly turn a normal person's tongue insensate enough to miss the taste of dwarf phlegm. He was about to say as much when the tent flap burst open and a young messenger staggered in, completely out of breath.

"Excellent. What is the point of having a covered entrance to my pavilion at all if people can just run back and forth as they please?" The Elf took the page by the collar and shook him. "Out with it, lad, use your words."

"He's--he's back," the boy gasped. "The Headhunter...he's returned!"

It was at that moment a low, sinister warhorn sounded from the south, its dark tone like the roar of some vast unknowable beast. It made the hair on the back of Jaster's neck stand on end, and outside, he could hear that it had caused an instant commotion among the soldiers.

Arianne's ears had perked up like antennae, and her eyes had narrowed to grey-green slits. "It's about bloody time."

~*~


J'Zara and Ogden were already there. And so, it seemed, was the rest of the Corps. Hundreds had congregated near the ruined watchtower that the camp had been built around, the soldiers cheering and chanting. A few had raised their beheaded-stag banner on standards and were swinging them over their heads, the yellow cloth billowing amidst the falling snow.

"This is strange," Jaster said quietly. "My understanding of Mercenary Corps suggested they were united by a lust for battle and wealth, not the love of a leader...thry are behaving almost like..."

"Your own troops, kitten?" Arianne suggested. She had dressed in a shirt of silver scale, and had brought her bow and quiver as if expecting a fight. "They act like he's their lord, aye. He has that effect on them. Always has. Forty years he's ridden for them, and now they get what they've always wanted...Aradia help them, the fools."

J'Zara's ears pricked up and she sniffed the air. "Headhunter is here."

Her senses were as sharp as ever. From between two tents on the opposite side of the clearing, riding astride a tall blood bay, came a demon.

Jaster felt as if his heart had leaped into his mouth, and he averted his eyes, willing himself not to panic, that it was just another flashback to the undercroft. But when he looked again he found his eyes had not entirely deceived him. The creature on the back of the horse had the head of a snarling demon hound, crafted of rusted metal plate, and it took him a moment to realize that it was some kind of horrid greathelm. It had tall, daggerlike ears and an extended snout; one of its eyes was an amethyst, and the other a ruby. How one managed to see out of it was unclear, but the breathing-holes on the neck puffed out steam into the chill winter air like the smoky breath of a monster. The other armor the rider wore was rusted as well, and it was the only thing uniform about it, for no two plates were alike; the right pauldron had the spiny look of Drow craftsmanship, the left gauntlet the clawed tips of Blackthorne steel, while the right boot was made from the muddy lizardskin used in the Marshlands. Most significant was the cuirass, which was black glass; the same black glass the pale creatures from the Riverford had been wearing. A beheaded-stag broach clasped a long cloak to the rider's armor, and what a cloak it was, for it was covered in a pattern of patches that were likewise drawn from a hundred different sources, torn from countless banners. Some of those patches looked like human skin.

A rickety cart came after, pushed by six men-at-arms, and upon that cart there appeared to be the decapitated corpse of a giant mutated chicken the size of a carthorse. This, Jaster knew, was a Cockatrice, a creature created by the Stormlords of old. They were vicious and hostile beasts, and had grown increasingly rare after being hunted for centuries. Slaying such a creature was a rare honor.

The Headhunter dismounted, seized something from the cart, and thrust his prize into the air for all the crowd to see; it was the beast's severed noggin, its wattles hanging limp, its black eyes sightless as its wicked beak lolled open stupidly. The soldiers cheered as if they had accomplished the slaying themselves. Jaster had eyes only for the Headhunter's swordbelt. He carried not one weapon, but two; the blade on his right hip was unlike any he'd seen, curved like a scythe, while on his left was one that looked all too familiar. The crossguard and grip were simple, engraved black metal, twisted about itself, and the pommel was a sapphire the size and shape of a duck's egg. The scabbard was black wood, imprinted with swirling runes that could only be the Old Tongue. It could only be an ancient Stormlord sword, one of the few in existence.

"That sword doesn't belong to him," Jaster said aloud.

"None of it belongs to him," Arianne snorted. "Everything he owns he's taken from a foe he's vanquished. If he takes a fancy to some piece of armor or a weapon, he adds it to his suit. If they don't have good armaments, he takes a piece of their banner or surcoat for his cloak. And if they don't have a banner, well...their flesh is all the trophy he needs."

Jaster watched, sickened, as the mercenary captain plucked a brown feather from the cockatrice's corpse and pinned it into his cloak, which provoked another cheer from the crowd. "There is no honor in this. The man is a lunatic."

"Elf has been saying the same thing for a long time," J'Zara mused, "And yet tribe never seems to listen."

As if to illustrate their point, Ogden had plucked a feather from a chicken in the kitchens and was now trying to weave it into his beard as if to copy the Headhunter. It made for a rather less impressive sight.

Arianne had been watching the adoring crowd with narrowed eyes, and when Ogden seemed to share their admiration it appeared to be the last straw. Cupping her hands over her mouth to amplify her voice, she bellowed out a single word; "SPINNER!"

Jaster did not know why that word caused immediate dead silence, or why it prompted everyone around them to slowly step away from the 4 of them as if they were about to be crushed by a falling boulder. The Headhunter turned slowly, the ugly mismatched eyes of the demon helm seeming to sweep the crowd. Finally, they settled on Arianne.

"If you're finished preening," the Elf said coolly, "Perhaps we can get down to business."

There was a long, tense silence. The Headhunter's clawed gauntlet rested on the hilt of his curved sword. The men-at-arms around them were looking back and forth frantically between the Elf and their Captain. Arianne chewed on the stem of her pipe, waiting. After what seemed an eternity, the Headhunter turned, his patchwork cloak snapping in the chill breeze, and stalked into the watchtower.

"i think he wants us to follow him," Arianne said casually as if she had not just come within inches of being cut down by a crazed demon-man. "You as well, kitten. Come along."

As they departed the crowd and approached the ruined tower, Jaster muttered a question to J'Zara. "What is Spinner? Why did it anger him so?"

"Why, kitten," J'Zara chuckled, and although her Feline features made it difficult to tell, he would say she was smiling wisely. "Rafe Spinner is Headhunter's name."

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

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:54 am

Aruluent Quay, Shaki and Rori, Preparing for departure-

"Where the blazing fuck is he?! Meroth's got some damn expensive stuff on him and he better not have shoved off after begging after some base wench of the bay-why'd you let him stay?" Rori was furious, smashing his green fist in the table of the tavern he and the others were staying in awaiting their transport.

"He was being an asshole and she was being a whore, I'm not gonna get into that shit with him- I sent two guys to find him shouldn't be long..." Shaki was calmly drinking form a tankard unfazed by her companion's rage despite him being able to crush her with one hand.

"Who'd you send?" Rori took his seat again but stood right back up as he was told "Mavis and Barister?! MAVIS AND BARISTER?! Those two couldn't find their way out of a one way fucking cave! Get out there and get Meroth- and if not him his stuff. We're leaving on the hour before more goons track us, Kavi made such a stink in Everglow I'm dead if we're not out of here soon"

"Fine fine fine, I'll find him" Leaving him with a rude finger gesture she slid out form her table and grabbed one other person out of the crew, leaving Rori with just two pipsqueaks left and a thirsty gullet- so he ordered more booze.

Shaki traced back to where Meroth was last scene and she nearly gagged from the stench the hot humid climate had done to his corpse in such a short period. There was already a rat burrowing into his fleshy stomach. "Percy! Get the fuck back! Watch out for me, and look out for Mavis and Barister"

With that she began to do a once over on Meroth and noticed all his desirable loot was already cleaned off him leaving him a wretched sight of a bloating cadaver. "You fuckin idiot man.... Percy, you see Mavis or-" her words died in her throat as she saw the same redheaded whore, silencing Percy with a knife int he gut while firmly holding a hand over his mouth and pushing into the alleyway. The young aspiring mercenary was cut down with ease and Shaki was left with the last person to see Meroth alive.

"What int he hell _are_ you?" she said notching up a poison tipped arrow hoping that Mavis or Barister was still alive and kicking "Did...did you kill my other two I sent looking for him? Eat them or some kind of weird magic mumbo jumbo to their souls?"
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by dinthalion » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:19 am

Heartstone Estate Rivka

Rivka tensed when Casim touched her hand. She almost pulled back but resisted the urge. She felt suddenly nervous. It didn't make her feel any better as he described his family. They weren't the typical old Everglow family with prestige and power. They didn't follow the established norms. They were the type of house the more established houses would look down upon as lacking honor. The type that created gossip. She would go from a Blackthorne, a preeminent and lofty house, honored by all even if out of fear, to a Ludlow. She wondered what the Ludlows hoped to gain from her. She knew now why the Blackthornes had accepted a plain faced and risky bride for their heir. She had thought there was something special about her that made her worthy of a knight like Jaster Blackthorne. But it was only a game of his uncle's. And now that man who she put all her hopes and dreams in was gone. No, not completely gone she thought as she imagined she felt her child move inside her, not completely gone.


But she wondered what the Ludlow's game was, what she could possibly offer them. With the other marriages they had arranged it seemed they were reaching to improve they're prestige, to gain influence in the north. The gains from an alliance with the drow were clear, and she supposed the Venet's were an established house even if not rich and powerful. She pulled her hand away gently. This was a political marriage, just like her last one, but this time she would not expect a fairytale. Casim seemed nice enough, sweet and tender, but she realized she didn't want to get emotionally invested, she wouldn't be hurt again. She understood how this worked now.


The sudden rebuke startled her out of her thoughts. She took Casim's hand as he helped her up. She felt abashed. They had both made their father's look bad. They followed the huge feline back toward the office.


Freyr jumped to his feet and embraced Rivka when she entered. She had expected an admonishment, and was a little surprised. But when he released her she saw his face was severe and angry. He turned his controlled wrath on Casim.


"There is no reason for the two of you to hide, especially at a time like this." he said sternly, "You two are not married yet. I expect you to treat both her and I with honor and respect. Once you are married it will be your responsibility to keep my daughter safe, but right now it is still mine."


He sighed but gave Rivka a little forced smile, the stress was evident in the lines of his face.


"Lord Ludlow and I have been discussing the wedding plans." he told her, "It will be small and only a few weeks away. We need to get the invitations sent out tomorrow."


he motioned to the desk to start the guest list.

"Nance and his children of course." he started, "Maria but not Divinkul, we won't have him make a scene here. Unfortunately we'll have to invite the Blackthornes but with the war maybe they won't be able to send anyone. We'll make sure your dress is layered and frilly enough to hide your...weight gain."

He sighed and took her hand. "That should cover the guests for the Vennet side, like I said very small."

"What about Attia and the Sabre's?" Rivka asked. "Attia is my best friend."

Freyr licked his lips, "I've told you before Lady Attia Sabre is not the type of woman you want to be associated with. And if we invite the Sabre's Lady Talia would come, and if she hears rumors...she may tell her uncle."

Rivka looked sad and looked away.

"I wouldn't want Talia here either." she whispered sadly, "I'm sure she's angry with me, and it would be painful..."

"But it would look suspicious if they got no invite." Freyr realized out loud, "Lord Blackthorne is no fool and he already suspects...With Talia being her sister in law and Attia her friend."

He looked at Rivka, "I suppose we must...but we don't need to extend invitations to stay long after...with everything going on here."
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by IronParagon » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:02 am

_______________________________________________________________________
Handsome Arthur
_______________________________________________________________________


It was cold out West, and Jaster had spent most of his life in the fog and the rain and the snow. The winter did not bother him. And yet it was still something of a relief to step from the freezing camp into the warmth of its inner sanctum. The room was large, circular; beneath a stone archway opposite the door blazed a roaring hearth that bathed the room in an ominous orange light. The occupant had been redecorating. Trophies lined the walls, weapons and banners and so many heads. They hung off of their wooden mounts, antlered elk and scaly marsh-lizards and even the great stony dome of a mountain-troll, uniform only in the expressions of blank terror that had reflected their final moments. As the party entered, a shaven-headed girl of perhaps ten years was in the process of mounting the Cockatrice head for display. The child looked up and studied Jaster curiously with her dark eyes, before turning back to her task and paying him no further heed. By the fire was an worn, overstuffed armchair with its back facing them. Jaster could see their Captain's figure slumped in it, silhouetted by the light of the flames. The demon's head helm was discarded, resting on a plinth. The fire danced, reflected, in its mismatched eyes.

Arianne paused for only a moment before clearly her throat and striding imperiously over the hearth, the rushes on the stone floor crunching in time to her steps. She spun on one bare heel and leaned against the archway, folding her arms. "You going to run off every time I do that, Spinner?" she asked, insolent as ever. "I should do it more often. Could run you right out of camp."

Tentatively, Jaster stepped forward to join her, and as he came near the shadows drew back and he saw the true face of the Headhunter.

He didn't exactly know what he'd expected. Perhaps some huge, terrifying Orc of a man, tattooed and black-bearded and one-eyed. He did not expect plainness. Rafe Spinner, the most infamously bloodthirsty cutthroat-for-hire in all the realm, looked like any normal peasant. He was visibly old enough to be Jaster's father. His face was thin, clean-shaven, his eyes warm brown and creased about the edges with laughter-lines; his hair had been brown as well, but age had thinned it at the front and turned it to grey. Only a single scar marred the man's tanned, seamed skin, a thin white mark on one cheek that looked like it could have been wrought by a dagger. Jaster had expected him to be tall as the Bloodhawk, but he could see now that the helm had added inches to his height and that the Headhunter was not even as tall as Jaster himself. He would not look out of place selling pottery in the Bronze Way, the squire thought, Or shoveling out stables on a farm.

"The Griffin's Bastard," the Headhunter said, regarding the Elf coolly. His voice was quiet, almost raspy, with an accent that sounded only vaguely like the vernacular spoken in the lower tiers of Everglow City. "I thought the goddess had finally done me a favor when she rid me of you."

"Maybe if the rivergod had bothered to bestir herself, you might have been free of me after all." Arianne studied her nails. "But Rickard Worcester is no god. He proved easy enough to escape from. You wasted no time in seizing my Corps, I've noticed."

Spinner's lip curled. "It's never been your Corps, bastard. It was Gaenor's before you came along, and Hieronymus Jex's before him, and Kah'lahr's before him, going all the way back to Black Manfred himself. And now the men have chosen me to lead them."

"And how is that going so far? Do my eyes deceive me? Is the Hunt being showered with bountiful gold, proving our worth in battle after battle? Or are we camped out in the mainland, freezing our arses off with no contract in sight?" she aimed an accusing finger at him. "The West should be paying us to raze the Marshlands for them. Instead, Bloodhawk Blackthorne's put his cousin Desmond Karhall to the task. If the price isn't good enough, then the Knoxes should be paying us to hold the bloody swamps. Yet you don't seem to have bothered approaching either. What do you intend to do--?"

"This obsession with pay is why you aren't in charge anymore." The Headhunter cut over her harshly. "You wipe the arse of every noble who asks you nicely, and they give you a shiny coin, and you're content to settle for that. But why should we settle, eh? The Hunt is the strongest militia-for-hire in the Isles. Let our rewards reflect it. The Blackthornes should give us a keep."

Jaster remembered the correspondence he'd had with this man, a distant memory from his old life. "There's no lord in this realm who would hand out lands to a mercenary," he argued. "You would need to display exceptional loyalty, and loyalty is anathema to a sellsword."

There was a moment's silence. Arianne had her hands on her hips and her long ears were twitching as she fixed her charge with a poisonous glare. The Headhunter turned slowly in his seat, his mismatched armor groaning ominously, and regarded her squire with one eye. "Who the fuck is this. bastard?" he asked softly. "Another eccentric to add to your growing mummer's circus, is it?"

"Murmur," Ogden nodded. "I murmur."

The Headhunter looked at the Dwarf with something like pity. "I remember you before the injury, Ogden the Mad. You were a fine wit before that mace knocked the senses out of you." He rose slowly and stepped forward, his features slipping into shadow. "I see your scars, boy. Did you get your head broken as well? I ask because only a lackwit would disturb my conversations thus."

J'Zara coughed. "Mayhaps kitten should--"

"My point stands," Jaster argued, ignoring the strangling motions Arianne was making at him. "Why would you think that Lord Blackthorne owes you land for standard work?"

The Headhunter laughed. It was a cold, humorless sound. "Loyalty is won through rewards, lad. Why do you think any army stays loyal to its Lord? Its not only out of goodwill. Every man who rides under the Blackthorne banner does so for gold. Their lord should have understood that, the impetuous pup....I was there for his birth, you know."

Jaster had not known, and this surprised him. "You were there...like one of the midwives? In the birthing chamber?"

Spinner laughed again. "You're not very bright, are you, boy?"

"That's what I've been saying," Arianne growled. "It seems he refuses to listen. Go and stand outside, Arthur. Ogden, please fetch your warhammer and give Arthur a nice bop on the head with it. Chances are it will break his thick skull and we won't have to listen to him anymore."

Jaster's face reddened, and he opened his mouth to issue a rebuke, but the Headhunter spoke up first.

"i was not in the birthing chamber, lad. My place was in the tourney lists. The Great Griffin held a grand championship over on Stormrise Isle to celebrate the birth of his twins, you see." By the way he talked, Jaster knew this man valued his experiences of conquest as much as the physical tokens of it. "I remember it well. It was pissing rain, as it always does out West. Lord Arthur sat high on his dais with his family. His heir, who was all of 6 years old but already acted like a lord. The younger son, who raged and screamed and pulled his nurse's hair til they had to take him away. And his fat little daughter, who cried every time her favorite knight got unhorsed. Every man in the realm who could hold a lance joined in on the jousting, it seemed, competing for that girl's favor. I was the greatest among them. Just past thirty years old I was, in the prime of my strength. I knocked Kai Cogworth in the dirt, aye, and Ragnar Highcliffe as well. Unhorsed every last one of them till it came to the family's master-of-arms, that mudskin elf Valar Druun. It cost me a pretty penny to ransom my arms and armor back from him, it did, and for winning the Tourney, Druun got the dubious honor of being personal protector to the newborn twins. There's a trophy I wouldn't want. Not like the daggers the Drow wore. Ah, those would have made for a fine gift." A strange light had entered the mercenary's eyes, a look that belied his ordinary appearance; it was a kind of avaricious glint that made that warm gaze look deeper, darker, like a vortex that no object could ever fill. It looked to be the greed you would expect of a trophy-hunter such as this. And then, just like that, it was gone. "But I digress...the Elf was there as well. Aye, that's where I first met the Griffin's Bastard."

Jaster was intrigued, and noticed Arianne had tensed. He had heard little of her backstory, and wondered where this tale was going.

"Eleven years old, she was," Spinner reminisced. "Her mother was Shiera Karhall's handmaiden--a fine sight, with hair like spun gold and a body a man could kill for, while the daughter was a muddy, skinny little thing in a ripped dress...only time I've ever seen this wench wearing a gown, I can tell you. I found them arguing outside the archery tournament. The brat wanted to enlist. Said she was a better marksman than Shiera's son Desmond...called him a few rather foul names as well. I told her I was planning to enter the archery myself. This little bitch--picture it, eleven years old, no higher than my hip--looks me dead in the eye and boasts she's a better shot than me." He was chuckling fondly at the memory. "I told her to come and seek me out one day to prove it. Imagine my shock five years later when the same girl strides into our camp and tells me she wants to join our company." He turned to regard the Elf. "Well, she wasn't a better shot than me. But I took her under my wing. Taught her all she knows. And still she presumes to council me as if she knows better. I see her servants have adopted the same attitude. I let her away with mouthing off to me the first time, boy, but the second time I gave her a clout round her pointy ears." The Headhunter fixed his gaze on him. "Will you repeat your mistake?"

Jaster's mouth twisted. He had half a mind to go for his sword, but he saw the look on his charge's face and thought better of it. "No, Captain."

"Good." The Headhunter turned back to the Hearth, and it seemed the tense moment had finished.

"The lad has a point, though," Arianne said after a moment, like she was trying to re-open a wound. "if you're demanding castles off these lords it's no wonder they aren't employing you."

The Headhunter leaned against the fireplace, looking the Elf in the eye. They were the same height, but the man's armor seemed to make him look bigger. "It seems I'll never have my fill of being lectured by children. What do you propose, bastard?"

"We ride to Everglow City." Arianne stepped forward, her arms folded, unafraid of him. "Let me talk to the Bloodhawk. A contract is a contract. You want a keep, but the men need to fight else or they'll go soft. Demons are rising from the deep again, Spinner. They're going to make us fight them sooner or later. What use will a castle and some highborn bedwarmer be to you then, eh?"

"I'm not afraid of a couple of demons," the Headhunter growled, tapping his black-glass-breastplate.

"But your men will be, if you let them vegetate much longer. It was a long and luxurious voyage for the hundred men I brought to the untamed isle, and I can tell you that because you're looking at the only three people who came back from that journey. These men...Gaeus Thormund, Floyd the Barber...you think any of them will last a minute in a proper fight if we keep them idle?" Arianne looked her Captain in the eye, speaking slowly and quietly. "If your men go, all your trophies will go too, Spinner."

The Headhunter was silent for a moment. "Edelweiss. A drink."

The dark-eyed girl who'd been dressing the Cockatrice head looked up, nodded, then went to fetch a tankard with a barrel. She filled it and brought it to her master quickly. The Headhunter knocked back the poisonous black alcohol in one shot, then wiped his mouth on the back of his gauntlet. "Out, bastard, You and your mummers, out. I must think on this."

As they stepped outside into the cold again, the Elf rounded on Jaster immediately and boxed him on the nose. He sputtered in shock and almost fell over, but she grabbed him roughly by the collar.

"Stop mouthing off, Lordling!" she snapped, yanking him close so they were eye-to-eye. "Next time you try that I'm going to cut your fucking tongue out and leave you as dumb as Spinner's squire--"

"i was helping you!" Jaster protested, pushing her away.

"I didn't need your help. I will never need your help." Arianne stuffed herbs into her pipe with such fury that most of them fell out and drifted away with the snow.

He threw up his arms in frustration. "He didn't even listen to you!"

The Elf answered that with her usual unladylike snort. "You think Spinner will ever admit I'm right to my face? We'll be marching for Everglow before the day is done, mark my words." And with that she turned and stalked away.

Jaster watched her leave, clenching his fists in frustration. "I hate her," he growled to no-one in particular.

"Kitten should probably follow her though," J'Zara pointed out. "Duty of squire."

"Wonderful. She hits me and orders me around, and afterwards I have to go scrub her fucking armor clean."

J'Zara raised her paws in what looked like a shrug. "How does Kitten think own servants felt?"

"Eiff." Ogden nodded sagely as if he had just heard some valuable lesson.

"I hate her," Jaster seethed, kicking over a water-bucket.

But he ended up following her nevertheless.

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

Post by Kotorchix » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:00 pm

Lord Admiral Mancel Ludlow
Heartstone Estate
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


Mancel watched the embarrassed blush cover his son’s face at Freyr’s rebuke and listened to the soft-spoken, yet prompt apology. At least the boy hadn’t stammered and stuttered his way through it like he expected him to. It had been some time since he’d actually spent time with the boy, it would seem. Casim had changed.

The giant hulking form of Commodore Moxus was seated beside him after another brief introduction to Lord Vennet. Papers littered the table of Amayl’s conservatory and in his peripheral he saw Elmer enter the rom with the Vennet guard that upset Amayl in tow. Thank the goddess that woman didn’t accompany them. This entire shitshow was hers to begin with.

There was much talk around him as names were offered, things written down in Elmer’s typical speedy scritch-scratch hand, and the constant low thrum that filled a room when Moxus was near – a nervous tic, the Grimalkin had explained. He had never liked interpersonal situations and the primal urge to rattle a purr often tore through his already delicate social skills. Why he even felt it necessary to be here, Mancel didn’t know. Did it matter?

Did any of this talk of frills and lords and ladies matter?

Things began to blur together, the only sharpened point in Mancel’s vision focusing on one of the antler chandeliers above the table. It had been imported some years ago. Deer weren’t common in Caybourne. The last time he had been hunting was for boars.

He didn’t even like hunting. Why had he gone?

Moxus’ whiskers brushed the side of his head as the great beast leaned over and hissed in his ear: “Bring yourself back to this place.”

He shot the Commodore what could only be called a dirty look before rubbing a massive hand over his face and leaning forward against the table to at least look interested. He had lost track of the conversation.

Elmer looked up from the invites list, a glance given to each Vennet. “Forgive me for the interruption, but I believe if you’re inviting young lady friends, we can tighten security around the suite where you will be preparing for the wedding. We can claim it is a precaution against the shapeshifter and that only our own vetted ladies will be attending to you.”

“To prevent them from seeing whether Lady Rivka is truly pregnant,” Casim said quietly, nodding in agreement. “But not protection against the shapeshifter. It’s definitely gone and we shouldn’t abuse what it did here or spread fear. Just… against further harm to the family, should do.”

“Of course,” Elmer said with an apologetic nod.

“Claire and Lyron should return before the wedding, so they will be in attendance with the rest of the Ludlow Accord,” Mancel managed to pipe in with a rough clearing of his throat. “Perhaps Darius, although we don’t hold him to attending family functions.”

“We should extend an invite to the Piers too,” Elmer said, meeting Mancel’s eyes. “It would be in good standing to reconnect with Lord Darcy at this point in time to further strengthen the family.”

Mancel gave him a quizzical expression. Darcy Piers was a man he hadn’t heard from almost twenty years. Even at the mass funeral including the man’s brother, Darcy hadn’t made an appearance. Had anyone even contacted him? Mancel’s eyes moved slightly to the left of Elmer, heavily pondering that thought. Surely Keyair had?

“Why this man?” Moxus growled. “He cares not for this clan. No ink stains his paw these past decades. No strength flows through his veins, nor wealth pads his purse.”

“A foolish thought, perhaps one I should speak of later,” Elmer shook away the comment with a shake of his feathered pen.

“The wedding will be held here at the Heartstone Estate,” Mancel continued. “It is a far more defendable spot and ensures higher security. Our guests will be invited to stay in the Ludlow Estate – whomever you wish to stay here instead is welcome, of course. After the wedding, I will be returning with my family and staff to the mainland, leaving Casim and Rivka here – if they wish.”

“We have weeks to decide such a thing,” Casim said, glancing at Rivka.

“Lady Rivka,” Mancel addressed the young girl. “Once her duty with Serenity is finished, Lady Rasheba will be assigned to your personal guard. She is of equal standing to that of you, my wife, or any other lady of this house. She has an attitude. But she’s more loyal to her family than a dog would ever be to its master.”

Elmer leaned over in something of a conspirational tone to the Vennets, although he was plainly heard around the room.

“The Lord is not meaning to compare his sister-in-law to a dog.”

“Disgusting creatures,” Moxus spat.

A sigh huffed from Mancel and he again rubbed his face. “My meaning is this: Had I not tied her to duties here, she would be already off searching the world for Eason. Commit this woman to your child and she will do nothing short of giving her life to protect it.”

“Back to the wedding,” Elmer smoothly intervened before the topic could turn to talks of war and shadowy protection once more. “Did you have someone in mind to design your dress, Lady Rivka? If not, I know several reputable dressmakers – discrete women, all.”

“I have an appointment,” Moxus muttered, standing and leaving in quick, uncomfortable strides.



The Lilin
Aruluent Quay, The Tropics


The knife danced fancifully between the Lilin’s fingers as she looked down at the corpse of the young man. Certainly a less interesting way to die. Even the blood slick on her fingers did little to excite her as her usual method of killing did. She licked the tip of her thumb, tasting deeply – all the while ignoring the arrow aimed at her head.

“I don’t personally go for mumbo jumbo myself,” she sighed, dropping the knife on the dead man’s body with little decorum. “I’d rather call it what it is.”

Her eyes slid up Shaki’s form until they caught her gaze. The Lilin’s body began to change. The skin blossomed away from her in a burst of dust, revealing another Shaki – one that smirked and ran its hands down over its newfound body.

“Tempting,” she purred in Shaki’s own voice. “Very tempting. But…”

She was suddenly gone. Shaki was smashed to the ground from behind, her arrow loosing off into Percy’s dead ass. The Lilin, having again claimed the form of the redhead, delicately held Shaki’s bow by the string, dangling it from long fingers.

“Your other men are unharmed, as they didn’t find me. But you found me. And now, I have a decision to make. I am of one mind to consume you as I did dear old Meroth. But there is another fragment of this mind, one which asks… is this place enough for me?”

She gestured with the bow, vaguely about her as if to indicate the town. “Will I meet my satisfaction here? Or will I grow bored with this place and its peoples? Endless possibilities, and here I am… on an island.”

Her gaze lighted back on Shaki, a strange orange glimmer in her pupils. “Meroth lives within me. He screams. He wants back to the boat… and usually, my dear, I don’t give my charges what they want. But it just so happens our interests appear to coincide this time.”

Her movement was so fast, so brutal. The slap caught Shaki on the side of the face, flipping her over and leaving three long gouges in her cheek. “Don’t even think of betraying me. You will take me to the mainland. In return, I will not kill you and your entire crew.”




Lady Claire Ludlow
Ques Novich


She bit her tongue at Divankul’s question on her twin’s promiscuity. The girl had certainly been no angel, even cruel at times. She’d had lovers. And perhaps even the clamping of her lips had been enough of a response to Divankul, as he moved on quickly.

His explanation of his half-and-half… demon-self left her wanting. But she didn’t know how to even begin wording that question. She sat up a little straighter in her seat as a book flitted on past her to meet the drow’s hands.

“We don’t know where to even begin looking,” Claire admitted. “So any assistance would be appreciated, but… we really came here to access that which is now inaccessible to you, I believe, my lord. Without the knowledge of a demonic shifter, we are all back to square one.”

“Where-“ Lyron quickly interjected, ever the diplomat, “-your superior experience is greatly appreciated. Forbidden knowledge or no, you know this world greater than those of our age. Perhaps you would know where demonic entities, or even just the shadier sorts of folk, might go to hide out after such a crime?”

Claire accepted the parchment, a critical eye sliding over the ingredients. “I don’t…?” She doubted her father would take some poultice recommended by a stranger.

“Thank you, Lord Divankul,” Lyron covered for her instead.



Nimbe Elassore-Rodin
Ques Novich


“How am I to know!?” Nimbe squeaked in the woman’s grasp. “I don’t even know what it is that speaks!”

“A demon,” the woman said. “Her name is Kraai. I can feel how she is drawn to you. Why?”

“How can you know-? She says we’re… we share blood?”

The woman withdrew, staring at her a long moment. Nimbe stood in her shadow, feeling her toes bunch within her shoes.

“What do you know of Shatterlight Coven?”

Nimbe felt her ears quirk up as her brows went with them. “Wh-… my mother was from there.”

“Name.”

“She was Wynmae Elassore. I’m Nimbe.”

“A half-elf,” the woman said, surprise evident in her tone. Then the strangest smile settled over face, like the longest joke’s punchline had finally been revealed. A slow nod, then a chuckle.

“At least I can find comfort in knowing she was not at fault in this. That you are my blood, not truly hers. I feared she had used my body in such a way to bring further evil into this damned world.”

Nimbe stared, at a loss on how to process this conversation. But finally, she stammered out at question: “Who are you?”

“I am Metheryl Arcaena, former High Enchantress of the Shatterlight Coven. My daughter was Holone. Hers was Wynmae, your mother.”

She had nothing to say to that. Her brows felt pinned up by her ears before they suddenly took a dive, burrowing down as a dumbfounded ‘huh!?’ escaped her lips.

“Your next question should be ‘What are you?’ I imagine,” Metheryl said, her gaze washing over Nimbe’s face like she was seeing it with fresh eyes.

“The woman I saw in my mind, the red-headed wood elf… is she the demon?”

“Yes and no,” came the cryptic reply. “She and I switched forms a long time ago. I am in her form of a Void Elf, or a Wight. I spent some time in the Void where we became… entangled, for lack of a better word.”

“And she wears your skin now,” Nimbe mused, feeling perhaps she was getting somewhere. But as soon as that feeling met her mind, again she felt like she was falling, grasping at anything that might bring her back to some semblance of reality.

“Your nearby presence must have woken something in her,” Metheryl said. “We are both versed in forms of blood magic, so a taste of our own… Did she tell you to hurt someone?”

“Him,” Nimbe said, motioning back through the door towards Divankul. “And his… spawn? Children?”

“Child.” Metheryl shook her head. “This is a matter we will have to bring to his attention. He may be able to block her from you, or maybe our proximity alone will be enough when we part ways. Regardless, this complicates matters.”

“I… I suppose it does? I have a living family member on the side I never expected to hear from…?”

Metheryl stopped, another long stare pointed at her. Then she gently touched Nimbe’s face, a softness meeting her eyes for the first time. She cupped Nimbe’s cheek, her fingers touching on the slight tip of Nimbe’s ear.

“Why am I surprised it was my own offspring that broke the rules my parents before me put in place?” she said, the lightest chuckle touching the edge of her words. “Keep the blood pure, they said. Did your father love Wynmae?”

“Greatly, my brother says.”

“She gave him a son, also?”

“No, he’s… he’s full human. His mother died before mine adopted him. Our father died before I was born.”

“You must have questions.”

“I do… but I don’t know how to voice them. And I don’t know if I have time…” Nimbe looked back towards Claire and Lyron within the room.



Serenity Piers
Heartstone Estate Gardens
Sylvie Isle, Caybourne


Rasheba’s presence was not invasive, but the woman positioned herself at all times so she was just within Drake’s peripheral. Always there.

Drake’s words played in Serenity’s mind as they walked and she came up with the odd family story. His flattery quickly smothered the message of the words in her mind, both giving a sort of permission to question the world, but a denial of it in the same way as he made it clear he had feelings for her.

It was too much. It was all too much.

“… -Something that bothers me about my family history is whenever I try to recount it, I always feel the most interesting portions of it to an outsider would be the tragic parts,” she mused softly. “Rarely does anyone enjoy hearing about how my grandfather Keyair would sit me on his knee and we’d take turns making up stories, scene-by-scene. Everyone wants to know how my parents’ deaths impacted me, what it was like to lose a sister so young.

“But truth is, I run into the same problem I do with you – I’m too young. I don’t remember the intricacies of my apparent tragedies. I have not experienced enough in this world to know whether my experiences are comparable to that of others, or are even considered interesting.”

She looked up at Drake. “And what I hate is that even when compelled to ask of you, I want to know your tragedies. Ones that actually mean something to you, unlike mine. I may have loved my grandfather dearly, but his death three years ago still pales in comparison to the stories you have to tell with such a full life before and still ahead of you. Why should any of us have the right to ask tragedies of each other?”

She hesitated, her step faltering as she paused on the path. She bit her lip and looked away into a patch of nearby lavender.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m… thinking too much. Auntie Amarika is on my mind, and Jenny… just… wondering what the world is really about. Is it to marry? Create more family to make up for the ones you lose along the way? I don’t… I don’t know.”

She gently rubbed a hand over her face. “I think I may retire soon, Drake. I apologize for my company becoming… morose. It will pass, I’m sure.”
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Re: The Isles of Aradia (IC/New Settlers Welcome.)

Post by Skummy the Kitty » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:45 am

Drake
Heartstone Estate Gardens, Caybourne

"People are fools" he said cuttingly "The most intriguing portions of humanity are not in the shared conscious that we all maintain in the wake of tragedy, but rather the brief glimpses and windows of time that show how different they all are. Your company is nothing but a delight and you should not feel so wound to it...nor should I." A pause, him noticing Rasheba primed like a wild cat ready to pounce the moment something were to happen, he gave her a glance, not a cold and harsh one but a simply acknowledgement "Serenity if you wish to know my tragedies you may ask away, however I think you would find it far more entertaining if I told you my adventures, the times I went on a mad chase through the forgotten city of Narn's Son or when I fought the Pirate King."

"That is not to say I have not had my share of problems, I have, but I think sword duels and saving maidens is a bit more entertaining than losing family members or having your title as Kin-" he stopped himself cold and cleared his throat "What I mean is that, in answer to your internal query, the answer I have found to be the meaning of all of this?" *he gently placed his large hand on her shoulder nearly swallowing it up despite not putting his weight into it "Do whatever the fuck you want, Lady Piers, whether or not you think its the right choice just don't agonize forever or you'll miss out on plenty"

With that he removed his hand, gave a bow that allowed his head to come level with Serenity's, and offered his arm to escort the young lady back to her room. A smile on his face trying to be as non-threatening as a giant could be with such a girl "As you have expressed a wish to retire, I would be more than happy to escort you Serenity. Considering I doubt you'd find it comfortable for me to scoop you up and have me carry you the way back, unless that's exactly what you're after" the last part was clearly a spike of humor, his dumber and more eased grin betraying that easily, a bit of a way to clear the air of the serious tones they had been indulgent in.

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Divankul
The Wall, Ques Novich

"I'll put it in this way, your family is in a time of mourning and should not have to shoulder the burden of tracking down a highly dangerous enemy. This is what drow are built for" he sighed scratching his head and smoothing it back over " Lyron, I'm not a fan of polite conversation when one would rather express more passionate arguments, however I respect you will of diplomacy. Claire, though I may be a stranger, I would advise you to have Elmer Twicefreed look over the list I gave you and vet the poultice. Leaving a victim's grief untreated can lead to depression, paranoia, anxiety, and very powerful mood swings that may cause a problem when dealing with more-shall we say- official aspects of being a Lord."

He smoked a bit more looking out and catching Nimbe and Metheryl's strained whispers for but a moment before continuing "I was told by Xankresh I was to offer help in every way I could think of, he made it quite clear that movements against the Accord were now considered against the Alliance, though he may honestly be jumping the the lance on his dealings. Lyron, the best places for the scheming to hide is Everglow, Verdeant Lea, Arulent Quay, the southern coasts, and the Marshes if one avoids the Red Orcs. There's too much ground to be covered by a simple few, unless they happen to be very experienced in what they're doing."

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Ornia
Vilhelm's Cabin, Briochi

The woman awoke, warm and under the covers of wool to the sound of fire crackling. Her children were off and away, scoping out good game, Brochi itself for supplies, and in general being of assistance to their host of the mother elf. She arose and began again her daily routine of taking doses of anti-venom and purging agents, before greeting Vilhelm for more lessons on Bricohi and other related northern histories, educating him on his own lineage from what she could recall during her times studying it back int he day. she also helped round out his other studious qualities, not so much to help him gain power or any thing of the sort, as she was more in favor of having the disagreements be handled in a softer tone when Freyr returned home. as time had gone by she began almost radiate, her sickness turned to pure beauty and made Aoria a little jealous of her aunt's natural flawlessness.

"I am feeling much better, I can feel my brother as well, I'm sure he can feel me as well though he might not recognize it. This frost is quite horrible though for travel, I do hope the children are doing alright. It has been a most gracious pleasure to be taken in by such a sweet child" Ornia oozed motherly affections and care, not even by purpose but by sheer passive empathy. Aoria found it soothing and had seen Vilhelm tense up less and less with a nurturing figure in his life again in these troubling times. "It should only be a little while longer before he comes, and then we may very well be able to handle this whole disagreement peacefully between everyone. However, I would prefer if you did not do anything too drastic like Divan would be wont to do." With that she began to ease back off once more and relax, trying to stop being so jumpy and jittery, trying to remind herself she was completely secure for once again.

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Shaki and the Lilin
Arulent Quay, The Tropics

Shaki tried to fire once she was shown a vision of herself looking back at her, the witchcraft caught the elf off guard and stunned her superstitious ass. She had flashbacks to her mother threatening to tell the Spiders she was getting into trouble and that they'd use their demon magic to suck up her soul for dinner. This momentary lapse, added in with the monster's unnatural speed made her blink in surprise when she was suddenly on the ground groaning. She had only blanked for a second but she was thoroughly winded "Wha-" her confusion deepened as the pain did to as she was crushed under the redhead shapeshifter. She could only half comprehend what this thing was after, a way out? Then the seething burning agony of having her face gouged made her hard features tighten in pain and genuine fear was she was tossed like nothing in this thing's grasp.

he could only stammer and think to Rori, Mavis and Barrister for as bloated and fucking dumb they were, and the Whelps. Her remaining family, she hated Meroth's pretentious ass but she didn't want him to live on in agony in this thing. But she wanted even more not to subject her boss to that fate either. "Fine, I'll tell boss Meroth got his shit kicked in by you and ran off like a bitch- tell him to take you with us because you're better for the crew and then you can ditch us on the coasts. Just don't hurt my family" She was in no position to demand anything, it was more like a wounded animal groveling beneath it's predator knowing it was dead to rights. Shaki was a wood elf, a proud and hard little wound up bitch with a stick firmly rooted up her ass about nature and communing. She was also scared shitless of demons and dark magic thanks to spiders, making this the easiest solution to Lilin's needs to just manipulate the weakened creature to her own goals.

"We, we're leaving as soon as I can find Mavis and Barrister, I'll tell them to shove a rod up their asses if they ask about anything and we'll get you to the mainland, Boss is agitated and doesn't want to stay here anymore." Shaki groaned lowly from the pain in her cheek, it burned red hot on her face and the feeling of shame didn't help her much.
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Maria,
Azure Manor, Everglow

Maria had made it a point that they stop calling it a damn box, it was an underground manor, and she had taken to having craftsmen and artisans to begin expanding the upper level to not be such a plain and disgustingly small point. This would mean some of the landscaping would be destroyed but without Fang's harsh guidance the servants had grown a bit lackadaisical anyways. It seemed without her Uncle and Fang keeping the reigns tight people were thinking Maria wouldn't be up to task, the drama of the schism had not healed all too much and there was still a tightness to the air. Maria was getting agitated by this, but without Garin here she had no pull-Saki was trying but how was going to listen to a ten year old?

She grumbled but went back to her notes, taking down recent events and drafting ideas of the upper expansion so that they could really show this place what the Drow were capable of under solid leadership.
Image
Credit to Sammy and Nicodemus; one created my set for me, the other drew the source image as a request.
Thank You Both!

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