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* Plot Information for Askavi Terreille

For nearly two centuries Askavi floundered, brought low in the wake of the Red Queen’s war. The institution of one court with its Two Queens and the end of restitution payments promises a brighter future. Still, War knocks on the Eyrien’s door from all sides and the people fight against the need to meet it.
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Author Topic: Alot to ask from dirt and bones  (Read 125 times)

Description: Tag: Endevar

Offline Zavian Dyalov

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Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« on: Nov 07, 17, 02:40:47 PM »
Zavian made a face, and turned a doubtful look towards the Landen at her side.

"Well, you said you wanted a challenge, right?" Farizar said, with a sunny grin. His smile looked all the brighter because of the dirt and dust that tainted much of his olive-toned face. Zavian couldn't help that the edges of her own mouth hiked a little in response, despite her determination to be grumpy about the whole thing. She turned her attention back towards the field before her, where a dozen Landen worked at pulling and pushing large rocks and small boulders out of the earth. It was too late in the season to expect the new plot to yield anything this year, but left to their own devices it would taken the Craftless Eyriens weeks on end to properly de-stone and turn over this earth. It wasn't unusual for Farizar and the others in his village to use Zavian for her ability to move a great deal of dirt around at once, but she'd never tried leaving the earth behind and picking out only the stones. It sounded so simple, but as Zavian began to try and order her thoughts about how to proceed, it felt a bit more complicated than it sounded.

"You should call them out of the field for a minute... just in case," she advised the Landen beside her, while she narrowed her eyes and stretched out her will. Distantly, she was aware of Farizar calling to the others, and the bustle of movement as they obliged him and made their way away from their labors. Mostly, she was focused on pushing her Craft out into the soil before her, and trying to sense the difference between the dirt and the rocks within it. She couldn't read a difference at first, and a growl of annoyance quietly rippled through her. A Queen could tell the difference, she groused to herself.

She went at it a different way, then. She closed her eyes and concentrated, and formed her power into long spines like a claw. When she first sank it down into the field, there was a smattering of shocked cries and shouts from the nearby workers, caught off guard by the way the grassy earth seemed to surrender a rash of small explosions out of nowhere. They were all out of range, but startled all the same. The sound of grass roots ripping rang through the warm morning air, and Zavian breathed in steadily as she carefully pulled on that power and drew it back towards herself.

It took a few tries. Her first attempt just scooped up dirt and rocks and all in large pockets. Her second attempt only cut deep divits into the ground. By the time she managed a balance that let her scoop up a large swatch of soil and sort of sift it, sweat had broken out over her brow and neck, and the farmers nearby had taken to sitting on a nearby knoll to fully spectate. Zavian got it more or less figured out eventually, though, and a little over an hour later, she had an impressive pile of rocks and some very churned-up dirt besides. She was speaking with Farizar after, trading jabs about efficiency with the winged but flightless man, when she sensed a wash of power that didn't belong nearby. It gave her pause, and she turned her head towards it. They were still in the Meadow, technically, but they weren't far from the line of Fell Valley, and the faint scent of a Red made her wonder if Jaegar had encountered some trouble.

He could handle it, if he had. Still, Zavian was drawn towards it, both curious and quietly excited about the potential of being able to help. She bid Farizar and the others goodbye and took to the air, giving no thought to how jealously they might watch her burst upward without even the need for much conscious determination, much less effort. She shielded herself from sight, not wanting to distract anyone if there was danger afoot, and aimed herself towards the place where the pulse had originated.

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #1 on: Nov 07, 17, 06:17:21 PM »
It was strenuous work, but he liked it. These people did not know who he was; and he preferred it. The depth of his jewel was indescribable, and the Landens and the Jewelled Blood near him had no basis to even conceive of the truth of his might. Even those of lighter jewels could not so much as imagine grasping the power within his reach. Power that meant nothing, here, except brute labor. There were rumors of who he was, and that was enough not to see him bothered. But when they got past the strangeness, the oddity, of his wingless appearance, they found themselves able to simply move on without such lofty concerns or fears.

For them, the depths he descended meant they could not so much as taste it; it let them move on with their lives. If he had been fortunate enough to keep his wings, to have not been stolen from these lands, it was likely he could have just blended in amongst them, confident that a minor flick of idle craft would ensure a masked jewel that could not be close to conceived of by them. Without those wings, his name was whispered with fear, the hint of his story enough to bring worry, dread and panic. Endevar would have blended in perfectly, and been able to merely ask to help with the work. Gabriel, however, was cursed with the burden of their awareness. So it was that these people who had agreed to afford him space to rest and work alongside his daughter had found themselves hosts to the former Warlord Prince of Askavi, the son of the Red Queen, and the man called the Black Prince by far less than had called him The Hayllian. Understandably, the dread of his past and the knowledge of his capacity to simply erase this village if the mood struck him, left few willing to call themselves allies even if they forcibly called themselves 'neighbors'.

But one man worked with him in the fields, today. The Landen sweated beside him, but was far less wet than the Black Prince. He gestured, educationally, guiding Endevar as the man dragged a spiked tool through the field, tilling a small and contained space to mix the ground, preparing it for its planting and beating back weeds. Endevar was doing it all with the mere strength of his back, a task which Drusilla - or Drusillian as she was now fashioned - saw little point to pursue and kept herself otherwise occupied. Her father toiled, as a Landen might, but he had been going for hours today, and his appetite grew as exhaustion began to root in his heart. A flash of the Red, just a tiny pulse of his strength, burned through him to refresh him and grant him the energy to continue. And so his arms stiffened and muscles firmed, and he continued his work, patient and dutifully learning tasks that were not ones taught to a Warlord Prince purportedly born to Hayll's hundred families.

It was this man, sweating and newly restored, his appetite pushed away, that awaited in the valley when a woman flying overhead cast a shadow that drew eyes. His eyes rose last, to see the silhouette of the Eyrien who neared, noting the slightly smaller wings and differently framed form of the gender the Darkness did not bless with such intent for war. Bearing within those shapes and shadows a woman who was not given by the Darkness what she deserved, in his eyes. He remembered her, immediately, though he did not call her name. Spearing the pronged tool into the earth, he ran a hand through his sopping hair to push it back and out of his face, before lowering his hands to his breeches and drying himself. "Gildenar, thank you for your time and patience. I think I can handle the rest of this. Go tend your harvest, I promise not to ruin mine without you." He smiled, patiently, for the Landen, and took the man's hand into a strongly granted shake. Endevar prided himself that he did not need to bolster his might to meet the sturdy grasp of his field-hardened mentor.

Eyes cast to the approaching Eyrien, and he waved, plainly, awaiting her approach. “I suppose I never did say you had to come back within a week,” he offered, almost playfully, the first words he’d granted her in the better part of seven years. It was not as if he disappeared the very next day, week, or even month after she had earned his agreement. She just never returned.

He did not say it admonishingly, though, merely teasing the dangerous woman who now approached the increasingly fertile field lost in the valleys where so few with her wings ever bothered to demean themselves to soar down to be seen.








Offline Zavian Dyalov

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #2 on: Nov 08, 17, 09:23:10 AM »
Finding no violence, no press of Jhinka or other danger, Zavian let her sight shield fall away. As far as her eyes could see, there was only the quiet steadiness of farmers at work, though some deeper sense assured her that somewhere among the resolutely working bodies below was a substantial font of Jeweled strength. She nearly passed by Endevar altogether, nearly overlooked him while surveying the Landen turning over the earth with hoes and forks. He turned to look up, though, and she then recognized him instantly. Excitement thrilled through her at once. From his earth-bound place, could he see the broad smile that split her lips unbidden? When she dropped herself down to the ground (from too high - she always dropped from too high because she liked the feel of a controlled fall, no matter how short) could he sense the joy that warmed her? She was not hesitant in her approach, though perhaps she should have been. Her happiness at discovering that he'd returned prevented her from stopping to consider why she hadn't heard of his arrival. How long had he been here? Why was he here with the Landen instead of at court? What of Lady Kriat and Prince Estaroth? Had they yielded peacefully to the Black? That seemed unlikely, but she'd not heard of any great raucous at the head of the Territory. But then, would she have heard? She tended to stay so removed from most courts.

But none of that really broke through, just yet. She was too surprised to find him there, too glad to find him there to stop and consider all the reasons she perhaps ought to be hesitant. Had she known him better, had he not been quite who he was, she might've forgone Protocol altogether and rushed forward to shake his hand or hug him; the energy and elation were both certainly there. She restrained herself, however, and settled for a grin bright enough to challenge the sun, and a tight clasping of her hands in front of herself to keep them at bay.

His greeting rolled right off of her. She didn't care that he treated it lightly, no matter how devastating his disappearance had been, before. It didn't matter, now. He was back now, and she couldn't immediately count all the ways that registered as hope for her.

"You're back!" were all the words she could find at first, while she walked to close the distance between where she'd landed and where he stood. Her face shone like she was greeting an old friend - or like the face of a child whose hero had miraculously risen from the ashes. However, no sooner had she said the words than she realized what it might mean. The smile blanked from her face, and tension (excitement?) sent a shiver through her wings.

"Did you bring the rest of them back? The diplomats?"she asked, her voice much quieter and grave, but no less quickly paced or rife with energy. In that small eternity of silence following her question, her stomach knotted and flipped. He had gone back to Hayll, some had said. Perhaps he'd encountered the diplomatic party that'd been sent to Draega. Father. Perhaps that was why they were so long away. Perhaps Endevar had brought them all home with him! That shining blade of hope showed it's second side, biting into her from within as fear was drawn towards its light. They're dead. They're all dead. He's brought back their bodies, or confirmation of their death. That couldn't be right, and after she said the words, she felt foolish for asking. She would know, wouldn't she? If he'd been back long enough to find his way here, there'd been enough time for someone to contact her and let her know if there'd been any word concerning Vatar. 

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #3 on: Nov 10, 17, 04:07:46 PM »
She was eager, and enthusiastic, and it brought a faint smile to his lips. She was so unbothered by his words, and instead wholly focused on the dreams that his appearance likely meant for her. He could see dreams in her eyes at his appearance here, and he found that excitement somehow surprisingly infectious. It reenergized him in ways that his own Jewel had not even managed, seeing someone's belief in him reflected in their eyes. One of the very few Eyriens who looked upon him with anything but resentment and doubt. Even Renvar Yatskaya's eyes shone with displeasure, at least at first, and then was too often replaced with pity. She showed more: she showed hope. At least for a spare, brief moment.

"Yes, I am very recently returned from a Hayllian web that was my prison," he admitted, his voice surprisingly calm and at peace, given the torture that likely brought to his mind. The Black Prince even managed a smile, through those simple words that held within them so much dark and worrisome meaning. The warrior did not make it clear whether he was simply at peace with what had apparently freshly occurred, or how anyone could imprison him, choosing instead to state that simple truth rather than overwhelm her with the tragedy of those years while she merely wished to be thrilled for his return. She held meaning and hope in his return, and the man questioned the value of that, having so little idea of his own newfound purpose.

Stepping closer to her, he extended a hand, reaching to offer the more Eyrien Warrior gesture of a hand clasped against another. The Hayllian greeting was still well-ingrained, but he wouldn't be planning to flourish with a bow anytime in Askavi, and he knew that this greeting was not offered outside of warriors, but that's what she wished to be, and he respected that even in the simple grasp offered. Then, tension rose in her, and his eyes narrowed, as she then asked her questions. There was no joy in her greeting suddenly, a cold front crashing like the winds often would bring a chill through these twisting peaks and mountain breaks. Did you bring the rest of them back? The diplomats? she asked, her words deep and worried, and he knew immediately that someone she loved had gone with them. A sibling, a parent, a child, or perhaps a lover. Someone who had touched her life had been taken during peace negotiations, and not yet returned, and there was hope that was dying in her chest flourishing for the span it took to ask her question, even if the query held no true hope inside of it. The dying light in her eyes told him that to her, his return without them likely promised they were not going to come back at all.

The truth flitted through his mind: he knew damn well that they would not be likely to return. They'd even used him to execute Eyrien prisoners. For all he knew, it was his hand that had ended some of them, though even in flashes, he did not remember there being absent wings, and he knew already the story: a box of wings returned as if a gift to the Eyrie. It was the most egregious act of violence and conflict that had been fired since the Great War, and Hayll seemed to feel assured that the mountain warriors could offer them no retaliation, or that they'd be victorious if they did. She held hope that, even wingless like him, they'd return.

His face fell as he accepted that this was an answer he must give. "No," he told her frankly, shaking his head slowly. "I... was not imprisoned by Hayll's leaders. I do not think I ever saw the diplomats," he admitted, praying he was right, but fairly certain he was. "When I escaped, I had no knowledge of their capture. I only learned of their mission, and its heinous response, just recently after I had returned," he confessed, worried that this gave her more hope than she should have. But he also knew he was in no position to tell her what doubtlessly others had, and her own soul had: that she was hoping for something that was so very unlikely. That whoever she cared for was never going to return to these mountains. He could not be so harsh as to repeat unconfirmed condemnations she likely already was very well aware of the world offering her.

A hand would move, to rest on her shoulder, and squeeze gently, an attempt to be somehow reassuring. "I did not forget you, Zavian," he began, hoping to bring her mind from the grimness of where it might venture in light of his less than joyous news.

"Before my... disappearance, I had hoped you would return so we could begin, but you never did. Did you find a mentor? A way to fulfilling your purpose?" Clearly, he remembered her.

If he was honest, one was unlikely to forget her: someone as eager for purpose as he was, with a Jewel that could at least try to contend with his own. She reminded him of so much of his own journey here, the wingless Eyrien raised Hayllian, seeking to be what he was meant to be, even when the world chose otherwise.

Even had she not stood out so sharply, the lack of judgment or hatred she showed him was also not a trait he was like to forget; the names of each of those who treasured his existence were a short list, and one he treasured. The man had settled even for those just happy to manipulate or use him, because at the very least, they cared for his life.  The Eyrie had been an isolating place for the man once so well lauded by an entire territory, but he tried his best to carve his life here, and she had promised to make it at least an iota easier than it might have been otherwise.








Offline Zavian Dyalov

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #4 on: Nov 10, 17, 06:20:49 PM »
Shock and indignation colored Zavian's features for a moment at the revelation of Endevar's recent imprisonment. She managed (only just) to stop herself from asking the obvious questions, the rude questions, the ones that cared more for her confusion than his comfort. She was silent in the wake of his comment, both hoping he'd explain further and unwilling to allow herself to ask for that very thing. The woman could not imagine what might have happened, or why - why keep him alive if he was captured? But Endevar didn't expound, and chose instead to step forward and greet her as he might've greeted a male -- no, not a male. A warrior. Pride swelled within Zavian and she was successfully distracted from the former mystery for the moment while she returned his grasp. Just that simply, the Warlord Prince had managed to reignite what remaining hopes had not yet been rekindled in her at the sight of him, few as they were. He'd returned, and he would help her train, and she would finally put her feet on the path she'd been meant to walk since birth.

The more days that passed, the more that path seemed to her to lead towards Hayll. Zavian inquired about the diplomats who'd last traveled that treacherous route. Endevar's resolute no forced her eyes to lower, disappointment reaffirming its grip around a heart falsely released into hope for the briefest of moments. She'd known better then to ask, she told herself. It'd been foolish. She'd know when they returned. Endevar went on to explain how he hadn't been held by the leaders of the Territory, and Zavian was busy enough navigating the re-submergence into concern that she nearly missed parts of what he said. Then his hand landed on her shoulder and she looked to his face once more, and his promise that he'd not forgotten her helped to distract her from the looming shadow of worry. She smiled, in fact. It was a low thing, weathered but sincere, and it took a gray turn as she considered her response.

"I found the opposite, in fact," she admitted. "I wanted more than anything to return, but my father got wind of my intentions. We... disagreed." She could think of no greater understatement to make, except perhaps that Endevar Ranosi was strongly Jeweled. Vatar was such a measured man. It shamed her now to think of how many times she'd driven him to exasperation. It didn't mean she was wrong to know what she wanted, but she regretted having been the source of so much frustration for him, even so. Zavian's gaze wandered again as she thought about him and their trials. He would see it as a betrayal of the highest degree if he returned to find that she'd taken up training with Endevar against his wishes.

But if he never came back?

What if he was there even now, trapped in whatever manner of web had ensnared the Black Jewel before her? Askavi was certainly not going to go and find him. Though she'd antagonized Drakkar before in hopes of spurring him to action, he'd held just as firm as Lady Kriat's people, in the end. No one wanted a war.

"I was still fighting with him about it when they said you vanished," she went on to explain, frowning. "It seems unlikely that he was ever going to give his blessing, but once you were gone there was no one to train me even when I was ready to go against his wishes. He left with the envoy." Something bothered her, though, and when she paused there, it was with a crease to her brow. A realization struck her, and the golden eyes that flicked back to Endevar were sharp and searching.

"What heinous response?" she asked. Her mind suggested and dismissed a number of possibilities in quick succession, and each one made her angrier. In the mere breath between comments, her heart felt like it caught flame, and her breathing began to shorten. They lied, she thought. She didn't want to believe it, but the fury that lived so constantly just beneath her skin was so anxious for a foe to rail against. "I was told there'd been no word from the diplomats since they left Askavi. What 'heinous response' did you learn of?"


Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #5 on: Nov 13, 17, 10:27:12 AM »
The clasp of their arms passed, and he enjoyed the spark of excitement she shone with at the gesture. But the pressing for information led only to a darkness that dulled that spark in her gaze.

My father, she began it all, …left with the envoy, she finished, and he grimaced. It was not pleasant, and he knew that this sort of loss was not an easy one. When there was no war, long-lived could expect their parents to guide them for perhaps centuries, and hers was taken within her first seventy five springs; even if his adopted parents were taken by his own hand long before then, and birth parents before he even could remember them, he was all too aware of the pain that likely haunted her. It would not be a pain likely to be surrendered soon, and he nodded his understanding.

But the rest of her news was not happy news for him to hear either, and a look of guilt clearly passed over his features in discovery of that disappointing knowledge of her progress towards her goals. These years had seen her abandoned further of her desires, and he was left with the firm understanding that this was partly his doing. It was yet another disappointment and loss his failure resulted in, so he mentally added it to the long and seemingly endless tally of the consequences of him being a damned fool. “I am sorry I left, for that reason as well as so many others,” he assured her, his face twisted in the fullness of his frown, the sweaty laborer who wore the black jewel unhesitating in the way he expressed himself before this living embodiment of yet another failure he fostered.

She might not be the highest priority of his regrets, but he made it clear to her that he counted it amongst them. Part of him had hoped that she had not come back for the promised training because she had convinced someone locally to do so; at the time, he had hoped it because he was busy as hell, and now, he had hoped so to prove that not all he touched turned rotten in his absence. Unfortunately, his life seemed destined to bear down on him for every single mistake he ever dared make. A heavy sigh sounded the surrender of that past, and he instead tried to turn to the idea of the next steps, as he did with every other failure that needed to be put right after his long absence and the mess that was left in its wake.

The one thing he refused to do was discuss the ways they were disappointments with their parents; he had no interest in discussing any of his parents, not the ones who raised him and deserved the deaths he gave them (though his ‘mother’ had yet escaped him), nor the ones who were murdered when he was but a babe, nor even the uncle who hoped Endevar would see him as a mentor and a father when he came to the Eyrie. His role models had all unilaterally failed him, either by the loss of their life, or the political machinations choosing to attempt to wield him as a weapon rather than guide him to be the man he needed to one day become.

The wingless Eyrien did not manage to find a moment to pivot the conversation into what the next steps in either life would be, or on how he might help her now if she still held interest, because he soon realized the missteps of his offered words, and the canny mind of the witch before him who caught the slip and pounced. She was fierce, and he saw that in her questing eyes. Hesitation rested heavy in his heart; his instinct was to lie to her, ‘for her own good’, and for the inferred secrecy likely expected of him. However, Endevar was hardly the man to be inclined to lead someone astray based on his own selfish intentions or desires, not anymore. Gabriel Dacosta was the one who urged him to lie to spare her; but she was no Hayllian waif. She was Eyrien. He steeled himself, but still hesitated; he had earned the trust shown him through hard fought years. It was not a thing he would cheaply dismiss.

“I was entrusted certain knowledge, but I do not feel it is appropriate to withhold it from you. If I speak of it to you, will you trust me to be your advocate, and to not attempt to see it ‘fixed’ or even clarified on your own?” he asked, patient and hopeful that she would concede this, because he did not know if he would withhold the information even if she refused those terms. But she assented, quickly, and he breathed a sigh of relief, nodding his head slowly and dutifully while summoning the right words.

“Hayll apparently sent a message informing Askavi they’d captured the diplomats,” he explained, deciding in the moment that he was not ready to tell her what the message was, not until he saw how she handled even that information at least. He continued, not simply ending it on that half-truth, “As I understand it, the rulers of Askavi – of which I no longer am – are still trying to determine the appropriate response.” His hand moved to grasp the tilling tool, the long haft serving as a staff as he let its grain press into his digits while he contemplated his very next words, but decided not to censor his own thoughts.

She deserved to know she was not alone in the worries she likely had, but still offered her nothing other than comprehension in the doing. It cost him nothing to let her know she was not isolated in her rage. “I worry that they will ultimately do nothing,” he admitted. It was entirely possible they lived without their wings. It was not as if Hayll sent their heads, after-all. So they could very well be alive; but if so, why bother? Just to ransom them? If so, where was the ransom? He had countless questions, and doubts, but every one of those lines of inquiry led him to the same conclusion: he wanted to go find out, and rip open every door and house until he had their bodies to return to the Mountain.

He only had one other way to inquire, and he was hesitant to use it, mostly because he did not wish to set the precedent of peace when he hungered for no quarter with his former homeland. Just as they clearly did not, either, the wings in that box evidence enough.

“Perhaps even finer reason for you to prepare for war,” he added, thoughtfully, hoping to distract her from the rage and despair likely to fill her breast at the news – or, if not distract her, direct the very same into a purpose that could see her focused on a war somewhere other than merely at home with her own people.








Offline Zavian Dyalov

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #6 on: Nov 13, 17, 04:11:58 PM »
Zavian shook her head, lowering her eyes rather than accepting his apology.

"You don't owe me any regret," she told him, not the least bit insincere in her sentiment. It wasn't something said for the purpose of assuaging whatever guilt he might feel for her sake; it was a statement of fact as she saw it meant to correct an error he'd made. "You gave me an opportunity, and I chose to yield to my family rather than seize it quickly. It is what it is," she explained, as she looked back up to his face.

The conversation moved on, and Zavian called him on his choice of words in regards to the Eyrien diplomats. That he hesitated before responding caused her to assume much, and little of it was pleasant. Fears piled themselves onto her heart like coyotes on a lame gazelle. They're dead. They're all dead. They're not telling us but they're all dead. Night, let it be untrue. I'm never going to see him again. I was so angry when I saw him last. Nobody wants a war. 

Finally, finally, the small eternity of two breaths passed, and Endevar began to speak again. Zavian was frozen in her focus, her eyes slightly narrowed, the entire rest of the world ignored for the moment. She scarcely even breathed while the words came so damnably slowly. She was nodding her assent at his first "if", and was determined to comply no matter what conditions he placed on sharing this hidden news with her. She was so hyper-focused on him and the explanation that seemed to be coming that she hardly even heard the rules to which she agreed. The longer the seconds ticked by, the more she felt like her heart and mind were going to explode from sheer impatience.

He said the words, and Zavian's head lifted from the conspiratorial bow it'd unconsciously gained in her waiting. Her chin tipped up a little higher than level, and she released the breath she'd been holding. Her eyes left Endevar's, shifting a little to one side while she clearly began processing what the news meant.

"I knew it," she whispered, eyes reading back and forth as she worked through memories and fears, refining both. "I knew they'd found trouble," she added, breathing deeply. Adrenaline had her heart rate up, but she actually felt some relief from his news. It meant they were still alive, at least, which was more than she'd dared hope.

"What do they want?" she asked, her eyes snapping back to his when her mind clawed across the logical next step. If the diplomats were being held, if the court had been notified, then it was because Hayll was unsatisfied. "The reparations," she realized aloud, understanding dawning over her expression. "Hayll's refusing to let us stop making reparations. Is that it?" A beat, a few more rapid thoughts, and she added, "And we don't have anything left. So the court doesn't know what to do, and telling people about the diplomats being taken hostage would stir up unrest..." Her eyes wandered again, as they apparently tended to do when her mind was working. She understood the reasons this had been kept a secret, she thought, though it still angered her. She shook her head and tried to not focus on that; she had the first news of Vatar's fate since he'd left, and it was something to take heart in. Now it was just a matter of finding a way to appease Hayll.

Or go around Hayll's wishes.

Endevar suggested this might be reason to prepare for war, and Zavian looked back to him with a smile that hungered for that very thing.

"Yes," she said, a hand reaching for his forearm out of sheer excitement. "You will teach me? And if those in the courts won't go to war for our people, then you and I can go to Hayll and free them. Don't you think? Between the two of us, couldn't we bring them home?"

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #7 on: Nov 14, 17, 08:57:58 AM »
The Hayllian Eyrien nodded his head in appreciation of her denial of his offered mea culpa. She was not given an infinite amount of time, but she had not been the one to take him up on his offer; he even paused a moment to briefly contemplate how much things may have differed had she been his student. Would she have accompanied him? Would he have allowed her to do so? Could they have realistically contended with capturing both of them in that sort of hanging web? The displaced and wingless Warlord Prince had often wondered, trapped in his prison of literally his own making, whether even the presence of Renvar might’ve been enough to tip those scales away from where they ended up. Would just a second presence have spoiled the trap?

Was it so predictable that he would always seek to handle his own problems? The boy he was when he left for Askavi definitely only saw the world as his problem to fix; the man who had toiled in this field, and was still slick with the evidence of that labor, was not that same man after the torture and torment. Patient, now, thoughtful in ways he could not have managed before.

But he was still, underneath it all, unchanged in his values: he would punish the One Hundred Families for what they had done to him and with him.

Zavian asked, then, of Hayll’s intentions in their capture, and she offered her own answer. His lips curled in a sort of wistful, saddened smile at the young woman’s cleverness. She understood immediately much of the issues between the two lands; Askavi starved and Hayll provoked, relentless in their appetite for spite. Perhaps that was not all Hayll wanted, but it was as good a supposition as any, and either way, they were stirring up the unrest for some reason. The witch who would transform to warrior completely, soon, was alive with thought and he empathized completely, understanding just how much this news might likely adjust her perceptions. He was not alien to the notion of the world being swept from under you, and needing to find new footing quickly.

Her smile was ravenous with hope at his offer of War, and he was bolstered to think he may just have found a good distraction or channel after all. The man eyed the field they stood in now, considering if this would serve as adequate training grounds, when she reached out for his forearm. An absolutely dorky smile touched his lips for a moment before turning to one of pride and matched enthusiasm, even if she lacked that amused smile, the enthusiasm was clear in the instinctual reach for the grasp. He took her arm, holding firmly for a moment in that warrior’s embrace. ”I will,” he vowed, simply and definitively. The Prince was about to ask if she wished to start now, in this field he needs to till being a fair place to practice, when she asked the question about invading Hayll. He conflated her rescue with the eager ‘yes’ of war-mongering, and offered some thoughts of hesitation there.

"It might need more than us to end Hayll’s threat. The Shield of Hayll, who knows where he sits on the Rebellion. He holds the Gray and so does Lilith Cinerus, who was no fan of my mother, or of any Eyrien. There's Silvia Devecchia, she bears the Ebon Gray, albeit as – if I recall – a rather nonaggressive healer. There are perhaps a thousand Sapphires and Greens, it seems like, many of which capable Black Widows and Warlord Princes, of which the former is the real threat to us. And many of these people are over a thousand years old, older still. If I remember right, you are... two or three years my junior? We're in our 70th years, then, the both of us. Let us say you manage to best their Ebon Gray; how many Grays am I expected to best? How many Greens and Sapphires and Reds? No, we need assistance."

He shook his head. "There are ways I’m considering, but…" he paused, looking at the confusion writ on her face, and his eyes dodged back and forth for a moment as clarity started to crest upon him. An awkward look of something like embarrassment managed itself onto his features before he simply offered the sound “Oh.”

Clearing his throat, he weighed the chances, and spoke again. “Just … free them. Maybe. But if we go the wrong place, the weight of Hayll might catch us before then. Intelligence is needed for a quick strike to hit well. Worst of all, the wrong retaliation might bring war to Askavi. I still have worries, even with an extraction, but uh, ignore… the part about all the people I’m worried about having to kill during an all out one- or two-person assault on their territory.”

Intelligence. He thought over that word carefully, again, and frowned for a moment. “I could try a method to seek out where they are kept,” he admitted, quietly, as if the thought that crossed his mind was somehow beyond a pale for him.

“But I still want you to understand the basics of Combat Craft before we would do even that,” he amended, to buy himself time as much as for the more simple fact of being readied should the worst happen and their plans go horribly awry. Should they need to fight, not having her skilled in the finer arts of combat against similarly depthed jewels would be crippling; an ebon gray healer nearing two hundred years of age would likely still easily best her on pure experience with jewel management without the edge of war behind her. They must be prepared for as many eventualities as possible.

He’d offer his hand, then, again, the third time that embrace would be offered and the first time it would truly mean something. This time the gesture was made as what its best used for: to form a bond and have his compatriot swear their word and loyalty. “We can start now, if you like,” he offered, because he was well aware of the timeline not being eternal for the life of any left alive amongst the diplomats. He prayed Hayll would not have killed them; even if some of them likely wished for death without those wings that they so identified with. Even he identified himself by his wings, or their absence, so he could not fathom what it must be for those born centuries ago to have their life so transformed. Time was of the essence, and this field could be tilled in other ways.








Offline Zavian Dyalov

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #8 on: Nov 15, 17, 06:06:25 PM »
I will.

Zavian was immediately filled with every bit of the excitement and vigor she'd known the last time Endevar had promised to train her. Her grin not only matched him but might've surpassed it in sheer giddiness, for a moment. Had she known him any better, had she been any more familiar with him than having spoken to him so few times, she might have burst forth and hugged him purely out of energetic excitement. She knew well how her own passions could swing wide and fast, though, and was more than a little practiced at restraining herself. ..hence the almost too-wide smile, and the way her eyes shone with grateful glee.

Soon, though, Endevar took the conversation to a place she'd not anticipated, and that glee melted like a young snow under a warm sun. It was confusion, rather than disappointment, that was revealed in its wake. At first she thought Endevar meant to say he knew where the diplomats were being held, and knew who kept them and what strengths they commanded. It soon became clear that he was speaking tactically of what it would take to advance on all of Hayll, though, and Zavian was all but floored.

There are ways I'm considering.

Endevar backpedaled, explained the things to consider in regards to an extrication rather than an assault, and then tried to move back to training.

"No, no, no, no," she said, too quickly, trying to keep him from moving off of that topic so soon. "You've been thinking about it," she said. It wasn't quite a question, though there was a hopefulness in her expression that invited confirmation, certainly. "I mean, yes," she corrected, making herself look down and take his offered hand and grip it. She looked back up at him as she squeezed that grip reassuringly. "Yes, we can start now. But tell me,  are you..." she almost dared not put the hope to words. She'd been told no so many times. Her voice lowered, not quite to a whisper, but a good sight softer than it'd been before.

"Are you going to teach them that we're strong once more?"

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #9 on: Nov 15, 17, 08:02:24 PM »
She did not appear to be satisfied with his dismissal when he realized she did not want to siege all of Hayll. And then she made it clear, subsequently, that she would not quail at the notion of taking on an entire territory. It fortunately did seem to take off some of her worries that he would quail to act and rescue the envoys, had she any, which was a relief enough to him, but it also compromised him some: he had shown his hand. He had to decide whether he would try to distance himself from it now, or whether he would take her into his confidence.

The choice, and the benefits he could find in that choice, seemed fairly clear to the Warlord Prince.

The man who once ruled this realm just ultimately shrugged at her question, now that she finally had one. It was a visibly underwhelming response to the question of all out war, surely. There was reason to withhold; but he withheld already plenty from her and felt no pressure to withhold his own secrets on this matter from her. It felt like a fair trade for the secret he had yet to reveal her - the secret he himself was not meant to know.

"I feel there is a reason I did not die when they captured me,"
he told her, plainly, a small smile creeping over his lips as he told her what he would not risk telling the court. Facts that might worry them as they tried their best to avoid instigating a conflict that could risk much for Askavi.

"I have yet to crush the One Hundred Families. I might have a long life ahead of me. But they will not get away with what they did to me, and to my mother and father." The Red Queen was a contentious woman, doubtlessly, and one he had rarely spoken of to almost anyone, but he dared speak of her now, in this emptied field, with a woman with a zeal to take battle. If he wished to have her help him, he was of a mind to be honest about things as best he could. He also knew it doubled the chances she would not go off half-cocked upon what he told her of those sent to conduct peace talks. Of the wings that had been returned, which he opted not to let her know yet. It was not his state secret to say even what he had.

But his answer fell short; he did not speak on behalf of Askavi. He spoke on behalf of his own pain and his own goals, even if some of them had every bit to do with Askavi, as unextricable a tie as his mother truly was. He would certainly show Hayll he was strong, but offered no assertion beyond his own strength's illustration. Perhaps he was letting her infer the rest, but he was not of a mind to lie to her further, even if he apparently let her believe these slight falsehoods.

"Okay," he began, releasing his arm from hers, and he gestured to her idly, as if 'her' was his illustrated point. "No bolts, no fire, no shields. Wings are fine, but I cannot help you fight with them. All body. All form. Come get me. Land a blow. We will do this until you do, and then again, and then again, until you have landed five shots. Then I return the favor. Today is the first step. And for my first step..."

He lept back, suddenly, without more than that ellipsis and his smirk as warning. Just a breath of the red was shuddered forth from his frame as he was launched nearly fifty yards away from her. He cracked his knuckles, and rolled his neck, loosening his joints there while he waited for her to charge out at him. He pushed with just a shadow of his jewel, leaning closer to the might of her Ebon Gray, to bolster his strength and his speed. He wanted her to be forced to dig deep. Wanted her to find herself exhausting reserves. And a harsher push of his jewel built a blooming wall of might, that would move with his instincts, to serve as a stop for her power and his, so that the Fell Valley would not be ruins. She needed to push past limits to learn what he would teach her in the time that would be needed; and he was the only one in Askavi who could keep her from shattering the very mountains in the lessons she must learn.

The man was not teaching her to fight; no, he was teaching her Combat Craft. And it would be as much a part of her jewel as he could make it by the end of this season, had he his way. The project was enticing, for no other reason than the strength it brought to his cause. But more, it gave him a way to feel like he was actually in some way productive here.

And it might just serve to till some soil in the process.








Offline Zavian Dyalov

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #10 on: Nov 16, 17, 04:45:12 PM »
He spoke so calmly of what must have surely been an inferno of passion within him. Zavian herself bore a mighty fury towards Hayll and its denizens, and that was even while she'd learned that her father yet lived. How Endevar talked quietly, with a calm smile, of the people who'd savaged his family and his life, she didn't know. She didn't begrudge him his control; she envied him for it, in some sense. She could only distantly imagine how much more inconsolable she would be, herself, if she'd found out that Vatar had been killed as she'd feared.

Truly, there was much she could learn from this man, she thought.

He moved on towards training. Zavian listened, rapt, as he laid down his requirements. She nodded, and he launched himself backwards and away from her, and she grinned. Nervous excitement rippled through her, and her hands clenched and unclenched as she tried to prepare herself. It was strange to think of hitting something more live than a target post (when her father wasn't looking), but she was too thrilled at the opportunity Endevar presented to doubt herself. There'd be no missed chances this time. No waiting, no stolen moments. She was beginning now, at long last, and she could scarcely contain her excitement.

But then it came time to actually advance, and a few things happened at once. One, her wings spanned out, as her instinct told her to take flight to begin. She began to do so, but stopped herself. It would be better if she learned without, at first, she thought. Even after that odd conversation with herself, when she started again the urge took her once more, and she had to stop herself from lifting off from the ground. She managed, and with some force of will she finally charged forward on her feet alone, her wings pulled tightly against her back.

Second, as she barreled towards the only advocate she really had in her life-long endeavor to learn, she imagined striking at him unrestrained. No bolts, no fire, no shields, he'd said. Surely he only meant her. Surely he was going to shield himself, right? But she could see him before her, could sense him even now, and nothing in her formidable power told her that he wore a shield around himself. Logically, she knew that if he was shielded with the Black (as she thought he should be), she wouldn't know it. Still, it was an incredibly disconcerting sensation to find herself hurtling towards what felt like an unarmed, unprotected man.

She closed half the distance between them, and then slowed. And then stopped. She was panting slightly, as much from adrenaline as from the meager exertion thus far. She fought with herself for a moment. Felt foolish. Felt more foolish. But after gritting her teeth in frustration for a beat, she called to him.

"I can't hurt you." Her voice echoed across the space between them, only just loud enough to carry across the distance. It wasn't quite a question, but she looked for confirmation anyway. Her brow was knitted in frustration already, though only at herself. "I know... I know," she said, her hands pushing her hair back from her face in a betrayal of stress. "But, just... Promise me I can't hurt you." In those words was revealed all her relatively few years compared to her peers, and every time she'd accidentally expended more power than she'd meant in a world where few people could withstand such accidents. Every eyrie wall that'd been torn through in an emotional fit, every shattered shield that had drawn a look of terror or rage from someone from whom she'd never hoped to see either. As much as Zavian felt like it was her destiny to be a force of vengeance for Askavi, the lessons taught to her over the long and difficult years of her adolescence assured her that she didn't belong on anything resembling a battlefield, and that catastrophe would surely follow her there, should she persist.

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #11 on: Nov 20, 17, 10:57:52 AM »
He was, in fact, calm, and it was nothing resembling an affectation. The Warlord Prince had accepted his revenge as part of himself, and had found the rage of it somewhere buried inside of him. The steel of his hatred had been hot, molten, shaped well into its purpose, then cooled before being tempered inside of him to strengthen its form. No longer was his hatred hot, no, it was now cool but readied, sheathed and prepared. But it would never leave him, not until the vengeance was found. There was nothing in his scent to indicate more than a mere prickle of his anger towards Hayll, despite his almost casual discussion of his plans to destroy them all.

That same calm ruled now as he launched himself back to the point where he was but a dot on the horizon. She chose to focus herself and begin running, without enhancement; he could tell she was already growing weary just from the run. This perplexed him, but made more sense when she came to a stop, and called out to him, praying he would assure her that he would not let her hurt him.

Sighing gently, he shook his head, refusing her request. "I trust you not to use bolts or witchfire that kill me unshielded; be worthy of that trust. But my body is reinforced at a strength comparable to your jewel; should you strike me, I will take it. I will spit blood, perhaps break a bone, but I will take it. That being said... you will probably not be able to strike me."

He gestured her on, again. "If you will not train against me if you can hurt me, then the training is not going to exactly work. Danger must exist for the battle to be real, for the blood to pump through us. Enhance your form, dig deep into your jewel, and try to beat me. One day soon, you will hurt me... and be proud for it."

He braced, then, and nodded her on, wishing her to continue. Distantly, a request for aid came on dark wings, but neither of them could remotely be bothered to pay that close of attention. There was a moving wall of black to protect them and to protect this land from ruin, and it would likely give him the warning he needed. And so, for now, he focused on the physical, and on living up to his word of refusing to let her land a blow.








Offline Zavian Dyalov

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Re: Alot to ask from dirt and bones
« Reply #12 on: Nov 21, 17, 10:19:11 AM »
Zavian tipped her chin down, though her eyes remained on Endevar. She breathed deeply and intentionally, trying to focus past the nerves that gripped her. Had anyone asked, she never would have anticipated fear to be present, when someone finally put themselves before her and offered to help her train. It shamed her now that she felt it at all, but it was what it was. She accepted it and tried to move past it, aided by the way Endevar seemed to have no doubts whatsoever. She stared down the field at him, and tried to consciously move herself towards faith in his promises.

"I trust you," she whispered, and though she addressed him, it was entirely too soft an utterance to reach him. It was said aloud for her own benefit, reaffirming the newfound faith that would allow her to give herself over wholly to the attempt to attack him. "I trust you," she repeated, determined.

Through it all, though, one comment of his in particular kept replaying in the back of her mind: You probably will not be able to strike me. It was a challenge she meant to meet, if for no other reason than her youthful pride assuring her that she would. She was meant for this, regardless of Vatar's thoughts on the matter. The hand of fate was in this, and so she would succeed. She had to.

Zavian did not hesitate when she started again. The difference would be that of night and day between her first, uncertain approach and this more invested, more committed run. It was not a conscious decision that pulled her feet from the earth and spread her wings to lift her, but habit and instinct. She reached deep into the Ebon Gray, as he'd instructed, and tried to sink it into her body to reinforce her strength and speed. She rocketed towards him, flying low to the ground and led by a clenched fist.

 

 

anything