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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: The Second Climb  (Read 141 times)

Description: tag: Renvar, anyone else at the Old Keep.

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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The Second Climb
« on: May 17, 17, 11:21:29 AM »
He remembered the first time he climbed the mountain. It seemed a lifetime ago, but was in truth nearer a decade. Having walked it alone the first time, he hoped he would find family and blood again, and answers as to who he really was: and at the end of that path, he had found an uncle who had decided to see Endevar's life forfeited. Killing him had put him in an awkward position and he had claimed the Keep at Askavi as his own, and made bold decisions to see the Jhinka pushed back and trade routes opened to neighbors once considered enemies by the insular and traditional Eyriens who he ruled. A rule that was not without its concerns or complaints, both for his youth and his lack of wings. These memories burned through him as he strode up, sure and confident hands taking him one stride at a time, pushed on by his Craft that he dug as lightly as he could, so that his Jewel did not burn so brightly that the entire Territory would stand in alarm.

The Black Jewel climbed for the Keep. Muscle tightened and strained, then sprung back as it relaxed, with every pull and shift that led him leaping his way up the stone from one grip to the next. This world did not grant allowances for those without flight, and he did not ask it to, as he bounded from hold to hold with a strength that was profound and pushed only further by the allowance of Craft, digging no deeper than Opal to push himself upward, letting only the slightest whispers of his Jewel be channeled to enhance his physical capacity, but it was more than enough to drive him forward. Fingers curled tight on the craggy surfaces, stopped from being ripped open by the shields he used to protect his flesh. It was a far more grueling process than it would be for anyone with the gift of wings not ripped from their backs, as his had been.

Even now, knowing what he knew now, he could feel the bones shift beneath scar tissue, yearning to burst forth wings he did not have so as to take to the winds that beat across his back. It was a painful, difficult experience, and he relished every moment of it. It gave him a deep sense of satisfaction, a way of purging so much of the pain and helplessness he once knew. It was a pure release, a way to focus on nothing but this one precise moment, and then the next, given nothing but the ability to try for the next grip. It was innocent, and cathartic, as his body and his Jewel forced their way together to make the impossible true, as the wingless Warlord Prince of Askavi returned to his home.

It took nearly two hours; he fell twice, barely catching himself anew, and knew he could have made it up there almost instantly should he have dug deep into his Jewel and used the Winds to drag himself along its power there, bounding like a God from one grip to another, scaling a mountain in four leaped holds. But he did not wish to terrify those who would feel the presence of that power, and nor did he wish to tax his Craft when he knew he might very well need it in the coming moments, should the Keep prove to have fallen to some further corruption in his absence.

It was with a final pull that he leaped skyward, bounding perfectly just over the crest of the summit where the Keep was built, and landed in a perfected three-point crouch, before standing slowly and carefully. Dusting his hands clean, and then his pants, he summoned forth the coat he had vanished, but left the shoes he had merely thrown away when he approached the first grip. Barefoot, barechested, he slipped into the long coat he had brought with him, and strode forward confidently for moments, eyes skating across the grounds, when he came to a rather sudden stop. Extending his senses, he pulled for feelings, for heartbeats, for presences, to only discover... that those present were, unless he was mistaken, at least almost entirely men, if not exclusively. His first suspicion was a trap, but then... as his eyes took in the grounds, with new buildings and yards with new contraptions, he took a second guess: this was a Hunting Camp. This Keep was dedicated to the training of Eyrien males for war, battle and hunting. He senses eyes upon him, and knew he had not come here without being noticed.

Pushing forth deeper from his Jewel, he summoned forth a shield of Red as he strode forward, using the first hint of any of his true potential, and called to the first face he saw. "My name is Endevar Ranosi. You can tell who rules here that I am waiting in this yard," he gestured, before looking about and then reached down and dug into his Red a second time, and stone burst forth to answer him, ripped up from the smoothed surface of this summit, and carved itself into a simple stool. Turning, he sat.







Offline Renvar Yatskaya

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 17, 12:54:42 AM »
Two hours at dawn’s break is a long time for a man to process. Two hours took the Warlord Prince of Askavi’s sacred keep turned elite war camp from surprise, through cold fury, and on straight through an uncomfortable (while less dangerous for all involved) righteous indignation warmed by fury. Perhaps A few years earlier the Hayllian raised Black Jewelled beast could’ve made his arduous journey unnoticed or even welcome. Much had changed. Askavi was on high alert, and one of her Queen’s, her Dark Jeweled beacon, was lost.  Gravesend was notified immediately.

The men were readied.

All they could do was watch him make the fool's climb as if to prove his strength beyond his jewels; all it did was remind them he'd never soar.

What fucking right did Prince Endevar Flightless Fuck Can’t Even Make a Child’s Run of the Wins Ranosi have to come back now? Renvar fought on more than one moment through those hundred and twenty teeth-gritting minutes the urge to fly past the Warlord Prince and tell him to go back to Hayll where he belonged. The wisdom of his age prevented Renvar’s acting on what was ultimately a childish urge but he found comfort in imagining the satisfaction its hateful uttering might bring.

Perhaps if Gillian hadn’t been lost, the grieving Master of the Guard would’ve been happy to see the man he’d served and called friend. Ranosi once helped him have faith in the Askavi that had wounded them both beyond measure; his vanishing had been a blow that only the now lost Gilly had known.  She pulled him up and held Askavi together while finding them both a Queen they could use as the face for the loft goals and long road ahead in the Territory’s restoration.

Now that coward on a redemption arc was the only Queen they had and here came the defunct Warlord Prince of Askavi climbing up the Landen way in some dramatic show of...of what? Reticence? Guilt? Pride? He hoped for bits of everything but shame most of all.

Forgiveness was a Hayllian weakness for which Eyrien values held minimal patience and one he was unlikely to grant Askavi’s great hope what little he spared. Renvar felt the pressure of his clenched jaw through his temples and down the back of his neck. A pot and then another of hot, dark coffee went between him and his second. Prince Yatskaya kept in constant communication with his eyes on Endevar’s route. Drills weren’t cancelled but the duties of their leadership transferred and the plan included keeping them on the ready. No training weapons were used that day, not even for the welps.  A man gone almost a decade wasn’t necessarily, or even usually, the man you knew. When that same man was a vessel for the closest thing to Darknesses’ grip the Blood knew? You didn’t take move to raise his guard but you kept yours the Hell up.

The one man who had been at Askavi’s heart since freed from the corrupt grip of a man Endevar once called Uncle was wrapped beneath shields made of his Tiger Eye as well as his Summer Sky and concealed by a sight shield of the latter. He watched with clenched fists at the Black Jeweled Warlord Prince’s vulgar display. Renvar was proud of the men who didn’t flinch and he didn’t blame the one’s that did. Their every instinct said threat, and for a camp holding most of the Territory’s most skilled warriors the atmosphere grew thick with edged tempers within seconds.

He rarely wished for a jewel more demanding than his own but in that moment Askavi’s most loyal, most tired,  heartworn son wished for the fist of the Mother herself to show Endevar punishment for his display. His men were not guilty. Though still poor the Territory’s people were freer in ways they hadn’t been since his mother’s fucking campaign of sin. What right had he to act as a ruler displeased? Fetid asshole, Renvar thought to himself as he stepped forward and free of his sight shield to greet the man he regretted calling friend.

What could keep a man of Darknesses' richest power, power that had nearly ruined the world once in his lifetime alone, be kept by if not his own laziness or fear? Final death was the only honorable reason for a man of Endevar's powers to be kept from his duties. It was clear he was very much alive. Somehow, after losing so much, after having moved past that deep and abiding grief, he was angry to have been wrong, to have suffered for a coward.

Prince Ranosi,” he offered in a form perfect to protocol save for the parts where Yatskaya should yield to the supremacy of Endevar’s rule. The young once Regent was powerful, but Renvar was a proud and angry genius whose respect would be earned. It was how he’d introduced himself when he brought himself back to Askavi to serve. It was a message. I'm listening. I'm not happy. I don't fucking trust you.  He delighted of informing Ranosi of the ways in whih

Lady Yatskaya has been indisposed for some time. Besides which,” he offered growing cold despite promising himself he’d remain at his center,  such control, ever for Warlord Prince’s that sat within light ranks, was tenuous at the best of times,“she and her sister Queen Lady Kriat hold court at the reborn city of Gravesend.” He left Drakkar out of it on purpose to see how much the prodigal Warlord Prince knew.  Ranosi was a man brought back from the dead, the only respectable conclusion to come to when a truant Territory Leader shows up like a man returned to a home that wanted him. It was also, except if you asked the daftest of Priestesses, completely impossible. Renvar's words remained pretty, his reason clear though there was a bit of frost to the air about him while his every muscle screamed a desire to punch the smug, untouchable confidence from Endevar's face.

Askavi had grieved. Askavi had moved on.  Endevar Ranosi’s presence meant something other than Death Itself had kept him and such, to a warrior of Renvar’s uncommon intellect and deficiency of empathy, was inexcusable. “Since you’ve come here to the Master of the Guard’s Keep, it’s me with whom you demand an audience.” 

His men stood at the ready in a stance that was neither at ease or ready to attack. The mood of the landing where they stood was thick, chillier than Ranosi would remember from his climb, and ready. It was lucky the pretty boy could talk. He could probably kill them all if he'd come for more bloody conquest. But against Renvar's whole encampment he wouldn't do it without paying a price. 

With so many lives, including his own at stake, Prince Yatskaya clung tight to his protocol and to the reminder that he couldn't die - he had a daughter to save.

"What brings you back in such an entrance?" The question was fair, but a man who knew Yatskaya like Ranosi would hear the opinion beneath the question.

Not enough to wave your jewel of power unparalleled about after climbing like a Landen just to make a point?

You have to bust out the party tricks? There's no panties but  Hearth Witches and Healers in the camp boyo, and they all have husbands who stick around.  We know you could kill us, but if you wanted to do that you would've already unless you're just that much of a bastard, so what the Fuck do you want, you're waisting my time?

There was a lot Renvar, the man who never smiled, could say with sharp one when protocol called for jabs to be wrapped in the courtly dance.

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 17, 09:10:07 AM »
When Renvar approached his hated enemy who was once his friend and confidante, he was sitting on his stool - not a throne which he could have carved, wanting to avoid the impression of taking back his seat - and there was no sense of regalness in the man. Except, perhaps, in the presence of his absolutely dope overcoat. The rest of the man was the picture of exhaustion, and he leaned forward on his hands, propped up on his own knees. Sweat coalesced all over the fullness of his form, and he was still taking steady breaths, the climb having exerted quite a bit of effort that should have spoken well to the fact that regardless of his birth, he was Eyrien in blood. The mountain's surrender to his stubborn purpose was evidence enough of it.

The voice caught him, and he looked up, a mixture of anger and relief playing across his face at the presence of Renvar. "Prince Yatskaya. It has been some time," he offered, lips pursed uncertainly as his brow creased in consideration. Struggling, he stood, clearly worn out, but refusing to be bowed by his exertion. Standing to greet him, he then bowed with respect to the Summer Sky, a movement that spoke more of his Hayllian childhood than any Eyrien birth, but he showed his deference unhesitatingly to someone he was sure had dominion here while he knew very clearly he had none.

"I had wondered why there was only the scent of men here," he admitted. "I assumed the Court moved. Or... fell," he confessed, a look of pain clear on his features, looking about with new eyes; he was right, this was a training ground now. His eyes fell back on Renvar and he bowed his head again.

"I am relieved it was not lost. But you did not have to come out yourself; I would've entered with an emissary, I just ... do not want to presume I can walk back into that Keep without warning. My jewel demands caution, for I know a single step of mine can be an act of war."


Looking back up from his bowed head, he tried to search through his friend's eyes, uncertain of exactly what he was expecting to see. "I don't have wings, so my entrance is just the least offensive way I could enter. I could have forced the winds to lift me, or I could have taken grand bounds and been up here in minutes... but I wanted to give you time to see me, discuss what threat I might pose, and also to not flare with the Black jewel because, again... my existence could be an act of war. This entrance wasn't a grand one... this entrance was a polite one, born of the necessity of my wingless horror."

Sighing, he shook his head. It was clear he could sense that Renvar had rage for him, and he had his own, but he had become very adept in the intervening years at stifling his fury. Temperance was a skill he had learned while nearly killing himself with every outburst he ever tried to make. And now, standing before his old friend, defensively explaining his every action, he looked magniciently tired rather than magnificent. They both knew a little focus and he could energize himself, refill his muscle's strain with the potency of his Jewel, but he chose instead to remain tired, to let himself be seen as weakened. Everything was an effort now, but he wanted Renvar to see he was making an effort.

Unless of course one of them struck. It was doubtful Endevar would allow himself to remain weak, and his eyes did dance slightly, noting how his training men kept seeming to edge as close as they could to this spectacle while 'continuing to train'.

"The chair... I'm tired. I really want to sit. I still want to sit. And maybe bathe. This is a monumental climb," he explained, a  light grimace offered, the continued slings of subtly cast asperions placed at his feet growing intolerable. "But it doesn't have a back, so if you want to have it, it's all yours," he suggested, gesturing to it and stepping aside.

"Now I'm done defending against passive aggressive digs. If you're going to punch me, do it," he offered, and lowered his shields, inviting the offense. "And then, you can stop being smug, hiding barbs behind velvet-clad words. We're not in Hayll and I'm the one who was born after the Purge, old man, act like you have the brass to say what you mean when you bear that hate in your eyes. I thought our people were proud, defiant warriors. You have answers you need. Ask them. Scream them. But fuck this courtly dance bullshit."

He sighed, as his only break, shaking his head in frustration. "I get it. You hate me. So everything I do causes you rage. Look at him making that fucking sandwich, that sandwich-making son of a bitch. Does my very height offend you, or the way I blink too often? I have had a long day, and a longer week, and an absolutely eternal few years. I am beyond tired. Confront your rage. What are the questions you genuinely wish me to defend myself against?"







Offline Drakkar Estaroth

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 17, 01:16:57 AM »
Drakkar was reviewing documents, the most boring task in existence, when he felt Renvar’s annoyance and rage across a thread meant for him. Drakkar’s body tensed in anticipation, wondering if the Master of the Guard needed a sparring partner this evening. Renvar Yatskaya had a lot to pissed off about, more than Drakkar did at any rate. Drakkar was a new male bound to his Queen. His daughter was presently missing and only Mother Night herself knew the young Queen’s fate.

Now, someone new had come to Askavi and Renvar was clearly unhappy about the situation.

The thread was open, so Drakkar respond to Renvar without difficulty.

*I am on my way.*

Vannevar saw Drakkar rise, but the Warlrod Prince waved him off. “Wait here, but check in with me every few minutes. If I don’t answer or if you sense that I’m in pain, bring every available Bloodseeker to the base of the mountain. Do not do anything unless one of those two things come to pass, or I tell you otherwise.” Drakkar said.

Vannevar slammed his right fist to his left chest in salute. Drakkar didn’t wait.

He grabbed a spear and headed for the nearest exit. He leaped from it, wings unfurling as he sped toward the ground. Down, down, down the mountain he went, hoping that this was someone hostile to Askavi so that he could slake his bloodlust in the all-consuming fires of his rage. Drakkar was a simple man with simple pleasures. Fighting, food, and fucking took up the largess of his attention. The rest was spread out between the things that made him a functioning adult.

He managed to soldier on.

He arrived and landed at Renvar’s side, spear pointed toward the sky. He looked from the Master of the Guard to the newcomer. Drakkar swept the area for hidden assailants, making sure that Renvar had not walked into a trap. One year ago, such a concern wouldn’t have crossed his mind. Now, though, Renvar was almost closer to him than even his closest warriors in his War Camp. They were two sides of Illyrian’s Triangle, and both powerful in their own right.

But Drakkar could not sense the newcomer. He was looking at him, but he couldn’t sense him. He peered at the male for a long moment and stood at the ready. Renvar was handling the matter; Drakkar studied the other male.

Drakkar buried the butt of the spear in the ground, adjusting his black leather vest and brown breeches. His long hair hung straight from his head, reaching the center of his torso. His gaze upon the male was intense, though he did not meet Endevar’s eyes directly. He had not done anything worth taking issue with at this time. Drakkar realized that Protocol would keep this from becoming a fight that someone here would lose. Three Warlord Princes in one place was a recipe for disaster anywhere else in Terreille.

The other man was familiar. Very familiar.

My name is Drakkar Estaroth and I am the Warlord Prince of Askavi, First Escort to Lady Illyrian Kriat.” Drakkar said, offering the man an incline of the head. Drakkar breathed, focusing on keeping himself in calm.

I believe you are Prince Ranosi.” he said.

Well met. Have you waited long?” Drakkar asked the former ruler of Askavi. If the stories were true, this male was one of two from Askavi to be blessed with the Black Jewel. Kalvar Elbemov was long gone.

He waited for Renvar to ask and answer questions. He was agitated, more so than usual, and Drakkar didn’t want to sour this meeting at the Old Keep with more questions. Not yet. Perhaps there would be more to discuss later.

Offline Renvar Yatskaya

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 17, 01:36:44 AM »
Protocol existed for moments like those stretching between Prince Yatskaya and Prince Ranosi, the former ruler of Askavi, Terreille and most recent of its great disappointments. Every fiber of Renvar’s being and breath of Darkness born power in his Blood screamed to make his grievances with Endevar known in the language of tearing flesh and broken bone. It was not a fight he’d win.

Loathe to yield under even the best conditions Renvar stood still as a statue and listened. Wearing a scrutinizing but otherwise impassive expression he took in what the long gone man returned had to say.  When Endevar’s gaze rose to meet the elder warrior’s he’d find little to encourage his sharing. While no longer at the Killing Edge’s door Yatskaya was still cold. A piece of him churned in agonized grief and whispered in his mind that Endevar’s return in the wake of Gillian’s loss was too strange. He didn’t heed the paranoid hunch but he couldn’t silence it. All Renvar could do was listen and try to believe the former friend who was back, six years after saying he’d be gone but two weeks.

Prince Yatskaya’s frozen mask thawed but once and it was when Endevar called himself a wingless horror. Many men and children lost their wings because of Savian Ranosi. Even her son hadn’t been spared that cruel fate. It struck a nerve but quickly that old anger was buried and chilled by the many injustice present in the moments stretched between Black Jeweled Warlord Prince and a camp full of elite warriors hand picked by Prince Yatskaya. He hated knowing that he and his best would die if they had to fight Ranosi. The man could level Askavi in a breath and not even drain his Jewel of rank in the doing.

No softness entered Renvar’s countenance as Ranosi explained his exhaustion and the humble seat’s conjuring. He gave no answer to being offered its ‘comforts.’ His expression sparked in something besides calculating anger when Endevar suggested he used the courtly dance because of cowardice.

His body tensed in righteous fury at the amazing privilege of the suggestion that when invaded by the presence of a Fucking Warlord Prince who wore Witch’s Fucking Black, he should do anything less than everything to keep him and his people safe. More than the Keep’s men would suffer if Endevar lost control. Refugees from the countryside were coming to the city daily for the protection and assistance they imagined Lady Kriat and Lady Yatskaya’s best men had to offer. Unfortunately there was little the soldiers of a fiscally drained court could do to fill their bellies or see their crops bountiful. Both were Queen’s work and they were down their darkest asset. How would the Harvest suffer without Gillian’s Gift to the Land?

Something had to give and Renvar was too keenly aware of how rations would suffer with Endevar’s belly to feed. He considered, for a moment, the satisfaction he’d get in knocking the smug, if tired, look off the Hayllian raised fucker’s face. It was decided against because a blow like that, even a largely ceremonial one, could set off the temper’s of the camp’s younger men. Those with less experience holding their own leash in absence of a Queen to do it for them could’ve easily made the tense meeting a bloody affair. He hated Endevar then for making a show and joke of the restraint Renvar worked hard to maintain.

When he began speaking, Prince Yatskaya had every intention of remaining calm, and not being goaded by Ranosi’s obvious and foolhardy manipulation. Prince Yatskaya’s pride had other ideas.

You got one thing right, it’s my rage and I do with it what I like.” Renvar could’ve shut up there. Theoretically he could’ve given the job of questioning and vetting the Prodigal Warlord Prince to one of his men. Yatskaya trusted many. He didn’t trust any of them to hold their ground and their calm in a room alone with a killer wielding the Black. Everyone there knew how Endevar’d once come to power.

No one in the Keep wanted a repeat of that bloody conquest, least of all Renvar. That desire to keep what little peace Askavi knew in tact  kept his fist from marring Endevar’s smooth face. It wasn’t strong enough to keep Yatskaya’s mouth shut. “My questions are the common sense sort any one might expect to be asked after having vanished for nearly seven years when prior to their leave they’d run the Hell’s damned nation.” The words fell with a snarled edge to their tone.

He’d held Askavi together with luck and the determination of a wildly stubborn Queen he’d wrongly tried to keep apart from the land that sang to them both. Endevar Ranosi, spoiled prat and deserter, had no right to cast aspersions on the anger he felt. Gillian was gone, his light was gone, he could’ve suffered the loss of his Queen more easily than that of his daughter. 

“Every conclusion we came to that made your complete disappearance without word or trace make sense ended in your death.

Since you’re not dead and you do need the obvious curiosities lain bare for you, here’s what the court would have you answer;
” Though he’d been still for much of their encounter Renvar began to feel the kinetic fury of his caste begging for release so he began to move.

Where the fuck were you and why the fuck were you gone so long? What threat prevented your return to Askavi and did it follow you here? “Those questions would’ve been an excellent place to start but Renvar was on a role. He paced across the vast stage spread between them and moved nearer, but not within reach, of the Black Jeweled conqueror who’d vanished without trace. While Renvar wouldn’t physically strike the man he’d serve he did want to see the Black Jeweled bastard who had the gall to return while Gillian was lost broken or at least bruised in spirit. By the force with which he’d make the full sum of Endevar’s inadequacies and disappointments clear Renvar intended to win the battle of wills between them.

Just as the Master of the Guard seemed ready to launch a second rapid fire series of questions Drakkar Estaroth landed at his side. For the moment he ceased pacing. Rarely was Yatskaya the darkest or largest man on any battle field. However, more often than not, he was the smartest. It was that wit sharpened by Eyrien pride that tempered the Summer Sky man’s tongue when he found himself faced by disrespect from his old ally. Illyrian’s new hire, a rare decision of hers with which he didn’t disagree, managed to annoy him with his own introduction.

Have you waited long?, Drakkar’d asked. Last Renvar’d checked he was the figure of authority regarding Askavi’s security. His jaw tensed at the oversight; it was one on which Drakkar would need to be brought up to speed - later. Forced in a position at which he could reject deference or risk not seeming united before a powerful near stranger Renvar chose the wise man’s course. Before Endevar could answer the overly polite query, he interjected as to better grant Drakkar understanding of the moment he’d entered. “Prince Ranosi was just about to answer some questions held by myself and others who served beneath his rule. They are all matters in which I’m sure our Ladies hold interest.” He intentionally spoke as if Askavi still had two hearts and hoped Kriat’s new second would follow suit.

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 17, 09:05:11 AM »
Renvar was furious, understandably, and Ranosi looked absolutely relieved to have Prince Yatskaya rave about the Black Prince's invalidity in telling Renvar how to utilize his rage, before furthering his rage into purpose. Untensing from his preparation to take a punch, he once more let the Red burn as a shield grew around him again, so that any attack he might not see coming be damned. He was not unaware he was a threat, and he was aware he was in a land of warriors at one of its likely premier training grounds for that manner of death. He did not need to provide ample sport to resolve a problem someone saw fit to solve for the older Warlord Prince.

"Thank the damned Darkness for common sense. I am over the fucking moon you want to ask me real questions instead of that courtly sniping at my sandwiches," he confessed, shaking his head, a look that seemed to sell even sharper the notion of his profound and intense exhaustion; an exhaustion that went well past the physical tire in his body that he had allowed to remain there. It was an exhaustion of the soul. Prince Ranosi seemed a far more weathered man, despite his body adding no more years to its toll. There was something in him that had been worn thinner, and that perhaps was not so clear to Renvar between his contempt and the fact that all of Askavi had run thin in Endevar's absence. So he settled in, as Renvar began to batter him with questions. The sharpened edge to his words did not seem to bother Endevar; if anything, it only set him at ease. This was what he had expected, and it let him hone his own rage at the feelings he had left within him from the same years distant, a little ember that had begun as hope, turned to rage and in the end only became despair.

"You know I went to Hayll because I had word some child I had no knowledge of was being held. But it was not what it seemed. I was overconfident, cocky, certain in my jewel and they--" he was stopped abruptly as he felt, on the edges of himself, the winds shift. Something held itself amongst them, and he turned his attention. The Red shield was sufficient, he decided, but as the man with a spear dropped into position, Endevar took a braced stance, and his eyes seemed to perhaps darken with a storm in them as witchfire began to burn at his fingers, a bolt of pure power prepared within his fist, readied to be loosed upon anyone who had the gall to try to attack him. The man spoke, and his eyes danced between Drakkar and Renvar for a moment, seeing that Renvar regarded the other man with familiarity and without alarm. Opting to assume Prince Yatskaya would, at the very least, owe Endevar the respect of not trying something sly at least until he had heard his answer, the wingless Eyrien let the craft dissolve formlessly. His eyes stopped brewing so very darkly, and he eased, standing again in a more steady posture.

The man's words confused him, however. He was the Warlord Prince of Askavi. It inferred the ruler. Yet he also listed himself in a triangle position. His brow knotted in confusion, but he still made the effort nonetheless, as both put him in a ranked position Endevar did not hold. He bowed without his eyes dropping at first, but then, with great effort, forced himself to lower his head as well. The position of deference was a profound one when one did not trust the man with the weapon in his hand: it offered one your neck, supplicating oneself in total vulnerability. Admittedly, he suspected the Warlord Prince could not pierce his most basic shield without great effort that would give him ample time, but his instincts still sang to not expose himself so to a stranger with a spear. Only when bid to rise, would he, and answer the question prompted of him.

"Well met, Prince Estaroth. In reply: I have been fighting seven years for the freedom to see Askavi again. But I didn't wait long before being greeted here at the Keep. So, the truth depends greatly on your point of view."

Then, with a pause. "Who is Lady Kriat? I was led to believe Gill-- Lady Yatskaya would rule in my absence..." he began, dread on his features, eyes shooting to Renvar in a look of absolute horror and fear, his entire face struck with a muted panic that spoke of a wellspring of concern that could not be faked except by the most adept. And Endevar was not, in fact, the most adept at that manner of manipulation, as was well known. Unless he had mastered it in his absence, which perhaps could be true, but it did not seem to align with the words that began to fall his lips.

Once more, the training yard seemed poised, going through motions while all trying (poorly) to make their attentiveness discrete, while the three Warlord Princes met, with such high tension in the air and a question that only seemed to likely brew more drama.







Offline Drakkar Estaroth

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 17, 10:01:16 AM »
No one ever accused Drakkar of subtlety.
 
The Warlord Prince, whether to his advantage or detriment, did not engage in hiding. Not his feelings, not his presence, not his intentions. Centuries on centuries of being a blunt weapon had built that into him and he did not apologize for it now. But Drakkar also prided himself on taking a quick read of a situation and drawing the proper action. He’d arrived here to back Renvar as both his bond-brother and as Master of the Guard. The defense of Askavi, and the protection of its people, was Renvar’s purview.
 
So it didn’t take long for Drakkar to realize that his words to the Prince Ranosi skirted the edge of, if not fully leaped into, disrespecting the Master of the Guard. But Drakkar sensed the cold anger boiling beneath the surface of the interaction between these two Warlord Princes. It scraped against the edges of his own nerves as well, but damn if he’d let himself get out of control. Like it or not, he’d been named the Warlord Prince of Askavi, and he represented the rulership of this place.
 
He could not, he was learning, punch or intimidate or kill his way out of every situation that faced him anymore.
 
It felt like using daggers while everyone else carried spears.
 
Forgive my intrusion, Prince Yatskaya. This is your arena of expertise, so I defer to your wisdom.” Drakkar said, taking a step back to keep Renvar at the forefront of the encounter. The words were foreign on his tongue, but Renvar had earned his place in Illyrian's Court and his reputation. Drakkar would honor that and shut his damned mouth before he made things worse. He vanished the spear and kept his attention on the Warlord Princes before him. He didn’t know the relationship between these men, but Drakkar inferred already a deep tension. That either stemmed from deep hatred or long-term friendship and hurts unaddressed. Drakkar admired that Renvar managed to retain his presence of mind and control of his temper in the wake of his personal burdens.
 
Then again, Drakkar shouldn’t have been surprised. Leaders and rulers often put themselves aside for the sake of their people.
 
The tension in this moment was a living thing, one that Drakkar wanted to reach out and strangle to death to keep the peace, which grated against his confrontational nature. The power at Prince Ranosi’s fingertips was nothing short of titanic and one wrong move would turn this from a tense meeting into a bloodbath that the men around them would pay for with their lives. Drakkar let his gaze lift for a moment to the warriors around them, taking in their presence and noting all of them in turn.
 
Drakkar, you no longer represent only the Blood Seekers. You no longer represent you own interests or vendettas. Lives depend on your decisions. Don’t spend them carelessly.
 
His uncle said that to him just days ago after this spat with Illyrian. It rankled him then, but he was understanding it now.
 
Drakkar fell silent for the moment, however, as Prince Ranosi noted his address. If the man had been gone for seven years (and Drakkar wondered just how a Black Jewel could vanish for that long), he wouldn’t know of the changes that had come to Askavi in the meantime. Renvar would have to bring him up to speed on Lady Yatskaya’s disappearance, the rise and fall of the Court with Two Hearts, and the untimely passing of Prince Errsa that lead to the current day’s power structure. There was every chance that Endevar Ranosi was here to reclaim what was his. He could wipe them all out before any of them had a chance to object. It was foolish not to recognize what a Black Jewel in Askavi meant in these days, not the least of which meant a resource burden they were already struggling to address.
 
He was smart enough to hold no small amount of fear regarding what Endevar’s presence meant for Askavi. But he couldn’t lose himself in what-ifs and maybes. The situation needed to be handled in the present. His gaze returned to Endevar.
 
Drakkar would let Renvar reveal as much, or as little, as he chose about the current state of affairs to present a unified front to the Black Jeweled titan before them.

Offline Renvar Yatskaya

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 17, 01:42:21 AM »
Keeping perspective for him there wasn't easy. Seven years without Endevar was little compared to weeks without his only child. He would’ve traded everyone on that field plus his bonded Queen to find Gillian. He realized that when Endevar’s Black Jeweled stomach made him mention food twice on a field thick with tension in as many minutes. It reminded him of the girl whose own Opal and then Sapphire jewels always tangled hunger and anger, the daughter he’d raised and lost. The memory came quick and sharp, a pointed blade from the shadows. Like all the Warlord Prince’s closest thoughts and emotions it remained private deep within his inner barriers. Missing Gilly was a constant current he was becoming adept at swimming against to best serve Askavi but the fight was ongoing and the waters dark.

Just as the long lost, newly found Prince Ranosi started getting to the fucking point focus returned to the man with a heart half torn apart. Then Drakkar arrived and insulted his authority at the Keep in the same thought he deferred to it. All that upset and Endevar hadn’t even gotten through a single answer.

Renvar wanted to punch them both then find solace in strong drink and a bendy woman. He did neither. Instead focused on the grounding sensation of his diaphragm expanding and releasing with every breath. It helped keep the hungry, wounded parts of him at bay. The moment was too important for anything but its passing intricacies. Prince Yatskaya didn't fail to make note of the fact Drakkar's political acumen, and subsequently the Eyrien reviled court face, would need work. If he wanted to do Queen's work he'd need Queen's skills and Renvar was educated in many ways one wouldn't think typical of a career military man and mind.

Prince Yatskaya found his centre within the cold that, lately, was never far from reach. Such forced dissociation was far from the healthiest of exercises but it was effective. The Territory couldn’t afford for him to miss an important detail because of his family or feelings so with will and a bit of craft the Master of the Guard forced them aside. He was a commander, security officer, and soldier before he was anything – even a man. Men were singular, selfish things. A member of Askavi’s guard was part of something greater and with Shalador at the border fucking exploding. Renvar had to admit that something good could come from Endevar Ranosi’s return from the dead.

What he’d never admit outloud was how he hated the sound of his Queen’s name on the Black Jeweled, largely untrained on the field, boy’s lips. “You were gone a long time,” was all he’d say in answer to Ranosi’s understandable concerns.  Even far removed as he was in that moment from his troubles, there was a pain that spoke of trouble in his cadence.

It was quickly replaced by a voice with which Renvar was more comfortable and skilled, an authoritative one.“Get back to the part where you explain this shit. What kept you? And what was so great as to take you seven fucking years to escape?” The message was clear, first my questions then we can see about yours.

A man in his position should’ve been under the care of a Black Widow not commanding the direction of their visions for aid placing troops. Unfortunately Askavi, Terreille didn’t have time for the Warlord Prince to heal. No one could stop without paying a nasty toll, there was too little to go around and too much at stake. They would just have to march wounded together.

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 17, 08:54:24 AM »
"I--" he was completely taken aback and disoriented. The Black Prince was rather struck, his plans and expectations all rather scuttled in the face of this change of events. He was clearly worried beyond sense that his failures had caught up with him in even darker ways, that something had happened to Gillian. The only response he got to his worry over her was You were gone a long time and he looked gutted by the news.

"I hope she's okay," he whispered, his voice low and his eyes as serious and true as he could offer them. There was a field of men ready to kill, and he needed to keep this vulnerability that might rest in Renvar's heart as subtle as he could, for fear of compromising Prince Yatskaya's perceived authority through that weakness that might appear. It was clear from the comment's reception, however, that Renvar was resolute on getting his answer. An answer Endevar had wanted to give, eagerly, before having to defend everything from why it took him so long to climb the mountain, to why he made a chair. But suddenly it seemed so unimportant to him, weighed against what might have occurred to his best friend's child.

But he collected himself, at the rebuked care he offered, and pressed forward to answer the questions that seemed so unimportant now, somehow, when other questions like 'what do you need me to do' seemed so much more crucial. "I never escaped. The Hayllian family who had taken me in had been unhappy at my departure. I'd had a daughter at some point, and they groomed her separately, as a weapon against me. When I arrived to help her, it was a trap. Which I assumed it might be, but I... also had assumed I could just beat it, with brutish force, like an absolute fool. They used the only Craft they could to stop me from rescuing her, and I triggered the warded trap. I was suddenly bound in a web, where any Craft I attempted was turned back on me. The stronger I fought, the worse the pain, the more I tore apart my own body. In time, I had to stop fighting, or I'd kill myself... there was no way I could get myself out of it alone. I was tortured, deprived of sleep, deprived of all but food and water, and assailed with mind Craft seeking to try to overwhelm me. They wanted to turn me back to their side, to play on what love I still might hold for the Hayllians who kidnapped me after Savian's assassination and called me son. My daughter, she saw this cruelty and realized how well they'd lied about who the villain truly was, but it took her a long time to gain the skill to unweave this ward, as she is not blessed with potent jewels, compared to my captors. I helped walk her through it. And that was four days ago when she finally shattered the bonds, and I used the last of my capacity to slay all but her and get us away from that nest of vipers, before I had to rest. My first rest in seven years. And then I came here, to the Keep. I only learned how much time had even passed when I finally asked my daughter, while traveling here."

He only paused a moment, grimacing. "She's in a village nearby, but I promise she is no threat to us. And she has wings, so is far less likely to be hated on sight," he offered freely, a bitter smile showing on his handsome but agonized features. The memories were intimately fresh, and clearly burdened him.

"I really wish I was rescued," he said, pain haunted in his voice, his youth he still was and the frailty he had felt shining starkly in those six words. "I dreamed of you saving me for years," he whispered, tears suddenly rushing to his eyes, slipping down his cheeks. His face twisted in pain, and he sobbed twice, turning his head into his arm, as the emotion all ran over him so quickly. While he didn't specify who 'you' was, his lack of familiarity with Drakkar likely clarified it. The dam broke and he fought it back, with every piece of what strength still lay within him. He was beyond the anger, for now, that he had felt at being 'abandoned', even if the men opposite him resented Endevar for having abandoned them and Askavi. He had passed long ago only into the pain of that abandonment, and the confidence he was going to die there.

"I am really sorry I left. I had no idea what would happen to me. I promise I did not mean to hurt Askavi. I want Askavi strong. And I want to see Hayll purged from the map."







Offline Renvar Yatskaya

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 17, 04:39:50 PM »
Sympathy, concern and grief over Gillian’s disappearance from someone not himself was more than Renvar could handle. In the place of his psyche where he existed aware of his emotions but separate from their burden Askavi’s Master of the Guard instead focused on the details he’d asked for instead of the empathy he resented.

The story Endevar shared was horrifying as it was uncomfortably convenient at places to the old commander’s suspicious mind. Ultimately a twang of disappointment bloomed in place of distrust. While complicated and oft forgotten by those less studious in the many gifts of Craft, Yatskaya found it hardest of all to believe that in all those years Prince Ranosi hadn’t been able to free himself from the spells that held him.

With the Black or even just the Red of his Birthright the Hayllian raised spawn of Askavi’s Bitch Queen should’ve been able to unweave, with time, any spell. Disenchantment was a whole field studied at length by those whom made the art of Craft their life’s work. Renvar always knew arrogance and a penchant for shows of force brute and dramatic were faults of Endevar’s.  He hadn’t realized they were such favored tools of the younger Warlord Prince because he lacked so many of the ones a man with his well of power, by Yatskaya’s esteem, should’ve had before coming to his jewel of Rank.

He wasn’t surprised that in the end it was Endevar’s courtly words and knack for winning hearts that saw his once friend freed. What ultimately made the commander believe the former Territory leader’s story was how embarrassing it was. No man would make up a tale about being saved only by the grace of a child on a field full of Eyrien warriors. No one would admit to being that kind of powerless and helpless if it wasn’t true. Therefore it was either the best or worst lie Prince Ranosi ever told. Proud as he knew the young man to be Renvar suspected that a lie would’ve been less embarrassing or at least contained more redemption than, eventually my light jeweled bastard saved me.

What he didn’t like or take any comfort in at all was news that the same whelp responsible for his vanishing was somewhere near by in his Askavi. All factors in consideration the Warlord Prince opened his mouth to tear a strip from Ranosi for bringing his trouble so near their army’s capital. Then Endevar’s voice broke and Renvar felt a distant discomfort at the emotional display. His own grief made him sick with need for drink, he didn’t know what to do about another’s sorrow making them soft in front of strangers. He was embarrassed for Prince Ranosi and everyone else standing there forced to pay attention, all a single wrong step from the Killing Edge.

A thought that perhaps he should dismiss the men at training from the field entered and quickly passed Renvar’s mind. If Endevar wanted privacy he should have sent word and asked for a goddamn appointment. It’d take all day and then a bit to recover from the upset of the Black Jeweled man’s return from the dead with stories of further Hayllian treachery.  He found himself on more comfortable ground when Endevar’s feelings turned to fury and what sounded to Renvar a hell of a lot like a call for war.

Which was not Endevar’s place and which Askavi couldn’t afford. They couldn’t shoulder the cost of an attack when Hayll sent them back their men’s wings in boxes and the same was true years later with internal threats and strife on the rise. “We looked for years and had to eventually assume you were dead or didn’t want to be found,” was the only acknowledgement of his grief that Endevar would get on that very public stage.

“As to the matter of Hayll? Short answer, no, but as Lord Estaroth here is as voice of the Territory Court I’ll let him explain. The reminder of why we stay our hands is an important one for all to hear.” At that Renvar barked a command and attentive stillness fell across the men who’d so poorly played at just training. 

The floor was Drakkar’s. For his part the Master of the Guard hoped that after Endevar and the men who seethed in light of Hayll’s most recent treachery were refreshed about why war was not an option that they could retire to a venue less public.

Endevar needed to rest and eat, someone would need to look into his daughter’s loyalties, Renvar just wanted strong coffee with a shot of something extra and Prince Estaroth needed to get acquainted with the man whose power could help save or strangle their struggling nation.

Offline Drakkar Estaroth

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 17, 10:23:20 PM »
Prince Endevar’s story was strange to Drakkar, for he couldn’t imagine anyone that would go to Hayll willingly. The entire tale was so humiliating for one of his standing in the Abyss that Drakkar, like Renvar, found it hard to believe that he’d not only make it up, but repeat it as well. But the Black Jeweled Warlord Prince had done so and expressed deep remorse at leaving his homeland and his people for so long. Despite his misgivings, Drakkar respected Endevar’s desire to return and make amends. After all, there were thousands upon thousands of Eyrien warriors who’d left Askavi and never returned, carving out new lives in Shalador or elsewhere in Terreille and the other side of the Dark Gate.

A Black Jeweled Warlord Prince could have taken rulership anywhere in Terreille, or gone somewhere private secure in the knowledge that no one would ever force him to do anything he didn’t want to do.
 
Standing here with a man who held a Red Jewel as his Birthright, Drakkar missed his own Red Jewel terribly. The ache, the desire to reach out to that deeper well of power, just to touch it for even a moment, was nearly unbearable on a daily basis. His Blood Opal was still a deep font of power, but nothing like Prince Endevar’s.
 
This man had returned to Askavi to his people despite his lack of wings and being held prisoner by their enemies for seven years. An eyeblink of time to Drakkar, but a long time to someone being tortured.
 
When Endevar began to cry, to sob, Drakkar looked away, visibly uncomfortable with the display of emotion. In his mind, those emotions were for close friends and private times without others around. He understood the sorrow of loss and the will to rescue family; Drakkar would have done anything to save his own daughter from the horrors endured by their people.
 
This, however, wasn’t something everyone wanted, or needed to see.
 
Renvar, thank the Darkness, took command of the situation. Then he ceded the floor to Drakkar to explain Askavi’s official stance regarding war with the other Territories.
 
Prince Yatskaya has the right of it. Askavi is currently focused only upon defense and renewal in the wake of all that we’ve lost since the Purge. We’ve also sent diplomats to Haylla to negotiate cessation of the restitution payments. It’s our hope that Hayll will agree and that the rest of the Territories will follow their lead.” Drakkar said, forcing himself to say the words with all of the conciliatory tone that he possessed.
 
It felt like swallowing glass and washing it down with piss.
 
Your ill-treatment in Hayll is worrisome, but your return is a welcome event. If you seek to vent the anger at your treatment at some point in the near future, I assure you that there’s no shortage of Jhinka to war against.” Drakkar told Prince Endevar.
 
He fell silent and let Renvar take the floor once more, wondering if the two friends needed a chance to speak alone. Renvar would make that decision and Drakkar would honor it because that was necessary and the respectful thing to do. Seeing the saddened and beaten down man before him, however, made Drakkar long for Illyrain’s touch and presence, even though she had no desire to see him currently.
 
Tonight would be another night of sparring and drills until sleep found him.

Offline Endevar Ranosi

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 17, 08:47:08 AM »
Endevar, like them, was deeply uncomfortable with Endevar crying. Perhaps more than anyone. Stating aloud that he wished they had saved him somehow had broken down those walls; he was a raw nerve, clearly, and was held together by shoe-strings, spit and optimism at this very moment, his Jewel and pure determination to return to Askavi and fix what his absence had broken was all that had tethered his sanity together in the nonstop blur of abuse he had known. He pulled himself together, harnessing every ounce of his will, and sniffed once more as he forced his tears to run dry. It was shameful to Eyriens in general, he knew, but also to him. The man had broken many times in the last half-decade or so, and this was only one more, but it hurt him to be seen as weak before Renvar.

"I did not mean to ask for help, or to order our troops. I want to go to Hayll, and burn through every ounce of my power, and wipe it from the map," he spoke quietly, his entire body almost shaking - but not with sorrow, now, but rage. "...but I'm sure that's a poor idea. It is just had to describe the level of anger I harbor upon my escape. It's all I wanted to do when I was freed. But I asked myself: what happened to Askavi? I could not burn myself out before I set right my absence. I promise you both, First Escort and Master of the Guard: I will do what is in Askavi's interest."

Nodding to Drakkar and Renvar's peace entreaties that they proposed, he looked as if he had eaten something intensely sour, but he bit it back. He knew all about his mother: and he wished not to be the Savian from before the Purge. He reminded himself to aspire for the Savian who survived it. Reluctantly, bitterly, he amended it, to verify his obedience to their mission. He knew damned well that with his Jewel, they wanted assurances he would not drag them into a war he could start - and perhaps even mostly win - all on his own, because they all knew the cost for Askavi even in victory. So he gave them that concession, even if it felt at odds with his very self, his anger and revenge itself betrayed. "Even if that means swallowing Hayll's perfumed cock and thanking them for the honor."

Nodding his head, slowly, he looked to Renvar, and then back to Drakkar, before settling his gaze on his old friend. "Can we go somewhere private, so I can ask at more of my future, here? Perhaps to... where the court is now. Gravesend, you said?" That also sparked confusion for him, as he let the words leave his tongue. The look on his face covered all the words he might need to say, in truth; Gravesend was a ruin. Just as this Keep was not. And yet this Keep had been abandoned and Gravesend had been ... remade? Elevated? It confused him deeply, but perhaps there was some tactical reason.

He had many other questions that took priority, and did not see cause to raise that one yet. The history, he expected, would come out soon enough, or he could ask literally anyone that question. These men were the ones who would give him far more than a simple history lesson, and even near immortals could not fuck around in a courtyard forever. In truth, he was beyond pleased to even know Askavi still stood: it did not seem like it would survive seven winters when he left it. He did not wish to test its longevity with pointless inquiry.

"Or at least inside the Keep."







Offline Renvar Yatskaya

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Re: The Second Climb
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 17, 12:31:24 AM »
The things Renvar needed to do in order to function were effective but took a toll. They made it easy for him to slip away from the moments that weren’t vital. He tuned out as Drakkar explained, again, why they couldn’t raze Hayll in spite of its likely involvement in Gillian’s disappearance. His senses were alert as ever but his thoughts focused on the feel of the air, the sound of the wind, and anything else that let him not hear again why what felt so right was so impossible. Not being able to fix that which needed fixing, when part of that was the loss of his child and Askavi’s dark Queen, was placing unprecedented pressure on his chalice.
 
There was only so much Yatskaya could do and the agony of fighting his bond against the woman, his Queen, and the energy he was spending not losing himself in her touch and scent was taking a toll. A Warlord Prince needed that stability, that touch during times of unrelenting crisis to feel some semblance of safety.
 
Worn thin by the shock brought on by Endevar’s return from the dead Renvar was at a precipice perilous and unfamiliar. Through the fog he caught on to the shifts in the tones of the other men and realized it was time to take part in the world as more than a distant observer. Upon his return more emotion hung in the air and he wasn’t pleased with how much of it was his. It took him a moment to catch himself up but he passed off the time spent as thoughtful consideration.
 
That can be arranged. Though nothing can be decided until Lady Kriat has heard Prince Estaroth’s report.” Was what Renvar said. The day was far from noon and he was already tired of talking. No matter how long his conversation with Endevar turned out to be, he knew the night would turn into a new morning before her could find still silence. On a private thread between himself and Drakkar, Master of the Guard spoke to Askavi’s newest reigning Warlord Prince. *It’s your call but I think you should head back to Gravesend and catch Kriat up as soon as possible. With his history we have to have a visible plan enacted as soon as possible.
 
Half the Territory probably already knows he’s back and we all need to get the fuck ahead of this and someone's really gotta look into that girl. Someone who won't do anything stupid.*

 
Perhaps in time it wouldn’t cut him up to see an old friend from the war in the spot Gillian served. He hoped before that day came she’d be back and Estaroth would be in a place more suited to his demeanor. Prince Yatskaya breathed deeply and tried not to also feel the creeping resentment that somehow Drakkar and Illyrian had a better relationship than Renvar and the Queen they shared. Some days it was all easier but that morning he’d awoken with a heavy weight in his chest. There were stretches of time where everything was harder and Renvar couldn’t remember how he’d felt before losing his friend and his daughter in the span of a decade only to have the wrong one return home. But Endevar was something.
 
He hoped with the Hayllian raised, painfully young man’s power they could save Askavi and find Gillian. It was going to have to be enough and they were going to have to figure out a way to feed him. Nast’s Grey already put quite the dent in their ever dwindling supplies. More and more money was buying less and less food. He wouldn’t tell Ranosi that until after the boy ate his fill. No one needed the man starving himself because of some nobility bullshit only to be useless when the Jhinka came in crushing waves.
 
My office,” which Endevar would soon discover was his re-purposed to serve as his own base of operations, “should suffice. Lets get you caught up, get you fed. ” Prince Yatskaya left it up to Drakkar to decide whether or not he’d leave to report back at Askavi’s “new capital” before or after Renvar finished briefing the Black Jeweled Warlord Prince about what he’d missed his years a captive.

 

 

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