collapse

* Welcome!

* Important Links

* Chat Box

Guest Friendly. No advertising please.

* BR Councils

* COTM and TOTM

* Affliates

Affiliate with Us

Blood Rites RPG

Listed At

RPG Directory Nerd Listings

Our Affiliates

Spiraling
The Games Maelstrom Into The Abyss
Forever Night

* Credits

RSS Feed  Facebook  Tumblr    E-Mail

Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
Points Scheme: Mother Night
Ratio System: Blood Rites

Blood Rites best viewed in Firefox.
Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.


* Plot Information for Pruul

Seven children are destined to save Pruul and shake the traditions of the territory to their very core. In response, factions have broken the peace of a previously unified territory and violence has erupted across the dessert. It is a battle between the past and the future, the young and the old, and blood won’t stop seeping into the sand.
Culture of Pruul
Court of Pruul
Naming Conventions
Clans and Tribes
Pre-Purge History

* Welcome Guests

You are currently viewing our forum as a Guest. While you can see all we do, you can't participate. Please think about joining, we love new players. Click Here for more information.


Author Topic: With Passing Glances  (Read 298 times)

Description: attn: Ennead

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
With Passing Glances
« on: Apr 26, 17, 02:06:07 AM »
They hadn't taken the horses.  Not yet.  But she had hopes that they would.  Someday.  As much as she wanted to see the Old Spider lose his temper... she wanted the Mineborn to be happy.  And what better way did she know than to offer that which had helped her claw her way back to sanity?

Her grip on the brush tightened, and then she took a breath.  She needed to stay calm.  The foal she was working with now was particularly prone to reacting to moods, and the last thing she wanted was to ask someone to fetch him for her when he took off and she couldn't keep up.

As good as she was at hiding her limp most of the time, she couldn't run.  She wouldn't even try, anymore.  It never worked well, and it was just as likely to result in a concussion as it was in a tumble.  So she returned to dragging the brush against the foal, murmuring her appreciation for his good manners.

All the while... she could still feel that look that Lucky had given her.  Seeing her had terrified him, or made him angry... or both.  Her jaw clenched just thinking about it.  She understood.  Truly she did.  But SHE hadn't been the cause of his suffering.  If anything, she'd helped alleviate it at times.

Her eyes closed as she leaned into the foal, her fingers stroking along the creature's ear.  Scratching here and there to keep him calm while she wrestled her temper down.  She couldn't expect Lucky al-Izar to have a good grip on his temper if she didn't... for she was certainly no Warlord Prince.  Even she had problems with her temper on occasion, and she was likely one of the more well-adjusted of the survivors.

Not that she'd seen many since she'd been handed off to her Tribe.  She'd wanted to see all of them.  She'd caught glimpses of most, she was sure.  But she'd never really learned most of their names.  Not that many volunteered their names.  She certainly hadn't.  What did a name mean in the salt-laden dark?

Nothing.  It was a painful reminder of what one had lost, or never had.  She set the brush to the side, reaching out for her cane so as to steady herself as she worked her way out of the foal's paddock.  She needed shade, and some water... and perhaps a bit of solitude.  The look she gave one of the men as they tried to fall in beside her had them giving her that smile... but they gave her a bit more space.

Not enough, but at least it wasn't quite as tightly bound as she was expecting.  "They aren't ready."
"They never will be if they keep hiding."  She nearly hissed it, reaching up to rub at her brow.  She couldn't blame them for that either.  What did they know of the overlands?  Nothing.  they knew nothing but what they had experienced so far, and most of that she doubted had been kind.  Or overly welcoming.

"But if they don't get themselves some spines soon..."

She wasn't a city girl.  She wasn't even a light desert girl.  She and hers wandered the deep dunes, and save for special trips tended to keep to themselves.  And despite that... despite that, even her people knew that there was tension in the political air.  SOMETHING was going to happen.  Something big.

Her people wanted to go back to the dunes and wait it out.  She was likely to agree... except...

Except she couldn't get the image of Lucky's face during that moment...  Her eyes closed, hand going white knuckled on the damned cane.

He didn't WANT her help.  Hells bells, he had made it perfectly clear with his mannerisms that he didn't want anyone knowing at all... and with her around, the risk of them finding out was higher.  Not that she had any plans to go spilling his story to those that didn't need to know it.  Darkness knew she would be furious if anyone told her story to her own tribesmen.

But still...

She'd hoped... 

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #1 on: Apr 26, 17, 03:09:39 PM »
Ennead had heard of the Gift that the Voice of the Jinan had offered, and he had also heard of its denial.  He wished he had been present to witness the exchange, but he could not be evywhere.  He had been given certain duties and responsibilities, and they always seem to keep him occupied when something like this was in the offing.  The Warlord Prince understood why Lucky and Hadjara had turned the Gift away, or at least he believed he did.  Everything must seem to have strings attached, and in the case of the Bali, that was more than likely true.  Being made a member of a Clan, even as a tribe beneath their banner, came with a number of expectations, and diminished the Mineborn in rank.  All the Jinan had done was offer a Gift, for nothing other than peace between them, or once again, that was how it seemed.

He was as distrustful of Overlanders as the al-Izar were, and he had the same reasons, and maybe one or two more.  Ennead knew that people were at once enamored of the Mineborn and fearful of them.  Pruul had its traditions, and they had not truly changed in a very long time.  Khadijah, Roshan, Lucky and all of the rest, all of them, smacked of change.  Ennead wanted them to have friends, and he knew that he would need them as well, despite his suspicions and reflexive distrust.  The Voice of the al-Jinan was someone that knew the Mines.  The name, Adavera, was not unknown to him, and while he had not met her in person, he had heard her name whispered in the Mines.  At the very least, they would know of each other.

On the surface of things, the gesture, the offer had been one of kindness.  Surely Adavera recalled the treatement of the Mineborn in the Mines, and indeed, all of the slaves.  Surely, she was as angry as he was about the corrupted purpose of the place, and wickedness of those that had held the leashes to all of their collars.  Ennead decided to talk to this woman.  She was not a Queen, and in that, Ennead found some comfort.  He was dressed the appropriate nomadic layers, in dark hues, albeit with no outward sign of his clan.  He walked, not bothering to ask for a horse, and ultimately met the Jinan picket line.  He unwrapped his face so that the other men might see him, told him his name, and asked if the Voice would speak to him.  In time, he was escorted, but not to a tent.

He was shown to Adavera, and he stood a safe distance away as she tended to a young horse.  Ennead trusted her fellows to inform her that she had a visitor, but he was not going to interrupt her tending of the horse.  He could wait.  Once again, he unwrapped his face, because he felt that was polite.  His feature remained tanned and sharp, though he was much better fed than ever he had been in the mines.  His eyes were dark and alert, like those of a barely tamed predator.  He had a knife behind his belt, wide and curved, but it was not taken from him, and it served, for the moment, as a place to rest his elbow.

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #2 on: Apr 26, 17, 09:35:12 PM »
Her eyes moved to the male awaiting her attention.  His face was familiar.  It seemed she was not the only one wanting to check in with others.  Or at least, she hoped that was why he was waiting.  She wasn't sure she was up to politics today.

Of course, politics didn't care if you were in the mood or not.  So she listened as Torin whispered in her ear, her eyes closing for a moment as she put herself back together.  Her own personal nightmares could wait.  It was almost like magic, watching as she pulled her ragged edges together and began carefully picking her way across the sands towards her tent. 

The male would be escorted, told that she was ready to see him.  But she wasn't going to stand in the warm sun and pretend her leg wasn't hurting.  The horses alone could get her to stand out there on her leg when she felt pain, and only the horses.  Well.. children could too... but this male was neither a horse nor a child.

She settled onto her cushion, laying her walking stick to her side.  With a careful tug here and there she got her leg to fold properly.  Looking at her, one would think she was merely warm from her work.  In truth, the leg was killing her.  The leap she'd had to make to get Dalir to calm down before he might hurt someone earlier had not come without a cost.

It was worth it though to see the look of admiration on little Hadjara's face.  She wasn't sure if it was worth the look that Lucky's face held.

Her attention moved to Ennead as he entered, head inclining.  "Prince.  What can I do for you this day?"  It was to the point.  Inwardly she winced a little.  As the Voice she should be more diplomatic.  Lucky's attitude towards her had certainly done a number.  Certainly nothing of consequence.

She hid the wince.  This male was certainly no close friend... and even if he had been, she wasn't the sort to go sharing each insecurity that cropped up.  She couldn't afford to.

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #3 on: Apr 26, 17, 10:45:43 PM »
Ennead had learned patience in the Mines, and at the feet of the Warlords and Princes that had trained him.  He had been told, more than once, to restrain himself, that other Males would be neither as aggressive nor as willing to engage in conflict, physical or otherwise.  There had been fierce boys, to be sure, but Ennead’s Caste had been a surprise, the first in generations, and only the oldest of his line were prepared for him.  Patience was pushed into him early, and pounded into him the Mines.  He felt Adavera’s gaze, and remained impassive.  He did not want to see too eager, or at all uncomfortable.  Ennead was present to be sure that nothing untoward was left lingering between a potential ally and the Mineborn.  He could wait as long as necessary.

He watched the Voice walk away, and he was led away from the horses, to wait near the Lady’s tent.  Ennead did not engage the other men in conversation, and he could feel their eyes moving over him, looking for the marks of his Clan, or even the al-Izar.  He wore nothing.  Even his Jewels were not on display, though they were worn, and the Warlord Prince had an unmistakable edge of Power if one bothered to look closely.  Ennead never saw a reason to show off, but as a Male traveling alone into a Clan’s encampment that was not his own, there was no reason to hide his light under a bushel basket either.  He waited silently, giving a small nod to those that caught his eye.  In time, he was called into the tent of the Voice of the al-Jinan.

Ennead took a moment to acclimate himself to the presence of this Female.  The tent was certainly hears.  He pushed back the hood of his burnoose, and unwounded the turban a bit more, before he removed it from his head.  His hair was dark, and cut relatively short.  He was clean shaven, but his features were hard and sharp.  His eyes were dark, but alert, like the eyes of a hunting hawk.  Ennead took a deep breath, and closed those eyes briefly, before he focused them on Adavera.  He inclined his head slightly, ”Please, Lady, there is no need for formality between us, unless my Lady prefers it.  We have both bent our backs in the darkness, and already have more common ground than most.”  He stepped further into the tent, ”I am Ennead al-Bali.”  He managed to say his name without any hesitation between his first name and that of his family and clan.  His voice was a soft, smooth, baritone.  ”I believe you know me, or at least, of me.” 

The sharp features were transformed by even his slight smile, ”It would please me if you simply addressed me as Ennead.”

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #4 on: Apr 26, 17, 11:06:17 PM »
She studied him, tilting her head to the side as she tried to make sense of why Ennead al-Bali would be here.  She knew of him.  She'd spotted him, occasionally, in the dark shades of the mines.  She was fairly certain he didn't know of her particular issues there, and she preferred it that way.  Her hands folded in her lap, watching the way his body spoke as he declared his wish for informality.

"Ennead."  She said it quietly, fitting that name to his face in her mind.  It suited him.  "You may call me Adavera, then, if we are to be informal."  She poured two cups of wine, setting one on his side of the table for him.  The wine would help her ignore her knee... and it would hopefully put him at ease.

"I find myself curious as to why you are here."  She was fairly certain he remained with the Mineborn.  They had made their opinions on her offer of friendship quite... clear today.  They were too frightened of everyone to accept an offer of friendship, let alone an escape. 

She would do a great deal for them, if they asked.. but they wouldn't ask.  Her fingers curled around her cup, her eyes closing as she thought over possible solutions.  And so far... she couldn't think of any.  Also, at the moment, she wasn't feeling particularly emotionally friendly.  She should... she was well aware of that.  She knew the traumas, and understood the distrust.

But that didn't change that Lucky's words had hurt.  "If you are concerned about a backlash regarding the rebuff of the gifts I offered... you needn't worry.  While it is... unfortunate...  It was a personal gift from my own herd, not from the clan's."  She opened her eyes, lifting her chin as she looked him over.

"I am not going to pit the Jinan against children."

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #5 on: Apr 27, 17, 10:40:34 AM »
Ennead approached and took up the wind, enduring her scrutiny without comment or physical sign of discomfort.  Once he had the wine in hand, he simply knelt, sitting on his heels with the casual ease of someone who assumed that particular position with regularity.  His back was straight, and the hand that held the wine cup rested it on his thigh, his other cupped his knee.  Ennead noded, "Adavera, it is good to see you under much improved circumstances."  He sipped the wine, and his expression was briefly approving of its taste.  "Free for so short a time, and you have risen from the depths to an impressive height."  He smiled, "It is good to see."

His expression turned into one of mild amusement, and he had another sip of wine.  "No offense, Adavera, but I do not believe that.  You know why I am here.  You did not become the Voice by overlooking how one person is tied to another."  She went on, and Ennnead was proved correct within mere moments of his declaration.  She knew why had he come, or at least, she understood the inciting event that turned his feet towards her tent.  Ennead himself was not sure what his next steps would be, only that this was a door he did not want to see close on the Mineborn.  "That is precisely what I am concerned about.  I did not think the Jinan skin so thin that the trepidation of the young would create an enemy, but I did want to be clear."  Ennead made a bit of a face at the mention of pitting her people against children, but it cleared away swiftly.  "Then your Clan is more reasonable than many."

Ennead took a breath, "It was a kind gift, to be sure, but I hope you understand that everything the al-Izar have been offered thus far has come with a cost, perhaps not one immediately realized, but there was always a price, nonetheless."  He sipped his wine, "They are leery of the Clans, and if I can be honest, so am I.  They have been poked and prodded, at once welcomed and vilified.   As you have said, they are young, and as oft times happens with the young an inexperienced, they do not always see things for what they are."  His eyebrows rose for a moment, "May I ask you a question?"




Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #6 on: Apr 27, 17, 04:42:23 PM »
"Darkness knows someone had to prevent idiocy.  My rise to Voice was hardly planned."  Her voice went dry, eyes flicking to Ennead with a hint of humor.  "Nor was it entirely voluntary, at first.  I believe they think that I am good at it, and that I need something to keep myself occupied."

They weren't wrong.  But that didn't mean that she wanted the entire world to be aware of just how shaky her control was on some days.  Today, for instance. 

"Let us be clear, Ennead.  I am not interested in your excuses for their actions or inactions.  The choices of the Izar are theirs to make, and the consequences of those choices will be their own to swallow.  Their ignorance is a boon in some cases, and a curse in others.  That ignorance will make some see them as little threat, and thus those sort will try to gather the Izar to them for power and prestige.  Those who see them as a threat will be overjoyed at the ignorance, for an ignorant enemy is usually one easily buried."

She set her wine down.  "I see them as neither.  They are children who never learned to feel the wind on their face or the pulse of the sands.  I wanted to ensure they had a means to do as they wished.  They were afraid of antagonizing the Sabbah."  Her lips thinned out for a moment, a flash of ire in her eyes as she looked him over.

The Sabbah... who held the leash of the Geiba...  how that burned her fuse. "If they do not learn to run on their own, and soon, they never will Ennead.   I fear what the Sabbah will do to them once they are certain of their grip."  She settled her hands in her lap, her eyes moving towards the door of her tent.  Not that someone was coming... she knew they would leave her be for a while.

It was so that she didn't have to keep looking at his face just yet.   "The Jinan are not interested in controlling Pruul.  We are a free clan, able to adapt to whatever the sands bring us.  I am not going to try to manipulate the children into anything.  If they bring the rains, then they are blessed of the Darkness and should be respected.  If they do not, they are still survivors of a wrong done unto our people that must never be forgotten.  They deserve the time and space to grow and learn their feet."

Her eyes finally turned back to him.  "They will not have that if they remain under the Sabbah's shadow."

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #7 on: Apr 27, 17, 05:38:04 PM »
Ennead smiled slightly, "If you had desired the position, more than likely, it would not have landed with you."  He paused a moment, and sipped at the wine.  "It speaks well of you, of both your ability and your sincerity."  He nodded, "We all need work of some kind.  Idle hands and all of that."  He tilted his head slightly at her words, as if surprised by them, though not with any real depth.  He neither flinched nor showed any anger or annoyance at her words.  There was a hint of fire in his dark eyes, but whether it was always there or if her words had ignited them, was difficult to tell from his attentive expression.  "I am glad you are not interested in excuses.  Their ignorance is not unknown to them, and it seems to me you are more than intelligent enough to understand the delicacy of their position."

The Warlord Prince was very controlled, calm and collected, but the mention of the Sabbah made him sit up a little straighter, and that fire behind his eyes to burn just a little brighter.  "They are not as easily held down as one might think, and i will remain with them to help them see and learn.  My Water is tied to theirs."  More specifically to Khadijah, but he could not ignore her kin, they were a part of her.  "That is why I am here. The are not children, they are victims, very nearly experiments.  We at least got to see the light, we were not born in the Darkness.  They know that they will have to break free soon, but--"  His jaw clenched slightly as he considered all that hat happened, especially to his Little Brother.  "--they need a bit more time, and they do need friends."

Ennead nodded, "I will speak to you honestly.  I do not care if they bring the rains or not.  They are mine to protect.  All of them.  I will do so, until somene kills me, because that is the only way I will stop."  There was no heat in the words.  He spoke them as if speaking cold hard facts, as definite and certain as speaking a lesson about how and where to find water in the desert.  "There are challenges in this, of course, but the time will come where these silken collars will have to be removed, and it is good to know that they will have one friend amidst the Dunes."  He took a breath, "It also falls to me to teach them, some of them, at least.  You may be able to help me there."

He set the wine cup down on table, placing his hands on his knees, "Did you know Lucky in the mines, Adavera?"  Ennead raised his hands, "I do not ask to pry or raise unpleasant memories, if unpleasantness there was..."  He trailed off, it had been the Mines, unpleasantness was a fact of daily life, and that was putting it very lightly.  "Lucky has been hurt, there are wounds that are fresh, and others that run deep."  He ground his teeth togther, and made a very soft growl at himself.  "Let me explain, just a little.  When I found Khadijah, she was broken, like a bird, but she was fierce...like an injured falcon.  I saved her, and she saved me, but her wounds were easier to see.  This is not so with Lucky."  For the briefest moment, Ennead's Caste was plain to sense; power, anger, but also fierce protectiveness.  He reached for the wine, drank some, and set it down again.  "Lucky's scars are hidden from me, from everyone I think.  Can you help me to help him?"

Ennead spoke quietly after a moment of reflection.  "He must learn to serve his Queen, learn what it means to be a Warlord Prince.  He is the shield and sword of the al-Izar, but right now, he can't be."

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #8 on: Apr 27, 17, 05:59:42 PM »
"They allow themselves to be corralled."  She said it simply, her eyes refocusing on his own.  There was no heat to her words.  Nor was there the distaste that one might imagine from someone that had once been collared and locked beneath the earth. 

She had already run over these thoughts many times.  Those children had never tasted freedom before the mines were thrown open.  How could they possibly know how to BE free?

"They are children, Ennead... their ages are irrelevant.  They were never taught how ot seek Water, or how to make the ties of clan and tribe.  If let loose within the deep dunes, they'd die within a week... if they were talented enough to last that long.  I don't say it to be cruel. I say it because if you think of them as not being children, your expectations will be too high."

Her left hand clenched on her leg, her face did not change.  He spoke of Lucky, and she fought to keep her face still.

So much salt... she could taste only so much salt.  The bone of her cheek ached, her left arm useless as the guards slammed her into the wall...  Her eyes closed for a moment.  She could still FEEL them, sometimes. 

"Lucky al-Izar's story is his own.  He would never forgive me if I spoke of it without his permission, Ennead.  That boy saved my life once.  I will not repay it with such an unkindness."  Her right hand rose, lightly touching the tiger eye that dangled from her throat.   "I can only tell you that what he suffered plagues me as well, and the wounds are not so easily healed."

She left it at that, her hand dropping to her lap.  How could she possibly explain Lucky's story?  How could she even hope to explain her own?  Only twice had she attempted it, and each time her tongue had seized up in her mouth, her heart hammered so hard against her ribs she thought it would burst straight from her chest.

She'd never thought herself a coward until she'd realized she was too frightened to breathe to life her nightmares in the waking world.  Her right hand moved to take the wine cup back up, bringing it to her lips. 

"Do not take this poorly, Ennead... I'm not certain you can help him heal in this by yourself.  A Widow, perhaps... but even then, he would have to be willing.  And if he is at all as I think he is... I very much doubt he will be willing."  She looked down into the wine, watching the shift of light. 

Hell, she'd been raised free and strong... and she wasn't willing to let the Widows dive deeply at all to help her.  They'd offered... she'd declined.  They offered every few months... especially when her nightmares would wake her every evening.  But still, she declined.

Bad enough she had to witness her weakness in her dreams... she didn't want OTHERS to see it at as well.

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #9 on: Apr 27, 17, 08:03:25 PM »
”They had no choice but to be corralled.  They belonged to no one.  Everything they have has been given to them.  How could they be more than children, babes lost in the sands? I know this, but the choices were few.”  Ennead shook his head, ”I do not fool myself, but neither do I underestimate them.  I can feel that there is something more there.  If it is the rains or something else, I cannot say.”  He pressed a hand to his chest, ”I will teach them the rest, if I can help them get their feet beneath them.  It has only been a few short years, and they are never allowed to organize, never allowed to become—whatever it is they are meant to become.”  Ennead smiled slightly, ”I have been teaching them all this time, those that let me, anyway.”

When she spoke of Lucky, he watched her.  His eyes did not move over her rudely, but there was a sort of unfocused look to his gaze that said he was taking in the full picture.  Ennead could see the small motions of her body, he hands, the tension between her brows.  He was reading her, to be sure, but his gaze was gentle rather than probing.  At the touch to her Jewel, he lowered his gaze, the motion almost apologetic.  ”That tells me enough, and I do thank you for it.”  He tried not to notice the way she reached for the wine, but they both knew that he did.  ”I can take nothing from you poorly, Adavera.  You are the Voice of your Clan, and I have come seeking counsel.  I would be a poor guest indeed to come to you without ears to listen or a thick enough skin to endure.”

Ennead nodded, ”You speak of Craft, and Mind healing.  That is not all that I mean, but that will also be addressed.”  He tilted his head slightly, ”Lucky cares a great deal for his family. He will seek out improvement, even if he cannot believe it is for himself.  He will do it for them.”  His jaw clenched, ”He will do this for others.  I will do what I can for him.  He’s been met with the fist and the hammer for too long.  How can anyone know what it means to protect another if one has never known what it is to be protected?  His instincts are sound, but a Warlord Prince is more than violence, more than the beast, the cold rage, that prowls within us.  We are Warlord and Prince, chaos and order, violence and gentility.  How can he understand the difference between servitude and service, when they both look the same to the eye of a boy?”  His nostrils flared very slightly, ”I will show him.”

He was quiet for a moment, and then asked, ”Will you allow me, Ennead al-Bali, to accept your Gift, that I might share it with those whose Water I am bound to?”  His serious expression turned slightly mischievous, ”It will twist certain tails, it will mark you as a friend to the Mineborn in the eyes of the al-Izar, and what can they say if a member of Clan Bali channels the Gift of the Voice of the Jinan?”  Adavera would know exactly whom he meant by ‘they’.  It smacked of political leverage, but there was a reason he had not become al-Izar.

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #10 on: Apr 27, 17, 10:22:08 PM »
"He has known being protected... he did not accept it then and he does not accept it now."  She said it simply, her eyes moving back towards that door.  The vision of Lucky standing over the guard that had nearly killed her... her lips turned up.  She would never forget that moment.  Not ever.  She'd been so close to breaking... so close to finally embracing death.

And then Lucky had picked up a rock, and bashed the man's brains in.  The sight of him standing there, with that cold look on his face... it had brought her renewed hope.  Lucky had not been kind.  He hadn't picked her up, or helped her hide... but he'd killed the man, and let her take care of herself afterwards.

Her attention moved back to Ennead's face.  "What he will or will not do I cannot make a good guess of.  Lucky al-Izar is... slightly insane."  She cracked a grin. "It is known, and spoken of.  Personally, I enjoy how nervous that makes some."

She set the wine to the side, studying Ennead as he offered to be the 'go between' on the gift.  She wanted to tell him to pound sand.  She wanted to tell him that the gifts were from her to the children, and that politics be damned.

She WANTED many things... but she knew better.  "Yes, you may.  Dalir and his siblings will help teach the children the joys of the wind."

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #11 on: Apr 28, 17, 10:45:34 AM »
Ennead gave the slightest shrug, ”Has he?”  He met her eyes, ”He does not have to accept it.  He will have it anyway.  He is my Brother.  I did not ask for my Father’s protection, but I had it anyway.  You did not ask to be the Voice, and yet here we are.”  He snorted softly, ”Lucky is a Warlord Prince with a mind forced to rest on shifting sand.  He just needs someone to pull him free.  It will not be easy, but nothing has been since the Mines.”  Ennead breathed a sigh at the idea that Lucly was insane, "Insanity is dismissive, too simple, not that you intended it that way, Adavera.  I've had that hurled at me a time or two."  It was the favorite accusation of Walid, who did not understand that he was prodding a Warlord Prince.  He half-smiled, "I doubt that reputation will ever be too far removed from Lucky, but that too can be to his advantage."

He studied her as she considered his request, and when she gave her assent, he inclined his head slightly.  "Thank you.  I know it is not ideal, I know that it is not the way you wished for the Gift to be given, but it is a compromise."  Ennead drank more of his wine, "It is not my first choice either, but at least it is a choice."  He rolled his shoulders, "This is not a game I ever expected to be playing.  I dislike it.  I was not trained to trade in uncertainties and imponderables.  I am meant to be direct, like a blade or a fist."  Ennead shook his head slightly, "The Mines changed all of that."  He smiled  slightly, "I suppose we have that in common as well.  We find ourselves moving in circles that we would not have chosen otherwise."

Ennead set his cup down on the low table, "Thank you for seeing me, and for your hospitality Adavera.  I hope that we can continue to be friendly, and even become friends.  With the exception of the Mineborn, it is rare that I feel free to speak to another with such honestly."  He gestured between them, "There is, at the very least, understanding between us, if not outright knowledge.  If you would like to meet again, you know where Ic an be found--perhaps, in the days ahead, you can correct my poor seat in the saddle"

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #12 on: Apr 28, 17, 01:02:23 PM »
She waved a hand dismissively at a thought.  "AS for trust... If you could not trust me, Ennead, I would be mildly insulted.  What use have the Jinan for betrayal with the Izar?  What could we possibly gain out of it, other than annoying the Sabbah?  That's hardly worth the effort.  If I want to annoy the Old Spider, I can visit him and do so directly."

"It is also unlikely to be as simple as you think it to be, the accepting of this gift."  She grunted, carefully maneuvering her leg with her hands so that she could climb to her feet, walking stick in hand.  She took a moment to breathe, forcing her thoughts away from the ache and throb of her calf.  Once she had that in hand, she began hobbling towards the tent entrance.

The fact that she was hobbling had her in a poor mood.  How she hated when she couldn't hide the signs of injury.  Despised it, really.  But there was no hiding it this day.

"Dalir and his siblings are horses.  Have you ever led a horse train before?"  She doubted it.  The Bali weren't famous for their horse skills.  "I had offered to keep them here until the Mineborn could come up with suitable stabling.  Do they have a stable available to them, or did you intend to leave them loose in the courtyard?  The horses wouldn't mind that, but the Sabbah would probably be irritated."

Not that she cared if the Sabbah were huffy, save for the fact that they might hurt the very beasts that had salvaged her sanity.  She paused, her good hand touching the entrance of the tent before dropping.  "I did not tell Hadjara of why these horses were chosen for them."  She took a deep breath, turning her head to look over Ennead.  "These horses are the foals that I raised when I was brought back to my tribe.  They are what saved me.  I would not sell them or gift them to others... do you understand?"

The thought of the Sabbah taking them made her heart ache.  But she couldn't control what the Mineborn would do with them once they were gone... and she couldn't ignore the real possibility that the Sabbah might try something so cold. 

"Your poor seat in the saddle can be looked into, and will be.  Anyone who rides upon one of these horses will be trained by me, if they wish."

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #13 on: Apr 30, 17, 12:54:13 AM »
Ennead smiled slightly at the idea of Adavera visiting the Old Spider just to test his patience.  It was an amusing thought.  He shrugged at her warning, ”Simple or not.  I do appreciate your warning, however.”  He would have assisted the Lady, but he doubted Adavera would appreciate it.  Ennead did not look away, but his expression did not change.  There was no pity or concern, only patience.  When she was on her feet and asking him about horse trains, he shook his head.  ”No, I have not.  I have been around horses, helped tend to them, though those are the memories of a boy.”  Ennead walked beside her, ”I prepared an area in the courtyard; however, stables are being prepared.  Not every stall was full, and I asked for them.”

He turned to her at her story, and listened.  Ennead met her eyes for a moment when she turned to look at him.  ”I will make sure they understand that, as well as the honor implied by the Gift.”  He gestured, ”I had no intention of giving them away, selling them, or letting someone take them from the Mineborn.  They have as much right to have them as any tribe.”  He shook his head slightly, ”And I am already prepared for protests, if there were any—from either the Sabbah or the Mineborn.”

Ennead smiled, ”I did not think you would take personal interest in my seat.”  He inclined his head, ”I would be pleased to receive instruction.  I am afraid I never had much of a chance to learn.”  He tried to remember the last time he had ridden a horse.  He had gone through his Tests, but horses had not been included.  His training had involved a little bit of riding, but not enough for him to considering himself proficient.  He imagined he would not fall off, but he would not have sworn to that with Adavera looking at him.  ”You are, of course, welcome to visit, but if your Clan will be around awhile longer, and if you would prefer it I should be able to ride out here without damaging myself, or annoying a good horse.”  He was not sure Lucky would be pleased, or that Adavera would be pleased to run into Lucky—but the young man could not avoid everything from his past.


Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #14 on: Apr 30, 17, 03:43:48 PM »
She studied his face as he spoke, as if weighing a few things in her mind before nodding.  "We shall work on your seat now... so that when you come back you will be able to ride Dalir."  Sort of, at any rate. 

Whether the Mineborn decided to flee with the Jinan or not... she wanted them to be able to leave when the Sabbah inevitably betrayed them. And they would.  The Old Spider was a political man, and the Izar were... dangerous to political positions.

If they managed to bring the rains, the Sabbah would inevitably fall lower on the political pole.  Their power and reach would plummet in comparison... she had little doubt that the old Spider would rather have Pruul continue with its drought and desert sands than to allow life to return to its peoples.

"Come.  You should meet him."  She said it quietly, brushing the tent door aside.  As always, it took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the sudden light.  Even after all this time, she adjusted far more quickly to the dark of a tent interior than to the brightness of the sun.  But she loved the pain of that first light, regardless.  She hobbled towards the paddocks, leaning on her walking stick as she let her eyes wander over the herd.

To an outsider, the herd would just look like a mass of horse flesh.  To her... it was the most beautiful sight in the world.


Her lips pursed, a low whistle crooning into the air.  A head lifted, a snort sounded.... and the herd made room for Dalir with all his pride and grace to come trotting towards the paddock edge.  She lifted a hand, curving it over his snout, his jaw.  "You will be Ennead's seat this day, little love... let him see what the wind feels like, shall we?"

She smiled, scratching beneath the horse's chin before turning her head to look at Ennead.  Here, with the horses... that was where the caution and reserve fell away.  THAT was where someone might catch a glimpse of the girl she had been before the raids.

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 17, 04:48:15 PM »
Ennead seemed a bit surprised by her seemingly sudden decision, but he was not taken aback.  He smiled at her, and nodded.  "I would not mind that at all." He tilted his head slightly, "Do you have time now?  I do not want to keep you from anything, despite your willingness, you are the Voice of the Jinan."  It only just occured to him, in that moment, that it was entirely possible he should not even be moving in such circles.  He was just a Warlord Prince, a ranking Male, to be sure, particular with the Darkness of his Offering, but he was essentially an orphan.  Accepted by the MIneborn, to be sure, but not precisely al-Bali, not really.  "Was Dalir the horse that you were tending whe I arrived?"  He followed her as she went, and let her guide his gaze to all the horses and wondered how such flimsy enclosures, mostly rope, kept the animals from wandering about.  He could allow that older horses had learned, but the younger ones?  "Is Dalir the leader of his herd?"

He listened carefully to the whistle that Adavera made.  He had a talent for animal sounds, and certainly mimicking a whistle that might one day call a horse to him seemed like a good thing to note.  Ennead watched the stallion approach, and smiled at his lightness of step.  He reached out gently, and ran his hand along the side of Dalir's head.  "Thank you, Dalir."  He studied the horse with all of his senses, and opened his other senses to the horse as well.  Ennead wondered if the horses were Kindred, and considered that a possibility, that or the animals ust had distinct personalities.  He almost made a connection tot he steed, with a Purple Dusk thread, but restrained himself.  "Shall I see about a saddle?  Or will he let me try without one?"

Ennead removed the burnoose that he wore, and the sheathed knife in his belt.  He rolled the knife in the burnoose, and hung it over the fence.  He was wearing loose clothing, except for the sash, that pulled the front of his shirt tight across his chest.  Free of the excess fabric, it was clear that the Warlord Prince was more than fit, he was built for hard labor or hard fighting, without an ounce of waste on his frame.  In repose, his features were sharp, but his smile transformed his features into something far more pleasant.  He was smiling now, "So, Dalir, what is it to be, a saddle or just you and me?"

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 17, 07:02:27 PM »
"We start with saddle.  When I'm certain that you can handle yourself, we'll discuss the lack of one."  She nodded to the side, where one of the males was already bringing the saddle she'd used for Dalir earlier that day.

She hadn't bothered trying to answer his many questions on the way here.  It wasn't that she was feeling particularly unkind... it was that her leg hurt and she was feeling ... short.  But as always, Dalir filled her heart with joy.  The sort of joy that could push such things back, for a time.

"Dalir is the leader of his group, yes.  That group is what I intend to gift to the Izar.  And you."  She turned her head to him, studying his posture.  "You are free to try to connect with Craft, if you can.  Not everyone, even within the Jinan, is able to do as my father did."  She cracked a smile, remembering the man.  How he had amazed so many with his landen ways... and how much better he was with the horses than those who by all rights should have been able to best him in any riding event.

Her father had been glorious.

She blinked, tapping her walking cane on the sands once to clear her head.  "Saddle him up.  Let us see how you sit... and what we must fix.  Perhaps the Darkness will have blessed you, and you won't need too many corrections."  She doubted that... but there was always the possibility.  She watched as the saddle was laid upon her beloved stallion's back.  Watched as Ennead set himself upon Dalir... and took her breath away.  It was perfect.

Just as she'd known it would be.  The sight of a mine-slave riding atop one of the most free creatures in the world... it was perfect.  "He suits you."  She said it begrudgingly, resettling her weight on her heels.  "Jinan horses are not the beasts who have had the spirit beaten out of them.  If you wish to truly fly upon the sands as they are meant to, you must learn to... connect.  Craft or not.  They gift you with their strength and speed... you must gift them with your trust and care."

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 17, 05:29:36 PM »
Ennead smiled at Adavera's instruction.  It was very nearly a challenge of sorts.  He was sure that he would eventually be able to manage it, after all, it was not working in the Mines.  After that, almost any task was easier.  He would succeed, the only question was of degree.  Being a slave had definitely changed his perspective, not only about what to expect from the world or even his Clan, but in the belief that no matter how banal the tast or activity, the Mines had been worse.  Ennead had seen things he was loathe to repeat to another person, even those closest to him, and he had killed down there in the darkness, usually to survive or to protect--but not always.  "The saddle it is then."

He listened to the answers she chose to give him, and he nodded.  "I did not wish to startle Dalir, but if you think he will not be afraid of an actual connection, it would surely make things easier for both of us."  Ennead hald-smiled as Adavera spoke about her Father.  He said very little about his own, in general.  He had told Luck about his Family once, but that had been a small moment in time, and while the revelation had been good to share, it picked at the scab of a wound he had believed healed.  The Warlord Prince drew gently upon his Purple Dusk, and reached out to the stallion.  He made contact, and very gently laid his hand along the horse's neck.  "Hello, Dalir...we will be great friends.  I promise you."  He spoke the words aloud, but he gently pushed his intent into the animal and smiled when he was about to touch the stallion's muzzle.

He checked the saddle, because it seemed a wise thing to do, and then mounted up.  It was surprisingly comfortable, and he smiled at Adavera's response to seeing him atop Dalir.  "I will take care of him."  He leaned forward over the neck of the horse, and patted the horse, his hands reaching out when Dalir turned his head towards him, first to one side and then the next.  "Okay, Cousin, let's ride."  Ennead murmured the words, and Dalir turned from Adavera and began at a walk, but after only a step or two, he broke into a canter, and seemed intent on going faster still.

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 17, 07:12:26 PM »
She watched, cautiously picking her way over to one of Dalir's siblings.  With a little heave, she managed to get up on their back.  The relief of being off her leg was immediate... and with a light tap to the side of her mount's neck, she set it trotting after the man that was starting to feel the rush of the Horse.

She smiled, watching as he began to let Dalir gain his head... and then she increased the speed of Dalir's little sister.  All too quickly she'd caught up, her hands tangled in the dark mane and her eyes gleaming with laughter.  "Hang tight, Ennead al-Bali... let us see if you can find the Bond, hrm?"  She grinned, angling her back over the horse's before raising her hips... and like magic they darted ahead.

Here, on the back of a horse... she was not crippled.  She was the wind itself, and the beauty beneath her was her keeper.  There was a leap... the sense of weightlessness, of freedom... and then the impact of those hooves touching sand again.  Without a word, the horse turned in its run, as if to circle back around Dalir.

Not that she expected Dalir to tolerate his little sister showing off without trying to put in a good effort himself... but that was the point.  To turn and see if Ennead had found a way to take the ride comfortably.  Or to stay on Dalir's back at all.

She'd seen others fall before... but the sands here near Onn weren't a terrible place to fall from a horse.  hell, she'd fallen a time or two when learning how to adjust to her leg's new state.  There was no shame in it... unless you didn't learn your lesson from the fall.

Her eyes rose, past Ennead to where they'd come from.  Even from here, she could tell that Torin was trotting forward on his own horse.  Her lips cracked into a smile.  Even here, so close to camp, they would not let her be unescorted.  Normally it would grate on her nerves... at the moment, she thought it somewhat sweet.

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 17, 03:43:48 PM »
Ennead grinned at Adavera.  He could see why she loved horses, and why she reveled in riding.  She had gone from seeming a bit aggravated, perhaps even mildly wounded by the Mineborn’s refusal of her Gift, to this lovely, smiling woman who was full of life.  She all but dared him to race her.  Ennead did what any Warlord Prince would have done when so challenged; he engaged.  He reached out a Thread to touch Dalir’s mind, and allowed the young stallion to accept his presence, and then he made sure he was firm in the saddle before he imparted the meaning of Adavera’s words and her actions as she galloped away on Dalir’s sister.  Of course, Dalir knew this already and was already leaping forward, forcing Ennead to throw himself forward to avoid rolling out of the saddle.

He held on, letting Dalir go, regaining his balance, but bouncing on the stallion’s back until the stallion himself began to guide him.  Once he let the horse’s instincts inform his own, he did better.  Ennead didn’t notice that they were gaining the ground they had lost with his fumbling.  He wasn’t graceful, and he wasn’t perfect, but he had stayed in the saddle and endured the speed.  He grinned at Adavera when she rode back to him, ”This is fun!  And a bit strange!”  The Green Warlord Prince had become so used to his own two feet taking him everywhere in the Mines, and for the most part, even in the overlands, to have a horse beneath him again, after years away from his earliest efforts, was a surprising good feeling.

Ennead glanced back to the Male approaching, and then turned to the Voice, ”I think I understand the seriousness of this gift far better now than I did moments ago.  Seeing you ride---well—you’re not just giving the Mineborn horses, are you?”  He smiled at her, and then patted Dalir.  ”We have an understanding, Dalir and I.  I think we can lead the rest back whenever you think we should.”

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 17, 04:04:40 PM »
"No... I was not just giving the Mineborn horses."  She said it quietly, her fingers petting down the mare's neck.  She had let her stress and pain melt away beneath the pounding hooves of the horses.  She was able to forget, for a brief time, that she was crippled.  Her eyes raised, studying Ennead's face.

She didn't need to beat him over the head with why she'd been so... aggravated... by the refusal.  To offer them the means of escaping the spider, and have Lucky of all people throw it back in her face.  Lucky, who should have appreciated the offer of help more than any of the others.  Lucky, who should have known that she would never offer a trap to him or his siblings.

Her, of all people, being untrusted by that little...

Her eyes closed, chest heaving once as she let the frustration blow out between her lips in a rough blast of air.  Then she raised her eyes to look Ennead over again.

"You began to get your seat correct by the time we slowed.  You have a natural gift for it, Bali... make sure you work with it.  I know that Hadjara loved him."  She smiled, looking Dalir in the eye.  "And I know you loved her too, you big lug."  She set her hand on the mare's neck, knees tightening a bit to angle the horse around.  "Come.  Let's meet with Torin so that he doesn't growl at you.  He's been over-protective for a while now."

Not that she minded.  Torin was a fine swordsman... and a better friend.  He would never let a Raider take her alive.  Not ever again.  And she appreciated it.

"Does..."  She paused.  "Do the children still have their nightmares often, or have they found some peace in the last few seasons?"

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 17, 02:45:17 PM »
Ennead al-Bali shook his head, ”More than that I think.  There is a kind of joy here, a wonder that comes only from an animal working with you…something I can’t quite put into words.  Freedom, appreciation of life, something.”  He gestured at her, ”I can see it in you when you ride.”  it was not merely because of her limp, though he had no doubt that was a part of it.  There was something joyful about riding a horse running as fast as it could, something like a release of tension, in letting Dalir have his head, and feeling the power moving beneath him, all muscle and will.  Ennead met Adavera’s eyes; there was definitely something more here than merely horses.

He felt sure that he would learn more, the more time he spent in Adavera’s company.  Ennead patted Dalir, ”It was Dalir that corrected me, though I could tell by the bouncing that I was doing something wrong.”  He smiled, ”Hadjara is well loved, I would say it is her particular Gift.”  Ennead nodded at the witch’s suggestion, and let Dalir know to fall in beside her.  They had to trot a bit to catch up, but soon enough, they were riding together.  ”I had noticed that one.  It is alright.  He is only right to be watchful, I am a stranger, and a Warlord Prince besides.  I take no offense, if that is a concern.”

Ennead considered her question for a moment, and then nodded.  ”I think they all do, here and there.  I know that I do, from time to time.  Some of them have it worse than others.  All of them are different, and now that they are together, they take comfort in that.”  He was quiet for a moment, and then added, ”I was not there that long, I was not born in the Mines,but in that time, even I learned to prefer close walls to wide open spaces…I think that is strange.”  He gestured, "I trusted all this once, and now..."  he gave a very slight shrug.




Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 17, 03:17:02 PM »
"They are our lives."  She said it quietly as they began trotting back towards Torin.  "And we are theirs.  It is a partnership that passes beyond the physical and into the Darkness we are granted by Her.  They tend us when we are ill, and carry us through the Sands.  My mother told me that when we pass into the Dark, we are carried by the souls of the First Steeds, if we have brought no shame to our clan.  They were Her gift unto our Clan and Tribe, and so we are both blessed and burdened by the responsibility."

Her lips curved upwards.  "Before the mines, I thought it just a tale to romanticize our purpose.  But..."  She let her fingers drift through the mare's mane.  "They are all that ever brought me peace after.  So I like to think that perhaps my mother's tales were not wrong.  Perhaps, when all is said and done, the old stories have more truth than many of us believe."

The tales of how Pruul once had green, for instance.  Or the rains. 

The prophecy of the mineborn bringing the rains was something she took seriously... but didn't necessarily care about.  Everyone assumed they would do it because fate said they must.  She saw it differently.  They would do it if they bloody well felt like it... or they could choose to let things remain as they were.  Pruul had survived without the rains this long... and perhaps someday Pruul would die without them.  But that, it seemed, was ultimately up to the very people of Pruul.

In her eyes, they hadn't done much to deserve the mercy of the Mother or those she had chosen.

"Truth between us, Ennead al-Bali, while we are away from ears that should not hear."  She turned her gaze to him, lifting that eyebrow.  "I want them to have the horses so that if they must run... they will run faster than those who would chase them.  If I thought they would take up with the Izar so that I could hide them from the Spider, I would offer it... but I know they will not.  They did not even have the courage to take the horses... they would never take such a bold step as to leave Onn with us."

She set her fingers into the mare's mane again.  "It is understandable.  The Old Spider has done what he can to force them into remaining helpless children.  It won't work forever... there are warlord princes, after all... but he slows you all down, and he is trying to control you as he does everything else he can get his little claws into."

Her eyes tilted up.  "Do not trust the Spider, Ennead al-Bali.  Everyone knows the Geiba did wrong... but no one seems to want to whisper of how he MUST have known what they were doing."  She shook her head.  "They were beneath the Sabbah banner.  They did these terrible things for too long for him to not have known.  He knew... and he did nothing."  There.  There was that spark of rage she carried with her.

As the Voice of her people, she didn't know every single action they took.  But she also made it her business to ensure that none of those that fell beneath the Jinan banner did anything so terrible that the entire Clan might owe a price for it.  And they were a nomadic people... not nearly as stationary as the Sabbah.

If she could do all of that, then how the hell could anyone think the Sabbah had no clue as to what was happening in those mines?  How could everyone turn a blind eye?
Because they fear the Spider.

She... did not.

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 17, 05:20:09 PM »
Ennead listened to Adavera describe how her Clan felt about horses, and in part, hos she felt about them.  There was a strong bond with their horses in the al-JInan, and he had to admit, that had not been part of his own training and culture.  They had horses, to be sure, but their view of them was very pragmatic.  Here, Ennead felt as though the horses were as much a part of the Clan as the people.  "That is a beautiful sentiment.  It is romantic, I rather like it.  We too often focus on what is practical, and forget what is good for the soul."  He nodded, "We all had a different view before the Mines.  I will not say that we see the world through the same eyes, but I think we understand the same differences."

"We are both out of the Mines, Adavera, I hope there is always truth between us."  Ennead smiled slightly at her revelation, "I considered the pragmatic reasons to have the horses, but more than that, it will be good for them to have something to call their own...if horses choose them...if they choose horses.  As your Mother has said, there's a bond there, one that can be a balm."  Ennead met her eyes, "But, I have considered the need to run.  The time will come where they will be made to toe a line, or to redraw where that line is.  It is coming, I think, sooner than I would like.  I am trying to make sure they are ready."  The Green Warlord Prince frowned slightly, "I will not be controlled again, and I will make certain they are not, either.  The chains would not be visible, but they would be every bit as real."

For the first time, there was a subtle change to Ennead, nothing in his expression, perhaps it was a signal in his posture.  He was every inch a Warlord Prince, his expression impassive, but there was a cold fire behind his eyes, and the footprint that his presence made became, briefly, much larger.  After a moment, he offered, "I do not trust them.  I do not trust that they were not aware of how the Mines were operated, or how slaves were taken.  Silence may not be approval, but neither is it condemnation.  Horrors were allowed.  I will not forget that, or them."

Ennead's jaw clenched for a moment, "The time will come where scales will be balanced, and I will be there."

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 17, 05:33:29 PM »
"Should you move against the Spider, you have my support."  She said it quietly, her voice tight as she brushed her fingers through the horse's mane.  She was no Widow, or Warlord Prince, or ... anything of the sort.  But she was a Witch who had been wronged... and she was working very hard at keeping her Rage where it belonged.

"If the Mineborn must run.. call upon the Jinan.  None know the sands as well as we, save perhaps the Sandriders.  And we go where they cannot."  She grinned, tilting her head to the side.  "My clan knows the paths, and how to smuggle things and people where the Spider would not approve.  We can get you out, even if you choose to not remain.  The Mineborn owe Pruul nothing.  Pruul owes them everything."

She turned her head towards Torin as he arrived, forcing a smile.  "Torin.  Ennead has been an absolute gentleman."
"I know.  But you have been through much this day, Lady."

She sighed, rolling her eyes skyward for a moment.  "We will remain as long as we can, Ennead... but the time to leave Onn is coming.  I will watch for as long as I can... but you know how to reach me if we travel."  She glanced at Dalir, grinning.  "I will not force you to make promises regarding their care... I think you understand enough to know what they require."

Her knees tightened on the mare, the horse turning towards Torin before sedatedly starting back towards the tents.  Torin wasn't wrong.  Her leg was going to be problematic for days at this rate.  And it would slow her down if an emergency arose.  Torin waws right... but she didn't have to like it.

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 17, 01:26:13 PM »
Ennead considered the statement she had just made.  It was a short phrase, but so full of import, he wanted to give it the consideration it deserved.  He nodded, "Thank you."  Was all he could say.  He felt certain that if he decided to move against the Spider, if that fight was left to him, he hopedy Lucky and Khadi would be there with him.  If not, he would be making a sacrifice, and he was very well aware of just how much damage he could wreak if he allowed himself to do so.  "Should that day come.  I will make sure that you know of it."

He nodded to her, "I will do that.  I believe I know how to find the Clan even if you move on.  In truth, lingering would only be seen as strange.  We survived the mines, Adavera, I can make sure they survive the desert if necessary."  Ennead smiled slightly at her, "You are the first to express that sentiment outside of myself."  His jaw clenched, the small smile vanishing, "That was what I thought when I found Khadijah.  Before her I was--well--I was lost.  I certainly was not the man you see before you now, but--I was angrier for her and Roshan, than I ever was for myself.  Strange, no?"

Ennead nodded to Torin at his words to Adavera, and then turned his eyes to the Voice of the al-Jinan, "I think I have intruded upon your day for long enough.  Give me a day to be sure the courtyard is prepared, and then I will come for the string of horses.  Dalir and I can get them back, I am sure."  He patted the neck of the horse beneath him, and when they began to ride back, he fell in beside the woman.  "Thank you again...for everything."  He took a breath, and quietly asked, "Is it strange that I feel like the overlands are more alien to me than the Mines?  It was a terrible place, to be sure, but..."  He gave a slight shrug.

He was only one man, one Warlord Prince, without a Queen...wanting a Queen and afraid of the prospect, all at once.  The mines were terrible, but you always knew where the danger lay.  The overlands were treacherous, like the dunes and sand all around them.  "I will leave you to your rest, and return--I would take Dalir, but I do not wish to separate him from his family.  So I will return for all of them."

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      42

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 17, 01:38:55 PM »
"It is not strange."  She said it quietly, resting her hands on the horse beneath her.  "It took me many months to be able to do just this."  Just sitting on a horse, without feeling as if she had to lay down over it to fit through the air.  "The daylight hours would terrify me, at first.  I ..."  She motioned towards the horizon.

"I couldn't handle seeing so much space for quite some time.  Imagine, a Horse Lord afraid of open spaces."  She grinned at him.  Couldn't help it.  "Torin, however, insisted that I relearn how to breathe the open sky.  You get used to it, Ennead." 

She reached out, the horse beneath her side stepping until she could touch his shoulder.  "Visit whenever you would like.  You are a friend, and I will make sure that our Watchers know to let you through.  Dalir and his sibs will be waiting."

She didn't wait any longer.  She simply clenched her knees on the mare's sides, directing her to start towards Vera's tent.  On one hand, she was looking forward to stretching her leg out.  On the other... well, on the other it was bound to be somewhat painful.

Ah well.  The longer she put it off the worse it would be.  No wonder Torin was looking so grim.  "Don't worry Torin.  I won't bite your head off."
"You said that the last time."
"I didn't then either."
"... you threw a rock at me."
"You were able to dodge it."

Offline Ennead al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • wp
    • Faction

      The Mineborn

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: With Passing Glances
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 17, 11:37:08 AM »
Ennead smiled slightly at Adavera's offered comfort.  He considered it strange still, despite her kindness.  He looked up at the wide open sky that he had been born beneath, that they both had been, and for a moment, he marveled at how he no longer felt entirely comfortable beneeath it.  He had not been born in the Mines, he had known sky and space, and yet...somehow...the Mines had wormed its way into his vision.  "I can forget, but I confess, I am most comfortable in a room, with something over my head."  Ennead chuckled, the tone self-deprecating.

"Oh, I've gotten used to it, but the basic truth is that the overlands feel less like home.  The mines were and are not home either, so where does that leave me?"  He gestured, "Home has become people."  He smiled at that, "I think it is better that way."  Ennead looked up at the sky again, and then back to Adavera.  "Your Torin was right, of course.  The sky is not going anywhere, after all."

Ennead nodded when she said they were friends, "Thank you, Adavera.  I will return once I know Dalir and the herd have a good home.  The al-Izar may resist me at first, but they will be happy."  He slid from Dalir's back then, and patted the horse again, touching his muzzle and ultimately pressing his forehead tot he stallion's.  "I will be back, my new friends, be patient just a little longer."  Ennead turned to Adavera, walked over to her horse, and gave her hand a gentle squeeze.  "I will see you soon."

He walked to the fence for his robes, and prepared to make the walk back to the others.  Ennead knew that some would be uncomfortable with his actions, possibly even angry, but it was best for them.  They would need friends, and the al-Jinan were good ones to have.  In time, he might even be able to court the al-Bali, if he could stomach doing so, but he had swallowed his fears and his bile before to help his Water Family, and he would again.

 

 

anything