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Recent Posts

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1
Hayll / Re: of matters most dear
« Last post by Endevar Ranosi on Today at 11:19:19 PM »
Senon Decasta



Greeting her at the door, he pleasantly smiled, but it was a strained one. Worn evidently on his sleeve was the immense discomfort that weighed on this man like an anchor. The man's sly skill at court proceedings was all that kept him from all but shaking under the worry that flooded him in every moment of this day and the days prior. He was, after all, named as the man to whom letters should be delivered.

This painted him as clearly a target as any could ever expect. He was himself less committed to the causes held by his brother than his brother might like... but he was a reasonable man, and entrusted to this small task of stately drama, at least. Even so, the strain of the evening as he opened the door to the Queen of Hayll was quite clear.

"Queen Vincentius," he greeted, bowing appropriately to her station. She greeted him with more eagerness than he suspected he had ever had in his life, and he bowed in response again when the Queen of Hayll referred to him as Lord Decasta. "You honor me with your presence," he vowed, eyes not daring to look upon hers until she bid him stand and took his hands in hers, while she spoke, thanking him for allowing her to see him.

She had upsetting news, she said, and he passed that along immediately, his eyes closed in reverence to her but also focus to send a psychic thread which outstripped the strength of any of those nearby and present. He held a parchment in his hand that he disappeared, and he stood, reverent and stolid, before the Queen.

"If it please you, do join me," he urged, gesturing her within past the opened doors and into the expansive sitting room. He gestured her within, not paying any attention to her guard, as he moved to the kitchen to fetch water at her behest. It was clear she was here for other reasons than his company, and clearer yet that an estate even of this size should have servants, but none remained. Perhaps he had sent them all away for the night. Perhaps... he had sent them all on holiday for a special reason. She had reason to suspect, and he knew as much from how her eyes cast around, hope visible in them.

She hoped for Endevar, and that puzzled him, but he soon reached out to her. *If you dally here because you wish to see my brother, I assure you he will not see you with Septimus present.* This psychic thread reached across the house, his distance and isolation making it easy to ensure he gave nothing away in that mixed company.

*Follow my lead and I will send him away,* she noted, and he did not visibly respond as he rejoined her in the sitting room and provided her water, and himself a small wine, without any drink offered Septimus.

Taking a comfortable seat, he swirled his drink and waited for her lead.
2
Askavi / You can't make old friends
« Last post by Auralian Ruslana on Today at 11:19:14 PM »
Spring 192 AP
Takes place 5 days after:Swallowing Pride

One thing in Askavi remained the same over the tenure of Auralian's time ruling. Men gossipped. It didn't matter if they were across district or province lines word of mouth tended to spread and slither along the grapevine. Rumors that grew wings of their own until truth and embellishment could not be separated from one another.

Only the undeniable fact that Prince Endevar Ranosi had returned to Askavi. Presently, it appeared he had returned to serve and not rule. Something Auralian wondered if he was planning on changing.  His return though was something she was curious about exploring. Well, more finding out his plans for his return to Askavi.

Appearances were everything and so Auralian sent the request through the proper channels. The letter delivered through Zakhar a warlord prince residing in Fell Valley, and twin brother to Jaegar Ardai. A family blessed with handsome enough males to make any woman weep.

Her timing was everything; wishing to conclude the visit with Endevar before Drakkar arrived. Avoiding tension while still weighing Black Forest's options were her wisest bet. She had dealt with Prince Ranosi in the past; during his brief stint as ruler of Askavi. The wording of her letter had to be precise; mainly to avoid seeming as if she were ordering him to attend her versus encouraging him to visit.

Prince Endevar Ranosi,

Welcome home. I write this with the deepest sincerity and truest wishes that you continue to grace Askavi with your residency. 

If the occasion suits you, I would invite you to my home for a visit to discuss our past friendships and partnerships. You may call upon me anytime within the next week. My court would be delighted to receive you and renew our friendship.

Yours in service,

Lady Auralian Ruslana

She wasn't happy with the letter. The shortness didn't indicate any useful knowledge but at the same time, it wouldn't implicate her or her court of any transgressions should it be intercepted.  She wasn't loyal to one court or another; she was loyal to Askavi and more importantly to the Black Forest.

Endevar had been less placating though. He would understand the worry of sending in the amount of tithe needed to cover the Hayllian reparations during a time when her people were besieged and hungry. Things that Auralian fretted on even as she tried to maintain that composed facade.

Now she could only hope that her chosen channel of communications could indeed get the letter to Endevar without reproach.
3
Pruul / Re: The Swaying Sorrow of Spirit and Sin
« Last post by Erisian Maboya on Today at 11:14:27 PM »
Prayers fell like coins into the oceanic Abyss. She heard them all. Vibrations of their joining deepest webs brought forth a holy song. Flesh, its furies and pains unyielding, was distant memory. Much of the life she’d owned lay far forgotten except when remembrances made their way to the Black where psyche dwelled unchecked by the world’s wants.Self was a tenuous and trembling thing spanning roads far set and rarely taken. She existed at a precipice spun from ancient, savage imaginations. It was difficult to keep clear the details of the life she’d lived other than knowing she’d had one. What passed only mattered because above there were memories playing like psalms longing for past to be prologue.

Somewhere across the veil that split man and magic in a cathedral cut by Faith, Sacrifice and Craft there was a body once called home. There were others, their number too few. She refused to count the loss to know death’s toll. One would’ve been untenable. The truth of their heroism’s price? Well beyond that lonely sum. There was a secret she’d locked away from herself, proof of treachery too great to believe and perfect for its horrible honesty. In Mother Night’s skirts she hid from grief judged too great to keep. Never faced it couldn’t wound. Connected to Darkness unending at her power’s furthest reach existed wonder surpassing any existing fantasy because it was the source of Heaven, Hell and all the Realms. Terreille’s gifts amounted to pittance compared to what she knew at the mouth of all. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

Entombed within an obsidian cathedral desperate wishes hummed the long way down to their Priestess Queen through steadily thinning ties. They built of need a ladder that could, if taken, lead their Eris back to a vessel abandoned for being too often betrayed. Tenuous link kept Lady Mad unable to dive fully into existence unbound. Physical reality’s combined possibilities paled against the font of all miracle. What lay in skin, sinew, muscle, bone, and blood that could compete? No thing even approached the Ebon magnificence entrancing she who slept burning  but those that served would not surrender because of their offering’s state. They belonged to each other. Recall of the shapes connected to those binding lines of fading life was fickle; still, stubborn reminders of promised shared endured and demanded they be enough. .

Battling a siren’s draw her court devoutly believed in a world with the love that tied them atop its earth. Beyond the Black lay bedlam and to it was Erisian pulled; a moth to its glow. Shadows of landscapes showed odder truths of wilder places. Visions of what Blood and Landen remembered only in nightmares and fantasies feral but sublime filled her watchful being. Like craved like.

Harmonies rich with benedictions shared mysteries bigger than a singular being. Every second passed marked an eternity. In the silences of a barely beating heart the Forest’s daughter learned and lost lifetimes. There was beautiful sin and terrible splendor. Erisian Maboya felt and knew but did not think. She was untamed animal instinct and awareness unchained by concerns of mortality.

Thought coalesced around astonishing observation. From its place in the firmament fell a star. Down it shot aimed for places beyond its bright Birthright. Light, so light, plummeted too fast and far for an Offering. Focus sharpened on the approaching brilliance. Erisian realized it was not a light but a life. A girl. A girl who was heart. She; a Queen, heavenly body all wrapped in Rose. The desert’s secret flower - poisonous, lethal grown within a dark garden of sorrow. She kept on her doomed descent. With her came a brand Eris recognized in the manner of a matter half recalled. (Akan.) The name was not hers but its owner? Father. Brother. Lover. Her beast. Her burden. She reached for a reason the child would call forth her first bonded’s sign and found but a single answer touched by sense.

FATHER.

Faster the queenling fell. Behind and through her an aurora collected threads of each sacred hue in its descent. Insanity’s majesty chased the surf and wake of the unwell child. She knew intimately that embrace. The woman called Mad wore the Twisted Kingdom’s mists as her crown. To their Lady was whispered a one word chorus that mounted to roaring crescendo pouring from the well of forever.

Thunder spoke and told of destiny done. In the lightning Erisian tasted salt, blood, hope gone bitter and sour meat in her teeth. She knew the scent. From nowhere memories traced outlines of life’s details forgotten. A place. A cry. (Re)Birth. Pruul. Mines. A girl with white hair and a smile like the sunset, too quick to fall. Children, two of body one of spirit (sinking closer still). A Spider. Great price. Again clapped the coming tempest, keeping rhythm for the one word song.

DAUGHTER.

Erisian ascended from the sea that crashed upon and against itself. Currents raced, excited for the coming storm. Waves made and unmade her shifting through manifold ideas divine. A winged body flowed from chaos. She sculpted herself of depths uncharted. Reflected in their ripples was celestial bounty’s dance. Woven of what she knew best after months bound to a will beyond ken she looked more myth than Mother rising to meet the dangerously adrift soul who's coming felt like promise fulfilled.

Without a guide the girl, whose name came to her on a glass grain sharpened gust of air, would break beneath weights heavier than the fortitude of the delicate dreams that made her. Ghanima. Tides turned to sand before the girl could drown in depths from which even Eris could not secure her safety. Dunes framed their stage.

What was the mineborne Queen doing? Mother Night served but one punishment to a soul visiting past the places of its granted gifts. Hubris was a sin, a particular favorite of the Blood. But her sister survivor? The descendent of a soul woven to contain fury of fire too long denied, she’d ridden a torrential pouring of determined invocations. Ghanima made a martyr’s journey because, as all Hearts of the Land true to their calling, she did what was best for her people.

Erisian understood what moved the girl who carried a woman’s purpose beyond her assigned skies. Sacrifice was among a Queen’s first lessons. One of their greatest gifts was to bleed. It was funny fortune she,the thrice blessed Priestess, Queen and Keeper of the Black, was there.

Mother Night hadn’t given Pruul’s feral Daughter the means to survive what phenomenon of Blessing and Craft brought Rain to Desert and Darkness unscathed. Movement so profound would make for a transformative price and brutal execution of its extraction. Serendipity’? Erisian knew what rites might cleanse a soul of any debt and send it home whole. She welcomed Ghanima in the shelter of her Jewels and seat of her seat of her fractured sanity.

Showering around them?

Drops of prophecy and change were bled by the sky for a far flung future promised.

Running through Aztlan celebrating a monsoon’s end, holding the hand of a boy she pulled into a kiss.  Every fate spun drop sparked ghosts of memories. Flying down a rushing river wishing she’d taken seriously warnings of a sudden flood in a canoe. Laughing in perfect fear and exhilaration with two guards cursing bark off the trees even as she pointed excitedly towards home on the horizon.  Sudden longing for the familiar conjured a scene like none belonging to the physical realms for the set of Queens; A Forest in the Desert. Lady Mad walked a mirrored road that formed where she stepped, Mother walked to Daughter in strides that carried her further than their measure. The earth of moved to bring them together. So too did the downpour part. They stood in its embrace but free of its bite in their verdant jungle sprung from sand.

Shalador’s slumbering Lady couldn’t quite place meaning to the titles between them. Mother. Daughter. How? For what fate? Below the Black canopy and all around the melody of rain tumbled down leaves all possible shades of green. Drenched in dream and magic older than mortal invention they met at the place of mist, darkest shadow and fervent faithful prayer.

Impossible creatures united at last after a lifetime spent apart while trapped in the same salted prison observed from minds far removed the living’s logic. “Why have you come here riding a storm you wove?” Asked Eris with lips unmoving. Instead, her voice came from the breeze shaking water laden leaves.
4
Graphics Claim / Re: Graphics Claims
« Last post by Reid on Today at 10:59:48 PM »
Code: [Select]
[b]Bae Suzy;;[/b] claimed by Reid Nov 20
Code: [Select]
[b]Godfrey Gao;;[/b] claimed by Reid Nov 20
Code: [Select]
[b]Kwon Ji Yong;;[/b] aka G-Dragon claimed by Reid Nov 20
Code: [Select]
[b]Nastya Kusakina;;[/b] claimed by Reid Nov 20
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[b]Riz Ahmed;;[/b] claimed by Reid Nov 20
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[b]Zakaria Khiare;;[/b] claimed by Reid Nov 20
Code: [Select]
[b]Zazoe van Lieshout;;[/b] claimed by Reid Nov 20
5
Dena Nehele / Re: The End Came Long Ago
« Last post by Radu Orfan on Today at 10:50:09 PM »
He still couldn't sleep well on a damned bed.  It was more like napping - like the really nice naps that he could get when he found a warehouse to tuck into during the middle of the day while so hungry that his stomach felt like a hole eating him from the inside out.  Naps, in those days, had been blessings.

Now?  Now the 'naps' were just ways to pass the time and not have to pester the kitchen staff into feeding him all hours of the day. 

He'd just cleaned up, settled in to be a 'good' kid and stay quiet for a few hours.  Maybe, when the nap was over, he'd pick up one of the damned books and catch up on a few of the history lessons he'd been told to suck up.  Maybe that wasn't fair - the history lessons actually weren't terrible... of course, they were exciting because of how fucked up Dena Nehele was too.  So there was that.  He found some of the stories actually pissed him off.

How many fucking Queens had died because of aristocratic greed and selfishness?  How many Myos had to stain their souls with the blood of Queens?  Would he have to do that?  He found, when he had quiet time to himself, that it was the only general threat that disquieted him.  He LIKED the idea of being a Killer.  He liked the idea of being sent out to be someone's reaper.  He just... didn't like the idea of having to kill a Queen.

He wasn't sure he'd be able to.  Riley was probably the only Queen he felt an urge to even strike - and that was all it was.  An urge to punch... not kill.  If he couldn't raise his Edge for fucking Riley, queen of abrasive manners herself, then how the hell would he manage to swallow his disgust for killing a Queen like Sora or Nova?

His head shook.  That was a worthless thought.  He didn't really have a choice in his life, and probably never had.  One couldn't tell the Myos to fuck off when they came calling.  He'd either agree to join, or they'd probably fucking kill him.  He chose Life.  He could only protect his own so long as he was alive to do it.

Radu...   What a weak thread... Kale never sounded like that in his head, not even when he was so sick with pneumonia that he couldn't stand.  It had him sitting up, his breath catching as he found fear gripping at his chest. Johnny Heartly.  Our dad.  Kill... Kill him... before he .. hurts Q again..  Surprise.  He latched onto that thread, maintained the connection himself.

What?  What happened to you?  How bad is Q?

How things began to make sense, at last, as Kale weakly explained.  Things clicked, snapping into place to fill in the missing pictures.  So many times Q had shown up with bruises, scrapes, cuts.  Things he hadn't been able to track.  He'd always been so angry about that, especially because Quinten wouldn't tell him who did it. Because Quinten somehow managed to disguise the blood trail so that Radu couldn't follow it.

This was why.  Only someone who had a scent so similar could fool Radu's nose.  But now?  NOW he knew what to look for.  Quinten.  Just not here, at the palace.  Quinten in the streets, where he hadn't been living now for weeks.  An older Quinten, and a soon to be dead older Quinten.

His thoughts coiled into Kale's thread, ice cold and furious.  The sheer pain, the agony of Kale's inability to defend his brother.  Of the wounds that Kale had sustained at his own father's hands.. 

He rose from the bed, his Ulak knives sliding into their place at the back of his waist.  It was all he took time for.  he didn't even kneel to put his shoes on - those he simply conjured onto his feet as he strode through the door.  Frost coated along the floors, the walls as he moved.  He wasn't thinking about being silent about this.

He didn't care to be silent about this.  This was personal.  The elder Heartley was going to die.  It wasn't going to be pretty.  He had no intention of making it quick.  He was going to make a fucking example of that shit head - no one was allowed to hurt his boys.

Oh, he heard Riley when she saw him in the hall as he was leaving.  He didn't pause though.  He just kept moving.  He knew that Quinten had often disappeared into a certain section of Bidea, but he'd never had time to track the boy whenever it happened.  Q had always planned those little excursions carefully. 

Radu, what are you doing?

He snarled, growling at Riley to stay fucking put.  Help the boys.  Kale was weak, in his head.  Fluttering, barely alive.  Radu couldn't Heal.  He had never been a Healer, not really.  He could keep from Bleeding Out... but he'd never been able to pick up the craft that Lady Adams and Skender could wield with so little effort.  He wasn't built for Healing, or building.

He was an avenger.. a death-dealer.  He knew that.  He embraced it, right now.  That frost billowing out of him was more than enough warning to send people scurrying out of his way.  They didn't really breathe until he swept past them.  Grateful, most likely, that he wasn't focused on THEM.

They should be.

He found the crowd, still dispersing.  Most of them.  He also smelled fresh blood.  He could hear the meaty sounds of something sliding into flesh.  He knew it, intimately, that sound.  He didn't care.  If the Elder Heartly was killing someone else, that would make the death he was going to dole out all the sweeter.

But seeing Quinten, abused and bloodied as he was, hacking into an unrecognizable hunk of meat?  THAT did him some good.  He caught his breath, studying the beautiful face raw in its anger.  He flexed his fingers, waiting until Quinten seemed to come back to himself.  The screaming - the rage.. he'd never seen Quinten feel such rage before. 

It helped him focus, helped him bottle his own away for the moment.  He waited until he saw Quinten throw up the first time.  Then the second.  THEN he moved closer, gathering Quinten up and holding him tight to his shoulder.  He wasn't the mothering sort.  He didn't shush the boy, or stroke his hair. He simply grasped him tightly, holding him against his chest as he rose to his feet and carted him back out. 

When one of the guardsmen stepped forward, that frost snapped out around him again.  NO ONE was going to touch Quinten until Radu got him back to Victoria.  NO one.  He clenched his teeth, narrowing his eyes on the guard before jerking his head back towards the butchery in the house.  "See that trash cleaned up.  Burn it to the ground, if you have to."  Growled and low, but at least he was making sense.

At least he wasn't killing anyone for simply breathing nearby.  Jeremiah would be so proud.

He couldn't reach into Quinten's head and soothe him there... He wouldn't have even if he could.  He wasn't able to help like that.  But he could carry the boy's light frame all the way back.  he could bring him back into the Healer's office, uncaring of who got in his way.  If they were smart?  They wouldn't dare to try to slow him down.

He wasn't in the mood for Protocol, or holding back.  Not tonight. 

But he could let that sense of satisfaction wash back through the thread Kale had given him.  He could let Kale know, in his own silent way, that his father was dead.  It just hadn't been Radu that did it.

6
Glacia / Re: Don't you judge of my composure
« Last post by Markus Niskala on Today at 10:36:55 PM »
"Lady Aili."

He paused for a moment before continuing. "She knew something was off. If she had ever gotten a name, I am certain she would have come to you, but I think the Head of the Hourglass sees a great deal, and I believe her Black Widows see even more. I believe you will find more answers there than from anywhere else."

Sending Matias to the Winterton Widow was not an entirely selfless act. The more questions brought before her, the more likely it was she would see something in her web about their mutual lover that Aksel did not want her to see. He would never break his bond with Aksel. He would never forgive him, either.

Markus had prepared for the request, but when it came, a sharp pang shot through his heart. It's just a shawl, he told himself. It can't bring her back. Yes, he still had the tinctures and remedies brewed by her hand in his bathroom. Those he would not give up, but those also didn't mean anything. He could have gotten them at any time. But the shawl that she had been wearing nearly everyday before she disappeared... that meant something.

Audlin had done as asked without question, preserving her scent into the cloth. It still smelled of her, like she had just set it down. She had left it at his house the last time she saw him. He had meant to return it but...

He called in the shawl and held it as if it were an item worthy of reverence. For him, it was. Slowly, he offered it to her husband. "Elina left this, the last time I saw her." It was a true statement, no need to lie or add any Craft to the moment. "I asked Lady Hendrikka to preserve her scent," he finished quietly. If Matias had questioned whether Markus was in love with his wife before, he would likely find surety of proof in the Green Prince's current words and demeanor. He did love her, just not the way Matias might imagine.

He shook his head and then said, "This is likely an inappropriate time to bring this up, but we are speaking of Lady Hendrikka and I find myself compelled to ask... Do you know anything about Lord Savela? About... well, what kind of man he may be?" 

7
Wanted Ad Bounties / Re: High Healer // Nharkava // 700 points
« Last post by Rated Em on Today at 10:33:48 PM »
one, somehow that reassurance doesn't reassure me. *eyes dash*

two, *grabby hands* after talking with phinn i am gonna put a claim on ebba!
8
Dena Nehele / Re: The End Came Long Ago
« Last post by Quinten Heartly on Today at 10:31:19 PM »
[Violence Warning]

”Mom.”

The world spun as his mother spun, blood blooming from her belly and running down her white shirt. The man who had done it, feet away, looked at Quinten and darted away with her purse. The small Warlord, hardly old enough for his Birthright, had just stood there, frozen.

“Mom, wake up. Wake up!”


Quinten sat bolt upright in bed. A wave of dizziness hit him and he nearly threw up, his vision circling on a young Healer in training that was cleaning up in Victoria’s healing room.

“Where is my brother? Kale? Where is Kale?” The Warlord looked around frantically and the small Healer rushed over, placing her hands soothingly on the boy. “It’s okay. Calm down. He went to go get your friend, the Warlord Prince. Had to be about forty-five minutes ago. Maybe an hour. I’m sure he will be back soon. You should lay back down and rest.” The words registered in Q’s head, his body still aching, but something sounded off. Something felt off. Why wasn’t Radu here already? Last the Jack had seen of him he was off looking for Sway.

His hand came up to his aching head and he pushed himself more upright.

No, if Kale had truly gone to get Radu the both of them would be here hovering over him and Quinten would be expected to calm down a deadly Warlord Prince. If Kale wasn’t here though then where….

Surely not.

Q forced himself out of bed, his feet smacking against the ground. His ribs stung sharply, the bruising still healing, but he only let out a soft grunt. He had told his brother hundreds of times not to go around their father. That he, as the older brother, would take care of it. Surely Kale had listened. Surely….

“Lord, please. Stop! You need to stay in bed.” The yellow-jeweled healer began to fuss and Quinten whipped his gaze towards her, everything happening too fast.

“I’m sorry. I really am.” A Summer Sky shield wrapped around the Healer, trapping her in the room, an aural shield not allowing her to call for help. He needed to make sure Kale was okay and that they were both away from their father before Radu found out. There was no telling what the Warlord Prince would do.

Well. Actually. Quinten knew exactly what he would want to do.

Travelling as fast as his body would allow him, Quinten made his way back to their childhood home, memories of warm apple cider and their mother’s laughter permeating his mind. *Kale! Kale?* He called for his little brother until he found a small crowd gathered in the street, growing larger by the second. Someone was hurt. Someone small. Someone male. Quinten pushed through the crowd and knelt by the mangled body, the face so swollen it took long seconds before he realized it was his brother’s.

“Kale…” He whispered, his voice strangled. He ran his hand gently over his forehead, his hand coming away bloody.

“We are calling for a healer. We just found him. I’m having trouble finding his pulse. You know him right? It’s…Kale.” The words washed over Quinten, but he could only stare at the broken bones, the gaping wounds, the blood—so much blood—that his brother was pooled in. No pulse….no pulse…

His eyes turned towards their home.

And something snapped within the Warlord.

His vision blurred and faded, replaced by red. Red faces. Red streets, red twisting shadows. They blended together as a rage he had never encountered before—might never encounter again—took hold.

No pulse.

It was as if Quinten was floating, his senses taken from him and his body only pulled forward by pure primal emotion. Rage. Frustration. Black anguish. The Jack got up and crept up the stairs to their apartment, slow, languid, his eyes glassy.

Their father was on the floor, an entire bottle of whisky empty in his hands. He was barely conscious, the smell sickening.

Quinten slid a knife off the kitchen table and walked over to his dad. Red lines. Red slivers of glass. Red limbs. His heartbeat didn’t even falter. He had never felt so alive, so in tune with the world. Red dust. Red drops of sweat running down his father’s closed eyelids.

No pulse.

The knife flashed in the light as it came down into his father’s chest, over and over again. Once. Twice. Ten times. Thirty. Forty. Blood splashed into his face, into his teeth, merging with his hair, into his pours. His hand kept coming down again and again, until the body beneath him became like pounded meat, unrecognizable. He kept going, his arms never tiring, the blood soaking into his shirt, dying him red. Red. Red. Red.

Eventually the knife became so slick his hand slipped down and his palm opened up, pain finally resonating. Breaking through.

It was only then that he realized he had been screaming.

Quinten took a strangled breath.

He looked around, looked at his hands, unable to breathe properly. He pushed himself away from the body, dropping the knife, long choked sobs breaking the silence.

What had he done?

Who was he? What kind of monster had crept out from under his skin?

*R-R-R-R-RADU. S-S-SORINNA. I need…I don’t…I….* He couldn’t even finish. Kale…Quinten looked at the open door and then at the body of his father, throwing up right there and then. The bile flowed over the floor along with his blood. He was a murderer. Kale was gone and he was a murderer.

Quinten curled up into a ball, sobbing so much that he threw up again, shock numbing his blood soaked body.

“Mom, wake up. Wake up!”
9
Pruul / Unspoken Expectations
« Last post by Abaddon al-Sabbah on Today at 10:21:41 PM »
Abaddon stood his chambers in the Temple once again.  He had cleaned them up, though he had been told that retainers of the Sabbah could do the job, but he had insisted.  He had done the damage, he should fix it, and no one truly wanted to spend too much time in the lair of a Male Black Widow.  They would worry that everything they touch potentially hid a new dangers, and if he were honest, in at least one of his rooms, that might not be untrue.  Abaddon had poisons, some of which had been extracted from his own snaketooth.  He had failed an Illusion Web or two that he still tinkered with.  Lady Kesare had encouraged him to continue trying, but thus far, his successes had been limited and far too time consuming.  Such efforts only frayed his temper, so he moved onto other things, Crafting security Webs for his chambers, or Fin’s if he needed them.  He had also used them to reach out to Ghanima al-Izar, the Queen of Prophecy, the Lady in his Dreams.

She was important to him; he just was not certain how.  She had killed The Spider, and somehow, he had known she would, but foreknowledge could not prepare his heart or his mind.  The Tangled Webs, absent of his Father’s manipulations showed him only the truth now, free for him to interpret, but as of late, he had yet to achieve the necessary mindset to absorb such visions.  Of course, the fact that he could not do all he had once done so easily caused him further aggravation, like biting insects under his skin, making him poor company most of the time.  Fin told him he had to be seen again, had to give people a chance, but other than Fin and Lady Kesare, people kept disappointing him.  The Spider had lied to Pruul, and yet the so-called True Sabbah would follow his example, and example that pulled children from their Mothers, turned them into weapons, or worse, murdered them for the temerity to question him.  Abaddon rolled his shoulders, and remembered something Lady Kesare had said to him.

Abaddon righted the frame of a tall mirror in his room, and frowned at the pieces of the shattered looking glass.  It had been an expensive decoration.  His Father had not given it to him; he had insisted that Abaddon should be rid of it, lest he become vain like the crones of the Citadel.   It had featured in a lesson from one of his tutors, and that was why he had kept it, or perhaps it was a small bit of defiance.  Whatever the case, he gestured, and drew on his Craft to piece it back together.  It was a puzzle that managed to occupy him for only a few moments, but once it was completed, he remembered his original intention, and removed his shirt.  He turned his back to the mirror, and looked over his shoulder to see if he could see what Lady Kesare had once touched.  There on his back, equal in distance from each other, were very faint lines.  He tried to broaden his shoulders, seeing bone and muscle move under his skin, and suddenly he could see them more clearly.

He tried to reach over his shoulder, and could not touch them.  They were not scars, not any more.  They were far too old.  They were the only things that were pale on his somewhat golden skin.  Lady Kesare had clear wondered about them, and when she had asked, he had not known what she meant.  Abaddon growled, and turned to face the mirror, looking at himself, remembering how Fin looked at him when he thought the young Black Widow Warlord Prince was not looking.  Adramelech was not his Father, he knew that now, but if The Spider was his, his, his wielder, and he was just another weapon; who was his Father?  Who was he?  Did he have to know where he came from to understand where he was going?  Abaddon shook his head, his hands clenching into fists, as the mirror fell apart into all of its still broken shards, free of his Craft and his unsatisfied curiosity.  He hated this, hated not feeling like himself, hated feeling—like—like a snake shedding its skin, or a spider molting.  He was not entirely free, not yet, but what would he become once he was?  Abaddon took several breaths, and punished his lack of control by, once again, attempting to repair the mirror.  His back was to his open door, but who would come to the Black Widow in his lair?  Only Fin had thus far, and he would be busy being the Voice tonight.
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Pruul / Re: Catching teardrops in my hands
« Last post by Errai al-Tabur on Today at 09:58:15 PM »
The Queen spoke words Errai had never wanted to hear. The Warlord Prince roared internally at the descriptions of what was done to the body and mind of the girl he loved so dearly, second only to Saiph if such a thing could even be ranked? No, he thought, it couldn't. He loved Saiph with a fierceness that would never ease. She was his compass, his North Star and never would be lost as long as she lived. He would always find his way back to her. And they both loved the girl, Ghanima, woman he realized as it was clear she was no longer a girl, if Ghanima ever was a girl to begin with.

Ghanima loved them, Errai and Saiph both. The Queen before him had protected her, kept her from breaking beneath Adramelech's cruel ministrations. He choked back the instincts that wanted to rend flesh and shatter bone. The Queen before him had ripped out his heart, Ghanima's own hand ending his life. He had heard the rumors as he traveled. Many said it was not possible, that it was merely fiction. But they had never met the feral young woman who's heart had been cured beneath the sands, in pain and salt. They didn't know the Queen who had fought him so hard she spilled his blood in the sands before claiming his heart and causing his soul to forcefully make room for the bond of a second Queen.

But he did. He had heard the story and he knew, knew that his Ghanima had done this thing, this impossible thing, that she had helped to bring the rains with the spells Saiph had taught her in the misty place, connected to each other by their dreams and the love that spooled out between them, no matter the distance. How many nights had he and Saiph lay together staring at the stars, speaking of Ghanima, remembering every detail of her, every word, every smile, every snarl? They could create her from their very memories if they needed to. He could do the same of Saiph, create her whole cloth from nothing but his memories.

"Saiph," he said aloud to the Queen. "Lady, Saiph is  her heart." He didn't stop to explain more. Now that he had thought of it, he poured all of his energy into it. Errai focused every thought, breath, beat of his heart, the very blood pulsing through his veins into creating Saiph.

She rose up in flowers, in wisps of mist, in the darkness that surrounded them. Pieces of the abyss fit and smoothed, memories slid and clicked into place. Her voice echoed through the hills and valleys of the ever shifting ground. Her laugh entwined them. She shifted from the girl he knew to the woman she had become, and back again. Her scent. The feel of being in her presence. It all came together before him.

SAIPH.

He poured more, and more, until he hit his knees. It didn't matter. It was working. Shimmering throughout the Darkness were the bits of her heart that had been hidden even from her. They glowed, glittering and bright, easy to see and pluck from their hiding places. Errai, the Red Wolf who no longer wore his Jewels, strained at the edges of the strength within him. He wouldn't be able to hold it long. The Queen needed to do her work now if this were to work. He had no words to tell her, only a tremendous and loud howl that tore from his lungs. He fought his own limits to bring Ghanima back.

He had left his Queen in a foreign land and crossed the sands for her. The next yell that split the air was not inarticulate, it was clear, crystalline. He screamed her name, until his throat was raw and bleeding.

"GHANIMA!"
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