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Askavi / Re: You can't make old friends
« Last post by Auralian Ruslana on Today at 02:48:18 AM »
" I am aware of your appetites Prince Ranosi as they were legendary prior to your departure" A playful quirk of her lips told of the game she played with words. A subtle flick of wings as they settled upon her back in a graceful drape. While he attempted to convey the impression of wings Auralian's were subtle signals to her moods and thoughts. A part of her so connected that they conveyed emotion with the fluidity of body language. Just part of the smiles, nods, and flickering of fingers that came so naturally in conversation; even those stilted by the needs of courtly presence.

The sight of her Seer draped so informally in the dining room had the Purple Dusk Queen fighting to bite back a laugh. The Red Jeweled widow was a force of her own. Her proud knee unbent until she had found her place in Auralian's court and inner circle. The careful rise of the Widow only earned a faint arch of her brow as the more formal nature of her title issued forth. It appeared that Kiarian was going to toe the line of polite manners to the exact degree today. Her tone setting and reminding just who she was to the picture of Eyrien Queenly reserve and perhaps a reminder that there was always more than what met the eye.

"Lady Vasiliev.. I am certain you remember Prince Ranosi. His daughter, Lady Ranosi, is newer to our circles though no less welcome"[/b] Auralian tried to be understanding. It was an attempt of offering empathy at the very least where she may not understand the woman's reluctance to enter Eyrien society. This was a land where the Purple Dusk Queen had been born. Cherished and presented as a treasure to her people since birth; very few had ever made her feel unwelcome or undesired for the pure sake of her caste. A weight that she carried with the hopes and expectations of her people- yet she could understand in some ways, feeling so alone even when surrounded by those who looked like you.

An easy motion had her settling in her favored place at the head of the table. It left the spot on her left and right open; a typical place for her Escort and Seer to take their places. Though today it would leave an empty spot as her adopted brother was out with her court healer. A careful shuffling of schedules to keep their meeting small and plausibly deniable for the majority of her court. Politics were always at work; even in the small things like a luncheon served to an old friend. Bronze colored eyes fastened on Endevar once he had settled and spoke those words so baldly. A statement she would not have uttered in a flat and simple tone but now broached could move forward.

"I am curious about it. It was not like you to leave us all in such a lurch. Not when you were helping push an agenda of changes within Askavi." She spoke softly while buttering the still warm sourdough roll. The butter melted into the soft inner flesh of the bread even as she spoke. The roll was placed on her plate along with a small serving of the fare set before them. Enough of a serving that it would prompt the males to eat and wouldn't tempt her stomach towards rebellion.

"I do not expect the story from you though Prince Ranosi. We are all entitled to our secrets are we not? Though I am curious what your return heralds to Askavi. You were missed and Askavi does need you" A slip perhaps; but she was young and not always perfectly contained. The strain was there in the listless way her food was pushed at her plate. The tiny bites her bit of meat was cut into yet barely touched. She was no longer the same quick silvered Queen of his past; young and full of naive hopes. This woman had experienced loss and had bore the weight of death on her shoulders. In that there was some note of concern on just what the Black's return to their mountains meant for the healing of Askavi itself. What it meant for the people of Askavi, as they needed so much.
Nharkava / Re: Carriages and Pumpkins
« Last post by Saraswati Dara on Today at 02:03:33 AM »
The rocking sway of the horse required a vague sort of concentration as she sat side facing on a saddle meant for astride. No matter that her knee partially hooked around the faint horn of the saddle for added balance; it took effort to keep her seat despite the careful swaying walk. A built in distraction from the thoughts and feelings running through her head. The impetuous want to demand her place in the sun. She was darkness blessed and even the Glacians would have to respect that. A dark queen; one of so few born to Nharkava and she was confined to blending in with the Landen who were their allies. For safety meant to hide her caste and being from those who may be hers to bond.

What Queen did not dream of finding her bonded males? Of feeling that sense of belonging and faultless love? It was in every love story that featured the blood. Across cultures and histories. The bond between a Queen and her males was idolized and often deeper than the bonds found even in matrimony. Going home tonight to resume her place in shadows was admitting defeat; of further pushing away that illustrious hope into the shadows until the impatient child in her wanted to wail against it even as the adult respected her brother's stance on the matter. Saraswati had time; decades before she need even start worrying.

"I am sorry to need so many reminders. It is hard to see the Glacians move more into our territory and erase more of who we are" A little confession given. Saraswati hated the dark religion. The priestesses who preached that those who wore lighter jewels were inferior and needed enslaved for their protection. Hated watching them preach a religion and erased all the centuries of Nharkavian culture and turned it into their cold  and icy regard of the Darkness and reaching into her depths. Thoughts that were erased at Vihaan's gentle words. The tender emotion in his voice as he spoke of her. The beauty of his faith; so whole and implicit that all would come to pass as it should because the Mother was watching them.

"You have always held the most faith Brother. I can only hope to measure to such and shall pray hard that the Mother will move through us in seeing us to her ends. Mother Night was wise to form in with such a family around me for I would be lost without my older brother to guide me with his wisdom and faith when mine may shake" She looked down upon him. A tender smile upon her lips even as her eyes lowered in humility and perhaps a little shame in forgetting the basic tenants. Mother Night did have a plan for her and for all of them. She just needed to be patient enough to wait; even if she hated waiting with all of her being.
Chaillot / Re: Not only Spiders Spin...
« Last post by Madeline Rousseau on Today at 01:43:12 AM »
Madeline barely managed to keep from glaring at Josette in passing the conversation back over to her. The need for her to organize and command was part of how the two queens worked. Madeline was focused on the details, on information, and on tactics. The pure intellectual side that relied on facts and figures. Josette was the finesse for their operation. The charmer whose composure was so cool butter would never melt in her mouth. Stately and gracious they had played off each other's strengths and weaknesses in starting the alliance of Southern Queens for the Rebellion and were now needing to pull them together.

"We need to get the Landen council on board with Queen's controlling again. Lady Moreau is the stronger diplomat and will need to avail herself of your smuggling skills and knowledge of the coast to set up a meeting with key members of council. Rather frankly, the Landens outnumber us easily five to one. We will need their support." Madeline sighed and moved to the map with its little figurines. Her fleets were noted and the outgunned nature of them meant she would have to hire clever Captains who could do more with their lighter and faster ships in taking out the opposing blockades; more importantly would have to work on reopening shipping lanes for the most southern of their districts.

" My self and my consort will need to slip into dark haven and out. Which is where Prince Toujours and his crew come in. The idea is to hire on with your ship Captain Toussaint at the same time Lady Moreau is meeting with the Landen council we will make our visit into Dark Haven to secure the Red Queen's alliance or at least compliance." Madeline hated the idea of dealing with one of the unstable dark jeweled and treating with them like they were civilized. No doubt the woman was raving if Dark Haven had taken the time to collect her personally.

"While we are working on courting our own causes both masters of the guard and stewards will be looking at some quieter removals of the Roux government into the unsecured areas. Our goal is to complete this without a full out blood war. No one wishes that Gentlemen; more so no one of us Queens wishes to see our lands destroyed under the sort of war that we wage. We are fairly certain the Landen are also loathe to see that sort of ruin occur." The pieces were placed even as she sent a subtle thread on the distaff path to her cousin.

~Sorry.. I cannot trust Gervais not to get in trouble if we leave him behind. Thankfully it should be a short trip ~ Madeline hated inflicting her politically chosen consort on anyone; much less her temperamental cousin who may just try to send the male out for a seafood dinner; fresh on the ocean floor.
Hayll / Re: It's Midnight Cinderella
« Last post by Undine Licenius on Today at 01:18:55 AM »
"Flattery will get you everywhere my Prince" She offered a beaming smile upon the Prince. The little queen did her best to give her most affected airs of supreme confidence. No matter the twitching of her lips gave away the bemusement at his attempts to soothe her nonexistent ego. The tension she held dissipated under the gentle stroke of his hand along the exposed length of skin. The rustle of silk a gliding counter to his warmed touch.

"Allies or advice will always be welcome. I am not very well versed with Mutina so it will be a bit of a learning curve for them and myself" Her easy observation given in the comfort of his embrace. Here, in his lap, surrounded by the psychic impression of him, and with his gentle support she didn't feel like a maimed and crippled creature; just different. Her lack of eyesight a quirk to be accounted for rather than some great mar upon her soul.

"I am fine with them knowing at this point. My brother knows I have bonded someone; just not who. Zephyrus is curious like that but cautious. He will make a fine Senator when the time comes" There was tenderness in her tone when she spoke her brother's name. A softening of her expression that gave truth to the closeness the twins once experienced. The movement of his hand, teasing along the line of her spine had her arching into his touch like a well contented feline. Eyes closing as she savored the touch in a sense of bliss.

"Mmhmm.. I asked Lady Danae Agrippa to be my court steward. Senator Livius's son, Cado, errr, Cato, was kind enough to volunteer for a position. I will meet with him later this week to discuss his place. I have no doubt Senator Livius is hoping a triangle position for him and his rank in the abyss does back that stance"  The tendrils of craft were already working through her. Just the brush of his hand was enough to start bringing that rising need to the front of her mind. The miracle of actually desiring and enjoying the carnal aspect of their relationship.

The warm languor of arousal that teased through her. A faint heightening of sense to touch and the increased longing to feel his flesh upon hers. Hands lifted of their own accord to roam against his chest, teasing along the fastenings of his shirt to carefully ease the material apart that her silken palms could glide across the bared flesh. A gentle and almost timid touch; yet so bold for her. A feast for her senses as she stroked over the glide of muscle, the smoothness of warm skin, and indents of collar bone. A map to paint with her touch even as he gently coaxed that part of her mind forward.

"I have no idea on my third and hope to pick that position up before I leave.. Steward and First Escort are already chosen well enough" Undine's gentle admission to knowing that Cato Livius would be coming with her even if she could barely tolerate his presence and that she had already slotted a place for him within her court. Something she would confirm in their face to face meeting.
Pruul / Re: Scandals Have Wings
« Last post by Abaddon al-Sabbah on Today at 01:03:42 AM »
Abaddon knew himself well, outside and free of the manipulations and webs of The Spider, that  knowledge had always served him well.  He was terribly aware of not only who he was, but what he was.  He had to be.  It was more than simply being Dark Jeweled, though that was always going to be a part of it.  It was because he was a Black Widow.  For some reason, only those closest to him kept that fact in their minds.  He was a Warlord Prince, and everything that meant, but that was heavily compounded by the nature of the Black Widow.  He had not trained into it, he had been born into it, ironically, just as The Spider had foreseen.  Abaddon’s strength had made him a target, and it was unlikely that he would allow that to happen again, nor matter the context.

He claimed Kaderian, and enjoyed every moment, and every bit of her skill and Craft that he could draw from her.  Abaddon was not shy about his own use of Craft, once that had been engaged, and he knew that he was stoking a woman whose fires already burned very brightly.  He would risk burning, if she managed to satisfy that constant itch, that constant ache that rested low in his belly every day.  Abaddon continued to move with her, within her, and against her.  He kissed her deeply, all but breathing her breath, and let his touch and his Craft caress and tease every inch of her form that he could put his mind to.  He drew out each sensation, and restrained every near peak, so that when they finally found their ends, his crashed through him like lightning from a storm cloud.

Abaddon growled soft and low as the vibrations of is climax still shivered through him, but he rolled from Kaderian, and fell to the pillows and blankets of his bed beside her.  She slid over him, caressing his skin, and he arched slightly from the long petting.  He liked that.  ”It is later.”  He agreed.  He smiled slightly, ”Half Eyrien, to be sure.  Questions?  Many, but a lot of them have been answered by one of my teachers, and my Dreams.”  He gazed up at her with a question in his eyes, ”My line?  What do you suspect?”  His eyebrows rose slightly at her suggestion, and he nodded.  ”I think I can arrange to be seen again by you.”  He reached up when she lifted her hair, and his hands caressed the curves of her body.  ”Do you recognize someone else in me?  I have only Dreamed of the man that could be my Father…they are—bloody and—comforting visions, strangely…”
Pruul / Re: Alive Or Just Breathing?
« Last post by Abaddon al-Sabbah on Today at 12:15:29 AM »
Abaddon listened to her, and he regarded her with a little surprise when she delivered the shape and tenor of her thoughts.  *And you have made so many friends with your current approach?*  He shook his head, *Leaders always make enemies, because it is impossible to please everyone.  You will never not make an enemy, if you are not making enemies, you are not really leading or making any changes, good or bad.*  He took a breath and growled softly, a little aggravated.  *You risked poison, a bloodletting, and a massacre to become Queen.  If you do not mean to actually lead, then what was it all for, Elenor?  You are, perhaps, delicate, but you are too old to be a fool.  You did all of this for a reason.  Take up the burden, or leave it to someone else.*

He took a slow breath at her questions, *Stop punishing yourself.  Stop second guessing yourself.  Be a Queen.  Trust the Males that you know you can trust, and lean on them.  Take command, take control.  You are sand in a dust devil now, be a rock.*  Abaddon shook his head, *You cannot control everything, you cannot predict the future.  Even I can only come so close, and it is my particular gift.  I cannot speak to the relationship that you and Judiah and Fin have, but I do know that isolating yourselves from each other, as though you were not all in this together, is stupid.  All of you are far too old for these—these childish displays, and you certainly do not make Fin’s choices, or your own, any easier by it.*

Abaddon could only be so comforting, outside of the realm he was most comfortable in.  Elenor did not need to be coddled, she needed to be fixed, and she needed to hear the truth.  He was not being terribly gentle about it, but he was being honest, and he really did care.  He continued to gently play with her hair.  She was a Queen, even then, and he drew some small measure of comfort and calm from that at least.  *Good.  Also, you are not hiding that you are hurting very well.  He may not know the whole of it, but he suspects some of it.  It is more cruel to cut him out of your feelings, when you have both struggled to find some sense of togetherness.  Judiah is another matter, and she was trying to hurt him, but that will not change his mind.*  Abaddon grumbled under his breath, *Yes, see the ones you trust, that should include Fin.  Perhaps I will have a word with your Matin, and his Mother.*
Pruul / Re: A grand adventure is about to begin
« Last post by Hadjara al-Izar on Feb 17, 18, 09:47:32 PM »
Hadjara stared up at the older woman, her eyes widening in surprise at the meaning behind her words.

“What are you… you can’t mean..” her hands clutched at her flat stomach protectively, her eyes getting painfully wide.  “Cadence NO!”  She shouted, jumping up from her seat, chest rising with heavy breaths.

“I might be scared, I might be afraid of all the things that could go wrong, but I could never… never…”  Her hands pressed to her belly.  “This is my child, MY CHILD.  A dream that I never once held for myself in those scary dark tunnels.  It’s a part of me and Babak, growing inside me.  He lost his daughter Cadence!  I could never hold out another child to him and take it away, no matter what I might be afraid of.  He lost his child and his wife, and Kurush almost died protecting his sister.  I want this child!”  All those worries and fears were burned away with a wildfire of passion as she stared at the Healer, a woman whom she thought would understand how precious a gift this was.

“I...I’ll go see this healer,” she said, looking away from Cadence, unable to hide the hurt or pain in her expression as she did so.  Omid’s mother, who had lost her own child - Hadjara just couldn’t understand why she could even bring such a thing up.  Maybe it was something ever Healer had to say, horrible as it sounded to her in this moment, but in this moment Hadjara could not get past her shock.  She reached for the tea and the jar of herbs.

“Thank you Lady for the tea,” she said.  “I think perhaps I’ll go back to my room and rest.  Now that I know I’m not….now that I know that I’m not in danger, a nap will probably do me good.
Hayll / Re: It's Midnight Cinderella
« Last post by Gaetano Accorsi on Feb 17, 18, 09:39:43 PM »
I apologize, Diane. I’m not trying to diminish the importance of this for you. You will be ruling a Court of your own, and I know you’ll excel.” Gaetano said, his hand brushing over her leg. He should have been more supportive of her ascent, given the number of Queens that Hayll had lost in the Purge. They had not replaced those numbers since. Only Dhemlan and Askavi were worse off, from what he knew, and any Queen advancing to rulership was a boon to Hayll.

Despite all of your attempts to appear otherwise, I think you’ll be a great Queen.” he said.

When she mentioned that she’d be going to Mutina, rather than Cirta, Gaetano’s trepidation decreased slightly. No place was safe as long as the Rebellion was free, but Mutina was a bit more removed from their base of operations. In fact, Mutina was an excellent place for Diane to build her reputation.

I have family in Mutina. Extended family, I should say. My late sister-in-law was from Mutina. Salome’s family is still influential in Mutina and they’d make excellent allies for your Court.” Gaetano said. His fingers moved up her right, then around her hip to her back. Slowly, he dragged them up her spine through the fabric of her clothing. He smiled at her decision to tell him privately rather than at the party.

I would’ve reamed your entire family for this. I know you didn’t want to tell anyone about us yet, but I would’ve been hard-pressed to hold my tongue.” he said.

But that doesn’t matter now. What’s done is done. Is there anything I can help you with, regarding your Court? Do you have people in mind for your Triangle?” he asked, letting his fingers continue to trace over her skin. He promised himself that he would not damage this dress. Last time, his passion lead him to nearly tear off her dress in his haste. Tonight, he wanted to take it slower. He wound gentle pulses of Seduction Craft from his Blood Opal into his touch, letting it flow through her skin as she sat in his lap.

Very slowly, Gaetano would bring his Queen’s hunger to the surface until she wanted what he wanted to give her.

Pruul / Re: Little Queens, Big Problems
« Last post by Theodor Lirion on Feb 17, 18, 09:36:31 PM »
Theo gave a weary smile, “El meets with a lot of people, I think it’s part of being a Queen.  I don’t know what, if any, relationship she has with this Mineborn Warlord Prince, but El has never been someone who blindly follows anyone.  Not when she was a child and certainly not from what I’ve seen.  She might accept advice, but in the end, she is of her own mind.  I cannot speak for your Voice or his lover, neither of whom I have met - though I heard many things about the latter in my travels in Hayll.  But it is not my place to defend Elenor or her actions or those of her companions.  This is a discussion of us, and Salma.”

He folded his hands on the table.  “I speak plainly Prince, it is the man I have always been.  I’ll hold to whatever lines you have kept around Salma for all these years and hold my tongue in all things regarding her.  I’ll yield to whatever decisions you, Lady Naya or her wife decide is in the best interest of the child.

Naya’s interjection about Matin’s limited time with Salma himself had him frowning faintly, nodding his head in understanding at the unfairness of asking this man to share his only spare time with his only child with him.  As much as Theo longed for any time to spend with his Queen, to grow and relish in this bond, he knew a father’s love for a child and how unhappy he would have been in a similar situation.

“I would not ask the Prince to share his only time with his daughter.  I know how precious the times with your child are, and no one should make demands on that time.  If there is a compromise that can be achieved, as you have said, to have this Elham present.  Even if it here within the shop for a game of chess or cards, or just to treat her to a cookie.  Any chaperones or any rules set down by members of your family I wholeheartedly agree to.  I’ll even agree to help you with your shop, lifting and carrying heavy items if needed, if that would gift me with a few moments to see her.”
Dena Nehele / Re: let me catch my breath
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Feb 17, 18, 09:35:37 PM »
There was no look of surprise as the tonic was called to hand and set down, Jeremiah knowing it on sight from the times he had seen the Prince drink it. Genuine concern was apparent, from the fact that he could sense it to the look on her face and the way she carried herself, Aleia Sala genuinely cared about Laszlo.

"Sedate was the word I used," admitted Jeremiah, his tone careful. The pastry in front of him was left alone as he considered what was said, the way that Laszlo had interacted and expected. It was all distant but the memories were there. It was not him but it was him that the Prince had initially interacted with.

"I would say that what you are discussing is likely for the best." He finally reached for the vial, opening it only long enough to catch that familiar smell and close it away. "It smells familiar," said Jeremiah, setting it back down and raising his eyes back to Aleia. "I thought I might gain insight into why he reacted so strongly to me but you've at least explained one thing." A hand was raked through his hair, a touch too long, and he let out a breath. "As I have interacted with him and he does not-"

Jeremiah's expression darkened for a moment, his eyes closing briefly before they opened back up. "He is not someone who has experience with kindness for the sake of kindness, because one cares." The easiest way to explain it, to touch upon what he had not ever wanted to see in another person ever again. "If it's in my power to assist you, Lady Sala, I will do so." As he was in a position to do so, considering how Laszlo looked to him.
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