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1
OOC Account Registration / Re: Wren
« Last post by Gavin on Today at 06:09:46 PM »
Hi Wren!

I'm Gavin, co-plot lead for Askavi, Terreille and I've got characters in nearly every Territory. If you'd like to plot or need help finding information, please reach out!

Looking forward to writing with you!
2
OOC Account Registration / Re: Wren
« Last post by Bowie on Today at 05:51:31 PM »
Welcome, I'm a source of disaster and chaos given human form, and helped found the place an age ago.

I'm stoked to see a veteran player joining the fore. If you need any character ties, or want to plot something, I'd love to help and join on in!
3
Keep's Registry / Samuel Andrei
« Last post by Samuel Andrei on Today at 05:50:24 PM »
The Basics



Character Name: Samuel Andrei
Nicknames: Sam
Age: 24 (164 AP)
Race: Dene Nehelian
Caste: Prince
Birth Territory: Dene Nehelian
Home Territory: Shalador

Birthright Jewel: Opal
Offering Jewel: Sapphire
Appearance


Play By: Matthew Gubler
Distinguishing Features:

Personality



Personality:

Samuel was shy before he entered the mines. He would find himself tongue tied and awkward around other children simply because most of them didn't share his same interests. That's what it really came down too: immaturity. Sam was incredibly mature in nearly every area that involved the mind. This caused him to not be able to connect as well with the kids who mainly wanted to play pretend and run out into the street until nightfall. This difference in maturity frustrated the Prince to no end, because he wanted to be friends with the other kids, but they simply didn't have much to talk about. As he grew up the seeming chasm that existed between him and his peers slowly broke away as others lost interest in playing and focused more on intelectual pursuits as well. But by then Samuel was cemented in most of the local neighborhood kid's minds as "the strange boy". He was just starting to branch out and realize that there were those who enjoyed books and art and music and Protocol the same as him, but he was thrown into the salt mines before he could fully explore the new relationships he was tentatively forming in Dene Nehele.

The salt mines changed him though. Destroyed him and rebuilt an image that looked like Samuel, but only had shards of his past personality embedded in him. His shyness receded a bit, only because to be timid in the mines meant that you never got what you wanted. Instead he dropped into being quiet and only speaking when he needed too. He developed a sarcastic edge that sometimes rubs people the wrong way, but it was his only defense mechanism in the mines, trapped without his jewels. (It probably wasn't even much of a defense mechanism, because it ended up pissing off some people, but it made Sam feel better more often than not.) It feels almost strange to have them back now and although he feels like he can protect himself better now, Samuel still has a spot deep inside him that feels as defenseless as he truelly was in the mines.

Samuel is now very weary of people and he will probably not trust anyone outside of Erisian's court for a very long time. He has a particularly hard time with getting to know woman and any time he is talking to one that is somewhat attractive his old shyness creeps back in, mixes with fear, and he becomes incredibly awkward around them. He just doesn't want to be hurt by them again and above all else he is incredibly scared that if he so much as touches one of them they will claim he has attacked them in some way like before. Samuel will do anything to never return back to the mines ever again.

Likes:
  • 1 Writing/Art/Music/Books/Math/Learning- This one is nearly cheating, because it includes so many things, but really Samuel loves everything and anything that involves learning or thinking or being creative. He lost all of those things in the salt mines and he never wants to live without them again.
  • 2 Erisian- Yes, Sam feels fear when he is around her sometimes. He knows she could wipe him out with a thought, but she is his Queen and he has laid his life happily into her hands. She is the one female that he doesn't feel awkward, self conscience, or judged around. He would do anything for her.
  • 3 Being outside, especially in the gardens- He is no Queen, so he doesn't feel pulled to the land in the way they are, but being trapped in the mines so long caused the Prince to have a thirst for the land in a way he had never had before. He wants to be around life after enduring so much death and pain.
Dislikes:
  • 1 People who take life for granted- If you think waking up each day to the sun, working hard, and then coming home to your family is so hard than why don't you go spend a few years in the Salt Mines of Pruul? Samuel would have given anything to be back with his family, a kid again, but instead he was banished to a place that seemed increasingly worse than death to him.
  • 2 Anything that reminds him of the mines, which is an incredibly long list actually. Knives, picks, salt, blood, his notebooks (although he can't get rid of them), dog collars, slaves, guards, the dark, cells, riding crops, the smell of sweat and iron, a parched mouth, being hungry, his dreams, and feel of unpolished stone beneath his fingertips.
  • 3 The quiet of Shalador- Samuel can barely take it. There are no screams, no sobs, no quiet sounds of rape down the hallways. He doesn't know what to do with the quiet, so his mind wonders back to images of blood seeping out of a certain skull and other horrors of the mines.
Fears:
  • 1 Karlissa and Draven- Samuel doesn't hate the pair, but their ability to inflict pain on people, kill them, without any hesitation, and like it scared the Prince. He doesnt *think* they would hurt him, but he steers clear of the pair never the less.
  • 2 Being with a woman again - His first time was disastrous and he hadn't even really even started yet. He has the intense fear that another woman will cry rape again, shattering the carefully constructed life he has managed to regain for himself. 
  • 3 Something happening to Erisian and him having no where to go- Samuel can't bring himself to go back home. Not now. Not after the mines. His parents are better off thinking he is dead than finding out what has become of the son who they had such high hopes for. So if his Queen was to leave him or simply not want him anymore, Sam would have nowhere to go. 
Craft Strengths:
  • 1 Preservation Craft- While most Hearth witches used this for food or basic staples, Samuel likes to use it to preserve old books or sheets of paper that contain complicated equations on them. He layers the craft over them like a sheet of thin plastic, protecting each page from water, dirt, or general wear and tear. The Prince also uses the Craft to make sure that some of his art does not smear or tear when he transports it from place to place.
  • 2 Security Webs- Once Samuel started counterfeiting he looked into learning the art of security webs, because if he was going to work that hard on a project than he wasn't going to have someone just take it. He perfected the webs when he started making marks, reading about the process in books and even paying a local black widow to help him with the finer points of the Craft.
Craft Weaknesses:
  • 1 Combat Craft- Samuel was never interested in this. Ever. He would read about all sorts of Craft in books and even attempt most of it at one time or other, but he never had the urge to do more than read about anything that could draw blood from another. He somewhat regretted that choice when he went into the mines, because maybe if he had known some combat craft he might have known how to physically fight more as well, but by then it was far too late to do anything about it
  • 2 Social Craft- The Prince has always just been kind of an outsider when it comes to groups. Erisian's court is the first place that he has felt moderately accepted and he would say that that was more out of necessity than because they were generally attracted to his personality. Samuel was trying to improve his ability to interact with others, maybe wrap a little Craft around them to make everyone feel more comfortable, but before he could have any opportunity to improve his very poor ability with this sort of craft he was thrown into the mines and his jewels were taken from him.
Life Story

Family:
Mother: Isadora Solca - White to Tiger Eye Witch
Father: Theodore Andrei - Rose to Opal Prince
Siblings: None

History:

Samuel Andrei was born on a ship, cast about on top of the thrashing waters of the ocean. His father, Theodore, said it meant good luck, that their son would be endowed with the strength of a tempest and that he would rise up to build an even greater empire of ships than even his father. His mother, Isadora, disagreed. She said a birth on the ocean was no birth at all, but a death. A death of a home, of roots, of a territory to call your own. She prayed to the Darkness that her son might find peace when they returned to Dene Nehele, when they went home. It seems that Sam was destined to break both his parents wishes, but neither Theodore or Isadora knew that while he sucked on his mother's finger happily. No one knew anything.   

The little boy grew up happily among his parents. He learned how to read at three, devouring every picture book that their local book lender had before moving onto first short and then longer novels as he grew. Books where everything to the little Prince, because he found that he had a really hard time making friends with the other children that played on his block. All they wanted to do was throw balls or wrestle or make forts out of old boxes. Sam didn't like to do any of those things. He liked to draw pictures with the many colored pencils his parents bought him or write short stories for his parents to read. (If only everyone knew about "My Little Puppy". He would never hear the end of it.) The other kids thought Sam was rather strange with his pencils and his books and his crooked smile, so the Prince was left alone. It hurt the child's feelings and he cried about it to his mother, because he couldn't understand why no one else liked to read and write and play with numbers. What was wrong with numbers?

Certainly nothing to Samuel, because he excelled at working with them. His family wasn't wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but they were lucky enough to be able to provide just enough for the small family of three. Sam's father worked hard trading his wears, so they were able to send their boy to a local school, one that did more than just make sure it's children were proficient with numbers and words. The Prince was nourished there and he continued to read avidly while learning the beginning of the intricate art of mathematics. His parents beamed, sure that their son would do great things with his passions. Things that could provide him with a comfortable living. When Sam was 7, his parents took him to a local alter for his birthright. He walked away with an Opal jewel clutched in his small hands, a large smile plastered across his face. The new power felt so good. He immediately ached to know every facet of Craft he could ever learn.

Sam never lacked for love from his mother or father and with the companionship his books provided, the Prince almost didn't notice just how different he was from most other kids he lived around. He tried to talk to them. He really did, but sometimes when you lived in a small community people's initial opinions of you never changed, no matter is Sam tried to play games and build pointlessly pretend towers with the other kids. His lack of any close friends caused Sam's interest in art to flourish. He drew all the time, even late into the night underneath the covers. It was mostly just small stuff at first, anything and everything that he could copy from the beginner books of art he found, but gradually he tried harder things. The face from the great painting "Rivers". The tree near sunset from the drawing "Absentia Luci". The shadows as they skimmed off the water from the painting "I walk the Sea". He loved how strangely math intersected with art, how the angles of his lines melted into a picture instead of a diagram. Drawings sucked up hours and days of his life while math and books took up the rest. Sam dwelled inside himself most days, his knowledge growing with each book that dropped to the floor and his curiosity switching from inside the walls of a library to out in the real world.

If the other kids didn't want to play with him than maybe they would want to work for him. At 13, the boy started his first business: drugs. Or to be more specific, a plant he had read about that was supposed to induce hallucinations and make you feel light as air. Or that was what he told his customers. In reality the little sprig of the plant that he sold for two coppers was from the potted plant he kept in his window sill. Some kind of wild flower. The boy had also read about the placebo effect. The other kids didn't seem to notice or care that what they were buying was fake as long as it provided them with the ability to tell their friends what they had done. That is until his business got a little too large, and a few older kids tried this supposed 'drug'. They took back their two coppers from Sam and left quiet a few bruises along his body as well. The boy learned a valuable lesson from his first venture into business: never sell anything that others could tell was fake.

So the Prince gave up his business and used the money he had earned to buy himself very high quality paints and equally expensive paper. He had no desire to get hurt again, the bruises having graced his light skin for weeks, so he threw himself back into his studies. It was around the time that Sam fully understood the distribution of wealth in Dene Nehele and the statistics disturbed him. Proportionally, the sliver of people who had more than ten thousand gold marks was almost minuscule. To the rather naive mind of the boy, this didn't seem fair at all. He had read books about magnificent societies that shared their wealth, collected it in the center of the city for everyone and he didn't understand why everyone else didn't want to join in on that system. With this new information came new opportunities in the boy's mind. The wealthy surely needed something to spend all that money on and surely Samuel could find some way to profit from that need.

So when he was 14 the Prince copied his first work of art from a book of the masters. He didn't claim to possess the skill even close to the Dene Neheleian artists he copied, but Sam had been copying small sections of art from books since he was little. It had always been easier to copy the lines and imagination of others. It just took patience and time. The first few pieces he finished looked absolutely nothing like the real things. Anyone that knew anything about art would be able to tell that it was a forgery, but the boy wasn't planning on selling it to anyone that knew anything about art. Instead he had an older man he had paid sell the painting to a local pawn shop. The pawn shop owner recognized the signature at the bottom of the work, held back his shock, and offered the man 2 gold marks for the painting. If it had been real the pawn shop owner might have made a fortune off the artwork that he bought from it's unsuspecting owner, but by the time he figured it out Sam would be long gone with his two gold marks in hand.

The boy repeated this process for the next three years, copying anything and everything that he could for practice. While he worked he also took over his father's books, managing the families money with a mind for numbers that completely escaped his father. The business prospered under Samuel's care and he dipped into a few of the surplus profits to pay for more advanced equipment for his own little side business. It was going fairly well and his skills had improved ten-hold with the practice of three years under his belt. The only thing was it was getting harder and harder to sell the paintings, because the word had gotten out that someone was trying to push forgeries as the real things. The lack of a market frustrated the Prince, so he retreated back into the more legal business of his father's and contemplated. He needed something that would always have a market. That no one would ever get tired of needing.

The revelation came to him one night, while he was reading an adventure novel. It was about a spy and his desire to destroy the city he lived in forever. Sam had been half reading and half thinking about a girl that had just started at his school, her breasts big and round through her dress, when he realized that the spy had started a counterfeiting ring. He didn't copy art though...he copied money. Suddenly the book had the boy's full attention and he finished it within the night. The book had dumbed it down exponentially, but with the introduction of fake money into an economy it made perfect sense that the value of the currency would eventually tumble, causing panic from nearly everyone. It wasn't Samuel's desire to cripple Dene Nehele and he laughed at even the thought. The territory was much too large for that. The wheels in his mind began to turnt though and Sam started to wonder how exactly a few fake marks could hurt anyone. In reality, they would only benefit the poor markets of the neighborhood he loved in.

The match was already struck it seemed and the boy was simply curious if he could do it. So he began with a simple silver mark. It took him nearly three months to collect the right paper, a kind that weighed and felt the same, and the right dyes, color was infinitely importent. The printing press was rather easy to obtain, but he had to add in a rather complex stamping process that not only left a mark on the paper but left a dent as well. The currency wasn't too hard to copy actually, the more he looked at it. It was all about the right equipment where his forgeries of art had been about the right technique. Why had he not thought of this before? The delicate pictures on the front of the silver mark where intricate, but after he worked them out once and pressed the stenciles into his stamp, he could make marks upon marks. It took time to add the color, yes, but not nearly as much time as it took to make a single painting which would make him far less money.

Samuel was intensely nervous when he spent his first handmade mark. His hand shook a little at the fruit stall, but the shopkeeper didn't even glance at the money before handing him back his change and motioning for the next customer. Samuel was amazed. That's it? That's all it took? There was no scrutiny of his work, not even a glance at the delicately worked curves of the image? The boy was amazed and encouraged, working straight through the nights of multiple days to amass five hundred silver marks in the little shed he had rented a couple streets over from his house. His parents demanded him home the fourth night, not accepting any excuse he gave them. Sam reluctantly returned home and hurried through the calculations of his fathers accounts so he could return back to his shed the next night. It was almost too much to believe. So many marks....

The kid did what anyone his age would have done with that much money...he blew it all. For once Samuel didn't even think about it. The desire to spend was too great for him to resist, so he went into the Aristo part of town and bought books upon books from the rare collections and some new clothes that actually made his skinny figure look trimmed. For the first time ever, Samuel acquired the attention of local girls as they saw him in the shop window when they passed. As he would soon come to learn, nothing drew woman more than the ability to lavish them with anything that they desired. Money bought way more than books, he realized.

After this first initial shopping trip, Samuel calmed down and quickly learned to store the money in various banks throughout the province, trading in his counterfeited marks for real ones. He invested heavily back into his own equipment, improving it and perfecting his technique. By the time Sam was 18, he had quiet a little business going. He had even hired a male from his school that he taught how to do the basic printing of the copies. It saved him an enormous amount of time, which the Prince used to research other businesses and companies that he could invest some of his new found wealth in. Sam had a modest fortune when he went to an alter for his Offering, struck by the need for it at 19. His parents were furious that he had gone without them, but their frustration with their increasingly distent son diminished when he showed them his Sapphire with pride. He would be able to lead their small merchant business into a future they had never fathomed, they thought together. Samuel just might have been able too as well. That is, if he had never met Cosette DeFlorentine.

The witch had striking green eyes and a mass of beautifully curly brown hair. She had seen him blow a considerable amount of money in a rare bookstore and had developed quiet an elaborate plan to snare the young Prince away with all his money. She first met Samuel in a jewelry shop, looking for a piece of jewelry for his mother. It was her birthday soon and he had decided to get her something she would never forget. Cosette tapped him on the shoulder, giggling, and helped him pick something out, because he was obviously lost himself. Sam, usually so poised, calm, confident with words and figures, froze. She was so beautiful and she was talking to him. The Prince stammered out a reply and offered to get the witch anything she would like as well--for her help. Truthfully he just wanted to be around her longer. Cosette picked out a striking green emerald and Sam bought it for her, just like that. All he could do was stare at her and when she asked him to escort her home, he didn't even blink. Of course he would, he would do anything for a woman who's hips swayed the way Cosette's did and who rested her hand on his arm, her fingers gently rubbing his skin. Samuel escorted the woman to a sprawling manor set up on a hill and gated off from the rest of the city. It was a very expensive piece of property, but the Prince didn't notice. He was too giddy.

For all that Samuel was smart he simply had no experience with woman. He couldn't see what Cosette was doing and for all the books Sam had read he couldn't tell that a woman was trying to ensnare a dark jeweled male. In Cosette's case, she wanted out from under the suffocating rule of her parents and Sam looked like the perfect way to do that. He looked like she could make him fall in love within an instant. Unfortunately for both of them, right as they slipped into bed together, the Prince caught up and nervous, the doors opened and a booming voice rang through the bedroom. "What the hell is going on here?!" The next thing Samuel knew, Cosette was screaming, gripping the sheets to her chest and struggling under his non-existent grip. Cosette's father was not a forgiving man and she didn't want to find out what he would do if he caught his daughter sleeping with a male that he didn't know.

So she screamed for help and had absolutely no care for what would happen to Samuel, who mostly just stared at her, his hands up in the air, before he felt a blast of Opal power slam into his body, knocking him off the bed. "I didn't do anything to her, sir. I swear. She...she...invited me here." He stammered, thinking that these people would be reasonable and that he didn't need to draw from his sapphire and shield. That turned out to be the worst mistake of his life, because Cosette's father was on him within seconds, shouting about rape and dishonor and a debt. Sam tried to explain again, but he froze in the situation, confused and still very much naked in front of everyone. "Did this bastard touch you, honey?? Did he hurt you?" Cosette's father shouted, dragging Samuel along the floor, dazed. He hadn't had much experience with people like Cosette. With people who would fuck someone over so completely just so they wouldn't have to admit an ounce of fault. "Sir I didn't....," but the woman nodded, tears coming down her cheeks and Samuel couldn't believe it. He couldn't fathom even the thought of...rape. 

He was scared, unable to pit his words up against the words of the man's own daughter, so Sam made his second mistake, he offered the Warlord Prince money. This so greatly offended the man that he beat Samuel until his own hands grew bloody. He had never seen a man on the killing edge before, but it seemed like Cosette's father was fighting the desire to just outright rip his prey to pieces, so Sam stayed still and quiet, sending a thread to his parents to help him. By the time they came their son was locked away in a cell underneath the manor and Cosette's father would not let them see Samuel. He informed them of their son's crime and the fact that he was but a common merchant made it all the more offensive to the Warlord Prince. Sam's parents begged the man to spare their son, their only son, and that they needed him for their business, their life. They would do anything. Cosette's father was a hard man though, with many prejudices and his disdain for the poor was well known. He could not get past the fact that a common brat, dark jeweled or not, had hurt his daughter. It was unspeakable.

He relented somewhat though and did not kill the Prince. Instead he told Samuel's parents that their words had moved him and that he would sell their son to the Prullian salt mines for a period of ten years in payment for his crime. It was fair, he said, just. His parents could do nothing more, having no influence and knowing nothing of the money their son had access too. So Samuel Andrei was sent to Pruul, where the hot sun rose to meet him.

He had never been anywhere but his small province in Dene Nehele before, so the sight of the vast desert scared him. Just about everything scared him. Terrified him. He clung tight to the bars of the cage he was being led through the desert in and he couldn't quiet believe what was happening. There were no books in Pruul. No numbers and no chalkboard. All he had were the clothes on his back, a small pad of paper vanished away, and his harmonica. He was thrown into the mines with a collar around his neck and his Jewel's ripped from his grasp. It was so dark in the mines and the air nearly choked him. He was handed a pickax, the tool incredibly heavy in his weak arms, and led to an area where salt glistened in the dim light. He hacked at the mineral as hard as he could, the rough wood of the pick cutting into his hands and rubbing blisters after only an hour. Tiny grains of salt found their way into the cuts and he had to stop, the pickax falling from his grip while he tried to tear his shirt into big enough strips to bandage his hands with. A tall dark jeweled male came over to Samuel, a whip at his hip. He ordered the Prince to get back to work and Sam made the mistake of saying that he had torn his hands up, holding them up rather dumbly. The Overseer knocked him over the head with the but of his whip and kicked his pick at him, shaking his head and telling him to get back to work before he made sure he physically couldn't.

Thus Samuel's first night in the mines drug on painfully, time losing meaning in the constant darkness of the place. The Prince stumbled through the relentless work that was assigned to him that day, exhausted and starving when they were finally allowed to rest. He managed to get his hands on the corner of some bread that they handed out, but two huge men, scars streaking their body, ripped it away from Sam before he could eat it. The Prince stood up, his fists balled, and shouted at the other two slaves, but he quickly realized that his lanky thin body stood no chance against theirs without his Jewels. It was from that point on that Samuel was covered in a nearly constant array of bruises. They lined his entire body as more and more slaves realized that the Prince could easily be dominated for whatever purposes that they wanted: food, fun, sex. Sam would push himself into the corner of his cell whenever he was finally allowed to rest, drawing nearly blindly in every square inch of the pad of paper he had from home. His imagination was dead in this place, the salt burning away any creativity he had previously had, but the painting of the masters he had read about flowed onto the pages along with images of the marks he had copied. They helped him, even if the art wasn't his own. It gave Samuel something else to focus on as weeks turned into months below the sun of Pruul.

One night, when they were let of from mining, Sam became desperate. Between the grueling work and the amount of times that other's simply took his food from him, he was starving. So the Prince decided to do something stupid. It seems that no matter how smart he was and how much logic told him it was a bad idea, basic survival outweighs all simple reason. So Sam snuck into the locked cellar where the slaves scarce amount of food was kept. He used a rock to break the lock and had just devoured half a loaf of bread when pain from the collar around his neck made the slave scream and sink down to the ground, tears in his eyes. The guards drug him out of the cellar and towards two posts where slaves were punished. Samuel ripped himself away from their grasp when he saw where they were taking him, running smack into Akan Uzumati. The Warlord Prince stopped him and started to drag him to the posts himself. "Please." Samuel breathed. "I just needed a little food. You have to understand." No doubt the other slave did understand, but Sam felt intense hatred for the man when he unfurled his whip and lashed him until he lost consciousness.

It was around this time that Sam though he might break under the strain of it all. To his shame he looked at the pickaxes and wondered how easy it might be to use them to slit his wrists. He might have too, if it hadn't been for the Vadvil brothers. They were tall and dark skinned, their bodies shining with sweat and anger as they walked by. Samuel was in his cell even though the door was open for him to spend a few minutes with anyone he wished, drawing. He didn't have anymore paper left and his pencils had been used until he couldn't hardly hold them anymore. It was as if the length of his ability to draw mirrored the length he would be able to survive in the mines. How ironic then that one of the Vadvil brothers, Dapar, trapped him in his cell while his brother, Bacar, ripped his notepad away from him. Dapar was contemplating what kind of fun he should have with Samuel when his brother showed him the drawings of marks from his notebook.

"Did you do this? Shit. It looks like I could just rip the mark off the page. I said, did you do this?" Bacar crouched in front of Samuel, who had retreated into himself, his senses dulled and his eyes vacant. It was only after the other man shook him a few times that Sam managed a small affirmation, not seeing why it mattered. "I counterfeited...outside." He said. You couldn't spend pencil drawn marks though, no matter how much Samuel wished he could. The brothers glanced between themselves and left coming back a few days later with weighted paper and a small collection of different dyes. Samuel was shocked back into some semblance of reality, one, because the brothers hadn't stepped forward to hurt him yet and two, because he couldn't understand how anyone could get materials like this in the mine. His calloused fingers brushed the bottles gingerly and he was hesitant to use them, even after the Vadvil brothers told him to copy his picture from the notebook, talking to Samuel like he was mentally gone like so many of the other slaves were. 

It was probably the Prince's desire to do something half normal again, something that he felt good at, that drove him to light to precious candle the brothers had brought him and forge the single mark they asked for. It wasn't nearly as good as the ones he made outside, because he had to use stone to crudely press the indentions into the paper and the brushes he was provided with didn't nearly fit the quality of the ones he had in Dene Nehele. But poor quality for Samuel was still fairly good, so he cut out the mark carefully, distressed it against the bars of the cell, and handed it to the brothers. Dapar laughed and hit Samuel on the shoulder, making him flinch before he hesitantly returned the laugh. The acquisition of the Vadvil brother's attention was both a good and bad thing for Samuel. It was good because they offered him protection from the other slaves. It was good because they allowed him his first connection with guards who were more than happy to provide slaves with harmless pleasures as long as they were well compensated. It was good because the brother's saved the Prince from completely shutting down, from being buried under the blood and the salt of the mines.

It was bad because although Samuel had to no longer worry about the other slaves he had to very much worry about the Vadvil brothers. They were inescapable, their claws dug into Samuel as deep as they could go. They allowed him to use his mind again, expand his counterfeiting, and branch out to bribing multiple guards for a variety of products, but Sam very much belonged to them. He rode their fickle moods and the amount of bruises on his skin never diminished. Samuel had a purpose again though. He threw himself into counterfeiting, the brothers connection providing him with the materials he needed to forge enough money. He used the money to perpetuate a cycle of continual bribing of guards, acquiring new materials, and trying to get more slaves to fence through him. The only problem was that the Vadvil brother's couldn't see the big picture. They stopped Samuel from expanding and beat the shit out of potential costumers. They were paranoid, territorial, and a bit insane.

It was during this time that Samuel met Fariq. He would have been his competition in fencing common commodities if the Vadvil brothers had let him sell to a variety of other slaves. Perhaps that restriction was for the best, because it allowed the Prince to get to know the other man as best he could when Dapar and Bacar allowed him. It was right after Dapar had given Sam a black eye for  meeting with a young witch who had wanted to see if the Prince could get her some more food for the coin she had when Fariq took him to meet Erisian Maboya, the mad Queen. He had heard stories about the woman, terrifying stories, but the Prince simply planned to ask the woman if she would like him to acquire anything for her and leave. The moment he saw her though, filthy and beaten, the Prince felt something unfurl inside him and latch onto the Queen. Mine. He stepped close to the woman, her males tensing, before stifling the overwhelming urge to touch her. "Umm...d-did you need me to get you anything?" Like my leash, he thought tiredly, the mines having given even Sam a small edge that he would have never had otherwise.

Erisian became his Queen that day, the Mad Boy's offering him protection in exchange for his counterfeiting skills, but Samuel very much still belonged to the Vadvil brothers in their eyes. They didn't let their toys go so easily, especially ones that made their lives as easy as Sam did. That's why, one day soon after hearing that their little Prince had bonded with the mad queen, they cornered him in a dimly lit alcove that he had been sent to mine in. "You're ours, little pup, no matter if that bitch queen claimed you. Make it easy. Tell her you don't want her." Their words rang in the slave's ears and anger jumped to the surface. The one thing that had make him feel something again, the one thing that had caused his heart to beat with something other than fear, these two men where telling him to reject. He couldn't. He wouldn't! His body screamed at the Prince to act, move, do anything but reject the bond. Just the very idea caused Samuel to yank himself out of the brother's loose grasp and use all his strength to slam Dapar's head into the hard stone wall. He was so shocked at what he had done, his fingers still tingling from the movement that he stared at them, numb. Bacar could have easily killed Samuel then, he was bigger and stronger and the element of surprise had certainly worn off, but it was then that Draven drove his fist into the man's face. Samuel didn't even watch them, instead he focused on the large pool of blood that was seeping from Dapar's unmoving head. Eventually the flickering soft light of a fire drew his muted attention, his unemotional eyes drifting over the still slightly flopping body of Bacar as Draven burned him alive. Samuel would have stayed there, still in shock, when the guards came if Draven hadn't pulled him away with him then, away from the two unmoving bodies swallowed up by the darkness.

Samuel walked through the rest of the day like a ghost. He didn't bring out his notepad for comfort or succumb into a dead sleep, he just stared at the walls of the mines that seemed to be closing in on him. Dapar had done horrible things to him, things that Sam didn't want to ever think about again, but the sight of his blood was stained in his mind. Perhaps the thing that really upset the Prince, the thing that he didn't want to admit to anyone, was that he simply didn't feel bad about the murder that he had committed. He felt...relief. The guilt of not feeling guilty ate at him, Samuel not taking comfort in the fact that he had a Queen now or that he was out of the Vadvil brother's grasp. The slave continued on like that, his notebook remaining unopened and his production of marks halted, until Akan Uzumati sat down across from him one day, the same whip that had left marks across his back still at his hip. He had tried, somewhat awkwardly, to explain to Samuel that killing was natural in the mines, second nature, but the Prince had just lashed out at the man and called him a hypocrite, a bastard, and a sell out. Akan probably knew more about killing other slaves than any of them. The two ended up in an argument then, one that eventually ended with Akan realizing that Samuel was in the same situation as him: two innocent males thrown in with the wolves. Eventually, with a little more time, the two became friends, the wounds of the past closing up before anymore salt could find its way into them.

Life in the mines was a flurry of counterfeiting, beatings, and desperation that Samuel had finally convinced himself was bearable with Erisian trapped with him. One day she was gone though, just like that, the crazed instinctual part of himself fighting against the guards who tried to stop him when he saw her cage and the other woman's empty. What had happened to them? Where was everyone?? The Prince fought the guards, him, Samuel, for once, biting and clawing. Such violence was so unlike him that even the guards were a little shocked. They put their hands up, not wanting to hurt the Prince, but Samuel flinched back at the gesture, unused to it, and slipped backwards, hitting his head on the wall. The last thing he remembers of the mines is the cool black ceiling glistening with salt crystals.

When he woke up, he screamed. Light poured in around him, from everywhere, and it ripped through his eyes. The sound caused the healer who was checking over his bruised body to back away. Samuel for his part looked around wildly when he could see again, clambering off the table he was on and swiftly moving away from the healer. Where was Erisian? Where was Akan? Draven? Karlissa? Corin? He shouted for them, not allowing the healer anywhere near him until he saw his Queen and someone explained to him what was happening. The words hit him like a lash from a whip: freedom. They were being set...free. Samuel had felt so dizzy at the idea that he had nearly fainted from lack of food coupled with so much excitement. He didn't know how to feel, how to react, his body no longer finding the simple movement of washing himself natural. The stiff feel of clean clothes across his body felt foreign to him. Above all, the Prince couldn't fathom just what he was supposed to do now. He was lost. He couldn't return home...he just couldn't...not as the person that he had become. The thought of seeing his parents again, of them seeing the wasted man he had become, it nearly brought tears to his eyes. He was a murderer. A rapist to all the world. There was no place for someone like him. Not when the very sight of a decorate necklace or a kitchen knife or grains of salt made him shrink away, barely containing a whimper. Samuel did not realize just how much he had changed until the light of the sun cast him in shadows.

So the Prince clung to the only thing he had come to rely on: Erisian. He followed her to Shalador, their pack of broken and missfit toys standing out in stark contrast the lush and vivid land.

Show Us What You've Got


Writing Sample:

Samuel ran his hand over the perfectly folded sheets of the bed he had been provided with. They were cool to the touch, clean, lacking the distinguishable scent of sweat and blood that had permeated his senses for so long. He didn’t sit down, because he didn’t want to mess anything up. That thought had been distinct in his mind lately, ever since they had been pulled from Hell and cast out like gypsies among the sands. Sam didn’t want to make a wrong move, break anything, insult the wrong person, or stray too far from Erisian’s side, because it all felt too surreal. Like a fairy tale book ending, and the Prince had learned in the mines that fairy tales simply didn’t exist. So he was suspicious, skeptical, and above all weary. The small part of himself that remembered the feel of a bed, from before, told him that he was being irrational, but Samuel couldn’t help it.

There were just so many people everywhere. All around every second of the day. They wanted to touch him and prod him and bath him and clothe him and talk to him until the Prince wanted to scream. But he didn’t. Of course he didn’t, because then all those curious soft sad eyes would focus on the little broken Prince in the corner and they would realize just how fractured he really was. Any action he took would just confirm their useless idle gossip. “These males really need more structure.” “They need to be fixed.” “Look at that one. Why did he just flinch? That guard didn’t even move.” “Who knows what things they are liable to do to Lady Maboya.” The last one made him snort. Welcome to Erisian’s court, idiots, where the main attraction flings you over the edge of the world and the fall just keeps on coming. No one else was used to the ride it seemed. Samuel didn’t blame them; it often got messy.

The Prince called in a warped dirt stained notebook and laid it gently on the bedspread. The cover was smudged with dried blood and flecks of salt imbedded in the paper sparkled like the tips of many sharpened knives in the fading afternoon light. Inside were drawings of the mines. Dark deep lines that cut into the page as much as the images cut into his mind. It was the only record that he had of the past five years of his life. All the other notepads where filled with famous paintings or images of things he had simply thought he would never see again. Samuel stared down at the object, his hands weighed down by his side, because he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t bring himself to flick through the pages when the memories still flickered past his eyes uncontrollably, unexpectedly, slipping past his control.

Standing there, his breathing the only sound in the room, Samuel simply couldn’t bring himself to do anything.

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Player Name: Kenna
4
Scelt / Re: You Never Said That You'd Be Gone
« Last post by Morgan Clery on Today at 05:48:19 PM »
It had been a fair voyage to find himself here to the capitol of Wexol, and his entire family had made the trip. He had hidden there on the island, protecting his little sister Brigid as best he could, who was nearly a woman now herself. She was dressed well enough that people truly noticed the gap of time since they'd last seen her sprouting whole. It was a similar look of surprise on some faces here just a few years prior for him when he seemed to over a summer go from a spindly little spider-boy to a shockingly handsome man who's body had rather filled out over a season of working the boats with his father. Brigid now was off with the parents who rested in the Reception room, while he had taken to wandering a bit, restless and strangely allured as always in the presence of death. He'd hoped to find Nolan's casket and have a moment of his own silence to ponder the titan of a man who had so defined the Clerys through Wexol.

The footfall was not the footfall he had created. Morgan had a creepy manner by which he always just seemed to be there. Listening in as he stood in the doorway, he was deeply sympathetic to the gutting words his older cousin offered the man in his casket. It was a mournful affair, and a much more metropolitan one than back in Morgan's little fishing village that he and his da had escaped to, trying to make their own fortune without just working for the opinionated and dominant force that was now in a box while his son mourned. Feeling unbelievably uncomfortable with the display of emotion before him, he decided to remain just on the other side of that doorway, letting the man have a moment he was inadvertantly listening in on. The sentiments were potent, powerful, and deeply sentimental, and nothing he knew how to handle even remotely.

Giving him a moment, he heard voices and footfall behind himself, coming this way, and he slid into the room, knowing he'd be awkwardly caught standing there like a proper creep should he remain just lingering in the pass. A soft, pained smile - one that that spoke of the effort to make it as well as the sadness that made the moment - was offered to the man he considered uncle more than cousin. Kenneth was only seven when Desmond was born, marking uncle and nephew closer in age than brother and brother. Kenneth did not do well under the prestige and preferential power his brother had been given, and their family was raised separately from Nolan's. But not so separately that big to-dos and holidays and anniversaries with good years to them didn't seem them all making their trips to one another with a good frequency. So it pained Morgan to see his cousin so twisted over his father, and he had his own weird set of feelings for the man in the coffin that he was yet unsure how to properly connect them. He'd hoped for a moment of his own when he stumbled upon this one, and saw fit not to interrupt it, until the restless relatives they shared decided to do that for him.

"Hey, cuz," he offered, a nod of his head in greeting to accompany the awkward smile that had also meant to offer a bolstered confidence and an expression of familial care that the two disparately aged relatives held. Thirteen years his senior, he had only ever been the annoying brat that worried at Desmond's patience when they had met for most of Morgan's life. And then he became something to worry Desmond, because of his caste: because he was this strange Black Widow boy, something that became only a bigger possible blight on the Clerys when Brigid showed the same. They were a thing to explain away, defend, or blame, as the patriarch might prefer. The patriarchy which was now held firmly by the stoic man who had lost his stoicism before Morgan, to only Morgan's knowledge. A chink in the armor that the Widow actually found he deeply appreciated seeing.

"Everyone was hoping for a few words, and maybe to pay their respects, I suspect. I think they're waiting on you to do the words and the respecting," he suggested, a soft smile forming from that uncomfortable echo of one he had offered moments prior. "I think they're all waiting for their turn to earn your favor, too, should I be pretending to be Princely and offer my advice."

Moving forward, he'd make a bolder offer, of a touch on the broader man's shoulder, and a look of understanding at the horror of death. His arm hung a little wider than natural, a subtle way of inviting him should he need some strength clutched into him by way of a hug from his baby cousin.
5
Keep's Registry / Re: Quinten Heartly
« Last post by Quinten Heartly on Today at 05:43:56 PM »
Ready for Review!
6
Little Terreille / Re: Ain't got nothin' but too much to lose
« Last post by Kelda Voll on Today at 05:36:10 PM »
"Well, no part of this was gonna be a fuckin' picnic," Kelda countered, when Kiersten preemptively apologized. She closed her eyes and let her head lay back, and fought with the urge to wander off into the black. Or worse, the gray. "I know it's gonna be a bitch, but you need to focus. Ignore whatever noise I make and keep going. No matter how much it sucks it won't be as bad as the alternative."

She and Kiersten seemed to take breaths of courage at the same time, and then she nodded for the kid to begin. Kelda did what she could to bite back her complaints, but she'd never been much of a fan of pain. Much of her life, in fact, was engineered around her aversion to it. It was rare that she'd ever been exposed to much of it in an acute, physical sense such as this, and her tolerance for it was shit. She managed to only gasp and grunt at first, but the cusses came soon after. Through gritted teeth she forced herself to hold still and ran through a rather colorful lexicon of curses and oaths.

Kiersten paused, and Kelda opened her eyes to look down at her side, though she knew it would likely be a fruitless gesture. The web - even if Kiersten had pulled enough of it out for Kelda to see - was a blend of spider silk and Craft, an ephemeral uniquity that was mostly invisible to the naked eye. Craft could detect it, but Kelda was very carefully restraining her Craft at the moment. Travis' comment should have made her jump, as his sudden presence did surprise her. Dulled as she was by the potion she'd consumed, though, her eyes just shifted to him as though she'd known he was there all along.

"Oh," she said, an air of casualness about her tone despite the sweat beading on her brow and the impromptu surgery going on at her side. "Hey, it's a party, now," she quipped, letting her head fall to the couch once more. Eyes closed now, a grin nonetheless sliced across her mouth. "I gotta say, your taste in shindigs really kinda sucks, tho." She breathed deeply and prompted Kiersten to continue.

"Travis, kid, kid, Travis," she introduced them. "Nothin' yet," she replied, to his offer of help. "Just let her finish. Then, maybe all of the above."
7
Pruul / Re: Let Secrets Die
« Last post by Adavera al-Jinan on Today at 05:33:38 PM »
She blinked, looking at him in surprise.  Lucky al-Izar offered a piece of himself.  She was... very well aware of the fact that he simply didn't do such things.  She took a breath, her hand lifting for him to take it. Others would have stood.

It was the only way she could bring herself to acknowledge that she simply couldn't do so at the moment.  If she tried to put weight on her leg, she was going to tumble.  Her pride couldn't bear the thought right now.  Not when Lucky was finally beginning to see her as ... well, she wasn't sure what he had seen her as in the mines.

But outside of them?  He'd made it clear he hadn't seen her as a friend, let alone an ally.  "I would love to, Prince."  She said it quietly, her eyes studying his face.  She knew all too well what the mines had been like for her.  She wasn't sure what happy memories he would share with her... but she knew exactly what he would see.

He would see, and feel, the wind in her hair as her father set her on her very first horse.  She could still smell him, the strange scent of her father.  No matter how long he stayed in the dessert, there was always this scent on him that came from somewhere else.  She'd been older when she'd discovered that it was the fact he was not from Pruul.

And it didn't matter.  That smell was home.  She raced on her horse, her father behind her in the saddle to make sure that she didn't fall.  It was the first time she felt herself really connect to the beast beneath her.  it was the first time she felt her place in the world, and embraced it.  Her father was there, her mother behind them on her own.

And they laughed.
8
Dena Nehele / Re: Kicking and Screaming
« Last post by Radu Orfan on Today at 05:21:45 PM »
She'd just told him to shut up.  He'd have laughed if it wasn't for the fact that she was being so obviously inviting.  His hands slid to her hips, thumbs moving over the curve of them repeatedly as he rubbed the unscarred side of his face against her cheek, her neck.  South.  He definitely needed to go south.

Little nips and flicks of his tongue moved over her skin as he tasted his way down her throat, her shoulder, her collarbone.

She was sweet.  The taste of Sway was a mix of soft flesh, violence, pain, and sweat.  It had his entire body singing in a way that reminded him all too much of the first time his Rut had hit.  But this wasn't that... this wasn't that, because he wasn't trying to tear through her pants with a single minded abandon.

But it was close.  His will, whatever scraps were left of it, reached out to shield the door.  Not from sound, no... but to prevent others from coming in.  If anyone interrupted them, he was going to kill them.  It wouldn't matter that they were in the Palace.  It wouldn't matter if the person coming through was Riley fucking fancy queen herself.  He nibbled his way down her ribs, tongue and teeth playing lightly over the edges of her scars.

The texture was fascinating.  he lingered.  It didn't matter, really, that the name across her ribs belonged to another male.  What mattered was what they meant - she'd experienced pain that would shatter most, and she was still here.  It had his fingers tingling, the knowledge that someone so strong let him touch them.

He let one of his fingers skim from her right hip towards the top of her pants.  "Get... these off."  Because if she didn't, he would.  And he doubted she'd like the way he did it.  The tone of his voice belied the way he touched her.  His touch was much softer than he felt.  No one looking at him would know that he preferred to explore his women in leisure the first time he got ahold of them.  They'd assume his sex would match his temperament... and it did, during his Rut.  But outside of it? 

Outside of it, sex was often the one place where he felt a little less... him.  Or maybe he just came to peace with what made him 'him'.  He didn't care right now.  Thinking about it was too much work.  He lifted his head, putting enough space between their bodies that he could look at her face. 

If she killed him now, he'd die a happy man.  The softness of her, the steel muscle beneath her skin, the scent of her skin on his hands... that would send him back to the darkness with a smile on his lips.

But she wasn't going to kill him.  Not yet.  He could see it in her face.  He might be one of the very few people in the world she didn't want to kill right now.  And that thrilled him too.  "Now, Sway."
9
Pruul / Re: Let Secrets Die
« Last post by Lucky al-Izar on Today at 05:19:28 PM »
Lucky smiled at her, a glint of his previously feral nature in his eyes. “Oh, Lady Jinan. I have always been dangerous.” The Warlord Prince drilled his eyes into the witch. “Now I am just focused.” Focused on the Old Spider. On Nima. On keeping his family together. On differentiating between friends and enemies.

It was easier said than done, especially as the Mineborn was not exactly trusting. A gift that meant so much to someone was a start though. Lucky could not imagine giving away his own kitten or his carved turtle. They had been all that got him through some of his darkest moments.

Politely declining her offer of food, the Warlord Prince was about to bow, his body already leaning towards the door, when he paused. Cas had spoken of gratitude. Of effort. Well, there was one thing he could do....

“Yes. One last thing actually.” He settled back in an easy stance, his head cocked to the side.

“There was a game of friendship in the Mines. Do you remember it?” His words were slow, careful.

Deep underground, where the Overlands seemed like a distant memory, two people would join hands and show each other their happiest memory, which usually gave away their greatest weakness in the process. The place were an enemy could strike at the heart of a person instead of the body. Lucky had never done it, his happiest memories in the Mines too bleak for most of the other prisoners, but he had watched the game before. Seen the small smiles that developed on faces that were usually only pulled long from agony.

“If you want, we could play it.”

Lucky al-Izar rarely made friendship easy.
10
Points Scheme / Re: (May) Points Transactions
« Last post by phinneas on Today at 05:08:30 PM »
Character Name: Odelle Ackley
Player Name: Erica

Item Purchased: Dark Descent Roll (2nd purchase)

Points Cost: 700 * 150 = 1050

Approved for 2nd purchase @ 1050 pts.
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