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* Plot Information for Shalador

The capital has been destroyed, replaced with the spewing ash and liquid lava of Shalador’s Eldest Sister. The surviving factions and Clans scramble for a new leader and a way to save the jungle Territory from the remaining volcanoes. The Black Widows, long held at arm’s length, have stepped up to guide, by force or willingly, the Territory towards salvation.
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Author Topic: A sweet, small slice of immortality  (Read 216 times)

Description: backdated to idk; Eris

Offline Juliet Marche

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A sweet, small slice of immortality
« on: Aug 07, 17, 08:12:16 PM »
When Juliet was a child, she had never dreamed of having a family as many little girls did. She had kept her eyes on the prize, her focus on making the most of her prodigious intellect and personal drive. Sometimes, she had mentored young people, cared for neighbor -children, but she had never, ever thought to herself, what if this child was mine. That she was considering it now, that there was a fluttering low in her belly at the age of forty-seven, was actually... somewhat terrifying. Yes, Juliet had lived through the salt mines of Pruul. She had survived a long ride to the border between Pruul and Shalador, her beloved Erisian's homeland, and she had adapted to the unfamiliar rigors of Shaladorian life and Shaladorian construction. But she had never been a parent before, never been a mother.

She splayed a hand over her stomach. Three months along, now. It had begun to swell, and Erisian would soon leave for the Sleeping Sisters, to see what could be done. A Healer had been needed to ensure Juliet's cycles continued long enough that the child could take; a Healer was needed now to ensure that Juliet and her child, whatever gender it held, whatever Jewel, would survive the pregnancy. It was a worthy risk. There would be something of Juliet left with Erisian once Juliet's life ended. That was a sort of immortality, the same as Juliet's tireless advocacy for the tribeless, the same as the buildings she constructed. And this child would be half-long-lived even as Erisian was, would live out a lifespan that would extend past her half-Eyrien mother's, if only by a handful of years. It was too bad that Erisian had no brothers, that Juliet couldn't have a child that would bear the Maboya bloodline that Rian and Erisian represented. The child would be loved regardless. Juliet knew that because she knew Erisian, who had lived so long in the mines, who would be a wonderful mother to whatever their child looked like.

...Juliet was not particularly looking forward to birthing a winged child.

She mused over that as the door to her studio-space opened. "Eris, love," she said, "If this child has wings, I will strangle its father. I am not prepared for that." Threatening Eris, even in jest, was something Juliet would never do. Nor would she truly strangle the Eyrien man who had donated his seed to their cause.

Offline Erisian Maboya

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Re: A sweet, small slice of immortality
« Reply #1 on: Aug 09, 17, 10:56:11 PM »
For two years precious little in Erisian’s life made sense. As Territory Queen she’d served, surprised, honoured and overwhelmed beyond measure. What she gave as Shalador’s Heart cost her but the price was one she paid without reserve or hesitation whenever it called. Being that which held her home together when many mornings she woke screaming was like living a dream. Ruling after surviving a lifetime of chaotic cruelty was so opposite many of the instincts she’d honed to survive. A fine line existed between leadership and command. The barrier was one The Mad Queen crossed often as her sleeping mind straddled that space between the self and The Twisted Kingdom. Nights were the hardest and so she defied slumber’s realm as often as possible.

While not proud of it she’d mastered the art of slipping free of Juliet’s bed and returning before the witch rose come morning. Standing before her love’s door with the palace thick with the scent of sulfur, fire ash, and blood Eris regretted those moments of precious closeness lost.  Already Shalador’s Priestesses were trying to pull power from senseless death to delay disaster’s flow  and save as many soul’s as possible. Rian and her most trusted were hard at work whilst Erisian assembled who and what she needed to complete what fragments of a plan were forming in the thick of a city wild in disaster’s throes.

Erisian knew many things.She had a deep love for Craft. The pride she held in rich memories of even Shalador's most obscure history and lore was unabiding. There was little about mining in the harshest conditions she didn’t understand. Lady Mad could feel the seasons rise and fall beneath the earth even robbed of her jewels and chalice whole. Storms in the wind sung to her and spilled blood whispered secrets of sin and grace to her soul. There was nothing in her library of passions shaped to help her say goodbye to a woman she loved who carried a child of her clan meant to be theirs.

How did she love a soul not yet beneath the canopy? The idea of a child struck something deep and wounded within her from so much of her experience in the mines. She’d at first struggled with the notion of bringing life into a world so corrupt altogether. That fear returned threefold when Juliet succeeded in taking to root the seed of one of her long lived cousins within the Maboya. 

They’d only just agreed to raise someone who’d make the world they’d seen the worst of a better place when necessity saw Erisian named Shalador’s first Territory Queen since Witch’s purge rocked the Realms. At first she’d tried to delay the execution of their choice but lost when Juliet made clear the many ways her love, her Queen’s, life would never give her time for a life her own. Time would be made because it had to be. No soul could thrive on duty alone.

As things turned out she wouldn’t be living much longer at all. A few years earlier the sacrifice she and her assembled were to make would have been a welcome relief from her life’s many griefs. Eris long since ceased to wish for an exit from an existence seemingly marked for tragedy. However there were still times her exhaustion touched a need for nothingness capable of making her weep. That ceased to be true the day she discovered there was a chance to see and watch thrive a piece of Juliet that would thrive well beyond the cruelly short life of her people. All Lady Mad loved best burned bright but quick so hot it burned to the bone but their child would endure.

Heat of another variety, heat that smothered and stunk of death had every inch of the city hotter than any assault of Summers past. Down at her hand Lady Mad glanced as she placed it upon the door to push it open like she had thousands of times before. There a plain ring of silver glinted and her heart ached with loss on loss drowning her in depths of feeling she did her best to tread. Did Draven know how much she loved him? Would he believe it if he ever made his way back to Shalador only to find her gone? Tears spung to burn her eyes and blur the sight of Juliet though her sweet voice touched Eris’ ears clear as crystal. Eris, love If this child has wings, I will strangle its father. I am not prepared for that

Calm as ever, her heart the eye of every storm, Jules was cracking jokes when Hell’s hearth was knocking at their doors. Rivers of fire consumed Shalador’s places most holy. The land was screaming. It didn’t matter. In that moment Lady Mad’s whole world was one woman and a goodbye good enough for forever. She crossed the distance between them in a few long strides. Strong arms of dark gold shone with sweat but the blistering heat didn’t stop them from pulling Juliet into a desperate embrace. On her exhale she laughed for a second before giving her Witch a chaste kiss that gave way to another, deeper kiss. With it the Black Jeweled Priestess Queen conveyed as much strength of passion their need for air allowed.

The feeling she channeled to pour through her touch and grant them a shared moment of communion and peace in love. When it broke and she breathed her lips smiled though tears had begun to run down her cheeks.  “I promise you’re in good hands. Nowhere has Healer’s like Shalador, Jules. Just remember as soon as crawling starts you’re going to want to keep the windows closed.” Eris didn’t want to let Juliet go but she did want to see her, really see her, before she had to go. Shalador’s Queen, though not for much longer, stepped back enough to see the face that belonged to the strongest spirit she’d ever known. The time to leave nipped at her heels but Erisian ignored it’s call for her last thing. After she left that room her life wasn’t her own but Juliet’s gallows humor? For just a bit more that could be hers. Eris wanted to follow her advice which was only half jest but quickly was the sand of their hourglass falling away.  “I love you Jules;” was the only thing she could think of to say that mattered. Soon it’d be history but just then it was everything.






Offline Juliet Marche

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Re: A sweet, small slice of immortality
« Reply #2 on: Aug 16, 17, 03:25:50 AM »
"So will you," said Juliet. She knew where her love, her Queen, was going. There was a real possibility that Erisian would not come back. But there was an equally real possibility that she would, that the Black Jewel she wore would combine well with those of the Mad Queen's Court, with her sister's Gray, that they would be able to stop the volcano and save Aztlan. Juliet herself would only remain here a few days longer before retreating to a Nayarit's Province capital for her work, and for her own safety. It would hurt to leave this place behind when she had only just made it what she wanted it to be. "I know you like your night breezes, but we'll find a way to mimic them with Craft to protect the little one." Her words were gently teasing; she took Erisian's kisses and returned a gentle peck at the corner of her Queen's mouth.

She cradled Erisian's face in her hands, thumbed away the errant tears. "I love you, Eris," she said, "so I'll thank you to come back to me relatively whole. A missing arm is alright, if needs must, but this is an order: come back to me."

Juliet rested her hands against the inner crease of Erisian's elbow, putting a cubit's worth of space between them. The witch's expression creased, mouth pulling tight for a moment as she considered her lover, the mother of her child, the Priestess Queen for whom Juliet would gladly die. In the length of that kiss, she'd been bouyed by the strength of Erisian's conviction, of her Black, the Craft of the Priestess and the Queen and the lover all at once. Her lifespan paled in comparison to Erisian's, but Juliet would carry that feeling for the rest of her life, would know what she had lost if Erisian never returned, for all the thirty or forty years that Juliet could expect.

Not for the first time, she wished the child in her belly hadn't taken so well, so quickly. That she could leave with her love and with the Court that had come with them from the mines. There was an old poem in the Chaillotan tongue that contained the line: It is just and fitting to die for the motherland. It would have been an honor. Only Juliet's voice carried more than one name to it now. There was the baby in her womb, the child that she had promised to protect with her body and life. Her child, Erisian's child, a precious seed of a legacy. Juliet could no more go to the mountains than she could summon up a Rose-Jeweled witchstorm. The little darkling mote that Juliet could barely even feel had decided her destiny for her.

"I won't have my legacy be that I'm the woman you left behind," she said. "So you come back, so we can make our names together. So our child will know its mothers, both of them."

Offline Erisian Maboya

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Re: A sweet, small slice of immortality
« Reply #3 on: Sep 12, 17, 12:31:31 AM »
This is an order: come back to me. Erisian couldn’t help but loose a tear framed smile that was sad despite the upturned nature of her full lips while she nodded in understanding. What a funny thing to be she was just then; a witch of power deific unable to save herself.

The pair stood in a room growing dangerously hot while the Forest burned. Shalador’s Lady still couldn’t help but marvel at being given an order by a woman whose confidence and certainty of self was as constant as the sun of which her Yellow and Tiger Eye Jewels so often reminded the once Mad, still cracked, Priestess Queen of Shalador.

What advice Eris had given Juliet chose to take as a word of caution for them both. Her consort, the mother of her child, spoke of breezeless nights through which they’d both live and the Shaladorian with gold kissed eyes and skin felt her heart stretch and swell. She was made larger inside by an ache that felt bigger than the whole of the city. Certain as the Chaillotian dreamer was of her return Erisian was of her destined demise.  She pressed her forehead against Jules’ own and unfurled her wings so they might wrap around them both, providing a familiar and sacred sanctuary for them alone.

For months she’d dreamt of death and fire and when it came it was worse than she’d ever imagined. No longer did she fear drowning in the flow of consuming, liquid heat. Night after night she’d lived that death. All Erisian felt was regret for the life she’d not get to live and the child who’d never know the mother who so wanted to teach them to fly, drum, and work Craft fantastic and wild. Those tasks and more would all be Juliet’s and the witch’s certainty they’d share those joys only grew her sorrow.

Tears began to fall more quickly from Eris’s lovingly fixed stare. Having just found joy after so many years of struggle the Priestess Queen didn’t want to go. The world was full and beautiful and if she stayed countless would die. Her sacrifice would save Shalador and so it was the only choice no matter how desperately she wished to stay. Time vanished quickly as a river of fire beneath a storm of ash crept across Aztlan devouring all in its path. Nevertheless, Erisian couldn’t make herself move. Not just yet. Instead, she momentarily indulged her gentlest love’s fantasy all while believing it’d never come to be.

Their quiet embrace was punctured by another edict from Juliet, determined to make a reality by force of will alone the future her heart needed to be whole. I won't have my legacy be that I'm the woman you left behind. So you come back, so we can make our names together. So our child will know its mothers, both of them.” The second demand was one answered by the Priestess Queen with a kiss laced by the salty wetness of tears falling unchecked by the pride of need for appearances. When it broke Eris answered with what kindness honesty allowed.

Worry about yourself, Jules. I need to leave here knowing that every thought in your mind from now until well…” Erisian shrugged and her wings rustled about them. She refused to make a promise she couldn’t be sure she’d keep before continuing, “If I’m going to make it back it’ll be because I’m not distracted while I’m there. So promise me when I go you’re going to get your shit and you’re going to leave. Not in a few days but tonight. Don’t take the winds and don’t let anyone know who you are until guards of the tribe have found you again. Promise me you won’t stay here and wait. Save the hope for a safe distance and I’ll be best able to follow those orders Lady Marche.” Erisian ended her retort with something that resembled the ghost of a smile as she addressed her future child’s mother in the manner a soldier might a superior. Quickly did the whisp of levity vanishe. It was replaced by a  desperate need for agreement as she added, “I can’t be safe if I don’t know you are.






Offline Juliet Marche

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Re: A sweet, small slice of immortality
« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 17, 03:19:52 PM »
Juliet patted Erisian's cheek fondly. "I don't have to worry about myself," said Juliet lightly, "I know exactly where I'll be and what I'll be doing. I'll be here for two more days to ensure all important items are gathered, and then I'm retreating to Nayarit with my people." She meant the Mitzi, the tribe into which she had been adopted. "Enoch will be by tomorrow to close the house and vanish the things I've packed. There's no need to worry about me, my love."

Important things. Gifts she'd given Eris and gifts Eris had given her. Paintings, papers... love-notes. They were not wives, but they were to be mothers together, their child perhaps the first of the Court that had risen from the mines. The only, if they died. Please, Mother Night, thought Juliet, don't let them die. Don't let me be the only one remaining to speak for us. She had borne many things with aplomb, rising harder and stronger for each obstacle in her way, but she didn't know that she would be able to move on past the loss of her dear friends.

She frowned, then, and said, "I cannot reach the Winds, Erisian, the child prevents it. I won't risk our little one for anything; there won't ever be another chance. I am old, as such things are reckoned." But she wasn't heartless. She could see the earnestness in Erisian's face. "But if it would truly help you to know that I was gone from here tonight--if you call Enoch to me, I will leave tonight. I cannot leave without the things that I require for my work. I won't be idle, even if I am pregnant and old, and some of these things are too expensive to replace. Especially the things which you have given me, knowing that this may be the last time I see you."

Offline Erisian Maboya

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Re: A sweet, small slice of immortality
« Reply #5 on: Nov 19, 17, 12:08:11 AM »
Ravenous lakes of fire consumed Aztlan. Erisian could feel the pain of her people with every breath. Even still, she felt something close to comfort her forehead pressed to Juliet’s. Only inches separated their minds and Lady Mad took hold of her gentle love’s unwavering surety. Were it not for Jules, her anchor, her love held close her demons might’ve stolen her away from that moment leaving instinct and fury where wisdom needed to lead. Kept tight Lady Marche’s light guided Eris back to center.

She didn’t want to leave but there was no power in the Realm that could change that blistering day’s inescapable course. Eldest Sister called her Queen.  Shalador’s Lady and court would answer. Juliet promised to change her plans. Erisian’s burden lessened a fraction. She relaxed u the terms set forth. “Okay.” She nodded, pulling her head back a fraction only to press it back against Jules’s own. Her mind reached out to Enoch’s and relayed his orders. Erisian rarely reached out to speak with her mind. Crisis made the abnormal, normal.

“Alright. We can do this,” she said in a voice laced with reckless bravado even as her eyes still shone wet with tears of love and fear.  We have to do this, remained unspoken. It didn’t need saying. Her Forest was on fire. The land screamed in her veins and beat a frantic rhythm in her breast. Before the day was done she’d pour out her vitae in sacrifice, for silence. Many would die. Blood like a river would spill to turn fire back to stone.

A kiss closed the small space between them. It was not goodbye but a promise that there would be a Shalador for Jules to help rebuild and for their child to watch grow. When she broke away it was with a ghost of a smile on wet lips that dried quickly from the heat in the air. “You’re not old, we’re both just getting started here. Enoch’s on his way. He’ll carry you and your effects far as needed. Darkness follow in your shadow, Jules. Keep Night close.” She wanted to make a joke about being home for dinner but it didn’t feel right. That was the sort of thing Draven would’ve said to make them both laugh in the face of dire straights but he wasn’t there and Erisian wouldn’t make a promise so unlikely to be kept.

Sighing softly she closed her eyes. “We’ve gotta go.” It didn’t need repeating but she said it a second time anyway. It was a reminder to herself and a bare bones prayer. The hourglass of their stolen time was spilling its last grains of life. “We’ve gotta go.

They had to march on the burning sister. What preparations that’d been made in the chaos of disaster and evacuation would have to be enough? They had to be enough. Erisian murmured “I love you” against Jules’ lips before kissing her again, gentle as morning’s dew dressed the leaves. “See you soon,”  the maybe martyr Priestess Queen of Shalador said. She didn’t move an inch; she was barely breathing. “I don’t want to let go,” Eris whispered, holding the witch tighter and burying her face in the crook of Juliet’s neck.
 






 

 

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