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For nearly two centuries Askavi floundered, brought low in the wake of the Red Queen’s war. The institution of one court with its Two Queens and the end of restitution payments promises a brighter future. Still, War knocks on the Eyrien’s door from all sides and the people fight against the need to meet it.
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Author Topic: From the font to the last rites  (Read 341 times)

Description: Drakkar, Illyrian

Offline Nova Marzena

  • Character Account
    • sapphire2eg
    • queen
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      Exiled Queen

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      Shalador

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      Reid

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From the font to the last rites
« on: Jan 24, 19, 02:17:27 AM »
Having proven she was perfectly capable of climbing the mountain up to Gravesend the first time she'd visited (had it really been a year?) Nova didn't hesitate to take a ride up to the top when the guard offered. Flight was a strange thing, an unwieldy thing, and yet something inside her thrilled at the way her stomach jolted at the moment the warrior took off. It was as if she were at the top of the highest tree she'd ever climbed, the wind rustling through her hair, all worries left on the ground below. The flight ended too soon; red-faced and flushed, she bowed to the warrior who had obliged her before turning back to the eyrie that housed the Territory Court of Askavi.

This time, she didn't return because she was in exile, biding her time until it was safe to re-enter the Territory of her birth. Shalador had accepted her back into its lands, but they would not permit her to rule. Nayarit's Seat sat empty, but the poisoning of Nova's good name and reputation ran too deep for the District Courts she'd once commanded to accept her hand over them again. One more thing to thank that bitch, Rian Maboya, for. Not only was she denied the right to rule what had been hers, what ought to still be hers, because of the former High Priestess's lies, she wasn't even permitted the right to claim a Price for the injustice. 'Her life is still necessary,' bullshit. Who cared what Rian was necessary for? The bitch ought to die.

No, she returned this time because she had written ahead. The Territory Court of Askavi had extended an offer to Queens willing to take it: in exchange for the Queen's Gift, they would give money, knowledge, resources. Nova had written to them and asked if the knowledge they offered included the right to train in Queencraft at the side of the Queen of Askavi, and they had responded in the affirmative, provided that she was willing to meet and discuss the terms before either side committed. Nova was willing to do what it took; with Yuki gone to Dena Nehele, Nova needed to find some resource, some way to repair her reputation or build a new one. Getting the training she'd never really had, in-depth training in the rulership of a land, seemed like an excellent starting point. If nothing else, she would be able to wait out the short lives of the people in Nayarit who declared her a traitor in the face of proof otherwise.

The appointed day couldn't have come fast enough. Waiting for the Queen and Warlord Prince of Askavi to enter the Court was almost too much suspense for her to bear. She could only pray that it would work out the way she wanted; if not, she wasn't sure what she would do next.




Offline Illyrian Kriat

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    • te2ss
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      Queen of Askavi

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      Askavi, Terreille

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      Phedre

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Re: From the font to the last rites
« Reply #1 on: Jan 24, 19, 02:59:23 AM »
Illyrian had been thrilled when she had heard from Lady Nova Marzena. Not only was she the daughter of (and possibly the most redeeming thing about) the High Priestess of Askavi, she was an Ebon Gray Queen. Illyrian remembered still the swooning feeling of working her Craft closely with Gillian while caring for Gravesend. She could only imagine the depth of healing Nova's Ebon Gray could offer the hungry land.

What was more, the Queen desired in exchange training in her Queencraft. Illyrian saw the training of Queens as a sacred duty. Her grandmother had trained her and already she worked with Irinian on understanding the basics of what it meant to carry this blessed caste. It was an honor to be entrusted with the education of a sister Queen, and Illyrian found she was quite looking forward to Nova's arrival.

There had been disagreement between the High Priestess and Queen of Askavi when it came to Nova's arrival. Lady Eodan wanted to greet her daughter personally and give her time to prepare, keeping the first few days just for family. Illyrian  had reminded her that Lady Marzena was coming to Askavi to serve and train, not to spend time with her family. The two witches had stared at each other for a long time before Celebrian nodded to the Queen, and then without another word, turned and left the room.

Illyrian knew it wasn't comfortable for Drakkar when his Queen and the mother of his lost child fought. She had been working at finding ways to meet him partway. Some ways were even working. Unfortunately, Celebrian Eodan was not one of those ways.

Nova Marzena was to be given a proper entrance and introduction to the Court. Not as the High Priestess's daughter, but as a Queen of the Blood in her own right. She would be granted the attention of the Queen and Warlord Prince of Askavi.

Illyrian laid her hand on top of Drakkar's. One of the few times when they touched was when he escorted her, or when they were attending matters for the Rulers of Askavi. In that, he truly had become her partner, negotiating and ruling with her instead of against her. She smiled at him, and for the briefest moment, she almost thought he smiled back. But then it was gone, and they were walking into the room where an Ebon Gray Queen awaited them.

"Lady Marzena. You are most welcome to Askavi and to this Court."  Illyrian stepped forward and offered her hands in formal greeting.







Offline Drakkar Estaroth

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    • broken2bo
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    • reddescent
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      Warlord Prince of Askavi

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      The Blood Seekers

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      Askavi, Terreille

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      Gavin

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Re: From the font to the last rites
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 19, 11:43:36 PM »
When Drakkar learned that Nova Marzena was returning to Gravesend, he knew there would be problems.

Celebrian wanted to take point in welcoming her to the Court, but Illyrian treated it as a matter of welcoming a fellow Queen to Gravesend in hopes of attaining her aid. Both women had implacable wills. Neither woman would be swayed from her position. And both women expected Drakkar to support their positions. Celebrian was her mother and Drakkar understood the desire of the High Priestess to bond with her daughter. They had not discussed Abaddon’s existence. One year ago, Nova Marzena was a stark reminder that Celebrian’s life had continued on while Drakkar mourned Valar’s death.

This year, it seemed that Abaddon served as Celebrian’s reminder that Valar had been denied to both of them.

In the end, Drakkar’s choice was clear. He explained his position to Celebrian and that this was a matter of Queens, one where she, nor he, could gainsay the Queen of Askavi. Celebrian had taken it poorly. For the first time in a long, long time, Drakkar saw that something had changed in Celebrian’s eyes when she looked upon him. The days leading up to Nova’s visit were tense, but Drakkar navigated them with his Queen’s aid.

Her hand remained upon his up until Nova’s arrival. When the Ebon Gray Queen (Mother Night, be merciful) entered and greeted his Queen, Drakkar rose and stood to his Queen’s right and a step behind to show that he supported her and lent his service to her. They ruled together but this was a matter between Queens; Drakkar would offer no offense to the Shaladorian Queen out of respect for his own Queen and also her mother. He watched them make their formal greetings.

Once Nova and llyrian greeted each other, Drakkar stepped forward and offered his own hands in greeting to the Ebon Gray Queen.

Lady Marzena, thank you for coming. You are most welcome to Askavi and this Court. I hope you will enjoy your time among us.” Drakkar said.

Once done, he stepped back and ceded control of this meeting to Illyrian. He’d chided Lucky al-Izar for attempting to bargain with a Queen as a Warlord Prince. He would not make the same mistake as the Warlord Prince of Pruul.

I hope that your journey up the mountain was safe enough.” Drakkar said, remembering that she’d climbed the mountain last year. Few people without wings were that daring.

Who would be the next brave (or foolish) soul to climb the cliffs of Gravesend to stand before its rulers?










Offline Nova Marzena

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    • sapphire2eg
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      Exiled Queen

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      Shalador

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Re: From the font to the last rites
« Reply #3 on: Feb 10, 19, 05:32:15 PM »
Nova returned the formality of their greetings, and then stepped back, offering deference in the proper bow of her head. From her distance of some scant handful of feet, she could see what it was about Askavi that drew her mother's devotion. Illyrian Kriat was beautiful, Nova had noticed that the very first time she'd come to the Territory Court at Gravesend. But here, now that their meeting wasn't incidental, she could take in the woman's confident mien, her clear golden eyes. It was difficult to explain, but looking at Illyrian here, in her capacity as the Territory Queen of Askavi, Nova thought of a well-maintained knife, a bow carefully cared for. The beauty was a supple sheath for the Queen within.

If Illyrian was beautiful, then Drakkar Estaroth was... No, he wasn't handsome, not as Nova counted such things. Her own escort, Hattori (currently climbing the mountain 'to see if I can') was more to her tastes, but there was a ferocity inherent in the Warlord Prince before her that reminded her of her home. In ceding the floor to Illyrian, he was graceful. Nova had the knowing of the dynamic, she thought, remembering her own Tokala. Drakkar was the steel gauntlet, Illyrian the velvet glove within, and Askavi the flesh that they were charged with protecting.

Fenthick would've liked that analogy.

"It was much quicker than my last climb, certainly. I enjoyed it," said Nova, smiling, the expression a little self-deprecating. She'd done it to prove to herself, to her mother, that she didn't need wings to do what the Eyriens did. It'd been... silly. This time, she'd elected to save her strength. "Thank you for your hospitality, last year and this one."

The niceties performed, she brushed her long hair--it'd always grown quickly, and since she'd stopped chopping it short it'd made great gains in length--back over her squared shoulders. "As I said in my letter, Lady Kriat, I'm interested in the offer that I've heard Askavi has made to Queens willing to assist with Gifting the land." Nova hesitated there, uncharacteristically, and took a deep breath: in through her nose, out through her mouth. I have a gift worth offering, she assured herself. I have an Ebon Gray. That's a gift worth much. And I'm not asking so very much in return. The Ebon Gray couldn't heal the land in one visit, but sustained attention should make a dent, shouldn't it? And Nova could learn from Illyrian's experience and wisdom.

Now reassured, Nova lifted her gaze again to meet Illyrian's golden eyes. "In exchange for an apprenticeship with you, Lady Kriat, I am offering you my Gift. Not just for the seasonal rites, or for once a year, but for the length of my time in residence in Askavi. If you'll permit me houseroom and teach me how to rule as you do, I will give your people my Gift every time I drain my Jewels." This was a discussion between Queens, but she couldn't help but glance aside to Drakkar as she made her offer. What did he think of the matter? He was a member of a ruling Triangle. Surely he saw the value as well.




Offline Hattori no Shingetsu

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Re: From the font to the last rites
« Reply #4 on: Feb 11, 19, 02:30:01 PM »
Hattori was only too happy to discover that Nova had a penchant for travel, and that she meant to go to Askavi.  It was one of the places he would have liked to see, but never quite got around to.  He had meant to go there, probably after Shalador’s fascination wore off, but now he had a Queen.  He had been prepared to stay where ever she wished, so long as he could be with his Queen, but she was a traveler and that had pleased him.  Nova wore the Ebon Gray, and probably did not really need his protection, but she had it nonetheless.  If he could avoid it, his Queen would not have to lift a finger in her own defense, not while she was in his company.  Hattori had been very annoyed with the unBonded escorts assigned to her in Shalador; yes she was powerful, but a Queen needed support and that was the Escort’s sole purpose.

He found himself preparing for a long trip, and recommending routes to his Queen.  Hattori had journeyed with Nova, and they were able to spend quite a bit of time together.  He found her fascinating, though he was certain that was a part of the Bond, and the end result of incomplete Geisha training.  He might not have ever been properly assigned to a Tacean Queen, but all of the training and the instincts had come forward the moment he found her.  She was his warrior Queen, and now that shew as His, he could not imagine a time where he would want to be away from her.  It was a curious thing, his fate.  He had been flung far from home to protect another, with the very real possibility of never again returning, and in doing so had found what was missing from his life, his very soul, in the last place he would have ever dreamed of looking.

Hattori was impressed by the mountains of Askavi, and when they came to Gravesend, and Nova had told him of her previous ascent, he wondered if he could do the same.  Once her presence was acknowledged, he asked for her leave to do so.  He made the ascent using Shingetsu Craft, a climbing pick, and lengths of silk rope he had in his psychic cabinet.  For the most part, he free climbed the mountain, only using a safety line when it seemed precarious, at one point using a Craft enhanced arrow to sing a line into stone.  Hattori attracted a few flying observers, until he finally made it to the top of the climb, and like every climber, he looked back the way he had come.  He smiled.  If he were the gambling sort, he would wager that he had done that faster than most without wings, thanks to altering his density, and being able to make ridiculously prodigious leaps and bounds.  He had been more mountain goat than man, he thought to himself, and then went on to find Nova.

He declared himself the escort of the Ebon Gray Queen, and was conducted into the presence of the rulers of Askavi.  He kept his eyes lowered, and moved up behind Nova and to her right, where he knelt, sitting on his heels, his hands on his thighs, and waited to be acknowledged.  It would be rude to interrupt, and Nova would know that he was there.  He was still wearing his travel gear, though the layers began to vanish until he was more comfortable.  Hattori would kneel there, silently, for hours, days even, if it was necessary.  Certainly he would not embarrass his beautiful Queen with rudeness, not here in this place that was foreign to the both of them.  This might sound like an easy thing in his mind, but the urge to just reach out and fix the hair she fussed with was nearly overpowering.

 

 

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