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* Plot Information for Askavi Terreille

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: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty  (Read 260 times)

Description: Attn: Kaderian

Offline Drakkar Estaroth

  • Character Account
    • broken2bo
    • wp
    • reddescent
    • Role

      Warlord Prince of Askavi

    • Faction

      The Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

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The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« on: Mar 04, 19, 12:12:55 PM »
Early Winter 193 - Shatterspine Falls


Drakkar decided that he’d waited long enough.

The months since Abaddon arrived had brought him joy and understand that he once believed unattainable. The Warlord Prince of Askavi could not say that he was a new man, but he could say that he was slowly becoming less of a broken one. Broken, he realized, because of all the sorrows and losses that he refused to deal with and leave in the past. He’d carried on his back a burden that time only increased. Rather than share his burdens with those people who’d been there for him, Drakkar had held them close and refused to let them go. If he didn’t hold on to them, who would he be? How could he honor those who’d fallen if he did not remind himself constantly that they’d died in defense of their people? That question plagued him for centuries, until now.

But he owed Kaderian the benefit of an explanation.

He stood in the center of the dueling ring and looked left and right along the ground. He recalled the battle clearly in his mind’s eye. The blood, both his and Abaddon’s, had long since been cleaned in the process of restoring this place to its position of honor, but Drakkar could still see where the blood fell. He recalled the edges of the dueling ring and how far he and Abaddon had pushed each other that day in the pursuit of proving their points to each other. They could have both died; Drakkar was sure he had. Only the efforts of the Healer who was now inbound toward this place had kept his heart beating long enough to return to Gravesend so that his life could be saved in full.

He should have thanked her long ago, for many things, but he’d been too obsessed with chasing his legacy, claiming power, and making other people pay for his personal injuries. He understood what he was thinking, back then, and the reasons he believed that he was right and righteous in his actions. Looking back on those days now, Drakkar wondered why more people hadn’t tried to kill him after that first attempt.

Staring out over Snow Cliffs Province, Drakkar inhaled the clean scent of the waterfall and waited for Kaderian to land. Hooked to the belt of his trousers was the dagger made from Abbadon’s khanjar, gifted to him by his own son.

When she landed, Drakkar waited for her to offer her greeting, taking her hands in his own. But once that was done, he stepped back and did something she rarely saw him do.

He smiled.

Hello, Kaderian. I’m glad you came.










Offline Kaderian Yrisia

  • Character Account
    • white2te
    • healer
    • Role

      Rogue Camp Healer

    • Faction

      Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      72

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Re: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« Reply #1 on: Mar 05, 19, 11:24:43 AM »
Drakkar Estaroth had summoned her.  She'd expected it months ago... and it had not come.  That hadn't put her at ease.  She still had things tightly organized, packed, just in case.  There was every chance that her Warlord Prince was going to cast her out of the Blood Seekers for daring to put herself between him and Tavar Andros - and she couldn't even blame him for it.

Worse, she knew Tavar Andros didn't give one shit for what she had risked and possibly given up in order to keep her promised word to his damnable Queen.  Nor did she particularly feel up to socializing with teh bastard to try to get him to feel anything about it.  The entire situation was her own fault for trying to be diplomatic in the first place - and it was certainly her own fault for sticking to her word.

But she had wanted to be better than him.

Being summoned to the place where Drakkar had almost died did not reassure her.  Not even a little.  It was possible that he was just here to think over things - that it wouldn't matter that she had done everything she could to save his life here.  It was possible that he wasn't even thinking about any of that.  The 'thing' between her and Drakkar was one of convenience on his part, and she knew it.

Her emotions were not his problem, and they never really had been.  Oh, he wasn't a complete ass about it.  He saw to her care on the anniversary of the Purge, because he knew it was a dark day for her - even if he didn't entirely understand the real depth of it.  That wasn't his fault.  She hadn't exactly shared that her sister had not just been a sister who happened to be a Queen, but was also the Queen of her heart.

She hadn't shared that with anyone, not willingly.

Landing in the cleaned up fighting ring, she tucked her wings in and ran her fingers through her hair in agitation.  She was bloody nervous, and she didn't like it.  She hadn't been nervous around Prince Estaroth in years.  No matter his moods, or a Rut, or just his general temper; she had always been unflinching in the face of it.

But still, she marched towards him.  "My Prince.  You called, and I answer."  Her hands extended, and when he took them, she felt a bit of tension drain away.  He hadn't turned away from her, or ignored her.  He couldn't be feeling too pissy.

Then he smiled... and she felt genuine confusion. Drakkar Estaroth had many expressions - she knew each of them well enough to memorize the looks and what they usually preceded.  The only smile that Drakkar Estaroth usually gave her was either a bloodthirsty one regarding being able to return to the field of battle - or the smile he granted when he was planning on thrusting himself into her body until both of them were well and truly spent.

This smile was neither of those. And that... was downright confusing.  Add to that strangeness the fact that he was being so informal and she had to wonder what he was up to.

"... well, it's not as if I have ever told you 'no' unless my hands were elbow deep in someone's wounds."  She gave a small smile, reaching up to rub at the back of her neck.  "How is the stiffness coming along?"  She reached out, her fingers hesitating above the worst of the injuries he had sustained at his son's hands. 

Just the smallest trickle of her Tiger Eye reached out, testing the scars.  No infection.  No signs of tearing.  Most likely he was fine, but reassuring herself of that was more important than anything else at the moment.


Offline Drakkar Estaroth

  • Character Account
    • broken2bo
    • wp
    • reddescent
    • Role

      Warlord Prince of Askavi

    • Faction

      The Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

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      156

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Re: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« Reply #2 on: Mar 11, 19, 11:55:55 PM »
Once again, Drakkar smiled. “The stiffness is gone. I ache a little when the rains come or when it gets chilly, but that’s nothing. I’ve always a carried an ache or two.

The life of a warrior was filled with minor and aches and pains, especially as one grew older. Drakkar wasn’t an old man among his people, but he was just a few centuries away from his middle years. The aches and pains he’d collected over the centuries would grow unless he demanded relief from a Healer of Kaderian’s or Kestian’s skills. Drakkar hadn’t decided how he’d navigate that yet, but he would do so when the time arrived.

I’m glad you came, though. I...should have called you before now. Much has happened since you returned. Much happened while you were gone as well, Kaderian.” he said, inhaling through his nose and exhaling through his mouth. His fingers flexed and closed, flexed and closed while he considered where to start. Kaderian was nervous, something that he couldn’t remember her being in centuries that they’d known each other. She was always cool under pressure and ready to get fly at his command. She’d sworn to follow him until the end of days, but Drakkar wondered if he was a fool to let her do that.

You returned Tavar to Askavi and I’m beyond grateful that you did. I know you despise him. You aren’t alone. But you’ve also endured that dislike quietly, unlike many others. We thought it was in Raej, but you located him in Pruul. I’ll never know how you pulled that off.” Drakkar said.

But given what I’ve heard of that Territory, I’m glad you returned alive.” he said.

Drakkar looked directly at her now.

I wanted you to hear this from me before you heard it from anyone else. Lady Kriat and I have found common ground in our rule. I learned new information that’s lead me to rethink my relationship with her. I will continue to work here at the Territory Court for the good of our people.” Drakkar said, taking a deep breath.

But very soon, I will relinquish command of the Blood Seekers to a new leader. You once swore to follow me no matter what, Kaderian, but you are a Blood Seeker. I owed you the truth before the official announcement is made.” Drakkar said.










Offline Kaderian Yrisia

  • Character Account
    • white2te
    • healer
    • Role

      Rogue Camp Healer

    • Faction

      Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      72

    • View Profile
Re: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« Reply #3 on: Mar 12, 19, 12:20:34 AM »
Gratitude?  She supposed that wasn't so bad.  It didn't seem as if it needed this sort of scenic atmosphere - but perhaps he really had just been brooding.  How would she know?  She'd been gone for over a year - and a lot had changed in that time.  She'd never thought a single year could change someone like him so quickly - not without something like the WitchStorm to set off a cataclysmic set of events.

She was starting to relax, just a little.  Or at least, she had been.

I wanted you to hear this from me....

Oh no.  No no no no no.  As he spoke of Illyrian, as he spoke of how he was rethinking his reationship, as he spoke of the court... she knew what he was going to say.

And he did not disappoint.  For the first time in her life, she wished he would.  She wished she was wrong.  She wished that she could go back to that day on the lake shore and tell him no.

He was leaving the Blood Seekers.  He was leaving... her.  For that fucking bitch of a Queen who didn't understand her own damned people!  Her hands fisted at her sides and Kaderian Yrisia stared at him - unrepentant in her anger and frustration.  Sheer force of will kept her from screaming.

Sheer stubborn pride kept her from begging.

"I made my oath to you, Prince Estaroth.  If you leave the Blood Seekers..."  She paused.  "Then my reason for being there will be gone.  You were why I left the Eyrie, and you were the one that gave me purpose.  I..."

I will not have a purpose if he leaves.

Her eyes finally dropped, staring furiously towards the ground.  She was no warrior.  She'd never be allowed to go to a Hunting Camp and learn to hunt their enemies.  She'd never be allowed to guard even women and children from the monsters that boiled from the ground like giant and rabid ants.

She'd never respect another commander in the way she had respected him.  And no other commander would ever tolerate her need to fly the Runs, or to go head to head with them whenever she thought they were being an idiot.

She took a deep breath, instead of spilling that vitriol, and forced herself to call on little used manners and Protocol.  "... Congratulations on finding an accord with your Bonded Queen, my Prince."  She forced her head to bow, and did her best to not sound as if she were gagging on the words. 

But she was.  The idea of that woman claiming even a single scrap of Drakkar's heart was enough to make her want to claw the Queen's eyes from her skull.  Not that she'd ever do it.  Drakkar had been protective of the female over a year ago now.  AT this point it would be even worse.

Illyrian Kriat could demand your exile, and he'd let her do it.  She's gotten her damned claws into his soul, and there's nothing you can do about it.

She was going to be sick. 

"If you are relinquishing command, and have no need of me, I request that I be released.  I have considered Caste training for some time now - and without my oath to hold me back, perhaps it is time I grow." 

Where you fly, I fly...

Her throat flexed, and her stomach rolled.  She had meant those words.  She still did.  But he wasn't offering to bring her to Court.  He wasn't offering to have her follow her oath at his side.  This had the ring of 'goodbye'.  He was going to just... leave.

Her fist tightened again, and not for the first time in her life, she considered snapping that fist out to connect it to his jaw.  She wouldn't.  That would be a fairly pointless exercise that would likely end in humiliation - but she wanted to do it.

"If you would prefer I remain with the Camp, I will do so.  I do not break my oaths."  Unlike many.


Offline Drakkar Estaroth

  • Character Account
    • broken2bo
    • wp
    • reddescent
    • Role

      Warlord Prince of Askavi

    • Faction

      The Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      156

    • View Profile
Re: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« Reply #4 on: Mar 21, 19, 10:56:16 PM »
Drakkar knew that Kaderian would not take the news well. She did not care for Queens, especially for Illyrian. He understood that much of her hatred for Illyrian was his own doing. He’d slandered her to everyone who would listen long before he knew her. Looking back from here, Drakkar understood how unfair it was to do that to his Queen, or to anyone that he didn’t know. Back then, he felt himself justified. Now they were both bearing the consequences of his actions.

But Kaderian’s anger surprised him. He was silent for a moment, resisting the instinct to react to that anger with his own. He let her work through it while he breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth. Drakkar had expected some form of anger from her. She’d joined as a Camp Healer on nothing save for his word. She’d undertaken the mission to find Tavar on nothing more than his word. She’d be separated from her people for over a year because he asked. Did she feel betrayed? Did she feel that her sacrifice was made in vain? She hated Tavar, which he also knew.

You left the Healer’s Eyrie because I asked you to, that’s true. But that doesn’t mean you have no purpose. You have healed thousands of warriors, myself included. The next leader of the Blood Seekers, whoever that may be, could use your keen perceptions and your dedication.” Drakkar said, watching her look down at the ground. What was she thinking? What would she do if he told her to stay on despite his stepping away?

I have considered Caste training for some time now - and without my oath to hold me back, perhaps it is time I grow.

Something in the words dug under his skin. “I didn’t realize that your oath was holding you back from directing your life. I have never asked you to do that.” Drakkar said evenly. He did not want to leave this conversation with resentment brewing between them, but he did not like the tone she took.

You seem to work well with Lady Ankhara. You could serve at Gravesend, if you wish. Otherwise, I’m sure that we can find a place for you. This is all supposing that you don’t stay with the Blood Seekers.” Drakkar said.

I prefer that you serve your people as you always have.” he said.

What is happening with you, Kaderian? You have been different since you returned.










Offline Kaderian Yrisia

  • Character Account
    • white2te
    • healer
    • Role

      Rogue Camp Healer

    • Faction

      Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      72

    • View Profile
Re: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« Reply #5 on: Mar 22, 19, 02:47:02 PM »
"The next leader of the Blood Seekers is likely to not tolerate my particular habits."  She said the words wryly.  Dry and bland, to hide the fury that was brewing in her chest.  She'd given up everything for him and his promise.

He'd sworn that he would see Askavi defended.  He'd sworn that they would survive.

What was happening now?  It wasn't survival.  It wasn't even close.  They were losing ground every day.  They were dying by a thousand cuts.  And never had it been more clear than after she had returned from a year away.  Dena Nehele suffered, yes... but not nearly so much as Askavi.  They killed their own queens for sport, yes, but they had kept their land fed.

Pruul, a desert that was essentially dead, could still feed its people.  Askavi did not.

Raej?  They had everything they wanted.  Shalador?  A veritable jungle paradise.

Everywhere she'd heard of had recovered, could feed itself, didn't have monsters boiling at their doors.  Everywhere else was doing more than surviving.  Their people... were not.

"This isn't about the Blood Seekers.  This isn't even about you.  This is about her."  Kaderian's wings snapped shut behind her, her teeth baring for half an instant before she regained control of her mouth.  "Our people are dying.  What does she do to fix this?"

Her hand lifted, pointing not at him, but at the falls. "THIS is our land, Drakkar.  Not bloody Gravesend.  Gravesend hid.  They take care of themselves first - our landen are dying by the droves, the Jhinka destroy our outposts one by one... and where is Gravesend?  I saw them, Drakkar.  I saw them, and I saw... I saw how they took down our Hunters, and how even with a Red, your son, and with two skilled Sapphires we barely escaped.  What does Gravesend plan to do about this?  Hide, as they did before?  How many can they save should our land drown in Jhinka??  How many can they feed?  Our people starve... and the other Territories do not.  Pruul is a fucking wasteland, but it manages to feed its people.  We can't do that.  And what does Gravesend do about it?"

What did Illyrian Kriat intend to do about it?  But she couldn't say the Queen's name.  She wouldn't say it - actually - because to do so with the anger she felt was going to just set him off. 

"I follow you.  Not the Blood Seekers, not the Queen.  You.   I am happy that you have found peace in your Bond, truly I am... but I cannot be happy that the Bond is with her.  I..."  Her teeth snapped shut, body twisting about so that she could stare out at teh falls again. 

For a long breath, she remained there.  Still, quiet... as if somehow the force of that sight could calm the tempest that currently raged in her belly and heart.  It couldn't.  "I am different.  I brought you the male you wanted, so that you could claim a Price.  I brought you your son.  I ... had to play diplomat... with a Queen.  And she learned something I never wanted anyone to learn; I had to leave her alive despite her speaking that secret aloud, all so that Tavar fucking Andros could come back to you.  I have loved you for nearly two hundred years, and never have I asked for anything in return."  Her hand lifted, waving at him as if to dismiss anything he might say there.  "You owe me nothing for any of it.  You owe me not one emotion.  They simply... are.  That is not the point of this answer."

Finally she turned to see him.  And this wasn't her angered face.  This was Kaderian with tears in her eyes and a shake to her voice.  She wanted to race into his arms and bury her head there against his chest.  She wanted the stability, the steady thump of his warrior heart, to chase back the nightmares and memories.  But he wasn't hers.  Not even in passing anymore - not if he was truly choosing Gravesend over the Blood Seekers, Illyrian over the rest of them.  Was it ever a choice? She knew better.

"I can't.. I can't be happy about Lady Kriat, Drakkar, and it isn't entirely because of you. I can't be happy about her because I know what it is to lose the Queen of your soul."  She touched her heart, whispering that pain into the air.  "Sirian... did not run.  She faced the world, and everything in it... she died and I did not die with her.  I should have.  I wished it for years... and then you came and called me out of the shadows.  I fly for you because you made my heart beat again.  So what you choose to do with me is ... what you choose to do with me.  But do not ask me to serve another as I would you.  I can't.  I won't."

Kaderian would serve as ordered.  She would keep people alive - but her heart wouldn't be in it.  She wouldn't be as willing to go head to head with stubborn males because they just wouldn't respect her in the same way he had.  She wouldn't be guaranteed the same level of respect from the new Leader of the Blood Seekers.  She would likely be set aside for their own preferred Healer - and forced to chew on her cheek every time a decision was made that she disagreed with.

And if ever they caught her flying the Run on the anniversary of her sister's death and tried to tell her no?  That would be a fucking festival of pain for all involved.


Offline Drakkar Estaroth

  • Character Account
    • broken2bo
    • wp
    • reddescent
    • Role

      Warlord Prince of Askavi

    • Faction

      The Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      156

    • View Profile
Re: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« Reply #6 on: Apr 16, 19, 11:52:05 PM »
This isn't about the Blood Seekers.  This isn't even about you.  This is about her.

There it was.

His bond with Illyrian had changed his life. Through that, it would change the lives of his people as well. Kaderian had never been one for the Courts, same as he. But he’d spent the past year learning how they worked, learning how to play their games while bringing forth information on what the people needed. He and Illyrian fought each other tooth and nail at the start of things, but they’d learned how to speak to each other, how to communicate without spewing venom at each other and it had made a difference. How did he explain this to Kaderian?

She’s doing more than you’d give her credit for.” Drakkar said.

Gravesend can’t hide anymore. Lady Kriat has been front and center in this, speaking to the Queens of other Territories and trying to draw them here to lend their gift to our efforts. Hard as this is to admit...with no Dark Jeweled Queens to aid us, the damage done to Askavi won’t be turned around for centuries.” he said, looking out over the vistas that she’d pointed to.

We have reached out to Shalador. To Dena Nehele. To Pruul. Lady Kriat is fighting to bring Queens to Askavi to assist us, despite how hard...how hard I’ve made it for her. She is working to keep the land alive, but everyone has withdrawn to the Provinces and can barely look past their own concerns. Iridian Falth is having issues with the Landen. The Queen of Black Forest has not responded to requests to come to Gravesend. Prince Shostakov is either inept or simply too cowardly to use his Gray in defense of his Province.” Drakkar said, resisting the urge to snarl. He wanted to go down to Living Lake and take the man’s measure directly.

No matter how much Celebrian assured him that Vondar Shostakov was doing his best to keep Living Lake in hand.

You did what I asked and more. You brought me more than I could have dreamed. My mission is the same. The method of achieving my goals has changed. I’m working through the Courts can supplement the War Camps and help us take the fight to the Jhinka.” Drakkar said.

But I sense that none of this is what you need to hear.

He fell silent, then, to let her speak. The sense of grief, of loss, that rolled off her was so strong that Drakkar merely watched Kaderian for a moment. He listened and heard the undercurrent of pain in her words. The guilt of living when one’s loved ones did not could be overwhelming. Drakkar understood it intimately, which was why he thought Kaderian felt safe sharing her pain with him. But he also saw another reason beneath it, one that he hadn’t truly expected.

She loves you.

She had never asked him for anything more, but then...he’d never offered it, either. He’d never opened himself to the possibility of a future with her, not the way he had with Celebrian. If Valar had lived, he would have taken the Priestess as his wife and lived happily with her. But he did not...and he still did not turn to Kaderian.

Now, things were different between himself and Illyrian and he found himself drawn to the Queen of Askavi as he had not been before.

He sighed.

I’m asking you to serve the people of Askavi. But I will not force you. I know that, whatever you choose to do, you will succeed. You always have.” Drakkar said gently.










Offline Kaderian Yrisia

  • Character Account
    • white2te
    • healer
    • Role

      Rogue Camp Healer

    • Faction

      Blood Seekers

    • Territory

      Askavi

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      72

    • View Profile
Re: The Court of Rewarded Loyalty
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 19, 01:03:31 PM »
"Gravesend hid.  Our people have been hiding in holes for two hundred years instead of facing our foes while we had a chance to thin their numbers.  We should have taken our grief and rage out on the Jhinka and we did not.  They were so many..."  Her fingers rubbed at the back of her neck, eyes focusing on the horizon again.

"We almost died there, Drakkar.  Every single one of us.  Even with the Hunters, and your son, and his friend, and Andros... we were overwhelmed.  If not for the assistance we got from others, we would not have made it.  And if we fall, those beasts will come out of our mountains to swarm over our neighbors.  And they're stupidly probably happy to see us die, and not realize what it will mean."

She wanted more than his platitudes about how Illyrian was 'trying'.  She wanted more than 'she's doing more'.  What Illyrian was doing wasn't good enough.  She'd had two hundred years, almost, to try to stem this tide and she had not.

"As just a Healer, I can only fix bodies.  I can't... do everything that could help.  I'm not good enough as just a Healer, Prince.  And I refuse to coop myself up in... well."  She was doing what she could to not insult his Queen.  Truly she was.  But Gravesend?  Gravesend was a gilded cage.  It was a place to hide, to cower away from reality. 

"I intend to train as a Black Widow, and do what I can to help find the weak points in the Jhinka lines.  I intend to learn to fight, so that if ever we are overwhelmed i can go down knowing I took a few of the bastards with me."  She turned, finally, to face him.

"I intend to outfly every last one of the Bloodseekers in the runs, eventually.  All of them.  And I intend to teach other females to do the same.  We don't have the luxury of following tradition, Drakkar.  Your men won't be enough.  All of our men won't be enough.  If what I saw is just a taste of what we have ignored all this time... I'm not sure all of us is enough."

Carefully, with all the caution that a Prince like him deserved, she moved closer to set her hand against his chest.  "I will do that to serve our people, Drakkar... because the only leader that would ever tolerate me as I am is you.  But I want you to promise me something.  When you're drowning in politics and snakes.. never lose sight of your target.  You are a warrior.  Continue to be one.  Don't lose sight of why you're there... and your Queen isn't the only reason you are.  She got lost to the politics at least once, and allowed herself to be hidden away for centuries and failed all of us who had to live with what the War brought us.  Promise me you will not do the same to your people."


 

 

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