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A Black Jewel has obliterated the longstanding Eyrien rulership of the Territory. As the Rihlanders begin to reclaim their homeland they do so under the stern gaze of their "savior". Three separate peoples struggle to both claim their own identities and become a unified nation, but old hatreds are difficult to shed.
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Author Topic: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day  (Read 202 times)

Description: LET THE MOOT COMMENCE

Offline Kalvar Elbremov

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Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« on: Apr 06, 18, 01:45:49 PM »
This thread takes place on Winsol to usher in the 193 year.



A great flame heralded the moot for miles around Kanonberg, the capital of the Markoth Province. Kalvar had spent weeks reconstructing the design of a near-mythological Rihlander warship. The design was heavily inspired by the tale of Sigred, a Rihlander warrior who sailed across all the oceans and returned after perilous voyages, taking with him an ice-haired Queen from the frozen north that was both beautiful and fierce. It was from Sigred's bride and Queen, Kriemhild, that all Rihlanders descended; or so one of the tales of their origins went. Kalvar had heard the story for centuries, different with each telling, and always been entranced with it.

In one of the tellings, Sigred was betrayed by his brother in law and his nephew, slain and killing his murderer in turn. Kriemhild willed herself to die, but not before gathering the essences of her slain husband and drawing her spirit to the ship that brought her home. Their love was so great, not just for each-other but for the land, that the vessel burned from that passion. Through the smoke it was said that everyone for miles could see their shapes ascend to the heavens far above.

The heavens had been stolen from the Rihlanders by the Eyriens, but tonight Kalvar was intent to return it to them.

He had gathered a massive feast. The hearty fare of the Rihlander people was brought forth to fill them. Mead and ale were in abundance and Kalvar had brought forth some of his own stores of sake to spread the celebration of the season. Set for a Winsol celebration, the Rihland cold had started to settle in. But between the drink and the flame there was no fear of the bite of winter.

The Black Prince had called upon each Province and District Queen through messenger to bring not only themselves but all their Courts and their resources to help support the moot. Whether they chafed against the idea or not, Kalvar had made clear that if they wished to remain in their seats they should support this unification effort. Music was already in play by several spirited bards and word had spread that Tyr Madsen, the respected Skald, would be performing that night.

Kalvar had also sent an "invitation" to the Hunting Camp to come forth and celebrate the Winsol. It was far more a Rihlander-based event, yet many aspects of the Eyrien culture, Kalvar felt, were compatible with the Rihlander's way of life. Eyriens were strong warriors, proud, and loved to fight and enjoy fierce company. They were not so different, he knew, having loved a Rihlander woman and helped raise Rihlander children.

There were others, Kalvar knew, of the Eyrien "Rebellion" who would hear of this event. Whether they would be bold enough to come to the event and show their faces, or be bolder still to try and disrupt it, remain unseen. In the back of his mind he considered if the Reclaimers, too, would seek to disrupt the event.

Let them try, he thought with stoic purpose. He would not be swayed from this correct course.

Kalvar stood near the flames of the burning ship. He was calm in his repose, scanning as the mass of Rihland came forth to share in their bounty before the Spring, to stand shoulder to shoulder, be they Rihlander, Glacian, or Eyrien, and to eat and drink beneath the same sky.

Despite the trepidation he may have had (for certainly, even a God could know the twinge of anxiety of a task that may fail), he was far more optimistic and hopeful of the night. Hope filled him in ways it had not for years, and he looked at the gathering with optimism and a touch of excitement.




Plot Lead Note: This thread is open to all in Rihland. Almost everyone in Rihland would have heard of the date and location of the event, as it's a massive celebration. There will be no set post order involved, if you need people to wait for you please let everyone involved know, but don't hold the thread up for more than a couple days.


Offline Evony Bos

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #1 on: Apr 06, 18, 02:20:57 PM »
It had been a frantic set of work, coordinating with so many to ensure that the Feast was properly prepared.  She'd felt like a General, barking orders for dish cleaning and the movement of so many foods.  But looking at it?  Seeing how things were moving?  She felt real pride.  She felt a sense of accomplishment that was second only to having found a safe harbor for Petra.

She felt.. exultant, really.

Kalvar cut an impressive figure standing so close to the burning ship.  She had the feeling that for the rest of her days, that image would be etched into her memories.  Kalvar had become the salvation of her family, what little was left of it, and to see his hope for a Moot come to fruition warmed her heart. 

Oh, she knew that many were grumbly about it.  She knew that Adalwolfa was unpleased, and likely some of the Queens.. and that wasn't touching on the common folk who didn't understand Kalvar or believed him a monster purely because of his wings.  But... for the moment, none of that mattered.  Kalvar had created a Moot that rivaled anything she'd ever seen.  He was honoring her people's history, their heritage, and he was doing his best to bring all of them together.

If it wasn't perfect, who cared?  It was perfect enough.

Despite the grumbling and downright cold manner that Andrei Elbremov had given her, his delivery had been flawless.  In return, she'd made sure that the foods were prepared flawlessly.  She'd made more sweet breads and vegetable dishes in the last two days than she'd ever imagined.  And that was just what she'd been directing, personally.  Other dishes had been run by other Cooks, though she'd kept an eye on it all.

Now..  She took a deep breath, straightening her shoulders.  Now was the time to find Signe and her niece.  To find Wolf, and Odinar.  To drink with friends, allies, and family.  To remember history, to honor it.. and to hope for a better future.  A moot wasn't just about the food, or the decoration.  It was about the feeling.. and she had high hopes that this Moot would live up to her wildest expectations.

Offline Kibeth Mistborn

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #2 on: Apr 06, 18, 02:40:25 PM »
Kibeth didn't want to be here. Moots held nothing but bad memories for her; it had been the end of her childhood and the beginning of torment. Had she her own way, she would've remained at home, even from the Reclaimer moot. Let the people come to her. She walked among them often enough that if they desired something more they ought to know well where to find her. And yet... She wanted to be a good Queen. A strong Queen. The sort of Queen that could someday rule a Territory, maybe, even.

Though the Eyriens frightened her, and though she didn't want to be there, she put a good face on it as she arrived at the Court moot. It wasn't as if she was alone. Sokolov, Edwine, and Baard were in attendance, and Sokolov stuck to her side like a burr, his Sapphire alight at his throat. He had promised that he wouldn't cease shielding her on pain of his own death, and she trusted that he would hold to that promise. They were bonded. Why would he lie? She tried not to think that the Eyriens could make him a liar. They'd made so many of them out of good Rihlanders before.

The Court moot--she couldn't bring herself to call it a neutered moot the way Melany had, bitterly, repeatedly--was festive, bright, almost beautiful, and she could feel sincerity from some. So many others stewed in doubt and fear, though: fear that if they did not present themselves to the butcher, they would be slain outright. Had Kalvar not done so before? Promises were words and words were wind, meaning less than nothing.

How could she look to the faces around her when far above her, the smoke-filled sky hung so balefully empty and open? There was no point watching what stars she could see for bat-winged shadows, because the threat was all around her. Kibeth craned her neck to look at the moon.

"We should show our faces by the bonfire," said Sokolov. She whipped her stare around to look him in the eyes, but he was staring resolutely to a bat-winged figure by the burning ship. Kibeth found herself tracing the shape of his shadow, disproportionately large. Fitting: his shadow covered all of Rihland.

She shook her head. "I want to find Papa," she said. "Then we can go speak to Prince Elbremov."

Offline Tyr Madsen

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #3 on: Apr 06, 18, 03:03:24 PM »
Tyr sat apart from the body of the moot as yet. His thoughts were full of his recent discussion with Melany, if it could be called something so charitable as that. I can't kill him more times than he's going to die anyway. His poor bloodthirsty girl. She wouldn't be so stupid as to attack a moot where the Black would be in attendance, when her numbers contained not one Jewel darker than the Green. He could see what a statement it would make, to attack a peaceful gathering. Yet... he doubted she would. She was not so far gone, he told himself.

Kibeth was here. So was he. And Erwin. Killian Ibsen would be in attendance as well. Beyond that he knew little of the Reclaimer's members. Were there more here? Almost certainly. Were they in attendance with good intentions? He doubted that, as much as he doubted they would do anything about it. They would watch, they would see what Kalvar Elbremov's moot was like, they would report back to Melany... who was even now in the mountains of Scythia, preparing for her own moot. This one lasted only one night; the other would last for days.

Perhaps, in the interest of mending the bridge, he should attend the other. But that might draw attention to the Reclaimers in a way that they were not yet prepared for. Tyr groped for his flask and took a sip from it.

He had dressed in fine style for the moot, as he had for so many before that disastrous moot in 183. Somber black was his tunic, midnight blue his cloak. Both were bordered in almost indiscernible embroidered knotwork, spells woven into every stitch to offer stamina and lift his voice above any crowd. Tyr had never had to use them in his life. Brooches studded with White chips tied the shoulders of his cloak together before his breast and over it he wore a Skald's necklace: heavy pendants of brass and semiprecious stones, linked by forged chain to a rectangular pendant worked with the old runes of his people. It had lain in storage, removed only to clean it, for nearly a decade.

But here he was. And there, in the crowd, he spotted Kibeth. His girl. The only reason he was anywhere but home.

It wasn't time to perform yet. That time would come. For now, he watched his people and the invaders, seeing something else entirely.

Offline Odinar Elbremov

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #4 on: Apr 07, 18, 01:42:55 AM »
The night grated on Odinar’s nerves.

His father wanted this night to go well, so Odinar wanted it to go well for him. But there were too many people here. Too many different courts. Too many Rihlanders who hated his family because of the peace his father brought them. Oh, they enjoyed the benefits of that peace without restraint yet cursed the hand that liberated them from the Eyriens who’d oppressed them for centuries. Odinar had the dubious distinction of serving the previous and current rulers of Askavi, granting him a perspective on Eyrien/Rihlander relations that many of the people here lacked.

So many hypocrites and ungrateful people came here to drink and indulge a night of loosened laws. Tomorrow, they’d go right back to cursing Kalvar’s name despite all he offered them.

Odinar saw Tyr Madsen sitting alone, but speaking with the old Skald was a poor idea. Even if the old man would speak with him, there would be little to say. He would pass on soon enough and then another one of the great storytellers of Rihalnd would be gone. Odinar remembered when there were many, many more throughout the Territory. He’d even hunted a few, brought them to justice when commanded by his superiors. He felt guilty about few things in life, but his own contributions to oppressing the Rihlanders were among them.

There would be fighting tonight. There would drinking, laughter, and stories. The Glacians would come and be their normally dour selves...except for Signe. All-Mother help them all, someone would start something. Odinar expected that the Eyrien Rebellion would be the likely culprit. If they did, he wouldn’t have to hold back when he killed them for their temerity.

His eye caught Evony and Odinar crossed his arms over his chest. She was probably looking for her pet Landen, somewhere near the fire. Odinar had own that he was impressed at how Wolf Riemann had managed to survive Evony’s attentions over the past weeks. He was also amused at Evony’s restraint. She’d not broken her toy yet.

Odinar changed his position every few minutes to give himself a good few of the entire moot. He made sure the rest of the Guard did the same, directing pairs to support each other and entrances and exits to the grounds.

He would support his father’s attempt to bring these disparate peoples together until they proved unworthy of the effort.

"Lady Bos." Odinar said, getting the Hearth Witch's attention.

"I think I saw your friend near the beer."

Offline Katrien Raske

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #5 on: Apr 07, 18, 04:47:19 AM »
The dress had cost a fortune; not that Konstantin would have told her exactly how much, but the material alone was extravagant. It pleased him to see her well dressed and pleased him to shop for her at exclusive boutiques and dress makers in Little Terreille. It would have pleased Katrien more if he had spent the money acquiring ancient manuscripts or lost work of Rihlander literature, but it was his money after all. She spent her limited resources trying to rebuild the cultural knowledge of her people who had been oppressed for so long. They deserved the right to know who they were and what they truly descended from.

When Kalvar had expressed an interest in hosting his moot, the welcoming of the New Year, in Kanonberg she had been excited. It meant that guests from around the reformed Territory would see the beauty of her Province and perhaps even the good work that she and Signe’s Court had brought together in the form of their newly constructed library.

Katrien was most excited to hear the mythological tales of her people and experience a lost tradition. She felt like a child on their first Winsol as Konstantin escorted her to the event, her eyes wide with wonder and pleasure. Never mind that the beautiful gown was difficult to move in, Kon wouldn’t let her trip.

“Do you think the flame is infused with craft?” She asked with wonderment as Kon escorted her into the carriage. Her Master of the Guard followed closely behind her favoured Escort, and much of the rest of her Court had already set off to the event with only a few trailing behind the Queen in another carriage.

Katrien was excited to hear the long lost tales. Yet there was a sense of nervousness that plagued her spirit as the carriage set off. The Eyriens had been invited too. And while Katrien understood better than most that not all Eyriens were bad (her heart still ached for her lost male, Tonivar) the memories that came with a site of the wings were traumatic at best, debilitating at worse. What would Ton have said? Something along the lines of “chin up, princess, don’t let them see you sweat”. The tone of his voice, calm and deep, echoed in her heart as the words reverberated in her memory.

No, not all Eyriens were bad, but nor were they as special as Tonivar had been. They wouldn’t have staged a coup to free their Queen from captivity and give their life in doing so.



(OOC: Dress & Make-up, courtesy of Kon/Dash)


Offline Yserian Aethelas

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #6 on: Apr 08, 18, 01:20:21 PM »
Even though Yserian had spent a week yelling privately to her Court about the stupidity and arrogance of this event, she still showed up like the leashed bitch that she was.

How dare Kalvar Elbremov threaten her rule so flippantly.

Never mind that he had practically given her the Altai District after killing its previous ruler. Never mind that he wore the Black and could obliterate her with a flicker of his power. He was an arrogant prick of male that needed to be put in his place.

Just like Konstantin Timur.

The thought of the demanding Warlord Prince that had blackmailed her into such a humiliating sexual act had Yserian’s blood boiling as she and her escorts arrived. They thought her mood was because of Kalvar and being pressed into making an appearance at this farce of unification. Let them continue to think that. If she saw Konstantin here, she was going to return the favor he had given her in kind.

Yserian was dressed in a floor-length black dress with high slits on the thighs to show off her legs. It was sleeveless but she draped a black fur-lined cloak across her bared shoulders to ward off the initial cold, knowing that she would probably be warm later. She cut a striking figure in black, with her dark wings and smoldering eyes. The only color to her was a slash of blood red lipstick.

If she had to be at this event, she was going to be remembered for it.

“Let’s pay our respects to our...host...and then to Lady Raske,” she said to her escorts, almost choking on the words. If anyone looked hostile at her arrival, she shot them the same defensive look back. She had been ordered here -- had she been given a damned choice, she would have stayed away from this filthy thing. Let the Rihlanders have their barbaric moots with children’s tales and arm wrestling contests. Let them think they were a warrior people and not inexperienced youths playing at it.

Tucking her wings closely behind her so that no passersby brushed against those sensitive membranes rudely, Yserian strode through the crowd to make her appearance and began plotting how quickly she could be gone from this place while still maintaining her rule.

Offline Wolf Riemann

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #7 on: Apr 08, 18, 05:03:59 PM »
The Blood knew how to throw a party!

When Wolf heard that Kalvar was planning a moot, a real moot, the Landen male knew he had to go. His brothers, of course, thought it was the worst idea in a long, sad history of bad ideas. Haralt and Gunther were fine men but they lacked Wolf’s sense of adventure. Yes, it was dangerous to go to a moot full of drunk people who could sling around magic with their minds. Yes, it was even more dangerous to go to a moot put on by the single most dangerous member of that group that existed in Rihland.

And yes, it was damned near suicide to hope that he’d sleep with one of their women when they had so many eligible members of their own race at hand. But Wolf loved a party and he loved the challenge of meeting new and exciting people whenever he could. He also loved local food and beer.

Friends didn’t let friends drink Glacian beer.

And the best part? Tyr Fucking Madsen was going to be here! Would he speak until sunrise? What eddas would he tell the assembled? Would everyone refrain from fighting long enough to listen?

How would he answer any of these questions by sitting at home?

Wolf grabbed a mug and filled it with ale. He nodded to a few people and earned a few stares. He waved to Kalvar, but otherwise kept to himself. When he saw Prince Odinar, he returned the way he came to avoid ending up in the man’s gaze. Wolf was a brave man (for a Landen) but he was not so brave as to march up to the Fire Prince and attempt small talk. Instead, he took a drink of beer and headed back to the table, intent on trying some of the food that Kalvar provided for the moot. The beef looked especially tasty, so Wolf reached for a plate to grab a sample and bumped hands with a female.

The woman drew back from the contact, expression stony. She wore dark pants, a white sweater, and her hair was bound in a severe braid that hung over left shoulder. Wolf smiled, hoping to soften her glare but no such luck.

Wolf had not yet met a Glacian that smiled.

Apologies, Miss. I’m Wolf. You having a good evening?” he asked.

Offline Thyra Danielsen

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #8 on: Apr 08, 18, 05:05:42 PM »
When Signe told her that the Black Prince “requested” the Avorla Court’s presence at the moot, Thyra fumed. While a party sounded like fun, Thyra had work to do. The increase in her workload brought large dividends, but left her little time to pursue the Craft advances she desired. It did, however, let her refine her favorite webs and skills, allowing her to complete several assignments much faster. She’d settled into her home, finally, and was making progress in her attempts to learn about Rihlander history.

Which helped her understand exactly why the Black Prince’s “moot” was offensive to the Rihlanders who’d heard about it. Combined with the fact that Kalvar’s request for Signe’s presence was little more than thinly-veiled threat, Thyra wanted to find a way to keep Signe from showing up altogether. Unfortunately, her Tangled Webs had not yielded any solid warnings of danger beyond the normal good sense of not provoking one who wore a Black jewel. Even still, she suggested to Signe that they could appear and leave as quickly as possible, in case any of the various factions that hated Rihland’s ruler decided to ruin this “moot” with their personal agendas.

Arriving at the moot was easy enough. Not getting hit on was a little harder, but doable. The long day of preparation before leaving Avorla had stoked Thyra’s appetite. She’d munched on an apple and several crackers prior to leaving, but once they’d arrived, the scent of food played havoc with her concentration. The flaming ship stopped her in her tracks. Glacian culture didn’t have myths or stories like this one and Thyra felt a bit robbed by her upbringing. Too much in her life had been based on her standing in the Abyss rather than things that mattered.

Once she’d been introduced to a few people, Thyra headed to the food table and reached for a plate.

Someone else reached for the same plate, touching her hand she pulled back. She looked up and nearly punched the guy in his stupid, smirking face. And then she realized he was a Landen. Her fist relaxed.

"Apologies, Miss. I’m Wolf. You having a good evening?"

I was.” she said, her expression stony.

The Landen’s smile faltered. He pulled back. Thyra picked up the plate, got some beef, and moved down the line. The Landen followed her.

Well, I hear we’re in for a good time tonight! Where are you from?” he asked.

Thyra turned to face him. “Look, I’m sure you’re a nice guy and all, but Landen aren’t my thing. You have good night.” she said. With that, she grabbed some bread, dropped it onto her plate, and walked away from the line. She saw Prince Odinar watching her from nearby and hurried to return to the Glacian contingent.

There were too many damned Dark Jeweled people around here for her liking.

Offline Evony Bos

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #9 on: Apr 08, 18, 06:37:59 PM »
Odinar could be an ass.  He really could.  The way he lingered over the word 'friend', and the tone he used?  It made her want to throw a pan at his head.  Twice.  "Thank you, Prince Odinar.  I'll be sure to go find him.  Do try not to growl at people who don't deserve it."  She gave him an overly sweet smile, drifting off into the press of bodies in order to..

What?  Get away from him?  It wasn't really possible.  Truth be told, she didn't mind Odinar.  But sometimes - sometimes he got on her nerves.  That way he spoke about Wolf, or the way he looked at her.. she just didn't understand men sometimes. 

Why did Odinar care who she was interested in, anyways?  That was the thought that flit through her head as she found herself finding Wolf - a wonderful man who was currently being rebuffed by a Glacian. Had to be a Glacian - only they looked that damned cold this close to a fire.

"What a bitch..."  She muttered it beneath her breath as she watched the Glacian pass away from Wolf.  He deserved better.  Huffing a bit in annoyance, she fetched her own beer before nudging his shoulder with her own.

"Don't let her get to you, Mr. Wolf.  Some women just have no sense of taste."  She shook her head, watching the woman walk off as if the hounds of hell were on her heels.  Curious, she glanced in the direction the woman had looked. Odinar.  Of course it was.

She rolled her eyes, then grinned at him again.  "I had hoped you would make it.  It's nice to know at least one person here outside of Ebon Varos.  I was.. a little nervous about the whole thing, truth be told."

She'd been worried that people would defy Kalvar and not show up.  Adalwolfa's reaction to hearing about his plans had made her heart hurt.  But it had also prepared her for how others might see it, how they might react.  And after meeting Andrei?  She just knew that was going to be a bit of a mess if he got anywhere near his father.  "I'm still looking for Lady Drachlan.. hopefully she brought Petra.  Petra hasn't been to one of these yet, and I'm hoping she likes it as much as I did when I was little.  Would you like to join me?"

Better to have Petra meet Wolf first - he was kind, and wouldn't care WHAT she was.  After that.. well after that, it wouldn't be so bad if she met the grumpy Odinar or the sourpuss Andrei.  Maybe she wouldn't have her feelings hurt by such.. such..  Ugh, the very thought of those males' attitudes had her chin lifting as if she were ready to punch someone in the nose.

Offline Signe Drachlan

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #10 on: Apr 08, 18, 06:53:48 PM »
Though Signe was well aware of the dangers that could possibly present themselves at an event like this, she still refused to perpetuate the fearmongering that others contented themselves in doing. If she lived her life in fear of all of the things that could happen to her any time she stepped out of her door, she would give in to the panic and descend into a depressed, anxious mess. It would rule her. She had seen it happen with plenty of her people -- escaping from the oppression of Glacia to a safe haven, only to continue to look over their shoulder, expecting to be caught and dragged back.

Trust. If you did not learn how to trust, how to let go of things like a terrible past, then you were dooming yourself to repeat a cycle.

And so, even though she calmly listened to the concerns of her Steward, her Master of the Guard, and her new Court Seer, the only thing that bothered Signe in the least was Kalvar’s subtle wording of the invitation -- wording that indicated that if they didn’t attend, then they could hand over their position of power and see themselves out. It bothered Signe not because she thought Kalvar doubted her loyalty to him -- it bothered her because she felt as though he was being aggressive when he needed to be more receptive. Had she been asked what sort of event she would have used to unify the torn people of Rihland, she would not have chosen a moot. She would have started with something far more simple and smaller. Begin with a seed, not a tree.

But, then again, she was not Kalvar Elbremov.

The Glacian contingent arrived, not entirely unwelcome, at the moot with enough numbers to show their support but not so much as to overtake the focus. If Signe showed little concern for her own safety, she showed far more for her young ward, Petra, who was assigned not one but two escorts, one of whom being her son Willem who refused to be left behind. She had allowed the youngster his way but only after a very stern discussion with the Master of the Guard present about what he was to do if something did happen. And only if instructed. Willem took today seriously but Signe knew he was also looking forward to seeing the mighty Elbremovs in the flesh, as was expected for a boy with a bit of hero worship.

Signe was dressed in a burnt orange dress that bared one shoulder, covered by a rabbit fur and brown cloak to ward off the chill. She realized instantly that she had worn the wrong shoes -- calf high brown boots with enough heel to get stuck in the ground. Well, she would have to deal. She could still maintain an air of dignity using her escort to keep her balance if needed.

She introduced Thyra to a few of the other dignitaries and waved her Court Seer off to find food, since small talk was definitely not her preferred situation. When Thyra returned, Signe was between waves of dignitaries, calmly surveying the gathering before them.

“It makes for an impressive sight, doesn’t it?” she asked Thyra when the Black Widow had returned, nodding to the burning ship and the man in Black beside it. **Although,** she added on a distaff thread to her, **it is not the route I would have chosen. It may do more harm than good in the long run.** And then, as though she hadn’t been having a private conversation with Thyra, Signe accepted a warm cup of cider from one of her returning escorts with a, “Ah, thank you. Most welcome.” She sniffed the drink experimentally, then inhaled its scent deeply. “Freshly made, I bet. Evony has outdone herself.”

Offline Adalwolfa Sauer

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #11 on: Apr 09, 18, 12:26:35 PM »
For weeks, Adalwolfa had been quietly dreading this night. Kalvar Elbremov was wrong to try and force such a sacred Rihlander tradition to serve as a means to his own ends. Maybe his goals ultimately seemed noble - it was a pretty idea, to think of a united, cooperative Rihland. Things were never quite as simple as that happy picture painted it, though. Rihland was fractured in a large part because of Kalvar and people like him. There was a stubborn, angry little part of Adalwolfa that wanted very much to point out that he could take great strides towards unification if he'd just leave, and take the remaining Eyriens with him.

Even so, the day of the moot had arrived and Adalwolfa had caught herself humming more than once during the day. At some point she'd moved past the dread into acceptance, and finally into anticipation. It frustrated her, and she'd chided herself more than once during the day when she'd caught herself looking forward to the evening. By now, though, she'd given up on trying to manage her feelings on the matter. Regardless of how clumsy and inappropriate an attempt at reconciliation this "moot" might have been, the reality of it was that alot of Rihlanders were gathered together on a chilly Winsol night, the bonfire was bright and warm, the food and drink were plentiful and delicious, and the air was filled with familiar music. Adalwolfa hadn't attended such an extensive party since before the culling of the Eyriens, and she found that she'd missed this.

Her siblings had missed it too, and despite Adalwolfa's misgivings about the matter, they'd insisted on visiting Markoth to attend. It hadn't been terribly long since Adalwolfa had visited them and spent an evening here and there being crawled over by the youngest of her nieces and nephews, but it was still intensely gratifying to be able to watch them run through the gathered people at full tilt, playing at fighting with sticks-cum-swords. Uschi, Sabine, and Hans had all shown with their partners and kids in tow. Oskar was absent, but that surprised no one. For once, Adalwolfa and her errant brother had agreed on something, it seemed.

"Strange days, aren't they?" Hans said with a huff of a sigh as he plopped down beside Adalwolfa. The two were sitting on the top of one of the picnic tables that'd been set up, their booted feet resting on the bench seat. "Two things I thought I'd never see at a moot: a grumpy Rihlander and a winged Eyrien. We got both of those and Glacians to boot," he pointed out, as though the matter amused him greatly. Of course, that may have had something to do with the mug of ale in his hand, far from his first this evening. Adalwolfa had been enjoying the ales tonight as well, but she'd always been able to hold her liquor better than her brother.

"Something tells me the strange is just getting started," Adalwolfa replied, still watching her siblings' kids run around like small, drunken, crazy people. It amused her how the adults just moved around them, all but ignoring their presence while the kids enjoyed themselves.

"Worth it, though. The kids have never heard a skald like Tyr before," Hans pointed out, and Adalwolfa nodded and smiled.

"Yeah. That'll be great for them to experience," she agreed, genuinely pleased at the thought.

"And hey, they can get a peek at what must be proper moot fashion while they're here," he added, with a soft snicker and a nod towards some of the new arrivals. Adalwolfa snickered but hid it behind her cup and took another draught.

"Don't be mean, Hans. They don't know any better," she told him, after.

"Don't know better than to wear a court dress to a bonfire?" he countered, and Adalwolfa couldn't help but grin. She shrugged.

"It takes all kinds, Hans."

"Guess it must," he conceded, and turned to clink his cup merrily with his sister's.


Offline Malakay Hildedottir

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #12 on: Apr 09, 18, 03:41:53 PM »
“It really is inspiring.” Hilde stood nearby his daughter, staring out at the flames that consumed the might vessel. It must have been so long since he had paid witness to such an event, at least one of this scope. Hilde knew of a time where moots were held openly, before they came and tried to smother the Rihlander pride and those closely held traditions. Malakay felt his hand brush against her shoulder blades, the glow of torchlight painting eerie shadows across her pale features. She smiled, as he slipped away to join Emrit, her mother, who was approaching the stoic Eyrien figurehead with a basket of wild blackberries from their family land. 

As always her mother insisted on properly meeting their host, whether or not it was wise to approach the Black. Whether or not she agreed with the moot she didn't say, but she had come, if only for her daughter’s sake and the sense of blossoming hope that came with the promise of unification.

Many came, throughout the provinces to feast and revel once more in their traditions. Malakay had taken note of pale blond hair and beautifully frigid faces, leather wings and somber looks. There were some who embraced the opportunity as she had hoped to do. 

The night was crisp though she could still feel the warmth of the flames kiss her bare shoulders as she made her way toward a familiar figure. Looking no less intimidating in finery, Odinar was an impressive figure. Lady Bos moved past him and Malakay nodded her greetings to the Hearth Witch who played a big role in setting up the envent and the delectable feast that some already picked at.  Malakay wore a form fitting high neck top that hugged to the svelte form of her body. A beige gossamer skirt draped across her hips, high slitted as if pieced together from the sheerest fabric. Golden spun hair hung down to her shoulders and hanging just between her breast, her Blood Opal displayed proudly. “The night seems wasted without a drink in your hand.” she said in manner of greeting, though her head bowed gently as she came to stand just beside the Warlord Prince and the shadow of his wings. “Prince Odinar. I have to say, your father has exceeded himself and you look quite delicious yourself.” Glancing about she brushed a strand of hair from her eyes.

They had met several times since their first meeting, though Malakay quickly learned some of his harsher lines smoothed outside of Ebon Varos. They discussed the camps and the best way to dismantle them. She had taken his thoughts not only into account but into careful consideration while still establishing her goals. Odinar had a reputation of not being an easy man to like, or at least he didn't make it so, but she found that wasn't the case with her. She found no need to try and change his focus but allowed him to simply come to his comfort on his own. In fact, she did not find him unpleasant in the least, just true to his nature. That was something she could respect without added fear.

She took note of Lady Sauer sitting on a table next to a young man with familiar features before falling on the Skald Tyr Madsen, a soft smile tugging at the corners of her lips despite herself. “Are you planning on being on duty for the rest of the night or will you take a moment to enjoy yourself? Perhaps you can start by introducing me to Tyr at some point. This night is about softening perceptions, isn't it? Having a pretty, young blonde at your side can only help.” Taking in a deep breath her lungs filled with the scent of cooked meats and burning timber. Some would find the smokey scent repellent, but having lived in a farm and experiencing how the harvested fields burned so the ashes could give way to new life, she found the aroma rather comforting.  “The fire is a nice touch. Ravenous and beautiful at the same time.”

Offline Magnivar Ramius

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #13 on: Apr 14, 18, 01:41:14 PM »
Magnivar Ramius, warrior of Askavi, was here.

He was here because his Queen would be here. Because Tessenian, the only rightful Queen of Askavi left, needed him to be here. He was here so that he could stand here before the half-breed Odinar Elbremov, his murderoust traitor of a father, and the whipped bitch Yserian Aethelas and remind them of what they were: Slaves. He was here to remind the Rihlanders who wooted and drank beneath the fiery shadow of the Black that he and his people were not all dead. That they would live while their maggot children would grow gray and die and he would put them in the ground and use them as fertilizer for the fields that his family would grow and see bloom for the next several hundred years.

He had enudred, and he would continue to endure. He was the might of Askavi and he had no reason to be afraid. What would they do? Kill him? Perhaps. But they could never destroy him.

So he landed before the few other Eyriens who were here. He walked without hesitation down the path to grab himself a stout. He had come wearing a sleeved jerkin, though it was a pity he had to mind the cold when it would suit to show these Rihlander men who inferior they were in comparison to him. He drank deep of the beer, his wings flushed and open, uncaring if others were uncomfortable about him. Why should he have to hide who he was, when these maggots were fortunate to know how to use utensils thanks to he and his?

Mia would be here with her contingent of men, and then perhaps he would join her. Her other males would yip and bark like pups, but let them. The other Rihlanders would look with scorn, but let them.

A wolf did not concern himself with the opinions of sheep.

Offline Konstantin Timur

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #14 on: Apr 14, 18, 01:59:52 PM »
Black on Black seemed an appropriate theme for tonight. He would shine on his own, but he wanted Katrien to attract all of the attention from the other Rihlanders. He was a painter, and she his masterpiece of the evening. There was no small amount of pride in the Warlord Prince as he kept to her arm and introduced her to all who might approach. Hello, this is my wonderful piece of art,  Lady Katrien Raske, he wanted to say. The subtext in his mind but unsaid, From shepherder, plain girl, to Province Queen.

Konstantin had never had much use for Rihlander culture. Moots, Skalds, none of that really mattered to him. The burning ship seemed to be a stupid touch. It's not like Rihland was next to any oceans. Why would they need a warship? Konstantin had been to the ports of Little Terreille and Dharo and made use of their trading vessels to move the goods of his company. None of them looked like the burning hulk that rested in the center of this stupid farce of a moot.

His brothers might have appreciated it, but his brothers were dead. They had died protecting a stupid Rihlander Black Widow Queen, a rebellion that only succeeded thanks to an Eyrien. The irony of that was hilarious to Konstantin, but only because he had little respect for his people or their way of life.

His eyes drifted around the scene. A few new faces. A few he'd seen before. He spotted Yserian in her black dress and smirked to himself. He looked forward to seeing how she reacted to being face to face with him again when he was standing as her superior's escort. Because you'll always be below me, bitch. He thought to himself.

He saw the Glacians and considered something. Maybe he could speak to some of the more motivated ones of them about expanding his business into the frozen north. Some people weighed wealth more important than personal safety.

After meeting with a pair of Rihlanders from the Altai District, he leaned into Katrien's side, a grin flashing wide. "See how they flock to you, Kat? They can't help but be drawn to your beauty."

Even if the rest of the night was going to drone on long for useless old men singing, or Eyriens feigning harmony, he could enjoy this bit of personal gratification.

Offline Tormund Skybane

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #15 on: Apr 14, 18, 02:12:29 PM »
Along one of the nearby hills, a wild beast stalked through the trees to the outset of the Moot. It moved in the fur of a bear that had been fashioned into a cape and a coat. The tanned leathers of wolves, Jhinka, and an Eyrien warrior's wings made up the jerkin, pants, and boots of the feral Warlord Prince who had come down from the mountains to the siren's call of a 'Unification Moot'.

Tormund Skybane would not descend down the hill to drink and to dance. He would not sing tonight. The last few years had stolen his song. The hard life in the mountains had made his view of people grim and hateful. There was no smiling to be had. And no trust to give to the Eyriens he saw walk around his people. He hated them. They should all descend upon the winged creatures and the Black Bastard and tear off their wings before they threw them into the fire.

It sickened him to see his people chained and to think the chains were jewelry to proudly wear. It filled his heart with hate to watch them dance and laugh and play beneath the shadow of the dark being who stood by the burning ship. A winged shape.

But... he had come to watch. He would not descend a sole man to fight them. Not yet.

His eyes caught a head of golden hair by an Eyrien. Malakay, and his heart lurched, confused. What? She...

She was smiling at him!? Comfortable around him!? Did she not see!?

A growl rumbled from his throat and he hunkered down beneath the bushes. Rage filled his heart, fueled by hate, but he would not throw himself headlong into death.

Not yet, anyway.

Offline Tanith Eirsdottir

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #16 on: Apr 14, 18, 07:57:42 PM »
Tanith had warred against coming, if only because for her to come meant there would be another guest with her as well. It was not a simple matter of her following Kibeth, she would follow her Queen to the ends of the world but Jerbear - her bonded animal - was a part of her and to leave him behind in Scythia was simply not possible for her. So it was in the steps of her Queen and escort, that Tanith eventually made her appearance. (She was quietly, in her mind, reminding herself that it was alright to be there with Jerbear. It was expected, almost.)

There was nothing elaborate about her clothing, dressed in a more traditional Rihlander fashion. What set her apart were the winter blossoms that were weaved into her hair as if they were part of it. Her hand rested upon the head of the great kermode bear that was beside her, lingering just out of the firelight.

Kibeth was just there, standing with Solokov, and if she- Ah. There was the Black Prince, Kalvar Elbremov. His form was outlined by the fire, his shadow stretched far behind him. Tanith ignored it, pushed it aside because while this was not one of their moots, this was supposed to be a night of peace. That, at least, she could attempt to uphold even if parts of her quietly wanted to rage against it, especially when Melany's voice was so strong within her mind. The criticisms of this entire affair had been many and while Tanith could not truly disagree, she at least understood - in some part - what the Black Prince was trying.

It just was not the best way to go about it.

The press of a cold nose pulled her from her thoughts, Jerbear nudging her forward as he had stood in place for some time. Tanith let out a huff, rolled her eyes and smoothed a hand across his head. "No treats unless I okay them," she told him and finally stepped forward into the light. The Godi Priestess moved with purpose, as if there was nothing at all wrong with the fact that a giant kermode bear was to her right and lumbering a step behind her.

It was time for her to stop hiding what she was from the rest of the world and take a place where she was meant to be: serving as Kibeth's Godi High Priestess.

Offline Erwin Levisson

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #17 on: Apr 14, 18, 08:18:13 PM »
It was as part of Gudrun Jollenbeck's entourage, a gathering of most of her triangle and courtiers, that Erwin was part of the- He still could not bring himself to call it a moot, not when he remembered the look upon Melany's face as she had revealed Tyr was doing to be there. Not just as a guest but as a skald. Kalvar had asked him to and he had agreed and-

There were mixed feelings about it but the apprentice Skald knew that his place was to be at this gathering and keep on alert. An alert that went up higher when he saw the giant lumbering white bear that followed right behind Tanith. Of course she was here. With Kibeth present, it was almost guaranteed that her Priestess would want to be as well. It was ridiculous that he was so uneasy and uncomfortable around the giant bear - he was peaceable - but after his own run-ins in the forest he was always apprehensive.

Still, he was the picture of a First Circle courtier and - for this evening - also escorting the Queen in place of her normal escort. They had a comraderie, Gudrun and him, as the lessons he had learned from Melany had been passed on to her as well. To strengthen her as a true Rihlander Queen. She had taken to them, her voice strong and in turn helped Erwin become a better skald himself.

The look on Gudrun's face, the one that swept from Erwin to the others that had come with her, said more than enough. There would be no holding back, they would not be scared things. They would step out there and represent Vykrov, regardless of whether or not they found this to be a travesty.

Erwin released a breath, offered his arm to the Queen, and they moved forward to join the others in the light of the fire. The young Warlord tried to not think about how it reminded him of the fire that had swept through his home, how the outline of the Black Prince plucked at an instinctive fear that could barely be contained. Instead he focused on finding Tyr in the crowd, something better than years old fears.

Offline Andrei Elbremov

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Re: Happy Cultural Appropriation Day
« Reply #18 on: Apr 15, 18, 12:00:55 PM »
This charade. This pretense. This...farce! All of those words and more burned at him, no matter how long he meditated and used embedded techniques to wipe the emotions from his mind. He still simmered with a quiet fury that his father would dare to do something like this. This...appropriation!

Andrei’s mother, Alyona, had been Rihlander. Kalvar, despite living here for centuries, was not. And he never would be. He would never understand the deeply rooted traditions, the songs of the skalds and how they crafted the culture of a people. Or why Melany resisted Kalvar’s attempt to alter that. He would never understand the Godi like Tanith, bonded to a wild animal like some feral, free-roaming spirit. He would never see the beauty in that. And while Kalvar may profess to knowing the Rihlander religion, endorsed it as part of his political policy, he would never embrace it fully.

He would always, forever, stand apart, wearing that damnable, undeserved Black Jewel, lording over them like he understood their ways.

And the damned like Andrei, who bore the Elbremov name but was half Rihlander, would always be condemned with him.

His anger simmered, contained momentarily in the recesses of his mental spheres, as he glided like a dark shadow through the facade of a moot. He was dressed entirely in black, with his openly displayed Red the only slash of color glittering in the firelight. His charcoal eyes lingered on the burning ship for far too long. What arrogance. What presumption! Calling in a cigarette to calm his mind again, Andrei smoked it without care of who saw. Let someone start a fight with him.

He avoided Malakay, speaking to Odinar. And the Glacian Queen named Signe, who was his father’s staunch ally. And the brooding Yserian, who Andrei guessed would have loved to see Kalvar dead and the old regime restored, judging by her expression alone. Any of the Eyriens actually. They all bore that same look. If he saw his own sisters, he might make short conversation, but in truth, there was no one here that he desired to speak with.

So he slid, between firelight and shadow, a dark ghost haunting this forgery of a thing, casting silent but not veiled condemnation upon those around him, avoiding the living, thinking of the dead and what they would have had to say about this abomination.