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* Plot Information for Rihland

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: The Space Between The Tears We Cry  (Read 321 times)

Description:

Offline Signe Drachlan

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • queen
    • Role

      District Queen

    • Faction

      Avorla District

    • Territory

      Rihland

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

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      109

    • the Queen of Flowers

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The Space Between The Tears We Cry
« on: Mar 29, 19, 04:50:40 PM »
The days that Evony spent with Signe had been relaxing. Had it been under other circumstances, Signe would have enjoyed it more but her focus had been on making certain that the busybody hearthwitch was not in a such a mental state as to neglect her own care while at the estate. And, as usual, the responsibilities of running a District did take some priority.

But, when Signe and Evony returned to Ebon Varos five days later, there was some sort of life back in the hearthwitch’s eyes and Signe felt as though Evony would pull through this tragedy as she had previous ones.

There was, however, one male that Signe had not been able to speak with during her first visit here, and that was Kalvar’s son, Odinar.

Signe and Odinar had always had a very cordial, sometimes genial, occasionally sexual relationship. The latter was almost always attached to a Rut and it was an event that Signe handled with great care. Not just because he was a Red Jeweled Warlord Prince – volatile and passionate – but also because he was a friend. Signe did not want their friendship to be marred by what happened within the Rut and so far, it had not.

Woolgathering as she made her way towards his office, she realized that there were a great many other violent things that could mar their friendship and none of them had to do with sex.

The walls of Ebon Varos were clean. The psychic residue of terror and death did not linger. The Black Widows sent here to help had done their job well, at least, as far as Signe could detect. The fresh scent of new furniture drifted along the halls. Everything physical seemed to be replaced or restored.

Which left only the hearts and minds of remaining residents still to be mended.

Tragedies and crises define us, test us, she thought to herself as she walked. The sort of person that one became because of those things…could never be predicted. Kalvar had fallen into a brooding, raging despair and Signe had yet to approach him again after that talk five days ago. She only possessed so much courage in the face of such power. She gave Kalvar his space.

But Odinar? How would he react? And, nearly a week out, what thoughts and emotions had manifested now? Would he be like his father, decreeing that she had arrived too late to be of use? Would he be full of rage and violence, a threat to her safety? Or would he shut her out, unwilling to speak of his pain to anyone?

There was only one way to find out. Taking a deep breath to solidify her courage, to remind herself that this was her friend (as much as any Elbremov male could be a friend), she knocked on the door to his office and waited.

Offline Odinar Elbremov

  • Character Account
    • bo2red
    • wp
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      Master of the Guard

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      Territory Court

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      Rihland

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      Gavin

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      49

    • Burn it down.

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Re: The Space Between The Tears We Cry
« Reply #1 on: Apr 01, 19, 11:50:05 AM »
The days since the Moot were difficult for Odinar. Relaxation was hard to find, even when the situation called for it. He was a Dark Jeweled Warlord Prince and the Master of the Guard of his father’s Territory. The Black Prince of Rihland had the power to reshape the world to his thoughts and whims. Odinar often felt his presence ancillary, perhaps even unnecessary, when compared against the might of a walking god. Even still, he attended the Moot because he believed that any aggression from the Eyrien Rebellion or the Rihlanders would occur at the festivities themselves.

He was wrong.

His guilt had never been greater.

The carnage he’d found upon his return to Ebon Varos started the slow, deep pit of rage that burned in his chest now. So many things in the world that he’d deemed important fell away under the knowledge, the weight of his failure. The cold rage was pure. It was more pure than the hatred he felt for the Eyriens. In the past, he hadn’t cared whether they lived or died as long as they stayed away from his family and made no trouble. He hadn’t cared anything for their struggles or needs so long as they stayed in their place and did not disturb Kalvar’s dream.

Now he wanted destroy all of them. Every one that he could find, he wanted them dead to avenge the members of the Ebon Varos Court that they’d killed and mutilated, that they’d tormented to make their sick point. He wanted to find their leaders and immolate them, then christen their children with their ashes so that they would grow to adulthood and remember why their parents had erred in attacking the Elbremovs. He’d promised himself that he wouldn’t give the Eyriens the joy of his hatred. He wouldn’t let them know that they’d earned that much of his attention.Now he just needed them to know how deep his hatred ran.

The pen in his hand snapped in his grasp. The sound brought Odinar back to the present and the legion of reports he’d been working on. Father would want an accounting of how this happened and why their defenses had failed. He would want to know why Odinar failed, and possibly his resignation. Disappointing his father sat heavy in Odinar’s stomach, like a stone that grew heavier with every passing second. The names of the dead were etched in his mind. He’d committed them to memory because they deserved that. They deserved to be honored, even when he’d failed to protect them.

The knock on the door broke his reverie once more. He did not want his office cleaned. If Evony was here to try to cheer him under the pretense of dusting, Odinar would politely, but firmly, pick her up and dump her in the hallway before slamming the door in her face.

He stood and walked to the door. Drawing himself up to his full height, he opened the door and found...Signe.

Signe Drachlan, Queen of Avorla, was stood at his door. Mother. Ruler. Occasional Lover. Challenge. Friend. She was all of these things in his mind, but it was the last of those that Odinar recognized as her reason for being here right now. Signe was one of the few real friends that Odinar had. Now she was here, looking up at him with those deep blue eyes of hers that said nothing, and everything, all at once.

He stood aside so that she could enter, his wings folding around him like a cloak.

Lady Signe, please come in.” Odinar said, leaning on Protocol for the moment while he waited for her to determine the depth of their interaction. He waited for her (and her escort, if she invited him) to enter his office before closing the door.

The walls of the office were bare, as always, because Odinar did not enjoy decorating. The one concession to vanity that he had, small bookcase of books, was to the right of his desk at the far corner of the wall. Several of those books were from Signe. Odinar kept them on the first shelf of the bookcase, a place of honor in his estimation.

I know that I was due to come to Avorla and discuss a few things. I apologize for rescheduling. Things here have been difficult.” Odinar said.

How may I help you?

Offline Signe Drachlan

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    • te2ss
    • queen
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      District Queen

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      Avorla District

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      Rihland

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      halyonix

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Re: The Space Between The Tears We Cry
« Reply #2 on: Apr 03, 19, 02:29:41 PM »
She let him lean on that Protocol for the moment. Some people were just better off starting the conversation that way. Signe understood that Odinar had a reputation to maintain here in Ebon Varos and who knew who was watching her enter his office just then. Let them think she was here on official business or something. It made it easier on them all.

She stepped into his office, a place she had been previously, and her gaze absently fell to that shelf of books. Well, that was a good sign. The books she had given him were still here, spared the fire’s wrath. One less thing to replace. When Odinar started apologizing for his burden scheduled, Signe let him, though in the back of her mind, she was chuckling to herself. He had always been that way, apologizing for things far beyond his control or apologizing for things that didn’t require forgiveness. It had to be a Tacean thing, Signe decided. It went far beyond simple etiquette and deference.

“Of course you would apologize for rescheduling with me,” she teased him lightly. She sat down, crossed her legs, and laced her fingers in her lap. “I’m not here on official business, honestly,” she admitted, “I’m here partially to return your father’s housekeeper to him after she spent a few days healing at my house. And…” Her chin lifted just a little. “I’m here to see you.”

“I spoke with your father the day I brought over the cleaning crew but he wasn’t really in the mood to speak. That didn’t surprise me. And I meant to speak with you before I left but I feared that if I stopped to do so, Evony would find another wall to clean and then I’d have to start the whole processing of convincing her to come stay with me all over again.”

She tilted her head, smiling almost sadly at him. “So, to answer your question. I’m not here to ask for your help. I’m here to help you. How are you?” She didn’t mean it in the small talk sense of phrasing. Somehow, when she asked those three words, it transformed into a deeper sentence, three simple words running their fingers along the edges of a burdened heart, seeking to heal what was broken.

Offline Odinar Elbremov

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    • bo2red
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      Master of the Guard

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      Rihland

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      Gavin

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Re: The Space Between The Tears We Cry
« Reply #3 on: Apr 16, 19, 11:44:09 PM »
Odinar couldn’t help the half-smirk that crossed his lips as Signe teased him. She showed him respect but always remained the Queen he’d come to know. She fought hard for people, harder than some of the Rihlander Queens that Odinar could name. He rolled his shoulder and wondered why she’d come to see him. He should have put someone else on visiting Avorla, on checking in on the Glacians to make sure that they lived in peace and safety.

He couldn't do it. He couldn't put the safety of Signe and her people in the hands of another.

I’m here to see you.

Odinar sighed through his nostrils. He should have expected this; if he’d been thinking about anything more than work, he would have. The Red Warlord Prince felt that he was terrible company right now, but he couldn't tell her to leave without offering deep insult to her and spurning the friendship that they’d worked hard to build. Odinar didn’t want company. He didn't need it.

But it was a Queen’s prerogative to tend to those around her, whether they needed it or not.

No, I don’t think Father wants to speak about any of this. Even if he did, I doubt he’d wish to use words.” Odinar said. “Nor would Lady Bos. She’s not one for processing her emotions, either.

He met her eyes this time, her smile threatening pry another one from his stone-faced countenance. He wanted to tell her that he didn't need help. He didn’t want her pity. He wasn’t broken or damaged.

I’m alive. That’s more than I can say for the people who were here the other night.” Odinar said, his gaze sliding away from her to look at the wall to his left.

They counted on me to keep them safe. That’s my duty, Signe. I’m supposed to keep people safe." he said, his wings twitching in annoyance, anger brewing the surface of his words. He wanted to storm out of here, fly to the south and kill every Eyrien who dared get in his way. Oh, he wanted it nearly as badly as he wanted to fuck someone unconscious, screaming their enjoyment to all of the Ebon Varos.

I failed them, Signe. Those Eyrien monsters murdered my father’s people and I...I failed them. I wear the Red and I can’t change that. I want to kill every last one of them responsible for it, Signe. I want to spill their blood. Burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes to ashes.” she said.

It was well-known that Odinar did not consider himself Eyrien, for all that he possessed their blood. He felt more in common with his Tacean heritage, his short-lived heritage, than anything to do with the Eyriens. He hated them all too much to ever find anything in common with them.

He looked at Signe once again.

I’m fine, but all I want is to find them and kill them all, Signe. Can you help me with that?” he asked.

There was no heat or anger behind Odinar’s words, no mocking, but genuine curiosity. What could the Queen offer him to assuage his guilt and rage?

Offline Signe Drachlan

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • queen
    • Role

      District Queen

    • Faction

      Avorla District

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      Rihland

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      halyonix

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Re: The Space Between The Tears We Cry
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 19, 02:39:08 PM »
Survivor’s guilt was a valid thing to experience in the wake of tragedy. Signe had seen it in her own people over and over again, both from their flight over the mountains and making it out of the Eyrien oppression. I made it, others didn’t, went the line of reasoning. It sounded like a play on gratitude for being alive but it wasn’t. It was a paltry attempt to silver a dark cloud that now followed them because all they could think about were the ones who hadn’t made it. 

One thing Signe had learned in her years of being a Queen was that listening and saying nothing for a bit was in itself a type of therapy for the other person. Being a resourceful person, it had not come easily to her at first. Her strengths were in fixing things, not sitting back and just listening to words. But eventually, though her instincts still pressured her to act, she was able to still them long enough to get through listening to Odinar spill his anger and desire for violence.

When he asked her if she could help with that bloodletting, her smile became sad. “You and I both know the answer to that,” she said. “But as a Warlord Prince, I expect no less of you for wanting what you want. You are a protector and a defender, which means using teeth and claws. And they…wounded you. Us. They killed the ones we promised to protect, and wounded forever the ones left behind.”

For a moment, while they held gazes, there was a deep, personal sorrow in her eyes, as old memories swirled to the surface. Her own husband, dead by Eyriens. Countless dozens of her own people, slaughtered. As Queen, wife, and mother, some of these deaths hurt more than others. The only good Signe counted for all of those awful moments was that they had, somehow, made her stronger.

“We are our scars, Odinar,” she said softly, with great empathy. “I understand how you feel as though you failed them, but you didn’t. You may wear the Red but you can’t be everywhere at once. No one can.” She smoothed an imaginary wrinkle on her clothes, looking down briefly before looking back up at him. “But it’ll probably take you a few months to realize that,” she added softly, coming from experience. “Can I help you find them and kill them? No. Do I think that they don’t deserve justice? Absolutely not. They deserve what they did in kind. I do worry that the longer we wait to dispense that justice, the greater their numbers and plans will grow, but that is not my domain.” She gave him a wry smile. “A Queen can’t be everywhere at once either,” she said, making a poor joke.

“I don’t suppose I could convince you to take a few days off from staring at reports, could I?” she suggested. “Or perhaps a communion session or two with the High Priestess? You seem in need of some self-care.” Sometimes, all it took was a distraction of a few hours to remind someone that there was more to surviving than guilt. Signe doubted Odinar would go for either thing but she had to try.

Offline Odinar Elbremov

  • Character Account
    • bo2red
    • wp
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      Master of the Guard

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      Territory Court

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      Rihland

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      Gavin

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Re: The Space Between The Tears We Cry
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 19, 05:45:51 PM »
Odinar saw, in Signe’s eyes, sorrow that matched what he felt inside. She’d mentioned, in the past, her husband, who’d been slain by Eyriens. She’d lost her people as well over the years. Long-lived or short-lived, losing people never seemed to get any easier. How much worse was it for the short-lived, whose lives were already so finite to begin with? Signe nearing her middle years among her people, though she would still be a child among the Long-Lived. Yet she seemed to understand his pain better than nearly anyone else in this place. She understood the sorrow that fermented into rage and the need to destroy anyone who had a hand in this until he could bring back heads, mount them on spikes, and show others that such was the Price for defying the Prince’s Peace. But Signe couldn’t offer him that.

I should have seen it coming, Signe. That is my duty. My fa--Prince Elbremov entrusted me with the safety of his Court and I failed him. I failed the people under his protection. I own that. I don’t know what his judgement will be for that, but I will accept it in full.” Odinar said. He had not yet seen his father. He expected to be replaced the moment that Kalvar found someone worthy, someone who would not fail him. Odinar had disappointed him many times over the centuries. Sometimes it felt like all he ever did was let his father down.

He sighed.

I took a break the other night and people died. I’d rather not take my chances on that.” Odinar said.

He did look at her now with renewed curiosity.

I’ll visit the High Priestess. Perhaps some quiet meditation would help. For now, though...what else did you have in mind for self-care? I don’t have many hobbies. Learning to cook is a difficult thing, as Lady Bos and my father are very particular about where and how things in the kitchens are used. Between the two of them, I’d rather not upset that delicate balance. We only just obtained it.” Odinar said, a strange sound escaping him.

It sounded like a laugh.

That laugh faded, but left behind a small smile as he regarded Signe again.

I will not look at my reports again while you’re here. Is that a fair trade?


Offline Signe Drachlan

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • queen
    • Role

      District Queen

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      Avorla District

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      Rihland

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      halyonix

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Re: The Space Between The Tears We Cry
« Reply #6 on: Jun 18, 19, 10:11:12 AM »
The fact that he was willing to spend time with the High Priestess was a good sign. Signe’s smile had a hint of relief to it. Sometimes, it was so difficult to get others to admit that they needed help. They remained stubborn, drowning in their burdens, thinking that they were alright and didn’t need assistance. At least Odinar, in his long life, had learned somewhere along the way that seeking someone out for help was not a weakness.

At the mention of cooking and how many people were already cooking in the kitchens of Ebon Varos – and that strangled laugh that escaped him – Signe chuckled lightly. “I’m not suggesting that you find new hobbies, Prince,” she said, “just suggesting that you enjoy the ones you already have a bit more for the time being. Take your mind off work for an hour or more. No amount of guilt will change the past and no amount of anxiety will determine the future.” His compromise of not looking at reports again while she was there was a good start.

“How about we have lunch together right now?” she suggested. “I see you have some new books on your shelves – ones I’ve never heard of – and I’m curious about them. We can share a meal and talk books.” If there was one thing that any of the Dark Jeweled could immediately agree to, it was a meal. Ebon Varos employed enough cooks to feed a squadron at any moment. And intellectual pursuits were a shared topic of conversation between them. It might not be the same as getting him to step away from Ebon Varos for a few days but it was a start.

“That way,” she added as she gently jerked her chin towards the reports on his desk, “you won’t be tempted to look them over while I’m still here.” Her smile was genuine and a bit impish, the kind of expression she wore when she was in good-natured spirits and was reeling someone in to join her.

 

 

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