collapse

* Welcome!

* Important Links

* BR Councils

* COTM and TOTM

* COTY and TOTY

Character of the Year


Thread of the Year

* Affliates

Affiliate with Us

Blood Rites RPG

Listed At

RPG-D Nerd Listings

Our Affiliates

   

* Credits

RSS Feed  Facebook  Tumblr    E-Mail

Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
Points Scheme: Mother Night
Ratio System: Blood Rites

Blood Rites best viewed in Firefox.
Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.


* Plot Information for Dena Nehele

With the full force of the Guilds at her back, Rilandra Vlas seized the Territory Throne of Dena Nehele. The common born Province Queen now owes allegiance to the Master of the Guilds for his assistance in both securing the throne and securing Darcia Glassade's continual safety. Trapped between the demands of the Guilds and the demands of the Aristos, Riley is struggling to rule, finding the palace more of a cage than she could have dreamed possible.
Culture of Dena Nehele
Court of Dena Nehele
Myos Guild
Shaos Guild
Jacks Guild
Guilds Roster
Guilds FAQ

* Welcome Guests

You are currently viewing our forum as a Guest. While you can see all we do, you can't participate. Please think about joining, we love new players. Click Here for more information.


Author Topic: first of a thousand questions  (Read 567 times)

Description: Attn: Jeremiah

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
first of a thousand questions
« on: Apr 19, 19, 11:55:52 AM »
Bidea- Winter 194, Office of the Steward


A review of Jeremiah’s schedule that day would find Lord Shingetsu’s name marked in around late afternoon for “tea”. Lord Shingetsu had looked forward to the meeting, especially now that his training in the studies of the Hourglass was in progress. Certain facets of the Craft came to him easier than the others, but Maseo was a diligent student and determined to be proficient in all of them. There was no better way to honor Raluca’s investment of time and attention of him (aside from the generous donations he made) than showing up prepared, on time, and ready to learn.

Recent events, however, had forced Maseo to seek the advice of one who’d walked this path before.

Maseo often kept a tight rein on his emotions in public, so even he was surprised when he found his hands around the throat of the man who’d bumped him in passing without so much as a sorry for the inconvenience. One moment, Maseo was merely annoyed at the mainlander’s lack of manners. The next, the rude Princeling was trying to shield himself from Maseo’s hands around the stack of wafer thins he called a neck. Maseo considered opening his skull and peeling his way through the Prince’s barriers to learn if he’d ever been taught manners by the parents who had clearly failed him.

He remembered himself before he went too far. He let the Prince slump to the floor, choking and wheezing, before turning on his heel and leaving the area. He’d spent the rest of that day sequestered in his chambers, fighting down the urge to find that idiot Prince and carve him into a thousand little pieces to serve with wine and crackers. It was nearly midnight before Maseo could focus on something other than exacting revenge or fucking someone unconscious. His next lesson with Raluca wasn't until next week; he didn’t want to waste her time with this.

So he requested a meeting with the Steward hoping that the man had some advice to impart on this journey.

Otherwise, the Idiot Prince would meet the end of his blade sooner than later. That would be bad for business.

When the time for their meeting arrived, Maseo wheeled in a tea service and several snacks for the two of them, intent on making the meeting as informal as possible. He knew that the Steward had much to manage, between a nesting Queen and the Proxy Queen that stood in for her, so Maseo hoped that this time offered a small respite from his duties. He knew of a Healer who might thank him for it later.

Prince Mercer, thank you for seeing me. I hope you don’t mind my taking the liberty of bringing food and tea. All work and no food makes us all...hungry.” he jested.

How are you? And how is Riley?





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #1 on: Apr 19, 19, 09:10:22 PM »
While it had not been discussed during their shared conversations--when Maseo and Jeremiah would have tea and speak of their shared interests--the Black Widow Warlord Prince had noticed it all the same. It was the slightest shift over time, one that he was familiar with, that made him aware that the Warlord was following the Widow's path.

So when he saw Maseo's name upon his schedule, earlier than their usual planned meeting time, Jeremiah was not surprised. The Warlord found him within his office in the process of calculating the costs of some of the initiatives that had been discussed with Sora just recently. The hope was that he would be able to see them happen, the cost of which not hindering the treasury (even with increased tithes to the Aristocracy, they still felt the sting of Garen L'Voide's financial support; it was still better without him).

"Lord Shingetsu," greeted Jeremiah with a smile, a flicker of amusement in his bright eyes at the mention of food and tea. With a flick of his hand, the paperwork he had was working on was vanished. "No thanks are necessary, especially if you are bringing both food and tea." Since there was so many within the Territory Court that preferred coffee--a certain Healer came to mind--Jeremiah's complete disdain for it made him an outlier. (Truthfully, drinking coffee often made him feel drowsy. Not that anyone, save for two, was aware of that fact.)

"... and ensuring that I take my break as I am meant to, saving me from displeasing my Healer." Since Lisichya was not above staring Jeremiah down when he thought the Black Widow Warlord Prince was being a dumbass and not taking care of himself as he was meant to. At least he could honestly say that his sense of self-preservation was doing better and he did adhere to a better self-care regime. Even if the part of him that was his self-preservation sounded and looked suspiciously like the Healer who was not afraid of putting him in his place.

"Any day that I can simply sit at my desk and crunch numbers is a day that I am doing well," said Jeremiah with a chuckle. "Riley is doing well too. Pregnancy agrees with her, I think. She practically glows." His head tilted, studying Maseo with a sharp blue-green eyed gaze. "How do you fair, Lord Shingetsu?"

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #2 on: Apr 21, 19, 01:12:14 AM »
When he first arrived in Dena Nehele, Maseo privately despaired at the number of coffee drinkers unwilling to even consider trying tea. He wondered, more than once, if he’d chosen the wrong Territory to relocate to in the wake of his exile from Raej. But Jeremiah Mercer had given him the first inklings of hope that Dena Nehele would be more than a stop along his trail. Chaillot was in the middle of a civil war; Hayll and Dhemlan looked less than favorably upon the short-lived. Askavi was even worse.

Prince Mercer’s quiet approval of the beverage had brought a few more members of the Court around to treat with Maseo, allowing the Raejian Ambassador to make inroads among the Territory Court.

The tea had been stepped and then a Preservation spell had been activated on the tea service itself to keep everything fresh and at the proper temperature. Maseo produced two black porcelain tea cups, decorated with painted lotus symbols upon them and set them down. He filled the first and provided it to the Steward, while uncovering the tray of fruit and cheese pastries. He filled the second cup and then sat down across from Jeremiah, smiling at the mention of his Healer.

A Healer’s displeasure is a difficult thing to amend, especially when they’ve warned ed you more than once.” Maseo said easily.

I’m glad to hear that Riley’s doing well. I agree that pregnancy does suit her. Rarely have I seen joy so pure.” Maseo said. He meant it. Riley was the kind of women who did not hide her emotions behind a mask of duty or the need to seem above it all. He’d studied her rise in his spare time, seeking the true root of her strength. Her genuine nature was both advantage and disadvantage when it came to deal with Dena Nehele’s aristocracy.

Fortunately, she also had members of that aristocracy on her side as well.

Jeremiah asked how he fared and Maseo paused to sip his tea. His suit was expertly tailored and, just now, he was deeply aware of the feel of the fabric against his skin. It did not itch or pull, but it felt smoother and softer against his skin than ever before. Perhaps this was another facet of the changes that Raluca mentioned would happen.

It occurred to him to be more coy, but Maseo did not want another lapse to lead to a situation that he couldn’t remedy by just walking away.

I have been better, Prince Mercer. I began training as a Black Widow a few months ago and I am making progress. As I’m sure you know, there are side effects to the training.” Maseo said, taking another sip of his tea.

I’ve come to you today to ask how you handle those side effects. Particularly, the increase sensitivity to pepole who annoy or offend you. You learned the caste in months, but I imagine that those side effects were no less pronounced for a Warlord Prince.” Maseo said.

I’d like to benefit from your experience, if I can.





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 19, 12:35:08 AM »
Nothing stopped the amused breath that escaped Jeremiah at especially when they've warned you more than once. No, Lisichya made his opinions known and had absolutely no problem with using his power to pin the Black Widow Warlord Prince in place. All that came to mind before there was the flicker of thought: how the scars on his body--the healings of the past that had been done--had been opened and then healed until not a mark remained.

So he most certainly was in agreement with Maseo's words for all that the glint to his eyes said that it was far more than difficult to amend. "It certainly brings a lightness to the Court," said Jeremiah, speaking of Riley's pregnancy, "that helps bolster those around her." It was not as if the Warlord was not being genuine, Jeremiah could tell that. Even if there were others at the Territory Court (read: Drake) that were not particularly fond (read: would rather cause harm) of the Warlord, the Black Widow Warlord Prince had no such qualms.

It was not as if there were many others that were knowledgeable about teas and blends and all that went into their creation, thus Jeremiah held a certain degree of fondness. That and Maseo was Tacean, which helped him learn more of their culture to understand his previously mentioned Healer. Still, Jeremiah saw with more than just his eyes. It was not just the slight shift of Maseo in his chair, as if he were aware of the shift of fabric against his skin, or how he seemed to enjoy more the smooth flavor of the tea as it hit his tongue.

These things added up, making Jeremiah pay sharper attention even if he looked as if he were not. The mention of Maseo training as a Black Widow was not especially surprising, given what he had already noted. That he was wanting to talk to Jeremiah about the changes, however ... It was not surprising but it was something.

"That would explain a few things," said Jeremiah finally with a smile. "Things that I recognize because not long ago I was in a similar place." Taking a drink of his tea, the Black Widow Warlord Prince considered what to say. "Admittedly, my training was not conventional." His expression was wry.

"Not that that means I avoided the changes that come with training." As clearly the Jeremiah Mercer that existed today was not at all the same as the one that existed prior to the winter of 192. "Someone I know considered the mixing of the two most volatile Castes to be foolish and extremely dangerous. There was not much choice in the matter, in my case, if I wanted to keep my sanity." His fingers brushed along the top of his desk, knowing the familiar notches and nicks in it by feel alone.

"To be frank, the emotional changes were what I struggled with the most but were also not as detrimental as they could be at the same time." There was that wry look again in his queerly colored eyes. "I already kept myself in check, you see. I had to learn how to ..." Trailing off, he chuckled before finally continuing. "Let go."

That, he thought, was not necessarily helpful as Maseo was clearly at odds with his temper rising in response to annoyances. "You've got to keep a better eye on your emotional state until that settles. Letting it get the better of you can happen every once in a while--and, if I am being honest, still happens to me when in highly-charged situations--but as a whole, you've to monitor yourself. I don't mean control, either, it's more finding the appropriate outlet. Redirecting things as necessary so you don't decide that some unfortunate idiot would do better if they could no longer speak."

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 19, 01:06:05 PM »
Maseo grinned as Jeremiah spoke of his training being unconventional. For a man who’d learned the caste in seven months and appeared to benefit from its mastery, he was surprisingly humble about it. Jeremiah’s words didn’t include the ring of false humility or superiority that Maseo believed another man would have possessed when faced with someone ask for his advice. He sipped his tea, the floral notes of the blend standing out stronger than usual. Did he steep this too long? Or was it another effect of everything in the world coming across stronger and deeper than in the past?

He regarded Jeremiah for a long moment, however, when the Black Widow Warlord Prince mentioned that he’d had to pursue to the caste to preserve his sanity. The statement ran counter to everything Maseo had been told about the caste. Usually, those failed to obtain lost their sanity as a result. Maseo tried to form the question on the edge of his tongue, but now the cup of tea was hotter against his fingertips than he expected. He had to set it down so that he could focus on Jeremiah with his full attention.

Letting go is a difficult thing. Forgiveness is not something I indulge in regularly. We are built to hold on to grudges and avenge ourselves for slights, real or imagined.” Maseo said.

But the emotional side of this transformation is a struggle that I didn’t expect. We are taught to present our face to the world as a mask, impenetrable and unmoving, no matter the feeling beneath. Men are considered capable of only expressing anger and rage. That is why women rule and men do not. Or so it’s said.” Maseo told the Steward.

Many of my previous outlets are failing me. Sparring with Lady Kesket has become more exciting, but dangerous as well. I snapped a string on my violin the other day while tuning it and broke the entire instrument before I know what I’d done.” Maseo said. A failed Geisha attempting to become a Black Widow sounded like a cautionary tale somewhere. Perhaps he’d write it.

And some of his other outlets would cripple his business if he didn’t get this under control.

You mentioned pursuing this path for your sanity. I heard that you were once attacked by a mountain lion, but survived. Does that trauma have anything to do with it?” he asked.





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 19, 03:29:09 AM »
Jeremiah remembered well the subtle shifts and changes as the Black Widow caste manifested. For him, it had felt almost natural, a realization of something that had long been waiting to come to the surface. Not that all of it was enjoyable. It had taken him long enough to learn how to focus once more, to not let himself drift because something was particularly tantalizing to his senses one way or another. Never mind that he did still drift, though now it was because the pull of the Twisted Kingdom caught him.

He still had not quite figured out the way to push it away every time with certainty. Not that he was certain he would, given how much he knew and was aware of now because of the touch of the Twisted Kingdom upon him.

"Letting go and forgiveness are not the same thing," said Jeremiah with a sharp smile. "Forgiveness implies a finality to the subject, that it is done, letting go ..." His shoulders lifted in an elegant shrug. "Letting go merely means that you are shelving the subject so that later you can fully explore the need to take something apart to satisfy your instincts." A soft chuckle escaped. "Though that occasionally means that you do not get to take apart the thing that caused it as fast as you'd like."

What Maseo spoke about, Jeremiah understood. Far too well. "It was much the same way with me," admitted the Black Widow Warlord Prince. "Though I clung to my mask, preferring the world not know the truth underneath." There was an impish glint to his eyes. "I used to not smile much at all, save for in private with those I was comfortable with." He most certainly was not going to weigh in on Tacean ideals. Those had caused enough problems outside of their own territory, that he was quite glad they had never taken root elsewhere. (Even if Jeremiah would have done just fine in Tacea, save for the entire dual-casted male part.)

"To be frank, in becoming a Black Widow I learned how to better handle my emotions. Not stifle them, not push or bottle them away, but to experience them. Controlling yourself, my mentor told me, is an excellent way to get killed when you are a Widow." Jeremiah closed his eyes, searching out something on the back of his eyelids before he opened them back up to look at Maseo.

"You are meant to be exploring the changes, not trying your usual outlets. Search out new avenues, find delight in the things that now catch your attention. Learn that just because you let something go for the moment, it does not mean that you've forgotten or forgiven it. Embrace the high of your emotions so that you might learn how to swim with the current." It was not necessarily easy to impart and Jeremiah knew no true way to help Maseo understand it save for experiencing it as he was.

Yet the Warlord's last question drew the full focus of a Black Widow Warlord Prince. His gaze was sharp, measuring. In that moment Jeremiah was every inch the predator watching prey and looking for the perfect opportunity to strike. Then he let out a breath, leaning back in his seat, and the moment passed.

"It was my first rut, barely sixteen. I ran because I had not fixated, not wanting to hurt anyone. During that time I was attacked, by what was assumed to be a mountain lion based on the damage done to me." The damage that no longer existed upon his body. "By the time I was found, I was barely alive. They managed to find a Healer to tend my injuries but I spent a little over a month comatose before waking." The idle motion of his hands, while talking of this, was to call in Widow's thread. Jeremiah did not work with a frame, letting it drape between his fingers instead as he worked and weaved without looking at it.

"For over twelve years I lived my life based on what I saw, what I dreamed of during that coma. Twelve years that I did not know it was never a mountain lion. That it was a Myos Black Widow contracted to ruin and kill the Mercer family." Between his fingers the web stretched, delicate and glistening. Jeremiah kept going. "You see, Lord Shingetsu, she made it look like a mountain lion. Broke through the barriers of my mind and layered a vision web within it. Trapped me there, hoping that it would cause me to break and make me easier to control." The smile upon his face was not a pleasant one. It was pure danger, though not to Maseo.

"It didn't. I came out of the other side of it terrified of what I had seen and wanting to never see it happen." It was why he held memories of a life as a Summer Sky. It was why the tales of the Mercer family being resistant to webs was not just tales to him now. "Yet she was not done, the contract still stood. So for the next twelve years, she played havoc with my mind. Taking my memories as necessary to keep me from being aware of it." For once he did not shudder as he talked about this, though part of him wanted to still. "She might have succeeded if her work had not been discovered. I'll spare you the details but will leave it at she was dealt with. That did not, however, put things right. For years I dealt with dreams so vivid I could not tell the difference between them and the waking world.

"What had been revealed, what was learned, was that I was touched by the Twisted Kingdom already. I had walked its winding paths within my dreams without ever being aware of it for over a decade." The web was stretched between his fingers, the thread glinting in the light of the room. "So to better phrase it: if I wished to keep what was left of my sanity, I had to learn to understand and become a Black Widow in full. Otherwise, I would have slowly descended into madness, unable to control myself and becoming a danger to all those I care for." Which had lead Jeremiah to a truth that he had realized along the way: part of him was forever touched by the Twisted Kingdom. It had been the touch of witchblood upon his psychic scent, always there. When his caste had manifested in full it was no longer so faint but instead witchblood in riotous bloom in winter's air.

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 19, 11:37:17 PM »
Jeremiah’s comparisons between the act of forgiveness versus letting go of an issue intrigued Maseo. Considered from that stance, Maseo could not recall a time that he’d actually forgiven someone for anything. He’d done a great deal of letting go over the years, mostly in situations where he felt powerless to act or achieve the result that he wanted. Even still, he held onto those things and let them eat him alive from the inside out, even when it would have been better to move on completely.

He took up his teacup again and sipped as Jeremiah spoke of what was done to him. He did not look at Jeremiah now, but down toward the floor. His body was tense at the idea of being violated the way that Jeremiah was. His mother would have signed off on the idea in a heartbeat, were it brought to her. Not only that, she’d probably have one of his sisters do it just to ensure that his guard was down when the time arrived. He never wanted to be in someone’s thrall that way, unable to trust his own mind and thoughts. He would rather kill every last person involved with the act and call the matter closed.

The rest of Jeremiah’s advice, he filtered through the lens of what Raluca had taught him thus far.

Each day I wake, I feel like a spring coiled too tightly, unable to relax. I practice my lessons. I try to keep myself calm and then...someone says the wrong thing. Or they say the right thing, but their tone is just a decibel too deferential or too aggressive and then all I want is to pull their their tongues from their mouths and demand that they repeat themselves.” Maseo said, sighing softly.

More tea?

He would refill Jeremiah’s cup, followed by his own. The hot tea in his stomach made the room feel warmer, making him compare the summer in Kitayama those in Bidea. He’d loved the feel of the ocean air upon his skin back then, the warmth of the sun upon his back. Perhaps he needed to consider another residence for the summer months, just to be outside the landlocked city. It also wouldn’t hurt to do networking in the area.

“I’ve filled my days with work and study. If anything, my ability to focus has improved, save for a couple of things.” Maseo said, adjusting the to the fit of his clothing. “I admit that your progression in the caste has motivated me to push myself harder, but...I’m learning that I won’t necessarily be the prodigy that you are.” Maseo said. There was no accusation or anger in his tone, just an acceptance of fact that he’d come to in recent times.

Men in Tacea are forbidden to learn these arts. At best, I’d be shunned by my family for even seeking the teaching, let alone progressing on this path. The few men who are born with a female caste usually seek solitude in the monasteries across the Territory. Dena Nehele’s culture had challenged me even more than Raej.” Maseo said, sipping his tea once more.

Safe to say, I like it much better here.” he said, smiling at the Steward.

Jeremiah’s counsel was to embrace his emotions to control them. The advice sounded like a paradox, but it was one that Maseo could identify.

Can you tell me what the Twisted Kingdom is like? I’ve not been able to coax much information from my own mentor, except that I will understand it better once I’ve experienced it for myself.” Maseo said, taking a sip of his tea.

Not a satisfying answer, to be sure.





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 19, 05:19:35 AM »
Jeremiah inclined his head in acceptance of more tea, though he did not reach for with the web in hand. For once talking about what happened to him did not leave him wanting to break everything around. "I still have that issue, to be completely blunt. It is something that I have far too much experience with." Truthfully he found himself often agitated when people deferred to him too much. Out of respect, he could deal with but because they were afraid of rousing his anger or pushing him to the edge often did the exact opposite of what they wanted.

Yet he was a Warlord Prince and such attitudes were expected for all that he did not consider the behavior acceptable. "I assume that you are trying to not advertise your training, which further compounds the problem." Especially when he did not want to alert anyone to the fact that he was training. Sudden mood swings, a sharp change in behavior, could clue in those that were particularly observant.

Truly, the only advice he had was that which he had already said: to flow with the emotions. The Black Widow Warlord Prince knew that the more one fought against the changes, the shift of emotions, the harder they hit. After a moment, he offered: "Have you considered taking up hunting? As I said: you need an outlet, something that lets you release the pressure and give rise to what is growing within. It can't be something that you already do but something new." While it might have seemed counter-intuitive, Jeremiah knew that Maseo was experiencing a rise in instinct that he was not prepared. Not as a Warlord and not even as a Blood Opal.

The smile on his face was wry, the Black Widow Warlord Prince inclining his head just enough that it was lower than Maseo's at that moment. There was a point to that as there was often a point to every motion and action he took. "You'll have to forgive me but," a soft chuckle was exhaled. "prodigy is not the word often used to describe my talents. Foolhardy, yes, idiotic, most certainly ... My mentor makes her opinion known about my, ah, behavior when it comes to being a Black Widow."

For all his natural talent, Jeremiah's abilities came with many pitfalls. If he had not had a strong sense of self, if he did not mind himself, it would be all too easy to see himself Broken or permanently lost to the Twisted Kingdom or worse.

"... that and it often feels as if my latent talents came after great personal cost. So while I hope for you to achieve all that you wish as a Black Widow, I do not wish for you to suffer as I did to gain such skill." A sigh was released. "Just ... remember to breathe and take time as you learn. It is far too easy to wear yourself down in the pursuit of the Widow's path. That is from personal experience as to what happens when you wear yourself thin as a Black Widow."

It was heartening to know that Maseo at least found himself happier in Dena Nehele. He had no doubts that the Warlord knew that males that wore two castes were often welcomed in society here. Appreciated and well-respected for what they had attained or had been born with.

"If your mentor is not informative than the odds are she does not traverse it as much as another might." He glanced back down to the web that was stretched between his fingers. It had never occurred to him that working without a frame might also say something. Such things became idle motions sometimes yet there was always a reason. Maseo's last question proved to be that. "Mind that I do not think my description would be helpful either but ..."

His gaze raised up from the web between his fingers. "I can show you if you'd like. The paths I walk within the Twisted Kingdom will not be yours but it will give you an idea." Jeremiah chuckled. "Truthfully, I walk it enough--travel deep enough--that I often have to drink a purgative to ensure I don't aggravate the senses too badly or make it so obvious that I can be caught within a Widow's walk sometimes."

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 19, 05:40:05 PM »
Maseo nodded at Jeremiah’s assumption that he didn’t want his training advertised. “There are other Taceans within the Territory who would frown upon my studies. I still hope to do business with some of them. I do not care for the secrecy, but I’ll keep it as a tool for the present.” Maseo said. He could not show Toyani what he was planning. She would very likely send him away or separate him from her service. Maseo had no wish to be thrown away by a second Queen, tossed out like yesterday’s trash. The thought caused his grasp on his teacup to tighten until he remembered that Jeremiah was speaking to him.

Jeremiah suggested hunting as an outlet for the growing aggression he was feeling, so Maseo weighed the idea. He’d never engaged in hunting as an outlet. He didn’t know if it was even something that he would like, but that was the purpose in trying it. If he didn’t enjoy it, he could find something else. He raised his cup to his lips and sipped his tea, his brow furrowed in thought. “Do you know anyone skilled in hunting that would be willing to take on a Black Widow-in-training?” he asked, a soft smile curving his lips.

Jeremiah’s explanation of how he’d earned his skill widened that smile. He appreciated the Warlord Prince’s indication that the path had been difficult and costly to him. He could have taken Maseo’s praise in stride and said nothing of value, but Jeremiah Mercer wasn’t that kind of man. He spoke plainly, when matters called for it, but he also wasn’t guided by his emotions. Maseo respected that and his respect for Jeremiah increased as well.

Yes, if you’d be so kind. I’d like to know where my training leads and what I should be preparing myself for. I’ve never been an impatient man, but waiting has felt like knives beneath my fingernails lately. My mentor is skilled and very attentive. I enjoy learning from her. But I hope to impress her with my ability to learn.” Maseo said.

Maseo’s eyes drifted down to Jeremiah’s hands, where the other man was weaving the web without the need for a weave. Maseo looked back to Jeremiah.

Is it easier for you to manipulate the spidersilk without a weave?” Maseo asked, his gaze returning to the spidersilk once more.





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #9 on: Jun 16, 19, 09:23:48 AM »
"Similarly, though for different reasons, mine was kept secret," though his had been the case of possible harm to be done, someone that could use his then unstable nature to their advantage, "as you're now aware. As long as your scent is hidden--when that starts to shift--you should be fine." Jeremiah paused for a moment, considering his words before he sighed.

"I am well-versed in the views of Tacea and cannot say that I am fond of them. To speak bluntly, once you reveal yourself, it is their loss if they do make the choice to no longer do business with you. You'll likely find yourself with more people interested in working with you as so many here are extremely receptive to males that have second castes." His eyes flicked to the tightening of Maseo's fingers--the whine of the porcelain heard--and the way they slowly relaxed as his emotions ebbed. The sharp spikes in his emotions, each one Jeremiah felt, might have been concerning if it were someone else. As he was training, it was expected. It also made him wonder if he had been so tumultuous.

"Actually," said Jeremiah, "I do. My mentor, Lady Arkadie Graveworthy. If you'd like, I could send word to her about you? She's discreet, of course," it went without saying but he would reassure all the same, "and you could contact her about going out for a hunt. To be quite honest," the smile on his face spoke of amusement and mischief, "I think it would do wonders." Not just for the male before him but for the Black Widow Queen as well. (As he did worry about her, more than he had realized he had.)

With the web stretched delicately between his fingers, Jeremiah stood up. "It's different for each of us," he said as he moved around his desk and towards Maseo, "and some have a stronger connection than others." The blue-green of his eyes were queerly bright, more so than normal because they shadowed by the bangs that fell into his face. Closer, that eerie feel of the Twisted Kingdom--that cloying scent of it that was ineffable--was heavy upon the Black Widow Warlord Prince. "It requires a strong sense of Self; that you are capable of protecting such--your center, your crown--as well." The other chair in his office was slid forward, moved closer so that it was near Maseo's, with a touch of craft.

"Though in this foray, I would be protecting you," said Jeremiah as he claimed the chair, "as this walk is mine." His hands were held out towards Maseo, a moment given for him to study the widow's thread that was woven between his fingers. It was far more complicated than some cat's cradle and truly did look as if it were a spider's web. "It's easier for me to work without one, yes. I didn't actually take to it until ..."

The corner of his mouth twitched upward. "Well, she had me making lace pancakes to grasp the form of a safe-ward and from there it became easier to work this way." It was why, when his fingers did not pull the web taut, that it draped downward. Oh, he'd use a frame if he wanted to prepare something in advance but mostly this was his preferred way. Jeremiah had spent too much time watching both Claudia and Arkadie weave webs and that had resulted in his own being something of a mix of the two for all that he worked with his hands.

“Grasp my wrist,” said Jeremiah, “when you are ready. A physical connection makes this far easier.” That and it was the only way he could ... With Maseo conscious anyway.

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #10 on: Jun 18, 19, 11:40:04 PM »
Maseo relaxed a bit more at Jeremiah’s disagreement with Tacea’s views. While that disapproval wouldn’t change anything, it made Maseo feel less alone in the indignity he harbored toward his homeland. He would have been shunned for attempting to follow this path in Tacea. Dena Nehele had proven better in so many ways that Maseo felt right in his decision to retreat here. He often believed that he should have come here first, rather than Raej, but without Raej he would not have known Raet.

He could not forget her. It hurt less to think of her, now, but it still hurt.

I’d be honored if you’d make the introduction for me, Prince Mercer. I’ve never hunted before, but if Lady Graveworthy is willing and able to teach, I am eager to learn.” he said. Maseo wanted to get his emotions in check so that he didn’t kill someone in a rage or otherwise damage his reputation. Raluca’s reputation, as his teacher, was also important to him. If he proved unable to master his temper, it would reflect poorly on her as well and Maseo wouldn’t allow it. So if hunting provided a release for his deepening emotions, Maseo would hunt until the wildlife of Dena Nehele trembled at his approach.

Maseo leaned forward as Jeremiah extended his hands and explained how it was easier for him to work without a weave. Maseo wanted to learn to do it the same way as well.

He nodded and grasped Jeremiah’s wrist, and tried to remind himself that the man in front of him had completed the path that he now walked. Maseo would someday be a Black Widow Warlord, capable of sensing the patterns of fate and manipulating them to his ends.

Then he would never have to worry about his safety ever again.





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #11 on: Jun 29, 19, 06:54:11 AM »
"I am meant to meet with her tomorrow," as they had ongoing lessons, all to see his skill as a Mind Healer continue to grow, "so I will speak of you to her." Jeremiah had no doubt that the Warlord would enjoy Arkadie's company. Especially in light of the Caste he was training into. (Though let it be said he was not thinking about them enjoying each other's company in a more lascivious manner. Arkadie was considered both mentor and mother figure and such things were, to put it bluntly, gross.)

"Another time," said Jeremiah, "if you wish to mimic how I weave then I will show you." As he caught the look of interest and the brightening of Maseo's emotions as he studied the Widow's thread stretched taut between his fingers (they were the fingers of a pianist, strangely showing no signs of scars either). With Maseo's hand wrapped around his wrist--the Warlord able to tell quite easily that the Black Widow Warlord Prince was cool to the touch; his body temperature naturally low--Jeremiah exhaled softly.

With the next inhale the Black Widow Warlord Prince reached for Maseo, a pull upon him with familiar Rose to follow and keep close. Their eyes closed upon the office of the Steward and when they opened it was within the Twisted Kingdom. Here Maseo was no longer holding onto Jeremiah's wrist, though they were standing close as they had been sitting. Above them the sky was rose-hued, darkened in places to near black by something that looked like clouds.

The terrain around them looked as if it were incomplete. Rather: it was a place perpetually in transition. Pieces of their surroundings broke away, large chunks and wisps alike that floated off into the sky. In the distance there were incomplete buildings, endless staircases that seemingly lead right back to one another, and other signs of a world that was forever changing. Nearby, on the cliff's edge they were upon, stood a mirror with a surface that was empty and black.

When Maseo turned his gaze to Jeremiah he would find that the Black Widow Warlord Prince was a different beast entirely. Here they were that much closer to the dark and eldritch things the Blood were meant to be. His eyes, already queerly bright naturally, were now luminous and glowing within the Twisted Kingdom. As he continued to look, the Warlord would notice that there were serpentine features to Jeremiah. The hint of scales upon his flesh, the flicker of wisps--the very pieces of the Black Widow that broke off of his body, floating away only for others to come and replace them--giving rise to the curve of a tail that was both there and not.

Rose enclosed Maseo and all that remained was the lingering specter of Jeremiah's form. The Black Widow Warlord Prince moved to the edge of the cliff face, looking outward. The Abyssal sea below them calm, stretching on endlessly. Waves crashed upon the rocks, but if there was a breeze or anything of a sort, Maseo could not feel it.

"I think you'll understand," spoke Jeremiah with a smile, far too sharp fangs visible, "why this is a place easier to experience than to describe."

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #12 on: Sep 11, 19, 11:24:40 PM »
Maseo was grateful that Jeremiah would make the introduction to his mentor. Even now, Maseo itched for another way to express the newfound energy that coursed through his body. If hunting helped him do that, Maseo would learn to hunt. He did not want to harm or kill anyone that didn’t deserve it. He would prove to his mentor that he was worthy of her teaching and that he didn’t require direct supervision to be an effective student.

He watched as Jeremiah wound the spidersilk between his fingers, fascinated with the Warlord Prince’s dexterity. It made Jeremiah Mercer all the more dangerous to see him weave this way and it was a skill that Maseo hungered to possess. He held Jeremiah’s wrist, wondering how he’d show him the Twisted Kingdom (Queendom, his mind automatically corrected) while they sat here. Jeremiah exhaled and Maseo kept his eyes open for any physical tell that would help see the connection.

He closed his eyes, following Jeremiah’s lead into the Twisted Kingdom. The very air itself felt charged around them even as the sensation of passing through a curtain drew slowly across the Tacean’s skin. When he opened his eyes, the world around them swirled with color and Maseo’s attention felt pulled in several directions at once. The world around them seemed to be in flux, shaping and reshaping itself into vistas that he recognized from his childhood. But those views shifted into places he didn’t recognize, places that were not here but had yet to be. He inhaled sharply as the colors of the sky and the world around them shifted and demanded his attention even as he tried to focus on Jeremiah.

Jeremiah’s visage caused Maseo to still in his tracks. His eyes practically glowed. The Black Widow Warlord Prince looked like a creature of nightmare or legend, the kind that Maseo’s father told him would eat little boys who asked too many questions. The rush of the Abyssal sea rattled around inside Maseo’s skull so hard that he thought he’d never stop hearing it.

It’s beautiful.” he said, understand why no one would explain this place. How did one explain endless transition and though given form? It wasn’t possible. It had to be experienced. Someday, Maseo would be able to reach this place without a guide or protection from its elements.

Do you come here often in your meditations?” he asked, looking out over the expanse.





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #13 on: Sep 12, 19, 05:03:06 AM »
Conscious as they were, their minds were now occupying the Queendom and their bodies reflected it. Thus the physical tell came afterward. It was the way their bodies relaxed--as much as they could, at least--and their posture was no longer so rigid. To bring another, to show them, was not always easy. Especially if one was not particularly adept or willing to let their mind share (and that could be--was the case for many a Black Widow).

"There are many that would disagree with you," about it being beautiful, "including myself before I realized what I had been experiencing and what it meant to me." His eyes slid shut and he swayed for a moment, the ebb and flow of the Abyssal sea below a strong call as it always was to him. One misstep, one moment of weakness, and it would be all too easy to sink beneath the waves and never return.

To devour all that which could be learned underneath their waves and be devoured in turn by that knowledge.

His eyes opened back up, focusing upon Maseo. With the flick of his hand, he pointed towards an alcove. It had only been half-complete but now the stones had cobbled together and created the memory of a room around the darkened mirror that was on the cliff's edge. How the room was even able to hold itself up, precariously placed as it was, was a testament to the Twisted Kingdom.

"This place calls to me, as it always has. From here I hear the whispers, the gentle murmurs of what has been, what is, and what may be." The Black Widow Warlord Prince moved towards the mirror, far more the predatory beast he was meant to be here as he did so. Something in Jeremiah's gaze said he was both present and not, part of him following another path (which did look as if part of him broke away, a fading shadow that moved away only to eventually return).

"It appears differently to everyone," said Jeremiah, "the paths that are ours to walk." Again, he meant the Twisted Kingdom. He pressed his fingertips to the darkened mirror surface, watching as they sunk into it. The mirror rippled and shifted, a myriad of images appearing but no single one taking it over completely.

"Sometimes I hear more. When I follow, when I sink beneath the waves or cross through, I find myself in a place that is no longer mine but someone else's," he continued as if he had not just briefly derailed to a different topic. His head tilted, an eyes half-closed gaze fixed upon Maseo. "Mostly dreams, sometimes not that at all, and a great deal of it ..." His eyes closed fully, a great shudder going through the stone all around them. What had been incomplete, only there in part, was now a complete room. Yet there were no entrances, no exits, and no windows either. Nothing but them, the strange eerie quality that pervaded--the stones seemingly breaking and reforming over and over--and the empty mirror.

"Malleable."

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #14 on: Oct 08, 19, 03:48:10 PM »
Maseo heard those whispers in the back of his mind, felt them against his soul, though he couldn’t make out what they were saying. He watched Jeremiah move toward the mirror, awed by what he was seeing. Jeremiah’s fingertips sunk into the mirror and Maseo felt a brief moment of panic. If Jeremiah forgot himself and went exploring, it meant that Maseo would be alone and left to his own devices. While exploration of this place intrigued him, Maseo knew that he wasn’t fully ready to absorb all that existed here.

Maseo walked toward the mirror quietly, viewing a few of the images as they shifted. Was that him walking away from a burning house? Or was that him, in another frame, dying at the end of someone’s sword? He tried to focus on those images to get a better sense of what they were trying to communicate, but they were gone before he could really see them. He looked to Jeremiah once again. Was the Black Widow Warlord Prince truly in control of himself? Taken alone, Black Widows and Warlord Princes were volatile. Sharpening the predatory instincts of either one sounded like a perilous idea. Combining them into a single male was a truly dangerous prospect.

The room shuddered and became complete, though it had no exits or entrances. Maseo placed his hand to one stone wall and noted the solidity of it. He knew that this was not the “real” world, but it felt real all the same. The air he breathed was the same. But there, in the mind, those things could be changed, could be warped to suit the desires of the person who controlled the images.

Maseo felt like he understood Raluca’s illusions a little better.

This sounds like the foundation for creating illusion webs. Imagine what you desire and you can make anyone believe it.” Maseo said aloud, though mostly to himself.

It sounds much like how people conduct themselves on a daily basis. Most don’t have the skills of a Black Widow to back their charades, however.





Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      919

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #15 on: Oct 13, 19, 12:33:15 AM »
As Maseo spoke, Jeremiah's gaze was sharp upon him. A strange smile curved upon his face, even as a soft chuckle escaped. "Perhaps it is, Lord Shingetsu, but this is no illusion. What you see, what you experience, is real. As we touch upon the Twisted Kingdom, it touches us, leaving us marked." It was why, unlike Raluca, the Black Widow Warlord Prince often was steeped in the otherworldly aura of the Twisted Kingdom.

"In my case, at least, I find it much easier to touch upon what people hide behind their charades, as you put it, when I am here." His fingers dragged in the mirror, the surface rippling as if water, and it shifted once more. Images appeared though they were disjointed.

Almost dreamlike.

"It's easier still when in repose." That glint was in his eyes again, bright and predatory and focused on Maseo. At that moment, the Warlord--the future Black Widow Warlord--would realize that the images within the mirror were the flashes of his dreams. That Jeremiah had plucked them in some manner, though the look on his face and within his eyes gave no clue as to how he had done so.

"I met someone once within the deeper paths, though I can't say for sure if it was the first time or I was simply meeting them again and had forgotten. They called me baku." The word was not Dena Nehelean in origin. It was Tacean. It was a creature of folktale, a devourer of dreams and nightmares. Given that Jeremiah had, for some of the residents, gained the reputation of being able to keep ill dreams away it was appropriate.

Yet it was clear that it was more than that. "I suppose the point," said Jeremiah, his gaze finally sliding away from Maseo to study the dreamy images in the mirror; his finger dipped and what had been a nightmarish scene turned peaceful, "is that as one grows, learns themselves as a Black Widow, that we come to understand the potential talents we have."

Offline Maseo no Shingetsu

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      203

    • Little frog, I can swim.

    • View Profile
Re: first of a thousand questions
« Reply #16 on: Nov 04, 19, 11:24:14 PM »
The powers of the Black Widow were fearsome, indeed. He had both a sister and a cousin among the caste he wanted to join, and their powers of perception made it hard to surprise or unbalance them. Maseo looked forward to a day when he possessed the powers of insight and the ability to see the future that Prince Mercer held. He desired the prescience and insight that came from understanding the minds of others. Moving through their minds and feasting upon their thoughts and plans awakened a deep hunger inside of him, one that would not be sated with knowledge alone.

He wanted their secrets and fears as well.

The surface of the rippling water caught his attention until it stilled into images from his dreams. Maseo’s attention focused harder on the bits and pieces before him, though his gaze moved to Jeremiah now and again. His expression was shocked, and maybe a little unnerved as many of the things he thought of in private were displayed before him in those images. Seeing his own hopes, fears, and desires before him made him feel exposed and vulnerable. He disliked the sensation and wanted to make it end as soon as possible. Jeremiah was an ally, but Maseo could not allow himself to be seen in truth by Jeremiah Mercer. He doubted the other man would accept such things if he saw them.

Yes, the baku are known to me. Stories of them haunt children and adults alike. The idea that you can see another person’s dreams is terrifying, simply put. You could do a thousand things to a person that wouldn’t require laying a finger upon them.” Maseo said. His tone wasn’t accusatory; it was merely a statement of fact.

A particular image drew his attention. Maseo watched as he stood in darkness, surrounded by think, gray fog. He was shirtless and covered in scars that wept with blood. He held his sword aloft, looking around him and seeing nothing. But wolves lay inside that gray fog and they waited to tear him apart. He sensed the wolves’ hatred of them. They would kill him without mercy...unless he struck first. The vision unsettled him and it was apparent in his expression.

Then I suppose I have a great deal of work ahead of me.” Maseo said.