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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.
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Author Topic: we have come too far to ever turn away  (Read 867 times)

Description: elenor!!

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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we have come too far to ever turn away
« on: Jun 24, 18, 09:16:40 PM »
(this thread takes place in late spring/early summer 193AP, prior to a case of mistaken identity.)

The more time that passed, the more that Jeremiah became comfortable with the dreams that found him in his sleep. Fear that had once gripped him, that had ensured he would push himself to exhaustion before sleeping, no longer controlled him. Instead he had learned to embrace his dreams with the knowledge that what was within them was nothing to be feared. It was something for him to learn from, to pick apart and understand. The sense of freedom that came from knowing he had, in at least this way, conquered a fear was great.

What was not great was that sometimes he found himself woken up because someone’s dreams were too loud. It was not something he could openly complain about, nor would he, but it did mean that he would end up wandering from bed on the occasion. This night it was different, something else niggling at his senses in a way he could not place. Jeremiah was used to the Territory Court, to those that slept within its walls and the feel of those that were close to him. That which caught his attention, brought him to wakefulness, was not familiar. It was something different, something new, to his senses as a burgeoning Black Widow. Someone, he was certain as he dressed himself, was far from rest.

Not because they were meant to be up but because they were kept from sleep.

It was within his own sleep that he had caught glimpses of who it was. Jeremiah had tasted salt upon his tongue, which meant it was likely someone of the Pruulian delegation, but the other parts of the dream he had not yet deciphered. Instead he yawned, running a hand through his hair as he followed both instinct and senses a like.

That he found himself within the inner gardens of the Court was not a surprise as there were many that often sought out this place for comfort. Another yawn escaped as he followed familiar paths, well worn by him and others, until he came to one of the larger trees within the garden. Somehow he was not surprised that there was someone tucked carefully between the roots of the tree. Especially when he realized it was the visiting Queen, Elenor Lirion al-Sabbah.

His yawns, it appeared, would not stop.

Queerly bright blue-green eyes sleepily focused upon the Queen, a somnolent bow given out of respect (and because Jeremiah always adhered to Protocol and Etiquette, even when he was not entirely awake). He did not immediately speak past that greeting, though a friendly smile was given, as he slipped towards a patch of flowers that were nearby to look over. His fingers reached out towards the blossoms, gently cradling one but not touching, and invested in that one moment in ensuring they were growing well and healthy.

Offline Elenor al-Sabbah

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #1 on: Jun 24, 18, 09:24:04 PM »
Elenor had slipped in and out of dreams for hours, unable to shake the sense that someone was watching her. She had been feeling that way since the day that Abaddon had fixed her Chalice, but as of late it felt like eyes that had previously only occasionally glanced her way were resting upon her more and more frequently. Her sleep was troubled almost every night, making it harder to wake up every morning. The sense of peace that had come upon her while in the desert was fading as she spent more days out of her Territory, and the dreams were getting… weirder.

This time she had simply been standing at the bottom of a mineshaft. The water at her feet had been rising, rising, and no matter how loudly she screamed no one seemed to be able to hear her. She had tried to swim up, but gray ropes were tying her feet to the floor. Her fingers had scrabbled on the soaked, bloated rope, but the knots were too tight. They were rubbing her ankles raw, the water around her filling with her power even as it drowned her, even as the sides of the shaft became green and vibrant, crawling with vines that Elenor might be able to climb if only...if only…

She had woken with a start as the water had entered her mouth and nose. Three minutes of gagging in the bathroom behind an aural shield to not wake Judiah had left her physically, not just emotionally spent, and she needed, needed, to be with the land.

Dena Nehele was not Pruul. She had never loved it, but it was also… familiar, welcoming. Not home, but maybe family.

Her bare feet led her down garden paths that were within the perimeter that her males had agreed was probably safe. They led her to a large tree standing there with a crook in its roots that was perfectly sized to curl up in. A light warming spell kept the chill from her bones as she dug the tips of her fingers into the layer of topsoil and dead leaves and just breathed.

It was his scent that alerted her that someone else was coming, and to who it was. She had spent some time with him the evening before, enough that the smell of winter mornings and witchblood told her that it was Jeremiah Mercer who was walking quietly in her direction. Her eyes opened and she watched the Warlord Prince approach, sensing his presence at the depth of the Rose and… somewhere else.

“I didn’t expect anyone out here so late… or is it early?” She asked, nodding her head in response to his bow and following his motions with her gold eyes.

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #2 on: Jun 24, 18, 09:40:45 PM »
Jeremiah's eyes were an oddity. They were not the rich golden colors of the long-lived, no, but they were still strange within Dena Nehele. Whatever quirk it was, his eyes were always bright. When the light caught them just right, they could almost seem reflective, but the true queerness of his eyes were the color of them. It was not often that they were the same shade from day to day, eyes never the same mix of blue and green.

When he had been younger, when Riley had been younger, it had been a game to track them. Now they simply were and his Queen still enjoyed looking at them. This early hour they were deep blue with only flecks of green hinting at the coming of dawn. They flicked towards Elenor, watching out of the corner of his eyes, as his lips quirked up in amusement. "Both," replied Jeremiah, elaborating a heartbeat later. "This is the time in which it is both early and late."

Smoothly he slipped to his knees, fingers pressed to the soil of the flowers he had been looking over. It was with his Rose that he reached out, checking upon things before he let out a satisfied hum. There was a sharpness to Jeremiah in this hour, something that could be missed in the later hours, but at this point he was still wrapped up in his dreams of the Twisted Kingdom. It did not cling to him so heavily but as he tilted his head back, gaze coming to rest upon the Queen again it was clear that part of him was definitely elsewhere.

"Something woke me up," he told her. "Someone with loud dreams." A yawn escaped him. "You, I think." It was a well-kept secret, his training as a Black Widow, but it was progressing to a point where it was becoming more obvious. That he would, soon enough, have to start hiding it if he did not want people to simply know. There was no snake tooth - not yet, his dreams whispered, but soon - but other markers were present when he was half-awake like this.

While he had certainly been pleasant enough the previous evening, this was a different sort of beast altogether.

Offline Elenor al-Sabbah

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #3 on: Jun 24, 18, 09:41:47 PM »
Elenor watched him, knees drawn up to her chest, as he tended to the flowers with a gentle touch fitting more to a Queen than a Warlord Prince. However, that gentleness was only surface deep, or perhaps only the film of sleep over his intense eyes. Elenor followed his every move, breath synchronizing with his as she had grown used to doing with wild things, out in the woods throughout her many decades of solitude. Why she felt the need to do this she wasn’t sure, but instinct was pushing her hard tonight and the Queen didn’t have the emotional energy to deny it.

His words, though, made her breath still. She studied him for a long second, trying to understand all the implications in those few words. He had heard her? Heard her dreams? How? Was this a special talent of his or was Jeremiah Mercer more than met the eye? It made her shift against the trunk of the tree, pulling her knees up to her chest as if to shield herself. The thought of someone else having witnessed her fear was unsettling, even more so someone she hardly knew and whose motives she could not fathom. Then again, he belonged to Riley, and while she didn’t know the other Queen, she liked her.

“You heard me? I’m… sorry, for waking you. I’d say I’ll try not to let it happen again but I don’t have any control over this.” She hesitated before saying anything more, then added, deciding to speak freely instead of guarding her words as she usually did more out of exhaustion than because she had a good reason, “I don’t even know what they mean or why I’m having them. It feels like I’m losing my mind and I have no idea why.”

Elenor shifted again, uncomfortable in her own skin tonight and ran her fingers through her long blond hair, agitated but too tired to do something productive like pacing.

“How did you hear me?”

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #4 on: Jun 24, 18, 09:50:47 PM »
With a lazy snap of his fingers, the soil that clung to them fell away and back to the earth. It was an old trick, though it often relied upon spelled cloth as well. Once everything was back where it belonged Jeremiah picked himself up. Another yawn escaped, the Warlord Prince walking once around the tree and the Queen that had nestled herself in it’s roots before he found a spot and settled to sit in front of her.

For all that he was clearly not entirely awake, his gaze was piercing as it studied the Queen before him. Tired, yes; emotionally and physically almost in equal portion. Jeremiah thought again of salt on his tongue, brought there by the rush of water. Elenor was plagued, it seemed, though her dreams were-

“You don’t have to apologize,” replied Jeremiah, “not for something out of your control.” His head rolled, stretching muscles, before he was crossing his legs. He placed his left elbow on his thigh, chin coming to rest on an upturned palm. When he yawned once more, his eyes closed to lazy half-slits even if it was clear he was still focused upon Elenor.

“Heard you is not how I would put it.” Jeremiah’s voice was a warm baritone; smooth and comforting even in this half-awake state he was in. “Felt is more accurate.” His eyes slid shut as he let himself drift. “Sensed is another way to put it.”

One eye cracked back open, a sliver of deep blue visible, as he grasped at the things that had come to him earlier.

“The water was heavy with salt,” he spoke quietly, “as it filled your mouth. There were ways to escape but none of them mattered because the ropes kept their hold.” Both eyes slowly opened, yet another yawn released. “Loud dreams, as I said, that flowed and found me.”

Offline Elenor al-Sabbah

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #5 on: Jun 24, 18, 09:54:07 PM »
She tensed as he circled the tree, her whole body orienting to keep him in her sights until he sat in front of her. Even then, she mirrored his position, shifting to be sitting cross-legged, pushing her hair back behind her ears and focusing in on him entirely. His yawn made her respond in kind, but unlike the Warlord Prince before her, she was wide awake.

“It still woke you up, which merits some sort of apology. You have important work to do and your Queen, I’m sure, needs you well rested.” Riley seemed neck deep in problems that made Elenor’s seem pretty trivial. At least the Sabbah weren’t starving… yet. Still, seeing the issues Dena Nehele faced filled her with a deep, nauseous guilt. This was the land of her birth, shouldn’t she be working to help it? Pruul called to her, but didn’t she owe this Territory more than the desert? It definitely needed Queens far more, and she could have done it, could have returned…

The very thought made her shudder and pull her fingers away from the earth to rest in her lap.

All those thoughts were washed away as he opened his eyes and spoke of her dreams as if he had really felt them. Her skin, already pale despite over a year in the desert, lost all its color, and when she spoke, her voice was hollow and haunted. “I don’t know what they’re trying to say. They keep coming no matter how much I meditate or how many times the Black WIdows in my life look into my mind. I keep feeling like I almost understand but can’t… Like they’re a language I should know but it’s all gibberish instead.” She sighed, and fixed her gold eyes on his. “I should be entirely focused on this trip and these negotiations, but I can’t sleep and I’m just so tired.”

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #6 on: Jun 24, 18, 10:03:32 PM »
“You're not the only one that wakes me up. Sometimes it's-” Jeremiah stopped himself, letting that line of thought go. Instead he shrugged with one shoulder. “There is a reason why we have nap time in the afternoon, my Queen and I, not just because I find I need a bit more sleep than I used to.” Certainly he was good at brushing off her apology, though this time he did not tell her it was unnecessary.

If it made her feel better to offer it, so be it.

The rush of guilt, that deep-seated and nauseatingly full kind, had him letting out a breath at the familiarity of it. He might have even commented on it were it not for the color that left her face. Drained away, quite unlike the water that had submerged her. “Sometimes,” he said in a softer voice, eyes properly opening, “dreams can cross the boundary. Where you can no longer tell which is real: the world you experience while awake or the one that finds you while you sleep.

“You have a bit of it about you, you know.” Then, as if realizing she did not necessarily know what he meant: “The Twisted Kingdom. It's why your dreams are affecting you so strongly and what woke me up.” It was not like his dreams, no. Elenor was not wandering the Twisted Kingdom but her dreams were touched by it, that much he was certain of. It was closer to what he had experienced for nearly thirteen years, dreams touched and warped by a place out of reach but close by.

“Meditation did not grant me a reprieve when I was in a similar situation,” said Jeremiah. “I often just pushed myself to exhaustion to ensure that my sleep would be empty and dreamless.” Yawning again, he brought up his other hand to brush silver hair back from his eyes (it was longer on the top, the perfect length in which fingers could run through it).

“You're not going to be able to focus on much at all if you keep this up.”

Offline Elenor al-Sabbah

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #7 on: Jun 24, 18, 10:05:08 PM »
She smiled faintly as he mentioned his Queen and he having ‘nap time.’ How… nice an idea that was. When had the last time she had napped been? The day after her Trials maybe? No, Matin had interrupted her then and riled her up until she had throw one of her most precious possessions at his head. Maybe she should take a leaf out of their book and make some time for a little peace and quiet as well, and convince one of her boyos to join her. She doubted any of them would mind anymore, even Matin.

“Your Queen wakes you too? With dreams? I hope they aren’t as bad as mine.” The sentiment was genuine. She liked Riley, liked Jeremiah and the people the Queen of Dena Nehele seemed to enjoy too, really. She very much hoped that their problems were fewer, rather than greater than at first glance, but the world simply didn’t work that way.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever really known what side is real. Reality always feels a bit like a nightmare, and the moments when it doesn’t… I’m always half convinced I’ll wake up and find them the dream and the truth much less promising. I can’t shake it, the feeling that I’m never sure what’s real.” Her arms wrapped around herself, as if she could hold the body, mind and soul together by force alone. The nails of both hands sunk into the skin of her arms hard enough to leave an imprint when Jeremiah clarified that he was referring to the Twisted Kingdom.

“My chalice cracked, a few months ago. Like you said, sometimes the only thing to do is run and run and hope it’s enough to get through the night, but it wasn’t. I could feel it there, I think, the Twisted Kingdom I mean. I could feel the pull of it, like if I just followed along everything would be alright.” It was hard to breathe out the words, even spoken under her breath. “The damage was repaired, but I can still feel it, like it’s inside me now when before it was always outside, whispering of things that I should know, telling me there’s danger, but not giving me any answers. I know I need to find a way to stop it, but I don’t know how.”

She probably sounded crazy, but it sounded as if maybe Jeremiah had suffered some of the same. Maybe he knew what it meant. If nothing else, maybe he would at least understand the terror.

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #8 on: Jun 24, 18, 10:15:33 PM »
"No ... Well, she has nightmares, but not like this. She wakes me." Jeremiah had been about to speak of Laszlo, who was drugged into obedience by a Black Widow whose life he wanted to take, of Orianna who picked up upon the psychic miasma that sometimes hovered as it could for those of the Blood, and of the others he looked after that had waking terrors. "I make sure she doesn't have them."

There was so much certainty in that statement that it was almost a bit too much. Yet as Elenor spoke, talking of her inability to perceive which was real, Jeremiah felt for her. It was not what he expected, a bit unusual for sure. At least a Chalice that suffered a break, one that was healed, should not have left behind such things.

It was something else.

... but what was the something else?

Jeremiah's fingers stretched outward and then curled inward, the piece of his Rose upon the ring on his finger glinting. It was an aural shield that layered around them, once and then twice more, small enough it was just the two of them within it. The noises from the outside could be heard, the sounds that came from late night and early morning, but their voices no longer carried.

"You are a visiting Queen, speaking of ill dreams and worse, it is best that we are shielded." Then, he added: "... and what I am going to speak of is best kept from the walls, as while I care not if they see I take issue if they hear. Secrets are a currency in Dena Nehele, more so than other territories sometimes."

A yawn slipped out again, Jeremiah still looking no closer to being awake for all that he was holding the conversation quite well. "From the age of sixteen until this last winter my dreams were touched by the Twisted Kingdom. The reason for this is a story for another time but suffice the experience is not one I would wish upon anyone." Despite the sleepy tone he spoke, there was a seriousness to his gaze that spoke clearly of his opinion on this. "It is a wonder that I came out of it intact, my Chalice unbroken and my Self whole.

"That said: what you are experiencing is detrimental in the long term. I spent years thinking I was crazy." Wrong, as well, but - again - that was another story. "... and that is with that just at the edges, not so close as yours seem to be. There's something," he said slowly, "that wants your attention. It's waiting, there, for you to understand it." His gaze focused upon Elenor, even as she seemed to want to wrap around herself.

"It just isn't time yet." Jeremiah's free hand lifted and rubbed against his forehead. "It's ... I do not know. It just is not time yet, though when it is, I think you'll know. Not that that will grant you sleep." He frowned, hand falling away and thoughts whirling. There was one solution but ... "I might be able to help with that, however."

Offline Elenor al-Sabbah

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #9 on: Jun 24, 18, 10:17:45 PM »
He layered Aural shields around them, and Elenor nodded in understanding. “I’ll add a layer of Opal,” she said, and as easy as breathing it was up, to wrap around them like a bubble of safety. Elenor never really felt safe if not behind every type of shield possible. Being a ghost was sometimes easier than being a person, especially with her fear so close to the surface. Giving in to the instinct, she layered a sight shield above the aural, and then added that final layer of protection that she had paid so much to learn, and to the world outside their little bubble, even their immediate psychic scent vanished.

The garden was empty.

Elenor stared at Jeremiah as he spoke, feeling for him quite acutely as he mentioned experiencing Twisted-Kingdom twinged dreams since late childhood. Less than a month of them and Elenor already felt like her grasp on reality was slipping. What would years do? What if she was about to find out?

“I’m sorry you had to suffer through that-” and then her words stuttered out when he whispered words that sounded more like prophecy than speculation. She leaned in, studying him, then reached for his hand. If he let her, she turned it over in hers, examining the skin, then the fingertips. Rough, but in a way that was very particular and vaguely familiar. She brought it up to her nose and breathed in, studying the scent of his skin with the careful senses of someone who had muffled a psychic scent for years. That sniffing a practical stranger was an odd behavior didn’t really cross her mind.

“How do you know? That something is waiting? How... “ She looked up into his eyes, “someone is watching me. I can feel them sometimes at the edges of these dreams, a presence far deeper in the Abyss than I am… or maybe more than one. I can’t tell. It’s like I know it in dreams but when I wake there’s nothing but the imprint of that memory, the empty spot where it should have been. Like there are things I should know but just don’t.”

She sighed and rubbed her pounding temple. “If you know a way to help, I’ll take any advice or assistance you can give. I’ve spent most of my life running and hiding, being afraid all the time but… I’ve always had my mind. Sometimes it was a bully or led me to do things to myself I regret, but it was always clear. Now...I just don’t know anymore.”

His hand was still in hers and she bent down to sniff it again, filling her lungs with Jeremiah Mercer’s unique blend of Warlord Prince and… other. “I think I might be able to help you too… I’m very good at keeping secrets and particularly good at, well, masking psychic scents you don’t want known.”

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #10 on: Jun 24, 18, 10:53:40 PM »
The addition of Opal layers brought a flicker of a sleepy smile. Sight shields made him chuckle, though the last layer made his eyebrow raise it was not commented on. "My Sight shields tend to be lacking, never quite right." An explanation of his chuckle, at least. Were he to do something then they would not actually be hidden or it would draw attention to them instead of divert.

She was given a smile, one laced with so much sadness it hurt, as she offered her sympathy. It was when she reached for his hand that there was a shift. The sleepiness faded, his eyes still half-closed but sharply watching all the same, as he watched and allowed his hand to be taken. Jeremiah had always been particular about being touched but Elenor was a Queen and he, in this moment, was trusting.

A yawn escaped as she studied his hand. It was rough, as was not befitting of his Aristo status, and worn from not only combat but heavily working in the garden. The breathing in of his scent was taken notice but then ... There was little to do in this instance to hide. His psychic scent spoke of the fresh fall of snow, the crisp clean air of winter, but it was edged in otherness. He was not doused, thankfully, in the scent of the Twisted Kingdom - though he had wandered in his dreams - but there was no hiding the sharp shift of his scent. Warlord Prince, it said, but there were whispers for someone who knew scents well. Black Widow was a whisper, hovering and just there.

None of it was out of place in his scent.

Instead he watched and listened, for all this posture was relaxed and sleepy, it was clear that his attention was pinpointed on her.

"When I was freed last winter, my ties to the Twisted Kingdom did not end. They continued," said Jeremiah finally, when Elenor stopped speaking. His fingers flexed in hers, the long fine-bones of someone who played piano well, and curled over the tips of hers. "My dreams persisted, the paths already laid, and so it was clear that if I wanted to protect myself, protect my Queen whose mind is tied to mine, then I would need to learn and train Black Widow.

"That is why I know something is waiting because dreams are that which speak most to me as I progress." Another yawn escaped, as if illustrating the point that with dreams came sleepiness. "Often the case is that there is an awareness one has in the dreams that does not carry over. In some ways we are closer to our Self, which is aware of things more than we are. In waking you lose that awareness but ..." A huff of breath escaped, a half-laugh. "Black Widows learn to walk that line and glean understanding from such moments. I would have to walk the paths of your dreams to know anymore than I already said."

It was not just the Twisted Kingdom that was a source of information, not for him. Dreams were not always a specialty that Black Widows followed but it was the one that had come to him naturally.

"I know what it means to be betrayed by your own mind," had he not said freed; there was a story of pain therein, "and while I do not think this is a means to an end, I can at least alleviate the issues that creep in because you are not sleeping properly." The corner of his mouth twitched up. "... and I would not be opposed to learning to better mask my scent. Most do not question it, as I've always been a touch other, but I am reaching a point where it is becoming harder to deny." There were worries, in the back of his mind, that it was a danger for it to be known that he was training. When he had his Snake Tooth, when he was further along, it would be safer, but for now there was reason for the secrecy.

“What I can do for you,” an easier line of conversation for him, “is protect your dreams. Weave a web that catches that which unsettles you so.”

Offline Elenor al-Sabbah

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #11 on: Jun 24, 18, 11:54:24 PM »
Elenor listened to what Jeremiah was saying, eyes focused and interested as he spoke of how Black Widows navigated dreams. It sparked something, some deeper understanding, a concept she thought she could grasp if only given a little more information. “Walk in dreams? Like being aware in them? How?”

There was a desperate edge to that question that she didn’t understand, not even in the aftermath of many troubled nights. Not just a desire to get control of the nightmares but the intense need to know how to do it. Curiosity, not just practicality.

She leaned forward, hand still clasped around his and eyes wide, as if it held the secrets to the universe.

Then she looked down and seemed to relax. In a lighter tone she returned her eyes to his and let go, looking around and finding a rock that would suit her purpose. It was a smooth river rock used to decorate the edges of a garden bed. It fit neatly into the palm of her hand, an oval, light gray and inconsequential piece of stone that no one would notice. Those were always the best things to attach spells to.

“I’ll set up my usual cadre of spells on this, then pass it off to you. You’ll be able to power it with your own Jewels after that. It works best with a three foot bubble around you but it should still be effective up close as long as the person near you isn’t looking closely.” Then she began weaving. It didn’t take too terribly long. These illusions were as familiar to her as the lines on her hands, but anchoring them to an object was still new. She had only recently figured it out, so it took a little while. She did it all with her Rose so Jeremiah could follow along if he wanted to, as she connected a psychic shield to block scents with a very light piece of emotional craft to prompt the person nearing to not pay attention to them, to not dig deeper than necessary. Then, above both of those, she wove another layer of spellwork: a spell she had mastered that simply kept mosquitos away. “If someone notices this, they should only see the top layer. They’ll think it a clever little gadget. Most never think to look beneath the surface once they find something their minds can comprehend, and hating biting insects is something almost everyone has in common.”

When she was done and had tied off the last of it, she reached forward and slipped the rock into his pocket. At once, that tinge of ‘other’ in the air vanished, and he was just… a Warlord Prince. “There, all done.”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #12 on: Jun 25, 18, 12:01:55 AM »
Jeremiah's expression flickered, tasting words and not saying them; trying to find the right way to explain it. Finally he spoke: "It's like walking through a home. One door leads here, another door leads there, and the hallways connect everything together." No, it was not exactly that easy to do but close enough, he supposed. Easier to say that way than explain that it was so much more than that. That there was an awareness that he now carried in his sleep.

If he did not want to sleep, he only had to let himself slip. Just open the door on the other side of the hallway and find himself in the space between waking and rest; the space where the world floated up and away, everything already swept away by the waters that ebbed and flowed within his Twisted Kingdom. Jeremiah could not truly offer answers, not when Elenor was only touched by something.

"I do not fear sleeping anymore because of it. Nor dreams or nightmares because I understand now." A pause. "That's part of it, you know. Understanding. Realizing there is purpose behind the madness of our dreams." Even those without training, those who did not know the ways of the Black Widow, sometimes had dreams that were touched because of the miasma born of so much psychic power thrown about.

He watched Elenor as she plucked up a stone, listening closely and taking note. Working with her Rose as she did ensured Jeremiah could follow along, could - in the future - mimic such things if the need arose. A chuckle escaped, a nod of agreement. "You are right and I am notorious about having spelled clothing for one reason or another." Mostly because he hated the cold but biting insects was just as good. A soft smile was given as the rock was slipped into his pocket, everything that was other neatly tucked away and hidden.

"Thank you," said Jeremiah. Yet now it was his turn and so his fingers flexed and, there in a blink, widow's thread appeared. It glittered, hummed with unspoken purpose, and Jeremiah worked with it. He had struggled with working with frames, as Arkadie had discovered, but if he draped and weaved, interlaced the thread and built upward ...

Then it became something remarkable.

"You cannot stop dreams," said Jeremiah, "as they come even if you do not remember them. Even when we push ourselves to exhaustion to not experience them, to have a dreamless sleep, they are still there." His focus was not upon Elenor but the thread in his hands, the web that he was weaving and the purpose behind it. "I have not learned how to stop them, though even if I did I would not promote that, but I have learned how to contain them. Let them take up this space within this web, your mind no longer their home." It was a surprisingly delicate looking web but looks were deceiving as it was strong. "Let your sleep be easy, let only pleasant dreams find you."

It was not a strange craft for Jeremiah to work but it likely was for someone else. Not Elenor, he supposed, who was plagued by something other. Eventually the dreamcatcher web was finished, stretched out between Jeremiah's fingers and held out for Elenor to look upon. "Take this, touch it with your own power, and place it where you sleep. It will give you the rest you need."

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #13 on: Jun 25, 18, 12:02:31 AM »
Elenor tried to follow his explanation, but it didn’t make sense. Perhaps because she had never sensed the dreams of others. It was only her own that trapped her, suffocating all other thought as they wrapped the Queen up in their pain and confusion. So when she was done with her side of this and Jeremiah had accepted the rock, she leaned forward with eager interest. He called in thread and began to work. Much like when she had, he used his Rose which allowed Elenor to follow along. She expected not to be able to, much like when Abaddon had let her, not that she really remembered what he had shown her -no wonder, that day had scared the shit out of her.

Instead of confusing, though, Elenor tilted her head to the side as bit of it clicked. She couldn’t have done it but the mechanics of how he wove that thread were… familiar. Familiar but foreign like trying to remember a dream as it was fading. Her fingers itched forward once or twice, wanting to touch, to feel the threads and their placement but she held back. By the time he was tying it off, though, she was leaning so far forward that it was probably rude and in his space, her eyes glued to the web in his hands.

“It… holds them. Like a pocket. It’s still part of the garment, but it’s also separate.” She bit her lip, still examining the web, and when he handed it to her she lifted it, studying it from the bottom, then the side. “That thread there, the one you twined three times. That’s important, right?” This was making her head pound badly enough that she let out a little moan and reached back to rub her neck.

Elenor looked back up to Jeremiah as she vanished the web. “Thank…” She blinked, straightened, looked around, frowned at the spool of thread and blinked again, looking up at Jeremiah. Why was her head hurting? It had been fine just a second ago when she was spelling the rock. “Are you… about to start making that… thing you were talking about? The web to stop the dreams? I’d love to watch you.”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #14 on: Jun 27, 18, 11:51:20 PM »
Jeremiah said nothing as she leaned forward. For all that Elenor was older than him, there was a bit of her that was so very much not but that was the nature of the Long-Lived. It was things like this that made him act as a father figure towards those that were his age and despite the age difference, she was - essentially - younger than him. If one thought about how aging worked for those of long-lived blood in any case. Her behavior, in short, made him think of those he looked after - those he helped teach (though not this type of craft) - and so he thought nothing of it.

Allowed it even where he might not normally otherwise, greatly preferring his space not be invaded. A noise of agreement, not quite a hum and not quite a rumble, was given. "Yes," though a lot of this had been practice, Jeremiah creating the web before her in different manners for different people, "it's not the same for each person." Slight variances for each person, for the taste of their dreams and what was meant to be caught. "They will find a space here," the dreams she was plagued by, "and be contained with. If you would ensure that this comes back to me, I can-" he stopped speaking, watching her.

The feel of her emotions was strange then, stranger than they had been before, and that noise of pain was disconcerting. Moreso was the way her own voice broke off, the thank you not even finished. Jeremiah was watching her with concern as she seemed to - in some fashion - reset. His hand reached out, fingers closing around her hand. "Elenor," said Jeremiah, "I've already made it." Then, as she clearly stared at him as if he had grown another head, he turned her hand over in his. This way his hand was palm up, holding hers, just as hers was palm upwards as well.

"Reach within, call for the web. It's within already, tucked away by your craft." Something niggled at his senses, something he did not like. "My words are truth," he added, even as concern was apparent on his face as he watched her.

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #15 on: Jun 28, 18, 09:28:14 AM »
Elenor shook her head vehemently. “No you didn’t. I’ve been watching you this whole time. I would remember if you made it. I would.” She said it as if she was sure, but that look on his face, that concern, was disconcerting. More so than that was when he took her hand and turned it over, urging her to call in something she was sure she didn’t have because he hadn’t made it. Maybe he was still as sleepy as he looked. Elenor was good at remembering things. She had memorized whole books, for Night’s sake. Surely she would remember…

Just to placate him and prove her point she tried to call it in, whatever it was, and then jumped nearly out of her skin when a little web popped up in her hand. Her eyes widened, her breath caught, and the hand not clasped in him reached down to itch at her thigh, a patch of skin suddenly burning there. Her head pounded and still, Elenor just stared at the web in disbelief.

“No. You can’t have… This is a trick or something.” There was no venom behind that because she didn’t think this man was the sort to do that, not right now in this quiet, oddly intimate morning. Elenor’s eyes rose to meet his. “I have no memory of you making this. I was sitting right here this entire time. When did you make it? When did you give it to me?”

Then she whimpered again, her hands rising to massage her temple, vanishing the web again so that she could. She closed her eyes, then took a breath, relaxing. She stretched, looked back at him and asked, “So, are you going to make that spell to catch dreams? I wouldn’t mind seeing how that’s done but if it takes more time than you have now that’s fine too. I’ve inconvenienced you quite enough for one night, I suppose.”

Why was he looking at her so oddly? It made Elenor shift and fidget with the hem of her robe. “You look troubled. Is everything alright? Something I said didn’t offend, did it? I do that sometimes. Social interactions aren’t exactly my area of experience, and it’s been a long time since I was in this Territory and caught up on its customs, even if I was born here.”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #16 on: Jul 07, 18, 08:05:23 PM »
What sleepiness remained in his countenance faded as Elenor refuted what Jeremiah said. It was a sharp-eyed stare that studied her, fingers twitching with a desire to reach out and touch but not doing so. He wanted to reach out with his Rose, to touch upon what called to him, but knew it was not wise. If not for the lack of bite to her words, Jeremiah might have felt annoyance and growled.

Instead he was worried, as clearly the web was there and now she was confirming her lack of memory. "Just a moment ago, as you watched me weave it by hand," replied Jeremiah gently, watching as she whimpered. Again something snapped into place, almost as if it was a reset, as Elenor stretched asked him again.

His expression was beyond troubled. "Something is wrong," said Jeremiah quietly, "something that is affecting your short term memory." He did not elaborate, not yet, not when she was look at him as she was. "You've done nothing to offend me but someone has done you a great offense. You said your Chalice was cracked? Was there anything else discovered at that time?"

Finally he reached forward, larger hand covering hers and stilling the fidgeting. "You're doing just fine with interacting. I am merely concerned that there is something else other than your dreams are touched by more." Jeremiah held her hand then, bringing it up to study it. Truly he was studying her emotions, the ebb and flow of them, far closer than he normally did. Whatever this was she was not aware of it but it also seemed to completely push her back. He had a suspicion but he was loathe to test it.

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #17 on: Jul 07, 18, 08:28:28 PM »
The Queen cocked her head to the side.

“Ah… are you sure? Because I swear I can’t remember…”

Elenor stared at Jeremiah in puzzlement as he reached forward with a concerned expression and took her hand in his, her previous sentence trickling into silence. Huh? What...? “My… short-term memory? What do you mean? Did I forget something? I’m sorry, I might be a little sleepy. I’ve been tossing and turning most nights. This trip must be getting to me, it’s hard to be away from home.” His expression of concern was troubling her as well, making her heart race.

He asked about her Chalice and Elenor’s concern grew deeper. “Ah… other than being cracked, no. The man who looked at it wears the Red and is a talented Mind Healer so I’m sure he would have found anything wrong. I mean, there was all the shit that made my Chalice crack to begin with, but no… meddling, if that’s what you’re implying. Nothing like that.” Abaddon would have told her if there was, right? Yes. She was sure of that. He was a friend and he loved Fin like a father. If something was wrong they would know about it. “You think someone did something to me? To my mind?” Fear gripped her, but his hand around hers kept her from pulling back, from disappearing into that fear.

“There’s… a Red Black Widow. She wants me gone, from Pruul… probably wants me dead. I’ve never met her or even seen her, but…” She shook her head, trying to rid of the buzzing pain there. Her hand tightened on his, fear becoming more, becoming something closer to panic. “My head hurts.”

She closed her eyes, shuddered, then opened them and looked at him. “I’ve been having bad dreams? I… I think I remember them. I can remember waking up afraid, but I can’t recall anything about them. What...what’s happening to me?”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #18 on: Jul 07, 18, 11:33:46 PM »
"Elenor." Jeremiah's use of her first name was to draw her attention to him, to bring her focus exactly where he wanted it. "Focus upon me, feel my emotions, and do not let yourself grow unsteady." No more than she already was. He was no Queen, he could not calm through Touch, nor would he sink to manipulating emotions, but he could project his own to share them. To have them help be a guide for others, to feel them and know that they could be grounded by his presence.

"I am not certain," said Jeremiah as an answer to her question if someone did something to her and her mind, "but there is something going on. It's ..." Not Red, he wanted to say but was not sure how to explain it. He followed a different line of thought. "I already made you something to catch foul dreams, I will make another for you later. Trust that I did so and that you can call it to hand. Something stops you from remembering it, though I am not entirely sure what."

His hand within hers was a line of comfort, to keep her grounded and not sinking into fear. (Even if it was a fear he knew far too well.) "I will have to look and see what I find," said Jeremiah finally. Then explained: "Weave a web and see where that leads me. I am hesitant to do more than that, to look within a web and give you what I have to help with ill dreams, because there is something there and I am still without my Snake Tooth." There was something to her dream that was just at the edge, something that felt old. Jeremiah felt like if he just reached out he could catch it, whatever it was that paled her but was worried about doing so.

With his other hand he reached up and touched the center of her forehead, a soft cool sensation spreading out from his fingertips. "Tell me what you remember of your dreams - anything - and let us see if I can discern something." Then, as he thought about it, he let go of her hand. "Do not look downward, at my hands, focus upon my face as you talk." Jeremiah would turn his back to her if she could not, to prevent her from looking, but the moment she nodded and began speaking he would begin to weave again. This time, however, it was to to look within the web. If it looked like she was going to look downward there was a careful nudge of Rose at her chin to keep her head tilted up.

In short: no peeking.

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #19 on: Jul 08, 18, 12:08:54 AM »
Elenor was shaking but couldn’t stop. The sound of her name, though, brought her attention back to the Warlord Prince staring at her. She took a breath, the motion familiar from daily meditation practice but also agonizing. Her eyes fixed on his, holding them like a lifeline in a storm as her head pounded and her focus shifted to nothing but Jeremiah’s face. Slowly, breath by breath, the panic began to fade. Why was she so scared again?

She heard his words. They didn’t all make sense but she chose, after a moment of thought, to do as he asked and trust that he had done this thing, though she had no recollection of it at all. Trust wasn’t easy but there was something so genuinely worried in his eyes that Elenor decided not to second-guess her instincts for once.

“I trust you.” She whispered, “do what you need to do. If there’s something wrong that is within your ability to find, I want to know.”

He told her to focus on his face and she did, though not looking down made her twitchy. For some reason not being able to see his hands was a source of stress. After a moment of silence, her eyes squeezed shut as she tried to remember, the Queen spoke, her words slow and whispered.

“I remember… little bits I think. I remember the first dream a little. I was sitting somewhere… somewhere I knew. Shalador I think. There was a woman but her face is a blur. She said things but I can’t remember, only that she touched me, right between the eyes and I woke up with blood there. Then… there have been others, always of the desert in bloom, those are clearer. I see things growing out of the sand and overwhelming everything. Y blood feeds them and I can’t stop it. There’s another one I have sometimes… it’s a mine shaft and it’s flooding but I can’t swim. I’m trapped but I don’t know why. Then…” She shivered, feeling cold, sticky nausea overwhelm her. “The bad ones are the ones where I feel like someone is watching me. I can’t see them but sometimes another voice shouts at me to wake up, except I can never remember how. There was one where I couldn’t see anything but I could smell blood and feel people around me. My hands were tied and I was so scared but I didn’t know what of…” Her eyes began to lower, but a nudge on her chin made her look back up. “Sorry. The others… It’s just pieces. Bits of my life but not the way I remember them, except I can’t pinpoint the difference. I feel… like I’m bursting, like every time I fall asleep I’m overflowing instead, drowning…” Elenor gulped, and felt tears burn down her cheeks. “I feel like my mind isn’t my own and it’s scaring the shit out of me.”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #20 on: Jul 19, 18, 07:38:07 AM »
"I am sorry," said Jeremiah, quietly and gently to Elenor as her eyes pinched shut and her expression tightened. The apology was as obvious as Elenor's discomfort was that she could not look. Yet if she looked he was absolutely certain they would be right back to square one.

She would lose time and he would be explaining all over again. Like this, with her speaking, he was able to work and weave. For all that he was working with his hands, Jeremiah did not look down upon them. They moved as they needed, weaving and draping, creating the web that hung delicately between his fingers. His actual focus was upon Elenor, eyes focused upon her face. The line of her nose, the way her brow was knitted, the pain held at the corner of her eyes ...

"It is alright," again his voice was gentle, "that is all you have to say." Jeremiah finished the web as Elenor spoke words he was all too familiar with. I feel like my mind isn't my own and it's scaring the shit out of me. She was not someone trapped within her own mind but her mind was shadowed by something. What that was, hopefully he would be able to discern.

A delicate looking clip, one of a vine, was conjured to hand. Upon it was a chip of his Rose that glinted and hummed with everything that was the Warlord Prince. "I have to look at this and it will take me a moment. While I am done weaving I am hesitant for you to look, so if you need to ..." He released a breath. "Sit closer and hide your face against my shoulder so that you are not tempted." It might also help soothe her, if only because he was a Warlord Prince. Just as Queens could bring a measure of peace to Warlord Princes, the same could be said in reverse.

Elenor was not his Queen, Jeremiah was not her Warlord Prince, but some things simply were. Once she was situated, once he was certain that she would not look, there was a warm hum as he tugged upon his Rose and dove into the web.

The Twisted Kingdom rushed up to greet him, pulled him within its embrace and welcomed him back home. There was no time to enjoy such things as he was reaching for the vision that he had weaved. Except why was he here again? Wasn't he supposed to be seeing who-

Jeremiah shook his head with a quiet snarl. Forget was a heavy beat that was all around him but this was his domain! Within this space it was all his, though it connected to the deeper pathways, and he would not be dissuaded or sent away. He watched as slowly others seemed to do the same thing. They walked along the path, only to go so far and turn back. Their purpose was forgotten, what they came to see no longer visible to their eyes.

On the step of a staircase, one that came down as if he were upside down and it right side up, there was a bird. As he blinked, he watched it stretch its wings out. Green edged with Gray- Ah, that certainly explained a few things but what exactly? That was the question.

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #21 on: Jul 19, 18, 10:59:14 AM »
Elenor was oddly relieved when Jeremiah suggested repositioning. Not looking down was hard, curiosity always having been one of her greatest weaknesses. With her head pressed into his shoulder though and her nose busy parsing out his fascinating Psychic Scent and nerves soothed by being close to a male -even if not her male- ignoring the web he was weaving was easier. The Queen curled up into his side, strengthening the shields around them to all but one Jewel set -her own- so that if Riley happened to be looking for her Shadow she could find them.

When he slipped into the web she didn’t expect to feel anything, but she did. Something tugged at her, at a part of her buried deep, and without hesitation she followed that tug. The Queen didn’t exactly ride on his coat tails, couldn’t see what he saw, but when she closed her eyes she could feel a part of herself respond to what he was doing. The pounding in her head grew worse, making her want to pull her inner barriers tight to keep the world out. In a fit of combativeness against that instinct that seemed somehow foreign given that she was cuddled up to someone trying to help, Elenor flung them open instead. It was an invitation to the Warlord Prince to look, if he needed to, even though something about this situation was making her forehead bead with sweat.

It hadn’t been like this when Abaddon had entered her mind, had it? And that was much more personal. Was it because he wasn’t looking for the right things? Jeremiah had said she was forgetting something… What else might she have forgotten?

Eyes still closed and face buried against the soft cloth of his coat, Elenor surrendered to the uncomfortable feelings around her. Discomfort was nothing new and it felt as if something about this was needed even wanted as if part of her mind she had not been aware of until now were screaming in pain and fear and no one had been listening for the longest time, not even Elenor.

Then there was a shift in the air. Her nostrils flared and the scent of plumeria and rain was suddenly all around them, a voice, familiar and not, echoing in both their minds.

**This is beyond your skills, Prince. The webs are unraveling, if you get tangled it will hurt you both. Your concern is not necessary. Step away.**

Elenor jumped, then froze, her hand fisting in the fabric of his shirt. “What was that?!” There was a fluttering sound, as if of wings, then the scent in the air faded, as did the feeling of being an ant, stared at by a giant.

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #22 on: Jul 20, 18, 02:16:48 AM »
Later, he supposed, he could investigate in full but Jeremiah had a sense of things and that was more than enough for him. He was still in training, after all, but as of yet following his instincts had not seen him on the wrong path. In the space between heartbeats, before he rose from the vision, he thought he saw Elenor.

Younger and yet her face harder, guarded; a heart that was closed to all that dare approached. It lingered within his mind as he came back up only to realize that Elenor had - in some manner - piggybacked upon what he was doing. No, this was ... Ah, yes. Rose and Opal were far too familiar, Jeremiah knew them intimately through Riley, and so - very cautiously - he did look.

Chased the pain that came and the heavy beat of forgetforgetforget. Her inner barriers were strong but- Jeremiah sucked in a breath, one that his body actually carried out, as he saw it. A great schism below, something that separated a piece of her Self from the rest. Not much, just enough to create a problem, but that was only if it was not eventually returned ... The sharp cry of a bird - Green and Gray - was heard and he growled back in response.

Words of a darker jewel were heard and acknowledged even as he snarled: It has been too long! Jeremiah could see where it would be far too easy for him to get swept away. It was one thing to dive deep within the Twisted Kingdom, knowing he could come back, but this was something that ate memories and it could - if he was not careful - eat his. Except none of this mattered and he could only barely grasp why he had responded as he did. Elenor had jumped and he pulled himself back. Gently he nudged her to close the doorway that she had opened, to not keep things thrown open. Jeremiah did not respond immediately, lifting his hand to press the tip of a finger to her forehead.

That cooling sensation once more, to ease the heat that burned through her. The jungle, he thought, just as Shalador came to mind too. "A warning," said Jeremiah gravely. "To not go any further." He vanished the web and the vine clip away, shifting so that he could better support the Queen. "I can explain, I think, but it will not bring you comfort." Even if he was apprehensive about doing so considering how poorly he had reacted to the truth that someone had been within his mind.

... yet then would it come as a comfort to know she was not mad? Perhaps but Jeremiah was focused upon easing Elenor back towards what measure of calm could be had.

Offline Elenor al-Sabbah

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #23 on: Jul 20, 18, 03:31:43 PM »
Elenor felt him retreat and the hum of Rose Craft still. She opened eyes that had been squeezed shut and took a breath as he did, the motion in sync as if to remind herself that yes, this was what bodies did. He vanished the web and cautiously the Queen looked down at his empty lap, then up at his face as she snuggled in a little closer. Feeling alone right now felt like a terrible idea.

“Yes, I want to know but also…” She called in paper and a pen, something nagging from the back of her mind, a memory that was more instinct than true recollection, something in the muscles of her hand instead of her head. “Write it down. If I’m forgetting, write it down twice. Give a copy to me and one to my Master of the Guard. That way even if I forget, someone knows. I can’t… I think I’ve done that before… I’m not sure…” She pressed her face back against his neck, her shoulders shaking. “I hate this. That voice… I know it. I’m sure I know it but I can’t place it.”

It had provoked an emotional response. Fear and dread, joy and sorrow. Something was all tangled up with that Dark presence but she didn’t understand how, or when, or why. Maybe Jeremiah would. Even if she would forget, just knowing for a moment might make the sweat on her palms dry or her lungs expand fully once more.

“Whatever this is, I think it’s getting worse. Every day I’m more exhausted than the last and I can’t...cope much longer. Even if it’s only for a moment, I want some relief if you can and are willing to give it.” Her hand fell from his shirt to her thigh, itching at a prickle there, then, as flighty as a bird, traced through her own hair, tugging it slightly and rubbing at her aching forehead.

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #24 on: Jul 24, 18, 09:26:30 PM »
In the back of his mind there was a hum of disapproval born of knowing that his mentor, Arkadie, would not be pleased that he actually went looking but what was, was. All he could do is be honest about it, that he went looking, and hope that what reprimands came would be ...

Exactly what he deserved. Jeremiah was still learning, without his fang, and the potential for something to cling to him and otherwise cause problems was great. He did not seem bothered in the least bit by Elenor snuggling closer, arm tightening around her as he caught the edges of her feelings. Fear was strong, so was uncertainty, but there was a strength under it all that could not be denied.

The same strength that came out when she called pen and paper. There was just a slight shift, a moment of freezing, as she pressed her face to his neck but it passed as she continued to speak and her shoulders quaked. "A pretty thing, that flits and flies in the jungle upon wings of Green and Gray," sighed Jeremiah in response to the voice. Then he added: "I will write it down."

Jeremiah frowned as she continued on and explained. "Perhaps later I might be able to do something more than ease but right now? Unless you can find either a very skilled Mind Healer or one that wears the Red, you will continue to face problems." As it turned out the Warlord Prince was ambidextrous but primarily left-handed, for what that was worth as he contemplated what to write. "I can offer some respite for you, help ensure you get rest, but it will be only a bit here and there, I fear. You are aware, more than ever, that something is wrong and thus ... it will only grow." Worse that what was done was falling apart, piece by piece, and affecting the Queen in ways that agitated Jeremiah.

"I can provide instructions and webs for you to use, something to keep nightmares away. To at least ensure you can get sleep. The rest? I think I can guide you but that's it." Raising his hand up, he caught hers as it raked through her hair and then rubbed at her forehead. Jeremiah squeezed it reassuringly. "I am sure if I give this information to you and your Master of the Guard, you will be able to do something." A look flickered across his face. "... but for now I think I can help at least give you some peace."

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #25 on: Aug 01, 18, 01:23:55 AM »
Elenor stilled when his hands wrapped around her wrists, keeping her from doing more anxious damage to herself. “I’ve… seen a Red Mind Healer. My chalice cracked and he pulled it together but he didn’t…” a flash of memory, of instinct, of… something. “I think it may have started then. I’m not sure of anything but I can’t recall being this tired before that day, only after.” She buried her face in his shirt again and started to quietly cry. Nothing made sense anymore. Her head ached and wasn’t her own, something had twisted it until it was the knife slicing herself open. Something was wrong and it had been done to her. How was she supposed to fix it. How…

“I’ll take any respite you can offer. I can’t do this anymore… I can’t… it hurts.” she whimpered this last as she tried to hold on to what she was saying, felt it slipping away even as they spoke. Remember. Remember. Remember. The chant in her mind was familiar, and as it continued it escaped her lips too. Just a murmur, repeated like a prayer as she squeezed her eyes shut repeating every word he had just said over and over again to keep it locked in her mind.

Remember. Remember. Remember.

“I don’t want to sleep. I’ll forget if I sleep. It will all be gone. Maybe if I can just stay awake a little longer…” The pain in her head spiked and she moaned into his shirt. “I don’t want to forget anymore. I don’t.. Don’t…”

Her body spasmed, muscles tensing all at once, then began to jerk.The involuntary motion only lasted for a few seconds, but if Jeremiah had not been holding her Elenor would have fallen. As it was, she had been sitting in the garden, and then a moment later her eyes were opening and her back was flat on the grass and her mouth tasted of blood, tongue throbbing.

Elenor’s head fucking hurt but mostly she was just confused. “Ah… Jeremiah? Where did you come from? How did I get out here?” Then she blinked, a look of puzzlement crossing her face. She reached up and massaged the bridge of her nose. “No, wait, yes. We were talking about you waking up when you hear people’s dreams, right? I made a spell for you, I remember now. Did I… fall asleep?”

She swallowed, the taste of blood still heavy in her mouth and tried to push herself up on her elbows but every muscle in her body ached. “Fuck, I feel like I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks but it must just be the stress. At least I’m not having bad dreams that wake you, right?” Elenor asked, smiling ruefully. “I hope whoever was having them feels better soon.”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #26 on: Aug 15, 18, 11:36:51 PM »
Quiet, Jeremiah merely let Elenor speak of the Red-Jeweled Mind Healer and how things had changed after that day. "I do not think he is the cause. Your Chalice is sound but ..." The cracks were visible, even to him, and they could give at any moment due to the stress she was currently under. "It is a natural degradation, I think, of something that should not even be there in the first place." The words were quietly said as Elenor started to cry. Jeremiah understood, he truly did, but from the sound of the Gray - the other that had left their mark - the had not done this out of a desire to harm.

No, this had been done for ...

The thought was just there at the edge but it would require him focusing on it; weaving another web and seeing what he saw within it. "I can imagine," how much it hurt because he knew the pain of a damaged mind, "but you cannot fight what your body needs, Elenor." Yet that was the problem here, was it not? Not Elenor fighting it but her mind fighting what was necessary. Pushing back against rest and more that was needed.

His arm tightened around her as she went on, a projection of his emotions put in place; calm and soothing. Not that it helped, not when she released that noise of pain and not when her body started to spasm. Jeremiah shifted then, releasing his hold and laying her upon her side (what knowledge and skill he had in regards to such things was cobbled from years of working as a Jack and from Judith Grigorie). It was only when she stopped, a heartbeat later, and rolled onto her back that he was interrupted from calling for assistance.

"Stop, please do not move," said Jeremiah, ignoring everything that she said for the moment. A hand upon her shoulder stopped her from sitting up; firm and gentle, it simply said stay where you are."You did not fall asleep, you had a seizure." The rest, at least, was somewhat accurate but even then. A frown grew upon his face, the kind that was not necessarily good to see. It spoke of things being not so good. "I will give you a moment to gather yourself and then I am taking you to your room and alerting, at the very least, your Master of the Guard."

The paper and pen, the ones she had called in, were ignored for the time being. Not when this was something far more pressing to deal with.

"I can help," said Jeremiah quietly, "you get to sleep after that."

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #27 on: Aug 16, 18, 12:10:01 AM »
A seizure? What the… Then again, her body did feel as if she had just run a mile or two uphill on her moontime, a sensation she knew all too well for having done it a time or two. Every muscle in her body ached, her head throbbed and there was just the hint of the taste of blood in her mouth. But why would she have had a seizure? How…

Her eyes fluttered closed. So tired. Could she remember ever being so tired? Elenor wasn’t sure but she knew she had no intention of disobeying Jeremiah and moving anywhere just yet. Maybe she could just take a nap right here, in the grass. Yes, that seemed like a good idea. It didn’t even matter that there was another person right next to her or that anyone could walk by and see them because the ground was so comfortable, the land soothing, perfectly happy to just swallow her up and never let go. Maybe if she gave in to the way it always seemed to scream at her here she could just sink inside it and sleep forever.

His hand on her shoulder startled her out of her half-doze.

“Room, yes…”

Getting up was a struggle. Jeremiah had to all but haul her up but once she had her legs under her Elenor stubbornly kept them there, just as she had the time she had been forced to walk through a blizzard for almost five miles. She had always been alright as long as her feet here under her, could always get away from her problems and pick up some speed.

Well, speed wasn’t really an option now, to be honest, not with the way her muscles were shaking, but Jeremiah’s arm around her waist kept her at least nominally vertical until they got to the door of her room. There she braced herself on the frame for a moment, panting, before continuing on.

He helped her settle onto her bed and she let out a relieved sigh, falling onto her side and pulling her legs up to her chest. “So tired,” Elenor whispered, quietly enough that only he could hear, but then there were hurried footsteps and another voice. She recognized it as her Master of the Guard from the room next door, then his rough hands were on her forehead and cheek, turning her face up to look at him.

“Lady Elenor-”

“I’m fine… I’m fine… just sleepy is all. Prince… Mercer was just kind enough to bring me back here. I’m fine. I’m fine.”

She closed her eyes and felt him retreat but not far. “What happened? She clearly isn’t fine?” Elenor could hear the anger bubbling under the surface and shot out her hand to grab Danyal’s wrist. She missed but after a bit of flailing caught it in a weak grip. A brush of her Touch came before,

“He didn’t harm me, not in any way, nor did anyone else. Please, Danyal. I’m really fine.”

The old Warlord patted her hand but turned back to the Warlord Prince. “Sorry, she has a habit of running headlong into danger and it has me on edge. What really happened?”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #28 on: Aug 18, 18, 01:16:31 AM »
Jeremiah had a way about him that was, perhaps, strange for a Warlord Prince. He knew well how to move out of the way, to appear non-threatening. An odd thing, for sure, considering everything about him seemed designed for the exact opposite. Yet he wore it well and merely watched the scene unfold between Master of the Guard and Queen.

Did not even immediately respond to the first question that was directed at him because Elenor was still moving and reaching for the Warlord.

"I am quite familiar with Queens with no regard for their safety," replied Jeremiah finally, having watched the exchange and turned his attention to Danyal, "and the stress that it causes." See: Rilandra Vlas. Elenor was shifting in the bed, though clearly not sleeping. First things first: talk to the Master of the Guard then make sure the Queen actually got a night of sleep.

"She's been having nightmares," said Jeremiah quietly, his gaze flicking from the Queen to the wizened face of the Master of the Guard. When he was given a nod of acknowledgment, he continued on. "The ones she had tonight woke me up." Which likely got him a weird look but he continued on. "I am ... particularly attuned, Lord," to read in between the lines meant one thing and one thing only: Black Widow, "and her nightmares are quite loud to my senses. So I found her in the garden. Sat with her and talked of them and other things. I had meant to show her something, to give her something that would help her rest without nightmares but ..."

Jeremiah looked back to Elenor again, watching the crease of her brow and the tiredness that was palpable just by laying eyes upon her. "She forgot everything, almost immediately, of what I did." A hand was held up. "It happened more than once and appears to be tied to Black Widow craft. She cannot keep knowledge of that sort within her mind right now."

Bright blue-green eyes flicked back to Danyal. "That is not the worst of it." That there was more to this bothered even him.

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #29 on: Aug 18, 18, 02:06:03 AM »
Elenor was drifting. So tired, so scared of falling asleep though at the moment she could not remember why. Then again, she had always hated sleep. Sleep meant vulnerability. The monsters could get her if she fell asleep… not monsters with fangs but ones with faces, who would drag her through the jungle again and tie her hands and-

She started and jerked to sitting, causing both men to look her way, then blinked and was confused as to why she was not lying down and why her head kept pounding so.

Then she heard a voice, somewhere deep beneath her, a voice wrapped up in something warm and red and comforting. Sleep, Elenor. I’m watching you tonight. Sleep.

That voice. Not the scary voice though she could not remember why she thought there even was a scary voice. No, this one… this one was alright even if it was Dark. It wasn’t as Dark… it was alright….

“Everything will be alright.” She whispered, falling back into bed and crawling under the covers as the men talked. Their voices were hushed but she could still hear them.

Danyal was saying, “Not the worst of it? What happened, Prince. She doesn’t seem well. Did something happen? Is she hurt? Fucking Hell, if she did something to herself again…”

“I’ve been good!” Elenor interjected, as more of a mumble than anything else.

“No offense, Lady, but you’re not the best judge of that. Prince, please, tell me what happened and what I can do.”

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #30 on: Aug 18, 18, 05:14:48 AM »
Jeremiah's attention was more upon Elenor than Danyal at that moment. He watched as she fitfully rested, did not truly sleep, and even when it seemed as if she did she still did not.

Not when she was responding to what the Red-Jeweled Warlord was saying. Letting out a breath, Jeremiah looked to him. "I can do that, Lord, but if you would allow me a moment to help her sleep peacefully? It is within my power to do so." He would wait until Danyal weighed it upon his mind, until he gave his consent, then he would move to sit on the edge of the bed next to the bundle of blankets that was the Queen.

"You have been trying," said Jeremiah gently, "and you are being good, but you need to rest." His hands rested in his lap as he spoke. "Let me help with that as I said I would." He waited for whatever version of consent - of yes - that Elenor would give before he finally raised a hand and touched his fingers to her hair.

A brush of Rose against her mind, soft and soothing, as he reached for her sleeping mind. He paused as he realized there was yet another presence, not Gray this time, and waited until he was acknowledged. Mostly because it was easy to tell that, in this moment, he meant no ill will and only wished to help. When he felt that brush back, the feel of a gaze upon him watching but allowing, was when he finally acted.

There was a gentle nudge as he took hold, guiding Elenor's mind towards dreams of a more peaceful and restful sleep. This night, at least, he could make sure that the nightmares did not come as her dreams would shapeless but comforting. He blinked, coming back to himself, and calling thread to hand again. This time it was a web that he had already prepared, the kind that he kept because too many he knew suffered from nightmares, and turned to press it into the wood of the headboard.

*To pull her nightmares away from her mind,* said Jeremiah along a thread to the Warlord. *I will check upon it later on as it will eventually grow full, for lack of a better term.* The web sunk into the wood with a touch of his craft, no longer visible (for all that they would know it was there).

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Re: we have come too far to ever turn away
« Reply #31 on: Oct 13, 18, 04:23:37 PM »
Elenor felt the dip of the mattress as Jeremiah sat beside her. She curled in on herself a little more, unsure, in her half-asleep state, if his was a presence that was welcome or not in the vulnerable place her mind was in now. Dreams and waking were intertwining and it wasn’t until a now-familiar brush of hands and Rose touched her brow that she relaxed.

He was doing something against her headboard and in her mind. The Queen had no ability to follow what that was but it seemed to make the storm in her head ease back to a light summer rain. The pain, too, shifted into something dull instead of acute and something, somewhere in her mind spoke in a voice not her own,

*Thank you, Prince.*

Elenor’s eyes cracked open and her hand fell over his. “Everything is fuzzy but… I think I need to say thank you too. I’m not sure for what but… maybe you know? Yeah… I think I need to sleep now.”

She closed her eyes again and wasn’t sure if the next time she opened them was a second or two later or hours. He wasn’t there this time but the bedding had the slightest residue of his scent, as did the frame. It shouldn’t have been comforting. He was a Warlord Prince not her own… and yet it was.

She snuggled into the blankets, yawned, and this time didn’t wake until well past noon.

-The End-

 

 

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