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Author Topic: they tell you it's all in your mind  (Read 302 times)

Description: (stela) (their hunt begins) (bad things in post #4)

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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they tell you it's all in your mind
« on: Aug 01, 19, 02:49:06 AM »
late winter, 193AP
the dreams of a coward

Widow's thread stretched from the pollex and pinky of his fingers, pulled taut between both of his hands as he worked. Jeremiah had given Stela his word--in a manner--and he would make good on it. This was the very work that he was meant to be doing, that which the Guild Master wished him to do as one of his Mourning Doves.

It was to his benefit the Summer Sky Warlord rested within the Territory Court this night. While the Black Widow Warlord Prince could have found his dreams, his space within the tapestry of the dreaming, it would have taken more time than he liked when he needed things to start sooner rather than later. He had told Stela a day and a day was exactly what passed before he set to work.

Jeremiah let himself sink, following the spiraling pattern he saw within the web. It spun around and around the trinket he had been able to get, something small that belonged to his intended target. Within the Twisted Kingdom was the way to the dreaming and the sleeping mind of a Warlord.

---

If there were a single word that could be used to describe Lord Wadim Cosovei it would be lacking. It was the first thing that came to mind as Jeremiah touched upon the dreams of the Warlord. There was nothing vibrant or particularly calling to them, only a blandness that he found wanting.

What did catch his attention was the darkness that existed in the corners. Dark thoughts and doubts that were pushed aside, kept carefully contained so that the Summer Sky Warlord could go about his day-to-day and not buckle underneath the weight of them.

It was exactly the sort thing that Jeremiah had wanted to find.

---

Wadim dreamed.

For the most part, his dreams were as boring as he was certain most thought him were. This night, however, he found himself being chased. He could never quite catch sight of what hunted him but he always heard the whispers.

Why do you do this?

Why aren't you better than them?

You will never be more than their tool.

The whispers continued, Wadim never able to escape his unseen pursuer. When he woke, sweat upon his brow despite the weather, he could not remember what he had dreamed. Only that his chest felt oddly tight and the rest of him uneasy.

It faded slowly over the course of the day but somehow he felt as if there was still a weight, one that made him rub absently at his sternum. As if something weighed upon him that he could not quite put his finger on.

That could not be pushed away from his mind.

Offline Stela Petrescu

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #1 on: Aug 07, 19, 11:15:46 PM »



Wadim was running late to meet Stela. Lady Petrescu. He had to correct himself every time he started thinking the Priestess on a first-name basis. He enjoyed her company. When she poking fun at him for his choice in friends, she provided sound and interesting views about Mother Night and the Darkness. Wadim was full of questions for the burgeoning Priestess, wondering how she’d eventually tend to the people she would eventually serve. She would make her Offering soon, but not before she had her Virgin Night. The thought of that event filled Wadim with dread.

The others were getting more insistent about collecting the bounty on Stela. Why aren't you better than them?

You either shit or get off the pot, Cosovei. She’s ready. Close the deal or step aside and let a man break her in right." Danus said during a recent night at a local tavern. Danus Randa was a boor. Wadim hated his smug, smirking face more and more each time Stela’s name passed his lips. He wanted to punch him in the face and then keep hitting him until he couldn’t look at her again. He wouldn’t, though. Among their social group, Danus was his only friend. The others would exclude him on principle if not for Blood Opal Warlord Prince. Without his friendship...

I’m working on it.” Wadim said glumly, exhaustion and impatience coloring his tone.

You will never be more than their tool.

Work harder. Impose your will. She’s yours to take, if you want her. Can’t get your cock into Sorinna Roman without proper training. Or do you want someone old fart like Mercer taking what’s yours? Or what about Prince Wineskin? If he can even get it up.” Danus said, laughing at his joke. Wadim didn’t want anyone else doing it, but the choice was Stela’s. The choice was Lady Petrescu’s and Wadim couldn’t make her do anything. He didn’t want to, no matter how many times Danus brought up safframate. Combined with the lack of sleep he’d been getting lately, Wadim had seen better days.

He found Stela in the library the following morning, reading a book.

Lady Petrescu, I’m--

Shh.” she said sharply, holding up a finger as she scanned a particular passage.

Wadim fell silent. A full ten minutes passed while he waited. By now, though, Wadim knew Stela well enough to know that she was making him pay for his tardiness by waiting on her. They had these little power struggles from time to time, many of them won by her. Wadim expected to be replaced more than once, but Stela always seemed to have a use for him. Sometimes, she even let down her mask and showed him that a real person existed beneath the icy Priestess she pretended to be.

This wasn’t one of those times.

At the eleven-minute mark Stela closed the book, rose from her seat, and returned it to the shelf. She returned to her desk and her eyes grew wide upon seeing him. “Lord Cosovei, you’re here! To what do I owe the honor?” she asked, her smile pretty and sharper than a knife. Her tone was icy, though perfectly polite. Wadim’s eyes wandered over her from head to toe. Had she eaten yet?

I apologize for my tardiness, Lady Petrescu. It was unavoidable.” Wadim said, suppressing the urge to fidget beneath Stela’s stern gaze. Reading her moods was the great challenge of his life so far. He knew when she was irritated or angry. That was easiest to identify. He’d seen her smile a few times, even once for him.

Clearly. You look like shit.” Stela said.

Wadim looked down. “Thank you for your honesty, Lady Petrescu.

The Priestess sighed. “That didn’t come out the way I intended.

Didn’t it?” he asked.

I meant that you look tired. You’re not usually late, but this is the third time in three weeks.” she observed. “I know you’re working more with Lord Shingetsu lately. Do I need to request a new escort?

No! I mean, no. I am working more with Lord Shingetsu. He’s really showing me some important things.” Wadim said, rubbing at the stubble on his jaw. He probably did look like shit. Why aren’t you better?

Have you eaten?” he asked, looking to deflect from his issues.

Well, no. I was waiting for you and I’m starving. Let’s go.” she said, the Ice Priestess returning full-force. She turned on her heel and went to the door.

Wadim followed.

How would he ever convince her to sleep with him?






Offline Stela Petrescu

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #2 on: Aug 07, 19, 11:18:15 PM »


Even without the trinket that Jeremiah passed to her in secret, Stela could tell that Wadim was falling apart.

The episodes of lateness tapered off, but now the Summer Sky Warlord made excuses to spend more time in her presence. He’d helped clean the entire altar three days ago without prompting, then suggested they do so again this morning. He made little excuses to extend their time together, even when he was on a task for Lord Shingetsu. Whenever they encountered his friends, like Prince Randa, he was on edge the entire time. Whenever he thought she wasn’t looking, he was staring off into space. He kept up his personal hygiene, but there were dark circles under his eyes that reflected his lack of sleep.

If she didn’t want to destroy his cohorts so badly, she’d have felt sorry for him.

One day, a week later, he spoke up.

Stela? I mean, Lady Petrescu...may I ask your advice?” he asked, tone tentative.

She looked up from her place at the altar. She was sketching an idea for updated seating and raising the dais by a foot, the better to make this place more friendly to visitors. She’d take the ideas to Lady Bane first, to get her thoughts, before presenting them to Lady Roman. The Proxy Queen wasn’t her favorite person, but she couldn’t go to Jeremiah for everything.

Yes, Lord Wadim?

Wadim stuffed his hands into his pockets suddenly, blinking as she used his first name. He hadn’t expected her to engage. He cleared his throat. “Like I said, I need some advice. I have a friend who’s run into some trouble.

Please tell me doesn’t gamble.” she said.

He doesn’t gamble.” he returned.

Okay, good.” she said, smiling.

He returned the smile. “No, no gambling. I--He wouldn’t do that. He’s in some trouble, though. He’s mixed up with some people who are mixed in bad things. He thought they were his friends. Now he’s…stuck.

Stela set down her sketch pad and came around the altar to sit beside Wadim. She smoothed out her skirt and then turned to face him. “No one’s stuck where they are, Wadim. If your friend doesn’t want to be involved with these people, then he can stop. We’re all free to associate, or not, with whoever we want.” Stela said.

Wadim sighed. He seemed to consider that for a moment. “These people were his first friends. He doesn’t have any others worth talking about. But they do…they just do shitty things to people who don’t deserve it!” he said, rising from his seat to pace before her. Stela watched him, saying nothing, and let him keep talking.

He doesn’t know what to do or how to get out of it. He told me that he thought about running away. Maybe they wouldn’t find him. Or maybe they’d just hire a Shaos to kidnap him and drag him back. Or they’d pay a Myos to kill his family, followed by him.” Wadim said.

People don’t hire the Myos unless they’re serious about killing someone.” she said. “Does he really think these people are dangerous?

They’ve got reach and money. That’s pretty dangerous in Dena Nehele.” Wadim said.

She nodded. “Well, you asked for my advice. Someone wise once told me that we’re only as sick as our secrets. They rot our souls until there’s nothing left. Tell your friend to get away from these people. The longer he waits, the greater the risk that he gets painted as part of whatever his friends are doing. If he doesn’t get away from it first, he may not have a chance later.” she said, her tone gentler than she thought she could make it.

Indecision was written plainly on Wadim’s face. Stela watched him quietly as he stopped pacing. He sighed.

Thank you for listening, Lady Stela. I appreciate it.” he said.

He walked her back to her room that night, promising to talk to her in the morning.

He didn’t show up.






Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #3 on: Sep 17, 19, 02:06:12 AM »
summer, 194AP
the conversation between beasts


Charles sighed. "Danus," he said drolly, "I know this might be hard for you but I need you to actually think and articulate properly." The Red-Jeweled Warlord Prince was cleaning his nails rather pointedly with a knife when he did not have to. Wisely, the other Warlord Prince--Prince Randa--did not comment on it.

Not when the sharp gaze of Charles Keyes was upon him. Danus was a predator in his own right but not when compared to the Warlord Prince before him. There was a part of him that was envious of that, at all that Charles was, but he kept that to himself. (Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he--the thought was pushed away, locked back where it belonged.)

Danus breathed deeply, trying to edge his anger down. "Cosovei is losing his nerve, I believe."

"You sent an untested, untried yearling after another, Danus," said Charles, "and you're surprised he's showing signs of going soft." There was no question in that, only a statement. The knife was vanished, Charles rising from his seat with a languid stretch before he closed the distance between him and the other Warlord Prince.

"Let me be very clear," he continued, fingers catching Randa's jaw in his long fingers, "that if you cannot keep your little trust in line, I will have to step in." His fingers were squeezing, slowly but surely until it was beginning to edge at pain. Charles was good at riding that edge, knowing how to keep someone at the point that the pain was beginning to blossom.

"Though I suppose I could just be done with you ..."

"No!" snapped out Randa, going immediately quiet when he saw the look Charles gave him. "No," he said in a more controlled voice, "I will keep them all in line. We will continue to do as agreed and provide you with the memory crystals."

Charles's eyes were narrowed, clearly calculating and considering just what Danus Randa was actually worth to him. After a moment he released the Warlord Prince, though the bruise of his fingerprints remained. "Then get on with it. Wayward Priestesses need to know their place."

He looked thoughtful for a moment. "Though perhaps you might want to remind Cosovei about his place, about what is expected of him. Weren't you planning on something soon? Some sweet thing you found that was ripe for the picking." At Randa nodding, Charles continued. "Do not let Cosovei just watch, make him participate. His little voyeur streak is likely part of why he is not falling in line. He is not truly one of you, not until he breaks his first." A sigh escaped. "Really, Randa, what were you thinking letting him play with a Priestess ..."

Randa said nothing, only listened. Charles had called a knife to hand again. He did not need it to make his point but he did enjoy the fear in Randa's eyes as he followed the blade.

"As I believe we've reached an understanding," said Charles, "there is one more matter to discuss." He was approaching Randa once more. "A concern of mine, in light of what you have revealed." He smiled. It was not a friendly look. "Something that requires my taking steps to ensure your tongue does not wag in the event of a worst-case scenario."

Randa was immediately upon his feet, words of protest on his lip and posture defensive. It was nothing against the sheer might and force of a prepared Red-Jeweled Warlord Prince. "Danus. What did I say about challenging me?" Because rising to his feet was a challenge as far as Charles was concerned.

No answer came, not past the gasps of breath as Randa fought to get Charles' hand away from his throat.

"It's time for a reminder, I suppose, and for my fail-safes to go into place." He turned then, calling to someone that Randa could not see because his vision had gone black; the world lost to unconsciousness.

---

Later, when Randa left the Keyes Estate, there was nothing amiss. No bruises on his face, nothing that felt as if his talk with Charles had gone wrong. Only that he knew that Wadim Cosovei would truly join in the revelry that they had planned.

Not the first, no, as he had not earned that right, but after the others had their turn.

Yes, that would work.

Danus Randa walked with purpose, knowing exactly what to do. No witch would consider herself above them, their place below, and it was time to remind the rest of his group of this. Too long had they not acted.

That would not do.

Offline Mikhael Serban

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #4 on: Oct 13, 19, 12:28:15 AM »
(trigger warnings for dubious consent, sexual violence, and death.)

Anzhela had been beside herself with joy (and just a touch of pride). All because she had caught the eye of Nazariu Cebanu, a Summer Sky Warlord Prince and an aristo. At first, she had been concerned with the attention showed to her, knowing the tales of Warlord Princes and their passions, but Nazariu was so gentle, so soft-spoken, and his temperament mild. He had even blushed to ask for what had been her very first kiss!

Those good feelings had fallen to the wayside when Nazariu had approached her father and been denied handling her Virgin Night. Anzhela had been furious, had fought with her father about it, but he had been adamant that the Warlord Prince would not be the one to handle her Virgin Night. It even seemed that the fact he was an aristo was a detriment as far as her father was concerned.

Which was why the White-Jeweled witch was carefully sneaking out of her home not long after dusk. She had feigned feeling tired, using that as an excuse to go to bed early. It was not so hard to sneak out, not when her father was Jewelless (her mother long dead) and not particularly skilled with the Craft he did have access to.

She dropped to the ground, the sound of it muffled. Her heart was racing, a thrill going through her. It turned to a spike of fear when she felt an arm slide around her waist. Just as she was about to scream, a hand pressed to her mouth.

"It's me," whispered Nazariu, his lips brushing against her ear. Anzhela relaxed in his hold, turning around to face him and lean up on her toes to kiss him.

"I didn't think you'd be here," she murmured against his lips, kissing him against softly.

"I know but ..." Nazariu let out a soft breath. "I wanted to make sure. That this is what you want. It's alright, dove, if you do not--" This time it was her hand covering his mouth.

"There is no one I trust more," answered Anzhela. "No other I want to carry me through my Virgin Night." Her face heated but she smiled at the way Nazariu gazed at her.

"You've no idea how happy that makes me," he said, kissing her gently. "Come, dove, I have a hideaway prepared for this special night." With that, the pair disappeared into the night.

---

"You could learn from Prince Cebanu," said Danus, speaking to Wadim who was shifting uneasily as held the memory crystal in hand. It fell to him to do such, but this--

He flinched with he felt a jolt of Craft call his attention back. "Did you hear me?"

Wadim nodded, not able to find his voice.

"Good, because tonight," continued Randa, "you will finally stop being simply a voyeur."

It was that statement that made Wadim's stomach drop but there was nothing he could do but nod again.

---

She was pretty, so pretty and so very scared.

Nazariu caressed her cheek, drawing her attention back to him. His eyes were only upon her, not the other males that had come into the room.

"You said you would do whatever it takes to be with me, dove," said Nazariu. Anzhela could not help it when her gaze flicked back to the others that were watching, a hand coming up to cover her breasts. Nazariu's hand grabbed her jaw, forcing her gaze back where it belonged. "Do not look at them, only me."

"But--"

"Do you not wish to be with me anymore?" he hissed out, grip tightening.

"No!" she nearly cried out. "That's not it, I just-- Why are they here? This is supposed to be--"

"It is the way of things, dove," growled out Nazariu. "To be with me you must endure." Anzhela wanted to look to the other males that had come into the room but every time her eyes so much as flicked another way--off of Nazariu's face--his grip tightened back to that bruising force.

All she could do was nod, doing her best to not flinch as Nazariu's hand slid away from her jaw to her arms and pushed them away from covering herself. "Then do not be so bashful, you are beautiful." He slipped around her, lips pressed to her shoulder as he pinched a nipple. "Beautiful and mine."

Anzhela could not stop the shiver as his fingers slid lower, her panties removed with a quick bit of Craft, and sought out the wetness that had gathered before things had changed.

She closed her eyes and prayed to Mother Night.

---

"Naz," called one of the others, "aren't you finished yet?" There was no response from the Warlord Prince as he drove himself into the witch's body over and over again. Her cries had grown softer, laying there as she was taken.

"If you didn't want to--" There was a snarl, a burst of Craft that pushed them back and away from the bed, as Nazariu brought a hand up to tighten around Anzhela's neck.

"Your father thought you too good for me," he hissed out, snapping his hips forward with force into Anzhela. "What would he think of you now? Sopping wet, your spread your legs and taking my cock so easily like a whore. You're nothing but a sleeve for my cock, to be filled and used over and over again until I'm done with you."

The words continued, even as his hand tightened holding her throat. Nazariu had lost himself and Anzhela's eyes closed once more.

They would not open again.

---

There was a knock on the door, Mikhael immediately up to answer it. A panicked guard stood on the other side of it, his face pale.

"Tell me," snapped out Mikhael--for once all that knowledge of Protocol and Etiquette fell to the wayside--knowing that something had happened.

"One of the escorts, of the Lower Circles, killed a witch."

"And they've been brought in?" said Mikhael, shrugging his shirt on and buttoning it up as he moved into the hallway. In his mind, he was already going over the things they would have to do but all of that fell to the wayside with the next statement.

"No," said the guard, "he is dead too."




Offline Stela Petrescu

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #5 on: Oct 13, 19, 04:17:36 PM »
194- Summer (two days after the above thread)




The cold stone of the alleyway was a deep contrast from the heat in his throat. Wadim thought that, after a few minutes, there wouldn’t be anything left in his stomach to puke out. He’d barely eaten tonight, knowing what was coming. He was running on six hours of sleep in two days. He felt horrible. He’d tried to back out, claiming illness, but Danus was clear the other day during lunch.

“Lock in Lady Petrescu’s Virgin Night this week or you’re out.

They would break her. They would hurt her. If Danus had his way, they’d probably kill her, too. Just like they killed Lady Anzhela. While the others were panicking over the scene in the bedroom, Wadim had slipped out and vanished into the night. He wandered the streets of in a daze, chest tight, fighting for every breath he drew. He stood by and watched, like he always did, because he was terrified of them. Because he was terrified of him. Joining the Leadership Society was supposed to help him get the connections he needed to help his family. He thought they were his friends, but he’d lied to himself about that, too.

By the time he found himself vomiting in the alleyway, Wadim knew two things without question. The first was that he was very, very ill. He needed to see a Healer or it was going to get a lot worse.

The second was that he couldn’t do this anymore. He needed help. He couldn’t get out of this on his own.

He wanted a drink, but he couldn’t go to a tavern. The others frequented several of them and were on good terms with most of the workers. They’d find him. If they found him, they’d make him go back. He didn’t want to go back. He couldn’t go back. He needed a place to hide while he figured out what to do.

He knocked on Stela’s door at three in the morning and prayed that she didn’t flay him alive. The Priestess answered on the fourth knock. The glare in her blue eyes could have stripped flesh from bone, but Wadim didn’t care. Tears blurred his vision, but he didn’t care. He was just glad to see the one person in this palace who might listen to him without killing him outright.

Wadim, it is three in the morning. Someone better dying...or someone is going to die.” she said, her tone icy.

That’s the thing, Stela.” Wadim said, leaning hard on the door frame.

Someone’s dead and it’s my fault.” he said.

His legs buckled and he dropped to the floor in the hallway of the family room, leaving Stela to call for aid.

---

The longer Wadim spoke, the more Stela wanted to vomit.

She knew, when she accepted the contact against these “witchbreakers”, that it would be terrible. She knew, in theory, what they’d done to unsuspecting young women. But as Wadim recountered every rape, every breaking, every female who’d been harmed by these wastes of life who called themselves males, Stela felt hollow. Wadim gave her dates, times, the names of the men involved. He explained, in detail, their rating system for the women chosen. He gave her list of women they’d targeted for their depraved little “games”. She shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that her name was on the list, or Asimov’s.

It still made her sick to hear it.

She’d reached out to Jeremiah immediately. She wished Prince Bane was here, too. He wouldn’t allow this to stand for another minute. When the Steward said that he was on his way, Stela knew that there was no chance of sleep for sometime. The entire thing made her want to scrub off all of her skin until she reached the bone, but she forced herself to listen to every single detail. It was the only way to make sure that they got all of them in one strike.

Your friends are going to deny this. They’re going to say that you made it up or that you’re the ringleader. What else can you tell me that’s going to make Lady Roman believe you over them?” Stela asked.

Wadim lay in the bed in the Healing Room, staring up at the ceiling. His eyes were red-rimmed and puffy. Guilt had eaten him alive. [/i]Not nearly enough.[/i] It had taken someone’s death for him to come forward. It made Stela ill to think that her esteem for Wadim increasing, prior to this.

Something occurred to her and she looked at the Warlord.

Is that why you asked me about Lady Robles in the first place? Was she on your list?” Stela asked, eyes hard.

Stela--

Lady Petrescu.” she corrected.

Lady Petrescu, that’s not important anymore.

I wasn’t asking for your opinion, Lord Cosovei. Answer the question, now.

Wadim sighed. “She wasn’t. She’d already undergone her Virgin Night and her Offering. And she’s a Queen. They didn’t want the attention.

Stela was only marginally relieved by the answer. “Very well, then. I want the memory crystals you have. All of them. Prince Mercer and Lord Serban will have further questions for you when they arrive.” she said, rising from her seat.

Wadim’s eyes grew panicked. “You called them? You can’t call them. They’ll kill me! Or the others will kill me as soon as they realize they’re exposed!

That sounds like a personal problem, Lord Cosovei. Back when you told me about this, I told you get as far away from this as you could before it was too late. You didn’t listen to me. Everything has a Price. Whatever yours is, you’ve earned it.” Stela said as the knock came and the door was opened.

Lord Cosovei laid back and stared up at the ceiling. She was right.

This was what he deserved.







Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #6 on: Oct 16, 19, 11:50:43 PM »
There were few things that kept Jeremiah up, fewer still when Lisichya was close by and keen on ensuring the Black Widow Warlord Prince did not adhere to a certain level of not overdoing it. Which meant that Jeremiah was actually asleep. Not the half-asleep state that left his mind to wander, to catch the dreams of those around him, but honest sleep.

Stela's thread touched upon a sleeping mind but it did not remain so. Almost immediately Jeremiah was up, mentally going back over the dreams that he had. They were the sort that he kept tucked away, the kind that were not easily stomached and--

I'll be there shortly, was all he sent before he went silent. Stela was dealing with Lord Cosovei and someone would need to see a runner to Lord Serban. Jeremiah found himself wishing that Sebastian was back, that he was not still gone from the Court. It was a thought for another time. Quietly pressing a kiss to Lisichya's brow, a promise made to make it up to the Healer for leaving at an earlier hour than usual, the Black Widow Warlord Prince was on his way to the Healing Rooms.

A handful of minutes later, he was knocking curtly upon the door--which was a formality, all things considered, that the Warlord within did not deserve--before entering. "Lady Petrescu," said Jeremiah, no greeting for the Warlord that was within the bed. Lord Serban, it appeared, was not there quite yet. Share with me, if you would? The Black Widow Warlord Prince had a broad view of things but not the specifics that had been shared with her by Lord Cosovei.

When that was done, his bright blue-green gaze had gone cold and fixed upon the Warlord. "She is right, you know," said Jeremiah, as he moved towards the bed, "though I'm sure you know that it's more than simply disavowing you and laying it all at your feet." A pause; there was nothing kind in his gaze, only that of a predator watching prey. "It will be a matter of whether or not they have you killed before you are sentenced." His eyes glinted, a sharp smile given. "As I won't kill you, Lord Cosovei. That would be a kindness and you've done nothing to deserve such." No, Jeremiah would not see Wadim Cosovei killed and would not advocate such a thing. Death was a release and what the Warlord had participated in, whether or not he had been involved, deserved no such thing.

"The only avenue left to you is to do what you can to make up for your lack of action in the face of such atrocities," said Jeremiah as he moved towards the foot of the bed. His hands rested against it, fingers tapping the baseboard one by one. "So tell me all that you can about your leader and let us see where that gets us."

As he finished those words, it was then that Lord Serban appeared in the room. A quick word was given to a pair to stand outside the room but Mikhael took one look at the scene before him and wisely said nothing. For now, he would watch it unfold and step in when it was time.

Offline Stela Petrescu

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #7 on: Oct 17, 19, 12:22:32 AM »

Wadim Cosovei thought he knew fear. He thought he understood it when he stood before Prince Randa or Prince Keyes, when they stared him down as a cat did a fat little mouse. But Jeremiah Mercer was somehow more terrifying than both men combined and he didn’t stand as deep in the Abyss as either Warlord Prince. Maybe it was the Black Widow that made him look more feral and deadly. Or maybe it cold gaze in his eyes.

If Wadim could have died then, he would have preferred Mother Night’s judgement to whatever this man could dream up.

His gaze shifted to Lady Petrescu, but her expression was so cold that she seemed like a different person entirely. He thought that they were growing closer, but who was he kidding? He’d started interacting with her just to get her into bed. He wanted more than that now that he knew her a bit. He knew her favorite color, he knew her favorite food, and that she hated being late. He thought they were friends, but he’d built all of that on a base of lies.

Now it was all crashing down around him.

He’d be lucky if he left Bidea before a Myos got to him. Or before someone simply murdered him in the street. Any of his companions had more than enough money to pay a Price to his parents and still have a fortune left over. He was the family disappointment, after all; his younger brother was the one his parents put their hope in.

He lay back in the bed and stared at the ceiling as Lord Serban arrived. The Steward and Master of the Guard were here. The First Escort would probably arrive soon and then...then the Queen would hear of this and his life would be over.

Okay.” Wadim said, defeated.

I’ll tell you everything.

And he did.

Names. Dates. Everything. He gave up every single detail about the truth behind the Tulzbruja Leadership Society and the covert game they played with the witches of Dena Nehele. Stela grabbed pen and paper and took notes. The Priestess said nothing while Prince Mercer and Lord Serban asked their questions. She listened for any discrepancies between the information he provided to her and the information that he gave to them. Finding none, Stela kept writing. And writing. And writing.

Finally, Wadim conjured the bag that contained the memory crystals of their conquests. He handed it to Jeremiah, unable to look at the Steward. The sheer number of crystals contained within was staggering. Stela thought she heard at least twenty-five, maybe more. It made her stick to her stomach. How could he just watch all of that and do nothing?

Wadim fell silent. Maybe someone would lose their temper and kill him. Prince Mercer said he didn’t deserve the release, but the Warlord wanted it anyway.

What’s going to happen to me now?” Wadim asked quietly.






Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #8 on: Oct 20, 19, 03:58:16 PM »
The bag handed over to him was a weight that he did not like. It gave a physical feeling to the wealth of nightmares and more he kept tucked away within his mind--the horrors visited upon ...

Jeremiah could not stop the low snarl that escaped, fingers gripping and holding tighter to the bag. While the desire was there to destroy every single one, that could not be so. Not yet. Not when it was evidence. "They'll stay with me for the time being," he told Prince Serban. There was no argument from the Blood male who only nodded.

"You will be held here for the time being," said Mikhael, turning a wary gaze from Jeremiah to the Warlord. "Word has already spread that you have come down with an illness and were brought it. That will continue to be the case until it is time." Time, in this case, meant when he would be brought before The Queen-in-Proxy along with the others to see a judgment carried out.

There were Prices to be claimed, families that needed closure when it had been nothing but a paltry pittance. Words, perhaps even coin, and none of that would ease the suffering they had, and that was before the witches that were still alive were considered. Mikhael was sick to his stomach but did not let it show.

"I'll go and speak with Lady Roman so that this can be dealt with promptly," said Jeremiah, who turned to leave. There was frost on the floor when he finally moved, the Black Widow Warlord Prince pausing a moment to look at Stela. I have not forgotten, of course, what needs to be done for your contract. It will be so. His head tilted and he paused, bright blue-green eyes glancing back towards the Warlord and then back to her. As it stands, I've another concern but Lord Cosovei will not have the answers I need. Prince Randa, on the other hand ...

With a courteous nod, Jeremiah left the room to speak with the Queen-in-Proxy as he had said. The temperature in the room slowly began to rise back up to normal.

Offline Sorinna Roman

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #9 on: Oct 20, 19, 06:08:18 PM »
Sora had blocked out this time to speak with Lady Shadya. When she learned that the Black Widow specialized in repairing damaged chalices, Sora requested a meeting with the Pruulian to discuss Mihael’s recovery. Cezar had died during the Decimation, but Mihael lost his jewel of rank, broken back to his yellow. Her Warlord Prince had suffered in the year since, his own daughter refusing to visit him despite Sora’s entreaties. Repeated sessions with her Touch and Emotional Healing Craft had soothed the rawest edges of his nerves, but Mihael still suffered.

Sora watched Shadya the Black Widow sipped her tea and seemed to passively take in all that she was told. She was kind enough to keep her knives vanished to her psychic cabinet for Sora’s sake, something that the Queen was grateful for. Finally, there was nothing more to say and Sora rested her palms on her thighs, green-gold eyes watching the Black Widow for any sign of her acquiescence.

Shadya set down her teacup. “I believe that I can help your bonded male, Lady Roman. I have rebuilt and reinforced damaged chalices in several situations. I’d be happy to lend my talents to his recovery.

Sora visibly relaxed. “That’s great! I can arrange a meeting so that you two can get better acquainted.” she said. “And I can ensure that you’re paid properly for your services. I’ll ask Prince Mercer to draw up a contract.

Shadya held up a finger. “Actually, the Territory Court has been more than generous with funding and supplies, Lady Roman. I‘d like to request another form of payment, if you’re amenable.

Sora blinked. “What kind of payment?

Shadya made her request. Sora blinked.

You want me to...brush your hair?” she confirmed, making sure that she’d heard her correctly.

Yes, please. Just once.” Shadya said.

It registered, just then, how much it cost the Black Widow to make this request of her. Sora could refuse and Shadya would still help her, but it was clear that the other woman was suffering from the inability to see her Queen. She could help Shadya at the cost of her time and the payoff for Mihael would be his mental and emotional stability.

That made the choice simple.

Yes. I’ll do it as many times as you need it. Just tell me when.

The two women hashed out the final details of their bargain just as Marius opened the door for Jeremiah. His expression gave away nothing, which meant that something was wrong. Jeremiah wasn’t shy about letting people know how he felt, especially now.

Sora and Shadya rose from their seats. Shadya bowed to the Queen-in-Proxy and her Steward. “I must prepare for this assignment, Lady Roman. I won’t take up anymore of your time. Please let Prince Voinea know that I’m available at his leisure.

She looked at Jeremiah. “Prince Mercer, a pleasure, as always.

The Black Widow would depart the room, Marius closing the door behind her, leaving Sora with Jeremiah.

What’s happening?










Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: they tell you it's all in your mind
« Reply #10 on: Oct 23, 19, 01:18:50 AM »
Seeing Shadya with Sora was a good thing, though it was most certainly because he knew that the Rose-Jeweled Queen was seeking out her services for Marius. Jeremiah could tend to nightmares, he could even tend to another's Chalice, but that was not something so easy when it was the Bonded of the young woman he considered his daughter. Marius could permit Jeremiah to help ease his sleep but any more and the discomfort grew. It did not help that the Black Widow Warlord Prince had his plate full and, quite honestly, had found himself dealing more with the recovery of people lost within the Twisted Kingdom more often than not.

None of which particularly mattered now, Jeremiah's expression blank--a tell if there ever was one--as he had greeted Marius and requested entrance. The air around him still held a chill, though it had lessened as he had moved away from the healing room and Lord Cosovei. "I could say the same," agreed Jeremiah, before he inclined his head toward Shadya. "Lady al-Sabbah." That he did not have more banter was another tell.

It was not normal particularly normal to watch as people left the room but then he was a Black Widow Warlord Prince on a mission.

"I am certain that you recall the horribleness that we learned of a few days ago?" What had been passed off as a lover's tryst gone wrong: the death of Anzhela Baciu and the subsequent suicide of Nazariu Cebanu for his part in killing his lover. Jeremiah waited for a beat for acknowledgment, moving to take a knee before Sora and catch her hand between his. Better to focus upon it than let the coldness of his gaze bore into her. His anger was for those of Prince Randa's club.

"It is far more insidious than that," said Jeremiah, who then proceeded to explain what had been discovered. Not every detail was revealed, of course, but enough that she would understand the true depravity of the males and that which they had done. The Black Widow Warlord Prince was tightly contained as he spoke, tone devoid of its usual warmth.

The bag and its contents of memory crystals were a heavyweight that he wished to see destroyed but could not be yet. Once everything was explained, once Jeremiah finished speaking, he let out a long, shuddering cold breath.

"They think themselves above being caught," said Jeremiah, "that no one can claim the Price that they owe. That they can hunt these very halls." Finally, he looked up and the eyes that met hers--this day--were a glacial blue-green. "We will have to spring a trap upon them, however, or they will go to ground. So when you hold Court, and they are present," as they were meant to be as both guard and escort at times, "they will be caught with nowhere to go." Then and there, in front of the people that gathered within the Territory Court, they would pay their Price.

And Stela's contract would be fulfilled.