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* Plot Information for Dhemlan Terreille

It is natural for a Long-Lived Territory to remember the past, but it is equally essential to for them step into the future, and Dhemlan’s future is Democracy. With a proud tradition of representative government already in place, post-war Dhemlan has chosen to let the people decide their path forward. With drought and starvation looming, no one knows who the next ruler will be, but they do know this: the fate of Dhemlan Terreille will be decided not on the battlefield, but at the polls.
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Author Topic: the martyr's homecoming  (Read 282 times)

Description: mamoru

Offline Ozymandias Galante

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the martyr's homecoming
« on: Oct 08, 18, 02:19:44 PM »
It was a fine party, if Ozymandias did say so himself. Most parties were good parties. There had been centuries of Eyrien rule where there had been hardly any parties at all, so any reason to celebrate was welcome. Better yet was celebrating the undoing of damage the Eyriens had wrought. The old convent hadn’t looked so good in centuries, but now here it was, freshly plastered and newly painted, its wood floors polished and tile ones waxed, statues restored, paintings replaced… and the whole thing lit up with expertly-placed globes of witchfire and decorated to the nines.

The band was playing an old standard as he and Ascencion arrived. “Your mother and I danced to this song at our wedding,” he said.

His daughter made a face. “It’s that old?” she asked.

“Nearly as old as I am,” said Oz.

“And you’re ancient,” she confirmed, and pressed a dry kiss to his cheek. “I’m going to go look around. Behave yourself, Papa.”

“Be good, Sunshine,” he said, and watched her walk away. (“Don’t eat any birds!” she called over her shoulder, which he thought was absurd because he had not done so in centuries.)

Turned loose, Ozymandias moved at a leisurely pace through the foyer and into the grand hall. Before him, in all its glory, was The Flaying of the Martyr Agustín Viteri. Two meters on the short side. Three on the long. Agustín bloody but still defiant before Queen Spyridoulian. The artist had been Dhemlanese and sympathetic more to the martyr than his murderess. Agustín was handsome despite his wounds. Spyridoulian had a cold, almost inhuman beauty to her.

Suddenly, sensing another male beside him, he inclined his head to find Mamoru Salazar there. “Back where they belong,” he said, of the painting. “You should be proud of all you’ve accomplished here.”

He considered the painting again. “Do you know the story? Of Agustín and Spyridoulian?”

Offline Mamoru Salazar

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Re: the martyr's homecoming
« Reply #1 on: Nov 01, 18, 01:06:09 PM »
Mamoru liked these old bastions. They had a certain je ne sais quoi that the newer construction lacked. Maybe that was his Tacean blood speaking. His mother had always had a fondness for ancient things, a fondness that she had passed down to her children. He supposed Sebastien had never much taken to it, except where it involved fighting, but Mamoru and his sister Corinna had been much taken with what old Dhemlanese culture they could get. It had led him to the Sisters of Ink, and then to Onyx Company, where his natural Priest Caste had served him well as he helped conceal what works of art and culture he could.

In that way, Ozymandias Galante was a peer. More than one piece of artwork or antique tome had found its wartime home in the Galante estate, and Ozymandias was more than accommodating about returning each piece to its proper home as those homes were brought up to snuff. Mamoru was looking forward to speaking to him; they were almost ready to return another painting to one of the cloisters in Visanda, and the landen were trying to place a statue whose forest Altar was just deemed irreparable. If nothing else, he knew Ozymandias would take the old artwork, but he was hoping Ozymandias would know of somewhere else it could go and still fulfill its cultural purpose.

"I wish your daughter would stop stealing candles from my altar," he said casually, related to nothing. He wasn't mad; Ozymandias more than paid for them. "But yes, I'm pleased to see this work done. I'm starting on the Barrow next." With the assistance of a foreign Queen, he'd managed to stave off the worst hounds of famine from Sarque's borders, and could turn his attention to the rebuilding of the culture his mother had loved. "We've had some setbacks on the matter of the forest Altars that I'd like to talk to you about when I can." And some pettier, political concerns, he remembered, apropos of nothing.

Mamoru shook his head. "My family wasn't much for history outside of Sarque," he said. He was sorry he didn't know the story, but not sorry that he didn't know history outside of Sarque; he was a descendant of the great Fermin, who had led Sarque to freedom from Gravardi and Atholi. "And my mother was Tacean. Perhaps you could enlighten me, and we'll table business for later in the evening?"

Offline Ozymandias Galante

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Re: the martyr's homecoming
« Reply #2 on: Nov 01, 18, 11:04:39 PM »
“Yes, well.” Ozymandias chuffed softly. Ascencion’s actions came as no surprise to him, and yet he knew he was powerless to stop them. He loved his daughter dearly - as dearly as he knew she loved him - but he’d lost all ability to control her centuries ago. She was young by the standards of their people (though, older, he considered, than Prince Salazar), but by all means an adult and free to do as she pleased.

“I’ll speak to her about your displeasure,” he said, and he would - but he was fully conscious that would do nothing to convince her to stop.

His attention returned to the painting, as he made a face of mild surprise at the Priest Prince’s admission that he did not know the story behind its subjects. “It is an old story,” he said. “Ancient by the time I was a boy. The exact war and era escapes me right now, but it had might as well be mythological - this painter did not work from life.”

No doubt Agustín took his face from some handsome studio assistant. No doubt Spyridoulian was some enemy of the artist’s patron.

“There was,” continued Ozymandias, “In the past, a terrible war with Askavi, which was ruled at the time by Queen Spyridoulian the Conqueror. Spyridoulian wore dark Jewels - some say she wore the Ebon Gray, others say she wore the Black - but she was not satisfied with the power Mother Night had given her. She sought to grow her strength by conquering lesser Queens, ripping the still beating hearts from their chests, and eating them raw.”

He cast a look towards Mamoru - perhaps he ought to have warned him that the story was as bloody as the painting suggested?

“Augustín was beloved by a sweet, light-jeweled Queen, few in years, by the name of Candelaria. She was, they say, a legendary beauty. When Spyridoulian came for Candelaria’s heart, Augustín threw her to the winds - that is, as they say, another story - and was captured by Spyridoulian’s forces. The Eyrien Queen intended to have him killed, but first, judging him pleasant to look upon, asked that he be prepared to warm her bed that evening.”

“When Augustín was brought to Spyridoulian’s chambers, she plied him with wine and safframate and asked him to reveal where he’d sent his young Queen - but her lust and Augustín’s handsome face distracted her, and she found no answers in his sweet mouth.”

“In the morning, Spyridoulian roused Augustín and again asked him to tell her where he’d hidden his Queen. When he refused, she grew first impatient, and then cruel, and then poor Augustín learned why Spyridoulian was also called Manflayer. But until his dying breath, he did not give up his Queen.”

“There’s more. You see, Augustín wore a Black Widow caste beneath webs so thick even Mother Night would not see through them. While he made love to the wretched Queen, he slipped her a wicked poison, one which turned her womb to rot and killed her from within. Then, when Spyridoulian the Conquerer, Spyridoulian the Heart-eater, Spyridoulian the Manflayer died, Light young Candelaria reemerged from hiding and restored peace and prosperity to the land.”

Ozymandias turned towards Mamoru. “What do you think we are to learn from fair Augustín?”