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* Plot Information for Dhemlan, Kaeleer

Dhemlan has become a land divided. The corruption that Witch’s Purge wiped out in the rest of the Realms was preserved by the well-meaning sacrifice of the territory’s Ebon Gray Queen. As such, the corruption here has only intensified. The tension between the Landen and the Blood who were meant to care for them is fast reaching a boiling point.
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Author Topic: A Confusing Conundrum, Expanded  (Read 134 times)

Description: Tag: Lorenzo//Early Spring 193

Offline Xiomara Calderon

  • Character Account
    • opal2green
    • hwitch
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      Court Advisor

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      Pirenza Province

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

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      [Link]

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      Haloriel

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    • "As Blood, we rise from ashes."

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A Confusing Conundrum, Expanded
« on: Sep 29, 19, 04:12:43 PM »
Concurrent with the notations in Viva la pasión/Early Spring 193

Whatever you want, girl you know I can provide ...



The results of the incredible Gala of Queens had surprised Xiomara, but she couldn't say that she was disappointed that there at least was finally a Queen upon the throne of Coreserini, rather than a Priestess. Only a little time ago had she been among the attendees to the coronation, and the event had been perhaps less of a crushing presence of Blood than expected. At the time, she would not have considered Dhemlan to have a real physical sickness. Only the corruption was something that often kept her awake at night, especially on days when she was unable to see Prince Calderon. There had been many more of those of late, and she would have preferred literally any other reason for it. It wasn't just one Queen that was ill, but many.

From the merest village to the high levels of the Provinces. She'd flinched seeing Lady Mari sneeze because rumour had it that's how it began. A small chill. That was just the rub, that Blood did not typically have illnesses as Landen did, and when they were sick, a well-trained Healer could deal with the problem. The only blessing so far, was that Corazon seemed relatively unaffected save for the stress. Just then, she sat tugging stitching through a fine shirt with the thread count so high that one could not even see the weave of it with the eye without a magnifier. Eight more shirts were piled on a basket next to her. She liked to make new ones for him in large batches, and these last several had increased Craft so that even the slightest stain, even blood, would just slide off if brushed away soon enough, or scrubbed.

It was one activity that kept Xiomara calm, even though that was a relative point. She was too observant not to notice the various Courts shuffling and behaving as if there was nothing wrong. It made her both sick with anger and she felt helpless. What was she supposed to do, offer item enhancements for swords to attack the air? Her memory fluttered back to the ball. It had been so perfect, so beautifully put together. She had been so pleased with herself for deciding to make an appearance.

Everyone had been beautiful and very few issues had occurred during the event itself. It was a pleasant, wonderful surprise to have so many Dhemlanese turn out for such an immense and momentous occasion. She had wanted to see Lorenzo but decided that perhaps sending him a letter was for the best as all of this from the view of his position had to be on the edge of terrifying. Perhaps even, that it was in part because of his position that she could understand how hard it was not to have a direct enemy to engage. She honestly had no answers as to what to do next. Instead, she added the ninth perfect white shirt to the pile. He liked them pristine, so that was what she offered. Unwavering consistency.

Lorenzo,

I thought I would write to for ease, as I know the Territory Court business must be overwhelmingly busy. Everything is relatively well here, aside from the troublesome Queen problem that I imagine you are intimately familiar with by this juncture. So I will tell you, as it is early spring, the flowers here are beautiful and wonderful to look at the outside of my new windows. It is odd, being away from Moontear Hall, though I have to admit there have been times I have been tempted to get a permit to move the entire building, could you imagine? I am sure it is completely impossible. The idea makes me laugh out loud, but I simply had to write it down, because I can almost see the flash of answering laughter in your eyes as you read my words. Perhaps you have pressed the letter and envelope to your cheek and breathed in the love and care I have sent to you.

However, in some ways, I think a piece of me will always consider Vigo home, despite being back in the place I was born. I spent so much of my life with your family there, rather than Tarragona. It is an irony that life would bring me full circle. By the time you receive this letter and have time to read it, it is very likely that the number of shirts I have stitched for you will be up to five. They are better than the ones I created last year by about twenty times difference.

While it is true that clothing does not make a man, it is always wonderful to be so well dressed, is it not? I have managed to keep it so that blood does not stick to the fabric even hours after any particular altercation, that it can be removed by Craft completely, or scrubbed away. I miss you, and I think of you always. Do try not to allow the daily stressors of each day pile on, make sure you have made room for your Ruts and the precious one of your present focus, and do not skip meals.   

With love and endless respect,

Xiomara Isabela Narvaez

It was a mere slip, that Xiomara didn't notice the manner in which she had signed her name ...
"I have seen true Darkness, and not been conquered by it."

Offline Lorenzo Calderon

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      Second Circle

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      Gavin

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Re: A Confusing Conundrum, Expanded
« Reply #1 on: Sep 29, 19, 11:45:00 PM »
Lorenzo had worried about how the Gala of Queens would play out. He loved Dhemlan and believed in its people. Having so many Queens in a single location gave him a focus for the naturally protective instincts and desire to serve that ruled every Warlord Prince, regardless of standing in the Abyss. But that same protective instinct made him worry that the evening would be ruined by some Queen or her uncontrolled male acting out and causing embarrassment and danger to Lady Araneina and her people. He especially worried that it might be his own mother who acted out, given her dislike of Teoda. She never resisted commenting on it whenever he was home, no matter how civil things their discussion. In Mari’s mind, Lorenzo had sided with her former contemporary over his own family. He knew that she never said even half of what she was really thinking, possibly due to the influences of Romerio, Nicanor, and Clarissa upon her.

That was before she got ill.

Mari had gone from a mere cold to deeply unwell in just a few months, causing her to miss the elevation of Lady Gualtierrez to rulership over Coreserini Province. Lady Araneina had named her successor to the Province Seat after an exhaustive search that Lorenzo had heard little about, save that a number of Queens had presented themselves to the Territory Queen to list their qualifications. Lady Gualtierrez had earned a portion of Lorenzo’s respect, not just for her dual castes, but also because she’d made mistakes in her past and sought to improve herself. He understood, keenly, the desire to make up for past sins. Their meeting prior to the gala had left an impression in the young Warlord Prince, and he wished her well in this new endeavor. But his mother was never far from his mind and, as Xiomara informed him that her condition was worsening, Lorenzo found his temper growing fouler by the day.

Returning to his work felt like avoidance of the issue. Each day dragged on and he felt like he was walking around with rocks in his shoes. Xiomara was there for him, a solid presence combating the growing unease that followed him daily. His mother was in terrible spirits; she’d left much of the day-to-day of Tarragona’s rule to her Triangle. She refused all visitors, even him. Briefly, he’d thought to reach out to Marisol and ask if she’d seen her, but he and Marisol could not remain long in the same room before the Red and Gray took issue with each other’s presence.

His mother was isolating herself and, for all his power, there was nothing he could do.

Combined with the feeling that something else was wrong, something else that he could not name...and Lorenzo had a deathly low tolerance for bullshit these days.

His work in the Second Circle had treated him well over the last year, but he reached the end of his days exhausted in mind and body. He was learning not to rely on his Gray to solve his problems, but he struggled with patience in the wake of his worry over the people he loved. Politics bored him, but he was slowly gathering the rudiments of how to play the game.

The morning found Lorenzo in his study at his new home in Alava, looking through the mail that had collected during his absence. His mother had, grudgingly, gifted him the penthouse for finally “choosing respectability” and service over serving his own whims. She’d owned this place for three centuries, but rarely resided here anymore. The palace in Vigo had been an excellent place to host people, leaving this house mothballed until she either found a use for it or sold it to someone else. Instead, she’d turned it over to him, allowing him to remain close to the Cathedra on a regular basis. He’d brought Xiomara here shortly after he received the deed, knowing that her skill for decoration would turn this place into a home faster than his untrained eye. She’d done just that and Lorenzo was glad that she’d left a few of her effects here for the rare visit. Moontear was her home and Lorenzo had no trouble going there when she desired his presence. But his ill mood worried her and he knew that she’d go out of her way to try to cheer him up if he went to her today.

Her letter made him smile. He inhaled the scent of the paper, imagining that she’d written it between weaving her magic into a new set of clothing she’d made for him. He received compliments of his style of dress at Court, and he owed it to her. He missed her terribly. There was a hole in his chest that just couldn’t be filled, one that didn’t fill even when he thought of her and Corazon. He couldn’t recall when that feeling had changed and it rattled him to the core of his being. He opened the top right drawer of his desk and took out the small, square box and flicked it open with his thumb.

The diamond ring set atop the band of gold stared back at him.

He hadn’t missed the way she signed her name. She’d written her maiden name on the letter. Did that mean she wanted the freedom to explore her new life? Luis had been gone for a long time. She was bound to Corazon now. And they’d avoided discussing whatever they currently were to each other. Would it be unfair to ask her now?

Lorenzo looked at the letter again.

He vanished the letter and the ring and left his home.

The Gray wind put him in Tarragona in minutes. He reached out to Nicanor when he landed, asking if he might visit for a bit. The older man told him that Mari was still not seeing visitors at this point, but Nicanor knew that he was likely looking for Xiomara. Eventually, he entered the palace and proceeded to Xiomara’s suite.

*My darling, can you talk for a bit? I got your letter, but I couldn’t wait.*






Offline Xiomara Calderon

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      Haloriel

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Re: A Confusing Conundrum, Expanded
« Reply #2 on: Oct 02, 19, 12:15:18 AM »
Xiomara's brand new shirt pile had needed a new basket, eventually as the time carried on. She had approximately twenty-two, and rose to her feet and stretched. Carefully, the Hearth Witch lifted each shirt to cleanse it thoroughly with Craft. She finished each one with a twining of Opal and Green power, shook them out, and gestured toward the nearby closet. There rested an elegant line of wooden hangers repurposed from old retired ships that she'd gotten the wood for with her familial Naval ties. They wouldn't snag on any of the painstaking stitching she'd completed, which was the reason for so much effort. The closet was kept at a middling temperature that ran either slightly warmer or cooler than the ambient air presence in the room, which was one portion of the space she'd taken over for her work.

She'd had a better, more expansive workspace at Moontear Hall built by Xiomara's own design, but the Palace at Tarragona was more than optimal. She'd spent a number of summers here before gaining her majority before her marriage to Luis. Thoughts of him no longer hurt as much, with Lady Mari occupied with obtaining as many allies as she could now that she was a Province Queen. One would have thought it would be enough. Part of her had ached for it to be so, even as she knew better. These days, she didn't think about Mari, kept the state of her being unwilling to see even family as far out of her mind as possible, because if she thought about it, Xiomara wouldn't be able to work. Then, stress would follow. So she simply left the woman flowers every day that could eventually be added to her Queen's Garden. Sadly, a servant had been the one to see to such arrangements rather than the Queen herself which was telling as it had been Prince Romerio that ensured she received her time outdoors, every day, without exceptions.

Damn it. I am not fretting about this, Xiomara thought ferociously. It was bad enough that she almost couldn't send Lorenzo's letter because of the ink spill that had followed her attempt to sign it. She hadn't been able to get the Craft touched ink out of the wooden floor, it had been a gift from a Priestess she'd made a gown for once, some months past. Just then, the Hearth Witch couldn't recall if it had been for the recent coronation or some other gala. Perhaps both. It was by the time that she made it to the tea service she'd asked for an hour before while lifting her cup that she felt a sudden ripple of Dark Jewelled Craft as familiar to the woman as her own hands. She sucked in a breath and sipped rather than setting down her tea. Seconds afterward, she felt him. It took a little while for Xiomara to answer because she was rolling the presence of Lorenzo calling out to her in her thoughts.

He'd received her letter, but couldn't wait. Had the man found it, she wondered then ... and then realized she hadn't answered him with her blasted daydreaming!

*Lorenzo. I am here. I was just thinking about you. Up the stairs, twice 'round, down the long hall on the right, then up the stairs to the tower on the left from the Courtyard, if that's where you are. Two hundred, ninety-five stairs.*

There was a pause, and the fact that the woman was thinking was there in their shared communication as practically a physical presence.

*If you are closer to the Library, then there's a shortcut passage through the walls on the left side if you wish not to be seen. Then it would be a straight shot up a long staircase of one hundred and sixteen stairs, and technically you could pass through the walls and ceiling to get here in less than one minute, and thirteen seconds with your skill. It takes me five minutes, unfortunately.*

The detailed directions, she knew would help him learn the place a little more. She'd spent time counting it in the manner that a Warlord Prince might consider the defensiveness of a location. It occurred to her that it was something she hadn't done as much until recently. She had also made the calculations for the mathematical ramifications should he need to find her as close to immediately as possible.
"I have seen true Darkness, and not been conquered by it."

Offline Lorenzo Calderon

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      Second Circle

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      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

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      Gavin

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Re: A Confusing Conundrum, Expanded
« Reply #3 on: Oct 02, 19, 12:54:20 AM »
The palace at Tarragona was an alien place to him.

This wasn’t Vigo, where he was born and spent the first thirty years of his life. He did not know the shortcuts of this place, the entrances and exits of his place as he did the District Palace. Lorenzo enjoyed familiarity and comfort, but this place wasn’t either. He told himself that it would become that way in time, when he had more chances to know it. Given his current mood, though, he didn’t see it happening. The truth was that Lorenzo had never expected his mother to rise beyond ruling a District, so he considered Vigo his true home. The idea that someone else would live there, throw parties there, raise children in the place he grew up made him want to go there and burn it to the ground just to spite the next occupant with rebuilding costs. It wouldn’t work out that way, but Lorenzo knew he wasn’t operating from a place of rational thought.

Xiomara’s directions were clear and precise, the very things that Lorenzo enjoyed about her. He took the first path offered, deciding to count the steps along the way so that he might break from the ill mood he was in. He didn’t want to bring that to her doorstep. He missed her, dearly, and he wanted to take care of her. The weather was cold now and her leg sometimes protested the cold. Lorenzo never forgot that he was responsible for the injury that crippled his love, but he’d also taken the advice of Corazon and Xiomara in that regard. The Rut that caused him to hurt her was due to his attempts to resist what he desired. He hesitated to tell her the truth and then tried to resist rather than finding other outlets for his needs. Resistance was futile. He needed to embrace himself in full to keep himself from destroying anything else he loved.

Two hundred ninety-five stairs took him no time at all to cross while he considered a litany of subjects. He hummed a happy tune to himself, glad that his singing voice still held up after all this time. His mother disliked his singing, but she wasn’t here right now. He knew where her suites lay; it would have been simple to stop and try to see her. But if she was still not well, Romerio would not allow him to see her. Not because Romerio had any grievance with him, but because Mari would have demanded that he keep away anyone who might see her at less than her best.

Lorenzo feared that, on her deathbed, Mari’s only concern would be the appearance of the sheets rather than the the grief of those around her. He headed up to the tower and found the door in question where Xiomara resided. He knocked three times, wishing this was Moontear Hall once again. Xiomara’s voice had such a resonant quality in her own halls that drove him to distraction.

Lorenzo passed through the doors, calling on his Craft to ease the way. Finding his Hearth Witch hard at work, as always, made him smile. He crossed the space between them and pulled her into his arms. He lowered his head to kiss the side of her neck, then her shoulder, before he kissed her long and deep. He murmured her name softly against her lips, his hands wandering over her body.

I’m going to try those other directions next time, my love. I just want to be here right now.” he said softly.

"How are you feeling? Have you eaten yet?"






Offline Xiomara Calderon

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    • hwitch
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      Court Advisor

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      Dhemlan, Kaeleer

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      Haloriel

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    • "As Blood, we rise from ashes."

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Re: A Confusing Conundrum, Expanded
« Reply #4 on: Oct 02, 19, 05:33:27 AM »
Intriguingly, Xiomara seldom thought about her leg as much these days. Further physical therapy had increased her range of motion nearly to the point that it was almost impossible to tell that she'd been harmed at all unless eyes were laid upon the Hearth Witch without the typically modest and stylish attire she preferred. That day she was dressed in a white blouse and long white pinstriped skirt with golden accents.

Soft lace upon her shirt also possessed a subtle gold accent, while a cravat that looked as though it had taken two people to tie it given the number of beautiful folds rested at her neck. The matching coat rested on the chair next to her, as did the cane she habitually had nearby. The item was infused with further Craft to ease her steps and manner of walking. When Lorenzo entered the room, she turned - and to his eye, the motion might have been just a few seconds slower than one with no injuries, and with twice the speed she'd been able to move with the previous months he'd met with her when she wasn't tired, or outdoors. The latter two details had been much less trouble because Mari was unwilling to see anyone, Xiomara seldom went out with the exception of business concerns. With so many ill Queens, there had been very few galas to attend which meant that more tempers were very high.

It was a delight to see him appear in fact, slightly quicker than she had calculated he could. Golden eyes danced in seeing his smile, despite being aware of the fact that he was stressed. She could feel some of it, sense it in the manner that Lorenzo hugged her close and touched her. She fell into his kissing her without a beat of time missed; her hands lifted to fold around the back of his neck. She chuckled softly after her lips were released, as really, she'd have kept kissing him if they hadn't needed to breathe.

"Of course, I know you will. I spent a lot of time here ..." she said softly, walking her fingers up his arm. "When ... younger. Before joining your family." She decided on that phrasing rather than actually saying Luis' name. Mari had too often thrown Lorenzo's brother's name in his face, and he seemed wound tight to her, thus, the care. "This room we are in used to be music study chambers, hence the ceilings," she noted and pointed up at the vaulted space.

"On ... the other side of it used to be the old nursery, but it is walled off, but I doubt that surprises you. It was why I gave you options so that it wouldn't be a struggle to find me and while I am plenty capable of coming to you ... I had only finished hanging your shirts." She crooked a finger and the closet double doors slid open revealing the row of perfect white shirts while remaining as close to him as she could. "I haven't in a little while, actually. I had wanted to finish the rest of these for you, and ... might have gotten somewhat carried away?" She grinned wide, laughing and burying her face against his shoulder.

Looking back up, she still had a smile, but it covered obvious unhappiness; Xiomara was clearly working to bury stress. "I have not skipped a meal, however. I did have a proper tea and sangría about ... two hours ago, and this is the remains of it. I finished everything except for the strawberry scones and half the sangría." While still remaining close to Lorenzo, she uncovered the little tray she had been somewhat standing near, revealing four large and rather beautifully made pastries before she started to cover them again; the covered carafe of sangria was next to that, which was next to the teapot. There was as well as space where a plate had been at one point but was now gone, indicating the truth of Xiomara's statements. "It's sweet you are here. I didn't wish to interrupt. I know things have been ... frustrating, to put it mildly." With her free hand, Xiomara gently stroked her hand down Lorenzo's back, from neckline to waist.

"I missed you," she finally said. "I didn't think you would arrive so soon."
"I have seen true Darkness, and not been conquered by it."

Offline Lorenzo Calderon

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      Gavin

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Re: A Confusing Conundrum, Expanded
« Reply #5 on: Oct 08, 19, 03:40:33 PM »
You got carried away working?” Lorenzo asked, mock-surprise evident in his tone. He tried to keep a straight face while doing it, but failed. Xiomara’s work ethic was outmatched only by Corazon’s and his mother’s, but only just. His mother’s illness had tempers running high here; with so many Warlord Princes in residence, he imagined that Xiomara needed a refuge from such possessive natures. It was part of the reason why Lorenzo made his trips infrequent. Between his ill mood and the moods of his mother’s males, the potential for tragedy lay in even the most civil encounter.

He stood there in her arms, letting her presence and touch soak through his clothing and into his skin. He was able to put aside his nagging sense of worry and the deep unease that had followed him around for the past few months, if only for a little while. Xiomara moved better than usual today, something Lorenzo noticed but did not comment on. If she wanted to talk about it, she would. Right now, Lorenzo was happy just to inhale her scent and feel her body against his.

After a time, he stepped back to look at her full. “I can’t wait to wear every one of those shirts.” he said, kissing her forehead. He guided her to the nearby sofa so that they could sit together. He felt calmer in her presence. He loved her beyond words and he had since he was very, very young. He should have married her back then. Would their lives be any different now?

Perhaps I’ll sing you a song while you work. If the acoustics here are as good as they look, it’ll sound wonderful.” he said, massaging her hands.

The remains of her scones and sangria pleased him, even as he desired some of the latter. He hadn’t had a good sangria in weeks, so much had he worked. Now he was here with her and he just wanted to focus on something outside of his own mind.

What does your schedule look like, my love? I...I know that things here aren’t ideal. Would you like to come to Alava and stay with me for a few days? A week? Forever?” he asked, grinning at the last.

I’m sorry for making you wait, but I’d like to talk to you about something important and I’d prefer that we focus solely on each other.