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For years, the Dark Religion has persecuted the Light Jeweled with its doctrine of stigmatization. Under the messianic Queen Elisif Brenden, it has flourished, ensuring Glacia’s success in other fronts. But upon her death, a line has been drawn and forces beyond Glacia’s borders are gathering to stop its theocracy once and for all.
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Author Topic: Many Travels, Many Fortunes  (Read 326 times)

Description: tag: Matias

Offline Wulfryck Sigurdson

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Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« on: Feb 13, 19, 02:40:45 PM »
Wulfryck Sigurdson was fond of his cousin, perhaps because he and Matias were of an age, only two years apart.  It could also be because of all the rumors and nonsense he dealt with growing up, all the fears that had been engendered by his own kin, Matias had never really participated in all that.  He had enjoyed at least one friend in the family growing up, and that was the Ebon Gray Warlord Prince, the darling of his side of the family.  Would did not begrudge Matias that, he had the good fortune to come away from his Offering with the Blood Opal, and he had cemented his Father’s place in the family by doing so, at least while he was a young man.  Wolf had been quickly recruited to the Midnight Keepers, and it was a decision he did not regret.

It had been some time since he had seen Matias and his cousin’s family.  Wolf liked turning up with gifts for everyone.  As a Rook he was well paid, but also as a Rook, he did not have to spend very much of it.  Yes, he had to keep well supplied in a variety of things, and could even make a bit of fast cash on the side with his Summit brothers and their need for certain supplies, shall we say, but if he were an assigned Rook, he often had room and board build in.  Wulfryck was a successful Rook, with a skill set that was highly sought after, and the Craft-laden tattoos to support his profession and purpose.  It was his job to anchor his ward, a Black Widow, in reality, all while putting one foot firmly in the Twisted Kingdom.  It was dangerous (and thrilling) work, and he was very, very good at it.  So, in short, he had ample money for gifts, but far less time to spend with the people he bought them for.

Wolf received Matias’ message and could not conceal his surprise from the messenger, who he quickly dismissed with a few extra coins to weigh down his pocket.  He was recently off of a contract, so his cousin’s timing was spot on, and by his count, it was more than time to buy a few gifts and pay Matias a visit.  So, that was exactly what he did.  He shopped for a number of toys, puzzling out how old Mat’s kids were in his head, and making sure they were age appropriate, and then he filled a box with them.  He bought liquor for himself and Mat, an imported bottle of scotch from Scelt, and a rather nice Checkers set, with scrimshaw white pieces, and obsidian black pieces, and a board that was hand made and broke down into two pieces.  Wolf could not remember the last time he played checkers, but he remembers playing it as a child with Mat.

He had the toys sent ahead for the children, as a sign that ‘Uncle’ Wolf was likely on his way.  Cousin or Uncle, it made little difference to him, and he had liked the sound of ‘Uncle Wolf’ when they were a bit too young to grasp all the ways Blood were related.  He was, after all, a little older than their Father.    He arrived only hours behind the toys, and waved off the retainers after explaining who he was.  He got through the gate, and knocked on the door himself.  It was an old staccato pattern that Mat and he had used for a rickety and dangerous tree house.  If his cousin was anywhere near the front of the house, he would know who was there, and all without the need to poke at him with a spear thread.  Wolf smiled, Scotch bottle in one hand, the game set under his other arm.

Offline Matias Saari

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Re: Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« Reply #1 on: Mar 06, 19, 11:41:09 PM »
Father! Uncle Wolf is coming to see us!” Mikael said, causing Mat look up from his work on the new guard rotations that lay spread out across his desk. He’d not meant to spend so much time on them today, but there were a couple of people that he wanted to reassign based upon the thorough nature of their reports. Mat worked to promote the talented among the Palace Guard and often walked his patrols with them so that he could see things as they did. The rest of the palace saw that the Master of the Guard was active in his duty and it solved many issues long before they reached his attention.

But he smiled when Mikael said that Wulfryck was on his way.

Mat extended his senses along the crisscrossing web of protective spells laid upon his home. Someone was approaching the house, now headed through the front gate and toward the door. Mat vanished his paperwork and rose from his chair, then headed for the front door. He stopped at the door, Mikael close behind, and waited for his cousin to knock. Mikael and Mariella considered him Uncle Wolf and Mat saw no issue in it. His children enjoyed Wulfryck’s presence more than they did any of Mat’s actual siblings. He decided not think about that as the Midnight Rook knocked on the door, smiling at the old “code” for the entrance to their tree house. That place had been a death trap in the offing, but they’d somehow managed to survive it more than once.

His butler rounded the corner but Mat waved him off, glad to greet his cousin himself.

Mat opened the door and flashed Wulfryck another smile. Mat was glad to see the Checkers set, though he shook his head at the bottle of alcohol. His cousin always brought him alcohol that he would usually end up offering to Aksel or others whenever they visited. Mat didn’t dislike drinking, but even the best Craft-spelled liquors usually had no chance of reaching him.

Ebon Gray craft gently snaked out to encircle the Price, scanning for any injuries or physical maladies that the other man might be suffering from. His cousin’s life was important to him and his work with the Midnight Keepers could easily see him in personal danger at any time. His status as of the Rooks was part of the reason he’d asked Wulfryck to join him today.

But first, family.

Welcome, cousin. It’s good to see you.” Mat said, stepping aside to allow him into the house. Inside, Mikael stood just a few feet inside the door. He offered Wulfryck a polite bow in accordance with his status as one of the Midnight Keepers and an elder male. Mat nodded at his son’s skill.

I’ll add this bottle to the others you’ve brought me.” Mat said.

How was the trip? I didn’t know if you’d be home when my letter arrived. I’m glad you were able to respond so quickly.

Offline Wulfryck Sigurdson

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Re: Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« Reply #2 on: Mar 07, 19, 09:21:07 AM »
Despite, or perhaps because of, Mat’s Darkness, both in Caste and in Jewels, Wulfryck had been determined as a child not to be afraid or wary around him.  Well, only just wary enough, he was a Warlord Prince, after all.  He had enough people around him who were either scared, or so submissive, it annoyed even Wolf.  As a Prince with a Rose Birthright, with the exception of their ages, in the eyes of the Family, Protocol, and Glacia at large, Mat would always outrank him, that would only change as adults, depending on who they became.  As children, however, Wolf had always been determined to be the one friend Mat had that did not simple defer to him out of fear or worry.  He had never cared if it led to him being hurt, so long as he was not killed, he would learn where the lines were.

Mat was family.  In turn, he had never looked down on Wolf or treated him as anything other than a friend, even when the older boy was unnecessarily protective of his little cousin.  Matty had never needed Wolf’s protection, but when you’re a child, and the elder, you often feel like you have to give it.  Wolf certainly had.  He might mock Mat, and play the usual child’s games that two growing boys played, and win or lose, he was the only one that could.  The Rook had been an only child, and Mat might as well have been a brother, at least when they were growing up.  Their lives changed some of that, but of all of the family, most of which had disappointed Wulfryck, he had stayed in touch with Mat, his Wife, and his children.  As often as his duties allowed, he sent word, sent gifts, and even met up with Mat here and there.

So, when the door opened and he saw his oldest friend and cousin, Wolf’s smile was bright.  ”And you, Mat.”  He returned and followed the needs of Protocol for the moment, and was soon inside the entry way, with an arm over Mat’s shoulders, giving him a brief side to side hug.  ”I keep forgetting you don’t drink these.  I’ll have to find you something less alcoholic, but more exotic, next time around.”  Wulfryck shrugged, ”There was snow.”  He chuckled, ”It’s Glacia.  The trip was fine.  As soon as I got the letter, I arranged things with the Order to come this way.  My last contract came to a satisfactory end.  I survived.  She survived.  I recommended a replacement, and came to see you.”  He slid in front of Mat, and took a good look at him.

Wolf smirked, ”The children are wearing you down I see.”  He looked around, up and down the halls.  ”Where’s Lady Elina?  I have flowers to conjure with a gallant flourish, so I can attempt, once again, to steal her away.”

Offline Matias Saari

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Re: Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« Reply #3 on: Mar 21, 19, 11:27:18 PM »
Mat laughed as Wolf said that he’d bring something more exotic next time. He always said that but Mat never tired of hearing it. He didn’t mind the alcohol, really. They were good to have when company who did drink stopped in to say hello. Mat didn’t have many visitors at the house anymore, though. Spending time here was hard enough with just Mikael. Going upstairs was a struggle. Going to the end of the hall was nearly unthinkable.

Mat’s extended his senses to take in Wolf’s form as they embraced,  needing to ensure that his cousin wasn’t hiding an injury or illness. The moment he did it, though, the moment the anger kicked in. Even if Wolf was suffering as he smiled, there was nothing that Mat could do about it. Their religion prohibited Mat from lending aid. He knew that Mikael was doing the same because he could feel his son calling upon his jewels. The young Healer Prince stopped immediately, however, when Mat reached out to him on a Summer Sky thread. He cannot know. It pained Mat to correct his son so directly, but their secrets had to be kept.

Even from family.

The mention of Elina brought down the jovial mood in the room. Mikael’s expression grew somber, though he tried to put on a brave front. Mat’s smile lost its brightness and he stepped back to look directly at Wolf.

I’m glad you came in person. You’ve been on so many assignments that I didn’t want to put this in a letter. You should hear it directly from me.” Mat said.

Come in. Let’s sit down.” Mat said.

Mikael, go ahead and head up to your room with the new toys. I want you to study them and then tell me how we can explain the to Mariella when we see her next.” Mat said.

The young Prince nodded and would help lighten Wolf’s load before heading up the stairs. Mat watched him go before leading Wolf to his study.

The study was tidy, but not impeccably clean. Here and there, books lay opened or dog-eared to particular pages. Mat wasn’t a slovenly but he also wasn’t a slave to cleanliness. His home was cavernous. The Hearth Witches he employed, of the Rantala family, earned every mark that they made from Matias.

Please, have a seat. You might want to have a drink.” Mat said, as a crystal glass floated over to land on a nearby table with a coaster beneath it. Mat sat down in one soft chair, motioning for Wolf to take the other, across from him. He clasped his hands and rested his chin upon them, waiting for the Rook to comfortably seat himself.

Elina is no longer with us, Wolf. She...she’s been dead for months.” Matias said.

I couldn’t put that in a letter.” he said.

Offline Wulfryck Sigurdson

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Re: Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 19, 11:01:09 AM »
There was a rhythm to these kinds of things.  They were not traditions, not really, but they were like the steps in a dance.  Wulfryck and Matias had been doing this particular dance for years.  He tried not to break the pattern, because he was actually, on some level, concerned that doing so would give Matias cause for concern.  He was an Ebon Gray and the Master of the Guard for the Glacian Court, as well as a Father and a Husband, Wolf took it as his job to give him something to count on.  It had never been a conscious choice, just simply the way his visits fell out.  As a Rook it was Wulfryck who was difficult to connect with, and so he made a pointed effort to stay in touch.  If there was anyone that knew how to reach him when he was out on an assignment, it was Matty.  He really did always mean to find something more exotic, but that would require more planning than he often had time for, and he wasn’t about to hand Matias some Black Widow distillation.

Matias hugged him, and there was a brief sense of something that he could not put his finger on with him.  This had been true for a little while, but Wolf did not visit so terribly often that he could draw a line from one greeting to the next.  It was in the way Matty looked at him, in the way his hands settled on his back, but if pressed, Wolf couldn’t have said what it was.  When they broke off their embrace, he smiled at his ‘nephew’.  Mikael looked very much like his Father at the same age, and he noticed the way the boy drew up short.  Wolf titled his head slightly, ”Hello Little Prince, look how big you’re getting!”  Then he had turned back to Matty and asked after Elina.  It was Mikael’s expression that gave it away, but it was the way his cousin’s smile slowly faded that jabbed at him like a snake-tooth.  ”Oh.’  He managed, feeling like a fool for letting that syllable slip.

Things did not improve from there.  Wolf knew what was wrong, if not what had happened, but he knew why there was a glaring absence.  He nodded when Mat invited him in, and managed a smile and a wave for Mikael, ”I’ll find you later, Mikael.  Promise.”  He let the young Prince take some of the things off of his hands, and followed his cousin into his study.  His gut was doing that thing when he felt unsure or embarrassed, which had become so rare, he almost didn’t recognize it.  It was dread, he supposed.  He was too well trained, to well exposed, to not put the puzzle together, and he did not like that he raced to a conclusion, and likely the right one, so swiftly.  Wulfryck looked around out of habit, noting the room and its details, the ways in and out, his senses spreading unnecessarily for webs and traps that he already knew were not there, and if they were, he could not sense them.  Given a glass, Wolf frowned, and conjured a dark liquid into it that he sipped.  He was sipping when Matty finally told him his wife was dead.

Wulfryck was silent for a long moment.  Even his feelings were often well organized, and it wasn’t like he hadn’t been preparing himself for this truth since he had mentioned Elina’s name.  He had cared about Elina because Matty had cared about Elina, because he had cared about Elina and Matty’s children, because those same children called him ‘Uncle’ even though he had no brothers and sisters.  Matias was the closest thing.  His nostrils flared for a moment.  He finished the distillation, and with a gesture, purified the glass, before he placed it on the coaster with an obviously disciplined motion.  It was as though he had resisted hurling the glass against the wall at just the right moment.  As a Prince, he was not given to the swift anger of someone like his cousin, but the same Mother-Night-Given Rage was there.  Wolf sat back in his seat, and took a long breath.  ”I am so sorry, Matty. I am so sorry I was not here for you and the children.”  He leaned forward slightly, ”What happened?”

Offline Matias Saari

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Re: Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« Reply #5 on: Jun 13, 19, 12:04:06 AM »
You have your own life and duties, Wulfryck. You were working. You’ve nothing to be sorry for.” Matias said, taking a deep breath. He’d poured himself a glass of water and sipped it, trying to still the rage that bubbled up inside of him every time he thought about Elina and all that had happened since her passing. He had no better answers to give Mikael for what happened to his mother. He could not make her loss make sense to himself and even less for his son. Wolf’s presence made things easier to bear, but knowing that his cousin would leave again soon did not still the sense of loneliness that had gnawed at the edges of his mind.

These were the moments that he wished Kenna was less...Kenna.

I thought that things were better, Wolf. Elina forgave things with Kenna. Well, I thought she’d forgiven me. Our relationship was getting stronger. I was sure of it.” Mat said. He sipped his water, mostly to hide the fact that his throat had dried up at the idea that he and Elina were anything but the perfect Dark Jeweled couple, raising a son and trying for another child.

She left me, Wolf. That’s not how she died, but she was going to leave me. I didn’t think she was capable of it. She wrote me a letter saying that she couldn’t let it go after all. Then she was gone and I didn’t hear anything from her for eight months. Not even a goodbye to Mikael.

I know what you’re going to say. It doesn’t make sense. She’d never leave her son that way. I thought so, too.
” Mat said.

Her body was found later. The best that I could tell was that she...she took her own life.” Mat said quietly, not wanting Mikael to overhear. He would not compromise his son’s image of his mother if he could avoid it. Mat never believed that Elina was one to do harm to herself. She was gentle and kind. She wasn’t capable of harming others, so the idea that she could take her own life didn’t line up at all with what he knew about her. But Matias had questioned everything about his life in the past few years.

More than once, he worried that Mother Night was trying to punish him for being what he was: a man born with two castes in a land that said he was an abomination. A land that would take his jewels and life for what was natural to him.

He sat back in his chair and stared into the distance.

My marriage collapsed.  My wife is dead and my Queen has married a man that I consider my friend. Life is interesting. Yes, interesting.

We’ll use that word.
” Mat said.

Offline Wulfryck Sigurdson

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Re: Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« Reply #6 on: Aug 12, 19, 01:24:44 PM »
Wulfryck made a bit of a face as Matias let him off the hook.  He didn’t want to be let off the hook.  He didn’t have a lot of family—well--he didn’t have a lot of family that he really liked.  Matias, his wife, and his children had been it.  He had a life that Wolf would never have in his chosen role, and while he was at peace with that fact, that did not mean he couldn’t find comfort in Matty’s domestic happiness.  He had done just that.  Spoiled the children, and somehow managed to share a few jokes at Mat’s expense with his wife.  He had loved the woman like his own blood kin, like Matty, and there was something intrinsically good about that.  As a Midnight Keeper, and a Rook, he was aware of dark things in the world, and for all that Matias was an Ebon Gray, his life had been a source of light—and that had gotten darker.  ”No, no, Matty.  I shouldn’t have taken for granted that you’d reach out or—well, it’s too late now.  What can I do now?  I’m between contracts, I can keep it that way for a bit if I need to.”

There weren’t many things that pulled at his Rage, such as it was.  He wasn’t just a Prince of the Blood, he was also a Rook, and control was beaten into them from the start.  Control saved Black Widow lives, not Rage.  The Rage was there, however, keeping low, prowling but always lurking, always looking for release, or failing that, a good reason to rise.  This news was so surprising, Wolf’s control slipped just a little, and he growled softly.  He did not like to sense his cousin’s pain.  Mat was darker, and could keep the Prince’s senses at bay, but Wolf knew the man, he knew how he moved, he knew his expression, and he could read his eyes and the way this expression tightened.  The grief was there, and it was still something of a fresh wound.  ”That doesn’t sound like Elina at all.”  He was trained to be suspicious; he dealt with Black Widows, after all.

”Did you verify the letter was in her hand?  That she wrote it directly?”  Wolf sat forward, his expression becoming serious, even stony.  He rested his elbows on his knees, and his hands were clasped together beneath his chin.  He looked into the middle distance, as though he were trying to dissect what Matias was describing.  ”Suicide doesn’t sound like her either.  I have contacts, friends, Matias.  I can look into this if you’d like me too.  I--”  He growled again, and took a deep breath, sitting back.  ”I am sorry, i’m suspicious by nature and training.  I’m sure you’ve already thought of all of this, or your Court has.”  He tilted his head slightly, and his eyebrows rose at the mention of his Queen marrying someone else.  It was not all that unlikely, not every Queen had a romantic relationship with their Bonded, it wasn’t a requirement.  But Wolf didn’t have a Queen yet, thank Mother Night, so that was a bit beyond his frame of reference.  ”Interesting.  You make that sound a curse.  Are you at least happy with your Queen, if not her marriage choices?”

Then he shook his head, dismissing the question before Matias could answer,  "How are the kids?"

Offline Matias Saari

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Re: Many Travels, Many Fortunes
« Reply #7 on: Aug 14, 19, 11:05:06 PM »
Matias sensed that his words didn’t please his cousin. Perhaps if this was a year ago, when the pain was closer, he would be more willing to tear into him about not being near. Maybe it would be harder for him to contain his rage at the injustice of a world that stole Elina from him and Mikael, but allowed Otso Oskari to live until someone put made him disappear. Truth told, Matias’s anger was still close to the surface but the outlets available to purge it were good ones. Matias’s life was full of people who didn’t let him seclude himself or stay hidden away from the world.

Wulfryck was one of those people. His cousin always looked out for him, even when Matias didn’t need him to. But that was one of the joys of their relationship. Wulfryck looked out for his emotional state without being asked; Matias ensured that his cousin was physically whole, as he’d always done. They would have made a good team as Midnight Keepers, but that path had closed to Matias the day he learned that he bore a second caste. What would Wulfryck think of him, if he knew the truth?

Matias decided that he didn’t want to know.

No, it doesn’t sound like her, but...I verified it. The writing was hers. I drove her away when it came to Kenna. She couldn’t take it.” Matias said. He could see his cousin’s mind working, much more effectively than Matias’s had at the time or even in the year since. He was asking the right questions, the questions that Matias should have been asking from the start.

Someone that I trust thinks that she was murdered. It’s the only explanation that fits, Wulfryck. The problem is that I don’t know who would have a reason to hurt her. Elina was a Healer and a damn good one at that. She had no enemies. People loved her.” Matias said.

I asked many of the same questions that you’re asking, but my search has hit a wall. I have to act quietly, especially after what happened to Otso Oskari, and now Lady Brennan. Truth is, there are very few people that I trust at Court right now.” Matias said.

As for Kenna,” he said, sighing at the way just her name echoed in his soul and through his bones, “we’ve always had a torrid history. She’s the mother of my daughter. She’s ambitious and strong and beautiful. She’s an excellent role model for Mariella.” Matias said. It wasn’t an answer, not really, but it hinted at the complexity of his feelings toward the woman his very soul was bound to.

They’re good. Mariella loves painting. I’m getting her some special supplies at the suggestion of a friend. Mikael is managing, though I worry about how he’ll weather this current storm.” Matias said.

Things were so much easier when we were kids, weren’t they?

 

 

anything