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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: This Thread I Weave Around You  (Read 802 times)

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Offline Lydia Kalas

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    • The Red Shepherdess

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This Thread I Weave Around You
« on: Sep 08, 18, 06:20:40 PM »
In the days following Queen Brenden’s death, an unease rose within Glacia. The question of leadership still was yet to be addressed but Lydia was confident that the Territory Court -- what remained of it -- would make the right decision. She, in the meanwhile, had other matters to handle.

While awaiting word from the High Priestess of Glacia regarding a great many spiritual and judicial matters, Lydia continued to spread her influence elsewhere. Ivalo, if nowhere else, would be certain where it stood in regards to the Dark Religion and its loyalties. She had openings in her staff for another maid and needed to fill it. And she had just the promising young girl in mind.

If asked to articulate her obsession with the Tostain family, she would gracefully state that “obsession” was quite the inappropriate word to describe her plans for the family. “Investment” would have been her more preferred term, and one she could back with statements about how she planned to allocate a certain portion of her funds into their business since the Prince Leif had done such magnificent work. She would not, because she honestly could not, reveal any sort of other reasoning behind why she gravitated towards that family, particularly that Light Jeweled Prince.

As vexing as it was, sometimes there were moments when one wanted something and had no logical reasoning behind it.

This was, apparently, one of those moments.

Dressed simply, for her, in a dress topped with dark red and skirted with creamy white, she left with her guard Abelard for the Tostain Jewelers store in Lohja. She hoped to time her arrival to a moment when the Prince was out on delivery or another errand. In order for her plan to work, she needed some private time with his sister Analise. She, of course, came armed with additional reasons for her visit, like requesting another piece of jewelry, so that no one would question why there was a small tin of fine tea imbued with a mild compulsion spell keyed to target the unsuspecting witch.

Lydia did not particularly like using compulsion spells but she felt that this was her only recourse. The Prince had been so oddly protective of his sister, keeping her from conversation, that Lydia knew she had her angle of approach almost immediately. The Prince would have definitely declined her offer to join her staff and she understood that. He was, after all, ill-suited to be a guard and Lydia already had a fine butler attending her.

But maids, maids she could always use, and her Prince Kain never minded having another plaything.

She entered the store and paused far enough away from the counters so that it was obvious that she was here for someone and not something. Her cool gaze idly slid across the metal and jewels offered to customers as she waited for someone to attend her.

Offline Leif Tostain

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #1 on: Sep 08, 18, 06:44:18 PM »
Three deliveries.  Leif was out on three deliveries this day, and two of them he was more than happy to go out for.  The items ordered were for Light Jewelled customers - likely ordered on behalf of their Dark Jewelled or Blood family, but the point was he would be dealing with Light Jewelled.

The third, and worst, he saved for last.  Mostly because it wasn't the first time he'd delivered to that particular address, and he disliked having to remind the older female that he was uninterested in sex.  That wasn't entirely true, of course, but he truly wasn't interested in sex whenever THIS customer was in front of him. 

He honestly felt like his dick shriveled up and died every time he had to go near her.  He'd considered cutting all of his hair off, but she woudl remark on how he would be 'so handsome' if he would just cut his hair.. and Lady Cyvrik was probably the reason his hair was as long as it was now that he thought about it.

He'd told Analis to mind the store - as he always did on these sorts of days - and quietly hoped that she wouldn't have to deal with anyone too particularly odious.  He'd rather be there to keep an eye on her, and deal with the more troublesome clientele himself, but it was less safe for her to go out and do the deliveries than it was for her to be in the store doing her work.

Analis handled clients just fine, typically.  Today was oddly busy, really, and she had the feeling it had something to do with the fact that everyone was trying to 'cheer themselves up' after the death of the Star of Kaeleer.  When she spotted Lydia Kalas, of course, she was a little nervous but quickly scurried around the corner to greet the Priestess.

"I'm so sorry, Lady Kalas.  It's been an absolute madhouse today.  Were you here to order something?  My brother is out for a bit longer yet, but I could take down your specifications or write in an appointment if you would like."

The Priestess had brought tea.  'A gift', she'd said.  Analis was more than happy to brew it up and settle the Priestess into the backroom, where everything was tidy and awaiting her accounting after the shop closed for the day.  She even managed to close the place down 'for lunch', just to ensure that the Priestess did not feel slighted in any way.

It was a little nerve wracking to be the focus of a Red Priestess, especially the Red Priestess.  But Lydia Kalas, for all her Jewel and obvious stature, seemed as if she was trying to be somewhat friendly.  Leif would have been more on guard.  She knew that.  But she wasn't quite sure how to handle it, other than to play the good host and pour the tea.

And that was what Leif came back to.  After unlocking the door to let himself in, and hten locking it behind him, he proceeded to undo the tie in his hair as he started for the backroom.  Analis would likely be going over the numbers, and she'd be able to hand over the details for any orders that had been made, and...

And Lydia Kalas was in his fucking backroom.  There was a moment of frozen time as he stepped in, his fingers in his hair, and his eyes narrowing on her as a moment of male territorial instinct reared its head.. and then he swallowed it all back and proceeded to tie his hair back up in place.

Lydia Kalas was here.  In his office.  With his sister.  Drinking tea.  Already he could feel ice travelling down his veins and pooling in his stomach.  He wasn't sure Protocol had ever been so hard to use as it was in that moment, but he managed.

"Lady Kalas.  I wasn't aware you were here.  Was there something we could do for you?"

Offline Lydia Kalas

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #2 on: Oct 19, 18, 11:34:57 AM »
Once the sister apologized and offered to take Lydia’s specifications, the Priestess smiled and inwardly anticipated triumph. “I shall not take up much of your time then but perhaps we could discuss this over a cup of tea?” Lydia suggested. Refusal would be impolite so Lydia expected Analis to agree. Ah, this was working perfectly.

Moments later, the tea was poured, the spell was triggered, and Lydia was slowly filling the mind of Analis with the idea of becoming a beloved companion of one of her own household, Yvetta Danielsen. It was the perfect sort of lure. Bit by bit, Analis would want to spend more time with Yvetta, which meant that Leif would want to escort her there and possibly chaperone that time, which ensured that the Prince was a more familiar presence at the Kalas household. Eventually, Lydia would figure out how to ensnare Leif as well, but for now, his sister would work just fine.

As her next intended prey strode into the backroom, Lydia’s smile became frosty and pleased. “Prince Tostain,” she greeted politely. She set down her drained cup and smiled with glacial warmth at his sister. “Your wonderful assistant was just jotting down some specifications for my next commission over a bit of tea,” she said almost conversationally, as if this was completely normal. The spell layered into the tea suffused the praise with far more warmth than Lydia actually used. Analis would see Lydia as being genuinely friendly.

Lydia’s attention turned back to Leif. “You did such a marvelous job on the bracelets that I thought perhaps another piece was in order,” she said. “Another bracelet, of course." Lydia wore no other necklace aside from her Jewels and she was not about to commission someone Mother Night viewed as inferior for a new setting for such a precious thing. "I have given my expectations to Analis. I have no doubt that you will meet those expectations admirably yet again.”

With practiced grace, Lydia rose and her attention went back to Analis. “Thank you for your time, Lady Tostain. I shall see you soon?” That question in her voice would send chills down Leif’s spine. Lydia never questioned – she commanded. And the fact that she was questioning his precious little sister about a future appointment was great cause for concern.

When Analis agreed, Lydia’s expression was politely pleased. “Yvetta will be so pleased,” she said. Let Leif investigate into that statement after she had left. As she moved slightly to leave, Lydia’s attention went back to Leif. “And, not to be so impolite to you, Prince, you are more than welcome to visit as well,” she said.

She could almost taste his fear.

Offline Leif Tostain

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #3 on: Oct 23, 18, 02:54:41 PM »
Lydia Kalas commanded his sister to see the Priestess again, and Leif's skin grew cool.  There was no change in his eyes, no change in his stance.. but the air grew cooler nonetheless.  For a brief moment, he considered the virtues of murder.  Could he successfully take off the damned female's head?  Could he rip out her heart and shove it down her throat as a lesson to all Dark Jewelled to leave his precious sister in peace?

The very image was enough to soothe some of the riled temper in him, and habit kept him in check.  Lydia Kalas had not raised a hand to his sister, not yet.  He had no excuse, not yet, to do anything so rash. 

Instead, he simply bowed as the Priestess left the building, waiting in silence until he was certain she was gone before coolly inquiring of Analis what all of that was about.  Hearing that the Priestess was commissioning a piece did not soothe him.

Hearing that Analis wanted to visit a friend who worked for the damned woman was also not soothing.  He'd never heard of this 'Yvetta' before - and Analis shared everything.  What was Kalas up to?

And what could he do about it, even if he knew?  He was furious when he began working on the Priestess' new piece, exacting his vengeance for the frustration in the hammering of metal and the carving of decoration.  He hammered, chiseled, sanded, and acid washed each piece of metal with painstaking care - hoping against hope that the aggression in the making would help clear out some of the aggression in his heart - and then fit each piece of crystal into place to finish the bracelet in record time.

The attempt to vent away his anger in the process didn't work.  Worse yet, this was probably one of his better pieces.  Maybe the trick would be to infuse the damned things with hate, giving them that extra 'something' the Dark Jewelled of Glacia seemed to enjoy so much.  After bundling everything up, and putting on one of his nicer suits, he sat down for Analis to braid his hair back.

This wasn't going to be like the last time he'd gone to the Kalas estate.  The last time he'd gone there was purely for business.  This time? This time his beautiful little sister was going too, on a 'social' visit.

This time he'd have to remain as her Escort, and do his damndest to guard her from the most predatory monsters he had ever seen.  Sometimes he cursed his father's inability to just... kill them both.  Would that not be more merciful than all of this?

Offline Lydia Kalas

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #4 on: Nov 08, 18, 01:59:38 PM »


They were seen into a small sitting room with lavish chairs all facing each other around a low table. After a moment, a servant came in with refreshments, and a long moment after that, Yvetta Danielsen came in. She greeted Analis as if they were something of familiar friends with a bright smile. The door to the room was never closed so they were never totally in private but it was nearly an hour before they were joined by another.

Lydia glided into the room but did not sit. Her dress was a geometric white on black, with her Red Jewel nestled gently between her breasts. Her practiced smile bore a hint of warm approval at the two women chatting fondly, thanks to two very subtle compulsion spells woven around them. So far, her plan was progressing just as expected. “It warms my heart to see you two getting along,” she said with practiced sincerity. “Yvetta has long been without a companion here and I do aim to keep my servants happy.” It was mostly true. Favored servants -- those that understood their place in the hierarchy of the Kalas household and pleased their mistress as expected -- were kept happy. Those that groused or went about unhappily were not treated with such favor, though it could hardly be called abused.

Although, in Yvetta’s case, there were days when the Prince could be a bit...rough.

Lydia’s gaze fell upon Leif. Such a perfect little guardian he was being. His insistence on escorting his sister and not relaxing his guard told Lydia so much about what he feared. And how to use it against him. She briefly considered pinning him with words meant to lay bare his intentions and provoke his anger, just to see what would come of it. But she was playing a long game here.

“I do hope this has not been a boring hour for you, Prince,” she said. With a tilt of her head, which gently swayed her wavy golden locks, she asked, “Would you like for me to see if one of the male servants is available to keep you company? It would aggrieve me greatly if these sorts of visits became a thorn in your side because you were not offered the same social opportunity.”

Offline Leif Tostain

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #5 on: Nov 08, 18, 02:38:33 PM »
Watching Yvetta and Analis socialize did not soothe his soul.  It didn't make things worse, no, but it did not make things better either.  Still, watching the two females socialize was probably not the worst thing that he could be doing while he was in this particular hell hole.  This cage was gilded, and it was beautiful - and it was empty.  It had no soul - or if it did have a soul, the soul was so indifferent to others it might as well not exist.

But indifferent, empty?  It was better than hateful. Better than antagonistic hatred.

When Lydia entered the room, he rose to his feet as was only right and proper.  She was the High Priestess of Ivalo.  Whether he liked her or not was irrelevant.  Protocol demanded respect, and so he gave her the respect she was due.

That he fantasized about taking the damned female's head off didn't matter, in this moment, because keeping Analis safe was more important.  "I find that watching over my sister is never boring, Lady Kalas.  There is no need to add to your household's workload."

Leif summoned forth the black box that held Lydia's bracelet, holding it forward in the palm of his hand.  "Your delivery, Lady Kalas.  Should it meet your standards, I will be more than happy to take the payment due in full."

He was sickeningly proud of his work on this bracelet.  He'd used anger, hate, frustration... and it had been his best work.  Was his father right?  Was there something wrong with him that such dark influences would shape the best art of his years so far? 

If he were to make weapons with that emotion, would they surpass even his father's work?  Yes.  They would  That's why he doesn't want me to do it.

His lips turned in that familiar professional smile, and still he waited for Lydia's judgement.  "I am not the most social of creatures, Lady Kalas.  Please, do not trouble your staff on my behalf. So long as my sister enjoys her visit, she may take as long as she pleases."

Offline Lydia Kalas

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #6 on: Dec 07, 18, 03:18:45 PM »
Lydia’s smile was cold yet feral as she stepped forward to accept the box that held her commission. With the same critical calm she had displayed when she had first commissioned him, she took the bracelet out of the box and floated it just an inch above her palm, the spell slowly turning it from all angles so that she could inspect it. Humoring herself, she scanned for any…additional…spells imbued within the jewelry and was only mildly disappointed to find none.

A shame. Lydia had expected that Prince Tostain would take a chance one of these times. Perhaps she had not yet worn him down enough to foolishly try.

With a slow, elegant circling of her fingers, she nestled the bracelet back into its box. When she closed that hand, the box vanished, but when she opened that hand again, a small script noting payment to be withdrawn from her account appeared in her hand. That script she floated over to Leif with the same slow, meticulous cadence that seemed to possess all of her movements. “You continue to impress me, Prince Tostain,” she praised him. “I cannot wait to be the talk of the party, thanks to your exceptional crafting skills.” Something dark flickered in her eyes, like she was thinking about something more than simple metalworking, but it had no voice and did not linger long.

Business concluded, Lydia turned her mind back to her machinations once again. “It is a shame that you are not a social creature, as you claim,” she said with practiced velvet to her voice. “My stablemaster was just saying the other day how he wished to chat with one of the locals about some of the goings on in town. He unfortunately injured himself recently and cannot venture as far as he was used to just yet.” Lydia made a face that was close to calm resignation. “I suppose I shall have to find other ways to entertain him while he recovers.” She made an elegant motion with her hand, dismissing the notion entirely.

The High Priestess glided over to the girls chatting. Putting one hand gently on Analis’s shoulder, she said, “Please, stay as long as you would like.” With no one noticing the gentle caress of Red compulsion Craft spinning another thread into Analis’s mind. “And if you enjoyed yourself, do feel free to return.” The smile that Lydia gave Analis was almost welcoming, almost warm. She laid her hand briefly on Yvetta’s shoulder as well, repeating the same spell so that Yvetta would request Analis come visit her again soon.

Her hawkish gaze coolly settled again upon Leif. “I shan’t interrupt your time any further,” she said. “Enjoy and I do hope to see you all again soon.” And then, with the next step of her spell enacted so that Prince Tostain would be obliged to return again soon, Lydia gracefully exited the room and went back to overseeing other souls in her Province.

Offline Leif Tostain

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #7 on: Jan 10, 19, 09:43:37 AM »
Watching Lydia Kalas circle his sister and her companion like a shark in bloody waters made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.  He could swear he saw sharp teeth and cold eyes - but the Priestess did not seem to do anything untoward.

Other than touch his sister.  He had half a mind to rip her arm off for that - but this was Lady Kalas' home, and she was doing nothing inappropriate according to Protocol.  Regardless, he didn't want her touching his sister.  It was there in his eyes as he forced them off of Lydia's hand and brought them back up towards her face.

She was looking at him again.  Every time her eyes touched on his face, he felt the familiar tingle of 'danger, Leif Tostain, danger'.  Lydia Kalas was a fat cat toying with a rodent.  He was the rodent.  Sure, he might be able to kill her if it came down to it - but he would die doing so anyways.

So he simply took a breath, bowed towards the Priestess again, and only began to relax a bit after she left.  The women went back to chattering and laughing, and he.. couldn't help but feel as if the walls were closing in.



This was the third visit in as many weeks.  Analis was taken with Yvetta.  Leif hated that fact, though he refused to discourage Analis in her friendship.  He tried, at first, to caution her about the ease with which she considered going back to the Lady Kalas' household. 

Analis was naturally worried about the Priestess, but 'she has not been unkind, Leif' would pour out of her lips.  And Leif knew, just knew, that there was a 'yet' somewhere in that description.  Lydia Kalas had not been unkind 'yet'.  Lydia Kalas had not been a typical Dark Jewelled monster 'yet'.

The day would come, and he wasn't sure what he would be able to do about it. 

That he now had Prince Eskola's weapons, as well as the two daggers Lydia Kalas had commissioned, to deliver also made his teeth ache.  The daggers were lovely.  He was actually quite proud of the folding pattern that had emerged.  The beauty of the pattern would help offset the aggressiveness of the daggers themselves - but there was no mistaking that they were meant as deadly creations.

Prince Eskola's knives he had decided to keep curved, and short.  He seemed like the sort to enjoy punching, and these would suit that sort of fighting style.  The folding pattern on his steel was less beautiful, but flashy enough to at least sate Leif's need for artistic flair.

The sword?  The Sword was the finest he had ever made.  Which bothered him, actually.  He'd obtained the metal necessary from beneath one of Glacia's largest glaciers, and the metal had a hue that he knew would take well to a salt bath.

So he'd folded, and folded, and then bathed the forged blade in salt baths until it had taken on the color of the glacier's ice.  If Prince Eskola didn't like it, he'd be happy to take the blade back himself.

Especially since his father had visited as he had been polishing and oiling the weapons.  The marks on his back still ached, and the bruises on his ribs made him want to hiss every time he pulled on a jacket.  But he'd dressed appropriately.  This time, he'd left his hair down. 

Pinning it up would allow the bruising on the back of his neck to be more visible, and he.. wasn't in the mood to show that off.  Analis had fretted about him being her escort in this condition, but he flatly refused her when she said that she could request an Escort from teh  Kalas household.

He was fine.  He was still capable of going with her - and he wasn't going to let her go alone into that den of vipers.

Offline Lydia Kalas

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #8 on: Jan 24, 19, 09:53:17 AM »
Lydia had more things to attend that day than a simple visit between friends but she still made time for it, if nothing else than to add another layer of anxiety or assurance to the Tostain family. Her initial compulsion spell had faded and now needed only a suggestion to keep the young Analis interested, which was fine by Lydia. She abhorred using compulsion spells to get something done but there were times when one needed to get one’s hands a bit dirty in order to plant the seeds of the future.

Had she known that Prince Tostain was bringing her latest commission, she would have set aside her work earlier. But, as it was, walking into the parlor where the girls were amicably chatting and seeing the wrapped bundles of what she assumed were weapons brought a momentary glint of delight to her eyes. “Prince Tostain, Lady Tostain, a pleasure to see you today,” she greeted the two, with a maternal nod towards Analis. If Lydia could effuse warmth, it would have emanated towards the girl – a feigned feeling of friendship. Since Lydia felt that sort of thing for very, very few people in her life, ever, her smile, instead, was practiced but pleased.

But not pleased to see Analis. Lydia was pleased that Leif had brought her yet another gift, one that would be used greatly in the coming months.

Still, she hid her true feelings, as always, behind that smile. “I see that the servants have brought refreshments already,” she mentioned as she noted the tray of partially devoured snacks. “May I join you for a moment? I do not mean to intrude for long. I had a moment between appointments and wanted to mingle.”

Hardly waiting for permission, since it was her own house, Lydia delicately sat in an unoccupied chair. With the grace of a dancer, she picked up a snack and politely nibbled away at it. If Analis asked her any questions, Lydia responded with courtesy and reciprocated as expected. She did not particularly care to get to know Analis any further, unless the girl revealed something useful somehow, but she would never be rude or unkind.  That would be unacceptable.

After a moment, the conversation turned towards Leif. With glittering, feral delight briefly showing in her eyes, Lydia, “Is that our latest commission that you have brought with you, Prince Tostain? If so, I am eager to view it. Shall I call in Prince Eskola?”

Offline Leif Tostain

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #9 on: Jan 24, 19, 10:10:54 AM »
The Priestess was a shark.  An absolute shark, and Leif knew he had to move carefully the moment he saw that light in her eyes as she looked towards him.  At least the Priestess didn't really focus on his sister much - there was that.  She's using my sister to get at me, and why the hell would she do that?

Kain Eskola, Dark Jewelled male that he was, should be more than enough to sate the Priestess.  In fact, he was fairly certain that she was not interested in what was beneath his trousers - which meant that his usual excuse of being unattracted to women wouldn't work.  Not that such an excuse was true, but it kept the most grabby of the spoiled clients at bay.

Mostly.

Shall I call in Prince Eskola?

"I do not wish to bother the Prince's schedule, Lady Kalas.  Whether you call for him or not is your prerogative."  Leif rose to his feet from his seat and plucked up the two wrapped daggers.  Moving hurt.  He did his best to not let that flicker across his face, and offered the first dagger towards Lydia as if this were just any usual delivery.

It wasn't.  He'd paid in pain to make her damned weapons - and he didn't want to think about what she and her fiancee might do with the things.  I just made the objects.  It's not my fault, whatever they do with them.. Protection my ass...

Having made these creations for the Kalas household made his stomach churn in nausea.  It felt wrong.  But what was he supposed to do? Deny the High Priestess of Ivalo?  As terrible as the beating from his father had been for making the damned things, he was fairly certain it would have been worse if he had denied the Priestess what she wanted.

"Your daggers, Lady Kalas.  It is my hope that the blades will please you."  They damned well better.  Folding the metal to the degree he had ensured strength that would be difficult to rival.  The enchantments he had woven into the metal as he forged it would ensure that the blades kept their edge.  The folds themselves applied an exotic appearance, and that should suit the damned vain creature's need for trophies.

Realizing that his temper was boiling too close to teh surface, he took a deep breath.  This was not the time to start losing his self control.  He had no desire to give Lydia fucking Kalas an excuse to get more claws into him or his sister. 

Offline Lydia Kalas

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #10 on: Jan 24, 19, 01:27:32 PM »
There was something…guarded…about him.

Initially, Lydia thought that it was just his natural reaction to her company. He had always been Protocol-perfect, hiding behind it like a shield whenever she appeared. She understood that and somehow, that made the game a little more fun for her because she knew it was a façade. But there was something…off…about that guardedness today.

Lydia watched as Leif moved, with more care than usual, to retrieve the packages he had brought. He handed over the medium sized package, which held her daggers, he informed her, along with the hope that they pleased her. She took them without touching them, letting them float with Craft just above her perfectly manicured hand as she used that same finely tuned spellwork to unwrap the packaging. As the thick paper fell away, the patterned blades emerged, and the look on Lydia’s face turned towards critical appreciation for their craftsmanship.

“Exquisite,” she remarked, turning them over in the air to see all sides of them. She noticed the enchantments that kept the blades honed and smiled. Perfect. She needed them impeccably sharp for their ritual purpose. “They will serve me well,” she said. As had he. While the pattern along the blades was very interesting, the masterful working of handle and metal impressed her more. She looked forward to consecrating them soon.

She floated the daggers to rest on the table near the refreshments and turned her gaze to the other packages. “I assume those are the rest of the commission,” she stated. Not a question. When he confirmed it and offered each one to her, she took it in the same manner as she had the daggers: letting Craft do the lifting while her eyes did the critiquing.

And noticing a bit more about the careful, slow way he moved that caught her attention.

She had no doubt that her Prince would appreciate the talon-like curve of his knives. The corners of her mouth twitched in malicious delight as she envisioned what heretics would lose their lying tongues on such a blade. And the sword – “Magnificent,” she praised, turning it over and over to admire the blue cast of it. She would imbue it and the knives with Red spells when she had a chance. Only the best for her Prince. “Indeed, Prince Tostain, you have outdone yourself,” she praised him. She returned the sword to its wrappings and lifted up a cup of tea to sip.

Her eyes flickered to the rim of the cup and then, just as sharp, flickered to him, homing in on the place where his neck and shirt met. Ah, there it was. Just the hint of it, hidden, but she now had the final piece of the puzzle of why his hair was unbound and he moved with such care. She had seen the same from Yvetta the day after a night with the Prince.

Lydia doubted that those bruises were caused by an enthusiastic night in bed. In fact, unless she missed her mark, she was certain that they were the reason Prince Tostain had been so reluctant to forge the weapons in the first place.

“Your collar, Prince,” she said, her eyes lifting to meet his with a hint of a knowing smile. “Lower it a little for me, please.” It was hardly a request. If he refused, she would arch a delicately framed eyebrow and use Craft to do it for him.

Either way, once the bruise was revealed, with the quiet danger of an avalanche, she would ask, “Who hurt you, Prince?”

And it was not a question he should refuse to answer.

Offline Leif Tostain

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #11 on: Jan 24, 19, 01:55:08 PM »
Magnificent she said. Outwardly, Leif sported a small but proud smile. Inwardly he sported a dramatic wince.  That praise, that 'magnificent' likely meant he was going to get more weapon commissions, more weaponry work.  Oh joy.  He was looking forward to never being able to stand straight without pain again. 

At least Leif had gotten the Red Jewelled bitch to give him a compliment that would hopefully soothe his family's ego.  If he were fortunate, that might be enough to calm his father's irritation for a bit.  I'm not that lucky, what am I thinking?

"Your praise is appreciated, Lady Kalas.  I'll be certain to pass it on to my parents."  He said the words coolly before readying himself to return to his seat.  Until he saw that look.  Her eyes were focused on him and that cattish smile was upon her lips; and Leif just knew with a sinking heart that life was about to get worse.

Much worse.

Your collar, Prince.

Well, shit. Lydia Kalas demanded that he lower the collar of his shirt. He didn't move his hands.  He almost didn't breathe.  And neither, some part of him noticed, did Analis.  She had swivelled her head, staring towards him and the Priestess with an almost helpless expression on her face.  What was the right thing to do here?  If he obliged, his father might believe he had 'been dramatic' on purpose.  That wouldn't go well.  If he refused, the Priestess might be offended, and that would go equally badly.  Was there a 'less awful' option in here?

He delayed too long.  It didn't matter that he didn't raise his hands.  Lydia's Craft pulled his collar down and he found himself thankful for the fact that she was not just stripping his clothes away.  He'd rather not explain the angry lashes or stripes of black and blue that covered freshly bandaged skin.

Who hurt you, Prince?
Oh, Priestess... just another Dark Jewelled bastard.  You know how it goes.


That would be a bad way to answer the demand.  Frankly, he wasn't sure what was a good answer in this situation.  So he took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment.  "I have been taught that it is the right of Dark Jewelled family to guide and discipline their sullied charges, Lady Kalas."  There.  That was a decent, proper answer.  His father wouldn't like it, but there would be nothing his father could say about the response that would suggest punishment being necessary.

So his voice was a little tense.  And his eyes remained closed while he brought his hands behind his back and locked them together, standing at 'attention' in front of the Priestess.  The tight draw of muscles burned and ached, but it was hardly the first time he'd felt that.

And judging by the sound of Kalas' voice?  It wouldn't be the last.  Leif's eyes opened as he felt his self control settle, uncomfortably, back into place.  That gaze settled somewhere over Lydia's shoulder, a politely blank expression on his face.  "Was there anything else, Lady Kalas?"

Hopefully not. 

Offline Lydia Kalas

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #12 on: Jan 24, 19, 02:38:22 PM »
He hesitated, unfortunately, and Lydia was forced to use Craft to unveil what he had been hiding. It would have been better if he had revealed it himself. She would have respected him, if she could do such a thing, more if he had. As it stood, it made her look aggressive, having to use Craft, but it was a bold move she was willing to risk.

The bruise was fresh, as she suspected. A nasty purple welt that obviously had companions elsewhere. She did not force him to reveal more. One was enough. Especially as he said, “I have been taught that it is the right of Dark Jeweled family to guide and discipline their sullied charges, Lady Kalas.”

Whatever warmth and humor that had present in Lydia’s expression vanished. The cold mask of humanity remained but there was something awful swimming in her eyes. Something…righteous.

There was little worse than a zealot with righteousness on her side.

With very careful grace, her movements slowed to add emphasis, Lydia set down her teacup, folded her hands in her lap, and leveled her gaze at Leif. “It is the right of those obviously blessed by Mother Night to provide guidance for the wayward,” she said, very, very  carefully. The air in the room did not sizzle, nor did it drop in temperature, but there was a dangerous tone to her voice that weighed the air down, like the pressure dropping before a storm.

That gaze did not waver as she continued speaking. “But there is a difference, Prince, between discipline and abuse. And even though Mother Night may have voiced her opinion on your soul, that does not give anyone, including one’s family, to mistreat another.” Indeed, instances like this were exactly why the craven outside of Glacia’s borders believed that the Dark Religion was nothing more than a reason to abuse the weak. Those who believed so were wrong, incredibly misguided, and it fell to Lydia to correct them.

“It is the responsibility of those with deeper standing in the Abyss to cherish and guide those with lighter standing,” she lectured. “A tenet that perhaps your family missed during its religious attendances.” There was no scorn, no disdain in her voice. Neither was it flat, toneless. It was layered, rich, even, and full of belief. A vindicated Lydia said, “Look to my own household. My servants, many of whom have served me for years, have never felt the lash or had a hand raised against them for their standing in the Abyss. They are mine to protect and foster – a responsibility that I take seriously, despite what rumors may circulate about me.” She was speaking truthfully. Even the bruises Yvetta received were only because of sex, not because she was Light Jeweled. Lydia's personal servant, Niko, had never once been harmed and Lydia would have easily slit the throat of the first Dark Jeweled who thought that they were within their right to do so simply because they were deeper in the Abyss.

She rose then, regal as always, and approached him. One perfectly manicured hand called in a tin of healing salve, which she floated to him in offering. “Perhaps your family should be reminded of their sacred duty,” she said calmly. "I will see to rectifying that." It was a promise, and a dangerous one for Leif. Lydia was about to interfere with a great many things in his life, all under the banner of the Dark Religion.

And even as she spoke, offering words that aligned herself to their plight, she was fashioning the key that would secure both Leif and Analis to her. If their parents mistreated them again, Lydia could petition her weak-willed sister to force the parents to hand over the controlling rings. If they didn’t, Lydia could use a different angle and offer to take on such a burden, putting forward whatever reason the parents would want to hear. She was setting herself up to be savior and haven for the Tostain children. If they shied away from her, it would be on their heads. But nearly all of the outcomes pointed to her securing them as part of her household somehow and that was what she had been searching for this entire time.

Inwardly, she thanked Prince Tostain’s father for being such a fool. This would be easier than she had thought.

Offline Leif Tostain

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Re: This Thread I Weave Around You
« Reply #13 on: Jan 24, 19, 03:13:03 PM »
"It is not my place to argue the Faith with the Dark Jewelled in our lives, Lady Kalas."  Because it wouldn't go anywhere.  Clearly.  She was proving that now.

Lydia Kalas could go rot in an unmarked grave without last rites.  She lectured him.  Of course she lectured him.  He had dared to pick the 'right' answer to what had happened, the answer that was least likely to see his father retaliate much against Leif or Analis... and she lectured him for it. 

Cherish.  Guide.  Lovely words to mask an evil and ugly truth.  The Dark Jewelled of Glacia did not cherish and guide their lighter siblings... they were disgusted by them.  The Dark Jewelled sought power, and status - and they would do anything to the Light Jewelled that they wished because Mother fucking Night said it was ok.

Personally, he hoped every true believer in the faith died a choking and painful death sometime soon.  Maybe they'd all be lucky and Witch would unleash her Rage again upon the corrupt bastards.  Hell, he'd accept that cold Rage and pass into the Dark with a smile on his face just to know that people like his father and Lydia Kalas died.

That disdain for her solidified as she told him she would 'rectify' his family's beliefs.  That was not going to go well.  Analis took a breath inwards, and he turned his eyes towards her.  She was staring at the floor, shaking, and so he turned his eyes back to the Priestess.  "This conversation is upsetting my sister, Lady Kalas.  If it would not be an inconvenience, perhaps we could continue it elsewhere.  I do what I can to shoulder our burdens."  In other words - he was the dutiful Prince who guarded his lighter sister against the abuse.

And for the most part, he succeeded.  Just not.. with Lady Kalas, clearly.  She'd cornered him.  He'd thought to outmaneuver her, to use Protocol as a shield... and in doing so, she'd found a way to corner him.

When Lydia fucking Kalas 'rectified' his family, they would probably hand him and his sister over to Lydia for 'safekeeping' in an effort to make nice with her.  The idea of the Priestess in front of him holding their Rings?  It made him nauseous.

The idea of her then being the one to go traipsing through his head?  Downright spine-tinglingly cold chills swept through him.  His 'sinful thoughts' regarding the Dark Faith were tolerated by his family because he kept them to himself and never acted on them.

The High Priestess of Ivalo was unlikely to overlook that.  Would he even remain 'Leif Tostain' by the time she was through?  Or would she turn him into a panting lapdog to ensure his 'soul was on the path to redemption'?

"This conversation is finished, Prince Tostain.  I shall see to this situation."

The note of finality had his eyes closing just once more.  Fuck.  Fucking fuck fuck.

His fingers curled around the tin of healing salve she had given him, and he found himself wishing that he had the strength to just... it didn't matter.  Even if he could, somehow, end the threat in front of him that would not change that he and his sister had collars.  It would not change that they were leashed, and would be too easy to track.

They were trapped and he knew it.  "As you say, Lady Kalas.  Thank you for your consideration."  Saying such things was like pulling his intestines up through his throat.  It burned, and it twisted his gut, and it was downright painful. 

Leif...
I'll find a way to keep you safe, Lis.
Leif, what are we going to do?
... I don't know yet.  I need time to think about it.