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* Plot Information for Little Terreille

A naive Black Jeweled witch has destroyed the Territory Court. From its ashes a new court is being constructed, one run by a manipulative killer. As the blood runs in the streets of Goth from open gang warfare, the Steward of Little Terreille begins a gambit to rebuild the Territory from the ground up and challenge the Star of Kaeleer.
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Author Topic: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile  (Read 338 times)

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Offline Kale Heartly

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Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« on: Jul 03, 19, 03:06:21 PM »
They did it. They were here.

Fuck. He did it.

Kale didn't expect to feel different as he passed through the Gate (after paying a ridiculous fee he really didn't want to think about, but Noah didn't seem bothered by how much his patron's purse was being abused so at least there was that) but somehow, he did. Somehow, stepping through the Gate to the other side, and then emerging from the Sanctuary out into the bright and busy metropolis of Gate City, made him feel... different. Maybe it was just excitement, or maybe it was some kind of side effect of cross-realm travel, or maybe.. maybe it was something else - but as he stepped out onto the street his face turned to the north there was something that just felt right.

Oh, it wasn't that the city itself was anything special. Sure, it was huge, and there were a lot of different things to see - but when it came down to it, a city was a city. A little smile even tugged at the corner of his mouth as he watched an unassuming man slip through the crowd lifting wallets. Yup, different city, same scene. And.. even though they had barely a single cent left after all those ridiculous fees to cross through the Gate (at least, he knew he had nothing left and he hadn't even had to pay most of his own way!) he knew that it would be alright. He didn't relish having to live on the streets but there was a confidence and a peace that came with knowing he could do it. Even with Dmitri and Max there, he knew that they'd get by.

For the first time in two fucking years, he felt like himself again. Hopeful, eager, excited.

He whistled a little bit as he slipped through the crowd, juggling a coin over the knuckles of one hand and letting an easy bounce enter his step. He didn't know much about Little Terreille - he knew even less about Gate City other than that they had to stay there until they got picked up by a Court of some sort. They'd already talked about it and they were going to play it smart and not try to demand that they stay together. Dmitri wore the Gray and could get around practically wherever, so while it would be preferable if they stayed close it wasn't necessary. The important thing was starting their contracts as soon as possible so that they could finish them as soon as possible. Kale was looking at a much shorter term than Dmitri anyway, considering a Warlord Prince who wore the Gray would be required to serve for eight years. Eight fucking years.

He had pulled Dmitri aside when they'd heard that, all aflutter with uncertainty, to make sure that was okay. Dmitri had no desire to serve in a Court. Sure, Kale didn't either, not really - but two years was a hell of a lot easier to swallow that eight. But the prick had just crooned something about him making it up to him and Kale still wasn't sure whether the images that flashed through his head had been his own imagination or Dmitri's work. Fucker.

For the moment though, he wasn't going to think about potential stresses and Dmitri realizing in a year and a half that he'd made the biggest mistake of his life and THAT whole pound of heartache. Nope. He'd burn that bridge when he came to it, IF he came to it. Right now he was going to enjoy the heat of summer and the noise of the city.

A bit of mischief danced across his face as he spotted an open area right before a pretty fountain where tourists were milling past and tossing coins, tasting their iced cream. The expression was more wicked than boyish in its delivery now that he had that scar to darken things, but it was the same one he'd worn time and time and time again in the years before the Court of Dena Nehele when he'd spotted a similar opportunity. It was a matter of seconds, and Kale was on the ledge of the fountain, his grin bright and mysterious and the small crowd growing as he played and dazzled with a few little tricks here, and a few there. No craft needed, just the practiced grace of sleight of hand. He used cards and coins, even a long feathered scarf for one trick - for once completely in his element as he joked and played and flirted tips out of his little crowd, eager as much for their smiles as he was for their monetary patronage.

Kale Heartly was back.







Offline Diana Reis

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Re: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« Reply #1 on: Jul 03, 19, 08:07:01 PM »
It was strange and nerve wracking and exciting for Diana to be on official business for the Queen of Courtland. Sure, she was here mostly to learn from the Steward’s second as they looked for potential opportunities for contracts, but still. She was a Queen on official business. Her escort, Garrick, was with her as well since it was not the job of the Steward’s second to be her escort. It was his job to make any deals that were deemed necessary.

She walked with her arm tucked in the crook of Garrick’s elbow as the warm breeze blew past. The Second was speaking with an official from Gate City, and Diana listened to him inquire about some newer arrivals, as well as a Warlord who had apparently arrived a few weeks ago. Diana had spoken to a few of the prospects, asking them questions that she had been coached on, and so far they were not leaving with any new contracts made.

Diana’s attention was drawn from the conversation to a crowd that had formed. Garrick followed her line of sight and when she took a step in that direction, the Second paused mid-sentence to look at her. He raised an eyebrow at her, and then flicked his eyes towards the crowd, giving her permission to go have a look, as if she needed it from him. He was not her favorite of Marchessa’s males.

“What’s up?” Garrick asked as Diana continued towards the crowd.

“Not sure, really,” Diana said. Something told her to go this way, and coming from a family of Black Widows, she knew better than to ignore a feeling like that.

“Alright,” Garrick replied, keeping an eye on those around them now that they were in a crowd. Diana weaved through the crowd, pulling Garrick along a little when she would normally have let him go first. He let her, apparently sensing that she needed to do this. Diana stopped at the front of the small crowd and spotted who everyone was watching: a scarred young male putting on a show with a few tricks. The tricks themselves were perhaps not all that impressive or complex, but Diana stayed anyway and clapped along with the rest of the crowd.

In a lull between two tricks, a couple of people in the crowd came forward to give him a few coins, so Diana did the same.

“Those were some neat tricks,” Diana told him.

Offline Kale Heartly

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Re: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« Reply #2 on: Jul 04, 19, 06:27:31 AM »
Kale had crouched down, the long bits of his hair flopped down over the marred side of his face - assisting the eye patch in making himself look a bit less distractingly awful. He was smiling, chatting with a little girl as her parents offered a few coins to the hat he'd set out to capture such generous donations. It made his heart a little fluttery, the way the girl giggled and grinned as she watched him make three small balls "magically" move from one hand to the other without vanishing and calling them back in again. She clapped when he made the balls appear to suddenly change color and he winked his good eye at her before making the balls disappear all-together. This was fun, this was free. It was wonderful. The girl didn't care who he was or where he came from. She was just enjoying a bit of fun that he could give her and that.. that was what he'd always loved to do. He'd always loved to spread a bit of joy. He couldn't know the lives of other people - couldn't know their hopes and dreams and struggles. But he could give them a few moments in time where all they did was exist and experience, where all they did was smile and enjoy. He could give that to them. Maybe that didn't balance out all of the ugliness in the world, or make any of it right again.. but it was something, and he cherished it.

The little family moved away and a psychic scent brushed his senses that was oddly familiar in that he knew he knew it but was also certain he'd never known it before this moment.

'Those were some neat tricks.'

The sound of her voice made him smile and he looked up. He was partway through the motion of rising when his sole winter-sky eye met hers and the world.. shifted. It was like a whip, a lash, but one made of spidersilk - something so soft and yet utterly unbreakable. Indestructible. That something struck him in that moment and wrapped around his heart in a way that left zero question in his mind who she was. No, that wasn't quite right - because he didn't know nor care who she was. What he knew, suddenly all he knew, and all that mattered, was who she was to him.

Queen. My Queen. Mine.

His eye widened and he jerked backward suddenly, then yelped in a wholly undignified way as he lost his footing and toppled over backward, right onto his ass with a loud SPLASH as he landed in the fountain.

He splashed and spluttered for a moment, but the shock of the cold water was enough to bring his brain back at least a little bit. He didn't want to analyze that feeling, that connection, that tether, that bond. He didn't want to want it. He didn't want to.. to.. to feel this! Kale hadn't ever wanted a Queen, and after everything with Quentin and Sora... after EVERYTHING, this couldn't be happening to him here, now. This was supposed to be a new start for him, a place for him to find himself, not a place for him to become chained by fate and Queen magic to some other Court, his own heart a traitor in his chest urging him to serve.

Kale gasped and ran his hands over his face and slicked back his soaked hair, displacing the eyepatch and making it fall to reveal the full awfulness of his face as it was now. No! With a desperate growl, he snatched up the sodden article and slammed it back over his eye again, clumsily slapping some craft over it to keep it in place as his shaking hands fumbled to retie it.

"Fuck. FUCK."







Offline Diana Reis

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Re: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« Reply #3 on: Jul 04, 19, 11:35:11 AM »
Mine. Diana sucked in a quiet breath of surprise, and her hand came up to automatically reach out for the Warlord as a feeling of rightness settled over her. She froze partway to him, in time for him to jerk back and her eyes widened, then confusion furrowed her brow as she withdrew her hand. There was no time to consider what was going on because he was suddenly in the water of the fountain. The crowd around them murmured in confusion and some of them were wandering away, apparently not wanting to get involved.

Diana knew that there was a wide array of reactions to a Queen bond. She wasn’t naive enough to think that every male who bonded to her would be happy about it. At the same time, she had hoped that they would, and that hope buoyed her in the moment. Maybe he really was just surprised.

His curses sent a chill down her spine, and that rightness that she felt before was sucked away along with the hope, replaced with a lancing pain of rejection in her heart. She was left feeling off kilter and uncertain of what to do next. Garrick’s hand touched her elbow, first as a comfort and then as a nudge. Steeling herself for more rejection, she took a hesitant step forward.

“Can I help with that?” Diana asked softly, looking him over a little more closely. Then she caught more of his psychic scent and realized she wasn’t just catching the mark of a Warlord. There was Healer there as well. Despite the Healer Warlord’s unhappiness over this, he was still hers, so she would treat him as such. Diana couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to him to cause him to be like this, and what had caused his scar. The scar itself didn’t bother her, though.

Offline Dmitri Petran

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Re: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« Reply #4 on: Jul 06, 19, 11:59:09 PM »
Dmitri resisted the urge to shake himself like a dog after walking through the Dark Gate from the candlelit altar room in Terrielle and emerging in an almost identically dark altar room that already felt lighter and smelled...different.   The passage through the Dark Gate was done in the span of two steps but those two steps stretched out in the mind as magic swirled and the pull of the Darkness ebbed and flowed around you.  He cast a glance at Kale who didn’t seem to be effected in the same manner and gave a little shrug of his shoulders.   Perhaps it was something the very Dark experienced.  Perhaps sometime he would ask someone about it.

He followed close behind Kale, a hair step behind him and to the left giving a hard look to anyone who happened to move a little too close for comfort to Kale.   They were out of Raej with relatively little trouble except for the exuberant fee that was quoted to them and thankfully was paid by Kale’s new friend Noah.  He squinted slightly at the shift from Darkness to bright sunlight as they left the sanctuary that housed the Gate and into a new sky and new city.

Dmitri took a little sniff of the air but a city was a city, with the multitude of scents and people, sounds and images.  He cast a glance towards Kale and saw the other man...transform.  He couldn’t think of it any other way, there was a shift in Kale that stunned him.  He straightened, his chest lifted, his head was raised and when he turned his head to look back at him there was a brightness to his face that was beautiful.  Dmitri always thought Kale was stunning but this was incredible.  He hadn’t fully realized until that point how much Kale had been burdening by being in Dena Nehele and now he was free.  A different freedom than Dmitri had found but in some ways very very similar.

Grinning because he just couldn’t help it at the happiness in his Kale’s face, he stuffed his hands into his pocket and felt his own step lighten.  Soon they would sign their contracts to remain in the territory, something that he had known would occur but had put it in the back of his mind until the reality of it was slapped across his face.  Eight fucking years cowtowing to some Queen (and he prayed to the Darkness that it wouldn’t be HIS Queen) to remain in the realm.  He had almost said something that would have probably gotten them a lot of attention from the Guard but he took one look at Kale and felt some of his resentment and rage slide off him.  For Kale, eight years would pass as one and then they would be free to go wherever they wished.   He just had to figure out a way to make sure that they would be posted in the same Court.  He could use his training as a Healer’s Escort to bind himself to Kale but in all honesty they could assign him to any Healer and a Grey Jewel almost guaranteed him something in a higher circle.

Kale had struck up a happy little whistle and lead the way through the throngs of people until they reached a centerpiece fountain.  Dmitri watched with warm amusement as Kale leapt up on the stone ledging of the water feature and began doing a little balancing act while performing little tricks that were meant to delight and catch the eye.  Dmitri stood off to the side, his arms crossing over his chest as he adopted a scowling look that he threw at anyone who got too close to touching Kale.  He was glowing and no one would disrupt that happiness.   

A small child scurried close and placed an empty cup in front of Kale and tossed in a coin and earned herself a smile.  More viewers stepped up; more coins and a few small mark bills were also added to the impromptu coin collector.   Dmitri had a few marks tucked away that he had already planned to use for the next or two for shelter and food while they moved on with the next step of their plans but a few more marks wouldn’t be scoffed at.

Kale eventually replaced the small cup with a cap that he called in, a better container as the little cup was meant to hold a scoop of iced cream and not much else.  Dmitri had taken a seat a little further down the ledge and removed his jacket to cool off in the bright sunlight.  Kale didn’t even seem to notice that the air had warmed considerately, enjoying the attention, the applause and cheers that surrounded him.   The viewing crowd shifted, the show over for the moment and newcomers pressed closer to get a view of whatever cute trick Kale would perform for them.  Dmitri turned his back to dip his hand into the water, bringing a palmful up to splash against his neck and face enjoying the sweet coolness of the liquid when he felt something at his back and there was a startled sound and a loud splash.

He whirled to see Kale on his ass in the fountain, a completely poleaxed look on his face as he stared at someone standing just beyond the ledge where he had been performing.  The expression on Kale’s face was stunned, confused and then slowly panicked.  Dmitri closed the distance, hearing Kale swear fiercely as he fished around in the water for his eye patch, pulling it soaking on his face.  If there hadn’t been a sick feel in the air around them, Dmitri might have chuckled a little.   He turned his eyes slowly towards the woman and her escort that were standing there, his eyes narrowing dangerously as continued to just stare at Kale.

Did the bitch push him in?  Another cruel witch who pleasured in ruining the happiness of others?  Dmitri stepped foward, moving away from the scent of water and Kale and was hit in the face with…

Queen.

Growling hard, he stepped into the path between Kale and this woman, his fists clenching tightly at his sides until he could feel his nails prick into his skin and feel the heat of blood rise onto his palms.   His voice slipped into something soft and velvet, and he almost purred the next words though no one in their right mind would mistake it for seductive or pleasant.

“He. Is. Mine!”

Offline Kale Heartly

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Re: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« Reply #5 on: Sep 03, 19, 06:42:32 AM »
'Can I help with that?' The words were quiet and made him feel... fluttery, warm, wanted? There was a hesitant care in them that made Kale want to get closer to her, to agree.

When he opened his mouth, the saner side appeared to have won out, though - as he said - "You can fucking not," in a tone that was somewhere between a yelp and a growl and mostly just sounded like he'd regressed to about fourteen and his voice was changing again. Okay, so.. the arguably saner side of him. It probably wasn't a great idea to curse and snarl at a Queen - no, in fact he knew it wasn't a great idea. He still very vividly remembered a particular argument with one White Jeweled Queen that he easily could have died during. And this Queen certainly wasn't a fucking White. And she had an escort and--

Oh. Fuck.

"Mitri! Wait!" He reacted on instinct, scrambling forward with a lot of awkward, clumsy splashing he would later be extremely embarrassed about. He grasped the Warlord Prince's shirt with both hands and wondered if the man would be able to feel his pulse ramming through the touch. Honestly, he was surprised it wasn't echoing around the square, because his ribs kinda ached right now by how hard it was thrashing around in there having its little freak-out.

"Ah. Shit. Fuck." Deep break, Kale you stupid fuck. Just.. deep breath.

Kale took a deep breath, then another. With Dmitri as a human wall between him and his Queen, his senses were protected a little bit from her exposure. Dmitri's darker, sharply familiar scent pressed in. (Okay, so, it was also flavored with a bunch of Warlord-Princey-ragebeast -- but it was still Dmitri...)

"She's not... She didn't..." He faltered in his defense, not sure what he wanted to say. She's not a threat? Uh, well, maybe..? She didn't hurt me? No, but she scared the every living fuck out of me and yeah, now I'm royally fucked and it's bringing up all the things that I ran away from an entire REALM because of so...

"She's my Queen." He whispered the words, but they were the only truth he had right now - all he had to give that would explain the situation.







Offline Garrick Merritt

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Re: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« Reply #6 on: Sep 12, 19, 06:38:00 PM »
Crowds and loud places always added another layer of edginess to Garrick’s awareness. To most, it just looked like he was trying to be a good, protective escort for his Queen. Diana alone knew that crowds and their cacophony caused his hearing to turn to auditory soup – something that he loathed since it interfered with him hearing the right information.

The crowd’s volume today ebbed and flowed and Garrick did his best to keep his weakness in restraint. Even though his eyes never seemed to stop scanning the faces passing likes the sea around them, he kept an easy gait, his hands in his pockets with Diana’s arm hooked into his elbow. Something had grabbed her attention, but his query had only garnered an unsure reply. So as she drifted towards whatever was pulling her, he drifted too, though his attention shifted back and forth restlessly while hers honed in on a young male doing a few tricks for coin.

It was natural for him to set himself just within reach of her, his body angled to watch both her and the crowd in case someone tried to pick her pocket. He was looking over that crowd when he heard a large splash, like something falling into the fountain. He turned, half-expecting it to be Diana somehow, but it was the trickster. Garrick’s brow furrowed just a little in confusion. An ungraceful magician? Or a comedy routine?

Probably not the latter judging by the fumbling and cursing. Those seemed true enough.

Just as Diana stepped forward to help, so did someone else. Someone who put Garrick on immediate edge, even without seeing the Gray Jewel. A Warlord Prince. Even though a Prince was no match for a Warlord Prince, Garrick served and Diana was his life. Smoothly, he interposed himself between, just enough for Diana to still see the other two around his shoulder. “Prince,” Garrick said calmly but there was no part of him calm. Luckily, the trickster was sputtering something akin to restraints towards his…friend, Garrick supposed.

A Warlord Prince laying claim to a scarred street magician that Diana was drawn to? Curiouser and curiouser.

But still very, very dangerous.

**Di?** Garrick sent between them. **What do I need to know?** Not what did he need to do -- what did he need to know about the situation in order to do something. He knew that Diana wouldn’t have pushed the young male into the fountain without good reason and there hadn’t seemed to be time for a good reason to appear, not with that brief of an interaction. But reason meant little to an enraged Warlord Prince.

Which meant that the next few seconds would either be disastrous or a very close call. Garrick braced for the former and hoped for the latter but made no move to escalate the situation.

Offline Diana Reis

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Re: Penny for your thoughts, a dime for your smile
« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 19, 05:35:09 PM »
The denial felt like a slap, and Diana just barely managed not to jerk away from her new Warlord. The rejection still hurt, maybe because of the tone the words were said in. He really, truly did not want her help. She had almost no time to stand there reeling from it because suddenly there was someone else in front of her, followed swiftly by Garrick. Diana straightened her back as her eyes went to the Warlord Prince who dared to claim her Warlord. His Caste had registered before how Dark his Jewels were, and-

Oh. Fuck.

A Green, which was a strength that Diana had been familiar with before her father was Broken, and one Darker than she had ever felt before. Diana pushed down the snarky comment that had initially formed on her tongue, deciding that the Warlord Prince should be treated with the respect his Jewels required, if only so that he didn't see fit to turn them to dust where they stood.

*The Warlord is mine,* Diana replied to Garrick, reaching forward to gently rest her hand on his back. It was possessive, as he was also hers, and so that she could comfort herself with his presence, and--hopefully--offer the same to him. She really, really wanted to shield them both, but didn't for two reasons:  Firstly, it would had no real effect on anything the Warlord Prince did, and secondly, she didn't want to undercut Garrick in any way. *And he is apparently also this Warlord Prince's.* Diana supposed this could mean a number of things, but she guessed it was a personal sort of claim.

"Prince," Diana said, and her voice took on the same sort of smooth quality that the Warlord Prince had used. It was not nearly as practiced, though, or perhaps it was simply natural for him. "It would appear that we each have a claim on him, although I have no intention of trying to take him from you." Right now, she doubted she would be leaving here with the Warlord even if she wanted to.