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Topics - Jupiter Cinerus

Pages: 1
1
Hayll / don't mean to leave you with a trivial excuse
« on: Jun 30, 19, 09:36:18 PM »
Winter 193 - Draega Territory Palace


The day began like any other.

Jupiter Cinerus woke, bathed, and dressed in a tailored suit befitting an appearance at Court. Then he sat down at the large hardwood desk, his father’s old desk, and took out his quill and paper. He wrote. He misspelled her name on the first draft, so he tossed it in his trash can and started again. He made it nearly through the first page of the second draft before stopping to read it. It was too needy, too hurt to convey the message that he wanted to get across to her. So he tossed it into the trash and leaned back in his chair.

He checked the time. Two hours left before he saw her. His heart hammered at the mere idea, but each beat was punctuated with pain.

She.
Has.
No.
Need.
For.
You.


He closed his eyes, rubbing his hand over his face. The anger, the ever-present anger inside of him threaten to burst free. People told him to be patient. Other people told him to run as fast and as far as he could before she took him down with her. Once voice, an old voice, implored him not to give up so easily. What none of them knew was that this wasn’t easy. This was the hardest thing he’d ever done in his life. He hated it. But the longer he waited, the worse things became.

It didn’t have to be forever, reasoned. He could take some time for himself and then find another way to serve. He could find something more in-line and befitting her needs...and his own. First, he’d return home to Faro and sort out his mind. Some work on the family estate would help him clear his mind and burn away the excess energy. Caelissine would join him, if he asked. Their last outing had ended with having to beat a bunch of men completely senseless, so Jupiter thought that this would be a welcome change of pace. Not to mention that he could ensure that the estate was protected from the rebels in the south.

He dipped the quill in the ink and started writing once more. This time, the words came freely.

When it was done, he used a bit Craft to dry the ink before folding the letter. Then he folded it, placed it in an envelope, and tucked that envelope into the breast pocket of his coat. He checked the time again and found that he had half-hour before he needed to arrive at the palace. Standing, he prayed to Mother Night and the Darkness for resilience and then left his town house to head to Court.

At the palace, Jupiter greeted the members of the Circles with whom he was familiar. He headed to his office to check on the message he received, creating a neat pile at the center of the desk. He didn’t know if he’d be back to read them, but there was always hope. The letter felt like an anvil in his pocket, heavier than the duty that kept him bound to this place. Leaving his office, he headed toward the suites that Sabine kept at the palace to make his weekly reports and deliver pertinent letters or reports that he felt she needed to see.

Just another hour and it would all be done.

2
Hayll / stuck in my ways, I am changing
« on: Jul 18, 18, 06:07:14 PM »
Draega - Summer 193

Jupiter was only a few weeks returned from helping Karlissa, but his heart and mind were still heavy. The torments laid upon him by the Black Widows hunting his aunt caused him restless nights. He couldn’t go before Sabine like this. He didn’t want to see Caelissine in this state. After another night of little sleep and increasing annoyance with the world around him, the Warlord Prince reached out to his mother, Lilith, and asked if they could have breakfast. She’d agreed so quickly that it surprised him. He realized, later, that it shouldn’t have. She had never shunned his company. But she’d changed over the centuries, with good reason.

Still, it was hard for him to let go of the woman she once was in favor of the woman she had become.

Jupiter dressed in his finest suit and made his way to his mother’s home in Draega, knowing that she’d be awake at this early hour. Jupiter could count on one hand, in thirteen centuries, the number of times the sun found his mother in bed, with fingers to spare. Her work ethic surpassed all of the most diligent people that he’d ever known, inspiring Jupiter to emulate it to the best of his ability. He would make a request of her today and prayed that she would understand it and grant it to him, but there was no guarantee.

Upon his arrival, Jupiter looked for any sign of his mother’s hunting hounds, Kaiser and Antony, who were never far from her side. Now that he was older, Jupiter was considering a dog or two of his own. Immediately following that thought was the notion that he should check with Caelissine to see how she felt about it. He smiled to himself and set that thought aside. He’d think about that later.

He located Lilith in sitting room, making just enough noise to avoid startling her. Startling any witch was a bad plan, but having a Gray Black Widow react on instinct to an intruder was a recipe for a sudden and brutal conclusion to one’s life, even among the their kind. When she acknowledged him, Jupiter closed the distance between them and greeted her properly, first in line with Protocol and then as her son. Deep respect and appreciation for women had been instilled in Jupiter since his first days in the world and reinforced by his father’s example in the way he took care of his mother and tended to her needs. Only a woman could give birth to a man, however, and Jupiter recognized his mother’s titanic strength of personality and will had absolutely nothing to do with the Gray Jewel that signaled her rank in the Abyss.

Good morning, Mother. You look wonderful, as always.” Jupiter said. He meant it. Being in her presence calmed him in a different way than being near Sabine or Caelissine did. Lilith was the only woman who’d known him longer than he’d known himself.

Before his Queen or Mother Night, Jupiter had worshipped his mother.

How have you been?

3
Hayll / take my advice, just let me be
« on: Feb 17, 18, 02:29:02 AM »
Jupiter spent Autumn searching for Karlissa, quietly using every resource at his disposal to find her. She stood accused of murdering the former High Priestess of Hayll, Calandra Peccaro. Rumor held her family would soon go to the Queen of Hayll, his Queen, and demand a Price for her actions. When their last hunter failed to return (on account of Cassica’s brand of “protection”), the Peccaro did not take it as a sign to let the matter pass. Instead, word filtered among the circles of Hayll’s underbelly that the Peccaro were paying top marks for anyone willing to locate Karlissa and bring her in. One of those people owed Jupiter a centuries old debt and passed him the information so that he could form his own plan.

The Peccaro wouldn’t wait for Sabine’s judgement, if they even received a hearing. Sabine’s recent demand for the death of a member of the Hundred Families made most of the Hundred unwilling to deal with her mercurial temper. Jupiter numbered among them and he wasn’t willing to measure his aunt’s life against his Queen’s mercy.  Sabine wouldn’t spare a woman who’d murdered her High Priestess, even if she and Jupiter were close. Their relationship could be described at best as tumultuous, leaving Jupiter to decide that he’d handle the matter on his own.

He’d told the Master of the Guard that he needed time to address a family issue in Faro. He did not take no for an answer. Once the Master of the Guard signed off, Jupiter began his search for Karlissa in earnest.

That was months ago.

Every trail had since gone cold.

Jupiter’s patience was frayed. He did not want to explain this to his mother or seek her aid. He didn’t want to disappoint Keziah or appeal to Gideon for aid, either. He redoubled his efforts but the failures mounted. He feared, deep down, that he was too late. If the Peccaro already had her, this was become a rescue mission. He’d have to wage war against another of the Hundred Families which would draw the Territory Court into the fray and draw Sabine’s attention, which is the last thing he wanted.

The thought became a cancer of the mind as he returned to his rundown hotel in northern Draega that evening. He could not locate someone who’d vanished so utterly.  His lucky seemed exhausted. It would take Mother Night’s hand to guide him now. He tossed his bag on the dusty couch and closed the blinds, ready to fall down in his bed and --

Jupiter looked up at the blinds.

I closed those this morning. I’d bet my life on it.

Jupiter cursed himself for not checking for intruders. He drew Dominion, his family sword, and extended his senses throughout the room, seeking for anyone hidden. It was a harrowing twenty minutes for a man who dealing with exhaustion and frayed nerves. Finding nothing, he finally vanished his sword and moved to the couch, flopping down and sighing heavily.

The note lay on the table before him as though it had been sitting there the whole time.

Was he that exhausted? Or just that panicked? Jupiter grew more annoyed by the moment. He picked up the note, a small, simple scram of cream-colored paper with a message written in familiar script. A single word flowed into his mind, whispered in Karlissa’s haunting alto. 

Ilsara.

On the note, her directions.

Find me, Peter.

Her scent was the only signature. He only knew it as Karlissa’s and not that of a Black Widow. He was already rising as he tried to place the location of the city. Ilsara was a small city thirty miles from Draega and close enough to reach on the Winds. He wanted to rest. He needed to, but this was the first lead he’d had in weeks. If he delayed, her life might be in further danger.

He could rest once Karlissa was safe.

4
Character Plots / Jupiter Cinerus
« on: Feb 05, 17, 04:17:45 PM »
{Jupiter Cinerus}
{Warlord Prince and Hayllian Scion}

CHARACTER SHEET: Jupiter Cinerus


AWARDS:


N/A

SUMMARY:

Jupiter Cinerus is a scion of (one of) the greatest of the Hundred Families: House Cinerus. In his youth, his descent from this bloodline made him arrogant and headstrong, uncaring of the consequences of his actions. After a century of serving in the Praetorian Guard, however, Jupiter began to understand all of the things wrong with his worldview and has spent the time since then atoning for his mistakes and trying to be a better man.

Along the way, he lost his father and younger brother, was made a prisoner and watched his mother enslaved by their Eyrien captors. The memory of his impotence had driven Jupiter not only to better himself through combat, but also to remember that no man is too great to be brought low.

Now Jupiter struggles to deal with his bonding to a Queen he does not like, but sees glimmers of goodness within. He must adjust to the new status quo of his family, with a mother who has grown distant from him and siblings who are far younger than he and have more in common with each other than they do him. The task is daunting but Jupiter has never shied away from hard work.

And he never will.


OPEN THREADS:





COMPLETE THREADS:

I Told My Wrath, My Wrath Did Grow - Jupiter seeks solace and wisdom in Mother Night’s embrace when troubles with his Queen arise. He meets Caelissine Agrippina, a local Priestess, whom he shares a bit more in common with than he realizes.

5
Hayll / I Told My Wrath, My Wrath Did Grow
« on: Jan 04, 17, 11:34:04 PM »
Mid-Summer 191, Draega, Temple Agrippa

For all that Jupiter Cinerus cared for his Queen, the Lady Sabine Vincentius, he did not like her.

She was elegant and well-spoken. She was shrewd and good at reading people. At parties, she made all of the right polite noises and laughed at jokes while she took notes on the people around her. She knew who sought her favor and who thought they owned it. She even knew who was worthy of said favor and who was not. She played the role of courtier and ruler well. Sometimes, it even appeared that she enjoyed her position enough to make the real change that Hayll needed.

Jupiter's amazement at the blindness of others never ceased.

Sabine hated change or disruption to her routines. If meals were not served at seven, twelve, and five p.m., the slaves who served her would feel her wrath. She was a hard mistress upon them and it fell, often and oddly, to him to soften blows where he could. Jupiter was raised with slaves and attendants waiting on his pleasure, but he liked to get out and do things himself, test his limits. Sabine hated anything that inconvenienced her or caused her to alter plans.

Unless that something was Prince Aurelius. He was free to disrupt her as he liked.

His appearance signaled the end of his Lady’s patience with his “hovering and brooding” and, for his part, Jupiter was glad to leave her with Prince Aurelius. No, he wasn’t. That was a lie. A part of him wanted to kill someone every time the Green Prince arrived to separate him from her. The only presence he hated more than the First Escort’s was that of Senator Nero Augustus, another man who seemed to command the lion’s share of Sabine’s attention. Anything left for Jupiter consisted of stony silence, pouting, or nattering on about some new fucking bauble she’d been given.

Today, when the First Escort arrived, Jupiter asked if there was anything else he could do for her and it seemed that Sabine barely heard him, sending him away with a dismissive wave. Rather than sit outside the door and listen to them laugh at something stupid, Jupiter straightened his tie, grabbed his coat and left the estate, but not before making sure some other poor sap had guard duty.

The streets of Draega were dirtier than they’d been at any time he could remember in his life. Thirteen centuries from his birth and nearly five from the occupation, Jupiter didn’t sense the pride his people ordinarily took in their homeland. Just a few centuries ago, the people came together to keep the streets clean, to keep things in good repair, and to look out for one another. There was never a place in Draega one “shouldn’t go” before the Purge or even before the occupation.

Maybe I should talk to Uncle Brutus. Maybe he knows what to do.

The Temple Agrippa remained one of his favorite places in the city and he arrived shortly after noon. The city’s heat wasn’t oppressive, but Jupiter used a bit of Craft to keep himself cool as he walked up the stone steps to the temple door.

Inside, he donated a few marks to the temple and stepped inside, taking in the interior of the place. A young Priestess approached him as he entered, but checked her steps as she caught hint of his scent. She took a deep breath and continued forward, albeit cautiously. Jupiter’s attention had locked onto her as he entered and now he watched her with vague interest.

I seek Communion. Who will attend me?” he asked, his voice gruff from several hours of disuse, other than grumbling about the shitty situation he found himself in with his Queen. 

6
Hayll / Jupiter Cinerus
« on: Dec 20, 16, 09:17:54 PM »
The Basics
Character Name: Jupiter Primus d’Maris- Cinerus
Nicknames: Peter
Age & Birthyear: 1315 (Born 1121 BP)
Race: Long-Lived (Hayllian)
Caste: Warlord Prince
Birth Territory: Faro, Hayll
Home Territory: Draega, Hayll

Birthright Jewel:  cut Summer Sky (per Lilith’s Sheet)
Offering Jewel:  uncut Green (per Lilith’s Sheet)

Role: First Circle
Faction: Territory Court

Appearance


Play By: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Distinguishing Features:


Black hair cut short to keep it out of his eyes. Perfect posture making him seem far more regal, with liquid grace to match. Golden skin and golden eyes. Lean figure.

Personality


Personality:

In his youth, Jupiter Cinerus was an arrogant and wild young playboy who flaunted his status as a scion of the Hundred Families. In any young man, this would have been a serious character flaw on its own. Combined with the cold rage and volatile temperament of a Warlord Prince, Jupiter's friends often had to pull him off of some other young bravo for slights real or imagined while praying that his fury did not suddenly find a new target in them. In the most notable case of Jupiter's inability to keep a leash on his temper, a conflict with other scions on of the Hundred Families led to the deaths of two others in defense of his younger brother. Jupiter's Ruts were literally affairs of service. He would Rut, then provide the woman in question (once he knew her name) some token of thanks without further acknowledgement of the act.

Jupiter would have sullied his family's reputation further if not for the intervention of three people:

His Uncle Brutus, who impressed upon him the goal of being a credit to himself and the world around him.

His father, Brennan, who pointed out that Jupiter had earned none of the reputation he blackened with his actions, yet those actions would follow his children long after they were both gone.

And his mother, Lilith, whose disappointment in him was even more soul-crushing than his uncle’s reasoning and his father's embarrassment.

Jupiter devoted himself after that day toward mastering himself first, followed by the world around him. His capacity for violence isn't just close at hand; it's the default for almost every interaction he has with other people. Only his family members and a select number of friends don't set him on edge with preening or milquetoast bullshit pseudo-elegance. But Jupiter recognizes that his rage must be a weapon, like an sword or spear he uses, and that he alone is responsible for it's eruption. Over the past eight centuries, he has fashioned a bulwark against his constant rage that allows him to represent his family and his Queen with more decorum than he's exhibited in the past. Influenced by the example and writings of his Uncle Brutus, Hayllian Senator and power-player, Jupiter has devoted himself to the understanding and mastering of Blood Law and Protocol and its applications across the strata of Blood society.

Jupiter may someday sit in the senate seat for his family and he won't be unprepared when the time comes.

Jupiter’s adjusted outlook on life fuels his desire to epitomize all that is best about Hayll and the elite status of the Hundred Families. He whom is given much is asked for much and Jupiter will maximize his yield to society. Being a member of the Hundred Families granted him rights and privileges that most others will never know, while demanding that he use that power to help rebuild Hayll into a true bastion of power and strength in Terreille.

At the end of the day, however, Jupiter Cinerus is a man defined by his family and the company he keeps. Lilith, his mother, receives the part of him that is the strong and stable man his father was, tempered in the guise of the dutiful son who knows the woman she was before her violation at the hands of the Eyriens. She smiled more back then, and she didn't stare through him the way she does now. While Jupiter resents the seeming favor she lavishes on his half-brother and sister, he also does not speak of it. He disappointed her in the past and he is not what she needs. There is nothing more for it. 

His uncle, Brutus, is the surrogate father standing in place of the one he was robbed of by the Eyriens. Whenever he can make time to speak Brutus about the Senate or learn more about its proceedings, Jupiter does so with the same relish he often used in looking for fights. Brutus can't hold the Senate seat forever and, unless he changes his mind, Brutus has no children to pass his legacy onto. Being there for his uncle is the least he can do.

Gideon, his half-brother, causes no end of personal conflict and turmoil in Jupiter’s life. They share a love of learning, self-improvement, and even a Caste! They share a mother, siblings, aunts and uncles, and even a sister! Yet Jupiter cannot help seeing the other Warlord Prince as the wolf at the door, constantly seeking a means to supplant him and push him out of the family and take his place. Add in his hatred of Jupiter's Queen, Sabine, and the relationship between the brothers is strained long before his half-Eyrien heritage comes into play. Intellectually, Jupiter knows that Gideon is not his enemy, though he is a rival for their mother’s affections. He even knows that it isn't what Gideon wants (or is it?), but it's one of his few true insecurities. To that end, Gideon receives a healthy dose of civility and the height of Protocol-infused. But never friendship.

Keziah, his sister, reminds him of who his mother used to be and who he wishes she could be again. He tries not to be the preachy or overprotective older brother (Gideon appears to have that covered), but he is deeply interested in Keziah’s welfare.

Jupiter still keeps as close friends the surviving members of his Praetorian Guard unit from the war. Jupiter has dinner and drinks with them often, and they are a few of the people who know him the best.

Only a fool would pity an Ebon Gray Black Widow, so Jupiter keeps his love for his aunt Karlissa safely in the realm of respect and deep care. She suffered the loss of her brother and her freedom during the occupation, along with other indignities that he can only imagine. It’s a little disconcerting to be older than her, but she stands deeper in the Abyss than even his mother and father did, earning her a healthy respect from the Warlord Prince.

Jupiter's is conflicted where his Queen, Sabine, is concerned. She is a desirable woman and Jupiter believes that there is a good Queen beneath the veneer of spoiled and manipulative person Sabine puts forth. But then she allows horrible things like allow the slaughter of the Eyrien delegation and Jupiter loses just a little more hope for her each passing day.

And despite all of these people pulling him in different directions, despite the nice clothes and excellent manners, Jupiter's first and last instinct when solving problems is to unleash his rage and let Mother Night sort it out.

Likes:
  • 1.Physical Exertion: Despite all that he’s done over the years to rein in his fierce temper and darker urges, Jupiter is a Warlord Prince first, last, and always. Be it sexual conquest or combat, he loves the adrenaline rush of testing his body to its limits. It's the only way to know how and where to improve himself.

  • 2. Family: Jupiter’s family is the constant in his life, the bedrock keeping him grounded. Like many Hayllians, the Great War and the Purge cost Jupiter a large portion of his family. Each year, he spends an entire night in silent reflection and vigil for the members of his family that he’s lost. This act helps him appreciate his remaining family, whom he has pledged to keep together, no matter what. Even Gideon is included in this vow, as their mother’s blood runs through his veins.

  • 3. Other Cultures: Jupiter’s love of learning had lead to a love of other cultures. He owns a number of Raejian rugs and Dene Nehelian art, along with a bow from Shalador. When the short-lived can still build enduring works and produce men and women of quality, the long-lived have no excuses for their indolence and corruption.

    Dislikes:

  • 1. Hayll’s Corruption: Despite the best efforts of his Uncle and several reputable Senators, Hayll is ripe to the gills with corruption. Money that should be used for the people somehow finds its way into the hands of the Hundred Families and their cronies while the common man struggles to survive.  The Hundred Families themselves warp tradition and the laws to benefit themselves and call it “the way things ought to be”. Worse, men like Lucius Pullo buy and sell people like property and even his own Queen sends people to the Coliseum to die to sate bloodlust of others. Hayll is better than this but finding ways to prove remains a constant struggle for Jupiter.

  • 2. Slavery: Jupiter dislikes the practice of slavery, despite all of the money it has brought to his family. His mother is a principal investor in the Coliseum since before meeting his father and Jupiter grew up in the presence of slaves and his mother keeps them even now. He does not accept poor treatment of any servants in his presence and will firmly remind those with him to mind their manners.

  • 3. Nero: The Consul is a good man. He’s respected. He also has a warm relationship with Jupiter's Queen, and that bothers him. Does he want her body? Or is he just trying to promote the interests of his family above the rest of the Hundred? Jupiter has decided that none of it matters, but if Nero tries to harm Sabine or elevate himself above her, Jupiter will end him and pay the Price.


    Fears:

  • 1. Another Great War: For Jupiter, the sights, smells, and horrors of the war with Askavi were nightmare enough for one long-lived lifetime. There are few people he will readily discuss the war with. He lost an aunt, several cousins, and a number friends. And, in his heart of hearts, Jupiter knows the truth: Hayll didn't win. They didn't drive the Eyriens back. They were merely the recipients of good fortune that the Purge struck when it did. Next time, there won't be a Purge to save them all.

  • 2.The Disintegration of his family: Jupiter has already lost one brother in his lifetime. Despite their different fathers, Gideon and Keziah are pieces of his mother and Jupiter is compelled to honor that per his brother Anarius's last wish. Their deaths would wound Lilith and so Jupiter works to keep his his siblings safe or at least from dying. And there is a part of Jupiter that knows that should something befall their mother, Gideon and Keziah will be all that remains of her. Jupiter sees the Cinerus family moving in different directions and it scares him. Uncle Brutus works inside the Senate, Karlissa may or may not have just done something horrible, his mother grows colder and more distant each day, Keziah is training, and Gideon...is Gideon. Jupiter has taken it upon himself to hold his family together but he fears that his efforts won't be enough.

  • 3. Sabine is his Price: How many times did he act without thinking or inflict pain or death without considering the full implications of his actions? How many times did Anarius, or their father, try to counsel him to wiser action and go unheeded? Jupiter understand now how frustrating he must have been as he deals with his new Queen. She is shallow and generally unlikable despite the pull her feels toward her. She cares nothing for Hayll's rampant corruption or the other issues facing the people; give her a new sparkling object and she'll focus on it to the exclusion of all else. Every time Jupiter wants to rage at the injustice of being bonded to an overgrown child operating solely on their own whims...he realizes how angry he made Brennan all those centuries ago and shuts his damned mouth.

    Craft Strengths:

  • 1.Weapon Mastery: There is no such thing as a foreign weapon to Jupiter Cinerus. This branch of Combat Craft gives him an intuitive knowledge on the weight and balance of a weapon, allowing him to know the degree of its construction. It also grants him knowledge of how much force, speed, and strength a weapon can tolerate. This usually takes several seconds of study and handling to invoke. Unfamiliar weapons are not awkward in his grasp. Familiar weapons, like his family sword Dominion, are wielded with uncanny precision and skill. During the war, Jupiter killed more Eyrien Warriors with their own weapons than he did with Hayllian arms.

  • 2. Incite Rage: Jupiter has spent centuries mastering his rage and bringing it under his control. Through understanding of what provokes the Killing Edge in himself, he can bring other males to the Killing Edge even if they do not desire it.

    Craft Weaknesses:

  • 1. Reading Psychic Scents: Jupiter is a powerful combatant, but he has conditioned himself to fight no matter the circumstances. He is capable of reading the psychic scent of other Warlord Princes without difficulty. Other castes are nearly undetectable for him, however, leading to Jupiter’s need to approach situations with more care than he otherwise would.

  • 2. Power Bolts: Due to his unrepentant focus on armed combat skill,  Jupiter has let his skill with Power Bolts fall by the wayside. His power Bolts hit only half as hard as they should for a Warlord Prince of his jewel strength. Furthermore, his aim with his Power Bolts leaves much to be desired. Jupiter prefers to fight in melee combat whenever and wherever possible to avoid his issues with this Craft.


    Life Story

    Family:
    Mother: Lilith Cinerus - Green to Gray Black Widow, age 1777 (Born BP 1584)
    Father:  Brennan d’Maris - Green to Gray Prince (slain in retaliation for the attack on Askavi) per Karlissa’s Sheet

    Aunt : Karlissa d’Maris - Sapphire to Ebon Gray Black Widow, 1,089 [26]; Born 898 BP

    Uncle : Brutus Cinerus - Summer Sky to Broken Opal Prince, age 2,881 (Born 2690 BP)

    Siblings:

    Anarius Secundus d’Marius- Purple Dusk to Green Prince (deceased, killed in Purge) (per Lilith’s sheet
    Gideon Cinerus - Purple Dusk to Sapphire Priest Warlord Prince, age 325 (born 132 BP)
    Keziah Cinerus - White to Tiger Eye Priestess (22 y/o) (per Lilith’s sheet


    History:

    Jupiter Primus d’Maris-Cinerus is the first son of Brennan d’Maris and Lilith Cinerus, a member of the Hundred Families of Hayll as well as the grandson of the Queen of Faro. Lilith was still relatively young when Jupiter was born and it is this version of her that he remembers best. She told him stories, taught him deep respect for the role of females in his life, and endured the worst of his tantrums and mood swings as a burgeoning Warlord Prince. Jupiter considered himself his mother's protector from the moment he understood that such was one of the numerous roles of a Warlord Prince. Even today, it is this initial version of his mother that causes Jupiter such cognitive dissonance when dealing with the colder, darker woman that Lilith has become.

    His relationship with his father, Brennen was warm as well. The Prince understood well how to manage his wild, fiercely tempered son and often enlisted his mother’s brother, Brutus, in instructing the boy on representing the Prince side of his nature. Between his father’s love of history and tradition, and Brutus’s love of politics and service to the people of Hayll, Jupiter learned early on that his duty was to carry on the family name and strengthen the Cinerus reputation.

    He was honored to receive his Summer Sky at his Birthright Ceremony, followed by his Green, taking pride in sharing a Jewel with each of the three people he admired. One century later, he would share his Jewel of Rank with his brother, Anarius, bonding the pair even closer than their shared blood. Where one went, the other followed and while Jupiter knew that Anarius often took his cues from Jupiter’s behavior, it didn't temper his ever-growing desire to prove his superiority to anyone he could.

    His cousins, Brutus’s children, were excellent allies in helping Jupiter some find one kind of debauchery or another to engage in. When Anarius met Danica Grimaldi, Jupiter encouraged him to seduce the young Priestess despite knowing that she was engaged to another member of the Hundred Families, Prince Caspian Orsini. After all, they were Cinerus men. Why did someone else’s marriage contract matter to them?

    Anarius, however, didn't just engage in a fling with Danica. He got her with child and married her, ruining the contract that the Grimaldis had arranged with the Orsinis. When Anarius came to him in a panic, demanding to learn how to fight, Jupiter learned the truth. To cleanse their honor, Lord Caspian demanded a duel. Their champion versus Anarius. Understanding that they intended to murder his brother, Jupiter stood up for his brother.

    Jupiter killed not only Caspian Orsini, but also Damian Grimaldi when he attempted to ambush them.

    By the time they returned home, Brennan, Brutus, and Lilith knew everything. And they were waiting.

    Lilith voiced her disappointment in her eldest son and left the room. Somehow, that hurt even more than the dressing-down he received from Brutus. His work in the Senate was now hampered due to an alliance between the Grimaldis and the Orsinis. Brutus urged Jupiter to set a better example for his brother and be worthy of their family name.

    But it was his father’s wrath that pushed the Warlord Prince to cold rage. He defended his brother! They should be thanking him instead of reprimanding him! He and Anarius were Cinerus men and, therefore, easily worthy any ten of the other Hundred Families. That, in turn, drove Brennan over the edge. The Prince explained in biting detail how Jupiter’s membership in the Hundred Families was based on utter luck and not on any paltry deeds he’d done.

    Jupiter called his father an old man and a fool.

    Brennan forced Jupiter to join the Praetorian Guard and do actual work, rather than simply indulge himself with money he hadn't earned. Over time, he watched young bravos like himself, members of the Hundred Families, mistreat members of the common class and abuse their power. At first, he refused to acknowledge that he was capable of such behavior. Over the years, he grew to loathe the man that he was and vowed to change his ways. He studied the works of his uncle and several other thinkers, while learning to temper his rage under the harshest of commanders in the Guard. As word of the Eyrien advance made its way toward Hayll, Jupiter wondered if the war would truly come to Hayll’s doorstep. Hayll attempted a vicious direct assault upon Askavi, hoping to stop the war machine’s advance.

    It failed.

    The Eyriens, now more enraged than before, swept into Hayll and dominated it. Jupiter distinguished himself in combat against several Eyrien warriors, but eventually was taken prisoner. He expected to be publically executed and planned to fight to his last breath to deny the Eyriens further victories.

    Instead, he and Anarius were used as hostages to ensure Lilith’s good behavior by Jadar Denvo, an Eyrien warrior leading the attack. Jadar “married” Lilith and forced himself on her at his whim. Jupiter and Anarius burned with rage at their mother’s treatment, but were powerless to stop him. Even worse, the Eyriens murdered his father, Brennan, and his aunt, Iuliana, for the attack on Askavi. They captured his aunt, Karlissa, and forced the Ebon Gray Black Widow into servitude on pain of breaking her jewels and death. Brennen's death their  broke something of Anarius’s spirit, but Jupiter swore to himself that he’d slay Jadar, even if it took a thousand years to do the deed.

    For three centuries, his mother suffered. Jupiter nearly lost himself to his rage when his mother was forced to bear Jadar’s son, Gideon, and integrate him into the household. Bit by bit, his father’s mementos were destroyed and Jadar asserted his dominance over their family. Jupiter found himself unable to care for Gideon as he did Anarius, but Anarius constantly impressed upon him that Gideon had no more choice in his birth than their mother did. It was their duty to watch out for him, as he shared their mother’s blood. 

    Jupiter bided his time by working to master his rage. Jadar’s brothers often abused Lilith, hoping to provoke Jupiter into snapping and attacking them. But Jupiter understood that the moment he gave in to the bait, they’d murder him in front of his mother and call it his own fault. Instead, he studied his enemies and prayed to Mother Night that if she would only give him a moment, he would avenge his family and his people with all of the cold rage he possessed.

    Sometime later, the Purge struck and Jupiter found his opening.

    Jupiter believes Anarius protected him from the Purge. They both woke when they felt the oncoming rush of power, but Jupiter was already in poor shape from a particularly vicious session with Jadar's brothers when it happened and he passed out immediately. When he woke again, his brother was long dead. When Lilith released him from his bonds, the Warlord Prince took up his father’s sword, Dominion, and attacked Jadar’s brothers.

    He has enjoyed killing before, but never as much as he did murdering those two bastards.

    Initially, he felt Jadar and Faunian deserved the humiliation of being chained up for Lilith’s amusement, tormented and enslaved as they’d done to her for three hundred years. He hated slavery but in this one instance, his rage was deep enough to overtake his deeply held belief in order to avenge their family. In time, however, Jupiter’s rage chilled into a desire see Jadar dead for his crimes. So long as the Eyrien lived, his father's and brother's deaths went unavenged. Upon Jadar's recent death, Jupiter opened the bottle of brandy that his father was saving for the birth of Jupiter's first child and poured four glasses: one for himself, one for Brennen, one for Iuliana, and one for Anarius.

    Jupiter has no love for the Eyriens, yet he attempts courtesy toward Gideon as much for Anarius' sake as his mother’s. Without Anarius to look after, Jupiter must see to Gideon’s welfare and, now, their sister Keziah’s as well.

    His devotion to his family is conflicted by his recent Bonding with Sabine, the current Queen of Hayll. Simply put, he doesn't know how to feel about her, yet he is drawn to her in ways he can't voice. This puts him at odds with Gideon, who hates her with a passion. This strains his relationship with his half-brother while making him suspicious of his Queen. Something about Sabine is off, though Jupiter cannot put his finger on it.

    It's just one more treacherous relationship he must navigate in the daily currents of his life.


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    Rise, my son. We’re free.

    Five simple words packed with so much meaning that they were nearly meaningless. He was shirtles and laying on the cold, hard ground of the dungeon beneath their home. Jupiter nearly didn’t recognize his mother’s voice in his head on the thread between them. Something in her voice sounded colder, more raw, even older than her nearly eighteen centuries. Or perhaps it was something in Jupiter that was older and more broken that heard her that way. After all the indignities and horrors heaped on her by their Eyrien captors, he couldn’t begrudge his mother’s lack of empathy.

    All he knew now was that Anarius was dead and his bonds were broken.

    We do not have much time. Find me and we will avenge Anarius.

    Jupiter had never heard an idea so sweet. He stole through the house quickly and quietly, not wanting to alert any of their captors, but he needn’t have worried. Around each corner, members of Jadar’s warrior camp lay broken or dead on the floors of their estate. He rounded a corner and found a Warlord Prince crawling along the cold floor in utter shock, clutching shards of his broken Opal jewel in his hands. His wings twitched as though he was in pain, and he looked up as Jupiter approached, golden eyes holding a mixture of anger and fear.

    Jupiter summoned strength to his legs, lunged forward and drove his boot down into the Eyrien’s skull. He was rewarded with a sickening crunch, reminiscent of a ripe melon being smashed on the ground. He reached down to take the warrior’s sword and kept walking. He followed the corridor toward its end and kicked open the door to his father’s study. His eyes sighted his nominal tormentors, the brothers of Jadar Denvo, father to his brother Gideon and rapist of his mother.

    How did you get free?!” one of them asked.

    Jupiter’s only response was a sheen of ice coating the walls of the study, frosting over his father’s paintings. Coating the floor. Plunging the temperature down, down, down below anything the Eyriens were physically comfortable with.

    Still they fought.

    Jupiter saw his father’s blade, Dominus, in the south corner of the room and called it to his hand with Craft even as Jadar’s brothers charged at him. For too long, he’d pushed down the beast beneath his skin, drowned it in the river of his willpower for nearly three centuries while these monsters abused his mother, murdered his father, and slaughtered his people. Now, two of the bastards most responsible for those injustices roared their challenge and came at him.

    Jupiter Cinerus smiled.

    He did not enjoy killing Damian Grimaldi or Caspian Orsini, even when they tried to murder him and his brother. They were Hayllians and, in the end, he’d wronged them by not steering Anarius away from Danica Grimaldi. He hadn’t protected his brother then, nor had he protected his brother since. Now Anarius was gone and it was just him left to defend their mother.

    No. Not just you. Gideon.

    Gideon, who shared blood with these monsters.

    Gideon, who also shared blood with his mother.

    He had not enjoyed killing the others, but these two...these two, he’d let himself enjoy.

    Jupiter caught his father’s sword and lunged forward.

    He could leash his rage again later, bring it back under control.

    Right now, there was no reason to hold back.



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