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Topics - Jeremiah Mercer

Pages: 1 2 »
1
(this thread takes place directly after the events in just want to learn about the truth.)

Jeremiah had not wanted to get out of bed but he had little choice in the matter with the chain of events that lead to his abrupt waking. His fingers brushed through Lisichya's hair, a gently murmured apology for getting up early (he would make it up, of course, by bringing him his favored breakfast treats) and a kiss pressed to the top of his head.

Then he was pulling proper clothing on, ignoring the headache that could feel brewing behind his eyes. Claudia's suite was not that far away, his strides swift as they carried him towards it. His hand had not even knocked upon the door twice before he found it being opened. The look on his sister's face, the way her lip curled, reminded him that he likely stunk of the Twisted Kingdom.

He could drink the necessary purgative in just a moment.

"I found Asimov within the dreaming," said Jeremiah, as he waited for her to let him in (rather than just barge in; it was too early for that nonsense). "Within one of the deeper reaches that touches upon the Twisted Kingdom and the lines blur." His expression was grim, even if part of him was once again thinking that he had not been that foolish. (Oh, he had been far worse in a lot of ways but that was neither here nor there.)

The Black Widow Warlord Prince raked a hand through his hair, pulling it back so that it was no longer loose. "What web she weaved, whatever her intent was--" His gaze snapped then from Claudia and went towards the path that would lead to the wards and their rooms as he realized something else. "She's not in her room. The wards would have triggered if she was." A hand pressed to his face, they would have to tighten the wards again. Asimov was still within the Court, at least, and likely within one of the spare workrooms. "She will not be waking up pleased. I dragged her out by force because she was beyond listening to reason." Which was, quite frankly, a nice way to put her behavior. The fact that she had been taken over by her desire for knowledge proved the decision of her mentors right.

2
Dena Nehele / there's only two options
« on: Oct 17, 19, 05:19:20 PM »
Checking the time, Jeremiah waved away the documents that set upon his desk with a wave of his hand. The documents could wait until he returned from his regularly scheduled tea with Lady Traianus. It was still somewhat amusing--to Jeremiah, in a dark humor sort of way--that he found himself enjoying the company of Black Widows more than he had almost two years prior.

While there were things he wished had not happened, horrors that had been visited upon those he cared for, Jeremiah knew that if things had gone differently, he would not have that which he did. (What of Riley? Of Sora? Of Lisichya?) Sometimes he still caught glimpses in his sleep, in the deeper parts of the dreaming where he saw the flickers of things that could have been. Within those places were the nightmares that could unsettle him despite the horrors and atrocities he had experienced and saw destroyed within the webs that he weaved.

It was the future that Jeremiah's mind was on now as he moved through the hallways to the sitting room that they usually made use of. Though it had been months upon months, the Black Widow Warlord Prince found himself being visited time and time again by a vision that he had known originally due to Maker's attack upon him in his youth. The barren land and its thirst ...

He shook his head, pushing it away for the time being. Those memories--visions--held even less in common than they had when he had been able to recognize them for what they were. More than that: they would leave him in a poor mood and that was something very few wanted to do with.

There were better things to be thinking about, topics that lead him away from the darkness that lurked in the corners of his mind, and that is what he would let himself focus on for now. At least until he entered the sitting room, sweeping into a greeting with a flourish.

"Lady Traianus," greeted Jeremiah with a smile because even if there was familiarity, Protocol and Etiquette mattered. "Sibylla," he continued, once that was out of the way, "I see you got here first. I suppose I let my reports swallow me for longer than I should have today.

3
Dena Nehele / the answers to the questions you never heard
« on: Oct 17, 19, 05:18:12 PM »
Few and far between were the days that Jeremiah could find himself outside of the Territory Court. Once upon a time he could have even moved through the city without much of a second glance--and truthfully, he still did on some level due to the fact that there were those who were unwilling to risk any sort of attention of a Black Widow Warlord Prince--but those days had fled when he had become Steward. There were still some, of course, who did not know him but it did not bother him.

It was better that way, even if Jeremiah did find himself somewhat amused when individuals were able to put it all together (his face was not known but there were few among Riley's Court that were young, silver-haired, male, and bearing that of two Castes). Besides: today the Black Widow Warlord Prince had a purpose that saw him outside of the Territory Court. He was well overdue to check in with Lady Vaduva to see about certain individuals.

Other, more official reasons were known, but it was the unknowns that were what mattered. This meant, of course, that Jeremiah was moving through the bustling arts district that the Tantalus Playhouse was located within. That it was an open market day--one that boasted fine arts and crafts of all sorts--made it more enjoyable to travel through.

Many had gathered, more still would be through before the end of the day. Jeremiah paused a moment, head tilting to the side as he studied a piece of glimmering glass that hung from the awning of a stall. His gaze flicked from it down to the table that was below it, a glass mosaic embedded into the stone in such a fashion that he knew Craft had been involved.

The yellow was particularly eye-catching; a widow's walk of insight that left him looking distracted.

Shaking his head, the Black Widow Warlord Prince moved forward once more. Even with a bubble of space around him, the kind afforded to a male of his Castes, there were still a great many people about. Enough so that Jeremiah knew the pickpockets would fair well today.

... but not enough so that one would be able to take anything from him. There was not any hesitation as Jeremiah acted, a carefully calculated use of a combat shield sweeping the feet of his would-be pickpocket and letting them fall right smack onto their arse. The silver-haired male had already spun around then on his heel so that he could lay eyes on the potential thief.

"You've poor taste in marks," said Jeremiah, glancing up to where he saw a youth that was likely a cohort and companion in pickpocketing adventures. "Most know better than to try that with me." Bright blue-green eyes flicked downward, fixed upon the young picket. There was a familiarity to her, to the witch, something that plucked at a vision--

No, that wasn't it.

The Black Widow Warlord Prince crouched down then, careful use of combat shields purposely blocking her avenues of escape (she had room to maneuver away from him but not very far), and let his arms rest over his thighs as he did so. He did not say anything else, not yet. Not as he watched her as if he was trying to pick apart whatever it was that tugged upon his instincts, less as a Warlord Prince and more as a Black Widow.

4
Dena Nehele / they tell you it's all in your mind
« on: Aug 01, 19, 02:49:06 AM »
late winter, 193AP
the dreams of a coward

Widow's thread stretched from the pollex and pinky of his fingers, pulled taut between both of his hands as he worked. Jeremiah had given Stela his word--in a manner--and he would make good on it. This was the very work that he was meant to be doing, that which the Guild Master wished him to do as one of his Mourning Doves.

It was to his benefit the Summer Sky Warlord rested within the Territory Court this night. While the Black Widow Warlord Prince could have found his dreams, his space within the tapestry of the dreaming, it would have taken more time than he liked when he needed things to start sooner rather than later. He had told Stela a day and a day was exactly what passed before he set to work.

Jeremiah let himself sink, following the spiraling pattern he saw within the web. It spun around and around the trinket he had been able to get, something small that belonged to his intended target. Within the Twisted Kingdom was the way to the dreaming and the sleeping mind of a Warlord.

---

If there were a single word that could be used to describe Lord Wadim Cosovei it would be lacking. It was the first thing that came to mind as Jeremiah touched upon the dreams of the Warlord. There was nothing vibrant or particularly calling to them, only a blandness that he found wanting.

What did catch his attention was the darkness that existed in the corners. Dark thoughts and doubts that were pushed aside, kept carefully contained so that the Summer Sky Warlord could go about his day-to-day and not buckle underneath the weight of them.

It was exactly the sort thing that Jeremiah had wanted to find.

---

Wadim dreamed.

For the most part, his dreams were as boring as he was certain most thought him were. This night, however, he found himself being chased. He could never quite catch sight of what hunted him but he always heard the whispers.

Why do you do this?

Why aren't you better than them?

You will never be more than their tool.

The whispers continued, Wadim never able to escape his unseen pursuer. When he woke, sweat upon his brow despite the weather, he could not remember what he had dreamed. Only that his chest felt oddly tight and the rest of him uneasy.

It faded slowly over the course of the day but somehow he felt as if there was still a weight, one that made him rub absently at his sternum. As if something weighed upon him that he could not quite put his finger on.

That could not be pushed away from his mind.

5
Dena Nehele / if what it is isn't all we are
« on: Jul 20, 19, 12:08:36 AM »
(this thread takes place prior to the birth of rilandra vlas's son in late spring/early summer 194AP.)

There was a calmness to being around the Priest Prince that Jeremiah could appreciate. That or, just perhaps, he was more comfortable with someone who was both a Priest and had been--once upon a time--trained by his mother.

He still didn't think much about searching out that history within the tapestry of a Widow's web. It was not his business, as of now, and he already held a great deal of secrets that were his to keep. More now than ever once he had taken his steps as a Mourning Dove and that was something else altogether. The Guild Master had not called upon him, not as Aleia did, and that was for the best. As many dreams that Jeremiah could touch upon, what knowledge he had gathered, it still did not feel as if it were enough to find the answers he sought.

Some piece of it was missing.

That did not matter at the moment. What did, however, was that he had had Derrial join him for late afternoon tea. With the birth of Riley's child rapidly approaching, the time would come that the Priest Prince would no longer be required to be so attached to the Territory Court. It was not something that was in particular need of being so. at least not unless that was what the Priest Prince wanted. Jeremiah had not necessarily gone looking to see what the outcome would be. What would be, he knew, would be and there would be no way around.

So without preamble, after their drinks were poured and Jeremiah was stirring a dash of cream into his tea, he spoke.

"If you are not going to be snatched up by the Conclave," said the Black Widow Warlord Prince, "I am quite willing to offer you a more permanent position within the Territory Court." A brief pause, as he explained. "As soon the Queen will give birth and that contract will come to an end." Someone, somewhere, would likely be put off by the fact that he launched right into the point but he was a Black Widow where it mattered and that meant his mouth could--and did--run. Not without thought, no, but certainly without thinking about what the impact and reaction might be.

6
Dena Nehele / so i heard you like forbidden fruit
« on: May 08, 19, 10:13:20 PM »
(this thread is set well before kale's offering, not long after K-I-S-S-I-N-G.)

It had been a rather to the point message from a particularly flustered looking runner for the Steward. Though they had looked as if they wanted to fall over, they did not stutter as they quickly relayed the message. "You've an appointment with the Steward this afternoon. He'll be expecting you after you finish up your escort shift."

No amount of pressing--even with Dmitri being a Gray--would see the runner explain what the appointment was about. Only that he was expected with the implication that he was most certainly expected to be on time. With that, the runner had departed, off to carry out the rest of their duties for the day.

The office of the Steward faced the inner gardens, the one favored by the Queens that resided within the Territory Court. (It was also favored by Jeremiah, who was grateful that he still had time carved out every morning to spend time within it.) The Black Widow Warlord Prince was finishing up a report, one that would need to be passed on to Lady Armistead (truly, she was a wonderful Second) to ensure that it was followed up on. With the changes to the revenue sources for the Territory Court, they were still adjusting things here and there.

There was nothing easy about having to figure out how to keep things running smoothly without the money of Garen L'Voide but Jeremiah preferred it that way. Better the territory was not being funded by a slaver. (It would be better, come summer, when slavery would be done away with entirely in the other two Provinces of Dena Nehele.) With the last note written down, Jeremiah was looking over the statements and accounting of the treasury when he felt the nervousness of his secretary.

One who always seemed to be nervous around the darkly blessed but was still personable as they greeted Dmitri before bringing him to Jeremiah.

"Prince Mercer," said the secretary, "Prince Petran is here to see you." The Black Widow Warlord Prince inwardly sighed, waving his hand across his desk and vanishing important paperwork.

"Thank you," said Jeremiah, a small smile given to the secretary before his attention turned to Dmitri. The look in his queerly bright blue-green eyes was inscrutable. "Please, Prince Petran, have a seat."

7
Dena Nehele / we're all living in the same universe
« on: Apr 19, 19, 08:57:29 PM »
(this thread occurs a week-ish after scars are evidence of life.)

In the aftermath of what had happened in the hills near Hunedora--not that the area that had hidden the Jhinka existed anymore--Jeremiah had seen to bringing Lisichya, Abaddon, his Queen, and the broken Warlord Prince that had come with her to Sweetbriar. There, for a week, they rested and recovered as Lisichya periodically checked in and tended to the newly winged Red-Jeweled Black Widow Warlord Prince.

They could not remain there forever, however, and Jeremiah had a sense that there was someone they needed to meet. It was not to the Territory Court that he took them, though certainly they had been made aware of the arrival of another Queen from Pruul, but Aechia and the Queen's Residence there to meet with his mentor. Here, he thought, the pair would do better than that of Bidea.

(There was also the part of him that was aware of Abaddon's particular talents. Not the ones he demonstrated when it came to seeing the monstrous Jhinka ended but the ones he used as a fellow healer of the mind. Someday, in the future, those gifts would be necessary.)

Having made the arrangements for meeting with Arkadie, letting Prince Concord know that there would be others with him for concerns of security, Jeremiah brought them to the seat of Aechia. No longer so steeped in the Twisted Kingdom, Lisichya's healing of him, as such often left him lingering within it, the Rose-Jeweled Black Widow Warlord Prince was back to being sharp-eyed and aware of the world around him. (Minus the fact that he knew he had a heavy dark-eyed gaze upon him, making sure that he did not do anything so stupid as to get himself injured once more. Clearly Jeremiah could not be trusted to not be a dumbass.)

Enough to recognize the touch of familiarity he held towards the Purple Dusk Queen. Someone else that had wandered far within the Twisted Kingdom, that he had potentially known just as he had known Abaddon for years before actually meeting him. It was not something that he had time to comment on or speak about, not with her having to watch over her own Black Widow Warlord Prince. Making sure that he did exactly as he was supposed to do, to not compromise his new wings and the musculature.

The sight of Abaddon with wings was not as strange as it might have been. Instead, it was right and good, though certainly it was likely something of a sight as they made their way through the residence to the arranged meeting place with Arkadie.

"As you've been granted asylum by the Territory Court," he added, speaking of Ghanima and Errai, the broken Warlord Prince quiet and respectful as he had been since Jeremiah had met him, "you are welcome to stay within Dena Nehele as long as you need." Bright eyes flicked toward the others, a smile given. "While I am quite content to encourage you all to stay within my family home during your stay," said Jeremiah, "I believe you may find yourself more at ease here within Silca." More like he knew that Minerva would not take kindly to a foreign Queen staying for an extended period of time within Caecian. "There is more to be seen here than just fields and sheep." This time he chuckled softly.

There was soft dialogue the rest of the way until they reached their destination to meet with Arkadie. Jeremiah swept into a bow, as he was meant to in a formal situation meeting with the Queen of Aechia. "Lady Graveworthy. I present to you Lady Ghanima al-Izar and her bonded, Prince Abaddon al-Sabbah and Prince Errai al-Tabur."

8
Dena Nehele / and then the whisper comes
« on: Apr 03, 19, 05:47:33 AM »
The letter was one that he had meant to write and see sent out not long after his meeting with Prince Cassius Decius. Except that he had waited, Black Widow instinct telling him that the time was not right. Other things had come, happened, and so when he found himself thinking once more of it the Black Widow Warlord Prince knew that it was time to finish it. Jeremiah knew that the letter would be able to reach the other Black Widow in a far more timely manner now than if he had sent it before.

Lady Shadya al-Sabbah,

This letter is, perhaps, both expected and unexpected as neither of us has met but heard of one another through those we both know. There's a purpose behind that, as there always is when it comes to those that walk the Widow's paths. More purpose than what I shall talk about in this letter.

I believe you will appreciate my getting straight to the point as I have already meadered some: I met with a former patient of yours, a male that once drew winding paths with forks and watching eyes spread throughout. You were a great help to him, your work impeccable, but there are things that still remain. Things that lurked within those trails he wandered until you helped him. These things are what led to me seeking you out in this medium for all that the questions I wish to ask you are the kind best asked in person.

Something that can now occur where it was not possible only a short few days ago. I've included a list of dates and times within the letter. If you come to the Territory Court at any of these times I will be available to speak at length with you about the matters we need to discuss.

There is one more thing: I saw a strange bird with pink-tipped feathers within the gardens here. It was preening a spider's webs from its wings. A peculiar portent, is it not? Another topic for us to speak of once you arrive.

May we speak soon,


Signing his name, Jeremiah folded the letter up. Holding a stick of wax over it, a quick flash of witchfire caused some to drip down upon the parchment. The Black Widow Warlord Prince quickly pressed his seal to it, ensuring that it would stay closed.  Seeing the letter passed off to go out with the rest of the mail meant one thing: he would now have to wait until the Black Widow made her appearance.

Shadya al-Sabbah was trying to lose herself, Jeremiah knew that much, and the words within his letter would pique her interest. It would fill her mind with questions and--for the most part--he had answers.

9
Dena Nehele / and the nightmares are good, so good
« on: Mar 02, 19, 03:06:00 PM »
(this thread follows after his petals arranged by force to bloom in late winter 193AP.)

Whatever Jeremiah had expected it was not what he found. The winds of Kanoya raced, whipped across his face, and left him feeling mentally breathless. Was it a blessing that within the outermost barriers he had found the compulsions and spellwork that were tied to Arkadie and himself? The ones that made them seen as threats? Possibly but then that had confirmed the suspicion that what Makoto no Ariake had fractured was that section of the spellwork. It also meant that what was deeper, what was further within, would be that much worse.

Insidious.



His own hand had started in Lisichya’s hair, eventually sliding down until his thumb rested notch of the Healer’s spine against the heavy scarring, under that horrible necklace, and the tips of his fingers pressed gently to the beat of his pulse in his neck. It only mattered because at some point Jeremiah felt a distant touch, an awareness that there was shifting and a hand that brushed through his hair in a similar fashion.

'Kadie.

That was it, though there was a shift. The release of Phoebus, though he was not far, but no longer was he needed within to placate the nightmarish thing that prowled before him. Now it was simply Jeremiah and the maelstrom that was Lisichya’s mind. No longer did the Healer push him away, no longer was his presence unwelcomed, and though Lisichya had been pushed into a deep sleep, he felt something flicker along the tether between the two of them.

A spark of hope that he would not let die away.



The Rose ring was a powerful locus that when combined with the psychic tether gave Jeremiah solid ground to fall back upon. Shh, it is alright, I’m part of you, he murmured towards the nightmarish mass that had all but become one with Lisichya’s mind and very being. His words were not a lie, not specifically, because there were touches of Rose that could be sensed just as he knew there were touches of Black within him that marked him as belonging to the Healer. If he presented himself now, without the presence of others and Lisichya’s sleeping consciousness, as if he was merely just another part of the Healer, it was easier.

Tendrils had closed about him, tried to pull him forward, and he had started the process of slowly siphoning it away as he felt the oily slide of it against him. Each time one brushed there was a flash of something sickening (hands bound to his neck by delicate chain, pressed down to his knees, painpainpleasurepainshamepainpain) that he had to catch in his psychic fingers and draw it towards one of the safe-wards he had come prepared with. The way that the spellwork latched onto them, as if it were a starving beast, made him want to wince. Once he had a hold and with the safe-ward in hand, he could slowly pull the tendril part, thread by thread, and see it undone.

Now, however, once he had pulled away the outer shell of the spellwork, he found the ghastly thing that existed within. Its shape had changed, shifted until it was practically a lumbering mass of living darkness. It twisted, contorted as if it could not decide what shape to take. Did it realize what he was doing? Was it wise to assign this thing it’s own sentience? Probably not but with the amount of psychic contagion that was involved it was hard not to. It was practically alive with its own moods and more.



This mix, of Black Widow and Warlord Prince craft together, was particularly nauseating. It was not the same as things that he made, the mix of the two naturally, but rather the forced mixing of oil and water that gave birth to this particularly viscous form. That alone stopped him from ever thinking about how skillful Seiha Inoue had to be to not only pull this off but create it in the first place.



It prowled, form shifting. First, it was something tall and he thought he saw a flash of familiar bright eyes before it was slightly smaller and there was green and then smaller again and sharp blue eyes. It lunged at him but he stood his ground, even as he reached out once more to catch it with his hand. This time it gripped him back and he felt something crackle along not only his shields but the safe-ward that was protecting him. Something acrid filled his senses as if smoke should have started smoldering about his form.

What stared at him shifted, morphed until he thought he saw more Warlord Prince than Black Widow. The interwoven parts of it, touched by Green and Makoto no Ariake, that had helped Seiha to track and keep tabs on Lisichya. A voice snarled, snapped out: Barbarian trash. You'll never understand, dirtied as you are.

Something almost flared to life then, immediately, but Jeremiah quickly squashed it. Strong emotion had no place here, it could not, because if it did then the thing before him would lash out. The hulking mass of darkness, of twisted spellwork, would spring and coil about him and that could not be. He had already pulled it forward, revealed the breaks and otherwise that still remained within Lisichya’s barriers and chalice from his work.

The problem was that the deeper he went, the further within, the longer it started to take him. Here, as the monstrous spellwork held to him, he could see Sapphire and Green twisted together in a way that should not have been. Jeremiah raised a psychic hand, felt tendrils curl around it, and then raised the other that held a safe-ward.

To lure the next part forward, to start to unwind this part of the spellwork and peel it open further, Jeremiah let a drop of Rose fall upon the safe-ward that fell from his grip. It was not just Rose because that was not enough, no. It was Rose touched by pride and certainty, the very same toxic feelings that he felt pushing inward. See? he talked to it, crooned as if he understood. Just another part of you.

The process was a long one, a perpetual snarl sounding in his ears that he could not be without. It pressed in, the sound eventually shifting. Gradually the snarl changed as Jeremiah worked, like a weaver at a loom feeding thread to a spindle. The snarl faded away to the peaceful winds of Kanoya, the freshness of the breezes there and the scent of the sea surrounding him.

His heart beat a heavy staccato as he felt Lisichya briefly, the tether that existed between them suddenly not so muted anymore. The flicker of a memory sparked, a brilliant flare, of a Priestess who was so kind and so good. Who had talked with him of her favorite places to feel the wind race against her cheeks. Jeremiah wanted to let that continue, to let him have such a pleasant memory, but he pressed it back away.

Not yet, Lisichya, murmured Jeremiah, please. Just wait for me. I promised, remember? There was no question, no uncertainty, no dissonance as there had been. The Healer’s presence faded back away, slipped back into a deep unconsciousness. In that singular moment he had felt the trust of the other once more, untouched by that which had bound him to another’s will.

It was for the best that he stayed deeply asleep because as the last bit of the safe-ward was consumed, having dispersed the latest layer of the spellwork, there was a howl of anger.

A voice that yelled out: You can’t handle this, bitch-boy!



Moments came as he worked, as he ignored the ugly words and otherwise that he felt press in, that there was weariness. Tiredness that went beyond bone-deep. There was no stopping, not when he was so close. Stripping away from the hideous spellwork beast, he found himself having to face more and more of Seiha Inoue.

The spellwork had stretched far but now it’s form had shrunk. Fewer tendrils and more spikes that jutted out from its form. Jeremiah recognized this, what Arkadie had shown him in the coach ride on the way to capture the Black Widow. It shrieked and gnashed teeth but the Black Widow Warlord Prince did not let up.

He was wrapped within the security of his shields, of the safe-ward that was meant to protect him, and that of his own barriers strengthened by his own trials and tribulations. Jeremiah had sunk downward, deeper and deeper within Lisichya’s barriers until he was certain that all that remained was this.

This was the place that it was anchored, the point in which the Sapphire Black Widow had started and stretched it out further.

It yowled, a scream that made him bite the inside of his own cheek. Distantly he tasted blood on his tongue but that did not matter. With everything stripped away, he could see the horrors that awaited them. Stretched out beyond, what had been slowly hidden behind the psychic contagion that simply made Lisichya’s barriers and chalice look whole, was the true damage that remained.

Dumb fuck! It's here to stay!

No, he thought as he reached for it, it’s not. It would be done, here and now, and they could pick up the pieces and truly start healing Lisichya. Even if he knew it was - in so many ways - going to be that much worse. There were places where he could not tell what was what, who was who. Was it a compulsion that had been sunk into his mind or was it a remnant of what had really happened? The damage done had been twined together too long to easily sort it. No, Jeremiah could not tell. While he knew Lisichya, the true shape of his mind and being beyond the damage that had been done to him, he knew the path to recovery might be that much harder.

None of which he could truly afford to think about.



A sharp, high pitched note played on an endless loop, a scream that could not be released still heard all the same. Jeremiah’s head ached from the sound of it but still he could not let go of the last anchor. Within it glittered the base of Seiha Inoue’s craft, the trap that would have sprung had he not worked so slowly and delicately.

There was only one last thing to do.

This was different, not the same as he had done before. He had teased it forward, encouraged the spellwork to unravel. Jeremiah was luring it to a new home this time, a specially created web that stretched out from his psychic fingers. It was made of spidersilk that he had kept around Lisichya, that had absorbed a measure of the Healer’s presence. All he had to do was trigger it, brush upon it the touch of his power and awaken it.

A splash of his power was called upon.

Then he broke the last bit that tethered the spellwork to Lisichya.

The scream grew louder and louder - I am going to end you, fucker! - but Jeremiah ignored it. A touch of his jewel strength dropped in front of the web he held stretched out. He was not sure that he would ever forget the feeling of the psychic contagion turning its gaze towards him and the web. It wanted blood, his blood, but that could not be allowed.

It lunged, throwing itself at the web that now resonated Yua no Ariake, and Jeremiah wrapped it up within. Every safe-ward that he had remaining, each and every one of them save the one that was his, was promptly weaved around it. Locking it within because it would only take so long, the contagion would realize what had been done.

Would spread itself across the web and realize that this was not the mind of Yua no Ariake at all.

Jeremiah could not hear anything past the screaming in his ears but could not stop, not as he felt the spellwork struggle within. He had already unwoven so much of it, done away with it, and so with each safe-ward it ate through it grew weaker and weaker. An oily smoke floating up and dispersing.

The Black Widow Warlord Prince nearly gagged at the sensation that consumed all of his senses at once. Still he did not let go, held on, because it was just a little bit more- Just a few more seconds-

Suddenly he felt an awareness grow, that tether between Lisichya and himself blown open once more, and the feeling that the Healer knew he was up to stupid shit that could get him hurt. It’s fine, I’m alright. I promised, I have to do this. It won’t work any other-

Jeremiah never finished the thought, the last of the safe-wards gone as the base of the spellwork - the trap spell - finally blew itself out with a shockwave that buffeted against his own barriers and not Lisichya (as his could handle a blow, his Healer’s could not).

He coughed, tasting blood, as he blinked his eyes to the darkness of the room. No longer was he within Lisichya’s mind.

His body swayed, every part of him aching; the shoulder that had been dislocated throbbing painfully. Jeremiah slumped forward, head falling to rest upon Lisichya’s shoulder. He turned his head, nose brushing against his Healer’s neck as he let out a ragged, unsteady breath.

Comforted himself with Lisichya’s scent before consciousness was lost to him. His work was done, he thought dimly trying to reach for ‘Kadie to let her know, and so he could rest. Lisichya would not mind if he rested his head against him.

Not when he was so very tired.



The psychic tether between them thrummed once more. Jeremiah reached for it before he slipped into a truly deep sleep. Wrapped himself about it and reached for Lisichya. To let him know, to have him understand. Jeremiah felt the hum of his Healer’s presence, the ebb and flow of the Abyssal sea that was the other.

I promised, he said, and so I am here.

He felt the sensation of fingers brushing through his hair, nails scratching through his beard as if he were a cat to be scritched. Whether it was real, within the waking world, or psychic it did not matter. Only the sense of comfort mattered.

Then he was shoved, hard. The message was clear: go to sleep or else.

So he did.

10
Dena Nehele / scars are evidence of life
« on: Feb 13, 19, 04:55:56 PM »
(this thread occurs a week or so after the events in we all pretend that we're civilized in late winter 193, prior to the announcement of riley's pregnancy and sora's visit to hunedora.)

It had been someone catching him as he was leaving Hunedora, a worried expression on their face, that had made him go looking. The Jhinka that had attacked the gathering between Askavi and Dena Nehele, had - so far as they had known - been completely wiped out. The Eyriens had even left people behind to ensure such.

But as Jeremiah listened, watched the flicker of fear and worry in the eyes of the young Warlord, there was still possibly something more left behind. It was possible that it was nothing or something else that was not a Jhinka at all. There was a more hilly area, where the children liked to play, that held old underground paths and tunnels.

"It's almost a rite of passage, you know? Everyone that's been raised here has gone in at some point, the braver kids like to use it as a hiding spot for hide and seek ..." The Warlord shuffled nervously, eyes flicking up and down and not quite able to meet Jeremiah's gaze. "... except that there's been strange noises and we've been slowly losing livestock."

Even without the Jhinka attack, that would have drawn Jeremiah's interest; because of the Jhinka attack, it made him hyper-focus upon it. "It'll be investigated and taken care of," he had said, "you have my word."

Once Jeremiah was looking, once the web was stretched between his fingers, he could see all the markers for what they were. There was still Jhinka there, though only a small handful, hiding themselves away. It was something that could not be allowed, not when it put the people in jeopardy, not when he was already planning on approaching Sebastian about his ideas about Sora visiting Hunedora, not at all.

Not that he would return alone.

They had not met for the first time that day, Abaddon and himself. No, they had known one another for some time by different names. Stars within the Twisted Kingdom, distant and close at the same time. So he reached for his fellow Black Widow Warlord Prince, something within his visions telling him that it was a necessity he was there.

Which was why Jeremiah was waiting a fair distance outside of Hunedora for Abaddon's arrival. His hair was pulled back, loosely gathered despite the fact that his bangs still fell partially into his face only to be raked back every so often. The Black Widow Warlord Prince's expression was distant, though he was aware of his surroudings. He was letting himself drift, following the instinctive Widow's paths that his mind could travel without a web.

When Abaddon arrived, however, he blinked and smiled. An arm held out to clasp and be clasped in turn. "This is not," admitted Jeremiah, "my preference for calling for you," a more social visit, of just them talking would be preferred in many ways, "but I am glad to see you all the same, Abaddon."

11
Dena Nehele / an architect, trapped in my own walls
« on: Feb 10, 19, 09:39:45 PM »
Leaving Lisichya to Phoebus was not difficult to do, not for Jeremiah who knew that sometimes, just sometimes, it took more than one to bring calm to the heart of another. Though he still needed to shake off the skin crawling sensation of Purple Dusk trying to-

The taptaptap of Arkadie brought Jeremiah back from following that thought. With emotions keyed up, it was too easy to let himself flit from one to another. They were within the coach, Cid preparing it for their departure. She still looked unhappy with him, which was a given considering the argument.

Arkadie's eyebrow was raised in question. Well? it said, quite clearly. Jeremiah slowly slid his hands out towards her, palms up towards the roof of the carriage. The moment her hands touched his, he slowly peeled back the first of his barriers to bring forth what he had seen. There was a flash of Lisichya, scared of what was wrong with him, and then Jeremiah there to comfort him. His promise that he would not let them take him.

Prince Ariake sundered a great deal of her work with his actions and I found the wreckage, said Jeremiah softly. That, of course, excluded the fact that he had repaired and strengthened the psychic bond between the Healer and himself. Not that he bothered to hide it. Jeremiah was impulsive and seeing it renewed was instinctive as a Black Widow Warlord Prince.

It gave him a tether, a connection to Lisichya, that could be of use in so many ways. Even if it had overwhelmed him earlier. That was not what he was trying to show her, however, though it was there to be seen. Instead, Jeremiah brought forward the memories of him working.

I had meant to only look, to stabilize, and then bring him to you, he continued, but I realized too late the depth of her awareness. It was there, however, Jeremiah looking over the compulsion web that was within Lisichya. The mass writhed, disjointed and broken, tentacles jerking and reaching. He pulled himself tight behind both his Rose and the safe-ward that kept him protected when he wandered deep, turning darker power that struck against him to protection.

Then he moved forward, strangely calm, as he circled around and studied it. The tentacles brushed against him but found no purchase, though it felt slick against his senses. Slimy in a way that was so much worse than Maker. He walked and circled, studied and then realized he understood. The Sapphire and Green that were mixed together ... it was Black Widow and Warlord Prince craft twined together.

More than that: this was reminiscent of what Maker had done to him, what he had been stuck underneath for months. It was not the exact same but he could see parts of it that resonated, the bits that were meant to shift and change Lisichya. Layer upon layer, Seiha Inoue obfuscated her own work by using the craft of another caste (or so he thought). Each brush of it against him as he worked was another piece that had to be wound away just so, siphoned until it was dispersed.

Slowly, steadily, because this was a power darker than his own. Teasing it forward and dispersing it.

There was more to be seen but Jeremiah was silent, merely letting Arkadie watch the memory as he had worked. Until Seiha Inoue had made her presence known.

12
Dena Nehele / worn out faces, worn out places
« on: Feb 08, 19, 10:46:16 PM »
(this thread takes place in late winter 193, prior to the chain of events started by you die like angels sing.)

It had been too long since he had seen her last, though Jeremiah at least maintained a written correspondence with Misha Petrescu. Given that she was the first Black Widow that he had helped guide out of the Twisted Kingdom, something that became more and more common, she was someone he wanted to ensure was doing well.

Even if he was disheartened that she sold the place where she had conducted her work. Dena Nehele was, in short, down two proficient Mind Healers with both Alexandra Luceau and Misha Petrescu having broken their Offerings during the Decimation.

Jeremiah let out a breath as he rapped his knuckles lightly upon the door. He had written ahead, a week ago, that he would be coming by (because he was a Steward and had to do such things to keep a schedule). Once he was within the building, seated with Misha after they had exchanged pleasantries (the appropriate greetings and otherwise that were necessary due to Protocol and Etiquette), he was studying her with those queerly bright blue-green eyes of his.

On the surface he knew that Misha looked fine but beneath ...

Beneath she was still processing and working through what had happened.

"How have you been keeping yourself busy," asked Jeremiah, "now that you're no longer working so much?" Oh he could look within a vision web, he could follow a Widow's path and his intuition to that answer, but sometimes it meant more to ask and learn this way. To hear it in Misha's own words and not just his perception of something.

It was important to know given how much Misha had struggled when he found her. To keep herself from slipping, to keep her mind from idling because if it did then the horrible thing that waited in the shadows would have grabbed her. Was it still there, he wondered. That's what asking would tell him when Misha answered him.

13
Dena Nehele / fear is a device, so quiet and precise
« on: Feb 08, 19, 03:29:27 AM »
(follows a week and a half after from the mountains they came, following after make my messes matter, in winter 193AP.)

The conversation should have come the moment they came back but there was so much to do. A need for them to recover, to make sure things were alright, and to figure out just what they were going to do about the fact that Dena Nehele had experienced an attack by Jhinka.

By the next day the illness that Jeremiah had been fighting off was starting to take hold. Lisichya had also returned to the Territory Court and summarily put the Black Widow Warlord Prince to bed because he was greatly displeased. Not only had Jeremiah let himself get hurt but he had also let himself get so rundown.

Then Jeremiah proceeded to make matters worse by sneaking out of bed to the meeting with the Welverts, because he needed to be there (and to answer the letter that had come from Kaeleer). Yet that had only lead to his fever worsening and that time, when Lisichya had found him, Jeremiah had been forced to bedrest. The illness that was in him was shoved out, resulting in his body needing time to recover and recharge his immune system.

... and then there was the matter of the cleaning servant screaming about 'they're sleeping in blood!' because Lisichya had decided to heal that which was his.

So when Jeremiah showed up in Drake's office, a week and a half after the meeting with the Askavi delegation and the Jhinka attack, there was a startling difference. The Black Widow Warlord Prince had always moved with an ease that turned to a fluid easy grace but there were the old injuries that could be sensed. A knife wound to the stomach that had seen his insides on the outsides (that had been healed by Jude), that sometimes made a solid punch to his gut hurt more than it should've, was strangely missing.

More than that: the claw marks, the terrible scars that stretched across his torso were seemingly gone as well. Their companion scars, the ones that made his shoulder muscles stiffen up and not cooperate, were missing as well. Every little knick, mark, or scar was gone. All traces of those weaknesses were no longer there to be found as if he had never even had them in the first place.

Jeremiah closed the door behind himself as he stepped into Drake's office. "I believe," his voice was dry, "that I said we would be talking, Drake." As in: his time was up and the conversation that had been promised that day so many days ago was upon them. Especially since he knew, for a fact, that Drake would simply continue to avoid him if he could do so now that Jeremiah was actually up and mobile again.

"So I hope," continued Jeremiah, "that you have a clear schedule for the next hour or so." A brief pause. "Rather: I've already talked with your secretary and made sure of such." So, really, there was absolutely no way out of this. "... and Rilandra is with Prince Faa, in case you were thinking of that as an excuse to avoid as well."

Part of him felt a little bad for going this route, for working to make sure that there was no way out for Drake, but he knew the Red-Jeweled Prince wanted to have this conversation about as much as he wanted to take a power bolt to the fact that he could not block and had to take the full brunt of.

14
Dena Nehele / words to be shared as one becomes two
« on: Feb 06, 19, 12:44:07 AM »
(this thread follows a week and a half after let's go over the plan one more time in late winter 193AP.)

Letters arrive at the other courts of Dena Nehele bearing the seal of the Territory Court. Upon opening it is clear that the paper was likely created with craft in some manner but the message contained cannot be denied.

Rilandra Vlas is pregnant.

Each letter has a more personal touch to it, likely the influence of the Steward of Dena Nehele, for the rulers of each court. More are sent out to other important individuals within the Territory (the High Priestess of the Conclave, the Head of the Hourglass, and unfortunately the owner of the Bidea Daily). A couple of days later there is a larger copy of the announcement placed outside of the Territory Court's residential palace on an easel that reveals the news to the rest of Dena Nehele.

The Queen of Dena Nehele and her Territory Court are pleased to announce that she is expecting her first child. We are delighted to share the news with the rest of the land.

Lady Vlas is in good health and has been overjoyed by the well-wishes of those who have sent them regarding her pregnancy. Until the birth of her future child she will be retiring to the Queen's Residence within Bidea and no longer entertaining appointments or audiences. In her stead Lady Sorinna Roman shall serve as Queen-in-Proxy until she is able to return to her duties in full.

Please direct any questions or inquiries to the Territory Court by way of the Steward's Office.





With the announcement out and in plain view for the public, the transition was well and truly in place. They were within one of the meeting rooms that was currently being repurposed for their impromptu gathering and celebrating of Riley's pregnancy being out in the open. It meant that she could finally nest to her heart's content as well as simply wear Meredith's necklace, with her Opal placed within it, without having it spelled.

The Opal-Jeweled queen was thrilled, clearly happy to be able to bask in the glow of her pregnancy. At first, she had started dancing with Hellbine, holding the wildcat and whirling about in her flats (that she gladly enjoyed), but that was never meant to last. Next came Ironborn, the large dog looking ever so concerned about what was going on. Jeremiah finally interjected, scratching behind Ironborn's ears. "If I may steal your dance partner?"

Not that Ironborn seemed bothered by it. Jeremiah took Riley's hands into his, sweeping her around the floor in a slow waltz. There were others gathered, of course, like Sora - whom he was going to talk with - and her First Escort, along with others of the Court. His eyes held a particular glint as he looked at Drake, head inclining slightly as he swept by. For just a little while they could be gathered like this and then they could return to their duties.

"Now everyone else will see how much you glow," said Jeremiah, smiling at Riley as they moved passed the table with refreshments and snacks.


((while this start is directed towards a small gathering at the territory court, others are free to post their reactions to the pregnancy announcement if they so wish!))

15
Dena Nehele / a real shot in the dark
« on: Jan 29, 19, 01:07:35 AM »
Not even two days after their meeting to go over the transition, to Sora serving as Queen in place of Riley during the last few months of her pregnancy, Jeremiah came to find Sora. His fingers flicked in quiet greeting when her gold-flecked green eyes met his queerly bright blue-green eyes. A heartbeat had not even passed before he was crooking his finger at her.

If, of course, I can steal you for a moment, sent Jeremiah along a Rose thread. I've an idea for something and it will aid you in the coming months, I believe. Then the Black Widow Warlord Prince waited for Sora to come to him where he waited, his arm offered out to her as a proper escort.

"Hopefully you do not mind if we let our feet carry us where they will while we talk," said Jeremiah, with a smile. "I am meant to be taking a break from being in my office but ..." His eyes glinted impishly. "This is somewhat related to Court business." So he was technically cheating when it came to the breaks he was supposed to take during the day. The ones he figured into his schedule so that he would not stretch himself too thin or let himself wear down anymore.

Once their feet had carried them towards less popular hallways, the ones that were not traveled so frequently and ultimately lead to the exterior grounds (though they had not left the residence itself yet), Jeremiah tilted his head towards Sora. "Before I even propose this idea to you, there is first a question that must be answered: are you willing to travel away from Bidea? For a short period of time? Not outside of Dena Nehele itself but simply to the south, within Tulzbruja."

It was a fair question. While Jeremiah was absolutely certain of Sora's answer - as he had spent time within the Twisted Kingdom to look at potential issues - he wanted to hear her say it. With everything that had happened, with all that could go wrong, Sora could not want to do so. Except that that was not the Sora he knew, the one that had been raised by Riley and himself.

What he expected was yes and her immediate curiosity about what could possibly be on his mind.

16
Dena Nehele / the monsters that hide in the mirror
« on: Jan 25, 19, 07:39:41 PM »
It was not terribly odd that Jeremiah stopped in at the Haven. Between both of the Heartly boys, there were a handful of reasons that brought him. Sometimes it was because Quinten wanted to talk about one of the children he was trying to help, other times it was because Kale was certain that the problem one of the people he was looking after was the mind and not the body. Today, of course, it was something else entirely.

Jeremiah was dressed down - as dressed down as he could be - and delivering some blankets and extra winter clothes. Things that were valuable to those that were on the streets and in dire straits. He knew that he was early, that the courier he used to help him carry what he was bringing was not here and that neither were Kale or Quinten. Something had called them away, though it was nothing that was a cause for him to worry.

If it was something worrying, something would have pulled at him. Instead there was just the sense that he was meant to be there early, that it was best he was here now as opposed to then. The Haven was in better shape than the last time he had seen it and-

Hm.

The emotional pulse that he picked up was not a familiar one but that was not was concerning. What was was how discordant it was, the forced pace that the individual was pushing themselves through. It was that heavy repetition of calm calm calm that came from someone that was exactly the opposite.

Absolutely no one would be surprised that Jeremiah followed it to a room that looked like a makeshift reading room. There were not nearly enough books to call it a library but perhaps in time it could amass such. None of which mattered though it was noted absently. Jeremiah's attention was upon the Prince in the room, far too familiar with Red-Jeweled Prince than most would be.

Still, the put-together exterior did not mesh at all with what he could pluck because of his own particular talents. If ever there was someone who was putting on airs, who wanted to believe those very airs, it was this male before him. Jeremiah, thankfully, did not enter the room and kept a healthy distance away. His knuckles rapped upon the entryway to the reading room. "Apologies for interrupting you, Prince. I was not aware that the Lords Heartly had managed to find themselves a librarian."

Then, as if remembering himself, Jeremiah swept into a perfect bow with that queer grace of his. "Prince Jeremiah Mercer," he said in greeting, though his psychic scent was obvious. Witchblood in riotous bloom within the crisp winter air after a night of snowfall; the scent of his castes were in equal proportion within his scent, neither one more than the other but perfectly blended; Black Widow and Warlord Prince in one silver-haired, strangely bright blue-green gaze, six-foot-three package.

17
Dena Nehele / never saw a wild thing
« on: Jan 23, 19, 12:32:13 AM »
With Winsol behind them, his birthday only a few days past as well, Jeremiah had found time to finally spend with his youngest sister. It was not particularly easy, of late, to make time for such things but he had felt the need.

So after making sure she was properly dressed and not likely to get cold. Coats, it seemed, were Jeremiah's Winsol gift of choice; the kind that were made from textiles from the cloth that was made within Sweetbriar. They held craft within them remarkably well which meant that they could be spelled for warmth or to ensure that they'd never get dirty, both of which were a necessity within Dena Nehele given the cold and how much work people were likely to be involved in. (Which meant that Artie would be pleasantly warm despite the cold weather.)

Jeremiah had picked up Artie and brought her to Sweetbriar, only lingering at the manor house for a little while before they had headed out. "You've only your White but there are things we can do to help you get a feel for how things work when riding the Winds. If you're more comfortable with it, then once you've your Offering, things will be easier."

There were the sounds, of bleating and more, as they moved down the path. One of the flocks of sheep was being migrated by its shepherd who waved a hand in greeting at both Jeremiah and Artie. The Black Widow Warlord Prince raised his hand in return, glancing towards Artie.

"That's Robert Decain, he's a Landen from the village that is to the east." Two villages existed that either touched Sweetbriar or were actually within the land the Mercer family owned. One was of the Blood, the other of the Landen. Once pleasantries were exchanged, Jeremiah talking with Robert for a moment about the state of the flock and how things were going with his family and how the village was doing as a whole, they were moving on again.

"It's not much further," said Jeremiah. "There's a field that's perfect, even during the winter. It's where Mother brought me when I was younger and taught me."

18
Dena Nehele / we all pretend that we're civilized
« on: Jan 09, 19, 02:16:27 AM »
The fact was this: Jeremiah Mercer was a member of the Jacks Guild. Not that most seemed to know this, his identity as Bear something of a best kept secret. The kind that was hidden in plain sight because he never particularly went out of his way to deny it. Yet from the time that he had been named Queen's Shadow the amount of contracts he handled went down considerably.

Mostly that was due to Sebastian because he was - as far as Jeremiah was aware - on permanent contract to the Court, to Riley, on protection detail. With his being Steward that was further reinforced but that did not remove the fact that every few months (every other season) a contract would show up. This one was not a surprise and, were he honest, Jeremiah would have done it without a contract.

Except for the fact that it was a contract enabled him to make time for it within his schedule. There were repairs and otherwise that needed to be carried out within Hunedora in the aftermath of the Jhinka attack. The town had been ravaged, Jeremiah remembering far too well the scenes of the destruction once they had cleaned out the Jhinka. That there were a handful of contracts for the town was no surprise.

Just like it was no surprise that - when he arrived at the meeting point - Tiger was already there. It was a boon, really, because there were things that he wanted to talk to her about but they'd have to wait until the end of the day. Three others left with them - a Warlord, a Hearth Witch, and a witch - and then they set off. The town was still in recovery, expressions bleak, and it made Jeremiah put even more work into what he was doing.

By the time things were winding down, evening coming and time for them to depart soon, the Black Widow Warlord Prince had accomplished far more than what was expected. Several buildings had had their repairs made and he had purposely fixed things that he knew had come from his own combat (though he had been good about trying to avoid such things at the time, it was not unavoidable). Such constant work made sure that he did not slip, Jeremiah's focus secured and Widow paths only a glimmer though there was something that niggled at his senses.

He was finally taking a moment to sit, to have a drink, and found that Judith was finishing up nearby with a mother and her child. The Healer caught sight of him, giving him the most peculiar look as she did so. Jeremiah just raised an eyebrow in question, waving at her and scooting so that she could sit and join him.

(Guess who forgot that he had used cosmetic craft to change his hair color, to ensure that there was no stir created from his presence. Between that and the web that was concealing his second caste, he was just another Warlord Prince to these people when he was far more.)

19
(set sometime in the week following the decimation, prior to zamfir’s visit, late summer 193AP)

Naps were something still enjoyed by Jeremiah, especially ones that saw him snoozing nearby while Riley saw to her own work (and his, for the moment, was managed). He dozed, head in her lap while she sat on her desk reading. Something had pulled him along, the Black Widow Warlord Prince finding the call of the Twisted Kingdom in him strong. So he let himself drift to sleep and went, followed until he found what had been so loud. He woke abruptly, yawning and stretching like a great cat. Nearby, sunning himself in the window, Hellbine was doing the same.

“Someone is coming,” said Jeremiah with another yawn. “Young, a teenager.” His eyes closed again. “Agitated.”

He was slow to move, not wanting to leave the space that he had been in, but now there was something to be done. “... and they’ll be here soon.” Jeremiah’s fingers stretched in and out, wrists rolling, as he studied them. Underneath the nail of his ring finger, his snake tooth rested. It was sheathed, of course, and his nails ... Well, those had been painted earlier in the day, Orianna doing so in a way far more efficient than he could manage.

If there was an issue of color, he had no one to blame but himself as he had let the Tiger-Eye Queen pick it out. Not that there was one. She had lacquered his nails during the week when he was working in an official capacity. Come the weekend it would be a different story, his nails a pale pink that were very complimentary all things considered.

His eyes opened back up eventually, bright blue-green eyes focused upon Riley. He stretched once more, a final yawn escaping, as he sat up beside her on the desk. He blinked and ran a hand through his hair, mulling through his thoughts to pick out what was useful and what was not.

20
Dena Nehele / in my mind, faces keep returning
« on: Dec 31, 18, 03:33:02 AM »
Many things lingered within Jeremiah's mind after his meeting with Makoto no Ariake. Some of which he wished would not, including the feeling of something rotting upon his skin; a touch that was never, in any circumstance, welcomed. The Green-Jeweled Warlord Prince was no fool, he knew that they were trying to unravel what he was up to with Lisichya. Jeremiah knew it was tied to the necklace, the thing that could not come off.

Or - rather - it needed to but only in the right way, he thought. Fingers pressed to his temples, rubbing lightly before he stopped. Jeremiah was, at the moment, getting nowhere as he worked himself in circles. He could not afford to overdo it again - push himself to exhaustion once more. Not when there was so much going on. There was, however, one name that was mentioned by Makoto. A name that was the reason he was currently waiting to not see Lady Yuki Natsuhana but one of her males, Haneul Mhin, a Gray-Jeweled Prince.

The name was not unfamiliar to him. The male should have been given they had only seen each other at the Territory Court and in passing a few times. Except that he was not. In his looking through visions, carefully doing so as to not face backlash from the enemy Black Widow, he had been shunted off to other paths. Found that the truth of what he wanted was hidden by alternate paths; futures that held no connection to this time and place save for the people involved.

Haneul played a part in some of them. It was because of that that he knew the Prince without ever having known him. Within him was knowledge of something that would never be. Rather: the glimpses of it that he had caught within his webs. Makoto had said the Prince was soft, that Jeremiah was just like him regarding Yua. So that became one reason to speak with the Prince.

The other being that, really, he should have reached out to one of Yuki's males in the first place about Healer Escorts. Except if he had not done that he would not have what essentially amounted to confirmation that there was something wrong with Makoto no Ariake. Very, very wrong. The kind of wrong that Jeremiah was certain being dead could fix. For now, the Green-Jeweled Warlord Prince got to continue living and Jeremiah continued to wait until he was joined by Prince Mhin.

21
Dena Nehele / do not wander, shepherd's son
« on: Dec 30, 18, 03:43:45 AM »
do not trust the dark haired man with the cold eyes his hands are made of ice and he sounds like salt water

The words lingered now as Jeremiah sat across from Makoto no Ariake, scion of the Ariake Clan and Lisichya’s former fiancé. The betrothal was done with, so Lisichya had said, and that was for the best given what had happened when the Green-Jeweled Warlord Prince had come to talk to his Healer last. Yet Jeremiah knew that things were not done, not as he sat across sharing tea with the other male.

Something was off about the way that Makoto watched Jeremiah. The glint in his eyes that those glasses of his could not quite hide. Even the ebb and flow of his emotions were somewhat disconcerting, though not alarming. It did leave him with a feeling along his skin he did not like’ something smokey and viscous that clung and he wanted to scrub at to have gone. Or was that because of the visions that he had seen?

When Jeremiah looked at Makoto no Ariake he had to do so in just the right way. If he blinked, if he tilted his head this way or that, then what was before him faded away and something else was left behind in his place. One was dead-eyed, empty and hollow and rotting. Another watched him like a hungry predator. The one he disliked the most was the one that left him feeling as if the Warlord Prince both wanted to kneel before him and see him dead at the same time.

None of these were the truth, merely the possibilities that stretched out across the entirety of existence that clouded his visions and sight. Those things were why he was here, among other reasons. Like the slow blossoming changes in Lisichya. The subtle shift in his wardrobe, the accumulation of paintings in Jeremiah’s room, the wind and water spray of Kanoya gone in favor of the hum of a busy court in Inaba, the way Lisichya leaned into his touch and then wanted to lean away.

Such things, in light of what had been seen within the vision webs and the appearance of the necklace, almost prompted Jeremiah to launch a full scale investigation. Lisichya was, after all, a member of the Territory Court, part of the First Circle. Anything done to him was an attack against Dena Nehele. The words of his mentor along with those of his Black Widow sister made him pause. That and the fact that Lisichya still returned to the Territory Court, to Jeremiah, at night and curled up with him.

Even if he had to be particular about how he reached for the Healer now, for fear that he would simply leave. (Never reach for the necklace, never touch it, even if it was foul and likely-) It was very possible that this was merely a critical point in the healing process of his Chalice and mind, that this was why he was acting this way. That would not explain why his sister and himself had been attacked, why someone continued to occlude Makoto no Ariake and the futures around him.

So a myriad of things had brought him to Makoto no Ariake. The least of all, but no less important, was that the Warlord Prince was a trained Healer Escort, in the manner that Lisichya was most familiar with. In truth Jeremiah already served in that capacity, as much as one could for a Black-Jeweled Healer, but there was more to be known and he wanted to know it. Just like he wanted to get a read on the male whose future was indecipherable.

22
Dena Nehele / the secrets within the flight of birds
« on: Dec 19, 18, 08:23:53 PM »
(this thread runs along side and follows after something lost and never seen, two weeks after from the mountains they came in winter 193AP).

It was a buzzing under his skin that he found very, very annoying. Jeremiah wanted to swat the gnat away, the thing that was circling and causing it, but there was nothing to swat. Just the knowledge that he was meant to be elsewhere and that-

He did not know why he was so resolute. The hour was not terribly late. Dusk had just fallen and he knew, if he left now, then he would do whatever it was that was eating at him and be back in time. In time, in this case, was for the late hour when Lisichya showed up and curled into bed next to him. Something was wrong with his Healer, so very wrong, but he did not know how to approach it.

Not until what it was for sure was known. Never mind that Jeremiah had a wealth of other things to deal. Sorting through his notes on the aristocracy, like those of Milo and Anya Welvert along with some of the others that had come to his attention, was important. It was not something attached to his work as Steward. This was a personal project. One that he knew, if he kept at it, would eventually see him dealing with the one he was truly hunting for.

Jeremiah trusted his instincts and they said one thing: that if he kept looking, if he followed this path, and cut away at the rot within the aristocracy of Dena Nehele he would find the one that had struck at him and his. The problem, of course, was that that buzzing would not stop. So the Black Widow Warlord Prince vanished his work, called to hand one of his warmer jackets (craft woven into it to keep him warm), and left the room.

Followed the buzzing under his skin until eventually he was coming up behind Lady Sala. There was a point to that. Right now, he thought, she was not Aleia. She was more than the Hearth Witch he worked together with to help Laszlo. No, she was more.

“I think,” said Jeremiah, as Aleia’s gaze settled on him, “that you were about to go looking for me.” A breath was released. “So here I am.”

23
NPC Registry / Charles Keyes
« on: Dec 09, 18, 06:00:17 PM »
NPC Name: Charles Algernon Keyes
Is this specific name Required? (Y/N): Yes
If yes, the name will be entered into the Taken Name registry and will be removed from available names.

Age: 35 (b. 159AP)

Race: Dena Nehelian (Short-lived)

Caste: Warlord Prince

Home Territory: Dena Nehele

Suggested play-by: Matthew Bell
Is this specific play-by Required for this C? (Y/N): Yes

Desired Jewels: Blood Opal to Red (required)

Have this character's jewels been rolled? (Y/N): Yes, rolled here.

Player-Character Sponsor Jeremiah Mercer
Link to PC's Character Sheet: LINK

Is this NPC adoptable?: No.

Concept and Details:

The Keyes are part of the aristocracy and have been for a long, long time. The problem is that their family has never managed to make it into the upper echelon like Luceaus, Contas, Graveworthys who command respect but are barbarians or even the Mercers who came through the Dark Gate and claimed the same status in Dena Nehele as they did in Dharo. Charles is the heir, the eldest and only son, and he controls every aspect of the Keyes family. It is through him that the Keyes family has managed to rise up through the ranks of the aristocracy.

While they are still far away from the prestige afforded to those of the upper tiers, the Keyes name is nothing to dismiss. Holding land that stradles the border of Aechia and Tulzbruja, Charles enjoys the rise to power that he has cultivated. With ties to the Territory Court, there are few concerns about there being an issue of his power being questioned. Not that anyone is stupid enough to question a Red-Jeweled Warlord Prince.

Or rather some do. Charles does not fit the visual ideal of a Warlord Prince. He is thin, lanky, and not at all the muscle-bound moron that many seem to expect a Warlord Prince to be. He is cold, methodical, and absolutely dedicated to his purpose and ensuring all the plans and otherwise he pushes forward to come to fruition. It's this overall attitude, along with his jewels and character, that brought him to the attention of Mercianna Arcos. That and the fact that Charles is every inch the Warlord Prince when it gets down to it, capable of snapping and losing himself to his anger when things do not go as they are meant to. He is ever so quick to take care of a problem himself if someone fails or otherwise does not do as they should.

Still, they work together fabulously and Mercianna has - over the last few years - only encouraged Charles in his ambitions and goals. The old guard of the aristocracy need not hold on to their positions forever and it is time for them to let go and give rise to their betters.

Likes: power/domination/control, the hunt, knowledge/secrets
Dislikes: those that oppose him, the territory court, interruptions
Fears: a second decimation, something happening to mercinanna, loss of power
Craft Strengths: Hunter's Mark, Emotion Manipulation
Craft Weaknesses: Telekinetic Craft, Death Spells


Links to IC Posts with references to this NPC:

none as of yet.

Link to Shop purchase of Registered NPC: purchased on 9 Dec 2018

Application submitted by:
Rated Em

24
Dena Nehele / breaking in, shaping up, then checking out
« on: Dec 02, 18, 01:07:10 AM »
Jeremiah wondered if Radu felt the itch under his skin yet. Not the one that all Warlord Princes got when their Ruts were about to come along but ... the one that only came once in the life of a member of the Blood that held jewels of power. It was something that had come into his mind, quite unbidden, which prompted him to seek out the Warlord Prince without a second thought.

It was not like him to question such instinct and he had the time, of course. For all that Radu was invited to shadow him, to work with him during parts of the day when appropriate, that did not necessarily allow for free conversation. Never mind that the Blood Opal Warlord Prince still had that which was on his schedule due to being a Ward. Again, not an appropriate time to discuss such things. At least, as Jeremiah moved through the hallways of the Territory Court, the conversations with Radu were often not the kind that needed to have the eyes and ears of others around.

When it came to talk to Radu Orfan, it was best one on one.

Even if Jeremiah had not known Radu's schedule, he could have found him. The uncanny instincts of a Black Widow were in full force, the silver-haired male slipping into the gym and moving past those that were going through their own workouts. He sought out the chaotic pulse of Blood Opal, the one that carried a low hum of frustration. Not at the world, not at someone in particular, but frustration at one's own body. The legs worked, they could carry him, but they were not the strength that they needed to be, and that was one source of frustration.

He knew it quite well, as he thought about. Jeremiah remembered the ache in his body, the feel of weakness that should not be there but was there all the same. All because the body had been damaged and the mind decreed that it should be fine but that was far from the case. Having to relearn, reshape muscles, to strengthen them once more? It was not an easy task.

Jeremiah moved with that odd, eerie grace of his, slipping through until he found the bench that was nearby where Radu was finishing up his routine. It was there that he sat, though he did not wait idly. Spidersilk found it's way to his fingers and was threaded between them, the Black Widow at work while waiting for Radu to finish and join him.

25
Dena Nehele / make my messes matter
« on: Nov 28, 18, 01:54:30 PM »
(this thread occurs in late fall 193AP, after the trade meeting with askavi and lyoshka's trip to darkwood with ji yoon.)

Jeremiah had been fine, thank you, for the majority of the time that Lisichya was gone. He had been good. It was not so hard to reach, feel that distant ping of his Rose back to him, and know that his Healer was alright. (Even if that very first night he had reached, stretched across the divide of land that meant nothing within the Dreaming, and brushed against the Healer’s sleeping mind enough to know that he was just fine.) Time at the shore was helpful for Lisichya and with that knowledge he kept himself from checking in so much.

What could not be said to be good was Jeremiah’s state of being in the absence of the Healer. It was one thing after another, almost too many to count for the ten days that Lisichya was not at the Territory Court, that culminated with the treaty meeting between Askavi and Dena Nehele. It had gone quite well, that meeting, and that was the story that Jeremiah was sticking to no matter what was said or otherwise implied. After all: they were well on their way to an agreement that was beneficial to all parties involved.

If he could finish getting the outline of the agreement written up.

His shoulders ached thinking about continuing to sit at his desk. No, his entire body ached but he absolutely was not thinking about that. Except Jeremiah let such thoughts leave his mind when he felt his awareness of Lisichya’s presence grow and strengthen as the Healer returned to the Territory Court. It was not a surprise when the door to his office opened up and Lisichya was there. The surprise came when instead of settling himself into Jeremiah’s lap or otherwise, Lisichya reached for him and pulled him up.

The fact that he winced, let out a hiss of breath at the movement, only earned him a sharper look. The kind of look that kept him from questioning why he was being led out of his office (he barely had time to vanish and otherwise ensure that documents were secured) and simply following. It was only once they were within the security of the suite that he finally was able to find his voice.

“Lisichya,” said Jeremiah, tugging on his hand lightly to pull him closer for a hug. Not that the Healer went for that. Lisichya still had that look on his face and he was at a loss as to what to do about it.

26
Dena Nehele / i am the heart, all i see is red
« on: Nov 18, 18, 06:54:03 PM »
(this thread follows the echo, wide as the equator on the same day in summer 193AP, prior to can you fake it, for just one more show.)

There was silence.

It was heavy and uncomfortable in the aftermath of Lady Yuki Natsuhana’s visit to the Territory Court. Everything had been handled, discussed and arranged for. Drake had been seen to, having collapsed, and while he was physically alright, there was a sense that something was not. Yet it was not even a full week after the Decimation had come and so, perhaps, it was merely fatigue. Jeremiah hoped for that and not for what niggled at his senses and made him question it. Sebastian had looked weary after everything, leaving to handle what affairs needed to. Nick and Radu had been praised, along with the others that had done all that they could to protect the foolish Queen that ruled Dena Nehele.

The silence still remained.

No one was the wiser about Riley’s pregnancy, save for the Healer Queen that had found it out with a drop of blood that rolled down her sword. Jeremiah went through his duties, quiet and thorough, and it was only when they could all go their separate ways that he finally turned his attention to his Queen. The distance visible in his eyes as their gazes met was something never seen before but it was focused upon her all the same. She was tired, he knew, and so it was time to rest. So it was that he took her arm, the picture of a proper escort, and lead her to his room. Riley was not swept into his arms, not carried as he might have usually, and instead kept that distance in place.

Even as they entered the bedroom suite, the silence continued. There was no a hint of Rose, no brush of his presence or otherwise against hers. It was just Jeremiah with emotion gone and his expression entirely placid. It was startling after all that had happened, the path that he had walked and the growth that had come.

To see him blank was eerie and it was telling.

Yet whatever there was to say, whatever anger that was surely in him, was not released. It was held back, kept in check, and silence reigned.

27
Dena Nehele / this line that never will be
« on: Nov 18, 18, 07:55:21 AM »
(this thread is set in the same day as today will be different, won't it? and follows after secrets that you were meant to find in late summer 193AP.)

Sora was not within the Territory Court, that much Jeremiah was aware of. The scent of flowers, the hint of Healer, and his daughter’s physical and psychic scent intertwined told him all he needed to know of her location. He had not even alerted Riley about it, trusting her to Drake’s care and that it was a conversation they could have later on. Now he was focused upon Sora, knowing that it was likely Zamfir had done as some males were known to do when they bonded their Queen.

They ran.

So Jeremiah’s feet carried him to the gardens within the city where Darcia held court as the Queen of Flowers. It had been far too long since he had last come him, an errant thought coming to mind as to whether or not the flowers he had transplanted would still be in good shape or if the plans for things for the children of Bidea had taken shape. Those thoughts were brushed away as first he felt the familiarity of Sora’s emotions. Such a thing was something he had not truly discussed with anyone before: the difference in how each person’s emotions felt to him.

Most were dull to his senses, not sharp and crisp as those that were close to him, and Sora’s were particularly bright. In a way they were easier for him to track than that of her scent. So, in the end, it was her feelings that brought Jeremiah to Sora (the hurt, the bitter ache of rejection within her, only made him want to stalk back towards Zamfir and have a great many words with him).

It never did matter that Jeremiah’s presence was an expected one and welcomed one, that he had been with the Queen who was his daughter for longer than her males, because he always paused and acknowledged them first. Ensured that he made clear that they were respected within his eyes.

The way his attention, those bright blue-green eyes of his, did not linger long upon anyone but Sora was telling that he truly had something to discuss with her. Mostly, however, he found himself in need of wrapping his arms around her.

Was he feeling a touch overprotective and concerned that she had bonded someone and rebuked? Absolutely. It meant that once Protocol and Etiquette were adhered to, greetings out of the way, Jeremiah was reaching for Sora’s hand (the same one that now wore Meredith’s ring, though now it bore her Rose and not her grandmother’s) and pulling her into a hug.

“Lamb,” said Jeremiah softly, leaving it at that. That one name could convey a great deal into one single moment and it did so now. His concern was palpable, just as that unearthly feel that he knew more than anyone rightly should be able to discern was.

28
Dena Nehele / you can lose all you have
« on: Nov 18, 18, 07:55:08 AM »
(this thread follows tally up the damaged good and comes after this line that never will be in the evening, late summer 193AP.)

*Jeremiah, I need to talk to you as soon as Riley’s turned in for the night. Seb, too, if you can wrangle him. Something’s happened and I need your read on it.* The thread had found Jeremiah in the evening after he had returned to the Territory Court from talking with Sora within the gardens of Bidea. Jeremiah had been in his office, looking over Valeriu's notes about the upcoming meeting with Askavi.

*I will check with Prince Bane,* guess who was still being too formal where the Master of the Guard was concerned, *but my ability to wrangle him is not one I wish to put into practice.* Which was to say that Jeremiah could not wrangle him at all. The more tenuous side of Riley's Triangle was the connection between Steward and Master of the Guard (though it was nothing compared to the amount of distrust and otherwise that had once been within the Triangle).

*I'll be waiting within the small workroom that is near my bedroom. Head there when you've seen to our Queen.* The fact that he said our despite the lack of a bond meant something in light of the conversation they had had not even a week previous. Jeremiah's workroom was had been one of the smaller empty rooms within the family wing that had been repurposed for him. It was not an office so much as it was his workspace for when he was working widowcraft. While he could have gone to Claudia's workroom, he also allowed his sister in bond her space out of respect.

Thus he was content to use this place and do what needed to be done without worrying about upsetting the balance of things because of the wards and protections that were upon the rooms of the Queen and those of her Triangle. Normally the door would have been sealed, a glaring sign of do not enter present only in the feel of his craft, but tonight there was no such thing.

The door would open easily to Drake, letting him in, and then it sealed. Jeremiah looked up from the web that he was weaving, no frame visible and the spidersilk stretched between his fingers, and spoke: "An extra layer of protection; a trap web. I doubt it is necessary, considering our location. However: as you said something has happened I decided to err on the side of caution and more ways to ensure this conversation stays exactly where it needs to be." A small huff of breath escaped; sardonic laughter. "Since the walls have eyes and ears and claws and fur sometimes." Not that he was admitting that he was aware of certain Myos hanging out with certain wildcats and otherwise being spooky ceiling dwellers. "That and I needed the practice of weaving such things."

His head tilted towards a serving tray where there were drinks waiting, then to a chair where Drake could have a seat if he wanted it. Jeremiah remained leaning, partially sitting on the table within the workroom (the posture not entirely unlike what his Queen would do when there was a perfectly fine chair to be used that was summarily ignored). Unlike the other night, this time he was waiting for Drake to speak.

29
Dena Nehele / spine of the world, twisted and tied
« on: Nov 02, 18, 12:32:45 AM »
(this thread follows the day following ringdown and magnets pulling from different poles, prior to from the mountains they came in autumn 193AP.)

With two Black Widows within the Territory Court, one of them the foremost Seer within the Territory and the other a dream Seer of growing skill, it should have not caught them off guard. The incident with Makoto no Ariake should not have even happened, Sebastian informed of the danger and the Warlord Prince blocked access to the Healer.

Yet it happened.

Which left Jeremiah, in the time that followed, to seek out Claudia. He did so often, her company preferred over that of others, but today there was more purpose to it. His fingers twitched, the feel of spider silk between his fingers strong, as he had spent time weaving with Lisichya asleep in his lap not so long ago. There was no need for such, the Black Widow Warlord Prince did not need the Healer to be close to weave vision webs, but they came far, far clearer when he could pause and breathe and brush his fingers through dark hair.

There were drinks already waiting, as expected whenever Jeremiah joined Claudia. Not that he said anything beyond his usual greeting, intent on making his drink first and using the time to gather his thoughts together in a better order.

Claudia leaned back in her chair as Jeremiah bustled about the workroom. She had her own cup of coffee steaming at her elbow. It was not the first cup she drank that day, and it wouldn’t be the last. How could anyone have missed the wave of heat and cold that had killed a small bed of flowers in a lesser garden, shattered stones in an interior wall? Even Claudia had been able to smell the dust from hurried repairs as she took her evening constitutional. Thus, the question had to become: Why hadn’t she foreseen that near-disaster?

Jeremiah could be excused. He was like a child when it came to the work of a Black Widow’s webs. But Claudia--one of the foremost Seers in Dena Nehele--she had no such excuse. Perhaps it had never brushed up against the questions she’d asked her webs. Perhaps it had simply been the result of a sudden change in plans. Perhaps there was something more nefarious going on, another Widow working to circumvent her. Indeed, Makoto no Ariake was incredibly difficult to catch sight of as she gazed into the future: she had begun to find him by his absence, rather than his presence. Like a black hole that her prescience couldn’t pierce, he warped her visions around where he should have been.

She waited for Jeremiah to join her at the worktable. “And how is your paramour, Prince Mercer, pray tell,” she asked, propping her chin up on the hell of her palm. “Recovering nicely, I hope?”

30
Dena Nehele / the weight of the ocean against our bones
« on: Oct 21, 18, 07:27:24 PM »
The family wing of the Territory Court was far too quiet.

No, that was not true. It was not quiet so much as Jeremiah was on edge. With Lisichya gone, time spent to the north to see the ocean (something that was so very deserved), and the Askavi meeting coming sooner rather than later ... The quiet that he perceived was nothing more than his own unease building up. Jeremiah did well to keep it tucked away and kept himself busy as he was liked to do.

Even if his mind wandered.

Which was why Orianna was pinching the top of his hand lightly. The young Queen was in the process of painting his nails (as it was the weekend, it was a very particular shade of red like matched the earrings of Healer Ariake) and talking to him about the fact that her brother would be visiting. Jeremiah, of course, had let his mind wander.

"I'm sorry, Orianna," said Jeremiah. "I'll keep my focus here." Orianna did not look as if she believed him, her gaze quite canny, but at least was satisfied that Jeremiah would make the effort. He watched as she continued, holding onto his right hand with practiced ease as she applied the nail lacquer. Truthfully his mind wandered to Phoebus, the Warlord never that far away in his thoughts. He was a boon to Lisichya's healing process. Where Jeremiah could not get the Healer to consent to Arkadie's presence within his mind, Phoebus had. It was not as if he did not understand why.

Arkadie was his mentor, he was her student, and Lisichya understood that bond because he shared it with Yuki. It meant that when Jeremiah was present for healing sessions, he listened to Arkadie and not Lisichya. That was what Phoebus was there for and he did so very well. They both grounded the Healer in different ways.

... but what about each other?

Phoebus still watched him warily, regarded him distantly, and that would not work forever. Not when Jeremiah knew that Lisichya needed them both. With everything that had happened (the Decimation, his being both Shadow and Steward, looking after Lisichya when Lady Moon was not, and so many other things, the Court of Brisaov becoming the Court of Aechia), Arkadie's threats of making them spend time together had fallen apart, but perhaps he needed to make the-

Orianna was pinching the top of his hand again and Jeremiah flashed her a chagrined look. When he opened his mouth to say sorry once more she just gave him a look.

"... the daydreams are especially loud today?" he tried instead only to earn a sigh from the young Queen. It was a wonder she had not written him off as a lost cause for the day.

31
Dena Nehele / that's the way they all come through
« on: Oct 14, 18, 03:47:08 AM »
 The Black Widow Warlord Prince was the perfect picture of a proper Escort with his Queen sister upon his arm. It was about time that Artie finally got to meet Riley and begin to form her own opinions about the Queen that ruled Dena Nehele.

"I am glad that you finally get to meet her," admitted Jeremiah, leading Artie through the hallways. They came to the main garden, lush and vibrant, and he held a hand up and pointed to some windows. "That one is my office and you go down a few windows that is my Queen's. We're not heading there, however, and we're going to one of the comfortable sitting rooms in the family wing instead."

Which was the place that was the most heavily warded and offered the best protection for both Queens. Along Rose he reached for Riley. *We are almost there, Ryllis.* Was he a little eager for his Queen to meet his little sister? Yes, yes he was.

As they walked and talked, the conversation flowing easily enough as they moved from topic to topic. Eventually they reached the family wing, Jeremiah's smile widening as he caught sight of Riley within the open doorway of the sitting room. Then he was blinking, about to move and shield Artie's body with his own when he sighed instead.

The reason was obvious when Cristina came barreling down the hallway and practically launched herself at Artie. "Artie!!" she exclaimed, not caring about propriety or anything else. "I've missed you." Small kisses were being peppered all over the Queen's face. Jeremiah glanced towards the pair only briefly before he averted his eyes towards Riley.

*I did not know she could actually smile like that,* he said conversationally along their Rose. He waited a minute (or three) for the two to speak with one another before he interrupted. Riley had come closer in the meantime, her hand curling around Jeremiah's bicep as she leaned against him. "I would handle introductions but I think you two can do so just fine."

Jeremiah tilted his head and pressed a kiss to the top of Riley's head. Cristina was staring at him now, eyes flicking between him and Riley. She had not relinquished Artie quite yet.

Of course not.

"Now that you're here, Lady Dumitrescu, I actually have to talk to you about a few things," said Jeremiah, ignoring the fact that now the stare was a glare. Cristina slowly released Artie, pressed one last kiss to her cheek.

"Come see me after you talk with her?" she asked and then moved to join Jeremiah.

"I'll return later," assured Jeremiah with a smile, pointedly ignoring Cristina's obvious mood for the time being. Mostly because he had taken a heel to the shoulder over her. Artie got a quick hug, Riley another kiss to her hair, and then the Black Widow Warlord Prince was walking back down the hallway with the Healer in tow.

32
Dena Nehele / magnets pulling from different poles
« on: Oct 09, 18, 09:36:54 PM »
(this thread follows in the evening of thank you for the venom and ringdown in fall 193AP.)

The rest of the day did not matter anymore.

Jeremiah had gathered his Healer into his arms and taken him from the sight of Makoto no Ariake to the security of their rooms. Those fingers, bitten to the quick, eventually were no longer digging in so tightly. It meant Lisichya had slipped off, though Jeremiah could not shake the memory of his sobs in the hallway. The feel of his emotions and the enormity of them as they had flooded the connection between them.

He had made sure to tuck Lisichya into the bed, though it turned out that he was not going anywhere either. Not with those hands holding onto him securely; not that he had planned on doing so anyway. So Jeremiah toed off his shoes, made sure that Lisichya’s were as put away as well, and curled up in bed with him. The embrace that the Healer was held in was a gentle one, one that he could get out of easily if he wished it.

Mostly Jeremiah was smoothing his hand through Lisichya’s hair, letting him cry and rest as he needed to. When it was time to talk, when words were necessary again, it would be obvious. The Black Widow Warlord Prince kept his thoughts carefully contained, focused only on Lisichya because to contemplate Makoto no Ariake would invite his anger. That was something that simply would not work.

Time passed, the sunlight filtering in through the window giving way to a dusky color that spoke of sunset. Though he did not stop to eat it, not yet, food had been gathered and waited with a warming preservation craft upon it. Jeremiah remained where he was, his fingers running through Lisichya’s hair, humming a tune softly for him. As he did so his mind wandered, not quite asleep but not awake either.

There was the Abyssal sea and Lisichya was there within the waters. A quick and nimble silvery fish that Jeremiah was chasing after. No, not chasing after but guarding, shedding his form for something more serpentine. Other things existed in the waters, a Green-hued thing that he kept away, a Yellow-eyed beast, and more that was not allowed near.

... but it was a dream, of course, and such things always came to an end.

33
Dena Nehele / the nightmares we live in and wish to wake from
« on: Oct 02, 18, 07:55:33 PM »
(this thread occurs sometime in the week following twisted trees & pink suns in summer 193AP.)

There was so much that kept Jeremiah busy, so much work that he now handled as he was no longer just Queen’s Shadow. That did not mean that he pushed aside the fact that he had found a Black Widow, Broken to her Rose, within the Twisted Kingdom during his sleep. No, it meant that he focused upon that as well and took the time to take himself to Caecian. Misha Petrescu was one of a small few of truly talented Mind Healers within Dena Nehele. To be without such, in a time like this, was not a good thing.

Alexandra Luceau had been broken to her Opal and was in recovery, Arkadie Graveworthy was well and unharmed but had her hands more than full, Claudia Genadie knew Mind Healing but it took too much out of her, and Jeremiah himself ... He was Black Widow but still in training and what little he could do were tied specifically to the latent talents that he had. It was not that he could not do more but that without training he was not comfortable doing more. Not without Arkadie’s guidance.

This, however, was something within the realm of his capabilities. So it was why he stood outside the building that Misha was, by all rights, still within. Nothing stirred within the building, an eerie silence prevalent for all the destruction and chaos that had fallen over all of the territory. Jeremiah waited a moment, checking things before he would step inside and greet what was within.

It was not just Misha, he knew that, and wondered - grimly - if she knew that from where she still waited.

34
Dena Nehele / thank you for the venom
« on: Sep 27, 18, 11:53:09 PM »
Jeremiah had not been available for nearly twenty-fours after his return. Time with Lisichya had been necessary, had helped ground the Black Widow Warlord Prince once more. Proper rest had been a necessity as well but less so than time with his Healer. Making the rounds meant that by the time he reached his office it had been nearly six full days since he had been in it. Erika Armistead had done well in his absence, handling what she could, but what awaited him within his office was - quite frankly - more than he expected even with how much time he was gone.

The first thing he had done was make sure that Lady Armistead received more than just thanks for her work. Especially considering she had kept everything organized as Jeremiah preferred, ensuring that it was easy for him to dive right back in. Which was not necessarily easy when, at certain intervals, Lisichya appeared. The Healer would come into his office and settle into Jeremiah’s lap. What made it distracting was that Lisichya would hide his face against Jeremiah’s shoulder. Every time that he did so Jeremiah would wrap an arm around him before tilting his face so that he could press his lips to soft black hair.

It did not bring his work to a complete halt, as eventually after a minute or two he began again with the Healer safely tucked against him and reassurances made. The pile upon his desk was not, he decided, getting smaller. Not at a rate that he enjoyed. There were projects that needed to be looked over and possibly approved, more appointments that were being requested, matters that had to be brought before the court, and he did not even want to get started on the finances.

At least part of that was handled by Lady Armistead, so there was back-up, but it still was one of the many fires that would have to eventually be put out.

Suffice to say that Jeremiah was on his fourth cup of tea, that was supposed to be calming but not really doing so, and beginning to get a headache as he read over the latest report about the state of affairs along the border to Pruul.

35
Dena Nehele / things are better if i stay
« on: Sep 25, 18, 12:18:35 AM »
Jeremiah could not say that the nap was actually restful or helpful (for all that it did return a little more energy to him). Being in a place that held the memory of Lisichya's scent had made his stomach twist, so he had slept with his face buried in a pillow that smelled faintly of the ocean.

When he finally left Vatra Dornei, Jeremiah looked less haggard and more alert even if he was still weary to the bone (and bearing the cuts, scrapes, and otherwise from fighting both trees and wildlife). Enough so that he did not even think about using a wind to travel, taking a carriage back to Bidea and the Territory Court within the city. Ruts were something that were an accepted part of their culture, they were natural, but Jeremiah had never been fond of the looks that came after them.

Most averted their gaze, of course, but when a Warlord Prince disappeared with no reason for several days ... Tongues wagged and stories spread and that he did not like. None of this was on his mind, the only thing he could think of was his Healer as he moved through the hallways. Jeremiah paused, uncertainty growing within him. No, it was guilt because of what had happened before he had left.

Leaving Lisichya agitated and unmoored was unacceptable but then what else could he have done? To stay would have put the Healer in more danger, could see his chalice turned to dust, and more than that ... Jeremiah could still barely process the fact that he wanted Lisichya, that it was more than just a need to be close to him, that he could actually-

The thought was pushed away, Jeremiah frozen in place as he was caught by the need to simply search out Lisichya. He did not even think of alerting that he had returned, not until first he saw his Healer. Back within the court, the hum of the Lisichya’s presence was no longer a distant, quiet beat. It was louder, insistent even, and more noticeable than he remembered it being.

Or was he just more aware of it because of the last vestiges of his rut that were fading? None of it mattered, not as he finally started to move again. First Lisichya, then the rest could be dealt with. That was how it had to be.

36
Dena Nehele / if you carry on this way
« on: Sep 25, 18, 12:05:10 AM »
(takes place immediately following a match you strike to incinerate in fall 193AP.)

Jeremiah sat at the edge of the river, back against a particularly large boulder. It was warmed from the sun and felt good against muscles that were sore. That he was noticing such things, as well as the sting of the various cuts, scrapes, and otherwise that he had gained, meant that the rut was well and truly fading.

It meant that he wanted to doze, was in fact quite tired and bone weary, but he could not, not yet. Not until he was found. It had lingered in his mind during the rut, an aggravation then, and was one thought that remained through it. Another would come for him eventually. Not the one he felt a need to apologize to, not the one that he needed to speak with, but the one that had claimed him as coven and student.

A hand smoothed across his face, falling away as he realized how frayed and torn his clothing had become (he was not thinking about his appearance, however). It was a necessary loss (and thankfully not one of his good outfits), considering all the work that had been done. Work that he barely remembered, save for thinking it was an absolute necessity to bringing Lisichya to him. Jeremiah let out a breath, tilted his head back and looked up at the sky.

The passing of rut meant that he was left with his thoughts once more. Whether or not that was a good thing remained to be seen considering that he had, before he left, been in the middle of an anxiety attack. Four days and a rut later, Jeremiah at least thought he might be in a better place to process what it meant that he had fixated on the Healer.

... and what happened when that realization had come.

37
Dena Nehele / secrets that you were meant to find
« on: Sep 23, 18, 07:29:39 PM »
(this thread occurs following zamfir's departure in today will be different, won't it? in summer 193AP.)

Truth be told sometimes Jeremiah found it wearying to keep tabs upon the emotional pulse of those around. Yet it was a necessity, more often than not, and especially so with Riley pregnant. Checking in upon her, concerned about the distant flicker of her emotions (frustration, worry, disappointment) let him know that it was just another poor encounter with one of Valeriu's relatives.

It was Drake that he reached out to to, knowing that he was with Riley for that particular meeting while he was handling things.

*I take it the meeting with Lord Groza did not go as planned?* inquired Jeremiah, even his psychic voice dry and somewhat displeased.

*Didn’t go well, but Groza left. Don’t think we’ve heard the last of him, though.*

With that from Drake, Jeremiah pinched the bridge of his nose. *Wonderful, we need another aristo with money and a bone to pick at odds with us.* A pause, as he thought about it. Drake was just as likely to want Riley to rest after a meeting that had gone poorly as he was with her pregnant. *If Riley tries to protest rest, just entice her with the fact her favorite desert will be waiting for her in her rooms but only if she retires there.* Not that Jeremiah thought she would but ... Well, it never hurt to either bribe - as necessary - or provide something as a reward.

Especially when she was, as of now, still able to enjoy most things. (As he remembered, quite well, his mother's tales of how she had only wanted to eat certain things, all others making her nauseated after a point.)

*Groza’s not a threat on the level of Glassade or Conta. We can deal with him if needed.  I’ll talk Riley into resting. The dessert should help.*

Jeremiah let out a breath but let go of the thread. It was not that Groza was a threat of that level but more that they already had enough vocal aristos. One that was tied to Valeriu Dumitrescu? That could be a harpoon they did not need. Sighing to himself, making a note to revisit his list of pain in the arse aristos, he sent a surge of wordless support to RIley. Jeremiah put aside what he had been working on, carefully locking it away and securing it with a web, before he left his office. What he was not expecting was to, as he moved through the hallways and away from where the offices that overlooked the garden were, was that he run into Zamfir Groza. If he was looking for Cristina, he was not that far away but the man looked ...

Distracted? Unwell?

Something to that effect. There was a low hum to his emotions, a feeling that spoke of shock, denial, and a lot of no. (Irritation and annoyance was there as well but they shifted and flowed, turning towards the others.)

"Lord?" Jeremiah called to him, a respectable distance away. The next question that tumbled out was deliberately loaded but then that was the point. "Is everything alright?" Was he playing it off as if he had just stumbled upon him and was concerned due to the expression upon his face?

Yes, yes he was because he was for the most part.



(drake dialogue provided by gavin!)

38
Dena Nehele / can you fake it, for just one more show
« on: Sep 23, 18, 07:25:55 PM »
(this thread occurs in the evening that follows the echo, wide as the equator in summer 193AP)

It had not been easy to speak with Riley in the aftermath of Yuki Natsuhana's visit. Less so when he stopped to think about the feel of Ebon-Gray holding him in place, how he had known - in one horrible instant - that the Healer Queen could strike everyone dead around him save for her own and those that had earned her favor. Jeremiah did not want to face that future again, the one where Riley was dead and there was a hole within his heart.

So when things came to an end, when agreements had been reached, everything swept into action in the aftermath. Sebastian to tend to things as he could, Jeremiah to take care of Riley and to have words with her, and Drake ...

Drake had been taken to the healing rooms so that he could be looked after. It was only after his talk with Riley, sorting through the emotions and problems and the yelling that needed to occur, that he had turned his attention there. Something was wrong, that much he knew, and it had been niggling at his senses ever since he had returned to the Territory Court the morning of the Decimation. Yes, Drake had come out of it with his jewels intact, his Opal and Red still strong, but there was something else going on ...

What that was the Black Widow Warlord Prince had no idea of. Nor was he certain that Drake knew but there was always the possibility. What was not a possibility was the fact that Drake would not be happy to wake up in the healing rooms, to being tended, but in the very least ...

Well.

Jeremiah could at least tell him that Riley had been soundly talked to about what had happened and what she did and why it was not a great idea to do these things when she was pregnant and certain males knew about it. It was a light rap of his knuckles upon the door, Jeremiah's presence announced that way, that he was stepping into the room and looking for Drake.

If anything, Jeremiah was here to free Drake from the clutches of these spaces. Being within a healing room was always unsettling, especially if you were being the one looked after. Hopefully, just hopefully, he would be able to see Drake back to his own rooms. Assuming he was meant to still be resting. If not that they could talk in one of their offices.

(And, no, for all that he was filling in as Steward, Jeremiah maintained his old office. There was still hope yet that Val would wake even as it dwindled by the day.)

39
Dena Nehele / a match you strike to incinerate
« on: Sep 17, 18, 12:21:22 AM »
(immediately follows an omen in the blood; the four days that follow and lead into the fall of 193AP)


Jeremiah’s sleep was not that of the Twisted Kingdom. It’s familiar pathways and winding trails lost to him. In that same sleep he hungered. Not for food, not for water, but for the touch of another. Worse (or was it better?): there was only one that he longed for. Yet in his sleep there was no satisfying this need. Unmet desires were his only companions but then such things were not familiar.

It was an unknown.

It left him feeling hollow.



He dreams of a future that could still be for all that he does not know the shape of it yet. Everything is still formless; full of infinite potential and endless desire. The press of lips to his, hands sliding against skin, and-



The sun has not begun its ascension when Jeremiah wakes breathless. He sits up on the couch and feels as if he is in a body not his own. Except that it is his body and for all that it is full of unfamiliar needs, they must be dealt with.

Jeremiah presses a hand to his face and breathes. Lisichya’s scent is the only one that he smells, aside from his own, because Claudia had ensured the room was cleansed. Now, as he breathes deep, that scent makes him want to go find the Healer. Search him out and-

That is not an option.

What he does instead is calls clothing to hand, glad for the fact that he keeps such tucked away in his psychic cabinet. Jeremiah dresses quickly and by the time he is done there is still no sight of the morning sun.

Jeremiah ignores the guilt that rises up. Reminds himself of what Claudia has promised and that she will take care of what needs to be handled in his absence. He moves to a window and opens the curtains. It is there that he pauses, looks out but quickly realizes he cannot be still for long.

What had been a simmer under the surface no longer remains such. Not now that Jeremiah knows what it is. He breathes in, through his mouth once more, and lets out a sigh.

When Claudia comes in later he is already gone. A wind blows the curtains, the window still open after Jeremiah left through it.



It had been there for nearly two weeks. No attention had been paid to it. Jeremiah was both Black Widow and Warlord Prince. To be possessive of those that were his, to want more time with them, to feel the rise of emotion when not around, to need to keep them close and secure, to not let anyone near them and feel jealousy ...

All these things he expects now and so the usual cues of his rut went unnoticed.




Jeremiah catches himself as he is leaving the grounds of the Territory Court. A scent that he knows and wishes to follow to its source. It is the wind freshly blown in from the coast; the scent of the ocean and salt that brings to mind endless Black waters. Sometimes there is a hint of fiery smoke, leashed fury, but that is not there now. The smell of salt, unshed tears, is stronger than ever and that is what pushes Jeremiah forward and away.

There is a Rose wind that he knows well, one that he makes use of to travel from Aechia to Caecian. It is that same wind that he reaches for as soon as he able and whisks himself away from Bidea.



The whispers follow as always and Jeremiah ignores them. The ones that say he is odd, that he is frigid, that there is something queer about him. Luca figured it out when he had been around. How Jeremiah shared the same bed with his Queen but nothing else. Even when his ruts came, when Riley commands him, nothing happens.

He fights to keep her away, to never let her close, and it goes on for days until his mind clears.

This rut is nothing like those and he knows that immediately.

40
Dena Nehele / drum the beat that my heart plays
« on: Sep 09, 18, 02:32:09 AM »
(this thread occurs in the last parts of late summer 193AP)

Days were a blur of work as a Steward, broken up by moments that saw his Black Widow caste taxed as well. Arkadie came by once a week - a change from him going to Vatra Dornei - and they would sit and talk, discuss his continuing growth as a Black Widow, and then the frustration would come. Lisichya did not trust Arkadie, no matter how much Jeremiah reassured him and was a presence as she worked upon Lisichya's mind. There was little progress made by the Black Widow Queen when it came to healing his shattered chalice. Jeremiah could do little himself, learning mind healing as he was. He shadowed her and learned, did as instructed, but that was it.

It was at night, when he slept curled together with Lisichya, that he was truly putting his latent talents to work. Jeremiah felt the pull, the rise of panic and fear, and so he sunk into the dreams that plagued his Healer. Within Lisichya's mind there were monsters and Jeremiah fought against them, night after night. Some nights he was successful, pulling Lisichya away and showing him the things that he had found he could do. (Such a strange thing, to slip into the dreams of others and manipulate the fabric of them. He felt no regrets in doing so to help Lisichya. Not when it worked and it was never without the other’s awareness.)

Then there were other nights where the monsters won out. They would overwhelm and take over and it was all that Jeremiah could do to keep Lisichya with him in the aftermath. The secrets kept between them were growing, Jeremiah knowing far too much about the horrors that had been visited upon his Healer. (Worse: it was not just Garen L'Voide that sometimes haunted Lisichya. Sometimes it was himself, his body a cage and the Healer at war with it.) Those were the days that he sometimes thought to simply not. That it might be better if he stayed with Lisichya until the worst of it passed.

Unmoored as he was, his chalice broken, Jeremiah let himself be an anchor for when the rest slipped away. Yet something had shifted, something that made him feel as if the days were growing too long. It had come following the night in the garden where the Healer had laid claim to the Black Widow Warlord Prince. He had submitted then, a knot of tension eased within him, but it only grew every morning when they separated. It was only lessened once more when night came, Lisichya’s fingers pressed to the side of his neck and resting there.

In those moments Jeremiah knew he would give everything to the Healer if only he asked for it. He wanted, so very much, to do all that he could for Lisichya. The feeling was one he was not familiar with. Not the way that it felt all-consuming, the way that it made him want to hide away Lisichya to keep all others away, to press lips to his skin and promise so much, and kneel at his feet to bare his neck all at once. This night was no different, Jeremiah free of his duties and reaching for Lisichya along the connection between them as he found him; Rose calling for the Black that could sweep him under but surrounded instead.

41
Dena Nehele / thy life is a riddle, to bear rapture and sorrow
« on: Sep 05, 18, 03:09:18 AM »
(occurs a day after the echo, wide as the equator in late summer 193AP)

There was an uneasiness in Jeremiah that was beginning to fade in the aftermath of Yuki Natsuhana's visit. A great many things had been made apparent in that meeting, just as a great many things had changed in the aftermath. The biggest was that slavery would find its end sooner rather than later within all of Dena Nehele. It would take time, of course, but a proclamation would have to be written up and spread. Those that held the rings of slaves would have to remove collars or face the consequences.

The sooner it began, the better because the idea of collars made his skin crawl. He was thankful, at least, that there were no others that were known of to hold slaves in a quantity as Garen L'Voide did. That the Prince was dead, his townhome all but destroyed, another comfort. It meant that soon he could go to Vatra Dornei, soon he could see Lisichya once more and-

He had to push the thought from his mind or his thoughts would wander and not all that needed to be done would be accomplished. If it were not for his Black Widow caste, Jeremiah was not certain that he would handle the workload that was before him. Especially considering that he was having to pick up where Valeriu had left off unexpectedly. He did not work in his office, the one with the pull-down map, but stayed in his own that overlooked the garden. Riley's office was nearby, Jeremiah reaching out along Rose and brushing her consciousness. The reason was obvious as before him was a schedule for when his mother could be returned to the Darkness, her jewels finally put to rest.

Just another of a million things that needed to be taken care of.

It did not stop him from wishing she was alive because he could think of no other, save for Mercury, that he would want to drain Riley's jewels during her pregnancy. A Priestess would have to be found soon before it truly became a problem. Yet at the moment he was organizing things that had come from Valeriu's office, separating out that which needed to be handled immediately and that which could wait.

He was looking up at the door even before the knock and one of the staff was announcing their presence. "Prince Mercer," they said, "there's a Prince Nerezza that wishes to speak to you."

Jeremiah tilted his head, thinking for a moment of the appointment schedule and knowing this was one that had not been on there. Familiarity niggled at his senses, something telling him he should know this male, but not sure how.

"Please see him to me," he responded finally, letting the staff member leave and turning his focus back to the work on his desk until the Prince arrived.

42
Dena Nehele / softly haunting for answers
« on: Sep 05, 18, 12:14:00 AM »
(occurs at night, on the same day as the wind under the door in late summer 193AP.)

Sleep was not coming easily to Jeremiah. Another time he might have contemplated it, thought upon it, but when he felt the tug of an alert from Claudia's well-crafted webs he considered it simply part of that. It was as he moved quietly through the hallways, following both the alert and his own senses, that he thought of his conversation with Sebastian.

Not the part about moving Lisichya changing rooms around (as that made sense) or even having a door installed between his room and what would become Lisichya's (something he would ensure was paid for) but that he should consider - if it was permitted by the Healer - staying with him until the new room was prepared (as it would take a few days). Certainly Jeremiah was not opposed but something niggled at him about it,

Yet it was, he realized, something to be potentially discussed considering that the hour was not that late and already he was up. The problem was that he felt tongue-tied around the Healer for all the eloquence he could show otherwise. Reaching out for the guard that he knew was on rotation upon a thread, he let them know that he was already on the move. Jeremiah paused and breathed deep, eyes sliding shut briefly before they snapped open. Lyoshka's scent was easy to separate out, to pluck from the air and follow.

So he did, senses and instinct guiding him where he needed to be. Things that told him that if he walked this path, followed along this way, he would come to where Lyoshka was and not sleeping.

43
Dena Nehele / not the only one who finds it hard to understand
« on: Aug 22, 18, 01:10:29 AM »
(takes place a day after the echo, wide as the equator in late summer 193AP.)

Things could never be left to assumption. While Jeremiah had laid eyes upon each and every one of the wards, he had not yet been able to speak more than a few words here and there at meals. This was especially true now that he was handling new duties as Steward, It was unacceptable to him as the wards were under their - his - protection while they were part of the Territory Court.

Quinten looked as if he were doing more than going through the motions, when one looked at him and watched, but Jeremiah knew things were not always as they seemed. Just as he knew there were things building underneath the surface for the Summer Sky Warlord. That was not to say that he was not doing well, that he was not progressing and growing, but Jeremiah wanted to confirm what his senses and otherwise told him.

It was a quiet point in the afternoon, one that saw him finding Quinten quietly in the family wing kitchen. Jeremiah watched a moment, studied him, before he finally went to prepare a pot of water so that he could have tea.

"Would you permit me to join you, Lord Heartly?" he asked, bright blue-green eyes focused upon the Warlord. Quinten had taken well to the combat shield training Jeremiah had provided, something that allowed him to fight back without hurting someone, but outside of that - along what he heard from the Lady Sala, Lord Belmont, and Prince Luceau - there were holes in his knowledge of how he was doing.

Something that he would fix, something that was more important than ever in the aftermath of the Decimation. (Besides he was bonded to the Queen that was, in all the ways that mattered, his daughter. To know Quinten was doing well meant that he would, along with the rest of Sora's males, would be able to support each other.)

44
Dena Nehele / leaving yesterday far behind
« on: Aug 20, 18, 02:10:57 AM »
(occurs a few days after the echo, wide as the equator in late summer 193AP.)

The Decimation had a way of keeping Jeremiah occupied enough that it was only when he could finally sleep that he found himself truly thinking about Lyoshka. There was only a distant sense that Lisichya was well, born of the remnants of the token he guarded quite possessively. That was enough, he told himself.

It had to be enough.

Riley was pregnant, Valeriu was Broken and comatose and Healer Queen Yuki Natsuhana had come to Dena Nehele looking for her apprentice. It had been a near thing, a second decimation visited upon the Territory Court, but it had been diverted.

None of which mattered. Not when Arkadie had invited Jeremiah to return to Vatra Dornei. Part of him wanted to return to their weekly lessons, though he knew they would be cut down considerably given he had found himself stepping up in the void created by Valeriu. Yet as soon as he stepped foot upon the property of the Queen's Residence all of these thoughts were gone. Instead he thought of that morning, of brushing his lips against Lisichya's forehead and leaving his ring with him. Of having to leave behind someone he wanted to not leave behind. If Arkadie had not ordered him, if she had not reached and tugged upon the bond-that-could-have-been between them he was not sure he could have listened.

Jeremiah had and now, as he returned, he could only think of the Healer. Not even the strangeness of his ring finger, the feeling of what lurked there, was enough to distract him from it. A breath was let out, an attempt to not simply seek out what instinct and more dictated he should pushed aside. It was not easy, something unfamiliar in him rallied against it, as he headed inside.

45
Dena Nehele / in one fleeting moment
« on: Aug 02, 18, 02:16:31 AM »
(occurs the same day of the ocean on his shoulders and follows after and just like that, you're here in late summer 193AP.)

Despair clung to everything within the Territory Court. Even the family wing, as not everyone had come away unscathed. Death had touched, even here, and Jeremiah had to accept it for all that he did not want to. He had seen to Riley, tucked her away within his suite and ensured she was resting before going to see Claudia.

Talking to her had been another treat, if only because the Black Widow was - for lack of a better word - guarding the Head of the Hourglass Coven Alexandra Luceau. Jeremiah, quite wisely, said nothing about it and only spoke of needing to pass his mother's necklace and Riley's Opal to her. The reason was one that would ensure, for the time being, only those they had decided upon would learn of Riley's pregnancy. (That he confirmed who the father was not had been something of a humorous exchange.)

Yet Jeremiah would not be the one to tell the Queen that was, in so many ways, their daughter. No, that would come from Riley when she was ready to do so. (Jeremiah had the honor of telling certain others but that was not the point.) Right now he was simply intent upon seeing to the Rose-Jeweled Queen and making sure that she, much like Riley, was able to find rest and respite in the aftermath of the Decimation.

The Warlord Prince (for he was still despite the otherworldly edge to his scent and the venom sac that had taken root underneath the nail of his ring finger) found himself outside Sora's suite within the family wing. Here, he knew, death lurked as well. At least one among her males had been lost but he had not taken time yet to discern, quite yet, who it was. Besides: Jeremiah had, as far as most were concerned, been gone for a little over a week with no discernible reason why.

(What whispers of kidnapping had gotten around had never been acknowledged.)

It was a quiet pulse of Rose that announced his presence, knuckles rapping lightly upon the frame of the door as Jeremiah waited to be granted an audience. Any other time he might have simply opened, went in, but not this day and not when loss had visited them all.

Not when he knew that Sora was suffering, just as Riley was. It was not just the loss of males but what had been seen at the Bidea Daily party. Something Jeremiah himself had to not let himself think about because if he did, if he considered it, then nothing else would be accomplished and that would not do.


46
Dena Nehele / and just like that, you're here
« on: Jul 22, 18, 12:10:53 AM »
(this thread takes place the same day as the ocean on his shoulders following the decimation in dena nehele in late summer 193AP.)

As the day wound on, the Territory Court remained in lockdown. It was not something that was a problem for Jeremiah as the guard quickly let him pass. There were too many thoughts upon his mind, too many emotions that were pinging upon him as he kept his focus on such. So much confusion, so much pain, so much loss. Nothing he had seen was untouched and as he made his way through the hallways of the Territory Court, he knew that this place was no different.

Trepidation built, anxiety with it, as he finally was close enough once more to not just sense Riley distantly but feel her as well. It made him dizzy the speed in which he felt her reach for him, almost having to brace himself on a wall. Not that he was surprised with everything that had happened. Jeremiah had not only been gone but when she had likely tried to reach for him last ...

He had not been there again. It would not have been possible with him being left in the Red. Jeremiah brushed back against her wordlessly, not saying anything quite yet. There was too much going on around him and he knew the moment he completely opened back up, the moment that Rose came alive between them, then it would take a moment for them to catch themselves.

Yet he knew as he approached terrible things had occurred. People had been lost and he did not think to stop and ask who and what and how many. Not now, not when he needed to get to Riley and ease what was threatening to overwhelm her. He had to stop himself from going to fidget with the signet ring as he entered where she was. The ring that bore his Rose, the only piece he had that contained his Jewel of Rank, was no longer there.

His hands dropped as he paused in the doorway. Too many emotions were bubbling up within him and, this close to his Queen, he was not sure which were his and which were hers. In this moment he did not think it mattered. Jeremiah lifted his hand up, held it out to his Queen, and waited for what he knew was coming.

47
Dena Nehele / Jeremiah Mercer
« on: Jul 15, 18, 11:43:46 AM »
The Basics

Character Name: Jeremiah Mercer
Nicknames: He prefers to not have any but he cannot deny those who are truly close.
  • Mercer, from Lyoshka. Not Prince. Not Jeremiah, but Mercer. It’s all in how it’s said. No one but Lisichya.
  • Badger, as called by Riley. It's not for you to call him that.
  • Bear, his code name as a Jack. Thanks Sebastian.
  • Sleeping Beauty, a moniker earned. Don't even think about it, Liana.
Age and Birth Year:  29 (165 AP; born in the earliest part of the year during winter)
Race: Short-lived
Caste:  Black Widow Warlord Prince
Birth Territory: Caecian, Tulzbruja, Dena Nehele
Home Territory: Brisaov, Aechia, Dena Nehele

Birthright Jewel: Cut Yellow
Offering Jewel: Uncut Rose

Role: Queen's Shadow
Faction: Territory Court

Appearance

Play By: Mads Wurms Kristoffersen (with silver hair)
Distinguishing Features:
At six foot three and silver hair (it started turning when he was seventeen and was completely silver by his eighteenth birthday), it’s hard to not at least notice Jeremiah briefly.

Aside from those two features, there’s also the matter of his eyes: an eerie mix of blue-green. They’re the only thing that he ever got from the man that impregnated his mother (and he’d rather not think about that at all) beside his fine-boned pianist hands (that he has roughened up over the years).

At the upper part of his right forearm, into the crook of his elbow, Jeremiah has a tattoo of an amaryllis. It looks as if it's missing something. Strangely, aside from that, Jeremiah's body is unmarred and unblemished with no trace of his old scars or injuries. The handiwork of a certain Black-Jeweled Healer who took offense to what marked his. There is also the matter of a strange craft-made tattoo along his left shoulder trailing downward along his bicep that is made up of vines and swirling water, a pair of silvery red and black fish within it.

Personality


Personality:
Jeremiah is a male who is driven by his ideals and convictions, strengthened by both of the Castes that he now bears in full: Black Widow and Warlord Prince. If one had told him it took becoming a Black Widow to truly accept himself as a Warlord Prince, he would have laughed at them. Now he knows the truth of that statement, having found that the nature of a Black Widow merges perfectly with that of the Warlord Prince. (In him, at least, he finds this to be a truth.)

Most would not even recognize him as the same Warlord Prince that he once was, not knowing this Jeremiah who laughs and smiles as freely and easily as any other. No longer does he hold himself back, hiding his feelings and otherwise behind a lack of expression and a calm, detached mien. Instead there are sharp looks and sharper words if something doesn't suit his tastes, the tendency of the Warlord Prince to make his opinion known enhanced by that of the Black Widow. If he does not like something, it will be obvious, because he will take care of it. There is little room to suffer something he does not like, not when he is capable of putting an end to it.

Control, he has learned, can get you killed. Just as letting your feelings run free can as well. Jeremiah has instead learned to direct the doubly strong emotions that he can feel because of his Dual-Caste nature. No longer are they pushed back, held in check, but instead given the space they deserve and let loose. To try and contain the storm within is foolish, but to let it out? To aim them? That is something he has learned only to do as a Warlord Prince balanced by Black Widow.

Still blunt and to the point, he is even less inclined to mince words as before. Jeremiah is more loquacious than ever and painfully honest to a fault. Yet he has found the value of secrets and keeping knowledge to himself, sharing it only with those that need to know. After all, it's a Warlord Prince that simply strikes out and is done with it but a Black Widow? A Black Widow plans and waits and strikes at just the right moment and Jeremiah has taken this lesson to heart when it comes to playing upon the political battlefield that he finds himself part of.

For those that view him from a distance, Jeremiah carries himself well. He knows well that it is all about appearances, dresses sharply, and instead of the carefully cultivated calm and collected exterior, he has put the mysterious one in its place. While he does not openly advertise his dual-caste nature, it is apparent as soon as one is close enough to him. That eerie quality of the Twisted Kingdom that follows after every Black Widow is there, thickly upon him, and merged together with the dangerous edge that every Warlord Prince carries. It is a fine line to walk, a warning to all that he is every inch all the things that are warned about. Yet at the same time, as soon as he speaks and comes to life, it falls away as it is clear that the only danger he presents is to those that would harm what is his.

There are few that Jeremiah considers his but those who are are fiercely guarded and hoarded. It is not uncommon that, free of duties and responsibilities, he will make an appearance and drape himself across a beloved one for a dose of attention. Those who try to stop this, those who interrupt, had best have a good reason for it as he is not particularly forgiving of losing such moments. With all the death and destruction, the pain that has been felt in the last year, he is possessive and territorial in subtle ways of what he considers to be his and the time spent with them.

To those precious few, those that know Jeremiah at his core, they know the troublesome, mischievous man that is just as capable of causing a disturbance as he is to clean it up right after. That said: Jeremiah cannot - in the slightest - tolerate being touched or otherwise have his spaced infringed upon by those that are not favored. It is a quick path to earning his ire to presume familiarity when none has been given.

The Black Widow and Warlord Prince Castes have found a co-existence in Jeremiah strengthening him and allowing him to overcome many of the things he considered liabilities and weaknesses. Yet he is aware that there are others that have come to be in their place, something he fiercely hides and instead directs attention to where it belongs. Jeremiah continues to strive for more, to push himself as far as he can go, but now he knows where his limitations are and the lines that cannot be crossed. To be anything less, to do anything less, would be unacceptable in the face of all that has happened and all that have died.

Likes:
  • Twisted Kingdom - The roads and paths of the Twisted Kingdom have become a second home to the Black Widow Warlord Prince. Jeremiah once feared his dreams and nightmares, not realizing they were touched upon by the Twisted Kingdom. Now, knowing what he does, better experienced, and trained, he finds himself seeking them out as well as simply slipping into the vision webs that let him explore the Twisted Kingdom. There are sights to see, answers to find, and Jeremiah knows that if he follows the right paths he will find them and use that knowledge to better safeguard those that are under his protection.
  • Black Widows - A year ago this would have been inconceivable as, unknown to Jeremiah, a fear of Black Widows had been woven into his subconscious. Now free of undue influence, a Black Widow himself, Jeremiah finds that he enjoys the company of others that share his second Caste. There is a comfort in being around other Black Widows that he never found in being around other Warlord Princes. They each walk within the Twisted Kingdom, find their ways differently than him, and Jeremiah enjoys speaking with and talking of such things as being part of the Hourglass Coven has enabled him to recapture a sense of family that he has lost.
  • His Hobbies -There are three things in particular that Jeremiah is fond of: music (playing the piano), gardening (he has a deft, soft touch with flora), and cooking (he finds it comforting). For years he considered them all things that let him keep his preferred distance from people, never truly realizing that they were actually enabling him to connect with other people. Now, with the onset of his second Caste, Jeremiah recognizes the necessity of his hobbies and how they help ensure that he remains connected to the world around him. It would be easy for him to lose himself in the Twisted Kingdom, to turn his gaze inward and not outward. More than ever he knows these are things that keep him tethered in the world he is part of and the people that are in it.
Dislikes:
  • Monotony - Jeremiah has never enjoyed being still, finds himself agitated with tedium, and cannot stand when he must perform tasks of a repetitious nature. This has only grown, the Black Widow Warlord Prince even more frustrated by the monotony that is sometimes prevalent in life. He will work out ways to change things up, to find alternate paths to the same solutions, and will do a great many things he might never have considered before just to avoid such succumbing to a boring routine.
  • Politics - An aristo, a Warlord Prince, and part of the courts from a young age, Jeremiah was born to be part of politics and he absolutely abhors them. Politics are a necessary evil, one that he knows how to navigate with ease and, now as he grows as a Black Widow, has become even more adept at doing so. He also finds himself more frustrated now, especially when those trying to play the Game cannot seem to understand the stupidity of what they are doing. They do not see the paths that he does, how what they are doing simply will not work, and they do not always listen. That does not stop him from trying as he still greatly enjoys those moments when he outmaneuvers someone in the political arena.
  • Unsolved Mysteries - When moments arise that he cannot immediately see a solution and everything seems to lead to dead ends, Jeremiah very quickly becomes agitated. Not content to let something be, and with his new set of skills in his repertoire, he will search out the answers to anything and everything. He will not be content to simply let an unknown continue to be, as it's mere existence agitates and leaves him anxious. It has become something of an obsessive need, so it is not surprising that he can lose himself in seeking out answers that he feels are a necessity.
Fears:
  • Lyoshka - Not of Lyoshka, never of him, but for Lyoshka. In the aftermath of the Decimation new fears have surfaced, the kind that Jeremiah would have never expected to have for someone beside his Queen. What if someone tries to strike at Lyoshka because of the Decimation? What if somehow another witch-wave comes? What if he cannot see Lyoshka's Chalice repaired? Within Jeremiah is a possessive, driving need to defend and safeguard what is his and so there are a great many fears, too many to count, and any could come to pass if he cannot protect that which he loves.
  • Helplessness - Jeremiah became a Black Widow to not be a liability anymore, to strengthen himself and be better suited to protect that which is his. Yet if he has learned anything in the aftermath of the Decimation it is that there are moments where despite planning, all the knowledge, every vision seen, you can still find yourself helpless and unable to do anything but watch. To that end he fights against such moments, works to ensure that everything can be handled, but they will come no matter what and the idea of such scares him deep within his Self.
  • What Riley Will Do to Secure the Throne - Distance from Riley, not always being at Court, meant that Jeremiah was not always aware of what decisions she made and what her choices were. Now that is no longer the case and Jeremiah finds himself at odds with the some of the alliances that Riley has made. Jeremiah fears what his Queen will do to keep the throne, to secure her place as the Queen of Dena Nehele, and how much more of herself will potentially be lost in the process. Worse: what distance could grow between Queen and Shadow because of the choices made.
Craft Strengths:
  • Dreamwalker (Mind Healing) - Jeremiah is especially attuned to the dreams of the Twisted Kingdom, finding that he is more easily able to slip into it through his dreams than a proper vision web. He is sensitive to the dreams of others, especially when they are touched by the Twisted Kingdom, and finds himself able to sense them, if not touch them, if he is close by. Further training allows him the ability to manipulate the dreams of another, to guide them where he wants them to be, but mostly Jeremiah uses his talents to help ensure those that he looks after are not suffering horrific nightmares.
  • Reading Emotion - Before Jeremiah used his ability to read emotion in effort to maintain being calm and collected. Now, as a Black Widow Warlord Prince, it helps him not only keep a finger upon the emotional pulse of those around him but enables him to correct missteps when he comes across as too prickly or otherwise temperamental. Capable of adjusting his behavior on the fly because of what he senses in others, Jeremiah is able to avoid personality clashes, bad situations, and smooth over ruffled feathers as necessary. The biggest aspect of this is that he is able to bring calm to those important to him, something few can ever do with certainty and repeated success.
  • Advanced Inner Barriers - Maker left her mark upon Jeremiah and he will tolerate no other. Through training and otherwise, the inner barriers of Jeremiah's mind are particularly resistant to compulsions and manipulations. When attempts are made he is often aware and only the darkest jeweled or the incredibly skilled can manage to slip by without him noticing through the layers of defense within his mind.
Craft Weaknesses:
  • Shadow Building - Attempts at Shadow Building have been nothing short of lackluster. Jeremiah finds that he struggles with this type of Black Widow Craft, not at all comfortable with the idea of something that is an illusion or copy of himself or another person. What few attempts he has made have been barely recognizable as to who they were meant to be, Jeremiah unable to give form to that which he views as an affront to those who are actually real and not illusions.
  • Sight Shielding - Jeremiah would never make it as an assassin as his ability to Sight Shield leaves something to be desired. There’s always something off when he tries to hide, either himself or others. Whether that is because it is not fully formed or because his feet are somehow still visible, he is better off not performing acts that require his physical presence be unknown.
  • Incite Rage - A skill intrinsically part of a Warlord Prince, Jeremiah held minimal skill with it at best. While there are beneficial aspects of it, to inspire others to fight onward, he thinks only of how it strips away rational thought and leaves only rage behind. Now, as a Black Widow Warlord Prince, he finds that he cannot make use of it at all and what little skill he had with it atrophied to nothing at all.
Life Story

Family:
Mother: Meredith Mercer (54 - d. 192AP) Priestess - Rose - Opal
Father: Piers Ionescu (66 - d. 192AP) - Warlord - Summer Sky - Opal
Half-Siblings:
Minerva Tailor (24 - b. 170AP) - Healer - Purple Dusk - Opal (originally Sapphire, reduced on Minerva's sheet)
Artemisia Xenopol (19 - b. 175AP) - Queen - White - Rose

History:
The Mercer family is not one of the oldest Aristo families in Dena Nehele, though they are an old Aristo family. They immigrated from Dharo before the Purge, bringing with them their trade and skill as merchants. Settling into Tulzbruja, they ran livestock - primarily sheep - on the land they acquired and began a more hands-on process as they produced cloth from the wool they were able to make.

Their family name, Mercer, has been preserved from mother to daughter. There was, in fact, no male heir born to them for quite some time. At least, not until Jeremiah was born.

The story of Jeremiah’s birth is just another tale of how far the Aristo can take The Game. Piers, a Myos guildsman, was contracted by a rival family to seduce and ensure that his mother Meredith would be with child. Upon the birth of the child - a girl, as it was common knowledge that girls were what the Mercer family always had - and her birthright ceremony, Meredith would be killed and her heir spirited away to be raised in the hands of the rival family.

Except Meredith was as sharp-eyed as she was sharp-tongued and, through consulting and confirming with a Black Widow, discovered Piers’s treachery. She left him no room for argument or movement against her, poisoning his meal. He was left with no choice in the matter: either he left with the antidote, never to move against her and her unborn child again, or she would let him die there and bury his body.

Piers made his choice, taking his life and the antidote with him, and disappeared from the Mercer land. Meredith kept her child because, despite the circumstances, did not see herself opening up once more to anyone for such a chance. The months passed and, to the surprise of everyone, she had a boy. It was only a few short days after his birth that he showed signs of being a Warlord Prince.

Jeremiah was named her heir at his birthright ceremony and, of course, there was no mention at all of his father. It set something of a tone for the rest of his life, one that Meredith did not help, wherein Jeremiah was supposed to always be alert and always looking out.

Which is likely why Jeremiah, as a child, was something of a precocious brat. At some point, during his early childhood, he was running away from his mother after playing in the mud to avoid bathing. Looking for an avenue of escape, he found one in a tree by the name of Riley. She helped him up the tree and they ended up hiding up in the tree for hours until they were eventually found by both their families.

There might have been worries and concerns but it was clear, from the behavior of both children - though neither were truly aware of it at the time - that the little Warlord Prince had found his Queen. It meant that from that point forward, Jeremiah was never that far away from Riley and their families interacted (though really it was just Meredith frequently having meals and drinking wine with Ralene while they talked about their children).

It was when Riley first came to rule that it was realized that the easiest way to bring calm to the young Queen was to work through her Warlord Prince. While Jeremiah was just as much trouble at times - as strong-willed and strong-headed - he was younger and without as much direction. It was Adrian that decided that it would be best to see the young man start training as a Jack under his friend’s Savi tutelage.

Barely thirteen, with his mother’s approval, Jeremiah began to learn the ins and outs of being a Jack. As he grew and learned, having a stronger focus, he would be able to bring the same to his Queen and strengthen her as he was strengthened.

Things came to head, however, when Jeremiah’s first rut manifested and things did not seem to click into place. While he was close to Riley, most likely to be the one he would fixate on, he was instead overwhelmed with dread and fear. To everyone’s surprise, he disappeared with only a perplexed and concerned Riley the last to have seen him.

It wasn’t until days later that he was found, barely conscious and alive, torn up from fighting the local wildlife. By the time a Healer was found, Jeremiah was unconscious and remained so even after he was healed. There were concerns that he would not wake at all but a little over a month passed and he did. At this point, there was a shift in Jeremiah. He would barely speak about his time in the coma, but what little he did would reveal that he had - in that time - lived out what felt like an entire length of life in dreams.

What happened in them was not talked about but it changed him, Jeremiah reigned himself in more. The fire was still there but he was more collected, calmer than he had ever been. His focus became to being Riley’s eyes and ears out where she could not be. At first, when he was younger - not even twenty - he did not roam far at all but as he grew older and was able to take contracts further out, he did so.

It was a focus, it was a purpose, it let him help her in other ways and he continued to do so. At least until the disastrous party in the summer of 192AP. While he was not there for the glitterbomb clusterfuck, he was there in the aftermath (and technically the inspiration for the event thanks to Savi’s sharing of his more adventurous, shitkicking youth). Jeremiah had just returned from a Jacks contract, one that had kept him away far too long, to find the Territory Court Riley ruled in the midst of abrupt change. Her Triangle had been completely overhauled overnight (through her own decisions as well as that of the Guild Master), she was finally beginning to make a stand as Queen of Dena Nehele, and the chance that everything could go wrong was great. Even before she asked him the morning after the summer party, Jeremiah had made his decision. No more would he be her eyes and ears across the territory as he traveled, he would take his place at her side.

His Queen wanted it to be a bit more important than that, wanted the people to know that he was more than just a member of her First Circle. So Jeremiah was given a place within the First Circle and named Queen's Shadow. The title was immediately obvious for those that were part of the court, Jeremiah never far from his Queen and was often an unseen but necessary part of keeping things running smoothly for her. Things may have gone far, far differently if - when doing a routine check - Claudia Genadie, the Court Seer, found something peculiar in Jeremiah's mind.

She forced her way through his barriers - against his will - and discovered that she was not the first to do so. That his disastrous first rut was far worse than just a mountain lion attack. It was revealed then that a Black Widow had attacked Jeremiah then. She cut him down, made it look as if a mountain lion had done so, and broke through his barriers to leave behind ways for her to return. The same Black Widow was also responsible for the fact that he was comatose for nearly a month, his mind beleaguered by what she had done to it. All of this coming to light nearly shattered Jeremiah's sense of faith in himself. Worse: he was a walking liability with holes in his barriers despite that they had been patched by Claudia's Purple Dusk. It was a place he never wanted to be, needed to strengthen himself somehow, but that was not to be.

Claudia had been sent away to learn Mind Healing, to atone for the attack upon Riley's beloved bonded male as well as heal, but her mother - the Black Widow that was training her - was murdered by a Myos in the process. The reason, unclear at the time, was because the Black Widow that had attacked Jeremiah so many years ago was on the move. Nothing could could interfere with her long-game plan, especially not some guttersnipe Black Widow (as far as she was concerned). With her mother dead, Claudia weaved a web and discovered one thing for certain: Jeremiah needed to not be around his Queen. It would take even longer for her to learn Mind Healing and he was a danger to the Queen with those holes within his barriers.

Fortunately, there was a need for him to return home for a time, to go to Sweetbriar, the Mercer family lands and home, and verify that his mother was alright. It had become clear that there was an old Myos contract upon the family and that she was just as much of a target as Jeremiah was. Yet the visit home revealed a grisly fate: Maker, the Myos Black Widow that had attacked Jeremiah so many years ago, had already killed his mother. Having taken Meredith's face, Maker was masquerading as her and working through the final parts of the contract. It was then that she made use of compulsions and otherwise laid (placed there years previous and periodically refreshed without him realizing) within Jeremiah's mind and forced him to sit next to his mother's dead, faceless body. Then she broke through the Purple Dusk bandages that Claudia had placed, breaking his barriers and filling the cracks with her own power.

In doing so she forced Jeremiah's Self to spiral, trapped it deep, and wove compulsions upon the Warlord Prince that he would do exactly what she wanted. What was left behind after was not Jeremiah Mercer, not the one that everyone knew, but another entirely. Yet he was fine, better than ever, and no one realized anything was amiss. Even his mother was fine, as he assured his Queen. It might have all gone well if it was not for the fact that Jeremiah inwardly struggled against what had been done to him, creating cracks within his Chalice that in turn lead to instability.

Instability that ended with him rising to the Killing Edge and nearly killing his brother-in-arms Sebastian Bane and being struck down by the visiting Queen Nova Marzena. In the aftermath of this incident Claudia was called for, Jeremiah was freed, and Maker's treachery discovered. Many things had been made clear in the wake of this: that his mind was a liability, that to go after his Queen one could through him and their bond, that even with his mind freed of Maker's influence his dreams still edged the Twisted Kingdom, and that he could not let this be. A decision was made, then and there, that he needed to do something to take back the sense of self-security and more that had been stripped from him. That if his sleeping mind still edged the Twisted Kingdom then he would embrace it. So after a talk with Riley, the decision was made that they would find him a Black Widow to instruct him.

It was not easy as while Claudia was a possibility, she was too close to him after the extensive healing she had performed, and with others there came a question of motive, whether or not they would use this as a position to better themselves. In the end the answer came with the returning of Black Widow Queen Arkadie Graveworthy to Dena Nehele, who not only ultimately took up the position of District Queen of Brisaov but agreed to become Jeremiah’s mentor as a Black Widow.

From the very first lesson it was clear that it was not going to be conventional. Their first foray into the Twisted Kingdom, guided by Arkadie, lead to the discovery of a strange anomaly within it that contained a presence that wished simply to be left alone. Yet Jeremiah was pulled towards it even as they left it alone, curiosity stronger than ever. As his lessons had begun, his dreams of the Twisted Kingdom became stronger and so - one night - he found himself pulled towards that strange anomaly and crossed over unattended.

This was how he met Lisichya, a Healer that wore the Birthright Red and was a slave of Garen L’Voide’s. His birth name was Yua no Ariake, the name Lyoshka given to him in the slave pits of Raej, but neither of these were what Jeremiah discerned his name to be within the portents and signs of the Twisted Kingdom. It was the first of one of their many meetings and was just another thing that set the tone of Jeremiah’s path as a Black Widow.

Jeremiah dove into his training as a Black Widow, devouring each and every book upon the subject he was given (from Mind Healing to Vision Webs; though the books upon Mind Healing were more about psychotherapy in the beginning). As he did so it was clear that something dark was on the horizon and it was tied to the Red-Jeweled Healer that he often dreamed and found himself in the presence of. Never had he before felt such an instinctive pull for someone but it was there, a driving need to protect and look after the Healer. Made that much stronger by the Caste he was beginning to develop.

Unbeknownst to him - or rather willfully ignored - there was a terrible future already on its way. Through incidents with the Healer, Jeremiah was forcibly ejected into the darker parts of the Twisted Kingdom, left there without realizing he was even there. It was only the work of his mentor, Arkadie Graveworthy, that pulled him back out. Only to promptly poison him because she decided to take matters into her own hands regarding his snake-tooth.

If Jeremiah was to be of use, if he was to be able to do what needed to be done, he needed to be a Black Widow in full. So Jeremiah woke only to succumb to her poison, finding himself locked away once again within the Twisted Kingdom. It was there that he faced what he feared most and overcame personal demons to trigger the final steps in becoming a Black Widow. Yet waking him revealed the worst had happened: the Decimation had come.

Jeremiah has found himself in a place where his growing skills as a Black Widow are a necessity as much as his capability as a Warlord Prince is. It is both of these that he falls back onto as he navigates the changing landscape of Dena Nehele, hoping that it might be enough and acting as if it is.

Show Us What You've Got

Character in Play:
Jeremiah caught her, his arms going tight around her as he used the momentum she had provided to swing her around slightly. Not that he gave up any part of holding onto her. Especially when her grip was on him so tight he thought she might actually bruise him and then she could not even speak.

Sobs were the only sound she made.

“I'm back,” he said, “I'm here, Ryllis.” There was no it's okay because it obviously was not; the words said aloud because this was one of the moments they needed to be. Only a quick cursory glance was given, acknowledgments given to where they needed to those that were with Riley. Jeremiah's hands slid to encourage her to wrap her legs around him, his arms a steadying embrace.

No one dared question him as he carried her away, not a Warlord Prince soothing his hurting Queen. Rose was still open while he walked, Jeremiah gently shushing her by pressing a kiss to her forehead along with sharing with her what he could to ease things. He had paused, for all of a moment, before he headed to his small suite instead. There was something at the edge of his senses, a hint that would have come easier if he could actually pause to look into it. Jeremiah had no time, not with her like this. He simply accepted it for what he thought it meant: something terrible happened in her room.

It was as he carried her that he began to take stock of her condition, her wellbeing, and - with a growing certainty - realized that while her Rose and Opal were unbroken she was not operating with full strength. There was-

Definitely had to get them to his room.

*Just breathe in time with me,* he told her as went the last bit of distance, the door to his room opening. That she was to bask in what he projected did not need to be said. The door closed with a click behind him and cast them both into darkness with little light. Jeremiah did not open the curtains (did, in fact, want to get new ones and tear those down) but called upon his Yellow to create the same effect he had done in his dreaming. The room was gradually illuminated with twinkling firefly like witchlights.

Jeremiah set her down on the bed, though he could not actually get Riley to let go. He ended up tumbling with her, his Queen still holding tight. Thankfully he did not need his hands to work, not as he awoken security spells that would ensure what was said along with anything else would not be heard or sensed outside of it.

*Let it out, Ryllis, let it all out.* They could talk about other things but first she needed this out. The pain and sorrow, what needed to be released so that she could keep going.

Petitions (if any): 
 
Caste Requesting:
Black Widow Warlord Prince

Reasons For Requesting these Castes:
Jeremiah’s journey into training as a Black Widow was not one that I planned for. Instead it was something born of his plots and personal character narrative. His own drive and need to protect himself, his own mind, and others through doing such because of things that were made apparent during the Maker plotline lead to it becoming more a necessity. This, in turn, lead to putting out a wanted ad. Arkadie Graveworthy came into play and eventually became Jeremiah’s instructor and mentor.

Jeremiah has already undergone many changes since it began in the winter of 192. He has worked through (and still is settling into, to be honest) the emotional shifts that have come with his burgeoning Caste, gained the shifts in his psychic scent, and as of recent threads and incidents is beginning to show signs of the arrival of his snake tooth. While he is, and will be for time to come, a Black Widow in training he is very much representative of both Castes.

His training and growth that leads to him becoming a Black Widow Warlord Prince is intrinsically necessary to who he is as a character now and to the plans that come in the future. Below are SOME of the threads associated with (and show) Jeremiah’s journey into training Black Widow.

(For reference his previous character sheet is here.)

we’ll modernize ‘til our Hell is a good life Jeremiah gains a teacher in Arkadie Graveworthy
wolves sleep amidst the trees shows the beginning of Jeremiah’s lessons as a Black Widow
eschatologist and the dreadfully delightful existence of semi-spectral things show the beginning of Jeremiah’s dream-wanderings within the Twisted Kingdoms and the repercussions of traveling unprepared.
it had seemed such an innocent pleasure is another of many lessons with Arkadie. In this one Jeremiah gets chewed out for wandering but also begins to improve upon his web-weaving skills to make his own safe-ward.
Quid Pro Quo shows the beginnings of mood changes in Jeremiah.
Nightmare Fuel further discusses his dream visions and wanderings as well as has him discussing webs that he is working upon making to help others.
bet you didn’t know that I was dangerous shows further mood shifts in which Jeremiah is no longer the same Warlord Prince that attempts to control himself or his fury. Instead he embraces it and uses his emotions, along with growing senses, to hunt down and destroy those that hurt his.
when your heart is tired is the aftermath of the previous thread. Jeremiah discusses and works through the emotional shifts that have happened because of his Caste training.
we have come too far to ever turn away shows Jeremiah speaking about his experience and knowledge as burgeoning Black Widow. It also has him weaving and creating a web for Elenor to use in the future.
something tries to hide its own heartbeat, in the dark i rest unready for the light which dawns, and simple as shaving soap chronicle Jeremiah’s experiences in deeper areas and subsequent return wherein Arkadie takes matters into her own hands regarding his snake-tooth.
defiantly effervescent in the face of extinction covers what Jeremiah goes through and experiences (visions and otherwise) as he is finally forced work through what holds him back.
getting closer to acceptance marks the appearance of the venom sac of his snake-tooth, Jeremiah beginning to take on the last bit of qualities needed to truly mark him as a neophyte Black Widow. He also makes use of his talents as a Black Widow to find and assist Lyoshka no Ariake to safety in i have heard your praises sung in screams.

Plans for this Character:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Other Petitions you’ve made here:
Player Name: Em

48
Dena Nehele / i have heard your praises sung in screams
« on: Jul 14, 18, 04:17:54 AM »
(this thread follows immediately after the price of oblivion and not long after getting closer to acceptance alongside the ocean on his shoulders in late summer 193AP)

It was not like his visions, there was no great wave that submerged all of Dena Nehele. Except that every so often, out of the corner of his eye, he thought that that was true. The waters had come and the price had been great and-

Jeremiah did not think about this. He was focused within, turning a piece of his Rose (what had not been cut down to be worn as jewelry) in his hand over and over again as he did so. There was no thought given to how the guards escorting him kept up, only that they did. He followed the smallest of ebbs and flows within his mind, trepidation growing with each minute that passed by. Within was a small thread, a sliver of something Rose tied to something so infinitely darker.

Black.

He had only paused at one altar, a silent moment of prayer given because of the stillness that was prevalent around it. That one was not the one, no. The one he wanted was the one the waters flowed from. The waters that he saw out of the corner of his eye, that would have wet the ankles of his trousers had they been truly there.

Time was of the essence and eventually - as the sun was truly beginning to rise - he found the place that the waters flowed from. Jeremiah blinked, cleared the vision of a tidal wave spreading out, and moved to go inside.

“You know what must be done,” he said to the Sapphire-Jeweled Prince Concord. If anyone was inside, if anyone tried to stop them, then that would be put down. Jeremiah did not care, not beyond finding Lyoshka, because everything was for this. For this flicker of a presence in his mind that was not his but his that was sheltered within.

There was a body. It didn't look like a body; it looked like a shredded piece of meat, bones thrusting up from the wet purple viscera. Beyond that body, two others, even less whole, their skulls shining wetly in the witchlight. The door to the sanctum hung open, and in the dark room, down a set of stone stairs that sported several puddles of what seemed to be black water or blood, was Lyoshka. Like the unrecognizable bodies outside the sanctum, he was all over blood, but unlike them he was still alive, still whole, though bleeding from a perfect ring where his slave collar was--

Not.

Two perfectly bisected halves of his collar lay several inches from one loosely curled hand. The woven spells were mangled by the force that had shredded the ring into two pieces, a testimony to the power it had taken. There was no sign of his Jewels.

The moment Jeremiah stepped into the Altar, the prone Healer jolted upright, black eyes wide and terrified. He scrambled ungracefully back and away until his shoulders hit the stone of the Altar, bare heels straining for purpose on the stone floor. "Get away," said Lyoshka, "Get away get away get away," a mantra as his nails dug into the grout between stone pavers.




plain text = jeremiah
red text = lyoshka

49
Dena Nehele / getting closer to acceptance
« on: Jul 14, 18, 03:49:10 AM »
(this thread follows after defiantly effervescent in the face of extinction, occurs the morning after something beautiful a contradiction not long after the price of oblivion in late summer 193AP)

In his venom-induced coma Jeremiah did not rest. The aftermath of his realization, of truly acknowledging his fears and otherwise, had left him having to walk the Twisted Kingdom all over again. To relearn the winding paths and trails that he was fond of and see them again with different eyes. Eyes that saw differently, that recognized how he had driven himself with both fear and control, for all that he had been meant to shed those things.

Fear was probably healthy, he needed a bit of it in his life as he often did not pay attention to it, but control? Control had to go. So it did and what had become closed off opened up all over again as Arkadie's venom coursed through his veins. Jeremiah knew what had to be done, knew what would happen now that he was no longer so horribly sabotaging himself. His subconscious was a terrible, terrible thing but it had been muzzled for the time being.

There was a place for his insecurities and fears but it was not here and it was not in this time. Jeremiah might have even considered exploring more but instead he had set to work, to follow the edge of the Abyssal waters as things changed within him. What he was not expecting was the force of the vision that came, the strength of it as the waters receded and shockwave blew through everything.

Jeremiah did not do anything other than greet it, let it rush over him. Even when the waters of the Twisted Kingdom returned and submerged everything he simply rode it out. Yet this time, unlike the visions of its ilk that had come before, the waters did not recede; they stayed. The eerie glow of the sky became a bloody Red, a broken circle of gold edging it, as the Black waters ebbed and flowed but stayed.

When he brought his hands up from the water cupped there were a Purple Dusk and Sapphire within them. They shattered the moment air touched them, nothing that Jeremiah did stopping them from infinitely fracturing and falling. This was a vision he could do without but the possibilities of it were hurtful.

He suddenly felt the world tilt. Everything came into a sharper focus, details he had missed before now clearly visible. Arkadie’s venom was fading, something else left in its place that was meant to be there. Jeremiah wanted to reach for these things, to explore and learn more but awareness crept in. The edges of his vision here blurred but not because of the venom that coursed through his veins. No, this was due to needing to wake. His cheek stung, almost as if slapped, and he rubbed at it.

This time, he noticed, it was so much easier to wake. No lull, no shift, simply one moment he was asleep and another-

Jeremiah blinked open blue-green eyes, vision blurry as he could not focus properly. There came another sting, the bite of flesh against his, and a weight upon his chest. He reacted out of instinct, fingers curling around a wrist and stopping the motion.  “I’m awake,” he said, voice roughened. “I promise.”

50
Dena Nehele / defiantly effervescent in the face of extinction
« on: Jul 10, 18, 03:36:41 AM »
(this thread follows after simple as shaving soap, alongside parts of something beautiful, a contradiction in late summer 193AP)

Normally the paths of the Twisted Kingdom felt welcoming, Jeremiah knowing the paths to walk instinctively to get where he wanted, but now they were closing in upon him. He had come to a room where a mirror stood, one he was afraid to look into. Something, he knew, was within the mirror and he did not know what. When he finally did look he discovered himself within it. Not his reflection but himself unconscious in the bed where Arkadie had poisoned him.

A whisper came to him then: You are afraid.

He snarled but no argument sprung from his lips. It was a truth, one that could not be denied. Jeremiah Mercer feared failure. More specifically he feared not being strong enough, good enough, to do what needed to be done for those he cared for and held dear. What lingered here, in this place with him, was that fear.

It shadowed him.



One of the first things that Jeremiah realized as he started his training was that he knew this place. The Twisted Kingdom welcomed him as if he were long lost and had finally found his way home again. There were no specific paths, no true roads that could be followed, but he knew the ways to go to get where he wanted. Knew that if he turned the right corner then he would find what he sought, a vision or otherwise just waiting for him to touch upon it.

So many things that should have made no sense did so. Like when a hand curled into his own, small fingers holding onto his. Jeremiah looked down and saw a young girl there, with dark hair and dark eyes.

No, she was an adult as well, but every time he blinked she was something else. About her shoulders was a dragon that slept, barely paying any attention to him. That was also not right because it was paying attention to him. Just like he knew that the dragon and the girl were one and the same, two parts of a whole brought together here that would one day be separated back into their own bodies.

Her fingers squeezed his, pulling his focus back.

“I told you, dream eater, this would happen.” She smiled at him, laughter dancing in her eyes (they were stars, her eyes) as the dragon coiled about her shoulders slid from there to her arm to his and was nipping at his cheek. At the edge of his mind there was a voice, a voice saying he was-

“I’m not a naughty dream eater,” he said immediately, unsure of what that even meant. She started to laugh, almost as if she had forgotten how to do so, hands held up for the dragon to come back to her. (One in two, two as one, never one without the other-)

“You are but you came back,” she said, her voice not unkind. The pair disappeared then and Jeremiah watched as they became the stars within the deep that he was so fond of swimming in. Dragons chasing one another, so close that he could never tell where one began and the other ended.

None of this made sense.

It made perfect sense.

Such was the way of the Twisted Kingdom.



Jeremiah rubbed a thumb across his palm, across the Girdle of Venus to the Marriage Line and back again. It was not as if reading the lines of his palm would give him answers, not more than he would find within where he was now. Arkadie’s venom coursed through his body, leaving him here and unable to do anything but-

He did not know what. The paths that he was familiar with made no sense, not as they usually did, and when he looked out of the corner of his eye he saw what had plagued him within the Red. A smile too wide for his face, a man who could not be remembered but his presence felt. He was watching and waiting, for what Jeremiah did not know. Just that it was another layer of frustration upon everything else.

Frustration built and built but this time when he growled no sound escaped him.

His voice was stolen.



Within the terrain he saw a glimmer in the distance, the form of something that walked the same path over and over again. When he approached it, it disappeared and was not seen again. Instead, the ground crumbled out from beneath him, only a pinpoint of the eerie light seen through the crack that was now far above him.


In the darkness moved something that brushed passed and nearly knocked him to the ground. The flutter of wings was heard, though he realized quickly that they were not the feathered kind. The rustle was not quite right. More than that: these were wings that were restrained; wings that could not stretch out as much as they wanted to.

Fear and anger consumed this dark space he had fallen into. There was hope too, he realized, but it was so buried under the rest. It was an old trick his mother had taught him years ago that came to mind. To create witchlight in his hands but not let it be simply one piece. ‘Let it be like the fireflies that dance in the fields, lamb.’

How long since he had remembered that? He closed his eyes, cupped his hands, and slowly opened them to release the little flickering witchlight fireflies. The darkness was faintly illuminated, a pair of golden eyes visible from behind a great piece of rubble. He thought there were long shadows that stretched out as well but no, it was wings. They fluttered and settled, those eyes still warily watching him.

He held out his hands, another group of fireflies made. They floated towards the one hiding, an assurance though he did not know what for. Only that he needed to make one, to make this offer. If he wanted to understand, if he wanted out of this place, this was how he got out.

Then, and only then, he could figure out all the fear and anger; see that sense of hope nurtured so that it blossomed.



The man with his too wide smile used Jeremiah’s voice against him. Spoke at him as if he knew him better than anyone else, condemned him as if he were-

“You are,” the smiling man assured, “most certainly failing. The poison wibbles and wobbles, makes its way through your body, and you have done nothing to stop it.” His voice was too pleasant, a mockery of Jeremiah’s own voice thrown back at him. It was disconcerting and troubling, especially when he wanted to growl but no sound came.

“Aren’t you meant to be better than this? Or are you going to choke up when push comes to shove?” he asked, a continuance and still digging upon Jeremiah’s deepest fears. “You can’t protect your Queen, your Healer, or anyone as you are, Jeremiah Percival.”



The fact of the matter was that sometimes, just sometimes, the Twisted Kingdom allowed him to escape. His emotions shifted, his ability to stay calm faded, and his anger- His anger became a force unto itself as he had learned well. Turning an attacker’s blade upon themselves because if he did not he was not sure what he would have done that night.

What was his to look after and protect had been nearly lost.

So he retreated when his part was played out and done. Found comfort within Lisichya’s dreamhaven and sunk into it and the words that were offered. It became just another reason that he wanted to do the same in turn but what if-

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