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Messages - Modina Palomo

Pages: 1
1
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: Nov 16, 19, 12:48:09 AM »
Modina expected anger or feelings of betrayal. It was a major secret to keep from her cousin, who was like a sister to her. She wouldn’t have blamed her Joana at all for feeling slighted or worse. She sat there in the wake of her revelation, waiting to learn her cousin’s reaction to the news she placed in her lap.

Joana hugged her and justified every bit of Modina’s faith.

She hugged Joana tight, a single tear rolling down her cheek. She felt Miguel’s hand on her shoulder. Surrounded by family, Modina felt stronger already. She felt better about the idea of returning to Dena Nehele to see Serena. They hugged for a long moment before Joanna released her and offered encouragement. Miguel offered her a handkerchief. Modina dabbed at her eyes, laughing between the tears. She’d imagined this conversation going very differently several times before now.

She was glad that her cousin and her brother were so forgiving.

Thank you.” Modina whispered.

It took a moment for her to trust herself to speak again. “She should know you, Joana. I was supposed to go last year and perform her Offering, but everything got hectic and I knew that you needed me. I’m afraid that the family will look poorly on her because of her father’s blood, but…” Modina looked to Miguel. He said nothing, but simply held her hand. He wasn’t happy about Modina’s daughter, either. Not at first.

No, I’ve nothing else. I’ll be leaving as soon as possible to go and see her. She’s been raised by the Queen of Dena Nehele most of her life, so I do have an uphill battle. But...will you be able to manage the election without me for a few weeks? The debates are coming and I won’t leave you high-and-dry.” Modina said. She fairly vibrated with excitement.

She was going to see her daughter soon. There was so much to prepare and do before she could go.

2
Dhemlan / Re: I carried this for years
« on: Nov 14, 19, 11:38:13 PM »
Modina nodded to Mamoru’s suggestion that he speak to Joana before making his decision. She expected nothing less. Joana needed to defend her ideas and positions to those she intended to rule. If she couldn’t do that, no amount of work on Modina’s part would do that for her. Sarque held a unique place in Dhemlan’s history and Mamoru’s family line was bound up in that history. They’d fought for Dhemlan against the Eyriens and they wanted what was best for their homeland. Modina knew that above all else.

I understand, Mamoru. Whoever wins this election will rule Dhemlan for the next fifty years, maybe more. It’s not so long for us, but long enough for the wrong person to do the worst kind of damage.” she said, shifting in her seat as she watched him look out over Montserrat. The people who wanted to reunite Anagon for many reasons (none of them good) were still out there. Modina didn’t envy him the worries on his mind these days. The lack of Queens parched the land and made it hard to feed their people. What would any of these rulers do to better the fortunes of their people?

He asked about the election after awhile. She would have lied to anyone about her feelings on it, but she’d seen war with this man. He was her brother in faith. Lying here was silly.

On its face, I hate it. We need solutions now and this election is going to take up time that we could use to find them. I’d rather get to work.” Modina said.

That being said, it’s a good distraction. People are talking about it and they're passionate about the candidates. You should hear them in the taverns. They’re not focusing on what we don't have. There's even some hope that we'll find someone who can rule for longer than a few years and put us back on the right track.” she said.

Yes, I think we’ll find the leader we need. They won’t please everyone because that’s impossible. But if we can feed our people and strengthen Dhemlan so that we never endure another Occupation, it’ll bring around even the ones who want to preserve the status quo.

3
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: Nov 02, 19, 12:33:35 AM »
More than once over the past twenty-one years, Modina considered telling her cousin about her time in Dena Nehele. Miguel had even strongly suggested it a few times, reminding her that their family deserved to know the reasons that she’d returned home so lost. Every time she wrote her daughter a letter that she never sent, the pain and longing drove her to find Joana and simply bask in her presence. She’d helped to take care of Joana after meeting her centuries ago. Her cousin was the sister she’d never had and her best friend.

And yet, telling her about her daughter felt like too much.

Modina took a deep breath. “Theoretically, she has a name, a connection to Illbeda, to this family, and...yes, to me.” Modina siad.

As I understand it, she has ruling experience at a high level. She’s been in the company of Queens most of her life.

Modina knew that she could not give Joana only those things and leave it at that. The full truth could leave them at odds. Modina had known that back when she’d first decided not to tell Joana everything, but the idea of a rift between them stole made her chest feel tight. A lie of omission was still a lie. And that was long before she considered how her parents would react to the news.

Dina, it’s time.” Miguel said, cutting through her thoughts. She looked toward her brother. Miguel’s expression was neutral, but his eyes were gentle. I am here with you, little sister. No matter what.

Modina took a deep breath.

She is not hypothetical, Joana. You haven’t heard of her because she’s not here and...I didn’t tell you about her. She lives in Dena Nehele.” Modina said.

She’s my daughter.

She squeezed her cousin’s--her Queen’s hands--seeking assurance and permission to continue speaking. When she received, she continued. “It was not my intent to deceive you, though it sounds hollow to say that now. When I left, twenty-three years ago, I spent time in a few places. One of them was Dena Nehele. I met a good man among the people there. I loved him. I...wasn’t going to come home.” she said. She’d never said that aloud, even to herself.

But after I gave birth to Serena--that is her name--something changed. I could barely muster up the energy or the drive to take care of myself. I nearly did something unforgivable to my daughter and…” Modina fell silent, her voice thick with emotion. She took a moment to compose herself.

My love, Gheorghe, he...he sent word to Miguel. Miguel brought me home. You remember the shape I was in when I returned. You know how hard I worked and how long it took for me to reach a place where I could function. By that time, I was so ashamed of what I’d done. I couldn’t tell tell Mother or Father. I couldn’t tell you. You’d already helped me so much. I couldn’t ask for more without feeling like a burden.” Modina said.

I haven’t seen her since a few months after she was born. I’m a stranger to her.

4
Dhemlan / Re: I carried this for years
« on: Oct 08, 19, 03:49:47 PM »
Modina considered Mamoru’s points. He sounded certain of what had happened. That Modina had not heard nearly as much bothered her on many levels. It could mean that Lady Nieto, or her escort, had perished. Modina did not intend to go to Dena Nehele quite so soon, but the need to confirm her suspicions outweighed caution. It was exactly for that reason that she shouldn’t go, but Modina was already trying to figure out how to explain the situation to Joana.

A mother’s worry was among the strongest forces in the world.

We show respect to those who fought against the Occupation. That is a good thing, at least. My cousin did not serve, of course, but she understands the importance of Sarque’s independence. Atholi may supply the grain that feeds people, but Sarque is the reason that Dhemlan still exists. I won’t let that be forgotten, no matter who sits in the Territory Seat at the end of all of this.” Modina said.

I know my cousin’s mind very well. If you’re willing to share your concerns with me, I’m happy to explain your position to her and see where you can find common ground.” Modina said. While she couldn’t make direct promises, she had Joana’s ear. Mamoru Salazar’s endorsement would be a major boon to whoever secured it and bring along several undecideds, possibly even turning adversaries into supporters. But if Modina couldn’t get his support for Joana, she’d accept his willingness not to oppose her.

5
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: Sep 30, 19, 11:36:07 PM »
Yes. A successor. I’m not planning for you to lose this election. When you win, and I know that you will, you’ll need to have someone in place and ready to take over for you. Leaving the remainder of your Court in place as your stewards is a good start, but that won’t be a sustainable plan for the future.” Modina said. She was quiet for a long moment, considering how much to tell her cousin. She and Joana were close, but Modina had secrets aplenty from her service in Onyx Company. She had secrets beyond that, too, but she’d never been tempted to talk about them...until now.

Let me introduce a hypothetical situation to you. This is purely hypothetical, as I want to know how you’d receive such an idea.” Modina said.

Imagine that there were a young Queen with ruling experience who was available to rule Ilbeda when the time came. What if she was a quick study with her own bonded who could ease her transition to leadership. She would need to establish her own connections and allies, but she would be an automatic ally to your rule. Queens are precious in this day and age, as we learned from the loss of Lady Robles.” Modina said.

If such a Queen existed--and I do not say that she does--but if she did...would you consider her?” Modina asked.

Miguel tensed beside her and Modina chose that moment to fall silent. She had no wish to anger him further. She knew he was angry, could feel it in the small space between them...and she would hear about it later.

6
Dhemlan / Re: Growing the future
« on: Sep 18, 19, 01:46:25 PM »
Dhemlan Academy was a place of sanctity in Modina’s mind. The students who filled it were Dhemlan’s best hope for future prosperity, and perhaps a way to avoid another humbling occupation like the one that occurred in Modina’s lifetime. She was invited to speak about the Great War from time to time, to discuss her experiences with the students so that the war did not become some romanticized tale in the minds of Dhemlan’s future leaders. She also hoped to cultivate useful informats among the faculty in order to avoid a repeat of the debacle with Gabriella Robles, the former pet Queen of Savion Euskara.

But Modina had other reasons for her visit.

Filomena Belona had long been the Dean of Dhemlan Academy. Some of its most notable students had passed through on her watch...as well as the aforementioned debacle regarding the short-lived Queen. Modina had always wondered if the other woman had somehow aided and abetted the girl’s escape, but she also wondered why her fellow Priestess hadn’t launched her own campaign to rule Dhemlan. Maybe she didn’t have the stomach for politics. Maybe she hadn’t been asked. Or maybe she was looking to get something else out of the deal.

Modina saw it as her personal duty to find out and ensure that Lady Belona’s decision stuck.

A member of the staff owed Modina a favor, so it wasn’t hard to catch the Dean right after she entered her office. They’d collaborated on sending Lady Nieto to Dena Nehele a year ago, so she saw no reason that Lady Belona wouldn’t see her. 

She knocked three times and waited patiently to be admitted.

7
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: Sep 09, 19, 11:34:37 PM »
Make sure it’s a good bottle of wine. I think they’ll forgive us if the vintage is worthy.” Modina said, laughing at Joana’s joke. When she was talking to her cousin like this, Modina could forget, for a moment, all of the terrible things that had happened during the war and after and pretend that they were two normal people just chatting about the politics of Dhemlan. Modina wanted Joana to win the election and rule Dhemlan with compassion and intelligence, as Modina believed that she could. She also wanted Sarque to remain free and independent, untouched by the bullshit in Atholi and Gravardi.

I think it’s great that you know you can’t rule all of the Dhemlan the way you rule Illbeda. Many people in your position wouldn’t think that way and would try to put the interest of their home above that of the Territory. Keep that mindset as we move forward in this. You’ll be challenged often regarding your loyalties, but as long as you convince the people that you are loyal to Dhemlan, you’ll win them over.” Modina said.

Not to mention that you’ll have me in your corner, so that will help assuage the fears of those who worry about Dhemlan’s direction now that Prince Euskara has returned to the Darkness.” Modina said.

You might want to make those decisions about who is coming with you as early as possible. If you win, you don’t want someone to get the wrong idea either way. But there are a few people I’d recommend, if you’re taking suggestions. The ones with the friends in Parliament who can help move your agenda along or talk to the right people into supporting you. You’ll want to give them a reason to support you early on.” she said.

There’s also one other question, regarding Illbeda, since you’d leave most of your Court here. Have you considered a successor in the event that you’re elected?

8
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: Aug 08, 19, 06:29:41 PM »
Modina had once left Dhemlan twenty-two years ago. For the Long-Lived, it would have been considered recent history, especially as she wasn’t gone very long. But Modina never spoke about her years away. Those who knew her well enough understood that she was more willing to talk about the Great War than wherever she’d been during that time. She’d avoided telling Joana the truth for fear that her cousin would look upon her with disappointment or, worse, pity. Modina could handle anger, disappointment, or a loss of faith. She’d lived through too many horrible centuries, seen too many people die that should have lived to ever accept someone’s pity, even Joana’s. She loved her cousin, but the conversation was suddenly too real, too close to the surface. Miguel’s eyes were still on her. She knew what he wanted her to do. It was one of the few things they’d ever disagreed upon.

Joana gave her the go-ahead to reach out to Dena Nehele’s Conclave. A weight seemed to lift from her shoulders and her eyes closed briefly as she considered what this meant. She’d be reaching out to Dena Nehele, ostensibly, to learn about the Territory and gather intelligence on their state of affairs. There was no guarantee that Lady Robles was even there. For all they knew, she’d gone through the Dark Gate and passed into the Shadow Realm to avoid returning to Dhemlan. Modina didn’t think that was the case, but it wasn’t impossible.

In the meantime, she could finally have the meeting and the conversation that she’d wanted to have for decades. She could try to repair the damage she’d done. She had to proceed with caution.

Well, it wouldn’t hurt to make inroads. I’ll send the request up the chain of command and see what we can learn.” Modina said.

In the meantime, we should prepare you for this debate. Right now, your largest issue is that you’re virtually unknown to the Territory at large. That doesn’t have to be a liability. You’re a ruling Queen, so you have experience. We just need to show that to people.” Modina said.

But the matter of Anagon is going to come up sooner than later. There are people who still believe in Isadora Diamente’s dream. Joana, if anyone should take the lead on a reunification, it’s Sarque. Sarque lead the fight for independence. Atholi and Gravardi had a slaver and a lickspittle as leaders for longer than necessary.” Modina said.

I don’t think the Provinces needed to be unified, but if they needed to...Sarque deserves to have its history respected.” Modina said.

Like you said, though, Future Joana and Modina can worry about that. Preferably over drinks and good food while we celebrate your victory in the election.” Modina said, smiling.

9
Dhemlan / Re: I carried this for years
« on: Jul 31, 19, 11:24:27 PM »
Modina’s laugh filled the room as Mamoru talked about Sarque’s blessed lack of aristo bullshit. Illbeda seemed to have a surplus of that bullshit at times, enough that Modina had suggested (more than once) that Joana let her Gray handle her business. Or, if she didn’t want Ysmael getting his hands dirty, to let her and Miguel handle her problems. Joana declined each time, but the point remained. The aristos were getting in the way more than they helped at times. Modina kept those thoughts to herself most days, but right now it was good to hear that someone had found an answer to the upper class. She knew that he cared little for Warlord Princes, hence leaving Miguel to his own devices while she made this visit.

Something Marmoru said next surprised her, though. “Wait. An unstable slave did all of that damage to Dena Nehele? I’d heard that no one knew the actual cause of what happened.” Modina said. Or that’s what I’d been lead to believe.. She needed to reach out to her contact up north now, because she didn’t appreciate being caught off-guard in conversation. Still, the idea that a slave could do so much damage spoke of incalculable power. She disliked the idea of that, if she was being honest.

No, she survived the Decimation, as they call it, safe and whole. But she lost someone she cared for and I’m not there to help her through it.” Modina said, looking away. Guilt gnawed at the corners of her mind, but Modina tried to push it aside. If she stopped to consider all the things she regretted in her life thus far, she’d never breathe again.

Talk turned back to the election and Modina nodded at the mention of Lady Galante’s candidacy for the Territory Seat. She was sure that Lady Galante was a good woman, but Modina wanted Joana to take the Territory Seat and lead Dhemlan. Joana was meant for greater things and, when she ruled Dhemlan, that would free up Ilbeda’s seat to be ruled by a worthy Queen who could guide it into the future.

I’ve never met her, but her reputation precedes her. I admired Emerald Company’s work.” Modina said. They were nearly as vicious as Onyx Company in their attacks on those thrice-damned Eyriens. If only they could have cooked up something terrible to send back to Askavi so that those bat-winged monstrosities could continue to suffer for their attacks.

Those are strong promises. Removing the tithing exemption will anger the very aristos she wants to Court, but it’ll get their attention, too.” Modina said.

Joana wants Sarque to remain Sarque as well. She never cared for all that garbage talk about Anagon being Anagon.” Modina said, resisting the urge to spit at the mention of it. Let the Slaver Queen’s dream die with her and leave it at that.

She’s also got a few ideas on how to feed our people and bring back our success. She’s found success in Ilbeda that could be expanded to encompass the rest of the Territory.” Modina said.

10
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: May 26, 19, 02:06:39 AM »
Modina agreed with Joana’s assessment of the way Gabriella Robles was treated in Dhemlan. She didn’t think the foreign Queen deserved anything, not when she’d lived a life that belonged to someone else. It should have been her daughter attending the Academy and training under Joana in preparation to rule. Savion’s Pet had been kidnapped from Dhemlan and, hopefully, would never darken their door again.

She took Joana’s hand and held it, basking in her Touch as the Queen gave voice to the thoughts in Modina’s mind. The Eyriens deserved torment and death for what they’d done to Terreille. Mother Night knew it as surely as all of the people they’d harmed knew it. The Dark One, called Witch by most, had struck them down and made them retreat, but she allowed them to live. They could still ruin lives by existing, warping people into monsters to fight back against their depredations. “Thank you, Jojo. That means...that means everything to me.

Miguel's hand rested on her shoulder, a grounding force against the emotions that threatened to drag her under and lock her away once more.

Then that’s your target audience. Our people need food and they need to know that they’re safe. Your idea regarding the coastal fisheries and establishing a maritime presence are both very good and should get people talking, one way or the other. “ Modina said.

Opening the Academy to more students may be a harder sell, but talking to Lady Belona, the Dean, should help you figure out how to address it. If she’s on your side, you have a good chance of swaying the aristos that send their children there.” she said.

Keeping Dhemlan secure and unified is a good topic to discuss. Lady Diamente was vocal in her desire to reunite Sarque, Gravardi, and Atholi into the Anagon of old. Let me tell you, my darling, that Sarque will never allow it to happen, nor should they.” Modina told her cousin. “Lady Diamente is dead and gone, but her followers are not. We can’t afford to fight outsiders. We definitely can’t afford to have those provinces at war with each other.” Modina said.

Infrastructure. Education. Defense. That’s a good start for a platform, in my opinion. Use it or alter it as you like.” she said, smiling.

Though on the subject of Dena Nehele...perhaps that’s a matter that the Priestesshood can address with their Conclave, at least to start. My research has revealed that the Conclave of Dena Nehele carries deep influence in the Territory. They might aid in learning Lady Robles’ final fate...or help smooth the waters if the worst happens.” Modina said.

I could make some inquiries, if you like.

Modina felt Miguel’s eyes on her, then.

She ignored him for the moment.

11
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: May 26, 19, 12:44:59 AM »
Joana could get excited when talking about economics, trade, and resources. Modina thought all of those things were well and good, but they weren’t exciting topics by any stretch. Still she let her cousin go on because she could see the passion in the other woman’s eyes when it came to solving problems. Joana could have pressed the Executive Council to consider her for rulership of Dhemlan without the spectacle of an election, but she wanted to let the people choose. The Treaty of Queens had done damage to the reputation of Queens and lead to Savion Euskara, Mother Night damn his soul to Hell. His rule was not short enough.

You’ll find less traction on that path with say, Dena Nehele or Shalador, but Pruul definitely be an area of trade. Dena Nehele would be an excellent source of corn and wheat. Their largest province, as I understand it, has a great deal of arable land. And given Dhemlan’s…unique history with Dena Nehele, it would be worthwhile to get an understanding of them sooner than later.” Modina said, focusing on Joana.

We have no idea where Gabriela Robles ended up, or if she’s even alive. But if she is and her people ever learn where she ended up...they could demand a Price. Our next leader would have to address that.” Modina said. She didn’t know if such a thought had ever crossed Joana’s mind but Modina wanted to at least put the thought in her head.

The discussion of Askavi also had Modina agitated, but for a different reason. Miguel must have sensed it because it was he, the Warlord Prince, who was extending a hand to take one of Modina’s. The Priestess counted down from one-hundred in her head, allowing herself to work through her thoughts where the Eyriens were concerned. She cared nothing for the troubles or their lack of money. If they were so destitute, they could serve in other ways. But taking Eyrien land meant going to the mountains of Askavi. The idea of making the beasts deal with foreign boots on their soil for the next eight centuries didn’t make Modina feel better or feel avenged.

They needed to suffer more.

Fuck Askavi.” she said, nearly cutting off Joana’s sentence. The scar on the back of her leg throbbed, or it felt like it throbbed. Modina knew there wasn’t really any pain there, but when she got agitated or thought about the Eyriens, the pain returned.

Realizing what she’d done, Modina took a deep breath. “Apologies, Jojo. I...I didn’t meant to interrupt.” she said.

Once she’d calmed down, Modina understood that Joana’s message needed refinement, but they couldn’t refine it without asking an important question.

Joana, before I answer your question, can you answer one for me?” Modina asked.

When election day comes around, whose support are you counting on to win this? Are you speaking to the aristos and their money? Or are you speaking to the Landen and the working-class people who just want to ensure that their families are fed and they receive fair wages for their work?” Modina asked.

12
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: May 25, 19, 11:14:50 PM »
Modina watched Joana process the questions she’d asked. She was close with her cousin, close enough that she knew the difference between the Queen as she spoke to her Court and when she was talking to her. She watched Joana consider the question and saw the Queen square her shoulders and sit up a little straighter in her chair. Modina knew, then, that she was about to the Queen’s Answer to start, the one that she’d give to others when they asked about her plans for Dhemlan.

But Modina also knew that Joana felt safe enough to give her that answer because they were all here together.

Joana said nothing that was factually incorrect, but Modina wondered how well it would play to remind people of what they’d lost and how the Treaty of Queens had weakened them at home and abroad. Dhemlan had beaten back Askavi once, but no one remembered that. The history books pointed to the Occupation and left it at that. Modina nodded in agreement at the reminders of unity and tradition that kept had seen them through that brutal time. It was only their famed systems of governance that kept the Eyriens from doing greater damage to Dhemlan than they’d managed.

Ending with the bit about Askavi is good. You’re going to find a lot of people who agree with you on that, even if they disagree on your other points. Focusing on the oceans and the coasts to rebuild our economy is also a good idea. Chaillot’s embroiled in civil war right now, so their navy is occupied. There’s no better time to challenge their superiority on the seas.” Modina said.

You could tweak a few more elements, but it’s a good start.” the Priestess said.

If you’re elected, how would you force Askavi to resume its payments? And how would you conduct diplomacy with the rest of Terreille?” Modina asked.

13
Dhemlan / Re: I carried this for years
« on: May 02, 19, 11:58:29 PM »
Modina nodded and then took a sip of her water at Mamoru’s explanation regarding the bandit issue. He was right about the number of Warlord Princes in need of something to do. They could be compelled to help defend Sarque, since of them had fought in, and survived, the Great War. Warlord Princes were always ready to spill blood, but many of them never lost the combat-ready edge that they’d gained after centuries of warfare. Her brother kept the same schedule and routines that got him through the Occupation and the loss of his Green.

Modina nodded again when Mamoru spoke off the Queen who lead to Savion’s downfall. Gabriella Robles was somewhere in the world now, probably enjoying her newfound freedom. Did the child ever think of Dhemlan? Had she made peace with her time here? Modina was genuinely curious, given the years she spent here. The girl hadn’t been too far away from her Offering when she disappeared. Lady Robles' Offering would have come right around…

It could’ve ended worse, but it didn’t. Soon enough, everyone who could think to ask for a Price will be dead. As well, Prince Euskara has returned to the Darkness. The matter, for good or ill, is closed. Besides, Dena Nehele has its own problems. Mother Night has judged Dena Nehele and found it wanting.” Modina said, shrugging a slim shoulder as she regarded him. It was heavy talk for a reunion, but Mamoru had brought Dena Nehele into the conversation. She’d have to circle back to that. His insight would be useful.

I’ve been helping my cousin try to get the people of her Province pulling in the same direction. Everyone’s so focused on keeping what’s theirs that they aren’t seeing the larger issues in front of us. It’s a lot of ego-stroking and managing of feelings, but...the struggle continues, you know?” Modina asked rhetorically. She was certain Mamoru understood that in his day-to-day duties. But she knew that her friend could be more ruthless than her cousin. Mamoru’s vision for Sarque was all-encompassing. Modina didn’t think he brooked some of the dissension that Modina saw among Ilbeda’s rulers.

The Archive keeps me busy and I keep in touch with as many of our comrades from the old days as possible. Helping them find things to do with their time or ways to contribute.” she said.

I was supposed to perform an Offering in Dena Nehele last summer, but...plans changed.” Modina said, sipping her water once more. She looked away from Mamoru, briefly, and tried to regain her focus.

Other than that, my cousin suggested this election and intends to run. So I’m helping her with that as well.” Modina said.

14
Dhemlan / Re: I carried this for years
« on: May 02, 19, 12:24:38 AM »
Once he used her first name, Modina relaxed a bit more. He had a great deal on his mind at any given time, she knew, and Modina never sought to make light of it. “Thank you, Mamoru. I appreciate it.” she said, moving to sit where he indicated. She would ask for water with a bit of lemon and nothing more. The refreshment was welcome, but she couldn’t eat just now. She wanted to focus on the conversation and renewal of friendship between the two of them. They’d both served in Onyx Company and Modina took those ties as seriously as she took the ties of blood between her and Miguel.

It has been a long time, my friend. Thank you for seeing me.” she said, crossing one long leg over the other.

No, Isadora Diamente is a bad memory, best forgotten. I know little of Lady Frabizia, but we can only hope that Isadora’s dream of a restored Anagon died with her.” Modina said. The idea of reuniting Anagon disgusted her. Centuries of warfare and immersing herself in Sarque’s culture and way of life gave her greater respect for the people who lived here. Gravardi and Atholi didn’t deserve to claim any part of Sarque’s success or strength for itself.

Sarque is fortunate to have a ruler who puts its welfare first, as you do. Dhemlan needs the same.” Modina said. Savion Euskara wasn’t that man. He’d been cast down as another bad memory that was best forgotten. Dhemlan was still recovering from the Purge, but Sarque seemed in better shape than many other places in the Territory. Modina looked around the office for a moment before returning her attention to Mamoru.

Atholi seems to have its hands full with bandits and getting itself in order in the wake of Lady Diamente's fall. Do you think those bandits will target Sarque next?

15
Dhemlan / Re: I carried this for years
« on: Apr 30, 19, 11:17:21 PM »
When word arrived that Mamoru would see her, Modina was thrilled. While she wanted to discuss the election and whom he endorse, seeing her old friend was the greater appeal. Sarque was caught between the protege of a monster and a Province that was known in less-polite company as Atholi’s bitch. More than once, Modina thanked Mother Night that Joana had fewer issues than Prince Salazar, but that would change. The longer this election and all of this campaigning continued on, her cousin would make enemies.

She hoped Joana was prepared for that.

Modina was also glad to speak with Mamoru for the simple fact that he wasn’t Joana. Modina loved her cousin like a sister, but there were things that she just couldn’t tell her, not after keeping secrets for twenty years. Whenever she was in the same room with the Queen of Illbeda, Modina always felt like she was one moment away from telling Joana everything. The Priestess saw no redemption or salvation in telling her cousin the truth. The questions would be immediate. Why didn’t she say something sooner? Why did she keep the secret? Modina didn’t want to answer questions or regret her choices. She did that enough for ten lifetimes on a daily basis.

Miguel sat across from her in the coach on their journey to Sarque. As always, Modina watched the world pass beneath them, glad just to be on the move once more. She loved Ilbeda, and Sarque, but she’d promised herself, after the War, that she would never root herself to one place permanently. She hadn’t even reached her thousandth year; there was plenty of time yet to enjoy the rest of the Terreille and everything it had to offer. For now, though, she wanted to talk to her friend and put aside the troubles of the Territory and burdened hearts. The views of the mountains always stole her breath and captured her thoughts. Their arrival at the Landing Pad made Modina sad that the journey was already over. Miguel, on the other hand, looked like he couldn’t get up and stretch fast enough.

They’d arrived after the midday meal and were escorted inside and they made their greetings promptly. Miguel accepted the offer of a tour, if only because discussions between members of the Archive held little interest for him.

And you, Prince Salazar. It’s been so long.” Modina said, smoothing down the front of her blouse. She was already feeling a bit more calm outside her brother’s presence and the need to be functioning at all times. She forgot, at times, how much she missed Sarque. Despite all the horrible things she’d seen and done in this Province, she felt as close to this place as she did Ilbeda.

How are things here?” she asked.

16
Dhemlan / Re: the game plan
« on: Apr 18, 19, 12:11:08 AM »
Modina nodded to Joana’s Steward, watching the man rise and leave the room with his sheaf of papers. They’d clearly been in the middle of a discussion and Modina could guess what it was by the look on Joana’s face. Growing season was coming. It was always a struggle to get people in the same Province to work together, even when the signs clearly showed that they’d do better supporting each other than worrying over who would get the scraps if it came to a fight.

Modina put that out of her mind for now. She was here to give her cousin good news.

Miguel hugged Joana first, paying her tribute as the Province Queen before stepping back to allow Modina to do the same. The Priestess wrapped her arms around her cousin and held her tight for a few seconds, glad to be in her presence. Modina enjoyed, truly enjoyed, the company of few people in her life. Two of them stood in this room. The third was in Sarque, working on his devotions and wondering who was coming to ruin his day. She released her and stepped back, holding Joana’s hands and took a long look at her. She fussed over her like an elder sister more than a cousin at times, and she smiled at the Rose Queen.

Funny you should ask. We were here to ask how we could help you.” Modina said.

They sat down in the chairs by the window, with Modina sparing a glance out the window toward the ocean. She often joked that her cousin was part-fish, the way she loved the ocean. But Modina knew that she was born at sea and it called to her the way that the land called to other Queens.

A little bird told me that you’ve got a meeting with some important people later today. You and Prince Suarez will charm them into backing you. I’m sure of it.” Modina said.

My concern is how you’re going to get Illbeda, and then the rest of Dhemlan, to support you. I know that your heart is set on having this election because you want them to choose. I’ve told you my feelings about it, so I won’t rehash them. Miguel and I are here to help you however we can.” Modina said, getting more comfortable as she watched her cousin.

But I will level with you, Joana. The people coming out of the woodwork for this race are going to tout their experience, or their military records, or their skill with money. They’re going to talk about Dhemlan’s pride and how we need to reclaim our pride. Your message has to be clear and concise, but hopeful.

We want to be on your campaign team. Who have you hired to help you get your message out?
” Modina asked.


17
Dhemlan / the game plan
« on: Apr 17, 19, 05:44:39 PM »
194 Winter, Ilbeda Province Court


Modina strode through the palace like she ruled the place. She didn’t, but it was usually easier to deal with Joana’s people when she didn’t need to explain herself. The soft click-click-click of her heels on the marble floors was matched only by the sound of Miguel’s, her brother’s, boots on the same while he kept pace at her side. She wore black slacks and a white sweater that kept the worst of winter’s chill off her skin. The scar on her right calf was a dull ache, one that always presented itself this time of year.

She kept her face impassive as she carried the folder and the bundles of handwritten notes tucked close at her side. She wanted Joana to see everything for herself, but she also wanted this election to be over. When he cousin had first suggested the idea, Modina stared at her in her shock. Then she laughed because it sounded like the kind of jest that Joana would make. Queens suffered from a need to be loved, to be craved the way that they craved the touch of their Bonded and the land beneath their feet. But when she realized that Joana was serious, she stopped laughing.

She truly wanted to do this. Fine.

Modina would ensure that she won.

Are you sure about this, Dina? Jojo has a strong sense of forthrightness. She may not agree with what you have in mind.” Miguel said as he knocked on the door to Joana’s office.

She may not, brother mine. I’m going to make the suggestion at least. You know how much she loves the game. And if she doesn’t love my ideas on their face...I won’t tell her how many of them I’ve already implemented if you don’t.” Modina said, flashing him a mischievous grin.

Miguel’s expression was grim. “Ay, Dina...what did you do?

Nothing that can’t be forgiven in...two or three centuries.

Miguel’s retort was cut off when Joana’s Steward opened the door. Modina marched right in, Miguel trailing behind.

It was time to get this show on the road.

18
Dhemlan / Modina Palomo
« on: Feb 26, 19, 04:25:57 PM »
The Basics
Character Name: Modina Crisanta Palomo
Nicknames: Dina,  Ay, Dina! (mostly by Miguel when she has an idea)
Age & Birthyear: 991 (797 BP)
Race: Long-Lived (Dhemlanese)
Caste: Priestess
Birth Territory: Dhemlan, Terreille
Home Territory:  Dhemlan, Terreille

Birthright Jewel: uncut Tiger Eye
Offering Jewel: uncut Purple Dusk

Role:
Faction:

Appearance

Play By: Barbara Mori
Distinguishing Features:

Straight black hair and golden eyes. Prefers dresses that cover her long legs to conceal a sword slash that covers that back of her right calf. There is a small tattoo on the underside of her right wrist that she shares with her three closest friends from Onyx Company.

Personality


Personality:


Sleep doesn’t come easily, if at all, for Modina. Centuries of warfare and fighting for her life have left her with scars a mile wide and deep enough to color her outlook on life. Askavi’s onslaught shattered her worldview, turning her from a fun-loving young woman who enjoyed the pursuit of knowledge on its own merits into a vicious woman eager to spill blood and inflict maximum damage on her enemies in defense of her people. The war ended two centuries ago, but Modina still approaches interactions with most people as an opportunity to glean new and important information from them while subtly misdirecting them into spreading false information on her behalf. She struggles to release that mindset even in the presence of family, but she’s been fighting longer than she’s been alive.

Opening up to others is difficult unless she’s talking to a fellow Priest or Priestess. Modina finds comfort and understanding the members of her caste and Onyx Company that survived the war, more than she finds it with family or the friends she’s collected. Centuries of coordinated effort with people who fought beside her makes them an extended family. Prayer and reflection are extremely important to her as she seeks the will of the Darkness to guide her actions and reshape her life. She was responsible for the deaths of thousands, directly or indirectly, and she can’t simply pack it into a corner of her mind and say that it was war. The level of viciousness that the Eyriens brought out of her scares her because she knows that she could return to being that person at any time.

Her cousin, Joana, reminds her Modina of the person that she was centuries ago, the one that wanted nothing more than to be left with her books and scrolls, who would rather fill her days with learning and her nights with Birthright and Offering Ceremonies. Joana’s vision for Dhemlan has captured Modina’s attention and given her something to strive for. Fulfilling that vision excites and inspires Modina enough to be willing to bend or break every rule possible to bring Joana’s vision to life.

If she can help Joana become ruler of Dhemlan, then maybe she can repair her relationship with her estranged daughter. Modina's greatest regret is not being there for the first part of her daughter's life and missing all the moments that have shaped Sorinna Roman into the woman that she is today. She can't get that time back, but if she can prove that she's spent these last years making herself better, she can prove to her daughter (and herself) that she's worthy of a second chance.





Likes:

  • 1. Joana: Joana is the best person Modina knows. Her cousin is a natural leader with the drive and youth to guide Dhemlan through this difficult time in its history. She also helped to care for Modina during a dark period in her life and helped her heal emotionally and mentally. While she personally disagrees with the idea of an election to put Joana in charge of the Territory, she indulges her cousin because she believes in her vision. The proximity to power that her cousin’s station affords doesn’t hurt, either.

  • 2. Connecting with the Darkness: Modina spends time in meditation and connection with the Darkness each night. She enjoys touching the Abyss and letting its strength fill her. Even when she does not find the answers she seeks, the practice brings her clarity and renewed purpose that centers her and prepares her for the challenges ahead.

  • 3. Travel: Modina loves being on the move and not knowing where she’ll be days, or even weeks, from now. While the Occupation was a horrible time in Dhemlan’s history, Modina loved her work with Onyx Company because it never allowed her to get too comfortable or complacent in a single location. When Joana needs someone cajoled or spoken to on her behalf, Modina’s volunteers because the open road and the Winds call to her.

    Dislikes:

  • 1. Sleeping Draughts: Dhemlan has been free for almost two centuries, but whenever Modina closes her eyes she recalls the terrible things she did and saw done during the war. She relies on sleeping draughts to get the rest that her body needs, but she hates taking them because they make her feel groggy upon waking.

  • 2. Eyriens: Few are born evil, but Modina knows that Eyrien souls are tainted without question. She will never forgive them for the person that they forced her to become, because their war ruined other aspects of her life that she may never fix. While she won’t attack one on sight, she’ll view anything that they say or do in the worst possible light.

  • 3. Large Meals: Modina spent centuries moving from place to place and eating small but dense meals to keep herself energized. She enjoys smaller snacks throughout the day but the idea or sight of large meals just feels wasteful to her. They are a rare enough sight in today’s Dhemlan, but she knows several aristos who like to flaunt their good fortune with a prodigious spread. She’s not likely to engage in said meal and will make an excuse to leave at the first opportunity.


    Fears:

  • 1. Her Taste for Blood: Modina justifies her most reprehensible acts during the war as the cost of keeping her people safe. But she didn’t hate all of it. Visiting justice on the raping, pillaging animals who killed people she knew and loved made her feel powerful and righteous in her rage. It’s too easy for her to return to that place in her mind, so she fills her day with helping others and channeling her bloodletting into Craft. Some days, it’s just not enough.

  • 2. Sorinna: She left her daughter in Dena Nehele years ago because she couldn’t care for her after her birth. Helping Joanna prepare for the election kept her from guiding Sorinna through her Offering as her own mother once did for her. The reasons don’t matter, though. She made a promise and then failed to deliver. Modina fears that she’s lost the chance to connect with her daughter and that she’ll never convince her to come home to Dhemlan, where she belongs.

  • 3. A Second Great War: The Great War exposed and embarrassed Dhemlan. No one remembers or cares that they turned aside the first Eyrien assault; they only remember that Dhemlan was forced into seven centuries of servitude. Hayll is on the rise while Dhemlan suffers. A war between Askavi and Hayll would find Dhemlan caught in the middle and possibly ruined for all time.


    Craft Strengths:

  • 1. Blood Magic - Blood assists in establishing a strong connection for a Priestess, and Modina is no different. Her blood magic is focused toward linking fellow Priests and Priestesses in cooperative rituals meant to protect holy sites. When connected through blood, Modina is able to draw upon the reservoirs of those around her to focus and fuel security effects, although this is harder to do with those who stand deeper in the Abyss than her (and nearly impossible with the darkest jewels).

  • 2. Security Wards: Centuries of Eyrien rampages and attacks have shown Modina the advantage in resistance rather than direct opposition. She's extended this focus to her wardcraft, weaving them to bend and bend without breaking to delay her adversaries. Her wards last longer than normal for someone of her jewel strength, forcing the expenditure of extra energy to break through them completely.


    Craft Weaknesses:

  • 1. Telekinetic Craft (All): Modina can’t move or manipulate objects with Craft. Modina is quietly embarrassed that much of her immediate family is skilled in this Craft while she can’t force a pebble to move on her best day in the perfect conditions.

  • 2. Emotion Manipulation: Modina's spent the last two decades trying to lock down her own emotions and they are hard for her to process on the best days. When she uses this Craft, she often passes on what she is feeling rather than the emotional state she wants to invoke. Trying to calm someone while she's fearful or upset often passes those emotions to the other person, usually reinforcing their own issues.


    Life Story

    Family:

    Mother: Florinda Palomo, Broken Yellow to Broken Tiger Eye Priestess, (Age 2829, b. 2635 BP)
    Father: Esai Alvarez, Rose to Purple Dusk Warlord Prince (d. 687 BP)


    Brother: Miguel Palomo - Purple Dusk to Broken Green Prince (Age 1194 b. 1000 BP)

    Daughter: Sorinna Roman, White to Rose Queen (age 21, b 173 AP)


    Members of Onyx Company:

    Jacinta Cabrera - White to Yellow Black Widow (b. 620 BP)

    Domenico De Leon - Rose to Opal Warlord Prince (b. 1150 BP)





    History:


    Modina is the younger of two children born to Florinda Palomo and Esai Alvarez a century before Askavi returned to subjugate Dhemlan. Her mother was a noted member of the Priestesshood, and her father had been one of her mother’s escorts for over three centuries before they consummated their relationship. Modina’s older brother, Miguel, was also a guiding influence in her life. Modina was guided through her Birthright Ceremony by her mother, making the uncut Tiger Eye that she received all the more special because it felt like Mother Night had granted her one jewel in common with her mother.

    Modina’s training in the Priestesshood began in the Ilbeda Archive shortly after. She learned to care for an altar and prepare for use and watched her mother perform a number of rituals and ceremonies that enthralled Modina with their complexity. She grew to become her mother’s constant shadow, helping where she could and observing where she couldn’t. In these years, rumors of warfare to the west existed but Dhemlan held no fear of the Eyrien onslaught. They’d turned back the Eyriens almost two centuries prior, secure in the knowledge that Mother Night would not let Dhemlan fall to a race of warmongers. Like most Dhemlanese, Modina considered her homeland safe from the Eyriens and moved on with her life.

    Modina was soon working with her mother at the Archive after receiving her Purple Dusk at her Offering. She loved having unfettered access to the records and history of their people and studied every chance that she received. Her ability to recall seemingly trivial information on command, such as the date of a speech or a particular decree from a High Priestess from a millenia ago, endeared her to other members of the Conclave, who invited her to work with them on more complex rituals and maintaining the records that kept Dhemlan’s bloodlines pure. Modina spent the next eighty years assisting her fellow Priestesses in cataloging and preserving valuable artifacts, scrolls, and books that catalogued the earliest days of Dhemlan’s history. The preservation of her people’s histories and triumphs gave her a sense of purpose and bound her closer to the Conclave.

    The second attack on Dhemlan came during her 110th year. Her father was slain by the Eyriens in an initial skirmish, forcing Modina and Miguel to escape Illbeda for Sarque, where the Resistance took shape. Modina was swept quickly into Onyx Company, working with other Priestesses to confuse the Eyriens’ intelligence and reconnaissance, leading them into deadly ambushes or distracting them in order to secure valuable items and personnel.

    The birth of her cousin Joana was one of the few bright times during the darkness of those years. She performed her Birthright Ceremony as Florinda did for her. A short time later, she would also perform Joana’s Offering Ceremony, the event binding them as close as sisters despite the age difference between them.

    Nearly three more centuries would pass before Dhemlan was freed from Askavi’s tyranny. Modina’s unit rested after a skirmish with the Eyriens on the day of the Purge. She felt the dark power rising through the Abyss and rode the wave, narrowly avoiding the loss of her Purple Dusk. Several members of her unit weren’t as fortunate. The only positive was that the Eyriens had also been hit by the attack and were retreating. For the first time since her youth, Dhemlan was free. Unfortunately, Dhemlan lay in ruins from the loss of so many people, many of them Dark Jeweled. She was relieved to learn that Joana was whole and alive, but the same wasn’t true of her fellow members of Onyx Company or her sister Priestesses. When word arrived that the Eyriens would pay reparations for their unjust war, Modina considered it just the start of the ways that they should pay for ruining her homeland.

    The next five decades were spent surveying the full extent of the Purge’s damage and tending to her people. The loss of powerful Queens and other Dark Jeweled Blood to Eyrien attacks was a problem even before the Purge. The lack of Queens had a damaging effect on food supplies and production inside Dhemlan. Modina worked hard to make sure the children who came to her altar for education received their one meal each day, even if it meant lessening her own portions to see it done.

    Seventy years after the Purge, Modina was selected to travel Terreille and bring back information on the state of other Territories in the years since that cataclysmic event. Her travels took her into Raej and Hayll, but Dena Nehele caught her interest. During her stay, a short-lived Prince named Gheorge Roman caught her attention. Prince Roman was intelligent and charming, but Modina knew that he held secrets. For a time, she considered not returning to Dhemlan and trying to make a life with a man she loved. When she found herself with child, Modina decided that it was the right choice and settled in to inform the Conclave and Joana that she wasn’t coming home.

    Things changed after she gave birth to her daughter.

    Despite all the plans and dreams she’d whispered to her swollen belly, when little witch arrived, Modina couldn’t bring herself to look at her. Eating was a chore. When she slept, her dreams were filled with the Eyrien monsters that killed her people and she awoke to find herself and her child screaming.

    At the end of his wits, Gheorghe reached out to Miguel, who took Modina back to Dhemlan.

    Modina intended to return for her daughter, but the damage to her chalice required extensive help to mend and a long recovery afterward. Joana’s support and friendship was integral during this time, allowing Modina to recover enough to join her cousin’s Court. But nearly ten years had passed since leaving Dena Nehele and shame at leaving her daughter behind kept her from reaching out.

    News of Gheorghe’s death saddened her and she made plans to recover Sorinna and bring her home. Unfortunately, Dhemlan faced a new issue when Savion Euskara took charge of Dhemlan. He’d “rescued” a young Queen from Dena Nehele, of all places, intending to use her to restore the land and feed their people. This helped him secure Parliament's support for his rule. For a time, it seemed that Euskara’s role as Warlord Prince of Dhemlan was secure against all challengers.

    When Gabriella Robles disappeared, Parliament gave him a year and a day to locate her. Modina viewed the Warlord Prince’s mishap as a chance for Joana to ascend. Using many of the same tactics that the Onyx Company used to stymie and trick the Eyriens, Modina put false leads and trails wherever she could, determined to make the Warlord Prince’s agents create poor relations between the Territory Court and the District Courts. When the allotted time passed and Savion had not located Gabriella, his Court was dissolved and he was stripped of his power by Parliament. When his chief rival, Isadora Diamente, was also revealed to be enslaving members of her Court, Modina saw that the time was right to put forth a better Queen: Joana.

    But then Joana got in her own way by suggesting an election to decide the next ruler of Dhemlan.

    Modina decided immediately that she would work for her cousin’s campaign. If she must go through the trouble of voting for who she wants to win, she will ensure that Joana wins. When she wins, the seat of Ilbeda will be vacant and in need of a Queen who can rule.

    Then Modina can work on bringing Sorinna back home, where she belongs.






    Show Us What You've Got

    Character in Play:

    Modina found time amidst her duties to write another letter she’d never send.


    Dear Sorinna,


    She paused. She hated the butchering of her firstborn’s name. It lacked the passion and fire that the girl possessed on the day of her birth. She didn’t have the scent of a Queen that day, but it never surprised Modina that her daughter was a Queen. She’d ruled her father’s heart from her first breath.

    And Modina’s as well.

    I have many apologies to make, even if you do not accept them. I have been untruthful with you regarding my name and my life. I asked Lady Nieto to join you and, in the process, separated her from her family. I apologize for these things because you deserve better. You deserve more than what I have given you. You deserve to live among people who are like you, who understand the unique position you are in as one with long-lived blood. I fear that the people of Dena Nehele, as familiar to you as they’ve become, cannot and will not ever truly accept you.

    Modina paused. Had Sorinna already sensed it? Did she know that a life among the short-lived would never satisfy her? She should have reclaimed her daughter years ago, the day after she leaned of Gheorghe’s death. Dena Nehele was known for its killers, spies, and thieves. They were known for breaking and killing their Queens for sport. Leaving her among then had been a dangerous gamble, but Sorinna found herself in the company of a Queen who fought on her behalf. A Queen who had welcomed her and taught her in ways that Modina and Joana should have.

    A Queen that Sorinna recognized as her mother.

    That last part cut the deepest. Her daughter called another woman mother.


    I wanted to preside over your Offering as your grandmother, my mother, did for me. As I did for your cousin, Joana, also a Queen and soon to be ruler of all Dhemlan. I said I would be there. I was not. I apologize for getting your hopes up just to dash them. It was never my intent. Someday, I hope that you’ll forgive me for that, among other things.

    The knock on the door stilled her hand once more.

    Her brother, Miguel, opened the door to her study.

    Dina, it’s time. Joana’s ready to meet with the canvassing team to discuss the next stage of the campaign.

    Thank you, Miguel. I’ll be along shortly.

    Someday, I hope that we will have a chance to speak so that you can ask the questions you must ask in order to gain peace. I have answers. I want to provide them when you are most comfortable. Whether now, or a thousand years from now, the Darkness will bring us together. That is the advantage that we have over our short-lived cousins. Time is on our side. Until we meet, I remain,


    Sincerely yours,

    Modina Palomo
    Priestess of the Dhemlan Archive

    She down her pen, folded the letter, and summoned an envelope. She set the letter inside and sealed it, then stood and walked over to the loose brick in the southwest corner of the wall. Disabling the ward she'd placed over it, Modina removed the brick and set the letter inside the space to join its thousands of unsent cousins. She replaced the brick and rose, letting the ward resume its function. The she left her office to join the strategy meeting.

    First, she would put Joana on Dhemlan's throne.

    Then she would put her daughter on Ilbeda's.


    Petitions (if any): N/A



    Player Name: Gavin

Pages: 1

 

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