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Author Topic: Dark Wings, Dark Words  (Read 245 times)

Description: tag: Fin/Tavar

Offline Abaddon al-Sabbah

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Dark Wings, Dark Words
« on: Mar 09, 18, 10:21:36 AM »
Abaddon had been raised with secrets, though he had not known all of them, he now knew they were there.  He also knew that secrets and lies and madness had changed his world, and it was debatable if there was real improvement because of it.  The Spider had to be pulled out, but only the bloom had been clipped, the roots and steams remained.  The True Sabbah aggravated him, and he had made that abundantly clear.  Now, he had no secrets, nor any wish to accrue them.  At least no secrets that could harm anyone.  Abaddon had gone to Fin immediately after his treament of Elenor, feeling that those secrets were neither his to keep, nor good for the clan.  He was his oldest friend, and despite the actions and limits of his 'Father' his truest.  He had little in the way of Family, and this old warrior was a part of that exclusive tribe.

He had left Fin with that information, and while he had warned about Elenor's delicate state, he had also told him about Elenor's challenges and the need for her Bonded Males.  Abaddon had left him to decide how to build that trust and comfort for his Queen, and he had returned to his own feral Bond.  For all of Ghanima's qualities, and her obstacles, he was always relieved by her presence.  He understood her, and touched her mind in the depths of the Twisted Kingdom, and knew her in a way that he could never know Elenor.  Ghanima was his peace, and he felt a certain relief in her company that he found in no one else's.  It allowed him to think clearly, and thus, he decided that he must speak to Fin, now, about the journey to Askavi.  He had waited, but the time was overdue.

Abaddon felt no guilt about answering Kaderian's challenge, his only annoyance was with himself.  He should have drawn those connections instantly, instead of letting his appetites cloud his logic.  The outcome would not have changed, he would have claimed the Eyrien Healer for those hours even if he had, but at least he would have been more prepared for the truth of Fin's announcement to those closest to him.  Abaddon returned, once again, to the Sabbah's quarter, and he cut a straight path to Fin's office.  He was the Voice of the Sabbah, and there were typically layers of bureaucracy to reach him, but very few every chose to get directly in the Black Widow Warlord Prince's way.  He knocked once on Fin's door, and strode into the same office where the other man had made his announcement.  He inclined his head to Fin, obeyed the needs of Protocol, offered him his empty hand in greeting, and declared, 'We need to talk."  The statement was clear, they needed to talk about Fin, Abaddon, and Askavi, everything else was for another conversation.

Offline Tavar al-Sabbah

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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #1 on: Mar 12, 18, 10:24:06 PM »
We need to talk.

Fin agreed with Abbadon’s statement. The Voice of the Sabbah turned leaned back in his chair and turned his gaze on the young man before him. Had it only been thirty-one years since Abbadon’s birth? It seemed only yesterday that he’d first heard tell of Adramelech’s son, the Warlord Prince with a temper as fierce and fiery as any who’d ever borne the caste. Before he’d pieced together the truth of his siring, Fin’s hopes for him were immense. Those hopes had grown with age, especially when Abbadon manifested the Black Widow Caste in his teens. Fin would never be wholly at ease with the idea of men who held the Castes of women, but it had never diminished his love for Abbadon, nor his hope that the young man would do Clan Sabbah proud.

And it had hurt him even deeper when Adramelech had tried to turn “his” son into a weapon meant to terrify the Sabbah and be wielded against the other clans. Fin took it upon himself to teach Abbadon to be a better man than his father would have him.

So it was with no small amount of pride that Fin greeted the Red Jeweled Black Widow Prince.

He just hoped Abbadon would forgive him before the discussion was over.

Yes, Abbadon, we should talk.” Fin said, rising from his chair to pay Abbadon the respect due his higher castes. Abbadon would never have asked him to do it, but Fin believed in setting an example for all to follow.

Will you sit? There’s much to discuss and I’d prefer that we are both comfortable. Do you need anything?” Fin asked.

He waited for Abbadon to answer and would provide refreshments before returning to his chair. He wasn’t as old as Abulurd al-Bali by any stretch, but days like this one made him feel every one of his twelve centuries of life. Would it get worse as he grew older? Possibly. But Fin would deal with that if he lived long enough to see it happen.

Where would you like to start?” he asked, ceding the floor to Abbadon. He would let the younger man guide the conversation to start.

It wouldn’t do to overwhelm him at the beginning.



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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #2 on: Mar 15, 18, 10:29:29 AM »
Abaddon greeted Fin as Protocol demanded, as they always did.  He was a friend, and he did not expect such, but despite that, there was a basic, primal part of him that always appreciated the gesture.  He spent most of the time in some measure of agitation, like there was a splinter always in his mind or under his skin, aggravating him all day long.  It was constant, and while he had become used to it, and understood it, it was nice when someone made an attempt, small or great, to soothe it.  Protocol could be such a balm, as Fin well knew, and while again, he would never have demanded it of his old friend and teacher, he would always appreciate it.  He nodded when they were done, and when it was agreed they should talk, he took the offered seat.

"I have eaten, I am fine for the moment, thank you for asking."  He waited for Fin to seat and get comfortable, and considered the question.  Where did he want to start?  He had already drawn some conclusions regarding the Eyrien Healer he had encountered and bedded, and while he had no particular guilt or feeling about that, he could see where Fin might.  Abaddon was what he was, and he had been challenged.  "I would like to begin with Askavi, and why anyone from there has any hold at all on your?  I know you are not born in Pruul, but you are ours now.  I cannot imagine what long memories you must have, I am too young for that from where I stand."

Abaddon gestured between them, "We are not blood, but we are kin."  He sat straight and met Fin's eyes, "I am already going with you, and I will stand with you.  Nothing you tell me will change that.  I am guilty of my own crimes, and I will not make myself a hypocrite by judging you for any you may have commited in some foreign land before you came to Pruul."  He nodded seriously, "I would just like to know what is on your mind, and why this pains you so, and where I fit in to any of it--there is something to this, something more in my case.  I am a visionary, Fin, a Black Widow drawn to the Tangled Web over and over again.  I have prophetic dreams, I cannotrestrain them."  He growled slightly, and then took a breath.  "The only peace I know is in the hands of my Queen, though Elenor tries when I am in her company."

He exhaled in a sigh, "Visions are not defined fact, Old Friend...Old Brother...the Father that should have been.  I suspect, I can deduce, I can feel a truth, but I do not know it.  I need you to tell it to me."


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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #3 on: Mar 15, 18, 02:58:45 PM »
Fin settled in as Abbadon did, allowing his wings to extend for a moment before drawing them tight to his back. Abbadon wanted begin with Askavi and Fin knew he should have expected it. Between his introduction to Kaderian and the general furor raised by the Eyreins who’d accompanied her, Fin knew there would be questions. He’d expected Lucky to ask a few of them or even try to bed Kaderian himself, to his eternal chagrin. Fin did not hate the woman on principle, but hated that she was the water-carrier for a brutal regime that he did not believe had changed any in the last eight centuries. He set those thoughts aside to concentrate fully on Abbadon and his queries, for he wanted to be honest and clear.

I was born in Askavi, in the Living Lake Province. It’s named for the massive lake that runs from nearly one end of the province to the other. Some days, when the sunlight lands just right upon it, you can see deep, deep below the surface, my friend. The fish cannot be matched anywhere in Terreille, I imagine.” Fin said.

If you head west from Onn, all the way to the mountains, and through them, you can reach it. Provided that you aren’t killed by those watch those passes for just that reason.” Fin said, rubbing his chin as he considered what to tell Abbadon next.

After a young man undergoes his Birthright Ceremony, he is removed to the Hunting Camps, where he spends the next twelve years learning combat and strategy. Learning to fight and kill. Even the most timid of boys is made a man through these trials. There is no other option.” Fin said.

He took a deep breath and released it slowly, a sound of resignation.

Drakkar Estaroth was practically my older brother. He was one of the two fiercest, most vicious warriors I’ve ever known. He wore the Red and, for a time, he was my idol, even more than my father was. Father believed that, together, we would lead the Blood Seekers to glory and honor unparalleled. So believe me when I say, Abbadon, that I understand how important it was for you to please your father.

I once killed men and women because I enjoyed it. But I also did it to earn the esteem of my father and Drakkar. And anytime that I worried that I wasn’t capable or that couldn’t meet his exacting standards, Drakkar was there to bolster my courage. He was was my best friend.
” Fin said.

Fin shifted in his seat, looking down at the floor for a moment to collect his thoughts. Then he looked back to Abbadon.

That woman, Kaderian? Drakkar fancied her some time ago. I would not be surprised if they were lovers. Or still are. When you said you were acquainted with her, I wanted to be surprised, but I wasn’t. You look so much like him that it steals my breath at times. Perhaps it’s why I’ve taken such interest in you, aside from your being Sabbah and raised by Adramelech. I needed to know that you were taken care of, maybe as some form of penance for refusing to face him when I refused to return to Askavi.” he said.

I have every reason to believe that you are Drakkar Estaroth’s son. The Old Spider attempted to hide your parentage, but he was not as thorough as he believed. It took much digging and a great deal of quiet investigation. It is part of the reason for my absences from Clan Sabbah over the centuries. But I knew that he could not learn of you. Even if he accepted you, which I don’t know that he would...he would see you as a weapon to be wielded, rather than his blood.” Fin said.

His wife and daughter may also have their own feelings. I need to prepare you for what you could face in Askavi, Abbadon. Your castes, your bearing, your power...you will be tested. I know you do not fear that.” Fin said.

But you deserve to know the truth.



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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #4 on: Mar 16, 18, 10:53:38 AM »
Abaddon's eyes followed the motion of Fin's wings, they always had, since he was a child.  He had been fascinated by them, and he supposed, now he knew why.  Fin began to speak, to answer his question he was sure, but there was much to tell in a life as long as the Eyrien's, and so Abaddon practiced one of the things that came naturally to him, despite a sense of persistent annoyance.  He listened.  He did not interrupt.  Some of this story he already knew, certainly he knew Fin was from Askavi, if not the specifi place.  He could not help but hold a Pruulian's combination of wonder and disdrain about a lake of fresh water as large as was described to him.  Abaddon had never been fishing, but he experienced an unexpected urge to try it, perhaps he would have the chance.

He knew where Askavi was, and how to get there, though he had previouslynever held the desire.  Now, though, it ran under his skin like acid, like heat in his blod.  The visions, the look in the eyes of those that saw something in him that he could not see, because he had not truly seen it anywhere but in the distane of his mind.  Abaddon listened closely to the expectations of a young Eyrien, they seemed to have their own Trials, more violent and extreme, but not unfamiliar as an idea.  He understood what it was like to believe in a man, only to be disappointed.  It was more than simply pleasing Adramelech, he was controlled by The Spider, conditioned, compelled and contained.  His jaw clenched slightly, but he held his tongue, and continued to listen.

They arrived at Kaderian, and Abaddon was not sure what to think of those small revelations.  He had no regrets.  He was a Black Widow Warlord Prince, and he had bedded a willing Female, a Healer that had challenged him.  He had simply answered the challenge, and felt neither regret nor remorse.  He would be wasting time questioning Kaderian's motives; in the end, they had both gotten what they wanted out of the tryst, and that was the truth of it.  Though now, information clicked.  The Prince that Kaderian served was likely his own unknown Father, the dreams of violence and wings and deep regret, also born of the same man.  He took a deep, slow breath, and listened still more.

Abaddon absorbed the rest, and tilted his head slightly at the notion of a Sister.  He had Ana again, and he considered her Family.  She had suffered under their shared Father's hand, as he had.  She was in a unique position to understand everything that Abaddon had experienced, but the idea that he had a sibling related by blood reached him in a way he did not expect.  He did not want to be alone in this world, and those close to him were kept, hoarded like coins in a miser's vault.  He wanted to keep what he had, but more was always going to seem better to him.  For all that most people irritated him to no ened, he did not want to be alone.  It was not a sentiment he was proud of, or even approved of, but it was a sentiment nonetheless, and it was still his.

The Black Widow Warlord Prince snarled briefly, as he collected his thoughts at the end of Fin's revelations, and he leaned forward slightly in his seat.  Setting his shoulders in a way that reminded the Eyrien across from him that Abaddon, despite his wings being clipped, had inherited the traits of his Father's people.  "To be clear; I am no one's weapon, not anymore.  Not ever again.  I have my Queen, and she understands that this journey is a trip that I must make to know where I am from, to better understand myself, and where I am going."  There was an edge that lingered in his voice as he spoke on this particular subject, "Drakker Estaroth can accept me, and know me as his Son, or he can wander out into the desert and fuck himself with a cactus.  I will look into his eyes, and try to understand who or what he is, or if he even remembers my Mother."

Abaddon leaned forward a bit more, "Let them test me.  Let them learn.  I do not have the width and breadth of your experience, Fin, or even theirs, likely, but I know what and who I am.  I will make them know as well, win or lose."  He sat back, and let his temper cool, falling silent for a moment, before adding.  "I will return to Pruul when we are done, with you by my side.  I will do this if I have to tear the wings from every Eyrien that puts themselves in our way."  He met Fin's eyes, "I do not know what crimes, or perceived crimes you committed in a past life, Fin.  I do not care what justice your former compatriots think you deserve.  In truth, Dear Friend, I barely care if you think you deserve that justice.  I will see you home."  He tilted his head, cracking his neck audibly, "But tell me, why you feel compelled to return?  And do not say it is because more Eyriens will come, we can kill them here far easier than we can kill them there.  You feel you must return; why?"

Offline Tavar al-Sabbah

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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #5 on: Mar 16, 18, 12:49:16 PM »
Fin was glad that Abbadon had possession of his own mind and thoughts. Adramelech had robbed him of his agency in many ways over the years. It pleased Fin to see him react so viscerally to the idea of fighting back against anyone else who’d try to control him. Still, he worried how all that would fare in the face of a young man who wanted to know his father. Fin could not protect him anymore but it was an instinctive desire to try. He let Abbadon speak, listening as the younger man made his visceral claim about what Drakkar could do if he did not accept him. Fin was by turned pained and amused at Abbadon’s words.

He sounds just like Drakkar.

Abbadon vowed that Fin would return with him, to which Fin did not respond. Even a Black Widow could not see all futures. There was every chance that they’d all die long before they arrived or some time before they came back. Fin was not resigned to dying in Askavi, but he understood what he was walking into. He was returning to land that did not take kindly to desertion or dereliction of duty. The bonds forged between warriors were supposedly for life and he’d cast those off and stayed away for centuries. There were a hundred, a thousand reasons not to go at all, but Abbadon wanted to know why he was going. He could still refuse and tell Kaderian to take a message to Drakkar.

But he’d avoided this long enough.

My father died on sands of Pruul during the Purge. I’ve had his bones hidden and preserved since that time. He always wanted to be buried in the soil of Living Lake, next to my mother. My mother died while I was here. I could not face her after I left my squadron. I could not face my father after I turned my back on his legacy.” Fin said.

Drakkar will want his bones. I could give them to Kaderian and leave it at that, but he will come here. And do not make light of killing Eyrien warriors, Abbadon. They are still feared, even with their empire diminished.” Fin told him.

But Drakkar should know how my father died. I will look into his eyes and tell him. I will look into the eyes of the families of the men I served with, that I murdered to save a Hayllian life, and tell them that we were wrong. That Askavi suffers because it refuses to let go of the past and seek a different future.” Fin said.

I am no longer a Blood Seeker. I am not the man who left them centuries ago with hatred and murder in his heart. I will tell them that and let them decide their reactions. I can’t control their fear or anger. I can only control my own.” Fin said.

I sentenced myself to Pruul because I thought I deserved it. But Pruul isn’t a place of exile. It’s a land of beauty and strength. It’s a land of plenty for those who know where to look. Pruul and the Sabbah deserve better than what I’ve given them in recent times.” Fin said.

So I will go to Askavi and cut away these last pieces of the past. Then I will come home and build a new future with my Clan, my Queen, and my woman. But live or die, win or lose, stand or fall…

I am done hiding and running from Askavi.
” Fin said, looking Abbadon in the eyes.



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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #6 on: Mar 17, 18, 10:36:28 AM »
Abaddon knew Fin, obviously not as well as some, but he felt he knew the man far better than most.  His Queen could claim another level of knowledge, and Judiah knew him better still, but the Red Black Widow Warlord Prince had grown up with Fin.  He had watched him, pondered every move and facial expression and exactly what that could mean.  With the removal of The Spider’s influence from his mind, suppressed memories continued to bubble to the service.  One had him nearly leveling a religious site to see his sister again, and other simmered, rising like bubbles in a pot of slow boiling water, rising to the surface of his mind and popping with a small revelation.  Abaddon was a visionary, a Black Widow skilled with his Webs, but he felt certain that if he were not, the recovery of these moments in time would be maddening.

He listened again, and became quiet.  There was much to learn, and his questions had not been simple ones.  He knew there would be complexities, what he did not expect was the deep emotional component.  His Father’s bones.  Abaddon did not quite understand why one would keep a loved one’s bones.  A person should be reduced to their water, so that they can continue to provide for their Tribe or Clan.  Their water was never gone; their spirit lived on in the Clan and the Tribe.  Even the Spider’s water was collected, because while he had wronged many, he had known much, and no one should forget his crimes.  Every time a Sabbah drank from their cisterns, they should remember who and what was in that life-giving sip.  However, in a place where water was plentiful, that was not necessary; it was never a part of their tradition, clearly.

Abaddon preferred Pruul’s way.  It confirmed the circle that life was.  A body buried nourished the earth, in its way, but could also poison it.  A body rendered into water made pure water, the rest was spiritually, traditionally implied.

He shook his head slightly, ”I do not make light, Fin.  You know me better than that.  What I know of battle I have learned from you.  I have no doubt they are a force and that they are fierce, but I will not fear them for their reputation.”  Abaddon’s nostrils flared slightly in general annoyance, ”I know my fears.  They do not number among them, but that does not mean I do not respect them.  Nor does it mean I will not kill them if they come to my home looking to trouble those that I claim as my own.”  He listened to the rest of Fin’s declarations, and nodded.  How could one move forward, when so much was left unfinished behind them?  How can you watch the horizon, when you are always looking over your shoulder?  Abaddon needed to see his Father with his own eyes, and Fin needed to face him, to put an end to worries that had nipped at his heals for decades, centuries perhaps.

Abaddon held Fin’s eyes by the end, gold to gold, unflinching.  ”Then neither of us will run.  I will stand with you at that ending, Fin al-Sabbah.  We will return home.  I did not spiral through the Twisted Kingdom to find and free my Queen to die in a sad foreign land that cannot see its future through its shattered past.”



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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #7 on: Mar 28, 18, 09:55:46 PM »
Fin was glad for Abbadon’s friendship. The younger man held no fear of the future, despite being able to see so much of it. Few people would willing deal with Eyriens given the chance, let alone march into the homeland of the Eyrien race and demand that they allow one of their number to walk free. Fin sometimes wondered what, if anything, he’d accomplished in the past few centuries that he’d been away from Askavi. And every time, he found a new reason to enjoy the life that Mother Night had granted to him. A good friend in Abbadon. His Queen in Elenor. The woman he loved in Judiah.

Very well, my friend. We’ll go to Askavi and deal with them. Then we’ll return to Pruul for our queens and our clans.” Fin said, offering Abbadon his hand to shake.

Do you have other questions about Askavi? I’ll answer anything that you wish to know to the best of my knowledge." Fin said, stretching his wings as he spoke. He rolled his shoulder, heard it pop, and considered the route that they would take to reach Askavi. Fin knew that Living Lake Province bordered Pruul and he’d impress that upon Kaderian as best he could. Anything to keep them from attempting to fly across the desert and antagonize the sandworms in the great desert. It would be strange to return home again, strange to see the massive lake that he’d grown up enjoying.

Knowing that you and Lucky will be there gives me hope. I think I can face Drakkar and whoever he’s got under his thumb once we’re there. I’ll ask that you and Lucky follow my lead, however. Our path will take us through the Province I was born in. I’d like to get an idea of how things are going in Askavi at this point.” Fin said. 



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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #8 on: Apr 04, 18, 04:08:55 PM »
Abaddon meant every word.  He was going to find out where he had come from, but Fin had been there all along, in one form or another.  The man sitting across from him had been a constant in his life, only surpassed by the Spider himself.  Even Lady Kesare was not with him as often as Fin, and he counted his mentor as close to his heart.  His Father might be waiting in Askavi, but it did not sound like it would be much of a reunion.  Good or bad, Abaddon would be returning to Pruul and to his Queen.  Abaddon nodded at Fin's statement.  "Exactly that."  Though what Clan he would be with, was a question.

He considered Fin's question, and then he took a breath.  "Nothing we cannot discuss along the way.  I will be prepared for the welcome that you have described."  He was thoughtful for a moment, and decided that Fin should know whom he had encountered.  "I ran into Kaderian before your news."  He rolled his shoulders a bit, "I am a man of difficult moods, as you well know.  I was in one when I saw her.  She was perched on a building, sunning her wings.  When she saw me, she flew own and challenged me."  Abaddon shrugged, "I took her from her escorts, and satisfied my more basic instincts.  We did not discuss much, but she knew that I was Eyrien.  The scars on my back are not so well hidden now, and we are built just a little differently.  She serves my Father, I now realize.  She must, based on what you have said, and what little she had time to say."  He was not apologetic, but rather, informative.  "I thought you should know."

Abaddon nodded, "I will follow your lead, my Friend, but understand that I will not stand by while you come to harm.  I will bring you home, or die in the effort."  He half-smiled, "You had best make your wishes known to Lucky, or we will have a fight ever mile we travel through Askavi."  He tilted his head slighlty, "Will you be remembered fondly by anyone in Living Lake?  I assume Drakkar is not there waiting for you, but elsewhere?  How far into Askavi must we journey to face my Father?"


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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #9 on: Apr 10, 18, 10:59:31 PM »
Fin nodded as Abbadon admitted to being a man of difficult moods. The combination of Black Widow and Warlord Prince in the male before him had lead to more than one past situation when he’d have to separate Abbadon from someone without the good sense to know better. Despite that, Abbadon had worked hard over time to discipline himself so that he wasn’t a danger to everyone around him. People still feared him and they were right to. They were smart to fear him, but not for the reasons they should.

Fin leaned back in his chair as Abbadon explained how he met Kaderian Yrisia. The woman was a fool to provoke a male that she did not know. It made him think less of the males she’d brought with her, which probably matched their thoughts on him. The return to Askavi would challenge them all before they reached its end at Gravesend. Fin steeled himself for the inevitable taunting that would come from the Blood Seekers. He worried that Lucky would lose his composure at some point. Combined with Fin’s vote against the Mineborn Council, he expected that Lucky would challenge him as well during the trip.

His wings flexed briefly before Fin nodded in understanding.

Thank you for telling me. You owed me no explanation but I appreciate it all the same.” Fin said.

Be careful with that one, Abbadon. She’s attached to trouble.” he said.

I’ll deal with Lucky. He’s already unhappy with me because I voted against the Mineborn Council. The vote succeeded, but he won’t understand my reasons behind it. It doesn’t matter. Not in the face of dealing with the threat from Askavi.” Fin said. He took a deep breath, released it, and then stood from his chair to answer Abbadon’s question.

I don’t know who rules in Living Lake anymore, but the path that I intend for us to take will take us through there. There’s a mountain rage to west of Onn. It’s a few days travel on foot, which we will, because you can’t fly and Lucky is still getting the hang of it.” Fin said.

Moreover, I don’t want to provoke the sandworms. They’ve been more active since the Rains. That was one of the things that Prince Omid informed me about during our last meeting.” Fin said.

So, once we’re out of the mountains, we’ll go to the Province seat of Living Lake, called Starfall. We’ll meet the Province Ruler and hopefully glean some information on the state of the Territory. From there, Gravesend will be several more days travel, as it lies to the northwest of Living Lake, in the Snow Cliffs Province.” Fin said, looking over a wing to see Abbadon before him.

My family’s eyrie is there. We can stay there, if it still stands. If any of my father’s family still lives, we’ll find them them near there. They’ll be hard to deal with at first but we won’t stay long.” Fin said.

Drakkar will be at Gravesend. Once we arrive there, the real test begins.



Offline Abaddon al-Sabbah

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Re: Dark Wings, Dark Words
« Reply #10 on: Apr 14, 18, 02:00:01 PM »
Abaddon felt certain that it was good that he had at least one person that was not Bonded to him in some way that knew and understood him.  Fin had been there to see Abaddon’s moods since he was a child, and had stepped in on his behalf more than once, if only to defend some unwitting offender.  It was Fin, in part, that made Abaddon understand that the fear that many would feel in his presence was simply their own instinct for self-preservation.  Abaddon had learned to respect, and expect that note of fear in everyone’s scent, subtle though it might be.  It often led to him being left alone, which was his preferred state these days, with only a few exceptions.

He felt obligated to tell Fin what had happened, as such a connection could affect the entire trip to Askavi.  Not just the journey along the way, but when they arrived before Drakkar.  He did not expect there to be any complications.  Kaderian had seemed independent enough to know what it was she was after, and Abaddon felt not an ounce of remorse over what he had done, only logical concern.  ”It could be a factor in the journey.  It would not have been right to simply omit that fact.  We are better than that.”  He nodded, ”I will do my best to remember your warning, but if she challenges me, I will answer.  Her Escorts could have done nothing to stop me, and the fault would have been hers.”  Abaddon shook his head, ”It was somewhat surprising, honestly.”

Abaddon frowned slightly, ”The Council is a fool’s game.  I respect what the Mineborn has suffered, certainly I would follow my Queen, but a Council with undisciplined half-trained youth?  He shrugged slightly, ”How much power will it truly have if half of our Clans and Tribes stand against it?  It will be toothless, unless they handle it wisely.”  Abaddon tilted his head slightly, and for a moment his eyes were distant.  ”I will have a part to play, albeit a small one…Askavi is before us.  I will focus my visionary efforts there.”  He smiled slightly, ”It is not perfect, of course, but it is better than no warning at all.  If warning there is.”