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Seven children are destined to save Pruul and shake the traditions of the territory to their very core. In response, factions have broken the peace of a previously unified territory and violence has erupted across the dessert. It is a battle between the past and the future, the young and the old, and blood won’t stop seeping into the sand.
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Author Topic: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts  (Read 2353 times)

Description: tag: Spectators/Mineborn associates

Offline Ennead al-Bali

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Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« on: May 25, 17, 02:44:32 PM »
Ennead al-Bali had entered the Mines full of rage, his thoughts consumed by dreams of vengeance against his Uncle.  At the same time, he was being consumed from the other end by grief and guilt.  He was not so much determined to die in the Mines, as he was determined to resist, at least initially.  One of the overseers would push too hard on the still tender thoughts of the Exile, and he would simply explode.  Violence, or at least the attempt, would spill out of him, and he would attack the person responsible, but the collar curbed that reflex.  Ennead did not learn that in a hurry, but he learned it from the best teacher he had ever had; Pain.  The torture of the collar would teach him to curb that need for violence, and in time, the poison of his desire for vegneance would begin to turn him sour.

He struggled with it, and tried to find ways to placate himself, but it wasn't until he found Khadijah, that he was saved from himself and a terrible fate of his own design.  She was his sister and his daughter and his salvation.  His water was bound to hers the day he found her, and in saving her, he saved himself.  It is, in truth, the most important relationship in Ennead's life.  He lost his family to flawed treachery.  He watched them die, the cheers of his success still echoing around him.  His Mother.  His Father.  His close Family, all gone--until Khadi.  The Warlord Prince schemed, connived and planned for her and Roshan's safety, going so far as to promise his flesh to a woman for his Offering, so that he could have hidden Power.  Ennead chose to protect and serve, because his other options led to ruin.

Ennead found his center down there in the Darkness, and discovered that while the fire inside of hi could never be put out, he could contain and focus it.  He kept his rage banked.  Killing Walid was meaningless now, it would be instant gratification, here and gone.  Better to let him stew in fear everyday that the Green Warlord Prince might one day come for him, or worse, that Ennead might send his mad Brother or any of the Mineborn to claim the life that surely belonged to him.  He left his desire for vengeance behind them in the Mines, and replaced it with service and freedom.  Those terms might seem mutually exclusive, but they were not.  Service was not servitude, and a Warlord Prince lived to serve and protect, when he was not killing.

The overlands were a threat.  Death lurked around corners, at festivals, and Ennead did his best to help those al-Izar that let him, and in Lucky's case, even those that did not.  He trained them, taught them Protocol and claimed them all as his Family, his Water family.  Bound by ancient and solemn custom to Khadijah and Roshan, he was in turn bound to them all.  Ennead al-Bali would fight and die for them if necessary, and while he sometimes worried that the Mineborn would leave him behind as the al-Bali had done, he still held on to them.  Ennead did not think Khadi and Ro would just cast him aside, but they were only two.  He loved and feared them, not because of their potential power, but beause of the remote possibility that he could, once again, be exiled.

Ennead meditated often, and these were not introspective exploration he made lightly.  Despite these fears, despite these real concerns, he always chose the al-Izar, always chose Khadijah and Roshan and all the rest.  He wanted to see them succeed, wanted to see them escape the Sabbah and become their own people.  Ennead was not certain what that might mean for him.  He could have asked to al-Izar, but he would not have been, no truly, not without that strange Mineborn bond.  Being al-Bali was safer, and could provide advantages in the long run, even if his own Clan worried him more than any of his other concerns.  Ennead was meditating when the news came to him, processing these very thoughts, and smiling slightly when he thought of Khadijah and all that ran between them.

The Mineborn have been arrested!
The Mineborn tried to steal the Queen!

Ennead was alert and on his feet in an instant, a brief uncharacteristic flare of power shattered the stones under his feet, before he was off and running, snatching up his burnoose and khanjar.  He looked for Khadi in her usual haunts, and tried several bird and animal cries.  Nothing.  Panic clutched at his heart, before he remembered his Marks, the Hunter's Mark.  He was, he had been told, particularly skilled in this area...Khadi had one, Ro another, and Hadjara most recently.  He could find them anywhere.  Hadjara had mentioned action of some kind, but why would they not include him?  He ran, following some of the others that were coagulating into a throng.  The sight of his Family in chains, of his Khadijah in fucking chains squeezed his heart tight, and he felt the Green throb.

I will kill them all.  It was an icy sentiment that raced through his mind, and somewhere deep inside, the Ennead that knew nothing of calm, restraint, or hard lessons lifted his head in expectation.  How long had it been since they shed blood together?  How long since they shattered bones against salty rock down deep in the darkness?  How long since they squeezed the life from someone that had not deserved it?  Too long.  Ennead knew he could not defeat so many, that the Sabbah would bring Craft to bear, and while he could wreak much in the way of destruction, he wold ultimately be stopped, and what would he win?  A snarl curled his lips beneath the hood of his burnoose, and his fist closed around the hilt of his blade so tightly, his knuckles whitened and creaked.  The pronouncement of the sentence pushed a rumbling growl from his chest that made nearby spectators step away from him.

Then Khadijah's hunting cry split the sky for Ennead, and without thinking, he lifted his head and called back so that she would know he was there, so they all would know.  He swallowed his rage, trembling, vibrating with it as he faded into the crowd to bide his time, and perhaps to move closer still.  He could not lose her, he could not lose them.

Not again.

Offline Adavera ibna Sadagh

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 17, 03:31:09 PM »
The mineborn are being arrested!  That had certainly gotten her attention.  It hadn't taken long to get many Jinan to follow the crowds.  Nor did it take long to put together what had happened.

The children were in chains.  The children... were in chains.

Her jaw clenched, watching this... this procession of madness.  Lucky.  Hadjara.  Her heartbeat thrummed in her ears... she nearly vibrated in rage.  For years now, she had been careful.  She had avoided openly moving against the Spider so that she could observe.

But this?  This was too much.

"Such treachery can only be repaid with one thing: death!"

She listened, as best she could.  She felt hte swirl of Rage in her chest, and felt Torin tighten his grip on her shoulder.  This will not stand... I will not let it.
He may very well try to kill you... and then us.
Let him try.


She tightened her grip on her walking stick, just for a moment.  Already she could feel the Jinan around her tensing, readying themselves.  It had been a very long time since the Jinan had openly fought with another clan. But for the Izar... they would do so.


"ENOUGH!"  Her voice called out through the crowd, clapping like thunder.  A gift, that particular talent.  She raised her chin, both hands settling atop her walking stick so that she could stand there in her red burmoose with those delicately sculpted features studying the stage.

"You call them traitors for trying to rescue their own... but you have yet to answer for how the Geiba were able to create them in the first place, Adramalech al-Sabbah.  If there is treason here, it is not theirs.  They are meant to bring the rains.  If you kill them, you kill all of Pruul.  The Jinan will not watch you murder innocents for power, Sabbah.  There is no honor in this act!"

She had heard the hunting cry of the hawk.  She knew full well that Ennead was in the crowd, somewhere.  Moving against the Sabbah could be a terrible thing... but in this situation?  They might, possibly, be able to pull it off.  I will make you proud, father... mother.  I will not let this happen.






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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 17, 04:06:08 PM »
NPC:

Adramelech al-Sabbah
Black Widow Prince
Summer Sky to Blood Opal
Written by: Kenna

There was rumbling in the crowd. The Old Spider had known there would be. Traitors bred like trash. He had people taking down all the names of those that grumbled, their voices mixing in the sea of people. Hundreds of them, all watching. 

First the killing today. And then when his Queen awoke, killing tomorrow and the next day and to his last day if that is what it took. The Bali traitor would be the first to die. Slowly. Wasting away in a sun cell. He should have known better. He should have crawled back to the only Clan that even stood a remote chance against the rich Sabbah tribe. A chance. Not an advantage. His Clan that had been preparing for battle for three years now, ever sine his daughter had returned to him. Beautiful. Supple. Her scent like a drug. The first Iksana had killed to make Pruul one people, so if Adramelech had to do it, then so be it.

The loose skin around his neck swung in the open air as his head jerked to the wretch that spoke out against him. The Jinan. No real match for the warriors that the Sabbah had trained. What they lacked in Queen’s they made up for in strength.

“You will not interfere in official Clan business Lady Jinan. If you would like to declare war on Clan Sabbah, THAN SO BE IT. And let the blood of your people run into the sands. But it will be your fault, not mine.” The soldiers around the premises removed their swords, popping up through the crowd, twenty, fifty, one hundred. All dressed for combat under their civilian clothes. All ready to kill the innocents in the crowd, because if they didn’t, they knew, Adramelech would kill theirs. He had threatened every single Sabbah family after the Mineborn got through to Ghanima. Brought families to live in the Palace last night so their men served him loyally today. “But otherwise, attend to your own business. Anyone that disrupts official Sabbah buisness will die.” 

The soldiers did not move, did not attack, waiting for Lady Jinan to make her choice.

*Adavara. Don’t do this. An entire territory at war over six children? Just let it go. Let us go. Something is coming. Something is coming for us all* Lucky’s words settled none so gently in the witch’s head.*
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Offline Ennead al-Bali

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 17, 04:33:47 PM »
Ennead moved through the crowd, slipping between people.  He maneuvered slowly, and even randomly, trying to appear as though he were just another person in the crowd eager to see what happened.  All the while, he trembled, all the while, his jaw ached from the teeth he kept clenched.  He would not allow them to be hurt again.  Khadijah had certainly suffered enough in the Mines, and while he breathed, she would not suffer again.  It was all he could do to restrain his outrage at the knowledge that she had already been beaten to be captured.  Then there was Lucky, they had driven him mad, filled his head with lies, and cracked his Chalice.  The Sabbah could not be allowed to harm him again.  Never again.

Adavera spoke, and he edged closer.  Were the Jinan in the crowd?  Were there enough to back him if he made a move.  Kill them.  Kill them all.  Ennead was surprised by Adavera's challenge, by her willingness to face down The Spider in front of everyone.  She was committing more than just her life, but the life an honor of her people as well.  Ennead continued to move and maneuver, until he had made it to the front of the crowd.  His jaws were still clenched, his hand tight around the hilt of his khanjar, and his body still vibrated with restraint, his mucles tense.    If he could see Lucky free, they could kill and kill and kill and perhaps get the Females free of the clutches of the Sabbah, that would be a victory, a better death than simply dying inside when they were executed.

~I am here, Brother.~ A Green spear thread reached Lucky, and while ti was recognizably Ennead's thoughts that touch his mind, it was absent of serenity.  It was patient, cold rage, waiting, waiting, waiting too long.  ~They will not have you again.  They will not have any of you.~  There was an added raggedy edge of fear.  Lucky knew Ennead's tragedy, even if he had thrown it in his face a time or two.  Ennead had saved Khadijah, and whether Luckty knew it or not, he had saved him as well, and he would not die at the hands of enemies.  He let out another hawk's cry, and moved a little closer.  If he could get Lucky free, the two of them could fight together, they had trained together, and knew each other--he doubted any of the Sabbah bastards could say the same.  The advantage would be theirs, they would be as one unit, while the Sabbah would have to mind their neighbors--and if they attacked civilians, their deaths were the Sabbah's taint, not his own.

Offline Adavera ibna Sadagh

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 17, 04:57:20 PM »
She smirked.  "How many, old spider?  How many people have you killed in the night?  How many times did you hear of the Geiba's doings in the mines?  How many innocents did you knowingly allow to suffer and die in the mines to fatten your purse?  And now, now you decide that murdering children you had already harmed is going to solidify your power?"

She turned her head, looking over the crowds.  "He moves to kill CHILDREN now?!  Children with no large clan to back them.  How long before he looks at any of you who do not bow before him and calls you an enemy?  How long before the sands and stones of Pruul are soaked in the blood of any he doesn't deem worthy of life?  The Spider is not your ally.  The Spider does not have the interests of Pruul in his heart!"

She thumped her walking stick on the ground.  "Even now, he threatens the Jinan for daring to speak up for those who do not have a Voice of their own.  He threatens war!  And for what?  For children that sought their Queen? Ask yourselves, Pruul... how safe are any of you if he continues without resistance?  How safe are YOUR children, YOUR families?"

Her head swung back to Adramalech, chin lifting in defiance.  "Threaten all you like, Sabbah... but if you harm those children, all of Pruul will know you for the monster you are.  And then all the world.  The Jinan will tell everyone of how you doomed an entire territory to drought and death because of your hatred for children meant to save us all.  How many of our neighboring territories will be willing to trade with Pruul when they hear of how a madman can kill them without consequence as they bring food and goods to our people?"

She turned, noticing the murmurs.  That struck a nerve... it was one thing to watch Adramalech kill those without a tribe.  Another to realize where that could lead.

"How many of you have heard the Prophecies of how these children are to bring the Rains?  How many are willing to let the murder of innocents rest on their souls?  How many of you can look your own children in the face after today and tell them that it is not your own fault that we are all dying because of your inability to stand up to that monster and tell him he is WRONG?"

She could feel Torin nearly vibrating as he faced those Sabbah that were willing to turn on her.  And she lifted her eyes to look them in the face.  "How many of you willing to bleed me for your master's commands actually WANT to do so?  What does he have over you that you are willing to tarnish your very souls for a man that wants to deny the will of the Darkness?  Those children are meant to live, to SAVE us.  They are meant to bring honor back to us all."

There it was.  That sensation she'd gotten so many times when speaking to her own Clan.  They were listening.  Already she could see the ripples moving through the crowd.  Even if the Sabbah struck her down... the seeds were planted.  He'd have to kill all of Onn to prevent a rebellion.  Her chin lifted, eyes landing on the Spider again.

"I defy you, Adramalech.  If you kill these children, you wage war on Pruul.  Not just the Jinan.  You will never be forgiven, and I doubt the Darkness will welcome you when you fall."  There.  She had them.  She had them in the palms of her hands... and she would not hold tight.  She would stand before the oncoming sandstorm and face it.

Her eyes narrowed on the spider, but she did not yet speak more.  Let her words travel amongst the crowd.  Let the Spider REALIZE that he was losing them to her... her, a half-landen witch who spoke for a nomadic clan.
I hear you Lucky... but I will not watch him kill you.  I will not allow it.  If we allow children to die for a madman's hunger for power... we are no better than the beasts that chained us in the mines.  I won't stand for it.  I can't.

Ennead... you need to speak to the crowd.  You need to tell them the horrors of the mines, and what Adramalech could sentence them to for daring to speak against him.  You need to make it clear that this is the line, this is where things can change... for better or worse.







Offline Ennead al-Bali

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 17, 05:41:45 PM »
It took everything Ennead had not to kill the men that revealed themselves in the crowd.  He should have noticed them as he had moved through those assembled, should have been watchful for the telltale signs of men armed and armored for battle beneath their desert robes and clothing.  He was bundled up as well, hiding himself, his jewels, his blade as common as any member of any clan.  Ennead wore no clan markings, not that anyone in this crowd would notice, and as he assessed the threat of those armed men nearest him, he realized they did not either.  His snarl was drowned out by Adavera's continuing defiance, and the murmurs that rippled through the crowd.

He let the Voice of the al-Jinan speak, straining for a thought from Lucky, almost as if the darkest part of him were waiting for someone to give him permission to cut loose.  Ennead thought he would have to soon, that he would not be able to contain himself much longer, and then Adavera touched his thoughts.  He grunted, swallowing the rage just one more time.  The Green Warlord Prince did not respond immediately to Adavera, but he did act.  Ennead sliced through a small knot of people, and came up behind one of the armed men.  There was a soft crackle, and he drove a blow to the man's kidney, and another when Ennead stopped a sloppy slice of the enemy's blade with the shielded palm of his hand.  There was a brief mix up, of hands and feet, and Ennead seemed to twitch a hip--and the man went flying out of the front ranks of the crowd and into the open, sword clattering to the stones.

Another man moved in on Ennead, and he moved sinously, bobbing left and right, before he gauaged the man's swing, caught the enemy at the wrist, and twisted his arm up behind him.  The Warlord Prince forced the man out intot he open, still controlling him with the joint lock, and letting the sword clatter to the stones with the other.  Ennead swept each one back to the citizens behind him, out of reach of these men.  He spoke up, his voice ringing out with enhancement.  "I am Ennead a!-Bali!  I was sold to the mines when my Uncle betrayed me.  It was not enough for him that I be exiled, I had to be sold for a profit!"  he shoved the man away, and threw back his hood, letting the burnoose slide from a form of taut and ready muscle, his drawn khanjar having somehow remained in his hand.  "The Spider calls for Pruul to witness his fair judgment, and yet he hides blades in the crowd all around you!  WHY??  Because what he knows what he wants is unjust!  That the people will rebel!  That his lies will fall apart like mud bricks in the desert wind!  He threatens you out of fear!"

Ennead moved to stand closer to Adavera, but also closer to the Mineborn.  "It is not foreign slaves that suffer in the mines!  It is YOUR people!  Taken against their will and BROKEN!  Your daughters brutalized!  Your sons driven mad!  These are children BORN in a place that should never have been, destined to be our saviors, and you will look on--like cowards--and watch them die?  Did none of you earn Khanjar?  Did none of you go through the trials to make you adults, if not warriors?  Are you so foolish that even now, you would ignore the knife so obviously at all of your throats?"

He snarled, "I will fight, and I will die if I must.  You will kill an al-Bali here today, if I do."  His voice still resonated, but it was cold and precise.  "But I will take many of you with me.  If I must bleed, so too will the Sabbah."  Ennead sneered and turned in a circle, "These Mineborn, the al-Izar, know more of honor and suffering for it than any of you.  If you cannot see what is happening here, then you do not deserve them or the rains they will bring."

Offline Rania al-Abd

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 17, 01:48:54 PM »
Rania was kneading dough that would be baked this afternoon for the evening meal, her forehead sheened with sweat from the heat of the ovens and the exertion of her work.  It was a good heat, she enjoyed the crisp way her muscles moved as she pressed down into the yielding mass of putty.   She enjoyed this exercise because it didn’t require much concentration.  Her hands moved of their own accord as her mind drifted...and remembered...and languished.   Glad that the flush of her cheeks could be explained by the heat of the room and not from the exciting thoughts and visions that flashed through her mind, she closed her eyes as phantom memories of touches and kisses played over her skin. 
 
Romance novels couldn’t begin to compare to the whole new list of experiences she now could tap into, first hand knowledge that made her warm and tingly.   When she had woke, with the light streaming in her window, she had thought for a moment she had dreamt it all but when she rolled over and buried her face in the pillow, she could still smell his rich scent in the linens and on her skin.   She had been a little sad to find her bed empty but she knew he would have stayed if he could have.  She languished in the bed, a silly smile on her face until someone came knocking on her door, wondering if she had taken ill.
 
That had been yesterday, and while she had hoped to see him again before his Offering but understood that he needed to be with his family then
 
The patter of feet down the hall, and a young girl - a maid in training came rushing into the kitchen breathless.  “Rania!!  Come quick!  The Sabbah are gathering and they….” she took a deep breath, “The Mineborn have been arrested!”  Rania felt cold slide down her spine, her hands stilling in the dough.   
 
Omid.  Her mind whined painfully as she pulled her hands free of her task, rubbing her hands on her apron before she pulled it over her head.   As calmly as she could manage she said, “Go ahead of me, I will follow short.  I have to put this dough in the cold box so it doesn’t spoil.”   The maid, who knew nothing of kitchen work, accepted her excuse and ran off. 
 
Rania swallowed hard and dashed out of the kitchen as well, taking a different door and nearby staircase two at a time.  She slid to a stop knocking and then, ignoring propriety she pushed open the door to see the Healer seated in a chair, a book open on her lap.
 
“Lad…..Cadence,” she breathed.  The older woman looked up from her text, took in the look on Rania’s face and her eyes hardened.   “No.”
 
Rania blinked in surprise as the other woman rose from her chair, standing straight and tall.  “No?”
 
“I’m not going.”
 
Rania blinked quickly, “But Omid...we promised…” she began, a plaintive sound in her voice as she took a step forward.  “I promised…”
 
Cadence crossed her arms, “I don’t care Rania, I really don’t.   I have lost one son to Death, I’ll be damned if I abandon the other one.”  Rania’s mouth fell open in a speechless gesture.  “I know what Omid wants and I’ve given it much thought since that night.  It doesn’t matter.  He doesn’t understand.  When my son breathes his last, so will I.”  The finality of her voice made Rania’s eyes water.  “I won’t run from him.  I will stand by him until the very last.  I promised this to him when he came to me, sick and helpless and I will keep that promise, my first promise until the very end.”   She fixed Rania with a penetrating stare.
 
“Can you tell me you want anything less?  Will you run and leave him to the vultures or will you face the fire?”
 
Rania bit her lip.   In truth, her first impulse was to run to Omid come what may but she had promised to protect his mother.  She wondered then, if Cadence would not leave then she would have to stay and protect the woman who may not have birthed the Prince, but gave him life none the same.  The hearth witch's features hardened with resolve.
 
“He is going to be so angry,” she said with a flat tone which earned her a fierce smile from Cadence.  “He’ll be alive to be angry, I’ll risk it.”   Accordance made, they left the residence under the protection of Rania’s Purple Dusk shield, following the flow of people who were chattering as they flowed into the courtyard of the Sabbah stronghold in Onn.   Pushing their way towards the front of the crowds, they stopped and stared as the Mineborn were brought before the dias.  Rania gasped softly to see Omid shackled like some criminal and her hand grabbed Cadence’s squeezing softly.   She heard the charges, heard the verdict but couldn’t tear her eyes away from Omid’s back.   She didn’t think he saw them when they entered, didn’t think he could sense them in such a large crowd.   She heard the outrage as a strange small woman rose out of the crowd, crying out against Adra for his own crimes, and heard a familiar voice -male and powerful rise up in unison before he cut his way through the gathered assembly, stepping out into the arena.   He was….important to Khadijah,  she had seen them together often enough to know that the little witch would never give that sort of companionship to just anyone.   His rallying cry lit a fire in her stomach that made her feel…..
 
She looked at Cadence, looked up at Adramelech, the man who led the Sabbah, the man who spoke for the Clan that was her mother’s and her mother’s mother before them.   The man who did nothing to hunt down those responsible to the murder of his own people.  The man who allowed horrible crimes to be committed under his own nose by a tribe of his clan and now  accused a group of young men and women who have only really lived for the last two years of plotting against their own sister to spite him.
 
She dropped Cadence’s hand, keeping a Purple Dusk shield tightly around the other woman as she stepped forward.  Keeping her eyes on the gathered assembly and away from Omid she projected her own voice.
 
“SABBAH!” she called, making sure her voice was heard.  “You know me!  You know of my family and my tribe, you know of the deaths that are a stain unaccounted for on the ledgers of the Sabbah for the murder of your brothers and sisters.   Will you stand now and allow the rantings of a mad man to cause further blood and water to be spilt?!” She turned to Adramalech, pointing an accusing finger. “Look at him!!! Is that the visage of a man of sane mind and intent?  He is a decaying creature, trying to drain the water from everything and everyone just to fulfil his mad intent.”   She spat on the sand. “I name you oathbreaker!  You swore justice for my family, you swore justice for the crimes of the Geiba and all you did was take more and more precious water for yourself.   Now you place sword and threat to the very clan that you are supposed to be protecting.  Forget prophecy, forget visions and webs, forget all but this - the Mineborn were supposed to be protected by our Clan and you throw them into the jaws of madness.  For what?!  For doing what so many in this clan would never do.  Risk everything for their family, for their loved ones, for BLOOD!”
 
Rania reached for her wrist, pulling off a thin silver band that she always wore, the symbol of her ties to the Sabbah and held it up.  “If betrayal and murder are now the code of honor that the Sabbah represent, then I want no part of it.”  She threw the cuff at the feet of the dais, tossing her head back and shouting. “I pledge my water, my craft and my jewels now before you all to the al-Izar!”   She couldn’t turn to face them, couldn’t risk losing the courage that Ennead’s impassioned speech and pushed out of her and looking out at the faces, feeling the Mineborn behind her, she didn’t regret her choice one bit.  She even gave Ennead a brilliantly happy smile.
 
(Cadence part done with the approval of Tenkou)


Offline Adavera ibna Sadagh

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 17, 03:46:45 PM »
She watched.  She listened as the crowd began to sway beneath her words.  Ennead spoke up, declaring his intent.  Her lips curled up, eyes still locked on the spider.

She'd finally cornered him.  He'd provided the perfect way to unseat him, and to do it publically.  Because there was no denying that the crowd was swaying in her direction.  Especially not after the impassioned speech of Ennead al-Bali.

Then another woman spoke up.  Adavera's eyes widened a little as she heard the woman call the old spider an oathbreaker.  Serious charge that.  But she could use it.  Her cane thumped twice.  As if in agreement.  She let the woman call out her allegiances.  She watched as the men in the crowd with their swords drawn began to look more and more uncomfortable.

Her eyes turned from Adramalech, and settled on the man closest to her.  "You can follow the Spider's commands and commit the murder of innocents, never allowing your heart to be free of the weight of such sins... or you can straighten your spine like real warriors and face the true threat against your family, your tribe, and your clan."

She wasn't sure if she could sway all of the men.  They looked... desperate.  Which suggested that Adramalech had something precious on them. 

Her eyes turned back up to the spider, her face calm before the storm of his rage.  "Any war that comes of this, Spider, is between you and the people of Pruul.  You will stand alone, no matter how many bodies you throw at us... for the Izar are innocent, you are an oathbreaker, and the darkness never favors those like you."

She took a few steps forward, then.  Towards the closest man with a blade.  She dropped her eyes towards him, resolutely moving forward.  "Make your choice, boy... because I have made mine.  You will not keep me from those children without taking my life.  I will not stand by and allow evil to rule Pruul."






Offline Cadence Fellows

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 17, 03:48:51 PM »
Cadence looked upon the mineborn. Her children. Not all of them held with that same depth of love reserved wholy for Omid; but still each of them dear to her. Fractious Lucky; whose caste and emotions still fit him uneasily. Khadijah her little warrior bird- caring and sweet; the strongest of them to walk from the hell of the mines and still see brightness and color. Roshan and her tart tongue used to protect her tender heart, Hadji whose dreaming soul called out for bright futures. All of them dear to her in each of their own ways.

These bastards chained her children in a farce of a trial. Her anger stirred and once more she longed for that Green. That terrible dark power that she could wield as a trained witch. Longed for just a few moments of that dark power to eradicate the threat to her children and see them safe before her life was snuffed out. A price that was worth seeing them free with the opportunity to grow old and live. Not because of a prophecy but because they were the future. Her hands curled against her sides forming fists hidden in the long sleeves of her burnoose.

Rania's declaration against the Sabbah was daring. For a moment she grinned beneath the fall of her abayah. The hood of fabric protecting her head and hair but also hiding some of her face. ~Way to stay discrete daughter mine~ The thought lingered in her mind with no small amount of humor. A moment before her attention turned back to the chained Mineborn. There were soldiers in the crowd; no doubt meant to keep others from uprising. Her hands shook as the feeling of being penned in once more tore about her.

Once she had faced a magistrate with the same idea of justice. Personal motives that sent her to the mines for a crime she had committed but for a reason that none could dispute. Now; now her son faced the same sort of false justice that had put her into his life. Cadence pushed back the plain dun fabric that hid her features and tipped her head up. Her throat tightened at the surrounding of males about her. Pushing and crowding- a hell that threatened to overwhelm her even as her terror for her son overrode any terror she felt for the other sex.

" Shame on you. On all of you supporting this. You call traitors; you who value blood and water above all else. You who say that clan stays with clan. Shame! Their only crime is wishing to see their sister. These children were birthed into hell by greed. Their innocent souls brined in salt and sorrows due to the greed of the Sabbah. Their backs bent to hard labor before they ever saw the first rays of sunrise." The words came out at first a near shriek before steadying into a shout. No craft to assist her voice; only the practiced skill of lifting it above crowds. A healer's voice even if choked with emotion.

"You speak of prophecies as if that is the only reason to true justice. You children of Pruul who have lost your honor. When does it take the weavings of widows to understand that these children are innocent of any crimes and the blood is on your hands for allowing their imprisonment so that the Sabbah clan could grow water fat and rich for the mere price of their souls. You don't deserve the rain! You, who would let that old vulture pick at their bones and flesh. Who would let that vulture kill those innocent children for doing what any good clansman or woman would do; you deserve to become a dried husk within the sands." Rania had shielded her and Cadence pushed her way forward through the crowd. Each word punctuating a step as she focused on Omid, on Khadji, Roshan, and even Lucky. Her children that she would die for if it came to it. That was something Omid had not understood. A mother's nature. She would offer a distraction and pray that those who cared for the mineborn, those who still had access to the abyss of power, could get them out.

" Shame on you Adramelch for becoming the vulture of Pruul. You who will outlive so many and prey upon her bloated and rotting corpse. Shame on you for accusing children of treason because they loved their sister and wished her returned back into their arms." Cadence was shaking where she stood. Rage and fear spun together in one hungry and swirling emotion that both empowered and weakened her resolve. 'Please mother darkness... get them out of here... get them to safety' How she hoped that those who truly cared for their honor and justice would step forward; would lend their voices and strength to saving these promised children.

Offline Sayyida al-Lashin

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 17, 11:00:15 PM »
Sayyida rarely found a reason to listen to idle gossip, preferring to either get her information straight from the source, or through trusted contacts.  So when she first heard rumblings of the Mineborn being captured while trying to harm Ghamina, she was skeptical.  While she didn’t know them well, she’d spent some time around them as a part of Saiph’s Harem.  The warlord had found them to be decent enough, if unfamiliar with Pruul’s ways, Protocol, and not pissing off every authority figure they ran across.  Still, Sai wished them no ill will, even if she wasn’t sure that she believed in them, or the Prophecy.  She believed in things she could see, touch, and experience for the most part, not something that sounded like a story one would tell children at bedtime. 
 
As she left the training yards, she’d planned on stopping at the markets before heading back to where her Clan was picketed.  The closer she got to the market, the more the energy of the crowds changed.  The closer she got to the knot of people around the raised platform, the more uneasy she became.  She’d missed the beginning of the Old Spider’s speech, but it didn’t take long for her to realize the whispers she’d heard were true.  Or at least the Spider was attempting to spin the tale as such to the gathered crowd.  Frowning, she pushed her way to the middle of the crowd as opposing voices grew louder and blades were being loosed in their sheaths. 
 
Mindful of those closest to her, she glanced around the crowd, picking out those most likely to cause her problems.  In the back of her mind, a voice whispered that she could walk away and not involve herself in this.  She could slip out of the crowd and make her way back to where the al-Lashin were picketed and wait until things had blown over.  Those thoughts were discarded as she looked upon the younglings shackled in front of her.  They were doing what anyone who served a Queen should do.  She’d no sooner have abandoned Saiph than they would abandon their Queen.  Sayyida watched the crowd shift towards the Mineborn as guards began moving towards the dissenters. 
 
With words like Oathbreaker spoken, this was likely to become a bloody affair sooner rather than later.  She wrapped herself in skintight Purple Dusk shields as she angled her way towards a pair of women who didn’t seem to be escorted by anyone.  The Voice of the Jinan had her own clansmen and guards around her, Sai’s help could be offered elsewhere.  The warlord drew close enough that she could reasonably flank their left side, but still not impede their movements.  And if they’d rather not have her help, she’d still be in a position to do some good with her blade.

Offline Adavera ibna Sadagh

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #10 on: Jun 05, 17, 04:19:51 PM »
Her heart was pounding steadily into her ears... but she could hear just fine.  She could see the look of fury on the old spider's face... and it made her smile.  This could very well see her dead.  Her people could be plunged into a war with the Spider and Onn... but it was worth it.  HE was the source of all that was wrong.  HE was the source of corruption behind the Geiba, she was certain of it.

So she focused her attention on the boy in front of her.  His knuckles whitened as she came closer.  He was shaking.  He didn't want to kill her... but he was going to try.  She could see the resolution settle into the back of his eyes.  Yes... The Old Spider had something on him.  She wouldn't be surprised if it was a family member's life. 

She felt Torin burst into motion beside her the moment that the boy did.  She heard the clash of the Khanjar... and the violence was like puncturing an organ.  It bled into the air, and she could hear the clashes and ringing of steel in the air.  But still, she moved forward.  Through the space that the crowd made, for too many did not want to be involved... and yet did not want a Voice harmed either. 

She could see people she did not know struggling to disarm the men who had weapons.  She could hear the horses behind the crowd grow in agitation.  And still she hobbled her way towards that dais. 
I name you Oathbreaker, Adramalech al-Sabbah... and you will pay the Price this day.

She felt that leave her, pulled from her like water from a skin.  But it didn't go to Adramalech.  It didn't swirl in the air around hte dais... it was pulled from her towards that sleeping Queen.  The closer she came, the more she began to feel that pulse.  That... living, beating heart of the Mineborn.  And it made her catch her breath.  She set her cane to the ground in a thump, her eyes settling on Adramalech.

There.  The pulse solidified... and the Queen moved.  She rose, in her beautiful splendor... and saw her hand settle on Adramalech's chest.  Perhaps the Queen could talk some good sense in...

The flicker. Her eyes widened, watching as that hand dove within that skeletal ribcage.  She felt her lips part in savage glee as the Old Spider died before her eyes... and she let loose a war cry that would have made the enemies of the Jinan cower in fear.

It echoed from behind her.  Torin, it seemed, had been victorious.  That pulse was still in her ears.

Why was it still in her ears?  Was it her heart?  It couldn't be.  This felt... different.  Her head tipped up, eyes staring towards the sky as she felt .. something.  The air felt electric... like it did before a heat storm.  Mother, if I die today... I still count my blessings.  The Old Spider is dead. Thank you.  For the first time since she'd emerged from the mines... she felt... relief.







Offline Ennead al-Bali

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #11 on: Jun 05, 17, 08:52:47 PM »
The Mineborn finally raised their voices along with the rest.  Ennead recognized the first voice instantly, without having to turn around to see the Priestess that he had placed under his protection.  They all were, as far as he was concerned, but Hadjara had needed more of it recently.  He was not surprise that she spoke, only that she was the first.  She called for peace, and Ennead was not sure he could comply.  Her plea was heartfelt, but Ennead al-Bali had stood by for too long while spears were hurled from the shadows at those his water was bound to.  Khadijah and Roshan were bound in chains, and Luck was in the hands of the Sabbah, his mind only barely healed.  He could not let them be killed, would not simply stand by and do nothing, not again.

Omid joined his voice to Hadjara’s, and Ennead nodded.  He did not know Omid as well as he knew others, but he knew the Prince to be thoughtful.  He as not sure if he was always so, or if the young man felt the weight of his Red Jewel, but the Green Warlord Prince considered him to be more thoughtful in action than Lucky—or even himself.  Ennead heard the words, felt their sincerity, but was no rendered peaceful by them.  He ground his teeth, his eyes moving from enemy to enemy, and the winced just a touch when Khadi’s mind touched his.  Ennead growled, a noise of anger and frustration that he had not made since the Mines.  Blood had to be shed, and not just because he had drawn his jkhanjar.  Her howl pulled an answer from him, but so did her rage, and when her hawk’s cry split the air, Ennead shook with his restraint.

Lucky’s was the voice of calm and reason, and Ennead tried to hold on to it.  He turned to that one, to see Lucky straining against his bonds.  One of the hidden Sabbah men behind him, only steps away, stilled by the voice and the thoughts cascading through his mind, but still bearing his weapon.  Ennead snarled.  He wanted to listen, he really did, but he had called upon his true nature, and that came at a cost—to others, not himself.  It cost him more to restrain it every day.  He was at the edge, and he was not sure he could step back.  Then it happened all at once.  Ghanima rose.  The Spider died.  The armed man behind the Mineborn took a single step.  A roar raged across the space, and Ennead exploded into action.

A Jewel-enhanced leap carried him over his loved, and his blade buried itself in the Sabbah guardsman, Another cry, and another, and suddenly everyone was in motion.  A part of Ennead regretted that he had shed blood, that he had ignored the call to piece, but another part—the part that had been driven to the edge, reveled in it.  One enemy down and his eyes cast about for another, and another.  He saved innocents where he could, but for those that raised weapons against him, there was no hesitation, and attempt at mere incapacitation.  The riot spread quickly outward, like a stone cast into a still pool, only without the smooth ripples of water—this was swift and ugly and LOUD.

Offline Chaka ibn-Barakat

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #12 on: Jun 05, 17, 10:01:05 PM »
The gathering could be placed as madness. Keen eyes turned over the chained Mineborn and falsely triumphant Old Spider. This was the corruption that fed the madness of Pruul. The gathering of these false prophets and heretics who claimed to speak for their clans and for the people of Pruul. Parasites all of them; straying away from the true purity of path. The rains would come when the darkness saw the corruption purged; but even rain could not heal the true cancer within the territory. The insidious whispers and grasping of power by Queens left unguided by those wiser than them; by tribes regulated through bureaucracy.

A silent figure on the fringe of the crowd Chaka practiced on blending in. Her burnoose simple and clean; the color just the right shade of mustard seed to blend with the varying other yellows, blues, and brown-greens of their native dyes.  Her expression mirrored to neutral and body shifting to match the uneasiness of the crowd as the women spoke; their anger palpable and the fierceness of their spirits suggesting passion. A pity they were enamored of the Mineborn; the blight of Pruul. Heretics who shunned tradition and turned away from the lessons of the past.

Was the Darkness going to reward the faithful Sicarri with the deaths of these children? Could they maneuver the Spider too into that spiraling destruction? Eyes turned over the scene ignoring the misguided Voice of the Jinan.  Her hands itched for one of those satchels filled with the proper components to have left chaos and potentially have slain the main participants in this fine display of Sandworm scat. No; the satchel would have given her away. Carrying it in would have stuck in memories and now was not the time to step from the shadows into the harsh light of Pruul's diseased eye.

Chaka waited.  Her bored impatience masked with an expression of tense worry. So average; hair styled in a way to help dull the fine edges of her bone structure. Her posture adjusted to put her at the middling poor; something the eye would gloss over because poverty was disturbing to view but extreme poverty stuck out. Calculated appearances to blend as if she was never there. A woman of a thousand faces and lifetimes. Enough to see Pruul saved from itself; to prevent another fall and another time of madness.

Wait? Her gaze narrowed as the supine queen stirred. Her fingers twitched against her chest. The swaying of the Mineborn turned more concave; pointed towards that silent effigy of their Queen. A misguided and fallen wretch who did not realize she needed the Order to cloister and protect her. Danger stirred the air; not for fear but the anticipation of something happening. The Voice and those women continued with their cries for justice and rallying but something was coming. Those blasphemers told the story that not even they knew.

Slowly she edged back; readying to mingle with the shadows before madness fell. Madness she could read from centuries of experience as that Queen rose. Her smile beatific and calm; as if possessed by the Mother herself. The tang of cooper hit the air even before Adramalech's body struck the floor. There would be chaos now; blames to cast as the oldest of the leaders lay dead at the feet of an untried and tainted Queen.

Even as her body slipped into the shadows; moving with others to disappear seamlessly away from the scene Chaka wondered. Could this Mineborn Queen be taken and made see the promise the Order held? Could she be guided or was she as lost and corrupted as the rest of the abominations that called themselves Mineborn?

Offline Rania al-Abd

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #13 on: Jun 05, 17, 11:12:27 PM »
Rania moved closer to Cadence’s side after she too spoke up against the events that they were witnessing.  She couldn’t help herself, she gave Cadence a brilliant smile.  If the woman couldn’t see that she was still strong and powerful even in her own right, jewels or not, then Rania almost wished she could have recorded her one of those spelled crystals to play back for her at another time when she was feeling less than confident.  A strange woman approached them and Rania tensed tightly, staring back at the woman with as much bristle as she could manage in her slender frame.  She felt the additional Purple Dusk slide over her as well as Cadance, though she didn’t think that Cadence noticed or could tell, her eyes firmly fixed on Omid.
 
Rania waited, but didn’t feel a pull or a push or anything to indicate that this shielding was intended for more than added protection and she took the moment to memorize this woman’s face for a later time to find out who she was.  She followed Cadence’s gaze as she heard Hadjara’s voice rise above the din of voices, strong and sure and then felt her heart flutter as Omid’s voice rose as well.  She turned and stared into his eyes, his face as she saw a single tear slide down his handsome cheek before he caught her gaze and the power of the heat she saw there made her knees weak with lust and desire.  Mother Night, he was magnificent.  Her chest rose as she inhaled deeply at the sight of him before Khadi’s sharp cry broke her focus on him, bringing her vision from that myopic tunnel that only encompassed Omid to all of the Mineborn.  Ro stood silent but Lucky, Lucky was fixed before the platform, his eyes only for his Queen and Rania felt sympathy for him.  To be so close to his Queen and still so far away, bound and helpless, she could only imagine the agony he was feeling.
 
Until she heard his voice in her head, and the murmur through the crowd told her it hadn’t been her, Lucky was projecting his voice for everyone assembled to hear.  Everyone except the Old Spider, who seemed unmoved by anything that hand been happening before him.  Maybe it was Lucky’s words, but she did feel something building, something growing and the feeling frightened her.  The rise of tension surrounding them further put her on edge and she turned to Cadence to try and persuade her to seek a safer place when a gasp and silence filled the area.   Rania’s head spun around, worried that something had happened to Omid or one of the mineborn while she had turned away and was only partially right.  Their sister was standing before the Old Spider, and Rania stared in a mix of surprise and a touch of horror as she saw blood dripping from the girl’s hand before the body of the Spider collapsed to the ground, his heart clenched in the Queen’s hand.
 
The crowd erupted and Rania opened her mouth to cry out a warning as she saw a man, his Khanjar raised as he moved towards the MIneborn and Ennead leapt over the siblings, cutting down the guardsman before he could bring harm.  Seeing her beloved and his family under the protection of Khadi’s Ennead, she wrapped her arm around Cadence’s shoulders and pulled her away from the wave of violence that swelled and pressed forward through the crowd.  Fear and concern driving her past the point of propriety as she pushed Cadence back against a nearby wall, placing herself and her shields in front of the unprotected Healer.   She had promised Omid she would protect his mother like her own, and she would not negate on that promise.
 
A battlecry from behind her had her turning, pressing her back to Cadence as she threw up her hands and more shields to block the man who raised his Khanjar, malice and malintent written on his face.  She wished then she knew how to fight, knew some combat craft to defend herself beyond whatever paltry shields she could manage but before the sword could descend, she watched as surprise wiped the rage from his face before he fell forward.
 
Standing before her, his young face serious and determined as he wiped the blood from his Khanjar along the cloth of his vanquished foe, stood a man that she hadn’t seen in the better part of a year.  She almost didn’t recognize him,  He was built stronger, his skin rough and sunhued, his hair short against his scalp while his broad chin sported the rough shadow of a shorn beard.   Rania almost cried from relief before stepping forward and throwing her arms around his neck tightly.
 
“Samir!” she exclaimed happily before pulling back quickly, aware that the immediate danger wasn’t over.  She turned to Cadence, aware that this sudden development would probably frighten her or confuse her, breathless with excitement as she explained.  “Cadence, this is my younger brother Samir.  Samir, this is Cadence, mother of Omid al Izar.”  The younger man bowed briefly, his sharp eyes flickering around at the growing chaos of riot that was steadily growing as blood and cries filled the air. 
 
“Later sister, we will have a long talk,” he said softly, his voice curled with anger and tension.  “Now, we must get you away from this outbreak.”   Rania shook her head and stepped back towards Cadence, her eyes turning to the Mineborn who were standing, hands clasped - seemingly oblivious to the fighting around them.  “We can’t Samir, we have to be here.  It’s important to both of us.”   She stared at her brother, “He is important to both of us.”
 
Samir snarled and for a moment she worried he would simply grab her and drag her away.  She couldn’t match him in physical strength and she was certainly no match for his Sapphire jewels.  He breathed heavily for a moment before growling, throwing a Sapphire shield up around the two of them before taking a protective stance in front of them.
 
“A LONG talk,” she heard him mumble under his breath as she stood back with Cadence and finally was able to watch Omid again knowing Samir, despite being angry with her decisions, would protect them both.


Offline Dinah al-Tabur

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #14 on: Jun 06, 17, 07:04:04 PM »
Just before all hell broke loose, just before Adramalech al-Sabbah drew his last breath, from the back of the crowd came a ringing voice to match Adavera al-Jinan -- an unexpected but not unwelcome ally in the battle ahead.
 
“The Tabur stand with the Jinan. I, Dinah, Queen of the Tabur, name you, Adramalech, Oathbreaker. Strike the Izar or the Jinan and the Tabur shall rise against you as well!”
 
Never had Dinah appeared more like a Queen. She stood with stately grace, surrounded by her entourage, khanjars drawn uneasily, in pale turquoise robes that caught what little breeze there was, her chin tilted defiantly as she spoke those words. She ignored the hissing query from her father, the Steward, about how this was madness, how this was a breach of tradition. It did not take her developing skills as a Black Widow to see the correct course of action: Adramalech was intent upon murdering children, and once he demolished the al-Izar tribe, which tribe would be next?
 
Dinah made her decision then. It would not be the Tabur.
 
Her Court did not like this pronouncement but tradition and vows bound them to do the one thing Dinah counted on: protect her. Still, knowing Kazim was nearby gave Dinah great strength and an additional reason to speak. What sort of Queen would she be if she stayed neutral in all things, if she never declared a side in this war for Pruul? A Queen unremembered. That desire to be remembered for something, even if it was the unpopular decision at the time, spurred Dinah into action.
 
“This will not go without consequence,” her father Rasheen hissed but he did his duty in ordering the men to spread out to protect her from the backlash she was surely about to cause.
 
Dinah remained still, remembering that she had been blessed by a spider once already, and she had no reason to fear this old one.
 
But instead of retribution, the strangest, most amazing thing happened.
 
The sleeping Queen stirred.
 
Dinah watched, incredulous, as the supine Queen rose gracefully, placed a hand over the somehow still beating heart of Adramalech, and then, she watched with growing horror as that hand penetrated ribcage to tear that heart apart. Around her, cries of panic and anger rose, and her entourage began wondering who was truly foe and who was truly innocent.
 
Dinah’s eyes sought out Adavera. Who was protecting the Voice of that Clan? Someone had to! She thought to direct some of her men there but then she noticed that the witch had her own protectors. Relieved, Dinah focused her efforts on remaining safe, her eyes now scanning the crowd for innocents in need of help.

Offline Tavar al-Sabbah

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #15 on: Jun 06, 17, 10:57:11 PM »
Uncle. The Old Spider is going to kill the Mineborn.
 
Amira al-Sabbah could not believe what she was seeing. The Old Spider was no longer just mad; he wasn’t even operating on this level of reality anymore. The rumors of the last few years were proven true and the Sabbah could see it. The Mineborn could see it. Even more, the rest of the Pruul’s clans could see it, unable to rationalize or turn away from the spectacle before them.
 
Finally, they spoke up.

The Mineborn spoke up. The Voices of the Clans. The people themselves spoke up against Adramelech. It was like watching the sun dawn on a brand new world, one where things would never, ever go back to the way they were.
 
She had not told her uncle, never told him, of the times that Adramelech had leered at her, had watched her move, had sent his men to follow her wherever she went. She feared that her uncle, proud warrior and protective man that he was, would have tried to kill the Old Spider sooner than his actual ill-fated attempt. So Amira kept the knowledge to herself, despite the wish of the Priestess for the Voice of the Sabbah to die a slow and painful death.
 
Her sister, Shadya, shifted nervously beside her, faced wrapped in her burnoose. “We should go. My webs said nothing good comes of this.” the Black Widow said.
 
It was not long before Shadya was proven right.
 
The Mineborn Queen, Ghanima, the one whom Adramelech claimed would revive once they Mineborn were dead, awoke from her seemingly-eternal slumber. Amira’s eyes widened in shock beneath her own burnoose.
 
Night’s Cunt, I really thought she was dead.” Shadya said, elegant as ever.
 
They watched Ghanima touch the Old Spider’s chest and, for a moment, Amira thought that she might actually side with the Old Spider against her siblings.
 
And then her hand with through the Old Spider’s chest and tore out his heart.
 
Amira’s soul cried out in joy, a sound that erupted from the normally timid Priestess in a cry of joy!
 
Shadya blinked at her older sister in surprise.
 
Then the world went to hell. Weapons rang free of sheaths. There was jostling, bumping, and fighting all around them. Someone went after the Mineborn and a honest-to-Darkness Warlord Prince leaped above the fray and went to their rescue, killing that man with ease.
 
A pair of males sighted Amira and Shadya and raced toward them with murderous intent, the pandemonium of the oncoming riot giving way to a blood-lust that would soon drown them all and spill blood and water all over the ground. Shadya pulled her ritual dagger from her psychic cabinet and readied herself die fighting.
 
Amira, stay close to me. I will not let anything happen to you.” the Black Widow said, moving to stand in front of her still-injured sister.
 
The spear flew past Amira’s right cheek, close enough that the gleam of metal nearly blinded her.
 
It slammed into the chest of the one of the warriors, halting his forward movement and dragging him backward to land on the sand. The last vision of his empty eyes was the skies of Pruul and the sun, while his water flowed onto the sands.

The second warrior halted, his vision tracking the shape of an Eyrien Warior lifting into the sky, before crashing to the floor to stand in front of the Sabbah women. Sapphire shields enclosed them both as the Eyrien Warlord stared down their clanmate, a Sabbah male by the name of Bantu, who was a devoted follower of the Old Spider.
 
Fin al-Sabbah watched Bantu weight the situation in his head. More Sabbah warriors moved to flank Bantu, readying themselves to attack the Eyrien traitor in their midst. Fin counted then. Twenty. Forty. Sixty.
 
One-hundred in total and growing.

You should be dead, Oathbreaker.” Bantu said, pointing his sword at Fin.
 
My oaths were made to better people than you, fool child. You followed that poisonous snake and now he is dead.” Fin said.
 
Point your sword at me once more, and you will join him in Mother Night's arms.
 
The opposing warriors took up a formation behind Bantu, one that Fin had taught them long ago. Spears held at the ready, their unit readied themselves to battle an attacker capable of flight. If Fin wasn’t so incensed by this madness, if he wasn’t so bone-tired and still reeling from Adramelech’s poison, he would have found it in him to be proud.
 
Lord Sabbah!
 
Fin’s second, Marduk, moved to his side, and forty men followed him. More of the Sabbah were breaking away from the main riot and coming to them, prepared for violence. Fin wondered where he’d gone wrong. Was Drakkar right? Was it foolish of him to meddle in the lives of the short-lived? They’d been lead astray by Adramelech. How would the next Voice of the Sabbah lead their people?
 
Marduk, take my nieces and go. I’ll handle this.” Fin said, keeping his eyes on Bantu and his men.
 
Uncle, no!” Shadya protested. “Always, you send us away! Always, you fight alone! You tell your men, you tell us, to trust the clan. You tell us to fight together, yet you always fight alone.!”
 
No more.” Amira said, her voice unnaturally calm. “We fight together and we die together, or not at all.
 
Fin spared a glance for his nieces, for his people, and nodded once. His wings twitched.
 
He looked to Bantu, then used his sword to draw a line in the sand in front of him. Then he stepped in front of it.
 
I was there on the days and nights that you entered the world. All of you. I will be here on the days and nights that you leave it. But Adramlech al-Sabbah is dead and his voice is silenced forever.

I am the Voice of the Sabbah, from today until my last day. Throw down your weapons and stand with us, your clan, or I will kill each and every one of you as oathbreakers. Decide.
” Fin said, hoisting his swords before him. His wings tucked tight against his body, readying for the frenetic pace of combat.
 
You’re insane! We outnumber you!” Bantu said, waving an arm to encompass his growing group of warriors.

You’re only one man!
 
I am one Eyrien and worth more than twenty of you.
 
I will kill you and make a cloak of your wings. I’ll rape your nieces and  that whore who spreads her legs for you.” Bantu said, pointing his sword at Fin in defiance.
 
Then come, Bantu al-Sabbah, who emptied his belly whenever he was called to drills. Show me what you’ve learned. All of you. Bring your jewels. Bring your spears and swords. Come at me now, one at a time or all in a rush.” Fin said, taking a step forward.
 
I don’t give a damn.” the Eyrien snarled, already calculating what it would take to slaughter the whole of their front rank and carve his way to Bantu’s position. He let himself sink into the cold rage of the killing edge. He was not a Warlord Prince, but he was an Eyrien warrior, christened in blood and battle, born to end lives.
 
None.
 
 Shall.
 
 Pass.








Offline Babak al Tabur

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #16 on: Jun 07, 17, 12:16:57 AM »
191, Spring: Oon, after the Spring Festival
(This thread runs simultaneously with Bleed.)

Babak al'Tabur had not slept.

The cries of his friends, as Prince Adramalech al-Sabbah's men hunted through the night, the empty place where Hadjara's presence ought to be, and Kurush's tears had taken the place of his dreams. By then, the rumors were worse than his imaginings.

Why on earth had seven half-grown children attempted to assault an entire Clan, when Babak knew that at least three of them had meant to try unite Clan Sabbah? They'd looked for the Sabbah Queen, done their best to recruit Lord Finn ... whom Babak also could not find.

It was a bad sign, when one's Master of the Guard went missing. And now rumors flourished that the Eyrien Warrior had attempted to kill Adramalech and been slain in combat. The world, the fragile world Babak had rebuilt around himself and his son was crumbling.

Babak had left Kurush with Prince Khashar and Lady Judiah, hoping he might be spared the backlash against the Mineborn. Prince Khashar kept a careful eye upon the Lady Judiah, but aside from Lord Finn, the Mineborn's allies had been so far ignored by the leadership of the Sabbah Clan.

The rest of that cursed Clan was not so fortunate.

Babak tore his gaze away form where his Lady stood, chained and defiant, with her siblings. Yet they were not fully here, not in this world; she saw him. She had; she'd given him that special smile. Yet he could not retain her attention. Would never have so strong a pull on her as her Minesibs. They moved together, oblivious of their physical surroundings in a way that was eerily like a compulsion.

He had never pitied them more, for they were but vessels for some greater power that cared not at all for their precious lives.

Or hearts.

Voices cried out in protest; the Voice of the Jinan. Cadence, and Rainia.

Then ... a voice he knew. His head whipped about as the Queen of the Tabur denounced the old Spider. Spoke for the Mineborn. He saluted her, and like many other Tabur men gathered in the crowd, moved to form an outer ring about her guardsmen. He missed it, the moment when Ghanimah al-Izar gutted the mad man who had tormented her family. Missed the first surge of power when the Mineborn stood hand-in-hand.

He was too much a Warrior to be concerned with the trouble on the Dias, once he'd ascertained that Prince Eannead was there. He stood in defense of his own Clan for the first time since his wife and child were slain. Cadence and Rainia did not move towards him, though; but to a wall, where they would be pinned.

Babak was just about to send a thread, and ask the Tabur Queen if she'd shelter women and children with her warriors, but he saw that the Tabur were already looking out for the innocent.

In the midst of the impromptu riot turned revolution, he found himself crossing blades with Cas.

Lucky's Cas.

Babak switched his strike to an aggressive parry; their Khanjar's bound together.

"Babak, they have my son. My son[/]. Ardlemach's personal guard came in the night, took our children."

Babak kicked him, hard, in the chest, flipping Cas onto the bloodied ground. He pounced upon Cas, and thrust a killing blow ... into the dirt by Cas' head. "Stay down; let them think you did their will. Where did they take them?" Cas murmured his reply, then was snuck behind the lines, towards the Tabur encampment. In the midst of the chaos, here and there reason triumphed. Babak and the Tabur near to him, who had heard the truth, began to funnel captured Sabbah in towards the Tabur Queen, rather than putting them to death. Babak could only hope, that she'd continue her stance on defending children.

And then he found Finn, or Finn found his destiny, and the random chaos of the Riot took on a more deadly tension. It was time, and past time, to get the noncombatants out; but not for Babak. He had a different mission.

 Babak spared a desperate glance at his beloved, locked in trance. And then he vanished into the madness, not to abandon the fight, but to mitigate it. He'd caught a glimpse of precisely the person he needed.

The warlord sent a thread, to Lord Finn, and the Tabur Queen. *Lord Finn; Lady Dinah ... try to contain the fight to Ardlemech's personal Guard. They stole away many of the Sabbah children. I will find them; we dare not announce the truth lest the Guard who holds them puts the children all to death.*







Khashar Drostyk had not remained, not on a day like today. He could feel the violence in the air. And he feared what would happen if the Sabbah Clan shattered. So he had removed Lady Judiah and young Kurush to within the temple, safe on sacred ground. He soared over head, a deadly, silent sentinel, watching the chaos below without taking sides.

Right until Finn al'Sabbah stood against a hundred men. Then he soared lower, to observe; that was a worthy fight. The man Finn opposed spoke the one crime Khashar had sworn he would never again stand aside for. It freed him, from his careful neutrality. He arrowed out of the sky, landing at Lord Finn's side with an explosion of power and sand. Hate burned in his eyes, and the hunger of an Eyrien Warlord Prince too long denied the glories of the Killing Fields roared through his body.

"Now we are two Eyrien warriors ... and not all of you together can stand against us." He took up his battle stance as naturally as breathing, layering shields over himself and Lord Finn; over the girls cowering behind him. Females had no place on the battlefield, but these had done no more than obey their Voice's command to gather.

Khashar's gaze never left of that of the self-admitted rapist. That man would be his first prey, but the Warlord Prince was willing to cede first blow to Lord Finn; they were his kin, after all.

"The rapist dies first, Lord Finn. I cede to you the fist blow, so as it is swiftly delivered. My restraint is limited."

Offline Leila al-Sabbah

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #17 on: Jun 07, 17, 12:19:52 AM »
Locale: Onn; Spring, 191

Oh night ... oh night, it has been a long time! And I am looking for myself and my loved one! And I am looking for myself and my loved one!

Death came for Adramelech, and Leila, standing on the edge of the crowd, had been terrified that they would indeed slaughter the Mineborn youths - as they really were not children anymore - where they stood in chains. With bated breath, she'd watched as so many of the clan she had joined seemed practically asleep and would just allow in complacency such wanton destruction, rather than turn against the cruelty of a wanton old man.

I dream of rain, I dream of gardens in the desert sand ...

It had been luck that had kept her with her brilliant hair, akin to sunlight and fire among so many that were dark haired, away from the creature that called himself Voice of the Sabbah. It had been different, at least a little decades ago, but even Leila, once al-Kurhah, was not so naïve to be unaware that the Sabbah had unfairly gained due to the vileness of the Geiba.

I wake in vain, I dream of love as time runs through my hand ...
 
Unexpected however, was the breaking out of a literal riot. Rather than staying put to be mowed over by the shifting of the guards to harming their people than helping, Leila looked around the square and sprang into action moments after the Lady Ghanima woke and ripped the heart from the man's chest. It was a moment she would certainly recall for the remainder of her days, as long as that ended up being.

I dream of fire; those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire ...

Before the guards could even so much as move for the Queen on the dias, Leila spiraled down toward her center, catching the gaze of Prince Omid. With the motion of a complex reversal of healing, three separate men dropped like rocks to the ground, unable to protect against time literally being unwound against wounds that were once fatal, and had been healed by herself by force.

"Hey! Stop her!"

Twisting up her hair on top of her head, Leila dove through the crowd, as well as the amassing guard around the man that had just declared himself Voice of the Sabbah. A golden brow arched as she tilted her head in interest.

Until his death, he'd said.

With forty men intent on taking him out, that would be very shortly, she suspected, even with the near unfathomable feeling of the cool Sapphire upon her senses. Wiry and swift, Leila climbed one of the supports for the plaza, quick as lightning, flipping herself up to the top. From said location, she could see the entire gathering. A smirk curled the woman's lips that remained the near permanent grieving widow by choice, for safety.

And in the flames; her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire ...


As what man wanted a woman that could not give him children, or at least, had not found a way through deep internal wounds? None, she surmised. There were too many, far too many in Fin al-Sabbah's way. Weaving the threads of the beauty of her Summer Sky Jewel, she opened herself to the only kind of deep Darkness that a Healer possessed.

This desert rose, each of her veils, a secret promise ...

To make them bleed, to tear out bones that had once been mended. While having told Omid about the fact that Healers could have Darkness, and they did, she never once said that she possessed that gift and had honed it. First she targeted the male screaming about violent rape of the man's daughters. Oh no, that would never do. In her minds eye, she envisioned the wounds he'd endured over years of combat, the same as around twenty of his compatriots. It was only half, and she'd likely manage to just weaken those that stood against the new Voice, but Leila was not having it.

"This is my home, and you won't destroy it!"

It was the only warning given before three bodies, overwhelmed by the weaving of healing spells moving rapidly backward in time, exploded into a fine mist without even bones left or the slightest bit for shrapnel, while seven more men screamed out and dropped to their knees. Five others attempted to flee as they panicked, while the final five she had made her targets began to bleed from every orifice.

This desert flower, no sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this!

They wouldn't be raping anyone's child if she had any say. Eyes as green and gold as any enriched oasis one could name snapped with fire and rage. Rage of one that tended bodies and hurts deeply angered at what she saw before her.

And as she turns, this way she moves in the logic of all my dreams! This fire burns, I realize that nothings as it seems!
"Bend thine façade upon potent determination, Darkness birthed and Night kissed. Blessed in weaving for the Priestess Queen."
♪ Writer's Tracker | A Midnight Dreaming Rose ♪

Offline Cadence Fellows

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #18 on: Jun 08, 17, 10:08:01 PM »
Cadence froze; her timing and breath caught in tempo with those around them as the slumbering queen rose. Her body rising as some fae princess of lore. That half smile; Cadence would remember it until her dying day. The soft curve of those lips promising welcome and hearth before her hand plunged unerringly into that thin spindly chest. Adramelach's body's striking the floor broke that calm. The eye of the storm passed and suddenly chaos broke.

Her throat tightened as she watched warriors swarm one breaking for the chained mineborn. A scream lodged in her throat. Then she was being shoved in the fray. Her line of sight broken as she was jostled and moved. Raina's guidance pushing them against a wall to leave only one. Eyes wide and her mind frozen; not in fear but shock. Remembered nightmares tying her reactions until they were choked into tiny jerky moments of panic.

The cold stone and Rania; wedged between with warrior's shouting and the terrified screaming of innocent civilians. Chaos that gave way in breaking waves of death. For a moment it stopped. Rania threw herself into this strange male and Cadence reached to rip her back. It took a moment for her mind to catch up that Rania was saying a name. Eyes blinked before she shook her head. Cadence wasn't leaving this place unless dead or holding Omid close.

"I can't leave him. Not until he is safe" The set of her mouth said she wasn't leaving and would probably be more trouble than she was worth if he tried to haul her out. Once Samir moved his stance to guard. Her arms wrapped around the other woman. For a moment she held Rania close. Her gaze focused directly on those precious children. Terror rode her harder than any relief that Adra was dead and that new Voices were rising to power.

Offline Judiah Vidanic

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #19 on: Jun 09, 17, 01:48:18 PM »
Judiah was reclining next to Fin, careful not to put too much of her weight against his still healing injuries, though the Healer that his Second had called in to tend to him was a credit to her caste and most of the shallow wounds were healed and the worst were angry red lines that would be equally healed and whole within the next day or two.  Her hand gently traced along his arm, both enjoying the silent comfort of each other’s company.  Things were still sitting ill within her, but after talking it out with him, Judiah had resigned herself to acceptance that it was something she herself would need to work out on her own.
 
The girls had gone out, accompanied by Marduk and a few of his men for extra protection to find out what they could about any word regarding Fin and his attack.   There had been suspiciously little being said about the incident, which had made everyone even more concerned.  Fin hadn’t been agreeable to the idea, but Shadya had put her stubborn foot down with a very reasonable reply, “If we are suddenly gone from sight and view, then someone would be even more suspicious as to why and come looking for answers.” 
 
Uncle. The Old Spider is going to kill the Mineborn.
 
Judiah saw Fin stiffen tightly as he caught the sound of something she couldn’t hear and saw the darkness of his face.  He pushed himself up out of the bed as she protested but he gave her a hard look and said, “He’s making his move against them,” before rushing out of the room.  Judiah didn’t need anything else, she knew that his initial attack had been his way to try and save the Mineborn their inevitable battle against Adramelech and his Sabbah followers. 
 
Judiah wasn’t happy about his leaving while still not completely back to his full strength, but she knew all too well the temperament of a warrior and to protest his decision was both fruitless and also undermining.  She had to trust that he knew his limitations and abilities, even when injured or it would be seen as its own weakness - that she doubted not only in his skill but his wisdom in his caste.  It was a lesson that was twice as hard as a mother of a warrior but it only took one time many years ago to learn it from her son, and so she held her tongue, calling safety to him in his wake.
 
With an uncertain nature to their current predicament and after evaluating Shadya’s very premise to leave, Judiah decided that perhaps it would be good to make some necessary moves herself.  If the Mineborn were truly in danger, there was a good possibility that Fin and his men would be successful in liberating them and if that were the case, they might need to run immediately.  Judiah had the finances and means to spirit them all away to Hayll on the first coach she could hire to take them across the dangerous desert of Pruul. 
 
Contacting Khashar on a private thread, she told him of where she was staying and requested him to escort her back to her rooms.  Given the high tension, she was fairly certain that Fin had left orders with the remaining guard NOT to let her leave or follow him, but with Khashar she should be allowed to.  At least she hoped so, she wasn’t sure that Fin would be the kind of male petty enough to place a former… well Khashar wasn’t exactly a lover, more like an escort with occasional extra privileges.  Neither of them held more to the situation than an enjoyable release of stress or need, and there was nothing between them except for mutual appreciation of each other’s skills and assets.   Certainly none of the directly stated definitions that she and Fin had discussed.  ‘My woman’ he had called her and it had done much to warm the cold pit that had been residing in her stomach since she found him bleeding out on that hill.
 
Khashar knocked within short time and after explaining her reasoning, he agreed to escort her back to her rooms to collect the things she wanted.  They made quick time, the streets were almost eerily quiet, none of the usual hustle and bustle that should have been out at this time of the morning.  Judiah shivered with the quiet, feeling as if there was something ominous and impending looming just around the corner.  The feeling made her move faster and they made record time back to her rooms.
 
She set about quickly, gathering some of the clothing that might fit the women while she set Khashar to fetching some spare clothes of his own that might fit the men.  He was taller than Omid and Lucky was just shy of his same height though his build was a bit more slender, but she could make any needed alterations.  It was only temporary, once they were in Hayll she could afford entire fitting wardrobes for them all.   She vanished anything of the most importance and left the things that she could afford to abandon and was just about to leave when a knock at her door surprised her.  Certain that anyone dangerous would not have gotten past Khashar, she still wrapped herself in a double shield of Rose before opening her door.  Babak stood there, his hands resting on his son’s shoulders, though the young boy seemed rather unhappy about being there.
 
“Lady Judiah, I apologize for the imposition but something has,” Babak began but Judiah waved her hand, smiling warmly despite knowing exactly where his thoughts were progressing.  “Lord Tabur, I’ve been made aware of the situation.  Rest easy, your son is welcome to remain with me until you have returned from your summoning.”  She wasn’t sure how much the young boy was made aware of, so she kept her tone light and casual as if he were simply running an errand and not on a mission that might become dangerous.  She watched the man murmur something to his son’s ear before turning and hurrying back down the hallway.  Judiah stepped up and placed her hand on Kurush’s shoulder warmly.
 
“He’ll be fine,” she offered and he looked up at her with serious eyes, “I know, my father is a great warrior.  He’s just worried about Lady Hadjara and her family.” Judiah gave him a nod as Khashar came through the door, looking down at the child curiously before catching her attention.
 
“We have to move, I’ve received word that something much larger is afoot.  I’m taking you to the temple, it’s the last place that anyone might think to look for you, if they decided to take further action.”  She nodded and saw Kurush brighten a little.  He was interested in training for the Priesthood she remembered Hadjara telling her at one time, he would feel at home at the temple.
 
“The temple is good,” he piped up, “The inner sanctum they use for the Offerings is far inside and underground.  There’s lots of protective webs around it too, I remember from my lessons.  It’s a good hiding place.”   Khashar seemed to agree as he turned with a gesture to follow.  Judiah and Kurush followed close enough in his wake to be sure that if even a surprise came from behind them, he could maneuver to protect them.  Alaleh met them at the temple and hurried them inside, the look on her face made it very evident she was aware of everything going on, Judiah assumed that Khashar had already told her and she agreed to house them at the temple.
 
“Thank you Lady,” Judiah said, the air of urgency at their departure making her a little breathless as the Priestess shut the door after Khashar left to join the fray.  Alaleh just smiled and motioned them to follow her through the temple, the scents of smoke and scents giving the building an almost ethereal quality.  Judiah didn’t spend too much time in any temple, but she could see why many would.  There was a softened peace within, a muting of the harshness of the world around them and all the dangers and difficulties outside their walls.  Alelah paused before a thick wooden door at the end of the far corridor, reaching into her pocket for an iron key before she turned to address Judiah and paused, leaning over in an almost comical gesture that made Judiah glance at her puzzled.  Alaleh’s face held a brief mixture of amusement tinged with an air of exasperation and maybe a hint of concern. 
 
“Young boys are such a handful,” she said with a hint of a smile on her lips and Judiah turned.  Kurush was gone.   Judiah swore softly under her breath at her own stupidity.  Kurush was often wise beyond his young years, but he was still a child and a boy to boot.  She should have known that the pull of curiosity and the affection he held for Hadjara would be too much for him to resist seeking out answers to what exactly was going on.  She had sported more than enough moments of panic and worry at some of the antics that Judas had perpetrated at that young age, and despite their drastic difference in caste and jewel, they were still both male and foolish.
 
“Mother Night!” she exclaimed, taking off herself in the only direction she could think the boy would go.   He was quick, she gave him that credit and clever enough that he left almost no trace of his scent behind for her to follow, but she knew his objective and followed the growing sound of voices that echoed through the streets.  She reached the building that she knew to be the heart of the Sabbah just to see a slender foot scramble over a rooftop above her.  Judiah rolled her eyes, looking around quickly before she used craft (and a few muscles that complained at their long unuse) to pull herself up along a drainage pipe until she could reach the roof herself.  I am far too old to be climbing buildings, she mused silently to herself as she gained her footing and carefully made her way along the stone rooftop.  Kurush was crouched along one edge, caught between wanting to stand for a better view or keeping hidden from sight.  She moved up beside him and caught the sound of surprise that almost escaped.
 
Mother keep them, she thought as she looked at the Mineborn, shackled and on display before a roaring crowd of spectators.  She could see placed her hand on Kurush’s shoulder to pull him away but he was glued, his eyes fixed down on the young Priestess and she could feel the tension in his slender shoulders.  “Kurush,” she whispered softly, “there is nothing you can do for her.  Your father will do everything in his power to free her from this, but having you here will only distract both of them with worry for your safety.  Come back with me, the best way to help her is to be safe.”  She looked at that moment to see Hadjara looking up at Kurush, that soft little encouraging smile on her face when anyone else would have been terrified or crying.  Kurush sniffled and wiped at his face with the back of his hand before moving back away from the edge, nodding to her without speaking. 
 
She took him back to the temple, where Alaleh took him under her wing, taking him off to talk, or perhaps put him to task to keep his mind away from the dangers that might be occurring in the distance.  Judiah made herself comfortable, sitting against a tall column, summoning a book to read as she tried to distract herself from the million directions that her mind wanted to take her.   It hadn’t seemed like very long, though judging by the progress she had made in her reading that some time had passed before the door to the temple was pushed open and Babak rushed in, carrying a small boy in one arm who seemed shaken and upset.  She leapt her feet, taking the child into her arms who quickly buried his face in her neck, shaking hard.  Not so small, she realized, and not a stranger.    There was a scent about him, something familiar.
 
“Cas’ son,” Babak explained, catching his breath as Kurush emerged from another room and threw his arms around his father’s waist with enough force that it made the older man shift on his feet. “Adramalech had ordered his men to take the children and hold them as hostage to ensure that the Sabbah would stand with him, no matter what.”   He hugged his son with his nearest arm. 
 
Mind to mind he gave her a brief recount of events so far.  Adramalech is dead.  Nima woke up and pulled his heart from his chest and chaos just erupted.   When he left to find Cas’ son, the Mineborn were still living and being defended by Ennead from the riot that broke out.  He would have to go back out again and Judiah nodded, reaching out her hand for Kurush.
 
“Come young Warlord,” she said softly, “We have a friend to keep us company now, let’s get him settled with some food and water and I’ll tell you both some interesting stories about my home.   Have you ever heard of the Colosseum?” she began as she led the two youngsters away from the door as Babak slipped back out. “It’s a giant arena, towering higher than any of the buildings in Onn that could seat all the tribes.  Warriors compete in hand to hand combat for glory and prestige and my son is one of the greatest warriors that has ever stepped food inside.”   Their world was shifting around them, but she knew young boys and tales of fights and glory would always be an easy distraction.   She hoped that when everything finally settled, that there would be no one to mourn.







Offline Ennead al-Bali

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #20 on: Jun 09, 17, 02:01:26 PM »
Simplicity.

The fight was on.  The hunt and the kill, both.  Ennead was truly free of all restraint, the only thing he had to do, was select his prey, and there were plenty to choose from.  He was not so far gone as to no longer differentiate friend from foe, innocent from villain, but there was no stopping him now.  People would die by his hand, there was no question of it, the only thing up for debate was how many lives he would claim, and that was not for Ennead to determine in that moment.  There were no set limits, only a need to utterly eliminate the threat to his Khadijah, to Roshan, to Lucky--to all of them.  If that meant one or one hundred, in that moment, it did not matter to Ennead al-Bali.  For a Warlord Prince that had found solace in honing his Combat Craft, its practical application had always been a forgone conclusion.  He had used it in the Mines, he would use it in the Overlands.

The first to fall had moved on the Mineborn, and he had simply acted without thought or need to consider.  Ennead killed that man with his khanjar, his sudden aerial arrival had been so unexpected, the man had no time to put up his shields.  He snarled.  It was not a satisfying victory, but there were other bared blades in the crowd, some more willing to harm and act, some less.  If Ennead managed to avoid killing those of the Sabbah guardsmen that had been unwilling particpants in the farce unfolding, it would be by sheer luck alone.  Ennead moved onto the next, and the next, in a series of flickering engagements that he unconsciously manipulated into a series of one on one encounters, instead of taking men on in a mass.  He was lost to the rythm of battle, the beating of his own heart, and the demands of the predator that he truly was.

It never occured to him to hesitate because he may have instructed some of these men and women in the practice yard.  When the red haze cleared, he would feel a certain regret, but that connection was nothing beside the bond he shared with Khadijah and Roshan, and nothing beside people willing to do wrong just because they were ordered to do so.  Ennead continued to move, continued to take down those that needed to be subtracted from the erupting all around him.  He stepped in and defended children and innocents, but not out of altruism, the heroic act was but a footnote to his release, to the killing instinct and edge that demanded satisfaction.  Ennead's lips were curled in a semi-permanent snarl, his gold flecked green eyes blazing with his rage and his power.

A dead man came at him.  They were all dead.  That decision was a foregone conclusion, all that awaited was Ennead to deliver the blow that made it so.  He did not try to avoide him, as he reversed the grip on his khanjar, and met the enemy head on.  The Sabbah guard thrust a blade at him, as Ennead slide diagonally forward.  The Green Warlord Prince shielded his left hand and forearm enough to slip the attack to his right, just enough for the thrust to miss his throat, and connected his fist with the enemy's nose.  There were sparks, as power clashed with power.  His fist and blade slid off the guardsman's shields, so he launched a crude bolt of power that kicked the man in the forehead, and rocked his head back, taking him down as if he had been caught on a leesh.  The guardsman rolled, Ennead's empowred stomp barely missing his head, and slashed at the Warlord Prince.  The enemy's blade grazed across another purple shield that appeared in that instant, and then disappeared.

Ennead and the guardsman moved together, engaged in a deadly dance that moved too swiftly for the eye to follow.  There was the clatter of steel on steel, flesh on flesh, and then the sudden squeal of power meeting power.  There was a pain filled cry as the rage of an uncut Green Jewel, shattered a lesser shield, and cleared the way for a final thrust from Ennead's knife.  He took the man under the throat, his blade driving up into his brain, but that victory was not celebrated, Ennead let the body fall unceremoniously, heedless of the arterial spray that dyed his clothing crimson, and then moved on to other prey.  Not every guardsman would have Craft to call upon, but it did not matter to the Green Warlord Prince.  He would be stopped when the enemies were gone, or a greater power cut his wrath short.

Offline Vashti al-Sahar

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #21 on: Jun 09, 17, 05:04:49 PM »
Vashti wrapped her burnoose tighter around her as she crouched low on the roof of a building that outlined the area where all the Sabbah had gathered when word that the Mineborn had been captured in some sort of assassination attempt against their own sister, or perhaps it was against the Voice of the Sabbah, or maybe it was because Adra had finally decided to be rid of them.  The rumors were as numerous as flies as she listened from the window of her room in the residence that the Mineborn had been staying in.  She had wondered why Lucky hadn’t come barging to her door at some ungodly hour to make sure she still hadn’t tried to run away.  He seemed to do it almost every day, though the last couple of days he had been...off.  As if something heavy weighed on him enough to forget about her.
 
She should have taken the chance to run then, but she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of winning in the silent battle they had been waging over whether she would leave or not.  So she had stayed put, itching to crawl out her window and into the wind.  That was when she heard the voices, the hurried chatter of people rushing by beneath her window and what they were saying.
 
The Mineborn were arrested.
 
She should have realized when she hadn’t heard anything going on in the corridors that morning, hadn’t heard the voices that were becoming more and more familiar in the last week.  She reached for her burnoose and reached up to touch her collar to make sure it was fastened securely when she felt naked skin and remembered.
 
Damn Lucky and his wings!   She couldn’t go out without every man around realizing that she was a Queen and wanting to throw her over his shoulder and drag her off to “safety”.  She bit her lower lip, looking around the nice but sparse room.  One of the women who worked in the residence had given her some of her clothes which were a little large on her very slender frame, though she had reassured her that after a few more weeks of decent food, they would fit just fine.  Vashti wasn’t sure she liked the idea of “growing” into clothing, always appreciative that her somewhat too thin body had sometimes been easy to disguise in boys clothing to add to her camouflage.   
 
She reached for a pair of breeches and a shirt that hung long and big enough that she had to tie around her waist with a belt, and pulled on her burnoose.  Then, she carefully opened her window and lowered herself down to the small street below, landing lightly and silently.  Waiting to hear if she might have triggered the alert of any guards, she held her breath but when no one came running, she headed quickly in the direction of the Sabbah compound.  She had just about reached the outer most buildings when she paused, catching sight of a woman and young boy climbing down from the rooftop of the building directly across the way.  She thought the woman looked familiar but at the moment she couldn’t place her face and stayed hidden enough that they didn’t notice her in passing.  As soon as things were clear, she followed their example, pulling herself up to the rooftop and crawled carefully across to the source of much shouting.
 
A deafening silence fell across the crowd and she pulled herself belly down to the edge, keeping herself low and out of sight as she peered over the edge.  The Mineborn were standing shackled staring at a slender young woman who stood before the Old Spider himself, her hand reaching out as if to offer comfort.  In the time of a blink, her hand went through his chest and emerged, dripping crimson and tight fisted and as the dried up walking corpse that had been the Voice of the Sabbah blinked in surprise before collapsing onto the ground, Vashti covered her mouth with both hands to keep from echoing her squeek of surprise loud enough for anyone to notice.
 
It wouldn’t have mattered if it was loud enough, because the assembled roared in outrage and shock and Vashti ducked down to ground as the building vibrated with the sound as swords were drawn and people rushed forward in a violent clash of anger.   She slowly lifted her head up to survey the scene and saw the Mineborn standing together as a whirlwind of a man leapt in, driving his Khanjar into his opponent before turning quickly to attack the next offender.  She couldn’t see his face, so quickly did he move that everything about him was a blur of skill and power. 
 
Vashti resisted the urge to run herself, run quickly from the ever growing possibility of being seen and being the next target, so she stayed low and out of sight with only enough of her head exposed to continue to watch the scene play out.
 
Beneath her, the stone of the roof continued to thrum with a strange soft hum, and she realized that it wasn’t because of the sound or the movement on the ground below but something else, something she hadn’t originally noticed because she had been so caught up with everything occurring with the Mineborn.    It wasn’t the building, it was the earth beneath the building.  It was the same sensation she had when she would be tasked to reach into the earth to seek out things that her Masters had wanted of her.  The ground was almost audible beneath her body and the air became electrified, growing strangly thick and uncomfortable.  She looked up at the perfectly clear blue sky, the heat of the naked sun bearing down on her skin and yet she could feel the change, the shift in something growing, something coming.
 
Vashti turned her gaze back down to the Mineborn, pulled towards their forms as she watched their hands begin to join.

Offline Tavar al-Sabbah

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #22 on: Jun 11, 17, 09:21:07 AM »
Fin was surprised by Prince Drostyk’s appearance, but the arrival of his fellow Eyrien granted renewed strength, at least for a moment. Fin would fight to the death against an entire army if he meant rallying the Sabbah and giving the Mineborn the chance they needed to do...whatever it was that they were doing. Fin couldn’t worry about that right now, though; his clan was splintering. There was every chance that the Sabbah would not exist after today. Even if they did, there was no guarantee that they would still be dominant over the clans under their control.
 
Not unless I am ready to do more than watch over them.
 
Bantu gave the command to his men to form up on him. Fin watched twenty of them ready themselves for battle.
 
He didn’t wait.
 
And then three of Bantu’s men were liquified before Fin’s eyes. The Eyrien Warlord was brought up short by the sight. There was even a bit of surprised registed on his stone features as he watched those men die with painful ease. While it had been centuries since he’d seen such sudden death not granted at the edge of a sword, he’d seen it once before.
 
The warriors of the Sabbah had not.
 
Some of them lost their courage and ran for it. Others fell to their knees, clutching their heads, their faces, bleeding from wounds long since closed without understanding why. A few even tried to run but they didn’t get far. Fin watched them without pity or mercy, but his gaze settled on Bantu, the one who’d threatened, in his bluster, to kill FIn and rape his nieces. To rape Judiah. He forgave the others for following Bantu, for even if they’d done the same, none of them had the audacity to voice it.
 
Fin’s sword pointed at Bantu.
 
Tell Adramelech, when you see him, that he should have listened to me.”
 
And then Bantu al-Sabbah bled out like a sieve, and Fin turned his attention to the remaining Sabbah.
 
I am the Voice of the Sabbah! A new day comes for this Clan and the Sabbah are new with it! Your crimes before today will be forgiven, but stray again and there will be no mercy!” Fin said, raising his sword in the air, wings spread, as he looked over those who had rebelled.
 
A few of them, maybe ten, glared at Fin with anger and hatred, then turned and walked away... But most of the Sabbah warriors who’d stood against him came formed their ranks, like he’d taught them, and waited for commands.
 
Separate as many fighters as you can, aid the Jinan and the Tabur. Make sure the non-combatants are kept safe. ” he told Marduk.
 
Prince Drostyk, we need to ensure that the Mineborn aren’t harmed.” Fin said.
 
He looked around, taking in the rest of the chaos around the area. He was still bone-tired and very, very hungry. He thought he saw Leila, perched up high, and wondered if she'd been the one behind the display a few moments ago. Something occurred to him in that moment and Fin recognized what was now available to the Sabbah.

There was a great deal he needed to consider soon.

For now, he could at least look forward to Judiah being at home.

"What about us, Uncle? Are you going to send us home now?" Shadya asked, her tone surly.

"No, Lady Sabbah. You and your sister are with me."







Offline Adavera ibna Sadagh

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #23 on: Jun 18, 17, 07:00:55 AM »
She was caught in a cocoon of sound and power... the Abyss was pulsing around her.  Through her.  She felt like she was caught in a web, and she didn't even mind.  She could feel Lucky pulsing away near her, the others... the Rage of Ennead, the protectiveness of Torin... and still she was focused on the pulse of the powers about her.

Her eyes closed as her head tipped up... and she felt hte first drops touch her face.  She couldn't even be surprised as she felt that Power pulse outwards at last.  Rain. Real rain.  She cracked her eyes open, watching as the sky opened up and doused her.  Her hands went up, pulling the burmoose down from her head.

The feel of water sliding against her scalp was awe inspiring.  She felt... awe-struck.  She'd KNOWN, of course... she'd heard the prophecy.  She'd believed they could do it.  But she was still struck dumb by it.  There was 'knowing', and then there was knowing.

Lucky.  Hadjara... Ennead.  These were the faces that would change all of Pruul.  She could feel it in her bones... no one would be able to deny the Mineborn what was their due now.

And that was ... perfect.  Infuriating, but perfect. They should have given them their dues simply for the wrongs done unto them.. it shouldn't take the Rains.

But the Rains had come... and now... now all of Pruul would know why.






Offline Ennead al-Bali

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #24 on: Jun 19, 17, 08:42:21 PM »
Brief precise bursts of Craft were all Ennead used, or seemed to need.  He moved from fight to fight, careful to avoid multiple opponents when and where he could but when forced to act against more than one, he did not hesitate.  Dark Green eyes burned with the cold rage of the Warlord Prince, the gold flecks that hinted at his heritage only seemed heighten the predatory hunger of his gaze.  People died beneath his knife or his hands and feet again and again, and Ennead never flinched.  He went from aggressor to protector with all the subtlety of a sand storm, picking out those who advanced on the Mineborn and those that threatened the crowd with disturbing speed.  Somewhere in the fighting, his khanjar shattered against a shield, and all he had left to him was his bare hands.

It never slowed him down.  Ennead had contained and banked and tended to his rage with meditation, with practice, even with fights against those who could at least stand toe to toe with him.  He had kept it all hemmed in, fenced in, behind a gate that made him feel like a race horse.  Violence pranced within his chest, waiting to escape, waiting to burst out and race to the finish line—and it had burst forth, only Ennead barely saw an end in sight.  He would stop when they were dead.  He would stop when they stopped threatening Khadijah, when the stopped hurting the Mineborn, or attempting to stab at Adavera.  He would stop when there were no more enemies to put down, and not before.  Ennead would know when that happened, when he had crossed over to the finsh—or—at the very least—he hoped he would.

The human body was a delicate machine.  A knife was not necessary to neutralize it.  Only a few pounds of pressure properly applied to a knee would force it to bend in the wrong direction, and snap, the same is true of the elbow, the wrist and the neck.  Ennead had learned long ago that you struck ‘soft’ blows to hard surfaces, like the skull, and blow from the heel of his hand could snap a head back, and even damage the brain within.  After the loss of his weapon, there was nothing as clean as the thrust of a knife.  Bones broke with disturbingly loud cracks.  Men gurgled when the cartilage in their throats snapped inward by a blow, or cried out when their attacks were turned against them bur a Warlord Prince that seemed to always be in motion.  Brutal.  Efficient.  Final.

Ennead was guided a knife thrust past him, and twisted the arm into a joint lock that allowed him to disarm the warrior who counted the lock by twisting his body towards it.  There was a quick exchange of elbows and punches, and Ennead’s hand snapped out, the knuckled punching into the man’s throat.  He gasped and stumbled back, allowing Ennead to sweep his feet out from under him, where the enemy cracked the back of his head on the stones.  The Green Warlord Prince lifted his foot to deliver a crunching blow to the head of his enemy—when the first drops of rain fell.  Ennead hesitated, the cold rage not quite receding.  No.  It cannot be.  The dark green eyes went cold again, and he looked down at his enemy, who was not focused on his impending doom—that made Ennead hesitate again.

He stepped back and looked up, and felt the droplets of water hit his face.  Along with the blood that covered his skin, the rain washed away the rage, and all Ennead could do was hold out his hands to feel the water falling out of the sky.  They did it.  He almost sobbed, so many of his fears were rooted in the Prophecy of the Mineborn, in his choice to serve them, and they had proven him right.  They had brought the rains.

Offline Rania al-Abd

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Re: Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts
« Reply #25 on: Jul 30, 17, 09:40:19 PM »
Rania reached out and held Cadence close, running a soothing hand through her hair.  “I won’t leave him either,” she assured her.  She wouldn’t.  Samir would have to drag them both unconscious and she would fight with tooth and jewel against her brother.  For Omid, to be here for him she would.  She gave her brother a look that told him exactly that and he gave her a disapproving look but said nothing else, resuming his vigil against attackers.

Rania felt the sands shifting, like a wind that moved the ground and she looked over at the platform, sucking in a breath.  “Cadence, look!”  She turned the other woman to see all the Mineborn standing hand in hand and there was something heavy growing in the air.  She slid an arm around the Healer’s waist, her eyes locking on Omid’s form, seeing the tension in his shoulders and then.

She thought she might have shed a tear and hadn’t realized it, until another fell and then another.  Rania looked up and saw the sky darkening before a low rumble filled the air, loud enough that others stopped their movements and looked up at the strange noise.  Rania let out a laugh and brought her free hand to her mouth as she stared incredibly up at the miracle that was forming in the air as more drops fell against her cheeks, her forehead, her neck before the skies opened and water poured down.  She sputtered as she caught it in her mouth and it tasted sweet and she thought for a moment, it tasted like Omid.

They did it, she thought with relief and joy.  They brought the Rains.  They would finally be safe. 


 

 

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