Blood Rites

Terreille => Pruul => Topic started by: Dinah al-Tabur on Apr 23, 19, 02:06:10 PM

Title: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Dinah al-Tabur on Apr 23, 19, 02:06:10 PM
The Tabur council and Court gathered for one final dinner before they departed Onn the next morning. They sat in their usual seats, their usual hierarchy, with Dinah and her Triangle at the table of honor, and her council and Court flanking like wings to her left and right. Some of them kept looking at the seat on Dinah’s left, where Javid usually sat. Dinah ignored whatever expressions they cast, as well as the glaring coming from the person sitting on her right.

Reserved for the First Escort, the seat was currently empty. But it was not because Javid was deceased. It was because its new inhabitant was on his way: Kazim. The thought of her beloved finally taking his place at her side as First Escort was the only balm upon the tense situation at hand.

While most of the Tabur seemed relieved, though a bit concerned, that they were leaving Onn, there were a handful at the top of the food chain that vocally opposed the decision. Dinah had no doubt that at the first sign of trouble, that small group would pounce upon the opportunity to see her brought down.

Some of them may even try tonight, she began to think.

Paranoia would not do her any help, she knew, but there had been a sense of foreboding itching the back of her mind. Despite her previous night entangled with Kazim, her sleep had been troubled. Something in the darkness stalked her, and then, in a flash, sliced at her. The black blade. Where was it? Who wielded it? When would it come? Dinah knew that worry just ate away at her resolve but she felt helpless against it sometimes. It wrapped around her mind, halted her mid-thought, and then refused to listen to reason. She found herself wrestling with it for hours on and off until something more important distracted her or she fell into an exhausted sleep.

To say then that she was not in her most keen of mind would be obvious. But she hid it well enough. Distractions were welcomed, especially since they cut through the tension in the air. One of the younger councilors was regaling Saladin with a story. Delara and Ebra were seated further away, talking animatedly about something, though the look on Ebra’s face was brooding. Only the smile on Delara’s told Dinah that it wasn’t something to be concerned about. Delara was probably giving Ebra a hard time about something, as was normal in their young friendship.

But the people closest to Dinah, aside from Saladin, wore expressions of unhappiness and took whatever chances they could to catch her eye and remind her of that. Shaula’s gaze was quite possibly the hardest. There was an emptiness to those eyes but an anger etched on her pretty face that turned her ugly. Something about it frightened Dinah but she could not name why. Was it the face of a woman who had nothing more to lose? Dinah tried to imagine how she would feel, being in Shaula’s position of having lost a Bonded male, and just the barest thought of losing Kazim hurt too much to continue dwelling on.

Once dinner began being served, Dinah turned her attention to it instead of the darker thoughts that had kept her up that night. After today, the Tabur would begin a new chapter. She looked forward to being back out in the open, under clear skies and warm sands.
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Shaula al-Tabur on Apr 23, 19, 02:07:44 PM
Shaula sat near Dinah and hated every moment of it. Outwardly, the Tabur Queen looked graceful and burdened, like usual, but tonight, it chafed Shaula immensely. Why didn’t she hurt like Shaula did? Why didn’t she cry for Javid? No, her precious Kazim was still alive and well. Not dead, dead, dead like Shaula’s poor Javid.

It wasn’t fair! Javid was twice the man and Dinah didn’t see that about him. She just used him! She hadn’t cared about him! It just wasn’t fair! It wasn’t supposed to have happened like it did! Javid was supposed to be alive in order to be Shaula’s First Escort. Who was she going to pick for that position now? What was she going to do?! Even Saladin, who had been so eager to be led around her bed at first, was now finding reasons to spend time away from her. Dinah was ruining everything!

Her grip on the fork threatened to break either it or her fingers if she didn’t relax it. It took way too long for her to do so and she was able to only because she knew she had something up her sleeve that was going to change all of that. There was nothing she could do to bring Javid back, but she could get rid of the person who didn’t deserve the position she was in and put the Tabur back on the right track. Poisons weren’t easy to acquire but Shaula had her connections. And she had given the serving boy (who was just old enough to have his first real kiss from a girl) specific instructions along with that smashing smile of hers -- half the vial in the cups of Dinah and Saladin halfway through the meal. Of course, she lied and told the boy that it was just an aphrodisiac. She even made up some story about how Dinah and Saladin were sleeping together but wanted to keep it a secret and the pressures of ruling made it hard for….oh, whatever. She had made up a story and the boy had believed it, taken both vial and kiss, and promised it would get handled. Now all Shaula had to do was wait.

After tonight, once Dinah was taken care of, Shaula was going to rule the Tabur.

With a toss of her hair as she imagined what that would be like (should she replace Rasheed immediately or in a few months? Oh, and she could demand that Kazim service her now, and wouldn’t that be a delightful turn of events?), she busied herself with her meal, pointedly catching Dinah’s gaze from time to time just to watch the other Queen’s brow grow more furrowed with thought.
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Delara al-Latifh on Apr 26, 19, 11:12:02 PM
The last couple of days had been rather hectic for Delara, what with making sure the Clan was well stocked with healing supplies and examining the horses to make sure they were all healthy and ready to travel.  Between all of that and practicing the craft she'd been shown by Fate she hadn't really wanted to come to this dinner.  She would have been happier going over her lists one more time (even though she'd already checked them three or four times over the last few hours), but Dinah needed all the allies she could get after everything that had happened recently.  Knowing that and that this might be the only time in the foreseeable future where she could relax with the few people she called friends meant she hadn't protested too much when Ebra had shown up to make sure she came.

So far she'd even managed to enjoy herself, a rarity for her as she didn't usually enjoy social gatherings.  She had always preferred the quiet of the Healing tents, her quarters or the horse pens over parties.  She'd only had to deal with a few whispered, snide comments about how she'd earned her position at such a young age and how she shouldn't hold it all especially with more powerful and more experienced Healers available for the Queen to pick from.  She'd ignored them gracefully, just moving on to other topics or escaping the conversation all together. 

Ebra made it more tolerable, his opinions on more than one of those members of the Court drawing laughter from her.  They'd traded friendly barbs back and forth as the time to eat drew closer and she'd found herself, for the most part, enjoying the evening.  She'd forgotten what it was like to just relax and enjoy the company of a friend.  Even the thought that they were about to venture back into the desert and the threat of the worms wasn't enough to dull her enjoyment.

As the food was served though her eyes briefly caught Shaula's and she felt a shiver of unease race down her spine.  There was just something in the other woman's eyes that made the smile fade from her face and a furrow of concern crease her brow.  Even as she turned her attention back to Ebra as he asked her a question she couldn't help but glance back at the Yellow jeweled Queen.  She didn't like what she'd seen in the other woman's eyes.  There was concern in her eyes as she glanced at the head of the table more frequently as the evening continued.

Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Ebrahim Orphan on May 23, 19, 02:06:34 PM
As much as Ebra had healthy reason to be afraid of another sandworm attack, he had to admit that he was looking forward to the Tabur leaving Onn once again. “You been far out into the desert before?” he asked Delara, probably not for the first time since they had met. He knew she knew how to ride horses so he wouldn’t have to teach her about that (though, she had taught him a few things that he hadn’t known and he wasn’t going to admit that either). “It’s easier to tell where the worms are out in the desert,” he told her, even though the tribe was going to be taking mountain paths to skirt most of the areas where sandworms still gathered. Ebra's meager training as a sandrider meant he knew how to spot signs of sandworms from afar but Saladin's experience would be relied on more.

“Be nice to get out of the city, that’s for sure,” he remarked for the dozenth time. “It’s getting to crammed in here, with all of the Sabbah fucks fighting. It’ll be good to get out and not get caught in the crossfire of one of their stupid spats.” The city was still reeling from the effects of the first, with the Grays and Ebon Grays that had decided to use buildings like toys.

“Where do you think we’re going to go? Not Tuono, that’s for sure. Nothing there.” And Ebra wouldn’t want to go to Tuono any time soon. It still held some really bad memories for him. He had no idea if anyone had even been back since the Tabur mounted a rescue mission. That would be really, really gross to walk into a ruined place with all of the skeletons. Creepy! 

Just as Ebra was about to shiver with the thought of that, he noticed that Delara had looked over at Shaula and was shivering as well. “Yeah, she looks upset about something. Probably her boyfriend again. I don’t like her, Del. She’s not a good person, I don’t think. She’s got that look…” he remarked, trailing off because someone nearby shifted and reminded him that they weren’t alone in the room to talk freely. But still, Shaula had this look in her eyes that spelled trouble. For someone.

“She better not have at it with Dinah again,” Ebra muttered darkly. “I don’t see why Dinah puts up with her. Or the Steward. If my father treated me like that…” Ebra’s father had treated him worse, in Ebra’s opinion, abandoning him and his mother early on. Men weren’t high up on Ebra’s fondness list in general because of that.

But in reality, there wasn't much that Ebra could do. Dinah was the Queen and had her own rules that Ebra didn't understand. All he understood was this need to protect her. She was a nice Queen! Why did so many people give her shit for it?
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Delara al-Latifh on Jul 09, 19, 10:19:47 PM
"My tribe travels. . . traveled. . . a lot through the desert." A moment of grief lit her eye and her voice cracked just slightly before she cleared her throat and tugged nervously on a loose strand of her hair. 

She tucked it back behind one ear as she continued, "The worms have always frightened me though so . . . I'm not as good at spotting them as I probably should be.  Maybe you can teach me how to spot them better?  I hope we can avoid them but we probably aren't going to get that lucky, but at least we have you and the other sand riders now.  The odds should be a bit better for us!"   She gave Ebra a small smile even as her mind turned back to her lessons with Fate al-Izar.

If worst came to worst according to the other Healer the technique she'd been learning should be able to help fend off a worm, but Delara wasn't going to put her faith in something she hadn't yet tested on an actual one.  It wasn't that she didn't trust the other Healer, she just didn't want to have to put the lesson's to the test against an actual worm unless there was no other choice.  Especially when her own practice sessions were still a little hit and miss and extremely exhausting for her.

"It will be nice to get out of the city and away from all the fighting.  I'm tired of patching up wounds when people get caught up in the violence."

"As for where we are going I have absolutely no idea.  I think I heard something about maybe taking routes closer to the mountains in order to keep the tribe safer but I was a bit distracted with making sure we had all the supplies we might need so I wasn't really paying attention to what people were saying."  She grimaced, "I guess as the Court Healer I should probably pay more attention to that sort of thing, huh?"

As Ebra's eyes followed hers to where Shaula was sitting Delara was both relieved and even more worried to hear some of her own concerns echoed by her friend, "I feel sorry for her loss."  Her gaze was compassionate but also dark as it rested on the yellow jeweled Queen, "I don't like her.  I never have, but I still feel sorry for her." Her voice trailed off for a moment before she let out a small huff, and tugged distractedly at the necklace holding her Purple Dusk.

She was careful to keep her voice low so that only Ebra could hear her talk as she continued, "I guess that's silly right?  I mean I don't even like her and I certainly don't trust her and when she's around Dinah I can't help but worry that she's going to try and do something to hurt our Queen." Pinching her nose Delara sighed and then tried to rub away a developing headache as she grumbled, "I want to help but I also want to kick her out into the desert and leave her there.  It's annoying and thinking too much about it gives me a migraine."

"I do wish I'd been able to do more for Javid, for Dinah's sake at least."  Her gaze was more serious as she looked over at Ebra, "You'll help me keep an eye on Dinah when we leave the city right?  Especially when Shaula's around?
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Shaula al-Tabur on Jul 10, 19, 10:07:47 AM
As the dinner dragged on, and the boy was nowhere in sight, Shaula’s patience stretched and thinned. Her expressions became less restrained and she didn’t care. Dinah purposefully didn’t look her way but that didn’t stop the daggers shooting out of Shaula’s eyes. If anyone asked, the Tiger Eye Queen shot back something pithy and they backed off, assuming that she was deep in her grief over Javid or just upset with Dinah like most of the council was.

Where was that serving boy?

By the time the drinks would be poisoned and delivered, they would be at dessert, if Dinah was still even allowing for such a luxury to happen. All day, she had been going on about leaving – leaving! Leaving everything! Leaving their allies, their homes, their graves, their…

The thought of leaving Javid, even just the physical place where he had died, brought renewed tears to Shaula’s eyes. She gripped the fork tightly, felt it bend. It wasn’t fair! It just wasn’t fair! When she was Queen, she would set up a permanent home in Onn. Let those who wanted to wander do so – she was going to stay somewhere comfortable and safe. Away from the worms! Couldn't anyone see that Dinah was just going to get the tribe killed by dragging them through the desert? Tradition be damned! It was time to discard things that didn’t work.

Caught in her maelstrom thoughts, she almost – almost! – missed the serving boy coming forward to offer to replace Dinah and Saladin’s drinks with the two he had on the tray. Fierce determination and vengeful elation soared through her. Now! Now was the moment! Those two idiots would drink the wine without realizing what it held and then her plan would be fulfilled! Oh, it might take a few hours to take effect – or was it just a few moments? Who cared! The poison would do its job and the clan, without Dinah and Saladin leading it to ruin, would be forced to stay in Onn while the chaos got sorted out. Shaula would be selected as the next ruling Queen and then she could organize the Tabur as she wanted!

She tried to keep her elation restrained but there was a gleam in her eyes that could be missed. She watched Dinah intently, only belatedly remembering to keep her gaze distracted so as not to attract too much attention. Did it matter? The serving boy would be caught and, if he ratted Shaula out, she would just deny it. Simple. There wasn’t a Black Widow around who was loyal to Dinah to implicate her, hence why it was a foolproof plan.

Just a few more moments now, and then…and then…
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Kazim al-Latifh on Jul 10, 19, 05:25:38 PM
Kazim brushed his hand over his tunic, one of his nicer ones that he had made to tailor fit for one of his brother’s wedding a few years back.  He rarely wore it, preferring to keep such precious things for special occasions.   Riding the dunes didn’t lend itself to keeping clothing clean or tidy.  His guard’s uniform was good enough for most things but this was important.  This was special.

He fingered the ring on his right hand, feeling it spin around on the skin as he stared at the light reflecting off the metal.  It was such a small thing with such weight to it.  First Escort.  He was his Lady’s First Escort.  If fortune smiled his way, perhaps it wouldn’t be the only ring that he wore that bound him to her, but that was something to be discussed after the Clan was allowed to leave Onn, and he could take her on a long ride into the desert as his father had once done for his mother.   As First Escort, he could such things now without reporting back or answering to everyone in the triangle.   His word would be enough, not that he would do anything reckless but he didn’t owe an explanation to anyone. 

He was fairly certain that the knowledge of his comings and goings to Dinah’s tent was fairly common even outside of his guard brothers and based so far on the reactions and looks he had gotten,  no one seemed to mind.  Well, outside of Rasheed, Shaula and a few of her sycophants anyway.

He strode long towards the dining tent, a lightness in his chest that he hadn’t felt in a very long time.  Aisha had helped him with his hair, offering to braid some warriors braids into it to which he indulged.  They brushed against the tops of his shoulders as he walked, and it made him think about growing his hair out in the style that his brother had once adopted.  It seemed to bring his niece some comfort, on the nights she fell asleep in his lap while he read and her hand wound into the lower locks.

One of the guards at the doorflap gave him a once over and a cheeky grin at his attire and Kazim returned the playful tease with a roll of his eyes at the antics.   It earned a soft chuckle from the other guard before they pulled back the heavy folds of cloth to allow him entrance.   The cooled air and rich scents of food filled his nose, but there was only one scent that he craved more than even water. 

Dinah was seated at the center of the long table, with Rasheed to one side of her and her Master of the Guard beside him.  The seat once reserved for Javid was empty, a constant reminder of the man’s demise.  He felt a small bit of regret that his elevation came at the cost of another man’s life… but only a small bit.  Javid was a traitorous bastard, though he was his Queen’s brother.   Kazim approached the table and heard the conversation come to a quiet as he made the proper bows to the Court and to the Queen before stepping forward to place his hand on the back of the seat next to Dinah.

The air turned sharp and eyes stared at him in surprise as he pulled the chair back and moved to stand before it.  A glance at Dinah’s calm expression that looked up at him might have looked neutral, but he saw the glint of happy mischief in her eye.  So she hadn’t told them yet. How fun.

Kazim felt his lip twitch as he reached for the goblet that was in the place setting and raised it.  “A toast, to the memory of our fallen brother.  I can only hope that I can do proper honor to the title that has been bestowed upon me in his stead.  May the Darkness embrace you Javid.”  He raised the goblet to his lips, and may the harpies in Hell roast you forever over a slow-burning spit.   He would only think those things to himself behind the tightest of shields but that didn’t make them any less true.

Some joined him in toast, some still stared at the hand that held his goblet, that caught the light of the witchlight and showed the Escort Ring.  One face didn’t look at him, one pair of dark eyes stared far too intently at Dinah with a look of hungry eagerness that befitted a cat waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting bird.  He lowered the goblet and looked down at Dinah who was staring at her own goblet quietly, but with a strange focus that he had only seen across her face once before.

She was sensing something with her new craft.

He said nothing, turning to the rest of the room as if he didn’t even notice her peculiar behavior and took his seat, his hand sliding beneath the table to rest on her knee lightly.

*Poison?* he asked lightly, *Your vision?*
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Saladin al-Tabur on Jul 17, 19, 09:39:49 AM
Saladin was much older than he looked.  He was very nearly sixty, which was nothing to him in the grand scheme of things, even less to his Father.  His Father should h ave lived for thousands of years, and yet he was stolen from the Tabur by the actions of the Spider.  He had watched the Mineborn Council that Dinah had assured him could lead, fail.  Not only fail, but fail to the point that their ignorance and mismanagement led to the fall of whatever good was happening in the Sabbah, and whatever good could have happened in Onn with old secrets and leadership dead and gone behind them.  Saladin had seen those weak points in weave, in the warp and woof of the world aronud him.  He didn’t need a Black Widow’s Webs to sense when something simply wasn’t going to hold together, nor did he need their prescience to know when he was in danger.

The Steward was not a clear thinking man.  He let his emotions get the better of him, and he allowed his bigotry to label Saladin as a yokel, an uneducated desert bumpkin, because he had lived most of his life out in the deep desert rather than with the Clan or in Onn.  Saladin was fine with being underestimated, and fine with being forgotten in the schemes of their enemies.  It meant they would never see his knife when it came time to strike.  Saladin, for his part at the gathering, smoked thoughtfully, and let his ears be filled with small talk and small business.  He could hold up his end of that conversation, while watching the patterns of people and actions around him, along with feeling the rough impressions of their thoughts and emotions.  Just as before, something was afoot, and unsurprisingly, the little Queen, Shaula was the weak point in whatever was happening.

Saladin frowned slightly.  It was an easy thing to read that Queen.  She had attempted to seduce, and she had been so sure of her ability to do so that she never once considered that the reverse could be happening or that sex with her was not nearly as world-shattering as she had been led to believe.  He had enjoyed himself, andhe had learned quite a bit about his Clan and the nature of its internal problems.  Shaula was one of those problems, as was Dinah’s own Father.  He had been expecting an assassination attempt for some time, but he also knew that he was somewhat feared.  Sandrider’s had a certain reputation for being capable fighters, and it was not a coincidence that the Voice of the Tabur had been training the young in knife fighting to prepare for their Trials.  Saladin always had his knife, and that it was carved from a worm’s tooth spoke volumes about what he had done to earn it.

He excused himself when a single server replaced his drink, and moved a bit away to replace Dinah, it struck him as a touch too circuitous. The situation had change, there were fractures beginning to show in the pattern.  Saladin moved closer to the Queen that he served, and caught her Escort’s eye.  Dinah's subtle suspicion only increased his own.  He wanted the Escort to know something was amiss, and until he was able to pinpoint what that was, prudence was required.  He sent a thread to Dinah, *Make as though to drink from the goblet, but vanish all of its contents just before you do, and shield your lips.  I have a suspicion to test.*  As he made his way in the assembled crowd, he focused his senses on little Shaula.
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Dinah al-Tabur on Jul 17, 19, 10:29:11 AM
Dinah had attempted to avoid Shaula’s darkened gaze most of the evening and was only moderately successful. The Queen’s grief and rage was a palpable, simmering the air and souring the conversation, so much so that Dinah had stopped eating.

She felt so very burdened. She had been trying to do the right thing, to save her people. And it seemed at nearly every turn, it was either a struggle or a disaster. The mantle of Queen weighed heavily on her slim shoulders and a tangled knot of numerous emotions formed a leaden weight in her stomach. Even if she was hungry, she would not be able to eat now.

The evening threatened to continue on its darkened course. As the serving boy replaced her glass of wine, Dinah caught a glimpse of movement as Kazim entered the tent. Her eyes fell upon the ring now on his finger, the ring of First Escort, and her heart felt just a little less heavy. At least, she had done something right, though a few in her council would say otherwise. But, no matter what, she had to replace Javid in his position. Kazim was the most likely choice.

Her lover stepped forward to take the seat now rightfully his, capturing a goblet of wine to raise in toast to their fallen brother and former First Escort. Murmurs of agreement rippled around the table as others raised their glass. Dinah raised hers and then, as Zenja had taught her, swept it for poisons.

And stopped.

Two things happened simultaneously -- one was seen only in her mind, one could be sensed by another of her Caste. Of her other Caste. In her mind, a black blade, obsidian and dripping with death, slashed across the distance at her. The vision, fulfilled. Here. Now. And in the cup held in her hand was the poison that only another Black Widow could sense.

Immediately, the words of her mentor, so many months ago, sprang to mind: “The time has arrived. Very soon, you will be handed a cup of poisoned wine to drink. I have seen it. This wine, and how you choose to respond to the attempt on your life, will drastically alter the path you take.”

The cup was poisoned. The black blade was here.

But there was more to Zenja’s words that advised Dinah on her next course: “The poison can no longer kill you. With preparation, it will not harm you at all, not with the spider’s blood in your veins now.”

In the present, her brow furrowed as she studied the cup, the memory, and the vision. She had prepared, she had studied. She had been waiting for this moment, this crucible. “I cannot tell you what your reaction should be,” Zenja had said, “Only that you must use that moment to choose your destiny, rather than allowing it to be thrust upon you by vipers in your midst.”

The moment was now.

She barely registered Kazim’s query, or Saladin’s advice to vanish the goblet. He could not sense the poison, this Dinah knew, but he had other resources, other experiences. As Saladin rose, heading towards Shaula, Dinah said one word, very softly, but knew that both males heard her.


Not in defiance of their advice, no. In defiance of the vipers in her midst. Later, she would rage and cry over the realization that someone in her Court had actually attempted this but right then, her mind was clear. She had to choose how this would play out. She stood up, looking down at the cup, and then scanning for the serving boy who had brought it. “Amal,” she called, her voice carrying over the crowd easily as it fell silent. “Come here, please.”

To her allies – Saladin, Kazim, Delara, and Ebra – she sent the following message: **What I am about to do will be dangerous but it must be done. Saladin, I suspect the same has been done to your wine. Delara, I may need you afterward. But I will not allow this to continue. I will no longer harbor these vipers in my Court, in my Clan, because I am too afraid. I am tired of being afraid.**

The serving boy, Amal, came forward, eyeing Dinah warily. “Yes, Lady?” he asked.

Very carefully, Dinah asked, “Who gave you this wine?”

Amal hesitated. Fidgeted. “The…the kitchen, Lady. The cooks.” The room was absolutely silent, the mood of those gathered confused and tense as the people tried to pick out why their Queen was asking such a question.

Dinah, for her part, remained still. By now, she had identified both the type of poison and the strength. She knew what she was up against. Or believed it enough to try it. “I think,” she said softly, sadly, “that you are lying.” A pause, and then, “But I do not blame you for it.”

Without warning, Dinah drank half the cup, ignoring Saladin’s advice to shield and vanish.

My daaauughter…

The moment the wine washed over her tongue, she could taste death. It slithered down her throat, into her stomach, and then shot into her veins. Dinah closed her eyes and concentrated. A Black Widow could fight poisons, draw them to other parts of their body. Draw them out. Her right hand, the hand with the snaketooth, gripped the goblet tightly as she raise her left hand, palm up and Shielded. Webs upon webs of color spun behind her closed eyes as she summoned the gift she had been given, had been trained in.

One drop of poison appeared in her palm. Then another. And another.

Ignoring whatever was happening in the room, Dinah concentrated on each drop of poison in her body, drawing it into that palm until she had more than enough to prove her point and see her safely out. She was right – Delara would be needed, though not as badly as if Dinah had not been a Black Widow. When Dinah opened her eyes, the room swayed slightly but she remained upright.

Cupping the globules of poison, she dumped them back into the cup, ignoring the stunned gasps and startled cries of everyone else. Her hands shifted hold on the cup, so that her right hand was now free.

Dinah raised her hand and revealed the snaketooth in her ring finger.

Her voice was thick and shaking with effort as she said, “People of the Tabur, someone has attempted to poison your Queen.”
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Shaula al-Tabur on Jul 17, 19, 10:58:46 AM

The words were out of her mouth before she could stop herself.

Shaula had watched Saladin approach, had debated shooting him the same withering look she was giving everyone else, but the thought of him writhing in pain after he drank that wine had her smiling with sensual glee. He deserved it, and worse, for what had happened to Javid, even though Saladin hadn’t been directly responsible. And Kazim, Kazim was now in Javid’s spot – undeservedly. Where Shaula had once considered taking Kazim in as her own Triangle, maybe her Master of the Guard, now she wanted him dead as well. He didn’t deserve to be First Escort!

Shaula’s eyes shifted once again to Dinah, ignoring Saladin’s approach. Dinah was staring intently at the cup of wine. Why? Why was she staring at it?! She was supposed to just drink it! Why was she staring?! Exasperated, Shaula suppressed a growl in her throat. Hurry UP! As Dinah rose and called the serving boy over, like Shaula expected, Shaula had a sudden spike of panic. What if she was discovered? No, no, the boy would lie, like promised. And he did! The cooks, the cooks did it. Let those who mourned Dinah take out their grief on some poor cooks.

Dinah’s cryptic words about the stupid boy lying didn’t sit right with Shaula but it didn’t matter.

The stupid bitch drank the wine.

Victory surged through Shaula. It showed on her face. Finally! Yes! Drink it all! Drink every damned drop and die like a dog! Now, Shaula would rule! Now…

Wait…what was she doing? WHY WAS SHE NOT DYING?!

The room watched as Dinah not only failed to fall dead but actually pulled the poison from her body into her hand like…like…



Completely forgetting that Saladin was close, completely forgetting anything but the inconceivable twist of events unfolding before her, Shaula stared dumbly at Dinah and her defiance of death. “Impossible!” she shouted.

And from across the room, nearest to his own damned daughter, watching the snaketooth slide free of its sheath, Rasheen roared, “What treachery is this? A Black Widow?! You dared become a Black Widow?!”
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Delara al-Latifh on Aug 31, 19, 10:41:35 PM
Delara had felt the tension and surprise in the air as Kazim had entered the tent and taken the seat meant for the First Escort.  She'd been a little worried since Javid's death about who would take that spot in the Triangle but she liked Kazim.  He seemed like a good man and as one of Dinah's bonded she knew he would have her best interests in mind.  She couldn't understand why some people looked so upset surely the safety of their Queen, especially now, was paramount?  Shouldn't everyone be happy that she had replaced the missing spot in her Triangle so quickly and with someone who was undoubtedly loyal to her? 

Sighing she shook her head glad that she wasn't a Queen who had to worry about politics all the time as she raised her goblet in a toast; but she noticed the way Dinah stopped and stared into her drink, and the way Saladin and Kazim both suddenly seemed so focused on the other woman. 

Worried she was moving to stand even as Dinah's voice sounded in her mind one hand tugging on Ebra's sleeve as she pulled him along for a few seconds before releasing him.  She wasn't listening to the questions Dinah was asking the server but she did see her Queen drink from the goblet.  Seeing perspiration forming on Dinah's brow and the pinch of pain on her face Delara realized the drink must have been poisoned.  Her eyes widened as she sped up her steps reaching her Queen's side as Dinah poured the poison back into the goblet.

Delara immediately reached out for the goblet and Dinah both with her craft.  Trying to identify the type and strength of the poison and to ascertain how much remained in Dinah's system.  A treatment plan formed in her mind as she identified the poison.  Thankfully it wasn't one she couldn't handle.  Still she hovered near Dinah's elbow practically vibrating with the urge to set the other woman down and heal her.  She managed through great strength of will to resist the urge and followed the Queen's lead though waiting to see who would speak as Dinah exposed the Snake Tooth and proclaimed, “People of the Tabur, someone has attempted to poison your Queen.”

Reaching out on a distaff thread so she wouldn't draw attention to the conversation she asked, "Lady, how do you feel?  I think you got most of the poison out of your system but the sooner I can examine you the easier it will be to treat you."

As Shaula shouted that this was, "Impossible!" The pieces clicked together in her mind and Delara's gaze snapped to the Tiger Eye Queen.  Her voice was cold as she glared at Shaula hissing out between her teeth, "Did you do this?  Did you try to poison our Queen?  How dare you!"  Delara was disgusted with Shaula and with herself, to think just earlier this very evening she'd been feeling sorry for the other woman and had considered finding a way to help her.

Whirling on Rasheen she pointed a finger at him and spat out, "And you!  Someone just tried to kill your daughter where is your concern for her.  Do you care about her at all!  How dare you berate her like this, her gifts have saved us more than once already!"  Delara took a shuddering breath as she glared at both Shaula and Rasheen.  It wasn't her place to speak like this, she knew that.  She wanted to sink into the floor slightly embarrassed by her outburst but she stood steadfast at her Queen's side, glaring at anyone who spoke against her.

Her fingers brushed the hilt of the knife at her waist but she didn't grasp it, keeping one hand out ready to steady Dinah if the other looked as if she might falter Delara readied a different spell.  She had spoken in length with her Queen about the possibilities of using the new spell she was learning against another member of the Blood.  While it made her sick to the stomach to think about using it against another person, to protect her Queen from anymore traitors she would.
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Ebrahim Orphan on Sep 04, 19, 02:44:59 PM
Ebra didn’t share Delara’s concern or willingness to help others. Well, mostly. He definitely didn’t care about Javid, except that his death had made Dinah said, but beyond that, Ebra was a little…well, it wasn’t relieved and it wasn’t happy but it definitely wasn’t sad about the whole ordeal. Javid was like the Steward – a snake slithering around the camp and tied to that bitch Queen Shaula.

Still, he didn’t want to upset Delara too much so he shrugged his shoulders and said, “It happens. You did your best, right? That’s all you can do.” Lame excuse but maybe it would get rid of some of the guilt. Or at least change the subject.

“Of course I’ll help you keep an eye on her!” he blurted out and when their tablemates shot sharp looks at him, Ebra glowered but lowered his tone. “She’s my Queen too,” he hissed fiercely. “I’m not going to let some idiot hurt her. I—”

Whatever else he was going to say was washed away by the sound of Dinah’s voice rolling through his mind. And, judging by the sudden change in her expression, Delara heard it too. Before he could respond, Delara was tugging him forward, towards Dinah.

What was she about to do?

His eyes darted everywhere, watching people and their reactions, his hand itching for something to hold, as Dinah lifted her hand and revealed the secret they had all been keeping for the last year. Why? Why now? She was always so careful about that secret! Why the Hell would she tell everyone now?

And then he heard her: “People of the Tabur, someone has attempted to poison your Queen.”

The room erupted into gasps of surprise and howls of denial. “Impossible!” shouted the bitch Queen and Ebra whirled, snarling. With no dagger to protect Delara or Dinah, he readied the only bit of Craft he had at his disposal, which wasn’t much in his mind, but a Yellow power bolt could damn well knock someone on their ass long enough. Interposed between Delara and Shaula, with Dinah somewhere behind Delara, that was the ground he held, while Delara yelled accusations at Shaula and the stupid Steward.

“I got your back, Del,” Ebra said, whether she heard him or not. He locked eyes with Shaula, who shot him that scathing look most adults used, thinking it would make him back down like a whimpering puppy. Well, this little pup had teeth and he sure as fuck wasn’t letting the bitch Queen get to Delara! “Try me,” he growled, daring Shaula to come at him.
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Saladin al-Tabur on Oct 18, 19, 01:29:59 PM
Saladin was often good at predicting outcomes.  It was his talent, his gift as a Prince of the Blood, and a Blood Opal made it fairly potent.  Most of the people assembled there were not as Dark as he was, and while there were certainly Darker about, they impacted the Lighter Jeweled, and so in  away, made themselves a part of a very discernible pattern.  Couple that with a sense for the person that had been serving the drinks, and the duplicity of the young Queen, and he absolutely knew something dangerous was afoot.  He tried to warn the Queen, which was not truly his purpose, but he could not deny the instincts given to him by fate and Mother Night.  She might not be his bonded Queen, but she was the Queen of the Tabur, and he could not stand by and allow her to come to harm.

He arrived in time to hear Dinah say ‘No’ in a tone that did nothing to assuage his concerns.  Saladin knew that she was about to do something, but he had no idea what it was, and he was not sure about that particular outcome.  Black Widows always warped the weave, well, not always, but if they were in the grip of prophesy and their Webs, they often did.  She answered him along a thread, and what she told him was also not at all reassuring.  He had a good feeling that Dinah could not suffer in the way she was meant to because of the truth that he had kept to himself, but that still did not alleviate his concerns.  Something could go wrong, and he would have to be ready if it did.

Saladin watched as she called out the serving boy, clearly accused him, and dismissed him for the tool that he was.  Dinah drank from the cup, and the Voice of the Tabur prayed that she knew what ashe was doing, that her lessons had been good enough to make a poisoning a mild threat, if a threat at all.  When   she turned her hand over, and showed the poison she had absorbed, he let out a breath he had not realized she was holding.  Saladin had always liked Dinah, but he was truly proud of the stance she had taken, of his Queen taking control and standing on her own two feet.  She put the words to his suspicion, and now the Voice expected to see knives, where poison failed. So he stood ready hand on the hilt of his khanjar.  Then, like the worst card player ever to attempt the game, Shaula revelead her hand, and Rasheed followed right behind her.  Your own daughter, Rasheed?

The Healer, Delara, hurled her aggravation at the both of them, and the boy, Ebrahim stepped up to defend both the Healer and his Queen.  Saladin chose his target, he would not—possibcly could not—kill a Queen, but he could kill Rasheen, and he meant to.  Saladin stepped in front of Dinah, blocking Rasheen’s view of the Queen.  ”Nothing about the poison, Rasheen?  You were never very good at any of this, were you?  You have clung to the Queen’s skirts for long enough, I think.  Here is where you get off.  You are a coward, a poisoner, and sororicide.  Draw your knife.  Die like a Tabur that has passed his trials.”
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Shaula al-Tabur on Oct 18, 19, 02:21:47 PM
Damn it all to Hell this was NOT how it was supposed to go!

Dinah was supposed to have drunk the poison and then collapsed. Saladin was supposed to be next but neither of them were dying! And when had Dinah become a Black Widow? Why had no one told her about this?!

And now there was that little pansy Healer, yelling at her, accusing her in front of EVERYONE like she had the right to accuse a Queen! And that little Yellow Warlord brat that followed her around everywhere – Shaula couldn’t wait to have him thrown out into the deep desert where he should have stayed! Once this was properly over, she was going to be recruiting for a LOT of new people in her Court.

Especially Rasheen, who was now implicating himself in this mess, which made her look like she was guilty, and THAT was messing more things up!

Damn it all to Hell could no one do anything right!

Shaula dismissed Saladin, which was just fine because he wasn’t paying attention to her either anymore. He was moving towards that bullheaded Rasheen, taunting him to draw his khanjar. Stupid males. All they ever wanted to do was fight. Well, let them! Maybe Rasheen was a better fighter than he was a lover, because he definitely sucked at that!

If Shaula could get past the little brat and his Healer friend, she could end this.

Wait, maybe she could play this another way.

Thinking quickly, she strode towards Dinah, anger still written on her face. But instead of attacking, she raised her voice to its Tiger Eye strength and yelled, “She will kill us all in the desert! She has seen it in her webs! She means to murder us, feed us to the worms while we sleep! She’s never cared about the Tabur, only about herself and those who ally themselves with her!”

Whirling to face the shocked crowd, her voice turned entreating. “Don’t let her do this! Make ME your Queen and I will see us safely through all of this! We will stay in Onn, where it’s safe! There’s plenty of food and water here! We’d be safe here! Don’t let her trick you into going out into the desert to your deaths!”

It might have worked. For a moment, it looked like it would. The people could see the truth in her honey-coated words. They wanted to stay safe, even if safety meant crowded conditions and scarcity.

And then that stupid, idiotic, oaf Rasheen ruined it all.

“You dare accuse me?” Rasheen snarled at Saladin. “A wretched sandrider! You dare accuse me of being a poisoner?! This was HER idea!” His finger pointed sharply at Shaula for a moment and in his anger, he failed to realize how much further that damned him. His hand fell to his khanjar. Long had it sat, unused as he had grown fat in his position as Steward, but now he drew it. His grudge against Saladin, his pride and honor, would not let him back down from this confrontation. “But if it is a fight you wish to have, ruffian, then we shall have it!” he declared.

Shaula screamed in fury but no one paid attention to her. Well, not in the way she had hoped they would.
Title: Re: The Daughter Of The Spider
Post by: Dinah al-Tabur on Oct 18, 19, 02:37:39 PM
Her gambit had cost her.

As Dinah made her announcement, as gasps went up and lines were drawn along with khanjars, she could feel that she had misjudged her skill just enough to put her into fair risk. She felt…weakened. Yes. Quite weakened. But was it from drawing out the poison or was it from the poison itself? It was very hard to tell. “Delara,” Dinah whispered, hoping that the Healer would hear her above the ruckus.

She hardly registered Delara’s accusatory words at Rasheen. But when she later recalled them, she would mourn for the loss of her father in more ways than one. But what she did register was the sick look on Delara’s face, the same look she had worn when she had revealed to Dinah that she knew of a new, aberrant Healer Craft. Dinah realized that Delara was planning to use that Craft, if need be.

And then there was Ebra, ready to defend both women as Saladin approached Rasheen, and Kazim…

The edges of Dinah’s vision blackened and she swayed. “Delara,” she whispered again, now with more urgency. Someone had to have heard her because Delara was now listening to her. “There are antidotes…in my things…the locks…” she weakly said. She felt so very drained. Would Delara remember that the locks on her Black Widow things had been keyed to Delara and Kazim, in case Dinah was hurt?

Had she done her Craft right? Had she pulled all of the poison from her body and was just now weary from the exertion? Delara would be able to tell. And Delara would be able to administer an antidote if needed. They had gone over it together, Dinah carefully reviewing which vial treated which poison and letting Delara get a Healer’s look at each poison just in case. It had seemed almost a paranoid thing to review at the time – who would hurt honestly hurt a Queen – but as weariness took a greater hold on Dinah, she was glad that they had taken that time.

She sank to the floor, too weak to stand. As darkness took over more of her vision, she prayed that her allies would still be there when she next woke.

If she woke.