collapse

* Welcome!

* Important Links

* Chat Box

Guest Friendly. No advertising please.

* BR Councils

* COTM and TOTM

* COTY and TOTY

Character of the Year


Thread of the Year

* Affliates

Affiliate with Us

Blood Rites RPG

Listed At

RPG-D Nerd Listings

Our Affiliates

   

* Credits

RSS Feed  Facebook  Tumblr    E-Mail

Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
Points Scheme: Mother Night
Ratio System: Blood Rites

Blood Rites best viewed in Firefox.
Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.


* Plot Information for Pruul

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.
Culture of Pruul
Court of Pruul
Naming Conventions
Clans and Tribes
Recent History

* Welcome Guests

You are currently viewing our forum as a Guest. While you can see all we do, you can't participate. Please think about joining, we love new players. Click Here for more information.


Author Topic: These Sirocco Winds Ahead  (Read 821 times)

Description: High Summer Festival in Onn // open to all

Offline Dinah al-Tabur

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • bwq
    • Role

      Ruling Queen

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      131

    • Nevertheless, she persisted...

    • View Profile
These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« on: Jun 29, 18, 10:05:55 AM »
Note: This thread happens a few weeks after the destruction of Tuono in Summer 193. The High Summer festival is a time for trading, matchmaking, and competitions so feel free to join in!


It was not yet dawn and already the sands were hot.

Thus was high summer, the apex of the season, went every year. As the sun came to its solstice, the sands of Pruul never quite cooled -- they retained their warmth throughout the night, unrelenting. The urge to use cooling spells grew but the fear of the sandworms tempered risk with caution. The clans submitted to their fate, relying on fans and shade to keep the sun away.

But today, this morning, they would endure the sun if only to see it rise, for while this festival was not an official festival of their land, it still began with ritual, for doing anything otherwise would break the long tradition of Pruul. Once the gathered people of Pruul had greeted the victorious and vicious sun, they would retreat to the large canopies for the real reasons they had come: to trade, to gamble, to compete. This was a festival Dinah had always watched from afar before -- secluded by her overbearing Triangle, taught that it was a festival for the morally dissolute or thieves -- but this year, she intended to discover what it held firsthand.

But first, she had to be Queen. Later, she could be Dinah.

The crowds this year seemed lesser and Dinah understood why. Sandworm activity had increased throughout the region and the tribes were wary to travel. The deep desert had never been a safe place and now it was nearly impassable. But worse, reports had placed sandworms closer and closer to Onn, where the festivals were hosted. Onn had always been safe from attacks but now...people eyed it carefully. If Tuono could fall, why not Onn? But still, it was tradition to gather on this day, for this week, and if nothing else, the Tabur would hold to that tradition. Dinah was glad to see, though, that the Tabur were not alone. Many of the clan leaders were here with their tribes. But even though the leaders had come, some of their people had not.

The Priestess leading that ritual separated herself from the multitude gathered, staring at the lightening horizon. Dressed in pristine whites and flashing golds -- a completely opposite attire than what was worn during the High Winter rituals -- she stepped forward with raised hands. Even in the twilight, Dinah could see the twinkling of links or rings around her fingers. As the first rays of dawn broke the darkness, the metal caught them and, with a little bit of Craft, reflecting them just as blindingly, giving the impression that the Priestess was pulling sunlight to her raised hands. The song that poured from her mouth was a canticle of greeting, hailing the brilliant light, but also a song reminding them that from this point on, daylight would wane in its power as the Darkness rose ever-victorious once again.

It was a song everyone in Pruul knew and the multitude gathered behind the Priestess sang in chorus back and forth, rising and falling, until the final coda and the solemn closing note.

There was silence for a very long, very peaceful moment, and then…

From the crowd gathered, an ululating cry went up and a new, pitched song began. With the ritual complete, the joy and excitement of the people took over. A line of drummers took up a heady beat and began winding their way, first around the Priestess that was now dancing sinuously in the middle, and then, as celebrants joined in, snaking its way towards the center of Onn, where an impossible number of tents had been crammed into the city’s walls for the bazaar.

In times past, the bazaar spilled out into the desert around Onn, and the tribal encampments ringed out even further. However, this year, it seemed everyone huddled as close as they could to those stone walls of safety, one eye on the desert and one eye on the dance. Dinah herself had lodging within the city for the festival but smaller tribes and families did not have the same assurances.

Still, for her own people encamped beyond those walls, she had discussed the matter already with her Master of the Guard and brother, Shinar, and he had worked out a great many guards and watchmen to alert them at the first sign of trouble.

“Accompany me,” Dinah commended her student Shaula now that their initial ritual was complete. “I would speak with Queens of the other tribes before the lure of the festivities becomes too great.” How much longer Dinah would have to keep up this pretense of actually training Shaula to be an acceptable ruler was uncertain -- Dinah suspected that Shaula hated keeping up her own pretenses as well. It was a game of masks between them until Dinah found an advantage.

As they walked towards where the Bali had set up their administrative tents, Dinah wondered if Elenor of the Sabbah had returned from her travels yet. It would be beneficial for them to catch up. Perhaps, if nothing else, she could speak to the Voice, who had remained in Onn to maintain a Court presence.

“I will not keep you long this morning,” Dinah told Shaula as they walked with their escorts. This was two-fold in reasoning: Dinah did not want Shaula following her everywhere, reporting every little conversation she had back to her Steward, and Dinah also wanted to shed the trappings of Queen so that she could escape with Kazim to actually enjoy the festival. She had decided that her mornings would be dedicated to Courtly things like meeting with supplicants and dignitaries, but after the noon meal, she would dismiss her council and Court to enjoy the city.

Eventually, they stopped at the Bali tents, where one of their escorts announced their presence to the guards with, “Lady Dinah al-Tabur, accompanied by Lady Shaula al-Tabur, here to give their festival greetings to the Lady Zaehrah al-Bali.”

Offline Shira al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • bw
    • Role

      Mastermind

    • Faction

      True Sabbah

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      14

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #1 on: Jun 29, 18, 04:00:19 PM »
The day was blistering hot, the kind of heat that drove those with fair skin indoors and in which the true Pruulian thrived. Shira always loved the summer festival the best because of this, and while her sister was out doing her duty as High Priestess of Clan Sabbah, the Red Black Widow took to the streets to find a place from which to deliver the message that Mother Night had blessed her with through her Webs.

She had dressed today in pure white, the color of bones bleached in the desert sands. The color of Salt, which was the lifeblood of Clan Sabbah and that the false Queen was corrupting already. Though she could not see the foreign monster in her visions, Shira had ears and eyes to see. The foolish foreigner had published her plans for the world to judge and Shira did so, finding them criminal in their intent. To flood the mines? It was barbarous. Water was sacred and precious, not to be wasted on some venture that could so easily go wrong. No, this monster the Eyrien had found to lead their Clan had to be taken down, as di all those who shared in her impurity.

It wasn’t about the Sabbah anymore. Even the desert was rising up against the impure, the Worms shouting their message for all to hear. How did so few people understand? Well, today she would change that.

Shira walked with an honor guard of True Sabbah and with her daughters, Black Widows all. They all wore white as she did and walked through the crowds of Onn without fear. Their enemies had fled already, gone to prove that they were not Pruulian by seeking aid beyond the borders of the desert. Her destination was one that was well known to her, the Residence of the Sabbah where the False Queen had lived for far longer than any desert ruler should. She had not taken to the sands after rising to power as she should have, once more showing how little she cared for their traditions.

There were guards at the gates but she did not look to them. Shira did not intend to enter those tainted halls, simply to speak before those already gathering to hear her words in the plaza outside the gates. There was a statue in the middle of that open space, one with steps leading up to it. Her guards made a circle around the base of these, allowing Shira to stand aloft and speak to the gathered masses that had been promised a sermon on this day. They had come to hear what she had seen for them, and Shira would not turn from those who needed her.

She raised her hands up to the clear sky and closed her eyes, commanding silence with her posture alone. When it fell over the crowd, Shira opened her eyes and spoke, her voice carrying with Craft and a small trickle of Red power to encourage the mind of those who listened to remember her words. Not true emotional manipulation for it was not needed, just something to ensure nothing she said would be forgotten any time soon.

“My brothers and sister of the desert, listen to me! Mother Night in all her infinite wisdom has granted me sight to see beyond the mundane and these festivities at hand. Through the webs I weave and the prayers I speak into the Darkness, she has shown me our future, and it is dire!”

Shira let that hang in the air, let it sink in, then continued on. “Pruul is a proud land! We survive because we, above all others, understand that it is only by our will and the grace of Mother Night herself that a people can thrive. Others, in faraway lands, think that they are masters of their environment, that they can own land and control fate, but we know different! We are the only one who have found the purity of spirit needed to thrive here, but that purity has been challenged like never before!”

There was passion in her words. This was not some practiced, rehearsed speech as her sister made. These words came from the Black Widow’s soul and the visions she had been granted. “We are desert creatures, yet we are ruled by those who are not. Our Territory has fallen prey to a silent invasion of monsters disguised as saviors. They infiltrate our Tribes and Clans and wait for generations to pass until we think their presence normal but it is not! I speak, of course, of those who are long-lived. They see our desert as their plaything, not their home. They think us children and wrap us up in schemes that last centuries. They seek to control us because they believe us to be less than them!”

There were mutterings of agreement in the crowd now. Shira smiled before launching into her words again. “I name these monsters for what and who they are! Fin al-Sabbah, the Eyrien killer who took power that was not his to take, Abulurd ibn Bali, who claims to be a father of Pruul when in truth he is but a Hayllian runaway taking advantage of the eons to shape the Bali to be his puppets. I name Adavera al-Jinan, a cripple who should have been given to the desert and whose leadership drove the Jinan to force a true Pruulian Queen into an early Offering. I name Elenor Lirion al-Sabbah, the foreigner who knows so little of our ways she thinks she can flood our mines and change our way of life after only a year among us. Only the Tabur were standing strong, and then, when they had the chance to correct their ways, they chose Saladin al-Tabur, another long-lived man who had little experience with his own Clan to be their Voice. It is not chance that sees this happen. The Voices of Pruul should represent Pruul, but instead the long-lived conspire together to see us silenced. Together, these creatures maneuvered and voted to give the rule of Pruul not to a Mother or even a Queen but to seven children all of whom are just like them: long-lived, impure, without the blessings of Mother Night that only those of true Pruulian stock are born with!”

It infuriated her that this had come to pass, oh, how it did. Her voice boomed over the crowd in the square.

“Many of you saw the Mineborn and the Rains they brought and thought them a blessing. Even I, who know the truth, hesitated. But we were wrong, brothers and sisters! The desert has heeded our prayers! The desert has answered our questions! Never before has the Great Worm turned on us, her people. Never before have the sands become our enemy. It is a call to arms, my brethren. It is a scream for help from the land we call our home. The worms destroyed Tuono as a warning. Cast out the long-lived, the foreign-born, those polluting our desert, they said. Make Pruul clean and return it to the rule of a Mother like it should have always been!” She took a breath and lowered her voice as if telling them a secret, “last night I gazed into the webs. I saw a great cry of anguish rise from Onn this week. The desert will speak to us soon, my friends. The Worms will show us the way. It will strike the first blow and light the path to follow, one that only those of pure Pruulian blood may walk upon without being burned. Today is the day when the revolution begins, and it will not end until Pruul is clean and the desert restored to order.”

She lowered her hands, lowered her face, and a single tear rolled down her cheek, “I weep for the lives that will be lost in this fight, but a Price must be paid for what we have allowed to occur. Those who fight against the insidious foreign invaders will be remembered as heroes. Those who do nothing or who fight alongside the filth polluting our dunes will be buried in the sandstorm to come. Join me, my kin. You who are of Pruul are family, no matter your Clan or Tribe. You who are of the sun and sand know who you are and know that this is our time to rise up! Mark these words and remember! If you need further proof, look towards the desert. Your sign will come, carried by the winds of retribution. It will be marked with blood and from blood, an army will rise, an army that is pure and guided by the hands of the Mother herself! We will cast out those who have wronged us and together, and will be rewarded! A Mother will rise among us on that day, and from her hands, the true Rains will come, and our desert, it will become a paradise!”

Her last words boomed over the crowd and there were cheers, tumultuous cheers that drowned out those who hissed. These retreated quickly, and she smiled as she saw a small family marked by golden eyes bolting from the square, followed by angry curses. Elegantly she stepped down into the crowd, brushing the hands that touched her own. They could not see what she had seen, but they listened. Her words rang true in the hearts of those who were pure and they would carry her message far and wide.

The tide was turning in her favor. She had the desert behind her, she had the Worms to guide her way.

She would save Pruul.

She had to.

Before it was too late.

Offline Aahad al-Situla

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • pw
    • Role

      High Priest

    • Faction

      Arnadeth Temple

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lochlan

    • Posts

      52

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #2 on: Jun 29, 18, 05:01:07 PM »
High Summer. It was a time that joy and revelry came to contest the blistering sun. A showing that Pruul, in her majesty, would not be quelled by the heat and scorching rays of the desert's summer. Life would continue on and not just continue, thrive. It wouldn't do to ignore the promise of festivity and thus the delegation from Arnadeth was in attendance. They had no canopy or tent. Instead they take the opportunity to re-connect with their families, tribes and clans after spending the year at the temple away from them. Aahad was no exception.

His tent was popped into the small Situla encampment, under the aegis of their parent Clan the Jinan. He reunited with his mother, the water scout that gave the Vulture it's wings in so many caravans. Her paramour, a trader just as old as she was, was a strong and able-bodied man who reminded him in some ways of Shahab - witty, sharp, and far too much humor. He made her happy. They had two daughters, a Queen and a non-Jeweled Blood who finally got to meet the shadow who they only knew as a name. Lashi's son, the savior, the one who would guide Pruul to the next age. Lead it's people to a spiritual re-awakening. Thankfully Mother Night is kind, and the daughters didn't hold it against him.

He ate food with his people and drank water with his people. It only got weird...sometimes. Someone would ask why he hasn't fulfilled his purpose so he could return to the Situla. Another would ask why things are getting worse, because Aahad was meant to make them better. The questions were sparse and when they got too heavy - a whole festival was around to offer him refuge.

It wasn't until shortly after Shira al-Sabbah's speech that his mother returned and took Aahad aside briefly into his tent. "You need to be careful Hadji." His mother said with a low tone of concern. "The Widow is calling for the heads of the long-lived. They could come for you too."

His brows furrowed lightly. "I wouldn't know if I even qualify as one mum." He looked around the tent, slowly catching her paranoia by looking for shadows on the tent.

"You are Ardeth's descendent. The Blood of the Hayllites flows in you." She brushed his face. Mother Night is kind and blessed you with a beautiful face, Hadji that doesn't show it's signs but she is stoking the fires. Just..be careful?"

Aahad smiled, took her hands and kissed the fingertips. "Don't worry mum. I'll be okay." He smiled to her but couldn't bring it to his eyes. He had known the fires were stoking because he could feel it and see it with his eyes. The stoking of the fire that she spoke of was all too real to his senses. It was good that he knew why it was happening though.

"Good! Now, let's go get you a wife." She smiled at him and took his hand to leave his tent. Seven seconds later it registered what she said and he shook his hand out of hers.

"Wait. What?"

"Haji! You are young and amazing and a blessing to the Situla! You deserve someone special and the Voice and I-"

Aahad's eyes went wide. "The Voice is in on this?? It was ironic how much the notion sucker-punched him. He had spoken to Clan Queens and was a personal confessor to the Voice of the Jinan! But this was his Voice. The Voice of the Situla. There was something about your own leadership beginning to encroach on you that no amount of socialization with Important People could prepare you for.

"Of course!"

"...Mom. I live in a temple. I meditate and train all day! No one would want that! I don't want them to have to-

"Aahad!" Let no one tell anyone anything different. A mother, saying your name fully and with the inflection only a mother can, has power over you. "You are Situla! Your temple can cope!"

Which left Aahad saying the only thing he can say when a mother makes it clear what is going on. "But....but Mooom."

Offline Jasper al-Situla

  • Character Account
    • opal2red
    • prince
    • Role

      Escort

    • Faction

      Aubdina

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      21

    • Service is its own Reward

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #3 on: Jun 29, 18, 05:42:22 PM »
Jasper stood atop the tallest roof of Onn, looking over the bustling city. It was great to see it to crowded for the festival, and also irritating. It meant that there were more people than usual here who could be a danger to Hadj, and without a Bloodsworn oath joining them yet, it also meant that there might be people looking to fill the place Jasper already had plans for. He had stuck close to her throughout the days leading up to the festival but today she was with her intended and wanted to enjoy the festivities with him and her children, and had insisted Jasper go have some fun as well.

Usually he would have said no, but Aahad was in town for the celebrations and it had been a little while since he had last seen him. More importantly, Aahad’s mother was here, which meant his friend would be in need of a knight in shining armor to go save him from the ladies.

With a whoop of joy, he dove off the rooftop, heading straight for the Situla camp in a dive that would have turned the stomach of most, even watching from the ground. So maybe he was showing off just a bit but why have wings if you didn’t use them!?

It took him only a few minutes to cross the city by air, something that might have taken hours on foot along the winding roads and through the throngs of people. He saw a group congregating around a statue near the edge of town but thought little of it. That was Sabbah territory and he had zero interest in their politics. They were pissing off Aubdina left and right these days, which meant they were pissing off Jasper. That and Lucky seemed to enjoy the company of the Sabbah Queen so on principle Jasper had decided to dislike her. Anything to needle the boy who was already so pissy about him spending time around Hadjara.

He landed with a flurry of sand only feet from where he spotted Aahad being dragged out of a tent by his mother. Jasper folded his wings and bowed to the woman in a single smooth motion. “Lady al-Situla, what a pleasure to see you again. Radiant as always and even more so in the summer sun. I hope your travels have been rewarding. I’ve come to pay my regards and to see if I might steal away your son for an afternoon. I have been living in the city, you see, and have some lovely ladies that I think he should meet.” A twinkle in his eye told the older woman he was excited and speaking the truth, a wink to his friend conveyed the likelihood that the ladies he was going to be introducing Aahad to were the ones pouring the drinks.

He took Aahad’s mother’s hand and brought it to his lips, then, before she could object, snagged his friend’s arm and pulled him off in the direction of the the nearest throng of people to get lost in, not caring one bit that it caused the Priest to stumble and flail for balance before falling into step.

“Ah, now that we’re free of that what sort of trouble shall we get into, my friend. I think the least you owe me for saving you from a whole day of flirting is a drink!”

"A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect."

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      247

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #4 on: Jun 29, 18, 06:01:49 PM »
She'd known that something was up when she noticed some of the glances thrown her way by passing people not of the Jinan.  Something about those looks had her on edge though.  She'd never really seen those looks before.. at least , not outside of nightmares and dreams. 

But here they were, in reality.  She brushed concern away, however, as she was sitting with a few of the Jinan and discussing Caravan strategies.  With teh worms more active, there was bound to be difficulties - and they just had to find a way to adapt as they always did. 

"Have you considered.."

She paused, glancing at the pebble that landed not far from her.  Or rather, it had pinged off her shield.  She followed the angle to .. a child?  A young one.  And then she frowned, moving to push one of the Jinan back into their seat.  "Leave him be." 
"Lady.."
"No.  Something else is.. going on."

She frowned again, turning her attention back to the conversation.  But like her, the rest of her fellows were feeling a little.. edgy.  Probably a good thing, then, that the pebble had warned them.  Because it wasn't too long after that boy scampered off that the mob showed up.  Angry.  Their voices were angry.. and when they spotted Adavera, it got worse.

She felt a little baffled, frankly.  She hadn't done anything lately to earn that sort of ire.. and it couldn't possibly be due to the Riots last year, because.. this anger would have shown up already.  She rose to her feet, her hand on her cane as she watched her Clanmates set hands to Khanjar hilts.  "Don't."

"Lady.."

"This is.. new.  Don't draw first."  She hissed it, searching the angry faces for some sign of.. whatever had caused this.

Long lived usurper!
Murderer!
Worm caller!


She felt her head move back at that particular insult.  She was many things.. but a Caller of Worms?  What the hell had crawled into these people?  There.. Sabbah cuffs.

So many Sabbah in this crowd.  Her eyes narrowed, jaw flexing as she set both hands to her cane.. and then felt her eyes widen as she heard the worst of it all.

Filthy cripple!  You should have given your water to the desert!

Her lungs felt compressed, the world narrowing down to a drumming in her veins.  Were they right?... no.  NO.  She had asked the Clan to do that, and they had told her no!  She took a step back, her lips parting in surprise.  Her Clanmates surged in front of her, making it clear there was a line to not be crossed. 

Never in her life had she thought to face this.  Why would anyone outside the Jinan think to say such a thing? 

Anger.  Real anger.  It had her hand clasping more firmly to teh top of her cane, surprise melting in the face of her rage.  "What's happened to them?"

Offline Nayarreh al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • rose2pd
    • hwitch
    • Role

      Shop Owner

    • Faction

      Clan Sabbah

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      57

    • Hearth Witches know how to dance with fire

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #5 on: Jun 29, 18, 06:38:36 PM »
Nayarreh tried, and failed, to keep the kids from waking her up early. It was like the morning of Winsol. Salma came barreling into her room and jumped up on the bed, managing to knee Naya in the stomach, then Barin raced in after her, and Yari was only moments behind. They poked and prodded and pleaded and begged until Naya growled at them to return with coffee and she would see about finding Elham.

Yari came in not ten minutes later with coffee already chilled and sweetened -bless that child- and she blearily ingested it while getting dressed and finding her wife. Ama was already up and on the roof, looking out over the bustling city.

“I’ll open the shop in the afternoon, but if we don’t take the kids out they are going to drive us both mad.” Naya said, then pondered, “Matin should be coming for Salma in a few minutes. I doubt he’ll want her out on the streets in all of this, but the boys should be good to wander once we make sure nothing too crazy is going on yet.” Barin was hitting puberty, and that was all sorts of not-fun. He had started noticing girls and Midsummer festivities tended to sway towards the raunchy at times. “We’ll just tell them to stick together. Yari still has a little common sense left in his head.”

A few minutes later, a psychic thread from Matin summoned Naya downstairs, and a delighted Salma lept into her father’s arms. Naya gave him a peck on the lips and then off the two of them went to do father-daughter things which probably consisted of hiding in Matin’s office all day where no one could notice the half-Geiba Queen. Even though the Sabbah Court was not in residence, the thought of her little girl in that building troubled Naya… just not as much as the thought of her here, where Shira knew where to find her.

After that, it was nag-nag-nag from Barin until everyone was out the back door. Naya had to grab the back of his shirt to stop him from running out into the street the moment they stepped foot outside.

“You are to stay together and with us, do you understand? This is a family outing. If you have friends you want to meet they can come with us, but you are not to go wandering off yet, do you understand?”

Barin scowled. “But-”

“No buts. You either behave or get grounded for the rest of the week.”

“Mooooom-”

Oh, the sweet sound of victory.

They walked into the street, Naya looping her arm through Elham’s and Yari skipping along by their side while Barin followed behind, sulking and kicking rocks with his hands in his pockets. Naya Ignored the sulking child, and not long after Barin was smiling again when a few girls Naya had seen before at the Geiba memorial. Niv and Taisha were about Barin’s age and she saw the immediate shift of posture and attention. Elizeh, though, he greeted with a ruffle of her hair and nothing more. Yari fell back to join them and a few more boys and girls trickled in, all, she noticed, under the watchful eye of a young Blood Male she had seen around but never spoken to.

She headed towards the Sabbah camp, wanting to see if her father was with them, but as they were passing by the Jinan tents Elham tensed, starting to look around with apprehension. Once Naya began to pay attention, she noticed it too. There were mutters in the street and a lot of their Clansmen nearby. Naya tugged on Elham’s arm.

“Go find lady Zhaleh, let her know what’s happening. The last thing we need is another unplanned riot. Matin’s Queen isn’t even here, what’s the point?” They had been informed that Shira intended to speak, of course, but Naya had refused to be there or let the boys go. Ama had been confused about that, but Naya had stood her ground. That bitch had messed with her head. She might not be able to tell anyone, but she could keep her children away from her.

Taisha, though, must have heard, for she whispered something to Barin, then the two of them and Niv, without any warning, started running towards whatever trouble was brewing. Cursing under her breath Naya turned to Yari. “Go home. Take your friends. Now.”
Barin ibn Geiba
[/url]





He looked scared but obeyed, taking Elizeh and a young boy by the hand and scampering off in the direction they had come from.

Barin was almost out of sight by now, but Naya had grown up scampering in the hills of Pruul and she hadn’t entirely forgotten how to run. She took off after her son and the two girl and followed, yelling at them to stop until they came to a group of tents that were definitely Jinan, and a line of men behind which sat the Voice of the Clan. On the opposite side, some Sabbah and some who were not of her Clan also stood, some with stones in hand, and all glaring. Obscenities were shouted from the crowd, sentiments Naya had heard around her dinner table from the Black Widow of the True Sabbah enough times to recognize.

Oh shit.

“Barin!”

The teen wasn’t listening. He had taken Taisha’s hand and was dragging her behind the Jinan lines. No one stopped them, but they did stop Naya from following. A big, muscled man pushed her back into the crowd hard enough to make her stumble. She glared up at him.

“That’s my son!”

“You’re Sabbah. You’re not welcome here right now.”

She tried again but this time was flung back even harder, landing on her ass in the sand. Growling low in her throat Naya ran to the nearest house with stairs and climbed up, peering over the heads of those assembled to try to find her idiot of a son.

He had reached Lady Adavera. Taisha flung herself at her mother, grabbing her hand. Barin stepped in front of the two witches, nodding to Adavera’s escort before a Purple Dusk shield popped up around all of them. Niv, she noticed on a nearby rooftop, with the look of concentration that only came with psychic communication.

The Geiba children were protecting their own, and were doing so in an organized, strategic way. Even though Naya had no love for the Jinan or their Voice, other than her willingness to take in Taisha, that sight filled her with as much pride as worry.


Offline Aahad al-Situla

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • pw
    • Role

      High Priest

    • Faction

      Arnadeth Temple

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lochlan

    • Posts

      52

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #6 on: Jun 29, 18, 09:01:29 PM »
Jaspar's arrival was a blessing! Mother Night is kind, to get Aahad away from the trepidations of artificial romance and Tribe-linking. Lashi had long known Jaspar, being both in the same tribe but also the subject of Aahad's letters in his youth - the friend he made at Dar al-Salaam. Then of course Jaspar's offer to take Aahad out to see the ladies made him huff, regardless of the winking he offered in conspiracy to him. Why did it matter if Aahad had a lady friend!

It frustrated him, which he suspected is why Jaspar was doing it. Then he was being dragged away by Jaspar away from the Situla encampment where he demanded -payment- for saving his skin. "You know...if I didn't know any better I would think you save me just so I can buy you drinks." Aahad sniffed, but then ruffled his hair to get the frustration out and then muttered. "Thanks". For the salvation from motherly endearment/entrapment. "But I'll get you something. Don't worry. Let's go see the rounds first. I haven't walked the festivities yet." He told him, patting him on the back gently and then walking out of the encampment proper to head into Onn where much of the festival was held.

Then something happened. A heat wave hit his face that made him immediately break into a sweat. It twisted his stomach slightly, the sheer heat of it all. He brushed his forehead and looked forward again and then he saw it. The echo of heat that had been permeating the crowds had turned into an inferno. The Jinan encampment practically blistered itself whole with heat - so much so that his vision saw the waves of heat emanating all around the Clan's central campsite. Pressure hit his senses, making his ears pop like a guyser preparing to burst. He tugged on Jaspar's sleeve. "Wait." Urging him to stop and then pointed over to the Jinan encampment. "Something is happening. Not good too." He didn't need to tell Jasper to 'lets go'. It was natural to go see what was going on.

Long lived usurper!
Murderer!
Worm caller!

Filthy cripple!  You should have given your water to the desert!


Those words greeting Aahad when he reached what he considered ground zero of the emotional impulse he had been feeling. It was scorching to be in the vicinity. The energy of fire at this one spot was practically mindless like a wildfire beginning to scorch everything it could touch. Beyond the throng of proto-rioters he squinted to see Vera and her escort talking amongst themselves, guards nearby readying Khanjar's for inevitable conflict. As well there were...children? A few children and another who Aahad did not recognize seeming to be ready to jump to Vera's aid.

The words of the Widow must have touched them. No wonder Mum was worried. He looked at Jaspar with a pang of worry, a look that suggested that what Aahad was sensing would inevitably lead to mass violence. "I'm gonna try to stop them." He said to his friend, adjusting his sand-spatten robes and then went into the throng of the fray.

Water. The emotion that would balance the scales here. Also the most difficult, en masse, to produce. His arrival however did not go unnoticed. Fame has a way of warping people's minds to fill in the gaps for themselves.

Mother's Champion!

With a stink-eye and furious shift of attention to Jaspar.

They're trying to take Mother's Champion from us!
They want to doom us all!

Aahad held up his hands. "People! Please!" His voice echoed with the calming sensation his voice naturally had. "We live in uncertain times. Dangerous times. But these times are not the work of some dark collective. It is as the desert always been! Harsh. Unforgiving. Dangerous and threatens the life water of us all. But we are Pruul. The desert is as much our flesh as the water that sustains us. It is uncertain, for we have not conquered it yet! It is dangerous because the desert tests our resolve. Our faith and our tenacity. We have no survived for thousands of years, finding life in this place because it was easy."

The emotional blanket his words conveyed simmered the flames and heat. Condensing it to steam in his eyes and mind. Still hot, but changing. "It is the desert that tests us. It is the desert that seeks to threaten us. And as our foremothers and ancestors before us have done we will not waver and become blind to the truth. That there is a life in this place that the foreign territories do not see...because it is here!" He pointed to his chest. "And these people to whom you slander see the same! They see the life we have and want to join us, to immerse themselves in the beauty that is Pruul for they have seen the beauty the desert so intensely hides!"

"Let us not forget why we are here. Highsummer is the time of life, to tell the sun that we are not afraid. That we will not hide from it's rays, or shy from it's heat. Like water we will flow whether the desert likes it or not. To celebrate and venerate the Clans and Tribes that make this place the jewel that it is! I ask you. Do not condemn that jewel to sunder and fade. Let it shine bright! And not to so easily condemn your cousins, brothers and sisters. They may look different, they may speak different but all here have done their trials. They have bled for us, sloughed off their flesh for us and taken the sand as their new skin just as each of you have. They are just as much Pruul as I or you in Mother Night's eyes. Do not forsake our tenacity and our heart to mindless fear. The desert challenges us once again. We will rise to meet it, as we always have! And today, at Highsummer, we stand as the water people and collectively say that we will not go silently into the dunes."

Yeah!

"We will not pass into the sands of memory."

No!

"We celebrate with our cousins to remind the desert that we are here! And that we are not afraid! And that we see the beauty it desperately hides from the world!"

Yes!

The steam of his eyes vanished into the sky, a cooling sensation hitting his forehead that soothed him. There was no more piercing heat, or pressure that sought to push him away or quake the earth. He could still feel the emotional tang of fire in the crowd but it was subdued, returning to what some might call 'healthy if a bit nudged'.

And then Aahad slumped his shoulders and began to heavily breathe. He got the crowd distracted enough, but the weaving of the emotional blanket was heavy and intricate through his voice. Give them something to fell hopeful, heartfelt, and compassionate about - themselves and their pride as Pruulians, and the fires of animosity would quench at least for a time. Hopefully, it would be enough.

Offline Eskandar al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • rose2pd
    • prince
    • Role

      First Escort

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      14

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #7 on: Jun 29, 18, 09:30:00 PM »
The High Summer festival was one of the times of the year that Eskandar had been looking forward to the most. Firstly, it would be the first major festival he would get to spend with Simin. He envisioned the two of them winding through the markets, buying each other gifts or sampling foods, giddy like the children they had been but with no supervision since they were adults now.

Secondly, clans and tribes would be gathering and he would have a chance to see his sister. And, his twin, unless Bashir was still not speaking with him. Eskandar had plans to fix that though. He just needed two minutes of Bashir’s time. Malika could arrange for that if Bashir decided to be stubborn.

Eskandar had missed most of Shira’s inflammatory speech and would have been glad for it if he hadn’t seen the mood of the crowd shift so rapidly. They had gone from a joyous group to nearly rabid. It perturbed him -- no, it deeply concerned him. And as he watched something akin to battle lines being drawn within the throng, he wondered how the spirit of Pruul had suddenly become so vicious.

Or had it always been and he had just...missed it?

“What’s the matter here?” he quietly asked one of the guards fingering his khanjar a few feet away from the disturbance.

“Sabbah all riled up, Prince. That Black Widow is at it again,” the guard answered unhappily.

“Inciting them to violence during a festival?” Eskandar questioned aloud, disbelieving. Was the woman daft?

“Apparently so, Prince.”

As Eskandar contemplated what to do, a scene unfolded before him that decided his course of action. He watched as one of the Jinan guards towards the front pushed away a woman who yelled, “That’s my son!”

“You’re Sabbah. You’re not welcome here right now,” the guard growled. Eskandar felt a heat rush through him. This was not the way of the Jinan, nor of Pruul!

The First Escort of the Jinan clan strode forward, intending to shield the woman himself, but she ran off before he could intervene. Still, he had to address some of the simmering anger at hand. “This is a festival,” he said, speaking at first to the guard in rebuke but then directed loudly at the rest of the nearby men. “A time for trade and competition, not warmongering. Or have we become beasts easily sent into bloodlust by words?” He pointed away from the Jinan tents. “There is no honor in this sort of action. Mother Night does not condone this. Drop your stones and desist. Save your rivalry for the games.”

If any of the aggressor attacked Eskandar simply because he looked like the half-breed he was, they would find the Jinan eager to defend their First Escort. Eskandar fervently hoped that none of the men would be so foolish as he stood there, radiating reason at a crowd seething.

Offline Delara al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • ss2pd
    • healer
    • Role

      Court Healer

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      EmberRose

    • Posts

      16

    • My enemy is Death

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #8 on: Jun 29, 18, 10:07:42 PM »
Truth be told Delara hated festival days.  She inevitably ended up dealing with too many drunks and injuries from fights started over perspective partners or just. . .anything.  Days like today seemed to be opportunities for people to over indulge in vices they normally wouldn't.  Today there was more underlying tension in the air than usual, a nervous energy that made her wary.  She knew why the destruction of Tuono and the increased activity of the worms had everyone on edge.  So she truly expected her services as a Healer to be needed sooner rather than later. 

Still she figured she had some time to get out and find a few of the rarer herbs and supplies that she needed for her different poultices and tonics.  So, despite her better judgment which said she should just stay inside, she headed out toward the merchant stands dragging her older brother Mirza with her. 

She supposed it would have been proper and traditional to wear white but she just knew she was going to end up dealing with some sort of injury today, because she always did.  So she'd chosen a blue and green outfit instead, dark enough to hide any bloodstains just in case.  A yellow scarf keept her hair back from her face, no jewelry to be seen anywhere and she slung an emergency healing kit swung over one shoulder as she stepped out of the tent to greet her brother, who had only just arrived, with a wide smile.

"Don't you have any escorts from the court?"  Mirza grumbled good naturedly as she looped her arm in his and headed down the path between the tents.

"Yes but you don't like them."  Delara grinned up at him, "So I'm taking you so that I don't have to listen to you complain later."

Mirza rolled his eyes but Delara wasn't fooled Mirza would have complained if she hadn't brought him along and worse he would have gotten their cousin Hasan involved too.  Now her brother could assure himself that she was safe and healthy with his own eyes and hopefully report the same back to the rest of the family.

She dragged her brother *cough* victim from stand to stand for a couple of hours as she gathered supplies to restock both her personal stores and the Courts.  With every purchase she smiled sweetly at him and gave a pointed look to the Opal on his chest.  Mirza would sigh and roll his eyes but vanish the package and on to the next they would go.  It was a ritual between the two, something they'd done since the death of so many members of their family two years ago. 

They been wandering for a while when Delara noted the sudden increase in the crowd surrounding them.  There was a sense of danger in the air that had the smile fading from her face as she drew a step closer to her brother.  The crowd swarmed around them with angry murmurs and Delara stumbled as someone slammed into her from behind.  Mirza snarled and yanked her to his side as Opal shields formed around them both.  His hand fell to his Khanjar as his eyes narrowed at the male that had dared to touch her. 

The male that had hit Delara took one look at the Opal Jewel and the yellow Latifh scarf wrapped around her brothers head and took a step back and away melting into the crowd.  Still now there was no where to go.  Even as Delara looked for a way out of the crowd she and her brother were swept away by the mass.  She realized they were in the Jinan part of the camp at the same time as the crowd began to roar the sense of violence in the air growing rapidly.

Long lived usurper!
Murderer!
Worm Caller!


The words echoed in her ears and Delara realized that she and her brother were trapped in the middle of an angry mob.  She could see people picking up rocks and setting hands to the hilts of their Khanjars and cursed.  This was exactly why she didn't like dealing with people.  She didn't know what had stirred all of these, she took a closer look and frowned at all the Sabbah cuffs, people up but what would violence really solve?

Mirza's hand tightened on her arm as he spotted an opening in the crowd that might give them a way out before violence erupted, "Stay close to me."  He ordered as he dragged her through the crowd.  Only for them to find their path suddenly blocked by a pair of tall men who grinned in Delara's direction, nothing kind in their eyes and stepped forward.  Mirza pushed her behind him as he readied himself for a fight his stance shifting and Delara suddenly wished she was the one carrying the packages as she noted that one of the males wore a jewel equal in rank to her brothers.

Just as Delara was afraid the two males would actually draw their blades which could have been the spark for others to do the same, something changed in the air.  It felt suddenly peaceful, as if someone had flipped a switch in this part of the crowd and leeched some of the anger and rage away.  The two males attention shifted for just a moment and Delara grabbed Mirza's wrist yanking him into the crowd and toward the male voice she could hear speaking urging calm not just with his tone but with a Craft she hadn't experienced before.

She broke through the crowd just as he finished speaking and came face to face with a Warlord wearing the Summer-sky who felt different from any male she'd met before to her psychic senses.  He was breathing heavily and her instincts as a Healer kicked in as she crossed the distance to his side, only briefly making note of the Red Jeweled Prince standing nearby.  Mirza cursed under his breath, eyeing the darker jeweled male warily for a moment even as he turned to face the crowd.  Putting his sister at his back as he watched the now calmer crowd with a wary eye while watching the Red jeweled male out of the corner of the other.  Things were calm now but it would only take a tiny spark for that to change once more.

Delara ignored her brother as she reached the Warlord's side the path behind him was clear and she could have kept going to get out of this area and away from a riot that was calm. . . for the moment but she stopped at the Warlord's side instead.  She was curious what he'd done that had such an effect but she needed to make sure he was alright first.  Her every instinct as a Healer called on her to stop and make sure he wasn't injured.  She reached out a hand as she wove a swift delving weave with her Summer-sky.  Her clear blue eyes doing a swift visual exam as she asked, "Are you hurt?"

Freedom is found on Horseback

Offline Shira al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • bw
    • Role

      Mastermind

    • Faction

      True Sabbah

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      14

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #9 on: Jun 29, 18, 11:02:19 PM »
Shira stood on a balcony overlooking the streets of Onn with her daughters by her side, watching what happened below with her eyes and through the many surveillance webs they had laid in over the past month in preparation for this day. Every plaza, every market, every natural gathering spot. Shira liked to keep close tabs on the effect her words had on people and wanted to know what all the plans being concocted by the filth of Pruul.

She frowned as the riot heading towards Adavera al-Jinan was stilled by a man in long robes who she vaguely thought she recognized. Maybe…

“Hava, him, the one near the filthy Eyrien, who is he?” Hava had the best memory of all her daughters and a natural knack for faces that Shira lacked.

“Aahad al-Situla, mother. I think he’s the High Priest of Arnadeth.” Her daughter replied, fingering her Sapphire Jewel. “Would you like me to dispose of him?”

Shira shook her head. “No, that will look retaliatory. Find out about him. Dig and find a reason for him to be added to our list. Ancestry, sympathy, anything that ties him to the impure. We’ll take care of him when the time comes not when he has a Red Jeweled male at his back. Contact Lady Azar, she should know more.”

“Yes, mother.”

“And find out about the winged monster too. If he is not on our list he should be. Give me a name, Hava, and maybe I’ll let you plan on how we should dispose of him.”

The smile she received in return was dazzling, but the frown from Esther was unwelcome. “What is it, child? Speak your mind.”

“We should be focusing on the Sabbah, mother. What do Situla matter?”

Shira shook her head. “Don’t you understand, my foolish daughter? The Worms have risen against us. All of Pruul must be cleansed, not just the Sabbah. This is beyond just our people, Esther. Pruul will not be saved until every single foreigner and long-lived filth is driven from our desert or given to the sands.”

Esther bowed her head. “I’m sorry, mother. You know I don’t have the same talent for visions as you do. Forgive me for my short-sightedness.”

Shira placed a hand on her eldest’s shoulder, smiling warmly at her. “You are forgiven. Mother Night may not have chosen to give you the ability to see into the future but she made you so skilled with poisons. It is a talent that will help us much, little one.”

“Thank you.”

Nahal, who had been watching the surveillance webs behind them, coughed. “Mother, the group that stayed behind at the Sabbah Residence did as we instructed.”

Shira turned from the window and walked over to her youngest, who pointed at the correct web. Shira touched it and saw the walls of the Sabbah compound. They were covered in scrawled letters now.

Kill the False Queen
Wormcaller
House of the Impure
Scourge of Pruul
Befouler of Water
Never Return


on an on, many of them painted in blood. The effect was striking, even though it was only lamb’s blood. Still, it attracted the flies and the stench would be noticeable. The walls were covered in words of hatred and it was beautiful to Shira. That the Queen was not here to see it almost made it even better, for she should be. Her long absence only proved how unfit she was to rule in Pruul.

“Anything else?”

“There’s are other groups who are still moving, but none as big as those who went for the Jinan, but the message that the impure are angering the Worms and that the path to salvation is to drive them from our sands will be painted all over the city by nightfall. It was a good strategy, I think. All of Pruul will hear your message by the dawn. We have the bodies of the group of Chaillotan caravaners ready to string up outside the Sabbah Compound overnight. Adileh and her crew are preparing the bodies now to have them look like the victims of a Sandworm attack.”

Shira nodded curtly. “Good. Good. Riot or no riot, what’s important is that everyone know the truth.”

Offline Azar al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • priestess
    • Role

      Head Aubdina

    • Faction

      The Aubdina

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      45

    • in the waters I remain...

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #10 on: Jul 02, 18, 09:40:16 AM »
Azar flowed like the water she adored through the brightly colored crowd.

Flanked by her lieutenant Priestesses Adjira and Tamar, and an assortment of novices and escorts, the Aubdina of Pruul cut a channel through a crowd that eagerly stepped aside to give them deference and respect. Azar would have liked to see more of the latter, honestly, since she was used to others begging for her gift. Those damned Mineborn had stirred up the Rains and lessened the need for the Aubdina….for now.

But those same Mineborn were rapidly falling out of favor with the populace, as sandworm activity increased. Nowhere seemed to be safe. Indeed, Azar had debated traveling to this festival at all, given that she would have to cross the desert to reach Onn, but she refused to show cowardice. And thus, she dragged her retinue, dismissing their concerns, to Onn, intending to reestablish her superiority somehow.

She did, of course, have plenty of meetings scheduled and planned to summon water daily in the middle of Onn to remind the plebeian population of their debt to the Aubdina. She was not surprised to find the center of Onn already overtaken with a speaker, though the vitriolic nature of that speech...intrigued her.

“Ah, the Sabbah,” she murmured to her lieutenants. “Such a fierce clan.” One that was tearing itself apart. Azar approved heartily of Shira al-Sabbah’s words about the false and foreign Queen. But everything else...

Perhaps a new methodology would be best, Azar thought.

“Schedule a meeting between us,” Azar commanded one of the escorts behind her. He scampered off like the good little male he was to see it done. Azar did not wait for him to return but she did stand there to listen to Shira stir up the crowd with her words.

She did not worry for her safety. What idiot would be so brash as to attack the Head Aubdina?

One that desired his water to be forcibly pulled from his body.

Instead, as the crowd was spurned to violence, Azar and her retinue let it flow around them, unafraid, and watched the situation unfold. Ah, yes, the Sabbah would turn their hatred towards the Jinan and its Voice. How predictable. With no Queen of the Sabbah in sight to attack, another target had to be selected. The mighty Tabur and the venerable Bali -- how idiotic would it be to attack them.

“Vicious, isn’t she?” Azar remarked casually to her lieutenants with an approving smirk. Tamar’s eyes were downcast, keeping her opinions to herself, but Adjira met Azar’s gaze easily.

“A formidable ally,” Adjira responded.

“Yes, and one we should---what is that?”  Azar’s head whipped to the side as she felt the ebb and flow of Craft -- a different, familiar, irritating Craft -- spill over the crowd like a cloudburst.

Calming. Quelling.

Azar grit her teeth. She knew that Craft, its feel, its weave. There was one male in Pruul who dared to use Craft he had learned from the Aubdina in such a way. “Aahad,” she growled. She raised her hand, intending to push back against his power with her own, to send both warning and reminder that SHE was the caller of water, not he, to disrupt his meddling with…

Wait.

Azar dropped her hand, thinking. Let him meddle. Let him become known to the Shira. And let her direct that vitriol towards him. Aahad was formidable, yes, but not invincible. If the Sabbah turned their anger towards him…

Azar smiled wickedly. “We will speak with our Temple Master as well while we’re here,” she told her retinue. With her schedule now full, Azar turned to lead her contingent towards their first of many meetings that week, all with the intent to solidify the Aubdinas’ power in Pruul once more.


Offline Shaula al-Tabur

  • Character Account
    • white2te
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen in Training

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      19

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #11 on: Jul 02, 18, 10:39:24 AM »
The morning song was so beautiful, so bright, and Shaula was so very glad that it didn’t take too long.

Obviously not one for ritual, Shaula had stood just behind Dinah, studiously avoiding Javid’s lusty gaze for the time being because she did have to at least pretend to be a model Queen while in public. She would have to talk to Javid about looking the part too but she knew that she was going to reward him in ways he was definitely thinking later on that day. Once they got past all of the ritual and pomp. And meetings.

Shaula had to play the perfect little student Queen for just a few hours that day. Just a few hours, that was all. Dinah the Drab wasn’t interested in keeping her long -- she had said so herself -- and that suited Shaula just perfectly fine. As the two Queens made their way towards the Bali encampment to speak with Zaehrah, who was equally as drab in personality as Dinah, in Shaula’s opinion, Shaula took a moment to return some of Javid’s looks, letting her eyes coquettishly drift towards his groin. Teasing. Oh, he was so easy to tease and it was so delightful! And the thought of him inside of her later had her aching already.

**I hope this meeting doesn’t take too long,** she remarked to her Bonded, purring sensually along that thread. **I would hate to keep you waiting.**

**I would wait eons for you, Lady,** Javid practically gushed. Not exactly the most masculine thing to say, Shaula thought, but she did appreciate his...ahem...eagerness to please. He hadn’t shown a streak of possessiveness yet, given that she didn’t spend all of her time with him, but Shaula had made sure not to neglect him too much. And she had been discreet about the other males in her bed.

Still, she was a Queen and she had the right to take as many lovers as she wanted. Who cared what a male, even a Bonded one, thought?

**You’re so sweet,** she cooed to him. **Do you know what I’ll be thinking about while these two drone on and on?** she asked, pausing to let him guess, and when he didn’t, she supplied, **An alley just off the market. You and me. And you can show me all of those ways you’d just love to claim me.**

There. Now that he was properly riled up, he’d take any rebuke she offered later for his inability to contain his expressions in public. All she had to do was guilt him into it once or twice and then he would learn he had to behave in order to get her.

See? Males were so simple.

Offline Zaehrah al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • queen
    • Role

      Clan Ruler

    • Faction

      Bali Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Haloriel

    • Posts

      58

    • "First Bali, then Pruul."

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #12 on: Jul 03, 18, 01:12:38 AM »

The Bali Tents: Inside Onn
Zaehrah had made certain all of the Bali had a place inside the walls of Onn. Not a single elder or child was left out, and what a challenge it had been. Honestly, she sort of wanted to sleep for a year, but the elders of the Bali were constantly challenging her and suggesting she wasn't capable of this or that other thing, ever since the whole original separation of the True Sabbah and the rest of the Clan. If Zaehrah had any idea there had been almost a riot, she'd have added to a headache already present and pointed out it was a good reason why Queens of Pruul typically stayed in Pruul. Especially when new to ruling a Clan or Tribe. However, she did not know at all what was going on in the square, despite her sons trying to make a deal out of the atmosphere.

A considerable amount of Craft and no expense had been spared, though it did not hurt that the Queen owned a fair amount of apartments in the city. Those that had wanted for tents, however, also had an elegant setup in the large, sprawling city. The apartment, flat, and permanent housing space was specifically used for those that had large families, were with child, took care of small children, and so on. Single adults primarily made use of the tents, and technically as a woman that had no more small children, she had let out some use of her own private compound, spending most of the day in the tents as a kindness, not as a requirement. So it was that the Tabur Queen found Zaehrah where she did.

The rich red and gold glittered in the hot sun, but inside the series of celebratory tents was cool and inviting, full of spells that chilled the air with Craft, which was enjoyed by Blood and Landen alike. Zaehrah had been sitting and speaking with her Steward when one of the guards approached with the news that the ruling Tabur Queen had made an appearance with a noted Queen in training, the difference between them described for Zaehrah's pleasure. She waved off a hand. "Of course they may enter. The Bali have no quarrel with the Tabur. I know you louts have more sense than that! Do not leave them standing in the heat, please," she remarked with a smile. Witchlights were ensconced every so often to handle the gloom due to the thick, Craft imbued silk, which offered a lovely view of the ceiling of this particular tent, which was high so that the air would not be thick, but sweet and easy to breathe.


Zaehrah's Festival Attire
The beautifully garbed Queen rose to her feet, smoothing the royal blue, teal, summer sky, and green of her gown. Her curly black hair was coiled up around her head in a series of braids, which was all the better for the incredible heat outside as it was. The choice of clothing was modest but perfectly fitted to every curve, which she had plenty of thanks to the two sons that still fought her at every turn to find wives. One of which, was sitting at her side just then.

"Mother. Did you hear? The Sabbah Clan are about to fall apart! You cannot seriously mean to support them." Zaehrah let out a sharp hiss and smoothly smacked her elder son upside the head. "First, my precious, irritating darling, Lord Khayri, we do not speak this way about allies when there are two Queens about to come through that door. You will be respectful. Now fix your tunic," she remarked, before reaching out and giving his clothing a neat tug herself after the Summer Sky Warlord continued to grumble. When the pair of Queens were allowed in, with their escorts because it was too hot out to not let anyone have water, food, and a bit of a rest, Zaehrah clapped her hands softly in a happy announcement of their presence. All of the Bali that were present offered a bow here, or an acknowledgement there as Protocol dictated.

"Lady Dinah al-Tabur! Lady Shaula, and company. Please, make yourself comfortable. I have water, wine, and honeyed dates for your pleasure." She pointed at Shaula. "Not that kind of date, sweetheart, but I understand," she said with a wink before shoving her son to attend on the younger Queen. He might have seemed annoying, but the Half Long-Lived man was well trained in every etiquette and flattery, though one would never guess he was because his eyes were blue like his mothers, instead of gold, and he took more after his paternal grandfather in skin tone, who had been a short-lived Pruulian of the Bali. If allowed, Lord Khayri, standing to a full six foot five with shoulders that typically blocked out most sunlight, would have offered to take the younger Queen's hand to help her sit, while the honour of attending to Lady Dinah was offered to Zaehrah's Steward, Bassam al-Kurhah.

"Sit sit, please, ladies. Welcome to the Bali Encampments. We have bread, salt, and water for the traditional welcome in addition to the sweets my Queen has mentioned," Prince Bassam murmured with a winning smile. One of Zaehrah's attendants brought in a soft footstool so that the ruling Queen of the Tabur could put her feet up. Being Queen and a ruling one at that, to Zaehrah did not mean the job had to be stifling. Gag. Zaehrah's son did similar for the Queen in training, and while she was not offered something quite as lavish, it was about as comfortable as a heavy cloud.

Offline Dinah al-Tabur

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • bwq
    • Role

      Ruling Queen

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      131

    • Nevertheless, she persisted...

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #13 on: Jul 05, 18, 02:07:04 PM »
Dinah stepped into the welcoming tent of the Bali and immediately gave Zaehrah a sincerely polite smile. In the turbulent times of then, it was a welcome thing for Dinah to speak with a Queen who was established and steady, even if they did not always agree on subjects like the Mineborn. As the inhabitants of the tent offered their bows to the entering Queens, Dinah regally tipped her head towards them, humbly accepting their honor. Her attire was white laced with red -- white to celebrate the brilliant sun above them, red to remind them of its blistering caress.

“The Tabur bring to you our greetings during this blessed High Summer festival,” Dinah said after Zaehrah had invited them to join her. Two men flanked the Tabur Queens and Dinah recognized the one nearest to her as Zaehrah’s Steward. She graciously accepted him escorting her to the cushioned seats. She prayed that Shaula would be on her best behavior -- she did not necessarily approve of Zaehrah’s joking comment because it meant that Shaula’s reputation was beginning to preceded her, and it was not the kind of reputation that Dinah wanted the Tabur to be known for.

But she would have to deal with the problem of Shaula later. What a headache this was becoming…

“I thank you for receiving us and for these offerings,” Dinah said as she sat. “Should you wish to visit the Tabur encampment, the same shall gladly be offered to you and yours.” Reciprocation was expected but Dinah did not feel burdened by it.

The next few moments passed in companionable chatter. Dinah did not bring up contentious subjects like the Mineborn Council -- instead, most of their conversation revolved around the increase in sandworm activity and the logistics of keeping their clan safe. It was somewhere in this time that Dinah’s brother Shinar, who was her Master of the Guard, checked in on her and Shaula with a sharp command to remain near her escorts because the Sabbah were…

“Rioting?” Dinah echoed to the mental conversation inadvertently. She quickly shook her head. “My apologies, Lady Zaehrah. My Master of the Guard was reporting a great disturbance within the city. Apparently, someone has incited the Sabbah to threaten members of some of other clans. The Jinan in particular, it seems. Are you aware of this?” Regardless of Zaehrah’s answer, Dinah’s next question was, “May we harbor here until it is passed? Our escorts will gladly work with your own men in defense, if it comes to such a thing.”

But Dinah’s tone said so much more than that. She was shocked, bordering horrified that the Sabbah were acting so. Surely it had to be the workings of the True Sabbah faction. How dare they disgrace the sanctity of one of the festivals with this...this...barbarism! Conduct a civil war within your own clan, if you must, but to direct it towards other clans?

Dinah would have to speak with Elenor when she returned. This sort of thing could not be condoned.

Offline Tariq al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • wp
    • Role

      Guard

    • Faction

      Latifh Tribe

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      34

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #14 on: Jul 12, 18, 02:49:44 PM »
Just because Tariq was Bonded to Vashti did not mean that he used her in the same manner as other males might their Queen. He left matters of the sexual realm to Ennead, since he viewed Vashti as a wonderful little sister and one completely unlike his real sister Azar, whom he served as bloodsworn. He knew how to share his Queen and how to boss his new Brother around a little, which was always fun to watch what got under the skin of the Prince.

So, on that sharing note, Tariq was letting Ennead have some time with Vashti that day before interrupting them later on that night before he went off to compete in the games that would start at sundown. And, on the sexual note, being a Warlord Prince meant that he had certain...desires...that needed tending to as well. A Black Widow from the Tair tribe had seen to helping with those. It was a good thing his attire covered the scratches she left behind.

Loping through the crowd, Tariq hoped to find a familiar face -- maybe Kazim from the Tabur clan, or that Queen he had met the day before -- but so far, he hadn’t noticed anyone just yet. The crowds were thicker than yesterday, thick enough for Tariq to keep his coin purse vanished and a hand on his khanjar so that it wasn’t jostled too much. Ahead, he could hear yelling -- a Priestess calling those to worship? No. That wasn’t right. He started to edge closer, curious, but a low growl from a nearby male had him rethinking that. He stopped to actually listen to the words. And then frowned.

Well, he HAD been enjoying the festivities…

He wasn’t certain of the woman’s name but she wore the markings of Sabbah and carried an air of authority around her that stirred others to follow in her spidering wake. A Black Widow. A Dark one. Which meant that she was more dangerous than she had sense. Judging by the way she was riling up the crowd, they didn’t have much sense either.

The long-lived were a curse upon Pruul?

The rains were a damnation, not a blessing?

The worms were acting in retaliation?

What a load of horse shit.

Of course, given the simmering mood of the crowd, Tariq withheld speaking his opinion. His expression showed it though. He angled his way away from the woman calling for violence, towards where others were cautiously milling. “Friends!” he greeted brightly, as though he knew some of them. “Who wants to join me in a drink? It’s so very hot out here and I can’t listen to another speech in the sun!”

That drew away enough men for Tariq’s liking. He’d figured out more on what that Black Widow was ranting about later.

Offline Sirrah al-Tair

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • queen
    • Role

      Ruling Queen

    • Faction

      Tair Tribe

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      12

    • Queen of maps and mischief

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #15 on: Jul 12, 18, 03:20:01 PM »
The Tair tribe decided not to camp within the city of Onn.

The elders and Court deigned it too crowded, too cramped, and felt perfectly fine beyond the walls of the city, despite concerns of recent sandworm activity. They were camped near members of the Latifh tribe and thus enjoyed exchanging hospitality easily. Guards were placed along the outskirts of the encampments, ever-alert, and thus the two tribes relaxed.

Sirrah al-Tair waited until midafternoon to take her escorts into the city, hoping to sell some of their newest maps in the market. As they entered, the crowd within simmered with some unknown anger, enough to make the entourage stop. “What did we miss?” Sirrah absently asked of her men. But none had the answer. They advanced deeper into the crowds, cautiously, with men taking point, despite Sirrah’s usual preference to lead.

“Worm caller!” someone shouted, to further Sirrah’s bafflement. Had someone figured out the secret she had shared with Elenor? No, that seemed highly unlikely. But yet, she found her men blocked, the crowd gathering to hem them in. “Down with the long-lived!”

“Sabbah,” one of her men hissed, his hand on his khanjar.

“True Sabbah,” another elaborated sourly, for they knew that Sirrah had dealings with the Sabbah Queen Elenor.

“You follow the cripple’s Voice!” one of their obstacles shouted. Since the Tair fell under the Jinan clan, Vera al-Jinan was their dominant Voice. Sirrah had no quarrel with the woman and she wondered now why suddenly the True Sabbah did.

**What do we think is happening here?** she asked her men.

**Probably someone in the True Sabbah riling the crowd to violence. Best time to do it is at a festival, right?** one of the men answered, fingering his weapons nervously. Males on both sides stared each other down, waiting, inching closer. Sirrah did not like this moment one bit. She opened her mouth to speak but then felt a sweeping brush of Summer Sky power over the crowd like a gentle, soft blanket. The men in front of them seemed less...inclined to act violently.

**May Mother Night bless whomever just did that,** Sirrah remarked to her men, who all agreed. Then, gathering her Sapphire power beneath her, she bolstered that same sort of calm towards the men in front of them, saying clearly, “The Tair have their own Voice. What business do the Sabbah have with threatening the Queen of the Tair?”

The answer, it soon was revealed, was none. The would-be aggressors edged away, muttering uncertainly. “See to your own tribe,” Sirrah advised them, feeling a certain sort of annoyance building within her. This business with the Sabbah being so divided needed to come to a resolution and soon, before it began a civil war within all of Pruul.

“Remind me to speak with Elenor,” Sirrah remarked to one of her men once they were back on their way. “She must hear of this.” If she hadn’t already. “And have our guards watch for Sabbah itching to have a bit more...fun...than they should with our camp. Don’t bar the Sabbah from joining our fires -- just keep an eye out.”

“Yes, Lady,” came the quick answer.

“Now,” Sirrah said, turning her attention back to their previous matter, “let’s sell some maps.”

Offline Bashir al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • warlord
    • Role

      Second Circle

    • Faction

      Sabbah Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      35

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #16 on: Jul 24, 18, 10:04:33 AM »
Bashir woke up early that morning. His hair was still blue but it was fading. He would have to do the dye again but he wanted to wait until Elenor was back because...well...because she had dyed his hair the first time and it was kind of their thing now. Or he was going to make it their thing. He needed shit like that -- little things with her. Everyone else had them, why couldn’t he?

Maybe she’d come home soon. He missed her something fierce. Funny that. Before he met her, he’d only ever missed his mother, the kind of missing that came when you couldn’t return to a place. Like the past. Man, there was a really pretty word for that kind of feeling. Hiraeth? Maybe. Fuck it. He missed her. Elenor. He missed his mother too but she wasn’t coming back. His Queen was. One day. Soon. Yeah, soon.

Barefoot, he padded across his room to find clothes and figure out what he was going to do that day. Operations at the mines were suspended because of the festival. Shit, nearly everything but trade and eating were suspended for the week while everyone crammed into Onn like sardines. Bashir wanted to go to the market to find some pretty things for Elenor but that ran the risk of seeing his asshole father swindling people.

Maybe he should go talk to his twin Eskandar instead. They hadn’t talked since --

Nah, fuck it. He wasn’t caving first.

Bashir thought about finding his sister Malika too but decided to scout out on his own first. She’d probably find him in the market anyway at some point that day. Pulling on a shirt and stuffing his feet into boots, Bashir made his way out the door, wishing that Elenor was waiting for him outside.

Something was waiting outside but it definitely wasn’t his Queen.

“The...fuck?” he muttered, smelling it first. He turned around. Scrawled across the walls of the Sabbah Court residence, messy and browning in the morning sun, was a damn near mural of graffiti done in…

“Gross,” Bashir muttered darkly after leaning closer to inspect. Blood. Definitely blood. He scowled at the words. Wormcaller. House of the Impure. Befouler of Water. And more.

“Man, fuck that bitch,” he growled. “First she causes a near riot yesterday and now this?” Angered, Bashir went to find cloths and water to wash the walls. Elenor couldn’t come home to see this shit. It’d upset her.

Of course, when he discovered that water and scrubbing alone wasn’t going to remove the graffiti, he let out a whole string of colorful expletives in Shira’s direction.

Offline Storyteller

  • Character Account
    • plot
    • council
    • OOC

      Plot Council

    • Posts

      161

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #17 on: Jul 27, 18, 03:26:19 PM »
They were drawn to it.

The Craft. The gathering. The people.

So many feet pounding the earth. So loud with their singing and spellweaving. Raucous. Resounding. A low roar that rippled across the land. How could they ignore it? It deafened the silent earth with its cacophony. Discord. They were drawn to rectify that. Stop it. Cease the thundering.

They were so loud.

The great gathering of Blood in Onn, with their volume and lack of true vigilance, gave them stealth as they approached in haste. The millions of feet hammering the ground in the markets and streets provided cover for the churning earth that parted in their wake. They knew that they could not penetrate into the heart of the clamor, into the city itself, but they could destroy the noise around it. Destroy it enough and the rest would be silent.

There came only a moment’s warning at dusk, just as the festivities would take their turn towards music and dancing. A guard in the Jinan camp who saw the ground ripple in that familiar, fearful prelude to attack. “WORMS!” he screamed and those were the last words he would ever say. The earth swallowed him whole and then turned its fury upon the horse herd nearby. Its brother split from its wake, going for the tents.

Further off, the ground beneath the tents of the Tair roiled, spilling people and panic into the desert. Those fleeing towards the safety of Onn were cut off by a juvenile worm that greedily feasted upon soft flesh and crunchy bones. Its delight was short-lived as men with hardened spears managed to puncture the developing carapace. It twisted and fled, calling its brethren to avenge it.

The Latifh encampment exploded into a writhing mess of worms.

The Kaid were given new reason to mourn as their children were devoured.

The Situla lost far, far more than the water they bore.

The Hague knew the true meaning of the word “serpent.”

The Tabur learned what it was like to be buried in a sepulchre of sand.

They could not be turned away, the worms. Craft only enraged them further. Weapons shattered upon their hides. The heartbeats of millions called to them to be ended but as their attack continued, there were less of those heartbeats and footsteps within reach. The walls, the walls...the damnable walls...kept the thunder within it. Unreachable. Throughout the night, the worms screamed at those walls and the people sheltered within. One day, silence would once again rule Pruul.

Of all of the clans, only the Bali, due to their Queen’s foresight and caution, could count their dead as the lowest number of those lost, as most of their number remained sequestered within the impenetrable walls of Onn. But theirs was the burden of hearing the screams, witnessing the wounds, wondering if they were next.

When the morning came, with a dawn as red as the blood-soaked sands, the people of Pruul crept from their sanctuary, to piece together the shards of their lives before the worms struck again.

-Written by Halyonix
This is a Plot Council controlled account. Please address all questions and PMs to a Staff account or staff@bloodrites.net

Offline Shira al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • bw
    • Role

      Mastermind

    • Faction

      True Sabbah

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      14

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #18 on: Jul 27, 18, 06:09:19 PM »
Shira had foreseen it. She had warned them. She had told them what to expect and no one had heeded her words.

Well, some did. The Sabbah who followed her and her sister had, and had retreated into Onn. When the attack came, it was the True Sabbah warriors, led by Lord Elham al-Sabbah were ready and waiting when the cry went up. Shira’s visions had been hazy as to when exactly the attack would come and how big it would be, but she stood atop the walls of Onn, Red Jewel shining as she shielded running families and shed true tears at the carnage of true Pruulians. This was all the fault of the Mineborn, the folly of the Long-Lived. They were tainting Pruul and the Worms were only trying to help. They were trying to cleanse it, but like the hand of a divine being, they just did not have the precision to crush a single ant. No, they would take good, pure souls with them. Those sacrifices would be avenged. The blood and water-price the Impure carried after today was staggering.

Below, her soldiers were on the front lines, spears piercing through the carapace of the younger Worms, brave men and women falling to protect those fleeing into Onn. Shira and her daughters did their part until their Jewels were drained, joined by all those among the believers who had been willing to join in the fight but did not have the skill at arms to fight in the sands below.

As durk turned to night, others joined them. People who yesterday had not believed, today flocked to her, lending her their power and obeying her barked commands. When at last the final, limping warriors had retreated and the gates on the section of the wall they had defended were barred, Shira felt her whole body slump for a moment. Exhaustion pulled at her eyelids but she did not succumb to it. No, the night was still young and there was much to do.

“Healers! Call for the healers and open our quarter of the city to all who need the aid!” Those who were true Pruulians would receive it. Those who were not… they would not be turned away but neither would their wounds be tended before all the pure had been seen to.

At her order, supplies, stockpiled ever since she had first seen this coming, were brought into squares and open places. Shira turned to her youngest daughter.

“Nahal, take your team and go to the leadership of the Clans and Tribes. Let them know that the Sabbah offer sanctuary to any who need it.” Nahal raced off to obey, face pale at the devastation she had witnessed. Shira paid little heed. She would reassure them later, but now there were more urgent things to attend to.

“Hava, go inform Matin that he has one hour to open the doors to the Sabbah compound for me. That courtyard can hold many and is perfect to set up food and water stations for those assisting the wounded to rest in. Make him understand that this is not a request.” Hava, too, departed, and Shira looked upon her eldest, Esther. “I need you to count the dead. Take Adileh with you to offer aid to those grieving the greatest losses. Start with the Hague. Their impure lineage means they were hit the hardest but the survivors still deserve our compassion. They sacrificed much for the sins of others. Report back to me as soon as you are done.”

Her other two Black Widow apprentices she set to helping organize the relief efforts, then began her walk towards the Sabbah Compound. She arrived at a quarter to the hour she had given her nephew, taking her time to talk to groups of wounded or suddenly homeless people, letting them know where to find aid and letting many drink from her own flask of water. She had vanished several for this eventuality. Her white clothes were stark in the bloody mess, a spell keeping them pristine as she worked among the people, her speech for tonight composing itself in her head.

It would start with a prayer for the dead, of course. Sorrow, true sorrow. She would cry, for this was worth shedding tears over and then… then she would launch into a gently warded admonition that she had warned them that this would come. She would twist this fear and grief into rage at those who had caused this, and then… then she would remind her Clan that while their Queen was gone galavanting around the Realm to destroy their traditions and tarnish the mines by desecrating water within them, the True Sabbah had been here to help them overcome this disaster and hold them together.

Offline Delara al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • ss2pd
    • healer
    • Role

      Court Healer

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      EmberRose

    • Posts

      16

    • My enemy is Death

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #19 on: Jul 27, 18, 06:57:35 PM »
After the events of the first day Delara had stuck close to the Tabur tents and men, not daring to wander out to much.  Everything in her rebelled at conflict and she had little interest in getting caught up in another mob.  So she organized the supplies she'd bought, read a little and made herself available to anyone who needed her. 

She was finishing a treatment on a young child who'd fallen ill and reassuring a worried mother, the sun beginning to dip below the city walls in the distance when she heard the echoes of screams on the wind.  At first she thought perhaps it was a trick of her mind, but then it grew louder and intermingled with the screams of people were the dying screams of horses.  Leaving the mother speaking to air Delara raced toward the sound pushing her way past anyone who got in her way.

Drawing closer to the walls she could see panicked crowds heading away, the screams on the otherside growing louder and louder as she ran through the crowd.  Then a sound rippled through the air that sent a shiver of dread down her spine, the call of a worm, and Delara didn't need the shouts from the panicked people around her to know what was happening.  Her mind flashed to the destruction of Tuono, the bodies, the destruction and her steps stumbled in horror.

Her family was outside the walls, her tribe, everyone she'd grown up with, they were all OUTSIDE the walls. Terror chilled her to the bone and she stood frozen in fear and horror until she felt an impact to her shoulder that nearly knocked her to the ground.  It jolted her back to the here and now and even as she staggered she began pushing through the crowd in earnest. 

Finally she could see the gate and through it a scene of chaos, destruction and death.  Her breath caught in her throat as the image of a worm swept passed leaving blood in it's wake.  Ignoring the shouts of everyone around her and ducking grasping hands Delara raced for it regardless.  The worms terrified her but her family was out there.

She'd almost made it, almost crossed the threshold into the chaos beyone when an arm wrapped around her chest and she was yanked up and away.  She let out a guttural scream of fury and grief as she was ripped away from the gate not even realizing that she was sobbing with every breath, and knew in her heart that the screams of horses and people and the calls of the worms would haunt her nightmares for the remainder of her life.

Freedom is found on Horseback

Offline Jasper al-Situla

  • Character Account
    • opal2red
    • prince
    • Role

      Escort

    • Faction

      Aubdina

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      21

    • Service is its own Reward

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #20 on: Jul 27, 18, 07:27:10 PM »
Jasper had been flying, eyes closed as he soared through the air in the setting sun, working off some of the frustrations of the last two days when he heard the first distant scream. His eyes snapped open and he squinted into the setting sun, not quite willing to believe what he was seeing.

Worms, thousands of them. Despite the news from Tuono, despite a lifetime in the desert, he had never truly imagined anything like what was approaching Onn at breakneck speed. He started to dive, but already he realized that it would be too late. Still, as soon as he was close enough he reached out on an open thread, broadcasting on all frequencies Red and lighted.

**WORMS. WORMS ARE ATTACKING. GET INSIDE THE WALLS NOW. LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND. MOVE.**

A second thread was sent to the Vada temple High Priestess. **Worms are attacking. Prepare for refugees and wounded.** Then another to the Lady Hadjara. **Stay inside. Do not leave your home for any reason until I return.** and to Aahad **GET YOUR ASS INSIDE THE WALL OR SO HELP ME I WILL HAUL IT THERE.**

And he set off to do just that. He soared over the Situla camp, eyes and senses looking for his friend. He found him, and moments before a Worm roared out of the ground at his feet Jax dove, grabbed him under the arms and used a burst of Red to launch them towards the sky.

They were still almost too late.

Jaws crashed together just feet under Aahad’s dangling legs as Jasper’s wings flapped powerfully, urging them up, up and safe.

The Worm began to fall back towards the earth without its Priestly snack and Jasper turned towards the city, forcing himself not to look down at their people screaming and dying. Priests and Priestesses first, then Healers. Others would be taking care of Queens, and Black Widows were tough. Healer and Priestesses would be imperative in the wake of this, though, and Jasper intended to save as many as he could.

They flew over the walls and Jax swooped down, setting Aahad on his feet, then launching himself back towards the sky without so much as a word. Every second would count in this battle.

He was flying back towards the Situla camp when he caught sight of an anomaly below. Someone was running towards the walls alone and unarmed. A moment of attention showed it to be the same little Healer who had sheltered behind him during the riot. Fool girl! Was she a trying to get herself killed?

“Nope. You are not going out there.” He said as he dove and snagged her around the waist, hauling her up as she flailed. Hoisting her higher and into a more comfortable hold and shielding himself in case she tried to kick, he scanned the streets below. There, in the middle of the Sabbah area of the city, were what looked to be organized people. More importantly, cots were being set up in a square, which meant Healers and Healer Escorts. Perfect.

“Hold still, won’t you?” He asked, then, not caring if his passenger got motion sick because he was on a schedule, he backflapped and turned, zooming towards that center of controlled activity. Landing, he spotted a face he recognized: the Healer Aahad’s mother was trying to shack him up with, and pushed the little Healer at her. “See that she doesn't run off and get herself killed. Put her to work.”

The rest of the night passed in a blur. He didn’t count the number he saved, or the numbers lost. He just kept his mind on the task at hand. One at a time he plucked those who would be most useful to the survivors up, only occasionally shielding larger groups as they darted towards the walls. By morning his Jewels were spent and wings zinging with the pain of overused muscles. He nearly crashed into the Mineborn complex, startling the guards. They relaxed when they recognized him and he stumbled to his feet.

“The Lady Hadjara. Is she alright? Did she stay inside?”

"A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect."

Offline Aahad al-Situla

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • pw
    • Role

      High Priest

    • Faction

      Arnadeth Temple

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lochlan

    • Posts

      52

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #21 on: Jul 27, 18, 10:50:03 PM »
Aahad had a feeling something was off the whole day. He was no Black Widow and could not see into the future, or see portents in the sands or the mind's eye...but he had an ever-shaking feeling that he was seen. He couldn't put his finger on it, but the feeling made him have a weary afternoon. Not to mention the rebound from the mutual-yet-still-stinging pre-dump Qadira al-Hague gave him the night before didn't help the feeling vanish either.

Otherwise it was like it was the day before. The Situla encampment had breakfast, broke into groups of whomever to celebrate the festivities. His mother gave him flack for NOT going through with the arrangement between the Situla and the Hague and admonished him for not even giving it a chance. She had no clue of this, because he didn't tell anyone...but Mothers. They held a power not even Aahad could puzzle out. The sort-of-argument did not last long. The Healer was ever aware of the forced arrangement and they even spent the evening spending time with one another when all they really knew of each other was their name, profession and courteous tid-bits. Nothing happened, and Aahad respected it. Mom of course thought he didn't try hard enough and then swapped to say that something was wrong with HER rather than him.

The encampment was nowhere near ready for the worms. The warnings of the attack came as the first breached the earth and consumed a whole tent along with it's inhabitants. Bodies missed by it's maw flung helplessly in the air to crash into the dunes as lifeless masses simply hitting the ground like something tossing dung out a window. He was in his tent when the screams erupted, then the warning came. By the time he was outside a second Worm erupted from the ground following a near-unnatural dirge of air being sucked through a horn - not out of it making any noise, but the sheer mass of it's gaping maw alone. It rose and then immediately dived into the sands taking three tents with it on it's way down.

Everyone was running.

Everyone was screaming.

"Everyone! Run to the walls!" Aahad shouted, moving through people to look for his mother and newly acquainted siblings. "Run to the walls! They can't make the-"

A third worm rose like a spire trying to strike the sky replacing the dozen of Situla who were running in front of him. He skidded to a halt and, in a panic, looked this way and that saying a simple thought in his head. "Stay calm. Just be. Stay calm. Just be." It gave him meager clarity and meager focus during the massacre to realize he wasn't seeing his mother anywhere.

"Mom??" He shouted, making his way toward her tent. "Mom!" He looked around again but didn't see her.

As he shoo'ed more people to Onn and kept up the fifteen second long manhunt he was suddenly on air. Not only had someone grabbed him but the sand under his feet began to gave way like it suddenly became quicksand. He looked up and saw Jaspar spiraling upward, and then looked down.

....it was huge.

Looking down the maw was about the size of the Queen of the Situla's whole /tent/. One would imagine lines of teeth or some sort of inhumane mind-shattering view looking down the throat of the only creature, in his view, who could be classified as Wyrm rather than Worm. There wasn't anything, and the fact that it was simply a chasmous hole with some membrane along the way made it all the more terrifying.

He kicked at it. Because he had to do something. Instinct kept him from using his Jewels, long having been trained that the Worms have no fear of Craft and seem to deflect it and wither it no matter what one does to it - the best option is running or, if you can't, physical combat.

So he kicked it.

The kick struck. The maw went to enclose around his legs but the kick pushed him out of it's reach. A single clawed maw dragged along the side of his leg making Aahad howl in pain. Jaspar it seemed, didn't hear it. How could he? When all there was below was more screaming, destruction and death?

Jaspar took him to the walls and, not eloquently, dropped him and returned to the sky. He didn't even have time to ask if he was okay or to look for his mother. He was simply gone, and Aahad couldn't stand. His leg was gashed aside his shin and standing on it made the word 'pain' sound like a children's playword.

Gotta get to the Sanctuary... He told himself. He practically whimpered when he tried to walk on it. Come on...now legs! Move! He tried again but fell on his face when his leg caved under him from the pain.

He whimpered again, now having his beard coated in sand as he gritted his teeth and got back to his foot. He hopped on one foot once, then twice, then put weight on the wrong leg once more and near cascaded face-first into the nearby wall if he hadn't been careful.

Aahad had knowledge of Triage Craft. The most simplest of Crafts for on the fly first aid, as part of anyone's combat training. However attempting to get his leg in any position to actually do it was out of the question. Merely touching his thigh made his leg light up like Winsol. Wracked with pain, loss of focus, is when it hit him.

Mother Night please help us. Save us!

No....

I beseech you don't let them kill me!
I have done all you have asked, please let the sandworms eat her?
Why have you forsaken us?

Not again....

Please guide us through this!
I don't wanna die...please don't let me die...

He grabbed at his head. He could control this! He was in control!!

Please Mother Night, please save my mommy!
I hope they all die! They deserve it! I beseech you! Eat them! Purge the unclean!
Please watch over this one, there is nothing more I can do. She is in your hands.

People were scared. People were traumatized. So everyone was praying.

And he heard them.

All of them.

Offline Mehdi al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • blood
    • male
    • Role

      Gardener

    • Faction

      Clan Sabbah

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      9

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #22 on: Jul 27, 18, 11:05:17 PM »
Mehdi had been trimming a hedge in the light of the setting sun, humming to himself and wondering idly if Lady El would be back soon. Prince Matin and Lord Bashir were, and that was great! Even though Prince Matin kept trying to get into Lady El’s office because she had an extra key to the sadly departed Prince Shaharokh’s. Which was silly since Mehdi had a key to the Lady’s office, but if Prince Matin wanted his, then he would have asked for it, right?

He must have his reasons, he was part of the Triangle. Mehdi didn’t know what could possibly be gained trying to break down her door and the Opal shields keyed to it, but he wasn’t all that smart, so what did he know?

He just worked in the garden. That was what he liked to do best! The plants were wonderful and the drip irrigation Lady Vera had helped him with was working GREAT! Things were in bloom all over, filling the air with wonderful fragrances and screams.

Wait, why were there screams?

His head shot up, then his legs did, leaving his torso to wobble while trying to coordinate. Taking the steps three at a time he bounded up to the roof of the Sabbah Residence and his jaw dropped. There, not two hundred yards away on the other side of the wall the Residence was pressed up against for easier desert access, were hundreds of Worms. These weren’t the nice, squirmy kind that lived in the garden but the ones he had seen throughout his childhood, except those had been nice. They sang in the moonlight and Mehdi had sung with them. These weren’t singing though, they were screaming and so were the people they were eating.

WAIT! THEY WERE EATING PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Already other voices in the compound were being raised in alarm but Mehdi just stood there, flabbergasted, his body frozen in shock as he saw a worm eat a woman alive, squishing her like a bug. OH NO!! This was horrible, someone had to stop it!

And people were, he supposed. At least he saw people, some even with Sabbah Cuffs fighting the monsters from the walls and the sands, and part of Mehdi wanted to join them but what would he do? He couldn’t fight, not really, and he couldn’t use much Craft. If Onn were a plant and were being eaten by worms he… he would…

His butt hit the warm tiles of the roof as the sight of blood made him dizzy.

No, he couldn't look at this… but he could look for people. His own family hadn’t traveled to Onn this festival but Mehdi knew everyone who lived here. He could count them! Yes. Make sure everyone was safe! That was something he could do and then tell Prince Matin if they were not!

Yes. He could do that.

Seized with his normal boundless energy now that he had a job, he ran back down the stairs and started with the first room he could find.

It took ages! Ages during which things were happening but Mehdi just kept to his task. Cooks? Check! One was out in the city but she had sent a thread back to tell them she was safe and helping out. Other gardeners? Two were missing, but Mehdi knew for a fact they were out drinking in one of the streets nearby and they were Landen so there was no way to check in beyond that.

Lord Bashir was alive and doing important things. Prince Matin likewise. Lady Malika was harder to find but when they did bump into each other she looked busy as well. He did tell her what he was doing though so that someone in the Court would know.

Check! Check! Check!

In the end he counted twelve dead in the Court and staff, or at least missing and not responding and known to have been outside the walls. Almost a full circle. His heart wept but he kept looking because one person was still missing from his list. She wasn’t in her rooms and she wasn’t answering threads but maybe she was busy. Lady Amira, Priestess of the Court and niece to Lord Fin was not in her room. Mehdi always paid attention to where Lady Amira was because she was the best at mediating disputes and sometimes it was good to call on her. She was nice and beautiful, and cooked meals that always smelled so good even though Mehdi had never been invited into the little house that was the Voice’s attached to the main residence.

He asked where she had gone but no one knew, just… out. Out WHERE?

At last, one of the maids mentioned that she thought Lady Amira might have gone outside the walls. The tears on her face made it clear that she feared that meant she was dead, but Amira couldn’t be dead. She was too nice and the Darkness protected good people…. Right?

Unable to find her anywhere in the Residence and after three people snapped at him to stop bothering them while they were rushing to find space for the wounded, Mehdi finally took to the streets. It was chaos out there, but he tried not to look at the blood lest he pass out and instead asked someone if there was a place where the wounded and gulp dead were being gathered. He was pointed deeper into the Sabbah quarter and he jogged off in that direction, passing a pretty young Queen walking with escorts. Good, Queens were needed, they helped calm people. Lady El would help so much, he was sure. OH DEAR! Had anyone told her? Oh no! She would be so sad, he hated it when she was sad.

At last, he arrived at the square where Healers were running all around. No one paid him any mind as he walked from bed to bed, glancing at the person on them and getting paler and paler until he was almost as pale as the Lady when she got a tan and hadn’t burned it off recently. Bed after bed did not hold their Priestess and he had almost given up when he spotted one little grouping of cots he had not noticed before. They were tucked away in a side street and there was only one Healer working on them. When he asked why, he was told that others could not yet be spared. That seemed strange to Mehdi but he didn’t think more on it, just looked around and….

Oh no!

There, on one of the beds, lay Amira. Her face was flushed and streaked with blood, and there was the something wrong with her because no obvious injury could be seen and yet she was sweating and tossing, her hands twitching and eyes wide but not seeing him as he bent over.

“What’s wrong with her??!!!”

He Healer came up behind him and sighed. “Worm blood splattered over her face while she was dragging a child to safety. Their blood is death.”

Mehdi’s mouth opened, then closed, then, “but she’s a Priestess. Isn’t that how Aubdina are made? I heard that just a few years ago one of the Mineborn survi-”

“Most Aub initiates do not survive, even with preparation. I doubt your friend will be so lucky. If you want to help her, take her home, keep her safe and cool, and pray. I need this bed.”

Mehdi wanted to protest, wanted to tell her that Amira was strong, but why did it matter if she believed him. Amira would have to instead. He knelt and got an arm around here.

“Come on, up you go. We’ll just get you home and you’ll be fine, ok?”

The Priestess looked up at her, eyes vacant, but nodded. He hoisted her to her feet and noticed how her skin already burned. The walk back took far longer but Mehdi was used to moving at the pace of plants and was patient. There were things going on but he didn’t pay them any mind, focusing only on the young woman he was helping to walk. At last they reached the empty house of the Voice of the Sabbah. Mehdi got them inside and helped her lie down on the couch. Amira was shivering now, so Mehdi piled blankets on top of her, but then she was hot to he took them off and went to get her water. When he returned she had curled in the corner of the room, screaming at things he could not see. Her hair, dark and beautiful, hand in sweaty ribbons around her face and he had to hold her as she tried to claw at her own arms, yelling about scorpions.

Hours passed and she only got worse, not better. Mehdi didn’t know what he was supposed to do and no one was answering his feeble attempts at communication. He couldn’t leave her to get help, so he just did the best he could, holding her, giving her water, trying to talk to her. The last did not seem to do much good. She babbled incoherently for most of the night, at one point screaming for her sister to come, then crying because her uncle wasn’t moving and then for Lady Judiah.

Mehdi’s arms were bruised by her fists and he was exhausted, but he remained awake. He tried to tell her happy stories about the people she liked but that only helped a little. It kept her rocking silently for a few minutes, long enough for her to take a few swallows of water, but then the hallucinations started again.

Near dawn, she stilled. Her breath came ragged through her lips and her limbs were weak and limp. Mehdi started quietly crying as the pause between each breath got longer and longer, but stopped when her hand reached out to him. He looked up to find her eyes open, staring at him as if she could see him at last.

“Mehdi… where’s my uncle?”

“He went to Askavi, remember?”

She shook her head, the motion weak. “No, no, I can hear him. He’s laughing. He’s happy and close. Can you get him for me, please?”

Another tear rolled down Mehdi’s cheek and he squeezed her hand. “Yeah, I can get him for you.”

“Mama and Papa too?”

“Yeah, them too.” He blinked away the tears, smiling for her benefit because he could tell she was fading.

“Can you tell… tell Lady Elenor that I’m not feeling too good… I don’t think I can work tomorrow.”

“I’ll tell her.”

She coughed, whole body spasming and he thought that might be it, but after three long minutes, she spoke again. “You know, I always loved the flowers you left me. They were so… beautiful. My uncle… he told me about flowers like that and I never thought I’d get to see them, but you let me…”

Mehdi felt a sob rise up in his chest.

“Tell him… tell him goodbye for me. And my sister… and Judiah and Elenor. Tell them I’m sorry I wasn’t here to welcome them home.”

“They’ll be home any minute, Amira, just hold on a little longer, ok?”

He weakly patted his hand. “We’re Sabbah, Mehdi. We stood for truth. I don’t want to die believing a lie. My uncle raised me better than that. Tell me something true.”

Mehdi gulped, then leaned forward, pressing his forehead to hers. “They love you. That’s true. Your uncle loves you, your sister loves you, your friends love you. That’s the truth.”

She didn’t speak again. Her breath rattled, then stilled.

He didn’t know how long he sat there, on his knees, rocking. At last, he got to his feet and pulled her limp body into his arms. He wasn’t all that big but he was stronger than he looked and she was little. He carried her out into the walls of the Sabbah residence, then into the garden. People still shouted, still ran, but he just walked, eyes blinded by tears until he reached a beautiful corner of the garden, resplendent in flowers. He lay Amira’s body down among them and carefully arranged her limbs, hand over her heart. He closed her staring eyes and then went to pick flowers. One by one he lay them around her, braiding them into her hair and placing one that came all the way from Askavi over her heart.

Then he knelt, hung his head, and cried.

Water dripped from his face into the sandy ground and he didn’t care. Amira deserved to have water shed for her.

She deserved better than this.

Offline Sarina al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • opalBR
    • queen
    • Role

      Puppet Queen

    • Faction

      The True Sabbah

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Danika

    • Posts

      11

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #23 on: Jul 28, 18, 12:00:41 AM »
Sarina trembled with horror and fear as she listened to the screams of her people and the screams of the great Worms, both sounds echoing in the night. Wait she was told. Stay safe she was told. Be ready she was told. At first the young Queen had been able to cope with the fear and horror by keeping busy. Lady Shira had left her a total of six Escorts, including Rasheed. She has directed them to find and fill as many water flasks as each could carry. She had brewed flasks of hot herbal tea that could be reheated with warming spells if needed. Water would be needed, and appreciated, she had no doubts - but there would surely be people in shock as well who could use a hot drink. She'd gathered shawls and blankets for the same reason.

But as Sarina ran out of things to gather and ways to prepare, fear threatened to overpower her. She paced, unable to sit still, fingernails digging into her palms in a desperate attempt to remain calm until she was called to help.

Lady Sarina, it's time. Have your escorts bring you to me.

Relief of a sort flooded through the young Queen. Finally she could do something. First she gathered up the supplies that she was to carry personally before she called her Escorts to her. “It's time” was all she said at first. Once all six men had joined her, she continued, “We will go to the Healers first, and offer our blankets. We are to meet Lady Shira at the Sabbah Compound.”

The group set out at a jog, the men surrounding the Queen, but spread out enough that she could see the chaos surrounding them. There were people everywhere; some were crying, some screaming, many injured, all distraught. They hadn't gotten far when Sarina saw a young mother, struggling to carry two hysterical children, stumbling. The young Queen shoved between two of her Escorts to run to the other woman. Her normal shyness was discarded; people needed her. She reached out to touch them, first the children then the mother, allowing calm to flow through her and into them, amplified by her Touch. When the two young girls had been reduced to sniffles, Sarina hugged them, murmuring soothing words even as she called to an escort on a psychic thread to ask for a large shawl and a flask of water.

She kept up a steady stream of calming words as she fashioned the shawl into a sling, wrapping it around the woman's waist and shoulders and placing the younger child in it. Once that was taken care of, Sarina knelt to look the older of the children in the eyes, both hands on the girl’s shoulders, her words ringing with the strength of her Touch. “You must be brave for your mother, little one. Be a good girl, and help your mother take care of your sister, alright?” The little girl nodded solemnly, a finger in her mouth and her eyes wide.

As Sarina got to her feet and turned to leave, the young mother spoke up, “How can we thank you Lady - ?” Sarina smiled, “My name is Sarina. Thank me by getting yourself and your daughters to the Sabbah Compound. There will be more help there.” Moonlight glinted off the bright silver cuff the young Queen wore on her wrist as her Escorts once again closed in around noon.

They continued on to the Healers Quarter, her Escorts leading the way. Time and again, Sarina stopped to help someone who had fallen in the crush of people, or calm a crying child or screaming adult, her Touch constantly flowing from her to someone else. For the last few blocks, Rasheed had carried a wizened old man who had been knocked down and trampled. When at last they arrived, Sarina flagged down a harried looking Healer. Instinctively, the young Queen put a hand on the other woman's arm, trying to impart strength and perseverance into her.

“This man was trampled. Where should we take him? I have water, hot tea, blankets and shawls. How can we help?”

The Healer accepted some of Sarina's supplies and directed Rasheed to place his burden on a bed, but Sarina was waved on, tasked with sending more survivors to the Healers. As the Queen and her Escorts continued on, the trip continued to be much the same. Each encounter brought hot tears to Sarina's eyes. The near constant expenditure of her strength on her Touch had Sarina feeling a touch light-headed, but she only stopped to take a few sips of water for herself.

She made a point of touching each of her Escorts when she could, letting them know she appreciated their help, and their steadfastness; none but Rasheed was hers but each was giving of himself tonight, to her and to all their people that crossed their path. None of the True Sabbah Escorts were displaying their usual aloofness towards the young Queen, and she was doing what she could to repay them.

At last Sarina's group arrived at the Sabbah Compound, the gates open, people streaming through them, no one judging anyone for the tears of fear and grief on nearly every face. The young Queen worked her way through the throng of people until she found Lady Shira.

“We're here Lady. We still have some water and tea and a few blankets left. Where can I do the most good with what I have left?”

It wasn't just her supplies that were dwindling now, but Sarina would not admit that until Rasheed or someone else forced her to.

Offline Zaehrah al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • queen
    • Role

      Clan Ruler

    • Faction

      Bali Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Haloriel

    • Posts

      58

    • "First Bali, then Pruul."

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #24 on: Jul 28, 18, 01:14:07 AM »
The cries woke Zaehrah in the midst of a late nap as was a tradition for that part of the day for the last of the days' heat with the pounding at her bedroom door, just before the time for the prayers that she'd have woken for. It had been strange, as the Queen thought it would have been in her dreams that she had heard such horrible sounds. Rising from her bed, she tossed on a robe and slippers. The air was cool around her due to quiet running Craft. It was one primary difference from all of what seemed normal in the rest of Onn, that she and her Court had warned the Bali, the tribe Kurhah and Kalurops who were the Bali constituent tribes to silence their Craft and their voices into far more quiet tones. ALL of her people had managed to fit within the Bali Quarter. No one was left behind, contrary to the rumours that abounded, because long-lived or not, the ruling Queen of the Bali, Zaehrah al-Bali didn't abandon her people, ever.

Only a handful of Bali that married out by forms of treaties and trade into other Clans and tribes were among the dead, totalling a mere ten. But to Zaehrah's heart, that made no difference. One was as painful as she could bear, two were too many. Three were unthinkable. Even five was like a hole in the heart and ten ... Mother Night, ten people eaten by those things.  Within the next hour with the cries of mourning which were far quieter than the rest that had chosen to follow the usual tradition had risen up from the Bali quarter of the city, as well. Thanks to Lord Abulurd's long and wise influence, regardless of what the insane renegade Shira al-Sabbah had to say about him, the man's record stood as a testament to his ability and actions. Though she had a great love for Pruul, the tragedy was on the head of the Mineborn Council and the lack of a unification.

It was known fact that the outside of Onn where the camps traditionally communed had been safe for over two hundred years, much of which, Zaehrah had been alive for. The festivals were the one time of year that the greater stone workings that protected the city were expanded to keep the worms away from Onn. Yet, it seemed that for all their bluster and hope that it was every tribe, clan, man, or woman for himself in the new Pruul. The Queen was flabbergasted. Pruulians had never been so completely helpless against the Sandworms, for the entirety of her life, she had known this. Bassam had been alive for nearly a thousand years and knew it even better than she did. Otherwise, why would they live in the deep desert? She looked to Prince Bassam, ache and anger upon her face which mirrored his, with an exception of something deeper. Something that frightened Zaehrah, that her mind shied away from.

"I warned them. I said clearly, that without the Mother, this would happen. Without a Grand Prince to speak for us all, everything is a mess. It takes a full lifecycle to learn the Craft, the Protocol to truly rule, and there is a reason that we have had these traditions in this specific way. It ended the wars, Lord Abulurd was right, and that damned adventuring boy, regardless of how much my Red Prince loves him ISN'T EVEN--" she started to yell, riling herself up because the people that had caused this rippling effect weren't even united, or here to help. Even if she understood why they weren't here, it hurt. Though she did not agree with the Lady Shira's methods, she understood the feelings, the pain, the fear underneath all the crazy. A shudder went through her while she wrapped her pretty robe a little tighter, sniffling. Too much crazy to handle though. Yeahhhhhhh, no thanks.

Bassam placed a hand on Zaehrah's arm and lead her to a chair before she said something she should. He placed an ottoman beneath her feet. "Less judgement, more helping and relaxation as we mourn, lady. I beg you."

Something strange moved through her. "All right, all right. I know. There's room for new things and tradition but this is--wait. What's wrong?"

The older man buried his face against her neck, something he almost never had the need to do because Zaehrah was so giving with physical touch, even when in the desert when unable to offer Queen's Touch as she could within the city. "Your sisters were out there, my lady."

Freezing did not quite cover the lack of movement in Zaehrah's face. She smiled through the tears already on her face. "Our Court Seer explained. Everyone knew. We did not hide the truth, even from those ten that are dead. They knew the ... the chances. Why were my sisters beyond the wall, Bassam?" The blue and golden eyes seemed almost glacial in their rage because it was only her rage that she could possibly offer at that moment. Her three brothers had been long dead to various dangers of Pruul which were often inevitable. She'd lost the father of her sons, and one other Bonded lover as well, what seemed a lifetime ago. "Why were my damned sisters beyond the wall of Onn!? Why were they ALLOWED to go? It is your job, and Prince Faruq's job to ensure the safety of every single person of my Clan, and our two tribes."

Her attempt to rise to her feet was halted by another pleading look.

"Please, my lady. Please. I need you to breathe. I need you to activate the little charm you use for emotional ... emotional care." The man's eyes were nearly red with the need to cry, but for her, he did not. She blinked and lifted the small pearl and rolled it in her fingertips, and suddenly, they were wrapped in the remnants of Emotional Healing that she had worked with her Seer to attach with a web to an item. She curled into a ball in the chair and pulled the Steward with her, who had with Faruq, practically raised her when her parents had died.

"I am sorry. Please, tell me how my sisters ... died." Her heart cracked into half a thousand pieces and she fought the need to yell, scream, wail. A well trained Queen did not do those things when her own people and others were suffering more. Zaehrah took a deep, deep breath and let it out with a slow, sorrowful shiver. She closed her eyes tight and hummed, hummed so that she wouldn't scream.

Bassam jerked slightly with the knowledge heavy in her voice. "How did you--"

"Because you have been trying to tell me from the moment you knocked on my door. I could feel your pain, I just did not understand it. I apologise for yelling. I didn't mean--" Her voice broke on a sob. Not only could she hear the cries of mourning now that the actual screams were done, but she could feel it reverberating like vibrations of emotion. The Queen burrowed her head between her knees. Nothing of the way she sat was proper, but perhaps this one time she could be ... forgiven for breaking form. She whispered the names of her sisters over and over as if that could bring them back. "Have you ... were their bodies ... could we ... where is Omid? My Omid. Is the Lady Rania safe? Can you find out? I don't dare attempt a thread." She took a deep breath.

"Contact the Tabur. I cannot remember if they had decided not to camp within Onn, unfortunately. Tell the ruling Queen, if ..." she considered for a moment, the horror of the idea that they might not have survived then shook her head, refusing to accept it. The Lady Dinah had struck her as a strong Queen. She had just been in her tents not far from where Zaehrah sat, yesterday! The tip of Zaehrah's nose turned red as more tears slid down her face. This was not the Pruul she knew and loved. No, it was not. "Tell them, tell the Lady Dinah I have space for one hundred of their wounded, the widows, and children, Jewelless Blood, and any of their Landen. Those will be the most vulnerable."

Bassam waited, and the way he moved forward and kissed her cheeks told the bright-eyed Queen that there was more pain to follow. "We found the bodies, my lady, and the Aubdina has prepared them for water release. Should I offer the entire amount to the Clan stores of water?"

"Please, do so. I have enough water in my personal stores that I needn't add it to my own. That is what my mother would have wished. At least my parents are not here to see any of this." She paused. "Their children? Are they at least--"

"Yes, my lady. The children are resting, but ... Prince Malik. I am sorry, he, rushed out, to try and help survi-"

"STOP. Stop. Don't say it! Don't SAY THAT. My boy is fine. He has to be."

"We were able to get his body, too. Rahi, I ... this is my fault."

Zaehrah did not hear him, she could hear nothing. The Queen just curled into a ball, and a soft, keening sound was her only response. It was not loud in volume, nor a spectacle. All the movement of others in the common room came to a halt. Bassam felt helpless and pressed a fist to his mouth and tears finally streamed down his face. "I am so sorry, Rahi. Please, say something. He saved five children from being devoured. It was a good death, my lady."

"Please."

Five minutes later after no movement, no response from Zaehrah, Bassam al-Kurhah wiped his face with a handkerchief, rolled his shoulders and stood, and turned, speaking to those of the First Circle that were present. "Make sure the Healers arrange everyone in terms of severity when the invited wounded arrive if the Lady Dinah is amenable to an arrangement if needed. No one leaves, Prince Faruq's orders. No Sabbah are permitted within twenty-five feet without the express permission of the Triangle and Queen with the exception of Lord Fin and his Queen. We are not interested in the games of the True Sabbah." At that moment, he could barely remember his own name, not to speak of a woman he had seen twice. For now, he needed to find Omid, as she had asked.

Offline Omid al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • opal2red
    • prince
    • Faction

      Clan Bali

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      148

    • Those who survive prophecy forge their own path.

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #25 on: Jul 28, 18, 01:36:52 AM »
Omid had been looking forward to returning to Onn for the festival at highsummer. It was the first time that he’d attend as a member of the Bali, as a free male, and as one of the members of Pruul’s ruling council. That last title fell heavy on his shoulders, but the decision had been made. He would do his duty in order to keep the peace among his siblings. He would represent the Bali’s interest to the best of his ability. He would go out among the people and make sure that they knew him and, though his actions, know that his Queen was the best Queen in Pruul. Omid did not merely believe this; he knew it beyond a doubt.

Now to show the rest of Pruul.

Two of his clanmates, Sahib and Eban, had invited him to join them at the festival. Omid accepted without question, and it was early that day that the three males were walking among the booths and the caravans looking for things that caught their interest. As the day wore on, Omid noted the rabble-rousing being done by the True Sabbah, the followers of Adramelech who didn’t have the good grace to simply join their revered leader in returning to Mother Night. The three males avoided them where possible, but Omid received looks from a number of people who still remembered the “miracle” that the Mineborn wrought that returned the Rains to Pruul. That one action seemed, to Omid, to cause more strife than it healed.

What should we do next, Prince Omid? I’m hungry?” Eban said, rubbing his stomach playfully, brown eyes sparkling.

Yes, food would be good.” Sahib said, looking around.

If you’re hungry, I know just the person to see.” Omid said, grinning.

So it was that he guided his clanmates to Rania’s booth, knowing that she would be promoting her shop. Omid brushed against her outer barriers, letting her know that he was near. He didn’t want to startle her with his appearance. When they arrived at the counter, Omid would greet Rania respectfully before he opened his arms to her. He did not care that she’d been baking. He did not care that she might be sweating because of the heat He just wanted to hold her and congratulate her on bringing her dream to life.

He would hug her close while his friends ordered something to eat. Omid was content to hold Rania and kiss her shoulder, whispering his approval of her work.

"I have been thinking about singing and dancing with you since before we arrived. Do you have time for a break? I’ve been working on a new dance I want to show you..."

Rania would be aware, quickly, that Omid meant what he said.

Perhaps, if he’d had a few more seconds, he might have convinced her to take a break so that they could make love for a little while. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time.

Time had run out for a lot of people.

The trembling beneath his feet tore his attention from his designs on Rania’s body. He’d felt that before, in the deep desert. By the time someone screamed out that there were worms,--actual sandworms--attacking Onn, Omid heard and felt the creatures battering the walls. The world seemed to be shaking and unstable beneath their feet. Omid hold onto Rania, intent on keeping her safe while Eban and Sahib tried to find something that was held in place and did the same.

He’d tried to warn Fin and Lucky about this. He’d tried to tell them that everyone needed to be prepared.

Right now, it felt like today was going to be the first day of a long series of bad days.

As it turned out, he was right.

The death and destruction stunned him. People had died in the streets. Eban simply stared straight ahead, unable to speak. Sahib’s arm was broken in two places; he would likely need a bone-shaper in order to fix the damage. Otherwise, he’d never use his arm fully again.

Rania, are you all right?” he asked, checking her over from head to toe. 

Rania confirmed that she was all right, but banged up. Omid helped her with a couple of children who were injured, but he could not keep thoughts of Zaehrah out of his head. She would be napping right now, if he remembered her schedule. She liked her late naps when the heat was worst. The Bali Quarter would be full of activity unless...

Don't think it. Just get there.

"Rania...will you come with me? I need to get to the Bali Quarter and check on Zaehrah. Please."







Offline Qadira al-Hague

  • Character Account
    • rose2pd
    • healer
    • Role

      Court Healer

    • Faction

      Tribe Hague

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Zen

    • Posts

      20

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #26 on: Jul 28, 18, 07:31:28 AM »
An awkward and nearly turbulent morning between Qadira and Samira had settled down into a day trip amidst the summer festival which, were she honest, was actually incredibly relaxing and welcomed despite the large crowds that had gathered. While normally it would've spiked her underlying anxiety, the presence of her friend and escort tempered those negative emotions and distracted her from her unease. The morning had then led the pair of them well into the afternoon and by early evening Qadira was making her usual court rounds as her position required of her.

The Hague encampment had been first as they were her people to tend to before anyone else got her attention as far as matters of Healing went, and then begrudgingly she made her way back inside the gates of Onn to the Sabbah compound. It was a relatively slow day as far as she was concerned - some minor aches and pains, a couple fevers and coughs - and by all accounts the expenditure on both her jewels and her tolerance for the outside world had been minimal. That was entirely fine with her, of course, because the sooner she finished the sooner she could retreat back into the sanctity of her own tent and ignore the rest of the world.

That had been the hope, anyway. A hope that was summarily quashed and swept away without so much as a 'how do you do' when the sandworms began their assault outside the city's walls.

The tremors that preceded rocked Qadira a bit off-balance and she looked more than a little alarmed as one of her arms snapped out to tighten around Samira's so she didn't lose her footing entirely. Her heart started to pound and she could hear her blood rushing in her ears. It was an all too familiar scenario, one that brought her back to over two decades prior in the blink of an eye and it was all she could do to hope that she was wrong. It was coincidence, it was merely happenstance that it felt like deja vu, it couldn't possibly be ---

“WORMS!”

"No... No, it can't..." she whispered, eyes snapping towards the wall and one of the main gates that led outside to where many of the Clans and their constituent Tribes - where their Tribe - had set up camps for the duration of the festival.

*WORMS. WORMS ARE ATTACKING. GET INSIDE THE WALLS NOW. LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND. MOVE.*

The psychic bellowing resounded in her head enough to make her wince, but it was fleeting as moments later she was instead assaulted by the cacophony of roars and screams along with the sudden influx of death. Healer that she was, Qadira could practically feel the assorted lives flickering out violently and in rapid succession as the mass of worms unleashed wrath and carnage on those who were outside the city walls. Her grip on Mira's arm tightened to what might've been considered a painful degree while she tried to quell the sudden surge of panic and feeling of illness back down where it came from.

"We have to help, we have to... everyone else is... they're out there." And then she jerked suddenly in the unprecedented attempt at making a dash for the closest gate. Attempt being the operative term, of course, as both familiar Green shield barred her path and arms held her back quicker than she could even process what was going on. "Samira, no! What are you doing?! We have to go, we can't just stand here! They need help!" Her voice reached a frantic fever pitch while she struggled against her stalwart escort's grip as well as that damnable shield to no avail.

Qadi attempted to initiate a psychic thread with any of her family (as she knew factually they'd still been outside the walls when she'd left the encampment earlier) and her vehement fighting against her friend's insistence to keep her in place only increased when she couldn't find any of them. There was nothing for the link to latch onto - not her father, not her mother, not her sister... all of them ominously unresponsive for several minutes before she finally gave up. Her aggressive attempts at escaping ceased suddenly, her body slackening and her psychic voice dissipating, shifting slowly to her actual one (for how little that was actually worth, as it ended up being barely more than hyperventilating at that point).

It was the repeated shouting for Healers that finally caused the Purple Dusk-jeweled woman to snap out of her distraught distraction, though it had taken a couple of minutes for the voices to register in her frantic headspace. When they did, however, her grief and her prior outburst were pushed aside as forcibly as she could muster, her form straightening back up resolutely and her breathing finding a slightly more normal pattern and cadence, albeit slowly. "We have work to do..." was all she could bring herself to say before making her way towards where many of the injured were suddenly being gathered.

Instinct and stubbornness were all that fueled the Healer at that point, the sudden influx of wounded providing the exact sort of distraction needed to not dwell on what had happened outside the walls, on the people that had undoubtedly been lost in mere moments. She was a flurry of movement after reaching the compound once more, efficient and silent as she made her way between patients and beds, Rose and Purple Dusk Craft alike trickling steadily from her and work being the absolute only thing she allowed herself to focus on.

At some point another had approached her, or well... a pair of others, one with wings and one she recognized vaguely as the newly appointed Court Healer for the Tabur. The former practically shoved the latter at Qadira and her head whipped up in both confusion and irritation before the Eyrien - half-Eyrien? she had no fucking idea and really couldn't be bothered to figure it out - said something about putting the other Healer to work and took off to the skies once again.

Seriously?

The other woman was as much, if not more, of a mess as she'd been before and yet instead of managing to empathize with the other Healer, all it did was agitate her. "Hey. Hey!" she raised her voice a bit, lacing the words with a slight pulse of Purple Dusk vocal Craft and snapping her fingers several times in front of her face to get the hysterical woman's attention. When it seemed that she finally had it, Qadira jerked her chin and gestured around with an arm at all of the carnage. "Mourn later like everyone else, people need us. Either make yourself useful or get out of the damn way."

Then, as if some kind of really twisted sign from Mother Night, Qadira's gaze fell upon a startling familiar figure stumbling around across the way, one that looked far worse for wear than when she'd seen him the night before. "Aahad...?" A flicker of her trusty, Craft-Enhanced Sight allowed her to confirm the hobbling form as the High Priest and trailed down instantly to the cause of his unusual balance: a nasty looking gash across his leg from what was unmistakably teeth. "Come on," she demanded, not even hesitating in snagging the other Healer's sleeve and tugging her along as she forced her way through the throng of frantic people.

"Can't seem to stay out of trouble, hm, Lord?" she inquired with a forced air of lightheartedness upon reaching where Aahad was crumpled on the ground. Qadira allowed a slow stream of a pain-reduction spell to spiral around the wound on his leg while she went about assessing what the hell happened.

*One of them did a number on his leg and sandworm poison spreads quickly. We need to get him back over and get a couple tonics in him. I have some in my supplies but they're still in the tent,* she sent along a distaff thread both to the Tabur's Healer as well as Samira, figuring between the three of them there'd be little issue in getting the Warlord out of the path of foot traffic and back to where they could properly tend to him.

Offline Tariq al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • wp
    • Role

      Guard

    • Faction

      Latifh Tribe

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      34

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #27 on: Jul 28, 18, 09:23:17 AM »
He had been visiting the tents of his merry little band of raiders when it happened.

One moment, there came a distant cry from the Jinan herdsmen. And the next moment brought upon them the apocalypse.

The ground to the right of Tariq exploded violently, showering him with sand and sound -- the screaming roar of a sandworm. It crashed into the tent nearest it, devouring poles, canvas, and flesh. A second worm broke the surface of the earth and did the same. Then a third. Then a fourth. Then…

“RUN!” Tariq shouted as the ground around them became a writhing mess of teeth and scale.

His men took off in different directions, to save their own selves and their families if they could. Tariq did the same, beelining for the tents that housed his children, who were under the watchful eye of his Queen sister, Zaida. “Amir! Laleh!” he shouted. “Amir!” He had to reach them in time, before another worm came this way.

The tents to his left crumpled and disappeared into a maw of teeth.

“Amir!” he screamed. He could see others of his family running -- Malik pointing towards the city walls, Qamar grabbing their aging mother, Nasira herding youngsters with her -- but where was Zaida and his children? **Amir!**  he shouted.

**Here, father!** his son immediately replied. Tariq’s head whipped around, towards Onn, to see his son and his daughter running in that direction. A rough hand grabbed Tariq’s arm -- his brother Kahlil -- and that set him in motion once again.

They were not in time. Not for all of them.

Behind them, a worm began chewing its way through the running crowd, pulling his brother Ahmed and his Healer sister Aliyah into its maw. Qamar, carrying their mother and urging their father Naveed along, were next. Kahlil, the brother at Tariq’s side, foolishly turned and launched a power bolt at the sandworm, hoping to delay it. That only attracted its attention and he was next in finding his doom.

Tariq’s remaining siblings -- Malik, Nasira, Yadira, and Zaida -- were ahead of him, along with his children. **Keep running!** he shouted to his son. The worm behind him turned towards slower prey. Tariq knew that he would hear the screams of worm and man for months to come in his nightmares.

The ground far ahead of him heaved as two more worms broke the surface, cutting off the Latifh running for the city. **Left!** Tariq screamed at Amir, who dodged to the left like his father had ordered. The worm came crashing down on their right, taking Yadira with it. The second worm reared its head like a cursed cobra and stood there, deciding. When Malik threw a power bolt at it, damning it loudly, it struck with terrifying accuracy and speed, devouring him whole.

They were nearly to the walls.

**Don’t stop! Keeping running!** Tariq ordered his children as Nasira had stopped to grab one of the little ones that had fallen. Zaida shouted a warning at her sister but it was unheard in the explosion of sand and teeth underneath Nasira.

Tariq had caught up to his children by now and slung Laleh across his back so they could run faster. “To the city!” he yelled, wildly looking for Zaida, who had stopped for half a stride in shock at the carnage. That half a stride cost her her life. Tariq couldn’t stop though. He couldn’t look back anymore. He had to get his children to safety.

There were guards -- ineffectual ones -- at the gates, ushering them through, baring weapons at worms that ventured too close. “Tabur quarter,” Tariq told Amir, who turned them in the direction of their clan. They would find shelter there. Supplies. And the other survivors.

And once there, Tariq wildly reached out to the one other person who meant anything to him. **VASHTI!** And he hoped that she had not ventured beyond the walls into that carnage.

Days later, when the shock began to subside, he would realize that of his family, all twelve of them, the only family he had left was the sister that he hated: Azar.

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      247

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #28 on: Jul 28, 18, 10:53:02 AM »
The horses outside the walls screamed.  She knew that scream, she knew it.. and it broke her heart.  Her hand went to her chest, her thoughts ranging out.. out...

Run.  Run!  She prodded the herds, hopign they would listen.  Horses had good instincts.. if they could find a way out, they would.  They could be recovered later, but right now.. right now they needed to run.

She snatched up her longer cane, racing out of her tent and skidding through the sand.  Her leg almost didn't manage, not quite ready for that sort of activity.  She ignored hte twinge, and the pain.  Instead, she started barking orders. 

"Prepare for the wounded!" 

The Jinan compound inside of the city was not as large as many others, and for good reason.  They didn't like leaving their herds unattended.  She felt that flutter of fear, considering that.  So many of them would be outside.. She forced herself to nto think about that.  The Jinan would know that they had to reach Onn to survive.  They would manage it, or they would not, but she could do nothing about their effort.

She could only do something here.

"Get our supplies, and the water.  Hobble the horses here in the city, or they will stampede and panic!  Herdmasters!"  She twisted about, pointing at three.  "Weave your calm!  We can't afford a stampede in the walls, and cover the other horses as well!"

"Lady Jinan.. "

"NOW!"  She could deal with the political fallout of the Jinan taking command of other clans' beasts later.  For now, they had to do what they could.  "Situla!"

"Most of them are outside..."

Her chest squeezed, jaw flexing before she took another breath.  Her mind raced through dark tunnels and salt walls.. and then she nodded once.  "Whichever Situla are in the city, get them to plan out the water rations.  We've no idea how long this will last.  Tair!  Start stripping unnecessary tents to make bandages!"

Her eyes slid to the left as she saw Taisha start running, and she quickly slapped Torin's back. "Don't let her out of the walls!"  She could only take so much heartbreak.  The screams.. good goddess, the screams.  So much blood in the air, and so much death.  The screaming of the Worms mingled with the fading screams of horses, and she knew that would ring in her head for the rest of her days.

This is my fault..

Silly thought.  She didn't control worms.  No one did.

Offline Delara al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • ss2pd
    • healer
    • Role

      Court Healer

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      EmberRose

    • Posts

      16

    • My enemy is Death

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #29 on: Jul 28, 18, 11:39:54 AM »
Delara was disoriented by the sudden flight through the air, still she managed to scream at the male to let her go, only to be ignored and dumped unceremoniously on the ground in the midst of a scene of chaos.  She vaguely felt him shove her at another Healer and bark something at her before leaping back into the sky. 

Her mind was consumed with the echoes of the dying screams of the people and the horses outside the walls, she wanted desperately to reach out to her brother, cousin and the rest of her family but deep down she was terrified that they wouldn't answer that she was listening to them die.  Eyes clouded with tears she didn't even really see the other Healer's face, nor did she really hear the words shouted at her over the screams echoing in her head.  It was the tone and the added slap of Purple Dusk to what was said that snapped her out of a loop of never ending nightmares.

Staring at the other woman for a moment, a shocked expression on her face she turned her gaze to where the woman gestured with one hand.  Looking at the injured and dying that surrounded her and suddenly feeling their pain as if it was her own finished what the other Healers words had started. 

She took two deep shuddering breaths, wiped the tears from her face with one sleeve and then took a third.  With each breath she gathered up everything she was feeling and shoved it in a box, then slammed the lid and shoved it in a corner of her mind.  She would deal with it later now, looking at the injured around her, she had a job to do.  If she could save the lives around her then maybe just maybe, she'd feel a sense of peace later.

Calling in the kit she carried with her everywhere she took a step toward the nearest cot only to be nearly yanked off her feet for a second time as the other woman snagged her arm and dragged her through the panicked mass of people.  They reached the downed body of a Warlord she recognized him immediately as the man she'd seen the day before calming the crowd.  Wincing in sympathy when she spotted the wound in her leg a part of her mind found it ironic that in the midst of all of this madness she was going to get to repay him for stopping the mob.

She felt the other Healer weave a quick pain relief spell and quickly aided her and her escort in levering the Warlord back up, stepping in to support his weight on one side as they rushed him back to the other Healers tent.

Delara reached back out along the same thread, "If you can tend the poison I will take care of the wound to his leg."

It took a few minutes but they managed to get him settled onto a cot and while the other woman rushed to get the anti-venom for the poison, Delara dove down to the depth of her Purple Dusk and turned her attention to his leg.  Cutting away the remainder of the pant leg she examined the wound with her physical and mental eyes. 

The teeth had cut deep, scraping along bone and ripping muscles, tendons, blood vessels and nerve in the process.  She used her Summer Sky to boost his immune system and to burn out any signs of bacteria or infection in the wound while she used her Purple Dusk to begin knitting the flesh back together. 

Each strand was knitted back together with meticulous care Delara determined that he would regain full use of his leg.  Even as she worked on that she pushed what poison she could see out through the wounds and kept one 'ear' open for anything the other Healer had to say and also for any signs that the Warlord under her hands was beginning to falter.

Freedom is found on Horseback

Offline Samira al-Hague

  • Character Account
    • opal2green
    • witch
    • Role

      Escort

    • Faction

      Hague Tribe

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      13

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #30 on: Jul 28, 18, 03:13:34 PM »
Samira had been to a number of festivals in her lifetime. Asked today, she would say that this year’s festival was her favorite. She and Qadira had worked out their differences, allowing them to enjoy each other’s company. Mira was able to find merchants who sold the beads and decorations she wanted in order to take up her new hobby, brightening her day even further. They had a few sweet treats and talked over a few things, making Mira feel like she and Qadi were not just getting alone, but getting closer. Whether or not it was actually happening, the Green Witch allowed herself to believe it, making it easier to stick closer to her ward and enjoy the day.

Their day shifted from the festival to Qadira’s rounds, and Samira kept on guard for her Healer’s safety. They deftly avoided the areas where the True Sabbah (because it was so bad that they had to have separate names now) were rabble-rousing and making mischief. Anyone who looked like they wanted to engage her or Qadira in their discussion over their misguided spat received a sharp look combined with Mira’s hand falling to the sword at her hip.

Those two actions saved her a thousand words.

They made their way back to the gates of Onn and headed inside. She could tell, from Qadi’s mood, that she was looking forward to getting back to her tent. All told, Mira wanted to relax as well. She could start on the gift for Qadi once she was asleep, for the Healer’s natural curiosity would spoil the surprise long before she finished. A little bit each night and it would make an excellent surprise for her at Winsol. It was only a few months away. All Mira had to do was suppress her inclination to tell Qadi everything and all would be fine.

She was so wrapped up in the image of Qadi’s surprised, yet-secretly-pleased expression that the first tremor nearly caused her to stumble. Only Qadi’s grasp kept her steady and she righted herself, holding on to the Healer with a laugh.

Forgive me. That was--

And then the tremor came again.

WORMS!

Samira’s face went pale.

Qadi’s terror rolled over her in waves, for she said the very thing that went through Mira’s mind in that moment: the Hague encampment was outside the gates along with so many others. Qadi’s parents were out there. Mira’s aunt and cousin were out there. Alone, she might given in to her fear and sprinted toward the gates without thinking, putting herself in greater danger just to ensure that their people weren’t among the casualties. But Qadira had the same thought and she was already moving. Her training and vows pushed her into action where raw emotion would have doomed them both.

She held Qadira close to keep them both from tumbling over again.

Qadira, we can’t go out there. We can’t.” MIra said, trying to keep her voice calm as the screams, a blend of pain and fear, cut into the air.

You can help them by staying alive.

Mira wanted to reach out to Qasim or Fatima and determine their status. She wanted to see with her own eyes that her family still lived, because the idea of losing anyone else made her ill. But her wants meant nothing right now. People were calling for Healers. Qadira’s skill was needed and it was up to Mira to see that she answered the call.

Yes, let’s get to work.” Mira echoed, keeping the shield over Qadira while they moved.

They approached a gathering of the injured and Samira began assessing priority to the injured as Qadira once taught her. The woman with the broken ankle could move, if necessary. She didn’t hold importance over the the boy with a plank of wood in his thigh that bled profusely. She watched as Qadira determined who needed her aid and got to work. Mira brought over supplies, kept people out of Qadira’s personal space and asked questions to the injured to determine who the Purple Dusk Healer needed to see next.

Someone deposited another the Tabur Healer at Qadira’s side, but the poor girl looked too shellshocked to be of use. Mira smiled when Qadira’s no-nonsense personality snapped the other Healer out of her funk. Cries of pain and suffering echoed in the daytime din. The tremors continued as she sandworms beat at the walls. Mira thought she saw the Red Prince of the Mineborn among the commotion, but she didn’t have time to confirm.

Come on.” she said, and Samira turned to find Qadira heading off through the throng of people toward someone or something that she couldn’t see. Injured people reached for Qadira and the Tabur healer, but Mira shielded them with her Green, knowing that this situation would get out of hand if deeper panic set in.

HEALER COMING THROUGH! MOVE ASIDE!” she said, amplifying her voice enough to get the attention of the crowd. They found the High Priest of the Ardeneth and Qadira explained his malady. Mira grimaced. Sandworm poisoning usually didn’t end well, but if anyone could save him, it was Qadira.

Just tell me when you’re ready to move.” Samira said, drawing on enough of enough of her Craft to ensure that she could move through the crowd and get both Healers, plus the High Priest to safety without difficulty. Once they settled him on a cot, Mira would suggest that Qadira stay and tend to Aahad while she returned to the Healer’s tent to get the anti-venom. If Qadira accepted, Mira would return to the tent and get the needed supplies and immediately return to the tent with the two healers inside.

She would then post herself directly outside the tent in order to give both women time to work on the High Priest without interruption.

Offline Sirrah al-Tair

  • Character Account
    • bo2sapphire
    • queen
    • Role

      Ruling Queen

    • Faction

      Tair Tribe

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      12

    • Queen of maps and mischief

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #31 on: Jul 28, 18, 03:55:56 PM »
She had told Dalir, her son, not to wander too far.

He had promised her that he wouldn’t. And that he wouldn’t be alone.

But as the worms began their assault, tearing through the outer camps, rending flesh from bone, Sirrah knew that Dalir had wandered too far and that she would never reach him in time.

That did not stop her from trying.

She risked her life and the nearest horse to speed across the roiling desert towards him, leaving her escorts to scream in fear for their Queen. As she rode, she whispered a prayer, imbued with her Sapphire power, that she would reach her son in time. He was with some friends near the Jinan, which was where the first worm had struck. The horse she had grabbed was not her favored mount and it shied far too often at the noise wrought by the worms’ destruction. “Go!” she shouted at it, exasperated when it whinnied and bucked.

Its delaying cost her precious moments. Eventually, she abandoned the scared animal and felt no remorse, no emotion at all when a worm swallowed it. She could only have emotion for her son.

“Dalir!” she shouted as the people swept past her, fleeing towards the thick walls of Onn. **Dalir!** No response came. Perhaps he was too far away. Yes, that had to be it. She waded further out into the terrifying sands. “Dalir!”

“Mother!”

Relief swept through her as she raced towards his voice. There! She could see him! “Dalir!” She was almost to him! “To the walls, get to the walls, my son!” she yelled across the distance separating. “Get to the walls!”

She had intended to get him there herself but that was not to be.

Something gripped her around the middle, hauled her from her feet. For a sharp moment, she expected that this was her last moment, that a sandworm had grabbed her and not yet closed its mouth. “Mother!” Dalir screamed.

And then, a gruff voice said, “Forgive me, my Queen. My duty lies with protecting you.” One of her First Circle it was then, hauling her aboard a horse. It was then that Sirrah realized that her son had not screamed out of fear for her life, but out of realization of something far worse.

The guard turned his horse towards the city walls, away from her son, as fast as those hooves could run, as the sands nearby began to shake.

“DALIRRRRRRR!!!!”

Offline Nayarreh al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • rose2pd
    • hwitch
    • Role

      Shop Owner

    • Faction

      Clan Sabbah

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      57

    • Hearth Witches know how to dance with fire

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #32 on: Jul 28, 18, 04:41:00 PM »
Nayarreh and Elham had been given warning and they had heeded it. She might not like Shira right now but when the Red Black Widow told them to be prepared for casualties she listened. Instead of opening her shop she had instead spent the day over hot pots of broth and cutting old bedsheets into bandages. Salma had been dropped off with Matin earlier that day with a warning, and Elham was told by Lady Z to prepare her warriors and she had astutely set Barin and Yari to work sharpening spear heads.

Barin, though, was distractible and Naya kept feeling pulses of Purple Dusk power from her son, as if he were communicating with someone, except a single line of contact shouldn’t be that noticeable…

When the call came, Elham went. Naya kissed her goodbye hoping, as she did before every battle, that the Darkness would see fit to return her wife to her whole and unhurt. Still, her heart pounded and she had just loaded up a small cart with all the supplies she had prepared and a lot of iced compresses when the quake hit. She stumbled and Barin caught her. The screaming began and her face paled but her son just stood up straight and turned to her with solemn eyes.

“Mom. I have to go. I won’t leave the city but I have to go. Yari can stay and help you.”

Naya hesitated. This would be the third time he ran off in only weeks, but each time there had been a reason. She didn’t like the thought of her son in danger, but if she tried to stop him he would find a way to escape. “You don’t get near any fighting, you understand me? Swear it.”

He nodded. “I’m not going to fight. I’m going to protect.”

She flung her arms around him and squeezed tight, then let him go. He ran off without a glance back but Naya could not spend too much time looking after him. There were things to do and a Hearth Witch would be useful. With some help from her Jewels she pulled the cart into the street and hurried, as fast as she could, to the square where the Healers were gathering. The smell of blood hit her first and she froze, memories of that day in the square when the Geiba were slaughtered flashing before her eyes. The cart dropped from her hands to clatter down and she reached for Yari, his own face drawn and pained. She pulled him close to her chest, burying her face in his soft, curly hair. “If it gets to be too much, go home, ok?”

He nodded against her.

“Alright. Let’s go see where we can help.”

She pushed the horror away, she pushed all of it away, as she ran up to the closest True Sabbah Healer and reported on what she had and that she and her son were here to help. “That woman there is doing triage. We need someone to care for those in shock but not in need of immediate assistance. Can you help there?”

Naya nodded sharply and ran off to follow instructions. For the next few hours she wrapped people in blankets, helped them sip tea and broth, comforted crying children. Her hands were covered in blood from scrapes and bruises but the steam of people never seemed to end. At one point she saw Sarina moving about, helping as well and for the first time was truly glad that Shira had brought the young Queen to help them, given that their ruling Queen wasn’t here at all.

Yari kept up with her, the little Landen boy fetching, carrying, talking to other children but more often than not just being his usual calm presence, reminding everyone he got near that they were alive and to just breathe.

Naya’s mind kept turning to her other son, wondering where he was and if he was keeping his promise, and to her wife who had been fighting on the sand. Elham checked in as soon as she was within the walls, but Barin did not, and did not…. And did not. At last she shouted on a Purple Dusk thread.

**BARIN! Answer me. Are you alright?**

**Yes. I’m going to the Mineborn.**

____________________________

Barin al-Sabbah
[/url]





Barin took off the moment his mother gave him leave. He didn’t need it, but he was starting to feel bad for how many times he had run off recently. Naya and Elham had been so nice to him and Yari, it wasn’t right to worry them so much all the time, even though they had no reason to worry. Barin could take care of himself.

There was screaming in the air, both from the dying and the Worms. Barin grit his teeth. They were not his people, dying and he couldn’t look beyond his people, not right now.

**Tai! Report!**

Taisha’s reply was instant. **I got away from Vera but Torin is following me. I’m making my way to Kho**

**Got it. I’m going to go get some muscle.**

He rounded a corner at full speed and burst through the door of a nearby shop, one that he had never been inside before but had kept a close eye on. “THEO! I need your help.”

Barin didn’t like the big man, but he was also Salma’s and his moms kept telling him that he had to play nice. Well, right now he needed help and if Theo wanted to not be a useless foreigner forever he could start pitching in now. It was an emergency.

The moment he had the big man’s attention he explained quickly. “Worms are attacking. We need to get the city help and I have the resources to make it happen. I need someone to watch my back.”

He didn’t stop to see if Theo would argue. He was either following or not as he turned back to the door and raced out, towards Kho.


Offline Simin al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • opal2red
    • queen
    • Role

      Clan Queen

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lene

    • Posts

      17

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #33 on: Jul 28, 18, 09:52:29 PM »
It had been a very long morning, made even longer by the intensity of the sun and the boredom of the meetings.  Simin was trying very hard to stay in her Queenly mind but the still young woman wanted to be out at the festival, enjoying the music and the entertainment and perhaps even doing a little shopping.  Just a little.  Maybe she could find a pretty shirt, or maybe a dress… something different that Skandi would like.  Though for the life of her she wasn’t even sure WHY she cared about if he liked her clothes, but it gave her a happy warm feeling to see a smile on his face when she wore nice things, like the look he gave her when he saw her up on that platform when choosing her court.

Or maybe she just wanted to get out of these damned fancy clothes and put on something light and comfortable and get out from under the tent.  So she stiffled a yawn and looked at her Steward as he seemed to take a breath to pause in his discussions.

“How have sales been for the first few days of the festival?” Simin interjected before he he could launch into another annoying report that would drag on for another hour.  “As you are aware the High Summer festival is one of our largest and most profitable gatherings for the sale and acquisition of horses.   If we are able to make a number of good sales in the coming days, we might even be able to forgo the Winter Festival and give the tribes and the herds a chance to replenish without the worry of long journeys through the desert being a danger to pregnant mares and younglings.”

Papers shuffling, her Steward began to read off some numbers when there was a signal a tthe entrance to her tent and a messenger slipped inside, passing the Steward a slip of paper before rushing out.  He paused in his speech to read it and visibly blanched before handing it to her.

Sabbah Black Widow stirring up the masses in Onn.  Speaking out against non-Pruulians and those of mixed heritage, particularly calling out the unsuitability of our own Voice.  The situation seems to have been quieted for now, but the voices of discontent are loud among the crowds.

Simin’s eyes blazed angrily.  Speak out against Vera?!  Vera who did more for her own Clan than any number of the Sabbah did for their own.  Vera who was her friend and mentor as well as her instructor.  Her fist tightened on the piece of paper and witchfire consumed it as her Red jewel blazed on the ring she wore.   Looking up it was clear that as she was reading her Steward had informed the other men around her what was going on because a dozen pairs of angry eyes were looking at her for her response.

Simin turned to her brother, serving as her Master of the Guard.  “Find out what you can about this Sabbah Black Widow.  Find out if she means to turn the Jinan against each other for the benefit of her clan or if she is seeking something more.”  Simin’s fingers tapped loudly on the edge of her seat.  “And tell our traders from now on anyone in alliance with the Sabbah will be charged extra for our steeds, and will receive none of our studding services.”  Another beat of thought.  “Pass the word through the Clan.   Anyone caught in side dealings with the Sabbah for their own profit will forfit their herds.   We will NOT have any Clan thinking they can paint a target on anyone, especially our Voice.”

Her brother took off, and Simin settled back in her seat.  “Alright gentlemen, I think we have been discussing matters of Court for the better part of the morning.  I think we all need a well deserved break and a chance to go out and enjoy the festivities.  I don’t think we have any other pressing matters to discuss today, nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow morning.”  She gave a wave of her hand.  “Off with you all.”   She waited until the last of them made their way out before rising up from her seat and heading towards her private tent.  She wanted to change into something much cooler and go and enjoy the rest of the day.

********
All in all she was happy.  She had gone into the city with Hassan and his wife, who was ecstatic that Simin was showing in an interest in the feminine side of her nature and was more than willing to take her to all the clothing stalls, helping her choose something besides practical breeches and a simple button down shirt to wear.  She compromised for a crimson colored gown that was made of light linen, that was just fitting enough to make her feel girlish and pretty but not so tight that moving around felt uncomfortable.   A few hair ornemants to be braided into her long dark hair that had cut pieces of glass that looked like water droplets and would catch the light and Simin was so pleased, she even allowed her sister in law to convince her into purchasing some face paints meant to excentuate her eyes.

They had just returned to the camps and were preparing for evening meals when a cry went out from one of the scouts.  “WORMS!”

Simin had been placing her purchases in one of her clothing chests when the camp exploded in activity as a deep roaring sound echoed through the air and screams began to permeate the sky.  Dropping the hair ornaments on the floor, she dashed out of her tent as sand exploded in the distance and a large cylinder looking form rose up, cloth hanging from its open mouth as row after row of large sharp white teeth glinted in the setting sun.

“Mother Night protect us,” Simin whispered softly as she began running, shouting orders.   

“OPEN THE PADDOCKS!   EVERYONE TO THE WALLS!”   The horses had a better chance of not being eaten if they were not penned and neatly organized for consumption.  Jinan horses were wise, they would know where to go to avoid being injured and where to return when the danger was past and they were hungry and thirsty.    Thankful she hadn’t decided to change into one of her dresses yet, she sprinted over the burning sands, her fingers coming to her mouth in a signalling whistle.  Alima’s responding whiney sounded to her left and she dashed between two tents towards the sound. 

Around her the ground shook as more and more of the massive creatures surfaced and Simin stared in helpless horror as she watched men and women, children vanish into the gaping maws.  Her body froze as she watched a whole tent be swallowed.   Someone grabbed her arm roughly and pulled her almost to the ground.  A guard pulled her away from the scene.  “Lady, quickly!  You’ve got to get to safety!”  She stared at him dumbfounded but found her feet following him as he pulled her towards the paddock where the personal mounts of her court were kept.

The sands in front of her exploded and Simin screamed as a mouth emerged, engulfing her companion to the waist.  A smaller Sandworm, not full grown but still as deadly clamped its massive mouth around the man who screamed in a way that shook to her bones.  She grabbed onto his arm, pulling as hard as she could to free him as the worm pulled its prey back into the earth.   The man’s eyes locked on hers, his voice ear shattering in terror as he begged her to help, begged her to free him.  She pulled and pulled on his hand, even as his head submerged into the sands until suddenly she was released and fell back onto the ground....still holding onto his bleeding stump of an arm.

Screaming, she threw the limb away and scrambled to her feet.  Alima came thundering to her side and Simin pulled herself up onto her bare back without thinking, her body reacting on instinct and practice as her mare took off in a fast gallop.  All around her the herd ran, their bodies bumping up against her legs, jolting Alima as they ran to escape the certain death that followed in their wake.

Simin closed her eyes, but could not shut her ears to the screams of men and horses and the sound of teeth on flesh as Alima broke free of the herd who ran straight into the desert.  The mare ran for the gates of Onn, nearly overrunning others who were on foot as she flew through into the city.   Hands grabbed her, grabbed at the mare’s mane who was foaming at the mouth in fear and she was pulled down from the back of the horse.   Hassan pulled her into his arms, hugging her tightly.

“Hasan,” she gasped, looking up at him, her eyes still wide and dialated.  “Where is everyone?  My Court?  Have you seen any of my Court?”   Since most of her court was made up of her immediate family, it was easier than naming individuals.

“Inside the Jinan residence.  They hadn’t returned from the city for evening meals yet and most of them were already inside the walls.  I was coming out to find you when the alarm was sounded.”  He moved her swiftly through the chaos of panicked people towards the Jinan residence. “They are fine, everyone ….”

Simin stared at her blood soaked hands, “Not everyone,” she said softly before her eyes widened.  “Skandi?!  He had come into the city to see his family.  Did he come back to camp?  Have you seen him?!”

Her brother shook his head, “Not yet, but I have my men out pulling Jinan to the residence to get them out of this mess.”  His arm tucked around her, “Come on little sister, let’s get you inside.”  His voice was calm and soothing, and it helped the rapid pulsing of her heart in her head, the sound that only vaguely muffled the screams of horses in her ears.  That sound, she would never get that screaming out of her head.

“Find Skandi, I need my Skandi,” she said, bursting into tears.  In that moment, she needed her Bonded, her oldest friend, she needed to see him safe, touch him and erase those haunted eyes that begged her to save him and was failed.

Offline Khosro al-Hague

  • Character Account
    • blood
    • male
    • Role

      Protector

    • Faction

      Geiba Survivors

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      9

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #34 on: Jul 28, 18, 10:05:41 PM »
Kho had gotten Barin’s message earlier in the day that something was wrong and danger was coming. He didn’t know where Barin got his information but had learned from experience that heeding it was a good idea and that the Warlord Prince of the Geiba never made light of disaster. So Khosro had gotten up early and gone to the library. He had stared Zadi down and told her that she was not to leave the Library today and had waited until she and Zand both swore to stay safe, then had gone to gather the Geiba.

That was the protocol for danger. All of the street urchins were gathered in one of the large, empty warehouses that they had commandeered years ago. The little ones were kept there under the Darkest shield they had, and the older ones waited for orders and for the awaited disaster to hit.

When it hit, they all knew.

The Red bellow shuddered through all the Blood in the city and Kho winced, his head hurting but immediately followed by Barin.

**I’m on route and so is Taisha. I want everyone ten and over on the rooftops. Get to every quarter, spread out evenly in teams like we practiced. Team leaders, report to me every five minutes or any time it gets hot. I want numbers of casualties coming in, and where it all those helping are cathering. Eyes on Queens, Warlord Princes, and Mineborn. Kids eight to ten, get to the caches. Don’t open them yet but be ready.** Barin’s orders came out in the barked tones of someone used to command, but in the mental voice of a child. It disconcerted Khosro as it had since first getting pinned up against a wall by the boy years ago. That Purple Durk Birthright made Barin formidable, something Kho had never forgotten.

Kids moved all around. Barin had prepared them for a day like this. Not a Worm attack, of course, more likely an attack on them, but the preparations were similar. They were ready and Kho’s heart swelled with pride as he saw them all move. He knew what his job would be, of course: stay with the littles, take care of those who could not pitch in, and… take them to Zadi. Yes. He could take the little ones to the library where his Bond Brother could keep them safe. Yes. He would check with Barin but that seemed like a good idea, and maybe they could open the library to other children too, the ones who would without a doubt be wandering the streets alone after this disaster.

That thought broke his fucking heart.

**Lady, may I come to you with some of the children I care for?** He sent to his Queen a moment before Barin burst in. He was followed by a few people but Kho didn’t pay them much mind yet, rushing to his friend.

“Everyone is on the move. I’m going to take the littles to the Library.”

“THe fuck you are.” Barin replied.

“Barin, they’ll be safe there. My Queen is there, she’s one of the good ones. Please, for once can you trust me? I’m worried that this space will end up being found with everyone racing into the city.” Elizeh had confirmed that fact already over the open psychic thread.

The Warlord Prince of the Geiba hesitated, then seemed to reach a quick decision. “Go, but over the roofs, not in the streets. Take your time, have someone who can sight shield go with you. Where are Hasna and Thana?”

“HERE!” The Priestess called, having just wiggled in through a crack with her younger sister, a little Healer, in tow.

“Hasna, you have the Darkest Jewel. I want you with me. Thana, go with Kho, keep the littles safe and be ready to accept any other children injured. Do what you can, ok? Don’t push too hard.” Good to know Barin was thinking along the same lines as Kho. The younger girl nodded.

A girl dropped from above, landing in a crouch. Niv rose up, dusting her knees off. “Everything is a fucking mess out there, Barin. Like, blood in the streets fucking mess. We should stay out of it.”

Barin shook his head. “Niv, we can’t.”

“They didn’t help us, why should we help them?” The little Black Widow asked. Khosro looked to Barin, not really able to respond. After all, he was not Geiba. He had been part of the problem instead.

“That’s the problem, isn’t it. They didn’t help us, and if we don’t help them then anyone we could have helped who died will be a water debt we owe, just like they all owe us the lives we lost. I don’t want that. We’re Geiba and we have to be better than our parents were or they will never let us be what we are again. They’ll realize we’re still here and then finish the job unless we can prove to them that we’re better.”

“Yes, but-” Niv began, and Hasna put her hand on her arm.

“Cousin, we chose to follow Barin. Now is a time to follow. Where is Tai?”

A beat of silence, then Barin said, “almost here.”

A moment later, Taisha burst into the warehouse. “Alright, I’m here, we can move.”

Barin, for the first time, turned to the big man he had brought with him. “Theo, these are mine and Salma’s cousins. She’ll be sad if any of them are hurt. Can you help Kho keep them safe? And any other children who lose their parents tonight and need somewhere to go too?”

Offline Eskandar al-Sabbah

  • Character Account
    • rose2pd
    • prince
    • Role

      First Escort

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      14

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #35 on: Jul 28, 18, 10:22:56 PM »
He had agreed to meet up with his sister come evening. His twin, however, still wouldn’t speak with him, and Eskandar sighed softly at that. How long was Bashir going to hold a grudge? Malika would laugh and say that he’d hold it forever but Eskandar knew better. It might take months, perhaps a year, but they were twins -- half of each other -- and eventually Bashir would swallow his stubbornness because he truly missed that other half.

This evening, at least, he would see his sister. And then see Simin later. The promise of an evening spent well made him smile once again.

Until the screaming started.

At first, he listened, bewildered. He immediately thought that perhaps that True Sabbah Black Widow had instigated yet another act of violence and this was its herald. In fact, he thought of this for far longer than normal, given his level headedness, and it wasn’t until he heard multiple cries of “Worms!” that he knew this sort of treachery was beyond Shira.

“Bashir,” he whispered. And then, with more panic, “Simin!” That set him in motion, running and calling for her across Purple Dusk threads. **Simin! Simin!** There came no answer except the screams of terrified and dying. Simin had been in the market, right? Yes. Yes, she said she was going to the market.

Mother Night, please do not have let her gone to the herds that were beyond the walls.

He ran that way, nonetheless, because he was certain that’s what she would have done when disaster hit. He began reaching out to his First Circle Brothers, trying to locate them and her through them, until, an eternity later, her brother that served as her Master of the Guard answered back that he had her safe and was heading for the Jinan compound.

Without thought, Eskandar ran for the compound. He would deal with the fallout later.

“Simin! Simin!” he shouted as he ran into the residence. Hasan’s voice guided him to her. She was bloodied and terrified. Her terror but not her blood. “Simin!” Eskandar shouted as he fell to her side, pulling her tightly into his arms. “I’m here, I’m here, Simin, I’m here,” he repeated, rocking her, clinging to her. She was alive and safe and alive and safe and he kept repeating that between assurances to her that he was there.

Eventually, he recovered enough of his wits to look up at Hasan. “The First Circle. Where are they? We must find them, the Court. I’ll stay with her.” It was his duty, after all, as First Escort. Hasan’s warrior skills would be best used now in herding the wounded towards safety. When Hasan assured him that the First Circle was safe, Eskandar’s mind quickly turned to the next crisis to handle.

“Open the courtyard and the guest quarters,” he ordered, knowing that Simin would belay his commands if she wanted. “Aid the Healers with the wounded.” He paused, thinking about the beloved Jinan horses and closed his eyes, knowing that the question of what to do with them would come up. He swallowed painfully. “The people first. See to them. Then we find the horses,” he said.

Hasan left and Eskandar held Simin tighter. “I’m here, my Queen. I’m here. We’ll get them safe, I promise.” He kissed her hair, then the tears on her cheeks. He ignored the tears that fell down his own. While she cried out her terrors, he held her, seeking out the two other souls in the world that meant something to him.

**Bashir! Malika!**

Offline Kazim al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • opal2sapphire
    • wp
    • Faction

      Clan Tabur

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lene

    • Posts

      59

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #36 on: Jul 28, 18, 11:18:07 PM »
All in all it had been a wonderful day.  Kazim, despite his difficulties with his brothers loved his family and was very happy to see them all again.  One of his brothers had married and was expecting his first child.  His mother, excited to be a grandmother yet again still had no qualms about asking him about his relationships, particularly with his Queen.   It seemed that word spread quickly among the tribe, even with all the distance between.

He had just settled down with the youngest of his older brothers to enjoy a long smoke and some crisp cold Arak after dinner, removing his boots to relax when shouts and screams filled the dusk air. 

“Sandworm attack at the Jin….AHHHHH” came a scream nearby as the ground beneath his chair shook, rocking Kazim to the ground.  He stumbled to his feet, his brother at his side as they rushed out of the tent. 

“Kazim, get to your Queen,” his brother shouted, pushing him towards his tethered mount.  “I’ll find you in the city.”  Kazim opened his mouth to argue, to say he would come and help knowing that Dinah was already safe in the walls when a loud roar of rumble and the largest Sandworm he had ever seen rose up from the sand, swallowing a whole tent in its gaping maw.  A bull, probably the leader of the herd, judging by his size and the sheer number of scars across his body, signs of fights with his brothers for dominance.  The awesome sight of the creature only momentarily blinded him from the truth of the moment.

That had been his parent’s tent.

Shocked numb, Kazim heard his name being shouted in the fog of his mind and turned his head almost too slowly.  Hasib ran towards him with a small girl in his arms.  His older brother thrust the child into his chest.

“Go!  Run!  Get my daughter out of here!” he shouted and shoved Kazim towards his mount.   The girl in his arms screamed murderously and cried out for her father, clawing at Kazim’s back to pull free from his grasp but his arm locked around her and his legs began moving.  Pulling the tether from its loop, he pulled himself and the girl up into the saddle, striking Zar’s flank with his heel to send the stallion into a dead run.  He held the girl in front of him, pinning her between his body and the pummel of his saddle and bracing her between his arms to steady her.  She was still crying, but the screaming had stopped and he wished he could use craft to secure her in place but they were too near the worms to risk attracting their attention.

*Dinah!  Sandworm attack outside the city, get everyone inside* he called on the Opal, *I’m coming in.*  He was certain that he didn’t have to tell her to get everyone to safety but sending commands to ensure safety was second nature to him.  He raced through the gates and down the streets of Onn, following that ever present feeling of his Queen, his lover that always resided at the back of his mind.  It was how he found her no matter where she was.   He spied her, surrounded by members of her Clan in the middle of the market, issuing orders with all the grace of her station.

Sliding from the saddle, the girl child on his hip he rushed forward, pushing aside anyone that came between him and Dinah until his free arm was around her waist and he was kissing her hard.  Damn who saw in that moment.  He needed to feel the breath on her lips to reassure himself that she was well.  His fingers dug into her waist, holding her tight to him for several moments before he released his kiss but not his grip.

“Thank the Mother you are alright,” he growled deeply, aggitation and worry making his voice rough and deep.  Something squirmed at his side and he suddenly remembered the girl child in his arms.  Hasib’s daughter.    He blinked in surprise.  Hasib had no daughters, just two sons.   But he had said….

Kazim looked at the little girl, who had his brother’s hard ridged nose but the familiar eyes of the Queen that Hasib served as guard to.  Not HIS Queen, Hasib had never bonded but…

“I want my baba!  I want my mama!” the little girl sniffled sadly, giving him large wooful eyes and as he stared at her, he caught her scent and nearly dropped her.  Queen.  His brother had sired a Queen child and never told any of them.  Why hadn’t he said anything?   He knew little about the woman his brother served, only she had been an older and respected woman who had never married.  Kazim hadn’t even heard that she had given birth but then again their tribe were often out in the desert and news travelled slowly.

Turning his head to Dinah he whispered.  “This is...my brother’s daughter.  Daughter of Haria al-Latifh, of the northern hill tribe.”  and quite possibly an orphan…. Whispered the voice in the back of his head that he wished he could be certain was lying.  “I think….I think she is my responsibility now.”

He didn’t know the truth of his words, but as the morning sun rose and he left the little girl… Aisha with a hearthwitch who was looking after the children, he learned that he was the sole surviving member of his family.  Hasib had died in defense of his Queen who succumbed to the poison of the sandworm blood.  Little Aisha was the sole surviving Queen of the Latifh tribe and now his only blood relation and ward.

Offline Shahrzad al-Tarazed

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Faction

      Tarazed Tribe

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      z

    • Posts

      57

    • no late fees, just disappointment

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #37 on: Jul 29, 18, 12:19:55 AM »
Zand and Zadi hadn't even planned to open the library that day– everyone would be at the festival, why bother? Kho had caught them as they walked past it on their own way to enjoy the revelry, panting and distressed.

He'd insisted that they go inside at once and not leave, told them to prepare for an emergency but couldn't say what kind. Zadi eventually complied, ducked back into the library, opened its doors, and waited.

And waited.

She'd almost written Kho off as paranoid when the screaming started. Even from the library's location toward the center of Onn, the sounds of chaos carried. Zadi didn't have to wonder about the nature of the emergency for long.

*WORMS. WORMS ARE ATTACKING. GET INSIDE THE WALLS NOW. LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND. MOVE.*

Her blood ran cold.

Zand took her hand and squeezed tightly. She felt his terror through their Bond, as he surely felt her own. Zadi squeezed her Prince's hand back.

"What do we–" she was cut off by Kho on the psychic thread she kept open for him. *Lady, may I come to you with some of the children I care for?*

*Of course. Bring them all here, and anyone else who needs protection.*

Zadi wasn't a fighter or a healer. She could make shields just fine, but couldn't move quickly on her own. This– offering a refuge for the city's most vulnerable people– was something she could do.

They made themselves as ready as possible. Zadi put water on for tea, Zand ran around the corner to their home to gather up food and blankets. Zadi had only just started making piles of blankets and pillows around the room when Kho arrived. He had a Landen toddler balanced on his hip, and a young Prince clutched his hand like his life depended on it.

"Come in, come on. We'll all be safe in here, it's all right."

More children followed, mostly Landen, all of them too young to really be left alone. They were all terrified and putting on a brave face, just like Zadi herself. She did her best to give each one a warm smile and introduce herself, and set about to passing out water, tea, and snacks.

Offline Rania al-Abd

  • Character Account
    • rose2pd
    • hwitch
    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lene

    • Posts

      77

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #38 on: Jul 29, 18, 01:32:32 AM »
Rania had to say that her venture was paying off in leaps and bounds.  Her decision to partner with some of the businesses that Lady Judiah was sponsoring was a wise choice and she found herself not only filling regular orders for their kitchens but also outside orders began to come in.  A lot of requests for catering which gave her all sorts of ideas for branching out someday, but in the meanwhile she was able to supply pastries and sweet breads that could be used to spread out for entertainment.   Of course, the regular customers to those same businesses began filtering into her shop for their own orders as well.   

In fact, the response to her bakery had been more far reaching than she had originally anticipated and she was seriously considering taking on an apprentice just to have help in filling all her orders.   It was a small blessing that she befriend a local trades merchant and after agreeing to a trade in kind agreement, she would provide him with fresh bread and sweets in return to pay at cost value for the wheat and sugar supplies that she ordered. 

When someone asked if she would be holding a food booth at the festival, Rania had originally thought against it but decided it could work.  The level of work would leave her exhausted but it would be a good way to earn some money and do something a little different.   She spent most of the night baking fresh rolls, fruit tarts that would keep in the heat and meat-filled buns that were a filling and easy meal to eat as patrons walked around the festivities. 

Paying a few of the children she always saw around her shop for the assistance, she loaded up several boxes of food and hauled them to the central plaza where the vendors were setting up their booths and wares.   One of the young boys, a blood male by the scent of him had “reserved” her a spot beneath the shade of a building, ensuring that even in the fullness of the day she would not be left roasting in the hot sun.  He got a package of fresh baked cookies for his kindness and she was pleased that he shared his treasure with some of the other children who seemed to swarm around them.

The sight of these little ones made her heart ache with an impossible yearning, and as the crowds began to grow she let her mind wander with her little daydream of a small child with Omid’s intense golden green eyes and her dark curls.    It was a sad dream that would never be true but maybe someday… perhaps they could…

She shook herself free of her thoughts and smiled at the next hungry patron and set about filling bellies and not her fantasies.

It was well into the afternoon when she felt the familiar brush against her shields, a welcoming sensation of familiarity and joy that had her renewed from the tired slump she was beginning to feel after little sleep and a very busy day.  Omid appeared from around a corner, accompanied by two other young men who were smiling and seemed very much at ease with her lover.   She had missed him terribly on this most recent trek into the desert and was hoping he would find some free time to spend a little time with her alone.   For a woman who had never felt the pull of desire for most of her life, she was making up for it with leaps and bounds at every opportunity with Omid.

His greeting was perfect in every way of Protocol and she responded in kind to both him and his companions and then broke into a smile that was impossible to hide the depth of her feelings for him as she stepped into his open arms and pressed her cheek to his shoulder.  This last venture out with his clan had given him a little more muscle, a little more substance to his chest and she relished in the hard muscle as he wrapped around her.

Allowing herself the moment of self-indulgent greeting, she turned in his embrace to smile brightly at the young men and taken their orders, giving them each an extra meat bun because all young men loved to eat and also it would provide them with a little longer distraction so she could indugle in a moment with Omid.   She felt a shiver run down her back as his mouth pressed against her shoulder and she leaned back into him, very aware of his presence molded along her body.

“I always have time for you beloved,” she whispered, tilting her head back to look towards him so he could see the heat in her eye.  She knew exactly the type of dancing he would discuss in the middle of the day and it exhilarated her.  “If you don’t mind the mess, my shop is very nearby and I have a very lovely space for dancing in the storage room.”    Rania would almost have blushed at her forewardness but she had desperately missed his company in her bed, and even if it was a short interlude, she wanted it.

She was just about to politely but firmly make an excuse for Omid to accompany her back to her shop to “help gather supplies”, so as not to leave him to the teasing of his companions at a later date when the ground shivered beneath her feet.  She reached out and grabbed a hold of the countertop as she tried to figure out what was happening.

Shouts from the walls, and loud echoing sounds like explosions rocked the city walls as a horde of people swarmed in from the nearest gates.  Shouts of Sandworms became audible as guards and warriors ran towards the gates and the walls to assist those who had been camped around the outer walls inside to safety. 

Rania clung to Omid’s arm tightly, almost afraid that he would rush off to defend his clan, his Queen but he stayed with her and so did his companions.   Rania saw several of the street children that had assisted her in carrying her wares standing frozen in the path of the stampeding mobs and she pulled herself from Omid’s grasp to rush from the booth and grab them by the arm, pulling them free from their frightened stupor and threw them at the booth and out of harms way, narrowly dancing back from the roar of bodies that rushed just past her.  Hurring back to Omid and the others, she crouched down, wrapping her arms around the children who were huddled on the ground, whimpering and scared as she tried to sooth them with gentle words and soft singing.

Something rocked the booth, the walls swaying back and forth in a dangerous motion that threatened to snap the supports and Rania covered the little ones with her body, feeling Omid’s presence above her protecting her back.  Another loud sound and violent motion and Rania stumbled to the ground, her shoulder hitting the side of the booth as the ground rolled again with the worms desperate attempt to penetrate the city walls.

When the sun set and the sounds began to quiet, Rania rose to her feet taking Omid’s hand to support her.  She was shaking, though she tried her best to hide it from the children.  They were curled up, hugging each other tightly, exhausted into sleep by terror.  Rania looked to the other two Bali men who had stayed to protect them.  One man had a haunted look to his young face and the other man was cradling his arm.

“I’m fine,” she said, looking back at Omid, “just hit my shoulder and a few scrapes from the fall but I’m alright.”  She turned to his friend, “We should find a Healer for him and quickly.”   She looked down at the children who stared up at her.  Obviously her voice had woken them.

Omid’s invitation had her looking back at him.   “Yes,” she said without hesitation and knowing he needed to see to his Clan and his Queen.  Had she still a clan, she would have felt the same.  “I can’t leave the children, not here in the dark , not like this.  Can we bring them?  They have no one Omid, maybe one of your healers can check on them, make sure they will be alright?”  She vanished the last of her wares, “I’m sure there will be many people hungry, I’ll bring the rest of the food.”  Taking his hand in hers, and reaching out the other arm to the children she motioned them to their feet.

“This is my friend Omid, he’s going to bring you someplace safe.  Come on.”  She looked back into Omid’s eyes, nodding her head.

“Let’s go.

Offline Aahad al-Situla

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • pw
    • Role

      High Priest

    • Faction

      Arnadeth Temple

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lochlan

    • Posts

      52

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #39 on: Jul 29, 18, 03:48:34 AM »
Wdltihiehbyeteehetegadtmyvihioeeinuydsetoibboueeofforoovnrrehgsehiakenus......

The voices were a literal cacophony in his head. He would have to try to focus. To concentrate and regain control. Whatever 'gifts' Mother Night blessed him with, required eternal vigilance and it seemed today, of all days, was time for another lesson. It was worse than before, with so many prayers flooding the darkness in the hopes of a savior, or some sort of divine intervention in the presence of the chaos.

He stumbled then fell again, dazed from the voices and the pain making him nauseous. His vision was a flood of water, as practically everyone was afraid, and the waves of emotion hit him like a dune being dropped on his shoulders. A tear fell from his cheek from the emotional, mental and physical onslaught he was exposed to.

Then he felt lighter and didn't know why. How was he moving? He wasn't walking. He didn't move the sand to move him, or call air to lift him. He heard even more voices, but they were drowned.

An eternity later his head was on a cloud and he felt like someone dropped him into a blanket.

When it felt like someone was trying to push inside his leg did he regain clarity. He blinked several times and looked around. He was in a tent, on a cot and someone, female, was talking about closing his leg. He registered the feeling as Healing Craft. The momentary awkwardness of the Healer doing their work before the Craft numbed any sensation of what was happening.

He closed his eyes and, Azar would be furious, meditated. Without the pain to accost him the only thing left was his heart and mind to still. He recanted, in his head, his morning mantras. He closed his heart, barricading the emotional senses making him see nothing but cascading waves of emotions that blinded him. He stilled his mind and focused on the real, just be, and as minutes passed by, the prayers that threatened to distract his focus slowly dissipated away and to remain in the privacy of the Abyss where they belonged.

His mind clear, his leg numbed and his vision open he finally took a look around the tent. It was a triage tent. The screams and the sound of thunderous footsteps told him he wasn't out for very long. The Worms were still outside Onn.

He looked at his two physicians and....

good grief.

"Qadira?" His voice was slightly slurred from unconsciousness. He looked at the other Healer, the same who probed him during the Mob. He let out a weak snort. "Couldn't wait to poke around inside me again, huh?" Trying to make light the veracity of the situation.

"Where am I?" An obvious question to ask. He was going to ask how long he was out, but then he remembered the vivid imagery of what landed him inside Onn in the first place. The slow consumption of the Situla encampment. His missing mother. Jaspar.

He wanted to get up, say screw his leg, and drop a mountain on top of the sandworms. He jerked up as if to hop out of the cot but kept himself back. The healer's touch could go haywire and do even more damage than there already was - and his leg, now looking at it, looked liked it was going to be okay. He let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding.

He reached out with his senses and sent a thread to Jaspar, who he assumed was still either collecting others or keeping watch from the skies. Even on his thread, Aahad was weary, worn, and tired. *Jaspar? Are you okay? If your still keeping watch from above, bleed your Red. It may distract the Worms enough to give the rest time to get inside the walls. They'll sense you, so be careful.*

He slumped his head back onto the pillow of the cot and resigned himself to being out of commission. He gave his own prayer, that he wasn't the only Situla left in Onn.

Offline Qadira al-Hague

  • Character Account
    • rose2pd
    • healer
    • Role

      Court Healer

    • Faction

      Tribe Hague

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Zen

    • Posts

      20

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #40 on: Jul 29, 18, 08:00:03 AM »
(note: it was pointed out to me after the fact that there is no anti-venom as of yet for sandworm poison and I erred in my last post, so it has been corrected with the reference to it amended)

Qadira was, as a general rule, always grateful for Samira's presence on a regular basis, but in light of the sudden and dire emergency the Healer was reminded just how invaluable her escort and friend was with renewed and crystal clarity. From clearing the path through the crowd and helping get Aahad swiftly back to the triage tent and settled into a cot to making sure the pair of Healers were undisturbed while they tended to their newest patient and grabbing some of the supplies that Qadi hadn't managed to bring over in the first trip. Emotional expression wasn't her forte, but she knew she owed far more than a mere 'thank you' to the Green-jeweled witch, and perhaps when the world wasn't moving at a hundred miles a minute around them she'd contemplate the best way to go about such a gesture.

When dealing with sandworm injuries in particular, they were some of the most dire given the potency and quickness that came with the beasts' poison. Many cases were irrevocably fatal and Qadira had lost a few patients based on the sheer toxicity of the substance, even in the instances of healing the injuries themselves. It was never a pretty sight, but for the few that she hadn't been able to save there was the counterbalance of those who had survived such wounds and lived to tell the tale.

Aahad would absolutely end up in the latter category, she wouldn't allow anything else to pass.

Treating the situation was no less stressful than were she operating solo, but the addition of the Tabur's Healer took some of that innate pressure off of Qadira when she communicated that she would deal strictly with the gash, which left Qadi to tackle the venom to the best of her ability. It was trickier when one had to multitask between fixing the actual injury and attempting to manage the effects of the poison, so being resigned to only half of that procedure was a boon in and of itself in this instance.

The more wary side of her took only the briefest of couple moments to watch the other Healer work with a fair measure of scrutiny, waiting until she felt the other's Healing Craft take hold of Aahad's injury and start to knit everything back together before she set about her own work. Generally she was loath to entrust the wellbeing of a patient to anyone else while she was working, but it would've been stupid and reckless in this instance to fall prey to that stubborn part of her nature. The look on her face seemed satisfied enough before she started digging around the supplies Samira had brought over and pulled out a few differing vials of liquid, setting them aside for the moment before turning her attention back to the Priest.

It was known that there wasn't any kind of successful anti-venom concocted yet for sandworm poison (something she found incredibly frustrating, though given the creatures' repellent relationship with Craft, it made sense that traditional methods weren't effective), but it had been a personal project of hers over the past several years to come up with a solution that was at least able to slow down the spread of it and dampen some of its more dire side-effects. Qadira's hand was pressed firmly against Aahad's chest around the moment when he seemed to regain his coherency and she regarded him with an affirming nod after he addressed her. "Sabbah compound, one of the triage stations," she answered regarding where exactly he was.

"This isn't going to feel good." It was blunt, but given that she was notorious for her bedside manner being awful in the first place it wasn't exactly the most surprising sentiment. It was, however, the only warning she gave the Warlord before she pulled upon her own Rose and Purple Dusk, the hand splayed on his chest flared to life with her Craft. The spell was unusual (and subsequently somewhat painful) in its nature in that Aahad would literally feel it coursing through his bloodstream in the attempt to locate and filter out what portion of the toxins she could manage to still separate with the Craft. It wasn't infallible given how quickly the venom was known to saturate the body, but if they were fortunate it'd be more than enough to keep him alive through the rough recovery that was known to follow.

The overall process took several, long minutes and the toll on her jewels was considerable as she exerted the energy on the spell, enough to have her feeling lightheaded and visibly unsteady by the time it was all said and done. Eventually, her hand fell away unceremoniously before she regarded him once more. "You're still going to feel like shit for the next week or so while your immune system works to fight off what's left. Expect the spike of fever and pains that come with sandworm poisoning, but it won't be as severe in this instance - more akin to a nasty flu as opposed to the typical 'I'd rather actually die' feeling."

Reaching over for the few vials she'd dug out of her supply kit, she handed them to him next. "Half a flask twice a day until they're all gone to stave off any latent infection." Taking a step back towards Samira out of what she would attribute to sheer habit, her head tilted slightly towards the other Healer, deferring the prognosis of the wound itself to her.

Offline Dinah al-Tabur

  • Character Account
    • ss2opal
    • bwq
    • Role

      Ruling Queen

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      131

    • Nevertheless, she persisted...

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #41 on: Jul 29, 18, 11:15:04 AM »
Dinah suppressed a sigh as she wandered through the market. Javid, acting as her First Escort for that excursion, was obviously more attentive towards Shaula than Dinah, but that wasn’t the real reason why Dinah felt that mild exasperation building beneath her breast. She was anxious for the hours to pass, for once the sun set, Kazim would return to her and then she would be free to enjoy the festival as Dinah and not as Queen.

“My Lady!” “Lady Dinah!” Tabur clansmen called greetings and salutations to her as she wound through the market at a stately pace befitting her position. She was here to be seen publicly, perhaps speak with a few of her tribesmen to appear gracious. She hated having to appear just SO when it came to generosity and charity. Too open a heart and it was a weakness, said her council.

Damn them. She wanted to be open and generous. She hated being caged behind these appearances and traditions. Pruul was intertwined -- it thrived or died together. Did no one in her council understand how they must help each other to survive? No. They thought the clans were islands unto themselves. But Dinah, as she practiced her weaving of Black Widow webs, knew otherwise. She had learned how one strand could support or fail an entire web. Thus was the same with Pruul and its clans.

Thinking about this in the back of her mind, she stopped at more stalls than prescribed, using Javid’s inattention easily. Eventually, though, he caught on, and began to suggest that they find refreshments for the two women, probably because Shaula was hanging on his arm and fanning herself theatrically.

Dinah suppressed another sigh and acquiesced. How long until sunset?

Had she known what was coming, she might have wished for time to stand still.

The crowds flowed around her on their own treks and journeys. Dinah stopped to look at some scarves, and then happened to look up, over the sea of people, drawn by a sudden swell of noise. A volume unusual in the market. Eventually, the ripples of “Worms! Worms!” reached her ears, followed by the panicked cries flowing downstream towards her.

The market became a river of terror as people suddenly surged in every direction.

In the initial swell, Dinah became cut off from her brotherly escort Javid, tugged in another direction. “I am with you, my Queen!” some unknown Tabur clansman said, stepping forward to offer protection. Dinah took it but still sought out Javid. She could not find him. And Kazim? She had to find him, if the reports were true! Her Kazim, where was he?!

*Dinah!  Sandworm attack outside the city, get everyone inside* There! Kazim’s voice confirmed what she feared, but he was coming inside to safety. Where? She had to find him!

Her panicked gaze fell upon another man, not Kazim, and locked for what seemed like an impossibly long moment. Even across that sea of people, she could feel that man, calling to her. A call she had felt when she had first laid eyes on Kazim.

Mine.

The river of people swelled and the man was dragged away from her sights, just like that. “No!” Dinah shouted instinctively. “Come back!” Had she imagined it? No. It had been true. There was no denying that call, that Bond, but he was gone! She had to find him!

“My Lady, what do we do?”

The query from one of her clansmen snapped her out of her search. Momentarily angry, Dinah nearly lashed out at the man but she schooled herself. She was needed here. She would have to worry about who that man was later.

What do we do?

Dinah reached deep within herself to emanate calm. “Gather the wounded within the Tabur quarter. As many as we can.” Tabur, Sabbah, Jinan, it didn’t matter. “Find the Court Healer. Now!” The man rushed off to carry her will. As she stood there, others of her clan ringed around her, needing the assurances that the Queen of the Tabur would make things right. Somehow.

Dinah began giving orders to anyone willing to act: find merchants with the supplies needed to treat the wounded, locate the Steward or another member of the First Circle for this task, guard the gates lest the worms breach the walls. **Saladin!** she cried once on an Opal thread to her Voice. And then, **Delara! Ebra!** Calling for her own to check in, to let her know they had made it to safety somehow.

She was about to make the same call for her beloved but suddenly, with certainty, she knew he was nearing. Rapidly. Dinah turned just as Zar bolted through the crowds, delivering Kazim to her side. It was awkward, their reunion, but it came with the sharp relief of knowing her beloved was safe.

When he released her though, she noticed that he was not alone.

Cradled in his arms, squirming as only children could, was a young girl, maybe five years old, crying for her mother. As Kazim explained, Dinah realized that the worms would bring more than just death and destruction. They would create orphans, like this one, and what of them?

“I think….I think she is my responsibility now,” Kazim said in a voice of dawning disbelief.

Without hesitation, Dinah kissed him, hard, and answered, “She is our responsibility. We will care for her. Do not fear. Come. We must locate the rest of the Court and organize relief for the survivors.”

With his hand in hers, she began striding through the crowd, issuing orders to the willing men around her, every inch a Queen even though she wanted nothing more than to cry at the disaster around them.

And the male she had seen. Across the sea of people. **Return to me!** she called but there was no reply.

Offline Vashti al-Sahar

  • Character Account
    • pd2green
    • queen
    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lene

    • Posts

      31

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #42 on: Jul 29, 18, 03:57:35 PM »
Vashti was feeling very good about herself.  She had ventured out during the first day of the Festival, with an Escort as she promised she would until either Ennead or Tariq came to join her.  The second day she had slipped her guard, easing out in the early morning hours for another form of sight-seeing, the kind not usually included in on the festivities.  She had vanished all the leftovers she felt safe enough taking without leaving the rest of the residence without food.   That wasn’t fair to them.   She was learning about fairness and sharing and compassion, not that she didn’t know these things or understand them, but thinking of others beyond your immediate scope of concern.  A Queen might not KNOW all the people in her tribe, but she had to care for them all and think about their wellbeing.

It was this thought that drove her beyond the walls of the Mineborn residence and out into the still dark alleys.  Sight shielding she scurried up a small wall and pulled herself onto a low guttered roof, using it to gain access to a taller building and then another one until she was running along the ceiling of the city.  It was a habitual path of travel for anyone who had lived on the streets, simply because it was sometimes the safest place to be.  Even the street urchins didn’t always sleep there, opting for open air of the rooftops where guards wouldn’t be certain to find you and chase you away.  No one complained if you were on the roofs, just so long you didn’t stomp around like a pack of horses and bother the people below.

Vashti dropped down carefully in a familiar, but less reputable side of town, landing in a neat, craft-softened crouch.  Pleased with herself that she hadn’t lost some of her skill and finesse she turned a corner and knocked rhythmically on a door that looked ready to fall apart.  A shadow of an eye peered through a crack.  Nothing said, if the guard on watch didn’t know you or recognize your face then that shadow would disappear as if it never came.  Even if the door were forced open, the occupants would have scurried away like rats and that hideaway would become permanently abandoned.  No point making yourself an easy target by returning.

She heard a faint click, felt the shift of craft as locks were opened and the door moved just slightly.  She pushed through and closed the door behind her, turning her head to see several sharpened sticks pressed within inches of her throat.

“She looks like Vashti but she’s got that smell…”

“Yeah, Vashti didn’t smell like ….that…."

“It’s a trick I bet, one of those Black Widow tricks…”

“Hey!” a female young voice from the shadows, obviously one of the urchins was meant to follow the Hourglass and took particular offense by that last statement.

“It’s me, you little punks,” she snapped irritated, “now get those overgrown toothpicks away from me or I’ll walk back out of here and give the treats I brought you to someone else.”

Sticks fell to the ground and greedy eyes and hands emerged from the darkness.  Vashti let out a smirk and a laugh before calling in the assorted containers and dishes she had brought with her.  “Careful with that stuff, I want to bring those dishes back in one piece,” she said as a few hands reached out to snatch things away.  “We are going to make sure everyone gets something to eat and I’ll blast the first of you who tries to sneak off and leave the others without.”

Food divided up among all, they settled down on makeshift bedding to shovel food into their faces as Vashti took up a seat along a wall.

“How come you’ve been gone so long,” came a small voice beside her, a youngster who has barely been talking when she had left them.

“Well, I kinda got snatched up,” she said cheerfully.  His eyes got as large as the plate in his hand, “by the Guard?!!! Did they put you in the mines?!”

“Stupid,” said another, “ain’t no one being snatched up for the mines no more, not since them mineborn came out.” 

“Not so!” said the little one, “I heard tell of street kids missing all the time, just poof and gone.”

“Then they probably got caught stealin or they left with one of the caravans,” came the retorted snort.  Vashti gave a hard loud cough for attention.

“Actually, I got snatched up by a Warlord Prince, Lucky al-Izar.”   Sounds of appreciation and shock.  Lucky’s reputation and temper was well known even among the street rats apparently.  Vashti grinned ferociously, “Yep, he broke my collar and found out I was a Queen.  Threw me over his shoulder and hauled me off to where the Mineborn lived.  Then the Rains came and then, well I started learning about being a Queen and I met two males who belong to me.  I’ve been staying with the Mineborn, learning stuff and helping them out.  See, Lucky is talkin about taking in people and making a new clan, their clan.  So I’ve been learning Queen stuff so I can be a Queen in the al-Izar, at least that’s what I’m hoping.”

Strange, she had never spoken of these thoughts out loud before but when she did, it felt right and good.  Really good.  Did she really want to run a tribe?  Could she?   She looked out around the sea of faces, some small and helpless and some older and street hardened and thought, mine.   She had been a Queen even when she wasn’t, taking them in and making sure they rested and were safe for as much as she could.  She had been letting them down since she left, because she hadn’t really been looking out for them.

“Tell you what, when the festival is over and Lucky comes back from his trip then I will bring him here and you can meet him yourself.  And if you think you want to join a Clan, and you think you could follow the likes of him, then you can ask him yourself.”   She felt the youngster’s hand close around her wrist tightly.

“I wanna join,” he said intensely.  “Having a Clan...I want that more than anything.”  Vashti looked down at the bright passion in the young Warlord’s face and wrapped her arm around him.  “Then I’ll make sure you join us.”

More chat ensued, questions about the Mineborn, questions about her being a Queen until every crumb of food was gone and the dishes were all but licked dry.  Several sleepy eyes drifted off into corners to enjoy a full bellied nap and some of the older of the group set out into the day for their routines, which would probably include picking the pockets of unsuspecting visitors for the second day of the fesitval.   Vashti gathered up the dishes and vanished them, hugging some of the younger children and especially her dining partner while promising to return again very soon, this time with her Male so they could “inspect and make sure he was taking good care of her” and headed out into the hot morning light.

Ennead was less than pleased when he found her in her rooms that she had once again slipped her escort and taken off by herself.  She had the feeling that he could have come to fetch her at any point, he seemed to always be able to find her no matter how well she hid her psychic scent; but he waited for her to return to him to voice his disapproval.   She might have risen to the challenge, might have put her foot down and argued that she just needed to handle something alone and he would have to respect that but she didn’t want to fight.

Seeing her friends, her informal tribe had made her feel wonderful and happy in a way she hadn’t realized she wasn’t until that point.  It also made her feel other things as well, and she decided there were much better things they could be doing with their mouths than arguing and pounced on him aggressively.

Hours later, sated and content, she drifted into a light sleep in his arms.  The festival could wait until the evening when the sun had set and the air began to cool.  She had sweat enough for the day and let that be her last thought before  drifting off.

She was woken to Tariq’s anxious cry in her mind, jolting her up in her bed.  She leapt from her bed and threw open the heavy curtains of her window, oblivious to whoever might look up and see her bared to the world.  Her eyes scanned down along the wall of the residence and saw and heard the roar of people stampeding through the streets.  Throwing her thoughts to her other Bonded she called out, * I am here, I am safe with Ennead in my room.  Where are you and I will come to you?*

Turning, she reached for her clothing, pulling them roughly up her body as she looked to Ennead, “Tariq needs me, we should go to him now.”  She looked out the window as a roar of fury rippled through the air and she saw something large just over the outer wall crying out in a sound that made her blood freeze.  “There is trouble, you should see to your kin as well.”

Offline Delara al-Latifh

  • Character Account
    • ss2pd
    • healer
    • Role

      Court Healer

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      EmberRose

    • Posts

      16

    • My enemy is Death

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #43 on: Jul 29, 18, 04:16:05 PM »
It was a very delicate operation weaving damaged and severed cells back together which was a good thing because the focus on her task meant Delara was no longer hearing the screams outside the tent.  The sounds shoved to another part of the mind and ignored to keep her from being distracted from the task before her.  She had to repair each nerve, tendon, and muscle fiber individually.  Bone chips were scattered throughout the flesh and each needed to be carefully fitted back into place or removed. 

As she worked she felt the Warlord's rise to consciousness even as focused as she was one eyebrow still raised as he poked fun at her again, but otherwise she didn't react, carefully noting the name of the other Healer as she continued to work. 

As she swept through the leg she located a piece of a tooth embedded in the bone.  The razor sharp shard had slipped in deep like a knife through butter and every time the Warlord moved it cut deeper into the bone and shredded the muscle again.  Poison filtering into his system every second it was there.  She wrapped it in a sheath of Summer Sky as she began working it back out of his body only to halt as Qadira spoke.

Hearing the words 'this is going to hurt' she grimaced.  She wasn't sure what the Healer was going to do but those words gave her no option other than to paralyze the leg temporarily to stop any involuntary movements as the other Healer's spell swept through his body.  In any other case she might have asked the Healer to wait until she could pull the shard out, but dealing with the poison was an immediate must and her own spell was halting the spread of anymore for the moment so she held her tongue and waited.  Pulling back any spells that might interfere with the other woman's work holding his leg still with Craft and with her hands. 

Once she was sure the other woman was finished she slipped back in.  It took her several more minutes drawing from both her Summer Sky and Purple Dusk to carefully leverage out the shard and pull it free of his body.  She set the shard to the side the moment she had it in her hand and focused on finishing carefully knitting the Warlords leg back together.  She wasn't sure how much time had passed before she felt satisfied that he was going to have full use of it.  There was only a new pink scar running down his leg in place of a gushing open wound. 

Delara felt like she'd been running a marathon as she leaned back, sweat beading on her brow and a faint tremble in her finger tips.  Taking two deep breaths she wiped at her forehead and sat back addressing the Warlord a no nonsense and firm tone to her voice as she spoke, "Take it easy for the next few days, no strenuous activities, no lifting heavy objects.  I had to knit your muscles and tendons back together so you need to stay off your leg for at least a day and take it easy for the next week you.  If you do that you should, hopefully, be able to walk without a limp.  I'd like to see you again in five days to check how the leg is holding up and if you feel any pain in your leg at all find a Healer immediately.  Preferably one of us."  She motioned to her fellow Healer with one hand.

Turning to face her Qadira, Delara stood up and eyed the other woman for a moment.  She owed her for breaking her out of her hysteria earlier and for reminding her of her duty so she took a step forward and bowed slightly to the other woman, "Thank you."  Straightening she continued, "I'd like the chance to learn that spell from you later when we have a chance to breathe.  If you'd be willing to teach me?"

Delara jumped slightly as her Queen's voice sounded in her head and she reached back immediately turning slightly to eye the chaos just outside.  She couldn't afford another moment of hysteria so she continued to ignore the grief shoving it away and for the first time since becoming the Court Healer she lied to Dinah, "Lady I'm alright I've found shelter with another Healer in the Sabbah compound."

Delara's voice trailed off as she eyed the chaos outside, the screams still ringing in the air and the injured she could see through the opening of the tent.  She wasn't sure she should leave when there were so many wounded here and both she and Qadira were tired after expending so much to help Aahad.  It didn't look as if it would be easy to get through the crowds back to the Tabur compound regardless.  Still she had a responsibility to her own Clan but the warring urge of tending to the wounded in front of her now not abandoning Qadira and Aahad and getting back to her own Clan pulled her in two directions leaving her to hesitate for just a moment.

Turning to the others in the room she took a step toward the door, "I have to get back to my Clan, my Queen needs me and. . . I'm sorry."  She directed the last to Qadira before looking at Aahad again, "Please come find me in five days so I can make sure everything is healing as it should." 

Reaching out once more to Dinah, "I'll be there as soon as I can."

Freedom is found on Horseback

Offline Samira al-Hague

  • Character Account
    • opal2green
    • witch
    • Role

      Escort

    • Faction

      Hague Tribe

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      13

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #44 on: Jul 30, 18, 12:43:10 AM »
Mira was suddenly very, very glad that she wasn’t a Healer. Just from the snippets of conversation she caught from Qadira and the Tabur’s High Healer, it sounded like poor Aahad was in a bad way. He would live, but he would be miserable for awhile yet. Between both women, Aahad would live and Mira knew that it would make Qadira feel better. Losing a patient hurt her, though she would never admit it aloud. The few times it had happened, Mira had simply checked in on her a little more than usual to let her know that she was around.

In the meantime, MIra guarded the tent and took stock of the other people who were hurt. She worried that the next litter brought in would have Fatima or Qasim on it, injured beyond aid. As more litters and injured people poured into the encampment, Mira grew worried when she didn’t see her aunt or her cousin among the injured. She forced herself to breathe slowly and evenly.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Until you have evidence that they are hurt or worse, you have no proof of anything.

Turning her thoughts away from the worst-case scenario, Samira slid back into the tent to check on Qadira. She was backing away from Aahad while the other Healer delivered her prognosis. She placed a hand on Qadira’s shoulder to let the other woman know that she was there. She’d been working hard over the last few hours, proving why she held the reputation that made her the Court Healer for the Hague Tribe. She was proud of Qadira’s work today.

She was about to suggest to Qadira that perhaps they should look for her family, when a young man, Prince Raouf,  that Mira recognized as a member of their tribe saw her.

Lord Samira, if Lady Qadira is available, her aid is needed.” Raouf said.

Mira nodded. She knew that Qadi wanted to stay and keep her friend company, so she leaned over to whisper in her ear.

Make sure that he’s comfortable and then join me. I’ll take a look at whoever it is and let them know you’re coming.

If Qadira agreed, Samira would follow Raouf out of the tent. They didn’t go far, just to the near wall of the encampment, where they found an older woman in her late fifties, sitting on the floor with her back against the wall. The woman’s ankle was clearly broken, but as she studied her further, Mira noticed the charm bracelet on her wrist. It was silver and held six charms, one of which caused the Green witch to freeze where she stood.

A pair of entwined serpents joined at the mouth. The spicy scent of Black Widow rolled off of the woman and Mira couldn’t move. She couldn’t think.

The woman looked up and smiled at her, the same smile that always made her knees weak, made her lose her train of thought. Despite the fact that the Black Widow was dirty, fatigued, and bleeding from a several cuts, Samira al-Hague still found her as beautiful as the day they met and even more terrifying with the addition of her caste.

Hello, my Mira. It’s been a long time. I missed you.” the Black Widow said, wincing as she tried to adjust her position.

Mira remained rooted to the spot.

Hello, Aziza.



Offline Ilyas al-Tabur

  • Character Account
    • broken2ss
    • prince
    • greendescent
    • Role

      Scribe

    • Faction

      Tabur Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      DragonGirl

    • Posts

      7

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #45 on: Jul 30, 18, 05:02:28 PM »
Ilyas was sitting on a stoop, considering the fact that he still had to meet with the Queen of the Tabur before knowing if he could truly be part of her Clan and take the name his mother had given him, when the first cries came. He sprang to his feet, his eyes scanning the crowd, heart pounding as the screams started.

“Worms? How are worms attacking the city?” He said aloud to no one in particular. He had lived in the outskirts of Pruul for some time now and had heard that the Worms were getting uppity, but he didn’t really understand much about the large, predatory creatures. He had thought to ask the Queen when he met her, even if she ended up turning him away. Queens knew things, and Ilyas had always wanted to know all that he could, especially now that no Master directed his thoughts and actions.

He was a free man.

In this moment, as chaos began to bloom around him and no one seemed ready and able to give direction, that scared the shit out of the Broken Prince.

He tried to stop someone running to ask what he could do or where he could go but he was shrugged off. He tried again and was yelled at. So instead of trying once more he pulled his pack onto his back again, then upon further reflexion vanished it altogether, and decided to try to find someone in charge to see if he could be of use. After all, that was what males of the Blood did, right? Be of use? Protect, defend? Ilyas was no good with a blade but maybe there would be things that had to be organized. Supplies at least, surely. He was good at inventory, at keeping his head on a task at hand no matter what else was going on. Not that anyone would be likely to trust him with any of that but at least he could offer since he had no one to look after.

As he moved through the crowd it got thicker. The smell of blood in the air and the screams and cries made the Prince deeply disquieted and a little in shock. He had never seen devastation on this level, not even in the mines though there he had felt it in the walls. This wasn’t old pain and fear, though, it was present and terrible.

Ilyas had just stepped out into a square when a fleeing woman ran into him. He caught her, straightened, but then was nearly barreled over by another. They were fleeing in terror and Ilyas found himself buffeted by the throng that threatened to run him down if he did not go along with it. He had just stumbled forward, eyes peering over some of the huddled, fleeing masses when something tugged at him, something deep and almost like the feeling of the Collar. His hand rose to his neck but no, it wasn’t there, that feeling’s source. It was lower, around his heart and soul and in the hands of-

His brown eyes found her, across the throng, and it was as if everything just stopped. The screams turned to echoes, the people moving froze and Ilyas’s entire focus zeroes in on one face among thousands.

They locked eyes for one, whole, beautiful, terrifying breath and then time sped up to make up for the pause and she was gone.

“NO, come back!” He yelled, but over the roar his words were lost. “COME BACK TO ME!”

Nothing answered.

Offline Omid al-Bali

  • Character Account
    • opal2red
    • prince
    • Faction

      Clan Bali

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      148

    • Those who survive prophecy forge their own path.

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #46 on: Jul 30, 18, 05:50:51 PM »
Omid had never seen such devastation in his young life. The mines were a terrible place, but this sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen in the overland. People cried out for help. They begged for water, or screamed for a Healer, or cursed Mother Night for the pain and suffering they, and their loved ones, endured. He wanted to help them all. He wanted sink deep into his Red and wipe their suffering away as though it had never been. He did not have that power.

Rania was alright, though, allowing Omid to keep his wits. He was uninjured. Rania was only superficially damaged. Sahib and Eben needed a Healer, and quickly. The addition of the small children to their group would slow them down, but Omid could not deny Rania’s request as he viewed each of the small, defenseless young people before him. Years ago, Cadence had taken him under her wing and into her heart when she had little reason to do so. Her rape and breaking probably saved Omid from a worse fate at the hands of the beast disguised as men that roamed the tunnels of the mines. Cadence did not turn him aside, even when it would have been easier to wait for him to die.

Omid chose to live up to his mother’s example.

Lady Zaehrah will insist that our Healers tend to to them with the same care that we give our own.” Omid told Rania. His Queen would give her consent, so Omid saw no reason to deny his own. He knelt before one of the children, a young girl and offered his hand.

Yes, my name is Omid. If you come with me, I will introduce you to yet another amazing woman that I know.” the Prince said.

His ankle hurt, so he bound it with a bit of Craft to keep it stable until he could have it seen. It wasn’t a critical injury, though, and Omid didn’t want to stay here as people moved around or called for help. He raised his hand and looked to the group.

We are leaving now. Stay close to each other, and to us. Eben. Eben, please! I need you to guard our backs.” Omid said. The shellshocked male seemed to only regard Omid’s words in passing and numbly got to his feet. Omid moved to help Sahib off the floor, moving to get beneath the other man’s good arm so that he could help him walk. This would slow their pace, but Omid wasn’t leaving any Bali behind, either.

Everyone, follow me and I’ll get us to safety. Don’t pay attention to the sounds outside the walls. The gates will hold. Once we’re safe, you’ll be taken care of.” Omid said.

He moved forward, leading the group to the Bali Quarter. He prayed that Zaehrah was all right. She had to be. She was probably already giving orders and getting everything handled. She would know what to do and how to help everyone. She was the best Queen in Pruul, so she would tell him how he could best help. Or she would find a way.

Omid believed that without reservation.

He looked to Rania. “Where is Samir today? I thought he would be at the booth with you, but I hope he’s not out beyond the walls. When did you see him last?”    







Offline Aahad al-Situla

  • Character Account
    • te2ss
    • pw
    • Role

      High Priest

    • Faction

      Arnadeth Temple

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lochlan

    • Posts

      52

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #47 on: Aug 03, 18, 04:00:32 AM »
It was strange, getting the intense medical treatment for things he didn't even register yet that he had. The healers had all but told him that he had received a dose of the lethal toxin from the Sandworm biting his leg...but he didn't feel anything. Yet. He was well aware the notorious lethality rate of their venom but he felt perfectly fine. Calm before the storm, Aahad. He had to remind himself as the ladies went to their work. Don't get cocky.

The bedside manner aside, it was a breath of fresh air to have a healer tell him straight. Or rather someone tell him anything. Apart from the random scrapes and bruises, oftentimes he would get the 'it is part of the plan' treatment and watch as they would go elsewhere to tend to others. Few didn't. These two didn't seem to fit that bill and regardless whether they considered it part of their job, or payment for services rendered, Aahad was grateful.

On the other hand, Qadira was right. It hurt, but it felt weird at the same time. He assumed it was standard practice for dealing with sandworm venom but he wouldn't know. He'd never gotten it before. But it felt like someone shoved fingers in his veins and it hurt. The healing webs of course dulled it a bit and he could only imagine what going at it raw and unprepared it would be like. He gritted his teeth like a man and dealt with the painful oddity that was Qadira's poison treatment.

An eternity later she was finished and he let out a breath of fresh air, having half held in his breath the entire operation. The lingering feeling of someone spacing out his veins and arteries left a weird sensation he'd just have to get over. "Well...if anything I won't be begging for it if it comes I suppose." He told the healer with a weak smile. "Thank you. Both of you." He regarded the other healer as she went through the brief, albeit mother-hennish, post-op check-up and nodded. "I won't be going anywhere. Don't worry." He slowly sat up and felt woozy and summoned his ritual staff. Calling it a 'ritual staff' was a bit much, Aahad didn't perform many rituals at Arnadeth that required it's use. It took him several months to make it, sanctify it and embed it with several spells to use for both self-defense and help take the edge off of prep work. Now? It'll have to do as a walking stick. "Five days. I will either be at the Temple or the Jinan compound, whichever I get sequestered."

It could also be the last place he sees to. He couldn't get over the fact that he was poisoned simply because it wasn't there yet, or it hadn't truly sank in yet. Use the time wisely, Aahad. Get someplace safe and be prepared. A wave of his hand and his wounded leg became secured in a shield to keep below his knee rigid and secure. He didn't mind the undignified look of hobbling. He took the anti-infection meds and then vanished them. "Until they're gone. Understood." He let out a breath. "Time to go someplace safe." All things considered, he didn't like being stranded in a city that nearly mobbed others. He would much rather be at Arnadeth away from everyone, curled up in his room passing the time researching to make use of what little time he may have had left. "Best let the cot be open for someone who needs it more than I do." And Aahad departed.

It was still a madhouse. Thankfully the pain was no longer so substantial it ruined any sense of focus. No maddening echoes of prayers to greet him or waves of emotions stifling his vision. It also gave him a sudden reality check as to what got him in the Sabbah compound's medical tents to begin with.

"Oh no." Aahad decided at that point the best place to go would be among the Jinan. Any survivors would have rushed to their patron Clan when things got out of hand. So he hobbled his way through the continued fray of panic toward the Jinan compound where just yesterday there was an angry mob. Hopefully there wouldn't be one there again.

What of course he didn't realize was that he looked utterly terrible. The sweating never did stop. While he wasn't in pain yet he had a pale complexion that only came with a body beginning to man the biological ramparts. He looked sick. It didn't help that he was exerting himself to get half across the city to 'safety' and among his own kin. He also didn't realize that practically everyone saw him poisoned.

Mother Night's Champion is poisoned?
She's forsaken us?
What if that Saabah Widow was right? What if this is punishment?

He could never run away from it. He drowned it out until someone breached his awareness and a shield erupted around him, courtesy of his staff.

"You were the one who stopped the riot?" A small boy was looking at him. He recalled a similar boy near the Jinan encampment the day before. The Geiba, I presume.

"I didn't stop anything...I just helped clear their vision. They stopped it themselves." He continued moving forward. "You shouldn't be out on your own. It is dangerous."

"But you helped us. I want to pay the debt." He tried to breach Aahad's shield but the it erupted at the boy's insistence, sending him back.

Aahad sighed. He wasn't stubborn enough to deny help...and the poison would just kill him at his rate of walking. "....I'm headed to the Jinan encampment. You remember where that is?"

The boy nodded eighteen times in the span of six seconds. "I do!"

At that Aahad dropped the shield for the boy to enter and he put most of his bad weight on the boy's shoulder. Courtesy's were exchanged when he understand it was a landen who had become his crutch. He'd have to figure out how to pay the boy back for his kindness. Just another thing to worry about while he was in mandatory bed rest.

He didn't need to let himself be known. As the boy and Aahad hobbled their way across Onn and approached the Jinan compound one of the guards noticed Aahad immediately. Aahad must have looked worse than he did the twenty minutes it took to cross Onn. The guard blanched. "Master Situla! I-I'll summon Lady Adavera."

Offline Adavera al-Jinan

  • Character Account
    • descent2te
    • witch
    • Role

      Voice of the Clan

    • Faction

      Jinan Clan

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Erica

    • Posts

      247

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #48 on: Aug 03, 18, 07:50:29 AM »
She was no Healer.  That much was always clear to her, but now?  Now when so many were hurt, were dying?  Now it was painfully clear.  Still, she made herself useful.  She'd taken to helping make bandages, to stirring the salves and potions that the Healers directed her to stir.  She was almost numb really.

The numbers weren't in yet.  But already they didn't look good.  So many of the horses outside had been killed.. eaten.  Devoured, really.  Not all of them - the paddocks had swung open and the horses had bolted but still.. enough.  Enough had been devoured that the Clan would be feeling the pain of it for years.

And the toll in lives?

The Situla were nearly extinct.  The Tair who had been at the city were damaged.  The Jinan?  They'd taken a hit.  They'd never been the largest Clan if one looked only at bipedal numbers - and now they were smaller still.

But the Situla.. her heart sank, just thinking of it.

"Lady Adavera!"

She turned her head, taking a deep breath as she readied herself for some new fresh disaster.  "Yes?"
"Priest Aahad..."

She dropped her spoon, then pointed at one of the nearby children.  "Continue stirring."  She picked up her cane, striding forward to take the guard's arm.  "Take me to him."  Where was Torin?  Torin could help her move Aahad if he needed moving..

It didn't matter.  She didn't have the time.  Torin!  Aahad's alive.  I'm going to him.  She couldn't wait.  Aahad was one of her few friends.  And if the guard looked like this.. then it must be bad.  They were as quick as they could be, what with the guard not letting her run.  Males.  She wanted to beat the guard senseless for wasting time.

Not that she could necessarily help Aahad faster than anyone else.  But still!

Seeing him leaning on a Geiba child had her heart nearly freezing in her chest.  He looked terrible.  "Aahad... You look awful."  She said it bluntly before moving forward to set fingers to the child's shoulder.  "Here, let me take him.  You go get yourself some stew at the kitchen."  She slid herself beneath Aahad's weight, then jerked her head at the other guard.

"Lady.."
"My house.  We'll put him in my bed.  He's going to need it."

He will not die.  I will not allow it.  She would not lose her Priest, her friend, and one of the few people she could trust in this blasted hell.  She would not lose Aahad too.

And if people noticed the familiar stubborn bent to her face..all the better.  They wouldn't argue.

Offline Theodor Lirion

  • Character Account
    • broken2pd
    • warlord
    • greendescent
    • Faction

      Caravan Merchant

    • Territory

      Pruul

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Lene

    • Posts

      47

    • View Profile
Re: These Sirocco Winds Ahead
« Reply #49 on: Aug 04, 18, 12:09:00 AM »
Theo hadn’t thought the Festival would be a busy time.  After all, there was far more entertaining things for them to do than poke around his shop for dull ordinary things when all the Clans were gathering and bringing their own products to market for sale and trade.  If anything, he had thought to browse some of the stalls and see what sort of deals he could negotiate for some choice items that would fetch a fair coin in the foreign markets.  He would LOVE to get his hands on one of the famed Jinan horses for himself, but he had never heard of them selling to a non-Clan member.  Despite his sister being the Queen of the Sabbah (however contested), he never tried to push his luck or play that card.  It felt wrong or disrespectful to wave Elenor around as his entrance pass into the inclusive world of Pruul.

Not to mention the fact that he always prided himself on being the sort of man who made his own name, his own way.  Even when he worked for his parents, he pulled his own weight.  Speaking of weight.

Theo lifted a large crate with a soft grunt, the muscles in his back flexing as he pushed the heavy box up over his head and with just a push of craft, placed it up on the highest shelf in his store room.  Years travelling through the desert had him using craft only when absolutely necessary and besides, there was something very satisfying with a good sweat and warm muscles.  Made a man feel like a man.

Something shook the ground and the wall in front of him rippled.  Groaning wood threatened to drop their contents all over the floor and he braced himself against the shelves hard.  More ripples through the wall and beneath his feet, the strangest sensation of distant blows being issued.   Then they stopped.  Theo waited a moment, shrugging off the feeling of worry.  Maybe some youths decided to get into a brawl and a few wild craft bolts made contact with the building next door.  Wouldn’t be the first time and he hoped the damned fools suffered some falling structure bits on their head for the trouble.

He was just reaching for the next box when he heard his front door slam opening, letting in the strange cacophony of noises from outside to shatter the muted quiet of his shop.  The dull roar of voices that he had thought had been the growing crowd for the marketplace outside his shop erupted into a flood of cries and screams and shouts of battle.   Theo grabbed his open shirt from the back of a chair where he had placed it to keep it neat and tidy from dust and sweat and pulled it over his arms as he rushed out of his storage room just as he heard Barin yelling for him.

Barin, who Theo figured wouldn’t spit on him if he was on fire was standing there, sucking in deep breaths, his face flushed and a little pale if that was even possible, fear and excitement but not in a joyful way.  The words spilled out of the boy’s mouth, the information explaining all too well what was going on outside.  Theo’s mouth hardened grimly and his heart leapt into his throat.  Salma!  Where was his Queen?  Then… watch his back?  What in the realms was the boy thinking of doing?

He didn’t get a chance to ask the question of the young Warlord Prince before he dashed out of the door.  Theo swore something inappropriate and very descriptive before he ran after the boy, narrowly avoiding losing him as his small form wove in and out of the sea of people who were hurrying inside the city seeking shelter and protection.   Where Barin was nimble and small, able to duck through and around people, Theo was not and was ever more presently aware of his similarity to a large four legged massive creature who should avoid shops of delicate dishware.  Most people had enough common sense to get the hell out of his way, but he managed to avoid trampling a few smaller and less astute individuals who couldn’t move fast enough.

He caught sight of Barin ducking out of the flowing river of faces down a side alley and followed suit, able to gain a burst of speed when he wasn’t weaving and ducking around moving targets.  Fuck if the boy wasn’t fast as a hawk on a free breeze, even without anyone in his way Barin seemed to gain an extra burst of speed himself.  Back and forth zigzagging through the most remote backstreets of Onn until finally they emerged beside what seemed to be an empty storage building; the windows boarded up and covered with dust and cobwebs.  Barin pushed aside what seemed to be a nailed down board and slid inside and Theo imagined that it was crafted to make not a sound despite the obvious way the board swung back and should have made a loud crash.

Pulling back the board and finding that the hole behind was even smaller than he pictured, he muttered another curse to himself as he squeezed his shoulders through, scraping rough wood and stone against his skin.  Yeah, follow the small child through a tiny hole, you dolt.   Once through however, it opened up into a large room, separated only by walls made of eroding wooden pallets and draped worn fabric. 

He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but it wasn’t there.  A small group of children, from some who barely looked old enough to be walking to another young man who looked to be barely older than Barin were standing gathered together in a tight circle, looking between Barin and this other boy.  Where the hell were their parents?  He studied them, watching as some of them noticed him and shrunk away while a few others stared defiantly at him and pushed the smaller ones behind them.  Barin was arguing with the other boy about their plans and Theo wisely stayed quiet. 

It gave him a new level of appreciation for the young man, his Bond brother, to see him emerge into this commanding role, embracing his caste with all the stubborn tenacity that it entailed.  He would be a formidable warrior in his own right when he came into his own.    Something about a Queen, though name and tribe were not said and Barin gave his consent with conditions of his own.  Theo took a step into the shadows, not hiding but giving them the space needed without his presence becoming overbearing.  He was the observer to this unique little court, and while there were not Queens among the children, it was ruled and run.

A female voice, soft with that beginning husk of adolescence but still sweetened with childhood pitch answered to Barin’s question and a awkwardly lanky young girl with long curled ebony brown hair emerged from another crack in the wall, pulling a smaller girl with her.  Theo stared at her, his heart hitting his throat so quickly that he almost begin a coughing fit.  Thin, too thin, with bones as slender as a birds but with a hard determination of a girl all too used to the hardships of the world far too soon and the eyes of…

Theo blinked quickly, pulling his emotions under control.  Another time, another several lifetimes ago, he had known another girl with those same eyes.  Haunted, fierce, stubborn with that same chocolate tint.  No, this was not Mya but they could have been sisters had they not lived so far apart in time and circumstances.  The younger girl was darker in complexion, with a massive frame of curls that despite being wild and unkept were perfectly swirled around her sweet face.  Like the other young girl, she was far too thin and wain, and had a sweetness about her that made Theo want to sweep her up into a gentle snuggle while giving her a big cup of hot chocolate.

Hansa, Barin had called her, and so the little one would have to be Thana.  Theo stored their names into his mind for a later time.  He would ask Barin about them, find out where they were staying and why they were not being sufficiently cared for as was required for two youngins of their age.  Already he wanted to take the whole lot of them back to his shop and give them free reign for new clothes and then over to Rania’s bakery to let them fill their bellies to the brim.   The youngling took off with the smallest of the children, leaving Barin and Hansa and the other leader male along with a half a dozen others.

His thoughts were distracted by a shadow dropping from above, landing with impressive skill and little sound until she opened her mouth and began swearing with the skill and intensity of some of his roughest caravan drivers.  Theo held back a little laugh at the child.  Oh she would give someone grey hairs very very early on, and he did not envy that person in the least.

Taisha appeared, a fact that hadn’t surprised him too much.  He knew the two younglings had been spending time together and he knew of Taisha from her visits to the ice cream shop when he was spending time with his Queenling.  A Black Widow, only recently beginning to reflect the shift in her scent that meant she was called to the Hourglass and a formidable young woman who had been adopted by the Voice of the Jinan.   Barin turned towards him and he took this as his queue to step forward and join the remaining children.

Giving them all a deep and sincere bow, his hand fell at an angle across his chest as he responded, “Anyone who claims ties of blood or bond with my Queen will always have my vow of protection,” he said solemnly.  Looking at Barin, he gave a critical look around the warehouse at the remaining children and then back at the Blood male who upon another look seemed older than his original estimate.

“You sent the others to your Queen.  Does she have the strength at her back to protect them?  I do not have Clan but I recently had a shipment arrive and the caravan drivers are still within the city.  I trust these men with my life and have on many occasions.  If you need more strength, I can send them to assist with the small ones.”  Turning back to Barin, “I will stand guard and add my shields to this place, if it is a place of refuge for your cousins or do you need me elsewhere?”