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* Plot Information for Raej

The High Priest rules Raej with political acumen and charisma, but not all is well under the desert sun. As the years progress tension between Blood and Landen grow and are now nearly at a fever pitch. Odji Khaldun’s secret war against the Landen is not public knowledge but the workings of it can be seen. Blood and Landen die on both sides while Raej subtly prepares for civil war.
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Author Topic: Wandering Spider  (Read 750 times)

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Offline Maaria Nimr

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Wandering Spider
« on: Mar 04, 18, 02:09:33 AM »
The day had been a long one, one of those days were she was still trying to figure out how come these things always happened around her.  Maaria let out a long slow breath as she leaned in a shadowed entrance to an alleyway in an effort to get the weight off of her leg for a moment.  Honestly she was surprised it had held up as well as it had given what had happened over the last few hours. 

The day certainly hadn't started off well, the caravan she'd hitched a ride with had arrived late in the Kemet after a string of bad luck with three wagons losing wheels and one of the horses going lame only an hour or so after they broke camp.  Maaria had offered her aid, using the red to hold the wagons steady so the men could get the wheels repaired and even doing what she could, which wasn't much really, to help the horse.  Still the delays had meant extra hours on the road, short tempers on the part of the Merchants, and gritted teeth on her own part as she bit back some of the things she wanted to say.

Once they'd arrived she'd promptly went her own way and had gotten swept up in the crowded streets.  She'd wandered through them for a couple of hours, keeping an eye out for anything that resembled what she had seen in her tangled web from the days before but without any luck.  Eventually she drifted through the market and came across an elderly Warlord tending to a booth of fine clothes and fabrics.  He reminded her of her father so she lingered, striking up a conversation with him.  He was friendly and happy to discuss his wares his eyes lingering only briefly on the two pendants she wore at her neck, which was a point in his favor, since he didn't let the Red Jewel or the Hourglass pendant dictate the conversation.  And he hadn't commented on the travel stained clothing she was wearing he'd simply pointed out colors and fabrics that he thought would suit her.  It was a shame really that Maaria couldn't afford his wares at the moment, she would have happily spent a great deal of money at his stall if she could have.

She'd made small talk for several minutes and had been preparing to move on to another booth when the elderly male had suddenly groaned, grabbed at his chest and collapsed.  Maaria had stared in shock for a moment before leaping to his aid along with another young woman.  She turned out to be his granddaughter and was absolutely no help becoming absolutely frantic at the sight of her grandfather lying unconscious on the ground.  With the aid of a few passing males Maaria had gotten the girl calmed down and the Warlord headed toward the local Healer's clinic.  Unfortunately the scattered brained girl had darted off after her grandfather leaving the booth without anyone to watch it.  Looking over the wares, calculating the value of the goods and glancing at some of the shadier figures lingering in the shadows Maaria knew she couldn't leave the booth unattended.  Not if she wanted the elderly man to have a business to come back to, so she decided to stay and keep an eye on it until the girl returned. 

Maaria had intentionally met the eye of every shady looking figure she saw and smiled at them before turning her attention to the customers that walked up to speak with her.  She had hoped the girl would return quickly from the Healers when she realized what she had done, which she'd figured would be rather quickly once she had a moment to calm down and think.  Instead she ended up working at the booth for the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon.  She'd received several looks of surprise as people saw her watching over the booth, their eyes flicking from pendant to pendant to her own very well worn clothing, but she'd ignored them greeting each person with a bright smile and cheerful conversation. 

Honestly though she'd felt emotionally drained by the time the girl returned from the Healers.  Maaria hadn't spent so much time dealing with large crowds in years and she was quite happy to turn over the stand and the money to the girl as soon as she reappeared.  The girl, Isis, had seemed shocked to see the stand being tended to, in fact she'd quietly confided that she'd been afraid everything would be gone by the time she got back.   

She hadn't said anything only giving a comforting smile, but Maaria knew what it was like to loose someone she held dear and could only imagine the fear Isis had faced that morning.  She was glad she'd stayed when she learned that Isis and her grandfather were the only family each other had and this business was the only thing keeping them out of debt.  Those details had influenced her decision to stay for a little longer, not wanting to leave the very rattled young woman alone to close up shop for the day.  Once the stand had been cleared and the money handed over Maaria had decided it was time to go.  She'd waved away the girls thanks responding with her own well wishes and hopes for Isis's grandfathers swift recovery before slipping into the crowd.  It felt good to help someone even if being on her feet for so many hours had made her leg begin to ache.

She'd wandered through the market a little more, intentionally avoiding the Slave Market, before deciding to look for the local coven only to end up hopelessly lost.  It was par for the course really, she never was good at navigating cities, especially ones as large as Kemet.  It didn't help of course that the last time she had been here had been three years ago and she'd only briefly passed through, so she really had no idea where she was going.  She was preparing to ask for directions, not that she really wanted to she'd navigated through the desert on her own why a city was more difficult she would never understand.

Only for her luck strike again and she'd discovered a little landen girl crying on the street.  No one else had been paying the girl any mind.  Even Maaria contemplated just continuing on her way but she just couldn't bring herself to do it.  Not seeing anyone who resembled a parental figure she'd approached the girl and promptly spent the next half hour trying to convince her that she just wanted to help.  A few small illusions later, another hour of wandering through the city following the directions of a five year old, and a strained explanation to a very suspicious landen family later Maaria managed to get the little girl reunited with her parents.

Now watching the sky begin to turn shades of red and gold as the sun began to set to the West she sighed in exasperation.  Honestly the entire day had been one ridiculous happenstance after another.  She hadn't had a chance to sit down and rest since she'd arrived in Kemet and now her leg was beginning to ache with every step she took.  Pain shooting up from her ankle to her knew every time she put weight on it.  Maaria knew the warning signs that her leg was about to give out on her.  If she didn't get off it soon she would regret it in the morning, if she didn't just collapse in the street which she did not want to happen. 

Hence the reason she was leaning against the wall of a handy building.  Her first priority at the moment was to find a place to sit down and rest.  Then to get directions to the local Coven, hopefully they would have a room she could use for the night.  Looking around the streets which were beginning to clear of traffic Maaria braced herself for setting off again and looked for a friendly face.

Offline Raet Neith

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #1 on: Mar 04, 18, 10:39:34 AM »
Vadik was with her tonight, which was good.  She'd finally gotten herself out of the palace grounds, and out intot he city for no other reason than to walk and see her people.  She wasn't allowing her presence to be announced, she simply bound her hair into a dark scarf and walked.

Vadik had grown closer to her ever since Maseo had left - always working to make her smile or laugh.  She appreciated it, even if it didn't always work.  Tonight, though, she felt... restless. 

Going out amongst the people, feeling their emotions brush across her like thin webs - it helped.  She was able to sort out whether they were mostly content or if they were hurting.  It let her take a pulse point, a measure, of how they were.

For the most part, the city's populace seemed to be somewhat content.  She had Vadik giving marks to some of the poor, helping those who needed more food or clothing get what they needed, as well as to take their names and see if she could find some work for them amongst her own estate.  It was good work, and it let her feel.. useful.

So when a sensation of exhaustion and... frustration... struck her she turned.  Her eyes focused, narrowing on the opening to an alleyway. Without a word, she and Vadik turned as one in their footsteps, angling towards it.  She expected that level of frustration and exhaustion to be someone either elderly or very young.

She was a little surprised to see a female with both the Red and the Hourglass upon her chest.  "Lady, may we be of assistance?"  She asked it quietly, her Green gently reaching out to soothe the frustration of the woman in front of her.  She'd allowed people to believe she really couldn't help herself for years - and in a way that had become the truth, a bit.

She was in the habit of soothing such emotions now and had no inclination to halt the habit.  Such emotions were troubling, painful, and heavy.  It was part of her Caste, her duty, to help shoulder that weight for others. 

Her eyes took in the face, the expressions of the Black Widow, and she offered a smile.  "Kemet is large, and easy to get lost within.  We could take you back to my home, and ensure you get some rest and food in you before you return to whatever task besets you, Lady."

Offline Maaria Nimr

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #2 on: Mar 10, 18, 03:08:45 PM »
Maaria braced herself to do some more walking, not seeing a good place to sit anywhere on this street.  Beginning to push away from the building she stopped abruptly when a pair of figures appeared around the corner.  The appearance of a Queen and her escort surprised her.

Locking eyes with the Queen, Maaria felt suddenly off balance. She'd woven a web three days ago and seen the city of Kemet and a sense that she needed to be there, a sensation that had shoved and pushed at her ever since.  Now that feeling vanished leaving her feeling as if a rug had been pulled out from under her. 

The sensation was so distracting she didn't immediately sense the Green reaching out to Soothe her emotions.  When she did though she couldn't help but gently rebuff the effort with a touch of the red her own shields sliding back into place to hide her emotions.  Maaria was embarrassed by the slip she didn't project her emotions very often, she must have been more tired then she thought.

Unsure why this Queen had approached her but curious nonetheless she buried any physical indication of her pain, exhaustion and confusion behind a smile and inclined her head, "Lady.  I'm afraid I haven't ever been to the city and I've gotten a bit lost."  She was a bit rusty when it came to the protocol used when dealing with Queens so she was a little uneasy suddenly faced with one that she felt a pull toward.

She couldn't help but be a little suspicious of the Queen's offer of a place to stay but she couldn't sense any danger from the Queen or her escort in front of her.  And the thought of letting the Queen walk away before she discovered why her Tangled web had led Maaria here to this city and to her was . . . unsettling. 

So she smiled as the Queen spoke again, amusement in her eyes as she thought of how much of the city and its people she had seen today as she responded wryly, "Very large and easy to get lost within especially for someone who hasn't spent any time in large cities for several years.  I don't have anywhere to stay Lady so I would be honored to accept your offer.  My name is Maaria and yours Lady?"

As she spoke she took a single step forward only to feel another shooting pain radiate up her leg from ankle to knee.  She stopped biting her lip as she reached out to put a hand on the nearby wall to keep herself on her feet, "Perhaps you could help me find a place to sit though?  I'm afraid I won't make it very far if I have to walk." 

Maaria hated admitting that fact to anyone she didn't know, her years on her own telling her that showing weakness was never a good idea but it wasn't as if she could hide the fact that physically the only thing keeping her upright was the wall she was leaning against either.

Offline Raet Neith

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #3 on: Mar 13, 18, 03:51:40 PM »
The rebuff of her emotional healing had a light twitch of her lips becoming evident.  It was probably teh most polite shielding she'd ever felt against her emotional meddling. 

"Forgive my meddling, Lady.  I tend to try to soothe ruffled feathers without thinking about it."  She spoke her apology without a hint of embarrassment, watching the woman take a step only to pause in pain.

"Vadik."  She said it quietly, then moved forward to offer her arm to Maaria.  "Come.. I will help you.  Vadik will escort us both."  She gave the Seer a careful smile.  "His cousin is coming to meet us, so you will only need to lean upon me for a short time, Lady Maaria."  She kept her voice low, soothing - all too aware of how some would find this situation odd.

She could have asked Vadik to take Maaria into his arms.. but she already knew he would not do it.  Not when he was the only one able to guard her in this city walk. 

She'd long ago stopped fighting Vadik when he put his foot down.  It just wasn't worth the aggravation.  "We'll find a good place for you to rest while we await the carriage.  My name is Raet Neith.  I rule Asyut."  She said it quietly, not wanting to really announce herself to all those that might be taking notice.

She enjoyed her quiet walks - and if it became too well known that she did this the 'quiet walks' would no longer be quite so quiet.  "Just Raet is fine, Maaria."

She kept her questions to herself right now.  She kept the bubbling pot of curiosity covered, intent on seeing to the woman's health before drilling her on why she was limping around the city without an escort of some sort.

She wasn't going to ask that question until she could come up with a .. less judgmental way of asking such a question.  Just in case. 

I like her, Vadik.
You rarely make decisions so quickly, cousin.
I know.


But this Black Widow was.. comforting to her, in her own way.  She couldn't put her finger on why, just yet.. and still she knew that there was something here to be discovered.

Offline Maaria Nimr

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #4 on: Mar 17, 18, 05:43:47 PM »
Maaria accepted the Queen's apology with a shrug and an internal sigh of relief that the other woman hadn't taken offense at her rebuff.  She was surprised though that the Queen had stepped forward so quickly to take her arm.  Maaria gratefully leaned slightly on the other woman, sighing in relief as her weight shifted off her injured leg.

"Thank you Lady."  Maaria managed a small smile and no small amount of relief at the thought of perhaps not having to walk too far from where she was, "I'm sorry for all the trouble I'm causing you."

She listened to the Queen speak as the group made its way slowly out of alley and down the street.  From the way Raet introduced herself, keeping her voice low and quiet enough that she didn't draw attention to herself and the way the Warlord Prince behind her acted she doubted very much this was the first time this Queen had wandered the streets.  So she did her best not to draw any more attention to the group than she already did by wearing the red and limping so heavily.

Looking between the Queen and her escort who was a Warlord Prince like her brother Maaria couldn't help but watch him curiously for a moment.  He carried himself very similar to the way she remembered her brother though he was more sure of himself.  Given that she had last seen her brother at 16 that wasn't surprising but she couldn't help but feel a bit melancholy as she mentally compared them.  Her shoulders slumped just a little as she wondered if she would ever find her brother, if he was even still alive. 

Giving herself a mental shake because she did this every time she met a Warlord Prince and really she knew better.  Maaria used the Queen's words as a distraction burying her emotions down deep as she replied, "Again thank you for your help and I am sorry about interrupting your evening.  I really do know better than this." 

She gestured faintly toward her leg with her hand, "I knew I should have stopped to rest hours ago but nothing today seemed to go as planned." 

Limping down the street she could help but be a bit curious so she asked in an equally quiet tone, "Do you do this often La...Raet?  Spend time with your people I mean?  I haven't seen many Queens that prefer a quiet walk with a single escort."  Realizing how that might be taken she stammered, "Not that, that is a bad thing of course."

She hesitated for a moment biting her lip for a moment before deciding not to apologize that seemed to be all she was doing at the moment so instead she just stopped talking and started watching.  She noticed the looks between her new escorts and she didn't doubt that they were speaking privately but something told her that they weren't planning to hurt or betray her.  The instinct came from a subconscious part of her mind, the same part that was tugging her toward this Queen.  She couldn't help but feel both safe and curious about this pair. 

It was that urge from deep down that prompted her to speak a bit more bluntly then she probably should have but she couldn't seem to help herself, "I don't want to offend you Raet, but why did you stop to help me?  I wear the Red and I'm a Black Widow most of the people I've met treat me with cautious respect and I haven't had anyone offer me a helping hand free of expectations in years.  So why don't you seem to care?"

Offline Raet Neith

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #5 on: Apr 04, 18, 12:09:05 PM »
"You cause me no trouble.  It is my pleasure to assist my people."  She said it simply, as if helping Maaria limp along was not an unusual occurrence in her life.  Truth be told, she had never helped someone limp along anywhere, unless they counted the rare occasion that Vadik got thumped good in training and she would jokingly help him up after.

She didn't count that.

She instead simply assisted the woman towards the wider streets, grinning a little as the woman motioned towards her leg.  "Things rarely go as planned, really.  I like to plan things - and so I am very experienced with the frustration of things going awry."

<I>Do you do this often La.. Raet?</I>  Her smile deepened, a little, as she found a place to let Maaria sit and rest while they awaited Vadik's cousin.  She settled beside her, smoothing her dress to avoid wrinkles as she considered her answers. 

"I believe that a good leader has to know their people in order to lead them well.  People.. are not always truthful about who they really are when they come to court.  I don't blame them for that - they wish to make a good impression and do their best.  But I cannot truly help them if I do not see how they live, and walking quietly amongst them helps me to know them."

She said it simply, the smile fading as she remembered the last person she'd explained this to.  Maseo.. her eyes closed for a moment, and she rebuilt her polite mask to hide the pinch of pain that memory called up. 

"I am particularly sensitive to emotions, Maaria.  I have a particularly bad habit of trying to fix the hurts and angers of those around me."  Her lips twitched, hearing Vadik snort nearby.  "That would be enough.  But truthfully?"

She turned her head to really look at the woman.  "I'm not sure.  You.. caught my attention.  I have learned to trust my instincts when it comes to people."  She blinked a few times, then turned her attention towards the oncoming carriage. 

"As for your Caste?  You're a Black Widow.  I'm a Queen.  People treat us as they wish.  I choose to see beyond the Caste to the person beneath.  Why, should I be afraid of you?"  Her tone was almost playful.  All Black Widows could kill at this range, and quite easily.  Worse, the Spider had a Red.  She could likely plow through Raet's and Vadik's shielding with ease.

The Queen didn't care.  Maaria was hurt, and her heart ached.  Maaria was one of her people, and so.. Raet would care for her.  If the Spider chose to kill her, there was little that could be done about it. So why fret?

She didn't tell Vadik that, of course.  He'd have an apopleptic fit.

Offline Maaria Nimr

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #6 on: Apr 14, 18, 11:22:17 PM »
Maaria almost laughed out loud as Raet answered her question and her escort snorted in either amusement or exasperation she wasn't sure but the sound definitely reminded her of her twins reactions to some of the things she had done as a child.   She listened carefully as Raet continued, <I>"As for your Caste?  You're a Black Widow.  I'm a Queen.  People treat us as they wish.  I choose to see beyond the Caste to the person beneath.  Why, should I be afraid of you?" <I>

Maaria studied the Queen for a moment, Green to Red wouldn't be a fair fight and Raet clearly understood that.  That alone made Maaria like the woman sitting next to her, Mother Night knew that she'd met plenty of others that did fear her strength and reacted accordingly.  Her own village had been that way and while she loved her family she could tell they weren't always comfortable with her when she returned for short visits.  It was part of the reason that she hadn't gone back in the last couple of years. 

So she shook her head at the question and returned the smile, "No you don't need to be."  She leaned forward to rub at her leg in an effort to get the muscles to relax and watched Raet and her escort out of the corner of her eye as she continued, "It's refreshing to meet someone who isn't tip toeing around me." 

A teasing note entered her voice as she gestured to the carriage, "Besides if I did anything now I wouldn't get a ride and a place to stay for the night.  It would cause a fuss and then I'd have to walk some more and I really, really don't want to do that at the moment."

Offline Raet Neith

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #7 on: Apr 23, 18, 09:13:15 AM »
"You see?  There are so many reasons to not fear you." She gave a gentle smile, offering her hand to help Maaria to her feet.  But her arms slipped around the Widow, too, in order to make sure she didn't put too much weight on her leg.

"Come.  The Carriage is here."  She didn't speak loudly.  And to be fair, she rarely ever did speak loudly - save when pronouncing a judgement. Even then, she spoke only as loudly as was necessary.

A wise person will listen to counsel and speak little, Raet. Only the foolish and prideful need to speak so much their own voice echoes in their ears.

How she missed her Queen.

She helped Maaria into the Carriage, and smiled as Vadik climbed in after them.  For the first few moments of the ride, she said nothing.  She simply closed her eyes, enjoying the comfort of Vadik's presence like a balm to her wounded heart.

She missed Maseo no Shingetsu.  She missed his smile, and that soft little laugh he had so rarely blessed her with.  She missed his hands, and his kisses and.. With a soft sigh, she forced her eyes open and turned her head to regard Maaria.

"If it is not too impolite to ask, Maaria?  Why were you wandering Asyut without an escort to assist you?"  Perhaps on the face of it, that question was ludicrous.  Maaria Nimr was a Black Widow who bore the Red.  She likely could handle any would-be attackers just fine.

But defense against attackers was not the sole purpose of an Escort.  They were there to also ensure that needs were met.  If Lady Nimr had an escort in her walk this day, she'd never have been in so much pain.  The Escort would have carried her to a Carriage, and not cared one bit about any snarling she might have given.

An Escort would ensure she did not grow over-tired, or hungry, or have pains of thirst.  The very thought that Maaria had suffered this day .. irritated her.

And that was odd.  It wasn't that she didn't care about others in similar positions - she did care.  But not quite so viscerally.  It had her frowning, just a little, as she began wondering at why Maaria Nimr's situation bothered her.

Offline Maaria Nimr

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #8 on: Apr 29, 18, 06:29:55 PM »
Maaria allowed Raet to help her to her feet and to the carriage.  Though she did her best to carry more of her own weight.  Getting up into the carriage was painful for her but she did her best to mask that fact and settled into the seat with a relieved sigh.

As the others climbed in and the carriage began to move she leaned her head back and let her eyes slip closed.  Her hand unconciously rubbed at the tense muscles in her leg as she stretched it out ignoring the twinge of pain.

She felt the melancholy shift in Raet's mood and frowned, letting her eyes open as she turned to eye the Queen next to her.  The vision that had led her here had been vague, flashes of green, the city, a house and nothing else save a pull that hadn't lessoned until she'd laid eyes on Raet.  Now she wondered why the tug had felt almost incestent and if if had anything to do with the Queens mood.

Before she could ask though Raet asked her own question and Maaria blinked in surprise.  Silence reigned between them for a few short minutes as Maaria tried to find a way to respond.  It wasn't easy to explain to people that her brother had been the only escort she'd ever really trusted, that her parents hadn't approved of her search and thus had refused to help her find one.  Or that now, having gone six years on her own traveling Raej she just didn't see the point in having one.

Frowning Maaria shifted slightly to better see Raet's face, so she could gauge the response to her answer she replied in a soft tone, "I haven't traveled with an escort since I left home on my search six years ago Lady." 

Shrugging her shoulders Maaria added, "I can't afford to hire a trained escort anyway, most of my funds go to food and supplies for myself."

Deciding that if the Queen next to her was going to ask a personal question she could reply in kind she asked, "Are you all right?  If something is bothering you I could weave a Tangled Web for you.  It's the least I could do to repay you for your help earlier and now." 


Offline Raet Neith

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #9 on: Apr 30, 18, 10:12:30 AM »
Her lips turned up in amusement, and Vadik's snort at hearing Maaria's personal question made her head tip to the side.  "I.. suppose that I didn't shield my emotions well, then."  She sighed, running her fingers over her gown to smooth out a wrinkle here and there.

"I am well.  I merely.. miss those I have lost."  Her Queen, her Parents.. Maseo.  At least Maseo was still alive.  If he had chosen to leave, she was certain this would not have hurt so much.  Or so long. But he had not chosen to leave.

Nailah Abbasi had told him to do so - with the approval of one of her oldest friends.  And from what she understood, both Syeira and Nailah thought that they were acting in her best interest!  Her melancholy shifted to a spark of anger, though she quickly tied that spark down into place.

She gave a smile to Maaria, dipping her head in apology.  "Someone I care for has gone to Dena Nehele, and I worry for his heart.  There is no reason to worry yourself over it."  She reached out, gently squeezing Maaria's hand.

"As for you not having an escort.. I know it is likely not my place.  I know that, and yet.. I feel as if it is."  She frowned, searching Maaria's face.  There was definitely a sensation of .. of possessiveness.. with this female.

Which, she supposed, was possible.  Uncommon, but possible.  "Lady Maaria... were you drawn to Kemet?"  Because Raet had been drawn to that alley.  She'd felt that wave of emotion and it had struck her in the heart.

What are you thinking, Raet?
I think.. that it is possible.. she is mine.
You're certain?
No.. but.. I feel something.


"Because there is something.. soothing.. about you.  And that is not something I would normally attribute to one of your caste."  Her lips turned up in a smile.  "That may have been forward.  My apologies."

Offline Maaria Nimr

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 18, 09:07:41 PM »
Maaria felt a rush of sympathy for the woman sitting next to her.  Loss was something she was all too familiar with, "If you change your mind I would be happy to see if the Webs can tell me how he is doing." 

There was something in the Queen's voice when she spoke that made her curious as to what exactly had happened to drive a man to another Territory and away from a Queen who clearly cared deeply for him.  Still she didn't feel as if it was her place to pry so she left it at that and picked up a different conversational thread.  She did not want to step on the other woman's toes or cause her anymore discomfort.

"As for having an escort . . . I've traveled alone for six years so I've gotten used to taking care of myself.  It truly has never crossed my mind to find one."  She shrugged and gave Raet a warm smile, "Thank you for your concern though."

When Raet asked if she was drawn to Kemet, Maaria grew very still in her seat.  Her dark eyes holding the other woman's gaze with an unnerving, intent gaze.  She was surprised by the question because she had been drawn to the city, had felt a pull all day which was part of the reason she had ended up in that alley.  For a moment she couldn't help being a little suspicious, years on her own making her slow to trust anyone but she sensed no danger from the Queen at her side.  If anything Maaria felt safe and more at home with these two strangers than she did in her own village.  All this passed through her mind and after only a few seconds she blinked and turned, her gaze shifting and growing more distant for a moment as she recalled what had led her here.

She spoke softly, her eyes not really seeing the carriage's interior for all that she was staring at the wall across from her, "I wove a Tangled Web three days ago.  It showed me very little but there was a sensation of needing to be here, a push that wouldn't stop.  I'm afraid it made me a bit unsettled, my traveling companions certainly seemed more. . . uneasy around me."  Maaria was more amused than insulted by the memory of how the others in the merchant caravan had reacted to her sudden intense focus on reaching the city as quickly as possible.

"Even when I got here the feeling didn't ease.  I was following it when I ended up in that alley."  She sighed, running a hand through her hair, "I won't lie when I say I was hoping the vision meant I finally had a solid lead on my brother's location.  But the pull stopped when you walked around the corner."

Turning her gaze back to the Queen next to her she studied her for a moment longer before continuing, "The sudden stop of that pull . . . It's left me . . .off balance."

She frowned in frustration, "I don't really know how to explain this feeling, but I feel safe with you, comfortable . . ." She rubbed her forehead with one hand, fingers tracing the scar there, before studying the other woman, "I think you understand this better than I do."

She finished with a quiet statement, "My visions rarely lead me astray so I will trust that there is a reason I am here now.  A reason it lead me to you.  I would not mind exploring this further if you would allow it."


Offline Raet Neith

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 18, 11:51:11 PM »
"I believe..."  She took a moment, tasting the sensation in her throat for a moment.  It was familiar - and yet very different.  It was the feeling of belonging, of safety - but in a very different fashion.  She felt as if she'd found a missing piece that was so similar to herself that she could have walked past it and not realized.

And had it not been for Maaria's emotional pain, she likely would have.  Her hands reached out again, waiting in offer for Maaria's to enter them.  Whether the Spider did or not, she gave her a smile.

"I believe that you are one of Mine.  I've only Vadik and Kontar, you see.. So I'm not overly experienced in this.  But still.. I feel as if I have known you forever.  Yours is a comfort, a..  Familiarity, that I am sorely lacking."  It was the closest she would come to ever requesting that someone remain with her.

She would never use the Bond, so sacred a thing, as a real leash without knowing that the other side of it Chose to accept such a thing.  She couldn't bare to do that to someone - even when everything in her wanted to pull them to her and never let them go.

She was giving Kontar his freedom; and while he always came to see her often, she missed him greatly every moment he was gone.  She could not deny in the deepest parts of her thoughts that she was hurt that he chose his sister over her; even though she completely understood.  Nailah was the High Priestess of Raej.. And Raet was simply Asyut's District Queen.  Nailah was Kontar's sister, his flesh and blood.

Raet was.. His Queen.  Part of her believed that should win - and it shamed her.  So she buried that, buried that thought and forced it away from her thoughts as she refocused upon Maaria.  "You are free to use that as you like, Maaria...  I do not force my will on my Bonds.  It is always your choice.  Always."

That was a firm statement.  A passionate one from someone who otherwise controlled her emotions with an iron fist.  "But regardless.. I do insist that you rest with us this evening.  I would worry myself senseless if you ran into the night while your leg harms you so."

Offline Maaria Nimr

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #12 on: Jun 11, 18, 11:00:56 PM »
Maaria wasn't familiar with bonds Queens could form with their court beyond the very basic information taught to most children.  She certainly hadn't known it was possible for one to form between a Queen and a female member of the Blood.  Still she believed the other woman.  It was beyond strange how comfortable she felt in the company of this pair of complete strangers.  Comfortable enough that she'd accepted their help when her years on the road had taught her to be wary and suspicious of offers of help that seemed to come without strings. 

The Darkness though whispered that this was where she needed to be, nudged and pushed at her mind.  Her tangled webs had led her here, led her to this city and this Green Jeweled Queen.  Reaching out she placed her hands in Raet's and met the Queens gaze listening not just to the other woman's words but to what emotions she could sense as well.  She couldn't help but be impressed by the fierceness in the otherwise quiet woman's voice as she insisted that she would never use the bond to force anyone to do something they did not wish to.  That statement and the truth it rang with was all Maaria needed to come to her conclusion about this connection she felt with the Queen sitting next to her.

As she reached her decision Maaria felt a shift in the Darkness as if something had clicked into place.  The sensation had her fingers twitching for spider silk and a frame and she had to wrestle down the urge to call in her supplies.  She was too tired to risk a walk in the Twisted Kingdom tonight, she needed food, sleep and to not be in so much pain so she could focus properly.  Tomorrow though she would see what she could see. 

Taking a breath as she shoved the urge to weave aside she said in a soft voice, "I don't know much about the connection between Queens and their people; but I feel more at home, more at ease now than I have in years.  A Tangled Web led me here and I would be a poor Black Widow indeed if I didn't follow the thread and discover why.  If you truly don't mind I would like to stay until you ask me to go or the Darkness bids me to."

Not wanting the Queen to worry overly much she hurried to reassure her, "As for my leg Lady please don't worry about it.  I've become used to the pain when I overwork it over the years.  I just need a good nights rest and I'll be fine in the morning."  Or as fine as she ever was she thought quietly to herself.  She wasn't lying when she said she was used to the pain.  The constant ache that even on a good day was always present but, she didn't want anyone to hover over her so she'd grown well versed at shoving it aside.

Deciding to try and change the topic Maaria inclined her head briefly toward the male in the carriage with them, "You said you only have two other's that are yours Lady are they both members of your court?"  She was curious as to the answer having picked up on a brief moment of melancholy as the Queen had spoken about them.

Offline Raet Neith

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #13 on: Jun 19, 18, 12:15:30 PM »
She smiled, squeezing Maaria's hands lightly.  It felt so good to touch her Bonded.  IT felt.. like home.  As if no matter what weights the world put on her shoulders, there were those who would understand and help lift them.

Maaria's Bond sang like a lullaby in her ears.  Soothing, calming.  Steady like a heartbeat.  She needed that.  Did the Widow know that she was in such need?  Unlikely.  But perhaps, someday, she would.

Perhaps she would choose to stay forever.  Or perhaps just until her webs drew her elsewhere.  Raet inwardly hoped that the webs did no such thing.  It would break her heart for her Bonded to leave her; but she'd never force her to stay. 

"Vadik, here, is my cousin and First Escort.  He has been with me since I rose to take the Court."  She smiled, reaching out to set a hand on Vadik's knee.  "And my other is Kontar Abbasi."  She smiled, closing her eyes.

"He is not part of my Court.  He has not.. intimated.. that he wishes to be.  He visits often though."  She had managed to keep her voice even.  To not let it crack as she fought off the melancholy that his distance caused her.

It wasn't his responsibility to tend her every need.  Regardless of what people expected; not every Bond was suited for Court life.  Kontar came for her when she needed him, and she could expect no more than that.  That she wanted him to join her Court was.. well, her problem.

"I've not yet found a Seer for my Court.  If you will be staying with us for some time, perhaps you might try the role on and see if it suits you?" Raet smiled as Vadik laughed softly.  "My cousin thinks I move impulsively on appointments.. but so far I have not been wrong."

"Luck."

"Queen's Intuition, cousin, and you will someday accept it."  She smiled, reaching out to gently brush his cheek.  Between his presence and Maaria's, it was easier to forget her own sorrow and frustration.  They brought to her a peace that she wished she could maintain on her own.

"I will likely need a Seer's assistance soon anyways.  I will be training with the Lady Neferet.  I wish to deepen my ties with the Darkness."  She was going to train in the Priestesshood so that.. perhaps.. that peace she craved could ever be at her fingertips.  That it would also deepen the ties between herself and Syeira was a bonus. 

Offline Maaria Nimr

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Re: Wandering Spider
« Reply #14 on: Jun 24, 18, 07:39:07 PM »
Maaria had already guessed that the Summer Sky Warlord Prince was the Queen's relative, to find out he was one of her bonded as well garnered no more than a blink.  She cast a small smile his way along with a nod before saying quietly, "I would have guessed you were brother and sister not cousins."

The second male named Kontar Abbasi had a name that seemed familiar to her as if she'd heard it before and she frowned in thought even as she noted that there was something about this male that seemed to trouble the Queen.  Maaria chose not to question it at the moment.  Maybe once she knew Raet better and had met him for herself she might ask or divine the answer for herself, but not now.  Not while they were still virtually strangers.

As she watched the interaction between the other two in the carriage.  It was clear it was founded on respect and love and she found herself feeling a little jealous of their closeness.  She squashed it ruthlessly, even as she wished her brother was with her.  He'd been her confidant and best friend and not knowing where he was left a gaping hole that she doubted anything but finding him would fill.

That feeling made this meeting bittersweet for her because meeting Raet felt like finding another piece of herself that she hadn't known was missing.  There was a safety and warmth that she felt just sitting here that she hadn't felt in years.  Yet one day she might have to choose between the Queen and her brother and she was afraid the choice might damage everyone involved.

So when the Queen offered her the position of Court Seer she decided it was better to be honest with the other woman rather than simply accept immediately like part of her wanted.

Taking a deep breath she spoke softly, "Lady I would be honored to accept your offer but before I do there is something you need to know."

"I have a twin brother, a Warlord Prince like your cousin.  We were always very close, our mother used to say all her gray hairs were our doing.  When we were children there was an accident.  My brother saved my life when everyone else had given up on me."  Maaria couldn't have kept the pain she felt out of her voice even if she'd wanted to and she didn't try.  Her hands tightened on her skirts as her voice cracked, "When we were sixteen he vanished.  No one could find any trace of him and eventually my family stopped looking.  But I swore to myself that I wouldn't.  He didn't give up on me and I can't give up on him."

There was a sense of an urgent need to make the other's in the carriage understand her as she continued, "I'll gladly serve as your Court Seer but if I hear news of him or if a web gives me a lead I hope you'll understand that I must go.  I made a promise and I have to keep it."