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Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Recent Posts

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1
Pruul / Re: Actual Trash Fire Elenor Lirion
« Last post by Shahrzad al-Tarazed on Today at 01:07:39 AM »
The Sabbah Compound had moved from utter chaos to an organized sort of pandemonium. The severely injured were either receiving treatment or had died. People still trickled in steadily to receive water and food, and displaced people were still sleeping in the courtyard, but the mad rush had died down. Things weren't back to normal by any stretch of the imagination, but order had begun to gain ground.

Between the library and its new resident Geiba orphans, the garden, and the general chaos in Onn, Shahrzad was tired. Zand had told her to slow down three times in the past week, but it was impossible not to devote all of her Green power to Gifting the water that sustained the rooftop garden. The fruits of her efforts were undeniable, but rarely had Zadi felt so drained. The news that Elenor had returned was welcome, one of the constant demands on Zadi to be relieved. Was this a taste of what it was to be a ruling Queen? Was this what Elenor had to deal with every day? If so, maybe it was true that Zadi wasn't capable of ruling. Maybe she really wasn't strong enough.

She and Zand met two Landen men on the stairs to the roof, and Zand stood aside for them to pass. Zadi smiled politely at both of them: neither would meet her eyes, but nor did they curse her or tell her how she wasted water, a more common occurrence than she cared to dwell on.

The midday sun began to bake them the moment they emerged into it, and Zadi quickly pulled her veil up to shade her eyes.

"Elenor!" Zadi broke into a grin and waved at her friend, but cut herself off when she realized how close the Sabbah Queen was standing to Matin. Zadi quickly cleared her throat and took a more formal tone.

"That is, My Lady. If I'm interrupting something, I'd be happy to come back later?"

Elenor's relationship with Matin had been rather rocky, but for once it looked like the two of them were actually getting along. As desperate as Zadi was to catch up with El and hear all about her travels, she was loathe to break into a private moment.
2
Dena Nehele / Re: A space between valleys
« Last post by Sydney Concord on Oct 18, 18, 10:47:40 PM »
Two and a half weeks after the Decimation - what sort of name was that really (beside accurate) - saw Cid actually within his office. He was doing better, truly, aside from the occasional splitting headache and the fact that ... Well, he was not advertising what the other facts were. He still could not reach fully for his Green or his Gray, finding himself more or less at something below half strength. It was enough to grant him the skintight shields he preferred but not much else than that.

Arkadie had assured him he was fine, that things would return in time when she had looked him over (and did so with regularity, even when he thought it was better that she did not stretch herself so thin). There was all manner of meeting and letter that had been postponed that he was just now getting too. Which included the letter that had apparently been sitting on his desk for quite some time unopened. Rabin had been seeing to affairs in his absence when he was not helping Liana but it appeared this letter had been left untouched.

Not that Cid was sure why considering that it was from Kirill ... Reaching for a letter opener (instead of simply calling a knife to hand, which rankled), he opened the letter and scanned the contents before sighing. It took two attempts for his thread to settle upon one of the staff before they informed him that Kirill was here. *See him to me,* he had said without adding the stop being an idiot about it because mostly that was Cid and his own annoyance about things.

"Come in," Cid called, the scant few minutes later that Kirill had been brought to see him. The Prince was already up from his desk, at a sideboard to make sure there was enough to drink for the two of them before he turned to greet Kirill. "Apologies that I didn't get you myself," there was an old, familiar wry smile on Cid's face that Kirill would recognize the tired edges of; just the same as the Gray-Jeweled Prince was not constantly in motion sort he usually was, "as I've only recently returned to duties."
3
Dena Nehele / Re: From the Mountains They Came
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Oct 18, 18, 09:16:01 PM »
Sometimes Jeremiah did not know why Drake wanted to try and argue with Rilandra. Things were simply meant to be and in this case, their being late? It was meant to be. That and the more that one tried to push Ryllis to be perfectly on time the more that it seemed things went awry to go against that. Whether it was the Queen's pregnancy or Mother Night herself remained to be seen. Jeremiah was certain it was equal parts both but that was neither here nor there.

What he did instead was to make sure that there were updates sent along every time they stopped along with revising the notes for the agenda every time. A fair amount of fresh parchment had been tucked away for note taking during the talks with the expectation that he would be assisting in the aftermath with Sebastian in seeing to the necessary documents written up. (It was, after all, what he was meant to be doing as a Steward. In truth it made him miss Valeriu, the many discussions they had had about topics such as this. That the Prince was not here for this hurt in some inexplicable way that he could not explain.)

There was almost enough time that he had considered weaving a web while they were on the way but he did not. For all that Drake was First Escort, the one who primarily saw to the Queen's needs, with her pregnant it was easier said than done. So in that way he still was, very much, Queen's Shadow. Which brought to mind the following: being Queen's Shadow and Steward left little room for anything else. Especially leading up to the meeting. Lisichya had left, gone to Darkwood to spend time at the beach and see the ocean. Which he suspected Sebastian helped aid because he likely wanted to avoid any Black-Jeweled bullshit. Such as the Healer simply showing up, tucking himself into Jeremiah's lap, and not caring one lick about what others would think. While that was acceptable (not really but then who wanted to argue with either of them about it) at the Territory Court it was not acceptable now.

So in that absence, with no Healer present to keep him in line and make sure he looked after himself, Jeremiah had taken to keeping company with Claudia more than usual. With the talks coming up they put aside the other issues (the ones related to Black Widows and webs and certain scions) and focused upon them. It meant that the Black Widow Warlord Prince had been sleeping but not regularly and, truthfully, had only been taking naps here and there (usually with Ryllis as that had not truly changed). Nothing had been seen that could not, inevitably, be handled.

Though there had been two immediately important things that Jeremiah had noticed upon during his visions. The Desert Star, the one of Red, that had always been a part of the landscape of his Twisted Kingdom was closer than ever after it had collided and fallen. It was something to consider but he left it alone. Just the same as he found Drake to be surrounded by a gloom of Summer Sky. The Prince's expression had been mixed, the Summer Sky a dark cloak about him. His thoughts had been that it was about- Well, Jeremiah was not going to think about what his thoughts had been because he simply did not want to go down that path.

... and then, during greetings, everything clicked into place (Jeremiah was as charming as ever). There, standing with the Eyrien Delegation, was the Desert Star; another Black Widow Warlord Prince. Their greeting was polite and formal, both their gazes speaking of knowing more, but it did not stop Jeremiah from reaching out with a brush of Rose. *It is good to see you well, Desert Star. I worried when I saw your star collide and fall but you are strengthened by it.*

*And you, Winter.  I feared for you every time you wavered. I am pleased to see you are shining so strongly.*

Before he could respond he felt the shift, the way that the world seemed to move under his feet but it had not actually done any such thing. Jeremiah's eyes locked with Abaddon's and then they both looked between the Queen of Askavi, revealed by her Warlord Prince, and the First Escort of Dena Nehele who stood by his Queen.

*The Summer Sky ...* said Jeremiah.

*The Red ...* said Abaddon.

They both looked back to each other and inclined their heads just slightly. So much for his taking notes, thought Jeremiah then, because there was little that could be done when a male first saw his Queen. Even if it was years ago, Jeremiah still remembered the day that he had met Riley in the tree and how they had spent so many hours together. There was little that would have made him focus upon something else and so he settled for creating a memory crystal later as Jeremiah fell upon keeping an eye upon the room, though the emotional pulse of it was - to put it lightly - something else, and ensuring that Riley's protection was his main focus.

He took a step closer to Riley, hand pressing to the small of her back and thumb rubbing softly. Jeremiah wrapped his Queen up in Rose, not her body, but her mind as a comfort in this time. He knew, he understood, and he was here for her. To his credit, Jeremiah looked to Illyrian and bowed his head just slightly. The reason was that she was to be respected, her will just as strong as Drake's was to ignore what called them to each other now. It did not ease the bitter ache that was within Riley, the one he knew she had, but then nothing would in knowing that Drake was no longer just hers.

Especially as Drake was - for him - rather obvious about his staring at the Eyrien Queen, Illyrian Kriat. Just as Warlord Prince, Drakkar Estaroth, was on point for trying to stare daggers into him. Today, apparently, it fell upon the Black Widow Warlord Princes to be setting the good examples when most would likely assume that to be far from the case. Thankfully both Jeremiah and Abaddon were charming, Riley and Illyrian were well-spoken and forthright, Drake was heart-eyes, Drakkar was stabby-eyes, and if Sebastian glowered any more ...

Well. Jeremiah already felt a touch guilty that he was not the one taking notes for all that he spoke and spoke well when necessary about their stance and what they were willing to trade and the back and forth. Especially as he thought of Val, once more, and the discussions they used to have. The trade agreement saw the influx of raw foodstuffs that would boost both territories, the surplus of harvests at a rate that was better than either of them had expected. He could only hope that they were not planning on changing out the current ambassador, Scar, for someone else. Such a thing seemed cruel, in so many ways. The topic of joint rites, however, was one that had been a point of contention. Yes, it could help, but at the same time Hayll was quiet now but that meant little. Things were often quiet before the storm and there was something that niggled at his senses.

When the break came, his head tilted, a questioning thought sent to Abaddon, not aloud as much of their conversations had been (not that their conversations made a lick of sense to anyone listening). *Do you feel it too? Something on the horizon?* Not that he could say what, only that there was more to come. Yet the Queens had made their decisions and so they would continue on. Jeremiah could not disagree, not in the slightest.

He only reached and placed his hand along Riley's, his fingers resting over hers lightly and squeezing. Another brush of Rose was given, comfort and reassurance and love, as he glanced once more to Drake (who had just cut his eyes away from Lady Kriat once more). Jeremiah did not sigh but he wanted to. Jeremiah instead focused upon what he was here to do now, which was ensure that everything went smoothly and make sure that Riley made it through this meeting with most of her heart still intact.
4
Keep's Registry / Re: Diejo Verdesio
« Last post by z on Oct 18, 18, 08:55:57 PM »
Ready for review!
5
Dena Nehele / Re: Disaster, lightly spiced.
« Last post by Elenor al-Sabbah on Oct 18, 18, 07:12:43 PM »

Dearest Pepper,

That was possibly the most informative, straightforward and useful letter I have ever received. In a Clan and Court full of infighting and double-crossing, advice like that is welcome and cherished, especially because I feel like it is within my skillset and ethical code to follow it with no reservations. While the younger of the two ladies now under my protection still scowls when she sees me (her grandmother and aunt are the leaders of the opposition against me and have filled her little head with many horror stories about the long-lived in general and myself in particular) I feel like I might be making headway with the older of the two. Other than this young Queen's impatience to be doing things she has proved to genuinely want to serve and learn.

Alas, as it seems, she is not the odd Queen out without trauma or difficulties. I won't speak of them since they are private to her but I'm sorry to hear of yours. Eight does seem to be a rather... difficult year for many. I lost the first Bonded I can remember and became homeless and parentless at that age and I'm heartbroken to hear that we seem to share much of that same history. I'm glad you had Riley for all the years and that she was such a pillar of love and support. I think I would have turned out much differently and for the better had I had someone like that in my life and will try my best to be that person for Salma and Sarina.

On another subject, but it might please you to know that the seeds you sent me back to Pruul with have sprouted and are growing healthy and strong. We've been gardening at full tilt here on the rooftops of Onn, using some new watering and Gifting techniques. I've attached the schematics because they make the most of limited power and I think you might enjoy playing around with them and might even find them useful. Sarina has a real problem with being able to hear the needs of the Land, doubtless from growing up in a place where it just isn't communicative, so gardening is brand new for her. It's been fun, I admit, to share my love of it with her and the other native-born Queens coming to me for advice now that commerce has slowed to a crawl and we have a cooped up population of half the Territory to feed off new and still expanding gardens. I made a quick sketch of the vie of Onn that I can now see from my roof on the back of this letter. While I definitely would not suggest traveling to Pruul until the Worm issue is resolved I thought I'd at least give you a glimpse into my world.

I hope this letter finds you as well as you can be. Have you chosen where you'll rule yet? I'm sure your life is full of decisions these days and so I'm going to make one unsolicited request: relax your brow, release the tension you're carrying in your shoulders, and take a deep breath every time you think of me. I'll do the same in return and maybe we'll both carry just a little less worry around with us.

Always yours,

Salt

6
Dena Nehele / Re: Disaster, lightly spiced.
« Last post by Sorinna Roman on Oct 18, 18, 06:35:58 PM »

Salt,

I am surprised and saddened to hear about your constituent tribe. Eight years old is a deeply formative age, and especially painful when a parent, or parents, are taken away. The memories and attachments developed in that time have a longer lasting effect than any others, in my opinion. I’m not a Black Widow, though, so I’m only speaking from my personal experience. Because you’ve mentioned your Wards and asked directly about my experiences, I would like to pay special attention to that part of your letter.

My father was murdered in front of me when I was eight. I ran from our home and spent most of the following day in the woods. I’ve never known such terror and I’d never wish it on another soul. When Riley found me, I didn’t want to go with her. I didn’t want to follow her or believe that my life had changed, not even after she and Jeremiah confirmed the awful truth of my father’s death. I had nightmares for years, and I still do. I didn’t speak and I was...difficult.

That leads to my first piece of advice: Be there, for both of them.

You are a Queen and you have been a Queen for your entire life, so you have much to teach them. Even when you don’t think you are, they’re learning from your examples. Because of the blood in your veins, it would be easy to forget that you’re older that your Ward and myself combined, and with years to spare. Riley was there for me every day, no matter how terrible I was. She gave me the space to grieve. She set her expectations and made the consequences clear when I didn’t meet them. Most of all, she showed up every single day, no matter how her day went or how tired she was. They may respond immediately. Or they may reject you. They may question you and they will assert themselves. Treat them as the Queens they are, but impress upon them that this a time to learn and to decide whom they wish to be when they rule. They won’t agree with everything you do. They won’t agree with most of it.

But they are Wards in your Court and their lives and safety are in your hands.

Also, Riley has never lied to me. I know that I can ask her anything and receive a straight answer, even if it’s uncomfortable or something that she’d rather not talk about. People will lie to them every day of their lives to get into their heads, their beds, or their good graces. Their males will lie to spare their feelings or avoid an argument. Their Triangles will omit facts in order to keep them focused on what they think is necessary. You can’t control that.

You can be the one person in their lives that they count on for the truth above all else. Give that to them. Trust them with it and they will surprise you and honor you with their loyalty.

In the beginning, when Riley and I were still struggling to understand each other, we always bonded over gardening. Sowing seeds, trimming overgrowth, and using our Gift built bridges between us that couldn’t have been been built any other way. If your Wards take well to that, do it! If not, find the thing that you have in common with each of them and then focus on it. Let them get to know you, both as their leader and as their a sister in our caste. When my father died, I needed to rebuild my faith in people. Riley and her Court did that for me.

On a side-note, get your Court involved. If everyone helps them feel a bit more at home, it only helps.

For your younger Ward, it’s important that she knows you care about her. She’s looking for someone to show her how to be a Queen and she’s going to have a million questions. Answer them as honestly as possible, as often as possible. The way you rule, act, and even the way you use Craft will shape how she learns and even how she will rule someday. Set the tone and the expectation. Explain the consequences and why they exist. As she gets older, stand beside her, but let her know that someday, she’ll have to stand on her own.

For your elder Ward, she’s reaching the age of her majority. She knows that she rule something, someday, and that’s never going to be far from her mind. If she hasn’t met her heart-bonded males, be ready for a lot of joy and heartache, sometimes at the same time! Doubly so if she already has! The idea of a Virgin Night ceremony can be intimidating, but it’s even worse when you have to talk about it. Don’t push her, but you can always ask if she’s thought about it and let her decide her comfort level. The same applies to her Offering. Reinforce that her jewels do not decide what kind of Queen she can be, nor her worth as a Queen or a woman. Only she can decide those things. The number of people who told Riley that she couldn’t change Dena Nehele was vastly smaller than the number of people who supported her doing just that.

Your Wards have the benefit of your presence and each other’s. Riley was the only Queen that I knew for a very long time; it’s only in the past year that I’ve met other Queens who have lived different lives and experiences than mine. I’m better for it, but it was Riley who first showed me the way. Do that for them and they’ll pass it on to those that they extend their protection to during the course of their own lives and reigns.

A woman I respect once told me that it’s our job to nourish, feed, and honor the souls of everyone that Mother Night puts into our path. Not just our bonded, but everyone, from the Landens to the members of our Triangle. That’s been on my mind often over the last year and I’m doing my best to honor that.

You’ll do right by them, Salt. I have faith in you.



Always,

Pepper

7
Askavi / Re: The Dreaming Desert
« Last post by Abaddon al-Sabbah on Oct 18, 18, 03:12:51 PM »
Abaddon’s eyebrows rose, and he shook his head.  ”If Lady Elenor came looking for trouble, she would find it, and it would be her own fault.  Tavar Andros—Fin al-Sabbah is the Voice of the Sabbah.  It is how we run our Clans...there is a Queen, and her main advisor which is the Voice.  They do not need to be Bonded, the Voice is typically selected by the people in the absence of a Queen or by other means, occasionally a Clan or Tribal Council.  Fin, I am certain, would advise her against foolishness—as would I.”  He half smiled, ”Precisely.  There is no reason to borrow trouble, when we all have plenty of our own.  I have not foreseen and issue from that vector, though that is not a guarantee that there cannot be.  My inner eye often focuses all on its own.”

He could sense the enormous weight of Drakkar’s years shifting slightly, turning very slowly, like a great worm.  More dangerous and more powerful for its size, but very slow to change direction.  Abaddon could sense real progress, real heartfelt growth, and that pleased him.  If he died, it would not be so terrible a sacrifice if it meant something.  ”Hardship for hardship.  Men call me ‘abomination’ here, Father.  I am not sure if more would have died here, or in Pruul.  As it was, I had something of a dark reputation.”  Abaddon smiled, ”A knife for a knife; your old sword will server as a reminder for me as well.”

Abaddon was not ashamed of his life.  He felt annoyance and anger and rage, but no shame.  He had his regrets, and he was not shy about sharing them.  If he could not share the truth in his own mind with a potentially dying man, who could he share it with?  Perhaps, one day, he would tell his newfound half-brother what he had endured, but that day seemed farther away.  Lucky and he might become friends, even family, but until Lucky matured and understood the responsibility of leadership, his own and other, they were unlikely to ever see eye to eye.  Time would tell.  Abaddon knew where he was from now.  He knew and understood his heritage in ways that he could never have done without coming to Askavi and carving into Drakkar’s flesh with his knife.  It was tragically comical, but he kept that to himself.  He did not know where he would go next, but he knew his journeys were not over, and he knew that one of those places was Raej, even now he felt a tug, even now he gazed into the sky and saw Sapphire star pulsing, calling to him, reminding him of his visions.

”I would like that, Father.  I will go with you whenever you are ready.”  Abaddon smiled, and then slowly narrowed his eyes, expanding his perceptions.  ”I will see you soon.”  He gripped his Father’s shoulder, and with a small push, sent him tumbling away from the plateau rising up and up and up through the stars until he tumbled into consciousness.  It had been three days, Abaddon marveled at how far they had come, and when he was alone, he called up a vision of The Spider, of Adramelech, and stared at the simulacrum he had created in his mind.  ”I have walked the path, Old Spider, I have come to the end of your thread, and I am truly free.  Ghanima, my Queen, killed you.”  He growled, ”But I have throttled your memory, and pulled your crooked line straight.  What you have written, I will erase.”  Abaddon scattered the image, and great shadow, star-filled wings lifted him to the stars—and back into consciousness.

8
Askavi / Re: The Dreaming Desert
« Last post by Drakkar Estaroth on Oct 18, 18, 01:18:49 PM »
Drakkar felt a swell of sympathy for his son. It was bad enough when one had to tolerate the existence of other people, but having to endure their thoughts sounded like true hell. Drakkar knew that he’d commit murder if he had to deal with the insanity of people’s thoughts on a regular basis. He liked to think that he lived a cleaner, purer life than being trapped in his own head on a daily basis. But Abaddon said that he’d seen the dreams of Living Lake’s people and that explained how he, an outsider, would have known about the option of trial by combat.

He raised an eyebrow at Abaddon when he said that Tavar’s Queen was mentally delicate. The description did her no favors. A Queen was a difficult creature to deal with at any time, but one whose Chalice was damaged was a special hell unto itself. Drakkar had wondered about Illyrian for a time after Eristovar’s death. Of course, if her had been damaged, it was at least partly his fault. But his Queen maintained good relations with Black Widows among the Hourglass Coven, so the worry about her mind was a small one.

Let’s hope that she doesn’t come seeking trouble. For now, that’s a concern for another day. There are a thousand others that will plague me in the coming months.” Drakkar said. But even those concerns didn’t feel like an ominous future that threatened to destroy them all. Drakkar knew that he needed solutions to the greater problems of his people. They needed food and medicine. They needed to replenish the land and protect their borders. They needed to find ways to survive everything that was coming.

For the first time in centuries, however, Drakkar Estaroth had hope for the future. It was a seedling that was just taking root. With enough care and maintenance, it would grow stronger and branch out to include others. Abaddon had already shown him a parth, shown him that the fear choking away his hope did not have to be allowed to grow stronger. He could choose to take happiness from life, or let fear rob him of all joy and strength.

Drakkar wanted more from his life.

A knife for a knife? That’s a fair trade. Had you been here, you would have received your first knife from me before you went to the Hunting Camps. And another weapon when you graduated. If I had known...your life would have been hard here. I won’t tell you otherwise. But you would not have lived beneath this Spider you speak of.” Drakkar said.

He did not attempt an apology to Abaddon. It would be hollow, given all that he’d endured. There was no guarantee that life in Askavi would have suited him. The apology would have made Drakkar feel better and, truly, he did not deserve that. Not yet, not when it came to the road that had brought him here.

So sat and watched as Abaddon showed him the scenes of his life. From birth until now, Drakkar saw all that his son had endured. His birth, his adolescence. Tavar’s influence, followed by the machinations of the one called the Old Spider. A Dhemlanese woman who also shaped his life. Siblings, including Prince Lucky. A pale-skinned woman who was close to Tavar. Young short-lived women whom Tavar had taken as family and tried to teach alongside Abaddon.

The fall of the Old Spider and Tavar, looking like death itself, as he stood between children and a mob rady to kill them. He saw Deephome and unbridled joy that Abaddon had taken in finally being unsheathed to mete out carnage. He saw the fight between them through Abaddon’s eyes, a battle to purge a poison of the soul as well as an attempt to make his father listen and see.

When it was all said and done, Drakkar sat back and processed all of it. What could he say? What could he possibly about what his son had endured to become the man who could walk into a foreign Court and challenge its ruler, knowing that he could die? Abaddon could have stayed where he was safe. He could have ruled and lived well for the rest of his days with Tavar as his friend and adviser. But the pain and the poison in his soul would have remained.

The same would have been true for Drakkar.

Despite the distance between their homelands, they were deeply alike. That humbled and frightened him, for Drakkar wanted better for his children than he’d had. And someday, long before his day came to return to Mother Night, Abaddon would precede him. Well, he’d already wasted enough time on fighting and pride. He would be better for Abaddon, for Illyrian, Celebrian, and Kaderian. And yes, even Tavar.

He would be better for himself.

There are many things i would show you, too, when we wake. These sights and experiences are better seen in person, rather than dreams and memories. I hope you’ll join me once I’ve started making amends.
9
Askavi / Re: The Dreaming Desert
« Last post by Abaddon al-Sabbah on Oct 18, 18, 01:14:29 PM »
Abaddon’s work quietly continued. He could not force Drakkar to think a certain way, or to suddenly change, but he could repair the damage that kept him from using all of himself. He knew that his Father had a difficult road ahead, should he live. Change was never easy. Abaddon did not assume he knew better than Askavi. The Territory had a rich culture to call upon, if it bothered to do so. Gravesend and Illyrian were proof of that, despite the resentment that seemed inherent in some when they turned their minds to the fact that she had created this haven. As far as Abaddon was concerned, it was like saving a library full of the knowledge of the people, and that was never a bad thing in his estimation. Protocol and traditions so old they were written into the Abyssal memory of every member of the Blood had been born amongst the Eyriens, and other long-lived. They could not just throw that away, and fail because they forgot about their better selves.

He smiled slightly, ”Yes and No, is the honest answer. We are kin, so it is a bit easier. However, my particular gift is the Mind.” Abaddon was thoughtful for a moment, ”It is not always voluntary. I have learned to filter out what people send out without even knowing it. For most, I think it is a door you open, for me it is a door I have to close.” Then he gestured, ”However, we are essentially in my own mind, my Web, so here it is very easy, even necessary. It is how I learned about Gravesend. I sampled the dreams of those in Living Lake.”

Abaddon nodded slowly at the mention of Fin and his sentencing, as well as his Queen. ”His Queen believes that she is old. She is not, not by comparison to you or to Illyrian—I am sorry, not old, but—experienced in years? That is a better way to put it.” He considered what he knew of Elenor, and grumbled softly, the sound becoming a brief but frustrated growl. ”She is mentally delicate. She was a patient of mine, and she had work yet to do when Fin and I left, but a person has to want to be fixed—and her behavior seems to indicate otherwise.” He tilted his head slightly, ”She’s willful enough to come looking for him, but that will not change anything.”

”Father, “ He began, ”When Adramelech died, my existence was called into question, and I was very alone. I found Ghanima. I remembered Ana—not a sister by blood, but by circumstance. There was Fin as well. I learned that I was not as alone as I feared. Fear is a powerful illogical thing.” Abaddon shook his head, ”I understand the importance of Family and connection.” He gestured at the stars, ”How can I not? I risked our lives to find a way through, we both did.” He smiled and with his other hand, patted his Father’s, ”I would like that. I have yet to really be anyone’s Son.”

Abaddon nodded, ”Yes, it would please me to see my gift get some use. I will take your broken sword and craft a knife from it. We will consider it an exchange.” He smiled, and nodded at the idea of a rematch. ”A smile. I would not have believed you capable when I first arrived.” His nostrils flared slightly, ”I have carried around a child’s sense of abandonment for as long as I can remember. This was subordinated by the manipulations of the Spider, as he applied year after year of Webs to my mind and body. When I tore those away, everything did not come back to me at once—it trickled in—but this sense of displacement remained, and bloomed into a kind of poison. Made me feel alien, when I was not. That is the problem with understanding the Mind—you understand it,but you can’t stop it from doing foolish things, even if it is your own mind. I knew that it had to be dealt with, and that has been done. My motives were not entirely selfless or noble, but personal as well.” And then more seriously, ”Fate has brought us together. We will learn the reason for it in the days ahead.”

He looked up at the sky, ”I think you are right.” They would live. Abaddon had sensed the Healing Craft, and knew that he, at least, would not die—and his Father’s mind remained steady and intact. They had time yet to talk, but the hardest part was done. He took a breath, ”You wanted to know about my life. I will show you.” And he did.
10
Askavi / Re: The Dreaming Desert
« Last post by Drakkar Estaroth on Oct 18, 18, 01:12:56 PM »
Drakkar imagined what it would be like to feel comfort in Illyrian’s presence, rather than the fight-or-flight response she engendered in him. Abaddon would see clearly their last argument, how painful and jarring it had been for both of them. He’d wanted to pull her close and hold her until the pain ceased and not a moment before. But as Drakkar examined the memory, something felt different. He recognized himself as the man in the memory, but the expression of pure distaste that bordered on hate for his Queen etched upon his face made him feel like he was looking at a stranger. Perhaps it was an early effect of Abaddon’s Mind Healing, but the dissonance between how he felt now and what he’d felt then was jarring.

Are you always going to be able to read my thoughts so easily? If so...I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.

Abaddon showed him, for a moment, what it was like to be him and see the connections in things. Drakkar gasped as he saw how the sky and the stars fit together, how the entire universe was like one great cycle, moving on and on in spite of their whims and attempts to slow it down and wring one more moment from the world.

And like that, the insight was gone and Drakkar was himself again. That tiny glimpse, however, made the Warlord Prince of Askavi hunger for more. He’d loved learning, centuries ago. Learning about other cultures, as well as metal-working were things he enjoyed. He’d fallen away from all of that during the preparations for the war, but he missed those old days. Now that Abaddon was here, perhaps he had someone to discuss these things with again.

Tavar’s sentence will be fair. I’m not interested to meet this Queen that holds his leash, though. Does she know him? Does he know her? The last thing he needs is a woman with a weak will.” Drakkar grunted.

He fell silent for a moment, considering his next words.

”If it matters, I hope we both live. Life will be very interesting if we do, and I think we could be friends.”

Or course it matters." Drakkar said, his tone a little harsher than he intended. He wasn’t scolding his son, but he wanted him to know that life mattered. Despite their need to tear into each other in order to go deeper, their lives mattered. Drakkar had always believed that.

We’re going to live, Abaddon, because we have Queens to return to and families who love us. We’re going to live because death is easy. Death is an end and a release. Dying is the hard part. Even for the long-lived, knowing that our years, while long, are finite, we still have to strive for something. Living is hard.

And someone wise told me that Eyriens don’t let fear stop them from doing something hard.
” he said, looking to Abbadon.

I also think we could be friends. More importantly, I’d like to be your father while I have the chace.” he said, covering his son’s hand with his own.

Most important of all...you gifted me with your...khanjar, did you call it? I would like to wear it out of respect for you and the fight we had.” Drakkar said, standing and stretching.

Besides, you owe me a rematch. Minus the blood and dying. Tavar taught you some interesting moves, ones that I’d never considered. But now that I’ve seen them, I want to know what else you can do.” Drakkar said. The grin on his face made was genuine now, and would have been strange to anyone who’d never seen him smile without killing someone. But Drakkar Estaroth was a private man and often kept things like joy and pride between himself and the person who’d earned it. In this case, he was willing to bend his rules. It cost him nothing enjoy his son’s company.

Smiles and laughs were for family, after all. 
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