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Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Established February 2010
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Keep's Registry / Re: Daedalus Pecaro
« Last post by Myst on Today at 12:13:00 PM »

Registry Cleanup Notice
This character sheet has been inactive within the Keep's Registry for over 2 weeks. If you wish to keep this character sheet (including the Jewels rolled) you will need to reply to this thread within 2 weeks or else you will forfeit the character and the Jewels.
Glacia / Re: Maybe We Have Been Here Once Before
« Last post by Carmine Valerio on Today at 09:31:11 AM »
The words were pretty, so pretty. Just as the Queen that spoke them was. Yet that meant little to Carmine. No, what he was interested in was her actions. What she did going forward, how her Territory Court guided Glacia in this time of need. Just how would the Dark Religion, the absolute faith of those Darkly blessed by Mother Night within the frozen land, would continue on. Would the whispers grow? Would they lessen? That was what Carmine cared about.

Only time would tell.

Carmine, thankfully, had patience.

A scent was growing closer, Carmine noted. One that spoke of the pages of a book; that said Queen. Without truly looking as if he were watching her, the Warlord Prince did not bother to move as she was clearly on a course for bumping into him. He let his attention flick back forward as both felt and heard the slosh of liquid upon his suit.

"Only a little," said Carmine, glancing down at where the liquid was soaking into his clothing. "Nothing to worry about." With a flick of his fingers, the liquid was dispersed, the fabric of his morning dress coat dry once more. "See? Everything is quite alright. No apologies necessary." Her anxiety was something malleable, something that he could use. Never would Carmine not take advantage of something like this. Not when it was a Queen.

"I'd be more concerned about your dress, Lady," said Carmine, lifting a hand towards her. "Would you permit? I know a thing or two about cleaning up such things." In the lighting of the room, the blue of his eyes seemed endless as they focused upon the Queen. "A necessary skill when one has traveled as much as I have." Somewhere, he knew, was his Ama. She was not that far away, getting them drinks, and then she would return.

"I simply do not want to presume and do such if you are familiar with the craft."
Dena Nehele / Re: 'cause wherever we are, it feels like home
« Last post by Cristina Dumitrescu on Today at 09:30:38 AM »
The wisp of White opening the door told Cristina that-- Wait, no. There was the more usual greeting. While there was a rather obvious height difference between the two--Artie was taller by more than a few inches--it did not stop the Healer from catching the Queen. Cristina held onto her, even spun her around (thank her father for his belief in strengthening her body), until Artie was catching her chin.

Cristina returned the kiss, eyes sliding shut until it was broke and Artemisia was leading her across the room. Sometimes she thought it was funny how much the Queen could make her feel not tired by simply being around her. The kiss practically filled up her empty emotional wellspring without trying.

"Hi," she answered, rather belatedly and somewhat moonstruck by the greeting. It took another moment for her to process what Artemisia said. Which was why she was frowning faintly at what was said. It might've been too late to stop her from worrying because she was starting to. That meant that the Purple Dusk-Jeweled Healer was absolutely using a touch of diagnostic craft to check up the Queen.

Her brow knitted together, a faint crease that had no place on her forehead appearing. "If you say so," said Cristina finally, "then I will believe it." Even if the diagnostic craft helped paint a picture that she was going to push away for Artie's sake. She squeezed her fingers back, pulling their joined hands up. Cristina pressed a kiss to the tips of Artie's fingers, smiling at her.

"Tired and probably too much?" She paused. "... I don't mean I was draining myself to embers." That couldn't be afforded, not with everything going on. "Just that I've been dealing with so much, especially with Lady Vlas's baby on the way. Which is mostly what I was doing today: getting things prepared for the birth of her child."
Dena Nehele / Re: and then the whisper comes
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Today at 09:30:12 AM »
"I am certain both Lady Graveworthy and Lady Luceau will be able to make use of another talented Mind Healer." Jeremiah smiled briefly. "In fact, I've no doubt you'd be offered a chance to stay on for a season or more given how much we hurt for Mind Healers within Dena Nehele." Though he knew well that Shadya's path would not keep her within the territory forever, it would for a time and any time was good enough.

"I would tell you thanks are not necessary," not when he believed he shouldn't be thanked for what he thought as not only courtesy but how the Blood should act, "but I've learned to simply accept them and say that you are more than welcomed."

The Black Widow Warlord Prince paused. "I will say that you are not an imposition in the slightest," said Jeremiah with a smile. "If you've need for a change of attire, to have yours laundered, or anything, there should be some things within the closet in this suite that you can make use of." His head tilted, queerly bright eyes looking beyond Shadya. "I believe they should be in your size but if not something else can be found."

The smile on his face was back at the mention of Sorinna and dinner. "We all eat together around eight." It was a late dinner time for sure but it enabled almost everyone to be there. "I'll have an extra plate set for you and let Sorinna know that you're here and joining us." Mostly so that his daughter could make arrangements to the seating arrangement around her and inform her Bonded males so as to not cause a possible tiff. Not that he expected most of her males to cause one.

He moved to stand, though he paused with his hands pressed to his thighs. "If you've any other questions, you can ask one of the guards or reach for me. I'll leave you to getting acquainted and see to those things I said I would procure for you." Pushing himself up, the Black Widow Warlord Prince swept into a proper goodbye before he simply smiled at Shadya. "Things are not always quiet here," said Jeremiah, "but while you are here, I think your mind--if not your heart as well--might be able to rest easier."

Then, unless she stopped him, Jeremiah turned to leave and left Shadya to the room. There was already a checklist of things to do organized in his head and he only had so much time to see them done in what he considered a timely manner.
Dena Nehele / Re: creeping around like no one knows
« Last post by Anya Welvert on Today at 09:29:09 AM »
Charles was content--for the time being--to let himself fade to the background. Once Mercianna was seated, her chair pushed in as well because he was a proper gentleman and Escort, he waited until Lady Welvert had hers as well (and was waved off when he offered to do the same for her as he had Mercianna) to take his own.

It went without saying that Mercianna keeping herself calm and centered did wonders for the Warlord Prince. He only put up with Anya for the Priestess, no other reason. To be blunt: Charles did not trust her, not one bit, because if their ends did not align he had no doubt that Anya Welvert would work against them. That and he knew that the Black Widow was aware of what had transpired between Minerva Tailor and himself. That alone ensured the Black Widow did not like him.

At least the feeling was mutual.

Anya's gaze slid over Charles, though it lingered pointedly before it settled upon Mercianna. She let out a sigh, lifting a hand to prepare herself a cup of tea. "As well as can be expected given the decisions of the Territory Court to be an absolute pain." The way she said it implied that she would have preferred removing her nails than dealing with them. "Not only did they not seem to do anything in the aftermath of the attack upon the territory itself," the Decimation, "but when Hunedora was all but destroyed ..."

She shook her head and stirred sugar into her tea. The spoon never touched the sides of the fine porcelain, Anya pulling it out and setting it upon the saucer in the proper way. "My gem--Lady Tailor--was greatly displeased, so was the Province Court. Coin and an appearance of the Bitch Queen's Useless Queen Tart and Frigid Prince are not enough." Anya spoke of Sorinna Roman's visit, the one that had actually done good for Hunedora but she was not going to say that. "With her behavior, you would never know this was the Province of her birth."

With her fingers resting against the sloped handle of the teacup, Anya continued on. "All that on top of the unrest that is growing because of the edict issued from the Territory Court. They're idiotic if they truly think that by the summer slavery can be abolished in full within Tulzbruja. Especially when it should not be in the first place."
Dena Nehele / Re: think you're untouchable?
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Today at 09:28:00 AM »
"I've no doubt you can assist in that matter," replied Jeremiah with a smile. Truthfully part of it was fear, another part of it was control. Stela would merely need to make listening and obeying her more to Lord Cosovei's advantage than his loyalty to the group he wished to be fully integrated with. A few nights of nightmares would help with that, he knew that much.

"With Prince Bane on leave, Lord Serban has been seeing to his duties. Eventually, he will return, once things are settled at home with the new child." Truthfully, Jeremiah was concerned about Sebastian. The landscape of the Prince's mind in the aftermath of his break had been ... It was not completely dusted, not like Lisichya's, but it was fractured and time would be needed to see him healed and back at the Territory Court. Working with Arkadie to help Sebastian at least eased some of his worries.

A sigh escaped, the concern evident on his face before he simply continued on. "A couple of days and I'm sure he'll be ready." Jeremiah tilted his head to the side, thinking upon it. "He's a moldable sort, really, to the point that I wonder about his sense of Self." Now he was definitely getting off upon a tangent. The Black Widow Warlord Prince was quiet for a moment before he finally spoke again.

"Nothing particular but ..." A breath was released before he shook his head. "No, there is nothing I can give you to track what I am looking for. I suppose if you hear anything about my family, then let me know?" The look in his eyes was cold, flinty as he continued. "I am certain that this, in some manner albeit removed, ties into those that I am looking for." Then, as he realized she may not understand, he explained: "There is someone that has worked in the background for years, that has attacked my family and others. They've a debt to pay and I'll see it claimed when the time comes."
Glacia / Re: Echoes Of Time Unfold
« Last post by Carmine Valerio on Today at 09:26:52 AM »
The Warlord Prince smiled at that squeak, only the faintest of crinkles at the corners of his eyes appearing as he did so. Carmine aged well, after all, much like any good and proper alcoholic beverage. "I am glad you think so," he replied to the Queen, that smile staying for all that it was only the softest upturn of his lips.

It was a mysterious smile. What it hinted at, what mystery was known, was something that was Carmine's all alone. "Well ..." He glanced back to the shelves and then to the flustered Queen. "Some I acquired when I was still traveling and haven't found the right home to send them to." He was a Warlord Prince after all and he would only part with something if he thought it was going to just the right home. "Admittedly I don't travel nearly as much as I once did, fond as I am of this land."

His head tilted to the side, an eyebrow quirked up at Riia's words. That she could not meet his gaze, that it only made her flush more when she briefly did, was not missed. Right now, however, he was having fun. "I would offer that within myth is often a small kernel of truth. There are, after all, lands that we cannot access, places that do not welcome us, and we know nothing of what exists within them.

"Until not so long ago even Askavi--pardon, Rihland--was not a place so welcoming to those traveling through until a scant few years ago." With the bottle in Riia's hands to hold for the time being, Carmine turned his attention back to the shelves and pulled down another. This one contained what looked like sharp fangs and hand similar handwriting on it marking it much like the one already brought down. It was merely teeth instead.

"I didn't personally attain it, I admit, but rather I got it from an explorer who swore to its validity. She swore to me that she had been traveling the edges of our known world, trying to find things never seen. Much like me." That small smile of his was back as his eyes cut towards the Queen. "She had been traveling through a forest, had gotten herself lost and could not get her bearings. There was no wind for her to reach for, nothing that could guide her, when she heard a rumbling growl behind her."

Here was when Riia would hear the faintest noise. It was so low it was barely audible but gradually it grew. "It became louder and louder until a bear came lumbering out of the darkness and attacked her." When the noise faded, with a snap of Carmine's teeth and a predatory smile, it was clear it was him doing a growl for the purposes of the story. "Right as she thought she was about to die, another beast--a cougar--jumped upon the bear. Fought with it and sent it running." A chuckle escaped. "She was lucky, to be frank, as she passed out from fright and injury. When she woke both beasts were gone save for a blood trail. It was in following it that she found those claws and teeth."

His eyes glinted as he finished. "The reason why she swears it was a kindred was that she believed that it was the cougar that then guided her out of the forest." Carmine paused. "That and she said that it spoke to her, along a thread, but as she was suffering from blood loss ..." His shoulders lifted up in an elegant shrug.
Dena Nehele / Re: so i heard you like forbidden fruit
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Today at 09:25:02 AM »
Jeremiah did not immediately respond. What he did instead was study Dmitri, truly study him. Yet the gaze that fell upon the Warlord Prince was not the predatory sort common with another of his caste but that of a Black Widow. When Jeremiah looked upon Dmitri, he let himself slip. Just a little, just enough to find the thread of a Widow's walk and see where it lead.

He let out a breath, blinked, and those queerly bright blue-green eyes of his focused upon Dmitri properly. "To be frank, Prince Petran," said Jeremiah, "it is about your contract with the Territory Court." Said contract appeared next to his elbow as he leaned forward, the tips of his fingers pressed together. "When you were taken on, regardless of you being an unknown and untried Gray-Jeweled Warlord Prince, there were certain things that we made clear; rules that were meant to be followed. If any of these were broken, were not followed, then your contract could be ended immediately."

There was only a brief pause, the Black Widow Warlord Prince keeping a finger upon the emotional pulse as he did. It did not matter, not with the path that he had seen. The very same path that he followed now, speaking with the Gray-Jeweled Warlord Prince. "Bluntly put: you were not meant to fraternize with the Wards of the Territory Court." A brief pause. "And in case you feel the need to argue due to my choice of wording ... This is a direct result of your bedding not just one but two of them." His eyes narrowed. "To be frank, I wouldn't be including Lady Bannok in this but considering the report of you tackling her ..."

Shaking his head, Jeremiah continued on. "It is no matter. The point remains that there were certain expectations and they most assuredly did not include taking to bed one of the Healers you were meant to be looking after. A Healer who has not, as of yet, made his Offering to the Darkness and is still a youth in the eyes of this Court." The look upon the Black Widow Warlord Prince's face was still inscrutable as he studied Dmitri Petran. Even as Jeremiah spoke, though he was clearly reprimanding Dmitri, his voice never rose in tone or volume. Yet he still spoke with authority--the kind that conveyed disappointment and more without ever yelling--and was every bit the Steward of Dena Nehele speaking clearly.

"You're welcome to speak before I tell you of what happens now," said Jeremiah after a heartbeat, "but I will warn you that if you decide to do so, that you be mindful of what you say." For it could change, then and there, what the decision was when it came to Dmitri and his time within the Territory Court.
Dena Nehele / Re: because of you
« Last post by Dillion Naumov on Today at 09:24:21 AM »
There wasn't anything that would bring the years back; that would give Sorina her life back; that would see Radu with a family that loved and cared for him. Nothing would make it alright and Dillion knew that. Just like he knew he was willing to deal with whatever to make up what he could. Even knowing it would never be enough, he would still move forward to try anyway. If he didn't ...

He had no idea what he would do if he did not.

For a moment there was a flicker of a smile, sad and worn, at Radu calling bullshit. Even as he flinched a beat later at Radu continued. The ache in his chest at the mention of Sorina never actually eased, it only grew worse. Especially now as Radu mentioned the pieces of her and- Dillion unclenched his fist, reminded himself that those that were responsible were dead. No one was alive anymore that could come after him or go after Radu.

Ventus's shadow still lingered but at least there were no other monsters hiding anymore. None that he cared about, at least. None that were, as far as he was concerned, any worse than he was. Dena Nehele, after all, was a den of monsters. The kind that hid in plain sight, as the Decimation had made clear. "If I had let you know I was alive, they would've killed you," he said quietly. "So I sent someone else, though they could never say precisely that it was because of me." Dillion paused for a moment before he finally said: "It was Skender I sent in my stead."

Oh, he knew the rage brewing in Radu. He could see it in his posture. Just like he could see the faint echo in his mind's eye of the young boy that held the same rage within. Then, as a child, Radu would've simply let it all out once the shield was up. Now it was all tightly contained. Dillion rubbed at his jaw again, realizing that he preferred the pain to the words. Not that he ever got what he wanted but that was an old, old story. An older pain.

"You're part of the Guilds, Radu," said Dillion, though he did not elaborate or question which the Warlord Prince was part of, "so surely you know of Ventus." Even outside of the Shaos, the name was known. The dead man's shadow stretched far and wide, forever known in infamy. "Of what he did and what he was willing to do to secure his goals."
Dena Nehele / Re: first of a thousand questions
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Today at 09:23:48 AM »
"Similarly, though for different reasons, mine was kept secret," though his had been the case of possible harm to be done, someone that could use his then unstable nature to their advantage, "as you're now aware. As long as your scent is hidden--when that starts to shift--you should be fine." Jeremiah paused for a moment, considering his words before he sighed.

"I am well-versed in the views of Tacea and cannot say that I am fond of them. To speak bluntly, once you reveal yourself, it is their loss if they do make the choice to no longer do business with you. You'll likely find yourself with more people interested in working with you as so many here are extremely receptive to males that have second castes." His eyes flicked to the tightening of Maseo's fingers--the whine of the porcelain heard--and the way they slowly relaxed as his emotions ebbed. The sharp spikes in his emotions, each one Jeremiah felt, might have been concerning if it were someone else. As he was training, it was expected. It also made him wonder if he had been so tumultuous.

"Actually," said Jeremiah, "I do. My mentor, Lady Arkadie Graveworthy. If you'd like, I could send word to her about you? She's discreet, of course," it went without saying but he would reassure all the same, "and you could contact her about going out for a hunt. To be quite honest," the smile on his face spoke of amusement and mischief, "I think it would do wonders." Not just for the male before him but for the Black Widow Queen as well. (As he did worry about her, more than he had realized he had.)

With the web stretched delicately between his fingers, Jeremiah stood up. "It's different for each of us," he said as he moved around his desk and towards Maseo, "and some have a stronger connection than others." The blue-green of his eyes were queerly bright, more so than normal because they shadowed by the bangs that fell into his face. Closer, that eerie feel of the Twisted Kingdom--that cloying scent of it that was ineffable--was heavy upon the Black Widow Warlord Prince. "It requires a strong sense of Self; that you are capable of protecting such--your center, your crown--as well." The other chair in his office was slid forward, moved closer so that it was near Maseo's, with a touch of craft.

"Though in this foray, I would be protecting you," said Jeremiah as he claimed the chair, "as this walk is mine." His hands were held out towards Maseo, a moment given for him to study the widow's thread that was woven between his fingers. It was far more complicated than some cat's cradle and truly did look as if it were a spider's web. "It's easier for me to work without one, yes. I didn't actually take to it until ..."

The corner of his mouth twitched upward. "Well, she had me making lace pancakes to grasp the form of a safe-ward and from there it became easier to work this way." It was why, when his fingers did not pull the web taut, that it draped downward. Oh, he'd use a frame if he wanted to prepare something in advance but mostly this was his preferred way. Jeremiah had spent too much time watching both Claudia and Arkadie weave webs and that had resulted in his own being something of a mix of the two for all that he worked with his hands.

“Grasp my wrist,” said Jeremiah, “when you are ready. A physical connection makes this far easier.” That and it was the only way he could ... With Maseo conscious anyway.
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