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Dena Nehele / Re: What the pig dragged in
« Last post by Violeta Lahovary on Today at 05:01:36 PM »
Descending the stairs somehow failed to make the world make more sense. The psychic scent solidified, brushing her senses with the earthy touch of Queen. A Queen, out in the middle of nowhere, making her breakfast, not surrounded by family or males. Color Violeta impressed.
She was a bit disappointed to have missed the actual cooking process, as feeding herself was probably going to be a wise thing to learn if she had no intention of returning to Bidea and the family’s servants (or new ones, if the old ones hadn’t survived. She hadn’t been able to make herself linger over the reports longer than it took to verify condolence payments to the families) .The pig also made a reappearance, prompting a cooing noise of approval and a skritch under the chin if the animal allowed it.

“I wouldn’t’ve noticed if they’d been in the bed with me, to be honest, the state I was in.” The Priestess admitted candidly, her eyes actively flicking around the room even as she reflexively moved to sit down. Any place that had invested enough effort to give her a relatively safe sleeping location probably wasn’t going to poison her the morning after. It would be a waste of effort she couldn’t see anyone spending money on. She downed the liquid in the shot glass like a champion, bowing her head with a small shudder as the taste echoed through her palate. It must have met with her body’s approval, however, as her eyes opened again moments later as the Priestess regarded both omelet and Queen with renewed interest.

“Er… d’you know where I am, by the by? I might have lost track a week or three ago.” Violeta queried with studied nonchalance, as though it were perfectly normal to drift like a drunken seed on the wind. It was a highly practical question- and if it deflected from the question of how she’d slept, that was purely coincidental. Honest.
Dena Nehele / Re: the secrets within the flight of birds
« Last post by Danton Keel on Today at 04:21:31 PM »
The smile that crept up over the Guild Master's features was slick with intention and possibility.  Having the very dreams of his enemies under his heel would put the Guild Master on the path of ineffability.  No one could stop him now if his will so chose.  Unfortunately for those now, not even sleep could save them.  No.  Now Hell was their only safe space.  Though with Aleia's steely fingers, Keels wasn't sure the High Lord of Hell would cross his path now.

As a younger man, Danton Keels had been nothing but a Shaos pawn who had been served up as offering to the beast that was the politics of Dena Nehele.  Now... now all of the blood that had been spilt, including his own, had come to mean something.  His voice was a velvety and broken purr.  *Very, very good.*

There was no question to Danton Keel that the trouble he was having with the aristocracy was a common problem for many.  Now their hold on the Court would be severely loosened.  Maybe soon the Guild Master would be able to let Riley Vlas rest.  But more than likely not.

Turning his attention to Aleia, her features colored smug with the faintest of expressions.  Most wouldn't be able to read it... the Guild Master could.  After all, she was his finest and most deadly tool. *Lady Sala will see to your training.  As of this moment you serve me first and your Queen second.  You are not to utter a word of this to any.*

Keels turned to look at Stryker.  Never before had he revealed the existence of the Mourning Doves.  Luckily for Stryker, Keels was a very busy man. *You saw nothing.  Should their existence be revealed, I will come for you first.  Now the three of you get out and forget this place.*
Keep's Registry / Re: Mikaela Valdis
« Last post by Gavin on Today at 03:33:57 PM »
Kain mentions are okay.
Raej / Re: Call on me, will be there
« Last post by Theoris Abbasi on Today at 03:18:27 PM »
Theoris had owned one of the largest Red Moon Houses in Kemet for a few years now but had worked as a Courtesan's Apprentice and then a full Courtesan for all of her adult life following her Offering, in which a botched and rushed service had granted her no Jewels at all. However unfortunate, Theoris had embraced that fact and found a niche for herself, travelling all the way to Kemet to do so. She had soothed herself in deciding a place that she could understand those with very little power as well as some of the deepest gifted was where she was supposed to be in life. The hostess for the day had allowed in the Blood Female's pair of guests, as it seemed these days Rehema also had an Escort in a similar fashion as many women might choose to do so to avoid the rougher realities of living in Raej: it wasn't unheard of for both men and women to end up snatched if not protected by their status, names, or with a guard. As such, to see that Rehema had arrived with an escort was nothing short of a relief for Theoris to see. Other than the hostess, the common area of the Red Moon House was empty and quiet.

Within moments of Theoris taking a study of her sister's exceedingly tall and blue-eyed escort, she turned her attention back toward Rehema. As a Courtesan that accepted clients from both within, and outside of Raej, she was familiar with a wide range of appearances. A favoured Captain and one of her own ladies also had the pale hue, and she wondered if he perhaps had hailed partially from Chaillot or another territory. It was clear the man was there to work for the present and was plainly beside himself for some reason of awkwardness when suddenly, the Blood Opal Prince seemed relieved for some reason. She had been familiar with the signatures of both the Rose and Blood Opal for more than a decade thanks to her sisters. Curiosity brushed Theoris' face with minor concern as she then brushed it aside. If he couldn't trust his senses that an official Red Moon House was perfectly safe to relax in, Theoris had no intentions of forcing the Prince to interact with her. Males. A bubble of amusement flittered through Theoris' face, her brown eyes brilliant in her face due to the addition of Kohl that outlined them, and then the body language of the pair allowed her to infer they were more than guard and Healer.

The smile that had been just plainly welcoming on Theoris' face shifted to slightly speculative. Oh, fascinating, so that's how it is, she thought. No doubt, another man worried if more than one woman he'd bedded was in the same place at the same time, Theoris thought, ever so familiar with the type more concerned with where he lay his head and cock. Despite being unworried, Theoris quietly approved.

A sensually open and honest creature, perhaps obvious given her profession, Theoris found such quandaries foolish and unfortunate at best. While she was more than comfortable in her own skin, but more, was utterly pleased the seemingly more 'quiet' of the twins had found herself a male she could both trust to crush a few faces for her, as well as keep her from overusing Craft. Which was something Theoris never had to concern herself with; what she possessed was simply it. The surprise addition truly added a pleasant layer to her first meeting with her sister in some time.

"Rehema," she said smoothly. "It is very good to see you," she murmured with a wide smile. In just a few moments, she uncovered a tea tray with the hand that Rehema was not holding with the steady presence of the very tightly controlled Basic Craft she could use. "Prince Anansi," she demurred, while immediately focusing once more upon her sister, letting the man become the furniture he seemed to wish to be. With the sheer number of very loyal, well-paid employees that had all but flocked to the Red Moon House in the last year and a half when she had overturned matters and rebuilt from the ground up essentially, Theoris seldom needed to use her own Craft anyway, save for her clients that could afford the Proprietor's own very high prices. The previous owner had very often saved her for particularly wealthy or out-of-Territory, or both sorts of clients that could gain the House prestige, thus it was no surprise that while she had recognized the Prince's face, he had never been one of hers.

For a moment, however, a trace of sadness flickered through Theoris' gaze, as the only one of the sisters that weren't doing well was their sister, and Rehema's own twin, Masika. Later, after this meeting, she would offer prayers in the ferocious woman's name. "I have heard good things about your activities, sister," she said, smoothing her very traditional attire that covered her from the collarbone to ankle in soft lace and satin, hair half hidden by a sheer burgundy wrap, as she moved to sit upon several of the soft pillows in a graceful, half recline while inviting her sibling to do the same. The heels she wore matched the golden embroidery worked through the entire outfit, while today, Theoris wore rings on most of her fingers in a subtle embellishment.

Regardless of whether visiting family or tending to her expansive clientele, Theoris always attired herself traditionally and with an understated elegance that was welcoming rather than detracting or too showy. She drank in her sister's face, having deeply missed her. However kindly Rehema found her Escort, there were quite a lot of things she had no intention of revealing in front of a man she had not met until this moment that was not a client, personally. So she held back the emotion she wanted to offer her sister, despite not wanting to do so. It was much like having a bit of furniture in a room of delicate cream pieces while one gigantic armoire in black sat in the middle, turning beauty into puzzlement. It left the courtesan with a tiny, nearly professional smile and a wealth of something deeper in her face, but at least she did not need to fret over her sister's safety, which was the more important matter. "You have been well, as I understand it, but feeling overworked?" She had inferred as much from her sister's letter of reply and the simple fact that in Raej, there were many that suffered to benefit the few. If Mother Night was kind, perhaps in time she might have a chance to get to know her sister's chosen male, so their future meetings might feel less formal.
Raej / Tender, Lovely Chain-breaker
« Last post by Theoris Abbasi on Today at 11:18:28 AM »
Musical Embellishment: Majbour (Egyptian Arabic) Spotify | YouTube
Locale: Kemet, Raej. After Frenemies and Fever

We must pass through difficult times to know the truest and most loyal of friendships ... people that knew the right actions to follow have taken the wrong paths ...

Abbasi Red Moon House, Kemet
The visit with Captain Toussaint but a pair of days ago had gone beautifully, truly, better than the Courtesan and Proprietor of the Abbasi Red Moon House had expected it to. More, the man had paid well more than her eventual asking price, but he had always been generous when she was a mere courtesan who had been one of the few of the house previously that wasn't enslaved, but willingly present in her place. As a Blood Female, Theoris had been more than pleased to tend to the needs of men and women that either lacked the close, personal ties that allowed them to free themselves from the deeper tension that always rested in the Blood regardless of Caste or Jewel of Rank. Or, those that suffered from heartache.

Though she had a command of very, very good Basic Craft that nearly had the feeling and presence of a Lightly Jewelled woman, it was, in fact, her sisters who had been so blessed. Theoris was a calm and tender soul, one that never felt the need to place blame or question how and where Mother Night had offered the sweetness of her gifts. She was as proud of Nailah to rising up to claim the High Priestess seat of all Raej and equally so of her sister Rehema, who healed the poor and others that couldn't call upon or afford their own personal Healer.

While overseeing the readiness of the House while ladies and males milled around the common area, she gently directed place settings and the cleansing craft of the few Black Widows she employed to daily remove the psychic scents from the entire place. It mattered to Theoris that a client could walk into her establishment and be startled by the warmth which could enfold them. She swept her fingers through the nearly black hair which curled around her face and fell in careful waves to her hips. The profits continued to rise, while the word of her lack of slaves and being a little of a sanctuary Red Moon House for those fleeing violence continued to spread.

Sweet Teo, Chainbreaker
Theoris was careful, however in who she accepted within her doors. The last thing she wanted was those upon the trade council that enjoyed their vile, purchased flesh to consider her a threat. However, her connections to the High Priestess offered something of a shield in that regard, and she wasn't one to deny or not accept the privileged status that had allowed their family to rise very high, nor had Theoris forget that prior to Nailah's appointment, her family had been no different from the thousands that begged and prayed for what they could from the beloved Vaal River, that gave Raej its life from the enrichened silt waves.

Kemet was not as close to the ocean as she had grown up, but the section of the Vaal which her property rested close to was clean and clear of debris, and in the last year, she'd paid steep bribes to have her section of the river cleansed and widened enough that a fair sized boat could pull right up to the back terraced doors, akin to a lagoon out of a sweetened romance. The inside smelled of cardamom, cinnamon, and sunlight while layered Craft kept both the inside and the outdoor parlour cooler than the rest of Kemet.

"Lady Theoris? Shall we open the doors?" Turning about, the Blood Female smoothed the burgundy gown she wore, while tugging the soft satin head covering over her thick, dark hair. Courtesan or no, she always conducted herself with the tighter strictures of modesty primarily because it attracted men and made them want to see what was beneath the attire she swathed herself in from neck to ankle.

Bowing her head, she squeezed the hand of her Hostess, an older woman who had long retired from most of the physical details around the running of such a place. "Yes, please. I believe everyone seems reasonably rested and we can see who comes in our establishment today." Moving about behind the front desk, she tapped a musical globe of Dhemlanese make, which had been a gift from a client long gone from the Territory, from when she was just one of many rather than owning the place outright.
Dena Nehele / Re: scars are evidence of life
« Last post by Abaddon al-Sabbah on Today at 10:47:41 AM »
It had been overconfidence on his part, perhaps, or being too Pruulian still to be anywhere else.  In Askavi, a fight was easy to see coming.  Eyrien minds were loud and strident to Abaddon, and he knew that for some Craft and action mingled easily.  Internal Craft came quickly to him under instinctive circumstances, anything to avoid summoning the Worms, and the rest followed if it was safe.  Dena Nehele was neither of those places.  Shadows slithered at the edges of one’s perception there, and the Jhinka were already a growing question, an unwanted variable in Abaddon’s view of his stars and his senses.  It had also been anger.  He was aggravated for himself, for his Father, for Jeremiah, and for the people of this part of the Territory that had suffered because somehow, some way, the Jhinka would not let the Eyriens have peace.

He had wanted to be done with them, and go to see this Sweetbriar Jeremiah had mentioned, and he had led with his frustration, instead of his sense.  It was a rare enough oversight that benefitted the enemy.  Traps.  He had not dealt with traps of any level of cunning in some time, and in his view, the simplest ones were always the most dangerous., and he imparted that to his brother Black Widow, who came up short at his warning.  It was not the number of Jhinka, but the fact that they had prepared, they had made defenses, inside a Night Damned hill.  It should not be happening, like so much else with them.  Jeremiah killed still more, and there was a small hint of amusement or admonishment that came with Winter’s thought, and despite their predicament and his rage, Abaddon smiled—and then that smile vanished when rocks fell  upon his friend.  They were both hurt, nothing that would immediately threaten their lives, but far more than either had considered likely.

Abaddon prepared to continue the extermination, and then he felt something shift, and despite the fact that ducking low could not have saved him from this particular expression of Power, he ducked anyone.  The hill was just gone, and there was a part of him that showed in his eyes when he turned to Jeremiah that asked the question, ‘if we could make the hill disappear, why did we come in here?’, and another part of his mind that realized this was not at all expected.  A voice he did not recognize clearly admonished Jeremiah, and it was then that he realized that the Jhinka had simply stopped.  Had that happened when the hill disappeared?  Or before?  Either way, there were no more enemies to fight.  The Black Jewel crackled in his senses, and the mind that owned it pulled echoes into Abaddon’s own mind by simply being near.  It was almost as though he had fallen through a Web, just because this Healer had arrived.

This was not an enemy, but something was unsettling, and it was more than the Power he had just witnessed.  He, because that was what Abaddon saw and felt, declared that the Red Black Widow Warlord Prince was injured, and this caused him to look to Jeremiah and say in a voice that felt smaller than usual.  ”Jeremiah?”  The note of confusion in his voice was easy to recognize.  Let me fix you.  Abaddon turned his gaze back to the healer, saw the way the Black Jeweled Healer stared at him, and a sudden confluence of connected variables pulled a gasp from him, threads and lines from Jeremiah from him, from the Twisted Kingdom all came together in his mind in revelation—and then he was asleep.  There had been no struggle, no resistance, a weight had fallen on his mind, and Abaddon had time to wonder if he would even be able to dream, but that was all.  He was asleep, crumpled to the ground no longer beneath a hill, his foot still trapped in a hole.  This was not where he died, at least he knew that much.
Dena Nehele / Re: this burden came to me
« Last post by Sebastian Bane on Today at 05:24:00 AM »
Sebastian watched her placidly. The sigh, the change in the way she stood, made her look a little more familiar. Of course he knew her, no matter what shape she took, because she was his sister, his twin sister, and much had been made of the bond that provided in their youth. But she looked more like Kitty this way. Her words washed over and around him, a comfort as he turned his attention back to his game. A comfort that he absorbed little to nothing of: she might as well have been speaking gobbledygook, or some foreign tongue, for all he understood of it. Another white piece joined its twin, just offsides of the point he meant to place it. Sebastian huffed out his frustration at his continued failure to put the stone where he wanted it to go.

The chips clattered together as he stirred them with a finger. Yekaterina knelt before him, put her forehead against his knee, and he wondered at that for a moment. One of her hands, callused fingertips and all, rested just above her forehead, against his thigh. She continued to speak, and he took in the emotions, but not the words. Affection. Fear. Anger. He let that wash past him, too, and looked down at her, brown eyes uncomprehending at her upset.

What he heard wasn't language; it was emotion, something he was not particularly good at. He held those emotions in his hands and he usually responded with kindness, but only because he was kind, not because he truly understood. So he set a hand on top of Yekaterina's head, loose and loving, and ran his fingers inexpertly over the smooth locks of her hair. He understood the togetherness she said, the fear, the sensation of scraping the bottom of the barrel, and his heart thumped uncomfortably inside his chest. All the overwhelming inside-sounds of the body rose up inside him, and he thought: surely there's more to it than this.

But all he heard was her fear, and worry, and regret.

"It's okay," he said, even though it wasn't. "You did your best."
Dena Nehele / Re: fear is a device, so quiet and precise
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Today at 05:08:26 AM »
"By all means, I agree," replied Jeremiah and the deal adjustment he spoke of. "Though I've already adjusted my schedule and ..." He shook his head. It had not escaped him that were he to fall, and Drake to fall, and Sebastian was practically dead on his feet sometimes ... Rilandra Vlas's Triangle was running on fumes at times and it was practically playing with fire.

All it would take was one strike and up it would all go. The mention of Healer Ariake had Jeremiah freezing a moment, a particularly piercing look given to Drake. As if he knew exactly how nervous Lisichya made the Red-Jeweled Prince. "He's doing well," answered Jeremiah finally, blinking and the look passing. If there was more to be said about it, Jeremiah was not currently sharing.

Mostly because there were some secrets that he kept from everyone save the Black-Jeweled Healer who laid claim to his very soul.

"I'd like to - after Rilandra is properly able to nest - for him to see to you. It is the only time I can think of that we can account for you not being expected anywhere but with her within the family wing." That was left at that for the time being. Certainly it could come back up later on in the conversation, though he doubted Drake would have as much issue now with Lisichya seeing to his head injury.

Not now when he could see the proof of Lisichya's capabilities before him in Jeremiah.

His eyes narrowed as Drake tried to take control of the conversation, to direct it. Jeremiah was kind enough to let him have it but only for the length of time, it took him to finish speaking.

Mostly because he was going to seize it with one singular question.

"I am so glad," said Jeremiah dryly, "that you are willing to hear me out as here I was worried that I would have to stalk your dreams to make you listen to me." Could he? Probably. Would he? If he had to.

"That said: I do not have worries about Lady Kriat, Drake." He did, in fact, have a fellow Black Widow Warlord Prince that could give him details if he truly wanted them but that was not his concern. No, his concern was this: "I have only one question for you, as of this moment. Just one, Drake, my dear friend, Prince to my Queen, and to ask it of your other self as well that hides behind your smile.

"When will you taste her blood and bond and accept that you are hers as much as you belong to Lady Kriat?"
Dena Nehele / Re: an architect, trapped in my own walls
« Last post by Arkadie Graveworthy on Today at 04:57:16 AM »
She held out a hand, imperiously. "Give it over," she said, and he did, putting the small frame into her palm. It'd been made to absorb the Red and save Jeremiah's mind. As they mounted the stairs, she took up a tiny piece of incredibly fine spider-silk from her psychic cabinet and made a few minor edits, connecting pieces that ought not have been connected if she expected it to protect the user's mind. Well, it didn't need to worry about that anymore; she was going to use it for something entirely different. "I anticipate many things, but no, I wasn't looking to teach you how to break into another Black Widow's workspace. You're not a member of the Coven yet, as far as I know, and you're definitely not an enforcer for it." That was a completely different kettle of fish, and one that Alexandra was more capable of talking about than Arkadie was.

Without bothering to explain what she was doing with the safeward, Arkadie stopped outside the apartment fitting the description that the Shaos had provided. The door was shut, but she could smell the astringent herbs that sometimes came with obfuscation webwork. Herbs and smoke: something inside the apartment was burning.

"She knows we're here," she said. Of course she did. Seiha Inoue was a Dark-Jeweled Black Widow, and probably the only one in the Territory who wasn't currently blockaded from seeing certain future-paths. If Arkadie were in her position, she'd certainly be burning any proof of what her webs did. Well, that was why they had to bust in faster than Seiha could burn. Arkadie slapped the safe-ward on the door--careful not to touch the wood herself--and felt a massive shock of Sapphire attempt to crush the mind behind the spell. Eventually, she'd explain to Jer how the warding worked, but there wasn't any time for that now. There was only the need to secure Seiha and get her back to the point where Beatrici or Cid could get a look at her. When the safe-ward burned away, Arkadie shoved the door open with Craft.

Inside the small, shitty room was a blonde woman. Arkadie almost apologized before she took in the rest of the woman's appearance: her Tacean bone structure, the way her mainlander clothes weren't quite the right cut to be Dena Nehelean. They were influenced by Seiha Inoue's Tacean preferences, no doubt. She had a moment to scope out her enemy's Sapphire--almost depleted??--before the woman...

She didn't disappear. Arkadie could see her, but she couldn't assign importance to the sight. An obfuscation? How? It shouldn't have been possible to bring up a shield so quickly, not something so complex as this. Every time Arkadie tried to look at Seiha, her mind supplied: nothing there.

"Surrender and I won't fucking kill you," Arkadie shouted.

There were two more psychic scents in the room: one intoxicatingly familiar, the other a Dark-Jeweled Warlord Prince who felt like an enemy. She snarled, caught in the Sapphire Widow's webs.
Dena Nehele / Re: worn out faces, worn out places
« Last post by Jeremiah Mercer on Today at 04:51:52 AM »
The news of her family was as he thought. So many devastated and lost, so many gone, and Misha Petrescu no less than anyone else. Another aristo Heir finding their way in the aftermath of the Decimation. So many weeks gone by and they were still picking up the pieces. It was ... frustrating but expected. Healing could not be rushed, not of the body, not of the mind, not of the land, and most certainly not of the people themselves that made up Dena Nehele.

Jeremiah sighed as she spoke of the Coven, though she was very clearly deflecting his questions. For now he allowed it, even as he felt the flutter of her emotions - the shifts in them palpable to him - and knew that she was, in so many ways, very much still wallowing within the horrors that had visited her.

There were flecks of light, little faerie lights he thought, when he tilted his head just right to look upon her. They flowed throughout, circled her, and as she spoke they coalesced and-

"As well as one can expect, Lady Petrescu. Steward and Shadow alike, aiding those when I can." When the Territory Court did not take priority, when he was not keeping an eye on Lisichya, when he was not- It was simply a great many things. "The Bidea Daily has been well-behaved these past few months, in terms of drama, but we deserve a bit of quiet, I think. There's been too much going on."

His head tilted, watching those flickering lights before he sighed. "If I did not have the time I would not come here, you realize. You've been alone with your thoughts too long, I think, but what that means I have to wait for." Jeremiah's shoulders lifted in a light shrug.

"My life continues as it has, though it is certainly busier," continued Jeremiah as if he had not just interrupted himself. As if he had not stretched himself too thin not so long ago and been bedridden for days. "Save for the numbers that still need to be seen to, their Chalices or otherwise, Dena Nehele is on the mend. Even if things try to interrupt that every now and then. Come the summer, Moesia and Tulzbruja alike will be able to follow suit like Aechia and there shall be no slavery. Things are improving, slowly but surely."
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