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Scelt is a Territory in turmoil and peace is tenuously held together by the Sceltic Queens. Rivalry between the Clans errupted into horror for the Territory that resulted in many dead, on both sides, and culimated in Clan Sheane being outlawed in the Territory. Further troubles plague the Territory in a variety of manners - Landen villages are raided, Courts are attacked, and no one seems to be safe.
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Author Topic: Northern Lights  (Read 642 times)

Description: open to all in Denford

Offline Adam Rhyne

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • warlord
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      First Circle

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      Denford Province Court

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      Scelt

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      halyonix

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Northern Lights
« on: Nov 28, 17, 10:50:48 AM »
Autumn was always a time of preparation. With the waning days came the final harvests, hours of cataloging and preserving, organizing the hearth and home for the cold winter to come. Autumn was not Adam’s favorite season but it was a season that brought some of his other skills into great use for the Court and Taryn’s estate.

Adam had a mind for inventorying and organization so Taryn set him to work with the cooks and servants on stocking up the pantries and other spaces with whatever was needed before the snows came. There were cooking herbs to be acquired, dried, and preserved properly with Craft, and the same applied to Healing herbs, which Adam knew a little about but had always wanted to learn more. So when the Court Healer had asked him to acquire a list of things she needed while she inventoried the rest, he was glad to oblige.

He had been on his way out of the estate when he turned the corner and ran into a new but welcomed face: Brigid Clery, cousin to Desmond Clery, whom Adam had run into on previous occasions and liked. Where Desmond was more reserved, Brigid was more open, with a smile that Adam always returned. “Brigid!” he greeted the journeymaid brightly. “Fancy running into you this morning. How are you?” Brigid was here visiting her cousin that week. Her and Adam had already had a few conversations, mostly about the plants that Black Widows used, and Adam looked forward to talking to her more, since she was a pleasant conversationalist and Adam was...well, he was Adam, the sort of man who made friends with everyone.

Offline Brigid Clery

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      Black Widow Journeymaid

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      Scelt

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      Phedre

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #1 on: Dec 01, 17, 10:22:16 PM »
Morgan had been gone for an eternity. She'd had no word from him, not even a letter. She slept in his room, wore his shirts, anything she could to keep his scent close to her. After two weeks with nothing except her riot colored, far too vivid dreams of her brother, she had asked her cousin Desmond if she could come and visit him for a bit. In age, he was more like an Uncle to her, but he was kind and didn't view her as some kind of abomination that needed to be licked by brilliant orange flames until she died screaming. She didn't know whose memories invaded her dreams when she dreamed of fire, but she knew it reminded her too much of Deirdre.

Those dreams were the hardest. She would wake and Morgan would not be there to hold her or soothe her back to sleep. She couldn't talk to her parents about it, they barely tolerated her these days it seemed. She spent nearly all of her time with her baby brother Ewan, and while she loved him with every piece of her stained glass heart, sometimes she needed to talk to people who were older than three. The time without Morgan stretched out like taffy. Something that would be sweet when it was finished but in the meantime was merely something to watch and make sure nothing burned.

Time with Desmond was simpler. He didn't place the kind of pressure on her shoulders that her parents did and she didn't have a small Prince following her every step that was her responsibility to care for. She helped by instinct and long training, clearing the table, washing the dishes, offering to make dinner. Brigid was surprised to find that her cousin joined her in these chores. Sometimes quietly, sometimes while talking about all manner of things. She tried to be as out of his way as possible, but he seemed to enjoy having family around. Still, she kept her dreams and their content to herself. Only Morgan got to hear of her dreams, and even he didn't hear all of them.

What was really strange and yet quite amazing was that she had time to herself. Desmond didn't feel the need to treat her like a child, monitoring her every movement, and the freedom to wander the estate was a disconcerting treat for her. Perhaps following Desmond's lead, the people here were kinder to her than she generally experienced. There was no mistaking her caste, not by scent or by sight. The moment anyone looked clearly in her eyes they could see young woman spent half her life walking in the dreaming, something ethereal and decidedly other dancing in her hazel eyes.

Dressed in a black pleated skirt and black and sheer blouse, she was enjoying the being outside when she ran into Lord Rhyne. Adam's smile and cheer to see her was easily contagious, catching her up in turn. "Good morning, Adam," she said, smiling. "I have... absolutely nothing to do," she replied laughing, realizing how rarely she had ever found herself in this position. "Being outside seemed the way to go."

Offline Adam Rhyne

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    • white2rose
    • warlord
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      First Circle

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      Denford Province Court

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      Scelt

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      halyonix

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #2 on: Dec 19, 17, 12:32:39 AM »
Most men would have taken an appreciative male interest in her clothing. Adam noticed, briefly, and then returned his gaze back to her face. Women who wore revealing clothing didn’t attract Adam on a sexual level because he wasn’t into their gender, but it did bother him when so much skin was revealed because...well...he felt a little embarrassed at their lack of modesty. Regardless, he never said anything about it because it was their decision to make.

But, in all of that, his smile never wavered and the merriness in his eyes remained. “I have..absolutely nothing to do,” she admitted to him with a laugh. “Being outside seemed the way to go.”

“Outside is good,” he agreed. “I like being outside. Usually in the garden but outside in general is nice. Until it starts snowing. I could do without so much of it sometimes, even if it looks pretty when it first falls.”

While he tucked a strand of dark hair behind his ear with a tilt to his head, he said, “I’m actually heading into town today, if you want to come with me. I have some things to buy and shopping is always more fun with a friend.”

What Adam didn’t say yet was that he was going to a particular shop in the hopes of striking conversation with a particular man there -- a man he had been very quietly crushing on for some weeks now. Adam was very, very quiet about his sexual preferences. He didn’t care what others did in the bedroom and he requested the same sort of privacy when it came to his own. He knew that many people of Taryn’s Court didn’t care who he bedded but he cared what others thought about him because Adam was not the kind of person to rock the proverbial boat. He wanted others to be happy and he asked they do the same for him.

“If you aren’t busy, I mean,” he added. “I don’t know what your cousin has planned for you while you’re here. I don’t want to take away from your time with him if you have something. We won’t be gone but for a few hours, if you need to tell him.” He scratched his head thoughtfully, starting to wonder if maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. She was a perceptive young woman...how would he feel if someone figured out his interest before he was ready to admit it?

Offline Brigid Clery

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      Black Widow Journeymaid

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 18, 05:44:07 AM »
"I love the snow," she said in response to his comment. "How else can you have snowball fights?" An honored tradition in her home, something Deirdre and Morgan had taught her and now she and Morgan taught Ewan. Inevitably one of the siblings would slam the other into a snow bank, wrestling in the cold wet and laughing breathlessly as they tried to shower the other in snow. On the few occasions she'd managed to pin Morgan, Ewan would help her by burying his feet in snow. Night, she missed them.

Lost in memories, she was slow to accept the invitation to town. When Adam then seemed unsure, Brigid watched him quietly. Her eyes like dark amber focusing on his features and his body language, seeking out signs of his nervousness. Desmond would not allow her to be treated poorly here, on the property, but he had no control over what people did outside of it. People were cruel. Brigid knew this the same way she knew her hair was a shimmering copper: it simply was. She could see it, feel it, run it between her fingers. She and Morgan both bore the scars of Deirdre's death. It bound them together and isolated them further from the rest of Scelt.

She lifted her chin, a sign that she was more capable of handling his rejection (if that's what it was) than she actually was. Like a constantly shifting tide, Brigid could go from child to woman to child again in as many blinks of the eye, hovering on womanhood while still firmly settled in her youth for another year or two before coming of age. She bore the weight of the Opal and had since she was barely older than Ewan, walking paths neither she nor Morgan fully understood. It felt like one more thing that set her apart.

"If you'd rather go alone, Adam, just say so. You wouldn't be the first and won't be the last who is hesitant to be seen in public with me." The sharp scent of Black Widow heightened almost on cue, Brigid's underlying temper spiking. Not at Adam, though, although he would have little way of knowing that. Her frustration was at their island nation and the way they treated those who bore a snake tooth beneath the nail of their ring finger.   

Offline Adam Rhyne

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    • white2rose
    • warlord
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      Scelt

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      halyonix

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #4 on: Jan 18, 18, 01:57:36 PM »
His backtracking of that invitation because of his own nervousness had sent the wrong message, which he could tell just by the lift of her chin, even before she replied with, "If you'd rather go alone, Adam, just say so. You wouldn't be the first and won't be the last who is hesitant to be seen in public with me." He blinked, stunned and wondering how she had jumped to that conclusion, and so belatedly, he didn’t feel the scent of Black Widow rising at first.

When he did, he understood, but he still stammered because he wondered how that sort of message had gotten perceived by her. “No, no! It’s not that, it’s not that at all!” he quickly said, certain that it sounded lame and unbelievable.

Now he was in a bind, wasn’t he? Tell the truth? Remain evasive? Try to hide still and hope that she let it go? No, in the short time he had known Brigid, letting something like this go was not one of her traits. And he had caused this by being evasive and not up front.

So, telling the truth would have to be it. “Brigid,  I…” Adam looked around nervously, checking if there were other people near. He didn’t hear anyone so he continued but he placed his hands on her shoulders to draw her close enough to whisper. “I’m...different,” he admitted vaguely, but then he went on to elaborate. “I would love for you to accompany me, honestly, I just...it’s...there’s this...person...that I’m hoping to see while we’re out and he...doesn’t know that I’m...different.  And I’m hoping that he’s...nice and doesn’t turn me away if he...finds out.”

It was as close as Adam would be able to voice that he was sexually interested in men and that he had a crush on one. The fact that he was voicing it at all to Brigid was a remarkable feat because most of the Court didn’t know this about Adam. They knew he was unattached but most of them assumed that it was because he just wasn’t interested in romance at all. The truth was that Adam was afraid of being ostracized for his preferences. He strived hard to help others and make sure they were happy but people didn’t always remember to exchange the same courtesies to him when they found out he liked men instead of women.

“Please...don’t tell anyone, okay?” he asked Brigid once she had pieced together what he was trying to say, giving her a brave attempt at a smile so that she knew he wasn’t upset but it was a fractured, frightened thing and not his usual relaxed and warm expression.

Offline Brigid Clery

  • Character Account
    • opalBR
    • bw
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      Black Widow Journeymaid

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      Scelt

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      Phedre

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #5 on: Feb 27, 18, 06:18:55 AM »
She almost relaxed at his protestation that it wasn't what she thought. She wanted to believe him. Brigid liked Adam. She wanted him to be better,  better than all of those who looked at her like she might snatch their children away or place some kind of hex on their sheep. The Opal Black Widow was of Scelt blood through and through. She understood the value of a flock. But that wasn't the point. She was no threat to their children or their sheep or to really anyone except herself it seemed, walking paths that were beyond her understanding without the proper training not to.

Her eyes softened slightly as he began to speak and then stopped. She wanted to encourage him, to pull the words from him like taffy made from salt water and sweet juice, pulling and pulling until finally they spilled over her in a rush and she would know the secrets of his mind. He drew her closer, and her eyes widened in excitement. His conspiratorial whisper had her mind racing as to what it could be. The haughty arrogance and anger that had set on so suddenly, covering of course a deep ache to belong and be like other girls her age, vanished utterly. Replaced in an instant by a bright and curious version of herself, slipping from emotion to emotion more easily than oil through the pads of her fingers.

The smile on her face was immediate. "You..." she squealed excitedly, before clamping her hand over her mouth and then lowering her voice to a whisper. "You have a crush! What's his name? Of course we have to go see him! I will make myself busy, don't worry, oh Adam this is so exciting!" An outing to see his crush, to see this male that he was so nervous about.

So thrilled by his news in the way only a teenager girl could be, she completely bowled right over his request to not tell anyone. She took his hand from her shoulder and began to pull him away from the estate. "Well come on! We have things to do and people to see." Only belatedly did she think to offer reassurance of his request. "I won't tell anyone. I swear. Let's gooooo!" Brigid laughed as she tugged even harder at his hand.

Offline Norah Sheane

  • Character Account: Inactive
    • rose2opal
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      Court Seer

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      Scelt

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      Kellee

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #6 on: Feb 28, 18, 10:12:40 PM »
It wasn’t often that Norah asked much of her escorts, so they were generally at least willing to hear her out when the Black Widow felt the need to escape the grounds for a bit.  They still didn’t trust her of course, with her Caste and her Clan, they were more likely to think to protect others from her, than the other way around.  Still, the Denford Court had been generous to take her in, and so she tried to be more accomodating.  So she smiled and accepted when she was assigned two escorts.  As a compromise, they agreed to trail her further back than usual, and she agreed to remain in their line of sight, and not try to lose them. Joy. 

Instead, she’d prepared her shopping lists for her trip into town, and making the necessary small talk, embarked on the short trip.  Once there, Norah went about her business, seemingly oblivious (she wasn’t) to the looks or attention she gathered as she went about her business. Anything she needed for her Widow’s Craft, she generally ordered, as it wasn’t always easy to come by in Denford.  Her small garden was well prepared for the upcoming winter, and the few things she couldn’t wait for, well, she’d either find a way to grow indoors, or manage without. 

This trip was more for getting some air before winter and preparations for Winsol began.  If she managed to pick up a few things while she was out, well that was all to the good.  There were a few stalls that she tried to check each time she was in town, not only for their wares, but because they didn’t seem to mind her Caste quite as much.  Even in Scelt, it seemed, money made the world go ‘round.

Ducking out of a bookstore, she thought she heard a familiar voice. Curious, she murmured her apologies as she maneuvered her way around the clusters of people in the streets. Ah.  It was the Warlord she’d met upon waking up that first day in Denford.  Tilting her head in thought, she came to a decision.  Stepping slightly apart from the crowd, she caught his eye and gave a small wave. He wasn’t alone, and she didn’t want to intrude.  Even if she was terribly curious about the Black Widow he was with.

Offline Aeron Clery

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    • yellow2ss
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      Lene

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #7 on: Mar 07, 18, 11:05:11 PM »
Aeron cooed softly at the little seedlings as he very carefully and tenderly coaxed them and their soft wet bed of soil from their tiny containers and placed them in their neatly positioned new beds.  Some people said talking to your plants was silly, but Aeron figured that it never hurt them and was no more sillier than some people who talked to their pets.  Neither could rightfully reply, and there was less cleanup to do with plants.   Not that he minded animals, he liked them.  He just could never remain focused on anything but his greenhouse to do justice by them.

Maybe he might get a cat.  Cats liked to chase and eat bugs, and it could be helpful from keeping certain beetles from chewing on the soft stems of some of his plants.  Then again, cats liked to chew on plants, even those that were toxic so probably best not.  He transferred the last seedly and very carefully covered the roots with fresh black soil, inhaling deeply of the rich scent.   He loved the smell of fresh soil, rich and moist.  It did something to the soil, reinvigorated him in a strange way.   Odd that a child of seafaring men should be so tightly bound to the earth, but then again that wasn’t the only thing about him that differed so greatly from his kin.

Looking up at the position of the sun in the sky, he sighed and rose from his potting stool, brushing the dirt down his already dirty apron.  He should go and open the shop soon, and he grumbled at the thought.  People.  Why couldn’t people be like plants?  Quiet.   Still, he needed the shop and people brought income.  Until he could cultivate a plant that grew marks, and wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing, he needed to run a business and keep food on the table and money for the house and the land.   He had been fortunate enough to find a shop on the outskirts of the town, so he didn’t have to deal with the cost and upkeep of a home and a shop.  He didn’t need much more than a cot, a kitchen and a bathroom to live.  Everything else went towards his plants.

He had been surprised to find that there wasn’t already an established supplier of fresh herbs and other plants in this village and even more surprised when there seemed to be an interest in having him plan and create gardens and landscaping for the more affluent members of the town.  The only thing he hadn’t begun selling were edible plants.  There were more than enough farmers and growers of fruits and vegetables around that he wouldn’t step on their toes with whatever small bits he could manage.  Instead, he provided spices and flowering plants and shrubs and small trees. 

Aeron pulled his apron over his head and ran his hand over his face and hair, trying to smooth it into some semblance of neatness before walking through the adjoining door to the small shop and going to turn the sign on the door to open.  He usually didn’t have too many visitors this early in the day, but the weather had been warming up more and more and he suspected that soon enough there would be orders in for him to do some plantings.  A few more of those special requests and he would be able to order more raised beds, or maybe build an extension on his greenhouse. 

He leaned on the counter and watched the door. Maybe….maybe that fellow would stop by.  Aeron felt a heat flush up his throat to his ears.  He tried to remember the name, but he couldn’t forget the face, or that smile.  More heat now, running in other directions and he shifted nervously in his place.  Stop that!  He chided himself and pushed back on those rushes of interest.  Such things were fine when he was alone and could let his mind dream of impossible things, but he needed to be focused now. 

Offline Adam Rhyne

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • warlord
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      First Circle

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      Scelt

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      halyonix

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #8 on: Apr 02, 18, 11:31:51 AM »
Her acceptance of his stance was written openly on her face, with that big, beaming smile and the covered squeal of delight. Adam involuntarily gave her a shaky smile back, the sort of shy expression one offered in an awkward social situation to try to keep things even-keeled and to hide how nervous one really was. “His name is Aeron,” Adam revealed anxiously. “He’s...a shopkeeper. He sells growing things. Some of the flowers that we have in the beds around the estate, they’re from his shop.” Talking about his crush with someone made Adam both relieved and slightly scared because he had never really done this before. He was certain that Taryn, his Queen, would support him regardless of any sexual orientation, but he was still very shy about telling anyone still.

“It makes sense, sort of, given how much time I spend in the garden that I have a crush on someone who grows things as well, right?” he confided as a lame joke to Brigid.

She tugged on his hand eagerly, promising not to tell anyone. Adam relaxed a bit more at her words but her infectious mood helped him most of all. Brigid was a breath of fresh air a lot of times, being so bright and cheery, and Adam, even though he was still nervous, knew he had done right by confiding in her. She knew what it was like to be different, to be misunderstood. He hadn’t judged her for being a Black Widow, and she hadn’t judged him for being attracted to men. It was good to have someone in that same outlier boat.

The stablehands reported that the other Widow -- Norah Sheane -- had left earlier that day with her own escorts. Adam detected a note of distrust in their voices but he masked his thoughts on that well. “I’ll be certain to look out for her,” he said pleasantly. As they began to get settled on their horses, Adam noticed that someone else was coming out towards them. “Oh, your cousin,” he pointed out to Brigid, nodding towards Desmond Clery, striding their way. Adam opened his mouth to suggest that Desmond join them but then closed it. He had a feeling that his secret was about to be revealed to more than just Brigid if Desmond came with them and he wasn’t sure how to handle that. Still, he wouldn’t turn away Desmond’s company, but it would definitely mean Adam would be more on guard, especially if they went to Aeron’s shop.

Offline Desmond Clery

  • Character Account
    • ss2bo
    • warlord
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      Clain Laird

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      Clan Clery

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      Scelt

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      [Link]

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      Gavin

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      53

    • Strength. Power. Family.

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #9 on: Jun 13, 18, 06:31:41 PM »
Nearly a year after his father’s death, Desmond Clery thought that things would get easier.

That hadn’t been the case at all.

Oh, he’d settled into his position as Laird of Clan Clery better than expected. The clan was getting on well and, save for one two small instances where he’d had to really lay down the law, everyone respected his position. Outside his family, things were great. Relationships with the Dhemlanese were great. He’d been working on an idea with his successor to curb the piracy that seemed to be on the rise. He’d even made some new allies within Lady Kerry’s court. Despite himself, he even liked her First Escort, Mason Collins. The Warlord Prince was a decent man, making it hard for Desmond to speak poorly of him. That grated on the Warlord, because he’d really wanted to hate the guy.

Outside the clan, things were great.

Inside his own family? There were issues.

His father, Nolan, had an affair decades ago, resulting in a young Queen that the older Warlord Prince had neglected to mention before his death. Reviewing the family records and expenses, there was plenty of evidence that Nolan was up to something, but Desmond had been too blind to see it. Mum had known, but never spoken on it. Desmond couldn’t hold that against her; no one liked being reminded of their loved one’s indiscretions. He’d wanted to Alis, too, but she was a good person. The twin reveals of a new sister and a brother bonded to her were a double-gut punch to his (until recently) youngest sister, Brenna. Unlike Drummond and Desmond, who’d made peace with their father’s infidelity, Brenna couldn’t let it go. Her rage, unable to focus on Nolan, found a target in Alis.

She’d left for the West without a backward glance and Desmond feared that he’d not see his sister again in their lifetime. He couldn’t blame Alis for Brenna’s issues. Alis hadn’t sworn their father to secrecy. Brenna hadn’t asked to be lied to. The only thing he could do was lead his clan forward and pray that things got better.
He brought the tithes from Wexol District every quarter, even though he really needed to find someone to handle it for him. Father always did it this way, though, and it was one of the few ways left that he could honor the old man without having to consider his personal sins. He owed Lady Blodwen another visit as well. Her family had taken care of Alis nearly her whole life. There was value in that kind of alliance, the kind that should be sealed with a marriage pact of some kind. Blodwen was a beautiful woman and deeply intelligent. Desmond figured that someone would take her off the market sooner than later. Same with Molly, though he knew Molly would be the one doing the taking in that case. He smiled to himself at that. He had more Black Widows in his life than most Sceltic men were comfortable with.

Case in point, the other reason he’d come to the estate: his cousin, Brigid.

Brigid missed her brother, Morgan, and she’d come to stay with Desmond while Morgan was busy doing...whatever Black Widows did with their time outside of looking at the future. Desmond thought Brigid was a wonderful girl, but her caste would always be a mark against her in the eyes of most. She’d also gain a dark jewel at her Offering, making her yet another member of the family to stand deep in the Abyss. Desmond would be lying if he said he never thought of what kind of asset Brigid would be. She and Alis, along with a few other family members that Desmond had his eye on, could form a court powerful enough to determine the next Queen of Scelt in the years to come. Loreniel Killian might intend to hold the throne until her dying day, but intentions rarely mattered when it came to ruling.

Desmond found Brigid in the company of Adam Rhyne, a young Warlord who served in Taryn’s First Circle. They looked like they were headed somewhere and Desmond shoved his hands into his pockets, pausing to regard the pair. He hadn’t know that they were friends. A thought crossed Desmond’s mind, one that piqued his interest.

Were they...sneaking off to be together?

Lord Rhyne. Brigid. Didn't know you two knew each other.” he said, by way of greeting.

It's a lovely day out. Are you two headed off to enjoy it?” he asked, deciding to let their explanation (or lack thereof) fill him in on how well they knew each other.

Or how well they were about to get to know each other.


Offline Brigid Clery

  • Character Account
    • opalBR
    • bw
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      Black Widow Journeymaid

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      Hourglass Coven

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      Scelt

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      Phedre

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Re: Northern Lights
« Reply #10 on: Aug 31, 18, 04:05:30 PM »
Brigid had always loved horses, but since her Birthright ceremony, they had not always loved her. Animals in general could become spooked by the feel of Blood who stood deeper in the Abyss. She understood that now, but it hadn't stopped her feeling crushed as a young girl when animals who trusted her before were suddenly wary of coming near her. Still, she had learned that a gentle touch and a soothing voice had helped ease the worst of a horse's jitters. She had just been leaning forward and whispering to the mare that everything would be okay when she looked up at Adam's mention of her cousin.

Brigid loved her family fiercely, even if they didn't always love her. Animals and people really weren't that different. For animals though, it was instinct. With people, it was prejudice. Desmond was an exception to the way most treated her and her brother. He had never flinched away from her or treated her like something that should be locked up out of sight.

When missing Morgan had become too much to endure, it was Desmond she had sought out for comfort. Their age difference often led to her thinking of him more as an Uncle than a cousin. He was her blood and her Clan, something he showed in the way he tried to protect her from things or people who could harm her.

"Desmond!" she responded cheerfully. "Of course we know each other." She tilted her head to look at him like it was simply the strangest thing for him to say. "I don't just stay in my room when you are busy, cousin." Her eyes moved to Adam. She had promised she would not reveal his secret and she meant it. "I would invite you but I am sure you are far too busy. And we really must get going, right?" The last was directed at Adam.

If only they had left a few moments before, they wouldn't been in this awkward place now. Brigid stood in her stirrups, smoothing out her skirt before settling back down. "Why don't we have dinner tonight and I can tell you all about my adventures in town?" Would it be enough to soothe him or would he insist on accompanying them?