Date   
Re: A Beauty Half-Betrayed #Andy #Theo #Zaza

Vincent Gonzales
 

Who: Antiphales
With: Zaza, Theo, The Witch Queen
Where: The Witch Queen's Palace, the Jewel of the Desert
When: May 16th, 877 ROK - Evening

Andy was the last one to take a seat of the group - the seat at Esperanza's right hand. How fitting that could have been, he mused, once upon a time. In a different life when he had been more than a blade in the dark. But that wasn't the lot life had chosen for him and - despite his best efforts to shun his fate and forge his own path, it was only by a mix of luck and daring that he'd managed to keep her alive. He'd entrenched himself so deeply in the lie that there was no going back now. Every moment he breathed in front of his dear friend was a falsity that could be shattered at any moment, and with it their trust. Damn whatever gods watched them for it. 

Forcing himself to focus on the moment in front of them, Antiphales shook his head silent at the offer of a drink - he never accepted drinks he didn't pour himself. If they were to be killed here for some perceived slight, he wouldn't die with his insides burning and his organs shutting down. 

As Esperanza went on to address the Witch Queen, Andy opened his bag slowly, deliberately even as his eyes stayed on the group across from them. He knew better than to dart into his bag suddenly. Pulled out a bundle of silk and velvet in a vibrant read, he uncovered the finely crafted glass bottle and displayed it for their host to see clearly. 

"And as a show of appreciation and meeting in good faith, we come bearing a small gift," Andy handed the bottle and it's wrapping off to a servant. "A bottle of perfume made especially to match the refined sensibilities of our company. One of a kind. Never again will a bottle of this fragrance be produced," he said with finality. After all, he'd made it himself, he should damn well know. "If it pleases you, Your Eminence," he added, nodding his head in deference again. 

tags!

Re: Still There Are Darkened Places #Liam #sarnai #Brandy #Killick

Steph
 

*nudge to Sarnai*


On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 12:04 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
*nudge to Sarnai*

On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 4:38 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Who: Liam
With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"

Brandy: "What's his deal?"

Prisoner: "Took 'is heart. He got no…"

Killick: "What do you mean?"

As Killick grabbed the torch and cast light into the cell, Liam turned and braced himself. He was here because of a missive from his village, that this was Merrick, that this was one of his childhood friends. Someone who had done more than just welcome him in when he was a lost boy who stumbled out of the woods. Someone who'd played with him, come up with pranks with him, stolen fruit from orchard trees to snack on while splashing in a forest stream, reveling in the little bit of harmless crime they'd done until one of the adults came around and chastised them and put them to menial work as punishment. Worth all the trouble, all the same. Liam's first childhood crush was Merrick's older sister--a silly crush that went nowhere.

Liam hadn't seen Merrick since he'd stopped visiting his village, though. Not since Liam had been bitten.

Even so, when Killick's torchlight flickered across the chained man on the other side of the bars, Liam recognized the cut of his jaw, the exact shade of his brown hair, the line of his cheekbones. It was Merrick, and Liam didn't even really think about the decision. He had the key in his hand. He unlocked the cell. He went inside to kneel by his friend and reached out to touch him.

But Merrick's eyes snapped open, and he lunged against the chains toward Liam with a sudden start. If this young man had no heart, it certainly wasn't stopping him from moving. Liam leapt back on reflex, anger surging in his veins.

"Merrick, it's me," he said, firmly, tamping down on the way that the anger always seemed to surge up too easily in him now. This was his friend. He wouldn't let werewolf instincts control him. "It's Liam. Calm down! We're here to help."

Merrick snarled out some kind of response, the words too twisted at first, but when he couldn't force his way loose from the chains, he slowed and quieted, though still straining at them, to get closer to Liam. There was something about the way the light hit his eyes that made the irises seem like great empty voids, and his skin was paler than it should have been.

"Liam?" the chained man said, the first word that actually sounded like a word. He tilted his head a bit to one side, then the other, the motion conveying almost a distance from the moment, a disconnect. "Yes. Liam Lostchild... What are you doing here?"

Liam's words choked up in his throat. This was his old friend, but it wasn't him at all. He glanced over to his companions as he grappled with this moment. Something was horribly wrong here.

<Tag!>

Re: A Beauty Half-Betrayed #Andy #Theo #Zaza

Steph
 

*nudge to Antiphales*


On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 12:03 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
*nudge to Antiphales*

On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 3:32 PM Silvy <afranklin09c@...> wrote:

Who: Zaza

With: Andy, Theo, The Witch Queen

Where: The Witch Queen's Palace, the Jewel of the Desert

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Esperanza bucked the urge to look as Theo's touch at her elbow sent a very different warmth flushing over her skin than the heat of the sun bearing down on them the whole day long had imparted. It was deeper, burned worse, and if she looked, there was simply no way she could hide it. Instead she smiled face-front, murmured the quietest thankyou, and smoothed the diaphanous fabric of her skirts over her thighs as servants darted here and there to attend as needed.


"Of course," She agreed, her back straightening and fingers closing delicately around the offer of a golden cup. As much as she doubted the Witch Queen would invite them all the way here only to poison them in her own courtyard, she still waited a beat to make sure that the warmth in her chest wasn't the rough cut of smoky quartz nestled against her breast. 


It was time well spent, though, explaining that, "My Queen," For she was, for Esperanza chosen her, in a way the people of the South had not and much to her own misery if not, necessarily, regret, "We've come to extend a formal invitation to the Peacekeepers' summit."


~tags~

 

Re: Scars Left on my Heart #James #Malia #Kyky #manfred #rafael

Rachel
 

While James watched the young diplomat and her centaur sentry, Malia's eyes slid to her husband. She well knew his penchant for violence and control and vengeance, and there was no denying that Kyrilis Wooler struck at least all the visual chords of a young Francesca and, given the topic at hand, how could that not be where his mind went? She noticed a certain tension in his massive form and when he rose to his feet, the Queen sat forward. She would have to keep an eye out, lest James happen upon the young woman in the library later...


Rafael: "Francesca is not in control," "At least, she wasn't five years ago." "The vampire who is always with her, Seo-Jun; he doesn't answer to her."


James: "Francesca is quite in control. She knows what she does, and whom she consorts with..."


Kyky listened carefully to each answer, and felt herself sit a little straighter when the King rose. Usually, it was good practice to imitate - in any other negotiation, she would also have stood, after a moment or two, which would silently reinforce that they were on the same page. However, she could think of no excuse for what would clearly be seen as strange behavior at best or manipulative at worst… So she opted to repeat. It had a similar effect. "And she's consorting with…" And then he cut her off before she had to decide on what euphemism to use... Perfect.


James: "The succubi, they are her children. Her curse. It gives us great pleasure to destroy them one by one" "Have you dealt with any?"


Manny: "Are we conspiring to rise against the Queen of the West?"


"Not at all," Kyky whispered back to Manny, reassuringly, sensing his agitation, and, without thinking, reached up to lay a hand on his shoulder as he leaned in. Kyky hoped Rafael would field the King's question; he was their authority on creature-hunting. To Manny, she whispered, "We're just gathering information and insights..." Hopefully, they could get a rare candid moment with the Northeastern King and use what they learned to find a way to pressure Francesca to rescind her policy or step down? Kyky didn't know, based on what she'd heard from Rafael and James, but suddenly the Queen was piping up in a rather uncharacteristically impulsive way that had Kyky's head snapping in her direction. 


"No, no, no, no, no," Malia spoke up, almost as if she could not help herself. "It's hardly so easy. Francesca Rossi is a witch far more than a thrall. She might have ceded some of her autonomy to the vampire, but she must be getting something back worth more to her. Who among us can command one creature, where Francesca keeps courts of them? She has the succubi," here, Malia nodded toward James, "but what else…? ...Half the kingdom she claimed, and piddling revenge?"

Kyky sighed, and cast a glance toward Rafael because the question the Northeastern Queen posed next was exactly the one that had been on Kyky's - and indeed all the Peacekeepers' lips - that they hadn't been yet able to fully articulate, much less answer. And so Kyky nodded, and hoped against hope that perhaps the two living beings who knew Queen Rossi best might have a guess: 


"The pair of them - Francesca and her vampire - what do they want?" 


Tags

Re: Scars Left on my Heart #James #Malia #Kyky #manfred #rafael

turksgirl
 

Manfred raised his hand gently and shook his head at Kyky, when she offered him part of her meal. She meant well, but he didn't want to insult the Northeastern royals as if they're food wasn't good enough. "I'm fine. I can't eat meat in this form" he grunted out. Manny was truly a half-horse, and meat was bad on his equine digestive system. He nodded politely, more to the King and Queen, although it was his friend that had moved to make the offer. "Thank you anyway".

James watched the interaction between the girl and the centaur with interest, one brow arching slightly almost like amusement. He had a handmaiden bring some mash from the stables, no one would say that the Northeast did not treat their guests well. The young general assured him that the former King's City was fine. The Green King doubted that, or they would not be here... would they?

His brow furrowed at the young blonde as she spoke up about Francesca, and her decision to make vampires citizens of Eventyr. Speaking like a typical diplomat, as if he were a child and did not understand the irony of a bastard son of a king speaking of the 
legitimacy of a Duke's daughter's rule. He felt the urge to crush her pretty little neck between his large hands. Enough, he thought to himself. Clearly his other half was rearing it's ugly head. A tittering giggle rang in his ears, our hands could find a better use than snapping that pretty neck

Behave yourself, James warned the dark thing that clearly had grown bored and wanted to play its own terms. He would be back in his armor and slaying the Northeast's enemies... their enemies. He was glad when his queen spoke for them. They had chosen well. She appealed to both of them for different reasons, and balanced out the rule of power in their domain. It was a shame he had given his heart literally to another already.

They looked respectfully at their spouse as she addressed them. Perhaps Eventyr could use a little anarchy... Quiet you.

Kyky: "Yes, Queen Von Oehsen," ... "We… do find ourselves with the unique benefit of having not one, but two of the Western Queen's once-bethrothed. This may be an opportunity to gather any insights we may use to address the obvious problems with her reign..?"

Rafael: "Francesca is not in control," "At least, she wasn't five years ago." "The vampire who is always with her, Seo-Jun; he doesn't answer to her."

James frowned although the knowledge was not so surprising, the bodyguard. Tell them nothing! The Green King pushed his chair back and got to his feet, several servants scuttled out of his way. A dull, amused sound came from the king. "Francesca is quite in control. She knows what she does, and whom she consorts with..."

He looked at the young diplomat and general, a smirk curled his mouth. "The succubi, they are her children. Her curse. It gives us great pleasure to destroy them one by one" James looked out a window and then turn to the trio, "Have you dealt with any?"

Manfred flicked his tail nervously. He didn't like talking about Vampires, or Succubi. His people were a suspicious lot, and he was not any different, the centaur felt as if speaking of them invited them to call. They had been fortunate not to cross any misfortunes on the road here from the Peacekeeper city. His steel shoes clicked on the stone floor. Leaning in close to Kyky, he whispered to her "Are we conspiring to rise against the Queen of the West?" It  certainly seemed that way.

tags


Re: Scars Left on my Heart #James #Malia #Kyky #manfred #rafael

Manda
 

James: "You wish to talk at this summit, but I tell you now... Peacekeepers... that you fear a war, but it is already here. You must cut out Francesca's reign of madness and perhaps Eventyr will again find balance.  And what of the city, your own resources must be limited?"


"Our resources are just fine, Your Majesty," Rafael said as a mild aside, picking up his silverware and cutting into the meat. He lifted an eyebrow, "Though your concern is noted." And utter horseshit.


James wasn't wrong though. War was here, maybe not specifically in the Northeast yet but the West had been positively torn apart by it. No one knew exactly what had spurred the vehement animosity between Francesca and Zaire but it had resulted in a staggering amount of violence and bloodshed. They'd all heard tales of the troops Francesca had sent to the coast to establish order and how their corpses had ended up decorating the masts of Zaire's fleet of ships. It had made a rather unambiguous point. 


It did leave Rafael wondering if Zaire would be much of a step up from Francesca, should her reign end and his remain. He'd been rather amenable thus far, once he'd been allowed to deal with those he was comfortable with anyway, though Rafael wasn't sure how much could one really expect from a pirate?


Kyky: "Queen Rossi's reign is a problem, and the Peacekeepers do not deny that." Expound: "Granting citizenship to creatures presents an unprecedented threat to the safety of all Eventyrians." … "However, Queen Rossi's claim to rule cannot be disputed - not even in light of its problematic nature. Keeping peace requires the acknowledgement of legitimate rule..." 


Malia: "You mean to say, young lady, that we - King and Queen of the NorthEast - ought not wish to see rightful rulers displaced, lest such sentiment end up on our own doorsteps sooner or later," … "On this, they are right, my lord. Eventyr risks anarchy without clearly-defined lines of succession." 


Kyky: "Yes, Queen Von Oehsen," ... "We… do find ourselves with the unique benefit of having not one, but two of the Western Queen's once-bethrothed. This may be an opportunity to gather any insights we may use to address the obvious problems with her reign..?"


Rafael's eyes snapped to Kyky, his mask slipping for a heartbeat as he wondered whether he'd heard her correctly. Did she truly expect him and James to sit and discuss their shared past with Francesca in hopes of it possibly leading to some sort of insight? Surely if he'd had insight, then he'd have shared it by now


But…


Rafael's eyes went to James, to Malia, finally to Kyky again. "Francesca is not in control," he admitted, grudgingly. "At least, she wasn't five years ago." Had that changed since she'd become Queen? He couldn't really say, but maybe it was worth exploring. "The vampire who is always with her, Seo-Jun; he doesn't answer to her."


Tags

 

Re: Nothing but a Shadow in the Night #Jaya #Oseanie #zaire

Manda
 

Jaya: … "There are probably more!"


Oseanie: "What is this?" ... "Is this a last resort?" ... "Or does she think she could really reclaim…" 


It was a killing blow. 


Zaire was untouchable whether here on the island or on the ocean or on land on the coast and Francesca knew that. He had too much support; he was too popular and she was too unpopular. Still, she'd found a way to strike right at his heart


As the moments of chaos stretched around them, Zaire leaned into the pain he felt as his men fell around him, as their wives shouted for mercy, as their children scattered, letting it drive him forward. His blade cleaved, an axe finding its way into his off hand at some point, but none of it would be enough. Even if they managed to pull back to the fort, the vampires would lay siege and how long would they last with those seductive whispers pulling them closer and closer to the doors and windows? 


Oseanie: "Cap'," Oseanie shouted, over the din, with a knife ready in her hand and blood and brains dripping down her wrist. "You can't fight this fight. You need to get clear."


Zaire's dark eyes swept to the longboats waiting on the sand, the dark water and the darker shapes moving within it. Merfolk, ready to help. And beyond the rush of waves bobbed the small fleet of ships anchored a short row in the distance. It was their only chance, being on the water, manning the cannons, relying on their alliance with the merfolk...


"To the water!" Zaire roared, and around him others took up the call. He skewered a vampire, the tip of his spadroon bursting through the creature's back, then brought the short axe up to bury it in the creature's head and was moving on before the body had even collapsed. 


"Father!" 


Zaire turned to find Davit running toward him, Sidro in his arms, and he felt a flutter of relief that he wouldn't allow himself to indulge yet. "Go, lad!" he said, giving his son a push toward the water. "Get t'th'Song."


Already he could see Jimmy and Einar loading women and children into the longboats, a wall of pirates holding off the vampires even as merfolk launched deadly harpoons from the water. But they'd need those pirates to sail the ships, something that Jahid seemed to realize the same time Zaire did and the accountant began organizing the retreat, peppering the riggers and gunners into those boats, while leaving the vanguard to defend. 


It felt like ages before the first boat pushed off the sand, propelled along by the merfolk just under the surface, but seeing them escape was heartening. The Island may be lost but they'd save as many as they could...


It wasn't a killing blow, after all, but a maiming blow, Zaire realized. Blood would clot, injuries would heal, and this animal would come back scarred and deadly and hungry for revenge. 


Tags

 

Re: Still There Are Darkened Places #Liam #sarnai #Brandy #Killick

Steph
 

*nudge to Sarnai*


On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 4:38 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Who: Liam
With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"

Brandy: "What's his deal?"

Prisoner: "Took 'is heart. He got no…"

Killick: "What do you mean?"

As Killick grabbed the torch and cast light into the cell, Liam turned and braced himself. He was here because of a missive from his village, that this was Merrick, that this was one of his childhood friends. Someone who had done more than just welcome him in when he was a lost boy who stumbled out of the woods. Someone who'd played with him, come up with pranks with him, stolen fruit from orchard trees to snack on while splashing in a forest stream, reveling in the little bit of harmless crime they'd done until one of the adults came around and chastised them and put them to menial work as punishment. Worth all the trouble, all the same. Liam's first childhood crush was Merrick's older sister--a silly crush that went nowhere.

Liam hadn't seen Merrick since he'd stopped visiting his village, though. Not since Liam had been bitten.

Even so, when Killick's torchlight flickered across the chained man on the other side of the bars, Liam recognized the cut of his jaw, the exact shade of his brown hair, the line of his cheekbones. It was Merrick, and Liam didn't even really think about the decision. He had the key in his hand. He unlocked the cell. He went inside to kneel by his friend and reached out to touch him.

But Merrick's eyes snapped open, and he lunged against the chains toward Liam with a sudden start. If this young man had no heart, it certainly wasn't stopping him from moving. Liam leapt back on reflex, anger surging in his veins.

"Merrick, it's me," he said, firmly, tamping down on the way that the anger always seemed to surge up too easily in him now. This was his friend. He wouldn't let werewolf instincts control him. "It's Liam. Calm down! We're here to help."

Merrick snarled out some kind of response, the words too twisted at first, but when he couldn't force his way loose from the chains, he slowed and quieted, though still straining at them, to get closer to Liam. There was something about the way the light hit his eyes that made the irises seem like great empty voids, and his skin was paler than it should have been.

"Liam?" the chained man said, the first word that actually sounded like a word. He tilted his head a bit to one side, then the other, the motion conveying almost a distance from the moment, a disconnect. "Yes. Liam Lostchild... What are you doing here?"

Liam's words choked up in his throat. This was his old friend, but it wasn't him at all. He glanced over to his companions as he grappled with this moment. Something was horribly wrong here.

<Tag!>

Re: A Beauty Half-Betrayed #Andy #Theo #Zaza

Steph
 

*nudge to Antiphales*


On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 3:32 PM Silvy <afranklin09c@...> wrote:

Who: Zaza

With: Andy, Theo, The Witch Queen

Where: The Witch Queen's Palace, the Jewel of the Desert

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Esperanza bucked the urge to look as Theo's touch at her elbow sent a very different warmth flushing over her skin than the heat of the sun bearing down on them the whole day long had imparted. It was deeper, burned worse, and if she looked, there was simply no way she could hide it. Instead she smiled face-front, murmured the quietest thankyou, and smoothed the diaphanous fabric of her skirts over her thighs as servants darted here and there to attend as needed.


"Of course," She agreed, her back straightening and fingers closing delicately around the offer of a golden cup. As much as she doubted the Witch Queen would invite them all the way here only to poison them in her own courtyard, she still waited a beat to make sure that the warmth in her chest wasn't the rough cut of smoky quartz nestled against her breast. 


It was time well spent, though, explaining that, "My Queen," For she was, for Esperanza chosen her, in a way the people of the South had not and much to her own misery if not, necessarily, regret, "We've come to extend a formal invitation to the Peacekeepers' summit."


~tags~

 

Re: Nothing but a Shadow in the Night #Jaya #Oseanie #zaire

Steph
 

*nudge*


On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 10:19 AM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
*gentle nudge to Zaire*

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 7:50 PM Rachel <rachelballa@...> wrote:

Oseanie didn't hesitate a second, plucking the axe from her father's hand and sinking it deep into the vampire's throat within a half-a-breath of when the beast seemed to rise from the dead to snap its pearly fangs, glimmering in the moonlight, at her. It's thirsty bite was no match for steady hands and steel, though Oseanie did turn her head away in disgust... 


The blood on her hands was cold, Oseanie noticed, as she leaned her weight on the blade to snap the beast's spine. Gross. She was glad to be on her feet again, with the bloodied axe in her hand at the ready….


Zaire: "Chione! Alby!" "Find my family!" "Spread th'word, ye bilge rats! Your King expects the 'ead'uv'a vampire from eachaya when this is over!" "Now get out there an' protect yer 'ome!"


Jaya: "There are probably more!"


The Captain was, reasonably, sending those among his elite to find his - their - family, but Oseanie stayed never more than an arm's length away from him. Her eyes were intent and alert, even against the dark, and she sent the axe into the wrinkled brow of a vampire three yards off, and stooped to retrieve a knife buried in a pirate's gut as they moved past him. Oseanie didn't look at his face; a weapon was a weapon right now. 


Oseanie's gaze was drawn, curiously, to the Peacekeeper. This was a defining moment: Would Jaya keep peace? Or fight..? 


Fight, it seemed, and Oseanie smiled her way, even through the darkness and the chaos. "What is this?" The navigator tried to ask, though breathless and distracted by the constant shadows moving about her. "Is this a last resort?" A dying breath of a waning rule? "Or does she think she could really reclaim…" 


Oseanie could see, even in the dim moonlight, that pirates were falling around them. They died fighting violently, thrusting swords or daggers into the undead, but the living inevitably fell while the vampires only stumbled. 


It wasn't long before one of the creatures ran at Oseanie. She sidestepped quickly, putting herself between the beast and her father, whipped her weight around and dragged the beast to the ground until she straddled its back and plunged her knife into its skull. 


But as she withdrew her knife, Oseanie felt the very ground under her knees tremble and, over her shoulder, the young pirate saw yet another air-ship crash inelegantly into the trees. That would have killed men, but she knew instantly from the rustling of branches and the hissing - echoing like snakes - that there was a crew of vampires headed their way...  


Oseanie's dark eyes rose to her king, her captain, her father. She would never have given him orders, and so when she opened her mouth, her teeth ground as if in objection. But even if she trusted him as a leader, she knew that she could see further than he could. 


"Cap'," Oseanie shouted, over the din, with a knife ready in her hand and blood and brains dripping down her wrist. "You can't fight this fight. You need to get clear."

Tags!

Re: Scars Left on my Heart #James #Malia #Kyky #manfred #rafael

Steph
 

*nudge*


On Sun, Jun 7, 2020 at 4:14 PM Rachel <rachelballa@...> wrote:

Rafael: "We'll do what we can to help,"  "I'd like to see our Western refugees prosper, of course, but I understand the drain on your resources."


Kyky smiled warmly at the servant girls, clad in a unique uniform of violet and black that seemed to blend the flags of both the East and the North. The girl's brows rose in surprise at the diplomat's direct attention, just a moment before she lowered her head and hurried on to fill General Gonzalo's plate… 


As soon as she moved on, Kyky plucked up the fat bone-in chop of meat on her plate and rose to offer it to Manny behind her. She rarely ate meat - even more unsettled by the idea of eating animals since she had become so close to a friend who was arguably half of one - but Manny needed all the food he could get… 


On a normal night, she would also have made him eat some vegetables. But they were here on a mission. 


James: "Yes, many come to the North and East. They are welcomed so long as they obey the laws of our land, and are willing to participate in maintaining the realms".


Kyky returned to her seat and felt her head lilting skeptically to the side. While the king's words were technically true, the Peacekeepers had found enough evidence to believe that welcome was hollow. But before she had time to carefully craft a response, the king was looking at her companion instead... 


James: "We would like to see them returned to their land and homes, which are rightfully theirs" 


Kyky felt her jaw clench in annoyance, even as she worked to keep her lips neutral or sporting an amicable smile. The dynamic was so complicated - she knew Rafael had more respect among the higher classes, but she also knew he didn't want to lead...


James: "You wish to talk at this summit, but I tell you now... Peacekeepers... that you fear a war, but it is already here. You must cut out Francesca's reign of madness and perhaps Eventyr will again find balance.  And what of the city, your own resources must be limited?"


And so Kyky made it a point to cut in and reclaim the floor. Start by acknowledging common understanding: "Queen Rossi's reign is a problem, and the Peacekeepers do not deny that." Expound: "Granting citizenship to creatures presents an unprecedented threat to the safety of all Eventyrians." 


Kyky went on, "However, Queen Rossi's claim to rule cannot be disputed - not even in light of its problematic nature. Keeping peace requires the acknowledgement of legitimate rule..." 


In even the brief pause as Kyky considered her words, Queen Malia set down her glass and finally decided to speak. 


"You mean to say, young lady, that we - King and Queen of the NorthEast - ought not wish to see rightful rulers displaced, lest such sentiment end up on our own doorsteps sooner or later," Malia surmised. Neither she nor James were naive on this issue: rumors, mainly from the West, circulated that the King himself was a Changeling, and not unsubstantiated rumors swirled that Malia had wed and murdered the prior Duke of the North… Malia inclined her head toward James. "On this, they are right, my lord. Eventyr risks anarchy without clearly-defined lines of succession." 


This strategy, the queen knew well. They could not focus on just removing one enemy - it was about establishing precedent that would be advantageous for herself, later on. She knew, though, this would be harder for her husband to see, given his history and grievances with the corrupt Queen Rossi.


"Yes, Queen Von Oehsen," Kyky affirmed, although with perhaps a bit of humility - a glance downward, an uncomfortable, breathy chuckle - that her intent had been so plain. In no way, though, did she want to let the king's point go, though. "We… do find ourselves with the unique benefit of having not one, but two of the Western Queen's once-bethrothed. This may be an opportunity to gather any insights we may use to address the obvious problems with her reign..?"


God, Kyky thought as soon as the words left her lips. Rafael will never forgive me… but what if they could leverage this conversation to find a solution?


Tags!

Re: Still There Are Darkened Places #Liam #sarnai #Brandy #Killick

Steph
 

Who: Liam
With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"

Brandy: "What's his deal?"

Prisoner: "Took 'is heart. He got no…"

Killick: "What do you mean?"

As Killick grabbed the torch and cast light into the cell, Liam turned and braced himself. He was here because of a missive from his village, that this was Merrick, that this was one of his childhood friends. Someone who had done more than just welcome him in when he was a lost boy who stumbled out of the woods. Someone who'd played with him, come up with pranks with him, stolen fruit from orchard trees to snack on while splashing in a forest stream, reveling in the little bit of harmless crime they'd done until one of the adults came around and chastised them and put them to menial work as punishment. Worth all the trouble, all the same. Liam's first childhood crush was Merrick's older sister--a silly crush that went nowhere.

Liam hadn't seen Merrick since he'd stopped visiting his village, though. Not since Liam had been bitten.

Even so, when Killick's torchlight flickered across the chained man on the other side of the bars, Liam recognized the cut of his jaw, the exact shade of his brown hair, the line of his cheekbones. It was Merrick, and Liam didn't even really think about the decision. He had the key in his hand. He unlocked the cell. He went inside to kneel by his friend and reached out to touch him.

But Merrick's eyes snapped open, and he lunged against the chains toward Liam with a sudden start. If this young man had no heart, it certainly wasn't stopping him from moving. Liam leapt back on reflex, anger surging in his veins.

"Merrick, it's me," he said, firmly, tamping down on the way that the anger always seemed to surge up too easily in him now. This was his friend. He wouldn't let werewolf instincts control him. "It's Liam. Calm down! We're here to help."

Merrick snarled out some kind of response, the words too twisted at first, but when he couldn't force his way loose from the chains, he slowed and quieted, though still straining at them, to get closer to Liam. There was something about the way the light hit his eyes that made the irises seem like great empty voids, and his skin was paler than it should have been.

"Liam?" the chained man said, the first word that actually sounded like a word. He tilted his head a bit to one side, then the other, the motion conveying almost a distance from the moment, a disconnect. "Yes. Liam Lostchild... What are you doing here?"

Liam's words choked up in his throat. This was his old friend, but it wasn't him at all. He glanced over to his companions as he grappled with this moment. Something was horribly wrong here.

<Tag!>

Re: A Beauty Half-Betrayed #Andy #Theo #Zaza

Silvy
 

Who: Zaza

With: Andy, Theo, The Witch Queen

Where: The Witch Queen's Palace, the Jewel of the Desert

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Esperanza bucked the urge to look as Theo's touch at her elbow sent a very different warmth flushing over her skin than the heat of the sun bearing down on them the whole day long had imparted. It was deeper, burned worse, and if she looked, there was simply no way she could hide it. Instead she smiled face-front, murmured the quietest thankyou, and smoothed the diaphanous fabric of her skirts over her thighs as servants darted here and there to attend as needed.


"Of course," She agreed, her back straightening and fingers closing delicately around the offer of a golden cup. As much as she doubted the Witch Queen would invite them all the way here only to poison them in her own courtyard, she still waited a beat to make sure that the warmth in her chest wasn't the rough cut of smoky quartz nestled against her breast. 


It was time well spent, though, explaining that, "My Queen," For she was, for Esperanza chosen her, in a way the people of the South had not and much to her own misery if not, necessarily, regret, "We've come to extend a formal invitation to the Peacekeepers' summit."


~tags~

 

Re: Still There Are Darkened Places #Liam #sarnai #Brandy #Killick

Steph
 

*gentle nudge to Liam*


On Sun, May 24, 2020 at 10:53 AM Silvy <afranklin09c@...> wrote:

Who: Killick.

With: Liam, Sarnai, Brandy.
Where: Marauders Camp, Northern Duchy
When: March 28th, 872 RoK - Morning


With Liam's help, getting the bodies out of sight was less work than dragging them on his own, but still a struggle. And once they were all locked up, they could move on-


But for the poor man in his cell, whose eyes Killick met briefly between Brandy's brief but intense impositions on him. What had he done, to wind up here? Enough prisoners were just unlucky. The wrong time, the wrong place, the wrong allegiance... He found himself glancing back at the cell across from the man in green's, even as he felt the promise implied in Brandy's gesture with the lockpick hollow.


"What's he mean?" His brows knit, and Killick looked to Sarnai first before turning back to the prisoner: "What do you mean?" Took his heart, left nothing? The words iced over his spine, raising the fine hairs on the back of his neck as he tried to make sense of it. 


People didn't survive without hearts... so what was the point of jailing someone who had to be dead? All the old stories aside - and he'd read them, once upon a time when he had much more of it on his hands - there were no actual documentations of a living, breathing person leaving the witch's woods without their heart. No real, trustworthy sources that weren't a friend of a cousin's grandmother's neighbor


And so, embracing that skepticism, Killick took a step back from the prisoner's cell...and turned to the other one, jaw clenching tight. His steps forward were unsure only for a moment, growing in confidence as he approached the bars and his thoughts drifted back to the smallest touch of a smile at the corners of Sarnai's lips. The soft curve of it, like everything else about her subtle until it wasn't-- he steeled himself to the task of drawing up the torch stolen from a dungeon wall, and watching the flickering light encroach further into the shadowed cell.


~tags~

Re: A Beauty Half-Betrayed #Andy #Theo #Zaza

Steph
 

*gentle nudge to Zaza*


On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 1:21 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Who: Theo

With: Andy, Zaza

Where: The Witch Queen's Palace, the Jewel of the Desert

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Witch Queen: "Shall we sit?"


Zaza: "...It's good to see you well."


Andy:  "Please, after you, Your Highness."


Manners, snapped the voice of the diadem in Theo's mind as he at first started to take a step toward the chairs. It gave him just enough pause that he heard Uncle Andy give the most courteous "After you," and he remembered his own manners. Maybe he was more hungover than he thought. His mother had taught him so much better than to just barrel ahead. Ladies first, always.


The Witch Queen smiled almost warmly to Andy at his display of courtesy, though that warmth didn't quite meet her calculating eyes.


Theo matched Andy's gesture with a curt bow of his own and waited for the Witch Queen to approach a seat before he did the same. One of the servants moved in quiet as the dead to help the queen into her seat with an outstretched hand. Theo moved up beside Zaza to do the same, though even as he did, a little part of his heart panged in that too-familiar way. An echo of an old break.


Once the ladies were both seated, and the two lions had settled on either side of the grand chair that the Witch Queen had claimed, Theo chose the open chair to Esperanza's left, leaving the chair to her right to Andy. Servants started to flutter around them with trays of fresh fruit and golden chalices of some kind of drink. Theo waved them back with a polite declination. The last thing he needed right now was mystery drink.


"Your Eminence," he said, in his best courtly-manners voice. Calling her the Witch Queen to her face just seemed like a bad idea, even if it was a moniker she'd seemed to embrace as far as he could tell. "Thank you for accepting our request for an audience."


The Witch Queen raised a hand in a gesture bidding Theo to be silent. The lioness's tail twitched, just slightly, one way and then the other, attentive. Theo stilled.


"Let's not dance around," the Witch Queen said, looking toward Esperanza. "Why have you requested an audience?"


<tag!>


Re: Nothing but a Shadow in the Night #Jaya #Oseanie #zaire

Steph
 

*gentle nudge to Zaire*


On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 7:50 PM Rachel <rachelballa@...> wrote:

Oseanie didn't hesitate a second, plucking the axe from her father's hand and sinking it deep into the vampire's throat within a half-a-breath of when the beast seemed to rise from the dead to snap its pearly fangs, glimmering in the moonlight, at her. It's thirsty bite was no match for steady hands and steel, though Oseanie did turn her head away in disgust... 


The blood on her hands was cold, Oseanie noticed, as she leaned her weight on the blade to snap the beast's spine. Gross. She was glad to be on her feet again, with the bloodied axe in her hand at the ready….


Zaire: "Chione! Alby!" "Find my family!" "Spread th'word, ye bilge rats! Your King expects the 'ead'uv'a vampire from eachaya when this is over!" "Now get out there an' protect yer 'ome!"


Jaya: "There are probably more!"


The Captain was, reasonably, sending those among his elite to find his - their - family, but Oseanie stayed never more than an arm's length away from him. Her eyes were intent and alert, even against the dark, and she sent the axe into the wrinkled brow of a vampire three yards off, and stooped to retrieve a knife buried in a pirate's gut as they moved past him. Oseanie didn't look at his face; a weapon was a weapon right now. 


Oseanie's gaze was drawn, curiously, to the Peacekeeper. This was a defining moment: Would Jaya keep peace? Or fight..? 


Fight, it seemed, and Oseanie smiled her way, even through the darkness and the chaos. "What is this?" The navigator tried to ask, though breathless and distracted by the constant shadows moving about her. "Is this a last resort?" A dying breath of a waning rule? "Or does she think she could really reclaim…" 


Oseanie could see, even in the dim moonlight, that pirates were falling around them. They died fighting violently, thrusting swords or daggers into the undead, but the living inevitably fell while the vampires only stumbled. 


It wasn't long before one of the creatures ran at Oseanie. She sidestepped quickly, putting herself between the beast and her father, whipped her weight around and dragged the beast to the ground until she straddled its back and plunged her knife into its skull. 


But as she withdrew her knife, Oseanie felt the very ground under her knees tremble and, over her shoulder, the young pirate saw yet another air-ship crash inelegantly into the trees. That would have killed men, but she knew instantly from the rustling of branches and the hissing - echoing like snakes - that there was a crew of vampires headed their way...  


Oseanie's dark eyes rose to her king, her captain, her father. She would never have given him orders, and so when she opened her mouth, her teeth ground as if in objection. But even if she trusted him as a leader, she knew that she could see further than he could. 


"Cap'," Oseanie shouted, over the din, with a knife ready in her hand and blood and brains dripping down her wrist. "You can't fight this fight. You need to get clear."

Tags!

Re: Scars Left on my Heart #James #Malia #Kyky #manfred #rafael

Rachel
 

Rafael: "We'll do what we can to help,"  "I'd like to see our Western refugees prosper, of course, but I understand the drain on your resources."


Kyky smiled warmly at the servant girls, clad in a unique uniform of violet and black that seemed to blend the flags of both the East and the North. The girl's brows rose in surprise at the diplomat's direct attention, just a moment before she lowered her head and hurried on to fill General Gonzalo's plate… 


As soon as she moved on, Kyky plucked up the fat bone-in chop of meat on her plate and rose to offer it to Manny behind her. She rarely ate meat - even more unsettled by the idea of eating animals since she had become so close to a friend who was arguably half of one - but Manny needed all the food he could get… 


On a normal night, she would also have made him eat some vegetables. But they were here on a mission. 


James: "Yes, many come to the North and East. They are welcomed so long as they obey the laws of our land, and are willing to participate in maintaining the realms".


Kyky returned to her seat and felt her head lilting skeptically to the side. While the king's words were technically true, the Peacekeepers had found enough evidence to believe that welcome was hollow. But before she had time to carefully craft a response, the king was looking at her companion instead... 


James: "We would like to see them returned to their land and homes, which are rightfully theirs" 


Kyky felt her jaw clench in annoyance, even as she worked to keep her lips neutral or sporting an amicable smile. The dynamic was so complicated - she knew Rafael had more respect among the higher classes, but she also knew he didn't want to lead...


James: "You wish to talk at this summit, but I tell you now... Peacekeepers... that you fear a war, but it is already here. You must cut out Francesca's reign of madness and perhaps Eventyr will again find balance.  And what of the city, your own resources must be limited?"


And so Kyky made it a point to cut in and reclaim the floor. Start by acknowledging common understanding: "Queen Rossi's reign is a problem, and the Peacekeepers do not deny that." Expound: "Granting citizenship to creatures presents an unprecedented threat to the safety of all Eventyrians." 


Kyky went on, "However, Queen Rossi's claim to rule cannot be disputed - not even in light of its problematic nature. Keeping peace requires the acknowledgement of legitimate rule..." 


In even the brief pause as Kyky considered her words, Queen Malia set down her glass and finally decided to speak. 


"You mean to say, young lady, that we - King and Queen of the NorthEast - ought not wish to see rightful rulers displaced, lest such sentiment end up on our own doorsteps sooner or later," Malia surmised. Neither she nor James were naive on this issue: rumors, mainly from the West, circulated that the King himself was a Changeling, and not unsubstantiated rumors swirled that Malia had wed and murdered the prior Duke of the North… Malia inclined her head toward James. "On this, they are right, my lord. Eventyr risks anarchy without clearly-defined lines of succession." 


This strategy, the queen knew well. They could not focus on just removing one enemy - it was about establishing precedent that would be advantageous for herself, later on. She knew, though, this would be harder for her husband to see, given his history and grievances with the corrupt Queen Rossi.


"Yes, Queen Von Oehsen," Kyky affirmed, although with perhaps a bit of humility - a glance downward, an uncomfortable, breathy chuckle - that her intent had been so plain. In no way, though, did she want to let the king's point go, though. "We… do find ourselves with the unique benefit of having not one, but two of the Western Queen's once-bethrothed. This may be an opportunity to gather any insights we may use to address the obvious problems with her reign..?"


God, Kyky thought as soon as the words left her lips. Rafael will never forgive me… but what if they could leverage this conversation to find a solution?


Tags!

Hide and then Seek (JP one shot flashback) #Kyky #manfred

turksgirl
 

Kyky strode with all the purpose in the world down the hallway to her door - only to pause for a couple of long, deep breaths as she pressed her back against the aged wood, as she pressed the warm bread and chilled meat in the thin wax packaging against her front and her ears opened for any sign of danger or suspicion… 


Footfalls. Laughter, from young men and women. Even though she waited, expectantly, for the space of several slow breaths, she never heard the stern voice of a guard nor the hiss of a drawn weapon. So, Kyky pressed the heel of her hand against the handle of her door and whipped herself into the small dorm. 


It was barely big enough for one person, to be honest, and it smelled quite ripe, what with the small, single window the one source of ventilation. But even in the stuffiness, Kyky sighed in relief. Yet another arrow dodged. 


"Sorry, it's not much," Kyky said, as she stepped forward and sat on the edge of the bed and placed the package between them. "Guards…" Kyky seemed to need a break to both roll her eyes and pull her boots off as she went on. "Talk as if finding the runaways is…" she tossed up a hand in a gesture of outrage, "going to, like, bring the king back to life, or something..." 


Manfred looked around the small room and shifted nervously. Small places made the horse side of him feel claustrophobic, and he was tall in his human form. Tucking a leg under himself he nodded at the blonde to affirm that he agreed with her.


“It’s a distraction…” he replied, before biting his lower lip and poking at the wax paper that hid her little bounty. Glancing up at her through strands of inky black hair, he mumbled out in a low whisper “… You’re taking a big risk for a thief.” 


No, normally he wouldn’t merit too much attention from the guards. But they needed to feel like they were doing something… anything… Manfred could understand it on some level. “Thank you” he said, breaking a piece of bread off and munching on it like a starving man.


Kyky nodded - it was unfortunate for them that the guards were on high alert, but the guards had to do anything they could to re-establish themselves and their credibility. Probably, under normal circumstances, no one would have worried much about an escaped thief, but these days… capturing Manny could be the accomplishment of a lifetime for some guard, and the thief in question would undoubtedly suffer an unreasonable punishment. It was a hand for thieving, but they could easily tack on a beheading for escaping - and that said nothing about helping others escape. 


Kyky shrugged, but her eyes were alert, her smile intent and present, and she was glad, relieved, to see the bread was acceptable as Manny began to eat. "If you hadn't been a thief, known how to pick a lock, how many people would be dead now?" Kyky asked, and her hand shot forward to squeeze Manny's knee. "Maybe you were supposed to be there, to help. I could never have opened that many cells on my own…" They were prisoners, and maybe dangerous criminals, but Kyky couldn't judge that, and her face froze a moment as she struggled with how to say as much. 


"I like to believe that we are more than the worst thing we've ever done," Kyky said. And, after a breathy laugh, she corrected, "Were caught doing." 


Manfred’s mouth curled and he tilted his head like a curious animal. His eyes focused on her hand on his leg, and he chewed carefully. Reaching up with long fingers he pushed his hair back behind one pointed ear. 


“Kyky, it’s not just because I’m a thief… it’s because I’m centauri. And they need a scapegoat” he said, teeth firmly pressing against his lower lip. He was taking a big chance telling her what he really was. Some people didn’t care how many legs you had, or a fish’s tail. Other people did… a lot. 


“This room is so small” Manny whined, feeling the sudden urge to divert away from the conversation at hand.


A Centauri. The words washed over Kyky like a wave from the Western Ocean in the autumn. So many people hated the Centauri - some even considered them creatures, although probably out of political or economic interest. Centauri weren't known for murder… perhaps, anecdotally - they overpowered humans so much that it was hard, sometimes, to distinguish an intentional killing from not… and, when in doubt, the Centauri always took the fall. 


Although, not always the punishment. There were so, so many tales of Centaurs freeing themselves of their bonds and escaping into the wilderness, unafraid to fend for themselves. 


And so, Kyky couldn't help but smile a bit. Even on two legs, Manny was that Centaur who had freed himself - and then others. Her hand reached out to grasp his, with appreciation in place of judgement. 


"And if they ever find you, you will Centaur yourself out of here," Kyky said, with a smile so cheerfully hopeful that it made her seem too young and innocent to believe. 


His complaint about the room, though, softened her gaze. "I know…" She shrugged. "Maybe after nightfall, we could…" Kyky paused, until she found a colloquialism that fit. "Go for a ride?" 


Manfred was lucky to be half human in this instance, he didn’t have some of the more distinctive attributes of his race in his two legged form. His four legged body didn’t have horns or cloven hooves like some of his brethren, and he didn’t have a horse face as some called it either. 


He wished he had the wild freedom of four legs, the speed, the power…his soul would sing. But this form allowed him to slip into small places and go far more unnoticed when in a place like the King’s City. Manny looked down at Kyky’s small hand in his larger one, and glanced upward in time to catch her smile.


A squeeze said more than words but Manfred knew they were important, especially for a race that depended on them. He huddled closer, spoke in a low tone “Yes… I’d like that…”. Manfred looked up through his hair at her, “Come with me… away from this place… it’s rotting from the inside… Can’t you feel it?”


Can you feel it? Yes, Kyky thought, and a nod of affirmation followed. King's City was going putrid after the king's death - but, she didn't know how to feel about that. Escaping seemed easy, but… without a central government, how stable were the outer regions? What if you had family? 


"Yes, I feel it," Kyky nodded, and squeezed Manny's hand again, gently, as she obviously struggled. Her eyes cast toward the small window, and she sighed. "I want to say yes, let's go. But I have friends here. A lot of them." Jaya was her first thought, but then, Manny was in front of her. "And I know that the city is dying, but I can't just leave." Her school was still holding classes, and she wanted her degree… 


Conflict played across Kyky's face, as she both fully acknowledged that she wanted to leave, and wanted to leave with Manny, but also couldn't. A nauseated grimace pulled across her lips. "I want to," she said, and it was true. "And I will. But… I can't leave. Not now…" Kyky struggled with emotion, tears threatening her eyes and her lips quivering because she knew what the solution was and she didn't want it. Didn't want to say goodbye. 


"I can help you go, though. I can try…" Her lips pursed into a sob, but she tried to hold it back. But I don't want to say goodbye, she couldn't manage to say…


Manfred gave a nicker, logic and flight instincts telling him to get out while the going was good. He was no herd leader, but he had enough stallion mentality to know when he could still stand his ground. 


“...I won’t be captured again…” he said leaning in to press his temple against hers. Girl was too kind-hearted for her own good. Nudging her with his nose like a protective mare over her foal, he added “...But I can wait for a little while…” 


He would have to look for a horse no one would miss and a good hiding place if he wanted to change forms. It made him too vulnerable to do it alone. “...But if things…” he paused for a moment not wanting to say worse. “...Change… then we’ll leave, yes? Take your friends and go together?”


Manny looked down at Kyky and wiped her face with the ends of calloused fingers. She had saved and protected him. He could do no less for her.


To her surprise, Kyky didn't feel any hesitation, maybe that started when she pressed her cheek into his touch. She nodded. "Yes - when," not if, "King's City falls, then we'll leave together." Of course, her mind was full of thoughts of her professors, her classmates, her friends. But all of that only made her draw in a resolute breath and look back up at the Centaur. A hint of a smile crossed her lips, and she reached up to brush the hair back from his eyes as she met them resolutely. 


It was hard to say, but not as hard as she expected, and her hand closed around Manny's - not in the same affectionate way, but palm-against-palm, like warriors did. "We'll leave. Together." Only one side of her mouth widened when her smile did, giving her a lopsided effect. "I trust you."


The human centaur gave a little pleased grunt as she tried to push some of that wild mane of his back to see his face. And his grip was firm, but not overpowering in their gesture of solidarity. “And I trust you… together, then” Manfred confirmed their pact.


He bumped her shoulder almost playfully, and gestured at the food she had brought. “Now eat, Kyky… for you are not a bird” Manny teased her to lighten the mood of the small room.


"Am I not?" Kyky laughed - for her nickname sounded more like a bird than any she'd ever heard of. Kyky - Kyky - Kyky. It could have been a bird's song… 


The girl, though, wasn't wanting for food, and so she insisted her companion ate the food instead. If she'd learned anything, it was that centaurs needed sustenance!


Kyky turned back, shrugging a shoulder. "Manny, I wish we could just…" ...Go…" but it wasn't that easy. "I need to go see what I can...salvage from this… fucking disaster…


Kyky stood, and she kept Manny's hand in her own. She spent several breaths just weighing his hand in her own… 


"I need answers. I need to understand… to help people… to save us," Kyky whispered - she fully expected that Manny would leave. That he wouldn't get it and he would go. Kyky knew she wouldn't have got it on her own, but she also couldn't deny where she was...


Manfred looked up at the blonde haired girl, head tilted at a curious angle. He didn’t understand her need to find this information, or how it might be helpful in their current situation. Perhaps it was their difference in species, or education… But she was his friend


“Alright… but after we eat” he replied, giving a little smile and tugging her hand for her to sit again. Manny knew this sense of safety would be short lived, felt in his bones. “We’ll find it together,” he assured Kyky, lacing their fingers together. A nicker escaped him before he mowed into the bread.

 

Wrap

Re: Scars Left on my Heart #James #Malia #Kyky #manfred #rafael

turksgirl
 

Manfred felt some sort of relief at the look in his dear friend's eyes, she was excited. It would seem she had won over the former Green Duke, now King of the joined domains of North and East. And the Queen seemed complacent to agree with him. She moved with grace considering the weight of her robes, as she joined her strange consort, who invited them to dine.

The centaur swatted his tail in agitation still, but made an effort to bow his head cordially as the royals passed to led the way to dine.
 He wasn't so sure it was manners that the king was offering to dine, but a false sense of security. His friend wanted this to go right so badly, to have the summit be a success. They all did, but he hoped Kyky wouldn't be too blinded by it.

The Northern castle was very old, and lavish. But the beautiful colors cast on the walls by the many jewels didn't alleviate the feeling low in Manfred's guts that they should just leave this place. The table wasn't designed with a centaur in mind, and Manny refused to put himself in the vulnerable position of laying down. So he stood behind his human companions and remained on guard.

Kyky"We have heard that the NorthEast has - understandably - become a refuge for those Eventyrians fleeing the West," "In what ways might the Peacekeepers be able to support your efforts to integrate these refugees?" 


Rafael; "We'll do what we can to help," "I'd like to see our Western refugees prosper, of course, but I understand the drain on your resources."

James sat next to his queen, unlike most royals that preferred to sit on opposing ends of a table. Perhaps it was a symbol of their unity, or perhaps they secretly communicated under the table with the pretense that they held hands like lovers. The older man smiled at Kyky, but there was no warmth behind the expression. "Yes, many come to the North and East. They are welcomed so long as they obey the laws of our land, and are willing to participate in maintaining the realms".

No, he wouldn't let anyone leech from those that were loyal to him and his queen. Castile would not squander resources on spoiled nobles, who suddenly realized that Francesca's little vampires didn't care who they fed on. Or farmers who refused to till the harden soil of the North, or the dangerous lands so close to the enchanted forest in the East. If their own people could do it then they could as well... Or take their chances with the witch of the South.

Or the arduous journey to the former King's city to the Peacekeepers. He doubted they had an endless supply of hand outs, no matter how this little blonde beamed like sunshine poured out her ass. He turned his gaze to Rafael, they had a history so he found it easier to speak to him. The girl's positive attitude rubbed his other half and it was beginning to have thoughts of dragging her off somewhere to eclipse that light with its own brand of darkness. "We would like to see them returned to their land and homes, which are rightfully theirs" Castile replied to the young General.

"You wish to talk at this summit, but I tell you now... Peacekeepers... that you fear a war, but it is already here. You must cut out Francesca's reign of madness and perhaps Eventyr will again find balance". James Castile was willing to sit at a table with the other leaders. To test their merit. Weigh them. Judge them. Perhaps turn one against the other. Or bait a potential ally.

There would be blood...there always was, and always would be.

"And what of the city, your own resources must be limited?" he asked as if perhaps willing to lend them assistance instead. There was a reason the refugees took their chances in his realm over the Peacekeeper stronghold besides the journey.

tags

Re: Scars Left on my Heart #James #Malia #Kyky #manfred #rafael

Manda
 

Kyky: "We have heard that the NorthEast has - understandably - become a refuge for those Eventyrians fleeing the West," … "In what ways might the Peacekeepers be able to support your efforts to integrate these refugees?"


Rafael's jaw clenched and dark eyes went to Kyky as she settled on a subject and dug in. It was hardly a topic he enjoyed, but one that could be enlightening, he silently admitted. 


His sister, Valentina, lived here in the North and she and her family had, luckily, been in a position to take in Javier's wife and children after they'd fled the West. Yes, Javier had been killed while helping to retake the King's City, but at least his family was safe for the time being. There were so many Westerners less fortunate though and Rafael knew that it was only their money that kept his loved ones safe here in the Northeast. And how much protection would it really give should...well, should Rafael anger the malevolent King of the Northeast?


"We'll do what we can to help," Rafael added, pushing his emotions aside and sipping politely at his wine. It was delicious but he wouldn't enjoy even a single mouthful. "I'd like to see our Western refugees prosper, of course, but I understand the drain on your resources."


Tags