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

Rachel
 

Killick:  "Do you think it'll work...?


Liam: "Sarnai," "I'm going to blind the guard that's not drinking so he won't see your face. Take him down, but try not to kill him if you can? He's just doing his job. The darkness dissipates in a minute or so, so you'll need to be fast."


Sarnai: *wins Badass of the Year* "Let's get this door open then."


Brandy huffed out the heaviest sigh of relief when she finally saw the smoke - god, for a second there, she worried her team was going to leave her hanging! - and dropped her tray to press her back against the wall as she fought complete terror back from the forefront. She'd intended to be the distraction, not the solution, and it had gone a little too long for her comfort… 


So when she saw Sarnai's small form rise to her feet and come to her rescue, Brandy swept the other woman into a hug and mumbled a humble and appreciative "Thank you…" and then a more characteristic, as she took a deep, calming breath, "You should teach me that sometime."


The sweep of a thumb against Sarnai's cheek and Brandy sighed out the breath signaed that she was getting her shit back together, and turned her attention to the guard. She dropped to her knees and dug through their pockets until she found the key, as she heard Liam and Killick's footsteps joining them...


Brandy held up her prize for one of her teammates and offered a weak smile that absolutely implied she had reached the limit of her tolerance for risk as of this moment: "Honor's all yours."


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

Manda
 

Oseanie: *huffs*


Jaya:  ... "So, you have to wonder. Why would she agree so quickly? What does she gain by being in the People's City that you could miss out on if you didn't agree to attend? What scheme of hers can you thwart if you're there to keep an eye on her?" ... "It's our intent to have layers of security at the summit," ... "Each delegation will be granted an area that they can secure as they deem fit. We have alchemists and scholars working on screening procedures to prevent weapons in the more sensitive meetings. And, we'll be scheduling those sensitive meetings to best help each leader build alliances, so when it's time to stab certain vampire-loving individuals in the back, everyone will be on the same page. Unified, as it were."


Zaire ignored Oseanie's noise in favor of keeping his attention steady on Jaya. She had a lot to say and he let her say it, absently twisting a heavy silver ring around his index finger with the thumb and forefinger of his opposite hand, fingers still intertwined. Pretty words of peace and alliances, of everyone secure and safe while they tore each other apart with word and threats...


Zaire didn't need help from the Witch of the South, or from James and his pretty bride sitting up there in the frozen North, to kill Francesca. All he needed was the opportunity, as small or as large as he could manage and he'd take it


Oseanie: “So you’re admitting it? You’re here calling it a ‘peace summit,’ but you intend to lay the ground so my father can come and do anything but talk peace?” *will cut a bitch* “Your kind are in the West, too, spewing the same bullshit to Rossi and her undead sycophants. Telling that bitch the same thing about stabbing him in the back. You’re liars; you’re worse than liars…!”


"We all liars, love," Zaire said mildly, but his eyes cut toward Oseanie. She was working herself up into a fine tizzy. "But ya ain't wrong. S'all bullshit." His eyes went to Calder next, an unspoken order for the young pirate to keep an eye on her; of all of them, Calder seemed to have the best luck talking her down when needed. 


"Peacekeepers talk real nice 'bout keepin' the peace but they know that ofttimes the best way t' keep it, is to remove the problem piece." And Francesca was, obviously, the biggest problem on the board. 


Zaire sat up straight again, feet on the ground, so he could lean in closer to Jaya, "That it? Y'all can't claim to be neutral if ye go an' remove that problem piece. Yer 'ands are tied." His eyes were dark in the speckled skin of his face, intent, as he asked, "Y'need a dagger and I 'ave the best chance of bein' it?" There were a lot of questions in that deduction though, ones that needn't be spoken aloud for them all to understand. The biggest, of course, is where it left him and the Coast when he succeeded. 


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

Manda
 

James: *to Kyky* "You think talking will unify the kingdom, young lady? Pray tell, will you invite South, and  the West, both plains and coastline, to these talks?" … *to Rafael* "We know that Eventyr will need more than words to become united" 


Kyky: "Eventyr must be united," ... "We don't yet know how - perhaps our old laws about succession must take a backseat - but it must." 


Malia: *oh-hohoho really?*


Kyky: "But you cannot worry about saving the Northeast and saving Eventyr. The latter is ours to consider. We don't portend to have answers, yet, but we have questions that we believe can facilitate the discussions that may pave the way to unification…" … "Queen Rossi has already agreed to attend… under obvious security precautions," ... "Perhaps she has been humbled enough to open dialogue about peace or trade or perhaps even…"


Rafael let Kyky do the talking, for the moment, and instead focused on watching the faces of the monarchs seated before them. Malia, with her subtle shows of interest, let more show than James. It was to be expected, really; for as composed as the Queen of the Northeast fancied herself, her emotions often ran hot just under the surface. 


Rafael couldn't pretend to know what Francesca was thinking with her intentions to come to the summit - none of them had actually expected her to agree to it - but with the way Kyky left the sentence hanging, he couldn't help but add, "Perhaps she needs an ally in order to deal with the Pirate King and reunite her lands?" He gave a breath of a laugh, but there was little humor in it, "I don't think any of us can really guess what goes on in Queen Francesca's head." 


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

Silvy <afranklin09c@...>
 

Who: Zaza

With: Andy, Theo

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

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


From the corner of her eye, she watched Antiphales, a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips. It was good, to see Theodore taken care of - she couldn't rightly do it herself. Not without, perhaps, hurting his pride, or flustering him, or putting some other unknown strain on the delicate thing their friendship was, now. Besides which, she really just wasn't the mothering type...


And anything Zaza might have thrown together into a tea from this garden might as well have killed him, so it really was better to leave the science to Antiphales.


She lifted her chin and gaze to more fully look upon him with that same, small smile - a touch encouraged, now, though her brows furrowed above the laugh in her eyes. It echoed in her voice: "Well," Esperanza shook the water from her hands, as the anxious twitching of the tail beneath her skirts betrayed her mood, "Is that all." Sandworms and zombies, but at least no vampires... 


Her ears twigged Theo's apology, though, and brought a sneaking glance that way, even as she busied herself with drying her hands on her scarf. "I think...she'll be along soon," She offered around the awkward moment wherein she realized responding to that apology wouldn't do either of them any good. Because she wasn't upset at him, even a little, despite that the thought of vampires hiding round every corner had raised gooseflesh across her skin... "She appreciates a forward approach..."


~tags~

 


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

Manda
 

Who: Liam, Sarnai, Killick, Brandy

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai Wearing: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/82/45/df/8245dfe7161e5232e04d268038130084.jpg 


Killick: "Do you think it'll work...?"


Brandy: *hot and offering free booze*


Sarnai's eyes flickered to Killick, then back to Brandy as she bustled into view and began working her - ahem - magic. It did work, to a point anyway, but it was about to go very sideways, very quick--


Liam: "Sarnai," he said softly. "I'm going to blind the guard that's not drinking so he won't see your face. Take him down, but try not to kill him if you can? He's just doing his job. The darkness dissipates in a minute or so, so you'll need to be fast."


Sarnai's eyes went to Liam and she nodded, once. She could take him out fast, without a doubt, but no killing? Well, she wasn't quite as good at that. She didn't have the luxury of overthinking it though, because Liam was throwing whatever concoction he'd brewed up and within seconds the hallway was filling with inky black. 


Sarnai stole a heartbeat to squeeze Killick's hand, then she was darting into the blackness. She couldn't assume the guard was stupid; he'd have his sword out, expecting an attack, his back likely to the wall. So she kept low until feet came into her view, his steps shuffling and uncertain, then she picked his heel and used her momentum to drive her meager weight up into his belly. The move worked as intended, sending him crashing back into the wall in a clatter of armor and chainmail, and then Sarnai twisted the sword out of his hand and cracked him in the side of the head with the hilt. 


The black smoke was just starting to dissipate when Sarnai straightened, brushed her hair back off her forehead and said, "Let's get this door open then."


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

Rachel
 

Zaire: "Aye," "An excellent opportunity t'put a knife through Francesca's throat."


Zaire: "They ain't able to," "An' lemme tell ye why, love." "Cause if I come face t'face with Francesca Rossi then I will kill 'er." "So, yes, Jaya. I'd love t'come t'yer summit." "How's Brandy?"


Oseanie’s mouth hardened, and her eyes glanced toward the still-fluttering edges of the tent from which her mother had left. Sure, her father had lovers - they all had biological needs that sometimes could not be satisfied within geographical constraints of their work. But she didn’t like the small chorus of chuckles that her father’s open infidelity initiated, especially just as her mother and their queen departed. Her fist closed around her knife’s hilt with the sharp exhale of breath that signaled a threat. Not a few of the men noted it and took half a step away from Oseanie toward their King’s chair. They knew she was loyal, but volatile. 


Jaya: "Brandy is in the NorthEast persuading King James and Queen Malia to join us in the People's City for this summit, because she believes in this opportunity," "You know, and I do, that nobility isn't what's going to save us from the creatures that have started rising up in the darkness, thriving on all the gaps created by these territorial conflicts. Francesca, who you want so much to have the opportunity to spar with, has already agreed to attend. We thought she would be the least likely to agree, so we floated the idea past her first."


And Rossi’s agreement had apparently been resoundingly surprising to the ever-optimistic Peacekeepers, Oseanie knew. Why? 


Jaya: "So, you have to wonder. Why would she agree so quickly? What does she gain by being in the People's City that you could miss out on if you didn't agree to attend? What scheme of hers can you thwart if you're there to keep an eye on her?" "It's our intent to have layers of security at the summit," "Each delegation will be granted an area that they can secure as they deem fit. We have alchemists and scholars working on screening procedures to prevent weapons in the more sensitive meetings. And, we'll be scheduling those sensitive meetings to best help each leader build alliances, so when it's time to stab certain vampire-loving individuals in the back, everyone will be on the same page. Unified, as it were."


Oseanie’s head cocked hard to one side. “So you’re admitting it? You’re here calling it a ‘peace summit,’ but you intend to lay the ground so my father can come and do anything but talk peace?” 


Oseanie knew her voice was raising, and that her knife had raised up to her collarbone, as if she might throw it. “Your kind are in the West, too, spewing the same bullshit to Rossi and her undead sycophants. Telling that bitch the same thing about stabbing him in the back. You’re liars; you’re worse than liars…!” 


Tags


Heartless Wedding #James #Malia (JP one shot) #James #Malia

turksgirl
 

When: June 15, 873 ROK

Where: Castle of the North
Who: James Castile and Malia Von Oehsen


Today, Malia Von Oehsen would become a queen. 


It should have been monumental, considering how many decades she had spent with this dream in mind… 


But being "a" queen was not the same as being "the" queen. 


This small distinction, though, had not hindered the grandiosity of the event. Malia would not be the only queen in Eventyr, but she would be the wealthiest, the most powerful, and her lands would be the safest and most prosperous… 


None of which made up for the fact that more than half of Eventyr was still to be conquered. The queen-to-be drew in a deep steadying breath as she tried to remind herself: her husband-to-be would conquer all in good time... 


If, of course, he returned for the wedding in good time. 


The Marauders had been causing trouble near the now-dissolved border of the North and the East, and James had departed to combat them a week ago. When he departed, there had been plenty of time to put down their little disturbance and be home for the wedding. But now, the ceremony crept closer and closer by the minute… 


Malia stared at herself in the mirror as her ladies styled her hair, painted her face, even her fingernails, until - finally, before the awkward question had to be asked as to whether she ought to don her snow-white wedding gown or not - the commotion outside her chambers finally reached a din that implied her king-to-be had returned. 


"Tell me you brought me Marcus's head to make the centerpiece of our wedding feast," Malia said, a certain gravely quality to her voice as she rose to her feet. 


“Unfortunately, no…” replied the hollow voice from within the infamous helmet. Green was discolored by dirt and a reddish tint that could only be blood. Gloved hands removed the crested helm revealing the bearded face of Duke Castile, self proclaimed King of the Northeastern realm. “...Although there will be a new werewolf pelt on your chair” he finished in dry, flat amusement.


Chasing the Marauders into the deepest reaches of the green forest was only satisfying in that Marcus was as vulnerable as his own men. Stalking the invaders alone was not logical, and he would have to be satisfied until after the ceremony. Then perhaps he could return to the hunt.


“All has been within reason in my absence?” James asked casually, as he shedded armor as easily as a snake peeled a skin. His people had taken to Malia, and not just because he had insisted upon it. She had the ability to say what needed to be said and make others want what she wanted.


Her reply really wasn’t important because if anyone raised her ire they would watch the wedding from his dungeons. An internal nudge as if someone were trying to remind him of something, and his brow furrowed briefly. “You look lovely as always” James said finally as if he remembered such things were important to normal people.


The promise had, immediately, the effect that James intended. Werewolf pelts were rare and valuable because of how dangerous they were to procure, and the promise of a fresh one caused Malia's head to swivel curiously, like a bird. Piqued though she obviously was, her focus returned within the space of a breath or two. 


"All had been well in your absence," Malia echoed, at first her tone seeming to affirm as much but her voice twisting the words into sarcasm at the last second, as she rose from her seat and turned swiftly and sharply to face him. He was perhaps twice her size and clad in armor that would easily equal her body weight, its magic aside, but she advanced on him aggressively still. "I can and will rule this kingdom as its Queen…" 


At first, Malia's words seemed a defiant and resolute statement. The men had followed her orders. She hadn't worried that they wouldn't. And when a vampire had been found in the town, it had been killed without incident, whether or not Malia had spent a sleepless night worrying it was a succubus sent from the West to kill James' chosen bride…


She ignored his compliments with a savage shake of her head. "Spare me," she griped, tone sharp and bitter, "I have been getting ready since yesterday..." The baths and creams and massages had been endless - and she had endured them all worryingly alone. 


Her tight, set jaw released for barely a breath and even as her hand shot up to her hip, the defensive gesture only lasted a heartbeat before her hands were wringing her wrists again. "You worried me, James. You weren't here."


At first he paused, eyes narrowing at her. “We do not doubt your ability to rule, my lady” James said in a dull tone. There were very few emotions he could tap into, but ire was always easy and it was easy to show. “Just as you should not doubt my abilities either”.


He didn’t need to speak of how his other half had flourished with so much warfare. And James didn’t particularly care anymore if he had ever. He simply did what Eventyr, and Malia, demanded of him. His humanity clung on however, reluctant to be completely erased like an old worn tapestry that still held an image. 


A large hand caressed Malia’s cheek firm, but with no real gentleness. “I am here now, my lady. I always return”. Much to the chagrin of many he was sure. 


One of Malia's ladies in waiting let out a little gasp that she squelched too late, horrified to see the Green Duke's gloved hand - undoubtedly covered not just in the dirt or horse hair from his journey but also the blood of the dead - smudge against the perfect mocha canvas of her lady's cheek. 


That amused Malia, who found a smirk tugging at her lips and she felt a sudden playful urge to toss it all to the wind and indulge her relief that James was back safe with a carnal romp… 


But they weren't teenage lovers. They were monarchs now, and their prime responsibility was to provide stable leadership to their people. The populace was watching the world crumble around them - vampires legitimized to the East, a witch claiming a throne to the South, commoners trying to rule a city in Eventyr's center - and it was the marriage of the Duchess of the North to the Duke of the East that would ensure reliability, safety. A hitch in this wedding could tarnish their desired reputation as the only stable region left in Eventyr. 


A dirty suit of armor or a smudge on her cheek would undercut it all. So Malia's smile faded as she jerked her chin up and her jaw set tight. 


"Clean up, James," Malia hissed, under her breath, as she turned away and jerked her head in an authoritative enough manner that all but the two handmaids she forcibly grabbed by the arms approached their king-to-be with every intent to help. 


Malia knew her husband could be testy, and so even as she settled in the plush seat in front of her mirror, and even as her ladies went about fixing her make-up and adjusting the pins in her hair, Malia met James' cool emerald gaze through the mirror, resolute. 


A low, almost reptilian sound escaped the infamous green Duke for a moment. He had clearly half a mind to physically throw her handmaidens out of the chamber, and rut her right up against that damnable mirror. Perhaps after the ceremony… since the bastard king that shared his form was opposed to the idea. Ever the squeamish, moral rabbit.


He’d wear entrails for necklaces and paint this wedding red if he so chose, and part of him dearly wanted to. But the logical part that was still James Castile formed a tight smile, and reined in his other half. Placating the green devil’s ego with thoughts of battling enemies later.


Eventyr needed stability, it was for the good of the East and the ancient forest within its borders as well as the North. “My queen” he said in a low tone, tilting his head as he moved away to do as she bade. Malia would do well not to poke the beast within him to see how tight she thought the leash she had ensnared it with was…


Her handmaidens were not graced with any such power and had best stay out of his way less he’d break their little necks. “What nobles are we entertaining tonight?” he asked dryly. He had no interest other than to know who made it to the castle alive and who to add to his growing list of enemies… Which Francesca Rossi sat at the top like the supposed queen she claimed to be.


The extra servants all took the obvious hint - threat - and made a quick bow or curtsy on their way from the room, not wanting to incur any type of wrath. The attendants who stayed at Malia's side made an extravagant show of being too busy to pay attention to the conversation of their betters. 


Malia returned her bethrothed's address with her own, "Majesty," and the expression on her face visibly lightened. Now that the anxiety of waiting for his return had evaporated, Malia was quickly returning to a comfortable rapport between them, especially with few servants. They were going to be monarchs, and it was a beautiful thing a long time coming. 


"Lord and Lady Janssen and Berntsen," Malia shot off, naming the largest families in the North. Then, the East: "The Schröder family…." Malia lifted her chin as her lady rubbed a lotion into her jawline, "Did you know they keep bees?" It was a fascinating bit Malia fully intended on bringing up should they see the powerful Eastern lord at the reception. 


"And… oh, there is someone from King's City?" Malia added, almost as an afterthought, as she stood up and her ladies began stripping clothing off to make room for the opulent wedding gown. "The lady seemed… well-bred," Malia admitted, hedging her description because the representative had no particular family tie, but she had arrived with an equal fanfare with the other lords and ladies. Malia had heard out their whole proposition, but hadn't decided what she thought of it without consulting James on the matter. "Have you heard yet of this business? I thought the whole city was a ruin by now." 


While he preferred to clean himself James did allow a girl to shear his curls down to a more presentable nature. His brow arched upward at the news of a delegate from King’s city, “The men speak of it… they are neither enemy nor ally…?” he glanced over his shoulder. 


His expression was a mix of the two creatures living in one skin, one human the other not so much. A broad shoulder came upward in an indifferent shrug finally, “They mean nothing at the moment”. Castile wasn’t about to let anything  take away from this affair, including himself.


This union between the North and East needed to be a public event for numerous reasons, and nothing short of a dragon would alter its course. He stared at the armor set aside to be cleaned and polished. The West was an enemy, but the coastal region he heard had broken off on its own. Perhaps Francesca’s hold on her realm was not so firm as to be believed. 


The Green Duke, who was already relishing it’s new title of the Green King eased into a kind of slumber. Weary from the hunting of Marcus and his band of marauders, as well as rogue vampires and werewolves in the territory.


So the beaming smile that was aimed at Malia a moment later as he was fitted with a tunic and overcoat in both their countries colors was purely James. “Have you never seen a bee farm, my queen?” he asked, rubbing his hands over the material in approval. It wasn’t too extravagant which King or Duke, he had never been. He picked up the scabbard and green sword to cinch around his waist.


He turned to seek her opinion on his attire, but ended up staring at Malia. “You are so lovely” he said again although this time the inflection was not one of polite formality. Being heartless didn’t mean he couldn’t appreciate such things, he just didn’t have the passion to understand its nuances.


"Never," Malia said, swiveling about in her chair, both hands on one arm of it, her eyes heavy-lidded and mouth a smirk as conspiring in some secret. A bee farm! Surely this was a dangerous and exclusive place - who would roam around where they could be stung at the bat of an eye? The thought of such novelty blossomed in the queen-to-be in the best way; with her king-to-be home safely, the world was their oyster, and she was delighted at everything that the chaos in Eventyr had laid at their feet. 


If only they could claim it. 


Together. 


Malia stood, and this time, she noticed the authenticity of his compliment and responded with a quaint tilt of her head that best displayed the light on her features, the angle of her jaw, the way her hair fell down her shoulders, as she moved closer to him and ran the pad of her thumb over the apple of his cheek. He was still somehow so boyish, despite his age, despite his reputation. And yet somehow, he wore authority as easily as he wore his green armor.


"You were born to wear a crown, James." 


He laughed, a mirthless sound. “No, not born to wear it. My father had decreed as much… but I will wear one nonetheless” James replied. Part of him gloried in defying his father’s wishes that his bastard would never sit upon a throne. Always the defiant teenager, even in a body twice that age.


“You are a far better ruler, Malia. A true queen of the people… We are merely territorial”. His mouth twisted lazily into a smile as his other half practically purred at her touch and they leaned into it. “Come my lovely queen, let us commence the ceremonies”.


Castile offered his elbow to her.


WRAP


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

Rachel
 

James: "You think talking will unify the kingdom, young lady? Pray tell, will you invite South, and  the West, both plains and coastline, to these talks?"


Kyky knew that his words were laced with criticism, that perhaps they were meant deridingly. But they had the opposite effect; Kyky's face lit up in an authentic grin, and she nodded. You could never say she was anything but earnest. 


"Eventyr must be united," she said this as an obvious fact, and to her, it was. There had been too much chaos since its split to justify allowing it to stay that way. "We don't yet know how - perhaps our old laws about succession must take a backseat - but it must." 


Kyky saw hope flicker across Queen Von Oehsen's face, the way she leaned forward, and so Kyky gave another curtsey and emphasized, "We cannot yet know the way forward… but we are looking for a way forward." She stepped forward and emphasized her words with another cursey. "With respect, your majesties, you are under such pressure to take care of the people of the Northeast - and you have met that challenge in a remarkably, unprecedented way…" 


"But you cannot worry about saving the Northeast and saving Eventyr. The latter is ours to consider. We don't portend to have answers, yet, but we have questions that we believe can facilitate the discussions that may pave the way to unification…" 


There were so many qualifications in that sentence that Kyky worried it even stood on its own. All the same, she straightened to answer the elephant in the room. 


"Queen Rossi has already agreed to attend… under obvious security precautions," Kyky said, but knew this was the biggest unanswered question in the room. It was pandering, she knew, to go on, but stroking the Green King's ego was not going to harm them. "Perhaps she has been humbled enough to open dialogue about peace or trade or perhaps even…"


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


Brandy was a stunning and ingenious woman who always had a trick up her sleeve in a way that Liam almost envied. Any time he wanted tricks, he had to think long and hard about how to design them, brew them, and activate them. And with a smile and a bit of flirting and a convenient brew in her bag, she'd managed to at least take out the one guard who was drinking deeply.


Trust the Eastern man, the one who'd likely trained with the Duke of the East, to be more heartlessly disciplined in the face of such temptation. 


Even with the new moon leaving a void in the sky,  Liam felt a deep-down instinct to charge in and draw blood. To kill, quickly and quietly. But they didn't want to leave evidence that they'd been here at all if they could help it. He reached into his pocket and ran his hand over a small smooth sphere of glass he had inside--one of his specially concocted shadow balls. When shattered, it would let out an inky cloud of darkness that would block out the light and leave anyone stumbling through it totally blind. 


"Sarnai," he said softly. "I'm going to blind the guard that's not drinking so he won't see your face. Take him down, but try not to kill him if you can? He's just doing his job. The darkness dissipates in a minute or so, so you'll need to be fast."


He waited to get confirmation from her before he drew out his shadow ball and tossed it ahead of them, aiming for the wall behind the Eastern guard. 


The guard spun, catching sight of the movement, but the sphere shattered against the wall and pitch black inkiness started to billow outward from the impact point, swallowing up the guard...


<Tag!>


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

Steph
 

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

At least, Theo supposed, he could get Zaza to talk to him a bit by panicking her unnecessarily. He tracked Uncle Andy's movements through the garden rather than letting his gaze settle on her, much as he wanted to watch her take off that scarf and reveal her features more openly. He wasn't entirely sure what he'd do if he ran into Sanya, considering how little he felt Zaza deserved the curse that she now bore, but he doubted it would be polite.

As he was following Andy's flower-picking path, Minnie popped into view--just his view, he knew, but still, she was becoming more tangible again after all the sobering up he'd been doing. She tilted her head to one side, and the other, rubbed her chin thoughtfully, nodded approvingly.

*A symbolically purifying flower, too,* she noted after Andy gave his explanation and his tea over to Theo. Theo took it, and he couldn't help shooting a glare at the space that, to everyone else, was entirely unoccupied. *Your uncle is correct, for the most part, but at least in my time, changelings were the real concern in the South.*

"Thank you." Theo took a sip of the tea, choked slightly on the flavor of it, but swallowed anyway. "Even if I've tasted better perfume," he added. "At least the Witch Queen and Francesca haven't ever really gotten along, anyway, so she'd probably turn back any troublesome vampires. I always get a bit on edge with traveling, I guess. Sorry." The apology was aimed toward Zaza and her nerves most of all. "When do you think that she'll get here? Does she strike you as a 'wait until the darkness has fallen' kind of a queen?"

<tag!>


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

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Zaire, Oseanie, Other Beach Party Pals
Where:  Island of the Pirates
When: May 16, 877 ROK, Evening

Oseanie: "There's a lot of bad blood between the kings and queens of Eventyr. How you gonna make sure this peace summit ain't just a bloodbath?"

Zaire: "Cause if I come face t'face with Francesca Rossi then I will kill 'er." ... "So, yes, Jaya. I'd love t'come t'yer summit." ... "How's Brandy?"

If Jaya had noticed someone touching her cloak without her permission first, she might have gotten a bit defensive about it. There wasn't another cloak in all the world like her cloak of shadows, after all. But Oseanie timed her move well, while Jaya's attention was more focused on Zaire and how he was processing her invitation.

The silence that hung in the air for a moment was tense enough that she almost thought that it was time to reach for weapons. Zaire's cool response cut almost as sharply.

"Brandy is in the NorthEast persuading King James and Queen Malia to join us in the People's City for this summit, because she believes in this opportunity," Jaya answered, sticking to her point, her angle. "You know, and I do, that nobility isn't what's going to save us from the creatures that have started rising up in the darkness, thriving on all the gaps created by these territorial conflicts. Francesca, who you want so much to have the opportunity to spar with, has already agreed to attend. We thought she would be the least likely to agree, so we floated the idea past her first."

Jaya leaned in a bit with that, smiling her own smile. "So, you have to wonder. Why would she agree so quickly? What does she gain by being in the People's City that you could miss out on if you didn't agree to attend? What scheme of hers can you thwart if you're there to keep an eye on her?"

That didn't address Oseanie's question, though. And it wouldn't be enough in front of a crowd of bloodthirsty pirates to say that they intended to figure it out. She'd be lucky if all they did was just laugh her back to her ship.

"It's our intent to have layers of security at the summit," Jaya said. "Each delegation will be granted an area that they can secure as they deem fit. We have alchemists and scholars working on screening procedures to prevent weapons in the more sensitive meetings. And, we'll be scheduling those sensitive meetings to best help each leader build alliances, so when it's time to stab certain vampire-loving individuals in the back, everyone will be on the same page. Unified, as it were."

Jaya's eyes twinkled a bit at that. Zaire had to know, from the jobs that she'd done with him, that she was no fan of Francesca and her vampires. She'd carried out assassinations to strengthen Zaire's hold on the coast for exactly that reason.

<Tag!>


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

turksgirl
 

This was more in his human companions' skill set, so Manfred stood back respectfully but with his head held back in an alert manner. His tail swished back and forth in irritation. He refrained from stamping a steel shod hoof and he shifted his weight from one to the other. He found all these formalities to be an utter waste of time, but of course that was why he didn't represent the noble class. He didn't like that he had difficulty reading the king and queen of North-East.

James was not surprised by his queen's rather curt greeting, although she made it polite enough to be acceptable. She had no fondness for these Peacekeepers other than what they could do for their realm. And most likely these was more about what their realm could do for them. His eyes remained on Rafael the longest examining the changes the last few years had taken on him.

When the young blonde spoke James wondered how such a pretty young thing had escaped his late brother's clutches. Her words did not gain his attention until she spoke of Eventyr suffering from the division between the realms. The king kept his hand linked with Malia's, but now he turned on his throne to face the trio more directly. "You think talking will unify the kingdom, young lady? Pray tell, will you invite South, and  the West, both plains and coastline, to these talks?" he asked dryly.

He turned eyes that seemed void of anything to Rafael. "We know that Eventyr will need more than words to become united" James stated. He didn't want a crown, or power. But his queen had convinced him to take them because no one else was fit to rule... not yet at least. And he would not allow the great forest to be destroyed by sitting idly waiting for a vote by some committee of creatures that were beneath him...them. Yes, he ruled with a firm hand. Anything less would be the death of them all. Death of the green, he couldn't allow that.

James looked at Malia and she had been with him long enough to know when the thing inside of him was lurking close to the surface behind his dead eyes. He much rather be hunting bandits, werewolves or succubi with his ward and nephew, Elliot. Prying James away from their conjoined lands usually required something far more tempting than talks of unification.... Like Francesca Rossi's head. 

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

Silvy <afranklin09c@...>
 

Who: Killick.

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


>>>Liam: "I can try my hand with the lock, but I'd be much more confident that we'll be able to get in if we have the key in hand."

>>>Sarnai: "Anything in your bag of tricks?" she asked the bartender. 

>>>Brandy: "Lemme see." ... Carniflower juice. She split it between the drinks, flashed a smile, and whispered, "Wish me luck!"


Sarnai wasn't the only one nervous about this. Liam might have felt confident with the promise of a key, and on Brandy's arrival she seemed boldly prepared to take on anything - but Killick was all too conscious of where they were, right then. Entirely too deep in NorthEastern territory, but if Sarnai was going, he'd insisted on going with her. Gladly, now, as the warm touch at the small of his back was a grounding presence he would have sorely, anxiously missed back in the People's City... 


But as Brandy lit off to take her stab at the guards, he still cast a dubious look to the remaining two of his companions on this inadvisable mission. "Do you think it'll work...?" Shifting his weight to lean a little over to watch, he twisted one arm behind himself to rest the back of his hand against the back of Sarnai's, uncertainty riding high. It couldn't really be that easy, could it? Just walk right up and hand them poison to drink and a pretty smile? 


As clinging as that top was, maybe it really was all she had to do. 


It certainly seemed that way, Killick realized as at least one of them seemed comfortable enough to drink from the jug he was given. The other, though... that might be a problem. They might need to find a way to deal with bodies, after all!


~tags~


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

Manda
 

James: "We are pleased to see you safely arrived from your travels, General" … "Young lady..." … "Good sir..." … "We welcome you to our realm"


Malia: "Welcome," 


Rafael nodded as James acknowledged him; manners long ingrained by a life of nobility and nothing more. He doubted the Green King gave a single shit as to whether Rafael - or any of them - arrived safely but it wouldn't do any good to point it out. 


Kyky: "We've come to invite your majesties to attend a peace summit in the People's City," ... "Eventyr is suffering from the divide between our realms…"


Rafael watched James' face carefully but he didn't miss Malia's glance at her husband, apparently waiting for him to share his thoughts before she did. Which, of course, made sense but still, it was nothing but self control that kept the smug smirk off of the General's face. For all that power Malia had so clearly coveted, she was still playing second fiddle to a man. 


"We think it could be beneficial," Rafael added mildly, with none of Kyky's earnestness, "for everyone to sit down together and discuss ways to unify Eventyr."


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

Vincent Gonzales <alchemicalnonsense2578@...>
 

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

Antiphales had regretted the decision the moment he had agreed to accompany his nephew and long-time companion on this damned fool's errand into the desert. And the further along the trip they got, the worse his mood soured. Weren't there knights better suited to this trip? Actual nobles who could handle this sort of thing? Of course, his lush of a nephew wasn't making things any easier, forcing himself to sobriety and suffering because of it. 

As his nephew asked questions that would do little more than scare the former Lady of the South, Antiphales stood, bent over a flowering plant in the corner of their sitting room. He ran his fingers over the spiny leaves, smelled the lavender colored flowers and nodded to himself, pulling a small vial and pruning knife out of his pack. He ran the knife along one stem of the plant, collecting both leave and flower into the vial, stashing the knife and pulling out another vial, dropping in a few drops of an oil-like substance, shaking it vigorously and walking over to his untouched tea. He poured the entirely of the flowery substance into his tea and slid it over to his nephew. "For the headaches," he reported without explanation. "If your stomach turns or you get the shakes, tell me."

Settling himself back in his seat, grumpily looking at the door, he shook his head, his expression softening just a little for Zaza. "Vampires don't like the arid heat this far South. It's why there were very rarely reports of their kin when you lived in this region," he said to calm her nerves. "You're much more likely to find sandworms or zombies in the desert than zombies."

tags!


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

Rachel
 

Who: Kyky
With:  Rafael, Manny - James, Malia 

Where: Throne room of Northern Castle 
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Raf: "Your Majesties," "Thank you for seeing us."


Manny: "Your graces"


James: "We are pleased to see you safely arrived from your travels, General" "Young lady..." "Good sir..." "We welcome you to our realm"


Kyky met the King's eyes for the briefest moment when he addressed her - there was a certain honesty when he spoke, and so she wanted to see what laid in his gaze, and for him to see that her own intent was clean as fresh-fallen snow. So she let that contact linger, for just the space of a breath, before she straightened. 


...Sure, she knew that her colleagues were working their own mission in the dungeon beneath this very castle, but that had nothing to do with her mission. 


"We've come to invite your majesties to attend a peace summit in the People's City," Kyky ventured, folding her hands in front of her at first… but her eyes were passionate and animated in her plea. "Eventyr is suffering from the divide between our realms…"


------


Malia's fingers stroked her husband's in return as she watched the Peacekeeping delegation approach. Her face was a careful, neutral mask of mocha calm. She relished her reign of half of Eventyr, but she was still second-fiddle, and reunification was in her interest of being absolute ruler. 


"Welcome," Malia greeted, benignly. 


Of course, these young Peacekeepers needed them, and she suspected the Northeast was their first and most important visit. 


She cast a glance over at James, though, knowing that his emotions toward this were likely far more complex than her own...


Tags!


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

Rachel
 

Who: Brandy

With: Liam, Sarnai, Killick

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Liam: "We'll have to be fast to take the guards down and get their key without allowing them to raise an alarm," "I can try my hand with the lock, but I'd be much more confident that we'll be able to get in if we have the key in hand."


Sarnai: "Anything in your bag of tricks?"


Sarnai's words were the first Brandy caught, since she was joining them only after having secured and changed into the palace uniform worn by the palace kitchen staff. It was a little small, but the straining laces of the gray top were only working in Brandy's favor. Brandy sauntered up, all ease, and gave the queen-who-could-have-been a casual nod. She had worked in this exact castle, in this exact capacity, for years in her youth, and she knew their norms and routines - although she did have to trust that they hadn't changed much. 


"Lemme see." She had a platter up on one hip bearing two jugs of ale, and with a beckoning nod, handed it briefly to Sarnai while she dug about in the bag at her waist. Even if her lips pursed thoughtfully for a moment, it didn't take long for her to find a small vial of clear fluid - Carniflower juice. She split it between the drinks, flashed a smile, and whispered, "Wish me luck!" before sauntering off. 


"Sorry, boys, no break - thought I'd bring you a li'l somthin' to tide you over," Brandy greeted. The guards did not immediately respond - not unexpected; they would probably have remembered seeing Brandy among the kitchen staff before - but they loosened as she continued. "I guess there's been more men than usual falling sick. Have you heard anything about that? Is the plague back? My mother died in the plague of 862..." 


One of the guards was native to the North, and Brandy's obvious connection to his homeland warmed him up to her immediately, plucking up his drink and jumping into the conversation easily. The other was native to the East, and he was warier, taking his drink but without taking it to his lips as he listened to the easy banter flowing between the Northerners. 


Brandy, still with a flirty smirk on her lips, cast a significant glance down the hallway toward where she knew her partners were watching. Soon, the Northern guard would pass out, and the Easterner would quickly confirm his suspicions...


Tags!


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

Manda
 

Jaya: "The Peacekeepers would like to hold a special Peace Summit in the People's City. An opportunity for you and all the kings and queens to gather together and discuss issues that affect the people of Eventyr far and wide. Would you be interested in sailing to our fair lake for a few days?" She kept her tone light, inviting. "It would be an excellent opportunity..."


Oseanie: *hear this bullshit?*


A heavy silence fell over the pirates gathered in the tent. Only those closest to their Captain - King tonight - were there, a group as diverse as all of Eventyr. There were black faces, faces as pale as the sand beneath their feet, and faces every shade in between; some were decorated with tattoos, others with scars, but every face held the same expression - a wariness, an expectation of disaster . . .


Jimmy nudged his brother, Chaz, with his elbow. Mr. Gladstone, who'd taken over as Quartermaster only a year ago, met Jahid's dark eyes over Gunther's curly head. Eloise stepped closer, reaching down to pluck her son from her husband's lap and swing the boy up onto her hip, murmuring something about checking on the girls before sweeping from the tent in a flutter of brightly hued silk. 


"Aye," Zaire agreed after a moment. "An excellent opportunity t'put a knife through Francesca's throat."


Oseanie: "There's a lot of bad blood between the kings and queens of Eventyr. How you gonna make sure this peace summit ain't just a bloodbath?"


"They ain't able to," Zaire answered, leaning back in his chair and propping his booted feet up on the table, crossed at the ankles. "An' lemme tell ye why, love." He laced his speckled fingers on his belly, dark eyes settling on Jaya, "Cause if I come face t'face with Francesca Rossi then I will kill 'er." There was nothing but certainty in his tone; a promise, if you will. All he needed was an opportunity. He smiled then, "So, yes, Jaya. I'd love t'come t'yer summit." Then, ignoring the soft chuckles from his crew and without missing a beat, "How's Brandy?"


Tags

 


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

Rachel
 

Who: Oseanie With: Zaire, Jaya

Where: Island of the Pirates When: May 16, 877 ROK, Evening

Oseanie disliked parties. So much noise - all of the joking, the laughter, the games, the dalliances, Oseanie had such a hard time distinguishing what mattered from what didn't that she just wanted to retreat. The thin walls of the tent weren't much help, but help they were, and Oseanie paced behind her father's chair with an unmistakable tension in her shoulders. She held a knife drawn from her belt, and used its tip to scrape aggressively under her fingernails. This, plus her scowl, gave her an undeniably menacing look, which her mother had gently whispered to her -
Peacekeepers come in peace, Oseanie. Out of respect, Oseanie put her knife away.


Oseanie wasn't so sure, though. They talked about peace all day long, but Oseanie didn't trust them - they were wishy-washy in a way she found quite disingenuous. It was unity, unity, unity, but then they legitimized the West, which had never stopped trying to take down her father's rule. They looked the other way on vampires. Oseanie knew she was more hard-line than most, but the Peacekeepers didn't have enough spine to have earned her respect. 


That was why Jaya's words earned an incredulous scoff from the young navigator. If her parents glared at her, she didn't notice because her eyes, as usual, were downcast… 


Which is why they landed on the Peacekeepers cloak, draped so helplessly out of reach. Oseanie didn't give further voice to her thoughts, and instead carefully stepped in its direction as the conversation progressed. When it seemed she would be of no note, Oseanie laid a hand on the fabric and - luckily - a vision immediately seized her. With the dialogue came a rush of emotion: skepticism and hope, in equal parts. 


We don't even need to send a delegation to the West? She already agreed? 


It seems so… 


That's strange. That's strange, right? 


I don't know - maybe Rossi is realizing that her vampires aren't carrying her as far as she expected. Maybe she's been humbled?


I don't buy it. 


Let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. She agreed. ...Oh, I'm sorry, is that insensitive? I just meant… 


Oseanie withdrew her hand, blinked furiously, and glanced quickly about the room for any sign that she had been obvious in the moments when she had lost herself to the vision. None. 


Without thinking, Oseanie drew her knife and, once again, sent the tip under her fingernail. "There's a lot of bad blood between the kings and queens of Eventyr. How you gonna make sure this peace summit ain't just a bloodbath?"

Tags


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

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Zaire, Oseanie, Other Beach Party Pals
Where:  Island of the Pirates
When: May 16, 877 ROK, Evening

The Island of the Pirates was always nothing like anyone would have expected it to be. Families, free and safe and happy, living secure lives, comfortable in the bounty of the sea and the bounty that the raiders brought home with them whenever they went sailing. Jaya, growing up in the North, heard stories of pirates like they were monsters that would steal you away and burn your house down behind them.  The truth really wasn't that one-dimensional.

After a long journey downriver and then at sea, now she sat in the personal tent of the Pirate King himself, old friend that he was. She was wearing a Southern-inspired dress that was well-suited to the warm evening but still modest enough for business, all lightweight and light cream linen. She still had a belt strapped to her waist with a pair of knives, and her cloak was draped nearby where she could snatch it up if she needed it, but she doubted she would.

The pirates had no reason to be hostile toward the Peacekeeper delegation, after all, and with the merfolk defending the island, they weren't at any risk here.

Zaire: "What brings ya 'ere then, Jaya?" ... "Missed me, aye?"

And there it was. Time to get to business. Jaya smiled back at Zaire, her smile growing all the wider at the image of him there with a child in his lap, his tooth glinting. Monster who'd steal you away at night, indeed.

"I did miss you, true enough," Jaya confirmed, almost ruefully. She hadn't exactly stopped working as an assassin to further Zaire's influence by choice. The debt that she owed to the peacekeeper who saved her life sort of overrode her free will in an uncomfortable way. One of these days, she'd have to get that curse broken. Until then, it was just a matter of bieng careful not to end up in anyone else's debt.

"The Peacekeepers would like to hold a special Peace Summit in the People's City. An opportunity for you and all the kings and queens to gather together and discuss issues that affect the people of Eventyr far and wide. Would you be interested in sailing to our fair lake for a few days?" She kept her tone light, inviting. "It would be an excellent opportunity..."

<Tag!>

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