Date   

Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Manda
 

Malia: *war is dumb* … "Without the Scholar, any decision is irrelevant now," ... "Besides - Eventyr is no longer what it was. A leader must be chosen for this time, tumult and all."


Malia did have a point, Rafael silently agreed and his nod proved it. Knowing who the General and Scholar had chosen could give them a starting point though. Eventyr needed a leader, after all. 


Mathias: *proud of his boy!* 


It was only chance that had Rafael's eyes on his father when a ghost of a smile crossed Mathias' newly lined face and the pride the Hunter saw there took him by surprise, warmth spreading through his chest. It was absurd, really, that even at nearly thirty years old that spark in his father's eyes could elicit such a juvenile response, but the harsh words that Mathias had thrown so carelessly while in the thick of the fever had cut Rafael deeply. It was nice to know that even if the sentiment behind them had been true, Mathias felt more than simple disgust and disappointment for his youngest son.


Mathias: "We agreed that Altansarnai had the strongest claim. Though she had not quite been appointed as Queen, she had brought forth a bloodline heir. But her youth and experience concerned us. We agreed that if we chose her, we would want to appoint some sort of regent or council of regents while she learned how to rule. We hadn't agreed on who might best serve as that regent. The Southern Duke's history and lineage showed greatest promise to me--or the Southern Duke and Northern Duchess together, as she--"


Altansarnai. Interesting. Rafael's head tipped slightly, the movement almost canine as he considered that revelation. He hadn't known the Consort personally but he was familiar with the Plains people and their fierceness in battle; chances were Altansarnai had been raised on horseback and, despite her youth and gender, had also been trained to fight as well as any man in her Clan. 


Truth was, he wasn't completely sure that a warrior Queen wasn't exactly what they needed in their current political climate . . .


Mathias: "--you have experience rising to power, assuming your position, and gaining the respect and obedience of your people though you stepped into the role as relatively unknown outsider. But the fact that the Southern Duke never came to show his respect to the Consort and her child personally was concerning. He and the duchess may well have been sick, poor timing, but--has Duke Khalil been in contact, at all?"


Rafael's attention went to Malia just as his father's had and he took a few steps away from the window, almost as if he were nearly ready to return to his chair. Last he'd heard, no news had come from the South but he'd leave that to Malia to confirm and, instead, he said, "The Consort is gone; the new prince, as well." He cleared his throat and ventured a bit closer, "It's likely they didn't make it since the Green Duke hasn't been able to find any sign of them on his travels out into the city." Here, he hesitated, "There are rumors, though, that she was seen fighting off one of the winged vampires and many of the commoners believe she and her son made it out of the city alive . . ."


Tags

 


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Steph
 

Who: Mathias Gonzalo
With: Malia, Rafael
Where: The Castle, King's City
When: March 14th, 872 RoK - late afternoon

>>>>
"Did you and Merthin ever come to a decision about our next ruler?"
...
 "Besides - Eventyr is no longer what it was. A leader must be chosen for this time, tumult and all."

>>>>
Though it was a serious moment, a soft hint of a smile crossed Mathias's face. It did the old general proud to hear his son draw reasonable conclusions, project a course of action, and ask thoughtful questions even when a noble of higher rank was in the room. Rafael, perhaps, in the right circumstances, could rise to take a place of significance in the future of Eventyr. Maybe even rise to become the Royal General one day, if he set his mind to it. If they didn't need to dwell further on matters of the past, then they could turn their minds toward the future. Or maybe this was an old man's dreaming.

"I agree with the duchess, to an extent," he said. "The decision we would have made before the succession of the Western Duchy may not have been the one we would reach now. If we'd reached a decision sooner, this might not have happened, but Merthin was..." Frustration played across Mathias's face, and he shook his head as he paused and considered his words with care. "Well, scholars and soldiers see the world differently--but even for a scholar, he was exceptionally enamored more by the attention he gained from his title and less by its actual responsibilities. I will tell you what we were closest to agreement on, and advise you to choose a strong General and wise Scholar to support the Dukes and Duchesses, and the new royalty."

He closed his eyes, as if to organize his thoughts. "We agreed that Altansarnai had the strongest claim. Though she had not quite been appointed as Queen, she had brought forth a bloodline heir. But her youth and experience concerned us. We agreed that if we chose her, we would want to appoint some sort of regent or council of regents while she learned how to rule. We hadn't agreed on who might best serve as that regent. The Southern Duke's history and lineage showed greatest promise to me--or the Southern Duke and Northern Duchess together, as she--"

He paused nodded his head respectfully to Malia "--you have experience rising to power, assuming your position, and gaining the respect and obedience of your people though you stepped into the role as relatively unknown outsider. But the fact that the Southern Duke never came to show his respect to the Consort and her child personally was concerning. He and the duchess may well have been sick, poor timing, but--has Duke Khalil been in contact, at all?"

<Tag!>


Re: Stomping on a Beat #francesca #Jude

Rachel
 

Jude: "Bryonie. Bryonie Smith, your grace,"


"Bryonie Smith," Francesca repeated affirmatively, contrasting the warmth and invitation in her voice by giving the woman a lingering, evaluative look. At first, the obvious signs that she was a commoner, but a lovely one at that, pleased Francesca - mostly because she knew this one would make a satisfying meal for one of her vampires, when the sun set and they took to the floor with her. 


The accent wasn't quite that easy to place. Francesca had been a rebellious youth who brushed up alongside many of the common folk - hell, her head of security, Antonio, had been little but the son of a thief and a barroom brawler before she had brought him up the ranks - but still… where was that lilt from? 


"Smith," Francesca said again, as if it was dawning on her. The West had its smiths, of course, but most of Eventyr's metalworkers resided in that unique region on the border of the North, which supplied the metal, and the East, that supplied ample wood for their fires. The thought of drawing someone from that region excited the vindictive new Queen, who hated both the Duchess of the former and, even more, the Duke of the latter. 


Because it was pleasant to look upon, few bothered to try to see past Francesca's beauty. But for those who bothered, the boniness in her throat and chest were obvious and the paleness of her skin spoke of a telling anemia, and the peculiar glee that lit up her sharp features could be just a bit unsettling. "Have you travelled far to join us tonight?"

Tags


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Rachel
 

Mathias: "If she is further fracturing our land in its already fragile state, the threat is greater than you could understand," "The crown represents not only a mundane political authority over the people, but a mystical authority over this land, and worlds beyond it. The head that bears the weight of the crown must also bear this burden. The darkest times in our history arise when the monarch falters and fails in their duties."

"Worlds… beyond?" Malia echoed, leaning forward as she studied the elderly general's face. He had to mean her world. He had to! Her mind reeled, wondering how many such worlds there could be, and what Eventyr's role was in regulating them… but her intent searching found no answers. Were Mathias's words a platitude, a rehearsed line that suggested his country exceptional? 

Pressing would have been suspicious, so Malia let her response drop even though she knew her search into the meaning of those words had only just begun. 

Mathias: "Could we hand the crown to one who had vanished in the deep woods and could be under the influence of one of the Great Old Witches? An unproven consort? A child? Would the people accept it if the crown was placed on another head when there were such obvious choices from the bloodline? Could we name one of royal blood and appoint a steward? Merthin and I debated in circles for hours."

Yes, Malia screamed in her mind. Yes, the right choice for monarch was not in the bloodline - but there were nobles ready to step up in the vacuum of power. For that brief moment, Malia's heart rate skyrocketed and she desperately hoped that the lack of ideal choices had compelled the Royal General and Scholar to consider changing the laws that had left Eventyr in this total disaster of leadership… 

What was blood? What was gender, anyway? Choose the leader whose fate was entwined with Eventyr, who would sacrifice anything and everything for its prosperity… 

Mathias: "Yes. Francesca Rossi, Duchess of the West, is responsible, and she is not enthralled. At the least, she is a co-conspirator with the dark creatures, these vampires. I do not say this lightly. We must preserve the unity of our land."


Rafael: "Then we go to war?" "We take back the West, undo the laws Francesca has passed and unite Eventyr again?"  


Malia's lips pursed. War was a daunting prospect - with King's City devastated, hundreds or thousands dead, they would need to bring in soldiers from the duchies and that was an improbable feat. Then, their men would be tired, marching into a land where not only were their opponents rested, fed, and invested in protecting their home but also aided by who knew how many vampires? And without a king to lead them? No, they needed a smarter solution… 


Rafael: "Did you and Merthin ever come to a decision about our next ruler?"


Malia cut in before the general could answer. She would not have been among those they considered, and therefore, Malia knew that anything Mathias said - any suggestion that it ought to be Elliot or even James or that ungrateful bitch consort - would shoot the Northern Duchess's newly budding plan in the foot before it took off. 


"Without the Scholar, any decision is irrelevant now," Malia said. "Besides - Eventyr is no longer what it was. A leader must be chosen for this time, tumult and all."


tags!


Re: If I Smile With My Teeth #Brandy

Steph
 

Who: Pietro Weston (NPC)
With: Zaire, Brandy, Open
Where: Reception at Francesca's Palace
When: March 14th, 872 RoK - late afternoon

>>>>
"Long live the queen, right?" And with a chuckle, added, "Really, really long, probably."
...
"Cap'n Zaire Visser," he said, confirming what the other guests had been whispering since the pirates had made their appearance. "Of th' Siren's Song."
>>>>

No land titles--yet, at least. Maybe these two had come for the opportunity to make land grabs. But, even though his family lands were not coastal, Pietro recognized the name of the Siren's Song. Coastal nobility had plenty of gripes about the many pirates, and the Siren's Song was one name that stood out persistently among the slew of shifting ship names and pirate crews. For some unknown reason, this particular captain inspired loyalty and confidence, and, well, Pietro's lands were well out of the reach of a pirate threat. Zombies and vampires were another matter entirely.

He chuckled at Brandy's insinuation, his laugh trailing off into a considering hum, but rather than agree with the sentiment out loud, he was draw in to Zaire's self-introduction.

"Captain, your stories are legend," he said, giving a flourished tip of his head and a turn of his wrist as a show of respect. "From those stories, I'd expect you'd rather be on the high seas or in a boisterous tavern instead of attending something like this. Don't tell me you plan to exchange your ship for a castle, to clear your name of all wrongdoing. You'd disappoint all my privateer associates dead-set on catching up to you for the bounty one of these days." The sentiment was lighthearted, no hidden barbs of insult intended--more some small joy at meeting a nefarious pirate in the flesh.

"Is it true that you escaped the navy by calling mermaids to your aid?" he asked, before looking back to Brandy a bit more appraisingly. "Are you perchance one of those lovely mermaids?

<Tag!>


Re: Don't Ask Me How I've Been #Jaya #Kira #Kyky #manfred

Steph
 

Who: Jaya
With: Kyky, Kira, Manny
Where: Brickstone Tavern, Merchant's Quarter
When: March 14t, 872 RoK - Late Afternoon

>>>>
"I really didn't think centaurs would be so big," Kyky said under her breath as the small group approached the gates, careful to keep her voice low as she knew they had acute senses as well. Because her general attitude of what's the worst that can happen? had a brand new context now, didn't it?
>>>>

Jaya continued to feel responsible--for Kira coming through with her to Eventyr, and for... more than that, as well. Ever time she moved around the city, the weight of what she saw there hit harder than she expected. This was supposed to be a consequence-free vacation to fantasy land, but instead, ever since the king had died...

She didn't realize her thoughts had drifted while she walked with her compatriots down the streets of the King's City following a lead on where to buy some horses to speed up their exodus--not until Kyky spoke up and brought her back to the moment again. Maybe she could tell Kyky. They'd been adventuring together for a long time. Maybe Kyky would understand.

But not right now.

The smell more than anything else always surprised Jaya. Horses were huge animals. It shouldn't be a surprise that they smelled, regardless of how well-kept a stable was, how many hands were there to clean up the manure. It was the feed, too, and the wood chips, and sometimes the tang of metal from the horseshoes around the edges.

"Right?" Jaya agreed. "I mean, I never really expected them to stand any taller than your average human. Although, if I'm being honest, before I came here I didn't give a whole lot of thought to the size and stature of imaginary creatures." She paused and winced sheepishly as heavy hoof-clops came nearer. Had their host heard her? Was that offensive? "I really respect centaurs, though. Powerful, quick, not to be trifled with."

<Tag!>


Re: These Mascara Tears #Marcus #Killick #sarnai

Manda
 

Killick: "They're safe-" It was an answer without an answer, Killick realized, and so traced his tongue over his lower lip as he gave a tug on the reins to pull Muriel away from the distraction of a passing shrub. "Far enough away from here not to worry." … "My place is back in the city, anyway." … "But you saw... When all this is figured out, I'll go back to the college." 


Sarnai watched Killick's profile, her eyes drawn to his lips as his tongue slipped out and then disappeared again, and found a hint of selfish relief settling into her chest. His family was safe, which meant that he wouldn't likely be abandoning her so he could return to them and, as he pointed out, going back to the King's City right now was absurd. Who knew how long until it would be habitable again . . .


Killick: "Until then..." … "You aren't so bad." 


Sarnai had been about to open her mouth, to prompt him to continue, but then he spoke and she found her lips pulling into a smile and her face warming in a blush that crept along cheekbones already pink from the cold. Suddenly shy, she let her eyes drift away from him, first to the trail ahead, then to her son as he finally drifted into a deep enough sleep to relax his jaw and allow her to straighten her top. 


"You have a wife," she said, suddenly, jumping to the first conclusion that made sense from what she knew of Killick thus far. "And children. That is how you know so much about new babies?" Or maybe it was college? Her midwife had been a professor at the Queen's College, a kind but no-nonsense woman who Sarnai had liked immensely and the consort couldn't help but wonder, briefly, if she'd made it through the zombie outbreak unharmed. "Or," she tipped her head in curiosity, "do they have baby classes at the college?"


tags

 


Re: Stomping on a Beat #francesca #Jude

Silvy <afranklin09c@...>
 

Who: Jude (as Bryonie Smith)
With: Queen Francesca
Where: The Reception at Francesca's Palace
When: March 14th, 872 RoK - late afternoon


It was difficult to balance the two, conflicting voices in Jude's head - the eagerness to be landed, to finally attain power rather than simply under the wing of it. The more demure, anxious, unsure tenor of a woman unused to these trappings, how to speak and walk and hold herself in such a grand hall. Not because Jude was unused to that particular act, but more the tone of this new one. 


She was determined, set, with the mind to make something of herself, for her family, for her father... But that didn't stop her gaze flagging on occasion, down to the fraying threads here and there on her roughspun dress, whenever a far finer one passed her spot on the floor without stopping for even a moment. As though every glittering hem and well embroidered bodice made her question just what she was doing here, after all-


But Jude knew. The moment the Queen was back on the floor, Bryonie was ready and available with an extra glass to help ensure her presence was welcome. She shored up her smile on the approach - and gave her very 'best' curtsey after the gift was accepted. "Bryonie. Bryonie Smith, your grace," She introduced herself, accent heavy, colloquial. 


~tags~

 


Re: These Mascara Tears #Marcus #Killick #sarnai

Silvy <afranklin09c@...>
 

Who: Killick
With: Erden, Altansarnai, Marcus

Where: North and Norther
When: March 11th, 872 RoK - late afternoon


It occurred to him, slowly, as Sarnai went on, that it might be uncomfortable, traveling with someone you knew so little about. Trusting them. Putting your life in their hands, the way she had, even though she seemed just as capable of handling herself - the help hadn't hurt, he knew, and chances were without the other, neither of them would have made it out of that city. Dead, turned, or sacrificed. What had happened back there...


"They're safe-" It was an answer without an answer, Killick realized, and so traced his tongue over his lower lip as he gave a tug on the reins to pull Muriel away from the distraction of a passing shrub. "Far enough away from here not to worry." At least... everyone but Pa. He was likely to head West, both because passage by ship would naturally take him that way and because it was the quickest route home, Killick figured. As much as they fought, as much as he seethed and spat about the danger Zaire put the crew in, he knew his father would get them to safety as best he could.


"My place is back in the city, anyway." Ma would worry, but Pa could tell her he was safe, last he saw. When it was safe, maybe he'd even get a message out- "But you saw... When all this is figured out, I'll go back to the college." If. "Until then..." 


The pause went on longer than Killick meant it to, but he shrugged, and offered a kind of lopsided smile. "You aren't so bad." 


~tags~

 


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Manda
 

Rafael stopped near the window, his back to both his father and the Duchess. He didn't see anything beyond the slight distortion of the glass though, his attention focused on steadying his breathing as he tried to sort through thoughts and feelings and the implications of everything his father had revealed. 


Francesca's change in demeanor that night had been curious. Rafael had dwelled on it for days afterwards, trying to make sense of everything that had happened, but in the end he'd decided that it didn't have to make sense; they were both broken in their own ways and still, even all these years later, unable to be what the other needed. His love for her wasn't enough. While that reflection had led him to the conclusion that she hadn't meant what she'd said, those words had also done the job she'd intended - driving him straight out of her arms to never come back.


He'd taken it one step further though, selfishly seeking out the only other person who'd hurt her more than he had: James Castile. He doubted she knew about him agreeing to hunt down Marcus's wolf for the Green Duke and he didn't really care if she ever found out. It had been his own private fuck you to Francesca.


But she'd saved him that night. Forcing him out of her home and back to his own without him any the wiser to the danger he'd been in. And both Francesca and his father had suffered for it. 


Malia: "We cannot fight a traitor we cannot name," … "Francesca Rossi was behind your infection - the cause of this entire tragedy?" ... "You suggest she is under a vampire's control?" 


Rafael couldn't stop the flinch that seized his muscles as Malia spoke Francesca's name, but he was shaking his head. Francesca wasn't the cause, not wholly. He'd had an unintentional part to play, as well. Would Philip still be alive if he hadn't captured Castile's werewolf? Would Francesca and the vampire's plans have continued on, regardless? 


Malia: "The West has seceded from Eventyr. Francesca calls herself a Queen… Is there anything more you can tell us?" 


Mathias: "If she is further fracturing our land in its already fragile state, the threat is greater than you could understand," he replied. "The crown represents not only a mundane political authority over the people, but a mystical authority over this land, and worlds beyond it. The head that bears the weight of the crown must also bear this burden. The darkest times in our history arise when the monarch falters and fails in their duties." … "Could we hand the crown to one who had vanished in the deep woods and could be under the influence of one of the Great Old Witches? An unproven consort? A child? Would the people accept it if the crown was placed on another head when there were such obvious choices from the bloodline? Could we name one of royal blood and appoint a steward? Merthin and I debated in circles for hours."


Rafael turned from the window then, beckoned out of the darkness of his own mind by these secrets his father shared. Worlds beyond? What did that mean? And he was sure his father didn't mean the literal crown but certainly the title of monarch, so did that make Francesca the keeper of worlds? And, though her, the vampires?


He opened his mouth, perhaps to ask these very questions, but Mathias wasn't finished and the pinch of eyebrows, the apology in his father's tone, had Rafael's throat closing with emotion.


Mathias: "Yes. Francesca Rossi, Duchess of the West, is responsible, and she is not enthralled. At the least, she is a co-conspirator with the dark creatures, these vampires. I do not say this lightly. We must preserve the unity of our land."


"Then we go to war?" Rafael asked, directly. "We take back the West, undo the laws Francesca has passed and unite Eventyr again?" It sounded so simple, of course, but Rafael knew it was anything but. They still didn't have a King or Queen sitting on the throne, no one to unite the South, East, and North and civil war was hardly a thing to enter into lightly . . . 


But there were ways to end a rebellion quietly. A carefully placed arrow from far away, a sharp blade slipped silently through the space between ribs . . . a cwn anwnn's nose and a battalion of well-prepared soldiers. 


The thought left Rafael with an uneasy knot in his stomach because no matter what they chose, it would mean Francesca's destruction. 


"Did you and Merthin ever come to a decision about our next ruler?" he asked from his place near the window. Maybe giving what was left of Eventyr a King or Queen was the first step to take?


Tags

 


Stomping on a Beat #francesca #Jude

Rachel
 

When Queen Francesca returned to the party, she did so with the pleasantly disheveled Daniele Ferrari at her side. Political alliance aside, her hands had itched to muss up that long blonde hair of his the second he'd entered her home - and the way his gaze lingered when he'd knelt before her to swear his allegiance… 


The Ferraris were the most powerful family in the West, and the fact that they had chosen the most handsome of their kin for this task - for Daniele was not the eldest, not the strongest, certainly no patriarch, but gifted in his own way - showed that they were understood the game, and they were willing to play. It was promising. 


And, knowing his job was done, and done well, he sauntered away from the Queen and toward the buffet with naught but confidence in his step. 


The problem for Francesca, though, was that the two other largest families in her land had not followed suit. This was not a surprise on the part of the Gonzalos; there was a plan in place for that, even if a reactive one, given that the Royal General had not done as instructed and died, which threw Seo-jun for a loop.


The question mark had been the Weston clan, from the plains. They had sworn, sure, but they'd sent a nobody relative and made no offering. Their loyalty was worth no more than the air Pietro's words had dissolved into, and while Francesca knew it, they had done as asked and Francesca wasn't quite sure what to do about the falseness of it.  


Seo-jun would be awake to advise, soon enough. 


Smoothing her hands over her long, loose hair, Francesca returned to the party in her honor, accepting a glass of wine from someone she didn't recognize, and whose features she could not immediately attach to a local family. Which was good, because if her new regime could attract people to come in from Eventyr, that was promising. 


So Francesca accepted the drink, with a smile. "Welcome, Lady…?"


Tags


Wearing: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/f3/26/31/f32631246763230e4b2626d406fda3fb.jpg


Re: If I Smile With My Teeth #Brandy

Manda
 

Brandy: "How do you think she managed to become the vampire whisperer anyway…?" 


Zaire's eyebrows quirked up and the gesture came along with a tip of the head and a wry pursing of lips that made it clear that was, indeed, The Question. He hadn't bothered to ask last time he'd been alone in a room with Francesca because, well, he'd been a bit preoccupied, but maybe if he got another chance . . .


Pietro: "Sir, Lady," he said, offering them these titles in greeting regardless of whether they actually deserved them. "I don't believe we've had the pleasure. Pietro Weston, son of Lord Clement Weston of Resolute Lake Manor. And you are...?"


Brandy: "I'm no lady, but I am Brandy," ... "Long live the queen, right?" And with a chuckle, added, "Really, really long, probably."


Vaguely annoyed by the interruption - though mostly because his mood was already a bit sour - Zaire turned his steady gaze on the nobleman, taking a handful of seconds to look Lord Pietro Weston over. He knew the surname, of course; one would have to be living in a hole to have never heard of the Westons of the Western Plains. As far as he knew though, Zaire had never met any of the family. He gave the young man a once-over. What were the chances Pietro would have fairy dust on him? 


"Cap'n Zaire Visser," he said, confirming what the other guests had been whispering since the pirates had made their appearance. "Of th' Siren's Song." The words were spoken with a casual confidence to match the Captain's bearing, one thumb hooked into the wide belt at his waist, but then why wouldn't he be comfortable here, amongst so many nobles? He and his crew, and by extension, Brandy, had been personally invited by the Queen herself and how many of these nobles could honestly say the same? 


tags

 


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Steph
 

Malia: "We cannot fight a traitor we cannot name," "Francesca Rossi was behind your infection - the cause of this entire tragedy?" "You suggest she is under a vampire's control?" 


Malia: "The West has seceded from Eventyr. Francesca calls herself a Queen… Is there anything more you can tell us?" 


Mathias looked up to the ceiling as if he could see through it to some higher purpose to guide his next words, distress playing across his face as he learned that the West had seceded. When he looked back to his son and then the Duchess, his expression bore more resolve.


"If she is further fracturing our land in its already fragile state, the threat is greater than you could understand," he replied. "The crown represents not only a mundane political authority over the people, but a mystical authority over this land, and worlds beyond it. The head that bears the weight of the crown must also bear this burden. The darkest times in our history arise when the monarch falters and fails in their duties.


"Could we hand the crown to one who had vanished in the deep woods and could be under the influence of one of the Great Old Witches? An unproven consort? A child? Would the people accept it if the crown was placed on another head when there were such obvious choices from the bloodline? Could we name one of royal blood and appoint a steward? Merthin and I debated in circles for hours."


He looked to Rafael intently, almost apologetically. "Yes. Francesca Rossi, Duchess of the West, is responsible, and she is not enthralled. At the least, she is a co-conspirator with the dark creatures, these vampires. I do not say this lightly. We must preserve the unity of our land."



Re: If I Smile With My Teeth #Brandy

Rachel
 

Zaire: "She's strengthenin' 'er powerbase," "Seducin' 'er way into friendships. S'easy t'get whatcha want when ya got vampires workin' for ya." "After t'night," "there ain't be anyone in t'West who'll stand against 'er."


Pietro: "Sir, Lady," "I don't believe we've had the pleasure. Pietro Weston, son of Lord Clement Weston of Resolute Lake Manor. And you are...?"


Brandy snorted out a wry agreement at the captain's assessment. "How do you think she managed to become the vampire whisperer anyway…?" It was the question on everyone's mind and on no one's lips because to ask it at all undermined the new edict that vampires were a race, and therefore as rational and legitimate as a centaur and entitled to full citizenship as such. Anyone who'd met a vampire knew better.


Even though Brandy was certain she'd been quiet, the taboo nature of her question being answered by a voice behind her gave her quite a start. A surge of adrenaline shot through her veins as - even though the sun was still up, even if it was dipping ominously by the minute - her brain convinced her that this was a vampire. When she turned and saw that it was, instead, a young nobleman, Brandy's hand rested on her racing heart and she could only laugh at herself. 


"I'm no lady, but I am Brandy," she said, her tone quickly returning to its usual upbeat tempo. What did this guy want, randomly introducing himself like this, to people who were obviously below his station and, in Z's case, possibly dangerous. To draw out an answer, Brandy went on, with a touch of sarcasm in her voice, "Long live the queen, right?" And with a chuckle, added, "Really, really long, probably."

Tags!


Re: If I Smile With My Teeth #Brandy

Steph
 

Who: Pietro Weston (NPC)
With: Zaire, Brandy, Open
Where: Reception at Francesca's Palace
When: March 14th, 872 RoK - late afternoon

Zaire: "She's strengthenin' 'er powerbase," "Seducin' 'er way into friendships. S'easy t'get whatcha want when ya got vampires workin' for ya." "After t'night, there ain't be anyone in t'West who'll stand against 'er."

Pietro Weston's ears perked up. He'd been meandering the floor for a while now, ever since he swore fealty to Francesca on behalf of his father. Youngest son that he was, not even destined to inherit the land for which he just swore fealty, it was a very intentional, very planned snub.

Now he'd finally heard something of interest. Finding other dissenting voices was the second reason for his presence. He'd always been the best listener out of all his siblings. Maybe it came from having to listen through all their conflicting voices all growing up. Whatever the case, the faintest note of dissent caught his ear, and now he turned and slipped in the direction of it.

He was dressed finely, as a nobleman should be, an expertly tailored suit in shades of navy blue with fine gold thread embellishments, polished boots, clean-shaven, smelling faintly of lavender. With the sort of elegant bearing that came with years of knowing you were better than everyone else around you by birth, he moved up to Brandy and Zaire.

"Sir, Lady," he said, offering them these titles in greeting regardless of whether they actually deserved them. "I don't believe we've had the pleasure. Pietro Weston, son of Lord Clement Weston of Resolute Lake Manor. And you are...?"
<Tag!>


Re: Don't Ask Me How I've Been #Jaya #Kira #Kyky #manfred

Rachel
 

Jaya: "Yeah, getting dropped from temp job to temp job, living paycheck to paycheck, just barely scraping together rent... It's been nice to have an escape to a place where I can make a difference."


Jaya: "From the sound of things, we'll have to leave the city if we want to find a fairy circle to get home," "Same direction as home for you, maybe, Manny. We'll need strength for the journey. Maybe we'll get lucky and meet a unicorn on the way, or come across a pixie dance party with plenty of pixie dust to make a fairy circle with. And I bet we can get some art supplies pretty cheap right now, if you wanted to do some drawing on the road. There are some beautiful sights, Kira."


Kyky finished her own meal quickly as she could, enticed and excited by the promise of an adventure on the horizon. "It'll be dangerous, too, Jaya, to be fair. But…" She shrugged it off as if to say it would all be fine, but then Manny picked up where she left off. 


Manny: "My family lives to the North-Western plains, in the furthest borders. Unicorns and pixies are usually found in the Eastern woods....." "But I could go with you there...until...." "You do art?" "You'll need horses".


Of course! No one was going to mess with them if they had a centaur - which they did, even if he didn't exactly look like one. Yet. A sudden smile burst across Kyky's face like an exploding star. She gave Manny's shoulder a playful shove. "If only we knew someone who could help us with that!" 


The truth was that most of the city's horses had been either stolen by citizens in the immediate escape from the zombies or appropriated 'for the public good' by the nobles afterward. There was one real exception - a stable run by Hadrian Cornwallis. He could have been famous for his service under then-Commander Gonzalo, fighting the zombie horde that had nearly taken the West off the map after the nobles had been wiped out there, a decade or so ago.  But he'd never cared for fame or position or promotion, and had even often refused to change his centaur form for a human one when ceremony called for it. 


During the citywide zombie outbreak, Hadrian put his old skills to fierce use in defending his stable, his horses, and his employees. He stubbornly allowed for no theft and turned back every assault. He refused to give in to pressure from the nobles seeking horses, charging them double or triple for the use of his horses as supply-and-demand dictated raising the prices. Now that quiet had fallen, his stablehands were busily at work cleaning up corpses, arrows, and remnants of small blazes. The old veteran centaur himself clopped around the courtyard, supervising clean-up efforts…


"I really didn't think centaurs would be so big," Kyky said under her breath as the small group approached the gates, careful to keep her voice low as she knew they had acute senses as well. Because her general attitude of what's the worst that can happen? had a brand new context now, didn't it?

Tags


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Rachel
 

Mathias: *tells the tale*


Malia felt her blood boiling as the General's words stepped so carefully around the name of the one they had all dreaded he would speak. Francesca's convenient disappearance and subsequent power play had been so outrageous that there was no way Malia could suppose she hadn't been involved… 


The Northern Duchess tried to justify her outrage to herself, to say she was angry because fracturing Eventyr was dangerous for the realm. It would cause fighting and death, and they had seen enough of that already - at Francesca's own fucking hands. 


But the truth was simple: Malia was angry she hadn't thought of it first. 


Her own sights, though, were not on a single region of Eventyr. She wanted the whole thing. And perhaps, just perhaps, the chaos would give way to an opportunity she could use.


Malia's dark eyes lifted when Rafael stood and paced, and she berated herself for not watching the young General-to-be more closely. Sketched imitations of the works by Renaissance painter of the same name had shown up in her book over the last few days, so she had no doubt he was important, even if she did not know how. He had been engaged to Francesca once upon a time, her research had unveiled, even though the engagement had been brief and he had never been a political player since.


"We cannot fight a traitor we cannot name," Malia said, again choosing the inclusive pronoun. "Francesca Rossi was behind your infection - the cause of this entire tragedy?" The Duchess's posture softened, and she went on to ask, with a softer tone as if allowing the General to hedge. "You suggest she is under a vampire's control?" 


Nothing in the General's tale suggested he knew the turn of events afterward, so Malia wetted her lip in hesitation - it was improper to give information to the subject you were trying to extract information from, but Malia believed every syllable from Mathias's mouth and knew his experience and perspective could make all the difference. And James, who surely would have been ripping out fingernails by now, wasn't there to criticize, was he?


"The West has seceded from Eventyr. Francesca calls herself a Queen… Is there anything more you can tell us?" 


Tags!

 


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Manda
 

Malia: "General Gonzalo, we respect that you intend to take responsibility - but we must know the identities of your conspirators as well." … "Help us understand, and perhaps we can help you." 


Mathias: *nods* … "To best help the city and Eventyr, this isn't a time for clemency," … 


Rafael wanted to be wrong. He wanted his father to tell him that it hadn't been Francesca, that it had been anyone other than her but there was no denying that look on Mathias's face. It had been Francesca, with her shining hair and the smile that made Rafael's heart beat faster, with her too-skinny physique and vampire bite that he'd tried so hard to convince himself was anything but . . .


His sorrow was two-fold, though, and the words his father continued with had Rafael's brows knitting. Mathias may have been convinced that the only way out of this was his death but Rafael hadn't gone toe to toe with a horde of zombies and butted heads with the Green Duke just to see his father meet the executioner's axe. If there was a way for Mathias to walk away from this alive, Rafael planned to see it happen. 


Mathias: "Her guard… he came for me. I should have recognized him for what he was--vampire." 


Rafael's eyes lifted, remembering the slight man from the party; the one whose attention he and Francesca had avoided by ducking into the alcove in the garden, who'd rode up front with the carriage driver on the way back to Lake City. His father hadn't been the only one who hadn't paid the vampire much attention and it was uncomfortable to realize just how close Rafael had been to the creature without realizing.


And the tale Mathias spun wasn't easy to hear, bringing back dark memories that Rafael had been struggling for years to process. He knew firsthand how confusing that mix of pleasure and pain could be, how sharp the feeling of betrayal when his body responded even as his mind recoiled, and without realizing it, Rafael drew inward. His shoulders hunched as he leaned forward, elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, and he wished that he didn't have to hear this. He wished that his father hadn't had to experience such a violation, that Francesca hadn't been involved, that everything could just go back to normal . . .


Mathias: "They argued," … "He was angry with her. He called her treacherous, and it seemed that, perhaps, his attack on me was personal. That made sense; vampires rarely take victims of my years. He was punishing her, for letting someone go." He shook his head. "I did not recognize the name - Cohen? Owen?"


Rafael's head snapped up, realization hitting like the icy shock of a northern stream. Not Cohen or Owen . . . cwn annwn. Rising from the chair, Rafael couldn't help but pace across the room, hands balling into fists in an attempt to quell the anxious tremor there. This was his fault. His father had been tortured, half-turned, forced to release a plague on the city because of him, because . . . 


Because Francesca hadn't been able to turn him over to the vampire. 


tags

 


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Steph
 

Who: Mathias Gonzalo
With: Rafael, Malia
Where: The Castle, King's City
When: March 14th, 872 RoK - Late Afternoon: 

Gonzalo looked into his son's eyes and nodded, just slightly, when he made eye contact--a silent understanding, a quiet confirmation. Perhaps he recognized how important the truth was to his son in that moment, considering Rafael's relationships. Maybe it was just the simple comfort of knowing that Rafael hadn't bothered with idle promises of safety rather than execution. By contrast, he met Malia's statement with a shake of his head.

"To best help the city and Eventyr, this isn't a time for clemency," he said.

The disgraced Royal General began the tale.

"She came for Merthin." 'She' was the only word Mathias would use, which underscored the status of the woman he was accusing. "Her guard… he came for me. I should have recognized him for what he was--vampire." Mathias grimaced - for now, in hindsight, it was obvious, but never before had the General seen a vampire able to walk among humans with such restraint. And they had all watched him do just that, at Francesca's side, for years.  

Mathias told all that he could recollect. The vampire had toyed with him - torturing him by alternating between the pleasure of the feeding and, at Mathias's resistance, withdrawing it and just allowing him to feel the pain in force. The pleasure outweighed the rest, though, and Mathias licked his lips, took in a deep breath, and he almost smiled, like remembering something so exquisite it deserved to be experienced again, and again, before exhaling sharply and shaking his head against the memory.

But the vampire had been interrupted. His mistress ordered him to stop, insisting that they only needed "one of them." Mathias spoke true, but he spoke to Malia - knowing his son's relationship with the accused made this incredibly uncomfortable to speak about. He left out the details of the woman's undress, the sheen of sweat on her pale skin, the obvious smell of sex that made obvious the success of her seduction of the Royal Scholar.

"They argued," Mathias went on, and closed his eyes a moment as he tried to recall. "He was angry with her. He called her treacherous, and it seemed that, perhaps, his attack on me was personal. That made sense; vampires rarely take victims of my years. He was punishing her, for letting someone go." He shook his head. "I did not recognize the name - Cohen? Owen?"

<Tag!>


Re: Don't Make Me Play Pretend #Malia #rafael

Rachel
 

Rafael: "Yes, father," "do you?"


Mathias: "Everything," "I remember everything. I will not run from the shame of what I did or avoid just judgment. I deserve nothing less than summary execution for the shame I've brought to this title and the Royal Family."


"That may well be the outcome here, we ought not pretend otherwise," Malia said, with a slow nod of concession. Gonzalo had been an asset to Eventyr for most of his life - resolute, wise, and intelligent - and it was only consistent to hear him pass the judgment on himself that he would have passed on another. He was a man of integrity and honor… which made his fall so very confounding. If he had indeed betrayed Eventyr, would he not make the case that he had been out of his mind and therefore could not be responsible for his actions? With the leadership of the nation in tatters, now, such an appeal may well have worked. 


Rafael: "Who was it?" "Who approached you, Father?" 


Malia waited a breath before she added her own encouragement. "General Gonzalo, we respect that you intend to take responsibility - but we must know the identities of your conspirators as well." He had hardly acted alone: the chaos in the city implied the coordinated efforts of dozens of people. Who were they, and why had they done this? 


It might not have been necessary for the General himself, but watching the strain on Rafael's face as he listened, as he spoke, compelled the Duchess to add: "Help us understand, and perhaps we can help you." 


Tags

141 - 160 of 588