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Fantasy A War of Kings: The Entombment of Emperors

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by spycoder9, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Shekel_1383

    Shekel_1383 Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Jan 2, 2016
    2 Weeks After the Wedding of Fire (the Bloody Nuptials)


    The Capital
    The Glen

    Ser Wymar Hail
    “Always a bright side,” Hadrick reflected, offering a rare smile.“Even to massacres.” It was morbid, certainly - but such were the times. As they cantered down the road atop theit steeds, Wymar took in the surroundings. It was beautiful, in an odd way. The local wildlife occasionally appeared from beneath the shrubbery, toads hopped by, birds slowly chirped and occasionally, the low-lying bushes would shudder as some hidden animal would rush through it. Cutting through it all, was the even, melodic clips and clops of horse hooves.

    “If I remember correct ‘nough…” the ever remembering Castellan said ironically. "If I remember, little Kynlee’s birthday is not half a moon away.”

    "As always Hadrick, your memory is correct" Wymar said through a yawn, followed by a chuckle. Wymar had not forgotten, she was of course one of the few in his life that actually cared for Hadrick. He had rode five villages North in the months prior to find a smith who could temper and forge a jewlery to a suitable degree of quality. It may have been expensive, but all the effort would be worth seeing Kynlee's face light up as Wymar gave her her present - a necklace with a single red ruby trimmed with gold.

    “I wonder how she might feel about her brother, the Ser Hail, frequently brothels.” This time he stared Wymar down, while their horses continued their canter down the muddy stone path.

    "The Ser Hail..." Wymar echoed, his head slowly turning to slowly meet Hadrick's stare. "It still sounds strange to me. Having a bastard name, and a knightly title, it's not common." Wymar pondered, avoiding the question. It was true though, that it wasn't normal for a bastard to be knighted - Wymar could count his fellow bastard knights on one hand.

    "Do you remember my knighting?" Wymar chuckled once again, this time with a tint of sadness in his eyes. "Father at least attended, albeit drunk. I didn't expect him to struggle through watching the thing he hated most in life ascend to the rank of knight without a little help."



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  2. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    3 Weeks After the Wedding of Fire (the Bloody Nuptials)


    The Desert
    The Hollow Wood


    Zara eyed him for several minutes.

    Eventually she smiled. A hesitant one, but a smile still.

    “Perhaps I do.” She turned to look back over the clay hills behind her. Overlooking the speckle of cottages and farmsteads, a dusty stone castle waited. It has seen years of wear and tear, even from here. “Lord Bowen’s a welcoming man, if ya have a coin or two to spare.”

    She stepped forward before he can continue on his way.

    “No one, though? No one at all?” She was blushing slightly.

    “I’ve seen many men, and ya don’t seem like no one to me.”



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  3. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    11 Days After the Wedding of Fire (the Bloody Nuptials)


    The Capital
    Varianas Forest


    The two girls slipped away as easily as one can from an occupied, scatter-brained madam and a gaggle of girls always eager to please. Paths of dirt used by wagons cut seamlessly between the massive trees in fresh bloom. It was quiet for the most part, simple and peaceful. The only disturbances were the feet of two young ladies of the Varianas Forest.

    Amber swung around the trunk of a tree, laughing as momentum propelled her. She hiked her dress up to free her feet and went into a run.

    A break came in the form of an oasis of a vineyard. The trees still loomed behind them, and far ahead, but in the break were fields of grapes. The family of wine crafters that lived here were making their way amongst the lines. It was a perfect time to plant anew, and they were so engrossed in their work they never noticed the two ladies.

    “I knew we’d find it.” Amber’s flush face broke into a grin. “All we need are a few glasses, and we’d be set to relax.”

    The younger cousin looked to her elder, both hopeful and eager. Sarae was the only one who knew the place like the back of her hand. It was up to her to locate the barrels and sneak a bit with them.





    Dining Hall


    “Reynard could’ve stopped them.” Lafayette’s face adapted that of his father, solemn and thoughtful. “There was plenty of a warning.”

    “So you’re saying he didn’t help on purpose?” Jaesythe seemed disgusted at the notion. He took a swig of his drink, some hard mead Taran had to special import for him.

    “That’s exactly what he’s saying.” Lady Olyana’s smirk was one of pride.

    The table was silent.

    “What does this mean?” Jessica finally asked.

    “Who cares what it means?” Her mother waved the notion away. “Fenton’s dead. It’s his boy that’s king now. And he’ll be expecting you,” She pointed at Taran, “to pay homage.”



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  4. Stryker01

    Stryker01 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Dec 4, 2012
    [​IMG]

    IC: King Martyn Forysthe,
    First of His Name, King of the Desert, Protector of the Dunes, Father to the Forlorn
    The Oasis of Dawnsgrace


    He acknowledged his daughter’s advice with a nod.

    “People of the Dawnsgrace.” He looked to the crowds, hands locked with his eldest daughter. “You bear witness to a reunion, one of king and lady, of father and daughter, of desertman and his desertchildren! My family is together once more! But... we stand one short.” Martyn looked to his line of children. They were an odd bunch, the four of them, less whole. Ser Lawrence was a missing tooth in their gum, a missing place in the space of his family. “My son lies dead in the Mountains!”

    The commoners grumbled.

    “My nephew is buried in the Capital!”

    They cried out.

    “Who must die next? How much more should we have to suffer?”

    Roars.

    “This is why we started this war! Recognition for us, respect and recognition! Our pleas have been answered with blood!”

    Martyn let the shouts of his people carry on before he finished.

    “The Desertmen will not lie down! We aren’t eagles to be plucked from the skies, or snowbirds twittering aimlessly from limb to limb, or anchors to waste beneath the seas! We are foxes! We are snakes! We are cheetahs! We are the creatures of the heat, born of blood and sweat and flames, and Mirwyth will not step on our backs any longer!”

    It was almost a riot, the crowds going wild. The guards prepared themselves to escort Martyn back into the castle. It remained non violent though. Their anger wasn't directed at their king.

    He cast a side glance at his daughter.

    The war is here.


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  5. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Four Days After the Wedding of Fire (the Bloody Nuptials)


    The Capital
    Shatterstone Bay


    The Pirate Fleet


    “Ah, names.”

    The man waved Fleet's question away.

    “They always seem to get you in some kind of trouble. I try to avoid them.”

    He felt of the boy’s forehead and retrieved a wet rag from a pile of them.

    After giving it to Fleet, the man eyed him for a moment.

    “I’ll tell you if you keep it a secret. It could get me into some trouble around here.”

    The man leaned in and whispered to Fleet.

    “Willis.

    “Willis Kildare.”



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  6. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet Ashkey
    Shatterstone Bay

    In the dimness of the tent, Fleet’s blue eyes watched the man with a degree of scrutiny, even as he squinted at the morning light that poured in from a partially opened flap.

    He’d asked his benefactor’s name, since introductions were in order. This was the person who had been his sole caretaker and single handedly nursed him back to health, even as others died around him.

    “Ah, names.” The man said, seemingly waving off his question. Fleet smiled wanly. He understood. He had seen how having someone’s noble name could turn an innocent into a target. Or how the mention of a name could cause a group of hardened soldiers to cower in fear.

    He much preferred to have the latter.

    “They always seem to get you in some kind of trouble. I try to avoid them.”

    Fleet chuckled softly at that, which was a sign that his strength was returning. Days ago, he did not have the energy or willpower to even react if he wanted to.

    The man tested the boy’s forehead for signs of fever, or some other ailment, then handed him a wet rag, which he accepted graciously.

    “I’ll tell you if you keep it a secret.”

    Fleet froze where he sat, his eyes growing wide, despite himself.

    “It could get me into trouble around here.”

    Fleet did not move as the man closed in. There’d been no knife concealed within the towel, so clearly this wasn’t about some plan. Fleet knew that secrets always came at a price and they could always be used to barter with, but he did not know what to think at the moment. So, he simply listened.

    “Willis.”

    Fleet felt himself stiffen, as he was almost unable to believe the sounds his ears conveyed.

    “Willis Kildare.”

    For a moment, the young Ashkey was unsure how to react. He simply remained still.

    A sudden pang of pain that coursed through his head brought him back to the moment. Slowly, he placed the rag over his head.

    “Fleet.”

    It was all he said after a long pause.

    “Fleet. Ashkey.”

    At the mention of his new family name, Fleet regarded the man with renewed scrutiny.

    “Nice ta meet yu.”

    Was this man truly who he said he was, or was this a trick being played by the pirates? Fleet now took a good look at the man’s garments, taking in any an every detail he could. Was he wearing a necklace or a ring bearing the family signet? Anything? Was there anything to connect him to the Desert Fox and the Kildare’s besides what he’d just said? He ended to know. Had the gods just graced him with favour?

    No, best to just keep things simple, lest his head suddenly burst open.

    The young boy looked around the tent again, making sure that no one was too intent on their conversation. Dying . That’s what the others should be busy with; that or healing.

    “I’ll call yu Kalkheim.” he announced, unable to think of a better pseudonym, but studying the man’s reactions carefully.

    Hektor’s on the good list. ‘Guess yu could be too…” Fleet went on to say casually as he rubbed his head with the wet rag.

    His Blue eyes never left the man’s countenance. He needed to know. Only a real Willis Kildare would understand the three names he had just mentioned.

    Fleet had to make sure about this. Only then, would his furiously scheming mind allow him to say more.


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  7. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Abbott Tuckman
    Approaching temporary port in the Isles

    Taking a seat in the captains cabin on this small cargo vessel he looked over at the small waif sleeping in his bunk, Tai. He supposed in a manner this made him a father now, and if so he truly felt sorry for the lad, but only time would tell if the lad truly was accepting and becoming one of his family, cursed though they be it was a good life. Better than no life or so he told himself every day of the voyage with the sad lad. How the Temptress could ever have stated to kill the lad in his sleep was beyond Tuckman, but then some lines were not crossed.

    Such was why he sailed this smaller boat back with a bit of cargo and a bit of gold for the Purse Strings, Purse, and Jeweled Scabbard that was his king. And, he mused as he removed his small ledger from his coat pocket, the board was now an heir to the throne because of his involvement. How to write that up in the accounting? Ha! What a blessed life this cursed one yet was!

    Ah, well, best to bring this beauty up to date, and make sure all was set to rights. Let spry Abbott check the balance now. . .lads delivered at capital. . .carry the one. . .zero profit. All the hardened criminals from the ledger that had never been good customers he had set free there with his only qualm that the family estate of Tuckman be left untouched by their villainy in their future endeavors. A nice villa / warehouse it was.

    He could almost picture now. . .unfortunately the drawing he had was in the bottom 'drawer' of this shanty desk of crates, and there was no way he was going to dig for it on a whimsy when the sad boy was sleeping. Better to use that ancient traders tool, imagination.

    Cousins he saw only at gatherings were there when he had stopped off. Withdrawing from his family stake to make the small sum of gold he currently had for the Purse strings back in the Isles. It truly was a paltry sum considering it was the ransom of all these men, but it was from the only bank he would ever / could ever trust.

    Mark it off as a loss, quantifiable in only the abstract of the pages of his little red book. Tapping the pencil on the page he marked the money he was out. Still leaving the dash that it was a debt paid to be a true zero sum in concerns of his conscious.

    The second port of call had been the sea port, well, not the capitals. He had sailed up and away to the closest port to the desert and from there, well from there he had followed the trail and sailed to another port where he found his Uncle and Aunt. They had a nice little place they were centered out of, routing the next trade caravan to leave across the desert to which he was able to commend many men to the aid of. In exchange for work either at the docks or in the Tuckman trader caravans he got some gold as compensation for supplying the men, much as a lord or lady would for hiring out their vassals to another. So the paltry sum became a sadly small sum.

    All these were from those with minor or political crimes or who had been good customers in the past. They were free and employed, a small mercy for the good they had done and a small compensation to him that would include future back payments to repay the House of Tuckman for getting these men their freedoms. So he covered his own loses with future payments as any basic trade has been set for ages.

    Closing his eyes he relished the image of his Uncle and Aunt as they had waved goodbye when he left their temporary dwelling.

    ---
    [​IMG]

    Ah, what a sprightly pair. He could only hope to be so established and happy someday. Although their words of warning still echoed in his mind. "If your gonna be serving a king you better be ready to storm da castles. Take it. It may save ya." His Aunt had said.

    "Will it really save me?" he had asked incredulously. Looking at the adorned dagger that had supposedly been blessed by holy men of each region on the mainland and all the gods they could find.

    "It would take a miracle." his Uncle had intoned to which an elbow to the gut from his Aunts elbow had added, "Which is why it's blessed from the scabbard to the hilt till it cannot hold it any more. If there's a miracle to be had it will draw it to you, perhaps even with a chocolate coating if it didn't melt off in this sun. Oh there is nothing like a chocolate covered miracle." rolling her eyes his Aunt had waved for him to go before his Uncle got sucked any more into a topic of food preferences. Something which had gotten a bit exaggerated since they had moved to the desert.

    ---

    Hearing a knock at the door he turned to see Lukas' head enter. "Yes?"

    "We're about to make port." the earnest lad had stated. Ah, yes the last mark for the ledger. He had kept a few of the lads on that might serve him well to flesh out a fuller crew. Always good to have men you could trust working for you, and with Lukas there was the bonus of what he meant to the Royal Board. Just thinking it brought a smile to his lips. "Alright, keep quiet you'll wake Tai. . .never mind he's rustling. Might as well rise and see the landing kiddo." shaking his head he gave a shrug to the heavens.

    It had been a week and half since some big wedding that was all the news on the mainland. Things were getting worse, supposedly war was that way, but he had done his part to make it better where he could. By trade and by job, life went on.

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  8. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    May 20, 2008
    IC: Gareth the Wanderer
    The Desert
    The Hollow Wood

    There was an anxious pause in play after he had spoken. Obviously the girl he was dealing with was unsure what to make of him. It was not a surprise to see such a response; after all, he did not look like a commoner. But, on the other hand, he did not look like a king. He just looked . . . well . . . different.

    “Lord Bowen’s a welcoming man, if ya have a coin or two to spare.”

    “Ah, yes. I think I may have a coin to spare. Nothing more, but likely nothing less. I heartily thank you, and I shall be on my way,” Gareth said.

    But the girl stepped in front of him, seemingly blocking his path. If Gareth was to betray his emotion, he would have raised an eyebrow.

    “No one, though? No one at all? I’ve seen many men, and ya don’t seem like no one to me.”


    “Sometimes how one appears is not an indication of who they are,” Gareth said. “If you are of thought that I am someone of importance, I will have to disappoint you. I am just a simple man, a simple man passing through. And I will never be anything else. Now, if you will excuse me, I shall make a call to your Lord Bowen. He would be most kind indeed to give a plain soul such as me hospitality.”

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  9. Darth_Elu

    Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 2, 2003
    11 Days After the Wedding of Fire (The Bloody Nuptials)

    The Capital
    ~Varianas Forest~

    As usual, Saraé reveled in the quiet trip through the forest, enjoying the simple company of her cousin Amber.

    Their quiet footsteps crossing through the paths easily as she had done this many a-time. The 'Princess of the Forest' knew this area like the back of her hand without question.

    Amber swung around the trunk of a tree, laughing as momentum pulled her. Her older cousin watched as she hiked her dress up and broke into a run.

    "Amber!" she let out, shaking her head with a smile before following after her.

    Due the direction they had travelled in, they were at the vineyard before too long as she knew they would be. And they had arrived at a perfect time. The workers were so busy with the replanting that they never noticed them, it was a nice reprieve from everything.

    "I knew we'd find it. All we need are a few glasses, and we'd be set to relax."

    Saraé couldn't help but chuckle lightly at this. "Oh? Wine now? I do believe someone thinks they are moving up a bit early in the world."

    Despite the words, she was still smiling. It was times like this that helped her forget all the bad that was going on in the world. Even she was bound to hear the news often enough, even if her parents tried to keep it from her at times. They gave up eventually. But for now…wine. Within moments, she had snuck in and out of the cellar and procured two glasses and a bottle of wine.

    "Now just give me a moment."

    It took her a bit longer than necessary she was ashamed to admit, to open the damnable bottle. But in the end she prevailed and poured them both a glass. Well, not too much for Amber. And she kept the bottle from her.

    Saraé winked at her, "Now, now. Be happy you got that much, don't push things. As Grandmother likes to say: 'Rushing is for the impaired and the men'."

    She took a sip and enjoyed the sights around them in their pseudo-hidden spot on the outskirts of the vineyard.

    "What prompted you to want to come here?" she finally asked at length, "Asides from the wine, I mean."

    *****
    ~Dining Hall, Petrea Keep~

    A pause. Then: "Reynard could've stopped them. There was plenty of a warning."

    A small silence ensued before Lafayette's uncle responded to this with disgust.

    "So you're saying he didn't help on purpose?"

    Lord Taran couldn't help but sigh and close his eyes again while Lady Aurora opened her mouth as such an astonishing and terrible idea. From her son no less, still the perception was strong and welcome to have said aloud in this crucial discussion.

    "That's exactly what he's saying." Olyana was full of pride in that comment, Taran could hear it in his mother's voice without having to look. If there had been any doubt, that proved it. At least for him.

    If his mother agreed, cunning and borderline devious as she was…then it was as close to a confirmation as they were going to get. The silence was nearly deafening as he reopened his eyes.

    Jessica talked first this time. "What does this mean?"

    "Who cares what it means?" Lady Olyana answered swiftly once more, "Fenton's dead. It's his boy that's king now. And he'll be expecting you to pay homage."

    The finger she had pointed at Taran nearly felt like a blow due to the words being used along with it. Still, he managed a nod.

    "I'm well aware. Despite this possibility of his inaction, you've just said it yourself, mother. King Fenton Reynard is dead. His son sits the throne and with that, perhaps a change in policy."

    He stroked his chin in thought for a brief moment and continued before anyone could cut in once more. "We will have to pay homage, just as you said. I said our House must remain neutral and I plan to stick by that. So yes, we shall pay homage. Due to the gravity of the situation, the fact that we live on Capital land and were in fact gifted this forest to begin with from the royal family means it is only fitting that I go," he shook his head absently, "Anyone else may be taken as an offense due to the times. I believe you agree with that, Mother?"

    It would be good to see Barden again, he also thought silently.

    A few possibilities popped in his head then to which begged the question.

    "Jaesythe, where is my nephew currently stationed? Do you know?"

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  10. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    IC: Ginnifer Kildare
    The Oasis of Dawnsgrace, Desert
    14 days after her brother’s murder



    Ginnifer’s eyebrow twitched. “My nephew is buried in the capital”? Yes, Fenton Reynard was a relative by way of Emilie and her cousin, the Queen Mother….make that Queen Grandmother, but was now the appropriate time to remind the masses of that fact?

    The reference seemed to roll over them without being noticed. They were too caught up in the soaring rhetoric to suss out the nuance of what her father was saying. For a moment, her mouth curled into a smile as he spoke. He was good at this. They responded to him.

    And his words opened up a path, one Ginnifer’s mind had been testing during the crossing of the Desert. Perhaps her father was already thinking like she was...

    His words swelled to the crescendo. He had whipped them up like the wind across the sand. (And like a grain of sand, each peasant might be small, but it only took one to get into your eye to be disproportionately inconvenienced.) One might even forget the very losses he had mentioned at the start of his speech. As Martyn told it, the Kildares, the Desert had never been stronger. It was exactly what you said when you were at your weakest. “Never let them see you bleed,” her mother had admonished her. Those words seemed to be coming up often these days.

    She caught a slight look from Martyn as he finished. She raised her good hand to give a wave with a smile. A confident smile, one that said everything was going to be all right, that they should believe in the future because she believed in it. The Kildares remained on the steps for a few minutes, basking in the adulation of the crowd. The public sated, they turned to withdraw into the palace, her father’s resident.

    Now they needed to figure out just how to achieve the future Martyn had promised them.



    After the travelers had fully refreshed themselves from their journey, they gathered in the King’s private audience chamber. It was a room designed for privacy, even in a castle that undoubtedly had crannies designed for eavesdropping. The thick walls of the room made it hard to be overheard. Outside the door Ginnifer had posted the person she trusted with her life on a daily basis: her lady’s maid Sophee. Her watch would dissuade keyhole listening.

    Opposite the door sat Martyn, the place of the King. Arrayed before him were his four children, also seated. Four...a painful reminder of what had brought them to this point.

    “We have suffered grievous losses. For all my efforts to keep this revolt from weakening our family, Lawrence is dead. For unrelated reasons--” Ginnifer paused and corrected herself. “For presumably unrelated reasons, Willis is held by pirates. Caliban was dispatched to capture him before Lawrence’s death. We are without three of our kin, one never to return.

    “But I do not doubt what you said earlier today, father. We shall overcome,” Ginnifer said. “What we must do now is determine our goals.”

    “What do you mean goals?” Chelsee asked. “We’re going to get revenge. Father just said so. We’re going to take their damn heads for taking Lawrence’s. They put one of our own in the ground? We put ten of theirs. That’s the Desert way.” Ginnifer was surprised that Chelsee didn’t slam one of her knives into a table to punctuate the thought.

    “There will be a reckoning,” Ginnifer told her sister, “but we have a unique opportunity to shift the narrative. Our father has begun laying the groundwork for it.” Her eyes turned to Martyn.

    “What do you mean ‘shift the narrative’?” Landon asked, absentmindedly rubbing his chin. The idea seemed to intrigue him.

    “I mean father mentioned Lawrence and Fenton in the same breath,” Ginnifer said, “and we have never done engaged in overt hostilities towards Valona.”

    “Excuse me?” Chelsee exclaimed. She nearly jumped out of her chair. “We’ve been in the revolt since the beginning. You answered Mors’ call. You agreed to have our brother supplant Mattheus in a marriage pact. You don’t think that’s hostile?”

    “Yes, and no,” Ginnifer said, “We have not raised arms against Valona. The Fair Groves have never directly challenged the Reynard’s right to rule. We were called by our Lord-made-King to his banner. We were pledged to respond on the forfeit our honor.

    “But Mors is dead…” Ginnifer turned to look at her father. “...and there is a new King, one who can change direction.”

    “Are you actually suggesting that we support the Reynards?” Zooey exclaimed, unable to restrain herself any longer. “After everything they’ve done? After the death of Lawrence?”

    “First, there is no evidence that the Reynards are at all responsible for our brother’s death. Karridan Rolmar styles himself a King still, does he not? If they were in league with the Capital, they would insist he return to being the Lord of the Mountains,” Ginnifer said, remaining calm. “Second, the rebellion was against Fenton. Matheus is on the throne now. Even if we believed in the original rebellion--against people who are related to us, mind you--what are we even fighting for anymore?”

    “We’re fighting for justice, for a better system,” Zooey said.

    “Shouldn’t we see if Mattheus can deliver that first?” Ginnifer asked.

    “Giving him an opportunity to exact revenge on us for stealing his bride-to-be if he chooses,” Landon remarked.

    “Admittedly, our relationship with Valona is complicated--”

    “You can say that again,” Zooey interjected.

    “--but who would you rather get revenge on--the people who killed our brother or Valona?” Ginnifer finished.

    “They could still be the same. Safia is supposed to marry Lawrence and then he winds up dead? Sounds like revenge to me,” Chelsee observed.

    “Fine, we don’t know if Valona is or isn’t involved,” Ginnifer conceded, “but I do know this: a two-front war in the Desert is a dangerous thing. The Desert is right outside the Capital. If Mattheus comes for anyone, he’s coming for us first. He sends an army against us and we’re never going to get justice for Lawrence.”

    “Three fronts,” Chelsee interjected. “Remember the pirates?”

    “Yes. The pirates that threaten the very domestic security we promise the Desert,” Ginnifer admitted. “They must be dealt with no matter what.”

    “So then you would have us make peace with the Reynards,” Landon clarified.

    “It’s something we should consider. If we did, they might give us aid against the Rolmars and the pirates. They could ensure justice for Lawrence and help bring Willis and Caliban back,” Ginnifer said. “Whatever we do, we can’t flail about reactively--we need a plan.”

    “You mean you don’t already have one?” Zooey snorted. “I thought you had everything figured out. Make peace with our enemies. Sounds simple to me.” There was a new challenge in her voice.

    “We need to discuss this, together. As a family,” she stressed. “For this conversation, everything should be on the table. Except for one thing.

    “Safia is our sister. She married Lawrence. We must bring her back however we can.”

    “She may have been in on it, Ginnifer,” Chelsee warned.

    “Then she can tell me that to my face. She only stops being our sister when she tells me so to my face,” Ginnifer insisted. “No ravens. No letters. Her, with me. That’s the only way I believe she is Safia Rolmar. Until then, she’s Safia Kildare.”

    She paused and breathed deeply, gathering herself. The next words were going to be hard for Ginnifer to say. She’d never expected to say them, not since her mother had died. “But I am not the most powerful person in this family.”

    She looked at Martyn. “You are, father. You are King of the Desert. We need to hear what you have to say.”

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  11. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    One Week After the Wedding of Fire (the Wedding of Fire)


    The Prairies
    The Dragonwood


    The Tottering Turtle


    The night wore on, what with everyone drinking more and laughing even louder.

    At some point, the tables in the center were pushed back and a local bard began to play some bawdy local song. Ser Amery knew some of the words, and his voice was pleasant. He sang for a bit, taking Raven by the hand and leading her for a dance.

    Rebecca, please come along.” Raven called to her other protector as she stepped in beat with her knight. Men and women were joining them, some of the servers laying down their glasses to dance along. It was a break from the war, a relief from the dark news here and there, a glowing inn as a beacon of a wooded night.

    A bearded fellow with a little too much ale asked Rebecca for her hand. His breathe reeked of alcohol, but he wasn’t all too ugly. Perhaps that was the wine perverting perception, or perhaps he actually wasn’t unattractive.

    Chikara still sat in the corner, but this little blind girl was definitely an attention grabber. She moved in beat with her knight, even though she had no sight. She was beautiful, almost too beautiful for that place, even with her scars. Her knight was bizarrely different as well, his skin weathered in a way unlike these others. They were odd ones when compared to the usual corral of a late night inn in a backwater town.

    Nights like these, even the beautiful ones, contained their own creatures lurking and watching.

    What could break this peace though would have to be utterly earth shattering.



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  12. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    2 Weeks After the Wedding of Fire (the Bloody Nuptials)


    The Mountains
    Shodaire


    The Throne Room


    “Hmm.” Karridan smile was heartbreakingly empty. “We shall see.”

    He stood from his throne.

    “Thank you, Rhayaad, for your loyalty. Keep your blade sharp for the coming weeks.”

    It was as the king prepare to dismiss him he remembered something.

    “You’ve mentioned your family. I understand your need to keep them from here… I understand more than anyone. I will be sure and give you a well enough sum that your family won’t worry for food or clothes.

    “It is a dirty business you’ve chose, but you did it for them. We all take roles for those we love. You're a strong man for doing so."



    TAG: Vehn
     
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  13. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    The Eve of the Wedding of Fire (the Bloody Nuptials)


    The Prairies
    The Dragonwood


    Hunters' Hall


    It was several moments after Ser Tawney stumbled off to bed, drunk and tired, that Ser Olycar grew solemn. He never took his eyes from the flames of their wimpy fire. His bald head gleamed in the light, but not so much as his golden eyes. He was one of the few left that abide by the old ways of the Hunters, a purebred through and through. While that made for him to be a bit strict, he was also a proud papa bear to his family of Hunters.

    “I’ve seen things in the flames…” Olycar looked lost in the dull red glow. “You have a new mission, a different one. There’s a girl in the mountains, bound and chained by divine intervention, who must be awakened. The time is coming. All of it is. The White Blight calls Mirwyth home.”

    The older knight looked to his younger with a deep set frown.

    “It calls Mirwyth home, and where are its protectors? Drunk, scattered, and errand boys for the wicked. We must remember our true calling, Ellister…”

    He shook his head. His words made very little sense, but he had always had a talent for seeing into the flames. Ser Olycar saw things that came true. Rarely, but when he did, they were much heeded.

    “I ramble. But the Mountains calls to you and only you. She must be awakened. I saw it.”

    Even with the flames, the night was cold.



    TAG: witchdoctor07
     
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  14. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Rebecca Dragon
    The Tottering Turtle, Dragonwood, Prairies

    Rebecca felt warm all over, the heat having spread from her belly to her fingers and toes. The fogginess of her mind had increased but, she still had some wits about her. She took another sip of ale, she didn't know how many she'd had but, it couldn't have been that many. She looked curiously at the people pushing tables away clearing a space in the middle. What was it for? A man with something in his hands started making interesting noises and speaking in a way the warrior was unfamiliar with, but something inside her stirred. She recalled hearing something like this before, yes music, and singing. As a little girl she could remembered hearing the festivals and travailing groups that would come to her town.

    She never got to go, her father was too busy, rarely home in those days, and he said to stay inside while he was away. She knew it was to protect her but, that didn't take the sting of listening to others enjoying themselves. Ser Amery joined in his voice melodic and beautiful. Rebecca didn't understand all the words, or why some of the people were laughing but, she did her best to join in. As the Knight led the lady to the cleared space, the red haired woman wondered what they were doing.

    The pair began moving, responding to the music, Rebecca felt her toe tapping.

    "Rebecca, please come along." Raven called out, another man offered his hand toward the armored woman. As more pairs joined the crowd she started to put together what was going on. Her heart began to beat just a little faster. Tentatively she reached out her hand, she stopped halfway, seeing her helm still on the table she was sitting at. This armor was her father's a every piece was precious and in this crowd the helmet could be lost or stolen . Where a normal person would just decline the hand and remain seated near their possession, Rebecca's clouded mind decided to pull up her mail coif and affix her helm to her head.

    She took the man's hand gazing upon his face. There was something about it, it was not as clean cut as Ser Amery's nor was it as strong looking as her father's but, in its own way it was pleasant. She gleefully took the proffered hand in her gauntlet and practically pulled her partner towards the music. She tried to look around and get some idea of how to move, how to dance like this but, her heart seemed to drive her, more than the cues from the man she'd taken the hand of. Like a child she moved about in her own way, it was an offbeat mess of jerky movements and heavy footfalls.

    She surly was a sight, fully armored helmet and all, cloak fluttering behind her as she swayed to the melody, sword bouncing off her hip with each turn, armor rattling with each stomp. A laugh left her mouth, she may have been bad at dancing but, she was having fun, something she'd been lacking in. She flitted about the space, as if no one was watching practically dragging her partner everywhere with her. She came close to Raven and Ser Amery, wanting to share this moment with her friends. They may have met only a short time ago and under strange circumstances but, this night, they were friends.

    She gave a broad smile to them letting another giggle slip between her lips.

    "I haven't the foggiest what's going on," she shouted over the music, slightly slurring her words together, "But, this is fun."

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  15. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    Shatterstone Bay
    IC: Ser Aran

    Aran sat easily in his saddle, taking in the world around him. The posture belied a mind that could scarcely stand more activity. He was looking over the surface of the ground marking irregularities, the growth of herbs and the lack thereof, how firm the soil sat and what it felt like to ride over. He ran it against experience, projected it with imagination. Angled at what it would be like to ride there, if his steed would be injured or if they could keep a good line of battle. He surveyed the soldiers around him, for their posture in what was supposed to be imminent battle and the quality of their weapons. All this, while at the same time trying to fight back the memories that had been bothering him all day. Then his eyes swept over one group in particular. It was suddenly too much to do all at once.

    "Ser Brennun, find the leader of this rabble for me," he said, keeping his voice even.

    It was better that the larger man take his time to wheel his horse around. To amble off out of earshot. Aran's eyes weren't looking for threats anymore. They were fixed on what may as well have been the only women in camp. Looking directly at her. Through her, and backwards into his own reflection. What seemed a curiosity at first was too much deny. Even behind her clothing, this miserable camp, and the scars, he could see it. The shape of her face, the way her eyelids sat. He'd seen it for years, and hadn't seen it in years. Unmistakable--which, he realized belatedly, meant that she could see him too. Through all the perfumes and silk shirts and cartoons the lowlanders liked to scrawl on their armor. She knew exactly what he was supposed to be.

    "Peace, Mother" he said, touching a fist to the opposite breast. At the same time, he made the horse dip, and bowed himself slightly at the waist. "Where is your stallion?"

    No sooner had the question left his lips than others flooded in. He felt no impulse to restrain himself. It was a better way to channel the disquiet of his belly than trying to imagine what she thought of his clothes. And why stagger at his hair, when her braid was gone? Her braid was gone! The details were everywhere, practically screaming at him now.

    It was only moments before he'd ask aloud, with matching fury, "Have they stolen you? Tell me who, and I'll sing that dog the night song before returning you to your tents."

    This is what they were. How low they stooped. Appalling. He suddenly began to fear Emilia was more the exception, and Fenton the rule in this world. A world he had willingly become a part of. If so, they would all die for it.

    ***

    IC: Lorain Ashkey

    Lorain had stayed silent so far, her face marked with the markings of revenge. She had kept her head down, not looking towards the newcommer, till she couldl hear his horse move, and then suddenly she felt eyes upon her. She gritted her teeth together, and brought her head up to notice the man now stearing at her. She noticed that he was tall. Vey tall like her. But what did catch her eye, was the shaping of his face, his body language. They reminded her of the people of the High Lands, where she had spent much of her youth.

    "Peace, Mother" he stated, giving a salute also well known. Had Lorain been in better spirits, she would have appreciated it. But her mind knew she had to be careful of both her thoughts and her words, if she were to rescue Fleet. So she slowly nodded, while she watched the man made the horse dip, and bowed himself slightly at the waist. "Where is your stallion?" But before she could answer, another question came, this one full of fury. "Have they stolen you? Tell me who, and I'll sing that dog the night song before returning you to your tents." Lorain blinked. Obviously, he did not see how she was dressed beneath her cloak. While shaking her head no, Lorain stood, sliding her cloak over her shoulder. She was both armored and armed, but was careful not to let her hands near her weapons. Her helmet sat nearby. She drew herself up to full height, and then took a few steps towards him, stopping slightly out of weapons reach.

    "To answer yer questions Ser, My steed was either killed or stolen, when those cur pirates attacked us at the Ravenford." She kept her voice even and tempered as she continued. "None here has stolen me or caused me harm. These men HELPED some from the castle to escape. THESE men are HELPING me track down these thieves, for they have stolen my child, and I plan to rescue him, before they can set sail." The fire in Lorain's eyes burned, but she kept herself civil. "THESE men, fought those crazed pirates, the same ones who attacked Caraba, and a few other smaller villages." Lorain pointed towards one of the ships. "THOSE pirates, killed ma Da, and tried to take me, but I escaped. And I plan to make them burn for it, highlander." Lorain decided it was best to NOT mention the other reason for their being here, until she could grap more from the man, and his intentions.

    ***

    IC: Ser Aran

    Aran backed up a few steps. This was not what he expected. She spoke too clearly, as fluent in the list of settlements and fortifications as any at the barracks. Then there was the dismissive talk of her stallion, "either" killed or stolen, as if she hadn't bothered to check. As if it were a lost cloak or broken tent pole. His eyes wandered back to her hair, where her braid should have been. Shorn? He had gravely miscalculated what was happening here.

    His eyes darted over the camp, suddenly self-conscious. Had Ser Brennun seen? Who else was present? Even the bodies slated for execution disturbed him now. In those first months since coming down from home, his only real imperative was ensuring people that he could be something more. That not only could he fight, but he could play along well enough for them to lie themselves about what was happening. No doubt this woman had taken some version of the same compromise. Regardless why, he'd probably just broke it for them both.

    "You could not have known. The men of this place do not speak except to lie. Their every thought is evil. Mere pirates could not have destroyed Caraba. It was the work of the men before you, in an act of rebellion against their Great Chief," he explained.

    ***

    IC: Lorain Ashkey

    Lorain pulled her fingers through her hair, as she tried to remain calm. Her hair was in braids, to keep it tamed under her helmet. She gave a deep sigh. This man was possibly WORSE than Ser Caliban. And the fact that he took a few steps back, told her even more. She stood tall now, staring down the man.

    "YOU...you call me a liar, Mountain born?" she asked him in soft, quiet tones. Blood calls to blood. How DARE you state that I could not have known. "I was in Caraba. I WAS in chains aboard that pirate ship. I WAS at the Ravenford, when it was attacked. I FOUGHT, along side these men. And you dare to attempt to state facts, when you have only arrived to the fact?" Lorain was having trouble keeping herself civil, but she would attempt it, for Fleet's sake.

    "My Da, was a blacksmith, We had gone to Caraba to purchase a special metal. Those pirates came hidden, while da guards were outside of the city, practicing their drills. I rang the bell, to warn them the city was being attacked." Lorain's voice was very low now. "They kill the women, and steal the mean, to add to their numbers. Those they dont keep, are drowned overboard." Lorain's voice softened for a moment as she recalled then memory, and then she look back at the Ser, are her eyes grew dark once more. "Their men fight as if possessed, their minds gone. They do not turn away, but throw themselves upon their enemy, using their sheer mass and numbers to overwhelm them. Lorain resisted pointing at the man. "You were not there either, and yet yu would have words to tell me otherwise?"

    Lorain took a few steps towards the man. "My Da was Fendon Ashkey. A Blacksmith and honorable man. We were tricked inta show up. Cause the ship they told him to look for, was da same one that the pirates pour forth from. I may be born of the mountains, but the elevation has not addled my head or eyes. And those pirate cur have my SON. So far, the only - (Lorain looked for another word besides lies) "untruths I have heard, are the ones uttered from your lips, Ser." She turned sideways, and gestured with her arm.

    "LOOK AT THEM." she demanded, still keeping her words very soft. "Do they look like victors to you? They have no horses, no treasure, nothing they could have taken from the castle. They walk, same as I. THEY are helping me to get my son back, while you stand there, trying to tell me of events you know NOTHING of."

    Her words now had a soft but deffinate edge to them."So, either help us, to retrieve my son, or stay out of my way. Or by all the Gods, I will deal with ANY who would stand between me and my son. NOTHING else matters." Lorain's eyes flashed now. She had enough of nobles and idjits both. She wanted her son, now. "And I will waste no more time."

    Lorain kept her words very soft, so that no one but Lorain, Ser Vince, and the new Ser Idjit could hear. She knew it was bad form to embarrass him in front of his men. That could be a ugly thing indeed. But right now, they needed to move. This discussion could wait.

    ***

    IC: Ser Aran

    From somewhere, there was a sharp, airy hiss. A mix of surprise and revulsion. He heard it before realizing it emanated from his own lips. So much was falling into place as she spoke. The familiarity with these men and their settlements. Her clothes. The braids, without the one braid he cared about. Not shorn. Never grown. After all this time looking, he was only just now beginning to understand what she was.

    "Half breed" he whispered under his breath, so faintly he wasn't entirely confident she'd heard it.

    He blinked once, took another cautious glance around the camp, and then leaned down towards her. His voice was a low, harsh whisper, as sure to reach her as fade thereafter. "You should take your son back to the mountains, and live the True Life. There is nothing for our kind here."

    The words were like an exorcism. The things her appearance had awakened in him were closing off again. The last, lingering thoughts were pity. Even raised among them, she understood so little of their world. How quickly alliances were made and broken. How little vows meant. The sad truth was that a pirate raid on Caraba did nothing to exclude rebellion involvement. Nor, indeed, the fact that the two groups now fought. Perhaps she would take his advice before it was too late. Maybe the boy would ride the plains, and sleep beneath the Great Sky. Or maybe he was all wrong. More than anything, he wanted to ask Emilia. To share what he was experiencing. For now, though?

    "You have promised fire. This is acceptable to flush them out. But I have determined it would please the royal house to achieve a 100% casualty rate. Some half-burned scoundrel may yet survive. Therefore, flush them with fire. Drive them into the teeth of my cavalry. We will finish the job," he said, straightening.

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  16. Darth_Elu

    Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 2, 2003
    The Eve of the Wedding of Fire (the Bloody Nuptials)

    The Prairies
    The Tottering Turtle, Dragonwood

    As the tables were pushed back and the local songs of bawdy fame began to appear in earnest, laughter emanated forth from the patrons of the Inn. Or, at least, from the majority of them.

    Chikara remained where he sat, though adjusting a bit to watch the activities unfold out of mere curiosity. His guards followed suit, adjusting their own positions for a multitude of reasons.

    One of the men he had been informed of seemed to be singing for a bit, relishing in the revelry of the night. He stood out, more than he probably thought he did. The fact that his voice wasn't all that bad in song was even noteworthy for these parts, but only in a minor fashion.

    As the girl went to dance with him and it became evident she was blind from what he had heard and from glancing from afar. At least, he was fairly certain of the fact, he would need to be closer to ascertain that confirmation.

    Still. Whoever she was, and he was most curious the longer he watched her, she was undeniably beautiful. She did not fit The Dragonwood in any form, of that there was no doubt. Had he been a different man, and younger to boot, there may have been some temptation that night.

    As it was, for Chikara: There was simply intrigue.

    Was she a noble of some sort? There were scars, but that didn't mean she wasn't. If so, was the man accompanying her a knight? Or just a basic protector?

    Then there was the other girl with them. Armored. A fighter. Giggling and enjoying herself, yet by the manner of which it was provoked and emitted…clearly unused to the atmosphere. Even dancing, she kept her helmet on, refusing to let it part far from her grasp.

    A sign of habitual caution. Very interesting, this trio was.

    In due time, he would have the information he seeked, yet there was no harm in further adding the number of eyes to what was going on.

    Thinking of his two guards, he silently picked the one who was apt to more keep a steady head amidst the excitement and looked to him.

    "Go. Enjoy yourself for a bit. Dance," he spoke plainly, a slight motion of his head toward the dance floor. His orders were clear.

    His eyes settled back on the dancing, adopting a small smile on his face as if he was just leisurely relaxing. In other times, in other situations, he may have gotten up himself. But not this time.

    As he watched, Brennus Cathal's mind also turned to the other happenings of Mirwyth, wondering how things progressed across the land. Even he, one of the greatest Masters of Information, could not fully anticipate what was rapidly approaching...


    Tag: galactic-vagabond422 spycoder9