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  1. #361
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Nalia.jpg


    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Mindoka of Shamaa, Herotus of Astral, Arion, Second of Taroc, Nalia of Enchantry, Sacha of Maginus and Aramil, his Advisor


    Gone to ground. Mindoka of Shamaa hung his head. A warrior's frustration. One of his fists clench at his side. The other reached for Alain and grabbed his forearm. As the mountainous man came to his feet, he kept his large palm clasped on his brother's. He squeezed it in his giant grip and shook his arm lightly- a play on when a warrior shakes another man' shoulder to test his strength and durability. Alain would know it for what it was. Perhaps a few others here who were not of Shamaa would too. As Alain spoke, Mindoka's eyes traveled over to the fair-haired girl beside a Da'Jinn man in, what appeared to be, robes of Maginus Priesthood and a white-haired man with sharp, blue eyes. Mindoka's stern features lightened as they returned back to the Princess. Even though he'd just risen, the Great Stag took a knee and clapped a massive fist to his heart.

    "Highness" his deep voice called from his bowed, tattooed head. "The heart of Rekōdo beats more strongly with you at its core." It took more effort than he wished to display, but one leg at a time, the Great Stag rose. Humility and loyalty were not something to be frowned upon, in his eyes. "Shamaa is relieved that you are returned safely to us."

    "The Heart of Rekōdo is made up of many parts and when any are missing, it cannot fulfill its purpose" she recited back to him. Such a phrase hearkened back to when she was a young girl, shortly after the formation of Enchantry. King Heron allowed the Masters to visit with the Princess after her birthday. It was a conversation they'd had together about Rekōdo, its many parts, and its importance to Emporium. The memory made the mountainous man almost smile. Almost. There were other matters in the room.

    As he rose, Mindoka glanced at Sacha in a way that made the white-haired man's defenses rise visibly. The Master of Maginus's hand tightened on the twisting hilt of his Shepherd's Crook. Mindoka studied Sacha, as a warrior sizes up a man he is about to battle and, being a man who knew battle, Sacha presented himself as strongly as possible. The boy was lightly muscled, lithe and agile-looking than he appeared to be strong, but Mindoka knew better. The boy- yes a boy despite the shockingly white hair- was dangerous. His stance, feet spread, hand at the ready and eyes focused and unblinking were traits of a well-trained warrior, always at the ready. He was too young to have battled in the Great War. What combat could such a young man have seen to project such fearlessness? Mindoka offered the Guild Master of Maginus a slow nod. Sacha hesitated. For a second, his eyes lost their directness on Mindoka as if he were listening to someone else, and then returned his own to the Master of Shamaa.

    Mindoka turned back to Alain and stared at him again with his calm, stern gaze. Darmon is dead. Da'Jinn is without its Mistress. He had many questions.

    "Which Spirits are missing?" Mindoka asked of Alain, since he was the one who spoke. It was the easiest to be answered of his many questions, but it was also complex. His mind had flown over the inventory of Masters and Spirits. If Alain was still without Clow, he would have spoken of it privately to him. He might have felt it. Alain's words also let him know that the man with the dangerous eyes held Arxus, or he would not have replaced Darmon. It surprised him at all that a man of Maginus was in such a sacred place for the Master of Taroc. A discussion for later, in private. He and Herotus were accounted for. He felt the presence of Siochana as she chanted and called forth spiritual energies to further clear his mind further of the residual fogginess from his enslavement. Herotus too, should have Dayena. That should only leave J'Adonai of Da'Jinn unaccounted for. Mindoka knew Alain chose his words carefully. Something else had happened. They were absent more than one Ancestral Spirit.

    An agonizing howl interrupted the calmness Mindoka brought to the air. It came right as Olivia handed her mystical symbol to Arion. The Second of Taroc jumped at a sound that accompanied it, something only he could hear, and it took a great amount of restraint to keep his hand from clamping down onto it and crushing Herotus under his new bonds. Nalia was close enough to him that he felt her stiffen behind the shield of Kali's wing. Arion's crimson eyes immediately went to the Master of Astral. The man was on his knees on the ground. Everything on the man's chiseled, statuesque face was marred by torment.

    "Adaya!" he wailed out. "Where is Adaya!?"

    Arion stepped forward, away from Nalia and Kali and toward Herotus. One of his hands lightly cupped the energy rune by his chest. The other was held out toward Herotus, like a man would if he were holding someone at bay. Arion did not need to stare down and through Herotus to know that he already knew his twin sister's fate. The grief was rampant in his eyes. Arion heard the dangerous, imbalanced shift in his Soul and attempted to stay its violent rocking. Herotus teetered upon a sharp edge of madness. Half his Soulsong was gone.

    "Your sister is dead." The bluntness of the Princess's words chilled the air of the Heli'Dom. "She died after the battle at Mararat in Da'Jinn. She took her own life in the waters of Lake Anaya."

    The white of Herotus's eyes eclipsed his golden-brown irises as he stared up at the Princess of Rekōdo. The stillness of him as he listened to her was eerie. In this thrashing and affliction of grief, disturbed locks of his golden hair pierced through the haunt of his gaze. He opened his mouth and leaned toward Pasce on his knees. He bore his teeth, hung up on the tumultuously slow formation of words that came with emotion and the residual fog of enslavement in his head. Arion tightened his fingers around the rune and Herotus met the limit of the restraints that bound him.

    "You lie" he hissed slowly. Pasce stared down at Herotus and let the cruel misery of his words rebound off her utterly calm exterior. Pasce lifted her chin just slightly and addressed him plainly.

    "You suffer a great emptiness. What was once there is suddenly gone. It was taken from you, not by your choice, but by the choice of another. It leaves you gapingly abandoned. That vacancy threatens to swallow the rest of you because it is now all that's left of the missing piece of who you are."

    Herotus breathed raggedly as he stared up at the Princess in an unhinged manner that complimented his slow tumble toward madness.

    "A bond like that, once broken, can never be remade. Not as it once was. My choice to break my life-bond with my brother was my sacrifice made to free the Ancestral Spirits of Rekōdo. I feel that same loss, master Herotus, but I am, at least, fortunate that I can try to mend what was and is very broken and heal my brother's grief while you will live with yours for the rest of your life."

    A realization was dawning on Herotus, a registering of his own fate.

    "The chasm that your sister created within you is permanent and you shall live out yours days with this: The reminder of what the cost of treason is for a selfish man." The Princess looked down upon Herotus with something of sorrow now in her gaze.

    "Herotus of Astral, Trusted Keeper of the Spirit of Dayena" she said quietly. "For the crimes of Breaking the Treaty of Tradisi signed at the end of the Great War, attempted kidnapping of the Ancestral Spirits of Rekōdo, conspiring and plotting to overthrow the throne, and treason against Rekōdo, I am charged to sentence you to Quieting."

    If Eri were here, his eyes would have hardened. He would have remembered Pasce after she had witnessed her first Quieting beneath the palace. Herotus was silent for a long moment and then he shook his head.

    "No."

    A part of him seemed to re-awaken as his fate was sealed in royal decree. He shook his head again and tried to move forward on his knees against the bonds that held him. He succeeded only in writhing, like an insect within its shell.

    "No. No. That's not right. That can't be my fate." He stopped to collect something more of his nature as it came spiraling back to him. "No. No. I was not the one- No she came to me. I was promised glory and restitution for Astral! Everything our people needed would be theirs."

    He was not talking to Pasce. Not to any of them.

    "I have bed girls less in age than she! How could I have known she could possibly keep them-"

    Herotus's eyes began to glow a deep, rich purple.

    "Where were you with all this grand advice when Jinai- No. It would have- What folly? No! I did this for Astral! I did everything for Astral! I will not let her take you from me too! It is my right to lead. You chose me!"

    Tendrils of gold swirled for dominance over the glow in Herotus's eyes. The golden-haired Guild Master threw his shoulders back against the frigid containment wrapped around him. It chilled the cavernous nothing within his mind as it latched further and drew against his spirit. Every pitch and roll of his chiseled frame sank the fish hooks of his bonds deeper into the Heli'Dom and his soul and made his cries become all the more manic. Quietly, the Advisor to the new Guild Master of Maginus stepped forward to Pasce's and Alain's side. Sacha had silently come closer to Pasce's left in case there was a need. Taroc on once side, Maginus on the other, as allies.

    "The burden of the lamps needs to be fully taken from the two Masters" Aramil reminded the Princess gently, with an almost pitying tone to his voice as he watched Herotus struggle. "Who will take the remnants of bondage from these men and be the guard of their freedom?"

    Aramil gestured to the ring that swayed hypnotically around Herotus's neck. An onyx ring dangled on his elegant nape from a golden-colored cord. The dark onyx bore the golden, scratch-like markings of Herotus's province in Da'Jinn runes. Mindoka looked down at his own chest, where is own reminder of servitude hung. The mountainous man stared down at it, and seemed unable to lift his own hand to remove it. He breathed deeply, evenly as if he were trying with great effort to do so, but it was forbidden of him. No man bound to a lamp could take off his own shackles and walk freely. It would always have to be done by another. But who, of any who obtained a lamp, would give up their wishes so selflessly without having a single one of their own granted first?

    Mindoka gave up his battle with the trinket around his neck. His eyes moved to Branwen. He held his Second within his brown gaze with the unvoiced question there in their locked gaze. He would not ask her to take this burden from him, but he knew she would take it upon herself. There was no other here that could. Having finally settled his gaze upon her, Mindoka's eyes softened with great relief at seeing her well. With hope- that in seeing her here and unharmed that his people had not suffered without him. The third question he asked aloud was one that had been first on his heart, even if his mind had been filled with rage at his Sister-in-Council's betrayal.

    "Branwen" He asked of her with the tone of a father concerned for a beloved child. "What news of Shamaa?"
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 05-03-2019 at 10:15 PM.
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  2. #362
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen


    Branwen felt her sister’s shift in demeanor at Herotus’ outburst. She was acutely aware of her eye’s shifting towards her. Although she was there to protect Nalia and the truths to yet be revealed with her, Herotus and Adaya had personally attacked her, her adopted people and her Guild Master.

    Calm blue eyes turned toward Kali and she could see the sparks of fire burning within. Branwen was a much more forgiving being than Kali, to which both of them knew all too well. Her sister in the end did not wish for Adaya to end her life as she had, but neither would she have allowed her to go unpunished for the crimes she had committed.

    In the end, Kali would have taken Adaya’s life herself if she had for one moment felt Branwen or anyone else she cared about was in danger. Her sister struggled with the vengeance part of herself much more than Branwen ever had.

    Their eyes locked for a moment as the calm blue tried to quench the churning red flame within Kali’s. How many times had they traveled this road before, long before the loss of memory and arrival on a then strange new world?

    Slowly she saw the fire turn to the steel hard resolve that she had control over her emotions, but would act if an attack of any kind were made by Herotus. In truth, Branwen could feel that there was a part of Kali that felt empathy for Herotus, for she too felt it greatly. Losing a loved one, losing family to some was like losing a piece of yourself. Although the girls were not twins, the palpable loss could be felt of a sibling bond now lost forever.

    But empathy and compassion for a sibling lost was all that Branwen felt, she did not feel sorry for the Master of Astral. For it was by his own hand that he now suffered, everything that was happening to him was of his own doing. Whether he understood this or not, only time would tell.

    Branwen watched as Princess Pasce addressed Herotus, her own compassion spoken through her words at his loss. All the while, she was acutely aware of Mindoka’s presence not but a few feet from her, taking in everything around him.

    But her mind was momentarily pulled to Pasce’s sentencing of Herotus’ actions, and she briefly wondered about the Quieting. It was not something that could be done to either Kali or herself, being aliens to this world, and she wondered what that truly must feel like.

    By Herotus’ reaction, she could only imagine. Her eyes found Kali again briefly, had she been thinking the same thing, that Adaya had escaped a lesser penalty? But her own mental musings were suddenly brought to an abrupt halt when Aramil from Da’Jinn spoke.

    It was not even a thought that needed to be formed for it was a response that only came from one’s true heart and character. She took a step forward ready to speak, only to be halted by the sudden feeling from Mindoka. She turned to him as he called her name and she knew; knew with all her heart that he knew of her intentions, but it was masked by his words for their people.

    It was the first time she had to formally address her Guild Master, and she did so with all the grace she possessed inside of her.


    “Our people are a strong people Master Mindoka, even with the loss of our brothers and sisters by betrayal, they have honorably stepped up to help their fellow brother and sister Guilds in need. The Shamaa face these challenges as is our way, with humility and servitude to our each other, to our brother and sister guilds, and to Rekōdo.”

    There was much more she wanted to say, but she was bursting within to finalize his freedom, something she could not hide from him if she tried. She bowed to him.

    “Forgive me Master Mindoka, I will speak more freely with you when we have more time, but there is a matter of importance that must be addressed.”

    She turned from Mindoka and looked to Aramil her blue eyes mingling with universal energy.

    “Aramil of Da’Jinn, advisor to Master Sacha of Maginus, I, Branwen, Second to Mindoka and servant to her people of Shamaa will take this burden. It is my wish that both Master Mindoka of Shamaa and Master Herotus of Astral be released from the servitude of their lamps; forever. “
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free

  3. #363
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier


    Mindoka's question on which spirits were still missing received a raised finger. A gesture indicating the topic will be put on hold for now.

    Instead Alain's focus shifts to Herotus. The Master of Astral's outburst makes it hard for him to be ignored. With Mindoka's return Alain radiated warmth, joy, and brotherhood. Herotus only receives the opposites. It's an icy glare felt only by the most hated enemies during the Great War.

    Those who know Alain best might suspect he is moments from springing across this room and breaking the bound man in half. However, the attack never comes. Instead, Alain captures a deep breath and concedes to Pasce's words on the matter.

    In the end, Alain's instinct to seek justice wins over his desire to claim vengeance.

    Finally, Alain looks to Pasce. All hint of malicious intent has melted from his dark gaze. He only shows calm to the princess.


    "What now?" Alain asks Pasce.

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