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


    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.


    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 11:15 PM.
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  2. #362
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #364
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom


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

    Mindoka was too weary to hide the relief that relief over his face. His massive shoulders released a wave of tension into the air and his eyes closed to take her words in. Her words were brief, too brief for the Master of Shamaa, but he understood her discretion: It was a Guild matter and there were too many new faces present to offer such sensitive information freely. He opened his eyes, and with it came new steel beams of resolve being hammered into his spine. His stern, brown gaze afforded Alain of Taroc a patient nod, and then settled on his Second.

    "So be it. His burden is yours" Aramil of Maginus, a man of Da'Jinn, finalized. He gestured for Branwen to step forward and take the ring. The Master of Shamaa, no matter how hard he tried, would not be able to do so and offer it to her. The burden was hers to take. When she approached him, the Great Stag bowed his head for her to remove the gold and onyx ring and leather cord from his neck.

    Arion's gesture is subtle, but those who know him best will see it. He cocked his head just slightly to the right, so that it appears as if his ear is dutifully trained on Alain, that he expected his Guild Master might speak. But it is not anticipated words that drew his attention, it is a sound only he can hear. Arion is carefully listening to Alain's Soul Song. Truthfully, it would be difficult not to for a lesser trained man: The Master of Taroc's Song was like a fanfare of power. With Mindoka returned, the two old friends and warriors were like a symphony of heroic tale told in song. There was a dark undertone to his Master's music, but there was no threat of attack. It was a hatred he understood.

    "The guardianship of Astral's servitude will fall to Alain of Taroc."

    She did not ask. It was decided. Herotus of Astral drew himself up against the chilly bonds that contained him. Disbelieving rage spilled in to fill the void left by his twin sister's death.

    "Until a time when Dayena choses a new Host, the Master of Taroc shall have custody of Herotus's servitude. The choice to return it to Astral will be left to him. This is to repay a portion of what has been done to Astral and Shamaa."

    Herotus opened his mouth to protest violently against her decree, but he was not given the chance. Arion clenched the spell-rune in his palm and the Guild Master of Astral's body arched as his muscles contracted. The Second of Taroc stepped forward and hovered his palm above Herotus's face. He drew his palm outward and closed him long fingertips together. Herotus's mouth gaped as if he were stripped of all the air in his lungs. It left his mouth like warm breath is expressed in winter: a puff of white cloud. Arion caught the ghostly plume in a finger-like cage and them deposited it atop the glowing spell in his palm. There, the small cloud floated and shifted, and churned into a violent gray-black. Herotus was held upright, bound on his knees and was stripped of whatever vile, frothing reply he'd formed. The more angry his stolen words, the more the little cloud frothed black and flickered with internal lightning and storm. Arion action was eerily swift and agile, as he had been in the Battle of Capios. Aramil, witnessing this, shuddered and found it hard to removed his dark eyes from the tall, foreign Second of Taroc. Now, Alain could stare Herotus in the eyes as he took his signature of servitude from him. He could speak and Herotus would be able to do nothing but listen. For Arion, if he and the Master of Astral's situations were reversed, that would be maddening.

    He was not done.

    Satisfied that Herotus' commentary was trapped within his palm, the red-haired Second bent down to observe the angry-looking collection in his palm. Herotus's brown eyes fumed unmercifully at him and the muscles of his throat flexed and moved, but to no avail. Arion pursed his lips and hummed an odd concoction of notes at the little cloud. The air between he and it wavered and flickered. An odd haze formed around it and the rune in his palm. Until his voice was returned to him, the voices of everyone around Herotus would be replaced by songs and instruments. None of it would make sense, unless he was spoken to directly. It would all just be useless noise. He completed his work to find the Princess curiously observing him. He gave her a wolfish grin, one of mischief under her scrutiny.

    "He canno' 'ear us, Princess. I's safe to continue.

    Herotus balked silently and looked with horror at Arion and then at everyone else. To him, the Second of Taroc's voice was nothing more than a series of plucked guitar notes.

    "I fear that we know very little about Caldur of Maginus, and now he seems to loom as the largest threat to the safety and stability of Rekōdo." Her voice rose and fell as the strings of a harp. "We need to tread carefully, but gathering information is vitally needed. I am going to advise my brother to call a High Council Meeting of the remaining Guild Masters. Eri will continue to lead in my stead and he will need to restore order in my continued absence."

    "Who will be amongst Prince Eri’s Council?" Nalia asked. Her voice waxed and waned beautifully with the song of a violin. There were many reasons for her question, none fo them lost on the Princess.

    "With the exception of Astral, each Province will have representation. We will let it be believed that Master Mindoka and Herotus are still absent and captive. Lady Branwen shall represent the Shamaa at the Council table. Da’Jinn shall have representation through the Regent I established before leaving Mararat. Jazhim ibn Jazeem, will act in Jinai’s stead. It will be a good measure of his loyalty. It is my belief that Caldur will go and show himself as the Guild Master of Maginus. Lady Nalia , your Second, Kali shall represent Enchantry on your behalf, and, if it sits well with your Spirit, Master Alain, I would have Master Arion go in your stead. It is my thought that it be best to withhold the fact that you survived your encounter with Darmon of Maginus."

    The Princess made eye contact with each one of those named, including the wide-eyed Master of Astral, who heard nothing but symphony as she spoke. Arion looked hesitantly between Alain and Pasce. He had assume this time to act as Guild Master with the return of Alain and Clow. Sacha's lips tightened. His eyes squinted slightly against Arxus's angry tirade in his head.

    ~I am afraid that continued self-exile would not be healthy for the Mistress of Enchantry in her current state.~ The Princess said privately to Alain and to Clow. ~Find a safe place for her~ She commanded gently. ~If we are to reveal the truth about Enchantry and Arion’s people to our world, we will need to keep guard until the right time.~

    Nalia looked to Kali, not with uncertainty of her leadership, but with relief. It was also a look that said they would need to speak and plan before the High Council meeting. Nalia and her Council on Enchantry were adept at trading thoughts with a look as a skill and for Fateema’s sake, both. The Ord’hu woman, even after attempts at training and her many years on the Ailes, remained too sensitive to the effects of telepathy for it to be used regularly. Nalia conceded to the thoughts of the Princess with a deep nod.

    "And those who were not named to Prince Eri's Council" Sacha questioned when Arxus was through "What of us?"

    Aramil glanced side-long at Sacha. The two had been together long enough for the Da'Jinn man to recognize a tone in the Shepherd's voice even when others could not.

    "To those present at the meeting, Alain shall be dead, Nalia still in exile in the Ailes, Jinai also in exile, and Mindoka and Herotus imprisoned with no known way of freeing them. I too, shall have perished. The burden of housing the Ancestral Spirits was too great. If he, Master Mindoka, Lady Nalia, Herotus, and Jinai are removed from Eri's Council, the might of Rekōdo will appear drastically weakened. While Arion can be given the ruse of Clow's presence, the remaining Seconds and Regents will not have access to Ancestral Spirits or their power. They will not know of our adversary or how to act cohesively to stop him, should he act."

    Aramil stuck out his lower lip from his beard and nodded in approval.

    "Master Alain and Olivia will find a secure place for Lady Nalia to continue her exile. Master Mindoka cannot be seen in Rekōdo and shall remain with me. Master Sacha, Maginus is your land and you have Arxus to guide you. You will find out anything that can give us insight into the false Master of Maginus. As of right now, we do not have enough to know what this new threat is. We need more to protect Rekōdo."

    Pasce paused for a moment to let that sink in for him, then addressed them all.

    "My Council" she said and spread her hands before her. "You have heard my words, now I would hear yours."

  5. #365
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen & KALI

    When Aramil gestured for Branwen to stop forward she did so with as much grace outwardly as the young Shamaa woman could muster. Mindoka, he was back and relatively unscathed. The young Second felt her heart beating frantically inside her chest. So much had happened since he had been taken, since Shamaa had been betrayed. It took all her might to keep from shaking as Mindoka bent low enough for her to reach for the necklace.

    Her eyes caught Kali, who had been looking at her with concern. Her sister would notice the change within her. It didn’t matter, not anymore. Even though she had played apart in his return, it did not stop Branwen from lightly caressing the back of his neck. It was a way to assure herself that he was before her in flesh and blood.

    “Your freedom from this bondage forever master Mindoka, I wish it for you with all my heart.” She replied softly as she slipped the necklace from his neck.

    It was her burden to carry, and she gladly took it from him. There was much to talk about, and it wasn’t just the state of Shamaa.
    Once Midoka was freed of the burdening necklace, she took a step back.

    “It is good to have you home, Master Mindoka.”

    Branwen bowed gracefully and stepped back to allow the leader of Shamaa to deal with matters at hand. It was only when she stepped back did the young second notice that her heart had finally begun to beat normally.

    Branwen could still feel Kali’s gaze upon her when their eyes finally met once again. There was a knowing look in her eyes. She’d been busted. Luckily, anything the Second of Shamaa might have given away, even if only to Kali, was drowned out by Herotus.
    Kali had not moved from her position. Nalia was her priority and she would not allow anything to pass through her to the Guild Master of Enchantry if she could help it. Although there was tension in the room, the second of Enchantry felt no pressing urge to remain as armored. Unlike the others, hers could be put on or removed with just a thought.

    Slowly as she stood among the gathering of leaders and royalty, the horns began to shrink on her head and the armored scales began to reduce in bulk and size. Kali’s wings remained, if only for a barrier for Nalia. But even with the battle-ready appearance beginning to fade, the senses were ever acute. From her sister’s sudden heartbeat, to Evalynn’s constant presence in the back of her mind, Kali was processing information constantly.

    She wanted to respectfully disconnect from Evalynn, but she had never had a blood sister like this before. With Branwen, it was easy, they had the same mother, but they were not the same type of being. Evalynn however, was now bonded to her through Vucan, whether they wanted it or not. This feeling would take some getting used too. Luckily for them all, there was enough going on in the room that distraction was not an issue.

    The young Second from Enchantry felt a tickle in the back of her mind and lowered her wings to fold securely along her back. It was difficult for Kali to step to the side, but with Herotus restrained, the likely hood that something would happen now was minimal.

    When the Princess acknowledged the two sisters to stand in for her brother’s Council, they both respectfully bowed and affirmed that they would gladly do so. But Nalia caught her gaze, and Kali casually turned to notice her Guild Mistresses' look . The young Second returned one of her own that said she understood. Those that were able to attend, Kali would send out a call to meet with Nalia when an appointed time and place was given. She wondered to herself if emotions would flare with Nalia’s momentary return.

    For the moment however, it was the least of their concerns. It had been a discussion not long ago with the sisters of her guild and although there still maybe some division, Kali knew they would pull through for the sake of the Guild and the remaining women. The Second of Enchantry had never seen any of Nalia's elite council members put their own personal feelings above the whole and she did not see them doing that now.

    Kali noticed her sister look toward Mindoka when the Princess mentioned that he would remain with her. They still had not fully discussed what was going on with her, but the younger sister would let it go until they had time between themselves to catch up. With so much loss from Enchantry, there was a great weight of responsibility to undertake. The Second of Enchantry was sure that Nalia would be speaking to them as a whole about what she would like to see happen to their guild going forward. Despite the load, she had to speak her mind, even if nothing came of it.

    "Your highness." Kali bowed.

    "If I may, Rekōdo has become a second home for Branwen and I. There may be nothing that either of us can do, but if there is a way you can use my ties to Maginus to your advantage. I will help Master Sacha in anyway I can. “

    It wasn’t known whether Branwen and Kali could carry an Ancestral sprit with their alien heritage, but the Second of Enchantry knew that her sister would do anything in her power to aide their adopted home without even having to ask her. But it wasn’t the youngest siblings place to volunteer her sister’s services, even though she knew that Branwen would do so anyway.

    “My sister is correct your Highness.” Branwen said as she bowed respectfully.

    “Kali and I do not have the same limitations that the other provinces have. Are gifts come from elsewhere and if there is anyway that we can aide, we willingly do so.”

  6. #366
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Walking around.
    Alain LeCavalier, Olivia Kuhrson & Eliona

    Alain takes the offered ring. In times past he may have accepted such a burden as a show of support for a fellow Guild Master that had never directly harmed Taroc. Now, Alain takes it to ensure Herotus will be freed from the genie curse and able to be punished for his crimes. Taking this ring isn't an act of compassion, it's an act of justice.

    There are no words spoken to Herotus. The fallen Guild Master is no longer worthy of further conversation. In times past Alain would have had advice, debate, and stories to share with the man of Astral. No more. That age is done.

    Pasce then outlines their course of action. Alain stands at attention. A soldier absorbing orders. Quietly pondering strategies. Weaving plans within plans. The process feels swifter than it has in a long time. It's Clow, within Alain's mind, helping his host to break down the information, recall needed information, and to exchange ideas at near a near instant rate.

    "Concealing out true numbers is the wisest course of action," Alain agrees to Pasce's plans. "With luck it will lure our enemies into taking bolder risks."

    ~I know of many such sanctuaries in Taroc,~ Alain telepathically replies to Pasce's mental communication to him. ~But what of you, highness? If you are separated from your brother, who will be your guardian?~

    Meanwhile, Olivia presents another gift to Arion. From her bag of arcane tricks, Olivia pulls out a belt made from the skin of a black serpent. The buckle of the belt is silver with many tiny runes carved onto it. She offers this belt to Arion.

    "During the War there were times when we needed to create decoys of LeCavalier," Olivia begins to privately explain to Arion. "We made this belt to alter the aura of anyone wearing it. To the arcane senses of others you will appear to be the host of Clow. It'll trick everyone."

    Olivia pauses a moment, recalling one small tidbit that was learned the hard way. She leans closer to Arion to inform him of one more thing about the belt, "A powerful Astral might be able to see through the ruse. Illusions are their domain, after all. Thankfully, the council is fresh out of Astral representatives."

    Eliona, who had been intentionally staying on the periphery of this gathering of leaders and champions, notices the gifting of the serpent belt. Her sensitive ears pick up enough of what Olivia softly tells Arion. Eliona's training in the illusionary arts allows her to see a helix of scarlet light braided into the belt. The magic of the belt looks like something a bunch of Taroc mystics, under the guidance of a sleep deprived Maginus necromancer, kicked and stomped together in the back of a shed.

    It's the clumsiest piece of deceptive magic Eliona has ever had the displeasure to behold. Really, Astral school children would laugh at this monstrosity.

    Eliona finds some amusement in seeing what kind of shoddy craftsmanship is required for the warriors of Taroc to fool the senses of the warlocks of Maginus. With a small hint of a smile curling one side of her lips she casually raises a hand. There's a subtle, easily missed pulse of purple mist around her hand. The mist fades almost as soon as it appeared.

    During that moment of mist, Eliona casts a small illusion spell over the belt. With hasty, yet artistically administered, brushstrokes Eliona patches up the poorly made magic of the belt. Its deceptive power is improved, and its magical energies and true nature are harder to detect. It's not her best work, but it's definitely better than the mess Olivia first handed to Arion.

    Eliona is also satisfied that she was able to secretly help these people without hurting their feelings. Olivia had sounded so proud of that belt, Eliona didn't have the heart to inform her of how truly terrible it was.

    Eliona's work will be missed by most. Arion will detect the change in song. He'll hear the clumsy notes of the belt's arcane music being tightened into something resembling a professionally performed song. If Pasce's magical training in the illusionary arts were sufficient enough she might also detect Eliona's effort. As long as Nalia isn't distracted she will also notice and understand what the other woman of Astral had done. And finally Herotus and Dayena will notice Eliona's swift spellcasting. Dayena might see some familiarity in the technique, as it was taught to Eliona by some of Astral's finest masters. Yet the spell was cast with an unusual flair. A naturalistic harnessing of power that resembles the techniques taught in the White Towers. It's a blended spellcasting style that isn't often encountered, and only someone as knowledgeable as Dayena might pick up on all of the nuances

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