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  1. #301
    Outside and Inside of Rekōdo: Zinna's House, in the World of Dreams






    Udaya of Shamaa


    Udaya looked up from heaping a spoonful messily into her mouth to observe Berlix as she began to eat her food. A toothless smile spread across the old woman's wrinkled face.

    "Dat's a good girl now. Old Udaya may be an old lady now, but she knows how to make stories with de food. Udaya tells good stories."

    With her other hand freed, Udaya began to eat once more. The spoon, once again, failed to make it completely into her mouth. She arched an eyebrow at the two occupants and the house itself. She waited and when the explanation for everyone's stillness was given, the spoon was returned to the stew.

    "Well its about time!" she folded her arms and looked up at her hat for the first time since she'd been stricken with the effects of the Quieting. She shook her head like a grandmother chiding a grandchild. "Always drama with dat one!"

    She did not elaborate on if she referred to Alain or Clow himself. She looked at Doraen and Berlix: The faded smiles, the disturbed notion of such power and display. Her brow furrowed her wrinkles ever downward over her eyes.

    "And here dey be sad! Dis is a greater victory den dey know! De dark tings will be going now, not gone, but on deir way out of dis world. It is all falling into de right places dis time. Dere might be hope for dem yet."

    Udaya pondered a moment, tapped her chin, and muttered under her breath.

    "Should ol' Udaya take a bath before de wedding...?"

    Doraen's inquiry about Dreams caused her to look back at him. Her train of thought was discarded haplessly away. Her attention was on him now. Him and his musings. When Doraen's words and the entirety of them and the house are disrupted and re-organized, Udaya seemed unphased. She swayed gently to one side and then back again as if she were buffeted by a single wave of the ocean.

    When the door is opened, Udaya saunters right past Doraen to look outside it. She squints her eyes, as if even the pale hues of the World of Dreams are too much for her. She puts a hand up to her forehead and peers around the hazy remake of Rekōdo City. Things not permanent shudder in and out of place: Sky trains and floating cars, holo news projectors and air balloon restaurants. But the permanent fixtures- buildings, the Palace, the Library- are there, pastel-hued, and stable. Somewhere, far below, those who dreamwalk without realizing it flicker in and back out again as they dream deeply enough to touch this realm and then are swept back out again. Udaya seems unconcerned that they sit atop the tallest tower of the Palace.

    Buttresses and towers fell like misplaced steps from all around them. There were Eight towers total. One, upon which they were perched, in the center and heart of the palace had carved upon it a dragon. It made to crawl up the spire of the tower. With it were carved faeries, unicorns, merfolk, centaurs and at the top a pegasus, all were carved creatures in tribute to powers far older than man. Liar'Adon's first creations. The mysteries and legends of their modern time. Descending downward, though none lower that the other, were the seven towers of the Provinces. Six had fires alight at their peak, fires that, in the waking world, could be seen for miles like a series of beacons in the light polluted sky. Here, their fires floated withe eerie slowness, half faded along with the rest of the world. The Tower of Taroc, The Blessed Province, the Tower of Shamaa, The Earthen Province, of Astral, The Exotic Province, the Tower of Da'Jinn, The Fateful Province, and the Tower of Maginus, The Formidable Province and the Tower of Enchantry, the Mysterious Province. Its symbol had long since been carved into the tower to honor the newest of Rekōdo's Provinces. The King had invited Nalia to help commission the artistry of it, a great honor but expected as she would someday become the Guild's Ancestral Spirit.

    Aside from the highest tower where they were perched, there was a single tower unlit of the seven. There were no carvings to announce their Province's name. No smoke to signal fires once vivid long gone out. Their faces were destroyed and no names were left to be read on the walls of the tower. It was written that this tower and Enchantry's had stood for the Forgotten War and the Great War, as a reminder of the consequence of dissent and destruction to even the most powerful in Rekōdo’s history. One of those towers had been given to Enchantry and the remaining tower bore the grief of the Great and the Forgotten.

    "A fine mess Zinna's boy has gotten us into. Reckless!" Udaya waved her arms annoyedly, as if she thought Zinna should have taught him how to better walk in Dreams before he thought to bring them here. Udaya sat herself down on the porch steps and dangled her feet over the edge and the long, fatal drop below them.

    "It is a good ting de Dreams know what we desire most. Dey bring us to where we need to be even if we do not know ourselves what it is wee must find."

    She nodded contentedly, as if having saved Doraen mortal embarrassment from his inexperienced blunder. She folded her hands in her lap and kicked her feet as she took in the sight of the muted city.

    "I have not been here since dese towers were made. We saw de one for Enchantry become lit."

    She looked up at her hat and scowled.

    "Of course we was here den! We saw de flames come on and all de fancy magik. We can still recite de Oath of Masters by heart, we can." Udaya paused, as if listening to something. Her scowl deepened. "No, you have de wrong Enchantry. Udaya knows what she is talking about! Now hush! You are ruining de nice view."

    She waved away whatever phantom was irritating her and folded her arms across her chest and fixed her eyes stubbornly on the view all around them.

    "When dis is over, I am going to get me a new hat, I am. Dis one argues too much."
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
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    -Official #2 fan of Greg Land|#1 fan of Reesha Teramu & Nevole|#3 fan of Gareth|#4 fan of Arwyn
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    \"You know me: everything detailed and long, blah blah blah.\" (Brath OOC)

  2. #302
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier, Verona Aliester & Olivia Kuhrson






    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom


    Olivia seems to not notice Sacha's moment of scrutiny. She's armored in the presence of one of her mightiest friends, and can indulge in ignoring this new potential threat. It frees her to present only an aloof enigma for the man of Maginus to never understand.

    Olivia does, however, offer a glance to Nalia. Only her century of developing the best poker face in Taroc allows her to mask the shock and worry at realizing that her friend is still very powerless. The glance is short lived. Olivia loses herself in thought. Plans take form, are analyzed, and discarded. Something will need to be done to help Nalia.

    The necromancer looks to Alain. He seems unaware of Nalia's lack of magic. Once again her old friend is too focused on one thing to notice what is happening right beside him. Learning of Nalia's pregnancy had left him too distracted to lead the search for Pasce, and now the many threats against their provinces and kingdom are what he's focusing on. Olivia makes a note that she will have to speak to him later. Or perhaps she should talk to Nalia first.

    Alain nods to Sacha's offer to help cleanse Enchantry, but soon he finds a potential tactical weakness in the offer.


    "Bringing in the priests and other forces of Maginus would reveal to the world that you are the new host of Arxus," Alain states. "It would not be long until Caldur finds out. He would target you, and seek to turn whatever political power he has been gathering against you. He might even attempt to start up a civil war in Maginus."

    "A priest becoming Guild Master threatens to tie the political might of Maginus directly to the church," Olivia comments. "Though, there have always been strong ties, this new development will definitely shift the balance of power. The elites of Maginus might side with Caldur if they think he'll help maintain, or even increase, their hold over the province."

    Alain falls silent. He's considering Olivia's insight, as well as words Clow is sharing with him.

    "It's been my experience that the first chore of a new Guild Master is to clean up the mess left by his or her predecessor," Alain comments as he emerges from his pondering. "Lending aid to Enchantry is the right move. I would only recommend caution. Surround yourself only with those you know you can trust, they will be a rare commodity in the days ahead."

    "We can't strike at Caldur unless we can see him," Olivia thinks aloud. "A power struggle in Maginus might draw him out into the open."

    Olivia's mind reaches out to Nalia. Her telepathic touch uses expert mental agility to avoid all contact with Alain's mind. Olivia wants to speak only to Nalia.

    ~It might be time to call Kali,~ Olivia suggests. ~Find out exactly what the situation is, and let your people know they still have friends out here that are working to lend aid.

    ~We should also put some serious thought into why your magic has not returned. If any of your Enchantresses has been studying the bonds of the ancestral spirits, in preparation for aiding you in your planned transition to the spirit of your Guild, you should summon them. The oaths you took as the founder of Enchantry may have something to do with your current development.~

    On the far end of the chamber, near the entrance to the main observatory room, a Taroc military portal shimmers open. Alain glances at the gate of red and gold.

    "This portal has been opened by Commander Weir, of Taroc," Alain explains. He is mostly speaking to Pasce, as it is one of Alain's duties to keep her well informed. Though, he then realizes that Arxus is no doubt filling his host's head with notions of Taroc betrayal and sneak attacks, so Alain shifts his attention to Sacha as he continues, "I have ordered her to invite the Second of Shamaa and Aramil to this gathering. Long ago I learned to welcome the wisdom that the Shamaa can offer."

    Alain looks to the lamps that hang from Arion's belt. It's been too long since he's heard the wise words of Mindoka. Alain feels like a ship without a rudder. The elder Guild Master always seemed to know what to say to keep Alain on course during the dark days when doing the right thing always felt impossible.

    It would be nice to speak with his old friend once again, and to hear how far adrift Alain has sailed in these uncertain times.

  3. #303
    The Ailes Bones... To the Southwest: Dragon Scale Island






    Aramil of Sahil, Advisor to the Shepherd of Souls, Zarena, a Dream Speaker of the Maloto Tribe, Fateema of Ordh'u and Merriam of Clow, Sisters of Enchantry



    The presence of Alain LeCavalier and the brightness of the star of Clow rose before her like the dawn of a new day. She remembered the overwhelming breathlessness she felt the first and only time aside from now that she had felt the abundance of warmth and hope: The end of the Great War. She, like all powerful Mystics of Taroc, had served in their own way, using their foresight and magik to protect what of their beloved Taroc they could. They could stop channeling, stop weaving their wards and spells together. They could stop stretching their mystical sight to the brink of snapping. They could rest. There was peace and with peace came hope. For Merriam McClure LeVail of Clow, the intensity of reliving those same feelings was overwhelming. She bowed her head and put a hand up to shield her eyes. In the shade of her own solitude Merriam wept. Moments ago, she felt adrift at sea and surrounded by the debris of her Guild. Now, she felt the current, could navigate the stars through the clouds, and knew where she needed to go.

    At the announcement of Darmon's demise, Merriam let out a breath that sounded like a short, relieved laugh. She removed the tear-stains from her face with a chubby set of fingers and shared in the silence that followed. She, like Colina, felt the conflict of the need to celebrate against the duties that still lay at her feet. As it would for most Taroc natives, duty came first.

    "I will go with Fateema to the Heli'Dom" Merriam announced. In the Heli'Dom, Merriam knew she would be safe to recover in the time she needed. She had never had the honor of traveling to the floating turret herself, but had been to Faraking several times, away from the city lights of Clow, to observe the stars and map out her visions in solitude. She only hesitated in rising at the mention of the new Master of Maginus. Luckily, the noisy Da'Jinn man in Maginus robes spoke before she could ask questions that would insert her slipper into her mouth.

    "Sacha is there?" he asked curiously. Oddly, his tone was not surprised. It more sought an affirmation to thoughts only he had, thoughts he left unvoiced. He leveled his eyes at Colina with a slight dip of his chin. The whites were so white against the chocolate brown irises beneath the dark hood. He stared at the COmmander of Taroc for a long moment and then nodded decidedly.

    "Well, Enchantress" he said in his accented voice to Merriam. "Let us get you and your Sister up and on your way." He smiled sincerely beneath a graying beard to the green-cloaked woman. Then he looked up and barked at several of the Maloto tribe's men. "Are you not gentlemen? Assist the women, won't you?"

    The addressed warriors of the tribe, still adorned with their Dream Paint and weaponry looked at Zarena and Branwen with arched eyebrows. Zarena's brown eyes rolled around her sockets. She closed her eyes, gestured and nodded for them to assist.

    "We should have eaten him" she muttered quietly to her Acting Guild Mistress.

    Aramil paid her no mind. He unfurled a hand, which Merriam hesitantly took. The Advisor from Maginus gently guided her up and made sure she was steady before returning his attention to the men who carried Fateema toward the first portal.

    "Delicately" he charged them sternly as if he were overseeing the transportation of one of his own women. As the only man here from Da'Jinn, he took responsibility for her repute, that it would be untarnished by the men he asked to transport her. But he was a man of Da'Jinn, not Fateema's husband, and if she retained any of her old Da'Jinn values- which, judging by her shawl, she did- touching her would bring her shame. He motioned for Merriam to follow her fellow green-cloak in through the portal. The graying woman looked back at the Shamaa present and gave them a grateful bow of her head. To Colina, Merriam's gray eyes fell fondly. She offered the woman a small smile.

    "Liar'Adon favor us" she said quietly in an old, Taroc good-bye. "May his starry skies bid that our paths cross once more before our final sunset."

    Then she walked through the portal and was gone from the island. Moments later, the Maloto tribesmen returned to the rocky, wooden shores. Aramil nodded gratefully to them as they rejoined the rest of their tribe. Then he looked at the Commander. His lips moved beneath his mustache and beard as if he chewed on possible sentences to say to her. None seemed like they would breed anything but scorn from the soldier, since her behavior toward him had been most volatile. In the end, he settled for something that seemed simple.

    "Fortune favor you, Commander" he offered with a flourish of his hand, from mouth to head to sky. "May your coin of fate always land with its head up."

    Then the Advisor to the Shepherd of Souls walked through the second portal to the meeting at the Heli'Dom.

    At last, the Shamaa were amongst all their own. Zarena let out a breath of relief at Aramil's departure. She returned her sharp, inquiring gaze to Branwen when she was ready.

    "If it is acceptable" the Dream Speaker posed to her Guild Mistress "I would like to remain behind with my tribe. Once this island and its waters are cleansed, we will travel to Capios and offer our aid in its healing."

  4. #304
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen


    “Thank the gods above.” Branwen breathed at Colina’s report about Darmon and the Nightmares.

    Her eyes travel the length of her people then to the two sister’s from Enchantry, briefly touching Aramil before gazing over to the isle of Enchantry. Her inner self sought out the familiar bound of her own sister, stretching out to tempt fate and touch the waters and soil around them and the isle. Instinct bade her to recoil her touch from the poison and corruption, but instead she remained in that moment grounding herself to it and feeling this living planet’s need for cleansing.

    She felt Kali, as her energies coalesced with that of the water and earth around them. Her younger sister had yet to let down all her barriers from battle, but she could feel the thankfulness returned of knowing that Branwen was there. It was only briefly before duty snapped the two back to place, but it was enough to help Branwen fight the urge to remain here after given the invitation to join Alain and the others.

    Her thoughts were still on what was over the horizon for them all, when Zarena’s voice brought her back. The truth of what needed to be done and where she needed to go was sealed with Zarena’s words. The planet needed this healing and they could do more as a tribe to help Enchantry than a single adopted tribeswoman could do alone.

    She gave Zarena a short laugh.

    “It can still be arranged.” She replied, her eyes going to the depths of the water before them.

    “Or, there are creatures of the depths who would accept the offering.”

    Her eyes cast over the isle of Enchantry once more before she turned to Zarena.

    “Of course, do all you can for Enchantry and the sickness that plagues the land and sea.”

    She turned to leave and follow the others through the portal, before stopping and addressing Zarena one last time.

    “Zarena, send a messenger to me when you are finished. You should be with us at the Heli'Dom. You have made your people proud today, you have brought us all great honor.”

    With that, Branwen gave her a bow and followed the others through the portal.
    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

  5. #305
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI


    Kali raced down the stairs along with Dyani, if slightly behind her. Her guild sister’s excitement infectious causing Kali to snort with laughter.

    “You should run with Branwen sometime, it would be a sight to see.”

    Coming out into the open cave, surrounded by the glorious sound of the waterfalls and the smells that suddenly smacked them in the face was like a breath of fresh air. They had been fighting Nightmare’s for so long, that Kali had forgotten what life smelled like.

    With Dyani’s cry toward one of their council sister’s, Kali’s steps began to slow. Evalynn. It wasn’t as if she’d done it on purpose, Kali was bombarded with the frantic worry her newly made sister was feeling. It was a fresh wave that hit her with such a degree that she never felt the sudden sob that tried to break free from her mouth. Kali clamped down on that feeling as quickly as it had nearly taken her over.

    Was this what it felt like to have a truly bonded life partner, a companion? Kali been kissed before, felt the instinctual attraction toward another, flirted even, but she had never felt what she was feeling from Evalynn.

    Her eye’s darted to Vucan as Dyani whirled around and directed her fear and anger at him. The dragon of course was unaffected about the ordeal. Kali was assaulted by the emotional feedback in the room, it was amplified and screeched white hot in her ears, nearly shutting her down completely as she clamped her hands over her ears. Not that it would protect her sense it was more and empathic trait. Her head throbbed with pain and she could not physically hear the exchange going on with her sister’s and the O’rais.

    Kali opened her mouth to tell them all to shut up, when Branwen’s soothing touch graced the outsides of her thoughts. It was enough to keep her calm and center herself. The moment was fleeting, but that short moment meant more to Kali than most anything in the world.

    Without thinking, her hand grasped the necklace given to her by Nalia, the same one all the women wore. Wavering back along the bottom of the stairs, Kali’s thoughts drifted to Nalia. She hadn’t heard from her in so long, if Nalia was…

    She couldn’t think that way, or it would undo her. Instead she tried, searching for another piece of hope.

    “Nalia…” She tried to hide it, but Nalia knew her well enough to know the sound of fatigue and someone clinging to signs of hope.

    “Please Nalia, let me know your safe. Let me be able to tell everyone you’re alright.”

    Even as she spoke, duty pulled Kali to the shores. She caught the end of the conversation with the female O’rais. And Dyani’s nerves were just as raw as Evalynn’s now, but they needed to keep peace with the ones who’d aided them.

    Kali had no experience with the O’rais, only what Nalia had said to them. She had never been a diplomat because her mouth had often gotten her into trouble, but there was always a first. She bowed her head, more of an acknowledgment of a warrior or guardian than a politician.

    “I am Kali, Nalia’s second and current acting leader of our people. Please, Evalynn and Dyani meant no offense to your people, they are only concerned with the well being of their family. We’re honored beyond words for the aide you have provided, we know without you, many of us would not have survived. Emotions, well, they’re overwhelming at the moment.”

    She pondered about what this O’rais had meant about Evalynn, she was sure she understood perhaps more than she realized. Cautiously, not knowing how Evalynn was dealing with the changes within her let alone the stress of not being able to see Shalla, Kali took her hand. Gently, she revealed the beautiful scaling along her arm. It was difficult not to express her own selfish excitement at what she saw, she truly had another half-sister. But, Evalynn may not feel that herself, even though she likely felt the jolt of awe and excitement from Kali.

    “It was a choice she made for Enchantry, it is not her fault that our blood brings…”

    Kali looked at Vucan, her throat tightening to the point she didn’t know if she could speak. Enchantry was the first place she’d been accepted from her memories and seeing, but mostly feeling Evalynn in her head, the old urges to take flight and run crawled up her spine with urgency.

    “Negative feelings.” And boy was that putting it lightly.

  6. #306
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Eliona & Filip Ryth




    Rekōdo City: The Prime Audience Chamber of the Grand Palace


    Eliona grants Eri a nod. A small gesture to accept his explanation. She's not sure what's the proper etiquette for accepting an apology for attempted murder. The nod seems fair in the moment.

    Ryth takes the sword that is handed to him. He glares at the sheathed weapon.


    "Figures it would be LeCavalier's blade that almost kills me," Ryth grumbles to himself.

    Now that Eri's previous rage has passed, and it seems unlikely the prince will kill either messenger, Ryth begins to lose much of his own rage. The old soldier settles into a cautious watchfulness, trying to figure this whole situation out. His attention soon settles on that glowing eye Eri now possesses. Ryth decides he doesn't like that eye. However, he reminds himself that he's restrained by the chain of command here. Technically, Ryth doesn't even have a rank anymore, so there's nothing he can say or do about that golden eye. The man settles only on a careful, watchful glare.

    While Eri reads the letter, Eliona looks over the prince's two guardians. She studies them as one of Astral can. Every movement and expression tells a tale to her gaze. This study of the duo ends once Eri begins speaking to Eliona. She respectfully returns her attention to the sorrowful prince.


    "Only the living can forgive," Eliona tells Eri. "Your sister lives. You should take comfort in the hope she will forgive you for whatever you have done. If it's of any solace, she does not need to know about this-- misunderstanding."

    Eliona looks to Ryth, checking if the old soldier is willing to forget about the attempt on his life.

    "Yeah, we both lost our head there," Ryth drags up an attempt to forgive the attack. "Uh- Sorry about the chair. You know how it is once someone starts swinging swords around. The old instincts sort of kick in."

    In this one moment Ryth is perfectly willing to forgive. However, he won't forget. Eri almost killed him. That's something Ryth will have to ponder.

    Then Eri invites them to see another crime. Ryth and Eliona share a worried glance. There's no telling how far the prince's madness had driven him before they had arrived. Ryth looks to Genard, seeking some hint of what to expect or how to proceed. Eliona steps behind Eri. She's perfectly willing to follow him. Her curiosity for the unknown and sympathy for someone in pain drives her to walk the path the prince will lead them down.

    Ryth clips the sheathed sword to his belt, making it less of a burden to carry. He glances at the glowing symbol on his shoulder, feeling the weight of responsibility Pasce has entrusted to him.

    The old soldier doesn't want to know what else the mad prince has done. It doesn't feel like Ryth is the one to judge the royal family. However, this is his job. For now he's a representative of the princess. He can't back out, even if he feels like a lowly grunt being asked to judge the actions of a potential king.

    Ryth straightens himself out, and marches after the others. He'll follow, and silently hope he doesn't need to use this damned sword. Ryth hates using swords.

  7. #307
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Attachment 2344


    Arion, Second of Taroc, Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Nalia of Enchantry and Sacha, Shepherd of Souls



    Nalia's eyes catch Olivia's. They were equivalently matched in their game faces. Nalia held herself tall, almost regally, but there was something she allowed Olivia to see in her eyes when they met. A simple confirmation of her powerlessness in a slight softening of her eyes. Nalia offered Olivia a simple nod. Then she looked back to the group and her gaze was cool and collected once more. When she lifted her head again, the gem that dangled in the middle of her forehead from the thinnest of golden chains through her hair gleamed.

    “Nalia…”

    "Kali."

    Her voice was barely a whisper beyond an exhale of breath into the climate-controlled air. For a moment, Nalia's eyes drifted downward, like one did when lost in thought. But Nalia was not lost. She was searching for that voice. She grabbed on to the sound of it and followed its echoes home. Alain would feel her distance herself from him, just as much as she needed to dangle herself on a spider-thread thin line of telepathy to Kali. She sounded so tired, but there her voice was light with relief that could not be withheld. Kali was alive.

    ~Kali~ she called again, a little louder because no one but she would hear. Increased volume was a strain, even with the endowed power within the cut of emerald on the skin of her forehead. The louder she got, the more out-of-breath she sounded. With her voice came a picture, a snapshot of where she was. The memory was silent, but those who moved in it moved before Kali's eyes and let her know exactly where she was.

    ~The Heli'Dom~ she sent to her. ~I am safe. Aid is coming for Enchantry.~

    Her connection to Kali drifted away as she refocused herself on the Heli'Dom. There was something being said. A debate about what Maginus should do for Enchantry. The new Guild Master would be unsafe. Nalia felt her heart thudding in her chest. She felt the child stir within her, dreaming of the image she sent Kali of the Heli'Dom and so many gathered here. She needed to speak with Kali. She needed to know she was okay.

    ~Capios is dark~ she said and did not withhold from Kali the despair in her voice. ~Whose light is left?~

    It was a question she did not want to ask, but it was needed. Nalia inhaled deeply, as quietly as she could manage and steeled herself for the potentials of Kali's reply.

    ~If~ she hesitated only to fortify her voice against the thoughts of Enchantry's losses. ~If Evalynn is with you, we have need of her here.~

    With her, not gone from them in the way she most feared. She wished there was more time, more strength for the conversation she wanted to have with Kali. The lingering of things she wanted to say tailed in her voice at the end of each message sent.

    "If Caldur does not know who holds Arxus, then he cannot move against him. Not yet."

    Nalia struggled to hold on to Kali. Focusing here made their connection very weak. Nalia had to be a part of this conversation and moved as far from her Second as she could without breaking the thread that bound them. She was mentally standing with her arms outstretched with the thread of Alain's connection in one hand and the thread of Kali's in the other.

    "He will search and innocent will suffer but-" Nalia glanced at Alain and Pasce slowly and spoke strongly of this. "- the new Master of Maginus must be kept safe."

    "For the sake of peace" the Princess added solemnly. "For Rekōdo."

    The Princess looked directly at Sacha. Under the intensity of her gaze, he shifted his footing backward and reaffirmed his palm around his Shepherd's Crook.

    "Arxus chose you, Shepherd of Souls-"

    "Out of desperation."

    "- out of need. He would not go so willingly to a Vessel he thought was weak."

    The white-haired Shepherd hesitated.

    "He is fond of telling me that I will be a quick host so that he may find one greater than I."

    The Princess shook her head.

    "Arxus can be cruel-" she lifted an eyebrow and silenced the Spirit of Maginus as he began his retort. "- but he is not so foolish to make such a gamble. He chose you because you were dedicated to Maginus in your search for him. You were worthy of hosting him."

    Worth and allies- two things of which of which he had few. The Shepherd pursed his lips. What words could he use to tell Alain he only trusted one man and that he was not of Maginus blood?

    "Alain" Arion interrupted. Until now, he had been quiet, observant as he tended to be in Alain's presence. His voice was hesitant as if he was unsure of unloading such information still in front of a man from Maginus.

    "I saw Caldur a' th' Battle for Capios, on the cliffs nor' of Win'frte. 'e lead the Maginus attack."

    Alain would know this. Olivia had played her version of the same memory for both Alain and Pasce in Mararat. Arion's voice was grim.

    "I 'eard 'is Song. I's-"

    The portal on the far end of the chamber suddenly flared to life. The red and gold played brilliant colors on the deep blues and runic golden lines of the man's priestly robes. The hooded man looked curiously around the Heli'Dom, having never set foot here or anywhere like it before. The man's hood centered on the group of people and an accent voice lifted out of the hood excitedly.

    "Sacha!?"

    For a brief moment, Sacha's quiet demeanor burst open and he took several eager steps forward.

    "Aramil!"

    It was an eastern accent and rapid approach into the light of the observatory soon confirmed that beneath the hood of Maginus design was a man of Da'Jinn. He swallowed the new Master of Maginus into an embrace and clapped his hands on his back three times for luck.

    "Fortune favors you most greatly, Shepherd. I feared the worst for your Soul when you did not return from that island."

    Aramil pulled Sacha back and observed him, even flipped his arms over, palm-side up to check him for wounds, mortal or not. He was wearing new robes, so finding all the things that bled was frustratingly most difficult. Not that Aramil could heal properly. Such was not among his skill set. He put a hand on Sacha's shoulder and gave him a nudge.

    "You seem relatively intact-"

    His words came out short when he saw Sacha's eyes. He stared at them in silence and with realization in his own. Sacha pulled his gaze away and motioned with a hand toward the group.

    "Ah" Aramil stated softly. "I wondered on the island if this was the time."

    Sacha's brow furrowed as he regarded his Advisor. His blue eyes asked of him many silent questions, but there was to much else at hand to let them be spoken aloud now.

    "Advisor" he said with a touch of calm formality that he only used when someone more important than he was present at the Temple. "You are present among The Guild Masters Alain of Taroc, his Second and his Agent, Mistress Nalia of Enchantry and Princess Pasce."

    Aramil's bearded jaw dropped.

    "You did not properly introduce me while we are among royalty?" Aramil whispered harshly.

    "I just did."

    The Da'Jinn man swallowed and stepped forward. He took a knee before Pasce and raised his hand from his chest to his mouth and then skyward toward her.

    "Peace I bring you, Favored Daughter of Liar'Adon's line. Even with the troubles brought on my own blood, I come before you in peace."

    He opened his palms before him for her to see.

    "To you I bring peace" the Princess returned to him and also displayed her palms. "Not all men who walk in the sand harbor treachery in their hearts."

    At that, Aramil gave the Princess one of his biggest grins.

    "I am afraid I travel in snowy mountains and stone steps now, but my traditions are still the same. Please excuse me for not removing my hood."

    The Princess nodded. When she motioned to, Aramil rose and went to stand beside and slightly behind Sacha. He now took a moment to observe the myriad and very different people within the room. They were all very different indeed and some in more ways than expected. To each of them he gave a bow: to Alain mostly deeply, then Arion and Olivia in order. His brown eyes saw the glint of onyx at the tall Second's waist. He turned to Nalia, offered her a bow like Alain's and then paused after he rose back to his full height. He could not hide the change in his eyes at the sight of Nalia carrying a child. There was an inkling of joy in the crow's feet of his eyes, but his lips conflicted that blessing with a purse. It was against the laws of their lands for such a thing to occur. Laws were in place for a reason, to guide men and women from such foolishness and folly.

    He let his eyes linger upon the Mistress of Enchantry and her shame before he turned back to look at the Second of Taroc. He lifted a bushy eyebrow curiously.

    "Is it the habit of Taroc to keep Eastern Genies now?"

    Onyx lamps carved away to reveal the gold underneath were reserved for the rarest and most treasure of captive Souls in Servitude. Tribal leaders who fell in war, Princes and Kings of ages past. Some of the rarest of lamps, supposedly, even held beings who came from the Stars. But there were markings upon these lamps, scratched into the onyx faces. He moved his head slightly and realized, too late, the folly of his jest. A different look overcame his eyes now. On of shock that then darkened into foreboding. He asked a question he feared to which he already knew the answer. He was an intelligent man, though that did not always show, and knew from his scholarly studies that containing genies of such power would require one to be very, very powerful.

    "Tell me" he asked hoarsely with a nod to indicate the twin Onyx lamps. "How did this come to pass?"
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 08-11-2018 at 10:30 PM.

  8. #308
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Alain LeCavalier, Verona Aliester & Olivia Kuhrson






    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom


    As Nalia focuses on reaching her mind out to her Second, Olivia's thoughts slip away from her friend. Olivia's mind exits like a master spy escaping a heavily guarded fortress, silent, unseen, and beyond the notice of all.

    When Sacha admits that Arxus has told him he is a very temporary host, Alain enjoys a deep chuckle. It's a laugh born of shared experiences being shaken loose.


    "I'm a war-host," Alain humorously brags. There's an easy to miss wince that passes through his features, as Clow jabs his host and demands Alain doesn't bring up such matters in front of a princess and the master of Maginus. "I was chosen because Clow knew I was best suited to fight a war. However, it was assumed I would get myself killed, and he would then be free to choose a host that was better suited to building a new peace.

    "The Ancestral Spirits are meant to be a repository of wisdom, but they are by no means omnipotent. It is the challenge of every master to surprise their spirit and serve their province in ways they could not imagine."

    Alain's jovial nature is set aside as Arion speaks of Caldur and the battle of Capios. The Guild Master is all business when discussing their enemy and a victorious Taroc battle. In fact, Alain's eyes appear to hunger for more information on both. However, this meal is denied to Alain as the arrival of Aramil interrupts Arion and brings a pause to the conversation.

    Olivia's telepathy, still like a master spy sneaking its way to a second palace in the dark of the night, slips its way to Arion's mind.


    ~Well done, the battle of Capios was masterful work,~ Olivia tells the Second. Moments Olivia experienced during the battle are handed off to Arion. The Raven's Triumph sailing to the outskirts of the conflict and sinking or leading away some enemy vessels. Olivia using one of the fallen Maginus officers as a host, and infiltrating a meeting between Caldur and the undead dark priests of Maginus. The memories stop flowing as Olivia departed that meeting with a trio of priests under her charge. Arion might guess the fate of those priests, as it was the unholy soul of one of those beasts that Olivia used to make a tether that was used to bind Pasce's soul to Olivia's.

    ~Songs will be sung of your deeds on that night,~ Olivia somehow continues with a topic that is not tied to the events of her shared memories. She's like a master card player, keeping track of not only the flow of the game as a whole but also focusing the hands and individual tells of every player around her. One might think that there's no limit to the number of different conversations she could simultaneously take part in, all without making it appear as if her focus is being deprived from anyone.

    Olivia is right. Sailors in the Taroc navy love to craft songs of their glories out at sea. Arion's legend is most certainly assured. However, no songs will be sung of Olivia's actions during the battle. There might be some lyrics spent on the mysterious pirate ship that sailed in to aid in the fight, but not a single note will ever touch the actions of the undead spy that was never officially there.

    This is Olivia's legacy. A handful of lifetimes spent on deeds that will forever evade the grasp of history. Arion will hear some portion of Olivia's soul enjoys it. There is a pride in taking part in such glorious events, and doing so in such subtle ways that she never alerts a single historian or song maker of her efforts.

    Alain gives Aramil a polite nod in response to the priest's greeting. Alain has not yet reached a point where he can grant a bow to a Dajinn man in Maginus priestly robes. Such developments take time. There is, however, a warmth in Alain's dark eyes and his calmed features. There is no hint of hostility or distrust in the Guild Master as he looks upon the two priests of Maginus that now occupy the observatory of the Heli'Dom.


    "Welcome to the Heli'Dom," Alain politely tells the newly arrived priest.

    Aramil's good humored mention of the onyx lamps drains some of the warmth from Alain's gaze. There's minute change in the Guild Master's demeanor, as if he had observed someone tripping over the grave of a departed loved one. The moment passes quickly enough to be easily missed.


    "One of Jinai's many betrayals," Alain states. He then sees Branwen emerge through the portal. He steps up to the Second and places his fist over his own heart in a salute to her.

    "It's good to see you, Branwen," Alain greets her. "Excellent work for Capria. Mindoka will be proud."

    Verona steps forward and among the gathering. She had blended into the background up until now. This is part of her job, to go unnoticed and assist Alain without disruption or attracting attention. Now, there is a need to fill in the gap in someone's knowledge, and that is a task the aide to the Master of Taroc is greatly skilled at.

    Now she steps forward to continue the tale Alain did not. If Aramil is to be the advisor to the new master of Maginus, he must be brought up to speed. Verona doesn't let it show that she's quite surprised that she is going to be sharing information with an advisor to the Guild Master of Maginus.


    "The reason Arxus's soul could not be located after Darmon's death is because Darmon did not possess Arxus." Verona begins. "During Princess Pasce's coronation, Jinai had attempted to steal the ancestral spirits from the rest of the council. She succeeded in removing the spirits, but she could not contain them. The spirits, even her own, went to the only individual that could host them all."

    Verona gestures to Pasce.

    "During the chaos, as all of the other Masters searched for the then missing princess and trying to hide their loss of spirit and power, Jinai was working against us all. She orchestrated the conflict of Astral against Taroc and Shamaa. This attack was used to lure in Herotus, who had been Jinai's willing accomplice in the conflict, and Master Mindoka into her lair. There she imprisoned them inside of those lamps, and somehow used the process to bind their ancestral spirits back into them."

    "We're seeking a way to free them," Alain returns to the gathering.

    "We have our hands on a Da'Jinn ritual," Olivia adds. She looks to Aramil as she continues, "Our research tells us it will free them, but if you have experience in these matters, any insight and assistance you can offer will be appreciated."

    Sacha and Arion will sense the movement of Olivia's soul. To Sacha it will seem very much like a ship swaying on the waves of the ocean. Arion will hear musicians swapping roles in the orchestra, instruments playing the music they normally wouldn't. It makes her harder to detect by those that are unaware of her true nature. It will be extremely difficult for someone with Aramil's training and magical prowess to detect the truth about Olivia. To those not attuned to souls like the Second and Guild Master are, Olivia will seem very much like an ordinary, living woman. Details beyond that will always slip away from scrutiny.

    "Also, Mistress Nalia is innocent of the murder of Darmon," Verona explains to Aramil, as she checks the notes written in her pad of paper. "He was likely slain by a Maginus usurper named Caldur. Well, until Darmon was brought back, and recently slain again by dragons.

    "It should also be noted that the Ancestral Spirits have been freed. Arxus and Clow are with their chosen Guild Masters, the others are unaccounted for, and could have been captured by Caldur. He has possession of Darmon's dragon staff, which is adept at pulling in and trapping souls."

    Verona holds her pad up to Alain. He reads a prophetic note Verona had written about Doraen and Udaya travelling the World of Dreams. Alain pauses for a baffled moment to ponder that scenario. It would seem Doraen is still very much a magnet for strange situations. Alain nods in approval to Verona, and returns his full attention to the meeting.

    "There is much to discuss about Caldur, the dragons, and their staff, but for the moment we should settle on a solid plan for Enchantry," Alain states, inviting the others to provide their insights.

  9. #309
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI


    Nalia had been like a big sister to Kali, and in many instances like a surrogate mother, so when Nalia came through the tenuous connection, it was like the feeling of being reunited with a long lost relative. Although it was not in person, it still warmed the inside of the young woman like a wave of dragon’s fire though her body. In that brief moment, she hesitated for a moment, hoping that her exhaustion and desires were not creating hallucinations.

    “Nalia?”

    It was there, that feeling, and then confirmation as she spoke to her yet again. It was all Kali could do to not look like a total lunatic and jump up and whoop her happiness from the top of her lungs. Instead, Kali contained her excitement and happiness as she listened to Nalia and the O’rais. How in all of Rekōdo Nalia could divide her attention between herself and what was taking place, Kali could not fathom.


    Quote Originally Posted by SilntAngl5 View Post
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Nalia of Enchantry

    ~Capios is dark~ she said and did not withhold from Kali the despair in her voice. ~Whose light is left?~


    Although Kali’s attention was divided, she could not hide the emotions that rode through the link between herself and Nalia, or the weight of sadness that overcame her physically.

    “Laelis is alive, but she has been injured. The O’rais have taken her and Shalla far beneath the waters. Merriam and Fateema were separated from us, thank the gods above and below that they are with Branwen.”

    Kali paused, fighting the tightening lump in her throat. There would be time to mourn later she kept telling herself and she did not want to add to Nalia’s distress.

    “Many of the sisters of light….they’re gone.” Kali replied in a hoarse voice.

    “Dyani and I were able to save some from the pillars before we made it to the cavern.”

    “But I do not know to what extent the totality of loss is…not yet.”


    “They all fought so….bravely Nalia….you would have been proud of them all.”

    Tears threatened to burn their way from Kali’s eyes as her vision watered several times. When Nalia spoke of Evelynn, her eyes drifted to the woman in question. As much as it pained her, she knew she would have to let Shalla and Evelynn work out the changes in their relationship. It had been Evelynn’s choice, and regardless of the fact they now had similar blood flowing through their veins, this had nothing to do with her. But Kali could not stop the feeling of not wanting to see either Evelynn or Shalla hurt because of a decision made to help Enchantry.

    “She’s beside me. I will tell her.”

    Snippets of conversations swirled from the O’rais, Nalia and those taking place in the background of the Heli’Dom. When the right pause came, Kali spoke. There was happiness, tainted with sadness in her voice.

    “I have news, Nalia is at the Heli’Dom, and aide is on the way to Enchantry”

    Kali turned to Evalynn.

    “Your presence is needed. I will let Nalia explain more when we get there.”

  10. #310
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    Branwen

    Branwen stepped through the portal, leaving Shamaa’s hands to those she entrusted to carry out their duties and responsibilities in her absence. It was a welcoming feeling, to have an entire people working together as one large family. It was not something that some of the guilds enjoyed due to too much infighting and power struggles.

    Portals were a wonderous thing, no matter where the energy was drown upon to create them. It was like literally stepping through a whole in a room to get from one side to the other. And as one foot stepped out of her place on the shores near the isle of Enchantry, it stepped onto the floor of the Heli’Dom.

    She smiled in greeting to Alain before she was fully through the portal. She bowed her head in a formal greeting in return.

    “As it is you, Alain of Taroc.”

    “Thank the Shamaa people, for it is they who make their leaders shine.” She replied with a knowing bow.

    Branwen turned to the others as Verona was speaking to everyone gathered. At the mention of Mindoka and the lamps, her eyes gazed upon the very lamp itself. Hope blossomed in her chest that perhaps now they would be able to free her master from his cage. She could not help the pleased smile that graced her lips at the thought, and It did not even waver as her eyes landed upon the two from the shore, Sacha and Aramil.



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