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  1. #281
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    Commander Colina Weir

    The Ailes Bones... To the Southwest: Dragon Scale Island

    Colina lets out a breath of a laugh when Merriam greets her. A sound of relief at finding someone else from Taroc. She's been adrift in the chaos of inter-province conflicts and Nightmare attacks for so long that finding another Taroc soul is like finding some landmark in the vast seas.

    "Colina Weir, Commander and strategic liaison between Taroc and Shamaa," she tells the enchantress. "Or just Colina for those that don't have the time to say all of that."

    The commander looks into Merriam's eyes. There's a searching interest, like an artist examining a painting or a doctor studying a patient. Those who have grown up in Taroc will recognize someone using their gifts to seek knowledge or understanding. It's not uncommon to see such a seeking mood taken by someone staring too long into the tea leaves at the bottom of a cup, at the lines on someone's palm, or in the shapes and tones of shadows. It's quite common for a Guild soldier or mystic to use their ability to assess others immediately after a battle, to search for ways to offer further aid.

    The stare doesn't last long. Longer than Colina would look into the eyes of someone that wasn't from Taroc. Everyone has a tolerance for how long they will endure being stared at before they feel it has become rude. The people of Taroc have a greater endurance for such scrutiny, as they understand why the seer is doing it.

    Although, Colina admits that it's possible Merriam could have originally left Taroc after deciding that any amount of scrutiny from seers is rude, and so being polite was never in the cards for Colina anyway.

    "I trust the stars are singing of Alain fighting Darmon," Colina proudly informs Merriam. "When it was learned that Darmon was behind this atrocity, our Alain took the fight back to him. He and his elite squad, from the Great War, met the ghoul and his Nightmares. They fight to save your Enchantry."

    Colina steps a little closer to Merriam, to share a quieter thought with someone who might have lived through similar experiences, "I pray that the stars sing of Alain finally bringing an end to a monster that has blighted us all for far too long."

  2. #282
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    Olivia Kuhrson

    Above Faraking Island: The Heli'Dom...

    While discussing the nature of the Da'Jinn ritual, Olivia shrugs her shoulders and lightly offers, "The Da'Jinn do like to complicate things. Why should their own rituals be different?"

    Olivia swirls her hands before her. Her fingers gracefully tracing out dark arcane patterns. Gradually, mists of shadows manifests out from the empty air and is drawn into the space between her hands. The mists collect into a lightless shape. From this shape a black raven is created.

    Olivia takes the raven into her hands and whispers to it. If Pasce attempts to listen in to the deathly quiet whisper she might hear that Olivia is speaking in ancient Maginus to the fabricated bird. Once the necromancer is finished speaking, the raven's eyes light up with mystical energy and a purpose.

    Olivia releases the raven, and it flies out of the observatory and into the dark winter night.

    "I've sent the order for our supplies," Olivia informs the princess.

    Olivia pauses and listens to the groans and sounds of the Heli'Dom. To an untrained ear it might sound like the usual noises of an ancient and recently damaged structure, but Olivia had spent a long time in this place during the Great War. She has learned to listen to the tales such sounds can tell.

    "LeCavalier has returned," Olivia reports. She looks at the fire in the hearth, and reaches out with her necromantic senses. She feels a cold shiver slither up along her spine as she notices the spirits are paying an eerie amount of attention to this place now. Someone of great importance to the spirit world is also here. Someone that the ghosts would have a desire to watch in these uncertain times of change.

    "He brings Maginus's new Master with him," Olivia grimly tells Pasce.

    Olivia gestures an annoyed little motion of one hand. Immediately, her scythe slides itself across the room and sinks back into Olivia's mystical bag. Then the bag itself hops into Olivia's arms. She closes the bag, and seals it with an enchanted medallion. The magical energy of the bag, and its forbidden contents, shifts. Olivia has made everything about the bag harder to read by those that might try to dissect its secrets.

    Olivia contemplates leaving this place. To avoid the priest turned Guild Master. Of anyone out in the world, an expert in spirits and the dark arts who is now armed with the power of a Guild Master is extremely dangerous to an undead being such as Olivia.

    Unfortunately, she's sworn to be here. Olivia is here to keep Nalia and Pasce safe. This is a role Olivia cannot abandon. Even if it puts her into great danger.

    Olivia sighs as LeCavalier once more drags potential disaster right up to Olivia's feet. Sometimes he's like a proud dog that loves to trot home and bring a freshly discovered bomb as a gift to his owner.

  3. #283
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    Eliona & Filip Ryth

    Rekōdo City: The Prime Audience Chamber of the Grand Palace

    The hand Eri holds on the handle of his sword is where Ryth's eyes immediately go. His brow wrinkles with troubled thoughts as he contemplates that hand. Ryth's attention gradually sweeps over the rest of the prince, and eventually over his two companions.

    Ryth gets a bad feeling about this assignment. It's only now that he recalls an old saying that involves messengers and getting shot.

    In any other situation, when faced with someone else that is actively broadcasting their menace like this, the old soldier's instinct is to draw a weapon and end a potential threat before it becomes annoying or deadly. Unfortunately, even Ryth isn't dumb enough to draw a weapon on the prince. In fact, he doesn't have his pistol with him any longer. In accordance with standard protocol, when he portalled into this place the palace took the weapon away and placed it into a storage space. It'll return it to him when he leaves. Normally, Ryth doesn't mind such protocol, but right now he's starting to question it.

    Eliona watches the trio approach. She's trying to read them, like three novels. A tragedy, a war epic, and third book that mingles the other two genres. The Astral woman makes a note of the white lining in Merelin's cloak. She knows this means Merelin is a healer trained by the White Towers. Eliona also knows this means she will need to be extra cautious, as she is an unlicensed healer that has been running around healing others without White Tower approval. In most cases, unlicensed healing is an easily forgiven crime that no one is ever punished for. In Eliona's case she is shunned by the White Towers and something of a pariah in the healer community, so it's possible the White Tower might seek to punish her for such a small break in protocol. They hate her for abandoning them, and just might take some delight in showing that hate by upholding often ignored rules. Eliona imagines they would use her as an example of what happens to those that abandon the Towers like she did.

    Eliona can practically feel the pain and anger radiating off of the prince. She doesn't blame him. Eliona killed the man that was responsible for her own sister's death. She can only imagine how Eri must feel to have such hatred, but no one to blame and take his anger out on. Although, his sister is not dead. When Ryth delivers their message, this prince will get his sister back from the dead.

    Eliona envies Eri for this. She'd give anything to get Gustella back.

    Ryth nods to Genard, and places his fist over his heart in a respectful salute to the three members of the royal court. Eliona gives them a low, graceful curtsy.

    "It's good to see you too, Genard," Ryth replies to the old warrior. There's a cautiousness to Ryth's tone, as if inviting Genard to let him know if there's a fight here or not.

    "This is Elliona," Ryth tells the royals. Then to Eliona, "Prince Eri, Ganard of House Fallandor, and Merelin of House Diorna."

    "It's a pleasure to meet you all," Eliona replies.

    "Eliona helped us with the situation in Capios," Ryth informs the trio. "She's a healer so- "

    "Advisor," Eliona quickly interrupts Ryth. "I'm an advisor on healing studies and the magic of the White Light. I advised Master LeCavalier and Commander Ryth, and helped them in their fight with the Nightmares."

    Ryth gives Eliona a perplexed looks, which the Astral woman does an excellent job of ignoring. Ryth shrugs away his questions before they can form, and marches onward into this needlessly awkward encounter.

    Eri points out Ryth's wardrobe. Ryth glances back down over himself, once again dissatisfied by Eliona altering his wardrobe. True, he was out of uniform before she changed his clothes, but he'll take any opportunity to be grouchy about this.

    "I'm- uh- I'm retiring from service," Ryth tells Eri. "I'm doing this last assignment, then it's off to live the quiet life."

    Ryth's response is simple, and devoid of details. His grievance is with Alain, there's no sense it advertising it to the whole wide world.

    However, Eri's tone and words distracts Ryth from his own problems. If the prince's anger were a fire, Ryth would have been burned long before now. Ryth wonders if it might burn him soon enough anyway. Ryth looks to Genard and Merelin seeking some sense in them.

    Eliona glances to Ryth, looking to him to be the expert in how to deal with an obviously enraged acting ruler.

    Gradually, Ryth's glance returns to Eri. The old soldier stands a little taller. There's a weariness to his demeanor, as if tired of being the target for the boy's quiet wrath. Ryth has encountered similar mournful rage back during the War. In fact, he's felt the same himself on too many occasions to count. Long ago, Ryth learned to smack down such outrage before it gets a chance to turn friends and allies into enemies.

    "She's alive," Ryth swiftly tells Eri. He pulls Pasce's message out of his pocket and holds it out to the prince. He holds it with the seal facing Eri. "There was a ritual. It accidentally broke your connection to her. But she's alive and fine."

    "Yes, the ritual set the spirits free," Eliona offers, hoping a few more details delivered with a calm tone will counter-act Ryth's naturally confrontational tone. "The ritual tricked the Oath of the Spirits into believing Princess Pasce had died. It kept her in this state long enough for the Oath to be satisfied, and freed the Spirits. An unfortunate side-effect is that it indeed broke your bond to her. Although, I believe that matter can easily be rectified."

    "Yeah, sure, I assume this bond can be fixed," Ryth adds. "You guys have rituals for that kind of thing, right? If not, you've got people that can cook something up."

    "The Princess is doing quite well," Eliona reports. "Very healthy despite the ordeal she suffered while in possession of all of those Spirits. Perhaps a little rest, a check up by a licensed healer, and she should be fine."

  4. #284
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    Alain LeCavalier & Verona Aliester

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

    Moments before Alain would have thought of doing so, Verona opens the door to the main observatory.

    Alain gives Sacha one last reaffirming nod and then leads the way into the observatory. He is immediately struck by the damage done to the structure. The telescope is turned around. The stonework around the telescope platform is cracked up and broken. Alain can only imagine how twisted up the iron support structure is, or how broken the clockworks that move the telescope must be.

    The sight of his beloved observatory so very damaged does much to wound his previous confidence and bravado. It takes a moment for him to recover from this tragedy. With a breath he reminds himself that things can be fixed or replaced, and it's people that truly matter. Alain brings his attention to the people in the room.

    Alain quickly seeks out Pasce, to see for himself that she is still alive and well. He smiles to the young princess, overjoyed to see that she is no longer on the verge of death. His attention drifts from Pasce to Olivia. The necromancer is clutching her bag and looking at Alain with something of an aloof glare. Alain can't imagine what he must have done to annoy his old friend, and he guesses he'll owe her something for whatever slight he must have unknowingly inflicted upon her. Alain then moves his gaze to Arion. Alain is surprised to see the horned man up on his feet once again. He's also shocked to see Arion playing his guitar. When Alain last saw his Second, Arion was bed ridden with severely broken hands. Seeing Arion fully restored is nothing short of a miracle.

    Finally, Alain finds Nalia. All else fades away. He rushes across the room. Furniture and obstacles are jumped over with little effort. Within moments Alain is standing beside his beloved. He's grinning, like a man seeing the sun after ten lifetimes lost in the bowels of some horrible dungeon. At the last moment he stops himself from scooping her up into his arms, as her pregnancy makes such reactions highly impractical.

    He glances past her, seeing Capios shrouded in darkness. Some of his smile and joy fades. He looks back at Nalia, bearing the weight of sympathy and shared mourning. He's pained by recent tragedies marring even this happy reunion. Alain does what he can to repair his joyful demeanor, and modify it with the necessary seriousness that the ongoing crisis of Enchantry requires.

    "I sent the doorway into the void," Alain softly tells Nalia. He wants her to know she will no longer have to worry about the gate to the Realm of Nightmares ever again. Next, he shares the fate of Darmon, "And he's gone. The dragons will take their justice from his flesh. They'll end him once and for all."

    Alain takes hold of Nalia's hands. He brings them up to his lips, kissing them tenderly. Alain wasn't sure he would ever feel her again. He enjoys this moment.

    Meanwhile, Verona recovers from Alain's complete dereliction of duty, and takes it upon herself to handle the announcements and introductions.

    "Princess Pasce, Mistress Nalia, Second Arion, and Agent Kurhson: I present Master Sacha of Maginus," Verona announces to the room. Making introductions for the Guild Master of Maginus is something Verona never thought she would have to do. It seems like Alain brings her no end of bizarre tasks to perform in service of Taroc.

  5. #285
    The Ailes Bones... To the Southwest: Dragon Scale Island

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

    Merriam's smile deepened the lines of age upon her face, but everything of the woman, both physical and what Colina could determine from her eyes was genuine.

    "Merriam McClure LeVail of Clow. I am a Sister of Enchantry and serve on behalf of Taroc on Nalia's Council."

    She rolled her shoulders in a hem-haw shrug.

    "Well, from around Clow. My family owned a horse ranch on The Plains when I was a child. I completed my studies in Clow when I came of age. It is a pleasure, Colina. Truly."

    A Taroc term for when a child's powers manifested beyond what their local towns or villages could work with. Many children from remote places, small villages, large farms or ranches within the Hills of Deanna or the Hundred Year Plains came to Clow to complete their studies within whatever divining arts they specialized. Merriam was no exception. It was also customary among some of Taroc, especially those from the wide plains to be known and introduce themselves by a second name, a familial name. Merriam named the last name of her mother. LeVail was the surname of her father.

    In her time in Clow, Merriam had risen to be one of their most prominent Mystics. She had been one of the leaders in their studies of the Burning Clarity. She knew its claim upon the health and sanity of the diviners of the world for she too had felt its sting. When she had heard of what Nalia of Enchantry had done for Taroc, for the thousands of people afflicted with the debilitating disease, Merriam left Taroc and set out at once for the Ailes. She offered herself to Enchantry as gratitude for what the Guild had done for her beloved Taroc. Initially, Nalia had denied Merriam admittance to Enchantry. She was a valuable Mystic for Taroc, to valuable to just leave. Nalia had invited her to stay and during her time in the Ailes Merriam had fallen in love with everything Enchantry stood for. In the end, and with permission from Alain of Taroc, Nalia allowed her stay.

    Merriam is and had always been dedicated to whatever she set her heart and mind to. Such was apparent with how lovingly she cradled her fellow Sister in her lap. Her eyes stared patiently back at the Commander's. She let her divine from her whatever she needed. When the stare breaks, Merriam looked down at Fateema. With delicacy and care for her privacy, Merriam pulled up from beneath her Sister's bodice a pale crystal that hung on a cord of crimson. She pulled it up and over her head and then placed it back around her own neck. She tucked the crystal gently beneath her wrinkled, white collar so that the cold stone laid on her skin. Merriam took a moment to close her eyes and sigh quietly. Everyone in Taroc knew what those stones were. They were Clearing Crystals, a relief from the Burning Clarity.

    It is with a smile that the Mystic turned Enchantress opened her eyes. Then her aging brown eyes looked skyward and held there, as if she could see through the thick, snow-bearing clouds to the heavens beyond.

    "That they are" she said distantly, but with a smile on her face. The smile faded as she brought her eyes back from the stars. "I wish I could say I am surprised that the Man of Maginus is behind the attack upon our Guild. I am not."

    Merriam looked down at Fateema. She gently smoothed her shawl over her shoulders. The Da'Jinn woman rested gently now, thanks to Aala, gently in Merriam's arms.

    "It will do the world good to lose that man from it. With a whole province that he had molded for decades, I wonder if it matters" she asked with a bit of hopeless bitterness in her voice. "Enchantry is broken and the blight's ideals live on in Maginus."

    Merriam's eyes grew distant again, just for a moment.

    "It is not the end for Enchantry" she uttered quietly. "But something dark still looms."

    It took her a moment to recover from the gloom of her own sight, but she sat herself up straighter and offered Colina a smile.

    "Thank you for being here" she said gently. "Your presence is a breath of fresh air."

    Then Branwen's hand tightened on hers. Merriam closed her eyes and allowed the spark of Kali's essence, so far from them and yet comforting in its presence, to fill her. She inhaled, as if breathing in the salty, Taroc coastline for the first time, the fresh, lightly floral scent of the Hills of Deanna where her family;s farm had been. it was something to savor, a smell the mind treasured and attached memories to. She whispered feverently in the minute bond they had through Branwen, both aloud and inwardly that Kali might hear her.

    "We're alright, Kali. We're alright. We're alright."

    She whispered it rapidly over and over until the connection was gone. Kali would know who she meant by 'we'. It was common on Enchantry for Sister's to bond or pair up for a variety of reasons. Some to enhance their powers, to compliment them or because there was a need. Sometimes they were drawn together.

    Through the brief connection, she could feel Kali and Dyani. They were close in proximity. Then there was Evalynn. Something felt off, different. Perhaps it was the absence of two others: Laelis and Shalla. Shalla was bonded to Evalynn. It left Merriam momentarily withdrawn as she processed through the range of things she felt from her Sisters and contemplated the meaning of those whom she did not. She wished she had not exhausted her powers. Then she might use them to see through the silence of her missing Councilwomen.

    "Past my prime?" the tone of the Da'Jinn man in Maginus robes took on a mock-hurt tone. He gesture to Zarena and Brawen, but looked to the men of the Maloto Tribe. "Are the women of Shamaa always this brutal?"

    The men of the tribe looked at Aramil. A few laughed short, abbreviated sounds as they sipped the herbal concoction offered by Aala. They offered little sympathy or support to the foreign man. He huffed and clasped his hands resolutely together beneath the long sleeves of his robes. His dark, chocolate eyes settled firmly on Zarena.

    "Do not be shy on my account. I also have someone I care for on that island."

    Zarena tilted her head at the foreign man and when Branwen consented for her to speak, she put a fist over her heart and bowed to Branwen.

    "Honored Mistress" she began "Through the World of Dreams we saw Capios is overrun with darkness. Its people have fled, but there were many who were infected and consumed by the blights that ravage the island of all light and life therein. The Maloto Tribe spread Dream Energy across the island so that no matter where a man or woman stepped, they left behind footprints of light. This made it more difficult for the dark things to keep pace with those who still lived and fled."

    Merriam went very still as she listened. Aramil's eyes were intent upon Zarena.

    "The ones left in leadership by Nalia al'Vatar are most skilled. They operated with the most efficiency I have ever seen. They fight still. Even as we left their lands behind, they fought the dark tides back. There is little life left there that has not fled or been consumed, but would be more death on the land if the Enchantresses were not such capable warriors. Your sister leads them even now."

    "Was there anything else there aiding them besides your tribe?"

    Aramil's accented voice was distinct, crisp. Zarena's brown eyes slide to him and she nodded.

    "Yes. There were wolves and there were Spirits. The wolves were as large as houses, like the old women of Tuah sometimes tell when they recite their old stories. Black wolves with crimson eyes. There was a ship of undead beings that burned the dark harbingers with canon fire. The Spirits that came from the earth like seedlings were Ancestors of those who still lived. I recognized some of them as Shamaa."

    "That was Sacha's doing." The words left Aramil in a relieved rush. He gestured to where he and Sacha had stood at the far end of the island when the white-haired Shepherd had departed for Capios. "My counterpart that was here with me earlier. He must have used a Summoning Spell. Spirits have no substance to feed upon. There would be nothing the Nightmares could do against their offense."

    "It worked" the Dreamspeaker offered. "As we were called back to the waking world, the tide had shifted in favor of the light once more. The Guild of Enchantry has a chance at surviving this horror."

    Merriam put a hand to her chest and slouched back. She closed her eyes and uttered silent thanks to Liar'Adon for his mercy.

    "I feel it would be wise to council the Sisters of Enchantry to cleanse the land. It has been tainted by the presence of the dark things, their death and their ashen remains. the land and the water will need to be purified of the dark stain it retains. The Maloto Tribe is willing to tutor the sister who wield the light and energy of Dreams in the ways of our purifying rituals. I am afraid that without healing the land and water, it will wither and produce no more fruits for life."
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  6. #286
    The Island of Capios: The Doorway of The Caverns

    Dyani of the Border Forests and Evalynn Agravaine of Maginus, Sisters of Enchantry

    The dome of light entered the Caverns like one of the trains that criss-crossed the Province of Maginus from one end to the other. Evalynn stepped back to let the women pass. Her cloak and tied-back blonde hair billowed in their wake as they went without ceasing to the water's edge. Nightmare's screamed and recoiled as they ricocheted off the wards and spells put in place to keep them out of the haven beyond the carved doors. Evalynn barely flinched. When those within the dome were safely inside, Evalynn jerked around and looked skyward to find Kali and Dyani.

    Dyani's blades sent Nightmares bursting into ash as she rid them off Kali's scaled body like a dog picking fleas off its coat. There were simply too many for one warrior alone, but she moved with stamina and agility to dispatch each dark entity, regardless of its shape or form, one at a time. Her Animal Spirit dove down from high above and tore at the dark beasts with its spiritual talons. Its cries echoed in the air as dove struck the Nightmares as they struggled to bring the great dragoness and rider down from the sky. As a belch of dream-infused dragon fire spewed from Kali's mouth and over her back, Dyani took a knee, braced herself and bowed her head against the rush of energy and light. All around her the air was filled with sizzles and shrieks as the Nightmares exploded under the intense heat and presence of Kali's fire. From below, it looked as if the air around them had exploded.

    ~I have to find Shalla~ Evalynn whispered to Vucan as she shielded her eyes from the brightness of the battle above. She turned to look at the humanoid beside her and he would see the necessity in her eyes. She turned then and ran through the doorway of The Cavern. The guards stationed there had followed the women under the dome down to the water's edge. Aside from Kali and Dyani, they were the last left outside the protection of the Caverns.

    Dyani kept an eye on the Cavern's entrance. She could see Evalynn standing there, blond hair billowing against her cloak of green amidst the snow-covered ground. With every five swings of her blade, she made a mental note to check the doorway. When at last she looked down and saw the doorway empty of Evalynn and Vucan's presence and the white dome was within, she turned to Kali.

    "They are within!" she yelled over the fray. "The last are within. It is our turn now!"

    Dyani slid down and streamlined with Kali's neck. She crouched down low and locked eyes on their destination.

    "It's going to be a tight fit!" she yelled to Kali above the roar of wind in her ears. "Tuck your wings and hold on!"

    Kali would know this Cavern well. Nalia had taken her Council there for training for dire situations such as this. the Caverns were used for teaching, meditations, discovering, but they were something of a sacred space. The cool, quiet atmosphere of the vast space felt like another world, a hidden gem. It was a refuge.

    From memory, Kali would know the doors were taller than they were wide. A splayed-wide dragon could not possibly fit through the doorway carved straight into the cliffside. With wings tucked, it was possible. They had trained for this, had squeezed through spaces seemingly tighter than the door, but not with so much at stake.


    The Island of Capios: Within The Caverns

    Evalynn Agravaine of Maginus

    She ran and her boot falls echoed on the weathered, stone stairs that lead down from the entrance to The Caverns. Her voice came out in strangled gasps because of her haste. Her tied up, blond hair became undone behind her. Her green cloak billowed behind her. As she ran, the mossy, green hilltop below came into view and the almost endless, gray-blue waters below. Distantly, echoing came the sound of waterfalls, several of them at length around the expanse of The Caverns. Evalynn's heart pounded in her ears. Distantly, she heard Kali and Dyani and someone else along with Vucan. She shoved their presence away and kept running. It was only when she'd made it to the mossy hilltop and was able to see down to the water's edge that she stopped. So close to the carved arch-like Totems, the ancient structures hummed gently. Evalynn's chest heaved as she looked down upon her Sisters who'd come at last from beneath their white dome. Panic rose within her.

    There was no sign of Shalla. The only things within the water, where she had last seen her Bonded Sister, were the O'aris. The females and males, helmed in iridescent coral armor and armed with spears of tridents of their own making. They waited patiently for the newly arrived to catch their breaths and compose themselves. A few offered welcoming, outstretched webbed hands for them to take when they were ready for their journey through the water.

    Evalynn's blue eyes scanned every inch of the land and water before her. She fought against the rising swell of cold numbness that coursed through her veins. Being out of sight did not mean being lost, but they had never tested the distance of their Bonds, how far their communication and sense of each other could go. Surely the merfolk could not take her Shalla so far from her that she could lose her? Shalla paced a few paces one way and, gaining for further advantage to her sight or sense, went the other way.

    ~Shalla! Shalla!~ she cried out mentally. For this brief moment, she wished she had a voice with which to yell. Truthfully, it would make no difference whatsoever in aiding her mental call for her friend, but it would surely ease some of her terror. She felt desperation take a strangling hold upon her. ~Shalla, where are you?~

    Her blue eyes looked with pleading to the O'aris.

    ~Shalla please answer me!~


    Beneath the Sea of Rekōdo: Aboard The Sunken Vessel of the Empress of the Sea

    Laelis of Lymes and Shalla of Tuah

    Laelis backed herself up against the wall upon the bed within the modest room. She drew the crimson covers up to her chest and stared at the oddly knocked-upon door with her wide-set gray eyes. Her heart pounded heavily in her chest and her throat dried up so that she could call forth nothing, even if she desired to. It was another awkward moment before the doorknob turned with some difficulty and was opened.

    A woman stood just outside the doorframe. She held herself very straight and looked in upon Laelis with eyes so dark it was all but impossible to tell iris from pupil. Her hair fell in long, wet waves upon her pale, nearly translucent skin. Dotted, faint markings ran from beneath her breasts to up her chest and across the freckle line of her cheeks. In the eerie, blue light provided by the kelp forests outside, the tattoos of squid ink, an intricate design of squid ink mixed with crushed pearl dust, shone with fine iridescence. When she shifted in discomfort in the doorway and it caught the light, a sheen of color rippled across the ink. In the waters, the shine of it would appear like the flash of a large fish's scales as it sailed by beneath the waves. She wore a dress that seemed perfectly tailored to her body. It glittered as if made of scales adorned upon her body. It started at her chest and glistened from a pale gold to a deep sea green at the end. it perfectly framed every athletic curve of her body as if it were an alteration of her own skin. Before her waistline, she placed her webbed hands. In her hair was a diadem of pearl and twisted metals. What was it Nalia had said? Pearls were the most valuable gem among the O'aris. The more pearl the higher the female's status. This one wore it in her skin and as a diadem. Laelis's already large gray eyes grew huge. Slowly, she sat up from the wall, sat straighter and swallowed down the lump in her throat. The O'aris woman seemed to study her features: the strawberry blonde hair, an unusual color not commonly seen among her kind, the gray eyes and sculpted nature of her face.

    "Forgive me" she said in a uniquely accented voice. "I have not come to stand as a being of the land, not in a many years."

    Laelis nodded slowly.

    "It is the custom of the land dwellers to wait for permission to enter?"

    Laelis sat up a bit straighter.

    "Yes. It is. You may come in."

    The woman entered. She left the door open being her. Light streamed in from behind her and bathed the room in a gentle glow. She stood an acceptable pace away.

    "I am Halya, Nimphel of the O’aris of Nu’Alu."

    Laelis racked her brain from Nalia’s many lessons on the menfolk. Nymphal translated, literally, to pearl, their most precious water stone. The Nymphal was the Queen. if she remembered correctly, Halya was the daughter of Haloisi, who was the Nimphel when Nalia first found them, or rather when they’d found her. She remembered the stories Nalia told of being taken as their prisoner and bartering her freedom back into her own hands. If she remembered correctly, Nalia had helped deliver Halya’s child.

    She was not sure if that meant the Queen was dead, or she was not a figurehead and advisor to her daughter. Leaves tried hard to remember the details about transition of power, but that part was hazy. There was a certain age when the Prince became the Queen and the Queen Mother became her advisor. She was afraid to ask and delve into those uncertain waters.

    "I am Laelis of Lymes, a Sister of Enchantry and member of Nalia’s trusted Council." She shifted how she sat and kept her eyes on the Queen before her. "Nalia spoke kindly of your people. You… honor us by repaying your life debt."

    At that, Halya of the O’aris smiled.

    "That is true to speak, but I will always hold Nalia al’Vatar with favor in my heart."

    Laelis relaxed slightly.

    "Your daughter is well?"

    "Silvyan is like coral in sunlight." The merman looked to the other Enchantress asleep on the bed. "Your Sister has not risen?"

    Laelis shook her head. Her strawberry blond hair waved to either side of her chest. She bit her lower lip, a habit when thinking deep or in distress. Body language, even out of the water, was a great source of communication for the O’aris. The Nimphel gestured with a ringed hand. There was a red-gemmed ring on her finger. Leanness’ eyes were immediately drawn to it.

    "May I approach your friend?"

    Laelis looked down at Shalla and nodded. The merman approached, surprisingly fluid for someone who typically did not walk with human legs. She came and crouched before the bed, before Shalla. One of her webbed hands came up and was placed across Shalla’s forehead. Leanness leaned forward and reached a hand down to touch Shalla’s bare shoulder. the Nymphal closed her eyes. Leanness felt her throat go dry and so the question she asked of the O’aris Queen came out in a whisper.

    "Is she alright? Will she live?"

  7. #287
    Rekōdo City: The Audience Chamber of the Grand Palace

    Prince Eri, Acting Ruler of Rekōdo and his guards Ganard of House Fallandor and Merelin of House Diorna

    "You lie."

    There was no love in the Prince's voice for the Commander of Taroc, retiring or not. The Prince's voice was a hallowed, angry whisper Ganard wheeled to look at the Prince, but to the Prince he was nonexistent. There was only Ryth, a symbol of Taroc and Alain LeCavalier's greatness. The seal of the Princess shone with promise upon the envelope, but it went ignored.

    The Prince's unblinking eye remained on Ryth. Ganard looked with stern surprise at the Prince.


    The Prince raised a hand and Ganard was immediately silenced. Ganard cannot speak openly in front of the Prince and would not even if he desired to. His brown eyes sterned stiffly, in understanding of Ryth's caution and unvoiced questions. The only thing he can do is drop a finger to the armed side of his body. He tapped the hilt of his sword silently with a finger. It was a signal to be alert, for a possibility of trouble. Ganard's eyes remained ahead of him, on Ryth and betrayed nothing else. Merelin's brown eyes looked anguished where she stood. She glanced sidelong at Eliona with strict lips and worked very hard to control her breathing. The Prince nodded once and Ganard stepped forward and retrieved the letter from Ryth's hand. His stern, brown eyes were filled with warning as he handed the envelope to the Prince. Eri took it, but made no motion to open it. Instead he looked at the sealed parchment. The glow of his Sister's seal played across his face.

    "It is a trick of Taroc." The bitterness in his voice made Merelin wince. This was not the nature of the beloved Prince of Rekōdo. It was the voice of a young man who grieved, who was angry in his grief. it was the most dangerous kind of grief. Ganard shifted uneasily, in a way with which Ryth would be all too familiar: the way a man re-balanced themselves in an unstable situation near an unstable person. "They show me what I wish to see, not truths. The Diviners and their Master are liars and they cheated Rekōdo of what and who it needed most."

    He finally looked down to the envelope that glowed patiently at his face.

    "Diviners do not part-take in rituals of the dead." His eyes. when they looked up, were filled with grief-laden anger. His voice brimmed with it, like the crests of the waves at the beginning of a storm. "I was told she would be protected under the care of Alain LeCavalier. The job was mine. I failed my Sister-"

    Eri's brown eye looked from the envelope back to Ryth.

    "- but I am not the one who killed her."

    Ganard had but a moment to cry out and attempt to draw his own weapon from its sheath, but the Prince was too quick. The sword of the LeCavalier Clan was drawn from its sheath with a rip of fire. The envelope with his Sister's seal was discarded with a flip of his hand to the table in front of them. It fluttered up in the air and came spiraling down in the center of the table like a leave in the last breath of Fall. The drawn sword was brought up and then down at Ryth's head. The sword sparked and then flamed to life as it came down and through the envelope on its way to the old soldier and emissary.

    When the blade came to the envelope, it exploded.

    A seal, to mark a closed envelope can come with conditions. Some allow only a certain person to open it and any other who try are inflicted with whatever enchantment spell is placed upon the document. Some are hexed, some are cursed. Some have to be opened a very specific way, known only by the sender and receiver. The Princess knew her brother's grief. She knew it would be great, that it would consume him with the guilt he felt. The job to protect her was his and she, not Alain, had denied him the ability to do so. She knew, in his grief and terribly guilt, that he would be blinded to that and would mourn her in the deepest and worst way possible. And she knew that Ryth, as a symbol of who Alain LeCavalier was and is, would be a target for the wrath of the hurting, guilt-ridden young man.

    Eri was thrown back into the door that lead to the interior and heart of the Grand Palace. The sword of LeCavalier went with him and clattered into the wall beside him and then down onto the marble floor. Merelin cried out and stretched out a hand to Eri, but both she and her magikal intervention were shoved back from the table by the force of the repercussions. Merelin landed on far back, slid and then was still. Ganard's hand was already on his sword. He drew it and brought it up directly in front of his face, dividing his features perfectly in half. The corners of his eyes crackled and the magikal output flowed around his sword and him like a dam blocking its path. The lanterns within the room hummed loudly at the emission of magikal energy, but, sensing the Princess's magikal signature alone, no alarms were sent to the High Guard of the Palace.

    There was a stillness on the royal side of the table. Curiously, Ganard went to Merelin first and touched her shoulder. He crouched down to her as she lifted her head. She looked dazed but nodded to him. She put a hand to her temple as she sat up. Before she'd risen completely, Ganard was at Eri's side. The Prince groaned and pushed himself up. He held a hand over his face and fumbled for something for a moment before giving up. He stood with Ganard's aid and looked at the table, recovering guard. Something golden glowed beneath his left hand, which covered his left eye. Eri's remaining eye squinted as he breathed heavily to get the air knocked out of his lungs back inside. He looked at Merelin as she finally raised her eyes to him. Something changed in the Prince's breathing. It became more erratic for a moment. He slowly, lowered his hand from his eye.

    In the turmoil, the eyepatch had become lost. When the Prince removed his hand, the full, golden brilliance of his Totem-eye shone forth into the room. The amber lamplight brightened and the hum increased as if the Totems were all joining in song. The brilliance of the eye faded to a more acceptable level for the room and so, too, did the amber light and Totem-Song. The Prince's breathing remained jagged, but when he looked at Merelin with his renewed sight, his breath caught in his throat. The Prince closed his eyes tightly shut and then opened them again. His irises moved as if adjusting to her presence or tracking it, though she remained side saddle upon the floor. He stepped back almost into the door and braced himself there as if he might fall. His eyes did not linger on her, though it seemed they could for a very long time. Instead he looked to Ganard and winced, then his sight was ultimately drawn to the table. The Prince's mouth opened slightly and he stood up from the door to his full height. There was a look of joy and sorrow and utter helplessness in his eye. He stepped forward off the door and approached the table as if everything and everyone else had gone from the room.

    The only thing he stared at was his sister, or the image of her, sitting upon the edge of the table. She stared back at him. Her casual ensconce reminded him of her in the days before her trials began, back before she was removed from society for the preparations for ascension. Her pale eyes looked gently, but sadly at him. Something in them grieved and the grief for what had been broken between them was mirrored in his own eyes. Beside her, symbol glowing with invitation, was her unopened letter to him. She sat properly as one could when using a table for the things that chairs were for. She looked at him and then touched the invitation. He blinked and she was gone.

    He was the only one who saw her. He was the only living man with an eye that could see her.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 06-30-2018 at 02:09 PM.

  8. #288
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom


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

    The Princess offered Olivia a sympathetic smile. Her initial tutoring and later her Trial for Ascension in Da'Jinn under the harsh and strict tutelage of under Jinai bint Jazeem, twelfth daughter of the Sultan of Sand was met with much initial struggle. Everything about Da'Jinn was complicated: It's patriach-style culture, its symbolism behind dress, its customs, it's language both modern and ancient, its magik and even its architecture. Such difficulties were part of a deep-rooted system of hierarchy that allowed only the few, the fortunate and the honored found great success in their complex world.

    The motions of the Necromancer's hands caught the Princess's attention. Her pale eyes watched each eddy and gyre of movement with intense interest as if Olivia were one of her esteemed tutors back at the palace and she were learning a lesson. her eyes trailed each archaic pattern as if she were plainly spelling out its complexities. The Old Tongue of Maginus caught her ears.

    "I understood" she informed Olivia. She watched the dark bird fly off and become lost in the falling snow.

    "Tell me" she began thoughtfully as she watched the animal fly. "Why a rav-"

    The Heli'Dom groaned and creaked with mannerisms that made the Princess pause. She listened, though this was a language not known to her, the sounds of an ancient building, there were intonations to it, just as there were when it ached and lamented while the Acting Master of Taroc played his music. Music, she had realized, had gotten very soft as he bent low and spoke to the very expectant Mistress of Enchantry. When Olivia announced that the true Master of Taroc had returned, Nalia turned from Arion and looked at the doorway that lead into the observatory. It was greatly apparent and becoming more difficult for her to hide the amount of fatigue she felt, as if the act of waiting for Alain's safe return had exhausted all her reserves.

    "You will stay" Pasce quietly intoned to Olivia as she began to clean house in anticipation of those-to-be-arrived. The Princess regarded the Necromancer as she displayed the closest thing to fear she had seen in her yet. "He will not harm you here."

    And then the door opened.

    The Princess affords Alain a small smile and bowed her head to him and to Clow. Beyond her, standing beside someone at the edge of the teeth-like pattern of the turret, the red-haired Second of Taroc turned to the presence of Alain and Clow's re-unified Soul Song. Another smile is granted to Alain, one relieved and aloof with that wolfish-character that was Arion's. There's something of concern in the Second's equivocally crimson eyes as his fingers slowly strume and pluck gentle, peaceful notes from his guritar. His long hair is tied back in a gentlemen's ponytail in the Old Taroc style. Usually it curtained his eyes in some way or framed his face, but now his eyes were clear to Alain: Relief and concern. They were plagued by both. Arion nodded to Alain and then unobtrusively stepped back and around to the contorted structure of the Heli'Dom's telescope. He changed his melody a moment for the old structure and then would make a subtle arc in his movement away from it and closer to Pasce and Olivia. He would complete their triangulation for the arrival of a man whose Soul Song he was listening to and committing to memory.

    She watched him find her. Her eyes caught hold of his crimson-coated presence since he came through that door. Her breath had caught in her throat. It trapped his name, the only thing she could think of to say or scream and left her voiceless as he stepped forward from the threshold of the door. There was something said in Astral lore, in much of Taroc's ancient lore, about crossing a threshold, like a portal into a part of your fate in life. Some were just portals, but some were beginnings and only your footsteps after that crossing would prove just what you had entered into.

    He pierced the magnitude of that gateway at a run.

    Nalia rose.

    She wanted to speak, to reach out and touch him, but she was afraid doing so would rouse her back to the harsh world where there was little hope for either of them. Nalia followed his tragic gaze over her shoulder with a turn of her head. She tore her eyes away from Capios, finding its darkness unbearable in his presence. This is what she had warned him of since he'd taken her out of Astral. She was afraid, she had always been afraid, that this darkness being release upon their world was only a matter of time. She turned away from Capios and bowed her head as he looked upon her.

    It was when he spoke of the doorway being gone that she looked up at him. It was closed off forever in the void that she had asked him to use upon her if she should ever lose control of the Nightmares within her. She had asked him that a decade ago in the tainted waters of the Tiarna Woods, under the test of character by Mindoka of Shamaa, when she had gone to the eldest Guild Master with hopes for his blessing to create Enchantry. Now, that doorway and all the dark things behind it were gone.

    And gone with them is Darmon of Maginus.

    He is gone.

    Darmon is gone.

    Alain brought Nalia's hands to his lips. Her eyes close and the breath that had been held was released with a quiet sound meant only for him. It was an exhale of tentative deliverance.

    "Thank you" she whispered and wrapped her arms around him. With their unborn child safely between them, she buried her head in the comfort of his strong, warm chest and allowed herself a moment where sounds that fell somewhere between laughing and weeping were lost in the fractional space between them. Her hands tightened on the clothes of his back and pulled her as close as she could comfortably fit. She never wanted to let him go again.

    But Verona announced another to them and Nalia found herself pulling out of the presence of her greatest love and releasing him with all but one hand, the fingertips of which grazed along the clothes of his arms and stopped at the sensitive flesh just below his elbow. She could not bring herself to leave him entirely. Her other hand floated nearby, lost without something of him to grasp. He would feel the coolness of her touch beneath his clothes there. Nalia had pulled back from Alain just enough so that she could see around him, to the new Master he'd brought with him.


    Despite how well Alain had tried to prepare him for this, the young, new Master of Maginus felt his confidence drain from him as soon as the door opened to the observatory deck. He had never, in all his life been called a Master. He'd never hoped to be. Even at the Temple he was simply Sacha.

    ~Get out there, you fool!~ barked the Ancestral Spirit in his head. Sacha collected himself and crossed the threshold of the Heli'Dom's most important room.

    Immediately, his eyes found the Princess of Rekōdo. He took several more steps into the observatory area and then planted the half-arrow head of his Shepherd's Crook. The white-haired man took a knee before Pasce and bowed his head. The young Princess came forward and stood before the newest of her Guild Masters. She took a moment to observe him before she reached down and gently touched his bowed head. Sacha looked up, startled at her delicate touch, but he did not jerk away. He found that once his incredible blue eyes caught sight of the Princess's, they were held there. Her pale eyes stared down at him. No, not at him, within him. Deeper than anyone had ever dared to stare at him before. Her hand, having guided him to look at her, now hovered close to the side of his face as she searched him.

    "Well done, Master Arxus" she said formally, gently. "It is good to see you again."

    The Princess's fingers curled to her palm and she stepped back from Sacha. Taking a hint from her mannerisms, which helped him far more than a list of do's and don't ever could, the Shepherd rose. He made eye contact with the very tall Second of Taroc as he came upright.

    "You are the Second of Taroc? The foreign man?" he asked cautiously. Arion had ceased his playing to tune his instrument. He looked up and strung the instrument behind his back once more.

    "I am both those things."

    There was an odd mixture of tense and calm to Arion's voice. He was listening to the new Guild Master's Soul Song to try and get a read on the man. Sacha nodded. His eyes glanced at Arion's circlet of horns that protruded through his hair. Something in Sacha's eyes changed. He could hear whispers, echoes of something. Arion went very still, as still as Sacha went facing him. The two men stared at each other, crimson fire and blue ice. Then the Shepherd of Souls looked down and away from the Second of Taroc. The encounter left Arion ill-at-ease and the rattled Second shifted his own gaze away also. Sacha's eyes then found Olivia.

    His blue eyes first saw her bag, the medallion. The bag was given careful consideration. He could feel the turmoil of it, how it felt out of place among the living world. It could not be pinpointed, the feeling or what within caused it. It danced around his senses a if to tease and allure him. Arxus leaned more prominently into the front of his mind, as if she Spirit were trying to sense something Sacha could not.

    ~Be wary of this one~ the Spirit warned. ~There is something about her that does not sit well with me.~

    Sacha considered this and his eyes moved up to Olivia's face.

    ~Did she say Agent Kurhson!? That is a Maginus name and she is a Taroc Agent!?~

    Sacha's blue eyes studied Olivia. Immediately, he felt something off. The Crook in his hands hummed gently in a way that filled his entire body with pin pricks. He had not felt so on edge since his wait to guide Arxus had extended past its due time. Sacha's lips parted and he attempted to stare into the depths of Olivia's eyes. His body stance changed. Like someone ready for a conflict. Sacha's unburdened arm way out from his side as if ready for a fight. His breathing quickened and his heart rate began to beat faster. The hum of potential conflict filled the air. Conflict that would come from too much questioning, too much prodding and pushing from the Maginus Ancestral Spirit upon his new host. It was in Sacha's nature, in the core of his duty to guide Souls to the Beyond. Olivia was a walking violation of that chain of life-to-death order. Sacha's hand tightened on his crosier at his side. He felt the lightning-like energy of his power leaving the cells of his hand and connect with the self-made Totem he carried-

    "Master Sacha."

    Sacha's eyes blinked. Everything left him in a rush and left him feeling as if he were falling. He turned his head to the Princess's call and was unsteadily in focusing his eyes on her right away. Whether or not she saw it was left unvoiced, but she gave him time to center himself and his sight upon her.

    "Be at ease" she said gently. "We are among good people here."

    Sacha felt the turmoil from Arxus, the unease he felt from the bag and its carrier, the echoes of something he did not understand from the Second of Taroc. he felt pulled in too many directions at once. He managed to give their Princess a curt nod.


    -he hesitated, tried to find the right words-

    "- I do not seek conflict here. The Master of Taroc has been good to me. It is just-"

    -he hesitated again, a man of carefully chosen words-

    "- I am just a Shepherd. This is much to take in."

    The Princess's brow furrowed and her hands folded neatly before her small waist. She was just barely a woman, more-so and less-so by the varying standards of the Provinces.

    "Good Master, please forgive my ignorance on the matter" she asked of him plainly. "What did you Shepherd before Arxus found you?"

    Sacha's eyes shifted uncomfortably under the eyes of so many that, just hours ago, would have been considered his enemies by their birth.

    "Souls" he said with honestly. "I am the Shepherd of Souls from Liar'Adon's Temple in Windf'rte."

    "Ah" the Princess said gently, with understanding. "I have kept you from completing your most important obligation."

    Sacha shifted again, unsure if shrugging were an acceptable motion in the midst of royalty, but before he could respond, something in the Princess's eyes changed. Just for a brief moment, he saw something of an understanding within herself turn on, and with it came sadness to her eyes. it was there one moment and gone in an instant. She would be trained against revealing such things, but Sacha was trained to recognize them in his opponents. It was one of those things that stuck with him, even though he had not competed in the Blood Sport since the Priests of Maginus found him and liberated him.

    "I am sorry for that" the Princess said amid the silence she left in her wake. "I am sorry for keeping him from you for so long."

    The Shepherd nodded to her.

    "It is my understanding that it was not your doing. The fault is not yours."

    The Princess smiled then, a small and slightly sad one.

    "You are gracious" she said thoughtfully, quietly. "When considering Arxus's last choice for a Vessel... I did not expect that."

    Within, Arxus harrumphed, but Sacha sensed the Spirit was not truly offended by her words. Much of his posturing seemed a front, a bravado of strength and stubbornness for the world around him.

    ~You should remind her of my very limited prospects.~ the Spirit of Maginus intoned ruefully. ~You were a marginally better choice for a Vessel over imprisonment in flying lizard's toy by a power-hungry thief!~
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 07-01-2018 at 07:07 PM.

  9. #289
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    Doctor Doraen & Berlix Ruelle

    Zinna's House, in the Vision Domain...

    Once he begins eating, Doraen discovers a hunger he had long been ignoring. He hasn't eaten since Astral, during a quiet moment after Ryth nearly died and before Alain summoned them all off to another potential death.

    Doraen eats as quickly and deeply as basic concepts of manners will allow. He pauses every so often as he switches from his body's need for food, and his mind's need to think through Udaya's words. It warms Doraen's heart to hear that the Shamaa are staying strong in these chaotic times.

    Talk of a shadow claiming the land incites another moment of pause in the doctor. His instinct is to assume this darkness is of Maginus origin, but Udaya makes it sound like it has afflicted the entire world. Doraen doubts Maginus would inflict this upon themselves.

    "You can see the symptoms, but not the cause?" Doraen observes. After suspecting Maginus of wrongdoing, falling back upon his medical training is his next most prominent instinct.

    He takes another bite, slowly chewing over the food and the problems Udaya describes. Gradually, he swallows and begins to think aloud,
    "Queron, one of Zinna's disciples, claimed the LeCavalier clan had betrayed Taroc. It was long ago in a conflict that was lost in time.

    "Then- then Zinna claimed the LeCavalier's were responsible for erasing that betrayal from everyone's minds. And that's why the Circle tried to destroy them all."

    Dorae sets his spoon down. These memories make him feel too ill to eat. He instead leans back into his chair, staring at the middle of the table.

    "The LeCavaliers were warriors," Doraen exhaled. "They collected magic to use in battle, not to steal memories. In fact, they did all they could to ensure others remembered their exploits. The legends of their clan was one of their greatest strengths. Sometimes enemies would surrender rather than fight against a LeCavalier, all because of the stories that had been spread about them."

    "Besides, to make a whole world forget something-- That kind of power- The LeCavalier's didn't have that kind of power. No one has that kind of power."

    "The council does," Berlix states past a partially eaten bite of her food.

    Doraen turns to dismiss the notion with his unbelieving expression. However, her words echo through his mind. The girl wasn't claiming the council did do this, she was only pointing out they would have the power to do this. In this assessment, Berlix is right. The combined might of the Guild Masters and a King or Queen could have the sort of power needed to effect so many people.

    Doraen's dismissive features surrenders to Berlix's point, and the doctor nods approvingly. While Doraen is not convinced any iteration of the council would have tampered with the minds of the entire world, and rewritten history, he at least knows the power to do so does indeed exist. Knowing that such a thing is potentially possible will free up Doraen to instead ponder why such a thing was done, and what exactly did it do to their world.

    "If the LeCavalier's were involved, it was because there was a fight," Doraen releases the obvious, just to get it out of his way. "If that fight involved them revolting against Taroc, then it would seem the LeCavalier's lost this fight. Otherwise the LeCavalier's would have been in control of Taroc. If my research on them is accurate, the LeCavalier's believed in justice above everything else. This would include loyalty to Taroc.

    "They were fighting Taroc, because the province was perpetrating some kind of injustice. Or Taroc was one of many provinces committing this act."

    Doraen glances at Berlix. He recalls the girl's suggestion that the council has the power to erase the world's memories.

    "Or the whole council was doing something the LeCavalier's couldn't allow."

    Droaen feels a chill play its way up and down his spine. What sort of crime would the council need to commit to force the LeCavalier's to rebel against them. Even the ancient warrior clan was not foolhardy enough to risk going to war with the council, not unless the stakes were high. Many innocent lives would have to have been at risk. Doraen can't imagine what this crime could have been.

    The doctor takes a sip of wine. It's a bitter old vintage that Zinna used to enjoy, but Doraen only tolerated. Now he finds some comfort in it. It's like drinking in simpler days.

    He admits to himself that he could be wrong in backing the LeCavaliers in this scenario. They could have truly been the aggressors here, and rebelled against Taroc in some claim for power. Maybe they found some power that allowed them to erase this rebellion from the minds of everyone.

    This second line of thought doesn't feel right to Doraen. If the LeCavalier's had this sort of power they wouldn't have lost the rebellion. They would have used this memory magic against their enemies, and won the conflict.

    Doraen eventually returns his attention to Udaya. It's only after he has taken this long journey that the doctor recalls the shaken woman had called him Doraen. She's never done this. He leans forward, and takes one of her hands into his own.

    "We will solve this," he warmly tells her. He's a doctor now, assuring his patient that this illness will be conquered. "Are there any other- symptoms to this darkness? Is it having any other effects?"

  10. #290
    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

    As the others are just beginning to recover from the burst of magic, which was released from the sword-struck envelope, Ryth already has a chair in his hands. He tears a leg off of the chair, and discards the rest. He grips the wooden leg in his meaty grasp as he rises back onto his feet.

    Ryth glares burning wrath at the prince that had nearly murdered him. Dying in a battle against monsters, with a pistol in his hands, and the lives of innocents at stake is how Ryth wanted to die this night. Not at the hands of some insane boy prince. First Alain betrays Ryth, and now this... Ryth has had enough.

    The old soldier points his leg-club at Eri, and erupts with a gravelly roar,
    "You want to kill me, you little $#*%, you do it when I've got a weapon in my #*@&ing hands! Heron didn't raise you to be a #*@%ing murderer, and I ain't letting no cowardly #*@%ing punk kill me!"

    Ryth storms towards Eri, intent on making savage use of his makeshift club. He is blindsided by Eliona, who charges into him and seeks to hold him back with her own slender frame. She causes the man to pause a moment. It's when Ryth notices another Eliona approaching Eri that Ryth freezes to think this situation through. One of these women is real, the other is an illusion. Ryth isn't sure if either or both are throwing themselves into immediate danger.

    The Eliona that approaches Eri is glaring at the prince. His gold eye allows him to see her eyes are hollow, she's an illusion.

    "If you suspect we've wronged you in some way, you must bring forth your court investigators to prove this," Eliona snaps at Eri.

    Another Eliona manifests beside the one that is confronting Eri, granting the prince another potential target to strike at if he still desires to slay someone. Like the other one, this new Eliona is an empty eyed illusion to Eri's enhanced sight. This third Eliona continues to harshly berate the prince,
    "But if you only desire to murder us both, take that crown off now. A bloodthirsty tyrant has no place in this palace."

    A fourth Eliona stands beside the table where the letter fell. She picks it up and examines it, noticing it is entirely unharmed. She speaks in a calmer tone than the other versions of her, "I lost my sister. She was killed in a monster attack in Dayena. Rogue agents of Taroc summoned those beasts to kill my people, and draw out Master LeCavalier into an ambush, so that they could overthrow him.

    "My sister, Gustella, was one of the casualties of that night.

    "The beasts dragged her away from me, and devoured her. I could do nothing to save her. Despite everything I did- No matter how much I sacrificed, I could not save her.

    "If someone presented me with any glimmer of hope that she's somehow still alive and out in the world somewhere, I would take it. I would do anything to have Gustella back. Even for a day. For a moment."

    The Eliona with the letter approaches Eri. Her eyes sparkle with tears that refuse to fall. In those mournful eyes, Eri will see the reflection of his own pain. Her eyes have been carrying this pain longer, they're tired of this burden. She holds the letter out to the prince. The other three Eliona's evaporate into clouds of purple mist. The real woman holds the letter out to Eri.

    "I envy you. All you need to do is open this letter, and your pain will come to an end. You will have all that I want right now. But if you feel like you must slay the two of us to get that, then do it. The three of you have more than enough power to slaughter we two. Only know that if we are telling you the truth, it is Pasce that will judge you for your deeds on this night. Look inside of your heart, and ask if you honestly believe she will forgive you for this."

    Realizing how truly outgunned he is, Ryth drops the chair leg. He raises his hands to show he's done trying to fight for now.

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