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Pasion Pasiva

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    The Black Queen
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  1. What’s a Fated Quest? A fated quest is very much like a normal quest except that the ending has already been decided! When you take up a fated quest you’re essentially agreeing to play out a portion of history in order to bring that history to life. We give our creations such a rich background and it seems like such a shame to not play out some of the stories that we use to shape the current status of characters, countries, philosophies, and even objects. While a fated quest may have a predetermined ending that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to add your personal flair and even impact the current and future status of situations and locations. The reward for participating in a fated quest can come in many shapes and forms -- from giving your current character an ancestral claim to a territory to leaving behind some hidden relic that you can go dig up today (current Valucre time), plus the chance to help bring a board’s history to life. ~*~ Isabella's Secret This setting takes place 500 years in the past. Orisia is not the beautiful and idyllic place that most think of today. Instead, it is a dark and treacherous place, where humans and beasts alike are imprisoned and treated no better than cattle. Lord Areder DuGrace, the first true born vampyre to ever set foot upon the Summer Isles, has brought with him an insatiable thirst for La’Ruta, a magic that is entirely unique to the shores of the twin islands. The magic is concentrated in the very blood of the living beings that reside upon the islands, and so Lord Areder has taken to gorging himself on the vita of the guilty and innocent alike. Wanting to share the spoils of his discovery, he has sent word to his brother and his wife, the King and Queen of Atitlan (a country located in what would today be considered Ayenee). Although his invitation is for his brother, it’s actually intended for his sister-in-law, Isabella Morcia Bartolome -- a woman he has been having an affair with for the past 200 years. Isabella travels across the universe for nearly a decade in order to get to her lover, and once she arrives on Valucre their dramatic reunion and whirlwind romance will create the perfect chaotic environment for a small band of blood dolls to change from sniveling servants to courageous operatives for the fledgling rebel group that is being lead by the legendary hero Aulden. These brave souls will be charged with trying to find out a viable weakness that can be used to defeat Lord Areder and with figuring out a way to get that information out of the Cathedral de Sangre and into the hands of those who can use the information best. Unfortunately, your characters probably won’t make it out of this quest alive -- the question is can they find out what they need to find out and get the information out before being discovered and executed? In the processes, your character might be able to find/steal powerful relics and hide them away, your modern day characters can later go find said relics in the modern day ruins of the Cathedral of Sangre in the Areder Mountains. For this quest I am looking for 2-3 blood dolls to play as the personal play-things of Isabella and Areder. These individuals will be treated far better than the normal day-to-day slaves, but that only makes them glorified lap warmers and no better than household pets. They are expected to be absolutely submissive after having been put through rigorous training, and that meek and broken nature should be something that’s reflected in your character. Overcoming years of conditioning should be very difficult! But being a blood doll also puts you at the heart of private conversations and very near to the object of your study -- Lord Areder. -Looking for one female blood doll for Areder and one male blood doll for Isabella. -It would be best if you could post at least once a week. -It would be nice if you could create a character profile, but it isn’t necessary. -Looking for posts that are longer than 100 words. -You should be comfortable with violence and sexually suggestive content.
  2. Are you back!

    1. Atra'Lamia


      Not completely sure, or how back I shall be. We shall see. How are you sweet angel? 

    2. Pasion Pasiva

      Pasion Pasiva

      I am doing well. I had a little baby! 
      It would be wonderful to get to see you writing again. Maybe you can cox EJ back too!

  3. It wasn’t the first time Gabriela had seen another living creature with golden eyes, similar to her own. The closest she had ever come to seeing something with near the exact pattern of her shifting irses, the molten gold pools and lighting strike of copper lines, was when she had come nose to nose with one of the rarest and most beautiful creatures in all of Valucre -- a unicorn. It was in the dense forests of Ellwood while she was out on a hunt. The mythical creature had tilted its head towards her and pressed it’s dangerously sharp, pointed horn directly at her heart, between her breasts, and neighed at her harshly. It seemed like a challenge at the time, especially with the bright and curious glance it gave her after it trotted away -- as if it were asking if she might dare to chase after it and steal its blood. That thought quickly faded after the brave unicorn began to frequent her hunting grounds more and more often, until they were silent companions. She would, from time to time, bring him slices of apples, cubes of sugar, and on rare occasions, handfuls of honeyed oats. But that was neither here nor there… “Sorry, I’m easily distractible.” Gabriela blinked the memory away and nodded her head mutely after glancing in the direction that the woman had looked. She didn’t see anything, and she didn’t care to explore further. However, she was finally made aware of the little fae sitting somewhere above her head in the rafters. Quietly, she hoped that Elie was staying out of trouble -- and that she wouldn’t end up falling and cutting herself open again. For some reason, the mere memory of the girl’s blood made her uncomfortably thirsty. “That’s alright,” she replied with a shrug. “I would hug you, but I get a sense that that might not be welcome. My name is Antique, by the way. I’d like to know yours but, more importantly I should congratulate you…Having a child is a beautiful thing.” “It is, isn’t it?” She asked dimly, but still with a little smile. She set her hands on her flat stomach and gave it a pat. Yes, she decided in that moment, having a child is a beautiful thing. “I think I just wasn’t expecting it, but the thought is growing on me though. My name is,” she paused, and was thoughtful for just a moment -- was there any point to pretending she was someone else? No, it was better to start spreading the word that The Black Queen of Orisia lives. She licked her lips and looked back at Antique, “my name is Irene Gabriela DuGrace.” She left it at that. The name would either mean something or it wouldn’t. For the time being, she had no title to share. The bartender had returned and he had set a fresh glass of whiskey before her. Gabriela reached out and took it and went right back to holding it tenderly between both hands. “You know you shouldn’t be drinking that right? Well, maybe if it’s early, but a habit like that can do bad things to a child.” A more genuine smile spread across her lips as she tilted her head toward Antique once again. It was oddly refreshing to meet an individual who seemed honestly concerned with the well being of another, even if that other was so small and tiny that it could hardly be considered a somebody at all. She wondered about continuing her streak of honesty by confessing that she was a vampyre and couldn’t drink the beverage, even if she wanted to. She could explain that it was the smell and that alone that she was after, something to drown out the unbearable smell of Antique’s blood pulsing just beneath her lovely pale skin. No -- she decided -- that was by far too much honesty. “I know,” she replied softly, while swirling the liquid in her glass, “I am fixing to quit real soon.” Gabriela lied with a sweet, and by far, more charming smile. Her entire expression was softer and she seemed far more easy going now than when Antique had first engaged her. The young woman with similar-colored eyes had put Gabriela in a better mood. "But I'll have little else to do, so I might have time to help a woman in need...Oh!" Antique seemed easily excitable, and that in turn made Gabriela feel lighter and more content. She missed this so very much, sitting and talking gentle people with gentle dispositions. It was a far cry from the harsh, ugly, and cruel world of politics she had come from. "We could call it a premature gift, as congratulations." “Where are your travels taking you?” she asked, as a strange sort of plan started to form in her head. “If you happen to come by Patia, maybe you can deliver a message for me?”
  4. Elisa awoke to the smell of cooking meat, which she found oddly heavy for the early hour. Still, she got up and after a brief and pleasant exchange of ‘good morning’ she went about packing up her bedding and supplies. Although Malik offered food, she declined and settled instead for a small breakfast of dried dates, toasted bread and butter, and some fresh water. When they were done she glanced at him expectantly. “There’s something else… The effects of the flower’s pollen on humans is deadly in that it puts us to sleep and it’s near impossible to wake without being cleared of the poisonous air. Most who fall asleep die there out in the open, exposed to the elements. It doesn’t have the same effect on animals however. For them, the flowers seem to have a similar result as what the flowers use to be. The animals that consume the flowers die, and then are reanimated. The dead animals remain in this state so long as they are within the fumes of the flowers. So not only will be trying to avoid these deadly flowers, we’ll also be trying to avoid and possibly fend off undead animals with a taste for living flesh.” She frowned at him. “Are you ready for this?”
  5. “Don’t you dare label my brother. I told you before. He cannot help it. He took the body of a killer, a dead body… and maybe… Maybe he was wise to do so. If we had all done the same, we wouldn’t have to deal with these… these emotions.” She stared at him feeling her heart beat slower and slower, as if it were a flame starved of oxygen, which was starting to fade away. It was one thing to say that hope was dead and gone, but another to actually feel it begin to take it’s last pitiful breaths. That’s what this all felt like. Hearing him defend his brother so valiantly, without even knowing what he had done, made her wonder how he could so callously stand to accuse her without having a scrap of evidence. It made her doubt everything -- the love he supposedly had for her, the affection they had once shared, the tender warmth of the friendship they had built. Was it really gone? After Ryzerus had attacked her she had sworn that she would tell Zenahriel. Back then, just a few short months ago, she had been so undeniably certain that she knew the contents of the Raven’s heart. Back then she had been certain that he would not let the horrible crime committed against her go unpunished. She had sworn Ryzerus his death at the hands of his own brother. But now? She very much doubted that the Raven would believe a word that she said and so the ugly and painful secret she had confessed to Roen just some days ago, and for which he had turned her out after refusing to believe that she was an unwilling participant in Ryzerus’ continuous harassment. No -- it was better to keep the secret and hide the shame of it. “What did he do, that you would call him that? Did he not help you?” “You’re right -- it was wrong of me to call him that,” she whispered, although it was a clear lie. Like always, the small and demure woman would shoulder the burden of her pain alone, after having learned a painful lesson in Patia. Those who said they loved her best were those she could trust the least. So she straightened and began to push the sheets away and to slide her legs over the edge of the bed. “Are you still thinking about killing me, or can I go? There are people waiting for me...I need to travel a far way before I can even think of getting back home. But home I will return, dead or alive.”
  6. Isabella Morcia Bartolome She had traveled across the inky blackness of space and past many bright and beautiful stars, galaxies that glittered in the unfathomable distance, and past tremendous clouds of sparkling galactic dust that was left over from the very early days of creation. She moved at a speed that was very near that of light, upon an elegant ship that had been perfectly designed to swim across such vast distances, connecting stars with stars and planets with planets. How in the world Areder DuGrace had managed to find his way to this obscure little corner of the universe was beyond her, but when his call came she was all but glad to answer it. Of course, for propriety's sake, she had to tell her husband that his brother (her brother-in-law) had invited them to what could only amount to as a century-long vacation in the strange little world he had found, upon the tiny gem of an island where he had founded a new colony for Atitlan. And while he urged them both to come, his brother and his wife, Isabella knew that Areder only wanted to see her. It had been some sixty years since the youngest DuGrace brother had climbed aboard his spaceship and gone out into the stars to try and find his claim to fame. She missed him dearly every single day of his absence -- but it didn’t feel like a long time. Time worked differently for creatures such as them. And so when she told her husband, King Bonifacio of Atitlan that his brother had asked for them to visit the man, the vampyre, seemed flippant about excusing himself and granting his blessings for his wife to go on her own to represent him. She did well to hide her pleasure, and he all the more to hide his disgust and disdain. The king knew very well that his Queen did not love him, that she never had, and that she never would. It mattered little. All they had to do was produce a child and then they would be husband and wife only in name. However, a nice hundred year long vacation from her scowling face seemed absolutely wonderful to him, so off he sent her. If the quickness of her husband's answer had hurt her, it didn’t show. Sadness didn’t really register for Isabella, whom had ever really felt pain on the day it had been confirmed that she would marry Bonifacio instead of his brother Areder, after her eldest sister passed away. She had felt a deep disappointment, a resentment, and eventually an icy unattachment to the entire situation. She married, and she tried to produce an heir -- so far, they hadn’t had any luck. “Majesty, please let me welcome you to the Cathedral de Sangre. Lord Areder is eagerly awaiting your arrival in the throne room,” it was a vampyric servant who opened the door to her carriage and held out a hand to help her down. It was nothing more than show and pomp, but she didn’t mind adhering to the cultural norms. She took the offered hand and climbed down. The technology here was dreadful, it was one thing to pretend at living in the dark ages and a completely different thing to actually abide by the technological restrictions. And yet -- there was something charming about having to travel by horse and carriage, about having to leave her beautiful ship floating somewhere in orbit, and to have come down in a rough and thrilling ride upon a small and cramped pod. But here she was, and Areder was just beyond the large stone pillars and heavy wooden doors. “I’ve waited a very long time to see Lord Areder, tell me -- does he remember me fondly?” Her voice was a song, a sweet siren’s song full of bright notes and sweet lifts. It was musical and bubbly, quite contrary to her personality, which was difficult to perceive beneath the mask of innocent beauty. She appeared a young woman of twenty five, younger even with her dark hair falling down around her nearly bare shoulders. “For over a decade, he’s spoken of nothing else but your coming to see him. He’s waited rather impatiently,” the servant smiled and began to walk, leading the way for Isabella to follow. “We all rejoice at your presence here, Majesty, and we mourn the lacking presence of your husband, King Bonifacio, but we understand that he cannot be pulled away from his work at this time. “Yes, it isn’t possible for him to travel at this time. Things are difficult back home. But I am sure he’ll have it all settled by the time I return to him.” “Do the human revolts continue, your Majesty?” asked the servant gently, assuming that he had been given leave to speak earnestly, and his concern for the motherland was quite earnest. “To a degree,” she replied, keeping in step with him as they climbed the stairs to the front gates that lead into a beautiful courtyard. There were patches of grass, perfectly manicured, and lovely fruit trees growing within massive terracotta planters that had been painted gold and red. The smell of orange blossoms blew across the breeze, and she had to stop to take it in. She had been on her spaceship for something like 7 years -- she missed the smell of fresh fruit and fragrant flowers. “It’s not as bad as when you all left, but you know them. The humans of Eden and Ayenee simply refuse to learn their place. It will take time, as all great endeavors do. How do things go here? From what I’ve heard, Areder has had a much easier time with the creatures of this island. It seems it didn’t take him long to become lord and master of this land. The King, his brother, is rather impressed.” “Oh yes, Lord Areder has seemed very inspired in his approach to bringing the island to heel. Perhaps he’ll share with you what his plans are moving forward, he hasn’t spoken much about it to anyone else.” The servant stopped, they were at the foot of a great stair case, after having walked through the gardens and multiple long and tastefully decorated halls. “Would you like to freshen up, your Majesty? Or would you prefer to go straight to your brother?” “Take me to my beloved brother,” she answered with a decadent smirk that made her blood red lips a dreadful temptation. “I’ve been too long without him, I cannot stand another moment.”
  7. Back when the dragons came to Orisia they stretched their influence to all corners of the two sister islands. With the rise of Lord Areder and the loss of La'Ruta 500 years ago, most of the dragons fled to Ceyana where they established their own city and protected the whole island against invaders of any sort. It is only recently with the rise of the Black Queen that the dragons of Ceyana have opened up to allow newcomers onto Orisia' sister island. In small steps, the dragons that remained upon Orisia, in hiding, are now also coming out of the woodwork. Here you will find a list of the dragon species' that we are currently aware of. There may be many more. Blackbolter Average Lifespan: 200-450yrsAverage Length: 15-20ftAverage Weight: 900-1000lbsLocation: Orisian Mountain RangesDiet: Tuff, ObsidianDesription: Among the fastest of dragons, built for speed and stealth. Its most unique feature is the “acid†it spits. The acid is not corrosive, but is believed to be made out of liquid energy. As soon as the acid leaves its mouth, the clear fluid begins to spark, then erupting into flames and electricity. The effects are short-ranged, but effective, able to burst large sections out of entire boulders in concentrated amounts. These creatures generally live in solitude with large territories, and very little is known about them, save for their general location in Orisia's highest mountain ranges. Thornback (baby dragon from hell by *artkingman on deviantART) Average Lifespan: 30-60yrsAverage Length: 3-5ftAverage Weight: 100-120lbsLocation: Lake Atitlan, Orisian fresh water riversDiet: Fish, FrogsDescription: Small with viciously sharp teeth, thornbacks are largely aquatic dragons. They have surprisingly powerful jaws that can break through bone, and spit out small clouds of “sleep fog†that renders its prey unconcious. Its most typical methods of hunting consist of sneaking up on prey, knocking it out with sleep fog, and biting off the head before consuming the rest of the body. These creatures lay their eggs in natural springs, but frequently visit broader waters to hunt for prey. Rumbler (created by Somniferum @ Average Lifespan: 250-320yrsAverage Length: 30-42ftAverage Weight: 5,500-6,300lbsLocation: Dorado PlainsDiet: Sheep, Rams, Deer, Mountain LionsDescription: Enormous creatures that are less than graceful in flight. Their speed, however, is enough to outrun most land animals, and they use their massive roar to stun and knock over prey. This roar is so powerful that it can knock down fully grown trees. These creatures tend to be intrepid wanderers, sometimes hunting in pairs or otherwise braving valleys alone. Snapblossom (Flower Dragon by Vauhtipatti Flower Dragon by Vauhtipatti) Average Lifespan: 250-320yrsAverage Length: 15-22ftAverage Weight: 600-1,000lbsLocation: Ellwood ForestDiet: Insects, small mammals and birdsDescription: Decidedly bird-like dragons that live in heavily forested areas. They build their nests in excessively large trees or cliffs, and generally live in small groups that roam far to hunt. These prideful, but oddly playful creatures are attracted to shiny objects, and are more notorious for stealing from humans rather than trying to eat them. Their breath, rather than being fiery or acidic, creates a perfumed and diffused “syrup†that condenses on objects, rendering them trapped in stickiness. Given time, this substance will crystallize its victim over. Noxious Twiste Average Lifespan: 100-150yrsAverage Length: 10-15ftAverage Weight: 350-400lbsLocation: Valanian DesertDiet: Small mammals and reptilesDescription: Colorful creatures that live in caves, sometimes trees, and even like to swim. They are solitary creatures that seem fine with sharing territory, as they don't seem to claim any. They are wanderers, but have very predictable migratory patterns up and down Ranthus River. As far as tactics, they tend to employ ambush strikes, spiting out venom that numbs skin and paralyzes muscle when inhaled, or simply curl around prey to strangle it. Skincrawler Average Lifespan: 60-90yrsAverage Length: 2-4ft.Average Weight: 30-40lbs.Location: The Aerder Mountains, The Red SandsDiet: InsectsDescription: Lizard-like dragon that can change its skin color to match its surroundings. It uses this camouflage to hunt for its meals, and when the prey closes in, it emits a small burst of fire to fry it. These creatures tend to live in small groups around warm, rocky areas. Bone Wyrm Average Lifespan: 850-2,000yrsAverage Length: 40-50ft.Average Weight: 1,000-2,000lbs.Location: The Red SandsDiet: SoulsDescription: Believed to be a living mix of nightmares and fallen dragons—where they come from is unknown, but they are believed to have been created by whatever force lies hidden in the lair within The Red Sands. They tend to appear at night, hunting for any living creature that dares to move upon the sand. Their methods of hunting consist of flying over prey and blasting it with its icy breath, and once frozen, the dragon either devours the prey whole or sucks out its life essence, leaving only the husk of a body behind. Lurker Average Lifespan: 600-1,000yrsAverage Length: 40-50ftAverage Weight: 1,000-1,500lbsLocation: Orisian Coast, Lake AtitlanDiet: FishDescription: A fairly peaceful creature of the sea, which uses its voice to attract prey. It is believed to be the creature that first made the siren song, allowing other creatures of the sea to entice men to their deaths. At any rate, the song is believed to have magic qualities, as it soothes its listeners and draws them to be closer to the water. Nightmare Average Lifespan: 600-1,000yrs.Average Length: 6-7ft.Average Weight: 700-750lbsLocation: Migrates; Theoretical Roost in Viridian PassDiet: UnknownDescription: A nocturnal dragon that is able to render itself invisible to those around it with its own telepathic aura. It is an exceptionally clever dragon that appears to feed off of the dreams of other creatures, which leads to its name—Nightmare. Nightmares are capable of breathing blue fire, which has no heat, but negatively affects the mind of the target. While touched by the flames, the target is forced to face their greatest fears and desires, overcome by visions that touch the deepest and darkest places of their hearts. Black Broiler Average Lifespan: 600-1,000yrsAverage Length: 35-40ft.Average Weight: 3,000-3,500lbsLocation: Areder MountainsDiet: RocksDescription: A large dragon that feeds off of the soft and hot rocks that volcanoes produce. They are highly territorial creatures, guarding precious stones and soft minerals for consumption. As per the typical dragon norm, they breathe excruciatingly hot fire, and have scales that are almost impossible to penetrate with metal.
  8. The first alchemy ever known on Genesaris, discovered by dragons. It consists of using a gem's essence and combining it with a dragon's innate magic simply by it "breathing" into the stone. It doesn't matter whether the dragon spits acid, spews fire, or breathes frost; the innate magic in that energy can be bound to a stone through a binding rune. Gems and stones are believed to house the strongest natural magic. Their auras tend to be subtle, but less fleeting than magics concocted by spells and potions. (By Talentails @ The binding rune, written by ink made from the breathing dragon's scales, reforms the stone (which must be in powder form) to take shape into a magical gem. Some gems even require materials that aren't stones to be forged. Instructions written into the binding rune often house commands for that stone, and for this purpose, most naturally found elemental stones are broken and reformed by this method to render its power active. A stone's primary properties are determined by its crystal lattice, and its secondary properties are determined by its color. Three Combinations of Stones: Class A, Class B, Class C Class C:Considered an original stone, holding the most basic powers of a pure stone. These types of gems exude a mild magical essence, and those that are found naturally are entirely inert. To further extract power out of such gems, rune enhancements are needed. Class B: The combination of two Class C stones. The primary effects of the stones are weakened, but present in the gem's aura. They do not require runes to keep their power active but because of this, they are also more dangerous in inexperienced hands. Class A: The combination of three stones, either of the B or C class (B and C cannot be mixed, with the exception of bondstone). This combination effects whether the new stone will reflect its secondary or primary qualities (B can only take on an overall elemental or neutral quality). Due to complications in mixing, Class A stones are rarer and their effective combinations few. Class C Stones Firestone Waterstone Airstone Earthstone Lightningstone Exaltis Crysalis Blowstone Bondgem Lifestone Cutter Sweetstone Eyestone Class B Stones Coalgem Tearstone Breathstone Growthgem Sparkgem Ignis Scutum Aqua Scutum Terra Scutum Aero Scutum Fulgoris Scutum Vita Scutum Class A Gems Seer's Stone Crystal Seed Fatestone Steamrock This is Fairness' Creation so any and all questions regarding the use and creation of these stones should be directed at her.
  9. Magic, in many cases, is commonly viewed as an alternate to science. Societies, namely Genesaris, flourish greatly from such a perspective. However, some perceive magic as a permeable essence, a source of all life. Thus is the case with a phenomenon known colloquially as La'Ruta. Missing for a thousand years and more, this source of power re-emerges quietly, akin to a short breath that had been lost.All beings, including those not native to Orisia, inherently possess La'Ruta, some weaker, or stronger, than others. Though all things contain La'Ruta, it is by kismet or, even, birthright that a person can hone this source, some being too poor, or, even, unaware, of La'Ruta's presence. There are two differing types of individuals whom wield La'Ruta, called Trained or Innate Magi. Trained Magi must be taught their craft and are limited to the prime elements; fire, earth, water, air, and electricity. Innate Magi need not learn anything, having abilities that are as easily apart of them as eyes, or a mouth. Their skills can be of a wide range of concepts, including the prime elements.The large majority of people that are not native to Orisia can become Trained Magi, with very few ever having the luck to be Innate. It is unknown why this is the case, however, its existence cannot be denied. This in mind, it can be concluded that whatever La'Ruta is, it is at its strongest point within Orisia. Until more research can be done, very little else can be said about this phenomena.A system has been preliminary distributed to those whom can identify La'Ruta and its Trained or Innate Magi, based on a one-to-ten ratio, from weakest to strongest collections of La'Ruta. Many beings, of little talent or strength, are classified as rank one; of too miniscule La'Ruta to bother being trained. At ranks two through four, you'll find most Trained and Innate Magi. Five through six are your most talented Trained Magi, along with your powerful Innates. Seven and up have yet to be documented, or discovered.A hypothesis, submitted by forum, dictates the possibility of increasing one's ability to harness La'Ruta; a technique that, in simplicity, raises your level within the preliminary system. Yet to be proven, more research will be conducted on the matter in order to offer founding evidence.To promote ease of understanding here is a table of our findings; Rank Classification Applicable Critieria 1 Most living things; too weak to become any kind of Magi 2-4 Most Trained and Innate Magi 5-6 Talented Trained Magi; Powerful Innate Magi 7-10 Undiscovered/Uncertain of relevant existence In order to play a trained or innate magi with a classification of 7 or above you must first get permission from the board owner. Big thanks to Jell0crew for the write up.
  10. “So, you didn’t kill her. Your son did. So you leave your kingdom under the rule of a murderer, to trick away the Devil only to let him put his cock inside of you and impregnate you with a bastard. How noble of you.” She looked disgusted and indignant. “What’s wrong with you?” she asked quietly, but still harboring a terrible anger. Her golden eyes were wide and sad and her brows were pinched in agonizing concentration. She sat on the small bed where he had left her, and she clutched at the sheets gathered around her lap, and she stared at him hard trying to find what had caused this ugly change in one of the kindest men she had ever known. “I don’t understand why you’re speaking to me this way. Don’t you understand that I had no idea what Lucis did? I found out only after Ryzerus…” Gabriela paused and her silence was pregnant with meaning. “Did your brother tell you anything else?” she asked meekly, turning away, looking down at her hands still gripping tight to the covers. She sincerely doubted that Ryzerus would say anything, more so that Zenahriel would care either way. She wasn’t sure which would be more painful -- the humiliation of Ryzerus proclaiming his sexual triumphs of her or the very real possibility that Zenahriel wouldn’t give a fuck. “I love him,” she said simply and sadly, though by the look of her downcast expression the confession came with a price. She looked small and alone as she pulled her knees to her chest and hugged them. “Say what you like -- but you know it’s the truth, you've known it longer than I have, longer than most. I love Roen. I am happy about this child. Noble or not, I can’t speak to any of that right now. I am just trying to figure out how to fix this mess without having to end my first born’s life.” She hadn’t been this open about what was happening with anyone. She knew it went against the plan that Roen had so carefully put into effect to confess the sins of her son, but Zenahriel had always been her friend -- surely there was something of that left in him. She looked to him now, expecting the same harshness that had met her so many times before, but hoping beyond hope to see a glimmer of thee man who had always stood by her side. “I know that it was my cowardice that set all of this into motion. I want fix it. I just don’t know what the best course of action is -- especially now. Roen doesn’t know, and -- I doubt he would care. He kicked me out of Patia because your brother paid me an unexpected visit. The fool thinks that we’re lovers,” before he could interrupt she spoke up clearly and loudly, “we are not. Ryzerus is a monstrous creature.”
  11. “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to cast such a distasteful shadow over your threshold, please forgive my initial appearance.” Gabriela hadn’t been bothered to look up -- not when the young woman arrived, swimming in a potent perfume of blood, and not now that she stood so close asking for forgiveness. The barkeep seemed to be of the same opinion on the matter, and he only gave her a slightly sideways look before turning fully to the pretty, pale woman who was still busy staring into her glass. He could smell money, and the golden-haired woman looked like she was by far more wealthy than the other, even with her disheveled and weary expression. Of course the man was utterly wrong. Gabriela didn’t have a penny to her name since she had been whisked away from Tellus Mater and thrown into the current whirlwind that was her life. “Can I top you off…” asked the bartender, although he noticed that the golden liquid inside her glass had not been touched. He almost felt stupid asking, but he wanted to secure a good gratuity for all of his extra attentions. “Or maybe, get you some ice…” he was silent, and looked a tad bit nervous as he polished an already clean wine glass. “No,” came the solemn answer, “but you can get me a fresh drink, this one has dust in it.” The man looked perplexed but didn’t question the request, after all he had gone out of his way to make a nuisance of himself. Now he had no choice but to reach out and take the offered glass and hurry off to fetch a new one. On his way he stopped back with Antique, looking far more humble now than he had just a few moments ago. “Can I get you anything?” he waited, and once he heard her request he left wordlessly. With nothing to hold onto or stare at, Gabriela was left feeling vulnerable. When she lifted her gaze it was straight ahead, and it was her reflection that met her -- peering back at her just as hard and suspiciously as ever behind countless liquor bottles. But there was a new softness to her expression. Something smooth and beautiful that curved around her cheeks, and across her forehead, and down the length of her nose to its very tip. It was a cool glow, a silvery hue, something extraordinary that was there in an instant before seeming to disappear. She had a singular thought, something she had heard in passing many times before -- pregnant women were always said to glow. Immediately she dropped her gaze and tried to stiffen the corners of her lips which were threatening to curl into a manic smile, which would no doubt end in a fit of panicked giggles. “Oh, hey, are you alright?” She blinked and looked at the woman dressed in a sharp, red coat. “You look like a loved one died, which… I hope’s not the case.” Gabriela blinked again. The long and curved lashes over her eyes seemed to flutter invitingly as she tried to gather her wits about her. For some reason it was taking a moment to register what the stranger was saying. She couldn’t quite comprehend that the young woman was even speaking to her directly. And then, she felt a strange plunge into the realm of nostalgia. This was just like old times, when she had grown up bouncing between taverns, meeting dozens of strangers every night. That’s what normal people did -- they came to a place like this, sat down, had a drink, and spoke to complete strangers. Enemies and friends were made in equal numbers. “Can I do anything for you?” “That’s awfully nice of you,” she replied, though she didn’t bother to turn and regard the woman a second time. Instead, she lifted her gaze a second time and peered at her reflection again. The glow was gone, or perhaps it was never there -- she wondered. “What if I said there was something you could do for me? Something stupid, and dangerous, and terribly irresponsible -- would you do it? I mean, you offered. No, I wouldn’t expect you to actually do something. No one ever actually means to go through with their random offers of kindness.” She didn’t mean to sound so cold or embittered, but the words, even rolling off her tongue with that sweet accent were undeniably harsh. It would be better to change the subject, or probably to just get up and go back upstairs. But she didn’t move -- she couldn’t. “I am expecting a child,” she said suddenly and quietly, and for the first time since she had heard the news herself, just an hour or two ago, the tiniest smile appeared on her face. It was at this moment that she decided to look up at Antique, having all but ignored the appearance and sudden levitation of another patron. Tonight, she just didn’t have enough attention span to go around. “It’s an unexpected pregnancy -- I didn’t even think it could happen. I guess I am a little shellshocked.” It was funny, now that she thought about it. Just a second ago there had been another person sitting in the same seat trying to, rather desperately, to dig information out of her. What made Antique different, she couldn’t tell, but here she was -- spilling her guts to a complete stranger. And a part of her felt utterly relieved.
  12. He was glad that she rescued the white rose, which he had clumsily almost crushed. But his gladness just about died there. She straightened, and he slouched, bending forward and resting his elbows on his knees. She spoke softly but he seemed lost in thought. His golden eyes were cast beyond the downward sloping gardens, far off to the shimmering and shining blue waters of Lake Atitlan, which spread open like a sea more so than a lake. There were ships sailing across the horizon -- little droplets of color against the vast blue, and a breeze that blew the many smells that they carried: spices, perfumes, fresh fruit, recently dyed fabrics, and many other things. Orisia moved onward, always toward the future, even while they sat there together ending something beautiful. “I was thinking about leaving, maybe find something better to do with my life.” “Better than serving your king and country?” he asked, somewhat embittered. It felt like a slap to the face to hear her say that being a knight of the Black Heart was somehow a waste of her time and that there were better things to be done. However, he pulled back on his emotions and hung his head after a moment. “I am sorry, I understand what you’re saying.” “Forgive me, I know my place as knight. I had no right to express myself to you the way I did at the coronation.” “We should be honest Constance -- you don’t see me as king, anymore than I see you as a knight. We had something very special, didn’t we?” He asked, looking at her over his shoulder. “I am sorry for the way I left, without telling you what was happening in my head, for never clearing anything up. I just drifted away.”
  13. He watched her for a while and didn’t feel an ounce of remorse for it. While she was lounging and enjoying her privacy, a dearly needed and wanted moment of peace and quiet, he stood upon a balcony, behind a railing carved from white marble. He stood with his hands deep in his pant’s pockets, and smiled when he felt the breeze across his forearms (the only part of his arms visible due to the way his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows). He justified his spying by simply saying to himself that he was out and about appreciating the beauty of his gardens, and being that she favored the cool shade under one of his trees and sat upon one of his benches, he therefore had every right to infringe. But it didn’t feel as malevolent as all of that. She was simply a beautiful sight, among a beautiful landscape, and it seemed fitting to see her there -- regal, peaceful, and heartbreakingly lovely. This thought carried him along down the same white, marble stairs, and down a short path through the gardens. He walked with the weight of his neglect, and how he had no real way of explaining himself to her. If she asked him if he had been busy, he knew he wouldn’t lie to her -- but he also wasn’t sure if he could tell the truth. He had been spending time with Constance; trying to soothe her hurt feelings and salvage whatever was left of their relationship. How could he tell her that he made her wait, not because she was any less worthy of his time and attention, but because he simply thought of her as stronger. From a glance, he knew she was more resilient. “You should never leave,” he said by way of greeting as he came upon Lemonie. “The gardens, the weather, even the shade that falls across you -- it’s all very becoming. It’s almost like,” he paused then and bit down on his bottom lip as he considered something, “--it’s like this is the first and only place I ever want to see you. Here, now, sitting on that bench with the breeze in your hair and the flowers tilting toward your presence.” Lucis smiled and shook his head. He looked undeniably young now that he was dressed down. Just a black pair of slacks and a black button up shirt with a sharply pressed collar and two gray patches of wool on the elbows. There was a gleam around his waist from a polished leather belt, and a golden buckle below his bellybutton. He stood there in the sun, with his skin looking a tad golden rather than the normal moonlight white. It was his father’s blood that favored the sun. He moved around and stepped closer to the sitting woman and finally bent and took a seat himself. He sat there, legs spread and back straight, with both his hands on his knees and he took a deep breath. It was meant to be comical, but the gold of his eyes as they narrowed upon her pretty face after what he was certain was a giggle, made him go from boyishly good looking to simply handsome. “What? Even kings need to get a little fresh air…” he smiled and relaxed. “How have you been liking your stay? Word in the servant’s quarters is that you don’t much like being doted on by a fleet of handmaidens. They’re all fretting, thinking they’ve done something to upset you. I hope that’s not the case, or else heads will roll.” He grinned, but was he kidding?
  14. “You could have been exceedingly cruel at that moment, Gabriela, and none would have blamed you. Tried to wound me, to drive me away. Instead, you took the high road, and I want you to know that I appreciate that. Even after all this time, you never cease to amaze me.” What did it matter to her that he found himself in awe of her kindness? It did little good to be gentle with him, to explain her position. Even though he listened, he did not hear a word she said. She knew it by his hardened expression. Nothing that had left her lips had sunk beyond the superficial layers that surrounded his heavily guarded heart. The knowledge of this wilted her. She was so very tired of fighting this same fight -- with him, with others, with the entire world it seemed. “Understanding, affection, respect… You say that you cannot give me these things, and yet I can recall, for so many years, that you were the only one to ever give them to me.” How? She wanted to ask. When they first met after nearly three centuries of separation she couldn’t even remember him. He, along with the rest of the world she had known as a child, was gone from her memories until the taste of his blood restored it all. And even then, she knew that the affection and love they shared had been so different than what he wanted now. She had been a child, regardless of the steps he took in grooming her to be his future queen -- she had been nothing more or less than a child. But she had to be kind, and she had to try to understand. She hadn’t stayed long enough to grasp what their culture entailed about such things. Perhaps the bond they forged was suppose to mean something. Maybe some sort of imprinting that just never took place entirely. On and on he went, and she became dizzy at the sound of his elegantly strung words. All of this was planned. On some level, she understood that it had been carefully orchestrated to fit. It wasn’t a random occurrence that she was here in Last Chance, or that before then she was in Patia -- she had to even wonder if the foolish actions of her son were not somehow forced. Raphael was so calm and collected as he explained himself, his vision of the future, and the reason why he deserved it. And on the wings of his most majestic imagination, she realized that he was the one who broke her. Although he confessed to having agreed to participate in Roen’s wicked plots, had he ever intended to? Losing him, her only family, and with him the Raven, her best friend, she had fled from sheer heartache. All of it had been too much. Was he cruel and cunning enough to have set the wheels in motion for all of this to happen? She was overwhelmed. But here she was -- under his careful care, and his even more careful control. Even her pregnancy, though she suspected it was an unfortunate surprise, had played right into his hands. It gave him the upper hand entirely. She know what to expect. The only reason Lucis had ever survived gestation was because of his father’s careful care. But now that she was alone, she didn’t know the first thing about how her body would react, and more importantly, how she could protect the tiny life that was just starting to grow inside of her. Raphael alone was the gatekeeper to the secrets of their kind, and she needed him. Him or Roen… Slowly she dropped her eyes to her hands, which had gathered at her lap holding fistfuls of the soft, fine sheets that covered her body. She didn’t seem to care that the fabric had fallen away from under her arms and that the soft swells of her breasts were visible, that her flat stomach, curved as she hunched over, was exposed. Her shoulders drooped and she remembered all the things that the devil had said to her on the night she left. "I want you gone. I want you to leave. Take what you want, take all, but most of all, take yourself from here. I cannot look at you, not after another has tasted your mouth and impugned my honor. Fly, flee, go, go Gabriela, leave." She closed her eyes and felt how small she was, and how small she had become when she pulled her knees up and held them to her chest. Hiding from Raphael, from the lights of the city beyond, from the very shadows that hugged the corners of the large room -- hiding from everyone, she curled into herself and tried to keep herself from crying. She had kept herself from doing it. After Roen kicked her out of Patia, she hadn’t spilt a single tear, and even as she and her small band of companions, traveled farther and farther from the city aboard a complete stranger’s airship -- she had never allowed herself the comfort of shedding a single tear. But tonight the urge to do it was overwhelming. “I am not demanding that you love me,” came her cousin’s soothing voice. He made it sound like a peace offering. Their union could be loveless, he didn't mind. The saddest smile that had ever graced a beautiful face spread across her lips. She had lifted her head and she was looking at him now. Sweet and heartbroken, she held her knees to her chest and watched him with all the agony of someone being asked to make an impossible decision. But she looked at him regardless as he went on to explain. “That will come with time. All I seek is the opportunity that you took from me all those years ago. I will make for a good husband and an even better father to our children. Our unity will bring peace, structure, and stability to two nations, and you will finally have the harmony you desire… I shall relieve you of the responsibility, of the worries, so that you need focus on nothing else beyond being the absolute best mother for our child. Or not, the choice is yours. I have no intention of making you a puppet, a slave, or any manner of plaything. I want to raise you into the ruler you always should have been… The ruler you were born to be.” Do it...said a small voice inside of her. Do it, surrender...give up...give in...stop fighting and be free. Those tears finally came. They bubbled up the back of her throat and spilled from her eyes like faucets. It was a torrential pouring of tears suddenly. Her hands were at her face, she was trying to hide it as best she could but there were sobs and heavy heaving that made it hard to keep still. And then, in a strange turn that would probably make Raphael think she was utterly mad, she began to laugh. Through her tears, came her sweet laughter -- genuine laughter -- as if she had just heard the funniest thing in her life. And when she was able to pull her hands away from her face she had to lean back and try to slow her breathing. If he told her that she had gone mad, she would have agreed. “This is a mad world,” she said out loud, but she wasn’t sure if he cared to hear her. It never seemed like he did well with her emotional outburst, and this was by far more emotion that she had allowed herself to show in a very long time. “All of this -- all of you -- it’s utter madness. A thousand years? You’ve loved me for over a thousand years? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound.” Stop it. Don’t ruin this! Give in! Accept his proposal and give in. Rest. He’ll give you rest… “There’s no rest for the wicked!” she said to the voice in her head and heart. She didn’t want rest. She didn’t want to be the passive little princess that he had dreamed of all his life. She loathed him, more so now than she had ever before. “A thousand years? I’ve only lived for three hundred. You loved something you made up! Your birthright? What right do you have to my life?” she asked, turning sharp and glaring eyes upon him. “What right do you have to claim my future for your own? Because my mother promised it to you? What was I -- her slave? What am I now? Cattle to be bought and sold? You think yourself a romantic, a hero, a tragic figure struggling against the scheming of a willful and selfish child. You’re mad if you believe that I am the child in this situation. You’ve gripped your perfect and imagined world for too long and now that I refuse to be a willing participant you want to force me? Never. No one will bend me. Not you, not Roen, not anyone -- no one. No one,” she hissed again, to reiterate. “You have no idea who I am. What my values are. What my life has been like...and the difference between us is that I will readily admit to the same about you. I don’t know you, and I am sorry if I ever assumed that I did. You, and the love and kindness that I imagined we could share, was a figment of my imagination, just like the sweet little wife you wish you could make out of me has always, and will only ever be, a figment of your imagination.” Spent. She was exhausted after so much rage and now she turned away. She curled up into her little ball and rested upon the bed with her back to him. She closed her eyes and begged sleep to come and take her away before he would say another word. No more words… Stop resisting. Never. She thought it was Tenebre, but he had been gone for so long now. It was with a horrifying sense of dread that she realized the voice whispering in her head was the blood rushing through her veins. It was her mother. It was her father. It was the world she had tried to get away from.
  15. “...And I won’t be askin’ you to bite me again, or any such. It was nice but… It didn’t meddle with me. Didn’t muddle me. Maybe on account of bein’ half wyld fae. THey be like that… Nuthin’ sticks to ‘em. Nary anger nor grief, nary homesickness nor love. They jist… they laugh, and ‘this gone.” “I envy you that,” she replied sweet and soft as the little fea described in short what it was like to be a fae. She had heard things, growing up, about the “wee people” -- in the stories of her childhood, they were tiny creatures, little forest spirits with wings and magic dust that sprinkled off them wherever they went. They were a favorite of the vampyres, but they had been hunted and devoured to extinction, or at least that’s what they all thought. She never saw one before Eluvie, and after having tasted her blood, she could see the allure. Oddly enough, the taste of her blood was like an odd thought that was tugging and pushing at the back of her mind. Thankfully they had made it to the medical bay, just as the little fea turned her head to motion to her neck. The wounds were still open, and she was still oozing blood. Without a thought, she reached out and dipped her finger into a droplet of crimson and then put in her mouth. Had she the ability to blush, she would have, but all she could manage was an embarrassed look and to quickly shuffle forward to knock on the door. “WInter, can we bother you? Our little fae has gone and hurt herself…”