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Pasion Pasiva

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About Pasion Pasiva

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    The Black Queen

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  1. [Ravenspire] Meeting With The Raven

    “You broke that oath,” he said simply and she could not take her eyes off of him, though they grew misty with crimson tears. He had tasted her blood, more so than anyone alive in Valucre because that’s how much was required to turn a human into a vampire. She believed that somehow that had given them a connection, even if she didn’t remember it. But the way he spoke of her broken oath made her realize he didn’t understand her at all. If it was all true, then he should have known what it meant to her to break that oath -- what he meant to her. But he seemed distant and cold, utterly uncaring about it, and she for the life of her could not remember what must have been one of the single most defining moments of her life. How many people had she sired in her three hundred years of life? Two, with him being the third? Her heart ached and she felt so utterly overwhelmed by the revelation that she nearly asked him if she could sit. He mused to himself that he was being selfish -- because he didn’t care if she believed him or not. This was all for him. This confession, this moment of closure that he had been waiting for. She wasn’t even the same person who had lived through all of those experiences with him. But somehow she was still accountable for it. “Yes, regicide. Perhaps from jealousy, or loved unreturned. The reasons are not even too clear to me. Regardless I brought my blade against you. Even attempted to rape you.” What did his mind’s eye see -- she wondered. Certainly it was the crisp white of her bed linens, the place where he had set her down after cutting her, nearly to the bone, along the inside of her thigh. It was all still pristine and beautiful, while down below her waist she soaked the mattress through with black blood. He had lingered there over her, and she lay pale and dying beneath him. Had he meant to straddle her and wrap his fingers around her throat, leave her for dead on her bed, or had he always intended to violate her. But there had been a tenderness to his attack, even then -- a desperate sort of longing for her to listen, to just listen. Sometimes talking to her was a lot like trying to talk to someone behind sheets and sheets of ice, dozens of feet thick. Sometimes, subtle whispers weren’t enough, and screaming and shoting were the only things that worked. Was that what it had been like, she wondered… “You kissed me back, oddly enough it caused me to regain control of myself. It also led to my capture. Then inevitably my expectation and siring by your hand.” “It sounds like I was an idiot,” she whispered. There were tears now, she couldn’t help it. Maybe it was the pregnancy that made her so useless when it came to controlling her emotions. She sank into a chair, this time without waiting for an invitation and felt the elegant length of her back crumble as she sulked forward and curled her shoulders inwardly. Her hands rested on her lap, and they trembled as she closed them into fists. Why would she save a man who tried to kill her? Why would she suffer the agony of breaking her oath for someone who broke his… She was a sentimental fool, and it was all becoming clear to her now. A balled up hand reached up and rubbed at the tears in her eyes. “If I had intended a trap, you and Raphael would be dead.” She smiled into the fluffy material of the bathrobe as the cuff of the sleeve pressed against her face. The subtle threats were never too far away. “Stepping onto Kadia without an army, you two would have been at my mercy.” “I never wanted to set foot in Kadia -- I didn’t want to come here. I don’t want to be here. This all happened years and years ago, and for years and years we haven’t spoken a word to each other. I don’t want to relieve every sad instance of betrayal in my life, there’s too many of them.” Again, there was silence between them and she didn’t know if it was because her words had hurt him or angered him. She couldn’t muster the courage to look up, and so she focused on the blotches of black blood she left on the bathrobe sleeve. She hated herself so much for weeping, but everything he said -- not only did he say it so matter-of-factly, it was simply the retelling of more awful things happening to her. Was there nothing good? Was there nothing bright? As if to answer her, she felt a strong jab from the child in her womb. A well placed, and much needed, reminder that she was not alone. “The child is not of Kadia, but she is human and therefore my responsibility. What guarantee do I have that she will grow up healthy and safe in your care? Given the dangerous and cruel men you keep company.” It was a slap to the face -- to institute after everything he must have known -- that she chose to keep the company of dangerous and cruel men. It was one too many insults, and she was tired and emotionally drained. “The child suffered terrible loss under your responsibility. I did not seek her out, she sought me out. And if you know anything about me at all, which I am beginning to doubt more and more, then I would at least imagine that you’d acknowledge the conviction of my sense of duty for those I love. But if you don’t intend to let me leave with her, then it will be you who tells her that. For, I, cannot stomach the thought of taking something else away from that little girl.” He sighed, and soon thereafter, she did too. “Perhaps we should talk of brighter, happier things. Come,” he made a gesture and she, reluctantly followed after him. She was small compared to him, compared to most in this country. She stood well below him, and from her what was visible in her scantily dressed form, her ankles and wrists were small enough for his hands to encircle them completely. It was always an odd thing to stand next to such a larger creature, and still know that on some level, she was stronger and faster. “Tell me, do you know how we first met?” Perhaps, to his surprise, she answered, “I do remember that.” She leaned past him and closer to the window, until one of her small hands lay flat against the cool glass. She was staring down at the city below. “You walked with me through Patia. You took me to a tavern where we sat and talked for hours...No one liked you, everyone felt nervous and uncomfortable around you. I was different. I liked you, almost right away. I felt at ease, almost immediately -- save for the crimson and black that you wore at the time. His colors.” Those golden eyes swept back and forth across the cityscape. It was beautiful, but then again she hadn't come across a place she didn't like. Every great city, and every great nation, had a living soul -- a beating heart. Like she was Orisia's, she knew that Corvin was the heart of this place. But hadn't she been turned out from that heart years ago? Suddenly, she didn't know what she was doing there, or why she was prolonging the inevitable. "I should get going -- I have to make preparations."
  2. Lore Article: Morgana

    “What do I sell? What I sell is glorious pandemonium, a glimmer of oblivion, mastery of time and space, and instant immortality. I sell a peek at the abyss, a catalog of quests, and the occasional nightmare. What I sell is life and death, itself. The real question is: what are you looking for?” —Unknown Merchant Regent: -- Contact: Pasion Pasiva, King Morgana, the City of a Thousand Ports, is a thriving, progressive city whose power and influence is on the rise. It is the largest merchant depot and trading hub in all of Orisia, with a ceaseless ebb and flow of nomadic traders from every corner of the island and robust legion of merchant guilds that call the city home. Built around a large junction of all the island’s major waterways at the helm of the Valanian Desert, the city has been charged with the unique-- and equally troublesome --task of seeing the majority of the nation’s imported and processed goods properly distributed throughout the country. Morgana currently has a population of approximately 1,250,000. GEOGRAPHY Topography Morgana sits at the foot of the Valanian Desert’s largest oasis, on an intersection of all the island’s major riverways known as the Convergence. In spite of this, the land immediately surrounding the bustling city is notably baren, predominantly comprised of crag-cover rock sprinkled with tall, swaying palm trees. Less than a mile out, even this bleak background withers away into sand. In its beginning, Morgana was able to sustain itself by obtaining nearly all of its freshwater supply from the nearby oasis via an intricate, man-made irrigation system. In more recent times however, due entirely to the city’s rampant expansion, Morgana has had to rely more heavily on the southern-flowing rivers that from the Areder Mountain chain, and other natural tributaries coming from the north. To the west, north, and north-east of Morgana-- separated by the high peaks of the Areder Mountains -- are the great cities of Coban, Izabal, and Drakiss, respectively. Due south lies the remainder of hellish wasteland known as the Valanian Desert, which stretches long and far into the horizon. Brutal and unforgiving, this sea of cooked earth and scorching sands is littered with the bones of the foolish dead, merchants and nomads that strayed too far from their caravans. In its domain are Banha Village, the Red Sands, and the Hodenaufer Mountain Range. Cityscape A city built on the backbone of its powerful ties in commerce, the City of Morgana is a mass of colorful merchant tents, tall, broad trader stands, and ever-busy markets. The city is separated into several districts, all of which bleed into each other. The largest and most notable of Morgana’s districts belongs to the marketplace, which surrounds the royal grounds and bleeds into the residential districts more closely situated toward the outskirts of the city, as well as the docks. Within is a sea of tents and stands, teeming with goods both foreign and domestic, exotic and mundane. The free markets are predominantly occupied by the self-employed merchants, while the bazaars are populated by sellers belonging to the powerful merchant guilds. Morgana’s residential district dips in and out of the marketplace’s outskirts, with the vast majority of its presence being at the rim of the city, itself. In an effort to accommodate its rapidly growing population, many of the homes-- comprised of sandstone --are built vertical and close together, housing up to five families at a time. They are often decorated with broad, colorful awnings and tassels of various clans, guilds, and descent - boasting the city’s diverse culture. Second only to the marketplace, Morgana’s docks are arguably the busiest and largest sector of the city. Any hour of the day or night, ships make port and set sail in an endless cycle of import and exporting. From luxurious foreign goods to be sold in the markets, to basic necessities like grain, vegetables, and fresh poultry to feed its growing population, the docks represent one of the more prominent lifelines of the city. Because of its critical role in both the survival and prosperity of the city, a great deal of the Morgana’s profit has been invested in the security of the docks. At the helm of the city is the smallest of its districts, the royal grounds, home to the ruling house of Ormoño, and the wealthiest members of the merchant guilds. Tall, strong walls with wrought-iron doors separate this district from the rest of the city. However, these entries are rarely closed, as a great deal of traffic continuously flows to and from the grounds. Within, the establishments are fashioned from expensive stone from the areder mountains; tall spires, rambling manses, and of course the royal palace, which occupies a whopping eighty percent of the district. Climate Year round, the weather in Morgana is always warm, or hot, and the nights either cool or freezing. Even with its position so close to the Fork of Areder, there are only two seasons: a scorching hot summer lasting one half the year, and a mild, lukewarm winter that lasts the other half. The city is incredibly dry, receiving on average only about a centimetre of rain a year, but is particularly humid throughout the summer due to its location by and on the Convergence. Every so often, the city is known to experience dust storms. These occur more frequently during the transitory months, with the most severe storms taking place during the winter-to-summer transition. Over the years, Morgana has learned to better track and predict these storms, and have renovated their city to better withstand their devastation. Those traveling to and from the city - whether on business or pleasure - are advise to do so in the deep-winter months (December, January, and February). They are by far the most comfortable, and travelers avoid both the worst of the heat and the chance of desert winds and sandstorms. Flora and Fauna Watergrass (Plant): The only form of vegetation able to sustain itself in the harsh desert environment, watergrass stands tall - with some records of its thin, willowy blades reaching eight feet - and bright emerald in color, with full, bushy ends (similar to alopecurus, or “foxtail”). It is typically found near rivers or oases. This had lead to them becoming something of a “good omen” amongst merchants and travelers, the saying being: “If you see watergrass, you aren’t far from a drink.” Valanian Dragon (Animal): In spite of its intimidating name, the valanian dragon is little more than a small lizard, no larger than an adult’s palm. These creatures are something of a nuisance on the busy streets of Morgana, if only for their troublesome defense mechanism. When threatened, the valanian dragon dispenses a thick smog from its mouth -- similar to how an octopus releases ink -- in an attempt to distract its predator and escape. The smog is is incredibly dense, and stains fabrics similar to soot-- making them the most hated of the city’s critters amongst textile merchants. Manticore (Insect): The manticore is regarded as one of the most dangerous creatures in all of Orisia. While these eight-legged, scorpion-like creatures do not grow very large, it is the threat of their sting that one need fear. Their neurotoxic venom is one of nature’s most effective poisons, acting on the nervous system to cause paralysis. Death (from paralysis) can occur as quickly as twenty minutes, if say stung on the ankle or thumb. If stung on the face or in the chest or multiple times, death can occur as quickly as five minutes. The sheer lethality of their venom-- and the complexity of producing an anti-venom --has made the hunting, trapping, and breeding of manticore a favorite amongst various assassin guilds throughout the island and abroad, many of which have established themselves in Morgana. Because of their ebony black carapace, they are known as the “Black Death.” Spire Ant (Insect): Known for the tall, rocky nests of their namesake, the spire ant is a notably aggressive insect and especially vicious in the defense of its home. Accidental deaths from disturbing a spire ant nest—usually children falling into the spires—were once quite common in Morgana. In the city’s earliest years, the ants were even used as a means of executing the most heinous of criminals (in a process where the victim was buried in the ground up to their necks, and then left to be devoured by the carnivorous ants after they were roused from their homes). Since then, however, the spire ants have been well-managed with a combined effort of the city government and a booming Valanian dragon population. DEMOGRAPHICS Culture Morgana boasts a vibrant tapestry of culture that draws colors from every corner of Orisia, and then some. The nomadic tribes that first settled the Convergence centuries ago, back when the city was little more than a small outpost, still hold strong ties within the city today (most of which now either advise or lead the Merchant Guilds). This has established a strong respect and interest in heritage amongst the city’s people, with the unfortunate consequence of one’s family name often time carrying more weight than their merit in the city’s elite circles. On the public level, heritages takes on a more personal role as citizens remain true to their people’s faith and ways of life, proudly putting their origins on display with banners and large, colorful awnings decorated with their tribe or family crest. By the same token, it is this history-driven mindset that has entrenched a great deal of the city in a series of endless blood feuds and age-old grudges. These issues have resulted in glaring segregation amongst many of the bazaars, tightly-knit sub-districts within the residential areas (territories, almost), and minor scuffles between neighbors. It is only between the merchant guilds—the most powerful families—that the conflicts often turn bloody, especially where territory and profit, or the lack thereof, are concerned. As a city centered on mercantilism and the distribution of goods, theft is arguably the most common crime in Morgana—and the most dangerous. Thieves are viewed as the worst type of criminal in Morgana, lower than beasts, and are punished accordingly—maimed, branded, or hanged, depending on the severity of the crime. Many have criticized the city for its draconian measures in regards to the matter, but the city’s people are unapologetic, feeling it is the ways of old that have allowed them to endure Valanian’s unforgiving climate. Economy Morgana is inarguably the wealthiest city in all of Orisia, with an exceptionally strong—albeit complex—economy based on various forms of currency, from the standard coin to gold and silver. As the trade capital of the island, more revenue flows through the city in one week than in a month of all the other great cities combined. While a considerable portion of that wealth is controlled by the ruling family’s oversight of the docks and island-wide distribution, it is the Merchant Guilds that control the vast majority through sales. By holding sway over the market, its rise and its fall, they effectively hold the city—and thus, the island itself—as a silent hostage. Some believe this to be the cause of the heavy taxation on certain foreign goods, and even some domestic merchants (typically those that pose the most threat to a Guild’s profit). Major Companies and Institutions Bovania, the Institute of Trades and Commerce: One of the more famed post-graduate schools in Orisia, Bovania stands alongside other ivy-leagues such as Imir and Bronte. It is the premiere school for any seeking a life steeped business. PARKS AND RECREATION Landmarks and Monuments The Stranger’s Statue: A faceless statue stands before the royal gates, broken sword uplifted, shield held at the ready. A slated placard reads: “The one who brought change.” All discerning characteristics from the statue have either been eroded or broken away, leaving behind little more than a silhouette and an idea: that this could be your story, if you so desired. Castle Heights: The largest establishment in all the city and home to the royal family of Morgana, Castle Heights is the city’s crowning jewel. The castle is home to the entire ruling family and all their staff, including the royal guard, and still boasts enough space to comfortably accommodate many more. While an undeniably beautiful centerpiece, the castle is nevertheless an exceptionally defended fortress unto itself when the need arises. Beast Pits: Found on the southern border of the city where the docks, bazaars, and residential district all collide, the beast spits are the city’s exclusive source of bloodsport. A grisly entertainment, various creatures are made to battle to the death at their owner’s behest. With the pits always in need of fresh blood and the docks providing a steady supply of healthy candidates, beast fighting has reached an all-time high in popularity. GOVERNMENT Royal Government Imperial Government of Orisia: Like all lands within the Summer Isles, the city of Morgana is subject to the imperial edicts of the Bartolome rule. While the city rulers are allowed to police their domains with leniency-- more in line with their own beliefs and views --they are all bound to the will of the imperial royal family, seeing their will done and that no transgressions be made against their edict. Local Government Noble House of Ormoño: The ruling house of Morgana, the Ormoño family trace their lineage to the Black Queen, herself. They are the overseers of all the city’s affairs-- from political to commercial --and ensure the Merchant Guilds remained shackled (or as some would say, appeased). A just and fair family, they nevertheless rule Morgana with a firm fist. Military The City Vanguard: While many mercenary groups have come to call Morgana home and sell their services to the Merchant guilds, the city’s official military is imperial sent. The men and women of the City Vanguard are impeccably trained, trained to deal with affairs both domestic and foreign. They are charged with defending Morgana should it ever fall under attack, but also double as the city’s police force. — 1 High Inquisitor — 15,000 Mercenaries (Merchant Guilds) — 45,000 City Vanguard EDUCATION A sturdy, reliable, and universally available education system has always been at the forefront of the Black Queen’s political platform. The current Bartolome rule has only sought to underscore this agenda, renovating down-trodden estates and further providing all the Summer Isles’ institutes with vast amounts of resources and personnel. Bovania, the Institute of Trade and Commerce has been one of many establishments to benefit from this surge. TRANSPORTATION Roads, Walkways, and Bridges: Given the size of the city, the primary method of travel consists of an intricate system built on cobblestone roads, stone walkways, and both narrow and wide bridges connecting broad rooftops. This web of travel connects the various walls, sectors, and districts of the city. Cabbies: Whether they are horse-drawn or magic-fueled, cabs -- or carriages -- are the leading method of transportation throughout the city. NOTABLE RESIDENTS HISTORY Canon
  3. Blood Orange

    “When would you like dinner to be served, Imperial Majesty?” Asked the elegant woman in black, who stood as the perfect picture of poise and dignity. Her black blouse fit perfectly and was tucked neatly into her very fitted black skirt. The hem of the skirt landed an inch or two below her knee, and from there her long pale legs were covered in dark pantyhose that disappeared into black heels. She really should have looked dark and menacing, but instead she seemed perfectly bright. Her pale face was illuminated as only a vampyre’s could be, and her dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail that sat so neat at the nape of her neck. With a look of devoute pleasantness, she regarded her Empress. “Also, I’ve taken the liberty of setting a place for the Emperor -- although I am not certain if he will be joining us.” “He might,” answered Gabriela, who was still busy looking through an open book on her lap. But it wasn’t the words on the pages of the book that she was so intently reading. For about the millionth time, she was rereading the letter that had been sent to her from a Mr. Jankovic. “I don’t know,” she went on to say when at long last she looked up and regarded the elegant woman in black. “I don’t even know if he’s come back from Umbra.” Gabriela appeared somewhat perplexed, endearingly so framed in her dark hair, which fell loose around her shoulders and disappeared down her back to pool just behind the place where she sat. It wasn't often that she wore her hair down, but she had been urged to do so by her stylist when she was presented with her evening gown. She very much liked the dress, a little black thing with a deep plunging neckline that still managed to appear quite elegant, and long sleeves that parted up to her elbows and fell far past her fingertips. “Today was the day that his Imperial Majesty returned from his visit to the mainland.” “Then I cannot imagine he’ll want to join us,” she replied dryly, glancing at an ancient looking gear-powered clock on the wall. “More than likely, he’ll want to rest or deal with business. I don’t know. Send him a message I suppose, but do tell him that it’s not terribly important.” Marie’s pleasant demeanor shifted somewhat, but Gabriela met her suspicious gaze with a tilt of her head. “Is there a problem, Marie?” “None, Empress -- and as for when dinner should be served?” “Half an hour. I expect my guests to be punctual.” Marie nodded and left just as silently as she had come, and Gabriela turned her attention back to the note. She hoped Raphael would not join them, mostly because she wanted to keep Raylon a secret for just a little while longer. As for Mr. Jankovic, she wanted to meet him first before even posing the proposition to her husband. Slowly, her golden eyes went over the words of the letter again: Good day, Your Illustrious Highness, may you live forever. My name is Kaiser Jankovic, an elder of the Sanguine Vampires and the main ambassador for Ash’eh. I send this letter on the behalf of our city’s Empress-Scientist, Professor Edith Stravos, who has learned of your status as a vampyr, and thus wishes to trade blood oranges in exchange for coin and a possible alliance. To this end, I humbly request a diplomatic visit to your palace to discuss trade and come to a suitable agreement. It is my hope that this is the beginning of a friendly relations between our two cities. I will await your response, and will start my journey should you agree to a meeting. Kasier Jankovic “Blood oranges…” she said aloud, leaning back on the sofa, and crossing her legs. She sank away into her thoughts as she waited to be joined by her guests. The book in her lap closed and the note was gone, lost within its pages. But she considered the possibilities, and found herself mildly excited at the prospect. A synthetic form of blood… It could change everything.
  4. [Ravenspire] Meeting With The Raven

    Love was not a concept first defined by man, and it went to show how full of himself he was to think such a ridiculous thing. Love, in its purest and simplest form, was first defined by God. The same God who made man, who made woman, who made beasts of land, of air, and of sea. The same God, she might have said had she been privy to his own thoughts, that had also made her. She came from a distant world, and in it she had learned about Christianity and had embraced it in her own strange way. She knew she fell outside of the “plan”, but she often likened herself to the Canaanite woman in one of her favorite bible verses. But Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” She took those crumbs. Those dirtied and fallen pieces that were not intended for her, but which fed her anyway, and she clung to them deeply. It was the little bit of faith that she had, and what little she understood of it, that gave her the ability to give meaning to her sorrow, to her constant torment, and to the seemingly endless sea of troubles that always came her way. It was this strange God, this all powerful, all knowing, and all good, creature that had somehow shown her that her lonely mourning was not in fact isolated. It was the only love she believed in, and the only reason she could understand it at all was because she felt it. She felt it the moment she learned that she was pregnant. Suddenly the story of God sending his only Son to earth, and more importantly, the very essence of himself, to suffer unimaginable pain, humiliation, and eventual death was utterly preposterous. She could not sacrifice her child, so strong was her love. And yet, she felt, that in some small way she understood God more keenly now than her many years of study. But what did it matter? She was too afraid to be honest, and far too reserved to reveal more of herself than was necessary. Though they shared something -- it was gone, and she couldn’t even remember it. No, she couldn’t even find a thread of the affection she had supposedly harbored for him once upon a time. And although there was warmth in his eyes, and although he had admitted that the feelings remained -- at least in some form or essence -- she knew that she could not reciprocate the notion, not without tasting his blood, and not without seeing what they had shared. “I will not force you to,” said the Emperor, and she regarded him with a weak smile. Could he have forced her? Would it have even been hard...A drop of his blood, she imagined its aroma and found herself moved into a wistful sort of hunger. His mere presence provided so much comfort, what could his blood do… "I know, you once sired me, for the crime of attempted regicide. You could not bare to see me die for good, there is no eternity for Untouchables in death.” The revelation was clearly astounding to Gabriela, who dropped her cool mask of control for a moment. Her brows pinched and her lips parted ever so slightly. She would not sire anyone -- not under the most dire of circumstances, and no matter her feelings for the person. What he was saying seemed ridiculous. “I wouldn’t…” she whispered, and yet, his offer to drink his blood seemed as genuine as any oath she could have made him swear. Blood didn’t lie, and he had offered his freely -- even if she didn’t partake. It made her look at him differently. Confusion sparkled in her eyes like wayward glints of sunlight coming through pieces of clear topaz. “I swore to myself that I would never do that.” “You so coldly state that you do not care, that it is some useless attempt to dig up skeletons. I know well enough the mask you wear, the false detachment so that you can hide. I once shared your blood, the instant of my siring you shared a great deal with me.” Everything… Not just a great deal. If this was true, which she had no doubt that it was, this stranger knew more about her than any living person in Valucre. He knew the secrets in her blood, the deeply buried truths she herself could no longer recall. She felt inexplicably vulnerable and tired. She couldn’t even meet his gaze anymore. “...At one time all my eyes could ever watch, was you.” Still, she could not look at him and so the black mirror of his eyes did not shine with the reflection of her sunset gaze. She stared at the floor between them. There was only one question in her mind. “Regicide?” More silence. She spoke the word as a question, but she wasn’t sure she wanted the answer. Perhaps out of kindness, he did not choose to acknowledge her. “You are a guest, there will be no harm. Not from me, my children, or my citizens…” She nodded and answered simply with, “alright.” He explained about the child, about what was used to cause her such horrible pain and loss. Gabriela forced herself to focus and seemed all the more distressed by what he was saying. “Raphael was convinced it was a trap. That someone had sent the child as bait -- to lure me out. I don’t know if he’s right or wrong, but I feel like I might as well have been the one to pluck the eye out of her skull. Therefore, I would like to take the child with me. I would like her to become my ward. Fate brought her to me, perhaps it is my responsibility to try and give her a better life. With your permission of course. I would not mean to kidnap a Kadian citizen. And as for my inability to be cruel -- there are many men who would disagree with you. But yes, tomorrow at dusk sounds acceptable. Thank you again.”
  5. [Ravenspire] Meeting With The Raven

    “I remember you. The first time we met in the dark streets of Patia. I remember the night I tore the Roanist surcoat from my breast, tossed it at Roen’s feet and pledged myself to you. I even remember the moments we shared in private, simply talking.” Over a small shoulder she turned to look at him. The gold in her eyes was aglow, as it usually was when she was feeling too much -- and her pretty lips had formed a hard line that denoted how pensive she had become as she listened to his tale. But it was her eyebrows, the way they lifted, the way they dipped at the outer corners, they changed her expression completely and made her look so very sad. And she was. She felt it in the way her heart began to beat a little faster as she heard all of this, as she tried to make sense of what he was saying so very subtly. Moments shared in private… “...I was your knight. I loved you then, a part of me always will.” She was beyond grateful when he turned away. Quite suddenly she was feeling exhausted -- tired of the farce that was this meeting, this moment, and the rest of her miserable life. Every word was so carefully selected, and every move planned and meticulously executed. But the weight of it all, of how cheap and hollow it actually felt, became such a hideous burden that she nearly felt herself break down into tears. She didn’t want to do this. She didn’t want to have this talk, she didn’t want to defend herself, or remember, or relive a past that she had been forced to forget. Every memory she had was filled with horror and agony, why should his be any different? Once upon a time they cared for each other -- he had admitted to as much -- and then something changed, something went wrong, and now there was nothing. Love was worthless. It always amounted to nothing in the end. Roen loved her, Raphael loved her, even Zenahriel the great High Lord, loved her. But each and everyone of them had a different definition for the word, and now she knew that Corvinus was no better. Whatever he had felt, whatever residual feelings he harbored, it was all part of that same narrative that always left her feeling like she had lost a little part of herself and gained nothing for it. She was beyond empty -- she was cold and alone -- and even the pressure of his presence did little to calm the swell of pain that began to form like a thick lump in her throat. “It would take more than a night to tell the tale. I would suggest offering my blood, to sate your hunger and so that you may see what happened in truth, albeit from my point of view.” The hurt and loneliness was easily hidden behind the growing sense of indignation that was forming. Those warm golden eyes lifted and settled on his face, his tilted expression. “I do not want to drink your blood,” she said, her voice was cold as ice -- gone was the sweetness of her accent, and in its place was nothing save hurt. “Hard as it may be for you to believe, but we vampyres do not require blood transactions in every single one of our dealings. If you wish to share our mutual history, then words will suffice, although I personally do not feel a need to go digging up skeletons. As I said, I know just about everything I need to know. Whatever reasons we had for parting, I am certain that they were good and just. You are happy now, and you are very successful -- our past seems, unimportant.” Gabriela could cut men down with her indifference. She wounded many by simply pretending not to care -- but it was always pretense. Would he see through it? Could he… “All that I think we really have to talk about, Emperor, is the fact that I have been abandoned here in your country -- a country that does not hold my existence in a particularly kind light. I do not know if I am in any danger, but for the sake of my…” she lifted her chin, she lifted her head, she looked regal and calm and ever so committed to the words she was speaking, “ -- for the sake of my unborn heir, I cannot risk staying much longer. Yesterday I witnessed a child walking about your halls, bloodied and severely hurt without anyone so much as batting an eyelash. It seems that you do not know what occurs in your own capital, let alone under your own roof…” She paused and took a moment to breathe. She had to look away because she felt suddenly embarrassed for how she had spoken to him. A small hand went up to her belly, and rested protectively over the slight swell that was just barely detectable under the plush material of her robes. “I am sorry, I don’t mean to be cruel -- but it’s not just my life I am hoping to prolong. I must,” she looked troubled -- so very troubled. “I really must make my way home. Sooner, rather than later. As much as I would like to, sit around and reminisce about what was -- I cannot afford to look to the past when my future is so uncertain.”
  6. [Ravenspire] Meeting With The Raven

    “Please,” he reiterated, once again gesturing to the stairs -- and she knew that regardless of her feelings she would have to sit down and have this meeting. The timing could not have been worse. The shock of having awoken alone in her bedroom, and of knowing deep in her heart that she had been abandoned was so fresh that she didn’t know how to deal with this murderous emperor on top of all of that. She had a dark thought then. Perhaps Raphael had done all of this on purpose. He had all but convinced the world that he loved her, and planned to marry her, going so far as tethering to her through the ancient traditions of their homeland. But why would any man take her, especially when she was carrying another’s child? If all he wanted was Orisia, as he had shared some of his plans for the island with her last night, then all he had to do was get rid of her. And what better way than to have her murdered by a man whose reputation for such violent delights preceded him across the world. Raphael had left her here to die, and once she was dead, he would play the part of mourning lover and take the Orisian throne with the sympathy of all those who had once cared about her. It was such a good plan that she couldn’t help but shake her head and smile as all the pieces finally fell into place. And so, armed with her supposed knowledge and her mounting anger, she lifted her head and went to the stairs. Down she climbed, taking each step carefully and even allowing a small hand to glide over the railing. Of course she wouldn’t fall, she could have jumped over the banister and landed on the floor below without a trouble. But appearances were everything in this world, and if ever she had to pretend to be normal -- to be human -- surely it was here, and around this horrible man. “It is about Raphael and your situation, but I would wish to discuss our past. I only ask you indulge me for this evening.” He motioned for a chair as she entered the small circle of warm firelight that was cast by hearth at the center of the room. For a moment she regarded the fire, and the few objects that were put up for display. There was a large globe of the world, seated on a throne of finely carved dark wood. She walked toward it and set her small hands on it, giving it a gentle spin until she saw Genesaris roll by. Automatically, her eyes settled on the tiny island -- no more than a penny-sized mass of land -- her home, Orisia. Would she ever see it again? “My situation with Raphael?” she asked, “There is no situation -- I am certain you know how these things go. We were engaged, and a better offer must have come up. It’s all business after all.” Not having to look at him made it entirely easier to slip into her normal persona. She was cool and calm, she did not sound calculating, but rather uncaring. “I don’t plan to make a nuisance of myself. Just as soon as Emily is ready, I will take my leave. Of course -- ,” she stopped looking at the globe, which had now rolled to Terrenus, her eyes had been busy searching for the small dot that denoted Patia, she never found it. She was looking at Corvinus, clear, golden eyes focused intently on him. “I am very grateful for your hospitality.” She all but ignored his comment about revisiting their past. It was a tantalizing though -- and it seduced her -- but she resisted bravely. The past was the past, was there any need to go digging it up? She had lived all these years without knowing who he was, without remembering what he did and why, it seemed foolish to want to regain the knowledge. And yet he looked determined. “I don’t remember who you are,” she confessed after a moment, dropping her gaze to the floor between her and his desk. She looked perplexed, and the warm gold of her eyes was distant -- she looked lonely standing there next to the globe, loney and small. “I don’t remember your face. Just your name, and just from things I wrote and what some have bothered to tell me. Once upon a time, you were my knight,” she paused and shook her head. “No -- not just a knight, not just one of the many, you were my knight. And then,” she looked at him, her lips a straight line, devoid of emotion, but the strain on that single word revealed that she had some sense of the nature of the relationship they had shared. Not of ownership -- of affection perhaps? “-- And then you were not. That’s all I know.”
  7. [Ravenspire] Meeting With The Raven

    “Hello, Lady DuGrace.” She was nearly at the door when the sound of his voice made her stop. Her fingertips lingered on the doorknobs that she had so carelessly twisted open just moments before. In response to the sound of his voice, which was for the first time it seemed, speaking directly to her, she felt her entire body grow tense. With so much going on already, the thought of somehow falling into another spiders web was not only frightening but exhausting. She didn’t have the time, the energy, or the mental fortitude to deal with another game of cat and mouse. And so her fingers lingered on the doorknob and she wondered if she could get away with simply leaving and pretending like she hadn’t heard a thing. It would never work -- on multiple levels. First of all, he knew what she was and therefore knew that her hearing could pick up just about anything. Somehow, it had failed to pick up the sound of his heart or breathing when she so clumsily pushed her way into his private quarters. Second of all, they had made eye contact, for just a split second, she had seen the dark of his narrowed gaze as he sought dangers in the shadows. She had also seen the way they softened when they took in the sight of her. Of course she did not mistake this for affection, but rather a sense of security that she was no secret assassin sent to kill him -- and even if she was -- he could easily overcome and kill her. No, the softness in his eyes came from the knowledge that she was pathetic. But lastly, she couldn’t walk away now without wounding her own sense of courtesy. It wasn’t right to leave so rudely after having entered so. And so slowly, Gabriela turned back to the railing and slowly crept toward its edge. To her dismay, Corvinus had gotten up, and he was looking up at her expectantly. She hadn’t thought about it before because she hadn’t put much weight into the supposed relationship they had had once upon a time, or the dark and ugly story about what happened to it that no one wanted to tell her. But now, even though she stood at a great height and he was far below, the sight of him standing and the command of his presence made her feel oddly threatened. This was a man who hated what she was, would have her and everyone else like her -- executed. Fear gave way to a tempered courage that she always carried with her. Soft and wordlessly, her pretty brave mask fell on her face and smoothed away the lines of worry and mounting anxiety. Maybe he could feel these things, or read them off of her somehow -- but it wouldn’t be her face, which was now a picture-perfect mask of calm. He looked like the embodiment of authority and stentorian nobility? Well then she was living, breathing, and moving art. She was beauty, grace, and dignity all at once as she set her hands before her after ensuring that her bathrobe was properly closed all the way up the her neck. “It seems chance has led you before me. I had been considering how I should talk to you, indeed I believe we have much to discuss, current events notwithstanding.” He motioned for her to join him by waving a hand at a set of stairs off to the right, and she, after looking at them, wondered if she could decline. “I think first we need to discuss your current situation, and perhaps that coming dressed in such a manner before a married man might start rumors.” “I would hate to cause any distress to you or your wife, Emperor -- and especially not because of the way I am dressed. Perhaps this talk is better suited for another time, another place.” There was an edge to her voice, a little crack to it that spoke volumes of her nervousness. While her face may not have given anything away, the sweet shake in her voice and the lick of her spanish accent most certainly did. “I was simply looking for Raphael, I didn’t mean to disturb you. Please, accept my apology. I can show myself out.” She took a single step back, but did not go further. This wasn’t her home. This wasn’t her empire. And the guards here were not at her beck and call. She knew how to play this game, and the best way to have a favorable outcome was not to overstep. She had all but asked for permission to leave, she intended to do as she was told in order to avoid having a sword shoved down her throat, or worse yet, a bullet in her brain and one in her belly.
  8. [Ravenspire] Meeting With The Raven

    She awoke to strange sense of clarity -- a sensation that had been kept from her for a very long time. In it, she found herself listening to everything in the elegant bedroom that she had been given, and even beyond, to the small but pretty canopy bed where Emily continued to sleep away the trials and tribulations of her recent trauma. It took her just a little bit longer to realize that she had not been chased out of her dreams by horrific nightmares, and that she was in turn not a shriveling mess of tears and rattled nerves in dire need of comforting. The nightmares were gone, and along with them Raphael; the very man who had more than certainly woven them all together. Yes -- everything made more sense now. Things were clearer and connections between events, between behaviors, between strange memories -- all of them were coming together. Even so, there was still a mist that clung to her mind. Everything felt foggy and distant, and she couldn’t be certain if that was the traces of his blood in her veins or the lack thereof in her belly. Starving -- she was starving. Ever so carefully she sat up and put her legs over the edge of the bed. She was still only half dressed in the disgustingly revealing lingerie that Raphael had forced her to wear the night before under her gown while attending the grand festivities of wedding. Her panties were missing along with one of her stockings. The other was rolled halfway down her knee with the straps of her garter belt dangling over her bruised thighs. The lace cups, which had been intended to hold her supple breasts were now torn away and flung to separate corners of the room. She looked like she had been through a whirlwind and she felt very much the same. His absence caused an astounding silence that she could not come to terms with. Gone was the thunder of his heartbeat, and with it the knowledge that his presence lingered near, even when he was out of sight. The song that her blood had sang ceaselessly since he began feeding off of her was so quiet and so dim that she nearly felt herself dead. Even her heart went about beating in a distractingly slow tempo. She got up -- she had to get dressed and find out what had happened. Raphael had spoken in strange riddles, he had uttered odd promises, and then she had fallen asleep and could not remember if any of it was real. He said he would leave her alone. He said he would not take what was not freely given… But what did any of that mean? There were no clothes for her here. They hadn’t come prepared for an extended stay. All that she owned was the gown that she had worn the night before, which had been picked up off the floor, cleaned, and neatly hung from the door of a large dresser. And while she rummaged through drawers, desperate to find something to wear, her anxiety began to build. Was Raphael really gone? Had he just left her here -- with nothing? In the bathing room she found a bathrobe. It was white and fluffy, and ridiculously soft to the touch. She did not think twice of stripping out of the remains of her shameful garments, all but ribbing the sheer corset off her chest, and pulling the one stocking off her leg. She could not think of bathing, though she should have, and at the sight of her tangled hair in the mirror she only shook her head and combed her fingers through it leaving it in a wild mess of lush waves and strings of pearls that remained from the previous night. Barefoot, and dressed only in her bathrobe, which was by far one of the most modest outfits she had worn in months, she ventured out of her bedroom and down the hall. She was searching for something, but wasn’t entirely sure what it was. The carpet liner, which extended to impossible lengths down both sides of the vast hall, was plush under her cold, bare toes, and she found herself often stopping to wiggle them in appreciation. There wasn’t a soul to watch or judge her, so she took her time taking in the sights of the richly decorated passage -- from tasteful tables, to gorgeous tapestries on the walls, and even portraits of the royal children, and many other faces she could not begin to recognize. She felt like such an outsider, but the warmth and elegance of her surroundings calmed her -- along with the influence of a man she did not even notice. Corvin was near, but she stepped within the boundaries of his strange aura and did not seem to notice how much her anxiety lessened, and how her heart picked up it’s pace to a more cheerful and less fearful beat. She found two large double doors and slowly pushed them open. The smell of a burning fire -- of smoke and of ash brought her an instant image of Roen, one that did not immediately cause her head to feel like it was splitting in two. No -- there was just an image of him, standing handsome but worried, always so worried. And when she saw that there was someone in the room, far below the landing she had walked onto from the upper floor, her heart caught in her throat. Was that Roen? Her mind was in such shambles that she could not trust her sight or senses. Everything felt like a dream, and nothing seemed to lend her the sort of grounding she needed to wake herself up. And so she moved forward, as quiet as she could -- which was quite quiet -- toward the edge of a banister where she could look down from the book-lined walls and onto the open space below. There sat a man at a desk, and there burned a fire warm and inviting. But as her sight sharpened, she saw very clearly that it was not the devil, but rather the emperor she had met a lifetime ago and then again last night. Rattled at the implications of being found so near to him in nothing but a bathrobe and with no real explanation as to why she was snooping around his home, Gabriela tried to back away toward the doors she had come through.
  9. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    Gabriela, listen to me very carefully. They're bringing him back to the room so that the child can identify him, but this man doesn't intend to suffer the consequences. There is a window on the north wall. Stand by it, and keep the girl close to you. Should the worst come to pass, you take her and run. You run as far away from this place as you can. I will find you. You can't be serious… However, Raphael needed not give confirmation. She knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that none of this was about the child. These guards weren't here to ensure her safety, but rather to bear witness to anything that could, and most likely would, be used against them. The mere idea of forcing the child to face the man who could have been responsible for her not just her torment, but her physical torture, was simply appalling. All of this had happened within a handful of hours. The child had still not been examined by a doctor, there was no news about her family, no proper investigation was being conducted. Usually, when someone was required to point out an assailant, it was done with the utmost consideration to that individual's safety. Once a positive identification was made, an investigation began -- but the two individuals never met face to face until they were standing within the white and gold halls of a courtroom. This was something she had never heard of and it twisted up her insides into tight knots. The child hadn't had a chance to answer her previous question. The poor creature was misty eyed and distant, even while she kept a firm grip around Gabriela's waist, with handfuls of her dress' skirt clutched tightly in small fists. It broke her heart to have to untangle herself from the child, more so when the little girl's breathing hitched and her eyes darted about wildly until they settled on the Black Queen's face. "Listen to me," Gabriela said softly to the child, reaching up to smooth back her hair. It was hard to clear her pretty, pale face of the clumps of matted hair that had stuck to her forehead, but Gabriela did this carefully, until she had a clear view of the child. Her cool hands were stroking the young girl's cheeks. "I don't know why you picked us -- if you were set up on this path or if you chose it yourself. But that doesn't matter anymore. The moment you entered into my life," she paused, she frowned and glanced at the door, and then she gently corrected herself, "--the moment you entered into our lives, you fell into our protection. We won't let anything happen to you, I promise." She could hear them now, a collection of footfalls -- some sharp and clicking, others muted and muffled -- but a collection of them that made her realize whatever was about to happen would tragically involve one too many. She blinked her golden eyes clear of their worry and regarded the child who looked about ready to break down weeping yet again. "Little love," she called to her, tucking a finger under her chin and lifting her face, "darling, little love, I need you to be brave." Before the child could shake her head or try to hide against the Black Queen's pregnant belly, she was already standing up and pulling her along. They stood up together, and caused a few sideways glances to fall on them from the guards who had been left behind. "She needs some air," Gabriela announced, before turning and walking to the north wall. She moved to stand directly before a window, wide and elegant, and pushed open to the cool night time air that blew from outside. There, Gabriela pushed the child closer to the window and urged her to take a few deep breaths of cold air, while she turned her attention to the open doors. Raphael entered first. This isn't right… He didn't need to say that he agreed. It came to her then, like a flash of lightning across a black, starless night. Even with his disdain for humans, which she vividly remembered, he had always been kind to the children. Back in Atitlan, where humans were kept and bred like cattle, she still remembered him taking her to the place where the children were kept. He always brought them little gifts -- toys, sweets from the kitchen, sometimes even coats and shoes. It was by far the kindest thing she had witnessed in their ancient homeland, but it had also been a deep, dark secret that had been buried away in her mind. It didn't matter what he thought about her troublesome desire to do the right thing. As they shared a weighted look, gold and crimson, she realized that he would have done the same thing for the child with or without her prompting. So he didn't have to echo her thought, for once, they were of the same mind. They were both uncomfortable, and upset, and worried. How can they do this… He didn't reply, but the look so grim and dark was enough to answer. He was about as disgusted with the whole thing as she was, but he was guest, and his look seemed to remind her that so was she. The child was in their possession now, and with so many witnesses, surely she would not be made to suffer more. Raphael stepped aside, and likewise, she turned slightly to reveal little Emily. Gabriela hadn't noticed the couple that had joined the search party and had returned with Raphael and the guards. Her eyes were only for the man who stood there, just within the door. And then from her peripheral view she saw a trembling hand rise up and a pointed finger -- and then she heard the scream. She didn't seek the accused man's face, she wasn't interested in his reaction. Instead, her golden eyes shifted to Raphael almost immediately, never in her life had she wished for his proximity more than she did now. "Is that enough?" she asked, but her plea was for Raphael, "isn't it?"
  10. Hard as Stone and Cold as Ice

    “I would say it is a pleasure to be reacquainted with you, but…” To say it was difficult to wrap her head around the current situation would be an oversimplification of the tempest of emotions that were quickly coming to a swell just beneath the surface of her already cracking composure. The harsh reality of this moment, and the truth that this woman seemed utterly unable to continue pressing seemed to clash violently with the renewed ability to remember Roen. Now that Raphael was gone, so too was his wicked curse, and the memories of the devil whom she loved so much were flooding her at an alarming rate. Hand in hand with those fledgling feelings of devotion she had just barely started to nurture for Roen, came all the ugly and horrible memories of the harsh path that had led them to where they were now. What was real and what wasn’t seemed so convoluted that all she wanted to do was put her head back down and continue to cry. But it would be selfish to slip into such simple and childish escapes. Though both Emperor and Devil called her a child, in love and in hate, the truth was she could not afford to be one anymore. There was, instead, a very real child who depended on her and every decision she made. Slipping again into a puddle of tears and allowing herself to be overwhelmed by her sense of loss and defeat -- it was an escape she could no longer make. And yet, that fear lingered. I didn’t want to do this alone… “I’m just worried, your Ladyship. You are with child, and Kadia is a dangerous city to be in. The Wedding is over and civility is fragile. Our kind is not welcome here, how long do you intend to stay?” Suddenly she wanted to confess a great sin to this woman -- this perfect stranger who had come sweeping out of nowhere offering warm consolation and such sympathetic looks. She wanted to tell her everything that Corvinus had confessed -- that they had once upon a time been fond of each other, that she had hurt him by picking someone else, that somehow her rejection had paved the way for all of this. She was already internalizing the blame for something that her better self knew was not her fault, but she was hardly herself in these moments. “Our kind…” she whispered, clinging to the only faintly familiar thing that she could grasp. She forced her golden eyes to take a better measure of the woman sitting at her side, the woman who continued to gently clutch at her hand. But she wasn’t a vampyre that was obvious and not just from the warmth of her delicate fingers, or the flutter of her beating heart, which echoed like a pleasant beating drum somewhere in the background of Gabriela’s thoughts. There was a distinct lack of immortality and in its place, she saw the budding glow of youth and the ever present looming shadow of death. Yet, she was far from human and that too was obvious. Gabriela looked away for the first time, her eyes sweeping from the concerned young woman to the surrounding gardens. She tried to reach out, to feel something (to hear it, to smell it, to taste it in the air), but found instead found the world muted to a dull silence. She was not herself here -- not strong, not fast, not nearly as aware as she should have been. “Corvinus said I was safe,” she whispered mostly to herself, and then, with a frown she realized the familiarity that was implied in using the man’s first name so casually. She blinked some clarity into her eyes and looked down to her hands, “The Emperor assured me my safety, and that of my child's. Regardless, I will only stay as long as I must.” She didn’t want to add the fact that she had no way back home. Ever since she stepped down from the throne and abdicated for her son, she had turned her back on the wealth of an entire nation. No longer did she want to rely on the coffers of the Orisian people. If she was not their queen, then the money that they were taxed did not belong to her. But she had not financially prepared for the extent of troubles she was met with. She had never intended to be pulled and dragged along to so many places, and least of all left abandoned to her own fortune, here in the middle of a hostile nation. Gabriela was drawn away from the multitude of competing worries that all tugged at her resolution to not break down into tears again by an unexpected touch. The young woman, Raveena, was stroking a curled finger against her ice-cold cheek and drawing away a black tear that had spilled over. It was startling, as always, to have anyone react so kindly to such a godawful sight. Overwhelmed by embarrassment, Gabriela quickly began to dig through her pocket, until she was able to produce a lovely black handcherfief with lace trim. It was strange, the sort of things that people fixated on when they had absolutely no control over anything that was going on around them. “I am sorry,” she whispered, not daring to look and meet the woman’s eyes. She looked more than a little disheveled as she pried her hand free of Raveena’s and instead turned her focus to wiping the black smear of blood that now painted her fingers. If there was anyone in the world capable of navigating the utter discord of Gabriela’s mind -- her worries, her fears, her mounting doubts and the turbulence with which she saw the future -- surely it was this woman with her special powers. But Gabriela didn’t know about them, and she had been lulled into a sense of security thanks to Corvinus blanketed powers. She felt freely, she worried openly, she cried without reservations. “You’re not staying here alone, are you? Tell me you don’t intend to stay longer than you must!” Finally the oddly timed fretting over a bit of flesh stained by bloody tears came to an end. Gabriela met Raveena’s worried stare. “I am leaving tonight, unless something or someone stops me. I have to get back to Orisia as soon as possible. Beyond whatever threats this strange country might hold, the only thing that poses a risk to me at this moment is being away from my throne...I have to get home.” But why -- she couldn’t say.
  11. So I have been brainstorming and I might want to resurrect the original idea I had discussed with the leader of Genesaris many years ago about bringing Illyria into Valucre. I think I discussed it with 'TheHummingbird' a long time ago along with an idea I had for Kryos back then in the Cold Mountains. Really just an FYI as I do not see myself fully devoting serious time to it until the beginning of next year.

  12. Unfinished Business

    “If I can help in any way just let me know. Whatever happened should only temper your resolve. You have my support for whatever you aspire for yourself Gabriela.” Much and more had been left unsaid. Gabriela had yet to confess who the father of her child was, and more importantly, who she was married to. Raylon, being the observant man that he was, would quickly see what most had been kept from realizing. Gabriela was married to one man but her child belonged to another, and the only reason the secret had not broken out yet was because it was still so soon after the babe’s birth. Following tradition, Gabriela still had a few days left in her thirty day rest period. Even so, she couldn’t keep herself hidden from the world, and much less her son. Raphael had accepted the child, and so no one would question the little baby’s paternity, at least not openly, and most certainly not to the face of the Imperial Couple. But what kept her safe here in the capital, was also what kept her imprisoned. Raphael controlled nearly all aspects of her life, of her capital, and of her country -- even beyond that, the vast and looming empire that he had build, the seat upon which Orisia sat. Everything belonged to him, and she knew that regardless of his love, she was a guest in her own home. Raylon was one of few friends she had, a person from a distant past that was not touched by any of these recent political changes. That simple fact made him beyond valuable to the queen. But in this world, how long could she hope to keep him by her side? “That depends,” she replied earnestly as she dropped her hand and stood before him. They had such an emotional reunion, but they were slowly and surely moving toward more common ground. They were both of them politicians, and more importantly friends. “How long can you stay for my aspirations stretch far into the future, well beyond my life,” she added softly while glancing down at the sleeping child in her arms. “Much has changed since you last came here, and the home that I built is no longer under my command. I need friends, Raylon -- I need people that I can trust. More than anything, I need you to stay by my side.” It was strange to say such things to a man who had just walked through the door after years of absence. However, people like them didn’t always have the opportunity to play coy, to seduce, or to entreat allies. She had to trust her instinct that the friendship they once had somehow managed to remain even now, and that his mere presence was a gift from the gods. “More than ever,” she went on to say, her voice lowering soft, nearly a whisper, “I need the calm and reasonable voice of a trusted friend. I know I how forward it is for me to ask -- but join me for dinner and you will see why I need you so desperately.” It was the sharp, clean, and crisp sound of heels clicking against smooth, polished floors that would draw the queen away from the king. She turned her back to him and went back to rocking her sleeping child. Moonlight struck her as she stepped into the silver light that poured in through her open window. The servant had returned, and she stood, not far from where they had been sitting moments before. “Raylon won’t you get some rest? Go and get refreshed and try to relax a little. I do apologize that I must put you on performance so quickly, but I have some dignitaries that I must host tonight and I would very much like it if you could join us. If you’ll follow Marie, she will show you to your private rooms where you can get settled. Dinner will be in a few hours.” Gabriela didn’t bother looking at him again. In fact, it was almost as if she voided his silver eyes completely now that Marie had returned. Even so, the servant remained as polite and cheerful as when she had first been seen. When, and if, Raylon regarded her, she would greet him with a bow and a smile. Turning her body, she would motion for him to follow her, and if he did, she would take him away up a wide and elegant flight of stairs. It seemed that the king would be housed in the same royal wing as the imperial family -- and what else could be expected? Gabriela meant to keep her friends close.
  13. Hey love! Just wanted to touch base with you. I feel like we are at a good place to possibly stop our thread and start a new one, maybe them having dinner? I just wanted to pick your brain to see if you had any ideas/desires on where you see this/these interactions going. <3

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. Pasion Pasiva

      Pasion Pasiva

      1. I am on Skype, and i am also on Discord (a gaming chat service that is essentially just a chat service for us non gamers). Discord would probably be easier, since i kind of hate skype. Lol.


      2. I am waiting to hear on the person. So I might start a thread for us where our charcaters are just having a drink before dinner? 


      However if you have an idea for any other threads or scenario for them, i am game. I also didnt get to mention it on the other message but I love the idea of brining your kingdom into the fold. And if you cant seriously do it until next year, we can play out preparations for it and give it a nice little IC foundation.

    3. Vehement Agony

      Vehement Agony

      I am on Discord already as well. I use it alot for other things too. What is your username?

      Who is the person btw?

      As for Illyria, I can only see Raylon considering it if the situation concerning Gabriela wanting him as a close advisor goes smoothly so the IC foundation will depend on what happens going forward here.

    4. Pasion Pasiva

      Pasion Pasiva

      Pasion Pasiva #1804

  14. Unfinished Business

    Gabriela turned around to the sight of Raylon up and off the couch, standing not far from where she was. Behind him, that strange staff hoovered close, peeking from around the corner of its master’s shoulder. It was too comical a sight to ignore, and so she was soon sharing the same genuine smile that he wore. It seemed that the tension they had both felt just moments ago was already melting away, and she was beyond grateful for it. A true friendship could be measured in such a way -- how easily it was derailed by ridiculous little things.There simply weren’t many people in her life whom she could just sit down to have a quiet and happy conversation with. And the mere thought that he might feel so uncomfortable, as to be chased away, so soon into his return was simply beyond dreadful to the Orisian monarch. “I wish I could have provided you with some comfort during those times Gabriela. While I am glad I contributed to some semblance of solace for you from a distance, there were times I would have rather been present to make sure you were ok.” He might have hid it from others -- less observant individuals, or perhaps, more prudent ones who did not seek to prolong a man’s shame. But she did not find the open showing of emotion to be shameful, and so she noticed and openly regarded the gleam of his teary eyes. Her expression softened away from the worry and even the smile she had been wearing. Her brows lifted and her own eyes misted. However, she did not have the gleam of crystal waters to make the gold of her eyes all the more beautiful like he did. Inky liquid gathered at the corner of her eyes, black and ugly tears that she quickly reached up, and with curled finger wiped away. It was such a silly reaction, but one she could hardly control, especially with all the residual hormones that lingered even after the birth of her child. As soon as she saw a wet pair of eyes, hers automatically grew teary as well. “As I witnessed my people flourishing and recovering from their crisis, I could not help but selfishly desire you there with me to share in what you helped start.” When the tears broke past his lower lids she could not resist. It was her turn to be terribly inappropriate. She hurried forward, the child in her arms had grown calm now that her mother wasn’t stirring him around, trying to pat his bottom into submission. It seemed like her gentle breathing and calmer heartbeat was enough to ease the little one into slumber yet again. Forward she went, until she was standing before him, with her free hand (the same that had wiped away her own tears) was up and thumbing his away. It was a positively intimate thing to do, but it was also overly warm and almost motherly. “You should not have to apologize to me for who you are now. Change is inevitable. To ease any concern you may have, I’ll forgive you if you forgive me for what just happened as well.” “Then it seems neither of us has anything to forgive,” she said with a sad smile. “A gentle touch should not send me into such disarray, but unfortunately it does. It won’t be for long, however,” she added with a touch of determination. “Things will settle down, I will become more like myself. Everything will be better once I have fully recovered and have had proper rest. Don’t you feel sorry for me, what hasn’t yet killed me has only made me...stronger.” She blinked. That word sounded strange on her lips, especially when in reference to herself. Stronger? Could it be… Yes, she felt inexplicably stronger.