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Pasion Pasiva

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Pasion Pasiva last won the day on October 1

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About Pasion Pasiva

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    The Black Queen

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  1. Did you ever want it? Did you want it bad? Oh, my It tears me apart Did you ever fight it? All of the pain, so much power Running through my veins Bleeding, I'm bleeeeeeeeeeding My cold little heart Oh I, I can't stand myself ... Maybe this time I can be strong But since I know who I am I'm probably wrong Maybe this time I can go far But thinking about where I've been Ain't helping me start
  2. There had been an official looking man standing not far from where Gabriela just so happened to find herself agonizing over what to do. Upon realizing that the man might carry some semblance of authority, at least in so far as the tournament was concerned, Gabriela approached him with the intention of inquiring to the whereabouts of the Dawnwood encampment. However, the man was a quick-shot, and before she could say anything -- no sooner had she cleared her throat and uttered a very small and quiet, “pardon me, sir,” -- than he jumped into action. “The current matches can be viewed down below -- that way, young lady, that way,” he said with a flippant tone that denoted his annoyance with her and everyone else who had asked him this very question about a hundred times already. He lifted a hand and pointed a finger, and didn’t much care that the young woman looked in the direction that he pointed but then looked right back up at him with her big, golden eyes all wide and framed by furrowed brows. “Go on, down the stairs, to the center of the fortress. You better hurry, the next match already started and you’ll be lucky to see anything if you don’t get going.” “But I…” “Look, it’s impossible to get lost. Follow the crowds or the noise -- everyone is there already. Now go on, we must keep the foot traffic moving.” Gabriela turned to look to the right and then to the left. There were a few people around them, most of them standing and chit-chatting, or walking about slowly with soft goals in mind. She couldn’t begin to understand the urgency behind the strange man’s voice. And although she considered trying to ask her question one last time, she considered the newly presented proposition. What would it hurt to go see one of the matches? She was in desperate need of a distraction and a moment alone with her thoughts. And it was always a wonder -- with her, she always felt her loneliest when she was sitting right, smack down in the middle of a crowd. “Thanks, I guess…” she murmured to the man before turning and walking off in the direction he had pointed. He smiled brightly. He was rather proud of how helpful he was in his new job. ~*~ It wasn’t hard to find the arena. The man directing traffic hadn’t been wrong with his directions. It was pretty much a straight shot from the surface down what seemed like an endless flight of turning stairs. After about five or ten minutes of climbing down she began to hear the dull roar of cheering, which only grew louder and louder the closer she got. And by the time that she finally arrived and entered through one of the main gates into a designated spectator seating area, the fight looked like it was about to begin. There were a few boos and hisses made in her general direction as she picked her way forward toward a small area of seating that was empty. Lucky for her, it didn’t look like she would have to be sharing her personal space with anyone. And so, a pretty girl in a blue coat with astonishing long, dark hair, made quite a disruption by entering the spectator area after the fight had started. She was a sight, in her powder blue ensemble when everyone else seemed so content on wearing darker colors, browns, blacks, or burnt and tanned shades of gold, green, and red. She hadn’t come with the intention of watching the fight, but rather finding a place to be alone -- but it seemed she had joined just at the onset of the action. One of the men involved in the fight had drawn his weapon and was dashing forward in a remarkably reckless sort of way. Gabriela couldn’t help but frown, and worry, even while she tried to put her mind away from the fight and onto more pressing matters, like getting a hold of a member of the Dawnwood family and convincing them that she was in fact the Black Queen of Orisia.
  3. “...I do always enjoy flying in airships. Something about the unfamiliar hum of the magitech engines, their entire design is remarkable. I’m surprised I haven’t bought one to keep as my own yet. How about you?” Utterly unnatural and horrifying… is what she wanted to say, but the words did not make it past the fount of inspiration that was her mind. Instead, much like the grinning man, dressed in black, she opted for a half truth of her own. “I hardly noticed it, which I’ll take as a blessing. I was so out of sorts and exhausted that I slept for most of the entire thing. And when I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating. It seems I underestimated the severity of the illness that afflicted me back in Biazo, but I am feeling much better now.” She gave a small shrug of her shoulders, and quite suddenly, as if the motion itself had reminded her, reached up and freed her hair from the collar of her coat. She had been in such a hurry to catch up to her new friends that she had slipped her coat on without pulling her hair out. It was quite a glorious sight for she had rather long hair (falling well below her bottom, nearly down half way down the back of her thighs), even by the standards of traditional fashion -- and it was thick, luxuriously so. It was clear that she didn’t do much to it save wash it, brush it, and dress it with some sweet smelling oils, a subtle but fresh citrus scent. An insightful creature, with the capacity to do so, would place the smell as one dangerously similar to something often found in near proximity to the Black Queen of Orisia, in fact, a perfume she was well known for -- Orange Blossoms. But that was the sort of thing only a lover noticed, or an assassin. Both Xarita and Gabriela were then interrupted by the sight, and what a sight it was, of Ilyana finally joining them. The woman arrived dressed in black, and making a rather fitting match for Xartia, who looked just as sharp and done-up for the occasion. Gabriela’s warm, amber eyes couldn’t help but settle on Ilyana’s generously exposed chest, and the black gem that sat rising and falling upon a sea of heaving, pale bosoms. Where Gabriela had intended to be as muted and unremarkable as possible, Ilyana seemed to have taken and crowned herself the Black Peacock. “I will help you find your friend quickly. I intend to find mine along the way as well. Should we get into trouble doing so we have our handsome escort to save us.” A frown touched her pretty brow, but she doubted Ilyana would noticed as she was too busy delegating orders to her followers. Still, Gabriela couldn’t help shifting a nervous glance in Xartia’s direction. The friend she had come to meet here would know her as her true self -- there was no way around it, at least, not if she intended to be successful in her mission. The Dawnwood family of Orisia were loyal, but they were loyal to the Black Queen of Orisia and not some random nobody. “Lead the way friends,” Ilyana said in that sultry, syren voice of hers. And Xartia, who seemed only too happy to comply, offered each of them an arm, “allow me.” “You two are so well matched -- and I stick out like a sore thumb in all this blue. I think it would be best if you played the part of Lord and Lady. Meanwhile, my errand does not require anyone tending to me. I’ll go on ahead, find my friend, and catch up with you two. I think we’re more likely to call attention if I follow around you two elegant pair looking like such a frump!” She smiled at them, her cheeks warm from how she had spoken about herself. It was true enough though, and it hadn’t really struck her until now. She had never made a public appearance looking so plain -- or rather, not at least without it being carefully orchestrated. But this ensemble, the pale blue, and the bitter cold she could feel biting through her thick cold -- this was all part of her new life. And it took just about all of her strength to push down the sudden pang of panic that threatened to crawl up her throat in the form of a sob. She hadn’t digested this change. She hadn’t thought about it. She hadn’t reflected. She hadn’t mourned the loss of her children. She hadn’t done anything more than sleep, eat, and exist. “Yes, let’s catch up in a bit…” she didn’t wait on them to agree, or rather, she didn’t wait on them to disagree -- especially Ilyana. Xartia was carefree, and had no idea what he had walked into. Ilyana knew everything, and so she was both the savior and the annihilator, depending on how she might be feeling. Gabriela needed to find support elsewhere, just enough to not be completely reliant on a complete stranger, and so she hurried off with nothing more than a little wave and a quick pivot and flip of her long, wavy dark hair.
  4. Pasion Pasiva

    Genesaris AMA.

    I've read nothing about any of this, but I would like to say... That I will be stopping by for tea and a masquerade, prepare thy self.
  5. Gabriela was afforded something strange -- something that was very much needed -- during the flight from Biazo to Predator’s Keep, a moment of solitude. Several in fact. And while she could not guess if it was Ilyana being an exceptional host who guarded her guests’ small but precious moments of privacy, or perhaps the fact that no one, including her new friend Xartia, cared enough to come looking for her, Gabriela found herself soaking up the rejuvenating qualities that came from being left alone. She did not think. She did not reflect. She did not mourn -- though the swirling abyss of sorrow that her life had turned into were angry waters, rushing furiously and crashing against a dam, a pretty facade, with questionable foundations. But, even so, she did not use this precious time alone to sit and think about her misery, or try to patch the cracks that were now beginning to show upon the mask she wore. She simply could not waste the gift she had been given with the bottomless pit of regret that was threatening to grow as wide as it was deep whenever she so much as turned her mind to wayward thoughts of the family she almost had -- the family she totally lost. . Instead, Gabriela slept, ate, and bathed. When she awoke, and found that they had not yet arrived, she repeated the process, and found that sleep came easily and naturally to her in her new human guise. Her dreams, although they were no longer as vivid as they had been when she was a vampyre, were now more lucid and far more enjoyable. And so, she awoke only long enough to fill her growling stomach, wash her sweat-sick limbs, and then again she sought the pleasure and comfort of her dreams, until at last, they arrived and she could no longer deny the reality of her life. She was no sleeping beauty, and unlike Aurora, she simply did not have a hundred years to sleep away -- at least not anymore. There was a timer on her life now, an hour glass that was constantly bleeding a thin stream of pulverized, quartz sand. Her life would end, sooner rather than later now thanks to the Mutator, and she now had a sense of urgency for something that had to be done -- something that only she could do. But that something -- that sense of purpose -- she didn’t know what it was yet, or what it meant, or would it would mean to those she called friends or even those beyond her immediate circle. However, there was an impending sense dread growing in her heart that no amount of ignoring could do away with. It was a physical manifestation that she saw whenever she caught sight of her reflection in the mirror. In her new human guise, the magic of her golden eyes -- that warm unearthly glow of them -- was gone, and nothing could hide the raw and naked hurt she saw, or the anger and resentment brewing just below the surface. She saw these things clearly now that she sat before the small vanity that had been provided. She had to examine herself in the mirror. Like it or not she still looked like herself. Yes, her eyes had changed, and so had her skin. Though she was still pale, she did not appear like moonlight now. Instead, she just appeared a rather sickly shade of white, like someone who had not seen the sun in days due to being on constant bedrest. And there were dark circles under her eyes, even though she had spent the majority of her time sleeping. In the end, although she looked like the Black Queen of Orisia, Gabriela had to trust that people would trust their sense of reason more than their sense of sight. Everyone knew that the Orisian Queen was a vampyre, and she -- a doppelganger at most -- was a human. Besides, it had been years since she was in Predator’s Keep. And even when she had spent time here, it had been brief and only a handful of people had seen her being that her host at the time had been particularly protective. No one will recognize you. “No…” But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be cautious. No black. “No black…” Gabriela drifted away from from the vanity and wandered to the small collection of clothing that was provided for her. Again, Ilyana proved herself to be an invaluable asset. And while there were a number of black pieces, Gabriela was relieved to find exactly what she was looking for. A pair of jeans in a dark wash, a long sleeve button up blouse in white cotton, a vest in powder blue, and a heavy wool coat in a pale cornflower blue. It was definitely not the sort of outfit anyone would ever expect to find the Black Queen of Orisia dressed in, but as for Isabella? It fit the personality of the woman she was pretending to be just fine. At long last, she made her way out to Xartia, who appeared oddly animalistic in his regard. She caught him stretching, but it seemed to her and her wild imagination that he was like some great predator -- one of those majestic beasts lifting it’s great body from the cool shadows and into the sun, awakening with the promise of the hunt. She smiled. “Did you have a pleasant flight, Xartia?” Gabriela came and stood near him, but her eyes glanced about for a moment -- clearly she was looking for Ilyana.
  6. The pretty and always business-like Ilyana stood there, prepared for a fight -- prepared to argue and negotiate, but ultimately, prepared to sell her product and get them all off the ground and into the air. She looked to be full of intent, assertive but delicately so with her soft features and feminine curves. But even as she smiled and waited, even as she crossed her arms awaiting the inevitable sound of objection that would more than likely come from Gabriela herself, would she find herself greatly surprised to see the newly made human simply standing there, looking back at her, looking rather complaint, rather tired, and even a little drowsy. “Rest sounds wonderful,” she confessed at long last, realizing that someone was waiting for something. Without much choice, and because she was desperate for a horizontal surface upon which to lie down and sleep, Gabriela spearheaded the operation. Be what it may -- trap or truth -- her body was breaking down and her mind was quickly following suite. Her eyelids felt heavy, and she wasn’t sure how much longer she could stand to speak clearly or even hold herself upright. Her mind was on a singular thought, and that was sleep -- so much so that she almost felt herself on the brink of tears when she feared this all might be dragged out. “In fact, I am afraid I really must excuse myself -- Xartia and Ilyana -- I’ll leave you two to hammer out the fledgling stages of your fledgling relationship. I am just so very tired.” She needed say more. A man appeared, perhaps at the behest of Ilyana, or perhaps after overhearing Gabriela’s near whine about being tired -- whatever the case, he offered to show her to her private accommodations and she nodded gratefully and followed behind him. Suddenly it didn’t matter that this was an airship and that soon they would be gliding through the sky at speeds that would pulverize them upon impact with the earth should anything go wrong. Her mind was far too fractured to even care at the very real possibilities of dying in an airship accident. “And should I have any food brought up for you, ma’am?” “Yes,” replied a sleepy Gabriela, her once luminous golden eyes were now bloodshot and swollen -- tired looking and very, very human. Gone was the fresh-face of a newly minted human, and in its place was the worn and weary mask worn by so many before her. “Everything, please -- I want everything.” “Everything?” the man repeated arching a brow at the dark-haired beauty that had stumbled into the bedroom he had brought her into. She was undressing, not even remotely concerned with his presence. A blush crept across his face and he turned away, making sure to afford her some privacy. “Very well, ma’am -- I’ll have a sampling of everything on the menu brought up to your room.” “Good. Great. That sounds excellent.” She tossed a boot, and then almost fell over while trying to kick the remaining one off. Somehow she managed to wiggle her breeches down past her hips and thighs without falling face first onto the cold, hard metal floor. Instead, she landed on the small, narrow bed that awaited her. Without even pulling out the covers, Gabriela crawled onto the center of the bed, hugging a pillow and fell asleep. By the time three fully loaded carts of food were brought to her room, she was snoring lightly and no amount of gentle prodding would wake her. More than a little annoyed, the staff member who had brought her to her room, taken her meal order, and delivered it, was now forced to leave the three carts and wait to see if any of the food that was ordered would actually be consumed. Somehow, he doubted it. [Exit Gabs]
  7. I am sorry I haven't posted yet. I promise I'll catch up soon. I am still a little emotional about my son hurting himself -- still feeling boggled down with guilt over it. Please be a little patient with me. v___v

    1. Dolor Aeternum

      Dolor Aeternum

      He'll heal up. Don't let guilt overtake you. I am sure you are a great mom.

  8. “So be it,” replied Tenebre, sealing the deal that he had never thought to make but had somehow felt propelled to follow through on once established. It was like divine inspiration -- he couldn’t quite come about how the idea had presented itself to him, save that an image of a seedling appeared in his mind, cracking open from a hard shell, sprouting forth tender, vivid, green shoots. And all things considered, it was appropriate, what with the thing that Raphael’s unborn child had been turned into. It even made Tenebre wonder if the idea had not somehow been born from that little creature itself, even in its current state of utter and complete suspension. “On the blood of your life and black of your soul, you swear it,” Tenebre went on to repeat, more quiet now -- more thoughtful too, as Gabriela’s black, borrowed eyes shifted and went back to looking upon the silent tomb where the bones of Philippe were laid to rest. “No--Not upon the blood of your life and the black of your soul, but upon the life and soul of your child, for it will fall upon her to suffer the sins of her father should you decide to betray this most sacred vow.” Gabriela’s figure stood then, gently but firmly, pushing Raphel’s kneeling and pleading figure to the side. His heartfelt embrace around her naked thighs forgotten as she took to her feet and took to pacing the cold marble floors of her sepulture. With her veil of dark hair flowing behind her, offering a thin layer of modesty, this strange manifestation that pretended to be his dear wife, walked in quiet contemplation, back and forth through the darkness and mist of the gathering night. What torture would Raphael suffer as he watched, hopeless and helpless to the whims of a God who tortured him not only with the facade of the women he most loved but the person who most tormented him? What was it like to have both creatures be one in the same… “Very well, Raphael -- beloved son, darling child of mine, my bright and beaming boy. There is no reason why you should not be given what your heart most yearns for. You have been a faithful servant, and the end is so near now that prolonging this torture is not only cruel but aimless, and a waste of your talents. I would rather you be healthy and happy, I would rather you be industrious. So have your child, and feel yourself compelled to reason. I give you anew, a reason to live, as I did when first I gave you Gabriela -- I now give you, Fatima Camila Bartolome.” Tenebre turned, no longer in the guise of his beloved cousin. He did not want to steal from Fatima in this most precious of moments, but wearing her mother’s face. So he wore his own face, and he was nothing but darkness, a creature that held the vague resemblance of a man. And this man-like creature held out a hand, which slowly turned upward and slowly peeled open a fistful of fingers to reveal an open, black palm. There, upon his palm, sat a small walnut-like thing. It somewhat bigger, but of the same woody texture and wrinkled appearance. “Gabriela crossed paths with the Mutator when she landed upon Terrenus. He was touched by your poisoned hand, much like she was -- and so they helped each other. But see here, the proof that she is not without a heart. She could not kill your child, though she blames you for the death of her own. Here is your daughter -- now remember what you promised in regards to my own.” Darkness held out his hand.
  9. make me a fool, but don't make me a joke
  10. Heart beats fast Colors and promises How to be brave How can I love when I'm afraid to fall But watching you stand alone All of my doubt, suddenly goes away somehow One step closer I have died everyday, waiting for you Darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years I'll love you for a thousand more
  11. “It never ceases to amaze me, the way irony clings to my life. I wouldn’t mind escorting you there myself, if you'll have me of course. Not so much an adventure for me, though I love adventures all the same.” Eyes, the color of fine, polished topaz held up to the sun, shifted and regarded Ilyana. What a fine figure the woman cut in her newly made business suit -- her perfectly tailored trousers, her blouse, her coat. The memory of the night before still existed in Gabriela’s mind, vivid and disturbing, and at complete odds with what her human eyes now saw. She could not see the same pulsing, throbbing, living material against the woman’s flesh -- it seemed far more tame and dead now to her untrained and incapable gaze. But even so, she knew the power that wrapped itself around this woman, and she knew the debt that was owed. There was already a weight of disapproval in Ilyana’s black stare from the wait she had been made to endure, a fact made all the worse by Xartia revealing that she had stopped for breakfast. What would the woman think now? Gabriela picking up strays and they weren’t even underway on their mission yet -- whatever that mission actually was. Gabriela was about to decline -- she was about to do it in as polite a way as she could manage, with as much tact and civility as she had been brought up to show. She was turning her body, lifting a calculated hand to brush back silken strands of hair back and away from her pretty face, to appear more genuine, more apologetic. But then, as she was about to speak, Xartia shook his head. “What if I told you that I happen to be seated on the Scarlet Council of Predator’s Keep? Would you believe me?” What a tangled web fate had been woven for them all, but there was no way for her to know it, or to even recognize her part in it-- and what information Xartia did offer did little to but scratch at the surface of perilous depths. The Scarlet Queen, perhaps the dearest friend of the Devil she had once loved, perhaps his truest love in the end, the true and proper mother the children he wanted, and a woman whom Gabriela had never even heard of, still to this day. She did not know what the Scarlet Council was, but she tied it to Roen’s old title of the Crimson King, though it seemed oddly mismatched. She didn’t know about Xartia’s son, a son who probably should have been Roen’s, had fate had its way and had she kept her distance. But she didn't know any of these things now, and she probably would never have the chance to piece them together. Her short time in Predator’s Keep had been as Roen’s unwilling -- guest? consort? whore-queen? She would never know what Roen said of her to his people, and that was probably for the best. It doesn’t matter. You don't belong to him. You don't belong to anyone. You aren’t Gabriela anymore. “I am Isabella,” she muttered under her breath, though she was looking at Xartia. There was a faraway look in her eyes, for a moment there it would be clear to both of her new friends that Gabriela was not quite right -- that she was either very tired, or quite possibly tiptoeing toward some kind of mental break. Blinking, eyelashes fluttering dewdrops away, she awoke. “I would hardly believe our good fortune…I am certain it would be preferable to arrive with a diplomatic connection, though I do not intend for this to be any sort of political visit. I mean,” she paused, she panicked for a moment, “I mean...not that I would need your influence just to see a friend participating in an open event, I hope. But it’s always good to have friends in high places.” Ilyana, more suspicious of the man, and was right to wonder if the title had been a recent discovery or something Gabriela had known and been working towards. Again, Gabriela felt the weight of scrutiny upon her, and found the woman’s heavy black eyes set squarely upon herself. “I wouldn’t but I am a natural skeptic. I fear we are placing our new friend here in a difficult spot, gauging whether she can trust her new acquaintances in this wondrous nation. I do not envy her in this moment.” Ilyana drew near and set a hand upon her shoulder, which was meant to be a gesture of reassurance, but to Gabriela’s well trained eye, read more like a gesture of possession. The petite woman looked up, she looked into those black pools that were Ilyana’s eyes. “Whether it is a lack of money, security, vehicle, or even company I assure you that I can satisfy your needs. I couldn’t stand to leave my newest friend abandoned when I can easily help her. I will take you where you need to go. Predator's Keep is on our way to Hell’s Gate any way. My airship is not far from here and should get us there quickly.” “I have never been one to depend on the kindness of strangers, but I find myself humbled and grateful beyond words…” “...Of course, you could forego all of that and trust that I will support whatever endeavor requires that you have money. I am an investor and businesswoman after all. Funding the pursuits of others is what I do beautiful.” “My father used to say that friendship and money is like oil and water,” she smiled as the woman’s fingers slipped off of her shoulder, happy to have the warm, weight of her grip gone. There was something dense about Ilyana, something captivating but also intimidating. Gabriela could not place it, but she felt it in her heart. Was this what it was like to be human? To be constantly aware of predators -- knowing that someone, everyone, was out to make a meal of you in some shape or form? “To Predator’s Keep then, to amuse ourselves with the antics of the brave and the foolish, while I desperately try to alleviate my financial situation.” While you try to extend your non existing influence back into Orisia. You just quit the table, and now you’re looking to get back into the fold? Raphael won’t just kill you for this -- he will kill you slowly, he will kill you a thousand times over. “I know,” she said out loud, again, before blinking some clarity into her sleepy eyes. “I mean to say, I know we’ll enjoy ourselves.”
  12. On the order of the young princess the strange and bleeding man had been arrested, though he was unconscious. He had been taken, carried away with the greatest of care due to his injuries, to the capital’s palace and the seat of power of the Emperor of the Carmine Empire. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, it had been known as the DuGrace Castle, and the hospital there, was a beautiful facility open to the public free of charge. A teaching hospital of sorts, it had attracted many of the brightest and youngest minds, a legacy that Raphael nurtured and encouraged long after his cousin, and Elena’s mother, the Black Queen of Orisia, had gone away. It was to this hospital, El Hospital de Misericordia, where Akaru was taken, and where he would find himself when he awoke -- bound by thick metal cuffs to the narrow hospital bed. He had been stripped out of his dusty and bloody clothes, cleaned, and bandaged up. There was a thick needle in his arm, with clean rubber tubing feeding him much-needed liquids, and the comfortable sound of humming -- but not from machines. Technology did not work properly in Orisia thanks to the influence of La’Ruta, but magic found a way, and the doctors of the land made use in the most creative and often mundane of ways to make what was available function in much the same way one would expect to see in any modern setting. And so there was a humming, a mineral-type sound of earth and water that denoted the gentle beating of his heart. When he opened his eyes -- if he opened his eyes, he would find the same young girl and governess, sitting a respectable distance from his bed. The woman was looking down into a book that lay open on her lap, while the young girl was staring out the window with a dreamy expression written across her cherub face. Her wide, crimson colored eyes seemed almost glossy as she regarded the shifting sunlight that came filtering through the canopy of trees just beyond the glass. And as more and more of his senses were regained, the young man might begin to drink in more details of his surroundings. For one, this did not appear to be a common sort of hospital room. It was of a remarkably comfortable size, furnished with simple but extraordinary elegant furnishings in fine materials of wood and iron. It would be the child who noticed him coming to, with her dreamy eyes drifting from the window to his resting form upon the bed -- his slowly opening eyes. “You’re awake! Finally… I’ll have you know that you’ve been arrested. You can’t go demolishing buildings, no matter how rundown they may appear. They belong to someone, more often than not, my father -- the Emperor. Tisk.” The woman lifted her gaze from her book. “Be kind, Elena -- you don’t know the circumstances of the events. Why don’t you go call the guards? Let them know he’s woken up.” “No, I’d rather interrogate him myself. I want to know who you are and what right you think you have to come in tearing things down like that? You’re lucky that no one got hurt -- except yourself.”
  13. Gabriela stood on the sidelines watching as Xartia and Ilyana exchanged pleasantries. Gone was her ability to focus and drink up the scene before her like pristine, crystal clear water from a polished bowl of glass -- an image, free of debris, of disturbances, of heartache. There was a pounding in her head, most likely compliments of the dehydration that Xartia had warned about and now a slow but steady growing ache in the middle of her chest that felt a lot like sadness. Before, these things could be pushed away, and compartmentalized, set aside until they could be dealt with -- but now? The ache of her lost child, the agony of her lost immortality, the slowly setting horror of what she had done, it was finally catching up with her, and her human body did not allow for distance from the emotional turmoil that was brewing. You’re a ticking time bomb. You need water. You need sleep. You’re human now and these things cannot be ignored -- not like before. They were shaking hands, her two new friends, they were shaking hands and looking each other over, in that way that predators do when they’re trying to scope out new territory. Once upon a time, she would have counted herself amongst the dangerous creatures, but now she wasn’t so sure. Was she the territory? Was she the soon-to-be carcass that was intended for consumption? Would they at least honor her by using every part of her -- her hair, her skin, her bones...her blood… They’re done talking. You’ve been quiet too long. Say something. React. She blinked, she breathed, she awoke from her reverie and looked up -- first at Xartia and then at Ilyana. “No, unfortunately not -- my accounts have been frozen. It seems there is some turbulence within the Terrenian government, and my identity could not be properly established. They would not release any of my funds, but it seems to be happening to a number of people,” Gabriela offered a small shrug. “But, on a curiously unrelated note, Xartia has been to Orisia.” It was hard to lie as a human, it was hard to control the sudden pounding of her heart, especially since she could hear the swoosh of blood in her ears. She could even feel a deep, blush starting to rise from her throat, up into her cheeks -- but it could easily be blamed on the morning chill. She pulled at her coat, pulled the collar closer around her neck as if to sell this point. “We were talking about Orisia,” she said by way of explanation to Xartia, with a sideways glance at him, and then looked back at Ilyana -- she had to find a way to make sure the woman would not accidentally reveal Gabriela’s true identity. “He said he was at the Black Queen’s most recent coronation, you know the one -- where she was kidnapped? He was there. He saw her. Horrid creatures those vampyres.” She scrunched her nose up, and pressed her lips into a frown. “Anyway, there’s a dear friend of mine competing in the Tournament of Swords -- if I can just make my way to him, I think I can get him to help me with my financial troubles. But I’ve no means by which to travel. Do you think I could trouble you for a lift? If you’re going in that direction, of course, I don’t want to make you go out of your way -- it’s in Predator’s Keep.” Is that a good idea? Roen took you there once, you were a prisoner there… Surely you’ll be recognized. Gabriela was chewing on her bottom lip -- her head ache was growing more intolerable with the added voices now speaking to her behind her eyes. Whether or not someone recognized her was a risk she would have to take -- but even if someone did, they would never believe her to be the Black Queen. She was a human now and then Black Queen was a vampyre. Maybe a look-a-like, an uncanny one at that -- but not the Black Queen herself. “What do you say? It will be, at the very least, a fun little adventure.” She was mostly speaking to Ilyana. She had no idea what, if anything, Xartia would have to say on the matter. If anything, she half expected the man to wash his hands of her now and be on his way. After all, she had been nothing but problems since they first crossed paths, and now that she revealed the full extent of her financial woes -- well, she just couldn't imagine anyone wanting to take on the burden of a penniless companion.
  14. Um, excuse me... I am only here because I Was Told There'd Be Cake.
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