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Everything posted by King

  1. King

    Feast of Blades

    Jaistlyn pretty much nailed it. It's one of those, "All quests can be Canon, but not all Canon is quests" type of deals.
  2. King

    Feast of Blades

    While I doubt I'll be participating, I don't think that limiting the first event to "quest-specific" achievements is a good look. Most of the quests that people do are artifact related, and after they've completed them there really isn't any noise about the success or failure of said quest. For instance, how many people in-character know that Lilith has one of the gauntlets of Zengi, outside of those in her circle? How many people know that Thotification's character has Baeoi? There are plenty of characters on the forum that haven't completed any high-level quests, yet they have had a considerable impact on the actual setting you're writing in, from participating in wars to killing gods. Shouldn't those individuals be allowed in, as well (since the premise here is characters of strength and renown)? I don't think it would hurt. Then again, if this is your hard limit for this particular section of the event, then that's fine too. Just giving some food for thought.
  3. So, basically, what you're saying is that I can hire you for some artwork.


    ... Right?

    1. Alexei
    2. KittyvonCupcake


      Of course, my friend!

      Step into my office and tell me what you're looking for.

    3. KittyvonCupcake


      (Also hi Alexei I see you there)

  4. King

    Honor I

    @elixir The archwood had long since been a sanctuary for Andross. Ever since he was a young boy, he’d found the rustling of the trees’ red leaves, the clacking of their dark branches, and the quietness of the sacred woodland to be enchanting. It was a reprieve from the chaos of the grand Keep—Skyfall—built around it, and the business conducted within its stone walls. A place where he could forget his titles, his duties, his inheritance, and simply exist as a man of the world. Such an escape had become invaluable in recent weeks. Deep in the archwood, well from prying eyes, Andross summoned his magnificent blade to his hand. It fell into his waiting palm, the blade wet with dew, the storm itself raging within the ripples of its smoky steel. It was longer than most swords he’d handled in his lifetime, significantly longer, and yet it was light as a feather in his grasp—as if it were simply an extension of his left arm. It moved like lightning and brought the thunder when it struck. I could bring change to the realm with this sword, he thought to himself. The power was as intoxicating, as seductive as it was dangerous, and quite suddenly, Andross understood the birth of tyrants and villains from good men. It needs to be tempered, he told himself. Controlled. Then, As do you. Lifting the sword and taking it in both hands, assuming a keyguard, Andross fell into wind stance, the most balanced of styles. There he waited, watching some invisible opponent as they approached, prepared for their strike—he parried, rolled the blade out and swiped, ending his challenger. More came, and he danced between their strikes like a breeze, parrying and countering when his enemies were vulnerable. Then, at the end of a stroke, he assumed stone stance, a heavily defensive style to protect one’s self from multiple foes simultaneously. His blade became a shield, and every sweep of his blade was broad and powerful. Every angle he forced it into covered the greatest amount of his figure, whether on his side or before him. His footing was firm and solid, almost anchoring him in place, and his steps where spaced shortly from each other, and slow. But then, with a flourish of his Oathblade, Andross entered smoke stance, an aggressive style meant to end the battle before it ever truly began. Once again he moved with effortless fluidity, cutting down the opponents in his mind with quick, surgical strikes. This purpose, his sword seemed perfectly fit for. Webs of electricity crackled along its blade as it sliced through the air, and the power coursing through its frame surged into Andross’ being. The more of it he channeled, the faster, stronger, and more agile he became. Andross weaved the blade between trees and branches, never once cutting them as he maneuvered himself with inhuman finesse. Who in Skyfall can match me? he thought as he danced, blade in hand, illuminated by lightning. No one. No one! On the final stroke of his stance, thunder broke across the archwood, seeming to echo from the blade itself. Andross, breathing hard, stood straight and closed his eyes as he tilted his face to the overcast sky above. I must use this for the good of my house, he told himself. Too long have we skulked about the shadows of greater houses. Change is on the horizon—a storm is coming. And I have its fury in my hand. Strong fingers curled more tightly around the pommel, knowing the blade would disappear the moment it fell from his fingertips. “Myolnir,” Andross murmured. “That is what I shall call you.” Thunderlord—
  5. Well-placed, indeed. For all his effort (or the lack thereof), Rafael was more devil than angel, more sinner than saint, and those he loved and collected were often made to shoulder the burden of such an unfortunate truth. Zenahriel, magnificent and deific as he was, was no exception to this rule. But the High Lord had proven himself far more resilient—loyal—than the other poor souls occupying his lover’s attention, and so his trials and tribulations were rewarded with tenderness, these sweet moments when all the affairs of Church and State were set aside, and they were allowed to simply exist. At the raven’s mention of a gift, Rafael’s lips curved into a slight frown behind the blackness of his beard. “Is an introduction to a High Lord of Genesaris not gift enough?” Like all the other immigrants that found themselves washed up on the shores of Valucre’s realm, himself included, their past lives—triumphs, failures, power, and status—meant nothing. “There are kings and queens of this realm, borne of founding bloodlines, that have still yet to even glimpse your face. You underestimate the value of your own existence, darling.” It was no matter of opinion, either. While some might have considered Zenahriel’s humility one of his greatest assets, of which Rafael was sometimes inclined to agree, the elder vampyre had also seen it become detrimental to his well-being. But, not wanting to sour their time together, the elder vampyre raised a hand in surrender. There would be time to discuss the pros and cons of their personalities later, or in the centuries that followed—eternity was rather long, after all. “However, if it will make you feel like a better guest, yes, let’s find her a gift.” Rafael harbored serious doubts they would find anything of real worth here in the stalls, but perhaps. It would be an entertaining process, at least. “You have a better eye for jewels than me, dear,” the vampyre spoke from over the High Lord’s shoulder. “A necklace, perhaps? Something that she can wear proudly and that also complements her exotic beauty.” Thinking to their last encounter, he remembered how gorgeous the demoness was, and then, what a shame it was he’d not yet been able to request she let him paint her. She’d make a lovely addition to my— Rafael’s attention drifted beyond the festivities, beyond the port, called by the impending arrival of his realm’s newest guests. It was an essence he hadn’t forgotten from Southern Wedding, a stench of the abyss that made even the Devil’s foul aroma of hellfire and brimstone seem floral in comparison. The little troublemaker shows himself—but, perhaps he would behave himself, as he’d done in the Imperial South, and give no cause for a scene? Jealous as Zenahriel could be, he was infinitely more wrathful—and ruining an outing with his lover could prove fatal for even the most entitled of self-fashioned Emperors. “I love what you’ve done with your wings,” Rafael said, smiling as his fingers danced along the length of several pinions. “This color suits you.”
  6. King

    I see you wearing my hat.

    It looks good on you.

  7. King

    Port Caelum

    (image credit to Alex Ruiz) Ruler: Akako Akari Contact: Akako Akari, Twitterpated GEOGRAPHY Topography The port is located in the southeastern region of Genesaris and south of the Cold Mountains. The city is 204 square miles with a population of 98,526 residents. Caelum is tucked away in an inlet which provides mountainous protection from the north, west, and south-west. Being located in such a position, there is no easy way to enter the port except by sea, or traversing the cold mountains southern border near the larger cove with the Cavern of Blades at its innermost peak. The Eastern approach to the divided city is easily accessible, clear waters that recede in intensity as ships reach the north and south borders of the cove. Cityscape Port Caelum is divided in orientation, the cove separating two different ways of life by its calm waters. The southwest edge of the sea is populated by a modern style of people and buildings, with magitek and a more simple approach to the style and way of lives. The north border of the sea is enriched with an oriental view, with more Japanese style buildings. This divide in populace melds together the closer inland the waters reach until the Northwest Point of the Port meets together, intermingling the two cultures. Climate Being located at the base of the Cold Mountains as well as next to the Sea, the air tends to stay around 60 – 65 degrees even in high summer. With the ocean directly to the east, Port Caelum is often battered with high winds with opportunity for hurricane conditions to arise. During the winter the Port is near impossible to reach by land or sea, the cove likely to freeze leaving thick ice in the path of the ships wanting to port. This is possible to avoid, although it's not advised to try to reach the port without a fortified vessel. Flora and Fauna Port Caelum is known for a handful of mythical and rare creatures in addition to minimal plant life. Being on the coast, sailors have told tales of the Charybdis which is a monster that swallows fisherman's boats whole. It resides well off the coast, however, no one is certain in really exists because any that do encounter it never return. That isn't the only creature to roam the Port's waters. Selkies, seals that can take human form on land, reside in the water in addition to Kelpies that are shape-shifting spirits. Most take on the form of a horse, however, some can take the appearance of a human much like the Selkies. On land, Sylphs are in abundance, tiny air spirits that light up the night and float like stars. One of the more notable creatures is the Zhenniao which is also known as the Zhen bird. The birds are blue for the most part, their bellies purple with green tipped feathers. Their beaks are bright red and they have long necks. The Zhen birds are notoriously poisonous and they acquire the poisonous attributes with their diet of vipers. The Zhen birds live on the mountainside and don't bother with people. They aren't an aggressive animal, however, they are hunted for their feathers which are used to extract poison that is often used to carry out assassinations. DEMOGRAPHICS Culture Port Caelum is a melting pot that homes humans, yokai, and other creatures. Prior to Akako’s arrival, the port primarily housed humans. Upon establishing her rule, yokai from all across Valucre relocated to reside within the port where the rumored Yokai Queen ruled. While most are welcoming to all walks of life, there are still those that are less adaptable and trusting of their fellow citizens. Economy Currency from every part of Valucre is accepted and can be converted to Genesarian coin. There are several financial institutions throughout the port city to convert currency. The shops that are port-side often accept any sort of currency, but further inland Genesarian coin will be necessary to purchase goods or the imperial alhm that is often used in Umbra. The exception is during the annual Hanami Festival where every store and shop will accept foreign currency. Notable Locations The Caelum Port: The port is an extravagant sight, with several dozen docks with cargo-ready access. The Akari Estate: At the northwestern point of the port, the daiyokai’s residence is stationed where the two halves of the port meet. Her estate represents both sides of the port, the structure influenced by traditional oriental and modern homes. It is more of a mansion than a palace, however, it is well guarded by yokai hand-selected by Akako. The estate is surrounded by a stylized stone wall and closed off by wooden gates. Within the walls, there is a path that leads to the residence and other paths that veer off to the many manicured gardens that surround the structure. The Capital: A government structure near the base of the mountains where official meetings are held to discuss economy, statutes, and various other matters that relate to the well-being of the people. Twisted Sister: A popular pub near the port where fishermen and seafarers often go to grab a pint of locally brewed hops. Known for seasonal craft ales and lagers that are high-quality and affordable. The pub is also known for hosting local musicians during the weekends and open-mic throughout the week. They primarily search fresh seafood dishes and sides, however, they do also serve house salad and burgers for those not fond of fish. The Labyrinth Caves: Located at the base of the mountains there are several mouths to the Labyrinth Caves. It is unknown if they were man-made or otherwise. What is known is each path eventually crosses another path. Beneath the mountains, it is incredibly easy to become disoriented and lost. There is a rumor that there is something that lives deep beneath the mountains, but there has been no proof of this. Perhaps it is just a story parents tell children to keep them away from the caves. GOVERNMENT Local Government The Scarlet Region is comprised of Port Caelum and the waters surrounding ten miles, as well as Predators Keep in Terrenus. These territories are run beneath the rule of Red Yusuke, Queen of the Region. Imperial Government Port Caelum also falls under the Carmine Dominion. The current emperor, Rafael M. Bartolome V, is recognized at the monarch. Military The Keep military forces have relocated a small number, adding 1,000 military to the Port as a local police force. These soldiers are practiced military men and women, ranging from psions to wizards to regular humans practiced in many forms of weaponry and combat. Akako has recruited an additional 1,214 individuals to the local military number with a large number of those individuals being yokai and others with abilities. EDUCATION Education in Port Caelum is brought to high regard, with one Academy of various arts located in the center of the two cultures. The University, sponsored by Xartia Pendragon, is also in construction which is advertising classes in arcane arts, yokai physiology, and a variety of other electives. TRANSPORTATION Animal Propulsion: Whether ridden by themselves or attached to a cabby. The maintenance and upkeep of a living transport make this a largely inefficient form of inner city travel, but because a large percentage of a given city's population is travelers from abroad, a lot of infrastructures still supports this form of travel. Mechanical Propulsion: Powered by magical crystals known as Exlata, airships are the most popular form of travel. For a small fee, most can ride on a large airship that flies to and from various cities. All megacities and most smaller cities have stations, bays, and areas where airships are able to land. Almost all airships carry weaponry and shields to protect against air pirates. For travel by sea, basic sea-ships are used, which vary in size and carry weapons for protection against sea pirates. Currently, Spellcycles have been created, similar to motorcycles with a futuristic/steampunk design. Powered by the magical crystals Exalta, these are expensive rides and can only be bought in Joran City and straight from Antigone Isles, the home of their creation. Magical Propulsion: Inter-city travel is served primarily by smaller airships and Crossroads. Crossroads are generally gateways that provide instant travel throughout a city and often to and from cities. Crossroads are keyed to certain areas and the side effect is nothing more than mild disorientation that passes quickly. Guarded by soldiers, Crossroads are cheap, easy, and effective to transporting goods and civilians alike. Sometimes, magical creatures pass through from realms beyond, in which case the soldiers must deal with them. Generally, however, the Crossroads are kept safe and steady. NOTABLE RESIDENTS Akako Akari: An ancient creature of untold origin, Akako was requested to rule the Port city on behalf of the Scarlet Queen. The demoness is known for her firm and unwavering loyalty to those in her care. She is respected by most and feared by some given her age and the unknown scope of her abilities. While she isn’t ambitious in a normal sense, she aims to bring the people of Port Caelum good fortune. Akako is still a mystery and for the most part, not a well-known figure on the Genesarian stage of politics, but she has friends in high places. HISTORY Canon
  8. The City Flag Ruler: Raveena Jhanavi Bartolome Senaria. Regent: Duke Grant Knight Contact: Deus Ex Aizen, Danzilla3. GEOGRAPHY Topography With multicolored cliffs soaring above a sea-drowned caldera, Port Thea looks like a giant slab of layered cake. The Illyrian coast will take your breath away with its snow-drift of white houses lining the cliff tops and, in places, spilling like icy cornices down the terraced rock. When the sun sets, the reflection on the buildings and the vibrant glow of the orange and red in the cliffs can be truly spectacular. Cityscape The Port’s intrigue reaches deep into the past, with the fascinating Illyrian site of Ramalóke Caverns and the gorgeous traditional hilltop village of Thira. It also glides effortlessly into the future with up and coming artists, budding apothecaries, a unique microbrewery. The multicolored beaches are simply the icing on the cake. Port Thea currently has a population of 55,000. Climate Port Thea has a semi-arid climate with Mediterranean characteristics. In the summer season, strong winds can also be observed. During the summer, the weather is most frequently sunny and dry, and any precipitation falls in the form of showers or thunderstorms. The air is usually hot during the day and pleasantly warm at night, but there are some very windy days. Heatwaves may occur, but they are usually quite mild at the coastal areas, where temperatures are moderated by the relatively cooler sea and the sea breeze. Winters are wet and any snow that falls does not last long, especially in the south-facing slopes from inland. Flora and Fauna The region's vegetation is lush and green with plenty of olive trees and vineyards. Also present are fig trees, eucalypti, and a variety of pine trees. Thea is blessed with more than six hundred species of plants and several hundred more of these species were imported to Rising West where they were cross-bred and flourished, meaning the new species are found nowhere else in Genesaris. The mountainous topography of Thea’s backdrop has offered isolation for many plant species which has allowed them to evolve in unique ways, providing sanctuary for the area’s wildlife. Thean wolves in the mountains are one of many various imported species that are fiercely protected by THRIVE. There are more than four hundred species of birds that have been found in the Rising West and about half of them can be spotted along the shores of Port Thea and inland. Birdwatchers can seek out peregrine falcons, kestrels, little owls, and numerous seabird species such as the Kyrosian Swift from its sister Port Kyros. Several domestic animals are also found in Thea such as mountain sheep, cows, goats, and Alethenean Braix. They are commonly encountered by visitors to Port Thea when driving through the hilly roadways where flocks of sheep may block the route for a short time. DEMOGRAPHICS Culture Because of its geographic position, Thea represents a strong island culture. Though they have faced hard times, the community is on the mend and bouncing back, welcoming trade and visitors from abroad. Cuisine and wine made from the flora are said to be extraordinary. Port Thea boasts architectural influences from its Hyperian roots with its wide domed ceilings, tall spires and iconic columns. Economy With the Port reopened, the trade commerce supports a majority of the economy of the city second to its seafood trade. With several new businesses flourishing after the city’s birth, Thea boasts a growing economy. Several types of currency flow from every part of the world, from Genesaris to Renovatio, all of which can be converted to the local coin. PARKS AND RECREATION Landmarks and Monuments Solaria Estate: With Raveena’s ambition to gain access to more resources, she sought an opportunity to establish a sister port, and the plot for Port Thea began. Knowing that with war on the horizon between the Arcane East and the Midlands in Genesaris, she sent her son Grant to establish a house name and estate along the Rising West’s coast.. With Lady Reyna at his side, Raveena felt at ease about the ongoing affairs of the Estate, knowing that when the time was right, Port Thea could be established properly and more opportunities would arise. Sitting on the North-western coast of the Rising West, Solaria Estates and Port Thea as a whole aim to breathe life into the coastal waters and restore the Genesarian sea trade to reach its full potential. Bari’s Apothecary and Armaments: Antique pharmacy jars contain herbs, homeopathic remedies, vitamins and supplements – and the shelves are stacked high with skin care, personal care, bath and aromatherapy products from around the world. Lavender toothpaste, calendula ointment, cypress tree soap – you'll find all your health and healing needs here. Need an upgrade to your gear and weapons while you’re perusing for the right potion? Drop your belongings off to be taken cared for while you shop worry free. Thrakena Pub and Eatery: The siren call of tasty beer sings to locals and tourists alike at Thrakena, which is justifiably popular for its unique ales and brews alongside a dependable menu of Genesarian grub. A full Dragon’s skeleton soars overhead, crowning its appeal to visitors and locals alike. Skaros Consulate: Genesarian in design, this Veluriyam consulate is being hosted in Port Thea of the Rising West. Serving as neutral ground between Terran and Genesarian diplomats and citizens, the consulate serves as a place of learning and encouraging the international exchange of ideas. The Skaros Consulate is where the birth of the T.H.R.I.V.E. Initiative first took flight. Ramalóke Caverns: Not only geologically interesting, it is also historically important, as it was the first concepts of fortresses built in the Rising West to protect the islanders from pirate attacks. Earthquakes put an end to that, however, and the inhabitants moved and inhabited further inland to adapt and survive. These wondrous caves now serve as a step into the past, where rumored artifacts are waiting to be discovered. GOVERNMENT The Council of Seven Like all lands within the Rising West, the port city of Thea is subject to the edicts of its capital city Aelindra. 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 council, seeing their will done and that no transgressions be made against their edict. Local Government The Thean Order of the Aralim: The Order of the Aralim serve as Knights of the Hyperian Empire. The Aralim serves as the militant strength and stability of the Imperial Sefirot. The backbone of the Order; These are hardened fighters, agents and diplomats are pillars of the Order's values, noblemen and women who have dedicated their lives to the preservation of the Empire. Military The Thean Branch of the Hyperian Order Guard: Soldiers of the Order, these are contract soldiers hired on, manning and protecting the Empire's outposts and interests. EDUCATION The countess has sought to rebuild and enforce the educational institutes of the Port City. As such, she oversaw several naval, technical, religious and academic institutes built to showcase the Rising Queen’s importance of a well-rounded education, as well as a nod to the importance of the arcane and the worship of the Emperor God. TRANSPORTATION Sloops: The most common boat of the port, these ships are lightly outfitted for defense, and can easily maneuver around larger ships at Sea. Roads and Walkways: Thea has constructed several local roads that cascade down from the mountains and stretch all the way towards the coastal shores. Private: Personal mounts such as Thestrals, Horses, Dire Beasts, and Wyverns are scattered among the population. Upperclass citizens that can afford larger, personal ships house them in private marinas, while others have access to their own personal airship. NOTABLE RESIDENTS Queen Raveena Jhanavi Bartolome Senaria: A Terran-born Noble of Imperial ancestry, Raveena has been a long-time ally of the Carmine Empire and is the newest member of the Imperial Family as a Princess of the Empire, eldest daughter of Rafael Bartolome. A rising politician and respected ruler, she is known to rule with a passion tempered by patience and kindness. Firm and fair, she has been well received by the citizens of Port Thea. Resourceful and ambitious, she seeks to usher in prosperity for the Port City, and for Genesaris overall. Prince Grant Knight, Duke of Port Thea: The eldest son of the Knight Clan, Grant serves as the regent of Port Thea. As the son of Rowan Knight, he shares the Chimera gene that the Knight family is well known for. Despite their biological differences, Grant is supportive of his mother’s ideals and has stepped up to accept responsibility and set an example for his younger siblings. HISTORY Canon
  9. You can never check me, so check this: your standard for right and wrong is me, I am the checklist. I am right, wrong is whatever you're left with. I am life, you without me is what death is.

  10. “No, I’m quite all right,” Rafael replied, giving the High Lord’s quip no more attention than it deserved. He’d come to loathe the growing of his mate’s pettiness, though he could blame none other than himself for its existence. Rou Ji’s company may have provided it with sunlight, and Gabriela’s history of capricious ways with rain, but Rafael had planted the seed with his abuse and neglect. “I’m still rather full." Leaning in, the elder vampyre brushed a light kiss along the High Lord’s neck where he’d bitten him just hours before. “But, if you’d like to try something, you’re more than welcome to.” Closing the pamphlet, Rafael slid it into Zenahriel’s unburdened hand. “The Sword Dancing doesn’t begin for another handful of hours, so whatever else you wish to do, whatever you wish to see, just lead the way. I’m here for you.” Giving the High Lord a moment to weigh his options, Rafael studied his surroundings, letting his gaze move about the crowd without urgency. These demons are quite interesting, he mused. Nothing like the monstrosities and horrors spawned from the rage of the Maelstrom, or the daemons that tore their way into the Waking World. They seemed tame in comparison, intelligent, more than tooth and claw and hunger. But how much of it is just a mask? Surely, there was a handful of these creatures behaving only to be spared their reagent’s wrath. The air was ripe with the scent of human, thick enough to even draw the Elder’s attention when a breeze carried the aromas just right. Rafael could only imagine how tempting it must have been to those that lacked his discipline, those that were more slave than master to their instinct and primitive desires. All it would take was one mistake, one accident, for this festival to come crashing down around them. Akako was taking a great risk, or perhaps she simply trusted her people that greatly? At that thought— “Before we return to the capital, darling, make sure that we speak with the regent here. Lady Akako.” Rafael’s gaze still held the festival in its grasp, particularly fond of the merchant peddling a vast collection of ornate jewelry. “You two have yet to be introduced, and I would like for her to know you, and you, her. She is… mm… an interesting woman, to say the least. Or rather, after having met her twice before, I find her to be.”
  11. “It’s a beautiful day,” Rafael said, casting his eyes up toward the sky. The sun loomed above them, not quite yet noon, shining with impunity as not a cloud dared showed itself to filter the heat of its golden rays. A constant, steady breeze rolling in on the backs of foam-capped waves cooled the festival grounds, though its winds seemed to have difficulty weaving through the vendor-packed streets. “I’m glad we came.” Of course, attending hadn’t been his intention originally. There were far more pressing matters that demanded his attention—the growing Datsuzoku presence in the Midlands, and the slow-forming retaliation for the Lady Akako’s untimely (and unnecessarily gruesome) demise; further nurturing of the Faith and its continued evolution; and of course, matters of State regarding the Summer Isles and its questionable infrastructure. But the High Lord’s arrival at the Orisian estate and the justified allegations of neglect at the vampyre’s hands were cause for reorganized priorities. Rafael was dressed simply, albeit by no means shoddy. His suit was sharp and freshly pressed, fashioned from virgin wool and dyed black as night. It complimented his full beard and short, cropped hairstyle, but brought out the blue in his eyes, only tinted a slight red since his return to the mainland. Orisia’s lack of a proper—wholesome—temple to his name left him somewhat beyond the realm of his congregation’s power, though that too would soon be rectified in the coming weeks. Locking his arm with Zenahriel’s, Rafael set them down the busiest street the port had to offer, letting his gaze dance from table to table, casually surveying all the wares offered by eager vendors. “It’s been quite some time since I last visited these streets,” he continued idly. “Last time, it was rather substandard.” Though he’d only entered the port through a medium, he hadn’t forgotten his discussion with Red and his troublesome little princess, Rou Ji. He’d expected so much from then-ruler of the Port, surprised only by her capacity to disappoint fully and completely. “This looks to be far more promising.” Propping open the pamphlet detailing the day’s events, Rafael pursed his lips in consideration as he read. “I’d like to attend to the Sword Dancing if nothing else. Is there anything you would like to see or do?”
  12. King

    Laws Yet Inked

    Gabriela was defiant to the end, and yet no matter how much the fact incensed the elder vampyre, he loved her for it dearly. For many years he’d preyed on her weakness, feasting on her fear, insecurities, and anxiety like a murder of crows, picking away at the rotting flesh until only damp bone remained. But after a while, he’d lost his taste for it. There was only so much richness in that dark flavor, and before long, the Elder began craving something new—something fresh. And as a man of both single-minded determination and obscenely substantial means, he’d begun seeking it relentlessly, no matter how misogynistic or tyrannical it made him appear. “You have an impeccable sense of convenience,” Rafael murmured from behind her, leveling his sharp gaze down at her like a blade. “You speak of our blood, of your true royalty, only when it suits you—when you want to manipulate me, Gabriela.” Yes, there had been a foreign softness in her voice, a cool evenness that flirted with seduction and bordered on cautious. “You know this isn’t how I want things to be; you know I’ve come to dislike these, as you said, unnecessary encounters between us.” He breathed deep, and the grip around her wrist loosened, finger by finger. “But, you’re right.” The fingers digging into the back of her neck dislodged their tips from beneath her flesh, and suddenly, she was released of his unrelenting hold. Rafael’s anger simmered, the heat swept away by the abyssal cold of Tenebre’s presence, and left in its way the smoldering embers of the desire she nurtured within him. With every breath, she stoked the flames, until it was now an inferno of lust—not ire—that scorched through his veins and settled in his loins. The return of his eager hands marked the end of her reprieve, first to her hips, keeping her bottom anchored against his groin, and when they were finished, they crawled up her sides, swept up across her belly and greedily groped her breasts. He pulled her up, pressed her back flush against his chest, and kissed the already-healing wounds along her throat with all the tenderness of a raven’s feather. The tiny beads of her honeyed black blood burst with flavor across his lips and tongue, and he breathed deeply through his nose, relishing the sensation. “I have no desire to forge your signature,” he breathed against her skin, kissing each syllable into her neck. “Yes, I do want you to sign it. I want you to embrace our life together, not run from it—to embrace our family, here, now, rather than chasing ghosts. You say that you need time?” The elder vampyre squeezed her with all the ravenous strength his massive paws could muster. “Very well, my love. Take the edict and make any changes to the phrasing that you desire, so long as the content remains untouched. You are my wife, Gabriela, and it’s time that the world knew it for certain.” Rafael kissed his way up the curve of her neck, paying close attention to the skin just below her ear, before letting his lips hover over it. “In exchange for my understanding, I expect yours in return. I want a day and night with you, alone, without any interruption or distraction. That is the price of my patience.” Still fondling her, Rafael let his words hang in the air, growing heavy as the silence stretched long. He brushed the curve of her jaw with his downy beard, kissed at her pale, lovely cheek, and breathed deeply of the orange blossoms soaked into her skin. “Do we have an agreement?”
  13. King

    Laws Yet Inked

    Rafael watched, but only for a moment, as Gabriela rose from her seat with all the smoothness of a gently rolling stream. Indeed, pregnancy suited her well, and he’d been the first to notice the swelling of her feminine assets. He’d come to favor these changes in her hips and backside most of all, and as he poured over her now, there was a deep longing inside him to fondle and grope her, to worship her figure with curious fingertips and strong, possessive palms. But pleasing as it was to watch her walk away, Gabriela’s insolence also awoke a second dragon within her cousin, this one born of wrath and irritation, more violent and powerful than the lust she’d stirred just seconds before. You’d risk our future over pettiness, Rafael thought, bristling. You’d risk our child’s future over your capricious vindictiveness. I am not the Devil, child. Gabriela only managed two steps from her seat before Rafael caught her by the left wrist, and with his dominant hand, took her by the back of the neck. In a whirl of motion, he spun her on the tips of her toes and brought her around to face the desk once more, and in an abrupt show of force, bent her at the waist. He drew her over the desk with the maneuver, halting her descent when she was not inches from the scroll still sprawled out beneath her. Rafael stood behind her, her bottom pressed firmly against his groin, the unsigned document staring almost plaintively up at her. The scribe, still patiently waiting in the corner of the room, lowered her quill. “Shall I excuse myself, my Lord?” Rafael breathed angrily through his nose. “No, that won’t be necessary.” The woman plucked her quill from its resting place and waited, poised once more. “You try my patience, Gabriela,” Rafael spoke from behind her, fury absent from his tone but rife with bitterness and venom. “It would seem that you only understand me when I speak to you in this way, elsewise, you’ll lob your quips and barbs with impunity.” He breathed laboriously, though one would be incapable of discerning whether it was from lust or irritation. Gabriela affected him strangely. “I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure all of our futures are secured,” he growled bitterly through his clenched teeth, “and I’ll not see you ruin them over your fantasies or pathos. Not again.” It was no wonder the devil had managed to secure custody of Philippe, all but snatching the Orisian prince from right beneath her nose. She’d been lost in her own world, pining for a man that no longer cared for her, moping over how awful and terrible her life was. Even at her worst, Gabriela had always been an unquestionably terrific mother—but that was slowly changing, and in the worst of ways, no less. The elder vampyre administered a firm grip on her wrist, tight enough that even her resilient bones would feel the stress of it. There was no breaking free of it, not unless she wanted to risk the very real possibility of snapping her wrist in the process. The hand on the back of her neck squeezed even tighter than this, keeping her head uncomfortably straight, robbing her of the ability to twist or turn her head away from looking at the parchment he’d decided for her to see. The only freedom she could afford was that of her right arm, which Rafael had immediate instructions for. “Pick up the quill,” he ordered her. It was the same voice he used whenever he took control of that black blood in her veins, when he assumed the role of puppeteer and she of the marionette. And though it lacked the ability to do such now, the child growing in her womb making her all but immune to his control, it still carried the weight and command of an elder several times her age—and so, to that truth, it was equally as effective. “Vas a firmar el maldito papel, Gabriela, and we’re going to move forward with what we’ve discussed. And you aren’t going to leave this room until you have.” Tapered fingernails bit into her flesh, and honeyed, obsidian blood welled at their glassy tips. “Now, sign it.”
  14. Edit: Didn't realize the discussion progressed after I was pinged. I'm going to say no. This is a legendary artifact and I'm not sure what Palmer's sword is, but it likely falls under ready-made. I'm not going to say it can't replicate the effect but as far as weakening or overpowering Baeoi's ability, I'm going to give that a hard no.
  15. I don't know how his summon or its copy ability works, so I can't really answer that. Elaborate?
  16. My mother is currently visiting me from the States, so my writing time is extremely limited this week. Any posting I do will be to threads I owe. To that end, I'll leave it to you all to decide who NPCs the authorities. Any parties involved are free to contact me if they feel said authorities are not being used properly.
  17. It’s busy work, all this killing. It has a way of making time irrelevant, neither fast or slow, but simply nonexistent. You stop counting the seconds, and instead, count the bodies – the stabs, the slashes, the screams. It’s the only passage of moment to moment that matters, and before long, you’re consumed by your bloody work. For Rune, there’s no better place to be. Violence is not something that’s new to the mercenary, and unlike many he’s known that have retired from the business, he sleeps no worse for all the sins he’s committed. He’s lost track of how many people he’s killed in his thirty-two years—hundreds, he’s certain, if not directly than indirectly by the men and women he has killed. How many wars has his blade started? No use thinking about it now. That same blade separates the spine of another guard, and as his body thumps soundlessly into the snow, Rune realizes he’s reached his goal. He stands opposite of where he started, staring at the ruined perimeter of the city. There’s a trail of bodies behind him, half-hidden by the snowfall, and he wipes his bloodied blade along his sleeve. There’s a sense of relief and satisfaction, and then a pang of hunger for more. Pursing his lips, Rune releases a melodic chirp—code—that keens over the eerie quietness of the grave. It tells the other two that he’s finished. Then, he waits. Surely, his companions aren’t too far behind him.
  18. Quinton returns the smile, but says nothing. There’s a promise there on his lips, silent, and he lets linger before turning his attention to his meal. She’s a good woman, this Varda Hildebrand, and every moment he spends with her, Quinton becomes more confident in his scheme. Iyalon might prove to be a problem down the road, what with his affections to the woman, but it isn’t anything Quinton isn’t sure he can handle. Besides, despite his reservations—which the knight most certainly has—there is no denying that Quinton is an ally of the Lady Varda. In that, the two men are united. Hopefully, that will be enough for them to coexist once the more intimate pieces of his plan fall into place. It’s clear he means a great deal to Varda, and Quinton detests the idea of hurting her with his removal. They spend the rest of their morning dining on fine Madeum cuisines and filling the air with light, jovial banter. The sun is well above the distant horizon by the time they finish and prepare their farewells. It’s at the door of his manse that Quinton requests a brief private audience with the Lady, and much to Iyalon’s worry and concern, Varda accepts. The knight awaits her at the peak of the steps, his dark eyes both cautious of her wellbeing and wary of the enigmatic shadow looming about his charge. “Varda,” Quinton says in a soft, hushed voice. There’s no need for formality with her knight so far away, their voices kept between the two of them. “I know that I can seem secretive in some ways, but I would like to think that I’ve made my feelings toward you clear. I adore you.” She turns crimson, gaze flickering from Iyalon in the distance, then down to the ring on her finger. At the sight of the ring, her mouth tightens. "Y-you're very kind, sir, I--appreciate your view of me. However, I...cannot reciprocate." She hangs her head. "I am sorry." “I don’t ask for your reciprocation,” Quinton replies. “I ask only that you let me seek out the monster that tried to end your life and repay them in kind.” Varda is quiet for a moment, then pivots to catch his gaze with her own. Slowly, almost hesitantly, she nods, then casts her eyes back down on the steps she’s to traverse, cheeks heated with embarrassment. Iyalon meets her mid-stride, and together, they depart. Quinton watches them board their carriage, giving a friendly wave as they begin their journey home. “D’artagnan,” he says. The young man steps out from the shadows, hands tucked behind his back. “Sir?” “I want the person responsible for Lady Varda’s assassination attempt brought here. Alive, if possible.” “Yes, sir.” Quinton waits until the carriage is beyond visibility, somehow feeling that he’s still sharing Varda’s gaze, before he turns and closes the door.
  19. King

    General chat thread

    Yes, even though you're still thick in the right places. All that goodness won't matter if the wind sweeps in and steals you. 😩
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