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Everything posted by King

  1. King

    This promise

    How long has it been since he’s laughed? It’s a strange sound to him now, the foreign language of joy and happiness he’s all but forgotten since his exile. And yet, standing before his beloved sister, Cornelius feels the fog lifting from his memory. Slowly, but surely. He can’t deny that of all his siblings, even precious little Darim, he has always shared a special bond with Lyonene. They are the last of the lion’s blood, their golden manes as long and proud as their mother’s, and he can see their matriarch in the soft curve of her chin, the fullness of her lips, and intensity of her emerald eyes. “You shouldn’t have come here, Lyonene,” he says again. Yet the resolve is gone from his voice, chased away by the soft laughter of her childish insult. Cornelius approaches, sheathing his blade in the earth and snow, and sinks to his knees before her. A rough, calloused palm cups her cheek, soft as silk in comparison. With his other hand, he brushes away some of the dark golden hair that has clung to her face so that he might see her properly. “But, I’m glad you have.” To feel warmth in his blood; to feel his heart beating. Cornelius pulls her close, deep into his embrace, and kisses the center of her brow. It had to be you, he confesses in the privacy of his thoughts. Who else but her could have stirred these things inside his chest, exhumed these memories of love he’d buried beneath bitterness and snow. Who else but her could have reminded him of what he’d truly sacrificed that night their mother had plunged his blade into her stomach, forsaking her young lion to this cruel life. It is a long moment before Cornelius dares to release her. But when he rises, he carries her with him, leaving only their imprints in the snow. “Come,” he says, holding her hand tight. In his other hand, he takes up his blade. He leads her deeper into the wintry forest. “We’re not far now.” He cannot call the wooden cabin he’s built home. A place to sleep, to eat, to dwell in solitude—not a home. But as he glances at his beloved, feels her delicate fingers laced with his, he can’t help but feel a spark of hope. “How long will you stay with me?” The spark of hope smolders in his tone.
  2. King

    slithered here from eden

    “Here and there,” Quinton replies, gesturing his hand left to right in emphasis. He has no intention of revealing his secrets to her—not yet; perhaps not ever. The very nature of his business is an acquired taste, and he’s found there are a limited number of people in the world capable of stomaching it. It will be better for all parties involved—decided after their first meeting—that she remains ignorant of the evil growing long in his shadow. “I’m afraid that self-preservation prevents me from answering you further. If I were to reveal my secrets to you, well, you’d have no reason to seek my opinion on these matters any further. This way, I can be confident that I’ll see you again. And please, call me Quinn.” Moving closer to her, forcing whatever separate personal space might have existed between them into a single entity, he turned on his heels and presented a bent arm to her. “Your timing is quite impeccable, really.” Lightly flicking his chin ahead of them, he seeks to draw her attention toward the mysterious frame, draped in a curtain of black velvet. “Had you arrived a few hours sooner, that wouldn’t have been ready for you.” Quinn guides her toward the mysterious piece, larger than a small child by far. There’s no hurry in his pace or eagerness in his steps. Rather, he appears to enjoy having her by his side, their bodies in stride alongside each other, more than the gift itself. He uses the time to gauge her, to measure how her body works when guided by his, learn her in these meticulous ways that are only possible in the ephemeral encounters so many dismiss. She’s a beautiful woman, regal and lithe, with strong values, a powerful name, and sterling reputation. Yes, she will do quite nicely. “I hope you like it.” Pinching a corner of the cloth with his free hand, he tugs it away with a grand flourish. The gilded frame is sleek and angular, shaped into clusters of orchids at each of its four corners. Inside is the rendition of her likeness, as if he’d reached into the past and imprisoned the memory here. It’s the first time she smiled at him, the blush she’d hoped gone still on her cheeks, a bouquet of white roses in her hands. Every detail, perfectly in place.
  3. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    Personal weapon.
  4. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    This is a continuation of the previous Genesaris AMA. This thread will be used for Genesaris proper (the main content) and also any universal information that might pertain to the subboards therein. For specific information regarding the lands inside of the Genesaris primary boards, I encourage you to visit their individual AMAs: Orisia, Imperial South, Nvengaria, and the Datsuzoku Empire (provide the links and I'll put the others up here). The Genesaris landing page should be your main source of information and covers a wide variety of topics, from culture to economics. It is constantly changing and evolving, so make sure to check back frequently. For the sake of archiving and quick-finding, I will update this first post with a list of questions that as asked so that you can find them and the discussions that follow.
  5. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    I do. The relic system has changed since then. I'll have to contact you about some updates.
  6. King

    For the Good of My House

    For as long as Andross could remember, House Kholin of Ursa Madeum and House Ul’Vandiir from across the Great Sea had been business associates. He’d been a young man during their family’s first trade agreement with the elves, back when the Tyrant King still sat upon his throne, and his father, Gavin Kholin, did well to ensure that the youngest of his twin sons understood why. Though he would not be head of the house upon his father’s passing—that charge fell to his brother, Alexandros, born just moments before him—it was of the utmost importance that he understood the intricacies of how their family played the great game. And so, by his father’s will, Andross learned, studied, and practiced. Still, he never understood why his father did business with elves. Yes, they had access to the rare runestone from the Far East, but was it worth their snide remarks so thinly veiled as compliments? Was it worth their sneers, and how they looked down their noses at them? It was a wonder they hadn’t yet developed vertigo as an inheritable defect. Even the Ul’Vandiir, so low on their own cultural hierarchy that they’d been forced to find greener pastures amongst the world’s mortal population, still had an air of arrogance and entitlement about them. It wasn’t nearly as thick as some of the others he’d read and heard of, but it was noticeable. Likely, that’s why he enjoyed his time with Vivienne as much as he did. Andross had never bothered to give it much thought. One hand on the elf’s shapely hip, pulling her into each blow, the other pressed just over her shoulder and firmly planted against the cool stone of the dimly lit corridor, the young lord worked tirelessly behind her. Andross had always suspected Vivienne wasn’t like her family, at least not entirely, and she’d confirmed it the day of their first affair. Now, it had become something of an annual expectation for both of them. While their fathers toiled away at the details of the latest contract, Andross would “show their honored guest’s daughter the grounds”, which always devolved into little more than a sordid romp wherever there were least prying eyes. This time, it was a corridor adjacent to Skyfall Manor’s grand hall. For the better part of a half-hour, they played their wicked game, just barely lit by the crystals mounted in the walls. Two phantoms tossing about the hall, locked in an intimate struggle with low, muffled sounds of pleasure. Andross leaned into her, putting all his weight behind his powerful stride, while he clamped his teeth down on the breadth of her tapered left ear. He’d been surprised to learn that wasn’t a very elven thing to do – biting another elf’s ear, though it seemed to bring them a great deal of pleasure. Elves, they had a strange sense of propriety, but one of little consequence here in Ursa Madeum. So he bit Vivienne’s ear, tugged on it with teeth and lips, knowing she loved every second of it. Before too long, the young lord was finished, and he slumped into the deep arch he’d made of her back. It had always been her way to quickly shove him off her after they’d had their fun, so that she could quickly set to the task of making herself once again presentable to their families. These last two years, though, something had changed. Now, he caught his breath, holding onto her as the heat continued to bound between their bodies to elevated heartbeats. There’d never been any romance between the two, not even a real sense of companionship – only a mutual, burning desire. But when she behaved this way, Andross could see the beginning of a favorable friendship taking root between them. It was unlikely, seeing as they only crossed paths once a year. But it was a nice thought. Andross untangled himself from the elf with a palpable reluctance and took a step back from her, adjusting his attire and quickly making himself presentable. He wore a simple militant uniform of Aegean blue with silver trim, set tight at the shoulders, waist, and wrists, with hardened leather boots that were well-worn. It was a stiff ensemble, sharp and freshly pressed, and fit him well both in form and temperament. He used the sleeve to wipe the sweat from his dark-skinned brow. He slicked his hair back, what curly, white locks managed to slip free of their binding and fastened them once again. Breathing slow and deep, he looked at Vivienne with dazed hazel eyes, still supporting herself against the wall, the appealing swell of her backside just barely covered by the skirt of her dress. “What were you saying about the mines?” He hadn’t forgotten their earlier conversation, in spite of such a thorough distraction. There’d been a concern in her expression when she first mentioned it, Andross remembered, though that had quickly matured into seduction and hunger. It wasn’t like Vivienne to discuss anything pertaining to her family, let alone their holdings. That she sought to do so now was troubling, though Andross did not reveal any of his concerns. Instead, he set his bearded jaw and looked the woman over more suspiciously. Could this all be some kind of game? It was easy to forget what she was when he was between her legs, working her with a fury. Vivienne was not some hopeless romantic or love-stricken maiden—she was an elf, a Hexmistress no less, as calculating as she was conniving. Andross frowned at that. “It seemed... important.”
  7. 03/13/2019 A relic update. There has been a slight change to the rules regarding the Genesaris Cornerstones. In an effort to avoid players circumventing a large portion of nature behind the stones' system, quest threads for the stones are no longer subject to meaningful interruption. Threads that go without posts for too long will be considered defunct and the stone in question will be made available for other players to obtain via questing.
  8. While the individual sections of Genesaris may have their own update threads, this will serve as a universal hub for information concerning changes and updates to the forum at large, including structural/administrative changes, major events, lore changes/updates, and other such activities. All subsequent posts will be dated and detailed, with this original post serving as a convenient master list. Note that these posts will be sorted based on the bulk of the content. So, if there's a one board change but a ton of lore changes, you'll find the link in the lore update section. Administrative Changes 10/23/2018: Board changes. 10/25/2018: Board Changes/Slaver's Enclave lore update. 10/27/2018: The Rules of Engagement have been updated. 11/07/2018: Material List update/MOA for airships update. 02/07/2019: Genesaris Artifacts update. 03/13/2019: Genesaris Artifact update. Major Events 01/01/2019: Magestorm Event: The Weakening. Lore Updates 10/24/2018: Airship, Bounty Hunting, and Magestorm lore updates. World Building/Canon 02/07/2019: Canonical update (Old Wounds: Artifact Quest). 02/11/2019: Canonical update (Hardest Choices; Strongest Wills). 03/12/2019: Canonical update (Infinite Potential). .
  9. y8ZMRKy.png

    1. Ataraxy


      Lmfao what? What is the meaning behind this cryptic message

  10. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    My apologies for the delayed response. I didn't even see this message. So, there's a lot up with that. The artifact system has undergone a slight change. All relics/artifacts are now linked per-player, which essentially means the relics themselves are now all on the same wavelength in terms of strength classification. Even though I haven't finished crafting the sub-legendary/sub-exotic relics, if you compare the power of the three lost swords to other s-class artifacts around the forum, they are incredibly powerful. They also retain this level of power across the board (meaning they're just as strong in Terrenus, Renovatio, or Genesaris). I feel that when set beside other "certified relics," as you put it, they're more than deserving of their limitation. It's clearly stated this is not the case with the cornerstones. The Cornerstones are only able to reach their full potential inside of Genesaris-- in which case I am the authority on that matter. Beyond that realm of interaction, a cornerstone's strength could very well be halved, or reduced even further (depending on the board leader's prerogative). That being said, the stones-- like all of the relics I've created --are subject to change. So, there's no need to panic. And, of course, there's no need for you to participate in a quest you don't want to. Hope that answers your question.
  11. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    No. That isn't what the sword does, lol. Yes, if you have an item or device that lets you harness energy from things. There are plenty of airships that do it.
  12. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    They're extremely volatile. There's a high chance that they would explode inside said character, killing them.
  13. King

    Patience is Power [Artifact Quest]

    “W-who are you?” Rune doesn’t answer the boy. He’s bleeding bad from the deep gash on his thigh, spilling his lifeblood into the snow. The soft powder drinks it greedily, turning a deep shade of red. “Wha… what do you want?” The boy—and he is most certainly a boy, with no hair to his face and a young, thin frame that made slicing his artery easy work—is too delirious to scream, leaning in and out of consciousness. There are others around him, another group of five he’d put down before they even realized what was happening. It’s just a few minutes later than the boy lets his head sink into the snow, eyes open. Flecks of snow fall into his irises, giving the dark brows a cool, glazed sheen. Then they’re covering his face, his body, and in moments he’s hidden beneath of thin blanket of white. The moment stretches longer, and the bodies around him vanish, as well. These people have been here for so long they’ve started families, rearing children, breeding their own soldiers so they needn’t wait for reinforcements. It doesn’t bother Rune. All men must die – young, old, it doesn’t matter. He stalks his way down the heart of the ruins, slashing, stabbing, and breaking those that happen by him. He’s cleaning his blade on his sleeve when a baby’s cry catches his attention, bleating out into the wind from a hovel nearby. The work continues. Rune follows the sound to silence it.
  14. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” —Abraham Lincoln I fucking hate the snow. Born and raised in the sweltering heat of the Velhatian Desert, Rune is not a man that favors cold weather. Accustomed to it, yes, for his line of work takes him all around the world, to the most unsavory and uninviting of places, but pleased with it. He tells himself that the money is worth it, that there will be more to this endeavor than just ice and snow and bitterness. But as he sits there eying the flames at the heart of the small hovel that has become their forward base, he can’t see that future. So, he turns his mind to the brief. It’s just one piece of a larger puzzle, the first clue of many. Their client has gone to great lengths to provide them with the information he has, and it’s barely anything at all. It’s nothing more than the name of a village half-buried in snow, all but forgotten by the country’s regime. More recently, it’s become the home of infighting, situated on the border between two wildling territories. Savages with bows and arrows, axes and swords, with furs and leather for armor. Nothing Rune and his companions can’t handle. “We’ll clear out the hostiles first,” Rune says. “The last thing I want is to be worrying about a hatchet in my back while I’m digging through snow. Once they’re dead, we can start looking around. The brief says what we’re looking for isn’t here, but information on how to find it is. What it is, though, I don’t know.” The lack of information about the object in question is, quite frankly, bothering. Rune understands the need for secrecy, but when it impedes his job, it becomes a liability. “We could be here for a while,” he adds as a precaution. @vielle @Csl
  15. King

    slithered here from eden

    “Your parasol, Lady Hildebrand?” The young man offers his two gloved hands toward her. He is a native to the lands her family has governed for generations, as many of the men and women hired to tend to her business partner’s villa. He carefully takes the noble’s accessory and collapses its cover, setting it aside in a small alcove near the front entryway. Then, he gestures down the hall. “This way, please. Mister Quinton has been expecting you.” Like its exterior, the villa’s interior is dominated by large pillars and great arches. The tiled floors are polished to a bright sheen; the walls are painted a warm cream to offset the abundance of green foliage and bright, vibrant flower petals. A modern-day Garden of Eden, highlighted by the man’s more personal tastes. The man’s extensive historical collection has continued to grow here in the Hildebrand domain, their past now becoming his. In one case there are the shattered remains of a sword, little more than the hilt and several fragments of steel resting on a soft, black velvet cloth. It is said that it belonged to a knight from these parts that, during the Usurping, killed one of the Tyrant King’s great generals. Further down, a bloodied—or rusted—mace sat on display: the great general’s preferred method of killing. Here, there are the battered pieces of a woman’s armor – one of the first women to be knighted in the realm. There, several tomes said to be linked to an ancient order of witches that used to stalk ancient Ursa Madeum, preying on children found to be straying too far from their hovels. It is a gallery as enlightening as it is macabre, a blending of light and dark, good and evil, which has become his favored representation as of late. The servant guides the noble lady to a room near the back of the villa. It is a large and rectangular chamber without a southern wall, replaced with pillars instead, commanding an impressive view of the lands sprawling out behind them. These pillars are covered completely in a blanket of vines, leaves, and blooming flowers, top to the bottom. The room is minimally decorated, with a long table of polished dark wood stretching the length of it, lined with pillowed chairs. Situated in one of these seats is a veiled frame, tall as a child and wide as a man. Only a single cabinet adorns the wall, made from glass and that same dark wood, filled with all manners of ports, domestic and imported. “Lady Varda,” Quinton says from his position at the middle of the room, near the frame. “I’ve been expecting you.” The servant at her side bows and excuses himself to continue dinner preparations. Quinton approaches her slowly, eyes dancing over those beautiful details he’d not been able to forget, relishing them once more. There’s something different about her now, though he can’t quite put his finger on it. It’s a feeling, more than anything, familiar and yet foreign. He takes her hand, her left hand, and thumbs the back of it as a lover might in idle moments. “I’m glad you could make it.” They’re alone now, the only eyes and ears in this home well under his command. So he lifts her hands to his lips, takes his time gently kissing each of her knuckles lowering it from his touch. He holds her hand for a moment longer, their interaction well beyond inappropriate, yet testing her limits, her wants. Learning her, as he desired to. “So, what do you think of my home?” He finally asks, throwing his arm wide in gesture to the large structure surrounding them.
  16. 03/12/2019 A canon update. Infinite Potential: The Cult of power ascends a mountain in search of the Mind Stone.
  17. Happy Birthday, beautiful. : D

  18. King

    For the Good of My House

    How long had it been since he’d enjoyed a hunt? Weeks, months? Marcus had never told him being Lord Commander would be so tedious, demanding more from his pen than sword. As if the position had become an invisible bulwark surrounding him, Andross’s times in the training yards and sparring pits had dwindled dramatically. It’s too risky, his father would constantly remind him. Even his brother seem to hold some concern over the idea that his younger twin, and chief protector, might be injured in some sportsman affair. But a hunt? That would be a good use of all their time, especially Ikora’s. “That sounds like an excellent alternative to dwelling on this mess,” Andross replied, embers of excitement sparking in his baritone. “This will be an excellent opportunity for you, Ikora. You’ll be my sword and my shield,” he explained, grinning. “I’m confident you’ll be more than enough for any of the recruits that might think themselves ready enough to challenge a proper member of the Honorguard.” Despite what she may have thought or believed of herself, the fact of the matter was that she stood amongst Skyfall’s elite. She may not have been the most lethal or skilled, but compared to what else called their lands home, she certifiably the cream of the crop. Their tasks were too important, their charge too vital, to afford anything less. It would take time, but Andross was determined to tap into her latent potential and, from it, mold one of the greatest warriors the world had ever seen. “Shall we convene on the hunting grounds in, say, thirty minutes?” There was the matter of Vivienne that he still needed to discuss with his father, though he suspected the conversation would go over well. Elf or not, she was a woman, and to make violence again one so fair was to invoke no less than a full challenge. Vhoori had escaped with his life, a fact Andross was positive the elf lord was well-aware of.
  19. The Sitraic Faith is pretty cool.
  20. King

    Divide To Conquer

    I don't see a need to impose a limit on a anything. These quests are for your enjoyment. However, the weapons you obtain from them will be considered "ready made" items on the scale of relics/artifacts.
  21. King

    Laws Yet Inked

    “Don’t do that,” Rafael replied dryly, unamused by her poor attempt at bravado. “Me, mine, my—you like to throw those words around when it’s convenient for you. I’ve enough memories in my blood alone of you throwing away your claim, because you’ve wanted nothing in life but to run around the woods like some fairy or sprite.” There was no need to bring up old Atitlan, though the accusations rest just behind his thin lips. It was a scar that still burned, still ached, and her insolence brought his attention to it keenly. “And speaking of memories, it was those same memories that I brought to both of our councils—because of how fickle your memory can be, you understand. Say what you will, but we are married, Gabriela, and it has been recognized by the nobles and lawmen that matter.” He studied her for a moment, then rolled his eyes, like blue tides turning over. “Yes, even those in Orisia. So, you can see how ridiculous it would be to call a husband looking over his wife’s finances treason.” Gabriela had been too busy in her sorrow, drowning in her ocean of despair of love lost, for Rafael to confide in her these things of import. She’d left him no choice but to go over her head in these affairs, as she often did, and secure the stability and infrastructure of her first son’s inheritance. Someone had to be the adult, messy and unsatisfying a duty it was, and Rafael shouldered that task with both pride and unwavering dedication. “Besides, even if it weren’t my business by right of marriage, it most certainly became my business when I was forced to start paying the palace staff this month…” On top of the paper she’d made a show of pushing away, which he most certainly would return to, he laid another—her direct financial statement. “…because no one could explain to me why you hadn’t.” The information on the page was plain as day, irrefutable proof of what her cousin had suspected. Gabriela, the Black Queen of Orisia, was broke. “You’re free to ask them, of course,” Rafael continued, neither amusement nor venom in his calm tone. It was neutral, the same way a banker might deliver this grave news to a client that suddenly—and literally—no longer had value to their establishment. “They nearly walked out on you when they realized they’d be working pro bono. There were some who insisted they would stay, of course—mostly vampyres that have been loyal to the family for ages, some humans too—but the lion’s share were already looking for employment elsewhere.” The elder vampyre stood there looking her over, frustrated with how childish she’d been—moreso than he’d ever expected of a ruler. “You can imagine my disbelief,” Rafael murmured, tapping his fingers on a small stack of papers. “How could this happen? Where did it all go?” The next page he handed her was not so scathing, and he did so without quip or reprimand. “The last chunk of your fortune went out the window with repairs to the capital. Manpower, resources, et cetera, and compensation for those injured and unable to work. But before that?” These pages, he handed in pairs, triplets—extravagant events like her Winter Ball, her masquerades, things of pomp and no merit. “I don’t think you truly grasp just how expensive your little celebrations are. You paid for it all out of pocket, which I suppose is admirable, yet had no means of refilling them.” His hands danced across the desk, elegant fingers moving to the next papers. “There were also renovations across the island, a considerable amount, that you paid for.” Compared to the other neat piles on his desk, this was the largest stack—from minor potholes in main traveling routes to ghettos and slums for the island’s poorer population. Lifting his gaze from it, he looked at Gabriela, curiosity heavy there, and a tinge of knowing. “Did you ever think to actually go out and see these repairs? Or to even send agent you trust, just to ensure they were completed? Or did you just assume that the men and women you placed in charge—your precious humans—were so loyal, so dedicated to their queen and country, that they would see your will done?” They both knew the answer to that. I am the Black Queen, she loved to say. The people believe in me and I believe in them. They are my children, she would spout endlessly. No one knows Orisians better than I do. “You mentioned treason earlier,” he reminded her as he passed her several more documents, these being the largest affronts to her wealth. “Stealing from the crown is a grave offense, is it not? All of that money you’ve given these people, they’ve used for their personal gains, Gabriela. There are places on this island that are falling apart at the seams, starving, all because you blindly trusted these people you know nothing about.” A fourth page came. “I thought you’d simply neglected Veelos for all that time after the Massacre,” he explained regretfully. “But, it turns out the previous regent began siphoning large amounts of the funds you’d been sending after he realized there was no royal oversight. You just kept sending money.” “The food you gave those people on the other side of the world, that have contributed nothing to our home, is money the crown desperately needed. That you desperately needed. There isn’t even a proper tax system in place,” he lectured, not angrily, but as a disappointed father might the daughter he expected so much more from. “Did you think that well would never run dry, with the way you spend money?” Clasping his hands behind his back, squaring his shoulders, Rafael imposed a great and intimidating shadow over his sitting cousin. “Say what you will of me, Gabriela, but I am trying to help you. I could have gone behind your back and handled this myself, kept you in the dark as I’ve done in the past. I’m doing my best to change, for you, for our child.” For our future. “Let me.”
  22. King

    Laws Yet Inked

    Heavy is the head that wears the crown… Winter had come and gone in a matter of days, leaving behind a dense blanket of white powder and shimmering ice that even the island’s heavy rains could not wash away. From the grand study of the palace’s royal wing, the capital appeared deserted. Few dared brave the snow and cold for a bit of shopping, and whispers in the city’s corporate circles lamented the dreadful weather’s inhibition on business. But the city’s—country’s—economic issues ran much deeper than just a few days of low numbers, as the Black Queen would soon find out. The real cost of altruism, he thought to himself, blue eyes still surveying the bleak cityscape that stretched on before him. Poverty. Turning on his heels, the elder vampyre leveled his frosty gaze on his cousin, separated by a desk of heavy, dark-colored wood. He’d dressed her in white this day, as was his wont, a stark contrast to the deep black of his suit, freshly pressed and tailored to his chiseled frame. It was a sleek and fitting dress, one that hugged her and complimented her maturing figure by highlighting the slow swelling of her belly. Just as he’d done when she carried little Philippe, Rafael celebrated Gabriela’s pregnancy, never finding her more beautiful than when she was with child. Her wedding gift, the dripping necklace she’d dashed against the stones of the Umbral gardens that terrible night she’d fled from him, completed the ensemble, its jewels sparkling against her skin as they caught the light of dusk. Beyond her, situated behind a smaller desk in the far corner of the room, sat one of the court’s scribes. She was a dark-skinned young woman by the name of Nya, with dark eyes, full lips, and a spill of thick curls atop her head. Her robes were simple but elegant, made from fine Orisian cotton, dyed a soft cream, a golden broach holding it together at the right shoulder. Human, of course. She would transcribe the nobles’ will and desires into written law, allowing the emperor and empress to better focus their efforts on the conversations at hand, rather than the stroke of ink and quill. As with all rooms in the palace, the grand study was beautiful, but in a traditional and minimalist sort of way. Dark wood for the floor and shelves that lined the walls, teeming with volumes of histories and books that Rafael had become fond of over the years. He was a voracious reader, often finding small jewels hidden within their chapters with each passing. Thick, heavy curtains framed the tall, broad window behind him, sculpting the snow-filtered light that poured into the room. There were few other furnishings, no relics or artifacts of value. On the desk between them were some papers, their details ranging from the country’s impending economic crisis to the unsanctioned—and it certainly was unsanctioned—relinquishing of Ceyana, the sister island, to the foreign invaders. These Illyrians, as they called themselves. “There are some things we need to discuss today; however, the foremost is the consolidation of our lands and resources.” By laws both religious and political, their marriage was legal and binding. Too long had she governed Orisia as though it were an independent nation, without thought or concern to her husband’s—or lover’s—thoughts on matters of state. “We cannot govern our empire from an independent nation. You are the empress of our dominion by law, and just as you must accept that, it is time that Orisia accepts its place as our regime’s seat of power. Signing this into law will help avoid any, mm, political discord in the future. As I’ve told you many times before, we must be unified—support each other. Your councils and lesser political circles will bend the knee when they see it is not just to me, but also their empress.” Rafael pursed his lips, contemplating further issues. “It will also help eliminate the them versus us mentality that situations like this are prone to breed.” The Ceyana Incident, as it was becoming known as, was a prime example. In spite of their queen’s best efforts and the assurance of the foreign king, there were still many that held soured opinions of the massacre and its aftermath. There was a call for vengeance, a call for blood; one that Gabriela had soundly ignored. Rafael knew why, of course, though that hadn’t stopped him from bettering his position amongst the people of Veelos and the smallest townships on its outskirts. With just a tinge of fear, anger quickly turned to paranoia, and he’d preyed on that—using the humans’ desperation for safety as means to replenish his depleted military in Orisia (having been revoked during his grand scheme months ago), all of whom had been warmly welcomed. Those that saw the queen’s unarguably brilliant maneuver as soft, or weak, welcomed an embolden imperial presence. They embraced the change Rafael promised, that he embodied with his mannerisms. But they were a simple lot, men, women, and children he would never have issue swaying to his cause. Those with keener senses and more learned minds, however, he needed Gabriela’s compliance for. “Orisians, Imperials—these are terms that inspire division,” he said. “They are all our people, brothers and sisters of the same great empire. We need to show them that.” It went without saying that imposing any manner of economic law would be infinitely more difficult if Gabriela continued to undermine him, to paint him as an invader rather than the one, true ruler to stand beside her. A moment later and he was behind her chair, leaning down at the waist to ensnare her in his strong arms. Both his hands rested over hers, cradling them just beneath her navel as he thumbed the hill of their child. He’d become softer with as he always did, not just in their passion, but in times like these when he wished to shower her with affection. “Do you disagree?” he whispered in her ear, kissing at the lobe.
  23. King

    Laws Yet Inked

    Indeed, the bond they shared was ever a double-edged sword. The sense of loss she harbored for the death of the love she shared with the devil, murdered by his hatred and disgust, wormed its way into the elder vampyre’s heart and mind. They mourned in silence—she, a widow weeping for the loss of her beloved, and he, the widower. Her sadness found a home in him, made itself into his own as it brewed like a storm; quickening, strengthening, before it lashed out across their bond and returned to her. The cycles, their people called it, this torrent of extreme emotion that rebound between a linked pair. It was easy to become lost in the haze of it, pleasure or pain, withering away into nothing as you sunk further into heat or cold. They were both of them fortunate that Rafael was significantly older, more aware of himself. That her grief was able to affect him on such a level was a testament to its overwhelming strength. And so, his eyes softened, his knowing grins became sober, and Rafael did what he could to comfort his beloved in her darkest hour. “Tell me what you want me to do,” she said to him. Rafael thumbed beneath her navel for a final time and then paid a soft kiss to her head, just behind her ear so that he could breathe deeply of her thick, silken hair, before he stood to his full height behind her. He gestured to the scribe in the corner with a flick of the wrist, and she posed her inked quill in hand, ready to write. At his command, the scribe brought his words life, staining the parchment with laws that would govern the lives of men. When her work was completed, the elder plucked the page from her desk, inspecting its contents. The integration of courts would begin immediately, with Rafael’s sovereignty recognized by the Black Queen—now Empress—as her Lord and husband. Coming around her left, Rafael presented the document to her. While she busied herself reading it—perhaps surprised to find no hidden commands, no turns of phrase to further his agenda—he procured the quill from the corner of his desk. It was a large-feathered thing, shimmering with an unnaturalness that whispered it was no ordinary raven’s feather, and its end seemed perpetually stained with shadow and ink. It wasn’t until Gabriela was finished reading, satisfied that it needed no revisions, his hand danced across the soft page, marking its end with his signature. Then, as was common in the ways of old, he bit the corner of his thumb and smeared a thumbprint of his blood beneath it, bright red against the tired paper. “This is the first step toward unification,” he said, peering down the bridge of his nose at her. “Sign it.” Despite the words, it was not a command, as it might have been some months ago, but a calm imploring, for in his heart of hearts, Rafael believed this was the proper course of action. It was no secret between them that her pregnancy often brought out the best in him, but now, it was far more than simple care for the wellbeing of their offspring. She had endured much over the course of her young life, more than any woman he knew—but she was not indestructible. It weighed on her, he knew as no one else could, and could feel the levies bowing now beneath the pressure. And if they broke—he feared nothing would survive. Once the document was signed, he set it aside, beginning a pile at the core of a dark leather binder. At the conclusion of their meeting, it would be shuttled to the palace’s hall of records, encased in a spellbound vessel, both securing and preserving the document. In the coming days, those vaults would be guarded more heavily than prior years—paranoia was not a guest one could easily expel from the mind. “Following that,” he said, gesturing to the document, “The most pressing matter we need to address is the state of the crown’s finances.” Walking again, Rafael resumed his place opposite of Gabriela, his delicate fingers shifting papers, looking at some and discarding others to piles deemed insignificant. “I managed to acquire your financial records from the vault a few days ago,” he said, eyes poring over the file he’d been looking for. They were the latest statements she had, merely weeks old. How he’d managed to acquire them, he left to her imagination. “It says that while you were away in Terrenus attending that summit, you pledged a considerable amount of money to… Yh’mi?” While Rafael didn’t doubt she remembered, still he turned the page toward her, so that she could see with her own eyes the ridiculous sum she’d promised those foreigners. “Did you forget that there is still a great many things that need tending to here, at home?”
  24. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    Sending you a DM right now.
  25. King

    Genesaris AMA.

    I'm down to let the players decide all of the details. If nothing can be agreed upon by the two parties, then I will decide for them.