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King

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  1. King

    Is Valucre Flat?

    You mean... 😎 ...Rosinder propaganda?
  2. King

    Is Valucre Flat?

    Valucre is round. There are also characters that have traveled beyond its atmosphere.
  3. “It isn’t,” Rafael admitted, punctuating the candor with an almost nonchalant shrug of his broad shoulders. Had it not been for his empress’ incessant badgering and defending of the humans, the elder may have very well sought to corral and breed the lowly beasts, as cattle were meant to be. Compassion was a disease, you see, one that spread quickly from person to person. Rafael wasn’t sure when his wife had infected him, only that she had, evidenced by his sudden and almost uncharacteristic concern for the Orisian people—as predominantly human as the Dominion, itself—and, most of all, by his on-again-off-again involvement with Rou Ji. “But, it is necessary.” Change had come for them both, it seemed. Whereas Gabriela found herself slipping into the uncomfortable role of empress, dressed in destiny and walking a road paved by fate long before her birth, Rafael found his hardened resolve and sharp, ruthless demeanor shaped by millennia of tradition softened to a dull curve by his wife’s more progressive agendas. They complemented each other without thought, as only a royal pair could, aggrandizing the more virtuous aspects of their personalities while cultivating the very worst into something manageable, more tolerable. When the light’s gentle heat had fully dissipated from the hall and no longer warmed the sleeves of his attire, Rafael posed himself beside his cousin, offering his arm to her. There may not have been love between them, least of romance, but propriety demand these things from both of them. She likely needed the support, anyway. While Gabriela still possessed more than enough of her mask to fool the simple eyes of a human, he’d watched it shatter over the years, falling away piece by piece until he could always see her, the real her, without any manner of effort. She struggled to keep her beautiful, delicate hands from curling into angry fists; she struggled to keep from screaming out her agony, and Rafael saw it all with perfect clarity. He didn’t tease her as he might have not so long ago, when dangling the many failures of her doomed romance with the devil before her had been one of his favored pastimes. He didn’t mock her over the fact that the devil, a man who had only so recently entered into the equation of Philippe’s life, had somehow possessed sole custody of the Orisian prince. These were strange times, tenuous times, and Rafael could not bring himself to jeopardize his wife and their unborn child. Gabriela was behaving, at least to what he assumed was the best of her ability, and that deserved a respite from his crueler aspirations, no matter how brief. “Mm, I thought you might want to visit Illyria,” he said, beginning their stroll anew once she’d taken his arm. “I’d heard that you’d managed to secure something of an alliance with the ruler, Raylon.” He hadn’t forgotten the strange young man, or the protective, longing way he’d looked at Gabriela when they were together. Another poor fool caught in the web of her dark intrigue and beautiful, endless distress. Rafael remembered a time when he’d looked at Gabriela the same way, yet another eager knight intent on besting all odds and rescuing the Black Queen from her ivory tower. But now that tower was his home, that Queen his prized wife, and Rafael the dragon that jealously guarded them both. “The situation in Antigua is still a cause for a great deal of concern for our people,” Rafael explained, pointedly glancing at a bowing handmaiden as they passed her. “I know that you and Raylon are close, so I have no doubt that he and his people are blameless in all of it. However, whatever it is you two have decided on, I don’t believe it has been made public?” He looked at her expectantly, confident her next words would simply be a confirmation. While the devil may have held her child and love, the High Lord her pity, Rafael held her people in his mighty hands. Their eyes, their ears, their mouths—within and without the palace—were his to command, and they saw, heard, and whispered all that an emperor might need to remain informed. As the moment passed, Rafael continued. “I agree that we will do ourselves a great service in avoiding any possible misunderstandings in the future, but also allow us to show our people that we aren’t finished addressing this issue. It isn’t something that can be solved with a single meeting,” he insisted, “and we want them to know that. This will also give us some more time to draft a proper, more wholesome informative document that can be disseminated through the island. Keeping them informed is just another way for us to keep them involved, even if it is only in that right. So, a quick stop in Veelos, and then we’ll depart for Illyria.” Their walk eventually led them to a heavily shrouded balcony on the upper levels of the castle, overlooking the royal garden. Thick sheets of black and purple velvet draped down the tall, broad windows and gathered on the floor in great heaps, warm to the touch with the sun’s light. The tiles beneath their feet were freshly polished, checkered black and white around royal Orisian sigil. We’ll need to discuss a new house sigil, he thought, studying the outdated design. Something to better reflect the current times. “What do you think?”
  4. The soup bubbled loudly in the large iron cauldron, well on its way to completion. Solomon knifed large, succulent chunks of white rabbit meat into the broth, already spiced and crowded with potatoes and a variety of vegetables. Helene lingered by the burly knight as he cooked, poking this, pawing that, making a rather adorable nuisance of herself. It seemed Ser Glass was becoming fond of the she-kitten, perhaps coming to look at her as something of a pet. She certainly behaved like such. Paris returned to their company more tired and worn than when they’d departed previously, but nevertheless his charming self. The crown prince took his place beside Helene, and per his more aimless mannerisms, took to stroking the she-cat behind her ear, favoring the left. “Let the man cook, Helene,” he teased the curious woman. “Otherwise, I imagine I’ll starve to death.” He’d worked up an appetite, and suspected he wasn’t the only one. Okina had returned to the group as well, hands still a bright pink from where the wood had splintered into her skin. I wonder what her healing is like, he thought. Superhuman, no doubt, but by how much? As the wielder of his family’s ancient blade, Paris knew what it was like to enjoy the benefits of the supernatural. It granted him a number of perks, one of which was his accelerated healing factor. But whereas some creatures might be able to endure wound that would prove otherwise fatal to a normal man, or even regrow entire limbs, the crown prince was not so lucky. The she-wolf’s injuries were nothing so severe, but still, these small notes might prove valuable to him one day. Lovely as she was, and as dedicated as she appeared to the coin he exchanged with her, Paris was not so ignorant to dismiss the idea that she might one day be paid to seek his life. After all, she held no loyalty to him—only the gold. If that day ever came, well, he would be ready. Shaking the troubled thoughts from his head, Paris smiled at the she-wolf, letting his eyes convey his satisfaction with her efforts thus far. “So, my sweet mercenary, I trust that you’re a rather well-traveled woman, yes? Following coin has surely led you to some interesting places, and put you in some rather interesting predicaments. Tell me a story—what is the most fearsome creature you’ve ever slain?”
  5. 07/18/2019 Canon update. When Hope Is Lost (Airship): After dying in one of the deadliest encounters in the war between Genesaris and Terrenus, the spirit of a fallen engineer must convince an empathetic queen to let the woman he loves move on.
  6. You pretty much answered my question. Thanks.
  7. I've been working a lot and haven't been able to keep up with the flood in this channel. Sorry for pulling this back to the forefront after it already seems to have been discussed. What happens if the identity Oathblade's owner can't be deduced? What happens if Lenore and Crowley come to yoink an Oathblade from someone and they both end up getting killed? I'm asking because I'd like a clear indication of where the IC/OOC begin and end in regards to these items, since you said run things through Wade. Can he OOCly remove one of the blades from a player because he doesn't like the idea they've come up with?
  8. Yeah, it is. That's pretty much House Kholin's bread and butter.
  9. If that's the case, Alexandros will be the representative for House Kholin.
  10. @Csl Has it been decided for certain that the representative can't be the head of the house? I wasn't sure if that was being retconned into Karradeen's original proposal, or something that was still up in the air and being decided upon. I'm asking because that will decide who I pick as a representative for Kholin. As for the list, it looks good. Is defense being used for all things military? I would imagine so since there doesn't seem to be anything else military related?
  11. “If I wanted you dead, Lucis, you would have been dead long before you ever stepped off Orisian soil.” The voice, thickly accented with his mother’s native tongue, all at once commanding, sensual, and regal, came softly from behind the weeping pair. It seemed that overestimating one’s abilities were a family trait of the DuGrace, one Lucis had inherited directly from his mother, the elder imagined. The thought made him frown. “As talented of an escape artist as you’d like to believe are, believe me when I say that you have never, not for a single moment, escaped my eyes, or exceeded my reach. That I sit before you now, sweet child, should be proof enough of that.” Rafael lounged several armspans away from them, comfortably alone on a weathered, sea-facing bench. The steel of its frame held a rustic allure to it, and the wood, clearly sourced from the same region as the lightly colored planks beneath their feet, told a thousand love stories, a thousand heartbreaks, and carried the words of a thousand vows etched into its oak. The elder sat with his legs crossed, one hand nursed in his lap, the other stretched across the top of the bench. The silk of his suit was of such a deep black it seemed cut from the shadows themselves, tailored to his every pale, sharply chiseled angle. His dark hair was shorter than when Lucis last saw him, kept low at the sides while retaining length at the top, and he was heavily bearded. But those blue Bartolome eyes, and the weight of the elder’s presence Lucis would feel most keenly by the way of the vampyric blood in his veins, would be testament enough to his identity. “Your departure from Orisia served a purpose,” Rafael continued, shaping a friendly and unhurried atmosphere with his tone. “So too did all of your adventures and wild curiosities that followed. But, that purpose has long-since run its course, my dear Lucis, and so this affair must come to an end. It’s time for you to come home, where you belong.” Studying the hybrid’s reaction to the words, the tension that welded his stiff posture, and the protective way he placed himself before the young woman that was with him, Rafael could find no reason to fault his skepticism. Rivers would flow, oceans would fill if they were to loose all the bad blood between them—and if the confessions Rafael heard mere moments before were even slightly true, he loved this woman. “Come,” he purred, lowering a hand to pat the vacancy on the bench. “Let’s talk. I’m sure that we can come to an agreement that will benefit all of us.” A gentle, pointed look at the tearful Lemoine was the punctuation to the claim. “We are family, after all.”
  12. Ezekiel finished his soup, loaded his utensils, but left the cauldron untouched. The blade he left too, resting flat in the grass. “Have at it, then.” He made his way to where Rohirym feasted on the troll carcass. He lifted his left hand, now carrying the sword he'd walked away from, and settled the weapon across his shoulder. Whatever became of the man, the boy, and the Lantern was of no concern to the rider. His path led elsewhere.
  13. King

    once upon a time

    “I need to speak with you about something,” Alexandros whispered as he pulled his brother into an alcove near the establishment’s entrance. His grip on Andross’ arm was tighter than he realized, reminiscent of a parent tugging their child aside for a lecture, and entirely unwelcomed by the way the younger twin tugged away. “Have you lost your mind?” Andross hissed. “And don’t even think about lying to me.” “What would I possibly need to lie about?” “Is it you?” “Is what me?” “The swordbearer,” Alexandros explained in an angry whisper. “The one that assisted in the slaying of that elemental in Misral. There were several present, but one clearly flew the Kholin colors.” He could tell by the expression on his brother’s face that the younger twin knew more than he’d likely say, which only fueled the irritation—and humiliation—burning within him. “You saw?” “They saw,” Alexandros said, pointing back toward the meeting chamber. “They used some magic or device to pull images from the event. They were blurry, but not so much that I would not recognize the stylings of my own House. Now answer me! Is it you, Andross?” Andross pressed his lips into a thin line as he looked away. “Idiot! Who else knows?” “Vivienne.” “How in the—nevermind. Who else?” “No one.” Alexandros rubbed his mouth with a gloved hand. “You’re sure? Not even father?” “You think I would tell father and not you?” Andross asked defensively. “I don’t know what to think of you anymore,” Alexandros hissed, shoving his way past his brother. Regardless of the meeting’s outcome, it would only be a matter of time before the other Houses—likely led by that buffoon, Godric—began making demands regarding the Oathblades. Just one more thing I need to worry about—one more unnecessary, potentially highly problematic thing. Perhaps this will be something to discuss with Dali, as well? Fortunately, their meeting was just days away. Ampelos’ eagerness to solidify a satisfying agreement their houses matched his own, which complemented Alexandros’ hand quite well. Change was in the air, and it would come swiftly for the lands of Ursa Madeum. Whether the others houses survived to witness it, well… He’d not worry himself with those trifles. Alexandros was midway down the stairs when he glanced off to the side and saw her, red-lipped and golden-haired, dressed in vermilion and with the fullest of rose petals showered through her hair. Never in his life had he seen a woman so ethereal and beautiful, or a smile so knowing and enchanting, and there existed no doubt in his mind that she had been sculpted by the Uncanny Gods themselves and placed before him. So incredible was this woman’s beauty that, without effort or intention, she’d robbed the Lord of his ability to walk. She was nonetheless gorgeous as his world tilted, then slanted entirely forward, or even as he went tumbling down the stone staircase and slapped his nose against the lowest step. There was a flash of white in his eyes, and in its brightness, he saw her. He felt blood running from his nose and over his mouth, tasted it getting behind his lips and on his tongue. Alexandros groaned as he staggered to his feet, turning his white glove red as he held it under his nose. Andross was already at his side, a muscled arm looped with his to keep him steady. “What happened?” Alexandros couldn’t bother to answer. He was too busy trying to see where she’d gone.
  14. Rafael chuckled at the idea of her, or any mortal, experiencing his age. He was a man before even the eldest of her bloodline were born, and older still before Olympia was finally born. “The winds at the foot of the mountains have become colder these recent months,” he’d answered when she spoke. In the aftermath of the highstorms’ resurgence, weather in the East had become tumultuous. And thought it hadn’t bothered him in the slightest, Rafael had come to enjoy his image, finding it more fitting and regal, befitting of his station. He was an elder now, a pillar of his people, husband at least to his darling Gabriela and father to their child, still growing in her womb. He’d not shied away from her affection or allowing her to explore him as one might a mysterious puzzle, seeing what resisted her grip like welded iron, and what melded to her touch, shaped by her fingers and palms. “As for my eyes,” he continued as she went down her checklist, “I’ve found peace, or at least, as close to it as a man of my nature will ever be allowed. These are their natural color, a signature of my house. Of all my people, only those of the name Bartolome have these eyes.” He smiled down at her, fatherly and sincere. “If you see red in my eyes, well, then know that my peace has abandoned me.” Holding her hands, Rafael twirled the girl—tall and slender as a spear—on her toes and wrapped both of their arms around her. He tucked their hands away at her side, holding her back to his chest, his bearded mouth brushing the nape of her neck and his nose buried in the sweetness of her dark hair. “I heard you,” the elder whispered in her ear. “In a sea of thoughts, I thought heard yours, and so I came to you. You did call for me, didn’t you?” The wind howled, and with another twirl, he spun the gorgeous woman away, though kept her right hand captive. “And the sound of your voice reminded me that I owe you a dance, my darling Oly,” he confessed. “The night of your parents’ wedding, certain events left me indisposed. You’re aware of how, mm, inhospitable your father can be, even to those he would consider his ally. I wasn’t able to see you before I departed from Kadia.” From the frown on his mouth, and the dark shadowing in his eyes, it was clear the situation had—at some point, in some way—weighed on him. Then he smiled, all tooth and fang, and a mischievous glimmer in his eyes. “But I’m here now, as are you. The moon is bright, the wind is singing. Would you honor me with this dance, Princess?” He'd not forgotten her masterful deflection of his inquiry, but decided that could wait. For now, there was a prayer that needed answering.
  15. “That was a different time,” Rafael reminded her, as she was so keenly predisposed to reminding him. It was a sour memory, the night the Desolation Beast—no longer worthy of being called a god—had attacked them, but one that he refused to forget. The creature had nearly killed him as he tried to defend Gabriela, only to be saved by Zenahriel’s timely arrival. He’d never told her how he and the High Lord had tracked the beast down years later, and with his own hands, ripped its wings from its back and cast it down into the lowest cells of Sitra Ahkra. “I was different,” he reminded her again, this time with a cut of his blue eyes that, for the briefest moment, flashed red with his caged fury. He stepped away from her, returning the distance that had shrank during their walk, and made his way to a curtained window. Using a single finger, he brushed it aside, just enough for a bright column of light to flood in and wash a narrow strip of the hall with glittering illumination. In emphasis of his earlier claim, Rafael neither blinked nor grimaced, burned nor cooked, but basked in the sun’s touch. But while the elder remained certain of himself, it was indeed a risk he was not willing to take. Letting the edge of the curtain fall neatly back into place, he turned, facing his wife. “Besides, I’m certain the fact you demanded we travel alone, just the two of us, did us no favors in ensuring either of our safety. If we decide to travel”—not when, as it might have been mere days before their arrangement—“it will be with a proper retinue, including your Queensguard.” While they had assumed the new identity of Imperial Guard the moment Gabriela shed her title as queen and embraced her role as empress, Rafael had learned to appreciate how sentimental a creature his wife was. He imagined that, no matter her place, they would forever and always been her Queensguard. “Beyond myself, there is only one man that I can trust with your safety.” Naturally, it wasn’t his cousin’s devil-lover that he spoke of, but Marcellus. The knight was a member of the oldguard, having faithfully served both Gabriela’s father and mother in his youth. It was then that he developed a name for himself, for there were few in the kingdom of Atitlan that could rival his skill with a blade, and none that could challenge his unwavering loyalty to the throne—to the DuGrace. He’d never seen eye to eye with Rafael, but the elder neither required nor longed for the man’s approval. It was only his fierce determination to protect Gabriela, and their unborn child, that mattered. “We would travel via carriage, protected on all sides,” Rafael explained further, visibly studying her reaction as it shaped itself across her face. “Yes, I know that you prefer to ride as opposed to being pampered, but I’ve heard stories from the far corners. Some of this terrain is difficult, even for the likes of us when at our most vigilant. Necessary as I believe this tour to be, there are more intelligent ways to go about it than we have in the past.” Like many of the Orisian people, Rafael too admired his cousin’s natural grit. Despite the nobility that flowed through her veins, the natural elegance and grace of their people, Gabriela was not one to carry herself as though she stood above those that she ruled. She walked amongst them, a true servant of the realm, of the people, and they loved her for it. But in times of strife, of pain and suffering, they hated her as they might a fellow commoner. It emboldened them, empowered them, and instilled within them the idea that they—or anyone brave enough—could change the future of their nation with an arrow or dagger. “They people have become needy,” he agreed, but not belittling fashion. There was an uncharacteristically serious manner in the way he spoke, not often witnessed when he regarded the island's people. “Your parties were before massacres in Veelos, usurpers burning the capitol, and before the destruction of Antigua. Before the return of hardships they’d not seen since the likes of your uncle’s rule. They’re afraid.” Like the descendants of all primitive beasts, mankind unraveled at the seams in the face of fear. A celebration would not fix the damage that had been done. “They’re afraid and they need to know that we that we care, but more importantly, that we are going to fix it—protect them. Then we can return to your annual celebrations.” If she still desired to have them, that is. “But,” Rafael added, once again cutting his eyes toward her, “if you fear that I will not be able to ensure your safety or that of our unborn child, or see no value in what I have proposed, then we will forgo the tour and see what comes of it.” His thin lips curved into a frown behind the fullness of his beard. “I’ll not force you to do something before you are want to.”
  16. Rafael smiled, took the raven by the back of his head, and pulled him close. He kissed Zenahriel on the brow, on both his eyelids, and then, most gently, on his lips. “You should know better than to be so flattering in public, Zenahriel,” he teased the winged High Lord. While the elder had never taken issue with any manner of affectionate or lustful display, it was something more than a single previous lover had chastised him for. The High Lord, however—he’d always been more than accommodating. Letting the taste of his lips linger for a moment longer, Rafael turned his attention to the kitsune and her companion. “There’s no need for us to return to the Red City with urgency,” he replied to Kalmuli. “It would be an absolute pleasure to stay with you, Your Majesty. You strike me as a cultured woman, one of many tastes,” he praise with a sensual forming of the words. “I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about.” Blue eyes turned to Akako. “However, you and I do have some business to attend to, Akako. Nothing dire, but there are lines I would like clarified—boundaries drawn. But, that can wait until after the festival. For now, let’s enjoy ourselves. Heavens know we’re not afforded enough time to do such, are we?” Stepping aside, hand in hand with his High Lord, Rafael gestured for the women to lead the way.
  17. I know some thots/hopes/dreams about to be happening. 👀
  18. Not just mine, Rafael wanted to remind her. She’d played the victim, the hostage, the plaything to a comfortable handful of entities that called Valucre home, two of which now called Orisia their home. She’d somehow managed to set aside her differences then, swallowing the bad blood and letting it dilute, and he was quite confident she’d be able to do so again, especially with his gentle, light-handed encouragement. The moment passed, and as they walked, Rafael scoffed at her proposal. He cut are an amused look over his right shoulder, surprised to find her smiling. She’d always had a lovely mouth, even as a young girl, and though it was nevertheless beautiful when she pouted, even the most breathtaking sunrises paled in comparison to her smile. When he was away, scouring Atitlan battlefields for traitors and usurpers, it was the promise of his darling cousin’s smile upon his return that had driven his sword, his shield; his will to survive. “It isn’t,” Rafael replied, renewed with his usual enthusiasm. “Atitlan politics aside, my love, our cousin—your birthright—is also a kinslayer and usurper. Regardless of whatever horror he suffered at Malice’s hands, it’s not enough to absolve him of his crimes. Our people were quite pleased when they learned he’d been taken into my custody, to await proper justice.” That he hadn’t been summarily executed was a testament to the emperor’s softening ways, and more telling, his consideration of Gabriela’s wants. He gained nothing by Desmond’s continued existence, but stood to gain much more by burying him. Rafael feigned a boyish frown. “It will reflect poorly on me in the eyes of the people, and nobles, should I renege on my promises. My reputation is on the line, you see.” By the song of his voice, and the wolfish smile that curved his lips, it was hard to believe that he truly cared. “If I am to suffer willingly suffer the poor response that will undoubtedly come from this exchange, I will need more than just my series of paintings. A kiss, Gabriela, and my paintings. Those are my terms.” In the brief moment of silence that followed, waiting for Gabriela’s riposte, Rafael thought of how greatly he longed to hold a paintbrush. It’d been weeks since he’d last found the time to explore his creativity. There is no sadder sight than an artist with muse but no time, he thought to himself. Gabriela’s pregnancy had provided him with a great deal of inspiration, which he’d found lacking prior to her reveal, as had the beauty of the Summer Isles and its people. While there was little that could satisfy his craving for the Red City, Orisia, he found, was a spectacular alternative. Slowing his gait, Rafael fell back into step beside his wife, though he did not offer his arm. She’d unwisely pushed his hand from her belly not long before, and while he’d tried to understand her perspective, he hadn’t taken kindly to the gesture. Rather than provoke another unsavory response from his cousin, avoiding an even worse reaction from himself, Rafael bitterly allowed her to maintain the space she’d commanded for herself thus far. “More seriously, darling, I’ve received some… displeasing news from the north.” A reliable information network had been his first priority upon inserting himself into the Orisian nobility. More often than not, it was quiet, but every so often, a little bird would sing its song, and no matter terrifying or beautiful, Rafael would listen. “It’s been quite some time since you’ve ventured north, or much of anywhere besides the capitol, and the same goes for myself. Beyond Veelos, I’ve not much explored this Eden. “It seems that the people there, in Coban and Izabal and the various places between, have begun to question our concern for them. In light of those issues I brought to your attention the other day, regarding the renovation scandal, I believe it would benefit all of us to embark on a tour.” Rafael tucked both hands behind him, letting them rest at the small of his back. “It would assure the people that they’ve not been forgotten, as we address their concerns and ensure their demands are met, but also allow us to slowly present our union—and your pregnancy—to the general population.” In a twist of character, Rafael cut her an inquisitive glance. “What do you think?”
  19. In regards to IC, Kholin won't be participating in the vote of a monarch.
  20. Welcome back, my guy. It's Ty, by the way.
  21. King

    Time will tell

    And so, the wheel carries on… “Agreed,” Alexandros murmured, satisfying a response to both of Ameplos’ statements. He gathered his documents with gloved hands and rose from his chair, foregoing the formality of a bow and, instead, simply nodded o all those present. “Karradeen’s proposal will suffice.” Leaving the others to continue their ridiculous dance, Alexandros wordlessly fell into step alongside Ampelos. The meeting hadn’t been a complete waste of time, in that regard. Likeminded individuals were bound to find each other, one way or another, and when they did, greatness—and most importantly, logic—would be that much harder to confine. "Good day." “Perhaps I might have a word with you before you return home,” Alexandros suggested when they were beyond the ears of the other nobles. “About the future.” ~fin
  22. It is. I'm posting today after work.
  23. Rafael studied his wife with a curious shimmer in his eyes, not quite certain how to take her request or gauge its authenticity. Yes, she’d stepped into her role, donned the mask-like face, but had she truly embraced it so quickly? He was skeptical, of course, well aware of how easily the ice in her veins could thaw. And while there was no denying that this most recent “transformation” seemed—felt­—different from its many predecessors, it was not so different that he was without his reservations. Not yet, at least. Still, the situation presented an interesting opportunity, one that Rafael was not so eager to squander. He found it no coincidence that she would query the limits of her powers as empress, follow it with curiosities regarding the division of that power—albeit wisely shelving the conversation in the presence of so many wayward ears—and then punctuating those inquiries with such a bold claim. “You bring up a valid point,” Rafael agreed, nodding. He steered his wife away from another column of light, but made no such maneuver for himself. The light itself seemed phobic to his presence, refusing to fully touch him, shying away from highlighting his natural beauty. “After all, it was your throne he attempted to take. I simply assumed you’d wished to wash your hands clean of the matter—for better or for worse—after the Warlord’s last scene.” There was no love lost between the two male cousins, and his care for the wounded DuGrace had been purely for the sake of the bloodline. While Gabriela could always cling to the poetic claim that she would ‘forever be a DuGrace’, she could not legally—or traditionally—carry the name forward. She was a Bartolome now, and all the children born of her imperial union would be, as well. The name DuGrace was a legacy left solely to Desmond and little Philippe. And Lucis, the elder remembered after his thoughts were given a moment to breathe. That still needs to be addressed; I mustn’t forget. “I’ll have Desmond transferred to your custody, after I’ve received my payment. A proper kiss from my wife should satisfy that debt.” Despite what his wolfish smirk might suggest, there was no mistaking the seriousness of his request. A comfortable silence fell between them for what remained of their detour. Soon, the busyness of the throne room was behind them, and they were surrounded by the quieter, calmer hall. He walked, and for the first time in what felt like months, it was without urgency or purpose. Rafael’s mind wandered beyond the hall they traversed, beyond the palace, to places beyond the senses. It was the pressure of his hand against the small of her back, the uppermost curve of her rump arching his palm, that kept him grounded in the moment. “No one,” he said abruptly. His eyes were stern, but his mouth was relaxed, neither displeased nor favorable. “The answer to your earlier question,” he clarified. “You, and you alone, are my empress, Gabriela. Your powers of authority are nearly as limitless as my own.” They were equals, yes, but not unconditionally, and he would not play the game of trying to disguise the fact. “The Dominion is ours, to rule together. This is our family,” he said, stopping to press his hand to her stomach once again, “to raise and lead as we desire. You’re not a hostage. You’re not a victim. I won’t treat you as such.” Rafael looked at her for a long while, those unnaturally blue eyes gazing into her molten gold pair; two reflections of the same beauty, same villainy, same cunning and ruthlessness. He wanted to kiss her, to taste her lips and tongue. He wanted to take her there in the hall, against the wall or on the table temporarily holding building supplies. The desire was there in the depths of his eyes, in the twitch of his upper lip and the quick, heavy breath he sucked in through clenched teeth. Tonight, he told that beast of lust and passion. Tonight. Lifting a hand, he brushed his knuckles down the side of her cheek. He rolled his hand beneath her chin, thumbed her plump bottom lip, and then continued walking. “I’d like to paint a series of you,” Rafael said, giving her a sideways glance. “Various portraits every few weeks, chronicling the pregnancy.” He’d loved Philippe from the moment of his conception, and that bond, they stilled shared. But this was different, more powerful than anything he’d ever felt in his long existence. “It would mean a great deal to me, love.”
  24. 06/30/2019 Quest Updates. The Genesaris Quest Center thread has been created. All major establishments/cities and individual players can now post their quests there. Individuals looking to pick up quests and/or form parties can also do such there.
  25. The Genesaris Quest Center (GQC) is the beating heart of the continent's vast adventure network. Given the sheer size of the continent and the various empires and nations that call it home, the GQC operates independently of these numerous governments, reaching across all borders to find the absolute best talent for any posted request, and also provide the optimal challenge for any adventurer or explorer. This thread will serve as a universal quest hub, for both major establishments/areas (cities, outposts, etc.) and individuals (players). This original post will serve as a master list while the rest of the thread can be used to form parties and groups. If you are posting a series of quests for an establishment/area or for an individual player, please be sure to clearly state which at the top of your post. Make sure the requirements, expectations, and rewards for each and every quest are clearly defined, and if the quest is/isn't repeatable. You should only post once [1], and from there you will be able to edit your post to add, remove, or edit quests at your leisure. Contact @King after any modification, and I will post in the updates thread letting people know changes have been made.
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