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About Roen

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    The Devil
  • Birthday 11/24/1990

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  1. Roen

    Cradle to the Grave

    There were few things in all the world that threatened to shake the Outsider’s resolve, and the weeping of his chosen was one of them. He did not like to upset her, this bleak and sinister creature. He did not derive satisfaction from her suffering. When she wept, he felt sorrow, and when she threatened to break, so, too, did he. There was a struggle in him to keep from supplicating before her, from relenting and giving in. She was beloved, after all. His was an ardor that was undeniable, as sincere as it was volatile, and there was near nothing in all of creation that he’d deny her, nothing save this. More than the sum of his worldly ambitions, he could not, would not yield to her the sanctuary she so desperately needed. He would not permit her to leave. He wanted this refusal to be gentle, to continuing plying her with newfound empathy for her plights and sufferings, but the more she spoke the more incensed he grew, and he found little and less cause to be kind, to be nurturing. He did not want to hear of her cousin Raphael, his part in this over. He did not want to hear of his avarice for power, his untoward machinations, his need for control and a hunger for more. He had heard these arguments before, these tepid insinuations, and not all of them came from her lush and freshly kissed lips. She was not the first to understand yet fail to grasp the scope of his desires. Piqued, the Outsider’s brows furrowed and he pressed his lips firmly together, locking a heated exchange behind the prison of gritted teeth. Be kind, he told himself, slaving roused passion to the slave of will, she is afraid. But she was afraid of the wrong things, Irene. Their son would live and the world would kneel; it was he she was ever meant to fear, he she was ever meant to supplicate herself to. She said he could not ask her to risk their son’s life, that he could not expect her to remain, and he had to strangle within the urge to correct her, to say that he would risk Philippe because he had to, and that he not only expected her to remain by his side, but that he demanded it. Irene lifted her eyes from her pale, blood-smeared palms and found him as she expected, hard and resolute, and far, far from the soft, forgiving gaze of a familiar lover. Through expression and gaze alone, he conveyed all, and knew that she, as familiar with his bleak and bitter disposition, understood well. She understood and she reacted, and he watched unmoved and unmovable while she reached out to touch his cheek and coax all that was good and noble from him. There was precious little, as there ever was when her cousin’s name was in the air and she ran counter to his will. Still, she knew what he liked. She could not help but know. Under his guidance, she had been forced to learn his desires, his wishes, his needs and caprices. It did not matter that she was a hesitant and unwilling student, not when those lessons were repeated and savage. Roen turned his head a fraction of an inch, just enough to feel the coolness of her palm and fingers against his cheek, and for the moment, just a moment, indulged in how well he taught his beloved. Oh, but she knew how he loved her touch, her wicked tormentor. She knew how to soothe the flush of him, the smolder of his ire. And when he thought she couldn’t be any sweeter to achieve her odds and ends, he found her tilting, yielding towards him with unparalleled sweetness to steal a kiss from his mouth, as if gifting him with affection as a promise of more should he be her malleable champion. He almost said yes to her, and that thought frightened him. Almost giving in, almost giving up, he wanted to, in that moment, to love her simply and love her strongly, to take them all back home to Orisia and leave the world to its own devices. He could see it clearly, he could see that future that closely resembled happiness, and knew it only hinged on him thinking beyond himself. He need only think of her, of them, and they would be together and happy and -- and she spoke against his lips, and he was no longer afraid. She spoke, and the moment of weakness fled as quickly as it came. Instead he closed his eyes to her pleas and tensed beneath her, thinking only of the last time she had asked him to let her go and take their son. Love turned to hate, like the ouroboros devouring its tail, and he remembered the birth of their son, the circumstances surrounding it, how she left him, and he knew then as he always should have, and whispered it against her lips, his stark refusal. “Never again,” he said. Never again would he let her go, never again would he let her take the child away. How cruel was she to suggest it, how cruel was she to think it! He drew back just enough to look at her and see the uncertainty, the confusion, and he knew she didn’t understand him or her place. He glanced at her mouth, red and swollen before ever he had chance to make it so, and he frowned dangerously, renewed ire writ clear on his face while his mind turned. Yes, the self-styled God was here, yes, and of course he would torment Irene, of course he would kiss and taste at fruits now forbidden to him. How petty with the little prince just off the cusp of death. They were right to be afraid of my reaction, Roen thought, angered. Too worried about Philippe, he hadn’t considered what else might have transpired, what else might have been spoken. Reaching up to catch Irene’s cheek, Roen drew her near, and what she started as chaste, he pushed into the realms of impassioned. He kissed her, but it wasn’t a gentle thing or a considerate one. When he wanted her mouth, he took it with the greed she bemoaned, the desire for control and the need to possess. That she might struggle and resist or even dare to pull away was irrelevant. He caught her, he subdued her, he took her lips and had her tongue and he kissed her with the need she ever suspected but was never truly prepared for. He wanted her lungs full of him, her mouth tasting of him, her cheeks flushed with his heat, his warmth. Were it only possible to burn every chase of the other from her. “You’re mine,” he said, as he ever did when it needed being said outloud. Against her lips, at the edges of her mouth and across the line of her jaw, he told her the truth of things. That she was his to love, his to touch, and his to rule, but the promise of servitude she might have expected was not there, no. She had lost that. With her negligence and her disobedience, he denied her his supplication and in its stead was placed her own. She was made to serve, to submit, to yield to him. And it wasn’t enough to do this with kissing, with squeezing at her till she stirred, with clutching at her with desperation. There was time yet between them to show the young queen of Orisia what it meant to be his, and it was only done behind closed doors, in places where they could not be observed or disturbed. A quick lesson, he decided when he made his demands of her, when he scolded her for her objections and pleas while his hands wandered and tugged at her clothes, pulling and tugging. A quick lesson to show her her place. The door locked. [Exit Roen & Gabriela]
  2. Roen

    A.N.T. Phase 2: The Treaty of 597

    I am here.
  3. Roen

    Cradle to the Grave

    “He isn’t going to die,” Roen replied. Soft, little more than a whisper, he breathed a stern rebuke into Irene’s hair while he held the shattered pieces of her together with the strength of his arms. Holding her, soothing her, he answered her previous question with the weight of action, and squeezed her tighter lest she crumble before him. Broken, she thought of herself, carrying the sentiment in her every uncertainty demurring hesitation. Broken, and she needn’t look far for the cause of her brokenness. Soon as his deep-set eyes were laid on her in the pale, moonlit halls of Orisia’s capital, she had been his to rule and his to torment, and this was the result of those nefarious machinations. The benighted life she led, the traumas she had endured, there stood the author of these atrocities before her, enfolding her in an embrace that had no right to be as warm as it was. Through negligence, through inaction, life had turned barren at the touch of his hand. And no one knew that better than he. Empathy struck him as cleanly as a mortal wound, and he suddenly became very unhappy, very uneasy with his chosen beloved. She sobbed, and it was a reward for a life he had corrupted. Two lives, now, one which both their thoughts now turned to so unhappily. What had been meant to unite them, what had been intended to be a continuation of a romance that defied tolerance or expectation, was cursed by them, though she, his valiant, broken and dearest heart, tried desperately to shoulder the mantle alone. But she was right, they had been selfish. They had tried and tried and tried, and now that they had brought a life into the world, the world could not help but seek to take it away. It was punishment for their hubris, for all they had done to themselves and eachother, and there was no arguing against it. But even so, he did. She crumbled, she threatened to fall, to sink so low that she may never rise again, but he was there and he did not allow it. When he weakness threatened to pull them both down to the floor, he turned and gathered her into his arms, holding and cradling her as he would a child, which she very much was in that moment. His chosen, his child-queen, his broken, tormented girl, he took her close and drew her near, and he let her hold onto him as he rocked her to-and-fro in gentle, soothing motions meant to calm and quiet. Empathy, the thing he had left in Kadia and which had made him feel so wooden, so soulless in his interactions with her and their child, returned to him, and he could not help but feel the full weight of Irene’s sorrows as he struggled to stifle his own. In the quiet space between them, he whispered to his frightened love, and he told her truths as he felt them, and gave all the sincerity he could in the face of her fears. “He is not going to die,” he reiterated, as if simply saying it outloud and with force could stave off the creeping death that had nearly taken his life and brought ruination to their’s. He rocked her, he held her, he combed her hair and stroked her hip. For them, between them, the world simply stopped turning, stopped being so intrusive and so demanding. For a moment, just for a brief stint of eternity, he tried so very hard to shield her from the reality of it all, to indulge in a fantasy that he intended to make life imitate with a fervor when they finally left this room. Ignoring the worrying way she spoke of giving up her life for the sake of their son’s, Roen leaned in close and whispered with urgency, hoping beyond hope to chase away the demons that plagued her with the unceasing tenacity and relentlessness that ever tethered her to his side. “We will save him,” he told her. “I will save him.” By any means necessary, he left unsaid, his brows knitting contentiously. For Philippe’s sake, for Irene’s and his own, he had to set the matter to rest, to ensure not only the longevity but the prosperity of the little prince. Selfish, she called them. Selfish. He would continue to be selfish, he determined. His avarice, his hunger, his desire for more, the little prince’s sickness was but a foe to him now to overcome, an obstacle in the way of not only his happiness, but that of their family’s. He closed his eyes and thought of Irene, of how she shuddered and trembled and relented, as if it were implacable fate that seized their son and threatened to strangle his life. Roen knew better, though. He knew better than any that there was no such thing as fate, as destiny. It was will that mattered, and the strength of convictions. I will save him, he stressed to himself, sighing against Irene’s hair. And I will save you. Breathing in the clean smell of orange blossoms brought to life by his heat, he let the silence linger for the time in took to listen and feel for Philippe in the next room, surrounding by vibrant, attentive minds that hovered near him, alert for relapse. There was none. Whatever Raphael had done, it had been done with -- with purpose, with resolution, with knowledge. The Outsider’s suspicions rose, but now was neither the time nor the place to discuss them with Irene. Even now, Roen was too lenient with how out of touch and out of tune with events as they transpired. Gone was the age of idle participation, he thought not for the first time. Stirring, he spoke to Irene again. With regret, with determination, he had to. “He isn’t going to die,” he assured her, “but we cannot leave, not yet. Gabriela, I need to talk to these people, and you need to be there with me. Philippe is fine now and will be fine after we get him to Orisia, but his curse extends beyond what he fights within. The world is a terrible place, and I - we - have a chance to make it safer. For ourselves, for him. I don’t just want him to live, I want him to live in a world of..,” he trailed off, struggling, grasping for the word. “Peace,” he finally said, sounding pained. “But I need your help. Can you do it, Gabriela?” He asked, quiet and kind. “And as soon as we are done, we will all go home. Together.” And we will not speak of dying, but living..
  4. Roen

    Cradle to the Grave

    Philippe was asleep. Warm and happy, lulled into security by the low, familiar voices of his parents, the baby drifted in the time it took for Irene and Marcellus to depart, leaving him alone with the Outsider. He did not see the way his father brooded, unhappy and uncertain as he stared at the door his mother departed through. He did not hear the way his father sighed, torn between conflicting desires. Instead he dreamed of little things, blissfully unaware of the world and how it turned around him. And how it turned. My little family is being torn apart, Roen thought sadly, his eyes drifting to regard Philippe. Undermined from without and within, it was hard to say the Outsider was capable of raising the child, let alone ruling a nation or curing a continent. He thought of this and more as he stood there, gently swaying where he stood and rocking the young prince, doting on him in idle fancy while his mind turned. Ambition and sentiment pulled at him from within, but the latter won as it ever did. The world turned and would continue to turn with or without him, and events such as these were like to happen again sooner rather than later. His family, though, that was another matter. The little prince may be fine now, but there was no telling if he was cured or if his symptoms have only just been masked, and without Raphael to ask or intimate knowledge of dhampyrs to infer on, there was simply no way of knowing without taking the time to make inquiry. That, and Irene was unwell. Mentally, emotionally, she had been given a fright, and he had not possessed the empathy to understand she needed more than permission to leave, but him. That was made abundantly clear the minute she left, closing herself off from the world at large with the click of a door shut. He had said the wrong thing, and the wall she had put up in their time together in Orisia would only strengthen if he left now to pursue his ambitions. So, he set them aside not unhappily, sighed, and turned to find one of their host’s servants in the nursery. Fortunately, there was an abundance. The Orisian Queen and Lord of Patia were the only couple who had brought their child along, which made the little prince something of a charmer. Paled by what she had witnessed prior concerning the summoning of Raphael, it took some encouragement on the Outsider’s behalf to get her to come to him, and even longe to convince to take Philippe so he could talk to his mother in private. “Young miss,” Roen was saying severely, handing his pride and joy over to the matronly woman, “if anything, anything at all goes awry, you click your heels and say my name.” He watched her tuck his son securely, and reached out on impulse to stroke the boy’s cheek with the back of his hand. He took a lingering look at him, as he often did when opportunity came, and adored. “Say it loud, and I will come.” Because I need to see the illness, he thought, pragmatic. Because I do not trust Raphael, another, pettier part of him whispered counteringly. He shrugged, silencing both these sentiments and moving on to another, more present dilemma: Irene. Tugging at his shirt and unbuttoning his collar, he left the nursery - and Philippe - behind to find Irene. He did not have to journey far. Through the double doors and following intuition more than forethought, he found his chosen sitting alone in a small, unlit room. A study, he thought at first glance, or something of that nature, he considered turning the lights on but thought better of it. They both saw plainly enough in shadow, and if she wanted them, she could have done it herself. For a moment he just looked at her, her face hidden in the press of her palms, though he knew she was aware he had followed her. It was in the tension of her slender shoulders, the way she and the room in turn grew very still, like a suspicious animal ready to bolt. Not far from the truth, he thought with trepidation, approaching the Black Queen with the same image in mind. He said nothing, couldn’t, not when his last words had sent her from him. So he came to her in silence, and when he drew her from her seat, unfolding her from a posture of grief and sadness, it was with a warm and gentle quiet. Her hands, pale and icy with the touch of death, he took them into his own and squeezed warmth into her gentle digits, and when she pulled them from his grasp, he did not take it as an insult. Rather he let her tuck her arms up against him while he wrapped his own around her, drawing her close and flush against the broad of his chest. She was stiff against him, unwelcoming of his kindness, but still, she accepted it if not acted against it, and he took that as a sign to hold her closer, tighter against him, to bathe her in the feverish heat she only ever knew from his kind of presence and adoration. And when he was sure she could not flee from his so easily again, then and only then did he decide to speak, soft and sincere. He wanted to say that he would leave with her, that they had seen enough of Terrenus that their responsibilities as parents (and to themselves) was paramount, but he didn’t, or at least couldn’t fathom the words to properly explain it. He wanted to say that they should stay and see their engagements through, to sit at a Terran table and decide the fate of the continent, but that, too, he failed to articulate and so did not waste breath trying to. Too dangerous were those conversations, too grand, so he left them for another moment, another time. So instead he told her three small, singular words, whispering them into her ear even as his arms encircled tighter, squeezing her to him with impossible strength only one of her kind could ever hope to endure; as if he never meant to let her go, not ever. ’I love you,’ he said, quiet, not so much earnest as he was stating a simple truth. Then, “Let’s go home.”
  5. Roen

    Allied Nations of Terrenus (A.N.T.)

    You're saying I have to be patient? (Get well soon.)
  6. Roen

    Allied Nations of Terrenus (A.N.T.)

    Any updates on what's going on?
  7. Gravity is working against me, and gravity wants to bring me down. 

  8. Roen

    Cradle to the Grave

    A breath from death, Roen thought. Unable to meet Irene’s imploring gaze, Roen took his knee from her hand and the child from her arms and half-turned, giving both her and Marcellus his ignoble profile. He held the boy tenderly in the crook of his arm, wincing only vaguely as the weight of him tugged at eternal wounds, and sighed, more to relieve the sudden pressure in his chest and the knot of emotion in his throat. A breath from death the child had been, Marcellus said. What terror that must have been for his chosen and their prince, the Outsider thought. What a tragedy they must have endured without him. It was ever so, a guilty voice said inside, that he should never be there when he was needed so urgently. Always at the end of things did he appear, always there to witness the aftermath of folly. If the Outsider felt anger, it was an internal dialogue he made neither them or their audience privy to. Rather the impulse was slaved to reason, and the cold knowing that it mattered but little who prayed to Raphael for salvation. Irene prayed to the Outsider, once. Several times, even. But his silence was all the answer she ever received, even as she lay dying in a dark pool of her own life’s blood in Kadia. The fiend had been late, then, too. Kadia, where he left pieces of humanity behind in exchange for but little in the ways of answers to a question no longer being asked. It made sense that the self-styled God of Blood would be prayed to. More than that, there was no questioning the results. Philippe drew breath, and it was only thanks to Raphael and Marcellus. “You saved Her Majesty’s son,” he said, turning his head to look at Marcellus briefly. “There’s nothing to forgive. Thank you.” Dipping his chin in a universal sign of deference and respect, the Outsider then turned away and looked back towards Phillippe, who was settling against the comfort and warmth of his chest. Less fussy now that his addiction was satisfied, the baby was happy and alert. His large, green eyes took in his surroundings and its people, and it seemed to the Outsider that there was intelligence if not inquisitiveness at work, and he could not help but admire and love. Would that the child’s penetrating gaze did not give him such anxiety, guilt and trepidation. Would that Roen could meet it with nothing but fatherly love. They had never talked about it and Irene had never made mention of the fact, but the prince exhibited none of the traits that might have denoted him as damned or irrevocably tainted, as the baby’s parentage might have suggested. Quite the opposite, Phillippe was a typical example of a dhampyr, that being a child borne on the blood of a human and a vampyre. The truth was a matter that deeply bothered the Outsider, and one which he had no one to speak to about. A lonely knowledge, it divorced him from his family, but there had simply been no time, no opportunity to discuss it. Events - history itself - moved faster than he could anticipate, let alone follow, and he held onto it alone, clutched it, and looked upon Philippe as -- redemption, as a reminder, but more importantly as a son. And in looking into his son’s eyes, he tried not to remember the man he was before he was damned, of the memories of a mortal life he was never meant to retain; of being a boy who dreamt of being more than he was destined to be, and traveling down a path he laid with the bricks of good intentions. Though it was the end of the Age of Heroes, someone had written a long, long time ago, it had saved its best for last. Someone moved, someone breathed, and Roen came back to them, blinking and uncertain. His gaze immediately went to Irene, the one he ever sought when he wanted a touch of comfort or a hint of concern; a piece of humanity he could take in hand and relieve the loneliness, but she was stricken by grief and loneliness of her own, and he saw in her eyes a reflection of what he felt within, and he knew he was alone. But she didn’t have to be. Setting himself aside, he reached out with a free hand and settled it on the curve of her cheek again, more fully and more intimately this time, and gently slid his thumb across full, sweet lips that had been kissed by another but a handful of minutes ago. With look and gesture both, he tried his hardest to convey that not only would everything be alright and he was here, but that he not only loved, but adored her, too. “It’s alright, now. Don’t cry, Gabriela. Do you want Marcellus to take you and the baby home?”
  9. Roen

    Allied Nations of Terrenus (A.N.T.)

    Roen: 'We're married.' Guard: 'Are you?' Gabriela: 'We aren't.' Roen: 'I want to.' Guard: 'But you're not.' Gabriela: 'Do you?' Roen: 'I do. Do you?' Gabriela: 'I do.' Roen: 'Ha, got'em. We're married, now.' Guard: 'Please leave.' Gabriela: '. . . . ' Roen: 'Let us in.' My schemes are fool proof. Underestimate me at your own peril.
  10. Roen

    Allied Nations of Terrenus (A.N.T.)

    I need an old priest and a young priest.
  11. Roen

    Cradle to the Grave

    In the end, she found him dancing alone in the ballroom. Though the matter was grave and the need urgent, she paused in a moment of uncertainty to look at - and admire - all that was in equal parts incongruent, and grossly obscene. Humming a waltz, the Outsider stepped and dipped and turned on all the cues of music while holding in his hands the shape of a woman’s fingers and her slender hips, and paused not to acknowledge the opening and shut of a door, or the clacking of heels that paused beyond the threshold thereof. He hummed and he danced, and he did all that was in his limited power to do to soothe a conscience for all that he had done to Khalan and yet still planned to do to the world. And she watched and did nothing, because she knew not how to interrupt, or even if she could. The look on his face was serene, and the way he danced, it was inhuman. There was a grace and fluidity that did more than deceive her eyes, but hurt them. Like a motion picture with too many frames, he seemed distorted somehow, and she strained unwitting to comprehend what she was not meant to see. Her name was Jessica, and it was the first time she had ever seen a monster masquerade as a man. Then he stopped dancing and opened his eyes, and though his gaze was unsettling and profoundly, eerily different, it was easier to bear than the sight of the ghastly way he moved. She sighed out a breath she hadn’t known she had been holding and relaxed, her limbs trembling from a release of tension. She could stand to look at him, now. Now he was just a strange, unhappy man with strange eyes and a sad, weary expression. Without meaning to, Jessica suddenly felt very sorry for bothering him, then remembered why she was here. Heels clicking, she walked across the smooth, polished floor, wincing at every echo, and endured the Outsider’s scrutiny of her every step until she was close enough to speak without raising her voice. She told him about Irene, about the state of his son, and told him in hushed, urgent tones that they both needed him and needed him now. They left the ballroom together, he and Jessica. She did her best not to stumble before the heat of him at her back, how the smell of him took her, the scent of peat and spice, fire and brimstone. It disgusted her, the aroma. But it made her belly tight with the desire to breathe it in. She walked fast, determined to get away from this man, this thing as fast as she could. ____ ”..I’ll tell him we have to go..” Settling his hand on the ornate doorknob, the Outsider paused before entering. His name had been spoken, and he knew the seven words after it. An old cantrip for a devil, it was oft used to listen for souls that yearned for the attentions of the Outsider. It was an easy thing to ignore - there were many who spoke his name on a day-to-day basis, he hadn’t the time or inclination to listen to every conversation - but being aware it was being spoken just beyond made it far more intimate and intrusive, and gave him a moment’s hesitation. Irene was talking about him, low and quiet. Who was she talking to? he wondered, his brows furrowing. Jessica tilted her head beside him, having long since given up the lead when he took the initiative and walked passed. Now more voyeur than guide, she watched his face darken. Confused, she moved to speak, but stopped when he turned to look at her, hard and angry. She paled beneath his startling display of vehemence which countered so strongly against the serenity that had been glimpsed earlier. “Thank you,” he said, his tone indicating she had been dismissed. “I’d like you to leave, now.” And indeed, she left. Hurrying, unhappy, Jessica fled from the Outsider and the weight of his angry. Never again, she thought as she went to speak with Titus about all she had seen and witnessed. She needed to see the emperor, needed to bask in his warmth, his confidence. She needed to be near him and be reassured of all that was good in this world, now that she knew what terrible monsters walked it. She listened half-heartedly to the Outsider open the door and enter the room beyond, and it was her fervent hope that he left his anger in the hall. She hoped it wasn’t for the Orisian Queen or their little prince. Flushing, on the cusp of tears, and walked faster to see her emperor. ____ Entering, the Outsider swept his gaze through the room. There were guests, servants, nobility and serfs, and then there were a pair of vampyres, and it was they he walked up to, the hard soles of his boots striking loudly with the strength of his stride. The male he paid brief attention to, the man more fixture than person, a guard that had been brought along in defiance of the Taen Emperor’s edict that any and all parties come by themselves sans retinue. Irene had been adamant about bringing him, and so the Outsider relented, unwilling to run contrary to his chosen wishes. In the weeks of silence and disparity between them, the sudden animation she showed when he spoke of their journey to Terrenus was a gift he was willing to do much and more to retain. A small nod of acknowledgement to the man, then a moving on to other, more important matters, like the state of affairs concerning his son, which seemed mild in comparison to the story Jessica had painted for him. Flushed with vitality and as beautiful as the day he had been born, Ethan Phillippe seemed well and hearty, and the worry in the Outsider’s eyes that had been confused for anger dissipated, giving him an air of almost palpable relief. But that expression was hard to maintain when his eyes shifted to regard Irene, who by all accounts looked more than distressed, but stricken. His heart beat with grief for her once, then hardened as he adjusted his trousers and took a knee to be level with her. Reaching out, he touched her cheek with the flat of his scarred palm and sought to elicit a reaction with a kind caress. The worry came again, the aggravation. He had taken eyes off of her but for less than a quarter hour, and a small tragedy occurred without him. Would that he could be omnipotent, he thought with a pang of regret. Would that he could be omniscient. “What’s wrong, Gabriela?” He asked, seeing the distant look in her eyes, the way she trembled and couldn’t meet his own, try as he might. Cocking his head, tilting it to get a better look at her, the Outsider sought to turn her attentions his way with gentle prompts of his hand. “What happened? They said..,” he trailed off, looking down between them, sighing as he looked at the baby who was fussing and upset, unhappy. Healthy, vibrant, but upset. Confused, Roen looked back up, peering, but still, she would not look at him. So he rose and looked away, and regarded her guard with renewed interest, and even some suspicion. “What happened?” He asked, gesturing towards Irene and Philippe. What am I missing?
  12. Pray for Roen. Ain’t nothing wrong with him, he’s just a devil and that shit makes him stronger. 

  13. "A domain of evil it is. In you must go." "What's in there?" "Only what you take with you." ____ There is a place in the Black City where all are welcome, regardless of race or creed. Be you hero or villain, adventurer or pioneer, the great doors at the base of the Lore-Spire are never closed. You, young man, have traveled far to come to this place, and now that you are here, there is nothing to stop you. Have you come for council? Is it knowledge you seek? Stay awhile and listen, and the Lord of the Black City will share with you tales of yore, and dispense age-old wisdom to help guide you down your path. But you are young, and chances are you already know everything. Better yet, perhaps you have come seeking favor in this cold and dismal place. Stand before the Outsider and endure the weight of his scrutiny, and he may just see for himself the ember of potential you espy so proudly within. For a piece of your soul or a favor in the future, you may persuade the Outsider to impart more than wisdom, but action. A token of his esteem, an artifact of great power, or even an act of his own accord, speak to him of your desires, but be warned: ask yourself what you're willing to sacrifice for them. But you are young and powerful, and you need nothing from the Outsider. You, young man, may have come for something far more bold - you have come for the Outsider himself. The Lord of the Black City has no shortage of enemies, and they, like all, are just as welcome in his hall. Look around you, young man. There are no guards here to stop you, you have not been made to surrender your weapons or your gifts, and the walls do not sing with prophylactic measures against violence, esoteric or otherwise. You stand before a thing of grandiloquent power and prestige, and it knows nothing of fear or trepidation. Draw your weapon, show him the strength of your convictions, and know you will be interred beneath the marble you will make your final stand upon. Whatever your reasons for coming to this sacred hall, the Outsider has set aside time and attention for you. Welcome to the Black City, young man. Welcome to the Hall of the Devil-King.
  14. Roen

    With Good Intentions

    For a moment, the Outsider indulged in the melancholy of loneliness when she left. It lay across his shoulders like an oppressive mantle, and forced him to find purchase against a table lest the weight of sorrow force him to his knees. There was no throttling the sentiment, no shoring against the tide of unhappiness that washed over him, threatening to cripple his will and maim his emotions. He hadn’t the reserve to control it, no learning to compartmentalize what was an overabundance of hurt. A thing of unfathomable emotionalism, he was utterly incapable of leaving this half-felt. He didn’t even try. Giving into it as surely as he ever did the transcendent highs of happiness to the low and burning echelons of fury, he rode the debilitating currents of sorrow in lonesome quiet, and did his best to hide it from the room, the chosen who absconded beyond, the city, and the world. He stayed that way for several long, unhappy minutes, suffering and strangled by emotion until he was able to rouse some semblance of indignation and anger. It was a slow burn, a gentle stoking of low lit embers, but it was necessary to function, to move, to live. He reprocessed Irene’s words, clutched and groped at their meaning, and slowly, carefully, incensed himself from debilitating unhappiness. He grasped at the age-old anger, the nameless hatred and fury that spurred him forward in existence, and fueled it with Irene’s spite, carelessness, and ignorance. The tears stopped when rage burned hotter than they on his cheeks, and he pulled himself from the table he leaned so heavily against with the savage impatience of the damned. And because it was the closest thing on hand to vent his sudden, impotent fury on, he took the offending piece of furniture off its legs, turned, and threw it against the opposite wall with a startling crash of splintering wood, a deafening noise dwarfed only by the inarticulate yell of frustration he made with the effort of the toss. Scrubbing his face on the sleeve of his shirt, Roen fled from the disaster he had made of room and life both. Slamming the door behind him, the foiled lord of Orisia stalked down the halls of the westerly wing cursing sulfurously under his breath, his language fouler than the mood he had brought upon himself. And he continued stalking so for many minutes, returning to the more populated parts of the castle to take his anger out on servants and staff alike, the majority of which had sense enough to become scarce at his approach out of discomfort if not fear. It was in this way that he was accosted one of his sorcerers. He was a tall, slender man dressed in dark robes of the richest velvet who leaned heavily on his iron-wood staff as he approached, an artifact topped with a brilliant amber gem caught between the mouths of two carved dragons. His name was Khayman Fellgrave, master of Blaireville’s Artifacture Tower. A mortal man, he was one of the most talented, knowledgeable, and powerful arcanists the Outsider knew, and the sight of the gaunt, emaciated man sobered the fiend immediately, who slowed his predatory gait to a standstill. Khayman smelled of rose petals and guano, the Outsider noted. A wizard’s spell components. “Hello, Soren.” Roen said, greeting the sorcerer with forced cordiality and his true name. The man dipped his head a fraction of a degree in reply, his robes rustling. “How is Lunarius?” The sorcerer smiled thinly beneath his cowl and shrugged his thin shoulders. Not even shadows could hide his young, handsome face. “She is well, Roen. She is well.” Low, the sorcerer’s reply came as a sibilant whisper, and in it held the tone of finality and a closing of pleasantries. The fiend noticed this and frowned, waiting for what he assumed was something he would not like. Khayman Fellgrave, or Soren as the Outsider knew him, had been asked to investigate the murder of his brethren. To this end, he was given leave to form a group, authority to make inquiries, and otherwise given the resources needed to conduct a thorough analysis. His task was manifold: the find out who had remained in Orisia after the Ellwood and Veelos incidents, their current whereabouts, then account for who in their number had met untimely demises in the months of Raphael’s reign and determine the circumstances of their deaths to the full scope of his ability. In this way it was the Outsider’s hope to compose a body of evidence against Irene’s cousin, though to what end had yet to be determined. With so much going on in the capital and the nation proper, the matter had to be considered thoroughly before action, if any, would be taken. Still, the Outsider was determined to settle the matter. It simply had to be done. “Come with me,” Soren said. “I’ll explain on the way.” _____ As the sorcerer talked, the Outsider’s expression darkened. Soren spoke in his low, quiet voice about his investigations, which by their very nature necessitated the examination of the records kept by the local security forces and legal justice systems of Orisia. That in the pursuit of leads, he and others had combed through court documents, security filings, closed and unresolved cases alike. They examined Irene’s cousin’s official acts insofar as much as they were documented, cross-referenced against missing person cases, execution orders, and slowly, carefully, pieced together a history of violence. It was an incomplete process, full of speculation as much as it was fact, and required only time and patience to correctly piece together. But on the whole this exposition was secondary, a lead-to for something else the sorcerer wanted to talk to the Outsider about. “Did you know Raphael adopted Raspberry?” He asked, which Roen shook his head to. “Officially, she is a princess of the Umbral Empire.” The sorcerer shrugged, and revealed in exposition a lack of scruples Roen did not much care for. Apparently, Raspberry, known now as Lucia, had been approached by Soren personally under the pretense of a casual conversation. They had talked about her position in the empire, and with the guilelessness of a child, she had spoken on and on to the stranger that said he was her new friend about her relationship with the ruler of Orisia, her adoptive father. The tangent of that conversation led to interesting revelations, and Soren, after a time, politely excused himself to inform the Outsider. “Where is she now?” Roen asked, unhappy. “The southern wing, in the gardens.” “Who else knows?” Soren turned his head, looking at the fiend. “There’s no way of knowing. She could have told anyone.” Roen grunted noncommittally, turning down a hallway with the sorcerer. Their journey took them through the kitchens, passed the guarded armory, and towards the recreational gardens of the castle. The rest of their journey was spent in tepid silence, the Outsider’s expression hard, almost unreadable, while Soren walked alone, the tip of his staff clacking every time he pressed it into the ground to help him along. They did not hurry, and when they were about to round the corner to confront Raspberry, neither of the men were in any rush to do so. Soren was the one to lead the way into the gardens, his robes gliding across the grass towards where Raspberry sat, entertaining herself where she had been told to stay. Drawing his hood back, Soren looked down at the child with warm, dark eyes the color of rich coffee. Though pale, his was a handsome, eager face, with dark and curly hair. “I’m sorry that took so long, Lucia.” He said, smiling. He learned early on Raspberry preferred to be called by her adoptive name. “But I brought a friend with me. You remember Roen, don’t you?” He gestured, and the Outsider moved around the corner and into view, a hand raising in a timid little wave. He was ashamed, unable to remember the last time he had laid eyes on the diminuitive girl-child. He looked at her, his expression carefully neutral. Soren did not wait for Raspberry to truly acknowledge the devil, and demanded her attention. He sat down on his robes with a sigh and laid his staff across his lap, smiling still at the girl, calm and engaging. “Can you tell him what you told me? About what you and your papa did together? I told him, you know. He thought it was really nice how you and your papa spend time together.”
  15. Roen

    Allied Nations of Terrenus (A.N.T.)

    Roen is the cutest. Fight me.