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Voting has reset for the month of August. Valucre is in the top 10 but we aim for the top 3 for maximum visibility when people land on the home page of the topsite. If you want to help new members discover Valucre, vote for us daily.

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      Vote for Valucre [August]   05/16/2017

      Voting for the month of August is open on TopRPSites! Vote for Valucre daily and help new members searching for a place to roleplay discover the same joys you have in Valucre. You can vote daily, so make voting for Valucre a habit. Discussion thread


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About Narcissa

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  • Birthday 07/09/1989

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  1. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei His armor gently clattered with each step as the An'She walked silently beside him, the movement of her hips shifting fluidly from side to side like the body of a cobra; all she was missing was its magnificent crown. The bottom of her dress fluttered like the kimono of the painted geisha of far-off Weland, light and delicate, as if her step hadn't even touched the ground. Her dark sable locks, wound in elegant braids and and draped down her back in such a fashion that she'd captured the tresses from Venus, herself, inked to fashion in the shades common to Hades and his light-forsaken realm. While the vampires of Umbra sported a nearly porcelain-white pallor of their skin, the diurnal mortals that compromised Kadia were of fair complexions, though none had seemed so dark and kissed by the sun as Rou, skin nearly the color of the cinnamon fragrance that accompanied her. Even dressed in all black one could not nearly call her monochrome, for the ruby-red pin of the Umbral insignia at her breast matched the color of her plush, painted lips. To say that she stood out among the guests back in the ballroom or out in the gardens was an understatement, but after present company could not wholly be attributed to herself. Lean beneath his armor, Deiter carried himself with the confidence of a true and gallant knight, considerate and gentlemanly as he escorted Rou by a linked arm. But the grin he wore on his face was proud and amorous, with the sort of suave that made her assume he'd be strutting through the gardens, were she not slowing him down. His black hair regaled a youth not yet beyond his prime, still upon the staunch ascension of life, and even the scar across his nose was somewhat charming, like the way his cheeks dimpled when he flashed that presumptive grin at her. For his position, as well, the Grand Duke was hailed by nearly every passersby. "Do they always bow so low to even the noble houses in Kadia?" Rou privately wondered, as she'd passed another pair that had bowed and curtsied in what seemed like far more decorum than just a polite greeting. A shadow cast over them in the fleeting evening rays, the remnants of the sun's day dwarfed by the penumbra of a large airship that flew overhead. Rou drew closer to Deiter's captive arm as she took in the sight above her; even the hull's designs were intricate and unmistakably new. It wasn't until it gained some distance that she could make out the whole arrangement, from its slender bow to the heat-packed engines at the stern that it truly resembled a pristine work of art. With a sidelong glance that followed Deiter's thoughts he shared aloud, she found in common the use of the pronoun 'her' alike Umbra's esteemed Captain Fowler, ships being regarded as if a child they'd birthed and raised with care. "It's quite the marvel, your Grace," she commended him politely, although her stomach turned briefly at the thought of flying. She cocked half a smile at him, as his investments unearthed themselves. "Grand Duke of Kadia, an accomplished knight, and an airship commander? You're just full of surprises, aren't you?" Being led further into the gardens and very close to their destination, Deiter slipped from her grasp in order to hold her by the hand, her fingertips gently balanced in his glove, clutching tightly. Once they'd arrived, the Duke paused only to press another kiss to her knuckles-- he'd find that the seemingly dainty digits were much more calloused than the refined, silky skin of a noblewoman, a testament to the labors and hard work that brought her to the esteemed position. Rou could feel her heart thumping in her chest as his eyes cast an upward glance over the horizon of her knuckles, nearly looking through her, so caught aback by the warmth of his lips on her skin that she'd inadvertently forgotten to breathe. Suddenly, her dress had felt much tighter, and felt a warm flush to her cheeks, a phantom touch as he'd slipped away from her. For the last several years the Buxom Bandit had been plying her wiles to Kings who were far from easy targets, thinking that her youth and beauty had already peaked and nearly reached its end, but the flattery of a young mortal Duke was all it had taken to make Rou feel like her youth was not yet spent. With confidence renewed, Rou cleared her throat behind a cautious hand to cover her ruby lips, and quelled the blush in her cheeks. She paid careful attention to Deiter, who stood in the center of what appeared to be a memorial, for a small stone plaque etched in words she hadn't yet cared to read. A silver aura spread from him, branching out in all directions and seeping like a mist, an energy that called out to the magics that invisibly lingered in this place. By Rou's side, an orb of light flickered-- circular and gold, nearly transparent though with an apparent core at its center-- and then another appeared, followed by another, and another. Her amber eyes widened and lips parted in awe as the garden began to glow, as if lit up by strings of lights strewn across in their private little square of the garden. She could feel the way they reverberated and hummed with presence and heat, as if she were surrounded by a crowd of people, yet there were only two bodies made out within the brush. "All of them?" Rou asked, almost disbelieving, as more and more of the souls began to populate "Patians, and the mercenaries, too?" She turned in stupefied circles, stunned as she regarded the sheer number that truly resembled the fallen she'd shared that gruesome battlefield with. Though their spirits were all that remained, Rou could feel them. She raised her hands to her mouth, covering her cheeks delicately with her fingers, every so often passing a digit over the bottom swell of her lip. She resisted the shedding of tears, though her eyes shone in the golden glow light, threateningly watery. "Lady Leoa did all this?" she asked, the lady's reputation and accolades seeming to excel by the minute, in a way that had made Rou truly, and honestly, thankful. "I hardly know what to say... your Empress is most gracious..." It had taken one Empress to clean up another one's mess-- if Gabriela had cared about the men who died on her island nearly half as much as she cared about her horses, maybe Rou would have reason not to regard her as a heartless monster. Too many nights she'd been haunted by their memory, the horrors she'd seen alongside the dead and dying, the guilt and grief that came with the loss of those she was forced to fight alongside-- and the irreplaceable anger from the disrespect of their sacrifice. They'd been rescued from that awful place, and while not being able to be put to rest, had their own Eden to reside in, safe, and remembered. "Thank you, your Grace," Rou said finally, with a heartfelt smile paid Deiter for his kindness, "My memories may yet find peace knowing that their souls have been delivered to Kadia. I should like to share my gratitude with her Highness, too, when the time permits."
  2. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei @King Rou's expression temporarily bittered, soured as Deiter enjoyed a few amused chuckles at her expense, suffering it with a silent pout. His cockiness was exuded like a strong cologne-- substantial and unmistakable, nearly overbearing, as he carried himself like a puffed-chested rooster. The poignant wink, that tilted flash of a grin, the languid swagger that poised himself even in armor-- in a game only Rou had known the rules to, there appeared to be a second player, an opponent. She might've muttered a few curses into the bottom of her glass for impersonating her modus operandi, yet she had not, her interest piqued with a flare of competitive spirit. Was a game of cat-and-mouse still the same with two cats upon the field? She entertained the thought, and cast a likewise grin at Deiter. He'd quieted, only to watch Umbra present itself before Kadia, two Emperors and Empresses, toe-to-toe. She recognized the darkened gaze that settled upon them, middling somewhere between disapproval and disdain. Alternating her sidelong glances between the party and her moment's companion, she realized his tilt was low, not directed at her tall, dark, and handsome liege, but at the small, womb-burdened waif attached to his hip. Rou wouldn't go so far as to assume her opposition to the former Queen of Orisia a secret, but her heart was tainted with a blackness even Raphael could not order away-- an unadulterated loathing that was incomparable to any other. For all she'd hoped to gain and all she'd lost, Rou held Gabriela responsible for ruining her life. It sickened her the way men were so bewitched by the pale, but admittedly beautiful porcelain princess, in that Rou held a moment's private internal pleasure that Deiter (and apparently Corvinus) made obvious not to share the same beguilement. With an amused, nasal chuckle, Rou found herself momentarily satisfied, her green beast of jealousy calmed. She finished off her drink with a self-assured swig, and deposited the empty glass upon the bar; it hadn't muddled her senses, but had brought a colorful pink to her cheeks. "I knew I recognized you. Hard to forget a beautiful woman in armor... Ah, yes, a particular Devil's..." "Shhh!" Rou hissed quietly through her teeth, silencing him with a gesture of her index finger vertically plied to her lips. "Take care not to speak of him here," she warned him, before his words got away from him and invoked the Devil's name. Long of his company, she knew the Outsider had placed a curse on his own name, a creature as vain, if not moreso, than she, enchanted to hear the gossip that surrounded it. If it were uttered here, in this place, she doubted he would have the self control to keep from appearing in front of not one, but two alleged traitors, the enemy of his regime, and his forgone-but-not-forgotten lady love. Rou counted the fact that he hadn't already arrived as a blessing, whether it was of ignorance or arrogance; she doubted making a show of trying to steal back Raphael's bride would turn the wedding to a violent shambles. "He does not approve of the Emperor Corvinus," Rou supplied simply, shifting from one side to the other, which arched the curve of her back and the round of her backside (were his eyes quick to wander), as she shot him a sidelong smirk. "Luckily, it seems, he and I rarely share an opinion." Rou watched alongside Deiter as she read along the proceedings from afar, postured with all due civility, reading lips where she could. She vaguely knew of how Corvinus' dislike for the immortal Xenos had grown and developed over the last several years, and even with the confidence of Raphael's innate likability and political prowess, the An'She still wrung her hands in front of the tight, pintucked waist of her black gown. It was her duty as part of the Umbral retinue to protect the dealings and alliances of her new home country, and would step in as the de-escalating diplomat, should her Emperor need her. In addition, she was hoping to eventually break fond words with her old comrade-in-arms, and present her gifts to the bride and groom. Raphael seemed unusually stricken by the pleasant-faced Empress Leoa, sporting an expression Rou was quite dumbfounded to recognize, giving herself cause to doubt she'd even seen it in the first place. As soon as he pivoted to Corvinus, however, the An'She could tell by his posture that he was all business, with his back inconveniently turned to Rou. Unable to decipher the conversation from so far a distance, she fidgeted next to Deiter, close enough for him to catch the aroma of her perfume, reminiscent of cinnamon and vanilla, as she tried to look over the crowd. "Care to take a walk in the Gardens? There is something I think you ought to see, and the fresh air will be good for us." "The Gardens?" Rou repeated with a pause, hesitant to let her Emperor from her sight, should he need her just as political proceedings had begun between the two allied nations. Placing her hand delicately upon his armored arm, she made to apologize. "Forgive me, your Grace, but I don't think this is the best time to--" Rou started, but motion among the royal couples had brought her voice to a steep halt. In a sequence of instants, Rou froze as Corvinus' gaze found them first, followed almost immediately en suite by Raphael's, both bearing grins Rou could only describe as wicked. Shocked with amber eyes wide and lips pressed into a thin line, Rou felt a shiver crawl violently down her back, twofold. "Gods be damned, they're talking about us." Clicking her tongue on the roof of her mouth, Rou's path of sight dropped momentarily to the floor before finding Deiter's charming face again, still plastered with an overly handsome smile. If she couldn't beat them, she'd have to join them. Conceding, she linked one arm around his, and patted his plate armor thrice with the other hand, in gesture of her yield. "You know, perhaps some fresh air wouldn't do any harm. Show me this secret of yours," the An'She said, pulling herself close to him-- her bosom pressed nearly square against his elbow, her hip occasionally brushing against his. She hadn't been this flush to a man in quite some time, the last to have the privilege was across the room, grinning like it was all part of his master plan. As Deiter led her away, Rou flashed Raphael a momentary annoyed purse of her lip, and mouthed the words, "Don't think that I don't know exactly what you're doing!" The air had been notably cooler outside in the Gardens, past the palanquin that had generated some matter of pomp and grandeur. Two Emperors were enough, Rou thought, three was overkill; seemed everyone fashioned themselves an Empire these days, and proclaimed themselves the leader. As a mortal with greed unrelenting, Rou had been the bandit who sought to seduce a King into giving her a throne where she might enjoy all the luxury of being a Queen and not having to rule, though under Raphael's tutelage, she'd found she was actually rather skilled in the trade of a diplomat. "In my home village, women would often do the same. Especially so during marriages, though I think it was more so to extend the celebrations... Oh? Seems she has garnered quite the reputation in Umbra, then. I doubt that of the Emperor's is even remotely as flattering." Rou kept pace with him, Deiter was quite the gentleman and slowed to her gait, slightly compromised by the relative shortness of her height and legs, and the constricting garment she wore, yet it fluttered with each step. Her hips seemed to swivel as she walked, swaying and exaggerating her backside with each stride, as she ignored the double-takes of men who passed the two-- an oft side effect that Rou had ignored with ease. Casually, Rou answered while holding comfortably onto his arm. "Yes, the ladies in the city love to talk about her-- I've heard of some traveling to Kadia just to pay their respects to Lady Leoa in court, and then swear they're impregnated by the time they return home. However many are actually by their husbands, however, I could never profess the secrets of womankind," she said smugly, casting her glance ahead. "Corvinus isn't exactly popular with the noble houses in Umbra, as most of them are vampiric, and refugees from Kadia's exodus have definitely made their way as far as the Arcane East. As for the mortal half of the population, they seem to be of a neutral opinion; under Raphael's laws they have no reason to fear vampires, but it's likely because they believe all races are held to such decencies. Where I come from, things aren't so civil."
  3. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei @Aleksei @KING @Pasion Pasiva "The Empress--?" Rou paused curiously over her drink, paying a momentary glance towards the regal bride in the center of the room, Leoa amidst the carpets littered with confetti and petals, surrounded by a swarm of children, and on the arm of loving husband. Puzzled, her amber eyes narrowed and brow furrowed, the elaborate braids of her hair swept about as she returned her focus to Deiter. "I don't understand; what reason would the Empress have to make a match for a Duke?" Rou asked, albeit the question came with some measure of unintended impertinence. True, Rou had heard in gossip that Leoa adored making matches for her children, but it had never bridged outside of that. The census data in Umbra's library was current as of only a few years ago, and aware that it might miss some of the Kadian Empire's youngest royal brood. Finding the act of puckering to the bottle of Wonder Beer a bit too boorish, she poured the rest into her empty brandy glass; even that made her feel like a bit of a rube-- who on earth drank beer from a brandy glass? Brushing off the question, Rou shook her head, not quite in apology, but declaring her previous comment as rhetoric. She too, had her own puppet master pulling the strings, catching sight over Deiter's shoulder of her liege lord being particularly handsy with his fiancee, as if no one would notice. Gabriela was already growing large with child, and Raphael plastered her with affections that were paid to mortal flesh in what hadn't seemed like so long ago. Her stomach rolled, and were she capable, she'd be positively green. "What was that you said -- two peas in a pod?" she inquired reminiscently, her eyes losing focus at the swirling of the ice in her glass, "Perhaps you weren't too far off, after all." She paid him a sly look with her amber eyes, her weight shifted loftily to one side, which seemed to exaggerate the great curve that silhouetted her waist and hips. Taking a few steps towards Deiter, she perched next to his arm, straightening her back with all due posture as she poised herself in Deiter's intimate proximity. His armored arm nearly fit in the gap beneath her bosom and above her hips, right next to her tightly-laced waist. "However, mistakes of that nature rarely end in marriage," she plied soft, dark whispers to his ear, motioning for him to follow her gaze to the presented better half of Umbra before the Kadian royals, and the tell-tale swell of her stomach, "If you catch my drift." A cheshire grin overcame her lips when she found herself clever, nearly hissing a few dark chuckles between her teeth. With another glance, Rou yet noted how quickly her Emperor had impregnated his new bride... in almost too short a time, it seemed. Raphael's voracity was not to be underestimated; by her, the least. However, his heart had not appeared to weep in the void she'd left, with his new porcelain-skinned, abused toy to fill it. For a god, he was as prone to lust and bewitched by Gabriela as all other men. "Perhaps! We're you by chance fighting the undead when they attacked from Ellwood? I was fighting under Corvinus' banner at the time. I think we met in passing, perhaps our units crossed paths or we saw each other at briefings." With a look of surprise, recognition dawned all the same upon Rou, now more confident in her recollection. "As a matter of fact, I was," she conceded, though the following statement appeared less willing to break from the desert flower's vault of memories, "Though, admittedly, as legionnaire under a different banner." She was privy to the war tents where strategy took place, kept close in hand while defending the foreign country that she'd come to despise, and shared the trials of the bloody battles until they came to an unexpected close. " 'Twas the first time I met the Emperor Corvinus, as well, though he hadn't the time nor deign to tell me about his position back home; we'd shared a few meetings and gatherings 'round a campfire. If he'd told me what a massive family he'd put at risk of losing their father, well, I might've goaded him straight home." Deep in her cups, she reminisced the inappropriate gala that followed the brutality, to honor the wrong people and shaming the dead. "If I recall correctly, Corvinus shared a similar fate as I did, in not being welcome to return to the island where our comrades-in-arms still lie." It was a solemn and somber subject, and appeared one the lady hadn't wished to dwell on. "And now we're both traitors to Patia... what a cruel twist of fate." Taking a much-needed gulp of her drink, Rou hurried to her next section of idle talk, almost forgetting to swallow it down before she spoke. "Back in my country, it was custom to give the blushing bride a gift of fertility to bless her marriage--" she said, motioning towards the particularly large Imperial family in the limelight. "Though, I daresay she doesn't need it, does she? Even some of those in the noble houses of Umbra that are without children to uphold their legacy revere the lady Leoa as some sort of fertility priestess."
  4. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei It seemed the dress-clad viper missed the stolen glances of the Prince Desmond, her own gaze preoccupied with the thought of how distant Corvinus had appeared to have aged so relatively little over the years. She vaguely remembered conversations of exile at the fireside and in the military camps that were stationed in Orisia to rid the island of the undead threat, but that was a time when they were both clad in armor and bathed in dirt and blood, surviving on nothing but ambition and the hope to wake up from the living nightmare. She hardly recognized him in formal regalia and on the arm of his dubiously sweet Empress, surrounded by children, wife, family-- privately, she thought it a good look for him, despite the power that came with it. The battle was so many years ago, though it often haunted her behind closed eyes and in moments of sleep; torrential rains suffocating them, muddy pits like quicksand, beasts borne of old soldiers and former comrades whose skin peeled from their bones and blackened with decay, yet with an animal hunger that saw no rest and gave them no quarter. Too many lives were lost, and too many joined the force of the cursed. Memories like those bred dreams that were far from pleasant, haunted even in beautiful girls that did no more than look on at a wedding. "Hope I'm not being too forward. Seems we're two peas in a pod." Rou's head turned attentively with a flutter of curls that swept behind her, amber eyes drawn to the offered bottle placed before her, and the man who offered it. He towered over her nearly a foot, with sable hair that nearly matched hers, but with an obvious complexion of Genesarian fair. The armor suggested knighthood, or perhaps a higher honor within the ranks of Kadia for its regality, though strapping muscles and youthful skin beneath painted him quite young for such a station-- battles evidenced by that rugged, clean scar across his nose. He seemed familiar, somehow, though Rou couldn't quite place where. "Is that right?" came her reply with a curious raise of a finely sculpted eyebrow; her voice was not high and delicate as one might find a princess, tempered with patience and politeness-- rather, it was the low, reverberating hum of one not unlike a sultry jazz crooner, deep and womanly, running like honey over her throat and purring with feline femininity as it left her lips, whispering between loud crescendos. She perused his smile with an askew glance of her painted eyes, the implicated allure radiating off of him like an aura that was switched on by the charismatic flashing of his grin. How many a woman found themselves run afowl for that smile, she wondered, privately chuckling to herself behind the raise of her wrist to her lips. "Forgive me, your Grace, but among so many of your countrymen, I feel it is you who has the boon. It shall only be moments before the long-awaited bride and groom have their dance, and then some young and beautiful courtier will see you whisked away to join them." With a gentle nod, she prompted the Duke to turn over his shoulders, where a few young girls in pretty white dresses were huddled close together, giggling and egging each other on to approach the exalted Knight. "See?" Finishing off her bourbon with an amused smirk, with hands free she accepted the fetched gift from Deiter. Offering her other hand with a pivot of her wide hips, she extended it to him for polite introduction-- whether he saw fit to shake or place a kiss upon it was his prerogative. "Rou," she introduced herself shortly, but paused only to instate her titles. As part of Raphael's entourage, it would be a disservice to see her displace the titles he had named his prized foreign beauty with. "Rou Ji, one of the four distinguished An'She and Ambassador of Umbra, council to Lord Emperor Sauriel of the Arcane East Empire." She bowed her head, sinking only in modest curtsy-- out of habit, as reputation would have it-- Rou bowed for little. "I am pleased to meet you, your Grace." "Alas, this shall be my companion for the night, I fear," she said, brandishing the Wonder Beer bottle; while she preferred a stronger ale, she thought it rude to accept the bounty of a free bar. Rou paused for a moment, however, as while the cold, dewy condensation felt pleasantly cool in her hands, the pleated tin top kept its contents squarely protected within the bottle. With the bartenders busy and she with a penchant for thinking outside the box, she was caught by the sight of his pristine, polished armor-- a catlike grin spread across her lips. "May I?" She shifted her weight, slinking the hourglass shape of her dress from one side to the other, as she held the neck of the bottle between her fingers, positioning it against the edge of a plate of Deiter's gauntlet. With minimal pressure and the fork of her hand to stabilize the bottle, turning the bottle askew sent the cap flying. Satisfied at her own cleverness, she took a swig, though paused at the taste-- quite like a hearty ale, indeed. "Impressed is an unusual color on me," she admitted, and lifted the bottle to him as thanks, "Quite the trick, this is." With a pause, Rou took a moment to remember her manners, though the semblance of a somewhat facetious smirk would intend her gesture more to poke fun at the Duke-- "Shall I get yours for you?" With a few idle moments to enjoy drink and the sight of the bustling, happy family gathering in the center for dance and gaiety, Rou leaned her back against the bar, more content to enjoy the familial sight from afar, toning a token bitterness to her drink to match the pit in her stomach. This was what Raphael had intended for Rou, as an idolized citizen of Umbra, to be alongside a husband who cherished her and birth babies who would love her and carry on their parents legacy... was she ungrateful for protesting his wishes, now as a rejected favorite of her Emperor? Somehow, Rou just couldn't see herself bound to a motherly role. She didn't want babies, she wanted power. With another glance towards the charismatic Duke, Rou narrowed her gaze with scrutiny-- but only to wrack her memories to recall the face that prompted such recognition. "I hadn't thought to know anyone from Kadia's provinces other than his Majesty, Corvinus, but something about you strikes me. Have we bychance met before, your Grace?"
  5. Lyric Talk -- Literally

    I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon After all, I knew it had something to do with you
  6. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    Rou was personally grateful that the provided bar was stocked with harder substance than she'd found in her new estate in Umbra, the cellars seemingly only filled with sour-tasting Orisian wine, like some ironic twist of fate. A small glass of bourbon fit neatly in her hand, the ice clinking against the side as she rushed it down her throat with a definitive tip-- the burn made her shudder, but strengthened her resolve. Thankfully, the bartender had read her mind and prepared another, for her to enjoy the malt at a more casual pace. Cradled in her palms as if a delicate china teacup, she'd take to it as she perused the guests. Often the socialite and willing participant of political affairs, it was unlike Rou to require a boost of confidence, but she was doing something she'd never done before. Invited to the wedding of the Emperor and Empress of Kadia, Rou attended as part of the entourage of neighboring Emperor Sauriel of the Arcane East Empire, though was strikingly sans a date. The most newly appointed An'She, ambassador, of Umbra was under the order of her liege to attend, though under most fervent command to arrive unescorted. As a human citizen of Umbra she was bound by its laws, and as An'She had to set a particular example-- and that meant further populating Umbra's faithful society... despite her own past favoritism from the Emperor. Determined to see Rou as a boon for his regime, Raphael aimed to strengthen his political ties by arranged marriage. As it were, large social gatherings such as these made a perfect opportunity for him to scout suitors from the eligible bachelors whom he would seek to ally with-- husband-hunting, she called it. This was a foreign court, where Rou knew no one and felt like little more than the brood mare on the block, as Raphael would assuredly peruse for a young stallion with which to mount her, despite knowing Rou's particular disfavor towards a matronly future. Seed had only taken hold within her womb once before... yet ended in no more than blood and pain. So there she was, playing the unusual part of wallflower as the bride and groom made their way down the carpet and were littered in confetti, wearing a black, off-the-shoulder dress that was laced at least two sizes too tight, her chest threatening to burst straight from the draped collar. The view afforded the sight of a pink heart-shaped scar upon her right breast, having not glamoured it as she did her scarred left arm, as she'd grown rather accustomed to the sight of it after her unfortunate voyage upon the seas. The waist of her gown was so tight she could hardly breathe, tightening at the chest with every inhale, and the hips had been so snug she nearly needed to sew herself into the garment. Her skin was unusually dark to the Genesarian complex, as those who lived on the continent usually sported a paler pallor; Rou was a foreign jewel, her skin a dark caramel-bronze and her yellow eyes slightly slanted with traits unlike those of the homeland. With eyes painted in long cat-eye lines and bronze-flecked tones on her heavy lids, she opted for an elegant choice of hairstyle apart from the usual, her black tresses done up in curled braids for the usual ponytail to cascade down her back. For Rou, the ensemble was a simple one despite her usual tastes, black dress unembellished, save for the maroon enamel emblem of the Umbran crest, pinned at her chest, and opting for a single short string of black pearls around her neck, feeling nearly naked without her choker. Rou lifted her glass for their majesties as they passed, taking a bittered sip of the sweet bourbon. Would this be her life, walking among kings and queens, princes and princesses, as no more than their guest, their servant? It seemed that now the whole world of Valucre knew of the "Whore Queen", Rou the seeming succubus who tried to court her way into the hearts of not one, but two, kings, and made herself the enemy of the story that presumed Gabriela, Black Queen of Orisia, Empress of the Arcane East and Lady Mother of the Sitriac faith, the damsel in distress and romantic heroine. Even with a new manse and a title and nearly a fortune to her credit, Rou was a human woman that could only continue to breathe were she green with jealousy and rife with greed. Someday, it would be her turn. Let the hunt begin.
  7. You up to visiting Kadia for a wedding? :bigsmile:

    1. Show previous comments  11 more
    2. Alexei


      Also he is the man who has basically a monopoly on the manufacturing of weapons, power armor, and airships. It's also been let out of the bag that he is a prince, though he prefers the title Grand Duke.

    3. Narcissa


      I think I'll let him (or perhaps another bystander) tell Rou about his adoptive parentage.  For now, I'll assume she hasn't been told.

    4. Alexei


      Alright, it'll most likely come out eventually. XD

  8. Confession Thread

    I-I like Damien... >_>
  9. Loyalties Lied

    There was a fair amount of commotion outside of the Lore Spire that afternoon, a mix of gentry, mages, and Patian knights gathered at the foot of the castle where a pile of debris appeared to be haphazardly amassing. Most of their heads were craned up at the sky, hands lifted like visors to shield their vision, looking to the taller towers of Patia's capital monument. The debris appeared to be mostly stone, cinderblock wiped out of one of the taller rooms of the castle, smoke gently wafting from the gaping hole as if from some sort of powerful blast. Perhaps it had been one of the mage's experiments gone wrong? "Look out, 'ere comes another one!" a boy shouted in caution, causing the lookers-on to lurch back as what appeared to be a four-poster bed was forcibly thrust out of the makeshift window, gravity pulling the frame down to a shattering end. Mahogany slats and posts splintered when they hit the ground, skewering through the down-feather mattress and sending about a small rain of feathers, the remains of red and black sheets were ripped through, and oddly burnt. As if fearing the tempest, a number of mages inside the Lore Spire had evacuated, carrying all of their own precious research that they could in their arms, their life's work either too precious to leave behind, or too fearful of the Devil to eventually be caught empty-handed. "Make way, let me through!" one cried as he prioritized himself above the crowd, a scholar with no stomach for violence. Those who chose to expel themselves from the Lore Spire were eventually pressed by the looker's on-- if not the absent Devil's tyranny, what could move them so? "There's a witch on a rampage up there!" ---------------------------------------------- A few claps had dusted her hands with satisfaction, Rou looking proudly at the new window afforded to Roen's chambers atop the Lore Spire. It was a bit haphazard and perhaps brusque to the modern interior designer, however the action had been reason to function, rather than fashion. Blowing a hole in the wall was the only way she could rid the room of the bed the Devil shared with her own archenemy, the sight of the item and his imagined debaucherous sleights causing Rou both to retch and turn green with envy. It did, however, afford his chambers an unusually nice breeze. As the Devil had not found himself among his trappings and holed up in his castle like the greedy ruler he was, Rou would not be denied access to her former home, and made her own way about-- the few guards who'd thought to stop the former guest of the Crimson King found themselves temporarily put out. It had been long beyond a season since they'd seen each other, answering his call as promised; better late than never. Her magic had returned, as did the sauntering sway in her step, and her wounds had healed-- though she still experienced some sore use of her left arm. She hadn't bothered to glamour the heart-shaped scar on her breast, no longer seeping nor ashy, but a testament to what she'd lived through. Rou was also clothed head-to-toe in new duds-- a black bodysuit with a keyhole cut at the chest, topped by a red velour and brocade tailed waistcoat, belted tightly around her narrow waist, along with fresh leather knee-high boots. The Buxom Bandit had been re-envisioned after her catastrophes at sea, and now visibly displayed the insignia of Umbra on her coattails. Roen had left all manner of things out in his chambers, likely not expecting a guest to arrive and peruse through them. Rou, ever the kleptomaniac, couldn't deny her sticky fingers the rare opportunity alone, fingered through a few jewels, coins, and pearls on his counting desk before depositing them into the infinite abyss that was her cleavage, and editing a few numbers in his book. Adjusting her bosom, she'd make sure they wouldn't be missed.
  10. Looks like Rou is having it pretty rough. What happens when you deal with Non-humans. -sniffs- :smirk:

  11. The Ghosts That Haunt Us

    Roen had a knack for getting under her skin, just as she was oft a pest beneath his. She could tell that her words had scalded him, in his distant posture, flippant gestures and measured tone. His claims yet dabbled in consolation, glares were short his intimidation, and his insults lacked the usual violence. For the Devil, being angry at Rou was easy, an everyday occurrence; it was easy to hate her. Being wounded by her truth was much, much more difficult, and sadness was an emotion he often reserved for solitude. In the years of his increasing melancholy, when Roen wanted to be left alone... Rou often found herself the likewise victim of separation; it made her bitter and spiteful when his mind was as far from her as his self had been, away in another woman's arms. He pressed his hand to her chest, and her face hardened only to hide the pain of the aggravated heart-shaped wound that marred her breast. Unsure whether he was trying to assuage her own belligerence or entreat her mortal empathy, Rou would have crossed her arms over her chest and pouted regardless, if only her wounds would allow. Her heartbreak hid behind the guise of a peevish face as he spoke the words she'd most wanted to year, yet they were discernably drowned by the love he bore another. It was hard to believe Roen when he quietly and casually admitted his love for Rou when it was dwarfed by the gargantuan torch he bore for Gabriela. From even beyond the grave, the Queen spoiled the things she wanted. Rou bristled at the thought. Rou raised an eyebrow as his insult turned momentarily more poignant, her lips pressed into a thin line with the warm Devil at her back, knuckles brushing haphazardly across the nape of her neck. Cutting a glance over her shoulder, her gaze was low and sharp. "Close encounters with death have sapped all my willingness to talk in circles around you, Roen," she retorted without amusement, in argument for her cleverness, "You're not the only one who can summon a foul mood. Blame the wounds." She was again dissatisfied that he neglected to answer her questions, meet her demands. His ambiguity was a certain way to see Rou seethe, in the way it had made a younger buxom bandit panic and destructive. With the mention of the psion, Red Yusuke, and visions of the mischievous Kalmuli plied across his lap in her memory, Rou was not about to apologize for being selfish. It seemed that everything she asked for, he willingly gave other women, and spurned her. She hadn't flinched when he sent the chair sliding, nor had she made any tender movement to the keeping of his hair-- though admittedly, the latter she'd wanted to, but lacked the hands. Roen was starting to fall apart before her eyes, just as she had done before his, and left Rou a turn to be unsympathetic. "Don't say I wasn't willing to make a deal," she said dryly, her gaze low and impish, criticizing the Devil for his frugality, "Your meager offerings don't offset the price of the soul, I'm afraid." He only offered the things he could bear to lose, and Rou saw lack of commitment, lack of sacrifice, on her behalf. He claimed to love her, yet would put nothing at stake-- not even his pride. With a mischievous look, the bandit managed a grin at him. "But if I had your eyes, you would see no woman the way you see me-- or perhaps the way you used to, when I was that scrawny little girl you painted, hanging on your castle wall." Rou ran a hand through her own hair to preen herself, compelled by the sight of Roen's disheveled catastrophe upon the crown of his head, in the way that one is itchy when witnessing scratching, or yawns when hearing another. It was dry and coarse to the touch, and would take much care and glamour to see her back to her former glory, and she was having quite enough of feeling sore and sub-par. "Those things you offer have already been promised to me," she said matter-of-factly, her nose turned prudishly upward, "and when my wounds have healed and I have completed my unfinished business in Umbra, I shall be back to claim them." With a glance toward the door, she could see vague movement outside the shutters. "Captain Fowler," Rou interrupted herself, loud enough to be heard through the closed hospital room door, recognizing the pacing of the old man that hadn't changed from on deck to the hospital wing. He entered quickly, his hat in his hands, his mustache and beard looking grayer than she remembered it. He bowed his head to the An'She, but said nothing. "Make preparations to fare us and the crew back to Umbra, as quickly as you can." Saving one last glance for Roen, she was aplomb with a smug grin and a tart wink of her left eye. "And you can escort the Devil out. I'm done with him... for the moment. Thanks for the flowers."
  12. 12 in a call center today. At least 75% of the calls today were troubleshooting old, computer-illiterate people through creating an account and signing in so they could buy stuff. Whatever "genius" thought adding a "Whoops! Something went wrong, call this number..." message when everything's self-service should be SHOT. Also, I am the Oprah of bonus points. EVERYONE gets bonus points.
  13. Am I still the best damned writer in this community if I'm also the laziest?

    1. Roen


      I've you beat in both departments.