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Narcissa

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Narcissa last won the day on September 12 2015

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About Narcissa

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  1. Wow, if you're gonna call me out like that, at least tag me.
  2. You know, I'm really upset about this change, it's too confusing and there's a lot to be-- Oh, look, the answers to all the questions I had, and contingency plans. Cool.
  3. Rock of ages, we cast the first stone In our cages, we know not what we do Indecision, here at the crossroads Recognition, tomorrow's come too soon Follow blindly, like lambs to slaughter At the mercy of those who ply the sword As our song wends dead underwater We're forgotten for now and evermore
  4. It felt as if a gale was squalling through House de Castelle, a short burst that made An'She close her eyes and recoil in her chair, careful to clutch her glass where it would not slosh errantly on her clothes. To say her friend's sudden outburst of emotion had caught her by surprise was putting the term lightly-- while Zenahriel's feelings and devotion were undisputed, he rarely showed so much candor, much less worry. Rou's yellow eyes followed his path to the window, seeking solace in the void of expanse that Rou had so often sought, knowing that (much like in her own search) that answers would not find him there. It was an uncomfortable feeling of weightlessness, and yet the weight of a stone in tandem, that sat in the pit of one's stomach and rolled both with turbulence and funeral pace. "Zen," Rou said, avoiding a consoling tone, but one instead that vowed her attention. Carefully placing her glass upon the table, she rose, brushing out the wrinkles in her mediterranean clothes, before joining him at the window. She knew better than to distract him from his distress, as she could discern the truth from his face, from the reserved anguish in the tremble of his wings. So often had he been a rock of emotional stability for her, that Rou found it easier than expected to slip into the role for him, when faced with such a mirrored image. Controlled, she inhaled through her nose, glancing at the tension writ upon Zenahriel's pale features; as she released, she shared in his gaze out the window. In any other situation it might have been beautiful, as it was on crisp mornings fresh with a light frost, but the mood brought with it only a dampened pallor, and a sense of foreboding. "Did she hurt him?" She might have asked, but Rou knew the answer to so obvious a question, her lids narrowing at the landscape, lips pressed into a gaunt line. As much as the emperor's former lover might've once wished to gloat, to be told that she had been at the right of it, age, wisdom, and an affectionate empathy towards her treasured confidante, had steadied her response with a thoughtful pause. Her gaze rolled, as if taking the scenic route before finding Zenahriel's impressive height, with caution. "We knew this would happen," she murmured, "and we both did all we could to prevent it." Rou's reclusive posture subliminally gathered at her stomach, placing her hand flat over her abdomen. Guilt bubbled beneath the surface, though was subdued by a hard swallow. There was no correcting her imperfections, no heeding of Zenahriel's counsel, that could deflect the Emperor from his designs. "All we can do now is..." she trailed off, at a loss for words. There were no schemes, the shade of self-pity had made Rou lazy and listless, as she muddled over his words and found herself fraught for sage advice. "Strength," was the only word that came to mind, as she shared it with Zenahriel. Rou had little and less to go on, as she tried to discern her own meaning at the same time. "I feel it, too. All we can do is show strength, solidarity." Reason, history, all the lessons she had received under Rafael had reinforced that solidarity was the answer, the diplomatic answer. However-- the thought soured on her own lips, unsatisfied, as she felt Zenahriel was, too. Rou pressed her fingers to her lips, her brow rumpling with contemplation as the cogs whizzed and whirred in her head. "But waiting for Rafael to make those changes will be nothing but a sterile effort. If Umbra is decaying, if our liege is decaying," she implored the High Lord, placing her hand upon his arm, "then we need to pave the way." At that moment, the door to the parlor opened, though the servant who commanded it moved only inches inside, in aversion to the light. He stuck to the shadows, cast by the ceiling over nearly a quarter of the floor. "Ah, good." Rou clicked her tongue with a turn, "Fetch my things, we make for court, shortly." She seemed oddly motivated, sharing a look with Zenahriel that hoped to instill him with a bit of vigor. "My Lady Castelle," he said with a curt bow, and an arm folded politely behind his back. "An'She Thaladred for you." Rou looked puzzled, slightly taken aback. Her hair whipped as she looked at the window-- no, she hadn't mistaken it, the sun was still high in the early afternoon. "Now?" Rou asked, exchanging her perplexion with Zenahriel, as she was sure a visit from the councilor of finance confused him just as well. With a wave of her hand, she approved. "Very well, send her in." Rou stood in the rays of the sun from the window, as if it were a rift from the shade. Of all the An'She, Thaladred had been the most combative and snide towards Rou's presence, and so brazen to vaunt in Rou's own domain-- or exile, as the arranged bride still occasionally considered it to be. Whatever tidings brought her were sure to be ill received.
  5. “What are you going to be wearing? For the Feeding tomorrow?” Rou leaned her elbow on the arm of her chair, cushioning her chin in the palm of her hand. "Nothing," she answered apathetically, through her fingers that made her cheeks malleable in her nonchalance. She withdrew her legs onto the seat with her, more out of comfort, before reaching for a wedge of soft cheese with a waxy white rind. "Or rather, not," Rou rambled on, as she decided against the particular parcel of cheese, and replaced it upon her plate, "I won't be in attendance this year." She inhaled sharply, before readjusting her position in the chair, tucking her bare feet underneath her bottom and pushing strands of black hair out of her face. "Now, I know what you're going to say--" the buxom beauty articulated with her hands, splayed as if they were to quell her confidante's concerns, her face sour with an all-too-purposeful deflection of her eyes, "--It's an imperial holiday, I'm expected to be there, I'll incur his wrath. I'm aware of potential consequences." As often as Rou had been defiant of orders, she seemed less petulant, less pretentious; it wasn't her usual brazen arrogance as culprit, evidenced by her tone. The way she sighed was not that of a spoiled child, nor a faint-hearted mouse, but that of a tired soul. She'd slept very little during the nighttime hours, plagued by nightmares and her own contrition. To have fallen so far in so little time, the humiliation awaiting at such an event was little more than she could bear. The dark circles under her eyes were luckily hidden by glamour, though magic could do little to hide her expression. “What is it, Rou? What troubles you?” "More of the same," she lamented willfully, as she'd no energy to bemuse or beguile, no image to preserve in her most trustworthy friend. It had been long since Rou had such a companion to will unto such honesty, though Zenahriel (through no fault of his own) had quickly garnered the trust of the woman who trusted no one. "As far as the court is concerned, I'm still on sabbatical-- I mean, my honeymoon. Not only is it an invitation to laugh at my insurmountable failure," she grimaced with a hiss between her teeth, knowing well that threat of magical or otherwise violent retribution for their words would be disallowed, "but it would be followed by the expectation that I resume council duties. I have yet to prepare new measures for the Human Initiative; a premature return might kill it in it's infancy." Despite all of her personal reasons for avoiding a royal event, Rou still remained some composure to calculate, it seemed. "I know what they're saying about me," Rou said, her eyes finally wandering in Zenahriel's general direction. Her eyebrows were pointed, skeptical, and unamused, drowned by her bitter disposition. The year prior, she had been the so-called belle of this ball, accomplice to the Emperor, himself, seated at his right hand. She was to be touched by no one but him, and yet their hungry stares still invaded her dreams. If she were to attend, it would be without protection-- and worse, she'd have to bow to her replacement-- a fact aptly known between them, yet she would never admit to such a thing aloud. Rou was many things: prideful, chief among them. Whatever punishment Rafael could concoct, Rou could not imagine he would deprive her of what little dignity remained. "Can you blame them?" Rou asked, with a risible and sarcastic tone, cocking her head aside at the High Lord, "The court adores such gossip of royal failure. I can't say I'm remiss to deprive them of the opportunity to mock me to my face." She waved dismissively at the air, brushing off the notion of degradation avoided, before reaching for her crisp white wine and downing it with a less-than-gracious gulp, tipped back into her throat. "No, let them have their gruesome holiday. I want no part in it, nor have I." Rou avoided food despite her presumably empty stomach, and reached for the rest of the bottle of chilled wine. Her hand wobbled slightly as she took it like a goose by the neck, recoiling as it clinked clumsily against her glass, before she refilled hers, then Zenahriel's. Nursing her glass with a more patient hand the second time around, she brooded over the lip of her cup. "How is he?" she asked breathily, the slightest bit of worry upon her face. Rou had asked it nearly every visit of her dear friend, and she gathered that one day Zenahriel might tire of hearing it, though she prayed that day was not today.
  6. Rou had been looking off into the afternoon sun for quite awhile, squinting in a way that put a dry wrinkle in her lower lip as it encroached upon the upper. The afternoon brought with it harsh amber rays, although mildly obscured by thick fir trees, almost brightened through the panes from curtains purposefully drawn back, to let in the light while it lasted. In her time in sabbatical, the sole human An'She had found herself to be quite diurnal, in order to avoid her new husband-- and the duties that came with it. The wards of House Castelle often left her alone, for their aversion to daylight hours and open drapes, though Rou had quite come to prefer it that way. The solace in silence had been both deafening and peaceful, though she'd had one lucky reprieve. "... be wearing?" She only sighed, parting the purse of her lips for but the briefest of moments, still stuck in her gaze of the afternoon's sun. Still high, a few hours yet before descent. "Rou?" Rou shook her head, briefly startled as her attention was gripped away from tepid and blurry daydreams, splotched by the burn of sunlight on the dark back of her eyelids. "Ah," she warbled, nursing a sudden headache with a pinch of her brow between her fingers, "Forgive me, Zen, I'm afraid my mind had wandered off. Come again?" With a few blinks, her vision cleared, looking across the small trestle table at who had become her closest friend of late, the pale, winged High Lord of Genesaris, who'd shared a seat with her upon the Carmine Dominion's An'She council. Even with his dark, iridescent wings close to his back, they still nearly dwarfed the chair he sat in, understandably not built for his kind of grandiosity. Finding it momentarily humorous, Rou chuckled, but offered a second smile by way of apology. She picked at the food that was arranged between them, a spread of fruit, cheese, and dried meats, with a brief selection of small, sweet pastries. He'd been kind enough to bring them, her increasingly often lunch-and-dinner guest, as it had become something of habit between them, of late. Rou had nearly forgotten how nice it had been to share a meal, for how long she'd been accomplice to those who didn't partake. For a High Lord, whom to most seemed wildly unreachable and illustrious, he delighted her with his familiar empathy to play the part of confidante to a friend in need. Ever since she'd been arranged to be married, nearly a month ago, Rou had sought his company and talked for nearly hours on end of her displeasure, though today had seen her oddly quiet. There was no secret as to why. After all, the Feeding was tomorrow. @The Hummingbird
  7. In the same day, I get diagnosed with sciatica for shooting leg pains, AND have to make a midnight trip to the ER for tearing my Achilles’ tendon.

     

    It’s been a real peach of a day.

    1. Twitterpated

      Twitterpated

      Shit. Be safe. Hope everything has otherwise been okay. 

    2. Voldemort

      Voldemort

      That’s awful! 😧

  8. Big changes are coming.

    ehPSQ5s.png

    1. danzilla3

      danzilla3

      waves

      Hi there!

    2. Phase

      Phase

      This is gorgeous art

  9. Narcissa

    Repeat After Me

    "She smiles. It would seem the myths are true.” His jests earned him a scoff and a very pointed glare, as Rou's brow rumpled with displeasure. "Oh, come off it," she hissed, dismissing impropriety, before climbing off of his lap and throwing herself down onto the seat across from him, heavily. She seemed more committed to the idea that this arrangement was an unhappy affair for her, rather than allowing herself a fresh start with the supposed companion assigned to govern the rest of her life. It was woven into the tapestry of Umbra's law, that a man could sign her freedoms away. A woman, much less a human woman, would be ultimately betrayed by this place that she'd dared to call home. Rou was insulted by his observations, as complimentary as he meant them, for she could only feel shame; she was more determined to be simply unhappy, no matter the circumstance, and was awash with guilt as she'd forgotten it for a moment. She looked away, though felt slightly cornered by the way his eyes were on her, perhaps zeroing in on the flush on her cheeks. “Have you done much traveling in the empire? Besides Orisia and the Red City, I mean. Have you been the northern reaches, or the southern outskirts? Have you visited the tribes along the slopes of the Cold Mountains or island peoples along the barriers of Arlais?” He was doing his best to make her comfortable, she knew, however she was determined to keep her temper afoul. Cradling her cheek and jaw against her knuckles, her elbow sought purchase on the carriage's window, the purse in her lip undoubtedly pessimistic. "Some--" she inclined to answer, with a raise of one shapely brow, "--while on the emperor's business. Little outside of that; in the cities, mostly." While the majestic countryside of the Arcane East had not been among her memories, perhaps she should have spent her time enjoying the parts of the territory that she had neglected... though she hadn't felt quite in the mood for sightseeing, now. "I haven't traveled much outside what was required of me as An'She," Rou spoke, as she found new attention in her lap as she threaded her fingers together over her stomach, keen to change the subject, "It suited my objectives to stay... close to home." Rou leaned against the wall of the carriage, loftily brushing aside the curtain with two fingers to peer beyond it. There was little to see in the dark night, however, for her eyes were not so well attuned as her new husband opposite her. "Olives? Is that what I smell?" she asked, catching the peculiar aroma, reminded of fresh vegetables and hot breads as her appetite stirred-- perhaps it had been the recent exertion in the carriage's cabin, or perhaps that she'd neglected to eat in some time, while the day had gotten away from her. "I suppose it'll do," she grumbled, a subverted dispiritedness in her voice. Trading a life in the limelight for a homely existence in the country, it was hard to feel like it wasn't a demotion. While she'd been unsuccessful in claiming power in title beside Rafael, she was a persistent presence at court, and had a grand sort of infamy as he was often known to bend the rules for her. Rou could hardly decide which was worse-- that her line of threats at the An'She council would no longer hold any weight... or that Rafael might still seek her out away from her husband when he tired of Gabriela's immaturity. She did not voice her concerns, but worry was present upon her face. Luckily, she was spared of his gaze as he talked of his late wife, and her curiosity allowed her eyes to wander back to her new husband. She remained quiet, though whether it was out of respect or awkward discomfort was anybody's guess. The gold in her eyes flashed as they darted to his wrist, watching as he fiddled with his bracelet. Proper as though his tone would suggest, it was the cultured and restrained voice of a lifetime of ingrained stature, but his eyes confessed the longing for a woman gone. How could he not? Rou had been gone from Rafael's side for all of a few hours, and she was positively bereft. The comparison in her head made her feel guilty, shameful, as if an impostor. He might not have died, but a part of her certainly had. The grip of impending doom appeared to be tightening invisibly around her pretty throat. Abnormalities. Defects. Rou's lips had squeezed into a thin, single line, her jaw clenched tight. He talked of it so clinically, and while that might have been the most courteous way to broach the subject, there was no sugar-coating the callous nature of how women and humans were considered-- hardly better than cattle, property to be owned. A dog had more freedoms than she did, and was probably adored better. She heard his words of compliment, though Rou found her gaze sitting heavily in her lap. She'd wanted to shout, scream, blaspheme to the heavens of injustice done, though there lingered an innate feeling of deserving, a foul plague of doubt that she had somehow brought this upon herself. How much fault had lied in her ambition? How had she both failed to be the exception to the rule, yet succeed as the favored plaything of the emperor? Her life appeared to dawn as the light at the end of the tunnel, speeding towards her, unable to stop. There was nothing else beyond it but stasis. Her hands trembled slightly in her lap, as did her lower lip quaver, though a lumped swallow helped to steel it. Marriage, power, compliments, they all felt both empty and damning. "Does that bother you?" Wresting her eyes from her lap, Rou was caught almost dumbfounded in the first honest look she'd paid to Dominique. This was it. There was nothing left. This was what her life would be, sitting across from this stranger, as his. His wife, his property. There was pain, longing, and perhaps in time it would dull. But for now, it pierced her heart, burned, scarred in turmoil. In obsession, she'd scratch at the scabs in insistence that they bleed, over everything and everyone. She would wipe the walls with her blood, scream with an agony for a fate that could not be salvaged, blunder disparagingly through the mess she had made. The punishment was eternal, a life sentence. And when she was dead, Sitra Ahkra awaited. It was strange, how the thought of it used to bring her comfort, and now it terrified her of both life and death. Deep down, she knew it wasn't Dominique's fault. However, she could do little to accept it. Casting her hand over the bridge of her nose, she shielded her eyes and sat back against her seat. She appeared cloistered in her own darkness, her walls raised high, a fortress that she would not see invaders --as handsome or supposed husband as they may be-- penetrate. For now, she was determined to live in her pain. "Take me home," she whispered, neglecting to answer his question with purpose. "Please." @King
  10. i see you point GIF by Shalita Grant

    Bish, I see you lookin’

  11. Narcissa

    Repeat After Me

    Magestorms earlier in the season had made winter last nearly an unbearable lifetime, the chill on the air manifesting in a small littering of snow, as if to boast it was there to stay. It obscured the waxing moon, though it's bright glow illuminated the clouds with a purple-pearlescent hue, just light enough for the An'She's party to travel by night. Once again bound to her carriage, Rou was to make one more unexpected trip that night, escorted by a small retinue of guards bearing the banners of the crown of the Carmine Dominion, and Fowler, a trusted captain of the Imperial Navy. Brooding inside, the An'She was starting to feel like a doll in a box, waiting for some spoiled child to open it up and neglect her. In a very short time, it seemed, she'd learned to be remiss in thinking otherwise. With a small lantern balanced on the opposite seat, her hands were juggled between the tasks of holding a mirror, and sculpting foundation across her neck. Blotting and dabbing, Rou swept at her throat with the brush, angling her chin upward to peer at the strokes-- an attempt to artfully hide the crescent scars of nails and minor bruising that Rafael had so painfully given her as a parting gift. Out of the corner of her eye, she witnessed the deep indent of her tithing scar, and felt her heart sink into her stomach in disgust. It was hard to concentrate on the task at hand with the constant taste of bile in her mouth. As her carriage rolled to a stop, Rou was too impatient to wait for her footmen at the door, and thrust it open herself, nearly leaping down the steps, her heels crunching on the fallen leaves frozen by the hoarfrost. They still appeared to be on the path shrouded by the woodlands, a ways outside Umbra proper and into the more remote hills on the cliffsides in the northeast. With no house or home in sight, a dreadful thought made Rou wonder just how far Rafael was willing to go to remove her; it would've been silly to have painted her neck for an assassination. Hiding her nerves, she plied her hand to her throat, and watched as Fowler rounded his mare. "Fowler?" she inquired, though she dug deep for an air of authority in her tone. "Th' edge o' Castellan land, m'lady," he answered her implicit question, before snapping his fingers to direct the footmen. Groaning for the soreness in his hips as he dismounted, Fowler was starting to feel the gray of his age. As the footmen brought Rou her cloak, he helped shroud it around her shoulders, to keep her warm in the chill. "They've called me back ou' to duty, in service of his majesty," he said in his usual gruff tone, though the falling of his eyes conveyed a deep regret that he was too loyal to the crown to admit, "Aft this is o'er, I must leave ye." Rou's breath misted in the cool air, and her own gaze fell, not one to burden Fowler with her grief at such news. She knew precisely where his loyalties lied, and considering all he'd done for her, Rou would not do him the disservice of letting her selfishness jeopardize that. Managing a forced smile, the An'She placed a gentle hand upon his shoulder. "I hope you are as a comfort to him as you have been to me, Fowler; I've known no better nor honorable man than you," she answered with a rare token of honesty, as hard as it was for her to let him go. He'd been a fatherly sort of comfort in her life, and with not too many influences considering her well being, he'd become a welcome addition in her life. In an attempt at levity, she shrugged, in the hopes of lifting his spirits. "Besides, I'm still a citizen of Umbra, despite this... arrangement." Rou looked off into the path, though not even the moon was bright enough to illuminate it, leaving her and her party of soldiers to wait in the dark. Reaching into his coat, Fowler dipped deep inside his pocket, and withdrew something he placed into Rou's hands-- a candle, long and pristine, the wax a deep ruby red. The wick was so far untouched, as Rou made to wave her hand over it. "No' yet, m'lady," he said, cautioning Rou with his hands to lower hers, and gave her pause. "The vampyres of old 're very particular; very bound to tradition. We wait on th' edge o' his land for him to light your candle wi' his own." Shifting her eyes down to the candle, she scoffed at the irony. "Lighting the path, as it were." She sighed, switching her weight from one foot to the other-- anything to distract her from the tedium that was waiting. Terrible had been Rafael doling out her fate not an hour ago, but worse still was waiting for the judgement to come. It felt like a knife in her back, and eventually, someone would be there to twist it out. "A symbol o' his protection, m'lady. A deed in action that conveys the acceptance of terms." Fowler fumbled with his words slightly, knowing Rou not to be fond of the idea that her livelihood was being turned into a transaction, though she seemed to have been handling it well. Fowler feared that this forest would've been a bonfire, though his current ward was seeming to take a more level-headed approach. "There was some talk o' presentin' ye in th' customary white gown, though 'is highness hadnae thought that a prudent idea." Rou seemed puzzled, and squinted her eyes at him, conveying her uncertainty. "Don't most brides wear white, Fowler?" Fowler inhaled sharply, and seemed to dance around his words. "Aye, they do, in the chance a human bride is given t' a vampyre. Custom would have ye in white t' show the blood as yer husband takes 'is first tithing," he said, pointing at his neck to emphasize his point, but still refused to look Rou in the eye. "They would, but yer not a... a..." With all the frustration mounted for the evening, Rou had lost her patience, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth. "Oh, spit it out, Fowler." "A virgin, m'lady." Rou froze, and it seemed Fowler did the same, disconnected from eye contact as an awkward silence rose between the two. Clutching the candle, Rou tensed and mulled her lips together tightly. After some time, she stupidly opened her mouth. "Oh." No, certainly not. "M'lady, the House of Castelle comes." @King
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