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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble


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About Narcissa

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  1. I legit almost killed Roen with strawberries. True story.
  2. There's no more Talk 2 Carlos now that I actually have a funny conversation to post. Me: I killed you last night, by accident. Ty: Oh? Me: I bought Sims 4 because it was on sale. For some reason, I made me and you. Ty: Some reason? We know the reason. But why did you kill me? ;-; Me: I tested out the "hysterical" cheat and I told you a dirty joke that made you laugh so hard that you died. Ty: LOOL Me: It even gave me the option to seduce the Grim Reaper into sparing you. It did NOT work. Ty: Damn. Well, that's unfortunate. At least it was a funny joke. Me: Sexy enough for you, but apparently not enough for Death. And here's the kicker I made your Sim propose to mine about 30 seconds before you died. My Sim had never been so happy and so sad at the same time. Ty: Aw. Poor girl. My condolences. I trust they spent a night together, at least once. Me: Pffft. Once, he says. We woo-hooed and then I boo-hooed.
  3. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei Deiter's flirtatious gestures took a turn more authoritative as he swept the An'She behind him with a protective arm, asserting his protection over her. It was a well-meant gesture on the crown prince's behalf, though it earned a widened eye, a pursed lip, and an ireful glare from it's recipient. Little did he know, the woman of his affections had a rather torrid past when it came to accepting masculine acts of chivalry. Old habits died hard, as a subtle nasal grunt insisted that she was capable of looking after herself. Rou watched the proceeding in the middle of the reception hall from over the plate of his bicep. From amidst the growing swarm of Inquisitors, she caught a similar gaze from Raphael, a warning, his eyes pooled so red that they'd gone nearly black. Something was amiss to prompt the guards, though none in the ballroom knew quite what, though its severity grew far beyond tense. Though the anti-magic barrier set around Kadia might have prevented Rou from ever creating a spark of magic, she could feel the surge of power that swelled within the room: it was a human's sixth sense, sometimes as minor as a foreboding feeling, and in others as a heightened spirit awareness. Spiritual energy was gathering, and unlike the garden where so many souls swelled as their eternal resting place, this energy tremored with ill-intent. However, there were too many guests all in one place to narrow it down to one source. Rou's gaze traveled up Deiter's side, and her hand squeezed urgently at the plate of his arm. "Deiter, do something," she implored at his side in a whisper, as she could hardly make out the thickening banter between the Inquisitor General, Altair, and the implicitly growing displeasure Raphael was keen to guise for the sake of alliance. Her leige was playing his part in whatever ridiculous pomp and circumstance this was, though as Rou played the part of Ambassador between Umbra and Kadia, the strength of their alliance was thinning off a razor's edge. The An'She had spent much time with Raphael, and while he was obviously put off by whatever situation had him paraded out in such a manner, it was obvious that Altair's impertinent mouth was doing little to improve the situation; a good deal of Kadians were known to include themselves in their Emperor's distrust of non-humans, though the Inquisitor General seemed obviously more profane in his prejudices. The growing tension increased Rou's worry, for the alliance had barely been forged before she felt it might meet an abrupt end, and she hadn't even all the details. Again, she beseeched Deiter. "I know this is your father's wedding... but he is still Emperor. And the affairs of an allied Emperor demand his immediate attention." With so many separate parties and affairs, someone had to have their head on straight. Offenses from one Empire to another usually weren't settled with simple apologies, and Rou wanted to prevent any irreversible damage. Flashing a pertinent yellow glare at the crown prince from his side, Rou pressed for urgency. "If you don't, I most certainly will."
  4. Let's Be Valucrean Villains!

    Your villainous party is lacking in boobs.
  5. Loyalties Lied

    Never one to make a quiet entrance, Rou was sure Roen had heard his own name a dozen and a half times at least by the citizens below, looking over the destruction for fear of his temperament. It saved the Buxom Bandit the effort of doing it herself, finding him oft to the call like some Beetleguise creature, knowing that his pride ran too thick to resist. He stood in the wake of her destruction, pelted by the wind that disturbed his hair and jacket, he only seemed to admire the job until it deprived him of the sound of his own voice. Rou's head snapped towards him when the wall instantly repaired itself-- one moment it was gone, the next replaced, in a single instant. 'Huh, that's new,' she thought, as even her own recent study in magic wasn't keen enough to catch the spell. All that remained was the small trace of magic on the wall, like a scent, evidence that magic had been done there. Halfway through his list of infractions, Rou held up a hand to her mouth to hide a yawn, before crossing both arms beneath her chest. "Oh, come now," she bantered with a lofty grin, "I couldn't have committed all of those just in this country." Roen took his time circulating the room to get to her, as if he seemed to be verifying that all were as he'd left it-- with good reason. Rou's sticky fingers had likely been all over his affects, before they'd found something satisfactorily shiny and expensive. Needless to say, his effects that were ordained to more unpleasant company now laid at the foot of the Lore Spire, his bed, included. As he drew close, she watched him with a hooded gaze, deepened and darkened by the painted cosmetic lines, with lashes that fluttered when she deigned to blink. His roundabout path seemed less to stalk and more to stall; if he'd meant to intimidate her, Rou's intense glance was enough to prove she was not afraid. She drank in the smell of him when he reached for her, the familiar scent that she used to bathe in when burying herself in the nook of his neck, when she'd found herself in the intimacy of his kiss, or the wanton throes of sex. He could impose no greater cruelty than to be near her, so freshly reminded of her desire, only to recall and continue them to be unfulfilled. She was not afraid, no. She was heartbroken. "There's only one law that matters in the Black City, though. Do you know what it is?" As he tried to frame her chin and jaw with his fingers, Rou indulged in the touch for only a moment, his warmth seeping into her skin and met with her own. A cocking nudge of her chin would see it free, doubly knocked away by the coming wave of her hand, which only managed to touch by wrists to see he would not resume it. Again, she resumed that teasing grin, chastising him without reproach. Rou wasn't in the mood to be deceived by his seldom compassionate touch, or the soft turn taken to his brow; she knew where his true loyalties lied. "There is no justice other than the King's justice?" she chaffed him, though in all serious had plied him with an applicable answer. Whether Rou was right or no, even a tender touch couldn't disguise that Roen's greatest desire at this moment was likely wishing to knock that cheshire grin right off of her face and onto the floor. "You know where I was," Rou answered petulantly, not giving him the satisfaction. "Were you were worried about me?" Rou had been made to swallow a harsh dose of reality the last time they'd met, and she realized that the Devil was a figure unmovable in his convictions. He ached and grieved in her presence last, for a woman he'd thought to be dead... and Rou knew Roen better than to think he'd move on after she'd come to be found alive. All else seemed to matter naught to the Devil, Rou least of all. When was the last time he cared about her other than to assure she was under his thrall?
  6. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Aleksei @Alexei @King Rou had known better than to challenge royals on their policy, used to dealing with much-more-pompous men much-more-delicately. Though Deiter had metaphorically stroked her fur the wrong way, he hadn't seemed offended when she quipped back about this and that, and seemingly, encouraged her further. Rou wore a half-cocked smile that proved an appealing curve to her ruby-red painted lips, amused, but to the keen eye alluded to pure intrigue. Having come to know more than her fair share of royal brood, she was emboldened by his challenge for more, and he didn't shy away from her assumptions, and combated with his own. For their first tête-à-tête, they'd come to a peaceful tie. "I should enjoy the prospect of speaking further on Kadia's policy, your Grace," she agreed, her head tilted as she looked back over her shoulder at Deiter, "For there are certain laws yours and Umbra share which I'd like to debate at length. Some are, so to speak, lacking a woman's best interest." She knew all too well that look of lust in his eye as he repaid her token of touch in kind, grazing a metal-clad hand just beneath her chin. Pleased that the Queen liked her rather racy gift, Rou hid a few chuckles behind a fair hand, held to her lips. Leoa was a ravishing woman, and despite Rou's usual pettiness and envy that led to seldom making friends of her own gender, she found the Empress positively charming. Hers was a beauty that was incomparable to herself: with lips pink as the pink hydrangeas in the garden outside, and likely just as soft; skin that was fair like milk, save for the blemish of a few charming freckles and the starlit curse of her arms, though no one feared them; and with long flaxen hair that put the highest karat gold to shame. But it was her eyes, Rou could tell from the way Corvin's gaze was alerted to them in the moments where Leoa's gaze shifted, it was her eyes that looked into his soul, found his darkness, only to embrace it in her cosmic arms and rest on her ample bosom. For the time being, Rou found her gaze admittedly attached to the latter. Comparatively, Rou looked down, and adjusted her dress. “Rou, I request you have dinner with us tomorrow evening, I believe there is much to discuss between our two nations. I also think it would help your diplomatic position to do so.” Rou shook her head briefly to dissipate the daydream from her mind's eye, clinging to the words of invitation from Corvinus. Her cheeks briefly reddened, though it hadn't seemed too apparent-- nor was the clutching of her thighs beneath her dress, she'd hoped. For that brief moment, she was glad Raphael hadn't been in the room; he was too like a bloodhound for pheromones nigh invisible to the mortal nose, and she'd never hear the end of it. Surprised more than a little by the direct request, Rou cleared her throat to gather her wits before answering. "On behalf of both my country and myself, I would be most honored, your Majesty," she responded politely, and dipped in curtsy with a deep nod. To hide what was left of her embarrassment, Rou made a quick effort to catch a passing busboy holding a tray of wine, so she might blame the redness on the liquor. They'd proceeded in chatter in favor of the joust, Rou having counted herself lucky that the Empress was not too afraid of horses to witness the equine-saddled sport. Presumptively, Rou gathered that Leoa might've even fancied these events-- if she watched them for the accidents, that is. Despite how she might've wished to return to Umbra, the idea of playing guest to the Kadian Royal family seemed a fair vacation, especially with how distanced Raphael had become after her sleight at sea... home was now just a big, empty mansion with no one in it. An invitation to dinner would give her the perfect opportunity to represent Umbra to Corvinus; when she'd heard the rumors of his staunch abhorrence to non-humans, it had hardly seemed like the man she shared the battlefield with years ago, and had never imagined him as intolerant as his reputation preceeded. With any luck, she'd have a hand in strengthening the alliance between their nations. Rou's true intrigue, however, was bound to Leoa, whom she would have to press (with all caution) for her feelings on the Black Queen... the An'She gathered they aligned quite closely in their feelings for Raphael's wife. Leoa had proved herself to be a powerful entity in her own right, a leader worth looking up to, and a mage whose powers Rou would care to learn from. It could only be done, however, if she could avoid the temptation of giving in to Deiter's lustful stares all evening. "I've told my husband that on the birth of our next child we shall hold a tourney! I've never been entertained by one before, as they're an unnecessary sort of thing in Renovatio." Rou nearly spluttered in her drink. "Another, your Ladyship?!" she asked, not a little disheveled. Leoa certainly wasn't near the end of her birthing ability in age, but the thought of procreating well into the double-digits nearly made Rou's head spin. Miscarrying one half-formed spawn had been painful enough, and she had been warned that birthing pains were far worse, and lasted longer. While Rou certainly bore the physique for a child-bearing woman and certainly didn't fear pain, she found it impossible to imagine herself in a matronly role-- it seemed like a crime sentence: dutiful and demure wife, to keep and care for a household with a babe on her hip, younglings running this way and that... Where was her identity in a life like that? What right did a law have to claim her body? And beyond that, in her scarred womb, would she even be able to? When Corvinus made to excuse him and his wife, Rou bid them both a silent leave until their next meeting, resuming her place next to Deiter and finding her way towards the bottom of her wine glass. They'd both seemed captured by the profession of Corvinus' love to his wife, and within the following moments, the doors burst open, making for a parade of the most beautiful flowers Rou had ever seen. It seemed such a grand gesture, as no one in the ballroom had missed it, least of all Leoa, who was nearly in lovesick, lovely tears. While she hadn't known Corvinus for more than a particular slice of his life, it was certainly the happiest she'd ever seen him. "Your parents truly have something special, Deiter," Rou murmured, avoiding depression with her drink so that she might distort the all-too-clear faces in her memories. "And lucky for them, they have an eternity to share their legacy. You, your brothers and sisters, the children all of you have, no one will forget the cherished love of Corvinus and Leoa. More than any gift I can give them, I truthfully hope theirs will last." At that moment, Rou finally came to envy Leoa, but it was not the seething, burning hatred that came from her envy's design. It was a sadness, a longing, that while Leoa's life was so starkly opposite to hers, that Rou questioned if she wanted it for herself. Her hand absent-mindedly covered her belly, wondering if she was truly missing something in this life. It was such a sweet moment, with all eyes turned to the happy couple, and the An'She turned to her companion. "Deiter, do you plan to--" she started in mild chattiness, though it was interrupted by the marching of armored footsteps was heard encroaching on the corridor. The parade of flowers had suddenly become a parade of Inquisitors in armor, finally made its way into the ballroom, Raphael poised at the head. Rou's head swiveled, as she held onto Deiter's arm with anxiety, it obviously wrought upon her face. The guards, while following her liege, also appeared to be detaining him. Concerned, Rou flashed a look at the prince, and then back to the Inquisitors. "What is the meaning of this?"
  7. [Ravenspire] Rendezvous.

    "That you did," Rou answered toward his promise, meeting him halfway to fetch the glass with a lean, dragging the unfortunate maid with her. Ignoring the annoyed grunting of the maid who resumed brushing (albeit wrangling her long tresses a little forcefully), she swirled the red malbec around the glass like a whirlpool, taking in its floral aroma. She balanced it delicately as the wet-haired An'She was pulled by the scalp, the usual morning's tormentous routine for the sake of beauty-- no doubt with so many sisters, it wouldn't be the first time he'd been privy to the female preening process. "To Kadia and Umbra," she toasted back with a raise of her glass and an arch of her brow, "and the fortuitous opportunity it has provided us both." Rou quickly found it hard to enjoy the subtle sweetness with the maid at her back, effectively sloshing her drink with each pull of the bristles. "That's enough; just arrange it in a ponytail for me, and you may be excused," she ordained authoritatively; she hadn't been born into the sort of privilege that gave orders, though it was certainly a hat the An'She wore well, now that she'd earned it. The maid seemed relieved, making quick work of the task she was bid; gathering up the dishes she'd set aside, she curtsied to both her charge and the Prince before leaving them to skitter off to the kitchens. Finally able to enjoy her wine in peace, Rou closed her eyes as she took a frugal sip of the malbec, contemplating it awhile, deep and dry. "You should consider yourself proud, your Grace," she said finally, licking her lips and dipping her chin in a reverential nod. Obviously satisfied, her gaze found the Prince over the rim of her glass as she went for another fair sip, "It is a marvel." His choice had obviously pleased her, as she made moderately quick work of the glass and returned it to him to fill again. It had been so long since she'd had the pleasure of a red that wasn't a foul Orisian, as was favored by the allegedly tasteless East Genesarian populace, and wasn't going to let the opportunity for a more refreshing and sweet palette to go to waste. "You wouldn't like me very much at cards or dice, I'm afraid," she commented slyly as he tended to her glass; Rou proved not to be shy about most things-- her liquor, included. However, her half-cocked smile hid her true reasons as she indulged in her second glass of wine, "...because I don't even need sleeves as long as this to cheat." The Buxom Bandit had spent a great deal of time in the taverns and inns during her prime, and Rou could make a deck of cards do whatever she wanted, and charmed dice like a pair of snakes. Too many victims found themselves signing away their life savings across from her in a hand of cards... whether they slid it coin by coin across the table to her, or unsuspectingly invited her back to their room on a drunken winner's high, only to find their valuables stolen by dawn. "I make quite the sore loser," she humored him with a feminine, sweet smile, Deiter seemingly unalerted to the dark thoughts beneath, with how often he cared to wink at her. "You do write in the common tongue, do you not?" Rou asked as she delved into the box, withdrawing a number of enamel pieces and sliding them across to Deiter, and collecting an assortment for herself. Each white square tile was perfectly polished and shiny, with a dark letter carved in ink upon the center of its face. "Since you're a virgin to the game," she said, glancing up at him keenly before returning to the tokens, "We'll play with the easiest rules. Players begin with ten tokens, a different letter upon each. Every turn you draw three new tokens--" she held up three fingers, and with a flamboyant snap, exchanged it for one-- "and you may exchange one for a letter you wish, should you need to. The longer word you create, the more points you get; once a player has used all their tiles, you earn fifty points to add to your score, and the game is over." Rou started to peruse her own tiles, sliding them across the surface of the table as she tested out combinations, not taking her eyes off them as she paused for a sip of wine. "The gimmick of the game is to intersect the new word with a letter from the previous word played." "Fair enough?" she propositioned him with a lift of her glass, the keen challenge in place. "Ladies first?" After fetching three new ones to her assortment, the tiles softly scraped at the wood table surface as she slid them into place, displaying the word CORSET in front of him. "That's six points for me; now you must create a word that intersects with mine." Rou's yellow eyes watched him carefully over the rim of her glass, silent and half-hidden in the glass of malbec.
  8. <3

  9. [Ravenspire] Rendezvous.

    The knock went unanswered for a few moments, but there was an unintelligible, muffled rustling behind the great mahogany door that alluded to presence. "See who it is, then," was the only comprehensible phrase to be made out of the seeming ruckus, as it appeared the Duke's intended guest wasn't alone. After some time, the heavy setting finally creaked open, meekly, by a short blonde maid in uniform-- she appeared hesitant, if not a little startled. "Prince Deiter has come to call, my lady..." the docile lady explained mildly, the door swinging open a bit more due to it's gravity. The chambers were impressive, as the Empire of Kadia's guest, the An'She of Umbra had been treated with the utmost respect. A four-poster bed was draped with silk banners and covered with fresh down comforters, already neatly folded as if their guest had hardly even slept in them. A small fireplace opposite the bed was crackling nicely, tended with kindling that filled the room with the scent of pine, to offset the chilling weather of the southern island, farther even past the Cold South of Genesaris. The door to the luxurious bathroom was open, steam escaping and clouding near the ceiling of her chambers, evidence that the bath had just been used-- it threatened to make the room slightly humid, yet the dryness of the fireplace overpowered it. Furniture was scattered sparsely throughout the room, effectively making the quarters like a miniature home. Banners and weapons hung from the walls, all decorated with the colors and emblem of Kadia's regime, as if not to let those within forget where they resided. From behind an artistic folding screen that bore designs similar to the rest of the room, Rou peered out from behind it to confirm her visitor. From what little view was afforded him, he could see that her hair was wet, clinging to bare shoulders and the rest tumbling damply toward the floor. From the way the maid at the door nearly shrieked, it was clear that she had just come from the bath, and had not yet finished dressing, and even that minimal show of skin was likely inappropriate. "Your Grace, I had not expected you, today," Rou greeted him with a tilted smile and arched brow, prolonging the view of her unclothed shoulder and collarbone with naught but a partition to hide the rest of her, despite the maid's protests. "Have a seat, won't you? I'll be with you in but a moment," she offered, pointing to a small table by the fire that sported the remains of her breakfast and a wooden box, cornered oppositely by two elegant, upholstered chairs. The maid at the doorway bowed and ushered the Prince in so that she might close the door, skittering ahead of him to pull out his chair for him to be seated where the An'She had directed. With a huff, the maid had shooed Rou behind the screen, and while disapproving of her charge's comfort with nudity, she made no arguments. Giving in to the fussing of the Kadian maid, Rou proceeded with her dressing behind the screen, the semblance of the shadow outlining her silhouette as she was helped into a skirt, buttoned up into a dress, and slipped on boots and gloves. Finally to the maid's and propriety's satisfaction, Rou appeared whole. "It took nearly a week for my wardrobe for this weather to arrive," Rou mentioned offhandedly, holding out the ends of her skirts to admire the fashions as she passed by a full-length mirror; having taken up on Corvinus' request that she extend her stay in Kadia, the An'She found herself ill-equipped for the cold. Kadia's chilly weather seeped in at the dawn and chilled to the bone for the day and dropped to freezing lows at nigh-- most of its residents were prepared with wools and fur stoles natural to the climate, but Umbra had been of much fairer conditions, and Rou's few packed garments left her unprepared. She'd spent most days wrapped in front of the fire or pruning in the baths, smothering herself in pelts at night to keep from the cold. Rich, velour velvets like that of her blood red dress underneath were too heavy for the court of Umbra save for when the snows came, complimented by a grey wool button-up overdress and red fingerless gloves. Giving a twirl for Deiter to likewise admire it, she flashed him a sarcastic smile, "If I had to go another day, I thought I'd simply freeze to death." Leoa and Deiter's siblings had done what they could to offer Rou garments to keep her warm, though they hadn't quite fit for her more voluptuous proportions-- chests burst at the seams and backsides proved to thin to wriggle into; only the cold ever made Rou curse her own tits and ass. Sauntering over to the table with a curious look, her gaze perused his ferried gifts: glasses and not one, but two, bottles of wine; the man came with options. "Having a picnic, are we?" she jested playfully, taking the seat opposite him and gathering her wet hair into a rolled ponytail that tumbled down her shoulder, "I'm afraid you've forgotten your basket, Your Grace." The maid came to whisk away the dirty plates quickly from between them, and made a stretch of her arm to take the wooden box, though Rou held up a halting gesture. "Leave it," she commanded, and Rou fetched it for herself. Flipping open the top, it was filled with enamel tiles with letters written upon them, in the common tongue's alphabet. "A game, of which I often like to play at home with my two attendants. My keeper of the house, Beatrice, sent this along with my things, thinking that I might like to occupy my time with it." She perused through a few of the tiles, before letting out a sigh and discarding them back into the box. "Alas, it is a game of words--" she paused, as she directed a glance at the back of the busied, simple maid; Rou held up a hand to shield her whispers meant for Deiter, "--and my only company can't fathom one more than three letters long. Not exactly a challenge." Either unbothered by her comments or simply just keeping her nose in her own business, the maid went from one task to the next, her dishes ready to be brought to the main hall, but she had to first take care of her charge's hair. Fetching a hairbrush from the vanity, she waited for the approving nod from Rou before taking on the brushing of her long, sable hair, careful not to let her hair dampen the back of her wool overdress. "Do not stare at me so," Rou cautioned, knowing that Deiter's eyes were on her, though the half-smile told the truth that she hadn't been offended-- it had been more to spare herself the red blush in her cheeks. Straightening her back, she put one knee over the other beneath her layers of skirts, folding her hands atop her knee, a proper and intrigued posture. "Tell me, what are we toasting?"
  10. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei @Aleksei Out of the many colloquialisms in conversation of the Buxom Bandit's past, it was as if she could smell gold and power from nearly a mile away; however, it appeared her tracking nose had failed her. Diverted by one title, Valucre's most notorious gold digger had missed the potential for the literal gold mine she'd been standing on-- though with the obvious way he was fawning over her, it wasn't as if she'd missed the opportunity. While circumstance would generally dictate that the coquettish, curvaceous An'She dial the flirtation up to eleven, her pride was a bit bruised by the proverbial wool drawn over her eyes. Clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth, she shifted her weight from one side to the other, crossing her arms beneath her chest-- a tell-tale sign of defense of one who didn't like to lose. "And I suppose that would happen to make you Crown Prince, now wouldn't it, your Grace?" she asked in a light, shrewd tone, one of her sharply-sculpted eyebrows arched high. Her expression shifted slightly, as if her strings were strummed the wrong way, a word bastardized by it's oft incorrect use and now a pet peeve to the bandit. "Freedom is a precarious notion; best not to mistake it for privilege." Subtly in their crossed position, Rou rubbed her thumbs across her opposite wrists, circling the now nearly-invisible scars. Not so long ago she'd had the same juvenile talk of freedom with Umbra's would-be Empress, fancying herself a caged O'o to sing forever in a gilded cage. "Even when bound by duty, are we not all subject to choice? If the heart desires due diligence, then that is as much the freedom you describe." Deiter seemed a man of many accomplishments and lands and privileges, and while he was a trusted warrior, he had yet to prove that he wasn't spoiled by all that was his birthright. To fashion the technologies aboard great airships, to serve as second in command to Corvinus' army in Elwood, to be in possessions of grand wine orchards; what parts had Deiter earned, or likewise been given? Even as no one had dared utter the word bastard in their midst, the Kadian court appeared to accept him without prejudice. Realizing that she'd spoken errantly and with unbecoming attitude, Rou cleared her throat and smoothed out the wrinkles across the stomach of her tight black gown. "Forgive me, your Graces, I spoke without thought," she apologized curtly, and for the moment strictly avoided Deiter's gaze, choosing instead to defer to Leoa. "Your gift?" Jubilant that Leoa had found joy in the array of sapphires and blue diamonds, Rou clapped her hands together delightedly. "They've been the most popular fad among the highborn ladies in Terrenus, of late," she explained, in short reminisce of her journey in disguise as the famed artiste Narcissa Nahara; "I had the good fortune of following a troupe of the most talented and exotic belly dancers that passed through Last Chance and Weland; they'd all been so infatuated by the performance that they all had to have their own-- when one is a proper mistress and mother of the house by day, they often forget the pleasures of a woman and wife needed by night. Anything to make true their fantasies." Pre-emptively cautioning the Empress of Kadia as she lifted the pieces to her ears, Rou gestured for her to pause with an aloft hand. "Oh, no, Majesty, they're not earrings. Those are for your..." she paused, only to lean in to Leoa's ear, shielding her intimate whisper with the cover of her hand. It appeared that the highborn ladies of Terrenus had made request of the jewelry artist to indulge in secretly perverse fantasies, and even Rou herself stole a glance down at the Empress' impressive cleavage. Privately, she could understand why Raphael was so instantly smitten. As if he'd spotted the nature of Rou's distraction, Corvinus chose that as the appropriate time to join them. "Corvinus," Rou greeted him with a wide smile and obvious pleasure, leaving titles by the wayside for this one token reunion. He made to solemnly stand and simply bow his head in greeting, though Rou offered her arm and the gesture demanded his-- a warriors' and comrades' greeting, clasping hand around forearm in a firm shake. It was perhaps a bit masculine of the An'She to do so, though she was as deadly in that dress as she was in armor. It had been a few years, and just as Rou had blossomed into a maturing woman, Corvinus too had aged-- but it seemed the toll had taken quite more out of him. Not nearly gray, Corvinus had hard lines worn into his face that she hadn't remembered, evidence of the trials that led up to pre-ascension. "I am glad to see you too-- and so accomplished! Loyal kingdom, gorgeous wife, a litter of children; you've done quite well for yourself." More introductions came and went, the brief presentation of Julius and Rosalind, to whom Rou greeted with a polite, dipping curtsy, before they were off at the behest of their Empress. "Oh?" Rou asked with a titled grin, her neck swiveling as she'd laid her amber gaze upon Deiter. His stepfather, in his deadpan candor, had seemingly sold him out, though the notion was hardly a surprise. With the way the Prince careened over her, seduced by the aroma of her hair and perfume, stole glances at her bosom and figure at the privilege of his height, it was all but obvious-- though had Rou not plied him with wanton grins, retained just enough intimate space to bring them both close enough together to ignite, but just far enough away to drive a man mad with frustration? Placing her hand over the supple line of her cleavage, Rou scoffed facetiously, though it was obvious that she was less than appalled, play-acting with her smug grin. "And here I thought his Grace was just playing the part of perfect host. He made no such mention of it, Corvinus." In a way, Corvinus had been an unwitting support in their little game, albeit on Rou's side-- admitting his desires would declare a winner in their contest, when sexual tension gave way to clear meaning. "If that's how you feel," Rou purred with particular emphasis on the first word, sauntering a step towards him with hips that swayed in a way that made her whole body move like a cobra, she hooked a finger into the gorget at his neck. With a slow, demanding pull she brought him down to her height, so that her low, sultry gaze might find him more easily-- their noses less than an inch from each other; the heat from her face was close enough to radiate off onto his own. In such proximity, he could deign that her amber eyes were flecked with bright gold, and the deep gaze gave vision into the fire that burned within her-- a flame of vengeance, ambition, and passion. Her lips moved with deft purpose, so that he might imagine his prize more intently, painted the same blood-red shade as the Umbral crest pinned upon her dress, every line and curve supple and desirable. In this space, the sweetness of her perfume was nearly intoxicating. "Catch me that bouquet, darling," she hummed with a token pet name, "and I'll give you a kiss." With a satisfied, snarky chortle, she'd ceased her teasing and released his collar, allowing him to resume his height. She took her time letting her gaze leave him, swiveling back around to continue conversation and allowing him to contemplate her juxtaposition with a view of her elegant hair and full backside. Rou tried to ignore the metaphorical knife that was twisting in her wound-- she knew by challenge he meant the Black Queen of Orisia. "Well enough," she conceded, for she had a manse and position, which was far more than she had under Patia's banners, "though there still lie a few more trials ahead-- my Emperor would see me wed, in accordance with Umbral law." Despite that this had been a goal of Rou's from the start of her adventures in Valucre, she bit gently at her lower lip, what remained unsaid weighed heavily upon her. Not only was she expected to marry, but to contribute to Umbra's population with heirs; the matronly guise was not one Rou had ever imagined or wanted for herself. Umbra's law, too, only demanded this from the human population, the vampire and vampyre exempt. Caught upon the thought, her glance drifted to Leoa-- she'd managed to remain a sexual symbol, all while being an exemplary mother. Perhaps the matter garnered further contemplation; she made a mental note to seek out the Empress of Kadia again. "My Emperor is rather selective, however, as you can see," Rou said, detracting from her own internal doubts, "and has not formally accepted any suitor's requests to court me, as of yet." Most of the great houses of Umbra had already submitted their heirs for the Emperor to consider matrimony to the pro tempore Princess-- all denied, as the great houses were all vampiric, and would outlast Rou's human lifespan. Sometimes Rou thought he was a protective father, but his reason still inevitably dabbled along the line of jealousy, hoarding treasures that were yet his own. Clasping her hands together to fold them delicately in front of her waist, Rou shot a sidelong look at Deiter. "Finding a man worthy of me seems an impossible trial, indeed." "Just so," Rou agreed, knowing that competition was a breeding ground for the egos and confidence of men. "Come to think of it, it's been quite a long time since I've been entertained by a proper joust and tournament, haven't you?" she asked, with a hand on her hip. Sport was held in the city to celebrate the marriages in both Kadia and the upcoming nuptials in the Arcane East, but they hardly amounted to more than a few drunken brawls and cockfights; Rou and the people were starved for proper sport. The cities were filled to the brim for the occasions that held such a limited guest list, hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal couples for themselves, yet it was usually for naught. "Perhaps if someone were to convince my liege to hold such an event," Rou said, delicately and keenly eyeing Corvinus, "he might find a worthy man among the lists, not to mention pay homage to your blessed occasions of matrimony. With Umbra and Kadia coming together in such a show of sport, it would quite cement the alliance between our two countries, now wouldn't it?"
  11. Thank you for the like.

  12. Have a butt.


  13. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei @Aleksei With a solemn nod to Deiter, Rou agreed that it was best to check up on the Empress, first; she knew firsthand that Corvinus was more than capable of taking care of himself, and pleasantries and reminiscence with her old comrade-in-arms could be spared yet a small while. Her curiosity had not yet made means to satisfy her on speculation alone, for Roen had simply seemed to appeared, and then have vanished in so short a time. The room had been tense, but there was no sign of upheaval or destruction, and the delicate lines of propriety appeared yet to have been crossed, as he was often wont to do. Rou had been in the Devil's company too long to trust it, and as she played the part of speculative detective eyeing the room, she'd nearly missed her own introduction. "Your Highness." Managing a deep curtsy at the precise moment, she briefly warranted Deiter a small, sidelong smile for his help. A thought struck her privately, the first time being introduced as a lady worthy of the courts, though she'd been a present part of both Patia's and Umbra's-- she'd always seemed to be lacking the companion who'd thought Rou was valuable enough to be introduced to someone else, and often paved the path to mingle herself. It was flattering, in an obvious way that preened the pompous feathers of the vain An'She, to hear her own name and titles recited to someone who should know them. Additionally, Deiter's voice had a certain youth to the timbre of his voice that Rou had found appealing, perhaps adding to the brief red shade that temporarily colored her cheeks. Her amber eyes watched curiously as the Empress' hand divested from the obscurity of her dress, seemingly enveloped in the shade of the dark cosmos. The Empress herself was lovelier than any artist could hope to capture, and yet she seemed even more like a living painting with the negative space that excluded her hand from this reality, in its place a twisted, dark magic. Rou could smell the curse, an increasingly talented sorceress herself, knowing full well their potency-- curses were crude Black Magic based on intent, and whilst very powerful, also very, very messy. Whatever the cost of a curse like that, Rou didn't want to know. Contemplating Leoa's spoken feat within the gardens, Umbra's An'She became more and more intrigued-- she had to be a powerful sorceress in order to conjure and survive even only what Rou had seen firsthand. Rou's expression shifted as the extension of Leoa's hand found Deiter's cheek in a motherly fashion, exchanging glances with her son that were both warning and approving. It wasn't until those first words slipped from her mouth that Rou found herself stricken by the information the Duke had been careful not to disclose. With nerves awry from Roen's sudden flight, curiosity abound from the curse that plagued the Queen's arm (and undoubtedly just the smallest bit of arousal in proximity to the Duke), Rou hadn't made a very refined comeback. "Wait, what?" she asked stupidly with a quick, sobering shake of her head, sending her draping braids and curls aflutter-- perhaps she'd heard wrong. She'd nearly spluttered, plastering a hand to her warm cheek, looking back and forth between the two with rapid glances. Deiter hadn't bared any resemblance to Corvinus or Leoa, and she could've sworn that the Kadian census had stated there were ten children within the royal family, and the Duke had to be the same age or older than Prince Desmond. Leoa had bared ahead with questions and assumptions, leaving Rou in an uncommonly flustered position. "H-he's been nothing short of a perfect host, your Highness," Rou said, the normally smooth and quick repartee failing her as she nearly tripped over her own tongue, stumbling to regain her ground with a timely pause. "Most gallant and amiable. Though he had spared to mention that he was a Prince of Kadia," the An'She had finished in just short of a growl, shooting Deiter a sparked glare out of the corner of her eye. Deiter had mentioned the Empress was trying to arrange his matrimony with any of the gracious ladies of the court, and now Rou had finally been enlightened why. Sobered by the prior surprise, Leoa braved a truth that had found notably like-minded company. Rou paused a moment, allowing the Empress to follow with the necessary apologies, should her husband overhear. Rou's grip on Deiter's elbow tightened, her lips pressing into a thin, serious line. "You need not apologize," she assured the Empress, her languid posture seeming quite like a great snake balanced on the Duke's arm, forked tongue and eyes that knew the greater intricacies of it all. Casting a glance towards the wayward path to the balcony, it appeared the place had been vacated by her liege and his waif of a bride, finally finding their affections unsuitable for lookers-on and bleeding hearts. It was, in a way, a mercy, relieving Rou of the shadow she found herself eclipsed by, and far too preoccupied with. But even with Raphael's presence temporarily forgone, she hadn't dared speak against him or his choices, even to his ally; he always heard. Poised behind a sly smile, she hoped the Empress could divine that they were of the same mind, though Leoa seemed to be deprived of Rou's internally more vicious loathing for her would-be rival. "A trophy, who has bewitched and beguiled my liege and the Devil, both. My Emperor has won fair lady, and her pedestal shall be the Umbral throne--until the day she rots." Her words were a bitter draft, though no word even bereft its context would assume threat to the Umbral Empress, though Rou would certainly expedite rotting, if she could. The fire behind Rou's yellow eyes told the truth-- Gabriela may be the Empress of Umbra, but she was not Rou's empress. Casting a sharp glance down at the O'o placed by the Empress' gifts, Rou privately speculated the reason for Roen's uninvited visit. "So that's why you came," Rou thought, her brow furrowing gently, as the O'o continued to croon its sad song from within the twining of its cage, "His gift was not for this Empress." It was a poor metaphor, for the Umbral throne was the gilded cage to the singing bird who sang only tears in the company of either of her so-called lovers. Whether it was a message of hope, for Gabriela to enlighten the possibility of being "rescued" from her fate, or to mock her for the position she chose alongside Raphael, Roen's unending, meddlesome professions of lovesickness made Rou want to positively retch. Bruised pride by added insult to injury, Rou bore a soft smile at the Empress, nearly laughing as Leoa had pretended to wave away her "hateful" words with the push of her cursed hands. They could not compare to the loathing, vicious words Rou had saved exclusively for the Orisian Queen over the years, scalding and seeping in like heavy wounds that could not be erased-- she hadn't believed Leoa could be as spiteful as herself, and perhaps that was a good thing. "I'm thoroughly enjoying the reception," Rou answered, before managing a half-cocked smile at Deiter, "And I seem to have found the most delightful company. However, your Highness, I'm afraid your son might have difficulty catching the bouquet in all that armor, despite as tall as he is." Finding herself clever, she chuckled behind a few delicately-placed fingers, articulated femininely over her lips to hide a foxy grin. "The gardens were truly a marvel, I'm grateful to Deiter for showing them to me," Rou said, pressing a hand to her chest, just beside the remnants of the heart-shaped scar upon her breast. "I had the good fortune of being comrade to your husband in the woods of Orisia; I would trust them with my life if they should protect it the way they did upon the field of battle. And for you to shepherd the souls that were lost to a place of solace is an inexplicable kindness." Her clutch slipped from Deiter's arm, as Rou plied the flats of her hands to her thighs, and bent to the waist in a professional, rigid bow. This was not the curtsy of the Genesarian or Tellus Mater courts, but a sign of respect from her own homeland, long forgotten and abandoned. This was Rou's highest form of gratitude. "To you and your family, I am eternally grateful. If not for the cruel twists of Fate, your husband and your son should truly be known as the Heroes of Elwood. The sight of the souls' solace is the most wonderful kind of gift I can receive." With a spark of recognition, Rou snapped her fingers as she remembered that she had more than one reason to talk to Leoa. "Ah, speaking of gifts!" she said excitedly, as she produced a small, unmarked brown box-- where she was keeping it, seemed an inexplicable wonder and whose secrets she would not divulge. Opening the box for the Empress, from within the packaging she'd revealed two clusters of jewels, arrangements of diamonds and sapphires in varying blue hues that matched the shades of the sea, in multi-sided stars with more jewels that dangled from its centerpiece. One might've assumed that they were very large earrings, though they appeared to be missing any sort of pin or fixture upon the back. "Forgive me, Deiter, for I must confess that I, too, hadn't disclosed a nature of mine to you. In addition to my titles I also bear the pseudonym of the famed jeweler Narcissa Nahara, I gained some repute while traveling around Terrenus and Genesaris, and for awhile once I came into my liege's court. I do hope you like them." Rou beamed at her, expectantly.
  14. [Ravenspire] Finally.

    @Alexei@Aleksei It was as if Rou and Deiter were surrounded by several hundred fireflies, these glowing yellow orbs floating and bobbing with ethereal light in the secret solitude of the garden. The memorial was a salve to the wounds of grief that yet lie stricken in her heart, yet as she heard the foul echoes of retching away upon the distant balcony, Rou's attention was yet again indecorously apprehended, Gabriela emptying the contents of her stomach into a potted plant on a balcony that overlooked the gardens, only just obscured enough to be out of direct view. Even standing in the memorial that was supposed to quell the malice borne from her lack of care, Umbra's An'She couldn't stand to erase the grudge she had against the Queen. Her liege had prompted her to bury the hatchet... but Rou resolved that the best place for it was in the back of Gabriela's skull. Under her breath, she cursed the sun, disappointed that it couldn't have spared daylight just a few more moments to enjoy solace in the gardens before allowing her to inadvertently squander a seldom happy moment. Like clockwork, Raphael appeared at her side, hesitating none before debaucherously handling his wife to be, as if no one was watching. Then again, Raphael never had seemed to care who watched as he shamelessly groped his bride, reminding all that he greedily claimed Gabriela as his own... and either blind or ignorant to the subsequent cracks it forged in his disgraced lover's glass heart. Her hand casually swept by her cheek-- the mask of a sweet smile greeted Deiter when she revisited her attention upon him; the ambiguity of tears an enigma, not a drop to be found. "Some wine, inside, sounds delightful," she approved in her honeyed voice, cocking her head slightly aside. Making her way to his side, she hoped to coax him out of the memorial garden before he'd had time to press her and find aught amiss. Rou was representing her new home and her liege, and despite how personally she disagreed with his choice, she would never speak ill of him aloud. Her taste in wine, however, was a pickiness she could never quiet. "As long as you have something that isn't Orisian; in Umbra its hard to find a cask that isn't cheap vintage-- leave it to the majority population with no actual taste buds to tell you what wine is supposed to taste like, eh?" Latching back onto the Duke's plated arm, she gestured for him to lead her back to the throne room, and finally have a chance to just enjoy the party. "You've too many accomplishments and accolades for one man, your Grace," she chaffed him teasingly as they walked, "Next, you'll tell me that you can dance in that big suit of armor." --- Having returned to fair company, Rou was taken aback by the tension of the room; the entire ballroom (save for the unshakable Empress Leoa) appeared to be on-edge. Most of the guests appeared quiet and stunned, some even braving to whisper among themselves, just below the volume of the music the orchestra had begun to slowly rile up again. Looking this way and that, Rou appeared as if the fox sniffing out the hunting dogs, searching for the apparent danger in the quiet wood. "We couldn't have been gone that long," she whispered under her breath to Deiter, as the aura of the room was filled with an invisible static and clout. Perhaps one of the guests had offended the gracious hosts of the party; she'd certainly hoped it wasn't the reason she'd found her moment in the garden's solace foiled by Gabriela and Raphael on the balcony. Just as Rou eyed the new gift the Lady Leoa was holding in its gilded cage, Rou caught the familiar scent of peat and pepper, the last of its aroma dying on the air. He had been here, however shortly. "The Devil was here," Rou admitted plainly, and pointed aloft, "I recognize that bird's breed; he had one like it in my time in Patia." While Leoa seemed as pleasant as ever, Corvinus looked positively ten shades darker, all but brooding over unwanted company. Knowing that Roen was not above appearing where he was uninvited, his time unwelcome usually didn't sport so short an engagement-- not without completing his intended purpose; having the gall to show up in a literal swarm of his enemies might've been purpose enough. With a fair amount of worry wrought upon her fair face, she implored Deiter with a look. "Perhaps we should see if they're alright," she suggested.
  15. [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."