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About Narcissa

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  • Birthday 07/09/1989

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  1. Narcissa

    Taen and Ursa Madeum AMA

    The immersion is real!
  2. Narcissa

    General chat thread

    I don’t think we really have a resident artist, I tend to have a few I stalk on deviantart for when they’re open.
  3. Narcissa

    Buried 'Neath The Ashes

    "And…he Is rather handsome, don’t you agree?” Rou shared in his laughter, a myriad of lighthearted chuckles that came deep within her belly. It had been long since someone had made Rou genuinely laugh, untainted by teasing, malice, or madness. She wasn't even attractive when she did so, doubling over in her chair, eyes closed and shoulders bumping with the vibrating rhythm, inhaling air so quickly that she nearly snorted. It was an unusual color on her, the casual shade she chose, when she'd built up such a reputation for being so snide, conniving, and... prickly. "That he is," she agreed, brushing a humored tear from her eye, and laughed pleasantly again. "You admire this Zacharias, I think," Rou said, making a frame for her chin and cheek in the palm of her hand, leaning her elbow comfortably on the arm of the chair. She paid him a lazy smile, considering all he'd said. As her gaze entered her lap, it slipped from amused to slightly pensive, sobered from the chance to let her mind move faster than her tongue. "He traded his life for his family. He knew what the price of their safety was worth, even if he didn't get to enjoy it. So few things are worth that," she thought, privately, but perhaps her ruminations were a little plain on her face as she caught Zenahriel watching her in the quiet. Rou placated him with a half-smile, pulling at the slight creases of her eyes, for how much effort it took to summon it. She licked her lips, and changed her posture to the other arm of her chair. Rou knew, deep down, she wasn't as good as this Zacharias. In the root of her being, she was a selfish, greedy thing, a monster of her own choices that had learned that life was brutal, and full of hard choices. So many stories of yore painted women -- these princesses, those privileged -- that they would be saved and absolved and have all of their dreams come true. It had been a painful dose of reality that Rou realized, no one was going to make her survival for her... and happiness seemed like a thing unachievable. Others found it, sometimes prioritized it above their survival, in a way that made Rou feel only bitterness. She had to place herself first because no one else would; to do else was unimaginable. "For what it's worth," she said, a bit of whimsy in her voice as she stared vacantly off, toying with one of the many desserts on the table, a thin, square of white cake with chocolate frosting, which she cut into fours with the side of her fork, "I like living, too." She wedged the prongs beneath the sponge, and lifted it to her mouth. It was bittersweet, chewed politely in the corner of her mouth, before she gulped it down and aimed for another fourth. "For all the pain life seems fit to deal me, I wouldn't trade it for what joys I've earned... or taken." Her brow became heavy, a burden upon her eyes as they wrinkled the smooth patch of skin above the bridge of her nose, thinking of how the latter often outweighed the former. "Like this divine cake!" she said mirthfully, nearly moaning against the fork as she cupped her cheek, "Let the princesses and queens diet, dine on birdseed, if they must; I will enjoy this cake even if it costs me the fit of every single one of my dresses when I wake up on the morrow. Mmmph!" “So I do not yet know what you have to ask of me, but I am not sure what use I would be. But I have decided, Rou Ji. You are most worthy of being Empress.” The An'She paused, bereft of cake, but felt a greater penchant for drink; something strong, something that would will her into a stupor. Unfortunately, the progress of hours had seen the bottles empty-- she could have asked for more, but she deigned it too wearisome to have to burden herself with the pomp and circumstance of another serving. Instead, she clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth, her brow lofty and a bit sardonic. "If only the rest of the Arcane East shared your opinion," she mused with a single mordant chuckle, making light of the situation, but there was one other she was primarily more concerned with. Was it Rafael... or herself? "I hope I'm not asking too much of you," Rou said, unusually apologetic, with a shrug of her shoulders, "By Rafael's and the An'She Council's word, I was under the impression that you were in considerable favor with the Queen of Orisia. I need not your powers, but your acquaintance. I simply require entry to gain audience with Gabriela." Rou spoke the queen's name like a taboo, as she had neither title nor familiarity enough to call her by her name... and in quite the understated opposite. She'd made a point of foregoing the titles appropriate to Irene Gabriela DuGrace's rank, a symbol of her defiance and disdain for the vampyre, and even her public displeasure towards the beloved queen soured her reputation among the folk and nobles. She did not mean to cause him any undue pain by souring his mood with lost love, but she would not have asked her fast friend if she hadn't deemed it necessary; Rou was often the sort who declined to ask for help, at all. "I hope I can count on you," Rou said determinedly, in dire need of his aid. Knowing he would likely press for more, Rou scratched absently at her cheek, gaze adrift as she held the thought in the lower corner of her mouth. "I realize I don't instill much faith for asking you to trust me, given my rather belligerent history with her," she hesitated, struggling to seem refined and sophisticated as she ground tepidly at her molars, "but I cannot divulge my plans to you." "In fear that you would likely stop me," she thought, unsure whether Zenahriel would agree or dissent, and then it would all be for naught. Playing it off with a mild grin, she pointed a finger upward, and in a circle. "The walls have ears, you know. But, I give you my solemn oath, I intend no harm to come to the Queen. This, I promise you."
  4. Narcissa

    General chat thread

    I got some rad art of my new OC, Vivienne Ul'Vandiir. I'm too lazy to post a profile, so... *dumps* full size
  5. Narcissa

    General chat thread

    >me, instead of writing posts LIKE SHE'S SUPPOSED TO
  6. Narcissa

    For the Good of My House

    Vivienne knew, whether because she was already aware or that she trusted Andross' gaze, that they were alone, but she agreed: walls often had ears. "As well you should worry," she replied tepidly, with a check of her eyes down, and then up again, "Fate does not lead a person to objects like that for no reason." Her brow rumpled with thinly-veiled prudence, her eyes affixed to the askew, medal-like emblem of House Kholin on his jacket, and wasted little patience before righting it, herself. Perfectionism made her a bit fussy, though Andross straightened his posture like a cock abreast, earning only a moment's glance of her red eyes to find him unusually compliant versus the routine nature of their relationship, before finishing her task with full attention. "Whether that purpose is for yourself, or to be the stepping stone for another, greater man..." she said, her voice trailing off, for she did not need to illuminate him to the consequences, "Seems even Fate could have a sense of humor. Though, with the sight has been gifted to me, it would be a poor showing if it was all for irony." She ran her thumb over the lion's face of his medal, seeming to reinvigorate it with some lost luster. Satisfied and complete in her compulsion, she gave him an appeased pat on the chest. Contemplating his well-worth concerns, Vivienne framed her chin between her thumb and forefinger, rubbing thoughtfully at her lower lip. "No, it's more recent than that," she recalled, the ambivalent gaze weighed down beneath a heavy brow. Vivienne was pacing now, back and forth across the thin breadth of the hallway, and her pointed ears subtly shifted this way and that as her reasoning came together. "It was snowing, and our first snows in the Arcane East were nary a fortnight ago; St. Rias isn't high enough in the mountains to warrant the cold before we do. And Father's hair was trimmed, the way it is now," she said, though she purposefully omitted the part where that was her fault, "So it couldn't have been long. There's been no problem with the triastane your family has received thus far? Father mentioned trying to lengthen the period of engagement-- perhaps he might be trying to sell the mine, itself." Vivienne didn't need to explain the financial ramifications, Andross was already there; and like a prime military man, was ready with a plan. Well, half of one. "A moment, Andross," the elf cautioned him, a resistant tug plied to his arm. The look she paid him understood his urgency, but conveyed herself accomplice to his wishes. "I don't wager Gavin Kholin would believe in my visions, either," she agreed, gesturing vaguely to the elvish birthmark beneath her left eye. She hadn't known the head of House Kholin particularly well, but if his son was any shade of the man, it was going to take a lot more-- and she didn't have seven years to prove it. Vivienne bit her lower lip with concern, turning the skin a rosy pink, and shook her head. "I didn't see the inside, just overheard a conversation," she said, for there was no way to distinguish them without witness. She was retracing all of her visions, as best her memory could, for she was shown them only once. However, the mines of Mount St. Rias were not the only vision she was shown this day. An idea sparked as brightly as the first light of the hearth, prompting a small squeal from between Vivienne's flush lips, and a jovial bounce at his side that passed the current to her counterpart in a way that made Andross seem abruptly shaken. "I'll do you one better," she promised confidently, a wry smile beaming up at him as she held onto his forearm. In a meticulous, consecutive flow of movements, Vivienne pushed her hair behind her pointy elf ears, one after the other, and slid the hem of her large pelt further back, as if a spellcaster rolling up her proverbial sleeves. "You might not be able to bring --you know--" she paused, with a suggestive shrug, before continuing, "but that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak." "Give me your knife," she bade him. Vivienne thrust a hand out, expectantly. Impatient at his expected pause, she clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth, for his disbelief. "Oh, for Sauriel's sake," she scoffed with an exaggerating roll of her neck, making a sour face at him, and curled her fingers at him again, "The one in your boot. Come now, we don't have all day." ----- By the time Vivienne and Andross had shuffled into the back of House Kholin's great hall, the reception listless and weary as the morning had turned into afternoon, though no one had dared alert their liege lords to the excessive passage of time. Their number were many, House Kholin and their retainers all noticeably human to one side, of various shades and complexities of skin and hair, dabbled with freckles or bespectacled by eyeglass, or even scarred by game or man; the Ul'Vandiir stood to the other, all fair, blonde, and in some matter of green for their staunch faith, homage to mother Gaia. The walls took a shade of weathered bronze, a sea-like mossy green for the age of the stone that had seen many a rainy season on the island, and for the hall's small size, made it seem all the more crowded. Nearly everyone was standing, a display of numbers disguised as might, save for the few who deigned themselves permit to speak: at the head of the great oak table, Gavin and Alexandros Kholin, and to their immediate side, Vhoori Ul'Vandiir. Vhoori had, by no stretch of the imagination, the textbook defining appearance of a shrewd man. He was tall, tall enough to look down his thin nose at just about everyone, scrunching at every other word with a scrutinizing gaze. Each word was carefully selected, measured, and chosen to be as fine as his clothes, so as to dwarf those that were beneath him. Vhoori Ul'Vandiir was layered in sweeping fabrics, bunched and draped, in a tartan of earthy fabrics, woven with the finest detail. His hair was smoothly swept back, not a single strand out of place, landing just above his shoulder blades. While speaking his calculated, wearisome words, he constantly preened at wrinkles in the constant pursuit of perfection, sharing that particular obsessive compulsion with his daughter. On the table, an array of ore was scattered on the surface, rounded and raw nuggets carved from the quarry in a splay, like marbles thrown by a haphazard child. It was unrefined, the shapes inconsistent and marbled in its teal sheen, no piece larger than a finger. Gavin and Alexandros Kholin handled them observantly, running their thumbs across the surface of the metal ore, with an appraiser's air but not their skill. Vhoori, alternating every so often between grooming the collection of shiny rubble and then himself, gestured between sentences, facing the nobleman and his eldest son with what could barely be called a smile. "Then we are agreed," he stated, "For the price of five years' exchange in trade, House Kholin will purchase the plot of St. Rias, and all contained therein." Vhoori was trying his best to be charming, they could all tell, but he couldn't help but sound snobbish, almost missing the comical set of spectacles to push pretentiously up his too-long nose. "We'll draft up a contract immediately, and you'll have your fortune." Vivienne nearly hissed by Andross' side, sucking in air from between the wince of her teeth. She clutched her hand close to her chest, a white strip of fabric wrapped around it-- a bandage. "He is trying to sell the mine," she confirmed in a whisper. With a concerned turn, the elf looked up at him, and then jabbed him gently in the side with her elbow. "Andross, do something."
  7. Narcissa

    Welcoming new members en masse

    *watches Carlos very carefully word that first question*
  8. Narcissa

    For the Good of My House

    It had continued to be their annual tradition, this "showing of the grounds"-- which had been a facetiously polite excuse for Vhoori Ul'Vandiir to rid himself the burden of his daughter, Vivienne, for a few hours while negotiations were underway. The Ul'Vandiir, a proud but fallen Elven house, had found it an unfortunate necessity to trade with the humans of Ursa Madeum, a casualty of the exodus in Kadia. They were not dark elves, the sort that would've earned Corvinus' wrath, but despite their wood elf heritage, they were no less cornered by religious intolerance under his regime, no freedom of religion that would allow the stalwart house of Gaianists to go by unnoticed. Having to leave most of their wealth and prestige behind, House Ul'Vandiir fled north, negotiating shrewdly for a spit of land and a pocket of ore mines in the Arcane East. That was where Vivienne became enlightened. Vhoori had been especially disapproving of his daughter, as Vivienne had become one of the faithful to the Eternal One, the blood red that claimed the irises of her eyes denoted her devotion to the Blood-God Sauriel, an affront nothing short of heresy by taking a faith other than that of her forefathers. In Vhoori's mind, it was trading one tyrant for another, his own daughter defiling herself in blasphemy of blood magic, when the elves owed all their magic and being to mother Gaia. Were it any other member of his house, he would have disowned and banished them without a second thought, but it was not even because Vivienne was his own daughter that she was not cast away-- but the mark that lay emblazoned beneath her eye. The Mark of the Augur, a birthmark that signified Vivienne's Gaia-given [allegedly] ability to scry and see glimpses of the future. Hers was a treasure he could not afford to simply throw away, but he made to shelter Vivienne's offenses to Gaia and Odin Haze with a dreadful vehemence. Vivienne was only in Ursa Madeum for the appearance of numbers, the elves of the Ul'Vandiir not reproducing quite so quickly as their human counterparts, and thus every able body was conscripted to the visiting party to treat with House Kholin. It was an exhausting display of pomp and circumstance, as the terms of their renewed contracted contained little new information, but the highfaluting heads of houses preened themselves like prized peacocks; the Ul'Vandiir a house of elves fallen from grace and prosperity, and the Kholins, only a minor noble house in Ursa Madeum who had their reputations bolstered by their exclusive contract with the elves, making them the sole importer of triastine to the islands. Their listless lobbying could go on for hours, and could render Vivienne (as most of the remainder of both parties) positively comatose. She would have been remiss not to be at least a little thankful for coming into the acquaintance of Andross, House Kholin's second eldest son, in her second year. Theirs was a very succinct and physical relationship, brevity stressed by the nature of the arrangement, for she and her House only came once a year. Andross had matured from boy to man in that time, the seven years gone by, while Vivienne had remained quite the same, if not a little more dry in humor (and only in humor) with the passage of time, for elves retained their youth for much, much longer. Vivienne had rather liked the way his maturity had peaked upon Andross, the once-seldom whiskers of teenage years now seen to the completion of a proper beard, still as white as the fresh snowfall in winter. It made him quite handsome, evidence by how quickly she'd enticed him, this time. With her knee hiked up onto an oak sideboard in the hallway, their amusements had worn decent damage into the wall, but it simply couldn't be helped. For Vivienne's reputation at home in the Arcane East, few were willing to lie with a heretic-- if she was going to remain celibate the remainder of the year, she'd best have made this one count. She exhaled sharply with his completion of the deed, drumming at her own chest with her fingertips as if to temper the beating of her own heart, soothing it back to a comfortable rhythm. Vivienne made apathetic work of readjusting her clothing, no mind paid to the mess that was covered up as a housemaid swept dirt beneath a rug. Vivienne's tastes were quite simple, for she favored the tight and scantily-clad (of which made her conservative father sound so protective he almost cared), and often paired with a rich, rare pelt. Today's whims saw her in black, crested with a high neckline and delicate gold chains, and a fluffy pelt made from pale Obsidian Hares. Stringing her fingers through her hair to gather it back into some semblance of propriety, she ventured a curious look back at Andross, watching intently as he made meticulous work of cleaning himself. "The mines of Mt. Saint Rias," she elaborated, though she hadn't expected Andross to pay attention, "I had a vision... the vein of ore had run dry." Her tone lingered, as if to say more, but paused as her fingers lifted to stroke her velvety, pointed ear. She'd never once doubted her visions, but the rumple in her brow showed concern for what she'd witnessed, prompted by the out-of-body experience his pleasure had delivered her. "Andross--" she started, in a hissing whisper, almost confused with a twist to her lips and a scrunch in her nose, "--how did you come across a Racnaxa? An Oath Breaker?" Her blood-red eyes were full of scrutiny, a certainty and disbelief that were mounting equal assaults in the logic of Vivienne's mind. "I'm sorry, I am unfamiliar with this name in the common tongue. I believe you call it an Oathblade?" Vivienne looked positively stunned, as if she'd just seen the miracle of the fountain of youth, and her face paled nearly as white as the pelt on her back. "I must confess, I thought relics as those were merely superstition; power too great for any mortal to wield and were simply the nature of human exaggeration. There can be only one explanation." Her eyes were wide, as she gripped Andross by the biceps of his dark blue military coat, looking both grave and revering. "You have been chosen."
  9. Narcissa

    General chat thread

    That feel when you write a 2,500 word post at 2am:
  10. Narcissa

    Buried 'Neath The Ashes

    “Do you?” "I do," Rou answered --nearly instantly-- with a palpable weight of intensity in her voice. She refused to leave the sight of him, a smolder in the deep yellow forge of her eyes, and her face betrayed nothing of insincerity. It was no crime nor treason to ask so bold a question, but it was beyond propriety of most to consider it. Perhaps in another time, another place, another person might've been offended, though Rou appeared to have not. Rou answered with a quick certainty... or perhaps was an even more practiced liar. "Unconditionally," she added, with a fair, lopsided smile, muddling the gray area between. She regarded the extent of his wings with some curiosity, by the curled purse of her lips and the raise of her brow. With some foresight in mind, Rou made to cautiously move her new glass of wine, so as to avoid the flutter of his wingspan. She did not believe this to be an effort to intimidate her, for she had felt that had become such fast friends, but his impressive size with wings abreast was no less daunting. A move to simply readjust himself, she gathered as he made to reclaim his seat, and she hid a humored chuckle behind her hand. He was a curious creature, but she'd found herself easily fond of Zenahriel, and it was not simply because she'd been starved for company. There was a truth to him, beyond the common platitudes and ignorance she faced daily, that she appreciated, even when his words challenged her. The temerity of politics never slept within Umbra, even within Rou's own schemes, but she was quite struck like seeing a horse of a different color to meet the only creature who could fathom being unbiased. Rou saw, almost too easily, why Zenahriel was her King's favorite. "Well!" Rou said, her brow lifting to impose him with exaggeration, as she leaned forward to fetch her glass. "If I'm going to tell that story... I'm going to need a lot more wine." The glass was gone with a notable effort, before she'd extended it to Zenahriel for yet another. Her tolerance would be that of a champion, this night. Rou started in Gaia, for that seemed the only place to start. Her father, a swordsmith; her mother, a jeweler. She told of a brother, older, with a despondent rumple in her brow and a thin cast of her eye, but nostalgia prompted a slight admiration. He'd wanted so desperately to honor his family, and by all accounts, the duty of his father's apprenticeship should have fallen to him. However, he lacked the control of fire that was innate to the craft-- one that his sister had. So Rou had been chosen, following in their father's footsteps, the smith that would carry on their artistry and their name. He had told he hadn't been upset, Rou recalled (though she paused for a long moment and considered the liquid in her hand pensively) but that was the last time he had trusted her with the truth. An opportunity had come, for a skilled swordsman to become part of an elite guard to a prestigious noble, a rank of 20 talented soldiers. But therein lied a caveat-- with bias to the powers that be, her brother had to display control over fire. A quick-witted Rou (a trait she not-so-humbly made mention to brag about, for a brief time) recalled a book telling of an old folktale-- a woman who had made a device worn on her wrists that created flame from friction; a device that tricked the dragons into giving her the power of fire of her own, since it was no new magic she expressed. Rou knew not how to make the fabled bracelets, but if her brother wore an incendiary, Rou could light it for him with her own powers-- that one express of powers could see her brother through the tests and on to an honorable profession. For if he could simply make fire once, he would not need to draw upon it again, for the elite guard were of greater vanity and less for the battles the nobleman was quick to avoid. Rou paused and took a drink. She sighed into her glass, and then drank again. "Unfortunately for Wei... once was too much." She was grave, thumbed the glass while she told of the event. She told how he'd gathered himself into his finest clothes, kissed their mother on the cheek, bowed to their father, and ruffled her hair before clutching his best sword and making off. Rou waited but a few minutes before following, shrouded in black, before stalking her way to the noble's compound. A child was ignored, even as she climbed her way to the roof, in the shadows. Clutching to the shingles and peering through a vent in the thatched roof, a young sister watched her brother display his martial sword to perfection, a credit to his father's teaching. When it came time, Rou was primed, ready, and charged the cuffs around his wrists. Rou stopped for a moment, staring blankly, vacantly ahead. She opened her mouth, then promptly closed it again. She rolled the wine in her glass by the wrist, her gaze buried beneath the weight of shame, the sound of liquid more audible than her breathing. "It set the whole place on fire. They'd worked perfectly when we tested them-- I don't know if I was too far away, or I used too much of my ability... I remember this loud bang from the incendiary, it pushed me with such force that it knocked me off the roof. When I came to, I was outside the compound, and the great hall my brother had been in looked like the depths of hell." She swallowed, her stomach visibly turning over as she grimaced. "That was so long ago... but I still remember what the burning corpses smelled like." It took Rou a few moments to compose herself, a few slides of her finger beneath her nose and carefully past her eyes. No tears were shed, though she walked the line like a tightrope. She told Zenahriel, meticulously, how the death of her brother and the other elites were mourned; the Nobleman had been the only one that survived, though his face was burned beyond recognition. When he'd recovered, he'd tracked the Ji name through the mud, for their incompetence-- branded them traitors, an assassination attempt. Rou had been furious, and her parents had died from the shame. With no one to hold her fury back, Rou decided she had nothing to lose. "That didn't end well. I was young, outraged," she explained, with a conflicted remorse guiding her tone. "It wasn't his fault, but no one believed me. I did the only thing that I thought would earn justice for Wei's memory." She'd gone after him, failed in the assassination attempt, and was hauled off to prison. Tethered by long chains bolted to the floor, for how many times she'd bitten the guards. It'd been a long time since she'd been that breed of animal, she admitted, but in a way it had never truly left her, that anger. Rou's hands rubbed her wrists as she spoke, while one cradled the glass, thick white marks of healed scars feeling like they were freshly earned again, sore. Through her sheer temerity, she pulled at the bolts endlessly, before she'd rooted them up straight out of the concrete, and when that chamber door opened again, she broke for it. "It took the GPD nearly five years to find me. But find me, they did. I guess you could've called it a blessing in disguise, because they gave me a second chance." She talked about meeting Vintrict Viase, the GPD detective who'd tracked her down, and introduced her to Tenkai Matsumoto, the stalwart samurai. They were a bit of a rambunctious team, the detective offering to commute her sentence to time served if she helped them unlock the devious mysteries afoot behind the scenes of the Heaven or Hell Tournament. The battles were as furious as the politics, corruption beneath the surface took all three of them to uncover. She'd made lasting bonds, friendships, enemies, ones that she would hold onto for ages... and those she would lose. Her eyes regained that vacant look when she thought of Reiko. He was gone from this world, now, her one memento of him with it. Noticing that she'd stopped silently, Rou jerked herself back to Zenahriel's attention with a swift shake of her head and an eager apology. Heaven or Hell had earned her a lot of attention-- and not all the type she'd cared for. It had come to the Nobleman's attention that Rou had been released, beyond his order, to which he took exception. Seeing that the Detective was on her side, he took matters into his own hands; beat and abducted Rou, dragged her into Sigil: The City of Doors when a chaotic cataclysm known as Hard Times shook the city-- portals inoperable, frought with natural disasters, a plague, and rampant looting that drove all the tensions high. He demanded that she make two swords of her craft, and if she did not, he would simply cut her down where she stood. When Hard Times ended he would return, and they would duel to the death, to settle the matter once and for all. Not even her friendships with Detective Viase or Tenkai Matsumoto could help her, for they had their own battles to fight, within. They were searching for a god, the Lady of Pain, to right the city back to normal, or else they would be left them to weather the storm until it had worn it's course. The Lady never came, but other gods were afoot... particularly Jack, mischievous god of Halloween, whom the Nobleman had something he'd wanted. Begrudgingly getting Rou to agree as champion, she made a pact. Rou toiled, looted through the wreckage of Hard Times to build a makeshift forge, and made the two blades as instructed. They were masterpieces, despite her hand that was sorely out of practice, perhaps for the necessity of it. The last swords of Ji that would ever be made, she said, the last homage to the craft that would die with her. When at last the Nobleman returned, Rou was ready to die for the balance to be righted, Jack had given her the power to go toe-to-toe. "But when he took the blade from me, he ran the blade between his fingers-- it is a custom that we Ji do, to verify our craft is straight-edged to perfection, and that we have a respect for the steel as we do our own bodies, flirting along the sharp edge." Rou's face darkened, before she leaned her elbow on the arm of her chair, and obscured her eyes within the palm of her hand, fingertips poised on her temple. "How was I to know, with the Nobleman burned beyond recognition? Even his voice had changed, his hair gone. How was I to know it was Wei?" She clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth, still visibly frustrated by the thought. She was brief about the telling of the fight, almost clinically so. Her eyes traveled to the age-old scars that she hadn't bothered to glamour: the thin, long line running down the length of her bicep, pressing her back against the chair where another lay, casting her hand over her stomach where yet another two were obscured. But she told it true, how she'd turned the tides, and looked at him down the blade she'd held to his throat. "I had to... I knew that," Rou said, her brow rumpled by guilt that was still eating away at her, burning that dark spot in her heart. "I knew he wasn't the same, and my brother was never coming back." He'd been tempted by the darkness, a foul goddess called The Sentinel, who'd bestowed a gift of power that wasn't hers to give. He'd loved her, wanted to win her favor so that she would grant him more power, for once he'd had a taste of it, he hungered. It was no longer her brother, but a ravenous beast, and it was Rou's duty to put him down. Thus, the blade pierced his heart. Rou was quiet again, a cast of shade not unlike her despair when she'd done the deed. She hadn't told this story in what felt like eons, maybe ever; Rafael had simply glimpsed into her past without her permission, and therefore consumed all of it. She disliked that part of him, where she never was able to tell him anything, for he simply took her memories, the way he'd simply taken everything he wanted. It was cathartic, in it's way, to share it with Zenahriel, a weight that both seemed to burden and lift a weight from her chest. "And I came to Valucre, at Jack's prompting. A new beginning," she said, her gaze dropping from him as she fiddled with her fingers down the pane of the glass, streaking it and muddling the many imprints of her lips around the mouth. "The rest, since arriving, I'm sure you've heard," Rou alleged with a sardonic raise of her brow, inferring not-so-subtly to the Devil, the Great Patian Fire, and her aggressive spats with the Queen of Orisia, "The court's many gossipers pray know that story better than I do." She sighed, tempering her breath. By that time, she was curled in the chair, legs pulled in and with a blanket cast over, wine glass in her lap, and the fire in the nearby hearth down to a malnourished smolder. With a seeming end to her story, Rou ventured a look past the dining hall's doors, seeing that the sun had fallen well below the horizon, deep into the night. "Seven hells, is that the time?" Rou exclaimed, slapping an exasperated palm to her forehead. "I've talked for nearly four hours!" She cringed, in a way that made the bruise on her cheek sore, but it had already become a few shades lighter over the course of their exchange. More than a little embarrassed, she offered a shrug of her shoulders and a casually apologetic smile, realizing that Zenahriel had hardly uttered a word nor question, and allowed her to tell the tale in it's entirety. For that, she couldn't have been more thankful-- it was the most she'd heard her own voice in what felt like ages... Rafael was a much more physical creature, these days. "I hope I haven't bored you to death. I'm practically mortified, you must forgive me."
  11. Narcissa

    General chat thread

    Best Christmas movie is still White Christmas. Change my mind.
  12. Narcissa

    Custom user title 16

    I LIVE and need a title sign me up, fam
  13. Narcissa

    Taen and Ursa Madeum AMA

    I'm very concerned about why you're asking these questions.
  14. Narcissa

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

    Here's your first one.