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Found 11 results

  1. Grant stood on the deck of the small boat he had procured; double checking the rigging and doing other last minute checks on the vessel. The vessel had been purchased well above its worth from a fisherman who would now be able to afford a better one. It was often the little things that the prince took comfort in these days; and the way the man's eyes had lit up when he'd heard the offer was one of them. Of course, today he was in higher spirits than most. He had asked Lady Delphine of House Mythal to accompany him on this journey, and she had said yes. He had practically been walking on air all the way to the docks. The prince had met the Lady during a visit to the city that her family was building on Thrace as part of a proposed trade route. Through some strange combination of natural chemistry, and recognition of each others traumatic pasts, they had hit it off. When they parted that day, they had agreed to see each other once again, and today was that day. Though he had thought about wearing something fancy, but had eventually settled on a more practical outfit. He had however cleaned himself up a bit, and trimmed his beard. Preparations done, now he need only wait for his shipmate. @Aleksei
  2. It had been a while since the Dynasty had received word in response to their efforts afforded launching the THRIVE initiative. It had been even longer since the Emperor stretched himself into the general public of Ursa Madeum, even longer for Terrenus which was also an inevitable trip as relations continued to grow between Veluriyam and the Datsuzoku. While this was mostly a get away of sorts, it harbored a bit of business still. For Koji was concerned about not yet receiving his land, promised from assisting with the launch of the initiative. Originally, he'd hoped to salvage enough lang to house those Tian refugees he'd been caring for. However, his alternative was found with the Empress Rhozharon herself. A bargain was being struck in Taen to grant land to the refugees without having to force them from the lands they hailed from. This did nothing to reduce the value of land he could hold here in Thraece. Even if he wouldn't commit it to anything substantial, he'd find something meaningful to commit the land to. "Nomagqe yth shilta klae wer jusida thaczil ekess establish creol senar di vacation okarthel ihk hesi svihelen. Preferably vi spot ini wer pab." His voice could suddenly be heard as shadows grew naturally darker before stretching and twisting into an opening to a place called the Plane of Shadow. Though they traveled largely by airship, the Heika saw fit to arrive ahead of his vessel and crew in order to better assess the nature of their arrival. Diplomacy would happen with only his Empress and himself, for if he hailed his ship to their aid, it would be with violent intent. These days his men were itching for war, reluctant to have managed to attract no skirmishes upon their territories. For they expected it prior, now they began to crave it. After all, why prepare so well for something, if that something never came to pass? Dressed in black robes, accented with layers of white and gold trim. His bare feet padded the ground silently as he completely escaped the shadows that birthed him along side the silhouette of another, slender, more feminine frame. His Empress. How uncharacteristic it was for such high ranking monarchs to step out on their own for such a petty purpose, and yet he'd elected to consider using it for just as petty a purpose. His indigo eyes peered forth in a soft, half lidded gaze; A soft smile painted onto his smooth face. His Draconic arm hovered at his side motionless, his lover's alabaster skin heavily contrasting against his lurid, ebony scales. @Dreamer @Malintzin @danzilla3
  3. "Once we open the subject up..." Silas said as he opened the chest of the deceased creature, "That it appears to lack any kind of traditional organs. Indeed, the biology of the specimen is more akin to that of flora rather than fauna." Silas narrorated for the benefit of his audience, the Lady Varda Hildebrand, her sister Aspen, and their brother Nai. Upon their last meeting, he had promised to teach them more about what he knew of medicine and biology, and had invited them to witness this autopsy in order to do so. The creature on the table was one of dozens that had attacked Lord Grant a few weeks earlier, on the very ground on which they stood. Not wanting to risk spreading any kind of contamination into the port, a temporary research station had been set up, and he had been called to lead the team. Though he felt he was doing better then the last time he encountered the Lady, Silas still noticed his gaze slipping to her with frequency. Sometimes he even thought that she might be doing the same, but he dismissed the notion. He turned his attention back to Aspen and Nai. "Given the subject lacks a digestive system, how would you guess it creates the energy needed to move?" @vielle
  4. Ambition runs deep in Jasper’s veins, every since he had been born. Or perhaps that is an untruth—perhaps the real awakening of that hungry, selfish creature in his chest had been the day he had chosen to ride out into the Greywood with love stirring his heart into chaos. There is a saying that love could drive a man into madness with little effort, and in this case, he has determined it to be all too true. There is one thing many lost souls do not understand: ambition requires not only brilliance, oh no. Patience is a powerful tool, and gods, but Jasper is patient. He will bide his time, even as he is surpassed again and again and again: by Merel as the heir of Brynhilde and their father’s blessing, by Varda as the eldest and therefore the proper Lady of their noble house. All good things come to those who wait, and fate has assumed quite a sizable debt in Jasper’s favor. He need only watch, and wait, and build the foundations of what would soon be his empire, brick by brick into reality.
  5. Starring out at the rolling hills and sparkling waters of Thrace always brought peace to Grant Knight; a peace that he desperately needed these days. The fall of the city of Hyperion still weighed heavily on his mind. Few were the nights that his dreams did not turn to the screams of those that he had been unable to save. When he wasn't plagued by the thoughts of those he had failed, his thoughts lingered on the ones responsible. Claudette, the woman who had started the plague of hate that would wipe the city off the map, and Iblis, the djinn who had empowered her to do so. He had struck a near fatal blow to rogue elf, but she had been spirited away by the djinn before he could land the final blow. Now the Empire searched for them, but so far they had found nothing. They had disappeared like shadows in the night. But today he wasn't focused on that; or at least he was trying not to be. Today he would take a first step toward an alliance that would change the islands of Ursa Madeum for the better. On this spot, he was due to meet the leader of House Mythal to discuss how Senaria could help them to establish their city here. Said city would be a vital part of a new trade route that would revitalize these lands. Already the skeletons of buildings and roads were beginning to take shape. Now he simply had to wait for his peer to arrive. @Aleksei
  6. As he walked the winding road that followed the Symarron river, Silas couldn't help but be awed by the natural beauty of the island of Corinth. Two days ago he had landed in Gold Harbor, and had traveled mostly on foot on his way to the Hildebrand estate, occasionally accepting the offer of a ride from a passing carriage. While he could have arranged transport with either his Senarian benefactors or his new friends in Hildebrand, he shied away from such things. He tended to avoid airships and boats as much as possible since the day he had been shot down over the Beast King Raz Nogore's territory. Even now the memories of what he had suffered after the crash made him ill when he thought about boarding such transport. As a result, he tended to resort to such means of transport only when necessary. Not that his own personal preference for traveling solo would keep him from arriving when he had promised. When he had given his estimate for the completion of the prosthetic that he now carried in a case with him, he had included travel time. Now as the immense black spire of Ravenel Manor, his thoughts turned to his business there; or more accurately, one piece of business more than the other. Since the day he had first made her acquaintance he had often found his thoughts dwelling on Lady Varda. Feelings that he thought had been scorched away in the fires of the Beast Kings dungeons had begun to stir, but he wasn't sure what to make of them. As he approached the gates, he tried to maintain the clinical detachment required of a physician. @vielle
  7. In all things, there are limits, and perhaps her body has finally reached the last rungs of that crumbling ladder, pushed to its boundaries after the assassination attempt that has left her weakened, left her brother with one less hand to use. She has no other choice but to seek more help, and in this case, perhaps she can turn to her newfound allies for assistance. Varda closes her eyes as she leans her forehead on the carriage windowpane, trying to push the ever-present ache into a box in the back of her mind where she can conveniently ignore it in favor of their journey through Port Thea and up to Solaria Estates. It’s almost like a phantom, the constant companionship of her pain; they are attached at the hip, she and this ghost. It sickens her to no end. “We’re here, sister,” comes a familiar voice from somewhere distant, and slowly, she extricates herself from the comforting arms of slumber, back into the numbness of reality, that faint pulsing, aching throb. Her cane is pushed under her fingers, and as Varda blinks dazedly in her brother’s direction, Jasper gently pulls her forward, wraps her shawl around her shoulders and tugs her out to the steps of the Senaria estate. “Do you think their doctor can help?” The question comes unbidden, almost wrenched out of her throat, but then again, it is a query born of faint desperation. She does not want to imply her siblings are anything less than stellar, but there is only so much Nai’s herbal mixtures can do. It takes Jasper a while to respond, but when he does, it is pitched low for their ears alone, “There are things beyond even our own capabilities. It is not our fault, nor should you feel guilty about believing it so,” he admonishes her, firm and measured. “Now, House Senaria is capable where we are not. Hold your chin higher, sister. We shall need your composure now more than ever.” Varda does not respond any further than a chastened nod, and so the Hildebrand siblings await their host to greet them. @danzilla3
  8. Grant had thought long and hard about where to host a meeting between the leaders of houses Singlance and Hildebrand. Both had already been to his home, and while the space was perfect for entertaining guests, he decided that he would choose a location offsite for a change of pace. To that end he had enlisted the aid of the newest member of his house, Doctor Silas Harriden. Harriden had been his personal physician for some time now, though that fact was not public knowledge. In gratitude for his service, and knowing that Ursa Madeum was in need of a man with his prowess in medicine, he had made the doctor a vassal of his house. Silas had made a generous offer to a struggling vineyard on the outskirts of the city, and had only been in residence for a few days when the prince had made his request to use his home as a meeting place, and he had graciously agreed. Now the two men sat on a deck of beautiful hardwood, a bottle of wine chilling on the table as they made pleasant conversation waiting for the others. Truthfully, Grant was glad that the doctor had agreed to this for more than just a change of scenery. Silas was intelligent, and effortlessly charming; two qualities that made him a good man to have in a potentially tense situation. While the prince expected that things would remain peaceful, it was still reassuring to have such a person at his side. At least since Reyna was absent for the moment anyway... But he had no time to reflect on his lover at the moment. As soon as the guests arrived, the servants would escort them to the pair waiting on the deck. @notmuch_23 @vielle
  9. Claire hasn’t seen much of the world beyond the lands of House Hildebrand, no more than the illustrations so lovingly portrayed in her father’s books. The ones she sneaks into his office to look at. So much beauty exists and she has seen so little of it. That isn’t to say she doesn’t care for the farm or the lands on which she lives, just that the idea of a grand adventure is undeniably alluring. To see things never before seen. Like a witness to the glory of the world. She dreams of these things. And they lull her to sleep every night with fickle flittering promises of escape from the monotony of her simple life. When her mother asked her to join her on a trip to Senaria on the island of Thraece, she’d squealed at the idea. It was nearly unimaginable. A wish coming true... just for her. Little does she know of the roads she’s about to traipse along. F the perils she will have to face, the intermingling of loss and joy. Exuberance is met with the bright rays of the sun as they glitter onto her waiting frame. At some point in the day, she had convinced Annette to allow her to seek out the coast. She’d seen the ocean and the beaches from the ship they’d ridden, but it’s nothing compared to the beach she stands on now. Actually able to wiggle her toes in the coarseness of the sand, feel and shiver from the breeze slapping her gown into her flesh as it rolls off the ocean. And it’s absolutely amazing. Every pebble of a goosebump is worthwhile. A miracle. Claire had been looking for magic and wonder for so long it causes her bones to ache as the scenery saturates her soul. The fibers her being is crafted from, rumbling like thunder due to the swell of emotions within her. Arms outstretched, she leans into the welcoming breeze. The tension between them strong enough to keep her slight frame from falling forward. Enough so that she can stand tiptoe and angle her body over their allotted base.
  10. Port Thea is a study in warm colors, and the way the sun dapples over the buildings, the sand-yellow bricks, the deep blue ocean cresting on the horizon makes something ache in her chest. This is the first time she has ever set foot on the shores of Thraece, and Varda tries her best not to recreate the expression of a lost puppy as she gazes at the sights and scenery from her vantage point near the carriage window, moving leisurely through the streets on their way to House Senaria’s seat of power on the island. Jasper has it in mind for House Hildebrand—and by extension, Lady Hildebrand herself—to pay courtesy calls to every other noble house in a gesture of goodwill. Having just recently visited House Dali, and for Iyalon to have visited House Uldwar as her representative, Varda had decided to visit House Senaria next, knowing very little about the foreign-born nobles. The wildlife and water conservation projects she has heard about only bolsters her interest. Nai is silent from where he sits across the carriage, dark eyes scanning through the book in his hands with single-minded focus. In truth, Varda knows he had not wanted to come, had not wanted to be displaced from the comfort of his herbal workshop and the diligent care of their ailing mother’s health, but Lady Hildebrand had insisted, and so he had gone. Though Aspen would have been a better fit, more attuned to the relationship of nature and the land than her brother, Varda had a selfish reason for wanting otherwise: it has been too long since Nai had taken a step out of Hildebrand lands, and this foreign visit is one way to drag him out of his shell. She only wishes he’d actually take some time to look around. “It’s quite beautiful, isn’t it?” She taps his shoulder to punctuate her intrusion into his personal bubble. It takes a moment, but then Nai lifts his gaze to catch hers, confusion evident on his face. “What is?” “The city, brother,” Varda rolls her eyes even as she smiles, gesturing out to everything outside the window. “Isn’t it beautiful?” “Ah.” He pauses, adopts a pensive look as he shifts his gaze to the scenery around them. “Yes.” A startled laugh bursts from her lips, and she clamps a hand over her mouth, glaring playfully. “Nai! That’s all you have to say?” He smirks at her, then, about to turn back to his book when the carriage makes a sharp turn, and then there it is, leaving all prior conversation forgotten. Solaria Estates stands proud and sprawling, its facade overlooking the Thraecian coast. The sight of the greenery so close to that brilliant blue beyond sparks a longing in her chest that has only very rarely been addressed: despite her love for the ancestral lands of her youth, Varda had always wanted to live near the sea, where she could farm within sight of the rolling waves framing the horizon. It calms something in her, the idea of that quiet life. “We are here, my Lord, my Lady.” Iyalon appears at the foot of the carriage, outstretched hand ready for her to take. Varda clutches the bouquet of white roses entwined with chicory tight as she alights from the step onto the ground, gazing up at the estate. The color of the stone looks almost like the wheat of her fields; if anything, she thinks she would not feel homesick, not within view of that familiar color. Nai hovers behind her, and soon, the words come spilling out so easily. “Imagine waking up to this view everyday, brother,” Varda smiles, casting her gaze out to the beautiful, restless sea, “with the wind and the waves so close. It’s, um—it’s peaceful.” Nai turns to her, follows the direction of her stare. “You wish to live like this?” He hums in thought, tilting his head as he shifts his eyes back to her. “I can understand the sentiment.” They share a half-smile for one brief moment, then they turn their attention back towards the estate, waiting for their noble hosts to meet them. @danzilla3 @Sleepy Seal
  11. Before he can even think about starting construction on the House Singlance "manor", Grant Knight tasked Thurgood Singlance to start the mining operation for the newly discovered mineral Vulcanium. The first step of this mining operation is, of course, excavating the shaft. Like all other underground mining operations, this shaft will be the only opening to the surface, bringing workers, machinery, and even the extracted material down and up, at least eight hundred feet each way. The first piece of machinery on the scene, in parts, is a heavy gantry crane that can haul the blasted rock up from the shaft. It's waiting as Thurgood drives up in his Ford F-350 with his steam shovel on a flatbed trailer, to dig the soil away from the shaft. The site already has a hole down to the vulcanium, from when he cored down for petroleum exploration. Without a word, Thurgood starts a wood fire in the shovel's boiler as the rest of the crew starts assembling the crane pieces. If this is a good strike, then House Singlance and House Senaria can completely arm the Veluriyam Empire's military, and possibly inject some epinephrine into Ursa Madeum's economy.
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