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The Harrowing | Kadia Event

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“The dark gods have blessed us, now is our time. We have made the sacrifices, the innocents have been offered to our great masters. The time is now, the Imperium will fall, and change will once more bless what is our lands. It will not end here, first we reclaim our home; then we bring the light of progress to the world. Death to the false god and his children! Death to the Kadians!”
-Heresiarch Abd al Hakim, The Storm Chosen

It is the First Corvinite Era, the Empire of Kadia has grown to be one of the most powerful and technologically advanced nations on Valucre. The God-Emperor, Corvinus Melisende; has announced that his six year old son--Connor--is to inherit the throne. This sudden announcement has made waves across the Imperium and its allies, and its enemies, all uncertain of the changes to come once the young prince comes of age. All expectant and fearful.

In the shadows the major political movements and intrigue between Kadia, Renovatio, Kalopsia, and the Dastuzoku Empire; dark forces have been stirring within the Old World. Word of Desmond’s actions against his father’s plans, the incident involving Cornelius and Lyonene, and the rising tensions between Corvinus and Koji have given the Heathens renewed vigor. In the central desert the Heathens and the Heretics have founded their own Church, the Heresiarchy. The old religion of the people who called themselves the Ekimmu is founded upon the true nature of the gods that corrupted them.

The have founded their own nation, calling it the Caliphate of Aravia, and themselves Aravians. A new culture has sprung up--a resistance against the power of the Corvinite Ecclesiarchy. They have operated in the shadows, many spies and secret cults now reside in the borders on the Imperium, drawing normal citizens and nobility into their thrall. The Inquisition works to root them out alongside the Church’s Venator Malificarum. Julius, the acting Ecclesiarch has taken a keen interest is these cults, and how they have come about, who they serve. It has not been an easy process, the results yielding little, save for more questions.

From the secrecy of their cities the Heresiarchy conducted mass sacrificial rituals across Kadia the moment they received word that the God-Emperor and Goddess-Empress had left the island on business, leaving their young son in the care of his siblings and tutors. The blood and still beating hearts of many innocents were offered to the Ever-Thirsting Gods, their minds and spirits broken before their flesh was offered.

The Dark Gods took notice as the veil between the Materium and Immaterium thinned to enact their dark works.

A great storm, soon called the Harrowing would envelope all of Kadia, pulling it into the dark seas of Corruption. The only saving grace, keeping the cities and many towns from falling to daímones are the Obelisks--extension of the God-Emperor’s divine will. Kadia now drifts among the seas of change. New beings have appeared in the various regions. Many have fled their towns, traveling far to the north and falling to the powers that reside in the dark and icy regions. New races now walk the islands that surround Kadia, burrow in the mountains, or even thrive in the deserts. Not even Aravia is safe from the storm they have created. To enter it from the Materium is to dive into a fate unknown.

This all falls on the shoulders of the young prince, Connor; an empire drifting in hellish seas that seek to corrupt or destroy his father’s--no--his empire. Kadia is now at war, and neither the Aravians or the Kadians know who will win. All the while the laughter of Dark Gods echo across the Sea of Corruption, mocking and hungering.

The Harrowing has begun.


 

Edited by Alexei

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The Order of Force Majeure readied to go to war. Or at the very least, only a small portion of them did. In their fortress outpost, at the command table, quite a spirited debate ensued.

"This is suicide, James" Tenris, a large man clad in magnificent full-plate armor exclaimed, banging an armored fist on the continental map before them. The mageknight's usual stoicism was broken by the sheer absurdity he considered the founder's proposal to be.

"I know" came the quiet, but unbowed reply.

"Kadia is lost. We'll need to focus on containment and-"

"No" came the interrupting reply.

Tenris rounded on him  "What do you mean no?! Do you mean to venture into the maelstrom? It is a fool's death."

"That may be so, but we do what must be done" James replied as he looked up, his tone edged as adamantium, and just as unyielding, reciting one of the Force Majeure's mantras. Tenris could not even with the Master Knight, and threw up his arms in frustration, before looking to a nearby familiar-looking swordsman for support. "Tenkai, convince James of this folly. Gods know I can't"

The Daemonslayer looked at Tenkai. He too was convinced of the proposed plan's utter insanity, and truth be told, they were right. But that was what the Order of Force Majeure was built to do. James would not shy away from his duty just because it would likely lead to his demise. "I will be taking one frigate, and volunteers only from the Custodes only. No other Knight may join me. You must stay behind" he turned his gaze at every Knight in the room, making his intent clear. "You all must stay behind. The world will keep turning regardless of the warp rifts, but if anything of Kadia remains, then I must make an effort to bring them out"

It did not matter how many protestations would be brought up. This man would have his mind set on going.

---

At the Force Majeure fortress, the Dawn Komturie in Predator's Keep, James watched patiently as the mighty aerial frigate the Imperator Bellum was loaded up with armaments, supplies, and checked and rechecked, every length of the ship. The frigate was his personal favorite of the small Force Majeure fleet, an advanced warship with shielding against the void, fast enough to outrun anything it could not outfight, and armed with enough energy weaponry and ballistic ordinance to outfight anything it could not outrun. A team of four Greatswords joined the ship's complement, with another four teams of Guardians and three Seekers, numbering nineteen fighting soldiers in total. It was a meagre force, more akin to a scouting party in size, but it was elite enough. James alone could turn the tide of wars, as any Master Knight ought to be capable of.

Now, the Daemonslayer only waited for any other volunteers to join him aboard the Imperator Bellum. There were plenty out there in the world, many with a stake in the enveloped Kadia. Some would have reached out to him.

@-Lilium-

Edited by Fierach

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.Selene Belfreid .


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Many a time the thought of returning home had crossed her mind. Just not under such dire circumstances as these.

Wrinkled due to the clench of bone white knuckles and shaking hands is the letter calling her back. For too long now she had traveled the world so freely. Chasing a dream that cannot compare to the reality in need of being faced. If what the script Freydis wrote her is truthful...

“It's...gone.”

Although she left Renovatio as a mere squire, the experiences endured on her adventures helped further progress her skills. And yet she hadn't returned to Avylon to test these new abilities and prove herself worthy of the Zodiac Bravada. Time had gotten away from her, and now it would have to wait longer still. Kadia's loss requires her to return to her true home.

After traversing the underground caverns of Yh'mi with Jinsoku and James, she chose to continue on with them. Having held them at their word and willingness to train her in techniques not yet acquired by her homeland or squiredom. Somewhere along the way personal ideals had shifted. Emotions blossoming from a spark of appreciation she never before imagined. Selene had chosen to continue on alongside him, lost in a fancifully twirling dream. From that moment onward Selene placed James’ presence in her life as a priority. But now… Nestled in the confines of the grand citadel that is Dawn Komturie far from the world in which she had thrived, Selene suddenly feels breathless and caged as she weighs the varying fealties set before. All to come upon a difficult decision.

“I have to say goodbye…”

Words that continue to echo with every movement she makes. What little she brought from Renovatio with her that survived her travels along with gear she purchased to replace items lost, is packed into both a duffle and a pack. Armor, pieces new and old, are worn very well across her prepared frame. And once the sword and scabbard are hitched to her waist ready for wielding, she shoulders both bags.

For now, the means to get to Kadia is the most important thing to her. Returning to her birth land is all the motivation she needs to ask questions and make requests. Only to find that a certain Knight belonging to and commanding over the Order of Force Majeure is already prepping to head in the same direction. Even though she had spent some time in the citadel it still takes asking for directions for her to find the port of dock. It would be a while before her appearance could be garnered into view. Thoughts and feelings strumming deep within create a tumultuously dark but hopeful feeling to be born within her.

First the duffel, then the pack. They hit the floor like a leaf falling from a branch. The ease of her shoulders and arms working together to slide them down and lay them upon the floor. And for a moment she takes the time to gaze upon James. Or Master Eredas, or Senpai. The serious expression on his face lined with pragmatic concern and analytical calculation. Selene had seen it before and can only imagine the yearning to witness it for years to come.

A similarly lined expression haunts her face dark, thoughtful, and so very hopeful. The knightess in standing allows a sorrowful smile to every so slightly curl the edges of her lips. Eventually, her right arm rises with curled fingers and a jutted thumb, “May I have a ride home, kind Sir?”

 


@Fierach

 

 

Edited by -Lilium-

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"Only if you stop referring me as Sir. I think we know each other well enough by now, Ms. Belfreid" came the measured reply.

James sensed her approach. He was familiar enough with her presence by now that her absence was... strangely noticeable. The Daemonslayer turned to face her, crossed arms unfurling to the sides. His furrowed gaze softened as he regarded her.

"Selene... you understand what we are going to do?" he asked softly. It was not really a question. He knew she was just as aware of the risks as he was, and she had even more reason then he did to go. Kadia was her home. He had no right to deny her like he did the rest of his forces and yet... as he examined her expression, focusing on the part of her lips, the hopeful light in her eyes, and the curve of her pale cheeks, James suddenly rather thought that he had every right.

Armed with that knowledge, but with empty palm, he pressed forth, gently at first, retreading a particular path. There were those within the Order who called him Thurokiir, a word from an ancient barbarian tongue meaning the "Obsidian Heart, the Arbiter of Reckoning", for the founding warrior was as much a spiritual leader as he was a warmaster, upholding the honor, purity, and purpose of the Force Majeure. Very few were ever reflected in the Master Knight's hardened heart… but... as his armored right hand cupped her chin softly, and ran a thumb across her fine lines.

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It was clear she was something else entirely.

"We will save them. Together", he stated, his eyes flashing with certainty, the absurd confidence that was his hallmark, a trait that he had lived up to time and time again. In the past, Selene might’ve wondered where he drew that strength from, his overwhelming confidence, bordering on arrogance and willpower to make the reality reflect so.

Now she would know that he drew such strength from her.

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k2axoLr.pngConnor sat in his father’s office, the sick and strange light of the Harrowing pooled through the large windows that surrounded the room--providing a view of Ravenspire. The burden of an entire empire on the brink of extinction made the child’s shoulders sag, fear of what might come should he fail made his hands--clasped before him--tremble. Did he make the right decision? Could he have done something differently? Were the lives lost in vain? The questions and more plagued the young boy’s mind, eating away at his will, his sense of self-worth, and more importantly; his sanity.

He felt he might break if not for the support of his siblings and friends. Julius counseled him in matters of faith, and the weekly confessions had become cathartic in a sense. Confessing one’s shortcomings, failures, and shadowed thoughts eased the load. Rosalind offered comfort and advice when it came to more social matters. Lyonene added much excitement to his life, with her tomboyish antics. Olympia instilled confidence in him, and supported his decisions. Deiter taught him ingenuity and bravery. Caelius had once more took up his mantle as Inquisitor to deal with the dark shadows. Darim, she had become much like a mother to him.

He took a deep breath, closing his verdant green eyes, and held it for a few moments. He released it, easing the shaking of his hands. Eyes opened and he tapped the desktop, a holographic display giving him the situations of the islands major cities. They were all facing sieges by the Daemon, but Axis Mundi and Ravenspire had seen the worst of it. The boy could easily guess why they would be primary targets. Remove the heart and soul of Kadia, and the rest will fall. They were intent upon that, as the legions of the dark gods threw themselves at the walls.

Parime and Mo Chroi were also being sieged, though they were holding off well enough on their own. He wanted to send them aid, wanted them to send him aid. Neither of those options were a possibility, as the daímones were endless. For every one that died, another was all too eager to take its place. He stood, walking around his desk to take in Kadia’s map from a different angle. As though it might help him think of something, anything; to deal with this hell fate had so cunningly pulled him into. He grimaced, disgusted at his own sense of desperation. “Thrice damn those heretics.” He growled, a child’s voice holding a righteous anger a man several decades should possess.

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The depth in shared knowledge of one another had grown since their first meeting, so she does not argue his request. Lighthearted banter aside the expression displayed between them says more than words ever can.

"Selene... you understand what we are going to do?"

James gives her little time to respond. A nearly downcast nod interrupted by his advancement toward her, and further indicative of the words he chooses not to say as openly. Every curve on his face displaying the thoughts burning behind his eyes. Where Selene remains fused. It isn’t a matter of wanting or needing to look away, but more a shared acceptance of understanding. The betrayal of a fluttering heart quickening in her chest with the brush of his fingers against her skin.

Much the same, telling in the slight waves of change rolling across her eyes, she chooses to embrace it. Emotional attachments verbalized for the first time. The strength, the gratefulness, the adoration, all stilling her frame in preparation for a duty they would perform side by side until they no longer could. Should such a devastating time arise.

“Together.”

“Together.”

A gesture enhanced by the placement of her palm against the armor covering the space his heart lies behind. Giving to him her own, in a moment plagued by sorrow and ruin. Selene can ask for no one more deserving to share the world with than the Knight standing before her. And completes their ouroboros, one pulling from the other to strengthen them with as equal a ferocity as the other burns for.

 


@Fierach

Edited by -Lilium-

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One way or another, Tenkai had expected this outcome.

It had been some time since he had visited Kadia. His stay was brief, but in that short period of time he had learned enough about Kadian society, even going so far as to meet with the God-Emperor and Goddess-Empress themselves. Though there was much about Kadia that had given him pause, James had stressed that the conclusions they had come to regarding the nature of their society and culture were directly related to their struggles against the forces of Chaos. Resigning himself to the idea that their laws and customs were necessary in order to ensure that the Ruinous Powers never claimed their empire, Tenkai cast the thought from his mind and ceased to question further.

Ultimately, Tenkai's fears had proven to be well founded, and Kadia now suffered a fate similar to other nations who faced the same question of how to best deal with the ever-corrupting nature of Chaos. James must have known as much, given the Order's resources as well as whatever history the Eredas family had cataloged. Though the specifics were likely different this time around, there was always a common trend among them that was made clear to him soon after his initial visit to the Imperium. Once more, cruel Fate had played its hand. The monk cursed it as he rested his hand upon Muramasa's hilt.

One thing Tenkai knew was different for sure this time was that things had gone so catastrophically bad that the end result was far worse than the mere conquest of a nation by Chaos cults. The very fabric of reality had been torn asunder in Kadia. If left unchecked, the fate of Kadia was the least of the problem. Something of this magnitude threatened the entirety of Valucre itself. There were far worse things than simple warp-spawn within the Immaterium, and if the way was opened wide enough, there was no telling what manner of daemon could claw its way out into real-space.

"I can't convince James any better than you can, Sir Tenris," said the monk matter-of-factly. "There's only one thing I can do in this situation."

Tenkai knew there was absolutely nothing he could stay that could deter James the moment he set his mind on something. That was why he would have to take a different approach.

-------------------------------------------

On 10/24/2018 at 8:11 PM, Fierach said:

"Together."

 

On 10/25/2018 at 12:54 PM, -Lilium- said:

“Together.”

"Together?"

Tenkai made his presence known rather loudly and abruptly as he approached James and Selene during their obviously touching moment of mutual resolve. At first blush, it seemed like the right kind of attitude to have when facing a moment of unparalleled adversity. After all, the bonds of love were stronger than most people gave them credit for, quite often the target of ridicule from more cynical folk. Yet Tenkai was no fool, and his "eye" revealed much more to him than others realized. James vowed to save them, but its core these were little more than words of hope to give Selene peace in the face of something James wholly believed to be suicide. One thing that Tenkai had begun to notice about James through witnessing his exploits was that he possessed a "heroic martyr" complex to almost absurd levels. Tenkai understood selflessness more than anything, but sometimes it felt as if James was simply trying to find ways to get himself killed in a blaze of glory, so long as the emphasis was on the glory. It reminded him of the ideal of the pluperfect, consummate warrior, wanting nothing more than a "warrior's death" on the battlefield and dreading the thought of passing away peacefully of old age.

People like that annoyed the ever-loving piss out of Tenkai.

"If by 'together' you mean 'die together on the field of battle against impossible odds', then you'll excuse me if I ask you to spare me the drama," Tenkai folded his arms, his tone carrying what could clearly be interpreted as disappointment. "If you really think this is a suicide mission, then you may as well be open about it."

By now, James would probably have figured the monk had come here in an attempt to discourage James, just as Tenris had hoped. After all, James never expected Tenkai to throw his life away, knowing full well the threat that the Warp posed. He would probably attempt to remind Tenkai that he was under no obligation to join James in this "fool's death". But the monk would cut him off swiftly.

"You are aware, Master Knight, what sort of threat this poses," said Tenkai, "not just to Kadia, but to the entire world." Tenkai shot his eyes towards Selene as he put the emphasis on "Kadia". "You said so yourself. We do what must be done. And something must be done about this, otherwise this whole world is doomed and we'll all be dead anyway. Do you know what I'm getting at here?"

Tenkai held his right hand forward and clenched his fist until the finger-plates of his gauntlet ground against each other. "It means that death is not an option! Do not lie to me. I know you're eager to sacrifice yourself to save this world like some damned hero, but if either of you go out into that Warp-blasted mess thinking this a suicide mission, you will die. Together. Done in by your own fixation, be it duty to your nation or your own bull-headed principles."

 

The monk beat his fist against his breast, over his heart, not as some salute at attention, but as a gesture of resolve. "I joined the Order because of our common cause, our common enemy, and the knowledge that there is only so much I can accomplish alone. I cannot allow Chaos to dig its roots into this world as it has others. That is why I must do what needs to be done and join you on this mission. But I am also coming to make damned well sure that you don't start throwing your life away just to find your personal blaze of glory. If we go into that storm, we do so because we believe we can stop it. We know we can."

Faith was a powerful thing, especially against the Warp. The Dark Powers that governed the realms of Chaos knew how to find and exploit the tiniest sliver of doubt or uncertainty and turning it against those that opposed them. If any of them believed they would give their lives for the sake of this fight, their beliefs would be made manifest in that realm, be it for good or otherwise. Chaos had its way of perverting the noblest of sacrifices and twisting it in their own image. Though Tenris thought it all to be folly, James himself was no different so long as he knew it was folly and simply didn't care. It was like blindly tumbling off a cliff because he forgot how to fly.

For many, death in the face of Chaos and the Warp was simply fate. For Tenkai, fate was yet another foe to be cut down.

Breaking away from James and Selene for a moment, Tenkai turned his attention to the Custodes who thus far had thrown their lot in with James. With a flash that streaked through the air, he drew Muramasa from its sheath and pointed it at them. The bewitching sword was incited by the fires of Tenkai's righteous indignation, to the degree that the mere sight of its edge would make one feel as if Tenkai had cut down to the core of their souls.

"All of you here understand what we are up against. The danger is immense, that is for certain. No one would fault any of you for opting not to join Master Eredas in this endeavor, and knowing this, you chose to say. Which is why I say to any of you joining because it is simply 'your duty', or because you want that 'glorious death' you feel you deserve, or that you want to show your courage in the face of an 'unwinnable scenario', do me a favor and stay here. For those of you who step aboard that frigate, there is no such thing as an unwinnable scenario. We cannot allow this world to die! No other thought should plague your mind! Otherwise, you may as well all fall on your swords where you stand. Is this understood?"

Though Tenkai did not hold the rank of command in the same manner as James, that would not prevent the monk from speaking with utmost earnestness. His words thundered against them with the force of his ki, so that they would know that this was not some empty-hearted pep talk. He was not about to send the Custodes off to die just to clean up the mess Kadia created. They were being sent there to defeat their eternal enemy, and they would do so. Anything else was either hesitation or recklessness, and both would lead to a terrible end. With these words, Tenkai sought to uproot it from their minds and hearts.

The monk returned Muramasa to its scabbard as he turned back to face James and Selene once more. It always disappointed the sword to be drawn and sheathed without once drawing blood, yet somehow it felt oddly satisfied by the magnitude of spirit Tenkai had displayed. Though his words would not have the same effect on James or Selene as they would on the Custodes, he trusted they understood his meaning.

"Now we can do this. Together."

Tenkai reached his hand out to the two of them. Between James and Selene, through arrogant confidence and love, there was much they could accomplish. But with the addition of Tenkai, there was now faith. 

Truly ironic, it was, for a man of foreign faith to come to the aid of Kadia, of all places. 

 

@Fierach

@-Lilium-
Edited by Tenkai Matsumoto
musak :U

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They had first been interrupted in the suite of the Crimson Hawk Hotel by his teammates.

Now they were interrupted by another teammate, of sorts. His attempt to pull in Selene for a sweet kiss halted for the moment, and James briefly entertained the idea of violence.

Still though, she wouldn't get away that easily. Not this time. As James's hand dropped from her chin it only moved to grasp her by the small of her back, keeping her close to him. Selene would feel only light resistance if she chose to break away for the moment, but otherwise he'd keep the young knightess there next to him as he looked over her shoulder at Tenkai. As the monk went on, James simply awaited for him to say his piece, the expression on his face, which had been gentle if solemn, just moments earlier, hardening back into obsidian.

When the monk was done, James merely replied in an disarmingly even voice, "Please, as if this could kill me. Death is always an option Tenkai. I simply choose it for my enemies. I have no intention of failure, nor do I pick fights to lose". To impose his unshakable will on that of his enemy, even if that enemy were the Dark Gods themselves It was very much like James. Perhaps that was the true insanity here, and yet the Daemonslayer always possessed the utmost confidence to make it so. 

"As I said, we will save them" he repeated, accepting the monk's gesture with his other hand, meeting it in a fist. 

Edited by Fierach

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20181023_235851.jpgSelene is suddenly snapped back into reality, having lost her clarity whilst staring into James' eyes and sharing an expressive depth of meaning. Tenkai’s entrance capturing her attention with the tone of his voice and length of his speech.

For the moment a hand, though light, at the small of her back keeps her from turning completely around to better appreciate the knight’s words. Jame’s choice to speak only adds to the thoughts and emotions currently plaguing the turmoil of her heart and mind. Death is not where her fixation lies. But the sadness and guilt felt about her brethren and homeland does hold a sturdy place at the forefront of her mind. Regret at not returning home, not being there with her people. Unknowing of the horrors they are facing. On the other hand, it is with great appreciation that she had elicited such a togetherness with James. Because he understands her wants and needs in regard to Kadia. Unspoken or otherwise.

At the end, where silent remits itself. They two men sharing a depth of conversation and gazes that lingers in the air amongst all present. Realization is born, Tenkai’s words true and meaningful to the tumultuous thoughts of sorrow Selene is feeling.

Thinking her people weak and in lost, is unacceptable. Having regret at not being there to defend them, just as equal. The Kadian people, the blood coursing through their veins, is strong. Like Renatian’s they hold to their values, and endear themselves upon hardships with screams of strength and victory. The time to think of death and its veil are over.

Where she had no need to say the words to James, she does so with a movement towards Tenkai. Her measure of the man held high in her mind as she does so. Leather and metal tap against leather and metal when her armor collides with his. Her arms wrapping around the knight as she states her case. “Thank you for reminding me of how strong we are. And thank you for helping me to remember it.” She has no intention of dying, as those were not the ideas dwindling in her mind, for death is but a doorway and will come whenever it is time. Today, she deigns to believe in the strength of will her people thrive on. Prepared to battle the monsters threatening their lives at all costs as is her chosen duty.

The hold is brief but allows her heart to begin sealing those cracks that had begun to form with the darkness in want of swallowing it. For now, she turns to James, a soft smile and a nod before collecting her things and heading for the ship. If only to allow the gentleman time to converse on further matters regarding the movements they would make in heading for Kadia.


 

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k2axoLr.png“Have the fifty third infantry unit plug the hole in the front line. Inform the Ippótes to make ready, enemy lines will begin crumbling soon.” The voice of a child issuing orders for military tactics was no doubt an unusual scene. It was necessity that had led to such a young boy to take command, especially in the face of lost hope and broken spirit. He was--as ever--if he was correct in doing so, if he should have given command to his elder siblings. 

“Feh, can’t think of such things right now.” The sudden outburst seemed to catch the others off guard. He ignored them.

“Have the front line initiate an attacking retreat, have the left and right wings pressure their flanks the moment they advance.” While the other generals thought to argue with him, the presence of his siblings kept their lips firmly sealed. “Now.” The troops initiated their retreat, opening fire into the line that suddenly pulsed forward. The Legionnaires halted and braced as their flanks pushed in on the now vulnerable enemy. The Aravian line shuddered, then collapsed as their lines broke, cracking deep into their center.

Those who did not retreat were cut down to the last. Those who did not retreat immediately were gunned down. There would be few survivors.

Connor took it all in calmly, or at least that’s what he wanted people to perceive him to be doing. Instead he felt sick to his stomach, so much death. “Recall the troops into the city. Treat the injured, repair the equipment, and resupply.” He ordered. “Keep watch on the skies as well, who knows if the daimons will attack thinking to take advantage.” He warned, setting his gaze on some of them. They were starting to show signs of complacency with these small and meaningless fights. That was not a good sign.

“I’ll expect all the battle data, and important reports be sent to me in my study.” He said as a servant placed a coat over his small shoulders. “Have the Legionnaires rest as they get refitted, we’ll need them to be sharp.” He said, turning and leaving. “Have Lyonene, Olympia, and Deiter report to me at the study in an hour. Inform Caelius and Darim I expect them to be at dinner tonight, as well as Julius and Rosalind." There was not much guarantee Ravenspire would still be standing tomorrow, spending time with his family had become an important ritual for him. It served to ease his mind and keep his hope and faith burning.

Edited by Alexei

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"Quick, in here!"

The raucous bunch stumbled shamelessly into the large kitchen, trying to not stumble over the disarray grabbing at their feet as they pull their patient forward. They would have gone the other way around to the infirmary, but they feared the outcome of the long track and chose to instead impose themselves on what little staff was left inside the large home. 

Lyonene cleared the table and Isolde threw Olympia atop it in a less than gentle manner. The frequency of which the attacks came was no longer surprising, though the familiarity did little to quell their growing anxiety; their nerves are strung taught, making them raw as meat in a butcher's shop while their minds struggled to keep their thoughts balanced and thoughtful. Due to the nature of their upbringing, the young women have been trained to fight these ghastly beasts and deal with any of the terriblenesses that follow - not a one could prepare for their current situation.

"Let Deiter and Connor know the situation and bring us a doctor - don't dawdle, go!" Isolde yelled her orders, causing the staff to dance around themselves as they all shot off to do her bidding.

"Deiter?" Lyonene questioned, wondering why their step-brother must be informed when it was Connor who was the most important. 

Isolde hushed her older sister with a sharp look, forcing the woman to attend to the significant issue at hand that did not involve her curiosity. 

Rosalind had trailed after the group, the signs of absolute fatigue written all over her bloodied face. The ambush had happened so fast, most of their guard had been killed but what was left had all made it out barely injured. Together the women had formed a strong wall against their enemies, taking much of the blows to ensure the safe escape of their crew. Lyonene has a large gash on the back of her head, the blood there staining her blond hair; Isolde's throat had been slashed, and there was pronounced bruising on her delicate face; Rosalind's right arm is surely broken or at least damaged enough to be a complete hindrance - they were all injured terribly. 

Olympia was the first one to charge and the first to fall. They had rushed forward, spearing the woman in her abdomen and chest, and because she was the sort to be blinded by ambition, Oly kept going until she could no longer. 

"We're going to late for dinner," mumbled Lyonene who was doing her damnest to attend to Oly's bleeding.

"Rosalind!" 

"I'll go see what's taking so long."

Urgency pushed her forward into the relatively empty halls that were growing in noise. It looked like they were able to fetch a proper doctor - they're going to be extremly late for dinner.

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In a way, Tenkai was both relieved and disappointed at the same time. Not in James, but in himself. Tenkai should have known better than to presume the nature of James’ resolve. Even with his willingness to give his life, he would have surely chosen life over death if there was truly a way for him to do so. In this case, it was Tenkai’s responsibility to make sure that option stayed on the table. The Order existed to triumph over Chaos, not die before it. 

Attempting to predict the gesture, Tenkai put out his hand as James raised his fist for the ubiquitous fist bump. However, Tenkai had actually expected a handshake from James instead, so he found his open hand clasping around the Master Knight’s fist for a brief moment. He pulled his hand back, realizing his error, but if James tried to shake his hand instead, he would just end up tapping fingertips against Tenkai’s fist this time around. Unable to find a way to get in sync with James, the monk’s hand awkwardly shifted phase between open hand and closed fist rapidly until he finally gave up and committed to a safe, passable thumbs-up. 

Of course, the awkwardness would not end there.

Somehow, Tenkai’s words had moved Selene to the point that she would suddenly embrace him, a gesture that the monk was not prepared for. He looked upward, almost incredulous as to what was taking place, arms held outward past Selene as she wrapped her own around him. Taking the moment to think about how best to respond, he merely took one arm and wrapped it around Selene in response, giving her a small pat on the back.

“Yes,” Tenkai said, clearing his throat. “Right.”

With that matter settled, the awkward fist bump and awkward hug gave way to awkward silence.

“I’m...going to get on the ship,” said Tenkai, jutting his thumb at the frigate behind him. 

As he headed for the frigate, Tenkai thought about whether he should have been going on this mission alone or if he should be accompanied by the new Custodes from the branch that was currently being established at his request. As much as he knew they would fight no matter what enemy laid before them, they were still not yet ready. Most of them were either aspirants in training or former Seekers and Guardians still adjusting to the transition. The most accomplished of them needed to stay behind, protect the Dawn Komturie and train the aspirants. Their time would come, eventually.

 

@Fierach @-Lilium-

 
Edited by Tenkai Matsumoto

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