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Le roi est mort, vive la reine

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Dressed in Imperial Robes much more formal and complex than his last appearance in the region. This was not for his own personal image, not any more than usual. No, this was a sign of his respect for the fallen Emperor. While their acquaintance was brief, and their history all too short, he swiftly grew intrigued by the Emperor Titus. To the point that he was in the works of finding more time to be in his company  so that Koji might learn a thing or two from him. Alas, tragedy struck, and Titus found his premature departure from this life. While he didn't necessarily feel sorrow or grief over the loss, he imagined that the late Emperor's family may or may not be having a rough time. Once he managed to pay his proper respects, he'd be certain to deliver his condolences to the Empress and her children himself. 

As the eulogies began, Koji stood still, his face an unchanging blank slate of emotion. He didn't even blink his humanoid eye lids, just the occasional blink of his Draconic ones to keep the eyes moist. Standing in his immediate company were a trio currently playing escort for the Heika himself. A step back, a couple feet away to each respective flank stood a Tengu Knight, and centered beyond them was an imposing figure. an abomination known as a Tatsuo. He listened the whole while until the day progressed forth, ushering the visitors in for a moment to show respect to the family, and to break bread with them on what was undoubtedly one the hardest times they'd even be confronted with. When everyone else moved on, Koji took his time to approach the grave in silent. There he stood for several minutes starring down. Whether he simply observed and accepted this fate or whether he were doing something like praying over the deceased was unclear. Regardless, the open fist of his Draconic limb aimed its palm at the grave, and for a brief moment, Koji could be seen talking to the grave or himself, his eyes closed.

Once he'd finished paying his respects to the deceased directly, Koji's hands inserted into each opposing sleeve. He stood erect, ultimately turning and walking at his leisure to join the others in the reception. There were a few familiar faces, though most of them were new, not having been around for the historical ANT meeting that took place not so long ago. He saw people he wanted to converse with, some he felt he may end up conversing with without his direct interest even; though he wasn't going to encourage words with anyone else prior to speaking with the Empress herself. His condolences afforded to her and their children was an utmost priority.

"Standby. Do not wander off, though your proximity is unnecessary as is."

As ordered, they silently afforded him some distance without completely abandoning him. Though the human knights questioned themselves briefly on what if's, one had to recall that just because they didn't see them didn't mean there weren't Shinobi and Kunoichi lurking in wait for the Emperor's need of them. Then of course the fact that the Emperor had yet to prove he ever needed the protection given to him in the first place. The Patriarch of the Tatsuo himself, the were no doubts the Heika was capable in it's mind. Somewhere back about the Horizon could be seen a rather large, ominous figure. A dragon of some undead quality, it's life preserved from a lurid purple glowing from between it's exposed ribs at it's core. Though familiar could tell when they saw Black Exalta and effect, other's perhaps became weary of the undead beast. Hopefully it wasn't mistaken as a beast of Yh'mi that somehow made it this far, regardless, he hoped even more none would trifle with it as it was currently being rather docile. Failing to even appear as a threat beyond it's large size.

It was not difficult to spot the Empress out of the crowd. She harbored two familiar to herself, three counting the one he remembered from the ANT meeting. The human, Tynes. He continued to watch as he approached weary of other's that may try to beat him to the punch of seeking the Empress. His three guards fancied themselves a table that was about center of the room in which they'd keep watch over the Chijono Heika. Moving with silence and fluid grace, where the robes met the ground he seemed to be preternaturally gliding across the floor. Arriving while the group of them continued to converse, he kept himself close, yet out of their temporary inner circle. Likewise he steeled his tongue as to not interrupt. After the last time Koji was careful not to embarrass himself. Even if he was the only one that caught it.

@Csl @Tyler

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Vivian and Nadia stayed in their seats while the funeral went on, knowing that very few would be watching where they were walking, and frankly, they've suffered enough footwear hits to their midsections. Now that it's over, they plod their way into the drawing room where Lenore (they can smell the difference between Pallas and Lenore) is talking to Thurgood and Aveline, so they just hop up to the last empty chairs at the table.


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“Bite your tongue, Grant Knight.” Raveena scorned quietly. It was a knee-jerk reaction to defend her catatonic partner—who all but gave his life and his humanity to protect them from a god’s wrath. Only then did she accept her true nature as a Sefirot. Only then did things change.

Rowan was not designed to be a father—only a weapon. He knew his work, and that was virtually all he knew.

There are no poets in the bitter business.

“We wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for your father. I will keep looking until I find—something.” She hesitated. What would she find? A magic bean? A mystical lamp that will grant her the wish to awaken him? A spell for true love’s kiss? These fairy tale things made her cross. It took time and patience—the sort only a goddess could muster.

 “I am your mother,” She conceded with a wry chuckle, “Your only mother, goddess help you.” She gently, affectionately patted his shoulder, threading an arm through the bend of his elbow as he escorted her.

She felt out of touch with her nature as an Empath, though her palms hummed delightfully at the nourishing nature of the Sun Pearls she selected. The token was meant to be a thoughtful one, though—Empath she was—she was no Seer or Soothsayer. There was no telling what the Imperial family truly felt.

“When the period of mourning is over, we must call to council at once. There is much to discuss in the wake of this tragedy—both home and abroad.” Thraece was a vital component to fulfill her duties, one she delegated to her eldest. The youngest she would bear would know a burden far greater.

It was when this moment crossed her mind that she paused briefly, her steps slowed. She had become aware and glittering eyes naturally fell on Rozharon. The room was filled with her—consumed by her, even. Had Raveena always been this unaware of Rozharon? She felt as though she was seeing the woman for the first time—truly Seeing, as Rozharon Saw. The second seemed to stretch—a strange and empty gap of wonder and curiosity that ended as abruptly as it began.

Still, she knew nothing. But she wondered—she began to weave





Edited by Malintzin

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"Likewise." Diric answered Rozharon's greeting in his typical emotionless way.

"Yes, it is a great honor." Kessler added in a far more flattering tone, "I regret not inviting the late emperor to our embassy either, but I had hoped to do so once the last of the renovations was complete. In either case, consider yourself formally invited, your majesty."

Though the embassy had been in working condition for some time, continued additions and repairs were ongoing, as the necessary materials became available. All that remained was a reliable source of electricity, though when such a thing was to arrive in Andelusa was still uncertain.

In any case, Joseph couldn't help but notice the empress shift her gaze shift to his mechanical arm, hidden beneath sleeve and glove though it was. Whether she could sense the absence of organic matter in that space, or whether she simply knew from stories and rumors about the amputation, he was not sure. Either way, she promptly inquired about the incident that had occurred some months before, when he, Diric and several members of House Hildebrand had been viciously attacked by assassins. They had since been identified as agents of the mainland terrorist organization known as "The Dead", though the hunt for the perpetrators themselves was still ongoing.

"There has been progress, yes." the executor answered the question, "Though there has been no arrest of yet. Minister Redbridge has been overseeing the search and could give you a more detailed explanation than I."

"Correct. I have been directly overseeing the effort since the incident occurred, and we have been able to pin the origin of the attempt on the group that calls themselves The Dead. The assassins themselves were sloppy, as two revealed their faces to us, while the third not-so-subtly outed his own employer. They made further error by sailing out of Gold Harbor, meaning House Karradeen had records of their ship's name, captain and dates of arrival and departure. I have it on good authority that our investigators will have more concrete results soon."

"And then justice will be delivered, rest assured." Joseph concluded in a seething tone.

In truth, he felt largely responsible for the incident, as the Hildebrand's had been within his vehicles, under his care and protection, and it had nearly cost them their lives. As it was, Varda had come down with nasty illness from the poisoning, which Tynes had only just recently learned of, while Jasper has lost a hand just as Tynes ultimately lost an arm. That suffering was on him, on his decision to go sight-seeing without a full escort. Had they done that, the attack might not have happened, or had it done so, it likely would have been defeated far more quickly. It was a mistake he would not repeat, and a debt of guilt he hoped to somehow repay.

"Regardless, I believe it all the more reason to be concerned about the continued deterioration of order on the mainland." he began to move the subject along, "The Dead is also responsible for the catastrophic events in Tia; and regardless of whether Norkotia and Veluriyam's involvement in relief efforts there influenced the attack or not, we should consider these terrorists an enemy to be rooted out and crushed. It is a subject I believe would be worthy of the Alliance's attention, when next the council comes into session."


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ArITw9J.png"Is it odd to you, the ways of humans?"

Primera asked, taking a seat next to the elf who had chosen to enjoy the gardens in all their splendor, instead of mingling with the rest of the mourners. It made sense; he was sure to feel somewhat awkward in offering condolences of any kind considering that death is not seen as a pang of sadness to the elves. 

"Just as odd as our ways to them, I suppose," came his quiet response. 

The scars of Misral made the elf uneasy being around so many people with different emotions; he felt as if their tears and heartfelt words were strangling him, while the disdain of some and uncertainty and coldness of others were remarkably... uncomfortable. He would rather be away from all this, preferably home with Birdy who is still in the throes of mourning the loss of House Tankred. So much has happened within a handful of days, the elf was concerned about how many will take advantage of the turmoil to better their position in Ursa Madeum. The very idea of it all made him weary and annoyed, adding another layer to his reasoning to stay away until he felt it appropriate to approach the Empress.

Sensing his unease, Primera leans close, causing their shoulders to nuzzle together. There are many things the gentleman must be struggling with, and she has not the words or gestures to show understanding. So unlike him, she has the power to claim what she wants and forever remain comfortably above her people. 

"Your eyesight?" she asks, showing how one fumbles with immense grace. 

"Gone - somewhat. The right eye is useless, and the left is slowly deteriorating, but I could be dead, so I suppose I can't complain."

"And I am most thankful you are still here with us. I have only a few friends in life, and if you were to perish, I would have none."

He chuckled, the markings on his skin shimmering with his movements. "I'd hate to leave you lonely."

"I'm sure you'd find a way to haunt me," she says with a laugh.

"Or you, me. You've shown me that I am not allowed a moments respite without you yelling in my ear."

"If your ears weren't so large Milorian, you could stifle me out. You don't have that long, luxurious hair of yours to hide them anymore."

Her comment made the elf push her off the bench they had gotten comfortable on. In a cloud of finery, the Grand Kommadant was forced to be a laughing pile of silks and jewelry. 

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