Fractured Kingdoms

Rhindeval

2 INK

a part of Fractured Kingdoms, by Zodia195.

Continent that was once peaceful, but taken over by an evil enchantress

Zodia195 holds sovereignty over Rhindeval, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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1,937 readers have visited Fractured Kingdoms since Zodia195 created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

no link available due to rpg being closed, but it's loosely based off of fractured fairytales, only without the disney element. i did get the rights to this rpg too from the original gm.

Setting

Default Location for Fractured Kingdoms
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Rhindeval

Continent that was once peaceful, but taken over by an evil enchantress

Minimap

Rhindeval is a part of Fractured Kingdoms.

25 Characters Here

Kyri Shokira [5] The Banished Princess of Fire
Lilith Evers [5] Good Sorceress who plans to stop her sister and help save the kingdoms
Kiran Shokira [4] The Demon Prince of Fire
Aurora Givens [4] One of the princess who tends to get lost in her own head and dreams a lot of Rhindeval
Aurora Givens [4] One of the princess who tends to get lost in her own head and dreams a lot of Rhindeval
Ivelda Evers [3] Evil Enchantress currently in control of Rhindeval
Raya Elmalik [2] A free-spirited musician, artisan, and entertainer.
Artemisia Evergreen [2] "My persona may be quiet ... But my observations are loud."
Shaban Elmalik [2] A highly-regarded scholar, keeper of the histories, and scribe to the Queen.
Maris de Megekhali [2] WIP (will continue working on it in the morning)

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Kiran Shokira Character Portrait: Kyri Shokira Character Portrait: Isa Givens Character Portrait: Shaban Elmalik Character Portrait: Raya Elmalik Character Portrait: Christian Lovelace Character Portrait: Maris de Megekhali

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Lilith Evers
Code-#C71585

The sun peaked through curtains as Lilith went about her morning activities. She couldn't believe the day was the day. She was finally strong enough to cast the spell that would help the princesses remember who they were. She had woken up before dawn to do her pre-dawn yoga and meditated to soak up the first rays of the sun. It was the first day of Spring and the sun's light gave her the final boost of energy she needed. She hadn't felt this way in over 10 years. While she knew she was no match for her sister, she at least felt like her old self. Of course now the really hard work was about to begin. Lilith had done her best to watch over the Princesses on Earth, but had seen that a few of them had had a hard time adapting to Earth. She knew she was running on borrowed time too for soon the Spring semester would be over and it be harder to stay in direct contact with each of them. She had made a point to become a Professor of courses that all of the girls would take in college and all were English courses. She hoped and prayed that the Princes were still around. She had no clues on what her sister had done to them. She had been tempted over the years to try and 'spy' on Rhindeval, but knowing her sister, she would have 'known' the instant if she was looking in on them. She was still trying to figure out where a safe haven would be for the princesses to stay when they got back to Rhinedeval. For now though she would focus on the girls.

When she was ready to go, she got in her car and drove to work.





Dawn Henderson
Code-#5477B9

Dawn found herself running through a vast forest. She lost count on how many times she had been here. This time it was a bit misty because of the morning dew. She could hear whispers and giggles around her.

"Hello, is anyone there?"

No one replied back. It was very unnerving, however Dawn didn't feel like she was in any kind of danger. Finally she came upon something she had yet to see in this forest, a ring of stones. It reminded her of Stonehenge due to it's arrangement. What was this place? She touched one of the stones, only to hear a voice in her head.

~Welcome home . . . . . princess.~

Suddenly a buzzing noise and everything faded.


Dawn groaned as her alarm went off. Groggily she reached over and turned it off. Sitting up, she looked bleary eyed at her surroundings. Looked like her roommate had already left for the morning. Dawn lucked out in getting a roommate that had morning classes like her and Dawn was a heavy sleeper. Suddenly her cell phone rang. Rolling her eyes, Dawn grabbed it, knowing who it was immediately. Yep, it was her father. Pressing a button she answered it.

"Good morning dad. . . . . Yes I just got up. . . I am fine dad and I had a good night's rest. Anyway, I do have to get ready dad. Thanks for checking up on me. . . Love you too dad, bye."

She loved her father, but he was beginning to get on her last nerve. He pretty much called her every evening and then every morning. She was 19, not 5! Still she didn't want to get on her father's bad side and tried telling herself to be patient. But even she had her limits.

Deciding not to think about her father, she thought about her dream instead. Getting up, she went to her small desk that she shared with her roommate and got out her dream journal. Ever since she turned 16, she had been having these very detailed dreams and started writing them down. She couldn't always remember everything, but she remember the important parts. This had been the first time she had heard someone speak in her dream. She had no idea who this person was. Princess? Was the voice talking to her? It was silly to think she would be a princess, but dreams could be interesting that way.

After finishing, she got ready for her first class for the day before heading out to the student center where the college cafeteria was.





Ivelda Evers
Code-#003300


Ivelda, otherwise known as The Queen, stood in front of a long mirror, admiring herself.

"Beautiful, simply stunning! Don't you agree?" she asked a random servant behind her.

"Indeed your majesty. No one is a fair as you." the old servant said.

Of course he really didn't think so, but he wasn't bound to say that for servants had had been killed for insulting the queen.

"I am glad you think so. So tell me, any news about Adrian?"

"Yes, your majesty, he's been seen crossing the border into Lostein this morning."

"Wonderful. Let's hope he took care of our little pest problem. Now, will you please go check on my other boys? Report back when your done.

The servant bowed and left the throne room. He would sent out different servants to check on the queens 'boys'.

Ivelda herself went back to her throne and sat down. Life couldn't be better for her and she made sure that life would stay that way.





Adrian Wells
Code-#30660C


Another mission accomplished, Adrian thought as he rode on one of his favorite horses, a huge brown stallion named Little John. He was galloping through a dense forest and soon came upon a clearing. From the clearing, he got a beautiful view of the Queen's palace, which was surrounded by a lake. Something about the view always warmed Adrian's heart. While his own home was a ways from the palace, he could never quell the voice inside him that this was home. Knowing the queen was expecting his report, he snapped out of his reverie and road down towards the road that would lead to the bridge of the palace.

Making sure his horse was taken care of, Adrian headed straight for the throne room. Knocking on the door, he waited for the queen to let him enter. Once she did, he came in and knelt before her.

"Nice to see you back safely, Adrian, now report."

"Just as you have ordered, Lord Conrad is no longer an issue. All of his land has been confiscated and his family arrested."

Lord Conrad had been secretly helping rebels, so the Queen had ordered Adrian to do something about it. His family was still alive, but Adrian himself had seen to Conrad. What Adrian hadn't told her was how tough this job had been on him emotionally. Conrad had been very loyal to the queen, so it was a shock to learn he had been supporting rebels. Now he had lost everything.

"That's my boy! I am very pleased with your work Adrian. Come with me real quick and I shall give you your reward."

Nodding, Adrian followed the queen to chamber connected to the throne room. Everyone in the kingdom knew that the Queen was also a sorceress and this chamber reflected that fact with all of its potions and a huge cauldron. Ivelda started mixing a few potions in a small bowl before pouring it into a goblet.

"Here you go. Now drink up," the queen offered Adrian.

Not even daring to object, Adrian drank it up. The effect was immediate. His eyes darken and looked at the queen with a blank face. Smiling, Ivelda came forward and kissed his cheeks. What Adrian did know know was that the drink was one of the ways Ivelda kept him under her control and to keep him from remembering his true name.

"You are dismissed now Adrian. You are free to return home for awhile. You've earned a break."

Adrian shook his head. What just happened? He then recalled his queen's words.

"Thank you your majesty. Just call if you need anything."

Bowing, he took his leave of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Kiran Shokira Character Portrait: Kyri Shokira Character Portrait: Isa Givens Character Portrait: Bastian Hayek Character Portrait: Arlo Hayek Character Portrait: Shaban Elmalik Character Portrait: Raya Elmalik Character Portrait: Christian Lovelace Character Portrait: Maris de Megekhali

0.25 INK

Rhindeval


The sounds of screams and the heat and light of dark flames filled the air. Some poor village that’s name didn’t even matter to him burned all around him. He soaked it all in as he twisted his sword out of the chest of a young woman who’s screams he had ended forever. The last of the villagers… no traitors…. yes traitors to his Queen… tried to flee before his blades… flee his fire… But none could escape the terror that was the Blue Demon.

A knock pulled him from his memory.

”Enter…” The masked man spoke coldly.

The door slowly opened flooding in light to the room that had been lit solely by a blue fire that burned in the center of the room. The room was spartan with just a simple bed and desk. It was also lined with weapons of all kinds hanging from the wall.

The servant that entered bowed and said. “Her Highness commands your reports General.”

The masked man said nothing only rising from his chair he made his way. His armored boots made sure he was heard as he made his way through the halls of the castle. Everyone he met bowed and quickly made way. many trembled as he past by.

As he entered the Queen’s view he bowed before her falling to one knee.

”My Queen.”


Meanwhile on Earth…

”Remember Fire while dangerous is also a source of heat and light. While in the wrong hands it can be a terror. when used right it brings life it’s self.”

A heat surrounded her… It called to her… But all she felt was fear… The fire rose it was going to consume her!


The blare of her alarm woke her with a jolt she was covered in sweat and the ruby on the necklace she never took off seemed to be burning against her chest.

”ugh..” She moaned as she pulled herself out of bed.

She pulled out a small notebook from the table beside her bed.

Another strange dream about fire… this time I heard a voice… Please Lynn don’t be going crazy…

”Maybe I am crazy?” she asked herself.

Lynn shook the thought from her head with a sigh and made her way to the shower dodging the minefield of stuff all around her dorm. A mess for later… now she had to deal with the mess of herself. With a look at the clock she knew she was wasting time.

Lynn showered and dressed in something simple a t shirt and faded jeans with her sneakers. Ready she packed up her books into her backpack and headed out into the day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Kiran Shokira Character Portrait: Kyri Shokira

0.25 INK

Lilith Evers and Dawn Henderson
Codes- #C71585 and #5477B9


Lilith always made it a routine to buy a cup of a cappuccino at the local cafe on campus. The campus itself wasn't big compared to other college universities, but it was still big enough to have dorms and other facilities besides the different departments. If there was one thing Lilith was going to miss when she returned to Rhindeval was this fascinating drink and electricity. As far as her knowledge went, electricity was being 'played around with' in one of the more technological kingdoms, but nothing substantial had been made yet. She hoped the princesses wouldn't struggle too much to adapting to their homeland for it was very different from this planet. As she walked she soon spotted one of the princesses leaving the student center. Recognizing the blonde immediately, she walked over to her.

Dawn had just finished breakfast and was heading for her first period class when she heard her name. Looking up she saw her English professor, Ms. Evers. Dawn really liked her, but there was something about her that just didn't feel 'correct'. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she always had a sense of deja vu around her. Maybe she knew the woman before loosing her memory. Dawn had known for years that she couldn't remember anything prior to being adopted. Well she was very young, only 6, but she figured she should have had some memory.

"Good morning Dawn, how are you?"

Lilith most of the time had to catch herself from saying any of the princesses' true names because she knew all of the royals and their families before the tragedy. Princess Aurora was one of the younger princess and was the only child of King Helios and Queen Selene Givens. Their kingdom was one of the strongest magic wise and Queen Selene had possessed the blessing and curse of clairvoyance and she had been the one to warn her about her sister's plan. In their last meeting the king and queen would say they would do their best to protect their kingdom from Ivelda and specifically asked her to watch over their daughter and the other princes and princesses. Unfortunately for Lilith, Selene hadn't known what exactly Ivelda would plan nor that they would have lost their lives that same day for Lilith had talked with the queen the day of Prince Richard's birthday. She hoped the King and Queen had been able to protect their kingdom in some way before their deaths. Looking at "Dawn" now, she saw much of her mother in her, personality wise at least. Aurora had the looks her father though.

"Good morning professor. I am doing okay. Had another dream last night though."

Dawn never told anyone about her dreams, but with Professor Evers, she felt this kinship with her so much that she felt she could tell her anything. Dawn had come to rely on her instincts and she felt that her professor wouldn't judge her.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"Maybe later, not out in public like this."

Lilith nodded. Aurora had always been shy, even as a child. She had a habit of clinging to her mother's gown, but would still try to keep up with the likes of Richard, who had been like an older brother to her. Seeing how the kingdoms of Lostein and Traumet were neighbors and Richard and Aurora had no siblings, Richard had taken upon himself to unofficially become Aurora's 'big brother'.

"It's fine, Dawn. You know when my office hours are so come by if you want to talk."

It was then she spotted another princess and felt her heart race faster. She recognized the raven hair young woman as Princess Kyri Shokira, but was now known as Lynn Summers. Litith knew the princesses had yet to get reacquainted and figured now was the perfect time.

"Dawn, I know you have first period soon, but I want you to meet someone first."

Puzzled, Dawn followed her professor and saw the person they were heading towards. Tingles went up her spine as she got a good look at the young woman. What was wrong with her?

As soon as the two reached the student, Lilith greeted her, "Good morning Lynn. Glad I ran into you this morning. I want you to meet another student of mine. This is Dawn Henderson, she's in my Freshman Comp class. Dawn, this is Lynn Summers. She's a science major but she's one of my students also."

Dawn hid a bit behind Professor Evers but came out briefly.

"Um . . . hello, nice to meet you."





Ivelda Evers
Code- #003300


Ivelda had been looking at her mirror that showed the physical locations of the other 'kingdoms' when she heard the sound of armor coming closer to her throne room. Smiling with glee, she 'closed' the spell on the magic mirror and placed it under her throne before sitting on it. When her general entered the room and knelt before her, she quickly acknowledge him.

"Aw! My little demon has returned safely! I hope those pesky villagers didn't give you too much trouble. How are you feeling?"

The one who use to be known as Prince Kiran Shokira had been fun to break. He had been so brave, trying to avenge his parents and protect his sister. Her mark on him always gave her satisfaction, but it did hurt her too that she had to mar such a handsome face. But business always before pleasure.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Kiran Shokira Character Portrait: Kyri Shokira Character Portrait: Artemisia Evergreen Character Portrait: Apollyon Evergreen

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Image
Image
Code ~ #0B610B

The rustling of papers could be heard through the empty halls of the university as Althea made her way out of the Student Council room, sliding papers into her messenger bag She was more than flattered and while she generally didn’t really grow overly-excited about anything, being able to help out with the university’s affairs gave her a giddiness she couldn’t explain. The opportunities that the position would give her were unimaginable and she couldn’t wait to lock down the position. She was confident with having the grades and extracurriculars to back her recruitment and was only a little worried about getting the current members to like her. It wasn’t that she was unlikeable - far from it - but she generally liked to keep to herself, which is not how student council members were supposed to be. They were supposed to be outgoing and boisterous, while she was organized and well-kempt.

Puffing out a sigh, Althea paused once she was outside. She inhaled deeply, her hand subconsciously slipping the emerald pendant from underneath her shirt and thumbing across it - the only item that she had from wherever and whoever she came from - and she immediately felt a tad less frazzled as the fresh air cleansed her of her anxiety. Relaxing as she exhaled, she adjusted the strap of her bag on her shoulder as well as her simple jacket that she wore to fight off the slight chill to the air that was brought with the breeze. A quick glance at her phone told her she had about twenty to thirty minutes before she had to be in class, so with a soft smile, she started in the direction of the university’s cafe.

A quick dash in and out, and Althea was happily sipping on a hot Chai Tea Latte. Her soft smile moved into a slightly more prominent one as the deliciously hot tea began to warm her up. Making her way down one of the many paths leading from building to building, she found a bench that was on a path a bit less traversed but still in the direction of her first class, plopped her bag on it and then dropped down beside her things to enjoy her tea. Her eyes roamed over the few students and faculty members strewn about the area that she was in - a group of three of art majors that she recognized from her art electives, as well as young couple obviously meeting to have a small breakfast date before their classes, and finally a group of three women, one of whom was clearly a teacher. As they spoke and moved slightly, Althea recognized the older woman as the Professor of English, Ms. Evers. One of Althea’s classes was with her and thankfully she was able to sit near the back of the class without much of a problem, but Ms. Evers still would attempt to include her on things so as not to allow her to feel left out. It was a nice little change to the other professors, who either completely ignored her or would go out of their way to single her out, either out of the wish to be nice and include her yet resulting in nervousness on her part, or contempt for her loner status, she did not know. Thankfully, Ms. Evers had somehow found a neutral ground in between the two where Althea was comfortable, and for that she was grateful.

The other two with the professor she didn’t know the names of, which was unusual for her seeing as she had a fairly good memory and rarely forgot names to face, but she did recognize them. Or at least she thought she did; she wasn’t quite sure. Something about them felt familiar, and a strange itching sensation began at the back of her head as she thought about it more. Finally, she shook it off as nothing and turned to her back, withdrawing the portfolio that she was currently working on. She had to pick one of her best abstract works and was debating between two different watercolor pieces that she had made. It was difficult for her to choose, so it was taking some time, especially since it had to be the perfect choice. It wasn't necessarily her future riding on this particular competition, but it was one of the many stepping stones that was needed for her to be able to actually make a career out of her art. The only reason why she was pursuing the degrees that she was was because of her parents pushing her to do so. She definitely held a certain degree of passion for teaching others as well as getting to understand how people function mentally, but it wasn't what she wanted to actually do with her life. Althea let out a frustrated groan, taking another sip of her delicious hot tea to try and level herself once more. She knew her parents loved her and only wanted what was best for her, but what they would think was best for her wasn't what made her the happiest and for some reason, they just couldn't seem to understand that. Closing her eyes for a moment, she drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly before reopening them and steadying her gaze on the two paintings.




Image
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Code ~ #088A29

Dead leaves and twigs crunched underneath Ryder’s feet as he made his way back through the dense forest surrounding the kingdom. Tree branches and fresh leaves brushed across his skin, his bow bumping gently against his back, quiver sliding across his thigh with each step. The wild boar that was his fresh kill slid behind him on his hand-made sled, rattling slightly with each bump in the ground it glided over. As he broke through the trees and fresh sunlight assaulted his eyes, he squinted slightly, taking in the kingdom before him. A strange itching at the back of his brain made him furrow his brows even more and he absentmindedly scratched the back of his head. It did nothing to alleviate the itch that was deeper, accompanied by a slight pain, but it was worth a shot.

Stifling a yawn, he nodded at the guards stationed at the entrance to the kingdom that was closest to the actual castle itself, so as to avoid any of the common-folk. He’d love to people-watch, don’t get him wrong; it was just that his presence tended to make a majority of the commoners more than uncomfortable. Although he himself had done nothing to directly hurt them, he had seen more than his fair share of the actions of his fellow servants at the direction of their queen, so he couldn’t quite blame them for their distrust and hate.They parted ways, allowing his entry as he was fairly easy to recognize, and he felt himself relax a bit once he was back within the city walls. It’s not that he was comfortable there, just less uncomfortable than being out in the forest. He didn’t know what it was, but something about the dense trees and strong scents of the earth made him feel a type of homesickness and a sense of sorrow that he couldn’t place the reasoning behind.

Shaking the thoughts from his head, Ryder straightened a bit as he reached the front doors to the castle. Throwing them open, he strode inside, kill still dragging behind him, his ever present dark green cloak billowing slightly in the sudden gust of wind. Narrowing his eyes slightly in the direction of the murmuring servants who had paused at his entrance, he made his way towards the kitchen and dining area. He pulled the sled through the door to the kitchen, stopping only when it reached the feet of the Head Butcher. While he himself could have skinned the boar, it wasn’t necessary and he’d rather pass on the duty and leave it to those whose job it actually was to do so.

With only a nod in greeting and no words uttered, Ryder continued on his way, ignoring the annoyed looks that the kitchen staff were giving him. It wasn’t really his fault that the queen ‘requested’ that all meals be freshly caught on the day-of, so he wasn’t going to get his own ego hurt by a few irked servants.

When he reached the throne room, he rapped a passive knock on the large doors and when he was permitted, he pushed open the right door, the wind taking up his cloak ever-so-slightly. Approaching the throne, he avoided eye contact with the Queen, simply dropping to a knee before her, head bowed and cape gathered in hand and drawn over his side.

“I have caught a wild boar for your royal highness, if you would honor me by tasting it once the Royal Butcher and Chef have prepared it for you, My Queen,” he said, his voice coming out softly, soothing like honey to the ears. “I have also located the traitor Rune as per your request.” Looking slightly to each side, he notated the fact that they were not alone, and before simply handing over the information to the Queen in front of others without her request for more detail, he turned his gaze downwards once more. “Their location is to be delivered to the General upon your orders, My Queen.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Kyri Shokira Character Portrait: Artemisia Evergreen Character Portrait: Trinity & Serenity Novax

0.00 INK

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Dual Code ~ #04B486
Trinity's Code ~ #8904B1
Serenity's Code ~ #0431B4

Trinity's eyes scanned the page that she was on in her Forensics textbook, taking in the words and absorbing them as she did. She had a major test coming up and couldn't afford to get anything less than a 95% if she wanted to keep her scholarship, and the current chapter that they were studying was something that she was having difficulty grasping for some reason. She had already studied it for several hours over the last week and was still confused in some areas. More than likely she was going to need to ask the professor for further clarification which she hated to do, not only because it was relying on another person, but also because the Forensics Professor was a horrible old man who was stuck in the past believing that women did not need a higher education and should stay at home producing babies.

Stifling a sigh, Trinity slipped her bookmark into the spot that she stopped at, snapping the book closed and sliding it into her backpack beside her. She was currently sitting outside of the university pool building; it was nice outside for so early in the morning, not too chilly, and she was more than comfortable waiting for her sister outside. Her eyes grazed over the area that she was sitting in. It was fairly empty as it was still quite early with only a scattering of a few students here and there and one or two professors. A couple sat underneath a tree on a blanket, clearly having a breakfast date before their classes, and several feet away there was a small group of three students that she recognized but didn't know. A young girl with light orange hair sat a little further down on a bench holding what seemed to be a coffee and a folder filled with papers of some kind. A little further away from her stood a group of three women, the two younger ones she didn't know but seemed familiar and the older one being her English Professor, Ms. Evers.

Leaning back on the bench, she turned her violet gaze upwards peering through the leaves into the azure sky above. It reminded her of a beautiful ocean gently rippling in a breeze and she felt a calmness settle over her. Her hand absentmindedly reached up to grip the Kunzite pendant that hung from her neck, the only remnant of her former, forgotten life that she had. Her sister had an identical one, only it was set with an Aquamarine stone, and it was all they had to go off of for where they came from and who their former family may have been. The pendants brought them comfort for some reason and neither one of them had gone a single day without wearing it.

Meanwhile, Serenity was toweling off inside the girl's locker room. Swim practice had just concluded - they start at five am - and she had finally beaten her former PR for her Freestyle. If she could only shave off a few more seconds from her Butterfly Stroke now, she would be golden for the next swim meet, which was also the qualifier for the national tournaments.

Stifling a sigh, Serenity patted her short purple hair until it was only slightly damp before tugging a fresh set of clothes from her locker. After quickly slipping on a pair of leggings and a sweater with a shawl, she tugged a beanie over her wet hair to keep her from catching a cold. She plucked up her backpack and slung it over her shoulder, striding to the door to the girl's locker room, past the swimming pool where she gave a wave and a gentle smile to her teammates who were in the process of leaving as well and made her way through the front door of the building.

She wasn't surprised at all to see her sister waiting for her. Undoubtedly Trinity had been studying the entire time that Serenity was practicing and the younger sister felt a small warmth inside of her at the knowledge that her sister cared for her that much. With a soft smile on her face, Serenity approached the identical girl, their only distinguishable features being Trinity's longer hair and their different eye colors, and dropped her bag at her feet as she sat down beside the other girl.

"Hey sis, how's your morning been going?" she inquired, accepting the bottle of water the slightly older girl offered her.

Trinity glanced up as her sister approached and gave her a smile that was identical to the other girl's, only not quite as innocent. "It's been going alright, I guess. It could be better. I'm having a difficult time grasping the current chapter that our next test will be on in my Forensics class and it's kind of stressing me out," she sighed, stretching her arms out and in front of her. She offered her sister a bottle of cool water, fresh from the canteen, and gave her an inquisitive look. "How about you? How are your times coming along?"

Serenity shrugged and took a swig from the bottle. "They could be going better, but I did shave off a few seconds on my Freestyle, which will be enough to qualify in the section for nationals. I need to drop down my Butterfly though before I'll be less nervous about the qualifiers. It's basically my deal-breaker on whether or not I'll be participating, so it's not an option for me to not improve it."

Dropping a hand on her sister's shoulder, Trinity gave her a confident smile. "If anyone can do it, you can, S. I know you have the skills and the drive, you just need to get there. You've got this!" she boasted, giving her a thumbs up. Serenity gave her a small smile in response, clearly grateful for the uplifting message. "Thanks sis ... I know I can always count on you," she said softly, leaning a bit and resting her head on her slightly-older sister's shoulder. Closing her eyes, her hand moved up to subconsciously thumb over her pendant. A moment of silence passed between them before Serenity suddenly spoke once more, her voice holding a somber tone to it.

"Hey sis?" She paused for a moment as if to gather her courage before speaking once more. "Do you ever wonder ... Why we weren't good enough for our parents to keep? Why they had to abandon us on a front step of a building to strangers? How they managed to make us forget them?" When she was met by silence on her sister's end, Serenity opened her eyes and sat up, her gaze downcast. "I wonder about it a lot, that's all ... It makes me wonder if there's something wrong with us ... Something that we don't know about and that's why we can't remember. What if ... What if we did something bad?" Tears pricked at her eyes and she lifted her hand to rub at the liquid as it formed. "Why did we get abandoned? Why did we get so unlucky to have parents who hated us so much they'd want to throw us away?"

Trinity looked over at her sister helplessly. She knew it wouldn't matter what she said, because she herself had had the same thoughts time and time again. They both had issues of feeling inadequate and that was most of the reason why they were both so determined to excel and not disappoint their adoptive parents. They were both so afraid of being abandoned again that they strived for perfection even though they both knew logically that perfection was unachievable. Stifling a sigh, Trinity lifted her hand and dropped it on her sister's head, patting it gently. Serenity's tears slowed at the comforting touch and when she was a bit more calm Trinity spoke.

"There's nothing wrong with us. We're never going to rid ourselves of these feelings of not being good enough, no matter how illogical they are, because we're ingrained with that poison of not feeling good enough. We just need to remind ourselves that no matter what might have happened, we were young children at the time. We weren't responsible for our actions as we more than likely didn't even know what we were doing. Whatever reason our parents had to abandon us, that was their problems, not ours. We weren't the problems; they were. They were the ones who weren't good enough for us, and that's what we need to remember when we're having thoughts like that." Giving her sister a small smile, she tilted her head. "Now, why don't we stop by the canteen and get a couple of sandwiches to eat on the way to class, hm?" Serenity gave her sister a sad smile in response before nodding. "Yeah ... I'd like that. I'm really hungry from practice anyway," she laughed softly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Niklaus Viel Eldiel

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Deep beneath the Lostein castle's front of luxury lurked a dark, damp place. The castle under Ivelda's rule had taken on her image over the years; its gardens blooming with color and extravagance, the furniture crafted from ivory and gold and silks and all manner of dead and glittering things. It was breathtakingly beautiful, perhaps more than it had been during the Livingstone's rule, but cold. Just like the mind calculating behind the bewitching eyes of its ruler. Ivelda's heart didn't lie with the castle's flourishing gardens or cold, golden throne. Her heart laid deep in the castle's dungeons, where the fires that warmed the floors above throbbed and blazed hot and humid. Shadows fed on the mold and decay in the dark of her heart and the wails of the tormented echoed amidst the dripping of some unknown, sticky substance from who knows where. It would take something truly twisted to thrive in these depths.

Enter, Eike.

The little prince did not simply thrive in the dark, rotting catacombs of Ivelda's heart. He could not reside anywhere else. They sheltered him, they nursed him, they were hers... when he shut his eyes, the rot was sweeter than flowers and the heat was nothing but a Spring breeze. It was love.

And these screams, that he pried from her enemy as he pried off his nails, they were how he gave it back.

The naked man gave a throaty wail as the nail came loose and Eike pulled away. The thorny vines wrapping against his shriveled body tightened and the blue roses growing from them bloomed, then died, bloomed, then died, releasing over and over an overwhelming sweetness then a stench of compost. Butterflies gathered at his wounds like beasts to a watering hole. Eike brought the nail to his lips and suckled it as he observed the man's reactions with unnaturally wide, pale eyes.

"Eike."

A guardsman entered the room, sweating profusely and hiding his nose. Behind him trailed two in noble garb linked together by chains, a woman and a little girl who shared the woman's eyes. The woman immediately went pale with disgust and attempted to hide the sight of the torture from the child.

"This is the traitor Lord Conrad's family," the guard continued, trying not to gag, "Her Majesty... wishes for you to see that no secrets die with them."

Eike took the bloody fingernail from his lips, his eyes drawn to the little girl peeking from behind her mother's skirts. She was glancing nervously around the room at its dark corners, where stuffed toys were being taken by mold and wasting away. Eike dropped the nail and bit the tip of his glove, pulling it off to reveal a few of his fingers to be missing and regrowing nails, too. He plucked a blue rose from his victim and approached the girl, kneeling before her. She trembled as he neared her face with his gloved hand, then flinched as he trailed a finger down her cheek.

Across her jaw, her cheeks, her forehead and down her nose, staring intently at her reactions as he did so. His finger traveled down her shoulder, paused, and suddenly wormed under her armpit to tickle her. She let out a shriek of laughter and shook herself free. Eike smiled. He continued his journey down to her little hand that she stretched out for him and stroked down each finger. She smiled shyly and giggled at the sensation as her mother watched on apprehensively. Finally, he brandished the blue rose for her, his hand clamped tightly around the stem. She went to take it - then gasped, her gaze fixated on Eike's hand. Thick droplets of blood dripped from his hand, and as he opened his palm, he revealed the wicked thorns that had sliced through it. He brought the rose to his face and took in a deep whiff, glaring at the girl's frightened expression as he did so. He stood.

"I understand." He said, and gave the guard an unnervingly vacant smile. "I shall teach them the euphoria of feeling."

The guard was eager to leave, taking the woman and her daughter with him. Alone apart from the waning consciousness of his prisoner, Eike picked up one of his stuffed toys and laid down on the hot stone. He stared up at the ceiling, towards the castle's beautiful interior, where the others dined and conversed and indulged in the finer sensations without him. He had never had a child to play with before. He wondered what face she would make at the taste of candy. He wondered how it would contort when she burned her tongue.

"Lucky," he whispered. His nails dug into his unfeeling companion. "Lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky..!!"

Rip. Stuffing spilled from its broken seams. Eike shut his eyes and took a deep breath.

"... Oh, Elijah."

His eyes slid open. He brought his palm to his mouth and licked it, looking wistfully at the ceiling.

"Please, betray her soon."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Euphemia Isadora Apolline Regana Lavorre III Character Portrait: Ishara Soli Eldiel

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Miles from anything but dry vacant land, an abandoned power station had been transformed into a neon-colored cesspit of vice and adrenaline. The beats of a mediocre DJ tried to compete with the screech of tires and the roar of engines. Glasses smashed, cigarette buds were ground under heels and fresh layers of graffiti and satanic symbols were sprawled over the walls and floors. Nights like these were what left the ghosts that haunted the kids sneaking into these places in the morning.

Amidst the thick of exhaust fumes and burning rubber, a young woman leaned her back against the pop-up bar and watched, dead-eyed, as a man took his shot with a rock at a line-up of beer bottles on the boot of a 1996 SVT Mustang Cobra. The muscle car had seen better days, sure, with its botched yellow paint job and a couple dents here and there (plus one crater), but it had never been insulted like this. She watched the bottle shatter and rock bounce off the back window. The cherubic face of a boy propped on the broad shoulders of a oafish brute turned gleefully back to his friends. The woman silently committed that face to memory, when he headed her way.

He strode up beside her and nudged the other patrons out the way with his girth to make his order. The woman eyed him up and down, scoffing at his designer brand flannel, then lingering at the bulge in his pocket. A city-bred private school kid playing cowboy, great, won't be so hard to crack.

"Hey," she spoke up over the 'music', "Hey!"

The guy turned to her: Reese Winters, gum chewing, dyed red hair a stringy mess and caught in her hoops, in a little sequined slip and wobbling in studded turquoise heels, an oversized white thrift store coat baring her shoulders, knuckles and knees red and scabbed over. The epitome of a hot mess. He swigged his beer, eyes and brow lifting with interest. She grinned and leaned towards him. "Are you packing under that?"

The man leaned on his side against the bar, blocking her off from seeing anything else. He let out a flattered laugh. "Why are you asking?"

She shrugged. "Just bored of watching you throw rocks like some kid. If you want to impress somebody worth it, why don't you use a man's tool, cowboy?"

He laughed again, this time slipping out the hilt of a handgun from his jean's pocket. "Maybe I will, for you." He announced, puffing out his chest, his intoxicated face flushing a deeper shade of crimson. The gleam in her eyes turned deadly.

"You're not worried about hitting the car or nothing?"

"That thing? Babe, that old piece of junk is due for the scrap heap anyway. Don't worry about it."

The fake smile had left her face. He was already eyeing the rest of the party, mouthing to his friends who were making gestures of encouragement.

"That's my car."

"What?"

Her hand shot out and twisted his lapels. "That's my car, dipshit."

His wide blue eyes blinked at her in confusion, when he smirked. "Aha, right. Right, should've known it. You're pretty trash yourself."

"Say whatever you want about me, that is '96 Cobra and we tear up the track together just as good as anything. You want to talk trash? I saw the Commodore you stepped out of. That's every white trash teenage boy's starter. I noticed yours is the newest model, right? And you've got it all nice and polished like some trophy. From that shiny car to the threads gripped in my damn fingers, you're just some rich shit dipping his toes into our lifestyle and I'm sorry, babe, you don't get to look down on me when I'm who you're pretending to be." She stopped and sniffed the air. "How much have you had? I'll match you."

He swiped her hand off him, eyes bulging with rage. "The hell are you doing that for?!"

"Because I'm going to race you, cowboy." She said, right before knocking down a shot and smirking. "And I don't want you to be at a disadvantage."



Reese threw her heels over her shoulder on the backseat, her bare toes scrunching against the peddles. Her mouth buzzed with the five shots she had just downed. She looked over at her opponent in his new white Commodore. He hooted out the window at her.

"Hey, trash! You really think your old husk can match -"

Reese revved her engine, loud, and started her music. Match his 2.0-litre turbo four cylinder engine in horsepower? She didn't care about that, that wasn't the point. This wasn't about who could push their foot on the accelerator the best, nor about how fast their cash could make them. This was about who could drive. The track they on was too dangerous to attempt if you couldn't. Her fingers drummed against the wheel impatiently in time with the bass line.

Go. Go. Go. GO!

Her wheels shrieked. Her engine roared a battle cry. Her mind went blank with adrenaline and every part of her became just another part of the car's machinery. Her opponent up ahead didn't even matter. She knew he'd have this stretch. It was where the crumbled walls of the power station whipped past her and they entered the condemned building that the stage was hers.

Her Cobra swerved between the cement pillars with reckless abandon. She spared her opponent a little look in her mirror to see him approaching the pillars far more cautiously, leaving him behind. The wheel spun freely under Reese's fingertips, then she grabbed it and jerked, speeding her way through the rest of the power station's first floor. She let a "Whooo!!" out her window as she shot from the building to the crowd that clapped behind their 'safety net' of barbed wire. She hadn't lost him, though. Smiling devilishly, she swerved her Cobra to face him, taunting him by taking the rest of the stretch in reverse and blocking his attempts to overtake her. A quick glance in the rear view mirror reminded her of the sharp turn up ahead and she didn't bother turning her car the right way. She drifted across the turn and used it to correct her course with an adrenaline-fueled shout, pumping her fist out of the open window. Oh, she could just taste the frustration of the guy in her dust from up here.

As she settled comfortably in what was a sure-fire first place, her mobile began to ring. She tried ignoring it, but its insistence prodded her into giving the phone a glance -

Vera...

THUNK.

Reese jolted forward. She looked at her rear view mirror in a panic - the cowboy wannabe had caught up with her, but he hadn't used this as a chance to overtake her, oh no, he was out for revenge. Not only was he tail-gating her, but

CRUNCH.

"Son of a bitch!" Reese spat and slammed the accelerator. The bastard was ramming into her tail with that overcompensating bull bar of his! She tried to outpace him, no more than a mouse trying to escape being crushed by the big cat, now. "Ha... alright, he's trying to out-crazy me," she muttered to herself, then blasted her music high and brazenly declared, "NEVER try to out-crazy ME!"

She skidded, turning around and leaving him in the dust as she sped down the track... the wrong way. She twisted back a fair distance, catching him turning back to follow her, and flashed her high beams - right before speeding dead-straight at him.

He hesitated only a second to join her game of chicken, but it was a second she registered. Reese glared at him, unflinching. Yes, he'd crush her - but he wouldn't be able to do it without landing a scratch on his precious baby. So go ahead, crush her. Prove her perception of him wrong.

Prove...

her...

They swerved at the very last moment. Reese, calmly and expertly. The cowboy - panicked and out of control. She heard the crash before she'd turned her car around. Satisfaction filled her at the sight of the Commodore's hood, crumpled in by a metal fence post. Reese rolled her car up right beside the wreck, fetched the stale gum from her mouth and reached out to squish it with her finger onto the Commodore's window. With nothing else to say, she drove away.

A message came up on her phone as she drove out of the track.

Dad's been called out to the power station. If you're there, get out. This is the last time I warn you. Don't reply to this message.

"Don't worry, Vera..." Reese sighed, pulling out onto the empty highway. "... There's nothing there for me anyway."

XXXXXXX


The next morning, Reese was outside of her local fast food joint in torn shorts and another oversized coat, knocking her hungover head against the door.

"Freddieeee," she groaned. She squished her palms and nose against the glass. Yesterday's mascara darkened her eyes which only made the bags under them look worse. "Freddie!! C'mon, it's only a few minutes to... open up... Class is in an hour and I'm gonna retch..."