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Outcasters: Atonement

Sylvar Forest

a part of Outcasters: Atonement, by Skulduggery.

The vast woodland that surrounds the capital city of Victoriana.

Skulduggery holds sovereignty over Sylvar Forest, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Sylvar Forest is a part of The New World.

Places in Sylvar Forest:

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Simon Davenport Character Portrait: Roan Ambers Character Portrait: Antheia Ophiuchus Character Portrait: Zio
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"Perhaps our guest should ride on your elk."

The King stopped dead in his tracks.

"The terrain can give more information than the eyes, especially in a forest such as Sylvar."

Turning ever-so-slowly, Simon's thunderous countenance was on full show, narrowed eyes focused only on the soldier. The silence that followed was filled with enough tension to crush any man's spirit.

"You'd have me... loan my mount... to the man who... whose foul creation has been the cause of my mother's suffering?" he asked, a frightening quietness to his voice. Were it not for the silence of the forest, it likely wouldn't have carried well over the distance between them.

It was almost as if that final thread - the one that had barely been holding him together since receiving Roan's hawk - had finally snapped. His self-restraint and tolerance were at an all-time low.

Simon's footsteps carried him forward at an alarming speed, until he was so close to Zio that their noses touched. The older gentleman visibly flinched, but refused to step backwards.

Even Ambers should have known that it was better to stay out of the King's way until he'd gotten the bulk of his anger out. It was a less than civilised display, but he'd simply endured too much.

"He's lucky... that I'VE NOT BROKEN HIS DAMNED LEGS," boomed the King's voice, enraged by the suggestion alone and clearly at his wit's end. The fact that this man possessed useful information to help them save Erieda Davenport had seemingly taken a backseat to Simon's hatred for him; for the man who made his mother's suffering possible. Where he tried to see logic, he only saw his mother - weakened, afraid, and alone. He prayed that she hadn't yet given up.

Simon's fingers curled so deeply into his palms that he lacerated the skin with his nails, and small trails of blood began to drip from his fists. He likely hadn't noticed.

Finally his head snapped in Amber's direction. "Carry your new friend then, if you're so worried," he returned darkly.

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Character Portrait: Simon Davenport Character Portrait: Roan Ambers Character Portrait: Antheia Ophiuchus Character Portrait: Zio
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Roan Ambers

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Since Simon had already ordered the rest of the soldiers to make their way back- sparing no other horses for them to use- except for his own elk, Ambers had thought the idea wasn't that much of a bad one.
Oh hell, had he been wrong about that.

"You'd have me... loan my mount... to the man who... whose foul creation has been the cause of my mother's suffering?"

Ambers froze to that, a chill making its way up his spine.

He had never seen Simon this mad before, and it nearly stunned him to the point where he didn't know what to do. A part of him also felt awful for making Simon so upset. When the King started rapidly walking to Zio, Ambers took a step forward- only to halt. In that moment, he was deeply conflicted- either to intervene again for the sake of the Queen, or not intervene out of loyalty for Simon.

Ambers didn't move a step more. His loyalty to Simon ruled over anything else.

"He's lucky... that I'VE NOT BROKEN HIS DAMNED LEGS,"

Roan flinched to that, Simon's yell shaking him up a little in his fortitude. God, having been yelled at by an army general for eight years, you'd think yelling wouldn't even phase the soldier.

Well, of course, he never loved an army general.

Amber's eyes drifted down, spotting Simon's clenched fists, and the hint of a few lines of blood running down his fingers. Almost habitually- made from many years in Iraq where the enemy's dogs could track you from a drop of blood- he moved to get a clean rag from the side of his satchel.

It was routine, really, to the point where he didn't even think about if Simon would take it or not. But, the second that Simon's head snapped in his direction, he stopped moving with half the rag out of the leather bag.

"Carry your new friend then, if you're so worried,"

Roan looked up, making eye contact with Simon during those words. It was in that moment that he got a bit of a grasp just how mad Simon had become.

I'm so sorry, Simon.

Of course he wouldn't take a rag from Roan. Not with telling him to carry Zio all the way back to camp in that tone. Looking at Zio, he re-tucked his rag back into his bag.

"For the sake of the Rebellion." Ambers said quietly for his own personal dignity, and in a bit of his crushed state, he moved to place himself in front of Zio.

He didn't say anything else, and he hoped that the man could forgive him for putting him in this situation. He didn't know how heavy Zio was, and he prayed that his Furyan strength could allow himself to carry him. Quietly, and knowing that Antheia, Simon, and who knows how many soldiers ahead were watching- he picked up Zio so he could carry him on his back.

He nearly miscalculated just how much Zio had weighed, and he nearly faltered- thankfully saving himself with a quick step forward. He gave himself a couple seconds to get used to the heavy strain it put on his muscles, before he started walking in the direction of the camp; sighing. However, the exhale wasn't due to carrying Zio, but rather, due to the mere stress of having upset Simon like he did.

This was sufficient punishment. He accepted it.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Simon Davenport Character Portrait: Roan Ambers Character Portrait: Antheia Ophiuchus Character Portrait: Zio
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Antheia Ophiuchus
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A feeling of relief washed over Antheia as the Faerie King welcomed her to his rebellion. Despite the awkard, little pat he gave her on the shoulder - to which the shifter was normally not used to - she really appreciated his kind and gentle words.


It was like the first step at being closer to her goal. And although it would take a while to get used to new rules and new faces, there was no doubt that she would manage it. Level-headedness and diligence have always been one of Antheia’s fine qualities and she was used to working hard.



Back in her world, there was always work to do, whether it involved protecting her homeland or more peaceful activities. A whiff of nostalgia tugged at her chest as she remembered those times and the wars she fought alongside her sisters to protect their beloved realm.

But it didn't take long until a more recent and bitter memory slivered into her mind:
Defying her sisters due to a new, lunatic system and the fanatical ideas they opted for. It was the reason why she and only a handful of her sisters fled to a more remote island at the outskirts of their realm, only until Antheia somehow ended up in this world because of Alec’s powers.



Immersed in her thoughts, she didn't quite catch on to Zio's introduction and only got thrown back into the present as she sensed a rising anger forming in Simon’s gut – anger which also traced his following words.

"She was your Queen... and you designed her a prison so foul, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy." sounded his voice and Antheia turned her gaze towards Zio to study his expression and next words carefully. He was a solitary Fae and had chosen Alec over the Faerie Queen. Who was Antheia to judge - she just recently disobeyed an order from someone she has been loyal to for hundreds of years.

The King then ordered Ambers to blindfold Zio. Antheia threw a glance at Ambers and noticed how he seemed to be lost in thought before raising his voice again: "Perhaps our guest should ride on your elk, the terrain can give more information than the eyes, especially in a forest such as Sylvar."

The shifter’s gaze immediately shot towards the King, whose eyes burnt with such disgust - she thought they could kill with a single glare. The build-up of emotions seemed to finally crack.

As the King stormed towards Zio at a dangerous speed, Antheia thought for a split second that Simon could actually hurt the opposing Fae, but he only ended up screaming at him. Although Zio has only turned kind towards her so far, she did not make the slightest move to try to defend him or step in-between. His kindness didn't mean he gained her trust and even though the girl just met the Faerie King, she promised to help him and therefore show loyalty.



Despite the sudden rise of volume that made her flinch slightly, it did not surprise her that Simon felt this way. After all, it involved his mother and it was only natural that he was worried and felt extremely protective of her.

Even though Antheia had never experienced a typical maternal bond and has never seen her mother – who served as goddess as well - she still felt a connection of undying love and trust towards her and she would do anything to protect and save her.



The irony smell of blood flooded the Animanty's delicate senses as she motioned towards the King again. Casting a glance at Ambers, she noticed how he attempted to pull out a rag but quickly canceled his action again as the regal Fae ordered him to carry Zio.


In the current situation it was wisest to keep quiet, Antheia thought.


Ambers’ expression and posture were quite unnerving and she felt a tinge of sympathy towards him. It was not his fault that the King unleashed his anger towards him. Even if he had kept quiet, Simon might have let go off his steam differently.
The anger wasn't directed at him but only towards him.

Ambers was a good man, Antheia could tell. Similarly to Zio, he has only been kind to her so far and the fact that he didn't smell like Faerie or Dragon, meant that his race might have been even less apparent in this realm, which possibly gave him a hard time.

Judging by the look on Simon's face earlier today though, she knew that the King was aware of him being a fine man as well, therefore she wasn't too worried that the situation between those two would not clear up again sooner or later.


As the whole troop began walking through the forest, Antheia shot Ambers a sympathetic look before focusing on the path ahead and following the others to the camp where their rebellion resided.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Simon Davenport Character Portrait: Sunday Davenport Character Portrait: Roan Ambers Character Portrait: Antheia Ophiuchus Character Portrait: Zio
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S I M O N
D A V E N P O R T

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The journey to the camp had probably felt longer than it was, with the tension hanging over them like a dark cloud. Simon had stared straight ahead the entire time, walking beside his stag, trying not to habitually check that Ambers was managing to support Zio's weight. Part of it was faith in the boy's strength, but most was straight-up stubbornness.

"Camp's just ahead," called one of the men from the head of the group.

Appearing as if from nowhere once the group emerged into a seemingly empty clearing, until they broke through the treeline, at which point a series of complex wooden structures became visible. Countless men, women, and children - of every species imaginable - went about their business, chattering loudly despite the sudden appearance of their King. Such was the casual nature of his leadership - he was the first among equals, except where his fighters were concerned.

With little more than a few swift gestures to surrounding soldiers, Simon had ordered that Zio be placed in a holding cell until further notice - his arms and legs were to be bound, his vision was to be restricted, and he was to be supervised around the clock. Useful as this information may have been, it was not his highest priority to receive the message at that time.

Several soldiers stepped forward to help Zio down from their comrade's back, and carry him to the appropriate location. He fully expected Roan to follow him, but after the way he'd been treated... Simon would understand if the soldier had opted to hang back for a while.

A few words in the right person's ear would, sooner or later, alert the camp of a meeting to be held in the King's private quarters.

Simon marched through the camp without intending to spare a glance in anyone's direction, however came to a fairly swift halt after almost passing his daughter - the second Rebellion leader. Sunday would've wanted to be present for this meeting, and Simon wanted to spare himself the scolding that would come with leaving her out of it yet again.

Trusting his chosen messenger to spread the word fairly quickly on his own, Simon climbed the countless stairways to the uppermost level of the camp, and made his way towards his own private chambers. Pulling back the curtains, he was pleased to find the room empty. Some people had the terrible habit of merely waltzing in without an invitation. I ought to find myself a house with a door, he thought to himself, and a big sign that says 'piss off.'

Simon slowed his pace once he was inside, raising his arms above his head in a much-needed stretch. For the first time that day, he was beginning to feel the effects of a poor night's sleep. His eyes drifted towards his bed for but a moment before he peeled them away, knowing the temptation of sleep would be far too difficult to resist.

"You can get yourself set up at the table," he said absentmindedly, although the comment was directed at Roan, who'd trailed after him this entire time. "The others will be here soon enough, but there's snacks and water... Help yourself to whatever you need."