The King of Talisia

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The King of Talisia

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:23 am

The sun hadn't even fully risen when they'd come to her door. If, that is, the roughly hewn, mismatched planks lashed together with leather and bark could be called much of a door. But it covered the entryway to her tiny hovel, so Ridahne called it a door. The soldiers nearly broke the hinges with how hard they pounded on it, demanding that she get up that instant, despite the early hour. She'd been out hunting that night and had only just grabbed a couple scant hours when their gruff voices and thudding on her door brought her immediately upright. Needless to say, Ridahne Torzinei was not in a patient mood when she did open the door, and thus did not hesitate to sneer when they'd asked for taxes.

To say that the exchange...escalated would be an understatement. What began as arguing and insults then turned into threats, and the soldiers promised they had a few things in mind for her, which Ridahne did not want to imagine. And at that point, Ridahne snapped. Whether it was a lack of sleep, a continued loathing of their increased presence, or the sheer indignity of being robbed in her own home, she impulsively (and maybe a little stupidly) struck the lead guard squarely in the neck--the one place not protected by his armor. Things happened pretty fast after that. Next thing she knew, she was inside, the door barred and, as she scrambled to grab what few things were important to her, flames began to engulf her hovel. The only reason she made it out was because her home wasn't exactly solidly built, and she was able to kick out a back plank and make a run for it.

It was nightfall, now. Though the desert province of Azurei was hot and arid during the day, the strong sea winds brought in chill air and the nights were quite cool. She didn't even have shoes or food, and she'd been without water for too long. Despite knowing she needed to lay low, Ridahne made her way dockside where there were crowds of people milling about at inns, or at this hour, just finishing unloading their cargo. Shuffling through the red, dusty streets, she really was a sore sight. Her already brownish skin turned black from the smoke in some places, her shoulder length black waves were tangled and matted with the deep russet dust of the Wastes where she'd hidden that morning, and the only proper piece of travel attire she'd managed to grab was her deep blue cloak. Even her silver jewelry in her ears and nose looked tarnished and worn. However, the black, white, and blue tattoos on her face--precisely drawn lines and shapes that contoured with the curve of her face--were perhaps the most put-together part of her, as she'd made an effort to clean her face after the incident. She must always properly display her ojih, after all.

Keeping her eyes peeled for any sign of the King's soldiers, Ridahne ghosted through the streets, looking with a practiced eye for dropped morsels of food, unattended drinks, and anything else that might be of use to her. It had been a long day, but it was going to be an even longer night.

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Blackfridayrule
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Re: The King of Talisia

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby TheCrimsonLady on Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:13 pm

Prince Jonah stood beside his father's throne as his father eyed the poor man. "Are you lying to me?" The King asked slowly, clearing he knew or thought he knew the answer. "N-no, no, You're Grace," He said and Jonah inwardly winced. There was no answer that would satiate his father at this point. The man had been accused of eavesdropping, a crime his father punished prejudicely, especially if he was the one being eavesdropped on. "Magnus!" His father snapped and Jonah looked in his direction. "Tell me my son, What is the punishment for lying to the King." He said and Jonah looked at the man on his knees bound in chains, looking near close to pissing himself. Jonah pitied him but he dare not let this show on his face. He looked over at his father. "The removal of the offending tongue, Father," Jonah said, his voice gruff. The King nodded, a smile splitting his face. "Indeed," He said and with a wave of his hand, a guard approached the man and held his hand. "No-no, Please, You're Grace! Please, I beg of you!" He cried before another guard approached and grabbed the man by the chin, holding his face and then shoving some sort of tongs in his mouth. Jonah, with his mask of indifference firmlg in place, said and did nothing to help this poor man and hoped the man wasn't innocent, that would lessen the blow to Jonah's chest. The man's screams broke Jonah from his thoughts as his tongue was cut from his lips. Jonah noticed his father's eyes were training not on the man, but on him as the man's screams died into muffled and gurgled sobs. "Magnus, What is the punishment for eavesdroppers?" He asked him and Jonah turned only his head to him. "The removal of his ears." He said stiffly and The King grinned proudly. "That's right," He said and gripped the arms of his throne. Jonah fought the urge to sigh. Killing the man would be kinder, this was just cruel but the King was many things, cruel was one of them. "The removal of the ears." The King drooled before waving at the guards again. As they approached the man, whose sobs were pitiful at this time point, and Jonah had had enough. "Father, You've already taken his tongue, there's no need to take his ears, he'll be useless at his work if he's deaf and mute." He said, his tone uncaring. The King's proud grin faltered. "You want me to spare his ears?" He asked him and Jonah inwardly bristled. "We need healthy men for your road, Father, he won't be able to follow proper instruction if he can't hear them." Jonah said evenly and the King pursed his lips. "You're right, My son," He said and Jonah didn't realize he was holding his breath. "Take only one." The King said and the guards swiftly followed the order. The man's muffled screams reached a crescendo while the King eyed his son, and Jonah held a well practiced mask of disinterest.

The events concluded it was only Jonah and his Father, his father descended his throne and grasped Jonah by the shoulder, he braced himself for pain but none came. "You did well today, son," He said and Jonah nodded. "Thank you, Father," He said and the King grinned. "One day, you'll need to make decisions like these." He said and Jonah merely nodded. "Show them no mercy and you will earn their respect." And Fear, Jonah thought but didn't say. "Now, Go, Check on my road, I want to be sure everything is going as planned," He said and Jonah nodded and broke from his father's grip and began to walk away. "Oh and Magnus," He called and Jonah turned. "Do well to remember, Mercy is for the weak" He said and Jonah nodded before walking away. Did he see? Did he know Jonah attempted to spare the man any more pain? He hoped not. He couldn't allow his father to see him as weak. He was Crowned Prince but that could always change, he could afford for that to happen.
Jonah quickly made his way toward the guards nearest him. "Find my guard, tell him he accompanying me this evening," He ordered and with that the guards were off and Jonah was left alone with his thoughts. Jonah wanted nothing more to be as ruthless as his father but his heart wasn't in it, he didn't think he could be so cruel, he wanted to be, tried to be but so far he was unsuccessful. He was the Prince of Skulls, he had much to learn before he could becoming the King of Skulls, like his father.
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TheCrimsonLady
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Re: The King of Talisia

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:40 am

(Sorry for any mediocrity in this post, it’s been a while since we’ve made all our plans and so I’m trying to piece things back together and find a way forward. From what I recall, she takes the prince and his accompanying guard captive and then, not knowing what to do with them, finds the ship captain of the resistance? Imma roll with that.)



The darkness and the drunkards remained Ridahne’s friends that night. She was convinced that the foreign soldiers had absolutely no idea how to read an ojih, the complex pattern of facial tattoos worn by the Azurei people. If they did, it wouldn’t be hard to find her if someone was looking, and after what just happened that morning, someone was definitely looking for her. Any Azurei she met would not sell her out—at worst, they would ignore her to stay out of trouble. But loyalism ran strong in Azurei blood and nobody dared to aid the foreigners when it meant putting one of their own in danger. And anyone who did would surely be killed in the night. Quickly. Quietly. For that was the way of the Azurei.

The desert dwellers had a reputation amongst foreigners as being lawless at worst and barbaric at best, though in truth they were like any other tribal society and simply had their own customs they lived by. They did have a military presence, but not in the same way as some other provinces did, with ranks of soldiers in uniforms and matched armor. The Azurei army was instead somewhat more spread out and dispersed amongst the community (and in turn, the battlefield). They favored surprise, stealth, and assassination as their methods of victory rather than a show of force. On the instances when they faced open battle with another faction, often times Azurei captains would lure the foreign invaders into the Im’khira’tal, the vast wasteland of desert dunes and dust that lay beyond their coastal settlement. And there they would watch their enemy succumb to the elements, withering in the sun without the knowledge of how to survive in such conditions. This plan, however, did not work quite as well in recent times, as they had never before seen a force so well supplied. Despite their attempts to intercept supply lines, assassinate leaders, and destroy resources, the foreign invaders kept coming, and they brought carts laden with food and water. Azurei, eventually, fell. It was not, however, the easiest of the conquered provinces to maintain, and the locals offered little respect to foreigners and cursed them, both silently and in the streets.

Ridahne stole from shadow to shadow, trying at the same time to also appear inconspicuous. She would linger by the open-walled taverns that faced the sea and, when some drunk sailor who couldn’t handle Azurei mead (which was quite strong and often spiced) would look away from his drink, she would reach out a hand, silent as a breath of wind on the sea, and take it. The same went for wedges of cheese, dates, and little sacks of almonds that were not well attended. Fish, thankfully, was not hard to come by. That at least, she could simply ask for, as she was of the Torzinei clan, who were people of the sea. All she had to do was present her ojih to a fishmonger and explain that she was down on her luck. And then, no matter how poor they were, they always managed to leave a smoked eejav on their counter unattended. It was in this way that Ridahne found her dinner.

A little hand wrapped around two of her fingers and pulled her into an alleyway and Ridahne followed the tug, though she glowered down at the small hooded figure wrapped in rags. “If you plan to pick my pockets, I’ve got a terrible, terrible surprise for you.” She let an inch of her long knife show, glinting in nearby torchlight. “Best reconsider, street rat.”
“You are known to the rats,” the young girl said with a small grin. “You were one of the guild once. We know our own.”
Ridahne gave a smile to that, dipping her head in a small salute. “From the shadows we come…”
“And to shadows we return.”

Ridahne let go of her knife and stood at ease. The thieves guild was a pack of poor children and orphans that roamed the streets and looked out for each other. Like little rats, they knew the ins and outs of the city, particularly near the docks where there were lots of travelers who did not know to steer clear of the little pickpockets. To locals, they were both a nuisance and a resource, as they often had ears and eyes all around the city. “What do you need from me?” She asked.
The little girl, who couldn’t have been any older than nine, lowered her voice and said “Been hearing stories of a rebel native who attempted to burn three soldiers alive this morning. Somewhere on the edge of town. And…” the girl turned Ridahne’s hand over in her own, looking at the black deposits of soot and smoke. “Unless this Torzinei is now a blacksmith, I think they mean you. You’re being searched for.” The girl beckoned for Ridahne to follow her deeper into the winding alleyway until they came across a barrel with soapy dish water in it. “They wouldn’t expect someone who spent the day in the waste to be clean. You’re too obvious now.”

Ridahne gave herself a quick, hasty wash in the somewhat cloudy water to rid herself of the dust and soot, and to smooth out her hair a little. When she’d finished, she nodded to the young street urchin. “My thanks. I’d give you a coin, but I have none. Tell me, little shadow, where have these soldiers been asking about me? I should find them before they find me.”
The girl pointed. “Two doors down that way was where I saw them last. What will you do?”
A sinister glint flashed in Ridahne’s amber eyes. “Clean the streets.”
The girl nodded, and fading into the darkness she said, “Windspeed, warrior.”

She checked her knives; of course she’d brought them. She’d rather burn with her hovel than leave them behind. Both were clean, sparkling and ready. Refueled by a quick wash, some food and drink, and the taste of revenge, Ridahne blew down the street like a soft whisper, her cloak shrouding her tall, slim figure as she walked in search of these soldiers. They thankfully did not take long to find. Or at least, she guessed it was them. There were two of them walking astride, and from behind she thought they looked enough like the men who harassed her that morning. Ignoring any sense of self preservation, Ridahne moved forward until she was just behind the two men, at which point she silently drew her pair of knives and pressed one into each of their backs, just enough to cause a little pain but not yet draw blood.

“Shout and you die. Fight, and you die. You will come with me. You will give me your coin purse. And if you cooperate, I will not burn you alive like you failed to do to me. Am I clear?” Her accent was thick, but her Talisian was good nonetheless. “Now, turn and face me. Slowly.”m

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