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Magnus Ightlor

A knight in the God-Queen's army and a devout follower of Her Holiness.

0 · 297 views · located in The Crimson Fox

a character in “Althaea”, as played by Maree

Groups

The Protectors of the God-Queen Sarene Iracot and main force of Her armies. They are currently lead by Knight-Commander Gabriel Envictus.

So begins...

Magnus Ightlor's Story

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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Maree
God-Queen Sarene Iracot; the most revered and worshiped being in all of Viridian.

Magnus had heard a rumor spreading that was deadly. He had not told a soul aside from his beloved wife. Elana was the most trustworthy person in all of Althaea in his eyes. The man could no longer look citizens in the eye lest he attempt to find blasphemy and rebellion in them. A look of intention or illegal contraband was enough to disappear from Iracot without a trace. The convicted were sacrificed just as Riyo Shikiro was the be sacrificed today.

The rumor had been spread by the servant; a rumor of the God-Queen being mortal. It had spread like wildfire throughout the palace and spilled into the streets. Riyo should have been a more intelligent boy and kept his mouth shut. Though, Magnus instantly denied the claim.

The God-Queen could not bleed. She was immortal and Heaven Incarnate.

It was right that he should die for his blasphemy and those affiliated with him were lucky to have turned him in or else they, too, would be sacrificed along side of him. Riyo had brought this on himself and there was none else to blame.

Magnus stopped at a vendor and looked down at a simple but elegant necklace worked in gold with a small ruby pendant. He instantly thought of Elana. Just a thought and Magnus felt his heart being tugged toward her. She was the most beautiful thing he had laid eyes on, except for the God-Queen Sarene. He had loved her from the very first moment and now Elana was his wife.

How he had gotten such a prize was unknown to Magnus.

He bought the trinket at its outrageous price and thanked the vendor. Magnus then set off to find his wife in the crowd of people.

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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Knosis
The market was crowded with people selling and buying wares in the trader's square. Most of the children who were barely old enough to walk were holding on to the strings of their mother's aprons as they hurried about. Well, except for one small child who sat sobbing on the step where he had lost his mother.

Elana gracefully cut her way through the crowd towards the sound of the crying child. She had seen him, although she had not been certain where his mother had gone. As she finally got to the boy, she pulled her dress so that it was easier bend down to look at the boy in the face. "There there little one.." She whispered, her voice calm and as warm and soft as velvet. It pulled the sobbing boy's attention like magic, his eyes growing wide at the sight of the woman. "It will be alright, promise. Let's sit and talk until your mother can find you.."

She would spot Magnus just as the mother came to claim her child. The mother was hot faced and worried, hugging her boy to her as if she would never let him go again. It was obvious the disappearing boy had not been noticed sooner, as she had five other children holding on to her strings, the youngest looking barely old enough to walk. "T-thank you missus.." The woman said before scampering away with her children in tow.

Elana stood, brushing off her dress gently before turning to Magnus with a warm, delicate smile. Elana was a mysterious woman, even her husband did not know all her secrets and she kept it that way. Her motto was always keep a silent tongue unless it was necessary, and even then never tell the full truth. Not that she meant to lie, but to tell them only what they wanted to hear. Magnus had never asked about certain parts of her past, and she was not willing to share them until she had to, which she fully intended to never have to.

But oh did she love him! Her heart throbbed harder just at his sight and she wanted to leap into his arms upon sight-- If it had been proper for a lady to do so in public. Girls did that, ladies did not. Instead, she hastened her step towards Magnus and gently placed a kiss on his cheek. "I was looking for you earlier.. But I got side-tracked... I am sorry.." She said just as calmly and warmly as she had spoken to the child.

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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Maree
The din of voices and the sea of faces died away when Elana came to Magnus. After her greeting, the knight took hold of her face in his hands and looked into her eyes. He had always wondered where she came from, where she had grown up. There was something in Elana's face, perhaps the eyes, that made her seem like she had not come from Viridian. That was impossible due to the closed borders to other nations and yet, Elana looked foreign.

His finger tips threaded into the hair at her temples and Magnus dropped his hands. He was a Knight and public affections, while not against the rules, were inappreciable.

"I will have to leave soon to report for duty. Shiabiann has been asking for you again. Just this morning one of her ladies stopped by with a message for you. You are not to work for that woman, do you understand?" Magnus asked. His voice was gentle as his touch but the warning was clear in his tone.

Working in the pleasure district was a well sought out job, especially for Shiabiann Xao-Lai. Magnus wanted no other man touching his wife. Elana belonged to him and to him solely.

"I got you a gift," he said before she could reply. Magnus pulled out the necklace from a small velvet pouch and offered it to Elana.

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Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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Orfea noticed the couple stood not to far away from her, and smiled lightly. She'd probably never have that, and although she didn't like it, it was something she had to put below her duty. Her ankle-low blue hair swayed to the left as the wind seemed to shove it away from her face. Orfea wanted to rest her shoulder on the wall corner, but her broken, mechanic wing stopped her from doing so.

Looking over to check if anything new was happening, she watched as they got it all prepared. Lifting a hand to her mouth, she let the tears fall for the very first time. 'he's going to die' kept running through her head like a broken record. It wouldn't stop reminding her! Shaking her head, she leaned her back against the wall and slid down to the stone ground.

She was being weak, and she knew it - but this was a day a great loss to her. A man who she'd considered family was on his death bed, and the next time she'll see him is when he dies. Shaking her head in denial, she rest her forehead upon her knees. It was a seemingly pathetic thing to do in public, but it was something she had to get off her chest; even if it's only to herself...

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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Knosis
Elana did not let her smile falter. She had denied Shiabiann a few times already, although she seemed to be persistent. The job that was being offered was a well paying one, and well sought after, but Elana was never really thought it was a respectable position. Besides, Magnus was uncomfortable with even being offered the job, and if he wished for her not to accept, she would not.

Her smile widened slightly at the mention of a gift as soon as he mentioned he had a gift. "You truly shouldn't have, m'love.." She said. Her eyes widened slightly at the necklace. "It is beautiful..!" She exclaimed. She would turn slightly, lifting up her hair in order for him to be able to put it on for her if he wanted.

One way another, she kept her back to him for a moment. "I will not accept the offer from Shiabiann, Magnus.." She said, calmly. "You know that.." But then her smile faded. "But do you have to be on duty for today..? The execution of that boy is today.." She lowered her voice a bit more, until it became a whisper between herself and Magnus. "Although I do not question the Majesty's decision, I do not think the boy should have been executed... Whipped, exiled maybe.. But sacrificed..?" She shook her head softly.

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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Maree
Magnus listened to Elana as she spoke and as he placed the necklace around her throat. His fingers brushed against her skin and Magnus turned his wife around to look him in the eye.

"You should not talk that way, Elana," Magnus said, whispering in her ear and placing a kiss against her cheek at the same time. It was to cover their conversation. It was bad to even look suspicious while in public, especially when the topic of discussion was of disagreement with the God-Queen's decision.

"We will discuss this later when we are both at home," Magnus said. It was not a suggestion but an order. He rarely did such a thing but the situation had called for it.

"You look beautiful today," Magnus complemented. "I wish that I were not on duty. There are more productive things that we could be doing." He looked pointedly at her belly, wishing for a child. So many times they had tried and still nothing yet. Magnus sighed through his nostrils and put his hands on her shoulders.

"You have your allowance, yes? Do some shopping while your are here. It will pass the time more quickly and keep your mind occupied."

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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Knosis
Elana pursed her lips in a pout. She truly hated it when he ordered her about, but she would listen to him. She knew it was not wise to speak in public about her thoughts on that subject, but neither was home a safe place at times either.

But her pout faded quickly, it was not proper for a lady to pout. Only a child pouted. "Thank you, m'love." She smiled brightly at him at his compliment, and for the gift. Her smile faded only slightly as he looked at her belly. "We shall have a child when the time is right. You cannot rush these things." She said softly, placing her hand on his cheek gently. In all honesty, she felt responsible for the fact they had not bore a child yet. Most women are with child soon after they were married. She had not.

"I have my allowance.. Is there anything you need while I'm out?" She asked warmly.

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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Maree
"I have all that I need," Magnus said with the issue of not having an heir in the back of his mind. There were times when a knight was called off to duty away from Iracot and never returned. If such a thing happened to Magnus, who then would carry on his name? He was eldest of the Ightlor lineage. It was Magnus's duty to carry on the honor of their family.

"And you are right," Magnus said while looking down at the gloves in his hands. "We will have a child when the God-Queen deems it is time for us to have one. For now, I suppose we will have to continue trying for one." He looked up at Elana with a hint of the boyish mischief he was well-known for in his younger days. '

"We will pray tonight to the God-Queen and then attempt many times over for one, my dearest Elana," the man said lightheartedly before he wrapped his arms around his wife and pulled her in for a most inappropriate, but loved filled, kiss.

The Knights proprieties be damned. The man was in love.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
The Heralds of Iracot began to walk through the city, shouting with their magnificent, and possibly enchanted, voices.

"The God-Queen summons Iracot for viewing of the Sacrifice of Riyo Shikiro!"

The summons to the Sacrifice had begun.


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Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Knosis
More than a little breathless at the kiss, she pushed away with a smile. "Go, you're going to be late, m'love. And I will not be the cause of the flogging you might receive if you are." She gave him one last kiss on the cheek before turning to disappear in the crowd. Despite her beauty, she could easily blend into the background of people around her as a thief could. A mysterious woman, she was.

But then, much to her dismay, the summons came for the sacrifice. The woman bit her lip hard and began to follow the rest of the crowd to the courtyard of Iracot. These things were never pleasant, even if the accused was truly guilty of what they were charged for.

The setting changes from palace-of-iracot to The Courtyard of Iracot

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Maree
A bell tolled.

The unnamed eyes of the crowd all turned toward the balcony. Those who had been sitting now stood and even the children stopped playing, standing for their God-Queen. A hush fell over the courtyard but there was an energy building, excited and fearful.

Knight-Commander Gabriel Envictus appeared first followed suit by the ranks of the royal escort. And then in her full glory, God-Queen Sarene Iracot in her gossamer gown and crystal crown was revealed. Calor was not far behind.

The goddess kept her head held high and her face blank of any emotion. The sun burned the paint on her body and face, but she showed no pain. Sarene reached the edge of the balcony where everyone had the pleasure and privilege of looking upon their God-Queen. Raising her hands, she turned her palms upward and opened her arms.

"Iracot!" Sarene greeted. A cry of adoration and pure love rose up from the crowd, deafening to the ears. The very stones of the courtyard vibrated from their voices. Slowly her hands dropped and rested on the balcony's wall. The roar died down and all ears attuned themselves to the God-Queen.

Sarene swept her gaze over the crowd. Many women, and some men, fainted for they believed their God-Queen had looked them directly in the eye.

"Iracot, the people that I have given birth to from my own bosom. My Children, each and every one of you. I bring you today a sacrifice. A sacrifice to protect my Children from those who wish to come and conquer our lands from the Outside. The cruel rulers who come with vast armies to rape your wives, your children, and to kill your husbands in torturous, dishonorable, deaths."

"The Sacrifice that fuels the barrier of the border is given today by a young man. This young man came forth to me, confessed his trespasses, and begged to give his life to his Mother and to her Children so that they may continue to live on in everlasting peace."

"By the mercy of my hand, I have granted him this boon," Sarene said. "Bring forth Riyo Shikiro."

A line of Knights entered through the northern archway and made their way down the stairs. Riyo Shikiro was among them. He was not held in restraints and there was no trace of rebellion in his eyes. No longer did he blaspheme against the God-Queen, nor did he speak a word. He walked down in silent reverence, setting his eyes on the God-Queen as if she was to be the last thing he saw before he died.

The knights led Riyo Shikiro onto the platform. He stood at the center and out of the corner of his eye he saw Orfea. His lips trembled but still he dared not to say a word. Not yet. Riyo had seen sacrifices before where the God-Queen chose a Knight to honor. He, or she, would come and slit his throat and bleed him out. There were lines carved into the platform, scrolling and decorative-No, they were a symbol. It was a glyph.

It really was magic. He had been right!

"The Sacrifice today will not be preformed by one of my Knights. Today, Iracot, I give you this sacrifice," Sarene said, her voice projected easily in the courtyard.

"Orfea Pathen," Sarene Iracot called out. There was no mistaking the name, nor to who it belonged. Everyone was staring at her, even Riyo whose eyes were wide with fear, shock, horror, and filled to the brim with tears.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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The Knights of the God-Queen were stationed here and there throughout the courtyard; those in the Honor Guard were but a few of all those in the city. While her Armies were vast and powerful, it was the Knights who had been chosen to watch for trouble during the ceremony.

Knight-Commander Gabriel and the Honor Guard had positioned themselves around, but apart from, their God-Queen. Quinn Lemons, the Shield Guard, was standing a few feet behind and to her left, ready to spring should any threat be detected. The Knight Herald, Dunkel Sarokonnen, stood well behind her, the Banner of Iracot held high above his head, but not so much that it overshadowed the God-Queen. The other three Knights, including Gabriel, were stationed apart at regular intervals. It was a well rehearsed play, and one they were honored to take part in.

Leading the retinue of Knights guarding Riyo Shikiro, Enrico Vaseli strode at the head. He was an intimidating figure, wearing only his finest armor, black with gold lining, and holding his deadly Black Steel scythe aloft, the tool of the executioner. He was oft the chosen man for the job, and so he expected to be for this day.

He had known Riyo fairly well, even liked the boy a bit, but duty was duty, and in the God-Queen's name he would perform it... or so he thought. When She revealed her choice, even among the Knights there was surprise to be had. Enrico didn't dare voice his disappointment, but it was evident on his face.

A hush had fallen, awaiting only the approach of Orfea. Two of the Knights, Marcus Salazar and Charley Sweepers, had begun moving through the crowd towards her; to escort her in her new path.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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She watched as Riyo was practically dragged into the courtyard, shaking her head slightly in dismay.

Orfea listened half-heartedly to the speech, trying to compose herself so she didn't break down... Again. It was only when she heard her name be called the she finally looked up, but seemed to be frozen in place. The words 'I can't do this!' kept running through her already jumbled thoughts as she noticed the crowd set back so she had room to approach.

She could see her parents staring down at her in shock and sorrow, but also with the fear that she would run. But Orfea knew that she hadn't a choice, and was soon travelling the makeshift path the crowd had made her.
Once there, she bowed to her Queen in respect, before glancing over to Riyo - her only friend. Her eyes filled with tears, but she was quick to blank her face and hold her tears back.

Orfea put on a brave face, acting as if she was confident in the task she had been given. She looked over the crowd as they merged back into the original formation they had been in before. They were all staring at her, and secretly in unnerved her. Of course, she could never let that show. Instead, she acted as though she was perfectly fine with the hundreds of eyes that laid only on her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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"Please, Cordelia, formalities between us are far from necessary, I assure you," Selwyn said with his trademark grin forming across his face. He gently placed his hand on her cheek.

"I look forward to seeing you later," he cooed."My lady," Looking straight into her eyes, boring into them with his chestnut brown ones, he lightly grazed her skin before removing his hand and moving past the other Knights, nodding to each with a smirk of falsified respect as he passed.

The man had always taken an interest in Cordelia. Despite not caring much for anyone or anything other than his coin and position, he was still a man at the end of the day, and any man finds it difficult to escape his carnal interests. There had been several times where Selwyn hired concubines of the Pleasure Ward who had similarities in appearance to that of Cordelia Ightlor. Always in secret, of course, and making sure to pay them handsomely for their discretion. Although most of these courtesans were aware that if any secret of Selwyn's escaped their lips, they would find themselves mysteriously waking up halfway across Althaea, far from where any damaging information could be used against him.

He heard the bell toll and made his way to his spot on the balcony, looking to the God-Queen herself. "Your grace, it is, as always, an honor to be in your presence on such a glorious occasion. Praise be to you," he exclaimed with a deep bow. Stepping towards his designated spot on the balcony, he noticed Shiabiann, the Magistrate of the Pleasure Ward, already in her position. The two had a mutual respect, yet distrust of each other. It was an interesting relationship, to say the least. They knew they could ruin each other if they wanted to, yet most times it made more sense to both to be in good graces with each other...as long as they always remained at a bit of a distance.

"Magistrate, good day to you. I trust things are good with you in your Ward, yes?" he asked with a bow of his head and a smirk.

Overlooking the masses, he took in the proceedings and watched as his Queen called up Orfea Pathen to the sacrificial stage. Selwyn stood back, crossing his hands behind his back. Taking a last glance at the hunger and blood lust in the citizens eyes, the man grinned, excited for the opportunity to satisfy their vices in drink and gluttony in his Ward post-cermony.

It would, after all, prove to be a profitable day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Maree
Cordelia now stood on the inside of the gateway to the courtyard, along with her comrade in arms, Calvin. There was not a soul left in the empty streets and nothing to guard. She could not stop thinking about Selwyn and what he had said to her. If Calvin had said anything of his opinion on Selwyn, or on what the man had said, Cordelia definitely had not heard.

She was beginning to doubt her choice of attending the event. And yet, Cordelia wanted nothing more than to be cornered by the powerful Magistrate. Her heart raced in her chest from the mere thought of spending time with the man in the dark. His touch alone on her cheek had sent tendrils of delight racing down her belly.

Her lustful thoughts were disrupted as Orfea was called to the platform. It was unfortunate that she had to perform the Sacrifice of Riyo. It was no secret that the two were friends, and there were rumors of them being more than companions. It was not lost on Cordelia how the God-Queen had publicly denounced Orfea Pathen's Knighthood. Sarene Iracot had given the privilege of the Rite to a citizen and yet, she had called a knight's name.

Knight-Commander Envictus most likely had orders to cease and strip Orfea of her rights as a knight as soon as the ceremony was over.

"Enrico Vaseli, hand Orfea Pathen a blade of her choosing," the God-Queen's voice rang out, even to the farthest reaches of the courtyard.

Riyo Shikiro's eyes pleaded with Orfea, begging her not to be the one to end his life. He tried so hard to say something but he found that his voice would not come. His entire body was frozen, out of control, and unable to move at his will. The tears that ran down his face would be, unmistakably be taken as pure joy to be the sacrifice for Iracot and the God-Queen.

"It is beautiful, is it not?" Shiabiaan said to Selwyn. She was unafraid to speak behind the God-Queen. None would notice. All eyes were on the little lamb and his friend. "I do enjoy a good sacrifice. It does boost revenue when it is all done. Many of the citizens come to me after they have left your ward in order to enjoy one of my ladies or boys," Shia stated as if Selwyn's business was a participant in why she had accrued so much wealth.

"Will you be coming too, or will you be attempting to bed the prude virgin?" A knowing smirk spread across the breath-taking woman's face. She never made eye contact with Selwyn but kept her eyes on Orfea and Riyo. Her breathing was irregular and deep. Shia, perhaps, was taking more pleasure in the Sacrifice than most would have.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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Calvin had lost the amused look during the events transpiring next to him. Very unprofessional, Cordelia. Very. When Selwyn had finally left, he scowls and speaks, in a mock of the man's more silky voice, "Please, Cordelia, formalities between us are far from necessary, I assure you. Hmph!"

"I don't know what you see in him, honestly. Money... fame... hmph. I bet I could take him in a fight," Calvin decides, talking half to himself bitterly. He'd lost the preconception of trying to watch the gate, not that he'd simply allow anyone to just walk up to them. He was about to say more when the God-Queen's voice sent a shiver through him.

When her speech had finished, he blinked a few times, peering towards Cordelia, comrades again. "She's having Orfea do it? I thought they were... close." He makes a crude gesture.

----

Enrico was beside himself. The God-Queen had addressed him with a specific duty in mind. Even if it was not the execution of the sacrifice, it was almost as good. He bows his head to Orfea, and gestures to the rest of the retinue of Knights, who in unison offer the hilts of their various arms. "I would be honored," Enrico says softly, "If you would take mine for the duty." He, too, offers his mighty Scythe.


Gabriel and the rest of the Honor guard were performing their true function; seeking the crowds for those who would disrespect the God-Queen by speaking during the ceremony. A few brief, hushed exclamations were common and allowed. If there was any consortium that became a conversation, he would set his people into motion. And, he had detected the group of three, huddled together and carrying on, despite the gravity of the situation.

Making a covert gesture recognized only by the Knights, Gabriel sends two of them to bring retribution to the group of three. Dravinglov and Luna had begun to advance through the crowds, like wraiths descending on their prey.

With that, he returned his attention to the shocking choice. He had not known Sarene's intentions with Orfea, but her words, and the intent behind them, were clear. He knew what must be done after the ritual was complete.


----

Nearing the edge of the city, an exhausted horse and rider crests the last hill overlooking the great holy land. The man was Shein Clovin, Knight-Errant and runner, who had been assigned to one of the Knights' border combat teams. And he had a dire message that needed to be received immediately. Urging his steed on, he carries forth towards the Palace.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Gasmask
Sven stood upright as he saw the lead knight's gesture, he knew what was coming now. If they were wraiths, he was the ghost that taught them all how to haunt, he knew all the tricks when it came to fighting an armored knight or otherwise, he'd taught most knights after all. Proud was an understatement, but only a few knights deserved recognition among them.

"Shh. The feral dogs come to bite. Just visit the Agricultural Ward tonight. They'll be a congregation, don't waste your time at the Crimson Fox, neither. The owner'll slit your throat, then piss in it." Sven hissed though closed lips and gently pushed his two new companions apart gently.

If the knights intended to make Sven and the other two men an example, the look and gesture the ex-knight gave them would probably deter them. Sven gave them a smile, a slight bow and with his hands gave them a gesture that he had used in the training rounds of Iracot a few months ago.

The gesture warned of an incoming blow, the first finger said if it was a sword, in this case it was a sword, and the second alerted to the direction, which happened to be left.

"Pull up your hoods and distance yourself into the crowds if you want to live." Sven hissed loud enough for the two men to hear.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor
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#, as written by Knosis
Elana had stayed near the very back of the crowd. She did not believe this was a 'sacrifice'. She only saw this as an execution. Biting her lip, she listened to the words that were said only passively, keeping her eyes down from the scene above. 'This is not right..!' She thought to herself. 'This is not right at all.' Rumors, as she knew, had a tenancy to grow from the the slightest misunderstanding of someone else. Someone could say that roses were red, and the person listening could hear roses were dead and pass that information to a person who was only half listening themselves and hear that his sister Rose was dead.

This boy could have said something completely different than what had been spread, yet there he was standing before them about to be slain for his supposed crime. Elana had a firm belief that everyone made mistakes. Even the God-Queen.

But there was nothing that the woman could do about it. Nor could she say anything against it. She would be pinned up beside him if she did. One voice could not prove the wrongs of an entity as powerful and as influential as the God-Queen. Even her own husband stood on her every word.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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#, as written by Maree
"You dare to blaspheme your God-Queen?" It was Magistrate Shiabiann that had spoken, her voice traveling over the gathered as easily as Sarene Iracot's had done. The elegant and scantily clad woman smiled in amusement. There was not only one death to be had today it appeared.

Sarene Iracot's eyes stared at Orfea Pathen with a vengeful gaze. The Sacrifice was not turning out as it should and the Magistrates were there to see the God-Queen's failure. Failure was unacceptable.

"Seize her," the God-Queen demanded of her Knights on the platform. "And Riyo Shikiro shall burn for your utterances against my Holiness."

Flame erupted beneath Riyo Shikiro's feet and his tongue was loosened. His screams echoed through the courtyard as he was burned mercilessly. The smell of searing flesh filled the noses of those who were the closest. His skin blackened with char and melted from his bones as the fire consumed him.

"I am a merciful god to those who are worthy. Those who betray me will suffer as these two shall today. Do not forget Iracot. I am your God!" Sarene was infuriated. Where there was one who would dare to speak against her there were more.

"Behead the blasphemer and her family!" the God-Queen commanded before she turned on heel to leave the courtyard. A resounding boom of the massive doors that lead into the palace signaled the leave of Sarene Iracot.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor
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#, as written by Maree
Cordelia almost leaped out of her armor as a hand clamped down on her shoulder. It was Magnus, her brother. He was supposed to be on duty, or at least that was what he had told his family.

"The Sacrifice has gone wrong," she said to Magnus.

"So I have noticed. There is trouble brewing in Iracot. This, I fear, is just the precursor. I've come to you to tell you've that I've been promoted to the Dragoons. I shall be training with them soon. You may have to watch over Elana for me while I am away," Magnus said to Cordelia with a grave look on his face. He looked to Calvin and gave the man a nod in greeting. He didn't know the man very well but Cordelia did mention him a great deal at the dinner table. Perhaps Cordelia had taken a liking to the man. It was not uncommon for two Knights to wed.

"Be on your guard, the both of you. There may be panic from the events that have transpired," Magnus warned ominously.

"Of course. Magnus, Magistrate-"

"Watch over my sister, brother-knight," Magnus said to Calvin which garnered a defensive look from Cordelia. She needed no one to look out for her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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Selwyn remained seated, smirking at Shiabiann's attempted words of insult.

"Come now, Magistrate. Jealousy is not a good look on you, especially on such a joyous occasion. I daresay our 'God-Queen' would only want positive emotion from one of her Throne Holders," he spoke with only a mere hint of apathy in his voice.

"Besides, it would be such a terrible shame if one of your top earners were to suddenly disappear, or if perhaps a brothel of yours burnt down from a drunken citizen celebrating the day's events. Of course, should such a terrible event occur, you have the full support of the Merchant's Ward."

Selwyn moved his attention from the cat and mouse conversation over to the blue haired Knight known as Orfea Pathen, summoned for the execution. As she turned to the crowd to deliver her blasphemous tirade, Selwyn reached into his belt and grasped the hilt of an ornate dagger, sheathed in crimson, bearing the head of a silver fox at the base of the handle.

Upon Magistrate Shiabiann's words of scold to Orfea, Selwyn rushed up behind the blue haired Knight and held his now drawn dagger to her throat as the rest of the Knights readied their weapons at the woman. The God-Queen took her leave to return indoors just before Selwyn leaned in close to Orfea's ear, lowering his voice to a mere whisper.

"A word of advice; if there's one thing I learned along my rise, it would be to never let anyone know your true intentions, my dear Orfea."

Selwyn let the God-Queen's Knights take her out of his grasp before turning back to Shiabiann.

"This does not bode well for our Wards, Magistrate. Order must be restored, or riots in our streets are inevitable," the man spoke as he turned to the now restless crowd, chanting and screaming obscenities up at the stage. He began to address them, drenching his words in as much charisma as he could muster. Selwyn raised both his hands in an attempt to garner the masses' attention.

"People of Iracot, do not fear. Praise be the God-Queen and her rule. We are now blessed with not only one, but two sacrifices on this, a most momentous of days. Enjoy the rest of the ceremony, and afterwards, enjoy your first round of drinks on me at any one of the taverns in the Merchant's Ward," he let the words ring out before delivering the finale to his speech.


"In addition, Magistrate Shiabiann Xao-Lai is most graciously offering her Ward's services at half price all evening in celebration of our Holiness herself!"

Selwyn smiled, knowing Shiabiann would not be pleased at all. He lowered his hands and turned to the stunning Magistrate of the Pleasure Ward, speaking so only she could hear.

"We do what we must to keep order," Selwyn said, his smart smirk turning into a full on smile.

The setting changes from the-courtyard-of-iracot to Althaea

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Elana Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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#, as written by Nevan
Everything had gone wrong, Calor noticed. He stood there as the God-Queen took her leave behind him, his head shaking slowly as the knights and those few who dared opposed the God-Queen's rule seemed to verbally duel back and forth, and as the figure known as Parem' Zel rushed through to try and save the woman who had refused to carry out the sacrifice.

"Are these people serious?" He asked, a brow raised as he heard them yell in the crowd. Words of unfairness, cruelty, of being unjust and tyrannical?

"SILENCE! I DEMAND SILENCE!" His voice roared out over the crowd; the silent blade that protected their 'beloved' Queen shocking most of them into silence.

"Cruelty? Witch? Tyrannical? Have you not looked at yourself, you disgusting hypocrites? I have walked as one of you, drank in your taverns, made friends and enemies of both the poorest and most comfortable of you. Let me tell you this, peasants: all of you are below the God-Queen, guilty of all things you accuse her of being."

He began to walk back and forth, his pacing speeding as he kept his head on the thousands below him.

"You people drink, you fornicate, you sit in basements and exchange coin as dogs tear each other asunder and cheer for more as men and slaves use all manner of lethal weaponry to slaughter each other in rings of combat. You laugh as men beat each other to death, as they slice and stab and butcher. You crave war and violence, you ignore those lesser than you in desperate need of help and charity and you seek nothing but to further your own wealth and power and are jealous of my beloved Queen because by right of divinity, she has it.

"Rule under her banner is far more preferable to the chaos you cretins yourselves would cause if you did not have her to follow. And do these sacrifices not resemble the executions many of you go to watch regularly? Where you shout, cheer and insult the criminals about to have their lives taken away? Do you not throw turds and rotten fruit and dishonour them with every movement, even if guilty only of stealing from a market stall, or wrongly accused in the first place? Why are these sacrifices, why are the things my God-Queen demands so much more despicable than what you yourselves do?"

"Our God-Queen is Queen by divine right. She will guide us to be a better people, she works tirelessly to love us all and rid us of the sins inherit in our kind, yet you do nothing but resist her and scream of foulness. By order of I, Calor Elohan, chosen husband of God-Queen Sarene Iracot, I order all of you to bow, re-pledge your allegiance to her and her state and immediately stop all thoughts of treason. If you do not, then you will no longer be welcome in this country and I hereby sentence you to be exiled and cast beyond our borders; your lands, possessions and titles stripped away from you, by force if our Queen's Knights deem it necessary! Those who do not comply with either of these orders will be restrained and taken for future sacrifices."

Oh, he wasn't sure his Queen would like his speech, but it was said and done and he had nothing else to do but turn and follow her back into her palace.

The setting changes from althaea to The Courtyard of Iracot

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Alber Roth Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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Enrico was outraged; not only had Orfea done a dis-service to their Lady, but she had dishonored him by taking his weapon, only to cast it upon the ground. The other Knights on the platform were stunned; but not for long.

As soon as the God-Queen ordered her seized, they went into action. Magistrate Selwyn, with a fury that matched his importance, got to her first. Placing his dagger to her neck, he speaks a few words, before Marcus and Charley both move forward to take her by the arms and lower her head to the ground. Enrico had retrieved his Scythe, and was preparing to administer the God-Queen's will.


Gabriel had watched the proceedings with disgust. To think, one of his own would dare defy their God-Queen. She deserved more than a quick death, but it was not his duty to decide.

With Sarene going back into the Palace, her personal guard in tow, it was now Gabriel's duty to quell any sort of dissent that might rise. Seldom did it occur that people were displeased after a ceremony, but a public outcry of this sort... he was pleased to have Magistrate Selwyn providing words of wisdom and complacence to the crowd. Political creature though Gabriel was, his pursuit was more direct than diplomatic.



Ostdarva waited in the bell tower. He was stationed there to utilize the fullest of his skills; the long-range rifle he bore. Many of the words from the crowd below failed to filter up to him, but the voice of the God-Queen always managed to find him.

Orfea would die.

It was not his duty to administer that death, however; his was to ensure none sought to stop it. And, through his magnification glass, he could see... one man, amidst an unmoving crowd, rushing forward. He aims down, taking his time...


In the crowd, several Knights were hunting for Orfea's dishonored family. They would submit to execution, or they would die more messily; they were not concerned. Dravinglov and Naya, however, had been keeping their eyes out for more noticeable actions, moving towards the raised proceedings in order to do so.

----

Calvin, out in the courtyard, remained largely silent as he watched the proceedings between Magnus and his sister. He was tactful enough to realize the gravity of the situation. And he knew something had gone wrong in the Courtyard, which further steeled his usually more relaxed attitude.

He was surprised, none the less, when Magnus addressed him. "Of course," he replies in surprise, then hardens his voice. "No harm shall come to her while I yet live," he says seriously. All the past few minutes were in the past, as far as he was concerned.


----


Before the full proceedings could be brought against Orfea, the man from the crowd leaps up onto the platform; drawing their weapons to defend themselves, the Knights move against him. Through some means of magic or skill, he had evaded them and, despite it all, brought himself next to Orfea.

The Knights could not penetrate the flame, but when the great beast had flown down and carried the man and woman away, they could strike.


Or rather, Ostdarva and Dravinglov could strike. Dravinglov's rifle was unslung and aimed skyward, and he fires. With such a swift target, hitting it from the ground would be difficult, but he was a skilled marksman. The true shot would come from Ostdarva. Biding his time, he had waited, through the attack, into the retreat, waiting for the perfect shot... and it came, just as the beast became level with him in the high tower.

He fires, seeking to send his shot through not the man, nor the beast he rode, but Orfea. The God-Queen's will would be done.

He begins reloading his weapon reverently. If he hit his target- or any of those who had been within his sights- the Knights below would deal with the remains.

----

The blast from Ostdarva's rifle was the last sound in the Courtyard before the speech of Calor. The Knights, even Gabriel, had stood at attention in response, save those who had begun hunting the Gryphon and its cargo. They were watchful, seeing the people respond, and bow. A few did not. Those few would be hunted. But for the moment, they had bigger plans to commence.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Parem' Zel
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#, as written by Maree
ImageMagnus nodded at Calvin as a great shadow passed overhead. He looked up and saw what was a gryphon that was not bearing the colors of the God-Queen. His keen eyes spotted the blue hair and instantly knew what had happened.

"Stay your posts!" Magnus ordered Cordelia and Calvin both. He thrust his index fingers into his mouth and gave a loud whistle. The newly instated Dragoon took off at a run.

A roar resounded through the air and a greater shadow than what the gryphon had cast flew over the streets and buildings of Iracot. There was no mistaking the sound for it was the battle roar of a dragon, one of the few the Dragoons were bonded to.

Using the ability of Sight through the bond with his dragon, Magnus sought out the gryphon. Upon its back was an unknown man and Orfea. The God-Queen's orders concerning the blue-haired woman were clear. There was no mistaking the words spoken throughout the courtyard.

The dragon with its greater speed began to race toward the gryphon releasing another bone-trembling roar. Its chest expanded and when it came close enough it spurted forth a massive arc of flame at Parem'Zel and Orfea.

The massive dragon would not relent its attack until the target was dead either by flame, teeth, or claws.

The setting changes from the-courtyard-of-iracot to The Pleasure Ward

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Parem' Zel
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Image
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Parem was fading in and out of consciousness after the knight on one of the towers shot and arrow that pierced his right shoulder. Fortunatly, Durock managed to move Orfea out of the line of the knights gun fire, in return, the griffon itself was hit just under the left wing. But from the ground multiple arrows and gunshots blazed upward in an attempt to bring the Griffon down. Parem barely registered the girls "thank you" before a massive roar came up behind him. He forced himself to stay awake. As much as he wanted to collapse he knew he wasn't out of this yet.

He glanced behind and saw the terrible, menacing dragon, spitting streams of fire in their direction. "Damnit... Did I ever say how much I DESPISE dragons?!" He cursed out loud. "You better hold on tight miss, this is going to be hard to escape from." He ordered Durock to dive straight down above an alleyway. Within moments they were over the rooftops over the Pleasure Ward. Directly under the dragon. With incredible pain, Durock literally halted over one of the buildings, simply hovering there. Parem and helped Orfea climb down to the ground and the moment they were off, Durock made another ear piercing screech, once again, shattering windows and glass around them. The Griffon spread it wings and soared upward to confront the dragon. Parem understood clearly, the dragon was bigger, stronger, faster and so on. If they were going to do survive, there had to be a sacrifice.
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