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Sven Khagal

A merchant whose sole goal is to make sure that his group of stray children live to see the next day.

0 · 179 views · located in The Crimson Fox

a character in “Althaea”, as played by Gasmask

Description

Image A disgraced knight and scruffy merchant, Sven lives on though the promise of making his life-debt to the God-Queen matter. Although he lost his armor to the cruel bitch, not to mention his honor, Sven continues on as a merchant, using the the things he learned as a knight to keep his income solid and stopped using the money on material things such as swords and whores and instead to adopt the orphans he meets on the gritty streets and run a house for the urchins, where he lives on now as guardian and father.

The merchant is handsome to peasant standards, though carries a wicked scar across his left eye and has lost the will to shave his beard or cut his hair as he no longer serves in the God-Queen's army. Sven's deep brown eyes hint at caring, but only cruelty and false like to those loyal to the God-Queen. One of the orphans once asked the intrepid guardian how he got his scar, the merchant only grimly smiled and told the orphan that it was serving someone who was wrong in nearly everything she did.

Sven has killed men, stabbed kings and guarded lives for the god-queen but never was entrusted to the life of orphans until now. The merchant would die for the children now, and he believes they will never be safe until the god-queen lies dead and the kingdom run on the opinion of those born low, instead of those born high like himself, not that it matters to the dishonored knight anymore, his family dumping all ties with the thirty-four year old.

However, Sven ignores all the feeble wars around him and would only get back into the fight if it meant the lives of the children in his care, never having the courage to take direct action unless he knew what would happen to his proteges. The old rogue knight still hones his skills with the khopesh, but will never wear armor again on the pain of death, so instead he has become increasingly agile with his sword and could easily outplay slower warriors. Although his poorly made sword will never scale to the sword he owned while he was in the military of the God-Queen, no weapon shall ever match her bite.

So begins...

Sven Khagal's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal

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#, as written by Gasmask
Three orphans flew though the streets and wards of Iracot, they were like sparrows to the naked eye, just quick enough to blur but too slow to escape anything that took an active interest. The first child was dressed in scrappy black clothing with a belt bearing a rusted sigil of the the God-Queen's knights and a small dagger was hidden in the small of her pants. The second had enshrouded himself in a sickly green colored shirt and ripped slacks. The final urchin had a small hood perched upon his black shirt that was backed with old fox-pelt, and looked to be the oldest of the lot.

Anyone with a proper eye might notice that some of the finer clothing on these children of the streets were the old and rusted equipment of a certain disgraced knights. Anybody that knew of the merchant who ran a house for the street urchins would definitely know better, not that anybody wanted to socialize with someone who vexed the God-Queen.

The first orphan stood at the gates of the palace and signaled to the others and begun to tug at the knights. "Hey, oi knight sir! Milord knight! Hey!" The orphans almost sung in unison, circling around the two guards with smiles. "I need somefin'." echoed the female urchin, smiling.

A figure stood away from the orphans, leaning against a wall with a hand on the khopesh tied to his left side, watching his orphans at work. Sven coudn't help wondering if he was even allowed nearby anymore, if so, the merchant bet he could outrun the fools. It's what running after a bunch of grubby orphans did to you.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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#, as written by Maree
There were many people converging toward the God-Queen's Palace. Each of them were donned in their best attire, even the lower class citizens of Iracot had scrapped a few fine pieces. The noble ladies were dressed in mock fashions of what the God-Queen had worn at her last appearance with variations and large, curling, hair that seemed to defy gravity.

Vendors were lined around the palace walls, yelling out what goods they had to offer. Their prices were exorbitant and only the rich were able to purchase. Withering apples and molded cheese were left for the poor to buy. It was all the could afford. A merchant may have been able to score a small tart made with aged horse meat.

The God-Queen's Knights were busy keeping urchins in order and preparing themselves for rioting. Of course, there would be no uprising today. A sacrifice made in the God-Queen's honor was always a treat for the citizens of Iracot. It was one of the very few times that Sarene Iracot came to see her people, outside of the Palace walls.

Cordelia was amoung the knights at the gates, watching the people who gravitated toward the courtyard where the sacrifice was to take place. Her ice-blue eyes watched the street urchins carefully. They were tugging on a fellow knight. Cordelia fought against a smile, training her face to remain neutral. It would be a disgrace against the God-Queen if she allowed herself to become distracted.

Cordelia spoke a few words to her comrade and walked toward the children.

"Where is your guardian?" Cordelia asked them, looking down at each of the children in turn. She stood well above them, tall for a woman yet still short compared to the other Knights. Her armor gleamed a polished silver and the halberd in her hand was very fine.

"Children are not to be left unattended in the streets during a Sacrifice to the God-Queen. Run along now to your guardian before you are taken into custody. The Knights are not here for your pleasure," Cordelia said to them. She did not want to be so harsh with children but it was her duty to the God-Queen. There were no exceptions, even for urchins.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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#, as written by Gasmask
The orphans looked up and one of them had opened their mouths in an amazed O. The orphan responsible for that particular face slowly worked up the courage to talk. "I wana' be like you when I grow up." The older orphan held up his hand and cupped it over the other orphans mouth, silencing her voice. The third orphan whispered in a rather-too-loudly voice not to say that or she'll have to sacrifice people for the God-Queen too.

"Sven's not allowed here anymore, miss knight. He said so, we just wanted to see the knights and he said it would be okay for a little bit. We wanted to see the God-Queen. Doesn't she care about us too?" The oldest replied, his voice did not successfully hide the fear he felt, his voice wavering a few times.

"I don't wanna be arrested either though, please." The second orphan said, his smile disappearing. "They say there's ghosts and vampires down there." The first echoed to his makeshift brothers. "I don't like ghosts." The female orphan blurted, the hand off her mouth.

One of the orphans gestured towards their guardian who was leaning against a wall and at a fair distance away from the palace.

Sven watched from a distance, his foot planted on the wall and picked up the sacks of groceries he'd bought for the rest of the orphans, waiting for his charges to return to him like a flock of sparrows. The ex-knight wished he could go and collected them, but the thought of not being able to do much with them without a head stopped him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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#, as written by Maree
The children all spoke at once but Cordelia was quick to pick out a few words and answers flew to her lips.

"First off," Cordelia said, resting the pole of her halberd into the crook of her elbow. "The God-Queen adores all of her subjects, even the smallest of you all. And Sven? I know this name. This is your guardian?" she asked. When the child pointed, Cordelia's gaze followed and her suspicions were confirmed.

"Come with me. All of you," Cordelia demanded. She walked toward the recently denounced knight and stood before him with an air of righteousness. He had trained her in the barracks courtyard. They had known each other and were good acquaintances. Cordelia had once considered Sven to be a friend but now mere association tainted her progression with the knights. Being seen with him could jeopardize her chances at becoming a Dragoon; the most mysterious sect of knights in the army, the God-Queen's ghosts.

"Sven Khagal. There are your wards. They were left unattended. You should know better than to allow urchins to run without their guardian in the streets, especially when events are winding up toward a Sacrifice for the God-Queen." Cordelia's tone was guarded, as was her stance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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#, as written by Gasmask
"A rogue's thanks be with you." Sven replied, if the merchant ever had an aura like hers, it wasn't there anymore. The orphans crowded around the two, helping themselves to the sack of food that the merchant had bought. "They've lived most of their lives on the streets. This one." The ex-knight pointed at the oldest. "Gives me a headache."

Sven sighed loudly, picking up the sack and patting his knees in a way that said 'follow' to the the orphans. This was more awkward than he thought it would be, the orphans wouldn't understand why. The older ex-knight still thought that Cordelia might've had the kindness not to sound and act stiff, it was a disappointment when it was confirmed.

"I regret it came to this." Sven continued, slinging the sack over his shoulder and swiping an apple that the smallest orphan was about to eat, wagging his finger and putting it back into the brown sack. "Born from a high birth in Zaddushol Highlands, who ever thought I'd look after orphans?" Sven held back the tears of crushed pride and turned, pushing one of the orphans first.

"I miss my squire who used to wipe my-" Sven self censored by biting his lip. "And laugh it all my jokes the most. I'll let you chase your career, Ightlor." The merchant finished, unwilling to sally their relationship even further by referring to her by her first name, that would imply he still thought they could be friends.

The setting changes from palace-of-iracot to Althaea

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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The setting changes from althaea to Palace of Iracot

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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Having been previously stationed opposite the gate to Cordelia, Calvin Hammond stood at ease, watchful, next to the gate. He was in his full battle garb; heavy armor, a kite shield strapped to his left forearm, and his two blades strapped to his back in a criss-cross, one over the other. He had his helmet on, as he rarely liked to be seen as a mere Man when on duty.

Cordelia had told him to stay and guard the gate while she dealt with the intrusion. Calvin was always happy to follow orders from the other Knights, especially those few female ones. But, for now he contented himself to watch her go, as he had been left a crucial duty.

Allowing a slight grin to cross his unknowable features as Cordelia admonishes the urchins, he keeps an eye on the surrounding activity. He was confident in his ability to deal with any threat or distraction, be it a single beggar or an army of... anything. Any sort of army, he would at least delay if nothing else.

Cordelia had then wandered off towards a shady-looking man off to the side. Calvin wondered who it was, to have distracted Cordelia from her duties... but, no matter. He would remain as he was until her return, and maybe ask her about it then.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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#, as written by Maree
Cordelia's eyes narrowed at the beginning of Sven's 'joke'. But a minor expression of shock overtook the resentment. Never before had Sven called her by her surname. The man had always been adamant about using her first name as if to exaggerate on her femininity. There were not many women that got to be a Knight for the God-Queen. Sven had always said her name in pride, and now it was nothing but disgust.

"Carry on your business here, Khagal, and keep control of your wards. I do not wish to arrest you and the bastard children too," Cordelia said, waving him off with a gesture. Disappointment crossed her face as Cordelia locked eyes with Sven. She shook her head and returned to her post without even saying goodbye.

Cordelia refused to look at Sven to see if he left, or even if he had kept the children under control as commanded. It was clear she was upset but Cordelia was not the type to admit it, especially while on duty. She did not let personal matters get in the way of her duties. Even if she kept her face coolly neutral there was obvious tension in her shoulders.

"Sven Khagal, that man was," Cordelia said to Valor; Calvin Hammond, who was the guard on duty with her. "He was my trainer. He walked away from his duties and now he's nothing but a patron for street bastards. My career will never follow suit. He dishonors himself and he dishonors the God-Queen."

"I saw it with my own two eyes," Cordelia said. "He told the God-Queen that he refused to arrest Riyo Shikiro, that the boy was too young to die. I am surprised that the God-Queen had not sacrificed him. In my opinion I would have him sacrificed today too. But it is the God-Queen's will. Perhaps she had something else in store for him."

Listening to Valor respond, that was when Cordelia finally noticed a woman balled up against a wall. It was suspicious behavior. Possibly interrupting Valor, Cordelia pointed to the blue-haired girl.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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Calvin had maintained his professional demeanor and stance up until the moment Cordelia had returned to her post, standing opposite him. She didn't wear a helmet, which he didn't mind at all. After a brief inquiry, she tells him about who she spoke to and why she had such a sour expression.

"So he's a deserter," Calvin says with a tone of utter disdain. "Never would have thought that possible... I agree. He should be-" he pauses, looking towards where Cordelia was gesticulating. A woman, down on the ground and curled up. "Stand back, Sissy," he says in a deeper voice than his actual one, holding a hand out as if to stop her rushing forward. "I will handle this one."

He had a few reasons for doing so. One, it was actually standard protocol for Knights to shift duties. She had handled the last disturbance, so now it was his turn. Second, it was a woman, and Calvin did love dealing with women. And third, he just loved talking to Cordelia like that.

Striding forward with a purpose, he stands at a respectable distance to Orfea. "Are you awake, Citizen?" His words were direct and loud enough to be heard over everything around them.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal

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Orfea looked up to the Knight, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. 'You'd think they'd recognise one of their own...' she thought to herself as she stood. Her posture was perfect, her hands clasped neatly behind her back. It didn't even looked like she'd been crying at all! She smiled slightly to the Knight, before introducing herself. "I'm awake. My name is Orfea Pathen... I'm a knight of the God-Queen." Her last name was known, but some were unsure of the pronunciation.

So far she'd seen to reason to explain herself, for he'd never asked. No point in giving him information he possibly wouldn't want. She'd done no wrong, for she'd every right to mourn for her best friend. He'd done wrong, but that didn't mean a close friend wouldn't miss him.

Orfea raised an eyebrow to him, wanting to know if there was anything else he wanted. She was in no mood for time wasters. Of course, since she'd stood the wind had decided to begin blowing her long blue locks into her face - but Orfea did nothing to stop it. She let her face be covered almost completely by her hair, not really caring at all.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor

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"Orfea," Calvin exclaims. "I... didn't recognize you, on the ground as you were," he stammers out briefly. While most of the female Knights simply warded off his advances, Orfea was the only one that vexed him completely. The way she stood out, with her shock blue hair, he should have known who it was. What she was doing, was another matter. And she did, by seniority, outrank him.

"I'll... leave you to your business, then," he decides, saluting her and rigidly walking back towards Cordelia. He had a feeling that, even if her face didn't show it, she was grinning at his lack of tact. Of course he should have known who that was, Queen's sake. With a frustrated sigh, he settles back in at the gate in a guard stance. "She's one of ours," he states, whether she was looking at him in askance or not.

He decided to become more attentive. The activities would begin soon, and he'd need to be on his highest guard.

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.


The setting changes from palace-of-iracot to The Merchant Ward

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire

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#, as written by Gasmask
An orphan flew though the streets, hearing the heralds cry and dissipating into the crowd, though the districts and whispered into the ear of a man overseeing a small group of orphans in a well-kept courtyard. The man sighed deeply, waved off the orphan and ruffled her hair. The cold bitch was going to do it.

Sven brought the oldest orphan, put his temple to his and whispered something before palming a sword into his hands. "Look after them, if I don't come back." Sven smiled grimly and stood at his full height, draping on a black coat. "Don't give that bastard Selwyn anything either." Sven put a key under a nearby book and shut the door off his house with a loud slam.

Then he made his way to the crowd passing though the district and funneling into the crowd.

The setting changes from the-merchant-ward to The Courtyard of Iracot

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Parem' Zel

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#, as written by Gasmask
Sven filtered into the crowd, gently pushing his way though the crowd with a solid frown. The merchant would make her sorry for what she'd done. An orphan came bustling out of the crowd, the small figure could easily navigate though the legs off passersby and did just that with Orfea, diving between them and disappearing back into the crowd only to stop at Sven.

Sven lifted up the small girl with a grin, mussing her hair and placing her back down and crouching down to listen to what she was hastily whispering into his ear, and his expression changed deadly serious. The ex-knight pushed the orphan's back to get her going back though the crowd and home and extended to his full height to spot an old returning friend.

There? No. That man over there with the sword? No. There! The gait of someone keeping hidden, and a familiar build. Sven pushed his way though the crowd with renewed haste and weaved past a knight, stopping short of the hooded figure and threw out a hand to block the figures progression though the crowd.

Sven lowered his voice to a harsh whisper. "What are you doing, Zel? This won't achieve anything. Halt, halt. It's me, Sven."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Parem' Zel

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Parem turned on his heels towards the location of the voice and Instantly recognized the former knight Sven. His hand made an iron hard grip on the hilt of his elvish made, black bladed falchion sword. He examined the man with his intense golden eyes. His mind was conflicted. His rage towards the god-queen that had been building up inside him for about a month now was overwhelming. Then he spoke in a determined, coarse voice like he hadn't had a drop of water in days. "Don't try and stop me Sven. The wretched queen will get what she deserves, I will not rest until I have her head on a plate!"
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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Alber Roth

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Alber boldly walked down the streets until he reached the massive crowd of citizens gathering for sacrifice. Alber didn't put his faith into any form of Deity, instead he relied on his on knowledge an intuition to guide him. So in terms of the God-Queen his feelings were neutral at best. Going on what he knew she was an impressive woman of great influence and power. Goddess or not anyone that has that sort of power over the minds of man is to be respected, or feared.

Alber had hoped that by entering the city another vision would come to him, however as of yet nothing had revealed itself. He had kept his eyes open for any omens that might hint at a possible answer to his vision, but so far he had turned up nothing. That was of course before he entered the courtyard. A gentle breeze blew past him, carying on it the scent of lavender.

"So death it is then, despite what transpires at the ceremony someone will die."

He opened his eyes after taking in what had just came to be, and when he did he saw a peculiar sight. Two men, hidden in plain sight amongst the crowd had engaged in some form of conflict. One of the men looked extremely violent, while the other seemed to be more passive.

"Perhaps the omen was referring to one of them."]

Alber said as he began walking towards the two men. He grew close enough that his presence was surely known, but stayed justout of reach for the two men.

"Fighting in this place seems rather careless gentlemen. The winds carry death today, do not help them make it yours."

Alber stood before the men grasping his pipe and letting smoke escape his lips.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Alber Roth

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#, as written by Gasmask
Sven put his left hand on Parem's hand clutching the hilt. "Dying to an army of knights is not for a fate I wish for you, Zel. She will get what is coming to her, but not from us." The former knight hastily replied, taking a look around the courtyard and people for any undue attention.

Sven saw Alber and blinked. "That's an interesting prospect, old man. But we are not fighting, we are brothers, see?" The merchant draped his right arm around Parem's shoulders. Sven took a sniff of the lavender breeze and cleared his throat, taking his hand off the sword.

The merchant leaned forward, putting his temple to Parem's. "If you truly want to see the death of a tyrant, contact a man called Father in the Residential District or a find a woman called Prisma." Sven whispered, taking his temple off and turning around to face Alber with a smile.

"You must be new here, friend. I'm Sven and this here is my brother Mathias, or well, half."

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.

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Alber Roth

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The setting changes from althaea to The Courtyard of Iracot

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Alber Roth

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Parem and Sven locked eyes for a few moments. His hand still tight on the hilt of his sword...
With reluctance, he released his hand from his sword and sighed. Sure, he had the power to make a scene and wreck havok. But Sven's comment about dieing at the hand of the queen's knights had sparked sense into him. No matter how much Parem hated the idea, he knew it was true. Even if he managed to approach the queen, her guardians would kill him before he could utter a single word. "Alright then... Brother. Tell me more about this Father you speak of?" Just before he could get an answer he noticed a man facing them. So Parem pulled his hood up farther to hide his face and turned slightly to face him.
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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: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Alber Roth

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A cloud of white escaped between the small part in Alber's lips as the man now spoke to him. Alber took a few steps closer to the men getting close enough where he could speak to them in a hushed tone.

"I see, I was hoping her holiness' ceremony would not go as scheduled. Sacrifice, BAH! More like public execution."

Alber looked at the men with sorrowful eyes as the bell began it's haunting call. It wouldn't be long before the Queen reasserted her dominance over this land, and to do so she would bath in the blood of an innocent. Alber looked away from the two men and towards the platform where a few new people had emerged inciting gasps and other sounds from the crowd.

"Today the war will begin. The Queen will not forfeit her rule and mountains of dead will line these streets."

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.