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Xiao Jingshen Ananse

"I am both Fae and Human, yet I do not know where I belong...."

0 · 1,310 views · located in The Republic of Khalidor

a character in “Crowns, Empires, Blood and Swords”, as played by TheCrimsonLady

Description




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__Xiao Jingshen__Ananse__
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{ Q U O T E }

"To a place where magic lives,
just behind a night cloud
There is a wonderful lagoon where the Moon lands
for silvery sparkles
to be dusted by Fairies"

-Unknown


{ T H E M E S }

MidWinter|Gary Stadler and Wendy Rule

Are You Coming With Us?|Wendy Rule and Gary Stadler







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Name:Xiao Jingshen Ananse
Title/or Moniker:Little Sparrow
Gender:Femlae
Age:appears 16-17
Species:Half Fae, Half Human
Class/Occupation:Bastard Princess. Lady-in-Waiting
Description:Xiao Jingshen is a sweet face, girl with long flowing black hair that sweeps the floor, almond shaped eyes with a kindness inside. She is small with a lithely frame, giving her a somewhat child like appearance. She is always seen wearing a traditional garbs with long sleeves, much like many Anansai nobility.




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Likes:
Singing
Playing a sitar
Music
Poems
Riddles
Telling Stories
Being with her sister
Dislikes:
Iron
The UnSeelie
The Seelie
Being called a Bastard
Strengths:
Fae Rune Magic
Zoolingualism
Sword Dancing
Song Spells
Weaknesses:
Iron
She is Half human, so she ages, however slow, as well as can become sick
Naivety
Personality:.
Xiao Jingshen is a light hearted girl, imaginative and hopeful who finds beauty in everything. She loves socializing and seems to get along with most everyone. She is consistently 'chipper' and helpful. Soft spoken and tender, she can often be see staring off dreaming away. She feels her emotions, good or bad, very strongly, though she rarely gets angry, in fact, she doesn't get angry in the traditional sense, instead she becomes very sad and withdrawn, and will often run away and hid when she is upset. Admittedly, she can a bit naive and gullible, and has often been the subject of Fae trickery, thankfully she has had her sister too look after her and to teach her some tricks of her own.

Xiao Jingshen also has a habit of speaking her mind, being Fae, though she is only half, she can not lie, however, she tends to blurt out her thoughts, seemingly without her own knowledge, which leads to every interesting conversations.
Quirks and Habits:
Speaking her Mind, She can not lie, but lying won't kill her like it would any other Fae, so instead, she simply doesn't have the ability to, her thoughts spring from her mouth and it is always the truth.
Curious,Xiao Jingshen tends to hid, and watch people go about their day.




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Land/Kingdom:Anansai
History:Like many in Anansai, Xiao Jingshen is an bastard, the child of the former Fae Queen Tae-Young, and a human who happened to wander into Anansai, making Xiao Jingshen half human, or a Halfling. Halflings are often looked down upon in Anansai, they are considered weak, due to their human half, they age and can contract illnesses and is likely to die a human death. Xiao Jinshen was often ridiculed for this fact, princess or not. Thankfully, she has had her elder Half Sister, Tenanye at her side, the two were close as close could be, Tenanye practically raising her, and would often defend Xiao Jingshen, her sister allowed her to be exactly who she wanted to be and once she become Queen, Tenanye was quick to name her her Lady-in-Waiting just so that Xiao Jingshen would always be by her side.


So begins...

Xiao Jingshen Ananse's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince
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The gentle rocking of the caravan lulled Tenanye into a gentle sleep, her baby sister, and Lady-in-Waiting, Xiao Jingshen's resting her head on her lap didn't help the situation none either. They had been traveling for nearly a month, on their way to the Khalidorian Trade Summit. Her mother was none too pleased and neither were the Seelie nor UnSeelie King and Queen. Anansai had been cut off from the rest of the mortal world, humans were rarely allowed entry into Anansai and even if they made it past Hai-Fen, they barely survived so when Tenanye opened communications and then got a response back, her mother had alot to say.

"You plan to let mortals enter Anansai?" Empress Tae-Young had said as they all were seated at the small council chambers, a large round room made in a cave with the sunlight beaming down on a large wooden Dryad made table. Tenanye sat at the head with her mother on the right of her, The Seelie King, King Alder on her left, with his son Prince Severyn beside him, and the UnSeelie Queen, Sophinia at the end, with her two children Prince V'lane and Lady V'laya on her left and right.

"Mortals are not allowed in Anansai, Lady Tenanye," Said the long faced King Alder, who wore a mask of disinterest as he gazed at his nails. "Empress," Tenanye corrected with a short tone. "I have spoken with Hai Fen, who has been in Anansai since the days of Anansi herself, We have discussed what to do should my trading partners want to enter Anansai, she will guard as she always has, only the pure of heart may enter, as it has been for eons and as it will remain." Tenanye said, looking at her council. They were not pleased.

"So you believe now that you are Empress you can do as you like?" Queen Sophinia said smuggly. "Yes, that is exactly what I believe." Tenanye said, her tone controlled but there was an evident hint of annoyance in her tone.

"They are not coming just yet, my Lords and Ladies, We have only just open trade....and this letter states that they want us, to come to them, they are not coming here."

"They have Iron, Tenanye." Her mother urged. "Yes, I know, Mother, but that is...of little consequence."

"What do you hope to gain, Empress Tenanye?" Prince Severyn asked, her oldest friend and probably the only person at the table that trusted her judgement.
"The Hallows, I believe they are...Out there."
The entire table went silent. Prince Severyn swallowed. King Alder stood straight, Queen Sophinia gaped at her, and her mother gasped.
"You are looking for the Hallows? Why?" Her mother asked. "I have my reasons." Tenanye said and the table all seemed to shift uncomfortably.
“You will not tell us, your plans for them, Empress, that is very unlike you.” Queen Sophinia said and Tenanye just looked at her, her dark eyes light with amusement. “I will tell you my plans for them...once I find them, for all we know they might now be in this realm at all.” She said plainly but the room still looked unsettled.
“Well, I am offering to send Prince Severyn with you, we do not know much about these mortals and the Empress is correct, they do have iron, it would be displeasing to see that our new Empress, was cut down whilst she was still so green.”King Alder said and Prince Severyn looked at her. Tenanye nodded, only once.
“Very well, but understand this, King Alder, yes, I am young, I am still a girl, and this throne is still new, but make no mistake, I am still a spider, and we are always much stronger then we look.”
That was the end of the council meeting, and her mother still feared. “This is foolish, Tenanye. There are Seelie and UnSeelie all over this realm, The King and Queen will send them for you.”
Her mother said as they walked together. “Not foolish, a gamble, perhaps, but not foolish.”
“You hate gambling,”
“Only if I believe I will not win.”
“You think you can win.”
“I am a spider, Mother.” She told her and her mother sighed. “So was your father.”
“My father...Blessed be his immortal soul, was too slow, he knew an attack was coming, he just ignored it.”
“He refused to listen to sound council.”
“I am listening to you, Mother, I hear your words, and I will heed your warning, but I have webs of my own, I can sense the danger just as you can.” She told her and walked into her chambers, where her sister was waiting for her. Tenanye’s mood lighten at the sight of her sweet sister.
“Meimei!” Xiao Jingshen smiled, but it faded at the sight of their mother. Tenanye was more her mother then Tae Young was. She rose, and curseyed. “Mother, My Empress.” She said formally now, and Tenanye walked over, touching her sister’s head with a soft hand. “Be at rest, sister,” Tenanye said, but Xiao Jingshen was still a bundle of tension.
“You and I are going on an adventure.” She told her sister, who smiled up at her. “We are we going?”
“We are going to venture into the mortal’s world, we have been invited.” She said with a smile as she took a seat on her bed. Xiao Jingshen could barely contain her excitement. “Oh I’ve always want to see the mortal world.”
“You plan on taking the Halfling too?” Her mother barked disdainfully. “This is unwise, Tenanye, very unwise, she is weak.”
Tenanye rose then. “ You did not think her father very weak when you bedded him, Mother.” She spat and Tae Young stiffened. “Xiao Jingshen is strong, and she will be coming with me, you have no say in this, you are no longer Empress, now out with you.” She said and with wave of her hand. Tae Young took a breath before turning, and walking out.
Tenanye heard soft whimpering behind her and turned to see her sweet faced little sister, sobbing in her hand, trying to be quiet.
“oh now, Little Sparrow, do not shed tears.” She said softly, and she pulled her sister to her chest. “I am weak, I am mortal too.”
“I have learn that mortals are much stronger then they themselves know, and That’s why I want to bring you, so that you may see, what greatness mortals can breed and who knows, perhaps, you will fall in love with one.”
“I don’t want to fall in love, I do not want to be like the Summer King.” Xiao Jingshen said and Tenanye smiled. Her sister loved stories. “You will not be like the Summer King, because I will not take your love from you, like the Winter Queen, you will be free to love whomever you wish.”
“I can do that with a mortal?”
“Surely, if they do not hurt you, I will see to it that you will live out the rest of your days happy, and in love, now come, We must get ready.”

Now they were on their way, headed for a mortal castle a long way from Anansai. Tenanye made sure to swallow her nerves. She is a spider.

The setting changes from the-new-world to The Republic of Khalidor

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul
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The ride was long and wary, but finally, The Empress of Anansai, Queen of all Fae finally, arrived, her spritely little sister and oldest and trusted friend at her side.

"Will they like us?" Xia Jingshen asked, as she walked beside her sister, as they approached the capital building. "Everyone likes you, Little Sparrow." Prince Severyn said with a smile to the small girl. Xiao Jingshen blushed adorably. "I thought Fae couldn't lie." Xiao Jingshen pouted and Tenanye looked at her baby sister with a sad smile. Xiao Jingshen was half mortal, she was teased and bullied all too often as a child, Tenanye punished those who wronged her sister, but they still left her with the scar of low self esteem. Severyn, to whom was a childhood friend, was very much like a brother to Xiao Jingshen, and would often to try to keep a smile on the little girls face when Tenanye wasn't there to do so, which of late, had been often. Serveryn was only a prince, and his father's reign has practically only begun, he wouldn't be Seelie King for many centuries, Tenanye, has just succeeded her mother, and found that her time was being swallowed up with this and that. She hardly had time for her baby sister. She couldn't be any more grateful to Severyn for that. "Severyn only refers everyone when they are important to him, and the people that are important to him, likes you, so my little Sparrow, everyone likes you." She said and Xiao Jingshen smiled before looking up at the Capital.

"It's not very big, I thought it would be bigger." She mused and Tenanye smiled. "We make our palace from the sentinel trees, they grow very big, they make their buildings from stone, and mortar, they don't grow at all." She told her sister, as she too looked around with a semi critical eye. "Let us be polite, now, Little Sparrow, we do not wish to offend our guess." She said, as she waited one of her bannermen,a brownie aptly named Brown Tom, waddled up the stairs, step by single step to alert them that the Queen and all of her attending, had arrived. Surely this would be an interesting sight to behold, because, many of those that joined the Queen, were of all different shapes and sizes, big, small, fat, thin, some oozed while others glittered, some flew while others slithered. Such was the way of the Fae.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul
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Image Severyn had to admit it, he wasn't nearly as patience as the lovely spider fae beside him. She watched as Brown Tom waddled up the stairs, while her whole procession stopped and waited. Severyn found himself...bored, waiting to pick the brownie up himself and carry him inside. Severyn looked to his friend, she was lovely, always had been and while once he though himself in love with her, but it had eased into a friendship that he was alright with. Empress Tenanye, she was now, not Princess, not, Tenanye, and while his father would have liked nothing more, then to marry the two of them to unite their houses, Severyn would not be apart of it. He loved Tenanye much too much for that. That wasn't the reason of his ire though. He didn't trust this place, this summit, mortals, not in their own habitat. He could smell the iron, and felt weaker for it. He was worried for her. She was wise, but still young....and so was he.

"You're doing it again, Severyn." Tenanye's voice called, breaking him from his thoughts. "My apologizes." He said sheepishly. She wasn't even looking at him, yet she always knew. It was as she always said, she is a spider. She could sense things, even something as simple as gaze of admiration.
"How long do you think it will take?" He asked, trying to keep himself still, Xiao Jingshen was right, everything here was small.
"It will take patience, my friend, " She said, turning to him then, only her head, with a smile. "I am not like you, my Queen I am not a spider."
"You don't need to be a spider to have patience, my Prince." She said, teasing him with the title. Severyn huffed good naturedly. They had been friends for as long as the two lived, long before he was named Crowned Prince, and she, Empress of All Anansai, they were never fond of the titles and they often teased each other, usually it was the other way around. "I have never known you to brood, Severyn?" She asked him, cocking her head in the way she does when she finds herself an engima of some sorts.

"Forgive me, I do not trust this place...I do not trust a man for whom leaves a lady waiting."

"You trust many men then, Sev?"

"No..of course not, they are capable of lying."

"So why does this perturb you more then it had before?"

"I can smell the iron...."

"I can as well."

"I worry."

"Don't"

The conversation ended with that, Severyn still "brooding" as the empress called it, while she waited patiently. He looked over at their little sister, his sister and everything but name. " How are you, Little Sparrow, faring well?"

Xiao had been seated, plucking at her sitar that she'd brought with her. She was a wonderful little musician, and would often play for him when she had nothing better to do, and when her sister did. Severyn didn't mind, he would have been off training or something and he was Fae like all the rest, he enjoyed music.

"I am well, my Prince," Xiao insisted on the titles, despite how they both protested. "I am practicing, The Empress says I will preform a song and dance for them...I want to be good."

"You will, Our music had always been a delight to the mort--to them." He caught himself with his words. He should have known better. Xiao Jingshen was half mortal and Tenanye insisted that they didn't address her as different from themselves or the mortals. He was only to say words like Ours, and We, when referring to the Fae, and Them, and They, when referring to mortals, it kept things neutral in Xiao Jingshen's mind, at least while she was with them. Fae had a habit of reminding her of what she was. Tenanye's wrath then was as horrible as she was beautiful. After all, She was a spider and just as venomous.

Xiao, thankfully, only smiled. "You think I will be good enough."

"Better." He said and the girl smiled again. At least she had something to keep her attention. He hated sitting still, he hated being bored and by the Mother, he was bored.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara
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Xiao Jingshen sighed. She didn't like it here, she felt odd. She overhead Severyn tell her sister that there was iron here. Maybe that's why? The Iron made her feel funny, it didn't make her sick like it had Tenanye or Severyn or any other full blooded fae.She'd finished practicing her sitar, but now she didn't know what to do. She was only half spider, she wasn't nearly as patience as her sister. "Meimei, Can I play with Nanji?" She asked and Tenanye turned t her with her always present gentle smile. "Of course." She said, and Xiao Jingshen leaped to her feet, and scurried off to the carriage where Nanji, the large tarantula, has been kept. He was a furry thing, touched with notes of blue. He looked scary but he was harmless. "Hey, Want to play?" She asked him with a smile as she opened the cage, and allow him to crawl up her arm. Nanji was Tenanye's familiar but he was more of a pet then anything. He wasn't venomous and while he could produce silk, he wasn't very quick. Tenanye chose him because he was small and probably would have been eaten by his mother. Tenanye always had a heart for cripples, bastards and broken things.

Xiao Jingshen's smile continued as she allow Nanji to crawl up her arm and on to her shoulder, and she began to daydream, she did that often, a song was in her heart and she found herself humming softly, as she walked.
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Sure enough, she walked and walked until she knew not where she was. There were trees though, and that made her smile. She walked up to the tree. "Hello there," She said, but got no reply. A small frown set upon her pretty features. Dryads where always nice to her. "Hello? Are you sleeping?" She asked, and usually that woke them right up. Xiao Jingshen looked at Nanji on her shoulder and pouted. "This tree does not wish to speak to me?" She said as Nanji crawled down her arm, and on to the tree. That usually got them up too. Xiao Jingshen palmed her head. "Oh Silly me, I forgot, They don't have Dryads here, Meimei told me that," She said and reached for Nanji but he moved so quickly that she couldn't catch him. " Oh Nanji!" She laughed, while chasing after the large creature. He was quick, her sister was this quick, but it didn't stop Xiao Jingshen from giving chase. "Nanji, We shouldn't go to far, Sister will be cross." She said, realizing how far she's gotten away from the others. "Nanji get-" She stopped as she found Nanji crawling up the boot of a man. Xiao Jingshen paused. She never met another mortal before. She stood as silent as Hai Fen. Nanji began to move again, and the man didn't seem very happy with it."I'm sorry," She said, having a hard time looking and not looking to the man, with his dark hair, warm skin, quizzical eyes, and handsome face.
Xiao Jingshen dove for him, scooping him up in her tiny hands, Nanji spanned both of her hands but she held fast. Nervousness getting the better of her, words flew from her lips. "This is Nanji, He is harmless...He hardly eats his own food, he won't bite." She said, and offered Nanji to the nervous looking man. "I am Fae, I can not lie, He won't hurt you." She offered again, with a generous smile.

The setting changes from the-republic-of-khalidor to The New World

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery
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__(Father Superior)__
__(The Blue Faery)__


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Father Superior searched all over the Star Faery domain for any sign of Niven. He didn’t want to jump the gun and begin his search with Khalidor if Niven was actually somewhere in their own domain. However much to Father Superior’s dismay Niven was nowhere in the Clouds above Anansai. He let out a heavy sigh as he looked at the lands below. As distant as they were he would soon be down there searching for the young faery that had disobeyed him and went to the mortal realm.

Blue flew down to Khalidor. What would have been a long trip took him only a few moments using magic. Khalidor was much cooler than he figured it would be. It had been some time since he last had been there. Wishes from the people of Khakidor were scarce as of late. Blue remained in his smaller faery size as he could move about much swifter this way covering more ground. He hovered about the piers looking for any sign of Niven. Many ships were amassed at the ports. The city was indeed getting foreign visitors.

Blue flew about the city trying to remain out of sight from the many humans bustling about to and fro. His blue glow caught the attention of a few mortals for a split second before he was able to duck out of sight. “I hate this sneaking about! When I find Niven I swear he’s in serious trouble. He’ll be 300 before he’ll make faery godfather status.” Father Superior complained to himself.

Since he saw only common and working class people in the markets at present he figured the nobles were still arriving, Which meant that Niven was most likely still observing people at the docks and ports. Father Superior flew back towards the ports and happened to spot the Empress Tenanye Ananse and Prince Severyn. He gave a heavy sigh of relief at the sight of them. He flew to greet them. Having stopped in front of them he bowed gracefully although he was slightly out of breath from all of his rushing about looking for Niven.

“Empress Tenanye, Prince Severyn, I am very much honored and relieved to see you. I’m here searching for a young Wishing Star Faery by the name of Niven. Have you seen him? I expressly told him to remain in our domain but while I was away assisting a mortal in distress he slipped down to the Trade Summit. He was asking me earlier today if I would be attending.” Blue explained to the Empress and Prince as he hovered in front of them.

Blue found it interesting to see the Empress and Prince of the Fae waiting outdoors to be greeted. He figured that the king of Khalidor must have been unaware of their arrival. However such an oversight could be very hurtful to one’s cause in such a situation. This was another reason Blue was against attending the Summit when he initially heard about it. Blue also noticed that Xiao Jingshen was missing from the Empress’ entourage, a rare happening.

“Empress, Prince, may I ask where young Xiao is? I’m most sure I heard that she would be accompanying you on your journey.” Father Superior gave a puzzled look. It seemed things weren’t quite adding up at all today.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery
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__(Father Superior)__
__(The Blue Faery)__

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"Forgive me, I have not." Empress Tenanye said, before the Blue Faery's attention was turned to her left, where Xiao Jingshen had been.Father Superior was beginning with worry again as the Empress informed him that she hadn’t seen Niven either.

"That girl is more fae then she knows." Empress Tenanye muttered.

"Easy, Empress, We'll find her." Severyn said, a gentle hand on her shoulder. "She should be Nanji, see through him." he suggested and Tenanye nodded. Tenanye excused herself to the Blue Faery, and Severyn stood behind her, keeping her upright as her dark irises dispersed, bleeding a black ink across the whites of her eyes.

Blue nodded in response with a warm and patient smile. As she checked on young Xiao Blue had hoped that maybe Xiao had encountered the young Faery Niven in her wanderings. Tenanye reported that Xiao was alright and Blue was relieved to hear that at least one of the missing fae’s whereabouts where now known. However still there was no sign of Niven.

Blue was deciding if he was going to excuse himself and continue his search for Niven when his thoughts were interrupted by the approach of the King of Khalidor and the Drake King. Blue turned to face the regal mortals as they neared, his dragonfly like wings fluttering swiftly behind him. His hands clasped in front of him as he began pondering if he would change size to that he was on equal footing with the mortals. Blue felt that pixies sometimes tended to make mortals uncomfortable when small. Humans never seemed to mind if they were in the middle of a crisis but in a situation such as this it was probably better to be human size as opposed to being roughly the size of one’s head. Still hadn’t shifted size yet.

As Father Superior scanned the group he saw few things that swiftly caught his attention. Upon looking at the young Drake prince he also realized that he bore a striking resemblance to the Fae Prince Severyn. Blue glanced back and forth between the two in astonishment. Blue was on friendly terms with Severyn’s father but he was never told about any secret dealing his father may have had involving the nobility of Drake. Blue was also saddened at the sight of the Drake king because he was reminded of a secret involving his parent’s murder. Blue had gotten wind of Valen’s hand in the murder of the former rulers of Drake but was pretty sure that the young King had no knowledge of who provided the magic poison that was later used in his parents’ murder, magic knew magic and dark magic definitely had an effect on the Drake kingdom. Blue closed his eyes briefly as he refocused his thoughts.

"I am Tenanye Ananse, First of my name, Empress of Anansai, Queen of the Soliatry Fae." Tenanye said with a gracious curtsy. "This i s Severyn Alderson, Third of his Name, Royal Adviser and Prince of the Seelie Fae." She said, and bit her lip. "My sister and Lady in Waiting, will be arrive shortly, Curious little thing, she ventured off it seems, finding your home to be quite the wonder."


"I am Moloch Markus, the Chosen of Kiel, the King of Drake and my brother is Kallias, Prince of Drake. The older man with us is Cyrus of the Circle of Magi and our most esteemed adviser. We are honored to meet you and greet you in friendship." At Tenanye’s words on her sister, Moloch could not help but smile slightly. "I know a little something about curious siblings. They can be a handful," he said dryly. Kallias glared at him while Cyrus could not help but laugh.
As the Fae Prince Severyn and the Human Prince Kallias questioned one another, still in astonishment of their striking resemblance Blue grinned attempting to hold back a chuckle. He’d never seen Severyn steeped in such childlike curiosity before. The Empress explained to the Drake King and his companions that there were no changelings created as of recently and about her and the Prince’s age according to fae standards. Father superior was much older in comparison however he was blessed to not show any sign of considerable aging in quite some time.

Blue looked on in amusement as the Fae Prince Severyn burrowed deeper in his investigation of the young Human Prince Kallias. The barrage of questions began. "Do you have allergies? Rowan Berries, perhaps?" Severyn offered, stroking his chin with his arms folded.
"Witch hazel? Does it make you sneeze? Primeroses, do they make you itch? Iron does it make you weak?" Severyn went on,
'Ah!, Oatmeal, Do you like oatmeal?"

Father Superior’s eyes widened as he watched Severyn go on. The Fae Prince’s questioning was swiftly becoming a full blown interrogation. Father Superior was being reminded of Niven’s impulsiveness. This comparison was something Blue never in a century though he would draw between the often composed Fae Prince Severyn and the often impertinent Wishing Star Faery Niven . Niven was the one Faery to give Father Superior the most trouble as of late.

"Severyn.... That's enough." Tenanye said, and Severyn realized his mistake.

Blue, having realized the need for another topic Segway, took this time to introduce himself. He decided this would be better if he grew to human size so in a blue flash the transformation took place. It was but a flicker of a few seconds but Blue now stood human size. He gave his shoulders a quick shake and his dragonfly like wings seemed to dissipate away like pixie dust in the wind. “Your majesties I am Luin Elen, the Blue Faery. I am Father Superior of the Wishing Star Faeries of Anansai. I am also here with a young faery who has wandered away at present. It is with humbleness that I greet you.

Although Blue had not intended to attend the summit as a representative, it would be seen as rude if he were to back out now. He was in it for the long haul. However as opposed to his initial feelings about attending, Niven earlier burning curiosity on the matter was beginning to catch on to him as well.

The setting changes from the-new-world to The Republic of Khalidor

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Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Dorian Ursuul
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Kiran
Third Prince of Ashkara



Harbours, it seemed, were a lot similar no matter which kingdom you were in. That is, they were loud, chaotic, and smelled like days-old fish left to rot in the sun—Kiran wrinkled his nose at this particular observation, whilst simultaneously sidestepping an actual pile of fish rotting on the pathway. Barring the appearance of its patrons—and the distinctively coarser language being spoken (or rather, shouted) by said patrons—the market surrounding Khalidor's harbour could easily pass for the ones in Fereydoun.

Still, it did nothing to dampen the wonder in the prince's gaze as he eagerly drank in everything he could lay his eyes on. There were fish of all sizes, most of which he couldn't even name, laid out on piles of ice heaped high; vendors thrusting their wares unto passersby, as sounds of people bargaining and full carts creaking up and down the cobblestone filled the stale, pungent air. He could even make out fruits from his native Ashkara lining some of the stands. He was about to approach one when he caught sight of the woman manning the stall and promptly turned away instead, pulling the hood of his cloak farther down his face as he left. The woman was Ashkarazi, and if she'd been to her homeland in the past thirty-odd years, then surely she'd recognize her prince.

Kiran let out a quiet huff as he hurried away. Even in a foreign country, he still wasn't safe from recognition. He often wondered what the life of a commoner felt like—how fantastic it'd be to be able to do whatever he wanted or 'choose his own path', so to speak. He wanted to explore the world, see life in all its forms, immerse himself in different cultures! But he was born with a golden leash wrapped around his neck like a choke-chain. He could dream as hard as he could but it would never make a difference.

So he contents himself with his little 'trips'. He even makes a game out of it sometimes—slipping past guards, escaping the palace, disguising himself—but then he'd get caught, and just like that, the fantasy would be over.

He turned a corner then, checking to see that no one vaguely Ashkarazi-looking were lurking about, pulled the hood off his head. "That's better." Kiran muttered, running a gloved hand through his hair. He was about to head towards a fruit stand nearby when he felt the oddest sensation somewhere along his calf. Almost...almost as if something was crawling up his leg.

Something small.

With several legs.

Kiran's eyes immediate shot down, roughly shoving part of his cloak aside to reveal—

"Gods, it's massive!"

—the largest, hairiest spider he'd ever seen in his entire thirty years of existence clinging to the fabric of his trousers.

He immediately froze, a million thoughts running through his mind as his hands flew towards the blade hanging by his hip. It was a creature of biblical proportions, surely as big as his fist, if not bigger. He didn't know if he should shake it off or hack at it or try to fight it, but he was one hundred percent certain he wanted it off him and far away from him as soon as humanly possible.

Then, the thing began to move, crawling ever higher up the length of his trousers. And just as he was about to draw his sword, he heard a voice—soft and female, delicate as the flutter of a butterfly wing.

'I'm sorry.'

He looked up just in time to see a young woman ducking low in front of him. He could make out dark hair, a flash of ivory that shone bright like the sun, and for a moment, it left him completely stunned. "I, um..." He stammered, not quite knowing what to do, but in a flash, the woman straightened out, and cradled in her hands was the behemoth that not a few minutes ago had been latched at his leg.

"That-that thing's yours?" He blurted out, a single eyebrow shot up to his hairline as he flicked his gaze from the tiny, delicate young woman standing in front of him and the monster she was holding who, apparently, was named Nanji. "And it has a name, too." He stumbled back, eyes widened in obvious alarm as the woman thrust the beast towards him. Apparently, it was harmless—or so she claimed—but he was not inclined to believe her.

"Look, I'm really not fond of—wait, what did you say you were?" Fae? Did the strange woman really say she was fae? Kiran's gaze snapped back towards her once more and stayed there, his eyes narrowed a fraction as he regarded her with curiosity.

He was about to open his mouth once more when a muffled scream rang clear across the marketplace, followed by the sound of gunshots and the sharp clang of steel against steel. And then, pandemonium.

Kiran had his sword drawn in a flash. He didn't quite know what was happening, but all of a sudden, people were abandoning their stalls, screaming and trampling over one another as they flooded the streets in a frenzy. He quickly stepped back, narrowly avoiding a large woman rushing past with a goat tucked under her arm, and whipped his head towards the woman with the spider knowing that if he didn't get her out of there soon, she—and her hairy pet—would be crushed.

"Get out of there!" He called out, shouldering his way through a bunch of people so he could get a good grip on her arm. He pulled her towards him, all thoughts of the spider she held swept from his mind, and steered them both towards an empty stall just in time to avoid getting trampled by a cart.

The screaming only grew louder as he ducked behind the counter, tugging the woman down with him as he did so. "I haven't the slightest as to what just happened out there, but we should be safe for now, I hope." He told her. He slumped back against the wood, the panic from earlier slowly draining out of his features as he let out a few calming breaths.

"Are you all right?" He questioned and, remembering her little companion, edged away from her a bit before adding, "And-and Nanji?"

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Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Dorian Ursuul
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"Look, I'm really not fond of—wait, what did you say you were?" Xiao Jingshen swallowed. She was foolish, a silly girl. She wasn't supposed to speak to mortals. She was only half Fae, words flew from her mouth sometimes without warning, but they should have never been those words. Not without her sister present.

She looked up at the man, who regarded her in a way that made her feel strange, so she held Nanji to her chest. He looked as if he was about to speak, and Xiao Jingshen looked up, a bit nervously. It was then that screams could be heard throughout the place then loud banging rang out, and Xiao Jingshen whimpered. She didn't know what was going on and she felt even more foolish for leaving her sister and Severyn's side. THen there was swords, a waft of iron floated in the air, turning Xiao Jingshen's stomach. Nanji crawled up her shoulder, as she turned back to the man, steel in his hand. Xiao Jingshen was not afraid of weapons, but for her, they were a tool, a prop for her dance, she was quite skilled with handling them, but never with malicious intent and hers were never made of steel or iron.
Frozen, Xiao Jingshen stood watching the man with his blade, wondering just want foolishness took her that she would leave, wander in such a dangerous place, that she only looked up the last moment, when the screams and shouts grew louder, and throngs of people came barreling her way.

"Get out of there!" He called, and Xiao Jingshen didn't know what to do. She was confused, and scared, frozen with fear as a large woman came her way. She looked for a way to duck but there was no where for her to go without being knocked down by the people who hardly seemed to notice the tiny foreign girl for her fear.

A firm hand gripped her arm, and the small girl was pulled right out of harms way into a warm arms just as a large wooden cart came thundering by.

They were ducked down now, Xiao Jingshen tucked safely into the mortal man's arms between an empty stall.

"I haven't the slightest as to what just happened out there, but we should be safe for now, I hope." He said, and sat back against the stall, Xiao Jingshen did the same, only a bit more graceful then the man.

She looked at him, then away, the back again. She didn't know what to say, he just saved her life.
Nanji tugged on her hair, and she looked, smiled and then looked at her hands.

"Are you all right?" He asked, calling her attention back to him. Xiao Jingshen swallowed as he moved from her. Did all men fear Fae...or just Spiders? "And-and Nanji?"

Xiao Jingshen, despite herself, smiled softly. "Mm" She nodded, once. "We are unharmed, Many thanks to you" She said. and remembered something. She was in his debt now. "' I am in your debt....anything you want of me, you shall have it....I am Fae...mostly...and you saved me...." She said, not looking at him, unsure of how to proceed. A Fae owing a mortal debt, while wasn't completely unheard of, it was uncommon. A life debt, was even more so. Fae often saved Mortals, from drowning, illness and other things, so Xiao Jingshen, wasn't sure what to do. Would being trampled have killed her, not, but it wouldn't have felt very pleasant and Xiao Jingshen wasn't really one to handle pain well.

"I am Xiao Jingshen....My sister, she is Empress of Anansai, she will be pleased to know that, you kept me from harm. Please, anything you want, if I can provide I will...We Anansai fae, always pay our debts..." She told him, softly, as Nanji crawled down from her shoulder and rested on her leg which was resting beneath her, folded delicately, her lovely white gown marred with dirt, as she sat facing the mortal man who kept her from harm.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Skandar, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Dorian Ursuul Character Portrait: Akhil, Prince of Ashkara
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There were so many royals who had gathered in such a short time. He had expected the arrival of these representatives to be much different. He was also amazed by the fae. When he sent the letter, he honestly didn't expect Tenanye to come. No one in Khalidor have had official contact with Anansai and everyone was keen on learning what kind of goods could be gained from the fae. Arkaelus had heard rumors that fae trade for knowledge. The only thing he was unwilling to trade was the knowledge of mass producing gunpowder and steel, a dangerous tool that had to be kept to Khalidor for its safety.

"Greetings to you all!" Arkaelus spoke up. "I'm glad that you've made it safely. There should only be a few more guests arriving. May I suggest that we go to the palace? I have prepared a wonderful Khalidoran feast for you all with entertainment to boot!" He wanted the small crowd of royals to be treated properly, that is with fine food and pleasurable accommodations.


************************************

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The city was in chaos, but as resistance was dying down so were the soldiers fighting. As Dorian walked to the docks he saw a ship of interest. A foreign ship. An Ashkara ship, one with guards. That meant the royals were on that ship. Bad luck had plagued him, especially if his cousin caught word of this. He called the soldiers to stop what they were doing and form up at the docks. There were calls across the streets of orders from the general.

"Greetings my lords." Dorian spoke loudly to the princes. Being careful not to get too close. "This town has revolted, I expect due to some greedy merchant, so I have been sent to take it back. I'm surprised to see you all here and not in Jodan....." He paused. He knew there were three princes. Ahkil the crowned, Skander the competent, but Kiran the younger was not there. There was a distressed look on the face of their guards.

"Where is prince Kiran?" Dorian asked them. He turned his head to his troops gathering behind him. Nearly eight hundred were shambling to their formations. That meant there were still some within the city. He hoped the prince was in the boat, the last thing he needed was an incident.

The setting changes from the-republic-of-khalidor to The New World

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Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara
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ImageKiran________
Third Prince of Ashkara

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Kiran sat silently as the woman spoke, struggling to keep his mouth from falling open even as his eyes grew progressively wider at every word that tumbled from her lips. For her to actually be a Faery was one thing, but sister to the Empress of Anansai? "Are you joking?" He managed to sputter, but he shook his head almost immediately, and took back what he said. "No, no, wait. Never mind that. Fae can't lie." He murmured, still looking equal parts stunned, elated, and wildly incredulous at the same time.

The young prince could hardly believe his luck. It seemed like only moments ago that he had been at Soltera's Great Library, voraciously devouring tome after dusty tome about these mysterious creatures, and now—now he was in a marketplace halfway across the world, ducked behind some random stall with his sword on his lap (which he immediately sheathed following a murmured apology when he remembered that steel contained iron), sitting mere inches away from a living, breathing Faery. That's a hundred gold pieces out of Skandar's pocket and straight into his.

That is, provided Akhil doesn't maim, throttle, or send fireballs after him first for wandering off (though he didn't so much 'wander off' as 'intentionally disguised himself as a sack of potatoes in order to slip past the guards and his brothers and go exploring').

He was too stunned at the revelation, that he almost didn't register the rest of the Fae—Xiao Jingshen's—words. She was talking about debts or whatnot—something Kiran didn't particularly care about. "You really needn't worry about debts of any kind, my Lady." He told her, dismissing her words with a flippant wave of a hand. "If anything, I should be the one thanking you." Kiran shifted his gaze towards her, the corners of his lips turning up in a crooked smile.

"You've just made me a hundred ducats richer, and my brother a hundred ducats poorer. We had a wager, you see, about whether the Fae would make an appearance in the summit." He explained, "And it looks like he may have lost." A quiet huff of laughter escaped his lips, though he tried to muffle it as best as he could. He kept his voice low, just enough for the both of them to hear, but still quiet enough in case one of the men involved in whatever commotion going on outside happened to pass.

He was more cautious than ever now that he knew who it was he was with. He wasn't quite sure if being sister to the Empress made her a Princess, and while he had planned not to give her his true name, he eventually decided that maybe it might do her well—and perhaps even make her more comfortable—to know that she was in the company of a Prince instead of some commoner.

"Apologies, my Lady, for not introducing myself sooner," He began, "But my name is Soheil, son of Jahangir II, Third Prince of the Kingdom of Ashkara." He placed his fists together at his chest before briefly dipping his head in a bow—the Ashkarazi gesture of respect. "You may, however, call me Kiran." He added quickly. "I would prefer it, actually."

His first name was a thing of loathing, and was more of a formality at that point, to be used only on official documents or formal gatherings. To his immense satisfaction, thirty years of grumbling and disgruntled looks had taught people to call him by his second name, Kiran. However, his mother and some of the more hateful nobles still made it a point to call him 'Soheil' in an attempt to get a rise out of him.

The noise outside had diminished somewhat as they conversed, but Kiran opted to wait it out a bit longer to make sure it was totally safe before venturing out into the open.

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Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara
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ImageXiao Jingshen didn't know what to make of his sudden odd wave, but she smiled all the same. "You really needn't worry about debts of any kind, my Lady." He told her."If anything, I should be the one thanking you." He said, and Xiao Jingshen cocked her head.

"Me?"

"You've just made me a hundred ducats richer, and my brother a hundred ducats poorer. We had a wager, you see, about whether the Fae would make an appearance in the summit." He explained, Xiao Jingshen nodded. Fae held wagers all the time. She didn't know what a 'ducat' was but she figured it was some sort of currency. "And it looks like he may have lost." He said with a chuckle causing Xiao Jingshen to giggled behind her hand. Growing up in Anansai, Xiao Jingshen was told all sorts of stories about mortals, Good and Bad, and honestly, they scared her. She didn't want to become like the Summer King but at the same time, this mortal, he smiled and laughed and seemed to think she was special simply for being Fae. Her soft smile faded some...she was only Half. Even so, he was kind and strangely handsome; for a Mortal. She opened her mouth to speak but he spoke again.
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"Apologies, my Lady, for not introducing myself sooner," He said and Xiao Jingshen looked up at him. "But my name is Soheil, son of Jahangir II, Third Prince of the Kingdom of Ashkara." He said, and then placed his fists across his chest and bowed his head.. This was odd, and made her smile a bit confused but figured it was a sign of respect, or atleast she hoped it was. "You may, however, call me Kiran." He told her "I would prefer it, actually." He told her and she smiled. "Kiran." She spoke, testing the name. "Oh, I mean, Prince Kiran." She said, with a bashful smile. "It is a true pleasure to meet you." She said, with a wide smile and it was at that moment, much to her surprise. A pink skinned elfling boy appeared before her.

"Honeythorn!" She gasped as he just seemed to appear in front of her.
"Princess Xiao Jingshen, Your sister, the Empress is looking for you," He said, with his two toned voice as he gripped Xiao Jingshen's arm and pulled her to her feet. "But..."

"We must make haste, My Princess, she worries." He said, tugging her away from the stall and back the way he'd apparently came.

"She always worries." Xiao Jingshen said, glancing back at her new friend. She didn't want to leave just yet, she wanted to know more, she wanted to talk to him more, she knew what it was like to be Fae, she didn't know what it was like to be mortal, and she was both.

"I owe him a debt." She told Honeythorn, who stopped immediately. He looked conflicted but he was Seelie, he knew that debts were important to pay.

"Please, My Princess, pay your debt, as quickly as you can, She meets with the mortal Kings now." He told her and she nodded. She scurried back to Kiran and took his hands. "I am glad to have met you, Prince Kiran," She told him, before she rose his hands and pressed a soft feather soft kiss to the pad of his thumb. This was a special kiss, A Faery Kiss. A way to summon her if ever he was in dire need. She didn't know what she could do for this mortal, he seemed strong, capable, but still only mortal, she knew spells and things, anything she could do to help him, she would be glad for. "For my rescue, I will be able to sense you, should you need my assistance," She told him, turning his hand over so that he could see the shimmering mark on his thumb. It vanished but she could feel the bond. "This only works once but I will come, even if I am in Anansai, I will appear to you." She told him and released her soft hold of his hands. "Til we meet again. Prince Kiran." She said and ran off with Honeythorn.

"Your sister will not be pleased, My Princess,"

"I know." She said, before they were gone in a blink.

The setting changes from the-new-world to The Republic of Khalidor

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery
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"Greetings to you all!" The King of Khalidor spoke. Tenanye gave a gracious smile, though her heard was thundering in her chest. She knew Xiao Jingshen was safe, but it didn't stop her from worrying. Her sister was so green, so new to the world. She feared, for she was so naive. "I'm glad that you've made it safely. There should only be a few more guests arriving. May I suggest that we go to the palace? I have prepared a wonderful Khalidoran feast for you all with entertainment to boot!" He said and Tenanye nodded, as she and her procession moved along. Severyn seemed overly thrilled to be moving his feet as he and Kallis continued to speak.

“Greeting Empress Tenanye. It has been many years since we’ve last seen one another. I regret not being able to attend your coronation as Empress. Majesties and Luin appear to be well.” Spoke Valen, A Wishing Star Fae, long since exiled. She knew his tale, and knew it well but she kept up the pleasantries. "There is nothing to regret, Valen." She said, her voice even and composed, though she purposely did not address any titles. She did not take kindly to those who thought to destroy her people and she was fairly certian he was one of them. A measly wishing star calling himself King. It was laughable. V

“Valen…” Blue spoke and Tenanye decided to turn away. She heard the longing in his voice that turned her stomach. Not for their gender, but for Blue was a good soul, deserved love, and he would not get it with Valen, the self proclaimed Dark Faery.

“I am very well. I’d like you all to meet my son. He informed me that you two have already met apparently.” Valen said, introducing the young lad lingering by. Tenanye gave a short nod, and let it at that, turning her attention to Severyn then.

"I'm sure the Circle of Magi would be happy to examine the two of us. You must visit Drake City." He said and Severyn nodded. Tenanye wasn't so sure about this arrangement, she would not have Severyn running off to some foreign land, to be examined by mortals, fueled by curiosity.

"There are mages who can be trusted," he noted, Tenanye resisted the urge to narrow her dark eyes. She now understood Severyn's early discomfort. With Xiao Jingshen off Mother knows where, Servern hoping to uncover some new mystery, she felt uneasy. She closed her eyes, for a moment, and took a calming breath before opening them again.

"The invitation is open for any Fae who comes in friendship," He said, his words chosen thoughtfully. This was not lost on Tenanye, nor was it on Severyn. There was something disconcerting about the way they spoke. The Fae weren't a complete mystery to the outside world, and with Severyn's word, they knew more about then that they should have. Tenanye liked the mystery, she liked not being known. It gave her power, with them knowing much more then she anticipated, it made her unease, and a feel a bit vulnerable.
Moloah then rose a toast to the host.
"To the Khalidor's hospitality." He said and as she took her seat at the table prepared for them. She left a seat open for her sister at left. "To hospitality." She said, raising a glass with a gracious bow of her head.

It was then, that Honeythorn and Xiao Jingshen came barreling into the room, causing Tenanye to shoot to her feet. Worry was etched on her features, her body stiff and rigid but she held firm. "Everyone, My sister, Princess Xiao Jingshen Ananse." She spoke, and the pale girls face blushed a hot pink. "My Lords." She said, with a breath, giving a regal curtsy. " Forgive my absence, I became lost" She said sheepishly. Tenanye noted how the end of the girl's dress was marred with dirt and sand, all the way up to her knees, as if she'd been kneeling in it. Tenanye held her calm. "Come, Sister, Sit." She said, waving her over, holding out her arm. Xiao Jingshen quickly made her way over and sat in the seat left for her and Tenanye took her seat as well. "Are you alright, Little Sparrow?" Severyn asked in a hushed tone. "mm" Xiao Jingshen, seeming to hold back a smile. "I made a friend." She said, whispering back, smiling large. "You did?" Tenanye and Severyn asked at the same time. " Mhm. I did, something happened, he helped me, so I gave him a kiss."

" You what?" Tenanye gasped. There were two types of kisses, and neither of them were preferable at the moment.

"he saved me, I owed him." She said and it was those words that told Tenanye which kiss she gave, though it did nothing for the stress the stiffened her back.

"We'll speak of this later." She told her and Xiao Jingshen was quiet.

Xiao Jinghsen then looked aroudn the room, and noticed Kallias. She blinked, looked from him to Severn, then to him again, and back to Severyn once more. "He looks like-"
Tenanye rose a hand to quiet her. "Not now." Tenanye said, taking a breath to center herself.
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Tenanye rose then. "My Lord, Arkalus, In honor of our first venture out unto your world, and you, so graciously hosting us, We, The Fae of Anansai, have brought you the gift of our song." She announced, " With your blessing, once the other Lords and Ladies arrive, My sister, The Princess and the Finest Singer in Anansai, shall sing and dance it for you." She said and Xiao Jingshen shot to her feet. "My sister is much too kind, I shall do my best." She said, bowed and sat down again. Tenanye could feel the girl's nerves beside her but left it alone.

The setting changes from the-republic-of-khalidor to The New World

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Skandar, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Dorian Ursuul Character Portrait: Akhil, Prince of Ashkara
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The Princes of Ashkara
Akhil || Skandar || Kiran



"Well met, General." Akhil greeted as he made his way down the ramp. He wrinkled his nose at the mention of a revolt, "I was just about to ask you about that," He paused, flicking his eyes down to the bullet-riddled corpse lying a few feet from where he stood and eyeing it with mild disgust before continuing, "But it seems you and your men have the situation well under control." He commented with approval.

He heard the creaking of the ramp at his back, but he didn't have to look over his shoulder to know that it was Skandar.

Skandar inclined his head towards the General by way of greeting, regarding the man not quite with distrust, but with a guarded sort of wariness. He had heard of the younger Ursuul, yes, and if all those tales were true, then the man before him was indeed a capable warrior—one of the North's finest, as most people would say. He certainly looked the part, Skandar thought. All muscle and hands that seemed capable of crushing a grown man's skull. He just didn't expect him to be so young. He looked to be only a little past his twentieth year, and for him to possess such skill at such a young age...well. Skandar could only imagine how much more dangerous the General could be as he aged.

Khalidor would indeed make a fine ally with a man like Dorian Ursuul leading their ranks. It would be a great shame to have to put an end to such budding talent in the battlefield should Khalidor decide to turn against them.

--

At the mention of Kiran's name, Akhil gave a scoff, but Skandar answered before he could speak. "I'm afraid my brother has gone astray, he—"

Akhil swiftly cut him off, "Astray? He's missing, if that's what you mean. Escaped! Run off to god knows where like the gypsy that he is." The elder prince wore a scowl, but the look on Skandar's face proved even darker as he shot Akhil a scathing glare, daring him to speak. At that moment, a viper slithered slowly out of Skandar's left sleeve, its tongue flicking in and out as it coiled itself lazily around the prince's forearm.

Akhil sneered as he tracked the serpent's movement, opening his mouth before deciding against it and instead giving a grudging nod, allowing Skandar to continue without further interruption.

"What my brother means is that Prince Kiran has a tendency to slip away at times." Skandar explained, "We sent a search party after him some time ago, but none have succeeded in finding him, so my brother and I would be ever grateful if you and your men could aid us in our search." He told the General. Akhil nodded in affirmation, promising a rather hefty reward to the tune of five hundred gold pieces for whoever could spot their wayward brother and bring him back.

Unfortunately for them all, Kiran had a knack for hiding as much as he did escaping. Normally, it wouldn't be much of a problem, but seeing as they were in a foreign kingdom, it meant that Kiran was far more at risk than he'd be back in Ashkara. Skandar just wished his fool of a brother hadn't chosen to run off during a bloody revolt, of all things. He fervently hoped his brother came back to them safe and without incident. If not, then there would definitely be some serious repercussions—both towards him and Akhil (Kiran was their father's favourite, and they'd be damned if His Grace found out they lost his beloved son in a foreign land), and to the Khalidorians as well.

--

Kiran stared in silent wonder at his thumb, then back at the empty space where Jingshen sat not a few moments prior. He was caught in a daze, too stunned to even speak let alone comprehend whatever it was that transpired. One moment she was talking, and then an elf, an actual elf, appeared before them and whisked her away. But not before giving him a kiss. Just on the pad of his thumb. The press of her lips so feather-light he scarcely felt it.

He didn't quite understand what she told him afterwards, something about her sensing him. He wanted to ask her about it, but he could only nod dumbly as she bade him farewell, running off into the day with the little elfling trailing close behind her.

"Did that just happen?" He murmured quietly to himself, eyes blown wide as he turned the hand that she held over and over in awe. He decided right then to keep what happened to himself. Skandar would never believe him anyway, and knowing Akhil, his eldest brother would only laugh at his face—maybe even call him a fool or whatever creative jab he might manage to conjure up specifically to insult him.

Speaking of his brothers, Kiran decided it was high time to head back to the ship. He could barely hear any more noises, and Jingshen and her little elf friend left without incident, so he thought it might finally be safe to leave. He stood up, dusting off his breeches before giving a mighty stretch. Hopefully they wouldn't be too angry. It wasn't that uncommon for him to go exploring anyhow, and he was still quite safe.

That is, until he turned around and came face to face with the barrel of an arquebus.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Dorian Ursuul Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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__Luin Elen/ Father Superior__
__(The Blue Faery)__

__Zexen Tiberius__Elen__

__Valen Mori Elen__


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Zexen was in awe of the Empress of Anansai. She was very beautiful and graceful. A funny little smile crept across his face as she nodded to him. He could see that there must have been some form of dynamics between her and his father. It was becoming really apparent that Valen had not left Anansai of his own accord. However what exactly happened to spark his departure and migration to present day Valen Alus?

Zexen thought back to the moment Valen and Father Superior greeted one another. He noted the odd exchange between the two. Zexen was beginning to see that the two had some form of complicated history. He knew that Father Superior seemed to make his father nervous seeing that Valen was aggressively against the summoning of wishing star faeries. But the real question was why. Zexen’s eyes toggled back and forth between the two and he noted, that they acted like separated ex-lovers. Zexen’s eyes narrowed. He tapped his father on the arm lightly, “Father a word.”

“Yes.” Valen replied as he was beginning to sit down.

Zexen took his seat next to his father, and made sure that Father Superior would sit on the other side of him. “What’s the nature of your relation to Father Superior?” He asked quietly.

Valen rolled his eyes slightly, his attempt at belittling the inquiry. “Long and extremely complicated.”

Zexen smirked, “I figured that would be your answer. Very well, I just wanted to get hear your response to the question before I asked him.” Zexen immediately looked over toward Blue, who was getting settled in his seat. Just before Zexen could ask a question he saw a beautiful young fae woman enter the room. She caught the full attention of Empress Tenanye who immediately stood to her feet. Zexen felt that the Empress, in that moment, resembled his father when he was impatiently awaiting Zexen’s return from an excursion. The young man snickered a little looking at the event.

Tenanye rose then. "My Lord, Arkalus, In honor of our first venture out unto your world, and you, so graciously hosting us, We, The Fae of Anansai, have brought you the gift of our song." She announced, " With your blessing, once the other Lords and Ladies arrive, My sister, The Princess and the Finest Singer in Anansai, shall sing and dance it for you." She said and Xiao Jingshen, the young fae woman, shot to her feet. "My sister is much too kind, I shall do my best." She said, bowed and sat down again.

Zexen was much interested in seeing the young sister of the empress sing and dance. He wondered if the dances of Anansai were anything like the dances of Valen Alus. Moloch proposed a toast and everyone drank to it. Zexen couldn’t help but notice an exceptionally pleased look fall upon Valen’s face. He knew his father was interested in consulting for the Drake king. Zexen looked Moloch up and down in assessment. He had heard a lot about that man but had never before seen him in person. Zexen could tell that Moloch earned every bit of respect he commanded. The revelation only made Zexen begin to feel a bit in over his head.

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Father Superior leaned a little closer toward Zexen. He spoke quietly, “With you always is a king’s heart. Never lose faith in that strength dear. It’ll carry you through the darkest of moments.”

Zexen felt like he saw a light at the end of a dark tunnel. He looked over to Blue and smiled. “Thank you Father Superior. I needed to hear that.” Zexen took a moment and then spoke again, “I also wanted to apologize to you for what I asked you to do before. You were right it was a heart darkening deed I set out upon and I regret having done what I did.” Zexen took a big drink from his glass.

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“Worry not, you may have lost your way for a moment but you are back on the right path. No one is immune to darkness. I myself broke a rule doing what I did that day. You reminded me of a time when I could have held on to someone dear to me by breaking a rule and fighting for them. Instead I gave up on them, something I regret doing.” Blue responded with a melancholy expression. Valen overheard the conversation and upon hearing Blue’s words he quietly closed his eyes to take it all in. Trying to keep up the appearance that he wasn’t listening he turned to look about the room.

Zexen replied, “I’m sure you did the right thing back then. You’re not head of the Nuns and Monks of Anansai for nothing.” Zexen said with a chuckle. The wishing star faeries were known to be something akin to monks and nuns in the Anansai realm.

“Well dear that is what I tell myself.” Blue responded with a light smile.

Valen took a moment to approach Moloch. “Moloch Markus, King of the magnificent Drake City. May I express my sincere desire to one day serve as a consultant to your cause whatever it may be. The magic of Valen Alus may be of service to you. You remind me of your parents, strong of both heart and will. I owe a debt to them, I would like to repay that debt by assisting you. If you decide on it, let me know.” Valen soon returned to his table.

"Zexen..." Arkaelus began, as the prince was closer to his chair. Zexen was a bit surprised to be called. He turned to address the voice and it was of the King of Khalidor himself Arkaelus. He looked far more mature and had much more presence since he last saw him years ago.

Zexen responded somewhat shyly, “Yes your majesty.” Zexen knew he wasn’t technically royalty like many of the others being kings, empresses and the like. His father simply claimed to be the Lord of his nation and Zexen was a young lord, a noble in their kingdom. Zexen tried to make sure he addressed people properly and in a way befitting his status.

The Khalidor King continued, "I've heard that you're quite the warrior and I was wondering if you would hear out a request? My cousin Dorian is always looking for a good sparring partner and I think you would be just right. I don't believe you've met him, but he'll be here later. Anyway I'm sure that both of you could learn some new techniques from one another, after all it would be the best of Khalidor and the best of Valen Alus."

Zexen felt flattered to be called the best warrior in his country especially from a foreigner. It was true that he rarely lost a match with some of the best warriors in Valen Alus. He was excellently trained by Peregrine Le Buque. Zexen was unaware that he had a reputation of combat prowess abroad. He hoped that he wasn’t blushing. “I am most honored by your request your majesty. I accept. I can only hope that I am a challenge for Sir Dorian. I look forward to meeting him. I also wanted to express how much I admire the architecture here in your kingdom. It is very regal. I would like to visit here on holiday sometime soon.” Zexen took another drink from his cup.

Valen was most proud of his son. He gave a glance toward Father Superior who quietly watched Zexen with a smile. Valen couldn’t help but wonder how much, if anything, did Father Superior actually know about Zexen. Given Blue’s rule as the Superior sage of wishing star faeries he had a connection to a higher powered entity in Anansai that gave him insight on certain things that others didn’t have. However Valen seemed sure that Father Superior had no knowledge of the truth behind his secret.

Valen took this moment to present his gift to Arkaelus. “King Arkaelus, Zexen and I would like to present you with a gift for your invitation to this summit, and for being a kind host to us.” Valen then presented the ring. “This, my lord, is a magic ring most rare. It is called Binding Agreement. When wearing this ring any deals you make become binding when you and the other party shake hands. The party who breaks their end of the bargain with suffer an unfortunate happening as punishment. May your future deals be honest and true.” Valen handed the ring box over to Valen with a relaxed smile.

Father Superior cringed a little, “I see some things seldom change with time.” He said quietly as he folded his arms. He decided that he no longer wished to watch Valen back in his old habit of dangling darkness in front of mortals. He stepped over to the royals of Cinnabar. He bowed, “Greeting your majesties. I’m Father Superior of the wishing star faeries of Anansai. I wanted to express to you that your people are quite the dreamers. The wishes that come from the citizens of Cinnabar are so full of hope and pure intention. That is a sign of a gentle leader. I felt that was something you should know, to cherish and to nurture within your kingdom.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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Arim looked around the room. Nearly every major power was represented. He felt a gnawing in his gut. Aada's hand rested on his arm, "Relax brother," she said quietly, "everything will work out as it will. There is no need to be anxious."

Despite himself, Arim chuckled, "You were always better suited to the court Aada," he took a moment to look at Aada. She was wearing a dress he hadn't seen before. It was red for the most part, although the skirt seemed to shift in colour as Aada moved, panels of material flickered like a..."A flame?"

Aada looked down at her dress, "That was why I chose this particular material. Fire is my strongest suit of magic after all."

"Oh, really? I would never have guessed that," Arim said, remembering all too often the times he had walked in on Aada manipulating the fires in the hearth. Once, when they were children, he had seen her coax a dying ember into a roaring fire. Fire had never been his strong suit. The air was where his strengths lay when it came to magic.

"Yes, it came as quite the surprise to everyone," Aada lowered her voice as the Fae girl began her performance, "Mother most of all."

"It's beautiful, Aada."

Aada smiled at her brother's unexpected compliment. She murmured a quiet thanks, before returning her attention to Empress Tenanye's sister. Arim watched, too, as the girl moved with a grace beyond any mortal man or woman. As her performance came to a close, the Funar siblings politely clapped. Aada leaned over to Arim, "The man Valen is speaking with is King Arkaleus, our host."

"I know who he is," Arim answered, trying, and failing, to keep the tension from his voice.

Aada looked up at her brother. "Of course." Aada saw Valen present something to Arkaleus, but from this distance, she couldn't hear what was being said. They would have to be careful, as much as Cinnabar and Valen Alus were allies, Fae magic had a habit of biting people when they least expected it. Aada forced her features into a more neutral expression when she saw one of Empress Tenanye's party heading towards them.

“Greeting your majesties. I’m Father Superior of the wishing star faeries of Anansai. I wanted to express to you that your people are quite the dreamers. The wishes that come from the citizens of Cinnabar are so full of hope and pure intention. That is a sign of a gentle leader. I felt that was something you should know, to cherish and to nurture within your kingdom.”

Depends on who you believe the leader to be, Aada thought, silently willing her brother to say something. He was, technically speaking, the leader of Cinnabar. Their just and noble King Arim.

"Thank you for your kind words, Father. I hope that my people are content, it's all a King can truly wish for. An angry populace makes for uncertain times, something we could all do without." Arim answered, surprising Aada with how smoothly he spoke. He had made it through an entire exchange without making himself look like an idiot. Perhaps this was a sign that he was finally learning.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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Moloch was surprised to find that he felt a certain amount of sadness as he saw the brief look of distrust on Empress Tenanye's before she returned his toast and offered a gift of song and dance to their host. He did not feel any malice towards the Fae. He simply couldn't afford to leave himself or his people vulnerable. Still, wariness on the part of one's peers was good, Moloch reminded himself. It meant that there was respect there and with respect came fear, unfortunately, but fear was necessary. If that lunatic in Valyria did not fear Moloch, then his people would be in danger.

As they moved to leave, Kallias opened his mouth to say something to his new Fae twin, but words failed him, particularly as the singing and dancing began. He felt something grab hold of his heart as his mind turned to memories of simpler times. A gentle laugh, a strong grip on his shoulder, the gentle teasing of a voice before it lost its innocence and laughter... He felt a single tear run down his cheek, but he did not move to wipe it away. He looked upon the Fae with a new appreciation. Even his brother looked impressed, though he still maintained a regal expression, never forgetting that he was a king. Again, Kallias felt something clench his heart, but there was no pleasure in it this time. Could Moloch ever really let down his guard.

The sound of clapping interrupted his thoughts.

"Remarkable, simply remarkable. The Fae are, as always, beyond this world," Cyrus mused, clapping his old hands together. Kallias looked at his old tutor in surprise.

"Have you encountered them before?"

"Oh, a few times. Each was more magical than the others," Cyrus stated with a small smile. Kallias opened his mouth to say that that didn't make any sense whatsoever, but the old man waved him away.

"Later, my prince, later..."

Kallias nodded, but was surprised to find that a man had approached his brother without him noticing. He shivered. Kallias wasn't sure he liked the man.

“Moloch Markus, King of the magnificent Drake City. May I express my sincere desire to one day serve as a consultant to your cause whatever it may be. The magic of Valen Alus may be of service to you. You remind me of your parents, strong of both heart and will. I owe a debt to them, I would like to repay that debt by assisting you. If you decide on it, let me know.”

Moloch looked thoughtful and very suspicious, but Kallias knew that he would speak to him later. It wasn't like him to pass over a new ally without a thought. Cyrus had frowned. That magi obviously did not think much of the man.

"Come, now, my king. This isn't the time to ask the Darkness what favors it might grant you," the old magi half-teased, half-warned, "Instead, take a look towards the Light. That must be the Princess Aada of Cinnabar. She has created quite a stir, even among the Circle of Magi."

Reluctantly, Moloch felt his gaze shift from the Dark Faery and over on to the Royalty of Cinnabar. His gaze fell upon the princess, as Cyrus had intended. She was quite beautiful, he noted, and he dress was designed to accentuate the beauty, giving her the appearance of a flame. He felt himself raise an eyebrow during the course of her and her brother's conversation with Father Superior. Her expression matched her appearance if only a for a moment. It was like a fire trying to break free from its confines and one need only look to her side to find what those confines might be. He found it intriguing.

"Kallias, you seem subdued. Go, enjoy the celebration..."

"But, oh, yes, of course, brother," Kallias murmured, attempting to reach the Fae. He wanted to see if Severyn enjoyed the same type of wine he did anyway.

Cyrus smiled mischievously and Moloch gave his old tutor a look. Nonetheless, they both rose to meet the Royals of Cinnabar. The magi chuckled.

"Believe me, you do not want to face an angry mob, Your Grace. One can be more dangerous than a hundred knights. May I present King Moloch Markus of Drake."

"It is a pleasure," Moloch greeted, his eyes still favoring Princess Aada, though he took a moment to take the measure of King Arim. He looked the part of the king, but was he really one in spirit as well as fact? He bowed his head respectfully.

"Your fire is most delightful," he told the princess, "Though, I confess, I know little of Cinnabar."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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#, as written by zeph_gm
Nemu approached the gates of the castle in which the trade summit was taking place, her duel pairs of bodyguards in their dark cowls obscuring her and guarding her from prying eyes. The guards who stood at attention to their approach eyed them suspiciously, clearly unwilling to allow the darkly clad strangers entrance to a summit of royals.
"Beat it you lot, only royalty and their representatives are permitted access to the summit, take yourselves elsewhere." Their leader said, a burly man in a slightly more ostentatious version of the guards apparel.
"I am here representing my master." Nemu said, coming to a stop before the growing crowd of guards, her four mammoth attendants dwarfing even the largest of the cities watchmen.
"Oh yeah, and who would that be darling, your pimp?" One of them said, eliciting a scattered mutter of laughter amongst the group.
Nemu waited for the noise to die down before answering, her voice toneless, "I serve my master, Tsarvin Sphex, lord of the Wyrmspire and Master of the Wastes."
There was a collective paling of faces and mutters of disbelief, the name was a byword for terror and agony, her masters unnaturally long life allowing plenty of time for the cultivation of rumour, of myth, of nightmares.
"I am to believe the summit is open to all rulers? My Master is indisposed, and has sent me in his stead. I assume there is no problem with this?" Nemu said, oblivious to the effect she was having.
"How Do I know you're telling the truth?" The guardsman said, rattled but not shaken from his duty.
Nemu reached up and removed her cowl, causing a collected gasp of horror and a few gags of lost stomachs. Beneath her cowl, her face was its usual appearance, but above that, six, four inch long glass capsules stood in duel lines down her shaven skull. Each one was two inches in diameter, and contained a virulent green fluid with swirls of red blood, but it was what floated within each capsule that horrified the guards. Inside each glass container, floating in the green fluid, was a chunk of brain matter, connected up to various tubes and sinewy strands of organic matter that lead down into her skull. The horrific pieces of neuro-synaptic tissue twitching occasionally. A last minute addition to her body from Sphex, he had deemed that when working on her own, She would require the extra grey matter to assist in understanding and adapting to changing intellectual discussion.
He would remove it once she returned. The heightened mental capacity was not something she needed on a permanent bases.
"I trust this will suffice as proof of whom I serve?" Nemu said, her head cocking to the side.
"Ye-... uh, Yes, Yes, please, enter, the rest of the delegations have almost all arrived."
Nemu replaced her cowl, much to the thanks of the green city guard, "Thank you." Without another word she strode past the guards and into the castle, her accelerated brain capacity whirring as she took in the unnatural stimuli from her secondary brain segments, processing feelings and emotions she had not encountered in an age. She did not like it. She wished for the simplicity of her purpose, when there was only the master, only he that mattered. It was alright, he would relieve her of them once her task was complete. Maybe he would even reward her.
Against all of psycho-conditioning she had been subjected too, the influence of her secondary brains influenced her muscular movements.
She smiled.
Her movements were unimpeded as she and her cohort moved towards the hall where a mortified servant had told her the royal dignitaries were meeting, only being stopped in a chamber before the hall, where a number of palace guards tentatively stopped her. Once her own guards were given the order to remain outside, and she had been checked for any OBVIOUS signs of armament, she was permitted to enter.
The doors swung open and she was led in by man in fine robes who announced her arrival, as no doubt he had done all the dignitaries before him, "The uhh... The Lady Nemu, representing the interests of her master... Tsarvin Sphex..." He finished with a half terrified, half disgusted look upon his face. Sphex was a creature of nightmares, a monster children were warned of, some did not believe he even existed.
"Greetings, my lords and ladies," Nemu said, stepping forward with short, jerky steps, her elbows bent and hands clasped before her, stiff and artificial, "I am here so I may convey the will of my master." She bent and gave a jerky, stiff curtsey, which inadvertently pulled back her hood to reveal the grisly augmentation along her scalp, "It is a honour."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Aada Funar
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After the Prince and Princess of Cinnabar arrived, and began to speak among the others. Xiao Jingshen rose to begin her dance. Her heart racing at the prospect. Tenanye had confidence in her but regardless, she would do her best as she said. She moved to the front of the room. A few faeries following her, a lute player and a sitar player. As the music began to play,Xiao Jingshen began to sway softly to the music. Finally, when she began to sing, magic softly touching her words.
[i]” Feel us now, we are the stars
Feel us now, we are the sea
Feel us now as the magic flowing within your heart
We are the wind that kisses the trees

We come softly through the night
As evening falls behind us
Our footsteps leave no mark upon the snow
Let your spirit go, it will find us

We come adorned in spider web and dew
Through woodland to the meadow
We come luminous and bright
Dancing with the light and the shadow
The winter moon is calling us to play
A sacred light to guide us
The wild music leads us in a trance
Spinning to the dances inside us
The air is cold and echoes with the sound
Of laughter rising higher
With drums and bells, we sing into the night
Dancing in the light of the fire
We weave a music curiously pure
A crystal song suspended
We fly on wings diaphanous as light
Dancing till the long night is ended
We come ancient as the moon
As new as every season
We come as fire, as icicle, as leaf
Suspend your disbelief and your reason
Feel us now surrounding you
We are the wind that kisses the trees
Feel us now inside of you
A fairy heart that's guiding you home...”
Xiao Jingshen let the note linger on until finally bowing. She rose her head, hearing clapping and applause. She smiled bashfully, watching her sister’s proud gaze as she gave a simple nod that spoke volumes.
It was then the door opened and Xiao Jingshen froze hooded female appeared with the two fined robed men. "The uhh... The Lady Nemu, representing the interests of her master... Tsarvin Sphex..." Said the herald and Xiao Jingshen gasped. As the girl stepped forward, her movements odd and strange.
"Greetings, my lords and ladies," said the girl. "I am here so I may convey the will of my master." The girl bent, pulling back the hood she wore revealing a horrible disfigurement. "It is a honour." She said and Xiao Jingshen gasped. “By the Mother!” She rushed to her sister’s side, clinging to her while Tenanye held her tight, shushing her softly. Her sister looked to their host then at the girl. Xiao Jingshen hid her face for her fear. “Greetings, Lady Nemu,” She said, “You say, your master sent you? Tsarvin...? Who is that?” She asked, her tone even, and unwavering, though Xiao Jingshen could feel her sister body go completely still.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Tszarvin Sphex Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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__Luin Elen/ Father Superior__
__(The Blue Faery)__

__Zexen Tiberius__Elen__

__Valen Mori Elen__


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"Thank you for your kind words, Father. I hope that my people are content, it's all a King can truly wish for. An angry populace makes for uncertain times, something we could all do without." Arim responded as he and Aada spoke with Father Superior. Blue had high hopes for the Kingdom of Cinnabar.

Father Superior turned to acknowledge the King of Drake as he and the older magi approached. “May I present King Moloch Markus of Drake." Cyrus introduced Moloch. Father Superior looked upon the magi curiously. They had met once before a very long time ago. Neither party seemed to let on that they’d ever encountered one another before.

"It is a pleasure," Moloch greeted, his eyes seemingly favoring Princess Aada, though he took a moment to take the measure of King Arim. He bowed his head respectfully.

Blue bowed to the Drake King respectfully, “Your Majesty, it is an honor.” he said to Moloch. Blue could tell that the king of Drake City was taken by the Cinnabar Princess. He smiled kindly. “If you’ll excuse me please.” he said politely as he shifted to his pixie size in a blue flash. He bowed once more as he hovered in the air and then flew towards Zexen, Tenanye, Xiao, Valen and Arkaelus. Blue felt he had been human size long enough and wanted to return to what was more comfortable.

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Soon the door to the grand room opened up and another guest was about to be introduced. Father Superior could immediately feel a rush of darkness flood into the room. It was as if this cloaked person carried the energy of hell itself on their presence. He hadn’t felt this sort of dark energy in quite a long time, not since the before the Wastes were closed off to the rest of the world.

Zexen looked over toward the floating Blue Faery that hovered about shoulder height and asked, “Father Superior what’s wrong?”

Father Superior kept his eyes fixed on the figure and its entourage as he replied to Zexen. He materialized his wand into his hand and readied himself for the worst. “Dear child something VERY dark has come into our presence, hailing from a land long since closed off to the world.”

The Khalidoran man dressed in fine robes nervously announced the cloaked guest. "The uhh... The Lady Nemu, representing the interests of her master... Tsarvin Sphex..." He finished with a half terrified, half disgusted look upon his face.

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Valen’s face couldn’t avoid displaying the shock he felt in the pit of his stomach upon hearing the name Tsarvin Sphex. That was an entity that freaked even him out. The presence of a representative of Sphex meant that the Wastes were no longer in an isolated state. The world would once again see a new form of horror that it had long since almost forgotten. Valen hoped that the invitation sent to Tsarvin Sphex was in error. However at this point it mattered very little.

Zexen looked on curiously. “Isn’t Tsarvin Sphex some scary story adults tell children about to keep them from getting out of bed in the middle of the night and go wondering around? But that’s just a scary fable.” He said to blue.

Father Superior replied quickly with an unusual hit of nervousness in his voice. “Oh… dear you don’t know what you’re saying. Tsarvin Sphex is a scary reality that I had hoped the world had seen the last of. Unfortunately I was wrong.”

Zexen seemed a bit more concerned than he was previously. Realizing that the beautiful and talented Fae Xiao was still relatively close to this feared entity he grew protectively concerned. Zexen took a few steps forward in an effort to reach Xiao. He felt compelled to safeguard the young woman. After the cloaked figure made a few obscure movements toward Xiao she stopped and spoke.

"Greetings, my lords and ladies," said the lady presented as Nemu. "I am here so I may convey the will of my master." Nemu bent, pulling back the hood she wore revealing a horrible disfigurement. "It is a honour." She said.

Xiao Jingshen gasped. “By the Mother!” She rushed to her sister’s side, clinging to her while Tenanye held her tight, shushing her softly. Her sister looked to their host then at the girl. Xiao Jingshen hid her face for her fear. Zexen was relieved that Xiao got away from Nemu. However he honestly felt sick looking at the disgusting state of Nemu’s body. He tried to be tough and keep eyes on the tortured physical form that was Nemu but he could no longer manage it and averted his gaze.

“Greetings, Lady Nemu,” Tenanye said, “You say, your master sent you? Tsarvin...? Who is that?” She asked, her tone even, and unwavering.

Blue realized that the young Empress of Anansai had never before encountered the likes of Tsarvin Sphex. Blue remembered a time when the warring was strong in the Wastes and cries and prayers went up into the skies for days. The torment the souls there endured was immeasurable. The darkness enveloping those lands repelled any chance of the faeries to help. That realm was beyond salvation.

Valen stepped beside his son and the hovering pixie sized Father Superior and added on to Empress Tenanye’s inquiry. “And what intentions does your master wish for you to convey? What possibly would a representative of the Wastes desire to give and gain from a trade summit?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Tszarvin Sphex Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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"My Master is the Alchemancer, Tsarvin Sphex," Nemu said in response to the two faeries questions, "Due to historical embargoes on my Masters realm, we have shrunk from the eye of the other nations, but we are still very much... alive." Nemu strode towards the gathered nobles who stood in attendance, particuarly the small group of various Faeries, who fascinated her greatly. Sphex had procured few Fae specimens in her time, and each time coveted them as a rare resource, as were their magical items.
"My Masters reasons for sending myself to represent him, are the same as yours. We seek trade. As you may know, Father Superior, the land that my Master controls is of little agricultural worth, and as a result of this and said... embargoes, we have had to adapt to survive. But Merely surviving is something We would wish to move on from. Despite the Wastes lack of useable lands, there is much we have to trade." She looked around at the arrayed nobles, eyeing each carefully, "Assuming you are not as squeamish as your vassal, Queen Tenanye."
Her scan of the nobles complete, her gaze jerked back to the Fae, her mouth forming a mechanical approximation of a smile, "But such discussions should be held for the summit."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Tszarvin Sphex Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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"My Master is the Alchemancer, Tsarvin Sphex," The creature spoke causing Xiao Jingshen to whimper. Tenanye hushed her softy "Due to historical embargoes on my Masters realm, we have shrunk from the eye of the other nations, but we are still very much... alive." she said approaching Tenanye and Blue, who floated nearby.
"My Masters reasons for sending myself to represent him, are the same as yours. We seek trade. As you may know, Father Superior, the land that my Master controls is of little agricultural worth, and as a result of this and said... embargoes, we have had to adapt to survive. But Merely surviving is something We would wish to move on from. Despite the Wastes lack of useable lands, there is much we have to trade." She said and Tenanye narrowed her eyes. There was something omnious about this creature, twisted and broken. "Assuming you are not as squeamish as your vassal, Queen Tenanye."
"Hardly." Was Tenanye's response.
"But such discussions should be held for the summit."

Xiao Jingshen rose up some, nearing Tenanye's ear. "She scares me, Meimei." She whispered, and Tenanye, never taking her cold eyes from Nemu.

"Be at peace, Little Sparrow, We are spiders." She told her. Her House saying, hoping to instill some family pride and strength to the girl. Severyn, seated beside Tenanye, eyed the creature as well. "Did your master, make you this way, Lady Nemu?" He asked, calmly but Tenanye could see the tension in his body. "Did you choose this?"

Severyn was always quick, and sometimes his intuition was frighteningly accurate. She didn't know how he came to this conclusion, perhaps the term "Master" but it was clear that Severyn was under the impression that this "Lady" was in fact, a slave of some fashion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Tszarvin Sphex Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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There was not much that surprised Moloch, but the appearance of this "Lady" from the Wastes threw him off balance. Even not taking her appearance in account, he felt something sinister in her very essence. Moloch resisted the urge to shiver. He was no true magi, but the dragonblood in his veins made him sensitive to certain things.

If Moloch was uncomfortable, Cyrus was furious. Moloch could see the old man practically shaking, his usual amused expression wiped away, replaced with a grim frown and eyes as hard as daggers made of dragonbone. Cyrus stood up to reach his full height and recited bitterly,

"Oh Avalon, Avalon! Land of lush meadows and crystal streams.
Who among the living remembers your bountiful yields,
The creatures in your heart,
Or the people you took to your bosom?
Oh, Avalon, Avalon!
If I cease to sing of your memory,
Let my right hand no longer remember its strength,
Or my mind heart, mine own children!"


The old man sighed and looked upon the woman with some pity. Yet his tone broke no argument as he spoke once again.

"What can your Master offer but blasphemy, distortion, and destruction?"

The setting changes from the-new-world to The Republic of Khalidor

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Aada Funar
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The feast had been going so well until the interruption of some pest. Sphex had sent his tool to dirty the grand palace. Arkaelus thought that the madman was supposed to meet with Dorian over the possibilities of a contract. That creature was a smart man, he wouldn't send his minion to make business in front of everyone. No it must have been to prove a point.

The other leaders were not at all happy to see the servant or for it to utter it's master's name. Even Moloch seemed surprised. Arkaelus was well aware of the monsters of the wastes, his grandfather had even bought some to clear out the native people attacking some of the colonies. Yet the wastes were far from Khalidor, but so close to Drake. Perhaps it was time to end this charade.

"Its master can offer us nothing." Arkaelus spoke calmly. "Sphex makes only weapons of war, tools of destruction for those desperate enough to use them. Begone monster and return to that wretch of man you serve!" He held is hand in the air, ready to signal the guards in the room to shoot Nemu. This, of course, was just a spectacle if anything.

The setting changes from the-republic-of-khalidor to The New World

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen
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"Believe me, you do not want to face an angry mob, Your Grace. One can be more dangerous than a hundred knights. May I present King Moloch Markus of Drake."

Arim turned his attention away from the Father Superior to the two men who had now joined them. One was an older man who carried the wisdom of his years about him, the other a much younger looking man, no doubt King Moloch. He felt Aada's hand tighten on his arm. The change was slight but noticeable enough. Don't mess up, it said, for the umpteenth time on their journey. Creator help her children with all her fretting. Aada's hand left his arm as she dipped in a curtsy. Arim inclined his head.

"It is a pleasure," Moloch greeted them.

"An honour, Your Majesty," he said as Moloch's eyes flickered over him and onto Aada.

"Your fire is most delightful," he said to Aada, "Though, I confess, I know little of Cinnabar."

Arim looked between his sister and Moloch. Surely she wouldn't...

Aada took a moment to look at Moloch. It was rare that someone paid attention to her when her brother was also in the room. Well, they certainly looked, but they saw an instrument, a means to end of getting into Arim's good books, or getting a woman in their bed. She was rarely their sole intention. And here was Moloch, King of a great nation, ignoring her brother and looking to her instead. She wasn't about to spurn him, no matter what her brother might think of the men at this place.

"Then I apparently have you at a disadvantage Your Majesty. Drake is a land that has held much of my curiosity since I was a child. The Circle of Magi particularly, though what we hear of The Circle in Cinnabar is little more than whispers."

Apparently she would, Arim thought. What happened to worrying about the men? Or was this different because Moloch was 'handsome'? It couldn't have been the power he wielded, Aada was a Crown Princess, she was yet to be seduced by power. Aada's intentions might have been innocent, but Arim was certain that Moloch's were not so innocent.

The doors swung open and a woman was lead in. "The uhh... The Lady Nemu, representing the interests of her master... Tsarvin Sphex..."

"Greetings, my lords and ladies," the woman, Lady Nemu, said, in a voice that sounded near unnatural. Combined with her jerking movements, there was something truly unsettling about the woman. "I am here so I may convey the will of my master." Nemu curtsied, or at least tried to, the motion pulling her hood from her head, revealing a grizzly addition to her scalp. "It is a honour."

Aada watched Nemu. There was something about the woman, a perverse darkness that Aada didn't trust. Apparently, neither did anyone else in the room. The Fae seemed the most unsettled. She reached for her brother's hand, the way she had done when they were children. Before her fingers could brush against Arim's hand, Aada dropped her hand away. He had been little use to her then, she doubted he'd be much better now.

Empress Tenanye was the first to speak to their new arrival. “Greetings, Lady Nemu,” Tenanye said, “You say, your master sent you? Tsarvin...? Who is that?”

“And what intentions does your master wish for you to convey? What possibly would a representative of the Wastes desire to give and gain from a trade summit?” Valen added.

Aada had heard stories of the Wastes. Dark, horrifying tales that 'young ladies shouldn't hear'. But that was all she dismissed them as. Mere fairy tales meant to scare children into being good and fanciful tales to pass among friends. It had never occurred to her that there might be some truth to those stories. Looking at Lady Nemu, evidently there was something deeply wrong happening there. She felt Arim's hand on her shoulder, pulling her back as he stepped forward to shield her. A stupid thing to do, since she was the stronger mage, but she wasn't about to start arguing about it now. A single look at his face told her that he could feel it too. Even though his magic was weaker than Aada's, he could feel the darkness that moved within her. And it scared him. Aada had seen Arim be many things; elated, shamed, desperate, content, grief-stricken; but never afraid, not like this. And that worried her more than anything.

"My Master is the Alchemancer, Tsarvin Sphex," Nemu said in response to the Faes' questions, "Due to historical embargoes on my Masters realm, we have shrunk from the eye of the other nations, but we are still very much... alive." Nemu began to move around the room. Arim forced himself to look back at her when she passed them. The closer she got to them, the more he could feel the wrongness of what she was, of what had created her. Aada felt nauseous from the sensation. As she moved, she kept going back to the Fae. Apparently, they were her main concern. "My Masters reasons for sending myself to represent him, are the same as yours. We seek trade. As you may know, Father Superior, the land that my Master controls is of little agricultural worth, and as a result of this and said... embargoes, we have had to adapt to survive. But Merely surviving is something We would wish to move on from. Despite the Wastes lack of usable lands, there is much we have to trade." Nemu looked around the room, slowly taking in each of them. That was probably more unsettling than anything she had done thus far. Again, she looked back to the Fae. "Assuming you are not as squeamish as your vassal, Queen Tenanye." Nemu's scan of the room complete, her head jerked back to the Fae, her mouth forming a gross approximation of a smile,"But such discussions should be held for the summit."

A man with Tenanye continued questioning Lady Nemu. Aada turned to Arim, "Do you feel it, Arim?" she whispered.

He nodded. "Are you alright?"

"It's manageable."

"If you need to go-"

"I will let you know, Arim. I am not a delicate flower."

"Its master can offer us nothing." Arkaelus's voice rose across the room. "Sphex makes only weapons of war, tools of destruction for those desperate enough to use them. Begone monster and return to that wretch of man you serve!" Arim looked back to Nemu, seeing what the woman would do.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tenanye Ananse; Empress of Anansai Character Portrait: Moloch Markus Character Portrait: Arim Funar Character Portrait: Nemu Kizomuri Character Portrait: Xiao Jingshen Ananse Character Portrait: Kallias Markus Character Portrait: Severyn Alderson; Seelie Prince Character Portrait: Arkaelus Ursuul Character Portrait: Skandar, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Father Superior The Blue Faery Character Portrait: Valen Mori Elen Character Portrait: Aada Funar Character Portrait: Kiran, Prince of Ashkara Character Portrait: Zexen Tiberius Elen Character Portrait: Akhil, Prince of Ashkara
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"Its master can offer us nothing." Arkaelus's voice rose across the room. "Sphex makes only weapons of war, tools of destruction for those desperate enough to use them. Begone monster and return to that wretch of man you serve!"
Nemu cocked her head at King Arkaelus, the man who had summoned them all there that day, her look inquisitive.
"My lord Arkaelus, it is true that my master is skilled in the creation of the tools of war, but they are far from his only skills. My master through the ages has discovered poultices and potions, elixirs and tonics that can heal the body, strengthen the mind and enhance the senses. War is not my masters goal, Lord Arkaelus, only enlightenment."
Nemu turned back to Tenanye and her entourage, and responded to the males question, his name not present in her memories, "In answer to your question, Faeling, my will is my masters will, what he desires, I desire. I serve him willingly, and my body his his to fashion."
She turned back to Arkaelus, whom still had is arms raised, ready to call down his guards should they be needed, "My lord, would you turn away those who come with the offer or peaceful trade, because of child-hood stories of monsters and demons?"
She turned and walked towards the door slowly, deliberately mocking the ensemble of lords and ladies, "Such actions are belittling of a king."