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Garland Greywind Novax

The Outrider

0 · 314 views · located in Rhindeval

a character in “Fractured Kingdoms”, as played by CrossKnight35

Description

Garland Greywind Novax

Alias: Korgan

Age: 25

Hex code: #125131
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Appearance: A stout, burly man whose skin smoulders a sun-dyed bronze. His heavy frame is adorned with muscles and tribal paint, with arms as thick as logs and hands hardened by years of seafaring and raiding. His face, once that of a handsome man, had since been cursed into a beastly, porcine visage. He wears little more than a pair of boots and a woolen loincloth over his unmentionables, crude, tattered things worn for modesty rather than utility.

Personality: An uncouth man with little manners and no sense of personal space, Korgan's demeanour matches his beastly appearance. Loud, brash, and brutally honest, Korgan has no respect for weak minds and second thoughts, but holds strength and loyalty in the highest regard. He can't resist the allure of buxom women and strong drinks, which has landed him in hot water more times than he could count.

History: The eldest prince of Arcadia, Garland Novax was a child of the sea, through and through. He loved everything about it - the gust of the morning winds, the scent of sea salt they carry, and the boundless adventures waiting beyond the horizon. He spent his early days with his younger sisters and the Evergreen children, though unlike them, Garland had no aptitude for studies, preferring to spend his days scouring the wilds for fishes and bugs (much to his parents’ dismay).

Like his fellow princes, Ivelda's coup changed his life. She conditioned Garland - now Korgan - into her loyal outrider, sent to sail beyond Rhindeval for new lands to chart and conquer. While he wasn't much for discipline, Korgan's monstrous strength and endurance had few rivals, and his ferocity in battle is backed up by his loyal crew, an enchanted fleet, and a pack of vicious, venomous wyverns. Despite his loyalty, Korgan's wild nature often strayed him into disobeying his Queen's orders, with one occasion robbing the former prince of something precious.

So begins...

Garland Greywind Novax's Story

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax
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Beyond the shores of Kasai, far from the borders of Arcadia, the seas roiled under darkly-clouded skies. Waves rose then crashed by the thousands, like ever-shifting mountains bounding over the horizon. Lightning struck from the heavens, a bright flash which seemed twice as blinding in the pitch black of night.

There, amidst the mountain-like waves, two ships fought in a battle for life or death. From the south, a foreign junk with ridged sails like a sea dragon. From the north, their quarry, a galleon, twice as long and thrice as tall, with rows of red-striped sails erected from the finest oaken masts. A hundred cannon ports lined its broadside, smoke rising fresh from their barrels. The sea screamed and slammed against the ship, but it held fast, its hull unmarred, its course undeterred. The ship was more than wood and metal. Men turned its wheel, wind pushed its sails, and fire spat from the cannons. But at the helm, with a dagger held between gritted fangs, was its captain.

"HARD TO STARBOAAARD! Give them no dignity of retreat, MAKE! THEM! ROUT!"

Seven feet tall, with nearly three hundred pounds worth of muscles. Clad in little more than a loincloth and a pair of water-faded boots. He was a man from the neck down, no doubt, even with a skin of bronze and the curving tattoos burnt into his arms. But above his shoulders was the face of a hog; coarse, hairy, with a broad pink nose and great, curving tusks.

Korgan was his name. Captain of the Razorback, admiral of the Fourth Fleet, and Ivelda's chief outrider. His eyes gleamed an inhuman yellow, his prey reflected upon their surfaces; the last ship of the soon-to-be-extinct Eastern Typhoon smuggling fleet. They thought to flee beyond Rhindeval, to create a new life for themselves with the ill-gotten spice in their hold.

Korgan flicked his tongue and flipped the dagger in his mouth.

They thought wrong.

A barrage scattered from the Razorback's starboard. Fire and iron pelted the pirate's sails and smashed through their hull. With their wings clipped, the Razorback closed in with ease, casting a shadow upon terrified faces.

Korgan loomed from the deck, with burly men and women at his side, and a massive axe rested over his shoulder; a thing of iron and wood, with a hilt bound in leather and a crescent-bearded, battle-scarred head. He flashed a grin, then gave his orders. "No prisoners."

"NO PRISONERS!" His crew repeated amidst a chorus of cackles.

Korgan leapt, and brought his axe down with a bellowing roar.

CRUNCH.

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal
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Tyann curled a silver-clawed hand around the reigns of the raid-beast. His eyes, amber and gold, hidden behind the almost cruelly smiling fox mask, were alight with focus.
The ‘horse’, if one could call it that, huffed at his approach and his grasp. Tyann gave it a warning hiss; the sound akin to the rasping of dried leaves in desert baked sun.
The creature stilled at the sound, baring a maw full of jagged-glass fangs in a grimace at the Handler before it. It’s scales were a mottled scarlet and black, and in place of hooves were three toed claws. Talons dug into the dirt of the stall as The Beast-Master yanked the creature out into the open space of the stable yard.

The space was a square, lined with stalls and gargantuan doors that lead into stable houses with yet more stalls. At current, most of the important beasts were gone, out with one of the generals, or maybe with Korgan or one of his more trusted individuals.
It didn’t matter.
From the southern stalls, Tyann stepped out with a riding drake. The beast was vaguely horselike in body plan, and body plan only. One large spike of bone and keratin rose from the hips and shoulders of the creature, and four bull like horns jutted out from its front. With serrated talons that were meant to easily climb trees, and shattered glass-like fangs for causing horrific bleeding, the beast was meant for malice and savagery.
It didn’t help that the creature was as tall as the riding horses from the north, standing a solid seven feet at the shoulder easily enough. A rudder like tail dragged its tip through the sand of the proving ground.

Tyann’s free hand snapped its silver-clawed fingers twice, drawing a servant forth. The man was terrified; casting an anxious glance at the massive creature of violence that was held so calmly in Tyann’s hand. The Beast-Master was known for their foul words, though not for any cruelty besides. So it was... unlikely, that his life was at stake.
‘That damn mask though,’ the servant thought, ‘It’s just eyes in there... I don’t think any of us have seen underneath.’
And as if having read his thoughts, Tyann spoke.

Tomwald. Please locate Korgan’s stupid ass for me. I desire some information that only he can give. Do. Not. fucking tarry. Thank you.
Tomwald could only gulp and nod, ducking his head in a swift bow before turning and darting towards the castle proper, fearfully eager to carry out the bidding of the Fox-Masked man.

Tyann however, frowned behind the mask. He wanted to take this drake out for a stroll, especially since it was proving to be far more stubborn than he thought.
Perhaps Korgan could help today... Maybe. If the bastard was here.

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal
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#12513




The Rhindeval docks. The setting sun cast a warm glow upon its coast. The masts of a hundred ships jut out across the horizon, like spires of an ancient castle. Gulls flocked above, and their cries traveled for miles away. The bells tolled three times as the red-striped sails of the Razorback slowed its approach and dropped its anchor.

Black boots stomped upon the pier. Crusted by mud and weathered by water and age. The planks creaked underneath the weight of Korgan's hulking muscles. He inhaled to take in that scent, and grinned... salt and smoke, damp wood and gull excrement, and the lingering lavender of a wench's perfume… the scent of a juncture between land and sea. The scent of vacation.

Korgan looked over his shoulder. Two broad, squat, wolf-sized tarantulas drew two carts down a ramp from his ship to the docks, the first filled with barrels upon barrels, tied together by thick cords of rope, and the second… large stacks of crates, nine feet tall and six feet across, much bigger and heavier than the first. The outrider looked on the spoils of his conquest with pride. Ivelda will be pleased, he thought to himself.

Just then, he heard someone cry out his name. High-pitched, squealing. His ears pricked up, and he immediately turned to look, but the sneer on his face faded just as quickly. It was neither a fair maiden nor a fetching lad, as he had hoped. It was a servant, plain-looking and short of breath, there to deliver a message.

"Tyann wants me? HEH!" Korgan spat, rested his hands upon his hips and flexed his muscles on reflex. "Alright! I'll entertain the prick. Hangin' round the stables, I reckon? I can almost smell him from here, GYAHAHAHA!"

Korgan barged past the servant and nearly knocked him over. He glanced over his shoulder, towards the sailors struggling to direct the giant spiders. "Get those bugs to the castle gates. I'll catch up in a bit." He spread his arms wide. "Our Queen deserves her tribute!" With one final cackle, the outrider turned his eyes ahead and walked away.




Some time later, Korgan arrived by the stables. He raised one brow as he observed his summoner. Tyann Rebal, Ivelda's beastmaster. The wyverns and spiders under his employ knew him well, not one of them had not tasted the bite of his whip. "Tyann, my vulpine friend! You still have all your limbs!"

Korgan peered a little closer, cast his eyes downward, and wiggled his brows. "As far as I can tell," he uttered in a lower voice.

The pig-faced outrider scoffed at his own joke, then slowed his approach, turning his attention towards the beast beside Tyann. Korgan leaned back, with a half-disgusted, half-impressed smile. "That has got to be the ugliest thing in all the sixteen kingdoms."

Korgan's smile shifted into a fang-filled grin, and his voice dropped into a whisper.

"Can I keep it?"

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Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal
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Tyann Rebal:: #F47206



It was while he waited for Korgan’s arrival, that Tyann noticed Adrian leaving. He thought for a moment to speak to the man, even opening his mouth to start the call, before he thought better of it. The other man had looked busy, and Tyann had better things to take care of. So he simply waited a while longer, checking over the drake some more whilst also moving about and grabbing one of the more... adjustable saddles. One that was far too large for any regular beast. Some of the nearby stable hands watched on in quiet wonder, scattering when Tyann’s attention turned away from the beast.

The resounding bark of Korgan’s voice threatened Tyann’s focus for only a moment, and behind the mask, the corners of his mouth twitched upward in amusement. The Raid-King was someone that Tyann found he enjoyed, the constant bravado and the boisterous attitude was a thing of beauty, if you looked at it right.
Tyann imagined that Korgan scared the others more than even Ivelda, maybe. But that was a blasphemous thought, much less a sentence to speak aloud… Viliame certainly would think as much, and most times Tyann tried not to offend the poor man.
Korgan! Indeed, I am still whole.” He offered calmly, his raspy voice a fair deal quieter than Korgan’s own, yet no less confident.

There was a pause before Tyann let the smile behind his mask grow wide as it could. He reached up with his free hand, tilting his head back as he did, to show Korgan only the barest hint of his face. It was a thing of trust, and of rarity, for Tyann to show anything of his face— beyond the request from Her Majesty, of course— and the four beast-like fangs that took up residence in his mouth made themselves visible.
Why Korgan, I thought you’d never fucking ask! I think you will like this one. I procured it with you in mind. I know you yet have a personal riding beast, and I find this troublesome. I also know you do not necessarily make landfall often either… So yet again, I had this beast in mind for you. Be fucking grateful, please and thank you.
With that, Tyann let his mask slip back into place, turned his head from Korgan, and barked a single phrase. ‘KOGINALD!

The drake reared back as the word came sparking out into the world, the memory of a foul whip crack and sparkling claw and fang securing their dominance leaping through the creatures mind. It’s form swelled with muscle and rippling magic as it ‘sssSKRA!’d it’s acknowledgement of the command.
Where once a drake whose shoulders just barely reached Korgan’s chest stood, a new creature took its place. Crackling bone and scale, heavy panting and huffing, and another screeching-roar declared the change.

The shoulders of the drake now rose to meet Korgan’s face easily enough, the bulk of the creature now more muscle than anything else it seemed. It’s claws were webbed now, and the tail had grown a sail that cut short just at the hips. The eyes of the beast were alight with a verdant green, and now held Korgan’s gaze with something akin to pre-programmed loyalty. Two massive fangs curled from the maw of the beast, and they dripped with a venom that was black as pitch.
Throughout it all, Tyann stood with a smile that belied the absolute effort that went into training the thrice damned ‘present’ he held for Korgan.
His head turned back to Korgan, his breath held— Unbeknownst to the Raid-King— and awaiting his approval.

An additional slap on the creatures haunch forced it to reveal a row of gill slits along its ribs and its throat.

Well? What do you think?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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We could hide away in daylight
We go undercover, wait out the sun
Got a secret side in plain sight
We could be heroes
- Alesso, Tove Lo

Tempeste took a deep breath in, standing in front of the medical ward. Although she had been employed under Prince Stephen err… Asher as he was now named, for quite some time, there was still a hint of nervousness lingering whenever she stepped in Ivelda’s territory. There was always the risk that they would be discovered and that risk didn’t get any slimmer by the day. It was no exaggeration to say that the Evil Enchantress had taken over their world and changed everything.

Before a lump could form in her throat, the white-haired girl felt someone tugging her sleeve. She turned to find it was a child no older than 5, of one of their patients. Tempeste’s eyes widened before softening. “Let’s go in, shall we?” She said with a smile. One hand holding the child’s hand, the other hand opening the door, her courage had returned. This is why we’re rebels. she thought to herself, but not forgetting that Ari could overhear it.

Meanwhile, Ari watched with amusement when he saw the other stable hands scatter simply as Tyann’s attention was no longer on the beast. He kept his facial expression blank, resisting the urge to smile. Ari didn’t fear Tyann though and wouldn’t have scattered like the others. He knew some were unsettled because Tyann always wore a mask. It didn’t bother Ari though, but this is as he wore a mask himself in a sense. Ari had planned to go to Tyann for his next set of duties.

Although, he could not now as Tyann was speaking with Korgan. Both of these men were princes and did not know it. Unfortunately, Ari wasn’t close enough to listen to the conversation. He had just left the stables to find Tyann, which is why he had not been with the other stable hands. Ari stayed at the entrance of the stables. He debated if he should try to listen in on Tyann’s conversation. He didn’t get to think more on it as Tempeste’s thoughts invaded his mind.

Why are we rebels now? he thought back. He found it interesting how he became accustomed to hearing her thoughts. Four years ago, it had been odd and annoying if he was honest. Ari never admitted it as he decided to just deal with the new connection he had with his old friend. It was to keep them safe. Nevertheless, it didn’t take him long to become accustomed to sharing thoughts. He even found some of their telepathic conversations helpful.

Tempeste’s entrance into the medical ward was a little wonky despite her renewed vigor due to the fact she was holding a small child’s hand and their height differences made her lean a little to the left and lower down, prioritizing the kid’s comfort over her own as they walked forward. Because the cutest kid tugged me. She reminded me we’re rebels for the hope of the future generation, children like them.. she replied back to Ari with bright shimmering eyes. She always had a soft spot for children as she led the way.

The medical staff bombarded her with an assortment of questions and requests right away but Tempeste would just smile, nod, and agree to discuss the details with each of them later. Asher was in today so she wasn’t too worried or rushing, believing he could handle things well enough on his own. She reunited the child with her sleeping father. “Stay here, okay? He’ll wake up and take you home in no time.” she reassured, patting the child’s hand before releasing to get to work.

I am certain I am a rebel because I overheard an interesting conversation you were having one night.

Tempeste delegated a nurse to watch over the child and ensure the two left by tea break. The father was in healthy condition and just resting after being cured of a poison he drank in order to avoid conscription into Ivelda’s forces. He wanted to be a father and look after his child, not be sent away on evil errands. She couldn’t blame him and so, she did her best to help him recover and hopefully, to slip out later.

Asher seemed to be busy with his own matters anyhow as she observed him with a guardsman who had a dislocated shoulder. She had a gentler approach in handling the patients most likely as a result of her upbringing with the Saints but the royal healer knew what he was doing. The man began swearing but Asher ignored it. It was just like him. Returning to her telepathic conversation with Ari, Well yes but, wait. Are you saying you’re a rebel because you found me cute? she thought, wondering if she understood correctly or was reading between the lines too much.

It means I had to join to make sure you didn’t get yourself killed. I think Ellen would haunt me if any harm came to you as well. Also, Ivedla is an awful person who shouldn't be ruling any kingdoms. Ari watched as the drake Tyann presented to Korgan changed.

Tempeste was a little sad as both Ellen and Ivelda’s names popped up but shook those thoughts away before they could form. Oh haha, right. I was just teasing. Of course, Ari doesn't think I am cute. Tempeste started to feel a little embarrassed. She couldn’t help thinking. She was always thinking! If she wasn’t at work at that moment, she would have buried her face into a pillow. But for now, she would have to settle for dying on the inside with everyone else besides Ari none the wiser. Although, her cheeks were a little flushed as a doctor followed up with her on the request he brought up a few minutes ago. She cleared her throat. “That sounds more than reasonable. Consider your shifts switched.” The doctor left happily but with the misconception that it was approved for other reasons.

Ari had turned to walk back to the stables as he listened to Tempeste’s thought. He’d decided he’d help in there while he waited for Tyann to be free. Ari had noticed Adrian had taken Little John. He decided to muck out the horse’s stall and add fresh hay. It was a simple task he had done in the past. Someone else could take it over easily enough as well if he didn’t finish. You should not seek my validation in regards to your beauty. Your opinion should be the only one to matter. They do say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Although, I do not believe I have ever seen an unsightly person when I lived in Serein.

Tempeste’s embarrassment was growing the longer they discussed ‘beauty’ but she had to contain it. Now, a pillow wouldn’t be sufficient enough. She wanted to hit her head against a wall. I-I wasn’t seeking validation… but oh saint, you’re right. I never saw an unsightly person back in Serein even among the sick. She diverted the topic and put on a pair of leather gloves matching Asher’s.

Serein was a beautiful place...so it only makes sense the people were beautiful as well. Although, I know many would say we look alike. I still find it odd at times people can look so different in one kingdom. You would think I’d find it normal after all this time...

Tempeste gloved and ready to attend to the patients personally, glanced back to Asher as an idea came to her. In all seriousness, I might have to put Serein’s beauty to the test. Asher has a back room locked when he is gone and doesn’t seem to like anyone going in there without him. I wonder if it has anything to do with Ivelda. She assumed she had Asher’s trust to be put in charge of his staff especially when he is away but not enough trust apparently as she still hadn’t really accessed that room. Maybe it didn’t mean anything but maybe it did.

The gears in her brain were turning. You know how he’s a flirt? So maybe… It would kill two birds with one stone. She could access the room and investigate with permission. No picking locks, no avoiding guards under the cover of darkness, and no breaking and entering. Nobody gets hurt and it would be an additional diversion for him not to notice the patient she was harboring. The poisoned man blended in well but it was just the clothes. All it took was for someone to start asking questions.

I- Ari barely began his thought when he heard a commotion. He heard loud metal banging and a horse neigh. By the time he turned his head and placed his pitchfork against a wall, he could guess what happened. It seemed one stable hand ran into another, metal buckets were dropped, and this startled a horse. The horse was able to tear the reins from the person holding them. The two stable's hands began to have a screaming match, already blaming the other. Ari was quick on his feet though, and he ran after the white horse. He believed this horse was Luna if he remembered correctly. She was always a skittish one, but sweet. Ari was close behind her as she out towards Tyann, the drake, and Korgan. He just wasn’t close enough yet to grab her. I hope the drake does not go after the horse...

Drake? Well, sounds like you’ve got your hands full, stable boy. I’ll try not to think too much. Tempeste wished him luck in a joking way, confident in Ari’s experience and abilities. She breathed in deeply, exhaled and got to work focusing on the patients first. Nearing tea break was when she made a move. She sauntered through the ward in a beeline for Asher. Tempeste had no experience with romance, her life dedicated to the Saints then to the rebels. As much as she valued life, she forgot about her own. She was not as good an actor as Ari but she would give it a shot, for the rebel’s cause.

“Good morrow, sir~ will you be taking a break?” she said cheerfully then looked away shyly, tucking her hair behind her ear to show the features of her face more. She wasn’t sure if she was beautiful by Asher’s standards. She’d heard a few of the rebels describe their ideal woman by the campfire and it varied a lot. If Serein’s beauty was just like she and Ari spoke about, it was at least a chance to get her foot in the door. I wonder how this is going to go down. Does height matter?

It took her a long time to infiltrate though so there was a delicate balance at play between her interest in the back room and not getting fired. Tempeste made the most of her time attending to patients to not only heal them but hint a crush on Asher to those she could trust. There was this blind veteran in particular who used a stick to get around and he was all in for young love. Seeing his cue, he bumped Tempeste to fall… right into Asher. The oldest trick in the book.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ishara Soli Eldiel Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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Freddie's face brightened in an instant, and she stood just a little straighter at Collette's response.The 'wizard' beckoned Collette to follow her. She glanced over her shoulder. "Sharp..." Freddie pointed to her temple. "...Is my middle name."

Freddie led her to the giant mushroom, and the satchel that was propped nearby. She reached for it and rummaged through the insides, all while staring, straight and unblinking, right at Collette. After a moment, she drew a small plastic pouch, and held it to Collette's face. A little too close to her face. "This… is 'The Royal Highness.'"

Inside, was a mass of herbs, mostly green, with patches of bright brown throughout. Freddie's eyes glinted as she explained, "It's high quality… stuff. This type relieves stress while being very… light. Doesn't… make you drowsy at all." Freddie wiggled the pouch. "Perfect for the sporty… or social… types."

Freddie leaned closer. "It's 15 dollars... for a pouch." She looked at Collette intently for a moment, then let her eyebrows do the wiggling. "...If you’re not convinced, I can give… a small sample… for free."




Korgan grinned. Tyann's vulgarity always made his chest swell with such warm, fuzzy feelings. It was proof of his passion, and passion was an emotion all true Kymerans appreciated.

"My friend, with that mouth of yours, you'd fit just fine in my crew." Of course, Ivelda would never allow it, he left unsaid.

Korgan's yellow eyes widened, devouring the sight of the drake's transformation. His ears twitched, and he couldn't stop grinning, even as the creature finished. He strutted towards the creature, with his chest puffed out and his hands on the hips, and he whistled.

He did not speak immediately, having lost himself in admiring every little detail. This was a beast worthy of the Queen's Outrider!

"Well? What do you think?”"

In an instant, Korgan had shifted behind Tyann, looped his arm around the latter's shoulder, and let out a raucous cackle that could be heard far, far away. "GAHAHHA! I LOVE IT!" He pulled the Beastmaster close and flashed him a thumbs up. "You even made him amphibious! INSPIRING!"

Korgan scoffed, shook his head, then leaned close to whisper, "You know, half of my crew can't even swim."

Just then, a loud neigh pricked his ears. Followed by the thundering beats of hooves. A white horse dashed their way, with a blonde stable boy right behind it. The transformed drake bent low and bore its dagger-like fangs with a hiss.

Korgan stepped in front of Tyann, faced the charging horse head on, and held out his hand.

Thud!

Hooves beat and scraped against the earth. Panicked neighs rang high and shrill. Korgan stood there, solid and unmoving as a rock as he clutched the horse by its face. "HEH!" He scoffed, flashing filed-down fangs.

The Raid-King turned to Ari and barked. "YOU THERE! Stable boy! What's this nonsense? Come over here and control this mare!"

Korgan gestured to Tyann with his head. "My friend here has bigger fish to fry."

He paused. With his large, thick fingers, Korgan forcefully turned the horse's face to one side, then the other, ignorant of the terror glinting across its black eyes.

Korgan looked back at Ari and raised one eyebrow. "I haven't seen you before. You know, I've always pictured stable boys as frumpy-lookin' snotlings, but you?"

Those slender features. Those short yet luscious locks… Korgan couldn't hide his amusement.

"You're pretty for a stable boy. Count yourself lucky you're working for Tyann, not me! GAHAHA!"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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Tyann Rebal:: F47206




His head snapped to the drake, the hand on the reigns yanking the beast's snout and forcing it to make eye contact with the Beast Master. The noise that leapt from his mouth was part hiss, part roar, and all command. 'Be silent and be calm!'
The drake moved as if it wanted to disobey, what with the nearby equine being the perfect prey item... But its' handler was a larger threat than thought. Another hiss-roar leapt from Tyann, and the growl of fury that he put forth returned the drake to a calmer, more docile state.
His focus then snapped back over to Korgan.

"Korgan. Keep your fucking paws off my employees. I appreciate your candor about their beauty- I pick some of them out specifically for that. But they are all indispensable to me. Thank you for containing the creature, by the by." Tyann barked out, his lips pulled back into a snarl unseen by the those around him. "Especially that one. He has been a greater help than most of the others. ... I hope that you find a crew-mate who could be of use to you in the same way."

"Now, yes, like asked by the good sir... What the absolute. Fuck. is happening? Why is lovely Luna out and about? I've trusted you to have a better handle on things, no? Or was it perhaps one of the other stable hands?" A deadpanned series of questions that sounded closer to furious statements more than anything. Tyann's voice was hard, filled with a solid heaping of ice and the cold curiosity of a ravenous serpent. He shifted his attention over Ari's shoulder, staring frostily at the two (innocent) stable-hands who were watching from afar, hoping they were hidden.

Tyann narrowed his eyes at the two, hoping that just his glare alone could bring them forth to confess... But no. So he remained as aware of Korgan as he could, not yet choosing to put his attention any more away from the Raid-King than he already had. Korgan's earlier appraisal of the War Drake made Tyann flush for just a moment with pride, though now he was simply frustrated by the situation at hand.

Speaking of which...

His silver-claw adorned fingers came to gently rest on the back of Korgan's, tapping the tendons under the skin with a contained fury he dared not show. "Korgan. Please release the horse unto the hands to my stable master. Please."

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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Ari heard Tempeste thoughts, but he had no time to think back at her officially. Stable boy? Not think? Ha. Height? He was too busy to think clearly. His attention was mainly focused on not running. Ari stopped barely a foot behind Luna. He kept his face blank as he felt bad for the horse. She was obviously in a panic and Korgan was not making her mood better. He just smiled at Korgan as he spoke. I have been called a stable boy twice now. Have you met Korgan? He is rather...loud.

His eyes went to Tyann as Korgan referenced him. Ari placed his hands behind his back and laced his fingers together. He made sure to stand tall with his chin up and chest out. Ari focused on breathing slowly and deeply. His heart rate was up from his little run. He slowly walked closer to Luna as Korgan turned her face. Ari wouldn’t grab the horse from him though. He was no fool. Tyann was there as well, and he knew he could handle the situation. Ari was speechless as Korgan continued to speak. He didn’t even know what to think or say. Ari kept his blank expression though.

Glad. Ari was glad when Tyann spoke. He really had no idea how he would have responded to Korgan at that moment. I am glad Tyann thinks of his workers as indispensable. Also, it seems my Serein beauty may have worked out for me already. Ari kept his gaze on Tyann as he directed questions to him. He nodded his head to acknowledge he heard him. Ari stayed silent though as he watched Tyann look over his shoulder. He decided to wait to make sure he had Tyann’s attention before he answered.

Tyann is not happy at all. I hope the idiots who caused this mess are not just standing around and watching. I don’t hear them yelling anymore though... Ari came out of his thoughts as Tyann spoke once more to Korgan. Ari got closer to the two men and grabbed Luna’s reins. He wouldn’t guide her away from Korgan until the man let her face go. Poor Luna. I have a feeling she will not like Korgan’s company after this day. He pushed his thoughts away as he decided this was the best time to answer Tyann. Ari naturally spoke softly as well, so it was always best when he didn't speak when a lot was going on.

“I apologize for the inconvenience, Master Tyann and Master Korgan. Luna was startled and tore her reins out of another stable hand's grip when I believe they collided with a second stable hand. I know I heard metal buckets dropped, but I only turned in time to see Luna running off. I gave chase as the stable hands were busy deciding who was at fault for the commotion they caused,” he paused to look more at Tyann, “I didn’t get to see all that occurred before she escaped as I was cleaning Little John’s stall. I wanted to do something simple as I waited for you to be free. I didn’t want to interrupt you while you were with Master Korgan.” Ari believed he covered all his bases with Tyann, so turned to face Korgan more now.

“It is nice to officially meet you Master Korgan. I am Ari Hunt. It is inconvenient we met in this unpleasant way. Thank you for the earlier compliment, and I am very lucky to work under Master Tyann. He is very knowledgeable,” he added. He kept a simple smile on his face as he waited for one of them to speak.

If I ever go missing, I would advise you to make Korgan your first suspect.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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18D10A

No matter how used to horse riding the man was, his ass started hurting after almost a day of it. He left the mountains behind him to arrive in a small settlement. It was a trading post, close to the sea with a small harbour. The air was filled with the smell of fish, and Raiden couldn’t say if the sea creatures were still fresh or not. He had never liked the sea much, and the air made him close to throwing up. He kept a slow pace on his horse until he got closer to the market. The market sounds could be heard from far away. People were shouting back and forth, each trying to sell their items to the highest bidders.
When Raiden stood near the markets edge, he got off his horse. He slid the hood over his head in order to hide his clean colourful coupe. It wasn’t completely abnormal to have his hair color, but the market vendors would at least be able to see he had money and they would focus all attention on him alone.

Before entering the market he fastened his horse and paid a decent amount of coin to the stable boy to keep an eye on it. Looking around to make sure no one watched him, he opened his saddle bag and checked on the Nexu. It hadn’t made much noise on the ride over here, and even now seemed to be fast asleep. Raiden stepped onto the market, walking slowly and inspecting an item when he felt the need to. He bought a few arrow points from the blacksmith, after being advised of the alloy it was made of.
Raiden could tell, of course, but it wasn’t bad to keep up appearances when you wanted to go by unseen.

A few stalls over saw the selling of animal produce. He was a fan of the smoked meat that many places in the continent seemed to have. One town made it spicier than the other with some of the local herbs, but it would all be tasty in its own right. He also brought down the price of a canteen of milk. He didn’t enjoy it much, but they still had some distance to go, and he had to give the little Nexu something before it would die.

Even the captains were trying to sell passage while being at the market. Although some had interesting offers, he was not ready to switch his horse ride to a sailing trip. What do I look like, Korgan? He wasn’t about to say it out loud. Sailors would definitely not know Raiden, but Korgan was something sailors told their kids nightmares about. Thinking of the outrider, he pulled his hood a bit further over his head, making sure not a single pink hair would show underneath.
He made a good deal on a new belt and after spending a good deal of his purse, he made his way back to the stable.

The stable boy was nowhere to be found, even though his horse was right there. Just as he was about to walk over, he saw another kid, maybe 14, walking over to the abandoned animal. The saddlebag had been moving and the curiosity of the teenager had gotten the better of him. He looked around, and not seeing Raiden or anyone else, he opened the strap of the saddlebag carefully.
Raiden hurried his pace over and just as the kid was about to lift the flap open, Raiden put his hand on the boy’s to make sure it stayed closed. ”Move your hands or lose your hands, your choice.”
The boy removed his hand and turned around, mouth wide open in shock. He looked up into Raiden’s eyes. Colour seemed to drain from the boy’s face as his lips started quivering and tears started to form in his eyes.
”You don’t have to cry about it, just beat it. And keep your hands to your own stuff from now on.”
The boy seemed frozen, so Raiden gave him a small push to the side, after which the boy went running. Raiden opened the saddlebag to find the Nexu still in there. He would ride out of town before he would feed it, too many nosy people around.

After he packed all things away he got up on his horse, and slowly made his way out. He stuck to the coastline while continuing on his way home. At the first sign of a forest he basically dived in, feeling more at home there than anywhere else. He was miles away from the nearest town now, so he decided to stop and feed the Nexu before it would starve. He opened the bag and took the tiny creature out. He didn’t know how to hold it, so he placed it on the ground, onto a pile of leaves. He took the canteen of milk, held it in front of the creatures mouth and tried to pour some in. It clearly didn’t like it, most was dripping down and the rest was spat out.
”This cost coin you little shit, you want to starve to death?” He tried again, with a bit more force this time. As he tried to pour in more milk, the little thing scratched his hand with his mini-claws. ”Damn you! Ungrateful little…..”
Raiden stood up, putting his other hand over the injured one as the canteen fell on the ground, spilling the rest of the milk. His hand still covered he started to make an attempt to kick the little creature. He stopped himself just before doing so, realising he already got this far with it, it would be a waste to kill it now.
His hand was bleeding, but not too much. The scratch was not deep, but hurted like hell.

It took few minutes to stop the bleeding. ”Tyann will know what to do with you, best get home quick.”
He picked up the little pup, careful to avoid any more scratching, and placed it back in it’s temporary home. Before going, he picked up the canteen to put it away as well. When he did he saw the smoked meat. ”Maybe…. This could be more in line with his diet.”
He grabbed the meat and held it in front of the Nexu. With a soft purr it reached for it and eagerly put it in his mouth. ”Ah…okay..there we go.”
The little thing was starving. He ate all of the meat Raiden had bought. ”fine, take all of it. On our next stop, let’s try raw meat.” Raiden smiled.

They got going again. It was another day and a half travelling, but it went very smooth from here. On the next stops Raiden was able to catch a few hares. He put one hare over the fire for himself and skinned the other to give the raw meat to the eager little Nexu that seemed to like Raiden more and more. His hand was still messed up, it stopped bleeding a long time ago, but it was swollen and still hurt like hell. He suspected there might be some poison in the claws that made it react this way. It did not lower his speed and he went through the forest in almost a record time.

At last, he reached one of the hills surrounding Lostein. He held the reins to grand himself some time to observe it. It seemed the whole island in the middle of the lake was part of the palace, all colours and materials just ran into each other in a very smooth way. ”Almost there, Clawbreaker…”
He put his boots in the side of the horse to tell it to start running again. In a few minutes he reached the bridge that would take him to the island. He went across it rapidly, some citizens only able to avoid the racing young man by a hair. He did not hear any comments or complaints though. He had removed his hood and the bright pink hair made sure everyone knew who he was.
He went for the stables first. Clawbreaker had been a welcome companion in the second part of his trip, but he was anxious to get rid of it. Things were just easier when you are on your own.

When he arrived at the stables he saw two young man looking sweaty and uncomfortable. He saw a big wet spot on the ground making it muddy. A bucket was standing up straight next to it, but it was clear somebody had been clumsy. He got off his horse and gave the reins to one of them. ”Take care of her” he moved his head around to show the stable boy Raiden could see the mess that they made. ”I hope your better at that than at carrying water…”
He saw some commotion a bit away from the stable. He immediately recognised the towering Korgan, who he was not the biggest fan of. Looking a bit closer, he also recognised the mask of Tyann. He walked over to them to greet them and tell Tyann of his present.
After 3 metres, he turned around, looking at the stable boys still standing there. ”Oh yeah…, and if you even so much as look at the saddle bags, you’ll be the next trophy on my wall!” he said it in a very casual manner and with a smile on his face. But they should know he was absolutely serious.

As he neared the small group, he did not recognise the blond boy, but he didn’t really care for him much. Too pretty to be a stable boy. he thought, nothing like the two mongrels back in the stables.
”Tyann, I see you finally got the courage to start training the foulest beast of all.”
Raiden looked at Korgan as he said it. ”Be careful with this one though…, there doesn’t seem to be too much brain to train, people have been talking for years, you know…” He finished off his sentence in a whisper to Tyann, but still loud enough for all others to hear.
Raiden looked at the drake. His mind being wired as it was, he looked for weak spots. Where would his arrow need to go in order to stop an animal like that. Somewhere in the neck would be best, but its armer was thick, a normal arrow probably wouldn’t do.
As he kept looking at it intently, he spoke to Tyann again. ”I brought you a present. It’s with my horse at the moment. Can’t be more than 2 weeks old, but if he’s going to take after his mom, it will be a force to be considered. Don’t try and give it any milk, it seems to be a big fan of raw meat… I thought you’d enjoy it.”
He pointed at the drake. ”Although I am not sure if it will match up to this splendid creature.”

He rubbed his hand again, it was itching and hurting like crazy. Maybe he should get it checked out. He turned around, facing the stables again. He put his hand on the shoulder of the blonde stable boy, who was still standing there. ”Hey, pretty boy, I would appreciate if you could take care of my horse. I left it with those two bumbling idiots and I am not sure if they are qualified if they can’t even carry a bucket of water. ” He again moved to a softer voice.
”Plus, you probably want this horse and yourself away from Korgan. I mean…, the smell of fish is just unbearable….”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Lilith Evers Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Euphemia Isadora Apolline Regana Lavorre III Character Portrait: Meridian O'Donohue Character Portrait: Ishara Soli Eldiel Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Justice Chastain Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Silvia Siria Shwetz Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Maestia Stowell Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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Ivelda Ever

Code- #003300


Ivelda did a thorough examination of Tempeste. The young woman was lovely, perfect for being a sacrifice, but then she was from Serein, who were renowned for their beauty, male and female a like. However the girl was valuable to Ivelda, for the time being. She couldn't afford to kill her . . . . yet. If this young woman was going to be a problem, she would have to handle it. Maybe it was time to start looking for a replacement. Fear and embarrassment seem to radiate from Tempeste. Wanting to make sure she continued to behave herself, Ivelda came forward and taking a hand with extremely sharp nails, she lift her face and looked her straight in the eye. Taking one finger she gently caressed her face.

"Such a beautiful face and body, I'd hate to add to Asher's burden. This is your only warning, Tempeste. I am a forgiving woman who cares for her subjects' health."

Indeed, she needed her young female subjects healthy in order to provide potential sacrifices. Standing up fully she turned to Asher.

"Asher dearie, once you're done with your business here, come to my throne room immediately. We have business to discuss. I am going to check on a few things first though so take your time. No more distractions though."

She had looked at Tempeste when she said that last line.

With that, she headed to check on Tyann, only to be pleasantly surprised to see both Roderick and Korgan there. Delighted to see them, she rushed forward.

"My boys! You're home safe and sound! Raiden, I take it you've brought me what I've requested of you?"

Looking at Ivelda now, one would never think she was an Evil enchantress.




Adrian Wells
Code- #30660C


Adrian listened to Thaddeus as he mentioned he never took a break. He opened his eyes in surprise. Granted, Adrian worked really hard for the kingdom too, but even he got breaks. Thinking back though, he remembered he never asked for breaks. The queen just started allowing him to take breaks in between missions and even insisted he live away from castle and town. Currently his house was in the wooded area that surrounded the lake. He still wanted to be close enough in case the queen needed him. His thoughts turned back to Thaddeus when he spoke to him again.

"Though if you intend to go out among the beasts, perhaps you should talk to Tyann. I'm sure he will be pleased for both that and your presence around here for a few days."

Adrian couldn't help but shudder a bit at the mention of the beastmaster's name. The guy just creeped him out for some reason. Maybe it was the mask. Sure he was very good at what he did. After all, the man was the one to train and break in his 2 horses. Still the 2 did butt heads from time to time due to both having short tempers.

"I think I'll check on Tyann some other time. Well, I hate to keep you from your duty, Thaddeus, so I'll leave you to it. Maybe sometime soon you can help be train at some point. This last job was a tough one and I worry I might be getting rusty."

With a wave to the guard, Adrian retrieved Little John and soon was back on the road, heading home.




Lilith Evers
Code- #C71585


It was finally time. Lilith enjoyed telling the crowd about Rhindeval, but now it was time to release the girls from her sisters' spell. She had noticed that the spell had weaken over time. She wonder if it was because Ivelda wasn't here to reinforce it. She had learned in magic school that going against what was natural would eventually try to undo itself. Lilith hoped that her sister didn't have the ability to sense the breaking of the spell. Hopefully in the spell's weaken state she wouldn't feel it.

"Now my fine folk, seeing how I am a sorceress, I suppose I shall share with you some spells. The one I have you for today is an ancient spell so I hope you enjoy the performance!"

The audience would think she was only gong to do magic tricks, but this would be all to real. Taking her want, she spoke the spell that would undo curse. It was one she created herself. Connecting with the pendents of the princesses, she spoke out.

"Memory is precious, it can't be taken away,
Remember your true self and find your way,
Have courage and take heart,
See the light and cast off the dark,
Seek me when thee are ready,
As I will so mote it be!"


In that instant, magical energy burst from wand, but no one would see it. Instead, little fireworks went off behind Lilith in order to distract the crowd. The magic from the spell would come into contact with the pendants of the princesses and Lilith could feel the locks on the princesses' memory break. The spell took a lot out her and Lilith plopped onto her seat in dramatic fashion. She exhausted but she just pretended to be.

"My! That took a bit out of me. I think I need a break. Return in 30 minutes folks, and I shall give all of you more tales of wonder!

The crowd applauded before dispersing. Lilith sighed. She done it. Now it was only a matter of time for one of the girls to approach her.




Dawn Henderson
Code- #5477B9


Dawn had gotten herself something to eat. Ever sense she had moved into the dorms, she had been determined to try foods she had never tried before and today had been no exception. The Anime club of her college had a vendor at the spring festival and for the first time Dawn got to try takoyaki. One of the members was actually from Japan and said this was common to have at festivals over there. Dawn never had octopus before and found she really liked the stuff. It was a bit messy though so Dawn was careful to not get anything on her gown. She had found a bench and ate it silence. Once she started eating it, she quickly ate all eight pieces. It was so good! It was a good thing Dawn finished it quickly because as soon as she did, magical energy hit her in the chest area, more specifically her opal pendant. It caught her by surprise and she suddenly had a flash of memory as something unlocked within her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The hallway was dark as a little girl with pale blonde hair tried drying her eyes. She just had a nightmare and sought her parents' comfort. Her room wasn't too far from their's. Coming to a pair of large ivory doors, she pushed on them with all her might. The door creaked a bit as she enter the room. However, no sooner had she enter, she saw her father get out of bed and drew his sword.

"Daddy?"

Immediately the man disarmed him self and looked at his daughter. Her mother had sat up in bed too by this time.

"Aurora, sweet pea, what is it?" King Elios asked.

"I had a bad dream. I don't want to be alone."

The man smiled before coming up to the 5 year old and picked her up before giving her a gentle hug.

"It'll be fine sweet pea. Do you want to sleep with mommy and daddy?"

The little nodded.

"Is it all right with you dear?" Elios asked his wife with a puppy dog eye look.

The queen smiled, "Okay just this once."

Dawn watched all of this in 3rd person and soon the image faded.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dawn gasped in shock. This was just like her dreams, only more clearer and it felt all too real. It was then she noticed tears were coursing down her face. She knew those people. The little girl looked exactly like her and was wearing a pendant that just looked like her. Her name had been Aurora though. Standing up suddenly, she had this intense need to find Professor Evens.




Cassie Peters
Code- #46935C


“Sounds good. I think I am going to just get a snack for now, so I’ll be heading to the corn dog stand. Let’s meet back here in a bit. We can find somewhere together to eat. I promise not to disappear again, as the team isn’t here to keep you company.”

Before Cassie could say anything else, Anita had gone off again. Corn dogs sound good, but Cassie had corn dogs the other day. Looking around, she soon found something she loved having whenever she had a chance- bacon burgers with donuts buns. Normally Cassie ate healthy food, but today was a cheat day for her and she considered herself a carboholic. Getting one of the sweet and savory burgers with fries on the side and a bottle of water, Cassie soon returned to the place Anita left her and found the tall girl there.

"Look what I found, Anita! I don't know about you, but I am ready to dig in! Let's find a place to sit okay?"

Soon they found a place and Cassie pretty much wolfed down her meal. It was then the magic that Lilith unleashed hit the 2 young ladies' pendants. Cassie nearly gagged on the water she'd been drinking as she looked at Anita.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Wait up, Silvia! You're too fast!" a girl with green hair called out as a taller green hair girl climbed up a tree faster then her.

"Sorry, Meri!"

The girls loved climbing trees and had just gotten away from their caretakers. Soon though, Meridian's mother found them.

"Meridian! Silvia! You two get down this instant! You'll ruin your clothes!"

"It's a bit too late for that, momma, sorry! We better get down Silvia, or momma might tell your parents."

Silvia nodded and soon the two girls were back on solid ground. Indeed, both girls had twigs in their hair and their outfits were a bit torn.

Queen Kerrigan tried to look stern, but couldn't help but giggle at their appearances.

"What am I going to do with your girls? Well let's get you two cleaned up. Follow me."

The girls nodded and followed the queen.


~~~~~~~~~~~~

What in the world was that? Cassie couldn't quite figure it out. She looked at Anita and saw her teammate had a shock look on her face.

"Hey, are you okay?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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Tyann Rebal:: #F47206




His mouth was open to shout another obscenity, ire and irritation directed at the now arrived Hunter. Whilst Tyann respected the fellow animal ‘master’ of sorts, he still found that he had yet to accept the necessity of culling beasts. But that was neither here nor there, for it was as he was bringing the voice up from his gut, Ivelda appeared.

His thoughts stuttered to a stop as he turned to focus on his empress. She strode by him, approaching Raiden and Korgan first. A small spark of jealousy bloomed for a moment, coiling in his chest, another tiny snarl found its way to his lips before Tyann calmed.
By rote, he sought out that special place within his mind.
A lake, a sea, a pond, a puddle… Regardless, as he pulled in a sigh, and dropped himself into a stately bow, the ripples that roiled and tousled the water's surface became still in his mind’s eye.
The apathy and cold disinterest returned in but a breath, and stayed as Tyann breathed out.

His hand on the reigns of the drake tugged, and the beast went into a bow of its own as well.

Tyann watched through his mask as Ivelda spoke to the two, keeping his expression blank and calm as he rose back into a relaxed stance. His back was ramrod straight, and though he itched to retrieve the ‘gift’ that Raiden brought back, gods be damned if the Hunt-Master didn’t bring back something young enough to be trained without needing to be broken per se.

He locked his gaze on Raiden’s hand, frowning darkly behind his mask as the thought of ‘Hm. Red skin. Swollen. Scratches… Hm. Hm! Probably needs to go see Asher. Damn. Whatever he brought me is going to be … interesting. Dammit.

Tyann’s focus leapt back to Ivelda, waiting for her majesty to speak beyond her greetings to the two. He would wait as long as she wanted, if only so that he could properly ascertain whether or not the gift that was brought would be worth it. Perhaps it could become a new pet for her majesty.
All in due time though.

For now, Tyann waited in silence for attention to be brought towards him. His gaze slid to Ari, and with a simple nod of his head, Tyann urged the other man onward with the otherwise unpredictable Luna. He would not stand for any sort of misbehavior or interruption whilst he could still breathe.
He knew that he was perhaps not Ivelda’s favorite, but that did not mean he tried to put forth less effort than any other servant of hers to become a favorite.
Regardless of that, he still wanted to regain SOME semblance of control over his stable yard.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Ishara Soli Eldiel Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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#12513
#740c50



Freddie’s lips curved up into a v-shaped, bird-like smile. Her tired eyes opened just a little bit wider. She slowly raised her hands… then returned Collette’s finger guns. ”You’re my favourite customer,” she stated, with a flat tone that betrayed no sarcasm.

However, before they could go any further…

”...!”

What was that feeling?

Freddie couldn’t understand it. But something compelled her eyes towards her teddy bear, sat by her feet and against the mushroom. Closer, deeper, into the doll’s pitch-black gaze.

Images flashed before her eyes. Dark skies. Withered trees. Miles and miles of swamplands, of rickety bridges and ramshackle houses built atop dank waters. A castle, tall and arched and crowned with wicked spires, its bricks yellowed by age and reclaimed by moss, its walls half-sunk into colourless waters. And then, on the tallest floor of the tallest tower, through the rose-shaped window, was a boy.

Slight in height and small-shouldered, standing in front of a shadowed sketch. He turned towards her, with eyes that sucked in all light… and reflected none.

She gasped. And blinked. Once… twice… and the image disappeared in an instant. Freddie hung her head and clutched herself. The warmth had left her body. Was that… a dream? Or... the memory of a dream? Freddie glanced towards the pouch in her hand. She turned it one way then the other, just to make sure. ”Still sealed...”

Just then, a voice snapped her out of her thoughts.

"W-what... is th..t-this?"

Freddie looked up to see Collette, teary-eyed, shaking, obviously in distress. Freddie stepped closer and laid her hands on her shoulders. ”H..hey…” Freddie held her breath. She considered her words, then replied, with a face paler than before. ”Dude… you okay? You… look like... you’d just… seen a ghost…”

Freddie’s placid brows furrowed as she moved closer to inspect Collette’s eyes. ”Do you need…. Anything?”




Korgan acquiesced to Tyann's request and handed the mare back to Ari. The outrider smirked at his veiled threat. He couldn't help but find it charming, like much of the Beastmaster… but Korgan knew well enough to not push his buttons.

Just as he nodded to Ari's introduction, Korgan caught the scent of another. The faintest trace of mud and blood. He knew who it was before he turned to see. The queen's hunter, Raiden Hetral. Korgan's ears pricked up at his snide remark. And, consciously or otherwise, he stood up just a little straighter, a little taller, to cast a shadow upon the pink-haired hunter.

"You got one thing right, mutt," Korgan remarked, his voice lower and quieter than before. He leaned close, his arms on his hips, flashing the fangs that lined his maw. "I'm the foulest beast of all. Question is, are you man enough to hunt me, or will that tongue do all the wagging?"

Silence ensued. Even the birds stopped their song. The beast and the hunter stared each other down, until…

"My boys! You're home safe and sound! Raiden, I take it you've brought me what I've requested of you?"

Korgan leaned back in an instant. His beastly smirk remained, but his entire body turned stiff and rigid, with his arms by his side and his eyes forward. He had not forgotten the one who cursed him. Korgan respected few, but there was only one he feared. Ivelda Evers. The Empress of Rhindeval. She, whose will decides the fate of this Empire. He held his tongue for now, observing from his peripherals on how Raiden would use his.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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#57C0FF

Ari heard Tempeste’s thoughts, but had to ignore them. Their trio had grown as apparently the stables was the hot spot to be. The first one to catch his attention was Radien. He found the pink hair man amusing as he spoke of Korgan. It was entertaining when Korgan replied to him. Also, he mentioned a present he brought for Tyann. Ari simply nodded at the man’s request for him to take care of his horse.

I believe he took Clawbreaker with him, but why would he leave a beast with her? All his thoughts stopped when he heard Ivelda. He did not like the woman for many reasons. The mere thought of her always unsettled him. He knew it was as Ellen always had something bad to say about their current ruler. Ari had no time to dwell on his past as Tyann basically signaled him to leave.

“It was a pleasure to be in the presence of everyone, especially you Queen Ivelda,” he stated, his eyes on Ivelda by his last word. Also, he made sure to give her a friendly smile and bow before he left. Ari was happy Luna followed him without any issues. He stayed silent until he was safely back in the stables away from the group he just left. The two stable boys he left alone were whispering and staring at one of the saddle bags hanging off Clawbreaker. Movement was clearing happening in one of the bags. Ari cleared his throat and resisted the urge to roll his eyes when they jumped.

“James, take Luna and make sure she does not escape your grip. Tyann was not happy with the escape. I then need you to feed all the horses,” he ordered. Once James took Luna, his attention turned to Uriel who had Clawbreaker.

“I will be taking care of Clawbreaker per Radien’s request. Although, please bring me a bucket with a small amount of raw meat for me. I would like the meat to be cut up into small pieces as well,” he told him as he took Clawbeaker’s reins. When Uriel ran off, he led the horse to her stall. He often spoke to the horses in a whisper, which made his naturally soft voice much harder to hear. He mainly spoke to them as it helped him not think. Ari did not like thinking by mistake or too much when connected to Tempeste. At times it allowed her to see sides of him others normally would not see.

“I hope you had a good trip Clawbreaker and that Radien treated you well,” he said. Ari took his time as he took her equipment off. He did make sure to be gentle as Tyann’s present was wiggling around in one of the bags. He hung the saddlebags over the door to the stall. Ari began to hum softly the song that always played in Serein when he lived there. He looked over Clawbreaker to make sure she was in good health. Once he made sure she was fed, had fresh water, and was brushed, he’d find somewhere to put Tyann’s gift so he could feed it. The last thing he wanted was for the little gift to die while with him. It would not make Tyann happy at all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Stephen Drimovir Cerenox Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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Ivelda Ever

Code- #003300


Ivelda watched as her boys bowed to her, even those who worked at the stable. Taking a quick gland, she caught the jealous look of Tyann. The beast tamer might wear a mask, but he tend to wear his heart on his sleeve and his eyes tend to reveal his emotions. Over the years Ivelda had thought to force him to not wear his mask, only because she didn't want him to remember the significance of it. But he had a very creepy smile and she prefer not to see it so she allowed him to keep on wearing it. She looked at the beast he was handling. Ivelda was impressed that he had that ability. She knew she could do many things, but beast taming wasn't one of them. Best she could do was turn into a beast herself. Deciding to give the young man some attention, she turned to him.

"My Tyann! To tame such a beast is amazing! I know these things can be particularly ferocious. You've done good work."

It was then one of the stable workers addressed her. Much like Tempeste, this one had light blonde hair and was from Serein. Why such a beautiful young man was working in the stables, she'll never know. Still he was good at his job. She nodded towards him as he led a horse away.

She then turned her attention towards Korgan. He was built as strong as an ox and was ruthless. Being the oldest of the princes, even at the age of 12, she recalled even then he had been troublesome to deal with before she put him under her power. Giving him that beast form had been a risk, but it had been worth it. It was then Ivelda remembered that she had to give both Raiden and Korgan her brew that kept them loyal to her. Maybe she should do the same for Tyann too. She knew she would have to give one to Benedicto when he returned. She mentally went through her other princes and how long it had been needing to receive her 'special drink' for them. She had already given Adrian his, Asher was probably waiting for her in the throne room, Eike was still in the dungeon, and Thaddeus would be doing his daily routine now. While Eike was one of her most loyal followers, she refused to take any chances with him. It would be hard to draw him out of the dungeons, but it always been that way.

"Raiden, you can give me your gift to me later. For now I want you to clean up from your journey. You too Korgan. Once you two are done, you can come to my throne room. And Tyann, same thing to you. Once you're done with that beast, come to my throne room. Korgon, I expect your full report when you arrive."

With that, Ivelda left them to their duties and went to the throne room. Sensing she wasn't alone, her eyes scanned the shadows and she saw Asher within them.

"You always were good at hiding, Asher. I have something I need to do first and then I'll join you. Be a good boy until I get back."

She went to the back of the throne room and went through the door that led to her potions room with the huge cauldron. What she didn't realize was that when she opened the door, she inadvertently let a pint-size Iris in with her. The fairy had been hiding in the shadows near the ceiling. She made herself invisible the minute Ivelda showed up and flew carefully to avoid detection. She paid careful attention to which potions Ivelda used to make her brew. It was a good thing Ivelda labeled all of her potions and Iris had a great memory. She recognized all of the ingredients. When Ivelda left the room with the drink, Iris left with her and soon left the castle all together. Without realizing what just happened, Ivelda walked towards Asher.

"Now my boy, I would like a full remember of your last mission. Here, drink," Ivelda smiled, offering Asher the goblet.




Iris was over the moon in having completed her mission successfully. She wasted no time in getting back home and all but burst into the Queen's throne room.

"You're Majesty! I know what Ivelda is using!" the fairy said as she flew in and transformed into her 'human size'.

Eowyn smiled and giggled at the fairy's enthusiasm.

"Tell me Iris."

The fairy did so and Eowyn sighed in relief.

"Well done Iris. It's a relief to know Ivelda didn't make anything too complicated."

"Might I ask why you wanted to know this your majesty?" Iris asked.

"I needed to know what they were so we can create an anecdote. Even if and when Lilith returns with the princesses, they won't have the means to break the princes from Ivelda's grasp on their own. We can at least give them the means to do that. Luckily I am familiar with the anecdote that can break it, but unlike Ivelda's "loyalty potion", this will take time. Thank you Iris, you are dismissed for now."

Iris, excited of the prospect the princes' spell being broken, bowed and left. It was only a matter of time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Richard Livingstone Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Rukaiyan Throntan Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal Character Portrait: Viliame Audica Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic Character Portrait: Tempeste Ponce Character Portrait: Ari Hunt
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#, as written by TushoKa
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His back was towards Korgan when the living bulldozer made his comment. Raiden just smiled and turned around to face the human monster. Whether he was baiting with traps or with words, it always seemed to work. He stared up at the man towering above him, a mischievous look in his eye. ”If Ivelda would let me…” Before he could finish his response he heard a familiar voice coming near them.

”My boys! You're home safe and sound! Raiden, I take it you've brought me what I've requested of you?”

As if being forced by an invisible hand, Raiden turned again and instantly bowed to show his recognition for the empress standing in front of him. ”Naturally my Empress, I will bring it to your throne room at the earliest opportunity. ” She seemed to be in a good mood, which was a good thing. If she wasn’t she would have told him the earliest opportunity had come and gone already, but instead he was lingering about. He never had a knack for the ‘civilities’ that came with life at the court, hence him being away from the castle as much as he could. Ivelda always made sure he was back every 2 weeks though.
He always looked forward to receiving his drink. If he was too long away from it he had trouble thinking of anything else. It was like a homing beacon where he just had to return in order to take his drink. He had asked Ivelda to take some with in a flask for his travels, but it was never allowed.

As he kept bowing down a bit longer he was thankful to hear he could clean himself up first. His hand was still itching like mad and he needed to make sure to stop by the infirmary first. When he came back up he saw the stable boy depart to take care of his horse. As long as he doesn’t open the bags… Before long, Ivelda took her departure again.

When she was at a save distance he looked back at Korgan. ”As I said, if Ivelda would let me I’d decorate the dining hall with a nice scary-looking rug made from your skin. In that case everyone is happy, you’d still look scary, Ivelda could order you cleaned at any time, and we’d finally be freed of your obnoxious commentary.” He directed his attention to the masked man instead. ”Tyann, I’m taking one saddle bag, the other one has your present. Be careful, it’s young, but has some nasty claws.” He held up his red looking arm to prove his point.

He turned on his heels and walked fast towards the stables. He saw the bags were already off his trusty steed, and he picked the one with the biggest bulge, knowing the moms head was much bigger than the cub was. ”Thanks pretty boy, but as I got you away from the smell of rotten fish on an oxes breath, I’d still say you owe me big time.” Raiden put the bag over his shoulder as he made his way into the castle.

He had his own room, albeit very small. He did not mind much. He didn’t spend much time here, and secondly, he hated the apparent luxury. It just didn’t feel like it fit …. him. He dropped the bag on his bed and took his gear off of him. He kept on his boots, as he still wanted to get his hand checked out first. In the 10 minutes he spend in the room he did not see a single servant coming by. They are avoiding me… these bastards He shouted: ”Who do I have to hunt around here to draw me a friggin’ bath?!?!”
A few seconds later he heard someone scurrying in. It was an old man in simple clothes. My apologies Sir, I will do so right away.
Raiden looked at the man, observing him from head to toe. The man was balding but was still showing a full beard.
”Fine, get it ready in 20 minutes, I’ll be in the infirmary but should be back soon.” He stepped out the door, only to appear in the door opening again a second later. He saw the man had his back to him, closing the windows in the fairly cold room. ”..And don’t touch my stuff!” He saw the man jump in the air when he’d thought Raiden had been gone already. How many times do I have to tell that to people today?

He took one of the stairs to go up to the medical ward. He took 2 steps at a time, wanting to hurry up before Ivelda’s patience and good mood would disappear. Plus, I want my drink, I’ve waited almost 2 weeks for it. His boots made an annoyingly hard sound on the stone floors. In the forest they were silent as could be, another reason why he did not like the castle. Like he was trying to draw attention to himself.
He stood still in front of the medical ward and heard a lot of voices inside. Asher’s having a tea party? it seemed unlikely, even more unlikely Ivelda would allow it.
He opened the door and stepped in, his boots again betraying someone new had arrived. He saw a few beds with patients and some people attending to them. The room smelled sweet, clearly a scent coming from the tea that was steaming in the corner. He didn’t like the smell, he never had.
He aimed his attention at the girl standing closest to the tea set. After the stable boy, she too was Sereinian. Did we turn into an orphanage for these people or something? He walked up to her. ”Where’s Asher? I need my hand to be looked at.” He held out his arm, and almost scared himself at the sight. It looked worse than what he had seen before. But Asher was a professional, he should be able to fix it quickly.
”I need him quick, Empress Ivelda is waiting for me…”





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Days would pass on Benedicto’s way back to his Grace. Benedicto had grown to dislike his own decision to take the man and the baby back to the capital. He didn’t feel sorry for them, but he took them too far away, and he had to bare their company for such a distance. The man had complaint a lot and loudly, no matter the amount of times he was hit, kicked and thrown off the horse. He had been quiet for a while when they had dragged his body behind the carriage, but even that didn’t stop him from completely shutting up. Eike will be able to deal with that, I’m sure…

The man had especially cried and moaned whenever the baby had been crying. Viliame had found a solution to deal with the man as well as the baby. He had told one of the monks to remove the cap from the mans head. ”I told you I was done with your complaining, I only wonder how much complaining you will do when you lose a limb or two…” Benedicto added with a slight smile.
He turned his head to the monk holding the child: ”Take that kid and dump it in the nearest river. Maybe he’s complaining he does not appreciate that we are willing to raise it properly…well..then why raise it at all. Make sure yo sacrifice it as an offering to the great Ivelda.”
The mans cry turned into a howl and a load of curses in the direction of the young preacher. Benedicto made sure the man could see the monk riding away quickly. The cries of the baby died into the distance.
”Now put something in his mouth, I don’t want to hear him again. ” He watched as he saw a monk putting a piece of cloth in the mouth of the older man, just before pulling the cap back over his face. The soft mumbling sounded like music to Benedicto’s ears.

The baby was relatively safe. He had told the monk before to ride out to the capital at his signal. He didn’t care much for taking care of the new human himself. He had instructed for it to be taken to the orphanage, to eventually go into the church. Making sure there was no hope for family would only be a benefit. Benedicto did not know his parents, and he could only consider it a blessing. It gave him more time and energy to dedicate to Ivelda and praising her.

The trip had been a lot better since this. They passed a few more towns, but none of them as fun as Grainburough. At each of them they spend a minimal amount of time. Benedicto was ready to be home. He loved spreading the word, but he hated to be this far away. After the last town he got back into the carriage again. He had been reading at all opportunities, but knowing they would not pass any more towns on their way, he rather spend more time reading than presenting himself. The road was a lot better and it was a smooth ride. With a blanket over his legs his eyes once again went over the lines.

It was incredible how people could still doubt the true savior Ivelda was. The one to unite all kingdoms of old, to get rid of old rivalries and to steer the continent to a better time. He was baffled how people could not worship her like he did. Maybe it was just pure education. He had access to most of the holy texts. They might be copies in the capital, but the text had not changed from the original, whether they came from the Isles or from Emperia or from anywhere else for that matter.
Once you know the truth, it was so simple to recognise Ivelda was the prophecies come to fruition. He was dedicated to show the continent, to show them how they should be honouring her…, like he did. He thought back of Grainburough, to the older preacher. How awful must it be to know what is right, but not to be able to convince the people of this. With the treacherous village elder removed, he should have an easier job. Benedicto should have left two of the monks with him. Of course he did the town a favour, by placing the preacher as the head of the town, but his monks could have convinced the people more quickly.

Under the carriage Benedicto noticed the sandy road was exchanged to a stone road. They were close now, close to his Grace. My goodness, I have missed her. He moved the curtain and looked out the window. Home, this was his home, his only memories from childhood had all been from here. He knew the houses, the inhabitants, the traders. They were all coming to the church regularly. They did not have much choice in that.
The carriage stopped in front of the capitals house of worship. It was where Benedicto always stayed. Aside from the main building there was a small monastery. It was like an inn for preachers, but some rooms had more permanent occupants.

Despite his young age, after Ivelda the young man had the highest position in the church. He could see the fear in the eyes of the older men and women that had spend their lives worshipping. They were scared, since Benedicto had a nose for non-believers. He had snuffed out quite a few that were pretending to praise Ivelda, while secretly practicing the religion that existed before the savior had come.
Most of these people had died by hanging, a few of them had been brought to the dungeons underneath the castle, but Benedicto had not seen them come back from there. Even when at a later age he had been in the dungeons himself, he had not recognised anyone but Eike. Maybe the only person who could rival Benedicto in the love they felt for their Empress.

He stepped out of the carriage, stretching his legs and arms wide. He spoke to the nearest monk. ”You there, bring this man to the dungeon master…tell him…to enjoy this one.” People on the street hurried passed them, trying to avoid the gaze of the stretched young man.
The church doors were open, but there was no service at the moment. Benedicto walked in, right to the altar in the far end of the church. He looked up at the statue of Ivelda on the back wall. He looked at her smiling face, as always directly installing the feeling she is looking at him only. In the middle path on the hard stone floors, he drops to both knees. He silently bowes forward until his nose touched the floor before leaning back up. ”Your Grace has blessed my travel home, I can’t thank you enough.” For what is normally supposed to be a silent prayer, he cannot contain his appreciation. He continues his prayer out loud, his voice booming back echoes from the high walls.

When he gets back up, he turns and sees most of his monks following his example. On his way back to the door he touches their heads in appreciation. They showed him time and time again why they were his most trusted disciples. He felt his throat itching, he was ready to visit Ivelda in her castle. He felt giggly as he made his way out the church. He was excited, almost feeling a tickle in his stomach with every step he took towards Her.

While on his way he saw a welcome sight. He saw two other loyal Ivelda believers, although one just got on his horse to ride away from him. Keeping the same pace, he approached the other man, the leader of the royal guard. ”Brother Rock, praise to Ivelda for meeting you on this wonderful day. I was just on my way to seek Her presence.” He looked down on the muscled man. Benedicto was not as muscular, or more like the polar opposite of it. He placed his arms on his back as a relaxed stance. He didn’t notice it, but traffic stopped coming past the two young man, most people rather staying away from either one of them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Roderick Haldic
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Tyann Rebal:: #F47206




Ivelda finally took notice of him, and in a burst of excitement, Tyann stood taller. Pride bloomed in his chest as she commended his command over the War-Drake, regardless of the fact that she most certainly could have commanded a true dragon with ease! He had no doubt, there was absolutely no question.

His attention wavered as he turned his gaze towards Raiden, blinking owlishly as the Huntsman took his leave. That arm was looking worse and worse… Hm. Nothing Tyann could really do about it. He knew how to treat beasts, and even some very basic suture work and malady treatment for men and women, but nothing like Asher. That one, oh that one, could treat people as if he knew the miraculous cures to every malady! … It was a shame that Tyann found his charismatic charm more grating than enjoyable. Not for want of trying, as Tyann did appreciate him, but all the same.

He took care of people though, and the Beast Master appreciated that more than he could express.

Oh! Raiden mentioned a gift. Tyann grunted a quick ‘hold on’, patting Korgan on the shoulder with a silver clawed hand as he walked away, focused entirely on the possibly deadly beast that was brought to him.
He first had the drake sequestered away in its pen, reminded himself that Korgan would need an instruction manual of sorts for the damn thing— Oh. Speaking of which.

His legs carried him back to Korgan as if he were in a trance, his mind so occupied with the pride and joy he felt at being recognized by Ivelda, the simple praise she had given him, that he behaved unusually. He spoke plainly to Korgan, his voice muted and eerily calm. “The beast is in its stable. Third row, second from the far wall. It’s name is Netorugal, it is male, and it will only heed your, or my, command. It is smart. Do not think of it as a pet, it is an ally— a companion— not something that will not think on its own,” Tyann paused to assure that Korgan heard him, before continuing. “Let it swim beside your vessel while you are not in the midst of battle, it will keep up, or simply cling on underneath. It has a whistle in its stable. Blow into it, and it will come. … Oh. Do not FUCKING feed it spider-meat, it will not digest it, and will thusly perish. … Please take good care of it.

With that, Tyann nodded, slapped Korgan on the shoulder with a quiet laugh, and walked off to retrieve his gift from Claw-Breaker’s saddle bag.


OH ABSOLUTELY F—” The subsequent curses were swallowed up by the panicked cacophony of horse, hound, and boar. In Tyann’s hands was the Nexu cub, his clawed fingers holding the creature by its quilled scruff. The quills were yet to harden, and though the little beast tried its hardest to claw at Tyann’s arms, it simply could not reach.
His temper kept attempting to spike, and though he wanted to be furious, he tamped it down as best he could. A long sigh burst out from Tyann, his brows furrowed as he stared into the face of the Nexu.

Thoughts scattered about in his head as he considered his next move. He appreciated the gift, of course! But… Where would he keep something like this? This would require time! And dangerous effort at that! Not to mention that he would most likely have to take care of this himself! … Or was that the hubris talking?
Tyann grumbled again, clearing his throat and making an odd rumbling-purring-huff like noise. The nose of his mask pressed against the cub as he made the noise, the mewling beast slowly quieting and instead beginning to call for food. A quiet caterwaul that Tyann recognized well from most carnivores. Damn.

The Beast-Master huffed a sigh as he turned on his heel and meandered his way towards the outskirts of the palace grounds. The cub still held cautiously by its scruff. Raw food was probably best for it, and if Raiden was to be believed, it was old enough for it… Damn. Damn!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ivelda Evers Character Portrait: Aurora Givens Character Portrait: Euphemia Isadora Apolline Regana Lavorre III Character Portrait: Meridian O'Donohue Character Portrait: Ishara Soli Eldiel Character Portrait: Garland Greywind Novax Character Portrait: Justice Chastain Character Portrait: Sibylla Costrantina Character Portrait: Silvia Siria Shwetz Character Portrait: Tyann Rebal
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#12513
#740c50



Freddie stared blankly at Collette. Not every pun is a winner, she supposed. And something else Collette said had drawn her attention.

"Professor… Evans…?"

Strange. She hadn't thought about it before, but there was a feeling deep in her chest. Like a nag, a tug, that encouraged her to… do it. Freddie was never especially close to the Professor. Or any other professor, really. In fact, the only time she was close to a professor was when they strode up to her desk and told her off for sleeping. Or daydreaming. Or for being in the wrong class at the wrong time. Numbers and faces blended together when she wasn't paying attention.

Freddie straightened up, and helped Collette along. Her eyes glinted with attention at the latter's bargain. "...You know what… it's… the Royal Highness… at the Ren fair… it's… " Freddie held up two quoting fingers. ""Thematic."... Have two pouches…"




Freddie and Collette found Lilith easily enough. She was at her booth, with two other students nearby - a statuesque girl with dark hair, and another with locks that gleamed an eye-catching forest green.

"Yooooo…."

Freddie waved as she approached. The dark-haired girl turned around, and Freddie let out a tiny gasp when she saw her tear-stricken face. She turned to look at the Professor, and then...

Her vision blurred. Coldness ran down her spine.

It was a dark place. So dark, so vast, the shadows seemed to stretch forever, to the left, to the right, above. Everything was black, and cold. The rose-shaped windows brought in no light. The girl's teeth chattered, and she clung to herself with tiny, pale arms as she sat at the foot of the grand staircase. It wasn't one she could see, but one she had known.

A skull was propped beside her. Yellow light emanated from within its eyes, and nose, and between its teeth. It was covered in scribbles far too small and many to read, like the writings of a madman. The light had grown dimmer and dimmer. It was only a matter of time before the light faded entirely, and she would be all alone.

Like always...

Then, from the corner of her eyes.

There was light.

Brighter than any she had ever seen before. It was blinding and captivating in equal measure. She brought a hand to cover her eyes and squinted between her fingers to see.

The light grew brighter, closer, but as her eyes adjusted, she saw… a figure. Womanly, radiant, with long and graceful strides. The girl withdrew her hand from her eyes. The woman drew closer, and what was once blinding now soothed her.

She exhaled and met the woman's eyes. There was something in her gaze… it was nothing like the hostile glare of her Queen, whose seams were bursting with disdain. Nor was it like her King's cold, aloof pity, delivered with half a heart and zero passion.

This woman looked straight at her, her ruby eyes damp with welling tears.

"Ishara…"


The light returned to Freddie's eyes; deep and blue and free of the fog of fatigue, even if the rest of her face didn't quite match them. She stepped back and hung her head.

"Ishara…," she repeated the name. It felt so familiar on her tongue.
"That's… me…?"

Freddie brought a hand over her heart. She remembered it all now. Her true name. Her old family. And the memories it brought…

There was heaviness upon her chest. It sank; deeper, further, as more and more images, feelings, and thoughts from her past resurfaced. All those times she was left behind, in the dark, alone. She had seen her parents' backs more often than their faces. She remembered their names, but it meant nothing to her.

Her lips parted to exhale. She watched with glazed eyes as Professor Evans- or rather Lilith Evers- addressed the crowd of girls which had gathered around her. It took a moment for her, but she felt their names on her lips. One by one.

"Aurora…

Meridian…

Silvia…

Justice…."


Her eyes hovered to the blonde haired girl she had known for a long time. Longer than she had thought.

"Euphemia…!"

And finally, to the girl by her side.

"...Sibylla."

She blinked. So this was destiny.




Korgan glanced down, to his boots, faded by water and encrusted by a thick layer of blood. It was brown and muddy and nowhere near as imposing as the fresh stuff. He chortled, silently admitting that he did need a good clean.

As his Empress addressed him, the Raid-king stretched his arm to the side and gave an exaggerated bow.

"Yes, my Empress!" he bellowed, his bestial features naturally flashing a fang-filled grin. Ivelda ruled his heart by fear, but there was no denying it - he loved his job.

Korgan heard out Tyann's words and nodded along to the salient points. "Aye, aye, got it. Netorugal, good swimmer, allergic to spider-meat. Don'tcha worry. I'll take care of him like my own." He eyed the beastmaster for a second as the latter walked off, then slapped him on the rear. Lightly.

"GUAHAHAH!" His raucous laughter sent nearby birds scattering. He held two thumbs up, then waved his goodbyes and walked away.

"Right. Bath first… I should head over to the Barrel and Chains," he thought aloud. "They better have my favourite girls there, or somebody's walking the plank! HA!"

Korgan's steps came to a halt. He brought a hand to his face, and felt the coarse, inhuman hair which ran down his snout. In the moment and without a mirror, it was easy to forget… about his bestial form. The one he had been cursed with for his indiscretions. No woman would touch him, much less lay with him, with such ugliness. A dry feeling assailed his throat. Indeed, it had been such a long time. A very long time since a woman saw him with anything less than terror or revulsion. He missed it.

"...HMPF!"

The Raid-King scoffed, and cast his melancholies overboard. It mattered not. He wouldn't touch, but he could look all he wanted!